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Teachings 3

[#’s 421-585] TEACHINGS PART 3

 

 

 

(421)    Isaiah 55 ‘I have given him [you] for a witness to the people, a leader and a commander to the people. You will call a nation that you do not know. And nations that do not know you will come to you. This will happen because of my choice, I have exalted you’ God chose you to have great influence in the Kingdom. There will be large people groups [nations] that you will influence and you won’t even know of the impact you are making until the coming of the Lord. For the most part you will remain ‘faceless’ [you will not know them and they will not know you] but the gift I have put in you will have great influence. NOTE: these verses are primarily speaking of Jesus calling gentile nations, and gentile nations coming to him. We are called the ‘body of Christ’ so allow these verses to speak to you as an extension of Jesus Body in the earth today. ‘For as the rain and snow come down [remember the vision I had about ‘bolts of snow coming down’? It is on this site] and water the earth and cause it to bud’. So shall it be with my words, the things I am specifically communicating to you at this season of your life. These words shall accomplish my purpose in you. I have sent these words out to you, they will prosper in the areas that I desire. ‘This shall be for a sign that shall not be cut off’ I have given you signs this past year. You have seen me work before, but many times you later forgot what I said. Sort of like the signs and things were real but you couldn’t ‘retain’ the awesome things I was showing you. Not this time. This year I have given you signs that will last for the rest of the journey, just like at the start.

 

(422)    watched a special last night on the gang ‘MS 13’. I have seen it before and felt like the lord wanted me to speak on it. I do realize that there are things that I have spoken on that are not safe. I advertise this blog in North Bergen, N.J. This area is full of Muslim radicals. The type of ‘brothers’ who would kill you for speaking against Islam. I basically have taught that Allah is a false god. And Muhammad is his prophet. I have to be careful if I get an invitation to do a ‘cell’ group in this area. It might be a Muslim cell wanting to ‘fellowship’ with me! I also have mentioned the ‘Mexican Mafia/Texas Syndicate’ on this site. I had a good friend who was a member [he is dead]. This ‘gang’ is one of the most serious gangs in the prison system in Texas. They make these ‘kid gangs’ look like punks. So speaking on these groups is dangerous. The show I saw last night showed how the gang MS 13 started in L.A. as an innocent young gang. It expanded from L.A. to other parts of the country [Texas] and when the prison system deported a bunch of them back to El Salvador, it spread like wildfire. Gangs are the enemies’ imitation of what the Ecclesia was supposed to be. A group/family of people [brotherhood] who would find identity as a family. Many gang kids see their membership ties in a stronger way than they see their family. The gang is their family. The rapid spread of these gangs is an organic thing that is out of the control of their founders. The church was intended to spread this way. They have no ‘gang houses’ that they call ‘the gang’ [Christians call the ‘church’ building the ‘church’]. Their strength is in their identifying as a family. When we first started our ministry in 1987 I had some of the original group of friends [addicts] that wanted to extend the ministry with ‘outreaches’. We were grappling with the way the Victory Outreach does it. We actually bought an old lumberyard building and were going to set up a drug/outreach type thing. All good stuff. I feel one of the reasons these things never got off the ground was because the Lord was going to change my understanding of church to the family/brotherhood mindset. I was too ‘building centric’. Trying to start programs instead of seeing our guys as a brotherhood. It’s OK to start these types of things, but as the lead vision implanter I felt the Lord wanted to transition my vision into one of rapidly spreading the Kingdom by influencing people as a brotherhood. Today I have friends who see themselves as a ‘part of us’ even though we don’t identify around any particular building or ‘church meeting’ environment. If you study movements like ‘the local church’ which is an apostolic movement started by Watchman Nee, you see some good stuff. Watchman Nee was a Chinese Apostle who got a hold of many of the things you see me write on. He spread the ‘local church’ movement thru out China as an underground church. No official denomination or recognition of ‘clergy’ but a movement that was persecuted by the communists. They spread worldwide and have many churches in the U.S. today. They also erred [in my opinion] on the side of strong authoritarianism and began to see themselves as ‘the Local Church’, that is they viewed their group as the true restoration of the Local Church. While I do not view them as a cult [like other cult watchers do] I do see the mistake as seeing their group as the true group, as opposed to all the other ‘groups/churches’ in a city. The sectarian mindset. The true power behind these apostolic movements is the instilling of vision into people. People see the church as a brotherhood [like the gangs] and they are not identifying with programs that their ‘church building/business’ is doing. They are identifying along the lines of a ‘gang/brotherhood’ in a noble way. The same thing that the Victory Outreach or the Door does. Things that I see as good. Recruiting people into a brotherhood mentality. The danger is becoming ‘cult like’ in your view of seeing your group as ‘thee group’. These underground churches cannot be stopped thru persecution or the ‘closing down of their churches’ like other denominations have experienced. Communist govts. have been able to oppose the organized church because all they had to do is shut down the church building and remove the Pastor/Priest and the functioning would stop. You can’t do this with a brotherhood. Just like the gangs. They will thrive whether you put them in prison, shut down their ‘meeting houses’ or anything else. Their secret of survival is in their brotherhood mentality. Jesus obviously knew the power of this, that’s why he said ‘the gates of hell will not be able to prevail against the church’. He knew the movement that he was founding would have the allegiance of a brotherhood. It would not simply be a social club. When human govts came against the 1st century church, it couldn’t stop them. Rome even said that as they spilled the blood of the early believers, it was like seed falling into the ground [a bit prophetic, Jesus did say that martyrdom was like planting seed ‘Except a grain of wheat falls into the ground and DIES it abides alone, but if it dies it will produce much fruit’] so man could not stop a true movement of people. Man can stop a denomination who needs the ‘church building’ and the clergy to function!

 

(423)    I want all my evangelical friends to listen closely. There are many radical and unpopular things I teach on this site. Everything we teach has to be seen thru the Cross. I am listening to a radio message. I stopped to do this. Often times Evangelicals go to great lengths in their defense of natural Israel. The things that I have said on this site concerning Israel has made us deadly enemies in certain camps. The message on the radio is dealing with Esther and how God will go to great lengths in order to preserve Israel. Many of these types of sermons speak against people like myself, who teach that Israel’s only hope is to find her identity in Christ. This type of message that I am hearing is OK. They simply need to understand that God HAS gone to GREAT LENGTHS to preserve Israel. He gave his Son for this purpose. The only way any nation [Jew, Muslim, ‘Christian’] can ever be preserved is in Christ. The promise of everlasting preservation is in Him. Those who defend natural Israel to the point of teaching that God has a covenant with Israel APART from Christ are doing harm to her preservation. Scripture says ‘he that doeth the will of God shall abide forever’ [1st John] it also says ‘this is the will of God, that you would believe on him that God has sent’ [the gospel of John]. John [the disciple/not the Baptist] was a Jew. He knew Israel and her customs well. John knew that the only way to preserve her was thru her Messiah. All the other Apostles died for this belief. John was the only one to escape martyrdom. He lived to around 90 years old. He got stuck on some island called ‘Patmos’. They tried to kill the guy by boiling him in oil [so the story goes]. As an old man he gets one last chance to speak to Israel. He writes this tremendous prophecy [Revelation] and he presents Jesus as the Lamb who is sitting on the throne. John knew the truth.

 

(424)    I WILL MAKE THY WINDOWS OF AGATES, THY GATES OF CARBUNKLES, AND ALL THY BORDERS OF PRECIOUS STONES [Isaiah] Windows speak of ‘portals of sending’ [like this blog! Or radio and stuff like this]. I felt like the Lord was saying he is going to bless your ‘portals’ of sending. ‘Cast your seed upon the water, for in many days it will come back to you’ [message in a bottle- the Police]. God is going to increase you. He will expand your borders. He will not only ‘bless your gates/borders’ but he will ‘bless your windows’. Windows let light out of a house. They allow the ‘brightness’ to go out into the dark. They also allow light to come in and lighten up a room in a way that no ‘man made’ light could do. God is going to bless ‘your windows’. You will see things that you have never seen before, and you will reach places that are far away with the light that is ‘in your house’. ‘I have given you an open window that no man can shut’ God to John in the book of Revelation.

 

(425)    The other day I heard one of the few [only?] prosperity preachers in our city say ‘we don’t have the right to talk about any other preachers’. I got the sense that word has gotten out that we are uprooting this stuff from the church. This level of discernment that teaches we shouldn’t deal with false prophets is extremely lacking in wisdom. I can say this about any cult. Joseph Smith [Mormon] did good things. It would be absolutely irresponsible to say ‘you don’t have the right to deal with Mormonism’. All false doctrine and teachers need to be dealt with by Christian leadership. This doesn’t give anyone the right to be a ‘self proclaimed’ judge of other believers. It’s just a basic guideline that when teachers go way off track [teaching that Jesus was a millionaire, he died to get money to you, and these same preachers seeing their goal as to reap lots of money!] then we as leaders MUST come against this. I didn’t realize how many of these ministries are in Texas. I would say Texas is the main propagator of this stuff. The Lord is dealing with Texas at this time. Corpus Christi bears the name of Christ. I just think it’s prophetic that the Lord would use our city as one of the major places where he will ‘regain’ his image back in the church. Those in this area who do not line up with Gods agenda will have no future in what he is doing at this time. You guys teaching this stuff still. God will remove your candlestick if you don’t stop it. NOTE: Remember what I said about the prophetic ministry of John the Baptist? He not only had the ability to recognize Jesus in a way that others couldn’t see yet. But he also could not remain silent on the obvious ‘sins’ of the day. He spoke out on the King and his adulterous marriage. Many ‘believers’ of his day grew comfortable with an obvious abuse of leadership. They knew in their hearts that what leadership [King] was doing was wrong, but they had other things on their agenda. To deal with the Kings abuse of his authority would bring difficulty and affliction. John simply felt this to be a carrying out of his Prophetic ministry. To John it was like ‘how can we not speak out against this’. John also paid a severe cost. Note: If you use as a ‘measuring rule’ to be ‘how do I feel’ or ‘does this doctrine benefit me financially’ then you have lost your prophetic edge. I have seen many of these obvious abuses go on with the Christian TV networks. Some of these networks are good, some are not. Why the good ones will permit these abuses to be on is beyond me. They either feel that these brothers are paying well, or they feel like they bring in lots of money during the ‘sharathon’. These brothers are using a measuring line that says ‘if it brings in money, then I don’t care whether or not they preach that Jesus was a millionaire who died to make people rich’ they seem to see the bottom line as the criteria of whether or not to allow them to have influence. This IS NOT THE CRITERIA! Jesus is the ‘plumb line’ if things don’t measure up to him they must be abandoned!

 

(426)    I was just thinking of the verse that says to the Virgin Mary ‘this child is set for the rising and falling of many in Israel, a sword shall pierce thru your own heart also that the thoughts of many hearts can be revealed’ [I don’t know where it is, a rough quote from memory]. Jesus prophetic aspect caused many to question and wonder about their own beliefs. He also caused people to be honest with each other and sometimes this honesty caused division. There ‘possibly’ have been scenarios where preacher friends or ‘church attendees’ have gone to their Pastors and said ‘can you believe what John is preaching now, he doesn’t believe the rapture!’ and for the first time the Pastor has to admit that he doesn’t believe it either! So what the ‘well meaning’ person thought was going to happen ‘talk about John’ really didn’t happen. Instead the ‘thoughts’ of his Pastors heart were revealed. I like stuff like that. Many of you guys are going to have ‘a sword pierce thru your heart’ in the sense that there will be things that you questioned earlier as a believer and learned to ‘silence’ the questions. At this season a lot of the prophetic preaching is ‘re opening’ these old wounds. They were never meant to become ‘wounds’. God showed you a lot of this stuff at the beginning of your journey. The ‘sword of the Spirit’ has opened these questions up again, and the thoughts of your heart are being revealed. This is reformation my friends. We often pray for it, but when it shows up it looks different than what we expected. Sort of like Jesus appearing to the 1st century Jew. It wasn’t what they expected!

 

(427)    It is common in the modern world of ‘church’ to have a scenario where certain people [deacon boards and stuff like this] rise up and come against ‘the Pastor’. You then have a dynamic where the ‘Pastor’ is in a struggle for ‘control over his church’. Then the fight rages on. All of this is absent from the New Testament. Paul fought against the false teachers who were trying to influence the ‘churches’ [communities of people] with false doctrine, but this power struggle over the ‘control of my church’ [501c3 Christian business who meets on Sunday] did not exist. Recently I have heard/seen a few scenarios along these lines. There actually are scenarios where those who are fighting the Pastor are like what you would find in an abusive relationship. A type of manipulation that says ‘if you don’t say stuff that makes me mad, I will behave’. Then the Pastor feels like ‘I stood up against the opposition and God was with me’. Even though the whole ‘atmosphere’ of stuff like this is unscriptural. This type of stuff is what you see in the world of corporate takeover. The rising up of stockholders and stuff who are ‘dethroning’ the CEO’s who are making millions while the stock is falling. I just want you to see that when we view and function in limited paradigms; this affects the way we carry on with the journey. Jesus taught a type of ‘prophetic preaching’ that said ‘if people don’t receive the gift, go to the next house/city’ I am not saying all Pastors should leave their churches when strife arises. I am saying that the whole scenario is really not of God. Even the part where the well meaning Pastor ‘fights for the control of the church’ [Christian business]. Being the true New Testament Churches were communities of people, as opposed to ‘501 c 3’s’ you never had these types of situations. NOTE: I really don’t blame the Pastors for functioning out of this limited mindset. We send guys to College and they are taught all types of stuff under the guise of ‘Pastoral’ administration. We basically teach them that this means running and administrating a business. We teach a form of ‘deacon board’ and all other types of stuff that are simply bible names given to 501c3 corporations and their boards [Roberts’s rules of order!] The New Testament shows all these ‘gifts’ [Pastor, Deacon, etc.] as gifts that function in a community environment. The modern Pastor is taught in a way that he simply replaces the idea of ‘board of directors’ with ‘Deacon board’. If you try to show these brothers that they are simply putting bible names on an American corporation, they will tell you ‘well brother, the bible speaks of deacons’. True, but the bible speaks of Bishops and Pastor and we think that justifies us putting our own definitions to them. God has placed gifted individuals in the ‘church’ [community of believers]. These gifts are primarily given to build up people. If in this process you need a building, or a ‘501c3’ or a ‘radio/blog ministry’ that’s fine! But your gift is not primarily given to administrate the tool [the whole business and stuff that arises out of modern ideas of church] but the gift is primarily given to facilitate growth in the community of people. Because we don’t really see and function this way, we inadvertently accuse the saints. We say ‘if you don’t put the tithe in on Sunday, you are cursed because you are not submitting to the Local church. Which after all is Gods plan to change the world’. Well it is Gods purpose to function thru the ‘Local Church’ but once again this simply means ‘all the believers residing locally’. It does not mean the whole 501c3 organization that functions in the building on Sunday. You see how easy it is to read the verses on ‘bring all the tithes into the storehouse’ and then to mistake the ‘storehouse’ for the 501 c 3 that owns the ‘church building’. The storehouse are the corporate people. Jesus said ‘my house shall be called a house of prayer’. We are his house! We are a ‘corporate house of Prayer’. Well I have taught all this stuff before, just felt like you needed a reminder. NOTE: I have heard over the year’s well meaning Pastors say things like ‘I don’t believe in Bible college, that’s the job of the ‘Local Church’ or others who might denigrate a ministry because ‘it is not under a local church covering’. The mistake these brothers are making is once again ‘seeing’ the ‘local church’ as the building and all the operations surrounding it. What do they mean when they say ‘it’s the job of the local church’? They seem to be implying that the actual instruction should take place ‘on the grounds of the 501c3 organization’ or in the actual building where the Christians meet on Sunday, after all ‘it is the Local church!’ UGGH!  They don’t seem to realize that if the college or other ministry that they are talking about is something that was a God ordained thing, and that ‘thing’ is being administrated or ‘run’ by ‘local believers’ then it is part of ‘the local church’ [community]. But when you ‘see’ local church as the 501c3 building/organization that Christians meet in on Sunday, then you inadvertently ‘accuse’ the brethren by saying ‘you are not under the local church’. God does not vest authority/legitimacy in a ‘501c3’ corp. He vests authority in his people by his Spirit. When you do not see this you accuse the ‘local church’ [the local believers] by thinking that ‘the local church’ is something that its not! Let me also add that I have had friends over the years who ran ‘Para church’ organizations [a misnomer!] some of these brothers have jumped thru all sorts of hoops to gain legitimacy with the ‘local churches’ [organizations] when these brothers see that I am ‘functioning’ as a believer with Gods authority, they do get offended. Sort of like ‘I have jumped thru these hoops for years. Tithing to my ‘church’ and all sorts of things to be in proper order. How dare you come along and challenge the legitimacy of ‘the local church’. The point is God wants all of his kids to function freely under his headship/authority. It’s OK if your ‘Para church’ ministry is working along side a ‘local church organization’ but to then try to make everyone fit into this limited paradigm is out of order. If Jesus taught us anything on authority, he taught that servants gain authority in Gods Kingdom. If you want authority my friends, then serve! Don’t think it comes from being ‘under the covering’ of some man made organization. NOTE: If the Kingdom is not about ‘being over people’ as Jesus taught, then why even ‘have authority’? Those who are being used in the Kingdom to build up the Body of Christ realize that there is no greater joy than to actually ‘wash the feet of Jesus [serving him]’ by building up the Body of Christ [the Local church/community of people]. You build so far and then you need more ‘skills’ to complete the ‘building’. At that stage ‘more authority’ is given for this purpose. The ‘minister’ is rejoicing because God has given him more adequate tools to complete the mission. Further ability to serve! Paul told the believers that God gave him this authority to build them up, not to ‘rule over them’. In today’s environment of success and trying to feel legitimate, people unconsciously fight for this recognition [authority] thinking it will bring them some sort of fulfillment. In the more extreme cases this can lead to ‘authoritarianism’. An ongoing battle between the ‘congregation’ and the ‘Pastor’ for control. So here you see how the limited paradigm affects everything else. In the New Testament churches you did not have scenarios where ‘Pastors’ were trying to be over the people for long periods of time. The shepherding process [discipling] was done over a short time until the new believers were mature enough to be ‘launched out on their own’ [under Christ’s headship]. When you have unnatural environments where men are fighting for control or authority simply for the purpose of ‘having authority’ then this causes an abusive situation for the people of God. Not all Pastors do this, but the unnatural environment lends to this happening more often than it should. The giving of ‘more authority’ is primarily for the continued function of servant hood, to continue to build the people up. It is a violation of biblical authority to see your position as one of singular authority over the people of God [see Diotrephes mentioned in the 3rd letter of John].

 

(428)    I kind of am hesitant to do this, but I felt it was time. I have had a radio listener who is a prosperity guy. He has written me ‘re proofs’ for years. I am surprised he still listens! He recently sent me a few more letters. He actually liked what I was teaching and did thank me. But he usually sends pages of stuff to teach that Jesus was a millionaire [actually the richest man who ever lived]. He basically has been taught an exhaustive doctrine [that goes on forever!] that traces Jesus roots thru King David to Abraham and goes thru these pages of explaining how Jesus was the natural heir of David and therefore truly owned all the wealth of Jerusalem. He has been taught [or taught himself] an intricate bible system that is absolutely consumed with mammon. The simple fact that Jesus was a carpenter’s son and lived that way escapes these guys. The fact that Paul taught ‘you came into the world without material wealth, when you die you will not be able to take wealth with you. Therefore be happy with your needs being met’ [1st Timothy 6]. Why didn’t Paul teach Timothy that he needed to believe for all this wealth so he could reach the Roman world? These poor brothers who are so consumed with wealth have gone to extremes to search the scriptures and come up with unbelievable teachings that are consumed with mammon. I have come to believe these guys are under a ‘spell’ [Paul says this in Galatians- ‘who hath bewitched you’]. I am glad this guy still listens to the program, maybe he will get free someday? Also for the sake of this brothers argument. Jesus was from the line of King David. The fact that he was ‘conceived’ by the Spirit, a major Christian doctrine, shows that Jesus ‘in the natural’ did not come from the line of natural David [the actual ‘seed’ of David, don’t want to get to explicit here!] because of this Jesus would teach things like ‘my Kingdom is not from this world’. Jesus showed us that his actual lineage [really] was from the Spirit of God. The Holy Spirit caused Mary to conceive! This isn’t a problem for most Christians, but this guy has sent me these arguments for years and for his sake I thought I would do this. NOTE: this note is for the last 2 entries. Both the idea that the ‘church’ is the actual 501c3 corp. who meets in a building on Sunday, as well as the teaching on lots of money go hand in hand. It is only natural for the Pastor/CEO mindset to fall into the snare of seeing how ‘if we just had more money’ if Gods people were not disobedient in bringing the tithe to the ‘storehouse’ then we could accomplish ‘the ministry’. These well meaning Pastors get allured by this need for money, they then fall into the extremes of the prosperity gospel. They truly feel unless tons of money comes into the ‘local church coffers’ [which they see as the 501c3 machine!] then the world will never be evangelized. Its easy to look to the examples in the New Testament where Paul is receiving support, or where all the believers gave sacrificially and brought the money and laid it at the Apostles feet. In these scenarios you had the concept of communal sacrifice and giving that ‘equaled the playing field’ and fulfilled the Old Testament type of Manna. Those who gathered what was enough for their families [be content with having your needs met] were provided for. Those that gathered much for the greater need had enough. Those that gathered little for their need had enough. God specifically rebuked hoarding and a covetous mindset by showing that those who took too much, the Manna ‘bred worms’. So in these examples of extravagant giving in the book of Acts, we are seeing Gods family voluntarily [no tithe!] give of their wealth to meet the needs of their brothers and sisters. When the modern minister uses these verses to either teach a doctrine of becoming rich, or to bring in ‘the tithes to the storehouse’ he is not rightly dividing the Word! NOTE: Just read an article in the paper on someone starting a ministry. They showed the facility. Talked about the renovations needed. The eventual staff. The need to obtain I.R.S. status. This is typical of the way we ‘see’ ministry. Our mindsets see a project, a facility and the functioning of some type of a ‘service’ that we will provide. The New Testament mindset was taking the message of the Kingdom and simply proclaiming it to people groups. The fact that the message of the gospel has within it the inherent power to change society caused there to be a mindset that said ‘if I can just plant this Word in the hearts of people, I will have been faithful to the task’. You don’t see Paul going to cities and setting up anything! He is presenting the gospel, and the actual act of the gospel being believed becomes the completed task. The communities of people who believe become the ‘Local church’ that is the ‘outpost’ of God in that region. The people are the ‘facility’ that God takes up residence in by his Spirit and this is the work of the Apostle or believer carrying out the great commission. We focus too much on ‘starting something’ instead of ‘declaring him’! NOTE: It is also a common mistake for Christians to ‘attend church’ and debate the fact that ‘everything our church does is scriptural’. They will mistake the function of someone ‘preaching’ bible words [either the Pastor or Evangelist] as ‘being biblical’ even if the entire mindset of ‘the church I am attending’ is absolutely no where to be found in scripture! Now I don’t want to be too ‘iconoclastic’ [a destroyer of idols] here, but I want you to see that many Christians see ‘being scriptural’ as simply ‘speaking from scripture’. To be truly ‘scriptural’ is to function as the New Testament churches [communities of people] functioned. They lived lifestyles of community that did not view the ‘Sunday service’ as the ‘place I attend and put in my tithe’. When we as Christians view ‘church’ in this limited way, we are being UNSCRIPTURAL, even if we preach from scripture while doing it!

 

(429)    I will do one of no spiritual value. I had a homeless friend who visited me one day. I had the news on. They were talking about some type of government entitlement program. My friend asked what they were talking about. I told him they are thinking of giving a free check to everyone who is homeless. They will simply get a free check every month. No food stamps or stuff. He told me that this was great, he has been waiting for something like this for years [I knew this, he used to tell me this. That’s why I came up with the story]. I then told him I was kidding. Well they then started talking about the death penalty, he asks ‘what are they discussing now?’ [You think he would have learned not to ask me this]. I then proceeded to tell him That Texas is trying to extend the death penalty to include all those who are ‘unemployed’ for more than a year. That the state is going to keep records, and if it shows you haven’t been working for a year or more you get put on a ‘death row list’. Well you could see the look of worry on his face. I told him I was just kidding again. This poor brother went from getting a free check for the rest of his life, to thinking the state was going to execute him if he didn’t find a job! I thought it was funny at the time.

 

(430)    Let’s review a few things. In Isaiah it says ‘my thoughts are not your thoughts. My ways are not your ways’. A lot of the stuff I have been showing you on ‘Local Church’ is simply a process of changing our thoughts [ways of seeing things] to Gods thoughts. As you see this stuff you begin to see that ‘knowing scripture’ is different than just memorizing verses, or being familiar with the text. It means having a general understanding of the whole flow of what God means. As you simply ‘see’ Gods thoughts on ‘Local church’ it allows for there to be a ‘grid’ that puts everything else in context. When Jesus debated the Pharisees, they had this ‘obsessive’ ability to memorize scripture. They actually had a ‘profession’ that copied the Old Testament to the tee [scribes]. These ‘brothers’ were obsessed with the technicality of the Word! Yet Jesus would rebuke them for not truly grasping the meaning of the ‘text’. Sort of like not being able to see the forest because of the trees. This ultimately led them to crucifying their Messiah. They couldn’t ‘see the Body of Christ’. So today when we don’t ‘see’ Christ’s Body properly [thru the Church] we also do harm to it. Let God replace your thoughts for his. NOTE: I don’t mean to be picky here. But when we don’t ‘discern’ the ‘Body of Christ’ [the church] we do unconsciously accuse her. Paul writes ‘I have shown you these things so you would know how to behave in the house of God, the pillar and ground of the truth’. We read ‘how to behave in the church building on Sunday’ [our thoughts] when what it is really saying is ‘how to behave in the family of God’. We say things to believers who are ‘functioning locally’ ‘you need to be under a covering, you need to be in submission to ‘a local church’. We often are using a ‘form’ of local church that isn’t to be found in scripture when we say this. In essence we are doing ‘damage to the Body of Christ’ when we do not properly discern her.

 

(431)    Isaiah 56  ‘Keep judgment and do justice, for my salvation is near and my righteousness is ready to be revealed’ God says he is about to do some major things. He wants you to ‘judge right’ actually stand strong in discernment with mercy. It’s easy to give up on the things God has shown you and to fall into the status quo. God says stay true to what I showed you because it’s for a purpose. ‘Blessed is the man that doesn’t pollute my Sabbath and keeps his hand from evil’. Remember what we recently said about the Sabbath? God says ‘blessed are those who remain in my rest. Those who abide in me and allow me to bring forth the fruit’ this is the only way we can keep our selves from ‘doing evil’. In Gods grace! ‘These are the ones I will bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in MY HOUSE OF PRAYER’ we also just discussed Gods house of prayer. God will gather all those who are in grace and make them ‘joyful’ as they join in intercession for the nations. You are a ‘house of Prayer’ you will only be fulfilled when you are doing what you were created to do! Remember, we are corporately his facility, our ‘use’ is to be a habitation thru whom God intercedes. ‘His watchman are blind, they cant see. They are greedy, they can never have enough wealth. They are all out for personal gain, they look for it to come to their areas. They say ‘tomorrow will be much more abundant’. Here God rebukes the leadership for always wanting more finances. They live day by day with the goal of ‘great material abundance’. They have usurped Gods purpose for his ‘house’ and made it into a den of thieves! [These are the leaders who teach it obsessively, they have made the goal ‘material wealth’ not so much the Pastors who are raising money for unselfish things! Also see the specific rebuke to those who say ‘tomorrow we will have more wealth’ the actual confession and excitement of seeing more wealth as the goal is being rebuked here!]

 

(432)    I am continuing to study on apostolic movements. I read a book years ago on these movements [reinventing American Protestantism-Donald Miller] and have read lots of stuff over the years. I just looked at the ‘Calvary Chapel’ with Chuck Smith and the ‘Vineyard’ with the late John Wimber. I also looked at the Victory Outreach and the Door. I would have to say the Calvary Chapels and the Vineyard are ‘more mature’ in their understanding of what God is doing with them. The ‘door’ is a little too ‘sectarian’ in their mindset. They actually expressed things on their site that seem to say they see ‘their movement’ as ‘thee’ restoration of ‘the’ Local Church. This type of stuff is dangerous. But overall these movements are great. The book I read from Donald Miller referred to these churches as ‘new paradigm’ churches. I don’t really see them as ‘new paradigm’ they still function out of the ‘paradigm’ of local church being the Sunday 501c3 corp. but they are ‘new’ in the sense of the way they branched out thru outreaches. I commend these works and these men, both Wimber and Chuck Smith are good men whom I respect. A lot of the critics don’t see them this way, but I see them as truly being used of God. I think we are at a stage in the Body of Christ where God wants to ‘join’ the dimension of rapidly expanding thru ‘church planting’ with the whole concept of the church as ‘family’ as opposed to ‘the building we meet at’. What this ‘new paradigm’ will do is release all the Body of Christ into seeing themselves as ‘church planters’. Everyone has the ability to speak the gospel to people groups in various locations and settings. Too many of the older type movements were looking for ‘church sites’ ‘what property should we purchase?’ And stuff like this. The ‘new paradigm’ will be looking to ‘people groups’. ‘Shall I go to Macedonia today?’ ‘I wonder if the Lord will send me to Galatia?’ Things like this. Instead of ‘seeing’ the setting up of an organization, you will be ‘seeing’ the open doors to reach people groups. ‘Where will we have church than?’ everywhere! You can meet in a park, home, whataburger, even in a CHURCH BUILDING! The point is God will provide many ‘places’ to get together. Quit being so focused on ‘the place’. Didn’t you have friends growing up? You had a ‘bunch of people’ that were your ‘clique’. You played ball, went places, did things. Were you always looking for the ‘building’ to meet in? NO! You were a group of people with a common identity. You gathered around mutual interests. So begin to see this ‘new paradigm’ and operate along these lines. This reduces the current need for great finances, and allows for the simple expansion of the Kingdom thru simple disciples carrying the great message of Christ. NOTE: it is common for the average Pastor to fight against this way of seeing ‘church’. You will often hear the verse in Hebrews ‘forsake not the assembling of yourselves together’. This verse cant be used to defend a form of ‘Local Church’ that is no where to be found in the New Testament! If you stopped ‘getting together’ with your friends in the above scenario, your parents might say ‘what’s wrong with you Johnny? You are becoming too isolated. Don’t STOP GETTING TOGETHER WITH YOUR FRIENDS’. In essence this is what the writer of Hebrews is saying. Don’t use stuff like this to justify ‘going to church on Sunday’.

 

(433)    GO WASH IN THE POOL OF SILOAM [Jesus said this] this summer [2007] I have taken my kids to the beach a lot. I usually can’t get them to go. It’s one of those things like you live so close, you never take advantage of it! Like growing up by New York City, a lot of my friends never went to the Empire state building! Well the area where I have been taking my kids is right next to the north jetty of the Packery Channel. This is the channel that the state opened up after 50 years of it being closed. I have shared lots of stuff on this site about it. If you remember when it first opened I shared how one day I took a walk [south jetty] and walked the beach to the jetty. I burned my feet that day. Well this summer I walked the north jetty for the first time. Its beautiful and provides an ‘atmosphere/environment’ where you can walk out and see a view of the coast that you never saw before. The ‘jetty’ is like a highway that has been created by an opening of an ancient waterway. I felt like God was saying he has opened up new ‘waterways’ for you. These new channels will provide a ‘highway’ for you to go places and see things that you have never seen before. These new openings/highways will also create a ‘pool’ environment that will allow your ‘children’ to enjoy for many years. When God opens up new opportunities for you [highways] it is your responsibility to ‘go for it’. Sometimes you walk out on the wall, other times you ‘jump in’. But either way you must take advantage of the opportunities when they are there. Don’t be like the friends who never went to the Empire state building. It’s those who are ‘closest’ to the kingdom that have the greatest risk of not entering in! ‘The children of the kingdom were cast out’ Jesus said this to the Jewish nation as they were on the verge of rejecting him. This new ‘wall/highway’ will also ‘cut off’ access to the old desert that got you burned in the past! The channel actually creates a waterway that ‘cuts off’ the old section of island/desert. When God opened up the Red Sea for the children of Israel it gave them a way out of Egypt, but it also cut off access back. There are things that you will never get ‘clean’ from until you ‘wash in the POOL of Siloam’ [plunge into the purpose of God]!

 

(434)    I woke up today with nothing to say. I actually thought I would take a break. I made the mistake of asking the Lord if he wanted me to speak, and here we go! A few years back I had a Pastor friend who was an ex addict/convict. We ran in the same group of guys. He was ‘solo Jesus’ [Jesus only]. All these brothers are Christian! Let me talk a little about this way of seeing the Trinity. In the gospels Jesus says ‘go and baptize in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost’. If you look at the actual baptisms in scripture [Acts] you will see that every time they mention the ‘name’ as they baptize, that it is ‘in the name of Jesus’. So what you get from this is when Jesus said ‘baptize in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit’ he was actually saying that there is only one proper name given in the New Testament for any of the Godhead. Father, Son and Spirit are not names, they are titles. So the reason why the Apostles baptized in Jesus name was because of this. Now the ‘Jesus only’ groups got hold of this as well as other truths and are identified as ‘Jesus only’. I believe in the doctrine of the Trinity as stated in the ancient creeds. I am not a ‘Jesus only’. But this shouldn’t prevent us from seeing truth. Basically the Jesus only groups teach that in heaven you will see ‘Jesus only’ on the throne. God is a Spirit, is he a different Spirit than the ‘Holy Spirit’? Jesus is the only person in the Godhead with a Body. Does Jesus have a spirit? Well if God is a Spirit and all the fullness of God is in Jesus bodily, then they teach you will not see God in heaven as a ‘disembodied Sprit’ that you will see Jesus on the throne, and he will be the express image of God. This is surely interesting. Do I totally hold to this? No. But I wouldn’t classify someone as a heretic for this. I believe there is truth that God gives us from many camps. The problem is as the church developed thru the centuries they had debates over the nature of Jesus and the creeds came down on a certain side. I agree with the creeds, but they had a tendency to say ‘take one side, if not you’re a heretic’ so some of the early fathers had no choice to express other views on these things. I mentioned the ‘Local church’ movement that started under watchman Nee. His disciple that carried the torch after Nee died was ‘witness Lee’ this brother has been fighting the old time apologists for years over this issue. Witness Lee sees some of this stuff. He actually was called a heretic by the apologists for saying ‘Jesus is the Father’. The apologists say ‘you are rejecting the historic Trinity’ the apologists argued with him over the verse in Isaiah that says ‘His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, the Mighty God the Everlasting Father’ this verse is no doubt speaking of Jesus. Lee says ‘see, Jesus is the Father here’ I agree! The strong Trinity guys [of which I am one myself] say that in this verse ‘the Father’ is not God the Father, but a reference to Jesus as the Father of a new race. Lee shoots back and says ‘then you believe in 2 Fathers’. I fall on Lee’s side here. The ‘Father’ reference is speaking of God. The fact is Jesus is the revelation of the Father to us. Scripture says ‘all the fullness of God is in Christ’. Jesus told Phillip ‘if you have seen me, you have seen the Father’. I just think we take revelations from God, like the Trinity, and we cant fully comprehend all there is in it. And then we come to limited human understandings that get us into trouble. It is obvious to me that the strong apologists who are fighting Lee in this one verse are wrong. They are trying to make it fit. It’s hard to make God ‘fit’. God has revealed great truths to the church thru the centuries. I don’t advocate ‘undoing’ the creeds. But we have to be open for further insight into things that we don’t fully comprehend. I remember telling some friends this once. I explained that it isn’t real easy to understand all this. I shared how God is a Spirit, and how the Holy Spirit is God. And God is one. Are there 2 different Spirits? As you can see it’s not easy. So for all my Jesus only brothers, they do have truth. For all those like me [classic Trinitarian] we also have truth. But I also am able to see the truth about all the references in the book of Acts on being baptized ‘in the name of Jesus’. They actually did do this! The strong Trinitarians say ‘that’s right, because Jesus is God, so we should say ‘Father, Son and Spirit’. The point is, because Jesus is God, that’s why they all said ‘Jesus’ at the actual baptism! It’s like if I told you ‘go and cash this check [baptize] in the name of my father, my son and my spirit’. And you went down to the bank and put ‘my father, my son and my spirit’ on the check. They would look at you funny. You would understand that I meant the name ‘Chiarello’ not the title’s ‘my Father, Son and Spirit’. I really don’t see why Christians kill each other over this stuff. I am not advocating re baptizing everyone who did it the historic way. I also think it is more scriptural to say ‘Jesus’ when doing it. Frank Barltleman, who I mentioned earlier on this blog, was one of the smartest Christians at the turn of the last century. He documented the Azusa street revivals and wrote the book ‘another wave rolls in’. He actually saw a lot of this and became identified as a ‘Jesus only’ and lost a lot of influence in the church because of it. I think its good to see it like this. ‘Jesus is the only revealed proper name given to any of the Trinity in the New Testament. He is the singular revelation of God to humanity. All that we ‘see’ and know about who God is and how he reacts is seen thru the incarnate God/man Jesus Christ. When he told the disciples ‘go and baptize in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost’ he was once again speaking of himself in the 3rd person [like in John chapter 3, Jesus says ‘God so loved the world that he gave his son’ He didn’t say ‘that he gave me’ he spoke of himself in the 3rd person because it is the work of the Spirit to actually reveal Christ to man. Jesus was letting the Spirit reveal him, he wasn’t doing it thru self proclamation] The reality of the baptisms being done in the book of Acts under the name ‘Jesus’ is a revelation to us that Jesus is the only revealed name of the Father, Son and Spirit given to us in the New Testament, he is the express image of God to man’. So instead of labeling everyone a heretic, we need to see Jesus more fully! P.S. I believe 100 % in the Trinity! NOTE: It’s OK to say ‘Jehovah’ or ‘Yahweh’ or other names of God. But it’s important to see that because Jesus is the revelation of God given to man, that in the New Testament the name ‘Jesus’ is the only proper name given to describe any of the Godhead. This doesn’t mean that there is no Trinity, it just shows us that all of God was in Christ. Not just one third! Also to be a little technical, Jesus said ‘baptize in the NAME’ not NAMES. The Jesus only groups will tell you that Jesus was speaking of a singular name here. The fact that all the baptisms in Acts that give you the reference to the name being used, it’s always the name ‘Jesus’ it never shows an example of them saying ‘in the name of the Father, Son and Spirit’ when they are baptizing someone. The churches that do use this formula will say ‘well, we know they must have said it, because Jesus told us to say it’ he really didn’t tell us to say it, he did tell us to use the NAME of the Father, Son and Spirit, so the fact that they said ‘Jesus’ when they baptized shows us that he told them to use his name, he obviously was referring to himself in the 3rd person. There really isn’t a better explanation for this. It just seems to me that this is a truth that you can’t get around.

 

(435)    This fits in with the last entry. It is important for Christians to form their view of God thru Christ. You often hear good reformed theologians [whom I like] focus on the holiness and transcendent nature of God. Some will even teach that the reason the church is in a ‘worldly’ state is because we preach the Gospel without the Law. They seem to be saying if we preach God in an Old Testament way, and we preach the law, that this will bring the church back into holiness. The message of God thru Christ was one of reconciliation. There is no doubt that Jesus was against sin. The times he taught that if you looked upon a woman with lust you were just as guilty as committing adultery. These statements were intended to show mans inability to reform himself. Many of the law keepers were counting on their ability to not commit outward acts of sin, even though in their hearts they were just as lost as the prostitute and drunkard. Jesus was not ‘exalting’ law here. He was showing those who trusted in their own righteousness that they didn’t have a chance at being accepted this way. He then of course would die for mans sin and man would receive this ransom freely. This is why you see the Apostle Paul stress justification by faith. I feel we do damage when we believe the answer to ‘worldliness’ is to preach more law. The preaching of law has a tendency to appeal to mans sinful nature. It actually stirs up in man a feeing of ‘I will now go and do what I was told not to’. When you mix this in with an Old Testament revelation of God [one of wrath] this doesn’t produce the desired result of holiness. It is the unconditional message of grace that people need. Not an ‘easy believism’ type thing, but a radical view of Gods mercy as seen thru the incarnation of Jesus. The way Jesus treated sinners and unbelievers gave them an avenue to approach God. His ‘exalting’ of the law was for the purpose of bringing man to him, in some of the reformed circles they think that if you exalt the law it will bring a degree of ‘self restraint’ to the church. I do not see this as a New Covenant function. Once you are in Christ it is the ability to rest in him that brings ‘holiness’. If people aren’t ‘holy enough’ the preaching of the law and the focus on Gods holiness will only increase the level of condemnation. All righteousness comes by faith in Christ, we are to form our ideas about the way God sees us thru the actual way Jesus lived. This is the revelation of God to us. Jesus did not condone sin, but he functioned in such a way that sinners did not see God as far away and ‘transcendent’ they saw God as close and accessible to meet man where he was at.

 

(436)    Let’s go back to the ‘Jesus only’ stuff. The Jesus only brothers will take the verses that say ‘Jesus is God’ and combine them with the verse that says ‘Jesus name is the Everlasting father’ and come to the conclusion that ‘Jesus is God’ well he is! They will then say ‘when you go to heaven, you will see ‘Jesus only’ because God the Father is a Spirit, and this Sprit lives in Jesus’! Now on the other end of the spectrum you have whole groups of Christians that say ‘Jesus is the Son of God [true] but not God [untrue]’. Even in the first 3 centuries of the church this became a debate. Some priests and Bishops  said ‘Jesus is Gods Son, but God is the only God. God is 1, not many [3]’ These brothers will show you how Paul addresses the Christians in his letters and says ‘God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ’ but Paul never says ‘Jesus, the God of the Father’. So they simply say ‘Jesus is Gods Son, but the Father is God’. Now there is truth to some of these things, but not all. Then in the 4th century under the Emperor Constantine, he calls a worldwide Council of Bishops and they come to the conclusion of the historic Trinity and the Divine nature of Jesus. Those who disagree will show you that Constantine did this for political reasons [calling the council] and therefore will see the ‘Trinitarian formula’ as a false doctrine from ‘Rome’. There are whole groups of Baptists that also believe this! I had a friend of mine who joined the Air force, he attended the Fundamental Baptist Church I went to. He got stationed somewhere and found some ‘Independent Baptist churches’. They were just like the one we attended, except that they all taught that the Trinity was a false doctrine that was invented by the Catholic Church, and that all the other Baptists that believed it were in apostasy! Now these brothers will point to all the scriptures that say ‘God is one’ and tell you the language for the Trinity ‘God in 3 Persons’ is unscriptural. The Jesus only brothers will do this too! So as you can see it’s not easy to explain this stuff. The New Testament tells us ‘God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen on by men, received up into glory’ Jesus is God. We know this. But it is easy to see how when you look at certain ‘angles’ of truth, that it’s also easy to fall into categories where you make the other side a heretic. Let me say also, the reason why we form our view of God thru Christ is because God chose to reveal himself to us in this way. I do believe the ‘God of the Old Testament’ is God. The reason he is seen as wrathful and ‘transcendent’ is because this is how God is, apart from the Cross. In the Old Testament you see God dealing with man based on mans attempt at making himself righteous. Man couldn’t come close, so you ‘see’ God as wrathful and far away. In the New Testament you see God relating to man on the basis of the Cross. God’s wrath and anger are appeased and he is seen as someone who is not ‘far away’ anymore. Some historical Christians actually taught that the God of the Old Testament was a different God. One guy even came out with the first ‘cannon’ of scripture. It basically left out the Old Testament and contained only Paul’s letters, I think his name was ‘Marcion’ if I am remembering right? There are not 2 different Gods, the God of Israel is the same God as ‘the God’ of the Christians, it’s just you cant ‘have him’ without having his Son! Jesus did teach this. Now what about ‘Allah’, isn’t he also the same God with a different name. No he is not! This is why when we try to strive for unity and pluralism in society [all Muslims should have the right to worship as they please!] we also should be able to discern between Christian and Muslim belief. Allah is the ‘god’ of Islam, this is not the same God of Israel or Christians. NOTE: I have a friend of mine who is a Christian, but not real active in ‘churchy’ type things [sort of like Nacho Libre/Jack Black  ‘a real religious man I am’!] and he says to me ‘What about those Mormons [we had a mutual friend who was Mormon] they believe in some God called ‘Yahweh’. I told him ‘this is not only the Mormon God, but ours too!’ Yahweh is the Name of God in scripture! Thought this was funny.

 

(437)    About 15 years ago I hurt my back at work, we were lifting a football player from A and I university [A and M is now the name]. I slipped a disk or something. It was bad, couldn’t walk for a few weeks. Over the years this same area of my back has had a ‘reoccurring’ feeling of pain. I am irresponsible in the area of doctors. I haven’t done doctors check ups and stuff like you should. Recently its been killing me, I usually wait it out and eventually it gets better, it got so bad the other day that I went to the Emergency room [couldn’t wait till morning] and had to get something for the pain. They gave me some Valium and a direct shot of something into the lower spine area. After 30 minutes the pain never went away, it was that bad. Well I am off of work for a few days and the pain med’s along with the other prescribed meds seem to be helping. In the past guys with this type of injury would take months off, I plan on going back in a few days. Not bragging, just have too much to do to take months of down time. So this got me thinking about ‘healing’ again. I was thinking of the scenario in the Old Testament when the Israelites were in the wilderness and God sent snakes [fiery serpents-King James] to bite the people for their rebellion. As the people were being bitten they are dieing. God tells Moses to make this brass/bronze statue of a snake and put it in a poll. Whoever looks to the pole after they are bitten will get healed. Later on in Israel’s history you read an insignificant verse [I forget where it is, you can look it up in a concordance] where this statue had to be destroyed because the children of Israel went and idolized the thing. Now Jesus in John chapter 3 describes this story to Nicodemus. He basically says ‘as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the son of man be lifted up, so whosoever looks to him will be saved’ The reason Jesus would describe himself as a ‘serpent’ was because in Gods eyes Jesus became ‘accursed’ for us. The serpent in the Garden of Eden story is a cursed thing. Satan is called a serpent. When people are in need, they look to Jesus to get healed and forgiven. He was cursed on a pole [Cross] for us and we look to him for eternal life. Those who fastened their eyes on the serpent lived. Those who look to Jesus live. He is THE LIFE. God didn’t give you an experience that gave you eternal life, God gave you his Son so you would forever ‘look’ to him [an ongoing relationship versus a ‘1’ time deal!] and live forever. The verse in Hebrews says Jesus lives forever and because of this he is able to save to the uttermost those who come to God by him. Many times preachers say this means ‘guttermost’ or that Jesus saves people who are at the worst end of the scale [uttermost]. While this is true, this is not what this verse means. This verse is saying all who are in Christ have a never-ending Priesthood of intercession that Jesus forever carries out on our behalf. The ‘uttermost’ is referring to Christ’s present intercession for us that will last FOREVER; this is why he saves us to the uttermost [never ending]. Now the reason why the serpent on the pole had to be destroyed was because people take the things that God uses as examples or as tools and we make idols out of them. We do this with Pastors, Prophets and all the other gifted servants in the church. We seem to forget that we are just ‘objects/tools’ that God chooses to use as a means of getting people to Christ. We are just  ‘Poles’ that are lifting Jesus up. After a while we have a tendency to ‘exalt the pole’ or worship the ‘statue’. Now we are to worship Jesus, but God doesn’t want us to make idols out of the means of communication that he uses. It’s hard to put this in, but let me try. Even the cannon of scripture is a tool to bring us to the reality of Christ. Some Christians would have you think that the tool is more important than Christ! I know I will get criticism for this, but I want you to see that it’s possible to have the tool, memorize the tool, even prop it up on some ‘pole’ but if you don’t have an ongoing relationship with God thru Christ, then this ‘tool’ can become your idol!

 

(438)    This last week I have had an old injury from work ‘re surface’. I hurt my back years ago while on duty and it has been an on and off problem ever since. Recently it’s been causing severe pain. I finally went to the E.R. because the pain was so severe. They gave me Valium and a direct shot of painkiller into my lower spine. After about 30 minutes I got a rush, but it did nothing for the pain! I have been on some meds since [a few days] and the pain got better but I am left with a severe limp! I guess I did some damage to the nerves in my right leg, it feels totally numb. I thought this to be interesting, I had a dream a few weeks ago that I injured my leg and was walking with a limp! This reminds me of Jacob. After Jacob wrestled with the angel of the Lord all night, he later had a permanent limp. This was not so much a sign of judgment as it was a sign of Jacobs’s determination. Jacobs name gets changed to Israel and he is someone who prevails with both God and men. If you will Jacob had ‘war wounds’ that went on his ‘resume’. Sometimes in the Kingdom we see talented people, that’s good. But often times you don’t see determination. Much of the modern church is built on ‘performance talent’ and personality. People want to look good! Jesus rebuked the religious leaders of his day because they loved the acclaim that came along with religious position. The Kingdom needs people who will persevere [by Gods grace] whether they look good or not! I like the story of Jacob. I know he did some crafty things [supplanter] but this didn’t seem to bother the Lord as much as it bothers us. God is not looking for perfect people in as much as he is looking for ‘persevering people’. Let me exhort you to finish the race and endure by Gods grace to the end of your mission!

 

(439)    Just opened up my newspaper. First thing I saw was ‘man dies swimming at Packery channel’. A 23 year old drowned right at the site that I have been swimming at the last few weeks. It is the first reported drowning this year off of our coast. I do not want to take lightly, or use the death of someone lightly. I want to show you that this channel, which I have spoken on a lot, represents  ‘dieing to old things, and a coming alive to something new’. I felt like the Lord was telling me that the old person is passing away for many of us. The old ‘patterns/routines’ are being left behind only as you move ahead to new territory. You must access the ‘channel/highway’ that God is opening at this time, it will mean ‘death’ to the old man. Go and wash in this new open door I am giving you [Siloam/sent] your ‘sending’ will provide a cleansing avenue that will be found no where else!

 

(440)    I was listening to a preacher on the radio; he is a great grace preacher. He is also a ‘cessationist’ someone who believes that the gifts of the Spirit and the 5 fold ministries passed away [the 5 fold refers to Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors and Teachers]. We know there are no more Apostles in the sense of the ‘12 Apostles of the Lamb’ these are a category unto themselves. But scripture says ‘after Jesus ascended on high, he gave gifts unto men; Apostles, Prophets, etc.’ so this category of ‘Apostles and Prophets’ never even existed until after the ascension! Also this is speaking of Prophets that were made after Jesus ascended. So the original 12 and all the Old Testament Prophets are not even in this category. Also some teach that when Paul said ‘Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors and Teachers’ and then he says ‘God gave them to the church until that which is perfect is come’ [Corinthians, Ephesians] some say ‘that which is perfect’ is the completed canon [the Bible] and since we now have the bible we don’t need Apostles and Prophets. Well simple grammar tells you no matter how you interpret this verse, that all 5 of these gifts are clumped together. If you don’t have Prophets, then you don’t have Teachers either! This verse is actually speaking of the perfection of the Bride of Christ that will take place at the second coming ‘for when we see him we will be like him, for we will see him as he is’. So to me ‘that which is perfect’ is not the bible or the second coming, but it is speaking of the Body of Christ coming to maturity [perfection is used in this way in scripture, and this will happen at the second coming, but the ‘perfect’ part is speaking of the bodies maturity at that event. John says ‘when we see him we will be like him’ 1st John]. Also to those who believe the gifts passed away. Peter quotes Joel in the book of Acts and says ‘In the last days I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh, and your sons and daughters will prophesy’ This verse specifically says ‘people will prophesy in the last days’. I know some say ‘this is simple preaching’. But if you continue thru the book of Acts, which Peter describes as ‘the last days’ you will find examples of Prophets ‘prophesying’ and it isn’t simple preaching or exhortation, it is ‘predictive/prophetic’ speaking. The Prophet Agabus takes Paul’s ‘girdle’ [clothing] and says ‘whoever owns this coat will be bound and taken captive’. The Prophet says this as he is ‘Prophetically’ wrapping it around him. Now this isn’t simple preaching or exhortation. I know the critics say ‘this is before the bible is finished’ the point I am making is this defines the actual type of prophecy that Peter spoke of. And it wasn’t PREACHING!

