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Action, Reaction, and Counteraction!

Copyright © 20241

by
Percy Gutteridge

Scripture Reading: Acts 12 nkjv

Title tile for 'Action, Reaction, Counteraction!'Learn this simple, yet profound,
spiritual principle.2

Now about that time Herod the king stretched out his hand to harass some from the church. 2Then he killed James the brother of John with the sword. 3And because he saw that it pleased the Jews, he proceeded further to seize Peter also. Now it was during the Days of Unleavened Bread. 4So when he had arrested him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four squads of soldiers to keep him, intending to bring him before the people after Passover.

5Peter was therefore kept in prison, but constant prayer was offered to God for him by the church. 6And when Herod was about to bring him out, that night Peter was sleeping, bound with two chains between two soldiers; and the guards before the door were keeping the prison.

7Now behold, an angel of the Lord stood by him, and a light shone in the prison; and he struck Peter on the side and raised him up, saying, “Arise quickly!” And his chains fell off his hands. 8Then the angel said to him, “Gird yourself and tie on your sandals”; and so he did. And he said to him, “Put on your garment and follow me.” 9So he went out and followed him, and did not know that what was done by the angel was real, but thought he was seeing a vision. 10When they were past the first and the second guard posts, they came to the iron gate that leads to the city, which opened to them of its own accord; and they went out and went down one street, and immediately the angel departed from him.

11And when Peter had come to himself, he said, “Now I know for certain that the Lord has sent His angel, and has delivered me from the hand of Herod and from all the expectation of the Jewish people.”

Prayer

Come, Holy Ghost, for moved by Thee
The prophets wrote and spoke;
Unlock the truth, Thyself the key,
Unseal the sacred book.3

A Great Principle

It’s time to share about a profound, underlying spiritual principle of God, a spiritual law revealed in Scripture and confirmed in personal experience. This principle is one of the great factors that underlie His dealings with the universe. If you learn it, you will find it to be a tremendous blessing to you in the future; it will be a great comfort and consolation, and it will act as a bulwark of your faith.

I’m going to call this great spiritual principle [continue reading…]

The Testimonies of the Three “Invisibles”

This entry is part 6 of 8 in the series The Curious Corners of Christmas

The Curious Corners of Christmas
Chapter: The Testimonies of the Three “Invisibles”

Copyright © 20231

by
Jim Kerwin

Bigger Than a Single Night!

Title tile for 'The Testimonies of the Three Invisibles'All three of them
have been hidden in plain sight,
especially the “treasurer”!

The story of Jesus’ birth is so big that it can’t be forced into a single night. The narrative of the entrance of mankind’s promised Deliverer is so powerful that it requires a stage far grander than a small stable in the City of David.

Over the preceding chapters, we’ve had to expand our Christmas timeline concept quite a bit. We thought that our immediate interest would be focused on the night of Jesus’ birth. But then, as we have read carefully, we realize that Matthew wants to start as far back as the life of Abraham (almost 2000 b.c., in Matthew 1:2ff); and that same Apostle also takes the story ahead to the visit of the magi, and the family’s nick-of-time refugee-escape to Egypt, perhaps as late as two years after that celebrated night in the stable. Of the actual night of the Birth, Matthew spares less than [continue reading…]

Giving Thanks for a Life

30 November 2023

Dear Friend,

    • For if you were to have countless tutors in Christ, yet you would not have many fathers…
    • 1 Corinthians 4:15 NASB

In Memoriam: Dr. Ray Rempt (1943-2023)

Dr. Raymond D. Rempt in 1972This photo of Ray Rempt was taken during our wedding in 1972.1

A dear brother called me the day after American Thanksgiving last week to tell me someone important in our lives — Dr. Raymond D. Rempt — had at last been released to be with Jesus three days earlier.

For those of you who didn’t know Denise and me in the early 1970s, Ray’s life was intertwined with ours for over ten years. Within two months of my salvation in 1968, he became my youth pastor. His role evolved to pastor, counselor, and finally friend and co-worker. It was Ray who shared — in no uncertain terms! — that going to Bible school would ruin me; so I didn’t. (The Holy Spirit immediately [continue reading…]

3: The Lordship of Jesus and the Correlate of Kurios

This entry is part 3 of 4 in the series The John the Baptist Experience: Book 3

The John the Baptist Experience
Book 3: The Fellowship of the Forerunner
Chapter 3: The Lordship of Jesus
and the Correlate of Kúrios

Copyright © 20231

by
Jim Kerwin

The Meaning of the Title Kúrios

Title tile for 'The Lordship of Jesus and the Correlate of Kurios“You can’t have one without the other…”2

Before we can truly proclaim the Lordship of Jesus, before we can enter into all that His Lordship means, we must understand lordship and embrace it fully and personally. Sometimes we can better comprehend a concept by looking at its opposite, but in the case of the title LordKúrios (κύριος) in Greek  in the New Testament — we might see more clearly if we investigate the correlate of Kúrios.

