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Msindisi Monthly # 100

January 5, 2013

SALVADOR & DIANNE’S MSINDISI MONTHLY

NUMBER: 100 Jan 2013

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

Dear Friends and family,

We thank the Lord for His faithfulness throughout 2012 and for bringing us safely into 2013. We have just returned from 3 weeks of house sitting for our friends Morne and Doret Lombard in Boksburg. Boksburg is between Springs and Johannesburg in the province of Gauteng. We went there because we promised them to look after their place while they were on holiday, as a blessing for them, but it became a real blessing for us. Before we went to Gauteng we had a party for the kids at kids club. Our friends at Pilgrim fellowship in Melbourne, Australia sent some bookmarks and lots of goodies which we gave to the kids for the end of the year. We bought some party food and the kids had a great time. Also we celebrated the birthday of a little girl called Lusando. Her mother bought her a cake and a present which she wanted given at the kids club itself! On the Sunday Salvi taught on biblical giving as previously he had taught against the imposition of the tithe on born again believers so felt that some practical instruction on the right way to give was in order. The meeting was a huge blessing for a couple of new people from Ngenitsheni came with MamaNqele who we still pray for concerning her salvation. She still has not committed her life to the Lord. At the same time we also had an old friend from Alpha visit the church for the first time. His name is Lancelot, a very good English speaker who used to work for the South African Police in Gauteng. He has made a mess of his life and needs the Lord. While Salvi was picking up the brethren from Alpha, he was sat waiting by the side of the road to be picked up for Church. Also at Church we had our new neighbor, Mrs Mtshali visit. She had Thabi visiting her which caused Mrs Mtshali to want to ask Phumlani questions on the bible. Both Salvi and Phumlani visited her and both shared with her concerning the Gospel. So it was encouraging to see her at the meeting. After Church Phumlani and Thabi dropped us off in town so that Kim could take us through to Gauteng. This meant we could leave the truck for Phumlani to continue doing the ministry. Kim had to go through to fetch her mother from Gauteng and so that saved us the bus fare to get there.

While we were away, Phumlani continued with the church and the bible study in Alpha. The cell group took a break for the Christmas period. He also gave out some of the children’s jumpers sent from the faithful knitters in Australia as he went through to evangelise in Ngenitsheni. Several people asked for prayer for various things and last week Phumlani drew quite a crowd to hear the Gospel. One man in particular was very aggressive wanting to know what Phumlani was doing in the area. After Phumlani gently explained that he was there to share the word of God the man calmed down and thanked him! It has been a blessing to see Phumlani growing in confidence, especially when teaching in the cell group. There is an authority in his teaching and the group has grown to know and respect him.

In Gauteng we spent some time with the Lombards before they left and then visited our brothers, Mujuru and the home fellowship in Pretoria. Salvi shared at their cell group in the evening on the stilling of the storm and Jesus’ identity and mission. Mujuru was very encouraged as it has been hard since his wife passed away. We met up with him on another occasion to give him some bible teaching at a mall in a place called Irene. While we were looking for somewhere to have lunch Salvi stumbled across some Israeli Jews selling skin care products. Salvi shared his limited Hebrew with them which opened up a conversation of getting to know one another. As we are believers in the Jewish Messiah it was inevitable to share something of the gospel but their minds were very post modern and did not see the Old Testament as something they needed to read stating that they can feel in themselves whether something is true or false. But we shared what we could and invited one of the young men to visit us in KwaZulu Natal if he is ever around so we can take him to see some of the sites around us and to bless him.

We met up with other friends, Tony and Sonja, Sean and Kathryn and Salvi’s Hebrew teacher, Carmit and her friend Val on a couple of occassions, as well as Carmit’s husband Jason the second time. At Jason and Carmit’s home we had a braai. It was nice to get to know Val and we look forward to Val and Carmit’s possible visit this year.

On the first Sunday Salvi spoke at a meeting of two home cells in Roodeport. One of the home cells started up after a certain church in Gauteng closed down. Salvi encouraged them with the message on Haggai about building God’s house. After the meeting one young girl who had given her life to the Lord the day before was baptised is the pool. This was at the home of a precious couple, called Mark and Paula Hibberd whom the Lord is using to encourage and bless these brothers.

