PRAISE GOD IT’S MONDAY!
A WEEKLY ‘WWW (world-wide word) OF ENCOURAGEMENT’
TO THOSE IN MINISTRY

A FREE service, currently connecting with Christian leaders from 3,000 denominations and ministries, in 70 countries.

Issue No: 196     Published: 25 Jul 2005

DO WE TRULY 'BELIEVE'?

What a stupid question! Of course believers believe!

Or do we?

What does 'believe really mean? It's simple! Believe means believe! As the dictionary says...

BELIEVE: (Concise Oxford Dictionary) have faith in, trust word of, put trust in truth of a statement, efficacy of a principle, system, machine, etc., give credence to.

In our modern world, belief is primarily understood as being of the mind. It is an intellectual process. Therefore I believe that George Bush is the US President, Queen Elizabeth is Queen of England and Helen Clark, the Prime Minister of New Zealand. An assent to, an acceptance of fact. I believe the truth of these statements, without having them necessarily affect my behaviour. In the values area, I believe in 'fair play', I believe in 'justice', I believe in 'equality'. But even here, my beliefs do not necessarily require positive action on my behalf.

But in Jewish society, the word 'believe' has always had a much more active meaning. In Greek thought, which predominates today, belief is primarily of the mind, but in Jesus' time, belief was understood as a 'doing word'. Beliefs were reflected in one's actions, that is in one's testimony, in the living of your life.

If you believed in something or someone, your actions reflected your beliefs. The best way to understand this is to see what becoming a rabbi's disciple, a 'talmid', meant. Around the age of 13, a potential student would listen to the various rabbis of the day, select the one he wanted to follow and ask, "May I follow you?" The rabbi would either accept him as a talmid or suggest he follow a trade, if he thought the young man was insufficiently gifted. The student would then follow the rabbi, not just to gain knowledge, as we would of a teacher, but endeavouring to walk in the rabbi's footsteps, copying him in everything he did, aiming to become like the rabbi himself. He would stay at the rabbi's side all the time, in case he missed something important, mimicking his behaviour, learning to think and act as the rabbi did.

Today, Jesus is our 'rabbi'. So if we truly 'believe' in Him, we must endeavour to follow Him 100%, to become like Him in both word and action. This Hebraic meaning is reflected in the expanded explanations of the word 'belief' given in the Amplified Bible.

BELIEVE: (Amplified Bible, 4 Gospels) cleave to, trust in, rely on, adhere to, believe constantly, acknowledge, trust and be confident, relies on the gospel and Him Whom it set forth, acknowledge Me as their Savior and devote themselves to Me, believe in Me as able to do this, rely on what I say, trust Me, rely on Me, adhere to Me, clings to, trust, have faith, have faith in His Messenger, rely on Him, have faith in Me.

Jesus though, was and is a rabbi with a difference! He broke with tradition by asking His disciples to follow Him. In doing so, He acknowledged their acceptance, without them even having to ask. As an aside, it is likely that most of the disciples were younger than we would imagine, perhaps 13-15 upwards.

Another difference to normal rabbinical behaviour is seen to the response of Jesus to Peter's denial of His rabbinical leadership. Normally the rabbi would dismiss a disillusioned talmid in such circumstances. This is probably why Peter went back fishing so quickly after having denied Jesus 3 times before His crucifixion. But Jesus, upon His resurrection, forgave and reinstated him, confirming it 3 times also. Showing Peter that, even though he had failed, by repenting, he could still become like Him. What a wonderful, gracious God we have!

Today, the Lord is still calling each one, and His church, to become like Him. To follow in His footsteps. To take upon ourselves His character. To be the light unto the world He was. Like Peter, we fail at times. So let us respond by putting aside our modern, Greek based concept of 'belief' to one side, seek forgiveness, amend our behaviour, and truly 'believe' in the full meaning of the word, in order to grow into the image of our Jesus.

But my beard is two wispy! Oh - you mean that's not true likeness is? Ladies will be most grateful!

