Sunday service 24 January 2021 – The end times in perspective

We welcome everybody who listening on a device to hear the Lord speaking to them this morning. God, through His Spirit, can speak to you if your heart is right, if you hunger for the Lord’s voice and if you are willing to accept and do whatever the Lord may say or expect you to do. God can speak to a person alone in prison where no one else can. We pray that God will speak to us this morning.

A lot is being said about the end times - the time before the Antichrist will be revealed. I felt that we should get some perspective on this topic. There are some indisputable and ominous signs that what we are experiencing are not ordinary sicknesses and epidemics. People have various theories for what is happening and what Christians should watch out for. A person who does not sense that what is happening is a sign of the end times and the coming of the Antichrist, is as blind as a bat. At the same time, though, Reverend Stegen has said that whenever God works, the devil works as well. However, some of the stories and predictions that are making the rounds, are simply crazy.

When truth is mixed with lies Christians lose their credibility in the eyes of the world. They become a strange group of people who believe in weird lies and people write us off. We should be sober minded with both feet on the ground. The devil will try and use the topic of the end times to bring in lies and confusion thereby neutralising the Christian voice.

Allow me to read you a very uncommon portion in the Bible about the end times. I will read several portions from the Bible today.

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. 1 John 2:18

John said, “…as you have heard the ultimate, final Antichrist is coming…” and we read about him in Revelations but then he says something very interesting that many Christians do not know. He says, …so now many Antichrists have already come. Therefore we know that it is the last hour. Even in John’s time there were many Antichrists and many will still come and that is why, John says that we know that this is the last hour. In other words we are living in the end times. In the time of the apostle John, they were already living in the ‘end times’. When he says that this is the last hour, he means this is the last hour before the second coming of Christ.

There have been many types of the Antichrist. Caesar Nero in the Roman Empire was a type of the antichrist. He put Rome on fire and accused the Christians of doing it. To punish the Christians, they tied them to poles and lined the streets with them. They painted them with tar and lit them so that their burning bodies became the streetlights in the city of Rome. There were other types of Antichrists as well. Some say Hitler was one. Joseph Stalin was another. Stalin persecuted the church and wiped-out millions of Christians in the Bolshevik communist revolution. Mao Tse Tsung was another. Tsung killed tens of millions of his own people for the communist revolution in China.

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. 20 But you have been anointed by the Holy One, and you all have knowledge. 1 John 2: 19,20

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

John is not only speaking of some well-known types of the Antichrist but he makes it very personal. He says that if anyone denies that God the Father is God, and that Jesus Christ is His only begotten Son, he is of the Antichrist. Do you know what this means? If you add anything but the sacrifice of Jesus Christ and you do not acknowledge that He made that sacrifice because he was God, the Son of God and one with the Father, in the eyes of God you are an Antichrist, an enemy of Christ. If you say that over and above the sacrifice of Christ, we need something more - another intercessor, and if in your life you do not prove that Christ is the Son of God and believe Him, you are the Antichrist.

What does John say in the same just chapter, a few verses earlier? 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. 16 For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life[c]—is not from the Father but is from the world. 1 John 2:15 – 16

If you love the world and drag the world into your church through worldly music, the clothes and pants you wear and the way in which you paint and decorate yourself, God says you are an Antichrist. Friends, this should make you shudder. You are an enemy of Christ. You may be attending church faithfully and even witnessing but God says that you are an enemy. He does not just say that you are useless to me but that you are an enemy to Me and My Church.

You might say, “I have a weakness with this sin. God knows I love Him. God knows I want to serve Him, but I am just weak. This cell phone, this pornography - I am weak. The Lord must be merciful.” God’s answer is: “You are my enemy. You are the Antichrist. You are the Antichrist to Me.”

What point have I made here? We are living in the end times. There have been many Antichrists, but we know the ultimate Antichrist, which we read about in Revelations, is still coming. The Christians living in the time of Caesar Nero might have thought that Nero was the ultimate Antichrist, but he was not.

Friends, what we are presently experiencing is ominous. There is something of the end times and the Antichrist in what is happening. We are not living with an epidemic that began as a normal disease and spread - no, this epidemic is man-made. If a country aims to conquer another country, it need not fight to conquer, it can use germs to conquer by creating them and sending them into the population of the country to be conquered. A plague results which kills them. The people can no longer work because they are sick, and the economy of the country declines.

