Archive for October, 2018

America Needs a Good King

Pastor John,

Last Wednesday evening when we got together, you spoke of a message on liberty that you told us you once carried in your Bible for over ten years, hoping to share it with a certain congregation, some day.  You explained that it was a message on the kind of liberty that the apostle Paul tried to show to God’s spirit-filled Gentile children throughout his New Testament travels.  In sum, you said that it was a message of liberty from ungodly commandments of men, and at the same time, a liberty to hear from and to be led by the Spirit of God and in all things. 

In Paul’s time, that liberty meant freedom from the works of Moses’ law (which never applied to the Gentiles anyway).  And for the children of God today, it is freedom from any yoke (whether it calls itself Christianity, or anything else) that is not the yoke of the sincere love of God and the nature and the will of God – and the mind of Christ that is created in us when we repent and Jesus baptizes us with holy Spirit, His Spirit.

You told us that the kind of freedom that God offers His mature children who are of the mind of Christ would kill God’s children who are otherwise minded, which included most if not all of my congregation years ago.

That liberty to be holy and free in the Spirit, and the peace that is necessary to learn of God, is a gift from God, and it does not exist everywhere in this world. 

I want to share a piece of a popular document, if I may, from Mr. John Adams.* I have considered it nearly every day since last Wednesday’s meeting.  This man had wisdom enough from God to understand that the liberty given to the United States, is a gift; a gift of freedom to those who are good, but destruction for those who are otherwise minded.  This moves my heart when I read it.  I love the reminder, and I love the wisdom of God that I believe was on this man as he penned this document.


From John Adams to Massachusetts Militia, 11 October 1798

   John Adams

October 11, 1798


While our country [United States] remains untainted with the principles and manners which are now producing desolation in so many parts of the world; while she continues sincere, and (is) incapable of insidious and impious policy, we shall have the strongest reason to rejoice in the local destination assigned us by Providence [the care of God]. But should the people of America once become capable of that deep simulation towards one another, and towards foreign nations, which assumes the language of justice and moderation while it is practicing iniquity and extravagance, ………and while it is rioting in rapine and insolence, this country will be the most miserable habitation in the world; because we have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion.   Avarice, ambition, revenge, or gallantry, (these all) would break the strongest cords of our Constitution, as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.


Thanks, Jerry,

I underlined the part of John Adams’ words that struck me.  The Constitution is, as he knew, wholly inadequate as an instrument of government for an immoral nation.  And this society is at that point now.  Whether we like it or not, what America needs is a good king who will rule by decree and put a stop to the obscene and wretched nonsense that claims its right to exist under the Constitution.

The drawback to having a king, of course, is that even good kings in this world die, and wicked kings will take their place.  That is what happened with Rome.  The (relatively) good Emperor Augustus Caesar was followed by three patently wicked and cruel emperors. 

Let’s put all our hope in Jesus, and be prepared in our souls for him to come.

Pastor John


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Listening to the Spirit Today (2)

Pastor John,  

I understood this from the Lord a few days ago, and wrote it down.

If anything we are doing fails once we start doing it God’s way, does God want it in our lives in the first place?

Then, talking to the Lord this morning, I understood this- 

If there is anything in your life that you can’t change in order to line up with the will of God today, it is built of self-will, and it will fall.  

It reminds me of Token’s very wise words, many months back, “Pride, is everything you think you can do, without God.” 

Jerry D.


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Listening to the Spirit Today

Pastor John, 

I’ve heard it said, “Good intentions pave the way to hell.”  

Well, what road are “bad” intentions paving? 

I don’t believe God wrote that scripture.  I think good intentions pave a way for Jesus to show up in your life and introduce you to holy intentions and holy actions!  What can a man have beyond a good intention before God shows up?  

Man’s goodness is not the righteousness of God, and it will not get you into heaven.  

But your goodness will precede your being a partaker of God’s Holiness, if you’re ever going to partake of it at all. 

Jerry D. 


That’s true, Jerry.  Our righteousness will not save us, but Jesus said he calls those who are laboring, trying to do what is right, and yet still longing for God’s righteousness (Mt. 11:28).  And though he told his disciples that they must go beyond human righteousness (e.g., Mt. 5:20), he did not tell them to despise it. 

Thank God for everybody, everywhere, who is trying to do good! 

Pastor John

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Patience, not Indifference

Pastor John, 

I loved Wednesday night’s message.  I think these are the best times, when we walk away feeling like we can see just a little bit more of what God sees, and feel just a little bit more of what God feels. And it always comes with a feeling of “YES!”  A feeling of “this is just who I hoped God would be, and who I want to be!”

