New Testament Church Proliferation Digest

 

Spreading the Gospel via House Churches

 


New Testament Church Proliferation Digest Tuesday, April 9 2002 Vol 02 : 069
Re: [NTCP] What is 'PREACHING'?
Re: [NTCP] What is 'PREACHING'? to Link
Re: [NTCP] What is 'PREACHING'?
[NTCP] Weekly Prayer Needs
[NTCP] Original Hebrew Script
[NTCP] re: query
Re: [NTCP] What is 'PREACHING'?

Date: Sun, 7 Apr 2002 17:19:27 EDT
From: TheologusCrucis
Subject: Re: [NTCP] What is 'PREACHING'?

Dan,

Howdy to you, sir!

Sorry for the delayed response, and for my confusion about who posted what!

You wrote:

>>and I completely agree that the Gospel....needs to be spread
through words (speech, writing, sign language...whatever fits the
situation)....>and I am by no means promoting salvation by works.>What I am
saying is that a persons deeds as a method of sharing Christ's love and message
are very effective when reaching a lost world.>If I need to mow a neighbors
lawn to get the opportunity to share the Gospel (in words) then that's
absolutely what I should be doing. When we look at Christ's example.... it
was...show up...serve (feed, heal, comfort, etc..)...preach...teach and send.
(Sometimes the order was different, but almost always there)Dan,

Howdy to you, sir!

Sorry for the delayed response, and for my confusion about who posted what!

You wrote:

>>and I completely agree that the Gospel....needs to be spread
through words (speech, writing, sign language...whatever fits the
situation)....

Cool.

>>and I am by no means promoting salvation by works.

Dan, please believe me when I say that I never took it that you did! I was
commenting upon the quote from Francis. I really believe that Christians today
are so out of touch with the central message of the Word -- Justification by
Faith -- that we really think we are "witnessing" to people in our
Sanctification! I read a recent poll done by Barna where he asked unbelievers
what they thought Christianity was based on their observation of Christians. To
a person it was good behavior versus bad, Christianity as presented as an
ethical system, a second Judaism -- a list of thing to do or not to do to keep
God's favor.

>>What I am saying is that a persons deeds as a method of sharing Christ's
love and message are very effective when reaching a lost world.

I don't think our deeds are a legitimate method of preaching. They may be signs
that point to Christ, but they are not the message of the Good News.

>>If I need to mow a neighbors lawn to get the opportunity to share the Gospel
(in words) then that's absolutely what I should be doing. When we look at
Christ's example.... it was...show up...serve (feed, heal, comfort,
etc..)...preach...teach and send. (Sometimes the order was different, but
almost always there)

In this I agree with you! But I would say that Christ's example points to the
message of Himself we are to preach. Healings happened as signs pointing to the
Gospel. There is a sign on the Mass Pike that says "Boston, pop. ******" I
continue into town, not thinking that the sign was the city. Healing points to
the Person at the heart of the message: Forgiveness and new life thru trust in
what Christ accomplished, i.e., the Gospel. Jesus sent the apostles to preach.
In everything we do, it is hopefully with the goal of preaching the Good News,
even if it's to an audience of one.

Blessings, Dan, and sorry about my confusion again!

TC

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Date: Sun, 7 Apr 2002 17:19:56 EDT
From: TheologusCrucis
Subject: Re: [NTCP] What is 'PREACHING'? to Link

Link,

Howdy! Thought I'd respond to one part of your post in response to the
PREACHING thread:

>>TC, in a previous message, you told about a conversation with a fellow house
>>church
laborer, in which you wanted the members of the body there to identify who
among them was an evangelist, etc. Does the Bible teach that each individual
house church would have an evangelist? In a large, mature, city level church,
we should expect an evangelist, but in a church of a dozen people, are we
guaranteed that God will make one person an evangelist?Link,

Howdy! Thought I'd respond to one part of your post in response to the
PREACHING thread:

>>TC, in a previous message, you told about a conversation with a fellow house
>>church
laborer, in which you wanted the members of the body there to identify who
among them was an evangelist, etc. Does the Bible teach that each individual
house church would have an evangelist? In a large, mature, city level church,
we should expect an evangelist, but in a church of a dozen people, are we
guaranteed that God will make one person an evangelist?

No, the Bible doesn't teach this. But neither does it teach that these people,
these gifts, were just for the large city wide churches either! Why couldn't
there be some on these people involved in small, local bodies?

