METTLE Weekly Newsletter Volume 4 Issue 33

METTLE

Volume 4 Issue 33

Monday 24 August 2009

Hippolite Musings 

Thought for the Day

Gentlemen,

By now, you should all be well acquainted with the results of the Referendum.  I’ve read a couple of commentaries about what John Key should do next.  For me, the Chester Burrows amendment is not a flyer.  Let me explain why.

Chester attempts to define reasonable force.  In his definition, he mentions “a light smack with the hand, leaving no mark.”

In the past, I have attended a parenting course which made a lot of sense to me (the name of the course is inconsequential, but if you’re interested, contact me).  The course taught me (and I agree with):

  • The hand is for blessing, not rebuking.
  • Rebuking should be with a flexible instrument, sufficient to inflict a sting that leaves an impression (on the mind, if not on the body!) e.g. wooden spoon or switch.

For me, Larry Baldock’s suggestion to remove the offending new Crimes Act Section 59(2) & 59(3) makes the most sense.

Barnados and Plunkett have lost all credibility with me for continuing to equate parental authority with child abuse.

Blessings,
James


Correspondence

Dear James

Are you supporting Charles Darwin’s evolution theory? I do not understand your support for this documentary (The Voyage the Shook the World). Can you explain?

–Darrell

Kiaora Darrell,

It’s a new documentary (cunningly named similarly to an earlier one, I suspect) that retraces his steps and critically examines what he found in light of current scientific knowledge.  It is not pro-evolution.  It’s evangelism by stealth.

I can understand your confusion, if you thought I was supporting his original work.  But I’m not.

Blessings,
James.


Correspondence

Dear James

I was reading your METTLE post again and I’ve had some thoughts about tithing myself recently…

  • We fund organisations and/or structures, rather than the ministry of the gospel? 


    Presumably the organisations that are funded from our tithe do the work of the ministry…

  • By our giving, we endorse the decisions of the leadership, whether for good or ill? 

    Even if not endorse, certainly empower! 🙂 If giving to Mission is partnering with Mission, then what is giving to bad leadership?

  • The current government’s compulsory taxation of 39% + 12.5% GST should be factored in to my consideration of where my total finances go?


    Principle of FIRST-fruits, as opposed to "some" fruits?

  • Getting out of debt (mortgage) should be a primary consideration after taxation and before tithing?


    How does this reflect Matt 6:33?

  • My biblical obligations to consider the widows, the poor and the orphans are fulfilled by my taxes?

    Which is the problem with high taxes and big government… but that’s another story… 😛 On the other hand, the tithe wasn’t FOR widows and orphans. The tithe was originally instituted for the priests who ministered in the temple and couldn’t go to work with flocks and fields. (Num 18:21)

  • Yes, I had heard previously about that heretical teaching that the New Testament abrogates (great word, look it up) the Old Testament teaching on tithing, however, I’d never actually bothered to investigate the scriptures for myself to form an opinion about it.  Now I have investigated the scriptures, I need to cogitate (another great word) upon it.

    Question… In today’s context, if 10% belongs to God, who does the other 90% belong to? Me (after taxes and GST- but GST is only on money spent, not received, so is slightly different – of course)? To do with as I will? How does this then fit with Paul’s bond-servanthood? Or the earth being the Lord’s and everything within it? Or being crucified with Christ, I no longer live, but Christ in me?”

    What does the bible say about the letter (or in this case, the number) of the law? As opposed to the spirit of the law (2 Cor 3:6)? Put that together with what Jesus said in Matt 5:17-20:

17 "Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfil them.
……
20 For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.

Where I’ve arrived with my thoughts on the tithe… is that just like the other Old Testament laws, it is an object lesson, to teach the principle of giving. Just like object lessons we might teach our kids…

For example: “If you are good and do the dishes, then you get to watch TV”. However once they are grown up, it’s not a question of doing the dishes… it’s the principle of tidying up after yourself before moving on to the next thing (which I still haven’t mastered, but again, that’s another story).

Once we learn the principle, the object lesson becomes irrelevant, and even limiting! How many people (and pastors) do you know are happy with the tithe? Most, probably… then the implication remains… If God owns the10%, who owns the other 90%?? While it’s okay for spiritual infants not ready for solid food. We need to progress on to solid food, familiar with teaching on righteousness and able to distinguish truth from fiction! (Heb 5:13,14)  

Teaching the tithe as a principle, as opposed to an object lesson of the actual principle of generous giving, actually holds people back from submitting their 100% to God!