On 15 January this year, the US State Department published a fact sheet about the city of Wuhan where there is a laboratory in which they studied germs which could be used as a form of biological warfare. The US State Department has made three conclusions from the information they have: They have information that gives them reason to believe that the researchers, (the doctors who worked in those laboratories in Wuhan) were the first to pick up this disease which had already started in September, October 2019 in that city amongst the laboratory workers, long before the rest of the world had it; the Wuhan laboratory had been doing experiments on viruses like the Coronavirus from 2016. They experimented on a virus that is 96,2% like the Coronavirus. They published internationally that they were creating and manipulating viruses. It was public knowledge which China published for everybody to see. They experimented and put parts of viruses together thereby creating their own viruses. They finally created a virus called RaTG13. This virus was 96,2% like the Coronavirus. Suddenly, however, they withdraw all their articles about their viruses off the internet and it became a secret experiment. The Wuhan laboratory was taken over by the Chinese military. When the Coronavirus exploded in Wuhan, they became secretive. A general was sent to take control of the laboratory. Her name is Chen Wei. She has several titles: Chief expert in biochemical weapons for China; director of the Wuhan institute; a member of the Academy of Military Medicine; a member of the Academy of Military Sciences.

An international law prohibits biochemical warfare i.e. no country may fight another country by sending germs into that country. They realised that it could wipe out all the people on earth. China, however, was not doing that. Secretly in Wuhan they were working on a virus that had all the characteristics they wanted.

What can you do if you have such a virus? If you are a communist government like the Chinese - the CCP –and you want to get rid of private enterprise and private possessions – you can send this virus into a country or into your own people. The pandemic will cause the collapse of the economy. Companies lose their value because they cannot keep going as too many people are sick. Enter a country like China – they buy the company which is dirt cheap and so they take possession of private property. If there were private companies in China, they would go bankrupt because of the pandemic which allows the communist government to take over everything. In a country like America, China buys the companies out when they become cheap.

In South Africa, for example, the government can remove the rights of private doctors to practice privately and require doctors to practice as part of the state. Private attorneys no longer get business because all businesses are sent to government attorneys. This basically chokes private attorneys and results in governmental control of attorneys. The country then brings in doctors from another communist country like Cuba. The country uses this crisis for their own benefit. They do not mind about the millions who are dying if they strengthen themselves.

There are many strange things in this epidemic that point to it as a sign of the end times. We are unsure of the extent to which the spirit of the Antichrist will use the spirit of communism, but friends, there is an area where people have gone crazy. People have sensed strange happenings, become suspicious and in their suspicions, have gone overboard. For example, the vaccine that has been created to fight this virus. There are about 33 vaccines that are being developed across the world. There are some valid concerns about the vaccines. Some vaccine laboratories have made use of the tissue of aborted babies to develop their vaccine. This does not mean that they are constantly using new bodies, some bodies that were used were from 20/30 years ago. All the babies were not aborted, some were from spontaneous, natural miscarriages. Some material was taken from the placenta of the babies. The tissue is taken from the baby and it grows on its own, separately from the child. Obviously, pro-life Christians would be against using a vaccine that has been developed using the tissue of aborted babies. At DFL we have researched this very carefully.

We do not know which vaccines will come to South Africa. The two most well-known vaccines are the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines. None of these used the tissue or cells of aborted babies in the design, development or production of the vaccine. When these vaccines have been tested, some of the final products showed some traces of aborted baby cells which could have been spontaneous miscarriages or placenta, but some of the tests show no signs of these cells. There is no clarity in the final product whether the vaccine used the cells of aborted babies (which is the minority) or it did not. My advice is the advice from Paul. Paul said that if you go and buy meat do not ask whether it was sacrificed to idols. In the planning and production of the vaccine, we know that they did not use babies. A small group may have used babies, but it is a small group.

The vaccines are good. I would get myself vaccinated as soon as possible when the vaccines become available. However, there is one vaccine, the AstraZeneca vaccine which used aborted baby material all the way from planning to production and tests. I hope the government will allow its citizens the freedom to choose their vaccine and that you will not be forced to take what they suggest.

The fact that the vaccine will give you the mark of the beast is utter rubbish and nonsense. We have found nothing like this is our research. That it gets built into your DNA, is nonsense. There is no such thing. Christians should beware of these stories because they are rife and I am afraid they are losing their credibility because of these ridiculous arguments.

The vaccines encapsulate the RNA of the virus in a nano-size oil blob - a minute-sized oil blob. This has nothing to do with nano technology. I counselled a young man from Europe about 20 years ago who was in a wheel chair. He had polio which I said no longer exists in Europe because everybody was vaccinated against it. He said that his parents belonged to a radical Christian group that believed you should not vaccinate because it was against God’s will. So he contracted polio which put him in a wheelchair for the rest of his life. Through vaccination small pox was wiped out– a deadly disease. Then Muslims in North Africa began spreading the news that the people should no longer take the vaccination because the West had added a substance which would cause infertility in women. They stopped taking the pox vaccine and now, a disease that was wiped out, has started again in North Africa and is killing people.

Now back to God’s word. I will look at two examples in the Bible that resemble what we are presently going through.

