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msindisi newsletter #82

July 6, 2011

SALVADOR & DIANNE’S MSINDISI
MONTHLY

NUMBER:      82.       July 2011

PO BOX 1481

VRYHEID 3100

KWAZULU NATAL

SOUTH AFRICA

+27 (0) 728311008

Email:  msindisi@gmail.com ,

salv.di@gmail.com

KwaZulu Mission Website: http://www.kwazulumission.com

Personal Website: http://msindisi.googlepages.com

 

Dear Friends and family,

 

The aloes are all in flower
now. June is behind us and we have headed into July. Looking over the month of
June we see that we have been blessed in so many ways.

 

The Louwsburg bible study has
been continually meeting. Every second Tuesday it is hosted in our house but
every other week we rotate from house to house among the members. We will
continue through Revelation soon but in the last two weeks Salvi has been
dealing with faith and rebutting the false Word of Faith, Prosperity and
positive confession teachings. Unfortunately there is so much junk on Christian
TV of this false word of faith teaching and it has been a blessing that some of
the bible study group have come out of this and rejected that teaching over the
space of 2 years of us meeting together. It really takes patience sometimes to
allow time for people to work through the issues and experience that
transformation of the mind that the Word of God accomplishes through that
person’s faith. One family that we met with in the first session are into the
word of faith teaching and so it was a huge challenge to them. We trust the
Lord will continue to minister to them and to challenge them not only in the
teaching but also concerning their heart’s treasure. Jacob Meads from New
Zealand gave a teaching on co-labouring in the gospel but titled the message “Where
is our treasure?” He also shared this at church and will be doing one more
teaching on Philemon for the church and the bible study before he leaves us in
a couple of weeks. Jacob has been a real blessing for us and we trust the Lord
has stretched him and blessed him in his visit here.

 

This month we have to say
farewell to Isabel who is leaving the area to work in Klerksdorp. We have some
friends into sound doctrine and we hope that Isabel will catch up with them and
start to meet with them to continue receiving sound doctrine.

 

Salvi and Jacob have continued
to evangelise and disciple. In Church Salvi has started to teach a series on
Deuteronomy which he has taught in English and Phumlani interpreted into Zulu.
Joanne from the bible study has brought some Zulu guys to visit the Church from
Louwsburg and may continue to do so on a regular occasion. This was a huge
blessing because 2 guys which Kim from the bible study and Salvi had both
witnessed too came with. In fact one of them remembers Salvi from 2004 sharing
the gospel with him when he was admitted to the Salvation Army TB hospital at
the time when Salvi used to visit and witness on a weekly basis. On the same
weekend we had the pleasure of 3 young people from Bethany Baptist Church stay
with us for a short term mission. Their report will be found on the ministry
website.

 

Di has done two clinic runs last
month, planted her garden and taught children’s club amongst her hospitality
and general running of our lives. It takes a lot of time with hand washing
clothes, cleaning and organizing our activities to make sure nothing gets
forgotten and for all of Salvi’s talents he can be quite forgetful when it
comes to the routine things! In the children’s club Di taught about man being
made in the image of God and also about us loving God because God first loved
us.

 

Salvi did some unusual
outreach this month. In the Louwsburg farming community he did a lecture for
the ladies arts and drama group on poetry recital as a form of theatre. He
performed a monologue and did a dramatic recital of Psalm 137 which enabled him
to share about the biblical background to the piece and then finished with
sharing his testimony. It was very well received and we hope that people were
challenged regarding their stand before the Lord. The following week Salvi and
Jacob performed a gospel play for the young children at care bear preschool in
Vryheid. The kids loved seeing Jacob being Abundant Grace and Salvi being Nasty
Boy who comes to repentance and becomes Forgiven. We hope the memories stay
with them so that one day they also may come to repentance.

 

A couple of Sundays back
Bethany Baptist Church showed the Daniel Project and though not many new
visitors attended it was well received by everybody. The church may be showing
the DVD again and hopefully attracting more viewers.

 

Phumlani has been given gifts
of blocks for building another room for his hut. He is humbled by these gifts
and thankful to the Lord. He has started building the foundation and the young people
will be returning on Saturday to help him complete the foundation.

 

We have had the blessings
given to us by people to take Jacob to Shakaland to learn about Zulu culture
and to Mkhuze nature reserve to see some animals. This week he is in Gauteng
visiting Allen and Sue Wells and a friend of his who works for a children’s
place of safety near Johannesburg.

