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Archive for March, 2019

Sadducees and Pharisees

Pastor John,

I was reading in Acts 23 last night and after reading verse 8, it left me with a question.

What were the differences in beliefs between the Sadducees and the Jews regarding the resurrection (resurrection of the dead. Afterlife?) Who are the Sadducees?

Seems like such difference beliefs would make it very difficult to sit and judge together in the first place. Unless of course, it was never really about their belief or God but about power and pride?

Act 23:8. “The Sadducees say that there is no resurrection, nor angel, nor spirit, but Pharisees acknowledge them all.”

I have felt such love for Paul reading in Acts again. I also read this and it went in a little deeper that, Jesus is not worried about you being uncomfortable, to get His will done.

Jesus gave Paul the wisdom and words to stir up that room full of Sadducees and Pharisees, to the point of violence, just to get him to Rome.

10. “And when the dispute grew violent, the tribune, afraid lest Paul be torn apart by them, commanded the soldiers to go down and pull him out of their midst and take him back to headquarters.

11. The following night, the Lord stood by him and said, ‘Take courage, Paul. For as you have testified of things concerning me in Jerusalem, likewise you must also bear witness in Rome.’”

Beth Durham

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Hi Beth.

My impression of the Sadducees is that they were the more sophisticated, upper crust religious sect, like the Episcopalian or Catholics sects, while the Pharisees were the fundamentalist, Bible-thumping Baptist of their time.

They had major theological differences, yes, but they were very capable of working together to suppress and persecute the truth whenever God raised up men to speak it.

Nothing has changed.

Pastor John

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Stop the Habit of Disobedience

Good morning Pastor John,

I hope you’re feeling better!

I wanted to tell you about an experience I had this morning. I have been feeling very heavy this week and I wasn’t sure what it was all about. Last night when I went to bed I just felt bad, I felt repentance and just kept asking Jesus to forgive me. I couldn’t pinpoint what exactly I was repenting for but I know that’s what I was feeling.

When I was driving into work this morning I was listening to you preach and you said, “Stop the habit of disobedience”. That just shot like an arrow in my heart. Jesus started talking to me and bringing to my mind “little” things that he had been directing me in but I dismissed them as nothing. The spirit is always talking, leading and directing our lives but the question he asked me is, are you listening?

I cried out to Jesus with my whole heart and said I’m sorry please forgive me. I want to move when he says move and I want to stand still when he says stand still. He said to live is to know what time it is, what season your in. It may be different for different people but when you get connected the heaviness will be gone because “my burden is light and my yoke is easy!”

Pastor John everything in me cried out, yes! The power of God fell in my car and I started speaking in tongues. There was a boldness about it that I’ve not felt before. I was so drunk that He left me breathless. I had to sit in my car for a little bit just to let it soak in. I said Jesus this is what I live for, this trumps everything!

It takes only a touch from the Master to put things right in your heart. I love it, I love his correction. I love when he gets in there and just fills every spot and crevice.

Michelle

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“After Jesus Died” book

Hey John,

I just wanted to thank you again for the reading this morning of your new book:
“After Jesus Died”. While we were reading, I had one of those déjà vu experiences…. like I had done it and had the same feelings before.

The best way I can describe it is “Oh, this is so good! Where has this been all my life?!” I remember reading your tracts early on, and the Truth in them was so clear, and I just could not understand why I had never heard it put so clearly before, and why nobody had ever written that plain and straight. I loved that then, and I still love it. God put me here.

Thank you for bringing these wonderful things out for us. I do pray that this book gets into the hands of people who have reasonable hearts. The truth is so clear, you have to become “unreasonable” to reject it. That part is up to God…. But I’m thankful it’s there if somebody is hungry. I remembered today that I was! Yum Yum

Gary yumyum

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Hi, Pastor John;

I was really looking forward to reading this book by a soft light and fire, but reading it with everyone really felt wonderful this morning. It was good to see Vince and Amy this morning, too.

When you were explaining that in our reading, it hinted that Jesus had an intimate conversation with Peter to help straighten him out, that really touched me. I was sitting in my chair with tears rolling down my face for the love of the Father that Jesus had towards Peter. Knowing human nature, it would have been very difficult and a hard life for Peter to endure because of the last vision he saw of Jesus looking silently at him when the rooster crowed and Jesus was taken away to be crucified. I can only imagine what Peter thought at that moment, and I can only imagine the conversation that they had together, alone, that day after Jesus’ resurrection. One thing for sure, Jesus had prayed for Peter because Satan wanted to sift Peter as wheat, but Jesus had prayed to the Father for him that his faith wouldn’t fail. and that enabled Peter to carry on. As I sat in my chair crying, I thought of the many times Jesus has had an intimate talk with me, which gave me the strength and faith to carry on in this life.

He is a good God!

Thank you, Brother John!

Billy M.

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John,

I really enjoyed the reading this morning. When you spoke of the two Marys going back to the tomb, I couldn’t help but think of Lee Ann and myself! I could see us doing that together! I love how God set up the timing that they had to go back on the third day because they couldn’t go on the Sabbath. I thought, “Yes, God, that is something like you would do for Lee Ann and me. Such love!” It was also tender when Jesus called Mary’s name, and she recognized him. Like Billy, I was also thinking of the talk that Jesus and Peter had together and how that must have lifted burdens. So many things wanted to make me cry while reading it today. I also liked how you divided it by the gospels. I needed to hear the information over again. It really made it clear.

