We do want you to have the opportunity to ask some questions that might be on you heart. I might just made a comment. There's been a lot of talk today about the Pope and being shot and all of that in St. Peter's Square; comes in there every Wednesday to do a speech and rides around and was getting out of his vehicle to go up to where he gives his speech. I was there one Wednesday when he did that in the St. Peters and he goes up and they throw a deal over a balcony window thing and he comes out and talks and he was shot.
Just to put things in perspective I think it would be interesting for you to know just a few little details perhaps about him. He's a first non-Italian Pope in four or five centuries. He's Polish. But there's been a lot of talk about whether or not the Pope is a Christian and in fact one very famous Christian leader that the Pope is every bit as much a Christian as I am and I have some questions about that, frankly, and I'll tell you why.
Recently the Pope has, this Pope, John Paul VI, right, II, John Paul II, the last one was VI, I can't keep it straight. There have been times in history when there was three at the same time all fighting for the victor ship of Christ, but anyway, he has adapted a new symbol. Every Pope identifies himself with a symbol. He has a logo, right, like you put on stationary, whatever, a seal. His logo is very interesting. The traditional Christian symbol is a cross, very simple cross. This Pope has a cross off center with a long piece and then the crossbeam is very short on this side and very long on the other side. It almost looks like half of a box with a ragged edge sticking out and in the middle of the box is a great big huge bold black M for Mary, so that the cross is moved off center and simply boxes in Mary. If there's any illusion where he stands in terms of redemption that ought to pretty well explain it. He affirms the co-redemptrix character of Mary; that Mary is equally able to redeem with Christ, which is heresy and denies the singular atoning work of Jesus Christ.
So, there's no way that a person can postulate that Mary is a redeeming person and adhere to the gospel of Jesus Christ. And I'm not saying he's not a good man as men go. He may well be. Okay question.
QUESTIONER: I think you kind of answered my question already is many of the a -
JOHN: ESP. Okay go ahead.
QUESTIONER: Many of the Catholic priests were saying all day long we have to keep communicating the gospel of love and I was just wondering what they mean by that? Is that the same gospel as ours or a different gospel and if it is different in what way?
JOHN: It's definitely different. The gospel of love is hearts and flowers. It's a substitute for the reality of the gospel and it's a typical statement today. The gospel of love. Its sort of a humanistic let's be kind, let's be loving. It's been amazing, it's amazing to me that when this thing came on the radio people like Mayor Tom Bradley said, "I'm praying for him." And Senator said, "I'm praying." Everybody is praying for him. All of a sudden in this irreligious atheistic nation where no one pays any attention to God, everyone is praying. If I was in any of those interviews I would have said to every one of those people, "By the way, to whom are you praying for him?" I would just be curious. It's amazing how there's just sort of a latent confidence or belief in God in spite of all of our denials.
The gospel of love, that's a term that substitutes, I think, for the true gospel, sort of a liberalized perspective. What they mean is we've got to be loving and kind. And that's really true. We are a very ugly society because we're fallen and we're always going to have those harebrained people that do things like that and that's a terrible thing to do, but I wish I believed that the Roman Catholic system had the truth, but I'm confident that it doesn't because I know this church is literally filled with people who were in it for years and years and never knew the truth. So I don't know what they mean by the gospel of love but it's something shy of what the true gospel is.
By the way I can just add a few footnotes. Let me do that before we go on. You need to understand that the Roman Catholic Church is a hybrid system. You will find in the Roman Catholic Church just as much stuff taken from Babylonian cultism as you will taken from the Bible. For example, Lent has absolutely nothing to do with the Bible. The term Queen of Heaven, you know that term they use for Mary? That term is in the book of Isaiah, I mean the book of Ezekiel and Jeremiah and it refers to Asteroth the mother of Baal. It refers to the false pagan cult and they are forbidden to worship the Queen of Heaven. In fact, in Ezekiel God came in and destroys the temple because the people there are worshipping the Queen of Heaven. And the mother/child cult of Mariolatry, the Pieta and the Mother and the Baby are not truly representative of Mary and Jesus but they are the Queen of Heaven. They are Asteroth and Baal dragged over into Christianity and it dragged its way through all the pagan religions.
It's a very strange conglomeration of stuff blending together Christianity and paganism and it has been that way throughout the years. Okay.
ELAINE: Hi, my name's Elaine. I have a question about I Samuel 16:14, "Now the Spirit of the Lord had departed from Saul and an evil spirit from the Lord tormented him." I'm just curious about that evil spirit from the Lord.
JOHN: Right. The statement there is an evil spirit from the Lord and the question is how can a good God send forth an evil spirit? Right? Obviously the answer to it has to be in line with all other Scripture, right? All you have to do is keep this in mind. the fallen angels at the command of Jesus Christ? Sure they are. When in Mark 5, Jesus approached the maniac of Gadarea, do you remember? And they said to him, "Do not," what? "Send us out but cast us into," what? "Swine." They knew that they would have to do what he commanded them to do. You see in Ephesians I it says, and I will read it. It says, "The exceeding power, the exceeding greatness of his power, which he wrought in Christ, show forth far above all principalities and powers and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age, but also in that age which is to come. He's put all things under his feet given him to be the head over all things," right? Doesn't matter what it is.
