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Issue No: 578     Published: 12 Nov 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. (See the last 2 weeks of PGIM)

FROM "COME IN" TO "GO OUT"

What we now call the 'Great Commission', instructs us to.....

The Great Commission

16 Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:16-20)


Unfortunately, since the church became institutionalized, meeting in specialized buildings under a human appointed priesthood, particularly from the time of Emperor Constantine (although it had started before that), our mantra has changed from 'go and make disciples' to 'come in and be believers with us'. For we have effectively confined the kingdom to within the walls of our church buildings. People are required to come inside, out of the evil world, in order to enjoy the benefits of Jesus.

Throughout history, and particularly so in recent times with the various House Church groupings, there have been movements that have attempted to remedy this inward looking situation. Sadly though, most have effectively become small churches that meet in homes, with the same inward looking mentality that pervades more formal church congregations, but without the financially draining expense of building and maintenance programmes, and the need to pay pastors and administrators.

In the formal church, as there is a need to pay the bills, attention naturally focuses on 'the house', and a theology has grown up to justify this inward looking necessity. "Come in and meet God." Or, "God is in the house." Of course, if there are true believers there, God is there.....

20 For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them.” (Matthew 18:20)

When we look at this statement from a traditional focus, we interpret it as meaning in a church building. "Come in to meet God". This is an commonly promoted church viewpoint. However, it is not what the Scripture says. The Scripture, in context, is talking about resolving problems amongst fellow believers.....

15 “If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over. 16 But if he will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’ (Matthew 18:15-16)

Jesus was talking about the importance of not acting alone in a disputed situation. For there is wisdom and safety in working with others. And Jesus will be with you. It was only the result of the discussions that needed to be told to the 'church'. (better interpreted as 'assembly of believers' that met, as required, to deal with specific issues).....

17 If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, treat him as you would a pagan or a tax collector. (Matthew 18:17)

Jesus was applying kingdom principles. We don't know what the problem was, but the 2 or 3 were to go to him on his home ground, and sort out the problem.

Today, we would call him into the church to appear before the elders. Can you see the difference?

The kingdom is about transforming the world. The kingdom is not found in a denomination or building. Jesus emphasizes this when he says, nor will people say, ‘Here it is,’ or ‘There it is, for it is found in individual believers.....

20 Once, having been asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, Jesus replied, “The kingdom of God does not come with your careful observation, 21 nor will people say, ‘Here it is,’ or ‘There it is,’ because the kingdom of God is within you.” (Luke 17:20-21)

As instructed in the Great Commission, kingdom people take the Good News of Jesus and His kingdom out into the world. For ultimately, all the world is His kingdom.

15 The seventh angel sounded his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, which said: “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he will reign for ever and ever.” (Revelation 11:15)

This is not easy, nor comfortable. It is easier to hide behind the walls of a church building, mixing with those who share our views. But that is not building the kingdom. Yes, if we move out we will have troubles and persecutions, but we will also participate in His glorious kingdom.....

3 We ought always to thank God for you, brothers, and rightly so, because your faith is growing more and more, and the love every one of you has for each other is increasing. 4 Therefore, among God’s churches we boast about your perseverance and faith in all the persecutions and trials you are enduring. 5 All this is evidence that God’s judgment is right, and as a result you will be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are suffering. 6 God is just: He will pay back trouble to those who trouble you 7 and give relief to you who are troubled, and to us as well. This will happen when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven in blazing fire with his powerful angels. 8 He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. 9 They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the majesty of his power 10 on the day he comes to be glorified in his holy people and to be marveled at among all those who have believed. (2 Thessalonians 1:3-10a)

Are you prepared to take the reality of the kingdom out into the world today?

(This principle is so important that we will continue it next week.)

