RECENT WHALE SIGHTINGS HOLD PROPHETIC MEANING
by Nate Johnston, Keith Newman, Ian Johnson and Janet Chambers
Over recent weeks several rare whales have been sighted and photographed in New Zealand waters. Many prophets have felt that these sightings have prophetic significance. The prophetic words you’ll read below are from several New Zealand and Australian prophets, and explain what the prophetic significance of the sightings is.
In Scripture we see God tell us that nature declares His handiwork, and we also see there that He used animals and nature to convey prophetic understanding to prophets and mankind in general. Below are several verses showing that.
“The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. Day to day pours out speech, and night to night reveals knowledge.” Psa 19:1,2.
“But ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds in the sky and they will tell you; or speak to the earth, and it will teach you, or let the fish in the sea inform you. Which of these does not know that the hand of the Lord has done this? In his hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind.” Job 12:7-10.
"See, I have appointed you today over nations and kingdoms to uproot and tear down, to destroy and overthrow, to build and plant.” And the word of the Lord came to me asking, “What do you see, Jeremiah?” “I see the branch of an almond tree,” I replied. "You have observed correctly,” said the LORD, “for I am watching over My word to accomplish it.”… Jer 1:10-12.
“But some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Him, “Teacher, rebuke Your disciples!" He answered, “I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out.” Luke 19:39,40.
God is an amazingly creative communicator who employs many different ways to communicate to us. Enjoy His creativity as you read the words below...
A DREAM I JUST CAN’T SHAKE: THE WHALES ARE COMING!
Have you ever had a dream that was more than just a dream? A dream that not only gave you insight, but seemed to mark you deeply and change your trajectory? A month ago I had such a dream that I haven’t been able to shake since, and as I have been processing it with the Lord I have realized the corporate invitation it carries, serving as a guidepost and commissioning to the prophetic movement. I pray that this dream marks you as deeply as it did me.
In the dream I was with many other prophets and leaders at an ocean-side resort where I could see tens of people partaking in many different recreational watersports and having a lot of fun. As I entered the water, suddenly I felt something grab my legs and I looked down to see a huge humpback whale looking back at me in a friendly way, as if we knew each other well. Then as I looked out over the water I saw a huge school of whales swarming the resort shore-waters.
Whales represent the prophetic ministry and/or the current prophetic movement, because whales are sensitive, dive deep, and communicate through song, much like prophets who are messengers and revelators of the deep things of God's heart. In the story of Jonah it was a whale that transported him from the stormy seas to his destiny, and so, too, does the ministry of the prophetic realign people with their promise, and takes them from the stormy seas of life and transports them to their place of purpose and calling. I knew that seeing this whale was the Lord highlighting the greater reinstatement and resurgence of the prophetic in a greater way across all streams in the days to come.
There is an island not far from where I live that served as a whaling station over 70 years ago, and when I was a child I was so intrigued by it and have since realized its prophetic significance for our region. Whaling was a multi million-dollar industry here because of the “oil” they carried, which also signifies the oil that prophets carry, but when the prophets are hunted there is no prophetic “oil” or anointing to shift the Body of Christ into her promise. Our region for a long time was exactly like the oceans, devoid of the prophetic, and therefore the oil was not present. This island still to this day has seen less whales than it used to; instead it is now known for its prolific dolphin population. Dolphins represent the intelligence of man that we rest on when we are void of His wisdom, but I prophesy that the whales are coming back to the waters!
Awakening a song
As I was travelling across the water I realised that I could somehow communicate to the whale, and would hear it cry out in response! Did you know that a whale starts a song in the beginning of migration that it keeps singing and adding to as it travels the large distance to its furthest destination? When other whales join in the song, they sing in unison with their melodies like a perfectly organised choir. I believe we are in a time where the prophetic voices are beginning to come into unity and release their sound in unison. This sound is shaking the deep places and calling the earth into order and in compliance to the Kingdom of Heaven.
A time of acceleration
Then the whale swam away from the shore with my legs still in its grip, which felt much like I was wakeboarding with my body above the water, travelling at quite a speed that even others on jet skis were finding it hard to keep up with. It was exhilarating, to say the least. In that moment I had a thought come into my mind, and I said to myself, “This is what I was made for!” like for the first time I was experiencing the adventure and ride of being “in the pocket”, so to speak, or in my lane. There was nothing more I could have desired in that moment. It was the sense that I was doing what I was created to do. The water was spraying up all around me and I was still moving at an incredible speed. The Lord spoke to me through this and said, “There is a divine acceleration coming upon the prophets, in both revelation and maturity, and I am moving the prophets into position to be the head and not the tail, above and not beneath!” (Deuteronomy 28:13).
