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Msindisi Newsletter #92

April 4, 2012

SALVADOR & DIANNE’S MSINDISI MONTHLY

NUMBER: 92 Apr 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,

It has been an awesome and challenging month and we thank the Lord for His mercy and grace. This month Di taught at the care bear creche, we have continued with discipleship with the guys at Alpha on Tuesdays, this means Salvi has to take time to translate English lessons into Zulu, we have continued with discipleship for our friends from Cell group on Friday evenings in which we have been going through the gospel according to John, we have continued with Tuesday evenings with working through the letter of Romans, as well as Di teaching Tholakele to read in Zulu so that she might be able to read the bible. In Church Phumlani has been continuing to teach us all from the book of 1 Samuel. On saturdays we have started a children’s club for the older Zulu children in which we are going through the New Tribes Missions curriculum “From Creation to Chirst”. One lesson is done over two or three weeks as we want to engage the children in interaction. The Baptist church – Bethany Baptist Church in Vryheid, has started a bible study on Wednesday evenings after the prayer meeting. We have been going and Allen has been doing a really good job of provoking discussion and working through the material.

We had a scare towards the beginning of this month with Asimbonge. Asimbonge is a little boy who lives at our place. Phumlani’s mother is Asimbonge’s grandmother. Asimbonge sneakily took his grandmothers medication and swallowed 7 little pills. He started to lose his motor skills and started falling over like a drunk man. We found the open packet of medication and we rushed him to the hospital. Thank the Lord that he was okay after being given other medication to counteract the effects Asimbonge was under. He was also on a drip and had to stay in hospital for 2 nights. As Asimbonge is 3 years old the hospital would not allow his mother to stay the night so that would have been a big thing for him but he is right as rain now and Gogo is extra careful with the medication. Di teaches him English during the week, basic numeracy and they do activities together such as art and puzzles. It is like Asimbonge has his own personal kindergarten teacher. His English has really come on.

The Gideon’s have donated over 2000 New Testaments to be given to the schools and hospitals in our local area. Salvi has used this as an opportunity to preach the gospel. The first week was spent by Salvi visiting the different schools and hospitals to ask if they are interested and how many bibles would be needed. Up to now Salvi has given bibles in 6 schools and in 2 hospitals and over 1000 new testaments will be given next term in two more schools. So altogether we will have distributed between 3000-4000 New Testaments.

Around this time, a lady in our church called Jessica Ntombela saw the passing away of her mother in law. It was wonderful to see the church support her. The church gave an offering of various items and we visited together to sing for her. At the funeral Salvi was given 5 minutes to hit on the ancestral spirits. The idea was to ask the family to lay off the pressure concerning Mrs Ntombela conforming to then ancestral traditions. But the family did not lay off the pressure and are requiring Mrs Ntombela to wear then clothes for the dead. She says that her heart does not want to wear the clothes for ancestral traditions but her husband is adamant and says if she does not wear them her husband will throw her out of the house. It is a very tough time. It is a very difficult situation and one that requires wisdom. It could be that some of these women would experience violence if they violate these traditions. These traditions are a wicked bondage used by the enemy to keep souls from true repentance. Please pray that the Lord makes her a way. It is amazing that persecution is on our doorstep.

This month a brother in Johannesburg donated 9 audio Zulu bibles that get recharged with a Solar panel. Up to now we have given 3 out. One to Phumlani’s mother, one to Jabulani and one to Tholakele. Gogo is using it all the time and we know the other ones are being used also. We thank the Lord for these great gifts.

To finish off this month we have visited Alan Mackenzie and the brethren at Bayshore Assembly. We have joined in legal Affiliation with Alan Mackenzie’s NGO “Road to Recovery” after we left Moriel and have been blessed at the fellowship and their huge prayer support. Salvi taught on three subjects while we were there. On thursday evening Salvi taught on Election from Romans 9, hitting against Calvinism, on friday Salvi taught on Predestination as a prophetic analysis of our future inheritance and on sunday morning Salvi encouraged the brethren concerning how we should respond to so great a predestination. On saturday both Salvi and Alan taught on the Passover as 54 of us crammed into his home and enjoyed the meal together and remembered what the Lord did for us and what He is going to do. A lot of work went into the meal. On Sunday afternoon we went to the Chinese assembly and Salvi preached on the mystery of Godliness.

Salvi has finished preaching the Gospel in the area of KwaNdlandla and now will continue to go through the other areas of KwaNgenitsheni. The school of Ngenitsheni has asked Salvi to come there once a month to preach to the children. So we will see how that goes.

