PRAISE GOD IT’S MONDAY!
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TO THOSE IN MINISTRY

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Issue No: 195     Published: 18 Jul 2005

THE NEW TESTAMENT PRIESTHOOD - ONE OF PASTORS?

DID YOU KNOW? In the approximately 6,189,538 words contained in the 8 translations of the Bible on my computer, (Darby, American Standard, KJV, New Century, NIV, New Living, New RSV, Youngs Literal) the word "PASTOR" appears 1 (Yes, 'one') time only! 1:6,189,537 words (+ or - a few!). Not a high ratio! Where is it found? In the King James Version - Jeremiah 17:16.

"But David," I hear you reprimand me sternly, "What about Ephesians 4:11?"

"Okay! I'm being pedantic! But in this verse, it's not 'pastor' singular, rather, 'pastors' plural being used. It's used as a job description, not a position. And then, in only 5 of the 8 versions." I rest my defence. "Let's not forget though, for all keen KJV fans, the 7 further times 'pastors' is used in Jeremiah. But truly, that's it!" Even including the plural 'job description', the combination 'pastor/s' is used only 13 times in over 6 million words in the combined 8 Bibles, and only 5 times between all 8 translations of the New Testament. Is this then, a sound, solid foundation upon which to base our church system today?

Let's see how it arose. After the death of the apostle John around 100AD, the church became increasingly institutionalised. Form rapidly replaced substance. By 210AD, the truth of the priesthood of believers had been rejected and a class of clerics developed. After the Roman Emperor Constantine made Christianity the compulsory state religion in 350, the Roman Catholic Church quickly developed a formal priesthood system, similar in many ways, to that in the Old Covenant, which Jesus replaced. This structure remained throughout the Dark Ages.

The Reformation, commencing in 1517, was based upon the principle of 'the just shall live by faith'. Luther recognised that the Roman Catholic order of Bishops and Priests was fundamentally flawed. However, he was less radical in the leadership area, instituting a pseudo-priestly, 'shepherding' leadership function. Luther's system permeates our churches today. The 'minister', as the shepherding role was described then, or 'pastor' as most often used now, was and remains, the core role in the functioning of the church hierarchy. Yet, as we have seen above, the role 'pastor' in the singular, doesn't appear in the New Testament, and the plural job description is used but one time, then in just 5 of 8 translations.

Effectively, the pastor has replaced the priest. The one who is still regarded, even by many Protestant Christians, as an intermediary between themselves and God. In some extreme cases, this amounts to idolatry. 'The Pastor' is elevated to an ungodly, god-like position. An ecclesiastical superstar! I once experienced this, being mobbed by an enthusiastic crowd after a series of successful, Holy Spirit empowered meetings. It can be seducing! Normally though, the process is more subtle - one of elevated status, dress, title or 'pew position', but just as seductive. When the bubble bursts and humanity is exposed, people are lost to the kingdom, a result of dependence upon the pastor rather than Jesus. This is obviously not the New Testament pattern, and one that Jesus vehemently opposed and came to change.

Within the Christian community worldwide, there is an increasing resistance to the excesses of this shepherding model. Some, no doubt, arises through the modern humanistic focus on relativism and individualism, as opposed to the absolute morality and the good of society of the Bible. Today though, God too is challenging His church and people to question traditional religious structures, to again become, as Jesus desired of His followers, a kingdom and priests to serve his God and Father. A church where the pastor shepherds members towards achieving their God given visions, not the people, those of the pastor.

Many, many, ministers, pastors and shepherds are dedicated to God and to bringing their people into a closer personal relationship with the Father. Personal criticism of individual pastors is neither intended nor implied. Rather, we need to look again at our 'church system' and the way it operates. Regular PGIM readers will understand my heart for the church and its many dedicated leaders. But the sad reality is, from one privileged to observe the system from both within and without, there is a personal pastoral priesthood operating within our churches, in our denominations, in city wide pastor's fraternals, and throughout Christian organisations generally.

