Saturday, July 28, 2007
Considering the pain I felt at her death, it seems odd that I only met Rebecca Lee once. There are some people who are so sweet and sincere that they find that secret path deep into your heart as soon as you get to know them. Becky was one such person.
The first time she was surrounded by people of God, the holy Ghost fell on her, even though she had never been taught about the way of the Spirit. She just belonged to God, and as soon as she learned of the baptism of the holy Ghost and met people who had it, she received it.
I was not there that night, when Becky was born again. I had to wait until her next visit to NC, in May of this year, to get to meet her. When I did, I well understood how it was that the saints here had fallen so deeply in love with her the first time she came. She had planned to make another trip to be with us at the beach this summer, but God decided otherwise, and she died yesterday, the end of her life-long struggle with Cystic Fibrosis. Everyone around here felt as if we had lost a life-long friend, or even more accurately, a very dear family member. As I said, considering the pain I felt at her death, it seems odd that I only met Becky once.
It isn’t often in life that we are blessed to meet a person like Becky. Now, all we can do is (1) live according to the will of God so that we will be permitted to see and love Becky again, and (2) take advantage of the opportunity we have now to love the ones who are still here with us.
From Brother Damien this morning:
As it was, yesterday afternoon, I checked my email barely a minute after you sent the email saying that Becky had died about ten minutes previous. I had prayed that day that whatever happened would be quick, that God would do something. I told Kay, and then we waited. Afterwards, I sat on the front porch listening to the storm to the east. No rain, just lots of thunder. I really felt God in the sound - He chooses everything: here not there, this way not that way, this one and not that one.
I have not had many people around me die thus far in my life, and I believe I know where all of them are now. Becky is the first person I know that I am certain is now with the Lord. What love God has shown us these past four months through her! Thinking of her being with the Lord did something to me as I talked with Kay about it. For the first time, I felt just a part of what you feel when you talk about having “more over there than here.” It produced a greater desire for that reward; somehow it became more real, and there was a greater desire to be ready when the time comes.
It felt so good to realize that it was all over for Becky. Now she is with the Lord, already experiencing freedom from all of this life on Earth. Reading her website (www.takeadeepbreath.tv) gave me more insight into her suffering and how she endured in her life. If we are right with the Lord, all we have to do is die, and then we are with him. That is all that matters.
When it is real, no one has to wonder. When you really are committed to Christ, every person around you knows it, whether sinner or saint.
King David’s attitude reflected mine. He said, “Depart from me, you deceitful and bloody men.” It did not bother me in the least, and I am sure it did not bother David, if sinful people didn’t like me any more because I didn’t want them around me. I know how David felt about that. He wanted nothing in his life that was tainted with sin, nothing that was less than acceptable with God. Why should I want someone in my life if that person doesn’t love my God? Paul warned the saints, “Do not be deceived; bad companions corrupt good habits” (1Cor. 15:33). That being the case, why should I want to be corrupted?
Get real with God and man. Choose your path and let no man lead you astray. Make up your mind what you want your life to be like, and go for it. But be prepared. Unrighteous people around you will consider you to be a fanatic, or a fool, for not wanting them and their foolishness in your life any longer. They will “think it strange”, said Peter, “that you run not with them” any more. But care nothing for it. Set all your affection on the approval of Christ, and then, no matter what ungodly humans say or think of you, you will have peace.
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
Now, my father called himself a Christian. I call myself a non-Christian. But he was more of a non-Christian than I am yet. A real non-Christian heeds the Voice. As long as we are not recognizing that Voice to be who it is, and as long as we don’t have the courage to go ahead and be misunderstood and falsely accused, to appear to be doing the wrong thing, to be accused of being unloving and self-willed – whatever the criticism may be – as long as we do not follow the Voice and remain afraid of what man will do to us, we are still Christians! Fearing man is being a Christian, and a good one. That’s why the Spirit of God in me was raging, because it’s not a Christian. It hates sin. It reproves sin. It yields to nothing and wants us to yield to him.
