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

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Issue No: 325     Published: 14 Jan 2008

TRANSFORMATION OF THE CHURCH: 3. FROM KINGS TO KINGDOM (continued)

In a sense we got a little ahead of ourselves last week, but it was deliberate.

Now, having looked at Paul, whom we often try to use to justify hierarchy, let's go back and look at his inspiration and role model, Jesus.

Remember how we saw that we were spiritual sons of God (Galatians 3:26-8) and brothers and sisters of Jesus. (Hebrews 2:10-11)

Jesus had a natural family, with siblings, at least some of whom didn't believe in His divinity until after His death.

But during the time of His ministry, He developed a spiritual family of people from diverse backgrounds, including the men whom we know as the disciples or apostles, along with women such as Mary and Martha, who were close friends, financial supporters and travelling companions.

46 While Jesus was still talking to the crowd, his mother and brothers stood outside, wanting to speak to him. 47 Someone told him, “Your mother and brothers are standing outside, wanting to speak to you.” 48 He replied to him, “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?” 49 Pointing to his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers. 50 For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.” (Matthew 12:46-50)

Religionists throughout history have had great difficulty in accepting that Jesus is our brother as well as our savior, placing Him on a high, unapproachable pedestal, worshipping statues rather than developing a brotherly, family bond with Him.

14 Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil— 15 and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death. 16 For surely it is not angels he helps, but Abraham’s descendants. 17 For this reason he had to be made like his brothers in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people. 18 Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted. (Hebrews 2:14-18)

One of the defining ways that we can see and understand the transition from the Old Covenant to the New is that under the New, titles ceased as the spiritual family of 'Christians' developed.

The hierarchical system ended with the political 'High Priest Caiaphas' who succeeded the 'High Priest Annas'. The most likely, last true spiritual high priest, 'John the Baptist', (the final man with a title) passed the baton of the priesthood from the Old Covenant priesthood of Aaron to the New Covenant priesthood of all believers who accept salvation through Jesus.

4 John, To the seven churches in the province of Asia: Grace and peace to you from him who is, and who was, and who is to come, and from the seven spirits before his throne, 5 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, 6 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 1:4-6)

Jesus gathered a group of 12 men around Him, who were charged with carrying on the work after He departed. One reneged (Judas) and was incorrectly replaced by another (Matthias) using Old Covenant method of casting lots, rather than waiting upon Jesus to do it His way. We saw this in Jesus' miraculous personal appearance to the remaining disciples arch enemy, Paul! As the eleven understood, a qualification to be one of the 12 was to have been chosen by and been with Jesus. They could not, in the natural, see how this could happen again once Jesus had ascended to heaven. But God works in amazing ways!

Jesus treated His close group of followers as spiritual brothers and sisters. He called them by their Christian names and they did the same of Him. No titles were given either way, although Jesus was the recognized leader of the group.

When the disciples tried to reintroduce the concept of hierarchy, which they had been brought up with under the Old Covenant, and of which titles are a natural consequence, Jesus soundly rebuked them.

At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” 2 He called a little child and had him stand among them. 3 And he said: “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 4 Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 18:1-4)

The greatest in Heaven are the truly humble spiritual family of Jesus, not those bearing religious titles.

(To be continued next week.)

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FROM THE WORD

JESUS MADE LIKE HIS BROTHERS
"It is not to angels that he has subjected the world to come, about which we are speaking. 6 But there is a place where someone has testified: “What is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him? You made him a little lower than the angels;
you crowned him with glory and honor and put everything under his feet.” In putting everything under him, God left nothing that is not subject to him. Yet at present we do not see everything subject to him. But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, now crowned with glory and honor because he suffered death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone. In bringing many sons to glory, it was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the author of their salvation perfect through suffering. Both the one who makes men holy and those who are made holy are of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers. 12 He says, “I will declare your name to my brothers; in the presence of the congregation I will sing your praises.” And again, “I will put my trust in him.” And again he says,
“Here am I, and the children God has given me.” Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil— and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death. For surely it is not angels he helps, but Abraham’s descendants. For this reason he had to be made like his brothers in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people. Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted. (Hebrews 2:5-18)

GREETINGS AND DOXOLOGY
"John, To the seven churches in the province of Asia: Grace and peace to you from him who is, and who was, and who is to come, and from the seven spirits before his throne, 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, 6 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. Look, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him; and all the peoples of the earth will mourn because of him. So shall it be! Amen. “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.” (Revelation 1:1-8)