It is obvious that the entrenched emphasis, placing the role of the shepherd above other ministry roles, is unbalanced and not scripturally based. Rather, an inherited 'accident' of history. The result of a modified version of the established Roman Catholic system at the time of the Reformation, not one based upon God's New Covenant Word.

So it is time for us all to take a good look at ourselves to see whether we are functioning in a role ordained by man, or working to the principles established by Jesus and put into practice in the New Testament church. Of course, the church of Acts and the Epistles didn't get everything right, for it too, had people in it! But we certainly need to return to the situation where the focus comes off leadership so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith. To change from a pastoral to a people orientated priesthood, as ordained by Jesus. At the same time, taking upon ourselves as leaders, the manner of a servant, not a superior.

Lord, help us, we pray.

"But I'm paid, and so expected to 'do it all'!" Superman and Wonderwoman are surely fictional characters, the world's solution to the expectation placed upon the 'perfect pastor'!

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FROM THE WORD

"and from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood, and has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve his God and Father—to him be glory and power for ever and ever! Amen." (Revelation 1:5-6)
The New International Version, (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House) 1984.

EPHESIANS 4:11 FROM THE 8 VERSIONS
"and he has given some apostles, and some prophets, and some evangelists, and some shepherds and teachers, for the perfecting of the saints; with a view to the work of the ministry, with a view to the edifying of the body of Christ; until we all arrive at the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, at the full-grown man, at the measure of the stature of the fulness of the Christ;" (Ephesians 4:11-13)
Darby, J. N., 1890 Darby Bible, (Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.) 1995.

"And he gave some to be apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; for the perfecting of the saints, unto the work of ministering, unto the building up of the body of Christ: till we all attain unto the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a fullgrown man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:" (Ephesians 4:11-13)
1901 American Standard Version, (Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.) 1994.

"And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:" (Ephesians 4:11-13)
The King James Version, (Cambridge: Cambridge) 1769.

"And Christ gave gifts to people—he made some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to go and tell the Good News, and some to have the work of caring for and teaching God’s people. Christ gave those gifts to prepare God’s holy people for the work of serving, to make the body of Christ stronger. This work must continue until we are all joined together in the same faith and in the same knowledge of the Son of God. We must become like a mature person, growing until we become like Christ and have his perfection." (Ephesians 4:11-13)
The New Century Version, (Dallas, Texas: Word Publishing) 1987, 1988, 1991.

"It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ." (Ephesians 4:11-13)
The New International Version, (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House) 1984.

"He is the one who gave these gifts to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ, until we come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God’s Son that we will be mature and full grown in the Lord, measuring up to the full stature of Christ." (Ephesians 4:11-13)
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

"The gifts he gave were that some would be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until all of us come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to maturity, to the measure of the full stature of Christ." (Ephesians 4:11-13)
The New Revised Standard Version, (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers) 1989.

"and He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as proclaimers of good news, and some as shepherds and teachers, unto the perfecting of the saints, for a work of ministration, for a building up of the body of the Christ, till we may all come to the unity of the faith and of the recognition of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to a measure of stature of the fulness of the Christ," (Ephesians 4:11-13)
Young, Robert, Young’s Literal Translation, (Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.) 1997.

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DAVID'S DOODLINGS

LEADERSHIP
156. In God, being led to lead is a calling. Leading when not led, guarantees an appalling mauling!

157. A Christian leader is but an ordinary person called to an extraordinary task. Both leaders and the led need to be reminded of this!

158. Worldly leadership builds up self, but godly leadership builds up others.

159. In God, understanding and sharing vulnerabilities is a sign of maturity and success, not an acknowledgement of failure.

160. In God, if you’re not led to lead, you’ll be bled to death.

161. To lead or be led? The difference is ‘a’ for attitude!

162. Only God has the required glue to attach ‘super’ to ‘natural’.

372. To be a leader in the world is difficult, in the church, impossible. However, with God's help, we can do the impossible.

