Testimony of Gugulethu Shabalala in English/isiZulu
Testimony of Gugulethu Shabalala in French
Testimony of Gugulethu Shabalala in German
Introduction Nico Bosman
We greet you in the wonderful name of our Lord. What a privilege to meet and hear what the Lord has for us this morning. I recently read something about a ship: what makes a ship sink is not what is inside but what comes in from outside. A hole in the ship allows water to enter and this is what sinks the ship. What do we fill ourselves with? What is it that comes in? What do we read, see or listen to? If it is the wrong thing, it will sink us. We are thankful to be here and fill ourselves with God’s word.
Testimony of Gugulethu Shabalala of CYPSA
I greet you all in the wonderful name of my Saviour, Jesus Christ. I am from Soweto. I am here to briefly speak about my life: where I come from, where I am now and where I am heading to. I grew up in a Christian family who loved and knew God very well. On 29 September 2001 I made a decision to follow the Lord Jesus but I did not know that this decision was the beginning of a war with the devil. I had bad friends and I wanted to be in step with my peers. I asked a friend of mine to put a tattoo on my body – which I still have. That tattoo signed me up to be anti-Christ. I did not know that each tattoo has a meaning for a Satanist. Although I was known as an intelligent young man, things changed after this. From a young age I attended almost all the theatres in my area where I danced and acted but because of that bad decision I took, my entire life was ruined. I began to smoke. I did not realise that cigarettes and tobacco are the gateway for other demons to enter. I ‘graduated’ from cigarettes to dagga and alcohol. I introduced myself to Mandrax and in order to maintain my habit I did housebreaking with my friends and eventually home robberies. I began working alone. The devil gave me the power to hypnotise people into giving me money without me using a gun.
My Christian family took me to various rehabs but to no avail. They even took me to a Christian place but it did not help. I went in and out of prison but it did not help. I got the point where I lost hope for life and realised that nothing good will ever come out of me. I was diagnosed with TB but I still smoked Whoonga and Nyaope and then I developed epilepsy. But what is impossible with man is possible with God. One day when I heard a simple man preaching, I made a decision to go to the front. He prayed with me and after two days took me to a centre. I stopped with drugs but I continued with cigarettes and because of my disobedience, I began with drugs again – this time including crystal meth.
My parents came to KwaSizabantu and they liked the place. They told me about it and asked me to come here. In the beginning, it was difficult because I had been to a place that was similar to this one where after the sermon we would go out and use drugs. My parents pleaded with me. So, in December last year I arrived. On arriving I heard a Zulu chorus that they were singing: Where do you get such courage to hide the devil within yourself? When I heard what they were singing, I just saw foolishness. I had a different mindset, thinking how can these people say this to me? Who can put the devil within themselves? Who do these people think I am? I did not know my heart was thirsty. I had grudges. I harboured evil things that nobody else knew about. The Lord says that He will use the foolish to shame the wise. I have been to many different places, including the Church of Scientology and these churches use the wise to shame the foolish. In today’s churches, as you walk in, they sum you up to see what your status is.
When I came to the mission, God used a despised thing to make me who I am today. I made my life right before the Lord. I spoke it all out. It was difficult at times but I exposed all the evil in my life. Today I am free. I am free indeed. If only I had received this truth long ago, I would be much further now. I did not know confession of sins. I knew that a believer holds a Bible in his hand and he sings and preaches but after coming here, God showed me something different. What I read in the Bible and saw in this place, I thanked God for because I was in the right place.
Maybe God can use me as a tool to help you. What God did for me He can do for you as well. I am standing here so that nobody will have an excuse when they stand before His throne.
Duncan Campbell once said that one of the signs of revival is when people outside the church are touched – when people who are not in the church are touched and their lives are changed. These testimonies that we hear indicate that God is at work. It should encourage and inspire us to live even more for Him.
We are grateful for a living testimony of what God has done for a man. Who can refute the testimony of a person? Who can oppose a testimony? We thank God for what He has done for him. It is grace if God’s mercy reaches a person’s life. The Bible says there is joy in heaven over one sinner who repents. The old has gone and the new has come. May the Lord help you, brother, to go forward and that the Lord will also use you. It is important that you obey Him. Be obedient to that which the Lord tells you and He will help you.
