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Msindisi newsletter # 84

September 3, 2011

SALVADOR & DIANNE’S MSINDISI MONTHLY

NUMBER:      84       Sep 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,

Dear Friends and family,

We started the month of August in Stanger when we went with a small group of Vryheid and Louwsburg believers to hear Jacob Prasch. The day before we got to meet Chris De Wet and his wife from Moriel Bloemfontein who stayed with us at the house we were staying at. It was wonderful to get to know them a little and hear their testimony of salvation. Also, the same night, Jonny, Phumlani, Thabi and Girly from the Bible fellowship arrived to stay overnight and hear Jacob the next day. It was a lovely time of fellowship that was had by all as the next day some of our friends from Vryheid were able to come through for a braai we had at midday. That morning Phumlani and Thabi were able to go to the sea which was an awesome experience as they had never before been to the sea or the beach. At Church at Sunday Phumlani thanked the Lord for giving such an opportunity. But at Stanger on Saturday Jacob preached two good messages, one on Rahab and the scarlet cord and the other on the rash vow of Jephthah which resulted in offering up his daughter as a sacrifice. The message spoke to us personally, encouraging us and challenging us, especially in the words ‘how dare we remind the Lord of someone’s repentant sins that He has chosen to forget’! We were so grateful to the Lord that he led us down for these meetings. Girly also appreciated Jacob’s warnings concerning Rick Warren which consolidated things that she had been told by others but she said that Jacob put it in a way that she understood.

The same night we drove back to make it for the meeting on Sunday. At Church Kim, from the Bible fellowship, brought some ladies from Louwsburg who spoke Zulu to the Sunday morning meeting. These ladies want to come to church once a month so we have been praying and will speak to them tomorrow about doing a weekly bible study in Louwsburg. On the following Tuesday we had our cell meeting at Girly’s place and did our final session on Revelation. The next day we both went to Gauteng, Springs, as Salvi was due to visit Zimbabwe on thursday for a week while Di would stay with Sue Wells as Allen was going to the UK for the wedding of their son, Clayton to Jessie Schilling. On the way though to Springs we stopped by our good friend Veronica Bekker who with her husband has been a great source of encouragement and support over the last few years. It was great to hear testimonies of fellowship found among biblically based brethren in Secunda. We trust they will continue faithfully the Lord. Our good friend, Mujuru had recommended the trip for Salvi to see the church work of his friend Noah Mataruse. Noah pastors a network of cell groups which meet together for the Sunday service. However the focus is not on the Sunday meetings but on the cell gatherings. Here is the report of Salvi’s trip to Harare.

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I left Springs on Thursday the 11th of August to get to Zimbabwe. Was supposed to arrive in Harare at 12:30 the next day but with the border post delay and several police stops on the way through arrived more like 3:00 pm. What I found surprising was that the police, knowing that the bus was running late gave the driver of the bus a fine for being late, which I learned from the guy sitting next to me was according to the Law in Zimbabwe. I was settled in a nice house off the building of another church that is under the same umbrella as Noah’s church.

