Welcome to this the forth issue of the Dovetales Newsletter. We hope
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In this Issue
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“A Normal Body Has Two Legs”
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Is There Anybody Out There?
I don’t know about you but I am getting a little tired of listening to this continual bleating about the foibles of the religious system, to which might I add, one doesn’t need to be “an Einstein”, or have an ounce of discernment or grey matter to see what’s going on.
I think we have compassed this mountain for far too long now, yet I have looked in vain, to hear if there is anybody out there saying something constructive with regard to what we can do about this state of affairs; besides holing up in houses around the countryside to organically marinate in religious diatribe and continue to gripe is not my idea of an edifying environment.
I know some Peters that got so fed up with it all that they went fishing.
I’m desperate, but not that desperate, because I haven’t got the patience needed to become a good fisherman.
Though I do admit I went to the eleven o’clock session at the movies one Sunday; I confess I did enjoy it, especially when in the middle of the movie, as I was eating my ice cream, I thought of the faithful getting revved up to dig deeply for an offering to support the pastor’s dreams.
On a more serious note though, I would love to meet up with some folk who want to move on. Some think we should be looking for a new wineskin. I’ve got a library full of them, so give me a break please. Others are running to and fro, looking for gold dust, or feathers, and even as I write angels are appearing in Lakeland Florida, America, of course, where else would they be for ‘crying out loud’. But alas, I was pledged to insolvency by the building program of the last church I was in, so I won’t be going.
Ecclesiastes 1:9-12. That which hath been is that which shall be; and that which hath been done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun. Is there a thing whereof it may be said, see, this is new? It hath been long ago, in the ages which were before us.
Why do we keep swallowing these stories of terrific stuff going on all around us? Am I the only one who keeps feeling that these things always seem to be happening where I am not?
Acts 2:14-18. But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and spoke forth unto them saying, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and give ear unto my words; for these are not drunken, as you suppose; seeing it is but the third hour of the day, but this is that which hath been spoken through the prophet Joel (795years earlier): In exactly the same way we too are living in a time of prophetic fulfilment that Joel was speaking of when he said, “And it shall be in the last days, says God, I will pour forth of my Spirit upon all flesh: And your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, And your young men shall see visions, And your old men shall dream dreams: Yea and on my servants and on my handmaidens in those days will I pour forth of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy.
We need prophetic insights to the will of God.
1 Peter 4:11. If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God. If God has spoken then speak up, but until He does we need to shut up.
The test of a man or group’s spirituality is to live in obedience to the timeless word of God as they wait for Him. Without it legalism isn’t far away. Acts
The trough between waves is a scary time because you can’t see over the top of them. Jesus called the Pharisees teachers of tradition in Matt
15:9 and that’s even scarier, because like the Pharisees we function in what we know traditionally and you don’t need God for that. Then they killed God’s dissenting voice to them as their fathers before them did to the prophets.
There comes a time when God is finished what He has been doing and wants to give us something new, like what happened in Azusa Street, or the Charismatic renewal and the old needs to pass away, but we won’t let the old go. But He can’t give us the new until we do, Luke
5:36-39. P.S. Don’t ever judge the new by the old; judge it by the word.
1Cor 13:8-10. When that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. The Word is infinite, but Prophecy is finite, it can fail, vanish, become void, and it’s the same word. It can be put out of business because it has been fulfilled, completed; and sometimes made bankrupt by our disobedience. We can spurn it, turn a deaf ear, and so He stops speaking to us on that particular issue. This can happen personally or collectively. Every denomination and movement is embalming a memory of former days; fighting for what God said to them and ignoring what He is saying. They function in what they know, and don’t want anything new. That’s why you can’t put new wine in an old wineskin.
2 Tim 3:1-5 having a form of Godliness; a resemblance; a copy; a counterfeit that denies the power. Form without the force. Some worship the form and will lay down their lives for it. It’s not by might, or by the power of human effort, and our clever ways, but by My Spirit. The source of our power must be His.
1 Cor 14:8. If the trumpet gives an uncertain sound who shall prepare himself for the battle? I keep coming across publications written by concerned people offering us another panacea. I say we need to wait on the Lord. Prov
8:34. We need ears to hear what the Spirit is saying because He still wants to speak in our midst prophetically.
