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Archive for February, 2014

His Love

Dear Bro. John:
 
I loved our testimonies tonight, how the love of God has brought each one of us down a path of His own design to end up right here in this wonderful place with Him and His Son!  Our testimonies of Jesus open our hearts to see just how patient, merciful, and loving he has been with each one of us, all along the way.
 
On the way home tonight from the meeting, I started thinking of just how and when my love with Jesus started deepening in my heart.  I realized that it was down all the paths of correction he prepared for me.  During those times, Jesus was always there loving me through and to the end of each correction.  And every time I obeyed him, the love between us deepened because he never left me to wonder if he still loved me.  He was always there waiting for me to prove my love for him.  I know of no other love story as great as the one we are living right now with Jesus.  It never grows old, it is never tiring, it is never dull, and it never ends.  Our testimonies never grow old either!  They are LIFE and they spread like wildfire in our hearts when we share them! 
 
Jesus has been so good to us with a constant love that never fails even when we may not see so clearly.  I love OUR love stories with him.  We just need to keep telling them – – and let there be no chains except the ones that make us prisoners of his love! 
 
Thankful tonight for the good feelings! 
 
Sandy  🙂

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Embarrassment

Pastor John,

Is embarrassment a form of pride?

Michelle
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Hi Michelle.

It can be, but it need not be. God considered it an very bad thing when His people became so immoral that nothing could embarrass them any longer Jer. 6:15; 8:12). But Ezra was so embarassed by the sin of the people that it made him hesitate to so much as look up to heaven and pray (Ezra 9:6).

Pastor John

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I saw this man and others on TV last year, and was so hurt for these dear souls that I had tracts sent to this area of Middlesboro, Kentucky.  I wonder what he said about the message we sent, or if he ever got the tracts at all.
 
God have mercy.
jdc
 
Hi John,
 
I was wondering if you could help me to better understand those scriptures in Mark16:16  –  especially the part that says, “They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them.” – and how they relate to the little Pentecostal groups over the last several decades who have participated in snake-handling.
 
Why do some of God’s people feel they are supposed to handle snakes and drink poison?  Is this something God has commanded some of His people to do as a demonstration of His power?  or are they misunderstanding the scriptures?
 
Thank you.
Vince
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Hi, Vince!
 
My father told me that in the early 20th century, when God was pouring out a revival of life in the Spirit (which Christianity later quenched, of course,) God would send snakes to the meeting of His saints if He wanted one handled.  My father talked about specific instances of deadly serpents crawling into a gathering.  
The most impressive to me was the story he told the time a minister was preaching and a deadly serpent crawled down to isle to him.  The preacher took him up, laid him across the Bible, and kept on preaching.  My father said the preacher had to roll the snake over on its side to finish reading the verses he was reading from the Bible.  Then, the man of God carried the serpent out and turned him loose.
 
We don’t have to go looking for serpents and poison; God will create true situations we need, as we need them.  I was told that I drank poison when I was two, and when my mother cried out, my father came in and laid hands on my little head, and the poison came back up, and I went back outside to play.  It was not a ritual we went through; it was a time when we needed the power of God.  I am thankful that my father had it!
 
jdc

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Who is Happy?

Pastor John,

I was listening to a sermon this morning from 2009, “Fully Alive in Your Spirit.” You were talking about the difference between a happy person in Jesus and an unhappy person. Those that are happy have done their work (whatever job Jesus has giving them ).If you have done your work, then you are Happy! It is not a matter of who PJ likes best. That has nothing to do with it! Have you done your job, the one Jesus has given you? If you have not, you will be unhappy and be looking for fault in others. You said, “KEEP AWARE! STAY ALERT!” Jesus has a job for you, but you have to be able to hear his voice.

It was a good reminder. 

Love,

Jammie

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Billy’s dream – Carolina

Good morning, Pastor John.

In my dream I was giving a presentation on Mark 12:30: “And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.”

Brother Earl and you were sitting behind one of the white tables; there were others sitting there, too, but I didn’t recognize their faces.  I knew they were some of us sitting around you. 

I began by saying, “There are four things that Jesus commanded us to do in this scripture.  We are to love God 1) with all of our heart  2) with all of our soul 3) with all of our mind.  Then, I went on with my presentation. 

You stopped me and reminded me (as you were smiling), “Billy, there are four”.  And I replied, “Thank you, that’s right; Number 4) and with ALL thy strength.”  Then the power of God fell on us and I woke up.

