Introduction Nico Bosman
We serve a wonderful God who blesses us in many ways. Let us do what we do for Him with all our hearts. We welcome everyone present this morning and those who have joined us via livestream, especially those who are here for the first time. May we learn more and more about the Lord and even today, may God teach us something about Him.
As you sang just before the service started, that is how we know you. Do not become weary.
I greet you in the most wonderful name of Jesus and I bring greetings from the KSB mission in Romania.
Stella Hlongwane shares regarding their outreach to Namibia and Botswana.
We thank God for His grace which we experienced on the outreach. We thank the Lord that He trusted us and it is our prayer that we will remain faithful.
There is a word in Acts where Paul speaks about a man whom he saw in a vision calling for help from Macedonia. We experienced this in Namibia and Botswana. The brethren reached out to us saying how they saw God working there and they asked us to come and help. They requested that we visit schools and tell the people how God saves. Time was short, and the need was great. The Lord used us to train the people there so that they could pass it on.
On the first day in Namibia, we attended a meeting with many high schools and governors (premiers) of two areas as well as the minister of education, the prime minister of Namibia and many government officials. When we saw this, we realised that no one else besides God could have brought together such a group. They know that once a drug addict, always a drug addict. They wanted to understand how a person can be freed from drugs. They said that preachers had tried but they did not seem to get it right.
Some of our team shared their testimonies. Each one who spoke realised that this was the first, but it could also be the last time we had to share the truth with these people, otherwise they would have a ticket to enter hell. There were grade 11 and 12 learners from 15-20 schools with their principals and teachers. They asked how someone who was despised could become a new person. Keegan was scheduled to speak that day and we told him, ‘When you speak, understand that this could be the only opportunity to speak to them. It could be the one opportunity to prepare them before they stand before heaven’s gates. Show them that the Lord Jesus came down, so that He can be our advocate, so that He can show us that it is our sin that keeps us from God.’ The manner in which Keegan spoke made it seem as if this was the first time this Gospel was preached there with such power. After the talk, the governor said, ‘Let us stand and acknowledge the way this young man spoke.’ They stood and were amazed at his message.
As we crossed the border, the police noted that we were such an interesting group and asked where we were going. We said that we are doing drug awareness in Botswana and Namibia. They said, ‘You came all the way from KZN, through the other provinces? Are there no drug addicts in South Africa?’ We said there were many who have been helped and when we return we will continue to help others. We also said, ‘The reason we are here is because your preachers have asked us to help so that people can be set free.’ Their response was, ‘What you are saying is true.’
We spoke to various groups and taught them how to pass on the message to others. We taught them that you cannot bring something to others if you have not experienced it yourself. Make sure, as in Psalm 32, that your sins are forgiven. Blessed is the one whose sins have been forgiven, the one against whom the Lord holds no iniquity. The Lord will lead your every step and He will give you words to say. We told them to confess their sins and make their lives right with God. One after the other shared that they had burdens but had no idea how to get rid of them.
We met the Khoi-San people in one of the last meetings. Namibia has the Herero, Ovambo and Khoi-San peoples. Their language has many clicks. God’s word tells us that before the Lord returns, all people need to hear God’s word. How have we brought that word to others? There was a preacher who knew their language and could interpret for us. It also helped that some could speak Tswana. The Khoi-San people moved closer to civilisation because they want their children to go to school. By God’s grace the Lord works in an amazing way. They told us that the government left them there, without water or food. We said to them, ‘Government consists of people who will always disappoint you, but we have brought you Someone who will never disappoint you.’ We looked for ways and means to bring the Gospel so they could understand. Mr Vermaak encouraged them to plant and in the end they were our friends. They expected us to be there longer but because the time was short, they brought their leaders so that we could tell them about the Lord Jesus, and teach them how to pass on the message to others.
Thereafter we went to Botswana where the Lord worked in an amazing way. We could say with Peter, ‘Silver and gold we don’t have – but look at us and see the Lord in us so that you can experience Him.’ If you have sin in your heart, you cannot tell someone to look at you because you will fear that what is in your heart will also be seen. We said to the leaders that if they wanted to speak to groups, they should cleanse themselves first. They wanted to start a rehab centre and wanted to know what one must say to a drug addict. We said, ‘The craving inside your heart which wants you to smoke - let’s talk about that. If you still have that, how can you help another person?’ There were many young people there who wanted to confess publicly but we said that we confess sin in private which they did. People understand what sin is. One person shared his burden and said, ‘I was the only one who knew about this thing which I brought to the light. I was carrying a burden which has been lifted!’ One could see that he was free.