–Kevin


Correspondence

Dear James

I am touched by the acts of the woman who smuggled the children out of the ghetto.

I am also intrigued by a video I have seen (which I think you may have highlighted to me) that Al Gore’s "An Inconvenient Truth" stole the footage of sweeping camera work swooping past an Arctic glacier; he took from a Hollywood film, "The Day After Tomorrow".

I have only seen one media outlet report this. Had this been George Bush doing this, it would have been all over the media.

I wonder why Gore is allowed to keep his award – surely this is technically tantamount to plagiarism!

Cheers
Matt


Correspondence

Hi Gentlemen
Look at what was announced today.  Talk about, "Let them eat cake".

http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/2774974/Green-MP-Sue-Bradford-gets-award-for-work-on-smacking-law

MJ

Ha ha!
Look at who’s giving out the award.
Psychologists!
Can anybody say “self-serving, self-fulfilling, false-prophets-of-the-modern-era, un-scientific, mumbo-jumbo”?
James.


Foreign Correspondent

Chuck Missler

  • Court Votes To Deny A Death Row Appeal: Sotomayor In MinorityAugust 18, 2009
    Sonia Sotomayor made what appears to be her first public decision as a justice on Monday, voting unsuccessfully to delay the execution of an Ohio death row inmate. She voted along with the court’s liberal bloc — Justices John Paul Stevens, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer — to stop the execution of Jason Getsy, whose execution is Tuesday. Getsy had asked the nation’s high court Monday to allow him to challenge Ohio’s lethal injection system as cruel and unusual punishment. The court’s other five justices voted to deny the stay. AP
  • Obama Files To Repeal Defense Of Marriage ActAugust 18, 2009
    In its nine-page brief, the Justice Department stated that the Obama administration opposes the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act as discriminatory and supports its repeal. Yet the motion also calls for the dismissal of a lawsuit filed by a gay California couple seeking to overturn the federal marriage law. Brian Brown, executive director of the National Organization for Marriage, accused the president of breaking a campaign promise… "In a high-profile interview with Rick Warren, Barack Obama convinced millions of Americans he opposed gay marriage," he said. "We are calling on the president to live up to his campaign commitment." The Washington Times
  • Russia Has Missing Cargo Ship HijackersAugust 18, 2009
    The Russian Defense Ministry said Tuesday that the cargo ship Arctic Sea, which seemed to vanish without a trace off of Portugal last month, prompting fears of piracy in Europe, had been hijacked as it traversed the Baltic Sea. The crew of a Russian antisubmarine ship intercepted the Arctic Sea and freed its 15 Russian crew members 300 miles from the Cape Verde Islands in the open Atlantic on Monday, capturing the eight hijackers without firing a shot. The New York Times
  • Obama Misstates Number of Uninsured AmericansAugust 17, 2009
    According to the latest available data from the U.S. Census Bureau, there are 35.920 million uninsured U.S. citizens and 9.737 million uninsured foreign nationals residing in the United States. Counting the uninsured foreign nationals, that makes a total of 45.657 million—or "nearly 46 million"– uninsured people in the United States. But you cannot say, as President Obama has, that there are "nearly 46 million Americans who don’t have health insurance coverage" or that "46 million of our fellow citizens have no coverage" unless you count 9.737 million foreign nationals as "Americans" and "fellow citizens." CNSNews
  • White House Open To Non-Profit Health Care Co-opsAugust 17, 2009
    Under a proposal by Sen. Kent Conrad, D-ND, consumer-owned nonprofit cooperatives would sell insurance in competition with private industry, not unlike the way electric and agriculture co-ops operate. With $3 billion to $4 billion in initial support from the government, the co-ops would operate under a national structure with state affiliates, but independent of the government. They would be required to maintain the type of financial reserves that private companies are required to keep in case of unexpectedly high claims. AP


Situation Vacant

Missionaries to France

Post-Christian Europe needs you!  (I’m thinking about it.)

I did:

  • Short-term missions to Indonesia & China.
  • Internship in South Africa.
  • Long-term in France?  Sounds too good to be true, to me.


Why I’m An AGW Critic

  • Carbon in the atmosphere is good?

