Introduction S Khumalo
He has risen. We serve a risen Lord. He is not in a tomb. This gives us hope. He is alive and has conquered death. We were once in sin but now we are part of His nation and people.
Albu van Eeden
Brethren, our hearts are full of joy today. It is Resurrection Sunday and it has been such a blessing to be with you during this conference, especially with those who attended from the branches of the mission. We thank the Lord for the wonderful time we have had together.
Allow me to read the following message from Rev Stegen: Go and tell the world that the Lord has risen. Tell them He lives. I wish you a blessed Easter.
There is a custom in the Russian churches that suffered under Communism; the pastor says, ‘The Lord has risen’ and the congregation answers ‘Indeed, He has risen.’ This is a great day.
But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they went to the tomb, taking the spices they had prepared. 2 And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb, 3 but when they went in they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. 4 While they were perplexed about this, behold, two men stood by them in dazzling apparel. 5 And as they were frightened and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them, “Why do you seek the living among the dead? 6 He is not here, but has risen. Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, 7 that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men and be crucified and on the third day rise.” 8 And they remembered his words, 9 and returning from the tomb they told all these things to the eleven and to all the rest. 10 Now it was Mary Magdalene and Joanna and Mary the mother of James and the other women with them who told these things to the apostles, Let us turn to Luke 24:1-10
This text is found in 3 gospels. In Matthew Jesus says to the women, ‘Go and tell my brethren that they must meet Him.’ The fact that they sought the living amongst the dead does not mean that they had a séance and called the spirit of the dead person up. That is evil and demonic. This has nothing to do with that. There are people who like to twist things. To the pure, all things are pure, but to the defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure… Titus 1:15 To the impure everything will be defiled - no matter what is done.
These women went to seek the Lord and there was a comfort for them. God wanted to comfort them. God has mysteries which we do not understand. Why He chose to reveal this wonderful news to a group of women, we will never understand. Men were the leaders of the church; they were the preachers. It would have been easy to despise the women, but God warned them. When God works, He does it through mysteries. Things happen which cannot always be understood with the human mind. Rev Stegen and other preachers of revival have said that in revival things happen that cannot be told to everyone. God works as he wishes. Blessed is the person who grasps the mysteries of God.
We will have an engagement service today. It is our prayer that this man and woman have grasped a mystery from God. God works when man does not understand. In a service given by Rev Stegen in 1987, he gave this message. He repeated it at Aunty Guinevere Engelbrecht’s funeral. Allow me to read the exact words: “When my father passed away it broke my heart. It happened so unexpectedly. Shortly thereafter I had to go overseas for a preaching tour, and I wanted to cancel it. I felt that I could not preach overseas. Then the Lord used something foolish in my life to help me. He used a dream to get me back on track. (Brethren, sometimes we go off the track and God must get us back on track again. I trust that during these days you had time to counsel and get back on track.) In my dream I was on a sports ground, and I saw a car approaching. There was someone behind the steering wheel and my father was sitting next to him in the passenger seat. The car approached and I went closer to speak to my father. The car slowed down until it was right next to me. I called out, ‘Papa, I thought you were dead, but you are alive.’ Without stopping my father turned the car window down a bit and answered, ‘Erlo, don’t delay me. Don’t hold me back. I am busy serving the Lord.’ He closed the window and indicated to the driver that he should continue. That cured me and my heart was no longer sore. It made me pray for grace to serve God. That was the end of the feeling I had. It was a comfort to me. It gave me strength. I never looked back. If my father in heaven with the Lord, is busy with the things of the Lord, what about here? What am I busy with? Lord, grant me the grace that I will be busy with the things that I should be busy with, namely, to serve You. I said, ‘Lord, now I can never look back again. This is the end of that. I will serve you now.”
This dream was in line with Rev 7:15 “Therefore they are before the throne of God and serve him day and night in his temple; and he who sits on the throne will shelter them with his presence.
Do you realise what it means to grasp the mysteries of God? Revival is a dangerous place indeed. You can easily trample upon and destroy the work of God. You can easily oppose and disregard something from the heart of God. Do not take the working of God lightly. Do not go about your daily Christian life without that fear and trembling with which you work out your salvation. We must work out our own salvation in fear and trembling. You may have a loud mouth and you may be outside the mission. You may be looking for mistakes. Be careful that you do not stick your finger into God’s eye. You can trample over God’s will and not realise it.