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FROM THE WORD

7 During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission. 8 Although he was a son, he learned obedience from what he suffered 9 and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him 10 and was designated by God to be high priest in the order of Melchizedek. (Hebrews 5:7-10)

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. 2 Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:1-2)

7 So, as the Holy Spirit says: “Today, if you hear his voice, 8 do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion, during the time of testing in the desert, 9 where your fathers tested and tried me and for forty years saw what I did. 10 That is why I was angry with that generation, and I said, ‘Their hearts are always going astray, and they have not known my ways.’ 11 So I declared on oath in my anger, ‘They shall never enter my rest.’” 12 See to it, brothers, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. 13 But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. 14 We have come to share in Christ if we hold firmly till the end the confidence we had at first. 15 As has just been said: “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts
as you did in the rebellion.” 16 Who were they who heard and rebelled? Were they not all those Moses led out of Egypt? 17 And with whom was he angry for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies fell in the desert? 18 And to whom did God swear that they would never enter his rest if not to those who disobeyed? 19 So we see that they were not able to enter, because of their unbelief. (Hebrews 3:7-19)

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DAVID'S DOODLINGS

KNOWING GOD
351. The more I discover about God the more I realise there is to know.

352. The closer I get to God, the more I realise how big He is and how small I am.

353. While God graciously accepts me as I am, His desire is for me to become more like Him.

354. When God moves, the results are beyond our imagination. Why then do we try and do His work ourselves?

811. Sanctification is 'the means', holiness 'the end'.

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CRANWELL'S CARTOON

10 As Pharaoh approached, the Israelites looked up, and there were
the Egyptians, marching after them. They were terrified and cried
out to the LORD. 11 They said to Moses, “Was it because there were
no graves in Egypt that you brought us to the desert to die? What
have you done to us by bringing us out of Egypt? 12 Didn’t we say
to you in Egypt, ‘Leave us alone; let us serve the Egyptians’? It
would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in
the desert!” 13 Moses answered the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand
firm and you will see the deliverance the LORD will bring you today.
The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. 14 The LORD
will fight for you; you need only to be still.” 15 Then the LORD
said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to me? Tell the Israelites
to move on. 16 Raise your staff and stretch out your hand over the
sea to divide the water so that the Israelites can go through the
sea on dry ground. 17 I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians so
that they will go in after them. And I will gain glory through
Pharaoh and all his army, through his chariots and his horsemen.
18 The Egyptians will know that I am the LORD when I gain glory
through Pharaoh, his chariots and his horsemen.” 19 Then the angel
of God, who had been traveling in front of Israel’s army, withdrew
and went behind them. The pillar of cloud also moved from in front
and stood behind them, 20 coming between the armies of Egypt and
Israel. Throughout the night the cloud brought darkness to the one
side and light to the other side; so neither went near the other all
night long. 21 Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and
all that night the LORD drove the sea back with a strong east wind
and turned it into dry land. The waters were divided, 22 and the
Israelites went through the sea on dry ground, with a wall of water
on their right and on their left. (Exodus 14:10-22)

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FROM YOU - TO ME - TO YOU

David,
I often read your newsletter's with great interest and from time to time use bits and pieces from them. As a Pastor of a small fellowship who also works in secular employment time is usually not on my side to read in depth. In Issue 194 you included a short extract re Islam in which you spoke of the importance of the land to them. I found this fascinating in so far as this connection has not been stated before in any of the material
that I or others in the congregation have been involved with before. I would love to know the source of this information especially since one of the congregation notes that a book called "Islam and Terrorism" written by Mark A Gabriel a former Moslem scholar cites this on page 82: "Islam is a revolutionary faith that comes to destroy any government made by man.

Islam doesn't look for a nation to be in better condition than another nation. Islam doesn't care about the land or who owns the land. The goal of Islam is to rule the entire world and submit all of mankind to the faith of Islam." This is apparently a quote for Mawlana Abul Ala Mawdudi, the founder of Pakistan's fundamentalist movement.So more info re your source would be appreciated.