    Respected creationist physicist, CMI’s Dr Russell Humphreys, suggests that evidence of higher levels of carbon in the pre-Flood creation atmosphere was actually good for the earth. His radical viewpoint seriously challenges the current global warming alarmism.

    Read God’s global warming worked just fine where Dr Humphreys also seeks to dispel some of the myths associated with the GW debate.

  • A definitive thumping of RealClimate.org…

    (from TBR.cc by Ian Wishart) And by implication, their NZ-based parrots at Hot-Topic who rely on RealClimate.


Sunday Service

Praise & Worship

  • By everybody!  (There were eight singers on stage)
  • Some stuff
  • Nothing Is Impossible For You; I believe you’re my portion; You’re More Than Enough For Me

Crunchies

  • (& flowers!) for Loretta (Nei’s sister) graduated from Police College.  Well done.  Nei was the one who was “Mr. Bold” for the Lord, but died in his sleep at Elim Family Camp a number of years back.
  • Michael Foley chosen (1 of 10) for speech competition
  • Julian Baker turning 17
  • Healing
  • “I just had my first cousin” says Sebastian
  • Birthdays

Things You Need To Know

  • With Dana
  • Life Groups, be part of one
  • PowerZone (for kids), Mission Possible series continues
  • Brendan Hastie, Knowing God series, coming up
  • School of the Supernatural with David Peters, 13-15 September
  • Family Service next week
  • Seek Dance Crew tonight @ 6pm

Tithes and Offerings

  • The Tombstone of a miser
  • Contrasts the Prayer of a Generous Person
  • Met knew friend, Eduardo (“Dudes”) Enriques
  • Musical interlude by Jamie Fukafuka, with five-person choir backup.  “Forgiveness” – beautiful.

Mary tells a story

  • A friend of a friend (a true story)
  • House-sitting, and looking after an old dog
  • Gets home and finds dog dead
  • 6th floor apartment.  Labrador very heavy.
  • Puts dog into suitcase
  • Heaves it out to hall; down escalator; gets to railway station; gets to destination; elevator not working
  • Young man comes along and helps
  • “What’s in here?”
  • She panicked and said “books and computer equipment”
  • Young man takes off with it!  Never to be seen again.

John Elliot

  • Back in the country for board meetings
  • World Outreach, 2010 is a focal date for new initiatives
  • 300M people are evangelicals today!
  • 290M from the developing world
  • Brazilians going to Scandinavia
  • Iranians being baptised in Dutch swimming pools
  • Indians healing Swedish
  • Not a controlling organisation, but an enabler of indigenous programmes
  • This church is a vital supporter of him

Ephesians 3:

  • Paul’s insight into the mystery of Christ
  • Gentiles are heirs together with Israel

John loves a good mystery

  • Kairos course teaches us that the gospel message didn’t start with Mark 16.
  • God has had His plan from the beginning
  • The OT mystery was especially foreign to the Jewish mindset
  • They never really comprehended God’s plan that they were to be a light to draw others to Him

John was recently at a course

  • CPM – church planting movement
  • Exercise to dissect a parable
  • They thought they were meant to look into the original Greek and Hebrew
  • The instructor informed them, no, it was just simple instructions to go and be or do something
  • The parables were told by Jesus to explain the mystery

Kik Bok told John recently

  • Kik met a 14 year old boy who prayed for healing of a woman with cancer.  It worked.
  • He was only a new believer.  He just believed what the Bible said about doing the same as Jesus
  • Doctors certified her free of cancer.

Lower Hutt, Queensgate Mall

  • Two teenage boys prayed for a lady with crook hips
  • In the middle of the mall
  • It worked!

Vision Team Meeting In Singapore

  • Mozambique Mission Director (from RSA)
  • Went to listen to Rodney Howard Brown
  • “There’s a difference about this revival from any others.  There’s such a hunger for Christ.”