 I did my best this evening to write down things as you were saying them, the way that I was understanding them.  And as I wrote, I felt a whole lot like the way a moth looks, when it is fluttering back and forth around a light bulb.  He knows that he is near the light, but can’t seem to zero in on it.  I feel that way tonight, I can feel a whole lot of light in your message this evening, but standing on my toes, I can’t yet reach exactly what it is that I am feeling. And I can’t express it the way that I want to.  I wrote it down, I had to, and I’m hoping I didn’t add too much of myself, so as to ruin what I was feeling from the Lord.

It occurred to me that people who serve the Lord without the Spirit baptism, without the washing away of their sins by the holy Ghost, often speak of God similar to way the way I understood him to be this evening – but it isn’t really the same.  If thoughts about the Creator do not come from the Spirit – which those people do not have – then those thoughts are not the truth even if their words sound true because they are not from the Spirit of truth.  It takes a tearing down of the old man and the rebirth of a new man by God’s spirit to understand that God’s long-suffering mercy on people is not indifference to their ways.  God is still holy while being patient; God is still righteous while showing such love; and God is never blind.  The goodness of God that you spoke of Wednesday night, pastor John, cannot be understood as mercy in the hearts of sinful people; they count it as indifference, but God is not indifferent to sin, though He is long-suffering and full of love.  A person cannot know the difference without being born of the Spirit and submitting to the mind of Christ. 

I started my notes Wednesday night by writing down what you told us many years ago, in Louisville: “The truth isn’t the truth if it isn’t what God is saying right now.”  Life, our life, in God seems to always come back to that simple statement.  It cuts through everything, and leaves us with a choice: either we have God’s life, or we have no true life within us.  And then I added to that statement, to include what you told us tonight: “The truth isn’t the truth if it causes a pure and perfect heart to stumble before the Lord.”  And that is true, not because God can’t do it any other way (He can do anything), but because He doesn’t.   God isn’t trying to prove to people that He is right; he has an entirely different objective, a different heart, than men have when they talk. 

If God judged us on what we know, we would all be damned, for as Paul said, “We know nothing as we ought to know,” and God always knows more than we do! 

A pure heart will lead God’s people to an understanding that will lead them to satisfy the Lord before they leave this world.  Our job is to have the Truth at the ready, in case God wants to use us to move someone toward that end.  In ourselves, we can’t move God’s people forward, not one iota.  But God’s loving truth can, and will! 

I thought about Joshua, in Zechariah 3

Zechariah 3

“And he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right hand to resist him. 2And the LORD said to Satan, The LORD rebuke you, O Satan; even the LORD that has chosen Jerusalem rebuke you: is not this a brand plucked out of the fire? 3Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments, and stood before the angel. 4And he answered and spoke to those that stood before him, saying, Take away the filthy garments from him. And to him he said, Behold, I have caused your iniquity to pass from you, and I will clothe you with change of raiment. 5And I said, Let them set a fair turban on his head. So they set a fair turban on his head, and clothed him with garments. And the angel of the LORD stood by.”                                                           

What is God telling us in Zechariah 3, when Israel’s high priest, Joshua, stood before the angel of the Lord in filthy garments, with Satan at the ready to be his Accuser for his transgression.  But God accepted Joshua’s desire to do right, his “want to” to please God, and then rejected Satan’s demand to judge him strictly by God’s Law.  God then took Joshua’s filthy rags and replaced them with what was perfect and acceptable in God’s sight.  God was perfectly able to change Joshua out of his unacceptable garment, when He was ready to do so.  Amen! 

What was Satan about to accuse Joshua of in heaven’s court?  Before the moment God’s angel rebuked Satan and ended the trial, what was Satan using as the plumb-line by which to judge Joshua and prove himself right?  As the Law’s prosecutor, he would have been using the truth that had been revealed at that time, the very words that God Himself had commanded as Moses’ Law!  But how did God see that “truth” which was in Satan’s mouth right then?  He saw that “truth” as insufficient, if not outright wrong! 

How does God feel about how we use the truth that we know?  Would God consider something that causes His people to stumble in their pure desire to please Him, something that wounds them in their sincerity, even when they are serving God incorrectly and in ignorance, to be no better than the words in Satan’s mouth, as he played the part of the accuser of Joshua, who stood before the Lord in filthy garments? 