At the end, when the spirit came on Pentecost, you could just feel the relief when you read it. Thank you so much for this. I pray that it will touch many hearts!

Carrie

 

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Dead Saints Rising after Jesus Died

Hi Pastor John,

I love the new book “After Jesus Died”. What a precious thing. It just makes so much sense. And, wow, the disciples were clueless! I love that we know that! I love it!

One of the things that astonished me when I read it is at the very beginning. After Jesus gave up his spirit and died, dead people came up from the dead and were seen walking around in Jerusalem!!!!!! I read that and was like, “WHAT IN THE WORLD!” What an astonishing thing! Corpses don’t just get up from their graves and just walk around!! And it really made me wonder a lot about it. What is the spiritual significance of Jesus just having given up his spirit, gone down to the place of the dead, and then dead people get up and walk about, before Jesus even rose again himself? What does it mean? Is it some kind of parable to what Jesus was about to do? I really wonder about this.

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The information about some dead saints rising is given to the readers of the Bible after it tells of Jesus dying, but that event did not take place until after Jesus rose from the dead:

“And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose and came out of the graves AFTER HIS RESURRECTION, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many” (Mt. 27:52-53).

Still, who those saints were and why the were brought back from the dead at that time, we do not know. Those two verses are the only time they are ever mentioned.”

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The other astonishing thing is that the people were just looking on! I’d be running away!

Jenny

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A few souls loved Jesus too much to run away from him when he was dying on the cross after they had traveled with him so much, felt his sweet spirit, and seen him do so much good. I suspect that you might have stayed nearby, too, under those circumstances.

Thanks for the question!

Pastor John

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Last Night’s Meeting

Pastor John,

I’ve been listening to the meeting again from last night. I was praying this morning. It’s only my response to the anointing of God that got me here, and it’s only going to be my response to that anointing that will keep me here.

Billy M.

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What It Means to Be a Child

Hey, Pastor John,

I was wondering if maybe people would like to help me with something I’m working on!  I guess it was last month that I had a testimony about Jesus teaching me what it means to “be as a little child” and it has continued since then and I’ve been loving it.  I asked for it.  I prayed about it last month for him to show me what it means.  There have been a few more things since then that I’ve learned.

1. The kids had done a few things that just required a “reevaluate what you’re doing” mommy moment and I told them, “All you have to do is love me and obey me.”  Thinking about it, obeying me is loving me, so really all the have to do is love me…but that was another moment coming from above through me to them. As soon as I said it, I took it in and knew it was for me too. To know and understand.
2. A situation came up where Timothy felt he could do something without asking. I told him that he is a child and has to ask for everything.  That’s just part of what has to happen.  If he can go somewhere, if he can talk to someone, if he can eat something, if he can watch something, what time he can go to bed, etc. I heard Jesus in that too, because as adults, we also have to ask. What should we do today?  Should I talk to that person?  Can I go here?  What should I do in this situation?
3. Matthew asked me something and I told him no.  He complained about it and
I asked him why he asked me in the first place.  If you ask a question, don’t come expecting to hear what will make you happy, instead, be happy with what you hear.

So, all this led to a time last week when I sat down with them in the morning and we brainstormed things children are supposed to do.  They each gave really good ideas and of course I added some.  Timothy asked what your “flesh” is.  I told him that your flesh is yourself without Jesus.  We read through them to see if they were things adults should also do, having God as the parent.  They agreed that all of them were!  I am trying to teach them that if they can learn to do these things now, they will be better able to do them for Jesus later.  You said something similar today 🙂

Anyway, I am attaching pictures of the list we made, and continue to add to, in case anyone has any other ideas! I plan to type it up and put it in my house somewhere as a reminder to all of us on just how to be…how to live a good life.  I’ve liked looking at the list.  I appreciate chances to learn things that can make me happier 🙂  I added the last one today after Coy said it…I love that!

– mind your own business

– obey your parents

– play nicely

– clean you own mess

– ask before you do

– listen for parents’ voices

– stay with an adult

– love your family

– be calm and kind

– use good manners

– ask for help/guidance

– tell the truth

– choose good friends

– be happy

– trust your parents

– be helpful

– apologize and make things right

– be patient

– be thankful

– come when you are called

– keep your attitude right

– listen the first time

– look at who’s talking to you

– take care of people’s hearts

– put other before yourself

– don’t question answers from adults

– stay ready for a “ye” or “no”

– don’t expect things to be given to you, but rather, give

– be happy for other people

– encourage others

– take care of your things, and others’ things

– be slow to anger

– think before you speak

– think, “is it eternal?”

Leah

 

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“Saint” Patrick

Pastor John, is “Saint Patrick” a patron saint of Irish-Catholic heritage?

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Yes.

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Is that one of those identities that a demon from Roman Polytheism religion would have taken over, after Rome made the transformation to Roman Catholicism?

Thank you.

Jerry

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Patrick was a Christian who evangelized Ireland and was deified after his death by Christian leaders, the way the Roman Senate used to deify their emperors.  He was not ancient god who was taken into the pantheon of Christian patron saints.

Pastor John

 

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