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Msindisi newsletter 97

September 6, 2012

SALVADOR & DIANNE’S MSINDISI MONTHLY

NUMBER: 97 Sep 2012

PO BOX 1481
VRYHEID 3100
KWAZULU NATAL
SOUTH AFRICA

+27 (0) 728311008
+27 (0) 815836288

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,

With the truck out of action we are truly grateful to Genrod who have loaned us a small bakkie to continue the Lord’s work until ours is fixed. We had caught a bus the week before and had returned home laughing and grateful as the bus had been full to overflowing with standing room only and the driver had been drunk.

Health up dates: Di had a cortazone injection this month for her frozen shoulder but sadly there has been no improvement. It is reported that it can take up 18 months to thaw. Physio has been stopped and she now just does daily exercises.
Due to her shoulder we have asked Bhabekile if we could pay her to do the weekly wash to help Di.

Thabi has suffered with her health this month, please pray the lord will strengthen her.
Gogo has also been for tests. She is waiting on her results, they are concerned she may have cancer.

The bible study continues going through Romans and the Lord has been present.
One evening we were on our way to home cell when we saw that fire had stuck the farm of Jonny and Kim. As we are a small group we cancelled the study and became fire fighters for the evening. Girlie came with her husband who does not usually attend cell with the food that she had already prepared. Another couple who have been coming to Friday night studies also showed up to help. After the fire was out we all ate together, sang hymns and choruses and had a short devotion.

Salvi is looking into changing the format of the bible study at Alpha. We have started a survey of the whole bible which we intend to continue but also more practical teaching is needed to give a balance.

This month we were blessed at church when Mesuli asked to be baptised. Salvi use to teach him at kids club in 2004 and he gave his life to the lord while at primary school. He was recently challenged concerning his commitment to the lord when the pretoria brethren came down to us. Mesuli was desiring a closer walk with the lord. The weather was freezing that day. The weather has been so changeable with hot temps like summer to cold and hail. It snowed in Vryheid and apparently in all 9 provinces in south Africa on the same day, but sadly no rain.

So on the freezing sunday morning Mesuli testified of his faith at church then we headed down to the river were Phumulani and Salvi baptised him in record time before hypothermia could set in. It was the quickest baptism we have experienced. Mesuli has now gone to live in Port Shepstone for a time where he is learning to drive.

The same week we went to Gauteng and saw Alan, Sue and the kids before going to Joberg to catch up with Salvi’s friend Joe Rumley and Gemma who were out from the UK.
While visiting them and Gemma family we went to visit the constitutional court and the old political prison which it has been built on. It certainly was an eye-opener to see the conditions and how prisoners were treated. Many were apparently sentenced for failing to carry pass books or for political activity to undermine the ruling party. Of course white prisoners fared better than blacks and Indians.

On the Sunday evening Joe preached on going through the wilderness and how God uses it to teach us that he has not left us as orphans but given us the Holy Spirit to teach us to rely on God as our Abba Father. The next morn we left Gauteng at quarter past 4 so Salvi could be in Vryheid to interpret the gospel into Zulu at the prison. A group of American short term missionaries had come to South Africa to share the gospel. They came to us on the Wed for lunch then we all went to the pension point where they played their brass instruments and preached. A number of opportunities arose for one on one witnessing.

We have fenced Di’s garden to prevent the chickens and cows from entering. Now the fruit trees need to be fenced off as goats have turned up in the area. Today we have had our first light rain fall so planting will soon be taking place.

Phumulani and Thabi returned from visiting the pretoria brethren early in the month and you can read there report here.

https://kwazulumission.com/2012/09/06/phumlani-and-thabis-visit-to-pretoria/

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For those who are interested there is a website with three audio messages uploaded that concerning the building of the Church and having a Zeal for God’s house. These messages were recorded in Port Elisabeth, South Africa 2011. http://www.sermon.net/msindisi . We have corrected the message entitled “Haggai” to contain the right audio file. More teachings will be posted in the future.

VISA update. Di’s application for extension for Temporary Residence Permit. Home Affairs contacted us to say they lost the application so now her new 3rd application is in process. Please pray for the Lord to guide her applications according to His will. Salvi received his renewed Visa for another three years.

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 . Salvi is hoping to have it sent or delivered to the members of LCJE in the near future so please sign it if you have not done so already and also feel strongly against ecumenism infiltrating the evangelical camp. We have reached 99 signatures but we still need one signatory to reach the target of 100 people so that we can present it to leaders of LCJE. Please pray that the Lord might lead some helpful people across our path to present the petition and corresponding articles to members of LCJE.

ELIJAH AND ELISHA
RESTITUTION
PART 18
2 Kings 8: 1 – 6

In the last session we saw how God brought food to end a famine and how the disbelief openly expressed to Elisha on the part of Jehoram’s official lead to the prophecy that he would see the provision of food but not taste of it. Those who had a sense of their position before the Law of God as being unworthy were the first to partake of the food and the riches. The unbelieving official was crushed to death at the gate. This served as a great picture of the attitudes of the people and the Jewish leaders at the preaching of the Gospel of the Kingdom conducted by John the Baptist and Jesus.

