Monday, August 18, 2008


Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the LORD delivereth him out of them all.

Psalm 34:19 KJV

It's a sad day in my life. In fact it's been a sad week in so many ways. Literally, I've prayed for hours during the past week because of my sorrow. So I really don't have anything profound to say tonight.

I take great comfort in the above verse. Even in times like this, where I feel like I'm walking through the Valley of The Shadow of Death, I trust that Jesus will be with me and he weeps with me.

And I'm not alone on earth either. Think of all the saints that suffered in this life (this is a very abbreviated list):

Moses - forced to exile
Noah - ridiculed
Job - lost everything and was despised
Daniel - thrown in the Lion's Den
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abenigo - thrown in a furnace
David - ran for his life from Saul
Elijah - hid for his life
Isaiah - according to legend he was sawn asunder
Ruth - forced to glean because of poverty
Jeremiah - according to legend he was stoned
John The Baptist - beheaded
The Apostles - most were martyred
Paul - ship-wrecked, imprisioned, beaten, and martyred
Jesus - crucified

So when I'm suffering, I'm in good company. My only hope is to remain faithful as these people did.

John Wheeler

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Faith of Mustard Seed

I still remember when I first heard the Bible story in which Jesus says, "if you had faith like a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain be cast into the sea and it would obey." I was a very young kid, and was anxious to put this verse to the test. So living within sight of Mt. Rainier I headed outside to do some big mountain moving.

Well,,,,, needless to say, the mountain is still where it's always been for ages.

Like so many before, I thought that faith was something that was palpable - a force that I could feel and see. Something that I could use like a weapon in my arsenal of spirituality. However, I was wrong.

What Jesus is really saying is that if you'll trust God with all your heart, just like this little mustard seed - you can do anything.

The key to spiritual power is to completely rid yourself of yourself and completely trust God. To humble yourself before God and man, and finally admit that you are completely powerless. (Which you are, even if you don't admit it). If it weren't for the good things that God benevolently supplies you with, how long would you last? What if God turned off the sun? Or if on a whim he allowed all the oxygen escape into outer space, what would you do oh small mortal?

So emtying yourself should be easy. It should be the most logical thing to do, but we're stubborn and we're proud.

And therefore we lack the power of the Kingdom of Heaven that we should have.

John Wheeler

Thursday, May 22, 2008

The Fearful Wrath of God

The Harsh Lesson of Nabab & Abihuh

Aaron’s sons Nadab and Abihu took their censers, put fire in them and added incense; and they offered unauthorized fire before the LORD, contrary to his command. So fire came out from the presence of the LORD and consumed them, and they died before the LORD.
Leviticus 10:1-2

Solomon said, “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” (Proverbs 9:10) Unfortunately, most Christians don’t live by this truth. We’ve grown up in a church and a society that often misunderstands God. We like to comfort ourselves thinking that because God is Love, that somehow he’s not the same God as in the Old Testament. We like to think of the Old Testament God as being angry, and the New Testament God is somehow kinder and gentler. We say things like, “in the Old Testament, God was judgment; but in the New Testament, God is grace and love, and a God of forgiveness.” There’s some truth in this statement, however taken as a whole, it’s incorrect.

First of all, God does not change. The Old Testament God is the same God as the New Testament God. Secondly, the method of salvation is the same under both covenants. I know you’re saying, “ wait a minute, John – you’re wrong.” Nope I’m not. Under both covenants the way of salvation is salvation by faith. The Bible testifies about Abraham, that, “Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him righteousness.” (Romans 4:3) So in both covenants, repentance, obedience, and a changed heart are necessary for salvation. The difference between the Old Testament and the New Testament is that they looked forward to a Savior, and in the New Testament Church, we look backward to the Savior.

We’ve completely misunderstood God and his grace. We think that somehow the cross and grace give us a license to sin. We forget that God is a holy God that cannot even look upon sin. We also forget that the Bible puts people into just 2 classes of people: the wicked and the righteous. You’re either one, or the other. Another way that the Bible classifies people is by calling them either friends of God, or enemies of God. There really is no other way you can classify people.
So how do you get to be a friend of God? You get to be a friend of God through obedience and humility. God rightly demands to be obeyed and respected. His happiness and Glory are infinitely the highest and greatest good in the universe.

The wicked thing that Nabab and Abihu did was that they mixed incense with a grain offering and then burned the offering before the Lord. Doesn’t seem like such a big deal, does it? It doesn’t until you realize that Nadab and Abihu willfully disobeyed the command of God. (Exodus 30:9) Now it’s a BIG deal. They dishonored and disobeyed the very one they should have been very careful to obey, the infinite and holy Lord God Almighty – he is high and lifted up and rightfully adored. When you disobey God, you set yourself in opposition of God, and he must show Himself to be the Righteous Judge.

