We greet everyone present and those listening over the airwaves. Someone from overseas phoned recently and said that she was amazed at how God is working. She thought that the work would end when Rev Stegen passed away, but it is progressing. The reason for this she said was that it was God’s work and not that of Rev Stegen.
When speaking with counsellors, they are amazed at the way God is working in His power. People who are troubled by demonic spirits, are being set free. People who are troubled by evil spirits , invisible to others, come for help and after cleansing their lives, the spirits leave. Someone who cannot see well and must be led by another arrives for help. They ask to stay a few days to make their lives rights and we see God at work. People troubled by tobacco or alcohol addiction are set free after making lives right. We testify with that overseas lady who said she thought God would stop working.
18 For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written, “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.” 1 Corinthians 1:18 & 19
The Bible says the message of the cross to those who are perishing is foolishness. If you do not love the word of God, you are numbered among the perishing. If you are still living a life of hell, you are perishing. While you are living in the world, the flames of hell are already licking you. There are people who do not love the word of God. They do not want to attend a service; they would rather go elsewhere. When parents encourage their children to attend, they must be dragged. Such people are already perishing.
This text speaks about those who are being saved. This is the present continuous tense, not the past tense. This is not something that is done once, we are being saved daily. Therefore, when you apologise and bring your sin into the light, you are being saved and this gives you the authority and strength to resist sin. This is a mystery. When you confess your sin and receive prayer, you receive new strength to overcome.
19 For it is written, “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.”
In English it says destroy, in Zulu it says, spill it/waste it. Once something has been spilled it cannot be collected again. People cannot grasp the Gospel and the mystery of salvation through their intellect. Look at what Jesus did on earth. He invited fishermen to be His disciples. He did not go to the high and mighty, the powerful, the intellectuals – no, he went to those who were nothing and said, ‘I will use them.’ If you regard yourself as somebody, you cannot be used. If you are proud, God cannot work through you.
23 And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. Luke 9:23
How will you be able to carry the cross if you still carry something of yourself? How can you continue stealing while you have the cross in your life?
There is a vertical and horizontal beam on a cross. There should be fellowship between you and God and you and your fellow man. A believer cannot be on his/her own. If you have salvation, the cross brings reconciliation between you and other people. If you are arrogant and proud, realise that you have dropped the cross. You cannot carry someone else’s cross. If you want to follow Jesus, deny yourself, pick up your cross and follow daily.
If you have a job where you work with others, serve them so that they can see something happening in your life. There may be people working under you and you wonder how you can degrade yourself to the extent that you wash their feet. This is what Jesus said. This is what the cross means to those who are being saved.
21 In that same hour he rejoiced in the Holy Spirit and said, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will. Luke 10:21
You are called a child of God if you are a believer. That is what we become before God – like a little child. That is what we must become as believers so that people can see that Christ really lives in us.
28 Now about eight days after these sayings he took with him Peter and John and James and went up on the mountain to pray. 29 And as he was praying, the appearance of his face was altered, and his clothing became dazzling white. 30 And behold, two men were talking with him, Moses and Elijah, 31 who appeared in glory and spoke of his departure, which he was about to accomplish at Jerusalem. Luke 9:28-30
An amazing thing happened when Jesus took Peter, John and James up the mountain to pray. All of a sudden, His face altered, and His clothing turned dazzling white. Moses and Elijah talked with Jesus. Peter suggested that they make shelters for the men to live in on the mountain. He did not realise what he was saying. After that a cloud covered them and only Jesus remained.
A person may have a similar experience to this of Peter, James and John in a dream and people who attack and oppose us, say that we serve ancestral spirits. At the time this happened, they did not accuse them of that, and they believed that they had that experience.
God works in His way. They went to the mountain to pray. Do you grasp that? Jesus, Himself, as the Lord, was also in prayer. Therefore, as a child of God, it is so important for you to know how to pray. The disciples asked the Lord Jesus to teach them how to pray so He taught them the Lord’s prayer. Jesus knew that they knew how to forgive. Today people very easily use the name of the Lord Jesus in vain, but in the Bible, it says that you dare not use the name of the Lord in vain.
