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Issue No: 622     Published: 16 Sep 2013

WHOSE CHURCH IS IT ANYWAY?

THE POST APOSTOLIC CHURCH

THE CHURCH DIVIDES

Again I acknowledge that much of the material that follows is drawn from the excellent publication by Eddie L. Hyatt, 2000 Years of Charismatic Christianity. For specific references to the writings quoted, please refer to that publication.

By the 4th century the church had proceeded in two differing directions. Traditional church history (which we are not going to detail here) had become well institutionalized and formalized in theology and worship, under the control of a'pp'ointed (as opposed to a'nn'ointed) leadership of 'bishops'. Hierarchical, 'positional' leadership had replaced the 'functional', Spirit-led leadership of the early church. Much of this was a defensive response to persecution by the state, and to counter the heretical teachings of sects such as Gnosticism and Marcionism. The meaning of the word 'bishop' changed from 'group oversight' to 'personal control'.

As we will continue to see, right throughout history, when man takes over the church, the Holy Spirit is first sidelined, then rejected, in all but name only.

The question that now arises is, "Did the Spirit abandon the church altogether, or did He remain active in a remnant of the church?"

THE MONTANISTS

Over the centuries, the Montanists have generally had a bad press, as history has been recorded by the institutional church with whom they came into conflict. However, reality is, this movement was likely the first 'charismatic renewal' of the church.

Montanus was born in the first half of the second century in Phrygia, and converted from paganism to Christianity. He may have been a bishop at one time. Orthodox in his faith, he worked in signs and miracles. Even his enemies conceded "both his life and doctrine were holy and blameless."

He was concerned about the growing formalism of the church and increasing moral laxity amongst its membership. So around AD172, he began to assert the importance of the supernatural ministry of the Spirit, including insisting that Christians practice a morally strict lifestyle. He believed the qualifying factor for ministry was possession of a spiritual gift, rather than appointment to an ecclesiastical office. This automatically drew him into conflict with the new church leadership who believed ecclesiastical appointment held pre-eminence over any spiritual gift.

'The New Prophecy' movement, or Montanists, as they were called, quickly gained a substantial following, spreading throughout Asia Minor, North Africa and Europe, even to Rome itself.

The church proclaimed their 'ecstatic' delivery of prophetic messages to be demonic, although generally, not disputing their content. Support for the Montanists came from Irenaeus and Tertullian (see earlier issues).

Like virtually all spiritual movements throughout history, once the founder dies, the movement becomes formalised, by followers who try to embed the revelation received, rather than seek out the Spirit for ongoing guidance. In the 3rd century the Montanists began institutionalizing, appointing their own bishops and deacons. In 381, the Council at Constantinople declared the Montanists to be pagans. However the movement continued until the 5th century at least, when Augustine mentioned their existence.

Interestingly, in 1750, John Wesley read an early eighteenth-century work by John Lacy called "The General Delusion of Christians Touching the Ways of God Revealing Himself to and by the Prophets." It gives a positive view of Montanism, refuting many of the traditional accusations. After reading this book, Wesley wrote the following observation in his Journal, on August 15, 1750:

I was fully convinced of what I had once suspected:
1) That the Montanists, in the second and third centuries, were real Scriptural Christians; and
2) That the grand reason why the miraculous gifts were so soon withdrawn was not only that faith and holiness were well nigh lost, but that dry, formal, orthodox men began even then to ridicule whatever gifts they had not themselves, and to decry them all as either madness or imposture.


So here we have the understanding of one Spirit led person about others.

So we can continue to say that.....

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

(Continued next week.)

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FROM THE WORD

THE WORDS OF JESUS continued

The Lord has asked me to compile a publication of the words Jesus spoke, as recorded in the New Testament in chronological order. I have got about halfway, and have found it very enlightening and encouraging in my relationship with Him. The final version will have changes of layout and version used, but this is a foretaste of things to come. Of course, it is not a Bible substitute! I Hope you find it helpful too, in your walk with Jesus.

