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The Kingdom

Jesus said “every scribe instructed concerning the kingdom of heaven is like a householder who brings out of his treasure things new and old.”  Matthew 13:52.  NKJV

These posts are some treasure brought out for you.  Treasure hidden in unlikely places … like the Bible.

This is the King’s promise, ‘Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.’ Jeremiah 33:3

Great and unsearchable things – knowledge you can’t get from Google.

Ask, seek and knock, foreveryone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.”  Matthew 7:7-8

This chronicles things that were revealed to me when I knocked on the King’s door seeking for wisdom and truth.  I hope you enjoy the revelations.

It is the glory of God to conceal a matter; to search out a matter is the glory of kings.’  Proverbs 25:2

To the King belongs the Kingdom, the Power and the Glory.

With Jesus, we’re all one

There’s a whole lot of stirring going on in the western world right now over divisive racial issues.  It doesn’t surprise me, I expected there’d be something after people were penned up over this so-called pandemic.  It makes a mockery of of all the Covid-19 restrictions thhough, especially distancing.  Someone in the US said, “I don’t know whether to wear a mask or carry a gun!”

Let’s give God his due, rather than the devil.  I’m glad that with God, we all matter, and we’re all one.

There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”  Galatians 3:28

In these troubled times, it’s good to keep our eyes on the Lord.  There’s power in unity.  Here’s a clip from five years ago, I thought it would be good to play now.  Be blessed.

And every creature which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, I heard saying:

“Blessing and honor and glory and power
Be to Him who sits on the throne,
And to the Lamb, forever and ever!”

Revelation 5:13 New King James Version (NKJV)

A prophecy from 1986

ow are you doing during the Covid-19 lock down?  New Zealand goes to level 3 tomorrow.  My sister forwarded me this prophecy from 1986 by David Wilkerson (deceased) the founder of  Times Square Church in New York and author of the Cross and Switchblade.  

I found it very interesting, as David Wilkerson could be speaking right now of the current coronavirus.  As with anything on the internet it needs verifying.  I have checked it out and I believe it.

David Wilkerson 1986

This prophecy came from sermon notes made in 1986 by Mike Evans; author, journalist, commentator, and the head of several international non-profit organizations in the U.S. and Netherlands – perhaps for such a time as this.

David Wilkerson said that before the great awakening, there will be a great shaking.  His messages are relevant to now.  I hope a great awakening does come out of this, to awaken the world to truth and prepare us for what’s coming.

 


I have received this verification: Ted Shuttlesworth, who knew Wilkerson personally, said, “me and Reg Wilkerson remember it.”

Here’s the clip:

www.facebook.com/revstephenpowell/videos/506151720050928/

Grandeur, beauty and a story to match

While I can’t go anywhere because of the Covid-19 shut down, I’ve been blogging about my walks.  One of my walks was to Wairere Falls in the Kaimai ranges, it’s the highest waterfall in the North Island of NZ.

You can come with me if you like.  You can admire the scenery, it’ll get you out of the house and I’ll tell you a story before our walk.  I’m a bit awkward in front of a camera but it’s a story worthy of hearing.  It’s about a young Maori girl called Torore and the power of forgiveness.  You’ll see why, besides their grandeur, Wairere Falls is an important site.

Amongst the earliest missionaries to arrive in New Zealand were a husband and wife who settled in the Waikato and started a mission school near Matamata.  In 1835, the Bible Society published 100 copies of the Gospel of Luke in the Maori language.  Torore was one of their students, and as she began to learn to read, she was given one of these Gospels.  She took the Gospel back to her village and read it to her tribe – and what followed has become one of the most important stories in the history of New Zealand.

Under threat of a neighboring warring Rotorua tribe, the mission school was in the process of relocating to Tauranga and Torore went with them.

On October 19, 1836, while camped at the base of Wairere Falls, a raiding party killed 12-year-old Torore and took her treasured Book of Luke.  Ngakuku, Tarore’s father did not seek utu (revenge), for he had become a Christian.

Later, unable to read, the other chief – the Rotorua chief discarded Tarore’s book until Ripahau, a slave boy read the text aloud to his fascinated listeners and the people understood its true value.

Convicted by the gospel, Uita, Tarore’s murderer also became a Christian.

Risking the customary tribal response of utu (revenge) – Uita sought for and received forgiveness from Ngakuku, the father of Tarore and peace came to the two warring tribes of Rotorua and Waikato.