Sassakan

  • A former Seikh, new Christian believer
  • Led a sick girl to Christ
  • Next morning, she died of tuberculosis
  • Family were very angry with him
  • For 3 weeks he lost all courage
  • Went back
  • “I am so sorry for your loss.  But my God is a healing God.” 
  • Prayed for sister’s barren womb
  • 5 months later, she’s pregnant.  All 7 of them became believers
  • 1 month after that, 50 more were added

Verse 10 – “manifold”

  • Many different expressions, colourful expressions
  • God is using anybody to make His gospel known
  • People of different colours, creeds

In Closing

  • We too need to realise, that He died for all of us
  • That those of us who live should no longer live for just ourselves

Therefore

  • Whatever your skills, talents, abilities, jobs
  • He’s put us alongside one another to be revealers of the mystery of Christ
  • Even if they’re not healed, don’t be embarrassed, but know that God has a greater purpose
  • Asking for boldness


Why I Am A Creationist

  • Creationists and the flat-earth myth

    The idea that Christians once commonly believed in a flat earth for theological (or any) reasons is a myth. The story was invented to promote the claim that Christians have widely resisted scientific advancement due to doctrinal constraints.

    Read the facts in The flat-earth myth and creationism.

  • 19 new CMI DVDs hit the shelves

    A truly stunning event was the apt description of CMI Australia’s Supercamp held earlier this year. Hot off the presses, this DVD collection features all the presentations by some of the world’s leading creation scientists and speakers. Notable invitees were Dr John Baumgardner, Dr John Sanford, Dr Geoff Downes, Dr John Hartnett and David Down as well as many CMI speakers.

    See our specials pages to purchase these brand new DVDs.

  • Creation magazine LIVE! episodes 15 and 16—now online!

    Noah’s Flood: Key to Understanding the Age of the Earth A few hundred years ago the notion that the earth was very old began to become popular. The main “evidence” put forward to support it was from geology—that the earth’s geologic features must have taken millions of years to form. However, if there really was a global flood, then the Flood is responsible for forming major geologic features, not millions of years of slow processes.

    In Episodes 15 and 16, some of the processes that were likely operating during the Flood are summarized. If you are wrestling with how the earth could be young, as the Bible implies, tune in to learn about why Noah’s Flood is the key to understanding the age of the earth.

    View now

  • CM LIVE! now reaching more than 100,000 people per month

    CMI supporters make it possible to offer the Creation magazine LIVE program FREE on our website. With 16 episodes now available, this has become one of CMI’s most popular outreach and equipping tools, with viewers from 242 countries around the world. Since February, downloads of the video files (burn your own DVDs) have grown each month by about 18%. Praise God for the opportunity to impact so many people around the world.

    Click here to donate to CMI and keep the outreach growing!

  • CM LIVE! viewer “freed from decades of distortion and untruth”

    Creation magazine LIVE! is also broadcast in the USA on the NRB (National Religious Broadcasters) network on Tuesday evenings via DirectTV satellite. A viewer from Texas who had rejected God for the past 27 years recently wrote us,

“A few months ago (May 2009), I began praying to a God whom I still didn’t really believe existed. But I needed Him if He was truly there. Within a few weeks He answered my prayers in a way I could never have imagined He could or even would. As I came to realize He had never left me during all those years, I determined to surrender my whole life to Him. Within a few weeks I discovered your television program, Creation Magazine Live. I am certain that my discovery was a blessing delivered from God because after viewing my third episode, I was compelled to go outside.”

“For the first time in my life (surely since my childhood days), I was struck with astonishment over what I was seeing and how I was seeing it. I was now looking at the trees, the grass, the sky, the clouds, grasshoppers, cows—EVERYTHING!—and I knew it was all created by God. The depth of this realization overwhelmed me. I have been freed from decades of distortion and untruth. What an unfathomable joy it is to be able to believe the Word of God from the very first verse in Genesis! I thank you and I praise Almighty God for your vital ministry. Understand that I am joining in your effort to share with others what you have shared with me.”

  • Join in our effort to share this with others!

    Do you know someone who is struggling to accept Christianity? Try to think of someone right now who would benefit from knowing that the Bible, including Genesis, is accurate. Send them an email with a link to www.creationmagazinelive.org and encourage them to view the program.

    Episodes 1 and 2 provide a good introduction to the origins issue, and other episodes summarize key areas of evidence for the truth of biblical creation.


Why I Am A Christian

My girlfriend became a Christian.

So I dumped her.

Then I got saved.  So I had to swallow my pride, ask for forgiveness, read the Bible for the first time (from cover to cover), get baptised, and get financially solvent.

Then I married her.