An evangelist is simply someone gifted with the ability to go down to the
coffee shop or the mall or some other public gathering place and communicate
the Good News to the unsaved. What I used to think was an evangelist, a guy who
went around from church to church, turned out not to be.

A prophet is one who encourages and exhorts the Body, and is gifted in words of
knowledge and discernment. Why not look for this in a small group? And apostle
is simply one who is sent -- someone who is actually more like the evangelists
or missionaries that I know.

I do believe that even small groups will have Elder(s) and Deacon(s) because
that is the NT established order for churches. Again, it may be a church that
is developing maturity in leadership, but eventually that time will come. Small
groups may have one, some, or all four of those gifts that the ascending King
left for the church -- why not?

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Date: Sun, 7 Apr 2002 17:21:35 EDT
From: TheologusCrucis
Subject: Re: [NTCP] What is 'PREACHING'?

David,

Greetings and salutations. Sorry for the delay. 6 credits at school, full time
job, part time job, and wife, etc., etc., well, you probably understand! You
wrote:

>>Christians quite often and quite needlessly put asunder things that God
has joined together. Yes, one can proclaim Christ with words as well as deeds.
Yes, one should.>I was reminded of this needless dichotomization earlier this
week when I heard a Christian archeologist relate that he had been accused of
undermining "faith" due to his interest in the "facts"... Oh well, I suppose
that Jesus was also guilty of the same: "Thomas, put your hand into my
side...">That preaching is practically always related to the verbal activity
beyond the gathered assembly is considered in this article:
http://homechurch.org/johnzens/ST_Wiehler_Preach.html>Another interesting
corollary: Since preaching is NOT what the gathered body gathers to participate
in, the popular passage that modern-day clergy claim about "preaching the
gospel and living by it," is not really sustainable in their context. It is the
apostles and evangelists that are brought into view in that constantly
misapplied passage. Our Lord went forth preaching AND teaching!David,

Greetings and salutations. Sorry for the delay. 6 credits at school, full time
job, part time job, and wife, etc., etc., well, you probably understand! You
wrote:

>>Christians quite often and quite needlessly put asunder things that God
has joined together. Yes, one can proclaim Christ with words as well as deeds.
Yes, one should.

I guess my point was that you can't proclaim Christ in deeds. One can only lend
credibility to the message preached by good deeds. I don't think preaching and
works are joined together, instead I see them as blocks on one another instead
of puzzle pieces linked.

>>I was reminded of this needless dichotomization earlier this week when I
heard a Christian archeologist relate that he had been accused of undermining
"faith" due to his interest in the "facts"... Oh well, I suppose that Jesus was
also guilty of the same: "Thomas, put your hand into my side..."

Again, I don't think our deeds and the preached message of the Gospel to be a
"needless dichotomization." Preaching and our example may go together, like
knowledge and faith, but they are still not the same.

>>That preaching is practically always related to the verbal activity
beyond the gathered assembly is considered in this article:
http://homechurch.org/johnzens/ST_Wiehler_Preach.html

Good article! Agreed.

>>Another interesting corollary: Since preaching is NOT what the gathered
body gathers to participate in, the popular passage that modern-day clergy
claim about "preaching the gospel and living by it," is not really sustainable
in their context. It is the apostles and evangelists that are brought into view
in that constantly misapplied passage. Our Lord went forth preaching AND
teaching!

And interestingly enough, He preached to and taught the elect: Israel. Why
can't we both preach and teach to New Israel, the church?

Blessings, David,

TC

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Date: Sun, 7 Apr 2002 18:25:18 -0400
From: Richard Wright
Subject: [NTCP]
Weekly Prayer Needs

Hello all,

Please keep these needs before the Lord on a daily basis. As someone once
observed, "Things happen when we pray, that don't happen when we don't pray".

When the Lord answers your need, please be sure to let us know so that we can
all rejoice together!

Pray for:

Group Prayer List

18/03/02: I would not normally ask, but today I am going to my GP and will have
blood work done.

For 6 weeks my farsighted vision has begun to blur. I went to my optometrist
last Thursday. His conclusion was that it could be one of three things.

1. Stress 2. Cataract change 3. Diabetes

I have been receiving prayer for a complete healing. I am asking the brothers
and sisters on this list to pray for my healing. I will be getting the blood
work done this afternoon at 3:30 pm EST.

Thanks for your prayers.

Sammy

ANSWER 24/03/02: I received an email from Robert Fitts and one of his
intercessors who happens to be a doctor who practices with the doctor who wrote
"The Diabetes Cure". He suggested I take four supplements. I have done so since
last Wednesday, and already I am seeing, literally seeing changes in my
eyesight!