Regards and blessings to you and keep up the good work,

Alf Bisphan
Pastor, The Father's House (A New Life Church)
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Hi Alf

Great to hear from you.

Thanks for your enquiry. I had hoped the article would have generated more comment.

My views on the land come from 3 sources.

1. THE EXPERIENCE OF ALLAH. He was exiled from Mecca once he became popular there and spent the rest of his life working to take it back, which he achieved through force, shortly before he died.

This led to the principle of not letting go of land once it has come under Islam. The Koran says, as I understand it:

The Ummah should also go to war if it is driven out of its home, fighting its way back into these homes, as ordered by Allah: “How could we refuse to fight in the cause of Allah, seeing that we were turned out of our homes and our families?” (Al Baqarah: 246)

There are numbers of other verses in a similar vein.

2. THE INTRACTABLE ISRAEL SITUATION: While a major part of the problem centres around Jerusalem, for 'Holy Place' reasons, the whole country of Israel is unacceptable as it was once ruled by the Muslims. I quote the general principle from, as one example of many that can be found.

http://www.islam-online.net/fatwa/english/FatwaDisplay.asp?hFatwaID=14066

"Islam stipulates for Muslims a requisite religious duty if a part of their land is usurped, i.e. entered and occupied by force by their enemies. This duty is that Muslims should go to war to restore that part and drive the enemy out of it whatever the cost. Such fighting is a duty for all the people of the country, men and women alike, to the extent that a wife may go to such war without taking her husband’s permission and a son may go to it without his father’s permission, because the right of the group has precedence over the right of the individual."

3. PERSONAL EXPERIENCE: Having been blessed to travel extensively in Africa through the areas where the Moslem north meets the Christian south, I have learned from the people and seen for myself, how the Moslems will either buy up property in an area and then 'Islamise' it, or take an area by force, and do the same thing. The reality of being in both areas has been to see remaining Christians in Moslem areas under often physical persecution while Moslems in Christian areas are allowed to live freely. This is because of the different outlooks of the 2 faiths. Islam - land, state, religion are all seen as one in the same. Christianity - separation of land, state and religion. The spiritual atmosphere is certainly different in the two, even to an insensitive person like me!

Hope this helps.

Cheers
David
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Dear David,
Yes, sure, even ministers are human - with human failings (and speaking personally I can add 'and how!')

But the privilege of 'official' ministry - if I can call it that for want of a better description - can be used as well as abused.

A couple of decades ago I was privileged to spend a time as a prison chaplain, with unrestricted access to some 500 young men. Only the Lord knows what difference He made to their lives thro' my ministry, but at least the opportunity was there. We had an inspirational Chaplain General at that time, who gave us a three-word job description: Prophet, Priest, Pastor.

To a Reformed minister, the first two are perhaps unfamiliar, but - we felt empowered to act and speak sometimes in a prophetic way, and sometimes help to right wrongs - both by the prison establishment and the prisoners, - we were inspired to help young men to approach their Lord - something that often they had never been challenged to do, and would not have done on their own. Surely a priestly (as well as a 'ministry') function, and
- we were able to lead those genuinely seeking forgiveness and new beginnings to a life in Christ.

We had many, many failures (I think) but perhaps through the office we chaplains held I also believe that the Gospel was preached. Through the recognition that a mere title earned, the Lord's will was, I think, done. Blessings
Jim.
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Dear all,
May the blessings of the Lord continue to stay with you. God is watching over you and your Ministries.
Please do visit our website
www.woodworldmissions.org

Rev.Mercy & Rev. William Wood
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Hi David,
Good word dude, it is clear to me that God has given men that are operating the gifts of the Holy Spirit, that they themselves are gifts of God to the church to equip God’s people to do his work that we will be mature and full grown in the Lord. (I hope that makes sense)

"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.

My question is what are the ministry functions of each of these positions - apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers?