373. God loves obedient leaders.

374. Leaders are not God - for only God is perfect.

375. Our leaders are not God substitutes. They too, make mistakes, just as we do.

376. Truly godly leaders are more precious than diamonds - and equally hard to find.

377. The Bible tells us that there is only one God. Some leaders need to be reminded of this fact.

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CRANWELL'S CARTOON

From inside the fish Jonah prayed to the LORD his God. 2 He said:
“In my distress I called to the LORD, and he answered me.
From the depths of the grave I called for help,
and you listened to my cry.
3 You hurled me into the deep,
into the very heart of the seas,
and the currents swirled about me;
all your waves and breakers swept over me.
4 I said, ‘I have been banished from your sight;
yet I will look again toward your holy temple.’
5 The engulfing waters threatened me,
the deep surrounded me;
seaweed was wrapped around my head.
6 To the roots of the mountains I sank down;
the earth beneath barred me in forever.
But you brought my life up from the pit,
O LORD my God.

7 “When my life was ebbing away,
I remembered you, LORD,
and my prayer rose to you,
to your holy temple.

8 “Those who cling to worthless idols forfeit the grace that could be theirs.
9 But I, with a song of thanksgiving, will sacrifice to you.
What I have vowed I will make good.
Salvation comes from the LORD.”
10 And the LORD commanded the fish, and it vomited Jonah onto dry land. (Jonah 2:1-10)

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TUESDAY TEACHINGS

THE PROPHETIC FEASTS OF THE LORD - Series 2 - THE AUTUMN FEASTS
Part 10 of 10 - THE PATTERN OF THINGS TO COME


Finally, the culmination of 10 weeks of studies! And it's worth the wait!

The Feast of Tabernacles is just so rich in meaning and revelation to us today. Together with the Day of Atonement, it reveals the potential future direction of our individual Christian walk and of the church as a whole. This is exciting and of crucial importance, for as the Feast of Tabernacles was the pinnacle of the Jewish religious year, so its spiritual fulfilment represents the glorious culmination of God’s plan of reconciliation between Himself and mankind.

Check it out in your letterbox tomorrow. If you aren't on the mailing list, you can register now at... tteach-on@wwj.org.nz

Previous teachings on this subject, the First Miracle of Jesus, the Book of Ruth, God's Character and Servanthood and Leadership, the Parable of the Sower, The Two Marathoners, The 3 Rivers of God The Spring Feasts, The Power of 3 in God & the Church and A Layman's History of the Times of the Feasts can be viewed at...

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LAUGHING AT OURSELVES

***Blessed are those who can laugh at themselves for they shall never cease to be amused***

*** "Those who can't laugh at themselves leave the job to others." ***

395. THE CANNIBAL AND THE PRIEST
A cannibal ate a priest and got very sick. Upon visiting the witch doctor and telling of his symptoms, the witch doctor asked how he had cooked the priest. The cannibal replied that he had broiled him.

Hearing this the witch doctor exclaimed, "Well no wonder you're sick! He was a Friar!"

394. ONE FOR YOU, ONE FOR ME
There was a huge pecan tree in the cemetery, just a short ways from the fence. One day two boys sneaked into the cemetery and filled up a bucket with pecans. The bucket was so full that several pecans rolled away and came to a rest against the cemetery fence.

The two boys then sat down by the tree, out of sight, and began dividing the nuts between them.

"One for you, one for me. One for you, one for me," said one boy.

Cycling down the road near the cemetery came a third boy named Joey. As Joey passed the graveyard, he thought he heard voices from inside the cemetery and slowed down to investigate. Sure enough, Joey heard, "One for you, one for me. One for you, one for me."

Joey immediately knew what was going on. "Oh wow!" he shuddered. "It's Satan and St. Peter dividing the souls at the cemetery!"

Joey sped down the road and found old Mr. Finch with a cane, limping slowly along.

"Come quick!" Joey shouted. "You won't believe what I heard! Satan and St. Peter are down at the cemetery dividing up the souls!"

Mr. Finch scowled and yelled, "Shoo you brat! Can't ya see I'm finding it hard to walk as it is?"

After Joey made several more urgent pleas, Mr. Finch reluctantly hobbled to the cemetery and heard, "One for you, one for me. One for you, one for me."

