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Issue No: 643     Published: 10 Feb 2014

WHOSE CHURCH IS IT ANYWAY?

THE POST APOSTOLIC CHURCH
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.

We now move on to the post-Reformation eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.

1700-1900

THE AMERICAN GREAT AWAKENING (1726-1750)

By 1726, through the demoralizing effect of frontier challenges and several brutal wars, there was a continuing moral and spiritual decline which the formalized religious churches were unable to influence.

JONATHAN EDWARDS (1703-1758)

Pastor of the Congregational Church in Northampton, Massachusetts, Edwards expressed his concern for the "general deadness throughout the land", setting himself to seek God for a "revival of religion." Others also began to seek God diligently. In 1726 a spiritual awakening broke out in various regions along the eastern seaboard of the US.

Edwards home town of Northampton, Massachusetts was one such place. An awesome sense of the Holy Spirit's divine presence permeated the entire community. Edwards reports that during the spring and summer of 1735, "the town seemed to be full of the presence of God." In every part of town, the Spirit of God was powerfully at work until.....

"there was scarcely a single person in the town, old or young, left unconcerned about the great things of the eternal world."

Without formal evangelical outreach, Edward's church filled to overflowing. Edwards commented.....

Our public assemblies were then beautiful: the congregation was alive in God's service, everyone intent on the public worship, every hearer eager to drink in the words of the minister as they came from his mouth; the assembly were in general from time to time in tears while the word was preached; some weeping with sorrow and distress, others with joy and love, others with pity and concern for the souls of their neighbours.

Outsiders often scoffed at the events in Northampton. Yet when they entered the town, their scepticism dissipated in the overwhelming presence of God. Returning home, carrying the revival spirit with them, the awakening spread.

Edwards was particularly known for his sermon, "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God", when the congregation grasped the backs of the pews and pillars to avoid, as it were, being consumed by eternal flames. On the other hand, Edwards was very sensitive and could be moved to tears contemplating the love and mercy of God. He commonly spent 18 hours in prayer before preaching a sermon. The resulting revival transformed both the local community and the nation.

GEORGE WHITFIELD (1714-1770)

An English, Anglican associate of the Wesleys, but not denominationally prejudiced, he came to America in 1739 and preached up and down the Eastern Seaboard.

Everywhere he went, shops shut and workers laid down their tools to come to his meetings. At a time when Boston's population was round 25,000, he preached to a crowd of 30,000 on Boston Common!

Signs and wonders accompanied his preaching. Whitfield once commented.....

Look where I would, most were drowned in tears. Some were struck pale as death, others wringing their hands, others lying on the ground, others sinking into the arms of their friends and most lifting up their eyes to heaven and crying out to God.

Benjamin Franklin, a close non-Christian friend of Whitfield's reported.....

In 1739 there arrived among us from Ireland the Reverend Mr Whitfield who made himself remarkable there as an itinerant preacher. He was at first permitted to preach in some of our churches, but the clergy, taking a dislike to him, soon refused him their pulpits, and he was obliged to preach in the fields. The multitudes of all sects and denominations that attended his sermons were enormous, and it was a matter of speculation to me, who was one of the number, to observe the extraordinary influence of his oratory on his hearers. From being thoughtless or indifferent about religion, it seemed as if all the world were growing religious so that one could not walk through the town in an evening without hearing psalms sung in different families of every street.

Both Edwards and Whitfield were rooted in Calvinism, and while accepting spiritual manifestations such as falling under the power of the Holy Spirit, for they accompanied their preaching, they rejected spiritual gifts such as prophecy, tongues and miracles, saying they ended with the Apostles.

However it is obvious that the power of the Holy Spirit rested with them and had huge political influence. Harvard professor William Perry states,

"The Declaration of Independence of 1776 was a result of the evangelical preaching of the evangelists of the Great Awakening."

So we can continue to say.....

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.

The Feast of Tabernacles (John 7:1-13)
Jesus initially stays away in fear of His life.

