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We've had kind of an interesting two months and I just kind of wanted to take a minute or two to share with you something about what's been going on. As you know, in the month of January and the month of February, we've been on the radio playing a series on spiritual gifts. You remember that in January? Then in February we started a series on the truth about tongues. And I'm just telling you, it has been really interesting to see what has happened as a result of just putting out there on the air what we believe the Bible teaches about these things and sort of taking on the Charismatic Movement in a head-on way. They tend to dominate the media, as you know, in radio and television. If you turn on your Christian television station, you have no idea what you're liable to see. It could be anything. But mostly it is charismatic stuff. And they dominate the radio. In fact, I think, well...I'm sure that most of the radio programs, most of the radio stations at this point are charismatic or very tolerant of the charismatics.
And so we waited a lot of years before we ever sort of stuck our neck out, feeling we needed to build a base of credibility and then we'd hit head-on with this whole issue. And we've had marvelous result, just marvelous. We've gotten many letters from people who have said, "I never even knew there was another view." "I never even knew there was another perspective on the baptism of the Spirit, I didn't even know there was another perspective on tongues, but I knew that I'd been trying to get it and it didn't work," or "I got it and I knew it wasn't anything genuine, and I now I understand." And we've had a lot of people write and say, "This has really helped me...I've come out of the Movement...Thank you for the program..." you know, that kind of thing.
A lot of people have written and expressed great thanks for the material we did on healing because there are so many people who are really up tight about the fact they can't get healed and they're told constantly that it's their lack of faith. And that's a terrific guilt trip for people. And there's been just a real good response in that regard.
There have been some letters from some charismatic people who say, "We love you and we'll keep listening but we disagree with you. And we just want you to know it's not going to make us stop listening, we believe all the rest of the stuff, so we'll endure this part."
And then there are some of them who have written and just been absolutely livid, I mean just irate. I got one letter that said, "Dear John, you are a pompous blasphemous ass." Signed, "Lovingly in Jesus..." But...so I suggest to some of those people they should trade in their gifts for some fruit. But, you know, it's amazing how angry you can get when you're Spirit filled, how absolutely out of control. But anyway, so I have really got an interesting file of crazy letters. But some stations have taken us off the air. I knew they would, and they have. And it's been very interesting because when they've taken us off the air, one station, a very large major city in the United States, took us off the air immediately when the series begun and they've left us off for the whole time, four, five, six weeks. And, of course, there are people calling in saying, "What in the world is going on?" And they say, "Well, he's making unkind critical judgmental statements about various groups and we don't want that on the air." And so forth and so forth. And what's happening is the people are saying back to the station, "Well, you just obviously want to tickle people's ears and you don't want the truth and you don't want to hear what the Word of God has to say." And so it's putting some interesting pressure on.
One station I mentioned the Counterfeit Miraclesin the Catholic Church and also some things about charismatics. And they took us off, that same station, very fast. And a listener wrote us and said, "Maybe you'd like to know that a charismatic Catholic has given $4 million to the school that owns the station." So that explains a lot, see. You've got to go where the money is, that kind of thing. But it's been interesting.
I just wanted you to know that we have had that situation. In fact, I got a letter today from somebody who said that they had just yanked us off the air this week for the last part of the tongues series. They were upset about it. And these people were all going to get together and write the station and protest that they didn't feel that was right, that everyone ought to have a right to say whatever they think God's Word says.
It's kind of interesting to me that you can advocate anything. You can go on Christian radio and say that spirituality comes by sticking your a banana in your left ear. I mean, you could say that and no one would argue, no one would take you off the air. But if you deny anybody's view, then people get all up tight. They...it's fine as long as you love everybody. I couldn't tell you how many people have written and say, "Why don't you love the church?" In fact, one station sent back our tape...we send a box with a tape for the program...they sent the box back and on it it said...what did it say, Phil? "That's it, John, go ahead, divide the body of Christ." That kind of stuff. Truth is not an issue with so many people. It's really sad, in a way, but it isn't going to change what we do. And the people who are committed and the people who are really open to the Word of God are benefiting. It's been exciting. A lot of stations have really been very supportive.
So, I wanted you to know that. We do get a lot of criticism because we do take strong stand on things. It's amazing. In fact, there's a large pastors' conference in the midwest, somebody was telling me about it recently, and this particular group of people see me as a threat because their church structure and their approach to ministry doesn't really follow the Scripture. And many of their young men are starting to look to the Word of God and listen to the tapes and study. And they're saying, "Hey, our churches aren't the way they ought to be." And this is very threatening. And one of the guys stood up in this conference and asked the speaker, the head guy, said, "What do you think of John MacArthur?" And the guy said, "You, sir, are a dangerous man, sit down." That was his response.
I got a letter yesterday from a guy in Florida who was writing me, he said, he wrote this man who was a pastor of a church down there and he said, "I've been listening to your tapes. I've been raised in a very fundamentalist, narrow-minded sort of legalistic background. And I've been listening to the tapes and growing," and all this stuff. And so he said, "I just didn't know where you fit. I hear the Word of God and it rings true in my mind and so I asked my pastor, I wrote him a letter cause he's away now pastoring his own church." But he wrote his former pastor where he was raised and he said to explain to me about John MacArthur. And he sent me a copy of the letter that the pastor sent him. And it said, "John MacArthur is a quote/unquote neo-evangelical," which means you're sort of a liberal. "And this can be verified by the fact that the men in his church have their shirts unbuttoned down to their navel, their hairy chests hanging out and gold chains around their neck." Now I didn't know whether they were talking about Dick Mayhueor Jay Letty, I really didn't know. But I checked them all out and I couldn't find one of them like that. But that's the kind of stuff that flies around, you know, it's really amazing.
And then I heard...yesterday a man called me up and said..or came over to my house and said to me, "I just have to check this out, is it true...he's a pastor, he said...is it true that you believe when you become a Christian your sin is eradicated and you never sin again?" I said, "O my goodness, man, where did you ever get that?" "Well, there's a guy down in Arizona spreading around that you believe in the eradication of sin in salvation."
So, sometimes it gets a little...gets a little old, you know, with all these misunderstandings. And I've often wondered why some of these people don't ask me what I believe, instead of, you know, making up these.... In fact, there's one school in our area where they've banned my tapes which was kind of interesting because we have a steady flow of students coming here to find out what's been banned. And you know how that works. And it's working out very well. So...but, these are interesting times and you know you're all very affirmative and supportive and this is...it's very wonderful here, we all love the Lord and we see things eye to eye in His Word. And from the...this is, as you know from a few months ago, fifteen years of ministry here and the Board of Elders and the people who were here when I came fifteen years ago were committed to do whatever the Word of God says. And so we have that kind of affirmation here. We have that kind of commitment here. But you get outside of here and you start saying some things that confront things and unmask things the way they are and they're not biblical and people get very up tight about that. And you take some guy sitting out somewhere listening to the teaching and really studying his Bible and he goes to his pastor and he says, "Hey, pastor, we're not doing it according to the Word of God," that's a heavy deal for the pastor to handle. So, you know, we've been on the cutting edge and we are getting accused of all kinds of things, I mean, bizarre things. I was also...the same letter that talked about the men with their shirts unbuttoned down to their navel and their chest hanging out and gold chains around their neck also talked about the fact that our women here have no dress codes. And it went on and on, all kinds of real bizarre things to indicate that we were liberal. And, of course, the guy's never been here, he wouldn't know me if I walked up to him, I'm sure. But it's kind of a sad thing in a way, you know. But we want to continue to confront the church and the world with the truth of God's Word as we understand it in love and sort of let the chips fly. And I think what's happening is some of the older generation men are...their hearts are turning. Look at all the pastors that come here. We had our eighth Shepherds' Conference, Dick, with 250 guys. That's good...we ought to be pushing 2,000 pastors that have been here. How many are on our mailing list? Pastors that...8,000 pastors that we regularly communicate with.
