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: 197     Published: 01 Aug 2005

FROM VISION TO RELIGION

This week, I have been asked to comment upon and write about matters pertaining to the future of the church, and how we should approach it. However, before receiving these requests, the Lord had put it on my heart to share with you today about vision and religion. Observing the church over the years, we see so much promise, so much vision, end up on the scrap heap of failure and disappointment, don't we?

Even visionaries such as Martin Luther and John Wesley, those who rocked the foundations of the Christian church of their day, would turn over in their graves, if they could see what had happened to their powerful, God-given visions, today. Let alone yours and mine!

Yet, even with these great men, the seeds of destruction were sown before their deaths, when they, and their followers, started to organise God! God doesn't like it! Revivals come to an end and visions die, all because we think we can do it better than God. Yes, we organise ourselves out of success!

I would like to set 2 equations before you, for consideration.

VISION + GOD = ACTION
VISION + MAN'S HAND = RELIGION

When we receive a vision, or a revival starts, we have to rely upon God in our actions, for it is all new to us. Yet, once we start to understand how God is working, we start to help Him out! Been there and done that!

Yet we all continue to do it. No longer needing to take those initial giant steps of faith, we soon take God and our vision for granted. We do it our own way, or continue in the same way, as Moses did when He struck the rock, just because it worked in the past. Vision quickly becomes tradition, the foundation of religion.

Great visionaries too, have suffered from this temptation. Even while in tune with God, in their humanity, they desire to see their vision (God's actually!) live on after them. So they, and we, organise for 'succession'. Success with an 'ion' added! And it is the 'ion' add-on that causes the problems! An organisation is set up, the vision becomes a job to be done, boundaries are put in place, traditions formed, to be performed that way, forever. Becoming, yes - a 'religion'!

I am sorry to upset you, but God hates religion! For religion lovingly embraces the patterns of the past, stifling ongoing revelation and change. And our unchanging God is the God of change - in us! He needs to be, until we all reach perfection. Which hasn't yet happened, nor is likely too, any time soon!

So we must avoid the temptation to 'organise God' out of vision. In the end, He is to have the final say, for all vision truly belongs to Him.

"But God, I have this great idea to do it better for you and make it easier for me!" "Remember, David, it's my vision. My way or no way!" "Okay God, you're the boss!"

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FROM THE WORD

"In the first month the whole Israelite community arrived at the Desert of Zin, and they stayed at Kadesh. There Miriam died and was buried. Now there was no water for the community, and the people gathered in opposition to Moses and Aaron. They quarreled with Moses and said, “If only we had died when our brothers fell dead before the LORD! Why did you bring the LORD’s community into this desert, that we and our livestock should die here? Why did you bring us up out of Egypt to this terrible place? It has no grain or figs, grapevines or pomegranates. And there is no water to drink!” Moses and Aaron went from the assembly to the entrance to the Tent of Meeting and fell facedown, and the glory of the LORD appeared to them. The LORD said to Moses, “Take the staff, and you and your brother Aaron gather the assembly together. Speak to that rock before their eyes and it will pour out its water. You will bring water out of the rock for the community so they and their livestock can drink.” So Moses took the staff from the LORD’s presence, just as he commanded him. He and Aaron gathered the assembly together in front of the rock and Moses said to them, “Listen, you rebels, must we bring you water out of this rock?” Then Moses raised his arm and struck the rock twice with his staff. Water gushed out, and the community and their livestock drank. But the LORD said to Moses and Aaron, “Because you did not trust in me enough to honor me as holy in the sight of the Israelites, you will not bring this community into the land I give them.”" (Numbers 20:1-12)

"“Then I asked, ‘Who are you, Lord?’ ”‘I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,’ the Lord replied. ‘Now get up and stand on your feet. I have appeared to you to appoint you as a servant and as a witness of what you have seen of me and what I will show you. I will rescue you from your own people and from the Gentiles. I am sending you to them to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.’ “So then, King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the vision from heaven. First to those in Damascus, then to those in Jerusalem and in all Judea, and to the Gentiles also, I preached that they should repent and turn to God and prove their repentance by their deeds." (Acts 26:15-20)

"I must go on boasting. Although there is nothing to be gained, I will go on to visions and revelations from the Lord. I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven. Whether it was in the body or out of the body I do not know—God knows. And I know that this man—whether in the body or apart from the body I do not know, but God knows— was caught up to paradise. He heard inexpressible things, things that man is not permitted to tell. I will boast about a man like that, but I will not boast about myself, except about my weaknesses. Even if I should choose to boast, I would not be a fool, because I would be speaking the truth. But I refrain, so no one will think more of me than is warranted by what I do or say. To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong." (2 Corinthians 12:1-10)

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DAVID'S DOODLINGS

RELIGION, REVELATION AND GOD'S KINGDOM

1012. I am rapidly coming to the conclusion that the biggest hindrance to God building His kingdom is man building his. It's called religion.