I know that through prayer and aligning myself to that which is good and
responsible for my body, that the Lord will perform the miracle I am crying out
for. I go to the the optometrist on 1 April, and to my GP on the 9'th of April.
The blood work results are being forwarded to the optometrist. I should have a
better idea of what is going on by then. Please continue to pray.

Blessings,

Sam -

19/03/02: I am working one on one this week in a bad area of town just 20
minutes or so from where I am staying in Denver. It is known for
prostitution,drug dealers,and other dangerous characters. Specifically I am
going to be prayer walking the motels on Colfax. I think a lot of them are
looking for something to find relief from their problems and many of them have
turned to church but the system chases them off instead of loving them. Keep me
in prayer as I do this. If God wills allow him to open doors. Pray that God
sends a strong partner in the faith to help encourage me. In what the Lord is
leading me to do. My health hasn't been the best the last few weeks and I could
use some prayer on that as well. a son in the faith,

David

25/03/02: (Please read the whole post on this, to get the full picture of the
need Dick) I ask you to pray for my heart that it would not become hardened.
I am weary and don't have a desire to fighting to get him help when he keeps
rejecting my efforts to help. I would love for Tom to be healed. I struggle
with questions of why we ask for healing but don't get what we are believing
for. God's timing is not easy to understand. I feel the Lord telling me not to
give in to Tom's threats or manipulation, but to really wait on the Lord and
let him have his way with Tom. Please pray for: Josiah 17 years old and not
walking with the Lord rightly and not desiring to see Dad, hasn't been up to
see Dad. Jacob 16 (walking with the Lord and open to seeing Dad.) Saw Dad March
23rd Hannah 14 years old (walking with the Lord but not willing to see Dad. I
made her go see him March 9th.) Gabe 12 years old. (walking with the Lord and
willing to see Dad) Saw dad March 9th and March 23rd. Mike 21years old not
walking with the Lord Jesus and not very involved with us. Haven't seen him for
several months Tom (my beloved husband of 18 years) walking in sorrow in need
of prayers of the saints of the most high. Debb (Tom's wife of 18 years)
walking with the Lord Jesus (and being carried by the arms of my heavenly
Father) Please pray that God will give me wisdom, discernment, grace, and that
His hand would be upon me, that he will keep me from evil, and that I would not
harm anyone. Ysi Christ,

Debbie~ - 25/03/02: From a victim of abuse Please pray for strength and
endurance. Pray for energy and the Holy Spirit's guidance and healing. Pray
that if God will's that this would all go away. Many say I must continue to
rest and God will give me new energy. But God is telling me to give my life
away every day and I will have a new one someday. I long for that. I wish I
could love better. I wish I had more to give. Thanks for the prayers and
encouragement.

A son in the faith, David

- Please help! My mother is old and not well. Her husband is older and had
to be put in a "home" for a couple of weeks. He has dementia and now wants to
come home and my mother cannot take care of him but will literally kill herself
trying. He gets up all through the night and takes things apart and takes money
out of her purse. They are broke. I am a single mother of two and have devoted
my life to the children I prayed for. We could move with her but she is not a
pleasant person to live with and I don't think I could live with her daily
criticism...she means well and loves her husband and I just don't know what to
do.

I am eagerly awaiting some reply. Any reply.

Darlene J. Dowling

- ----

3/30/02: pray for our landfill school project, which will rescue 2000 children
from surviving off a landfill..

Vanessa

- ----

4/01/02: I am looking for someone in Tulsa, OK to minister to a wife and
daughter. They are unchurched, have no friends, little finances, and the
husband walked out on them this weekend for another woman.

Mike S

- ----

4/05/02: We are danger. It's a good time to pray for our land, and to
continually pray for the peace, health and safety of Israel and Jerusalem. We
know that bitter days are marked out by God for that city, but let us not be
found standing on the wrong side of this battle. Better to die a horrible death
on the Lord's side, than to become rich as a traitor.

In Jesus, Jim

Thanks for your faithful support.

Dick
Phil. 3:12-14

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Date: Sun, 7 Apr 2002 20:00:03 -0700
From: "BRITTIANBULLOCK"
Subject: [NTCP]
Original Hebrew Script

I was wondering if anyone on this particular message board knows how to write
or can translate English to Hebrew script? If so please email me back
personally. thanks brittian

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Date: Mon, 8 Apr 2002 08:31:13 +0200
From: "Deborah"
Subject: [NTCP] re: query

Link Hudson wrote:

>When I read the passage,I suspect that the 'order' or 'taxis' Paul talks about
>is, primarily, the order he describes in the passage.

