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Msindisi newsletter # 98

November 5, 2012


NUMBER: 98 Nov 2012

PO BOX 1481

+27 (0) 728311008
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Dear Friends and family,

Firstly we apologise for missing last months newsletter.

We can start this months with some wonderful news. We now have our old bakkie which was in the accident back !!!!! After months of using Genrod’s bakkie we were able to return it. To Genrod we say a HUGE HUGE THANK YOU, without the use of your bakkie we would have been relying on public transport. You enabled us to continue the work as much as possible. Many many thanks !!!!!

The roads we travel are very hard on a bakkie, especially a town run about bakkie, so we restricted the use of Genrod’s bakkie on the dirt roads and used only the tar. This meant longer trips and walking to areas from the main road. The Alpha believers would walk down on a Sunday and Phumlani and Sal would walk up to them on the Tues for discipling. Reading classes with Tholakele were put on hold as was clinic runs and evangelism. However now we are almost able to resume our normal routine.

Sal and Alan MacKenzie from Port Elizabeth have been in constant communication over the last few months. Bayshore fellowship have been instrumental in helping with the bakkie situation. Due to many believers love and support the Audi which Sal hit has been repaired. Some brothers in the Lord in Port Elizabeth have offered to insure the bakkie in Phumlani’s name so we are just trying to get the Bakkie registered in his name. While long term, God willing, a newer bakkie will be purchased with 4 x4 and air conditioning which will help with the muddy conditions and summer heat. This will also mean that Phumlani having the other Bakkie will be able to start his business up again if he wants to as he was not able to do any business without the use of a vehicle.

Sal made use of the extra time which became available by researching and completing his assignment. Also Phumlani and himself have been writing and getting material to put together a discipling book in Zulu. This has involved translation and much correction work. Much of the work has been done my hand but making the most of power when the opportunity comes when in town for printing and typing.

Over the school holiday break we had the pleasure of having a braai for Celani and the family while Khethiwe was home. This was a wonderful day, there was lots of laughter and games. Messages were recorded for Caleb and Sophie with much joy and fond memories.

Louwsburg bible study has continued thanks to the grace of God. Many have been going through personal struggles and these impacted the study for a time. However these times help us to grow and be stretched in our personal walk with the Lord. A couple of months back there was also much rejoicing when Lorens, Jonny and Kim’s youngest boy, gave his life to the Lord with tears of repentance. What a privilege for parents to witness the salvation of their child. Please pray for Lorens as plans for his baptism are being arranged to take place in the Bethany baptist church, Lorens has asked that Sal baptise him like he baptised his dad.

Sadly over the month, we saw the death of the man that Di would take to the clinic on a Tuesday. He continued to battle with his health having TB. Sal was able to share with him the gospel message, about true repentance and being born again but sadly he thought following ancestors and his other so called godly actions where acceptable to God. However God is clear in His word, that not all those who say ‘Lord,Lord’ , will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of the Father who is in heaven. The traditions of men can hinder many from desiring and hearing the truth of Gods word. Many take on a form of godliness but have never acknowledged Jesus’ completed work of dying on the cross to save us by grace and faith alone in him. Sin has never been acknowledged and true repentance has never taken place. Therefore due to our limited understanding and NOT the Lords we come to our own conclusion without seeking what the word of God says, believing we are ok and God will accept us into Heaven because we have been good people. But John 3 v3 says “unless a man be born again he cannot see the kingdom of God”.

Oct has been a very wet month, which is unusual, very rarely do we see day after day of wet, overcast weather. Di saw her garden go under in water and Phumulani and Thabi had water enter their home. Ditches have been dug now to take away the excess water however the mud will always be a problem. The rain was badly needed as several of the dams in the Vryheid area were dangerously low. We however feel for the people who are living in mud huts. Often you see kids heading off to school without coats or black rubbish bags draped over them for shelter. One poor lady’s hut had collapsed, after much heavy rain and herself with her 3 children under 5 had to resort to living in a small tent. Our hearts also go out to all those in America who are suffering after the storm of Sandy. We are praying for you.