God bless,
Kevin Piper

DAVID's NOTE
We will deal with this in later issues, as the Lord leads.
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Your comments to me or fellow readers are always welcomed at... david@wwj.org.nz

This is an opportunity for you to express your views, which may not be my views. But none of us have a mortgage on all the truth - except for Jesus!

TUESDAY TEACHINGS

A REVELATION OF... REVELATION 12:11 WALKING WITH JESUS
Part 1 of 7 THE BLOOD OF THE LAMB - 1


What to write about this amazing verse! Where do I start? When the Lord first gave me the verse to start this ministry, I had only the 29 words it contains. A very limited ministry in prospect!

But I am happy, or sorry, to say, depending upon your perspective, that the problem I now have is what to leave out! For the Holy Spirit, over a period of 18 months, gave me a 12 tape, 3 booklet, 30-hour course all based on this one verse. You may well think that I am verbose. Believe me, I am generally a man of few words, so no one was more surprised than I was, with the end result. Fortunately, it can’t have all been bad, as many thousands of people have had their understanding grow and life change through this course.

For our purposes here, I promise you I will try and confine myself to a brief summary. This verse is so exciting though, it is really hard to! Discipline yourself David! But by grasping the basic principles of this amazing verse we will better understand what the Bible is all about. For its purpose is effectively summed up in these brief, 29 words!

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, A Layman's History of the Times of the Feasts and The Autumn Feats, 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." ***

397. ALWAYS AT WORK
During the French Revolution, they condemned a priest and an engineer to be executed by the guillotine. The priest asked to be executed face up so he would be looking toward Heaven when he died.

The executioner raised the blade of the guillotine and released it. It came speeding down and suddenly stopped, just inches from the priest's neck. The authorities took this as Divine Intervention and released the priest.

Next, the engineer was placed on the guillotine. He also requested to die facing up, hoping he would be as fortunate as the priest. As the executioner slowly raised the blade of the guillotine, the engineer suddenly exclaimed, "Hey, I see what the problem is..."

396. HELL IN HELL
The Pope, Billy Graham, and a Television Evangelist (who shall remain nameless) were among the passengers on a trans-Atlantic flight. The plane crashed in the ocean and all passengers died.

When the three men of God arrived at the gates of heaven, St. Peter threw up his hands in dismay.

"Oh my," groaned St. Peter. "Your arrival is completely unexpected so your quarters aren't ready just yet."

Thinking hard, St. Peter got an idea. He quickly pressed the "Hell" button on his intercom, then said, "Hi Lucifer, I need a favor. You see, I've got these three fellows up here. They're ours, but they weren't expected right now so we need to fix the place up for them. If you could put them up for a while, I'll owe you one."

Reluctantly, the Devil agreed.

The next day, St. Peter's intercom buzzes. "Hey Pete, this is Lucifer. Man, you have to come get these three men outta here RIGHT NOW! The Pope is forgiving everybody. Billy Graham is saving everybody. Worst of all, that Television Evangelist has raised enough money to install central air conditioning!"

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FACTS FOR FUN

LAST WEEKS QUESTION: Who wrote the first detective novel?

ANSWER: Edgar Allan Poe, best known for his tales of horror, is credited with being the ‘father’ of the marvellous mystery genre. Auguste C. Dupin, his super-intelligent and super-logical detective, first appeared in the 1841 story, ‘The Murders in the Rue Morgue’. (But can a detective be defective?)

THIS WEEK'S QUESTION: Why do pigs like to wallow in mud?

Answer Next Week.

SOME FUN FACTS
633. PRIME, PRIME NUMBERS
2 and 5 are the only prime numbers ending in a 2 or a 5. All others are divisible by either 2 or 5. ( We know it. How do mathematicians prove it?)

634. IT'S SO EASY
A 10 Pin Bowling pin only needs to tilt 7.5 degrees to fall over. (To knock 10 over therefore requires 75 degrees! That must be my problem!)

635. FUNNY MONEY
More money is printed each day for the game of monopoly than by the US Treasury. (When will Monopoly embrace credit cards then?)