 

(441)    I am going to share a dream, but first this. The main reason the 1st century religious leaders did not receive the prophetic ministry of Jesus was because of their understanding of THE PROPHETS. They truly prided themselves in the fact that they were the keepers of the Old Testament, and that they possessed singular wisdom from the prophets that no one else could see. The great irony was that Jesus was the GREATEST prophet ever, all the Prophets pointed to him! Yet in their religious pride the Pharisees could not see ‘him’. Often times God will use people at certain periods in church history. These ‘prophetic voices’ are not meant to be worshipped or revered [only Jesus] but you will find the most ‘enlightened’ leaders of the day rejecting what they are saying because of their understanding of ‘the prophets’ [Word of God]. Often times these are the biggest obstacles to what God is doing. Jesus said the ‘sinners’ were much more open and willing to receive him than the religious leaders. All these people looking for spirituality in the New Age movement and psychics and stuff. Many of them are really open to the prophetic things of God. I am not saying these ‘spiritual counterfeits’ are prophetic, but people are looking for something real. They don’t find it in these ‘quasi movements’ they find it in Jesus. The woman at the well [John 4] said ‘come see a man that told me my whole life’. The fact that Jesus ‘saw into her heart’ caused her to go and testify of him. A woman who was steeped in sin. The Pharisees avoided and condemned her thru out her life. She was even from the wrong side of the religious world [Samaritan] yet in one prophetic encounter with Jesus she gets converted! Something all the Law and religion of the day could not do! Something that even the religious leaders were unable to receive. They had their views formed by their interpretation of the ‘prophets’ and nothing was going to change that, not even the greatest prophet who ever lived! Moses said ‘the Lord is going to raise up a prophet like unto me, those who will not hear him will be destroyed’. In the book of Acts Jesus is identified as ‘this prophet’. Moses brought the people on a spiritual journey that at first seemed exciting, then it seemed to ‘off the wall’. They found themselves living in the wilderness dependant on this ‘bread’ [Manna] that is coming down from heaven. The name ‘Manna’ means ‘what is it’ they survived on food that was strange to them. The disciples followed Jesus for 3 years and many said ‘who in the world is this guy’ [Manna- ‘what is this?’] Jesus had the audacity to say ‘I am the bread that comes down from heaven, whoever eats of me will never die’ this was too much for the leaders to hear. They would eventually kill him. DREAM; I just dreamt I was in a store. I had a complaint about something and went to tell the manager. The manager said ‘don’t you know that I can call the police on you’ she seemed like she knew the complaint was legitimate, but so what, what can you do to right this wrong. I said I too can call the law. It seemed like a confrontation with ‘Jezebel’. I called on my phone and she called on hers. She seemed like she was used to this challenge to her authority, this time was different. A few minutes after I called the sky started getting dark. It was a warm day, but a storm began to blow in. Everyone started getting scared. As the storm approached it began to snow [I have had snow before in dreams] and it became like hurricane conditions. Everyone began running for their lives. I too was running, but I wasn’t scared. It felt like when I pray outside during a thunderstorm. I was comfortable with it. I did have to avoid things blowing around and all, but it was like calling in ‘friendly fire’ during a war. You ask your own army to bombard your area. You know you might get hit too, but there are so many enemies surrounding you, that you go for it. As the winds and snow and storm got severe, a flash flood came in and covered the ground. I had to climb up a wall. I felt like the woman who challenged me by calling the authorities was like Jezebel. She has been seducing the people of God for so long that the church and its leadership got to a point where they would ignore her. In the past whenever some so-called ‘prophet’ would challenge her, she was able to ‘make them run’. She didn’t count on me ‘calling in friendly fire’ this time it was every man for himself, even her! There were some other parts to the dream that I don’t recall as clearly, but I think they dealt with a warning for those who are seeing stuff from our site [sight!] I felt the Lord said to be careful in dealing with ‘the weeds’ because you might accidentally pull up ‘the wheat’. It is easy for people to see real truth from this site, the intent is for reformation, not destruction. Sometimes ‘Jezebel’ is so rooted in the church that it takes a violent act to root her out. Jehu drove furiously, but he had a job to do! I want all our readers to be careful as you try to ‘root out Jezebel’ in your area [cities/states] she has been ‘welcomed’ for a very long season, she will not leave politely! Revelation- ‘I have something against you, you have suffered that woman jezebel to seduce my servants and commit fornication’ Jesus said this to one of the churches. James says ‘don’t you know that your love of the world is like committing adultery, your heart and desires are in things where God doesn’t dwell’ paraphrase. We suffer ‘Jezebel’ by truly loving the things of the world; we make pleasure and success our god. NOTE: Isaiah says ‘as the snow comes down from heaven and waters the earth, so is my word that goes out of my mouth. It will water the earth and make it bring forth. It will accomplish the purpose for why it was sent’! NOTE: Too often in the church we have labeled women as ‘jezebel’. Sometimes we put this label on women struggling in the ‘sex trades’. Remember, Jesus did not approach the Samaritan woman in this way, he gave her hope and forgiveness! Jezebel to me is more of a ‘seducing spirit’ she [and others] know she is ‘seducing’ the saints, but they allow her [suffer her] to continue! NOTE: The ‘snow’ images I have seen and shared on this blog speak to me of God covering areas with his prophetic word. A few years back it snowed in Corpus. I have pictures of this area covered with snow. I also saw an aerial view and it covered this entire southern coast and spread inland. In the above dream I feel the snow represents God permitting a prophetic word [words] to come from this area and to affect the state, nation and the world! Only God can cause the ‘snow’ [word/seed] to ‘cause the earth to bud’. There are seasons where God desires to bring ‘adjustment’ to the Body of Christ, these times are usually not comfortable! Also a few entries back I spoke on the strong ‘apologist’ movements who seem to only be looking for fault in the church. This has caused good men to go to the other extreme and to never bring correction or reproof at all. This is why you have many good Pastors today who are ‘shaken’ when true correction comes. Its not that they are all ‘wimps’ it’s just the present level of corrective reproof in the church is very low. When children have not been disciplined in a long time, they react violently when you try to correct them. I don’t want to sound demeaning, I am just trying to show you that ‘when it snows’ those who are unfamiliar with it have a hard time. When it snowed in Jersey, the street workers were out and the streets were clean and ready to drive. Not here in Corpus! We were not ‘used to’ snow. Hebrews says when people are ‘chastened’ [disciplined] it does not feel good at the beginning, but afterward it produces righteousness in those who accept it. Let the ‘summer snow’ do its work, it can be refreshing if you receive it in the right spirit. Also I used to have some music from Keith Green [I still love his music, but I gave the CD’s away to a friend!] he sang a song called ‘summer snow’ this verse is somewhere in the bible [Proverbs?] I kinda remember it saying something like ‘as snow to someone in summer’ speaking of a refreshing surprise visitation that ‘feels good’ and refreshing. Keith sang it to show the ‘surprise’ return of the Lord, that people wouldn’t be ready or expecting it. You usually get ready for the winter months while living up north. You don’t get all the snow gear in stores and stuff during the summer! So Jesus return will take many by surprise. A few years ago I took a drive to Jersey. I know it’s long [1800 miles!] but I am one of those road warriors that drives 1100-1200 miles in day one, and then finishes the rest on day 2. [I am also one who will drive wrong for 100 miles before I will ask for directions!] While there [February] we got a severe snowstorm, I loved it. I took a bunch of pictures of my truck being in a few feet of snow [vehicles represent ministries in prophetic imagery] I developed the pictures when I got back to Texas and lost them! They were missing for a few years. As I looked for them on many occasions I realized it was going to be a sign. Sometimes this will happen with me loosing things, when they show up later I know it was for a reason. Well after looking for them for a few weeks, I told the Lord ‘I know they will show up some day, for now I will let it go’ [not by might, nor power, but by my Spirit says the Lord] after a year or 2 [?] one day I walked into my study and they were laying out in plain view on a desk. I never asked who put them there or anything. I took it as a sign from the Lord. The year I found them was 2007, the same year the Lord allowed us to ‘snow’ on the North East. This year was the first year our blog and radio program reached Jersey. The radio station we are on broadcasts on line, so all my old buddies can read the blog and hear our program for the first time. Remember ‘snow’ is an image of Gods word ‘blanketing’ an area! Note: The last few months I debated on what towns we would post our blog. It is a little expensive and I do pay for this stuff out of pocket. I finally decided to ‘skip’ the Dallas/Fort Worth area. They wanted $170.00 for 1 day a month! The area we blog/ broadcast finally ended up being from the valley area, over to Laredo, back over thru the San Antonio/Corpus area, and instead of Dallas we just ‘shoot’ straight over to Houston and even hit Louisiana on a clear day. Plus we blog the New York area. I have this area ‘posted’ on all the maps and stuff that I use as ‘prayer reminders’. I just found the ‘aerial’ shot of the snow in 2004, it is an exact picture of the areas I show on the maps [except for the New York area] I forgot how accurate prophetic things can be! Also I forgot to mention that it snowed on Christmas day. Christmas was a sign of sending for me a few years ago, I saw the ‘tree’ in a dream and in a star pattern that year. So this would signify God ‘sending us out’ thru the various avenues of speaking/prophesying the word. As I just re read the details on the snow of 2004, it was the most snowfall ever recorded for this area. Claim these promises for yourself as God directs, his purpose is for all the Body of Christ to be actively involved with spreading the word! NOTE: see entry 454 as the fulfillment of the dream of flash floods.

 

(442)    I am going to speak this as I just ‘heard’ it. God is requiring some of you to take action like a ‘Samson’. I felt like the Lord was saying that some of you have been preparing for ministry for years. You seem to be stuck at a place where you need to find one more answer, or settle just 1 more issue before you take the plunge. Some of you feel like you need a ‘track’ record of good days before you will act. Samson reached a point in his life where he was reaping what he sowed. His reputation and personal future was beyond repair. He was being mocked regularly while he struggled with ‘bondage issues’. One day he saw an opportunity to commit a single act of bravery that would mean martyrdom for him, but he knew it would be his last chance to ‘make history’. He could have never done what he was going to do. If ‘survival’ and existence was the measuring rule, he would have just been happy by living day to day as the but of the enemies jokes. The court jester if you will. He got tired of that existence. One day as he is being mocked he ‘positions’ himself in a strategic place, it almost looks like a ‘Cross’. His arms are placed from one pillar to another and he ‘goes for it’. Everything comes down, even on him [friendly fire!] but scripture says he killed more of the enemy in his death, than in his entire life [a bit prophetic, don’t you think?] Hebrews 11 records him as one of the heroes of the faith. That’s funny, God didn’t ‘remember’ his bad track record, God saw his act of faith! What are you waiting for? NOTE: I am going to share this as I just ‘heard it’. ‘Your whole life, in Gods eyes is as a single day. God’s mercies are new every morning. If you woke up today and found out that every failure you have ever committed, every wrong thing you have ever done. All the mistakes you might have made in ministry, the friendships that have parted, possibly because you were the one at fault. Your own personal failures and weaknesses. Those of you who have been divorced, had abortions and have done the most horrendous things imaginable. If you just woke up and realized that it was all a dream. That as a matter of fact this is the first day of your life. You were like the guy in ‘it’s a wonderful life’ and you really had a bran new start today. This is how God sees you. Your whole life, all the successes and failures, every single thing that has happened up until now has only been a ‘blip’ on Gods radar screen. Your whole life is like a single day in the mind of God. If your kid woke up today and disobeyed you, you might punish him and send him to his room. By the evening he forgot all about it and wants to throw the football or ride his bike. How do you view him? Do you really hold that ‘one day mistake’ against him? This is how God sees you right now, in his mind none of this ever happened. He really sees you as the little boy/girl who made a ‘one day mistake’ and he wants you to finish the day with him. The night is almost here and you will be sleeping soon, have some fun.

 

(443)    Jesus never used his tremendous wisdom to ‘trick’ or baffle the average person. But he did do this with the religious leaders who were proud. It is easy to fall into the category of ‘wanting to win the argument’. God wants us to be right, but the end goal is to ‘win the person’. I like studying intellectuals and the current trends in theology, I think most Pastors/Leaders are too lacking in these areas. I will notice sometimes that ‘theologians’ will fall into the trap of speaking for hours with such intellectual language that when they are done you have no idea of what they were saying. I have read books like this. They seem to see that as a badge of honor. Jesus only did stuff like this when dealing with the proud ‘preachers’ of his day. ‘Who is the Messiah? Is he the Son of David? Then if this is so, why does David call him his Lord in the Psalms?’ The Pharisees were baffled. The answer is common today. Jesus was before David [John 1:1] and he became ‘incarnate’ after David. It is a theological answer to be sure, but none of the Theologians knew it. But later Jesus will plainly reveal the Love and Mercy of God to man. I do think there are times to be ‘intellectual’, but mostly when dealing with religious leadership who is steeped in their knowledge, they often need to be ‘out trumped’ before they will change. The main message of the Cross is meant to be simple and relevant. Paul had the opportunity to ‘dazzle’ the Corinthians, but he said he stuck with the message of the Cross so their faith wouldn’t be in some intricate system of thought, but in Christ! NOTE: Let me show you how easy it is to ‘not see’ the obvious. The New Testament speaks specifically about the area of giving of finances. If you go to all the direct portions of scripture that deal with it [not simply to the few verses that mention the tithe that are found in the gospels and the book of Hebrews, when the ‘tithe’ is mentioned in these verses it is not speaking on giving in the New Testament church] you will find Paul teaching giving in a ‘non compulsory’ way. Why did Paul actually say ‘ give, not by compulsion, but of a willing heart’? Because the first century Jew knew of only one way to give, and that was by compulsion. The Tithe was by compulsion, no way around it. The teaching in Malachi says to the Jew ‘if you don’t tithe, you are under a curse and are robbing God’ this my friends is compulsion. Now when we in the church teach people ‘if you don’t tithe God will get it from you one way or the other. Either your kids will get sick or you will pay it out at the hospital’ this is also compulsion! So to be contrary to this mindset that was imbedded in the law, Paul purposely teaches the opposite. The fact that the New Testament teaches to give not by compulsion is just like saying ‘don’t give with the tithe mentality’. It actually is very clear! Just like it was clear to Jesus [and to us today] that Messiah was not only the Son of David, but also David’s Lord. Things become obvious when you are taught them by God. Now the New Testament gives a lot of instructions on how Christians should give, this is not a secret! But like anything else we read scripture with preconceived ideas and then we make scripture fit. We are all guilty of this, I just wanted you to see how we are just like the Pharisees in many ways. Thank God that he is a God of mercy. NOTE: It is not our intent to get Christians to stop supporting the ‘church’ they are currently attending, if you dedicated a certain amount of giving then keep doing it. If the church you attend has made certain budget decisions based on what you said you would give, then out of simple integrity to your word try and fulfill these promises. I even believe that certain Pastors can still encourage the people to give 10% without using the ‘tithe’ as the ‘trigger’. Just appeal based on grace. If you as a believer are currently learning these new truths from us, but you don’t effectively share financially thru avenues the Lord has shown you, then continue to support the church you are attending. Truth and reformation are processes that take time. Even though I believe the church is not under the tithe, yet it is not Gods purpose to ‘undercut’ the budget of well meaning Pastors/churches by you seeing this new truth. Let God lead, I don’t want to be the one who gives Christians excuses not to give.

 

(444)    Today its June 25th, 2007. It’s been 6 months since I started this blog. Today is the day the Supreme Court outlawed prayer in Public Schools, this day in 1962 [the year I was born]. Yesterday I took my youngest daughter to church. My wife and other kids were busy, 2 of my daughters went on their own. After church I took my girl to see ‘Evan Almighty’ a good movie that does a spoof on the story of Noah’s Ark, but it is good. I told you guys once about my study, it is set up like a throw back to the 70’s. I have a lot of old stuff. One thing I have is the original ‘Gumby’ rubber man. I saw it once in a store and bought it as a collector’s thing. This week for some reason I was thinking of taking it out of the plastic that it’s in. I have no idea why I would be thinking of Gumby. Yesterday [the day I went to see the movie] I also was looking in the paper and saw some Dell Laptops, this week I have been thinking of getting one. They had a flyer on them in the paper so I was looking at the prices. Last but not least, as I am praying in my study I keep noticing this poster of John Lennon, it is a real charcoal drawing that someone had made. My wife found it in an abandoned apartment that she manages. I have had it for a few years. I was thinking of maybe taking it down, because as I am praying it kind of was distracting me, it’s got these real looking eyes that seem to pierce your soul. Well how in the world can any of this make sense? As I go to the movie I am looking for some signs or stuff the lord wants to say. The God character [Morgan Freeman] has the first conversation with the ‘Noah’ character [Steve Carell- ‘the 40 year old virgin’] and God convinces ‘Noah’ that it is him speaking to him by bringing up a childhood memory, he mentions ‘Gumby’. As the story moves ahead Noah grows hair and a beard, the son calls him ‘John Lennon’ and they play some Lennon music as well. Steve Carrel is doing all his work on a ‘Dell computer’ [a form of communication, like what I am doing on my laptop right now!] I did feel like the Lord showed me a few things. I have seen in the past certain things from Lennon and Dylan. Lennon was shocked by the effect that his words were having on a generation, Dylan was real uncomfortable about being a ‘prophet’ to his generation. If you read or watch stories on these figures, it was like the Lord was giving exponential ‘influence’ by the simple words they were speaking. On one MTV/VH1 special I saw Lennon confront a fan from an old video. Lennon was trying to tell this fan who was obsessed with the words from his songs ‘I am just a man, I am just writing my thoughts in my songs, don’t be so enamored with it’ it was like the Lord allowed certain ‘prophetic/rock’ voices to have tremendous influence, whether or not the ‘prophet’ wanted this attention or not. In the movie Steve Carell builds the Ark and is waiting for the rain, it rains a little, but the flood comes form a broken damn instead. This didn’t really fit in with the prophetic stuff I have been ‘seeing’ recently. I just dreamed of a huge storm the other day, where’s the storm? As we left the theatre my daughter says ‘look at the sky dad, a huge storm is moving in’ on the way home it was one of those flash flood storms that covers the sky and looks eerie. I got home and started writing this stuff on my mission statement, it was pouring at the time. NOTE: The reason God shows up is that Evan becomes a congressman and promises to ‘change the world’ God teaches him that you can change the world by ‘one random act of kindness at a time’ this fits in with my philosophy on the church and ministry. The biblical idea of church is for all believers everywhere to see themselves as the actual ‘fire starters’ of this Jesus revolution. It’s not the multimillion dollar ‘church organizations’ that are always appealing for money that will change the world, its all the ‘simple believers’ who have been told their whole lives ‘you cant have any influence yourself, send your money to us’ that are going to do it!

 

(445)    A while back I read a vision from a prophet. It spoke of a huge wave that was leaving the coast, as it left it exposed the sins and shortcomings of Gods people. The wave ‘covered’ them for a while, but when it left, the people were exposed and suffered shame. Many who were on the ‘coast’ [beach] left out of fear and shame. A few remained and sure enough the wave came back. As it came back it then flooded the entire coastal region. There are verses in the Old Testament prophets that speak of stages where God dealt with the sins of his people. There are specific references to those who ‘fled’ the city [place of destiny]. It speaks of a ‘remnant’ that didn’t flee in the face of their own failure and fear. These were the ones the Lord would use to bring in the harvest. I don’t want to say that everyone who ‘leaves Corpus’ [or your city] is guilty of this, in scripture ‘here we have no continuing city’ the city imagery speaks of your purpose in the Kingdom. God is saying ‘those who stay in the destiny that I have called them to, despite the shame and failures that they have gone thru, will be the ones who will usher in and partake of my wave’.

 

(446)    A few years ago I had a Pastor friend who kind of competed with me in ‘getting’ the addicts/ex-cons to ‘go to his church’. I knew this brother for years. He got saved in his 50’s [?] and started preaching at the jails when I was going in my 20’s. Eventually he left the Pentecostal church he attended and ‘started his own church’. I knew he would talk about me every now and then, and to tell you the truth, it really didn’t bother me. It’s like when you go thru rumors that your are having a gay relationship with an ‘ordained minister/sorcerer’ who started the rumors himself, you kind of don’t mind about the regular normal gossip. I chalked it up to his immaturity in the Lord. Even though he was a good 25 years older than me, he meant well and was going thru the silly games preachers play when they first start out. He did invite me to preach at his church once, and we had a good service. But being he would gossip to me about the Pastor and church he had formally attended, I knew it was only a matter of time before he would get to me! I never even confronted him or anything, I just let it slide. One day he saw me at a restaurant with a brother [ex-con/addict] you could tell he was a little jealous that the brother was with me and not him. I don’t even ‘have a church’ but in his mind he was at the childish stage of ‘why don’t you come to my church’ type thing. This Pastor read my first book ‘house of prayer or den of thieves’ and I think it might have been a little strong. I never gave him my 2nd book, and as we went to the parking lot to get it, he started gossiping about the ex- addict brother who we just left to go into the parking lot! Well I gave him my 2nd book, which challenges the whole concept of ‘local church’ and the role of ‘Pastor’. I knew it wouldn’t be long before he would read it, and more than likely I would become the talk of the town by this Pastor in his 60’s who would probably call me a heretic. I just didn’t worry about it, I figured I would give him the book and just leave it at that. We did have a mutual Christian friend and I finally asked him how Pastor ‘so and so’ was doing. In a nice way, I kinda figured the Pastor might have already gotten to my friend and told him what a heretic I was. My friend said the last time he saw him he was in the hospital and it looked like he was going to die. I don’t think it was because he more than likely talked about me, it was just something that happened. I later thought about it, how so many of us [Pastors/leaders] see people as simple tools in a big game. To try to challenge the present mindset of ‘Pastor’ and ‘church’ is a difficult thing. To be sure all Pastors don’t fall into the category of my friend, but the system itself has a way to bring this type of stuff out of us, even the best of us. NOTE; he died a few months back, the same day I read of his death we had a strange phenomenon in the gulf where I live. We had a real clear ‘water spout’ that the local channels picked up. It was a perfect ‘tunnel’ type spout that showed the water going right up to ‘heaven’ thru this tube. I took it as a beautiful sign of my friend’s home going. Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints!

 

(447)    It is difficult for the American church/Pastor to ‘reform’ his understanding of church from one of ‘the 501c3 organization that raises funds to do projects and support ministries’ to that of a free community of people whom Christ’s Spirit dwells in to ‘reform and effect’ society around them. I remember hearing defenses of the ‘Local church’ from the fundamental Baptists that said ‘some people speak of the ‘invisible church/universal church’ well the bible never speaks of a church ‘you cant see’. While there is some truth to this, what these brothers were saying is ‘the local church is this ‘church building’ and all the functions that surround it’! God has his people strategically located all over the earth. When the Bible speaks of ‘local believers’ versus ‘the universal church’ it is not speaking of 2 different things. It is speaking of Christians who reside locally and to the believers who reside ‘universally’. They are the same thing, just in different locations. We have a tendency as Pastors and leaders to want to do some project, complete some goal. This is good. But it becomes ‘not good’ when we view Gods people at large as the primary ‘funders’ of the ‘big project’. This ‘projects’ a mindset into the people of God that is contrary to the function of the church. Moses, Paul and all the other biblical leaders were men with vision and destiny. Moses did ‘collect funds’ for certain godly purposes [the Tabernacle] while leading the people, but the primary thing they were doing, their ‘vision and destiny’ if you will, was bringing the people of God along a journey that led them to a place of self sufficiency/rule under the headship of God [Christ] that released them into a functioning society of people. You never see Paul or the other Apostles  primarily relating to the people along the lines of ‘God has given me this vision, if you Galatians, Ephesians, etc. were simply obedient to fund it, then it would happen’ the vision was not some project or thing apart from their own function and growth. They were not following Paul’s leadership to accomplish something apart from them. What Paul [Moses] were doing was bringing them into the reality that God wants to express himself and who he is thru a people that bear his name. The fact that Israel [or the church] were being governed by God and representing him in the earth gave God ‘opportunities’ to act and show himself strong on their behalf. Society around them were not going to be influenced by the great things they were to build [Babel mindset] but they were to be influenced by who they were and their real relationship with God as a nation. So when we ‘see’ the church as ‘this visible 501c3 organization’ and the people as ‘taxpayers’ [tithers] to the projects and goals of the organization, this causes both the Pastors and the people to fall into roles that are not the primary expression of what God really wants. The people are faced, week after week, month after month, year after year, with leadership saying ‘you are not obedient enough in the area of raising funds’ and the primary challenge to the average saint in the pew is ‘I will give more diligently this time’ and his whole function is measured by this rule. Then leadership reinforces the ‘scriptural mandate’ of this dynamic by appealing to the few areas in Paul’s writings that speak on giving. Though Paul was not primarily dealing with it in the same way. We truly ‘see’ the function of the motivated minister to set goals and somehow inspire people to fund these well meaning goals. This is a very small part of what New Testament leadership was doing. In the very verses we use to justify ‘giving on Sunday’ in a legalistic way, Paul actually says ‘take up the collection before I get there [Corinth] because when I get there we have real important things to do, I don’t want to waste time dealing with the money stuff [1 Corinthians 16]’ so we take these verses that are teaching the small role that finances play in the functioning of the church [to support laboring elders/Pastors and to meet the needs of the less fortunate] and we turn these verses around and teach them in a way that giving becomes thee number 1 measurement of a persons faith. We give the mindset to the average believer that his main function is to ‘attend church and give money’ and he measures his faithfulness this way. And he is taught ‘God highly values the ‘local church’ if he loves it so much that he gave his life for it, how much more should you value the local church in your life and give it priority’ But we seem to be telling the poor people that the ‘it/local church’ is the organization and all that surrounds its ‘corporations life’ [versus corporate life]. Yes God does love the ‘local church’ [community of believers] and he did give his life for it [them and you!] and this is why you see biblical leadership so unfocused on some ‘vision to accomplish something’ and so focused on ‘seeing the people of God come to maturity’. They were giving their lives for the thing of value, which were the people of God [the LOCAL CHURCH!] NOTE: This is why you can see Paul in prison, writing letters to the churches and being totally fulfilled while doing this. His purpose was not to be in such a ‘state’ of outward self sufficiency and having all the money to accomplish some goal, he was actually doing the purpose of God by building the church, even though his outward man [and all of its expressions] were ‘passing away’. NOTE: the materialistic mindset in the church, along with the confusion on what [who] the church is, causes us to be unable to grasp how Paul could be ‘fulfilled’ even though he was not ‘building’ a ‘ministry or organization’. Paul was the one who said ‘we look not at the things which are seen, but unseen’ also ‘Abraham believed that the things that God said would come true’. We use these verses to bring us to a point of ‘making things seen’ or building outward stuff. In these verses God was defining faith as actually living in such a way that you knew after your departure that your ‘seed/lineage’ of spiritual children would ‘inherit’ the land. In essence ‘faith’ in these stories is the ability to die without actually seeing or possessing the physical promise in this life. The patriarchs are defined this way in Hebrews 11. They died as they blessed their offspring, believing that God would make a great ‘family/dynasty’ from their offspring. So Paul in prison is ‘unstoppable’ because he knew the Word of the Lord would have free course. He knew ‘by faith’ that these outward things were not really where the Kingdom was at. He knew by faith that after his death the ‘everlasting gospel’ would prevail and that by Gods grace his ‘spiritual seed’ would go on forever. That’s why I am writing about him now, and you are listening!

 

(448)    I read an article the other day that illustrates this stuff. It was about a ‘bi-vocational Pastor’ who was ‘Pastoring’ 3 churches at a time, because the churches were too small to ‘afford a fulltime Pastor’ and there was a need for someone to ‘administrate the ordinances’ so what else could they do? The well-meaning Pastor was in his fifties and was a fulltime military man. And it showed a picture of him innocently ‘manning the pulpit’ as he fulfills this ‘office’ every Sunday for these 3 churches. It showed how much our present mindset of ‘church’ and the protestant office of ‘The Pastor’ is really an unbiblical role. I know this sounds ‘mean’ but for heavens sake lets move on with the program. God has been dealing with the Body of Christ for quite some time. He wants to release/empower us to ‘be the church’ [the mobile community of God functioning and flowing in all areas of society] if we can’t get past ‘how can our church function unless someone is pastoring it?’ then we still have a long way to go! NOTE: My ‘spell check’ is prophetic. When I wrote the word ‘unbiblical’ above, it actually fixed it on it’s own to say ‘umbilical [cord]’ we cant seem to ‘break’ the ‘childish’ connections that we have towards these ‘lifelong ties’ to a ‘Pastor’. God never intended any of his gifted ones to be the ‘lifelong’ overseer of anybody. These gifts [Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors and Teachers] were all given to play a role at various times in your development to bring you to maturity, none of them were to fulfill the co-dependant role that the protestant office of ‘the Pastor’ has become! I think ‘umbilical cord’ was probably the right word! [Sorry, but I just couldn’t help it!]

 

(449)    ‘recognize, don’t organize’ Chee Ann said this [a Pastor/Apostle]. I like this. In business you are taught to set ‘long term goals’ a good thing. Often time’s people in ministry find it helpful to do this. OK. But God has more to give you than just a ‘10’ or ‘20’ year plan. God reveals his ways and purposes to us thru out our lives. If you try to really seek God at the early stage of your walk, he will reveal himself to you. But he will not give you a ‘20’-year plan in full form. Why? Because much of what he wants to do thru you, and show to you is a process of you becoming like him. It is not simply information! If your 5 year old asks you about life and what he should be when he grows up, you will give him basic desires and hopes to shoot for. ‘I want to be a fireman’ or whatever. But if he took the broad overview of what you said, and refused to ‘adjust’ along the way, he would be in trouble. You realize that you are revealing to him basic goals, but that he is really not ‘grown’ enough to fully understand or receive all that you want to show him. God works like this with us. He shows us things by bringing us to different levels of growth. When you reach these different ‘places’ in him, you begin to see and function on a ‘higher’ plane. It’s not so much ‘more information’ in as much as it is ‘more formation’. Set goals, this is good. But be moldable and shapeable along the way. It’s not being unfaithful to adjust as you grow in him. He really wants us to grow into his image along the way; it’s not so much just a task that he wants us to perform.

 

(450) I was listening to a preacher telling his testimony. I have seen and read his writings before, but never heard him speak. The opinion I had from seeing/reading him was one of a very motivated professional minister. Nothing wrong, just the ‘jet set’ highly mobile successful mega church image. An image that often times is hard for the average person to relate to, though they are still very successful and accomplishing good things in the kingdom. As I finally heard him speak he sounded so much like me. He shared how he grew up in the 70’s, got high, listened to rock music and went to ‘deep purple’ concerts; it was a very real sounding testimony. You almost had the feeling of the voice not fitting the person [I know people feel this way when they see me too. I do not look, or come off as someone who teaches on radio and writes books and stuff]. The point I am making is sometimes the ‘environment’ of professional  ministry hinders the ‘realness’ that God intended for the gospel to have. Jesus was very real and human in his lifestyle. Very different from the image/persona of religious leadership. There was no sense of ‘watch what you say, the Pastor is here’ type thing. I think it would do us good if we can be real people with real struggles with real friends. The unbelieving world has so many questions, but the ‘church world’ is so unapproachable that they look elsewhere for the answers. NOTE; In the early church Christianity was not a separate field or vocation like it is today. Today Christianity is a ‘world/business’ unto itself. While God did intend the church to influence all areas of society, he didn’t intend the church to have its own ‘culture’ of Christian things [Christian restaurants, Christian mechanics, Christian bookstores, and on and on] while these types of things are well intentioned, we unconsciously create a separate culture when we do this. The early believers lived and functioned as real people in society, even the Apostles! [Tent makers]. We sort of have developed a society within the church that has young believers seeing ‘the ministry’ as a profession. ‘God has called me to start a [some Christian function] ministry’ and then you have an entire sector of society whose profession and identity becomes defined by ‘full time Christian service’. The New Testament teaches whatever a person is doing as a vocation, he is serving Christ. It does a disservice to the testimony of believers when we make these secular/holy divisions. Christians are to discern between what is evil and what is good, but this does not mean we withdraw from the marketplace of influence, it also does not mean that we influence the market place by ‘Christian stuff’ [holding huge Christian festivals that draw millions of dollars, trying to show the world that we have influence. This really isn’t influence. Though millions are being spent, it is money basically generated by a ‘vacation/tourism’ mentality. While it is beneficial for believers to have times of refreshing, this type of economic impact is not the same as believers actually being owners of the motels and the other establishments that are benefiting from the festival type atmosphere]. I hope you can see what I am saying. It’s OK for a T.D. Jakes to do a ‘mega fest’ but this is not primarily what the scriptures are referring to when it speaks of believers affecting the world by ‘remaining in it’. We affect it by actually being the ‘prime movers’ and shakers in all areas. We carry the Spirit of God within us, we speak the gospel of hope to those around us, and we interact successfully with society, we don’t ‘withdraw’ into some ‘full time ministry’ mentality that causes the church to always appeal for funds [when I say church, I mean believers] because we feel like God has called us to not be employed and instead to make our living by offerings, this really is not a viable Christian testimony.

 

(451)    I want to put some perspective and balance in here. Many people can’t understand my last entry, and how I also can preach so strongly against materialism. I believe there is a big difference between materialism and responsible Christians in the market place. I wont ‘re preach’ it all, but if you read all the stuff on this site you will see what I mean. I also do struggle with the fact that I have made other believers uncomfortable by my dealing with it, I ‘feel’ for the preachers and their kids, I know that because of certain aspects of my calling these individuals have experienced difficulty. I also believe preachers in general have let certain abuses go on for so long, that the Lord allowed our ‘voice’ to be so strong. I like the movie ‘a river runs thru it’ I catch it every now and then. At the end it shows one of the sons who outlived everyone else. His parents have died, his brother is gone and his wife as well. It shows him old and at the end of the journey. He is back home fly-fishing and he is all alone. It puts into perspective the un importance of material things. We will all depart some day, I hope and pray that I will have truly preached eternal things versus temporary stuff. I heard the late J Vernon Magee [sp?] say ‘Now that I have cancer, stuff doesn’t mean so much to me. I have a new reel for my fishing pole that I bought before I found out about the cancer. I was excited about it. Couldn’t wait to use it. Now I look at it and it doesn’t mean anything anymore’ [I am paraphrasing somewhat]. Jesus taught often about the brevity of life. He spoke of the rich man who pulled down his barns to build greater storehouses and have much goods for many days. The mindset of the rich man was his security was in things. Jesus said he would die that night and who then will get his stuff? His family will probably fight over it in probate court. Jesus often pointed to things like this. The Bible teaches financial responsibility and being involved in financial matters, its just Jesus put it all in perspective. I also have heard preachers say ‘the bible speaks more about money than salvation’ [or some other important subject] and the inference is ‘therefore lets make money our top priority’ well if you use this logic, the bible also speaks more on hell [judgment] than heaven, but that doesn’t mean God wants us all to go there! Well anyway I pray that if I outlive my family and friends and make it to a hundred, that if I find myself standing on the end of the North Jetty [Packery channel] that I will have done more then packed away ‘gobs of cash’. P.S. I haven’t been feeling well lately, not only the leg injury. I just saw the x-ray yesterday, one of the discs in my spine is almost completely gone. I was a little surprised to have seen it was really that bad. As of today I think I will have to retire with 25 years as a firefighter. I will be 45 next month, but I didn’t plan on retiring just yet. I really don’t look bad [I hope!] I mean I still look in shape and athletic, but the limp has been giving me away. I also tried to run and realized I cant anymore. I kinda felt a little depressed about that. If I knew that I wouldn’t run again I probably would have done as much as possible this last year. I would appreciate you guy’s prayers, thanks! NOTE: I don’t want you to feel sorry for me, I want to be real with you and get you to pray for me! Because of the way we ‘do church’ it is common to have scenarios where the main leader [Pastor] is overburdened with ‘the pressures of a big ministry/organization’ and the people see this and feel for him. In some more severe situations [where it looks like the Pastor is on the verge of a nervous breakdown!] you can develop really unhealthy environments where week after week the ‘stresses’ are so obvious, and the peoples main relationship with the Pastor is one of ‘I really am trying to do all I can to support you’ even if it means ‘enabling’ situations that are not good. This is an outgrowth of the unnatural environment of the position of ‘the Pastor’ that is not really seen in the New Testament. You did have scenarios of believers [leaders and others] who were struggling and needed prayer. But because there really was no office of a ‘Pastor’ that was the primary speaker [Sunday after Sunday for 30 years in a row] of the local church, therefore you didn’t develop these long scenarios of ‘enabling’ someone and also the co dependency that sometimes can surround the situation. To be sure not all Pastors fall into this category, but I wanted to show how the present model of the Local Church is more prone to allow these things to go on.

 

(452)    Let me give you a little example of how ‘so not in control’ I am. I have been trying to post this blog site in the Bergen Record for a few months. As far as I know they have posted it a few times already [at least I know they deducted the payment from my checking!] Well I finally got a hold of the person who does the church ads, she is a nice lady. But I was kinda concerned because I didn’t get any ‘hard copy’ of the ad, and you cant find it on the papers web site. So after weeks of trying to get this straightened out, I finally got her to send me a page of the paper thru the mail. I was looking for it for a week or so and it never showed up. Then my wife finds it last night in a stack of junk mail [by the way ‘junk mail’ is the name I use to refer to all types of stuff. Critical prosperity brothers who send me rebukes, bills and all sorts of stuff!] I am happy to realize it made it to my house; they did have the wrong zip code on it. I was tempted to open it up while sitting on the couch trying to recuperate from some hard days I have been having. I already have learned to not open mail unless you are prepared to deal with whatever problem might arise. It’s like just picking up the phone when it rings. I NEVER answer my house phone [maybe one time out of 500 hundred]. I will be sitting right next to it, reading the paper or eating. It can ring 50 times [my wife and daughters friends must have the same genetic problem that causes someone to do this!] and I refuse to even look at the caller I.D. I always carry my cell phone and my family knows if they need me to call me on it. Sometimes my kids will see me sitting there as the house phone rings 20 times, they will be in the restroom or something. They will be upset that I didn’t even care to look at the caller I.D. Well anyway the principle is if you allow any interruption to hit you at any time, you will not accomplish much. So even though I was excited to finally have a chance to actually look at our ad that has been running for a few months, I figured let me wait until the morning before I open the envelope, my wife cant do stuff like this! So anyway I just opened it, the religion section looks great. I haven’t read a ‘hard copy’ from a Jersey Paper in a while. I enjoyed seeing all the church ad’s and stuff. I am kinda expecting our ad to be wrong, which would mean I have been paying for a wrong ad for months. It wasn’t wrong at all. As a matter of fact it wasn’t even there! O well, I knew I wasn’t supposed to look at it last night. NOTE: At least all you tithers can now say ‘we told you the Lord was gonna get it from you one way or another!’ NOTE: I know some of you think it’s irreverent to even kid like this. In the New Testament ‘the tithe’ wasn’t the main ‘standard’ of spirituality as it has become today. The main standard was the Sabbath. The Sabbath became the key tool of measurement that the Pharisees would use to judge Jesus. You could have said that Jesus actually ‘was in their face’ on this issue. Jesus purposefully would heal on the Sabbath. In today’s mindset you could have thought ‘well, we know the Pharisees were wrong in the way they elevated the Sabbath to something that it wasn’t, but we do live in a pluralistic society, and in keeping with the respect for all religions, Jesus could have simply avoided healing on the Sabbath. He still could have healed as many as he wished and he would have also been making the gospel more ‘acceptable’ to the religious mindset of the day’ Jesus would have none of it! Why? Because one of the major barriers that would stand in the way of the fledgling church would be legalism. Jesus wanted to be the ‘first’ prophetic sledgehammer that would open the way for the other ‘grace preachers’ who would come after him. In essence Jesus HAD TO HAVE DONE THESE THINGS ON THE SABBATH or else it would not have offended the religious mind enough to provoke it into reformation!

 

(453)    I have recently been thinking on the shortness of life. Not only do the toys we have rust [like my 66 Mustang] but our bodies ‘die daily’. I feel sad for some of the teachings in the church that really are obviously wrong. I really don’t know what else I can do to bring to our attention the need to live above ‘stuff’. As I was just outside praying, not feeling too well, I thought of the time I heard it taught that when Jesus said ‘Lay up for yourselves treasure in heaven where moth doth not corrupt, or thieves break thru and steal. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also’. I know you guys are tired of hearing me, I am tired too. I really am not in ‘a rebuking’ mode at all right now. I am physically and emotionally drained and tired of the whole thing. It was taught once by the prosperity teaching that this meant ‘when you give by faith, you are actually building up an account in heaven [sort of like a bank book/ledger] and this is what it means to store up treasure in heaven. And then when you have built up a huge account, by faith you can make withdrawals on it here. Your faith is ‘causing the things that are not seen [the account in heaven] to manifest the into things that are seen’. I really feel at times I am at the end of my rope explaining these things. You will be surprised how many intelligent influential people cannot see this as wrong. Do I really need to tell you that this is obviously not what Jesus is teaching. Why do all my prophetic friends not deal with this? Why do you brothers/sisters not give me some help in trying to bring this thing back on track? I don’t think these types of interpretations are funny at all anymore. A lot of my prophetic/pastoral friends will ‘wince’ at stuff like this in private. But in public say things like ‘well, God is happy with all the people who have been won to the Lord thru all the money that the prosperity gospel has brought in’. Just give me some help guys, stuff like what I just showed you is taught en masse thru out this country today [and the world]. I do not want to be an alarmist, I just feel like we need to really build up treasure in heaven, lets not live for this world anymore.

 

(454)    I haven’t Picked up the San Antonio paper in about a week, I got it today on my way to the spine doctor, the headlines were ‘CENTRAL TEXAS GETS DRENCHED’ We have had more flooding this month [6-2007 for those who read this stuff in 10 years from now!] in certain parts of Texas than since 1970. The state is getting ‘poured on’. I told you guys earlier this year that the Lord led me to pray ‘pour out water upon him that is thirsty and FLOODS upon the dry ground’. I also felt like we started ‘flooding’ the dry ground this year more than any other year since we started the ministry. Actually the image I have had while praying outside in the mornings [3 am type mornings!] is God ‘blog spotting’ the state. Pouring out thru the various means that he has given us [you also!] thru his Word like rain and snow. I just quoted the other day in a dream the scripture in Isaiah ‘As the rain and snow come down and water the earth and make it to bud, so is the word that goes forth out of my mouth, it accomplishes the thing for which I sent it’ I just felt like the Lord is really pouring out this year on Texas, especially San Antonio for those of you in our ‘range’. NOTE: I really try to ‘not exaggerate’ when writing, I just heard on the radio, the City of Austin [our Capitol] has had more rain this week that at any other time since the state has kept records [1870]. One city had 19 inches in one day. NOTE: read entry 441, I had a dream of flooding a few weeks ago. These recent floods have been on the news and in the papers. I have been seeing images of entire roadways and regions flooded in ways that I have never seen before in Texas. I have been here for 27 years and have never seen it like this.

 

(455)    I felt like God just had a prophetic word for you ‘There are times in my will where your scenery [that which you see] is going to change. These are transition times. When this happens it is your responsibility to recognize it and allow the scenery to change. You don’t ‘change’ it by any thing you do, you just recognize that things are changing and allow it to happen’. If you don’t transition when these seasons are upon you, then the world will provide a destiny for you [Larry Randolph].

 

(456)    Recently I have been struggling a lot with nervousness and depression. I know leaders are not supposed to say this, but I want to be honest with you, also I need your prayers! I read a story in the paper the other day on some guy who started some Christian paper in California. It works with needy people and all. The story was great. He had suffered the loss of three children thru various mishaps and was mad at God for years. One day he read a verse in Corinthians from the message bible, I don’t have it in front of me, but it’s the verse that says ‘When we go thru struggles God comes and comforts us, so when others struggle we can comfort them with the same comfort God has given to us’ It says ‘God comes along side us’ this is the name of the Holy Spirit, he is called the comforter. During my recent struggles I have felt really desperate. All the verses on Peace that I have memorized over the years are really helpful to me at this time. This is why David says in Psalms ‘thy word have I hid in my heart that I might not sin against thee’ Also Jesus says to the disciples ‘the Holy Spirit will bring to your remembrance all the things that I have told you’. Wow, I didn’t even realize as I just sat down to write, that I was going to even say this. As you look at it this is one of the ways the Holy Spirit comforts us, by bringing to our remembrance these words of Jesus on Peace ‘Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you, not as the world giveth give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid’ ‘Do the things that make for peace’ ‘he is our peace’. One of the things I am re learning is the importance of thinking and meditating on the Lord. The Christian music channel is on 24 hours a day in my home. A few nights I have just prayed all night, many times the songs are actually psalms of intercession that I simply agree with in prayer. These next few weeks I will try to share things to comfort you as God comforts me. I have had times in the past where I have battled these types of things, it helps me to be more merciful towards others when I go thru this. I realize I have been hard at times, if I have offended any of you guys [needlessly] then I ask for your forgiveness. Thanks, John. ‘Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on thee’ ‘trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not unto thy own understanding, in all thy ways acknowledge him and he shall direct thy paths’. Christianity isn’t always about climbing the next mountain, sometimes it’s learning to trust him in the valley. ‘thou shalt be far from oppression, for thou shalt not fear. And from terror, for it shall not come near thee’ ‘be not afraid of sudden fear, for the Lord shall be thy confidence and shall keep thy foot from being taken’ ‘this sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God’.

 

(457)    Some of this feeling of disorientation that I am going thru is due to the fact that I haven’t been doing my normal routine that I have been doing for the last 24 years! I have been off of work for a few weeks, and I haven’t been driving thru the towns and praying in that way [though I am still praying]. This is a sense of ‘spatial disorientation’ [I don’t even think this is a word!]. I kind of feel disorientated because of change. This sometimes happens with believers. During times of personal transition as well as corporate [reformation] there is a feeling of unease and upheaval that comes along with change, even if it is God ordained! The natural tendency of the flesh is to rebel against this. Sometimes we mistake the feeling of ‘uneasiness’ as a sign of God not wanting the change. I think it’s more that we often don’t feel comfortable in new environments. That’s why I do understand when certain individuals feel fearful and uneasy about transitioning in the area of moving on with God. I still feel a sense of ‘comfort’ and peace when I visit a Catholic church. It reminds me of my boyhood and provides a sense of ‘attachment’ to my roots. Does this mean I should become Catholic? No. But it shows how in man he identifies his experience with God thru the external environment that he was brought up in. When God ‘changes’ that environment we often measure what we will do based on comfort. If this ‘truth’ [whatever area God is dealing with] makes me uncomfortable there is a natural tendency to return to the ‘environment’ that we are familiar with. We identify it with God. I do not fault people for this, it’s just when God leads us to ‘move on’ we need to take the steps he shows us and trust him along the way, it truly can be scary.

 

(458)    The other day I was feeling so disoriented that I went to a doctor clinic to see if they could give me a temporary sedative, something that could help at this time. Years ago I had gotten a shot of something and it helped. The doctor checked me out and prescribed some medication for anxiety that she said ‘once you get on it, you can not stop taking it’. In essence ‘we will give you something to make you an addict’ gee thanks. I took it for 2 days [2 pills] and looked on line for natural sedatives. I do take around 7-8 supplements every day. Vitamins, natural oils [fish, flax seed] and the other basic good supplements that I have read on. I do believe the ‘leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations’ [bible]. I saw the 2 top natural remedies that were agreed on by most people. They were ‘St. Johns Wort’ a combination of herbs made from a ‘yellow flower’. And ‘Valerian’ another plant that is used widely in Europe. I was going to go with Valerian, I am trying to hear God on this. This last year I have had signs about the ‘yellow sunflowers’ they are the ones in my yard that turn into the ‘puffballs’ and I have had signs about them this year. As soon as I read that St. Johns Wort was made from yellow flowers, I knew that was the way to go. To show you how ‘dense’ I can be, it never dawned on me that my name is John and one of the supplements is ‘St. John’ it’s like God can hit you over the head with a sign and you don’t even see it! Now let me give some spiritual stuff. I just quoted a verse ‘the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations’. God speaks of people as trees. Your life and mine are to ‘take root’ and ‘spread out’. God wants to flow thru you as an extension of his Son in the earth. Jesus is called ‘the branch/vine’ also the old testament has a verse speaking of a person who God has called, it says ‘the man whose name is the branch, he will branch out of his place and build the temple of the Lord’. The tree itself is not ‘for the touching of the nations’ in these images. The tree will produce fruit/leaves/acorns that drop down and others partake of the ‘leaves’ and they are the direct contact points to the nations. God wants our lives to touch others, and thru these ‘leaves’ [people/disciples] he will touch/contact the nations. Our lives and ministries are not for the purpose of us individually [us meaning key leaders] to do all the ‘touching/impacting’ but we do ‘touch/impact’ a key group of people [Jesus had 12] and they in turn go and touch others, and so on. These are the ‘leaves’ of the tree. Let the Lord use you to be a consistent ‘tree’ [mainstay of wisdom] in the lives of key people, and they will carry on the purpose that God has ordained for your life.

 

(459)    ‘ISAIAH 57’  ‘the righteous perisheth and no man takes it to heart, none considers that he is taken away from the evil to come’ God has/is removing some of you from familiar territory. This ‘land’ has been a source of provision in the past, he is now moving you away from it. You seem confused as to why others can receive income/resource from this land, but you cannot. God is saying ‘I am removing you from these sources because they will not be their for ever, they will dry up. Others put their trust in them, they will fear when the source dries up’. ‘He that putteth his trust in me shall posses the land and shall inherit my holy mountain, and shall say cast up, cast up, prepare the way, take up the stumbling block out of the way of my people’ those who trust in the Lord as opposed to their own wisdom will be used to remove the things that have been causing Gods people to stumble. Don’t rejoice in the fact that you see it when others don’t. You only see these stumbling blocks because of Gods grace, a man can receive no ministry unless it was given to him as a free gift from God. ‘I dwell with him that is humble and contrite, I will revive them’ ‘I will not contend forever, nor always be wroth’ God says there are things he wants to remove and change in us. The things he has shown us should produce humility and a contrite spirit. Don’t ‘kick against the pricks’ don’t rebel against the things God has shown you to change. Don’t blame the prophets, they are just seeing/saying the words of God. ‘For the iniquity of his covetousness was I wroth and smote him. I hid [stopped correcting him for a season] and he went on forwardly in the way of his heart [this part of the Body excelled and went forward in the ways that they chose, even though the Lord had previously said no more] I have seen his ways and will heal him and restore comforts unto him and to his mourners’ Many who have become renown in the area of ‘covetousness’ will be healed. They will see how off track they have been and God will forgive and restore and continue to use them [Jim Bakker] but first there will be a humbling. NOTE: All true ministry is really not about us ‘fulfilling our dreams’ or ‘achieving our goals’ it’s about being faithful to God. Saying and doing the things he wants. You will be fulfilled by doing this, but this is a result, not the goal.

 

(460)    I have my original King James Bible that my wife bought me when we were first saved. I gave it to my friend Miguel [the friend who came to Texas with me from New Jersey] and he used it for a year or two. He eventually got a new one and returned it. He later would die of aids. Many years later as I looked thru this ‘keepsake’ I saw the notes he wrote in it. He would underline stuff and write ‘ask John about this’ and stuff like that. I felt the Lord allowed me to have a reminder of our ‘first fruits’ from Jersey. Miguel was the first Jersey friend I led to the Lord. These types of things are where the true riches are found. Don’t worry about who will run the ministry/church/501c3 corporation after you are gone. This isn’t the legacy at all. The legacy is the children of God that you will meet on the other side, this will be a great family reunion for sure. Have you sent any treasures on to the others side?

 

(461)    Felt like I just heard the Lord for Pastors/leaders. Don’t struggle for the success of your ministry/church/organization, but look for the opportunities to simply impact people. Paul rejoiced when God gave him an open door to preach the gospel to various people groups. The New Testament apostles weren’t rejoicing over the success of ‘their ministries’. Don’t spend all your time and focus on the function of the organization, simply build into the people.

