I greet everyone in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, especially the Engelbrecht, Stegen and Dahl families; businessmen and women who worked with the deceased; the co-workers of KwaSizabantu and the sons-in-law who married into the family.
Ernie was the child of a minister. He welcomed people into his home and showed hospitality whenever anyone came to his house at Lichtenburg or Wartburg. His family are very hospitable.
I had the privilege of knowing his father. He was generous and knew how to give. The Bible says blessed is the hand that gives - which is probably why the Lord blessed him as he did.
The passing of Ernie, known as Baba to me, is a great loss. We learned so much from him and also through his sermons. The Lord is taking our older people. Death has been created and every person must go through it.
One day he invited Mr Ngubane and me to visit him at Lichtenburg. We felt that the Lord wanted us to go. He offered to fly us up by plane. He had something on his heart that he wanted to speak about. Those who understand, know how important that was. If we had not gone, it would have been evil in the sight of God.
I received an email from him with things that he wanted to make right. He confessed his sin that God reminded him of. I phoned and asked to pray with him over the phone. I told him that I had received his email and I asked if I could pray with him. He said that I could, and I did. On their death bed, some people are paranoid with fear, some see demons coming for them, but he was crystal clear. After I prayed with him, he repeatedly thanked me. He had grasped hold of a mystery – death was at his door.
27 My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. John 10:27
I respect Werner Engelbrecht. When he received the message that his brother was in hospital, he immediately drove there and found him still alive. Why? He heard the voice of the Lord. Dietmar visited Uncle Ernie at Lichtenburg a few times and even had a braai with him. It is good to learn to hear the Lord’s voice. If you do not know the Lord’s voice, go to people who do, so that you can hear from them. Counsellors are good but some people only hear their counsellor, they cannot hear the Lord’s voice. Uncle Ernie taught us how to do it the right way. He said that it was good to get advice from others, but one must personally hear the Lord’s voice. He said that once he had been given advice to speak to a certain person, but that he felt that he should not. That person then passed away. He said that if he had confronted him with what he was going to say, he would have had a heart attack and people would have said that it was because of what Ernie had said to him. There are people who constantly ask for advice because they do not hear the Lord’s voice. There are people who quickly tell others what they must do, they spell it out for them, but they forget that the person must hear and discern the word of the Lord for himself.
If we are the Lord’s sheep, we will hear His voice and follow Him. Rev Stegen related that in other countries the shepherd walks in front of the flock and the sheep follow. In Africa we drive the flock in ahead of us. If we are the Lord’s sheep, it is so important that we follow Him and not that He follows us.
Uncle Ernie heard the Lord’s voice speaking to him and saying that he should put this and that right. Someone once confronted him in the shop about the confession of sin. His response was that we have an ear to hear what the Lord says to us. This should be part of a Christian’s life. When the Lord convicts you of a certain thing, obey Him. If He says that you should not have spoken in a particular way, you should respond and apologise to the person. If you speak evil of your brother or sister in Christ, are you still listening to the voice of the Lord? If you tell lies about a child of the Lord or others, are you a sheep of the Lord? Are you following behind the Lord? Is He leading you as the Shepherd or is something else leading you? Are you following the Lord or not?
11 Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them. 12 And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books. 13 The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works. 14 Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. 15 And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire. Revelation 20:11-15
Do you realise how great God is? It is good that we realise it before our last day on earth. This coffin reminds us that our final day is also coming. We will have to stand before that seat. Earth and sky flee before His presence. We will still appear before the judgement seat of God - great and small. People who have told lies and those who have believed the lies will have to appear before that throne. We will be judged according to our deeds. We will be judged in accordance with what we have done while on earth, - whether you listened to the voice of the Lord and whether He was truly your Shepherd and you followed Him.
It seems as if some people have forgotten that they still have to appear before the judgement seat of God where they will have to give an account of themselves; and if they have done evil, they will be cast into the lake of fire where there is wailing and gnashing of teeth.
