The all-powerful, Almighty, Sovereign King of Heaven and earth. He has no limits. Have faith in Him.
Previously in a past work environment, I went about my normal work day when a co-worker asked; do you like hip-hop? I replied saying no. He then asked, why not? Again I replied because hip-hop has nothing for me, I don’t enjoy it, it’s all talk of money, cursing etc. Then he asked what music do you like? I replied hymns because they glorify God. That was our first encounter.
Another day as we worked he approached me again asking about my faith which lead to the question about being a good person. I asked if he thinks he’s a good person? He replied yes. I said many people believe they’re good people, I too once thought the same not any more.
Romans 3:10 “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:”
Romans 3:23 “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;”
Then sharing why I disagree that he’s not a good person, and with a passing statement I said, I don’t place my trust in religion; I place my trust in God. Religion teaches self-righteous I gave an example saying, Muslims believe they’re self-righteous because of what they do. He then said to me “I’m Muslim”. And so started the one year dialogue between two co-workers a Muslim and Christian.
Islam’s early origins
Islam started when Muhammad after weeks of going into a cave to pray claimed to be visited from the angel Gabriel and revealed that he the “last prophet” in the year early 600’s. He began preaching to others in his home city of Mecca looking to recruit followers friends and family to spread his religion. After trying for 12 years he failed in gaining followers, only those who were immediate friends and family converted to Islam.
Afterwards, he decided to travel to Medina which was at the time the Jewish business centre of Arabia. He thought that if he could get the Jews to accept and believe in his religion it would give him religious status, then, in turn, would give him more recognition among his own people.
Muhammad having this thought in mind borrowed a lot from the Old Testament (Torah) in order to make his religion more appealing to the Jewish people thereby persuading them to believe in Islam. Hence the reason why there are similarities between Judaism and Islam such as refraining from eating pork (pig), praying a 5 times a day, fasting on Yom Kippur (Jews) and Ramadan (Muslims) etc.
That said let us take a close look between the God of the Bible who Christians and Jews worship and see if the Muslim god is the same? In order to get an accurate comparison, we’ll have to look at both the Bible and the Quran to see what’s the truth.
Ephesians 5:11 “And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.”
God of the Bible the same as god of the Quran?
Can the Muslim god and the Christian God be the same? As we look into the scriptures we quickly see that there are major contradictions between the two. As we compare the nature, character, and doctrines of each. Also the practices of their believers we’ll be able to come to a better understanding as to why they are vastly different.
The Nature of God
Muslims: believe there’s one God, who is not a trinity. The Islamic view of God is called strict Monotheism (Quran 112:1).
Christians: believe there’s one God, who exists in three distinct persons (Godhead or The Trinity): Father, Son and Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19).
Deuteronomy 6:4 “…Hear Israel, the Lord is our God, the Lord is one.”
Matthew 28:19 “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:”
Does God Send All To Hell?
Muslims: believe that according to surah 19:70–72, everyone will enter into hell, that includes Muslims and their god will then bring out the god-fearing:
Christians: believe that only unbelievers, those who aren’t born again will go into hell for all eternity.
Revelation 21:8 “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
The True Teachings of Islam
When a non-Muslim confronts a Muslim about the teachings of Islam, the Muslim always claims “Islam is a religion of peace”. Although the majority of moderate Muslims may be peaceful people, but we’re speaking of the system or the religion of Islam and it’s teachings.
Apart from the first 13 years that Muhammad claimed to be a “prophet”, you don’t have any history of Islam devoid of violence. The moment Muhammad was able to gather enough followers he began battles at a rate of nine battles per year until his death. And then afterwards Muslims conquered one-third of the known world, this is called the Muslim caliphate.
A caliphate is an Islamic state under the leadership of an Islamic steward with the title of caliph, a person considered the successor to Muhammad and leader of the entire ummah. The medieval period saw three major caliphates succeeded each other, the last being the Ottoman Caliphate (Ottoman Empire).
Muslims are taught to fight and kill the infidels. If a Muslim converts to another faith they’re told to kill him. They also say it’s alright to kill Jews, Christians and homosexuals; and believe thieves should have their arms and legs cut off. Muslims want sharia law implemented throughout the world and are told not to have anything to do with the kaffir (disbeliever).
Here are some of their teachings from the Quran:
Surah 9:5 “And when the sacred months have passed, then kill the polytheists wherever you find them and capture them and besiege them and sit in wait for them at every place of ambush. But if they should repent, establish prayer, and give zakah, let them [go] on their way. Indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.”
Surah 2:191 “And kill them wherever you overtake them and expel them from wherever they have expelled you, and fitnah is worse than killing. And do not fight them at al-Masjid al- Haram until they fight you there. But if they fight you, then kill them. Such is the recompense of the disbelievers.”
Surah 5:33 “Indeed, the penalty for those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger and strive upon earth [to cause] corruption is none but that they be killed or crucified or that their hands and feet be cut off from opposite sides or that they be exiled from the land. That is for them a disgrace in this world; and for them in the Hereafter is a great punishment,”
Surah 9:29 “Fight against those who believe not in Allah, nor in the Last Day, nor forbid that which has been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger and those who acknowledge not the religion of truth (i.e. Islam) among the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians), until they pay the Jizyah (tax) with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.”
Christians, on the other hand, are told to love our enemies to bless those who persecute you, the Christian God of the Bible is a God of love and peace and His servants also love. That’s the mark of a true Christian one who obeys the LORD and loves others as God also loved us and gave His Son for us.
Matthew 5:44 “But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;”
John 13:34 “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.”
Romans 13:8 “Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.”
Deuteronomy 6:5 “And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.”
Can The True Living God Lie?
This is the crucial point in deciphering between the two.