We're going back to Kansas City in May. They've asked us to bring a pastors' conference to the midwest to Kansas City and do it at Calvary Bible College. I think they originally planned for 300 and they have how many now? Seven hundred and fifty signed up so they've had to move it out of the place and put it in another church. And we're trying to work out a deal with a Christian television station in the area to video the thing so we can get the whole series on video and then we can use it for other uses. But there are men out there whose hearts are open. And I believe God is raising up a generation of people, young men, even who are in some of these schools and in some of these churches that wouldn't be reached if there wasn't tape and radio going into them in their situations and showing them some things in the Word of God that they need to check out. And I'm excited to see God raising up some of these people.
But, you know, it's great to know that you pray for us because sometimes you get a little tired of fighting, you know, it's like if we could just get...if we could just quit fighting our own troops we could get on with the war, you know. It gets a little bit old, always having to answer and be second guessed. I picked up a paper called "The Baptist Tribune" from back east and it said, "Two great errors to avoid, Mormonism and MacArthurism," which is...you know, that's pretty far out stuff. I got a nine page deal from some guy back in Maryland who gave me this nine- page thing where this guy was blasting me for nine pages and his criticism was that I'm anti-missions, anti-evangelism. And that we're not committed to winning people to Christ and carrying the gospel to the ends of the earth and he went on and on. And no one ever bothered to ask me, you know. So I write him a letter just a kind letter and said, "You know, if you're going to publish what I believe, maybe you'd like to ask me then I could tell you first hand. I'd be certainly open to do that." And I never got a reply.
I sent a letter to another pastor who was criticizing our church and it was refused and returned. He wouldn't open it. So that's kind of sad, you know, and I don't...but it's exciting on the other hand because we're out there confronting some things that need to be confronted and it's not that we're offering some kind of heretical stuff. It's basically that there are institutions and churches and people who are not following according to the Word of God the way things ought to be done. And when they're confronted with that, it's very threatening to the status-quo. And I think the Lord has given us that kind of cutting edge ministry. I mean, and that's wonderful, I'm very thankful. I don't know why I got into all of that, I just wanted you to know that we are out there and we are making waves, folks.
But, you know, just to show you the response, I think it's true, Phil, that we have had the best response to our ministry in January and February in the history of our ministry. The same two months we've had all this other stuff. Because the people who are out there and saying "we want to stand on the Word of God" see us doing it and saying "if that's what you're committed to, we're committed to you." So you really strengthen yourself. So I just wanted you to know what's going on. When we end this series, everybody will get back to normal. But some of these station managers have just been having fits because the charismatic people call them up and say, "He's denying our gifts," and you know, so forth and so on. And for some of those people all they've got is that. It's like taking a pacifier away from a baby. The only thing they've got is experience. They have no theology so if you take away their experience, they have nothing. And so it's kind of hard on them.
Well, anyway, I could go on and on and share things that I'm concerned with. But why don't you ask the questions that are on your heart and there's three microphones back there if you want to just pop up. Great. Okay, we'll start in the middle.
QUESTION: That's a good idea. Hi. I've got to share with you something strange. Just when you were talking, I was in the book store one night and this fellow came up and he was talking to Mike Bishov(?) and he was saying, "I don't understand what Bible John uses." And I said, "Well, he uses the Scoffield Bible." He said, "Oh he couldn't. I have a Scoffield Bible." We started getting into this bizarre conversation where he said the New American Standard Bible was a Roman Catholic thing being pawned off on real Christians, or something. And part of the conversation I tried to give him my testimony, showing I was on the level, you know. And his wife said, "Are you saved?" And I said, "No, I just like to come to Grace and be confronted with my sin every week." It's just a bizarre thing. And he was coming from some sort of a strange background. It's a legitimate Baptist thing.
JOHN: Yeah, there's a group of people that believe in the King James only. See, we've talked about this before. But they believe that the King James is the inspired text. In fact some of them go so far as to say the King James translators were inspired. What they don't realize is the King James they hold in their hand now is a million miles from the King James that was originally written.
Q: I've seen photocopies of the 1611.
J: Sure, 1611, and the TR, the Textus Receptus on which it was based has so many variations in it that it's just not even a sensible perspective. We have a little booklet over here in the foyer on, you know, our teaching about the King James controversy that will help answer some questions about that. But that's one of the silly things that these people get divided about, you know. And I do use...I was raised on the King James and my Dad when I was a little kid gave me a Scoffield Bible. And I've just used it, you know, my hope is built on nothing less than Scoffield's notes and Scripture Press. It's been that way for so many years that I'm familiar with the text. I actually, you know, of course I study out of the original text and I try to give you the correct, you know, understanding of the text but I'm so familiar with this that I choose to use it. If I'd been born ten years later, I'd probably use the New American Standard. Unfortunately as time goes on there's going to be continually new versions because there's so much money in Bibles. And I don't know whether they'll ever be another sort of staple Bible version. They're just going to keep cranking them out all the time.
Q: Anyway, what I really wanted to come up here was just to ask your comment and insights into some things that have been happening recently. I think it's Oklahoma and now Christ Community Church in San Jose are being sued for they call it "invasion of privacy" for discipline in the church. And I was wondering if you could...
J: Yeah, I don't know about the San Jose one, but I know that the court rendered in favor of the lady down in Oklahoma and they gave her an $8 hundred-thousand award which probably the church won't pay because they'll appeal it. And it will go on and on and on and on. Let me react to that.
What happened was, that church down there engaged in a form of discipline of this woman for adultery. And as a result of that, they put her out of the church. She turned around, sued the church for a lot of money. Got $8 hundred-thousand awarded by the court for slander, defamation of character, whatever.
Now my response to that is this. One, that's a risk that the church will have to run to be biblical. But we run a lot of risks to be biblical. Two, they didn't do it in a biblical manner. They overstepped the bounds extensively. What they did was they got up in front of the church and articulated every incident of adultery, time-place-with whom, all the whole gory thing that that woman was involved in. They dragged the whole thing in front of the public.
Then they betrayed personal counseling confidences that the woman had given to those leaders. That's not biblical. It is a shame to speak of things done in secret. There's no point in dragging all that garbage out. My own personal feeling is that that kind of stuff doesn't need to be in anybody's conversation. I don't want to hear that. I don't need to hear that kind of stuff. And I always wonder what kind of people are people who get some kind of morbid kick out of all that kind of thing. So the thing is the church must be permitted constitutionally in the United States to follow the mandates of its own religious convictions. That's the freedom of religion. That's a First Amendment right. But, if we stay within the confines of the Word of God, I think we're not going to be culpable. Cause all the Bible says is if a person engages in unrepentant sin, we are to put them out, treat them like the Publican and the tax collector. How do we treat them? We treat them with love, we try to draw them back but we don't accept them in the fellowship. So all we want to say is for unfaithfulness, this person has been put out of the fellowship. Those are the conditions in which you came in. Those are the conditions in which you go out.
The Catholic Church has been excommunicating people since its inception. The Mormons excommunicate people. The Jews unsynagogue people. They can kick you out of the Rotary Club. They can boot you off the...out of the Royal Order of the Goats. They can kick you off the Little League team. They can throw you out of the high school. They can fire you at the Seven-Eleven where you work. I mean, there are conditions on which you belong to any organization. And as long as you stay within the stated conviction of that organization, you have every right to do that. I mean, if a guy violated the Boy Scout rules or if a girl violated the Girl Scout rules, could they put her out of the Girl Scouts? Sure, there are conditions by which you belong to that organization. Every institution, organization has that. They can throw you out of a university. They can throw you out of kindergarten, for that matter.
So, I mean, if they're going to debate about that, that's ridiculous. But the problem with that church in Oklahoma came when they started dragging that woman's name through the gutter and relating to the whole church every single sinful incident which she had given to them in confidence.