"Boy, you've been tellin' the truth!" Mr. Finch exclaimed in a whisper. "Let's get closer and maybe we'll get to see the Devil himself."

Shivering with fear, Joey and Mr. Finch edged toward the fence, still unable to see the source of the voices.

Then they heard, "One for you, one for me. And here's another for you and another for me. There, that's the last of them. Now, let's go get those nuts by the fence, and we'll be done."

FREE DOWNLOAD: You can now download the book 'Laughing At Ourselves' in PDF format at LAUGHING AT OURSELVES

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FACTS FOR FUN

LAST WEEKS QUESTION: Where did the term ‘private eye’ originate?

ANSWER: We get ‘private eye’ from the famous logo of the Pinkerton Detective Agency -a wide-open eye. The company, founded in the 1800s, had as its motto: ‘We never sleep’. (So can specialise in finding those who sleep together illicitly.)

THIS WEEK'S QUESTION: Who wrote the first detective novel?

Answer Next Week.

SOME FUN FACTS
636. A MAJOR FAILURE
Around 50% of all Americans are on a diet at any one time. (The cost of living in Hamburger Heaven.)

637. LOGO-ALLY FAMOUS
The player silhouetted on the NBA (National Basketball Association) Logo is Jerry West while the Major League of Baseball immortalises Harmon Killebrew. (A mere shadow of their former selves!)

638. FLYING BIBLE
The Dominican Republic is the only country to have a Bible on its flag. (God on the highest.)

A WORD PUZZLE FOR YOU

Make another word from this word using all the letters.

GREENING

Answer at the end of A David Musing

FREE DOWNLOAD: You can download the full version of our Trivia Book at TRULY TRIFFLING TRIVIA

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DO YOU KNOW? (About Relationships)

How are Paul and Timothy related?

a. Father/Son
b. Friends
c. Grandfather/Grandson

Answer at the end of A DAVID MUSING.

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IF ONLY I'D THOUGHT OF IT!

"""OTHER'S SAYINGS TO ENLIGHTEN, AMUSE, OR BEMUSE"""

!!!!!!! I had amnesia once -- or twice.

!!!!!! I went to San Francisco. I found someone's heart. Now what?

!!!!! Protons have mass? I didn't even know they were Catholic.

!!!! If the world were a logical place, men would be the ones to ride horses side-saddle. (Think about it!)

!!! What is a "free" gift? Aren't all gifts free?

!! They told me I was gullible ... and I believed them.

! Teach a child to be polite and courteous in the home and, when he grows up, he'll never be able to merge his car onto a freeway.

100'S MORE TO BE FOUND AT...

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BIBLE RIDDLE

Q. What passage is the first act of cannibalism recorded in the Bible?
>
>
>
>
>
A. 2 Kings 8:1

(Two Kings ate one! Get it? Never mind - another next week!)

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JUST JOKES

323. NO CHARGE
The state trooper pulled Mr. Schwarz over and, after inspecting his license and registration, informed the motorist that he was going to have to spend the night in jail.

"What's the charge? Mr. Schwarz demanded.

"None," replied the officer. "It's all part of the service."

322. OUT OF STEP
As he was drilling a batch of recruits, the sergeant saw that one of them was marching out of step. Walking up next to the man as they marched, he said sarcastically: "Do you know they are all out of step except you?"

"What?" asked the recruit innocently.

"I said -- they are all out of step except you!" thundered the sergeant.

The recruit replied, "Well, sarge, you're in charge -- you tell them!"

321. THE FAMILY TREE
In my search of the family tree, it was pretty exciting to learn my great-grandparents in the Appalachian Mountains were pioneers in iron and steel. I could hardly stand the excitement until I learned the truth that Great-Grandma stayed home and ironed while Great-Grandpa went off to steal. - Lawrence Brotherton

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MANNERS AND CUSTOMS IN BIBLICAL LANDS

THE GIRDLE
If a tunic (undergarment) was ungirded (untied) it would interfere with a person's ability to walk freely. So a girdle was worn when leaving home. (2 Kings 4:29, Acts 12:8) There were, and are, 2 types. The common one is made of leather, about 15cm (6 inches) wide with clasps, as worn by Elijah and John the Baptist.

