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Archive for April, 2019

Passover or Easter?

Do you keep the Biblical Feast of Passover, or Easter Sunday???

Anthony S.

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Hi, Anthony,

Thank you for writing, and for your question.

As for Passover and Easter, we observe neither of them; nor do we observe any other day as holy. We believe that Jesus fulfilled the shadows of the law so that we may now walk in the holiness, power, and wisdom of the Spirit, free from sin. To continue in the law after the Son of God has come and fulfilled it is to hang on to the wrapper after the candy has been taken out of it. The candy, once in hand, makes the wrapper trash. This is what Paul was teaching in 2Corinthians 3:

“7. Now, if the ministry of death by letters engraved on stones came with glory, so that the children of Israel were not able to gaze at Moses’ face because of the glory on his face (which ministry is being brought to an end),
8. how shall the ministry of the Spirit not be more glorious?
9. For if the ministry of condemnation be glory, much more does the ministry of righteousness overflow with glory.
10. Indeed, that which was once made glorious has been made not glorious in this regard, on account of the surpassing glory.
11. And certainly, if that which is being done away with was glorious, much more glorious is that which lasts.”

The law was the wrapper, in which the Son of God was hidden until he was revealed in Jesus Christ.

If we were to keep any rituals and holy days, we would keep those of the law that God gave Moses. Christian holy days such as easter were never of God to start with. However, walking in the Spirit and living in the righteousness of God, we have no need of the ceremonies which foretold of this grace.

I hope that helps you understand our position on what Paul called, “works of the law”.

Please feel free to respond. May God richly bless you and yours.

Your servant in Christ,

Pastor John

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A Question about the word “Testament”

Pastor John,

My KJV Bible declares on or around the first page, that it contains the “Old and New Testaments.” Assuming the original King James translators added that phrase, “Old Testament” to the beginning of the scriptures, I have a question regarding the “OLD testament.”

The definition for the word “testament” is overwhelmingly this: Testament, from the Latin word testamentum, meaning “a will” or “publication of a will.”  A person’s will, especially the part relating to personal property. There are then some additional / meanings / definitions for the word testament that appear as if they were concocted to support the KJV phrase, “Old Testament”.

My question is this: Was the original English definition of “testament,” expanded in order to validate its use in the KJV Bible? Or did the KJV translators use it correctly, based on established use of the word “testament?” It seems that it ought to be, “The Old Covenant” and then, “the New Testament” since, according to Hebrews 9:17, “a testament is of force after men are dead: otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator liveth.”

Who would have been the “testator” that died in the old covenant, for men to use the word “testament” to describe it?

Thank you!

Jerry

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Hi Jerry.

In the King James Version and others, the Greek word for covenant is sometimes translated as “testament”, but it is not clear why. “Testament” comes from the Latin word, testamentum, which means a will, as in “last will and testament”, but in the main, that is not what the Greek word for covenant means.

The author of Hebrews is the only one who translates the Greek word for covenant as “testament” (as in “last will and testament”). He teaches that a covenant is the last will and testament of the slaughtered victim, whose blood seals that covenant, or makes it valid. The author of Hebrews obviously had something from the Lord that pushes our human logic to the brink, and beyond. Still, what he is saying is true. Jesus’ blood was the seal of this new covenant, by which he died and left us the holy Ghost as his last will and testament.

The only one in the OT who could have been such a testator was the animal that was slain, but that is impossible. An animal can leave us nothing. However, that sacrificial animal was useful as a shadow of the Testator of this new covenant.

I hope that answers your question.

Pastor John

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Matthew 27:52-53

Hi Pastor John,

I read in your book this verse in Matthew 27:52-53:

“And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised; and coming out of the graves after His resurrection, they went into the holy city and appeared to many”.

I studied the first resurrection in the book of revelation 20:4-6:

“And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them. Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. But the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first Resurrection. Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years.”