“The right time for me has not yet come; for you any time is right. 7 The world cannot hate you, but it hates me because I testify that what it does is evil. 8 You go to the Feast. I am not yet going up to this Feast, because for me the right time has not yet come.”

Cost of Following Jesus (Matthew 8:18-22, Luke 9:57-62)
People make excuses to delay following Jesus.

“Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.”
“Follow me.”
“Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God.”
“No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.”

Teaching at the Feast (John 7:14-24)
Ignoring danger, Jesus arrives half way through to teach.

“My teaching is not my own. It comes from him who sent me. 17 If anyone chooses to do God’s will, he will find out whether my teaching comes from God or whether I speak on my own. 18 He who speaks on his own does so to gain honor for himself, but he who works for the honor of the one who sent him is a man of truth; there is nothing false about him. 19 Has not Moses given you the law? Yet not one of you keeps the law. Why are you trying to kill me?”
“I did one miracle, and you are all astonished. 22 Yet, because Moses gave you circumcision (though actually it did not come from Moses, but from the patriarchs), you circumcise a child on the Sabbath. 23 Now if a child can be circumcised on the Sabbath so that the law of Moses may not be broken, why are you angry with me for healing the whole man on the Sabbath? 24 Stop judging by mere appearances, and make a right judgment.”

Teaching in the Temple after the Feast (John 7:25-44)
Jesus questioned as to whether or not He is the Christ.

“Yes, you know me, and you know where I am from. I am not here on my own, but he who sent me is true. You do not know him, 29 but I know him because I am from him and he sent me.”
“I am with you for only a short time, and then I go to the one who sent me. 34 You will look for me, but you will not find me; and where I am, you cannot come.”
‘You will look for me, but you will not find me,’ and ‘Where I am, you cannot come’?”
“If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. 38 Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.”

(Continued next week)

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DAVID'S DOODLINGS

GENERAL

286. An inspiration lasts for but a moment. An inspiration written down can bless others for generations.

287. If all those godly inspirations lost to memory had been recorded, we would now be much greater in wisdom. Also in filing cabinets!

293. Without challenges there can be no accomplishments.

367. FOR SALE - Free mansions in the sky. Over 1.5 billion sold but still a few left. All enquiries to Jesus.

428. Our human desire is 'to do', but God wants us 'to be'.

429. Our job is 'to be', so that God can use us 'to do'.

550. How is it that those who hate mice can still manage to operate a computer?

551. How is it that ‘back seat drivers’ usually sit in the front passenger’s seat?

552. Heroism is in the eye of the beholder.

553. You may know how to get there but you first have to know where to go!

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TUESDAY TEACHINGS

THIS WEEK: REVELATIONS REVELATION!

Years ago the Lord drew my attention to the endings of the letters to the 7 churches in Revelation, chapters 2 & 3. Each letter ends in a similar way, "to him who overcomes," with a promise following.

Upon first discovering these, I shared them with the "Home Group" we have attended for many years. It was an interesting study, but no more. It Wasn’t until late this afternoon (8 October 1999), just in time to get into trouble with the wife for not setting the table in time for tea, that the Lord showed me what they really meant!

But it shows His empathy too, in that He had Started preparing me, several years ago, for this day. And what did He show me? That the promises He made to these 7 churches were to be fulfilled by the overcoming people of His Tabernacle Church.

These promises make just so much more sense, now that the blinkers have been removed from my eyes.

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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. ***


848. QUESTION AND ANSWER
‘A Sunday School teacher asked her class why Joseph and Mary took Jesus with them to Jerusalem.

A small child replied, 'They couldn't get a baby-sitter.'


847. TO FIX
Carter, about two and half years old was playing with another child when his mother called, "Carter, come here. I need to fix your hair. It is time to get ready for church."

Carter stopped his play and explained to the other child, " My hair is broke. Mama's gotta fix it."

