Treasure at the End of Rainbows.

by | Jun 12, 2010

  

In Revelation 10 there is another angel with a rainbow above the head, at the coast 🙂

There are those who believe that if you follow a rainbow you will discover treasure hidden at it’s end. Until very recently I thought that was an old wives’ tale however after almost twenty years of following rainbows I have actually found treasure! It was an awesome journey. Although this treasure hunt began in earnest about a year ago, the roots of it go back to when God first called Debbie and I into ministry.  

Following the Rainbows  

In an earlier post I told the story of the rainbow experience which created the abiding custom in our family that whenever we see a rainbow we declare “He is faithful to all his promises”. ( May 31 http://nigelmyfireplace.wordpress.com/2010/05/31/mystery-writing-in-the-sky/)   A few weeks after that experience Debbie and I got engaged and we left East London for Grahamstown, a small city in the Eastern Cape where we planted our first church. We were young, zealous, passionate, a bit daunted, unemployed, penniless and completely clueless church planters. The first time we approached the city a glorious rainbow appeared in the sky and  it seemed to land squarely on the road in front of us. Even today when I remember that moment I can feel the assurance we had that God was with us when we saw that rainbow. Somehow it beckoned us on into the adventure that God had planned for us in Grahamstown, assuring us of God’s provision, guidance and protection. Moses had his cloud we had our rainbows! However it was only relatively recently that I felt the prompting of the Lord to dig a little deeper into the Bible to try to understand what God was pointing to with the rainbows that marked our road.  

I was invited to speak at our mother Church in Cape Town in July 2009. It was to be a home-coming of a sort for Debbie and I as this was the church that 19 years ago sent us out into ministry. The Conference was billed as a “Holy Spirit week-end” and to be honest I was very nervous. I knew that God wanted me to be bold and really push the boat out and believe him for not only healings but also signs, wonders and miracles of the kind we had started seeing in our church here in East London. However the church in Cape Town is far larger than mine and there were many people who were more than a little skeptical of the testimonies we had been sharing. What if nothing happened! As I flew into Cape Town I was praying on the plane for the conference and as we made our approach I looked out the window of the plane. Stretching over the entire city was one of the brightest double rainbows I had ever seen! I began to recount to myself the promises that God had made and faith arose in my heart for the week ahead which turned out to be an explosively powerful week. It was a week of miracles and rainbows! We saw many incredible healings that week including legs growing out, deaf ears opened, a blind man got partial sight restored, a young woman who had never been able to run without pain got instantly healed, a woman who had a degenerative back disorder was instantly healed and in addition to that hundreds of people encountered the manifest tangible presence of God in a fresh way. On the Sunday morning of that conference when I got up to preach in one of the satellite congregations I was amazed to see that there was a rainbow running over the ceiling of the church, inside the building! As I saw it God spoke to me about the promises he has given concerning revival breaking out in the city of Cape Town and spreading to Africa and the world. He reminded me of miracles I had seen in these churches 20 years previously whilst I was a student at UCT and the promises he had given to us as young men and women starting out and I realized God was reaffirming his promises. That week he prompted me to dig into the scriptures a little deeper to study out the theme of rainbows. What I began to see was that in the same way that rainbows had been threaded through our life and ministry so they are threaded like a treasure map through the Bible.  

Rainbows, Mystery and the Bride of Christ in the Bible.  

It is always unwise to make conclusions on the basis of only part of a conversation. In South Africa we call it “picking up stompies”, a stompie being a discarded cigarette butt, and refers to people coming at the end of a longer conversation and jumping to conclusions based on the snippets of information they glean. Many Christians have stompie theology because they consume the word in little “puffs” here and there, sometimes at the beginning of the Bible, or the end without tracing the “conversation” or theme from one end of the Bible to the other.  

The first time we find rainbows in the Bible is in Genesis 9 after the flood when God establishes a covenant with all flesh that the waters will never again destroy all life on the earth. As a sign of this he takes his rainbow and he places it in the clouds as an eternal reminder of the covenant that he has made between himself and all flesh.  

“I now establish my covenant with you and with your descendants after you 10 and with every living creature that was with you—the birds, the livestock and all the wild animals, all those that came out of the ark with you—every living creature on earth. 11 I establish my covenant with you: Never again will all life be cut off by the waters of a flood; never again will there be a flood to destroy the earth.”  

12 And God said, “This is the sign of the covenant I am making between me and you and every living creature with you, a covenant for all generations to come: 13 I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth. 14 Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, 15 I will remember my covenant between me and you and all living creatures of every kind. Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life. 16 Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth.”  

17 So God said to Noah, “This is the sign of the covenant I have established between me and all life on the earth.”  

The last mention of the rainbow is at the end of the conversation in Revelation 10.  

1Then I saw another mighty angel coming down from heaven. He was robed in a cloud, with a rainbow above his head; his face was like the sun, and his legs were like fiery pillars. 2He was holding a little scroll, which lay open in his hand. He planted his right foot on the sea and his left foot on the land, 3and he gave a loud shout like the roar of a lion. When he shouted, the voices of the seven thunders spoke. 4And when the seven thunders spoke, I was about to write; but I heard a voice from heaven say, “Seal up what the seven thunders have said and do not write it down.”  

A careful comparison of the two passages reveals that the themes from the first passage are repeated in the second and rightly so for the author of the revelation is concluding a conversation that God had began with “all flesh”  in Genesis 9 not only do we see the repeating of the rainbow, but we see the cloud, the seas, the land (Prophetically symbolic of The gentile nations and Israel, or all the world)   the angel goes on to swear by the God “who created heaven and the things that are in it, the earth and the things that are in it, and the sea and the things that are in it” (i.e. : all flesh-every living thing). So who is this angel? I believe he is the angel of the everlasting covenant which God established after the flood we are meant to recognize him by his clothing, the rainbow the cloud etc. He comes with an important message;  

the mystery of God will be accomplished, just as he announced to his servants the prophets.”  

As I follow the rainbows in the Bible they lead to the mystery of God, as I followed the rainbows in my life they lead to my Mystery. The day after Mystery was born I asked the father what he had done. He replied that he had given me a treasure. So it seems that it is true after all that treasure is found at the end of rainbows. Treasure concealed in a jar of Clay! There is more to my daughter’s story, and there is much more on Mystery in the Bible. That will be the subject of my next post.

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