Muslims: The Quran describes the muslim god as the best deceiver there is, a liar who is not above using the same evil and wicked schemes of his opponents. (surah 3:54, 7:99)
Miim-Kaf-Ra = To practice deceit or guile or circumvention, practice evasion or elusion, to plot, to exercise art or craft or cunning, act with policy, practice stratagem.
Christians: Believe that God cannot and never will lie or practice deceit or guile.
Titus 1:2 “In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;”
In-fact the Lord Jesus when speaking to those in the temple who did not hear His words he told them.
John 8:44 “Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.”
Seems the proof shows Islam is not a “religion of peace” it’s actually an ideology of war. And we must also conclude that if the Muslim god is the greatest deceiver of all, and Jesus Christ called satan the father of lies (John 8:44) then we can see who the Muslim god truly is. Satan! Therefore, Christians and Muslims DO NOT WORSHIP THE SAME GOD.
Dear Muslim Reader
In all truth and love you need to understand that you’re in darkness and the god of Islam is a false god. Come and serve the true living God, He’s able to take that dark soul of yours and bring it into His light. You’ll find true love and peace, a peace which passes all understanding.
1) All Have Sinned. Romans 3:10 states, “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one.” And again in Romans 3:23 we are told, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” Romans 5:12 tells us, “Wherefore, as by one man [Adam] sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.” When Adam sinned, he brought the curse of sin upon all mankind. This is why everyone is born with a nature to sin, it has been passed down through Adam.
2) There is a Penalty for Sin. Romans 6:23 says, “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Death is the penalty for sin, Physical Death and a Second Death. Most people confuse spiritual death with the Second Death. We are born spiritually-dead. Adam and Eve died spiritually the moment they sinned, and all of their descendants since have been born spiritually-dead. This is why a person must be born-again spiritually. God’s Holy Spirit is that spiritual life. The Bible also speaks of a Second Death, which means being cast into the Lake of Fire forever as punishment for our sins. Just as a person is paid wages for work performed on the job, so does God payback sinners in the Lake of Fire.
3) Jesus Died, Was Buried, And Rose Three Days Later. Christ died for our sins! Romans 5:8, “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” What a precious Scripture! God in His love decided to give mankind a chance to escape the wrath of God’s judgment. Jesus came and laid down His life for us, knowing just how sinful the human race is. God expressed His love for humanity, paying men’s sin debt, knowing that we are so undeserving.
4) Call Upon the Lord Jesus to Be Saved. Romans 10:13 promises, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” The word “call” means “to appeal unto.” Lost sinners who come to Jesus for forgiveness of sins, believing that He is the Christ, the Son of God, will be saved. How much faith do you need to be saved? Just enough faith to obey Romans 10:13 and trust upon the Lord Jesus for salvation. Romans 10:9–10, “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.”
Come to the Lord Jesus Christ and live!!!
To the Jews
By no means is this meant to be an attack on Judaism by a Christian, we love God’s chosen nation Israel just as we love unbelievers, and want them to know the peace of God which passes all understanding (Philippians 4:7). On contrary, this is in defence of the faith delivered to the saints, against those who would attack the Lord Jesus Christ’s deity, and to convenience those who are either unaware or denying Him.
Your salvation and where you spend eternity depends on the claims who the Lord Jesus said He is. The Son of God, Saviour of the world. My attention is to reason through the scriptures (Acts 17:2), to persuade followers of Judaism to deeply consider the most important question of all time. Who is Jesus?
Who are the Jews?
According to God’s word the Jewish people can be traced back to the patriarchs Abraham, his son Isaac, Isaac’s son Jacob who dwelled in Canaan. The Twelve Tribes derive from the twelve sons of Jacob (Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Dan, Naphtali, Gad, Asher, Issachar, Zebulun, Joseph (Manasseh, Ephraim), Benjamin).
The Law (10 Commandments)
Judaism holds to the law (Torah) which is God’s commandments given to Moses on Mt. Sinai, the 10 commandments. Christians also affirm the law given to Moses. The Law serves as instructions given to the nation of Israel. The law shows forth God’s Holy moral character in contrast to our unholy character as fallible mankind. This is paramount to understand first because the law has a purpose. God gave the law to the nation of Israel for them to see how unrighteous they truly are; just as all men are.
The Jewish Concept of the Messiah and the Christian response
What do Jews believe of the Messiah? What would be the Jewish claims be regarding the Messiah? And how do we as Christians respond to the denial of who the Lord Jesus Christ is? Do the scriptures both Old and New Testament harmonize in showing us God’s revelation of His Son to us? The scriptures speak for themselves and will answer those questions purposed.
Jewish view: The word “Messiah” is an English rendering of the Hebrew word “Mashiach”, whose translation is “Anointed”. It usually refers to a person initiated into God’s service by being anointed with oil. (Having oil poured on his head. Exodus 29:7, I Kings 1:39, II Kings 9:3).
Exodus 29:7 “Then shalt thou take the anointing oil, and pour it upon his head, and anoint him.”
1 Kings 1:39 “And Zadok the priest took an horn of oil out of the tabernacle, and anointed Solomon. And they blew the trumpet; and all the people said, God save king Solomon.”
2 Kings 9:3 “Then take the box of oil, and pour it on his head, and say, Thus saith the LORD, I have anointed thee king over Israel. Then open the door, and flee, and tarry not.”
Christians view: we affirm the Hebrew scriptures and believe David was anointed by Samuel (1 Samuel 16:13) to be king, David was not only king of Israel but was a type as there are many types in the Old Testament pointing to Jesus Christ. David also functioned at times as a priestly king. Instances when eating the shewbread (lawful to eat for the priests) and serving up prayers to God (the book of Psalms).
The problem lies in the fact that Jews don’t believe the New Testament as God’s Holy word. They’re lead to believe only the Old Testament (by rabbi’s) in which they prefer to call it the testament, is the only word God gave us.
