Grandmother’s Love

The church fellowships within the Church of God Sabbatarian community are blessed with differing gifts, resources and opportunities. Instead of harbouring an “us and them” mindset, we increasingly embrace this diversity today with profound thankfulness. Across the earth we still call home, we find ourselves “building bridges between brothers” in an ever more uncertain and perverse generation. This increased fraternity and the sharing of resources is a powerful testimony to the work of the Holy Spirit in our midst. Are we not seeing the ministry of reconciliation during our time of stewardship? Praise God!

Perhaps one of the oldest (let’s call her “grandmother”) in our Sabbatarian community is the Church of God (Seventh Day). The past 170 or so years have seen many church families spread out across the world. Many don’t know “grandmother” all that well, but “grandmother” wants you to know that “she’s doing well by God’s grace”. The church internationally is represented in 60 countries, and its members are predominately English and Spanish speaking, the latter formed as strong and vibrant fellowships across the USA, Central and South America.

Ever wondered about the significant growth in the Spanish-speaking churches? Those who read their Santa Biblia (Holy Bible) soon discover that the word for Sabbath is Sabado. In English the seventh day has inherited its Roman naming after the god Saturn. But not so in Spanish. Thus, the day of the week given for rest, worship and fellowship is, of course, Sabado!

So next time you’re out of town, and looking for a place to fellowship, or would simply like to explore our shared church heritage, the love within our “grandmother” church is sure to leave you both blessed and loved. And, if grandmother bids you “paz hermanos” – it’s a special blessing among our Spanish fraternity which simply and profoundly means “peace brethren”.

John Classic
By John Classic

Standing Up. Standing Out.

While some may lament the marginalisation of Christianity within mainstream society, it really is a good thing.

Those saints who stand in the name of Jesus, instead of becoming marginalised and invisible, will instead rock the very world that is trying to silence and suppress them. The saints have a testimony based on their undying faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Spoken by the Holy Spirit, their witness is indisputable and no one can objectively argue against their testimony. They speak the truth. They stand for morality, righteousness, the dignity of human life, monogamous marriage, the protection of the pre-born and the call for all sinners to repent, be they murderers, thieves, adulterers, sexually immoral including the LGBT, those involved in the occult, liars and all cowards.

The unique characteristic of these saints is that they’re ahead of their time, knowing Who is in control of the future and how it turns out in the end. It is good news. Absolute victory and total redemption.

The questions for you and me are: what side of history are we on? Are we courageous enough to stand our ground in faith, and wisely choose our words? Or will we acquiesce into mediocrity, afraid of the wicked crowd?

John Classic
By John Classic

Seven Love Letters

Have you ever received a love letter, an endearingly crafted message that was also genuinely honest? Jesus sent seven such letters.

Seven Love Letters

Jesus asked: “When the Son of Man returns, shall He find faith on the earth?”

What insight does the Son of God have that might counsel us today? His thinking out aloud was intentional. Will faith in the end times be on short supply? How does that speak into my journey and my life? Am I faithful, awake, listening, holy and true?

Moreover, what about the church I attend? How much does my local church community factor into my enduring faith? Does church life affect personal growth, the ability to serve and including my capacity to repent? These are all good questions.

Some years after He ascended to heaven, Jesus dictated to John in vision, when exiled on the island of Patmos, seven letters to the seven churches in Asia Minor, where Turkey is today.

What Jesus thought about His Body, the church as the Bride of Christ, is of utmost importance. The relationship between Jesus and the church is compared to that of a groom and his bride. This is not only brought out in many of Jesus’ parables, but also emphasised throughout Paul’s writings, as well as in Revelation.

Christians look forward to the “marriage supper of the Lamb” – a direct continuation of the covenant symbols as instituted at the Lord’s Supper. Marriage between a man and a woman is a type of metaphor for the spiritual reality between the faithful saints on this earth, likened to the Bride of Christ, and Jesus our LORD and Saviour. Jesus is coming for His Bride, who by then has made herself “white” – signifying purity and righteousness.