 

(462)    Let me share a key with you guys. Over the years there have been times where I have gone thru drastic upheaval and difficulty. Thru out these times I also have consistently prayed a regular intercessory type prayer time for others. Just now I finished a few hour intercession time that goes thru a variety of things. During this time I will quote lots of scriptures that come to memory every time I do this. I have also noticed recently that when you go thru periods of anxiety/depression that it is very hard to focus on things. Watching TV and other things is difficult. At least in my case I find it hard to maintain a long lasting rest. But when I do the regular prayer that includes a continual routine of scripture quotes and intercession, its like the practice of disciplining the mind for over 20 years has benefits. How many people live their lives with no mental discipline? When they go thru a time of testing in the area of the mind, they do not have a ‘stronghold’ of many years of ‘prayer’ practice. This time of a few hours [sometimes more] is a focused time of thought where there is no external media giving you a message. It is also not a desperate cry for help [which is OK by the way!] but it is a consistent act of mental integrity that has been engrained in the mind of the intercessor that makes it easy/routine to have no other thoughts but God during this prayer time. If you haven’t already developed this practice years before, you will not be able to master it when the trials hit. God will still hear you when you pray, don’t get me wrong. But the actual mental discipline of a few hours of focused consistent prayer over a 20 year period provides a ‘marathon’ of mental focus that comes as routine for those who have partaken of it thru out their lives. If you don’t presently do this, then start now! Scripture says that in the end time’s men’s hearts will fail them for fear, today’s # 1 prescribed drug [if I remember right] has to do with rest and overcoming anxiety. Learn this discipline now, cause when anxious times come, it will be impossible to train your mind at that time. NOTE: scripture says the Lord turned the captivity of Job when he prayed for his friends. People don’t pray for others during times of severe trial unless they see it as a function of their responsibilities before God. Job didn’t all of a sudden pray for his friends during his trials, Job had a lifestyle of prayer for others that he saw as a responsibility before God. He prayed for others because during your most trying times you still try your best to do the basic requirements of life, the things you see as necessity. The intercessor naturally sees his time of prayer as one of these basic necessities. He doesn’t view prayer as a religious function. As he lives up to this responsibility before God he unconsciously will continue to pray for others as has been his custom, the turning of the intercessors captivity is a ‘side’ effect of his prayer. He doesn’t realize that as he begins interceding for others that God is actually using this as a tool for his own deliverance, he just realizes it afterwards. Only a true intercessor will find himself in this position. Jesus said it is more blessed to give than receive. The intercessor finds true deliverance as he gives himself away in prayer for others, God comes along side those who stand in the gap for the world. The ‘comforter’ will come when you least expect him [that is for your own benefit].

 

(463)    Let me remind you guys of something. I just had the dream of Jezebel and the friendly fire incident the other day. Within a week all hell broke loose. I just thought I would remind you.

 

(464)    I was just hearing the Lord on transition and change. When God sent Moses to deliver the people from Egypt, this was done out of an answer to their prayers. God said he heard the cry of his people who were in bondage and he raised up Moses. What was one of the bondages they were under? They were forced to build bricks for the ‘buildings of men’ [I don’t relate this to ‘church buildings’ in as much as to modern ministry mindsets that see the people as producers/suppliers to build ministries and other things. We often see Gods people as simply funders of Christian projects]. So God answers their prayers, great! This must mean things get better. O really! One of the results of Moses ministry is Pharaoh makes the children of Israel work twice as hard, and he doesn’t even give them the supplies to do it. Basically the initial result of the answered prayer is difficulty. It just seemed like things got worse. Thanks a lot Moses. Who do you think you are any way, coming to us with this great vision? We think it’s your fault. Moses was thinking ‘hey, you guys have been whining [praying] for help. God took me away from my ranch and comfortable lifestyle as a result of your prayers and now you guys are blaming me!’ You will see this scenario play out time and again with Moses and the people. I see prophetic ministry [the book of Acts calls Moses a prophet] as one of upheaval and transition. Often times we as Christians settle into comfortable places in God. We ‘exist’. We think this is Gods purpose. But we also know there is something more, some destiny in God that he wants for us. We pray for change, we ask God ‘do something’ and then he shakes things up. How do we respond, we want to kill the messenger! Moses was a type of Christ. Jesus showed the high cost of change. He introduced a tremendous transition from old law to new. The message of God accepting us freely based upon Christ’s death and resurrection is a wonderful message. The transition was so great that it instigated the death of the Son of God. Let’s be careful when God uses individuals to shake things up, it might just be an answer to our prayers!

 

(465) A few years ago I had a knock on the door. I was sleeping on the couch in the middle of the day and got up to get the door. Sure enough it was some Jehovas Witnesses or Mormons [I forget]. I usually do have good talks with them. I also have been rude at times. One time I told a salesman that whatever he was selling was against my religion, and he left. This day I answered the door and saw the surprised look on the face of the brothers. I just knew I must have looked like Moses coming down from the mount when his face was shining. Or maybe it was the strong prophetic anointing on me? Well after a few minutes they left, seemingly without a fight. As I walked back to my living room I caught a glimpse of myself in the hallway mirror. My 2 little girls had put beautiful bows in my hair as I was sleeping. Gosh darnet, I thought it was the anointing!

 

(466)    A few years back I visited my mom in Jersey. She has a good Christian friend [Catholic] that she has told about me over the years. You never know what people think ‘my sons a preacher in Texas’. People think ‘cult/Waco’ and all sorts of stuff. I finally met this nice lady [Joan] and we did have some good fellowship. She had some questions and there were even some prophetic things that happened. I answered a few questions before she asked them. She would say ‘how did you know I was going to ask that?’ I like it when people are not familiar with prophetic things and just respond in childlike faith! Well I do kid a lot. She finally is feeling comfortable with me and asks something about Oprah Winfrey. She then says ‘you do like Oprah don’t you’ and I said ‘we teach that Oprah is the anti christ’ she simply looks at me and says something like ‘o you do’. I of course told her that I was kidding. Thought it funny that she was willing to go along with my doctrine for a few seconds!

 

(467)    Many years ago one of the first friends I met was a drug addict who lived with his aunt. I met him while going to the local jails and preaching to the inmates. He became a good friend of mine and was one of the original guys I worked with. He is dead now, he died while serving the Lord, but reaped many years of physical abuse of his body. He died of liver problems, something addicts deal with. This is not the friend I told you about earlier who also was an addict and became a preacher and later died as well, his name was Elias, this brother’s name was Emmett. He had a son [Emmett Jr.] who is still a good friend of mine till this day. The aunt who raised these boys was a wonderful woman. She was an older Catholic lady in her 70’s and I got to know her as I would pick up her nephews for our home meetings we used to hold. She became a very faithful attendee to our little church. She would tell me stuff like ‘brother John, my Catholic friends ask me “why do you go to brother Johns little church, you are Catholic” and she would say “ I learn more from brother John than from the Mass” now I love the Catholic people and am definitely not what you would call ‘anti Catholic’. I found it interesting that this older woman, who I called ‘Aunt Bee’ was a schoolteacher for many years. She taught famous people from our state as they were growing up. She had Senator Carlos Truan and Representative Irma Rangel as her former students, key influential people who came from a small town in Texas [Kingsville]. It’s funny how the Lord would allow a teacher of leaders to learn from a little insignificant preacher who was doing his best to reach out to addicts. God works in strange ways. He will often open doors of influence to you when you are not looking for them. I have found the friendships made along the journey are the things that really matter. The connections with people as you are ‘doing ministry’ become the thing of value down the road. The ‘act/function’ of ministry is often the side detail, while the valuable things are the friends who are on this road with us. I had someone recently tell me that they heard some of my old cassette tapes that I made years ago [during this time of doing home meetings]. I have had others tell me this before. These old tapes are not at the ‘level’ of thought and understanding that we currently teach at. I actually have told people ‘o, don’t listen to those old tapes, they were at an immature stage of teaching’. But then I stopped saying this because I realized that God speaks to people at the level of where they are at at the time. I don’t want to sound condescending, but God uses us, he is not primarily concerned about whether we look good, or are at our best. He simply desires functional fruit. If a simple tape from days gone by is what he chooses, than that’s fine with me. They don’t have to hear my ‘best’ stuff, that’s not what’s important. Well I find it interesting to realize that God will allow you to be a teacher of ‘teachers’ if you will humble yourself and become a servant of men.

 

(468)    ISAIAH 58 ‘Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and show my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins’ When prophets go thru difficulty, the first thing they question is ‘have I been too hard on your people?’ God is going to deal with this in this chapter. He starts by first of all telling Isaiah ‘I have called you to reveal to my people their sins, it is my calling for you to show them the areas they don’t fully see yet. Their ‘sins’ of ignorance. They often ask for me. I am going to show them things about church and the way they worship me that are limited. Showing them ‘their sins’ is not a function of judgment, it is a necessary ‘uprooting’ that they need in order for their prayers to be answered.’ God is basically telling Isaiah ‘when things are hard and difficult, don’t question my basic revelatory ministry thru you. You don’t have the right to stop speaking what I am saying!’ ‘Yet they seek me daily, and delight to know my ways, they ask of me the ordinances of justice and take delight in approaching me’ we as believers take the act of seeking and asking and learning, and we turn it into ‘doing what God wants’. In essence we have developed a mindset that says ‘I go to church, I learn all the bible tricks on how to have a happy and prosperous life. If I am ever confronted with teaching that doesn’t appeal to me, or requires sacrifice, I have already learned to ignore it, you cant fly with eagles if you think like a turkey’ we basically have bypassed the instructions on self sacrifice and giving our lives away for the Kingdom. We simply think the ‘acts’ of going and learning from bible truths, even if it is all based on self, that this in itself is pleasing to God. God says why do my people by pass all my instructions and then delight that they are going to approach me? It’s because our ‘approaching God’ in the present mindset of the western church is simply for self-fulfillment. We approach him like a cosmic Santa Clause and this delights us. God says I want to show you things that I require from you and I want you to do them. Don’t simply think that you are pleasing me by ‘approaching me’ I want the action/obedience to be the fruit of your ‘approaching/church going’. [NOTE: It is not totally wrong to seek God for self help/improvement. It’s just many of us in today’s church have made this the priority. When people watch the ‘get rich and famous’ infomercials on the weekends, there is a feeling of ‘hope and self fulfillment’ that simply comes from surrounding yourself in an environment of ‘maybe that can be me someday’. Its OK to hope, but scripture does teach us [1st Timothy 6] to ‘not desire to become rich’ as well as Jesus many other warnings in the gospels. So I just want to warn you to not fall into the trap of making ‘church/approaching God’ a format for self help. It might ‘feel good’ to see Christianity thru this materialistic lens, but in the end it can be dangerous] ‘Is not this the fast that I have chosen? To loose the bands of wickedness, to undo heavy burdens and to let the oppressed go free, that you break every yoke. Is it not to feed your food to the hungry, that you bring the poor to YOUR house. You should clothe the naked, and help your own natural family. If you do these things you will get healed, your goodness will shine like the morning sun. You will call to me and I will hear. Take away from you the bondages, the blaming of others and speaking vanity. Draw out your soul to the hungry, feed them and satisfy them [even with your ministry/teaching] and your light shall rise in obscurity and your darkness will be like day’ you find all the elements of Jesus earthly ministry contained here. The Pharisees lived for religious ritual. They fasted and afflicted themselves [and others] Jesus reached out in love and poured his soul out for the needy, Isaiah is prophesying the heart of Jesus here. God accepts a lifestyle of giving your life away for others. Jesus would teach that this type of love is the greatest commandment. Here we see the heart of ministry. I want to challenge everyone [especially leaders] to re examine your ‘ministry’ does it contain these most fundamental elements? Do we carry out ministry in a way that simply tells the world ‘hey, look at us, we are a highly motivated business and we can compete with any other organization in our area’. Do we view ministry this way? Jesus values the souls of those who lay their lives down for others, don’t fall into the trap of establishing religious functions for the purpose of impressing men. This is what 1st century religion digressed to, even though one of their own prophets [Isaiah] warned against it centuries before! ‘thou shalt be like a spring of water who’s waters fail not. They that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places and make the desolate cities to be inhabited [I added this last part from another place, I am so used to saying it like this] Thou shalt be called the repairer of the breach, the restorer of paths to dwell in’ God is saying when you give yourself away for others, when you obey him. When you show compassion. When you do not view ‘ministry’ as trying to attain some degree of respect in the ‘corporate world’ when you approach it like Jesus, then the Lord will allow your influence to go far. The people you impact will be used to spread the Kingdom to various cities. The people will be ‘faithful to the things you spoke’ because they are enjoined to you like a ‘band of brothers’. There memories of you will truly be that of a friend who gave himself away for them. These also will ‘repair breaches, restore paths’ there are so many true Christian values and principles that Jesus taught were the foundations of his Kingdom, things like self sacrifice and laying down your life for others. God will use your ‘seed/offspring’ to restore these ‘lost’ teachings back into the Church. We are so consumed with ‘self help’ that we have lost the foundational principles of the Cross. ‘ If you turn away your foot from the Sabbath, from doing what you want on my holy day’. In context God is saying ‘if you rest in me, and stop doing your own works in my day of grace, then I will move mightily on your behalf’. If you remember I already showed you on this blog how the Sabbath is a type of entering into the covenant of Grace. When you cease from your own legalistic attempts to do Gods work, then God will come in and do them thru you! ‘not doing thine own ways, nor speaking thine on words’ much of modern ministry [especially Pastoral] is under the burden to ‘come up with something to speak on for an hour on Sunday’ many of these brothers are well meaning, but because we have structured the church in today’s world around the ‘Sunday meeting’ it has put a burden on Pastors to come up with something to say every Sunday at a certain time. The New Testament churches didn’t function like this. Therefore we have a lot of ‘speaking our own words’ we don’t realize that we are doing this, but in essence we are. I would simply encourage all Christian teachers/speakers to speak only what you hear God saying. If God has a certain vision or direction that he has planted in your heart, then build that into the people. Don’t go thru 20 verses all over the bible and then try to make them fit some theme. The bible has plenty of ‘themes’ already. Focus on whole portions of scripture and teach them as God directs. A lot of the unbalanced teaching in the church today is a result of teachers jumping all over the bible in a 30 minute time span and then making the bible say something that it never meant! ‘If you do all this, then I will cause you to ride upon the high places of the earth’ lets conclude this chapter with an overview. If you do all the things in this chapter: give yourself away for people. Have true religion as described in the book of James. Don’t point the finger in accusation at people, when reproving, which is a function of the prophetic, do it in love. When you speak and do what God is saying, instead of coming up with your own ‘peculiar brand’ of seeing everything, then God will exalt you to a high place. In essence this is the ministry of Jesus, who lowered himself more than any man, who did all the things you read about in this chapter and then God gave him a name that is above all others. Do the will of God my friends and he will exalt you in due season.

 

(469)    Just had a dream. I was in a classroom and the teacher had to punish me. The punishment was I had to leave the class and go fishing. I was fishing off the side of a wall and it was a little scary. I felt like the Lord was saying some of us have remained ‘too long’ in the classroom environment. We have made a ‘career’ out of waiting and learning. God says he is more than pleased with the amount of preparation time you have put in, it’s been more than most. Your inability to ‘break’ from this environment of waiting is no longer you being faithful to what God is saying, but it is now more of an insecurity and fear. You have learned to ‘feel comfortable’ in this ‘place’ and God is saying ‘get the seed out of the barn/ cast your bread upon the waters now so you will have some of it come back to you at a future time’ There is a time and season for every purpose. Even a time to cast things away. Be faithful to this time of transition, I will close up old storehouses and open up new ones, I am God! NOTE : The message bible says ‘change the way you think and act because my Kingdom is here now’ The Lord is saying you are so intricately connected to my purpose that you are already being used in a great way to affect my church. This is happening by virtue of the fact that you are a part of my Body. I am changing [giving Grace for this] the way you think and act for your own protection, your own survival. You cannot exist as a functioning part of my Body with old thought patterns and ways. This ‘uneasy’ time of change is for your benefit. You have been co dependant for so long on certain things that your Body and mind are ‘rebelling’ against my divine act of breaking these things off of you ‘your soul is escaped like a bird out of the snare of the fowler, the snare is broken and you are escaped’! PRAISE GOD FOR THIS!

 

(470)    I just went into the kitchen to get a cup of coffee [decaf now!] and caught an interview with a well known Christian leader. He was asked ‘what is your favorite city in all the world’ [they were in Jerusalem] and he said ‘of course Jerusalem, isn’t that the favorite city of all Christians?’ Let me show you how I would have answered; ‘my favorite city is what Paul described in Galatians as the ‘New Jerusalem’ John also calls her ‘the City that comes down from God out of heaven’ [Revelation] he then says this city is ‘the Bride, the lambs wife’. John also records in the gospel he wrote, chapter 3 ‘He that is born from above’. All this imagery speaks of the Body of Christ being Gods favorite city. This includes all nationalities who believe. Jews, Palestinians, Arabs [I didn’t say Muslims] and every other ethnic group on the face of the earth. For a Christian leader to pick any human city [govt.] and to make that the ‘all time favorite city’ is being ‘unequal’. Does natural Jerusalem ever kill Christians? All natural govts have executed people falsely, whether they meant it or not. Does natural Jerusalem ever persecute innocent people? All human govts, no matter how well intended have done this. Than brother, who is righteous in your eyes? The city that comes down from God out of heaven, she is the FAVORITE city, the apple of Gods eye.

 

(471)    I just woke up from a dream a few minutes ago. There was a black man who was experiencing disillusionment from religion and the various streams and divisions in the church. He reminded me of Forrest Whittaker [the actor, I just saw him in the ‘last King of Scotland’ this is a great movie!] This brother was going from town to town in search of answers. He winds up riding along this deserted country road to a little church on the ‘prairie’. He walks in and I see him only sitting in the back row of this empty church. I can hear clearly the voice of the preacher but I do not see him. I only see the black brother. I recognize the preacher’s voice, I haven’t heard him in years, but I am very familiar with the voice. It is Kenneth Hagin. He is preaching on the legitimacy of the gifts of the Spirit, an area where I have credited brother Hagin for doing good. This black brother goes from sitting in the pew and getting up and kneeling and praying. It seems he is still disillusioned and is going thru difficulty. I am not sure what this dream means. Some of it deals with the church in general. Many believers [and many of our blog readers] have questioned things that have been difficult. Areas that you wish you never ‘ran’ into. Some have gone back and looked at the ‘fathers of their faith’ and have had to come to hard decisions. You have gone between sitting and listening and receiving the good things from your past, but you have also had to ‘get out of the pew’ [a place of passive receiving] and PRAY! God will honor your ‘royal courage’ in this and bless you. I also have had some of the most difficult weeks in my life recently. I felt like the Lord was saying to me ‘blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy’. This one area of credit that I have given to brother Hagin has allowed God to be merciful to me. Too often in prophetic correction it is easy to denigrate the people you are reproving. It is too common to attack them personally and be mean. I feel the lord wants us to be merciful as we come out of past errors. God will be merciful to you if you plant ‘seeds of mercy’ along the way.

 

(472)    A few weeks back my wife told me about a dream she had. She was in our local Christian bookstore and was looking at the list of the top ten Christian books. Our materials were on the list. There was a preacher their [who is a friend of mine] and was saying ‘yea, but it doesn’t mean anything, you have to sell them’. A sort of demeaning of our materials because they are free of charge. I have dreamed myself on a number of occasions that we were having influence in this mans life. I feel like there are times when leadership feels insecure or threatened in some way. This exists among good men in the Kingdom. We unconsciously denigrate others [not legitimate reproof] out of this environment of competition. We measure how well we are doing by how well others are doing ‘gee, if they like Johns books, or Johns blog, don’t forget about our church, we have a blog too’ which comes from a sense of insecurity. I do believe the Lord has given us influence amongst key men ‘gentiles shall come to your light, and Kings to the brightness of your rising’. I pray for both the ‘gentiles’ and the ‘Kings’. NOTE: scripture says when a woman is giving birth, the pain is so severe that she wants to ‘undo’ the process, but after the son is born, her joy causes her to forget the pain. There are times where I have felt this way. I would be more than willing to abort the process to just get the pain to go away. I have learned that this doesn’t work! God wants to bring you to a place where he can entrust you to be faithful to what he is doing thru you. Many prophetic people feel insecure in receiving reproof in the areas where they might have prophesied wrong. We need humility in the prophetic. We must continue to speak what God is saying, in love, even if our ‘speaking it’ is the actual source of ‘the birth pains’. God is going to get that baby out of you one way or another, but he doesn’t do ‘C-sections!’

 

(473)    Yesterday I watched a few Catholic services as well as a few Protestant guys. The Lord did speak to me thru the Catholic Church more so than the others. I share this to let you know I am not too proud to receive from any Christian church. Now the other day Pope Benedict ‘clarified’ some things from Vatican 2 [the council from 1962-65]. In this council the Catholic church made a big step towards Christian unity. It for the first time acknowledged other Protestants as ‘separated brethren’ in this statement the church was not teaching that all Protestant churches are viable ‘churches’ it was simply saying they recognized these Christians in these churches as ‘separated Christians’. That is separated from ‘the one true church’. Now Benedict simply clarified this, and many are saying he is going back from the changes that were made in Vatican 2. So I just thought I would ‘clarify’ this as well. Why do Catholics, as well as other Protestants, do this? In the world of theology it is common to try and trace the natural roots of your communion to the original church. Many do this. To be as honest as I can, if this is the rule for ‘orthodoxy’ then I think the Catholics would win this argument. Why? Because the church in her early stages [1st few centuries] did digress into a ‘Catholic form’ early on. This is not to say that all believers took on this form. Nor is it to say that there wasn’t a ‘remnant’ of faithful believers who stood closer to the original intent of the church. This is saying that much of the historical evidence points to the church as being ‘Catholic’ in its expression early on. This is why you find thru out history famous brothers ‘returning back home’ to the Catholic church. I see all these communions as Christian though I certainly find disagreements in certain areas. Paul tells us in the New Testament to ‘no know man after the flesh’ I see the whole exercise of tracing your churches ‘roots’ back to the original Apostles [Apostolic succession] as fruitless. Scripture tells us that even the early Apostles made drastic mistakes that would be rebuked by Jesus saying to Peter ‘get thee behind me satan’ or later Paul rebuking Peter to his face and calling him a hypocrite. So if the ‘rock’ could have made such historic mistakes, you might simply be tracing your roots back to ‘the mistakes’ which I believe some of us have done. I see the true church as every one who names the name of Christ [Catholic, Protestant, etc.] but I do put the limit on having to ‘name his name’ that is I am not so ‘ecumenical’ that I believe all religions lead to God, this is not true! You must embrace the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ as the only way to the Father to get in. Well if you are trying to trace your roots, go ahead and trace them to the man whose name is the branch. John calls him the Vine in his gospel. If your ‘roots’ go back to him you will ‘abide for ever’.

 

(474)    Just had a dream. I was in a study hall area of some college, there was a girl there who was the daughter of a friend of mine. She had a question about the meaning of a word. She asked me what the word meant. I told her, but I also kidded her a little ‘what level of college are you at’? She said she was in her first year. There was another student nearby who kind of smirked at me giving an answer to someone, being I myself have never been to college. This other student said ‘he’s wrong, that’s not the answer’. So I said ‘go look it up for yourself, google it’. She then found that my definition was fully right, while what she thought the definition was, was only a very limited view. The complete definition had all that I had said, while her understanding was only one sentence out of around 5 or 6 possible meanings. She finally had to admit that I was right, and she did not want to admit it. Over the years I actually have had this happen to me. Someone would ask me ‘how do you spell this’ or ‘what does this word mean’ and I actually remember giving a definition or spelling and the person would look it up on line and not say anything. I then would ask ‘well, what did you find’? And they would reluctantly admit I was right. I feel like the Lord is saying many of you have held onto certain limited truths. You had a small area of ‘revelation’ but were not fully seeing the whole picture. Some of you have said ‘who does this guy think he is, he has never even been to bible school/college’. You then looked the stuff up on your own and have found us to be ‘more fully correct’ in our understanding of the ‘teaching’ in question. Even after your own studying has brought this out, you were still reluctant to receive it. You must overcome this pride of ‘being corrected’ and move on to the next level. All correction and rebuking is for the purpose of restoration and continued usefulness. Don’t allow the enemies tactic of pride to stop you from receiving your full inheritance. God has great things for you, who cares whom the Lord uses to ‘instruct us in a more perfect way’ just overcome the personas of men [even me!] and move ahead in Gods purpose.

 

(475)    One of the health problems that I have had for around a month now is extreme dizziness/vertigo. If you read the first few entries of this blog you will see that I have used the imagery of Apostles launching out into ‘new’ territories as the commander of a fleet of ships launching out to colonize new nations. When a ship launches on a long journey like this, one of the initial reactions is feeling ‘sea sick’ or a type of ‘motion sickness’. A period where the body needs to adjust from loosing its ‘footing’ on dry ground [or in dock] and re adjusting to a new type of ‘footing’. Where you learn to walk ‘on the water’ if you will. As God transitions some of you from a place of ‘secure footing’ to a more adventurous place of ‘walking on the water’ I want to encourage you to endure thru the voyage. Many turn back at ‘midstream’ out of fear and ‘cultural identity’ they feel ‘homesick’ and want to return to familiar territory. These types of people are just waiting for the next port to get off. They will never see the ‘new land’. Those who endure to the end [of the journey] will not only ‘save their own lives’ but they will be used to colonize new lands. You will truly be a ‘father of many nations’. NOTE:  don’t despise those who left out of fear. The children of Israel treated those who didn’t fully fight the same way as those who went out to war. The ‘punishment’ for those who ‘get off early’ will be there own regret at not having fully finished the course. Those who fully finish will receive a full reward. Leave the ‘judging’ up to God! NOTE; For those of you who have read all my recent entries on my health, go back and read the last note on entry # 405, I think you will find it interesting.

 

(476)    I just got a letter back from one of my friends in jail. He is the son of one of the original ‘addicts/ex-cons’ that were a part of the ministry in the early days. I sent him a package of books and stuff and he was real grateful to have heard from me. He gave the books to some fellow inmates to read [which is why I send the stuff!] and he was telling me how one of the guys was really ‘impressed’. This sounds conceited, but when I hear this I realize that someone who has been a Christian for a while and has had questions about stuff has found our little books to have revealed some real answers. I am going to send him another packet soon. He also told me one of the guys knows me. I do not remember the brother by name, but I have had so many buddies over the years that have become friends that it doesn’t surprise me. I know some people think ‘well, what are they doing in jail?’ Not all go back, but the reality is some do. I also reconnected this week with a homeless friend who I haven’t seen in a few years. I saw him walking down the road and stopped to say hi. He was real happy to get together. I invited him to go catch a lunch. He insisted he would pay, he really did try to, but I wouldn’t let him. It was only around 10 bucks, I didn’t eat. Just had a tea, but I wanted to buy. He did tell me I have taken him out to eat hundreds of times over the years and it was his turn. I think I probably have taken him to eat around a hundred times over the years. This is not ‘speaking evangelistically’ if you will! Being I have felt real sick these last few months I was glad to have had some good ministry time. I believe God wants us healed so we can finish the race. We often make ‘well being’ the goal. The goal is the completion of his will, well being [in all areas-health, finances, etc.] are simply tools for the purpose of doing Gods will. The American church is still at the stage of ‘well being for the sake of well being’ we will need to get past this before we can see true revival in our time.

 

(477)    I am walking in my study praying. I sense the Lord telling me to contact 2 friends of mine and give them the blog site. These are friends I have known for 20 years or more. One is in New Jersey and the other in Michigan. They already are familiar with the ministry and at least one has read my books. As I am praying I am asking the Lord ‘is this of you, is there any connection to these 2 names and why they are coming to mind’? I am sort of asking ‘what’s the connection Lord’ to show you how dense I am, as I pray there names [both first and last] it finally dawns on me that their last names are almost identical. It’s like you can be so dense at times you don’t ‘see’ the most obvious things. Note: These are not common last names either!

 

(478)    The other day I read a testimony from Tony Snow [the white house press secretary] he has been battling recurring cancer and when he returned back to work as press secretary a few months back, people were surprised. Not that he was healed [he’s not] but that he decided to live out his days doing what he felt called to do. The testimony was in Christianity today and it gave God glory. Ever since I heard of him getting cancer [a few months back] I actually have been praying for him by name. Yesterday I saw a picture of Tammy Faye Messner [former Bakker] in the paper, she looked like she was on her deathbed. It said she was 65 pounds and was recently on Larry King. Tammy has always maintained a Christian confession ever since she was well known for PTL and I have written her ex husband over the years [Jim Bakker] and he has sent me hand written thank you notes for the little books I have sent him. I just prayed for Tammy a lot yesterday. I even told my wife how bad Tammy looked and asked her to pray for her. My wife told me later that evening [I fell asleep around 8!] that Tammy passed away. I was glad I spent the day praying for her. I don’t want to make light of it ‘hey don’t pray for me too!’ type thing. I sort of had the feeling that it was too late for her healing. Not that God couldn’t do it, but the prayers were more in line with Gods grace being with her yesterday. It was!

 

(479)    Just had a dream [15 minutes ago] and part of it had my old area from North Bergen in it. Me and a few friends [from the present time] were walking past an old friend’s house. We stopped to look at the beautiful stained glass windows in the house. I told my friends ‘this is my old friends house [Billy Pokluda] he has a sad story. Both of his parents passed away when he was young. His dad used to make these stained glass windows [which was true!]’ I have had 4 dreams about old Jersey friends these past few weeks. In another dream I was with some old friends and we were having a home prayer meeting [which I am hoping to start some soon!] and I was praying ‘Father pour out your Spirit on all flesh’. I felt these dreams are speaking to God really working with some of our ‘blog community’ from Jersey. Any of you guys reading this, e mail me or write some comments in the tape catalog section of this blog. I would like all of our ‘blog community’ to interact this way. Some of you can e mail me for the address of my friends in jail, you can write them! Guys in jail need this, and it would help me out too!

 

(480)    I watched a prophetic conference the other day. I liked it. The brother is a well known ‘Prophet’ in prophetic circles. He did make a statement that I disagree with. He said ‘put behind you all doctrine, theology and creeds and just come to me’. He said this more than once. I do understand that there are times where God says ‘I am God, don’t look to yourselves for help’ I see that there is merit at times in ‘putting all you have learned behind you’ but the overall idea of disregarding theology, doctrine and creeds as ‘old stuff’ is not really biblical. Paul did say ‘hold to the traditions that I have taught you’ it is a funny thing that Paul’s ‘tradition’ in this passage [go and look it up, I forget where it is right now- either 1st or 2nd Thessalonians] is the tradition of ‘getting a job’. He actually is teaching if someone is not working, then he is a troublemaker! The point is ‘all tradition’ is not wrong. Its only when the ‘traditions of men’ usurp the Word of God. This is what you see Jesus rebuking in the Gospels. He says ‘by your traditions you have made void the Word of God’. So anyway I just wanted to clarify that true Christianity doesn’t mean you leave your brain behind you. It does mean that faith in God, even when you don’t understand it, takes priority. The ‘tree of the knowledge of good and evil’ was forbidden to Adam in the garden. This didn’t mean Adam had no wisdom or knowledge,   to the contrary he was extremely intelligent. He named all living creatures off the ‘top of his head’. But not eating of the tree meant Adam was not to live his life based on his own moral criteria. His own ability to ‘think things out’. God would be his provider and sustainer. He had full access to the ‘tree of life’. The day Adam made the ‘knowledge of good and evil’ his standard, in that day he died! NOTE: Now look at something prophetic that is going to happen. I just remembered at the end of the above meeting, the Prophet shared a story about Elijah and the woman who was barren. I heard him share this a few times thru the meetings I have caught on God TV this month. The story emphasized ‘making room for the prophet’ at the end of these meetings. This GOOD, WELL MEANING brother is sharing this and saying how the people need to give money into the ‘prophetic’ in order to receive a blessing. This brother is Prophetic, no doubt. He is not a ‘crook’ or ‘fake’, I actually like him. The New Testament leaves NO ROOM for the receiving of money [whether offering/tithe/whatever] directly after the prophetic word. For some reason the early church abhorred doing this. The teaching from Christ about ‘freely you have received, freely give’ is really dealing with the ministry gifts deposited in the people. The earliest writings of the Apostles [early church] that we have today, apart from the bible are called the ‘Didache’ [the teaching of the Apostles]. Though this book is not scripture, it gives us  insight into the way the believers dealt with certain things. In the Didache it says ‘if a prophet stays around for more than a few days and is charging money, he is a false prophet’. Now I personally am not that hard. The point is today’s environment of ‘professional minister’ especially as it relates to the prophetic, is not seen in scripture. Though the New Testament leaves room for the financial support of laboring elders [Leaders] it does not permit the direct asking for money right after prophesying. The instance of the guy in Acts, Simon, who thought he could ‘purchase the gift of God’ with money is strongly rebuked by Peter. This guys name later came to represent the abuse of money and Gods gifts and not rightfully dividing the two. The definition of this is called ‘Simony’. The whole point is the above Prophet is a truly gifted brother, he does not see that the direct asking for an offering, and appealing to people to ‘give into the prophets ministry’ is really not scriptural. Though you can use the story of Elijah and others who did get material needs met thru people, the overall teaching that has Prophets actually prophesying and then seeing this as ‘well, I used the gift to build the church, therefore I am worthy of my reward’ and then correlating giving directly into the ministry with ‘giving to God’ is something the first century church would not permit. I am not saying this brother is not a Prophet, or that he is not being used of God. I am saying the Prophets today need to re think what it means to be in ‘Prophetic ministry’ and to bring their gifts more in line with scripture. That is if you ‘didn’t leave doctrine and creeds and theology’ at the door when you came in! NOTE: I have been following the restoration process of Paul Cain. Paul was the Prophet I told you about earlier on this blog. Paul is an older man who is sick and also takes care of some family members who are sick. In following Paul’s restoration I saw how the Christians who are helping him thru this were trying to explain why they feel Paul should start ministering again. Even though others feel he should stay low for a while. One of the reasons was for salary. The team of Christians working with Paul explained that Paul’s only [main] source of income was his prophesying. Therefore he realistically needed to start ministering again. I use this as an example only. I love and pray for Paul Cain. The point is we ‘see’ our gifts as our source of income. This is no where to be found in the New Testament. Again, the actual teaching from JESUS CHRIST was ‘freely you have received, freely give’. The early Christians took this seriously. The teaching from Paul on ‘laborers being worthy of their hire’ was simply showing us that it is all right to support, voluntarily, those who are giving themselves to the word and prayer. There is a big difference between the biblical support of elders [ministers] and seeing our gifts as a means of financial gain. Peter wrote in his letter for elders to not go into ministry for ‘filthy lucre’s sake’. So the idea of a prophetic gift bringing in money, right after the gift was used, is not good. The present church is so inundated with the prosperity gospel that she really doesn’t see or understand this principle yet. When we give, Jesus did say men would give back to us. But these verses must fit in with all the other ones you just saw me quote. Prophets should not ask for money after they prophesy, the New Testament has NO examples of this ever happening. And there is proof that the early church saw it as wrong. It is too common for the modern professional minister to apply ‘sowing into good soil/ giving to God’ to their specific ministry. Over 90 % of New Testament teaching on giving is actually giving to the poor. Meeting the real needs of people. In today’s environment, whether Christian TV or ‘pulpit ministry’ we constantly equate the believer’s faithfulness with giving to US. It is highly irresponsible for so many professional ministries/ministers to continue to do this. We need to redirect our appeal to the church at large and instruct them to give/sow into the needs of the world around us. It is a blatant misuse of scripture for the average believer to hear over and over again that ‘giving to God’ means giving to a ministry or minister. I have tried my best to explain this in the past [the store house being the actual people of God as opposed to the 501c3 church building] but I felt like we needed to be reminded of this.

 

(481)    Let me talk a little on ‘revival’ and ‘revivalism’. In the above meeting there was a real desire to ‘encourage’ the people to get aggressive. A sort of ‘up beat’ tempo that was trying to stir the people up. There is nothing really wrong about getting ‘hyped’ for the big game. There just needs to be an understanding that the locker room hype is only for a short time. The majority of the game is played and won by the consistent diligence of the players. Revivalism describes the rise in the 18th/19th century of strong ‘movement’ ‘revival’ type ministers. This country experienced great revivals during this time. Jonathan Edwards as well as Charles Finney and George Whitefield are well known ‘fire starters’ of these great awakenings. Today you have ‘old time’ preachers who still look for the ‘revival’ as the goal. Then on the others side you have the more refined preachers/theologians [who also can be seen as ‘old school’] who tend to lean more towards the classic strain of Christianity as seen in the creeds of the church. This is why when the ‘more refined’ brothers hear statements like ‘leave behind your doctrine and creeds’ they cringe at that. The strong revivalists are focusing on a repeat [or greater] of the great awakenings. The orthodox brothers keep plodding along at a slower pace, but do seem to have some truth about the turtle finally passing up the rabbit. The strong ‘hype’ type Christianity can really burn you out. Christians cant live on the hype plane of meeting to meeting and getting this adrenaline rush all the time. God does have a few occasional ‘mountain top’ experiences for you. There are set times of drastic change and mountain moving faith. But if you find yourself needing to live daily on a miracle, then something is wrong. What would you think if your kids depended on you like that. ‘Daddy, Daddy, oh please feed me today. I don’t know if I can live another day without you feeding me’ You would say ‘what’s wrong Johnny, you know I have fed you ever since you were a baby. You are now 55 years old, I was hoping you were going to get past this!’ [sorry, I couldn’t help it]. So in reality it is good to expect God to move miraculously on our behalf, and he does! But eventually we need to see that ‘revival’ is not a state of being where Christians live in this ‘high’ atmosphere continually. Pentecost was a good thing, a great thing! But the church eventually settled down and continued STEADFASTLY in the Apostles doctrine. They didn’t ‘put doctrine behind them’ after revival, they allowed the revival to charge them up for the next level of Christian growth.

 

(482) Last week I watched one of the most famous prosperity preachers do a conference on the west coast. I do not watch to be critical or look for faults. I feel sometimes the lord wants me to watch in order to learn whether or not there are true changes being made. As I watched I kind of felt a little sorry for the brother [for real!] it seemed as if there ministry has taken a toll over these last few years. Many on the west coast have become familiar with the extreme errors of this teaching, and it did look like it was taking a toll. I don’t rejoice over this. I enjoyed the praise and worship part of the meetings. I really felt the presence of God. I also was glad to hear the grandson [?] of the main preacher of this movement. He really preached well and had a greater passion for truth than the leaders of the movement. I watched just long enough to see what the founder of this group [from the Forth Worth area] was going to preach on. There have been times where I have seen brothers truly repent of the more extreme teachings from this camp. Sad to say the brother preached from Corinthians and took a small portion of Paul’s teaching on ‘whoever sows will reap’ and sure enough the whole focus was on getting money. Despite the fact that Paul will later teach Timothy [1st Timothy 6] that in the last days teachers will arise and teach that ‘gain is godliness’ from such turn away. It’s like the most obvious warnings from scripture are consistently overlooked, while we spend entire conferences teaching the side verses of scripture without truly getting to the heart of the matter. I do pray that the next generation coming up will return back to the pure exposition of the Word of God. NOTE: People don’t seem to understand the difficulty of turning from a way you have been taught your whole life and repenting back to the truth. Even when people are faced with indisputable fact, they still will not repent. This is something in man. The root of it is pride. We are all susceptible to this. When Jesus confronted the 1st century religious mind, he did it with absolute undeniable truth. No one could say he was wrong or had a fault. In today’s prophetic environment, you can always find fault with the Prophet. This tends to be the reason why the religious mind today is less open for correction. I have found it utterly amazing that intelligent leaders still dispute the fact that Jesus lived a simple itinerant lifestyle. Some will absolutely teach that Jesus actually was one of the richest men of his day. That he owned an expensive house and bought the most expensive stuff of the day. They will teach that his treasury was so wealthy that he and the disciples were the highest paid ministers of the day. Despite the absolute plain historical, biblical truth to the contrary. The deceitfulness in mans heart is a very hard obstacle to overcome. I do not take it personal when people don’t repent. Paul did instruct us to leave them alone after the 3rd warning of heresy. I still will warn the new believers to avoid it, though I have given up on trying to correct those who have seen the plain error of their doctrine and refuse to repent.

 

(483)    There are a lot of teachings I have done thru the years over radio. You can get an overview of them by reading the tape catalog on this site, but you don’t really get all the teaching unless you listen to all the programs. This would take years! So let me share a little old stuff that I think is relevant. A few years back I was working on my classic mustang in the garage. A couple of Jehovah’s witnesses stopped by. I was dirty and under the car, but I got out from under the car and had one of my good conversations with them. I tell them right off that I do embrace the new Kingdom on earth that God will establish in the future [all Christians do believe this whether they know it or not!] and then I shared how all who know Jesus by faith will have an inheritance in this new Kingdom. Partaking of it is a gift thru Christ, it is not only given to those who join some group. During this particular discussion the lady [they were a couple] mentioned something about the bible, to which I agreed, but I also told her that the 1st century church had no bible [like we do today, they did have the Old Testament and the early epistles were being written] and yet they were a strong church because they were established on the actual person of Christ. Jesus was building his church and this was a real living relationship that he had with his people. To my surprise the husband totally agreed with me. It was like one of those moments where someone has believed something for a while and someone else comes along and confirms it. It was funny, because both me and the husband were agreeing while the wife was ‘on the outside’. The point is we often confuse what the book of Acts describes as ‘they preached the word’. When Acts uses this terminology, the ‘word’ is expressly speaking of the message of God to man thru Christ. The ‘word of reconciliation’ if you will. That Jesus [the word] has now become the fulfillment of all the promises that were made thru the Prophets to Israel. This central message of Jesus gospel is ‘the word’. Now I do believe in scripture and the inspiration of it, but I want you to see that the actual reality of Jesus rising from the dead was the power behind the New Testament church. It wasn’t all the wonderful bible stories that we have today. You didn’t find them preaching on Jonah accept how it would relate to Christ [Jesus says ‘as Jonah was in the belly of the whale, so shall the son of man be in the heart of the earth’] so all scripture, especially the Old Testament, was now presented in a way that pointed to Jesus as the way to God. We often think ‘preaching the word’ is simply going to all these great bible stories or teaching some great bible principle. While these stories and principles are good for learning [Paul taught that all scripture is profitable] they are not the foundation of the church. The church [Spiritual community] is actually built upon the reality of the person of Christ. Jesus was actively administrating the growth of the New Testament church thru his Spirit. He said in the gospel of John that he was leaving them for a little while and then HE would come back. In this text he was speaking of the Holy Spirit. So the message [which by the way the gospel can also be called ‘the message’] was the actual person of Christ. Once the reality of the simple gospel began to spread in the 1st century, there was no stopping this simple truth. They did not have the availability of bibles like we do today. It was not until many centuries later that all Christians would have there own copies of the bible. Yet these ‘bible less’ churches were unstoppable! Lets ‘preach the word’ again like they did in the old days and we will see the same results! NOTE: In all these conversations I have with the Jehovah’s and Mormons I do what Paul did ‘I become all things to all people that I might save some’. I do not compromise to the points of heresy that these groups do embrace, but after a few minutes of talking with them as friends, and them seeing me quote both scripture and the histories of their movements, they begin to see me as one of them. I actually have had some tell me ‘wow, you know all the stuff we know’. One innocent ‘elder’ from the Mormons made the mistake of telling his ‘overseers’ this and he never came back! The point is I truly relate to them as real people who are on a quest for God. If they weren’t really seeking God do you think they would be going door to door for what they believe is Gods truth? Paul preached a sermon in Acts [I think Mars hill?] and the people were ‘superstitious’ which means ‘religious’ in this context. They believed in many gods. Greek culture had this type of Pantheism where all gods were welcome. Rome [who was heavily influenced by Greek thought- the word for this is ‘Helenization’] allowed you to have other Gods. You just had to worship the roman Caesar as ‘lord’ and this is what got the early church in trouble. While Paul was preaching to these ‘religious’ people, they had an altar to so many gods in their town, that to play it safe they even had an altar to ‘the unknown god’. They figured ‘hey, if we missed a god, this will cover it’. So Paul uses this ‘unknown god’ and tells this group ‘I am declaring to you who this unknown god is’. Paul took this opportunity of their religion and used it as best as he could to preach the true God. I see this in my approach to these groups. Identify as best as you can with them. They often don’t have real good conversations/friendships with true believers. If you are solid in the faith, become friends with them. Get the conversation back to ‘who there god really is’ and you will see God reveal himself on the ‘altars’ of religious people!

 

(484)    In a few weeks we will probably be finishing my overview of the last few chapters of Isaiah. As I was just praying I felt the Lord wanted me to speak a little more on ‘freely you have received, freely give’. There is a verse coming up in our Isaiah study [unless we already passed it?] that says ‘come, let him drink. Buy good stuff, without money and free of charge’ [my paraphrase]. Modern ministry is structured along the contemporary way we function in the corporate world. I need to make a distinction here. There are old time preachers who will criticize the church I attend because they play hard rock Christian music [hey, I listen to hard rock ‘unchristian music’]. I don’t want to be flippant here. I have absolutely no problem with modern ministries progressing and doing whatever it takes to get the gospel out. I am not in the camp of these old time brothers who are fighting for the ‘old time gospel’ but are really just defending a culture/heritage that has nothing to do with the gospel. I have already made plain thru all our teaching that the way we normally practice ‘church’ today is not in the New Testament. Now, as we progress as Christians [Pastors/leaders] we normally fall into the same mindset of the corporate world that causes us to ‘get our name known, be at the top of the charts, and publicize our personas for the sake of the ministry’. I just recently spoke on God exalting us in due time for his glory. Fame that comes from God is OK [Billy Graham]. It’s just the modern idea of going after it is so engrained in the way we do business that it’s hard for us to not violate the principle of Jesus when he taught ‘servanthood leadership’. The question of who would be greatest and rise to the top in Gods Kingdom was dealt with by Jesus in the gospels. He tried to change the thinking of ‘roman hierarchy’ to that of being last. It was hard for the disciples to truly grasp this principle, but he basically showed them that the normal idea of every man for himself as he works his way up the ladder was not the way the Kingdom would operate. So today we see nothing wrong with having highly famous people who Christian’s pattern themselves after to the degree where we have the ‘cult of personality’ operating in the Body of Christ. It is common for the universities of our day to put out Pastors/leaders who are looking to advance a business, and to see the ‘pastoring part’ as simply part of the whole package. I will serve these people [Marry, bury, etc] and they will tithe and together we will see this thing grow. The mindset is engrained into the way we function. We see ‘hired clergy’ as a vocation like we see ‘carpentry’. ‘Hey Pastor, you were hired to build this ‘house’ and if we think you are doing shoddy work we will fire you and get another contractor’ we function along these lines that Jesus expressly taught his disciples not to partake of. I just want to encourage all Christians today to see themselves as needed parts of the overall purpose of God for his church. We all are ministers who have gifts in us that are to be used to build up Gods people. Pastors, don’t see yourselves as punching a time clock. Give your self away for the world. Empower your people to do the same. We are not in this to make a name for ourselves, to impress the community around us, we are in this to fulfill his purpose and destiny. God highly values those who lay down their lives [their own desire to be ‘great’ in the eyes of men] and become the least in the Kingdom of God.

 

(485)    ‘Parable from a laptop’ A Few months back I started having problems with my laptop. It was slow and I couldn’t access my hotmail account. I recently told the Lord ‘Lord, I really need to speed this computer up, and I need to access my email, fix it for me’. Now I have tried to ad memory before and the local computer stores tried 4 or 5 different brands of memory and they told me there is something wrong with the computer itself and it will not take any new memory sticks. So I just prayed about it. You know how the Lord answered my prayer? My whole computer crashed! I took it to a friend who does the work on my computers and we put in a new hard drive and all sorts of stuff. It was down for a few days and I had to re learn some new tricks to get everything working right [I am very bad at computers. Though I have typed the lettering off of my laptop with my much writing, yet I am not good with them. Until recently everytime I scrolled down to the end of this site I used to simply do it the long way. One day my youngest daughter shows me something and scrolls all the way down the fast way. I told her I was doing it the other way and she couldn’t believe it!] The Lord answered my prayer by allowing the computer to go thru some drastic ‘down time’ and to come back stronger than before. I feel like the Lord is doing the same with many of us. He knows we have been asking for him to change things in us, it’s just that we never expected to ‘crash’.

 

(486)    I woke up this morning thinking about the incredible teaching/prophetic ministry of Jesus. No one could match his talent. He gave these stories [parables] that contained tremendous hidden truths. He had the ability to stump the greatest theologians of his day, and yet be the most approachable, merciful person that walked the earth. You would think someone with this tremendous talent would ‘protect his anointing’. In today’s environment he would be behind one of those glass bullet proof things, maybe ride in a ‘Pope mobile’. You know what he went and did? He risked all of these tremendous gifts that God gave him and went and hung out with the Lepers! These little kids came up to him one time and the disciples said ‘he doesn’t have time for such childish things, he has a great calling’ Jesus would have none of it. Then one day he shocks his friends. He says ‘I am going to go to Jerusalem to be killed’. What! What on earth gave you such a stupid idea [in so many words this is what Peter said to him]. Jesus understood that the greatest gift he carried was his ability to lay down his life for his friends. He had the greatest love for man than any other human. He did not see his death as an obstacle in the way of a successful ministry. He saw it as the key ingredient to all that the father called him to do. ‘Except a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it abides alone. But if it dies it will bring forth much fruit’ would you really die for God? NOTE; God wants a living sacrifice. People who walk the earth as ‘dead men’. Paul said ‘I die daily’ ‘I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live, yet not I but Christ who lives in me. The life that I now live, I live by the faith of the Son of God who loved me and gave himself for me’ we are indebted to God to lay our lives down for others.

 

(487)    The other day my wife’s friend dropped her 10 year old boy off at our house when she went to the doctor. She has been sick for many years and the doctors told her ‘you aren’t going to live much longer’ she said ‘I know, I just need to make it till my boy is 18’ the doctor said he didn’t think she would. She is a single mom with lots of struggles. She is sort of like the homeless friends that I have, it’s my wife’s ‘ministry’ if you will. I do like the little boy, he is very hyperactive and really does have A.D.D. I gave the boy a few dollars and an old ‘lost in space’ video. A few years ago I gave him our old Nintendo with some old games, they became his favorite games. I asked the boy ‘where did your mom go today’?[I knew]. He told me she went to the doctors. I asked how he was feeling about it. He said ‘I am very worried John, I don’t want to lose her’ I asked him to  pray with me for his mom. I prayed the verse where it says ‘by his stripes we are healed’ and I graphically explained the scars and marks that Jesus received were a part of our healing. I told him to pray this as often as he can for his mom. It will be a great day when death has no more dominion over man. Jesus looked it in the face and came out on the other side. NOTE: Let me tell you guys a few cute stories about this kid. One time after we took him to church he came to spend the day with us. When we got home we had a few movies we had rented and I tried to get him to sit and maybe watch a few movies. He likes to get on my kids play station /game cube games and will play for hours. But he is so hyper that he pulls the whole game off the shelf! So as I am trying to convince him to watch the movies he says ‘John, I can’t watch those. They are scary and my doctor [?] doesn’t want me to see them’ [something like that]. So he goes ahead and plays the games. Later we do put the TV on and as I am flipping thru the channels he says ‘stop’ and I stop on the show he is interested in. Sure enough its some thing on the ‘the top 100 scary movies of all time’. As he is watching he is naming every character to all these movies. He knows them like clockwork. I say ‘Chris, for someone who never watches scary movies, you sure know the names of a lot of them’. After a few minutes of me teasing him he says ‘all right John, so you caught me!’ Also when I gave him the ‘lost in space’ video he was real happy. As soon as he saw his mom he showed her the video. She says ‘wow, are you sure he gave it to you’ the boy says ‘yeah, I know mom. It is a collector’s item. It must be worth money’. It was funny because the mom is the exact same way. She will find old costume jewelry and stuff and tells my wife ‘I have to take it to the jewelers; I don’t know what I got here’. They both thought they hit the jackpot with these simple gifts.