We visited an old friend from a special needs home, Vita Nova, called Sue Rabie. Salvi has known her for over ten years. She was in hospital after a bad fall. We also visited the guys at Vita Nova and Salvi played some hymns and choruses for them and shared a bible story about the handicapped man, Mephibosheth, whom David had sit at his table. It is always a blessing to see them worshipping the Lord with all their hearts and without inhibition. This was followed by a Braai at Alan and Sue’s place. Alan and Sue, for those who do not know, run a family based ministry called Bezaleel in which they adopt and foster 11 children full time, plus two grandchildren part time! Their ministry details are on this website, just click on the tab above entitled “Associated Ministries and Churches” and scroll down. The food was all provided by a couple called Martin and Jenny from Alan’s local church which we visited the next day. On Christmas day Alan, Sue, kids and grand kids came to the Lombard residence for a Braai and to celebrate their second eldest daughter, Lizzie’s birthday.

It was good to catch up with friends and also a couple called Rob and Rosa. Rob is the pastor of a baptist church. It was such a shame that we didn’t have more time with them but we had to pack to get back to KwaZulu Natal. The youth from Rob’s church should be visiting us at some time this year. Salvi also finished his assignment of his first module for his degree level. So four modules to go! Di sewed herself a top and did the recording of our finances. We also had a suitable rest while in Gauteng and were able to take a few days just to relax and swim.

We came back on the bus and today Salvi and Phumlani went out to preach the Gospel. Many people left when Salvi hit on ancestors but two older ladies stayed to listen. One of the ladies looked very serious and stern but Phumlani said that she came to hear him speak and stayed for the whole message last time he was there. Phumlani has made huge progress through the area and by the end of next week we should be ready to start preaching in another area of Ngenitsheni, the last area before we leave Ngenitsheni and go to Khambi.

Some really good news to share with you! When Salvi first came to live in the area with Caleb and Sophie, they learned to speak Zulu with the help of a young man called Simon Khumalo. Simon also interpreted and translated bible materials into Zulu when the guys could not. Simon even translated bible studies by Jacob Prasch and showed an incredible understanding of the gospel. However, Simon never committed his life to the Lord, understanding what it entailed. Just before we left to go to Gauteng we met up with him to record a message for Caleb and Sophie and found out that the year before, March 2011, Simon had given his life to the Lord. He testified that after his grandparents died it was like God gave him his last warning. Simon is married with children and teaches at a local primary school. We plan on visiting him soon now we are back and catching up properly with him. Our friend and brother in the Lord, Mesuli, who got baptised a come of months back has a place at Rhodes University to study pharmaceutical science. He got his place confirmed for university after the deadline for applying for government grants was terminated. Thankfully the bank has awarded him a student loan but he is still R20,000 short of his fees for this year. Please pray for the Lord’s provision for Mesuli. We have good brothers in Port Elizabeth which is an hours drive from his university. Some other good news it that there is slight improvement in Di’s shoulder but a long way to go still. We thank the Lord for His amazing Grace, His faithfulness, His lovingkindness. May the blessing of the Lord be upon you, as we press on!!!! Thank you for your prayers, love, contact and support in its various ways.

Shalom

Salvi and Di

________________________________________________________

For those who are interested the KwaZulu Mission teaching website has more teachings uploaded with a couple by the pastor of Bethany Baptist Church in Vryheid. Some teachings are also in Zulu. http://www.sermon.net/msindisi . More teachings will be posted in the future.

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 are still on 98 signatures but we still need two signatories to reach the target of 100 people before we can present it to leaders of LCJE. It is especially helpful if signatories are representative of ministries or churches which mean that more people are represented by those signatures. Please pray that the Lord might lead some helpful people across our path to present the petition and corresponding articles to members of LCJE.

EMETH – A CALL TO TRUTH AND CONSISTENCY

PART 1: WHAT IS EMETH?