The analogy of marriage covenant is a powerful illustration. It can help us understand the nuances and realities of living a faith life amidst church community today. We might ask about our own faith community as it has grown around the world? What do we look like in Jesus’ eyes? What would He have to say to us?

Revelation chapters 2 and 3 is almost like reading someone else’s mail, in that we gain important and compelling insight into Jesus’ will and purpose. We also clearly see various risk factors that can easily beset the very nature of church life, even to the point when Jesus regards “church” as almost inauthentic or barely recognisable.

We might better appreciate Jesus’ exhortations as he reached out to those in the early emerging first-century churches of God. Equally today, may we too take on-board his timeless admonitions as they reach and speak to us.

Let’s ask: What endearing similarities do we bear to those who pioneered in faith so long ago. What were they commended for – their strengths and assets? What about their weaknesses and liabilities? What might we learn from those, and therefore benefit?

Let’s briefly look at those seven churches. Could it be that we’re looking a broad brush-stroke mirror-like synopsis of church life even today?

Those at Ephesus were known for their toil and patience; they cannot bear evil, and they hated the false teachings of the Nicolaitans. But they had abandoned first their love. And thus, they’re sadly remembered as being the loveless church. Imagine, for a moment, that in Jesus’ love for His Bride, He had to content with apathy and “lovelessness”! Yet, despite this, for those who overcame, Jesus promised the tree of life.

Smyrna was known for their tribulation and poverty, slander by false religion, suffering, prison, and death. There’s no rebuke or correction, but aware of their suffering, Jesus promised they would not to be hurt by the second death.

The church at Pergamum apparently existed in a climate akin to where Satan’s throne was. They are commended for holding fast to Jesus’ name, and keeping the faith. Ironically, embedded into much of the church were the teachings of Balaam, inferring idolatry and sexual immorality, as well as the teaching of false Nicolaitan doctrine. (Those at Ephesus decried such false teaching, but those at Pergamum embraced them. Imagine the conflicts that arose between these two sister churches!) To those who overcome, Jesus promised a new name.

Those saints in Thyatira were commended for their works, love, faith, service, and patient endurance. Yet, they tolerated a prophetess with a Jezebel spirit leading to seduction, idolatry, and the deep things of Satan. Yet, even to these who overcame, Jesus promised authority over the nations, and “the bright morning star”.

Sardis church had a reputation of being alive, but were dead. Image a part of the Body of Christ dying, or about to die! Surely a groom wants to marry a bride alive, vibrant, and responsive! Thus, again, the call to repent. A few of them, however, inherit a promise of white garments, and their names forever in the book of Life. Moreover, Jesus promises to confess their names before Father and his angels.

The brethren at Philadelphia were known for their works. Theirs was an open door (open for the gospel and open for Jesus). Noted for their “little power” is either a reflection on the lack of the Holy Spirit, or perhaps the oppressive society they lived in. However, they had not denied Jesus’ name. They patiently endured, and apparently had trouble with false religion. Jesus promised to keep from world tribulation. They would be pillars in the temple of God, with the name of Jesus written on them.

Sadly those at Laodicea were known for being lukewarm! Thinking they were rich and having prospered, Jesus described them as “wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked”. What damning appraisal for the bride of Christ! Jesus thus invited them to find riches in Him, to dress in “white”, and be healed so they can “see”. Here we see Jesus knocking and calling – from outside church environment! Is anyone listening? Will anyone open the door to fellowship with Jesus? Those in Philadelphia had an open door; here the door was closed to Jesus. Yet, to those who overcome, Jesus promised them to share His throne.

All seven churches receive the reoccurring admonition, “He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”

Many theologians have given differing views not only on the entirety of Revelation, but also significant commentary about the seven churches. Were they historical eras over some 1900 years? Hardly. Other theologians have seen Revelation chapters two and three as as apt assessments of Christianity at any given time throughout history.

Of course, within any Christian community there are those who pray and those who don’t; those who read their Bibles and those who don’t. There are those who know Jesus in a deep, personal way and others who live quite happily without Him. There are those who are judgmental, and others who extend grace and mercy. In other words, Jesus’ parable about the wheat and tares easily comes to mind. Some look like Christians; other are identified as being in Christ.