Oh, I do too. "Context is king." But what I said was not incongruous with
that. Again, I was speaking out against a common view that there was no real
structure to NT church meetings at all. So my first goal was simply to
establish the fact that Paul demanded "sequential order" (Gk. TAXIS) in *this
part* of a church gathering: when verbal spiritual gifts were in operation. We
are agreed then that there needed to be some sort of imposed structure. The
Corinthians were apparently doing something different-- I don't know, ... maybe
ten or more prophets or tongue speakers going on and on, some interrupting the
others, etc.-- and Paul was correcting an excess. The structure didn't just
happen by itself organically, but the Corinthians believers had to be taught
it, or at least reminded about it. Right? Are we on the same page? So Paul
in 1 Cor. 14 was not advocating a "mollusk meeting" which remained
"invertebrate," with no discernable framework-- kind of like a bunch of friends
getting together for ... whatever on Saturday night. Amorphous. This chapter
in Corinthians is often used to support that kind of a view. "Everyone's a
minister!" [true statement] ... so no one (save God[?]) is in charge and an
imposed structure is regarded suspiciously as stifling the Holy Spirit
[conclusion does not follow the premises]. I simply wanted to counter the
fallacy of structureless meetings using the very chapter often used to advocate
it. Have I succeeded? Next, my goal was to make inferences from that
established base: if structure and sequential order is part-'n-parcel with the
NT equation for exercising spiritual gifts in a congregational gathering, then
one of the primary arguments against liturgy is *robbed* of its force (e.g.,
"Isn't 'Spontaneous and Spirit-led' and 'liturgy', mutually exclusive"-- Dick
Wright [... just voicing what many folks actually think!] April 4, "Query"
thread). If the Bible enjoins "order" when people are operating in the gifts
of the Spirit, why should we then assume that a liturgy (i.e., set *order* of
service) *necessarily* quenches the Spirit. It does not logically follow, ...
particularly if Act. 13:2 shows us an instance in which people had the liberty
to prophesy, with the Holy Spirit freely moving, speaking, calling, etc. All
during a *liturgical* meeting (see my Feb. 18 post, "Confronting the evidence"
thread). Like I said, "spontaneous" does *not* equal "spiritual". Neither
does "informal". To put it another way, the presence of liturgy (i.e., set
order of service) does not automatically impede the workings of the Spirit.
Then I moved on to corroborative evidence that probably could not stand on its
own, but when coupled with the above begins to reveal a pattern:

1) That ancient Jewish Christians, noted even in unbelieving Jewish writings as
capable of healing people-- some evidence by hostile witnesses that the Spirit
was operating among them-- continued their participation in liturgical
synagogue services among their fellow (albeit unbelieving) Jews, with set
prayers and blessings, times to stand and sit, an established order for the
public reading the Law and Prophets, weekly sermons, etc. (B'RAKHOT 28b).

2) That the epistle of James mentions an ECCLESIA (5:14) functioning as a
synagogue (2:2, Gk. SUNAGOGE)-- and we have on hand some specifics of how
Jewish synagogues of this time operated-- liturgically (see Levine, Lee I. THE
ANCIENT SYNAGOGUE. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2000).

3) That we have records of liturgical meetings in some of the earliest writings
of the post-biblical church: Clement (c. 90 A.D., FIRST EPISTLE TO THE
CORINTHIANS, xix-xx; xxxiv; lix-lxi), (c. 100 A.D.) DIDACHE, (c. 100 A.D.)
ix-x; xiv, Justin Martyr (c. 135 A.D., FIRST APOLOGIA, lxv-lxvii), ... more.

>So it's a visit now? I thought you were moving here? Any plans for the
>Philippine or India ministries?

Yes, we plan to just stay in the U.S. for a little over a month. First in
Florida, then in Georgia. The general consensus in my family (and elsewhere)
is that we still have something more to do here in Israel. Even Dawn (age 9),
who was attacked by an Arab man and threatened with death, still wants to stay
here. At least for a while. I will, God willing, be flying out with Dawn to
Manila, Philippines April 26 and stay there for a week. I have been in contact
with a congregation there that is open to lending their facilities to us for
the task of training Christian Filipino in-house care-givers, planning on
working in Israel, in modern and biblical Hebrew, and Jewish evangelism skills.
Our free Hebrew lessons will also attract Filipino non-believers, and we will
share the gospel with them. Sending even more Asian believers into Israel. At
least that is the strategy I believe the LORD has given me. India seems to be
on hold right now while the Philippines plan has been given the green light.