Judgment in the New Testament

Ok. So you’re still thinking, but Nadab and Abihu were Old Testament Priests; that sort of thing doesn’t happen in the New Testament. Yes it does. What about Ananias and Sapphira? (Acts 5:11) They lied to The Holy Spirit and they died on the spot.
Or what about Herod? (Acts 12:20-25) The people praised Herod by saying, “this is the voice of a god, and not of a man.” In doing this, the people were dishonoring God by giving the praise that rightfully belonged to the Almighty to a mere man. When Herod did not correct the people, but instead accepted God’s praise for himself, an angel of the Lord struck Herod down and he died.
And what about Paul? When God had enough of him persecuting the church, Jesus himself confronted Paul and struck him with blindness. (Acts 9:1-19) Jesus was there to protect his church, and if Paul wouldn’t have repented on the spot, the story may have turned out differently.

Judgment and Wrath are worse for New Testament Believers

We must pay more careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away. For if the message spoken by angels was binding, and every violation and disobedience received its just punishment, how shall we escape if we ignore such a great salvation? This salvation, which was first announced by the Lord, was confirmed to us by those who heard him. God also testified to it by signs, wonders and various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will.

Hebrews 2:1-4

Judgment is always based upon light; therefore wrath will be much more fierce and terrible for New Testament believers than it was for Nabab and Abihu. Nadab and Abihu only had Moses. We have Moses, the Prophets, Jesus, the Apostles, and 2000 years of God’s dealing with the church. We know so much more than the Israelites did, therefore if we dishonor God, our punishment will be proportionately greater. The writer of Hebrews knew this fact, and eloquently pointed it out to his readers.


We’ve been wrong as a church. God does not accept those that willfully disobey him and openly dishonor him. God’s honor is much more important than the interests of any of us mere mortals. God will defend his honor against those that dishonor him, and he will come to those that need him.
So when you hear of priests who molest innocent children, take heart, because the wrath of God is about to be revealed against these evil men. God has sharpened his sword and bent his bow, and the demise of the disaster of these infidels will be swift and disastrous.
God has not forgotten justice, and he is not slow to act like men think. The disobedient and evil man will be called to account for all his misdeeds. The only reason that God puts up with evil men in his realm is they have been given time to repent; but God will not wait forever. One day he will lose his patience with rebels that refuse to obey, and then their eternal demise will come.

John Wheeler

Bible quotes from Pradis Bible Software, Version 5.17.0014 by Zondervan

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Monday, May 12, 2008

Imagine there's no Heaven

Imagine there’s no heaven

I was fortune to hear a replay of John Lennon’s final interview before his tragic and senseless death. They asked him something like, “do you really mean to say there’s no heaven?”

To which John Lennon replied, “I didn’t say there was no heaven. I just wanted people think about the possibility.”

This reminds me of some of the fruitless questions that people from the Emergent Stream are asking during their Conversations, and then passing themselves off as profoundly spiritual. First of all, questions never make you wise. Just because you can ask questions that can’t be answered, doesn’t make sagacious – any 2 year old can ask questions that can’t be answered. Secondly, wisdom does not come from continuously questioning truth and reason; instead wisdom comes from believing and understanding the truth. The problem with many people is that they never find the answers to their questions – so they never become wise, and they fail to find the true and living God.

Does it matter that they don’t find the answers to their questions? Yes. God enlightens the mind and the Holy Spirit guides us into all truth. You can get the answers you need.
My brothers, find the truth. Don't ask fruitless and pointless questions, that only lead to unbelief.
In God's Service,
John Wheeler

Monday, May 5, 2008

Being Missional

“Give me souls or I die!”

I’ve been reading everything that I could get to on Post-Modernism, The Emerging Church, and the idea of being missional. I think all of each of these ideas have merit, and they each have some places where people have aligned themselves with the idea and gotten into some heritical belief system. I especially like the idea of being a missional church. From the little I know of the concept, I think it’s a great idea and will bring us closer to being the church that Jesus intends us to be. However, I don’t think any of these ideas by themselves (or even in concert) will bring about the revival we need in America.

I firmly believe that America will continue to spiritually decline as long as we Christians allow it to.

Okay, I’m going to say it again so that we hear it – People will continue to dishonor God and go to hell as long as we allow it. We need to remember that the Saviors name is not Obama, not Hillary, and not McCain – the Saviors name is JESUS, and we are the ones that he commissioned to bring the gospel of Christ to a lost and dying world.

People don’t usually come to Christ without some Christian praying fervently for them, and sharing the good news. Rarely do people come to Christ by themselves.