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FROM THE WORD

The Coming of the Kingdom of God

"Once, having been asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, Jesus replied, “The kingdom of God does not come with your careful observation, nor will people say, ‘Here it is,’ or ‘There it is,’ because the kingdom of God is within you.” Then he said to his disciples, “The time is coming when you will long to see one of the days of the Son of Man, but you will not see it. Men will tell you, ‘There he is!’ or ‘Here he is!’ Do not go running off after them. For the Son of Man in his day will be like the lightning, which flashes and lights up the sky from one end to the other. But first he must suffer many things and be rejected by this generation. “Just as it was in the days of Noah, so also will it be in the days of the Son of Man. People were eating, drinking, marrying and being given in marriage up to the day Noah entered the ark. Then the flood came and destroyed them all. “It was the same in the days of Lot. People were eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building. But the day Lot left Sodom, fire and sulfur rained down from heaven and destroyed them all. “It will be just like this on the day the Son of Man is revealed. On that day no one who is on the roof of his house, with his goods inside, should go down to get them. Likewise, no one in the field should go back for anything. Remember Lot’s wife! Whoever tries to keep his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will preserve it. I tell you, on that night two people will be in one bed; one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding grain together; one will be taken and the other left.” “Where, Lord?” they asked. He replied, “Where there is a dead body, there the vultures will gather.”" (Luke 17:20-37)

The Seventh Trumpet

"The seventh angel sounded his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, which said:
“The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he will reign for ever and ever.” And the twenty-four elders, who were seated on their thrones before God, fell on their faces and worshiped God, saying: “We give thanks to you, Lord God Almighty, the One who is and who was, because you have taken your great power and have begun to reign. The nations were angry; and your wrath has come. The time has come for judging the dead, and for rewarding your servants the prophets and your saints and those who reverence your name, both small and great— and for destroying those who destroy the earth.” Then God’s temple in heaven was opened, and within his temple was seen the ark of his covenant. And there came flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder, an earthquake and a great hailstorm." (Revelation 7:15-19)

The Scroll and the Lamb

"Then I saw in the right hand of him who sat on the throne a scroll with writing on both sides and sealed with seven seals. And I saw a mighty angel proclaiming in a loud voice, “Who is worthy to break the seals and open the scroll?” But no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth could open the scroll or even look inside it. I wept and wept because no one was found who was worthy to open the scroll or look inside. Then one of the elders said to me, “Do not weep! See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed. He is able to open the scroll and its seven seals.” Then I saw a Lamb, looking as if it had been slain, standing in the center of the throne, encircled by the four living creatures and the elders. He had seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth. He came and took the scroll from the right hand of him who sat on the throne. And when he had taken it, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp and they were holding golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. And they sang a new song: “You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased men for God from every tribe and language and people and nation. You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God,
and they will reign on the earth.” Then I looked and heard the voice of many angels, numbering thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand. They encircled the throne and the living creatures and the elders. In a loud voice they sang: “Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!” Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, singing: “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power, for ever and ever!” The four living creatures said, “Amen,” and the elders fell down and worshiped." (Revelation 5:1-15)

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DAVID'S DOODLINGS

RELIGION, REVELATION AND GOD'S KINGDOM

1023. Religion is planned, God's kingdom, spontaneous.

1024. God's kingdom is visionary, religion, managed.

1025. Religion is birthed in the institutionalisation of a revelation of God's kingdom.

1026. 'God given' revelation quickly becomes 'man controlled' religion.

1027. God's kingdom is eternal, mankind's religion, transitory.

1028. Religion formalises the spontaneous informality of God's kingdom.

1029. God's kingdom 'upskills', religion removes the 'ups'.

1030. Religion is really 'the opiate of the priests'.

1031. To get closer to God we need to swap the bonds of religion for the liberation of His kingdom.

1032. Religion creates its own standard mould of monotonous mediocrity. God breaks moulds!

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TUESDAY TEACHINGS

THIS WEEK: THE ABRAHAMIC COVENANT

Made around 2000BC, the Abrahamic Covenant firmly pointed the way to the coming of Jesus.

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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." ***


568. SIGNS THAT YOU ATTEND A SMALL CHURCH
14. You share your pastor with another church on a "circuit" basis.

13. You cancel church when the pastor goes on vacation because his
family is half the congregation.

12. Your entire choir is absent when your Southern Gospel Quartet
goes on the road for a singing (think about it).

11. You meet in the Pastor's two-car garage while the sanctuary is
being remodeled (Yes, this really happened because I was there).

