Steps to Life Newsletter, October 2018
Is This in the Realms of Futurist Fiction or Conspiracy Theory and the Like?
Revelation 13: 15 to 17 says - And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed. And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.
Revelation 13 is all about two beasts of grotesque but symbolic descriptions. The first beast is like unto a leopard, with bear’s feet and a lion’s mouth. As a religio-political force it gets its authority and power from the dragon. (Biblical code name for Satan himself!). This leopard-like beast amazes everyone because it receives a mortal head wound but in a short space of time recovers. The amazement turns to worship of the beast and of the empowering dragon. Then in vision the apostle John sees second a beast with two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon. This strange beast causes the earths inhabitants to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed.
To enforce the worship world wide this beast forces all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, unless he was identified by the beast’s mark, name or number.
To impose an economic sanction that prohibits non-compliant beast/dragon worshipers from all over the world from buying or selling is a huge and complex undertaking requiring the cooperation of everyone in all countries who on a daily basis buy and sell. Is this possible to achieve? Well, in the last month there have been two separate Australian Broadcasting Commission (ABC) news reports telling us that the development of a self monitoring system which could achieve the economic exclusion of those the system identifies as not meeting the societal value of beast and image to the beast worship, is now being trialled successfully in China.
Right now the societal norm being enforced is not beast worship as per Revelation 13. But is about protecting citizens and government against terrorism and political dissidents. The societal norm wanting to be achieved could easily change to being a work free Sunday accompanied by some form of Sunday worship and extended specifically to a ban on seventh-day Sabbath worship. Those that don’t comply ultimately become excluded from all social and economic involvement in society, automatically, via digital technology. Its not fiction or conspiratorial theory – its here in a growing form right now in 2018!
ABC News Report No. 1: The plethora of surveillance cameras going up in Australia on highways, at transport stations, in transport vehicles, in shopping centres and strips, etc. are all supplied by several major firms based in China. These firms have links back to the Chinese government via one route or another. Digitally they have the capacity to relay the data they record back to home base via the internet. The justification under which the surveillance networks are installed is that they protect against crime, terrorism, to convey information on road blockages and to assist in disaster relief situations, etc. The systems are to keep us safe and secure.
ABC News Report No. 2: In a number of significant Chinese cities the surveillance cameras are now recording biometric data. What’s biometric data? Let’s ask Wikopedia. Examples include, but are not limited to fingerprint, palm veins, face recognition, DNA, palm print, hand geometry, iris recognition, retina and odour/scent. Behavioral characteristics are related to the pattern of behavior of a person, including but not limited to typing rhythm, gait, and voice. It can also include hair colour, body posture, etc.
This data is then combined and matched with which web sites are visited on the internet, the content of one’s emails and text messages, who one is associating with, what meetings are being attended and so on. It goes even further to marry this information to what one spends their money on using credit or debit cards. (Just remember that even in Australia we are supposed to be heading in the next few years into being a cashless country to ensure that GST and income tax payments don’t escape the government’s coffers – laudable justifications in themselves at face value.)
So how can all this be used to get compliance by whatever authority with declared social values and norms? Well, in China to protect the government and its leaders against being challenged the citizens are awarded a ‘Social Points Bank’. The initial points received can be added to by having the right friends, being seen at events that support the government, spending money in a China friendly way and so on. Chinese citizens can also loose points by going to opposition rallies, visiting the wrong places or making purchases that are discouraged by the government, etc. When the Social Points Bank balance falls to a certain level, because of behaviour that does not comply, restrictions go into place on spending. An example given was that when a person who had lost sufficient points went to purchase a first class rail ticket to another city with their credit/debit card they could be not eligible for the ticket or made to travel second class. Similarly they could be prevented from purchasing a holiday out of the country, or buying some luxury item. This has the effect of being a self-monitoring process constantly monitoring the citizens and providing a penalty or encouragement for behaviour against or for the defined values/norms of the country.
If the ABC News Report’s are correct, economic exclusion - And that no man might buy or sell - for non-compliance with whatever may become the expected norm or value, is now being trialled on a fairly large scale in a major world power. Is what the Bible says in Revelation 13: 15 to 17 in the realms of futurist fiction or conspiracy theory and the like? The platforms are being laid in place right now.
Repairing the Breach: Messages from Nehemiah.
Pastor Andreas and Elida Mellas returned to Canada after a series of well received, spiritually uplifting and challenging seminars, presented in and around Melbourne, Lavington/Albury, Sydney, Wauchope, Coffs Harbour and Perth. Pastor Andreas was certainly in touch with the parallels between Nehemiah’s time and ours. The strategies that Nehemiah used to build the physical walls of the destroyed city of Jerusalem certainly have pertinent application to us rebuilding and keeping our own spiritual walls personally, at home and in our churches. His DVD set is available from STL.
As part of his presentations Pastor Mellas often included some very thought provoking short statements that warrant thinking about on their own. They make good discussion points for a Bible study fellowship group. Some of them worth thinking on include –
- We have been deceived by Satan when we believe that worldly things and methods attract to a holy Christ.
- Do you live the health message to live seven years longer or to serve God better?
- It’s the message not the method that attracts to Jesus.
- Do you ask an unconverted person how to worship God?
- Have we allowed the Bible to read us? Do we allow it to show us our sins?
- The more time we spend in the world the less time we spend in the Word.
