Stand in the true faith

I greet you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Many of the co-workers are today taking services at various branches, but there are so many that we are unable to visit them all even though they request visits. God creates a hunger in people’s hearts for the Gospel.

The Gospel is needed in the schools as well. Teachers have seen what a difference it makes when different teams bring the Gospel, and they need more of that. Young people desperately need the Gospel. Young people, do not seek marriage for yourselves. Adam did not expect to receive a wife. With many young men and women, this thought of who their marriage partner will be, rules their minds and hearts. When young people dress, they do so to be noticed by the opposite sex. (When I was a young man, I thought I would marry at 40 and set an example of a pure young man to other young men, however, I married at a young age. The Lord led it like that. When my first wife passed away, I thought I would remain unmarried for the rest of my life, but I did not. This is how the Lord does things: when you do not seek something for yourself, the Lord brings it across your path.)

Young people, allow me to correct and instruct you about not dressing with this motive in mind. It should not be like that. The way in which some young people walk, they want to be noticed. At a function, the way the girl eats is done to catch the eye of the opposite sex. This is a worldly lifestyle. Satan will rule such a person through the lusts of the flesh. Somebody once said that when the sin of pride enters, so does the sin of lust. When a person becomes proud there is no doubt about the presence of the sin of lust. Whether a person is young or old, married or unmarried, pride enters a life together with lust.

Let us sing a chorus together: through the blood of the Lord Jesus, we are saved. In 1963 when I was a young boy, I wondered how I could be saved by the blood of the lamb? When I gave my life to the Lord and turned to Him, I experienced how the blood of the Lamb saved me. At first, I said that I was not one of those who crucified Him, but when the word pierced my heart I realised I was also guilty of piercing the Lamb at Golgotha. I asked Rev Stegen at that time, how I could have crucified the Lord, I was not present there. He responded and said that through sinning and continuing in sin, you crucify the Lord Jesus afresh. The word of the Lord pierced my heart at that time and I experienced His blood cleansing my heart. Brethren, it does not matter what nation you belong to, Jesus was crucified for our sins. It was a great day when I was saved. You can identify with that too. You can also say that it was a great and memorable day when you were saved from your sin, when you surrendered to the Lord Jesus Christ and He became your Saviour; when you divorced Satan, chose the Lord Jesus Christ, and became a child of God.

Today we will look at what it means to stand in the true faith. As we read from the word, you will be able to discern whether you are in the true faith or in some other kind of faith. God’s word is a mirror to our lives.

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. 1 John 1:5

Are you, as a child of God, walking in the light? If we walk in the light there should be no darkness, because in Him there is no darkness.

If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. 1 John 1:6

You can call yourself a minister of the Gospel or a Christian, but you are walking in darkness. Some even visit witchdoctors for potions to increase their church membership or so that people will respect and fear them. Such people are walking in darkness. Their darkness is spiritual (and even literal darkness because they visit witchdoctors at night so that they cannot be seen).

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. 1 John 1:7

This is the purpose for which the Son of Man became flesh, entered Mary and was born as a human being to save us. When you ask a person whether they do not need to make something right with God, they respond by saying that they have no sin. Are you an angel that you can claim you have no sin? Verse 8 and 9 is the response of God’s word to such an answer:

If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:8 – 9

This is how it is clear who is saved – it is those who come for cleansing. When last were your sins cleansed? It includes apologising and saying, “I am sorry for what I did or said, I should not have done it like that.” This is part of it. I was happy these days when a young white child of about 6/7 years came to confess his sins. Such parents are blessed to have a young child who confesses his sins. That child didn’t just rattle off a list or read what had been written down, the child confessed and said, “I did this and that (in detail). Please pray that the Lord will forgive me.” It is a privilege that such a young child has experienced the Gospel, just as we did.

Whoever says he is in the light and hates his brother is still in darkness. 1 John 2:9

The person who says that he is in the light, but he hates his brother, is still in darkness. Ask yourself the question: Is there a brother in the faith whom you hate? The Bible says that you are still in darkness. If you hate your parents, brother, sister or a brother or sister in the Lord – you are in darkness.

11 But whoever hates his brother is in the darkness and walks in the darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes. 1 John 2:11

Can you imagine that a person calls himself a Christian, yet he walks in darkness, his eyes are blinded, and he does not realise it? You do not want to be helped. You hate those who help and correct you. Are you not walking in darkness? Your eyes have been blinded. You do not see. You do not see that the person is correcting you about something which is sinful in your life. The word is a mirror to us. We ought to look at this word and compare it with our lives. Do we not perhaps hate our brother?

12 I am writing to you, little children, because your sins are forgiven for his name's sake. 1 John 2:12

Those who have come to the Lord for the forgiveness of sins and cleansing are His little children, however, some have hatred and grudges - but they claim that their sins have been forgiven.