No matter what kind of revelation, no matter what kind of understanding, no matter what kind of knowledge, no matter what spiritual place God has led us to, whenever I look down, I can see the footprints of those who led us to Christ. They’ve already been through this territory. We haven’t out-grown them. We are on the road they were on. In fact, by following after the Spirit, those old saints showed us how to be non-Christians.
What difference does it make what we claim, anyway? What difference does it make to God if those old saints claimed to be Christians while they were listening to the Spirit? What difference does it make to God if we claim to be non-Christians when we do not listen to the Spirit? Claiming to be a non-Christian is the equivalent of claiming to be saved already, if we’re not walking in the Spirit. It’s just another worthless claim of the flesh.
Glory to God! We must listen to that wonderful, loving Voice! It alone knows the way home, and when it comes, it comes to save us, to keep us from falling into a trap, to protect us from having our victory robbed by a slick-talking minister. And God wants us to grow into that place in spiritual life where you know what is right and you have the strength to do it, even if there is nobody around to tell you what to do. In Christ, you have that light inside of you. And it’s showing you the way, every day.
Oh God, help us hear His Voice, to recognize it for what it is, and to have the courage to live by it! That’s being led by the Spirit. That’s being a real non-Christian. In fact, that is being a real non-human, for when the Word of the Lord comes to us, it creates in us an attitude, and understanding, and a power that is far more than what is simply human.
"Those that make them are like them."
There is an old adage that says, "You are what you eat." And that is in many ways true. The quality of what you put into your body is a key factor in the health of your body. If you put bad things into your body, you will become weaker and ill. Very bad things taken into the body can even kill.
This principle holds true in our spirits. When we worship, we are actually sharing a meal with the God we worship. Several Scriptures in the New Testament refer to eating and drinking spiritually, and that was nothing new to the people who first read those Scriptures. Throughout the ancient history of man, worship regularly included a meal shared by the god being worshiped, the priests of that god, and the ones bringing the offering, the worshipers. Even in the worship of the true God, as described in the Old Testament, this was the required pattern. Paul refers to this in 1Corinthians 9:13: "Do you not know that those who labor in the temple partake of the things of the temple and those who tend to the altar share with the altar?" Let us always remember that, in this New Testament, Christ is "our Passover Lamb" that must be consumed if we are to escape God’s death angel, and Jesus invited all his disciples to do just that (from John 6):
Jesus therefore said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, Moses did not give you bread from heaven, but my Father gives you the true bread from heaven, for the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world."
Then they said to him, "Sir, give us this bread always."
Jesus said to them, "I am the bread of life. He who comes to me shall not hunger, and he who believes in me shall never thirst."
The Jews then started whispering about him because he said, "I am the bread which came down from heaven." They were saying, "Is not this man Jesus the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How does he now say, ‘I have come down out of heaven’?"
Jesus answered and said to them, "Do not whisper among yourselves. . . . Truly, truly, I say to you, He who believes has eternal life. I am the bread of life. Your fathers ate manna in the desert and died. This is the bread that comes down from heaven, so that anyone may eat of it and not die. I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he shall live forever, and the bread which I shall give for the life of the world is my flesh."
Then the Jews murmured among themselves, saying, "How is this man able to give us his flesh to eat?"
Jesus therefore said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, if you do not eat the flesh of the son of man and drink his blood, you do not have life in you. He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up in the last day. For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood dwells in me and I in him. Just as the living Father sent me, and I am living by the Father, so also that man who eats me shall live by me. This is the bread that came down out of heaven – not as your fathers ate manna and died. He who eats this bread shall live forever."
You are what you eat. We partake of what we offer to God in worship, and what we partake of, or eat, spiritually, we ourselves become. This is the danger of worshiping God with dead ceremony. Doing so is a sure path to deadness in spirit. God must be worshiped "in spirit and in truth", Jesus said, and if we worship as he said we must, we will partake of the life and truth of the spirit that we offer to God. Worship in God’s way makes us more alive, not less. But offering God dead things in worship can only deaden our spirits to the things of God. David saw this reality long ago and made mention of it in one of his songs:
"The idols of the heathen are silver and gold, the work of man’s hands. They have mouths, but they speak not; eyes have they, but they see not; they have ears, but they hear not; neither is there any breath in their mouths. They that make them are like unto them; so is every one who trusts in them" (Ps. 135:15-18).
