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Msindisi newsletter # 90

February 1, 2012

SALVADOR & DIANNE’S MSINDISI MONTHLY

NUMBER:      88       Jan 2012

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,

Greetings in the most wonderful name of Jesus. We hope you are all well. Well after we returned home from house sitting on the 2nd of Jan Di had clothes to sort through graciously given by some people in Vryheid with some old books. Di gave out the clothes and had a clinic run to do the following day. Salvi continued discipling with the guys from Alpha. There is definite signs of growth though sometimes they have problems in coming to the Sunday meetings. However they rarely miss the discipleship classes where we have been spending much time on the basic doctrines of the faith. It has been interactive with many questions posed to them. Salvi has just finished a lesson with them based on Jacob Prasch’s message ‘Christ, the foundation’. It is a message that says that there are many truths in scripture but there is only one ‘the truth’ and ‘the truth is Jesus. When you take ‘a truth’ and treat it as foundational truth you turn ‘a truth’ into ‘a lie’. How very apt in the area that we minister into where churches build on many different focuses. In our first cell group of the year Phumlani taught us concerning Christ being the rock on which the church is built and how we are to stick together as blocks cemented together. He said that he was inspired for the message while building his extra room for his hut. He has almost finished and his hut is now a home with three rooms. Phumlani is such a hard worker. At the cell, Phumlani’s sister, Celani, and his niece Khethiwe also attended. On the Sunday afternoon we went to visit Salvi’s friend, Tony who was visiting from New Zealand. His sister lives in Vryheid and runs a guest house. In fact Tony and his sister, among other people, were instrumental in the directing of Salvi and his friends, Caleb and Sophie to this area in starting the KwaZulu Mission 10 years ago.

The next wednesday after Cell we went down to the brethren in Stanger to Calvin Josiah, Mark Van Niekerk and the church there for 5 days. We planned it so that it would not interfere with home cell and discipleship. We also planned it around the time that Khethiwe needed to go back to Durban south in order to do her second year of studies in Business management. This saved her catching taxis. But upon reaching the area of umhlanga our bakkie/ute/truck overheated due to a leaking water pipe. Fortunately no damage was done to the engine but it was hard for the garage to fix it as the whole pipe was corroded and so it did not respond well to welding. They patched up the hole with epoxy eventually but this gave us some time to visit umhlanga which happened to be right on the sea. We were able to take Khethiwe paddling in the sea. Khethiwe had never been to the sea before and she waded in to her knees and was truly excited by the experience. She said that the sea reminded her of how big God is. When the bakkie was fixed we rushed Khethiwe to the place where she is living in the south of Durban and got to Mark and Marie Anne’s place in Stanger who received us with a warm welcome, lovely food and a kind reception from Dean and Taryn also, who are their son and daughter in law. During our time staying with them we got the opportunity to witness to a really nice guy called Dave who is searching for truth and had many thoughts that he is thinking through. It was a pleasure talking to him and he and Mark may be visiting us in Northern Natal in the future. Salvi taught three sessions over the weekend and did a questions and answers session also. The first teaching was on Friday evening concerning John 1 and the new creation. And the two sessions on Sunday were about the miracles of Jesus in John being signs pointing to Jesus and revealing His glory. On Monday morning we shared a breakfast with Calvin, the pastor there and his wife Jean before heading back. While in Stanger Di made contact with a group called Natural Balance to buy 10 wonder bags. The wonder bags are heat retention cookers which cook food that has been heated for 5-15 minutes on a stove element. The food is then placed in the bags which retains the heat , not letting it escape, this allows the food to cook through slowly for about hour. As you can tell from the title the company believes in the myth that people are causing climate change. However the bags are brilliant for the people in the local community for it will help them save on their gas, thus saving them money by making their gas last longer. Di had come across them when friends called Debbie and Riaan gave her one. Di was so impressed she thought it would be fantastic for the women of our community. This month she has sold all ten to local women, giving them demonstrations concerning how they work. The response was so good that in the future we will purchase more and have various women in the local areas responsible for collecting data and monies so that they can receive a small income from the sales.

This month the older gentleman who Di had rushed to hospital because the ambulance did not arrive, sadly died from a stoke, also the man she often takes to clinic was hospitalise in Mountain View hospital with TB.
Sal has spoken to this man several times about the gospel but he is convinced he is right with God and God is fine with him honouring and sacrificing to his dead ancestors. Tradition and culture cannot replace the truth of the scriptures.

Di started her reading lessons with Tholakele again for the year and she is is making progress slowly. Her desire is to read the bible for herself.

