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Issue No: 304     Published: 20 Aug 2007

THE ROCK

I write this article with a heavy heart, yet one from which hope springs eternal.

This arises from a picture, a revelation, the Lord gave me a short time ago, about His church. As the picture came to me I was reminded of a well-known piece of scripture;

13 When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?” 14 They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” 15 “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?” 16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” 17 Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven. 18 And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” 20 Then he warned his disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Christ. (Matthew 16:13-20)

In my picture I saw this huge church building, so big that it covered a vast land area, such as a continent. This church I can see now again as I write. It is expanding and growing in front of my eyes, a building that has never been finished, yet which at the same time is the most simple, beautiful and fluid structure one could imagine. There is one rock, one cornerstone around which the complete structure is designed, and centered upon. This foundational cornerstone is Jesus. As I look I can see millions of stones making up this vibrant building. These stones are disciples of Jesus, each continually being shaped to look like the cornerstone, the rock upon which the church is based. Like a diamond, the many facets of the disciples are being cut, the light reflecting from them in a brighter and brighter fashion until the light is brighter than the building itself. The light is now so powerful that, like a gigantic searchlight, it moves back and forth over the world attracting new stones, new people to its source, the building of disciples, all focused upon the cornerstone, the rock, our Jesus.

The remarkable thing is that the structure neither holds people in nor keeps them out. People can walk through the walls both ways. There is an attraction in, yet at the same time, outward propulsion that sees people dispatched into communities throughout the world, bringing the light to those still living in the darkness. The church is a vibrant, fluid, flowing mass of action that is irresistible to all who come into contact with it. A spiritual light so bright that the forces of evil cannot stand against it.

Yes, this vision is so wonderful, yet I am sad. Why?

I trust you can understand that this picture is far removed from what we see in the church today. For our church today is built on the natural, physical pattern of the Old Testament. Instead of a Tabernacle or later, the Temple, we now have church buildings (sometimes called tabernacles) and cathedrals. But the New Testament, the New Covenant, tells us that Jesus came as the spiritual fulfilment of the natural of the Old.

46 The spiritual did not come first, but the natural, and after that the spiritual. 47 The first man was of the dust of the earth, the second man from heaven. 48 As was the earthly man, so are those who are of the earth; and as is the man from heaven, so also are those who are of heaven. 49 And just as we have borne the likeness of the earthly man, so shall we bear the likeness of the man from heaven. 50 I declare to you, brothers, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. (1 Corinthians 15:46-50)

The Old Testament is but a type and shadow of the things to come. Yes, amazingly, water came out of a rock that sustained up to 2 million Israelites when they were in the desert. So often, that is what we are still looking for today. In modern terms, for 'money to grow on trees', so that we might live a comfortable life. Yet this Old Testament miracle was a specific and deliberate type foreshadowing the spiritual miracle of the New Testament.

3 They all ate the same spiritual food 4 and drank the same spiritual drink; for they drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ. (1 Corinthians 10:3)

Yes, Christ, the foundation stone upon whom the church is built is a living, vibrant, spiritual rock! His church is not one of multitudes of physical bricks and mortar replicas. Multiple inert structures, keeping people in - or out - fractured into many streams and denominations. Rather, a dynamic, pulsating, single, universal spiritual body of people built upon the cornerstone of Jesus. Something no physical building could ever achieve.

4 As you come to him, the living Stone—rejected by men but chosen by God and precious to him— 5 you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 6 For in Scripture it says: “See, I lay a stone in Zion, a chosen and precious cornerstone,
and the one who trusts in him will never be put to shame.” 7 Now to you who believe, this stone is precious. But to those who do not believe, “The stone the builders rejected
has become the capstone,” (1 Peter 2:4-7)


The world, and much of our church today, cannot understand this principle. We are not meant to be creating 'super organizations' with structured management (priesthood) and programmes, meeting in magnificent buildings, copying the pattern of the world. Instead The Word declares;

Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. 2 Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. (Romans 12:1-2)

Yes, I am sad because we so often missing the mark that Jesus sacrificed Himself to set for us.

Yet I still have hope, for I see around the world, people who are grasping the revelation of what the church is really all about. People who are putting man's theology and division behind them and going out as Jesus desired, spreading the light, making a difference in their communities. As Jesus Himself said;

14 “You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven. (Matthew 5:14-16)

"Yes Lord, I desire to be a living, shining stone in your spiritual house today, reflecting Your light to the world."