 

(488)    I was praying and writing this morning. I have been taking a month off from ministry stuff, like getting with my friends, because I felt the Lord wanted me to. Not because I have been sick, to the contrary I feel much better when I get out and interact with the brothers. But I just felt the Lord wanted me to take a break. Well one of my buddies rang the bell [a very rare thing] and it was the first real ministry day in over a month. We ran into one of my old friends in town whose is wheel chair bound. I would have taken him to eat with us, but he can’t get out of his chair anymore. It’s a motorized one that ways around 300 pounds, I have tried to put it in my truck before, you cant! He asked if I could help him with 10 dollars, I gave him a twenty. He does not drink, he will use it for stuff he needs. I took the other friend to eat. I felt the Lord wanted me to give him a few dollars too. I gave him a ten and he was really grateful, he said he was going to ask if I could lend him 5 dollars. This friend also will not use it for drugs or drinking. I know both of these guys well, around 15 years. They are real old friends. I later got home [right now!] and thought it interesting. I ‘unknowingly’ gave them 30 dollars. Twice the amount of what they wanted, or asked for. I am actually believing the Lord to work out my retirement where I will bring in around 3 thousand a month. I need a  few more things to work out, but I didn’t even realize that I ‘unconsciously’ gave a ‘hundredth’ of that amount. Jesus says some will get 30, 60 and a hundred fold. I have ‘unknowingly’ given the amount that I need to see a ‘hundredfold’ return on. I also spend right at $300.oo a month for radio and news paper ads. I have been ‘tithing’ [though I don’t believe we are under it!] unconsciously on a 3 thousand dollar income. I find it funny that I have been doing all this voluntarily for many years, not even looking for a return, yet God seems to ‘return’ what you need when you don’t do it for money. Jesus said some will say at the judgment ‘Lord, when did we feed you and visit you and clothe you’ the righteous were ‘unknowingly’ doing the things that God wanted. They weren’t doing these things with the return in mind. I thank the Lord that he led me to give away the money, I think he was setting me up for the return! NOTE: My friend reminded me how a few years back we were driving to the other side of town with a bunch of homeless guys, we passed up a guy on the corner with a sign begging for money. One of the homeless guys roles down his window and yells ‘get a job you bum’. These are the same guys who hold signs on my side of town!

NOTE; I just went back and read the last 3 entries. I write these things off the top of my head with no order or thought. # 486 speaks of Jesus ministry to ‘lepers’ [outcasts] and little children. #s 487 and 488 speak of me reaching out to outcasts and little children. Prophetic things are so ‘cool’.

 

(489)    I couldn’t sleep too well last night. I was lying down and just praying for a lot of my friends who are having hard times. I was thinking how earlier in the day I dropped off my homeless buddy at the area of brush that he makes his home in. He showed me how to get to his spot, I used to visit him years ago at another campsite and he would make me ‘hobo’ coffee right over the fire. I kinda felt bad for my buddy today. His spot is back behind a bunch of swamp land. He had to get back and cut some trees and stuff so he would be able to burn them to keep the mosquitoes away at night. It is a hard life. I thought how hard it must be when they struggle with depression and stuff. Being in that type of environment for most of your life. During the day as we went and ate and checked out some of the new development in the Corpus area [new overpasses and Whataburger field [our local baseball teams field] these guys don’t have cars so they don’t get around town to see this stuff that often] he was telling me a few verses that he has put to memory and how he is trying to follow the Lord. Last year one of the other guys beat him up pretty severely. He has seen him recently and was battling the temptation to get even. He told me how he realizes that it’s just pride. He quoted the verse in Proverbs that says ‘don’t make friends with an angry man, because you will get in trouble and have to help him out of trouble over and over again’. He wasn’t sure where this verse was, I told him I thought it was in proverbs. He realized that he didn’t want to be ‘this angry man’. He even remembered the verses from one of the little books I wrote. He read it years ago and still was quoting it. I gave him new copies of all the books and stuff again. A few years back one of my original friends from Kingsville [a whole different time and group of friends/ oikos- God will allow you to impact different people groups thru out your life] came to see me. We were reminiscing about the old days. I was surprised how he would remember the things that I thought were insignificant. I was thinking they would remember all the great prophetic stuff, or the teaching and stuff. He remembered the time he was strung out on dope and I spent the early morning [2 or 3 am] in front of his family’s home in government housing just talking to him about the Lord. He remembered the real times of friendship and stuff like that. I guess that’s why Jesus put such a high priority on loving our neighbor, he new these were the most effective ways of bringing people into the Kingdom. Of having long lasting impact that they would remember for years to come. God wants these things to be our legacy. What good is it if we have the greatest knowledge in the world, or the greatest prophecies? Or even if we do great charity works. If we do it all without true love for people it profits us nothing [1st Corinthians 13], people don’t remember all the great prophetic things. There a dime a dozen. They remember true friendship. NOTE: One of the dangerous mindsets that works against the Kingdom is prejudice and ‘class warfare’. In today’s ‘radio’ environment, it is all too easy to spend hours listening to all the legitimate reasons why we shouldn’t help illegal aliens, or why the poor are ‘getting what they deserve’. In Jesus teaching to us, he instructed us to help the poor. To treat our neighbor with love and respect. These concepts are real ways we spread the Kingdom. Jesus knew that ‘the poor’ were very often people who ‘got what they deserved’. There were obvious reasons why they wound up as the outcasts of society. Jesus told us nevertheless to help them. It is an act of mercy and compassion to treat them with love and respect. Even if they don’t deserve it. It breaks our pride and prejudice to give freely to those who don’t deserve it. This is done because of Gods treatment of us. We were/are undeserving of all the good gifts he has given us. We didn’t get mercy because we deserved it! God requires of us to lay down our lives for others who don’t deserve it. This is how they, and others, will experience Gods GRACE and MERCY. They will see it thru us.

 

(490)    I am adding this note for those who have been following my health stuff. After over a month of extreme vertigo and non stop dizziness, I have learned from my own research [the doctors do their best] that I have acute Labyrinthitis. A problem with the inner ear. Mine is obviously from a viral infection. Because the antibiotics that I finished taking a few weeks back have had no effect on the problem. This was an important part of my struggle, as to the fact that the back problems and the associated anxiety of everything else was being added on to this unexplainable continual dizziness and vertigo. I have researched a lot on all the other stuff, but to be honest this inner ear problem is without a doubt the most disorienting. I am ‘high’ 24/7. I used to think that this would be a good thing! But to be continually disorientated 24/7 is not good. I basically found out that this is what I have thru extensive on line research. There is no doubt that this is one of the problems. I am trusting God to heal this. I can live with the leg/back problems. But this thing is too debilitating. I would appreciate you guy’s prayers, thanks.

 

(491)    ‘No chastening for the present time seems to be joyous, but rather grievous. Nevertheless afterwards it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who go thru it’ ‘It is a good thing that you were afflicted, before you were afflicted you went astray, but afterward you kept my word’ ‘for this cause many are weak and sickly among you, for if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged. But when we are judged we are being chastened by the Lord so we will not be condemned with the world’ this is the Word of the Lord unto you today. The hard things that you have been going thru are for my purposes. I have done things thru your suffering that were not being produced any other way ‘though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience thru the things that he suffered’ ‘think it not a strange thing, the fiery trials that you re going thru, as if some strange thing is happening to you. But rather rejoice, knowing that these same afflictions are being accomplished in your brethren thru out the world’ the things you are going thru are not unique to you alone. You are receiving these sufferings as my servant Paul did when he said ‘I am filling up the rest of the sufferings of the Body of Christ’ Your difficulty is part of the overall birthing process of what I desire to do in the earth at this time. Rejoice that you have been counted worthy to suffer because of the name of my Son.

 

(492)    I have a book I was going to read sitting here in my study [I have a few that I have picked up these last few years and haven’t gotten to them yet]. It deals with the story of a large ministry [not in the U.S.] and how by faith the Lord has given them millions of dollars and has truly opened up many doors thru finances for this good work. In today’s environment we often see God thru the lens of ‘you can give me the finances to do this great work’. Many times these are sincere believers whom God does really work in this way on their behalf. We also hear often ‘do you need a financial miracle’ or ‘who needs healing in their finances’ [though Jesus never healed anyone from ‘financial sickness!’] The point is God definitely works in all areas of life. He is our provider and source, the God who is more than enough. It’s just that we really don’t treat him that way. Let me show you what I mean. When the apostle Paul said ‘I have learned in whatever state I am [Texas?] to be content. I have learned to be in need and to be full. I can do all things thru Christ who strengthens me’ we often see ‘doing all things’ as the ‘full’ part. We very rarely see it as the ‘being in need’ part. Because God is truly our source, we don’t always need the financial miracle to see something happen. We actually need him! He has done and will do tremendous things with simple people who do not have lots of money. ‘Well brother how can we reach the world unless we all have lots of money’? Well there goes your lack of faith! Jesus said the gospel is so powerful in the hearts and lips of his people, that the world can and has been revolutionized thru the simple saints thru out the ages. Jesus has truly taken ‘the few loaves and fishes’ and has MULTIPLIED the seed to reach the multitudes. We would have been praying ‘Lord, before we go to the 5,000 people we need to raise lots of money for food. It wouldn’t be responsible for us to have all these people come out and hear you preach until we have the great supply in our hands’ We would have been asking Jesus to give us the actual resources ahead of time in order to ‘reach/feed’ the people. We need a financial miracle Jesus! As a matter of fact that is what the disciples tell him when he says ‘have the people sit down and we will feed them’. The disciples are like ‘we don’t have enough money in the treasury to do this [by the way this also reproves those who teach that the treasury/bag that Jesus and the disciples had was really rich. The disciple in this story plainly states that they didn’t have the treasury money to cover it!] Jesus doesn’t give them a financial miracle in the way they expected. What he does do is he takes the very limited resources of a little boys sack lunch and he multiplies it as they give it away. We don’t really need to be ‘healed financially’ we need to begin giving ourselves away, Jesus will multiply our ‘seed/bread’ [the influence of our lives] when we do this.

 

(493)    It’s Sunday morning. I am watching a few local churches on TV. I caught one of the non denominational guys. Good message [I guess?] a little too much of ‘I am your Pastor. You need to be submitted to me and be under my authority’ he meant well, just doesn’t see the overall view. Basically everything I have taught [and others!] about the office of Pastor and it not being a singular authority position over ANY OF THE CHURHCES IN THE NEW TESTAMENT! I switched to the Catholic mass. They were much more humble. They had a deacon sharing on forgiveness; they then cited the Apostles creed. It got me to thinking about the brother who I wrote on a few weeks ago who said ‘leave behind you the creeds and doctrines’. The contrast between these 2 ways of ‘doing church’ are tremendous. While I do not embrace all Catholic teaching, it is obvious to see that the Protestant brothers meetings were saturated with them. You see their gifts, their abilities. The whole service is really about them. They don’t mean for this to be so, its just the result of ‘doing church’ thru the lens of ‘I am the Pastor, my job is to speak to you every Sunday for the rest of your life. Your job is to come and listen and put the tithe in. Anyone who disagrees is in the camp of those who challenged Moses authority. The earth might just open up and swallow you’. Now, I am being a little sarcastic. The point is ‘church’ is supposed to be the healthy gathering and communing of all believers around the reality of Christ. It was never intended to be a ‘place’ where people are spectators in an audience who are watching others perform. It is very obvious to see how the Protestant church has allowed herself to become ‘personality oriented’ as opposed to Christ being the real center of attention.

 

(494)    To be honest with you guys, I feel like I have been on a acid trip for over a month. It is the most nerve wracking thing I have gone thru in years. Before I realized that the ‘Labyrnthitis’ causes you to see everything thru a ‘glass’ type image [now we see thru a glass darkly- Corinthians] it was unreal to wake up one day feeling totally wasted, nonstop! Well now that I realize what it is, it is not as nerve wracking. I am reading the autobiography of Brian ‘head’ Welch, the ex guitarist of the rock group ‘Korn’. It is real interesting. It reminded me of a few things. Many years ago [around16] I backslid pretty badly. I was already preaching and had pastored our church. But I spent about a year being ‘lost’. During that time I was separated from my wife and was ‘hanging out’ with all types of people. One night me and this ‘girl friend’ who was a full blown junkie wound up off of some street in Corpus Christi [I didn’t live there yet]. It was in a real bad section of town. By the Morgan/Baldwin area. If you’re a white guy, you aren’t supposed to be around there. I remember shooting pool one night in one of the clubs and I was the only English speaking person there. The bartender didn’t know what I was saying when I ordered a drink. I was shooting pool, waiting for my ‘friend’ to get back. I really am surprised I didn’t get shot. Shootings happen weekly in these areas of town. Well when we were at some house not far from there, people were mainlining right there. The girl I was with was getting her fix. Somehow as she introduced me to her Hispanic friends [I really took risks by being there] she mentions ‘John used to be a preacher’. Sure enough one of the guys starts repenting towards me. He’s telling me he feels the Lord sent me there that night as a sign. He says I am like the angel in the show on TV [Michael Landon played an angel, I cant remember the name]. This was pretty surreal. I don’t know why I just thought of this story, but I did. This poor girl, one day a few years later I went to work and they told me some ‘chick’ was dragged by some guy leaving the bar the night before. We all find out if there were any deaths and stuff when we go to work. ‘You guys have any fires or shootings last night’ stuff like that. It winds up that this girl was stuck in the car door with some guy she was fighting with, he drug her a few blocks before he realized she was stuck in the door. When the ambulance got there the skin was ripped from her. Everyone thought she was already dead, then she simply looked at them for help. They did all they could do and she died. Sin is so devastating. May God forgive me, and everyone else who has made these terrible mistakes in life. ‘There is a redeemer, Jesus Gods own Son, precious Lamb of God messiah, holy one’ Keith Green.

 

(495)    When I picked up my homeless friend the other day, we had a good discussion on the ‘Temple of God’ being the people of God as opposed to a ‘place of meeting’. I always emphasize that it is not wrong for believers to meet in buildings, but that the great transition from the Old Testament mindset to the New Testament was one of transition from an actual Temple to a Spiritual one. That is the people of God would become the actual dwelling place and mode of operation that the Father would work thru to establish his purpose in the earth. The famous Old Testament story of ‘Jacobs ladder’ was an encounter that Jacob had with God. When he awoke he said ‘this is the House of God’ though there was no building for miles! It was a preview of Gods house as seen thru the meditation of Christ. The Ladder had angels ascending and descending. It was a type of Christ who would give new access from heaven to earth and from earth to heaven. Wherever you would find this ‘ladder’ being set up in the future, there you would have the ‘house of God’ [all New Testament communities of people]. There was a time in Israel’s history where they came to depend on their temple. They were saying ‘the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord’ and they were rebuked for trusting in this earthly piece of furniture and not trusting in the living God. And of course Jesus prophesied of the temples destruction in the Gospels. The whole point I made to my friend was that God’s mode of operation was to express himself thru a living community of people who would not be limited to a ‘place of worship’ but who would carry this presence of God wherever they go. In essence wherever people were experiencing the reconciliation of the Cross, there a ‘ladder’ [the Cross] would be ‘set up’. God would be setting up these access points from heaven to earth all over the planet. No more ‘dwelling in temples made with hands’. Now the fact that believers do have this ‘atmospheric influence’ wherever they go, means that even if they are in the ‘church building’ or home or park or anywhere, then God will manifest himself there. Not because of these buildings, or because of the lack of a building. But his presence is solely based on the fact that people are there who have accessed ‘Jacobs ladder’ they have access with God thru the Cross. I would encourage you today to ‘plant that ladder’ everywhere you go. Allow God to use you as an access point from heaven to earth. Those you come in contact with, set up that ladder of hope for them. Let them see how simple it is to approach God thru the finished work of the Cross. Let them know that after you leave, that truly ‘this was the House of God’.

 

(496)    I have been interceding for a while this morning. I have been praying for 22 Korean Christian hostages who were taken by the Taliban in Afghanistan for a few days. Today is 7-30-07, I don’t know what has happened to them yet. The other day they killed the 42 year old Pastor of the group. They are South Korean Christians who were there doing charity work. I also was watching a big Christian meeting who gathered conservative Christians from all over to ‘unite for Israel’ these brothers have interviews and meetings with Israeli leaders. They glory in her as a natural nation. They call for more financial support of her military. There is always a danger in supporting any natural nation to the degree where you side with her and almost justify military action to the point of killing other people. Does Israel have a right to defend herself as a Nation? Yes. Do all nations have this right? Yes. Have there ever been scenarios where Christians on the other side [Palestinian or whatever] found themselves stuck in the nation that was on the opposite side? Yes. Is it possible that there might be 10 righteous Christians in the other nation who we are advocating violence against? Yes. So John what’s the answer? Well it certainly isn’t starting some Christian movement where you actually advocate for the build up of Israel’s defenses and you seem to be approaching end time scenarios with this bloodlust to attack other nations. I don’t care what your eschatology is, pray for the peace of Jerusalem and pray for the peace of the ‘Jerusalem of God’ as well. Paul defined this Jerusalem as all Christians. Even those who might be huddled in some corner of a Palestinian home waiting to get the hell bombed out of them from the others side. I just hope they weren’t watching the Christian conference [from San Antonio] who were glorying in a nation’s natural heritage right before they get bombed to death!

 

(497)    Pride hinders the growth of the New Testament church. The way the early Christians ‘did church’ is described in the book of Corinthians. The meeting of believers was a simple informal format of believers gathering together from house to house and sharing with each other. The role of ‘Pastor’s or Elders was simply the oversight of more mature believers living in the city, who gave guidance and direction to the younger believers as they developed in the Lord. The growth of home/cell based churches is basically a return back to a more biblical form. Now pride is the arrogance of any man, who looks at this pattern and says ‘you are not under the local church, or a Pastor. You are out of order’ So here you would find the well meaning Pastor, judging a form of church that is much more in line with the New testament, and actually seeing his understanding of church as the only legitimate pattern. So in essence the humble cell group could actually respond by stating ‘you, Pastor, are holding a title/office that is no where to be found in the New Testament. You coming against us by saying ‘we are not submitted to you, or others like you’ is actually usurping the headship of Christ over his body. And you are placing yourself as Diotrophes did in 3rd John’. Now, I do not see all Pastors like this, the point is the cell group are much more in line and in biblical order than this Pastor. This shows you what happens when man holds on to a limited view of church and then adds to it a strong authoritarian mindset of ‘Pastor’ that is not biblical. God deals in Grace with all of us, it would do us all good to see him thru his various operations, and not try to make a particular mode of worship ‘the only legitimate expression of Christ’s church today’. God has many different expressions.

 

(498)    I am almost finished with the book by Brian ‘head’ Welch. It tells a lot of times when Welch was thinking of getting off of drugs and would find himself doing more. The feeling I have had for a while now reminds me of being on an ‘Acid’ trip. The bad ‘trip’ I had years ago had me seeing ‘things’ pretty badly. I remember looking into this mirror of a bowling alley and seeing my face black/purple. Seeing yourself this way while also experiencing no feeling to your body is a trip. You think your dead. One time during the year where I backslid, I took a friend over to Robstown to score some stuff. He was going to shoot it up, I just went for the ride [really!]. My pay was some real good weed. I sat in the car and got high on this joint. Before I smoked it he told me ‘this is some real good weed’ but he then used a term, which too me in my early days meant ‘week weed’ but in South Texas language this term meant ‘really strong’. Oh well. After smoking this joint I got absolutely wasted. There obviously was something more than just ‘pot’ in it. I drove a few blocks [my friend was still inside fixing] and parked by some Rail Road tracks. I just laid down in the car and went on this trip. It reminded me somewhat of the acid trip I had years before. I later [or earlier] had snorted some cocaine with my friends, but this weed had something much more potent in it. I remember how at times in the past where I would be totally wasted, yet I would not stop partying. It was like I felt ‘man, I really need to come down’ and then keep getting high. In the book I could identify somewhat with Brian’s seeming inability to just stop. Ultimately God does the ‘stopping’ for you. When people are in this cycle they don’t seem to realize the danger of dieing. You seem to think nothing will happen. And then when your ‘tripping’ you think ‘O my God, I feel like I am going to die’ it really is deceptive. Only God can save people from this. NOTE: This brother was one of a whole family of guys I met while preaching to the father in jail. One of these brothers is now one of our main guys in Kingsville serving the Lord. During this year of backsliding, I took him to H.E.B. [our grocery stores in Texas- like Path Mark to all you Yankees!] and he goes in. He comes out with something that he was going to steel from one of the hardware aisles. He walks out with the look on his face like ‘there’s nothing strange about the way I look, I am just normal’ as I see him walking across the parking lot, I could spot the stolen thing under his shirt a mile away! It looked so obvious, like a pregnant woman! When he got to the car I was like ‘I could see you a mile away you idiot, how did you get away with it?’ Of course he bought a stick of gum or something on the way out, he told me ‘I think the chick at the register liked me’ I guess so! NOTE: One time when we were having ‘church’ in an old rented hospital building, I would go and pick up our guys before the service. One day both of my friends had been out the night before shooting up. So when I went to get them the wives and kids got in my suburban but the guys were no where to be found, and as we were driving back to the building, we stopped right at a stop sign where these 2 guys were right next to us in the car that they were using all night to score drugs. Of course their wives were mad, these guys were out all night shooting up. It was too late to hide, but as they were looking straight at  us, my one friend [Elias] just ducks down and hides in the seat, my other friend [Juan Saldana] just looked straight forward. It was kinda funny, we did laugh about it later. Elias eventually became the preacher of the local Victory Outreach. He died from a brain aneurism while serving the Lord. Juan, I haven’t heard from him years. I think he is working with a ministry in El Paso?

 

(499)    The benefit of blogging like this is it allows you to hear God and just write what you hear. When writing a book you really cant jump like that. For some strange reason I just saw a whole scenario of legitimacy that comes from being a child of God and how that relates to family/community. We often see believers as a ‘part of the church’. God does deal with us as a community, as well as individuals. You will find the strong Orthodox/ Catholic brothers emphasize the community aspect of Christianity. You will also see the more individualistic style of Christianity emphasize the ‘individualistic’ aspect. ‘Me and Jesus’ both of these are true. What I want you to see right now is how we often try to ‘de legitimize’ Christians by saying ‘who’s local church are you under? What family do you belong to, you cant function/operate outside of the family. You derive your authority from the family’. Now look at this for a moment. When you are born, you are born into some type of family. It might not be fully functional, but there at least had to have been a mom and a dad at the beginning. Now as you develop you are part of a family. You are part of this family by virtue of your birth. You actually do not derive your life from the family. God created you. But family is vital to your growth and health. As you grow older you learn to depend less and less on the authority figures that God has placed over you. Some times the parents want the children to stay ‘under their authority’ for insecure reasons. The empty nest syndrome. But if the family is healthy the children will eventually launch out. There may be times where the waters get rough and they return for a season, but ultimately they launch. If you were to tell little Johnny ‘who do you think you are leaving us? Don’t you realize that you really don’t have a life apart from us? You were born here, we raised you, everything God has done thru you up until this moment has been in the family context. You leaving us is rebelling against our parenthood over you. Don’t forget what happens when you rebel against us. O well you’ll find out the hard way’ Johnny’s parents are sincerely seeing his role as it relates to them, they don’t fully see or function in the reality that their roles are meant to change over the course of Johnnies life. They sincerely think his step of independence is rebellion. After all they have been ‘over’ Johnnie his whole life. Who does he think he is anyway? Sure enough Johnnie will launch out [to the dismay of his other siblings who tried to launch before and had failures. They later returned back home and thought their failures were a sign from God that they should have never launched] When  Johnnie does eventually succeed there is an initial reaction of ‘who needs families anyway, they were just holding me back’ this is a natural result from the way the family tried to hold him past the ‘launch date’. As Johnnie matures he will lose this harshness that he is experiencing at this time. Ultimately Johnnie and a whole new generation of ‘Johnnies’ will grow and leave and become all that God originally intended. The insecure parents will warn all the older children who are still relating to them in co dependant ways ‘don’t do like all these rebels, you know what can happen’ and this reinforces the mindset of never fully growing up. And yet the parents will at times say ‘when are you ever going to grow up?’ not realizing that they have had a big part in creating this unhealthy long-term environment. I feel today we are seeing this play out on a large scale in the Body of Christ. There are so many ‘Johnnies’ who have been told ‘your identity to our family is Gods purpose [true] therefore you really have no authority on your own’ [false]. The authority for both family and Johnnie launching are both from God. They all receive their right to do what God is telling them because they were all born of God. It is easy to only view legitimacy from the standpoint of ‘family’. Not seeing that God originally told the man ‘When you launch out on your own someday [a God given thing] then you will leave your parents and cleave to your wife’ [the wife can be the Ecclesia/oikos that God wants you to relate to as an ‘elder’ as well. While all believers are not ‘5-fold’ ministers, they all are to grow and mature. Becoming an ‘elder’ more mature one who gives oversight to others, is a natural function of your growth] God always intended the oversight role of parents [Pastors/Elders] to be temporary. This launching will eventually create a whole new family, with a whole new home of Johnnies. And the process repeats. I find a lot of believers at the ‘launching dock’ who are fearful to launch. They have seen some launch, and sad to say they drowned. A natural risk inherent in all journeys. These have made ‘shipwreck of the faith’. Others launched and never returned for reunions because they were so mad at the original parents calling them ‘lost children’ when they first left. Ultimately when enough Johnnies do it right then the whole family will see and realize that they were at an immature stage and are now seeing this ‘launching’ as in Gods original plan. Have you launched yet? NOTE: Often times the ‘parents’ [Pastors/elders] find their identity in ‘being parents’ they feel good functioning in this oversight role. They preach, organize, strategize and do many good things. Sometimes out of insecurity they add to their preaching, themes that warn the children ‘don’t ever leave us, it would be a big mistake’ and if they see someone leave, they will often say ‘well, now that you left, who is your new father [Pastor] and which family did you join in order to pay your dues?’ [Tithe]. The former Pastor is trying to say to Johnnie ‘well, you left this nest, you cannot function outside of it’ unless you yourself become one of us [a Pastor] then you have the right to not be under one of us. ‘This is Gods order’. The whole thing can be a big mess. Truly God does have order in his family, but we need to be careful that we are not superimposing a modern way of church, and then calling that ‘Gods Order’. NOTE: It is common amongst ‘apostolic people’[people who feel they hold the office of Apostle] to struggle with ‘who’s local church will I be under’. They often start a 501c3 ministry, relate to other ‘local churches’ and preach a very strong ‘You must be under a Pastor’ type message. They then will struggle with ‘which Local church will be my covering, as I also ‘cover’ many other Local churches/Pastors’ all of this language and covering and everything associated with it is really not seen in the New Testament function of Apostles. Apostles were not people going around ‘covering’ all ready established groups of Christians. The true fruit of an Apostle is someone who has the gift to ‘birth’ communities of believers thru the preaching of the gospel. You never find Paul, ever, telling the new believers to be ‘under the covering of a Pastor’ you do find admonitions to submit to Godly leadership that God has placed in ‘your church’ meaning ‘your community of believers that are around you’. You actually will find references in the New Testament to the ‘Elders of your Church/ Elders of your city’ [i.e.; ordain Elders in every city as I ordained you] so the submission to Elders was the simple ‘growing up stage’ in your life as a believer, until you are mature enough to ‘launch’.

 

(500)    I was watching ‘journey home’ on E.W.T.N. last night. I do like the catholic station. They  had a panel of ‘ex-Pastors’ from Pentecostal churches who are now Catholic. It was a good discussion and I do see them as Gods people. One area that I often hear on this show is ‘When I was Protestant/Pentecostal we all had our own ideas of what scripture meant. Without the teaching authority [magesterium] of the Catholic Church there is no true order to what scripture means’. Let me address this a little. I too see the danger of everyone coming up with their own interpretation of scripture. Believe it or not I also believe in the ‘teaching authority of the church’ but I see ‘the church’ as all the corporate people of God from century one until today. Therefore all that the Spirit has communicated in unity to the people of God thru out the last 2 thousand years is ‘the teaching authority of the church’. It is obvious to me, and many other voices [even Catholics!] that the ‘Catholic church’ has things that most believers understand to not be true. If most believers [Even many Catholics] as well as many great reformers of the church, who also were Catholic, if they with one voice disagree with the hierarchal interpretation of the ancient church, then this in itself is a function of the ‘teaching authority of the church [Holy Spirit] revealing truth to and thru the Church [corporate people of God]’. Now I don’t want to get too technical here, and I love my Catholic brothers. But the argument that because there are so many wrong interpretations of scripture, for that to lead a person, as humble and sincere as he is. For that person to say ‘therefore, because of the inconsistencies  of my former Pentecostal Pastor friends, I have now come to accept a certain strain of hiearchacal truth. Now I am in truth’ without being offensive, this part of the church [Catholic] have erred in the doctrines of the Immaculate Conception as well as other things. It is not me saying this, but the ‘Spirits witness’ thru the church down thru the ages, as expressed thru her own people [i.e.; the many Catholic reformers who have spoken out from inside her walls]. So to be clear, I love the Catholic people, our only safety to guide us into all truth is the ministry of the Holy Spirit. He has surely operated inside of the Catholic Church, as well as all the others ‘churches’ who have spoken in line with the Spirits testimony thru the centuries. The ‘magesterium’ if you will, is the Spirits corporate witness of unity as he has spoken thru the people of God down thru the centuries. The ‘teaching authority’ of the church is not limited to that which comes down from any one ‘part’ of the Body of Christ. God does not ask us to lay down our own moral conscience to accept teachings that in our heart we know are wrong. In many of these testimonies when the Protestant Pastor who has converted to Catholicism is asked ‘how did you overcome your ‘inner rejection’ to finally accept Mary’s role in the Church, and to accept that she was born sinless?’ Many of the brothers simply say ‘I got to a point where I had to overcome my own beliefs [conscience!] and to accept the witness of the ancient church’. This to me is not what God asks of his people. To ‘overcome your inner witness’. Scripture speaks of truth being revealed to us by Gods Spirit as an inner witness. ‘Well brother, then where is the safety mechanism from keeping everyone from going off track’? Well, ultimately it is a function of the Spirit of God working in the people of God [the true magesterium] thru out the centuries. Why does over 90 % of all the church believe in the death, burial and resurrection of Christ? Who has ‘engrained’ this truth into the minds of so many various denominations? Was it a function of the Catholic churches ‘teaching authority’? It was a function of the Spirit guiding the people of God thru out the centuries into all truth. If someone out of fear or confusion relinquishes his own conscience to the interpretation of any ‘institution’ no matter how early their institution began, then you are overlooking the ability of the Spirit, to reveal all truth to all men. I realize that the Catholic argument is ‘the Spirit does this thru the church’ to which I say ‘Amen’, but once again I see the church as all who have seen the father thru the Son. If no man can come to the Father, but by him. Then all who are now in him [all believers regardless of background] are ‘in him’. Therefore all who are ‘in him’ [including Luther, Augustine, Aquinas, Calvin, etc.] are part of the corporate voice of the Spirit as he ‘speaks thru the church’ down thru the ages. The ‘safety mechanism’ to keep every one from his own interpretation is the ability of the Spirit to speak with one voice thru all of his people. Thus we wind up with over 90 % of all believers embracing the true gospel. Well, what about the other 10%? Well, some who don’t embrace this gospel are in all of the other camps. Catholic, Protestant, etc. Liberalism that denies Christ’s bodily resurrection can be found in all ‘churches’. Therefore the ‘magesterium’ did not prevent their own catholic people from ‘departing from the faith’. All Christians are dependant on the Spirit, as well as the guidance from the majority of Christian voices that have come to us down from the centuries. I include Catholics as well as Protestants in this ‘corporate voice’. It’s humility to be able to embrace this.

 

(501)    Over the years I have given lots of my books away. I give them all away now, I don’t sell anything anymore. I actually did have a publishing house print the first few batches of books. This was not cheap! I gave them to a friend as well as all of my other books as I wrote them. This friend had a family member write a book. I told him, ‘as soon as it’s done, give me one!’ After it was finished, the person let me know they were for sale. I wasn’t really offended, I kinda really didn’t have time to read the book. I initially said ‘give me one’ to encourage them in the writing of the book, they are still good friends of mine till this day, real good Christian people. I got the sense that he got offended because I didn’t buy one. Too be honest I had given him all my books for free over the years! I know he was thinking ‘hey, we got this book published. I cant give it to him for free’ I got mine published too, and I gave almost all of them away for free! Even to him! The point is, we see giving the tithe as necessity. But we don’t truly see giving all the other gifts and things we have the same way. I have friends who cant believe I will give away 20 dollars at the drop of a hat. Or simply pay a 100 dollar light bill [not my own, sad to say 100 dollars wouldn’t cover it!] I have been doing it for years with no regret. This stuff is taught in scripture man! Yet most Christians will willingly put 200 dollars in as a tithe, but to give even something worth 10 dollars [a book] is too hard to do.

 

(502)    I just got done doing a little yard work. Nothing heavy, but I risked moving a few bricks and stuff and my back started killing me. I knew better, but o well. To be honest the pain is nothing compared to the vertigo thing. I am remembering some old drug experiences as I read the book from Brian Welch [Korn]. I remembered how after my worst overdose on acid I had flashbacks for years. There came a time in the beginning where I just determined ‘well, if I wind up dieing, there is nothing I can do about it. So be it’ I just remembered this recently. There was a putting of everything into Gods hand, even though I didn’t really know him! I was thinking about the people I know, some who have been diagnosed with fatal diseases. I am praying much for them. No matter what people have done, God is very compassionate. I think we [or at least I] don’t show the level of mercy and compassion that we should. What would you do if you were on death row and knew the exact date of your death? ‘Month away, 2 more weeks, 3 days left, tomorrow when I wake up I am going to die’ how would you react. I am not justifying anything that these guys have done; I just think it takes courage to face it like a man. Some ask both Gods and their victim’s families to forgive them. They go out well. I am praying for a few more people who I have come to know while researching my sickness. I didn’t meet them thru any Christian means, just thru finding answers thru the net. I have given them my blog site and told them up front I am a believer. Maybe they are reading this now! I just think if I could have trusted God and went thru those early years of acid trips and stuff, how much more should we as believers overcome the desolate places we find ourselves at today.

 

(503)    Isaiah 59- ‘Gods hand is not shortened that it cannot save, nor his ear dull that it cannot hear. But our sins have separated us from God acting on our behalf’ one of the themes we will see in this chapter is God wanting us to speak truth and to stand for justice. He will reprove the times we lie and don’t really speak and walk in truth. There are so many issues with the American church at this season. I saw Benny Hinn speaking to a meeting of Pastors. I have sent Benny my books and stuff. I was encouraged to hear him reprove those who teach that Job [in the bible] was making a bad confession and God recorded his words, but didn’t justify Jobs confession. Those of you in the ‘know’ remember how it was [and still is!] taught that Job went thru trials because of a bad confession, and in essence God doesn’t want us reading Job and believing Jobs confession. You just read Job to see what not to do! I have dealt with this error before. But I was glad to see Benny hit on it in such a public way. This is an example of God telling us ‘Church, I love you guys. I have given you time to overcome this. You can’t keep speaking ‘lies’ and think I am going to move in your country [The U.S.]’ So God is dealing with us in mercy, but he is telling all of us ‘I really want to move on your behalf, you must humble yourselves and repent. I want justice, I want truth. You need mercy and love, but they cannot trump my desire for truth and righteous justice’. ‘None calleth for justice, none speak truth. They trust in vanity and speak lies’ There has been a stubbornness on certain parts of the American church that have consistently ‘trusted fake things, and continue to speak fake things’ we are all guilty of this, Gods agenda is for us to seek him and return to a pure biblical gospel. I am so excited about this younger generation. I have been watching the ‘call’ or the ‘cause’. Basically a group of young people on fire for Jesus. The I.H.O.P. meetings with Mike Bickle. The ‘merchant band’ all of these radical kids seeking the face of God. They put me to shame. And in the midst of this there exists an older generation who insist on ‘speaking lies, trusting in vanity’ the older generation needs to listen to these ‘babes’, out of their mouths God is speaking. They sing things like ‘don’t sell out for the stuff of this world’. ‘They hatch eggs, whoever eats their eggs dies. They will not continue to cover themselves with their teachings’ when we steer off course of Christ’s main message, the things we produce [books, blogs, tapes, etc.] only hurt others. We can’t keep ‘feeding rotten eggs’ to Gods kids. These movements who have veered away from the gospel will not continue to ‘cover themselves’ [hide within their groups] because God is calling for repentance and justice. ‘They have made crooked paths, those who go in them will not have peace’ when teachers establish wrong doctrines and teachings in the church, they become ‘crooked paths’ paths that many will go down. It is very hard to undo this. Jesus actually said ‘let them go down these paths. They will all fall into a ditch’ sometimes God allows the wrong paths to exist until both the leaders and followers see the error of their way. I remember reading how Jim Bakker saw how wrong he was. He started reading the gospels while in prison and couldn’t believe that he was a money preacher who taught that Jesus was rich. After reading the gospels he saw how wrong he was. God is going to take those who have made ‘crooked paths’ and he will use them to go straight again.

NOTE: Let me interject a reminder here. All Christians, especially those who feel the Lord has called them to the prophetic ministry, are required to confront [in love] obvious abuses and error in the church. One of the most difficult things about this calling is the majority of people you are called to speak into will reject you at the start. The gift brings with it an ‘inner mechanism’ that causes the messenger to be rejected initially. Why? Be cause to confront and undo mindsets that have existed in certain areas of the people of God is ‘tumultuous’. You go thru a season where you ‘pluck up, root out, tear down’ and then you get to the place where you ‘build and strengthen’ again. I look at these contractors who buy nice homes on prime lots of real estate. They go in and begin to dismantle the house! Even though it is an ‘OK’ structure, it has provided shelter for many years. Lots of kids grew up in that house. Man, what are you doing coming against all my memories! Well the contractor realizes that it served a purpose, but the time has come to realize that the structure is insufficient for the next level of community growth. So I see the temptation for those whom the Lord has called to prophetic things, to go thru this type of rejection. And when these people go thru difficulty it is own natural to say ‘Physician, heal thyself’ those whom the message is directed will have a tendency to say ‘see, that Isaiah fellow, he thought he was such a voice for God, look at him now’ [or Jeremiah or any of the other prophets]. So as we continue thru Isaiah we will eventually get to the ‘building up process’ but first God has to make sure all the debris is truly removed before the next structure can go up. Remember what I said about the prophecy given to the Virgin Mary ‘a sword shall pierce thru your own heart also, that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed’ God allows prophetic people to be ‘pierced’ so he can see the response of those around them. Note; I have found myself at times thinking ‘If I could just overcome this obstacle, if I didn’t have to deal with these difficulties at this time, I would be so much more effective’ I have to remind myself that ‘when I am weak, then God can be glorified thru me’ natural thinking says ‘why the Cross?’ then you learn to say ‘nevertheless not my will, but yours be done’ amen!

‘Therefore we behold obscurity’ I have found one of the worst judgments in my own life is when I ‘behold obscurity’. When I am in sin in some area of my life, Gods mercy is always there, but there is a real sense of the absence of Gods presence. Jesus said ‘the pure in heart see God’ when our hearts are not pure, we ‘see obscurity’. ‘We roar like bears, and mourn like doves’ Have you ever experienced extreme highs and lows. Days where you were ‘roaring like a bear’ and the next day ‘crying like a dove’. When our hearts are not right, these ups and downs are inevitable. Sometimes we even experience this when our hearts are right, but in this context sin is the main reason for it. ‘our transgressions are with us and our iniquities, we know them’ transgressions are the actual breaking of Gods law, the ‘act of sin’ if you will. The ‘iniquity’ is that tendency in us to gravitate towards certain sins. That ‘bent’ that keeps turning us in the wrong direction. You say ‘why brother, I have no idea what you are talking about’. You’re lying! Here God says ‘we know them’. ‘Truth faileth and he that departs from error makes himself a target’ I find it interesting, when people repent from ‘wrong paths’ they then become the target of those who are still on the path! Why? Because if you can do it, make the change, go to the next level. Then there is no more excuse for those who are not changing. This is at the heart of murder and hatred. The bible says ‘for this reason Cain slew Able, because his own works were wicked and his brothers righteous’ Envy and pride are horrible things. They cause us to want the failure of others who are succeeding. We really don’t want ‘that other church to succeed’ in our hearts. If they get 6 thousand people to attend, then all my excuses of why I only have so many attend my church are no longer valid. Those who start going on the better paths than we have been on become a target! ‘And the Redeemer shall come to Zion, those that turn away from transgression in Jacob’ God will come to those who ‘turn away from sin in Jacob’ like Paul says in the New Testament, it is not natural birth that counts. To simply be ‘Jacob’ [Israel] doesn’t cut it. You need to have ‘turned away from sin’ and accepted Gods sacrifice, Jesus! To those [Jew or Gentile] that ‘turn away from transgression’ [this means the actual act of disobedience!] God will reveal himself. ‘This is my promise to you, the word that I have put in your mouth shall not depart out of your mouth, nor out of the mouth of your seed, nor out of the mouth of your seeds seed, from this time forth and forever more’ Yesterday we had a good home meeting in Kingsville. One of the ‘sons’ of the fathers I used to preach to years ago in jail. The son is the ‘seed’ [offspring] of the original person from this family that I preached to. His son [the grandson] lives in Corpus and also is a part of what the Lord is doing. God promises that if you speak his words, they will remain in the mouths of ‘the children’s children’ God is always thinking generationaly /dynastically. Man thinks short term.

 

(504)    I was watching a preacher the other day teaching on end time things. He is very dogmatic in his view. The Rapture and all. I thought it funny, because as he got to the part where he was teaching on the ‘4 horseman of Revelation’ he flatly says ‘the rider on the white horse is the anti-christ’. I know this view fairly well. I was taught it as a new Christian. The last few times I have read Revelation I lean more towards this rider being Christ who is conquering against the forces of evil. Some say ‘well, we know this isn’t Christ, because after him come the other 3 horses which represent death and destruction and bad stuff’. The point I will make is in Revelation your are seeing ‘the wrath of God’ it is Gods judgment on the unbelieving world. It would seem fitting for Christ to appear at the beginning of these judgments, after all ‘all judgment has been committed to the Son’. I really have no idea why I am even getting into this, I haven’t read Revelation in a while. I just thought it funny, how someone can be so sure of his end time scenario, where he might actually be calling a reference to Christ ‘the anti-christ’.[a bit prophetic, don’t you think? Revelation is about the story of the Son of God triumphing over the forces of evil, but those who hold to the strong antichrist view, it just seems fitting for them to mistake ‘Christ’ for ‘antichrist’, if this is all you see when you read the book, then that’s what you will SEE!] NOTE; Let me overview a little bit more. The above interpretation of the rider on the white horse being ‘antichrist’ grows out of an entire ‘scheme’ of end time events that was developed in the 19th and 20th centuries. These were good men [John Nelson Darby] who came to embrace certain views of end time things [Rapture]. To these brothers they see the Church [believers] ‘taken away’ in the first few chapters of Revelation. They say ‘Jesus is speaking to the churches by his Spirit, then you have no more ‘churches’ being spoken to’. God tells John to ‘come up here’ [heaven] and they see this as the ‘secret Rapture’ where the church is taken away. The reason they see it like this is in Revelation you see Gods wrath on those that ‘dwell on the earth’ and therefore believers can’t be here! Even though you will find actual references of the Devil fighting the Saints. Making war against those who ‘keep the Word of God’ and all sorts of references of the enemy fighting believers thru out the book. The ‘Rapture’ brothers will say ‘these groups are those who got saved after the church left’ well, if they are saved, they are ‘in the church’ technically speaking. So it is possible [very likely too me!] that ‘Christians’ are on the planet when these hard times take place. They also will say ‘these references to those who keep the Word of God’ are to certain Jews who are converted [again all new testament language to ‘the Israel of God’ and things like this are speaking of those who have come to know God by faith, even Jews] so the fact that thru out the rest of the book you find language like this, tells me the ‘church’ didn’t get secretly taken away. And then most importantly, you find CLEAR verses actually speaking of Jesus coming, in PLAIN LANGUAGE, and these verses are looked at as ‘the final stage of the second coming’ or other verses referencing Christ [like the rider on the white horse] being called ‘anit christ’. To me all these brothers ‘suffer from’ a mistake that they warn others about making. That is ‘interpret the plain meaning of scripture first, before going to lengths to develop doctrines from that which isn’t plainly in the text’. If God has ANY PEOPLE ON THE EARTH WHO ARE CALLED ‘SAINTS’ THOSE WHO KEEP THE WORD OF GOD and any other references like this, then plainly these references show that Christians are on the planet during this time. The Rapture guys will so much as accept this, but then they come up with all sorts of different categories for these ‘converts’ who are ‘saved’ during the tribulation. My argument would simply be ‘so if you admit there are actual converts in this tribulation time, then it very much is possible, even thru your own interpretation, to have believers on the earth during this time’. So how then does God ‘spare them from his wrath’ while they are going thru all these difficulties? He does it by divine power. You see the believers thru out history going thru many times of ‘great tribulation’. You also see the lost world going thru many periods of ‘Gods wrath’. To the casual observer, these might look like the same thing. But to those going thru it, they know the difference. The simple fact that God has the ability to ‘keep those’ in Christ from his wrath is the answer. You don’t have to come up with all types of belief systems that say ‘Jesus secretly appeared between chapters 3 and 4 and the reason we know this is ….’ Why do stuff like this? There are very real and plain references to Jesus coming again in the book of Revelation. Don’t go and find some doctrine that comes from ‘silence’. That is ‘since the Spirit is no longer speaking directly to the churches after chapter 3, therefore Jesus came and took them all away’. Jesus is no longer speaking ‘to the churches’ because the main issue after chapter 3 is the outpoured wrath of God on an unbelieving world. We know he didn’t come and take all the believers away, because there are many verses dealing with his people being here, as well as very plain and open verses that say when he comes. So lets stick with the plain meaning first, and then you can try and ‘figure out who the 144,000 are’. Another note; I am really ‘delving’ into it for those who were taught his. At the end of the book of Revelation you do see ‘Jesus coming back with his saints’ and in the book of Thessalonians it says ‘don’t worry about those who have died, when Christ comes back, he will bring them also’. There was a very real 1st century fear that the loved ones who have died were gone. Paul deals with this in Thessalonians as well as Corinthians chapter 15. I know to us it seems silly for believers to have held to this fear, but the fact is it was something the Apostle Paul dealt with. So you see the New Testament speaking of ‘Christ coming back with the Saints’ as a hope of the resurrection. That is Jesus brings back [at the 2nd coming] the ‘spirits’ if you will, of all who have been with him for thousands of years. These will ‘reunite’ with their bodies at the Resurrection. Those who are living at this point will be instantly glorified [1st Thessalonians 4] so to read a verse that says ‘Jesus comes back with his saints’ shouldn’t cause you to think ‘well, how did all the saints get there? He must have secretly come back and taken them, there you have it’ well they got there BY DIEING! Jesus brings them back with him as was taught thru out the whole New Testament. Don’t go and develop some doctrine that believers didn’t ‘know about’ for 1800 years to explain this stuff. It’s simple if you just read and believe scripture as it is written. Also there is a real event at the second coming that ‘raptures’ believers into the air to meet with Christ. This event does happen. It happens at the second coming. So we too who are alive will be ‘caught up together with the Lord’. The return of Jesus back to earth takes place with all of the saints at the ‘touch down’ of Jesus feet on the planet. Truly he ‘comes back with all his saints’. Don’t go and develop a secret ‘second coming’ [rapture] that took every one away at another time. The ‘rapture’ takes place at the ‘second coming’ it is the event of us going up to meet him in the air at the moment of resurrection! NOTE; this also brings us back to the verses in Isaiah ‘not speaking your own words’. Many of the brothers who teach these things are well meaning gospel preachers. Good churches who lead people to Christ. Most of them are taught this stuff at bible school, or from well meaning ‘fathers of the faith’ that they looked up to. During these formative years they are told ‘this is what the Rapture is’ along with all sorts of other learning. They don’t have time to spend years ‘un learning’ this stuff. They mean well. Often times they only question it as they leave the learning environment of college and become long term students of the bible and history. A lot of times when we put ‘preachers out into the work’ they come with these pre conceived ideas that they learned along the way. The problem is if people are teaching things that ‘are the words of men’ [to put it nicely!] then they are ‘speaking their own words’. While every teacher is susceptible to this, we do it at an alarming rate in today’s media world. It’s so easy to catch a preacher teaching this on TV, or to read a Tim Lahaye book on the end times. I see some of this as a result of the Protestant churches ‘coming out from all historical truth, the fathers of the ancient church’ and going with the ‘bible only’. Now going with the ‘bible only’ is a good thing. I have used the bible to show you in this whole entry why the Rapture as taught today holds no ground. But the strong independent protestants truncate themselves from the heritage of all the saints [All the great church fathers, down thru the present time] and leave themselves open to having too much influence from a small part of the Christian church. In my experience I found it ‘amusing’ how the Fundamental Baptists were so much like the Assembly of God in all of these doctrines, and yet the fundamental Baptists viewed them as heretics over the gift of tongues. They couldn’t see that they had so much in common, even the wrong stuff on the Rapture! So it would do us all good to sit back, read the writings of church history, study the bible, pray, DO EVANGELISM [the great commission was to go and make disciples, not even get into all this stuff!] and over time allow the Spirit of God to lead you. You will find that you as a believer can disagree on these end time issues and still work together for the cause Of Christ in your community.

 

(505)    The other day when I took one of my homeless buddies for a ride to see some of the new development around town, we stopped by the new baseball field and being we were right there I took for the first time some real good pictures of the Harbor Bridge. I have taken lots of pictures these last few years with my cell phone, sometimes the pictures are prophetic. Once I took some pictures of a train, the same day I read some real significant prophecies on trains. So for around a week I have had this cool looking picture of a bridge on the phone. Just 3 days ago the worst bridge collapse in years [possibly ever] happened in the U.S. It was the I 35 bridge in Minnesota. All you can see on the news for the last few days is the bridge collapse. NOTE; I don’t want to make light of this incident, people died. But I do want to say, people might think ‘hey, go take a picture of a bank, you might get some money!’ It doesn’t work that way. I remember one time at the Fire House I was watching them say the lotto numbers on the news with a friend. I guessed like 3 or 4 of the numbers. My friend, who played ‘religiously’ was a little surprised. So he says ‘how did you do that’ I told him ‘usually the Lord gives me all the numbers, but I don’t think he would want me to use it for this’ he seriously tells me ‘I don’t think the Lord would mind if you gave them to me’!

 

(506)    Today’s 8-3-07, I have been looking forward to this week. I basically have been ‘lying low’ for the summer, and really needed to get out and see our guys. Today I will be ‘driving the perimeter’ of a bunch of cities that I used to drive while going to work. I am still on workman’s comp but plan on putting in for retirement soon. So as I have been looking forward to re connecting with a few brothers, and launching some regional home groups, yesterday I do a little yard work and move some bricks and stuff. Sure enough my back hurt so bad I could barely walk. Besides the fact that I still am having some residual effects of ‘disorientation’ from this viral infection of the inner ear. Its like I can’t walk anyway, plus I can’t see straight! ‘Screw it’ [sorry] but I have too much to do than to sit around and whine about it. I am looking forward to this day, I believe I am going to see some good fruit. ‘Get out of the City and dwell in the fields, even in Babylon. There I will be with you and there I will deliver you from the hand of the enemy’ [bible]. You will never get better if you don’t ‘GO’.

 

(507)    Woke up this morning after a very difficult day, I knew it was going to be hard to pray. I then sat down and wrote for around 2 hours straight! I went back to some older entries and added a bunch of stuff. Was my day hard because of not being able to walk well, or feeling ‘stoned’ 24/7? No, not really. If that’s all I had to deal with, I would have been happy. Why am I sharing this? Because as I sat down to write I covered things that I had no idea I was going to write about, to be honest it feels like a prophetic function. Many times as I made radio messages, I had no idea I was going to say the stuff I said. I will later review the tapes and see things that I didn’t even know I knew! So Paul tells Timothy ‘Preach the word, be instant in season and out of season. Reprove, rebuke and exhort with all longsuffering [ouch- maybe in the Greek it really means ‘short suffering’?] and doctrine. For in doing this YOU WILL SAVE YOURSELF, AND THOSE WHO HEAR YOU’. There is a prophetic function that causes both the hearers and the speakers to ‘receive salvation’ as a result. Paul said ‘woe is me if I preach not the gospel’ Paul knew that he would actually be ‘cursing himself’ if he didn’t preach, or communicate the Word of the Lord. Jeremiah said ‘I determined not to speak anymore in the name of the Lord’ but then there was this ‘fire in his bones’. God said ‘I put this thing in you, if you don’t let this fire out, it will consume you’. It says in Revelation ‘fire proceeds out of their mouths and consumes their adversaries’ ‘we overcame him [enemy] by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony’. God makes deposits into prophetic people [all of us are prophetic!] these deposits are like ‘fire inside you’ it is meant to ‘devour the enemy’. If you don’t let it out it can ‘burn you from the inside out!’