Testimonies About Jesus (John 5:31-47)
“If I testify about myself, my testimony is not valid. There is another who testifies in my favor, and I know that his testimony about me is valid. “You have sent to John and he has testified to the truth. Not that I accept human testimony; but I mention it that you may be saved. John was a lamp that burned and gave light, and you chose for a time to enjoy his light. “I have testimony weightier than that of John. For the very work that the Father has given me to finish, and which I am doing, testifies that the Father has sent me. And the Father who sent me has himself testified concerning me. You have never heard his voice nor seen his form, nor does his word dwell in you, for you do not believe the one he sent. You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life. “I do not accept praise from men, but I know you. I know that you do not have the love of God in your hearts. I have come in my Father’s name, and you do not accept me; but if someone else comes in his own name, you will accept him. How can you believe if you accept praise from one another, yet make no effort to obtain the praise that comes from the only God? “But do not think I will accuse you before the Father. Your accuser is Moses, on whom your hopes are set. If you believed Moses, you would believe me, for he wrote about me. But since you do not believe what he wrote, how are you going to believe what I say?”

Lord of the Sabbath (Matthew 12:1-14, Mark 2:23-3:6, Luke 6:1-11)
“Haven’t you read what David did when he and his companions were hungry? He entered the house of God, and he and his companions ate the consecrated bread—which was not lawful for them to do, but only for the priests. Or haven’t you read in the Law that on the Sabbath the priests in the temple desecrate the day and yet are innocent? I tell you that one greater than the temple is here. If you had known what these words mean, ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the innocent. For the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath.”
“ If any of you has a sheep and it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will you not take hold of it and lift it out? How much more valuable is a man than a sheep! Therefore it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath.”
“Stretch out your hand”

(Continued next week)

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DAVID'S DOODLINGS

GROWING IN GOD

25. To the believer Jesus is Saviour, but to the disciple he is also Lord.

26. The stairway to great faith is climbed one step at a time. A single leap courts disaster.

27. Our most dearly held beliefs often inhibit God’s further revelation to us.

28. The foundation of our spiritual house is to be built upon the solid rock of Jesus, the walls constructed using the insights of the fathers of the faith, while the ‘roof of truth’ is God’s revelation to us today.

29. As we grow in God, what we are to do assumes greater importance, than what we are not to do.

30. A new believer focuses upon the ‘thou shalt not’s’, while a mature disciple develops the ‘thou shalt’s.’ in their life.

31. God’s word is a two-edged sword, revealing both love and judgement.

32. To believe in God is good, to hear from God is great, but to obey God reaps the ultimate reward.

33. A man’s wisdom is based upon experience, but God’s wisdom comes through revelation.

34. It’s easy to be wise in theory, but a lot more difficult in practise!

314. The major difference between childhood and adulthood is taking responsibility. Many Christians dislike responsibility!

315. In nature, human growth occurs naturally. We expect the same in the Spiritual and get offended when others grow more quickly than us.

316. Human growth is measured in height, girth and wrinkles, spiritual growth by the 'fruit of the Spirit.' Often we confuse the two.

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TUESDAY TEACHINGS

THIS WEEK: A REVELATION OF...
THE SEVEN REVELATIONS OF THE LAMB - Part 8


We all want to inherit God's kingdom at some time.

Biggest trouble is though, most see it as a future event rather than a current possibility!

The seventh and final revelation of 'The Lamb of God'.

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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. ***


787. FISHING
A young boy came to Sunday School late. His teacher knew that he was usually very prompt and asked him if anything was wrong.

The boy replied no, that he was going fishing but his dad told him that he needed to go to church.

The teacher was very impressed and asked the boy if his dad had explained to him why it was more important to go to church than to go fishing?

The boy replied, "Yes he did. Dad said he didn't have enough bait for both of us.

786. GIVE
In an effort to raise funds to help build a much-needed fellowship hall, the pastor of a small country church exhorted his flock to give generously when the collection plate was passed. "Give," he pleaded, "as though it were going right back into you own pocket."

After the service, the pastor chided one of the members: "George, I noticed that you let the collection plate go right by you in spite of my appeal."

"Well, Reverend," the man replied, "I figured as long as the money was going back into my pocket anyway, it didn't need no round trip."

