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Issue No: 576     Published: 29 Oct 2012

TRANSITION FROM 'THE CHURCH' TO 'THE KINGDOM'

A new series, looking at the some of the changes we need to make to move from a 'church' to a 'kingdom' mindset.

INTRODUCTION

The more I grow in Jesus, the more I study history, and the more revelation the Lord gives me, the more I see the differences between where we are as 'the church' and where we should be as integral members of 'the kingdom' of God.

Surely the two are the same? Yes, they are meant to be. But the reality is that they are not. For over the 2000 odd years since Jesus, the church has become an 'institution', with a life of its own, rather than being an 'instrument' to build God's kingdom.

Please don't get me wrong! The church does many good things. It has spread the Good News of Jesus around most of the earth. It is the leading supplier of social services worldwide. It has influenced society and history over the last 2000 years more than any other institution. One third of the world's population is Christian, or nominally so. So considerable milestones have been achieved.

Yet, is the church today truly ushering in the kingdom of God? Do we really mean, or believe it, when we pray.....

10 your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. (Matthew 6:10)

Sadly, the reality is, in much of the church, God's kingdom has become man's kingdom, where the protection and promotion of the individual church, denomination or grouping, has become more important in men's minds than building the kingdom of God. We have moved from a single church kingdom in the 1st century to over 30,000 church kingdoms now!

From the death of the Apostle John round AD100, we saw the gradual erosion of the Apostolic foundations of the church. With the conversion of the Roman Emperor Constantine, the church became a human based institution furthering the ends of the state, or the clergy, or both. The Reformation brought some of the foundational truths back into the church which have been built upon over the centuries since. However churches, whether of traditional, evangelical, charismatic or pentecostal hues have created further division, instead of unity, within the body of Christ.

'Why is this?' and 'What are we to do about it?' are at the heart of what we will look at over the weeks ahead.

TESTIMONY

When the Lord started speaking to me about the church, approaching 20 years ago now, people were generally not interested in what He was saying to me. It was like hitting your head against a brick wall!

But over the past 10 years there has been a lot more interest and understanding of what the Lord is saying and requiring of us, His people, in these end days. All round the world He is giving a similar kingdom or apostolic message and vision to individuals and groups of people.

None has it all, or gets it all right, for there is a huge change in mindset required for the messengers as well as the people. Yes, we are nearly all imbued in church ways! As well, all are human, able to make mistakes in hearing from God, adding in bits from our own minds and experience. No-one is perfect, least of all, me!

But, in spite of this, there is gradually arising a body of people who are becoming increasingly sold out to Jesus, ones whose desire it is to put His kingdom ahead of their own, both as individuals and as a church, ones whose whole desire is to be in the bride for whom Jesus is returning.....

7 Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready. 8 Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear.” (Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of the saints.) (Revelation 19:7-8)

Come Jesus, come.

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FROM THE WORD

Prayer

"“And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. “This, then, is how you should pray: ”‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.’ For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins." (Matthew 6:5-14)

Hallelujah!

"After this I heard what sounded like the roar of a great multitude in heaven shouting:
“Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God, for true and just are his judgments. He has condemned the great prostitute who corrupted the earth by her adulteries. He has avenged on her the blood of his servants.” And again they shouted:
“Hallelujah! The smoke from her goes up for ever and ever.” The twenty-four elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshiped God, who was seated on the throne. And they cried: “Amen, Hallelujah!” Then a voice came from the throne, saying: “Praise our God, all you his servants, you who fear him, both small and great!” Then I heard what sounded like a great multitude, like the roar of rushing waters and like loud peals of thunder, shouting: “Hallelujah! For our Lord God Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready. Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear.” (Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of the saints.) Then the angel said to me, “Write: ‘Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!’” And he added, “These are the true words of God.” At this I fell at his feet to worship him. But he said to me, “Do not do it! I am a fellow servant with you and with your brothers who hold to the testimony of Jesus. Worship God! For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.”" (Revelation 19:1-10)

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 22:7-21)

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DAVID'S DOODLINGS

REVELATION AND RELIGION

900. Religion is built upon structure; revelation, servanthood.

901. Give me an ounce of revelation rather than a tonne of religion, any day.

902. Religion breeds division, revelation, unity of Spirit.

903. Religion claims to be truth, revelation is truth revealed.

904. Religion panders to people, revelation reveals God's truth.

905. Religious love is a theory, revelatory love an experience.

906. As soon as man starts interpreting revelation, you get religion.

907. Revelation expands, religion contracts.

908. Revelation builds, religion demolishes.

909. Religion is based upon doctrine, revelation, relationship.

910. Religionists hate revelation, for it is outside their control.

911. The 21st century will be notable for the decline of religion but the growth of revelation.

912. Religion promotes obedience to priesthood, revelation, submission to the will of God.

913. Religion replicates Old Testament priesthood, revelation, the sole priesthood of Jesus.

914. In religion, the leadership claims to hear from God, while revelation is direct from God.

1326. Religion replaces revelation with rules, regulations and repetition.

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TUESDAY TEACHINGS

THIS WEEK: THE NOAHIC COVENANT

God got thoroughly angry with His creation and decided to destroy it and start again with His one honorable servant, Noah.