Finally we have received no further news about visas. Di’s visa application is still in process. We have received news that they will now fast track it, that was in Dec last year. Her last visa ran out in Feb 2011.
As for Salvi’s application for special consideration for permanent residence… For those of you who don’t know, Salvi although being in the country on and off for 10 years, has only continuously been in the country for 6 years this April. He was in the UK working between Dec 2004 and April 2006. Normally a person can apply for permanent residence if they have been in the country for 5 years on a work permit. However Salvi have been here on a visitor’s permit. Salvi does not qualify under any category to apply for permanent residence. However through the advice of a believer who works for home affairs Salvi has put together a port folio, application form and testimonies of 20 something ministers, company directors and even the local chief and a petition of over 150 local signatures with the request that a special exception be made for Salvi to get permanent residence. Last month we got news that the particular office of Home Affairs which are handling the case in Pretoria, are making application in Salvi’s place that Salvi be granted Deviation. Deviation means that Salvi be granted permission to apply outside of the regular process. As Home Affairs are doing this it means that they believe that Salvi has a case and if Salvi is granted permanent residence it will not matter if Di gets her visa granted or not as she will be able to apply for permanent residence also. So we will keep you updated in our newsletters as and when news comes in.

We thank you all for your prays and support, may the lord richly bless you as we labour together in His work.

Shalom

Salvi and Di

P.S Please don’t forget to look at Salvi’s petition concerning ecumenism in the Lausanne consultation for Jewish Evangelism which has been signed by several people including Jacob Prasch and others from Moriel ministries and Jackie Alnor among other people. For more information please visit http://www.lausannecje.wordpress.com and for the petition please visit http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/lcje

ELIJAH AND ELISHA
GOD’S GRACE TO JEHORAM ON ACCOUNT OF JEHOSHAPHAT
PART 11
2 Kings 3

In the last session we looked at the start of Elisha’s ministry and how he is a picture of the Messiah. To those who accepted Him, He became the source of blessing, salvation and purification. But to those who rejected him he became a source of cursing. Elisha cleansed the contaminated water through salt. And so it is with Jesus. Jesus tells us that we are the salt of the earth and he says that to us who follow Jesus’ teaching. It is not profession of Christ that makes us the salt of the earth but the obedience to Christ that does so. Also to be salt means that we lay on the altar anything that might be a stumbling block for us in our faith or for other people’s faith. The sacrifice of these things for the LORD is given to the High Priest and the family of the High Priest. In this we are salt. And so we experience a freshness and newness of life, a cleansing and salvation. Salt acts as a preservative. We are in the world but we are not of it. So we will see that the presence of the good king Jehoshaphat in this passage brings deliverance to Israel in this battle.

What we read of in this passage is the participation of the good King Jehoshaphat with the evil King Jehoram in battle. There is deliverance for Jehoram through the participation of Jehoshaphat but even so, does that make it right? Should we participate with evil pastors? In the Old Testament, God called the kings of different people shepherds. Both a shepherd and a king are rulers. Pastoral ministry includes the activity of ruling. Not as Gentile rulers which lord it over the people but as servant leaders. As Jesus said, the greatest among you must be servant of all. These questions we will deal with but let us read the passage bit by bit.

1 – 12 JEHOSHAPHAT’S PARTICIPATION WITH JEHORAM.

If you remember back to chapter one you may remember that Ahab’s son Ahaziah, an evil king that was just like his parents, died. Ahaziah had no son and thus the regency passed onto his brother, Jehoram. Ahaziah became king in the 17th year of Jehoshaphat’s reign and he reigned for 2 years. But Jeroboam became king in the 18th year of Jehoshaphat’s reign. Now the reason that these numbers do not seem to add up is because of the way the Jews counted a year of someone’s reign. If you became president of a company in March 2007 and your presidency was to terminate in the May of 2008 you would say that that person was president for one year and 2 months. But as Alfred Edersheim explains in his Bible History Old Testament, the Jews of the day would count the New Year from the month of Nissan (the month of Passover) and a king’s reign that extended beyond that, no matter how briefly the reign after that month would be counted as a second year of reign. Thus we would count 2007 as one year of rule and count 2008 as another year of rule. Thus you would have been president for 2 years. So we see that in the seventeenth year of Jehoshaphat’s reign Ahaziah became king and he reigned during the 17th year and the 18th year which would make a total of 2 years. And thus we see that Jehoram became king in the 18th year. The other discrepancy that people may point out is that in chapter 1: 17 Jehoram became king in the 2nd year of the reign of Jehoshaphat’s son, who also was called Jehoram, but in chapter 3: 1 we read that he became king in the 18th year of Jehoshaphat’s reign. So which king was on the throne? There is a plausible explanation that Wesley gave. The same time that Ahaziah became king was the same time that Ahab had been killed in a battle that he fought with Jehoshaphat where they were warned by the Prophet Micaiah that Ahab would not return safely. (1 Kings 22: 27 – 28) Jehoshaphat was a king that feared God and always asked to hear from a prophet of God. Thus it is highly likely that he would have instated his son as a Viceroy in his place in case he did not make it alive out of the battle. Thus during the 2nd year of Jehoram, the son of Jehoshaphat (being Viceroy), Jehoram the son of Ahab becomes king of Israel.

