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Issue No: 587     Published: 14 Jan 2013

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 9 weeks of PGIM)

FROM “POSITION” TO “SERVANTHOOD”

The sad reality is, percentage wise, there are more titles in the church today than in the world. While certain professions eg. medical, law and teaching, embrace titles at the top of their professions, and the army uses titles to define their functional hierarchy, titles are not greatly used in most of society. Joe is described as a manager, builder or plumber, not known as Manager Joe, Builder Joe, or Plumber Joe.

While people say that titles are a sign of respect, which they may be, the primary use of titles is as a form of control. The General's commands are to be obeyed. The Judges decisions enforced. The Professor's teachings are to be believed if we are to pass exams. The Doctors advice is to be followed if we want to be made well.

Titles came into the church with the formation of the Roman Catholic Church under Emperor Constantine. The primary role of the church was to control the people, the peasants. This resulted in the bleak period of history, now remembered as the Dark ages.

Enlightenment came with the Reformation, but Protestantism soon restored the hierarchies and titular system that we see in the church today. The difference now is that it is not the state controlling the people through the church, but the church leaders controlling their own people, which is inexcusable and entirely unbiblical.

In the Old Testament there was a separation of the functions of kings and priests. The kings had a title.....

When King David was old and well advanced in years, he could not keep warm even when they put covers over him. (1 Kings 1:1)

.....but the religious leaders were described by their function.....

8 But Zadok the priest, Benaiah son of Jehoiada, Nathan the prophet, Shimei and Rei and David’s special guard did not join Adonijah. (1 Kings 1:8)

When Jesus was questioned by Caiaphas, Caiaphas was known as the high priest, not given the title High Priest Caiaphas.

23 “If I said something wrong,” Jesus replied, “testify as to what is wrong. But if I spoke the truth, why did you strike me?” 24 Then Annas sent him, still bound, to Caiaphas the high priest. (John 18:23-4)

As we continue through the New Testament, we will not find anywhere a title was given to a man. To check me out, look at the introductions to all of Paul's writings. For example....

Paul, called to be an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and our brother Sosthenes (1 Corinthians 1:1)

Rather, Paul chose to be known as a servant.....

Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God (Romans 1:1)

The teaching of Jesus is to turn the worldly, pride based, fallen man, human system, upside down!

35 Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, “If anyone wants to be first, he must be the very last, and the servant of all.” (Mark 9:35)

Jesus railed against the Pharisees for their pride of position.

43 “Woe to you Pharisees, because you love the most important seats in the synagogues and greetings in the marketplaces. (Luke 11:43)

Of, course, we are not like that, are we! We do not wear clothing different to our people, sit in the front row, or preach from a raised pulpit? Or do we?

Jesus was the ultimate servant. This was prophesied in the Old Testament.....

The Suffering and Glory of the Servant

13 See, my servant will act wisely; he will be raised and lifted up and highly exalted. (Isaiah 52:13)


and lived out by Jesus in the New.....

God’s Chosen Servant

15 Aware of this, Jesus withdrew from that place. Many followed him, and he healed all their sick, 16 warning them not to tell who he was. 17 This was to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet Isaiah: 18 “Here is my servant whom I have chosen, the one I love, in whom I delight; I will put my Spirit on him, and he will proclaim justice to the nations. 19 He will not quarrel or cry out; no one will hear his voice in the streets. 20 A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out, till he leads justice to victory. 21 In his name the nations will put their hope.” ((Matthew 12:15-21)


Jesus sacrificed His life for us, in the ultimate act of servanthood and was glorified for it.....

13 The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of our fathers, has glorified his servant Jesus. (Acts 3:13a)

And we are called upon to lay down our lives for others.....

16 This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers. (1 John 3:16)

Position, titles, doctrines of submission and obedience, divide and fracture the church.

The walk of servanthood, of love, of humility, of compassion, following the example of Jesus, is the way of the kingdom.

(Continued next week)

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FROM THE WORD

Who Is the Greatest?

