Young people, God has been working in your midst in the past few weeks and months. It is God’s time for you. Do not be afraid of man, but rather fear God when He speaks. God has possibly told you to apologise to someone but you always have an excuse for why you do not obey.
The devil is out to destroy our Christian faith, together with its standards and values. Nowadays, what was good in the past is bad and what was bad is good. This spirit is totally contrary to God. On Wednesday next week the school year begins. Many children who are looking forward to returning to school, but be aware that the devil has set a trap for them this year. This Comprehensive Sex Education which the state is introducing will mean that your child will go to school and be taught about life from the devil’s perspective. God created man for holiness but the devil hijacks this in order to destroy our young people through sex education. This is an evil education programme. The media tries to make it seem better than it is, but sex education is downright evil and filthy. Children will forget maths, geography, everything else and concentrate on this subject. Does the department want to turn people into monkeys? Monkeys live like that, not like human beings created by God! Do not underestimate this programme. It will destroy our youth and our country. Do not believe that this is a good thing. Sin is never good! If it does not come from the mouth of God, in holiness. It is evil. God created sex for a certain time in life, not before or after. A child should never ever need to cope with and carry what an older person is able to cope with. The government wants to take over our homes and children and destroy them in front of us. It is not the government’s job to teach children sex education. It is the mother’s job, the parents’ job. You do not need days, weeks, months and years to teach this subject, it can be taught in 5 minutes. The government should not set the standards for our lives. We get our standards from the Bible.
Allow me to explain. The government views the people as insects that they can step on when they want to. They do not want people to think for themselves and pray but they want outside evil forces to rule the people. The government says they want to create jobs and uplift the people but there has never been something as destructive as this subject. It is contrary to what they preach. They want to destroy the people and crush them like insects. This is what communism is like. The government rules the nation with a total disregard for their welfare. We are created by God. We are humans. We know where we come from. God has placed us here so that we can speak the truth. You should act; take the necessary steps to protect your child. Pray and hear what the Lord wants you to do about this. I would not allow my children or grandchildren, by God’s grace, to learn such destructive rubbish in class.
Children, you have to grow up and become wise. You are going to face issues which we never met up with. You will read and hear things that you cannot run away from, but you must be able to recognise evil and reject it.
Teach your children to be mature spiritually because if you do not, the devil will teach and confuse them. Sex education destroys your mind and emotions in an unbelievable way. Why does a child sit staring into space during class? The brain is in overdrive from the material he is being fed in class. The teachers who teach this subject are very guilty before God because they make these children sin. The Bible says that it is better that a millstone be put around your neck and you are thrown into the deepest sea than that you make one of the small children stumble. Do you know why you want to teach it? You yourself are full of evil.
I suggest you take action.
Now it happened in the month of Chislev, in the twentieth year, as I was in Susa the citadel, 2 that Hanani, one of my brothers, came with certain men from Judah. And I asked them concerning the Jews who escaped, who had survived the exile, and concerning Jerusalem. 3 And they said to me, “The remnant there in the province who had survived the exile is in great trouble and shame. The wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates are destroyed by fire.”
4 As soon as I heard these words I sat down and wept and mourned for days, and I continued fasting and praying before the God of heaven. 5 And I said, “O Lord God of heaven, the great and awesome God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, 6 let your ear be attentive and your eyes open, to hear the prayer of your servant that I now pray before you day and night for the people of Israel your servants, confessing the sins of the people of Israel, which we have sinned against you. Even I and my father’s house have sinned. Nehemiah 1:2 – 6
About a year ago I spoke from the same book but it has spoken to me again.
Today people want to break down our walls and gates. Nehemiah had the answer. He sat down, he wept, he mourned and fasted. He spoke to His God in heaven. That is why I prayed as I did because we need to tell our Father in heaven our situation. We must present our case before God. We have no choice. Nehemiah said O Lord God of heaven, the great and awesome God… Are you presenting your case, your life before him? This was the life of Nehemiah. He presented the whole situation before the Lord. He wept but weeping was not enough. He said, “God, if you want me to return to Jerusalem, grant me favour before the king. (v 11) Nehemiah was determined to rebuild the house of God. He was not satisfied by what he had heard. He laid it before God and when God opened the door, he went forward with all the strength that God gave him. God is waiting for us to come to Him. Not with a flippant prayer but a prayer that comes from the depth of our hearts with weeping and crying. This is a prayer that God will never miss. What does your prayer life look like?
This morning I would like to compare the fallen state of Jerusalem with the fallen state of mankind.