These women caught a mystery while the men had given up hope. These women continued serving God and doing what He had led them to do.
Engagement of Edwin Joosten and Estelle Pretorius
We do not advise people about when they should get engaged and to whom they should get engaged. This is a decision that each individual makes. If you advise a person to whom they should get engaged and your advice is wrong – and Rev Stegen has also said this is the past - the person will have to live with that mistake for the rest of their lives, but you who gave the advice will continue living your own life. That is holy ground. Do not get involved in what is between God and the two people. They must hear God’s voice. Be very careful to dictate what God says and does not say. It is a dangerous step to take. The Bible says in Isaiah 35:8
And a highway shall be there, and it shall be called the Way of Holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it. It shall belong to those who walk on the way; even if they are fools, they shall not go astray.
The unclean will stumble on it. What does that mean? You cannot suddenly arrive here, find out how things are done, find an attractive girl and say, ‘The Lord tells me to marry that girl.’ No, it is a holy way, it is a highway. Who can stumble on a highway? The unclean and defiled will stumble on it. Why? They take a step which is not from the Lord but which is from their own hearts and the result? They are stuck in a marriage for the rest of their lives. But it is a highway for those whose lives are clean, and they have washed their garments and received forgiveness of their sins. God reveals His mysteries to his people, and you dare not trample on them.
Could Edwin and Estelle come forward. They have said that they believe it is God’s will that they should get engaged. They prayed about it and said that they have clarity about it. Today I stand between them until the day of marriage then I will step back, and they will stand next to each other. There has been no flirting, no text messages, both have lived clean and pure lives, both have been cleansed by the blood of the Lamb…
I started this service with the resurrection and the women went to the tomb to anoint the body. If you look at God’s word, very often, things happen that do not fit our human brains. We recently heard about the 10 spies who said that they could not take over Canaan because there were giants and their cities were fortified. The land was good, but the people were too strong, they said. They did not lie. They were realists but they had lost their faith in the living God. They could not believe that God could give them victory. They threw their hands in the air and said, ‘It is impossible, we cannot! Moses, you lied to us. God has lied to us. Let us return to Egypt.’ Why? They had lost their faith. We cannot walk the Christian way if we do not walk by faith. Abraham was required to sacrifice his son, Isaac to God. The nations around them sacrificed their children to idols. ‘Abraham, you are going crazy! You are sacrificing to idols like the nations around you!’
In the New Testament a child would be born from a virgin. A virgin cannot give birth to a child! It is an impossibility! We needed a woman who was a hero who knew what the Jews would say about her. They would say that she was cheap and falling pregnant secretly. She stood firm.
Her child was 100% man and 100% God. Have you ever heard of such a thing? The creator of everything from eternity to eternity who has no beginning or end, creates man and breathes eternal life into that creature-man. He will live eternally as God does. Friend, you will never die again. If you die in this world, you will go to hell or heaven.
The angels said to the women, ‘You seek the living among the dead.’ Christian, member of KSB, are you not seeking the living among the dead (those who are spiritually dead in their sins?) Are you not trying to find life in the fashion magazines? You may have been born into a Christian family, but you seek life in the clubs, discos, dance halls, taverns. Have you gone to the dead in a different way? Those who do not want to change. A person who does not want to change his lifestyle to God’s way is dead. He enters and exits church every day, but he does not want to change. He is dead. Has God been able to change you? This last year? Has he convicted you of areas in your life where you must change? In the last month? What about the last week? Has he not told you to change? Have you made that change? Or do you separate yourself from God? I like to be alone with my cell phone. I like to watch my movies, my YouTube videos. God wants to speak to you, but you turn your back on the living God and you choose to spend time with the things you like.
There are those who are dead because of abortion. The children they have killed are probably in heaven. Don’t you have friends or family members who have had abortions? Have you had an abortion? You feel that an abortion will free you to study and have more opportunities in life. You seek the living among the dead.
You could even be looking for spiritual life through marriage. You live for that. You seek your joy there. That is where your dreams are.
It could be traditional religion. If I can go to church on Sunday everything is fine. You seek the living among the dead.
The angels warned the women.
There are two situations where it is the most difficult to serve the Lord: either in extreme suffering (through things like sickness or attacks by people) or extreme prosperity. The Lord tests a person in these two circumstances.
