Introduction Michael Ngubane
Letter from Rev Erlo Stegen to the KwaSizabantu congregations in South Africa, Australia and Europe was read.
When man began to multiply on the face of the land and daughters were born to them, 2 the sons of God saw that the daughters of man were attractive. And they took as their wives any they chose. 3 Then the Lord said, “My Spirit shall not abide in[a] man forever, for he is flesh: his days shall be 120 years.” 4 The Nephilim[b] were on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of man and they bore children to them. These were the mighty men who were of old, the men of renown. 5 The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. 6 And the Lord regretted that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart. 7 So the Lord said, “I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, man and animals and creeping things and birds of the heavens, for I am sorry that I have made them.” 8 But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord. 9 These are the generations of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his generation. Noah walked with God.
We know the story of Noah and the ark. When Noah entered the ark, God closed the door in His time. My friend, it is not worth it if you are not in this ark of God.
When you walk with God, you are in tune with Him, you talk to him and he talks to you. My sheep hear my voice, Jesus said. Test yourself whether you are in the ark.
God gave instructions to Noah because He saw that he was a man who wished to please God and would thus follow the instructions He gave. When this revival started, even then people turned against what God had taught. This is not the first and maybe not the last time that people will turn against what God has taught us in the revival.
God gave Noah specific instructions, specific dimensions and told him exactly what he was supposed to do. We do not hear that other people were given instructions too. God spoke specifically to him and told him exactly what to do. God started this revival through one man and he gave him specific instructions over the years of how things should be done. Do we want to change it? We want to go another way? I have not heard of another man who went through what Reverend Stegen went through to pay the price for God being amongst His children. When we come in, did we appreciate its value or is it cheap for us?
The instructions were given to Noah: the wood he should use, the dimensions and the manner in which he should build. The ark was made of wood. The cross of our Lord Jesus Christ was also made out of wood. The waters on which this ark floated, represents baptism. The pitch was smeared inside and outside so that it could not sink, is symbolic of the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ that needs to cover our lives. The door on the side is symbolic of the wound made by the spear in Christ’s side on the cross. If we experience this we will become one church of our Lord Jesus Christ. This revival has revived the church of our Lord Jesus Christ and if you listen to what you have been taught in the past then you understand why the devil hates the revival.
There is no time as evil in the world as it is today with cellphones, the internet, violence and death. Do you understand why God wants to save us?
37 For as were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. 38 For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, 39 and they were unaware until the flood came and swept them all away, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. (39 And they did not know or understand until the flood came and swept them all away—so will be the coming of the Son of Man. Amplified Version) Matthew 24: 37-39. Jesus said the end times will be like in the time of Noah.
The Bible says that the people did not understand. Forgive those who talk foolishly and as if they know everything, they do not understand. Why? I dare say there is sin in the life. Respect the man who puts his hand to his bosom and says, “Lord, start with me, I am in need of help.”
O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? It was before your eyes that Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified. Galatians 3:1
Maybe you have many thoughts and feelings and words that you speak. You say you are confused. Why? Your heart is confused. Admit it and you will be helped. How? There are people we can go to and get clarity. Confusion exists and will enter if sin has been allowed to enter. Believe it, do not doubt it. Maybe there are hidden things in your life you are afraid to expose. The Word tells us to expose the evil things and bring them to the light.
2the sons of God saw that the daughters of man were attractive. And they took as their wives any they chose. Genesis 6:2
“The sons of God (that is, the professors of religion, who were called by the name of the Lord, and called upon that name), married the daughters of men, that is, those that were profane, and strangers to God and godliness.” Matthew Henry. Professors can forsake their own wives, take others, and call themselves children of God. These professors of religion married the daughters of men who were strangers to God and godliness. This gives us a glimpse of the situation of that time. Remember Enoch. He was family of Noah. Methuselah was also family. Profanity took place when they took and married people who were not godly and pure. Enoch walked with God and he was taken without dying first. He must have had many children and grandchildren. What happened to them? The Bible gives us a glimpse: men of God, the sons of God, saw the daughters of men, not the daughters of God. Why were they drawn to these women? Because evil has an attraction which entices many, many people. That is why so many people fall. Something may look so beautiful but a beautiful apple can contain a worm. The sons of God began flirting with these women. These men were not godly. It must have been so important to God that is why it was written down for us. These men took women who were ungodly, who were impure. God detested it.
