Revelation 1: The Congregations

Revelation 1

The Book of Revelation begins with a greeting to seven churches;

Grace to you and peace from Him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven Spirits who are before His throne, and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth. Revelation 1:4-5

We can see Jesus in the greeting but the others are a bit mysterious.

God, the great I AM is He “who is and who was and who is to come.” He occupies the present, the past and the future;

  • who is – I exist
  • who was – I have always existed
  • who is to come – I will continue to exist.

If the seven Spirits before God’s throne are able to send greetings, who are they? They are angels who represent congregations.

Jesus gives us the key to that in the last verse, Revelation 1:20. And that’s the only clue we get! We know they’re before the throne of God but we don’t get to see them.

“What you see, write in a book and send it to the seven churches which are in Asia: to Ephesus, to Smyrna, to Pergamos, to Thyatira, to Sardis, to Philadelphia, and to Laodicea.” Revelation 1:11.

Asia is not in the east in this case – it’s the old Roman provinces straddling Europe and the Middle East. The seven churches lay in front of the Taurus mountain range, a great mountain chain running parallel to the Mediterranean coast in what is now Turkey.

Why did the Lord write the letter to these churches? The seven churches include two comparatively small towns, Thyatira and Philadelphia, while larger churches are passed by.

The seven lampstands are the earthly congregations; “Then I turned to see the voice that spoke with me. And having turned I saw seven golden lampstands, and in the midst of the seven lampstands One like the Son of Man, clothed with a garment down to the feet and girded about the chest with a golden band.

His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and His eyes like a flame of fire;  His feet were like fine brass, as if refined in a furnace, and His voice as the sound of many waters;  

Jesus is wearing a garment down to the feet and is girded about the chest with a golden band. He’s dressed as the high priest. Below, under related posts, are his letters to the congregations on earth.

The stars Jesus holds in his right hand are the heavenly congregations; 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. Revelation1:12-16

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.

The seven stars are represented by the Pleiades, a gravitationally bound star system within the constellation of Taurus. It means “the congregation of the Judge or ruler.” They roughly correspond to the shape of the seven churches which lay in front of the Taurus mountain range in Turkey.

Taurus is one of 88 constellations.

Each constellation tells a story.

Do you know the meaning of the word astrology? Astro means stars and Logos means the word of God.

ASTRO : There are 12 astrological signs with 3 Decans (36 groups of stars), and 88 Constellations. The signs contain a truth which in the ages after the flood, lost its meaning and became corrupted into what we have today, the zodiac.

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, like an ancient song forgotten voices still sing.

LOGOS :

Logos means the Word of God. Jesus is the Logos. As I explained the name of Jesus in Greek is IHSOUS. Greek letters have number values and the numbers of these letters add to 888. The Book of Revelation that Jesus gave the apostle John has 22 chapters of 404 verses, and 22 multiplied by 404 equals 8888. So he’s stamped it, signed it, sealed it, and delivered it through his servant John.

Forever, O Lord, Your word is fixed in heaven. Psalm 119:89

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


Related posts

Letters from Jesus

Revelation 1:1, What does 8,88,888, and 8888 Signify?)

The Light of the Heavens

The mystery of the seven stars

Winter in New Zealand heralds the arrival of 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.

Stars in their eyes

Matariki-southern
For the Maori, Matariki literally means “eyes of God” (Mata Ariki) or “little eyes” (Matariki.)  After the languages were mixed up at the Tower of Babel, each ethnic group was dispersed with a piece of the story. The seven eyes represent angels. 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.

Links

Who Is “Him Which Is, And Which Was, And Which Is To Come?”

The Book that Scared the Hell out of me

Trembling and white faced, I put the book called “The Good News” back on my father’s bookshelf.  It was a rainy day and I was a bored 12 year old in the early 1970’s.  Growing up before the age of computers I read a lot of books, especially on wet days like this.  Most of the books were war stories, biographies and thrillers.  I’d read everything else and wanted to know why this book was called “The Good News.” 

Not all of the books ended well and I’d got into the habit of flicking through to the end chapter to make sure the book had a happy ending before committing to it.  So I unwittingly immersed myself into the last book of the Bible, the Book of Revelation … the Apocalypse.