24 “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. 26 And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. 27 And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.” 28 And when Jesus finished these sayings, the crowds were astonished at his teaching, 29 for he was teaching them as one who had authority, and not as their scribes. Matthew 7:24-29
About four or five years ago, we experienced a terrible storm with violent winds that wreaked havoc across a large area of KwaZulu-Natal. It caused much damage in Msinga. There were such torrents of rain that trickles of water became raging rivers. People related how houses that used to be in certain places were swept away so that after the storm there was no sign of any house. They had been swept away by the floodwaters. People were swept away in their homes and never heard of again. Our community radio station went out the following day to investigate. They found a Christian woman, one of our brethren, who explained what they had experienced. One of her children was swept away while in the house and never seen again. What helped her was that she held onto a window frame with all her strength until she was saved. This flash flood swept homes and people away. Close to that house there had been a hut but after the flood there was nothing left. The deciding factor was the kind of foundation the building had been built on.
24 “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. Jesus concludes his sermon on the mount with this text. (Go and read the entire sermon.) Jesus concludes by saying that it would not help His listeners to only listen to the message but to also put His words into practice. Jesus divides the hearers into two categories: the wise and the foolish. There are those who are wise, truly wise, and there are those who make out to be wise but then their true colours are revealed and they are utterly foolish. It is wonderful to sit in a service and listen to God’s word. It may seem like we all have a part in it but Christ comes and divides: the wise and the foolish. We need to understand this. Amongst us, there are those who are wise and those who are foolish. In the end we all must stand before the judgement throne of God and receive according to what they have done. Then it will become evident who is wise and who is foolish, who walked aright and who went the wrong way. Jesus brings division and separation. He says that the one who is wise is the one who puts into practice what he has heard.
What do you do afterward you have heard? What is the outcome of your hearing? Do you put into practice the Word of God? The Word of God needs to be put into practice. It needs to be visible in our lives that we live according to it and put it into practice.
We cannot take this matter lightly because God does not take it lightly. The time will come when He will separate the sheep from the goats. We may think it is important to be together, but God separates: sheep on one side and goats on the other side. Those who do the things pertaining to goats will be on one side and those who show the character of sheep on the other side. They cannot be together. It will become evident who is wise and who is foolish. If God’s word says you shall not steal, it means you may not steal. If God’s word says you should not bear false testimony, it means just that. What does it help us if we say we bear witness, but we bear false witness or false testimony? God will judge us. In Psalm 15 and Psalm 24 we read:
O Lord, who shall sojourn in your tent? Who shall dwell on your holy hill? 2 He who walks blamelessly and does what is right and speaks truth in his heart; 3 who does not slander with his tongue and does no evil to his neighbour, nor takes up a reproach against his friend… Psalm 15:1–3
3 Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord? And who shall stand in his holy place? 4 He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to what is false and does not swear deceitfully. Psalm 24:3–4
Back to Matthew 7: 21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ 23 And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’ Matthew 7:21-23
It does not matter how many times you have used God’s name, (God’s word says that you should not use the Lord’s name in vain) but not all those who have said, “Lord, Lord…” will enter but only those who do the will of my Father who is in heaven. This makes one fear and tremble. Who, then, will enter the kingdom of Heaven? It does not depend on what we say about God or what we testify, but only on whether we do the will of God in heaven. It does not even depend on the fact that you say you know God but it depends on whether you have walked in His ways and have been true to Him and His word. This is a shocking word: 21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Do I do the will of the Father in Heaven? Do I keep the word of God or do I hear it and push it aside and not trouble myself anymore? I am not concerned whether God’s will is truly done in my life. Just imagine how long you have known the Lord and how many services you have attended but the possibility remains that at the end Jesus will say, “Go away from Me, I never knew you.” God sees the works of darkness in your life even though you may be in the service and proclaim that you are a Christian. You think you are present but God marks you absent because your spirit and soul are not present. For how long will you continue in your darkness? The time is past where you can sit on the fence and waver between two things so that it is not clear where you stand. Separation has come and it is clear who is wise and who is foolish. The one whose house has been built on the rock will be saved.
The storms come, the flood waters rise, the violent wind blows against the houses and it becomes obvious which ones have been built on the rock and which have been built on the sand. Are you still wavering? Do you wonder whether God is working in this place or not? Let it become clear where you stand. Do you have eyes to see and ears to hear? Have you seen the flood waters and the rain? What have the flood waters done to you? What do you hold onto when the floodwaters come and sweep others away? Even now, people are being swept away. Where are you? Have the flood waters covered you? Maybe you are covered by silt and rubble? If you are, it will not take long before there will be the stench of a corpse. The living cannot live with a corpse; that is why it is taken to the mortuary, otherwise the corpse will spread disease and infection.