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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." ***

562. LIFE IN THE DEEP, DARK PIT
A man fell into a pit and couldn't get himself out.

A subjective person came along and said, "I feel for you down there."

An objective person walked by and said, "It's logical that someone would fall down there."

A Pharisee said, "Only bad people fall into pits."

A mathematician calculated how deep the pit was.

A news reporter wanted the exclusive story on the pit.

An IRS agent asked if he was paying taxes on the pit.

A self-pitying person said, "You haven't seen anything until you've seen my pit."

A fire-and-brimstone preacher said, "You deserve your pit."

A Christian Scientist observed, "The pit is just in your mind."

A psychologist noted, "Your mother and father are to blame for your being in that pit."

A self-esteem therapist said, "Believe in yourself and you can get out of that pit."

An optimist said, "Things could be worse."

A pessimist claimed, "Things will get worse."

"Jesus, seeing the man, took him by the hand and lifted him out of the pit."

561. NO ROOM
A college drama group presented a play in which one character would stand on a trapdoor and announce, "I descend into hell!" A stagehand below would then pull a rope, the trapdoor would open, and the character would plunge through.

The play was well received.

When the actor playing the part became ill, another actor who was quite overweight took his place. When the new actor announced, "I descend into hell!" the stagehand pulled the rope, and the actor began his plunge, but became hopelessly stuck.

No amount of tugging on the rope could make him descend. One student in the balcony
jumped up and yelled: "Hallelujah! Hell is full!"

560. ONCE UPON A TIME
After the fall in Garden of Eden, Adam was walking with his sons Cain and Abel. They passed by the ruins of the Garden of Eden. One of the boys asked, "What's that?" Adam replied, "Boys, that's where your mother ate us out of house and home."

" FREE DOWNLOAD: You can now download the book 'Laughing At Ourselves' in PDF format at LAUGHING AT OURSELVES One of the most comprehensive sources of Christian Humour on the Net with 800 sermon fillers for your entertainment and use at ...

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FACTS FOR FUN

LAST WEEKS QUESTION: Is there violence in Grimm’s fairy tales?

ANSWER: More than a little! You may recall that doves peck the eyes out of Cinderella's stepsisters, that Snow White's step mother arranges a ‘hit’ on her young stepdaughter, and that Sleeping Beauty's suitors bled to death on the hedge surrounding her castle. And that’s just some! Grimm’s fairy tales are full of infanticide, murder, mutilation, cannibalism, and incest. But they're also rich with heroism and adventure and generally end with the bad guys getting their just desserts. (PC lovers beware!)

THIS WEEK'S QUESTION: What is the real name of the painting now known as the ‘Mona Lisa’?

Answer Next Week.

SOME FUN FACTS

955. THE ULTIMATE OBSESSION
King Charles VIII of France, who ascended to the throne in 1483, was obsessed with the idea of being poisoned. As his phobia grew, the monarch ate so little that he died of malnutrition circa 1498. (The ultimate diet!)

956. A LIVING MONUMENT TO WAR
Built in only 16 months between 1941 and 1942, the Pentagon is only 71ft tall, yet it has 5 floors, 17.5 miles of corridors, 150 stairways, 280 restrooms, 685 drinking fountains, 7,748 windows and workers replace more than 250 light bulbs each day. (A bureaucratic battlefield.)

957. A 'MUCKRAKER’?
President Theodore Roosevelt coined the word ‘muckrake’ in a speech that he delivered to the Gridiron Club in Washington, DC in 1906. (A politician looking into a mirror?)

A WORD PUZZLE FOR YOU

Make another word from this word using all the letters.

EXTRA

Answer at the end of A David Musing

FREE DOWNLOAD: You can download the full version of our Trivia Book at TRULY TRIFFLING TRIVIA Or view all 1232 online at...

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66 BOOKS... 66 QUESTIONS

23: Isaiah: Who was the father of Isaiah?

a. Amoz
b. Aram
c. Joram
d. Eliakim

Source: http://biblequizzes.org.uk

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IF ONLY I'D THOUGHT OF IT!

"""OTHER'S SAYINGS TO ENLIGHTEN, AMUSE, OR BEMUSE""" SAYINGS FOR YOU TO PONDER

!!!!!!! Anger is a condition in which the tongue, works faster than the mind.