 

(508) I kid my daughter’s friends and stuff. They will do something silly, and I say ‘I am going to put that on the blog’ or ‘I told that story on the radio’ they know I am kidding, they will say ‘you better not!’ These are all 13-15 year olds. I am finally going to tell one. One of the girls is a real nice kid. She is a Christian and her family goes to church and all. She has a stepfather and a bunch of brothers and sisters. She is Hispanic [I say this for a reason] [actually I was just going to kid and say the reason is ‘I don’t like Hispanics’- but I think that would have been going overboard. Many of my best buddies are Hispanic!] A couple of years ago this girl got on the school bus with a pocket knife. And basically the no tolerance policy had her kicked out of school, and my daughter got put in a disciplinary area of our schools for a few months. It was a mess. Right after it happened I of course forgave the little girl, and I dealt with the whole problem of my daughter getting involved. It was so easy for this nice ‘Hispanic’ family to want to retreat and hide and maybe even move from the block. After all, it was ‘living up’ to all the stereo types that exist. I actually right away waved to the family when I saw them. After the initial punishments that the kids went thru, I let my kids be friends and all. I could tell that at first the family was real worried about living with this ‘mark’ or stereotype. I even would wind up kidding the girl when she would come over. I would say ‘let’s put up all the knives’ and stuff like that. Not to take it too lightly, but to be real. I have been much worse than this in my life. I shared with her a few weeks ago about how I was dreaming of the floods coming, and then a few weeks later Texas got the worst floods on record [apart from a hurricane]. She was shocked, as I was telling her the dream; she said ‘I too just had those dreams’. I shared how the bible says ‘God will pour out his Spirit on all flesh and your sons and DAUGHTERS will prophesy, and dream dreams’. She is a cute kid. I will have to tell her name now, for the rest of the story. Her name is ‘Hannah’ the reason I had to share it is because one time one of the girls asked what a certain name meant [?] and I shared the spiritual meaning behind it. This kid asks ‘what’s my name mean John’ [I know I shouldn’t have] but I said something like ‘the devils child’. Now right away they knew I was kidding ‘like, shut up’ and then I told her the story of Hannah in scripture. But the whole point is it would have been so easy to stereotype this family. This little girl has a calling, like all kids, we obviously don’t want our kids hanging out with kids who get in trouble, but be sensitive to the Spirits leading. These kids remember the stories you tell them about God. It stays with them!

 

(509)    Let me make a distinction here between ‘professional clergy/salary’ and New Testament giving. Jesus had a treasury [a collection of money/material goods to meet his needs and the disciples during the 3 year ministry of Christ]. During this time THEY WERE THE ONLY ‘STOREHOUSE’ OF GOD ON THE EARTH. [Apart from the actual one at the Temple, this is a transition stage if you will] They were the fledgling movement of Jesus in the beginning stage. Theologians usually point to Pentecost [Acts 2] as the birthing of the church; I have no real problem with that. Jesus said if you have a disagreement take it to the church [what church? He said this before Acts 2. And scripture speaks of ‘the church in the wilderness with Moses’ the point is you had groups of people following hard after God!] During the time of Christ’s earthly ministry people did voluntarily give of material goods to Jesus and the disciples, this is acceptable in Christian circles. You also had the Pharisees [hired clergy!] operating along a legalistic system of giving that came along with their religion [The Tithe!] so right from the start you are seeing a major difference in the way the New Testament church would function, as opposed to the religious law. During this time of giving to Jesus they simply received whatever was freely given. Sort of like the ‘freewill offerings’ taught in the Old Testament. You find Judas getting upset because the woman poured the expensive perfume on Jesus. Judas wanted to sell it because he was stealing from ‘the bag’ [of cash]. So during Jesus ministry we find a great example of how giving and receiving would be carried out in the church. Pretty simple. This style was keeping true to the actual teachings Jesus taught ‘give freely, freely you have received, freely give’ and all the other things Jesus taught. Later on in the Epistles and the book of Acts you see real examples of this being carried out. The only ‘tithers’ were the Jerusalem church. I have explained this before. Not real hard to see! But if you never ‘saw’ this before now, then it is hard. After God shows it to you, you begin to see it all thru out scripture. This leaves us today with the free grace and duty to give to those in need, which can include ‘laboring elders/pastors’ a major difference between ‘hired clergy’ or ‘using your gift to make money’. Jesus and the disciples used their gifts many times with out taking offerings. They did not see this as wrong. You often hear in today’s world ‘I am only asking you to give to me for your benefit’ now Paul does say this at times, the point is you have the average believer hearing this thru TV, when he ‘goes to church’ and the appeal is endless. There are many times where ministry was carried out with no appeals for an offering. Let’s be attentive to what God is saying. Paul did like me, he basically said to the Corinthians ‘I have not charged you for the gospel’ he also said ‘I had a right to receive support, but I chose to lay this right down’ it seems quite plain to me that it is very scriptural for lots of ‘ministers’ to decide to take this route. Some do [not just me] but we often don’t leave this option on the table when training young men to be Pastors. We teach a form of giving that simply looks at the basic need for upkeep of the building, paying salary and stuff like this. In this environment you can’t really teach it the way I just did. But then you have the rise of ‘home/cell’ churches. The ‘emerging churches’ and all types of free flowing styles of Christians getting together and sharing their faith. Many of these movements do not take money at all, except maybe for the meeting of the real needs of people around them. As you can imagine this can cause a type of insecurity to rise up in the hired clergy. The Pharisees said ‘If Jesus keeps doing his stuff, we will lose our position and place in society’. There is a real fear when someone sees the possibility of ‘loosing his job’. So the old time clergy will fight against this more legitimate expression of ‘church’ by saying ‘they are not a church’. And then you have all the problems you have seen me write about up until now! So in grace give to support the work of God, there definitely are good ‘churches’ and Pastors doing good works. Use discernment, go with Gods leading. Give freely. Pastors, some of you can take Paul’s example and ‘do it for free’. Some already do! NOTE; I have heard it taught like this ‘well, if people get offended and think churches/ministries are asking for too much money, then let them get offended. I am doing it for their own good’. Paul actually said one of the reasons why he didn’t take money from the Corinthians was so people couldn’t use the ‘money excuse’ against him. Paul’s attitude wasn’t ‘well, if they get offended, let them’ Paul said ‘I will go out of my way to not offend people, or give them excuses to speak against the gospel’ so much of today’s ‘offense’ that is given because of the churches money focus is a bad thing. Christians are responsible to remove any barriers that the world has. Even if we have a ‘right’ to the offering, sometimes you lay that ‘right’ down for the sake of the gospel.

 

(510)    I read a book years ago on ‘church planting’. It was a good book. I remember one of the stories how a brother came to preach a series of meetings in some church. During the week of meetings they collected thousands of dollars. The type of teaching focused on all the scriptures on ‘giving to get’. After the week was over the ‘evangelist’ took the Pastor and their wives to a jewelry store. The Evangelist bought his wife a diamond [or some other jewelry?] and spent all the money on it. He sincerely told the Pastor ‘this is the reward for my service to God’. Because of the tremendous lack of balance in today’s church, stuff like this happens. I do not see this above brother as a ‘fake’ or false prophet [you might!] I see him as a victim [willingly] of the wrong focus and understanding of all we have taught these past few years. I do wonder what they think when they read 1st Timothy 6, or the verses on ‘watch out for the love of money’ or Peters words on ‘elders, take oversight of Gods flock, not for the sake of filthy money, but out of a pure heart’. They seem to think the other verses on Gods provisions trump these verses. It just isn’t so. We do have a long way to go.

 

(511)    I don’t know how many of you old Jersey friends are reading this blog. I know there are a few. To my old friend John Lattarulo, I am looking at some old pictures that I have when we were kids. It’s got one of me and you flying a kite in Hudson County Park. My old friend Mark Lillis is holding the kite. I am holding the string and you are holding the spool of string. The reason I had to laugh is the ‘spool’ of string must have a few 100 thousand yards of string on it. It looks like a full roll of paper towels or something. I said to myself ‘gee, you think we had enough string?’ Thought it was funny.

 

(512)    500 years ago the bible was written in Latin. A man named William Tyndale secretly published thousands of New Testaments in English. The ‘church’ saw this as absolute rebellion. It wasn’t just the ‘wicked Catholics’ it was a mindset that began to see as ‘sacred’ something that was once truly used of God. But the church couldn’t distinguish between that which they saw as ‘untouchable’ and the true intent of God. I see the same thing among Protestants today. Many of them see it sacrilegious to challenge the whole idea of ‘Sunday Church’. They see this structure that worked well for hundreds of years, and they cant see that God can operate ‘outside’ of this limited perspective. Many believers were killed if they were found with Tyndales bibles. The ‘institutional church’ came against the organic one in a big way. Today we see our mistakes, and we understand that God is merciful. Those who are fighting against the purpose of God for his Ecclesia really think they are ‘doing God service’. In a few centuries we will see different. NOTE; why do I harp on this issue so much? Some theologians actually understand all the things I have written on the ‘Local Church’ and agree that she was a ‘community of people’ as opposed to what we think today. They believe that maybe it was Gods plan for the church to ‘grow into’ a hierarchal institution as seen in the Catholic/Orthodox church. Some think ‘what the church has become is what God wanted, even though it is not what she was like in the first century’. The reason this is bad/wrong is because one of the most basic truths of Christianity is the believers ‘full access and acceptance with God by faith’ Luther’s doctrine of ‘the Priesthood of all believers’. To then develop an idea about ‘church’ that seems to say to believers ‘you are not legitimate unless you do such and such’ this takes away the heart of the believers right to function and spread the Kingdom by virtue of the fact that ‘they believe’. God chose ‘justification by faith’ I know we usually see ‘justification’ in terms of ‘being saved’ but it carries with it someone who at one time was ‘illegitimate’ and has now become ‘legitimate’. So any so called ‘development’ of an institutional church, that lends itself to the de legitimizing of the average believer, in my view is not what God intended. In essence these ‘structures’ can be a real hindrance to the freedom of all believers, if we use them to declare to Christians ‘you are not under the authority of a local church’.

 

(513)    A few months ago, before I got sick or had any physical problems, I wrote a dream on this blog. I forget where it is, but it is on the blog. It said ‘I was in a shop area; I was going to different stands. I stopped at one that was a ‘physician’s stand’ I purchased a trumpet and walked away with a limp’. Now I know I gave the best interpretation that I thought at the time. It just recently dawned on me that I have spent the summer going to ‘physician’s offices’ and I have been walking away from them with this real limp. Sometimes we have a tendency to ‘spiritualize’ prophetic things. Some times they turn out to be more real than you could have imagined!

 

(514)    I am praying one of my ‘intercessory’ prayers where I go thru a long list of things that I feel are important. I just prayed for the church worldwide, the Korean hostages in Afghanistan and a bunch of other stuff. Even by name for the people who have emailed me and asked for prayer! I told them I would regularly pray for them by name! The reason I stopped is not to ‘brag about my praying’ but I just prayed for all the unbelievers in the world. I don’t generalize it too much; I try to pray for specific people groups. I say ‘Father, I pray for every group outside of the Covenant of your Son. For all Muslims, for all Israel and for every one else outside of Christ. Father reveal your Son to them. Send laborers into the harvest’ When scripture says ‘pray for the peace of Jerusalem’ it doesn’t mean for her military success. It doesn’t mean for her ‘standing’ in the geopolitical world ‘more money for defense’. When you ‘pray for the peace of Jerusalem’ or any other people group, you pray that God would open their eyes to the Prince of Peace!

 

(515)    I want to talk a little on politics. I am not a Republican or a Democrat. This week the House of Representatives took a vote on certain pending legislation that would have given illegal aliens Social Security, it was added to a bill as one of the ‘add ons’ that politicians do to ‘slip’ things thru. Both sides play this game. Now during the floor vote the little machine that actually tallies the vote said ‘215-213’ in favor of the minority party [Republicans]. But being the Majority party is Democrat, they actually have the right to ‘say’ what the vote is. So they simply announced ‘the vote is 214 to 214’ and the tie always goes to the majority party. I am sure they figured ahead of time ‘this is what we are going to do, we believe that we are helping people, so what if we do this ‘little lie’. I admit it is no real big thing in the scheme of things, I do find it funny that this same group will state that one of its greatest achievements in this congressional year is ‘ethics reform’. I guess it means the ethics of the opposing side? The whole point is our country is really in serious trouble. This type of major childish division fuels our political parties. It goes on endlessly. I will try and explain the ‘Valerie Plame’ outing. Before we invaded Iraq [which I personally was against from the get go!] you had political people that were for it and against it. A book was just written that shows how the C.I.A. has been in open opposition to the Bush administration from day one. It goes into detail how for various reasons the C.I.A. had things against Bush. So before we invaded Iraq, you had a few people [in the CIA] that were actively trying to come up with evidence of why we shouldn’t invade. During this time a person named Joe Wilson went overseas to see if he could find proof that Iraq wasn’t trying to buy ‘yellow cake’ from the country of Niger. If he could show that there was no evidence, then this would undermine one of the reasons for invasion. He comes back after his trip and writes an open article in the New York Times that says ‘The Bush administration sent me to see if there was evidence, I went and came back and told them there was none. They obviously are ignoring their own people that they sent’. Now when the Bush administration read this, they went ‘huh’ [or some other cuss word]. In essence they had no idea who this guy was, and who sent him. Joe Wilson claimed that the Vice President sent him. Cheney calls the C.I.A. [the group that is overjoyed about this by the way] and finds out after digging into it that some lady named Valerie Plame sent him. She suggested he go, because he speaks French and would be able to handle the people better [I think it was French?] O, I left out one little detail. Valerie Plame is the wife of Joe Wilson. So after a few weeks of the press saying ‘look, Bush ignored his own guy who brought back evidence’ Cheney does something that is natural. It is a real part of politics. He tells his staff [Lewis Libby] get the word out that we didn’t send this guy, his wife did. Why would you do this? So people wouldn’t think that Cheney’s office sent him, like he was saying. During all of this, there was a little ‘oversight’ that nobody took into account. Valerie Wilson had what was called ‘undercover status’ she had previously done some undercover work for the C.I.A. and held this status. This made it illegal to ‘out her name’ in public. Now most reporters in town knew who she was. She had even appeared on the cover of a magazine, using her name! If you are really undercover you don’t do this. Even Andrea Mitchell [a well respected reporter] said ‘everyone knew she worked for the C.I.A.’ Now, of course the other side [Democrats] demanded ‘who outed her on purpose’ they do a special investigation and find out it was Dick Armitage [someone who the Democrats like!] who inadvertently told her name to Robert Novak [who at the time worked for C.N.N.] So what was really a story about ‘get the truth out, we didn’t send Joe Wilson, his wife did’ became a national joke. A huge game of ‘I got you now’ played out on a national scale by politicians who are acting like children while the world is facing real problems. This is why the Democrats will say one of their greatest achievements this year is ‘ethics reform’ they see ‘getting the other side’ as achievement. Today I don’t defend either side. The fact is if these childish games are played on such a large scale. The public thinking ‘wow, Scooter Libby got off Scott free’ for a horrible crime [he did lie during the investigation, and they got him on perjury- Bush commuted his sentence]. While the politicians are playing a game of ‘gottcha’ it is hurting this country. Most of you didn’t even realize all the stuff I just showed you in context, because we are victims of the news medias ‘sound bites’. Pray for our country. No side [Republican/Democrat] are perfect. Scripture says a house divided against itself can not stand. Sad to say, we are looking like that house more and more as the years go by. NOTE; Joe Wilson sued the White House saying they purposely caused harm to him and his family by outing his wife. A Federal judge just recently ruled on their case. The judge said ‘when you plunge yourself into the fray of political action to the degree that you say openly ‘Cheney sent me’. That in this environment it is perfectly acceptable for the other side to ‘get the facts out’. The judge saw it the way I just explained it to you. Also during this whole time, congress did a special investigation concerning Joe Wilson’s open claims that ‘Cheney sent me’ they found him to have been lying. Another interesting thing, the book that just came out exposing the tremendous political rift between the C.I.A. and the Bush administration, shows that there were a few people in the C.I.A. that actually held to the conspiracy theory that the Bush administration knew the planes were heading towards the towers, and let them hit so we would have an excuse to invade Iraq. Sort of like the ‘Gulf of Tonkin’ or how some believe that F.D.R. knew of the Pearl Harbor attack, but let it happen anyway. You will find these ideas on the internet from all types of people. It is alarming to think that people in the C.I.A. actually held to this. I believe Joe Wilson is a good man at heart, his wife also. He sincerely believes that there was more to the ‘outing of his wife’. He felt like Karl Rove was secretly behind it to get him. While there is no doubt that the White House ‘pushed back’ against him and his wife, the evidence seems to show that it was for the purpose that I revealed above. During this time many Democrats knew this to be true, they just played the man to their advantage. It’s like going along with someone’s miss conceptions, because after all ‘he might just take down this President, or at Least Cheney’. So people become tools in the hands of the parties to get what they want. The fact is poor Wilson really had this conspiracy thing going ‘they got my wife’. The judge ruled ‘yes they got her, but it was to show that your story wasn’t true’. It’s like lying on the vote ‘215-213’ into ‘214-214’ you sincerely believe what you are doing is right for the country, so if it means you have to lie to achieve it, you do. Despite the fact that you just passed ‘ethics reform’. All people have ways to justify their own sin, while finding the other sides to be deplorable. NOTE; Let me give you a few known facts in this case. Before the war, Colin Powel gave a speech at the U.N. that included a reference to Iraq trying to purchase ‘yellow cake’ [an ingredient needed to build a Nuclear bomb] from Niger. The C.I.A. had said ‘we are not sure about this piece of intelligence, it is possible to be not true’. The fact that Powel used it is seen to be the Bush administrations ‘selective use’ of intelligence for their own purpose. There was a lot of ‘fabricated’ intelligence that the opposing side in Iraq actually made up so the U.S. would invade. Saddam’s enemies weren’t idiots! Now after all was said and done in this affair, some today still believe that Iraq really was trying to obtain this stuff from Niger, others don’t. Great Britain has stated they believe other intelligence to be true, despite the possibility that some was made up. They insist that they have other reasons to believe it. So the Joe Wilson premise, that Iraq wasn’t proved to be trying to get this stuff has some truth to it. After Powell left the administration he also felt like the Bush administration might have taken advantage of his standing by allowing this in the speech. What was also true is the open fact, that many countries intelligence agencies all pointed to the fact that Iraq was wanting a Nuclear Weapon. So to many people this point is moot. My point is both sides play into the game of ‘gotcha on this one’. Most politicians who were fueling the ‘go get em Wilson’ had to have known the basic premise of all I just showed you in this entry. They will ‘blow it out of proportion’ on purpose. After all the Republicans did it to Clinton! [they did!] So the game is non stop. Joe Wilson lied, an investigation showed this. Not about the major stuff, but about the fact that Bush didn’t send him. Clinton lied, not about ‘major stuff’ but about, well you know! Libby lied, not about outing Wilson’s wife, but about who first told him Wilson’s wife was Valerie Plame. He did lie about this, even though he wasn’t the main ‘leaker’. They caught him in a lie. The Judge gave him over 2 years in prison and a huge financial fine. Bush commuted the prison term. Of course the Democrats were outraged. The game never stops! NOTE; Jesus said a strange thing in the gospel. He said ‘if these injustices can happen when the tree is green, what will happen when anarchy is here’ [my paraphrase]. Scripture says ‘where envying and strife are, this is confusion and EVERY EVIL WORK’ The strategy of the enemy is to cause there to be this type of environment. The crucifixion of Jesus took place in the heated political posturing of the day. The Jews saying ‘he claims to be our king, we have no king but Caesar’ [even though they despised Caesar!] the inference was ‘Pilate, if you don’t kill this guy, well you must not think too highly of Caesar’. Pilate writes ‘the King of the Jews’ over the Cross. The Jews say ‘don’t put that! Put ‘he said I was the king of The Jews’ [because this would make it look like the Jews had him killed because of their so called ‘love for Caesar’] Pilate says ‘I have written it and it will stay’. All this happened according to Jesus ‘in a green tree’ which meant during a time of true govt. and law existing. Though Rome was not Christian, they actually had a system of courts and justice that allowed appeals to me made and all. Jesus is saying ‘if they can do this type of injustice during true govt. just wait till anarchy gets here’. When you have this type of political posturing take place, the enemy can ‘slip in’ abortion and all types of stuff. The actual fact that there are occasions in this country where babies ‘slipped out’ during an abortion and made it. And the Doctors cant ‘kill it’ because it’s too late [these things have happened] makes you think ‘what in the world are we doing’ but in the midst of all this strife, there is confusion and ‘every evil work’. The answer is not to be found in politics. Its found in ‘if my people who are called by my name shall humble themselves, and pray and turn from their sins. Then I will hear from heaven and forgive their sin and heal their land’. Our land desperately needs to be healed! NOTE; I do find it ironic that politicians try to pass ‘ethics reform’ while at the same time openly say ‘it is not a politicians job to legislate morality’ ethics [moral standards] reform [repentance] is ‘imposing morality’ by definition! Yet if you were to ask them ‘why do you support the murder of babies in the womb’ they will say ‘I am personally against it, but it is not my job to impose morality’ this my friends is hypocrisy in it’s highest form. NOTE; Jesus one time told the Jews ‘I come to you in truth, I come in the name of my Father. I present myself to you in truth as his Son. I have told you truth. Yet  you will not believe me. Yet when another comes to you in his name, you believe him’ Scholars have related this to the anti Christ. It’s possible. But if you put this in context of all I just showed you, it’s also possible that Jesus is foreseeing their future accusation against him by their so called allegiance to Caesar. In essence he might be saying ‘not too long from now you guys will be appealing to Caesar as your king, though you will be doing it at the rejection of your true king’. They were more than willing to acknowledge Rome’s authority over them when it seemed convenient to their cause. Yet the King they have been waiting for, for thousands of years shows up and they wont take his word for it!

 

(515)  I want to challenge you guys. I have spoken a lot on this blog on your responsibility to ‘bring the Kingdom’ wherever you go. Remember, because we have access to God [Jacobs ladder/the Cross] wherever we go we are ‘setting up that ladder’ [bringing an atmosphere where God and man meet]. I have also shown you how God commands us all to go into the world and preach the gospel. Many times we spend way too much time trying to figure out ‘how will I fund it, where will the money come from’ well I hate to say this, but it comes from YOU! What! Show me scripture! Well just a reminder ‘he that is not working, let him get a job so HE CAN HAVE TO GIVE TO THOSE IN NEED’ ‘See a brother in need. Feed him’ ‘give to him that asketh of thee’ ‘how can you say you love God, who you don’t see. When you don’t meet the real needs of your brothers, who you do see’. Now, for sure there are verses where Paul asks for others to give financially into the work. I am not saying there is no biblical authority for doing this. I am saying God does expect all believers to share of their own time and resources to spread the Kingdom. You don’t get off the hook just because you gave into the church offering basket! I want to exhort you today to give yourself away somehow for the kingdom. If all you do is sit around and listen to talk radio, or read the papers and are inundated with how the poor and hurting are such a drain on society, you will get a critical spirit. If you begin touching the lost you will see them as real friends and people. Don’t try and figure out how you will fund your ministry, give yourself away instead!

 

(516)    One of my buddies at the firehouse is a Christian. He sees the ministry stuff I do and all. So one time he makes an honest effort to do something out of charity. He tells me how this lady called the firehouse and asked if any guys wanted some fire wood, all they had to do is come and trim all her trees. To be honest, the cost of trimming these Mesquites would have been more than the value of the wood, but my buddy wanted to do a good deed. He goes over and trims a bunch of trees, he uses his chain saw. As he goes to get more limbs and stuff to bring them back to the truck, he sees his chainsaw  is gone! Sure enough someone stole it. He says ‘see, John. I am trying to help the Lord out and the Devil goes and steals my chainsaw’. I told him ‘the way the enemy works, I am surprised when you went back to get the limbs, the lady didn’t say ‘sonny, I hope you don’t think you’re getting that wood for free!’

 

(517)    A few weeks ago I dropped off the tapes for my radio program. The station is right across the street from our mental health clinic. A lot of ‘homeless/mentally challenged’ people always walking around. The secretary from the radio station has told me they lock the doors because they are always getting these guys walking in and stuff. They basically are ‘hiding out’ in their building. So being I think I am the only ‘preacher’ who actually hand delivers the tapes, there is no mail box or anything to put them in. So I have found myself knocking at the door, sometimes for around 10 minutes or so before anyone opens the door. I have told you guys I kinda have long hair, look at little ‘rough’ myself, definitely not what you would think a ‘preacher’ would look like. So the last time I waited for the secretary to get the door, she always looks a little apologetic when they let me in after standing their a few minutes. I finally realized that they must see me thru the tinted glass doors and think I am one of the ‘mentally challenged’ people always walking around. So as I ‘prophetically saw this’ [kidding] I told her as she opened the door ‘Now I realize why you make me wait, you guys think I am one of the ‘strays’, to be honest her face turned a little red. I said ‘I am going to put this on my blog’ she said ‘I never admitted to this!’ I know she didn’t, but to be faithful I thought I would put this entry in like I said. NOTE: If she ever reads this I know she will say ‘I can’t believe he really put this on the blog!’

 

(518)    Yesterday we had a real good outreach day in Bishop. The Lord allowed for a lot of my homeless friends to meet a lot of the original group of guys. Today we plan on going back to Kingsville and just doing an outreach at one of the parks. I feel the Lord wants people to simply ‘act’. Not be a ‘faker’ but an initiator! Get out of the city and dwell in the fields! Sometimes it is the simple act of motion that starts the ball rolling. One of the guys asked me about the vision in Ezekiel ‘a wheel within a wheel’ is it U.F.O.s? I told him I doubt it, but one of the meanings of the vision is God is ‘continually in motion’ as Saint Thomas Aquinas taught, God is the ‘prime mover’. He got the ball rolling! As Gods kids he has given us the inherent ability to ‘get the ball rolling’. Why do we hesitate to act? Out of fear, greed, I want my own thing. All sorts of base lusts and sins keep us from moving. Sometimes we are waiting for the specific exact thing to do, and God says ‘I will give you all the details son, but I can’t give them to you unless your start rolling’! I found it interesting that I hooked up with one of the original families in Bishop. The brother and nephew of real good friends. They have all been to our church in the early days. The brother accepted the Lord thru our ministry [I think the nephew too; I will be baptizing him soon. I know he is a believer for sure, I just didn’t bother to ask if he got saved during those early days] I thought it interesting because the brother [the kid’s uncle] had another brother who was one of our original guys, who died years ago from bad stuff. The brother mentions how I used to know ‘BeBe’ and the nephew says ‘you knew my other uncle brother John’. I didn’t realize he never knew him. There are so many related friends and all thru these families it never dawned on me that this kid was too little to remember the uncle who died years earlier. As we were talking I then re tell some old stories [good ones!] and I trace the original family member, who is this kids Grandfather, who by the way is also dead [many years of drugs] and how the granddad and uncle were some of the original friends of mine. This nephew, who really sees me as his original ‘Pastor’ learned a lot of his family tree from this time. I finally gave him the card to this blog site and he was going to go home and get with another friend [the son of one of our main guys, also related to this family thru the marriage of the mom to the father. It’s a long story!] But these 2 younger kids [now in their early 20’s] were going to get online and read the whole story of the ministry that they never knew before. I just wanted to update you guys today. I didn’t want you to think all I am going thru is struggles. The Lord has really opened some regional doors for us this past week, so keep doing what God is telling you to do, and don’t forget to ‘get moving!’ NOTE; it was weird, as the nephew was asking me if I knew his other uncle who he never saw, but heard stories how he was crazy [shooting cops!] I remembered how 25 years earlier I was visiting his uncle in this exact same ranch property that this family owned. It was another old house that is now gone, but it just happened to have been this exact location of ranch, 25 years earlier! [It’s on the outskirts of Bishop, by Kingsville]. Also I spoke at this uncles funeral years ago, he is buried around 20 yards away from where we were having this discussion, in a little cemetery right next to the house. Also as I was dropping the nephew off in Corpus, he told me ‘brother John, we have your name hanging up in our house’ he told me that his mom has a baby picture of him, I guess when he was born, and it has me signing it ‘brother John’ along with other family members. I surely don’t remember, but it was special for him to have seen this picture for all these years. He must think ‘how in the ‘hell’ has this  guy been involved in so many things. This white boy from Jersey’. He is like his dad, still alive by the way, but ‘in hiding’ if you will, he likes to kid a lot! NOTE: I remember taking this boys dad out to eat years ago. His dad tells me ‘brother John, where are we going to eat? I feel uncomfortable being in a crowded place’ he has done lots of prison time and all, but doesn’t like being where he might run into an off duty cop or something. I tell him ‘don’t worry Rudy, it’s just the buffet at Pizza hut’ [Kingsville] sure enough we go in and it’s not too crowded, after around 10 minutes about 25 on duty state troopers walk in and start eating, I guess they were having some convention or something. You could see the panic in my buddies face. It was funny!

 

(519)    Since I have been sick these last few months, one of the results of the ‘vertigo/feeling always high’ thing has caused me to be claustrophobic. I have avoided closed spaces. So these doctor visits and stuff have me going to the stairs and avoiding the elevator. So what, a few flights of stairs are good for you. It’s not like Jersey, where all the buildings are high. Well, I have this appointment at one of our older hospitals. This building is high. I go in and find the doctors name on the wall map. Floor 8! So, you think the Lord made me face my fears? I hoofed it 8 floors! [Note; I just rode in one yesterday, I got tired of the stairs.]

 

(520)    Recently a local ministrty came under fire for some things. They are friends of mine and run a christrian camp. I am not sure of all the accusations in the news. But when these types of problems arise with ministries it is common to hear ‘they are not under a local church’ or ‘a Pastor’. I also recently watched a service from a church in the Dallas area, it’s a large church with thousands of people. One of the comments from the Pastor was ‘the reason you have all these ‘little churches’ on every street corner is because no body wants to submit, everyone wants to do ‘their own thing’. He is a good man, he has been to Corpus before, he holds to strong apostolic thinking in terms of ‘Apostles are over churches’ and stuff. As I finished the book by Brian Welch [Korn] he shared how as he began learning and growing in the Lord that one Pastor/church told him ‘If you keep visiting these other churches I cant mentor you. You must choose loyalty’. Now in all of these areas above, where do people find safety? Is safety found in ‘being loyal to your church’? What if when we say things like this, if we really say it out of insecurity. The Pastors fear of ‘loosing this famous convert’. Or for other less than noble reasons. How can the Pastor with the large independent church see all the ‘little churches’ as ‘Pastors doing their own thing’ but yet not see how he falls into this same category when being looked at by the traditional church? They see all ‘independent bible churches’ in this light. The New testament shows Jesus preaching the gospel to people. Freely sharing and teaching the love of God. Jesus demanded loyalty to him. As the head of the church this is right. All Christian leadership also has a role to play in being ‘under shepherds’ they take oversight of new and upcoming believers. Safety is found in growing and learning from each other. Mutual submission to one another’s gifts. Seeing and partaking from all the believers in your area. It is not found in giving loyalty or submission to a specific group that meets in your part of town, to the exclusion of all other groups. ‘Well, are you with us or not’? When this wording is used to demand allegiance to a project or to tithe to a certain church, then it is unbiblical. Why? Because nowhere in the New testament do you see these divisions. I too believe a lot of the little ‘churches’ who meet on every corner U.S.A. are a result of wrong thinking and acting. It comes from Christians seeing an ‘overabundance’ of Pastors [millions] to the neglecting of the other gifts in the church. The simple fact that other titles/gifts are mentioned more in scripture than ‘the Pastor’ and yet in today’s church this title seems to mean ‘the main person in charge of a local church’ should cause us to re think our dependence on this office. It also leaves you with the majority of young men who feel this stirring in them to serve God, they are taught this stirring means ‘go be a Pastor’ and then of course you need to ‘start a church’ to be one! There you have it, all well meaning people starting tons of ‘well meaning churches’ [places to meet] and even though many of these churches [big and small] have found themselves in deep heresy and problems, yet when a ‘Para church’ ministry gets in trouble, the Pastors think ‘told you, they are not under us’. It is all a big mess. Safety, freedom, staying on course are all outgrowths of believers being ‘part of the Body’. You must be influenced by as many of the church leaders that have gone on before, as well as those speaking Gods Word today. Your loyalty to the people of God and the purpose of God should be fierce. As a leader yourself, don’t demand allegiance from others in a way that violates peoples consciences ‘you are either with me or not’ to the degree where you do like the Pastor did with Brian Welch. You are stifling their growth when you do this. Sure, if someone you are discipling goes off track, or heads towards a cult. You warn them, but this strong ‘you are under me, sit under my ministry for 20 years’ mindset is a hindrance to the growth of the kingdom. It is often born out of insecurity. The underlying idea that the main problem with today’s church is ‘too many people not willing to submit’ might be true. It would be right if ‘submit’ meant to surrender to Gods cause and purpose. But when we use it in a self serving way. To apply it to other independent ministers/churches because they are small, and yet not see it apply to you, because you ‘are big’ is self serving. It tends to say to those in hearing distance ‘get on board with this highly independent ministry’ who in many ways is just as truncated from the rest of the Body as the ‘little churches’ they are referring to. All Christians should function daily with each other as much as possible. Be in touch with all the people of God in your area. Don’t see a limited form of ‘church/Pastor/tithe’ as the primary measurements of your loyalty. I have already shown you how these ideas didn’t even operate in the early church like they do today. The overall themes of all of us as one people, striving for unity as we learn and mature in Christ. Overcoming the sectarian mindset that says ‘be a part of this church only’ rise above these fleshly divisions and tendencies that exist in Gods people. You will find safety in ‘the church’ [all the people of God, past and present!] and in him whom is the refuge of the Saints! ‘The name of the Lord is a strong tower, the righteous run into it and are safe’.

 

(521)    Was listening to T.D. Jakes the other day. He was preaching on empowering people for the next level. He did share good points. One of the examples was ‘you need people to accomplish something. You can’t do it by yourself. You might be able to make a pound cake, but if you are going to run Sara Lee, you need help’. A good point, scripture shows us how even Moses taught delegated authority. Jesus was the Master at it! My teaching has come against the prevailing mindset in the modern church that says ‘you really can’t make a big impact on your own, you need to give money to us, and then you can reach the world’. Now if you said this, I am not talking about you. I have heard this many times over the years. My point is when we tell people ‘your pound cake doesn’t really matter, or have a big impact’ then we are violating the principle of Jesus when he taught us that our ‘little bit of loaves and fishes’ matters. I know bro. Jakes would agree, he was teaching right on the principle of business that he was sharing. I just wanted to show you how your little bit does matter. Jesus delegated all of us to do our little bit. True delegation empowers everyone. In today’s world we make appeals to people based on money ‘give your money and you will have a reward in all the ministries you support’. There is some truth to this, but Jesus really didn’t teach us that we could ‘witness’ vicariously. Or ‘touch the world vicariously’ he actually told us to GO. So to view the principle of partnering in a way that seems to let the people think if they give money they are off the hook, isn’t a viable biblical alternative. At the judgment he says ‘when I was hungry and thirsty and in jail you didn’t come to me’ he doesn’t say ‘you didn’t support financially the programs that were doing it’. So, go ahead and make your pound cake, you would be surprised how far it can go!

 

(522)    I spent some time the other day with one of my new friends. He is homeless and does suffer from mental problems, more than most. He is a great friend and very smart. He retells all of the movies he has ever seen. He remembers every detail from them, and tells the spiritual lessons that God has shown him thru the movies. Disney stories and stuff ‘Iron Will’ ‘Where the Red Fern grows’. Somehow I mentioned the verse ‘where no Oxen are the crib is clean, but much increase comes from the strength of the Ox’ [somewhere in Proverbs]. I talked about the ‘stuff’ we sometimes have to wade thru in order to see increase. It is popular today to avoid the ‘stuff’ as you make your way to Sunday church. Try to make the goal ‘don’t step in the stuff’ . Heaven forbid one of these guys holding up a sign gets too close to the car, the ‘stuff’ might get on you. It’s possible to live your whole life staying clean and avoiding ‘the stuff’, but you would be surprised of the riches and treasures you can find in the people who are ‘covered by the stuff’.

 

(523)    Yesterday [Sunday] we had a good fellowship day with some of our guys. We went to my church [a mega church] and also visited a friend’s tent church service that he holds in a park. A lot of my homeless friends were there. We also watched a few T.V. church services in between [at my house. Isaiah 58 says you’re blessed if you take the homeless to YOUR OWN HOUSE!] Thru it all we heard the themes of giving for Gods work, that God wants you to have favor and that Paul was content when he had both a little and a lot! I found it interesting, the message on ‘You don’t have to go thru life struggling, you have a ‘crown’ of favor on you’ was good to hear. A little too unbalanced. One of the verses on ‘our crown’ actually spoke of the blessings that the believer gets at the end of his life, a crown [reward] waiting for us at the resurrection. So in context you really can’t apply it to God always wanting us to have ‘the overabundance’ because part of the ‘being content’ verse speaks of being content even in lack. The teaching on giving was fine. Overall it seemed like the Lord was speaking to us that day on giving and serving and being part of the ‘Body of Christ’. All of the ‘church’ are the people of God. My friend who holds the tent meeting invited me to preach. I respectfully told him ‘I don’t do that anymore’. I didn’t want to let him down, there are so many others who can do it, I already speak too much! Radio and writing and all, give someone else a chance. I just have gotten away from the whole routine of ‘preaching at churches’ I feel I am not supposed to do it. Well I thought I would share this one with you guys, hope you got something from it.

 

(524)    Let me give you guys a health update. I at this time only take natural supplements [vitamins and stuff] and am trusting the Lord to heal me. These last few months I have been prescribed various things for pain and the ‘dizziness’ and other stuff. In keeping with what I told you guys in the past, I have basically chosen to not take any medication long term. I have taken some of the med’s I was given, but nothing long term. The last back doctor kind of saw that I was in pain, but I told him ‘Doc, this is my last visit. I don’t want any med’s, lets just wrap this up’. So I don’t want to tell you guys to do this, but I wanted to let you know that this is what’s happening. I am not totally healed yet and I still want you guys to pray for me! But thought I would give you this update.

 

(525)    Isaiah 60  ‘Arise, shine; for thy light has come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee. Darkness shall cover thee earth and gross darkness the people, but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee’ Like we said when we spoke on the kingdom of God, though the world is getting darker, the church gets brighter! We are ‘the light of the world’ the world needs us! They don’t want to admit it, but at the end of all atheism, humanism and every other ‘ism’ there is a void. They will be drawn to the light! ‘Gentiles SHALL come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising’ ‘thy sons shall come from far, and thy daughters shall be nursed at thy side’ though these verses are Messianic in nature [they speak prophetically of Christ] yet they are also fulfilled thru us, because we are ‘extensions of Christ’ in the earth. We ARE his Body! ‘Then thou shalt see, and FLOW TOGETHER, and thy heart shall fear and be enlarged’ When the Lord is magnified, when his will and purpose take precedence, we FEAR him and are enlarged. We also flow together as Gods people. There is a real sense of your success being found in your brothers and sister’s success. We flow together. ‘In my wrath I smote thee, but in my favor I have had mercy on thee. Therefore thy gates shall be open continually’ in the ‘New Jerusalem’ [the Church] our gates are ‘open always’ people find access to come in and rest in God. But open gates also allow for there to be exit. Not ‘damnation’ here, but a going into all the world to preach the gospel. The people of God are made to find rest in him and be by still waters. Then there comes this churning, this ‘inner pull’ to go out ‘is it from God’ yes! God allows you to have seasons of rest and refuge, and then he calls you to the example of Christ. He compels you to look at the harvest and say ‘here am I, send me’. ‘The glory of Lebanon shall come to thee, the Fir tree, the Pine tree and the Box tree together, to beautify the place of my sanctuary, AND I WILL MAKE THE PLACE OF MY FEET GLORIOUS’ God will bring great diversity [Pine, Box, Fir tree’s] into one corporate function and purpose. We will no more say ‘I am Charismatic’ I am Baptist, I am Catholic, I am this or that. We will truly bring our diversity together and lay them at Christ’s feet. He makes the place of his feet glorious. Jesus washed the disciple’s feet; he was showing that this place of humility and service will be honored in Gods economy. It is the place of value and exaltation. He offers it to all, there doesn’t seem to be a lot of takers. ‘Whereas thou hast been afflicted and hated, I will make thee an eternal excellency; a joy of many generations’ God allows affliction and hatred for a season. Both natural Israel and her Messiah went thru this. We all will partake of it at one time or another; REJOICE when it happens, because God is preparing you for eternal excellency! ‘For brass I will bring gold, for iron silver, for wood brass and for stones iron, I will make thy officers peace’ we often preach and teach ‘for stones you will get gold’ we ‘skip’ the steps! God’s prosperity comes to those who patiently and consistently give and love and work and invest and do many things in stages. These people are not trying to turn stones into gold. They realize you go from stones to iron to silver and to gold. They have realistic expectations on living a consistent life. God will make our ‘officials’ peace. The verse that says let all your requests be known to God and Gods peace will keep your hearts and minds, this speaks of Gods peace being the ‘officiator’ Christians make good decisions when they cast all their care over to God. Gods peace comes in to officiate for us, we don’t have to worry about the next step, we simply need to rest and walk in it as it is revealed. ‘Violence shall be no more in the land, nor destruction in our borders, your walls shall be Salvation and your gates Praise’ this is speaking of a spiritual/heavenly city. God is already showing that his future place of rest, the ‘eternal city’ that needs no light, because the Lamb is the light, God is showing that it is a place where walls and gates are praise and salvation. Not brick and mortar! He will make this place glorious. ‘The Lord shall be the everlasting light, the days of mourning shall be ended Thy people shall all be righteous, they shall inherit the land for ever, the branch of my planting, the work of my hands, that I may be glorified. A little one shall become a thousand, a small one a strong nation: I the Lord will do it in my time’ God will extend you and cause all the people you work with to be right. A day is coming where the smallest one [least significant] shall have great influence. He will ‘grow you and your people like a branch thru the earth’ thru the people you bring into the Kingdom, God will allow great influence to go forth. God told Abraham ‘thru your seed shall all nations be blessed’ you are simply the ‘instigator/initiator’ of the thing, it will get carried out thru your spiritual children!

 

(526)    One of the homeless brothers told me how he started feeling dizzy a few weeks back, before I started getting with him on a regular basis. Another friend shared his testimony with me, how God visited him years ago and he had this awesome experience. One of the ‘effects’ was he felt like he was ‘looking thru a glass’. Our key brother in Kingsville [one of them, I have a few] reminded me of a dream he had in prison, where he was on the highway overpass looking into the city and he saw as it were a ‘sea of people’. I have spoken on all of these experiences and images over these past few months. Often time’s people from the same spiritual family go thru like things. Pray for your brothers and sisters. Pray for those who you regularly work with and interact with as a Body. Three fold cords are not easily broken. There is strength in unity and agreement. Jesus said ‘where 2 or more agree, God will act’ be loyal to the brotherhood that exists in Christ.

 

(527)    I was reading on a movement of Christians out of Austin who left the concept of ‘church’ as being the ‘place we go to on Sunday’ and have relocated their families to the lower class areas of town. These are Chinese believers who are seeing ‘church’ as community. I also remember reading an article a few years ago on ‘out of church Christians’. The article spoke on why so many people are ‘leaving church’ and addressed a lot of good things. Later in the article the writer then talked about ‘coming back from the wilderness journey into the church’. He still ‘saw’ church as the Sunday meeting. He misread what God was doing. Those who have left the ‘Sunday church model’ are not ‘in the wilderness’ so to speak. They are seeing ‘church’ as the entire community action that they are involved with. This is much different than simply ‘seeing’ the people who are ‘leaving Sunday church’ as disgruntled or dissatisfied believers. The new paradigm [really not new, it was around for the first few centuries] sees the actual community of people as ‘the church’. So for these to then see ‘going back to the Sunday model’ as coming out from the wilderness is not seeing the heart of the movement. I also read the critics who are against the ‘emergent model’. Some feel that they are giving in to liberal trends in theology [I am sure some are] and are fighting against the community model thinking they are ‘defending the faith’. You don’t have to embrace theological liberalism to see this new way of doing church. The first century Apostles were certainly not theological liberals, but they viewed church as community. I just thought I would share these few thoughts today, hope it helped. NOTE; Another interesting fact about the ‘out of the church building’ movement is that the Lord allowed for there to be a whole new way to communicate this truth thru the internet. During the time of the reformation you recently had the printing press invented by Guttenberg. It’s like the Lord opened up a door of mass communication right at the time of him raising up prophetic voices who would speak into the church at large. There were new groups of believers for the first time publishing all these small articles [Tractarians] and these writings were having a tremendous impact on the church. So today you have the availability of the net to allow the ‘common voices’ to speak into the church at large. This is actually part of the concept of the corporate voice versus the singular one [Pastor]. Many home church movements see the teaching of Paul in Corinthians as telling the church to all have an input, not just one main speaker. This is what is happening thru the net. Many voices are being heard. You then of course have the danger that our Catholic brothers raised during the reformation. The Catholics [some] believed if the bible was translated from Latin into the common language there would be all sorts of interpretations and stuff. Some of this came true! You had certain radical people who started ‘Waco’ [Muenster Prophets? If I remember well] type cults during this time. And it was a result of individuals coming up with their own ‘private’ interpretation of scripture. But the answer wasn’t to stifle the church, but to allow all believers to freely read and see the truth of God, despite the danger of a few going off track. So in the world of ‘being on line’ you can see a real revolution take place, are there possible areas of danger? Sure. But overall the internet has become a ‘printing press’ for the modern reformation! NOTE; another result of the reformation was the fact that many new believers would no longer ‘pay tithes’ into the old system. The instigating factor of the reformation was the abuse of indulgences, a money issue! So likewise today you are also seeing the strong ‘tithe or you are under the curse’ versus ‘give to your brothers in need’ mentality. It is only normal for those dependant on the tithe to fight against this. They see all the good things they want to accomplish, and they realize it can’t be done unless so many people tithe. The new churches are getting away from this. They see the actual concept of all Gods people living every day as ‘the church’ to be the real ‘change factor’ in the world. They don’t view the need for lots of money to come into the institution, they see all the people as the ‘institution’ and therefore the act of releasing them into the harvest will have a greater effect than all the money in the world.

 

(528)    Isaiah 61  ‘The Spirit of the Lord is upon me BECAUSE the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings to the meek, he hath sent me to bind up the broken hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound’ Jesus read this verse in the gospel and said it was being fulfilled thru him. God anoints Jesus and us for set purposes. I find it interesting how this coincides with chapter 58 and deals with the hand of God to free people. To actually minister to real needs. In chapter 58 God rebukes Israel for thinking the anointing [Spirit] is for ritualistic religion, he tells them to do justice and reach out to the hurting. Jesus exemplifies this. He ‘proclaims’ liberty to captives. It’s like if someone were in a jail cell and the governor sent a message that said ‘you are already pardoned’. The message of the gospel is ‘you are free, God is not holding your sins against you. Only believe!’ We often preach ‘you must do so and so to get free’ Jesus said ‘you already are’. ‘To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, the day of vengeance of our God’ we must make it clear that a day of judgment is coming. The reality is God does forgive you, but you must come thru the Cross. It must be plain that all who reject Christ face a sure and certain judgment. A few years ago a very famous Charismatic preacher became a ‘universalist’ [someone who believes that everyone goes to heaven, or in this case that hell and judgment do not exist] He shared how when he stopped preaching ‘hell’ that it just made everyone feel better. It might make you feel better, but that doesn’t mean it’s not real! God wants us to tell people about this ‘acceptable time of the Lord’ but also warn them that if they refuse Gods grace, judgment is coming down the road. ‘To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness’ Now we are going to see a theme thru out the rest of the chapter. God wants to bring you out of mourning and into full restoration. I said in the previous chapters that rebuke and correction lead up to restoration. It is vital that we enter into joy! God wants us to come out of places of ‘heaviness’ [depression] and bring us to places of joy and peace ‘that we might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, and they shall build up the waste places, repair waste cities’ Who will do these things ? Those who have truly entered into praise! This is why it’s vital to make the transition into joy. It is the restoration process that enables us to move on to the next level. God says ‘you will have a scar, but no open wound’ There will be reminders of the desert you were in, that’s good. God says I want you to remember how awful it really was, never forget the ‘pit that I took you out of’ now that you are out, go and do my works! I have claimed these verses for over 20 years concerning building up waste cities and God doing it thru your seed. Yesterday we had a good outreach day in Kingsville. We got with some brothers and met at a park. I have a friend who is a musician, but he only knows the old classics ‘amazing grace’ and stuff. Fine with me, we sang and praised in that park. I felt the Lord said that he was going to restore joy to ‘our mourners’ and it will be thru this restored joy that he will ‘build the old waste places’. ‘You shall be named the Priests of the Lord, the ministers of our God’ this is all of us! No special class here, no ‘clergy’. This is you and me. ‘For your shame ye shall have double, and for confusion they shall rejoice in their portion, they shall posses double, everlasting joy shall be with them’ In Hebrews it says of Jesus ‘he despised the shame, looking ahead to the reward’. Here it says God will reward you by giving you many converts and blessing these converts exponentially based on the shame and confusion you experience. Don’t try to get out of the shame/difficulty/persecution, but see it as part of the cost. Know that as you suffer, God is promising to reward you thru your seed. ‘I the Lord love judgment, I HATE ROBBERY FOR BURNT OFFERINGS’ now I want you to pay attention here. In the New Testament Jesus teaches the way people ‘rob God’ is by not meeting the needs of people. He rebuked the Pharisees for tithing to the temple and using this as an excuse to not meet the needs of their parents. Jesus said when you didn’t meet the needs of the destitute that you were NOT MEETING HIS NEEDS, Jesus is God! John says ‘how can you say you love God who you don’t see, when you don’t meet the needs [love demonstrated] of the brother that you do see’. It is common today to use Malachi and teach ‘robbing God’ in the context of ‘not tithing’. Because the New Testament temple are made up of people, the New Testament teaches ‘robbing God’ is done by not ‘giving’ to this temple, which are people! I have taught all this before, but I want to change your thinking in this area. You must see the people as the temple in order to not ROB GOD. ‘I WILL GREATLY REJOICE IN THE LORD, MY SOUL SHALL BE JOYFUL IN MY GOD’ I want to end on this high note, even though the last verse of this chapter is also good [go read it!] I personally believe this to be a key ingredient at this time for us. The joy of the Lord is our strength. ‘But brother, you ‘rebuke’ so much in your writings, you teach correction a lot. How can you have joy when there is so much difficulty and trials and stuff?’ Our joy is not dependant on our situation, it is fixed in God. Read the Psalms, David understood this principle. Paul said his contentment was not based on outward circumstances. Let’s grasp hold of the great reality of what God has done for us; we are going to live forever! Don’t lose sight of the great things God has done. Be joyful in God at all times. I know he is going to do great things for all of us, let’s rejoice in the Lord, and again I say REJOICE! NOTE; ‘for confusion and shame your children shall posses a double portion in the land’ [my paraphrase] this past year my 2 oldest daughters [19-21] both purchased their own homes. They ‘possessed’ double of what I own. I see God doing things in the natural first, then the spiritual. A couple of our friends from the early years have just begun doing home groups in their cities, they have been serving the Lord, but it’s been a while since we really established anything consistent with these guys. I felt like the Lord was saying ‘our seed [yours too!] will begin possessing the Land this year’.