In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This was the first registration when[a] Quirinius was governor of Syria. And all went to be registered, each to his own town. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed,[b] who was with child. And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn. Luke 2:1

I read this because we see how many countries stand together to restrict Christians by prohibiting them from speaking openly. They aim to control and subdue Christians. Why did Caesar Augustus require this registration? He most probably wanted to calculate whether everybody was paying taxes. Rome was in control of the whole world at the time. The Roman Empire was the legs of iron in the statue of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream. Why were they depicted as legs of iron? They were brutal. They had no feeling or compassion. They were like iron. They conquered the world in this way. People tried to rebel but they were suppressed. At the time of this census, Rome controlled Italy, Greece, Egypt, Spain, France, Judea, parts of Germany - the whole world. But here were two people - Mary and Joseph. Joseph was not a soldier. He was not the child of a king. He was not part of a resistance movement to overthrow the Romans. Joseph and Mary were just nothing. They had to fit into this powerful Roman system where there was no chance of changing things. Which Roman would listen to a carpenter from Judea?

We would regard the Roman Empire as the antichrist. No one could conquer them. Their rules were as hard as iron. Nothing could be done against it. There was no hope under the Romans. Some feel depressed about the COVID epidemic. There is no hope. It is too big. We cannot conquer it. The Jews tried three times to oppose the Romans, but they were crushed every time. Do you see where God was coming from? Everything was perfectly on track, according to God’s plan. God wanted Mary to give birth to His Messiah in Bethlehem. Friends, God is ahead. He is 100, 1000 miles ahead of man. He is far above what we can think or pray. God oversaw everything. Rome was not going to stop God from fulfilling His plan. Do you know what would have stopped God’s plan? If Mary had got irritated with Joseph and said, “You are playing around with me. I am a pregnant woman and I must travel on a donkey for four days!” If sin had entered Joseph and Mary’s lives while they travelled in the desert for four days that would have stopped God’s plan. Joseph could have said, “Mary, what is this anyway? Your child is from heaven? Look at what you have got us into –one big mess!” Do you know what will stop God from reaching His goal with this COVID epidemic? Not the suffering, not the four days in the desert on a donkey’s back, not giving birth in a cattle kraal which is very dangerous. (There was a time when some nations put cow dung on the umbilicus when they cut it. I treated those babies. They would contract tetanus. Their backs arched and their jaws locked. They could not eat or drink. Why? Because of cow dung in the umbilical cord.) Think of all the dangers, the things that could have gone wrong and yet, God used this small nation, Israel. Israel was never one of the large nations. The biggest empire was under David and Solomon, but that was small compared to the empire of the Assyrians, Greeks, Babylonians and Egyptians who conquered whole worlds. Israel was nothing. But because their God loved them and used them, they went through all these things and finally God’s plan to have the Messiah born succeeded.

Why do the nations rage and the peoples plot in vain? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord and against his Anointed, saying, “Let us burst their bonds apart and cast away their cords from us.” He who sits in the heavens laughs; the Lord holds them in derision. Then he will speak to them in his wrath, and terrify them in his fury, saying, “As for me, I have set my King on Zion, my holy hill.” I will tell of the decree: The Lord said to me, “You are my Son; today I have begotten you. Ask of me, and I will make the nations your heritage, and the ends of the earth your possession. You shall break them with a rod of iron and dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel.” 10 Now therefore, O kings, be wise; be warned, O rulers of the earth. 11 Serve the Lord with fear and rejoice with trembling. 12 Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and you perish in the way, for his wrath is quickly kindled. Blessed are all who take refuge in him. Psalm 2

Friends, we do not have to fear these powerful governments and organisations that strategize together. God in His omnipotence does not only say, “Submit to My will.” He goes to the extreme 12 Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and you perish in the way, for his wrath is quickly kindled. Psalm 2:12 Kiss His feet like that woman who entered the house, annointed and kissed his feet. Whether you are heathen nations, atheists, or godless nations– kiss the Son, I warn you, lest He be angry.

This is what God did when Christ was born. He was so far ahead of the Roman Empire which was an end-time empire. They persecuted Christians. They threw them to the lions. They tied them to poles and set them alight. But God was busy with His plans. Friends, we need not fear and become depressed, but we should continue spreading the gospel of Christ.

If you receive the messages from people who speak about the vaccines, I wonder where the gospel is. They are busy with vaccines and this and that, but where is the gospel? The gospel of Christ should be preached in and out of season. Remember Rev Stegen’s New Year’s Eve message: “It is my prayer that the Gospel will go forward…” He did not say it is my prayer that you will stand your ground but that the Gospel will go forward in 2021.