I have done a lot of wakeboarding in my life and I know the skill and strength it involves to stay standing up as the boat speeds through the water with you behind it. Just to pull yourself up you need arm and upper body strength, but as the boat turns you also need to know how to move with both the stationery water and the moving boat by angling your body as it turns. To learn this I have taken many falls, some fun and some not, ending up with a few days of bad neck and back pain and some wisdom to apply for the next time out on the water.
Acceleration is upon us, but it isn’t something that we just step into; it’s a divine grace that God is breathing upon us to SURGE FORWARD with a new momentum and favor, but it will require a new strength, wisdom, and skill to maintain. When God adds and elevates us higher He also prepares us to steward it well by increasing our character and ability to carry what He pours out.
As I continued to speed through the water I noticed that an island or land was approaching in the distance, but because of the sheer speed that the whale was moving it wasn’t long until we were nearing the shore. To my surprise the whale didn’t slow down at all but kept its velocity, which meant that we suddenly launched out of the water and landed on the shore. But strangely we were able to keep moving on the land in the same way and speed, like we did in the ocean, and I was watching as a we sped through a small town causing all of the onlookers to drop what they were doing and pay attention to this uncommon site! After a while I signalled for the whale to turn around and we headed back to the resort.
The symbol of the sea represents the world, or what I felt represented the common place of operation, the bounds of the prophetic as we have known it, and the land represents the new territory we as the Body of Christ are moving into. From a logical perspective whales are not created to operate on land, and it is also physically impossible, but the Lord is impressing on us that in the days to come He is giving us uncharted territory to occupy and stake a claim in. This will require breaking out of the boxes that we have confined our prophetic expressions and functions in, and how God has called us to shine His light in the day that we live in. This excited me to imagine the endless impossibilities that lay before us in the church if we keep our hearts and ears open to move in ways that may confront our mindsets, or cause us to move in greater faith with Him. I also believe that the migratory patterns of whales is significant in this season, too, because we are in a season of birthing, and the purpose behind migration is to go to warmer waters more suitable to birth. Maybe the uncharted territory you are in right now is the Lord preparing you for birth!
Anointing without a cost?
As I walked up onto the shore I noticed a group of people who were all congregating around someone who was talking loudly with great bravado and confidence. Everyone was glued to his words and what he was talking about, but I couldn’t seem to understand the point of what He was saying. I was not impressed at all. Then He began speaking about the whales that entered the waterway and how it was an opportunity to show them off and turn the resort into an ocean life museum, where people could come and observe them in their cages and tanks. Then two men walked in at his command, carrying a huge barrel of stinking, rotting fish, and the man began to mention that he would be feeding them to the whales. At this the sheer injustice of it in me rose up and I yelled out, “You cant feed them that!”, to which the man replied, “Well you buy them food then; this didn’t cost me anything.”
I was really grieved at this part of the dream, because this man was trying to cage and contain these whales, and even monetize them! Then in addition to that, He was wanting to feed them rotting fish, which would not have been a healthy, sustainable diet for them. It’s a scary thing when we see the prophetic as an opportunity to lead people to our man made structures, making the prophetic a powerless museum of what once was, rather that nurturing and raising healthy prophets. The temptation in this hour is to forfeit the purity we have been entrusted with and fall into self-promotion, religion, or distortion. Are we leading people to ourselves, trying to enslave our gifts in exchange for monitory gain? The rotting fish represents the diet of an unhealthy prophet that is not valuing the anointing upon their life by stewarding it with wisdom, or governing the motives of the heart. It reminds me of what King David said in 2 Samuel 24:24;
“But the king replied to Araunah, "No, I insist on paying you for it. I will not sacrifice to the LORD my God burnt offerings that cost me nothing."
The prophetic movement is going through a deep heart check right now, not for the sake of judgement, but to draw out and raise up healthy and pure prophets who have their sights set solely on the Lord, and not on using their mantle for the wrong reasons. In the days ahead we will see more and more prophets who aren’t sold out to pleasing man, but have been refined in the fires of the fear of the Lord, and marinated in the bridal chamber.
Fishing with Daddy
As I walked away quite disturbed from what I had just witnessed, instantly my heart was comforted by someone who stood in front of me. It was the Father, and He bent down and stretched His arms out to embrace me with a huge smile on His face. Everything else just melted away. It was at that moment that I realised that I was around 5 years old, and I walked with the Father towards a jetty, both of us holding a fishing pole. Knowing what I was thinking He looks me in the eye and says, “I’ll show you how to catch the right food for the whales”, and as He said that my dream ended.
The words of the Father seemed to burn in my heart, and I saw a branding rod clearing out the cobwebs of performance and clutter that can come as a result of “doing” instead of “being”. In those simple words He was powerfully rescuing us from operating apart from rest and dwelling in His peace, and a deep awakening to the very source of the prophetic office and function... being with Daddy! As He led me away from the noise of the committee I saw the future strength of the prophetic movement and how God is inviting us into a place of greater intimacy, that will ensure that the whales are safe, free to roam, and healthy for the days to come.