Skip to the End

I couldn’t put it down.  The book had a strange compelling power that pulled me in and no-one prepared me for what I was about to read. We never covered it in religious instruction.

What a wild literary ride that was.  It had to be the scariest book I ever read!  I put the book back on the shelf, failing to see how it could possibly be called “the Good News.”

If you don’t know the Bible my advice is start reading at Matthew instead!

Revelation 6

There’s a proverb that says the fear of the Lord is the beginning of Wisdom.  I tell you, at the tender age of 12, that book really did put the fear of God into me.   

Now that I know the Lord, I can read the Book of Revelation without fear, but I can tell you this is no ordinary book.  It’s the only book in the Bible that promises a special blessing if you read it.  But you can’t just read it – you have to hear and keep the words. Revelation 1:3

But how do you do that?  In 2019 I was back in the Book of Revelation. On my umpteenth time through the Bible, I was still finding this last book a majestic but enigmatic end times puzzle.

“Lord, how can I understand this book?” I asked, scratching my head. 

“People reading the prophecy for knowledge will read but not hear.  They remain untouched.  They think, they reason, they conclude – but they do not understand, or tremble, or marvel,” the Lord replied.

Opening his book, he continued; “But on this one will I look: On him who is poor and of a contrite spirit, And who trembles at My word.

Wise counsel is is needed to understand a puzzle. A wise man will hear and increase learning, and a man of understanding will attain wise counsel, to understand a proverb and an enigma, the words of the wise and their riddles.

Wisdom is the principal thing; Therefore get wisdom.  And in all your getting, get understanding.  Eat the bread and drink the wine Wisdom has mixed, and you will understand.  Exalt Wisdom, keep what you have learned and you will be blessed.”

I sought Wisdom and my book “The End, the Wayfarer’s Guide to the Apocalypse” came out of that journey.  I haven’t marketed the book, the day I received my first small commission payment I also received my breast cancer diagnosis.  That was a shot over the bow if there ever was one.  Thanks to God, I’ve come through that valley.

Now I am back and I am seeking readers who will take a trip with me through the Book of Revelation.  I invite you, if I may, on a strange journey …

 


Links / Verses

But on this one will I look: On him who is poor and of a contrite spirit, And who trembles at My word.

Isaiah 66:1-2

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction. 

Proverbs 1:7

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. Proverbs 9:10

Wise counsel is is needed to understand a puzzle

A wise man will hear and increase learning,
And a man of understanding will attain wise counsel,
To understand a proverb and an enigma,
The words of the wise and their riddles.

Proverbs chapter 1:5-6

When you find Wisdom, cherish her. Wisdom is the principal thing; Therefore get wisdom.
And in all your getting, get understanding.  Exalt her, and she will promote you;
She will bring you honor, when you embrace her.  She will place on your head an ornament of grace;
A crown of glory she will deliver to you.

Proverbs 4:7-9

Wisdom:

Now then, my children, listen to me; blessed are those who keep my ways.
Listen to my instruction and be wise; do not disregard it.
Blessed are those who listen to me, watching daily at my doors, waiting at my doorway.
For those who find me find life and receive favor from the Lord.
But those who fail to find me harm themselves; all who hate me love death.”

Proverbs 8:32-36

How is the fear of the Lord the beginning of wisdom?

Through the Word: Jacob’s Livestock, Speckled, Spotted and Brown

Genesis 30:25-43

After Rachel had borne Joseph, Jacob wanted to go back to his own country. Laban didn’t want him to go as he learned by experience that God had blessed him for Jacob’s sake. He asked Jacob to name his wages.

Jacob made a deal with his uncle; “If you will do this thing for me, I will again feed and keep your flocks:  Let me pass through all your flock today, removing from there all the speckled and spotted sheep, and all the brown ones among the lambs, and the spotted and speckled among the goats; and these shall be my wages.

Laban liked the deal. He kept the white livestock. Coincidentlly, the meaning of Laban is “white.”

Giving Jacob’s livestock into the care of his sons, Laban put three days’ journey between himself and Jacob, and Jacob fed the rest of Laban’s flocks.