There are times when God, himself, in his sovereign will actually allows the demon hosts to carry out his will. And I think in that case He simply, in align with his sovereign will, acted authoritatively over a demon to send him or to allow him, permit him to do what he was going to do. So I think we have to give the ultimate sovereignty to God. Okay. Good question. Yes.
QUESTIONER: What was reason or reasons for God's silence in the period approximately 400 hundred years between the Old and New Testament?
JOHN: What he's saying is responding to a historical fact. When God closed the Old Testament Cannon and then opened the new there's a period of 400 years. The final books, I guess would be Chronicles, Nehemiah, final books of the Old Testament, though they're not the final ones in our English order, they are the latest ones. And when they were finished the Old Testament was complete. It was laid down. The law was there.
I think having completed the Old Testament only God knows why that gap was there, but in a very real sense it is, and I want to be careful that you don't misunderstand me, it is inconsequential that there was 400 years of silence because the Old Testament was enough. We have had 2,000 years of silence, have we not? In the faith was once for all," what? "Delivered to the saints." This is the once for all delivered to the saints faith. And we've had silence for 2,000 years but that doesn't mean we don't have the word of God. So God in His wisdom had said all he wanted to say and He entrusted this to them.
Ezra, for example, was a masterful scribe and it is said that he had memorized every letter of the Old Testament and that he could sit down and write the entire thing from memory in the Hebrew language. And so the scribes, like Ezra, were putting it into the hands of the people after it had been pulled together. And so there was that period of 400 years in which the Old Testament was available to them and then it was broken, the silence was broken. The next time a prophetic voice spoke who was it? John the Baptist, and he was the forerunner of the Messiah.
So as to specifically why that is a very difficult question to ask, but that does not mean that they were not responsible because they had the whole revelation of God as much as we do for the 2,000 years since the New Testament was completed. Okay you want to fire another one?
QUESTIONER: Once before you said that Russia's greatest enemy was China and from reading The Late Great Planet Earth many times and following the study we did in Daniel on Sunday nights, which again was terrific, I understood that Russia and China would be aligned against Israel so that-
JOHN: Yeah, I'm not sure that they'll be aligned with each other, but they definitely will be against Israel. I think what you're going to have is you're going to have the West, the North, the South and the East; the West being the ____ Roman Empire, the South being an Egyptian Confederacy, not of great consequence, the North being the tremendous power of Russia aligned with Cuspate, Persia and modern Iran or whatever, and then you're going to have the kings of the East. Although they all agree that they are desirous of controlling Israel, I do not think that they will ally themselves with one another and I think Russia wants the Middle East, China wants the Middle East, it's going to come down to the fact that China wants Russia or Russia wants China. I really think it'll be a wide-open conflagration of not just everybody against Israel but everybody against everybody.
JOHN: Well go with one more. Okay? Pick the one you want.
QUESTIONER: Are all demons x or fallen angels?
JOHN: Okay let me give you a little diagram. Look at it this way. There are, I'll draw you a line, like we're going to diagram. On the line there are angels, angels. Okay? Split the line, there are two kinds of angels: up we'll make holy angels; down we'll make fallen angels. Okay? So we have holy angels and fallen angels. Of the fallen angels there are two kinds: bound. The loose ones are the ones that are running around throughout the earth. The bound ones there are two kinds split off again: permanently bound right Jude and II Peter, reserved in chains forever and temporarily bound who will be loosed in Revelation 9 and I believe are the locusts that come out of the pit in the midst of the tribulation. But all demons are on that angelic strata. So all demons are fallen angels.
QUESTIONER: So in other words all demons were angels at one time.
JOHN: That's right. They were all holy angels, they all fell at the same time, they were all cast out at the same moment, there was only one fall, it happened in one moment of eternity and it was all over with and one third of all the angels fell according to Revelation 12. It says, "When the dragon fell he took one third of the stars with him" so there are two-thirds holy angels, one-third fallen angels. And when the war between the two happens in the 12th Chapter of Revelation in the tribulation the holy angels win. Michael and his holy angels are victorious and they cast those fallen angels to the earth, so you have the loose ones on the earth, you have the temporarily bound ones released and you have all the rest of them that are in space cast to the earth. And that's what creates the horrible tribulation 'cause they all end up on earth at the same time. And the restrainer is pulled back and all hell breaks loose. Okay?
QUESTIONER: I'm concerned about dispensationalism. I've been listening to Charles Swindoll and yourself and they all preach the pre-tribulation rapture and I can buy that, I think it's great. And then I hear some other respected men in the Lord say, "Well that is the dispensational point of view," and they imply that is something that is taking place that is within the last hundred years or so within the church and I'd just like to hear a little from you.
JOHN: You see that's just a label that they throw. What do you mean a dispensational point of view? The word dispensation is a New Testament word Paul said was committed on him the dispensation of the grace of God, the dispensation of the mysteries. It simply means a stewardship. It simply a term that's all and it is not, I mean this is the accusation over and over again the dispensationalism popped up with Jay N. Darby and C. I. Scofield and all that, but we're not working our way through a system, but rather attempting to interpret Scripture on its own merit. Okay, you have some basic things to deal with.