The Lord Jesus is The Anointed One He came to the people of Israel fulfilling the Old Testament scriptures concerning Himself. He was rejected by His people and they raged against Him trying to “break their bands ” looking to break the bands of the Father and Son.
Psalms 2:1–3 “Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed, saying, Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us.”
Acts 10:38 “How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.”
Christ Jesus was Anointed when the Holy Spirit came upon Him as a dove and remained upon Him. As we then get confirmation from the voice from Heaven saying: “…This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” — Matthew 3:17.
Matthew 3:16 “And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him:”
Mark 1:9–11 “And it came to pass in those days, that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptized of John in Jordan. And straightway coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens opened, and the Spirit like a dove descending upon him: And there came a voice from heaven, saying, Thou art my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”
Luke 3:22 “And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased.”
The Anointed One
Jewish view: There are many Messiahs in the Bible. Since every king and High Priest was anointed with oil, each may be referred to as “an anointed one” (a Mashiach or a Messiah). For example: “God forbid that I [David] should stretch out my hand against the Lord’s Messiah [Saul]…” (1 Samuel 26:11. 2 Samuel 23:1, Isaiah 45:1, Psalms 20:6).
Christian view: While king Saul and king David were anointed they were not The Anointed One. The book of Hebrews shows a dialogue between God the Father and God the Son. Jesus Christ always existed from eternity to eternity as the Word which speaks to His deity and according to this verse He was anointed above thy fellows.
Hebrews 1:8,9 “But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom. Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.”
Many scriptures in the Old Testament point to the Lord Jesus, God’s ways are not carnal (fleshly), they’re spiritual. Hence the reason Jews cannot understand and don’t see these spiritual truths in the scriptures (Isaiah 6:10, Matthew 13:15–17, Mark 4:12, Luke 8:10, Acts 28:27). If the New Testament was an elaborate fabrication according to the Jews, then it would be the biggest hoax in human history.
John 4:24 “God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.”
How large of an collusion would this be? Can a person honestly say that if a person truly didn’t believe what they heard and saw everything the New Testament tells us? Would they be willing to be subjected to torture and dying horrible deaths? Almost all of the apostles died tragically.
Peter was crucified upside-down in Rome. According to the book of Acts, Nero condemned Paul to death by decapitation. Luke was hanged as a result of his tremendous preaching to the lost. It’s said that John’s was arrested in Ephesus and faced martyrdom when he was thrown into a huge basin of boiling oil but was delivered from death later dying of old age etc.
None of them recanted their faith in Christ against such hateful persecution. If it was a lie why would any of them endure such pain and agony? Would you die for a lie, would multiple people be willing to die for a lie? I say no! Any true believer would die for the testimony of the Lord Jesus Christ and that alone speaks volumes. But I digress.
Isaiah 61:1 “The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;”
The Future Messiah
Jewish view: The Hebrew word “HaMashiach” (lit. the Messiah) describing a future anointed person to come does not appear anywhere in the Bible. Since the Bible makes no explicit reference to the Messiah, it is unlikely that it could be considered the most important concept in the Bible. Indeed, in Jewish thought, the Messianic idea is not the most crucial. However, in Christian thought, the Messiah is paramount- a difficulty in light of its conspicuous absence from scripture.
Christian view: The Jews say according to the Hebrew scriptures there’s never foreseen a future anointed coming, but this is not so according to the same scriptures by the prophet Daniel (Daniel 9:24–27).
Daniel 9:24–27 “Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy. Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times. And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined. And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.”
We then see the fulfilment of those scriptures in the verses of Daniel it talks about “…since the commandment, restoring Jerusalem unto the Messiah…shall the Messiah be cut off”. That speaks to the text of the New Testament of the Lord Jesus and how the Jews rejected and crucified Him. It then goes on to mention how the abomination the antichrist will cause the sacrifices to cease.
The New Testament in the gospel of Matthew and Mark mention in the tribulation period when the abomination of desolation stands in the Holy place that they who are in Judea shall flee in the mountains. And we see in Galatians speaking of the fulness of time and the Son of God sent into the world.
Matthew 24:15, 16 “When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains:”
Mark 13:14, 15 “But when ye shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing where it ought not, (let him that readeth understand,) then let them that be in Judaea flee to the mountains: And let him that is on the housetop not go down into the house, neither enter therein, to take any thing out of his house:”
Galatians 4:4 “But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,”
Future age of perfection
Jewish view: Where does the Jewish concept of Messiah come from? One of the central themes of Biblical prophecy is the promise of a future age of perfection characterized by universal peace and recognition of God. Isaiah 2:1–4; Zephaniah 3:9; Hosea 2:20–22; Amos 9:13–15; Isaiah 32:15–18, 60:15–18; Micah 4:1–4; Zechariah 8:23, 14:9; Jeremiah 31:33–34.
Christians view: The children of Israel are going to be in prime position to be deceived by the antichrist once he arrives. Judaism’s concept of the Messiah is they believe that a perfect utopia will be brought in, no wars, world peace etc.
We agree wholeheartedly that we shall see “universal peace and recognition of God”, where we differ is when peace ushered in. Remembering that satan loves to counterfeit the antichrist will be a world ruler and bring in “world peace” or seemingly making a peace treaty with Israel. This will take place before the second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Jews say that the Messiah is to come once and establish “universal peace” the problem with that view is this, how can the Jewish people stand before God in sin? God hates sin and will not have sin in His presence. When Moses asked God: “shew me thy ways shew me thy glory”. The response he received was:
Exodus 33:20–23 “And he said, Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live. And the LORD said, Behold, there is a place by me, and thou shalt stand upon a rock: And it shall come to pass, while my glory passeth by, that I will put thee in a clift of the rock, and will cover thee with my hand while I pass by: And I will take away mine hand, and thou shalt see my back parts: but my face shall not be seen.”
