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Archive for September, 2016

Having to Obey God

Pastor John,

Beth and I were in separate rooms of the house the other day, and though I could not hear her clearly, I knew she had begun to speak. I did not know if she was talking to Jesus, or to me ūüôā As I walked toward the kitchen where she was, to see if she was speaking to me, I heard the last sentence that she spoke, which was………”they say you don’t have to obey God.”

When I heard her say that, the Spirit then spoke to me. It was a very pleasant surprise, and unexpected. This is what I heard:

“You don’t¬†have¬†to obey God.

If you are “having” to obey God, then you are not obeying God.
The Spirit that you have IS God, and
¬†it¬†is never “having” to obey.

If you are “having” to obey, that is just the flesh, holding its true desires in restraint, that is not obedience to God.¬†That is a different Spirit.

You don’t make the choice to obey God, you can’t obey God. You make the choice to walk in the Spirit, the Spirit obeys God.

 Jerry

 

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“This is Better than That.”

Pastor John, 

Beth and I watched a Benny Hinn Video tonight that just brought us to tears. We both wept while watching these deaf people receive their hearing, and some, while still unlearned in speech, were “signing” frantically,¬†“Loud, Loud, it’s loud, I can hear!” ¬†I loved feeling that brother John!

A few hours later, I was standing in the bathroom shaving and I heard God’s Spirit speak: “Even people that want to continue in sin, want to be healed. ¬†But you have got to love Jesus to come to this truth. You can’t stand it if you don’t. ¬†It keeps this work free, from what brother Benny Hinn can’t keep out of his work.”

Praise God Pastor John!  That is wonderful, for us!

I can understand why your father said that for all of the healings and for all of the miracles, “This is better than that.”

Amen!

Jerry

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Good morning John.

Last night, I mentioned that God commanded us to honor our mother and father (Ex. 20:12).  Does this scripture have a double meaning?  It seems that I remember you telling us once that God is the Father and the body of Christ is the mother.  Is that correct?  Thanks.

Jim K

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Hi Jim.

Yes, much of the Old Testament had a double meaning, and this commandment in one of them.¬† God certainly wants young people to show respect to their parents.¬† But in this covenant, the ‚Äúfather‚ÄĚ most to be revered is our heavenly Father and the ‚Äúmother‚ÄĚ is the body of Christ.¬† Honoring Him and the body of Christ is more important than honoring anyone on earth.¬† This is why Jesus could say that if you love your (earthly) father and mother, or your son or daughter, more than you love him, you are not worthy of him (Mt.¬†10:37).

Pastor John

 

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Pastor John,

I was listening to brother Murray and to brother Frank on a CD from a prayer meeting in the early 70’s. Those are special recordings.¬† After the CD was over, I could still hear them preaching and testifying, as if the CD was still playing.¬† I went on with my day yesterday, enjoying those two all the while.¬†

I then felt the Spirit in me educating me as to who those men, or better yet, “what” those men are.¬† “The law”, is what I heard in my heart. “There is the Law.” (Referring to brother Murray and brother Frank) “They are the Law.”

And it continued…

“In the old covenant, men used to receive the Law from God, write it down, and then men would then live it out.¬† In this new covenant, men receive the Law from God, they live it out, and then if they wish, in hindsight, they can look back and write down what they have done.¬† That is the law!¬† You are doing it!¬† But once you write it down, you can’t follow it again because this thing is alive, and it may never be the same thing for any two days of your life.¬† So you have to stay hooked up with God to get this!¬† Do you want to know the Law?¬† Give yourself completely over to Christ and then see what you did that day.¬† That is the Law in this covenant!

But it’s going to cost you.¬† ‚ÄúHow much?‚Ä̬† Everything!¬† You are going to forsake everything that is not God to get this.¬† You are going to stop giving yourself over to anything that is not the will of God in Christ Jesus for your life, or you are not going to be saved!¬† And once you do, everything that you do will be the Law; you become the Law!¬† You are Christ’s epistle, proving that He was telling the truth!

