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Archive for May, 2017

1Corinthians 14:2

Pastor John,

Is it acceptable for the body of Christ to speak in tongues during a prayer meeting to speak in tongues if an interpreter is not present to interpret? And is it ok to speak in tongues simply because the Pastor or prayer coordinator asks us to.  Please explain. I just finished reading your book “Speaking in Tongues at Spirit Baptism” and could not find the answer. I remain confused. Thank you in advance.

Elizabeth S

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Hi Elizabeth.

First, it is altogether acceptable for the body of Christ to speak in tongues when they come together.  The fact that “he who speaks in an unknown tongue speaks not to men, but to God” (1Cor. 14:2), is often used to silence God’s people, but it is actually a great reason for the body to speak in tongues together.  After all, are we not all supposed to speak to our heavenly Father when we meet?  An interpreter is needed only if someone is delivering a message to the assembly in an unknown tongue.

Secondly, I don’t know what a “prayer coordinator” is, so I cannot say what he/she ought to do.  It sounds like another one of those useless religious titles that Christians make up so that men can claim authority to do something that the Spirit alone is supposed to do.  I would ignore instructions from such persons.

Finally, I never had a pastor who would tell the congregation to speak in tongues. The congregation I was raised in did plenty of that without being told to.  I am a foreigner to the kind of religion you describe, and I feel thankful for that.  Pray about the religion to which you have submitted your soul.

I hope that helps.  God bless you as you continue to seek the knowledge of God. The saints here send you their love.

Pastor John

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God Created Evil

Pastor John,

I just finished reading your Blog, “Where is the God of Judgment?”  I think it is excellent.  Those thoughts are just not of this Earth.

At the beginning of your Blog, you quoted a verse from Isaiah, and that verse made me recall something that the Lord started showing me a few weeks ago. The verse is, “I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil.”

What the Lord was showing me that day was that everything in this entire creation is His; it is all His doing, as Isaiah was declaring in that verse.  This includes the path of disobedience. The path that leads a man away from God’s salvation is just as much the Lord’s creation as the path of obedience that leads to eternal life. If anything exists, He created it.  If there is evil in the world, Jesus created that evil. How else would it get here?

Every single thing that is within this creation came into existence by the expressed will of the Creator, and it exists with boundaries and limitations, starting points and ending points, created by Him alone.  Within these boundaries men have their being. They are permitted to move about, explore and unearth hidden things within God’s created Earth, rearrange and assemble old and new-found materials, tear down those things that they have built, and then start the process all over again – all of this occurring with what appears to be an unfettered freedom.  But it is all being done within the confines of an existence…a creation in which every tiny atom has been created, and its capability measured by the Son, to His exact specification. 

We are all in a box – Jesus’ box. And everything in here with us, the Lord has meticulously created and installed.

If a man chooses to ignore God’s unwavering command that “all men are to repent”, Jesus created that!  The very choice to ignore God is the creation of God. That choice is in the creation “box” with us; otherwise, it could not be done.

If a man chooses murder and hatred over love and thanksgiving and mercy, it is only that Jesus created the possibility of that path of wickedness; otherwise it could not exist.

Nothing that is in this creation is here of its own doing.  If a created-man can think of it, desire it, do it, see it, touch it, hope for it, act on it, etc, Jesus did that!

We have never seen nor experienced, imagined nor desired, nor have we had a single thought that has ever extended outside of God’s predetermined creation for us.  It is not possible.  Man cannot think or perform outside of the creation that contains him.  That is what makes a revelation from God so very precious!

There is a song that we sang together not long ago, while we sat around your basement on a Saturday morning.  It is entitled, “I’m Going That Way”.

The glorious truth is, everything is going that way – His way. 

The way of righteousness is going that way, as well as the way of disobedience and eternal damnation.  No man has ever gone any way that Jesus didn’t first create.  All things are the works of His hands, and nothing escapes His goodness, nor His wrath.

So the question for a man isn’t, “Will he choose God?”  For that has been decided for him.

The question is, “Will he choose the path that God has created that leads to eternal life, or the path that God created that leads to eternal suffering and damnation?

Jerry

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Jerry’s email reminded me of an experience my mother had before she died. 

She was only 67 years old and was diagnosed with cancer.  Judy, me, and others were in the hospital waiting room for news about her cancer surgery.  The Dr. told us that he could do nothing but sew her back up and keep her comfortable. It was a sad day. 

During her surgery, the Lord gave my mother a dream, or a vision, which she couldn’t speak about it for weeks.  She finally called me to talk to me about it.  She told me that everyone on this earth is given a clear square box that contained only so much space. You couldn’t have someone else’s, nor could they have yours.  In it, you could put anything you want, good or bad.  You could rearrange the items in your box, but if you wanted to add something, you had to remove something.  In her box were good and bad things, and mom told me she knew the difference, and she also knew that she could not meet Jesus with the bad things in her box. Mom said she knew love definitely belonged in there. There were things in her box that she had a feeling that they were not good, but really didn’t know why; she only had the feeling of it not being good. 