A local re-telling of this story claims that as the men approached one another tears were shed and they embraced. After Uita humbled himself and repented peace prevailed between the two men and a church was built to honour the message which brought about this reconciliation.

This led to the conversion of many of the Maori tribes.  When missionaries visited both the North and South Islands, they discovered that many of the Maori tribes had already been converted to Christ due to the story of Tarore and her copy of the Gospel of Luke making its rounds…

“For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”  Hebrews 4:12

The Word Of God was sharper than any taiaha (maori spear) club or double-edged sword and by it the power of utu was broken.

When Tarore’s little book came down to Otaki, the warrior chief Te Rauparaha heard the message and built the Rangiatea Church in Otaki.

Maori warriors

When Tarore’s life was taken at the foot of these falls her little book of Luke became like a fishing net, because when Jesus called his disciples, he said, “follow me and I will make you fishers of men.”  (Matthew 4:17-18)  After his resurrection, when the disciples cast out their nets to catch fish, they caught 153 big fish, and the net didn’t tear. (John 21:11)

The number 153 represents the Kingdom of God and if you want to read another blog post, Number 153, signs and symbols, I’ll show you why.

The height of the Wairere falls is 153 metres.  The significance is not lost on me.  I hope you liked the story and the trip to the falls.

Wairere Falls - Amos 5-24


Links

My walk to Wairere Falls

Tarore’s story: The story of Torore is a taonga – the maori word for treasure or gift.  It is a treasure of the church in NZ.  NZ history and culture is built on it.  When Tarore’s little book came down to Otaki, the warrior chief Te Rauparaha heard the message and built the Rangiatea Church.  Sadly an arsonist burned it down 1995 but a replica was rebuilt and completed in 2003.

 

Easter 2020

Happy Easter.  I hope you are well wherever you are in this so-called pandemic.

The day before New Zealand went into lock down I saw a lot of fear.  I was shocked at the turn of events – but not afraid of the Coronavirus.  My daughter and son-in-law felt that I was not taking it seriously enough.  They don’t understand my faith or the confidence I have as a believer in Christ.

I trust the Lord more than I trust the government or our media but I am obeying the quarantine rules.  I’ve been sticking to my usual routine in lock down – working a 40 hour week providing remote computer support, walking along the beach one hour a day and attending ‘church’ at home on Sunday.

We’ve been listening to Charles Stanley.  Last week’s sermon was “Victory over fear.”

This morning our observance meant more than usual because it was Easter and we had communion.  We finished by singing “Because he lives.”

God bless, and remember he is in control and we need not fear.

This is Brazilians in lock down singing:

I hope it blesses you.  Stay well in quarantine and keep the faith.  I would love to hear how you observed Easter.

What we need

With the world troubled by the Coronavirus at the moment, I thought it’s important to remember who Jesus is and what we need.  Right now, I’m reading the book of John, and John contains seven “I AM” statements.

I AM the Bread of Life (John 6:35, 41, 48, 51); I AM the Light of the World (John 8:12); I AM the Door of the Sheep (John 10:7, 9); I AM the Good Shepherd (John 10:11,14); I AM the Resurrection and the Life (John 11:25); I AM the Way, the Truth and the Life (John 14:6); and I AM the True Vine (John 15:1, 5).

The world needs Jesus – not hand sanitiser, face masks or toilet paper.

I found this on Facebook, I don’t know who wrote it – but it sums up four of Jesus’ I AM statements.

I AM

Links

The Bread of Life.  Are you hungry?  Here is Bread.

 

The Kingdom of Heaven suffers violence

Have you ever read the verse about the kingdom of heaven suffering violence and the violent taking it by force, and wondered what it meant?

"And from the days of John the Baptist 
until now the kingdom of heaven suffers 
violence,  
and the violent take it by force."  
Matthew 11:12

John the BaptistThe context for the verse is “the days of John the Baptist.”

“In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!”

For this is he who was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah, saying:
“The voice of one crying in the wilderness:
‘Prepare the way of the Lord. Make His paths straight.’ ” 
Matthew 3:1-3

After hearing him preach, what do you think the Jews were looking forward to?

They wondered if John was the Messiah, or Elijah – who Malachi prophesied would be sent before the day of the Lord (Malachi 4:5.)

The Jewish leaders in Jerusalem asked who he was: “Now this was John’s testimony when the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem sent priests and Levites to ask him who he was.  He did not fail to confess, but confessed freely, “I am not the Messiah.”