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FROM THE WORD

THE RIVER OF LIFE
Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever. The angel said to me, “These words are trustworthy and true. The Lord, the God of the spirits of the prophets, sent his angel to show his servants the things that must soon take place.”

JESUS IS COMING

“Behold, I am coming soon! Blessed is he who keeps the words of the prophecy in this book.” I, John, am the one who heard and saw these things. And when I had heard and seen them, I fell down to worship at the feet of the angel who had been showing them to me. But he said to me, “Do not do it! I am a fellow servant with you and with your brothers the prophets and of all who keep the words of this book. Worship God!” Then he told me, “Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this book, because the time is near. Let him who does wrong continue to do wrong; let him who is vile continue to be vile; let him who does right continue to do right; and let him who is holy continue to be holy.” “Behold, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to everyone according to what he has done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End. “Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and may go through the gates into the city. Outside are the dogs, those who practice magic arts, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters and everyone who loves and practices falsehood. “I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you this testimony for the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star.” The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let him who hears say, “Come!” Whoever is thirsty, let him come; and whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life. I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book. And if anyone takes words away from this book of prophecy, God will take away from him his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book. He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus. The grace of the Lord Jesus be with God’s people. Amen. (Revelation 22:1-21)

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DAVID'S DOODLINGS

DARKNESS AND LIGHT
408. The only way to turn off darkness is to switch on the light.

409. The laws of both Nature and the Spirit reveal that light will always penetrate darkness.

410. Most people try to switch off darkness when in reality, they need to turn on the light.

411. There is nowhere so dark that it cannot be penetrated by light.

412. So often we don't appreciate the true value of light until we find ourselves in darkness.

413. Light doesn't shine brightly through a dirty window.

414. We must pull back the curtains to let light shine into the room of our life.

415. Light and darkness cannot co-exist. The one will always mingle with the other.

416. There must always be a barrier to separate light and darkness.

417. There are only two ways to turn light into darkness - building walls to exclude the light, or turning the light off at its source. The second is by far the easiest.

1276. For the darker the darkness, the brighter the light will be seen that shines within it.

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FROM YOU - TO ME - TO YOU

Dear David,

Your weekly messages are such a blessing! You help me to think more deeply about my faith.

In PGIM issue #303 you wrote, "... the promise given is that things will go better with you, if you believe in Jesus." You then asked, "But is this truly Biblical?"

IMHO, the joy/suffering issue (as with numerous other spiritual issues) is a matter of both/and rather than either/or. It is certainly true that faithful Christian witnesses will experience suffering of various kinds as they encounter a culture heavily influenced by Satan's lies. John warned us, "Do not be surprised, my brothers, if the world hates you." (1 John 3:13 NIV)

But it is also true that Jesus said, "I have come that they [his sheep] may have life, and have it to the full." (John 10:10b NIV) Paul, regarding all the things that he once considered to be so important in his life, said, "Whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ." (Philippians 3:7-8 NIV)

Christ does not call us to a life of religious masochism. He calls us to a life in and with Him that is so rich and abundant that we consider any suffering that we may encounter to be a small price to pay for the joy of knowing Him.

Perhaps in a future message you will be led to set in the fuller context of abundant life in Christ Jesus the (perfectly correct) idea that true commitment to Jesus as one's personal Lord and Savior frequently entails suffering in this fallen and sinful world.

Press on, brother. The Lord is doing wonderful things through you.

Blessings,
Dal

Couldn't resist including this one from my friend Rodney Francis. We quite often exchange banter about each other's writings. The picture is of me. Hope you get the humour! - David

Dear David,

Good morning! I thought you needed a bit more persecution, so am sending you this photo!
Hope you can handle it okay?

Keep on proclaiming the true Gospel ~ most seem to have forgotten it today!!

Blessings,

RodKnee.
-------------------------------------------------------------
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!

CRANWELL'S CARTOON

16 Now a man came up to Jesus and asked, “Teacher, what good thing
must I do to get eternal life?”

17 “Why do you ask me about what is good?” Jesus replied. “There
is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, obey the
commandments.”

18 “Which ones?” the man inquired.

Jesus replied, ”‘Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal,
do not give false testimony, 19 honor your father and mother,’ and
‘love your neighbor as yourself.’”

20 “All these I have kept,” the young man said. “What do I still lack?”

21 Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions
and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come,
follow me.”

