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Msindisi Monthly # 101

February 2, 2013


NUMBER: 101 Feb 2013

PO BOX 1481

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

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KwaZulu Mission Website:

Dear Friends and family,

We thank the Lord for His faithfulness to us this month. Quite a number of things have transpired. Towards the end of last year we made a DVD of our lives and ministry in KZN, South Africa which we sent to friends and family. We have now uploaded the video files onto you tube and they are available to all interested in viewing them. To view them please find the links by clicking on the following page:

At the beginning of the month we had a couple visit from New Zealand. The husband was originally from Vryheid and his wife was from New Zealand and is a hair dresser. We were taken by surprise when we found out that she had done her training at the very same college that Di was employed as a tutor before coming out to South Africa. In fact his wife was taught by Di’s colleague the year after Di left New Zealand and she had heard about Di and here she was sitting in our Zulu house with her husband. They both love the Lord and are seeking His truth.

During this month we went to the physiotherapist to see about Di’s shoulder and for Salvi to pick up massage techniques to help with Di’s frozen shoulder. We found that on one of Di’s movements there was a 5 degree improvements but in all the others her movement has improved by 50%. That was so encouraging. Now Di has other exercises she has been given to do. While we were in Gauteng in December, Di’s laptop crashed, and so we were stuck without a computer to work from. Some friends in New Zealand wrote that they had put money in Di’s account feeling prompted by the Lord to give towards a new laptop.

Around the same time, we had gotten the windscreen refitted on the truck and after Salvi picked it up he parked it on the road to pick up new windscreen wipers and upon coming out of the shop found that the truck had been stolen. Salvi first went to the police station and opened up a case. While at the police station Hendrik and Craig, from Genrod, turned up with keys for one of their business vehicles which they have loaned to us. Their business Genrod has been such a huge blessing and source of help and support without which we would have been stranded on several occasions. Sadly we heard that five other trucks of the same make had been stolen on the same day. Most people we speak to think that it was a syndicate from Swazi land who cross the border through farm land. No body in Vryheid seems to hold out any hope that the police are capable of tracking down the criminals. This was disappointing to hear because we had the bakkie signed on Phumlani’s name and the keys were going to be handed back to him once we and the brethren in Port Elisabeth had saved enough to get a Nissan 4×4 that was offered to us. During this state of emergency we found out that the Nissan bakkie had been sold but our brother and the guy who heads up the ministry we are under, Alan Mackenzie, had found a Ford Ranger 2.5 Diesel, one and a half cab with a diff lock that the owner agreed to sell. Another lovely brother in the Lord from KwaZulu Natal has given an interest free loan and so they purchased the vehicle for the ministry and it will be in our possession until one day, we would have to leave South Africa. There will be scriptures sign written on the vehicle which will make the vehicle very noticeable and hopefully a deterrent to thieves as well as being a “vehicle” for communicating the gospel, excuse the pun. Some other brothers have given some finances, as well as Phumlani himself and a little bit of finances have been raised towards a new truck for Phumlani. We are busy trying to find something within the price range so please pray that we are guided to the right vehicle for him. He then may be able to start his small business again which he has not done since Salvi had the accident.

On a very positive note Di received her visa yesterday for 2 years. Her last visa expired 2 years ago so in effect Di has been given 4 years in the country which is one more year than she originally applied for. We were really jubilant.

Cell group has been going well. We are still going through Romans and as a cell group being united more and more in our understanding of God’s word and in our love for one another. After we do Romans Salvi is planning on doing a series on marriage as we feel that marriages are under huge pressure and attack in these days. The discipleship group at Alpha as well as Church and kids club faithfully continue and exponential growth is clearly evident in Mr Khumalo. Please pray for the children of kids club concerning their salvation, especially the older children, Zanele, Zuzu, Menzi and Ntandeka. They understand the gospel very clearly but have not given their lives to the Lord yet. This last month we received toy Koala clips from Pam Mott in Australia and the kids loved receiving these prizes.

This last month Salvi preached at Bethany baptist church one Sunday evening on the root of bitterness which is a teaching he will share with other churches. During february Salvi will be teaching it in Stanger with the brethren at Calvin Josiah and Mark Van Niekerk’ churches. While we are in Stanger, God willing, we will pick up the ministry vehicle and be able to drive back to Vryheid in it. The following week end we will be traveling up to Gauteng to speak at a meeting of three home churches that we spoke of last time. They are keen to have Salvi speak there at various intervals during the year as they were touched by the last time we visited them. Glory to God that He knows how to stir our hearts. But we are so grateful that Genrod have agreed to leave the bakkie with Phumlani until we get back from Gauteng.

