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Issue No: 822     Published: 31 Jul 2017

WHOSE CHURCH IS IT ANYWAY? Part 7

THE CHURCH DIVIDES  

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 the first to be side-lined, 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.

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.

(Continued next week)

 

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FROM THE WORD

THE WORDS OF JESUS
May we hear what the Lord is saying to us.

 

The Times Interpreted (Luke 12:54-59)

Now speaking to the crowd.

“When you see a cloud rising in the west, you immediately say, ‘a rainshower’s coming,’ and it happens. When a south wind blows, you say ‘it’s going to be hot,’ and it is. You hypocrites, how is it that you know how to rightly interpret the weather but you don’t know how to interpret the present time? Why don’t you think for yourselves and judge what’s right? As you go with your accuser to the magistrate, on the way you should be working on a settlement. Otherwise you may be dragged before the judge, and the judge hand you over to the officer, and the officer throw you into prison. I tell you, you won’t get out until you’ve paid the last penny.”

 

Repentance Required (Luke 13:1-5)

Jesus asked about sinful Galileans who were killed while offering sacrifices in the Temple.

“Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than any other Galileans because they suffered like this?” “No, I tell you. But unless you repent, you will all perish as well.

What about those eighteen people that were killed when the tower in Siloam fell on them? Do you think they were the worst people in the whole of Jerusalem? No, I tell you. But unless you repent, you will all perish as well.”

 

Parable of the Fig Tree (Luke 13:6-9)

Jesus explained more with a parable.

“Once there was man who had a fig tree planted in his vineyard. He came to look for fruit on the tree, but he didn’t find any. So he told the gardener, ‘Look, for three years I’ve been coming to look for fruit on this fig tree and I haven’t found any. Chop it down! Why should it be taking up space?’

“‘Master,’ the man replied, ‘please leave it alone for just one more year. I’ll dig the soil around it and put down some fertilizer. If it produces fruit, then that’s fine. If not, then chop it down.’”

 

You can download the complete 'Words of Jesus' here.

https://www.wwj.org.nz/content/wwj46p39.pdf

A NOTE FROM AFRICA

 We have now been here in Webuye, Kenya, for 2 weeks, but it seems much longer!

A time of meeting many new people, eating different foods, and learning the culture, or at least, receiving an introduction to it. 

There are both blessings and challenges - on different days the one often outweighs the other! LOL!

The people we are closely relating to are fine people and dedicated followers of Jesus. It is a pleasure to both know and work with them.

What is the main impression?

Regrettably it is the lack of resources, ie money, that the people constantly face. Hence there is no planning, no saving, always the tyrany of the urgent. If money is received it is used for what is seen to be of the greatest importance at the time, not in improving future prospects.

This is hard for a Westerner to undestand and appreciate, unless you experience it. So much revolves round where the next 'shilling' is coming from. Not in terms of pressure on us to supply persoally, as our contacts know that God has sent us here for a purpose, and are very willing to help God's will to be done.

Yes, in New Zealand and other countries we have poverty, but it is relative to the society in which we are living in. We complain about health, education and every other thing we feel deprived in, but I recommend you come here to experience these problems in a society where these services are simply not provided by the state to a significant degree.

Unbelievably to us, the state employed doctors here in Kenya have been on strike for 6 MONTHS now over a pay dispute going back to a settlement reached in 2013, which has never been honoured! Unbelievable - on both sides! So only private medical services are availabe, which of course, cost.

On the other side of the coin, the country is making tremendous progress in many areas. Roading, at least the main roads, have improved amazingly over the past 10 years and Japanese, second hand car imports have mushroomed. There are many, new malls and supermarkets, frequented by the growing numbers of locals who do have good paying jobs. In a country of 44,000,000 people, even a small percentage of better off people is an awful lot of consumers!

The general out look of the people is positive, in spite of their financial condition. To be strictly honest, the people, especially the kids, are happier with perhaps an old bike tyre to play with than our Western children with all their surplus supply of worldly goods! A lesson here.

Karibu!

More next week....

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9 BOOKS are now available on Amazon (Kindle)!

All are available worldwide for electronic download on Amazon (Kindle) for $US0.99c . Unfortunately there has to be a charge in order to list.

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WATCH OUR PRESENTATION - DOWN THE ROAD

We have produced a slideshow about the area in whch we are living, available in video form on our Facebook page.....

https://web.facebook.com/aneye4africa/videos/vb.1222791161147706/1415422065217947/?type=2&theater

(Take the opportunity to like our page for our latest updates, at the same time!)

 

or for a high definition in slide format on Google Drive at.....