 

Thank you for your faithfulness
in your prayers for us. We really do covet them. Indeed many thanks for all
your emails, prayers and involvement in our lives and ministry.

 

The Lord bless you and keep
you.

 

Shalom aleichem baShem
Yeshua, Salvi and Di

 

 

 

ELIJAH AND ELISHA

THE CHALLENGE

PART 3

1 Kings 18

 

 

Elijah was a man
of great faith, great courage and great obedience. We have seen his powerful
ministry but also his servant hearted nature. The only thing that Elijah
coveted was to see the people turn back their hearts to the Lord. No doubt he
lived in the hope, in the expectation that he would see revival. By the word of
Elijah drought came upon the land and Elijah had hidden himself from Israel,
trusting in God’s provision. This was the real judgment; that God had hidden
His words from the people. This went on for three and a half years where Elijah
saw the salvation of a gentile woman, a type of the church which has
predominantly been gentile since the 4th century onwards. But now
the time has come for the Word to come back to the Jewish nation.

 

Verses 1 – 6               Elijah sent back and Obadiah is introduced.

 

So God has
promised the rain will return and that is why Elijah must go back. This is
symbolic of the fact that the word of the Lord would be spoken again in Israel. God was
going to send rain upon the earth; therefore Elijah must have anticipated a
revival. Elijah did everything possible to see a revival. He was obedient. He
presented God’s word faithfully. He had suffered rejection and persecution. He
was zealous and now God had given him a promise. The rain was coming back. Now
notice that Elijah did not decide to return to Israel on the basis of knowing
that the 3 ½ years of drought had to happen as a type and prophecy of the two
witnesses in the tribulation of Revelation. He did not return to Israel because
he had been clever enough to work out the time that the rain would come back.
He did not do that. The fact that he was out for that time was coincidental in
the mind of Elijah. Rather Elijah would not return until God told him to,
whether that be 3 years, 3 ½ years or 50 years. Elijah did not have to have it
all figured out but he had to be sensitive to God’s voice and to be obedient.

 

Now there is someone
new that we meet in this text and that person is Obadiah. What do we learn
about Obadiah from when we meet him? The first two things are as follows. He
was over the household of Ahab and yet he feared the Lord greatly. He was
subject to and close to the wicked King and yet God vindicates his honour and
integrity in the fact that God had it recorded in scripture that Obadiah did not
compromise his loyalty to the Lord. If you have read ‘Tortured for Christ’, you
will remember that there were people within the communist party, people who
were in the secret police that were believers. These people were rejected by
other believers because of their apparent betrayal of the church. But what
these believers did not know is that these officers were actually double agents
of a sort, providing information to the underground Church, in order to warn
true believers of where the secret police where going to hit next. These secret
believers also kept information from the secret police. Now there were a big
number of believers that became informers to inform on the believers so how
could you tell the difference between the two? You cannot on a superficial
level! So it was with Obadiah. By external appearances it seemed that Obadiah
was apostate, that Obadiah had joined forces with God’s enemies. Yet Obadiah
was one of the good guys.

 

But what about
the commandment to ‘come out of her my people’? Should not Obadiah have taken a
stand and left Ahab? God has always had his hand in situations like this and
planted his people in influential places. A look at Daniel proves this case in
point. Daniel did not want to be in that position but he had little choice and
yet even in that position God moved so that he became known as a prophet of
note and preserved a testimony for God’s name in the most unlikeliest
circumstances. This was not a position that Obadiah would have wanted to be in
because he was someone that feared the Lord greatly. He would not have wanted
to face the trial everyday of temptation to go with the flow. He would have
been the odd one out in the court. If he feared the Lord how could he have
joined in all the pagan rites? He could not so why was Obadiah in that
position? Because it was a matter of life and death. In verse 4 we see that
Obadiah was in that position to save God’s prophets from execution. He used his
influence to serve the Lord.

