“Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” – Isaiah 1:18.
Our universe is dotted with hundreds and thousands of islands, some very large called continents, and others that are smaller called countries. Most are very tiny and are called islands or isles. The majority are isolated and separated one from the other by surrounding oceans or seas, high mountain peaks and inhospitable terrain such as desert or wasteland. Some are joined or connected by man-made bridges or underground tunnels, but otherwise they remain detached, disjointed, isolated.
If it wasn’t for man’s ability and ingenuity at inventing networks of travel and communication many of these islands would be totally isolated.
No man is an island, and that brings us to our subject: humankind, who can only exist or survive in relationship with his/her fellow humans.
From the very beginning of times our Creator God, Almighty Yahuah, saw that it was not good for man to be alone.
“And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an helpmeet” (Genesis 2:18). There are revealed facts in Holy Scripture that explain why man was created as such:
1. Man was created, not evolved. This is expressly declared, and the declaration is confirmed by Christ in Matthew 19:4 and Mark 10:6. It is also confirmed by the unbridgeable chasm between man and beast: even the highest beast has no God-consciousness (religious or spiritual nature).
2. Man was created in the “image and likeness” of God. The image is founded chiefly in the fact that man is a personal, rational, and moral being. While God is infinite and man finite, nevertheless man possesses the elements of personality similar to those of the divine person of God - thinking (Genesis 2:19-20; 3:8), feeling (Genesis 3:6), willing (Genesis 3:6-7), in other words, a being with extraordinary or exceptional power and authority that far exceeds all other creatures of the earth.
3. The Bible is a unity and the purpose of God is always one as His nature is one. Man created in God’s image and after his likeness (Genesis 1:26-27), was placed in sovereignty or dominion over the whole earth (vv 28-30), crowned with glory and honour (Psalm 8:5-8), yet subject to God his Creator (Genesis 2:15-17).
The divine intention was and always has been, that man should have fellowship with his Creator God in obedience and worship. Sin came, the essence of which is rebellion against the will of God, and man became separated from God (Genesis 3:8-10) and lost sovereignty over the earth (Genesis 3:17-19).
God’s goal is to restore sinning man to his likeness, fellowship, and dominion (Romans 8:29; Revelations 21:3; 20:6; 22:5). “But now we see not yet all things put under him (mankind). But we see Jesus … crowned with glory and honour” in anticipation of many sons sharing His fellowship and dominion (Hebrews 2:8-10; Romans 8:17-19).
This is in accordance with the first promise of redemption (Genesis 3:15). In the meantime, we wait with patient assurance for God’s complete victory on the earth, for the working out of His ultimate divine purpose to total redemption of the whole of mankind and creation and in total submission to Him.
4. The command for man “…to be fruitful, multiply, replenish and subdue the earth” (Genesis 1:28) is the divine “Magna Carta” for all true scientific and material progress and explorations. Man began with a mind that was perfect in its finite capacity for learning, but he did not begin knowing all the secrets of the universe.
He is commanded to “subdue”, that is, acquire a knowledge and mastery over his material environment, to bring all elements into the service and benefit of the human race. Hence, his obligation and requirement to be sanctified, meaning set apart, to make holy: “Sanctify yourselves, therefore, and be ye holy: for I am the Lord your God” (Leviticus 20:7).
Man should be holy, meaning set apart totally and absolutely to obey and fulfil all that which God has commanded him to do, not unto himself alone, but unto God for the good, benefit, welfare and livelihood of the entire human race.
Hence the theme of this article, “No man is an island”. In a nutshell, man’s enormous care and shared responsibility for the whole of humankind can be best summed up in these two simple and humble prayers,
The first is this: Lord Jesus, help me to discover for the first time in human history, that we have the means to feed all, we lack only the willingness to share, Amen!
The second is: Lord Jesus, I see black eyeballs in a white face, white teeth in a black face, red blood in all humans and death to all who sin; please help me to see not colours in people but human persons for whom the only begotten Son of God Jesus Christ died and shed his pure and sinless blood for, for the salvation and eternal life for all of humanity, Amen!
In conclusion, the prophet Isaiah calls all of sinful and guilty humanity to come together not as separate islands, but as one people under one God and to repent of all our racism, discrimination, segregation, partialities, hostilities, animosities and indifferences: “Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool” – Isaiah 1:18.
May you all have a blessed, trouble-free weekend.
Kia Mataora e Kia Manuia Iroto ia Iesu toou e taau openga epetoma, Amene!
Bishop Pere to lead South Pacific meeting
All around the Pacific region brothers and sisters from the Apostolic Church will gather this month for another church conference.
This year the 28th Annual South Pacific District Council will take place in Tahiti, which will be held at Paea Manu Iti Auditorium under the leadership of Diocesan Bishop Tutai Pere
There will be 109 Apostolic members traveling from the Cook Islands and will be led by Bishop Tutai Pere.
Guest speakers from the Pentecostal Assemblies of World in America will feature in the conference, as well as some of our own sons and daughters who have left our country to shepherd churches around the Pacific Region, Australia and New Zealand.
It will be a great gathering and the 28th SPDC will run from July 14-21.
Launch of new Gospel album
Our Theme for this year is “Vision 4 Mission”
“Who shall I send, who will go for us? Then said I, Here Am I, Send Me” (Isaiah 6:8b).
We will be launching our new Gospel CD by the ‘Kuki’s Jesus Praisers’ at the Punanga Nui Market on Saturday July 6, from 9-10am.
This CD was recorded locally at church, sung by our youth praising team and assisted by the well-known singer and composer Kutia Tuteru. Most of the songs were locally-composed by Bishop Tutai Pere and the late singer and composer Papa Sonny Tetuairo Terei. It is produced and mastered by Heimana Music Ltd in New Zealand.
The Praise and Worship team will be singing songs from the CD, and Youth Generations will be performing their dances as well.
T-shirts will also be on sale and sizes ranges from small to 4 XL.
Aere mai, Tapiri mai ki te Punanganui Makete I teia Maanakai ra 6 o Tiurai.