The records will be opened. Books will be opened in which there are records of what you have done daily - whether you are black, white, Indian or coloured, whether you have written lies, smeared people on the internet or looked at porn. If your name is not in the Book of Life, you will be cast into the lake of fire. This great and awesome event is still before us. Ask yourself the question: If the Lord should come today and fetch you, where would you stand? God is great and awesome. When He was seated on His throne, earth and sky fled from His presence.
Before your last day arrives, face this squarely. Whether you are proud, no matter who you are, you will face this day. Never mock someone about death because the next day it will be you. No person will escape death unless we are still alive at the time of the rapture.
Allow me to relate to you what Satan is like
7 Now when the thousand years have expired, Satan will be released from his prison 8 and will go out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle, whose number is as the sand of the sea. 9 They went up on the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city. And fire came down from God out of heaven and devoured them. 10 The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever. Revelation 20:7-9
Satan has gone forth to deceive the nations in whatever way he can. Satan has been released from his prison because of the evil that is on the earth today. Have you not perhaps been deceived? How many people are busy deceiving people? Day and night people are being deceived by Satan and his lies.
If you pluck the feathers of a chicken and let them fly in the wind, how will you ever collect them again? This is what it is like when you spread lies and gossip. You are plucking the feathers and scattering them all over. When you want to put things right one day, it will be almost impossible. People speak glibly about others and say all sorts of things, forgetting that there is a day of judgement that must be faced. People shed blood and commit murder and suicide through an evil spirit that has deceived them. They have forgotten this word that each one will stand before that throne of judgement.
Are you a follower of Christ? Can you discern the voice of God when He speaks to you? I respect these two men who visited Uncle Ernie. They heard and obeyed.
We are saved daily. Every day you must examine yourself to check that you are on the station and tuned in to hear God’s voice. Listen to what God says to you and you will sense God convicting you: ‘When you spoke here, or you did that, it was not right.’ If your conscience is dead and blunt it is easy to fall into sin, because even if God speaks to you and commands you to separate from that habit or thing in your life, you quench the Holy Spirit and keep quiet about it.
Uncle Ernie truly loved the Lord. Whenever we spoke together and discussed something, matters were resolved. May we take after him and be quick to do something about anything we feel is not right in our lives. This is how it was at the start of the revival. You could not put your head on your pillow before first examining yourself in case the Lord should come during the night, so that you would be ready.
It is wonderful to listen to the word of the Lord and to His voice. My sheep hear my voice. Do you hear God’s voice when He speaks? My sheep follow me. We might just go ahead and do things on our own and leave God behind.
In the years when there were storms in the church, (2000 and 2019) Uncle Ernie stood firm. Even in 1966 when the church split, he stood. He stood firm and faithful to the end. When there was something that was not right, he brought it to the Lord and thanked Him.
When we had just started KSB in 1970, there was a person who confessed his sin, but at the same time there were some things that he hid away. Then death came. Although it was daytime, he said to us it was pitch black. Some people brought lamps and candles, but he got under the bed and said that it was pitch dark and he could not see the way. They did not understand that he was in spiritual darkness. Will you see things bright and light as Uncle Ernie did or will it be dark? When that day arrives what will it be like for us?
Uncle Ernie and I were close. It is like my right hand has been chopped off. This is what it is like when somebody knows the Lord and how to walk before Him: when that person says that over his dead body that will not happen while he is alive – one feels one with such a person; when that person says that we received the gospel at a great cost and we will not allow it to be snuffed out.
May we truly follow the Lord Jesus and walk in His steps. Put your foot where He has put His foot -even where there are thorns. His foot will crush those thorns. No matter how steep the incline or how tough the going may be, we must persevere.
May the Lord remind us that whenever we speak, we must give an account of what we have said before His throne.
If you have been scattering the chicken feathers, start collecting them today. Collect the feathers, the lies, before that day comes when you must stand before that throne and the books will be checked whether your name is in there.
If you are still ruled by sin, if it overcomes you and you cannot defeat it and always go back to it, what will your answer be to God? Where will you go when they open the books? Are you a true follower of Jesus if you live such a life? What will it be like when the Lord comes?