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Msindisi Newsletter #77

January 31, 2011

NUMBER: 77. FEB 2011
PO BOX 1481
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Dear Friends and family,

Thank you for all your prayers. Since the 10th of January we have been settling back in and started our ministry work again. On the way back from Springs we visited the guys at Vita Nova special needs home where we used to play hymns on a regular basis. We have both worked with people with learning difficulties so they have a special place in our hearts and often they can be a neglected part of society. There was much laughter and stories shared, though sadly one of the guys had lost both parents last year. One lady, called Anne, shared with us that all the songs that we had sung together she keeps in her heart. Now she says that she teaches them to new people who come to stay at the home. Since we have been back we have had teething problems with our new pick up truck but our friends in Vryheid have been graciously sorting them out and it works like a dream. It was such a wonderful gift and we thank the Lord that we are saving on diesel. On the couple of occasions when we were stuck we were helped by the local farmer’s daughters. Weites is the farmer we have been praying for who was in the terrible accident which ruptured his spleen. Through needing the help of his daughters it has opened doors for sharing about the Lord with them. We thank the Lord for that.

On the first Friday back, our friend Tony proposed to his fiancée Sonja in Vryheid up in a hot air balloon. As they needed extra people to add weight to the balloon Salvi and Jonny were asked to witness the proposal and vows. Di was not to feel jealous about it as the Lord had already given us that experience together. It was quite an overwhelming experience for Sonja as she was not expecting it. The Lord laid it on Tony’s heart that this was the morning for the flight. But the pilot was quite dubious because he had being following the weather and thought he would have to abort but at the right time he said the conditions became perfect so they took advantage and filled the balloon up. What a joy to see how the Lord had brought them together. They have done a small marriage affair in Johannesburg and they will be solemnizing their oaths again for those in Louwsburg and Salvi will be preaching and taking them through their vows at this side on the 26th February.

The Louwsburg Bible Fellowship is still going strong. This week it will be held in our hut. Last week we had a new family come and fellowship with us. They have just moved into the Louwsburg area. They are a lovely Indian family. The group seems to be growing we have an older Afrikaans lady called Lenie who is also attending now and when he is in the area there is a young Zulu man called Lucky who meets with us. Salvi continues to teach through the book of Revelation. This week we will be into the 8 chapter.

The Church with Phumulani continues faithfully and it is lovely to see the new believers start to show more confidence with their faith. Jabulani and Mr. Khumalo are keeping up their walk and continue to learn on a Thursday. We are going through 1 John together. Last week Jabulani came out with us witnessing on Thursday though he was content to hand out tracts and not to speak. Through that day some children came to the meeting on Sunday where we showed the Jesus film. Thabi is also growing stronger in the Lord and is attending the Church regularly though she is not from the area but from Khambi. But that will all change in a few months time, God willing. Both she and Phumulani have been praying recently about the prospect of marriage and her family has agreed to them getting married. He will soon start paying the bridal price and gifts for the family. They are hoping for a 28th May date for the wedding. We are very happy for them.

Last week we also did our first Care Bear pre-school assembly for the year. Di shared the gospel with the children using a colour book with each of the colours representing some aspect of the gospel. The children are such a blessing to us as they are so polite and attentive. We do one every month. Belinda, who runs the pre-school, is a member of the Baptist church we have been visiting. We have also been visiting another couple called George and Kogie who have been an encouragement also. Kogie has been asking Salvi to play some hymns on the guitar and it seems that might be something semi-regular at the prayer meetings on a Wednesday night. Jonny and Kim, from the Bible Fellowship have started to semi-regularly visit the Baptist church though it is a way for them to go. But we are encouraged by that.