>The example you gave is of Isaiah prophesying, and the king asking Isaiah to
>give him a sign from the Lord. Do you have any evidence for a prophet giving a
>sign, and the person asking God directly for a sign of the prophet's word?

Well, no ... that's not exactly right. God made Himself personally available
to Ahab to ask *Him* for a sign, ...

"Again the LORD spoke to Ahaz, 'Ask the LORD your God for a sign, whether in
the deepest depths or in the highest heights' " (Isa. 7:10, 11).

... so there you have your example. You've also got Jdg. 6:17 (Gideon) and
Isa. 38:7 (Hezekiah) as evidence that God is not fundamentally opposed to
providing signs as evidence of the veracity of (at least) certain predictions.
Requested (Gideon) or not (Hezekiah).

>I have a question, did the Jews have a right to demand a sign from Christ or
>from Paul? If they had been righteous would they have had a right?

The group of scribes and Pharisees who proved themselves predisposed to
unbelief (Mat. 12:38), apparently then teamed up with some Sadducees to make
another insincere request of the Lord (Mat. 16:1). The problem wasn't in
asking for a sign-- we have already seen that in the OT. And Christ in fact
gave them one (Mat. 12:39ff; 16:4). The real problem was that they had
witnessed Messianic miracles and then attributed them to Satan (Mat. 12:10-14,
22-24). Hence it was clear that they were not budging toward faith in Christ
no matter what. And that is why Jesus rebukes them. The Holy Spirit certainly
worked the signs of an Apostle through Paul (2 Cor. 12:12), but I don't know if
he was ever requested to perform one to confirm a prophecy or not. It is not
recorded. Your situation is that you were given a "word," and then the
"prophet" forbad you to seek confirmation from humans. Okay, then if you are
unsure, if the prophet is one with whom you are not familiar-- an untried
spokesman for the Almighty-- then how do you test him out? As is commanded (1
Thes. 5:20, 21). I suggest that you seek confirmation from God Himself. If it
is so imperative *not* to seek counsel from fellow believers on the matter,
then go straight to the Source. Your Father will communicate with His son. Of
that I am sure.

Michael
Jerusalem

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Date: Tue, 9 Apr 2002 08:53:00 +0200
From: "Deborah"
Subject: Re: [NTCP] What
is 'PREACHING'?

Hey all! Thought I'd bump in ... then bump out. Just a couple of
clarifications to help the discussion:

1) MIDRASH is not so much a homiletical ("preaching") method as it is a
hermeneutical ("interpretational") one. And YES(!) the NT is *full* of
MIDRASH. In fact, I would be on safe ground in saying that the *majority* of
the NT is MIDRASH on the Torah (Law), making application of it's eternal
message-- and the TELOS (goal) of its message, Christ-- to the "times of the
Messiah".

2) Synagogue "preaching" in NT times was *always* participatory, whether it
followed a monologue or dialogue format. Both are attested.

3) Communion was certainly central in church gatherings until the Protestant
Reformation. And it is *indeed* a covenant renewal meal, as TC has already
informed us. It employs memory, which in biblical thought was *never* a
passive thing, but which always obligated the "rememberer" to active works of
HESED (covenant faithfulness).

4) None of the biblical words most often translated "preach" (OT or NT)
necessarily implies monologue at all. In fact I could produce examples of John
the Baptist, Jesus, and the Apostles answering a series of questions *while*
"preaching".

5) TC's "opinion" that the Apostles and early believers followed a loose
version of the synagogues liturgy, celebrated the Lord's Supper, and preached
seems to fit the biblical, historical, archaeological evidence best.

6) Also TC is correct in distinguishing between things that lend credibility to
the gospel, and the gospel itself. "Preaching" the gospel necessarily entails
words or symbols that explain the work of Christ-- his death, burial and
resurrection.

7) And David A. has rightly objected to a tendency within some segments of the
Church to dichotomize between "faith" and "facts". TC, I think, misunderstood
the thrust of David's message, which was really lending support to his thesis.

Blessings on all. And pray for us in this war-torn land. Hearts are softening
to the gospel ("preached" with room for questions, objections, and supplemental
remarks) here in the "Hole-y," ... I mean Holy Land.

Michael
Jerusalem


End of New Testament Church Proliferation Digest V2 #69

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