Do not offer God dead works; He will not share that meal with you. And you will have to eat it with the dead.
On the way home last night I was listening to the songs of mine that are going on the CD, listening for anything that didn’t sound right in case I needed to make any last minute changes. Well, after a minute or so I got lost in the songs and just drove along enjoying the words and feelings from them. All the way home it was "Amen", "Man, that’s good", "Thank you Jesus", etc. I love the words in these songs. They say something and they mean something. They touch people’s lives and they heal hearts. They are not songs to make money from or songs to impress people with. The world is so very backward. Singers in the world sing songs to make themselves rich. These songs that we sing make us all rich.
Some are songs that we have written to share our experiences and to share thoughts we are having with others. Some are songs from the heart of God for us. He gives them to His Son to give to us for our benefit and the benefit of anyone who will hear them. Whether written by us or given from the Lord, they are all inspired by God.
I do not know why He has chosen me for the part I have in the body, but I thank God for using me like He has in this music, and I pray that He will allow me to continue on for many years. I thank God that I can see and feel the difference between our music and everything else out there. People can feel something different in these songs, but to understand what they are saying takes knowing the Father and Son, knowing good from evil, knowing what is of man and what is of God.You have taught me more about God than I ever thought I could know. Thank you for being available to God and for sharing with us what He has taught you. It has helped me in my life. It is still helping me in my life. Through your teaching and our learning, we have understanding, and that is priceless.
Several years ago, when I first felt the anointing that is on you for God's children, I told some folks in my house, "That man has authority from God to make music for His children." I had never felt that before from anyone. I agree that the music that God is giving us here, from you and from others, is very special music. It has a way of finding unlocked doors to people's hearts and has the power to fill lonely chambers with hope.
The feelings in this music we are producing are needed by God's abused children. It is not Christian music; it is music from Jesus to us, and it is full of selfless love and healing for all.Right now, Brother Rob has over thirty new songs in the computer waiting for him to have the time to finish the engineering. My, I wish there were four of him! We are excited about getting this holy music out to people, but it seems to be such a slow, tedious process at times. I hope that all our friends around the country and the world will be in prayer for Rob and the others who must do the hard work needed to make these songs available.
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
Judgment Begins With Us
Friday, July 20, 2007
I have been reading in the first few chapters of Proverbs lately. MMMMmm! They are wonderful. I think that if any young person - or old - will take the time to consider these Scriptures, it will make an immense difference in their life. In chapter six it reveals the seven things God hates. Chapter eight tells about the Son rejoicing before his Father before the creation. Still another chapter guides a young man away from the ways of a flattering woman. Wow. God has things to say to us, to teach us. I know there are many things to do right now, but more than ever, I want to hear what God is saying. I don't want to be so busy that I neglect my time alone with God.
I am listening this morning to the song, "Come Out of Her My People". I love hearing what the Spirit is saying! I know God is saying "Come Out!" [of Christianity] to his children everywhere, but that is so far removed from what they believe God would ever say to them - it's hard for them to believe. God help us believe whatever He says and encourage others to do the same. I am humbled every time I sing the words, "Come out of her, my people!" It is from God! It's just too big to take in. All I can say is, "God is good! And his mercy endures forever and ever!! Praise God!"
Here are the words to the song.
Come out of her, my people.
Come out – right now.
Come and leave Christianity.
Come out of her right now.
You've forgotten who I am
Come learn to hear my voice - and learn who I am
For you don't know where you have been,
Taken captive for so long
But I will set you free - to be wholly mine.
And you do not know who you are
In a foreign land so long
Now you have called to me - and I will set you free.
And I will be to you your God
You will be my chosen ones
Come, lay your burdens down - and rest, come follow me.
I know you hear me saying, "Come"
But you don't know where I am
I have heard your cry - and now, here I am.