The phrase “the correlate of Kúrios” in our chapter title sounds like the name of a spacey science-fiction thriller or the title of some silly sword-and-sorcery saga. Although many Christians might not have heard the phrase, once they find out what “the correlate” is, our phrase may sound even [continue reading…]

DD1: “All Flesh Is As Grass”

This entry is part 3 of 4 in the series The John the Baptist Experience: Book 2

The John the Baptist Experience
Book 2: The Extraordinary Message
Deeper Dive #1: “All Flesh Is As Grass”

Copyright © 20231

by
Jim Kerwin

Title tile for 'All Flesh Is As GrassNews alert:
“The one who dies with the most toys loses!
2

It All Comes to an End

Sometimes when we approach a subject, it’s best to launch into it in a state of heart reflection. Often an insightful poem, either secular or sacred, can set the tone. As an epigraph for this chapter, we’ll start with one work which is famous, and end our topic with a poem which should be famous:

Ozymandias

Percy Bysshe Shelley

I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: “Two [continue reading…]

01: Preparing the Field

This entry is part 1 of 4 in the series The John the Baptist Experience: Book 2

The John the Baptist Experience
Book 2: The Extraordinary Message
Chapter 1: Preparing the Field

Copyright © 20231

by
Jim Kerwin

First the Messenger,
Now the Message!

Title tile for 'Coming to Grips with Kingship and Collective AmnesiaThere’s another way to think
about Messiah’s way-preparing herald —
as the field-preparing plowman
for the Seed Planter!
2

In The Exceptional Messenger, the first book in this The John the Baptist Experience series, we focused on the remarkable anticipation God created concerning the role, the mission, and the results of His prophesied Forerunner, John the Baptist. In Exceptional, we came to understand something about how unique, how pivotal John was in God’s prophetic plans and timetable, as in Spirit-filled power he prepared the hearts for Jesus’ earthly ministry.

But now it’s time to turn our attention to what John proclaimed during his mighty, meteoric [continue reading…]

This entry is part 2 of 4 in the series The John the Baptist Experience: Book 2

The John the Baptist Experience
Book 2: The Extraordinary Message
Chapter 2: Coming to Grips with Kingship
and Collective Amnesia

Copyright © 20231

by
Jim Kerwin

The Downsides of Democracy

Title tile for 'Coming to Grips with Kingship and Collective AmnesiaCan we forget what we never learned?
How can the phrase “Kingdom of God”
mean anything if we don’t really know
what a king is?

If the message of John the Baptist was a plow to prepare heart-soil, then the sharp, sod-busting point of his plow’s blade was summed up in this simple phrase: Repent, for the Kingdom of God is at hand!

Yet how little impact those nine words have on us, because we understand neither the word “King” nor the word “repent” as we should. Although “repent” is the first word, let’s first focus on the why of, the motivation for, repentance — the King and His Kingdom. Then we’ll follow up with that most important subject of repentance.

As wonderful as it is to live with the freedoms guaranteed in a democratic republic,2 democracy has a decided downside for Bible readers. Living as we do under a government in which we can [continue reading…]

DD2: Kingdom of God or “King’s Kids”?

This entry is part 4 of 4 in the series The John the Baptist Experience: Book 2

The John the Baptist Experience
Book 2: The Extraordinary Message
Deeper Dive #2:
Kingdom of God or “King’s Kids”?

Copyright © 20231

by
Jim Kerwin

Title tile for 'Coming to Grips with Kingship and Collective AmnesiaIt’s important not to confuse the two teachings!

Please let me add this “deeper dive” side note to the discussion in Chapter 2, “Coming to Grips with Kingship and Collective Amnesia.” I’m concerned because I continue to encounter certain cadres of believers who tend to misconstrue the phrase “Gospel of the Kingdom of God” and translate it mentally into that modern message which might be labeled “the Gospel of the ‘King’s Kids’.”

They have been taught something that goes along these lines: Since they’re born into God’s family, and He is the King, believers are, by association, “royalty,” that is, “King’s kids.” As proper princes and princesses, they have special privileges and “kingdom authority.” What analogy can I use? It’s as though sugar-craving children, armed with such “royal authority” and possessed of their Father’s carte blanche, are turned loose in a proverbial [continue reading…]

Worse Than an Infidel? No Thanks!

My 55th spiritual birthday, 31 July 2023

  • But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.
  • 1 Timothy 5:8 kjv

God’s “New Thing” Is Coming Clear

Dear Friend,

Photo of a room full of boxes packed for movingPlease. Spare us the “move of God” jokes…1

Denise and I have never had a desire (or funds!) to shuffle-board into some easy retirement in a “senior-living” resort. We love Jesus, He has kept us healthy in spirit, mind, and body, and in many ways we feel like we’re just beginning to come into some maturity of usefulness to the Body, especially with the rising “new generation.”

We have been praying about and anticipating a change of venue for some time now, and have been waiting on the Lord for His direction and timing, offering up much prayer over the matter. Given the various open doors we have had in northeastern Florida, we understood this region could be the most likely, but certainly not inevitable. Until now.

