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TO THOSE IN MINISTRY

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Issue No: 618     Published: 19 Aug 2013

WHOSE CHURCH IS IT ANYWAY?

THE POST APOSTOLIC CHURCH

Up until this week, we have been able to follow the development of the early church through the writings recorded in the Epistles. We have seen that informal groups of believers grew rapidly, relying upon the leading of the Holy Spirit, and the operation of spiritual gifts.....

4 There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5 There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. 6 There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men. 7 Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. 8 To one there is given through the Spirit the message of wisdom, to another the message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, 10 to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. 11 All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he gives them to each one, just as he determines. (1 Corinthians 12:4-11)

'Ministry' (meaning servanthood) was regarded as a function, as a role, not a formal position, enabled by the Holy Spirit to train the people to do the work of the body of Christ - in unity!

11 It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, 12 to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. (Ephesians 4:11-13)

Traditional teaching (including mine), has taught that the 'church' (we will look at its meaning and origin at a later time), gradually lost these spiritual giftings and guidance, becoming fully formalized and organised through the time Roman Emperor Constantine's conversion around 312AD, and the subsequent development of the formal Roman Catholic Church.

While, to a large extent, this was true for the majority of the church, we will see that the Lord always maintained a spiritual light amongst a portion of His people, even during the spiritually dead Dark Ages, through to today.

A summary of the traditional teaching, drawn from my book 'Eagles Fy High' p41. follows.....

c.100 Death of the last of the Apostles, John. Authority and unity of ‘apostleship’ disappeared.

THE DECLINE OF THE CHURCH:

130 Laying on of hands becomes a formal ritual.
140 Ministry of the prophets vanishes.
150 Gifts of the Spirit are disappearing entirely.
160 Plurality of eldership fades away.
180 Local church autonomy diminishes as churches start to come under the control of Rome.
187 First infant baptism and sprinkling. Form over substance.
200 Ritual becoming the norm as the church had form but had lost its power. Water baptism in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ denied, largely through Pope Stephen.
210 Doctrine of the priesthood of all believers rejected as a class of clerics developed.
225 Church membership became based on a creed rather than salvation.
240 Holiness disappeared and worldliness infiltrated the church.
350 Roman Emperor Constantine made Christianity the state religion. Salvation by faith not required for membership, with many ‘heathen’ being forced to accept Christianity by the sword.
380 Rome became the final authority in church matters.

We will discover, commencing next week, that there has always been a remnant who, to a large extent, have followed the Holy Spirit led principles of the early church.

This has been a voyage of discovery for me, and I trust it will be for you too. We will then be able to proclaim the truth of our conclusion that, even during the darkest times of the church's history, .....

THE TRUE FOLLOWERS OF JESUS ARE ONES WHO ARE OBEDIENT TO THE LEADING OF THE HOLY SPIRIT IN THEIR LIVES.

(Series to be continued next week.)

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FROM THE WORD

Spiritual Gifts

"Now about spiritual gifts, brothers, I do not want you to be ignorant. You know that when you were pagans, somehow or other you were influenced and led astray to mute idols. Therefore I tell you that no one who is speaking by the Spirit of God says, “Jesus be cursed,” and no one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit. There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men. Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. To one there is given through the Spirit the message of wisdom, to another the message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he gives them to each one, just as he determines.

One Body, Many Parts

The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. Now the body is not made up of one part but of many. If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body. And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? But in fact God has arranged the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. If they were all one part, where would the body be? 20 As it is, there are many parts, but one body. The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!” On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty, while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has combined the members of the body and has given greater honor to the parts that lacked it, so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it. Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. And in the church God has appointed first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then workers of miracles, also those having gifts of healing, those able to help others, those with gifts of administration, and those speaking in different kinds of tongues. Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? Do all have gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues? Do all interpret? But eagerly desire the greater gifts." (1 Corinthians 12:1-31)

Unity in the Body of Christ

"As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit— just as you were called to one hope when you were called— one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it. This is why it says: “When he ascended on high, he led captives in his train and gave gifts to men.” (What does “he ascended” mean except that he also descended to the lower, earthly regions? He who descended is the very one who ascended higher than all the heavens, in order to fill the whole universe.) It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work." (Ephesians 4:1-16)

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DAVID'S DOODLINGS

UNITY

213. United we stand, divided... God will wait upon another generation.

401. Unity in Christ is so close to God's heart but so far away from ours!

402. Why do we keep asking God for more strength, when He has already given us the answer - unity!

403. We keep looking for the unity of one world government to arise in the nations, but constantly fail to seek it in the church.