!!!!!! You can't change the past, but you can ruin the present by worrying over the future.

!!!!! Love ......and you shall be loved.

!!!! All people smile in the same language.

!!! A hug is a great gift, one size fits all. It can be given for any occasion and it's easy to exchange.

!! Everyone needs to be loved, especially when they do not deserve it.

! The real measure of a man's wealth is what he has invested in eternity.

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PETS RULE

31. SERVICE WITH A SMILE
A man wrote a letter to a small hotel in a Midwest town he planned to visit on his vacation. He wrote:

I would very much like to bring my dog with me. He is well-groomed and very well behaved. Would you be willing to permit me to keep him in my room with me at night?

An immediate reply came from the hotel owner, who said, I've been operating this hotel for many years. In all that time, I've never had a dog steal towels, bedclothes or silverware or pictures off the walls.

I've never had to evict a dog in the middle of the night for being drunk and disorderly. And I've never had a dog run out on a hotel bill. Yes, indeed, your dog is welcome at my hotel. And, if your dog will vouch for you, you're welcome to stay here, too.

32. VIOLIN PRACTICE
Little Harold was practising the violin in the living room while his father was trying to read in the den.

The family dog was lying in the den, and as the screeching sounds of little Harold's violin reached his ears, he began to howl loudly.

The father listened to the dog and the violin as long as he could. Then he jumped up, slammed his paper to the floor and yelled above the noise, "For pity's sake, can't you play something the dog doesn't know?"

33. BE YOURSELF
President Calvin Coolidge once invited friends from his hometown to dine at the White House. Worried about their table manners, the guests decided to do everything that Coolidge did. This strategy succeeded, until coffee was served. The president poured his coffee into the saucer. The guests did the same. Coolidge added sugar and cream. His guests did, too. Then Coolidge bent over and put his saucer on the floor for the cat.

34. TEACHER'S PET
On a special Teachers' Day, a kindergarten teacher was receiving gifts from her pupils. The florist's son handed her a gift. She shook it, held it overhead, and said, "I bet I know what it is, some flowers."

"That's right" the boy said, "but how did you know?" "Oh, just a wild guess," she said.
The next pupil was the candy store owner's daughter. The teacher held her gift overhead, shook it and said, "I bet I can guess what it is, a box of candy." "That's right, but how did you know?" asked the girl. "Oh, just a wild guess," the teacher said.

The next gift was from the son of the liquor store owner. The teacher held it overhead, but it was leaking. She touched a drop of the leakage with her finger and touched it to her tongue. "Is it wine?" she asked. "No" the boy replied, obviously delighted that he was the first student to at least temporarily defy the teacher's apparent insight.

The teacher repeated the process, touching another drop of the leakage to her tongue. "Is it champagne?" she asked. "No," the clearly delighted boy answered. Once again the teacher tasted the leakage and finally ,"I give up, what is it?"

The boy enthusiastically replied, "It's a puppy!"

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BIBLE TRIVIA (The Bible Lands)

COOL STREAMS, LUXURIANT PASTURES, AND MOUNTAINS SHAGGY WITH TREES.....

..... are often described in the Bible. Yet today, visitors most often see a bleak and barren landscape with waterless flatlands and bare hills, and lots of rocks everywhere. An ancient Hebrew legend states that God had 2 bags of rocks when He made the world. One bag was scattered over the entire earth and the other, all upon Israel!

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

The Collision of Two Runaway Trains

10/17/12

by Michael Youssef

I am currently on an around-the-globe trip, going from the West Coast, to Down Under, Singapore, London, and then home again. From the vantage point of this journey, the one striking and overwhelming image I get is of two runaway trains moving in opposite directions. And yet, in some strange way, they are about to cause a global collision.

Let me explain.

On one train, Islamists are violently demanding that the West bow to them as they seek to take the world back to the Arabian dark ages of the 7th century.

On the other, humanists, atheists, greens, and extreme liberals are pushing the West to abandon its historic morals and Judeo-Christian ethics. They demand that the West embrace a world of homosexual marriages, nature worship, environmental extremism, and godlessness.

Although I am a trained social anthropologist who is supposed to make sense of such things, I must confess that I am baffled on this front. How can two extreme movements, heading in opposite directions, be so perilously close to an unprecedented collision?

The one thing that both runaway trains have in common, however, is their hatred of Christians. To both, Christians represent a threat—although different types of threats.

To Islamists, the threat is theological. Christians believe that God became man, died on a cross to redeem the world, and rose again to justify everyone who would believe in Him. Every day, Muslims are turning their back on Islam and embracing the redemption that only Jesus offers. Through those conversions, the biggest fear of Islamists has come upon them.