God has repeatedly told the nation of Israel how Holy He is and we see that they were told not to touch the mountain (Exodus 19:13). in 2 Samuel when the ark of the covenant was being brought out of the house of Abinadab, Uzzah placed his hand on the ark and died (2 Samuel 6:3–7). Time and time again we see man is sinful and cannot approach a most Holy God.
Therein lies why God sent His Son the Lord Jesus. God created man (Adam) and had fellowship with man before the fall in the garden. God desires to have that fellowship again but man in his current state cannot be in God’s presence because of our sin. Jesus Christ being born of a virgin (Isaiah 7:14, Matthew 1:18–25, Luke 1:26–33) taking on the seed of Abraham (Hebrews 2:16), being both fully man and fully God was the only one who was without sin (2 Corinthians 5:21, Hebrews 7:26) and able to keep the law perfectly.
Matthew 5:17 “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.”
God needed to deal with our sin problem first, that’s why Christ had to die for us as a ransom sacrifice to atone for our sins. Otherwise, we cannot stand before God.
Descendant of king David
Jewish view: Many of these prophetic passages speak of a descendant of King David who will rule Israel during the age of perfection. Isaiah 11:1–9; Jeremiah 23:5–6, 30:7–10, 33:14–16; Ezekiel 34:11–31, 37:21–28; Hosea 3:4–5.
Christian view: we agree the Messiah is a descendant of king David, we can trace the Lord Jesus lineage which is of king David. Matthew being born a Jew immediately opens his gospel with Christ lineage stemming from king David in contradistinction to the opposition from the Jews (Matthew 1:1–17).
The key is “the age of perfection” will be ruled by the Lord Jesus Christ after His second coming there’s a new heaven and new Earth (Isaiah 65:17–25, Revelation 21:1–9).
Revelation 21:4 “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.”
King of Israel
Jewish view: Since every King is a Messiah, by convention, we refer to this future anointed one as The Messiah. The above is the only description in the Bible of a Davidic descendant who is to come in the future. We will recognize the Messiah by seeing who the King of Israel is at the time of complete universal perfection.
Christian view: Pontius Pilate after interrogating Christ in the judgement hall when the Jewish people covenanted with Judas Iscariot for 30 pieces of silver. He (Pilate) gave the Jews an opportunity to set Jesus Christ free but they delivered Him up to be crucified as they asked for a murderer Barabbas instead.
John 19:15 “But they cried out, Away with him, away with him, crucify him. Pilate saith unto them, Shall I crucify your King? The chief priests answered, We have no king but Caesar.”
Pilate wrote a title on the cross placing it above Jesus’s head “JESUS OF NAZARETH THE KING OF THE JEWS.” This written statement caused the chief priests to asked for it to be changed and Pilate answering “What I have written I have written” — John 19:22.
There’s a beautiful spiritual truth to this in the Torah concerning Moses who orthodox Jews affirm greatly. Moses was a picture of Christ Jesus, as a deliverer, he brought the nation out of the hard bondage they suffered for 400 years. Christ is the true deliverer of those in bondage to sin setting them free from the burden of sin.
John 8:36 “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.”
In Exodus, we have the account of Moses smiting the Egyptian after seeing his brethren being beaten he killed the Egyptian and buried him in the sand. The following day two of his brethren (Jews) were fighting and he tried to stop it and one of the men said:
Exodus 2:14 “And he said, Who made thee a prince and a judge over us? intendest thou to kill me, as thou killedst the Egyptian? And Moses feared, and said, Surely this thing is known.”
The Jews did the same to the Lord Jesus, the gospel of Luke gives us an account of this (Luke 19:14). The Psalmist writes “The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner.” — Psalm 118:22.
The gospel of Matthew wrote quoting Jesus Christ “Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes?” — Matthew 21:42.
The gospel of Mark also captures this same scripture “And have ye not read this scripture; The stone which the builders rejected is become the head of the corner:” — Mark 12:10.
Isaiah 8:14 “And he shall be for a sanctuary; but for a stone of stumbling and for a rock of offence to both the houses of Israel, for a gin and for a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem.”
Belief in the Messiah
Jewish view: The Bible never speaks about believing in the Messiah. Because his reign will be an historically verifiable reality, self-evident to any person, it won’t require belief or faith.
Christian view: The Old Testament scriptures are a shadow of things to come (Hebrews 10:1), they are full of truth about the Lord Jesus Christ. When the children of Israel sinned in the wilderness the LORD sent fiery serpents. Moses was instructed to place a fiery serpent upon a pole that those who look upon it shall live.
Numbers 21:6–9 “And the LORD sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and much people of Israel died. Therefore the people came to Moses, and said, We have sinned, for we have spoken against the LORD, and against thee; pray unto the LORD, that he take away the serpents from us. And Moses prayed for the people. And the LORD said unto Moses, Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole: and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live. And Moses made a serpent of brass, and put it upon a pole, and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived.”
This alone proves the children of Israel needed to trust in God that they would be healed from the venomous bites. It also shows a truth of salvation, while the account of the fiery serpents wasn’t true salvation but temporary healing. Eternal life only comes by trusting in Jesus Christ.
Hebrews 10:1 “For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect.”
In the gospel of John he records two times in which The Lord Jesus refers to this account with Moses. The first is with Nicodemus the Pharisee, and the other between the people in the temple.
John 3:9-15 “Nicodemus answered and said unto him, How can these things be? Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things? Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and ye receive not our witness. If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things? And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven. And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.”
