Introduction Albu van Eeden
John wrote in Revelation that he was in the Spirit on the day of the Lord and it is generally accepted that this was on a Sunday. May this truly be the day of the Lord for you and me. If you do not know the Lord, may this be the day of the Lord for you. For those who know the Lord, make this day the day of Lord. We spend so much time preparing ourselves for life on earth – 12 years at school – to prepare for life. Should we not put aside one day of the week to prepare ourselves for eternity? When I was a student I said that Sunday is the Lord’s day. The world gets enough of my time but Sundays will be the Lord’s day.
PowerPoint presentation on COVID-19
Why is there such a big hype about the Coronavirus? In a way, it is just another flu virus but the number of people who die from this virus is about 20 times the number of people who die from flu. This virus is so dangerous that 20 times more people die from it. This virus started, it appears, in the Chinese town of Wuhan as have many other viruses. The SARS virus started in roughly the same area in China. There are strong suspicions that China keeps germs for biological warfare. They create germs with which they war with other nations. According to the Geneva Convention which was drawn up after WWII, fighting with germs is illegal because it is so extremely dangerous. If you let germs lose on the world you can wipe out the entire population. Strictly speaking, no country is allowed to make war through the creation and spread of germs.
China has a communist government and they do not stick to the rules and they are secretive. Journalists who initially reported on the outbreak disappeared. They do not allow news to get out. It is a well-known fact that they have laboratories where they create germs for biological warfare. We have known for a long time that they have burnt Christian churches and persecuted Christians. Karl Marx said “Religion is the opium of the people.” It must be rooted out. All this may be coincidence but that is where the virus started.
What is the COVID 19 virus? It affects the organs with which you breathe. There is a suspicion that it was spread among people from animals but that is debatable. It originates from the family of the common flu virus. The areas that are usually affected are the lungs, throat and nose. There are 3 main symptoms: a temperature of 37.5°C or higher, a cough, a sore throat. It also causes other flu-like symptoms such as muscle and abdominal pains. The temperature and shortness of breath takes place when a person develops pneumonia from the disease because the virus has spread from the throat and nose into the lungs. This takes time because it starts in the nose.
People at risk are those who travel. Children seem to contract it less easily than adults. The elderly are in danger of dying from the disease.
The virus is spread in two ways: When an infected person coughs or sneezes, the tiny water droplets that are emitted are inhaled by healthy people and infects them; through touch; touching the hands of people who have the disease and then it is passed on to others.
When a person sneezes tiny droplets of saliva are spread out to about 2m from the person who has sneezed. These infected droplets spread out and infect others. This is the reason it is dangerous to travel in taxis, buses and aeroplanes because an infected person may have the virus who will infect others. We discourage people from travelling by taxi or bus at this stage. Restrict taxi travel to the absolute minimum. If you sit next to an infected person in a taxi and he coughs, the droplets fall on your hands, you shake the hands of the next person, you touch your eyes and face and in that way you spread the disease.
Social distancing is a term which means a safe distance away from people which is 2m. If you keep a 2m distance from others, infected droplets may fall to the ground and not infect you. You do not want to be in a place where a person coughs incessantly.
How can the spread of the virus be prevented?
Wash your hands; the palms, the backs, between the fingers and the thumbs. Sterile solution can be used to wipe the hands because the chemicals in the solution kill the germs. Wash your hands continually with water.
Hand shaking and unnecessary touching is discouraged. Keep a safe distance from people. People should spread out and not be seated close to one another.
Carry tissues wherever you go even if you are a man. If you happen to be close to a person who coughs, give him a tissue quickly so that he can cough into it.
Avoid touching your face because the virus can enter through your mouth and eyes.
Wash your hands with soap and water.
Cover your mouth with a disposable tissue or mask. Throw tissue away immediately after use. A mask must be discarded after a day’s use.
Each family member must have their own towel.
If you get sick, contact your doctor by phone.
Rinse your hands every half hour even without soap.
When you enter a building wash your hands and when you exit do the same.
Germs are present in the urine and stools of the infected person. Gloves and masks must be worn when cleaning toilets.
While preparing food, hands must be regularly washed.
If you display symptoms, the rule is to immediately stay away from other people for about 14 days in order to see whether it develops into something serious or not. Call your doctor if you can. Do not go to public places such as dining halls, services or any gatherings.