During the Assyrian Empire from 2000 – 600 BC they ruled the world, and nobody could lift a finger against them. The Assyrians were the first to use iron in their weapons. Before this time, weapons were made of bronze. Their kings were called the warrior kings. Before a man could be elected as king, he had to be a warrior and a successful military general. This was like an end-time situation as John puts it: a final hour situation. Do you know what God did? God had a love and compassion for these evil people who were so powerful. He spoke to a man and said, “I want to give the Assyrians an opportunity to be forgiven.” This man was Jonah. The capital of Assyria at the time was Nineveh. God said, “Jonah, I weep for the people of Assyria who are going lost every day. Go to Nineveh and preach that they must confess and repent of their sins.”

From time to time we have said that one should confess your sins before another child of God. Different times in history, the church had different needs and God placed emphasis on certain aspects of the faith. During the time of Martin Luther, the emphasis was on works. People were told to work for their salvation, they could pay a fee to remove their souls from hell. What did Martin Luther say? We are saved by faith only. That is true. He was right. We must get saved by faith only. Therefore, Martin Luther did not like the book of James which he said was built on works because James says that faith without works is dead. For the time in which Martin Luther lived, the emphasis had to be on faith. That was a few 100 years ago.

Societies have moved. Every Tom, Dick and Harry now says, “I believe, it does not matter about my works, it does not matter what I do – I believe in God. I can live immorally and do what I like, if I have faith I am saved. I believe that we live in a time where the emphasis should return to works because the churches have become a mockery of the holiness of God. In the church you find all the fashions and worldly things such as disco and laser lights, music, everything in the world you will find in the church. When you enter a church, it is more like an entertainment zone with everyone rocking and rolling to the music. God began working in the East African revival under the Anglican church and Dr Joe Church. God emphasised confession of sins to another person. This does not mean that faith is no longer important. It does not mean that the counsellor takes the place of our only Redeemer, Jesus, but it is an aspect of the faith that God is emphasising in this time. Why is God doing this? Because people hide sin. They do not expose it, but they think they are going to heaven.

Jonah was not in the mood to go to his enemies - this powerful nation that controlled the whole world. This was not the passion that he had. He did not have a passion for the souls of other people who did not belong to his nation. This, however, is at the heart of this work at KSB. A man had a passion and the love of God for people who were not his nation, the Zulu nation. He remained committed, unselfishly pouring himself out because he loved the people of another nation just as much as he loved himself. The devil aims to destroy this work by destroying this absolute unity between people, where Christ is first and the skin colour of another person is not important. He is trying to destroy that and will continue doing so in the years to come.

Yes, we are living in the end times where strange things are happening which causes you to believe that the antichrist is just around the corner, but it might not be the empire of the antichrist that will kill you but your own sins.

God sent Jonah but he jumped onto another boat. A storm arose and he went to sleep. Are you asleep while walking around, working, making your money? Are you asleep like Jonah? He had been called by God. The heathen sailors said that they should call on their gods lest they be destroyed by the storm but Jonah did not see it. Jonah never felt the urge to confess his sin and repent. The captain of the ship, a heathen man, said, “Hey you, wake up, we are being destroyed!”

Did Jonah fall on his knees and ask for forgiveness because he had sinned against God? No, he was not willing to confess his sins. He had the attitude of Eli when Samuel told him what God had said, “I will wipe you and your family out and remove them.” Eli said, “He is God, let Him do what is good in His eyes.” There was no remorse for the sin he had committed. The implications were too much for Eli – his children removed as priests, getting chased out of the camp, how embarrassing!

Friend, the devil has worked everything in his power to keep you asleep in your sins so that he can take you to hell. You are busy with your cell phone instead of God’s word. You lie on your bed for hours with your cell phone – you are asleep and on your way to hell! You think you are part of the mission. You receive a good salary, but you are fast asleep. You are going to go to hell. It is time to wake up. You say, “It’s boring. I have got too much free time.” Why don’t you spend it reading God’s word? Why do you spend it with the things of the world?

Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. On account of these the wrath of God is coming. Colossians 3:5 - 6

How do you put it to death? By confessing your sins. This is the danger in these end times. A blind man can see that there is a massive attack on the church. What is your job? To bring the Gospel even to your enemies. Use every minute you have to bring the Gospel to other people.

Jonah was a carnal Christian. He thought he could serve God when he liked, where he liked and as he liked. If you are serving God when you like, where you like and as you like, you are on your way to hell. You are a carnal Christian.

Finally, Jonah entered the capital city and preached. The whole city was convicted of their sins, from the king to the servants. Jonah sat outside the city. He was upset when the people repented. He was so occupied with his own comfort that when the tree under which he was sitting dried up, he became angry with God and said that he would rather die there. This is the sickness of Christians today. They are so selfish and want things according to their comfort zone that they do not even come close to realising what God’s call is. May God be merciful to us.