Foreshadow Now, ‘Season of the End Times’:
Blog note. Jesus indicated that ‘fearful sights’ (various natural disasters) would occur leading up to the time known as the Tribulation and Great Tribulation (a combined seven year period of great destruction on earth). Although these types of things have occurred in the past for centuries and thousands of years, they could be identified as the ‘season of the times’ due to the ferociousness of these events. They would be occurring in greater intensity, severity, frequency, size, duration, scope … just like the pains that a woman experiences in labor the farther along she is in the labor process. We are in the ‘season of the times’ that comes just before the seven (7) year Tribulation/Great Tribulation period
… And great earthquakes shall be in diverse places, and famines, and pestilences; and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven. (Luke 21:11).
… And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; (Luke 21:25)
… Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken; (Luke 21:26)
… This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. (2 Timothy 3:1)
Jesus is giving a series of prophecies about what to look for as the age of grace comes to a close. These verses are several of many such prophecies from throughout the Bible. 2017 was the worst year in recorded history for the intensity, frequency, severity, duration and occurrence of a large number of severe natural disasters worldwide. Earthquakes, volcanoes, hurricanes, typhoons, cyclones, torrential flooding, unprecedented wildfires in unusual places, devastating droughts, excessive/scorching heat setting records everywhere, record snowfalls in Europe and Russia. Snow in the Arabia. This list can go on. Most studied Eschatologists believe these ‘fearful sights’ and massive natural disasters are all part of the ‘CONVERGENCE’ of signs that this Biblical and prophetic age is closing. Most people who study prophecy are familiar with the routine reference(s) made that these things will be like a woman having labor.
Future Seven (7) Year Tribulation and Great Tribulation:
Revelation 6 And I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals, and I heard, as it were the noise of thunder, one of the four beasts saying, Come and see.
2 And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer.
3 And when he had opened the second seal, I heard the second beast say, Come and see.
4 And there went out another horse that was red: and power was given to him that sat thereon to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another: and there was given unto him a great sword.
5 And when he had opened the third seal, I heard the third beast say, Come and see. And I beheld, and lo a black horse; and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand.
6 And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say, A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine.
7 And when he had opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth beast say, Come and see.
8 And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth.
1 Thessalonians 5:3 For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape
Gangs of New Zealand: explosion of violence prompts fears police have lost control. ‘Martial Law’ next? ‘People are fearful’: New Zealand police admit gang violence is out of control
Gangs have existed for decades in New Zealand but years of low-key activity has been shattered by recent wars between rivals
The Guardian. March 22, 2020
On a Sunday afternoon in November last year, children clambered over an adventure playground as their parents watched from under shady trees in a park in an affluent suburb of Napier, on New Zealand’s North Island.
The suburban scene was interrupted as two bikie gangs carrying baseball bats and sharpened metal weapons appeared and set upon each other nearby, leaving one man unconscious and onlookers terrified.
Two months later, fears among the residents in the predominantly middle-upper class suburb of Taradale escalated further when members of the region’s rival gangs – the Mongrel Mob and Black Power – were involved in a shootout.
The brawl between up to 40 gang members led to a Black Power member losing his eye. A shotgun pellet lodged into a car seat in the man’s vehicle, narrowly missing his infant daughter.
In the weeks since then many locals have been left wondering how such extreme violence entered their lives. When the Guardian visits, many are too frightened of the gangs’ growing power to give their names.
“It’s not that they’re attacking us, but you could get caught in the middle of something,” said one.
Another says: “I’m definitely more hyper-aware that it’s happening more often. If I see a gang member now I worry about my kids’ safety.”
Gangs have existed for decades in New Zealand; their members are a common sight on the country’s roads and truck stops, immediately identifiable in patched vests and riding oversized motorcycles.
But years of low-key activity has been shattered by recent wars between rival gangs, and police in the worst-affected parts of the country – on the east coast of the North Island – are wondering just how, and if, they can ever be brought under control again.
Turf wars and recruitment drives
Taradale is Black Power’s small but tightly held island in a sea of Mongrel Mob territory. But outsiders would be hard pressed to know it. Gang patches are banned in the suburb’s public spaces and locals say members usually keep to themselves. The recent conflict has come as a shock after years of the gangs operating discreetly.
A 10-minute drive east is the Mongrel Mob headquarters, dwarfing a sparse playground nearby. A huge red billboard depicting the gang’s logo – a bulldog wearing a German “Stahlhelm” helmet – covers the side of the two-storey house.
This is Maraenui, Napier’s poorest suburb. More than two-thirds of residents are Māori or Pacific islander and unemployment, poverty and gang affiliation are high. Locals say they’re used to gang warfare – but in recent months it has escalated to an alarming degree.
In the weeks following the Taradale shooting police, who are normally not armed in New Zealand, carried firearms on their daily duties, increased patrols and vowed to crack down on gang activities.
While their presence has provided some reassurance, residents also worry that not enough is being done to address the root causes of poverty and crime that have led to an explosion in the local gang population.
And they have reason to be worried.
Gangs are recruiting more than two members a day, according to police figures. There are now 1,128 patched gang members in Hawke’s Bay and Gisborne – up 40% from two years ago.
Dr Jarrod Gilbert, a gang expert from the University of Canterbury, says the groups have thrived on the east coast following the mass migration of Māori from rural to urban centres.
Ancestral roots, already damaged by colonisation, were severed for many as they came to work the region’s abundant fields, orchards, farms and factories in the 1950s and 60s.
When recessions hit in the 70s and 80s, the jobs went and, with no family to fall back on, the gangs grew, says Gilbert. But after a violent period in in the 1980s, members grew older and had families, and a period of relative calm ensued.