John 12:28–36 “Father, glorify thy name. Then came there a voice from heaven, saying, I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again. The people therefore, that stood by, and heard it, said that it thundered: others said, An angel spake to him. Jesus answered and said, This voice came not because of me, but for your sakes. Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out. And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me. This he said, signifying what death he should die. The people answered him, We have heard out of the law that Christ abideth for ever: and how sayest thou, The Son of man must be lifted up? who is this Son of man? Then Jesus said unto them, Yet a little while is the light with you. Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you: for he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth. While ye have light, believe in the light, that ye may be the children of light. These things spake Jesus, and departed, and did hide himself from them.”
Fulfilment of the scriptures
Jewish view: Because no person has ever fulfilled the picture painted in the Bible of this future King, Jewish people still await the coming of the Messiah. All past Messianic claimants, including Jesus of Nazareth, Bar Cochba and Shabbtai Tzvi have been rejected.
Christian view: We see how both the Old Testament (Torah) and the New Testament agree and affirm these truths believers in the Lord Jesus have known and hold dear. Just because the Jews who are stuff necked people as the Bible correctly labels them. They continue to this day to reject their Messiah how sad that Gentiles are willing to trust in the Son of God before God’s chosen nation.
Exodus 32:9 “And the LORD said unto Moses, I have seen this people, and, behold, it is a stiffnecked people:”
Exodus 33:3 “Unto a land flowing with milk and honey: for I will not go up in the midst of thee; for thou art a stiffnecked people: lest I consume thee in the way.”
Exodus 33:5 “For the LORD had said unto Moses, Say unto the children of Israel, Ye are a stiffnecked people: I will come up into the midst of thee in a moment, and consume thee: therefore now put off thy ornaments from thee, that I may know what to do unto thee.”
Exodus 34:9 “And he said, If now I have found grace in thy sight, O Lord, let my Lord, I pray thee, go among us; for it is a stiffnecked people; and pardon our iniquity and our sin, and take us for thine inheritance.”
Deuteronomy 9:6 “Understand therefore, that the LORD thy God giveth thee not this good land to possess it for thy righteousness; for thou art a stiffnecked people.”
Deuteronomy 9:13 “Furthermore the LORD spake unto me, saying, I have seen this people, and, behold, it is a stiffnecked people:”
Jewish view: The claim that Jesus will fulfill the Messianic prophesies when he returns does not give him any credibility for his “first” coming. The Bible never speaks about the Messiah returning after an initial appearance. The “second coming” theory is a desperate attempt to explain away Jesus’ failure. The Biblical passages which Christians are forced to regard as second coming (#5 above) don’t speak of someone returning, they have a “first coming” perspective.
Christian view: Actually God spoke wonderfully through all of His word both Old and New Testaments, the Old Testament was the bringing in of sin into the world the “sin of man”. The New Testament concludes the redemptive work of God as He dealt with man’s sin at the cross and we end the scriptures dealing with the “man of sin” the antichrist.
Elijah the prophet
Jewish view: According to Biblical tradition, Elijah the prophet will reappear before the coming of the Messiah (Malachi 4:5–6). In the Greek Testament, Jesus claims that John the Baptist was Elijah (Matthew 11:13–14, 17:10–13). However, when John the Baptist was asked if he was Elijah, he denied it (John 1:21). The Gospel of Luke 1:17 tries to get around this problem by claiming that John the Baptist came in the spirit of Elijah.
Christian view: Jews lack the understanding the Lord Jesus gave in regards to the coming of Elijah when speaking of John the Baptist. The sending of Elijah in Malachi is not that Elijah is going to be resurrected. The verse in Malachi “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD:” means that one will come in the likeness of Elijah with the same zeal, the same fire. The reason why John the Baptist denied he was Elijah is the Jews are always seeking a sign, thinking Elijah was physically going to be resurrected.
Moses said in the book of Deuteronomy when speaking of a prophet being raised up from among the midst of the brethren. Are we to now say that the prophet that was going to be raised up was Moses himself or someone who resembled him?
Deuteronomy 18:15 “The LORD thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken;”
John the Baptist had the same zealousness as Elijah as he was calling the nation of Israel to repentance (נָחַם nâcham). Therefore the Lord Jesus said this speaking of the prophecy of Elias.
Matthew 17:12 “But I say unto you, That Elias is come already, and they knew him not, but have done unto him whatsoever they listed. Likewise shall also the Son of man suffer of them.”
Matthew 12:39 “But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas:”
1 Corinthians 1:22 “For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom:”
Jewish view: The prophesy about the return of Elijah says that he would restore the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers. There is no evidence that John the Baptist accomplished this.
Christian view: John the Baptist did, in fact, turn multitudes to God, so much so that after John was beheaded by king Herod; he was afraid that John had risen from the dead. The text doesn’t say that every single Jew would believe. Additionally, the Jews fail to realise that the 144,000, 12,000 from each tribe of the children of Israel will be used by God in the tribulation to preach the Word. Bringing multitudes to Christ in those times, this is still to come to past.
Revelation 7:4–8 “And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel. Of the tribe of Juda were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Reuben were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Gad were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Aser were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Nepthalim were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Manasses were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Simeon were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Levi were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Issachar were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Zabulon were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Joseph were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Benjamin were sealed twelve thousand.”
Descendent of King David
Jewish view: According to the Jewish Bible, the Messiah must be a descendent of King David. (Jeremiah 23:5, 33:17; Ezekiel 34:23–24) Although the Greek Testament traces the genealogy of Joseph (husband of Mary) back to David, it then claims that Jesus resulted from a virgin birth, and, that Joseph was not his father. (Mat. 1:18–23) In response, it is claimed that Joseph adopted Jesus, and passed on his genealogy via adoption.
Christian view: In these passages noted from Jeremiah 23:5, 33:17 and Ezekiel 34:23–24 speak of a Righteous branch which is a name for the Lord Jesus. It also speaks of a shepherd another name for Jesus He being the Chief Shepherd (Psalms 23, Isaiah 40:11, Isaiah 63:11, 1 Peter 5:4).