Dispensationalism, by the way, is simply a title for theology that recognizes a literal nation Israel to be restored in the future and recognizes a literal kingdom and a literal tribulation and a literal return and a literal rapture and that is dispensational. The other perspective is what's called non-dispensational or covenant theology, which has no place for Israel, no kingdom in the future and spiritualizes everything rather than making it literal. Okay?
Now what you have to do is go back to some very basic things. Okay. Dispensation simply means that God manages things in a certain way at a certain time.
Now what it boils down to in dispensational theology is that we believe that when God says something He means it and He means exactly what He said and we don't want to take the liberty to spiritualize it. For example, I heard Edmond Clowny, the President of Westminster Seminary preach on Isaiah 9 and he preached on the government shall be on His shoulder. And his sermon was: Is the Government of Your Life on the Shoulders of Christ? He preached a whole sermon on that. That passage has absolutely nothing to do with the government of my life. That's talking about the government of the world, and it's talking about a millennial kingdom, but if you don't want to have a millennial kingdom then you're stuck with making it a personal thing and you have it over and over again.
Now in the Old Testament repeatedly, repeatedly, repeatedly, the Bible says God has a place for the nation Israel. "I will not forget Jerusalem. With my right hand looses its cunning," etc. etc. God says, "I will never, my word will never return void. It will always accomplish that which I sent it. I will fulfill my covenant to David forever and ever." Right? "I will restore my people," Romans 11, "as God set aside Israel whom he foreknew, God forbid." We take that literally. We say there is a kingdom for Israel. There is a kingdom for Israel. The non-dispensationalist says, "No Israel forfeited its kingdom in the execution of the Messiah.
The church is the new Israel. We are the Israel of God. There's no literal kingdom. Everything is spiritual." And they go back into the Old Testament, take that theology, read it back into the Old Testament and reinterpret all of the Old Testament promises as spiritual promises to the church and eliminate Israel. And so you take John Stott, no less a scholar than John Stott, he's in Switzerland, student stands up in a seminar, "What is the significance of Israel's return to the land today?" and his answer is, "It has absolutely no significance at all." But you see he has to say that for his theology sake even though it's ridiculous because he doesn't know any Hivites, Jebusites, Amorites, Malacites, Moabites, Perizzites, but there's an awful lot of Israelites around. Why? Why? My grandfather wrote a track called Why You Can't Wipe out the Jew; because God isn't finished with them. And that's all dispensationalism affirms.
If you have a literal kingdom then you're going to have a literal beginning of the kingdom and then you're going to have a literal return, then you're going to work with a literal tribulation and a literal rapture. That's all, and when you get into the tribulation you either believe that the rapture comes at the beginning, the middle or the end. The end is impossible.
I believe the most impossible is the post tribulation rapture. It's impossible because you just removed everybody from the earth, wiped out all the unbelievers, whose left for the kingdom? You got nobody. I mean a mid-tribulation would be better, but I don't think that's right either. Because Jesus is to come when no man thinks He's coming, right? He's to come imminently. We're not looking for signs. We're looking for Christ. The blessed hope is not that the tribulation is coming. The blessed hope is that Jesus is coming. So I mean these people who want to stick around are going to be very disappointed when they all leave in the rapture. But does that help you to kind of see it?
QUESTIONER: That's been very helpful. I really appreciate it.
JOHN: Okay, okay.
QUESTIONER: John, I'm not going to stand before you and say I had a full and complete understanding of the Trinity of God. I do know that dwelling within me is the Holy Spirit, but when I pray, and I know this must be an old question to you, but who do I pray to? I find myself praying to God, and then I say I'm slighting Jesus, and then I'm praying to Jesus and I say I'm slighting God. Who do I pray to?
JOHN: My feeling is you can pray to all of them. They're all persons. I mean you can find in the New Testament illustrations of prayer directed to every member of the Trinity in Scripture. I think that there's a calling on the Holy Spirit, there's a calling on Christ, there's a calling on God. I think you have that liberty to call on the Trinity in total or in part. I think we commune with all of them. I mean there are times when I just ask the Holy Spirit to fill me. There are times when I ask Christ to bless me and there are times when I talk to God the Father and I don't know, I don't understand it. I've said for years if you try to understand the Trinity you'll find yourself under the bed saying the Greek alphabet even though you don't know it. You can't understand it; it's just that act of simple faith. But I think you have the freedom to talk to God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit. So just be free to talk to any and all of them. In fact you might even say, "I want all three of you to listen here, 'cause this is really important. Okay?
QUESTIONER: Yes, in John 15 it talks about, and I've listened to your tapes about that all Christians bear fruit and in that, and I know that's true. What does Christ mean when he says, "Every branch in me that does not bear fruit I, He takes away?" Is that referring to something like in Colossians where He's created all things so that everybody is created in Christ?
JOHN: Yeah, and those branches that don't bear fruit are gathered together and thrown in the fire and burned.
QUESTIONER: Yeah, He says, "In Me," though. So what does in Me, mean?
