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December 2001

DECEMBER

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THE WAY MINISTRIES
and
BLACK-TOP GOSPEL MUSIC MINISTRY
Vol. 1 Issue # 9
December 2001 issue

THE WAY MINISTRIES

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This on-line e-maga-zine is published and edited by:

The Way Ministries

http://communities.msn.ca/NewTestamentChurchRevivalTheWay/homepage


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This e-maga-zine will contain the following sections.

Main article
Inspirational Story.
Womens Section.
News Story.
Featured Web Sites in this Issue.

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GREAT SITE FOR WOMEN

http://communities.msn.ca/Proverbs31WOMEN


GREAT SITE FOR ALL

http://archangel.jumpwave.com

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Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you saying, "THIS IS THE WAY; WALK IN IT. Isa. 30 v 21

Our feature story is a Christian view on Christmas. We realize that this is a very contentious issue. However as the Way Ministries stands for the Re-establishment of the New Testament Church, it is essential for us to run this article at this time. We as Christians must be prepared to take our stand for the truth. We would also be interested in any news items that you may have to place on our on line E-Maga-zine

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What do you do on Christmas Day?
Years ago in Russia, children went through the streets on Christmas eve shouting and singing until people came to the doors and gave them food. This probably came from an older practice of pulling a beautiful girl on a sled through the streets, stopping before the houses to sing.
Armenians celebrate Christmas by eating fried fish, lettuce, and boiled spinach. They believe Mary ate boiled spinach the night before the birth of Christ. The celebrating lasts about three days with visiting and merrymaking.
Germans are great for their feastings at Christmas, with macaroon candies shaped and colored to look like roasted fowl, hams, fruits, and vegetables. Italians like fried eels, melons, wine, chicken, and pork with mustard sauce.
Mexicans celebrate Christmas by acting out Joseph and Mary's search for shelter in Bethlehem. The children anxiously await the climax of the festivities-the breaking of the gift- and candy-filled pinata.
The Puritans in the early Massachusetts and New Haven colonies in their "blue laws" forbade their people to keep Christmas or to bake mince meat pies at this time of year. The celebration of Christmas was frowned upon by the other New England colonies, but the southern colonies had a merry time at great parties.
Many people today celebrate Christmas with little idea of the real purpose of Jesus' birth. And many Christians join in the festivities unconscious of their origins.
The name Christmas itself reveals something about its origin. It is formed from the Catholic festival, "Christ's Mass."
No one knows for sure when the observance of Christ's birthday began. In 354 Pope Liberius chose December 25 to coincide with the sunworshiping Romans' feast of the sun god. This feast celebrated the victory of light over darkness at the time of the winter solstice. (It was noted later that this date is very unrealistic since this is during the cold, rainy season in Palestine and shepherds would not have been in the fields with their sheep.)
The Austrians, Belgians, Bulgarians, French, Germans, Greeks, Hungarians, Italians, Dutch and Swiss celebrate Christ's birthday on January 6.
The Christmas tree has a background of pagan worship. When the pagans of northern Europe became "Christians," they made their "sacred" evergreen a part of their "Christian" festivals.
Jolly Santa Claus grew out of the generous Dutch bishop, St. Nicholas. He adopted his chimney-sliding antics from an old Norse legend that the goddess Hertha appeared in the fireplace to bring good luck to the home.
Even the sending of gifts can be traced back to the yule gifts of northern Europe and the giftgiving at ancient Roman sun-worshipping feasts. The ornaments, evergreens, holly, ivy, and bay have unchristian origins among the Romans, Druids, and Saxons. Wreaths were also used by the Romans in their pagan festivals.
You know the current American traditions - the music, the lights, the shopping craze, and the parties. Where do we find ourselves amid all this flurry and fun?
Biblical Christians are burdened as they see fellow brethren and sisters taken up with Christmas - this pagan holiday. No doubt, many are involved innocently. Many of us have grown up keeping Christmas in one form or another. We have exchanged gifts, held our stuffing feasts, sent our cards and lit our candles, but now we see the folly of it all.
The poor need our gifts, the hungry need our food, and the discouraged need our cards. But why only once a year? The candles and lights, the mistletoe and holly, the tree and the wreaths, the stockings and Santas, the merrymaking and feasting are definitely of the world and the apostate church. When we named the name of Jesus, we came out from all of that. The Bible says, "Be not conformed to the world."
My heart is heavy as I see the world (and many Christians) getting whipped up for the Christmas rush. The commercial world is going to reap a gold harvest this winter as they commercialize the name of Jesus.
Few today keep the commandments of the lowly Nazarene, but many make money on His name. They celebrate His birth but refuse to give Him room in their hearts. Santa really is more popular on December 25 than Christ is. Many children know very little of what Christmas is supposed to be all about. They only see the gifts, candies, and cards; and bow with excitement at the foot of the tree.
Jesus Christ was miraculously conceived of the Holy Ghost and was born of a young virgin in Bethlehem of Judea during the days of Herod the King. The Old Testament prophets foretold the birth of Christ, its nature, its time and its place. They foretold the massacre of the infants in Bethlehem, the flight into Egypt, Christ's ministry, His rejection, the false witnesses. His silence, sufferings, death, His unbroken bones, resurrection, and His ascension. All this was gloriously fulfilled. The New Testament accounts verify the accuracy of the prophecies.
The story of the birth of Jesus is genuine because it was given by inspiration. But the birth of Jesus was only the beginning of the most wonderful life ever lived on earth.
It is rather strange (and yet understandable) that the world and apostate Christianity make so much of Christ's birth but so little of His life; so much ado about the story of the wise men and so little of Christ's discourses; so much about the manger, so little of the cross; so much about the mother Mary, but so little about her Creator in the flesh: so much about His birth, but little of its meaning; so much about His first coming, but so little of the coming of the Judge of the earth - who will judge according to HIS WORD.
It is a trick of the devil to minimize parts of the Scriptures. It is also a trick of his to call extra attention to one Scripture at the expense of others. Many people today know the story of Jesus' birth but know little of His personal teachings and the teachings He gave through the holy apostles by revelation. There are clear Scripture teachings to commemorate the death, resurrection, and second coming of Christ but none to support a celebration of His birth.
We praise God for the coming of the Lamb of God into the world as described in Luke 2 and Matthew 1 and 2. And as ministers of the Gospel, we should preach the story of His miraculous birth. But our world today needs to hear not only of the Baby of Bethlehem but also of the "grownup" Jesus who is now both Lord and Christ, who is soon coming to require account of our time here.
Dear readers, let us not worship the BABY of Bethlehem but the KING OF KINGS and LORD OF LORDS! Jesus grew up! Let US grow up unto Him, putting away these carnal things - the traditions of apostate Christianity and the vestiges of pagan religions. "Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen" (1 John 5:21).
Make sure that what you do on Christmas truly honors the risen Lord Jesus and builds His church.