One thing that I noticed was the posters advertising the catch the fire conference with these strange new prophets and apostles, such as ‘Prophet Makandiwa’, who get rich off the desperation and the hopes of the people to whom they say God will make you rich and bless you if you give to our ministry. It upset me to see such deception and exploitation that I would rather them tell people the truth about them selves by renaming the conference to the more accurate designation of ‘Catch the strange fire’ such is what they are offering people. Upon hearing the stories of utter hardships everybody experienced just a few years back when the Zimbabwean dollar was being used and the reserve bank was causing hyperinflation by printing more money due to corruption within the reserve bank I grew even more distasteful towards these megachurches in Harare. Also I have a dislike for the fact that American speakers will facilitate their popularity by accepting invitations to speak at their events or congregations such as Joyce Meyer, who is a false teacher of the prosperity gospel kind – though much subtler than someone like John Avanzini and there were posters for John Maxwell who was speaking at another of these mega churches. Just a few years ago my friends were saying that the inflation doubled and trebled within a day. A person would go to work simply to hold his post until things got better. Someone one day would earn maybe 20 trillion Zim dollars, it would cost him 20 trillion dollars to get a taxi to town. When work finished that day they would get to the taxi rank only to find out that the taxi fare had gone up to 40 trillion dollars. Within one day the money that you had in the morning would become worthless by evening so people would leave trillions of dollars to be blown by the wind. Because of the uncertainty of how much value their money would retain people abandoned an ethic of saving and turned to a mindset of spending. People did not let money sit in their hands for too long, as soon as you got money you spent it. Some companies really helped their employees by obtaining food and paying their staff in money and in food, with food being of more worth than the salary. Stories were told to me of how the supermarkets were flooded with people cueing up to purchase the one item of food that decorated an isle of otherwise empty shelves. No wonder people flock to these false teachers offering them a false and unbiblical hope. My friends there call these guys the new charismatics who are in league and networked with many of these mega churches. For so many dollars a person can buy a handkerchief that can be used to claim anything that the buyer wants. If you buy one of these unholy handkerchiefs and see a car you want then just wipe that car with the handkerchief and God will give you that car. Because not enough handkerchiefs are produced to meet demand the price of them can be increased so as to make more money out of people. There is another prophet there who apparently sells airtime which only allows the person to phone the prophet when he needs some time to speak with the prophet. Such were some of the stories I heard. I also gained opportunity to witness to some members from the End Time Church, a mega church that follow the teachings and ministry of deceased William Branham. They attempted to witness to me about him and asked if I thought if William Branham was a prophet. I replied by saying that I thought that he was a prophet of Satan. Then I explained why, because William taught that God said those who believe that God is one God in three persons are of the Devil, that women are lower than dogs, that the pyramids and the horoscope are equal to the bible and that the spoken word is more important than the written Word of God. They pointed to the signs and miracles that William Branham did and though I showed them that the miracles that the false prophet will do will be even greater so miracles do not prove anything two of the guys were not swayed. However one guy was a little shaken and I managed to get someone to give him Noah’s phone number if he wanted to talk more about this.

But visiting the various cell groups was a pleasure and though I felt some in depth bible teaching ministry was lacking from the cell situation I was sincerely challenged by the practicality of their discipleship within the cell situation. They want to know where and how their fellow cell members will apply the message they heard on Sunday. It is a very interactive situation where the cell leader will talk for 30% of the time and the cell members should talk for 70% of the time as the members summarize the message concerning what they learned, share their understanding of the key biblical texts and ask how they each can apply it personally. Such a simple format but very practical and effective. I have started to implement that in discipleship with Jabulani, Mkhulu and Tholakele and seen some positive results already with them starting to meet with each other every day to pray for 15 minutes or so. But this was basically my trip to Zimbabwe. I see how people are doing a little better since they started using the American dollar and the South African rand for their currency. However Zimbabwe consumes more food than it can produce to meet the need so the supermarkets import their stock from South Africa which doubles the prices that would be charged for the food in South Africa. 1 litre of Yoghurt for instance in South Africa can cost between R14-R20 depending on where you buy. In Zim I worked out that the yoghurt in one supermarket was being sold for R30-R40. But I thank God for the people I met there and trust the Lord will grant Phumlani a chance to visit them in the future.

_________

When Salvi got back we managed to visit a friend of his from Facebook called Gavin and it was lovely to experience the mutual encouragement in the Lord. Then we went to visit a couple called Rob and Rosa in Bedfordview. Their son in law, Joe Rumley, has been a very good friend of Salvi’s for several years so it was great to catch up with him and his wife. On the Monday Allen Wells had already hooked up a skype connection between Sue’s computer and a laptop in the UK so we could all view the wedding and reception of Clayton and Jessie Wells with the wedding conducted by Clayton’s pastor, Tony Pearce. Clayton is a godly young man who has really grown since becoming a member of the bridge lane fellowship. He is now a youth pastor there in the church. With us were also mutual family friends Riaan, Debbie and kids all squashed together in Allen and Sue’s home along with Sue’s good friend Lillian and the wife of the best man who went to the UK for the wedding.

