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Archive for December, 2013

Jenny loves how she feels

Hi Pastor John,

I feel really good.  The past 2 mornings I’ve just sat in my chair and told Jesus over and over Thank you, thank you, thank you for how I feel: full of confidence and growing faith.   I think of all the things He has done for me – especially in getting me out of Christianity – but what it really comes down to is keeping my way clear, keeping clean hands and a pure heart and not having condemnation, so that I can keep having confidence in him.  I have just loved how I’ve been feeling.

OK, back to study for me. I think my exam is going to be tough.

Jenny

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I don’t know if I understand this Pearl, exactly. What if nobody you ever tell about Jesus follows after it? Or will that not happen over a lifetime of serving God, if you’re doing your part?

RJC
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PEARL26

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Hi.

If you are helping bear the burden of winning souls, or if you are encouraging a righteous soul to be faithful to Jesus, you are “carrying somebody with you into eternal life”. Jesus promised that whoever is a blessing to one of his disciples will receive a disciple’s reward.

Of course, the opposite is true, also. If we are a stumbling block for those seeking for eternal life, we will be damned. Jesus said that it would be better for a person never to be born than to cause one of his little ones to stumble in their walk with him.

Pastor John

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Dream about Rest

Hi, Pastor John:

In my dream we were sitting around at your house in the basement and you were talking to us. The power of God filled the room and people were speaking in tongues and getting drunk.  The power of God fell on John David, II, and he lay down gently on the floor and on his back. People, speaking in tongues, praising God, shouting, singing  – or anything -didn’t disturb the peace and rest John David was experiencing. 

Someone said, as they pointed to John David, “What is the interpretation (spiritually) of this?” You replied softly, “There is no interpretation of this.  Rest is its own interpretation.”

You went on to say, “If you turn to anything to comfort you, to help you, or to get relief, other than the comfort of the holy Ghost, that is a measuring stick of how much Christian is still in you”. 

I woke up.

Then, I remembered the reading in Exodus 20:

And God spake all these words, saying,

I am the Lord thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.

Thou shalt have no other gods before me.

Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.

Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;

And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.”

God, wanted all of Egypt out of his people and he wants all of Christianity out of us, so that we can rest and be comforted, and worship God acceptably. Out of Egypt (bondage) and into life. Out of Christianity or any other thing(bondage) and into life, peace, and rest in the holy Ghost.

I could think on these thoughts all day long. 

Hope all is well, love you all.

Billy

 

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God’s laws

Good morning Pastor John,

I woke up early this morning thinking about the laws of God and his judgments that he has revealed to us in the Old Testament and now through his spirit dwelling in us.  As I ponder over them, as I read them, all I can see and feel is how much he cares about his people and how they feel, and how they make other people feel as they walk through this life together.  I thought about what the Lord gave you about relationships and how everything is about our relationships with everyone in our lives, and how we treat every one of them as we walk through this world.

He cares enough that if we do something wrong and want to make it right, he gives us a way out.  In almost all the cases, he allows some kind of reparations to be made to the one who was wronged so that they can feel better and get some relief from the burden that was put on them by what was done.  And in turn, it allows the one who did it to repent and make it as right as they can, and hopefully that frees them both from ill-well or bad feeling with each other in the end.   

But what I love is that God has given us his life and his spirit so that we don’t have to treat each other wrong.  If we follow his spirit, we will treat each other the way he would, and in turn have wonderful fellowship with one another and a right relationship that need not to be repented of.  As we know, things happen in this life and God gives us insight, and we want to feel the way he does about it, and we will if we walk in his spirit.  Men’s ways are perverted and are not his ways and I am so glad you had us reading about God’s judgments and his laws; it sure will clear the fog out of your mind about how God really feels about things, no matter what men say and do in a matter on this earth.  If  what we feel is not how God feels, then it is wrong.

Thanks

Stuart

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Wisdom from an old CD

http://www.goingtojesus.com/the-new-birth-teaching-series.html

Hey there!