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SHORT STORY

A Contemporary Version Of 1 Corinthians 13
(Karl Haffner) (What might Paul have said in 1999?)

If I speak with the confidence of Rush Limbaugh and sing with the ease of Celine Dion but don't have love, my words are like scraping fingernails on a frozen windshield.

If I can program NASA's mainframe computer and outsmart my chemistry professor, if I can memorize the Psalms and read Leviticus without dozing, or if I can even predict the future but have not love, my value is equal to a pitcher of warm spit.

If I give my Tommy Hilfiger wardrobe to Goodwill and let my little sister rummage through my closet, if I go to the stake and fry as a martyr, or if I donate a gallon of blood every hour but don't have love, my offerings are useless.

Love is Patient - even if it means skipping a trip to 31 Flavors in order to tutor an immigrant.

Love is Kind - it doesn't stoop to Polish jokes, Whitey jibes, slanty-eye stories, or jokes about Jews.

Love does not envy the basketball team captain, the National Merit finalist, the class president, or even the blonde who sports the most even tan.

Love doesn't get a swelled head over straight As or a scholarship to Princeton.

Love isn't snooty about a new Corvette or a season pass to the world's premiere ski resort.

Love never jeers at the fat kid who hangs out of his/her T-shirt in PE.

Love smiles when getting cut off on the interstate.

Love submits an honest tax return.

Love doesn't whine about the referee's bad call.

Love believes that God always provides the best stuff in life.

Love hangs on to hope when the family is splitting apart.

Love does not change like hemlines and hairdos.

Love is like the Energizer bunny. It lasts and lasts and keeps on going.

In the end only three things will remain: faith, hope, and love.
But the greatest of these is love.



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Womans Section

We thought the following article would be of major interest to our readers, as it seems that the symbolism and Biblical teaching regarding marriage seems to be lacking in our churches. We feel that marriage is of major importance and it is essential that every child of God have a clear view of Gods plan and purpose in His design for this God designed and ordained relationship between Husband and wife. This is part Three in a series on Marriage in Christ.