Oct saw Di’s dad turning 80. Sadly due to the still awaiting visa from home affairs we were unable to share in the celebration in NZ.

” Congratulations Dad!!! Happy birthday for the 30th of October. It was great being able to talk over the phone. Our love and thoughts are with you and all the family at this special time. ”

Each week we check up on the visa situation but for some reason with Di’s visa there seems to be an on going delay. Please continue to pray about this. Sal had his visa application approved for another 3 years.

On the health front , Thabi is improving, she has her difficult days but taking her medicine has seen her strength return. Gogo ( Phumulani’s mother ) goes into hospital in November 18 for her treatment for cancer. Please keep her in prayer. Di’s shoulder remains the same, this cooler weather does give it grief.

We continue with the routine of kids club, disciplining, cell meetings, care bear, etc and now with the truck back we will be distributing clothes and jumpers which have been given for the community.

This month Sal was asked to preach at the Baptist church in Vryheid at the Sunday evening service. He shared on John 21 and some people said they were challenged by it.

Well once again we apologize for last months lapse. We thank you for your faithfulness to the Lord and His work. Your prayers and support are truly appreciated. Until next month, God willing, may the Shalom of God be with you all.


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. . We have corrected the message entitled “Haggai” to contain the right audio file. More teachings will be posted in the future.



2 Kings 8: 7 – 15

Last time we looked at Elisha we saw how the property of the Shunammite was restored to her after she had been out of the land for seven years. We saw how this was a good picture of the restoration of the land and the Kingdom to Israel after they have been through the 7 years tribulation. But we also saw that God is not only involved in the big picture but also in the little things and in our individual lives. Despite our mistakes and failings God may intervene or turn our faults around for His glory. But in this session we will see the first part of Elisha completing the commission that was given to Elijah.

1 Kings 19: 15 – 18.

There would be three agents of judgment under God’s anointing and as we will see they will bring an end to the house of Ahab. There will be a remnant left, of 7,000 who have not bowed their knee to Ba’al and because of this we may see why we have been looking at the narratives of Elisha concerning how they typify and illustrate truths about Israel’s hardening, judgment and restoration. The reason how we can say that the account of 7,000 typify Israel’s hardening, judgment and restoration is found in Romans 11: 1 – 3. Paul also saw this meaning in the text also. The judgment brought about by those who were anointed illustrates the truths about how God deals with his people in judgment, while still faithfully maintaining a remnant and ultimately bringing a restoration of these things back to Israel. Part of the reason that a hardening has come to Israel is because God wants to save Gentiles. The gospel has to go out to the Gentiles until the fullness of Gentiles has come in and then God will turn His grace back to Israel. Elisha has been anointed as one of those agents of judgment and up till now we have only seen grace to the house of Ahab, though there was judgment against the young men of Bethel who said to him, ‘Go up baldy’. It would seem out of character for Elisha to bring down the house of Ahab. But that is what people think about Jesus. Jesus has brought an age of grace and it seems out of character for His to be described as the one who would bring about the tribulation.