The people in Jerusalem saw the broken walls and burned gates of the city, but they had become used to this state of the city – just like you when you hear sermons over and over – that is where the danger starts. Human beings make excuses. The people of Jerusalem might have had discussions about how to build the walls or construct the gates, but it is the man and woman who does something about the broken walls that counts. We say, “We can’t overcome sin, or this is the world; or this is just what we are like! God is gracious and He will forgive us; living a victorious life is only God’s grace and love. We may excuse our behaviour: – we wear shorts as a lady – because we are in this world, this is how God has created us. This is worldly, heathen talk which you can become used to. You can even become used to confession without victory and progress. The Lord Jesus came in order for you to experience a victorious, overflowing life. When God worked in Reverend Stegen’s life, God’s word spoke to him about the rivers of living waters which should flow out of our lives. The rivers must flow, but you say there is a drought and we are still in the world. Tell me, is your life full of joy? Do you experience that joy and peace which passes all understanding? Does that peace rule your life? How can you have peace and joy if the gates and the walls of your life are broken down? You are lying if you say that. We are called to a higher standard. We are called to be different. Some people are zealous; however, many are unconcerned, they do not care, they just take things as they come and then draw many others along because it is the easier way.
Remember what your life was like and how victorious you were once, but today you pay no attention to the sin in your live and rather emphasise only grace and loving the Lord. Sin is in the background that is why your life is in the state it is. It will worsen. Remember the love and zeal you had, when you could not do enough for the Lord? You worked day and night because something was motivating you, no one had to tell you what to do, but today people must be pushed like wheelbarrows and constantly be told what to do. This is not the life we have been called to live. You used to have victory but today the gates are broken down.
11 For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, 12 training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, 13 waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Saviour Jesus Christ, 14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works. Titus 2:11-14
Take grace away and sin enters. Grace is the gate. Grace teaches us to say no. Grace is: “No, don’t do it, do it this way.” Through the strength of the Lord Jesus Christ we can overcome. Grace has trained us to reject and renounce all ungodliness and worldly passionate desires, to live discreet, upright, devout lives in this present world. That is grace. When the gates of our lives are burned, any evil, any bad thoughts, anything that comes our way goes into the heart and defiles us. So, through the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, this gate keeps a person pure and safe from evil and harm.
Nehemiah finds the gates burned and destroyed. They were burnt by fire. Friends, there is a fire which is almost unquenchable. This is the fire of sexual lust and passion that has destroyed many. If you allow this fire to burn in your life it will destroy those gates. It is no wonder you are what you are. Do you understand now why the devil is playing the fool with you? There is no gate, that gate which represents our Lord Jesus Christ and His fullness. He came to die for us in order to be the gate that protects us. But if you allow this worldly, evil fire to take hold of your life, it will destroy you.
A man of God once said: a person who has fallen from grace, falls into sexual sin. Whatever it is: pornography, romantic books, DVDs. You have heard it so often but you do not do anything about it. You are like that frog that was put into lukewarm water which is heated slowly. You will wake up, hopefully, when it is not too late. Anger is another fire. A person can become so angry that he is like a car engine that splutters. Anger goes hand in hand with other sins and a life that is impure.
The walls are built around our lives through the word – what we hear and read. When we act upon God’s word, we build – not when we talk. Building happens through acting. You cannot talk a building into being, it is built through action. Joseph had a wall around his life. How would he have stood otherwise? God was his wall. That which he had been taught about God matured in his life and protected him. When he was in Egypt he said, “How can I sin before God?” He saw God before him. That was the wall before him. God goes a step further and says, “I will be a wall of fire around you.”
One night, Nehemiah inspected the wall. He wanted to see for himself what the situation was like. When last did you inspect your life? Do not be fooled by what people say. You are the author of your life. When last have you checked and proved yourself? Do not think well of yourself.
18 And I told them of the hand of my God that had been upon me for good, and also of the words that the king had spoken to me. And they said, “Let us rise up and build.” So they strengthened their hands for the good work. Nehemiah 2:18
Without God you build in vain. God is the builder of the house. He who builds without Him is building in vain.
Now the next point: something interesting happens. Here are people that are merely concerned about their own welfare. Yet, there was a man who was concerned about the state of the city and it troubled him and he sought God. And God sent revival because of a man that saw this is not enough, this is not what Christianity is about, we need more. And he sought God’s will and God’s help and God saw his heart. Likewise, we have experienced how a man of God saw that there was more to be had than mere Christianity. How grateful we are that Reverend Stegen heeded God’s speaking
What has God done through you in the past year or two? Did He build up or did He break down?