1013. Man organises the god out of God!

1014. Religion builds tradition, the Spirit, change.

1015. Religion builds tradition, the Spirit breaks tradition down.

1016. One person's vision becomes their successor's job.

1017. The kingdom of God is built upon relationship, not organisation.

1018. Mankind cannot build the kingdom of God for He has already done it far better than we ever could.

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CRANWELL'S CARTOON




3 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your
brother’s sister's! eye and pay no attention
to the plank in your own eye? 4 How can you say to
your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’
when all the time there is a plank in your own eye?
5 You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your
own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove
the speck from your brother’s (sister's!)eye.
(Matthew 7:3-5)



TO READ THIS CARTOON AND SEE THE OTHER PICTURES IN THIS EMAIL YOU NEED TO BE ONLINE.

FROM YOU - TO ME - TO YOU

David
I wish I could copy this one for my Church Office door!!!

brother Greg
Hobbs, NM
USA
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Dear David,
Three comments on issue 196 of PGIM:
1. The Greek verb rendered as "believe" in English translations of the New Testament is pisteuo. According to A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament (BADG) 3rd Edition pp. 816-818, it means: to consider something to be true and therefore worthy of one's trust; to entrust oneself to an entity in complete confidence; to entrust something to someone. (The nominative form of the verb, pistis, is usually translated "faith.") In the modern vernacular, we might say "to bet your life on." Thus, the Greek concept is very similar to the Hebrew one you explained. The weak usage of "believe" to mean "think" or "feel," as in "I believe it may rain today." or "I believe that Napoleon was a real historical figure." doesn't occur in biblical Greek. When, for example, Paul and Silas told the Philippian jailer, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved--you and your household." (Acts 16:31), they were saying, "Put your total trust and confidence for this life and the next in Jesus Christ."

You are absolutely correct that actions follow belief. If you believe that the roof is about to fall in, you get out of the building. That is what James is getting at in his discussion of the relation between faith and works (James 2:14-26). If you claim to believe in Jesus, but your life doesn't show the fruit of that belief, you're kidding yourself.

2. In your word puzzle, how do you manage to get "dateline" from "greening?" Perhaps you meant "reneging?"

3. "The women of Samaria" as the largest person in the Bible is BAD! But do you know the shortest person in the Bible? Answer: Bildad the Shuhite.

Keep up the good work, brother. I am greatly blessed by your newsletter each week.

Blessings,
Dal
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Good afternoon

Not sure how you got DATELINE from the word GREENING. In this day of text messaging anything is possible I guess!

God bless
Frances

Hi Frances

OOPS!!!

GREENING was last weeks word (RENEGING the answer.)

DATELINE is the answer to this weeks word - which I have now lost! Bad cutting and pasting! Sorry. It was quite difficult!

Thanks for letting me know.

Cheers
David
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Dear Brother David
TUESDAY TEACHINGS
Is there any reason why you in your documentation refer to "a member of the godhead" instead of "a person of the Trinity" as the vast majority of Christians over 19 centuries do? I know that the word "Trinity" is not found in the Bible, but "godhead" - for the one and only God of the Bible, is also not a Bible-word. Referring to the "three persons of the Holy Trinity" would make your teaching accessible to many more Christians - and we do meet God the Father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit as persons in Holy Scripture, don't we? These three persons, the Bible clearly teaches, is the one and only true God: the Trinity. The word Trinity is an attempt to include two of God's attributes in one word, namely His "one-ness and His "three-ness".
Greek gods had a godhead - Zeus - and so had the Roman gods, Egiptian gods (Ra) etc.

TITLES AND JOB DESCRIPTIONS
Also some comments on your teaching about titles and job descriptions of "teaching elders" - another job description for a minister of the Word, also a job description. You may find it interesting to know that Presby's, in this instance, generally agree full heartedly with you! Some would refer to the minister (Latin for servant, a job description), as The Rev So and So, but would still address him as "Mr so and so" if you want to be formal, (like we still often do in a formally structured church meeting) - or just John, or David, or Andrew - if you know him well enough, like a congregant, to call him on his first name. This, "The Rev" comes from an era in old England where many people were referred to with some or other adjective to show respect - from "His Majesty", His royal highness", His grace, to the honourable or the reverent so and so. Even the "very reverent! or the "most reverent!!!" may still be found in some circles - which off course is a ridiculous way of referring to a weak human being. Yes, it is old fashioned - to say the least and with no Biblical precedent, to say the truth. To just say, Rev So and so, (without the "the") is simply terribly bad English!!