Jacob employed a selective breeding and animal husbandry method that God showed him in the next chapter, in Genesis 31:10-12.

Taking for himself rods of green poplar and of the almond and chestnut trees, he peeled white strips in them, and exposed the white which was in the rods. And the rods which he had peeled, he set before the flocks in the gutters, in the watering troughs where the flocks came to drink. But when the flocks were feeble, he did not put them in; so the feebler were Laban’s and the stronger Jacob’s.”

By using the plant rods and God’s help with genetics, Jacob selectively bred speckled, spotted and brown livestock from Laban’s flock, putting his own flocks by themselves.

How scientific was Jacob’s methodology? Here’s a good article about it from Answers in Genesis;

Research into botanical and herbal remedies over the past few decades has exonerated the methodologies which Jacob used with Laban’s flocks. Indeed, some of the same botanical specimens Jacob utilized are now being used to supplement livestock feed and are used as veterinary treatments on several diseases and conditions.

Answers in Genesis: Jacob’s Odd “Breeding Program” of Genesis 30

It goes to show faith, knowledge and science can co-exist.

Through the Word: Sarah’s Death and Burial

Genesis 23

Sarah, the wife of Abraham and mother of Isaac, died in Hebron at the age of 127. She was commended for her faith; “By faith Sarah herself also received strength to conceive seed, and she bore a child when she was past the age, because she judged Him faithful who had promised.” Hebrews 11:11

Abraham buried Sarah in the cave of Machpelah in Hebron, which he purchased with 400 shekels of silver.

Hebron is a Palestinian city in the southern West Bank, 30 kilometres south of Jerusalem.

Herod built a massive structure over the cave over 2,000 years ago, which the Muslims have converted into a mosque.

The Tomb of the Patriachs is important to both Muslims and Jews. Jews did not have access to the site until they won the 1967 war.

What is the significance of the cave of Machpelah?

Through the Word: the Promise of Descendants

After Abram and Lot parted, God reiterated the promise he made to Abram at Shechem, “To your descendants I will give this land.”

God now speaks of the descendants.

“Lift your eyes now and look from the place where you are—northward, southward, eastward, and westward; for all the land which you see I give to you and your descendants forever.  

And I will make your descendants as the dust of the earth; so that if a man could number the dust of the earth, then your descendants also could be numbered.  

Arise, walk in the land through its length and its width, for I give it to you.” Genesis 13:14-17

God’s promises involved his servant Abraham lifting his eyes from the place where he was in belief. Remember, he was childless.

What does Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.” Romans 4:3.

Was the promise just for the Jews? No, as Abraham was uncircumcised when God spoke to him. Abraham is the father of both circumcised and uncircumcised. Romans 4:9-12

John the Baptist told the Pharisees and Sadducees who’d come to see him in the wilderness that “out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham.” Matthew 3:9

Now to you, child of Abraham, living thousands of years later … does it make you feel insignificant, to be numbered amongst the things that can’t be numbered, to be numbered amongst tiny grains of dust?

Consider this.

Have you ever seen grains of sand magnified?

This Is How Sand Looks Magnified Up To 300 Times

As you can see, each grain is unique.

Did you know God’s thoughts outnumber the grains of sand?

How precious to me are your thoughts, God!

How vast is the sum of them!

Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand.

Psalm 139:17-18

I’ll leave you with one of my favourite songs by Kutless, Sea of Faces. The lyrics are in the related post about significance.

Related posts:

Grains of sand

Feeling insignificant?

Through the Word: the Promise of a Nation

Calling Abram out of Haran, God promised,

“I will make you a great nation; I will bless you And make your name great;
And you shall be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, And I will curse him who curses you;
And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”

Genesis 12

When Abram reached Canaan, camping at the terebinth tree of Moreh in the land of Shechem, God promised, “To your descendants I will give this land.” And there Abram built an altar to the Lord, who had appeared to him.

There’s a physical landscape, and a spiritual landscape. Did they dare to dream of the great family tree that would grow from Abram and Sarai, Abram’s barren wife? Or how the world would be blessed by a branch of that tree?