"They came to Capernaum. When he was in the house, he asked them, “What were you arguing about on the road?” But they kept quiet because on the way they had argued about who was the greatest. Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, “If anyone wants to be first, he must be the very last, and the servant of all.” He took a little child and had him stand among them. Taking him in his arms, he said to them, “Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me does not welcome me but the one who sent me.”" (Mark 9:33-37)

Six Woes

"When Jesus had finished speaking, a Pharisee invited him to eat with him; so he went in and reclined at the table. But the Pharisee, noticing that Jesus did not first wash before the meal, was surprised. Then the Lord said to him, “Now then, you Pharisees clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside you are full of greed and wickedness. You foolish people! Did not the one who made the outside make the inside also? But give what is inside the dish to the poor, and everything will be clean for you. “Woe to you Pharisees, because you give God a tenth of your mint, rue and all other kinds of garden herbs, but you neglect justice and the love of God. You should have practiced the latter without leaving the former undone. “Woe to you Pharisees, because you love the most important seats in the synagogues and greetings in the marketplaces. “Woe to you, because you are like unmarked graves, which men walk over without knowing it.” One of the experts in the law answered him, “Teacher, when you say these things, you insult us also.” Jesus replied, “And you experts in the law, woe to you, because you load people down with burdens they can hardly carry, and you yourselves will not lift one finger to help them. “Woe to you, because you build tombs for the prophets, and it was your forefathers who killed them. So you testify that you approve of what your forefathers did; they killed the prophets, and you build their tombs. Because of this, God in his wisdom said, ‘I will send them prophets and apostles, some of whom they will kill and others they will persecute.’ Therefore this generation will be held responsible for the blood of all the prophets that has been shed since the beginning of the world, from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah, who was killed between the altar and the sanctuary. Yes, I tell you, this generation will be held responsible for it all. “Woe to you experts in the law, because you have taken away the key to knowledge. You yourselves have not entered, and you have hindered those who were entering.” When Jesus left there, the Pharisees and the teachers of the law began to oppose him fiercely and to besiege him with questions, waiting to catch him in something he might say." (Luke 11:37-53)

Love One Another

"This is the message you heard from the beginning: We should love one another. 12 Do not be like Cain, who belonged to the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own actions were evil and his brother’s were righteous. 13 Do not be surprised, my brothers, if the world hates you. 14 We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love our brothers. Anyone who does not love remains in death. 15 Anyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life in him. 16 This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers. 17 If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? 18 Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth. 19 This then is how we know that we belong to the truth, and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence 20 whenever our hearts condemn us. For God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything. 21 Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God 22 and receive from him anything we ask, because we obey his commands and do what pleases him. 23 And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us. 24 Those who obey his commands live in him, and he in them. And this is how we know that he lives in us: We know it by the Spirit he gave us." (1 John 3:11-24)

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DAVID'S DOODLINGS

SERVANTHOOOD

564. To serve is to…
… love the unlovely
… help the helpless
… befriend the lonely
… rebuild the brokenhearted
… soothe the sick
… bless the poor
… raise up the downtrodden
… seek the lost
… comfort the dying

565. True servants add their own desires to the end of the queue.

566. Pride demolishes, while servanthood builds.

567. Leaders of character understand the twin character difference between serve and slave.

568. To serve is God initiated, to slave, human imposed.

569. A servant serves by choice, a slave through fear.

570. For down to be up, up must first be down.

571. A ‘servant leader’ is beyond the world’s comprehension. And many Christians too!

572. To serve is a privilege, to abuse the server, a sacrilege.

573. Show me a true servant and I will show you one whom God truly loves.

574. To abuse God’s servant is to abuse God himself.

575. Maturity in God is learning that service is a privilege, not a burden.

576. The firepower of God’s Army is ‘service’.

577. Service is the invincible secret weapon of God’s Army.

578. ‘Service with a smile’ means to ‘go the extra mile.’