When someone comes to Christ there are usually 3 agents, (although there can be only 2), and 1 tool. The 3 agents are: The Holy Spirit, A Christian who shares the good news, and an unbeliever. The tool by which we are brought to God is the Truth, or the word of God. We know that God desires to see everybody come to Christ, and doesn’t wish that any be lost – so we KNOW the Holy Spirit is doing everything he can to reconcile men to Christ. And it seems the Unbelievers are doing a fine job of unbelieving. We also know that the Word of God is effective in the salvation of men. So that only leaves Christians that are doing a poor job.

Two things will happen if the Church of America continues the way they’re going:

1.) People will continue to dishonor God by ignoring him and pretending there are more important things in this life than serving God with all your heart.

2.) Unbelievers will continue to fill Hell.

As long as we’re content letting our parents, our children, our family, our friends, our co-workers, our neighbors, our community, and our nation rush headlong into an eternity of divine punishment, then that’s exactly what will continue to happen at alarming rate. As long as our hearts are cold, and we’re so disinterested in our neighbor’s eternal soul, then things won’t change, no matter how many new measures we come up with.

It’s high time the American church wakes up and repents. We need to examine our actions to see what we’re doing for souls. Does our heart beat and bleed for souls like Jesus’ does? Are we doing everything we possibly can to save as many as possible?

If the answer is no, then we need to beg forgiveness from God for not having his heart and his best interest in mind; and then we need to change. It does no good to ask forgiveness without changing. This is not the Biblical idea of repentance. We need to have a change of heart, and a change of actions.

We need to be about the Father’s business. We need to be fervent and passionate about bringing the lost to Christ.

John Wheeler

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Repent Now

Repentance is one of those Biblical words that is sadly misunderstood.

So what is repentance?

Repentance is a complete and permanent change in ultimate intention. It's a change from selfishness to benevolence. A change from all known sin and willful rebellion against God to entire obedience to God.

Repentance is not just leaving sin, however turning from sin is implied in repentence. Certainly when the Prophets spoke, they intended for people to quit sinning and stop sinning now.

Repentance is not sorrow for sin. Sorrow by itself is not enough, and certainly sorrow by itself is significantly less than Godly repentance. We've all seen plenty of people that are sorry for their sin that neither quit sinning, nor turn themselves wholeheartedly to God.

Which leads to the next idea of repentance - making things right. Part of repentance is setting things right with your fellow man if and when possible.

Also implied in the Biblical idea of repentance is the idea that complete repentance is possible. To say that repentance is impossible is to blashpheme God by saying he requires men to do what they cannot possibly do.

Another thing that is required by repentance is immediacy. You are required to repent and repent immediately and completely. If you don't repent now, it shows exactly how evil, wicked and rebellous towards God you are in your heart.

A common misconception about repentance is that it can be anything less than complete. There's a common falacy in the church that somehow God accepts something less than total and complete consecration from the hearts of men. As far as I can see this is one of the most dangerous fallacies on planet earth, and it has contributed millions of souls to the eternal coffers of hell.

Make no mistake repentence must be complete and whole hearted. You must give your heart wholly to God. You must be converted. You must turn from sin to holiness. You must turn your back upon your past life. Don't be like Lot's evil wife and turn back and long for your sin.

Repentance is turning to God with all your heart, and loving your fellow man as yourself. Nothing less is accepted.


Saturday, September 8, 2007

Impending Doom - My Search for Truth Part II

The 2nd thing I realized in my search for truth is that the Church of Jesus Christ doesn't teach the Judgment and the Wrath of God like it should. Before I go on and lose your attention, let me say,


There, I got that out of the way and now we can go on. First of all, I charge the Church with moral cowardice, because we're not able to stand up to people like John the Baptist did. John called the religious leaders of his day to account by saying, "you brood of vipers, who warned you to flee from the coming wrath?" And then John called Herod to account by saying, "it is not right for you to have your brother's wife."

This age was not worthy of John and so he was beheaded.

Instead of warning people to flee impending wrath and prepare to stand before God at the Judgment, we tell them Jesus loves them (which is certainly true and not a bad thing to tell them). However, the Ungodly and Wicked have heard, "Jesus Love You," until it's become useless to them. They don't even pay attention to it anymore. Even worse, they make fun of the sayings, "Jesus Saves," and "Jesus Loves You." So now it's time to change our message, and make it more Biblical.

It's time to tell people that there is a final Judgment for both the Wicked and Righteous. Each man will stand before the Lord God most high and give account for everything done in this life, both good and bad. The Godly will recieve a reward for the good things they have done, and the wicked will suffer eternal punishment because they refuse to repent and turn to God.

And if you're a professing Christian that is practicing sin - stop now. The Holy God commands you to be holy and accepts nothing less. Don't think that just because you go to church that God somehow allows you indulgences. God forbid. God accepts only one thing from you - entire obedience to his will.

In the service of the Holy One,

John Wheeler