This week we had the pleasure of Mark Van Niekerk and his wife MarieAnne visit us for two evenings. They stayed in Vryheid but put Mark to work in ministering about Israel. Mark is an preaching who has been doing short term mission trips to Israel since around 1997. His passion for Israel is unrivaled by anyone we have personally met. The ministry enables anybody who loves the Lord to gain opportunity to witness to Jews and Arabs in the Land of Israel in the most natural way while enjoying the study of God’s word at the historical sites. Their website is for those interested. We had Mark share his heart at the discipleship group at Alpha and Mark, being a fluent Xhosa speaker shared in isiXhosa which is very similar to isiZulu. The guys received the truth of the word so easily which had a profound effect on Mark who said that “uneducated” Zulus can understand that God has not finished with the Jews. He said, “It takes you to go to bible college to learn replacement theology.” Mark also shared on the Tuesday evening with the cell group which met at our place. He left an impression on our hearts and one of the members is positively reeling with questions as so much has opened up for her. A Zimbabwean believer, teaching in a local school and who is somewhat sound in the faith, visited the meeting and was very blessed as we were to meet him again. We plan on working somewhat with him when we share the gospel in his area. We also had Mesuli visit from church before heading down to Rhodes varsity to study pharmacy. He is probably the only Zulu in the whole of the surrounding areas who is in university. Please pray for his needs to be met and for biblically based believers to surround him. He is yet to be grounded in the word but has a heart for truth. He shared that when he hears Mark, Phumlani or Salvi teach he can’t stop thinking about his christian friends who have no idea about these truths of scripture. On the previous Sunday we had a special leaving service for Mesuli at the home of his family. It was a huge testimony to the grace of God on Phumlani’s life. On Wednesday evening Mark also shared at Bethany Baptist Church with similar effect and peoples’ hearts we’re also stirred.

Evangelism has continued with Salvi now being able to join Phumlani with sharing the gospel through Ngenitsheni. Mrs MaNqele seems to have gone colder towards the Gospel but we still pray for her.

Sadly we have heard that our brother in the Lord at Alan’s church in Port Elisabeth, has gone home. James has left behind Nella, his wife and our prayers are with her. We are happy for James as he was a real man of God with a jubilant and gracious disposition. We know he is with the Lord but we also know how hard it can be for loved ones left behind.


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. . More teachings will be posted in the future.




In the first part of this series about EMETH we saw that we live in a world that is skeptical that absolute Truth exists or can be known. This mindset has crept into churches who are more concerned about promoting harmony and peace than being in the Truth. But we have also seen that Truth matters and must be predicated on God’s word. There are also pastors concerned about error and doctrinal apostasy but Truth must concern more than right doctrine. Our understanding of Truth must be more comprehensive and apply to all areas of Christian life. During the next 3 parts in this series on EMETH we are going to look at various aspects of Truth. But first we must start with God. God is the foundation, the beginning and the end of Truth. God is Truth.

In John 14:6 Jesus claimed to be the Truth. “Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.” From this we automatically see that Truth is not to be relegated to the level of a tick list, that if we can tick all the right boxes then we are in the Truth. Truth is something personal and relational for Truth is manifested in the person of Jesus Christ. Jesus is THE Truth. This automatically calls for a reorienting of our perspective. I want to emphasise here that Truth cannot be separated from dogmatism in certain areas. The idea of Truth being something personal does not negate the reality that with Truth there are black and white issues. For example, if I do not believe that Jesus was born of a virgin I am not in the Truth. If I deny the Lord ship of Christ and teach that Jesus gave all authority to the church, I am not in the Truth. There are fundamentals that need to be held on to tenaciously if we are to be concerned about Truth. Truth concerns the acceptance of correct statements concerning God, the Word and the world in which we live. There can be no hobnobbing with erroneous teaching. However if purity of doctrinal statements is all we have, I feel that we have the true and necessary crust of Truth, the right container, but we are lacking the kernel and the heart. Truth is ultimately the person of Jesus Christ and this means we have to relate to Him. Jesus cannot concern less than right doctrinal statements but He is more.