We continue to preach the gospel in KwaBokkie and in Ngenitsheni. In Ngenitsheni after the preaching 2 local boys gave us a demonstration of their guitar playing and it was excellent. They were so talented. But one of the boys was distant from the preaching of the word. The other people listened intently. There is no stick up your hands and ask Jesus into your heart but they are challenged to repent, believe and to confess their sins to the Lord and ask for forgiveness. The Law, sin, the judgment, the cross, the blood, the resurrection and the return of the Lord are preached and discussed. At several times we have received questions about ancestral spirits or about Shembe (the false black messiah of the Zulus). We pray that the Lord will touch their hearts.

Please pray for Di’s visa. We are trying to track its progress. Also for prayer is that Salvi will be trying to apply for permanent residence in June, as the Lord wills. We are in talks with a Christian Fellowship in South Africa called Road to Recovery Christian Fellowship and very happy with their set up and beliefs to date. If we are happy with them and them with us then it will give us a legal affiliation that will open our doors for more fellowship and also give Salvi help with applying for permanent residence. Please pray that the Lord’s will be done. But things look very positive so far.

This month we have also received boxes of knitted Jumpers from Marg and Pam and the Aussie knitters so these will be handed out near the winter time. So thanks guys for all your hard work. May the Lord bless you.

Thank you for all your prayers and support.
Shalom Aleichem baShem Yeshua, Salvi and Di.

1 JOHN part 5

1John 4

We have already looked at the area of Gnosticism repeatedly and we have seen that we have our own Gnostics today so I will not repeat all that in this study except for 2 points because they fit into this chapter.

Firstly, there was the Cerinthian heresy which says that Jesus was a human being that received the ‘christ spirit’ (or in our modern terminology ‘christ consciousness’) at his baptism. Anyone who seeks to divide the historical Jesus from the Jesus of faith has fallen for this heresy. Whether that be the higher critics like Rudolph Bultmann or people who claim to be another Christ like Jesus was Christ. When people like Kenneth Copeland teach that Jesus had to go to hell to suffer for our sins, he does so not recognizing that Jesus’ morally sinless life merited the propitiation on the cross. Because of this he sees no difference in the crucifixion of Jesus to the two thieves on the right and the left. Copeland said if it was on the cross that Jesus paid for our sins, then if he had the knowledge of scripture that Jesus had, even he could have died on the cross for our sins. For the Gnostic it is not that Jesus was sinless but that he had the Knowledge. This is not to say that modern Gnostics, from the evangelical church, will not confess that Jesus was sinless. But what they do is mix orthodox teaching with contradictory Gnostic thought and they create a mixture in a way that is possibly more subtle than the Gnostics of the early church. In the early Church, at the time of the apostles you had Gnostics. The Gnostics were Platonists before they entered the church but when they entered the Church they reinterpreted growing scriptures in light of Gnosticism. The scriptures were mostly written by the time of one John but not totally. But in our day what we have is Gnostic thoughts and ideas reinterpreting the established scripture with established “Christian vocabulary” in churches that have held strong creeds of belief that go back to the reformation. So of course they will mix biblical words with Gnostic teaching. If it was just plain Gnosticism it would have been rejected. And bit by bit the theological, rational foundation is taken away as doctrine is ridiculed as “dead, dry and powerless”.

The second aspect is love. The Gnostics did not really love the brethren in any practical sense. Just as they had spiritualized Christ as being something out there and not physical, so it seems, they had spiritualized love too. It became about initiation and not demonstration. In fact you were only truly saved if you had received this revelation knowledge. But the issue comes down to our world view. Do we hold onto the world’s ways of looking at things or have we truly been born again? Are we being transformed by the renewing of our mind? Biblically informed thinking does not come from what I or other people say about the Bible but it comes from the Word itself as we walk in obedience to it and its teaching.

Read 1 John 4: 1 – 6

This chapter is split into two sections. Firstly we have the test of doctrine which we will deal with this time and secondly John deals with love which we will deal with the next time we look at 1 John.