In this session we will see the restitution of the Shunammite’s property and the assassination of Ben-Hadad. It doesn’t matter what aspect of our lives that we are engaged in or experiencing, God has a more than passing interest in it. Even though we have been seeing how the narrative surrounding Elisha’s ministry typifies and teaches something about Jesus, we must not forget the other levels of interpretation, or as some prefer to call it application. There is the historical interpretation. There is the interpretation that seeks to bring out rules for living ones life. There is the interpretation that seeks to bring out an instruction on how we are to view or think about certain matters. There is the interpretation that seeks the prophetic nature of a passage. There is the interpretation that finds the allegorical meaning behind the narratives in scripture. But with all this it is easy to miss a very important and profound point to these narratives in scripture, which is that God cares and gets involved. We looked at the raising of the axe head but one thing we did not bring out was the fact that God was concerned about that man’s historical and unique situation. And in the situation of the famine, there is a Jewish woman who escapes the foretaste of the judgment that was to come.

VERSES 1 – 6: THE RESTORATION OF THE SHUNAMMITE’S PROPERTY

Some people believe that this famine couldn’t have been the same famine that we read about with the siege and they say this because in this passage Gehazi was in the King’s presence. As it was against the Mosaic Law for lepers to be entertained then Gehazi would not have been allowed in the king’s presence. But the problem is that there were different types of leprosy and not all required isolation. It is possible that the leprosy that Naaman, and now Gehazi, had was the kind that could have been pronounced clean is indicated from Leviticus 13: 13 – 17. But even if Gehazi’s leprosy required him to be outcast there is nothing to say that the king wouldn’t have broken the law in this regard to get information from Gehazi. The king wasn’t a follower of God’s law and he walked in the way of Jeroboam who changed the Law of God to suit his own political ends. It was about seventeen years between the ascension of Jehoram in Israel and Hazael in Aram / Syria.

Gehazi getting leprosy could not have happened at the start of Jehoram’s reign because their getting to know the Shunammite woman took a while of Elisha’s traveling through Shumen. (2 Kings 4: 8) Gehazi was there at the time of Naaman seeking healing and Naaman had a girl who had known of Elisha. She was possibly taken in by the marauding bands that went out until the siege of Samaria. (2 Kings 5: 2) The famine happened after Naaman was cleansed and this is hinted at by the fact that the famine was touched upon in the previous passage in 2 Kings 4: 38 – 44 and Gehazi is nowhere mentioned. However there is one verse that would seem to place this famine before the encounter with Naaman and that is, verse four, where scripture calls Gehazi ‘the servant of the man of God’. This is not the claim of someone within the narrative itself but the writer of 2 Kings is claiming this. Thus it would stand to reason that it was before Gehazi had leprosy, for after he ceased from being Elisha’s servant. And if that was the case then the seven year famine would be different to the famine caused by the siege. The fact that the siege was over Samaria only and the famine in chapter 8 verse 1 was over the land does not prove there are two different famines as the effects of the siege spread out as the lepers who were outside the city were also feeling the effects of the famine.

Whatever famine it was we are told one new thing about it and that is that the Lord had called the famine. God’s working in nature and the day to day is tied up to the greater spiritual purpose but His greater spiritual purpose does not alienate Him from the natural realm. People ask, why would God ever be concerned about a tree or a township or a little country? You may talk about God in Theology and even put forward the assertion that he does not exist but you bring God into other areas of knowledge. There is a compartmentalizing of what belongs to ‘God’s domain’, (i.e church, heaven, morals, grace) and what is outside of ‘God’s domain’ (i.e nature, men’s empires, history). Here we see that there is not one thing in existence that is outside of ‘God’s domain’ and that He cannot account for. The LORD called for the famine. Daniel 2: 20 – 21. Nebuchadnezzar was not the kindest of Kings. He was cruel. Rome was barbaric and cruel and yet, God raised these Kingdoms up. Now here is where it pinches: if God has raised up these Kingdoms, then surely isn’t God responsible for the evils done by those kingdoms. When you look at the seven year famine, many people end up suffering. God brought about the famine. Thus God caused those people to suffer. What does one say to the unbeliever that points his finger towards God?

The first thing we note is that God is involved in the day to day workings of humanity. He is involved with the political situation, with the natural phenomenon and with the day to day loves of the people within a society. Even when things do not look favourable does not mean that God is not involved. But the problem is that often we look at situations simplistically and we do not see all the factors involved. Firstly there is man’s involvement. God raises up rulers but those rulers must give an account to God for what they have done. It is the same with any of God’s servants. It is not just a mechanical process. God may raise up a leader to bring judgment but that leader might go too far and further the disaster that would have been sufficient for God. Zech 1: 14 & 15. God was angry with Jerusalem and Judah but his purposes for them were for restoration. Jer 29: 10 – 14. God intends for good. But whenever God uses fallen and sinful man, sinful man distorts God’s intended purposes. This does not thwart God’s will because God has already accounted for it. So there is the aspect of man. There is also the aspect of the devil. My friend, Tony, is in Israel and he says that he discerns a spirit of oppression over the hearts of many Jews. There is such an antagonism to the gospel and this is something that has a supernatural origin. Romans 11: 25. There is only one problem with looking at this verse too simplistically. That we don’t take into account Satan’s agenda as taught in scripture. The last 18 years have seen more Jews as believers in Jesus more than the last 18 centuries. It is probably more so now. We are in the cross over period between grace given to the Gentiles and it going back to the Jews. Also Revelation 12: 9 – 17 gives Satan two descriptions concerning his hounding of the Jews. He is the serpent of old who deceives the whole world and he is also the dragon. He is the one who deceives and the one who persecutes. If it was as simple as God hardening Jews then why would Satan be actively involved in their deception and demise? But Satan knows that Israel’s salvation and repentance is integral to Jesus return and hence he is at work among that people.

