Archive for September, 2014

Watch the news or not?

RE:  A recent article you wrote.



Below is a quote from a recent article you wrote about a conversation you had with a young man you met at Yellowstone:

 “I had to ask myself, ‘Am I as dedicated to my calling in Christ, and free from interest in this world’s vanities, as that young man was?’  He was not in the least attracted to or interested in the latest political scandal, or “important” sporting event, or rumors of war, no matter what countries it involved.

To help me have a clearer and correct understanding of the point you are making, please explain how what you say below fits in with your father’s testimony about the Lord wanting him to watch the news and be aware of current events.



Hi Wendell.

That is a good question, one which I considered dealing with in that article itself, but I decided to wait to see if anyone would ask it.  Thanks for bring it up.

The young man to whom I spoke was completely committed to the life he had chosen, so committed that he refused to allow his heart to be troubled or his mind cluttered with information about the “world outside the park”.  I felt challenged by his whole-hearted approach to life.  Am I as whole-hearted in my service to Jesus?  Or do worldly things distract me?

That was the good that I saw in what the young man said.  It went no further than that.  I still believe, as my father taught me, that God’s children need to know what is going on in the world at large, and at the same time, have enough faith in God to obey Jesus’ command to, “let not your hearts be troubled.”

I hope that explains what I meant in the article to which you referred.




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In our study of Acts, we have read these scriptures:​

Acts 2:44–45: “And all that believed were together, and had all things common, and sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need.”

Acts 4:32, 34–35: “And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common.  Neither was there any among them that lacked, for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold, and laid them down at the apostles’ feet: and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need.”

My Question:  Was it common in those times for the treasurer of a rich man’s house to be known as the one with the “keys”?  If the disciples were still expecting Jesus to establish an earthly kingdom, would they then have thought Peter was to be the Lord’s treasurer, since Jesus told Peter he would be given the keys to his kingdom?   And then, could that be why everyone had to bring their goods to Peter?



Those are some interesting questions, JD.  I don’t have any information about how common it was for a treasurer to be known to have the keys of the household, but I assume it was standard.  One Old Testament king’s treasurer, Eliakim, is called the head of the king’s household, and he is said to have had governmental authority (Isa. 22:15–21).  He was even called a father to the nation of Judah (Isa. 22:22).  So, everyone in the nation of Judah, I feel sure, would have assumed that Eliakim had control of the keys to the king’s house.

It makes sense that the earliest believers would have assumed that Peter would be in a place of authority similar to Eliakim’s place, since they (1) apparently did expect Jesus to return to set up an earthly kingdom and (2) Jesus had promised Peter the keys of his kingdom.

These facts may have played a part in influencing the earliest believers to sell their properties and turning over their profits, but in Acts 4, it does not say they brought the profits to Peter alone, but to all the apostles.  So, it doesn’t look like they were thinking exactly what you are asking about.

Thanks for the questions!



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The Resurrection


Hi John,

Amy and I read through the first part of the Acts notes last night, and it is feeling so good reading through it again.  Boy, it has really been stirring up some thoughts!

Amy said she went through some corrections with you this morning, and she asked you my question about whether or not there is a difference between a “resurrected” body and a body that’s been raised from the dead, and you told her that there is a difference.  The reason I had wondered is because of your comment, “It is unlikely that a resurrected body would actually feel hunger….” (from your note under Luke 24:43).

We got to talking about this at lunch today, and I remembered one key difference between Jesus’ body after he was resurrected and the bodies of those who were raised from the dead (e.g. Lazarus):  Jesus’ resurrected body contained no blood.  Then I got to thinking about how the life is in the blood (Lev. 17:11), which means that Jesus the human son of Mary, his natural life, no longer existed, for it was no longer in the body that Peter and the other apostles saw – only the life of God was there in that body.  Then Amy pointed out that in the Old Testament, animal sacrifices were made only after the blood was drained from them.  This is how it was with Jesus when he offered his crucified body to God for the sacrifice!  You probably have already told us that, but for some reason it just clicked today 🙂

Are there any other differences between a resurrected body and a body raised from the dead?  Is Jesus the one and only case of a human being resurrected?