The commendations and corrections directed to these first century churches should be a clarion call for us today. What are our strengths for which Jesus would commend us? In what area would he correct us? What specific promise might he make to us, now, collectively?

Are we a loving people? Do we love the LORD with all our heart, mind, soul, strength? Are we alive, full of “first love”? Or do we just put on a good act? Are we faithful? Is our door to Jesus always open, or conspicuously closed? Do we have genuine fellowship with Him? Are we hot and alive, or lukewarm and dead? Do we tolerate false, unbiblical teachings?

The marriage supper of the Lamb will bring Christ and His Bride together as ONE forever. How is His bride doing? How are you doing? Is the church beautiful, radiant and dressed in white? Or, is she still stained by sin, self, the world and Satan?

When we reread Jesus’ letters to the seven churches, they’re not incomparable to a Groom’s love letter to his Bride. The good news is that it ends well. The outcome is powerfully reassuring:

Revelation 19:7-9 ESV Let us rejoice and exult and give him the glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his Bride has made herself ready; (8) it was granted her to clothe herself with fine linen, bright and pure”— for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints. (9) And the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.” And he said to me, “These are the true words of God.”

Thus, Jesus’ words for the church bears his heartfelt, honest, eye to eye conviction, designed to move every heart and soul to repentance and renewed faith.

Notice the three elements of Jesus’ appraisal, firstly consisting of encouragement, then correction and finally promises, all underlined with a call to really, really listen.

The past 70 or so years have provided fertile ground for broader Christianity to flourish. In many places the church has bloomed and grown to reflect her Lord and Saviour Jesus. But in other places, Christianity has become known for its lukewarm nature, its tolerance of evil, its complicit silence in the face of wickedness, as well as the very public idolatry and sexual sin that has added to unbelievers’ distaste.

Whatever “community” has become, much of “church” must become like her Lord Jesus Christ. The call is to repent, to change.

Thankfully, in almost every faith community, now as well as 2000 years ago, there were always holy and faithful people, enduring terrible times, and triumphing in the name of Jesus. “You have not denied my name,” is Jesus’ powerful affirmation as to His Bride’s identity and testimony.

So, when Jesus returns in His glory, will he find faith on earth? Will he find a faithful bride, dressed in white, resplendent and radiant? Will she be ready to stand before the Son of Man?

The love letters of millennia ago have served their purpose. Will you be invited to the next great covenantal event? “Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.”

John Classic
By John Classic

China’s Takeover

I bought a computer. It was made in China. I bought a welder. It too was made in China. So is my phone, my dinnerware, and a gift from a Christian bookstore is also made in China. Thankfully my car was made in Australia – but the truth is that its manufacturing plant closed down three years ago in favour of cheap imports.

So what? The computer works well. The welder is an improvement on my old one. My phone is used for secure two-factor transactions all the time. I love the text from the Bible as printed on our dinnerware, and frankly, who cares if a gift I treasure was also made in China.

I care. For one reason alone. Our aging gray hairs reveal an underlying weakness that we refuse to own up to. In our loss and confused identity of post modernism morphed into secularist ideals, we’ve become more dependent on our enemies who cleverly disguise themselves as trading partners.

When I was a boy, Australia was distinctly a “Christian nation”. When my father migrated from post-war Europe and became an Australian citizen, he was given a Bible (which he read). We sang “God Save the Queen” and recited the “Lord’s Prayer” in high school assemblies. But in recent decades, we’ve hastily abandoned our founding principles for more secular ideals – ideals founded not on hard work, faith and honesty, but on gain, mammon and self-interest. That’s the face and enticement of secularism.

A Chinese academic once marveled at how the United States could become the greatest and wealthiest nation on earth. After careful examination, he concluded that their phenomenal success had to do with their religious convictions which manifested in selflessness, love of freedom, liberty, honesty, sacrifice and God. Thus, the US constitution worked when honesty, service and compassion flourished.