Lastly, often when God himself brings on a famine or a natural disaster or some other similar thing, not in terms of permitting it but of bringing it about by His own arm, then it is often in response to the group’s rebellion to Him and His laws. Jer 18: 5 – 10. This is a highly important point because if it is simply down to God feeling like doing this without regard to what man has done, or because of something he made them do, then that makes God unjust (punishing people for what He has done Himself). God is a relational God and his judgments are rendered according to a person’s deeds. Now we see clearly that this was the case with Israel who were apostate. And even though the nation turn away from Him and, thus He has every right to do away with that nation in one sense He can’t because of His promises to their fathers. There are three covenants that concern the nation of Israel in the Torah. The first is the Abrahamic covenant which is unconditional. The second is the Mosaic covenant in Exodus 19: 5 – 6 which was a covenant to actualize those promises with the national of Israel so that they would be a people for God’s own possession. But the problem was that this covenant was conditional on Israel’s obedience and they broke this covenant. So according to the Mosaic covenant Israel had no right to be called God’s people but according to the Abrahamic covenant, God had an obligation to make them His people. So how can these things be reconciled? Through the Land or as some call it ‘The Palestinian covenant’. Deut 29: 1 & 4 & 12 – 13 & ch 30: 1 – 8. In other words, God already knew that Israel would break the Mosaic covenant so He made this unconditional covenant in order to make sure that the Abrahamic covenant would be fulfilled. Notice that the land covenant works in the context of two covenants, the Mosaic covenant and the New covenant. In regards to the Mosaic covenant it has brought curses on Israel and displacement out of the land. But in terms of the new covenant it will bring blessings. This is because the New Covenant will bring the nation of Israel to walk in God’s ways and notice that in verse 8 of chapter 30, they will observe the Mosaic Laws when that day happens, which is probably why the millennial temple in Ezekiel chapters 40 – 44 seem to show the observance of Mosaic temple practice.

So in God’s obligation to the Abrahamic Covenant, God has also kept a remnant of Israel in order to fulfill these purposes. This remnant goes through the judgments, the famines and the exiles, such as Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, Abednego and Ezekiel but then they or their children are returned with their fortunes restored. Link that to the words of Romans 11 which speaks about the partial hardening until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in with the words of Acts 1: 5 – 8. The Apostles were not to know the times and epochs that the Father had set concerning the restoration of the Kingdom to Israel but they were to be busy about evangelizing the world, which would bring about the fullness of the Gentiles coming in so that God would be able to restore the Kingdom to Israel.

So going back to the text we see that God’s appointing of the famine was relational to Israel’s rebellion. God was intimately involved in Israel’s affairs. Not just nationally but also individually for He preserves the Shunammite who ‘in effect’ loses her property and goes into exile. At the end of seven years she returns and petitions the king who restores to her the inheritance, her house and her field plus everything that these things had accumulated while she had gone and the king does this on account of the work that Elisha had done in her life. A good picture of what the Bible says concerning the restoration of Israel’s inheritance.

And for us, we must perceive everything in our lives from God’s perspective. We must see His purposes and His purposes may be different for every one of us but they must be bound up in the parameters of God’s word. Our start and our aim in this Christian walk is identification with Jesus. Luke 18: 29 – 33. Jesus was focused on getting to Jerusalem in order to become that sacrifice and to rise from the dead. But there were many things that Jesus had to do in order to get there. Healing, bringing salvation to Zaccheus, the Passion Week. So it is with us. When we are saved, our start is bound up in identification with Jesus and that is the purpose, the aim and the end product. However there is all this stuff we must go through before we end up there. Rather that see it as years that interfere with the time where we will be identified we must see it as Jesus did, as part of the process of journey to get there. Thus everything that happens to us has that significance and all our journeys will be different. KwaZulu is part of Di and my journey, thus we become identified with Jesus that reaches the Zulus and loves them. But there will be aspects of your journey that will teach a different aspect. My friend Tony is in Israel and experiencing something of the Jesus that reaches out to the Jews. It is the same Jesus but we realize that Jesus is bigger than the one we thought Him to be and that is why the process of identification takes our whole lives. Everything must be brought under His lordship and then we may experience what identification with Jesus means in many different contexts. In edification, chastisement, rebuke and exhortation Jesus is Lord over every sphere of our lives.

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