846. POLITICAL VALUES
A priest was being honored at his retirement dinner after 25 years in the parish. A leading local politician and member of the congregation was chosen to make the presentation and give a little speech at the dinner. He was delayed, so the priest decided to say his own few words while they waited. "I got my first impression of the parish from the first confession I heard here. I thought I had been assigned to a terrible place. The very first person to enter my confessional told me he had stolen a television set and, when questioned by the police, was able to lie his way out of it. He had stolen money from his parents, embezzled from his employer, had an affair with his boss' wife, and taken illegal drugs.

“I was appalled. But as the days went on I knew that my people were not all like that and I had, indeed, come to a fine parish full of good and loving people."

Just as the priest finished his talk, the politician arrived, full of apologies at being late. He immediately began to make his presentation. "I'll never forget the first day our parish priest arrived," said the politician. "In fact, I had the honor of being the first one to go to him in confession."

…..Docs Daily Chuckle (pkaine@roadrunner.com) by way of “Christian Voices” (ChristianVoices@att.net)

" 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 some animals have eyes that glow in the dark?

ANSWER: Taking a flashlight outside at night to look for your cat, you might have been greeted with the eerie glow of two eyes that appear to be floating free of the cat. What makes cat eyes, and those of some other animals, glow in the dark? Many nocturnal animals (those that hunt at night) have a mirror like layer called the ‘tapetum’ behind the cells of the retina. This reflective surface helps the animal to gather more light so that it can clearly see, even in very low levels of illumination. Animals that have this ability include rabbits, deer, cats, racoons, wolves, and even bullfrogs. Animals' eyes glow different colours, too, depending on the type of animal and the pigment in the animal's photoreceptors. Some shine red or green, while others are yellow, gold or white. (Glow worms too.)

THIS WEEK'S QUESTION: What is the underlying meaning of the number '7' in the Bible?

Answer Next Week.

SOME FUN FACTS

742. THE GREATESTINVENTION
Sliced bread was invented by Otto Frederick Rohwedder, and first sold in May 1928. (What was the greatest invention before sliced bread?)

743. GOT THE BOUNCE?
Cranberries are sorted for ripeness by bouncing them; a fully ripened cranberry can be dribbled like a basketball. (Anyone for a game of basketberry?)

744. PIZZA COUNTRY
Americans, on average, eat 18 acres of pizza every day. (Which is fortunate, as otherwise the country would soon become covered with uneaten pizza.)

A WORD PUZZLE FOR YOU

Make another word from this word using all the letters.

CODDLES

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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BIBLE FIRSTS

2: What is the first measure of weight used in the Bible?

a. Bekah
b. Mina
c. Talent
d. Shekel

Source: http://biblequizzes.org.uk

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IF ONLY I'D THOUGHT OF IT!

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

!!!!!!! The goal of Christianity is not to make good people, but new people.

!!!!!! Office sign: If you have nothing to do, please don't do it here.

!!!!! He slept beneath the moon; he baked beneath the sun; he lived a life of going to do ~ and died with nothing done.

!!!! He who thinks by the inch, and talks by the yard, deserves to be kicked by the foot.

!!! Let us endeavour to live that when we die, even the undertaker will be sorry.

!! A hug is a round-a-bout way of expressing affection.

! If you think education is expensive, try ignorance.

100'S MORE TO BE FOUND AT...

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JUST JOKES

272. REDIAL
I got the strangest recording when I called the phone company the other day.
It said, "You have been connected to the correct department on the first try. This is against company policy. Please hang up and redial.."

271. THE PHONE
One day an employee came into work with both of his ears bandaged. His boss asked him what happened to his ears.

"Yesterday I was ironing a shirt when the phone rang and I accidentally answered the iron instead of the phone!"

"Well," the boss said, "that explains one ear, but what about the other?"

"They called back!"

270. WHAT'S THE MATTER?
My mother once gave me two sweaters for my birthday. The next time we visited, I made sure to wear one.

As we entered her home, instead of the expected smile, she said, "What's the matter? You didn't like the other one?"

269. MONEY EARNER
A motorist, after being bogged down in a muddy road, paid a passing farmer five dollars to pull him out with his tractor. After he was back on dry ground he said to the farmer, "At those prices, I should think you would be pulling people out of the mud night and day."