I pray that this dream encouraged you, challenged you, and caused you to burn deeper with a heart to see HIS HEART revealed in the earth!
The amazing photo of a rare Southern Right Whale in Wellington Harbour, included in the story below, just ahead of Maori New Year (Matariki) celebrations, reminds me of the Maori prophet T.W. Ratana's statement/prophecy that ties back to the two whales that appeared when he was first commissioned by Ihoa o nga Mano.
His subsequent statement (with each of the 'books' represented by one of the whales, political and spiritual, Bible and Treaty) is critical to just about everything else he said: "In one of my hands is the Bible, in the other the Treaty of Waitangi. If the spiritual side is attended to all will be well on the physical side." As I concluded in my book Ratana the Prophet, one of those 'books' seems to be getting far more attention than the other.
I lay awake thinking about the image of the whale breaching before Parliament buildings with all the construction cranes around and some thoughts came sharply into focus ...I felt Ratana's challenge was being presented again.
This is a critical time for the Treaty and Maori representation, with challenges abroad from the Labour-NZ First alliance and the United Nations, and the stalled northern settlement where our nation was born and the Bible/Gospel good news was first presented. If it's all about politics and rights and agendas for power and control, without due consideration of the spiritual dimension denied by so many, then the path to unity, spiritual-based healing and justice, and placing love at the centre will remain obscure. Di-vision rather than fulfilled vision.
Ratana means 'Lantern' and when he was commissioned to unite, heal and restore Maori under the banner of Ihoa (8 Nov 1918) the lanterns lit around what became Ratana Pa were fueled by whale oil.
On November 8, 2018 we celebrate 100 years since Ratana's vision...So how will the wider church engage and show their support for that vision of unity and healing of the nation under one God? Are we really listening to the signs of the times (tohora tohu?) or are we transfixed with our own agendas and denominational/theological/ religious divisions?
Is the Ratana church/movement as focused on Paipera Tapu, Wairua Tapu-led revelation as it is on Treaty settlements and processes? Maybe the whale is a tohu to remind us of the tuturu (true) priorities in the important matters that are now coming to a head in this nation.
When I was in USA in April I was a speaker at a conference where Bobby Connor was also a speaker. He gave me a word and also a word for New Zealand. He said, “This is the time for a major prophetic move that will rise in NZ and go around the world.”
This month, as confirmation, a very rare southern Right Whale has taken up residence in Wellington Harbour; Wellington, the seat of government in NZ. Today a White Humpback Whale has been sighted off the coast of Gisborne. (Only two White Humpbacks are known to exist). Gisborne is the first place to see the light in the earth, because of its time zone position.
The signs are here that the provision of a prophetic move is here in NZ.
Last year at Glory City Church Brisbane (with Katherine Ruonala) God gave me a vision which I shared about whales swimming from Australian waters to New Zealand. In dreams and visions I have often found them symbolising the “ five fold” ministries. These whales swam straight for NZ; they beached themselves deliberately where “stop-banks” had been built, at river mouths. The whales broke through the stop-banks, enabling the water to flow into the sea of humanity and releasing a great flow that then turned into harvest. Nate Johnston shared a word that also related to the whales coming, and coming into the land. Recently God has been speaking that the time is now for the fivefold to emerge in a new way in the indigenous people of Australia and New Zealand. It is fascinating that we see the white and the dark skinned whales together rising in our waters at this time.
Nate and his wife Christy head up a ministry called “Everyday Revivalists.” They are passionate to see God's sons and daughters arise in the truth of their identity in Christ, founded in intimacy with the Father who is deeply in love with His children. Nate and Christy strongly believe in healthy families and aim to revive hearts through prophecy encouragement and truth. Their mission is to equip people to be all that Jesus has destined for them. We believe in a POWERFUL gospel, one that edify’s, uplifts and empowers. It’s time for the sons and daughters to find out who they really are, find their approval in Him alone and emerge in the foundations of love and walk in their royal authority. For more info...
Keith is an award winning journalist and author. His books, “Bible and Treaty” on the work of the early missionaries and the Treaty of Waitangi in New Zealand and “Ratana the Prophet” are well known throughout New Zealand and other nations. His wife Paula Novak is an established artist well known for her prophetic works as well as her portraiture and artworks depicting New Zealand cultural themes.
Ian Johnson is an itinerant prophetic revelator and revivalist from Auckland, teaching and activating with fresh mana from the Word. He and his wife, Joye, minister together, encouraging the body of Christ to move into revival and the Glory realm. www.hisamazinggloryministries.org
Janet and her husband Wesley have been senior leaders of Living Waters Christian Centre, Christchurch, for 23 years.
Janet ministers nationally and internationally as a teacher/prophet and has a passion for people to hear the heart of God for their lives, cities and nations. She loves to see them rise up and be agents of change for the Kingdom of God.