Men used to read the Law, but that was when the Law and man were two different creations, but now man and the Law are one creation!  The man and the Law became one when God entered into the man!  And the man became the perfect law of liberty.

Every government requires you to obey its law.¬† The policeman isn’t going to let you drive up and down these streets too fast, or go down a one-way street against traffic.¬† Well, how much more is God going to require us to obey the law!”

I wrote down what I remembered, brother John.

I was sure blessed by it.

Jerry

 

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Nicknames

Pastor John,

This morning, I remembered a conversation that I once had with a man that I used to work part-time for, many years ago.

He started telling me that day about a fellow that (I assume) he used to look to as a friend. A person that he said, used to make use of his business regularly, (it was a gym, for athletic training).

He told me that this fellow, “used to come in here everyday, and was a pretty decent guy, but then, next thing you know, the fellow disappears and is out handling snakes”. I said, “really?” with excitement. He said, “No. It’s just a figure of speech”.

I thought he was saying his friend had found the power of God!¬† I had never in my short lifetime heard someone say,¬†that¬†as a derogatory “figure of speech”.¬† I have only heard it in the sense of:¬†they were full of the holy Ghost and were able to handle snakes under the power that Jesus talked about in Mark, chapter 16.

His answer disappointed me, I thought he knew a man who had forsook sin and found the way of holiness. I wanted to locate him ūüôā

I have not considered that conversation in maybe a decade, not until this morning. And the reality of what that man was saying to me that day, when he said “It is just a figure of speech”,¬† hit me. ¬†In saying what he said to me, he was showing that the Pentecostal movement used to be so prevalent in this country and that holiness had made such an impression on people then, that when people went from living their sinful life, and made a sudden and abrupt life change, folk would equate that as to what happened during the Pentecostal movement!

What an impact the outpouring of God’s Spirit must have had on this Country then! To become a “slur” in everyday speech, at least for that generation.

I imagine the Azusa street blessings contributed to that.  And the work of your father, Preacher Clark,  traveling this country with the power of the Gospel. And brother Frank, and sister Mae, and brother Oral Roberts, and others that we read about.

My how times and people change! 

But God does not.

I appreciate experiencing that this morning. It excited me to consider that the power of God had that kind of impact on the world.

Jerry

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Yes, Jerry. The term “holy roller” is the another example of Pentecostal influence on our culture. ¬†I wish we (God’s people everywhere) were so full of the Spirit now that men would come up with some similar names for us. ¬†God, let it be!

jdc

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Habits

Pastor John,

I was thinking this morning that, God’s children ought to not have “habits”.

We have the Spirit of life, habits are of the flesh.  Everything God does has purpose; there are no habits in Heaven.

Jerry

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Thinking about Billy’s Dream

Pastor John,

I was thinking about Billy’s dream last night. ¬†In it, there was just no place that he belonged here on Earth.¬† I then thought about Jesus, and how He had no home, no place to lay His head, no place that He belonged, or a place where He was wanted.

It made me think, if we find any place here on the Earth, anywhere we fit or belong, other than with those who are strangers just like us, we are not yet like Jesus. ¬†Jesus and those who are like Him, just don’t fit anywhere here on this planet. It is a glorious thing, if we are all-in with Jesus. ¬†Hard and hurtful if not.

I am thankful today.

Jerry

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Where You Start

Pastor John,

I have been thinking about life in the Spirit, this evening.  And I remembered something, something that I heard you say, at least once.  It is very good.  And it is surely true.

There was a person, several years ago, who directly, or indirectly through one of us, made a sincere comment to you, regarding the condition of¬†their¬†congregation. ¬†They said to you (regarding the portion of the body of Christ that meets in your home), “I¬†wish¬†I could get my people to where your people are!”

And you replied, to the effect of, “It’s not someplace that you ‘get to’, it’s the place that you start. When you are born again, you are born perfect. ¬†Staying there is the work”. Staying free of the things that want to attach themselves to us, things that God didn’t give us when we were born again, is the warfare. Otherwise, we are perfect.