"Can't." replied the farmer. "At night I haul water for the hole."

268. SO MANY
Fleischmann: "How are you feeling today?"

Perlmutter: "Oy vey! I tell you ... I've got so many aches and pains, if I get a new one today, it will have to wait two weeks before I can even worry about it!"

Have more laughs today right here.....

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British children no longer know Bible stories

AP

Research from the Bible Society has revealed that around half of children are growing up unfamiliar with Bible stories like Adam and Eve, and David and Goliath.

The research, carried out by YouGov, was released in a report published today by the Bible Society as part of the launch for its 'Pass it' on campaign calling on parents to keep the Bible alive for future generations.

The research reveals that there is a growing generation gap of Bible literacy in Britain despite 43% of parents believing it is important for their child to have read, seen or heard Bible stories because they provide values for a good life.

Similarly, 40% think they are important to the nation's history and culture, and over a third (36%) say they are classic stories that stand the test of time.

Just 12% of parents surveyed said it was not important for children to read, see or hear Bible stories.

More than a quarter of all children (28%) also say that they would like to read, hear or see more Bible stories, peaking around the ages of 8 and 9 where it rises to 40% and 41% respectively.

Encouragingly, half (49%) of primary school children describe Bible stories as interesting, while almost one in three (31%) of those in secondary school feel the same. By 14 and 15, the proportion of children that think Bible stories are interesting is 35% and 27% respectively.

Around half of children never read or are never read Bible stories, in contrast to their parents' generation, with around nine in 10 parents (86%) saying they read, listened to or watched Bible stories when they were growing up.

Over half of children polled (54%) read Bible stories never or less than once a year at school or home. Similarly 45% of parents with children aged 3 to 8 never read Bible stories to their child.

Among non-Christian parents with children aged 3 to 8, one in 10 read Bible stories to their child daily, rising to 12% for those that do not associate with any religion.

However, the survey found that children today fail to identify Bible stories from fables, fairytales and Greek myths.

Polled just a few weeks after Christmas, almost one in three children (29%) did not identify the Nativity as a story from the Bible, including 35% of 15-year-olds. This rises to 36% for the Good Samaritan, 41% for Samson and Delilah and well over half, 59%, for David and Goliath and Jonah and The Whale.

Even for some of the best known Bible stories, one in five were unable to identify Noah's Ark as a Bible story, while a similar proportion (19%) did not know Adam and Eve came from the Bible.

By contrast one in 10 (9%) believe that King Midas and Icarus appear in the Bible. Many children have not read, seen or heard classic Bible stories.

A quarter of children (23%) indicate they have never read, seen or heard Noah's Ark or the Nativity (25%), rising to 38% for Adam and Eve and 43% for the Crucifixion.

More than half indicated they have never read, seen or heard Joseph and his coat of many colours (54%), Moses parting the Red Sea (56%), and David and Goliath (57%).

The proportion rises to 61% for the feeding of the 5,000 and the Good Samaritan, 63% for the creation story, three quarters (72%) for Daniel in the Lion's Den, and 85% for the story of Solomon.

Even among adults, there is a notable decline in Bible readership through the ages, with less than two thirds (63%) saying they read, listened to or watched Bible stories in school. But this varies from 56% of 25 to 34-year-olds, to 79% of those aged 55 or over.

Similarly, for those that think it is appropriate for children to learn Bible stories, only half of 25 to 34 year olds think it is appropriate for teachers to read them to their child, rising to 61% of 35 to 44-year-olds, 79% of 45 to 54-year-olds and 83% of those aged 55 or over.

Bible literacy is part of a much bigger battle to keep children engaged with reading, with the survey finding that only 40% of parents with children aged 3 to 8 read stories to them daily, and that one in seven (14%) never do so, whether Bible related or otherwise. Just over a third (34%) said they read stories to their child less than once a week.

Around one in 10 children (8%) said they had never been read a story by their parents, grandparents or other family members, and nearly a third (31%) read stories by themselves less than once a month or never.