JOHN: In Me is the key, but you don't want to push the point. I believe that the key to unlocking the 15th Chapter of John where Christ says, "The branches in Me that don't bear fruit are cast into the fire." People say well does that mean you can lose your salvation? To be in Christ you're thrown in the fire; because you're not fruitful you're lost forever. If you take the total Scripture from beginning to end does it teach you can lose your salvation? No. So we know it doesn't mean that in that passage, right? So we use what the reformers called the analogy of Scripture. Analoge scriptura.
In other words we take the big picture and we say that the Bible teaches that once you're saved you're saved forever, that salvation is forever, right? "Him that cometh unto me I'll nowise cast out," Jesus said. "And all the Father gives to Me shall come to Me and I have lost none of them," chosen to Him before the foundation of the world, right? So forth! Okay so what does it mean?
I believe the key to that passage is the context and the context is the Upper Room and the Upper Room scene was divided into two parts. There were the true branches and there were the false branches in the analogy. The true branches are represented by the eleven; the false branches are represented by Judas Iscariot. That whole thing flows out of the context of Judas betrayal. And at that point the in Me simply means identification. I don't think you can push too much theology into that in Me and say that it means absolute conversion. It's attachment at that point, that's all. And I think you have a Judas branch and I think what it's saying is that there will be people who will attach themselves superficially to Christ but in evidence bearing no fruit at all will ultimately be cut off and cast into the fire because they show that they have no life, because if they had any life at all they'd have fruit. So I think it's a graphic illustration of the whole context of what the disciples have just been through with them as compared to Judas. Okay?
QUESTIONER: I like to ask you in I Corinthians 7:14, I am an unequally yoked wife and the Lord has blessed me because my three children have come to the Lord.
JOHN: Oh is that wonderful!
QUESTIONER: In this particular passage I have always, I don't want to read between lines, but it says here, "For the unbelieving husband is sanctified through his wife." What does that exactly mean in context, my husband.
JOHN: Okay. Let me ask you a question. Can a person be saved by somebody else's faith?
QUESTIONER: No I realize that that he has to -
JOHN: He has to do it himself right? So we know it doesn't mean salvation, right? See again you're dependent on the analogy of Scripture. You're dependent on the whole picture of Scripture. So what does it mean to be sanctified? It means to be set apart. In what way is an unbelieving husband set apart by a believing wife? I'll tell you how. In marriage, as God has designed it, two people become what?
JOHN: One flesh. So if God blesses you, guess who gets in on that blessing?
QUESTIONER: My husband.
JOHN: Your husband. It is not talking about redemption or salvation. It's talking about the fact that a believer is set apart to blessing from God and when you're in union with an unbeliever he gets it. It's like the rain falling on the just and the unjust. And your husband, if he were married to an ungodly woman and had ungodly children in his family, God would not be at all involved in that home. But because you have faith in Christ and your children have faith in Christ, God is involved in blessing that home and he by being one with you in the act of marriage comes under that sanctifying grace. But he still has to make his own commitment to Christ. And I'll tell you I think that a man who fights against that in that kind of an environment really manifests a very hard heart because that kind of blessing from God should draw a person to Christ. Okay?
QUESTIONER: Thank you.
JOHN: You're welcome.
QUESTIONER: In witnessing to a non-believer, how can we answer this type question when someone says, "If Christ is the only way to heaven, then how does a little child who cannot discern the truth go to heaven, and how does Christ's atonement come into to play for the Old Testament people?"
JOHN: Okay. Let's take the little child first of all. You have to bring into focus the sovereignty and justice of God. I think that the key thing is in the Old Testament where David's little baby died in infancy prior to reaching a period of life where he could make a conscience commitment to God and David said, when he died, "He cannot come to me, but I shall go to him." And I believe that David had the confidence that that child went into the care of God because God is a God of justice and love and mercy and God is not going to damn an individual to an eternal hell who has absolutely no capacity to make a choice.
Now, in the New Testament Jesus said, "Suffer the little children to come unto me." Remember when the disciples said, "Send the kids away, this is an adult operation." And Jesus said, "No, no. You allow those little children to come to me for of such is," what? "The kingdom of heaven." I think Jesus affirmed what David knew in his heart, that when a little child dies that little child is taken into the arms of God.
Now after that period of time when they reached the point of having to make their own decision I think it becomes a different issue. You're still asking the question to, what if they don't have that information? I believe that Christ is the life that lighteth every man that come into the world, and I believe Romans 1 says that man has enough knowledge intuitively and innately to be without excuse and if he lives up to the light he has got God will give him more light and redeem him. You can tell story after story after story about that. So I believe that's how God deals with those kinds of people. I think that we have to leave that justice of God with God. God is not willing that any should what? Perish. And if that expresses what's in God's heart towards man then we don't have to feel that God is going to unjustly condemn. Now what was the second part of the question?
QUESTIONER: In regards to the Old Testament saints.
JOHN: Right. Abraham believed what? God. And it was what? Counted to him for righteousness. What do you do have to do to be saved? He had to be righteous. How did you get righteous in the Old Testament? You had to be counted righteous 'cause you weren't righteous. How did you get counted righteous? Abraham what? What did you have to believe about God? You had to believe everything God said about himself, right? And if all you had was Genesis, that's all you had to believe. Believe in God. What did Noah believe when he got in the ark? Basically he believed it was going to rain. I don't think he believed in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ and the gifts of the Spirit. I think he believed that God was God and if God said it's going to rain, it's going to rain. He believed God's word, right? And he was a just and righteous man.