Today, however, no longer content with such great achievements and the accompanying wealth and the responsibility that goes with it, our current generation has been indoctrinated to demand their rights, to decry traditional values, and seek power in the name of equality. Marriage has been redefined. Babies are killed right up to birth. Protestors burning buildings and destroying infrastructure are seen as legitimate, non-violent expressions of “the oppressed”. Our scientific endeavours has more recently introduced deadly pathogens (viruses) into our communities.

This change of ethos and momentum, is in fact, history repeating itself all over again. People who abandon their forefathers tried-and-true value system founded in the Judaic-Christian ethos similarly found themselves eventually overcome by other nations, to become vassals and slaves, where once they reigned.

To quote from antiquity:

“The LORD will bring a nation against you from far away, from the end of the earth, swooping down like the eagle, a nation whose language you do not understand, a hard-faced nation who shall not respect the old or show mercy to the young. (Deuteronomy 28:49-50 ESV)

The Chinese have bought our cotton plantations, various airports and shipping ports. They have built their skyscrapers in our cities, and invested in our gold mines. Their reconnaissance devices occasionally get caught up in our fishing nets. Their fishing fleets edge ever closer and wantonly towards our shores. They are moving closer, progressively, determined, yet all the while protesting their innocence. Those who subscribed to their “belt and road” initiative ought to look at, for example, how the Chinese have plundered Myanmar’s jade-bearing mountains for decades.

The sad thing is that our politicians and academics seem powerless to take a stand. And our enemies know that.

Within a few short years, the balance of power that we’ve known in the western world for the past seventy or so years is about to change. The freedoms we’ve largely taken for granted will be swept away. Globalism means control. Control of your finances. Control of your time. Control of your speech, and thought, and your life. We’re becoming slaves.

But borne through suffering, slavery and deep regret, redemption is at the heart of the Christian gospel message. At the very time when the globalist-controlled world is groaning beyond despair, when socialism wreaks its iron hammer, and our people’s cry for deliverance betrays their earlier wantonness, that same ancient text quoted earlier tells that a Saviour finally comes.

Then, perhaps we will remember that our computers and welders and phones and dinnerware were omens portending a future we had foolishly mocked. That history does indeed repeat itself.

Are we listening? For the sake of our children and grandchildren, may we awaken to forsake our godlessness secularism, and turn, and change, and challenge the current tide of sin, oppression, slavery and death.

John Classic
By John Classic

New Covenant Celebration

I recently heard a comment stating that the Feast of Tabernacles can hardly be associated or have any relevance to Christ, because it was originally given to the ancient Israelites under the old covenant. How can such festivals, associated as they are with the ancient’s seasonal agricultural harvests, be of any value to Christians?

It’s a good question. I hope this brief explanation is helpful.

The tabernacle, (and later the temple) were built on a heavenly blueprint. God specified every detail to Moses; details which although were made out of physical elements such as gold, wood and cloth, were based on and portrayed a transcendent divine, heavenly blueprint or reality.

Thus, the ensuing worship centring on the Tabernacle life, while in Israel’s experience was limited to their sojourn from Egypt and their annual agricultural seasons, their ceremonies, also dictated by God, equally originated from and pictured a transcendent heavenly connection.

How might we draw such a conclusion? What might that connection be?

That connection/blueprint or template can only be found in Jesus Christ.

Thus today, we do not and can not celebrate the old covenant feasts as given to ancient Israel. The old covenant and its associated liturgical practices are long gone, superceded by the new covenant written in Jesus’ blood.

So, is there any merit in divinely-given annual Sabbath celebrations? The question we might explore is, if their blueprint also originates from the heavenly, even as the design and details of the tabernacle was, then might we might have greater reason to enquire and explore what might be their heavenly significance?

What do those biblical festivals originally given to the ancient Israelites actually mean? Do they contain an inherit divine blueprint beyond the agricultural harvest seasons as experienced annually?

Jesus often used agricultural parables to tell of divine reality. “A farmer went to sow seed.” Jesus then explained the story in terms of spiritual harvest.