I went to my music room about 5:00 AM, and started looking up all the scriptures on strength.  There are many!  But what was so fascinating to me, especially in Psalms, were the many scriptures David was using (there are too many to list), stating that his strength came from God and not of himself.  Then I noticed that Job, Moses, Paul, and many other faithful wise men in the Bible, as well as today, know that any strength at all comes from God.  Jesus even said that he could do nothing unless it comes from his Father.  We know this, but it sure is wonderful when God allows you to feel it in your heart.

I was playing Darren’s CD, Going Home To Carolina, when the that song started playing, while I was getting ready for work,  “I’m Going Home To Carolina . . .Going Home to be with family and friends . . .”  when all of a sudden, the Spirit fell (like it did in my dream), and I started speaking in tongues and praising God, while I was flossing my teeth — It can be done!  🙂  The Spirit spoke, “Carolina is a matter of the heart”.

Wow! . . .  I just yielded fully to what I just heard.  You have taught us Over and over again that moving to NC is not what’s it’s all about, but that having fellowship in the light of the Spirit, no matter where you live, is the point.

The Spirit started speaking to me, “You are already in Carolina,  Carolina is in you . . . It has been there since 2001, when I put it in you.”  I couldn’t take it.  I had to fall down on my face and say, “Amen, God!  It is; it has been; it is there — no one can take this away from me, God.”

I am so thankful for the ones who have been able to move to NC, and very happy for them, and I do pray that God will allow me to move there one day.  Not to be in a different location, but to experience the daily fellowship of God with y’all.  If He does, then it will be such an added bonus and blessing . . .  if He doesn’t, then Carolina is, and always will be, in my heart, and I can be content with that.

Hope all is well, and hope to see you soon.

Billy 

 

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http://debatelive.org

Hey,

I watched a little over an hour of the debate last night before having to get the kids to bed. The one question that I kept feeling when listening to Bill Nye was, “Where is the love of God in that?” That feels like such a cold way to live, with just man, all on his own. Our own experiences tell us that can’t be, and it made me feel sad for him.

This crossed my mind last night, too. The Creator himself asked me the question about eight years ago, “Who created science?” 🙂 When the question came, the answer was obviously the One who was asking me the question. What in the world would Mr. Nye do with that!? 🙂 Poor thing. It’s God’s science, and like Brother James says, “He can be right any kind of way He wants to!” He doesn’t have to be “predictable”.

Cris
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Amen, Cris. It seems to me that sane people would choose to believe there is purpose and love in the universe. The hopelessness in the doctrine of evolution is palpable. We humans are of more value than that, and I can’t help but feel that even the most ardent evolutionists can sense that fact.

Pastor John

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http://debatelive.org/

Hi John,

Amy and I also watched the creation debate last night, and I, too, was disappointed in both sides. Mr. Nye was much more confident and at ease in his debate style (though sarcastic and contemptuous at the same time), and Mr. Ham seemed nervous, unorganized, and unprepared to answer the tough questions. As a result, Mr. Nye basically controlled the entire debate, and Mr. Ham was constantly on the defensive. I couldn’t understand why Mr. Ham kept using the Bible as his primary evidence for creation to someone who doesn’t believe the Bible (I think lawyers call this “begging the question”). From what I have read and heard other creation scientists say, just about everything Mr. Nye put forth as evidence for evolution has been refuted, but Mr. Ham didn’t offer much of the existing scientific evidence in his couterarguments. I wondered why no one asked Mr. Ham the question, “Would you still believe what you believe if the Bible didn’t exist?” And I wondered why no one asked Mr. Nye some of the tougher questions also, such as, “How do you explain, using the theory of evolution, the irreducible complexity of any given living organism? For instance, did the heart, blood, arteries, veins, capillaries, and cells all evolve at the same time? If not, which one of these components could be absent and still make for a viable circulatory system?”

With all that said, though, I also feel the same way everyone else has already said, that the witness of the holy ghost – the power of God – was the key thing missing from the creation side of the debate. Like Gary, I also wondered what would have happened if Mr. Ham could have testified of an experience that he had with God, and the power of God fall and he begin speaking in tongues, and everyone in the audience feel the presence of God. I found myself praying for both men this morning, especially Mr. Ham, that they would have a real experience with Jesus – one that would trump all of their own thoughts and ideas about the Creator of heaven and earth!

I have seen other creation scientists, such as Kent Hovind, do a much better job of presenting the scientific evidence in this kind of debate, but also without the truth and the power of God. In the case of Kent Hovind, he became rebellious and arrogant with his knowledge, and now he’s in prison for tax evasion. So, perhaps God will only allow men to go so far in trying to “prove” God exists with their own knowledge – but still use them to get people thinking about Jesus, and considering a side other than the side that’s continuously forced down everyone’s throats these days.