Mom spent the remaining months that she had left after her surgery working on putting good things in, taking bad things out, and arranging the right things in her box.  Those of us who knew the “before and after surgery” mom knew she worked double time to make sure the things that were in her box pleased God.  God gave her time to get things right before she left here.  After her surgery, and especially at the end of her life on this earth, I felt like God gave me the mother I had when I was growing up as a child . . . full of the Spirit and joy of the Lord. 

I cried just before she died in 2009, during my last visit with her, but afterwards, I never cried again for her.  I miss her tremendously!  I only feel joy and happiness for this great hope (legacy) of pleasing God and living forever with Jesus that she left us all with.  From the moment after her surgery to the day she died, she was working on keeping, arranging, and putting only god things in her box. 

I pray the Lord allows me to see myself honestly and helps me to keep my “box” in order. 

Billy M. 

 

 

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Losing Your Mind

I am sitting on the back porch reading the papers you gave us.  I was reading the last part of Psalm 26:2: “Purge my heart and my mind!”  I had my eyes closed and was saying to the lord, “Lord, purge my heart and my mind.”  Just as I said “mind”, a big bird flew under the porch, grabbed my hair, and started fluttering around!  Then it took off into the woods!

Jimmy T

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That’s a great story, Jimmy!  Do you think Jesus sent that bird to carry your mind away into the woods?  God works in mysterious ways, you know.

Seriously, thanks for this.  Brightened up my morning.

Pastor John

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Sunday Meeting

Hi John,

Wow!! I loved the testimonies this morning!  And Amy’s song!  and Gary’s!!! Thank you, Jesus, for your mighty power from above that you let move our bodies, and clean our minds and thoughts!  I loved your preaching today, John.  I have been reading in Deuteronomy about all the things you were preaching on.

Why can’t we just believe God, no matter what anything else looks like?  Does any of it matter to God?  His ways are right!!! no matter what anyone on earth says!! That is so simple! What is it that Christianity has that is more valuable than what God himself says!!  Whatever He says is enough!!

I love this truth.  It is right, and it will be right until the end, and beyond, forever and ever!!  It takes God and faith to believe this holy truth.

Stuart

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Just listened to your message from yesterday again.  It really is as bad today as it was in the Old Testament.  That was really good to be reminded of that, because we are in a desert land, but God gave us life.

I also wanted to thank you for the new camera and for John David and Stuart doing the work that they do so we can enjoy the meeting with everyone.

Natalie

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Robbed of Our Inheritance

Pastor John,

I talked to the case worker for Mama recently and found out she will be permanently placed in a home and will not be returning to either of her homes. They picked her up on her birthday while she was at a doctor’s appointment and took her to a place that deals with dementia and other issues. Now, when I first found out about this, my heart hurt. I wasn’t sure exactly why I was so sad about it. I know it’s the best thing for her, but I kept thinking about how she must be feeling. One thing that bothered me was that it was on her birthday when they picked her up. Oh, but Jesus! (I will come back to that part in a minute.)

The case worker told me that all of Mama’s property and assets will be sold to pay for her care. After hanging up, I felt sad that the last bit of my grandfather’s land will be sold to strangers. Then Jesus helped me see that it is my Mama’s stubbornness that has robbed us of our inheritance. At one time, my brother offered to help her and to be her appointed guardian, but she would not cooperate with him. She would not yield. Now the courts will make all of her decisions for her. All these years of people trying to help her, and she would not yield! While I was thinking on this, Jesus showed me that the spirit of slander walks hand-in-hand with a stubborn spirit.

Whenever you will not yield to what is right and good, and go your own way, you are really slandering what is right and good so that you can justify your choices. But then, as I sat in the car taking this all in, Jesus showed me more. He warned me that those two spirits stubbornness and slander – are not just “out there” in the world; they are at work in the body of Christ. The choice to be stubborn robs the children of God of our inheritance (each other), and slanders those who are not stubborn! And that is not much different from the loss I and my siblings will now suffer because of the lifetime of my Mama’s stubbornness!

Now I find that I am thankful that Jesus has done this for Mama. She has no more choices. She must live clean, and eat, and take her medicines. I see now that there is such mercy for her from Jesus in this. Mama could not get out from under the spirit of stubbornness, or she didn’t want to, so Jesus took her choices away. For her, it is a blessing, but for us in the body of Christ, it is a warning that God may take our choices away if we do not stay humble and listen to those who love us in Christ.

Any time a brother’s heart is hardened because of stubborn self-will and he is loses fellowship with the body, just look at the blessing, the precious gift that the body of Christ has lost! We lose a husband, or a dad, or an uncle, a brother, a son. We lose part of our inheritance from Jesus!