Is the book of Matthew the same in Revelation?

Thank you.

Leika

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Hi Leika.

The event in Matthew 27 is neither the first or the second resurrection that John describes in Revelation 20 and that Jesus also mentions in John 5:29.

Who they are who rose from the dead in Matthew 27, and what happened to them after they rose from the dead, no one knows. They are never mentioned again, and so far as I can tell, they were never mentioned in prophecy before they rose from the dead.

It happened. That’s all that anyone can say about them.

Pastor John

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Truth

Pastor John,

Did the apostle Paul ever refer to written text, or doctrine or anything existing in the past as “truth,” or “the truth?”

Jerry

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Yes, here are a few examples:

Romans 1:25 KJV
“Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.”

Romans 2:20 KJV
“An instructor of the foolish, a teacher of babes, which hast the form of knowledge and of the truth in the law.”

Pastor John

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Clothing

Pastor John,

I want to share what the Lord helped me to understand today.

I was bagging up winter work clothes, getting things ready for warmer weather when I found myself standing in front of the mirror in our back bedroom. I paused there for a moment to look at myself, and as I did I considered, for the first time that I can ever recall, why it is that I was wearing clothing. I know the story of Adam and Eve, but it wasn’t until that moment in front of the mirror that I realized what my clothing meant. My clothing meant that mankind determined at a point in history that it was unacceptable to be seen in the skin that God had lovingly made for him, and that it needed to be covered up! I marveled at this. I thought “Lord, what other creature on Earth feels modest about the skin that you gave him? A chicken doesn’t seek out a covering for its body, nor does a fish or a cat or a dog.”

I just marveled at the fact that we feel the need to wear a covering over our skin, because I realized that the feeling of shame for having our skin exposed, and even the very idea that we are exposed or naked without clothing, is contrary to the order being experienced by every other living creature here on Earth. I realized, really realized, something had happened to make us go against that order that all other creatures in God’s creation are in-step with. No other living creature here on Earth, is ashamed to be seen in his skin.

For the rest of the day, and into this evening, I felt God filling in the gaps of my understanding, so that I could better take in what it was that I had seen and felt today.

What I understood today, is what I am hoping to share:

Men didn’t start out feeling the need for clothing, no more than fish do, or chickens, cats, dogs, and so on. Nakedness didn’t exist in the beginning – our skin and its design was good and clean and holy, it was our covering given to us by our loving Father, and there was no other way to think about it.

Man didn’t begin to feel the need to cover his body, until he started having wrong feelings and thoughts about his/her body. When man partook of the tree of good and evil, it allowed him to experience wrong thoughts, feelings, and ideas about everything, including the holy purpose for his wonderful body. Adam and Eve no longer saw their bodies as only perfect gifts crafted in love for them by their Father and Creator.
Their newfound and ungodly “knowledge,” caused them to see their bodies in a different light, and they covered themselves for it. By covering their bodies, they were trying to cover their new and ungodly feelings. Unable to cover their ungodly desires, they instead covered the objects of their desire.

Man has been doing that ever since.

Men lock away their money because they know men are incapable of locking away their desire to steal. Men cover their bodies because they can’t cover the ungodly lusts in their hearts.

All laws and rules manufactured by men on the Earth, are a testimony to the things that he cannot rule over in his own heart.

Every rule devised by, or that is out of necessity imposed by man is a testimony that we need Jesus. Every statute in the law library of Congress is a confession to the endless number of things that we need Jesus to wash us from.

These thoughts gave me a renewed love and pity for human beings, pastor John. And a new and appropriate reverence for those who make as well as those who desire law- the carnal law of men, over chaos.

The law of man, albeit a muzzle, is still God’s influence on this Earth, and it is a blessing and holds hope for people. The laws that men continue to impose upon themselves represent a confession that he still knows and desires to do good, yet without the power to do so.

God help all of us!

Help us to repent and do it your way.