Satan suddenly wakes up when he sees that Nehemiah and his people are not satisfied with the broken city. Satan wakes up when he realises that people are no longer satisfied, they seek more, there is more to life than this.
19 But when Sanballat the Horonite and Tobiah the Ammonite servant and Geshem the Arab heard of it, they jeered at us and despised us and said, “What is this thing that you are doing? Are you rebelling against the king?”2:19.
Nehemiah began by going to the king, he asked for permission. Do you think that a man of God will start on his own? He starts with the king. Do you grasp that? Then everything went well until the Lord started working. When a person repents, makes right and begins testifying, Satan starts fighting. That is why some people have given up and left, because the devil is striking. Remember that if somebody takes this road, the devil will fight that person but finally the devil will lose. He will not succeed, whether Satan or Sanballat comes, writes letters or talks. This is in the devil’s nature to work to confound God’s work.
Satan hated the rebuilding of Jerusalem, and he also hates the rebuilding of our lives. That is why right from the beginning of the revival, the work of God has been under attack. Few works of God have been so attacked. Reverend Stegen has been attacked and people have tried to destroy him because of the rebuilding of the walls and the gates. It is not about him; it is about Jerusalem. That is God’s concern. It is your life, your Jerusalem that He wants to rebuild according to His plan. That is why this giant of sex education stands before us, this evil, filthy thing. Why? The devil wants to destroy this Jerusalem.
Through all these experiences Nehemiah grew wiser. They were mocked, they were told that even foxes could destroy the walls. They say you are not even educated! We can do business better than you! Tell me, where is your business today? What hasn’t God done and is still doing? How many people have been helped through your life?
8 And they all plotted together to come and fight against Jerusalem and to cause confusion in it. Nehemiah 4:8
It is a spiritual battle. The devil knows where our weaknesses are, he knows how to set traps. He plots his attacks. No wonder the Lord taught us to pray, like Nehemiah, “Lord, lead me not into temptation.”
John Bunyan had a struggle in his life but he learned to pray, “Lord, keep me from temptation and deliver me.” Then he realised that the attacks on his life decreased after he had prayed this prayer.
9 And we prayed to our God and set a guard as a protection against them day and night. 10 In Judah it was said,[d] “The strength of those who bear the burdens is failing. There is too much rubble. By ourselves we will not be able to rebuild the wall.” Nehemiah 4:9-10
There was lot of rubbish in Jerusalem, so much that they said it was impossible. Do you remember all the rubble which was in your life, when you thought you would not be able to do it? Do you remember how God carried you through?
11 And our enemies said, “They will not know or see till we come among them and kill them and stop the work.” Nehemiah 4:11
The enemy is at his worst when he comes from within. That is why we need those gates of grace to protect us from these attacks.
12 At that time the Jews who lived near them came from all directions and said to us ten times, “You must return to us.”[e] 4:12
How often hasn’t the devil whispered in your ear, “You can’t! It is impossible. How can you do this? How will you overcome this? You are incapable.” It is not about your capabilities; it is God who is there. What does God do? He equips Nehemiah. He now has to do things he never thought he would have to do. God was moulding his life. God was building this wall to protect his own life.
13 So in the lowest parts of the space behind the wall, in open places, I stationed the people by their clans, with their swords, their spears, and their bows. 14 And I looked and arose and said to the nobles and to the officials and to the rest of the people, “Do not be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your brothers, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your homes.” Nehemiah 4:13-14
Nehemiah had to get up and do something. He could not sit on a sofa, cry and say, “I am useless, I can’t.” He had to get up and prepare for the enemy. He had no choice. This is a spiritual battle, for you as a mother or a father, but also for your children and your homes.
15 When our enemies heard that it was known to us and that God had frustrated their plan, we all returned to the wall, each to his work. Nehemiah 4:15
They all got back to work. There is no time to sit idly around and linger. That is why you are not making spiritual progress – you are lingering, there is no earnestness, no desire. Not like Jeremiah who said the devil attacked him through his eyes and thoughts so he would put up soldiers to guard his heart which is the source of life. Parents guard your children, help them. If a child is naughty do not just close an eye – you are destroying that child. Do something. Help the child right. Get it right!
Perhaps you always had a desire to attend the evening services which were a blessing. Marriage comes and your husband stops you and says, “You are busy, tired. Why are you going?” This may have shocked you initially but you become used to this state and you eventually go against those who do it. You were initially earnest and sharp but now the person next to you mocks you. Slowly but surely you become used to the state you are in.
When the poor people approached Nehemiah, he listened. The poor – the ones you look down on, ignore, who are a different race to you. Nehemiah helped them and worked out an escape route for them and solved their problems. There will always be problems, always be people who oppose you. Jesus even had a Judas.