Why I Am Pro-Life

World Congress Speaker Calls for “Monogamy Men” to Take Back the Culture

By Austin Ruse

(WASHINGTON, DC – C-FAM)  Patrick Fagan, family scholar at the Family Research Council, told the World Congress of Families last week in Amsterdam that there are two competing cultures of sexual morality and that both have a profound effect on culture and public policy. Fagan called one culture “monogamous” and the other “polymorphous” and he warned that one is “snatching” children from the other. Fagan told the audience that “the culture of the traditional family is now in intense competition with a very different culture. The defining difference between the two is the sexual ideal embraced [by each].”  

Amnesty International Slams Nicaragua for Abortion Ban

by Samantha Singson

(NEW YORK – C-FAM)  Amnesty International is slamming yet another Latin American country for its pro-life laws. In a recently released report, Amnesty has called Nicaragua’s total ban on abortions a "cruel, inhuman disgrace" and charged that the new law has led to an increase in maternal deaths. As in the cases of Mexico, the Dominican Republic and Peru, Amnesty’s latest report on Nicaragua incorrectly argues that international law requires countries to permit abortion, and, according to critics, it misrepresents the facts which actually show a decrease in the maternal death rate.


Why I Am A Homeschooler

School Answering Machine

from Uncommon Descent by William Dembski

I’m told that the Maroochydore High School, Queensland, Australia, staff voted unanimously to record the following message on their school telephone answering machine, prompted by a school policy requiring students and parents to be responsible for their children’s absences and missing homework. Apparently, the school and teachers are being sued by parents who want their children’s failing grades changed to passing grades — even though those children had double-digit absences during the semester and didn’t do enough work to finish their classes.

LISTEN AND ENJOY!


Why I Am Pro-Israel

Enjoy these videos, and as always, forward them to your friends.


Media Watch

NZCPR Columnists

  • David Round: Lecturer in law at Canterbury University and author
    Judicial Activism – part 2
    We didn’t fight against kings for centuries, overthrowing some, executing others, even fighting a civil war, simply in order to replace their rule with that of Queen Sian Elias. Her belief that she somehow embodies the supreme public good is a delusion…
  • Lindsay Mitchell: Welfare Commentator
    Maori and Welfare – part 1                
    This paper considers what role welfare reliance has played in both creating and perpetuating a socio-economic and skills gap and why the associated social dysfunction and crime are more prevalent among Maori. It makes alternative suggestions for preserving a safety net…
  • Marc Alexander: Former MP and author 
    Private management of Prisons – better for less             
    Auckland Remand was managed by Australasian Correctional Management until Labour terminated the contract for no reason other than a belief that private companies should not run our prisons. Yet under private management the prison did exceptionally well …
  • Stuart Birks: Director Centre for Public Policy Evaluation, Massey University
    Speculating on lawyers’ objectives
    Some economic theories suggest that competitive pressures result in efficiency being widespread in the private sector, and lack of these pressures causes inefficiency in the public sector. However, the market for lawyers’ services is not so straight forward…
  • Ronald Kitching: Author and Member Mont Pelerin Society
    The Law and Order Crisis – part 2
    The basic function of the law is to protect our persons and our lawfully gained private property, from internal and external thugs. Together with the traditional man-and-wife family unit, private property rights are the very basis of any civilisation….

THIS WEEK…

The DPB: The unfortunate experiment


Humour

Better than a Flu Shot!

Miss Beatrice, the church organist, was in her eighties and had never been married. She was admired for her sweetness and kindness to all. 

One afternoon the pastor came to call on her and she showed him into her quaint sitting room. She invited him to have a seat while she prepared tea.

As he sat facing her old Hammond organ, the young minister noticed a cute glass bowl sitting on top of it.  The bowl was filled with water and in the water floated, of all things, a condom!

When she returned with tea and scones, they began to chat. The pastor tried to stifle his curiosity about the bowl of water and its strange floater, but soon it got the better of him and he could no longer resist.

‘Miss Beatrice’, he said, ‘I wonder if you would tell me about this?’ Pointing to the bowl. 

‘Oh, yes,’ she replied, ‘Isn’t it wonderful? I was walking through the park a few months ago and I found this little package on the ground. 

The directions said to place it on the organ, keep it wet and that it would prevent the spread of disease. Do you know I haven’t had the flu all winter.’


Events Schedule

In this section, I highlight dates, times and venues of events either I am presenting at, or of interest to METTLE.  I’m available for bookings.