I love this!  I was driving to work this morning, listening to the New Birth series, and I felt the spirit preaching to me, that when a person is truly thankful for what Jesus has done, they tell it!!!  That’s how you make Jesus happy! To make Jesus truly happy, you tell what He has done for you! There’s not much we can do for Him, but to make Him happy.

When we go through something and get past it, and learn what Jesus wants us to learn, we tell it! That’s the true testimony! 

The body knows when one of its members is sore, or needing care. If you have a sore knee, ands it’s healed and stops hurting, you are so happy to be able to walk around! That’s the normal function, to be happy when you’re not hurting, after the injury has passed!

When I went through my many learning lessons, then got through them, I was never sorry I went through them. I was so thankful to have passed that time, and then put into action what I learned.

I felt that Jesus was so happy to have gone through all he went through, for us. He knew it was for His own good.  Then after it passed, He was so thankful for it!  For us!!

Jesus does so much for us daily, that if we really slow down and pay attention, there’s a testimony each day. 🙂

I wouldn’t change a thing I went through this past two years!  If I did, I would have to admit that I didn’t like learning what my Father has to say! Or that “all things working for my good” doesn’t apply to me.  I love driving and listening to my tapes, and have the spirit teaching me. He has really done more than I was praying for!

Paul

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Pastor John,

I heard these things on a CD of a meeting from a few years ago and thought I’d like to pass them on.

From your sermon:

(1)  ‘When a person is truly delivered from something, that person has a testimony. If there’s not a testimony, there has been no deliverance; that person has just quit doing something temporarily.  The sin is not gone; it’s just on vacation!  A real testimony is a real confession of Christ.  A real testimony is not in the words that are spoken; it is the experience with God.  When you give a real testimony, you are sharing something that has been done by God; that is a real testimony, and that is what overcomes the world.’

(2)  ‘Now, the scriptures say “Confess your faults one to another, that you might be healed.” If you confess your faults but don’t want to be healed, you are just bragging about how bad you’ve been.’”

From Lou’s testimony:

(1)  ‘The flesh feels like it is always right, and if you are in the flesh and I’m in the flesh, then we both feel like we are right, but we are both wrong.’

(2)  ‘When you love the things of God, it is only because you are teachable.’”

Amanda F

                       

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“eye for an eye”

Pastor John,

I was just reading in Matthew 5:38-40  and found this…

You’ve heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth,’ but I say to you, do not resist evil.   On the contrary, whoever strikes you on the right cheek, turn the other one to him, too.  And to him who would sue you to take away your tunic, give him your cloak as well.”

So, what was Jesus saying to “do not resist evil”, and then he speaks contrary to what was in God’s law?  Is that the difference between old and new covenants?  I want to learn what we read about the other night and to think with God’s thoughts … but then this stumped me 🙂

Leah

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Hi Leah.

It is difficult to see sometimes, but there is a difference between speaking beyond the law and speaking contrary to the law.  In those verses, Jesus was not speaking contrary to the law; he was going beyond it, to a higher, holier standard. Look at Jesus’ other, similar sayings in this section of his Sermon on the Mount, in particular what he said about murder:

21. You’ve heard that it was said to those in the past, ‘You shall not murder,’ and ‘Whoever commits murder shall be liable to the Judgment.’

22. But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother without cause will be liable to the Judgment,

and what he said about adultery:

27. You’ve heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery,’

28. but I say to you that any man who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

Technically, someone could argue that those two statements of Jesus were contrary to the law, but actually, they were beyond the law, on a higher, spiritual plain.

In the section you quoted, it is more difficult to see, but the principle behind what Jesus said is the same.  We see that principle more clearly in John 8:1-11, in the case of the woman caught in adultery.  There, Jesus did not contradict the law’s judgment; he merely insisted that the right person enforce it.

Hope that helps.

Pastor John

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Pastor John,

I do not have a date for taking these notes but I saw them today & wanted to pass them along.

1. Hear the correction & do nothing.
2. Hear the correction & get mad at the person giving the correction and then leave without changing.
3. Hear the correction and change but not love the person that gave the correction.
4. Hear the correction and change. KNOW that the correction came from GOD and love the PERSON that spoke to you.