We came back to Kwazulu Natal the next morning with Riaan and Debbie’s daughter who will be staying with us till late September. She has really fitted in well at the Kraal and gets on well with Phumlani and Thabi. We hope that she will write a report of her stay here to put on the website. While we were in Gauteng we started with immobilizer trouble in the bakkie (small truck that we own) and when we got back we found we couldn’t get to Home cell that evening for the engine wouldn’t start. We thank the Lord that our friends at The baptist church were so gracious to help us out again and now the bakkie is working like a dream again. On the Friday our friend Joe Rumley came out to visit us with his father in law, Rob and we had a great time of fellowship at Jonny and Kim’s with a study on attacks from the enemy and how biblically we are to deal with them. Everybody shared and contributed to the discussion which kept things vibrant and multifaceted. In fact this Tuesday night we started a study on Jude and managed to cover the first two verses as Salvi facilitated the discussion with lots of questions and filled in gaps by other scripture references of meanings of words in Greek and in Hebrew. We had a wonderful study and Girly especially enjoyed it. We managed to catch up with another person from the study on monday who is going through some struggles in her walk but we pray for her and are so glad she has shown determination to keep on with the Lord. We visited another friend also who is in difficult times.

This month we are faced with having to visit home affairs in Newcastle (in KwaZulu Natal, SA not in the north of England) as there has been a mistake with Di’s visa application made which she must rectify. She is teaching the kids club this weekend with our visiting friend, Bianca and next week they teach the kids at Care Bear preschool. We have been taking our friend to the hospital a couple of times this week to visit her husband who has been readmitted after not faring too well with the amputation of his second leg. We are hoping this will give opportunity to witness to him. Di has also been straight back into clinic runs and expects to do a few more especially as Phumlani’s sister in law is very I’ll at the moment and is taking ARV medication. It is a sad reality in the areas around where we live but sadder that AIDS is so close to home as far as Phumlani’s family goes.

Our friend Mark Van Niekerk is going to Israel in Oct this year for a short term mission trip. To learn more about the work please visit the website http://www.hazorim.org .

Thank you for your prayers, friendship, support and encouragement. May the Lord bless you and keep you.

Shalom aleichem baShem Yeshua, Salvi and Di

ELIJAH AND ELISHA
THE REVIVAL THAT FAILED TO HAPPEN
PART 5
1 Kings 18: 40 – 19: 18

Elijah desired a revival. If you remember from the last session Elijah had a show down with 450 prophets of Ba’al and was bringing Israel to a day of decision. They had been without rain for 3 and a half years. The rain was a symbol that God was withholding His Spirit and His word. Thus when Elijah took on the prophets of Ba’al he must have been expecting a revival. If God had withheld the rains because of the nation’s apostasy, then with the rains coming back it must have meant that the nation would repent. Even Elijah’s prayer in 18: 37 expresses Elijah’s expectation of revival and when the fire fell all the people acknowledged the supremacy of the God of Israel. The people declare the majesty of the LORD. So what happens after Israel start to praise the LORD alone? Elijah deals with three parties. The first party Elijah faces is the prophets of Ba’al. The second party that Elijah deals with is King Ahab and the third is the LORD Himself.

ELIJAH AND THE PROPHETS OF BA’AL (18: 40)