A WORD PUZZLE FOR YOU

Make another word from this word using all the letters.

GREENING

Answer at the end of A David Musing

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DO YOU KNOW? (About Relationships)

How are Priscilla and Aquila related?

a. Sisters
b. Mother/Daughter
c. Wife/Husband

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"""

!!!!!!! A bicycle can't stand alone because it is two-tired.

!!!!!! What's the definition of a will? (it's a dead giveaway).

!!!!! Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.

!!!! A backward poet writes inverse.

!!! In democracy it's your vote that counts; In feudalism, it's your count that votes.

!! A chicken crossing the road is poultry in motion.

! With her marriage she got a new name and a dress.

100'S MORE TO BE FOUND AT...

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BIBLE RIDDLE

Q. Who is the largest person in the Bible?
>
>
>
>
>
A. The women of Samaria.
( Samaria. 'Sum area.' No? OK, we'll let you off that one too. Another next week!)

Find out more Bible Facts at...

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LIFE'S A LAUGH

PURE ROMANCE
A young man called his mother and announced excitedly that he had just met the woman of his dreams. Now what should he do?

His mother had an idea: "Why don't you send her flowers, and on the card invite her to your apartment for a home-cooked meal?"

He thought this was a great strategy, and a week later, the woman came to dinner. His mother called the next day to see how things had gone.

"I was totally humiliated," he moaned. "She insisted on washing the dishes."

"What's wrong with that?" asked his mother.

"We hadn't started eating yet."

SHOCKING!
The Smith's were proud of their family tradition. Their ancestors had come to America on the Mayflower. They had included Senators and Wall Street wizards.

They decided to compile a family history, a legacy for their children and grandchildren. They hired a fine author. Only one problem arose - how to handle that great-uncle George, who was executed in the electric chair.

The author said he could handle the story tactfully.

The book appeared. It said "Great-uncle George occupied a chair of applied electronics at an important government institution, was attached to his position by the strongest of ties, and his death came as a great shock."

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MANNERS AND CUSTOMS IN BIBLICAL LANDS

OUTER GARMENT
As the outer garment was a man's covering by night to keep him warm, the law did not allow anyone to take it as a pledge or security upon a loan. When a garment was taken, it had to be returned by sunset. (Exodus 22:26-7)

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A REVELATION OF... SERVANTHOOD & LEADERSHIP

A timely reminder of what our calling as 'Jesus Followers' and particularly as leaders is really all about. Essential reading, especially for anyone involved, or wanting to become involved, in Christian leadership. You might well change your mind!

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A DAVID MUSING

On Saturday, our church had a time of practical servanthood, where we went to our neighbours and offered to help them out with some garden chores. Kathy and I went to one house where the dad wasn't home, so we spoke to the son. As the lawns were long, we offered to mow them. He readily agreed. So I got my lawnmower out and started mowing.

Having mowed the front and side lawns I went round and started at the back. I felt good!

Then dad came home! I was given the signal to stop. For I was cutting the grass they were trying to grow in the empty sheep paddock! We do have a lot of sheep in New Zealand. 10 for each person actually! And, after all, this was a semi-rural area!

However, the dad was very good about it! But most humorous of all, he told us that his son had been left at home to mow the lawns. He hadn't done it and so gave the job to us! He will go far, that lad!

Overall though, we had an excellent time. As Kathy commented, it was probably of even more value to team building amongst the people of the church than it was to the people who were helped! A real fun(!) experience!

So until next week...

MAY GOD BLESS YOU AND YOU BLESS GOD.

His servant and yours

David Tait

Today's 'Word Puzzle' Answer: DATELINE

TODAY'S 'DO YOU KNOW?' ANSWER: c. Wife/Husband After this, Paul left Athens and went to Corinth. 2 There he met a Jew named Aquila, a native of Pontus, who had recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla, because Claudius had ordered all the Jews to leave Rome. (Acts 18:1-2)

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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!

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