People who were in authority in the school wanted to go with us all over. We said to them, ‘Here is the message: part from sin, confess it and once that has been done the Lord can enter and guide every step you take.’ You can go to church and worship based on your emotions, but once you leave nothing changes. Leave your life of hypocrisy behind. Receive this life where you do not deceive yourself, tell lies and believe yourself. Respect people but do not live before man, live before God. They accepted the message and some said they wanted to attend the ministers’ conference.
They set aside a day to serve us an amazing meal. They make porridge from the meat of the mopani worms. The worms are squashed and dried in the sun after which they are fried in butter. These worms are organic and filled with protein. Skin products are made from them.
We are so thankful that we could bring the message. People are hungry for the Gospel. May we who live here and listen to God’s word daily not be guilty. Rev Koller said that people look our example.
Over the years, Rev Stegen has taught us certain things. He taught us how to look after ourselves, our bodies and how to raise our children. When I was in a meeting in Europe recently, I asked people to raise their hands if they had been faithful to what Rev Stegen had taught us, ‘Bend the will of a child within the first three years.’ Nobody raised their hand. You do not have to be a roaring lion, you don’t have to be nasty, he said, ‘Bring up your child, bend the child’s will before it is three years old.’ I ask you this morning, have you done it? I tried to do it by God’s grace.
He also taught us to get ourselves checked –do a proper physical check-up to see whether everything is fine because it is hard if someone suddenly gets sick and everyone is shocked by what has happened. I want to be faithful and have a proper check-up. A car requires a service and if it is not done, the car moves in fits and starts. If God reminds you, be faithful. We have doctors who can tell you what the ends of people are like when it catches them unawares.
That brings me to our spiritual lives. If we cannot listen to what we were told by people, how will we listen when the Holy Spirit speaks? I am sorry that Rev Koller had to remind us, but friends, do you think the way we sang would move Christ from heaven? These days I read this to my managers at work.
When the trumpeters and singers were joined in unison, making one sound, to be heard in praising and thanking the Lord, and when the lifted up their voice and with their trumpets and cymbals and others instruments, songs praising the Lord – saying for He is good, His mercy, lovingkindness endure forever (that is part of our singing – to praise and thank God) – then the house of the Lord was filled with a cloud. The priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud. For the glory of the Lord filled the house of God.
If you sing in the way you did, is your heart on fire? If it was then you would not sing the way you did. So, this is an opportunity for us to kneel and pray. Maybe you have grieved the Spirit somewhere, maybe something has come in between you and someone else. Do not take things lightly. If you don’t do it with all your heart, God will reveal it. If you do it just because you must do it, God will expose it. Let each one kneel where he/she is (if you can’t because you are older, it is acceptable) and ask the Lord Jesus, ‘What is in my heart, why am I not on fire for you?’ If the Lord shows you something, there will be time after the service to make that thing right. Let’s use this opportunity. Speak to the Lord with all your heart. We are often told things, but we neglect them. Be before the Lord this morning. Let us pray.
It is easy to pray and ask the Lord something. If you live in Me and My words remain in you, and continue to live in your hearts, ask whatever you will and it shall be done for you. We pray, but nothing happens. Why? Because when the Lord speaks to you first, nothing happens. When the Lord speaks to you and shows you things in your heart, you do not react, and then you say now He must react. It won’t work like that. When He speaks to you, you should react and be obedient and then you can ask whatever you want, it will be done for you. I hope and pray that you prayed what is good and because you are obedient to what He says. This is the key.
I visited my mother-in-law in France together with my family. I was asked to visit some of our friends there who have been faithful. I will start where we ended, in Romania. We visited Uncle Hans Koller. I felt at home there. It is like a mini KwaSizabantu. He told me something: In 1992 God used Uncle Hans to start mission work, through Rev Stegen, in Switzerland. But with time, Rev Koller was pushed aside. (I’d say today it was because he spoke the truth that he was told not to preach and because he loved God’s servant, Rev Stegen.) One day he was called by the leaders of Europe to a meeting where they asked him, ‘Who told you to preach the way you do? How can you preach the way you do?’ I respect him. If you are in a lion’s den and get attacked – it is unbelievable. He then confronted them about the way they preached because their gospel was not the same as the revival gospel. My heart was pained. It is terrible to experience things that have broken down where Rev Stegen gave his life to God’s kingdom.
Rev Stegen carried it. He saw things and carried them. People, do you want to go the same route? Ask God for that fire and if you don’t want it, may God take you out. That is not our desire, nobody wants that. As Uncle Hans was attacked, who should enter but Rev Stegen? He did not know about the meeting. He said, ‘Hans, come with me, let’s go.’ He was rescued from that situation. Should you want to know more, speak to Rev Koller. Rev Stegen asked him to help prepare a sermon. Rev Koller is gifted by God and he helped Rev Stegen prepare the service, especially regarding the Hebrew, Greek. Suddenly Rev Stegen laughed and said, ‘God has a sense of humour, they don’t want you, but you will preach to them through me.’ Uncle Hans, you are blessed. May God keep you and be with you. So, he was pushed out. God knew. We think everything is broken down, but God sent him to Romania. It is wonderful to be in a place where God is working and the truth is preached. When things crumble and disintegrate that is when God really starts to work. In Europe, everything has gone its own direction, everyone does what he thinks – it is unbelievable.