MOREH, Luke Hunter Art

The BRANCH

“‘Listen, High Priest Joshua, you and your associates seated before you, who are men symbolic of things to come: I am going to bring my servant, the Branch.” Zechariah 3:8

“Then say to him, ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts, “Behold, a man whose name is Branch, for He will branch out from where He is; and He will build the temple of the Lord. Yes, it is He who will build the temple of the Lord, and He who will bear the honor and sit and rule on His throne. Thus, He will be a priest on His throne, and the counsel of peace will be between the two offices.”’ Zechariah 6:12-13

Links

Who was Abraham? And where did he come from?

Through the Word: Leaving Ur

Terah left Ur of the Chaldees with his son Abram, daughter-in-law Sarai and grandson Lot to go to the land of Canaan, but he never completed the journey. Terah stopped at a place in what is now southern Turkey and named it after Haran, his son who had died back in Ur.

Genesis 11:26-32

Haran was a centre of Moon god worship.

Terah and his family were serving other gods, as Joshua pointed out in Joshua 24:2, “Thus says the Lord God of Israel: ‘Your fathers, including Terah, the father of Abraham and the father of Nahor, dwelt on the other side of the River (the Euphrates) in old times; and they served other gods.”

Terah died in Haran and it was left to Abram to complete the journey to Canaan.

Ur where they’d come from was an impressive place. It had a great ziggurat or staged tower dedicated to the Moon God Sin. The Ziggurat at Ur was known as the E.temennigur (“the house whose foundation creates terror“) and was built by Ur-Nammu (2112-2095 BC), the founder of the Third Dynasty of Ur—the last native Sumerian rulers of Mesopotamia.

A U.S. Army helicopter hovers near the ancient ziggurat of Ur, a temple on the outskirts of Nasiriyah, Iraq.
Credit: USA Today.

The stele of Ur-Nammu.

The stela of Ur-Nammu stood in the courtyard below the hall of justice, and was raised there by Shulgi in honour of his father, the builder of the Ziggurat which dominates the ruins of Ur to the present day.

At the rounded top are seen the emblems of the gods of Sumer and Akkad, the crescent moon below the radiating sun.

You will find these symbols on the top of Islamic mosques and on the flags of Islamic nations.

Source: Penn University Bulletin : The Third Dynasty of Ur. The Stela of Ur – Nammu

So these are the remnants of Ur.

Now we’ll fast-forward thousands of years into the future, where the pope held a historic interfaith service at Ur on the 6th March 2021. Why would the Vatican deem it appropriate to go back to a place of ancient moon god worship, a place that God called Abraham OUT of?

Links

The Pope’s visit to Ur

In ancient Ur, birthplace of Abraham, pope urges peace among monotheistic faiths

POPE FRANCIS HOLDING CHRISLAM EVENT IN ABRAHAM’S BIRTHPLACE OF UR OF THE CHALDEES AT ZIGGURAT IN IRAQ

Terah

Terah’s Grave Mistake

Ur

Ur of the Chaldees

The Ziggurat Of Ur And What Was Found At This Ancient Monument

Moon god worship in the Middle East: According to mythology, Sin (also known as Nanna) wore a beard, rode on a winged bull (lamassu) and was sometimes represented as an old man with a flowing beard and the crescent symbol. The Sinai peninsula is named after Sin.

2020 vision

Hello from second lock down.  Yes, I am deprived of my liberty again.  What a year.  There are lots of jokes about 2020.  I’m sure we’ve all got some.  Here are my favourites …

All jokes aside, I see 2020 as the dawning of a new era – the day of world government which must come before Jesus returns.

It’s an evil day.  The world government is being aided and abetted by the World Health Organisation.  Did you notice it has for its logo a snake on a pole?  It signifies Asclepius, a son of Apollo.

In Revelation 12:9 the snake is defined as that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray.”

The serpent has different names according to the culture where it was worshipped.  In Egypt it was Uraeus, the sacred serpent.  In 2018 a sculpture called Uraeus was installed at the Rockefeller Center in New York.  It consists of a gigantic open book with eagle’s wings 30 feet in span, both made of lead, on top of a 20-foot-tall lead-clad stainless steel column. Clustered around the base of the column are further outsize lead books, while a large snake coils up the column.

uraeus-1

Does it remind you of anything?