VISA update. Though we have not as yet got any news concerning Di’s application for extension for Temporary Residence Permit, there is news concerning Salvi’s application for Permanent Residence. As you may or may not know, Salvi does not qualify to apply for Permanent Residence so he put together an application to be considered as a special case for exemption of the regular rules for application for permanent residence. During this last month there has been some news as to progress. Salvi found out that his application had gone through to the director general of home affairs. Thinking this was the last step we were surprised to find out that he then made his own notes and forwarded it on to the exemptions department. The latest update is that the application has been forwarded to none other than the minister of Home Affairs! What a testimony to the Lord. We trust the Lord for His leading in this matter but we also trust that His glory will be magnified through this time. May many be touched with the gospel of His grace.

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
MIRACLES WITH FOOD
PART 13
2 Kings 4: 38 – 44

In the last session we saw Elisha’s provision for a widow and a great lady. One lady was given the only source of provision that would help to preserve her life and the life of her two sons. The other lady was given a life, in the form of a son. Both ladies were blessed though they had different relationships to Elisha. The first lady was simply married to a co-worker and servant of Elisha and she pleads for help on the basis of her husband’s piety. The second lady was a personal supporter of Elisha in providing hospitality. She was a partaker in Elisha’s work without being a “co-worker”. For this she is rewarded without even wanting or seeking after the reward. Both of these ladies were blessed. One was shown mercy, the other had a reward. Both of these ladies were noble.

Verses 38 – 41. THE PROPHETS AND THE CLEANSING OF FOOD

But then we have a group of people that were more than relations of co workers or more than supporters of God’s servants, they were co workers themselves. This time we are in a famine and it seems that this is the famine that is written about in chapter 8: 1. It is not in chronological order to the rest of 2 Kings because God wants to bring something out for us concerning Elisha and the miracles he did. There is a famine and this famine was set for 7 years. Now a famine of grain has a spiritual significance. It is used in scripture to signify a famine for hearing the words of the Lord. Firstly we have a taking away of the rains with Elijah for 3 ½ years which signifies a spiritual drought where the prophet was also taken away from the Land. Then there is a famine which signifies a spiritual famine. In the drought God provided food and water for Elijah and now we see God’s prophets needing food. But in this famine we do not have the prophet of God being taken away. Rather he is involved in the provision of food for the sons of the prophets. The sons of the prophets, in verse 38, were sitting at Elisha’s feet. A few other people have noted something about this posture in the bible. This symbol of sitting at the feet is symbolic of being under someone’s teaching. Luke 10: 38 – 39. We see Mary was sitting at Jesus’ feet, hearing Jesus’ words. And lest we think this was just a thing that Mary did we can look at Acts 22: 3. Here Paul says that he was educated under Gamaliel. The word ‘under’ in this passage literally means that he was educated at the feet of Gamaliel. This was the posture that disciples took to listen to their teacher. Thus when we look at the demoniac in Luke 8: 35 after he had been set free from the bondage to a legion of demons, he was sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed in his right mind. This would have meant that the man was listening to the teaching of Jesus. And so these sons of the prophets were at the feet of Elijah, listening to his teaching.

Are we sitting at the feet of Jesus? Do we take time to come to the word day by day? When we take the time to come under the teaching of the Lord it is as something intimate like sitting at His feet, drinking in His teaching. You see here, the prophets are being spiritually fed. But not just spiritually fed. Elisha also makes sure they are physically fed. Now which one comes first? The modern missions’ principle tends to be, “You cannot preach to someone on an empty stomach.” This may have some element of truth in it. If someone is absolutely on death row, they are not going to hear the message and might die at any moment. However that is a rare situation. Most people would not be at death’s door. What is the example that Elisha sets. He looks to their spiritual need first and then cares for their physical need. What about Jesus? Mark 6: 34 – 37. Here Jesus has been teaching the crowd that followed Him because of the miracles. According to Luke 9: 11 He was teaching them concerning the kingdom of God and had been healing their sick. It was at the end of the day that the disciples recommend Jesus sending the crowds away to get something to eat. It was then that Jesus did the miracle with the loaves and the fish.

No one in their right mind would hold a teaching seminar without having organized the catering but this was not planned. The crowds just came and Jesus felt compassion. But Jesus never once seemed concerned about the people’s hunger. Jesus does not seem to have been mindful of the physical need of the crowd until this point. It was his disciples who brought up this concern and not Jesus. But as Jesus said to Satan, “Man does not live by bread alone but by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.” On the other hand, when it came to the feeding of the four thousand it is Jesus who brings up the people’s need for food after they had been with Him for three days. So we see that even though we need food to survive, the scripture puts a bigger emphasis on the spiritual bread, the bread from heaven. Thus spiritual food in this text comes before physical food.