Ralph Witthoft spoke to me and I asked him whether I could mention this: Someone visited Ralph at Maqhogo and told him that people will leave the mission one by one: Beni Husslig, another person will go. (Was that planned? You can discern if you have brains.) When everyone had gone, the mission would crumble because all the pillars have left. They trusted man, not God. They also said that the spirit of the Lord would go with them and that the work would grow where they were going.
How can they touch the apple of God’s eye, His servant, and we must keep quiet? They say that we should show love and grace and have feeling for their faults and what about us?
When everything had crumbled, they would force Rev Stegen to get rid of the black co-workers who should not be there and then they would return. I must stop there. This gives you a picture of what the devil wanted to do. He did not want the black co-workers, and that is where the problem lies. One of them is Ms Lidia Dube of whom they said she has three children. No one has ever brought the proof of these children. It is a bunch of lies. If you cannot bring them do not blame others, blame yourself. Why do I say this? Because of what we experienced in Europe. In France, we saw four or five people left out of a large congregation, who want to stand with God’s work.
Ralph said it was told to him that Arno and Uncle Friedel will return and run the businesses and someone else, who is no longer alive, will do the spiritual work. This work is not based on businesses, it is based on God’s kingdom and preaching the Gospel.
There is nothing left in France. Each person walks in his own direction to different churches. I never imagined it to be the way we found it. But that is not the picture that I am left with of Europe - a place of no use. God is starting a new work. In our eyes it has disintegrated but this could be God’s time for Europe. He wants people who are on fire with hearts that are pure. God cannot work where there is sin and immorality. I want to be like those 2 spies, yes, there are giants, but God is far greater and we trust Him with all our hearts. Giants are nothing in God’s eyes. They do not rule God. God rules the world. If a man has put his whole heart into this work and then he experiences such things, it must be very, very difficult, except God carries it.
How did Jesus feel? He never told anyone else, but He knew. He wanted to see what the others will do, who would be drawn along by that Spirit?
My friend, how long have you been at the mission? I wish I could name names. It is clear who you are. How long have you been here but Christ the living God cannot change and renew your life? What is wrong? I don’t have a problem if you are offended. How long has Rev Stegen been speaking to us?
Friends, we are at war and if you enter battle the way you sang, I do not want to be in your shoes. Whatever we do, whatever we say, whatever we touch, must have something of God in it which moves it and changes it. If you did not pray wholeheartedly while kneeling, maybe there is still time – God comes and goes past, do not underestimate that. If you do not use the opportunity, it will be to your loss.
There is a song I want us to sing – Jesus revive our hearts. May that fire be ignited and burn in our hearts as never before and may God fan it into flame. This is a wonderful song. If someone has a gift for languages, translate it so that God’s work will go right around the world.
There is a word that has been on my heart for some time. (I do not mind if you go out if you are tired. I do not want to preach to people who have something to do or somewhere to go.)
Where there is no vision [no redemptive revelation of God], the people perish; but he who keeps the law [of God, which includes that of man]—blessed (happy, fortunate, and enviable) is he. Proverbs 29:18 (AMPC)
This word has been on my heart for weeks. When I shared it with others, someone said, ‘My Bible was open to that word. I read it just today.’ Friends, dear congregation, we often miss the mark, we miss God speaking to us. In a service He can speak through the preacher which is one way. But God must speak to you and I. It is very important. It is critical. It is a matter of life and death. It is critical to hear God’s voice and His guidance.
The Bible says, My sheep hear My voice. They understand God’s word. But here, it says, a redemptive revelation –a revelation that helps you and sets you free from bondage and sin. If you have received a revelation from God and if God has spoken to you, it is like petrol, like fire in your heart. Many people read God’s word, but they do not take the time to study, think and pray about what they have read.
Young people, when we grew up here, we spent time reading God’s word and today we continue to pray and seek God’s face. It is one thing to speak to a counsellor, but it is another thing to sit at the Lord’s feet and He speaks to you. I hope you grasp how important it is, not just to read your Bible but that redemptive life springs from that and it changes your life. If God does not speak to us, Rev Stegen has often said, and if we do not have discernment, we will be led astray like sheep and it will be our fault because we did not have an ear to hear. The Lord will not ask you how were you deceived, He will ask where you were when I spoke to you?