A more valuable type is made from linen, silk or embroidered material. The girdle served as a money pouch as well as a means to fasten a man's sword to his body.

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WAXING LYRICAL

Satan loves and ignores the lukewarm in God. But those who are hot, look out!

WHEN BAD THINGS ARE GOOD

There is a man, I do know,
Who in God, desires to grow,
When something bad in life, does come along,
He's not now sad, for it makes him strong.

When satan tries to destroy his day,
He can now tell him to go away,
Has learned that, when doing God's will,
Satan will run you, through his mill.

He will accuse you of being blind,
And put evil thoughts in your mind,
A mighty battle now does take place,
Before you go on to win the race.

While satan's antics seem so real,
They're an illusion designed to steal
God's vision and purpose from our life,
Continually forcing us into strife.

Read on at...

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WWJ PRAYER LETTER

Check out our July Prayer Letter to find out more about what is happening in the ministry and with our lives.

We would really value your prayers. We can't do it without you!

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A DAVID MUSING

In 3 weeks time Kathy, Brendan, our remaining son at home, and I, are going to be shifting to the neighbouring city of Hastings. We are moving into the poorest area of town, amongst lots of needy people. We pray that we might be able to make a difference. Our TV producers, Ray and Elaine Millard live next door, which will make things easier in that way. Also, we expect to help look after problem children.

Many people cannot understand why we would want to shift from a nice area, to one which faces lots of challenges. Of course, the rent is cheaper, but our motivation is not to save money, but to try and make a difference through Jesus. We know we will learn as much as we are able to give!

So, we would value your prayers over the next months as we make the change and adjust to the new situation. Further details are contained in our Prayer Letter, mentioned above.

So until next week...

MAY GOD BLESS YOU AND YOU BLESS GOD.

His servant and yours

David Tait

Today's 'Word Puzzle' Answer: RENEGING

TODAY'S 'DO YOU KNOW?' ANSWER: b. Friends. 21 Timothy, my fellow worker, sends his greetings to you, as do Lucius, Jason and Sosipater, my relatives. (Romans 16:21) A trick question though, for Paul also calls Timothy his son-adopted in the Spirit! 17 For this reason I am sending to you Timothy, my son whom I love, who is faithful in the Lord. He will remind you of my way of life in Christ Jesus, which agrees with what I teach everywhere in every church. (1 Corinthians 4:17)

REPRODUCTION OF NEWSLETTER CONTENT

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DONATIONS

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ABOUT US

WALKING WITH JESUS MINISTRIES is a non-profit, non-denominational, Bible based ministry located in Mount Maunganui, New Zealand. A ministry dedicated to developing discipleship, fostering unity amongst God’s people to achieve the Great Commission, and in doing so, preparing for Christ’s return. It is securely based upon the foundational principles of the Apostles Creed while recognising the wide and rich diversity of beliefs amongst Christians in other areas. In accordance with the Lord’s direction, materials produced by the ministry are available, free of charge, to genuine enquirers upon request. The ministry is solely funded by donations, as the Lord provides. A list of materials available (plus some fun!) is obtainable and freely downloadable from our website
wwj.org.nz or by contacting us as follows.

Walking With Jesus Ministries
3 Hetley Crescent
Taradale
Napier 4001
New Zealand

Phone: (06) 8449-377 International (+64) 6 8449-377
Email: enquiries@wwj.org.nz
Web: wwj.org.nz

Our role is to bless and encourage those in ministry while promoting co-operation and unity of direction amongst the body of Christ, as emphasised 3 times by Jesus in His longest prayer, immediately prior to His arrest and crucifixion. "… so that they may be one as we are one." (John 17:12, 21, 23-4) Our website is currently being developed to encourage your participation one with another, to share resources, and to enable you to promote events and items of interest to the body as a whole – and have a smile while doing it!

For comments upon and contributions to this service, please contact
david@wwj.org.nz

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