 

(529)    The other week I took some homeless friends to the church I attend, as well as to a ‘tent church’ that had around a hundred homeless people show up. My intent in telling this is not to condemn any particular style of church. I want to share the reaction/way my friends saw things. In my church the service was focused on tithing. The church recently built a big building [seats around 3 thousand] and it just so happened that this Sunday the message was on tithing. My friends also saw in the church pamphlet that around 8 million was raised from the 10 million needed for the building campaign. Now all of these scenarios play out all across the world on a regular basis. There are well meaning and good intended brothers/churches that find them selves in these scenarios often. My friends liked the church, I was happy to have them see it for the first time. I was not critical nor did I critique the tithing message. My friends later made comments about how the money could be used to house and feed poor people. And they simply saw the other things that the money could be used for, they were seeing thru their world. Later at the tent church many destitute people came. They all had church and ate donated chili dogs. More of a street ministry. Over the years of teaching on church and trying to change the mindset of believers, I have run across well meaning believers who question ‘well brother, where are all the believers going to meet? If you want to reach 20 thousand people, you will need a 20 thousand seat auditorium!’ This is why I am trying to steer us more towards the New Testament mindset. It is all too common to truly reach between 1 to 5 thousand people. To then see growing as expanding in the size of the meeting place, and then the believers see the next level thru the eyes of ‘bring in the money so the rest of the people can be reached’. All well intended, but it lacks the focus of New Testament evangelism. Paul and all the other first century Apostles and believers practiced a type of ‘church growth’ that simply said ‘preach the gospel, allow all the people in the cities to spread the word to all the other people. Meet in your homes, break bread, share the great message of redemption. Send people out to other places as God leads’ [Acts 13- Paul from Antioch] and keep growing along the lines of spreading a revolutionary message about Christ. This New Testament mindset never appealed for the Galatians or Ephesians or any other city of believers to get into building campaigns to reach the rest of the harvest field. This mindset also allows for the rapid growth of the gospel to go forth. It is empowering all Christians to do their part. You see your responsibility more along the lines of spreading the gospel, than along the lines of raising money. I do believe and understand that their truly are good guys [Pastors] and others who are advancing along the lines of mega churches. And it is hard to write entries like this. I just wanted you to see the perspective of my homeless friends, and also how the contemporary church sees evangelism along the lines of ‘I need so many members in order to have the funds needed to go to the next level’. This mindset sees the amount of people that need to come to church and give so much for the organization to grow. It can become very limited in its appeal to the Sunday church goer. They can begin to see themselves solely along the lines of ‘We need to be faithful to raise so much money’ they begin to see their main measure of faithfulness and sacrifice along these lines. The New Testament believers were seeing faithfulness in different ways. There were appeals to help Paul go to the next city to preach, and appeals to help the needy, but they weren’t seeing the appeals that are common today. Paul wasn’t asking ‘we need to raise lots of money to go to Galatia and build a church’ or to fund a huge ministry to reach Galatia. They were simply needing the money to survive and get their bodies to the next city in order to preach the word. This is real people evangelism, all the people seeing their main responsibility as being involved, not giving money. Well I don’t mean to offend in these entries, I pray for the success of all of us [I really do!] I just wanted to share some input. I also at times feel bad for the young Pastors who can get in over their heads financially. They are doing it for the most part out of a true love of God. I feel they put themselves at times under great financial strain because they see it as what God wants. It might be at certain times, but it also is an out growth of seeing ‘church’ as having the building big enough for everyone to attend. Sometimes God wants the growth to go outward. You didn’t see the Ephesians or other New Testament churches finding places big enough where they could all get together. They grew along the lines of more people meeting across the cities and being a part of one family of believers in the city. No need for one place to all meet. Say if you had 50 thousand in a city turn to Christ. I know some mega churches [Paul Yongi Cho-Korea] do try to simply build bigger places, as well as home church growth. But the New Testament mindset was not seeing it at all along these lines. They were spreading a radical revolutionary message in the hearts of people. This allowed for the people themselves to run with the message. NOTE; I usually don’t give examples that ‘hit this close to home’. I want the church I mentioned above to succeed. Those of you in the Corpus area that read this blog and attend this church, I want you to do all you can to give and support the church. If you are not giving money in other well established Christian avenues on a regular basis, then give all you can to help the church you go to! Give 10 % or more! Our goal is to see the overall transition of Gods people from the normal view of church, back to a radical 1st century view. It is common in revolutionaries to go overboard [I have!] and then want to see the ‘old church model’ fail. This is not what God wants. Don’t take entries like this and then wait for your view to win while the other guy fails. This is not Christian! So to all the local brothers who read this, support the church financially as much as possible, also begin spreading the Kingdom as well.

 

(530)    A few years ago a famous atheist, Anthony Flew, renounced atheism and professed belief in God. A very intelligent atheist, he saw the impossibility of life and all things being a result of a past history where supposedly nothing existed. It is impossible! I just read an article how in the year 2000 a famous Paleontologist, Meave Leakey, discovered evidence against evolution. In Kenya she found 2 skulls that were supposed to have been ancestors who ‘evolved’ millions of years apart. She found them in the same location. The same ‘level’ that proved beyond all doubt that these so called ‘ancestors’ lived at the same time. To be honest these so called ‘ancestors’ are simply different species of Apes and Monkeys that people find thru out time. The knowledgeable person realizes this, the evolutionist doesn’t! The fact that Leakey’s find wasn’t published until 2007 [ in the scientific journal ‘Nature’ August 9] makes me wonder why it took so long. Well obviously the find goes against evolution, the evolutionists religiously defend their belief. If they themselves find evidence against their theory, it doesn’t help their ‘religious belief’ to publish it! I just thought it worthwhile to keep you all up to date on the evidence from both atheists and evolutionists that back up Christian belief.

 

(531)    I watched a panel of 3 of the top Prosperity Preachers host a talk show. I thought it was real interesting, the brother hosting the show was informally talking to his friends, but you could tell he wanted to share something. He then reads from Acts where it says ‘the Holy Spirit witnesses in every city that bonds and afflictions await me at Jerusalem’. It is speaking of Paul. I noticed one of the other Prosperity guys kind of looked a little perplexed [?] as the verse was read. I know they have all taught in the past that bonds and afflictions are not what God wants for us. They have intricate systems of belief that do get around persecutions. But the brother shared it in love and seemed to allow the Lord to use him in this public forum to bring some balance back to this thing. The other brothers had no problem receiving the truth, because it was coming from someone within their own camp. I just felt this was interesting to share. We all need reproof at times, and God is jealous for his reputation. He will gain it back in this camp. NOTE; These brothers have taught in the past that when Paul spoke on his thorn in the flesh, that God was saying ‘his grace is sufficient for thee’ meant that God was saying ‘you have the grace/ability to make it go away’ kind of a perverted view of the  verse. God actually told Paul ‘you can live with certain difficulties, because my grace is all you need’ in essence ‘you don’t need a perfect, affliction free environment to operate in, I am all you need’ Basically God was not telling Paul ‘you make it go away yourself’. Now I had one of my homeless friends say the other day ‘I think Paul went thru sufferings because he was reaping what he sowed when he persecuted Christians’ you could tell he has been influenced by this teaching. It was a little sad because this friend does suffer from mental problems, and he was telling me that Paul was suffering affliction as a result of his past sins. I then told him this is not true, and I quoted the verses that say ‘it is given to us also to suffer for his name’ God telling Paul ‘I will show thee the sufferings that you will go thru’ at his initial conversion. In context I explained to my friend that these verses show us the afflictions and sufferings that Paul went thru were NOT a result of him reaping what he sowed. They were an up front part of the cost that all the early believers understood. The sad thing is this poor mentally challenged brother was going thru life with a ‘form of doctrine’ that denied Gods power and reality. It had him thinking that he was really reaping what he sowed by going thru mental challenges. This is why I have said in the past that it is no light thing to undermine the word of God and to distort it. Even though many of these teachings are defined as ‘Word churches’ and stuff. This still doesn’t give you the right to distort the Word.

 

(532)    Isaiah 62  ‘For Zion’s sake I will not hold my peace, and for Jerusalem’s sake I will not rest, until her righteousness goes forth as brightness, and salvation like a lamp that burns’ This is intercession based on natural Israel’s spiritual conversion. He is praying ‘open up Israel’s eyes to true salvation and righteousness’. ‘And gentiles shall see thy righteousness [Christ] and all kings thy glory, and thou shall be called by a new name [the Body of Christ! Spiritual Israel, a ‘new name’ that no one knows but he who gave it] which the mouth of the Lord shall name’. ‘Thou shall no longer be called forsaken or desolate, thy land shall be married’ The great ‘marriage supper of the Lamb’ a day when Israel will no longer be ‘separated/divorced’ from God, but will be part of the ‘bride of Christ’ and thru this holy union be ‘married’ back to God! ‘As the bridegroom rejoiceth over the bride [this is actually an intimate term ‘rejoiceth over’ God will actually be intimate with us and we with him!] so shall God rejoice over thee’. ‘I have set watchman on thy walls oh Jerusalem, they shall never be quiet day or night, give him no rest till he make Jerusalem a praise in the earth’ Pray over Israel/Jerusalem until he makes Jerusalem a praise in the earth, this will be at the appearing of her Messiah. NOTE; some theologians today are called ‘New Perspective’ they are giving a new perspective on Paul’s theology. There are some good points they bring out. One area is they are showing how the New Testament offer of ‘faith’ to the gentiles was ‘come and believe and you too will be part of the commonwealth of Israel’ they emphasize that faith allowed gentiles to partake of the community that God already had with Israel. There is some truth to this. The extreme says ‘Israel really is in line with God now, gentiles just need to get in on what she has’ this view doesn’t see that in Christ the TWO are made INTO ONE NEW MAN. God is actually creating one new man [not asking gentiles to come into an old man] and this happens thru Christ! ‘The Lord hath sworn by his right hand, surely I will no longer give thy corn to be food for thy enemies, and the son of the stranger shall not drink thy wine for which you have worked, but they that have earned it shall eat it and praise the Lord’ One of the curses for being disobedient is the wages and things you earn count for nothing. There are different types of judgment on sin, one is you have no power to posses wealth. The other is you have no power to keep it! Here God is saying when people are in judgment they lose the stuff they earned. One of the greatest financial wreckers in society today is divorce. Some high wage people have lived in difficulty because of this. They might earn 10 thousand a month and still be broke! This is common. God is telling his people if we get right with him, not only will he give us great opportunities to earn wealth, but we also get to keep it! [That is use it for right things, not horde it!] ‘go thru, go thru the gates, prepare ye the way of the people; cast up, cast up the highway, gather out the stones, lift up a standard for the people’ A few years ago [2004] I felt the Lord tell me to start driving to work in Kingsville thru a longer route that would take me thru regional cities. During this time they also built all these new overpasses that allowed you to ‘drive on the walls of the cities’ and pray over them from a ‘high place’. This was for 3 years until I would retire [which I am in the process of doing]. I felt the lord gave me 3 intense years of prayer and intercession over a region that we have long prayed for. When I read these verses ‘go thru the gates/highway and take out the stones and prepare a way for the people’ as well as God saying ‘I will cause you to ride upon the high places of the land’ I felt things like this were signifying how God wants us to lay the groundwork thru prayer first. As I drove thru the land and ‘prophesied’ and prayed, God was ‘breaking up the fallow ground’. God has ‘land’ for you, you will begin possessing it as you are faithful to ‘go thru the land’ but also ‘gather out the stones’ this speaks of a willingness to both reprove [in love] and remove the ‘stones’ that are hindering the highway. When a road is filled with obstacles, you can still drive it, but very slow. I felt like the Lord was speaking of ‘acceleration’ a ‘suddenly’ when he acts quickly on our behalf. If we want to ‘advance rapidly thru out the land’ then we must get the stones out of the road! NOTE; I have told you guys in the past that sometimes my ‘spell check’ is prophetic. When I wrote ‘reprove’ it spelt ‘repave’.

 

(533)    Just read a letter from my old buddy in New Jersey state prison. He ran into another old buddy of ours in prison. He gave him my books, but wants them back. So he asked if I could send some more, I will today. It’s funny, these are buddies from the past that did bad stuff. I had some crazy times with these guys in the past. Now their interested in the books and stuff. God will open doors if you maintain real friendships with people. My friend even said ‘now you have 2 friends in New Jersey prisons’. I know the Lord will use these guys in some way.

 

(534)    I just remembered a funny story about the friend in prison. Years ago on one of my visits back to Jersey I ran into this friend. I always liked his family. He told his dad ‘Johns in town’ and the dad said ‘bring him by, I want to say hi’. Sure enough the day I am going to see him, my friend takes me down to these docks by the Hudson River. It’s close to Jersey City. We go under some bridge and wind up in some real ‘on the waterfront’ type hideout. My friend brings me to his dads ‘shop’ and he pulls open this raggedy garage door. These guys are ‘working’ on some cars in the dark. They are surprised by us opening the door. The dads ‘worker’ was cutting some car in the back and looks up with this look of ‘I hope I’m not busted’ like from the TV show ‘cops’. The dad then realizes it’s us and is real happy to see me. He was a great guy. My friend introduces me to the other guy in the corner ‘skeeter’ or something? It was hilarious.

 

(535)    Isaiah 63  The first part of the chapter speaks of Gods righteous judgment ‘the day of vengeance’ and then mixes in mercy! ‘In all their affliction, he was afflicted’ this is interesting, God says ‘when you were afflicted, I too experienced it’. Wow, how could our afflictions be experienced by God? In Corinthians you have the doctrine of the ‘sin unto death’. There are various interpretations on this. You see certain believers who are in open sin. God allows judgment on them, even to the point of death, because they are ‘part of his body’. Sort of like God is saying ‘you guys are intricately attached to me, when you, as my Body, sin, then you are dragging me into the situation’. It seems as if God was saying his judgment is a result of them being the church, and at the same time ‘drinking the cup of devils’. You can’t have both! So in this case judgment was pronounced because they were ‘making the Spirit of God partake of evil things’ so to speak. Understand when we go thru things, especially open rebellion, God will eventually judge. It’s not out of meanness, but mercy. You read in Corinthians that when God judges us it is so we will not be condemned with the world. His judgment proves we are his kids and therefore it is really an act of divine mercy! ‘But they rebelled and VEXED his Holy Spirit’ it was ‘vexing’ to the Spirit because they were the temple of the Spirit. ‘O Lord, why hast THOU made us to err from thy ways’ Interesting! One of the prophets said ‘you deceived me, and I was deceived’. A lot of modern translations try to change this. They try to say God wouldn’t be an active partaker in ‘deceiving you’. I see it along these lines, God knows us intimately, he even knows there are fears and shortcomings that prevent us from truly entering into our destiny. He will actively allow us to ‘be deceived’ or cause us to ‘err from his ways’ because he wants us to get to the point of doing his will, he knows it’s best for us. If we don’t do his will voluntarily, he allows us to stray so ‘in the desert’ we will turn back to him. ‘Return for thy servants sake’ after the desert we then are willing! In the day of thy wrath you made us willing!

 

(536)    Isaiah 64  ‘Oh that thou wouldest rend the heavens, that thou would come down, that the mountains might flow at thy presence’ There are pivotal times in our lives where we have done all the planning we could imagine. We have prayed, read the Word and done all the things that we thought were necessary to see God move. It is often at the end of all of our efforts that we get to a place where we see the futility of it all, apart from God! In the end, like Paul said, some water, some plant, but only God can cause it to grow! Have you seen the need for God to come down and move on your behalf? You’ve done everything else, might as well call on God and believe that he alone can do it. ‘As when the melting fire burneth, the fire causes the waters to boil’ WOW! Jesus said ‘I am come to set fire to the earth, how I wish it were already burning’ [my translation]. We will read in this chapter ‘God is a consuming fire’. Jesus understood the role he was to play. He knew it would end in violence and resurrection. He knew it would be revolutionary in nature. How can you expect to come to a group of people who truly believe in God, and then show them that they have fallen away from the true intent of God and then say ‘God sent me to tell you this’. The role of a Prophet is revolutionary by its very nature. It will ‘burn’ things, things that need to be burnt. Jesus knew the course he was on, he knew he was going to start a fire that would consume everything in its path, he said he wished it were already burning. ‘For since the beginning of the world men have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither hath the eye seen, O God, beside thee, what you have prepared for those who wait for you’ Paul quotes this to the Corinthians. This is not really talking about the great ministries and things that we think, it can include that. But this is speaking of the unbelievable mystery of redemption thru Christ. The things that Angels desire to look into. The story of mans redemption and how God preplanned it before the world began is a tremendous mystery that no man can see unless God reveals it to him. Paul says ‘no man can say Jesus is Lord but by Gods Spirit’ Paul was not saying no one could ‘mouth’ it, he was saying no human understanding can grasp it apart from the revelation of God. ‘Thou meetest him that rejoiceth and worketh righteousness, those that remember thee in thy ways’ God instituted things so his people would ‘remember him’. The Passover, the Lords Supper. Often time’s people remember him in these rituals, but forget him in ‘their ways’. This is the main rebuke Isaiah gives to Israel in this book. When religion digresses to a point of ritual, apart from righteous action [justice] then we are not remembering God in his ways. Because his ways are justice and mercy and caring for the downtrodden and oppressed. It is too easy today to associate Christianity with ‘conservatism’. I am neither liberal or conservative, but you will find I hold to beliefs in both of these camps. The danger of aligning Christiantiy with a political cause is then you begin to think the ‘cause’ is Christian. You can fight against the illegal alien, or be against ‘welfare’ and the people on it, and if taken to the extreme you begin to see Christianity thru a lens that says ‘we are moral preachers to a fallen society’ to a point where we no longer practice charity or justice for the oppressed. God says he wants us to remember him in ‘ritual’ as long as we also remember him in deed. ‘But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our good deeds are as filthy rags’ This verse has been a key verse in many of the revivalist movements of the 19th and 20th  centuries. They focused on mans inability to please God and be good. Later on the ‘Word of Faith/Prosperity movement’ brought out good points when they emphasized that we are now made the righteousness of God in Christ. The balance here is apart from God, we are absolutely unrighteous and unable to please God. In Christ we are ‘acceptable to God’. God sees us as totally righteous. The caveat is Paul will still refer to himself at times as ‘the worst of sinners’ even after his conversion. I see the balance like this; In God we are accepted and God sees his Sons righteousness as being imputed to us by faith. During our journey we are progressively being made actually righteous. We are being sanctified. There are obvious times in this walk where we totally fail God. We then confess and repent and continue the journey. The closer we get to God, the further we see how far we really are. So Paul [and us] can at times see how ‘we are the worst of sinners’ and at the same time thank God that he doesn’t view us that way! ‘Our iniquities like the wind have taken us away’ Jesus says in John 3 ‘those that are born of the Spirit are like the wind’ Paul also teaches that as we once were controlled by sin, now we are to be controlled by righteousness. The ‘wind’ can describe how either we are led by sin or by God. It is an unseen force that cause’s things to turn in a certain direction. You can look at the wind blowing a tree and say ‘wow, that tree is being bent severely’ and yet you know it is a result of the wind. Often times I have seen [and experienced!] the lifestyle of going down paths that you seem to have no control over, friends who are at the stage of being in the street, robbing everything they can get their hands on for the next fix, and then going off to prison. At these stages they are allowing sin to bend them like the wind. I have also seen these same guys later be controlled by the Spirit and serving God. Paul said the way to ‘not walk in the flesh’ is to ‘walk in the Spirit’. Religion tells people ‘don’t do this or that’ while Gods recovery program is ‘do what the Spirit is saying’. The secret to deliverance is for a person to actively give them selves over to God and to do his works. If you ‘walk in the Spirit, then you will not do the works of the flesh’. ‘Commit thy works unto the Lord and thy thoughts will be established’ we need a breakthrough in obedience, in getting out and fulfilling Gods will. Most Christians who are running around from deliverance conference to deliverance conference are not yet ‘delivered’ because they haven’t yet fully given themselves into the active service of the Lord! ‘There is none that calls upon thy name, that stirs himself up to take hold of thee’ Why? Because our sins have separated us from God! In Hebrews it says ‘let us come boldly before the throne with a clear conscience’ it says this in context of the work of Christ in redemption. Because legally God refuses to hold our sins against us, therefore we have confidence. One of the most devastating things about sin is it separates us from God. It keeps us from coming to him. We feel guilty and unworthy and we can’t seem to get thru in prayer. God says ‘come’ and he will heal and forgive and restore. ‘But you are our father, we are the clay, you are the potter, we are the work of your hand. Don’t be really mad, don’t remember our sins, we are your people’ Isaiah uses the same ‘strategy’ as Moses ‘we are yours, we bare your name. For this reason please come and help us. It won’t look good on your record if your people don’t make it!’ We are asking God to help us because all we are is from him. He chose us and fashioned us with a specific destiny in mind. Tell God ‘you made me to do your will, move on my behalf Father, help me at this time. I have come to do thy will O God’ he often will ‘take away the first that he might establish the second’ [Hebrews]. Look for God to allow the first works of ministry to ‘dissolve’ as he transitions you into new things. Sometimes we hold onto our Ishmael’s because we truly have an affinity for them, yet God says ‘let go of Ishmael, I will still bless him, but the promise will be fulfilled in Isaac’. ‘Our holy and our beautiful house is burned up with fire’ interesting, we just read how ‘God is a consuming fire’ and how Jesus said ‘I have come to start a fire’. In the New Testament God transitioned his ‘holy place’ from the natural temple to the spiritual temple [the church/Body of Christ]. Thru out Israel’s history the destruction of the temple always represented Gods judgment. That was the significance of Jesus saying ‘destroy this temple and in 3 days I will raise it up’ this was offensive to the Jewish mind. It was like desecrating the flag [even though Jesus was speaking of his body, the Jews were offended because they took it to mean their temple]. The fact that Israel, as a nation, would not make the full transition into the New Covenant left them with their temple and sacrifices that God already said were an abomination to him [Hebrews]. Ultimately this would lead to the temples final destruction in A.D. 70 under Titus. The destruction of the temple again was Gods way of saying ‘I no longer dwell in temples made with hands, I no longer will accept animal sacrifices. I will dwell in those who accept the sacrifice of my son, and I will receive their sacrifices of praise and thanksgiving, this is the temple I will build, the temple of the Body of Christ’.

 

(537)    Isaiah65  ‘I am sought of them that asked not for me, I am found of them that sought me not’ Paul uses these verses in Romans to show how Gods justification went to the Gentiles and not to Israel. The nation that prided herself in ‘seeking God’ were not accepted because of pride and her refusal to acknowledge the Messiah, the Gentiles were not even thinking there could be a chance of acceptance, and Jesus says ‘to all of you who weren’t even looking, you didn’t even bother to seek me, I am now opening my arms to you’ Wow! ‘I have stretched out my hands ALL DAY LONG unto a rebellious people, which walk after their own thoughts, they continually provoke me to anger, they sacrifice in gardens and burn incense on altars of brick’ God prescribed the way to sacrifice, Israel went another way. In Israel’s history you find times where she introduced a priesthood and system of sacrifice that ‘veered away’ from the ‘orthodox order’. During these times the people still had sacrifice, which they figured was good enough, but God detested sacrifices that were not in his prescribed order. Now all this points to the Cross. In Hebrews God says ‘I will not accept any more animal sacrifices, the prescribed order is now one sacrifice made on the altar of the Cross’. God is showing us here that even though many good people continue to ‘serve God in their own way’ this doesn’t cut it! You must come Gods way, his sacrifice and altar are the only way. It might seem ‘culturally incorrect’ to look at all religion outside of the Cross and deem it useless, but this is what God is saying! Don’t come to me with your own ideas of acceptable sacrifice [Cain/Able] but come to me thru the one sacrifice that I deem worthy. ‘As the new wine is found in the cluster and one saith, destroy it not for a blessing is in it: so will I do for my servant’s sake, that I may not destroy them all. I will bring forth a seed out of Jacob and out of Judah an inheritor of my mountains’ God said if he found 10 righteous people in Sodom he would have spared the whole city for the remnants sake. This is a theme in scripture. God says he spares nations and people groups for the sake of the few who still have potential in them. God does this with individuals also. He sees remnants of good still left in you. You might have failed miserably, done terrible things. Why in the world does God still stick with you? He sees potential in you still, and knows it’s worth the wait! ‘The former troubles are forgotten, they are hid from mine eyes, for I create new heavens and a new earth, the former shall not be remembered or come into mind’ Now, I don’t want to whitewash what comes before this. God does rebuke and punish the people for walking in their own ways, after their own thoughts. God brings very severe judgment on the people for their sin! But after they turn back to God he says ‘I choose to forget the past, don’t keep going back to your ‘old world’ I am creating a new atmosphere for you to operate in’ I don’t want to over spiritualize this. God will make a real new heaven and earth someday. This is true. But he also wants to make a ‘new heaven and earth’ for you right now. He wants you to come out of your own small world of problems. Don’t spend your whole life surrounded by little insignificant problems. I don’t want to demean you; I want to show you that we have a tendency to see everything thru a myopic view. In the microscope everything looks huge, until you pull your head back and look at everything else around you. Sometimes the solution to our problem is to simply pull back and see the new heaven and earth that God has waiting for you; don’t spend so much time looking thru the microscope! ‘For as the days of a tree are the days of my people, and they shall long enjoy the work of their hands’ I have often used the analogy of a tree to describe Gods people, scripture does the same. Jesus is the vine, ‘the man whose name is the branch, he will branch out from his place and build the temple of the Lord’. God wants to branch out thru you, he wants you to grow and extend thru the disciples that you bring to Christ. ‘I am the vine; ye are the branches’ you ‘branch out’ thru the people you bring to the Lord. Are you branching out yet? ‘They shall not labor in vain, nor bring forth for trouble, they are the seed of the blessed of the Lord, and their offspring with them’ these last few passages I have committed to memory. These verses are about as good as any to memorize and pray and claim. I like them better than the prayer of Jabez! ‘It shall come to pass before they call I will answer, and while they are yet speaking I will hear’ A few years ago I was in a Church service and the Pastor asked the whole congregation to pray that the Lord would pay the salary of another staff worker for a campus church in Kingsville [Bay Area Fellowship]. As the Pastor and the congregation prayed this prayer, a few minutes later another staff person came to the front and announced that earlier in the morning, before we prayed, someone already volunteered to pay the salary of the person for one year. Before we asked, God answered!

 

(538)    This past week the Jehovah Witnesses held a regional convention in our city, the theme was ‘Jesus Christ’. The papers said they were making an all out effort to appeal to Christians at large by doing this. The Pope’s most recent book is ‘Jesus of Nazareth’ he is defending the supernatural and historical accuracy of Jesus as described in the Gospels. He is basically defending the truth of Christ. I find it interesting that most ‘Christian’ groups, even those like the Jehovah witnesses, who historically fall into the cult category, realize that the way to be ‘politically correct’ amongst other groups is to acknowledge Christ. Now I am not saying all groups are doing this out of a pure motive, Jesus said many would come in his name and say ‘I am Christ’ this not only can mean they are claiming to be Christ [Moonies] but it can also mean they are saying ‘Jesus is Christ’ but they don’t truly acknowledge his full deity. The point is even Muslims acknowledge Christ as well as do the Jews. They see him differently than Christians, but they can’t deny him fully! God will draw men to Christ; some of them will preach him out of impure motives, like Paul said. But he also said ‘either way Christ is preached’. I find it interesting that God will even use his enemies to preach his name! [Note: I am not saying this about our Catholic brothers!]

 

(539)    Isaiah 66  ‘Thus saith the lord, the heaven is my throne and the earth my footstool: where is the house that ye build unto me? And where is the place of my rest’ Here we begin to see the transition that will take place in 1st century Rome. These descriptions from Isaiah are prophetic of Gods offer to Israel. Isaiah is saying ‘where is the temple that you can build for me to dwell in’? I do not want a man made temple any more. I am done with all animal sacrifices [we read that next!] God will end the prophetic message of Isaiah with his intent to transfer from an earthly natural temple, to a heavenly spiritual one, the Body of Christ! God will show his displeasure with all animal sacrifices, not just certain ones. For Isaiah to claim to be speaking for God, and to say these things seems blasphemous to Israel at this time. You must see that Isaiah is coming against all the ceremony and system that God instituted. To say these things was to put himself in the same category of Paul who the Jews will accuse of trying to destroy the law and Temple worship. But Paul was saying this post Christ, Isaiah was saying it before the Cross. How could Isaiah get away with this while the law was still in effect? The Spirit of prophecy sees and functions in future realities. When God opens up the future to a prophet, he simply speaks what he is seeing. It is Gods prerogative to proclaim his disapproval of the old system in anticipation of the new one that was to come. ‘For all those things hath mine hand made, but to this man will I look, to him that is of a poor and contrite spirit’ God says ‘I will not dwell in the temples of men, but in those who are humble and contrite’. Jesus said unless we humble ourselves and become as little children, we will not enter Gods kingdom. Here we see the ‘stones’ that the new temple will be made of, humble contrite people. ‘He that killeth an ox is like he slew a man, he that sacraficeth a lamb, as if he cut off a dogs neck, he that offers an oblation, as if he offered swine’s blood [and you guys think I am harsh!] and he that burneth incense as if he blessed an idol’ In essence Isaiah is saying the same as the book of Hebrews. You must see that in the mind of God, all animal sacrifice, after the Cross[which Isaiah is seeing thru prophecy, he is speaking ‘post Cross prophetically’] is an insult and an abomination. I am going to start a commentary on Hebrews as soon as I finish Isaiah, I want to put the book in proper perspective. When the writer of Hebrews says ‘those who continue to sin after they were enlightened, that God will not allow them to renew their repentance’ it is not speaking of believers, as commonly taught. But it is telling Israel ‘if you reject Messiah, and think you can keep bringing me all these sacrifices of repentance, I won’t accept them anymore. You cant be ‘renewed again unto repentance, you have done despite to the Spirit of Grace and have trampled under foot the sacrifice of God’ The reason the language is so strong here, is because God is saying when you continue to sacrifice animals after the once and for all sacrifice of my Son, then you are doing disgrace to Grace. For Isaiah to being saying this, pre Cross, is amazing! ‘Your brethren that hated you, that cast you out FOR MY NAMES SAKE said, let the Lord be glorified, but he shall appear to your joy, and they shall be ashamed’ the brethren of Jesus cast him out for what they thought was Gods will. The rejection of Messiah was seen to be an act of Israel’s orthodox belief. They truly thought they were doing the will of God. Jesus even said a time was coming when people would kill believers thinking they were doing Gods service. But in the end God appeared to Jesus joy and they were ashamed. ‘A voice of noise from the city, a voice from the temple’ Gods ‘city’ and ‘temple’ are the people of God. God has a voice that comes forth out of the temple. Rivers flow from this temple. Jesus said he who believes, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. God speaks thru his church. Some have attempted to ‘de gender’ God. They will say that God is both male and female. This is not so. God is definitively male. Then where is the feminine voice? It comes from what the Spirit is saying thru the bride, the Lambs wife. God has purposed to speak this way. So you have both the male and female sides seen. Paul said that the Jerusalem which is above is the mother of us all. The ‘Jerusalem from above’ is the church, the city of God. Scripture says listen to the voice of your mother and your father. We are to hear what God says [Father] and our mother, the corporate voice of the Spirit that has spoken thru the church, the mother of us all. ‘Before she travailed she brought forth, before her pain came she was delivered of a man child, who hath heard such a thing? For as soon as Zion travailed she brought forth her children. Shall I bring to the birth and not cause to bring forth?’ God is saying there is a process to the things he wants to birth from you. Part of the process is travailing, it is the severe pain experienced at the end of pregnancy. We often equate that pain the wrong way. We think ‘well, things are so hard here at the end, I want to quit and go home’ God is saying don’t quit, you are about to give birth. Don’t misread the labor pains; it is a culmination of the long months of waiting. I determined to bring you to this point of extreme pain, it is my process. Don’t abort! ‘Rejoice ye with Jerusalem, be glad all ye that love her’ It is vital for us to enter into joy. Jesus said after the woman gives birth, she forgets all the pain she went thru, because of the joy of bringing forth the child. Begin rejoicing in God, he will do great things. Scripture says ‘when the Lord turned the captivity of Zion, it was like a dream’ God is going to so move on your behalf that you will think it is too good to be true! ‘I will extend peace to her like a river, and the glory of the gentiles like a flowing stream’ Jesus said ‘Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you, not as the world giveth give I unto you, let not your heart be troubled neither let it be afraid’ You have the inner ability to ‘not let your heart be troubled’ the world runs to doctors and drugs, we run to God. ‘As one whom his mother comforteth, so will I comfort you, and you shall be comforted in Jerusalem’ God comforts us ‘in Jerusalem’. In the book of Galatians the Body of Christ is called ‘the New Jerusalem, the Church, the mother of us all’ in the book of Revelation John says ‘the city that comes down from God out of heaven, the New Jerusalem, is the bride, the Lambs wife’ God says we are comforted in community. John also says [in 1st John] ‘when WE walk in the light, WE have fellowship one with another and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanses US from all sin’ God works in community, as well as with individuals. Some times we as believers go to one extreme or another. Soren Kierkegaard, the great 19th century Philosopher/Theologian wrote as a Prophet against what he saw as the abuses of the institutional church. The Danish state church had a lot of formality and ‘spectator’ Christianity. Kierkegaard emphasized Gods desire to reveal himself to people individually, outside of ‘the church’. He would say things like ‘the congregations are totally useless, there is nothing good to be found there’ and then he would say you can only truly serve God outside of ‘the church’. Well God does see all of us ‘as the church’ and he works thru individuals as well as ‘groups of people’. God wants to ‘attach’ you to people for his purpose and destiny. You need to ‘walk in the light’ with other believers, so God can ‘comfort you in Jerusalem’ the corporate city of God. ‘For I will set a sign among them, and I will send those that escape of them unto the nations… to the Isles afar off, that have not heard my fame, neither seen my glory, and they shall declare my name among the gentiles’ sound familiar? This sounds just like the day of Pentecost, in Acts. God gathered all types of people groups to Jerusalem for the outpouring of the Spirit, and these nations/people groups went back to their own areas and spread the gospel. God sends those ‘who escape’, out to be evangelists. Many times you will ‘go thru hell’ and barley escape with your life, but the reason God let you escape was for the purpose of sending you out to other places and people. Don’t make bargains with God and not keep them! How many times have people said ‘God, if you get me out of this one I sware to do this or that’ are you out? Then do what you said! [note: in the New testament Jesus and  James taught to not even make these types of vows, so I am not advocating doing this, but the point is many of us have, so if you did do it, now fulfill what you promised God you would do!] ‘For as the new heavens and the new earth shall remain before me, so shall your seed and name remain… and all flesh shall come to worship me.. and they shall go forth and look upon the bodies of those who transgressed against me, for their worm dieth not, neither shall the fire be quenched, and they shall be an abhorring unto all flesh’ I want to end our study of these last 15 or so chapters of Isaiah with a brief overview. God tells us ‘I am going to make all things new’ God has a real future eternal hope for all those who are in Christ. We need to reaffirm the truth that heaven is real! As well as a ‘new earth’ that he will make new some day. God also affirms thru the Prophet that hell is real! Theologians, even good ones, have differing views on hell. I like R.C. Sproul, he is one of my favorite theologians, he believes the references to ‘hell fire’ are symbolic, but he states ‘the real punishment will be worse than real fire’ the reason I wanted to add the above verses on ‘the worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched’ is because Jesus himself uses this terminology when describing eternal punishment, the ‘worm dieth not’ indicates that there will be a real physical judgment that lasts forever! God doesn’t want ANYBODY to go there. How many will go? I don’t know, but this I do know, we as believers have the only hope in the world to keep people from going there, his name is Jesus Christ. I exhort all of you to begin doing all you can to reap in a huge harvest of souls for God, we can’t bring our cars and houses and money and stocks and all these other things with us, but we can bring people! Gather up as many of them as you can, so you will have some friends and family when you get to the other side.

 

(540)      I got with some friends the other day. We were talking about the Lord. One of the guys brought up the verse where Jesus says ‘it is harder for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of Heaven then for a camel to go thru the eye of a needle’ both of these friends are homeless [or about to be]. They are poor and have struggles. The one friend shared the verse to show how riches are not as important as people think. The other friend shared the interpretation that I have heard before. He said some people teach that the ‘eye of the needle’ was a low gate in the wall of Jerusalem, and that the camels can get thru the gate, but they have to crouch down and that makes it difficult. Now this teaching has been taught publicly by prosperity teachers. It used to be fairly popular in this camp. I find it sad that even this homeless guy was affected by it. I told my friend that I too was familiar with this teaching, and that it is fake. Historically there is no evidence of a gate being the ‘eye of the needle’. Second, the response of the disciples to Jesus saying this was ‘who then can be saved?’ they took Jesus words the way you and I would take it. That he was saying something that was impossible to do, except for God. It’s stuff like this that we need to be warned of. You interpret scripture thru the plain meaning, the fact that the context of the verse shows that the disciples didn’t think he was speaking about a ‘low gate’ in the wall should guide us into the right view of the verse. The word for ‘needle’ in this passage is the word used for a regular sewing needle. False teaching is harmful; Christians should refute it in love.

 

(541)      Sometimes we overlook the obvious. In our local news paper they have been doing a story on one of the staff that follows her efforts to lose weight. She is overweight and every week they tell you how good or bad she has been doing ‘this week I feel bad, I ate too much’ and stuff like that. I read a commentary from the section of the paper where they print the public’s letters and comments. Some lady wrote in and said ‘can’t you show us an uplifting story on people who have lost weight’? She went on to describe how this story is depressing, the poor girl is never overcoming anything, always falling off the diet. She then said she even caught her at one of our restaurants with a ‘rather healthy portion of unhealthy food’ [ouch!]. Well I just read her story yesterday. She shared how when she was getting up to walk in the mornings, you are supposed to eat before you walk, so she would. Also you should eat when you get done, she did! Then she found out you shouldn’t eat right before walking, and she walks early, so should you get up at 4:00 a.m. and eat and go back to sleep and wake up at 6:00 a.m. and then walk and come home and catch your ‘after workout meal’ and maybe catch a few more zee’s before starting your day? Obviously the problem is TOO MUCH FOOD! Now, I don’t want to be mean. I have the habit of not eating at all until around 3 or 4 pm. I then will have a light snack around 7 or so. I only eat once a day. I am not bragging, and I have had people tell me this is unhealthy, maybe it is. The point I am making is if you’re ‘routine’ to lose weight has you possibly waking up at 4 a.m. to eat, you have a wrong routine! Don’t overlook the obvious. Christians are notorious for this. I was talking to one of my homeless friends who struggles with mental issues. He is very smart and suffers from a form of Autism. He also has battles in the mind. I recommended him to read a chapter of Proverbs a day. I also have seen Christians who can’t understand why nothing good is happening in their lives. I ask them ‘are you praying, do you read Gods word’? the basics, often they answer ‘no’. Don’t fall into the category of our poor ‘dieting lady’ do what’s obvious. If you are having trouble loosing weight, well for heavens sake don’t wake up early and eat 2 meals before you start the day, you are obviously stumbling over a food issue if you are doing this!

 

(542)      I have had an interesting few days. The other day I went to the homeless hangout to see some friends. I usually have a few people ask me for a few dollars, I usually give it. I had an old friend ask for a dollar, I really didn’t have one, but I did have a twenty. I have given away twenty before. But I took a risk and gave him the 20 and asked him to bring me the change. I have done this before and without fail I have always got the change back, often with the receipt! They have to go to the corner store and come back. They usually want it for cigarettes, I know some will rebuke me for this, but I won’t do it for beer. The reason I take the risk by giving them a 10 or 20 is because they can’t believe someone trusts them again, after the many failures they have had in their lives. This is why they can’t wait to get back with the receipt, to them it is an honor to get another chance. Well I waited for Angel to bring me back the change, he never showed up. I am not mad or angry at all, I saw it only as an opportunity to really show trust, I know he failed and I am out the 20, but I have spent many 20’s before. Well I knew as soon as I would see him I would forgive him. I don’t want him to avoid coming around the homeless mission over this. I didn’t realize he was doing that bad. For someone to break trust like this means they are probably on some drug, ‘ice’ is real popular on the street right now. Later in the day I had a few of the homeless guys come back to the house for a fellowship, it was good. The next day my daughter was real sick and I had to admit her to the hospital for a few days [she is still there] sure enough I needed that ‘darn’ 20 for coffee and stuff, no big deal, I hit the ATM machine. I thought it interesting how some people would  give up completely on these homeless guys if this happened to them. Mercy and grace are things that are undeserved. God doesn’t require us to let people walk all over us [to a degree] but he does require of us to show love and compassion to those who at times are ungrateful and unworthy. Jesus was spit at, they tore the beard from his face. They put a bag over his face, punched him, took the bag off and said ‘now big prophet, who hit you, you think you’re such a prophet’. They stripped him and nailed his Body to a Cross, they hung him up over this ancient hill. They made his mother watch in tears and agony. They [we] were very cruel to the Son of God. He says ‘Father, forgive them for they don’t understand what they are doing’ and then a little while later will cry ‘my God, my God, why have you left me’. I think we can put up with not getting the change back from a 20! NOTE; I had both the Catholic and Protestant Chaplains come by and see us at the Hospital. They were making the rounds. I spoke to the Protestant brother for over an hour, I was ‘preaching’ and downloading stuff into him at an alarming rate. Usually you can only communicate so much to a person at one time. The Lord really opened a door to fellowship. He has many friends in Alice and told me how he just transferred from the Alice hospital to Corpus this year. I told him I felt the Lord was going to give us an ‘Alice’ connection this year [Alice is the name of one of our regional cities] he indicated he thought it might be him. He is a real good brother, open to the many things the Lord is doing. Maybe we will do a home group or something with him. I gave him this blog site, hopefully we will keep in touch. His name is Jeff, if you read this brother send me an email!

 

(543)      While at the hospital I had the chance to catch the local religious cable channel. I have direct TV at the house and don’t get to see it. I was a little embarrassed, the level of what Christians broadcast makes you wonder if God wants the ‘TV’ to be a medium for anyone who holds a church service. I also saw a commercial for a national ministry who broadcasts locally. It was a short clip on how it is always Gods will for you to have an abundance of money. This is the well known ministry out of the Fort Worth area. There are times in our growth as Christians where we are at a level that is immature. It’s OK to be there when you are growing. It is not good to then broadcast this level on a wide scale to a broad audience. It would be like taking your 3rd grade class lectures and putting them out on the air as university lectures. It just doesn’t fit. The commercial that said it is always Gods will for you to have an over abundance in all areas [money] is a very unbalanced view. I know they sincerely teach this, but it is unbalanced. For the whole region of south Texas [and all the other places where this ministry broadcasts] to hear this level of teaching is not good. Maybe in some cases it would be OK to teach the biblical concept of God meeting our needs in an abundant way, he surely can do this. But to miss the whole point of ‘being content and in Gods will when both having an abundance and lack’ is directly opposed to what this ministry broadcast. So all I wanted to share today is we as Gods people need to recognize when we are really not at the ‘level’ of a broad audience. Don’t seek to make your voice heard beyond the parameters that God has ordained. Let God lead in all the teaching and outreach you do, if he says not to go ‘regional’ or ‘worldwide’ then don’t! If he says ‘go’ then go! But don’t simply get into this arena because you can. Just because a local cable channel allows you to broadcast to a wide region, doesn’t mean you should. It has a tendency to ‘fill the air with our words’ instead of what the Spirit is speaking.

 

(544)      To you guys who never read the introduction any more, I just posted our latest book in the book section of this blog, it is a commentary on Hebrews. That’s why I haven’t updated this section in a while [for those of you who come to this section every week!]. Don’t forget to read the introduction every so often for new updates. Hope you like the commentary, John.

 

(545)      I am reading Deuteronomy and thought I would share a few thoughts [chaps 1-8]. As Moses is standing on the edge of the promised land he asks God ‘can I please go into this land’ God says ‘no, and don’t ask me any more about it’. It seems kind of harsh. It also seems like God is saying ‘I know I have called you to this place. Your whole desire to see the land is something I put in you, but because you represented me in a wrong way before the people, I can’t let you in [yet!]’. Did you know that I found a verse where God let him in? I am not spiritualizing it either. You know the verse also. The Mount of Transfiguration! After all those years God said ‘now I will let your feet touch the land my son!’ it’s like God knew how bad Moses wanted to posses it, so during the true time of inheritance, the coming of Messiah, God said ‘inherit’. God gives a lot of promise’s and lessons in these first 8 chapters of Deuteronomy. He also tells Israel ‘because you didn’t believe me when I told you to go into the Promised Land, therefore I made you wander in the wilderness for 40 years and I caused you to learn a lesson’. What was the lesson? He taught them that man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God! How did he teach them this lesson? He gave them plain Manna every day for 40 years. They couldn’t store it up, they had to trust him for ‘beggars bread’ if you will. Hey, if they took the one big step of faith 40 years earlier they would have had tons of great food that they didn’t have to ‘believe for’ every day, it would have just been there, in abundance! But instead he showed them what it means to trust his word. They got to a point after 40 years where if some stranger showed up and said ‘how are all you guys getting fed?’ they would have said ‘no big deal, every morning God gives us Angel food’. It would have seemed like a big deal to the stranger! God taught them to believe in his consistency. They learned that to believe for the big moment [40 years earlier] would have been better than to believe for the ‘little moments’ thru out the 40 years! We just finished Hebrews. Why does God allow Samson to be in the great ‘heroes of the faith’ chapter? Samson had a lot of problems; he had moral failures and was actually quite the playboy. He also had moments of ‘great faith’. He knew when to lay it all out on the line and risk it all. He pulled down the pillars and killed all the enemies of Israel, and oh yes, he knew he would die too. That made up for a lot! I think it would be easier for us to believe God at the edge of ‘our promised land’ than to go 40 years learning the same lesson, in little bits at a time! They still displayed a lot of faith, but it took 40 years of it to make up for that one day!

 

(546)     Deuteronomy 9-11 In chapter 10 God tells Moses ‘this time when you come up and get the 2nd set of commandments, build me an ark [box!] so you don’t ‘accidentally’ drop them again’. It is a little funny, Moses broke the first set of commandments out of anger. God says ‘lets do it one more time, but just in case you lose it again, bring a box to put them in!’. Moses had an anger problem. This is what kept him out of the Promised Land! But God even uses this as a prophetic type. Moses actually led the people thru their journey under a ‘second covenant’. Of course the 2nd set of commandments had the same words on them as the first. But it was a type of the prophetic ministry of Moses who was a symbol of Jesus. Jesus of course would establish a new covenant in his blood, so Moses was symbolizing that 2nd covenant thru this act. Also if you review the first 10 or so chapters you will see Moses emphasize again and again the need for obedience. He tells the people ‘if you obey, your kids and land and businesses will be blessed. God will take away all sickness and disease from you. All will go well with you and your kids and you will prolong your days in the land’. God also says ‘you have been at this mountain long enough, it is time to move on. Go north’ I felt like the Lord was telling us to begin looking ‘northward’ see beyond where you have been. You might have spent 40 years in a wilderness place, begin obeying and believing God for new things. Look to him alone. When God called Abraham he called him by himself and took him and brought him to a strange land and made of him a great nation [the children we are reading about right now!] Can’t you remember when God called you in the early days, how it was just you and him? Rekindle that original flame, tell God ‘it’s just me and you again Father, show yourself strong on my behalf’. God wants to do great things with you again. One more thing, when God told Moses to come up the 2nd time to get the 10 commandments, he said ‘bring blank slates’. God asks us to bring a clean slate to him. Sort of like a blank canvas that he can paint on. If we have too many preconceived ideas on how we think things should be done, then that hinders God from painting the beautiful picture that he has in mind. Let your life be clean and open for him to do what he wants. God bless you guys, and don’t forget ‘don’t brake what he paints this time around!’

 

(547)     I woke up yesterday and wrote down ‘subscribe to a few Christian magazines’. I have subscribed to some years ago, but it’s been a while. When I went to my P.O. Box later in the day, I saw that Charisma magazine sent me a free subscription! The issue [Oct/sept 2007] dealt with so much of what I have been teaching this last year. I wonder if Lee Grady reads my blog? [I have sent him my books over the years] I liked the article he wrote. It was a warning against exalting natural Israel to a point where we undermine the need for Jews to be saved thru the blood of Christ. It was a lot like the themes I have spoken on this year. Then when you went thru the rest of the magazine it was filled with articles and ad’s for all types of Jewish stuff! ‘Buy this Hebrew prayer shawl’ and things like that. It was a little funny to be honest with you. I have subscribed to charisma before, to be honest they are way to ‘shallow’ to truly learn from. Now I am not saying I am too good for them, I think the abundance of articles from well meaning women preachers [I am not against women!] on ‘you can have what you say’ or ‘you can achieve some goal’ is not cutting it in preparing believers to live in society. I was at the homeless shelter a few years back and just hanging out with some homeless friends. I wasn’t preaching or anything. Some brothers were talking about the Lord and a new guy but in. He said he was at one time a professor from Berkeley [the liberal university in California] and that he had taught an entire course on how Greek wisdom and writings contained all types of Christian thought before Christ. Things like the story of Hercules and  myths on ‘a son of the gods who would come and save the world’. He explained in true atheistic fashion that all of these sources contained much of what you find in scripture, therefore scripture and the story of Jesus are fake imitations of Greek wisdom. Now I usually do not get into these debates with homeless guys, and to be honest this guy probably thought I was homeless! The long hair and scraggly clothes fit in well with this bunch. But I had to correct this ‘professors’ attack on the faith. I explained to him that I was familiar with this teaching, and that the way I usually answer it is to tell the person [which I was about to do!] that before you had ‘Greek thought’ you had ‘Jewish though’ [the Old testament Prophets and stuff] and that in ‘Jewish thought’ are contained all the hidden shadows of a future Messiah and all other types of ‘pre Christian’ ideas. Therefore any overflow of this ‘thought’ into ‘Greek thought’ was simply a Greek copy of the true! So therefore all of this ‘professors’ refutation of Christianity is now refuted! Touché. He seemed a little depressed over this. It was like he never heard his false ideas challenged before. I did do it in love. But he should have just kept his mouth shut and not have tried to use his ‘Berkeley wisdom’ on some red neck town deep in the heart of Texas [Kidding a little here!] What’s the point? The point is if we keep feeding the church messages on how to get wealthy and to have a successful career, then we are not truly equipping them for society. I thank Charisma for sending me the free magazine, but like I said in the past, the only good stuff in it seems to be the short introduction from Lee Grady.

 

(548)      In reading Deuteronomy God tells Israel to tear down the altars and high places where the pagan nations worshipped their god’s. Later in Israel’s history we find out that they didn’t fully obey God in this. Eventually Israel would wind up offering their children on the altar of Moloch. Moloch was a god [demon] that the pagans made an idol of. This statue was heated up by fire until the arms of the idol were bright red. Then the people would place their babies into the arms. God told Israel they made their babies pass thru the fire unto Moloch. They eventually adopted the practices of the other nations. We do this today, in a much more hidden environment. We allow for a woman to go to an abortion clinic and for a doctor to insert a knife and dismember the baby. We do this under the guise of ‘a free and open minded society’. We lie! I have found it sad how those who pride themselves in being liberal minded often hold to the most bigoted idea’s one could espouse. In Darwin’s last book [descent of man] he taught a type of evolution that said ‘the whites are further along down the path of evolving. It is obvious that the Negro is still much closer to the Monkey/Ape than the white. Both physically and mentally’[paraphrase]. Now, for any liberal to hold to this mans ignorant ideas, and to hold to them in such a way that he is proud to say ‘I believe in Darwin’ is total stupidity. Darwin’s theory has come apart at the seems in the world of science. Many scientists have come to the conclusion that the theory can lo longer be honestly held. There are tons of scientific reasons for this. But the simple fact that many in today’s society pride themselves in being ‘disciples’ of Darwin then also think that those who oppose his views are ‘bigoted’ these same people hold to one of the most racist ideas ever put in print. Hitler himself read and was a believer in Darwin’s theory. He actually believed that the extermination of the Jews was a faster way to eliminate the inferior races. This theory of Evolution is demonic at its core. It makes it easy to abort children with no consideration of the actual life of the child. We have our own Moloch’s today! NOTE; God Said that men who did not retain him in their minds would be given over to foolishness. Recently the fossil ‘Lucy’ has been making the rounds to different countries by way of airplane. Many scientists were up in arms that the flying around of this ‘precious fossil’ might endanger it. There were all sorts of debates on how to protect it and all, the best first class service for sure. How satan must be laughing at the stupidity of men who go to great lengths to protect the flying bones of a monkey, while at the same time aborting thousands of children on the planet who were created in the image of God!