 

But in verse 5 we
read that Ahab and Obadiah were to go through the land to find water. They are
in a desperate situation. They needed water but Ahab would rather seek some
broken cisterns that cannot hold water than turn to God for living water.
Everything with Ahab was about maintaining his society. He only saw the
situation of drought and looked for a solution to curb it rather than seeing
the underlying cause of the drought being spiritual. He was a pragmatist. It is
just like our societies today. We have stopped up our ears and shouted to the
creator ‘we don’t need you, You don’t exist!’ and when God manifests His
displeasure we will ignore it and simply say, as Isaiah 9: 10 portrays, “The
bricks have fallen down, But we will rebuild with smooth stones; The sycamores
have been cut down, But we will replace them with cedars.” In other words God
has judged us but we will come back stronger. Ahab was not even at that stage;
he was merely trying to curb the damage. Ahab’s operation was a salvage
operation. The other thing we do is blame God for it and shake our fist. But
Ahab and Obadiah separate from each other to cover more ground and then Obadiah
meets Elijah. That is to say that even in Obadiah’s situation, to be separated
is still paramount. God is always separating. We see this in Genesis and we see
it in the New Testament. It is God’s apartheid. Then Obadiah could hear the
word of the Lord. ‘Who may ascend the hill of the Lord? He who has clean hands
and a pure heart.’ God told Elijah that He will send rain on the earth. The
drought was caused by Israel’s
apostasy and so for the rains to come back there must be some kind of revival.
Surely God was going to turn the hearts of the children back to their heavenly
Father and Elijah was the instrument that God would use.

 

Verses 7 – 16     Elijah meets Obadiah

 

Obadiah is on his
way, not expecting to see Elijah and Elijah meets him. Now notice Obadiah’s
reaction to Elijah. He falls on his face and calls Elijah his master. Now
although Elijah knows that Ahab is detestable to God, he does not treat Ahab as
if he was a nothing. He recognizes that Ahab has been placed there by God and
as such he acknowledges that Ahab has authority. Thus he says to Obadiah to go
tell ‘his master’ that Elijah is here. Elijah called Ahab, Obadiah’s master.
Obadiah’s allegiance was with the Lord first and foremost, however he was still
under human authority placed there by the Lord, no matter how bad that human
authority was. Romans 13: 1 – 2. This is why the early Christians went
willingly to their deaths on account of Christ. They knew they had broken human
law by following Christ and they were willing to face the death penalty for it.
Why? Because they feared God more than man and yet they did not fight against
the system because they recognized that their rulers were given that authority,
which they used to kill these believers. They were given that authority by God
and as such these believers would not fight against God. As Peter and John said
in Acts 4: 19 – 20, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to give heed to
you rather than to God, you be the judge; for we cannot stop speaking about
what we have seen and heard.” They did not resist authority and yet their
highest allegiance was with God. So too, Elijah acknowledged Ahab’s authority
over Obadiah and respected that. Obadiah is scared at the proposition that
Elijah has set. He has seen God’s hand on Elijah and God’s protection over
Elijah. Obadiah has stuck his neck out on the line for God’s people, one time
by hiding 100 prophets away from Ahab. Ahab and Jezebel wanted to kill Elijah
too, he was a wanted man. Therefore if he told Ahab that Elijah was ready to
meet him and Elijah was whisked away by the Spirit of God, then would Ahab not
have executed Obadiah for letting him escape instead of capturing him? I do not
think we understand the gravity of the situation. Elijah was an enemy of the
state. Elijah was a wanted man, an outlaw who was seen to be terrorizing the
country. It will be the same with the 2 witnesses in Revelation 11: 10. These
men will not be hated because they are religious. They will be equated to
suicide bombers and perpetrators of terror. The offense will not be their
religion. Society is becoming more and more pluralistic. Their offense will be
their fanaticism. They do not fit the system. They can believe whatever they
want but they must not impose their views on others. And who knows, maybe they
will be perceived as worse than suicide bombers, because at least suicide
bombers die when they cause terror. When the two witnesses die at the hand of
the antichrist and his empire the world will act as if it is Christmas. So was
the attitude towards Elijah. Can we see why Obadiah was scared? But Elijah
gives Obadiah his word and that is enough for Obadiah. How trusting he is in
the Word of God and how lacking I often am! With one phrase all fear is stilled
just like Jesus calmed the sea with three words. The sea obeys the Lord much
more than I do. Obadiah goes to Ahab and tells him that Elijah wants to meet
him.