Date Event Venue James Talk?
30-Aug-09 Family Service Wellington Elim N
30-Aug-09 Movie: The Voyage that Shook the World North Porirua Baptist Church N
06-Sep-09 Father’s Day Everywhere N
11-12
Sep-09
Promise Keepers Wellington Conference Lane Park, Wallaceville,
Upper Hutt
N
13-Sep-09 Presentation: Microsoft Certification Code Camp, Crowne Plaza, Auckland Y
14-16
Sep-09
Microsoft Tech-Ed Conference Sky City, Auckland N
29-Sep-09 Presentation: Creation: Why I Believe Jeannie’s Life Group Y
29-Sep-09 A concert with Jaime Thietten St. Anne’s Parish Hall, Emmet St, Newtown N
30-Sep  – 02-Oct-09 Elim National Conference Auckland Elim N
07-Oct-09 Euthanasia and Human Dignity: Are You Concerned? Johnsonville Community Hall N

Bible Review

Ezekiel

Author: The Prophet Ezekiel is the author of the Book (Ezekiel 1:3). He was a contemporary of both Jeremiah and Daniel.

Date of Writing: The Book of Ezekiel was likely written between 593 and 565 B.C. during the Babylonian captivity of the Jews.

Purpose of Writing: Ezekiel ministered to his generation who were both exceedingly sinful and thoroughly hopeless. By means of his prophetic ministry he attempted to bring them to immediate repentance and to confidence in the distant future. He taught that:

  1. God works through human messengers;
  2. Even in defeat and despair God’s people need to affirm God’s sovereignty;
  3. God’s Word never fails;
  4. God is present and can be worshiped anywhere;
  5. People must obey God if they expect to receive blessings; and
  6. God’s Kingdom will come.

Key Verses:

  • Ezekiel 2:3-6, "He said: ‘Son of man, I am sending you to the Israelites, to a rebellious nation that has rebelled against me; they and their fathers have been in revolt against me to this very day. The people to whom I am sending you are obstinate and stubborn. Say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says.’ And whether they listen or fail to listen-for they are a rebellious house-they will know that a prophet has been among them.’"
  • Ezekiel 18:4, "For every living soul belongs to me, the father as well as the son-both alike belong to me. The soul who sins is the one who will die."
  • Ezekiel 28:12-14, "’You were the model of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty. You were in Eden, the garden of God; every precious stone adorned you: ruby, topaz and emerald, chrysolite, onyx and jasper, sapphire, turquoise and beryl. Your settings and mountings were made of gold; on the day you were created they were prepared. You were anointed as a guardian cherub, for so I ordained you. You were on the holy mount of God; you walked among the fiery stones."
  • Ezekiel 33:11, "Say to them, ‘As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign LORD, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live. Turn! Turn from your evil ways! Why will you die, O house of Israel?’"
  • Ezekiel 48:35, "And the name of the city from that time on will be: THE LORD IS THERE."

Brief Summary: How can you cope with a world gone astray? Ezekiel, destined to begin his life’s ministry as a priest at age thirty, was uprooted from his homeland and marched off to Babylon at age of twenty-five. For five years he languished in despair. At age thirty a majestic vision of Yahweh’s glory captivated his being in Babylon. The priest/prophet discovered God was not confined to the narrow strictures of Ezekiel’s native land. Instead, He is a universal God who commands and controls persons and nations. In Babylon, God imparted to Ezekiel His Word for the people. His call experience transformed Ezekiel. He became avidly devoted to God’s Word. He realized he had nothing personally to assist the captives in their bitter situation, but he was convinced God’s Word spoke to their condition and could give them victory in it. Ezekiel used various methods to convey God’s Word to his people. He used art in drawing a depiction of Jerusalem, symbolic actions and unusual conduct to secure attention. He cut his hair and beard to demonstrate what God would do to Jerusalem and its inhabitants.