Sin becomes attractive. Once it grips you, you see things you never saw before, you think things you never thought before and it grips you. When you began your walk with God, when you first came, your whole being sought God, you sought the purity of God but suddenly a certain sin has become attractive to you.
Children, God created you pure. When a person is pure he does not have the attraction of someone who is impure. Do you understand? If there is already an attraction for something worldly eventually you will love it and then you do it. It begins with flirting which you have possibly been busy with for a long time. One eye is closed because you want to be a believer, but the other eye is open to the attractions and beauty of this world.
Where does the devil attack? Those that are the future. The youth. He hates the youth when they stand for God. The devil knows when pure young boys and girls stand firm, God will make them victorious, that is why he tries his uttermost to get hold of young people. Do you understand why, when things change in the church, it mostly starts with the youth? The devil attacks the youth. It’s the clothes. Then it is the hair. Then it’s the shoes. Then it is the nails. Then the face is too light, so you darken it. Do you understand why the devil attacks? He wants to break the future. He has a long-term plan. We do not see it. We do not recognise it. When that evil fire starts, the best solution is to kill it when it is small, do not wait. Then they use slang. The Bible says that the mouth speaks what the heart is full of. The interesting thing is, when that mouth talks, one of the first words that come out – don’t tell anybody else, if you do you will be stabbing me in my back – or – this is between us, I want to enlighten you, even though a counsellor says that, be careful. The Bible says that he who talks much, sins much. When words are many, transgression is not lacking but whoever restrains his lips is prudent. Proverbs 10:19. What is your talk and gossip in your house or in your bedroom been like? Like that of Ananias and Sapphira?
It is not worth it to forsake the gospel which the Lord has taught us. Mark teaches us about the coming deception in that it will be so intense that even the elect will be deceived. Look at what God is doing. Where is there a place in the world where you find so many people, drug addicts with problems? Is your Gospel limited only to your family? Where are the ones that God sends to you to be saved? Can we not thank God for what He has done and praise Him that He has brought us together here as different nations to teach us to be united and to work together? What man despises, God works with.
The sons of God got mixed up with the world. That was the problem, the world crept in. Yet when you want to push the world out of the church, you are considered the worst man that exists. When God’s servant speaks the truth as he has done over the years, it’s not good enough for you anymore. There are things in your life where you are compromising, things which are impure have entered, they should not belong to a Christian.
Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord. Genesis 6:8
There were so many others with Noah, even of his own family members but God said, “I’m not interested in them, I’m interested in you Noah because of your life.” God notices His people, He even asked Satan whether he had seen His servant Job. Children, your parents would love to say, “Lord Jesus, thank you for my child.” Maybe they pray that you will come to them and say sorry for what you have done wrong.
These days I heard about a young boy here at school. I thank God for this school, for the teachers and the leadership because one day, we will experience what God is doing through the children. A parent told me about their child who came back one afternoon from school. The child said that he had spoken to the class because “God spoke to me last night.” Then he said, “My parents, I went to school and I asked the teacher whether I could speak to the class.” And the teacher, like any good teacher, allowed the child to speak to the classmates. God can speak through a little child. He said to the class, “Children, we are a naughty class. Do you know why we are naughty? Because we hide sin in our lives.” A little child said that. “We are hiding sin, that is why we are naughty”.
The eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous. God will never forsake His servant, Reverend Stegen, and by God’s grace he will enter heaven with those eyes on him and God will keep him. Are God’s eyes upon your life? Ask yourself. Christ died for us all. We all have the same opportunity. No one is better than the other. But it is grace. Are his eyes upon you when he sees your upright, honest heart? Some advice…stop pointing your fingers at others. Three fingers point back at you. Mean business with God. Go on your knees. God is helping so many people, why is He not helping you?
Noah walked with God, like Enoch. Enoch walked with God. This is a different life from what we are used to. Noah was blameless in his generation. Blameless means ‘exceptional obedience’. I believe Noah had parents who taught him obedience, exceptional obedience. Children, mother should only have to speak once and then you keep your mouth shut and obey. This is what the Lord Jesus wants from us. When your parents speak to you, they are teaching you. Maybe some parents have never learnt obedience and that is why they cannot teach their children obedience. What you learn as a young child, you practise when you are older. Parents, we have a responsibility before God – teach your children obedience. It does not matter what your child wants and likes. Teach that child obedience. If you see someone else’s child, do not close an eye, teach that child obedience too. Why do you teach him that? So that when God speaks the child has learnt how to obey. This is part and parcel of this revival – obedience. There is no confusion or disorder. God has taught us that from the beginning.