In Europe, during the Middle ages, the Catholic church kept learning and education restricted to the elite. The Roman Catholic Church was the arbiter of Truth and whatever she pronounced was to be accepted as Truth. Generally speaking, the masses were kept in ignorance and for this reason we term this era ‘the dark ages’. With the crusades of the 11th – 13th centuries, learning, science, technology and Literature, which had been preserved by the Byzantine and Islamic east, were recovered by the west. Thus the west regained Greek editions of the New Testament, where as they previously had only kept the Latin Vulgate. From this Greek text type, called the Byzantine text, along with other texts Erasmus, a Catholic scholar of the 16th century, compiled a Greek New Testament text which came to be known as the Textus Receptus. With the recovery of Greek learning and Erasmus’ monumental work people were able to translate the New Testament into various common languages. People could now plainly read passages of scripture that contradicted the dogmas of the Catholic Church. The Church ceased to be the arbiter of Truth in the minds of Protestant countries. But Protestantism held the Bible to be the ultimate authority and source of Truth. However in the 18th century, with the advancement of human learning, humanism not only rejected the Church as the authority, but they also rejected the Bible. People started to believe that, given time, scientific study, could yield all the answers to life’s questions. If there was a contradiction between conclusions drawn from scientific theory and the Bible, the Bible had to be subordinated to scientific theory.

Yet, despite its claims, humanistic science (which denied that there was any supernatural phenomenon and stated that reality was only to be found in what could be perceived by the five senses), could not prevail over mankind’s innate belief and unshakeable conviction that there must be more to life than this. Some accepted scientific theories have changed. Where as scientists used to hold to the big bang theory, many scientists are starting to hold to the complex theory known as ‘string theory’. Alleged evidence for evolution, such as Piltdown man, Nebraska man and Heidelberg man have been shown to be at best, mistaken for human, at worst deliberate frauds. With the rise of multiculturalism and the phenomenal ability to travel, the west’s caricatures of other religions and people groups have been contradicted by first hand experience of members of those groups and religions. Now we live in a marketplace of ideas, religions and spiritualities that all claim to be true. Some people do not care about eternal matters as long as they can maintain personal peace and affluence. Others, such as Tony Blair, seek to bring dialogue and acceptance between proponents of different religions in the cause of promoting world peace. When one looks at the Catholic Crusades, the inter religious fighting among the Moslems and the failure of Atheistic Communism to create just and fair societies people are inclined to reject dogmatism from any camp. We live in a Post Modern age where people have given up on the notion that any one religion or culture has all the truth. Where as the modern age naively believed that man could discover the Truth through their own objective study, the Post Modern age is skeptical that Truth can even be known.

Though this is a simple analysis of the rise of Post Modernism it does give us some understanding of how the west has gotten to its rejection of absolute Truth. We have an inborn sense that Truth is important. When we feel that we have been deceived in some hurtful way we become skeptical of anything the deceiving party may assert. But Truth still matters. One cannot play about with chemicals the way people play about with religion. To pick and mix ones intake of medication can yield disastrous results. In the areas of chemistry, mathematics, engineering, and medical science, precision can be a matter of life and death. One must deal with things as they really are and not pretend they are something other than they are to suit ones preference. Yet people seem to think that with the spiritual realm anythings goes. I once told a lady, in the nearest town I live to, that my wife and I are sharing the Gospel to Zulu people. She smiled and said, “Oh, that is nice” to which I responded “Only if it is true, only if it is true”. If ones belief system can be likened to a bus service, you can catch the bus that goes to Durban but you are not going to end up at Cape Town, no matter how much you believe and wish for the bus to get there. Truth matters. The New Penguin English dictionary defines Truth as ‘the state of quality of being true or factual’, as ‘distinct from being a lie’, ‘real life’, ‘sincerity in action, character, and speech; honesty’ and ‘loyalty, fidelity or constancy.’ To sum up from the perspective of the English language, Truth speaks of what is really there, whether on a scientific level, a historical level, a relational level or a psychological level. EMETH is a Hebrew word meaning Truth. When we observe churches in South Africa, just like in the Post Modern west, we see mixture. Christian bookstores and TV act as theological candy stores where preference and fashion determine what gets put on the shelves. Various streams of error run simultaneously and not everybody in these streams of error necessarily condone every other stream of error. Those who are into spiritual warfare, in the sense of binding and loosing territorial spirits, are not necessarily into the prosperity gospel. Some people who make a stand against ecumenism may well adhere to the word of faith teaching. But somehow, when we make a stance against one error we can be quite blinded to some of our own sacred cows. Yet it seems that often there is no major concern whether people are in Truth, but more concern about getting churches together in promoting peace and harmony. But if we are to hold to Truth then there needs to be an objective standard by which to judge all experience and doctrine and that standard must be the word of God.

Thank the Lord that there are truth-preaching pastors and leaders concerned about these discernment issues but we all have feet of clay. Pastors have fallen in various sins or have failed in their pastoral and leadership roles, have not set an example, have failed in their concern for the flock and have not maintained the purity of the assembly though they have preached against heresy. There are dangers we face when this happens.