579. The world works by taking away, God by giving away.

580. To go down to go up is logical. Ask a bouncy ball!

581. To serve is a blessing, to lead a challenge. To be a servant leader, a challenging blessing!

582. A theologian thinks, a worshiper feels, a servant acts.

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TUESDAY TEACHINGS

THIS WEEK: THE NEW COVENANT continues

THE WAY TO SALVATION


How we receive God's gift of eternal life.

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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. ***


591. THE SWIM
As a young preacher, my small church had limited facilities, so we held baptisms in a creek. With alligators in the area, however, that was less than ideal.

Then a minister friend suggested I bring my next group of baptismal candidates to his church for a joint baptismal service. Naturally, I accepted.

The baptismal pool had a clear front so the congregation could see everything. When the baptisms were finished, curtains were drawn, and I was left alone in the pool for a moment. The building had no air conditioning, and it was quite hot. I thought how nice it would feel to take a little dip. I glided to one end, turned, and backstroked to the other end.

Hearing a riotous uproar in the church, I looked toward the congregation. The curtain was down only to the top of the glass! An astonished and amused congregation had been watching my every move.

590. IN THE CEMETERY
A minister with a large family of seven children moved to a new city. He and his wife didn't want to buy a home immediately. They wanted to rent a townhouse until they could get a feel for the area and choose a home where their kids would be in good schools and they could be conveniently located.

They found plenty of rental townhouses that were large enough, but the landlords always objected to having a family of nine occupy the place.

In frustration, one day the father asked the mother to take the four youngest children and go visit the local cemetery. She was puzzled by his request, but went along. He and the other three children headed off to investigate another townhouse they had found.

The place was perfect and the father told the landlord he would take it. Then came the usual question, "I see you have children. How many are there in the family?"

The minister gave out with a deep sigh, then said, "Seven ... but four are with their dear mother in the cemetery."

He got the townhouse.

589. A MATTER OF CHOICE
A backslider suddenly began attending church faithfully on Sunday mornings instead of going fishing as was his normal habit.

The pastor was highly gratified and at the end of service one morning told him, "How wonderful it makes me feel to see you at services with your good wife!"

"Well, Preacher," said the fisherman, "Quite honestly, it's a matter of choice. I'd much rather hear your sermon than hers."

" 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: Why do fawns have spots?

ANSWER: Fawns are wobbly-legged and vulnerable to predators. Their spots help them out a bit by making them less visible. Because they often hunt in dim light, predators have specialised eyes that are sensitive to motion, but poor at distinguishing colours, details, and shapes. So a spotted fawn sitting quietly in the leaves is virtually invisible to the eyes of potential attackers. Fortunately, fawns know instinctively to stay still when danger lurks nearby. Fawns are further protected by their almost complete lack of odour as during the first two weeks of their lives, they're scentless. When they grow up, they no longer need their spots. As adults, they instead rely upon their speed and acute senses to avoid attack. (Why do teenagers have spots?)

THIS WEEK'S QUESTION: What is the fastest time someone has climbed 102 flights of stairs?

Answer Next Week.

SOME FUN FACTS

924. MAKING WAVES
A tsunami, or tidal wave, is a huge wave caused by seismic movements, that is earthquakes in the ocean. The waves can reach heights of more than 100 feet, destroying whole villages and thousands of people. Some historians believe that a tidal wave destroyed the Minoan culture in Crete in about 1450 BC when a 200-foot wave is believed to have demolished the island. Fortunately, tidal waves do not occur often - on average, about once every six years in the Pacific Ocean. (In the ocean of life, tidal waves seem more frequent than this.)

925. THE LAST APPLE
In 1984 the state of New York became the last of the United States to put photographs on drivers' licenses. (Would a mirror have been better?)

926. ANGLO-ROMAN TIME
The Western calendar and the names of its months were inherited from a long line of Roman calendars, but the word 'month' itself came from the Anglo-Saxon monath. (When in England, do as the Romans do - mostly.)

A WORD PUZZLE FOR YOU

Make another word from this word using all the letters.