Ben-hadad is seriously ill. He does not know if his disease or illness is life threatening or if it will pass. For the king to be thinking this way it must have been quite serious. But at this time it is reported that Elisha is on his way. Elisha is not mentioned by name but simply called, the man of God. That was enough. By this time Elisha had gotten a reputation in Aram/Syria. Ben-Hadad knew about him, all too well, and knew that Elisha was a prophet who had shown great insight and power, thwarting his attacks and healing Naaman of leprosy. The timing of Elisha’s arrival is amazing because the way in which Hazael will take over the throne will not arouse any suspicion. Though that does not justify the deceit that Hazael used to secure the throne it did have the effect of bringing to pass God’s judgment through Hazael. Elisha is led to Ben-Hadad at the time of serious illness and thus, everybody would have thought that the King would die because of the illness even though Elisha prophesied that he would recover. Ben-Hadad tells Hazael to take a gift in his hand in order that Elisha may inquire of the LORD. Here a heathen king is seeking answers from the Jewish God. There is no indication that he is seeking salvation or repentance but he is seeking an answer as to whether he will live or die. Ben-Hadad is like the majority of people that do not want God to rule their lives. They do not want salvation or holiness but they will turn to him in the hard times. You can see how much this king wants an answer because the gift that he gives is made up of every good thing of Damascus. This Hazael must have been one of Ben-Hadad most trusted men because we will see that he is allowed to be alone with the king and he is also crowned as king after Ben-Hadad is murdered and thus he got away with it.

Elisha knowingly answers Ben-Hadad’s question in a two fold manner. Firstly he tells Hazael what he should reply to the king, that the disease is not until death and that he should surely recover. This is what Hazael is told to tell Ben-Hadad. But then Elisha gives Hazael some extra information in that Ben-Hadad will surely die. In other words it will not be the disease that will kill the king but the king will die in another manner. In the next verse Elisha stares at Hazael, knowing what kind of a person he will be. It seems that Elisha is penetrating into the recesses of Hazael’s soul and Hazael feels ashamed. God has shown Elisha something about the man standing there and it causes him to weep. He cannot contain himself. Hazael is puzzled by this and asks why Elisha is so upset. Elisha reveals what God had shown him concerning what Hazael would do to Israel. He would burn strongholds with fire and kill the young men with the sword. But not only that, he would also dash the babies to pieces and rip open pregnant women. Hazael would be the instrument of God’s judgment but he would go farther than would be needed for a judgment. And Elisha sees this. It is not only what God had shown him but, it seems, that he had sensed it in Hazael because it was when Hazael felt ashamed that Elisha then started weeping.

Hazael is amazed at such a thing. He is simply a servant to the king, he is a nobody. It is not as Peterson portrays in the message that he is asking, is he a mongrel dog that would do such a thing. In fact he is saying that he is simply a dog. The Greek Septuagint translation, instead of writing the word ‘dog’, has, ‘What is your servant, the dead dog’. In the Greek there is the definite article, ‘ho’ as there is in Hebrew, ‘av’d’chah haKalev’ (your servant the dog). Hazael was saying that he was a dog and because of this he was lowly and powerless to do such an act. It was not that he was a repulsive person. It was that he did not have any influence or power to perform such actions and thus Elisha informs him that the Lord had shown that he would be king over Aram. Now notice a few things about this passage.

Firstly Hazael never showed any abhorrence that such an act against Israel would be awful for anybody to do. Rather he appeals to the fact he is powerless to do such a thing. It is soon after this encounter that he kills the king and he does not seem to have much conscience about doing so. In fact Josephus writes that by the time that he was alive the Syrians had come to worship both Ben-Hadad and Hazael. So it is interesting that somebody who was nothing special, a humble, trusted servant who probably has never done something so heinous, in time becomes deified as a god. The issue was the heart. He was already a murderer in his heart and in his heart lay his shame. The prophet perceived it though it was not apparent until he had the promise of power in his grasp. Even then it was done secretly until he gained power itself and then he would commit those deeds against Israel. We look at world rulers and we say that we would not be as corrupt as they are if we were in their position. And yet, I think we should be very careful to suppose ourselves saints if we would obtain that much power and those much privileges. Lord Macauley said, ‘The measure of a man’s real character is what he would do if he thought he would never be found out.’ A sociologist called Darrow Miller wrote a book called ‘Discipling Nations’ and in it he wrote that he went to a conference and shared a room with a guy who was thinking of running for president in Colombia. This gentleman asked Darrow what advice he would give should he became president. Darrow said, ‘The first thing you should do when you get in is to put in a law to protect the people from you.’ Never underestimate the sin nature even if you do not have the power to execute sin’s most flamboyant dreams.