I was reading in Deuteronomy 29 this morning, and these verses really stood out to me, in light of last night’s debate:

2 And Moses called unto all Israel, and said unto them, Ye have seen all that the LORD did before your eyes in the land of Egypt unto Pharaoh, and unto all his servants, and unto all his land;3 The great temptations which thine eyes have seen, the signs, and those great miracles:4 Yet the LORD hath not given you an heart to perceive, and eyes to see, and ears to hear, unto this day. (Dt. 29:2-4)

Even God’s own people, let alone the world, can’t believe the things He has done or understand the truth unless God gives them the grace to believe it, or see it, or hear it, or understand it. It makes me very thankful that Jesus showed me, just a few short years ago, how foolish I was to believe in the whole evolution thing. But there was no way I could have all of a sudden decided to stop believing in evolution and started believing in God, without God giving me an experience to let me KNOW, not just believe, that He is real, and that He loves us and cares for us.

Vince

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http://debatelive.org/

Not only did Mr. Nye keep saying “Ken Ham’s model”, but he kept referring to the beliefs of Ken Ham “and his followers” as if it was so obviously a cult. Very cunning, & very annoying. Also — he was so “civil” until his last five minutes, when Mr. Ham could no longer respond, and then I thought he really let loose. That was cunning also: “I’m sorry, but you have utterly FAILED to answer my questions or prove your case, Mr. Ham!” Very crafty debate tactics. But as everyone has said, the thing that would’ve confounded all of that, the power of God, was absent.

On a side note… It kinda made me wish we could watch the debate tactics of Lincoln & Douglas. I’m sure that would’ve been interesting. (But then again, maybe not — b/c debates stress me out!) Debating itself seems like it’s becoming a lost art form, in a way.

Rebekah

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http://debatelive.org/

Pastor John

I have difficulty in watching this type of thing but I did listen to the last 45 minutes or so, and it was enough to make me want to hear the rest of it.

For his part​,​ Mr. Nye was at least civil. Very often in this type of thing the pro-evolution side is extremely sarcastic and disdainful – I mean extremely! He kept it under control. For him to put himself in that situation has already, and will continue to bring him some flak from the scientific community.

Ken Ham struggled at times, primarily because the Spirit is entirely left out the picture. The truth about the holy spirit will cause division among Christians, as it should, so he and his ministry avoid the subject. They would say that such matters are irrelevant to believing the Genesis account. It is like a court case where the defendant is not called as a witness by his own side for fear of what might happen under cross-examination. The witness of God is never allowed on the stand and it hurts me to see it. If only they could be happy to let the spirit of God do the cross-examination and rejoice in the results. That is why I have trouble getting involved with these events.

One thing I thought that Ken Ham missed badly was Nye’s bizarre concern for the future of America’s science if Creationism is allowed into the picture. Many great scientists from the age that ushered in the beginnings of our technological era were bible believing Christians who would never have questioned the matter. It did not stop science developing at all. In fact, it may well have been connected to God blessing them with increased understanding. I thought Ham let Nye repeatedly state his opinion on this matter without any rebuttal (at least in the time I was listening.) Nye is portraying belief in God as being incompatible with good scientific endeavor.

I love Ken Ham and still have a soft spot for his ministry. The man has “guts”. The opposition and ridicule he has faced for years, and especially over the building of the Museum (which was just an idea in 2000), would beat down many a man. They were part of what God used in turning me back toward Him back in 1999-2000 when the “Creation Bus” visited the town 50 minutes west of us. Their mission is primarily to Christians who have belief in the Bible. They are not really a disprove evolution to the evolutionists ministry. They correctly point out that a watered down view of Genesis undermines the whole of salvation history given in the Bible. Their seven “C’s” of history: Creation, Corruption, Catastrophe, Confusion, Christ, Cross, Consummation are OK but they need another, “Conversion”. Nevertheless, they strive to help people hold on to Genesis being literally true and show them that science does not necessarily preclude those things being true. If the debate helps people hold on to simple belief, maybe it will help some find their way to Jesus.

It makes me think on what you said about “we”, the people of God. We are a mess. We have let go the things of God. Psalm 74 came to mind. I long for the day God answers prayers like this one. It is interesting that it references creation as much as it does.

