When The Rot Set In Down Under
There was a time not so long ago when New Zealand was far off the trade
It used to take 6 weeks to get here from Europe by ship and a couple
of months to get here from the US. Then in the sixties the jet age
kicked in bringing NZ into the modern world.
Prior to that a trickle of preachers came here from overseas but they were
few in number but it was all about to change. The FGBFI were the first to
arrive in large numbers via charter flights (150 at a time) from the USA;
they were quickly followed by Pentecostal Preachers from the States who came
to see what God was doing in our land. And doing something He surely was.
At first we admired, then gradually we were seduced into accepting the American
model regards how we ought to run our churches; and 45 years later we are
still haven’t woken up. We bought their package hook line and sinker.
After that time it was a subtle slide into mediocrity a la Americana. It
was not unlike Ezekiel’s vision in 9:10 where the glory of the Lord
took wings and departed from among us.
Why did so many of us feel the continued need to import promoters of American
style Christianity into this country to tell us how we should be doing things?
Surely God today has the ears of a few individuals between the North Cape
and Bluff that can hear His voice.
In the late 50s, 60s and 70s we experienced a visitation in New Zealand that
was the envy of people outside this country. It was said that what God was
doing here was unique as a network of autonomous fellowships united by relationships
flourished under the hand of God. They gathered around an open table where
body ministry, was “par for the course”. It wasn’t perfect
but it was pregnant with life. Missionary zeal was evident and powerful.
Gifted brethren without titles were recognized, and released in our midst
to minister. We never relied upon overseas speakers for conferences, but
if they came our way they were welcome. We were not anti anyone. We came
together without programs, to allow the Holy Spirit to move freely. Every
saint was given opportunity to share; the environment was stimulating and
vibrant 1 Cor 14.
Moses said thou shall remember all the way that the Lord led thee, that
He might humble thee and make thee to know His ways. Sadly today truth has
been replaced with pragmatism, while absolutes are a liability to the pursuit
of our goals.
True there is no going back, but should we remove waymarks that our fathers
Jeremiah 31:21. “Set up waymarks, make sign posts for yourself. Set
your heart toward the highway, the way you went. Turn again, O virgin
of Israel, turn again to these your cities”. (MKJV)
The Devotional Use of Scripture
Jeremiah 15:16 “Your words were found, and I ate them, And Your word
was to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart; For I am called by Your name,
O LORD God of hosts”. (NKJV)
“Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.”Ps.
In each verse of Pslam 119 the Psalmist makes mention of the scriptures
with only one exception, and the constant quotation of the Old Testament
by our Lord and His Apostles gives abundant evidence of loving and reverent
fellowship with holy men of past ages, who wrote and spoke as moved by the
Holy Spirit. 2 Peter 1:21.
It is especially remarkable that in His Temptation, in all His teaching,
and in the agony of the Cross the Lord bore witness to the unique authority
of the Word of God spoken through the Old Testament saints.
Psalm 19: declares we may know God, through a threefold revelation.
The heavens declare the glory of God though they have no audible voice
The firmament of space, studded with myriads of stars, shows His handiwork.
Though speechless, their words witness for Him to the uttermost parts
of the earth.
Romans 1:20 “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes
are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His
eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse”.
In the second half of this great Psalm God unfolds His handiwork in the
construction of our moral nature as the Psalmist extols the virtue
of the Scriptures with ten striking comparatives. There are none of
us that do not come within the scope of every one of them.
- The soul that needs restoring
- The simple who wants to become wise
- The sad heart who would rejoice
- The eyes that would be enlightened
- The soul that longs for the golden treasure of truth
- The desire for sincerity and reality
- The search for understanding and righteousness
All these needs and
many more are met from a devout reading of Holy Scripture.
All faithful ministries which have remained alive and fresh; fragrant and
useful through long years have proved the wealth of the inexhaustible teaching
and inspiration which lies hidden in the Bible.
We should one and all resolve to soak ourselves in the Scripture before
turning to prayer, as water poured in will bring the plant to life. A farmer
will not sow until the ground has a good soaking.
PRAYER.—Teach us, 0 Blessed Spirit of Inspiration, so to read, to
mark, to meditate, and inwardly digest Thy words, that we may be thoroughly
furnished unto all good works, and be enabled to lead others into a true
understanding of, and a love for, its hidden treasures. Amen.
An Appraisal of The House
Without the following the present house church movement will eventually
suffer the same fate as the movement they left. Like the old soldier they
will slowly fade away. Euphoric home groups, with their ladders up against
the wrong wall are already growing stale, or self-destructing because
they failed to recognize and receive the mobile ascension gifts.
not whether you meet in a home, or how many you meet with, but are
you prepared to recognize and receive these gifts of the Saviour? Perhaps
you feel that you have no need of these special gifts of Christ,
Apostles, Prophets and Teachers. Unlike Paul you possibly feel you
have arrived? Are you sure youíre not just a group of young reactionaries who moved from a church building into a home? Or was it because you had a conviction that there was so much more to Christianity than what you were experiencing. Or perhaps you are in the semi retirement mode where the only thing missing from your spiritual experience since you pulled out of the system was a miniature church where you could meet in the comfort zone of a home with Christian friends to talk things over?
Then perhaps deep down inside you jealously always wanted to have a group
of your very own? Maybe you believe you know everything because youíre a priest now, and as such you are as well equipped as any other individual regardless of calling?
How soon we forget that we have nothing that we didnít receive. That if there is any virtue in what we have then it probably came from the Lord through His trusted servant. 2 Tim 1:6.
Luke 13:34-35 "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, but you were not willing!
See! Your house is left to you desolate; and assuredly, I say to you,
you shall not see Me until the time comes when you say, 'Blessed is He
who comes in the name of the LORD!'" (NKJV)