THE GREATEST IN THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN
"At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” He called a little child and had him stand among them. And he said: “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. “And whoever welcomes a little child like this in my name welcomes me. But if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a large millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea. “Woe to the world because of the things that cause people to sin! Such things must come, but woe to the man through whom they come! If your hand or your foot causes you to sin cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life maimed or crippled than to have two hands or two feet and be thrown into eternal fire. And if your eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into the fire of hell. (Matthew 18:1-9)

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DAVID'S DOODLINGS

RELIGION, REVELATION AND GOD'S KINGDOM

1067. Religion is a gathering of like minds, God's kingdom, one of godly natures.

1068. Religion insidiously enters the church through repetition.

1069. Repetition is religion's close ally.

1070. As people we are inherently religious, for we enjoy feeling comfortable - even in our discomfort!

1071. Religion is revelation become tradition.

1072. Tradition is religion's friend, but the deadly enemy of revelation.

1073. Tradition moulds revelation into religion.

1074. Revelation revs 'Revs'!

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CRANWELL'S CARTOON




And the Levites—Jeshua, Kadmiel, Bani, Hashabneiah, Sherebiah, Hodiah, Shebaniah and Pethahiah—said: “Stand up and praise the LORD your God, who is from everlasting to everlasting.” “Blessed be your glorious name, and may it be exalted above all blessing and praise. 6 You alone are the LORD. You made the heavens, even the highest heavens, and all their starry host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them. You give life to everything, and the multitudes of heaven worship you. (Nehemiah 9:5-6)







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TUESDAY TEACHINGS

NEXT WEEK BEYOND THE VEIL – 2 NEW TESTAMENT REVELATION ON ATONEMENT THE BOOK OF HEBREWS

The interpretation of the Day of Atonement is an underlying theme of a good part of the New Testament, particularly the book of Hebrews which is largely devoted to this theme.

We will see how.

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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." ***

681. MENDING
Two Pastors wives were visiting and sewing their husbands pants. One wife said: My husband is just beside himself, he does not know what to do anymore and he is so tired and depressed he said he is ready to just give up and resign.

The other wife said: I am sorry to hear that because my husband has never been happier. Our membership is growing and we are out of our financial burden, we have such a large and loving congregation. Life could not be any better than it is right now.

(One woman was mending the seat of her husbands pants, the other was mending the knees.)


680. KITTENS
During the midst of rush hour traffic, a bus driver pulled over to the next stop just in time to pick up a boy carrying a strange looking box.

Curious, the bus driver looked into the box and saw four tiny little kittens - so young that their eyes hadn't yet opened.

"I haven't seen kittens that young for a long time," the bus driver said, "What are you going to do with them?"

The boy, looking a bit puzzled, replied, "They're not kittens, they're athiests and I am taking them to church". The bus driver decided to leave that one alone and continued on his rounds.

A few days later the boy got on the same bus with the same bus driver. The bus driver recognized the boy carrying the curious box and said, "I see that you brought your athiests with you again, are you going back to church?"

The boy replied with a grin, "They're not atheists any longer, they're Christians - their eyes have been opened!"

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FACTS FOR FUN

LAST WEEKS QUESTION: How long can honey be stored and still safely
eaten?

ANSWER: Apparently, honey can last forever, if stored well. The ancient
Egyptians left honey, among other assorted luxuries, in burial chambers
to make the dead happy. Some of it, unearthed in modern times, is still
edible! (Though one wonders how they determine this. Are
archaeologists eating the evidence?)

THIS WEEK'S QUESTION: What is the sleeping sickness?

Answer Next Week.

SOME FUN FACTS

588. MUSIC OF MANY PARTS
A violin contains around 70 separate pieces of wood. (But it still takes the violinist to make a sweet sound.)

589. THE NEXT GENERATION
Popeye's four nephews are Pipeye, Peepeye, Pupeye, and Poopeye! (Pip took a peep at the pup pooping!)

590. THAY'RE RICHER, YOU'RE POORER
There are no clocks but plenty of slot machines in Las Vegas gambling casinos! In fact, one machine for every 8 inhabitants of the city. (Many easier ways to make a million – unless you own a casino, that is!)

A WORD PUZZLE FOR YOU

Make another word from this word using all the letters.

UNITS

Answer at the end of A David Musing

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BIBLE QUESTION - JUDGES (You be the judge!)

14) How did Gideon know he would beat the Midianite army?

A - the army was tired
B - a Midianite dream
C - he had faith
D - he had better weapons

Source: www.biblequizzes.com

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IF ONLY I'D THOUGHT OF IT!