In the first 6 verses John deals with doctrine. He presented the importance of doctrine at the beginning of the epistle. Now if John places doctrine (or teaching) before love, then how can people say that what you believe about Jesus does not matter; all we need is love? Why do people throw out doctrine as something that is not important because it divides? Either the doctrine is wrong, which needs to be shown from scripture. If the doctrine is wrong then it needs to be thrown out. However, if the doctrine is right, the division is not caused by the doctrine but because of the pride and unrepentance of those who have been plainly shown the truth from scripture in love. To throw critical thinking out of the window is something Gnostic in itself. If you questioned the visions of the Gnostics it would just prove that you were among the uninitiated. On the contrary John tells us in the first verse to test the spirits. To test means to scrutinize. We must use the mind and use it biblically. I have a book by Os Guinness called ‘Fit bodies, Fat minds: Why Evangelicals don’t think and what to do about it.’ And in it he says the following, “Failing to think Christianly,” (I would define that as biblically Christian) “evangelicals have been forced into the role of cultural imitators and adaptors rather than originators. In biblical terms, it is to be worldly and conformist, not decisively Christian.” This is not to say that things within a culture are bad within themselves, such as music, science, art, auto mechanics or things that affect us in our senses such as incense, light, the media, and visuals. In fact we use quite a few of these in our own day to day lives. But when it comes to living out our faith and worship, our minds must be informed by scripture. These Gnostics had dreams and visions. So therefore are we to throw out all visions or prophecies on account of the Gnostics? Paul says in 1 Thessalonians 5: 20 not to despise prophetic utterances. If someone has a prophecy or a vision we must listen to them without being naïve. But what does John say in verse 1? Firstly, he says do not believe every spirit. If we are not to believe every spirit this calls us to be critical. John says to scrutinize the spirits. Do not believe it straight away. Being critical about what someone says is not nice. If you have been to university and been involved in a debate or had your work marked, or undergone a test, there may have been times of self doubt, ‘do I really know this, is what I said right?’ Being put under the microscope is not a pleasurable experience. But there are three things to remember.
1 The bible commands the Church to test what we say.
2, this is not about you it is about what God is trying to say. We claim to be giving something from the Lord so the church must test it to see if it is from the Lord.
3, Man is like the grass of the field, he withers and falls off but the Word of the Lord stands forever. It is not the prophetic word spoken by our mouths that stands forever but that which is recorded in the pages of scripture.

And if the church is genuinely seeking to know if something is in accordance with scripture and is from God’s mouth true prophecy will stand the test. This says something. We have got to know the Word of God. If we do not know the scripture, on what basis are we able to test these visions and prophecies? By our own opinions?

But why can we not take what people say on trust? John says because many false prophets have gone out into the world. Now if these antichrists, these false prophets, have gone out into the world then how are they able to affect us in the Church? Firstly because John claims that they can, thus the scripture tells us this. But secondly, just because they are in the world does not stop us coming into contact with their ideas. Kenneth Hagin’s Word of faith teaching came from the books of E W Kenyon. But where did E W Kenyon get his ideas from? From his time studying at ‘Emerson College of Oratory in Boston’ which was a hotbed for New Thought teaching originating in the teaching of Mary Baker Eddy who took from the teachings of Phineas Quimby. And Phineas Quimby came up with his beliefs through trying to turn occult practice into a science. Can you see that there is a flow and a progression of these ideas? ‘Yes but how can something that far back influence Pentecostal and Charismatic Churches today? That’s absurd!’ And because of this unbelief that is exactly how it infiltrates churches. In fact Hagin himself said that when he preached about the mind in some churches they thought they were listening to mind science. Read Dave Hunt’s ‘Beyond Seduction’ chapters 3 & 4. So even though they are in the World they can still influence churches. Therefore we are to test the spirits.