If we look at the word EMETH, we see something remarkable. The Hebrew word means Truth as something ‘stable, certain, established, faithful, right, firmness and sureness’ and comes from the verb Aman meaning, ‘to build up, confirm and support’. In other words, you can depend on Truth. Truth is sure and will never let you down. Aman is where we get the words “emunah” meaning faith, faithfulness or truth, and the word “Amen”. When Jesus said to His disciples “Truly, truly” or “Verily, verily” He literally said “Amen, amen” meaning that it was more sure than sure, or that what He was saying was emphatically true. In Hebrew thought a word that is repeated twice makes that word intensive. It is very, or thoroughly true. EMETH does not merely mean that something is correct. EMETH means that something is so strong, so sure, that it does not matter what is thrown at it, Truth always prevails. Thus Truth must be big enough to account for all of reality. Truth is not only true in one context of life. Truth is not only true when people believe in it. Truth is true even if no one believes in it. That is why Jesus could claim that He is the Truth. Jesus, being God, was able to claim that He is the Truth because only God is infinite. Only God is big enough to account for all reality whether scientific, moral, psychological, artistic or spiritual. One reason why error has crept into the church is because people have doubted this one tenet and believed that God cannot account for everything. They relegate the bible to the level of doctrinal truth but do not see the bible as having anything to say concerning church growth. So they turn to the philosophies of the business and marketing world which are based on a world view that has more in common with pantheism than it does with the bible. Pantheism believes in the interconnectivity and God and all nature and between all living things.

God must be the beginning and end of Truth. The very Hebrew word for Truth demonstrates this fact. The word EMETH is made up of three Hebrew letters. Remember Hebrew does not have written vowels. In both ancient and modern Hebrew vowels are not used. Only with the transcribing of the Old Testament by the Masoretes were the markings, called vowel points, added to guide pronunciation. But the three letters that make up EMETH are Aleph (which is a silent letter given a sound by the vowel point assigned to it) Mem and Tav. Aleph is the first letter of the Hebrew Alphabet, Mem is the 13th letter and Tav is the last, the 22nd letter. At the beginning of EMETH there is the Aleph and at the end is the Tav. These two letters have the place in the Hebrew Alphabet that the letters Alpha and Omega have in the Greek Alphabet. In Revelation 1:8 God says that He is the Alpha and the Omega, which Jesus also claims to be in Revelation 22:13. So when we convert this into Hebrew we see that God is the Aleph and the Tav. He is the first and the last, the beginning and the end. God is at the beginning and end of Truth, Truth is in Him. Not only this, but when we look at the numerical value of the Aleph, this also demonstrates the theological truth of God as Truth. Each letter of the Hebrew Alphabet has a numerical value. The Aleph, being the first letter has the numerical value 1. This number represents God for God is one. Deuteronomy 6:4 says that Yahweh God is ‘one’. There is no other God except the God of scripture. Thus when you take that which represents God out of Truth, when you take the Aleph out of EMETH, you are left with the letters Mem and Tav. You are left with Met. Met means ‘dying’ or ‘dies’ or ‘dead’. When I want to say ‘He is dying’ in Hebrew I would say, ‘Hu met’. In other words when you take God out of Truth, you are left with death and Truth dies. Truth undergirds everything and so only God can encompass Truth.

Look at John 1:14. “And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.” To understand the significance of this verse one must understand the influence of platonic thought on the Judaism of Alexandria. John, in his Gospel, was hitting against hyper platonic thought. Plato was a Greek philosopher from Athens born in 428BC. One of the main ideas Plato taught was that everything in the physical realm was a pale and dim picture of the higher spiritual reality. Platonic thought developed over time and was a huge influence upon a Jew in Alexandria called Philo who lived between 20BC and 50AD. Philo believed that Plato got his best ideas from Moses and also taught that that the literal sense of scripture was unimportant. What mattered most was the hidden spiritual meaning. This would lead into the ‘Christian’ Gnostic theology that was conveyed by later apocryphal texts such as the Gospel of Thomas and the Gospel of Judas. Though it is true that Gnosticism as a theological system was not in existence until the second century AD, the seeds of it are evident in the Apostolic era as Apostles like Paul in Colossians and John in 1 John were obviously battling those developing Platonic ideas. Ultimately one of the fundamental premises of Platonic thought at the time of the Apostles was that everything physical, was not only a lesser reality than the spiritual, but was even evil. Only that which was spiritual was good. Thus the idea developed that the spirit was from God but the physical was from the Devil. These ideas would even develop later in church history to the idea that the creator God of the Old Testament was evil and Jesus came from the true spiritual God to liberate us from the God of the Old Testament. But one of the fundamental ideas was that man’s spirit was trapped by evil flesh and so salvation concerned the liberation of that which was spiritual from its enslavement in the flesh. The path of salvation was that of ascending through various levels of knowledge hidden from those who had yet to reach that stage of enlightenment.