The New Testament speaks of a first and a second resurrection that will occur at the end of this age.  I assume that the first resurrection is called “the first resurrection” because it is the first of its kind (after Jesus, of course), and likewise, the second resurrection.  At the same time, the Bible records a number of people being raised from the dead, even in the Old Testament, and none of them are said to have been “resurrected”.


Another part that we were talking about is the scene in Acts 1, when Jesus answers his disciples’ question, “Is this the time you will re-establish the kingdom of Israel?”, and Jesus’ response is, basically, to tell them not to concern themselves with those things, but to just go to Jerusalem to receive power and to be his witnesses.  Then Jesus is taken up into the clouds and disappears and they are left wondering (I suppose) why he left them before he even set up his earthly kingdom!  Then God sent the two angels to let the disciples know that Jesus would return in the same way that he left.  I wonder if they thought that that was why Jesus wanted them to go and wait for him in Jerusalem, because that’s where he was going to show up again, out of the clouds?  That would certainly be incentive to go and wait for him there!  It is really something how Jesus labored to get them to the place (both physically and spiritually) where they could receive what he so much wanted to give them.


That’s a good point, Vince.  Jesus ascending into heaven would not have made the disciples stop looking for Jesus to set up an earthly kingdom.  My, what did they think?


It felt really good reading and talking about these things.  There were so many other thoughts that we were having, but these are two that really stood out to me.  Thanks for doing this study, John.  It has been wonderful so far what Jesus is able to show us now that we have a better understanding of the Father and Son!



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the 12th apostle

Hey Pastor John,

I just read your note after Acts 1:26.  I agree that “we must be slow to say that this method of choosing an apostle was a fleshly exercise.”  But on the other hand, I can’t help but wonder if this truly was a work of God.  If it was, then Matthias would be the only apostle that I can think of that wasn’t personally chosen by Jesus.  The other 12, including Paul, were personally chosen by Jesus.  I believe there is a scripture in the book of Revelation that says that the new Jerusalem would have 12 foundations that will have the names of the 12 apostles of the Lamb written on them.  Since Paul was personally chosen by Jesus “as one born out of time”, I am more inclined to believe that Paul would be counted as the 12th apostle.

As I said, just some thoughts.

Billy H.

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Hey Pastor John, 

​T​his is from 1​P​eter 1​: ​”Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia,”​

 Is the “strangers” he is talking to the Gentiles?



Yes, Abby. Peter would not have called fellow Jews “strangers”.


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Acts Study


Good morning, Pastor John,

 I was listening to OT CDs for the book of Joshua.  You said, “The power of God creates a new understanding inside you.  The power of God is the doorway to understanding!  Nobody knows how little they know about God until they come in contact with power of God.  Then they realize they know nothing!”  

That made me think about the recent message on the Keys of the Kingdom!  Oh my, how many doors have been unlocked to us!  God reveals them to you, and you teach them to us!  Doors we did not even know were there!  And he is still revealing new things!!!

I love the Acts study!  Thank you for all your work!


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Reading Acts



I love the reading in Acts!  I love Peter!  He was just as lost as everyone else.  Even though his shadow healed people, he still had to grow in the knowledge of the God who gave him that power.  And Peter did not know what all God had done through his Son when he came to this earth and died to make a way for all people to be freed from sin and the power of the lust of this flesh.

“God needed another man!”  Wow, this is great!  🙂  It makes me love the Jews more than ever.  They had to change and move away from what God had already given them into what God was doing through His Son.  He gave them the law, and now they had to go where he was taking them, and that takes faith!!

Where is God taking us, with what he is showing us and teaching us?  This is exciting!!!  🙂  God help us take this in and give it out!!

Thank you, John.


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