Marriage In Christ part 4

A Godly Leader

"For the husband is head of the wife as Christ is the Head of the church, Himself the Savior of [His] body." Ephesians 5:24
Marriages lack something today. Leadership. Husband's have no idea how to lead their families, and the end result is passivity. A passive husband is as useful in the kingdom of God as is the lukewarm Christian. Christ tells the lukewarm Christian, "I will spew you out of My mouth". A husband must first realize that his family is a church in building, and he is their shepherd or pastor.
"For if a man does not know how to rule his own household, how is he to take care of the church of God?" 1 Timothy 3:5 Amplified Bible
What husbands don't realize, is that most Christian wives want their husbands to lead them. A wife wants the guidance of a godly husband. She seeks that leadership. A woman who believes God has set her as leader has not received the revelation of the Word. She wants to override God's leadership design.
God has given a blueprint in His Word for husbands to follow in their leadership responsibilies. The husband who seeks God at all times for guidance, and is willing to submit to His Headship, allowing Christ to manifest in his leadership, will become more than he ever knew he could be.
There are seven roles that encompass a leader. Protector; Provider; Scout; General; Priest; Physician and King. You say only Christ can fulfill all of these things? You are right. But Christ dwelleth in you and it is by His leadership the husband must flow. Let's look at what the Word says about these qualities of leadership.
PROTECTOR- (To defend from attack, loss, etc. To shield- Webster's Dictionary) According to the Word of God it means a cover; covering, covert, hiding place, protection, secret place. Have you ever thought of the husband as being these things?
Ephesians 5:28-31 says, "Even so husbands should love their wives as [being in a sense] their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself. For no man ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and carefully protects and cherishes it, as Christ does the church, Because we are members of His body..."
How is a husband to protect? Stand therefore, having tightened the belt of truth around your loins and having put on the breastplate of integrity and of moral rectitude and right standing with God. And having shod your feet in preparation of the Gospel of peace. Lift up over all the [covering] shield of faith, upon which you can quench all the flaming missiles of the wicked [one]. And take the helmet of salvation and the sword that the Spirit wields, which is the Word of God. Pray at all times in the Spirit, with all manner of prayer and entreaty. To that end keep alert and watch with strong purpose and perseverance, interceding in behalf of all the saints." Ephesians 6:14-18
PROVIDER- To make available; furnish. To supply or equip. To take measures with due foresight. To supply means support: To provide for one's children (Webster's Dictionary). The Word according to this Scripture means 'Look for beforehand (act by way of maintenance for others); provide for.
"If anyone fails to provide for his relatives, and especially for those of his own family, he has disowned the faith [by failing to accompany it with fruits] and is worse than an unbeliever [who performs his obligation in these matters]. 1 Timothy 5:8 Amplified Bible
SCOUT-A person sent out to obtain information. To search for. To find by searching.(Webster's Dictionary). #2713 Strong's Concordance= To penetrate; hence to examine intimately:-find out, search out, seek out, sound, try.
Judges 5:15,16- The clans of Reuben (Behold a son; vision of a son) had great searching's of heart. There is great revelation to be seen in these Scriptures. Ask God to open your understanding into them.
1 Chr. 28:9 "And you, Solomon my son, know the God of your father [have personal knowledge of Him, be acquainted with, and understand Him; appreciate, heed, and cherish Him] and serve Him with a blameless heart and a willing mind. For the Lord searches all hearts and minds and understands all the wanderings of the thoughts. If you seek Him [inquiring for and of Him and requiring Him as your first and vital necessity] you will find Him; but if you forsake Him, He will cast you off forever!"
Pro. 2:4,5 "If you seek [Wisdom] as for silver and search for skillful and Godly Wisdom as for hidden treasures, Then you will understand the worshipful fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of our God."
Jer. 29:13 "Then you will seek Me, inquire for, and require Me [as a vital necessity] and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart."
Proverbs 25:2 It is the glory of God to conceal a thing, but the glory of kings is to search out a thing.
Most husbands who prefer the outdoors, like the thought of being a scout. But here Scripture reveals that the husband must constantly search his own heart, search out what God wants for his family, and how God wants him to lead.
GENERAL-Having superior rank. Generalship= Skill as a military commander. The rank or duties of a commander. Management or leadership.(Webster's Dictionary)
#8269 Strong's Concordance= a head person, chief (captain- that had rule), general, governor, keeper, lord, master, prince, ruler, leader.
Isa. 40:11 "He will feed His flock like a shepherd: He will gather the lambs in His arm, He will carry them in His bosom and will gently lead those that have their young."
