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Welcome to this the forth issue of the Dovetales Newsletter. We hope you will enjoy it!


In this Issue

The Great Commission
What Have We Done To Our Children


In Other News

Where have the mobile ministry gone? You can find out in
“A Normal Body Has Two Legs”

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www.kingdomline.com



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THE GREAT COMMISION

Are we missing something here?
The promotional for a conference recently said;

Our goal is to equip and encourage evangelists and people who want to be active and fruitful in evangelism. We have a mandate from God and we dare not ignore it. We must step up to the challenge of the Great Commission and obey it, no matter how uncomfortable or difficult it may seem to be. We have work to do. We have been charged with the work and we will be held accountable for how we respond to it. We have ALL been called to take the gospel into the whole world and make disciples of every nation. No one is exempt. We cannot ignore it any longer. We have a mandate... We must move! "

Mark 16:14-15 “Later He appeared to the eleven as they sat at the table; and He rebuked their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they did not believe those who had seen Him after He had risen. And He said to them, "Go into all the world and (as you are going) preach the gospel to every creature”.

The directive was given to those present.

What did they do about it? Well they certainly never went into all the world (whom some insist we emulate). The apostles barely travelled outside of Jerusalem for eight years. When persecution came they stayed behind when the saints were scattered abroad. Tradition says Thomas went to India, and apart from Peter James Jude and John we know very little about the others.

Who went then? And where did they go out from? And who sent them? Paul and Barnabas eventually went, yet neither was of the original twelve. Barnabas was a prophet and not an apostle until he was sent forth with Paul by the Holy Spirit and the church in Antioch. In addition they never applied to the Apostles in Jerusalem for their permission to go.

They would have received no help from those in Jerusalem anyway, because 30 years after the resurrection they were still strictly adhering to the Law of Moses and the traditions of their ancestors. It’s in the book, read it; check it out! Acts 21:20-22.

When Jesus sent the 12, and the 70, He instructed them to go only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. Why? Because they were bigots, and He knew that nothing He could have said would have induced them share the Kingdom message with filthy Gentiles.

When the Spanish took Catholicism to South America the Indians simply added Jesus Mary and Joseph to the rest of their pagan trappings.

Jewish converts in Jerusalem simply added Jesus in with Moses and the traditions of their ancestors. The Lord had to blow on Jerusalem and destroy the temple; from that point in time Jerusalem dropped off the radar screen and ceased to play a significant role in the propagation of Christianity. That’s an historical fact. All missionary endeavours into Asia and Europe were initiated from Antioch and later Epheses from that point.

The Gospel was to be preached for a witness unto all nations

Matthew 24:14 and this good news of the kingdom will be given through all the world for a witness to all nations; and then the end will come. (BBE)

Is there any nation out there that has not had a gospel witness since the message first went out 4000 years ago? Granted it may have been suppressed but was it ever extinguished?

At a “House Church conference” in NZ Wolfgang Simpson said that God was raising new leadership; youth, women, and businessmen and that He was connecting us with territories; and that He was putting us into position to take the nations. What a load of absolute nonsense.

In “Long road to freedom” Nelson Mandela says, “Education for ignorance is worse than no education at all”.

The Present Religious System has by commission been successfully educating for ignorance all that come under their umbrella. It is high time that they took responsibly for the moral decline within their ranks and made their efforts utterly ineffectual. In this matter the whole church is guilty. Please be aware that morality goes far beyond sexual impropriety. Look up the meaning of the word; it will undoubtedly surprise you as it did me.

Truth and reconciliation

After the overthrow of apartheid Anglican Bishop Desmond Tutu initiated Truth and reconciliation conferences all around South Africa. Acknowledgement; repentance; forgiveness and reconciliation were the keys that he promoted. This approach undoubtedly avoided what could have become a catastrophic bloodbath.

The present Relious System ought to take a leaf out of what happened in South Africa, and then weep and confess. I know so many missionaries that went to far flung fields to save the heathen and lost their own children in the process. Your first responsability is the children God has lent you to prove you. When you have done that then and not before go as He leads.

Cliches like, “no one should hear the gospel twice until everybody has heard it at least once.
Or, “we have been saved to serve” not true. We have been saved to follow, and obey.

2 Corinthians 10:5-6 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; and having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.