At any point in time it was a question of faith. It was never a question of law or works. Always in the Old Testament when a Jew went through the sacrifices and through the works of the law he was manifesting an inward faith, right? Otherwise it was legalism. Why were the Pharisees keeping the sacrifices? Sure. Were they cranking out the law? Sure. And Jesus damned them all, didn't he because it was superficial. But what he was after was a true heart so, in fact in Malachi, he says, "You offer me the lame and the halt and the blind and the mame animals," showing that it was false. So what God said is, "I want a true heart of faith." And a true heart of faith will express itself in keeping the sacrifices and obeying the law. And when you have a true heart of faith I will count it for you as righteousness.
What dealt with their sins? Sacrifices? Can the blood of bulls and goats take away sin? No. What was it that dealt with the sins of the Old Testament saints? It was the death of Jesus Christ. It didn't just happen 'til later. But the cross is a pinnacle of history and it covers everything before and everything after so that the blood of Jesus Christ on the cross dealt with the Old Testament saint's sin.
Do you realize that the Bible tells us that up until Jesus died on the cross the Old Testaments saints were in Sheol. When Jesus died he went into the grave and lead captivity captive. And I believe that when he died on the cross he paid the price and he took the spirits of the Old Testament saints and took them up to the place that he prepared for them, but they had to wait until that was done so they could enter into the fullness of that. So you have to see the cross of Christ as a point in history that goes forward and backward. Does that give it to you? But they were not saved by obeying the law. They obeyed the law because they believed God when their hearts were true and their obedience was simply the working out of that faith. And the death of Christ is what cared for their sin.
Abraham was saved by the death of Jesus Christ on the cross because only Christ's death could atone for his sin. Even though it didn't come, but it's no more problem, right, that he was before it than the problem that we're way after it because in God's eyes there's no time anyway, right? So the cross stretches through all eons of time. Okay. Yes.
QUESTIONER: In light of the situation today where,
JOHN: In light of what?
QUESTIONER: The situation of today where we're seeing that Christ's return is imminent, I feel that, and we're seeing maybe the one world ruler coming about over there in the European Common Market, just many things of Bible prophecy and after reading Hal Lindsey's books and things like that I just wanted to know what the attitude of a Christian is for the subject of food storage.
JOHN: Hm. I'll just give you a very blunt answer. I think that's ridiculous. Absolutely ridiculous. I mean now I'm going to leave before the trouble anyway. Christians are never encouraged to stockpile stuff anyway, hoard things.
QUESTIONER: How about Joseph when he was told to stockpile for the famine that was going to come on the land?
JOHN: God told him to do that.
JOHN: If God tells you to do that, do it. But if you hear voices from God you can answer another question and I'll answer that. But no that really bothers me. See that's the assumption we're going through the tribulation anyway.
QUESTIONER: That's true.
JOHN: I don't think that's correct. But where do we come by faith, and I don't want to get carried away on this point, but I think stockpiling against the future? What are you going to do? I always ask people this question when they tell me we're saving, we've got a hole in the ground, and I say, I've said this to several, "Well when it happens I'm coming over to your place and I'm going to bring all the needy and the poor and the hungry and you can feed them because that's what the Bible says." Well, so if you're storing up because you believe in a post-trib rapture and you're storing it up to share it with the whole world, wonderful. Anything less than that is selfish.
QUESTIONER: John a year and a half ago I heard there was a conference in Arrowhead Springs and that Charles Malik, the ex-secretary of the United Nations had mentioned that after evaluating the world scene that he thought the only hope for Christianity in light of the onslaught of Islam and Communism would be to line up under the Pope and then-
JOHN: "Join hands with the Pope" is what he said.
QUESTIONER: Yeah, and at the same conference said Bill Bright had mentioned that Campus Crusade was now working with the Catholic Church in England because the Protestant Church was -
JOHN: Eastern Europe. They work with Eastern Europe.
QUESTIONER: Eastern Europe was kind of dead. Someone had mentioned that the glue that was going to be holding together the Ecumenical movement would be baptism of the Holy Spirit and speaking in tongues and I just wondered what you thought, as far as our discernment goes, what will be the signs of the last days of the ecumenical movement, the World Council of Churches and so forth. What will be the things that hold that movement together?
JOHN: Yes. How do I approach that? Yeah, Malik said, "The only hope for Christianity from the Protestant Church in the world today is to join hands with the Pope," and that's where I came unglued at the seams. I said, "I can't handle that." But he's a, he's looking at Christianity as a political force in the world that needs to defeat the atheistic Communist force of the East so his perspective is political not spiritual, unfortunately. He's a sacramental Christian in the sense that he comes out of a Greek Orthodox background and because he was the former Secretary of the United Nations General Assembly and all that he sees in a very political perspective so he's looking at Christianity as a block to build a wall in Eastern Europe to prevent overrunning of all of Europe by Communism. I would say well I don't know just state the last part and maybe I can answer specifically.