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Please share the experience with us.

BOOK OF THE WEEK

TRANSFORMATION OF THE CHURCH: 

CHANGES GOD REQUIRES IN HIS CHURCH TODAY IN ORDER TO PRODUCE THE PERFECTED ‘BRIDE OF CHRIST’

A journey of discovery for those who are dissatisfied with the 'church system' today. If you have a spiritual hunger for more of Jesus, more 'real' interaction with the Holy Spirit and desire to know and live the will of the Father in your life, this is for you. Do you earnestly hunger to enter the 'kingdom of God', the final age that will usher in the return of Jesus? 'TRANSFORMATION OF THE CHURCH' will illuminate the way ahead for you.

Not clearly numbered and listed, as in the Old Testament outward Law of the 10 Commandments, these commands are found among the teachings of Jesus in the 4 Gospels, and are available for all who have a heart to seek them.

We all too easily think, with the emphasis that Jesus places on love and forgiveness, that he didn't teach any absolutes. But, as can be seen here, Jesus did place boundaries on believer's behaviour, along with instructions for Godly living. 

These are grouped into 3 categories for easier comprehension.

Don't take my word for it! Study the Scriptures!

Downloadable from Amazon for USD99c at.....

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'THE WORDS OF JESUS' REMAIN AVAILABLE FOR PDF DOWNLOAD

Join the many who have downloaded the 'The Words of Jesus'. I am sure you will be blessed by it, as I have been.

One key element here is the setting out in chronological order (as far as it is possible to do so) our Lord's words drawn from all the Gospels, and the elimination of repetition between Gospels.

You may be surprised by the different perspective this presentation gives you both in understanding of His life and ministry, and in achieving a closer relationship with Him.


Download the free PDF here.....

https://www.wwj.org.nz/content/wwj46p39.pdf

DAVID'S DOODLINGS

AUTHORITY
 
1126. Godly authority is grown through brokenness.

1127. True godly authority is not based on position in the priesthood but in the submission of ones life to God's will.

1128. God's authority pyramid is a mirror image of the world's, with Jesus placed at the bottom as the greatest servant of all.

1129. All God's great leaders have first paid the price of trial, testing, hardship and disappointment in order to be moulded into God's image. Are we prepared to pay the price?

1130. Earthly authority points upwards to glory and power, godly authority downwards to servanthood and sacrifice.

1131. True authority is not man appointed but God designated.

1132. There is only one true authority in all things - Jesus! Through the Holy Spirit and the Word!

1133. Satan uses humans desire for power and position to his advantage, in order to thwart the full flow of the authority of the Holy Spirit to individual believers. 

1134. One of the biggest problems in the church today is that of the many leaders who claim an authority not given by God.

1135. Authority rests not with position but in God's anointing.

1136. Godly authority is invested, not in the proud, but in the humble of heart. Ask Moses!

1137. Worldly authority comes with position, godly authority is shown by example.

1138. There are more titles and positions of authority per believer in the church than in the world. This could well mean that the church is worldlier than the world!

1139. The new Testament is based upon the authority of the priesthood of believers, not that of priests.
 

Please feel free to quote these quotes. Acknowledgement of David Tait as the author would be appreciated. There are now over 1300 David sayings for you to view at ...

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CARTOONS FROM TOON FEVER

Visit the Toon Fever website for more cartoon fun..... http://www.toonfever.com

Check it out at...

https://www.wwj.org.nz/newsletter

TUESDAY TEACHINGS

THIS WEEK:  THE POWER OF THREE IN GOD AND THE CHURCH -Part 3 of 3 - THE PATTERN OF GOD IN HIS CHURCH

When I speak to groups of pastors and leaders, this teaching on the progressive nature of the development of 'the Church' opens new realms of understanding of the church system or order, and of the dynamics that sadly, so often divide the Church today.

Unfortunately, Christians have a reputation in the world of being more concerned about criticising each other, than evangelising non believers!

I trust this week's study will give you a better understanding of where you, and others, are at in terms of God's plan for His Church. And to help each of us develop a greater level of tolerance and co-operation with other Christians and Churches.

And finally, to point the way to the future. For the Church has not yet 'arrived' at its final destination. To become 'the bride dressed in pure white linen', fully ready for the return of Jesus.

https://www.wwj.org.nz/tuesday-teachings

*** ANOTHER DAILY EZINE FROM WWJ!*** 'LAUGHING AT OURSELVES' Subscribe Today

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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. *** 

28. Who’s Lying?

A minister told his congregation, "Next week I’m going to preach about the sin of lying. To help you understand my sermon, I want you all to read Mark 17."