The first thing that Elijah does is slay the prophets of Ba’al. In the Law, in Deuteronomy 13: 5 we read that false prophets were to be put to death. It was to purge the evil from among them. Again we read the same in Deuteronomy 18: 20 false prophets were to be put to death. As long as those prophets are allowed to continue they will continue to spread their heresy and blasphemy among God’s people. This was not a result of revival, that Elijah did this, but it was in anticipation of revival. These things must be put aside for any real and meaningful fellowship to take place. Think of the communion service. Though we are all many, we are one body because we all partake of one bread. 1 Corinthians 5: 6 – 13. There was a person who had his father’s wife. Not meaning his natural mother but most probably a step mother. He had uncovered his own fathers nakedness but this was not the biggest problem. The biggest problem was that it was not being dealt with. Paul steps in and makes a decision for them, that that person must be handed over to Satan. Why? Because that sin does not only affect that person but it will spread through out the whole people of God with whom such a person meets. It is one thing to struggle with a sin and everyone knows it to be wrong but extend grace and prayerful and practical support. It is quite another to live in it with everyone else tolerating it. That is so whether it be immorality, covetousness, drunkardness, swindling, false teaching, malice etc. A little leaven leavens the whole dough. This teaching finds its root in the Passover seder where at the beginning of the meal they would get rid of the leaven. Elijah was doing the same thing, he was getting rid of the leaven in accordance with the Mosaic Law. Notice the same order of service with Elijah and Israel in this situation as the Passover and communion. Firstly there is a purging of the leaven and only after that is there eating and drinking, as in verse 41. Before the rains come there has to be a purging of the leaven. As Jacob Prasch says in his message on Biblical revival you have to tear down before you can build up. It would have been pointless to build up on a foundation that was rotten to the core anyway. In Jeremiah 1: 10 Jeremiah is told that in his ministry he was appointed over nations, to pluck up and break down, to destroy and to overthrow and to build and to plant. Notice the destroying work precedes the building work. If the foundation isn’t sure, the building will not stand.

ELIJAH AND AHAB 18: 41 – 46

So we have seen how Elijah dealt with the prophets of Ba’al. He purged the land of the false prophets. However his treatment of Ahab is somewhat different. He firstly tells Ahab to go up, eat and drink. Ahab was to celebrate in anticipation of the rain that is to come. Ahab was a king that was worse than all the rest. He well exceeded the boundaries that other kings before him had crossed. And now Elijah shows him grace. It is Ahab who opened the door way and was responsible for the prevalence of Ba’al worship in the northern kingdom. He was responsible for the current apostasy. But Elijah shows him grace. This is no doubt a foretaste of the grace that God would show to Ahab in 21: 29. Think of this in terms of friends and family who once identified themselves with God’s people. God is still willing to show his grace to a penitent backslider. If God could do that with Ahab, he can do it with you and me. This proclamation must have been made as a fulfilment of the word Elijah gave Ahab in 17: 1 where he said that there would be neither dew nor rain except by Elijah’s word. Here we see that Elijah states that there is the sound of the roar of a heavy shower and yet in the physical realm what do we find? Nothing. There is not even a cloud in the sky. The rains would not come except by Elijah’s word but when Elijah uttered the word, nothing happened. Was Elijah wrong to boast that the rains would come by his word? No. What we have is a picture of faith. Elijah spoke the word by faith. He hung on to the promise of God’s Word despite outward appearances and trusted the Lord. You see Elijah knew that these things happened because God moved His hand. It was not a matter that Elijah’s words had some kind of innate power but that God was the one who had to move His hand. So what does Elijah do next? Does he start to pray harder or to use some kind of method or ritual to cause it to happen? Not in the slightest. Rather, Elijah does absolutely nothing. He sits down and puts his head between his knees. He does not pay a tithe or try to positively confess it harder. He simply waits. And he waits for a few reasons. Firstly we see that Ahab is partying, by command of Elijah but Elijah does not. In this we see a picture of Biblical faith. Faith speaks of something future and regards it as something present. We are saved by faith. By faith we experience salvation in the present that will only be completed in the future. Faith is the evidence of things not seen. Thus whatever is of faith has to be realised. In other words, Elijah was not on some head trip thinking that there was rain when there was not any. Elijah knew the rain was a given. He heard the sound of it with spiritual ears but because he could hear it he waited until he saw the completion of the promise. We are saved by faith. Salvation is a given, we perceive it with spiritual ears as the Spirit of adoption within us cries out, ‘Abba Father’ but we must be attentive and be living in the hope of its completion or realisation. Secondly Elijah is living out the godly principle of waiting on the Lord in silence. Psalm 62: 1 & 5. God is separate from us and thus it is His hands who does all these things. If God just worked at our beck and call then we would start to think it is us. By God’s delay He is keeping us dependant upon Him.

