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Archive for January, 2014

Good morning Pastor John,

On the way into work this morning I was listening to Galatians.  It was so good.  Every time I listen to it, I get something else!

You were reading the part where Paul was telling about Abraham’s sons – one of the free woman and one of the slave woman – and how he was comparing that to the Jews and the Gentiles.  That was so good! I was thinking how it must have been “hard” for the Jews to hear that message, just as it is still “hard” for people to hear it!

Just made me so thankful Jesus gave me ears to hear and a heart to love it!  Also to have a Pastor to preach it like Paul……the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth!

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Brother John,

This old tape of your sermon on “Fellowship” is so good ! Even though we’ve heard it many times since 1992, it is really having a very good feeling to me today .  It reminds me of the feelings I got when reading your Father and Son book.

Here are some of the things you preached on: 

‘What can we do for one another to attain to that sweetness, beauty of fellowship ?  To get there we have to have mercy. God taught me 3 things this morning: 1) mercy is not mercy unless it leads to fellowship in the light, 2) mercy is not mercy unless it promotes holiness .  If it doesn’t promote holiness , it’s phony, shallow, and ungodly, 3) mercy is not mercy unless it follows repentance . Mercy before repentance is nothing but giving consent to sin. Repentance has to come first ! Jesus said,  ‘If your brother offend you, rebuke him, if he repents, forgive him.’  Mercy is not overlooking sin; it’s exposing it and getting rid of it so we can have fellowship with God and one another, and go on to perfection.’ 

‘The benefits of fellowship, which God opened up to my heart today, are so great that Jesus submitted to torture and humiliation just on the chance somebody would take advantage of the opportunity for it.  He suffered the cross, we are told, “for the joy that was set before him.”  The joy that was set before him was not his salvation; it was the hope of fellowship with us.  He wanted to share with us the joy he felt in the presence of his Father!’ 

‘There is a permanent cure for slander.  Now, tell me.  Who could go to Jesus’ heart and sow a seed against anybody?  He was living to get us to where he is, and when you live to get others to fellowship, nobody can turn you against them. When you experience the sweetness of the depth of the love of God, you are willing to “cover a multitude of sin”, and to suffer anything for others to feel it. Fellowship will cure whatever you don’t like about another person.  Pray that we all grow into fellowship, and small things won’t bother you anymore.  Everywhere there is a difference between us, a spirit of division can work if fellowship is not our goal.  God gave me a cure for the spirit of strife.  I saw a picture, as if that spirit of strife came to my house (my heart), knocking.  But I sat still and let Jesus answer the door.  He keeps strife out!  Listen, a right spirit doesn’t just sees faults in others; what it sees is another opportunity to overcome an obstacle to fellowship!’

‘God is excited about the body of Christ growing in the knowledge and experiencing genuine fellowship in the light.  Are we excited about that?  Or has somebody down or said something you know is not right, and you have engraved it in your stony heart as a testimony against them?  Jesus died for us to have fellowship; can we not deal in a godly manner with a little bit or wrong until our brother gets it right?  Where is your love?’

‘God has relief for any soul that is sick and tired of sinning and then talking about it.  Tell me about your errors, and I’ll tell you about the glory of God.’  

‘God’s way of peace is for us just to rest in Him, just to sit back and let him answer the door when any spirit knocks, whether it be good or bad.  Our security lies in fellowship in the light, where there is complete faith in Him to direct our paths, to choose our friends, to choose even our family, and to be thankful.’”

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Well, that’s one tape finished, looks like I have a second one that goes with it.  I might try to keep it to myself but I can’t promise; it’s just so good!

Sheila

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I am thankful that God chose for us to be born here in this wonderful country, “where even the poor people are fat,” as a Russian in this article pointed out.  The best way we can show our gratitude is to keep God’s commandments and pray for the leaders of this blessed land.  Let’s do it!