The scriptures say that the Messiah would be greater than king David according to David himself as he wrote in the book of Psalms. David even says Jesus Christ is his Lord. Also, the Pharisees were asked this very same question regarding David. As for Mary, the Old Testament speaks of the seed of a woman bruising the head of the serpent.
Psalm 110:1,4 “The Lord says to my Lord: “Sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool.” The Lord has sworn and will not change his mind, “You are a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.””
Matthew 22:41–45 “While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them, Saying, What think ye of Christ? whose son is he? They say unto him, The Son of David. He saith unto them, How then doth David in spirit call him Lord, saying, The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool? If David then call him Lord, how is he his son?”
Genesis 3:15 “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.”
Also, the Lord Jesus in regards to His priesthood is not made in the likeness of men, it’s not from the line of Aaron. No Jesus Christ has a never-ending priesthood in the order of Melchizedek.
11 If therefore perfection were by the Levitical priesthood, (for under it the people received the law,) what further need was there that another priest should rise after the order of Melchisedec, and not be called after the order of Aaron?
12 For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law.
13 For he of whom these things are spoken pertaineth to another tribe, of which no man gave attendance at the altar.
14 For it is evident that our Lord sprang out of Juda; of which tribe Moses spake nothing concerning priesthood.
15 And it is yet far more evident: for that after the similitude of Melchisedec there ariseth another priest,
16 Who is made, not after the law of a carnal commandment, but after the power of an endless life.
17 For he testifieth, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.
18 For there is verily a disannulling of the commandment going before for the weakness and unprofitableness thereof.
19 For the law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did; by the which we draw nigh unto God.
20 And inasmuch as not without an oath he was made priest:
21 (For those priests were made without an oath; but this with an oath by him that said unto him, The Lord sware and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec:)
22 By so much was Jesus made a surety of a better testament.
23 And they truly were many priests, because they were not suffered to continue by reason of death:
24 But this man, because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood.
25 Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.
26 For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens;
27 Who needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people’s: for this he did once, when he offered up himself.
28 For the law maketh men high priests which have infirmity; but the word of the oath, which was since the law, maketh the Son, who is consecrated for evermore.
Judaism is a world religion and according to their own righteousness try to keep the law. Problem is that they nor neither anyone else is perfect, therefore, they’re unable to keep the law. There aren’t any Jews sacrificing animals which the law requires for the atonement of sin, they’ve committed Idolatry in the past (golden calf) and not all but a large portion of Jews tend to have their heart in making money.
They’ve also been born in sin just as we all have, what do the scriptures say concerning sin Jew and Gentile alike.
Hosea 4:1, 2 “Hear the word of the LORD, ye children of Israel: for the LORD hath a controversy with the inhabitants of the land, because there is no truth, nor mercy, nor knowledge of God in the land. By swearing, and lying, and killing, and stealing, and committing adultery, they break out, and blood toucheth blood.”
Romans 3:23 “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;”
Romans 5:12 “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:”
The Jews need salvation as well, this is an invitation to put down your own self-righteousness and come to God as a guilty sinner. Place your trust in His Son the Lord Jesus Christ your Mashiach.
Jeremiah 31:31 “Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah:”
Matthew 26:28 “For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.”
Don’t be left outside of the door knocking, repent and turn to God, neither is salvation in any other for there is no name given under heaven whereby you must be saved (Acts 4:12)!
14 But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words:
15 For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day.
16 But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel;
17 And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:
18 And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy:
19 And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke:
20 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come:
21 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.
22 Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know:
23 Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain:
24 Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it.
25 For David speaketh concerning him, I foresaw the Lord always before my face, for he is on my right hand, that I should not be moved:
26 Therefore did my heart rejoice, and my tongue was glad; moreover also my flesh shall rest in hope:
27 Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.
28 Thou hast made known to me the ways of life; thou shalt make me full of joy with thy countenance.
29 Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day.
30 Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne;
31 He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption.
32 This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses.
33 Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear.
34 For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand,
35 Until I make thy foes thy footstool.
36 Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.
37 Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?
38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
39 For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.
40 And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation.
1 Corinthians 2:14 “But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know [them], because they are spiritually discerned.”
This one’s a special write up for me, a few years ago I moved overseas from North America to a faraway land in the southwestern Pacific ocean; the country of New Zealand. The country of New Zealand is comprised of 2 land masses, the north and the south island.
I lived in Wellington overlooking the Cook Strait towards the south island. Never knowing that mere 8-10 hours distance was a cult located in Haupiri.
Gloriavale is a small isolated cult group and has an estimated population of over five hundred. They own a small airline called Air West Coast the airport the plane frequents is right across the water from where I lived, it’s a good chance I’ve seen it before.
While the group keeps isolated to themselves they own a variety of businesses in order to keep the community going, from what I know they run a small airline, milk and cheese production, they also put on shows for anyone interested in visiting.
New Zealand’s landscape is beautiful full of lush green trees, misty mountain ranges, valleys, meadows and crystal clear water, plenty of places to relax and be among wildlife. The community complex is located in a peaceful valley one may not realise its the home of a cult far removed from the world.
WHO ARE THE COOPERITES
The group was founded in 1969 by the late Neville Cooper (aka “Hopeful Christian”), an Australian preacher who came to New Zealand. He made what became known as the Springbank Christian Community near Christchurch.
The community grew too large for the property and bought land on the West Coast and later moved there in 1995. They named their new property in the Haupiri Valley “Gloriavale” and established the Gloriavale Christian Community.
Cooper was a known sex offender and was brought up on charges in 1995 he and served 11 months in prison. Former member Yvette Olsen said Cooper sexually assaulted her on multiple occasions at 19 years of age. She said he’s a man of “unbridled lust”, a “dirty old man”.