A white person asked how black people can be helped with the fact that they bring the name of Jesus into everything, even over the radio. The Bible does not allow that. If you have not repented confess that sin and go for prayer that you might be forgiven of the sin of using the Lord’s name in vain.
Something about white people also confuses me. If your brother/uncle passes away, the family do not attend his funeral. That confuses me. What kind of Gospel is that? If you are like this, heaven is far from you. A umthakathi (a witchdoctor) responsible for killing someone would attend the funeral of the deceased. They would put chilli powder in their eyes to weep. He would attend that funeral just for the sake of not being put to shame.
In the black culture, if a person dropped a cup or a glass, we would get a slap through the face. We saw from the white people that when a child breaks something, the child is comforted. We learned from the white people not to be so harsh. If someone bumped their car, they would say that it could happen to anyone, it was not done on purpose which is not like the language of unbelievers.
What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? 2 By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? Romans 6:1 – 2
How can we who died to sin still live in it? It is not grace if we continue to live in sin. How is it possible that after you have repented from your sin you continue in it? You confessed your sin, but you have not died to it. How can sin continue to rule in your life? If you have confessed your sin, it should die in your life, and not raise its head again. How can you be a child of God, but sin is alive, well and ruling? When we confess our sin, we ought to die to it. You have been changed into a new creation.
17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. 2 Corinthians 5:17
A new creation before God. Have you experienced that in your life? You have chosen the Lord, and you are a new creation. What is ruling your life? You must confess that sin and remove it by its roots. When revival came, we confessed our sin to the roots. If you do not get it out by the roots, will you continue in your sin so that grace may abound? The Bible says no! Today when people confess their sin, they chop off the tree, they do not down to the roots and get them all out. That tree will regrow.
What kind of faith do you have if you are a believer, but you do not overcome sin? Who is your Jesus? What kind of Jesus do you have if you are concerned about boys looking at you and noticing you? What kind of Jesus do you have if you sing in the choir but you are concerned about people noticing your clothes?
3 Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. Romans 6:3 – 4
If you receive Jesus then something new is wrought in your lives and everything will change because you are walking in newness of life, in Jesus Christ. Is the Bible a liar then when it says everything will become new? You say you are a believer, yet you are not new? If you say, I will put the cross down, first fight this guy and pick it up again afterwards. If you say, I’ll give him straight talk and wash his head for him, you are not talking straight. Go and put things right immediately.
David said in Psalm 51: 11 and do not remove your Holy Spirit from me. Speech and deeds must fit together. God has left you. You say you have received the Holy Spirit, but God has left you. Read Psalm 51:10,11. Children of God experience unity and love with one another. If you do not experience this cry out to God.
Someone may wonder what it means to confess the roots of sin. Those who taught us at the beginning of the revival said that it is not enough to say, ‘I have grudges or I am stubborn.’ You are only scratching on the surface. Why do you have a grudge? Against whom do you have a grudge? Give details then you can be prayed for. There is no victory if you do not go deep. If a person experiences toothache, you tell the dentist exactly which tooth to pull. You return if it still pains and the dentist deals with the infection.
5 For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. 6 We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. Romans 6:5,6
If we have been united in death with Him, we will be resurrected with Him. The old self needs to die. Our old habits and old lives need to die so something new can take place. Do not say I am this nationality, I’m just like this. People like this do not stay long because they want to stay as they are. The old life must die. Jesus was crucified and our sin must be crucified and end. It cannot be resurrected again. When you need to kill a snake, strike it on its head and not its tail. Do you strike sin on the tail and not the head when you confess it? Sin is still wriggling, it is alive. You have been a believer for so long. Has sin really died in you? Your ego should die that Christ may live. Do people just say, ‘Oh, that person is always like that.’
When people insult you, be like an orange tree. They might say you are like a pig, you are overweight, or whatever they say. Be like an orange tree. Do not complain. Once a woman took my washing. I asked her for water and she got upset. She messed me around but I did not beat her up. I told Rev Stegen that now I am a true believer because I did not beat her up. That lady soon packed her bags and left. The reason I did not get upset was because Jesus was in me. That woman had not experienced this. If you get irritated when someone asks you to do something, Christ is not in you.