Pastor John

http://www.dineshdsouza.com/archives/articles/10_great_things_usa/

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Hey

As a foreigner, though not coming from a place like India, I can well agree with this man.   Back in Australia in the 80s and 90s I had a Slovakian (as it became) couple as friends.  They escaped communist Czechoslovakia twice (that is another story).  They used to repeat a Slovak saying, “When the fat get thin, the thin are dead!”  In 1995 they came to visit me in Brisbane and they brought a sister of one of them (I forget whose) who was by then able to visit Australia.  One day we took them to this big, new supermarket that had opened nearby.  This place made quite a show of presenting the wide range produce for sale and the prices were great.  A couple of days later we wanted to go back but the relative didn’t want to go there again.  What she had seen the first time was so far beyond what she had ever experienced that she just could not take it.  It exposed the lie she had lived under for almost her entire life.  The bounty and the common-place nature of having so much available, with no restrictions, was too much for her.  She could not go back there!  And she was actually trying not to believe what she was seeing.  It was so sad.  I could never have imagined such a thing.

God’s people might have a similar reaction if they ever see what could be theirs in Christ.  They have lived under oppression for so long that freedom is barely imaginable and perhaps too frightening.  

But my friends escaped – people can want to do that.

I knew another man who floated out of Poland to Germany.  

And others who made it across the border into Italy thanks to terrible weather which disinclined guards from their duties.  And they were all very happy to be in Australia.  They knew what it could be like.  

Damien

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This was an interesting article.  It’s good to see thankfulness and appreciation in someone towards this country.  My grandfather, a Lebanese, came to America through Ellis Island, and started a new life here.  I often wondered what it would have been like if I was born in Lebanon.  My grandfather told me that Lebanon was once the destination of peoples around the world to take their vacation there; it was one of the most beautiful places in the world, and that you could hitch-hike anywhere and not worry about your safety, or, just camp beside the highway or road. Now, it is a place of unrest and civil wars; we are truly blessed.

I wondered if I would have been caught up in some war or conflict, or be persecuted in some way because of who I was.  No, because God already knew who I was (before I was born) and he wanted my grandfather to come to America so that I could be born, so that I could receive that precious gift from His son Jesus, and become the person He wanted me to be; my life is God’s.

One day a speck of dust floated in the air in my music room and was highlighted by the light bulb right in front of my face.  I started crying and prayed, “Lord, that is what I was made from — anything good in me more than that (dust particle) is what you created in me; I am nothing without you.”  If I take any credit at all for what God has done in me, it is nothing but pride.  I saw another speck of dust the same way floating in front of my face at your house on a Wednesday night meeting when I was there, and I had the very same feelings: “Jesus, that is all I am without you.”

I am thankful for the decisions and the hardships my grandfather must have faced to enter this country.  They must have been massive compared to what I go through on any given day.  I am thankful for the life I have here so that I can praise God with all my heart, mind, soul, and strength without being yanked out of my house (at least at this time) and be thrown into jail, or my home confiscated.  My house is heated and cooled, my pantry is full, and I’m surrounded by the most precious people on this planet; I am a truly blessed man.

Thank you, Jesus for wanting me.

Billy

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When Did Moses Write?

Hi Pastor John,
 
I read from one source that actual writing started about 3000 BC.  Is there a time period when Moses’ writings began?
 
Thanks, 
Billy

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Hi Billy,
 
Moses lived about 1300 BC, plus or minus.
 
Pastor John

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Hey Bro John,

Well I finished the tapes of that Kentucky meeting back in August 1992 and there were some good testimonies, so sad though that some are not still here with us.  

In Michelle’s testimony, she said, “I told Chuck last night while we were lying in bed that John Clark is down in our basement! It was a good feeling having him down in our basement.”  You spoke up and said, “I told him I wasn’t going to steal anything.”  Of course, that got a good laugh from everyone. 

Natalie E was talking about what God gave and did for her was “much more better.” To me that was sweet how she said it. She talked about dusting her house, God opens a part of your heart and cleans it.  

Tammy testified that she was thinking more about what was wrong with her than about what God had fixed.  She asked her heart, “what’s the matter with you? You got to straightened up! You stop being sad!  “She was really happy and being blessed. She said she wasn’t going to hide out in her house any more, she was going to get next to somebody and not let those spirits work. 

Bro John, you really encouraged those people with their sweet testimonies. Oh, and Kathy Tuck sang “I’ll take Jesus”.  