Elijah sends out his servant 7 times before the servant sees anything. There are seven seals before seven trumpets in Revelation, there are seven trumpets before seven bowls and there are seven bowls before Jesus comes back. The Israelites marched round the walls of Jericho for 7 days and on the seventh day they marched round seven times and then they blew seven trumpets. And at the end the land was given to them. Seven is a number denoting completeness. And even at the end what is seen at first is only a small insignificant cloud. Just like the first Christians were a small insignificant number about 120 in all in the upper room in acts but on the day of Pentecost, the number just exploded. The nation of Israel will repent in one day and call on the Lord, ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord’. This cloud, though small would suddenly grow into something huge. The world thinks the Lord is slow about His return because He has taken 2000 years but the events around Jesus’ return will happen very quickly, in the space of 7 years. When it happens it happens quickly and starts off slower but builds up apace; and so Elijah tells Ahab, you better run. You better get out of there quick because the rains are coming and the rains are coming hard. And Ahab complies obediently. Ahab celebrates with the people that the Lord is God and he is obedient. They have slain the false prophets and lastly the rains have come. Surely this is significant of revival. Surely it was guaranteed to happen. But one problem. Though the prophets had been slain, Jezebel was not. I guess it is a bit like trying to stop suicide bombers without sorting out the people sending them out. It is like trying to stop the bullets without trying to stop the people who are shooting them at you. You might stop the prophets but Jezebel is the one behind the prophets and as long as she is there she will fight back tooth and nail. She will send more.

ELIJAH AND THE LORD 19: 1 – 18

So the revival was guaranteed was it? And yet what became of it? Jezebel hits back harder. Many people look at Elijah and think that this is a funny thing that Elijah took on 450 prophets, slew them and took on Ahab but cowered at one threat of a woman. Although this may prove that his former courage was of the Lord and not from himself, it must be remembered that it was Ahab’s marriage to Jezebel that took Israel as far down the route as they did. It was no doubt Ahab’s fault because he had the responsibility but the false gods came from Jezebel’s country. Thus for Jezebel to hit harder meant that all the work at Carmel seemed to be undone. Elijah was expecting revival but instead he got death threats and this brings Elijah into deep depression. In the wilderness, Elijah requests for his own death. He was expecting victory and now he felt defeated. The reason that he asks to die is because he acknowledges that he is no better than his fathers. In other words Elijah is saying, ‘I have done everything that was needed, I gave Your word faithfully, I lived on bread and quail, I went to the Gentile widow and took her hospitality and then I challenged 450 false prophets, seeing fire fall down from heaven and slaying the prophets and still no revival. Lord kill me now for I am no better than Samuel, or David or Joel or Hosea. Kill me now, I am a failure.’ Surely with the spectacular feat accomplished at the hand of Elijah, where fire came down from heaven, with the rains coming, surely there would be revival and instead there was only death threats. What is the point? Why try anymore, it is hopeless?! You give and you do and you try but nothing happens! How does God reply to him? Does he just tell him to pull himself together? Sometimes that is needed with a person, but not in this case. Does God initially give any answer? No. Firstly Elijah is strengthened for a journey.

God does not always answer our questions quickly. Sometimes we have to go through something first. Psalm 25: 5, we see that even in God’s teaching of us, we still have to wait. When Job was in His dilemma God had to lead him through the valley of the shadow of death before He spoke to him. And it was through that journey/experience that Job learned the truth of resurrection (Job 14: 14). So there is a journey to undergo before things are revealed. God takes us from the place where we are. Also for some answers we must be willing to seek and to seek. This is it with the scripture also. Revelation is one such book. The Gospel is simple and able to be understood by all Christians but Revelation is a book that is based upon the rest of scripture and therefore it demands us to work hard at studying the other books of scripture. Proverbs 2: 1 – 5. Seek for wisdom as for silver and search for her as for hidden treasure and after that we will be able to discern the fear of the Lord and discover the knowledge of God because the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge. Thus when James says to ask for wisdom without doubting, underpinning that asking is the seeking and waiting and the fear of the LORD. Elijah had to journey long and hard to get some answers as to the seeming failure of a revival. But the power and enabling to be able to walk the path came from the Lord. Twice an angel told him to get up and eat. The eating was followed by a fast for 40 days and 40 nights. A wilderness experience of trial and testing. How much did Elijah want God’s answer we do not know but we can see that even in his confusion and depression that Elijah was still obedient to the Lord. We cannot control our feelings. But we can control our actions. We might not be able to stop feeling depressed but we can choose to obey despite the way we feel.