So how do we test them? Verses 2 and 3 show us. Now, as Bill Randles says, this is not a litmus test where the spirits just have to repeat the words ‘Jesus Christ has come in the flesh’ parrot fashion and then we know that they are speaking by the spirit of God. In that case we could say that even a parrot would be speaking by the spirit of God. It is not as superficial as that. Doctrine is not just about having right words but about having a right understanding; it is about content. What does it mean that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh? For one, it means that Jesus was Christ before He came in the flesh. It does not say that Jesus came in the flesh and then became Christ. Jesus was Christ before He became man and he continues to be man in a body. He was the Christ, He is the Christ and He will evermore be the Christ. Remember the two lies we looked at in the second chapter. There are lies that are composed of having a wrong confession of Doctrine, but having a right confession alone is not the indicator whether something is the truth. We must look to see whether the accompanying life and teaching is consistent with that confession. If I say that ‘Jesus is the Christ who came and remains in the flesh, but now also the Christ spirit has passed on me also and I also am the Christ’ I am a liar, though I have confessed the words ‘Jesus Christ has come in the flesh’. In the Latin scriptures this phrase has been translated ‘Who ever divides Jesus is not from God’. This shows that the heart of the Gnostic teaching is to divide the man Jesus from the divine Jesus. This is the spirit of antichrist and it teaches us about what the antichrist will believe. He will sit himself in the temple of God, proclaiming himself as being god. How can he do that? Through the same way as the Word of faith preachers do. ‘I have the Christ spirit, I am one with him, I am the Christ’.

The antichrist does not just come out of the blue and introduce this spirit or doctrine. Many things happen to make him acceptable before he enters the arena. 2 Thessalonians 2: 7 – 8. Why is the antichrist accepted with his lawlessness? It is because the world is already lawless. It is like a plugged up kettle that is boiling. When the restrainer is taken away then it all comes out. We see lawlessness now but it is going to get worse. Look at Genesis 6. In verse 2 you have the mixing of the sons of God with the daughters of men. It is an unholy mixture that God is angry about. But in verse 5 God saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth. And how was that wickedness manifest? It does not say initially but it says that every intent of the thoughts of the heart was only evil continually. It is in verse 11 that the scripture is more descriptive and explicit in saying that the earth was corrupt in the sight of God. Before it was just man being evil man personally. We see this argument for personal wickedness, ‘It is my life, mind your own business’. But now the wickedness of man affects the earth and the peoples of the earth around him. The earth was filled with violence. The earth itself was corrupt. It starts with wickedness in the heart and how can we define this wickedness? It is a turning away from God’s Lordship and turning to man as great. This was the same as in the garden of Eden. This is the same as Genesis 6:4 that speak of the fallen ones. It is the same as the tower of Babel, the same as Nebuchadnezzar, and the same as 2 Thessalonians 2. The spirit of antichrist, of lawlessness, is already at work. It is under restraint but when the restrainer is taken away, the antichrist will be revealed.

From verses 4 – 6 John makes a contrast between his readers, these antichrists and the apostles. The readers, though seeming weak, actually have the victory over these Gnostics because the Word of God has richly dwelt in them. The Word of God does not only refer to the scriptures but it also refers to the one who is the embodiment of those scriptures. Jesus Christ lives in us by His Spirit. Jesus and His truth is greater than Satan and his lies. What is the real test of knowing if you have that Spirit? Verse 6 says we must listen to the apostles’ teaching. The Spirit of truth is in accordance with the apostolic teaching. Those who are of God will listen to the scripture and those who are of the world will not listen to it. They place the ideas of the world above the place of God. But they will not prevail. Jesus said of His church that the gates of the grave, of death, will not prevail over it as opposed to the churches of the false gods. You have overcome them through Christ in you and His word dwelling in you.

So in closing, let us be much in the word of God and let it dwell richly in us. This is our protection and safe guard. We are not to despise prophetic utterance but a Gnostic will always throw greater weight on his prophecy than on the Word of God. They might sound convincing and they might have had genuine experiences but greater is He who is in you than He who is in the world. Test all things. Hold on to that which is good and abhor that which is evil. Test the Spirits to see which is from God and the test is primarily doctrinal.

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