In your message, you said: “Some groups of people are going to find themselves, like Brerrabbit – right in the middle of the briar patch.”  (I remembered you telling us that, and I’ve always liked that little picture in my mind). 

You said: “God is waiting for those who are hungry and thirsty for righteousness, and that hunger is the call of the spirit of God. It’s always helped me in the past to try to see and understand, not so much what people think they are after , but what their spirits are after. What’s the real goal?

About 11 1/2 years ago, early 1982, I conducted Bro Frank’s funeral, an 87 year old man in the Lord.  There was a man at his funeral that invited me to go to Durham to preach. I didn’t know the spirit he and his congregation were under. I didn’t know that they had all been turned over by God to a delusive spirit, teaching that a person has already been raised from the dead when he received  the holy ghost. Paul wrestled against the same spirit with a few foolish saints in Corinth, and Timothy dealt with some in Ephesus.” 

Then you told about your experience in the middle of a prayer meeting, when God let you experience what it was like to be turned over to a “strong delusion”, when He “revealed” to you that it was true that those who receive the Spirit ARE already raised from the dead, and how knowing the truth kept you. You said Sister Atkinson saw a vision of that congregation in Durham trying to spin a web around you, the way a spider does a victim in its web, and how it vexed your spirit while you were going through it with them. Your father, though, insisted that you continue to go back and preach there, as they wanted, even though you didn’t want to, even telling you, “I think that’s John 1:1” (here you said you didn’t think you should go back meaning that was just your – John’s – opinion).  And you never got over being vexed until you got alone with God and he showed you the purpose of that false doctrine:  that evil spirit was after your crown, and their crown!

The spirit of Satan was robbing them of their hope, for with that doctrine they ceased” looking for Jesus to appear” and save them.  Then, when God showed you that, you wanted to go back to preach because you had their answer.  It’s one thing to know you ought to resist spirits but it’s another thing for God to put on your shield, your helmet, your war boots, and give you a sword.  Then, a man is able to say, ‘This is the word of the Lord.'”

You went on to say: “This past Monday night in Lexington at our prayer meeting, some are sick, some wanting the holy ghost, and while down praying, the spirit of God was so sweet.  I heard myself praying in English for myself and for us, so wonderful I can’t even communicate the beauty of it.  God put it in my heart to pray!  That’s praying “according to the will of God”, and you can expect that to be done.  God opened up my heart to me and showed me how desirable fellowship is. That may not sound like a whole lot, but God has more to show us.  It’s like my soul smelled the fragrance of fellowship.  My soul just picked up on how sweet it is to God, how good and pleasant it is to God when “brethren dwell together  in unity.”

Bro John, I thought that was such a precious way you explained it, your soul smelled the fragrance of fellowship.

I am so glad I cleaned out a closet recently and found these old tapes, among many years worth (which John David wants to look through), because I have been so blessed by hearing your message. The only cassette player I had was an old, small one that works on batteries.  There is no rewind, only a fast forward button that doesn’t work.  But I was so hungry to hear this, it didn’t matter.  If I wanted to hear something again, I just took the tape out, turned it over, played it a little bit and flipped it back over.  I felt a real hunger for it; partly, because back in August 1992 I had put a note to myself on the tape case that said,” For Sheila, when she gets out of whack, ” but mainly because that message on Fellowship has been very sweet to my soul and so very good to hear again. 

Thank you very much, 

Sheila

 

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Ezra made them understand

Hi John,

Last night,  I was reading Nehemiah, the part where Ezra stood up and read the law, and all the people “understood it”… with the help of the Levites and priests, and repented and sought God.  And they told them not to weep, but that it was a day to look to the Lord… and after that, they celebrated the feast of booths, with great rejoicing, and there never was a feast of booths like that one.

Oh, that God would let His people “understand”, and DO what the Spirit says.  We’d be rejoicing, and the presence and power of God would be amongst us.  I wonder if this will get through to God’s children any time while I live.  Until then, we can be thankful for what God HAS done, it’s up to what God does.

I love you, John, and your work. It is a precious thing God did for us by having you get it to us, and to all those afar off.  All who will read, hear, and “understand.” 

We can gird up our loins…. there is work to be done.  🙂

Gary

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2013 IN BLOGGING

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