QUESTIONER: Well there was a mention of the glue that would hold together-
JOHN: Okay. Basically I don't know what the final thing will be. The Bible tells us in Revelation 17 that the world will come under one church right? The mystery of Babylon, the harlot, the mother of abominations, and it'll all be headed up on a city with seven hills where they're decked in purple and gold and all that jazz. I mean it doesn't have to be a genius to figure out where that is.
The city of seven hills is Rome and the jewels and all that stuff. I really think that Rome will be the center and I think it's very possible that the Papacy will be right in the middle of the whole antichrist thing. The focus that's interesting, I think, is that the charismatic movement has brought about a joining together of the Protestants with the Catholics and no one else was ever able to do that, but they have done that and it's going like wildfire.
When I stood up in that meeting and said, "Now wait a minute." I went out and some guys came out and said, "What did you think of that?" And I told them what I thought and I went to the leader and I told him what I thought? I said, "Do you really believe that?" And he said, "Well I'm not where I used to be. I've changed and you've got to be flexible and so forth and so on." I said, "Well if you believe that then we're in trouble because we're going right back into the system, right back into the pagan system of Catholicism that'll provide a one-world church."
So I do think that the charismatic had lent itself to ecumenism. I think that the non-charismatic tolerance of anything and everything is also feeding in. But it always interests me that if you've had the baptism that's all they ever ask. You've got to be okay. The Catholic charismatic movement is really revolutionizing the church. I think we're seeing it come together.
I just bowed out of a thing called the American Festival of Evangelism, which is going to be the biggest evangelism congress in the United States history and they asked me to be a keynote speaker. And at first I said yes, and when I saw the list of who's going to be there I called them up and said, "I'm not going to be on it. I want to withdraw." And so a week ago on the national PTL club or the 700 Club Pat Robertson or somebody said I was going to be one of the speakers and I'm not, in case you heard that. I'm not going to be there because boy it started out, we want you to come and speak to 25,000 pastors from across America and hit 'em with holiness and I said, "Bring 'em on." And then I heard that everybody from soup to nuts is going to be there. Yes. All the way over here.
QUESTIONER: John, I was wondering if you could give a biblical perspective on how far does a physician go in prolonging a patient's life given all the technology available today?
JOHN: Oh Lisa, you've asked me a tough question. This is very difficult, you know? Recently Bill and I had a situation like that where Olive Ash, well I don't know when she was dead, right? I mean there were all these things on her and everything, but the doctor said, "I mean we're just keeping this stuff going but there's no life there. What do we do?" That was a very difficult question. She was 89, 90, who knows, she never would tell, right?
But she was old, really old, 90 maybe, no family, no husband, no kids, no relatives, no nobody. The nearest relative was some Churchill cousin in England or South Africa or something. She lived a full life. She knew Christ. Everything was well. My answer to him that night was, "Hey, don't prolong it. It's pointless."
Now if you're talking about a young person, talking about someone who doesn't know Christ, talking about someone in the prime of life, or the prime of ministry, I think I'd be prone to hold on as long as I could with medical technology and I guess the ultimate answer has to come in whether that there's the possibility, not only is the life sustaining itself, but whether there's even that possibility and I guess that would be clinical. I think it depends on the circumstances. You know I know that many older people have it written in their will now that if they come to that point they don't want to be prolonged and I think we have to take all those factors into consideration, and even having done that I think it all comes back down to the very moment and the very person and the very circumstances and you as a physician would know more about that than I would.
QUESTIONER: Thank you.
JOHN: Does that help?
JOHN: You tell me now what do you think?
QUESTIONER: I think it's an individual situation and I also think that the physician has a lot of input in terms of whether the patient will die or live because I think the family depends on the physician and that's why it's very difficult for the physician to sway the family one way or another and to feel right about it. I think it's individual.
JOHN: And I think that's what's so wonderful about a Christian physician is that you have high respect for life and you understand the eternity involved and I think you would give the wise counsel. Whereas, someone else might be a little less spiritually oriented, a little more clinical and so forth. But that's a tough question. I hate to think that we're going to make rules about that or laws about it, having a bunch of Senators on a hill decide who lives and dies isn't really stand with abortions that these people could sit up there and make all these rules about killing babies by the millions. Horrible thing! Yeah? You've been waiting a long time so we'll go with you.
QUESTIONER: Praise the Lord. John, I have something that, the question I want to ask is that because there are a lot of pretenders and imitators and people playing at church, what is the difference between a chosen and a called person, in the passage, "Many are called and few are chosen."
JOHN: Let's assume first of all that there's a lot of people in the church that aren't saved, right, because there are a lot of tares sown among the wheat, Matthew 13. There's a lot of people on the broad road instead of the narrow way. But I think, and people always say, "Well I don't want to join the church, there's too many hypocrites there." And my answer to that is, "Well that's okay. We've got room for more. You're welcome." Because that's the hypocritical response, see. But basically I think when you get to the verse that many are called and few are chosen it simply means that the gospel is preached to many, but few respond and manifest having been chosen by God. In other words God has extended the gospel call to many but there are only a few who respond. And if you look at it from God's sovereignty he calls many but only a few are chosen.
Now I don't think that means that the Lord is calling all these people into the church. I think the Lord is calling the true people into the church and the false ones infiltrate it and they may not realize they are Satan's ambassadors but that's what it turns out to be.