You need not ask which way to go
You need not wonder how or where
I am in you, my child - in me, you are there
"That in the dispensation of the fullness of times,
[God] might gather together in one all things in Christ,
both which are in heaven and which are on earth, even in him.
. . . according to the working of His mighty power,
which He wrought in Christ when he raised him from the dead,
and set him at His own right hand in the heavenly places . . ."
Paul, in Ephesians 1:10
One possible translation of Matthew 18:14 is, "There is not a will in the presence of your Father in heaven that one of these little ones should perish." What makes this such an attractive translation is that we know God cast out of heaven both Satan, "the accuser of the brethren", and the angels who followed him. And inasmuch as those foolish creatures have been forever barred from the presence of God, there is no one left in heaven to oppose our salvation. Instead, we have in heaven a "multitude of the heavenly host" serving us (Heb. 1:14), and an intercessor sitting at the Father’s right hand, "Jesus Christ the righteous". There is no creature left in heaven who opposes our prayers for God’s help; and that is how it has come to be that "there is not a will in the presence of your Father in heaven that one of these little ones should perish."
When Moses had constructed the tabernacle according to the pattern given to him by God on Mount Sinai, God then required that the tabernacle and everything in it be ceremonially cleansed by sprinkling it all with the blood of a sacrificial animal. Only then was it considered clean enough to be used by God’s priests for the service of Israel. That Old Testament tabernacle was but an earthly figure of heaven, and the sprinkling of the blood on it foreshadowed the day when the Son of God would return to the Father from earth and purify heaven with his blood (the holy Ghost) so it would be a fit place for him to minister for us. Hebrews 9:21-23 says it this way: "[Moses] sprinkled with blood both the tabernacle and all the vessels of the ministry. And almost all things are by the Law purged with blood, and without the shedding of blood is no remission [of sin]. It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these [animal sacrifices], but the heavenly things with better sacrifices than these."
Thursday, July 19, 2007
Concerning the Sacrifice of Christ, as you discussed Monday night, it was, as Amy M. said, super good. I've said (to myself mostly, though) that it is my favorite message. I guess it pretty much includes the new birth, doesn't it? (That's my way of justifying it as my favorite :-) .) I am really glad it worked out that you could teach us. Thanks a lot.
When we were finishing Monday, I had a few thoughts, but it didn't work out for me to share them on tape, so you said to send an email. I know Monday night late you agreed with what I said (which is why you said I should have said it on a recording), but when I got still to write it out, more thoughts came to me, a little different from when I talked to you. Please let me know what you think about this.
Let me begin with what I said Monday, and go from there. First of all, I pointed out, as you learned from God, that Solomon's Temple, a more perfect form of Moses' Tabernacle, was a dead replica of heaven. We know that we are called the Temple now. So then we must be a replica of heaven, explaining why we are called priests, etc. But when I sat down to write this email, I had another thought. Like I say, let me know what you think.
Solomon's Temple was a dead replica of heaven. In the NT, we (those born of the Spirit) are the Temple. But from what I'm gathering now, those born of the Spirit are not a replica of heaven, as Solomon's Temple was. Rather, it would seem that heaven is a dying replica of us. Heaven is going to pass away, we know, but I also say this because when Jesus comes to clean us with the holy Ghost, the way he cleansed heaven after his ascension, it would seem that he still enters into the unsanctified Holy Place. He pushes through the veil (our flesh) to our "inner man", and then he sprinkles our hearts with his blood, sanctifying us for his ministry, just as the blood of Christ cleansed heaven after he ascended to make it fit for his ministry.