Ezekiel’s book can be divided into four sections:

  • Chapters 1-24: prophecies on the ruin of Jerusalem
  • Chapters 25-32: prophecies of God’s judgment on nearby nations
  • Chapter 33: a last call for repentance to Israel
  • Chapters 34-48: prophecies concerning the future restoration of Israel

Foreshadowings: Ezekiel 34 is the chapter wherein God denounces the leaders of Israel as false shepherds for their poor care of His people. Instead of caring for the sheep of Israel, they cared for themselves. They ate well, were well-clothed and well-cared for by the very people they had been placed over (Ezekiel 34:1-3). By contrast, Jesus is the Good Shepherd who lays down His life for the sheep and who protects them from the wolves who would destroy the flock (John 10:11-12). Verse 4 of chapter 34 describes people whom the shepherds failed to minister to as weak, sick, injured and lost. Jesus is the Great Physician who heals our spiritual wounds (Isaiah 53:5) by His death on the cross. He is the one who seeks and saves that which is lost (Luke 19:10).

Practical Application: The Book of Ezekiel calls us to join in a fresh and living encounter with the God of Abraham, Moses and the prophets. We must be overcomers or we will be overcome. Ezekiel challenged us to: experience a life changing vision of God’s power, knowledge, eternal presence and holiness; let God direct us; comprehend the depth of and commitment to evil that lodges in each human heart; to recognize that God holds his servants responsible for warning wicked men of their peril; to experience a living relationship with Jesus Christ, who said that the new covenant is to be found in His blood.

Recommended Resources:

Review:

Depressing; inspiring; long; boring; necessary.

7/10


Bible Review

Obadiah

Author: Obadiah verse 1 identifies the author of the Book of Obadiah as the Prophet Obadiah.

Date of Writing: The Book of Obadiah was likely written between 848 and 840 B.C.

Purpose of Writing: Obadiah, the shortest book in the Old Testament, is only 21 verses long. Obadiah is a prophet of God who uses this opportunity to condemn Edom for sins against both God and Israel. The Edomites are descendants of Esau and the Israelites are descendants of his twin brother, Jacob. A quarrel between the brothers has affected their descendants for over 1,000 years. This division caused the Edomites to forbid Israel to cross their land during the Israelites’ Exodus from Egypt. Edom’s sins of pride now require a strong word of judgment from the Lord.

Key Verses: Obadiah verse 4, "Though you soar like the eagle and make your nest among the stars, from there I will bring you down," declares the LORD."
Obadiah verse 12, "You should not look down on your brother in the day of his misfortune, nor rejoice over the people of Judah in the day of their destruction, nor boast so much in the day of their trouble."

Obadiah verse 15, "The day of the LORD is near for all nations. As you have done, it will be done to you; your deeds will return upon your own head."

Brief Summary: Obadiah’s message is final and it is sure: the kingdom of Edom will be destroyed completely. Edom has been arrogant, gloating over Israel’s misfortunes and when enemy armies attack Israel and the Israelites ask for help, the Edomites refuse and choose to fight against them, not for them. These sins of pride can be overlooked no longer. The book ends with the promise of the fulfillment and deliverance of Zion in the Last Days when the land will be restored to God’s people as He rules over them.

Foreshadowings: Verse 21 of the Book of Obadiah contains a foreshadowing of Christ and His Church. “Then saviors shall come to Mount Zion to judge the mountains of Esau, And the kingdom shall be the LORD’s” (NKJV). These “saviors” (also called “deliverers” in several versions) are the apostles of Christ, ministers of the word, and especially the preachers of the Gospel in these latter days. They are called "saviors," not because they obtain our salvation, but because they preach salvation through the Gospel of Christ and show us the way to obtain that salvation. They, and the Word preached by them, are the means by which the good news of salvation is delivered to all men. While Christ is the only Savior who alone came to purchase salvation, and is the author of it, saviors and deliverers of the Gospel will be more and more in evidence at the end of the age draws near.

Practical Application: God will overcome in our behalf if we will stay true to Him. Unlike Edom, we must be willing to help others in times of need. Pride is sin. We have nothing to be proud of except Jesus Christ and what He has done for us.

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Review

Short; brief; to the point.

9/10


Bible Reading 

Week to 30 August 2009

  1. Isaiah 52:1 – 56:12
  2. Isaiah 57:1 – 59:21
  3. Isaiah 60:1 – 64:12
  4. Isaiah 65:1 – 66:24
  5. Daniel 1:1 – 2:49
  6. Daniel 3:1 – 4:37
  7. Daniel 5:1 – 7:28

Week to 6 September 2009

  1. Daniel 8:1 – 10:21
  2. Daniel 11:1 – 12:13
  3. Ezra 1:1 – 4:23
  4. Haggai 1:1 – 2:23; Zechariah 1:1 – 3:10
  5. Zechariah 4:1 – 9:17
  6. Zechariah 10:1 – 14:21
  7. Joel 1:1 – 3:21

Don’t forget you can look up these references for yourselves at: http://biblereader.cloudapp.net/.