10. The Deacon board (Elder's Council, Parish Council, Pastor/Parish
Relations Committee, Session, etc.) is equal to, or greater than,
half the Sunday morning attendance (Bd mem. = or > attendance X .50 =
sm. church).

9. The church bus is a mini-van that only carries seven passengers.

8. Pastor comes to Wednesday night services in his uniform directly
from his "other" job.

7. Offering is taken up only once a month.

6. Youth group age goes to 30.

5. Senior Adults age start at 40.

4. Children's Church is cancelled when the family with the most kids
goes on vacation.

3. There are more people in the choir than in the congregation.

2. Pastor also serves as an usher, pianist and song leader.

AND THE NUMBER ONE SIGN THAT YOU ATTEND A SMALL CHURCH

1. Vestibule is also used as the Fellowship Hall.

567. FISH AND CHIPS
Lost on a rainy night, a nun stumbles across a monastery and requests shelter there. Fortunately, she's just in time for dinner and was treated to the best fish and chips she had ever tasted.

After dinner, she went into the kitchen to thank the chefs. She was met by two of the Brothers.

The first one says, "Hello, I am Brother Michael, and this is Brother Charles."

"I'm very pleased to meet you," replies the nun. "I just wanted to thank you for a wonderful dinner. The fish and chips were the best I've ever had. Out of curiosity, who cooked what?"

Brother Charles replied, "Well, I'm the fish friar."

She turned to the other Brother and said, "Then you must be....?"

"Yes, I'm afraid so -- I am the chip monk."

566. FIREWORKS
It was the Fourth of July and the fireworks had lit up the sky.

As the last one burned out, a four-year-old piped up, "Daddy, do God's feet ever get burned?"


" 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: What does the name ‘Jolly Roger’ come from?

ANSWER: Each pirate captain had a different ‘Jolly Roger’ flag, but they tended to depict symbols of death and destruction, including the classic "skull and crossbones." The flags likely were intended to terrify the crews of potential targets. The oft-used black and white Jolly Roger was probably scary enough. But the red Jolly Roger was much more terrifying, as it meant that the pirates would show no mercy in battle. And where did the name come from? ‘Jolly Roger’ is thought to have originated from a nickname for the devil, ‘Old Roger.’ But it may also have come from the French word for ‘pretty red’ – ‘Jolie Rouge’. (Not so jolly for the pirates victims!)

THIS WEEK'S QUESTION: What or who is the Cardinal Bird named after?

Answer Next Week.

SOME FUN FACTS

949. “DOGGIE-CHUTE”
Jeanne Pierre Francois Blanchard sewed the first parachute together and tested it using a dog. Attached it to a basket containing a dog, then dropped it from a hot air balloon. (Reminds one of the first ‘dogged’ space flight. And he’s still man’s best friend?)

950. WHY 'GOOD' FRIDAY?
In old English, 'good' was a synonym for God or God's, so that Good Friday is 'God's Friday.' (The day that God shook the world.)

951. LOTS OF KITTEN CUDDLES
Did you know that a group of kittens is called a kindle? (Kittens kindle kindly kinetics of adoration in us.)

A WORD PUZZLE FOR YOU

Make another word from this word using all the letters.

PULPER

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

25: Lamentations: Which city does Jeremiah lament for in the Book of Lamentations?

a. Babylon
b. Nineveh
c. Hebron
d. Jerusalem

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

!!!!!!! I've heard it's bad luck to be superstitious?

!!!!!! Consciousness: That annoying time between naps.

!!!!! A professor is a person who talks in SOMEONE ELSE'S sleep.

!!!! We can stand affliction better than we can prosperity, for in prosperity we forget God.
(Dwight Moody)

!!!! Christ is a substitute for everything, but nothing is a substitute for Christ. (Ironside)

!!! No one who really wants to count for God can afford to play at Christianity.

!! If lips and life do not agree, the testimony will not amount to much.

! Time is given us to use in view of eternity.

100'S MORE TO BE FOUND AT...