PLATTER

Answer at the end of A David Musing

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66 BOOKS... 66 QUESTIONS

34: Nahum: Nahum writes about the destruction of which city?

a. Nineveh
b. Jerusalem
c. Gath
d. Tyre

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

!!!!!!! Funny thing about temper ~ you can't get rid of it by losing it!

!!!!!! Fashion is something that goes in one year and out the other.

!!!!! One, on God's side, is a majority.

!!!! No matter how you used yesterday, you received 24 hours today.

!!! A smile is God's cosmetic.

!! The curve of a smile can set a lot of things straight.

! An egotist is a person who is me-deep in conversation.

100'S MORE TO BE FOUND AT...

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TILL DEATH DO US PART!

47. MAKING MATTERS WORSE
"So, what's the matter? I thought you just got back from a nice relaxing fishing trip with your husband."

"Oh, everything went wrong: First he said I talked so loud I would scare the fish. Then he said I was using the wrong bait; and then that I was reeling in too soon.

"All that might have been all right; but then, to make matters worse, I ended up catching the most fish!"

48. IN WITH DAD
When the Jones family moved into their new house, a visiting relative asked five-year-old Sammy how he liked the new place.

"It's terrific," he said. "I have my own room, Mike has his own room, and Jamie has her own room. But poor mum is still in with dad."

49. MALE WISDOM
David: "I'm a man of few words."

Doug: "Yeah, I'm married, too."

50. JOEY
It was the first day of school and the kindergarten teacher was calling the roll and, incidentally, obtaining the required family data. She pointed to the first little boy. "Your name, please?"

"Joey Kaplan."

"And what is your father's name, Joey?"

"Papa."

The teacher hid a smile. "I didn't mean quite that. What does your mother call him?"

"Nothing," replied Joey promptly. "She likes him."

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BIBLE TRIVIA (The Bible Lands)

MORE THAN 30 MAJOR PYRAMIDS.....

.....were built in the 1000 years before Joseph. Each one guarded the body of a Pharoah entombed in a chamber deep inside. Yet none are mentioned in the Bible, as they did not form part of biblical history.

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

What's Right and Wrong With American Christianity

As I prepare to spend a week teaching the book of Jeremiah to Chinese pastors in Hong Kong, I’ve been reflecting on the strengths and weaknesses of the church in America. Regrettably, the list of negatives is longer than the list of positives.

To be clear, though, I’m speaking of the circles in which I travel, meaning evangelical Christian circles, so my observations might not apply to other Christian groups in America.

What are some of the strengths of the American evangelical church?

1) We are at the forefront of feeding the poor and providing disaster relief worldwide. From the earthquake in Haiti to the tsunami in Japan, and from orphanages in Latin America to feeding programs in Africa, organizations like World Vision and Samaritan’s Purse are there, making a difference.

2) We are a generous people when it comes to funding gospel work in America and abroad. While we can sometimes be self-indulgent as we build our latest mega-edifice, we are a giving people overall.

3) We have produced an abundance of Christian resources. If you’re looking for the latest translation of the Bible or a book on any aspect of Christian living, and if you’d like to download it to your phone, look no further.

4) We have a positive, can-do mentality. This is part of the American psyche, but it comports well with the biblical message of “All things are possible with God.”

5) Our churches offer many practical programs to help everyone from recovering drug addicts to couples needing marital counseling. To this day, ministries like Teen Challenge, which help people with drug and alcohol addictions, put government organizations to shame in terms of consistent rates of success.

6) We are strongly pro-life and pro-morality. This is especially true compared to Christians in many other nations, who seem oblivious to the evil of abortion and who fail to take moral stands on other issues.

7) We are strongly pro-Israel. Even the Israeli Knesset recognizes that American evangelicals are its best friends in the world, although in recent years, some evangelicals have challenged this consistent support for Israel.

8) We have sent many missionaries to the nations, also providing them with financial support. Beginning in 1812, this has been a great part of our spiritual history, and it has not primarily been for the purpose colonizing foreign peoples or making them into Westerners.

What are some of the weaknesses of the American Evangelical Church?