They asked him, “Then who are you? Are you Elijah?”

He said, “I am not.”

“Are you the Prophet?”

He answered, “No.””  John 1:19-21

Jesus indicated John was a type for Elijah when He said, “And if you are willing to receive it, he is Elijah who is to come.” Matthew 11:14 

The Day of the Lord is yet to come and so is Elijah.  He may be one of the two witnesses described in Revelation 11.

Elijah will explain both Testaments and unite Jews and Christians, as he shows how Jesus Christ is the fulfillment of the Old Testament.

And he will turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers. Malachi 4:6

Elijah will probably also heal a generational divide which I fear will happen as our children are being taught a different version of end-times after receiving an Agenda 2030 based green gospel at school.  Imagine being a climate skeptic with a child like Greta Thunberg.

Hitler said, “He alone, who owns the youth, gains the future.”  It doesn’t bear thinking about.  If it’s uncomfortable now – what will it be like in the future?

But getting back to Jesus’ day, the Jews believed John the Baptist when he announced the Kingdom of God was at hand.  When Jesus fed the crowd of 5000 bread, they intended to make Jesus king by force. (John 6:14-15)

Were these people violent or enthusiastic and desperate?  I don’t know, but Jesus separated Himself from the the crowd.  Their idea of the kingdom of God was not His or His Father’s.

Before the Kingdom of Heaven can come, a false messiah and a false kingdom headed by ten kings will come first.  Jesus warned us not to be deceived.

Will we have to go against the crowd at a time when truth is nowhere to be found, and whoever shuns evil becomes a prey?
(Isaiah 59:14-15)

Matthew-11-12-How-to-Enter-the-Kingdom-of-Heaven


I’ve written about the Kingdom to come in my second book “The Wayfarer’s Guide to the Apocalypse.”  It’s a unique peek at the happenings in Heaven and on earth as the world lurches through the apocalypse.   Book link: https://books2read.com/u/3RaOvG

My second book: ‘The End, The Wayfarer’s Guide to the Apocalypse.’ 

Greetings for 2020.  I haven’t posted here for a while as I’ve been working on my second book, ‘The End, The Wayfarer’s Guide to the Apocalypse.’  Unlike my first book which is about the Kingdom within, this is about the world to come – the Kingdom, the power and the glory.

I wrote it to counter the doom and gloom of the climate change message being propagated by the media and those affiliated with the United Nations.

My advice is don’t listen to it.  Turn your TV off and consult the Bible. Ask the Lord what He has to say.  Compare the Word of God to the climate change message.  You’ll find, if you don’t know already, that it’s quite different.

Wayfarer, red moon and shadowWriting the book in 2019, I became mindful of that.   I wanted to show how different the Bible narrative is.  The Book of Revelation, the last book of the Bible is a marvelous book.   I wanted to do it justice.  Not wanting to make it a boring Bible study, I made the book a questioning journey through the Bible inside a study, where I became a character called “Wayfarer” on a journey through the Apocalypse.

It’s been a strange journey, it’s taken me more than a year to complete. I’ve been at times amazed, puzzled, baffled, frustrated, astonished and rewarded – and I’ve come out with a deeper appreciation of the enigmatic mind behind the last book of the Bible.

Here’s the link for ‘The End, The Wayfarer’s Guide to the Apocalypse   I recommend the book to all with an interest in end times.

For a limited time, if you contact me I will offer the book or my first book “The Kingdom, Here Be Dragons, Here Be Dreams” free for a review.

I wish you all the best for this decade and beyond as we await the coming of the true Kingdom.

The Kingdom within

When Jesus was asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, he answered them and said, “The kingdom of God does not come with observation; nor will they say, ‘See here!’ or ‘See there!’ For indeed, the kingdom of God is within you.” Luke 17:20-21.  Some translations have him reply “The Kingdom of God is in your midst.”

How could the Kingdom of God be within the legalistic Pharisees – religious leaders who shut people out of the Kingdom?  Jesus said “But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut up the kingdom of heaven against men; for you neither go in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in.” Matthew 23:13

How could the Kingdom of God be within them, or in their midst?  Well, they had the Word of God.  That’s it, plain and simple.  They were the scribes.  The Word was in the scrolls they read and taught from in the synagogues and temple. As for the Kingdom of God in their midst – they should have known from the Word who the King was.