Thus after we hear about the teaching, in verse 38 Elisha tells his servant to cook up some food. Now firstly notice that these prophets do not turn round and complain that Elijah was fed meat by ravens but they have to put up with herb soup. There was contentment with whatever God provided them. Now the servant goes out looking for herbs and ends up finding a gourd. In Hebrew this is called ‘Pakkuah’ and it means a wild cucumber and it comes from a word meaning to burst. Apparently this wild vegetable when it is ripe bursts open its seeds which must have made it look somewhat appetizing. The problem was that it was poisonous. It looked like good food but it was not good food. The servant did not just cook this cucumber by itself and try to feed the prophets with it but he mixed it in with the rest of the food. As a friend of mine says; “you have a glass of juice with some drops of cyanide and you have a bottle of cyanide with danger marked on it and a skull and cross bones label. Which is more dangerous?” The glass of juice is more dangerous because without the bottle of cyanide there you would not know that the juice is dangerous. So it was with this stew. The poisonous food is mixed with the good food so that it might be eaten undetected. There are 2 preachers. One preaches that it is wrong to tell people they are sinners. He says that we are just to love people and if we tell them they are unsaved then you are satanic for doing so. The other preacher does not say it is wrong to tell people they are sinners but he does not deal with sin himself when he talks about becoming a Christian. He asks people if they want to know God’s purpose for them then they should pray for God to show them and now they are in the family of God. He did not deal with sin, or repentance. Which is more dangerous? The second preacher. The first preacher is to be compared with Robert Schuller and the second preacher is to be compared with Rick Warren and more especially with Nick Vujicic. Nick is a motivational speaker who lives his life without limbs. He has no arms and legs and has been able to find hope and perseverance despite such a hard life. His life without limbs is very inspiring. But not once during his preaching videos does he give a testimony of conviction of sin, of knowledge of judgment and the acceptance that Jesus took his punishment on the cross. Not once does he tell people to repent and nowhere does he give the biblical gospel. Robert Schuller showed his real colours but Rick Warren and Nick Vujicic do not oppose the Biblical message of sin and judgment but they practice the same kind of preaching as Robert Schuller. Thus they are acceptable to many churches that may reject Schuller.

The servant here unwittingly gave poisonous food. However the sons of the prophets as they start eating can taste that the food is not good. Either they could taste it in their mouths or they could start to feel the effects in the stomach. But they could easily discern that there was something not good in the stew. How do we know that they discerned quickly? Because there was no one who needed to be healed or resurrected. You see they did not only discern that there was poison in the food, they also stopped eating the stew. All the discernment is pointless if you do not stop eating the poisoned food. Sometimes people say, “I have discernment. I will continue to take in this teaching because I can see the difference between the two.” The leaven leavens the whole of the dough. The prophets did not only discern the poison, they stopped eating out of what was poisoned.

What was the antidote? Elisha calls for flour. Flour is ground wheat, it is processed. The grain is representative of the word. Flour is like good bible teaching, the grain is processed. The grain, the word is broken down for us. Instead of adding more of the poison, more mixed food we must turn to the word. Instead turn to solid bible exposition. Remember Psalm 1, the man who meditates on the Law day and night will prosper. Once the word takes root there is no more evil in the pot. But there is yet another application.

What do unclean foods speak of in the bible? Acts 10: 9 – 17 and verses 30 – 35. The unclean food speaks of us Gentiles. Before we were not accepted into the commonwealth of Israel. We were not allowed to go into the Temple to worship God. We would have defiled the temple. We were from a wild, uncultivated olive tree and we have been grafted into the Jewish tree. We were unclean, we would have defiled. After Elisha threw in the flour did the sons of the prophets still hesitate to eat of the stew? What God has made clean let no man call unclean. Compare that to the parable in Isaiah 5: 1 – 2. Israel was God’s cultivated vine and they were supposed to bear grapes but they only brought forth, worthless ones or more accurately, poisoned berries. In the flesh both Jew and Gentile, no matter how cultivated or uncultivated our spiritual background, in the flesh we both bring forth poisoned berries. It is only the sanctifying influence of the Word in our lives that will make us clean and fruitful.

Verses 42 – 44 MULTIPLICATION OF THE LOAVES.