His son Phil Cooper a former member of Gloriavale escaped the cult taking his then-wife along with him only for his wife to return forsaking him and their children in order to come back to the cult. Phil Cooper mentioned he also was sexually abused by his dad when he was a teenager, the memories of what transpired still trouble him years later.
A former member of Gloriavale said most of the families living in the secretive cult are not aware of their leader’s sex abuse conviction and believe he was jailed for preaching the gospel.
Elijah Overcomer was evicted from Gloriavale after questioning leader Christian over his conviction for indecent assault on young women.
The secretive group heavily relies on communal living everything they know of is in the community of Gloriavale. All of their families, friends, work every part of their life is invested in Gloriavale they know nothing else.
GV says: We believe that the Church at Gloriavale is one local church in the whole body of believers, wherever they may be. And while we know that we are not the only Christians around, we still want to be only Christians, and nothing more. We do not believe that this is the only Church where people can gain salvation, but it is our local church, and part of the body of Christ…
Bible says: We have salvation through the ransom sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ, it’s because of Him, He is the author of eternal salvation (Hebrews 5:9). This statement alone qualifies them as a cult because they place their faith in a church and not in the Son of God.
Acts 4:12 “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.”
GV says: Head coverings such as scarves are worn as a sign to the angels that a woman has placed herself in submission to the authority of the man.
It has been the custom among Christian people for centuries for men to remove their hats when entering a place of worship, and for women to have their heads covered. Only in the last century did these traditions start to change with the fashions of the world, but the scriptural basis for it is something we acknowledge and obey. In the same chapter of Corinthians, we are taught that men should have short hair while the women should grow their hair long.
Bible says: Gloriavale teaches that a woman must cover their head, I also agree with that but the difference is that the woman in the cult remain covered at all times. This is not a requirement the only time a woman should be covered is when the church comes together. In the case of Gloriavale the members are always together living in a community. While that may be so they’re not always worshipping God, that’s when a woman is required to cover her head. Is she always praying 24/7? Even the most spiritual must confess that they’re not always praying to God.
1 Corinthians 11:3–5 “But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman [is] the man; and the head of Christ [is] God. Every man praying or prophesying, having [his] head covered, dishonoureth his head. But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven.”
It goes unto say in the same epistle “…is it comely that a woman pray unto God uncovered?” (1 Corinthians 11:13) This proves the men and women of Gloriavale are a cult relying on their own works to merit favour from God.
Do you have to live in a community to be a Christian?
GV says: No, but our community life has many advantages for Christians, who should live together in order to keep the commands of the Sermon on the Mount and other scriptures. Why would a Christian not want to live among others who share the same faith? In heaven, we will all live together in the mansions Jesus is building for us, we will all wear the same kind of clothes, and will all be perfectly submitted to the Word of God. Shouldn’t we then be doing these things as much as possible now? We have found that any arguments against living in community come down to arguments in favour of selfishness, self-will, or love of the world. One of the greatest blessings of community life is having brethren available to help and strengthen each other. If people can show us a better way of keeping the commands that Jesus has given us, we will be very happy to see it.
Bible says: The above statement has some truth but dig deeper there’s more under the surface. Yes, there are advantages for Christians being around one another (fellowship), but the Bible speaks “community life” or “wearing the same clothing”. The church comes together not lives together “If therefore the whole church be come together into one place” (1 Corinthians 14:23). The context of the verse is when believers come together. Additionally, the Sermon on the Mount has nothing to do with any of these topics.
GV says: Our source of authority on all matters of faith and life is the New Testament of the Bible.
Bible says: This is simply not true, their source is the Bible filtered through one man Neville Cooper who has taken the word of God and twisted it in order to have complete control over these individuals.
ESCAPED FROM GLORIAVALE, A RELIGIOUS CULT
Lilia Tarawa is 27 years old, Cooper’s granddaughter she grew up in Gloriavale most of her life and has left the cult with her parents. It’s a sad story because here’s a child who was raised in a cult that when under the guise of Christianity and has caused damage and tainted what true Christianity is to the point of pushing her away from God.
After leaving Gloriavale Lilia wrote her own book titled “Daughter of Gloriavale: My Life in a Religious Cult”. What’s become of Lilia Tarawa after leaving the cult and submerging herself in the ways of the world? I think the next few phrases will sum it up.
My life’s work Liberation, courage & purpose (www.liliatarawa.com)
“At heart I am a freedom-seeking, ever learning student of life who loves spreading messages of life-altering liberation.”
“Shackle-breaking, mind-bending, life-giving freedom.”
“For the first time in ages, I felt peace. Yoga saved me.”
“My business coach introduced me to Dr John Demartini, a gifted human behavioural specialist, with modalities to rebalance psychological imbalances and heal unhealed wounds.”
“I invested thousands of hours and dollars in courses, coaching and resources to answer one burning question, Who am I? You are the answer to your question, Danielle La Porte reminded me.”
Dreams & Aspirations All that is to come
“During worship meetings, I tuned out of boring sermons by reading Old Testament Bible stories.”
“I read encyclopedias to learn about life outside Gloriavale.”
“Yoga has a dedicated place of honour on my Instagram. Each time I visit the mat, my practice is a mirror for my past, present and future.”
“I plan to complete a yoga teacher training to supplement my practice, then teach retreats across the world.”
“During my adventures, I encountered thought leaders who greatly influenced me.”
“Oprah Winfrey, Brendon Burchard, Gary Vaynerchuk, and Sam Harris, to name a few.”
“I would love to speak on-stage with Danielle La Porte or Oprah Winfrey or any of my mentors.”
How I live life By Lilia Tarawa
“I have no desire to fit into what society wants me to be. I am cultivating a mindset of bravery by living on the edge.”
“The universe second chanced me a life I never dreamed possible.”
“Today I am sitting at my kitchen table in ripped tights and a woollen sweater over denim shorts.”