785. THE CANDLE
A couple, desperate to conceive a child, went to their priest and asked him to pray for them. "I'm going on a sabbatical to Rome," he replied, "and while I'm there, I'll light a candle for you."

When the priest returned three years later, he went to the couple's house and found the wife pregnant, busily attending to two sets of twins. Elated, the priest asked her where her husband was so that he could congratulate him.

"He's gone to Rome, to blow that candle out" came the harried reply.

" 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 was the first toy ever advertised on television?

ANSWER: Mr. Potato Head was the first toy advertised on television. Now, of course, kids are inundated with ads and have to have the ‘hot’ toy of the moment right away! Mr. Potato Head, by the way, was originally sold (in 1952) without the plastic potato body. The whimsical accessory parts, like the nose and eyes, were to be inserted into a REAL potato. Eventually, that was considered too dangerous, as the parts had to be sharp to pierce a real potato (And, of course, real potatoes rot.)

THIS WEEK'S QUESTION: How does a frog cope with freezing temperatures?

Answer Next Week.

SOME FUN FACTS

817. COOL MINTS
Mints don't actually reduce the temperature inside your mouth, but they do make your mouth feel cooler. For the menthol in mints stimulates certain nerve cells which normally react only to heat to respond and so you feel cooler inside. (Real cool – eh!)

818. BROWN OR WHITE? EGGS THAT IS!
Brown and white eggs are identical in terms of nutritional value and they have the same composition. The colour of the egg is determined by the ancestry of the hen that lays it. White eggs are produced by hens originating in the Mediterranean area, while brown eggs are produced by hens originating in Asia. (Avoid the mental ‘eggs-ercise’ – it doesn’t really matter which you buy!)

819. SOLID GOLD
The world's largest single gold object is a 15th-century statue of Buddha in Bangkok, Thailand. It is 10 ft (3 m) high and weighs 5.4 tons (5.5 tonnes)! (Idol worship continues unabated.)

A WORD PUZZLE FOR YOU

Make another word from this word using all the letters.

INFRINGE

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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SERMON ON THE MOUNT

3. What did Jesus say is as bad as murder?

a. Jealousy
b. Anger
c. Greed
d. Adultery


Source: http://biblequizzes.org.uk

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IF ONLY I'D THOUGHT OF IT!

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

!!!!!!! "I have found that there are three stages in every great work of God: first, it is impossible, then it is difficult, then it is done." - Hudson Taylor

!!!!!! "Faith sees the invisible, believes the unbelievable, and receives the impossible."- Corrie ten Boom

!!!!! "We never test the resources of God until we attempt the IMPOSSIBLE." - F.B. Meyer

!!!! "Until we reach for the IMPOSSIBLE through fervent, faith-filled prayer, we will NEVER fulfill our created purpose!" - David Smithers

!!! "Nothing is IMPOSSIBLE with GOD." - Luke 1: 37

!! "Don't pray when you feel like it. Have an appointment with the Lord and keep it. A man is powerful on his knees." - Corrie ten Boom

! "God never ceases to speak to us, but the noise of the world without and the tumult of our passions within bewilder us and prevent us from listening to him." - Fenelon

100'S MORE TO BE FOUND AT...

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WHY?

57. Why do doctors call what they do "a practice"?

58. Why doesn't Tarzan have a beard?

59. If man evolved from monkeys and apes, why do we still have monkeys and apes?

60. If all those psychics know the winning lottery numbers, why are they all still working?

61. Where did Webster look up the definitions when he wrote the dictionary?

62. Why is there a road sign that says "Braille Institute, Next Exit?

63. When an octopus puts on deodorant, how does he remember where he started?

64. Why is it, when a door is open it's ajar, but when a jar is open, it's not a door?

65. Why are they called buildings, when they're already finished? Shouldn't they be called builts?

66. Why do people without a watch look at their wrist when you ask them what time it is?

67. Why do women wear evening gowns to nightclubs? Shouldn't they be wearing night gowns?
(some seem to!)

68. Why is it that if someone tells you that there are billion stars in the universe you will believe them, but if they tell you a wall has wet paint you will have to touch it to be sure?