Hebrews 5:8 Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered, and being made perfect He became the author of salvation to all them that obey Him.”

A servant’s prayer is “What will you have me to do?” And until He tells you do NOTHING apart from what you know to do.

 

WHAT HAVE WE DONE TO OUR CHILDREN?

I am so grateful to the Holy Spirit for bringing this jewel by Eric Chambers to my notice again. When I first read it I wept, as I wished that I had heard this when I was first saved. This question “What do we do with our children” has been put to me by parents time and again since we started our journey outside The Present Religious System in 1995. In turn I have spoken to several brothers concerning their children, reminding them that they are an assignment from God; on loan from Him to test us, and prove us, to see how we constitute our home under Him. This is the yardstick by which all fathers will be judged; it is the yardstick by which He measures us, to see whether or not He can use us. Sad to say few take it to heart, and fewer still of us measure up. The cliché, ‘called to serve’ is an attractive lie; it conjures up dreams of being a successful evangelist, pastor, or prophet. The fact is that we are called to follow and obey, and then in His good time (when we have proved our faithfulness) and not before, He will make us fishers of men; that is the absolute truth.

How blind we were when we first came to Christ so many years ago, as we studied and sacrificed to get into the ministry so we could save the lost. In so doing many put their children at risk in the process. My mentors were just as ignorant, so I can hardly blame them. Sadly since that time nothing has really changed. Its still monkey see, monkey do. Shaun Kearney

Eric commented that the following was prompted by this question - “If we follow this move into the House Church, what happens to my children? Who teaches them? Will there be a Sunday School?” This is a particular problem in the “House Church Movement”, but it is not confined to just them, because it has been the trend for 150 to 200 years to put our children into Sunday school so they can be taught, while we can get on with our Sunday meeting. Thank God for Sunday Schools, teachers and leaders and all who have battled with this ministry. But again the decline and fallout has been sufficient to ask, was it right? Were we doing the right thing? The answer must be no, or we wouldn’t have failed. The last verse in the old covenant says; “He will come in the spirit and power of Elijah to turn the hearts of the fathers back to the children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers, or else He will come and smite the land with a curse.” Malachi 4:6. There is a curse upon our land and this generation. The curse is obviously the collapse and decline of the family unit, caused mainly by the failure of the fathers to take their role as head of the household with a deep heart feeling for the moral, physical, and spiritual well being of his family.

This worldwide crisis is due to the failure of men to be fathers, and the failure of fathers to teach, train and nurture their children. They have abdicated their responsibilities to mothers who under pressure of home and work, have relied on the state to educate their children. This system is at best humanistic. Fathers have abdicated their God-given responsibilities and thus inflicted the world with a generation of evil doers.

The Fathers role in the home is clear. God is the head of Christ. Christ is the head of the man. The man is the head of the woman. He has also been delegated by God to love order and constitute his family by the principles that are laid down in His Word.

Luke uses the Malachi scripture to describe the ministry of John the Baptist who was the herald, preparing the way for the Christ. Luke 1:17 “And he will go on before the Lord in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous, to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”

There is no mention of the curse here because the covenant in Christ cancelled this out for all believers. But these principles still apply today as we await Christ’s return. We do this by the same prophetic instruction. Turning the hearts of the fathers to their children, the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous, to make ready a people prepared for the Lord, to make a people ready for the coming of the Lord. It will happen when the hearts of the fathers are turned back to the children.

What does that involve? Firstly recognition of the ministry given by God to the fathers, for they are responsible and will be held responsible for failure to train and teach their children. If a man falls at this point, then he falls and fails in the eyes of God. Now that just doesn’t mean grace at mealtime and sometimes a goodnight prayer. It means having a heart for them by instilling Christ-like values. Helping them discover who they are in Christ; overseeing their education, habits, and hobbies.

A grave problem in our materialistic society is the production of fathers who treat their families like a business, using the same methods and psychology. It’s worse than the Victorian era. “I am head of the family so obey” was their cry. The cry is often heard in Christian homes, “Do as I say, for I’m the head of the house; you must submit to my authority.” Trying to run it and manage it as a business, offering no explanation, nor taking time to sit down and talk like a family should. The mother is left to do most of the training on her own as it were solely her responsibility. It is such a well-worn path, leaving behind a trail of dysfunctional homes, filled with disillusioned families suffering from rejection. We see it so often in the counselling ministry. I really do believe at the heart of some of these situations there are husbands and fathers who want to change but can’t. They see the need but are unable to meet it. Who are aware of the problem but have no pattern to follow because they were denied it. I sympathise with these people and would seek to encourage some communication of heart feelings and exposure of the problem. There is an answer, beginning with recognition and admitting the failure, seeking out someone who can help change the mind set and give some practical explanations and instruction.