Are the words we call “the truth” just an accusation against God’s precious children if those words aren’t delivered in God’s time and Spirit?  Whether we call it “the truth”, is it what God wants spoken at that moment?  If not, it is not the truth!  The Truth of God is a Who, not a what, and that Truth, the Son of the living God, always speaks the words of God in God’s perfect time.  If the truth isn’t delivered in God’s time when we speak to God’s children, we are speaking to them with another spirit, not the Spirit of Truth, no matter what we call it. 

No wonder Jesus said not to worry about what you will say “on that day”.  Matthew 10:19-20 – “But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak, for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak.  For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you.” 

Jesus didn’t say too much, according to the scriptures.  He waited on God.  God’s presence in his mouth gave his words value.  That’s what having the Spirit means to men; having God – even in thy mouth

Satan, called “the Accuser of our brethren” in heaven, was telling the truth, according to God’s commandments to Israel, when he stood and accused Joshua in heaven’s court, and yet, God rebuked him.  We do not want to stand in his place. 

What did Jesus do when Satan came to him quoting to him the “truth” from a Psalm (Psalm 91), in the wilderness?  Did Jesus submit to that, since it was a scripture from the holy Bible, or did he follow the Spirit of God?  He followed the Spirit, not the letter of the biblical text.  Paul later said, “The letter killeth, but the Spirit giveth life!”  Jesus knew that first. 

Can you imagine if God called our efforts to communicate the truth “slander” or “accusations”, as he did to Satan, who actually was right when he charged Joshua with sin?  Joshua had really done wrong, and it was God’s stern law that Satan was using to condemn him, but God didn’t call what Satan was saying “the Law” or “the Truth” because what Satan was after wasn’t in God’s heart.  Satan was about to slander the love of God for Israel in the heart of Joshua, and everyone else who was in that court that day.  God’s words, used outside of God’s time, slander God in the hearts of spiritually weak people. 

The spirit you are under is more important than the words you say!  We have to wait on God or we can hurt somebody.  God loves his people, everywhere. 

We have the power to do good if we will be patient. 

When Satan quoted scripture to Jesus in the wilderness, it was “the truth”.  Who would say otherwise?  But without God’s timing, what did God call it?  What did Jesus call Satan’s words that day?  The books of Mathew, Mark and Luke refer to Satan’s truth in the wilderness as Temptation.  But a temptation to do what? Disobey God, for God did not want Jesus to do what Satan was trying to get him to do, using holy Scripture to get him to do it.  Once, Jesus even called Peter’s efforts to rescue Jesus from the cross the work of Satan (Mt. 16).  If it is not God’s time to do a thing, it is sin, no matter how right it appears to be.  It is frightening to think of what God thinks of our words when we speak without an unction from him? 

I thought about the wisdom of your father’s words, pastor John, at the end of his life, when you asked him what he would like you to say at his coming funeral.  He responded, “Whatever won’t embarrass anyone.”  I bet Preacher Clark would have said “Amen” if one had added to that statement, “Whatever won’t wound a heart that is tender toward God; whatever won’t confuse someone’s honest efforts; whatever won’t make them sin against their conscience in the Lord or cause them to back up from what from God they do have.”  

What about, “Whatever doesn’t sidetrack them from wherever God has them, that He is satisfied with, until He moves them?” 

God wasn’t concerned with Joshua’s filthy garment, in Zechariah 3, but with the heart that was beneath that garment. Then, God rewarded that heart with an acceptable garment!  It was easy for Him to do.  We can’t move God’s people forward; we can just be available, and even then, we are truly available to God only if we are walking in the Spirit. 

I’ve heard testimonies from years past in which brother Murray would point out, “If you get to somebody before God does, you are wasting your time.”  I now wonder if it goes even deeper than that?  “Wasting time” may be the best that we can do in those cases.  What God calls it may be far worse.  Jesus wouldn’t even speak to people before God got to them.  He waited on the Truth. 

The intent of your heart is going to determine where you spend eternity. 



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Wednesday Night

Pastor John, 

Monday night I was ironing and just talking to Jesus.  I was telling him how thankful I am for the love I’ve been feeling and for all that he has done for me, for us.  I said, “Jesus I crave more of you.”  That is the only way I knew how to describe how I’m feeling.  I reached over to turn Songs of Rest on and Darren was singing and I heard this:

There is truth you can know, there’s a life you can crave,
There is strength to help you overcome the world.
There is power to get you out of the grave,
And so much more, all in my Father’s world.