1) Our Christian expression is often shallow and superficial. It has often been said that American Christianity is 3,000 miles wide and one mile deep.

2) We have been plagued with scandals among our leaders. Hardly a month (or week?) goes by without news of the moral failure of another one of our leaders.

3) We preach a carnal prosperity message. This is not the Protestant work ethic of old; it is the message of, “Jesus died on the cross to make me financially rich.”

4) We export our false teaching around the world. The latest teaching coming from professing evangelicals is that you can practice homosexuality and follow Jesus at the same time, and from our shores, this message is going to the nations.

5) We have created a worldly, cultural Christianity. Rather than preaching a Jesus who radically changes us, we preach a Jesus who radically empowers us. That’s why we have “Christian” lingerie models and “Christian” rappers who frequent strip clubs.

6) We have perfected the gospel enterprise. We have learned how to make everything “Christian” and then market it. Someone once said, “What began as a movement in Jerusalem became a philosophy in Greece, a monument in Rome, a culture in Europe, and an enterprise in America.”

7) We run our churches like businesses. It is one thing to implement good business principles where applicable, but our “corporate Christianity,” especially in our bigger churches, is another thing, and the pastor has become the CEO.

8) We are self-dependent. Who needs God’s help and we can make it happen on our own? If you want a performance, just visit our church on Sunday morning.

9) We are heavily politicized. Rather than being a prophetic witness to the society, calling on political leaders to do the right thing, we have sold our souls to the political system.

10) We have produced super-star preachers. Didn’t Jesus teach that leaders were supposed to be the servants of all?

11) We are exceptionally gullible. Only in America can a TV minister be convicted of various kinds of scams, only to be back on TV racking in the big bucks and selling all kinds of cheap gospel gimmicks. We have confused simple faith with gullibility.

12) Our “pep talk gospel” is hardly the gospel at all. Being positive and encouraging is great, but not when it comes at the expense of leaving out the rest of the message. Put another way, Jesus was not a motivational preacher.

The bad news is that the list of negatives can go on. The good news is that American history has been marked by great awakenings and revivals, and if ever we needed one, it is now.

My suspicion is that the next great awakening will also be quite a rude awakening.

Michael Brown is the author of The Real Kosher Jesus and the host of the nationally syndicated talk radio show The Line of Fire on the Salem Radio Network. He is also president of FIRE School of Ministry and director of the Coalition of Conscience.

Source: Charisma News

Via OpenHeaven.com

DAVID'S DOWNLOAD

VICTORY

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WAXING LYRICAL

When we run out of ideas we have a tendency to make something up! Not a good idea!

THE QUANDRY!

Have no idea on what to write,
Must be careful not to skite,
But there's nothing to skite about!
Could make something up - no doubt!

Rather, I'm not that very brave,
So just will leave an empty page.
For the Lord would know of my little game,
On Judgment Day, I must take the blame!

Better to be silent now, than boasting,
In this I'll avoid a needless roasting!
So reading this huffing and puffing,
You've ended up learning nothing!

Sorry about that, my patient friend,
But that is the way, this must end!

David Tait............16 October 2005

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A DAVID MUSING

There are times in our spiritual lives when things just go on.... and on..... and on. By rote! We can be still be faithful and go on with our walk, but it seems are just doing it out of obligation, or tradition. Times when we are spiritually dry.

Then, one day. seemingly out of nowhere, the Lord speaks! "What is that Lord! I didn't expect that! Yes Lord, I will wait for that to happen. Thank you Lord!" Refreshed! Revitalized! (Sorry I cannot yet disclose the details as it is sensitive commercially. Watch this space!)

Nothing in my situation has yet changed - but I have! Thank you Lord.

Be encouraged, Your waiting, your dry period, will end, in His time and timing. Give us patience Lord!

Until next week.....

MAY GOD BLESS YOU AND YOU BLESS GOD

His servant and yours

David Tait

Today's 'Word Puzzle' Answer: PRATTLE

TODAY'S 'BIBLE QUESTION' ANSWER: a. Nineveh (Nahum 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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