Protocols regarding this virus will be introduced on the mission not because we have had a patient with the disease. No person on the mission has had the disease. I have had a test for the virus because I constantly deal with sick people. The test for the virus is expensive, approximately R1300. There are not enough tests in the country. Doctors must fill out forms before they will permit a test.
How far has the disease spread across the world? Italy is closed. There are thousands of people in Italy. No one may enter or exit the country. No one may be on the streets and shop. The USA has stopped all flights from any European country and England. In Ireland no meetings with groups of 20-30 people are allowed. Outside meetings may not have more than 400 people.
Private schools in South Africa have stopped bus services. The DoE has said that schools can be closed if they see the need to and some schools have closed. I spoke to a specialist who said that if what is happening in Europe takes place here then South Africa has no hope. We do not have enough protective gear, enough medicine or enough tests. We are in serious trouble. We must stop it in this country before it grows.
I asked two people to take my blood specimen to Alberlito Hospital when I tested myself. The hospital said to me that if the people arrive with the specimens they must be masked and answer questions at the door before they will be allowed in. The specimens must be in an airtight container. They entered and the sealed box was opened. Everything was done separately using strict precautionary measures. When they had finished they had to dress themselves up in protective gear where they were exited through a back door in order not to infect others.
The mission will take the following steps:
From Sunday, 22 March, no vehicles will fetch people for services. We encourage people to listen over Khwezi or livestream. The Easter conference is cancelled until further notice as well as the June Youth conference. There will be no further CYPSA admissions. This epidemic generally takes about 3 to 4 months before it begins decreasing. 3 months from now is June – we will see what happens. We must take drastic action because of the activities on the mission.
We thank God for all we have heard which is important. When we entered our hands were sanitised and everyone gladly accepted the sanitiser. You trust that the person who may have had an infection on his hands has been cleaned. Consider spiritual germs. When a person has spiritual germs the person next to him is also unsafe. You may sit next to a person whose mouth pours forth death which kills the next person. A person who is full of poison is poisonous. We should be spiritually alive so that we can spread a life-giving atmosphere to people around us.
The Bible reading for today is taken from 1 John 1.
That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life— 2 the life was made manifest, and we have seen it, and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was made manifest to us— 3 that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. 4 And we are writing these things so that our] joy may be complete. 5 This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. 6 If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. 8 If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.
These are the words of a person who had a testimony. He had witnessed things first hand. They testified of what they had witnessed with their own eyes – the miraculous works that were done among them. They saw great things with their own eyes when Jesus performed mighty works in their midst and that is why they could speak so boldly. A person may hear things but not speak about them because he is unsure of the facts but if a person is a first-hand witness who can oppose his testimony? If I tell you what Jesus has done in my life, who can oppose it? I know what Jesus has done for me. I know what He has cleansed me and delivered me of. The word says that he who has the Son has a testimony. He has who the Son has eternal life. Anyone who has met the Son of God can never be the same again. The Bible says that if the Son of God has delivered you, you shall be free indeed. No one will mistake the change. The gospel of Jesus Christ makes the difference. It becomes obvious to everyone because they can see it in your changed life. If you have met with this you have met with the life found in the Son of God. The Son of God is one with God and nothing happens on earth or in heaven without Him knowing it.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. John 1:1 Christ and God are one thing. There is nothing that separates them. The Father and the Son cannot be separated. God is almighty. In Genesis God spoke a word and said “Let there be light,” and there was light. Genesis 1:3 The power is in the word of God. Who can speak things into existence? There was darkness on the earth but when God said “Let there be light…” things changed. 2 The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. Genesis 1:2 When the light came things changed 5 God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. Genesis 1:5 There is a difference between light and darkness. There should be this distinction in our lives – it was dark but now it is light. There was a period of time in our lives when we did the deeds of darkness before the light came. Light should make a distinction. When light comes it comes with life-giving power. It is impossible for light to shine on people without bringing life – the true source of life. Your life is in the state it is because you have not met with the source and power of the light.
John says that we speak of what we have seen with our eyes and touched with our hands. The word of life is the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus is part of the triune God, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. John witnesses to the life which was made manifest and worked in their midst. He speaks about the things they experienced. They could not remain silent about the wonderful things they had experienced when walking with Jesus. They could not say enough about the life they had experienced with Jesus when lived with Him for a few years before He ascended to heaven. When you read this text it is fresh, it never gets old. The gospel is always new. John could never forget the day he met with life when he met with Jesus. Do you remember what Jesus has done for you or has it become stale? Jesus gives us life. He gives us a future that we can walk with him with a clear conscience. Jesus gives us victory over the sin that entangles. He sets a person free from that sin. Is there a sin that grips you? Then you have not met with the power of this Jesus. If you meet up with the power of Jesus, it conquers your will. You submit to the will of Jesus.
