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Archive for September, 2018

The Weight of Revelation

Pastor John, 

After spending time, some ten years ago, telling a physician at a Louisville hospital about Jesus and the truth, that doctor proceeded to asked me, “What is truth?” 

After spending some time this morning, considering the torment that men like Tesla and Einstein suffered under the weight of the revelation of seeing a glimpse of what God sees about this creation, I think I understand that, seeing the truth, means to see things the way God sees them.

It drove Tesla and Einstein to a kind of madness, seeing something that God sees.  They knew what they knew before there was a reason to know it, then spent their entire lives trying to explain it. 

Jerry

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Hi Jerry.

It can be maddening in this world to hear from God and see the truth, especially the truth of the gospel, because in this world, there is no place for it.

Only God can keep us balanced in our spirits after He has spoken to our hearts.  His word is simply not of this world, and it never will be. 

Pastor John

 

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Purity

Pastor John,

For the past few days I have been filled with such a thankfulness for you. Recently, Jesus let me see a young girl (who has shown a heart for God), and the church and pastor she is under, on a video on fb.  My heart still hurts for what she is being fed.  Then I read your email on the gentleman who was crying out to God over homosexual thoughts and fears and misconceptions.  The love in your answer struck my heart so deep.  The purity of the truth and guidance and love you have to give him from Jesus is what will save that man’s soul.  I wanted to just run to you and hug you.  I just wanted to thank you for loving Jesus and for holding His standard.

I got in my car today and asked Jesus to pick me a song from our music.  The song that came on was “Heaven is my Goal”.  The thankfulness hit me again and all I could do was weep.  Heaven is my goal, Pastor John.  That is so beautiful to me.  I was never going to be pure enough to spend eternity with Jesus.  I was never going to have that hope of being so pure as to make it in. But my Jesus came one day and washed my sins away.  Oh how precious is the purity!  The purity of being clean inside and out.  The purity of His truth and holiness of His son. Precious and beautiful – those words don’t touch what I am feeling.  Just the word purity takes my breath today. 

I know Jesus created me for this life but the act of what he did by making me clean from my sin and filth is so beautiful to me.

If I was with you today I would hug you and tell you how thankful I am for you.

Beth

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Thank you, Beth.  Jesus has certainly been merciful to us.  May we receive grace to live worthy of it!

And I love you and Jerry, too!

Pastor John

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Mark 15 and John 19

RE:

Mark 15:25:  “Now, it was the third hour when they crucified him”

And John. 19:14:  “Now, it was the Preparation for the Passover, about the sixth hour, and Pilate said to the Jews, “Behold, your king!”

Greetings, everyone!

There has been confusion for the past 2,000 years concerning the difference between Mark’s statement that Jesus was a crucified “the third hour” and John’s statement that Jesus was still standing before Pilate at “the sixth hour”.

Here is the best article I have found on the subject:

https://bible.org/article/time-jesus-death-and-inerrancy-harmonization-plausible

This article shows that there is no agreement among scholars (surprise, surprise) on how to resolve the apparent contradiction.  Some devout Christian scholars strain to make those two hours the same, while devout anti-Christian scholars such as Bart Ehrman jump at the chance to say, “Aha!  See?  I told you that the Bible is untrustworthy!”

The issue is no big deal, whatever the case may be.  It could simply be that either Mark or John wrote a sloppy Greek “third”, which would look very much like a Greek “sixth”, or vice versa.  Who knows?  Or maybe, as some scholars contend, Mark and John were using different methods of telling time, one, the Jewish method, and the other, Roman.

Anyway, if you are interested in seeing how Christians and others have tried over the past 2,000 years to explain the apparent conflict in those verses, you can read the article I offer here, and others on line.

Pastor John

 

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Pray before Meals?

I love this Pastor John, from your recent email: “Wait to pray until the Spirit leads you to pray, and say in prayer only what you are moved by the Spirit to say.”  

In the church there is always a form like:

-opening prayer

-pray before the sermon

-pray after the sermon

-closing prayer

-pray for food to eat

I have a question about this, Pastor John.  Are we ought to pray before we eat?

Leika

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Hi Leika. 

There is no “ought to” in the kingdom of God, Leika.  There is only liberty.  You are free to pray off the Spirit leads you to pray, and you are free not to, if the Spirit does not lead you to pray.

Thank you for the question.  God bless you and yours.

Pastor John

 

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Funeral Yesterday

Pastor John,

I was doing yard work late in the day yesterday, and noticed several sheriffs’ vehicles traveling in procession down hwy. 62 in front of the house. I stopped what I was doing and watched, and then saw bright red tractor trailer freight-haulers, all from the same company, lined up behind the sheriff’s vehicles. And then the same company’s dump trucks followed them, all the same color and all brand new, moving down the road in uniformity. It was apparent that it was a funeral procession, and the grand scale of it gave me a feeling of awe. Dozens if not a hundred or more 4-wheel drive trucks then followed, contractor’s trucks I believe, then the normal line of vehicles with blinking lights behind them; it seemed to go on forever. As I watched I realized this must have been the company owner that had passed, or his immediate family. And the thought of his / her loved ones grieving them right then, nearly took my breath. With a pain in my heart for those people, I said “Lord, this world is so full of pain and loss.” And in response, I heard a line from one of Darren’s songs, “I am securing you from loss.”

I realized then that what Jesus did at Calvary, saves me from this kind of “loss”, if I let it. It saves those in Heaven from mourning us when we leave this world. And that there will never be a funeral procession in Heaven for those who are kept by His spirit.

So sweet, and so sad.

Jerry

 

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Lost and Found

Hey! 