But this guy has a well understood task in Christ's church - to serve God's people by teaching them from God's Word - and therefore "Minister of the Word" (job description) which means a servant of the Word - or a teaching elder: one of the elders leading a congregation of believers - namely the one with the gift and/or equipment to teach, whilst other elders may have the gift of pastoring or shepherding or managing church affairs, etc. (Presbyter is Greek for elder - and therefore Presbyterian Church simply means a church where the servants with the gift of leadership are called elders, like you find in the New Testament congregations - see for example, Acts, Titus and Timothy).
To call a human being, who really is nothing more than a servant of God, His Word and His people by a "title" defeats the objective of making clear that he is a servant. Now all of this is old, (more than 500 years old!!) well known Presby theology and custom! It is plain ignorance and bad English to call the servant "Servant" - "Minister", or "Reverend", which is calling the servant by one of the adjectives describing the desired character of the servant, or to call him pastor - that does not even refer to him as being a servant of the Word or to his calling to teach the Body, but simply one of the gifts given to members of the Body.

So called titles of ministers of the Word is simply a custom based on misunderstanding - or it is a form of arrogance - but certainly not based on church teaching, church documents or laws and procedures, or any other formal stance the historic, Calvinist protestant church ever held. How the obsession to be called "Pastor" ever became part of a church community with a "Pentecostal" or "Charismatic" theology, never made any sense to me. One would expect a better understanding where so much emphasis on the gifting of the members of the church is found.

Refer to me as a servant in English, Latin or any language you know - and I will be comfortable. Call me anything else - and you show ignorance of the style and spirituality of the Church of Christ we find in the New Testament! Call me on my name - like you do call your other brothers and sisters in Christ - and I feel I am a part of the Body with many members, tasks and gifts found in the Church of the Lord.

May God bless you and your ministry - your serving of the people of Christ -

Andries Combrink
Minister / Servant of the Word (Job description.)
Teaching Elder ("Office")
Title? None
Centurion West Presbyterian Church
Gauteng, South Africa
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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 2 of 7 THE BLOOD OF THE LAMB - 1


This week we are investigating the underlying meaning of blood and why its shedding is necessary in order that we return to relationship with God.

As well we are going to see why, in reality, we haven't made it to perfection yet.

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." ***

399. GETUP FOR CHURCH!
A mother called her son one Sunday morning, to get out of bed and get ready for Church.

He replied "I'm not going."

His mother said "Yes you are going, so get out of that bed!"

The son replied "Give me ONE good reason why I should go."

The Mother said, "I'll give you THREE good reasons...

1. I'm your mother, and I say you're going.

2. You're 40 years old, so old enough to know better.

3. You're the Pastor, so you need to be there."

398. FUND RAISING
The crumbling old church building badly needed repairs, so the preacher made an impassioned appeal, looking directly at the richest man in town.

At the end of the message, the rich man stood up and announced, "Pastor, I will contribute $1,000." Just then, plaster fell from the ceiling and struck the rich man on the shoulder. Flicking a speck of white dust from his suit, the rich man calmly announced, "Pastor, I will increase my donation to $5,000." Before he could sit back down, plaster fell on him again. Now covered from head to toe with plaster dust, the rich man grimly said, "Pastor, I will double my last pledge, but that's all I intend to contribute."

As the rich man sat down, a deacon suddenly shouted, "Hit him again, Lord! Hit him again!"

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FACTS FOR FUN

LAST WEEKS QUESTION: Why do pigs like to wallow in mud?

ANSWER: It's not because they're dirty animals or like being dirty. Pigs don't perspire and wallowing in mud simply helps them to cool off. (Do mud baths improve their complexions too?)

THIS WEEK'S QUESTION: What is the only bone in the body that does not connect to other bones?

Answer Next Week.

SOME FUN FACTS

630. HORSE NON-SENSE!
A horse has approximately 35 square feet (3.5sq. m.) of skin, which it doesn’t need to get dirty by lying down, as it can also sleep standing up. (Is that why some racehorses seem to go to sleep during a race?)

631. WE HAVE COMPANY
A typical double mattress is home to up to 2,000,000 Demodex Folliculorom – that is House Mites. (Must be them snoring!)

632. HUNGRY
A large swarm of locusts can eat up to 80 tons of corn in a day. (A new dimension of the saying, ‘to be stripped bare’.)

A WORD PUZZLE FOR YOU

Make another word from this word using all the letters.

NEEDING

Answer at the end of A David Musing

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DO YOU KNOW? (About Relationships)

6. Who sold his birthright?

a. Esau
b. Joseph
c. Cain

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"""

!!!!!!! The optimist says the glass is half full. The pessimist says the glass is half empty. The pragmatist, being thirsty, drinks the water.

!!!!!! What's the greatest worldwide use of cowhide? To hold cows together.

!!!!! For people who like peace and quiet - a phoneless cord.

!!!! Some people itch for success when they should be scratching for it.

!!! Someday we'll look back on all this and plow into a parked car.