22 When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had
great wealth.

23 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “I tell you the truth, it is
hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. 24 Again I tell
you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than
for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” (Matthew 19:16-24)

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


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TUESDAY TEACHINGS

12 LESSONS TO BE LEARNED FROM ‘DIVIDING THE WATERS’ concludes...

as we look at the second part of our study, 'Winning the War' and summarise 12 requirements of restoration we have considered.

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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." ***

633. A MODERN GOD
When I picked up my then 4 year old daughter from religious school one Sunday, I asked her what she had learned.

She proceeded to tell me how God had made night and day one day, and the heavens and earth another, the plants, fish, animals, etc. on other days.

"And do you know what He did on the seventh day" she said. "Arrested people!"

632. TALE OF TWO PRAWNS
Far away in the tropical waters of the Caribbean, two prawns were swimming around in the sea - one called Justin and the other called Christian.

Prawns were constantly being harassed and threatened by sharks that patrolled the area. Finally, one day during a tropical storm, Justin said to Christian, "I'm bored and frustrated at being a prawn, I wish I was a shark - and then I wouldn't have any worries about being eaten..."

As Justin had his mind firmly on becoming a predator, a flash of lightning hits the water and lo and behold, Justin turns into a shark. Horrified, Christian immediately swims away, afraid of being eaten by his old mate.

Time went on, and Justin found himself becoming bored and lonely as a shark. All his old friends simply swam away whenever he came close to them, Justin hardly realizing that his new menacing appearance was the cause of his sad plight.

During the next tropical storm, Justin figures that the same lightning force could change him back into a prawn. Lightning never strikes twice except in stories like these, but while he was thinking of being a prawn again, a flash of lightning strikes the water next to Justin and lo and behold, he turns back into a prawn. With tears of joy in his tiny little eyes Justin swims back to his friends and buys them all a cocktail.

Looking around the gathering at the reef, he looks for his old pal. "Where's Christian?" he asked. "He's at home, distraught that his best friend changed sides to the enemy and became a shark" came the reply.

Eager to put things right again and end the mutual pain and torture, he sets off to Christian's house. As he opens the coral gate, the memories come flooding back. He bangs on the door and shouts "It's me, Justin, your old friend. Come out and see me again!"

Christian replies, "No way man. You'll eat me. You're a shark; the enemy. I will not be tricked."

Justin cries back, "No I'm not. That was the old me. I've changed ...

.... I'm a prawn again Christian.... !!"

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: Which Roman emperor succumbed to smallpox?

ANSWER: Emperor Marcus Aurelius succumbed to the ‘Plague of Antonine’, a smallpox epidemic that killed something between 3.5 and 7 million people in the Roman Empire in 180 AD. (A ‘Big’ man, but small to the pox!)

THIS WEEK'S QUESTION: How long was the world's longest prayer meeting?

Answer Next Week.

SOME FUN FACTS

311. SWEETNESS
When Princess Maria Theresa of Spain was betrothed to Louis XIV of France in 1615, she gave her fiancé an engagement gift of chocolate, packaged in an elegantly ornate chest. Their marriage was symbolic of the marriage of chocolate in Spanish-Franco culture. (How long did it last? The chocolate I mean!)

312. NOT REALLY THAT LONG AGO
In Victorian times, publications never dared show a bed in any of their advertisements. When illustrations of the bedroom were required, the bed itself was hidden by curtains. (Now even the bed covers are left off. Is that progress?)

313. JUST A FEW
25 trillion cells travel through the bloodstream – a stack of 500 would only measure 0.04 inches high. (All working for us – well, mostly!)

A WORD PUZZLE FOR YOU

Make another word from this word using all the letters.

LITTORAL

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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BIBLE QUESTION - PAUL

13) How long did Paul spend at Judas' house without eating or drinking?

A - 1 day
B - 3 days
C - 1 week
D - 1 weekend

Source: www.biblequizzes.com

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IF ONLY I'D THOUGHT OF IT!

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

!!!!!!! No man is poor who has had a godly mother. (Abraham Lincoln)

!!!!!! Remember, the lesser of two evils is still evil.

!!!!! "One seventh of your life is spent on Monday." (Hank Caruso)

!!!! Why is it that when you talk to God you're praying, but when he talks to you, you're crazy?

!!! Never argue with an idiot. They drag you down to their level then beat you with experience.

!! Hell hath no fury like the lawyer of a woman scorned.

! The Truth is Out There. So what are you doing Here?!

100'S MORE TO BE FOUND AT...