Acts 3:19-21 “Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that He may send Jesus Christ, who was preached to you before, whom heaven must receive until (is a time space word) the times of restoration of all things, which God has spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began”. (NKJV)
He is coming with a refreshing. Just be prepared when He comes.
Church Planting and Planters
The Lord has never endorsed an organization, a program or movement. He doesn’t need them. He has His own agenda. Get with it, or get out of the way. He moves on His own terms, sends those He chooses, and chooses the time and place. After all, He owns us, and we are not our own, because He purchased us to do His will.
John 15:16 you have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain.
“House Church Planting” is a model being actively promoted currently as a way to take our towns and cities for God and thus fulfil “The Great Commission”. Impressive figures are given to us to drool over and digest. Their extraordinary claims certainly get our attention.
The leaders are very cock-sure about what they are doing, as they compel people
to get involved in their program, which will never deliver what they promise.
So, don’t be gullible. THINK for yourself; it’s
not a sin.
Is Church Planting a Valid Occupation?
Frank Viola, Jim Rutz, and John White (the self proclaimed “House Church Coach”), believe they can teach us how to plant organic House Churches. The Dales, promoters of “House2house” magazine want us to get behind them financially as they push to saturate our towns and cities with home churches.
They offer assistance through a variety of methods which include Books, DVDs, CDs, seminars, and training courses, which they run in their drive to train “house church planters”.
A few years ago house church planting enthusiast Thomas Fitts said God told him to plant 1500 house churches by the end of the year? One cannot help but wonder how is that possible for one man to do? Was he mistaken, or disobedient, because it never happened?
It is not our intention to “split straws” but the NT apostles didn’t plant churches; they planted the incorruptible seed of the word of God into the hearts and minds of their hearers. Gatherings were a by-product, not a goal. In some cases a congregation came into being, but they were not successful in every location.
References to planting seemed to refer to individuals, and national Israel in the O.T.
What we plant is far and away more important than what we achieve by filling houses with believers.
Psalms 1:6 and he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he does shall prosper.
Psalm 126: He that goes forth weeping bearing precious seed..........
Psalms 92:12. The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree: he shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon.
Psalms 92:13. Those that be planted in the house of the LORD shall flourish in the courts of our God.
Mark 4:13 He said to them, "Do you not understand this parable? How then will you understand all the parables?
The parable of the sower is the key to understanding Gods intentions in the earth.
It reveals His method is to sow seed into the hearts of men.
It declares that the seed is His Word.
Lastly it is our privilege to become sowers of seed.
John 12:24 verily, verily, I say unto you, except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abides alone: but if it dies, it will bring forth much fruit.
The sower sows the word. That is paramount; it is the first thing to understand.
Then the Master talks about the efforts of Satan to disrupt the efforts of the sower; and the different types of soil (hearts) the seed is sown into; the varying degrees of fruitfulness; and the reasons why the seed was unfruitful.
The problem is not with the seed, but rather with the hearts of men.
Mark 4:14-34 "And these are the ones by the wayside where the word is sown. When they hear, Satan comes immediately and takes away the word that was sown in their hearts. "These likewise are the ones sown on stony ground who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it with gladness; "and they have no root in themselves, and so endure only for a time. Afterward, when tribulation or persecution arises for the word's sake, immediately they stumble. "Now these are the ones sown among thorns; they are the ones who hear the word, "and the cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things entering in choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful. "But these are the ones sown on good ground, those who hear the word, accept it, and bear fruit: some thirtyfold, some sixty and some a hundred".
"The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed on the ground," and should sleep by night and rise by day, and the seed should sprout and grow. He himself does not know how for the earth yields crops by itself: first the blade, then the head, after that the full grain in the head; but when the grain ripens, immediately he puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come." Then He said, "To what shall we liken the kingdom of God? Or with what parable shall we picture it? "It is like a mustard seed which, when it is sown in the ground, is smaller than all the seeds on earth; "but when it is sown, it grows up and becomes greater than all herbs, and shoots out large branches, so that the birds of the air may nest under its shade." And with many such parables He spoke the word to them as they were able to hear it. But without a parable He did not speak to them. And when they were alone, He explained all things to His disciples.