Curiously, Paul also used an interesting agricultural term when he referred to Jesus as “Christ the firstfruits”. It’s a phrase that clearly links ancient understanding of seasonal harvests with a higher, heavenly significance that centres on Jesus Christ.

A quick history lesson. During the annual Passover/Unleavened Bread season, the High Priest would cut the first of the barley harvest just after sunset, and that first wave sheaf was then presented in the tabernacle the next morning. We might ask: what might this ancient “firstfruits” ceremony actually mean?

Briefly, with Jesus crucified on a Wednesday, and then entombed for three days and three nights, the fulfilment of which would have occurred at or just after sunset on the Saturday night. It was then we suggest that Jesus was resurrected at the exactly the same time when the High Priest would have cut the first wave sheaf. At that moment Jesus would have opened his eyes and bodily resurrected. Recall, the tomb was already empty when the women visited early on that Sunday morning.

That first wave sheaf, cut from the early barley harvest, pictures Jesus’ resurrection. In the ceremony that followed the next day, the wave sheaf was presented in the temple, and the typology points to Jesus ascending to heaven to be presented before our Heavenly Father. Recall Jesus’ words to Mary when she saw the resurrected Jesus:

“Do not cling to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.” (John 20:17 ESV)

Between seeing Mary early that morning, and later when he encountered the disciples, Jesus ascended to heaven and was presented to His Heavenly Father as the “firstfruits”, symbolised by that ancient wave sheaf offering!

Thus, accordingly, would it not be meritorious that our celebrations (that find their origins within the biblical narrative) be based entirely on the heavenly reality under the terms of the new covenant for whom our “blueprint” is our Lord, Advocate, Redeemer, King and Judge, Jesus Christ?

Perhaps, if we revisited those ancient harvest festivals as a blueprint narrative for the greater harvest of humanity, then those same celebrations under the lens of the new covenant, such as the Feast of Tabernacles, may provide amazing insight into a salvation narrative that is powerfully relevant and significant to the follower of Jesus!

In fact, Jesus purveys the notion that more of what Moses wrote pointed to Jesus than we might understand at face value. (John 5:46)

On the last great day of the Feast of Tabernacles, as recorded in John chapter seven:

…Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’” (John 7:37-38 ESV)

So, in the spirit and freedom of the new covenant, may we confidently celebrate Jesus as Saviour, Lord, King and Judge!

Remember, that we too are sojourners in this temporal world, just like Jesus was some 2000 years ago.

And the Word became flesh and dwelt [tabernacled] among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John 1:14 ESV)

Finally, we would like to suggest that as these festivals are nothing less than Christ-centred in origin and purpose, they are therefore highly recommended for all Christians!

John Classic
By John Classic

Sonny the Puppet

I shared a children’s church message on Sabbath with the aid of a yellow hand puppet. It was a message about being thankful. And overall, the feedback we’ve received both verbally and via the internet has been affirming and encouraging. The children loved it, parents applauded the storytelling, and the elderly were equally delighted.

However, not everyone it seems appreciates this kind of creativity, with the lament that children used to just sit and listen to the word preached to them – without any kind of visual aid.

What do you feel about utilising such creativity to help the gospel message stand out above the current noise? Have we gone soft? Or, do we even more-so need to step up to the task, utilising all the resources available to lead our young to Christ?

Today our children and youth are flooded with a wicked, insidious and deceptive narrative in education and in our media. The cacophony of the deceitful “there is no God” resonates at every level of society.

The power of successful storytelling was Jesus’ alone, with simple parables, visual miracles, words written in the sand, and the power of physical touch. It takes all of Jesus’ power and creativity to rise up against the relentless multimedia of today. Not all people are skilled in storytelling; in this case, my Dad was a puppeteer from childhood, and in the spirit of being a “fisher of men” was able to later in life draw the attention of otherwise disinterested souls. We all have our calling and gifting in Christ. The message of Thanksgiving last Sabbath spoke not only to our little ones, but their angels in heaven also celebrated this simple modern-day parable.

Our children need us and Jesus holds us responsible.