To atheists, humanists, and environmental zealots, the threat is to their own consciences. They were created in God’s own image, and Christians represent a “photograph” of the life they were meant to lead. The liberal extremists cannot escape that image, and it burdens their inner guilt.

Thankfully, where social anthropology fails me, the Bible never does! It is only biblical knowledge that can make sense of the apparently senseless.

The Bible tells us that when sin increases, grace also abounds. Although I can’t promise Christians an easy time in life, based on Scripture, I can certainly assure them that God’s grace and light will shine brighter through them as the darkness increases.

Many of my friends would explain the current events in the world as the great “falling away” that will occur before the return of Christ. Certainly they have every reason to believe that. But I am in the business of reminding them that, regardless of this turmoil, our call is to lift up Jesus to all. And through lifting Him up, some may come to believe and be redeemed.

Not only is our God in control of history, He is the author and finisher of history. Therefore, He will have the last word.

So, my friends, get busy lifting up Jesus. Take courage and look up. For the day of your redemption draws nigh.

DAVID'S DOWNLOAD

A REVELATION OF... THE POWER OF THREE IN GOD AND THE CHURCH

In walking further with Jesus, I increasingly appreciate that this particular revelation of 'threes in God' has been hugely important in developing my understanding of God and how He works both in the church and in our lives.

It matters not whether you are a 'oneness', 'twoness', or 'trinitarian' believer. The concept still applies. For we're all very good at putting God in a box, limited to the walls of our theology and understanding. But, one day, we will know all the truth of the great mystery of God.

In the meantime, if you can grasp this simple, yet profound concept, I'm sure it will open up new realms of understanding for you too about God and His plans for His people in these end days.

It certainly developed my faith tremendously, being able to grasp more of God's mighty plan for me. And for you too!

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WAXING LYRICAL

We need to understand that even after coming to Jesus, we have both good and bad weeks. I hope this encourages you that you are not alone! (Actually not this week, but was in the week in which it was written! Must have been 6 years ago, as we have now been married for 44 years. Have had some ups and downs since then - of course!)

THIS WEEK

I would like to write good things about this week,
With a magnificent achievement of which to speak.
But reality is, the week's been hard!
Really, truly, caught me off guard!

Would love to have huge shop sales of which to skite,
But to be truthful, Kathy and I just had a fight!
It doesn't happen very often between her and me,
Been together for thirty-eight years, you see.

But all is now well, for we finally sorted things out.
After a slow week, on Saturday, sales turned about,
You see, all in all, I can't now complain,
Life wouldn't be life, without some pain.

If life was a bed of roses, from week to week,
My Jesus I would have, no real need to seek.
But life, like roses, does have thorns,
We all have, both good and bad morns.

So I do hope this little ditty may now encourage you,
That in tough times, light can still shine through.
For Jesus has come, not the perfect to save,
Nor the streets of earth, with gold to pave.

But to offer us comfort and support through life,
Also to correct us, when we argue with the wife!
For in Him, we have a friend in whom we can trust,
Until that day we too, go from 'dust to dust'.

Then we can be with Him in heaven, forever to reign,
No more worries, no more arguments, no more pain.
"But first Lord, establish Your kingdom here on earth,
So as a very human human, I may be of some worth."

This week I will again seek to become more like Him,
Spiritual sails, to His wind of wisdom, will I trim.
"Lord, please mould me in your image,
May I truly grow into your visage."

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A DAVID MUSING

Deadlines! When everything has to be done - yesterday! Know the feeling?

Such is our week. Such is life! As long as it is not life all the time!

Yes, we do live in a busy world that is seemingly getting busier! Labour saving devices seem to create more time in order for more urgent work to 'magically appear' to fill the time saved! And more still!

Experience shows me that what first tends to give in such situations, is our time with Jesus. Next, with our families. And thirdly, with friends. All the things that are necessary to provide a balance to the busyness and stress of life in today's world. No wonder the consumption of antidepressants is increasing dramatically, seemingly worldwide.

May we learn to recognize the pressures and re-organize our lives to prioritize those things which are truly important, even eternal. We cannot do everything. We cannot be all to all. So let us take stock of our lives today. Remembering the wisdom and promise of Jesus, 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. (Matthew 6:33-4)

Thank you Jesus!

Until next week.....

MAY GOD BLESS YOU AND YOU BLESS GOD

His servant and yours

David Tait

Today's 'Word Puzzle' Answer: TAXER

TODAY'S 'BIBLE QUESTION' ANSWER: a. Amoz (Isaiah 1:1)

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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
7 Bull Street
Ahuriri
Napier
New Zealand

Phone: (06) 835 0567 International (+64) 6 835 0567

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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