69. Why do psychics have to ask you for your name?

70. Why put off 'til tomorrow what you'll never do anyway?

71. Why is the alphabet in that order?

72. Why is a carrot more orange than an orange?

73. Why is the man who invests all your money called a broker?

74. Where do forest rangers go to "get away from it all?"

75. Have you ever wondered why just one letter makes all the difference between laughter and slaughter.

Many more of life's imponderable questions here.....

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BIBLE TRIVIA (About The Bible)

NUTS AND BOLTS

JEROME (340-420)


He began his ascetic lifestyle as a hermit but found he needed something to occupy his mind. He took up Hebrew and eventually began teaching classes in biblical interpretation. In AD382, he translated the Old and New Testaments from their original languages (Hebrew and Greek) into Latin - what we now call the 'Vulgate'.

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

West Africa: Dramatic transformation among Muslim peoples


“Dramatic transformation is the key to rapid multiplication of churches among Muslims,” says Jerry Trousdale of missions organization CityTeam International.

He relates the story how one time their West African ministry partners were having their midday prayers, when they suddenly were surrounded by Muslim leaders. The team had been seeing breathtaking breakthroughs among highly resistant Muslim peoples, so they had anticipated opposition. They had reason to be fearful, but kept praying. Surprisingly, the Muslims just stood around them observing the proceedings and making no signs of hostile intentions.

"We beg you: could you please send us the storytellers?"

When the Christian leaders finished praying, the group approached and turned out to be a delegation of Muslim civic leaders from a distant region. They had come with their imam and with a request. They said: “We have not come to harm you, but we beg you - could you please send us the storytellers?” They meant the Christian workers who were making disciples by telling stories. The Muslim leaders from this community had observed other communities in their area that had become Christian, and they had noticed a dramatic change in people’s lives. They wanted the same thing in their community!



After some rearranging of schedules and responsibilities, the ministry was able to send out a team of storytellers to the distant village. Nobody imagined at the time that events like these would be repeated again and again, and that even entire mosques would come to faith in Christ. “When Muslims observe the types of dramatic transformation that only the gospel can bring in individuals, families and whole communities, they are often jealous to experience the same,” explains Trousdale.

MARKS OF TRANSFORMATION

What does transformation look like among Muslim-background believers? These are some of the most common changes seen among Muslims who accept Christ:

1. HEALED FAMILIES. In families where women and children have been treated almost as slaves, wife beating becomes no longer acceptable, and love begins to heal broken marriages. Children are given permission to attend schools and are treated with new appreciation. Fighting between parents and children diminishes. Polygamy is no longer the choice of Christian men, and prostitution dies out.

2. A SPIRIT OF FREEDOM. When people discover freedom, it affects everything in their lives. They find release from fatalism, they are willing to try new things, and they expect God to bless their lives.



3. A SPIRIT OF LOVE. Many Muslim people report that God puts love in their hearts for the first time. In many cases, they have a new passion for fellow Muslims who are still in the mosque.



4. DIMINISHED VIOLANCE. There have been instances in which, upon becoming Christians, former Muslims refuse to participate in ongoing ethnic warfare. In one case, when the Christian men were called to account for why they no longer ‘supported the tribe’, they shared the message of Jesus. This caused tribal elders to rethink their reasons for fighting, and the fighting stopped. Today, the two men who stood up for their conviction, are church planters.

5. LESS ADDICTION. The levels of addiction to alcohol, khat, and other things that consume people’s lives are greatly diminished as these people receive prayer for deliverance.



6. REDEMPTION AND HOPE. Historically, when lost people become obedient disciples of Jesus, they typically exchange fatalism for optimism, have new energy and initiative, and become more productive people. In addition, they abandon expensive addictions, and they see the blessings for God on their family situation.



7. EVIDENCES OF DIVINE FAVOR. Many new Christians share with joy how, after they became followers of Jesus, and during a time of prolonged drought, the Lord caused it to rain on their farms or on the pasture where their livestock was, but not on their neighbors’ land. And it became so obvious that the Muslim neighbors came to them to find out why these Christians had such favor. Farmers in every region that City Team International workers have interviewed report that, since they have become Christians, they have begun praying over their fields and have ceased using Muslim or spiritist blessings on their land, and their harvests have dramatically increased.