404. The Godhead is the ultimate example of how a many faceted Church is to become united as one.

996. Unity cannot be imposed from without, but needs to grow from within.

997. True unity is birthed in the Spirit, not imposed through a structure.

998. Unity develops in times of oppression. Bring on oppression Lord!

999. Satan divides, the Spirit unites. Who is winning the battle of your life?

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TUESDAY TEACHINGS

THIS WEEK: A REVELATION OF...
THE SEVEN REVELATIONS OF THE LAMB - Part 4


This week we are looking at God's first church, the Tabernacle of Moses. As could be expected, every facet of it revealed Jesus.

Let's 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. ***


776. THE PASTOR AND THE PAINTER
There was a painter who went to paint a pastors house one day. The Pastor
showed him everything he wanted done and then left for the day. The
painter wondered if he had brought too little paint to complete the job,
but he decided to start anyway.

Later in the day he had completed three sides of the house and realized he
didn't quite have enough for the fourth side. The painter decided to add
water to the paint to make it go further.

When the painter was cleaning his brushes and packing up his truck the
Pastor arrived home. He began to circle the house inspecting the work that
had been done. Upon coming around the fourth side of the house the Pastor
walked calmly to the painter and said "Repaint and thin no more!"

775. MORE BILLBOARDS
1. There was a church that had problems with outsiders parking in its parking lots, so they put up a sign: CHURCH CAR PARK - FOR MEMBERS ONLY Trespassers will be baptized!

2. "No God - No Peace. Know God - Know Peace."

3. "Free Trip to heaven. Details Inside!"

4. "Try our Sundays. They are better than Baskin Robbins."

5. "Searching for a new look? Have your faith lifted here!"

6. An ad for one Church has a picture of two hands holding stone tablets on which the Ten Commandments are inscribed and a headline that reads, "For fast, fast, fast relief, take two tablets."

7. When the restaurant next to another Church put out a big sign with red letters that said, "Open Sundays," the church reciprocated with its own message: "We are open on Sundays, too."

8. "People are like tea bags -- you have to put them in hot water before you know how strong they are."

9. "Fight truth decay -- study the Bible daily."

10. "How will you spend eternity - Smoking or Nonsmoking?"

11. "Dusty Bibles lead to Dirty Lives"

12. "Come work for the Lord. The work is hard, the hours are long and the pay is low. But the retirement benefits are out of this world."

13. "It is unlikely there'll be a reduction in the wages of sin."

14. "Do not wait for the hearse to take you to church."

15. "If you're headed in the wrong direction, God allows U-turns."

16. "If you don't like the way you were born, try being born again."

17. "Looking at the way some people live, they ought to obtain eternal fire insurance soon."

18. "This is a ch_ _ ch. What is missing?" (U R)

19. "In the dark? Follow the Son."

20. "Running low on faith? Step in for a fill-up."

21. "If you can't sleep, don't count sheep. Talk to the Shepherd."

" 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: How can birds sit on electric wires without being injured?

ANSWER: It's simple. In order to be electrocuted, the bird would have to touch two wires simultaneously or one hot wire and the ground at the same time. One wire won't do it. (You got it? The logic, not the wire.)

THIS WEEK'S QUESTION: What happened to Pontius Pilate after he sentenced Christ to be crucified?

Answer Next Week.

SOME FUN FACTS

829. TOMATOES BEWARE
A hornworm can eat an entire tomato plant by itself in one day. (Fortunately there are more tomato plants than hornworms.)

830. ‘WAKE’ UP
Hundreds of years ago, lead cups were used to drink ale or whisky. This combination would sometimes knock the imbibers out for a couple of days. Someone walking along the road would take them for dead and prepare them for burial. These architects of their own destruction were laid out on the kitchen table for a couple of days and the family would gather around and eat and drink and wait and see if they would wake up - hence the custom of holding a "wake." (This was an ongoing process as the ‘wake attendees’ could well become the next victims.)

831. A CAFFEINE FIX
Caffeine isn’t restricted to coffee. Many sodas (soft drinks) are heavily laced with the e worlds favourite stimulant too. Jolt has 72 milligrams of caffeine per serving. Mountain Dew, at 54 milligrams, is also rather high. Coca-Cola only has 46 milligrams, and Pepsi even less - 38 milligrams. The comparison to coffee? Coffee has between 50 and 200 milligrams of caffeine per cup. (Would the world survive as we know it without caffeine?)