Since we aren’t having a meeting for a couple weeks, I wanted to go on and tell y’all something Jesus did for me today.  We had a job in High Point, and about halfway through, I needed to use my pocket knife for something, but when I went to grab it, it wasn’t there.  I knew I had clipped it into my pocket this morning, but I had no idea where it could have fallen off.  I really like this knife and was sad that I had lost it.  I searched all over our job site and even searched through a pile of dirt we had dug up thinking it may have fallen off there.  Long story short, I was walking around looking for it on the ground and asked Jesus to help me find it before we left our job.  I immediately had the thought (he asked me) that if I found it, would I tell about it?   In my head, I immediately replied, yes!  Fast forward a couple hours, and after more searching – we are packing up our trailer to leave and I had to move something on the trailer that we didn’t use today.  When I did, I saw the knife sitting there!  To the best I can figure, it got caught on something while I was loading the trailer this morning and had ridden on the trailer to High Point without falling off.

I am thankful Jesus heard my prayer, answered it, and gave me a testimony!  Leaves you with sweet feelings knowing he hears you and cares about even simple things like finding something!

~Josiah

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My Hands

Pastor John, 

Will you send this out to add to my testimony? These are pictures I’ve taken over the months since February and the last one is my hand today  The one before of my hand on the baby’s lap was taken on the way to the meeting last Wednesday before it was prayed for! Jesus is so good!

Leah smiley face2

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“The Lord’s Prayer”

Hi Pastor John.

The Lord put it on my heart early this morning to ask Him to teach me to pray more appropriately; i.e., to pray in His will, and in the manner by which my prayer will be honored—and answered—by Him. (Oftentimes I’ve found myself merely praying for things that I want, rather than giving my desires over to God for Him to provide, as He sees fit.  But God is not our servant; not our “butler” to obey our every whim, whatever we might ask for.)

I know that Jesus explained this “manner” of prayer to his disciples, in the garden of Gethsemane, but it would be in vain to repeat that particular prayer in our present time, wouldn’t it? (…as Christians do)   

But Jesus’ instructions were to pray like that…

What do you think He meant, exactly?

Could you elaborate on those details in that prayer, and if we ought to use that template for our prayers today?

Brad

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Hi Brad.

I appreciate your sincerity in asking this of the Lord.  Include me in your prayer, please.

Yes, it is a vain exercise to repeat, as a ceremonial form, the words Jesus told his disciples to pray.  That prayer was only for Jesus’ followers to pray before they were born again on Pentecost morning.  It would, as you know, be foolish of me to suggest a specific prayer with specific words for anyone to pray.  In this covenant, effective prayer is prayer inspired by the Spirit.  In fact, we being as ignorant as we are of things to come and as ignorant as we are of the many wicked spirits around us, Jesus gave us the great blessing of the Spirit to help us pray “as we ought”. to use Paul’s phrase.

Other than point you to the Spirit, to wait to pray until the Spirit leads you to pray, and to say in prayer only what you are moved by the Spirit to say, it could be pointed out that in the disciples’ prayer (what Christians call “the Lord’s Prayer”), there is great reverence and humility before the Father, and great hope in His love.  But then, even all that, when it is real and not a ceremonial form, is from the Spirit; so, we’re back to the Spirit inspiring the prayer.

There’s just no way around it.  Be led by the Spirit, or your prayer is in the flesh.  What a precious opportunity we have, to be led by the Spirit!  If we live after the Spirit, Paul said, we will live forever!  But if we live after the flesh, he said, we will die.  May God give you and me, and all of us, the grace to follow after the holy Spirit of life, and truly be sons of the living God.

Thanks for writing, Brad.  I believe that the Lord will guide you and add to your faith whatever you need to make your prayer ever more effective.

Your servant,

Pastor John

 

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Thankful for Our Roots

Good morning Pastor John, 

I was listening to an old CD of Preacher Clark on my drive into work this morning.  I loved it!  Listening to Bro. Frank preach and all the scriptures that he quoted and telling stories that I knew because of you and the GCC stories!  The man who was going to shoot him but God paralyzed his finger, Bro Frank seeking God because he wanted to know when a man was born again and the vision that God gave him of the book that opened and big letters with the scriptures you must be born again with the evidence of speaking in tongues.  Listening to the saints I felt at home.  I’m so thankful that Bro Earl loved this enough to record so that it could be passed down to us.  These are our roots and

I’m very thankful for them.

I did not want to get out of my car this morning it was so good!  I had tears in my eyes as I was climbing the stairs to the shuttle to take me to work.  I’m so thankful for what Jesus has done. I looked around at the people on the shuttle thinking oh Jesus I wish they could feel this!  It’s precious when Jesus stirs your soul and fills your heart with so much love.  Sometimes it feels as if this human body just can’t hold it all! 

Hope you have a wonderful day! 

Michelle 

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Acts 2:4 and 1Cor. 14:2

Can you explain Acts 2:4? Is it different then 1 Corinthians 14:2…Please need help on this one!! 

Jacob F.  

Bryant, IL.

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Hi Jacob.

In both cases, the Spirit is moving people to speak a language that they themselves have not learned.  In that way, there is no difference between Acts 2:4 and 1Corinthians 14:2.  In one case, those who heard God’s saints speaking understood what they were saying, and in the other case, no man will understand what is being said, but that is actually beside the point.  For what the Spirit does is God’s choice, not man’s; human will has nothing to do with it.

Don’t be dragged into controversies over such matters.  Those who resist the power of the Spirit will never experience either of those two blessings.  WE should rejoice that our precious Jesus suffered and died to make such blessings freely available to us, and pray to be counted worthy of them.

Just move on, and stay happy.

Thank you for the question.

Pastor John

 

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