God requires three things:
Messengers that have been called.
Messengers must be equipped by Him.
Messengers must be sent by Him.
The message is The Gospel of the Kingdom.
Another way to describe it is:-
The Messenger -- Character -- Ability
The Method ------ Chosen ----- Sent
The Message ---- Seed -------- Word
All these must be in place.
The results are the Lord’s responsibility, and the fruit His property.
1 Corinthians 3:6. I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.
He is the Lord of the Harvest; He owns the field, He owns the seed, and He will choose who to thrust forth, and lastly He supports those He hires. Acts 13:
Isaiah 61:3 To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.
In the following passage we have an example of young man who insisted that he run.
Let’s see how it unfolded in this situation.
He went but he wasn’t sent.
He went with information that was of no value.
His testimony was confused
He had no news of the King’s son.
2 Samuel 18:21
Then Joab said to the Cushite, Go and give the king word of what you have seen. And the Cushite, making a sign of respect to Joab, went off running.
2 Samuel 18:22
Then Ahimaaz, the son of Zadok, said to Joab again; whatever may come of it, let me go after the Cushite. And Joab said why do you have a desire to go, my son, seeing that you will get no reward for your news?2 Samuel 18:222 Samuel 18:22
2 Samuel 18:23
Whatever may come of it, he said, I will go. Then he said to him, Go. So Ahimaaz went running by the lowland road and overtook the Cushite.
2 Samuel 18:24
Now David was seated between the two town doors; and the watchman went up to the roof of the doorways, on the wall, and, lifting up his eyes, saw a man running by himself. (Running ahead)
2 Samuel 18:25
And the watchman gave news of it to the king. And the king said if he is coming by himself then he has news. And the man was travelling quickly, and came near.
2 Samuel 18:26
Then the watchman saw another man running: and crying out in the direction of the door he said, here is another man running by himself. And the king said he, like the other, comes with news.
2 Samuel 18:27
And the watchman said it seems to me that the running of the first is like the running of Ahimaaz, the son of Zadok. And the king said, He is a good man, and his news will be good.
(A friend of mine used to say its not enough to be a good guy, this story proves the point)
2 Samuel 18:28
And Ahimaaz, crying out to the king, said, It is well. And falling down before the king, with his face to the earth, he said, May the Lord your God be praised, who has given up the men who took up arms against my lord the king!
2 Samuel 18:29
And the king said, Is it well with the young man Absalom? And Ahimaaz said in answer, when Joab sent me, your servant saw a great outcry going on, but I had no knowledge of what it was.
2 Samuel 18:30
And the king said, get back and take your place here. So turning to one side, he took his place there.
2 Samuel 18:31
And then the Cushite came and said I have news for my lord the king: today the Lord has done right in your cause against all those who took up arms against you.
2 Samuel 18:32
And the king said to the Cushite, Is the young man Absalom safe? And the Cushite said in answer, May all the king's haters and those who do evil against the king, be as that young man is!
2 Samuel 18:33
Then the king was much moved, and went up into the room over the door, weeping, and saying, O my son Absalom, my son, my son Absalom! If only my life might have been given for yours, O Absalom, my son, my son!
Do we really need “House Church Coaches” and training centres for “Church Planters”?
What are these “House Sitters” supposed to do when they get there?
A change of location isn’t going to heal our homes or our land.
There is only one thing that is going to bring back the King, and it’s not a program to relocate people into houses designed by religious programmers, but a time to get back to basics; and to examine the foundations of our personal lives. It will be a visitation of Repentance and Faith towards God without which God won’t give us a permit to build; to go on to full maturity.
Terms are really “neat” and “cool” but what do they mean? The “Organic” word reminds me of when “Awesome” and “Paradigm” were all the rage.
Where you meet is unimportant. What you do when you get together is.
Charles Spurgeon said once, “Philemon had a church in his house”, and then went on to say, “I would to God that every house had a church in it”. I agree. Phil