- Learn the message. Love the message. Give the message.
- Don’t follow the man, follow the message.
- Are we delivered in sin that grace may abound? God forbid. (Applying Romans 6: 1, 2.)
- How do you reach the post modern person? You can’t. Only God can do it.
- People look for methods. God gives the message. The message converts not the methods. The Holy Spirit delivers the message.
- Church is not therapy. It’s a place to meet God.
- Men are not the head of the church. God is the head of the church.
- The message is God given. It’s not there to be debated. It’s there to be proclaimed.
- There are two ditches on the highway of life - neglect and deceitfulness.
- Don’t let the method change the message.
- Relevance is us living for Christ. There is no such thing as ‘Christian’ rock music. Is rock music relevant? Are skits relevant?
- How often do we sin before we take on the likeness of Satan, becoming Christless?
- Protect each other. Care for each other. Do we know how to be friends?
- Thus sayeth the Lord - not the scholars, not the translations, not the popular preachers but the Bible and Spirit of Prophecy.
- What we win them with is what we win them to.
- If you don’t take sin seriously you won’t take salvation seriously.
- The Bible does not call it postmodernism. It calls it sin. We don’t need to make up names that excuse sin.
- Does a busy church mean a good church?
- What is doctrine? It describes who Jesus is and what he stands for. Don’t be mislead into believing doctrine is unimportant.
- It’s not the quantity of people responding to outreach and participating in church. It’s the quality of the conversion and of the ensuing commitment to the message and the mission that is the real measure of success.
- Why don’t we include our children in the work of the church? Mission needs to be done as families, who then make up the larger church family, which does mission together.
- Do we come to church to entertain ourselves or to worship God? We need to do it His way, as He wants, not our way as we want.
- It’s not what we do. It’s why we do it, or not do it, that we will be judged on.
Coming Health Program With Jenifer Skues: Healing the Body Soul and Spirit. Saturday/Sabbath Afternoon – October 27, 4.30 pm, at Steps to Life, Lilydale.
Please read the enclosed/attached flyer for full details of the program. No bookings required.
What’s the Extended STL Team Been Up To Since the Last Newsletter?
A fair bit. Thanks to all those who supported us by helping in some way with the hosting and presentations of the Repairing the Breach seminars. Those who attended really appreciated them. Thanks for helping us make them happen. It was great to work in support of the folks in WA who hosted the Mellas’ after they left STL on the East Coast. The series was presented there, as well. Your donations and shop purchases in support of the seminar cost are much appreciated as we pay for venues, travel, advertising and some accommodation.
We have been helping facilitate a visit to Australia and New Zealand by Pastor Ron Woolsey and two others of the Coming Out Ministries Team of Danielle Harrison and Michael Carducci. They will probably be travelling through Australia west to east, including Tasmania, and then onto New Zeeland in about a months time. Thanks to the folks who have offered invitations and venues for the COMT. We will advise you of their itinerary shortly when Pastor Ron has confirmed it.
Again, there are all those who have ordered resources to view, read, give as birthday presents and share. A sampling of these include:
DVD’s and MP 3’s - Repairing the Breach, The Herodian Mind, All Together Now 1, 2, 3, All For Christ Music, The Lord is Coming, The Bacteria Connection, Do You Feel the Shaking?, 2520 set , Trinity set, Islam and Christianity in Bible Prophecy, There is a Fountain Music CD, Africa: Continent of Origin, Enmity #1 - Battle Lines, Back to Eden series, World without Cancer, Coming Again Music, A Lamp In The Dark: The Untold History of the Bible, Prophecy Encounter.
Books - The Secret Terrorist, The Great Controversy, Steps to Christ, The Big Five, The Great Empires of Prophecy, Ecclesiastical Empire, Media on the Brain, Practical Home Healing, Understanding the Godhead, Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, Patriarchs & Prophets, Help in Daily Living, Life Sketches, Living the Life of Enoch, The Truth About Angels, Answers to Prayer, Glimpses Into the Life of Ellen White, The Mystery of Mary: Mother of Jesus, Acts of the Apostles, Living in the Sunlight, Help in Daily Living, Darkness Before Dawn, Finding Hope for the Future, Amazing Disciples, The History of Tomorrow, Baptized Paganism, Homosexuality, Return to Sodom, World without Cancer, God's Final Warning, Beginning of the End, Entering Armageddon, Illustrated Desire of Ages, Gaining Decisions for Christ, A World of Wonders Devotional, The Vaccination Crisis, Going Vegan, Amazing Disciples, Studies in the Book of Hebrews, Treasures in Isaiah and Waggoner on the Gospel of John.
Fabulous Over 40 Health Coaching
Lorna Bird, who on many occasions and in various ways, has been part of the STL Extended Team, has recently qualified as a health coach through the Health Coaching Institute (USA). Lorna is providing the health coaching by phone (0417 899 289) where ever you are in Australia. The coaching is designed to help over 40’s people feel fabulous through diet and lifestyle. Her coaching is the perfect solution if what you are doing for your health is not working. She offers free Breakthrough Session in which she outlines how the coaching works, how to identify the blockers to optimum health and how to get crystal clear on a step-by-step plan to feel fabulous in 90 days or less. Lorna can also be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Christian greetings from Cherryl and the STL Team.
Brian Way/Programs Co-ordinator.