 

Verses 17 – 19   Elijah meets Ahab

 

Now look at
Ahab’s response in contrast to Obadiah’s. Obadiah was respectful, God fearing
and trusting. Ahab was neither. The first words out of Ahab’s mouth are “Is
this you, you troubler of Israel?”
What is Ahab doing here? He is fixing the blame on Elijah. It does not matter
what God has done with Ahab and that he has proved that He is there and He is
angry. It does not matter that God has sent prophets to Israel and given Israel
His law. Ahab still cannot see that his sin caused all this. In his mind the
power lay not with God but with the prophet. It was not that God had commanded
the prophet to speak in this situation but it was that the prophet had spoken.
He was like the deists of the last century who believed that though God may
have made everything, He had made the world to operate in a cause and effect
way, in a closed system, which God could not interfere with. Just as psalm 14:
1 says, “The fool in his heart says there is no God.” But secondly look at how
deceived Ahab is concerning his own sin. He does not see it as sinful and this
speaks as a microcosm of our human, fallen, sinful state. The reason that
mankind shakes his fist at God and hates God when bad things happen is because
mankind believes that it does not deserve this treatment. Just like the two
thieves on the cross. One turns round and says “Are you not the Christ? Save
yourself and us!” The other criminal had a different attitude. He rebuked his
fellow criminal for not fearing God. What was the difference between the two? The
difference between the two was that the second thief admitted that he was
suffering justly. So Ahab cannot see that because he will not acknowledge his
own sinfulness.

 

This is why in
our evangelism, and the testing of ourselves, we must use the Law to bring
people to the cross and to continually return to the cross. This is exactly
what Elijah does. He replies by convicting Ahab of his own sin and stating that
his own apostasy is the cause for the drought. If God warns us about certain
things that He actually despises, if God warns us by sending prophets and bible
teachings to tell us that these things totally displease God; and if we just
shrug it off or try to silence the messengers, can we therefore blame God for
manifesting that displeasure? And so using the Law is a way of showing people
their offense before a holy God, that they may become aware of the displeasure
of God. When a person acknowledges that they have a problem, they may then seek
a solution. That is Elijah’s tact in this situation and with the declaration of
Ahab’s guilt he also offers a challenge that the 450 prophets of Baal and the
400 prophets of Asherah come and meet Carmel with all Israel
observing. 1 Prophet of the Lord against 950 prophets of false gods. We will
see in the next session that the prophets of Asherah did not show up so he
would only face 450 of them. But here we see that Elijah was pitting himself
against 950 false prophets. Who had the majority? Who was most likely to win?
Who was out numbered? Elijah had the majority. Why? Because Elijah had the
infinite creator God on his side. There are a few things that I would like to
add before I conclude.

 

Firstly, God is
the one who was leading Elijah to do this. There is no way that Elijah would
stick his neck out on the line if it was not God leading him. This was not
about Elijah challenging the Baals and the Asherah but it was about obeying the
One who Elijah stood before.

 

Secondly, these
prophets were worshipping false gods. These were dumb idols and such religions
that worship dumb idols feed off superstition. God finds idolatry a joke
because all this power is attributed to a thing that has lips but cannot speak,
hands that cannot do, feet that cannot walk and if it falls it needs a human being
to prop it back up again. This is the ‘powerful’ god that these prophets were
worshipping.

 

But thirdly, as
one Christian once asked. “How many whole Christians do a thousand half
Christians make? A thousand half Christians do not even amount to a single
whole Christian!” There was only one real prophet that would make it to Mount Carmel and that was only Elijah. All the pillow
prophets were phonies.

 

Elijah was
looking for revival and would do anything God required to see it happening.
With an ‘Elijah’ people will have two reactions. Either they will be like
Obadiah, who was reverent, God fearing and trusting, or they will be like Ahab
who hated the prophet. Ahab blamed Elijah for the drought. What attitude do we
have to the word of God in our daily lives? Are we reverent or do we think of
it all as a joke? Also, when unbelievers look at us, they will not understand
us. Our lives testify to the miracle of God’s intervention in our lives. But
they will rationalize that out of the equation and reckon it to be some innate
power within ourselves. Elijah had to tell the kings sin to his face. He
convicted the king about his idolatry and challenged him. He was willing to
face 950 prophets to testify to the Power of the one true, living God. He
completely trusted in the Lord to come through.

 

Do we desire some
kind of revival in our lives and the lives of those we touch? Are we obedient?
Will we face false shepherds if God leads us that way? Will we endure reproach
for the sake of Christ? Will our fear of God lead to positive action?  Are we like Elijah and Obadiah or are we like
Ahab?

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One Comment
  1. Sue Wells permalink

    The Aloes are beautiful and your service to the Lord is a sweet fragrance to Him xxx

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