While this Scripture is referring to Christ, we must remember that the husband, who is the head of the wife and children, is a representation of Christ. He must then lead as Christ in the home.
Heb. 13:17 "Obey your spiritual leaders and submit to them [continually recognizing their authority over you], for they are constantly keeping watch over your souls and guarding your spiritual welfare, as men who will have to render an account. [Do your part to] let them do this with gladness and not with sighing and groaning, for that would not be profitable for you."
From a family viewpoint, we look at this at being directed to the wife and children. But let's really examine what this Scripture is saying, for in it is a guideline for husbands to follow when leading his family.
1. He constantly keeps watch over the souls of his family.
2. He guards their spiritual welfare.
PRIEST- The husband becomes his family's representative in things pertaining unto God. He also becomes the representative of God to man. (The duties of the chief priests were to watch over the fire on the altar of burnt offering, and to keep it burning evermore both day and night. Lev. 6:12
This can apply to the husband and father when applying the light of the Gospel. He must watch the fire of the Spirit within his family, and to keep the offering of prayer and worship burning within his family everyday. They were also to teach the children of Israel the statutes of the Lord, Lev. 10:11.) Smith's Bible Dictionary. Below are examples of what a priest does.
To encourage army on the eve of battle- Deut. 20:2-4
Be present and supervise tithing- Neh. 10:38
Value things devoted- Lev. 27:8,12
Supervise the building of the temple- Ezra 3:8-13. A man must supervise the building of the temple that his family is becoming.
Had charge of the sanctuary and alter- Num. 18:2,5,7. The family will look at how the priest in their home honors the sanctuary and the alter. The heart is the altar of sacrifice/submission of prayer and worship and the sanctuary is within us- we are temples.
Isa. 56:7 "All these I will bring to My holy mountain and make them joyful in My house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and their sacrifices will be accepted on My altar; for My house will be called a house of prayer for all peoples."
To have charge of the treasury- 2 Kings 12:10; 22:4; 2 Chr; 24:6-14; 34:9
To light the lamps of the tabernacle- Ex.27:20,21; Lev. 24:3,4; Num. 8:3. As priest, a husband and father must help to light the lamps within his family. How brightly the lamps shine reflects on the attention of the priest.
To burn incense- Ex. 30:7,8; 1 Sam.2:28; 1 Chr. 23:13. Incense means prayerful worship. A priest should be in continuous worship with God.
To place shewbread on the table- Lev. 24:8 The priest must make sure he keeps the Bread (Jesus) in his house.
PHYSICIAN- - 2 Chr. 16:12; Matt. 9:12; Mark 5:26; Luke 8:43; Mark 2:17; Luke 4:23; Col.4:14 Luke (means= light giving, luminous) the beloved physician
#7495 Strong's Concordance= To mend, to cure, to heal, repair, make whole.
Matt. 9:12 "But when Jesus heard it, He replied, Those who are strong and well have no need of a physician, but those who are weak and sick. Go and learn what this means: I desire mercy [that is, readiness to help those in trouble]
In this Scripture, Jesus becomes the physician to the weak and sick. Husbands, as the representation of Christ to your family, you become the physician to your family. Your touch and speech can bring healing or pain. A soft word spoken in love can heal a heart that's hurting. A loving embrace, a kiss, can remove pain as no medicine can do. Most importantly, your prayers are their protection for well-being.
KING- A male sovereign or monarch. (Webster's Dictionary)
#4427 Strong's Concordance= To reign; to ascend the throne; to induct into royalty, to rule.
Examples of how a man becomes a king.
Divinely authorized- Deut. 17:5; 1 Sam. 9:16,17; 16:12
Chosen by divine appointment- 1 Sam. 10:1; 1 Sam. 16:1-13.
By anointing- Lev. 7:35; 1 John 2:27
By proclamation- 2 Sam. 15:10; 1 Kings 1:33,34; 2 Kings 9:13; 11:12
Obeisance- 1 Kings 1:16
Acts as judge- 2 Sam. 8:15; 15:2; 1 Kings 10:9
Governor of the household- 1 Kings 4:6
Husbands, you have been appointed to your position as leader. God has set you aside, called you to this ministry, given you guidelines and placed your family under you. The spiritual growth of your family depends upon your leadership.
Pro. 25:28 "He who has no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down and without walls."
A leader must first be in control of himself. He must be disciplined by the Spirit.
Col. 2:10 "And you are in Him, made full and having come to fullness of life [in Christ you too are filled with the Godhead- Father, Son and Holy Spirit- and reach full spiritual stature]. And He is the Head of all rule and authority."
Rom. 8:14 "For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God."
Pro. 8:15 "By Me kings reign and rulers decree justice."
Wives and children are a reflection of the husband. They reflect his relationship in Christ. If he is fulfilling his role as a husband and a leader, and doing it with the love of Christ flowing out of him, his family will illuminate God's presence.
Marriage was created to be a wonderful flow from the throne. It is holy because it reflects the holiness of God. It is the most intimate relationship there is and when it allows Christ dominion within it's domain, it becomes an expression of God's heart.