That all changed with the arrival of Australia’s largest motorcycle gang in 2008. The Rebels’ flashy bikes, gold jewellery and sophisticated operation attracted new members in droves.
The gangs in Hawke’s Bay envied the Rebels and started their own recruitment drives, while at the same time the methamphetamine trade blossomed, fuelled by the arrival of more gang members deported from Australia under that country’s controversial deportation law.
“So we have a small area with lots of new gang members. When it’s crowded someone is going to get elbowed out,” says Gilbert.
This turf war is partly to blame for the current problems. The Taradale shooting was a retaliatory act after Mob members, visiting a relative’s grave in January, failed to give warning to Black Power that they would be entering their territory to do so.
The convention of phoning ahead before entering another’s patch has ensured peace between the two gangs since 2011. But these conventions appear to be fraying in the fight for territory and dominance.
Detective Inspector Mike Foster, who heads the eastern district gang unit, told the Guardian: “They’re young, they’re full of meth. They’re out there looking for trouble. You’ll have one gang go into another gang’s territory on purpose just to provoke them.”
Police have tried to ensure gang leaders “keep a lid on things” but the younger ones are not listening, he says.
It’s something veteran Mob leaders are “pissed off” about, admits senior Mongrel Mob member Rex Timu. “We don’t want guns going off in the middle of the street or kids getting hurt,” he says.
Black Power also struggle to control their younger members at times, says life member and spokesperson Denis O’Reilly. He says there’s also reluctance to crack down and alienate them for fear they will leave and set up their own gangs.
Efforts by police to bring the two gangs together have so far been unsuccessful, as both gangs say they are not yet ready to meet face to face to discuss a truce.
In the meantime, local police are taking a hard line. Officers are no longer carrying arms, but extra patrols and more detectives are providing back up for frontline staff.
“Things are still simmering and that’s throughout the eastern district,” Foster says. “We’re finding firearms on a weekly basis and weapons that they carry in their cars … baseball bats, wheel braces.”
But Foster says police cannot “arrest their way out of this” and calls for a co-ordinated approach between government and social agencies.
Gilbert agrees and says successive governments have failed to address the underlying issues fuelling gang allegiance.
“We tend to look as gangs as the problem. But we are treating the symptoms rather than the causes of an illness”
Black Power’s O’Reilly says the solutions are not new, and a government-funded group employment scheme that ran in the 1980s was hugely successful.
“They didn’t care what the work was as long as they were together. Gang membership was going down and then they pulled the plug.”
‘I’ve got grandkids in both gangs. They’ll sort it out eventually.’
Taradale residents are determined to sort out the current tensions and make their community safe again. Many are resolved to include the gangs in their community life, rather than excluding and isolating them.
“We can’t put blindfolds on this,” says Sam Jackson from the Taradale business association. “It’s all about communication, involving them in what we’re doing. We can’t be scared of that.”
Back in Maraenui, Daniel Murfitt, the principal of the local high school William Collenso College, is also hopeful.
“I’ve never come across a gang member parent who wants their child to be in a gang, says Murfitt, who also chairs the Hawke’s Bay Secondary Schools Association.
He believes targeted work to create a sense of belonging and inclusion for all students, especially Māori, has prevented the current gang tensions and recruitment drive from spilling over into the school yard.
It is often only once a student leaves that gangs become attractive, he says, so the priority must be on keeping them in school, and engaged.
At the park near the Mongrel Mob headquarters children play under the gaze of the giant bulldog.
While locals here say the tensions are worrying, they feel powerless to do anything about it because their sons, brothers, fathers and uncles are in the gangs, and they cannot take sides.
“They’re all just whanau [family]. They’re always fighting amongst themselves,” says an elderly lady. “I’ve got grandkids in both gangs. They’ll sort it out eventually.”
Back at Anderson Park one young mother is not so sure. “I used to not worry about them at all, they were just going about their business. But now I’m second-guessing their intentions.”
Scooping up her son and heading home she says: “If they’re going to fight at a park or a shopping centre … who knows where it will end.”
Jesus Christ’s Offer of Salvation:
The ABCs of Salvation through Jesus Christ (the Lamb)
A. Admit/Acknowledge/Accept that you are sinner. Ask God’s forgiveness and repent of your sins.
. . . “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23).
. . . “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one.” (Romans 3:10).
. . . “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” (1 John 1:8).
B. Believe Jesus is Lord. Believe that Jesus Christ is who He claimed to be; that He was both fully God and fully man and that we are saved through His death, burial, and resurrection. Put your trust in Him as your only hope of salvation. Become a son or daughter of God by receiving Christ.
. . . “That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. (John 3:15-17). For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Romans 10:13).
C. Call upon His name, Confess with your heart and with your lips that Jesus is your Lord and Savior.
. . . “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” (Romans 10:9-10).
. . . “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.” (John 1:8-10).
. . . “And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world. (John 2:2).
. . . “In this was manifested the love of god toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world. Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God.” (1 John 4:9, 14-15).
. . . “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.” (Romans 5:8-10).
. . . “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 6:23).
. . . “Jesus saith unto them, I am the way, the truth, and the life, no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6).
. . . “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth.” (Romans 1:16).
. . . “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts: 4:12).
. . . “Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth for there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.” (1 Timothy 2:4-6).
. . . “For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Thessalonians 5:9).
. . . “But as many as received him, to them gave the power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.” (John 1:12).
True Church / Bride of Christ Spared from God’s Wrath:
Romans 5:8-10. “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.”
Romans 12:19. Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.
1 Thessalonians 1:10. And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.
1 Thessalonians 5:9. For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,
Romans 8:35. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
Jeremiah 30:7. Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble, but he shall be saved out of it.
Revelation 3:10 Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.
Categories: Update of Lawlessness and Violence