It is here that we can turn back to God’s instructions to His people under Moses for living. The heart and core of Jewish family teaching is still found in the instruction given in Deut 6: 4-25 which emphasises teaching by example when you are walking, talking, working, lying down and getting up. No principle is more valuable for church life to be restored than this. It’s a principle through which God has instructed us. “These commands I give you today are to be upon your hearts, impress them upon your children, and talk about them when you sit at home, when you walk along the road, when you lie down, when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands, bind them on your foreheads, write them on the door frames of your houses and on your gates”. Yes I know it became the ritual of the law of binding religious tradition that the Messiah released the Jews from, but the obligation still remains. Fathers are to love the Lord their God with all their heart, with all their souls, and their children with all their strength. This was and still is, said Jesus, the greatest commandment. The exhortation was to teach children the way of life and how to live that life in every day every way experience. It is this that will prepare them for the inevitable battle with the materialistic society governed by humanistic philosophy, feminism and egotistical manhood.

Today that means we fathers have to instruct our children how to love each other through our example and turning our heart to them, instructing them in the ways of Christ and His Kingdom, teaching them how to live in and by the Spirit. That will mean investing time in recreation and deliberate times of instruction. It will involve our wives, as it requires the co-ordination of our two roles. In this day and age there is every help and facility available such as tapes, videos, books, manuals, all that you need to instruct and teach and train your children. To turn means to repent and I believe this is the first step after recognising your role and mission to repent and ask God and the children and wife for forgiveness, and seek His help in restoring the situation.

One dear brother said quite recently - “I’m going to ask for a sabbatical from my duties and Church organisation ministries to tend to my neglected children and catch up before it’s too late.”

What then happens to the children in our gatherings when we come together?
Well first and foremost, respect the home you are in and everything in it, and teach the children to do the same. It’s a house church; it’s church in the house. Encourage them to share and participate in worship and then let them loose, to do whatever they enjoy. Football and cricket are good activities for teaching courage and courtesy. Fishing is a marvellous backdrop for teaching games, hiking; fun and coke are more conducive to teaching than by boring them with assignments to do. This is the peripatetic style classroom. The law was to educate them in the issues of life, and rigid as it might have been, it was to be done when you sit down, when you lie, when you take them out; to teach them and train them using every aspect and every facet of life. There can be no better example than that of Jesus. “Let the little children come to me and don’t hinder them, for the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to such as these” Mt 19:14.

The church that I was pastor of in Amersham, England as a young man was a Baptist Assembly founded in 1770. The building was built in 1776. Above the back door was a stone plaque saying, ‘British School 1776’. Away back then it was the church in that town that was responsible for the education of the children, working with the parents to equip them totally for life. Here was the Body of Christ taking up the role of teaching and training children.

What about our teenagers?

In every generation they pose a problem. The very real trauma they experience as they change from childhood to adolescence, and on to maturity. What do you do with them? If they are taught at home, and grow up secure in relationships, they need an outlet to enjoy and experience life with their peers. We often shield them from exposure to the very kinds of things that help mature them. Campus Life, UFC, Cell Groups, Buzz Groups are all ideal. Young people cry out for acceptance, without being pressed into it. They want their freedom yet they long for role models. They enjoy their peers but don’t like being peered at. They hate being directed and organised but secretly they want the security of direction, and made to feel important enough to be shown the way. So the door is wide open as the Lord leads them and those who care for them. To stylise them is to create a mould that they will do their best to break out from. But show them, and expose them to real life real in Christ and that Christ is real and to trusted in every facet of it. Then you will have a group of enthusiastic disciples who want to learn how to express their love relationships, how to express their sex life, how to cope with and live above the demands, problems, and the tensions of this age and generation, as well as the temptations.


For more material view
www.kingdomline.com
Shaun Kearney
en engape!