So God instructed Noah to build the ark. Many people helped Noah with the job. He could not have done alone with his three boys. People must have brought in the wood, put up the pegs, there must have been a group of people who built the ark. They were instructed in what they had to do. I do not doubt that there were children of Enoch there. Methuselah died 5 years before the flood. There were families. But God chose the family of Noah. Who are Noah’s children, and who was Noah? God’s church. You and I. God has chosen us to be his children. Jesus said, “Who are my mother, brothers and sisters? Those who do the will of the Father in heaven.”
You may say I have worked hard building this ark, I have given everything, I have worked day and night. Nobody can do the work I am doing. But that is not the key. The key is: is your name written in the Book of Life? Otherwise your work is meaningless. You cannot go to heaven and say, “Lord I have done this and I have done that.” You will say, “Lord Jesus, thank you that you saved me from my sins, how can I even pay You back?” You are not the only one who works hard, there were many others who built the ark. Those working with the pitch were pitch black when they arrived home. Those who built the ark were doubters. Noah must have often heard the people who did not believe in what he was doing. But he kept it in his heart until the right day. The scoffers and the mockers were there too, “What does this old man think he is doing? There is no sea nearby. How on earth is he going to gather all these animals?”
When the mission started here, a young lady at the time, Aunty Lydia, dreamt this place is built on a treasure. Because I was working on the farm I was often with Reverend Stegen. While we walked he would bend down, pick up something, look at it and throw it away. Later I understood he was looking for this treasure. About 20 years later, water was found. Why did the Lord not just reveal the treasure and say do this and that? When it was found, people still scoffed and said that water would not work. God in His time will reveal and do what He wants to do. When people speak harsh, hurtful words, I am reminded of Elisha in 2 Kings 2. Young boys followed Elisha, mocking him and calling him names. Not long afterwards, wild animals came and ripped those boys to pieces.
If Noah were alive today, the media would have hated him saying he is an old man who doesn’t know what he is doing. He is wasting so much money building an ark. What for? They may have had demonstrations, writing daily, shooting Noah down because of the instruction God had given him. Noah kept going. He was not sidetracked. Professors at that time would have had a wonderful time writing about Noah. They would have quoted God’s word about this man who wastes and does what he should not be doing. They would have written whole chapters on the money he was wasting and why. They are busy with that instead of putting their hand to the plough. Noah kept going. He stayed true to what God had said. They would have made up stories. Why this? In the past Noah did that. Poor man. But the Bible says he was blameless and that is why God loved him. What is written in heaven, in the Book of Life, is worth more than everything written in this world.
It is easy to criticize because your heart is filled with criticism. You cannot hear anything else. Do you remember how sensitive you used to be? When you wanted to speak to someone but that person was busy, you would cry before the Lord and ask the Lord why He did not want you to see that person. Was there something in your life? But now you do not care, you think you know best, you know everything, you think you know more than he does. Maybe you say ‘they’ do not want me to see that person. Maybe God is speaking to you, God also uses people. But you do not see it. You only see criticism and faults.
God used people in revival to bring people to the cross, but on a day He would suddenly stop. The first reaction was, God what has entered my life and stopped You from working? 100% of the time sin had entered.
16 And those that entered, male and female of all flesh, went in as God had commanded him. And the Lord shut him in. Genesis 7:16
God shut the door. Do you want God to shut the door on your life? Do you want to experience being outside? Imagine when you find the door closed. The 5 foolish virgins had not trimmed their lamps, they had not prepared themselves and when they got to the door, it was closed. Today you criticize, the door is closed, I cannot do this and that. Don’t you see the hand of God? Shouldn’t you be crying and searching for God? Make 100%, 110% sure that the Lord does not close the door on you.
Coming back to the professors of Noah’s day – they would have written a whole chapter about the children of Noah too. These professors write against Noah’s children who are in the ark but they are outside. If you open your mouth and start pointing, immediately sense something is wrong, you are not in that ark.
The disciples said, “Lord, we drove out demons, did miracles.” But the Lord said, “Listen, is your name written in the book of life?”
Conclusion Michael Ngubane
Do you expect God to say something different to this? If you have allowed the spirit of criticism in your heart do not try and evade the issue. The only way is to humble yourself, be reconciled to the Lord and admit that you allowed sin in your heart. Woe to us if the door is closed and you find yourself outside. God invites us, the door is still open, even if our sins are as scarlet we can be washed and cleansed.