A WORD PUZZLE FOR YOU

Make another word from this word using all the letters.

SIMPER

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

65: Jude: Three eternal things are mentioned in Jude: chains, fire and what else?

a. Life
b. Knowledge
c. Light
d. Wisdom

Source: http://biblequizzes.org.uk

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IF ONLY I'D THOUGHT OF IT!

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

WISDOM

* Kindness is the Language the deaf can hear and the blind can see

* Real wealth comes when we make a difference for other people

* The best way to cheer yourself up is to cheer someone else up

* Life gives birth to life. Energy creates more energy. We become rich by giving ourselves away.

* Your talents are God's gift to you. Who you serve with your talents is your gift to God.

* What you make happen for others, God will make happen for you

* Don’t always look to get a blessing, look to BE a blessing.

* Give another what they cannot find anywhere else and they will keep returning

* Your rewards in life are determined by the problems you solve for others

100'S MORE TO BE FOUND AT...

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LIFE'S A LAUGH

56. LETTING GO
Reluctantly, my husband agreed to sell some of his old neckties at our yard sale. He glowed with pride when one woman kept exclaiming, "Perfect!" as she picked up each tie.

Paying for her purchases, the woman remarked, "These will look terrific on my scarecrow."

57. PURE ROMANCE
A young man called his mother and announced excitedly that he had just met the woman of his dreams. Now what should he do?

His mother had an idea: "Why don't you send her flowers, and on the card invite her to your apartment for a home-cooked meal?"

He thought this was a great strategy, and a week later, the woman came to dinner. His mother called the next day to see how things had gone.

"I was totally humiliated," he moaned. "She insisted on washing the dishes."

"What's wrong with that?" asked his mother.

"We hadn't started eating yet."

58. SHOCKING!
The Smith's were proud of their family tradition. Their ancestors had come to America on the Mayflower. They had included Senators and Wall Street wizards.

They decided to compile a family history, a legacy for their children and grandchildren. They hired a fine author. Only one problem arose - how to handle that great-uncle George, who was executed in the electric chair.

The author said he could handle the story tactfully.

The book appeared. It said "Great-uncle George occupied a chair of applied electronics at an important government institution, was attached to his position by the strongest of ties, and his death came as a great shock."

59. CINDERELLA ON THE ROOF
When my children received the video of Cinderella as a summer gift, they watched it almost nonstop for three days. Since it was warm outside, we kept the windows open.

Our neighbors were having their roof reshingled by three burly men. As I went out to get the mail one afternoon, I heard a roofer singing, "...put it together and what do you get?"

"From the other side of the house came a chorus of two more husky voices:
"Bibbidi bobbidi, bibbidi bobbidi, bibbidi, bobbidi boo!"

Laugh at life much more here.....

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BIBLE TRIVIA (About The Bible)

JESUS HIMSELF KNEW THE 'OLD COVENANT'

As a Jewish boy, He would have had to diligently study the Torah, Prophets and Writings. He could recite them by heart at age 12! He would have learned from scrolls, kept by the local teachers or rabbis.

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

8-Year-Old Boy Miraculously Recovers From Brain Damage

Abby Carr

Sometimes life can change in a moment. For the Carroll family, that moment came on Monday, July 15, in the form of an 18-wheeler crashing into the rear of their van on the highway. Thus began the family's greatest test of faith—and the clearest example of God's miraculous power.

Nikki Carroll began immediately assessing her children. Their 10-month-old was dangling in his car seat, pressed between the door and the seat. Their 3-year-old girl's head was millimeters away from being crushed, and their 4-year-old son was covered in glass, bleeding from his neck. Right away, she knew something was wrong with their oldest son, Cadyn. He was slumped over and unresponsive, and for a moment Nikki thought he was gone.

God didn't wait to show His faithfulness. A paramedic and a nurse were nearby, as well as a pastor. They diligently helped the family until the ambulances arrived. Complete strangers ran to embrace the children, wrapping them up and treating them like they were their own. Nikki's husband, Grant, suffered a head wound and was laying on the glass-covered highway, pale and in shock. Although the scene was chaotic, Nikki embraced the truck driver in forgiveness and prayed with him, all while her son's fate was unknown.

Everyone was rushed to the nearest hospital, where most of the family was discharged in a few hours with minor injuries. Given the nature of the accident, that alone is miraculous. The state trooper on the scene said no one should have walked away.