Q: I didn't know that. It's like saying this pornographic film is horrible and this is what they do...
J: Yeah, that's exactly right. Like holding up...like passing out pornographic magazine and saying this is what we're against. That's lurid. That's not virtuous. You don't need to do that. All you need to do in love is say, "Look, this person doesn't want to obey the Lord. This person doesn't want to follow in obedience to God's will." So what did I say Sunday about those two people that we mentioned? We must go and bring them back. We must go and love them back. We must go and expose their sin and draw them back. Now if they don't choose to do that, then next time we'll say they've by the choice of sin chosen not to be a part of our fellowship and we want to recognize that they are not a part of this fellowship. There's no slander involved in that because we have conditions very clearly defined for us in the Scripture.
Q: Yeah, and also in the membership thing. Thanks for clearing it up. I didn't know that part of it.
QUESTION: Hi, John. This might not be a simple question since I've gotten various answers, so...
J: Probably not since you have it on an 8 1/2 by 11 piece of paper there.
Q: Okay...is the body made up of the soul and spirit, or is the soul made up of the body and spirit? I cut the question down.
J: No. Okay, let me see if I can answer this very quickly. I don't understand that, so I'm not going to worry about what you just said, okay? So I'm just going to lay it out, right?
I believe that basically you can be divided into two elements, that which is physical, that which is not physical or spiritual...that which is material, that which is immaterial. So in that sense I would be known as a classic dichotomist, as opposed to a trichotomist. In theological terms we call that view trichotomy or dichotomy, tri-three, di-two. A trichotomist says man is body, soul and spirit. Body--the material, soul and spirit the immaterial but distinct. Soul being the animal part of man's spirit being the God focused part of man.
The dichotomist says man is body and soul-spirit, hyphen, making no distinction between soul and spirit. That's just the immaterial part. And that's where I am. I believe that we're just a material and an immaterial part. I don't believe you can separate my soul from my spirit.
There's another view that says you are two until you get saved and then you get the third...so that you're body, soul, you get saved, you get the Spirit. The Spirit is the Holy Spirit. That can't stand, that can't hold water in the Bible.
Now the problem comes...the body part's easy. Our body is the body, that's all...just the body. It's the immaterial part sometimes called spirit, sometimes called soul. I don't see any distinction at all. I don't see the soul as some animalish part and the spirit as some Godward focusing part. I don't see that distinction. I think that's an artificial distinction. Your body will die, go to the grave. Your immaterial part goes to God in total, it isn't your spirit without your soul. I think that's an artificial separation.
We could go into a whole message to delineate all that but that's where I am. Now some people say..."Well, what about the text when it says that with your whole body, soul and spirit?" Well, I don't have a problem with that because that's just summing up the familiar terms that are used, not necessarily splitting them up. You have it in Hebrews 4, "The Word of God is alive and powerful, dividing asunder the soul and spirit," all that means is penetrating the joints, the marrow, the discerner the thoughts and intents of the heart. Are there any differences between the thoughts and intents of the heart? Can you say, "Well that's an intent, not a thought?" "Well, that's a thought not an intent?" No. I mean, you're using terminology that's not necessarily technically different. So I believe you are a body and you are a soul/spirit and I think that can be supported throughout the Scripture...Old Testament and New Testament. Okay? Does that answer what you were driving at?
Q: Well, that's another viewpoint. I've already received eight viewpoints and I ask someone and someone says, "They don't know. Ask John."
J: Yeah, well, see, you understand that we are a material and immaterial.
Q: Yes, I agree 100 percent.
J: So all you want to know is what part of us is material? That's easy, body. All you're left with is what part of us is immaterial. That's easy, too.
Q: But what about the Old Testament revelation that always speaks of the whole person as a soul, like the soul that sins.
J: Oh yes, okay, it's very important. Soul sometimes refers to the whole person and man became a living soul, so he's a whole person...nephesh, isn't it? The whole person, sure. Sometimes soul is simply the whole person..."The soul that sinneth, it shall die," that's talking about an individual, a person in his whole personhood. So I'm saying, you don't want to get too isolated and technical with these terms. Soul can be a very general term. Soul can speak about the immaterial part of man or just embrace man. Sometimes that immaterial part of man is called spirit, "The spirit of a man that is in him," 1 Corinthians 2. So I just don't...I think it's artificial to make clear cut distinctions between soul and spirit.
And what I always ask a trichotomist is: well, when you die what part goes to heaven? Well, they always say soul and spirit. Well, if both of them go together, how do you separate them? You really can't. So that's where I'm at. Okay?
QUESTION: Hi, I would like to ask if you on celebrating communion in the home and how do you treat the children in that?
JOHN: Well, I think it's a wonderful thing to celebrate the Lord's table in the home. You see in the book of Acts chapter 2 it says they did it daily from house to house. So home communion was established the first time the church was born in Acts chapter 2. And I think it's a great teaching time for the children. There are times when we do it in our home. You involve the children in so far as they understand. I don't think there's anything wrong with a small child taking communion if they understand what it means, if they understand this is the representation of the body and blood of Christ. And in the simplest expression of their faith they have asked Jesus Christ to be their Lord and Savior and if they've confessed any sin in their life, I think it's a great thing.
There are some that teach that it should never be handled anywhere outside the church and by duly constituted authority. But we don't believe in that kind of hierarchy in the church. We believe the Lord's table is for all those who would desire to have it. Now in the early church, it was daily from house to house. And later on in the book of Acts it was on the Lord's day, you know, so there can be various ways. But I think it's a wonderful thing if a father, particularly, or even a mother sometimes can lead in the Lord's table, but particularly a father in a home setting.
Q: Thank you.
QUESTION: John, about a month ago in your message on the new covenant, I was sharing some of the things that you had said with somebody and they said, "Well, those things don't pertain to the church, that's for Israel and future days in the millennium, specifically." What relationship does the aspects of the new covenant have to the church to us as believer and what specifically in the new covenant is for Israel?
JOHN: Boy, that's a...I'm not sure I know how to deal with that. What passage were you referring to?
Q: Okay, well I'm thinking of Jeremiah 31 and Ezekiel 36 and you talked about how like God would cause our heart to walk in His ways. What was brought up to me was that well, that's for Israel in the millennium and that we can't as a church and a believer hold to that.
J: Where does it say that?
Q: I don't know where, but that was the argument that was...
J: I don't know either. I don't know where it says that...
Q: It confused me.
J: I don't know where it says that either. Just ask him where it says that.
Q: Well, they were saying that Jeremiah says that it's for Israel and since the covenant hasn't been given to Israel yet that we can't hold to the content of the covenant.
J: Oh, that's ridiculous. When Christ took our sins and died and rose again, He sealed the new covenant, the new covenant was immediately in vogue and initially and immediately on the day of Pentecost three thousand Jews entered into the new covenant. How could he say it wasn't for Israel? I mean, not in the sense of national entity because they rejected Him. But the new covenant is simply the means of salvation completed in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Now I believe there's only one new covenant. There are some dispensationalists who believe there are two new covenants, one for Israel and one for the church. But again, I don't find that in Scripture either. I believe there's one new covenant. There was an old covenant, that was the covenant that we talked about, the covenant of an external law and ceremonies and so forth and so on. And then the Lord brought the new covenant in His blood, He says that. And anyone who by faith commits themselves to Christ enters into the new covenant. The new covenant obviously has to be applied to the Jew. What is the whole epistle of the Hebrews saying? The whole book of Hebrews is saying to the Jew, "Hey, come to the new covenant, come to the new covenant, come to the new covenant." It talks about the superiority of Christ to the Old Testament priests, the superiority of Christ's death to the Old Testament sacrifices. The whole point of the book of Hebrews is calling Israel to enter into the provisions of the new covenant.