So Elijah came across a cave and stayed there and we see that Jesus comes to meet him. How do we know it is Jesus? Because the Word of the Lord comes to Him and who is the Word? Jesus. Jesus asks him a question which is, ‘What are you doing here, Elijah?’ You see Elijah saw only failure and defeat but God saw a work for Elijah to do. Elijah is disappointed but God is not in the least bit surprised. What are you doing here Elijah? All God wants from us is obedience and faithfulness. That is all. We sometimes have big and grandiose visions of how we perceive things will be. When they do not work out we get dejected. But God is not in the least bit surprise and His answer to us is, ‘I never asked you to do that and I never promised it to you in the first place, what are you doing here?’ You see, what Elijah did, did not see a complete fulfillment but it was a mere foretaste of the harvest to come. It was not the reality but a shadow of the reality. Elijah could not perceive it and in one sense, he did not have to. All God wanted was obedience. What are you doing here Elijah, away from the battlefield, did I command you to leave? Did I tell you that you were a failure? The people had seen God’s power manifest, they had seen the evidence. The rains had come back. There should have been a total revival. As Elijah said, and I paraphrase, “I have been zealous but my zeal is of no use because the people still do not turn back. I have given my all for their salvation but the only thanks I get is death threats. I am the only prophet left prophesying but they will not respond or turn. It is useless, I have had enough.”

You see Elijah had misunderstood something. He thought because of the fireworks that the restoration would then happen. There would be complete repentance and everything would be sorted. His hopes were high and so God has to teach him a very important lesson. What is it that brings people to repentance? You see, firstly God sends a great, mighty wind but God is not in the wind. That is the opposite mentality to the signs and wonders crowd. ‘Where the wind is strongest and where mighty things are happening, that is where God is at! That is the main ingredient for revival!’ But God isn’t in the wind. And then there was an earthquake. But God is not in the earth shattering either. More pertinent to Elijah is the fire. God sent the fire from heaven. The people should have returned because they had seen the fire but neither is God in the fire. Where do we find God? In the still, small voice. In other words, there must be the conviction of the Holy Spirit. People are not going to truly repent because they see massive signs and wonders. People will repent when they hear the still small voice of the conviction of the Holy Spirit. You see, what Elijah experienced was only a prophetic foreshadowing concerning the final salvation of Israel. What God was saying in this is that I am not going to turn their hearts through my works that correspond to the mosaic covenant but I will turn their hearts through the work of the New Covenant. The Spirit was yet to be given. All Elijah was getting was a foretaste.

Elijah still responds with the same statement of being the only prophet left, although I am sure that he did not say those words in the same way. God tells him to go. Elijah wants to hang up the towel but God will not allow him to do so yet. He must anoint three people. Firstly he is to anoint, Hazael as King over Aram, then Jehu as king over Israel and lastly he is to anoint Elisha as prophet in his place. God will answer Elijah’s prayers and relieve him of duty but first there must be someone to take on the ministry to be trained up first. You see, why does God not answer our prayers instantly sometimes, even oftentimes? Because God has got more on His agenda than you or I even realise. His purposes stretch far beyond the tiny prism of our moment by moment existence. But God never despises the prayers or heart desire of His people though He may seem to take His time about answering them. And lastly God comforts Elijah for the meantime in saying, ‘You are not the only one left! I will keep 7,000 in Israel who have not bowed the knee to Ba’al.’ Maybe you are the only one in your circle of friends or in you church or family who will not go ‘purpose driven’, ‘emergent’ or ecumenical. You will not side with the Roman Catholic Church and you are rejected for it. You are not the only one. God still keeps His people. We must have an eternal perspective and rely on the Holy Spirit to convict the hearts of the ones we love. Without Christ working in us, we can do nothing.

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