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

!!!!!!! Take time to read the Bible. Thoughtful reading is enriching reading.

!!!!!! Direct your life with purposeful choices, not with speed and efficiency. The best musician is one who plays with expression and meaning, not the one who finishes first.

!!!!! Take a day off alone; make a retreat. You can learn from monks and hermits without becoming one.

!!!! Pet a furry friend. You will give and get the gift of now.

!!! Work with your hands. It frees the mind.

!! Take time to wonder. Without wonder, life is merely existence.

! Sit in the dark. It will teach you to see and hear, taste and smell.

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WORLD'S GREATEST GROANERS

79. THE PUNISHMENT
A sailor was caught AWOL as he tried to sneak on board his ship at about 3 am.

The chief petty officer spied him and ordered the sailor to stop. Upon hearing the sailor's lame explanation for his tardiness, the officer ordered the sailor, "Take this broom and sweep every link on this anchor chain by morning or it's the brig for you!"

The sailor began to pick up the broom and commence performing his charge. As he began to sweep, a tern landed on the broom handle. The sailor yelled at the bird to leave, but it didn't. The lad picked the tern off the broom handle, giving the bird a toss. The bird left, only to return and light once again on the broom handle. The sailor went through the same routine all over again, with the same result. He couldn't get any cleaning done because he can only sweep at the chain once or twice before the blasted bird returns.

When morning came, so did the chief petty officer, to check up on his wayward sailor.

"What in the heck have you been doing all night? This chain is no cleaner than when you started! What have you to say for yourself, sailor?" barked the chief.

"Honest, chief," came the reply, "I tossed a tern all night and couldn't sweep a link!"

80. THE SOUP
Checking the menu, a restaurant customer ordered a bowl of vegetable soup. After a couple of spoonfuls, he saw a circle of wetness right under the bowl on the tablecloth.

He called the waitress over and said,

"It's all wet down here. The bowl must be cracked."

The waitress said, "You ordered vegetable soup, didn't you?"

"Yes."

"Maybe it has a leek in it!"

81. THE FLY AND THE COW
A farmer was milking a cow and a fly was flying around. He shushed it away with his hand and it flew in the cow's ear.

He kept milking and the fly came out in the milk bucket.

The farmer thought to himself, "In one ear and out the udder".

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BIBLE TRIVIA

THE 'LOCUST' OF JOHN THE BAPTIST

Some think that the 'locusts' John ate in the wilderness (Matthew 3:4) wasn't the insect but rather, the carob tree pod, 'locust' being its common name. It is therefore sometimes called, 'St Johns bread tree'.

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

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SURVEY SAYS: AMERICAN CHURCHES GETTING MORE CHARISMATIC

Survey Says: American Churches Getting More Charismatic

The Barna Group

VENTURA, CA - Pentecostal or charismatic Christianity is viewed by some Americans as an emotional, theologically suspect form of the Christian faith. It is widely thought to be a very vocal and visible, but numerically small slice of the grand religious pie in the United States.

Two new surveys from The Barna Group, however, indicate that things are changing dramatically in the religious landscape. Those surveys - one among a national sample of adults and the other among a national sample of Protestant pastors - show that the number of churches and adherents to Pentecostal perspectives and practices has grown significantly in the past two decades.

A decade ago, three out of ten adults claimed to be charismatic or Pentecostal Christians. Today, 36% of Americans accept that designation. That corresponds to approximately 80 million adults. (For the Barna survey, this included people who said they were a charismatic or Pentecostal Christian, that they had been "filled with the Holy Spirit" and who said they believe that "the charismatic gifts, such as tongues and healing, are still valid and active today.")

Charismatics are found throughout the fabric of American Christianity. Although just 8% of the population is evangelical, half of evangelical adults (49%) fit the charismatic definition. A slight majority of all born again Christians (51%) is charismatic. Nearly half of all adults who attend a Protestant church (46%) are charismatic.

One out of every four Protestant churches in the United States (23%) is a charismatic congregation. While some of the most common charismatic denominations are well-known - such as the Assemblies of God, Foursquare or Churches of God in Christ - non-denominational churches emerged as one of the most common charismatic "denominations." Four out of every ten non-denominational churches are charismatic.