Secondly, Elisha never told Hazael to kill the present king. He only said that the present king will die and then Hazael would be king. Hazael decided in his heart that he would seize the opportunity and cause it to come about. Compare him with King David who was anointed to be king but would never once lay his hand against God’s anointed, even though Saul persecuted him. The attitude of David was one of Godliness. He suffered in the flesh but he waited on the Lord for vindication and never took it himself, even though he had the opportunity to do so and even though everyone around him would have applauded him for doing so. David had faith that God would accomplish whatever He had purposed and did not need David to break God’s laws in order to help Him along. Hazael was not of faith or obedience but a person of ambition.

Thirdly, though Hazael was wicked he was still God’s instrument in judgment against the house of Ahab. As a foretaste of the judgment of Assyria against Israel he would kill with the sword and dash babies and rip open pregnant women. The first act of this judgment is against Jehoram in his first battle with him and Jehoram gets severely wounded by Hazael’s army. (2 Kings 8: 25 – 29). Here the king of Judah, Ahaziah, the son of Athaliah who was Ahab’s daughter. So Jezebel had gotten influence over both the house of Israel and the house of Judah. What Hazael had started, with the demise of Ahab’s house, Jehu (as we will see next time we look at Elisha) completed with all Ahab’s house apart from Athaliah who is put to death later. Hazael would also bring judgment on Israel but the people of Judah would be spared according to verse 19. No matter how bad Jehoram was, Hazael was worse. He was a despicable man. Now why would God use Hazael in order to judge Ahab’s house? Habakkuk had this same dilemma in Habakkuk 1: 13. In this case, Habakkuk had complained against the wickedness of his people and asked God why there was no deliverance from seeing such violence. God answer that He was going to use the Babylonians to bring judgment against Judah, though they were more wicked than the Judeans. The prophet is therefore protesting, asking how God could do such a thing. How could God look more favorably upon those who were more wicked? Yet in scripture the fortunes of Israel are ultimately restored, but the kingdoms of the nations are ultimately terminated. The nations go further than God needs them to and eventually He turns their sins on their own heads. In Deuteronomy 30: 6 – 7, God says that when Israel as a nation will repent, then God will cause all the curses they endured (that were written about in Deuteronomy) upon their enemies. That is one reason why God will use those more wicked to chastise.

But lastly we must look at Elisha for in him we see the face of Jesus. Firstly Elisha discloses Hazael’s heart. He knows the evil that Hazael will do and reveals to Hazael the real nature of his heart. And this is what Jesus does to us also. When we see Jesus we come face to face with ourselves. But more profoundly than this, Elisha pronounces the forthcoming disaster against his people and he weeps over it. Jesus also did this. In Luke 23: 28 – 31 Jesus prophesies about the horrors that would happen to the Jews and especially concerning the women and children. But more profoundly are the verses Luke 19: 41 – 44. Jesus, like Elisha, weeps over his people while prophesying of the judgment that awaits them. But Hazael is unaffected by Elisha’s sorrow and judgment and so leaves Elisha in order to perform his murder of the king.

Let us highlight the points of similarity between Elisha and Jesus in this passage. Elisha revealed the nature of the heart of the one that came to him. Jesus reveals the nature of the heart of the ones that come to Him. Elisha helped Israel so much and showed much grace. Jesus helped Israel so much and showed much grace. Elisha was to be the agent of bringing judgment. Jesus will be the agent of bringing judgment. Elisha wept over the judgment that would befall his people. Jesus wept over the judgment that would befall His people. Hazael being unchanged by Elisha’s grief and his word departs from him and goes on to commit sin. He would not remain with Elisha any longer. Those who are unrepentant will leave Jesus and his word in order to commit sin. They will not remain with Jesus’ word any longer.









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