WHO

I see that serpent wrapping it’s coils like a python around each country, constricting us in the name of health, and choking the life out of our economies and our livelihoods.

After this vision, I learned that Satan is written with three Hebrew letters: The letter Shin, which means to consume or destroy, the letter Tet which means a snake, or to surround, twist, entwine and ensnare, and the letter Nun, which means life. So Satan means ‘the snake which surrounds, consumes and destroys life’.

It’s time to put on our armour and make a stand.

The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light.
Romans 13:12-13

My brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.  Put on the whole armour of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.  For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.  Therefore put on the whole armour of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.  Ephesians 6:10-13

We are up against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world.  The principality making itself felt worldwide is in Geneva, where the headquarters of the World Health Organisation and GAVI are.

GAVI is the Global Vaccine Alliance that Bill Gates started in 1999.  It’s a mix of private-public partnerships, i.e. government and big pharmaceutical companies.

The WHO is a United Nations organisation.  Bill Gates is the second biggest donor, which gives him an inordinate amount of influence. Neither he nor the head of the WHO are doctors. Gates wants to marry a universal biometric ID with vaccines, as part of Agenda 2030.  The initiative is called ID2020.  You can check it out on my other blog, the one I use for warning people.  I began warning about this in November last year, and again in January, before the Covid thing kicked off.

The UN has an agenda for us all.  As part of Agenda 2030 the World Health Organisation intends to use vaccines to replace our God-given immune system with theirs.  The goal is called Immunisation Agenda 2030.  That’s why you’re now hearing about “global health.”

Who is behind the WHO?  Satan is described in the Bible as the god of this world, or of this age.  I believe it’s his symbol on the WHO logo.

The serpent on the pole is a counterfeit healer.  The devil can also perform miracles, but Jesus was the one who was lifted up on a pole; And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.”  John 3:14

The account is in Numbers 21, where the Lord sent venomous snakes among the people who spoke against God and Moses.  The Lord said to Moses, “Make a snake and put it up on a pole; anyone who is bitten can look at it and live.”  Numbers 21:8

The snake god is ancient, and the Lord took it on in Egypt.  The Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “When Pharaoh says to you, ‘Perform a miracle,’ then say to Aaron, ‘Take your staff and throw it down before Pharaoh,’ and it will become a snake.” 

So Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and did just as the Lord commanded. Aaron threw his staff down in front of Pharaoh and his officials, and it became a snake.  Pharaoh then summoned wise men and sorcerers, and the Egyptian magicians also did the same things by their secret arts:  Each one threw down his staff and it became a snake. But Aaron’s staff swallowed up their staffs. Exodus 7:8-12

As God’s ambassador, Moses staff was more powerful than those in the court of Pharaoh.

The magicians’ names were Jannes and Jambres.  Their names crop up again in the last days, when Paul warned there will be perilous times in the last days.

Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so also these teachers oppose the truth.”  2 Timothy 3:1-9

Society is going to be very divided.  There are churches who have abandoned God’s eternal truth in favour of a social justice gospel.  Their ministers are false teachers, wolves in sheep’s clothing.  Do you think they’ll help if people are forced to take mandatory vaccines?  Will they warn about not-so hidden agendas if people start trusting the World Health Organisation for their health and healing?  When people put their faith in a counterfeit, it’s called idolatry.

How do we stand?  How do we battle this thing?

First, we should submit to the government as far as we can.  Now that’s a radical idea, but in Romans 13:1-2 we’re commanded to be subject to the governing authorities, unless their laws demand that we disobey the Lord.  When that happens we can practice civil disobedience.

In the name of Covid-19, we’ve been forced to put a Ministry of Health Covid-19 tracking app sign on the entrance to our business.  Do I like it?  No – but I have to obey the government.

Second, we need to pray for discernment.

The image of the serpent on the pole that Moses had made was supposed to prepare Israel for Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross – but when the people turned away from God and started worshipping the image instead, it was destroyed.

You can read it in 2 Kings 18:4:  Hezekiah the king of Judah broke into pieces the bronze snake Moses had made, for up to that time the Israelites had been burning incense to it. 

rrem

Nehustan

The serpent on the pole was called Nehushtan, which in Hebrew meant “a worthless thing of brass.”