Damien

1 O God, why hast thou cast us off for ever? why doth thine anger smoke against the sheep of thy pasture?
2 Remember thy congregation, which thou hast purchased of old; the rod of thine inheritance, which thou hast redeemed; this mount Zion, wherein thou hast dwelt.
3 Lift up thy feet unto the perpetual desolations; even all that the enemy hath done wickedly in the sanctuary.
4 Thine enemies roar in the midst of thy congregations; they set up their ensigns for signs.
5 A man was famous according as he had lifted up axes upon the thick trees.
6 But now they break down the carved work thereof at once with axes and hammers.
7 They have cast fire into thy sanctuary, they have defiled by casting down the dwelling place of thy name to the ground.
8 They said in their hearts, Let us destroy them together: they have burned up all the synagogues of God in the land.
9 We see not our signs: there is no more any prophet: neither is there among us any that knoweth how long.
10 O God, how long shall the adversary reproach? shall the enemy blaspheme thy name for ever?
11 Why withdrawest thou thy hand, even thy right hand? pluck it out of thy bosom.
12 ś For God is my King of old, working salvation in the midst of the earth.
13 Thou didst divide the sea by thy strength: thou brakest the heads of the dragons in the waters.
14 Thou brakest the heads of leviathan in pieces, and gavest him to be meat to the people inhabiting the wilderness.
15 Thou didst cleave the fountain and the flood: thou driedst up mighty rivers.
16 The day is thine, the night also is thine: thou hast prepared the light and the sun.
17 Thou hast set all the borders of the earth: thou hast made summer and winter.
18 ś Remember this, that the enemy hath reproached, O LORD, and that the foolish people have blasphemed thy name.
19 O deliver not the soul of thy turtledove unto the multitude of the wicked: forget not the congregation of thy poor for ever.
20 Have respect unto the covenant: for the dark places of the earth are full of the habitations of cruelty.
21 O let not the oppressed return ashamed: let the poor and needy praise thy name.
22 Arise, O God, plead thine own cause: remember how the foolish man reproacheth thee daily.
23 Forget not the voice of thine enemies: the tumult of those that rise up against thee increaseth continually.”

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Thanks, Damien.

I loved the feelings I felt when reading Psalm 74. That song is probably more applicable now than when David first sang it. God help us!

I, too, have a hard time watching such things as that debate ​last night, but once it began, I was glued to it. The impression I had was that Jesus was going to use it to help some of his less courageous people overcome the bullying spirits of this age, vis-a-vis the truth of Creation. It was advertised well, and I am thankful that the truth of Creation was given the exposure it got last night. The major news organizations have to be by-passed in order to put the lies they promote to the test. Last night, that happened to a significant degree.

​Mr. Nye was contemptuous and sarcastic​, even childishly so at times, but as you say, he kept it somewhat under control. His continual reference to “Ken Ham’s model” as opposed to “those of us on the outside” [that is, outside Ken Ham’s little following] was irritating, especially when he continued saying that after Mr. Ham pointed out that it was a false suggestion. One of the most unexpected elements of the debate for me was how much Mr. Nye resorted to slanderous suggestions instead of focusing on scientific facts. I thought he would come to the debate jam-packed with one observable scientific fact after another. It struck me how few evidences he offered the audience. That made me wonder if those evidences even exist. Why else would he not bring them to the table, resorting so often to childish, though muted, negative innuendo instead.

I also had this thought: Maybe Mr. Nye was not the best representative of the evolutionist position. I found myself wanting to hear more about his evidence for evolution. His best evidence, presented early on and referred to repeatedly, was the total lack (according to him) of certain small fossils mixed in the fossil record with fossils of a larger kind. I appreciated Mr. Nye’s pointing that out. It was thought-provoking.

​All in all, I thought the debate could have been much better, on both sides.​

Pastor John

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Good morning,

Richard and I watched the debate as well. In the TFM for 2/4 “Responses to the Elect” you wrote a response to Bob’s question regarding the demons knowing who Jesus was. Part of your response was this…

“I could not know more than I know now that the story of Noah and the ark is true even if archaeologists found the remains of it in the snow-capped mountains of Ararat next week. Physical remains mean nothing to my faith because by faith I already understand that the power of God tore this earth apart and spared Noah and his sons and their wives with the ark, and I need no physical evidence. I have felt the power of God.”

It’s in our experiences with the power of God, His Spirit that gives us understanding & knowledge. Ken Ham did do the best he could do with his human understanding and knowledge. I am praying that God will show him the rest of the story too!

Amy F.
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Thanks Amy.

Those who missed it can see it replayed anytime in the next few days, as I understand it, at www.debatelive.org

Pastor John

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