The Kingdom of God is accessed from the Word of God.

god-s-word-translationThe Bible is no ordinary book, as I discovered.  It’s a door.  Reading and seeking the Kingdom of God through the Bible will change you.  What does it look like when a person travels through the Word of God?  Come with me and find out.  I wrote what I learned and experienced in my story “The Kingdom, Here Be Dragons, Here Be Dreams.”

The Light of the Heavens

“Do you see those stars?”  my father asked, pointing skyward as we walked across the Middle paddock. It was a dark evening in winter. We must have been coming back from the cowshed. The sky looked like an inky blue-black curtain overlaid with splotches and pin pricks of light, indigo with a hem of orange and pink.

I stopped and looked up.

“They’re angels” he said.

I was at the age to believe him. Since then, I’ve loved the night sky.  That sense of wonder has lingered on since childhood when I’m in a place where I can see the stars.

elysium-stars

When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers,
The moon and the stars, which You have ordained,
What is man that You are mindful of him,
And the son of man that You care for him?
For You have made him a little lower than the angels,
And You have crowned him with glory and honor.” Psalm 8:3-5

Later on in life I pointed at the Pleiades, a dim cluster of stars I saw in the winter sky and asked God what they were.  It took a while for God to answer because he had to wait for me to grow up and read my Bible.  I learned that group of seven stars represented the angels of the churches.  I wish I could tell my father.

I wrote about those in my last blog post, The mystery of the seven stars where I wrote about Matariki, a Maori festival.

God said in his word to “seek the one who made the seven stars and Orion,Amos 5:8. 

luk-12-32-web

The Sheepfolds

There are two other groups of seven stars.  Ursa Minor and Ursa Major are constellations in the northern hemisphere which represent sheepfolds.  I can’t see them from down here in NZ.  They dominate the northern sky and are always visible.   

The meaning of Ursa Major is The Sheepfold and the Sheep, and Ursa Minor is the Lesser Flock.  The star meanings correspond with the Sheepfolds.  In Hebrew Dohver, a fold, and Dohv, a bear, were confused, hence the Bear instead of the Sheep.

I’ve written about the star names here: The Sheepfolds.

Polaris, the brightest star in the constellation of Ursa Minor sits at top of the Ursa Major, the big sheepfold.  It’s been positioned there for the last 2,000 years – since the time of Christ.  It reminds me of Psalm 119:89-91 about God’s word being settled in heaven.

The Good Shepherd

Jesus is in charge of sheepfolds.  He said, “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me — just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep. I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd.”
John 10:1-16

Is it any surprise that the birth of Jesus was first announced to the shepherds guarding the sheepfolds?

The Good Shepherd said, “Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.”  Luke 12:32-34

What does it mean, that it’s the Father’s good pleasure to give us the Kingdom?

The big picture is that we will take our place in a nation, a kingdom that God will create on Earth as He has created in Heaven, a Kingdom that will have no end and will be under the rulership of the Lord Jesus Christ.

What did Jesus say about the Kingdom?

The Coming of the Kingdom

Now when He was asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, He answered them and said, “The kingdom of God does not come with observation; nor will they say,  ‘See here!’ or ‘See there!’ For indeed, the kingdom of God is within you.”

The Kingdom Within

What did He mean, “the Kingdom of God is within?”

Did Jesus mean it was because He was in their midst?

Or did He mean that as His followers our place, our role within the Kingdom of God is there for us to discover?

He probably meant both things.

In the beginning was the Word – the Logos, and the Logos was with God, and the Logos was God.  Astro-Logos is the story about the King, the Word of God in the stars.

When you look up, remember we’re made of the same stuff as the stars … and stars shine brightest in the darkness.

Earth and Stars

With the Word of God in the Stars, and the Word of God in the Bible, that’s two witnesses.  That’s the truth, that’s the big picture.  I’m a details person, not so much big picture.  I could not find any books about the Kingdom of God on a personal level.  So I wrote my own account as a memoir.  My conversations with the King mainly take place in the Kingdom.

Very early on in my book, the King appeared as a Shepherd, after I moved at the age of eleven to a sheep farm called ‘Glenoch.’  The farm was on a narrow gravel road that shared a boundary with ‘Mount Zion,’ a neighbouring sheep farm.

Jesus identified Himself with seven “I AM” statements and the roles he takes in my book reflect that.

I invite you to read all about him.  The book has had very good reviews.  I am always on the lookout for reviews so please contact me if you can help.


Notes

With the constellations, don’t be confused by the Crab and the Bears.  Our home in Heaven is pictured in the stars.