Third, we need to turn away from the worthless thing, stand on the Word of God and shield ourselves with faith in His Word.

Psalm 91 promises that “He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.  In verse 3-6 we read, Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the perilous pestilence.  He shall cover you with His feathers, And under His wings you shall take refuge; His truth shall be your shield and buckler (small shield.)  You shall not be afraid of the terror by night, Nor of the arrow that flies by day, Nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness, Nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday.” 

Verse 9 promises, Because you have made the Lord, who is my refuge, Even the Most High, your dwelling place, No evil shall befall you, Nor shall any plague come near your dwelling.” 

The shield of faith is one of the six pieces of the armour of light.  So put your faith in Jesus, be wise, and don’t listen to those who employ deception.  Turn off the TV if you have to, it’s broadcasting fear.

Psalm 101v3

Jesus said, “Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves.” Matthew 10:16

Third, we need to remember this while making our stand, “owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law.” Romans 13:8

In New Zealand, our Socialist prime minister Jacinda Adern urged us to be kind in the so-called Covid-19 pandemic, while setting up a police line to dob in our neighbours if they were seen to be breaking the government’s restrictions.

Teddy bears in windows aren’t a substitute for kindness.  Jordan Peterson said that “Kindness is the excuse that social justice warriors use when they want to exercise control over what other people think and say.”

The snitch line is another thing I chose not to use, because we’re told in 1 Thessalonians 4:11 to make it our ambition to lead a quiet life: we should mind our own business and work with our hands, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that we will not be dependent on anybody.

So what do we have to do to make a stand?

#1 Submit to the authorities, but not if they contradict what God says,  #2  Pray for discernment, #3 Turn away from the snake on the pole and trust Jesus instead, and #4 Love one another.


Links


People will betray each other in the last days.

But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come:  For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away! 2 Timothy 3:1-4

New Zealanders begin to devour each other while Jacinda Ardern smiles and waves at the nation she’s put under house arrest

Ardern minions have filed “4,200 reports to police”, reporting on their neighbours who breach New Zealand’s house arrest rules. As The N.Z Herald quipped, “curtain-twitchers outing members of the public crashed the new police reporting site within an hour of it going live yesterday.” Neighbour devouring neighbour under a cloud of suspicion and fear, in an eerie echo of the kind of public denouncing, carried out by Soviet Stasi, and Nazi Gestapo, collaborators.


And, more about Jannes & Jambres: Watch Out For Jannes & Jambres


The serpent: Satan – Hebrew Word Study

The imposter: Satan is out to counterfeit what Jesus did.  My book “The End, The Wayfarers Guide To The Apocalypse” describes how the devil does it.


Know that we have the power of Christ’s blood, and in his blood is immunity: “Did you know there is proof for the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ?  We even know his blood type, from the cloth wrapped around his head. 

The cloth, called the ‘Sudarium’ is kept in a Cathedral in Oviedo, Spain.   And here’s something from the evidence room:  The blood stains match those on the Turin shroud … 

from AB-solute proof, the blood that speaks

Trust Jesus. He is Jehovah Rapha, our healer.  

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 Tarore 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.  Tarore 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 Tarore went with them.

On October 19, 1836, while camped at the base of Wairere Falls, a raiding party killed 12-year-old Tarore 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

A hidden gem

The height of the Wairere falls is 153 metres.

When Jesus called his disciples, he said, “follow me and I will make you fishers of men.”  (Matthew 4:17-18)

The miraculous catch of fish was the last miracle Jesus ever performed.  153 fish were caught and the net didn’t tear. (John 21:11)

153 is an odd number. What did Jesus mean by 153 fish?
153 means people.
153 adds from 1 to 17: 153 = 1 + 2 + 3 + 4+ 5+ 6 + 7 + 8 + 9 + 10 + 11 + 12 +13 + 14 + 15 + 16 + 17.
17 means nations.
17 is the number of nations present at Pentecost.

It reminds me of the Bible verse from Psalm 42, “Deep calls to deep, in the roar of your waterfalls.”  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 Tarore 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.

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.

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.