It's like one pastor said to me one time. He said, "I think I've figured out our problem. Half our board is saved and half of them aren't." Well that would be a problem. A real problem. Unfortunately, well I'll put it another way. I hope the people who are unsaved get miserable when they come here. You know what I'm saying? I mean if I was unsaved I wouldn't come to this church. Why would I sit here and hear all this stuff? I don't want to be upset all the time. I'd go somewhere else or I'd go down and hear hearts and flowers or something. I wouldn't. I hope people feel, either you're going to believe this or you're going to leave. You're not just going to hang around comfortable, hopeful, although it's amazing, some people do.
But I think God has extended the gospel call to the whole wide world in a sense that only a few believe. Okay?
QUESTIONER: In our Bible study the other night two questions came up that seems to cause a little division. The first one was regarding the apostles. We know that there were twelve, but in I Corinthians 16:7 where Paul sends his salutations he says, "Salute and Adronicus and Junia my kinsmen and my fellow prisoners who are of note among the apostles who were also in Christ before me." Now does that mean that they were apostles?
JOHN: Um hum.
QUESTIONER: They were?
JOHN: Different kind.
JOHN: You got all kinds of apostles. You know who the first apostle is? You know who the Great Apostle is? In the book of Hebrews it talks about the Great Apostle. You know who that is? Christ. You know what apostle means? Sent one. And after Christ, and you would say Christ is A P O S T L E, right? The Great Apostle. Then you have the twelve. They are Apostle. And then you have Adronicus, Junias, and a whole bunch, Barnabus, and they're apostle. In other words the word is a broad word. It's like the word servant. It means sent one and you can look at it in a official capacity or an unofficial one. Andronicus and Junias and those were sent ones. They were like missionaries.
There's a sense in which today some of us are sent ones, aren't we? So you have to allow for the official office of the twelve, which I believe is eleven minus Judas plus Matthias, Acts 1, plus out of due season, Paul, who is an apostle out of due season in a very special way, and plus a lot of other apostles and prophets. I mean Ephesians 2:20 says, "The church is built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets and it's a very broad possibility. Okay?
QUESTIONER: Thank you. The other question is in light of the fact that once you're saved Jesus never leaves you and since the death of Christ if a Christian willfully sins then is it that God punishes the sin or in his falling away from the Lord does he leave himself open for Satan to attack? Because that question, the argument was does God punish or does Satan get punish?
JOHN: Both. You see in I Corinthians it says, "We do not want Satan to take advantage of us," and so if you fall into vulnerability, if you have a lack of a forgiving heart, I Corinthians, if you have lack of a forgiving heart you give Satan an advantage and he'll move in. "We wrestle not against flesh and blood but against what, principalities and powers. If you don't have your arm around Satan will get you. That's one side of it. Then you go into Hebrews 12 and you find out that whom the Lord loves He chastens. Now the point is that sometimes the Lord uses Satan, I Corinthians 5, God will turn them over to Satan that they learn not to blaspheme. So God uses very often Satan as his agent in His chastening. Okay?
QUESTIONER: Thank you.
JOHN: Okay. Over there.
QUESTIONER: John I have another medical ethic.
JOHN: Let's finish with these three and that'll be it. Okay?
QUESTIONER: Another medical ethics question. As a nurse working in an intensive care unit, what would my responsibility be as a Christian if I disagreed with a decision say to not resuscitate a patient that I thought was viable because they were brain damaged or whatever? I had to deal with it a couple of times and I still, I'm real torn.
JOHN: I think that the thing to do, the best thing to do is to ask that someone else be put on that case and be responsible for that.
QUESTIONER: Do you think there comes a time when you have to just totally get out of that situation?
JOHN: Yeah. Sure. Sure there are some things that you may feel that you can not do. So at that point you don't want to be insubordinate and start a riot in there, so what you want to do is say, "I need, I have an ethical question here, a moral judgment to make. I cannot do this. I would ask that someone else ______."
QUESTIONER: Do you feel that it is ever right to, if the decision is made, to not agree with it but continue to support the family, or the physician in the decision they made because they had the right to make it?
JOHN: That depends on what your conscience permits you to do because in Romans 14 and 15 it says, "Don't violate your conscience or you'll sere your conscience and then when you want it it won't be any good. So make sure it stays alerted to that. I guess it's a judgment you have to make at that time. If you feel it's something you can live with but you can't personally do and it's their choice and that's the way it has to be then that's okay. But if you feel that it's violently in defiance of what you believe is right and you can't be a part of it, then you have to make that judgment.
QUESTIONER: Thank you.
JOHN: Okay. Yes.
QUESTIONER: I have three short questions. I was listening the other day to a pastor Price from Friendship Christian Center, Fred Price. It was a church where I was saved at and I had problems speaking in tongues and I no longer attend there. He said that the reason why I think Michael, the archangel, did not enter into an argument with Satan in disputing for Moses' body was because angels are not given authority to bind Satan or to cast out demons or anything like that. So I wanted to know what were your thoughts about that. It has me a little, I was thinking about that a great deal.