In 1965 someone used the illustration of a bottle of water and soil in a service. He held up a bottle of water which was clean and asked whether we would drink it and we said we would. Then he shook the bottle and there was a mixture of water and soil as the dirt at the base of the bottle mixed with the water. He asked again whether we would drink it and we said we would not. The bottle was an illustration of someone with sin in their lives. If you are still irritated, upset or angry when someone says things about you, something is wrong.
If we have died to sin, we have been set free. If you have not died to sin and been set free, then you are still in bondage which is why sin still rules your life. You must die to it that you can be set free. I am happy for those who have been delivered and set free from sin. It brings us joy. It is visible in their lives. They are free. They have been delivered. If you are not yet delivered, cry out to the Lord Jesus, like the blind man, ‘Son of David, have mercy on me!’ If you cry out like that you will be set free from your sin.
8 Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. 9 We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. 11 So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus. John 6: 8-9, 11
If we have died to sin, Jesus will reign in our lives. We are witnesses to that. We have been delivered. We have died with Christ and now we live in Him. A wife can say that even if her husband is in Jhb or Dbn, she can trust him. Parents can trust their children. Can your parents trust you?
12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions. Romans 6:12
Whether people call themselves believers or not, the truth often is that sin still rules in their lives. People live a life of Sodom and Gomorrah, but they say they are children of God. People burn with lust, but they call themselves children of God. That is why we read this word – may no one who says they have died to sin, continue in that sin.
Does sin still rule in your life? Young person, why do you continue singing in a choir? Stop and overcome first. Do not look at pictures on your phone and then defile yourself. Stop blaspheming. Stop sinning. Get that right first. People do not realise that Satanists pray over these pictures that those who look at them will go into bondage. Once you have looked at those pictures, Satan rules your life and that’s why the demons live in you. Through cell phones the fires of hell has been kindled among men. You may think a person is in the bathroom, in the meantime they are watching porn. Some have begun living the hellish life here on earth. The Bible says the way of the Cross is foolishness to such people. If people become drowsy during a service, the work of the Cross has not been done in them. If you have died to sin, you will love the word of God and salvation, it would be something precious to you. It is wonderful that word that says, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 1 Corinthians 1:18. Through the cross we receive the power to be saved from sin. Has the Gospel done that in your life yet? If not, cry out to God to help you.
Put a stone into a pool then remove it and crack it in half. The inside will be bone dry. This is a picture of a person in a place of revival, but his/her life is rotten.
Rev Stegen often said that where God works the devil also works. Do not be so protective of your little children, ‘Oh my darling, is so sweet, he would never do anything wrong.’ Your child attends a service which goes in one ear and out the other but once they have met with Christ, it will be different.
13 Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness. Romans 6:13
Your members. Your eyes are one of your main members. How do you look at other people? Are girls sisters and boys brothers or do you look at people with unrighteous eyes? Go to a child of God, bring that into the light. Confess that your eyes have not been saved and cleansed. When I look at someone this, that and the next thing happens. A 12-year-old boy said that he looked at a girl and liked her. Do you want to marry now? No. Do you want to be a father? Those are the kind of questions we were asked when we were young, because those who asked us wanted us to understand what sin was. They had to put you in a corner so that you would realise your need to overcome. Such a person can be helped concerning utter foolishness. Sin attacks even young children. Rev Stegen said, ‘Don’t say your child is a Christian. They grow up as unbelievers. They need to repent.’
Conclusion Sbongiseni Khumalo
May God have mercy on us. If we have died to sin, let us hold onto Christ because that is the only place of safety. By God’s grace, never return to the sin which you said you have died to. God forbid that you should go back to it.
Peter said that a person who separates from his sin and then returns to it is like a dog returning to its vomit. If you’ve parted from your sin, let it be the end of it and do not be found in that sin again. A person who returns to immorality, drugs or alcohol is like a pig that has been washed and returns to the mud. We have died with Christ therefore how can we continue living in that sin? May God grant us grace to hold onto Christ, to live for Him and to resist sin to the point of death.