Now nationally they have not entered into any national covenant with God in terms of them as a nation. In the future I believe God will renew, I don't think it's going to be necessarily a new covenant in that sense, new as different than the existing new covenant. But Israel as a nation will enter into the new covenant, sure, in the time prior to the Kingdom. But to say that the new covenant is only for Israel...where does that leave us? What have we got?
Q: Well, I may be confused but they said that -- and they referred to Dwight Pentecost's book, Things to Come -- that that's what he talked about there. And when I looked at the size of the book I thought I would just ask John.
J: Well, that's a helpful book. But I don't...he probably takes the view that there are two covenants, see. In fact, I'm sure he does...doesn't he, Dick? That there are two covenants and there's one special covenant for Israel coming up. I don't see that in Scripture at all. I see one new covenant in the blood of Christ in which God plants His Spirit within us, cleanses us. That happens in Christ, Jew and Gentile enter into that. There's neither bond nor free, Jew nor Greek, I mean it says that, doesn't it? Galatians 3:28, that's the whole thing. The wall of partition is broken down, Ephesians chapter 2, we all enter in. Ephesians...yeah, chapter 2...so we all enter in. So I don't see, I don't see that at all.
Q: Okay. Thanks.
QUESTION: John, in 1 Samuel 28 when Saul raised Samuel from the dead and Saul had been disobedient and gone away from the Lord and the Spirit had departed him, but yet Samuel said that tomorrow you and your sons will be with me. Do you think that Saul was saved?
JOHN: Do I think, first of all, that Samuel was Samuel, right? What do you think, Dick? Samuel was Samuel? I think so, too. You think Saul was saved? I agree, that's a tough one. See, the point there is that could only be speaking of the veiled aspect of death in the Old Testament. In other words, "you'll be with me" in the sense that you're going to be dead like I'm dead. I mean, it's not necessary to assume from that that Saul was a redeemed man. Okay?
Q: Okay. All right, thank you.
QUESTION: I almost forgot what I was going to say.
JOHN: Oh, you've been standing there a long time. You want me to go to somebody else and come back?
Q: No, no, no. I think I got it now. I have two questions and the last one is very important cause the only one that can answer that question is you. So the first one is, I want you to straighten me with this, I've been confronting some guys from the Seventh Day Adventist and they...they start with the sabbath day and what I did last Tuesday, I think, I was talking to one and then the other guy came and started telling me that we have to keep the seventh day because it's one of the Ten Commandments...the sabbath day because it's one of the Ten Commandments and if I deny the sabbath day and if I don't keep it the best in me that means that I acknowledge that I was not created on the seventh day because God created man on the seventh day. And I told him he was wrong.
J: He didn't create man on the seventh day.
Q: He did?
J: He didn't...
Q: That's right, that's what I was saying. Okay. What I did was this, he quoted me some Scripture and then I pointed right in his face and I yelled at him three times and I told him that if he says that he keeps the sabbath day, he has to keep the Ten Commandments then he's cursed because by the law no flesh will be justified. And then I think there's a Scripture that said if we say that if we keep the law then we are condemned because we do not believe on the cross, or something like that...I think. Well I don't know if that was right or wrong and that's what I was trying...
J: No, that was good...that was good. Yeah, if you're going to keep the law, you have to keep the whole law. And you break the law at all, then you're trying to get your salvation through the law and you violate it anyway you're done. Right? Yeah, that's the whole point. That's what Romans 10, we were talking about, you know, it says that Israel ignorant of God's righteousness went about to establish their own righteousness. And, of course, they couldn't do it because they can't keep the whole law. And Galatians 3 says whoever breaks the law is cursed. So...you know, that's right.
If you want to believe that you're going to be saved by keeping the law, you're in real trouble because you break it anywhere, you're done.
Q: What I'm saying is I just...I just told him and he quoted me the Scriptures that I just...you know, the flesh being justified by the law and then I told him he himself was quoting the Scriptures and he did not understand what he was saying, you know. That's when I told you because if you try to keep the sabbath which is one of the Ten Commandments, then you have to keep the Ten Commandments and then by keeping them you're on...you know.
J: Yeah, you want to be careful that you don't say that we don't have to keep the Ten Commandments because it is important that we be obedient to God, that we do the things that those Ten Commandments tell us to do because God hasn't changed His moral standards. The sabbath issue is a distinct issue. I don't have any problem with the fact that the sabbath, for example, is the only one of the Ten Commandments never repeated in the New Testament. In every place where the Lord could list commandments, and does list them, and Paul lists them and somebody else lists them, that the one about sabbath is eliminated. And the reason, and I've said this so many times, is because that which the sabbath symbolized has come. Sabbath rest was a picture of the rest that is in Christ, that's Hebrews 3 and 4. We have entered into that rest. And now that the reality is here, we don't need the symbol. And every day becomes holy unto the Lord.
Plus, the early church identified a new day as the first day of the week because that's the day the Lord rose from the dead. So I don't have any problem with still adhering to the fact that the Lord is to be worshiped, but not symbolically one day but every day that we've entered into rest and the Lord is available to us and near to us every day.
Q: That's true. I agree. Well, the second question was this. Last night, you know, Monday night, my wife is in the D.E. ministry and in one of the discipling she heard something, you know, and she came home and she started telling me. She told me this last night and she wants me to ask you. But before, you know, we...okay, I start telling them, you know, Pastor John MacArthur he's a teacher, he's an elder, he's a deacon, he's in Grace Community Church but she asked me, but is he or not? Well I told her that I don't know but we'll ask him. And her question is this, you're a teacher, you know, and pastor here, are you a member of Grace Community Church?
J: Am I a member? Certainly. Sure. Are you?
Q: Yes I am.
Q: This came because somebody, I think, from the LOGOS heard you saying that you're not a member of Grace...
J: That's right, that's the same guy who said that men here wear their shirt wide open and... I'm a member. I've been a member in good standing. I have never been disciplined. I've never been thrown out.
Q: Thank you.
J: All right...that's good. O man, now I'm not even a member of my own church.
QUESTION: I'd just like to say that the Charismatic Movement, it's been in my life I've really seen a lot of bad things going on over there, up in the Santa Clarita Valley. And the other day a friend of mine, he said, "Oh, John MacArthur, he doesn't teach the Spirit, you know, there's no...he doesn't teach the power of the Spirit, you know." And I just...I couldn't believe that. They don't understand what they're talking about. They just hear...he says, "Yeah, my pastor said...my pastor said..." Well, have you ever sat down and looked at the Scripture or talked to John or somebody from Grace. "No, no, they don't want to talk." You know.
JOHN: That's sad. One guy got on the radio and I've got a tape of the radio program. And he was debating, talking to Walter Martin, and he said...they were discussing my book on The Charismaticson the radio and this guy who was the president of Melody Land Seminary said, "Well, I don't know this MacArthur guy but I'll tell you one thing, God will never bless his ministry." And so Walter Martin says, "Well, well, I don't really think we can say that...there's...there's..." So. But, you know, that's kind of silly to say that whatever...you know.
Q: I just want to say, have you ever been confronted by these people?
Q: They won't do it, huh?
J: I've never been... I have never seen in my...I wrote the book on the Charismatics in 1978 is it? I've never seen any response to it...ever of any kind except just, you know, harrangue, or whatever. One guy wrote a little paper trying to deal with it and then another guy named Bilheimer(?) who is kind of a mature man in that Movement wrote a book called Love Coversand he devoted a chapter to my book and said, "We charismatics," he's charismatic, he said, "We charismatics must agree that John MacArthur has put his finger on some real problems in our Movement and we need to consider what he says." And that went over like a...you know...lead balloon.
Q: Well, I'm not saying that all charismatics, but me myself, I have never seen one charismatic who knows the Word half as well as you do.
J: Well, let me deal with that for a minute.