Jerry

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Hi Jerry.

God made the first coverings for man when he realized he was naked, to help man deal with the shame he had begun to feel (Gen. 3:21). He is a good God. But I wonder if there is more to the story than what you are saying, for the Bible mentions the apparel of heavenly beings, including God Himself, as well as the apparel of humans.

When Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit, they acquired knowledge, and that knowledge included an awareness that they were, in fact, naked. That knowledge made Adam and Eve realize they were superior to animals and, unlike animals, should be wearing clothes, just as God and angels do. That is one of the ways that man became “like gods”, able “to know good and evil” (Gen. 3:5, 22).

So, becoming aware of the appropriateness of being covered appears to have been part of the knowledge of good that Adam acquired, not part of the evil knowledge that became his.

Before closing, let me also point out that Jesus recommended (figurative) clothing for a wayward pastor in Revelation (Rev. 3:17-18), and throughout the Bible, spiritual nakedness is an indication of evildoing. The clothing that godly people wear is, according to what was revealed to John, “the righteousness of saints” (Rev. 19:18).

Pastor John

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The Name Jesus

The following post is in reference to Pastor John’s book titled: After Jesus Died.

Hi Pastor Clark,

Just wanted to say thank you for your information. I have a question tho. I noticed that you had the star of David on your envelope, but that you are not using Yahshua’s real Jewish (Hebrew) name that Yahovah gave to him. You are still calling him by his catholic given nick name Jesus. He is our Savior and only his real name has power in it. Pray in the name of Yahshua and you will be blessed. His given name by the Father means Yahovah’s Salvation. Jesus has no meaning because it is not his real name. Your information is good, but call our Savior by His true and God given name.

In Yahshua’s name, be blessed and Shalom,

Diane B.

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Thank you for your letter, Diane. It is a blessing to hear from you.

It is understandable why the pronunciation of some names change as they pass from one language to another. It would be difficult, for example, for us who speak English to pronounce many Chinese names and words. As for other names, however, I don’t know the reason for changing the pronunciation. For example, how in the world did the Jacobus of the Greek NT text become “James”? As far as I can tell, no one really knows. At the same time, the God of the Bible revealed Himself to be a God concerned more with the heart than of proper form, with character rather than education. God suggested as much when He foretold through Isaiah of the day when “all have been cut off who look for wickedness, who make a man a sinner because of a word” (Isa. 29:20b–21a).

There is no sin, Diane, in using the English name Jesus Christ, or the name Yēsū Jīdū if one is Chinese, or Hisus K’ristos if one is Armenian. I know many people whom God has washed from sin and baptized with His blessed holy Spirit as they called on the name of Jesus. Real sin is to refuse to repent and receive the baptism of the Spirit, and instead, just claim to belong to God without His seal of approval, the holy baptism which Jesus purchased for us with his blood.

The disciples were born again on the day of Pentecost, not before. That is the point of the little book you received, After Jesus Died, and that knowledge is critical to a right understanding of this wonderful new covenant God has established through the death and resurrection of His Son. I pray that you will think on that, pray about it, and receive your own Pentecost if you have not done so already, because until that happens, Diane, you are not born again, either, your sins are not washed away, and you are not yet a part of “the Israel of God”, as Paul called the body of Christ. “One is a Jew” you will remember Paul saying, “who is one inwardly, and circumcision is of the heart, by the Spirit” (Rom. 2:29).

May God bless you richly as you seek to know Him more perfectly. We are praying earnestly for you.

Your servant in Yeshua haMessiach

Pastor John

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The Lord Taught Me Something

Pastor John,

I was in the shower talking to the Lord, and he just taught me something.

“The one who is most worthy of God’s gift, is the one who is happiest (in the Lord) without it.”

What a good thought!

To have eaten all of the grass he has given so far, and be complete and lacking nothing because of it. Satisfied.

A good thought. A good life!

Jerry

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