 

(549)      I had a Pastor friend years ago who was struggling to raise money for his church. He was a good man, but because of the heavy emphasis at the time on ‘bring in the wealth’ and other off balanced teaching in the church at large, he began to focus on all the money promises in scripture. A big part of the Sunday service was on God doing ‘money miracles’ any correction would of course be seen as ‘you are an instigator causing trouble’. It was so easy to fall into the category of spending most of you waking hours believing God for a financial miracle. These types of scenarios play out time and again with good Pastors. It becomes easy to fall into the mindset of viewing God and his resources as the primary thing to believe for, because after all these good men are all surrounded by other good Pastors who are all raising money for good churches. We don’t even see the great body of Christian teaching that speaks of the Kingdom of God being carried out by the poor and humble person. There is so much evidence in scripture, but we overlook it in order to fund the modern machine! Paul lived in a day where wealth and meeting places [buildings] were in abundance. You even had huge coliseums! For Paul to have reached as many areas as he did with the gospel, and with the average salary of say ‘a firefighter’ or some other average paying job, is completely overlooked by the good ministers who appeal to Paul’s writings to raise wealth. These brothers don’t seem to see that Paul could have easily gone down the road of ‘renting the coliseum’ or organizing the early church around a multi million dollar organization, yet he saw in the simple proclaiming of the gospel, with minimal financial resources, the key to reaching ‘his world’. I want to exhort all the pastors and leaders who read this blog, look to the simple reality of God again. Don’t become so tunnel visioned that you see God only thru the lens of a money miracle. Money is a small aspect of completing the mission, it can become large if you see it that way, but it is small in the overall scope of the Kingdom.

 

(550)  Deuteronomy 13-18  The Lord instructs the people that he will meet all their needs financially, and that they will always have the poor among them. Just like Jesus taught! The balance is that God would give more than enough provision into the community, and whether or not all the needs were met was up to the generosity of the community. The same thing you see in the book of Acts. Certain rich people gave and the poor had their needs met. To develop a doctrine form Deuteronomy that says to the poor ‘if you just had faith you would be rich’ violates Paul’s teachings in Timothy [chapter 6] where he says certain teaches in the last days will teach that gain is godliness [that is you can measure godliness by material wealth] from such turn away, they have erred from the faith. So in context God will bless us all as a family of people, but do not teach a material gospel. Also the Lord tells Israel ‘when you get into the land and set up a King over you, don’t let him accumulate great wealth unto himself’ interesting, God says make sure your leaders are not living high on the hog thru your money. We violate this all the time in today’s church. How many stories of teachers with million dollar condos and homes, all the while appealing to a broad audience of Christians to give sacrificially. God isn’t saying that leaders can’t prosper, but he is saying they should not be getting rich from the overall giving of many average wage workers. It is so easy to simply read all the wealth verses in this book and to look right past all these warnings. Why do we do this? We all have a tendency to ‘see’ what we want to see and overlook the rest. The Lord also gives instruction on Prophets, he says ‘if a Prophet prophesies something and it comes to pass, but he leads you away from the true God, don’t listen’ also ‘if he prophesies something and it doesn’t happen, don’t listen to him’. It is easy to recognize the second one as false, but we often overlook the first one. I have heard so many times over the years ‘well brother, I know my teachers teach that Jesus was a millionaire, and it works for me, that’s all that counts’ no it isn’t! Whether it works or not is irrelevant [in this instance] God says if it leads you away from the truth, then it’s false! Let all of our teaching and instruction bring us back into alignment with the character and nature of God, he is the goal.

 

(551)      Deuteronomy 20-25  You read ‘the elders of the city’ a lot in these chapters. Paul will eventually choose to use this terminology to describe the leadership of the New Testament church. These were plural leaders among a group of believers in a city. Not singular preachers of groups of people in buildings on a set day of the week! You did have the singular model in Paul’s day. Where? In the system of the Pharisees and Synagogues! The concept of a ‘president’ of the synagogue leading the people on Sabbath day in Christian [Jewish] instruction was being carried out in Paul’s day. Paul used to be part of the system! He chose the concept of elders over a city, instead of a singular title over a part of the people that met in a building. I think we need to get back to the better model. Also instruction is given that when the children enter the land they are to share the fruits of the land with the stranger. They are not to totally reap all the fruit from the trees or the fields. The stranger can walk in your fields and eat whatever he wants; he just can’t take it with him. These guidelines are given for the benefit of the alien [stranger]. God says I want you to remember that you too were strangers in Egypt. This cuts to the heart of so much of the present debate over the illegal alien issue of our day. I do understand the anger that some have over this issue, God says ‘remember, you were all aliens at one time or another, don’t get so self righteous. If I tell you to share your goods with those who don’t deserve it, then do it. I am the one who brings forth the produce, so share it with others’. God has blessed us financially and materially, he requires us to share it with others. A few difficult verse’s 23:1 God says if a man is wounded in the ‘private area’ he cannot come into the congregation. God is not telling people if they have had some sexual accident that they cant serve God, he is saying he wants people who can ‘procreate’ in his church! He wants people to be able to ‘reproduce’ [soul winners] for his Kingdom. 23:14-15 God says when you ‘go to the bathroom in the land’ dig a hole and bury it, because he is in the land and your land must be sanctified. If it isn’t then he can’t ‘walk among you’. The spiritual lesson is we can’t accomplish anything without God’s presence. We need him, stay clean so he can work among us. Only by the blood. Also when a man dies without having children, his widow shall marry the brother so he can have seed remain in his name. If the brother says ‘no, I do not want to raise up seed to my brother’ then he is taken before the elders and they take off his shoe, spit in his face, and his name is called ‘the man who has no shoe’. What’s this all about? God is saying be willing to build others up, your gift is not given for you to build your ministry, or the people who relate only to you [church members]. But I have given you gifts to raise up ‘seed to your brethren’ as well. Use your gift to help others, others who can’t repay you [I think I heard this somewhere before? Jesus!] If you don’t, all the people will know your church well, it will be the one in town where every body where’s one shoe!

 

(552)     Deuteronomy 28-31 The Lord promises much material blessings in these chapters, but he also says the Levites who receive the tithes are not to own anything. They could not use the tithe as a means to accumulate wealth. I find it funny that the modern church teaches the tithe, but leaves this part out! Also Moses is told ‘you will not go into the land, but help Joshua go in’. Moses must see his gift as something to use to build others and help them achieve goals that he himself will not achieve. Moses learns the true principle of the least being the greatest. He will be the only one who will enter in after death! Out of all the adults who were in the wilderness, only Joshua and Caleb go in to the Promised Land. Moses goes in after death at the mount of transfiguration. He fulfills the symbol of Christ as the first fruits unto God. Moses tells Joshua ‘you must go in with this people’. In the world of church and Pastoral ministry, I have seen how good men will start a ‘work’ and sometimes out of fear begin to look for someone to ‘take it over’. God tells Joshua ‘you must go in too!’ In Moses case the word of the Lord was ‘don’t go in’ [yet!] in Joshua’s case ‘don’t not go in!’ Have you allowed fear and intimidation to lead you to think it’s time to ‘get out’. Only move [remove] as God directs, don’t start looking for a replacement, you have too many years to fulfill, you must go in with this people! NOTE; I thought I just ‘heard’ someone say ‘is this guy talking about me’? Hey, if it’s for you, then yes!

 

(553)    Deuteronomy 32-34 Moses tells the people after he dies they will fall away from God and spend years in judgment. This is a necessary failure. He will hide his face from them and they will realize that God alone is God and they will find help no where else. God does stuff like this a lot! One of the verses in chapter 28 says ‘you will have confusion for the sight of your eyes’. This summer I had a terrible case of vertigo. I eventually found out it was from damage that is done to the inner ear from a viral infection. I researched some natural supplements and had to choose between 2 types. I chose St. Johns Wort and also eventually took Valerian root as well. The ‘St. Johns Wort’ seemed ‘prophetic’ enough, it has my name in it! But I never saw any prophetic indications with the Valerian Root. I have a homeless friend who is a deep bible student, he has been asking me to look up Spikenard for him. It is a biblical thing. He has been talking about it for a while. Yesterday we were at my house fellowshipping and I gave him a bible dictionary and said ‘look it up’. He reads the definition, it comes from Valerian Root, Oh well there’s the ‘prophetic’ thing. The real point is God allowed me to go thru a season of ‘disorientation’ cause of ‘the sight of my eyes’. You mean to tell me brother that God chastens you? Oh my, I would never go thru stuff like that. You lie! In the last chapter Moses dies and scripture says ‘no man knows where his tomb is till this day’. I like this. Moses is still fulfilling prophetic imagery in death. Years later a prophet would arise in Israel whose name is Jesus. He will claim to be sent from God. Many will challenge this claim. He will do no wrong, and no deceit will ever be found in his mouth. They will get tired of him. They will finally railroad him in an unjust court and bring false witnesses to testify against him. They will crucify him in front of his friends and family. They will put him in a grave and 3 days later he will come back to life. He will give instructions to his followers and ascend into heaven. This fact is the singular most historical fact of the first century [of all centuries!] many will testify to this. Because of the significance of this movement many will do their best over the centuries to disprove his story. They will search high and low for ways to disprove Jesus. They will spend years and millions looking for ‘the tomb of Jesus’ with a body in it. They will never find one. Just like the people of Moses day would never find his body in a tomb either. NOTE; a few verses that I liked at the end. God says ‘a fiery law shall proceed out of thy right hand’ ‘everyone shall receive of thy words’ and ‘my doctrine shall drop down like rain’. I like these images. I have prayed the scriptures ‘pour out your Spirit on my seed, your blessing on my offspring’ ‘I will pour water on him that is thirsty and floods upon the dry ground’. I felt like the Lord was saying he is going to give power and authority to those who are truly speaking what the Spirit is saying. Not just motivational stuff! God raises up prophetic voices to deal with real issues, not just to motivate you into a successful life. They said of Jesus ‘he speaks with authority, not like the regular preachers’ if you want this type of effect, then you must say what the Spirit is saying.

 

(554)      I just got back from some fellowship with one of my homeless friends. He was studying some end time scenarios and discussing the book of revelation. He is very knowledgeable. I tried to steer the conversation more towards the spiritual signs of the end times versus the geopolitical signs. I shared how Jesus will come back for a glorious church not having spot or wrinkle. So an important sign is the condition of the church, the true temple of God. To look at the rebuilding of the temple in Jerusalem as a major hinge event of Christ’s return, and to the many different end time scenarios as what must happen and when, this gets us off of the main themes taught by Jesus in Matthew. Jesus teaching on the end time is much more basic than these elaborate scenarios. Jesus actually says that after the tribulation of those days that the sign of the coming of the Son of man will be seen. He also says that after the tribulation one will be taken and another left. Pretty plain. I realize that the brothers who hold to the more elaborate themes see that Jesus will take away believers before the tribulation. I know all the explanations of this [I think!] but I shared with my friend that if you simply picked up the bible and read that after the tribulation of those days Jesus will come back and some will be taken and others left, that you would see that Jesus will return and take people after the tribulation. To then develop all types of ‘secret’ comings, to view the verses where the Lord says to John ‘come up hither’ in revelation, and then to say ‘this is where Jesus secretly catches away believers’ is to complicate the simple eschatology of Jesus. My friend was discussing a lot of the other ideas of the end times, I tried to focus him on the fact that Jesus wants us to grow in him, evangelize the world, and not get sidetracked into trying to figure out all types of national scenarios of global proportions. My friend did say that Jesus said the gospel will be preached in all the world before the end comes. I agreed and shared with him that Jesus told us that when the church is loving each other the way he taught [full maturity] then all nations will know that we are his. In essence we got back to the ‘sign’ of the church being mature and being the holy temple that God desires when he returns. My friend saw the point. NOTE; During the conversation I mentioned how we sometimes get locked into certain viewpoints that can lead to ‘seeing’ a possible reference of Jesus and saying ‘this is anti-christ’. I mentioned how many modern preachers see the verse on the rider on a white horse who is going forth to conquer and freely say ‘this is anti christ’ [Revelation 6- Zechariah chapter 6 actually calls these horses the 4 spirits of the heavens, which go forth from standing before the Lord of the earth, hardly a picture of anti christ!] You will see images of Jesus being on a white horse later in revelation, and also one of the reasons people have seen this first reference as ‘anti christ’ is because of the plagues and judgments that follow this rider. I shared with my friend how in Revelation the seals and bowls and other images of judgment are the judgments of God, not satan. So it would not be inconsistent to see Jesus on a white horse prior to the release of judgments, as a matter of fact this is one of the main themes of Revelation. My friend almost saw this idea as heresy. He told me how he too views the rider as anti christ, and how because this rider has a bow [a pagan symbol from Rome] that he is anti-christ. I briefly quoted off the top of my head a few scriptures where God uses a bow in prophetic imagery ‘I will bend Judah like a bow’ ‘children are like arrows in the hand of a mighty man’. I didn’t want to argue with my friend, I just tried to show him how we can be so sure of certain ways of seeing things that we never even give a second thought to interpreting a possible Jesus verse as ‘anti-christ’. This is the problem with a lot of these drawn out end time ‘prophecy charts’ they have way too many dogmatic scenarios that seem to lose sight of Jesus! Revelation says the testimony of Jesus is the spirit [intent] of prophecy. All prophecy should ultimately testify of Christ, not anti christ!

 

(555)     I mentioned the other day how one morning I woke up and thought I heard the Lord telling me to subscribe to a few Christian magazines, and then later in the day I found a Charisma magazine in my p.o. box, well a friend also just gave me a year old Christianity today magazine that someone had given him. I read some articles, I was happy to see the amount of deep Christian books, put out by well respected theologians, on the view of church that I espouse. There were a lot of articles on the church as a natural organic community of people as opposed to the institutional thing. Many thoughts and ideas I have taught. They were coming from brilliant minds. I felt this to be a confirmation to a lot of the things I have taught. So in the past few weeks I saw the Lord confirm many of the things I have been speaking over the years, and it was confirmation that I didn’t expect or seek for. Why is this important? We all need to be encouraged and affirmed in the message we speak. In the previous entry, why is it so hard for intelligent Christians, who really know the word, to see obvious ‘Jesus’ verse’s and see them as ‘anti chirst’. Because we have been taught certain views of religious things and we hold to these views ‘religiously’. When someone comes along and says you need to re examine your views, it hurts! Old Testament prophets were rejected on these grounds. God will often confirm to you a ‘new way’ of seeing things thru the mouths of 2 or more witnesses. I think when I woke up the other day and heard the Lord say ‘get Christian magazines’ that what he was really telling me was he would confirm to me that we were on track thru the witness of 2 Christian magazines. I didn’t look for them; they just ‘accidentally’ found their way into my hands. NOTE; I just looked up the chapters in revelation that deal with the riders on white horses. In chapter 6 you see the rider on the white horse that some say is anti chirst. I think it is Christ. In chapter 5 you see Jesus as the one who has power to open the book that releases judgments on the earth. He is the one opening the judgments in chapter 6. In chapter 19 you see Jesus coming back on a white horse going forth to judge and make war. Some say the verse in chapter 6 can’t be Jesus [hey, you only have 2 mentions of riders on white horse’s in Revelation. In both references war and judgment are seen to be tied in with the rider] because war and judgment come right after. That is exactly why it just might be Jesus! NOTE; I see this thinking as being indicative to the way we truncate Jesus and his prophetic role in judgment and magnify the doctrine of anti chirst. In revelation [the book!] you are not seeing anti christ as someone going forth to conquer, you are seeing the righteous judgments of God and the vindication of Christ’s Kingdom in the earth. The ‘judgment’ of the beast and satan are things coming down upon them, not them going forth to conquer. It is this overall view of prophecy that permeates modern evangelicalism, it has a tendency to see prophecy thru the lens of the anti christ and the beast. It unintentionally ‘exalts’ the work of the enemy. If we follow the guideline given in the book of Revelation itself, that the testimony of Jesus is the spirit [intent] of prophecy, then when you come upon verses of judgment being released after the appearing of a rider on a white horse, your initial reaction isn’t to see this rider as anti christ, but as Christ, the one whom prophecy points too! NOTE; Might as well run with this a little more. Scholarship has shown us that one of the earliest new testament books written was Thessalonians. That’s interesting, why would the lord inspire this book before the others? Because it dealt with a major threat to the early church that was imminent. Paul knew there were to be extreme persecutions coming to the early church. He would write the early believers and warn them of demonized leaders who would attack God’s people. Many believe the early writings of anti christ refer to early Roman Emperors [Nero and others]. Now if this is true, and Paul was warning the church of future persecutions that were on the horizon, then it only makes sense that this letter would be written early on, before the persecutions got into full swing. I mention this because another field of teaching goes into elaborate schemes of what will happen in the rebuilding of the temple in the last days. While it is possible that there will be a rebuilding, it is not necessary! You can argue about all the technical details surrounding the scriptures that speak of the destruction and desecration of the temple. You have had multiple times in history where these things happened. Some believe that the later references [like in Thessalonians!] refer to events surrounding the destruction in a.d. 70 under Titus. Now we didn’t always know for sure that Thessalonians was written before a.d. 70 and that would eliminate the references as referring to the a.d. 70 date. But now we are sure that Thessalonians was written before that date, around a.d. 50. So without being dogmatic, I wanted to put some context to the debate. You do not need the revived Roman empire to fulfill things in prophecy if the 1st Roman empire already fulfilled it! So let’s get some balance and knowledge to go along with all our end time scenarios. We might be looking for things that already happened [like the destruction of the temple]. NOTE; It is still possible that a temple will be built in Jerusalem, I just want you to see that there were immediate concerns that Paul was addressing to the readers of his letters. Warning the Christians in Corinthians about marrying, maybe it had something to do with the Lord revealing to him the upcoming persecutions of believers. Paul might have been saying ‘for the present time, don’t get married, we have lots of persecution coming ahead’. The point is we need to understand the real significance that the early epistles had to the hearers of the letters. We can not allow our belief in the inspiration of scripture [which I hold to!] to bypass the practical aspects of the letters that were being written. The recipients had to have had some practical application to what was being written. So any letters referencing the destruction of the temple, or future leaders who would destroy Gods people and desecrate the temple, these references must be seen in the context of the times. If Paul prophesied a coming desecration of the temple, and he said it a few years prior to it’s destruction, then you must question whether or not this is what he was referring to. Jesus early on prophesied the destruction, it is only natural for the Apostles to have held to this belief as an early tradition of the church. It was quite obvious that the destruction that Jesus spoke about happened in a.d 70, it is very possible that this was the same event Paul was speaking of. Don’t always read these letters as future dates, they were future at the time of writing, but a few thousand years have gone by, some of the ‘future’ things might have now past! NOTE; It’s funny, but some of these brothers believe that Jesus comes back in Revelation 4 secretly and takes away half the planet [the church] they seem to find this ‘taking away’ from the verse that says to John ‘come up hither’. They also see a possible verse describing Jesus on a white horse and call him ‘the antichrist’ and these same dear brothers think I am the heretic![they ‘see’ him where he is not. They see Jesus coming and taking away a large population of earth from a verse that simply says ‘come up hither’ to John. They then have a very plain verse of a conquering rider on a white horse and say ‘this cant be Jesus because he has a bow instead of a sword’ this reasoning is crazy!] God does have a sense of humor. Also in the book of revelation you have prophetic imagery. The beast and the dragon and the lamb. Revelation uses extreme figures to clearly show forth either the righteousness [white horse] or the judgment [pale horse] of things. John is seeing things in stark images. To then translate the rider on the white horse in a way that is ‘secretive’ [i.e.; satan appearing as an angel of light] would be going against the main flow of the images in revelation. This prophetic book clearly uses symbols in stark contrast. Though the book itself has many ‘tricky’ symbols, the symbols themselves are not hidden, but obvious. Like the ‘great whore’ and stuff like that. I want to stress that the brothers who believe these silly interpretations are very smart. In the above example they will have all types of deep reasons why a certain image means a certain thing. Deep studies into the possible rise of the Roman Empire and things. While I personally do not see their views as correct, they have done lots of research and background work in espousing their views. How than can intelligent people overlook some of the plain stuff I just showed you? It’s because we have a tendency to go down certain paths in our thinking, and once we go down these paths it never dawns on us to take a breath before you so adamantly describe the rider on the white horse ‘oh, he is the anti christ’. All of us need to lay our knowledge and past influences at the foot of the Cross. I am not saying leave your brain at the door! But we need to approach scripture with a broad view of Gods overall purpose. If you see revelation from the context of Kingdoms being in conflict, and you view Johns prophetic writings as the Spirit showing us that the Kingdom of God will face fierce resistance from the kingdoms of men, then you will be looking for images of Jesus conquering in the face of fierce opposition. You will also see the church going thru great trials throughout the centuries. You will see God vindicating his people, and even honoring the prayers of his martyrs. You will see the empire that John was living in at the time as one of the most severe threats to the fledgling church [Rome and the early centuries]. This will help in the overall view of the book, seeing it in the light of the way it was written. This style of literature was called ‘apocalyptic’ in the early church. There were ways to see this type of writing. I am not saying that revelation isn’t inspired, but see it in context of the larger picture. John shows the Kingdom of God ultimately triumphing over the kingdoms of men at the end of the age. We know that these figures are still in the future, but much of the imagery of Rome [the city on 7 hills] and its war against the saints had fulfillment during the early centuries. It had real meaning to the church then, as it does to us today. Why resurrect the Roman Empire as well as all the other images in order to fit our day. The book was meant for all the church. So our brother’s who lived 2000 years ago had stuff about them and their struggles, as well as the future hopes contained in it for us. The book is a wonderful prophetic vision given to encourage the people of God thru out the ages. The message is the ultimate triumph of the Kingdom of God over the kingdoms of men. We see a victorious Jesus leading a white robed [righteous] army of saints in certain victory. Don’t read the book looking for 666 and stuff, I know it’s in there, but the purpose of the book is to testify of Jesus conquering Kingdom, not the anti Christ.

 

(556)      Started reading Joshua. As God brings them into the land Joshua is like Jesus in Revelation, leading the people into a triumphant victory. In both books you see 2 spies [witnesses] you have the harlot Rahab getting judged [she is declared righteous, a Divine act of justification-Hebrews 11] and you have the great whore of Babylon getting judged in Revelation. You have the Old Testament Joshua which means Jesus in the New. As the children of Israel take Jericho they see how God is working supernaturally on their behalf. They then go to the next city, Ai, and only send in a few thousand troops. They lose around 36 men. Joshua overreacts to this loss and falls on his face. Tells God ‘why did you make us come over this Jordan, we could have stayed on the other side. When all our enemies hear about this they will surround us and kill us’. He has quite a pity party! It’s like God is looking down and telling Jesus ‘hey, I know I picked the boy, but who would have thought he was going to take it this bad!’ It’s funny, the Lord finally appears to him and says ‘get up, what are you doing on your face? You have encountered a problem, so deal with it’ God reveals to Joshua that one of his men has some of the goods hidden in his camp and that’s the sin that caused the defeat. They get the guy, make him confess, and everything is O.K. Not! They stone the brother to death and then to make sure he’s dead, they burn the guy! Ouch! I could just see one of our local gangs standing by thinking ‘and we thought our gang was bad’. The Lord deals with the sin and they regroup. I find it funny how Gods leaders all have a tendency to overreact to problems. I think it’s in our nature. Leaders have the ability to see farther than the rest of the community, they also come to more drastic conclusions when things go wrong. Elijah, Moses, etc… The Lords solution was ‘deal with the problem, do what you have to do, get up off of your face for heavens sake, and let’s get on with the program’. I don’t like these types of answers either. I wish the Lord would give me a special response like ‘son, I see the problem. Your right. I will rapture you and destroy all your enemies. And I will make all those people who talked about you feel bad that you aren’t around anymore. We’ll show them’ God doesn’t do this, he tells us ‘get off the ground and start moving’ are you moving forward yet?

 

(557)    Joshua- As Joshua takes Jericho, they experience failure at Ai. They violate the principle of God being with them as a community. They split off and send a few thousand to Ai, God stayed in the camp! Our victory comes when we see all of our brothers in our region as the corporate people of God, don’t divide the Body of Christ, it is certainly not limited to the Christians who meet in buildings on Sunday. It is also not divided into all these different ‘churches’. We are all the Church, even the ones who don’t ‘go to church on Sunday!’ [That is if you are a believer]. Gibeon sees Israel’s victory and pretends they are travelers going thru the land. They put old clothes on and have moldy bread. They tell Joshua ‘we are traveling thru the land, make a league with us’ Joshua does, and they find out that they are really inhabitants of the land. The people blame the leaders for this bad decision, even though they all thought it was a good idea at the time! This happens all the time in church situations, if you haven’t experienced it yet, you will. So as the children of Israel start possessing land, it becomes easy. They form a habit of possessing! God will bring you to a place where you begin overcoming obstacles on a routine basis. Another dynamic that takes place is the inhabitants of the land begin forming alliances against Israel. One alliance forms, and Joshua conquers them. Then another one forms. Scripture says God put it in their hearts to do this so Joshua would cover more territory rapidly. God was allowing Israel to ‘kill 2 birds with one stone’ so to speak. Do you see your enemies forming alliances against you? Sort of like ‘the enemy of my enemy is my friend’. Do people who could never agree on things unite now in opposition to you? Then praise God, he is giving you possession rapidly! The tribe Of Joseph asks Joshua for more land, they have 2 tribes to represent [Ephraim and Manasseh] Joshua says ‘you are right, go take the wood land [forest]’ they say ‘it’s to hard to take’ Joshua says ‘be strong; you would be surprised what you can do with Gods help’ Joshua learned this lesson from experience. Some times we are like the tribe of Joseph, we want people to give us opportunities. We want land given to us free and clear. We have developed this entitlement mentality in the church [and country!] Often times the answer to our problem is ‘overcome it’. We don’t like this answer.

 

(558)    A few more things from Joshua. He tells Israel to build cities of refuge, so when someone is guilty of the blood of another person he can flee into the city for refuge. This is a type of the church. The bible calls the church the New Jerusalem, John calls her the city of God coming down from God out of heaven, the bride the lamb’s wife. All men are guilty of the blood of Jesus, he died for our sins. We can flee into the Body of Christ and find refuge in the church. Those who fled to the cities of refuge stayed there until the death of the high priest. After his death they could go out from the city and live the rest of their days in their land. The death of our high priest, Jesus, allows us to ‘go out and come in and find pasture’ we have release thru the death of Jesus as well as thru his life! The 2 and a half tribes, Rueben, Gad and Manasseh go back to the other side of the Jordan to posses their land. They build an altar on the coast of Jordan. The tribes in the Promised Land hear about it and confront them ‘why did you build this altar? Are you rebelling against God?’ They reassure their brothers that it is an altar of witness only, they will never sacrifice an animal on it. It is standing there alone, away from the tabernacle and is free from all animal sacrifice. What a picture of the Cross! And last but not least Joshua commands all the people to honor God, he makes them publicly commit to serve the Lord. He then sets up this ‘great stone’ and says ‘this stone is a witness for you, it has heard all the words you have spoken. Don’t go against what you have said’. This is another type of Christ. Jesus is the ‘great stone’ that all judgment has been given to. He has ‘heard all the words we have spoken’ and seen our thoughts and intents. Don’t rebel against him. He also is the ‘capstone/headstone’ that completes the temple of God [the church]. In the prophets [Haggai/Zechariah] they shout ‘grace, grace’ unto it as it is being placed at the temples completion. Jesus will return someday and complete the glorious temple of God, the church, and he does it with absolute grace. He is the great stone!

 

(559)    Felt like the lord had a word for you ‘Those who I give great authority to, are required to walk in humility. The authority requires it. If pride gets in the way, I will not remove the authority, but instead allow humiliation. Either you humble yourself, or I will humble you. I am more concerned with fulfilling the mandate thru you, than for your own personal comfort’.

 

(560)    This goes with the last entry, but I wanted that word to stand alone. In the early church you had leaders who raised the dead and operated in miraculous signs. None of them organized a ministry around their personalities or saw their gift as a means to obtain financial independence. They were not operating with today’s mindset. When undue attention was given to them because of their gifts, they saw it as their responsibility to reject it. They would not allow themselves to become famous and become the center of attention. I often hear talk on the return of the early power once again. Until we rethink the purpose and nature of our gifts, we will not have the character to handle it. The present church thru pride has grasped an ideology that sees the gifts and the people as tools to bring success to themselves. This spirit must come down. It is no accident that Jesus dealt with the money changers the way he did. He understood that the merchandising of the gospel would be a tremendous hindrance to his purpose in the earth. We, as a people, must repent and return to a simple concept of all Gods people being equals, and the gifted ones in our midst are simply carriers of the gifts for the mutual benefit of all Gods people. We need to humble ourselves once again.

 

(561)    I heard a brother speak the other day. He shared a good message. He confessed that most of his background and study came from a certain type of Christianity. He shared from A.A. Allen, John G lake, Kathryn Kuhlman and others who were part of the ‘latter rain’ or healing movements from the middle of the last century. He also said how after he became a Christian he called Rhema Bible college and ordered ‘one of everything’ they had. He had quite a big load of books and tapes! The message the brother shared was good, he seems to be a very humble man. I remember studying many of these movements myself, I realized the danger that comes from seeing only one particular aspect of the church. Like studying year’s worth of teachings that all have the same fundamental error. You might think you are learning year’s worth of knowledge, but in reality you are feeding from a very skewed idea of Christianity. The people the lord used in the latter rain movement were good people [with many flaws] that for the most part were gifted in great ways. I feel the problem with this movement was the whole concept of fame and ‘platform performance’. They didn’t see the wrong paradigm that they were operating from. They didn’t realize that these gifts should be used in a limited way from such a platform. They fell into the mindset of the day that created an organization around them and their personas. So you had tremendously gifted people, like William Branham, who operated in tremendous giftings, but who also had some serious doctrinal flaws. He taught racist ideas about blacks, the ‘seed of the serpent’ and things like this. I do not view all of these people as false prophets, the danger was the individualistic style and performance mentality that went along with the gifts. Real gifts, less than ideal ways of expressing them.

 

(562)    John:1 Jesus is called the Word of God, he comes into the earth as the incarnation, the ‘fleshed out’ fulfillment of Gods Word. John the Baptist is asked who he is. The Jewish leaders ask ‘are you that prophet?’ he says ‘no’. What prophet? The one Moses said would come ‘the Lord God will raise up a prophet unto you, like me. Whoever doesn’t listen to him will be destroyed’. We covered this in Deuteronomy. They ask him ‘are you Elijah’ he says ‘no’. John was the fulfillment of the Malachi prophecy that said before the Lord comes he will send Elijah the prophet. Jesus says this about John. Why did John deny it? I am not sure,  but it might be because he really didn’t know. Sort of like the thorn in Paul’s side, God allowed things to happen to Paul so he would not get puffed up in pride and side track his mission. Maybe the Lord never let John see how truly effective he was. John does say ‘I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness’ John does see himself thru the prophet Isaiah. I like this. I have personally had many words from Isaiah that I felt the Lord had given me, John saw himself in this book too. John was ‘the voice’ just like Jesus is ‘the Word’  John is ‘the voice’. John was a voice before he was a man. God had predestined John to carry a message before he was born. He had this word in his DNA at birth. His body was simply a carrier, an ‘incarnation’ of the voice that he was to have. God has predestined all of us with a purpose before we were born. Our appearing on the planet is for the sole purpose of carrying out this destiny. You are not here to be happy, have a nice income, go to a nice church. You are here to fulfill Gods will, you can have the other things or not, that is irrelevant. You must first fulfill the mission! John testifies of Christ by the Spirit descending on Jesus. John says ‘I knew him not, but by the Spirit’ John knew Jesus, he was his cousin! But John was only going to recognize the gifts and callings on people. He would follow Paul’s admonition ‘know no man after the flesh’. It is incumbent upon us to recognize the gifts in others and to operate accordingly. Don’t make alliances and pacts with people based on friendship and personal affiliations. It’s good to have friends and all, but the Kingdom is built upon recognizing and receiving those who have come with a mandate from God. John saw Jesus in this light. Scripture says ‘the world was made by him, he was in the world, yet they knew him not’ Jesus was creating a divine atmosphere of grace for people to access. They didn’t even know or recognize him, yet this didn’t side track him from his purpose. Understand that God has placed you in a geographical location with a pre planned destiny in mind. God has chosen you to be where you are and for this season. You will fulfill your calling whether people ‘know’ you or not. God requires us to see the gifts in each other, but many will not appreciate what you are doing, do it any way, you have come with a destiny to fulfill, so fulfill it!

 

(563)    John 2- Jesus does his first miracle, changes water into wine. They say ‘most people put the good wine out first, but you have saved the best for last’. This is a type of the new covenant of his blood [wine], Jesus will introduce a better covenant thru his blood. Many will not accept this new way because they have been ‘drinking’ old wine for so long, they are not willing to change. We often see this in Christian circles, people who have functioned in a limited way for years, God might bring to them new ways of seeing things, they will often reject the new wine on the basis of being comfortable with the old way, we don’t want to shake the apple cart. God wants us to shake it! Jesus finds the money changers in the temple and drives them out with a whip, turns the tables over and gets mad. He didn’t take the ecumenical approach! There are times for radical transition, I feel we are at that place now as the people of God. The gospel is not about us increasing our portfolio, it’s about laying our goals down for the kingdom. These money changers lost their influence in the ‘temple’ after Jesus got thru with them, I think it was prophetic. Jesus says ‘destroy this temple and in 3 days I will raise it up’ those hearing this mistake his Body [temple] with the building [temple in Jerusalem]. Evangelicals [some of them] make the same mistake today. They are looking to the natural events in natural Jerusalem, they should be looking at the real temple! [Both Jesus and the Body of Christ]. Jesus goes to the Passover, the people hail him and Jesus says he will not commit himself to them, because he knew what was in man. What was in man? These same people will be asking for his death not long from now. Jesus did not seek commitment from men, contrary to the way we see ministry today. Modern ministry seeks to increase man’s commitment to them ‘pledge so much money, join this or that’ Jesus knew he had a destiny, he would fulfill it without the help of man!

 

(564)    DREAM- I just woke up, I dreamt that I was in this room with a Catholic Bishop. We were friends and helping each other out. He was going to go to some nation or place, before he left I laid hands on him and he was being filled with the Spirit. I feel like this spoke to us ministering to a large Catholic community of people. I have both given and received ministry from Catholics. I felt the Lord was saying we would have influence with our Catholic brothers. Sometimes I ‘spiritualize’ these dreams, it might be that a Catholic Bishop was filled with the Spirit while listening to us?

 

(565)    John 3- Nicodemus comes secretly to Jesus, he is one of the few in leadership that is having doubts. The others with one voice reject Jesus, Nicodemus is wondering. Jesus rebukes him for being a ‘ruler’ of the Jews and not being able to comprehend the most basic stuff. I have found it disheartening over the years to talk with Pastors who heard someone teach that because Jesus had an expensive coat, that he must have been rich. Despite all the evidence in the New Testament how Jesus was the son of a carpenter and lived an average life. The tons of verses where Jesus is reproving rich people. The whole historical and biblical truth of Jesus being a man of humble means. The fact that he had an expensive coat can more than likely be explained by the custom of people doing extravagant acts of worship towards him. The woman and the expensive perfume poured on him. Things like this. Someone probably gave him the coat. But for Pastors, who are good men, to fall for this stuff was unbelievable. Sort of like Jesus telling Nicodemus ‘you are a leader and can’t discern the most basic stuff’! Jesus teaches the reality of the new birth. All people must be born of God thru belief in Jesus, or they will not be saved. We must stand strong for Jesus as the only way to God. John the Baptist will be told that all men are going to Jesus. John says ‘great, he must increase and I must decrease’ John understood that the role of leadership [prophets] was to point to the fame and persona of Jesus. Not to go down the common road of pointing people towards us. In modern ministry we draw people to our gifts and abilities. We structure modern churches around the gift of the Pastor. We allow leadership to become preeminent in our minds and thoughts. John knew better. We also see that the wrath of God abides on all who do not believe in Jesus. If you believe in Jesus you escape Gods wrath. It can’t touch you. Whether you are in heaven or earth, or like David said ‘in hell you are there’. That is you can’t escape Gods presence anywhere. So if you are in Christ, wrath can’t get you. If you are not in Christ, it continually abides on you. You do not escape wrath by leaving the planet during the tribulation. If an unbeliever was on a rocket ship right before the tribulation started, and wound up on the moon during the 7 years of wrath, he wouldn’t escape Gods wrath. You don’t escape judgment by being in the right geographical location, you escape it by being IN HIM! John also says a man can receive nothing unless it is given to him. Why be jealous if all of our gifts and abilities are free gifts? We act like we earned them! John says no man receives his testimony, then he says ‘to those who have received it’. What’s this mean? Paul told the Corinthians that we have received the Spirit of God so we might know the things that are freely given to us from God. God gives us his Spirit first, so we can receive his testimony. This goes back to the early centuries of the church and hits all the major doctrines on sovereignty. Augustine, Calvin, Luther [Yes Luther was a strong believer in predestination, it was no accident that he was an Augustinian monk!] Paul tells the Ephesians that were are dead in sins and completely incapable of receiving spiritual truth until God pours his Spirit into us and we become alive. Thank God that even though no man [in the natural] can receive his testimony, that God gives us his Spirit and births us so we can know the things that he has freely given to us in Christ!

 

(566)    John 4- Jesus talks to the woman at the well. She is Samaritan and he violates the cultural norms of the day by speaking to this woman. Critics often say Christianity is bigoted against women, Jesus gave more honor to women than any other religion of the day. He tells the woman that if she asked, he would give her the Spirit that would be a well of water in her. God wants us to flow in revelation and truth, not just teach from the intellect. Now the intellect is important, God says ‘worship me with you heart, soul, MIND and might’ but you must allow the Spirit to spring up from you like a well. Jesus tells the woman ‘you have had 5 husbands and the guy you’re shacking up with now is not your husband’ she then says ‘I perceive you are a prophet’. Funny, she turns the conversation over to religion! She recognizes the prophetic aspect of Jesus words and says ‘I think you’re a prophet’. Unlike many Christians today, she believed that prophecy was more than just preaching, she knew it carried a supernatural element. They continue to talk ‘religion’ and Jesus tells her all worship takes place in Spirit and truth, not at a specific location. The religious mind looks for ‘religious’ places to carry out worship, Jesus says ‘from now on it will be done thru all who worship in Spirit and truth’. He is speaking of the new concept of the people of God being the temple. No longer will they need the temple down the block, but they will be the actual dwelling place of God. Jesus says his meat is to do the will of him that sent him and to finish his work. We often do the will, but don’t finish the task! I just retired after 25 years as a firefighter [actually the retirement is in process] and I have seen so many talented guys join the dept and do a few years and go somewhere else. They might stay a few years at the next dept. and leave again. It’s not that they aren’t talented, they just don’t stick it out. God wants us to finish his task, don’t have a resume with a lot of activity, have one that has some assignments that were completed. Jesus says look on the fields, they are ready. Don’t say ‘4 more months and then comes harvest’. We are always in the harvest. It is not something that only happens in church on Sunday. Break the mindset that is always looking down the road for ministry to happen. Ministry happens right now, all the time. You and I are in the harvest, are you picking any fruit? Jesus says a prophet has no honor in his own country. We often want a prophetic word from some out of town prophet. We enjoy going out of town to a conference or some vacation venue to get a ‘word from the Lord’. We do not like to receive from prophets in our midst. They often don’t give good words like ‘Thus saith the Lord, you will be rich’ and stuff like that. We need to stop looking for the word we want to hear, and receive from prophets in our area.

 

(567)    John 5- Jesus heals the man at the pool of Bethesda. Scripture says an angel went down into this pool at a certain time and stirred the water, whoever got in after the water was stirred was healed. How do we explain this? Were the people superstitious? Well I think it happened just like John wrote it. We believe in a supernatural God, he raised his Son from the dead, he surely can send an angel to stir up some water. Jesus asks the man ‘do you want to be healed’? You would think ‘of course’ but people that are in situations that can lend to being irresponsible, having others take care of them, they often want to stay that way. It gives them an excuse to ‘not act responsibly’. The man says ‘I have no man to put me into the water after the angel comes’ he is looking for others to do something for him. He has a victim mentality. Jesus says ‘quit blaming everyone else, take up your bed and walk’. It’s time for our society to tell people ‘take up your bed and walk, we love you, we want to help you as much as possible, but you need to eventually take up your bed and walk’ hard stuff! Jesus will call God his father, making himself equal with God. The Jewish leaders will be offended. He then will tell them if they do not honor him, they are not honoring the Father. He says he only does what he sees the Father doing first. His life was an exact duplicate of the heart of God. Our lives should be the result of what God wants and reveals to us. Your life is not the result of your confession, or you seeking success. Your life should be the outcome of what God has revealed to you. It might mean less money, or less success. It might mean a Cross or martyrdom. Don’t presume that Gods plan for you is simply to have lots of money and be successful, it might mean less money and obscurity. But it will be an abundant life because you lived it in the purpose of God. Jesus says the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and they that hear will live. You had as much to do with your spiritual birth as you did with your natural one. Before you were born you had no power or ability to choose to be born, so in your new birth you were dead in sin and unable to ‘choose God’ he chose you. Jesus will tell the religious leaders ‘how can you believe if you seek the honor of men’ he will challenge the religious  mindset of the day that thrived off of the notoriety of ‘being in ministry’. The leaders loved the greetings in the markets and public places. They lived for the honor that came from their status as ‘preachers’ who were well known. Jesus condemned this mindset. He says ‘I receive not honor from men’ in essence I am here to lay my life down, I will suffer shame and public humiliation, I will do the will of my Father and bare tremendous reproach and hatred from men. I will please my Father. Jesus tells the Jewish leaders ‘Moses wrote about me, you have his writings. If you don’t believe his writings, how can you believe in me, he wrote about me’ we have covered a lot of the ‘hidden’ images of Jesus found in the Old Testament. Paul will use these images time and again in his debates with Israel. I find it interesting that Jesus saw himself in the Old Testament also.

 

(568)    John 6- We see the first miracle of the feeding of the multitudes. It has been commonly taught that this was a miracle of ‘location’, that is they were far from the market and couldn’t get food to feed everyone. This is not the heart of the story. It is actually a question of finance. Jesus in essence asks ‘how can we buy enough food for everyone to eat, where’s the money gonna come from?’ His disciples say ‘200 pennyworth is not enough to feed them’. They tell Jesus we don’t have the cash to cover it. This is important to see, many have taught a doctrine that says Jesus and the disciples had a large treasury with lots of money. This refutes that. This story is one of God being our supply, we don’t need to trust him for the millions of dollars we think we need to reach the world. We need to believe that he can use our limited finances to reach the world! He did it with Paul, why not you? We also see the doctrine of sovereignty again. Jesus says all who the Father gave to him will come to him, and he will raise them up at the last day. No man can come unless the Father draws him. The Father will draw all who are called. Jesus will lose none of the ones the father gives to him. These doctrines are without a doubt taught in this Gospel. I believe them. Some try to make them ‘fit’ the reasoning of men. They eventually taught that Jesus died only for the elect. That the ‘world’ in John 3:16 speaks of the ‘world of the elect’. Others taught that Jesus blood was only shed for the elect [limited atonement]. Christians have fought for centuries over these doctrines. Our Catholic brothers do not officially teach predestination, though Catholic scholars have believed in it [Augustine]. Some will later be called ‘5 point Calvinists’ others ‘4 points’ and so on. I simply believe the words of Jesus. All that the Father gave to him will come to him, those who come will be raised at the last day. No one comes unless God brings them. The point is God is the initiator, sustainer and completer of our salvation. In our minds we can’t grasp this, but without a doubt Jesus teaches it in this chapter. Now, Jesus will also teach that he is the bread from heaven and unless a man eats his flesh and drinks his blood he will not have eternal life. Many good Christians have taught that the way this is carried out is thru transubstantiation, they teach that the bread and wine turn into the literal body and blood of Jesus at the Mass [Catholic theologian Scott Hahn believes John chapter 6 is the foundational chapter for all Catholic theology]. That it just looks like bread and wine, but it is really flesh and blood. Luther and Calvin taught something almost identical, consubstantiation. The doctrine that the bread and wine stay bread and wine, but that the flesh and blood of Jesus are also literally contained within the bread and wine. This doctrine differs very little from the Catholic one. Both of these doctrines are called ‘the real presence’. The only reformer who taught what much of modern Evangelicals believe was Zwingli. He took it to be a symbol only. Zwingli was the dear brother who killed the Ana Baptists for their faith! I visited the spot where this took place in Switzerland many years ago. There is this huge statue of Zwingli overlooking the town where he drowned the poor brothers! The Jews in this chapter say ‘how can this man give us his flesh to eat and blood to drink?’ They are clearly seeing this in the natural. Jesus goes on and teaches that all who believe in him will never hunger again. He is associating eating with faith. He also says ‘the flesh profits nothing, the words I am speaking to you give life’ he is clearly teaching that he was not going to figure out a way to change bread and wine into his literal flesh. He was teaching that all who would believe in his death and resurrection were eating and getting life from Jesus, they would have eternal life. The bread that if a man eats from will live forever. I believe my Catholic and Orthodox and Lutheran brothers are Christian, I do not hold to the  view that the ‘real presence’ is a doctrine from hell. I believe good Christians took the words of Jesus literally and developed a belief that became an historic belief amongst many Christians. Some of the greatest Christian theologians hold to this belief. I simply disagree with them.

 

(569)    In reading this new book I came across a verse I like ‘The rescuer will come out of Zion and rip away iniquity from Jacob’. I am not sure which version of the bible it is, but it sure works!

 

(570)    DREAM- I just dreamt that I took my van to the tire shop to get some new tires and an oil change. The guy asked me how far I was going, 100 miles? I told him no, around a 1,000 miles. I felt like the Lord was saying he is going to increase our [you too!] distance and influence. ‘GET OUT OF THE CITY AND DWELL IN THE FIELDS’ ‘YOU HAVE BEEN FAITHFUL OVER A LITTLE, I WILL NOW GIVE YOU AUTHORITY OVER 10 CITIES’ Be sensitive to the new areas that God is going to open for you. One word from the Lord will accomplish much more than all the good ideas you can come up with. Don’t think in 100 mile parameters, but in a thousand!

 

(571)    Just heard from a friend in Jersey, he just did 5 months in jail. He is a few years younger than me, didn’t grow up with him but met him a few years ago. He told me he had a jail mate [room mate!] that was from my old neighborhood, he was my age and all. He told me the name and I recognized the guy, I went to high school with him. He told my friend how he got busted for holding up the gas station in my old neighborhood with a gun. He is a crack addict and spent the last 27 years after graduating [class of 1980- my graduation year] high school robbing and doing drugs. Sad. A few years ago when I was up north I was walking by my old high school and saw his parent’s deli, they own a deli right by my old high school. I went in to see if he was still around. I spoke to his brother and he simply acknowledged that he was still around, but gave no details. I guess they didn’t want to say anymore. I feel time is running out for some of us. A lot of people reap at the age of 45 [both of our ages as I write this]. Read the death row stories that come out in the paper. Most of the guys are right around that age. The harvest is ready, the laborers are few. If you are a believer and are reading this, go out into the fields and bring in some harvest before it’s too late.

 

(572)    John 7- His brethren say ‘if you do these things, go up to the feast and show yourself openly’. The mindset was if you are really as special or gifted as you think, then go public! Jesus did not seek honor from men. He will ‘go public’ at the right time, but it will be a public crucifixion before many witnesses. He would not let them make him a king, or exalt him in their own way. Before exaltation there would be a Cross. ‘Some say he is a good man, others that he is a deceiver’ Jesus caused polarizing reactions from people. Prophets will be seen as false or good, there is very little middle ground. ‘How knoweth this man letters, having never learned’ Jesus learned, he was a good Jewish boy. They had the Old Covenant and were taught it ‘religiously’. The leaders meant he did not have the ‘higher education’ from the institutions of the day. I want to make a note here, I am not against higher education, Jesus did avail himself of the Old Testament, which was the ‘library’ of the day. A great collection of books and wisdom, if you read the gospels carefully you will also see that Jesus knew current events, he was not an isolated person coming up with his individual conclusions of scripture. I think it hurts the church to have an attitude of ‘all I need to know is the bible’ while it is good to know the Word, you should also expand your knowledge as much as possible. You don’t need the ‘letters’ or titles from men, but you should be educated as much as possible. ‘I have done one work and you all marvel’ the leaders were condemning Jesus for healing the man on the Sabbath, he tells them ‘you circumcise on the Sabbath, why cant I make someone whole on the Sabbath?’ circumcision was the cutting away of the ‘flesh’ in consecration to God. In essence it was saying ‘all that proceeds from me from this day forward, my lineage and seed and everything I am, is dedicated to God’ if they were allowed, by their own conscience, to ‘cut the flesh away’ on the Sabbath, then why not permit [in their own mind] the ‘adding’ unto a person by healing his flesh and giving him back his health. Jesus showed them that even in their own reasoning they could allow for what he did, but they didn’t give him the same lenience that they gave themselves. We often reject what a person is saying based on the actions he has done in the past, even though we allow many of the same things. Jesus said ‘judge rightly’ use the same measure that you would use on your self. ‘Yet a little while I am with you, you will seek me and not find me’ Jesus says this to the Jews who do not accept him as Messiah, they have been looking for him [unknowingly] for 2 thousand years and haven’t found him yet, boy are they gonna be surprised! The Pharisees send the officers to take Jesus, even though he didn’t openly go up to the feast, he later went secretly. He is teaching publicly and the people are amazed. They say ‘if this is the one the leaders are trying to get, why don’t they just take him?’ the officers couldn’t stop him! The Pharisees ask ‘why didn’t you capture him like we asked’ they respond ‘never man spake like him’ the authority that he had from God protected him. As the Pharisees discuss Jesus, they say ‘this people who do not know the law [word] are going after him, none of us are’. Well Nicodemus is in this group, and we know he snuck out in chapter 3 and did go ‘after him’. He is feeling a little guilty about it and speaks up on Jesus behalf ‘well, let’s not be so quick to judge, lets hear him out’. The other Pharisees reject him too ‘are you also from Galilee?’ They had this intellectual argument going that took all the Old Testament prophecies about Messiah and where he would come from. There are different prophecies that speak of Jesus in different ways, they held to a belief that when Messiah came, no one would no where he came from. Their understanding kept them in the dark. They were not willing to be corrected, they saw everyone else as ignorant, and they were the true ‘elites’ of the day. Pride keeps people form truth. We often can’t be corrected, we think the ‘correctors’ just don’t know the word. This comes from spiritual pride. Many who view themselves as religious leaders, or gifted in some way with bible knowledge, can not humble themselves and receive correction in the area where they pride themselves. For the Pharisees to have accepted Jesus, they would have had to admit that they were wrong about certain prophecies, and that the ‘under class’ was right, this was too much for them to accept.

 

(573)    Jesus asked once ‘who do men say that I am?’ then the disciples gave a short list of ideas. How would this question be answered today? If you looked at the best selling Christian books of the last few years you would think God was a cosmic Santa Claus, some success guru who lived to give us a happy, wealthy, trouble free life. We are not the first generation of people that ‘created God in our own image’. That is we see a ‘god’ of our own choosing. We see what we want! Who do you say that he is? NOTE; The problem with modern publishing is the book publishers are in it for profit [nothing wrong about profit] this cause’s them to publish popular names, regardless of the content. So once a Christian preacher becomes famous, his stuff gets published, because it will sell. This lends to the flooding of the market with ‘average’ [or less than average] stuff. The real good stuff can be found, but you have to wade thru the ‘dung’.

 

(574)    I was just praying and incorporated a verse into it. I usually pray for the Lord to ‘pour out his Spirit on our seed [people we are birthing into the kingdom- seed can mean various things in scripture, one of them means offspring] I also pray ‘let your doctrine drop down like rain, your speech distil like due [Deuteronomy]’ ‘Pour floods upon the dry ground’. All of these verses have been added as I read and memorize scripture. The one that we just read in John ‘out of our bellies shall flow rivers of living water’ speak of Gods flow of life and revelation thru his people. So I added this one too. May God flow thru all of you guys and flood the earth so the knowledge of the glory of the Lord will cover the earth as the waters cover the sea. You have a river of life inside of you, it gives life to all who come in contact with it, let your life be a river. God wants you to overflow with his Spirit so everything that touches you comes to life.