Now Jehoram was an evil king. He was not as bad as his parents. He did away with the Ba’al worship, at least officially he took a stance. But he still went in the same way as Jeroboam. In 1 Kings 12: 28 – 32 Jeroboam set up 2 calves, one in Bethel and one in Dan. This was to stop the people going to Jerusalem in order to worship the Lord. He changed the pattern that God had shown Moses with the tabernacle and that God had shown David concerning the temple. (1 Chr 28: 19) Jeroboam eliminated all of this and, just like the Israelites claimed that Aaron’s calf was the god who brought them out of Egypt so also, Jeroboam claimed that these calves were the gods that brought them out of Egypt. Jehoram was worshipping the calves. But the calves were not as bad as Ba’al worship. Even if we repent from gross sin. Maybe we have repented from Buddhism or Islam. If we join the Roman Catholic Church and partake in the Mass or use the rosary we are still not right before God. We are still partaking in idolatry. Even with Jehoram’s repentance God still calls him evil. We do not know why Jehoram did this? We can see from this passage that Jehoram wanted to regain the kingdom. When Ahab died the king of Moab rebelled. And he probably gained courage from the victory that the king of Aram gained over Ahab. Jehoram would have known that Elijah had prophesied against Ahab’s house because of Ba’al worship. So if we put 2 and 2 together we see it is likely that he got rid of Ba’al worship so that he could regain the kingdom. If this is true it was not a real repentance but a political move in order to regain power over the Moabites.

Now Jehoshaphat was different. He was a good king and revered God to a great extent except for one area. He was weak in the area of alliances. He kept allying himself with the wicked kings of Israel. In verse 7 we see that King Jehoram wanted to use Jehoshaphat’s help. Jehoshaphat was strong and rich and thus he was a pretty good ally to have. Though Ahab’s household had lost the servitude of the Moabites, Jehoshaphat had Edom in subjection. Where did the problem spring from? Why was Jehoshaphat a sucker for this kind of participation? 2 Chr 18: 1. There is much wisdom in the biblical precept ‘do not be unequally yoked’, and ‘bad company corrupts good morals’. He married into Ahab’s family. He not only married into them but he allied himself with Ahab through marriage. Now was this such a bad thing? Many people marry unbelievers and ally themselves with unbelievers. It is not necessarily wrong to do the same is it? Look also at Jehoshaphat’s character. In verse 11 he asks if there is a prophet of the Lord. He is seeking the Lord in his actions. Surely Jehoshaphat should help Jehoram out because by doing this he might be able to reach Jehoram. How could he be a good witness to these evil kings if he did not help Ahab, Ahaziah or Jehoram out? 1 Chr 19: 2. There is a difference between reproving someone or sharing the truth with them and participating in their enterprises. The King was leading the people astray and thus God was heavy on Jehoshaphat for helping him out. By loving those who hated the Lord, Jehoshaphat was bringing wrath on himself. He rode in Ahab’s chariot and got confused for being Ahab. Those who remain in Babylon will suffer the judgment of Babylon. Rev 18: 4. It is important that we do not use this verse to be introspective and cut ourselves off from people, but when it comes to helping ungodly groups, organizations, and multifaith initiatives we dare not ride with them in their endeavors. Jehoshaphat not only got reprimanded for his cooperation with Ahab, but he got reprimanded for his cooperation with Ahab’s son Ahaziah. 1 Chr 20: 35 – 37. And now we see he is doing exactly the same with Jehoram. Just because Jehoshaphat did this does not make him an evil king. We see in verses 11 – 12 that Jehoshaphat was one who sought God. He always asked if there was a prophet of Jehovah.