John Classic
By John Classic

PS Would you like to contribute to our local church ministry? Do you have a children’s church lesson, or an item of special worship music, a sermonette, testimony or scripture reading? We’d love to hear from you. Would you consider getting a friend to help film it? Send the video to us by Dropbox or FTP, and we’ll include it in an upcoming livestream https://www.cog7aus.com/live/

Thank you!

You’re celebrating what?

“You’re celebrating what?”

“Isn’t that old covenant stuff?”

“I’m confused. I thought those were ancient Israelite harvest festivals, and therefore bear no relevance to Christians today!”

Here’s the short answer! You’ll love it if you love Jesus.

Last year our family again revelled in the Christ-centred celebration of the “Feast of Tabernacles” with almost 1000 fellow Christians gathered in Florida, USA. The previous year, we were in Caloundra, QLD, with a 100 faithful believers. And, consecutively, for more than five decades, it began for me as a nine year old boy in 1969 worshipping during the feast in the Blue Mountains, New South Wales.

Let me explain why I believe that this celebration particularly is relevant under the new covenant, and therefore powerfully resonant with all Christians.

But I digress first and confess a little of my journey.

In those early decades, our family kept the feast with a very much old covenant overlay. I recall frequent readings of:

Three times in a year shall all thy males appear before the LORD thy God in the place which he shall choose; in the feast of unleavened bread, and in the feast of weeks, and in the feast of tabernacles: and they shall not appear before the LORD empty: (Deuteronomy 16:16 KJV)

This was a commanded assembly for males. But, my sisters, mother and grandmother were there as well! And as a boy, of course, I loved the travel, the motel accommodation, carrying my dad’s old camera, and visiting places of interest. I recall the protracted morning and afternoon church services. I also recall on occasion a fiery preacher eliciting our attention from the pulpit.

From today’s vantage and hindsight, all those formative years truly felt like old covenant edict. Many songs and songs related to ancient experiences in Egypt, Israel or Babylon!

I’m thankful, however, that it provided a foundation to fast track to today.

Rather than old covenant or ancient harvest anchorage, these biblical annual Sabbaths/festivals (as detailed in Leviticus chapter 23) are powerfully symbolic of salvation narrative that centres on Jesus Christ. From the Passover Lamb to the Great White Throne Judgment, it’s all about Jesus! As the weekly Sabbath foreshadows rest in Christ, so too the annual Sabbaths reflect a depth of Christo-centric meaning.

These festivals are all about Jesus Christ! Let me say that again. These festivals are all about Jesus!

But not all churches actually get it.

Many think they are old covenant history, with little relevance today. Others celebrate them by command, where sadly the grace and Lordship of Jesus is absent.

So, in exploring this together, let’s ask, when was Jesus born?

No, he wasn’t born at Xmas time.

Although orthodox Christianity celebrates the birth of Jesus in December (historically chosen to align with the pagan sun god Mithras’ birth on December 25), we know that Jesus was born in late September or early October – around the time of the Feast of Tabernacles.

So, why not honour Jesus’ birth then? The particular festival is an ideal framework to turn our attention to the divine miracle of Jesus’ virgin birth and all that it means for everyone.

Of course, John’s testimony compels us further when he wrote:

And the Word became flesh and [tabernacled] among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John 1:14 ESV)

So Jesus “tented” or sojourned among us for some 33 years.

And, what’s more, He’s coming back again as “KING of Kings and LORD of Lords”, where “every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord!” Jesus then reigns for a 1000 years. And finally on the Last Great Day, we celebrate the great resurrection of humanity to a time of judgment.

Everything about the Feast of Tabernacles has to do with Jesus, the Son of God and our Advocate with our Father.

So let’s celebrate Christ, in the spirit of the new covenant, compelled by love for our Lord and Saviour.

This year’s festival theme in Western Australia is “Jesus, Saviour, Lord and King”.

We welcome you to join us at the Mary Davis Library and Community Centre in Baldivis, Western Australia, 3-10 October 2020.

Come for one day or come for eight – but do come!