 

(575)    There is a trend going on among evangelicals that I like. Many of the up and coming believers are getting away from the spooky looking presentations of the TV preachers that you and I are familiar with. Many are becoming environmentally minded, they are holding to more liberal views in politics and describe themselves openly as liberal minded. I too see many of the things they see. I purposefully avoid the whole persona of the religious right. Some on the religious right mean well, some seem to be in it for the glory of the crusade. I believe we all should stand for life, that is abortion is wrong, very wrong. We should have compassion on the abused women who have been victims of the whole mindset of ‘the right to choose’. They are guinea pigs in the system. I recently heard a testimony from a person who worked at an abortion clinic. The girl getting the abortion wanted to see ‘it’ after it was over. The nurse brought the ‘it’ to her. She broke down crying and screaming, she begged God to forgive her for what she had just done. The damage done this poor girl will be with her for the rest of her life. The nurse telling the story said ‘I guess she didn’t realize what she was going to see’. This girl was a victim of the system. She was under the impression that doing this was the ‘progressive’ thing to do. It was ‘open minded’. Though I disagree with the whole persona of the moral crusaders, don’t forget what’s truly important. The death of these little babies is neither a ‘right’ or ‘left’ issue, it is one of truth. Have mercy on all those involved, but do all you can in love to defend the defenseless. NOTE; Let me give you an example on how both sides [right and left] can be ‘married’ to their cause more than truth. I personally was against the war in Iraq from the start. It was not for many of the reasons you hear the liberals give today. Many of their arguments are false. Some of them say ‘I voted for the war, but it didn’t work because Bush mishandled it, he is incompetent!’ the same group will say ‘what idiot thought you could get these warring factions in Iraq to work together, they have been fighting for thousands of years and have never been at harmony’. First, if you thought it could have worked, but bush messed it up, fine. Then don’t come back a year later and give the other argument, both cant be true! Second, these ‘tribes’ have lived together for years in a measure of ‘harmony’. They did it Under Saddam Hussein. This is the very argument that they make, that all was ‘well’ before we went in. These guys are all over the map with their reasoning. Now, when Bush got in office, he was told by the outgoing Clinton administration that the single greatest threat was militant Islam and terrorism. At the same time Saddam just stepped up his shooting at our pilots who were regularly flying the no fly zone [remember Bush 1, he signed a surrender agreement with the guy!] so Bush 2 gets in office, is told the number one threat is militant Islam, Saddam is regularly firing at our planes, also kicking out the weapons inspectors. All the intelligence from ALL the countries said ‘Saddam is massing or developing weapons of mass destruction’. Then 9-11 happens. It was a judgment decision to go in and invade. Many of Bush’s advisors had the ideology [neo con’s] that the only way to truly change the region and deal with this ongoing threat was to go in and establish a democracy in this area. They sincerely believed this, they felt Clintons strategy was not working, just ‘smart bombing’ every now and then to try and kill Osama bin Laden [or ‘bin hiding’!] So the critics today would have you believe that all was well in the world before Bush started his crusade against Islam, not true. Can you imagine what Chris Matthews and all the other talking heads would have said if Bush didn’t go in? Saddam just might have succeeded in downing our planes, then what? He would have had no weapons inspectors. Over time things just might have gotten pretty bad. The fact that we did tie up much of Al Qaeda has had an affect on us not getting hit again since 9-11. It is very possible that the invasion has caused the terrorists to focus on Iraq and not have the time or resource’s to hit us at home. The critics of the war never even seem to give this a second thought. Now, why was I against this war? I felt we were spreading ourselves to thin. To go and occupy another country on the other side of the world was just doing too much. If we had to eliminate the guy, then do it like Israel does. Just send a commando force in and do it. I know this also would have had tremendous reverberations, the critics would have decried the instability of Iraq as all the tribes would be fighting for control of the country, and sure enough all the talking heads would have said ‘what in the world is Bush doing, doesn’t he know that you have to occupy a country to change it, you cant just assassinate the leader’ you will never please these news guys [note; It is the policy of our country to not assassinate leaders of other countries, some think we should re think this policy]. So anyway I just thought I would throw this in being we are talking about Christians being both liberal and conservative on various issues. NOTE; recently we have had terrible wild fires in California. Chris Matthews had the Lt. Governor of California on his show [he interviewed him on the screen, he is a Democrat] Bush was going to fly in and see the damage and support the people. Matthews asks the question ‘by Bush flying in, will it hurt or help’ he asks this in a loaded way, expecting the anti Bush answer. The politician says ‘ it will hurt us, he will be taking security resources and be a big distraction’. Matthews espouses the thought that Bush is going for purely political reasons and is actually causing great damage to the state. In essence ‘he shouldn’t go’. This is the same guy who couldn’t stop accusing Bush of insensitivity because he waited too long before he went to Louisiana after hurricane Katrina. No matter what Bush does, Matthews will find something wrong. This is not news reporting, this is simply division for the sake of ratings. I am an avid news watcher, I watch all the stations, both liberal and conservative. Matthews [hardball on MSNBC] is doing a disservice to this country. He also accused Bush of racism and neglecting the poor, he interviewed Peter King [congressman from New York] after Katrina and wanted to know why more money was cut from Louisiana’s budget than any other state in the years before Katrina. He was leading the whole audience to believe Bush was a racist, didn’t care about the poor blacks. He went on for days about this. Finally Peter King informs him on the air, that the same year Matthews is asking about, that Louisiana received more federal money than any other state [not the year of the disaster]. Obviously this is why their budget was cut the most, they still received the most out of all the other states. They cut to a commercial and you never hear Matthews recant of his racist accusations. He just drops the whole matter. So all the viewers of his show who were led to believe that Bush is a racist, they heard it for weeks from this guy, they then never were told the truth. Matthews just stopped talking about it. This guy is dangerous to this country, whether you are to the right or the left of the political spectrum, consistent lying is of no value whatsoever. NOTE; to be honest I have since come to the conclusion that the massive effort, expense and loss of life has caused me to think that the war has not been worth the cost. Hopefully things will work out better than they look right now [11-07] but the fact remains that eventually whoever runs the country in the future, we have no guarantee they will be better than Saddam. As it looks now, the group who holds the most seats in their govt. are the same religious sect that Iran’s madman holds to. Not very comforting! Also the other thing is Christians should question how the teachings of Jesus should mold our thinking in the area of war. I am not a pacifist, I do hold to the classic Christian doctrine of just war, but there are many believers who are pacifists. I remember reading somewhere how a leading Christian pacifist was debating someone who believed in war, the ‘war guy’ said ‘look at how dangerous your doctrine can be, say if everybody embraced it, what would happen?’ The pacifist answered ‘no more war’. I understand it is naïve to believe that sinful man could ever embrace it on a global scale. James tells us all wars come from mans sin and strife, so as believers we should be very ‘slow’ to go to war, a very last resort. Overall I do think the cost of the Iraq war was too much in life and money to have been justified. Do I advocate pulling out before we give the current govt. a chance to stabilize? No, that would be totally irresponsible on our part. We need to do our best to help them stabilize, but we also want to get our guys out as fast as we can. Some believe the problem is the lack of ‘financial well being’ that these Muslim countries have that cause’s the problem. They espouse the view that if the rich nations helped the poor ones [even though many of these nations have wealth, the standard of living for the average Muslim is low] that this would solve the problem of radical Islam. They don’t seem to realize that Osama was very wealthy and affluent. The problem is much deeper than money, seeing money as the answer is symptomatic of the problem with western thought in the world and church. We seem to think that money is the answer to everything, we see our God thru the lens of how he can increase our portfolio. The problem with all mankind is sin, the only solution to the sin dilemma is Christ. This is why I have said before the answer is not killing the radical Muslim, but bringing the truth of the gospel to him. Muhammad saw the idolatry in the Christian church and how far she fell from the standards of God, he saw the inconsistencies of western Christianity [really western, Rome] in the way she allowed the setting up of statues, which Muhammad saw as a violation of the commandment not to make any graven images. He saw the expressions of the Trinity, some that actually said ‘we have 3 separate Gods who are all equal’ this expression violated the teaching in scripture of ‘the Lord our God is one’. Now I am a Trinitarian, but it is not hard to see how even Muhammad could have disagreed with the above language, it is not easy to explain the Trinity! So there were some real problems that Islam saw with Christianity and went down a wrong road. Any road that doesn’t accept the full deity of Christ leads to destruction. So the answer isn’t to kill these guys, or to lift up their standard of living. But to bring the true freedom of Christ to them. Now I realize that our country wasn’t in the business of preaching the gospel of pacifism after we got hit at 9-11, but the overall answer to mans problem [all mankind, Jew, Muslim [Arab], nominal Christians] is Jesus Christ. He said ‘I am the way, the truth and the life. No man can come to the Father but by me’. NOTE; strife is in mans nature. I have a friend up north who was telling me how one of their friends was looking for a place to live, the place he is now living at is not good. The landlords are his sister and her husband. The husband has a bad temper, he has been in prison for murder! So my friend says ‘you can rent from me, I have a room where you can stay’. So they go over to get his stuff, and as their walking up to the house my friend notices they have a nice pool in the yard of this 2 story home [in Jersey where I grew up]. As they keep walking my friend sees all types of stuff in the pool, furniture and stuff. The pool is full of water. My fiend asks ‘what’s all the furniture doing in the pool’ the other guy says ‘o, it’s my landlord, he fights with his wife and throws the stuff out the window and they land in the pool’!

 

(576)    I have a homeless friend who doesn’t like Bush [or the mayor of our city]. He is a believer and is upset that Bush has said that Allah and God are the same, they certainly are not! Every now and then when he is upset about the president, or tells me something that leads to political talk, I will kid him and say ‘well, you know what Bush says ‘Allah and God are the same’ and he will go on for at least an hour after this! He also has something against our Mayor, maybe it’s an authority thing? But he has been harassed over the years by the cops, he doesn’t drink and is a strong believer, but he is homeless. So every so often the cops harass him, he blames it on the Mayor. Sure enough I tell him ‘you mean Henry Garret’ that is the Mayors name. Well my friend didn’t know his full name, my friends name is also Henry, he wasn’t to pleased with this development. Then one day we were just fellowshipping, and I was reading the paper. The Mayor is on the front page with a broad smile, just rejoicing and full of life. I tell my friend ‘hey, your buddies picture is on the front page’ I show it to him and he must have went on for 2 hours about him, I don’t say anything about the Mayor anymore.

 

(577)    Now that I’m telling stories, let me throw this one in. A friend was driving with another friend one day and they make an illegal turn, sure enough the cops are right behind them and turn on the lights. My friend says ‘act like your having a seizure or something, and I’ll pretend I am taking you to the hospital’. Well the cop walks up and asks why they made the illegal turn. Sure enough my friend goes into the explanation as the other person is faking the seizure or something [?] The cop then says ‘I think you are faking it’ and they get a ticket [I think they got the ticket?] Well as my friend is telling me this whole story you can see how mad they were ‘who does this guy think he is, accusing us of lying to get out of a ticket. I should make a formal complaint, how dare they question my integrity’ they went on about how unjust this cop was. I said ‘so you are basically mad that you got caught’ they admitted it!

 

(578)    We are still going to cover the gospel of John, I just felt like the Lord had me sidetrack for these last few entries. I actually have been reading this morning as I penned the last 2 or 3 entries. Let me overview something. I am reading chapter 8 right now, I will cover it soon, but I want to focus you in on the greater objective of Jesus and the introduction of the Kingdom of God to planet earth. In Jesus dealings you see him dealing with the issues of forgiveness, restoration and the breaking in to society of a different kingdom. His concerns are not those of today’s church for the most part. We have a tendency to view scripture and Christianity thru the lens of ‘starting churches’ [Christian places for believers to meet] we view the Kingdom [those of us who don’t believe it is on hold!] thru the lens of man. We see change as something we effect by becoming wealthy and influential in society ‘the world will have to pay attention to us now, look at all the wealth we have’ or ‘look at the big voting block we represent, they will pay attention to this sleeping giant now’ we lose sight of the principles of sacrifice and humility and truly being Christ like. We want the world to notice us because we are more ‘threatening’ and influential than they are. This might get their attention, but it doesn’t really reach them for the kingdom. As we read thru the gospel of John, pay attention to the ‘other worldliness’ of Jesus statements ‘I am not alone, the one who sent me is with me’ ‘you are from below, I am from above’ ‘you can not hear or understand me, you are of this world, I am not’ there is this whole sense of Jesus operating outside of the structures and influence of men. He says ‘I am speaking these things to the world’ yet he never traveled far from his hometown, he did not have the types of journeys that Paul had. Yet he was confident that if he spoke what the Father was saying, then it was Gods job to get the message out. He knew his job was humility and the Cross, he chose to not seek the honor of men, and yet he has had more honor than any other person who has walked the planet. I just wanted to do a little ‘course correction’ here at midstream of our overview of John, don’t just read it for principles to fit in to your present paradigm and structure. It is a gospel that calls us to new birth and new ways of seeing the kingdom. Get your eyes off of the natural, see Jesus for real in this book.

 

(579)    I feel the Lord wants me to speak out on a subject that is controversial. The death penalty. I have never been against it as far as I can tell. I usually answered any questions about it in this way ‘In the bible [Genesis] God says if a man takes another persons life, by man [govt.] his life will be taken’ so this is the justification for the death penalty. Some Christians believe that the teaching of Jesus on the New Covenant being one of turning the other cheek should mean that we should be against the death penalty. I still believe that the govt. has the right to take a life if it is proven beyond any doubt that the person is guilty of murder, and I see the teaching of Jesus as applying to the believer on not personally taking action or revenge. If you apply the teachings of Jesus to all human govts. then you would have a hard time with the teachings of Paul who taught that human govt. has with in it the ability to punish evil doers [Romans]. Now, there have been cases these last few years where people who were in prison with the death penalty have been found to be innocent, I just feel the possibility of executing an innocent person has to override the reality that there are also guilty people on death row. The problem is not with the punishment itself, it is with the weakness of a system that has actually overturned verdicts of people who were on death row. I personally think it’s time for us as a country to put a hold on the death penalty until we can fix the system, or possibly outlaw the death penalty all together. I have felt the Lord wanting me to speak out on this for a while, so here it is. NOTE; I have had friends over the years who came from big families [lots of brothers] who were all robbing, doing drugs and going to prison. One of these guys told me how he got picked up for a robbery that he actually didn’t do. During court the lady pointed him out and swore it was him, he couldn’t believe it. He went and did the time. While in prison his brother, who looked like him, confessed that he did it. My friend did the time, he told me he had done so many other robberies without ever getting caught that he just looked at it as doing time for the other stuff. Well, I just read a story about a guy who was put to death on eyewitness testimony. Someone swore he shot a cop in Texas, after his death years later they found a letter written by his nephew that said his dad [the brother of the man executed] really shot the cop. I do not know all of the details, but I know from personal experience with my friend that it is possible to be found guilty of a crime that your brother committed, the problem is if you already put the guy to death it’s too late to undo it. Also the racial disparity in the amount of blacks that are populating the prison system causes concern. Now, I know whites and Hispanics and other races are also in prison, but the percentage of blacks is not good. Many black kids do not have the same ability to hire lawyers like others due to a lack of finances. So the odds on a black person being executed innocently are higher. The racial disparity should cause us to rethink this policy in our country.

 

(580)    I picked up a book at the bookstore a few weeks ago, I didn’t get it at the Christian bookstore, but at a regular bookstore. It was written by a Catholic theologian and it’s defending Paul’s writings in the New Testament against his critics. A hobby among people today is to say that Paul ‘hijacked’ the real message of Jesus and preached this anti gay, women hating, anti Semitic message. These critics will tell you how Jesus never said anything against homosexuality, but the homophobia you see in the church is a result of Paul. Well needless to say I disagree. Even though the author is trying to defend Paul, he is one of those higher critics who questions the authenticity of some of Paul’s letters. In his defense of Paul he falls into the category of ‘New Perspective Theology’ that just looks at Paul’s statements on Gentiles being brought in to the community of fellowship that Israel already had with God, sort of like focusing only on the verses of us sharing in the fellowship with God that Israel had. This truth, apart from the other verses on how Israel too must accept Messiah, leaves the perception that Israel is just fine in her current state [of being!]. Well in our study of John we read the Jews respond to Jesus ‘God is our Father’ and Jesus says ‘if you don’t honor me, you can’t have the Father’ though Israel ‘believes’ in the true God, yet she doesn’t know him, according to Jesus. So anyway the book wasn’t as good as I thought it would be. A few weeks back I read ‘My new kind of normal’ [I think that’s the title, it’s by Carol Kent] it was real good. She tells the story of how her son joined the military and married a nice girl who had some children from a previous marriage. The son winds up shooting and killing the ex-husband to protect his step daughters. The story is very real, that which is lacking in Christian books today. We have famous Christian celebrity authors writing things that don’t really matter, this book matters. I also just got a book in the mail from Amazon Books on the ‘Children of God’ group. I have studied this movement before, they are a cult. And I have another book coming in a few days on the story of the conversion of Jeffrey Dahmer, he was the serial killer who ‘ate’ his victims. He did accept the lord in prison and I have been wanting to read his story for a while. Have you read any good books lately [or at all]? NOTE; when I went back to spell check this entry it sounds like all I am reading is on cults and killers, trust me I read other good stuff too!

 

(581)    Just reviewing some of the stuff in John’s gospel. The verse ‘those that believe in Jesus, as the scripture hath said, out of their bellies shall flow rivers of living water’ God wants to ‘flow’ multiple streams [rivers-plural] from your life. You must believe on him as the scripture hath said, you can’t come up with your own ideas of Jesus, they must be formed by the witness of the Spirit and the scripture. I can’t help but notice the tremendous lack of authority that comes from the average ‘preaching’ that we hear today. If you are believing in a Jesus that is really not found in scripture, you can’t have ‘multiple’ streams of life flowing thru you.

 

(582)    We have a blind dog, she is old and sweet. Some people were going to put her to sleep and we took her. My daughter gave her a haircut the other day and it looks terrible! All chopped up. I tell her ‘look on the bright side of it, at least she’s blind’.

 

(583)    I just heard on the radio how a famous baseball manager left the Yankees for the Dodgers. The team he was with offered him 5 million a year, he got a better deal somewhere else. I do like the man, Joe Torre. It got me to thinking about some of the mindsets in the corporate/church world. I have heard it taught that if a C.E.O. of a ‘worldly’ business makes 100 million a year, how much more should Gods people value themselves. Now, Paul was the greatest writer of the first century. Though he wasn’t a great speaker, you had others who were [Apollos]. You had the most gifted people in the church in the first century. The writing of the Gospels and the teachings of Jesus have been called the greatest teachings ever. You also had the profession of speaking [rhetoric] and writing books for money that did exist at the time. Why didn’t Paul ‘value’ his letters and get a good price for them? Why didn’t they charge for their ‘value’ in speaking and philosophy? Others did. There was a built in teaching that Jesus left them ‘freely you have received, freely give’. Peter would write leaders in the first century and say ‘take oversight of Gods flock, not for money, but out of a pure heart’. The Old Testament prophets rebuked the shepherds of Israel’s day for ‘fleecing the sheep’, getting gain from the community of God. So, even though it was very possible for Paul and other gifted saints to have made a huge amount of money, they didn’t. We must see this, because the way it is taught today is Christians find the truth out about God blessing Abraham and making him wealthy. They see the many promises of God meeting our needs, and then they go off on this tangent to see nothing wrong about becoming rich off of the people, even though becoming rich off of the people is explicitly forbidden in scripture! If you look at Paul, he was living well below the means that his tremendous gift could have earned him. He is the most well read author today [along with the whole New Testament]. Many people made a good living this way, Paul didn’t. So don’t confuse the times where Paul does speak on contributing to laboring Elders, or where he praises a church [Philippians] for sending him money. He is simply talking about the basic needs being met in these scenarios, it is all too popular for the modern minister to appeal to Paul’s writings on money and then to develop a lifestyle of wealth that Paul himself would warn against [1st Timothy 6]. So today, we do have good men serving the Lord with an honest heart, many are doing good works for the Lord. Some do make a good salary, that’s really not wrong. What I am warning against is the mindset that seems to say ‘if a C.E.O. can make so much, why not Gods leaders’? Well I just showed you why, this is not my idea, it is scripture. That’s the problem, most brothers think an argument like this is simply ‘old tradition wanting to keep Gods people under’ or ‘that old religious spirit again, rearing it’s ugly head’. Sincere people don’t realize the error of this thinking, that’s why we need to be balanced in scripture. I am sure Paul knew the ‘money promises’ in scripture. I know Jesus knew the nature of God as our provider, the God of more than enough. Yet you will find both of them giving many warnings against materialistic mindsets. ‘A mans life doesn’t consist in the abundance of the things he possesses’ ‘it is easier for a camel to go thru the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter heaven’ to the man who was experiencing great financial increase in his business ‘thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee, then who will get the things you lived for’ [his kids will fight over it with Anna Nicole Smith!] The point is You can go thru the many warnings in the New Testament against materialism and develop a doctrine that says ‘this is why Paul and the others ‘devalued’ their earnings potential’ they were explicitly taught that their spiritual gifts [whether preaching or writing bestsellers] were freely given to them, and it was on this basis that they didn’t ‘charge’ or require a salary for their services. I know this is hard to deal with if you are already ‘making a killing’ in the ministry, it’s something that we just cant get around. Don’t take all the verses where you find Paul speaking of receiving offerings, and then use them in a way that violates the warnings he gave to Timothy in 1st Timothy 6. You shall know the truth and it will set you free, but first it makes you miserable! NOTE; Over the years I have noticed a progression that takes place. Very often you will find good men who do not see what I just showed you, after seeing it they usually come back to balance [after being mad for a while!]. Others are so busy fighting their critics that they don’t even listen to any reproof in any area, these often ‘fall’ for the proof texts [individual verses] that say Jesus wore an expensive coat, Judas was stealing out of the ‘bag’ [and ‘the bag’ must have contained millions because Jesus didn’t notice the few thousand that Judas took] and then in total ignorance start teaching a doctrine that says Jesus was rich. Once people espouse views publicly, or teach them for many years to generations of people, it is almost impossible to bring them back from the brink of obvious heresy. They cant admit to themselves that what they thought all along was true revelation from God, was really total deception. It is hard to repent after you have put out tons of books and tapes on these things. My goal is to ‘catch’ the average Pastor before he spends 10-15 years teaching this stuff to his people. If a man is warned in the beginning then he can deal with it better. Why have so many fallen for this? Good men, Assemblies of God, Baptists, etc. I think one of the reasons is other ‘good men’ particularly Prophets, have not warned against it like they should have. Jesus flat out said ‘beware of covetousness’ Paul warns Timothy about this doctrine[1st Timothy 6]. Peter plainly tells the Elders of his day ‘don’t go into ministry with money in mind’. Leaders are plainly told that part of the cost is to warn against this stuff. So many didn’t warn, and many fell for it. So now what? Well at least those of you reading this can avoid this path, and as God directs use the tools you have to warn others. Take this whole blog site and send it to others you know who are dealing with this. Print sections that you think are relevant and send them out. My goal is not to build an organization [we have none!] or to get speaking engagements [I don’t do that] or to make money [we do not take offerings!] my goal is to get this thing back on track before some innocent Pastor spends 20 years wasting his life teaching this stuff! NOTE; so am I saying Christian leaders can’t be rich? No! But brother if Joe Torre can make 5 million or more, why not a believer? You can. It’s just a fact that God ordained that believers do not become rich thru the administration of their spiritual gift in a way that has other believers giving money as a direct result of the administration of the gift. The verses I showed you above do say this. Aren’t the natural gifts, say of a baseball manager, also God given? Yes. Then why can’t you get rich off of a spiritual gift, just like a natural ability, God is the giver of both. I don’t know, why don’t you ask God about it? The point is we get into natural thinking and we come to conclusions that violate scripture. Jesus said it’s very possible for the pursuit of wealth to sidetrack you [the deceitfulness of riches choke the word] Paul said those that desire to become rich have sidetracked from the faith [1st Timothy 6]. There are clear restrictions and warnings given, as well as the reality of God being able to supernaturally give millions of dollars. God is God, he has the right to be the God of abundance and also to put the restrictions in place that I just showed you. We simply need to obey all scripture. NOTE; Let me give you an example, years ago I was watching a famous prosperity teacher who still teaches many of the errors I have shown you. He said when he was younger he remembers looking up as a plane flew overhead, and with great joy and expectation said ‘you wait and see, someday I will own one of those’ he then went on to explain that that day has arrived. The years of faith and confession and ‘thinking on abundance’ finally produced this harvest. I can imagine a young Billy Graham, as a boy looking out over the harvest field of people, of reading where Jesus said ‘go into all the world and peach the gospel’ how he must have believed and confessed and ‘obsessed’ over reaching his world for Christ. A time would come where Billy would become known as the greatest evangelist of all time. What’s the difference? Billy also has brought in huge amounts of money over the years, much more than the brother who saw the obtaining of things as the goal. Billy lived and exemplified the words of Jesus ‘seek ye first the Kingdom and all these things [planes and money and stuff] will be added unto you’ one man made souls the priority, the other saw the ‘stuff’ as the goal and message. Now to be fair the prosperity guy does win souls to the Lord to a degree, but if you listen long enough the gospel of wealth is entrenched in his belief system. I share this to warn you guys, many good men do see financial miracles happen all the time. There are real stories of God doing these things with good men. When they happen we should rejoice, praise God and stick with the main message of the gospel. The deception comes in when a good man sees the true financial miracle and then falls into the trap of seeing God and his kingdom thru the lens of abundance and money and always believing and speaking and centering his life around finances. The reason Jesus and Paul said ‘beware’ is because you must BE WARE! If it wasn’t a dangerous and difficult balance to keep, then they wouldn’t have been so strong in their warnings!

 

(584)    [THIS ENTRY IS FOR ALL OF YOU ON THE ‘MOVING ON’ WEB SITE, THOSE WHO I HAVE BEEN IN CONTACT WITH THRU THE SITE]- This version is ‘Post critics!’ Thanks to ‘Fish’ ‘Limmiwinks’ ‘smshgrl’ ‘sar’ ‘afflic’ [Sp?] and all the other comments from you guys! I sure wish you guys had real names!

 

I had the book ‘Jesus freaks’ sitting on my desk still wrapped in the box that Amazon used to send it in. I cut the box open and read the whole book in one sitting [around 225 pages, not real big] I have read on this group before and want to share some stuff. First, the thing that caught my interest was not that they are a ‘sex cult’. It was the fact that they started at the time of the Jesus movement out in California in the late 60’s early 70’s. The Jesus movement was a time where many hippies and young people rebelled against authority and were dropping out of the ‘suit and tie’ establishment of their parents.

 

Many of these kids found Jesus for real, some great ministries came out of this period. Calvary Chapel with Chuck Smith, the Vineyard Churches with Ken Gulliksen and JohnWimber, and the great music of Keith Green and ‘Last Days Ministries’ that was headquartered in Lyndale Texas [now owned by Teenmania ministries with Ron Luce]. One of the ‘coffee houses’ was called ‘The Living Room’, people like Arthur Blessit were popular at the time, the group from the Living Room would also be called ‘Jesus people U.S.A.’ and re locate and start a great magazine that also did a lot of ‘cult exposing’ and even did an expose on ‘ALBERTO’ the Catholic Priest in the ‘CHICK TRACKS’ it showed him to be a total fraud. They also exposed Mike Warnke [sp?] the author of the best selling ‘Satan seller’ who claimed to have run a coven of witches before he was converted. Mike was also a Christian comedian. I actually read the book in the early days and was a fan of Mike. I even invited him to come to our little church at one time, it never worked out. I liked Mike, and after he was ‘exposed’ it seemed to show that Mike really liked ‘telling stories’.  A lot of his friends said Mike was sort of a chronic story teller. Mike was a Christian, and after this incident he did submit to other Pastors to oversee his restoration, but the fact was Mike made up most of the stuff in his best selling book. I think the name of the magazine that the ‘Jesus People’ put out was Cornerstone? It is no longer in print but you can find old copies on line.

 

A lot of good came out from this time. Some of the converts wound up back in their ‘daddy’s religion’. That is after they ‘got saved’ they became true students of the bible and church history and began ‘rebelling’ against their ‘rebellion’. They saw that many of the historic churches had great roots and were not totally worthless. Some went back to the older churches. Jack Sparks had a ministry called ‘World Liberation Front’ and espoused many of the ideas of the strong authoritarian ‘Apostolic’ ministries. These were the ‘shepherding’ movements that were very influential in ‘covering’ young Christians. Bob Mumford and others were leading the Discipling Movement. Sparks got into the strong apostolic stuff and would write ‘we are going to get noticed, those in the churches that do not recognize us, we will take your people’ pretty authoritarian don’t you think? Well Sparks also got into the ‘cult exposing’ movement, which also was birthed at this time, and he eventually became a Greek Orthodox Priest and as far as I know is still one today [Sparks eventually would become one of the critics of the ‘Local Church Movement’ of Watchman Nee, being led by ‘Witness Lee’ in California. The ‘Local Church’ would eventually take the cult exposing ministries to court over this] so you had some interesting fellows at this time.

 

One of the  most interesting was a man named ‘David Berg’ AKA ‘Moses David Berg’. He was the son of Christian ministers, his mom, Virginia, was a traveling evangelist who would eventually set up shop in Florida. David learned ministry and the gospel from his years as his mother’s main helper. He also did a short stint as a Pastor of a Protestant church. David was in his 50’s about the time the Jesus movement hit, he wound up back in California at his moms house. He eventually worked his way into reaching the kids of the area, Huntington Beach and places where the hippies were hanging out. His ministry grew, eventually they would be called ‘the Children of God’ ‘The Family’ and the ‘Family international’. They were around at the same time as the other good ministries that I mentioned.

 

They were like a commune of hippies/Jesus freaks that eventually would have outposts all over the world. Their language and beliefs were a lot like any evangelical group of the day. Over a period of time their leader ‘David/Moses’ would espouse the doctrine of ‘free love’ which taught ‘we love everyone like ourselves’ and should share everything with everybody else. I mean everything! They became known as a sex cult. They are not the first to believe this either. John Humphrey Noyes of the Oneida Community in upstate New York taught and practiced this ‘open love’ in the 1800’s. Bergs group got a lot of heat when word got out that they practiced sex with under age children. A few magazines and news papers would introduce this strange cult to the world as they covered the story in the 70’s and 80’s. As I have read a lot about this group over the years, I have come to see how many of the kids sincerely thought they were following the Lord, and some were never involved in the strange sex practices [most knew of the open love doctrine, but some did not experience the under age abuse. I say ‘some’ for the benefit of those still in the group who have said this, but there are tons of stories of children who were abused]. Some of these today are still on the mission field with their families and are witnessing for Jesus in the exact same way that many other missionaries do. But of course the doctrine of the leader of this group was classic cult material.

 

You can go on line and find both pro and con web sites. Just Google ‘The Family’ or ‘Moses David Berg’ and you will find them. The reason I just read this most recent book [the other one I read is ‘Heavens Harlot’s’] is because after a few years of them fading away from public memory, one of the sons of the wife of David Berg [though not Bergs actual son] who was being groomed to be the prophet to take over the group, killed another group member out of revenge and a feeling of trying to get more heat on the group and to bring the group down [The boys mom was Karen Zerby, the leader of the group today, she became pregnant from an Hispanic waiter thru the ‘flirty fishing’[actually called ‘FFing’!] doctrine of the group which taught witnessing and ‘fishing for men’ can be done thru sleeping with men, you sleep with them, show them ‘Gods love’ and there you have it!]

 

This boy was sexually abused from birth and was to be an experiment on what it would be like if someone enjoyed open sex from birth, sort of a guinea pig for Moses Berg’s doctrine. Eventfully the boy left the group and became part of a growing number of second generation defectors who have made it their goal to expose and bring the group down. Many who are still in the group live in various parts of the world and have said they do not practice sex with kids any more, but still believe in the ‘open love doctrine’.

 

The young prophet who was to eventually take over the group was called ‘Davidito’ he eventually changed his name to Ricky Rodriguez. By all accounts he was a good young man, who rejected his cultic upbringing and was trying to make a life for himself after leaving the group. A smart, intelligent well liked young man. He could never get over his rage and in 2005 made a videotape of himself getting ready to murder one of the female leaders who molested him as a little boy. He would stab the woman to death, send three copies of his confession video to 3 friends and pull up on some deserted highway in California and put a bullet thru his head. This is why the recent book ‘Jesus Freaks’ just came out, they covered this most recent affair.

 

This is such a sad story. Many still in the group are trying to change it into a more ‘respectable’ group, those who have defected are trying to bring the group down. All of these kids, being taught scripture, growing up in this perverted environment. Learning true bible stuff along with the distorted stuff. Lifetimes of trying to serve Jesus mixed in with these cruel ideas and actions that are a part of their lives. Many who have defected have committed suicide. Truly David Berg was a false Prophet of the highest order, he has met God now.

 

There actually has been a very popular well known preacher out of the Atlanta area, Earl Paulk, who I have been praying for now for a few years. I liked watching him on TBN for years. He had a few accusations against him over the years of sexual misconduct. I do not know whether they were true or false. Paulk admitted to certain past indiscretions, but never to the allegations of certain women. They claimed Paulk secretly taught them ‘kingdom /covenant relationships’ which were basically a doctrine to justify adultery. I was hesitant about sharing the Paulk story, but I did so for a reason. Why would I see this doctrine as false, and those who teach it as ‘cultic’, and not hold the same standard to a Jimmy Swaggart or a Ted Haggard? All humans can fall into any type of sin, Paul wrote the Corinthians and told them ‘you have a brother who is sleeping with his mother, this must stop’ If a believer falls into a sexual sin, he either repents or falls into Gods discipline. But if a teacher begins justifying sin as a doctrinal truth, then you have problems. Many of these cults have done this, they see the truth in scripture about loving each other and living communally and sharing what you have with everyone else, but they don’t see the other warnings against immorality. They find polygamy taught in the old testament, or the fact that Adam and Eve’s kids had to have married each other, and they will teach incest or polygamy is for today, not realizing that the new testament speaks of being married to one wife and any thing else is adultery.

 

When leaders use scripture to justify sin this becomes a cult. I think we should all pray for those involved. Brother Earl Paulk has been sick [he might have even died by now?] but the latest accusation from his worship leader of many years has caused him to step down [a good thing!] but I still pray for the man. Let’s pray for all these kids still in the ‘family’ as well as those who have come out, they need our prayers.

 

[NOTE; I was just outside praying for you guys as a ‘community’ of people. To be honest I have added all of you as a group to my ‘prayer region’ [whole groups of people I fiercely pray over]. This is what I felt the Lord saying. Many of you have without a doubt come to know the Lord thru this time period in your lives. Many ‘regular’ Christians can’t really discern this. Much of what you see and hear in other Christian groups looks and sounds almost identical to the ‘family’ except for the ‘free love’ stuff. This dynamic has made it hard for you to relate to other Christians. They just look at you as ‘thank God you are free from that sex cult, now God brought you to us to show you all this true stuff’. The problem is many of you already know the ‘true stuff’. I felt the Lord was encouraging you as a group of people to ‘move on’ with him. Many of you are so turned off by what you have seen in other Christian groups, it’s like ‘I’ve been there’. God loves you guys so much [even this sounds abusive to you, you have heard this your whole life from the lips of people that abused you]. My heart breaks for you guys, I am so happy to read some of your stories and how some of you are still walking with ‘Jesus’ so to speak. I personally am worried that I too might come off as a religious nut. All the ‘prophecy’ and stuff I do. Teaching on Prophets and all. I do believe that God has placed Prophets in the church, but what you experienced thru Berg was almost a demonic type of Prophet. A man that had real gifts and talents, but also developed a doctrine that would justify to himself his own impulses and sinful desires that he struggled with his whole life. I believe there were aspects of David’s life that truly wanted to serve God, but like others before him [Noyes] he developed a ‘scheme’ that would appease his own conscience, and he released this evil desire on a whole community of young people. The most difficult thing for some of you is to realize that you truly do love God and have found him while being in this group. I love you guys and will continue to pray for you. As you read [or listen to our radio show] and you hear me speak on Prophets and the Prophetic movement, understand I in no way am speaking of the abusive ‘family’ that you have been involved with thru out your lives. God bless all of you and feel free to email or write me at my P.O. Box. If any of you want to get together while in the area contact me before you come and I will try and get with you. Thanks, John.]

 

During the time of Bergs rise to ‘Prophet’ he was in an atmosphere where other well known ministries were espousing many of the same views on end time things. You also had Hal Lindsey and many others who taught the same as Berg in the area of the Tribulation and the nearness of the end of the world. Hal wrote the bestseller ‘The Late great Planet Earth’. While Hal obviously isn’t near the category of Berg, it was common for people at the time to be living on the edge of their seats thinking that the world might end at any moment. This led to an environment amongst many well meaning followers of Jesus that had an attitude of ‘if the world will end soon, what the heck, why bother going to school or even worry about planning for a future’ This mindset would later make it hard for those who tried to get out of the cult. They found the most basic things, like writing a check, difficult.

 

The thing that first interested me about this group was the ‘apostolic’ concept of community. Many who have studied ‘ecclesiology’ [church government] have seen in scripture the more biblical idea of church as community. Some have tried to duplicate the early environment seen in the book of Acts. A common purse and sharing of their goods with the needy. Berg also was a student of communism like Jim Jones, a whole other story. Even though you had all believers sharing and helping each other in Acts, you didn’t see an environment where people surrendered their individual identities and ‘morphed’ into the identity of a group.

 

In Acts they still lived in their own homes and maintained a family idea. To be sure today’s idea of ‘church at the building on Sunday’ as being ‘the church’ did not exist, but you also didn’t have communes. I believe it is OK for believers who radically sell out to leave the comforts of a home environment and to live daily trusting God. I have met ‘homeless’ friends who were on their own serving God and surviving. But to force a communistic idea upon people, and to cause them to lose their own personal identity for the ‘cause of the group’ is cultic right from the start.

 

God wants us to be more than ‘pew warmers who are preached at every week’ he wants us to experience this Journey with him as being part of a wonderful Christian family, with many wonderful brothers and sisters. Seeing the ‘other churches’ not as the institutionalized monster, but as sincere Christian’s in the Lord. I know there are times in my own writing that I seem to be hard on ‘the church’ but I do not hold to the view that they are all of the devil!

 

Berg seemed to confuse the ‘religions of men’ and the establishment with the true boundaries put down in scripture. He would view his own feelings of guilt about his sexual weakness and failure and eventually blame the ‘established church’ for his ‘guilt feelings’. He would develop a doctrine that fit in well with the ‘anti church’ atmosphere of the time. He would see all the free loving hippies and how they jumped in to the open love of the 60’s and 70’s sexual revolution, and then compare that to his own struggle of trying to suppress his sexual desires for many years under what he saw to be the authoritarian religious morals that he heard time and again thru his mothers preaching. It was natural for Berg to view the ‘established religions of men’ as the cause for all the years he spent repressing his sexual urges. Hey, he thought, if God created me [and others] to be able to enjoy the feelings of sex from a young age, then why do I feel guilty if I act out sexually in a way that society deems wrong?

 

Berg would challenge the mindset of minors being sexually active. He thought it was society that caused the guilt, not his sin. So in the California environment of ‘church religion’ being deceived, he thought ‘they must also be wrong on the sex part too’. Well if Berg was a true student of scripture, he would not have come to this conclusion. Scripture most definitely speaks of God as the creator of sex, but it also puts down definite parameters. ‘Marriage is honorable in all, and the bed undefiled. But adulterers and whoremongers God will judge’ [Hebrews]. Berg thought for sure his belief in open sex with anyone at anytime was a true revelation from God, as opposed to the ‘moral old time religion’ of the past.

 

His great experiment would be to raise a child from day one in a hyper sexualized atmosphere and to then have the child diagnosed by professionals to see if any emotional damage was done. This experiment was what happened with ‘Davidito’. As Ricky grew older they tested him and others to see if they were harmed emotionally in any way. The ‘family’ found doctors to go along with their belief and to testify that the children were emotionally healthy. Later when Ricky [Davidito] would leave the group and kill one of the ladies who abused him as a child, the group tried to explain that when Ricky was in the group he harbored no ill feelings. It was when he got out and then ‘society’ taught him that what he did was wrong, that at that time he had guilt.

 

This diabolical social experiment that Berg thought would surely justify his sexual indiscretions did not work the way the family thought. While there are obvious problems with ‘organized religion’ we have to make sure we are not throwing the baby out with the bathwater. Many of the old churches have carried the true gospel of Christ for centuries before us. Scripture says we ‘shouldn’t remove the ancient landmarks that out fathers have set down’. This speaks of being very careful when we critique older religious churches that have been serving God for centuries. There were many ‘Jesus Freaks’ that left the old time churches of their fathers and have done well, they are still serving God and have never went back to the old church model. Others have gone back and even become ‘part of the old church’. But regardless of where you find yourself today, you must be careful that the things you think are ‘just religion making me feel guilty’ aren’t really things that the bible says are wrong. Many people ‘feel guilty’ because they are guilty! The way to get over the guilt is to receive Gods forgiveness and ask him to help you ‘sin no more’.

 

NOTE; I am not speaking about the guilt that some one might experience as a result of being abused in this group. It is common for victims of sexual abuse to ‘feel guilty’ even though they were victims. In some cases people feel guilty because they might have responded sexually while being abused, thinking that they in some way condoned the abuse, this is not so! Many of you guys have had to deal with this, maybe this had something to do with Ricky’s rage? So I just wanted to release you guys from this.

 

Let me mention some other stuff on cults and prophets. I have studied various cults over the years, some of them have definitely had demonic powers behind the leadership. When studying ‘heavens gate’ there were things that people experienced that fall under the category of demonic power. People who had a sense of being ‘mesmerized’ while listening to the leader. Or the leader’s ability to actually know what happened or predict future events. A fake imitation of a true prophetic gift.

 

Others, like David Korresh with the group ‘the branch davidians’ which were an offshoot of the seventh Day Adventist Church would come under the ‘spell’ of Korresh and begin viewing him as one of the end time witnesses spoken of in the book of Revelation. They would eventually see themselves as directly being referenced in scripture. They fulfilled their own ‘prophecy’ about being destroyed at the end of the world. Other ‘non cult’ prophets have also had this strong influence over people. William Brahnam was a very gifted Prophet in the middle of the last century, he without a doubt had extraordinary gifts, some till this day see him as either one of the seven angels in Revelation, or as one of the 2 witnesses in chapter 11.

 

So it seems to be a theme in some of these groups to come under the ‘mesmerizing’ influence of the gifted leader and to begin to view him in a way that associates him with actual biblical figures. The early church had some doubts about putting the book of Revelation in the New Testament, one of the reasons for this was they feared individuals might interpret it in a way that could cause trouble, a bit prophetic don’t you think? While reading about David Berg I have come to believe he had demonic powers working with him. You might think ‘no kidding man’. I don’t always believe this to be the case, I feel many contemporary Christians have a tendency to over do the ‘demon possession’ thing, always trying to cast a demon out of someone ‘I cast the demon of Marlboro cigarettes out of you’ or the ‘demon of poverty’ and silly stuff like that. I think in some of these cases we should cast the ‘demon of thinking that everything is a demon’ out of them! But in Bergs case there have been some leaders who ran into him thru out their lives and sensed a ‘presence’ that was strange. The brother who had a commune in Texas that Berg would eventually take over and call it ‘The Texas Soul Clinic’ felt like the group had a force behind them that was unstoppable, he till this day has never gotten over his impact with ‘the family’.

 

So it is more than likely that Berg had some demonic stuff going on. I am asked sometimes about people like John Edwards of the show ‘crossing over’ or other people who seem to have true gifts. I try to distinguish between out right fakers, and those who are really operating with a supernatural ‘element’. I believe many of the Psychics actually have a connection with the ‘spirit world’ that would simply be in the category of ‘soothsayer’ or like the witch of Endor spoken of in the bible. In her story she is requested by King Saul to bring back the Prophet Samuel from the dead. God’s people were forbidden to consult a soothsayer or ‘psychic’. The fact was she was well known, sort of like all these ‘card readers’ and stuff I see as I travel thru South Texas. Well this witch does bring back Samuels spirit, to the amazement of Saul and herself! She actually is portrayed as being afraid when her ‘soothsaying’ works. She was surprised he came back! Some think this was because she knew her gift was fake, and when it worked she scared herself. It’s also possible that the usual ‘spirits’ that did come thru for her were not there this time, she really got Samuel.

 

The point is in some of the people that are doing these things it is possible that they are ‘picking up’ something in the ‘spirit’, it’s just not what they think! In Edwards’s case he feels he is ‘crossing over’ and contacting the spirits of dead relatives, he might really believe that this is who is speaking to him during his shows. The truth is scripture speaks of ‘familiar spirits’ and demons. A person might have some real gifting going on, but it might not be what they think.

 

Edgar Casey [sp? It might be Cayce] is another example of a famous ‘prophet’. He was dubbed the ‘sleeping prophet’ because he would give readings while lying down and falling asleep and going into a trance. In all of these cases Christians are forbidden to delve into the ‘unknown’ thru these means. Some believers have gone too far in rejecting ‘prophets’. They do not see the true biblical gift as spoken of in the New Testament. God has clearly placed Prophets in the church, the book of Ephesians says this [as well as Corinthians and other references]. Some Christians believe it is because of the lack of biblical Prophets today, that this is why the world runs to the psychics, that if the church just functioned in the real gift, then you wouldn’t have all the popular psychics. Some who say this have some truth, but then I get a little worried because they seem to espouse the idea that true prophets should have their own call in shows and stuff, sort of ‘1-800-prophecy’ and stuff like that. I don’t think so!

 

So anyway I think Berg had some demonic stuff going on, as believers we should ‘test the spirits, for every spirit is not of God’ it says this in 1st John. If you read it in context it is not speaking of ‘disembodied spirits’ that are floating around in the sky [which is another off balanced teaching in the Church, Christians starting whole spiritual warfare movements and going around casting these spirits out of the sky. Jesus never cast demons out of the sky, but out of people!] But this verse is speaking of ‘testing spirits’ that are operating in people! That is whether people are ‘true prophets’ or’ false’. Don’t allow the strong giftings of leaders ‘pull you in’ but test everything by Gods Spirit. Be open to true prophetic gifts, don’t reject all prophecy, but be discerning.

 

I just reviewed the family photos of Ricky Rodriguez on the site ‘moving on’ he looked like such a wonderful kid. Go check them out, they give a face to this whole sad story. A few years ago someone wrote a book on dangerous communal groups, I believe the author was Ron Enroth [churches that abuse?] while the book served a good purpose, they drew some heat over the fact they included some Christian groups that seemed to be serving the Lord. One of the groups they singled out responded in defense of their faith. They answered their critics well [not like the official response of those still in the family. I have read some of the articles from their web site and something seems ‘off’ sort of like a ‘stepford wives’ type response] They explained while it is true that many cults have embraced communal living, Christians have also experimented with these models. They showed that those living in this type of atmosphere, where you are always together [sort of like my job as a firefighter in a way, when you live in 24 hour shifts with people, you get on each others nerves] lends to the complaints of authoritarianism and control.

 

The fact that the average Christian only spends an hour on Sunday with other believers, while those in a communal atmosphere live all the time with other believers, then you are going to get more complaints from those living together, it’s only natural. So I didn’t want to group every ‘communal group’ as being bad, though they do have a tendency to ‘lord it over the people’. The Boston Churches of Christ [a specific movement, not all the churches of Christ in Boston] are not communal, but they practice a fierce ‘shepherding’ doctrine, where the people must answer to the shepherds in a way that is dangerous.

 

This was the error of the ‘discipling movement’ also know as the shepherding movement. Berg’s group most definitely had this going on. This type of idea teaches a strong accountability to ‘over shepherds’ in a way that violates the true freedom that we have in Christ. So you don’t have to be living communally to be cultic, you can be ‘doing church’ the Sunday way and also be ‘cultic’.

 

I am a little hesitant to put this in, but will take the chance. I believe in God giving us prophetic signs and stuff, but many have used ‘signs’ and ‘prophecy’ as a tool of abuse. Yesterday I was out among a lot of my friends who are homeless. Ran into a Pastor friend and some other old friends. For some reason they were calling me ‘David’ and then they realized my name is John. I kinda felt this to be a little strange. I have been praying for the ‘moving on’ group as a Father would pray over his ‘spiritual children’. Now stick with me, I AM NOT SAYING THAT I AM CHANNELING THE DAVID BERG SPIRIT! In a strange way when leaders oversee a group of people they become a ‘Father’ to the group. They carry a special responsibility to lead the people. Berg had this ‘fathering’ responsibility, and he became a ‘child abuser’ towards a whole family of people. So I just felt the ‘sign’ of people calling me David, the day after I spent time praying and trying to speak into the community was in a sense prophetic. Sort of like God saying ‘One by the name of David abused these people severely, I will raise up other ‘spiritual fathers’ who will make up for the abuse they have received, David’s who are men after my own heart’ [King David in scripture is called a man after Gods own heart].

 

Just felt like the Lord was saying this about multiple people, those who will care for you in the original way God intended, as representative in some way I would like to say ‘please forgive us [Christian leadership] I am so sorry for what I have done to you’. ‘I am the good shepherd, all that ever came before me were thieves and robbers. I come that you might have life. The robber came to steal, kill and destroy you. I am the good shepherd, I have given my life for the sheep’ Jesus Christ.

 

(585)    John 8- The Pharisees catch the woman in adultery and bring her to Jesus ‘Moses in the law says kill her, what about it Jesus?’ Religion digressed into this conservative moral crusade that went and found people in sin and singled them out for judgment. Jesus doesn’t say ‘oh, don’t worry about that silly law of Moses’ he says in essence ‘you guys are right, justice demands strict holiness, you got me now’ instead he agrees that justice does require her death, and he says ‘go ahead, start stoning’. One thing ‘you must be free of sin in order to carry out this punishment’. The law required total righteousness from everyone, even the moral crusaders! When religion digresses to the point where all it does is go out into society and find fault, then this type of religion is powerless to change the ‘fault finders’. Jesus doesn’t side with the ultra liberals either, you don’t see him marching for the right for homosexuals to marry. He tells the woman ‘neither do I condemn thee, go and sin no more’. Jesus said this to the guy he healed a few chapters ago. ‘Go and sin no more less a worse thing happen to thee’. Was Jesus simply telling them the same thing that they heard from the religious right their whole lives? Was he simply saying ‘watch out, if you sin again you will get in trouble’ not really. Jesus words had tremendous power and authority, he told people who couldn’t see ‘see’ and they would! People who couldn’t walk ‘get up’ and they did. He was empowering these people by his words. When he said ‘sin no more’ he was giving them the first freedom from years of bondage that they ever had. He also was saying ‘I don’t condone sin’ but he was saying much more! Jesus tells the Jews who ‘believe in him’ if you continue in my word ye shall be free. In the next chapter [9] we will read of the guy Jesus heals, who also says ‘Jesus healed me’ but doesn’t know who Jesus is yet, then later he believes in him as Messiah. This is the type of belief that Israel and Islam and other religions have about Jesus. They accept him as a good man, prophet even. But not the Son of God. To these he says ‘if ye continue in my word then you will know the truth and be free’ if they stick around long enough they might just see that Jesus is for real! Truth is progressive, often times I will give a book to someone, or teach something over the radio. People will see things that they haven’t seen before. A few years go by and they ‘fall back’ into the old mindset. They sincerely forgot that some of the questions they have now have actually been answered already. ‘Go read the first book I wrote, it explains it’ oh yhea, I see now. People need to ‘continue in the word’ in order to be changed. It is not just the one time ‘revelation’ of a certain doctrine that changes you, it is continuing in Gods truth and knowing him, that is Jesus, who is the way and truth and life. Knowing doctrine does not set people free, knowing Jesus does.

 

 

 

About ccoutreach87

my sites- www.corpuschristioutreachministries.blogspot.com- ccoutreach87.wordpress.com- facebook.com/john.chiarello.5

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