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MORE BIBLE RIDDLES

Thought we had done all possible Bible riddles in our last, very popular series. However, I have now found some more for you to enjoy, courtesy of Frank Schaefer of javacasa.com

Q. How does a lawyer resemble a rabbi?
>
>
>
>
>
>
A. Lawyers study the law and the profits.

Lots more riddles found at...

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WATCH OUT FOR DEM ANIMALS AND BIRDS!

163. THE FRIENDLY PIG
A man was on a long walk in the country. He became thirsty so decided to stop at a little cottage and ask for something to drink.

The lady of the house invited him in and served him a bowl of soup by the fire. There was a wee pig running around the kitchen, running up to the visitor and giving him a great deal of attention. The visitor commented that he had never seen a pig this friendly.

The housewife replied: "Ah, he's not that friendly. That's his bowl you're using."

162. AT THE AUCTION
One day a clown went to an auction. While there, he bid on a parrot. He really wanted this bird, so he got caught up in the bidding. He kept on bidding, but kept getting outbid, so he bid higher and higher and higher. Finally, after he bid way more than he intended, he won the bid - the parrot was his at last!

As he was paying for the parrot, he said to the Auctioneer, "I sure hope this parrot can talk. I would hate to have paid this much for it, only to find out that he can't talk!"

"Don't worry." said the Auctioneer, "He can talk. Who do you think it was who kept bidding against you?"

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BIBLE TRIVIA

PALM TREES.......
were plentiful in the Jordan Valley. Jericho was known as the city of palms. Palm trees depicted grace. Date palms symbolized rejoicing. When Jesus came into Jerusalem palm fronds were waved by the people in celebration and honour.

Adapted from: '1001 Surprising Things You Should Know About The Bible' MacGregor & Prys

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CHAPTER AND VERSE

The Bible was divided into chapters by Stephen Langton in 1228. The Old Testament was divided into verses by R. Nathan in 1488 and the New Testament by Robert Stephanus in 1551.

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DAVID'S DOWNLOAD

A REVELATION OF....... THE TABERNACLE OF DAVID
Sandwiched between Moses Tabernacle, representing the church, and Solomon's Temple, representing the Millennial reign of Christ, David's simple tent is a picture of the end time church that will last for but a short time before Jesus returns.

Check it out to find out about the people God is seeking for Himself today.

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WAXING LYRICAL

A little fun about a real ‘mans’ problem!

‘GRUTS’

A man’s underwear is a most sensitive subject,
Not normally approached in a manner so direct!
But is a most important part of a man’s life you see,
A topic worth exploring, just between you and me.

For a mans ‘gruts’ have new psychological implications,
Likely to be the cause of an outbreak of bad relations,
In an otherwise, very happy marriage you see,
As a man’s underwear, reflects his personality.

Now this hasn’t always been the case,
For in earlier days of the human race,
There was only one kind available to the Kiwi male,
White ‘Jockeys’ with ‘Y’ fronts, in which to set sail.

I readily admit now, to a phobia of my young life,
For their lack of support, would see me in strife.
To a grown man, a real problem they must have been,
To me as a growing lad, in my thinking, it did seem.

To be continued next week.

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A DAVID MUSING

Why is the Lord's time so different to ours?

I have always thought to teach us patience and to learn that it is Him who does something for us, rather than us ourselves. Then Kathy, in her wisdom, suggested the other day, that it also is His testing of our endurance and commitment to His cause. Thank you doll.

This last week has seen yet more hopes dashed and others raised for premises for a shop for africa arise It is becoming like a cracked record, to say that I hope to have more news next week! Hope you aren't getting too bored, but sharing in the ups and downs of 'normal' life with me.

But hope is certainly a key element of our walk with Jesus. The hope of our past, present and future salvation keeps us going in the hard or frustrating times we all experience from time to time.

Thank you Lord, for your hope. It certainly keeps me focused on You in times when things aren't going my way.

Until next week...

MAY GOD BLESS YOU AND YOU BLESS GOD.

His servant and yours

David Tait

Today's 'Word Puzzle' Answer: TORTILLA

TODAY'S 'BIBLE QUESTION': 3 days (Acts 9:8-11)

REPRODUCTION OF NEWSLETTER CONTENT

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ABOUT US

WALKING WITH JESUS MINISTRIES is a non-profit, non-denominational, Bible based ministry located in Hastings, 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
290 Flaxmere Avenue
Flaxmere
Hastings
New Zealand

Phone: (06) 8799 911 International (+64) 6 8799 911
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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