If we would just remain the thing that God created when we were born of the Spirit, we would grow perfectly and effortlessly.  We would speak perfectly. We would learn and later teach others perfectly, and so on.  Everything that is not just that, perfect, is caused by something else other than what God gave us when we were born of the Spirit.  There is no sin in what God created.  And no spiritual failure ever came from what God gave us. It is the things that we pick up after God recreates us, that causes that.

Knowing that is true, takes all of the struggle and strain out of growing and out of producing fruit. Growing and yielding healthy fruit is just what Spirit does, it’s just natural, if it isn’t inhibited by something else, something that has attached itself to a perfect child of God.

That truth allows me to understand that when we read in the Bible where Jesus, or Paul, or John, or others commanded the spirit-filled body of Christ to “be perfect”, or to “sin not” or to “be sinless”, all they were confessing is their own experience, that they loved God, and that love of God kept them spiritually stirring, alive, constantly burning off the dross and not letting anything else attach itself to them¬†that wasn’t perfect.

They stayed free of everything (by loving God) that wasn’t what God gave them in the beginning. And as a glorious result, what God gave them grew, effortlessly … mature and wise, bearing mighty fruit, pleasing God!¬† All the way back to Glory – and took those faithful Saints with it.

What a story of Love!

Jerry

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Listening to Jesus

Hi Pastor John!

A new lesson from Jesus that I want to share.

Thursday¬†evening I had been talking to Jesus about knowing his voice. Jesus has been so patient with me, teaching me how to listen to the spirit and just how to know his voice. Well I was thinking¬†Thursday¬†evening about something I heard you say when I was seeking the holy ghost. What you said was, “That any good thought comes from God and that we can not even have a good thought without God.”¬†

This led to me asking Jesus “How do I know when my thought is from you?” Most of the time, I can feel when Jesus is talking to me. I just know it is my Jesus. The Lord has taught me to hear and know the still small voice and he has spoken so loudly to me that it shook me on the inside.¬†¬† Then sometimes there is just a thought that comes out of no where. So that is what I was talking to Jesus about that evening.

Here was how he answered me.

Friday¬†I stopped at the gas station. Now I usually use one of two gas stations in town because I fill up so often. This is a gas station I use often. I got out of the car, started the pump and got back in the car while the gas pumped. I do this every time I get gas. As I sit in the car I had a thought. The thought was, “What if that pump doesn’t stop and runs over?” The thought struck me. I even argued against the thought because the pump always stops. I have never had it run over.

But God.

I wait maybe another minute or so, and get out to put the pump up, which has not stopped and I am now over $20.¬† When I get out the gas is running over down the side of my car.¬† It is a lot of gas too. I just stood there with my mouth open. I couldn’t believe it ran over. Then a very large burly man looks right at me,¬†just as calm as can be and says, “That is an expensive lesson huh?” I couldn’t even speak. I was finally able to put my head down and humbly say, “Yes sir it is.”¬†

You know that feeling when you can just feel Jesus looking at you and you can’t really say anything?¬† I do. I experienced it¬†Friday.¬†¬†

I was talking to Lou¬†on Friday¬†night and she said “Isn’t God good? You would not have had that thought, no reason to because it had never happened before.”¬† I feel like Jesus is fine tuning my hearing!

Beth

 

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A Simple Life

Pastor John, 

I liked the Aesop’s Fable you read in the meeting recently about the sheep and the wolves.¬† May God always let us¬†recognize His voice¬†and not get¬†caught up in the devices of the wolves around us.¬† God gives us dreams and warnings all along the way.¬† Let us do our part in all He give us!¬† And Darren’s song was a knock out!¬† Wow!¬† Feelings¬†that run so deep and true.¬† I love what you said about not wondering about every other way, but just love this and enjoy life!!¬† There are so many words and things in this world that amount to nothing and get you no where, but if you put all you time and effort in loving God, you WILL get somewhere.¬† This world is insane.¬† I love life in the Spirit.¬† It’s so simple. ¬†

Stuart

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