The devil saw that he could not trap Nehemiah so he changed his tactics. “Nehemiah, come down. You are doing it right but let’s talk. You know we need to be friends, we need to understand each other, we come from the same area, let’s talk. Come down Nehemiah, let’s just talk.” Nehemiah said, “I am not prepared to come down and stop the work God has given. Should I come down to your standard? What do you want to talk about? I have a job God has given me to do.” Nehemiah was even asked to come to the temple to sort out the problems. “You know what, you don’t have to confess that sin, you didn’t mean it, such a small thing, God knows, he’ll forgive you. You know you didn’t start it. It wasn’t a sin. It’s not wrong to steal from a rich person.” Think and talk how you like but you are just expressing your own foolishness.
The enemy wants to confuse your mind and once you get into that rut then you do not know what’s left or right, up or down. Then you become so vulnerable and there is one attack after another. Why? You allowed doubt. Peter doubted and what happened? He sank there and then. He did not sink the next day. The devil wants us to doubt that which God has called us for.
But Nehemiah said, “Sanballat, Satan, do you want me to leave my work? I cannot. I’m doing God’s work that He has called me to do.” Sanballat then wrote accusatory letters to Nehemiah saying you are rebelling. You are setting yourself up as a king but there was no thought like that in Nehemiah’s mind. He was busy with God’s work which was his desire and goal. People say you want to be the new generation, the new leadership. That is rubbish. It is so easy to talk and disregard the consequences? How will you ever pick up those feathers one day? God has called us and it is important that we are busy with the work which He has called us to.
Nehemiah is asked to come to ‘the church’. Now this spiritual talk is when the enemy is at its worst. I know what it is about, that’s why I talk like this. I know where I have come from and what God has done for me. The devil is at his worst when he comes like an angel of the light and if you believe him you’re on a slippery slope. Watch out when he takes on a spiritual slant. Where is your discernment to know that this is not from God? Nehemiah said, “No, it is written, I cannot go there, only priests can. Do you want me to sin against God?” There is so much wealth that you can find in these words.
I will conclude with my last point:
15 So the wall was finished on the twenty-fifth day of the month Elul, in fifty-two days. 16 And when all our enemies heard of it, all the nations around us were afraid and fell greatly in their own esteem, for they perceived that this work had been accomplished with the help of our God. 6:15 – 16
When God saves you to the uttermost, people will see the work of God. 52 days to complete the wall is a very short time. They were massive walls. They worked day and night. They were not lazy like you.
The devil is called the accuser. He will accuse you. Do not allow him to accuse you. I know where I come from. If I would have believed that angel of light I would never have been where I am by God’s grace. Do not give up or be side-tracked by the accusations which the devil throws at you. Put your hand to the plough and do not let go and look back. God looks for people who are humble. The quicker you humble yourself and bow, the easier it will get. Nehemiah was not side-tracked by people who always knew better. Wherever there are people you will always find such persons. It is often the people who know better who cause a lot of harm.
Without God’s help and Nehemiah and his people working diligently they would not have succeeded. May the Lord grant us strength, ability and wisdom. May we find favour in God’s eyes.
Conclusion Jabulani Dube
Once when I spoke here, I testified and that I had to confess even the sins of my fathers. When I reached the door, someone found fault with me and said that there was no such thing in the Bible. My reply was that this was the message we received in 1963 when the example of Achan was used. His family covered up their father’s sins. Nehemiah confessed the sins of Israel. Daniel also did this in Daniel 9:6. When a parent – white or black – says that their child experiences strange dreams at night or nightmares I respond by asking the parent whether he has ever confessed the sins of his father or forefathers and I advise him to do so. You may be troubled by certain sins because you have never confessed the sins of your fathers. That is why Daniel and Nehemiah lived as they did.
With regards to school children and sex education, Jesus said, “Weep for yourselves and for your children.” We have reached the time parents, that we should do what the word tells us. Many years ago, the co-workers at that time, removed their children from schools, preferring no education rather than the type of education that was taking place. I say, my children are my children, not the government’s children. They did not bear those children. If my child or grandchild needs a hiding, I will administer it. The Bible says that if you love your child you will discipline it. I am not concerned whether I will be arrested for it or not. Neither the school nor the college would exist if the co-workers had not taken that step many year’s ago. It was not easy. We approached Reverend Stegen and said that we could not continue sending our children to school. His response was that it was difficult to start a school. We bowed to the difficult circumstances and accepted the conditions. The school was born from that.