You cannot remain healthy with a man who gossips. If you live with people who are fault finders, murmurers and grumblers, you will be infected and die. Your infection and death may cause contamination in someone else who may still have had a remnant of truth.
He who puts into practice the word of God will live. Are you amongst those who are wise or those who are foolish – who have heard the word of God but have not put it into practice? These words demonstrate the absolute holiness of God. We cannot fathom God’s holiness, His righteousness and His justice. We cannot measure His height, His width, depth. Who are we to think we can ever get close to it?
He who puts into practice the word of God: O Lord, who shall sojourn in your tent? Who shall dwell on your holy hill? 2 He who walks blamelessly and does what is right and speaks truth in his heart; 3 who does not slander with his tongue and does no evil to his neighbour, nor takes up a reproach against his friend… Psalm 15:1–3
The Word of God says that you will know them by their fruit – those who do not slander, who speak the truth, who speak what is right, who spread a message that is up building – not those who spread lies, disease and slander through newspapers or social networks. We will have to appear before the judgement seat of God and then things will become crystal clear when the two sides will be separated.
The Bible says that 22 On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ One day it will be crystal clear in whose name they did those things. Can you imagine how terrible it will be, if you also have to cry out, “Lord, I thought I was working in Your name, am I also disqualified?”
Many are often drawn when God is at work. They witness the powerful work of God and they also want to experience it. Simon, the sorcerer, wanted to pay for the power of the Holy Spirit for his own gain. But he met with men, filled with the Spirit of God who were unmoved by money or anything else. 20 But Peter said to him, “May your silver perish with you, because you thought you could obtain the gift of God with money! Acts 8:20 This gift is not for personal gain, nor is not obtained by paying money, it is only for saving others. This gift is not for fame or money, purely for the salvation of souls. Simon came in the name of Jesus; he mentioned the name of Jesus. He came to the apostles and wanted to be part of that work but he had his own agenda.
Only the one who does the will of the Father in heaven will succeed, will win, will reach the goal and be numbered among the wise. I hope you realise which group you are in. People love to belong to the party of their choice. But God will bring about a separation, those who stand for the truth and those who associate with a lie, those who are true and those who are false. Each one will have to stand before God to be rewarded for what he has done. With whom are you associated? With Judas? He was in God’s work. He considered himself close to Jesus but what was his agenda? What was he busy with? He betrayed Jesus. He knew all about Jesus. He knew where He prayed. He knew all His secrets but he sold Him to the enemy. Woe to you if you find yourself close to the man of God but you betray him.
An empty tin makes the most noise. But beat a tin that is full of water, paraffin or oil and see whether it will make a noise. Have discernment between what is wise and what is foolish. That which has happened in the past will happen again. The empty tin makes the most noise because it is empty. Are you a resounding gong that makes a lot of noise but after that there is nothing more to it? Or are you like that tin that is filled? It does not make a noise because it has something inside. Do you have the appearance of godliness but you deny its power? There may be a brother or sister in the church but it is clear that there is no victory over sin. Are you still amongst those who slander, gossip and find fault? Are you still in the assembly of those who do not go forward? You can hide, you can run but the day will come when your true colours will be seen.
22 On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ Are we also rejected? 23 And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’ We say Jesus knows us but for what does He know you? In what way does He know you? Does He know you as a believer who is complete in the work of the Lord or as a hypocrite? What you live is different to what you say or speak about. It is one thing to preach but when you leave the pulpit you live like the devil. No, we need to live what we preach and then people will realise there is power in the word of God which can transform the lives of people. It will be evident that a person has changed. He no longer lives in lies but he lives for God. What do people observe in your life at home? Parents, what do your children see in your life? You may deceive people but there is one Person you will never deceive. It will become evident whether you put into practice the word of God, or whether the word of God is something that you do not live.
21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven and who puts His words into practice. This is the challenge for each of us. When we leave, we need to put into practice what God asks of us.
Conclusion Dietmar Joosten
These words are the key to your spiritual life. Are you a goat or a sheep? The wise man dug down deep into the Rock which is Christ and he built on it. The Bible says The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight. Proverbs 9:10 The fear of the Lord shows you and reveals to you who the Lord is and what it is about. If you want wisdom then fear the Lord. This helped me. When I read God’s word, I was serious, I said to myself, “Dietmar, if you ever do that again, it will be the end of your life.” The Bible spoke to me and opened my mind. But you always go back. Be a wise man, stop what you are doing and build your house on the rock.