Free registration is now open at https://www.message7.org/festival/

Colour grading and LUTs

We’ve been continually improving our weekly livestreaming over the past 18 or so months. However, this has accelerated since March this year, and we’re appreciative for all who have helped.

We use two BMD cinema cameras as setup in our studio. Filming in BRAW, we’ve been using a progression of modified LUTS for our livestreams, and this week we made the mistake of creating/using a LUT that was too “bluish”.

Our film is recorded to SSD in BRAW 10 bit video format.

However, the LUT (Look Up Table – an applied colour grade) we used on Saturday’s livestream was too bluish – we received several viewers comments on this. Some said that I “looked tired”. Others said it looked “washed out”. It’s amazing how colour can negatively affect mood and feel!

So, back to the editing suite, and thus for the next studio livestream we’ll try this completely new LUT/colour grade (which we’ve already used in post.)

I hope we’re finally reaching a level of maturity in our media streaming work where any future changes are merely incremental. We always appreciate and value viewer feedback.

Our small team has worked extensively on improving, for example, audio quality. You’ll also note the new backdrop that we added last week, together with some subtle lighting changes. The biggest job each week, however, is the preparation of good quality content – a task that only the Holy Spirit can enable.

A big thank you for all who have supported our work with suggestions, contributions, prayers and donations. The glory goes to God alone who is calling many in the great harvest of humanity. May we be faithful as He works through us according to His will.

John Classic
By John Classic

Standing in the Gap

After more than two months now “standing in the gap” with livestreaming Sabbath worship services from our home studio, and with the greater awareness that the society around us is overtly becoming not “church friendly” in both legislation and practice, we can be comforted and compelled by Jesus’ prophetic words that the church He’s building is and will be in an environment where “the gates hell” are notoriously evident. Thus we stand leaning into the headwinds of the times we live in on the promise and the power of the Holy Spirit, discerning each moment and embracing each challenge with alacrity. We’ll continue improving each week’s livestreaming, in one small way or another, and are patiently and faithfully working behind the scenes to advance His Kingdom and His righteousness. Media we know today plays a significant role in this.

When we started media streaming two decades ago, little did we realise the cacophony of dissonance emanating from tens of millions media sources and their many keyboard warriors. I recall someone twenty years ago saying, “One day, your video work will be swallowed up in ten thousand video channels.” It was hard to imagine back then. The surety of navigating the journey ahead is to simply focus on the calling and then, in the words of Jordan B Peterson recently, “Shield yourself from bad news sources.”

John Classic
By John Classic

Pandemic Fear or Prolific Faith

After more than a month of quarantine, social distancing and ongoing political and international narrative over the COVID-19 virus, with churches closed, businesses struggling, a major airline collapse amidst a general air of uncertainty, we’ve seen the remarkable response of church communities coming together in the digital universe for livestreaming of weekly church services, Bible studies, devotionals and online fellowship.

When we began livestreaming Sabbath worship services in Mundaring, WA, some 15 months ago in order to cater for our family in Christ living in remote areas, little did we realise that livestreaming would soon become an essential service. Now with three cameras, lights, microphones and other streaming equipment, the back part of our home has been turned into a mini television studio. Take a look!

And so, every Sabbath at 11:00am we “go live”, ministering in the lives of our faith community, not only throughout Australia, but overseas as well. Last week was our most successful and riveting online service, benefiting from the contributions of many more people. This week via Zoom we started a Tuesday night Bible study. And this next Sabbath’s behind-the-scenes work is again almost complete.

We’re grateful to Hannah and Emma, who significantly contribute to our team’s work. Hannah arrived here just before the coronavirus lock-down, and then being unable to return to Sydney, has been an invaluable help in our work here. Emma adeptly manages the livestreaming console. And Rebecca, as vocalist with keyboard as well as facilitating children’s church completes the onsite team.

When Jesus said, “I will build my church, and the gates of hell will not prevail against it,” I think he was also thinking about the difficult times we’re now entering. For when the church is under pressure, it is then that she is at her best! Pandemic fear gives way to prolific faith.

John Klassek
By John Klassek