Pastor John, I and my siblings spent a whole lifetime making up excuses for and covering up for my Mama’s stubbornness and hoarding, and I am so relieved to finally see it for what it is. I am so relieved Jesus stepped in and took Mama’s choice away! My entire family has given in to her for as long as I can remember, and in doing that, we could not do what was right and good for Mama, or for any of us. Now, we have lost our inheritance.

The last thing I found out was that Mama did not have be picked up and taken away on her birthday. Previously, when the case worker tried to talk with Mama and take her at an earlier time, Mama would not open the door, and even held up a sign to the window saying, “I am not leaving this house until my Dr’s appointment on my birthday 4-18-17.” Mama did not mean that she would leave on that date to go to the facility she is in now; she was just refusing to leave the house until that date. So, to be taken to the facility on her birthday was actually HER choice. And now, my heart is at peace and I am thankful that Jesus did all of this and that he loved me enough to show it to me.

I pray to yield to his will, and not be stubborn. I pray to be willing to surrender or to keep whatever Jesus wants me to. I also pray if I am wrong, you will correct me so I can be what is right and good.

Beth

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This sounds right and good to me, Beth. May God help us all to stay humble and to obey His Son. Jesus is our hope and our light. I do hope that now, at last, your mother will be taken good care of. She obviously could not, or would not take care of herself or her property.

Pastor John

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Love the Mercy of God Recreating Us

Pastor John,

I have been thinking about Wednesday night’s meeting all day. I love the mercy God shows all of us.​ ​ I love what God molds us into. ​​When we were reading Psalms last night​,​ I kept thinking how I was a person who thought God did not do anything about sin and wickedness. ​ ​I mocked God at times.​ ​ I did not know the truth then because I did not know my Father or His judgment, ​but then Jesus re​-​created me and gave me a heart that fears Him and wants to seek His ways. ​ ​That is so beautiful and full of mercy.​ ​ This world will not get down on their face in a room full of people and let God touch them like J​— did last night. ​ ​This world will not stand up and share their hearts about the love for their wife like sweet Brother Jimmy did. ​ ​I love hearing how Jimmy wants to be close to Debbie in Heaven. ​ ​I ask Jesus all the time if Jerry and I can share a mansion and Michelle can live right next door. 

I love what Jesus turns us into. ​ ​There is nothing else I would want to be but mushy and sweet and wide open to share it. ​ ​When I came to my first meeting seeking the holy ghost​,​ Donna Nelson said our music was so genuine. ​ ​That struck my heart that day and stayed with me. ​ ​Now, ​every time I see how real Jesus makes us​,​ it stirs deep down in my heart. ​ ​Oh Praise God for making us real!​ ​ ​Praise God for real feelings, ​and for ​new ​hearts to be what Jesus is making us be. ​ ​Jesus is making us into what will please God.​ ​ Whew! ​ ​That takes my breath away today. ​ ​Makes me want to lie on my face and let him cut and mold and shape me into whatever He pleases.​ ​ I love that our brother stood up with tears and said​,​ “I don’t want to be ​me.”​ ​ What mercy that is from Jesus, ​to want to be better, to want to be more like Him.

I love His mercy

Beth

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Keep Asking

Hi Bro John, 

I want to tell you about a sweet little experience I had this morning. Jesus is always on time when we need encouraging.

At 7:30 this morning, I read the “Remember What the Spirit Has Been Saying” that Bro Gary sent out late last night, – ​  It was “Keep asking for an answer.​”​ And that was an answer to the prayer I had just prayed around 4:30 this morning.

I woke up at 4:15 this morning with my feet burning in new places & I started talking to Jesus about all the pain I’ve had this week  – reminding him of how bad I hurt Tues​day​ night & didn’t get to sleep until close to 3:30 Wednesday​ morning. I talked to him about all the on-line research I’ve done for the past two years trying to find help for my feet, the doctors I’ve seen & followed all their recommendations & still the relief is minimal. ​ ​Still telling him my heart, I said, “Jesus, I am so tired & so worn out, would you please help me & make this better for me?”​ I reminded him of the woman with the issue of blood for 12 years before he healed her & I said, ​”​Lord, I’ve hurt with both these feet since 2006 & that’s 11 years for me, will you heal me when I get to 12 years like you did her?​  If not, I just don’t feel like I have the energy to keep researching, looking for answers, going to new doctors & sometimes I just feel like giving up. ​ ​But Lord, I know that all it would take is just a touch from you, so how can I give up, you’ve always been there for me even though right now I don’t see anything happening to improve the condition of my feet.”​

So about 7:30 this morning, I got up & read the emails & there was Brother Gary, with a message from you & right on time with “Keep asking for an answer.”​

Well, that made me feel so much better!! I am grateful for the messages & reminders that God sends our way & I pray that He continues to bless those that do this for us.

Hope you have a very good day.

Sheila

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