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JUST JOKES

52. BRAINS BEFORE BRAWN
The strong young man at the construction site was bragging that he could outdo anyone in a feat of strength. He made a special case of making fun of one of the older workmen. After several minutes, the older worker had enough. "Why don't you put your money where your mouth is?" he said. "I will bet a week's wages that I can haul something in a wheelbarrow over to that outbuilding that you won't be able to wheel back."

"You're on, old man," the braggart replied. "Let's see what you got."

The old man reached out and grabbed the wheelbarrow by the handles. Then, nodding to the young man, he said, "All right. Get in."

51. COUNT YOUR CHICKENS
The farmer stood in his chicken yard watching hundreds of baby chicks running here and there. He kept pointing to them and trying to count them. "One, two, three, four, five, six,... oh, no..." then he would start over, "one, two, three, four, and,... oh, no." Then he'd start over again.

Finally he said, "I give up. They say don't count your chickens before they hatch but it sure is easier to do that than it is to count them after they hatch."

51. HOW HOT'S HOT?
I walked into Dairy Queen the other day and asked for a hot fudge sundae with extra hot fudge.

The girl replied, "The hot fudge only comes in one temperature, ma'am."

50. SELF HELP
I went to a bookstore and asked the saleswoman, "Where's the self-help section?" She said if she told me, it would defeat the purpose.

49. ENGAGING?
Before Linda became engaged, she was quite the beauty, and didn't mind letting her boyfriend know it, too.

"A lot of men are gonna be totally miserable when I marry," she told him.

"Really?" asked the boyfriend,

"And just how many men are you intending to marry?"

Hundreds more here.....

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BIBLE TRIVIA (The Bible Lands)

MOUNT SINAI.....

..... is a steepish rock of reddish granite that rises steeply out of the desert. It is only about 3,000ft (1000m) high. It looms so dramatically out of the land though, that the Israelites found it a fitting place for God to dwell.

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

What Jesus Might Say About Sandy

The problem with many storm theologies is that they assume Jesus never happened.

Mark Galli (editor of Christianity Today)

As usual, great weather events bring out the Christian crazies, like those proclaiming that Hurricane Sandy is God's judgment ("God sent the whirlwind. Thank God for righteous judgment," said one) against (pick one) homosexuals, pornography, materialism, secularism, Darwinism, and so on and so forth. But I'm not linking to these statements because, well, you've got better things to do with your time than read sub-Christian, one might even say nonchristian, theology.

Granted when storms do appear in the Old Testament, they are often seen as God's act of judgment, to prod repentance. The classic case is when Egypt was bombarded with hail and lightning so Pharoah would know God was in charge. Pharoah indeed was temporarily scared into faith, but as soon as the storm ceased,"the heart of Pharaoh was hardened, and he did not let the people of Israel go" (Ex. 9:35).

Then again, a storm at sea convinces Jonah he has been disobedient (Jonah 2), and when God speaks out of a tornado (Job 38-41), Job repents in dust and ashes for his insolence (Job 42:6).

Starting with Jesus, though, a different calculus is at work in the Bible, as we might expect. Whereas in Exodus, the storm itself is said to show the sovereign power of God, in the Gospel of Mark, it is Jesus stilling of the storm that demonstrates, as the disciples put it, here is one whom even the wind and seas obey (Mark 4:41). In the midst of the storm, we do not find Jesus claiming it is the judgment of God against the sin of Israel. Nor does Paul revert to that way of thinking when he finds himself in a storm on sea. Instead, he says no one need be afraid, because God will rescue one and all (Act 27:22).

An even more startling contrast is found at the end of the New Testament. That is when we're invited into the holy of holies to get a glimpse of the nature of God: "Then God's temple in heaven was opened, and the ark of his covenant was seen within his temple. There were flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder, an earthquake, and heavy hail" (Rev. 11:19).

In contrast to the word to Ezekiel, God is very much present in this storm. All those "natural" weather patterns from which we are anxious to distance God ("He allows them to happen but doesn't cause them," "He brings good out of these evil natural disasters," and so forth) become metaphors for the power and holiness of God.