You need a personal meeting with the Lord Jesus where you know His touch in your heart. You used to be stubborn but since Jesus entered you are soft and meek. God saw fit that the life that was within Him should be passed onto others and not remain in Him only. The death of Jesus when He conquered Satan and the hordes of hell, was meant for us all and not only as a personal victory for Jesus. The power in the blood and name of Jesus is meant for you and me so that we may be delivered from sin. We should not be weighed down by the burden of sin then the power of the blood of Jesus has not done its work in your life. You should not return to your old sins – the internet, porn. If the internet is a stumbling block to you, stay away from it. You will not make headway spiritually otherwise. You complain about not getting victory over your eyes and lust but you will never get victory if you return to the things that cause you to stumble. The power that is hidden in Christ is available to us if we draw from it. It gives us a victory over these things. Jesus had this power every day to do God’s will. He was in fellowship with God the father. He slipped away from people in order to be close to His Father where He could draw power to continue with His work. Even in the most difficult times he stood boldly because he drew on the power of God. While Jesus was on earth He faced man difficult situations. Many disciples left and forsook Him. Jesus did not suffer from self-pity but asked those who remained behind whether they also did not want to leave. God’s work will not stop because of people who have left. Jesus does not depend on you or me to do His work. He will continue in spite of you and me. He asked them whether they did not also want to leave. Peter answered, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, 69 and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.” John 6:68-69 There is no other source of life except Jesus Christ. If we do not have Jesus we are as dead. Peter understood that if he was not part of Jesus there would be no life and there was no other place where it could be found. This life should be visible in our lives. People should see that that man lives for Christ; that family lives for Christ. They do not rely on their own strength but draw life from Christ. They have experienced this life and do not want to part from it. They know the sweetness of following Christ. Who can separate us from this? 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? Romans 8:35 There is nothing that can separate us from the love of Christ. Do you remember what it means to have fellowship with Jesus Christ or is it something of the past? You used to encourage others. You used to be razor-sharp spiritually. You used to tell others how wonderful it was to serve Christ. You did not mind where you served God – you said you would serve him regardless. Is it still like that now? Is the Son of Righteousness shining in your life? Your life has become dull and lost its lustre. There is no brightness. Your life no longer draws people because something has gone lost. Look at your life. Is that fire still burning?
When John reflected on what he had experienced, it remained fresh. His heart was still aflame. Does the flame of the gospel still burn in your life? What is it like today? You have become spiritually lazy. No wonder so many sins have entered your life.
In summary. This is the message the apostles heard from him – God is light and there is no darkness in Him. We can see whether we have this light in our lives by our fellowship with the people of God. People say today, “How can I be with that person? I do not even want to see that person!” Christians crucify each other. They do not want to see the sight of another person. They wish death on that person. Can such people call themselves believers? Such an individual must be extra careful and protect themselves against ‘brothers’ and ‘sisters’. The light has lost power and that which should be found has been lost. That which is in the world is in the church. There is no longer sweet fellowship between brethren. What is the fellowship like between me and other Christians? How will you enter heaven if you do not have fellowship with a person who walks closely with God? God is light. He who has experienced this light walks in it. This light exposes things in your life. You would be unable to live the life that you do if you truly live in this light. Those who walk in the light have fellowship with one another and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all evil. Where do you stand in relation to this light of God? Such a person wants to walk where the light radiates the way in front of him. He lets the light shine on others as well. When you walk in that light others will be drawn to it.
Conclusion Nico Bosman
What wonderful, amazing words! Light will overcome darkness. If you are in a dark room you will see a torch beam. It overcomes the darkness. There is no torch that shines darkness. A torch cannot make a light room dark. Light overcomes darkness. If we live in the light, if we have God’s light we have to overcome the darkness.
Final words Albu van Eeden
In connection with the measures we are taking regarding the COVID-19 virus. People might say, “Don’t you trust God to keep you?” We still trust God but that does not mean we do not use our common sense. David faced Goliath by faith. He first put on Saul’s armour but it was too heavy. He had no experience with the armour. David used his mind. He had to kill Goliath from a distance. He realised that he could kill him with a sling. He used his common sense. It was not David’s skill that saved him, it was God. A miracle from God does not mean that we do not need to use our common sense.