13 I am writing to you, fathers, because you know him who is from the beginning. I am writing to you, young men, because you have overcome the evil one. I write to you, children, because you know the Father. 14 I write to you, fathers, because you know him who is from the beginning. I write to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you, and you have overcome the evil one. 1 John 2:13 – 14

This word includes all of us who call ourselves children of God. How can hatred then have any place in our hearts and lives?

The next text is a warning against loving the world. Look at the love for money in the world, even amongst so-called children of the Lord. Look at the way people go about things, their way of walking and dressing: it spells the world. I heard a person on the radio this morning, addressing young women about the way they dress, the skirt lengths are getting shorter and shorter. This person also addressed mothers and asked where those are who seek the truth? She commented about a minister who told his congregation to pray when they use hair extensions. She said that if such a minister rebuked his congregation about this issue, he may lose church members. Parents and church leaders, if you see something wrong, do not remain silent. If your child dresses incorrectly, rebuke the child.

15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world. 17 And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever. 1 John 2:15 – 17

I spoke about lust at the beginning of the service. You are troubled by lust because you wear worldly clothing. You think you are so attractive, and you love looking at yourself in the mirror because there is worldliness in your heart. Pride will trouble you. We can see that the return of the Lord Jesus is near – by the love of money, and by how people love themselves; even in the church, and the world rules the church.

18 Children, it is the last hour, and as you have heard that antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists have come. Therefore we know that it is the last hour. 19 They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us. But they went out, that it might become plain that they all are not of us. 1 John 2:18 – 19

The coming of the antichrist is close at hand. The spirit of the antichrist is already here. The way in which you serve the Lord indicates that you have the spirit of the antichrist, but you call yourself a child of God, a brother, a Christian (person who is holy before God). There are signs that indicate that you are like the antichrist.

They went out from us… The people who have gone out from us, who were with us, are now living this life. When John wrote this letter, there were people who had been with them, and who had left them, just as we have experienced it. John said that they were amongst us as if they belonged to us, yet they were not of us. This is exactly what we have experienced and are experiencing.

20 But you have been anointed by the Holy One, and you all have knowledge. 1 John 1:20

If you have received the Gospel and have held onto it, then this is you…who have been anointed by the Holy One. But if you entered through the window, you are not truly part of us and you will leave again through the window.

What kind of lives are they living who were once amongst us? I pray and say, “God have mercy on me that I may never be numbered amongst them.” Are there people in our midst who love us and those who do not? Who lives that type of life? Some people are choosey about the preachers they think can preach and whom they will listen to. Such people are not one with us. It is better that they take their bags and leave.

The revival came through the black people - a nation who is despised, like I am. I would prefer to be nothing than to be deemed something. Jesus died for us even though we are nothing, that we may be called the children of God. If you are proud about your education, you will get nowhere spiritually because the spirit of the peacock is in you.

21 I write to you, not because you do not know the truth, but because you know it, and because no lie is of the truth. 1 John 2:21

There are people who say, “I never did it!” And yet they are lying. And when asked, “Are you sure?” They will answer with tears and say, “I never did it!” But after some time, the truth comes out that they did do it after all. A young girl may be asked whether she has a relationship with a particular boy and she responds with, “No, not at all!” After the parents deal with the matter, the boy speaks the truth and admits that the girl is lying and they do have a relationship. Ananias and Saphira told a ‘white’ lie, and they died because of it. Do not say that I am lying yet I am not dead. You are spiritually dead.

22 Who is the liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, he who denies the Father and the Son. 1 John 2:22

When you lie, you deny the Father and the Son. Beware of this, brethren, lest you add spice and exaggeration to your speech and say that which is not true. You have the spirit of the antichrist, who denies the Father and the Son.

23 No one who denies the Son has the Father. Whoever confesses the Son has the Father also. 1 John 2:23

Do you hear that? If you deny the Lord Jesus Christ, you do not have God, but if you confess the Son, the Lord Jesus, you have the Father also.

Let us move on to the next chapter - 1 John 3. This brings me joy. As a child of the Lord, it will be sweet to you as well. The heading is: The sign of the children of God. God’s children have a mark. Through that mark you can see whether the person is a child of God. You will never be confused about whether that person is a child of God or not.

While I preach today, I wear my jacket even though it is hot. By entering church without a jacket some people do not show respect. In the past when a person attended court, he would dress formally, thereby respecting the magistrate. (I am not sure whether it is still like this today.)

When some pray, they cannot show respect for God - which is why their prayers are not even heard. What would you say of a person who just mumbles a quick prayer before he sleeps? That prayer ends right at the ceiling. When a person attends a service, he ought to show the necessary respect. You have that mark that you are a child of God. What would you say if I just took off my jacket, gave it to my wife and let my shirt hang out while I preach? We ought to have that mark of being a child of God. Some women attend church with sleeveless tops. Some wear pants, some in short dresses and they say they are worshipping God. Where is the sign that you are a child of God?