Now serious health [continue reading…]

DD01: Rivers of Living Water (John 7:37-39)

This entry is part 4 of 4 in the series The John the Baptist Experience: Book 3

The John the Baptist Experience
Book 3: The Fellowship of the Forerunner
Deeper Dive #1:
Rivers of Living Water (John 7:37-39)

Copyright © 20231

by
Jim Kerwin

Frustrated Curiosity

Title graphic over a photo of the Jordan River in IsraelWhere is the verse Jesus quoted? That depends on where John meant to put his “period”!2

Idon’t understand what grace God worked in my heart to make me so, but once I came to Jesus I sought to be a Bible reader — someone who reads The Book through cover to cover at least every year.3 As I continued reading through, I discovered the truth of St. Augustine’s words:

The Old Testament is the New concealed;
the New Testament is the Old revealed.

And I became more and more convinced of what the Apostle Paul taught about what we call the “Old Testament”—

  • For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.
  • Romans 15:4

It was (and still is!) a delight to [continue reading…]

Guatemala: Swimming in Encouragement

30 June 2023

When they read it, they rejoiced because of its encouragement.
Acts 15:31
…they have proved to be an encouragement to me.
Colossians 4:11

Dear Friend,

Guatemalan pastors and leaders enjoying pool timeLast year (as I mentioned last newsletter), the Guatemalan pastors threatened to throw me in the pool. This year they merely kindly invited me in. But these pastors left me swimming in encouragement!1

“How was Guatemala?” you ask. Well, never mind the 21-hour marathon to get from reveille to my first overnight location. Don’t count the fact that I had a head cold from the second day right through to the end of the trip. Ignore the experience of being smitten with… how do I put this delicately?… an “intestinal ‘souvenir’” from the early morning of my return-flight day right through my first full week back home. This Guatemala trip was very encouraging, maybe the best trip yet! (And that’s saying something, because I’ve been blessed with visits there almost every year since 2008.)

Yes, despite being “out of it” physically, teaching five to six hours on conference days in “feels like” 107° F. temperatures, and a daily regimen of cold showers, I’d return under the same conditions in a heartbeat!

Trip Diary

Never been on a teaching trip like this? Then climb [continue reading…]

They Didn’t Throw Me in the Pool

8 May 2023

A Misstep and a Watery Threat

  • 37Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If any man is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. 38He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being shall flow rivers of living water.’”
  • John 7:37-38 nasb

Dear Friend,

Title words 'They Didn't Throw Me in the Pool!' distorted in the waters of a swimming poolI’m glad they didn’t. I’m “negatively buoyant.”1

Even though the Guatemalan pastors threatened to throw me into the pool during my visit last year, I’m returning to them in ten days to be the Bible teacher at their three-day conference / retreat (May 25-27). In their defense, I should note that their threat was made in good humor, that it arose in part from their hunger for the Word, and… well, perhaps I deserved it by inadvertently teasing them.

Let me rewind this story to last May 2022. Honestly, I don’t remember how the subject of John 7:38 came up briefly during last year’s teaching on Soul and Spirit. For some reason I touched it in passing, noting that when Jesus said, “As the scripture has said,” that there was no verse in the Old Testament from which He was quoting. As I [continue reading…]

La Bendición Rechazada

derechos de autor © 2023

por
Jim Kerwin
texto traducido por
Pastores Fermín y Lilian Chávez
con
Inés María González Valdés

Preparando el Escenario

Mientras escribo estas palabras, no está lejos el centenario del Avivamiento de la Calle Azusa. Considerando el derramamiento del Espíritu Santo que cambió al mundo en 1906, muchos académicos y escritores, maestros y predicadores estarán pensando “¡Lo que Dios ha hecho!” El mover de Dios en aquella humilde iglesia convertida en almacén, convertida en establo, convertida en misión en la Calle Azusa 321 en Los Ángeles, puso en marcha una imparable ola de crecimiento de los pentecostales y carismáticos que en el año 2000 (94 años después de la Calle Azusa) sumaban casi 524 millones en todo el mundo.1

Tan cierto como el hecho de que somos humanos, [continue reading…]

Devoted (but Misdirected?)

31 March 2023

“Devote Yourselves to Prayer” (But…)

Dear Friend,

Edvard Munch's painting 'The Scream'This is Edvard Munch’s painting of me not dealing well with life in the midst of trials.1

The Holy Spirit has been challenging me of late to be “devoted to prayer” (e.g., Colossians 4:2-4; Acts 6:4). Given what’s unfolding in our lives, that’s a critical and helpful leading, a necessary discipline. But such prayerful devotion needs the Spirit’s direction as well, because…

…it’s possible to be devoted to praying for the wrong thing! Back in 1987 we faced a serious crisis of faith. Little more than a year earlier we had moved from suburban Southern California to rural Georgia by the Lord’s leading, in order to work with a small missions organization based in a small town. All went amazingly well for the first year. In addition to the missions work (developing teaching material for third-world pastors), the Lord opened [continue reading…]