Cadyn, however, was intubated and sent to the intensive care unit, still unresponsive.

The next several days were a roller coaster of emotions, punctuated by the news that Cadyn had sustained an injury called shear damage, or DAI (diffuse axonal injury). When the neurologist delivered the diagnosis, he warned Nikki not to research it on the Internet because the statistics are terrifying. Ninety percent of people with shear damage either die or fall into a vegetative state. Those who do wake up are severely impaired for life. There was absolutely nothing medicine could do. It would take a miracle for Cadyn to recover.

Family, friends and church members rallied to pray, but the prayers didn't stop there. Cadyn's story spread through social media, and soon people from across the country and the world were praying for his healing.

Grant shares about the war of faith that waged in their hearts.

"We always knew God could miraculously heal people, but knowing something and experiencing something are two very different things," he says. "All we could do was pray in the name of Jesus and trust that His power is real."

That Saturday, July 20, Cadyn opened his eyes, setting off a recovery that shocked doctors and proved the power of faith in Christ. As Cadyn progressed, doctors warned his parents that he might plateau and that his recovery would be long and arduous. But Cadyn seemed to defy them on every point. First, he began writing, penning a letter to the truck driver that simply said, "I forgive you." His left side was paralyzed, but soon it began to move.

Cadyn began to walk that afternoon. He spoke just moments after doctors said he wouldn't for months. They said he would have a feeding tube for weeks, and he pulled it out himself the next night. The original prognosis was that Cadyn would be in the ICU for many weeks and then go through inpatient rehab for many months. Exactly two weeks after the accident, July 29, Cadyn walked out of the hospital.

The miraculous recovery continued once Cadyn returned home, and now he is almost fully recovered, all within a month from the accident.

Cadyn told his parents he saw angels in his hospital room—three, to be exact—and that there were more angels at the accident scene. He also says he heard Jesus speak to him in his heart, saying He was going to protect Cadyn.

Nikki shares more of Cadyn's words.

"One of Cadyn's life ambitions is to be a pastor and tell people about Jesus," she says. "He said the devil tried to kill him because he's special to God, but the devil couldn't kill him, just make him weak for a little bit."

One of the doctors thanked Cadyn before he left the hospital, saying, "Thank you for showing me what a miracle looks like."

Source: Charisma News

Via: OpenHeaven.com

DAVID'S DOWNLOAD

VICTORY

A poetic version of my spiritual journey.

I’ve started but am yet to complete! A challenge and goal for me and maybe you too!

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WAXING LYRICAL

When writing my book, ‘Eagles Fly High!’ I would go sometimes go up and stay at some
friends’ holiday home about half an hour north of where we live. This poem relates one
of my experiences there. Ironically, I eventually left the words I wrote out of the book
–saved them for another time. I thought the poem though, was worth leaving in.

THE SHEEP AND THE GOAT!

Before starting this story, I had better expand
On what I am doing here, in Bowentown land.
I came to write more of this book you see,
Without interruption, in peace and tranquility.

My day started well, out of bed not too late,
In shorts and T-shirt, went down to the gate,
From there to go running, but what did I find,
Goodness gracious, my energy was left behind!

I plodded down the road at a snail’s pace,
Praying I wouldn’t meet a familiar face.
For vanity comes quickly, out there on the road,
Jogging an easy way, your friends so to goad.

There was a reason for my slowness you see,
For on the previous night, I had had no tea.
No meals indeed, on the day before that!
My body for me, would not go out to bat.

For I am fasting, seeking the Lord you know,
Praying for his inspiration to help me grow.
But in case you think I’m a super spiritual nut,
I’m also expecting now, a shrinking of the gut!

Next, sitting at my computer, uninspired,
Felt really down to it, suddenly so tired.
I was to write about ‘The Sheep and the Goats’ you see,
Expecting God’s revelation - that should have inspired me!

I looked at the computer, viewed the writing on the screen,
‘The Blood and the Lamb’, left from last night, it had been.
Then the computer, it asked me to save,
The answer no, was the one I gave!

In no time at all, I realised my mistake,
No corrective action, could I now make!
Gone forever, fifteen hundred words,
A day’s inspiration, lost to the birds.

Concludes here.....

http://wwj.org.nz/waxing.php?poemId=00007

A DAVID MUSING

A false alarm.....?

Will wait and see.....

In the meantime the waiting continues. Frustrating, 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: PRIMES

TODAY'S 'BIBLE QUESTION' a. Life (Jude 1:21)

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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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