The proportion of children that read stories every day almost halves between primary and secondary school, from 42% to 22% respectively. By age 15, only 13% do so compared with over half of 8 year olds (52%) and a third (32%) of children overall.

Bible Society's 2014 'Pass It On' campaign is designed to encourage parents to pass on classic Bible stories such as David and Goliath to the next generation.

Sir Andrew Motion, Poet Laureate (1999-2009), says that these statistics are becoming a disturbing reality and that many of Britain's brightest students no longer know the story of Adam and Eve - making it difficult for academics to teach crucial literary and historical texts.

Commenting on the publication of the report, Sir Andrew said: "It's essential for us to keep these stories alive, regardless of our religious beliefs - or lack of them. They are indispensable to our understanding of the past, and to the enrichment of our present."

Speaking about the campaign, James Catford, Group Chief Executive of Bible Society said:
"Our research indicates that the Bible's brilliant and engaging stories could be lost to future generations unless people take action."It's clear that parents want to give their children the best start in life.

"The Bible's contribution to our culture – language, literature, the visual arts and music – is immense. It doesn't matter who you are or where you come from.

"The Bible enriches life, and every child should have the opportunity to experience it. If we don't use the Bible, we risk losing it. We're calling on parents to pass it on."

DAVID'S DOWNLOAD

A REVELATION OF... THE 3 RIVERS OF GOD

The principle of the 'river' in scripture and how it applies to our lives and the church today.

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WAXING LYRICAL

Don't know how this came into my mind! But it did! May be feeling guilty! Hope it helps.

TO GO OR TO STAY?

There's a time to come and a time to go,
Which is which we never seem to know.
Not to outstay our welcome here,
Nor to be a nuisance there,
Give me wisdom Lord,
To be in Your accord.

Have no idea why I am writing this!
But trust the point I do not miss!
For we all have times when we should know to go,
But hang on we do, outstaying our welcome, saying yes when we should say no......

Just leave!
Don't grieve!
It's not the day,
For me to stay.

This simple lesson we must learn,
Many 'brownie points' then to earn.
Our welcome not overstaying,
And our hosts not dismaying.
Then they will be happy to have us return,
For us, the 'welcome mat', we will not burn.

This piece of sage advice
May keep us very nice,
In the eyes of others,
If not our mothers.

Reminds me now, her to visit,
Yes, for more than a minute!
For she brought me up, indeed she did,
Even at times, when I was a bad kid.
For mothers are more patient than most,
My responsibility to her, now foremost.

So I will visit her this afternoon,
Hope she will be over the moon.
Take her out in the car for a nice drive,
In the sunshine - so good to be alive!

To go or to stay?
Surely wisdom is needed.
For that I pray,
His advice to be heeded.

More of David's poetry here.....

http://wwj.org.nz/waxing.php

A DAVID MUSING

Very late on Tuesday night, my 'love'ely wife Kathy arrived back at Napier Airport, along with her friend Maggie after their trip to the 'uttermost part of the earth' (for us here in New Zealand) of Britain, where Kathy visited our 2 sons living there along with partners and our only 3 grandchildren. Maggie visited her daughter in London. When you think your children live far away, remember that for us to visit our grandchildren, it is a 40,000km round trip!

A quick side trip to Italy to visit our new clothing suppliers, completed her 3 week adventure. From summer, to winter, now back to summer again.

Adjusting to the jetlag caused by the 11 hour time difference, each way, is the main physical challenge arising from such a trip. It takes a week or two to fully adjust, particularly when returning to New Zealand.

When we understand that a hundred years ago, this trip took 3 months each way in a sailing ship, with its accompanying sea sickness, our consequences are very small in comparison.

We pray that our new venture, the 're-cherished' designer clothing boutique, opening in 2 1/2 weeks, will 'take off' too.

So until next week.....

MAY GOD BLESS YOU AND YOU BLESS GOD

His servant and yours

David Tait

Today's 'Word Puzzle' Answer: SCOLDED

TODAY'S 'BIBLE QUESTION' d. Shekel (Genesis 23:15)

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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!

For comments upon and contributions to this service, please contact
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