Extreme suffering: One man hung on a wooden cross with nails in His hands and feet. He was cursed by everyone. In that hopeless state, God gave Him a choice. ‘You can’t expect Him to choose in such circumstances, the suffering was too intense,’ you say. He was judged, condemned, tortured and crucified. How could He be expected to choose with death before his very eyes? He chose incorrectly. He looked at Jesus and said, ‘If you are the Messiah, get us off these crosses.’ He made his choice in the last minute. This service could be your last-minute choice. There was another one in the same extreme suffering. He had lived his life in sin. He was a murderer, a criminal and he could no longer commit crime because he was nailed to the cross. Under these extreme circumstances he was given a choice. In the last minute, when the other one cursed, he made his choice. He first spoke to the one who said the wrong things and said, ‘How can you accuse him? He is suffering but he is righteous. We suffer because we are guilty.’ This is a sign of a person who has chosen for Christ. He will not remain silent when he sees others defiling Christ - even if it means he must be expelled from the church. He will use the opportunity, open his mouth to confront the other one. I don’t think he needed to say much more. He could have died there and gone to heaven because God saw his heart. He added, ‘Lord, remember me when you come into your kingdom.’ The Lord answered and said, ‘Today you will be with me in Paradise.’ There is no sin that is so huge that Christ cannot cleanse you from it today.
Allow me to refer to Mr Dube’s message: He spoke extensively about occult bondage - the tokoloshe, demon possession and demons at night. In case there were whites who thought it had nothing to do with them, this kind of thing is found amongst the whites too. (An image from the 1800s was shown on the screen) If that is not a tokoloshe, then what is a tokoloshe? This girl is being tormented by a tokoloshe. It was painted in Europe at the time when there were virtually no blacks there. The same demons are found among the blacks and whites. If you read Dr Koch’s books, there is vocabulary that explains demonology. For example, the ability of the devil to take on the body of a human. The demon that takes on the body of a man is an incubus. He will sleep with women at night. A demon that changes into the body of a women is called a succubus. This is a well-known concept in the English language. That demon sleeps with a man. Friends, these things are just as common amongst the whites as the blacks. It may sound more sophisticated. If you have been involved with these demons, there is salvation for you like the man on the cross received. You can cry out to God. Go to a counsellor today and receive help and forgiveness.
On this day, Christ stood with his arms outstretched and He said, ‘All power has been given to me on heaven and earth. I conquered these demons on the cross, I destroyed them. I am the victor. I will set you free. Come to me.’ This is what we celebrate today. How was it possible? Through His suffering and death on the cross.
Christ the Lord is risen today, Alleluia!
Christ the Lord is risen today, Alleluia!
Earth and heaven in chorus say, Alleluia!
Raise your joys and triumphs high, Alleluia!
Sing, ye heavens, and earth reply, Alleluia!
Love's redeeming work is done, Alleluia!
Fought the fight, the battle won, Alleluia!
Death in vain forbids him rise, Alleluia!
Christ has opened paradise, Alleluia!
Lives again our glorious King, Alleluia!
Where, O death, is now thy sting? Alleluia!
Once he died our souls to save, Alleluia!
Where's thy victory, boasting grave? Alleluia!
Hail the Lord of earth and heaven, Alleluia!
Praise to thee by both be given, Alleluia!
Thee we greet triumphant now, Alleluia!
Hail the Resurrection, thou, Alleluia!
The Lord’s Supper Michael Ngubane
We cannot grasp the love of our God. This is a great celebration for the body of Christ, His church. For that reason, we cannot enter this service in just any way. You may partake in the Lord’s supper unworthily and eat judgement on your life. At the same time, it is a wonderful opportunity to rejoice and unite ourselves with Christ in His suffering. Through His blood we receive forgiveness of our sins. This is an exceptional sign of being one with the body of Christ.
23 For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread, 24 and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, “This is my body, which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” 25 In the same way also he took the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.” 26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes. 27 Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty concerning the body and blood of the Lord. 28 Let a person examine himself, then, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup. 29 For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment on himself. 30 That is why many of you are weak and ill, and some have died. 31 But if we judged ourselves truly, we would not be judged. 32 But when we are judged by the Lord, we are disciplined so that we may not be condemned along with the world. 33 So then, my brothers, when you come together to eat, wait for one another— 34 if anyone is hungry, let him eat at home—so that when you come together it will not be for judgment. About the other things I will give directions when I come. 1 Cor 11:23-34