The Following Sunday he asked for a show of hands as to how many had read Mark 17. Every hand went up. (Shouldn’t need to continue this but…..)

 The minister smiled and said, "Mark has only 16 chapters. I will now proceed with my sermon on the sin of lying."

 

QWIK QWIP: “Most people want to serve God, but only in an advisory position.”

 

29. Even More Bulletin Bloopers

*** The music for today’s service was all composed by George Friedrich Handel in celebration of the 300th anniversary of his death.

 *** Remember in prayer the many that are sick of our church and community.

*** The 8th Graders will be presenting Shakespeare’s Hamlet in the church basement this Friday at 7pm. The congregation is invited to attend this tragedy.

*** The concert held in the Fellowship Hall was a great success. Special thanks are due to the minister’s daughter, who laboured the whole evening at the piano, which as usual fell upon her.

*** Don’t let worry kill you. Let the church help.

 

30. The Heavenly Artist

A Sunday School teacher began their lesson with a question, "Boys and girls, what do you know about God?"

A hand immediately shot up in the air. "He is an artist," said the youngster.

 Really, "How do you know?" the teacher asked.

 "You know – Our Father, who does art in heaven….."

 

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 ..... https://www.wwj.org.nz/content/wwj18p47.pdf
 
Or read them all online at..... 

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FACTS FOR FUN

LAST WEEKS QUESTION: Why do we ‘bless’ somebody after they sneeze?

 

ANSWER:  Sneezing has long been regarded as a dangerous thing. The ancient Greeks feared that a sneeze could accidentally dispel the soul. People tried hard to hold back their sneezes and one that happened anyway was greeted with chants to return good fortune. The Romans, on the other hand, felt a sneeze was the body's attempt to dispel sinister spirits that could cause illness. Holding back a sneeze made you vulnerable to sickness. Still, benedictions were in order. A person who sneezed was congratulated and one about to sneeze was urged on with ‘Good luck to you!’ The Christian expression ‘God bless you’, was begun by Papal Fiat in the sixth century, issued by Pope Gregory the Great in response to a deadly plague sweeping through Italy. Sneezing was one of the symptoms of the plague. Pope Gregory urged healthy people to pray for the sick and he told them to say ‘God bless you’ when someone sneezed. If a person sneezed and had no one around to bless him, he was instructed to call directly on God saying, ‘God help me!’ (I receive plenty of blessings – from others as I sneeze often, and from God without the need for a special reason.)

 

THIS WEEK'S QUESTION:  Who were the Buccaneers?

 

SOME FUN FACTS 

29. Multi Skilled

Leonardo da Vinci invented scissors. (A cut above the rest.)

30. Liquid Labour Saving Device 

In the 1800’s making tomato ketchup at home was a tedious all day project, and American housewives hated the process. So when Henry J. Heinz introduced bottled ketchup in 1875, he promoted it as a labour saving device. His first slogan was "Blessed relief for Mother and the other women of the household." (Bottled ‘woman-power!’)

31. Natures Technology

Coconut shells can absorb more impact than most crash helmets. (Need smaller heads though.)

 

A WORD PUZZLE FOR YOU 

Make another word from this word using all the letters.

 

SOOTHING

 

 Answer at the end of A David Musing

 

FREE DOWNLOAD: You can download the full version of our Trivia Book at TRULY TRIFFLING TRIVIA here.....  https://www.wwj.org.nz/content/wwj14p11.pdf

Or check out all 1232 online at.....

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PAUL

15: How long did Paul spend in Ephesus?

a. 1 year
b. 2 weeks
c. 6 months
d. 3 years

Source: http://biblequizzes.org.uk

Answer at the end of A DAVID MUSING

IF ONLY I'D THOUGHT OF IT!

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

STILL MORE THOUGHTS
!!!!!!!  God only gives us what we can handle, but sometimes I wish he didn't trust me so much!

!!!!!!  He who slings mud generally loses ground.

!!!!! Honest criticism is hard to take, particularly from a relative, a friend, an acquaintance, or a stranger.

!!!! I cannot do everything, but I can still do something.

!!! If opportunity doesn't knock, build a door.

!! Make sure you have finished speaking before your audience has finished listening.

! Measure your wealth not by the things you have, but by the things you have for which you would not take money.

100'S MORE TO BE FOUND AT...

https://www.wwj.org.nz/if-only-id-thought-of-it

LIFE'S A LAUGH

PLANE REIN?
At the Olympics in Barcelona, some of the locals were entered in equestrian events. Other contestants were surprised to note that the Spanish riders guided their horses with so much slack in the reins that they actually hung down across the horses' necks.
When asked why they preferred such a relaxed stance, the locals proudly announced.......
"The reins in Spain fall plainly on the mane."
 