You are troubled by sin which you cannot overcome, and you have been here for years. Some do not confess their sins. This is the spirit that is in Europe and also here. It is not a law that we need to change, it is something God has laid down, like it or not, but we always run away from this.
This spirit is rife overseas: you don’t need to confess your sins to a man. Why do you hide your sins? Because you are ashamed of them. You must pray alone they say.
It is not a vision, a big plan, a large outreach – no, in this text God reveals Himself personally to redeem your life. Where we have a vision of God’s redemptive power and grace, we will not perish, by God’s grace, He reveals to us what is wrong and changes it in our lives.
Isaiah saw the holiness of God and then he recognised his evil lips. He said, ‘Oh God, I am an evil man.’ That is a revelation – a redemptive revelation. God spoke to him. He saw his mistake. He recognised his error, and it could be changed. Lips are evil. How much has been said over many years smearing Rev Stegen and his work? Is such a person righteous? Do you think it will go well with that person? When we were little children, God said something one day to us, ‘He who touches My children touches the apple of My eye.’ I was there I heard it with my own ears. Let us rather remain silent. Lips are evil things, and they usually defend their own wickedness.
The Bible says that Samuel ministered unto the Lord before Eli. The word of the Lord was rare in those days, there was no open vision, there was no revelation of God’s word. Spiritually, Eli had grown old and his eyes were dim. He was to blame, nobody else, that God could not reveal Himself.
Why had he become like that? His own children went on wrong paths and sinned with women in the temple. They lived immoral lives. When the child, Samuel came God spoke to him. Do you hear that, children? Be happy that you are still children, and you can take it from God. When you are young, you do not carry all the baggage, all the wrong things adults do. God can speak to you. How often didn’t God speak to children in the Bible?
I have been reading Revival among the Zulus for some time now. I underline things I do not want to forget. Read it prayerfully to see how God started and then check your life. Rev Stegen said that when revival came, people turned against it and became enemies of that for which they had prayed.
Experience has taught us that if someone resists the working of God’s Spirit then it is only because there is sin in the person’s life. Rev Stegen continues to say, often it is the sin of fornication of immorality, of pornography – that is the deadly sin that quenches all these fires.
In addition, Rev Stegen says I would always find fault with others and point a finger at them. And I remembered what happened if you point your finger at someone, three fingers point back at you as if saying you are three times as bad as that person you are criticising. We always judge according to our own standards. Psychologically a person always recognises his own mistakes in others. Read it yourself. It is unbelievable. It will shake you up. If you want to know a person’s weak spot, listen to what he says about other people. These very things are usually found in their own lives. These are revelations which God showed His people and it is good if we remind ourselves of them.
Another translation of the same verse says: Where there is no revelation people cast off restraint.
What can this be? Unrestrained in the Hebrew means ‘when Moses was on the mountain, Aaron stayed with the people and the people became unrestrained’. Broadly, because you have not honoured Me as you should have, I have left you and given you over. You became unrestrained. You can do as you want.
If you leave what God has shown you in the beginning and suddenly ‘it is not good enough’, that is dangerous ground to stand on, you become unrestrained. Look at the way young people dress, how they marry. Marriage does not last. There is unrestraint. It is chaos.
It is so important to be acquainted with the Saviour. This relationship, the one with your Saviour who can keep you in the palm of His hand, should be your best relationship. Human nature is unrestrained, unbridled. A person can only hold it back so much. It is only Christ and His work on the cross that can restrain and renew. It is heart breaking when you see a young person going his own way and doing what he wants to do.
In another translation, if people do not accept divine guidance, they run wild. In other words, their hearts, minds, feelings, run wild. You no longer need to confess your sin because that is a man-made rule/law. We are still humans, we will still sin, it is still a struggle. But Christ came to set us free, totally free, and make everything new in our lives. You find many people in a ‘cage’, a spiritual cage in which your mother or father keeps you. But once you get a job or go to university you go wild because you were wild in the ‘cage’. You need a revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ. He saves us from our sin and gives us life in abundance. He gives us lives that will change people around us and our country. I wish I could have spoken about our country. I have a feeling for this place which the devil wants to destroy.
Let us ask, ‘Lord, what are You saying to me today? I need Your guidance. I need You to open my eyes.’ You need to be alone before the Lord, cry before Him and ask Him. But if you don’t listen to Him, why should He then listen to you? When last did the Holy Spirit speak to you? When last did He open your eyes? Lord, may that fire burn in my life, and it will burn in a way that we least expect, as long as God works.
Conclusion Nico Bosman
We thank the Lord for what we have heard. Thank you, Rev Koller for what you said and prayed; for the choir that sang; Mrs Hlongwane for what you said and shared. Mr Joosten, we thank you for being obedient to God and saying what He puts on your heart. May the Lord bless you. May He continue to speak and may we be obedient.