!! A marriage in trouble is like a horse with a broken leg, you can shoot the horse, but it but it won't help the leg. {Barney Miller TV show} --Lawrence Brotherton

! I don't get even, I get odder.

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BIBLE RIDDLE

Q. Who is the shrewdest businessman in the Bible?
>
>
>
>
>
A. Noah, because he floated his stock while everyone else went into liquidation.

Find out more Bible Facts at...

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TILL DEATH DO US PART

WHERE WOULD MEN BE WITHOUT WOMEN
A women's lib speaker was addressing a large group and said, "Where would man be today if it were not for woman?"

She paused a moment and looked around the room.

"I repeat, where would man be today if it were not for woman?"

From the back of the room came a voice, "He'd be in the Garden of Eden eating strawberries."

AN IMPORTANT CALL
The other day I needed to call home, but the only pay phone I could find was in use. So I stood to the side and politely waited until it was free, thinking it would only be a couple of minutes.

Five minutes went by, and still the man was on the phone. He was just standing there, not saying a word.

Two more minutes went by, and he still wasn't talking.

Finally, I tapped him on the shoulder and asked if I could use the phone. I really wouldn't be long, but needed to make an important call.

"Hold your horses," he responded, covering the receiver.

"I'm talking to my wife."

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MANNERS AND CUSTOMS IN BIBLICAL LANDS

HAIR

The Jews of the Bible paid considerable attention to their hair. Young people loved to wear it long and curled (Song of Solomon 5:11) and were proud to have thick hair. (2 Samuel 14:25-6) Middle-aged men would occasionally cut their hair a little, but not very often. Men's facial hair (beard) was rarely, if ever, cut.

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FREE DOWNLOADS

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FOR LOVERS OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE

There is a word that has more meanings in English than any other two-letter word, and that is "UP." How I admire those who succeed in mastering English as a second language!

It's easy to understand UP, meaning toward the sky or at the top of the list, but when we awaken in the morning, why do we wake UP? At a meeting, why does a topic come UP? Why do we speak UP and why are the officers UP for election and why is it UP to the secretary to write UP a report? We call UP our friends And we use it to brighten UP a room, polish UP the silver, we warm UP the leftovers and clean UP the kitchen. We lock UP the house and some guys fix UP the old car. At other times the little word has real special meaning. People stir UP trouble, line UP for tickets, work UP an appetite, and think UP excuses.
To be dressed is one thing but to be dressed UP is special. And this UP is confusing:
A drain must be opened UP because it is stopped UP. We open UP a store in the morning but we close it UP at night. We seem to be pretty mixed UP about UP! To be knowledgeable about the proper uses of UP, look the word UP in the dictionary. In a desk-sized dictionary, it takes UP almost 1/4th of the page and can add UP to about thirty definitions. If you are UP to it, you might try building UP a list of the many ways UP is used. It will take UP a lot of your time, but if you don't give UP, you may wind UP with a hundred or more. When it threatens to rain, we say it is clouding UP. When the sun comes out we say it is clearing UP When it rains, it wets UP the earth. When it doesn't rain for a while, things dry UP.

One could go on and on, but I'll wrap it UP, for now my time is UP, so............. Time to shut up.....!

A DAVID MUSING

This weekend, Kathy and I were truly blessed to have a friend we met over the internet come and stay with us. Rodney Francis (Rodney and Jean pictured) of Gospel Faith Messenger Ministries www.gospel.org.nz runs a large worldwide training ministry in the spiritual gifts, with an emphasis on the prophetic. Outstanding! Check out his website. He may be coming to a place near you! Lot's of good things come out of New Zealand!

Having corresponded over the internet for several years, it was terrific to be able to 'hug' someone in the flesh who has supported us spiritually, through both good and difficult times. It makes one realise too, that there actually are real, live, human beings at the other end of emails!

Sorry Rodney, that I disappointed you by being only of average height, and without a moustache! Hope my cooking made up for it! (Kathy was working on Friday night when Rodney arrived!)

Having experienced the huge blessing of Rodney, and the team's, powerful ministry, we now have to get on with more mundane packing for our shift next Saturday. Oh well, it has to be done!

So until next week...

MAY GOD BLESS YOU AND YOU BLESS GOD.

His servant and yours

David Tait

Today's 'Word Puzzle' Answer: ENGINED

TODAY'S 'DO YOU KNOW?' ANSWER: a. Esau. 29 Once when Jacob was cooking some stew, Esau came in from the open country, famished. 30 He said to Jacob, “Quick, let me have some of that red stew! I’m famished!” (That is why he was also called Edom.) 31 Jacob replied, “First sell me your birthright.” 32 “Look, I am about to die,” Esau said. “What good is the birthright to me?” 33 But Jacob said, “Swear to me first.” So he swore an oath to him, selling his birthright to Jacob. (Genesis 25:29-33)

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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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