When we respond as the 4th type, we will have a greater love for the person that corrected us because they want the same thing God wants for us.

Jim G

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The Law

Hi Pastor John:

Read some more in Leviticus before going to sleep and to me it looks as though God was giving them commandments and laws not only for that moment but He was prepping his people for Canaan’s land.

God was telling them about laws for vineyards and houses in which they couldn’t have vineyards wondering in the desert and they lived in tents.

God really was giving them instructions for living not only now as far as how to have a relationship with Him and others now but giving them instructions and laws for the promise land.

Am I seeing this right?

Billy
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Hi Billy.

Yes, that is correct.  Many of the commandments God gave Israel in the wilderness applied only to life in Canaan’s Land.

Keep reading the law!  It came from God and teaches us much about how He thinks.

Pastor John

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Godless

Pastor John,

I read this after I got home from taking Jacob to practice.  I just sit here thanking Jesus for this life we get to live.  The effect the body has had on my children since we moved here has been more than I could have ever dreamed.  Oh to live this life!  It really does work.  On the way taking Jacob to practice, we stopped at the gas station.  Jacob went in to get some water.  When he got back in the car, he asked me to pull over to another car at the gas pumps.  There was an elderly man standing there pumping gas.  Jacob walked up to him.  He told the man he wanted to apologize for the way the young girl behind the counter treated him.  The man looked at Jacob in shock.  He told Jacob it was ok.  I was a little shocked myself.  When he got back in the car, he told me the young girl behind the counter was very rude to the man.  He was an old man and couldn’t remember his zip code, and the girl rolled her eyes at him.  Jacob said she finally ask the man for his drivers license and got the zip code, but her attitude was awful.  Jesus is giving our children right feelings!!  I love that and want to do my part!  Thank you for having a safe place for us and our children to grow!

Love,

Jammie 

Godless

A most frightening aspect of this culture’s rejection of Jesus is the effect that the absence of the gospel is having on the spirits of young people.  The gospel of Christ is of such power that it has a softening influence on the hearts of all who hear it, even on those who do not respond in faith, and everyone is blessed in a society where the gospel is preached, not just believers.  But in cultures where the gospel is suppressed, there is nothing to take its place, and young people are left to grow up without a godly conscience, and without a true sense of good and evil.

We are seeing in some places now the awful effects of keeping children from the gospel.  This generation, with its pseudo-sophistication and pride, is beginning to pay the price for its foolish insistence that to deny children the gospel is the way to true freedom, and for striving to make this culture godless.  Nothing in human society strikes me as being quite as dreadful as the roving packs of young men in the streets now, with no conscience, attacking at random and without even the motivation of robbery.  The pain they inflict is just for kicks.  That is but one result of keeping the young from the influence of the saving gospel of Christ.

To be godless is to be merciless, for God is merciful.  To be godless is to have no moral boundaries, for God is good.  To be godless is to be beastly, driven by the base appetites of the flesh, for God is holy in all His ways.  To be godless is to be perverse in judgment, because God is wise and just.  To be godless is to have no strength or will to resist and to overcome the dark spirits in this world, for God is full of power.

Teach your children the stories that God has provided for us in the Bible!  Don’t make excuses.  Do it!  Are you too busy to save your own child?

The whole world has benefited from the influence of the gospel of Jesus Christ because our forebears made sure the gospel was known, in their homes and beyond.  They understood the value of the gospel and yielded to the power of its influence.  They knew that the message of the gospel would restrain the baser aspects of human nature.  If we would be wise, we will not take that precious influence for granted.

If parents fail to acquaint their children with the gospel, if they fail to walk in its light so that the young can become acquainted with the feelings and the wisdom of the gospel, what will keep the young from being godless?  And then, when those godless little children mature and begin living like animals, with no sense of shame and no fear of God, who will control them?”

 

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Finished ch.10

Hey Brother John,

Just finished reading the Father and Son book (“God Had a Son before Mary Did”). I feel so blessed just for having the privilege of reading it.  As I sit here, remembering it, all I can do or think is just wow!  Wow!  Wow!

Billy H.

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