With this in mind, what happens next, after Jesus sprinkles the blood, is better explained by looking at Exodus. In Exodus, God only entered the tabernacle after it was cleansed. Now, in the NT, the glory from God still is seen over his new tabernacle (us), and this one is not made with hands, just as heaven was not. And as the pillar of the cloud that sat on Moses' replica of heaven in Exodus was a witness to the people then of God's presence, the person who is truly cleanses by the power of the Spirit of Christ also testifies to others on the outside what has happened on the inside. This manifestation of the Spirit we know to be speaking in other tongues, and it shows us what a holy thing Jesus has accomplished in his new tabernacle! The way it seems right now, everything He does is directed toward our salvation. It would seem that though heaven was a very holy place, it was still just a replica, since it must pass away. Maybe the holy Ghost isn't just a witness that Jesus cleansed heaven, but is also a witness that Jesus can cleanse us. Ha, would you call that heaven on earth? :-)
Also, I was thinking - the table is always spread to have communion with Jesus now. The OT bread was replaced every Sabbath day... and it still is, but now it is in our hearts. The bread on the table in the OT Temple was replaced only on the Sabbath day under the Law, but the Sabbath day now is rest in the Spirit for us, which is whenever. We never eat old bread with Jesus. :-)
But how do we know who is truly partaking of this mandatory Sabbath day, this rest? "For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people, to whom he said, 'This is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing.'" Those who have not spoken in tongues cannot be keeping the Sabbath - and if they have not received the rest, they cannot be replacing the bread on the table. And if they are not replacing the bread on the table, then they are not having communion with Jesus! The priests ate the bread and replaced it on the Sabbath day. It would seem that this rest is very essential. Also, God's Law is written on the tables of our hearts when the Spirit enters in, just as a copy of the Law was kept inside the ark in the Most Holy Room of the Temple.
So, ha, in a way, Jesus entered and left the third heaven, God's Most Holy Place, on the same day. He entered "through the veil" as our high priest, and his Spirit went out "like a mighty rushing wind" and entered into the hearts of the disciples that very day. We know that it cleansed them, too! So, maybe Jesus is the high priest not just in heaven, but in us as well. It is something to think that one of these days it is going to be an even better relationship with God. The idea that something awaits those who love Jesus now, that something is going to be even better and more real than anything so far, would appear impossible (how many times have we said that? :-) ).
Oh, wait! Sorry this is so long. I talked to Amy P the night before last about when you said that God doesn't allow Satan in heaven anymore. When he sent Satan to earth (then comes my favorite part), He sent His Spirit -- the same saving power that He used to cast Satan out of heaven, so that we won't have deceit in us either. That deceit, we see, is mostly Christianity today. But the antidote for cleaning the true tabernacle was, and is still, God's "Spirit of truth".
The other thing I told you I was thinking Monday night was this: In Leviticus, Aaron had to make two sacrifices on the Day of Atonement. One for himself and one for the people. Jesus, however, only had to make one sacrifice: for the people. Jesus was already perfect and without blemish. He didn't have to offer a lamb for himself. He only had to offer himself for us.
Let me know what you think, and thanks again for teaching us Monday.
What do I think? I think I am blessed to have been able to be there with you all for your OT class, and I think that I am blessed to have a son that has these kind of thoughts.
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
It is a wonderful thing to me that God would even have let a person (Donna) conceive of such a song, much less sing it for His people! Where else on earth can we find someone courageous or wise enough to even allow Jesus to think such a message within them, much less have the desire and the talent to put this holy call of God to music?
I thank God with all my heart for letting me have a part in the production of this holy song, as well as the other songs that God is pouring out on those who meet at my house. It is our hope that the children of God everywhere will hear His call and "come outside the camp, bearing his reproach" with us.
Communication is something we take very importantly at PastorJohnsHouse.com. At this time we currently send out group emails and it can be very unreliable, cumbersome, and time consuming.
By posting BLOG's you won't ever have to miss an email or any other communication I send. Just check in to this BLOG by bookmarking this site: http://pastorjohnshouse.blogspot.com/
You can view everything I would normally send by email and it will save us all a LOT of time. Of course I will continue to send those whom God has joined together with us personal emails concerning gatherings, personal issues, or other special things as normal, but the BLOG will contain my random thoughts and other daily communication as I feel the need to post.
Tell me what you think! And don't forget to visit http://www.pastorjohnshouse.com/ for the latest web correspondence, tracts, music and a lot more.