I loved hearing my heart’s desire echo in Darren’s song!  The next day, I wanted to hear that song again, but I didn’t know the name of it.  I looked, and I listened, but I couldn’t find it.  Then, Wednesday night, that was the first song Darren sang.  My heart felt like it was going to leap out if my chest.  I thought, “Oh Jesus, you care so much you let Darren sing that song for me again.”

Then when you were talking about having a perfect heart before God, I remembered listening to a CD and hearing you preach that message.  It stirred my heart then just like it did Wednesday night.  It feels like another layer of the hard Christian beliefs has been blown away.  Then, when you were talking about loving God’s children everywhere, there was such love in it.  There was such a spirit of gentleness, just sweet, loving, gentleness, I felt like it was just poured into my heart.

Then when you and Donna sang “Come to the Water” I just felt like my cup was running over.  That song has always touched me; it feels like such an invitation every time I hear it.

When I got home Wednesday night, I tried to pray; I tried to do several things, but couldn’t.  All I could do is lie here and soak it all in.  

What a sweet, wonderful life Jesus has given us!



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Living Above Obedience

Pastor John, 

This morning driving into work, I was listening to a CD, and on it you were talking about the ten lepers being healed.  You said, “Jesus told them to go to the priest and offer their sacrifice.  This is what the law told them to do but one of them disobeyed the law, and even disobeyed what Jesus told them to do, and came back and fell at Jesus feet to honor and thank him!  Jesus reply was, “Where are the nine?” 

Whew…that was so good!  I had the thought: “now that’s living above obedience!” The Spirit fell on me, and I just soaked it in!  O Jesus, let us live there!  I could just imagine the love and thankfulness that that leper must have felt for his healing, to honor Jesus like that!  

I LOVE our life!  I LOVE the food you give us!  Whew….. full, full, full! 


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Evil Imitating Righteousness

Pastor John, 

I was thinking today about the Jews who watched as Jesus was being led away by soldiers.  Some of them would have witnessed Jesus rebuking Peter, when Peter made an attempt at saving Jesus from those soldiers.  Some of those same Jews standing near may have been just moments away from doing the exact same thing that Peter did, right before Peter lunged with his sword, and met the Lord’s stern displeasure.  No doubt those Jews who might have acted would have taken the Lord’s correction of Peter into their own hearts, and obeying their Master’s wishes, would have stood fast and watched in quiet anguish as the soldiers carried Jesus away. 

I then considered the others that would have been watching that day, the other Jews that were also quietly standing by.  Also seemingly obeying the words of Jesus, as they offered no resistance to the soldiers who carried him away.  These people were doing exactly what the other Jews were doing, but for entirely different reasons.  These Jews would have been happy that Jesus had been taken captive, happy that this trouble maker, whom so many seemed to adore, was finally being dealt with.  These people were doing the same thing as those who loved the Lord, but one group was refraining from doing anything and enduring the heartache – for the sake of obeying and loving Jesus above their own desire to save him – and the other group was doing nothing simply because they wanted Jesus killed. 

They all were doing the same thing, to all of those who were looking on.  But one group was hating God’s righteousness, while the other group was loving it.

Evil imitating righteousness.  Tares imitating wheat.  Death imitating life.  It all looks the same without the eyes of Jesus to see it through.  

Thank God for the holy Ghost in us! 



And I might add, Jerry, that both groups were ignorant of what God was really doing in His Son Jesus.  The difference was a matter of the heart.  Some ignorantly loved God, and some ignorantly hated Him. 

Yes, thank God for the help of the Holy Ghost in our hearts! 

Pastor John

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What Does ‘Zion’ Mean?

Pastor John, 

What does the word “Zion mean”?



Hi Leika. 

The original meaning of the word, “Zion”, is unknown.  It appears at times to be associated with fish or fish nets, figurative or otherwise (e.g., Eccl. 9:12; Ezek. 12:13; 19:9), and at other times to mean something like “stronghold” (e.g., 1Sam. 22:4; 2Sam. 5:7). 

In time, especially in Psalms and the prophets, the small area within the very ancient city of Jerusalem that was known as “Zion” became synonymous with Jerusalem itself e.g., Ps. 48:12; 51:18).  And the term “Zion” is also used in Psalms and the prophets as a prophetic reference to the assembly of God’s people, or even to the people them selves (e.g., Ps. 74:2; 87:5; Isa. 60:14; 62:1-2). 

Pastor John

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Matthew 28:16-20 “The Great Commission”

Hi pastor John, 

What does “great commission” mean in Matthew 28:16-20?