The constellations are in the sign of Cancer.  The ancient Akkadian name of the month of Cancer is Su-kul-na, the seizer or possessor of seed.
Source: Bullinger’s “Witness of the Stars.”

In the centre of the sign of Cancer, there is a remarkably bright cluster of stars, so bright that they can be sometimes seen with the naked eye. It looks like a comet, and is made up of a great multitude of stars. Modern astronomers call it the Beehive but its ancient name has come down to us as Praesepe, which means a multitude, offspring.


Links

These 2 Constellations Remind Us of Jesus’ Incredible John 10 Promises

Ursa Minor

Polaris has been getting brighter during the past couple of decades, for reasons that are still poorly understood.  As of 2014 a group of scientists estimated that Polaris could be about 4.6 times brighter today than it was in ancient times.


The mystery of the seven stars

It’s winter here in New Zealand and Matariki, the Maori New Year.  Matariki is marked by the appearance of the Pleiades Star Cluster.  In the night sky, the Pleiades can be spotted with the naked eye as a dim cluster of stars above Orion’s left shoulder.

Matariki-southernFor the Maori, Matariki literally means “eyes of God” (Mata Ariki) or “little eyes” (Matariki.)  They’re not far wrong, for the prophet Zechariah, writing about his vision of a lampstand with seven lamps, tells of the seven eyes of the Lord that range throughout the earth.

“Who dares despise the day of small things, since the seven eyes of the Lord that range throughout the earth will rejoice when they see the chosen capstone in the hand of Zerubbabel?” Zechariah 4:10

Job 38:31-32 declares that only the Lord can ‘bind the chains of the beautfiul Pleiades’ and bring them forth in their season.

“Can you bind the chains of the Pleiades?  Can you loosen Orion’s belt? Can you bring forth the constellations in their seasons or lead out the Bear with its cubs? Job 38:31-32 

Interestingly, the Pleiades are gravitationally bound together in a cluster.  How did Job know that?

The Pleiades star cluster means ‘the congregation of the judge or ruler.’

In the first chapter of Revelation, the Pleiades are not mentioned – but Jesus reveals himself holding seven stars in His right hand whilst standing amongst seven churches, which are portrayed as the seven lampstands.

 “He had in His right hand seven stars, out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged sword, and His countenance was like the sun shining in its strength.” Revelation 1:16

He explains the seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands are the seven churches.

The mystery of the seven stars that you saw in my right hand and of the seven golden lampstands is this: The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands are the seven churches.” Revelation 1:20

One star in the Pleiades is sometimes not visible leaving only six to be seen by the naked eye.  Another interesting thing is that the Lord threatened to remove the Church of Ephesus’s lampstand from it’s place if it doesn’t repent and do the things it did at first. Revelation 2:5

The seven stars are in the constellation of Taurus.  They roughly correspond to the shape of the seven churches which lay in front of the Taurus mountain range, a great mountain chain running parallel to the Mediterranean coast in what is now Turkey.

That might explain why the Lord wrote the letter to those churches and not the others.  The seven churches include two comparatively small towns, Thyatira and Philadelphia, while larger churches are passed by.

Like the sanctuary Moses made, are the seven stars and seven churches a type and shadow of the congregations in heaven?

Reflection Nebula, Pleiades

Reflection Nebula in Pleiades

The stars are there to reveal light, to give knowledge.  Each constellation tells us a story.

The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.  Silently, the night sky pours forth speech; night after night the constellations and stars reveal knowledge.  Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world. Psalm 19:1-4

Although much meaning has been lost, the ancient language of the stars and constellations is still there, buried and fragmented in the legends of the world.  It’s like a forgotten song which far off voices still sing.

The Pleiades and Orion are mentioned three times in the Bible – in Job 9:9, Job 38:31, and Amos 5:8.  If they’re mentioned three times, it’s meant to get our attention.

Jesus is holding the seven stars, and God tells us in Amos 5:8 to seek Him.

“Seek him that made the seven stars and Orion, and turned the shadow of death into the morning, and made the day dark with night: that called for the waters of the sea, and poured them out upon the face of the earth: The Lord is his name …”  Amos 5:8 KJV


Links:

The Pleiades: Seven Sisters | David Rives
Notes on Revelation, Seven Stars
Astronomy, the Heavens Declare His Glory
THE 7 CHURCHES OF ASIA
The Congregation, The Pleiades, Our Hope Hidden in Christ
Matariki