We can turn against the notion of holding onto Truth as being essential because we see those in error sometimes show more integrity in their lives and ministries.

Or else we can do the opposite and maintain “purity of fellowship” by withdrawing from everyone and any church, treating every imperfection as a divisive issue.

Or we can go so hard on the pastor or elder, that not only do we expect him to do the right thing and step down, but WE can ALSO FAIL to do the right thing by not walking with him, supporting him and loving him so that he will start to repent and be restored.

Or lastly we can compromise in order to keep the status quo and turn a blind eye to the issue as something that is unimportant.

These are highly complex issues and we have all failed in some measure to walk the biblical line.

So Truth must concern more than verbal profession. A cursory view of 1 John makes this point very clear. In 1 John, John was battling the claims of the emerging Gnostics, something we will look at more closely in the next part of this series of studies on Emeth. The word Gnostic comes from the Greek word ‘Gnosis’ which means knowledge. These people believed that they were on a higher spiritual plain than other people because they had ascended through various levels of knowledge hidden from ordinary Christians. They boasted that they knew Jesus better than the ordinary believer because of their special revelation knowledge. In 1 John 1:1 John uses very descriptive words concerning his experience of Christ. “What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and touched with our hands, concerning the Word of Life-” Notice that John does not say that “I have seen, I have touched.” He speaks as part of a group. The group is the band of apostles who walked with Jesus while he was in the flesh. Even after the resurrection they still saw and touched Him. Basically John is presenting the True Jesus who is the True God and eternal life in contradiction to the false Jesus of the Gnostics which was an idol. In writing to his readership about the Gnostics John is saying, “Yes, the Gnostics say they have seen Jesus. But their Jesus told them that they have total freedom to sin? They saw Jesus in a vision? Well I did not see Jesus in some vision of my mind. I saw Him in reality, in the flesh with others who were also eyewitnesses. And my real Jesus disagrees with their visionary Jesus. So who has the real Jesus? Do not let these phonies disturb your faith!” In verse 6 John writes, “If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth; but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus cleanses us from all sin.” In other words you can profess all you like but unless there is a nakedness before God, and acknowledgement of the reality of where we are at, we are not practicing Truth. There is no liberty to sin when one is in Truth. There can only be a liberty from sin as one is cleansed. Truth goes hand in hand with holiness.

In 1 John 2:4 John writes “The one who says, “I have come to know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him”. It is not only enough to be honest but we must be consistent with what we profess. In other words we need to practice what we preach. If we do not, it does not matter how much our messages are biblical or how much we claim to be spiritual, the Truth is not in us. Ryrie claims that the word Truth in this verse not only speaks of “correct knowledge, but the demonstration of the reality of God’s love”. Even John writes in 1 John 3:18-20, “Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth. We will know by this that we are of the truth, and will assure our heart before Him in whatever our heart condemns us; for God is bigger than our heart.” To be in Truth it is imperative to love the brethren. Love is not an optional extra that we should maybe try to get around to some day. Even if we claim that we love the brethren but we cannot give them the time of day then we lie and the Truth is not in us. In 1 John 2:21-22 John writes, “I have not written to you because you do not know the truth, but because you do know it, and because no lie is of the truth. Who is the liar but the one who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, the one who denies the Father and the Son.” If ones doctrine is wrong they are not in the truth. Truth means to see God as He is and not what we suppose He must be like. Doctrine means the verbal and intellectual expression or explanation of that vision of God as He is. Doctrine means teaching. Our teaching has to be right if we are to be in Truth. So we see that Truth cannot be less than right doctrine but it has to be more.

We need a more comprehensive and biblical understanding of Truth, one that consists of more than contending for the faith. Truth must be professed but more importantly it must also be practiced. Does this challenge you in any way? Do you find that you are so focussed on one aspect of Truth that you have an incomplete appreciation for the significance of Truth in all areas? If so, please do not merely acknowledge it intellectually and speak it verbally. Will you pray today and each day for the Lord to guide you into all Truth by the leading of His Spirit? Do you desire Truth in all areas of your life, your family, you ministry and your churches? Take time to meditate and dwell on Truth as something that applies to every area of our lives and in the next study we will look at the aspect of “God is Emeth”.

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