JOHN: Well that whole thing about binding Satan to me is a lot of hocus pocus that I don't understand to begin with. They keep talking about binding Satan. I don't even understand what that means. That isn't even in the Scripture. The only time Satan is bound is in the thousand year millennium, and the Lord is going to do that. I don't know where that came from? Did that come from Jesse Cantalouis or something? I don't know who invented that. But anyway I think the reason that Scripture stresses that Michael made not a railing accusation against Satan over Moses' body was to point us to us, is that in Jude, yes, is to point up to us the seriousness of dealing with the devil. Michael has power over the devil. I believe that. I believe that.
I believe there was a demon in Daniel who was withstanding the holy angel and Michael came and knocked that demon off and sent that angel on its way. So Michael can handle the situation. But I think the point there that Jude is making in context is you know where he says we have to be careful when we deal with apostates because they're like brand snatched from the burning and if we get too close we'll be spotted by their filth. And I think he's saying be very careful how you play around with that dimension. Even Michael was careful not to get himself involved with Satan in an argument. Now if Michael, who is super angel, who is the champion of all angels, who can handle Satan, for you just read Revelation 12, and you'll see Michael can handle Satan. He can handle not only Satan but his whole demon host.
But the point there that's being made is not that Satan is a match for Michael, but that Michael recognized the fearfulness of dealing with the devil. And it is a warning to the believer to stay away from those things, which are the manifestation of Satan. Whenever I see a Christian fooling around casting out demons, and messing with Satan that's somebody in violation of that Scripture. You run around binding Satan, binding demons and you're actually violating that Scripture. All you need to do, no matter what the situation is, is to go to God. Don't mess with the devil; mess with God and God will take care of the devil. I mean it's like a guy on guard. He sees the whole enemy coming. He doesn't run out and fight the war. He goes and tells the commander, if he's got any sense. You don't stand around and say, "I bind you all." What does that mean? It doesn't mean anything to them.
I stood in that office up there one night and cast out demons for three hours until I was blue in the face and not of them went anywhere. And the girl kept kicking me until my legs were bleeding. All these demon voices were talking. I was sending them to the pit. I was sending them everywhere, Phoenix; you name it. They didn't go any place. I was dealing with the wrong thing. I learned that early in my ministry, about my third year here. I realized you go right to God and God takes care of those so I worry about these constant people binding Satan, going around binding the devil in this and pleading the blood in this an so forth. Good question.
QUESTIONER: Any of the charismatic people they feel that they reason they cannot speak in tongues is because they're not faithful or spiritual enough. And I was talking a couple of months ago to a friend of mine who attends the I can't remember what the church is but it's a charismatic church, I think, with Mary Beth Eddy, one of those ladies was there at the time, and he was telling me that he feels that the reason that he cannot speak in tongues is because his faith is not strong enough and because he has sins unconfessed.
JOHN: See that's what they tell him. That's exactly what they tell him. You know what that does? That intimidates a person and so the pressure is on to speak in tongues and so that's what they do and I believe it's a learned behavior for the most part. They just learn how to do it.
QUESTIONER: That happened to me.
JOHN: Yeah, then you learn how to do it.
QUESTIONER: Yeah, but I still didn't know what I was saying. I kept repeating it.
JOHN: The reason you knew what to say is because you heard other people say it.
QUESTIONER: Right. The person told me open your mouth and say ahhh. Then I started saying ahhh, you know. But I told him all I can speak is English and Spanish. I don't know.
JOHN: Amen! Try to speak one word in a known language and five thousand in an unknown tongue. We're going to have to quit. Can we do that and catch you next time? Or do you have a real short one?
QUESTIONER: It's really short and it's a problem that's been weighing on my heart a lot about the wheat and the tares in Matthew 13. How do we, as true believers, how do we determine the difference between someone who is a true believer and someone who is not?
JOHN: The answer to that you see they're turning me off and I'm not even done, that's how when they want to go see. The answer to that Jesus says, don't try. Leave them alone and when the time of the harvest comes God will instruct the reapers to make the distinctions.
QUESTIONER: Thank you.
JOHN: Okay. It's been a good time, eh, just to share a little bit. I'm going, okay, I'm going to slip out. I have to pick up my son and I'm going to ask Bill, you've already prayed once, but I think you can turn the page and pray again, if you will, Bill.
BILL: Thank you John. I just wanted to comment that I was talking to Warren Wiersbe, most of you know who he is, he's written many books. He was the pastor of Moody Church and he told me over the phone yesterday, he said, "Bill, keep John out of politics." And I just praise God for John's attitude that John has singleness of purpose to preach the word and to be faithful to our Lord. Pray for him and pray for Grace Church that we might not loose sight of what we are here to do and that each member of this assembly might be ready to do the work of ministry for which I think we're very well prepared.
Let's pray. Father, we thank you for this opportunity to learn more about your word. We're grateful for the leadership that you've given us in John. We're grateful for your word how wonderful it is, a book written by so many different men can be so unified, and so perfect. We thank you for that 'cause we know that it's because of the inspiration of your Holy Spirit that made that possible that it all hangs together and it's all consistent. So we thank you for it, Lord, and ask you to go with us to our homes. Bless us with your presence through out the week and bring us back on Sunday. In Jesus' precious name. Amen.
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