So the quest for salvation was an ongoing journey of ascending and being initiated into new and higher levels of secret knowledge. The higher you got the more spiritual you were. John wrote his gospel to correct these ideas so that his readers might obtain real salvation. For John there IS a hidden knowledge but that knowledge is hidden from those who reject the gospel. There is only one initiation and that is to believe on the Son of God. There are no other levels of hidden knowledge. Jesus came to manifest the Father to people born in sin who cannot ascend to know Him because they are blinded by sin. Jesus came to make the seeing blind and the blind seeing. The main problem is not a lack of enlightenment but moral guilt and rebellion against the creator. So the first idea John hits against is that spiritual and physical cannot mix. The physical realm is fallen but is not intrinsically evil. The Word BECAME flesh, human flesh. Gnostics and hyper Platonists could not accept this. But secondly Jesus manifested the knowledge of God for ordinary people to see. People only need to believe in Jesus’ words as taught by the Apostles to see it. In John 1:14 John writes that the Word became flesh and ‘dwelt’ among us. The word in Greek for ‘dwelt’ is ‘Skeenee’ and if you look at the consonants, skn, you will be interested to know that they are derived from the Hebrew word ‘Shachen’ which means ‘dwell’ or ‘tabernacle’. The modern Hebrew word ‘Shachen’ means neighbour. But this is where the Jews developed the word ‘Shekinah’ meaning God’s glory which dwelt in the tabernacle. The Old Testament text was paraphrased into Aramaic by Jewish people who wanted to explain their interpretation of Old Testament passages in people’s ordinary language. These paraphrases were called Targums and were used in Jewish synagogues to help the hearers understand a passage in scripture. Often, in the Targums, the word Shekinah is used to speak of God’s glory in the tabernacle.

This is exactly what John is trying to communicate. We do not have to ascend to God’s level, indeed we cannot even try, so God’s glory came down to us and tabernacled in the flesh. John says that the glory of the only begotten of the Father was full of grace and truth. What is this glory? The Hebrew word for glory is ‘Kavod’ and it comes from a word meaning heavy. Often we think of glory in a visual sense as something that radiates light and this surely fits in with what John writes in the first chapter of his gospel. But what exactly is the Glory of God? How can we define it? John 17:5-7 speaks of the glory that Jesus had with the Father before the world began. In John 1:4 this glory is defined as life, which is also the light of men. Life and light are synonymous but describe different aspects of God’s glory. This heavily ties into John 17:3 which defines eternal life as the knowledge of God. In fact scripture contains the knowledge of God. The knowledge of God is eternal life, the life is the light of men and hardly surprisingly Psalm 119:105 declares that God’s word is a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path. Life is the knowledge of God and that life is also light. Hence, the knowledge of God is the glory of God. This is made even clearer when we read Exodus 33:18 where Moses asks God to show him His glory. God says that no man can see Him and live but in Exodus 33:19-22 God says that He will make all His goodness pass by Moses and in verse 22 refers to that goodness as His glory.

In Exodus 34:6-7, when God passes by Moses, the way that God reveals His glory to Moses is by preaching His own attributes. And God’s attributes can be summed up in two phrases. Firstly they speak of ‘God’s abundant mercies in forgiveness’ and secondly they speak of ‘God’s uncompromising judgment of His truth.’ God’s glory is full of grace and Truth. Truth cannot be separated from God’s grace and God’s grace cannot be separated from His Truth. When we dismiss one for the sake of the other we fall short of God’s glory as it is and hold onto a mere caricature. God is Truth and everything about His nature are all aspects of His Truth. Thus to not permit God to touch certain aspects of our lives, beliefs and preferences is to stop short of Truth. But Truth is first and foremost about God. Without Him there is no Truth, and Truth involves a personal relationship with Him in 2 way interaction. In short Truth means walking with Jesus. When you come to scripture do you study with the knowledge that you are having a personal encounter with the Lord? He will meet you in His word. As knowing Truth is more than intellectual assent, there must be a readiness to do what the Lord tell us to do. I want to encourage you to appreciate the personal aspect of Truth, that you study of the Word as a form of intimacy with the PERSON of Jesus Christ. Your study of the Word is a form of worship. There are two relationships that we are to have with the Word. We must get into the Word. That means that we must take time to read and to study it. But also we need to let the Word get into us, into our hearts and minds. We must receive the word implanted which is able to save our souls and the relationship of Truth with scripture is what we will examine in Part 3 of this series.













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