Now we've got some interesting things happening in Christianity today, okay? You know, back in the Dark Ages, 500 to 1500, the priesthood took the Bible away from the people. And that's when the world, for all intents and purposes, the western world was locked out of the truth of God. They took the Bible away. And the reason they did that was because they were afraid of the stuff that individual people came up with when they had it in their hands.
Well, you want to know the truth about it? I understand why they did that. I don't agree with it. But I understand why they did it. Because as soon as you let everybody become his own interpreter, you're going to have what we've got today...cults ad-infinitum, ad-nauseum, everybody... And in the Charismatic Movement especially, what you've got is "Well, Jesus told me what this meant...Well, God told me what this meant...I don't need you to tell me anything...who are you...It doesn't matter what you know, it doesn't matter what kind of training you have, Jesus tells me what this means."
Well, we're open to that because everybody's got a Bible, everybody has freedom to study it and the Charismatic Movement says, "You can read the Bible and Jesus will talk to you and the Holy Spirit will guide you," and so forth and so forth and so forth. You know as well as I do when you come to church here or you go sit in a class here, or you go to LOGOS or whatever, you hear things that you would never know on your own if you just picked up your Bible and read it, right? And you can open your Bible all you want and you'll read stuff and you'll never understand that stuff because it takes somebody that God has called and set apart as an evangelist, a teaching pastor, as a teacher set into the church for the instruction of the people. But as soon as you proliferate a movement, and number one, basically the Charismatic Movement is a movement of people who are untrained theologically. That's true, they are untrained theologically. Not all of them but the vast majority of them.
Secondly, they are all...they all supposedly have access to the interpretive work of the Holy Spirit who can tell them exactly what it means. And so you're going to have...not only...you couldn't even put the charismatics in one package, they go from soup to nuts because everybody's coming up with every man doing that which is right in his own eyes. In a sense, there's a balance between letting the people have the Word and when you do that not eliminating the need for teachers to teach. So as I say, I understand why the Dark Ages were...I understand the idea, it was a bad idea, the way it worked out, but I can understand why they wanted to keep it out of the hands of the uninitiated people who would come up with every kind of weird thing in the world.
And look, we've got people doing it today. Starting cults all over the place. You know, you get every guy who comes and opens a Bible and invents his new thing, grow a beard, walk along the beach with a bathrobe, say you're Moses, 50 followers in a half an hour in California. Start a movement.
Q: All right, thanks a lot. God bless you, John, I hope they don't make up anything about your head there.
J: No, the mark of the beast...twelve more...twelve more of these and I'm real trouble...if I come up out of the sea you'll know prophecy has been fulfilled.
QUESTION: Yeah, John, I thought it was interesting that you were mentioning cults and a lot of our family is involved in a cult and I was a Mormon a few years ago and our family was raised Mormons. And praise God that through your teaching and men of God I've become a Christian and some of our family has.
JOHN: Amen. God bless you.
Q: And I have a lot of friends that are Mormons. Usually it goes the other way, Christians sometimes you know go the other way and they're really proud of that fact. But some of my brothers and my Mormon friends come to me and they bring me Scriptures and stuff. And one of the teachings of Mormonism is baptism of the dead. And they use 1 Corinthians 15:29 and they misconstrue that and say..."Yeah, see the Bible says it's right there." And I was wondering if you had an answer or something I could tell them.
JOHN: Well, that's an obscure passage. In other words, it's very difficult to determine what that means. But obviously what they're trying to do is get baptized in this life to get somebody who is already dead into the better state, right?
J: That's the idea. You can't defend that anywhere...anywhere in Scripture. And if you're going to try to get it out of that verse, you've made it up because that verse doesn't say anything about anything except baptism for the dead. What is that? It doesn't even discuss it or define it. The best explanation that I know of that text is that it was some existing pagan ritual at that time and Paul is simply saying in general, "Isn't it obvious to you that there is a resurrection? Even pagan people are baptized for the dead." Which is to say that in the human heart is the sense of life after death.
So, they had their Mormons, too, who believed in the baptism for the dead which is to say they believe that dead people were still alive, right? And something could be done for them. That's all Paul's tapping into. I think he's simply saying if you're going to deny the resurrection, then why do even the pagan people believe in baptism for the dead? Which is to say that they believe after you're dead you're still alive. That's all I think it's saying.
But to try to come up with some kind of complex spiritual definition of what that baptism is out of that text is impossible. It isn't there. Yeah.
Q: Yeah, I had one other question. This might be a little easier for you. In Ephesians...
J: I thought that one was pretty easy, myself.
Q: In Ephesians 4:9 and 10 when it talks about the Lord ascended and then, you know, He went back up. There's been some confusion in a local Bible study about exactly what that meant. Whether He went to Hades and then He went to heaven...
J: Yeah, that's a very interesting. He went...it says He let captivity captive, gave gifts unto men, that's where you are? Ephesians 4?
J: Okay. Let me suggest to you what I believe about that. I believe that when Jesus Christ died on the cross, there are a couple of key passages. Maybe I'll take just a moment and try to explain to you briefly. I can't see much anymore, I've got to find this stuff here. In 2 Peter 3...no, that isn't what I want..oh, let's see. I'll be with you in a minute. Yeah, 1 Peter 3. It says verse 18, 1 Peter 3, "For Christ hath once suffered for sins." Okay, now we have the setting, Christ on the cross, right?, suffered for sin. "He was put to death in the flesh." Physically dead. "But made alive in the Spirit." All right, I believe that Christ's body was dead. But was His immaterial part dead? Out of existence? No. He was alive in His Spirit.
Where did He go? "By which He went and preached unto the spirits in prison." So His body is dead in the grave. What's He doing for the time that His body is dead? He goes into this prison to preach...preach is kerusso, to proclaim a triumph, not euangelizo, to preach the gospel, but to proclaim a triumph. And who were the spirits? They were the ones who at one time were disobedient when once the long-suffering of God waited in the days of Noah and the ark was preparing, and so forth and so forth. They were some spirits who were disobedient during the time of Noah. Who were they? I believe they were the sons of God who cohabitated with the daughters of men in that weird combination of angelic beings and humans in Genesis 6. And those demons who did that, Jude also speaks about them, I believe God took those angelic fallen angels and cast them into prison, into the pit. Okay...where they are bound.
Now let me just pick it up at that point. So here's what you got. You've got bound demons and Jude talks about them, kept in everlasting chains reserved, you know, for them. So these particular demonic spirits who cohabitated with women, kind of a Rosemary's Baby deal back in Genesis 6, the Lord destroyed the earth. And it may well be that what happened out of that hi-bred combination of demons and men was a race that was unredeemable because it was demonic and male...I mean demonic and human, and so God just drowned the whole thing and started all over again. And never let it happen again.
But those demons are permanently bound. Now I believe when Jesus physically died on the cross, that He descended into that prison house where those demons are kept and He pronounced His victory over them. In other words, hell was having a carnival when Jesus was dead thinking they had won their victory and He came in there living and pronounced His victory over them.
Now to support that a little further, Colossians chapter 2. In Colossians chapter 2, again we have on the cross, He's...it says in verse 14, He's nailing the handwriting of ordinances against us to the cross. In verse 14 we have Him on the cross, that's the scene again. And then in verse 15 it says, "And on the cross He spoiled principalities and powers." What are they? Principalities and powers are terms for angels. Okay. He spoiled them, He made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in His cross. That's the same idea. I believe He descended into that place and pronounced His victory over the demonic hosts.
And I also believe that while He was down there, He gathered captivity captive. And I believe that's when He took the spirits of Old Testament saints, gathered them and took them to glory at that particular point. So He was very busy for the time that He was there. Okay?
Q: So the Old Testament saints are in heaven right now?
J: I believe they're there. They're bodies are not there yet. They await the resurrection, but their spirits are there now.
Q: Okay, great. Praise the Lord. Thank you, John.