“I am sporting Tommy Hilfiger eye-wear on rouge coloured cheeks framed by an edgy fringe.”
“My ring-embellished fingers flit across the keyboard of a sleek Mac.”
“The picture screams 21st-century modern woman. That is accurate!”
“I am an indie rock-loving, whiskey drinking, sci-fi obsessed, agnostic with a deep interest in human potential.”
“Shortly, I shall be boarding a flight to teach audiences about leadership, self-respect and confidence.”
“As my fellow TEDxChristchurch speaker, Dr. David Galler says in his talk A touching glimpse into the mystery of death, ‘Too often we put our eggs in an afterlife basket.”
“We waste entire lives waiting for utopia and forgetting that heaven and hell are both here in the present moment.”
“Life is part of dying and death is a part of living. It is the two-sided coin of reality.”
“One day the grim reaper will collect. That reality check is the reason I phone my best friend, Grace Hoover, each morning to say; I love you.”
“I would hate to lie on my deathbed regretting what I did not do.”
Life after Gloriavale Finding my feet
“The thought was foreign to me. That is when I realised, [insert profanity]! I am free.”
“I got cosy with brands like L’Oreal, Victoria Secret, Levi, MAC, Chuck Taylor, Tommy Hilfiger and Adidas.”
“I was wearing figure-hugging jeans, lipstick and stilettos.”
“The world was my oyster, but I had not a clue where to go.”
Beliefs Religious & spiritual
“My beliefs changed immensely in the years following our departure from Gloriavale.”
“I remained a Christian, tried a few churches, found one I was comfortable with and made friends there.”
“I settled for a while, but curiosity tugged me. My life was mine to choose now.”
“I wanted to find the real Lilia who’d hidden behind uniforms and downcast eyes.”
“Womanhood ran hot in my blood. My body took me to places the church forbade me. The loss of my virginity liberated me from the shackles of church rules.”
“My shelves filled with books by Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, Grant Cardone, J.R. Ward and Tony Robbins.”
“I read biology, psychology, theology, spirituality, philosophy and physics.”
“Music was my Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Universe. I listened to 50 Cent, Taylor Swift, Beyoncé, Rihanna, Metallica, Celine Dion, and Hillsong.”
“I travelled abroad to experience the cultures of other humans.”
“I was breaking many Christian laws, such as befriending gays.”
“My wholesome friendships with them forced me to recognise the many Christian doctrines which separated, rather than united humanity.”
“No creed is flawless, but I met too many Christians who professed theirs to be.”
“They ignored the defects of Christian teaching, using the word ‘faith’ as an excuse for non-thinking and dogma.”
“Is God even real? Also, if he is incomprehensible, how did we stuff ‘him’ in a gender box?”
“How can the abuse of children, which is an inherent part of Christian doctrine, be condoned? Spare the rod, spoil the child, the Bible read.”
“I do not live by conservative Christian doctrine. I have a science-based worldview.”
“In 2017 I attended a conference where Lyle MacWilliam proclaimed, Contrary to common belief. Science is not a truth cast in stone. It is a way of thinking.”
“As I have learned, science is a mindset that says, We can always ask a better question to find a better answer.” — Lilia Tarawa
It’s quite evident the damage Neville Cooper’s cult caused in this one individual, while she was always confused as to what true Christianity is because Gloriavale is not Christian by any means, she went from one wrong extreme to the other wrong extreme.
1 Peter 5:8 “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:”
How true this is to see a young woman who at one time in her life really thought she was living for God but was deceived into a life of legalism and cultic ways e.g. matching uniforms navy-blue, ankle-length dresses and white headscarves (Women), blue trousers and shirts (Men), mini versions of the compulsory garb (Children).
This experience changed her into a person (in her own words) who’s now practising fornication, yoga, who placed her faith in science and atheist. How far the pendulum has swung! How many others have found themselves in the same situation as she or will soon find themselves because of this cult?
As a Christian is saddening because at one time she genuinely cared about reading the Bible and knowing about God but it was tainted by a man who had an agenda and that was to rule with an iron fist.
Just as other cults many innocent individuals are being damaged by false doctrine. These victims were once zealous and sincere about what they believed but they were deceived by wicked men and sincerely wrong. This is why it’s of the utmost importance to be born again and remain in God’s word so that when you come across false doctrine.
We need to reach out to individuals who’re entrapped by these groups, many of them truly want a relationship with God but have fallen for another Jesus, another spirit and another gospel. They’re completely unaware and are in need of the true Gospel of Christ.
2 Corinthians 11:4 “For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.”
My hope is that Lilia Tarawa and others come to know the true God of the Bible, that He gave Himself as a ransom for their sins that they may live. This world is plagued with many distractions which satan uses keep people in bondage and away from the true gospel. Religion doesn’t save, only a person saves, one perfect person and that’s the Lord Jesus Christ.
Matthew 11:28–30 “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
I was reading the book of John recently, and particularly John 10:15 really struck me.
“As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep.”
He laid His life down for us. He sacrificed His precious, perfect life for us. He was a servant for us. Reading this passage really moved my heart because as His children, we’re to follow His example and be a servant. No matter how much it hurts or how tired we get. It’s not about me, or my desires, or my flesh, or my “needs”. It’s about serving others and fulfilling my calling. It’s about putting others first, above me. It’s about walking in humility among those I am serving and among this world. It’s about making myself low so I can lift others up. It’s about me decreasing and Him increasing in me. This isn’t my life, it’s His Life in me. I’m not called to live for myself, I’m called to live for Him. He was my example. He sacrificed His life for me and I’m to do the same for others.
“Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.” Philippians 2:4
“He must increase, but I must decrease.” John 3:30
How do we walk in this high calling? I’ll discuss this in my next post. I love all of you in the Lord Jesus I and pray for those who are following this blog!🙏🏻