With the coming of Jesus, then, everything is transformed, including how we understand natural calamaties. That which was formerly a sign of God's judgment, intended to punish or prod repentance, is now the occasion to demonstrate God's power and holiness. That which was seen as merely destructive is now a symbol of eternal life.

The difference between the old way of thinking (Old Testament) and the new way of thinking (New Testament) is this: Fear not—that which seems horrible, destructive, and pointless is embraced by the holiness of God and redeemed by the storm of the Cross.

The temptation, of course, is to condemn the crazies with equal and opposite self-righteousness. I'm thinking that Jesus might respond to them as he did to the disciples in the midst of the storm, when they failed to recognize the new thing happening among them: "Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?"

Source: http://www.christianitytoday.com

DAVID'S DOWNLOAD

A REVELATION OF... DIVIDING THE WATERS

A revelation based upon the 3 times the waters were divided in the Bible (The Red Sea with Moses, The River Jordan with Joshua and The River Jordan again with Elijah and Elisha.) and their meanings for the restoration of God's church in these end times.

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WAXING LYRICAL

This tale was written over a 'period of waiting', while seeking premises for a store we wished to open for africa arise'. Go through all the emotions before giving it all to God!

WAITING

Wait for a time,
Then a little more,
Seeking a rhyme,
What's it all for!

I want it now!
Not next week!
You do know how!
To me now speak!

God, all is in your power,
Don't let my life go sour!
I already know what is the best!
No need to put me to the test!

Still nothing happens this week!
"Just wait for Me my son,
Rest in Me, let Me to you speak,
One day, all will be done."

Tuesday comes around,
A new deal awaits.
Found common ground,
With Christian mates.

Full of promise,
Full of hope.
Surely can't miss!
Nope! Nope! Nope!

Wednesday now,
Sign a deal!
We know how!
It's a steal!

Then get a call,
Deal does fall!
Lord I give up!
Hand You the cup.

Agony is inside,
It I can't hide.
What now can I do?
But give it to you.

It's Friday afternoon,
Speak to another man,
Another deal soon?
Yes God, you can!

Wait, wait; wait, wait,
No more, bull at a gate.
God, your will be done,
I'm at peace - your son.

Another deal done,
Contract written.
End of the fun.
End of the mission.

Given to his lawyer,
We're nearly there!
Need go no further,
No need to despair.

The lawyer says no,
No place now to go!
It has fallen over,
Home again Rover!

This time peace does reign,
Getting upset is no gain.
It's in the Lord's hands now,
Just needs to show us how!

(Continued next week)

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A DAVID MUSING

The weekend before last we ran a 'Holy Spirit Seminar' for our friend Rodney Francis (pictured with his wife Jean) of 'The Gospel Faith Messenger'. Visit the website here Rodney's call is to train people in the use of the spiritual gifts, with an emphasis on the gift of prophecy.

At the conclusion of the teaching, small groups are formed where everyone gets the opportunity to prophecy over everyone else in the group. Initially, first time participators are naturally nervous, but nearly always, by the end of the session, everyone is participating and hearing and receiving from God. These groups are almost always the highlights of the weekend for the attendees.

There are so many people out there who do not have the opportunity to utilise the spiritual gifts the Lord has given to each one. If you do not have the opportunity to use them in your church gatherings, why not get together with other Spirit hungry, God hungry people and practice them on each other in a safe environment where mistakes don't matter and you can all learn together.

Spiritual gifts are not given for our own entertainment, but to use to help bring others into the kingdom. But it is a great idea to be able to practice them before going out into the world. And you never, know, you might be healed, perform a miracle, be able speak into someone's life, that will build up your faith and encourage you to share it more effectively with others.

Worth a try, isn't it?

Until next week.....

MAY GOD BLESS YOU AND YOU BLESS GOD

His servant and yours

David Tait

Today's 'Word Puzzle' Answer: PURPLE (For royalty. Spiritually represents God the Father.)

TODAY'S 'BIBLE QUESTION' ANSWER: d. Jerusalem (Lamentations 1:8)

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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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