8. GRACE IN PERSECUTION. Many new Christians in Muslim areas face harsh persecution. But these believers, though persecuted in cruel ways, have been transformed so deeply that they find the courage to speak a blessing on their persecutors. This forgiveness in the face of persecution can, over time, be the way that God gets into a persecutor’s heart to transform it as well. Numerous Muslims who formerly persecuted the Muslim-background Christians in their areas have come to faith as a result of those whom they persecuted responding with grace and kindness to the evil things done to them.



9. FREEDOM FROM DEMONIC OPPRESSION. Many Muslims have experienced years of torment from demonic powers. But when they repent of sins and receive Jesus as Lord, those spirits are successfully cast out. These deliverances are very tangible witnesses of the power of the gospel in Muslim families.



10. THE POWER OF INDIVIDUAL PRAYER. Common people discover that they can pray and God moves. Even the Muslims see this and thank God for the changes in the communities, as many who used to disturb them are now peaceful Christians.


Source: Jerry Trousdale

Via OpenHeaven.com

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WAXING LYRICAL

One of the first poems I ever wrote. Written in a time of trouble - as most of the best
poetry is.

A FRIEND IS THERE

A friend is there to lend an ear,
To listen while you shed a tear,
To understand while others scorn,
To give you comfort as you mourn.
Yes, a friend is there.

A friend is there about you to care,
The one with whom you can always share,
Is there to help you carry your load,
As you walk along life’s wearying road.
Yes, a friend is there.

A friend is there when your burden is great,
You’re crying out inside, ruing your fate,
Desperately wanting to tear out your hair,
Because life, it seems, is just not fair.
Yes, a friend is there.

A friend is there to help you through,
To be with you when you’re feeling blue,
To support you as you come to terms,
With that stinking, rotten, can of worms.
Yes, a friend is there.

A friend is there to gear you vent your spleen
As you look back, wondering what might have been,
Had you done this or had you done that,
You wouldn’t be in the place you are at.
Yes, a friend is there.

A friend is there to help heal the sores,
To turn you away from settling old scores,
To look at life in a different light,
Helping you separate day from night.
Yes, a friend is there.

A friend is there both on heaven and in earth,
Waiting, yearning, to help with the rebirth,
One who is precious both above and down here,
The one in whom you can confide, without fear.
Yes, a friend is there.

http://wwj.org.nz/waxing.php?poemId=00004

A DAVID MUSING

Further to our personal experience about 'waiting' to sell our business, I had hoped today to be able to share New Zealander's delight in regaining the world's oldest sporting trophy, the Americas Cup, raced for between the elite of high performance yachts since 1851. and lost by New Zealand 10 years ago. Truly the 'Formula 1' of yacht racing, embracing all the latest in technology that man has developed.

These amazing high powered catamarans can travel at twice the speed of the wind! They reach speeds approaching 50 knots, that is 90kph in layman's terms!

All was going well on Sunday morning, with Team NZ needing to win just 3 more races to win the series. Then....... near disaster! In making a high speed tack (turn) the sail malfunctioned and the boat went up to an angle of nearly 45 degrees (as the picture shows) before crashing back down onto its twin hulls. One degree from utter disaster!

This race was lost, the next abandoned due to high winds. So still 3 wins needed compared to our opponents, Team Oracle USA's, 9 needed. More racing, more waiting, more excitement to come!

I can't help thinking how much this is like life. We wait. We feel we are nearly there. Then more delay! But all comes in God's timing, as we personally found out last week.

No, I am not saying God is with us over the America's Cup! But now there will be more mornings in front of the TV, now with an edge towards what had had previously seemed to be a foregone conclusion. Waiting again..... Isn't waiting fun!!!! Not often! But so necessary in our walk with Jesus.

Until next week.....

MAY GOD BLESS YOU AND YOU BLESS GOD

His servant and yours

David Tait

Today's 'Word Puzzle' Answer: REFINING

TODAY'S 'BIBLE QUESTION' b. Anger

REPRODUCTION OF NEWSLETTER CONTENT

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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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