Verses 13 – 27 ELISHA’S PARTICIPATION AND THE VICTORY

Elisha’s attitude to Jehoram is very different from Jehoshaphat’s. Jehoshaphat seemed only too pleased to offer his resources to help Jehoram in the battle. Elisha, however, wants nothing to do with Jehoram. This is not Elisha’s attitude to all of the Israelites but only towards the King who is the cause of the nation’s downfall. This is why I believe that our attitude to those who are in Church leadership or who lead others astray must be different to those who are being led astray. All will suffer judgment but God’s criticism is harsher with the shepherds than it is with the flock. 2 Tim 2: 24 – 26. We are to correct those who err with a spirit of gentleness and yet Paul tells Timothy also to rebuke with great patience and instruction. Also Paul tells Titus that concerning those of the circumcision who are rebellious, empty talkers and deceivers that they must be silenced and severely reproved for they are upsetting whole families. They were teaching what they ought not to teach for sordid gain. (Tit 1: 10 – 14) So too, Elisha, upon meeting Jehoram, who was exacerbating the judgment against Israel, reproved him harshly. Elisha says, ‘What have I to do with you? Go to the prophets of your father and of your mother.’ One of these prophets we read about in 1 Kings 22: 11 and he was called Zedekiah. He prophesied in the name of Jehovah, in the name of YAHWEH. In verse 12 all the prophets were prophesying in the name of YAHWEH. In verse 6 they prophesied not that YAHWEH would deliver the king but that Adonai would. A Lord. Not the LORD. But when Jehoshaphat asks for a prophet of YAHWEH they start using the name of YAHWEH. They are just like members of South African parliament who change parties but keep their seats. Go to the prophets of your parents who will be anything you want them to be, who will say anything you want them to say. Go to them. Elisha is not telling him to repent but handing him over to sin.

Jehoram contests that he cannot go to them because he believes that the LORD has called them to be defeated by Moab. His evidence was the lack of water and the futility of their journey thus far. No one told Jehoram that this was the LORD’s hand against him but something in him thought this was God’s dealing. So how does Elisha respond? He says that if it were not for Jehoshaphat’s presence Elisha would not look at him or see him. Just the presence of the godly King brings grace into the whole situation and Jehoram benefits from it. The country is filled with water. (v 20) And the Moabites are defeated. (v 21 – 27) God promised to spare Sodom and Gomorrah if there were 10 righteous people in the place. In Rev 12: 14 we see that Satan tries to destroy Israel and they are protected for a time, times and half a time. For three and a half years in the tribulation Satan tries to destroy Israel but cannot so he therefore turns against the rest of her children who hold to the testimony of Jesus. There is a great persecution. Zechariah 12: 9 tells us that many nations will come against Jerusalem and when there is no one to help, and then God Himself will intervene and destroy those nations. When they try to obliterate God’s people, God obliterates them. And we have already read in Rev 18: 4 that God tells His people to come out of Babylon so they don’t partake in her sins and share of her plagues.

God criticised Jehoshaphat for his ungodly alliance with Ahab. He was criticised for his alliance with Ahaziah. But now he was with Jehoram and God by all accounts should allow both him and Jehoram to have it. If you help the wicked and love those that hate the Lord you bring wrath on yourself from the LORD. Jehoshaphat has been warned. Those who participate in Babylon will share in its plagues. If you fight with the enemy you will die with the enemy. But that does not happen this time. In fact it does not happen at all. Jehoshaphat’s presence brings victory not only to Jehoshaphat but also to Jehoram. How do we explain this? God warns of judgment but instead we see victory. Does this one act negate all the warnings that God has given us? No but the answer is as simple as this. God was gracious at this time. How many times should we have born the consequences of our compromise or sins and we have been let off the hook? Too many to tell. We do not deserve it and God does not have to do it… but He did. He did not have to spare Jehoshaphat but He did. And in our desire to protect against people abusing the grace of God we emphasise that God will forgive but we still have to pay the consequences of our sins and in many cases we do have to bear them. But that does not mean that God will never take away the consequences. God’s grace may actually act to store up wrath against us and it will if it is abused; but nevertheless his grace is still there. Sometimes people get away with so much that it adds to the deception that says that God does not see. But His grace is still there. (Romans 2: 3 – 4)

What about you and me? God’s acts of grace will never negate His judgment. He is serious when he warns us that if we participate we will share in the judgments. God’s grace to us demands a response of repentance and a pleading for forgiveness. As someone once said, ‘I believe that God is a God of second, third, fourth chances and any number of chance but be careful because you never know when your last chance has come.’ With greater grace comes greater responsibility to respond.

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One Comment
  1. Thank you for your emails..

    Would you please UNSUBSCRIBE me now..

    May your work be blessed

    Geoff

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