J: Okay, you're welcome. Let's see, where we going...over here.
QUESTION: Hi. I've been a Christian for about four months now. But before I was I also was involved in a cult, Jehovah's Witness. And it was very painful getting out, let me tell you.
JOHN: You glad to be out?
Q: Oh, God...praise God, really. But anyway I got all the doctrine, or most of it out of my head but there are still...there is still one thing that I am confused about. Well, Psalms 37:29, "They will inherit the land and live upon it forever." Ecclesiastes 1:4, "Generation will come and go but the earth will stand forever...or the earth will last forever," I'm not sure. Matthew 5:5, "The meek will inherit the earth." Now I know there's going to be new heavens and a new earth and this one will pass away. I'm not sure, are these referring to the new earth?
JOHN: Sure...sure. You have to believe that if there's a new heaven and a new earth and we have glorified bodies, bodies which are not unlike our bodies here, Jesus would be the example, right? He had a body that was adaptable to earth, wasn't it? He walked, He talked, He sat down, He stood up. In other words, His body was adaptable to this earth. And I believe once we get glorified bodies, all we need is a glorified earth to go with those glorified bodies. And I believe that there is a sense in which we will eternally possess this earth because I believe eternity will be the new heaven and the new earth. So I think that those promises will be fulfilled actually that this earth will be restored into its glorified state.
You see, it says in Romans 8 that the whole creation is waiting not to be destroyed but waiting to be...what?...redeemed, renewed. Yes.
Q: Thank you.
J: You're welcome.
QUESTION: Yes, John, I have a question for you. First of all, I was told that you didn't...someone told me that you do not believe that evangelist...that music could be used as an evangelistic tool, and I wanted to know if that was true or false and why or why not?
JOHN: Yeah, basically...basically I don't believe that music is designed to be an evangelistic tool. I'm not saying that music can't make a contribution as it articulates truth. But I think primarily music is given as means of praising God. In other words, that's just biblically the way it's laid out. You never find anybody in the Bible or in the New Testament singing the gospel. They preached it. And they taught it. And they spoke it. But they didn't sing it. Singing in the New Testament is limited to speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making a melody in your heart unto the Lord. And in the Old Testament, singing was for those who sang a new song unto God, unto the Lord, a song of redemption, a song of salvation. So I think music basically is the praise of the soul. Music is not an evangelistic tool, as such.
Now let me having said that say this. When a person has heard the gospel, it may well be that at some point in time they're listening to a song and that song has a way of penetrating their thinking with the theme of the gospel and they could respond at that point and believe. So I'm not denying that. And I'm not denying that you couldn't stand up in front of a bunch of people, get a crowd together by singing songs and then give them the gospel. But basically, music is not a tool designed by God for evangelism. It is a means designed by God for the praise of His people. Does that help?
Q: Yeah, a little.
J: See. If you want to preach the gospel, I used to have trouble with these traveling road show deals, if you want to preach the gospel, preach the gospel. You say, "Well, you can't get a crowd." Look, I was...a classic illustration. Martyn Lloyd-Jones came to Westminster Chapel, right? And he had been the physician to the queen's family. And he decided God called him into the ministry. So he became the pastor of Westminster Chapel, London. So he came and the board said to him, "What are you going to do, Doctor?"
He said, "I'm going to preach the gospel, preach the Word of God."
"What else you going to do?" "Nothing, I'm just going to preach the Word."
"Well, who is going to run the programs, who's going to attract the crowds?"
He said, "I'm going to preach the Word. I'm going to go through a book at a time, we're just going to preach the Word of God."
They said, "Well, you've got to have somebody that gets the program going. You've got to have somebody get a crowd."
He said, "Well preach the Word of God and let God take care of that."
And they were insistent. So finally in that board meeting he said to them, "Look, then this is what we'll do, gentlemen. You run an ad in this Saturday's London Times that says, `The Reverend Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones will be preaching this Sunday in his underwear' and that will get a crowd." And that's...
Q: What is your view of contemporary Christian music?
J: I was just going to say, that silenced the argument. And he filled that place for the whole years of his ministry by preaching the Word of God.
I don't...say that again, then.
Q: What is your view of contemporary Christian music? And there's a lot of concerts where a lot of kids are coming to know the Lord, you know, it's a means of getting them there.
J: Yeah, and I'm not going to deny that, that people can hear the gospel. The gospel is more powerful than the container it's in. There's a lot of people who are preaching the gospel whose lives are wretched, but the gospel is more powerful than they are. So, you know, I don't know what I can say, other than to say if you give me a group of people whose heart is pure before God, whose lives are pure before God, and who stand up and articulate the truth of God in a means that doesn't compromise God and in a method or a means that does not unsay everything it's trying to say and just play to the crowd, and maybe some good things can happen.
But what I think is happening in a lot of those cases is there are people who are making psychological commitments to Christ based upon the whole environment of what's going on, which may or may not be genuine. They may be exposed to the gospel, they may be genuine from time to time. I'm not sure we need to do it that way. I'm not saying that the gospel isn't so powerful that it can't be effective in that mode. Right?
J: I mean, I don't...I don't feel a lot of pressure to do that. And I've been to some of those kinds of things. And what I see going on, I don't know, I wonder how long lasting...and it may be that some of the kids are exposed to Jesus and later on they come to a meaningful commitment to Christ. I don't know. I'm not going to deny the power of the gospel in any medium. But that doesn't necessarily mean that I can appreciate the medium, anymore than I can appreciate a Godless preacher though he preach the gospel. I know...Paul Rader(?), was an evangelist and people were saved by the thousands. And one day he got up in his pulpit and said, "I'm not a Christian." But the gospel was more powerful than he was. So, you know, it outstrips its package sometimes.
But...and I'm not arguing against it. Some times those can be helpful. You know, if it's done right and tastefully, done in a Christ-honoring way, the lives of the people are right, the medium is not a godless kind of vernacular. I think you have to be careful what you identify with.
I remember I was in a rock deal years ago in San Diego and two kids came in the back, they walked off the street, came in, sat down, heard the music and one guy leans to the other guy and says, he says, "Man, I could hear this anywhere, I thought this was something different." And they split. So, you know, when you get the heart that's prepared by God, I'm not sure you need the other stuff. Maybe that's over-simplification, but...I'm sort of a Jack Webb type, "Give me the facts, ma'am, just the facts." Forget all the other stuff.
Q: Okay, thank you, John.
QUESTION: This question has to do with proving the Bible to be the inspired Word of God. I don't seem to have any problem in discussing the Bible with people who aren't knowledgeable or who are seeking, but where I come against a brick wall all the time is when people say that the Bible..."Yes, the Bible is the Word of God and so is the Talmud and the Book of Mormon, etc., etc." And I was just wondering how should I deal with that? It's a real problem.
JOHN: Yeah, put the burden on them. If anybody says to me, "Well, I don't believe the Bible." Or, "Well, the Bible is the Word of God...so on, so on..." My response, typical retort would be, "O my, that's an amazing statement. You must have spent years studying the Bible to come to such a profound conclusion." "Well, no, I...I...well, I haven't really..." "Well, maybe you should...maybe you should really read it carefully to find out if it's just another one of many books." Put the burden on them. Put it on them.
You know, it's the old story, you know, do you defend the lion or do you open the cage and let it out? You stand around defending the thing all day, open the door, let it out, it will take care of itself. Put the burden on them. Let them read it. And you can make somebody feel pretty silly by saying, "Well, you must have studied the Bible for years to come to such a profound conclusion that you now can tell and make a determination like that that goes against the grain of the history of the Christian church and theologians across the face of the earth." So, you know, put it on their back. Okay?
J: All right. Over here.
QUESTION: Yeah, John, you answered my first question, it was relative to Genesis 6:4, thank you. My second question is, we're all familiar with the passage that says that "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son," and my question has to do with the word "begotten." What's the root word and how is it related?