The profile of the typical charismatic congregation is nearly identical to that of evangelical, fundamentalist and mainline Protestant churches. Four out of five (80%) have a full-time, paid pastor in charge of the ministry. The senior pastor is, on average, 52 years old - the same as in other Protestant churches. And the weekly adult attendance is equivalent to that of other Protestant bodies (82 adults at Pentecostal gatherings compared to 85 adults among all Protestant churches).


MYTHS EXPOSED

The Barna study found that several widespread assumptions about charismatic churches are inaccurate.

# Many people believe that charismatic Christianity is almost exclusively a Protestant phenomenon. However, the research showed that one-third of all U.S. Catholics (36%) fit the charismatic classification. Framed differently, almost one-quarter of all charismatics in the U.S. (22%) are Catholic.

# Charismatic churches are generally thought to belong to a rather strictly defined group of denominations. The growth of Pentecostalism, however, has crossed denominational boundaries in recent years. For instance, 7% of Southern Baptist churches and 6% of mainline churches are charismatic, according to their Senior Pastors.

# One widespread view is that charismatic Christianity is found mostly in small, relatively unsophisticated congregations. The research suggests something different. Charismatic congregations are about the same size as those of non-charismatic Protestant churches. Most surprisingly, charismatic ministries are more likely than other Protestant churches to use five of the seven technological applications evaluated. Those included the use of large-screen projection systems, showing movie clips in worship services or congregational events, using blogs, and web-based social networking by the church.

# In the past, many have observed that the female pastors were more likely to be welcomed into the Pentecostal community. However, 9% of both charismatic and non-charismatic Protestant churches are currently led by a female Senior Pastor.

# It is assumed faith trends in America are dictated by white churches, which represent about 77% of the nation's Protestant congregations. However, only 16% of the country's white Protestant congregations are Pentecostal, compared to 65% of the Protestant churches dominated by African-Americans.

More at www.Barna.org

© 2008 The Barna Group

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DAVID'S DOWNLOAD

A REVELATION OF___ GOD'S CALL TO HIS CHURCH

We live in a church system that has evolved over the past, nearly 2000 years. It is obvious that the church had problems of doctrine and organisation right from its formation. Many people are reluctant to admit to this, but there were difficulties between Jews and gentiles in a theological sense, as well as practical organisational problems in terms of looking after the needy widows. However, over the centuries, church structures developed and became formalised along human lines. While the Reformation saw some changes, both in theology and organisation, the old, unbiblical, structures have tended to replicate themselves within our modern denominations and groupings. The Bible warns of this.

8 See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ. (Colossians 2:8)

Today, in these end times, God is calling His church back to basics. To its relational roots rather than formal structural organisation and methods that restrict, through human intervention, the Holy Spirit from truly working in the way He would wish.

Yes, God is calling us today to return to the principles set out in the New Testament, not to create the 'perfect church', for it will still have you and I in it, but rather, one capable of absorbing the promised bountiful end-time harvest.

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WAXING LYRICAL

Back to the family! Mine wasn’t – and isn’t – perfect. But perhaps it is a lot better
than it seems when we are young! The frequent Father/Son conundrum!

GOD IS GOOD!

What is going on? I cried,
Wouldn’t care if I died!
For your words Dad, ‘God is good’,
In you, the test of time they stood!

For at a time near the end of his life,
Things went wrong, he got into strife.
Yet, ‘God is good’ stayed on his lip,
Why wasn’t it in line with my trip?

My Dad he died, things hadn’t come right,
But he didn’t give in, to the end he did fight,
In ‘God is good’ he continued to trust,
From earth to earth, from dust to dust.

Yesterday, we took Mum to visit his grave,
Four years to the day since he died.
Simple words there, his memory they save,
But ‘God is good’ is what he cried.

Over this time I have now learned,
God’s love is given it is not earned.
Dad’s ‘God is good’, I too can trust,
As my life to Jesus, I give to adjust.

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A DAVID MUSING

We have had a record week in our shop, Seekers Megamart, in spite of it being just after Christmas and not having implemented any more publicity. It augurs well for the future.

We are now looking forward to the time when we can help the people the whole operation was set up for, the poor of Africa.

Like everything in God, success comes with dedication and effort. Not effort as the world knows it, but rather, effort in submitting to, and implementing, the Father's will for our lives. Submission is the hard part! Implementation, when in His will, is easier, as God makes the way.

We certainly need it that way!

Until next week...

MAY GOD BLESS YOU AND YOU BLESS GOD.

His servant and yours

David Tait

Today's 'Word Puzzle' Answer: TUNIS

TODAY'S 'BIBLE QUESTION': A Midianite dream (Judges 7:12-15)

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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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