Thank you,



Hi Leika.

There is no “great commission” in Matthew 28:16-20.  That is a phrase Christians invented and applied to those verses to use as a tool of manipulation, to pressure people to donate to their evangelistic enterprises.

In Matthew 28:16-20, Jesus is only ordaining the ones with him then, the ones to whom he was then speaking – his disciples – to preach and to spread the gospel.  He was not speaking to you.  If Jesus ever tells you or me to go preach and to spread the gospel, then we should go do that, too.  In the meantime, we have no authority to do so, and we are under no obligation to support Christians who claim to have a commission to spread the gospel just because they read those verses in Matthew.

Only those whom Jesus personally anoints and sends have authority to preach and to spread his gospel.  Now, if Jesus DOES anoint and send a man, that is indeed a “great commission”.  But such a commission belongs only to those whom the living Jesus sends.  No scripture has the power to anoint and send men to preach the gospel of Christ.  “The scripture kills, but the Spirit gives life.”

Let us pray that Jesus will anoint and send many men to preach his gospel.  It is very much needed.  Whenever he does that, the difference is enormous between those holy men and the Christian missionaries who claim to have a “great commission” to evangelize, based on Matthew 28.

Thank you for the question, Leika.

Pastor John


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Wednesday Night

Pastor John, 

I’m sitting here considering and enjoying all that we felt Wednesday night, and the wonderful things that we heard.  The message Wednesday was, “The only part that God’s children play, in true religion, is to respond to God.  He acts, and we react – that is all that real religion is; everything else is just man’s ‘good’ idea, an idea that has nothing to do with the holiness of God or the mind of Christ.”

My, that is a lot!  It encompasses a lot – everything, really!

To consider how incredible every one of our lives is, every one of us!  To think how God has completely remade every one of us and our circumstances. And then realize that all of that, all of the growing that we have ever done in Christ, all of the changes, all of the building up and the tearing down, all of the rearranging and recreating that has occurred – every bit of it – was just us responding in faith to something that God did first!

We didn’t do a thing.  We didn’t even “come to Christ”; we don’t know the way!  He bid us to come, and we said yes.

The truth carries us.  Our only part is to just say yes in faith when He sends us the next choice to make.  We just go left, or we go right when the Spirit bids “turn”.  We have been reacting to the love of God and His intricate management of our lives and circumstances since the day we were born. We didn’t initiate a bit of this, and at no time since that first day have we (successfully) taken off under our own direction toward the Lord, because we still don’t know the way.

What a testament to the love of God, if we can’t do anything during this entire journey but respond to the Lord, and He constantly gives us guidance to which we can respond!

This way is like a moving sidewalk.  We don’t walk forward and outrun it; we don’t know where to go.  We stay on the sidewalk, let it carry us, and then turn when God says “choose”.  And we don’t know the way even then, but the Spirit in us does!  And those who do the will of God along the way, they turn the right direction when the choice comes.  “These are the sons of God”, as Paul said, and they will end up at home with Jesus, standing right at God’s front door at the end of this life.


Jerry D.


Pastor John,

I am so overwhelmed with God’s love right now.  For days, Jesus has been talking to me, drawing near and teaching me.  I love these times with Jesus.  The meeting Wednesday night was so good to me!  It brought such a peace!  “Just respond”  heart  I felt like I could breathe again.  Like everything slowed down and the stillness of Jesus took over.  It has not left me since.

For some time now Jesus has been talking to Michelle and me with these old prayer meeting CDs.  I wish someone else could see it, just to witness him working.  We do not plan which CD we listen to, or in which order.  The years vary, yet Jesus has so perfectly timed it for us to hear lesson after lesson, in sync. There are lessons about spirits that divide, lessons about hearts and how he made them into what we see today.

Oh, to have a heart like sister Lou.  A heart that sees a scar on her flesh as what God is doing for her heart.  I want that heart.  It’s beautiful, pastor John.  There are also lessons about you.  It did something in my heart Wed. night, when you spoke of wanting what your father had, as he gave his testimony that night long ago.  It does something to me when Lou says, “We need to know who John Clark is.”  Oh I pray I cherish you.  I pray I value and honor my gift from Jesus. 

Reading Jerry’s email, and Michelle’s email, and spending so much time with Jesus learning what he has done to each heart, each child, to get them ready to come home, lets me feel that holy anchor even more.  We have a beautiful family history that Jesus has so intimately loved and formed.  I am so in love with his love for us!

I love you Pastor John





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