JOHN: Yeah, the "begotten" can be seen in two ways in the New Testament. It also appears in Hebrews chapter 1, "This is My...Thou art My Son, this day have I begotten Thee." Hebrews 1. And there it refers to resurrection.
There are two ways you can see the begotten Son. One is incarnation, the other is resurrection. The word means "begotten." And in that sense, Christ was born of God. So it does mean...it doesn't mean that as a person He...personality, He came into existence at that point, it means that as an eternal person He was begotten into human form at that point. He was begotten in His incarnation, that's what I see there in John 3. He was begotten in His resurrection, begotten from the dead. In other words, He was born once into the world at His birth, He was born twice into the world from His resurrection, right? And so that's the way I see the word "begotten." But it has to do with His incarnation and His resurrection. That is, entering into human life, not entering into existence.
Q: Thank you.
J: Okay. Don't anymore people come up. This will be it and we'll have to stop, okay?
QUESTION: Okay, in the Bible in 1 Corinthians 13, it says, it's describing love and it says one of the attributes is that it's not jealous. But then in the Old Testament it says that God is a jealous God. And, you know, like He doesn't tolerate us worshiping idols. So is it just a different word "jealousy." You know, are they talking about different aspects?
JOHN: Same word, same word, different kind. Same word, different kind. I'm jealous. I'm jealous to protect my wife. I'm jealous to protect my children. I'm jealous to protect my Lord. I'm jealous to protect my church. That means that I have a possessiveness and I have a right to that. There's a right kind of jealousy. I'm jealous of my reputation. I'm jealous of my own impurity. I'm jealous of the right things. I'm not jealous of what you have. I'm not jealous of who you are. That's the wrong thing. I have a right to be possessive and protective about what God's given me to care for. But I don't have a right to be jealous about what you have. That's the difference.
It's wrong to be jealous in a wrong sense. It's right to be jealous in a right sense. Just like anger. It's right to be angry about right things. It's wrong to be angry about wrong things.
Q: Okay, now I have a totally different question. About in January, you mentioned at one of your sermons that you wanted prayer about this case that had gotten to the appellate court because...have you gotten the results of that?
J: Glad you asked. Haven't heard a thing. Haven't heard a word. I don't understand these courts. I mean, it's ridiculous. I'm not worried about it. But I don't hear anything. And I would tell you.
Q: So you want us to keep praying.
J: Yeah...yeah. Thanks.
QUESTION: On this past week, I was talking with a pastor from the south and as we shared life styles and my growing up being a southerner also, this pastor loosened up a little bit and we started talking about things. And I was bringing up some of the prejudices that I saw and grew up with against blacks in the south. And he started to tell me how biblically it was proved in the Bible how the black people were basically an inferior race. And he started pointing out in Genesis 9, Noah and the three sons, how the three sons represented the different races on earth. And how his son, Ham, had threw his drunken uncovered father had...he started involving sodomy and all kinds of things. And God punished Ham and his descendants who were sent to Africa. And biblically...
JOHN: That's right, we know they were black and we know they were sent to Africa, right?
Q: This overwhelmed me. I didn't really know what to say other than I couldn't handle it.
J: Right, well, the best thing to say...the best thing to say is that's ridiculous.
Q: Yeah. Now being a southerner and growing up, I know that man's inhumanity to man has for hundreds of years, they've tried to prove it and tried to ease a little of their guilt or justify the way that things were, or that some people still feel, but have you heard this theory before?
J: Oh sure. O my goodness, yes. Sure. You know, I heard, I used to hear it preached that black people had smaller brains. All you have to do is take an X-ray to find that isn't true. That's ridiculous. The point is, the curse that was put upon Ham and the separation of Ham, Shem, and Japheth. Shem becomes the Semitic people. Japheth the colonizing people and the Phoenicians and whatever, whatever.
There is absolutely no way in this under the sun that you could ever prove which of those people went which way and became what. And just to add another thing. There's a difference. The whole idea is so absurd. If you've ever been to Arabia, you will see people in Arabia who are Arabs who descended from Shem who are blacker than any Negroed black people you've ever seen. I mean, that is...the whole thing is absurd.
Basically you have the same thing going on in Canada. The French people think the white people, the Caucasian people have a problem. You can go to almost any culture in the world where you have racial tension, you'll find it. You go to Hawaii and you find there are certain people over there who, oriental superiority struggles and they look down on some of the native Hawaiian people. I mean, that kind of thing is prejudice that's manifest...that manifest nothing more than the sinfulness of man. That's all. That's ridiculous stuff.
And there is no way that...there's an interesting book that you might want to read if you ever get the chance by Oliver Buswell III who is the only Christian anthropologist I ever knew. His great grandfather was a theologian. And it's on Slavery, Segregation and the Scripture, it's a little book and he discusses the stupidity of these kinds of theories.
In fact, one of the things you learn about that in the south is that they didn't...they wouldn't teach the blacks to read because if the blacks read they'd read the Bible. If they read the Bible they'd get saved and if they got saved they'd have to come to church. So they didn't teach them to read. And that's why they were left without any ability to read for so long.
But those kinds of things, you know, they were dealing with a cultural issue. They brought those slaves over. They wanted to keep them in their place. And they developed a convenient kind of biblical interpretation that would go along with what they wanted to do with those people. So...but that's just...I mean, that's pulling something right out of the air because there's no way to determine that...to prove that in any sense.
Q: What was the book again?
J: Slavery, Segregation and the Scriptureby Oliver Buswell, B- u-s-w-e-l-l, 1, 2, 3.
Q: Thank you, John.
QUESTION: First, I'd like to say that my husband and I are new to Grace Community Church and my husband has prayed to the Lord to lead us to the right church. So I feel we thank the Lord that we have found it.
JOHN: Oh, we thank you for being here at Grace.
Q: Oh thank you. And I have a question and you preached on Matthew 18 in 18 and 19 for the discipline. And, of course, my charismatic friends used the prayer in 18 and 19 for any other kind of...anything that you ask in His name. You know the answer. Can this...these paragraphs be used for prayers for anything, or are they strictly for discipline?
J: Well, I think basically they're for discipline. "Where two or three are gathered together in My name, there am I in the midst," that's discipline. Now where it says, "If any of you on earth agree as touching anything," that's discipline, that's the discipline situation. You'll ask the Father and He will give it to you and so on.
But there's a bigger principle there. And that's the principle of John 14:13 and 14, "Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do that the Father may be glorified." So you have the same idea there. You ask anything in His name, He'll do it.
But what you have to understand is, what does it mean to ask in His name? You see, that's the qualifier. These people think they can get God in a corner and say, "In the name of Jesus...in the name of Jesus, do this."
I got a letter from a guy yesterday, right? He writes me, he says, "I've been listening to your Charismatic series on the radio and," he says, "you don't have the Spirit of God and you don't know God and you don't know miracles and I want to tell you about a miracle." He said, "I was in my pickup truck and my pickup," he says, "is 1963 GMC pickup truck, not just any pickup truck, it was a 1963, or something, GMC truck and I got stuck in the mud and I was 150 yards from the road." And he said, "Sitting in the mud in the midst of a rainstorm, I commanded the Holy Spirit to lift that truck up and carry me to the road." And he said, "At that moment a great hand came out of heaven, lifted my truck up and flew me over to the road." And he said, "A man standing by said that the wheels never touched the ground. Now I'm telling you, Brother MacArthur, that's a miracle."
I said that's a miracle he's got enough nerve to make up a story like that is what it is. Later on he said that he was in a snowstorm somewhere and he commanded God to stop the snowstorm in the name of Jesus and God stopped it. Listen, God is no genie, you don't rub your little bottle and He jumps out and does what you want. When those people do that, they're attacking the character of God. That Kenneth Copeland, Kenneth Hagan, Frederick Price that you see on television, that stuff attacks the character of God, turns God into nothing more than somebody we use to get what we want. Now when it says you ask in My name, it means consistent with who I am and My own will. The only thing you have a right to ask for is that which is in the will of Christ and that's the only thing He will give you. He's not obligated to give us what we want.