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RECIPE

Crab Rockefeller
This variation of the classic oyster dish makes a great crab appetizer.

Serves 4

2 Tablespoons Butter
2 Tablespoons Flour
1 1/3 cups Milk
1/2 cup Parmesan, grated
1/2 cup Spinach, chopped, frozen (defrosted and drained)
1/2 pound Crab meat
1/2 cup Breadcrumbs, buttered

Preheat the oven to 375. Melt the butter in a heavy saucepan. Whisk in the flour and cook for 3 minutes. Whisk in the milk and cook for 20 minutes. Add the cheese and stir until well blended. Add the spinach and crab. Place in individual dishes (that will go into the oven) or a small casserole dish. Top with the breadcrumbs. Bake for 15 minutes. Serve warm.

- Nick Sundberg

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NEWS STORY
December 2001
Mosques Outgrowing
Churches In America
New mosques sprung up in America more quickly than churches in the last decade, according to a new report. The number of Muslim places of worship grew by 42 percent between 1990 and 2000, compared with the 12 percent average increase for evangelical churches, say researchers at Hartford Seminary.
Mosques also saw substantial membership growth over the same period. While megachurches saw the most increases - 83 percent of them recording at least a 10 percent jump in attendance - mosques were next, with 60 percent reporting similar rises. Only 39 percent of evangelical congregations saw the same increases.
The findings were the latest to be drawn from Hartford's Faith Communities Today study of American congregations. Dr. Jane I. Smith, co-director of Hartford's Duncan Black Macdonald Center for the Study of Islam, said that Muslims have reached a "critical mass" in the United States.
Whereas most of the mosques and Islamic centers built during the 1980s and 1990s had been constructed with overseas funding, now most are being paid for by American Muslims, Smith said.



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