End Notes

  • METTLE is an acronym for Men’s Evangelical Team Together for Learning Experiences. We are primarily Christian businessmen from Wellington, who meet occasionally in the CBD to encourage each other in our daily walk with Jesus. This Weekly Collaborative Blog (WCB) is our primary means of communication.  If you know of anyone who may benefit from this WCB, you are welcome to forward them along. Similarly, if your circumstances are such that membership in this distribution list is no longer relevant, then hit reply and type UNSUBSCRIBE to have it removed.
  • If you choose to respond to any item raised in this WCB, please indicate clearly which items you wish to remain Private, as any correspondence may be considered Public and could be published.
  • If this fortnight’s newsletter has been of benefit to you, why not drop a line and say so.  Or better yet, visit the TVORNZ website to read past issues and add a comment!
  • Published by The Voice of Reason, New Zealand, copyright © 2009

2 thoughts on “METTLE Weekly Newsletter Volume 4 Issue 33”

  1. Good to see that you take notice of your subscribers, congratulations. There is potential here for you to offend people who may view psychologists/psychiatrists in the same way as most of us regard a GP. Clearly you condemn them and belittle their works, perhaps you would like to tell us why? – let me start the ball rolling:If bipolar disorder is fake then what is happening to patients? Why can they feel their bodies shift from one state to another? Is PMS all in their minds? Is the brain not a physical part of the body? Can it not malfunction? Is Alzheimers fake too? Are you saying that a malfunctioning brain cannot affect the body and mind? If you do not believe in drug therapy and psychology then what is your alternative medicine? People are dealing with this everyday so saying that it doesn\’t exist isn\’t helping anyone.

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  2. In response to Kevin\’s comments on tithing, I feel he has made some serious mistakes both historically and doctrinally.Firstly he needs to be aware exactly what the tithe was and how it was administered. The tithe was collected ONLY from those who worked the land either from crops, livestock or anything else grown (like herbs etc). IT WAS NEVER MONEY! Nobody else was required to provide it. The tithe was to be taken to Jerusalem each year. One year it was given to the Levites who in turn tithed to the priests. The priests in fact only received 1% of the tithe. The next year the tithe was provided for the widows and orphans. The 3rd year the tithe was converted into money by those who brought it and then spent on themselves. The reason there was a tithe at all was because the tribe of Levi had no inheritance in the land of Israel as their inheritance was Yahweh. Everyone else who worked other than the land in Israel paid the half shekel tax.Tithing did not become a law in the \’church\’ (church of Rome) until AD777. The historical church did not teach tithing until then.Tithing is set firmly within the Law of Moses (Torah) and I assume Kevin is not a Jew but a Gentile. Therefore he is not required to tithe, wear clothing of mixed fabric or any of the 614 laws that are required to be kept by the people of Israel.Many believers mistakenly believe that just because something is in the Bible, it has to be observed (like the Sabbath perhaps??). This is FALSE! Like Paul instructed Timothy, we need to \’rightly divide\’ (handle) the word of truth. The early church worked through the problem of gentile believers being forced into the\’ Law of Moses\’ to be saved (Acts 15). The ruling that gentile believers (of which we in the west are) were required by the Apostles to observe only 4 things. 3 related to Jewish sensibilities or scruples and the 4th was a moral injunction. If tithing was in fact a commandment of God on the church, why wasn\’t it reiterated by the Apostles there. The reason being that it is not required to be observed.Lastly those who hold Malachi 3:10 as incumbent on believers today do so by appealing to God to justify them by the Law (Torah). They maintain either by expression or implication that they will have \’such a blessing poured out on them that there will not be room enough to receive it\’. The context of this verse indicates a blessing of kind. God cannot honour this as the Law is now obsolete (Eph 2:15). They never-the-less are wanting to be justified by it. Those believers who tithe do in fact experience a \’blessing\’ of receiving back but it is only in line with Luke 6:8 and not Malachi 3:10.Wayne RobinsonLower Hutt

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