The second feeding miracle is very reminiscent and foretelling of the miracles that Jesus would do with the feeding of the four and five thousands. It also tells us something of God’s character. Have you ever heard of God’s mathematics? Because of God’s holiness He brings division. Because of God’s goodness He brings addition. Because of our sinful propensity to idolize things He brings subtraction. So God does division, addition and subtraction but God loves to do multiplication. That is a fairly simple statement and there are other reasons why God takes or allows things to be taken away. Sometimes it is to test us but the fact remains that God does love multiplication. As with the widow who had one jar of oil, God works with what people have and not with what people do not have. Now saying this we must be careful not to make this principle that expresses something of God’s desire, and His will into ‘this is the way it works every time’. God is the God who made everything out of nothing. I find it highly impossible to think that God would have been at a loss to provide without these scant offerings. There are times when, because of prayer God has provided food on a door step given for free. When Israel was in the wilderness, what did they give to God for the manna to come out of heaven? It was given for nothing. God did not use what they had. But there is a spiritual lesson here and that is, that often God wants to use what we have and, though what we have to give is insufficient, He does not despise it. In fact it gives God more glory when we do not have the sufficiency but He takes what we have and makes it sufficient. Think of the time Paul had the thorn in his flesh and 3 times he asked God to take it away. God’s reply was that His grace was sufficient for Paul, why? Because God’s power is perfected in weakness.

Now a certain man brought 20 loaves of first fruits. This was the feast of Pentecost or the feast of Weeks. To celebrate the harvest a person would bring 2 loaves of bread to the priest. Lev 23: 9 – 17. Just after passover the first sheaf of the barley harvest was to be presented as first fruits of the harvest. After 50 days there first fruits of the rest of the harvest were to be brought. There were also sacrifices to be done too. But here is the thing, before the people could partake of the harvest God was to get the first and the best. Remember Abel’s offering, he did not only bring lamb sacrifices, speaking of the sacrifice of Christ, but the fact is that he gave the firstlings of the flock and their fat portions. He gave God the best. What do we set aside to the LORD? Do we give Him the firstlings, the best portion or do we give a few left overs? This is not to say that there needs to be a certain standard or a certain amount of money. It is the principle. How about in our service for Him, do we give our first and best? But the first fruits were set apart for the priests. So it is with Jesus. According to Jamieson, Fausset and Brown when the sheaf was waved by the priest just after the Passover Sabbath. Thus it was the same time as He rose again from the dead as the first fruits of the resurrection. We are a kingdom of priests. Thus we will share in Jesus’ resurrection.

However since the time of Jeroboam, the Israelites in the northern kingdom were prohibited from going to the temple when he set up the golden calves. But though many go their own way, God still has a remnant. As we can see from verse 42 there is no possible way to get the first fruits to a priest, so he brings them to the Man of God. It is important that we recognize that he was not keeping the Law of God by this piety. When God commanded certain things to be done in the Law we see that God meant that those Laws be kept. Without blood there is no remission of sin. You cannot turn round and say that doing good works can replace the sacrificial system. But still, even though he does not obey the Law by coming to Elisha his offering is accepted. He has not kept the Law of God and he is not keeping it now but he goes to the man of God and his offering is made valid. Now how about us? We have not kept God’s Law, we have failed but as the man went to Elisha, so we go to Yeshua and our offering is made acceptable because of him. Any good works that we do are only made acceptable because of Christ’s righteousness given to us. As soon as Elisha is given the offering, what does he do? He tells his attendant to give it to the people, to 100 men. This obviously prefigures the 2 feeding miracles that Jesus would do. But here is the issue, Elisha did not hoard the gift for himself but looked to the welfare of his people. He was a good picture of how a good shepherd should be. The hirelings look to feed themselves off the fat of the sheep, real shepherds feed the sheep. In feeding the sheep Elisha uses the gift of one of the sheep and multiplies it, just like Jesus.

So what can we learn from this? First let us first seek the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things, what we need to eat and what we need to wear, will be added to us. Secondly, when our food is poisoned, do yourself a favour and stop eating from it! Then seek solid teaching from the word to sanctify you. Thirdly we must accept all in Christ whether Jew or Gentile, Zulu or Afrikaans as all in Christ are sanctified in Christ. What God calls clean, let no man call unclean. Fourthly, let us give our first and best to God’s service. And lastly, as God is a God of multiplication let us have faith to entrust him with what ever we have. And let us seek to employ all our lives in His service that, as we drink in His word, He may produce fruit in us.

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