The truth is bitter, but we ought to speak the truth now, rather than that we stand before God and He asks us why we did not speak the truth. That is why the people who follow Jesus and speak the truth as He did are hated. Peter was martyred and asked to be crucified upside down as he was not worthy to be crucified as His Lord was. Peter boldly spoke the truth – saying you should not return to your vomit like a dog. Do not be a person who watches porn on his device and confesses it and returns to it – like a dog going back to his vomit – and then even defiling himself thereafter. That is a stench in the sight of God. That is the life of Sodom and Gomorrah.

In Isaiah 59 we read that their hands are stained with blood and guilt, but our hands ought to be pure before God. A girl may say that she is a virgin, but she is troubled by evil spirits at night who sleep with her. She does not confess that. But if she comes to the blood of the Lord Jesus, she can be completely saved from those evil spirits.

See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him. 1 John 3:1

God loved us with such a great love that He sent His Son to save us that we may be called children of God. And then, right there, we have that mark on us, that we are children of God, and whoever looks at us can testify that that person is truly a child of God.

Beloved, we are God's children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. 1 John 3:2

When we get to heaven and see Him, we shall be like Him. How amazing it will be when we see our Lord and Master and receive our crowns. We will be seated on the throne with Him. How great that throne must be if you imagine the size of the world. All those who have conquered will be seated with Christ on the throne. They have this hope in them. They are victorious, just as He is victorious, and because they are victorious, they will be seated with Him on His throne.

And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure. 1 John 3:3

Do you hear that? If you are purifying yourself, confessing your sin, then you have this hope in you that when He appears you shall be like Him. Do you still have that hope or have you lost it? Those who have that hope purify themselves.

Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness; sin is lawlessness. 1 John 3:4

13 Do not be surprised, brothers, that the world hates you. 1 John 3:13

Do you experience this in your own family? When you turned from sin and your old lifestyle, there are people in your family who hate you.

15 Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him. 1 John 3:15

If you hate your brother, you have murdered him. Do not now turn things upside down. Do not go to your brother, the one you hate and say, “I just want to confess that all this time I have hated you.” Go to your counsellor or phone the numbers given with that. Do not take the advice of a counsellor who tells you to confess your hatred to the person you hated. You will be like a girl who says to a boy, “I want to confess that I am in love with you, but I pray that God will forgive me.” That is a foolish thing. That boy will tell others that that girl loves him. This is not the Gospel we received. We reprimand such things. That is not right. Do not say that the Lord tells me to do it. No, it is the devil himself. You cannot tell your wife that you have hated her all this time. That is a different Gospel. If you give such advice, you are misleading God’s children. If a boy tells a girl that he is so troubled with lustful thoughts about her and that he thinks about her the whole night and cannot sleep – that is a gospel from hell, from Satan. Do not do that kind of thing. The Bible plainly says that such a person has no eternal life in them.

Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. 1 John 4:1

We must test the spirits during this time of the antichrist, to see whether they are from God or not.

By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already. 1 John 4:2 – 3

In these days of the antichrist, people say they are prophets and ministers of God, but they are false prophets.

Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. 1 John 4:4

If God is in you, then you walk with Someone who is great and awesome. Nobody can take the Lord Jesus from your heart. When we attended services as young people, we were forbidden to go but God was in us and He could not be removed from our hearts. We secretly attended the services. Some were even beaten but they could not remove the Lord Jesus from their hearts. You go with someone great within you because you are walking with God.

We are from God. Whoever knows God listens to us; whoever is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the Spirit of truth and the spirit of error. 1 John 4:6

If you know God, then you will understand today’s message. If messages are preached on other Sundays or during the week, you will listen to the message and understand it. Whoever is not from God, does not listen or understand because that person does not belong to God. You may hear the message, but you do not understand what it is all about. Examine your heart. If you reach heaven, will you understand Him when He speaks? Do you belong to God or not?

When we repent and turn to God, we are born again, we are born of God. Has God given birth to us, brethren? If we are born of God, how can there be hatred or a lack of love? How can I, a black person, have discrimination against a white brother? What kind of Jesus do I have in my heart as a black Christian if I have something against my white brother? You call yourself a Christian, you are white, but you have something in your heart against your brother because he is black? How can you go to heaven with apartheid in your heart? There is one hell and one heaven. There is one God whom we serve, and one Satan. How can we be at loggerheads with one another? Do you experience this absolute unity with your fellow brother as God says?

For example, if a white brother has an accident with his car, I will sympathise with him. When you see him driving a better car, you will rejoice with him. You will not be jealous and wish that he would have an accident so that the car would be damaged. If my brother or sister is unwell, I will sympathise with them and wish them a speedy recovery. This is a mark of a true child of God. Do you have that mark that you are a true child of God? Those that have this hope in them cleanse themselves night and day and when He appears we shall be like Him. Those who sin, indulge in lawlessness as God’s word says. Have you seen yourself in the mirror of God’s word today to see where you stand and what your life is like? Have you searched the corners of your heart to see where you stand with God? Now you have heard - if you hate your brother, you are a murderer and eternal life does not abide in you.