Q: All right. Thank you very much.
J: Okay, we'll just have a couple more.
QUESTION: Hi, I just became a born again Christian, just about a week ago, so I'm really...
JOHN: What's your name?
Q: Barbara Trah(?)
J: Hi, Barbara.
Q: And I'm really...I'm so excited about everything, I really am.
J: Oh great...terrific.
Q: And I've been...I got your tapes on Boot Camp, I'm so nervous up here I can't remember...
J: Don't be nervous, you're among friends.
Q: But you say there to read over and over again like seven chapters. And the first time I came in here you were doing Matthew so I started on Matthew. And I just got married to a man that was married before and I read in here and I got real upset, it says in Matthew 5 in 31 and 32, do you know what that is? You're not going to ask me to read it, are you?
J: No, I understand what it is.
Q: Could you explain that to me. I mean...I know being a new Christian and God is very forgiving...that this is a new marriage and...
J: Oh sure. What it's saying there is that you shouldn't get divorced. That the only reason...the only grounds for divorce is adultery. And that if anybody gets remarried and the cause of their original divorce is not adultery, they're committing adultery. And if they marry some person or divorce a person without adultery, they're making that person an adulterer.
In other words, if you break up a marriage apart from adultery, you'll create adultery everywhere because when that person when either person remarries, they'll commit adultery cause God never granted that original break. Okay.
But let's look at it two ways. Way number one, before you were a Christian, you weren't under either the power of the Spirit or the instruction of the law. And the Lord knew that. So that's not something you need to be concerned about. What you need to be concerned about is where you are right now. And I'll give you another verse that I'd like you to look at, and I think that's terrific that she's just starting at Matthew reading. There's more in there, you'll be glad to know that.
First Corinthians...you know where 1 Corinthians is, do you?
Q: I feel really ignorant. I've got to put tabs in here because I don't know where anything is.
J: Terrific...I've got big tabs in my Bible, too. I don't know where anything is either. Listen to this, 1 Corinthians 7, it's terrific...
J: Somebody help her find 1 Corinthians over there...
Q: Oh yeah, okay.
J: You've got 1 Corinthians 7?
J: Verse 24, see it...read it to me.
Q: Oh no...don't...I stutter when I read.
J: That's all right.
Q: Okay, 24, right? "Brethren, let every man wherein he called abide with God."
J: You know what that says? The calling here is marriage...I mean salvation, the calling here is salvation. Brethren, let every man in whatever state he's called, whether you're single, married, divorced, widowed, there abide with God." Whatever state you were in when you were called, that's where God has you right now. Don't worry about the past. Don't worry about what happened before you were a Christian. Don't worry about all the stuff in the background. You stay right where you are. That's what you want to do. Okay?
Q: Yes. Thank you.
J: And God will bless you. And you keep coming and keep growing and keep reading.
I love to hear somebody like that who is a new Christian. Just so excited about the things of the Lord.
JOHN: Hey, we've got to stop right now, so make it really fast. I'll just let you ask the question, I won't answer it.
Q: Okay, in John 5...in John 5 Jesus talks about the Father, you have never heard His voice at any time nor seen Him. In Genesis it talks about, "They heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day." And then Genesis 18 it talks about, "Now the Lord appeared to him by the oaks while he was sitting at the tent door and when he lifted up his eyes and looked, behold three men were standing opposite him." Now was this Jesus?
JOHN: NO, I don't think it was...I think it was not necessarily Jesus, it could have been what we call a Christophony, a preincarnate appearance of God in human form. No man could see God in the fullness of His spiritual essence. But God does reveal Himself sometimes, like He may have revealed Himself in a blazing cloud of light or a pillar of fire. He may have revealed Himself in a preincarnate human form such as when they came to the tent of Abraham and Sarah in Genesis 18. He may as He did reveal Himself in the incarnation of Christ. Yes, but God cannot be seen in His full glory.
Exodus 33, God takes Moses, sticks him in the cleft of a rock and let's His glory pass by and says you can't see My face but I'll show you My back parts. So God can reveal Himself in a veiled way, in various ways. Okay?
J: By the way, I want to say to Barbara back there, who asked that question, you need to get into an FOF class. You know what that is? Okay...good. Last question.
QUESTION: What the Bible's view is on dancing? Any certain types of dancing, any type of dancing, what the verses are on that.
JOHN: Yeah. The only thing the Bible talks about in dancing is in the Psalms. And it talks about David danced before the Lord, and all that means he was just really happy and he was doing the old soft shoe, or something, I don't know what he was doing. But he was happy.
See, you know, dancing can be all kinds of things, just clapping your hands, it could be a lot of different things. We've got a cultural kind of thing with that. But in the Old Testament, God has given us rhythm. Some of us more than others. But God has given us the ability to praise Him with song and the ability to praise Him even with movements. Sometimes when I see our deaf people doing that music, I see the essence of what dance as a rhythmic movement of the body for the glory of God can be. That's a far cry from the sensual kind of expression of dance.
You know, it used to be, I guess it used to be culturally that dancing was a little more prime. I mean, you see some old movie of some people going around the minuet business, or square dancing or whatever whatever, but dancing in our cultural basically is built around the whole sexual stimulation thing. And I just don't see any place for it at all.
Q: Well, not all of it, as far as in reference to old Fred Astaire movies or ballet dancing or ballroom dancing.
J: Well, okay, if you're going to go back to that, ballet dancing is an art form. Personally I don't get real excited about it cause I think men ought to look like men, not jump around in funny ways like that. The ladies I don't mind, the guys bother me a lot.
But, you know, sure I would agree with that that, you know, the whole Fred Astaire, waltz kind of thing, a guy with his wife doing that at home, you know. If he does. I mean, I'm not going to say there's anything wrong with that. But when a person goes out and does any kind of activity like that with a person that they're not married to, it generates kinds of thoughts that are not necessarily the most wholesome kind of thoughts. I mean, there's a lot involved in it and I'm not trying to throw a blanket over the whole thing. Personally I don't dance, never have. Don't particularly care to. I just don't feel...
Q: Well, if you're playing basketball not to the glory of God, that would be...
J: Well, I think it's different than that. Because you're basically...
Q: I mean, if you're out there playing basketball and getting angry at your...
J: Yeah, but dancing you're engaged in a physical activity and contact with a member of the opposite sex, you know.
Q: Well, I didn't say anything about physical contact.
J: You mean dancing without physical contact, dancing where you just stare at each other while they do their physical thing. That's similar in my mind.
Q: In other words, what we have to base our dancing on is whether or not it brings glory to God or...
J: Well, that's right, just like anything sure...sure. And I'm not convinced that I've seen any contemporary dancing that could bring glory to God in my understanding. You know, that's just my own feeling.
Q: It is possible.
J: It's possible if two people were committed to each other, I suppose they were married people and they were doing that which they chose to do together as married people. You know, the whole setting of dancing is with drinking and worldly music and worldly lyrics and worldly thoughts. And...
Q: If you've ever tried dancing ballet after you drank or watched someone drink, it's...
J: Well, are you talking about ballet now?
J: Yeah, that's...I have a problem with ballet. I don't want to go anymore into it. Anyway, I don't mean to put you down but I understand it's an art form, I understand some of those guys are great athletes, but I just confess that...I don't know...I just have a problem with that. I don't know. It's just me, right? I'm not giving you a Bible thing and maybe to some people it's a great form of art, you know. No I can't say that biblical it's wrong to do a ballet thing. I don't...but I don't see. I mean, I can't advocate it either.