IRRESISTIBLE
The artist tried to concentrate on his work, but the attraction he felt for his model finally became irresistible. He threw down his palette, took her in his arms and kissed her.
She pushed him away. "Maybe your other models let you kiss them," she said.
"I've never tried to kiss a model before," he swore.
"Really?" she said, softening, "How many models have there been?"
"Four," he replied, "A jug, two apples, and a vase."
 
NOT SO 'GOOD FRIDAY'
Here's a true story that happened to a friend's father: He was standing in line at the bank when there was a commotion at the counter. A woman was distressed, exclaiming, "Where will I put my money?! I have all my money and my mortgage here!! What will happen to my mortgage?!"
It turned out that she had misunderstood a small sign on the counter. The sign read, WE WILL BE CLOSED FOR GOOD FRIDAY. I guess Easter was not uppermost in her thoughts, because she thought that the bank was going to close "for good" that coming Friday.
 
Check out many more here.....

https://www.wwj.org.nz/lifes-a-laugh

DAVID'S DOWNLOADS

A REVELATION OF....... THE TABERNACLE OF DAVID

Sandwiched between Moses Tabernacle, representing the church, and Solomon's Temple, representing the Millennial reign of Christ, David's simple tent is a picture of the end time church that will last for but a short time before Jesus returns.

Check it out to find out about the people God is seeking for Himself today.

 

Download your free PDF File here.....

https://www.wwj.org.nz/content/wwj38p59.pdf

WAXING LYRICAL

All too often we don't consider the long term consequences of our choices in life.

 

CHOICES

Life comes, life goes,
Brings peaks, and lows.
We surely reap what we sow!
Our tide does ebb and flow.

When I look back on what I've done,
I see the storms, but also the sun.
For I have done good, at times been bad,
Sometimes am happy, sometimes am sad.

No, the time past I cannot now change,
But my future, yes, I may rearrange.
What will I do? Where will I go?
I may think, but God does know.

Will I put my life in His hand?
On His Rock, my days to stand.
Or will I build my house on the sand?
And His will for me, not understand.

Today I am charged to live the call.
Am I prepared to give Him my all?
Or will I continue in my earthly ways?
Seeking my own pleasure, all my days.

My time may well be short, it may be long,
Before joining Jesus, forever to belong,
What will He say that glorious day I see His face?
Knowing I've been saved, by His amazing grace.

Will it be, "Well done good and faithful servant",
Or will I seek my actions to quickly recant!
For on that day, I will surely see
The result of choices, made by me.

The past I can't change, the future neither,
But by my today's actions I can either
Build His kingdom here upon the earth,
Or make my own! My decision, my worth.

What will I do? Where will I go?
Will it be wheat or tares I sow?
Today I now have the choices to make,
Of what direction my life will take.

You too, my friend, today are in the very same boat,
To be a sheep of the Shepherd, or to be the goat.
What will be your choice of 'the way' to live?
All your life to Jesus, will you now give?

One day we will meet together with Jesus in heaven,
Having lived lives of fruitfulness, or of leaven.
The choices we now make on earth today,
Do determine what role we will play.

Let's now look towards
Our heavenly rewards.
The choice is mine,
The choice is thine!

 

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

https://www.wwj.org.nz/waxing-lyrical

A DAVID MUSING

 It is a small world we live in!

Shortly after getting the net connected to this computer, I received a Skype call from a Filipino friend who now lives in Malaysia.

He rang from a home church, intrroduced ne to the people there, snd got me to speak to them for a few minutes about God's kingdom on earth now! They are going to follow this up from our web site www.wwj.org.nz.

Amazing how here in the west of Kenya, I was immediately available to speak to people 1,000's of kilometres away!

It is the same with God. We cannot escape Him no matter how hard we try to hide! 

Karibu

Until next week....... 


MAY GOD BLESS YOU AND YOU BLESS GOD.

His servant and yours

David Tait

Today's 'Word Puzzle' Answer: SHOOTING

 

TODAY'S 'BIBLE QUESTIONS' ANSWER: d. 3 years (Acts 18: 8,9)

 

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REPRODUCTION OF NEWSLETTER CONTENT

Most weeks we get enquiries about reproducing, in electronic or print form, articles contained in 'PGIM!' We welcome and encourage you to utilize this material. Freely received, freely given. We would ask though, that the source be acknowledged as an encouragement to others to subscribe to this newsletter also.

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LINKS

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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
david@wwj.org.nz

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