Introduction Ntokozo Nhlabathi
We greet you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. We greet those who are listening via livestream and on the airwaves. Welcome if you have joined us for the first time and we pray that it will be a blessing.
Watching sporting events challenges us in our spiritual races. Some athletes are well trained and know how to pace themselves to reach the end. Earthly races win earthly prizes. In our spiritual race, it costs to persevere to reach the finish the end line. The Lord watches how we run and when we go through a difficult time, He watches to see how we get through. Jesus Christ encourages us and cries before the Father for us until we turn the corner. He is relieved when we make it.
We thank the Lord for the doors that He has opened. There will be an opportunity for you to make your life right after the service.
It is important for parents to share with their children what the Lord has done for them. When we speak about the miracles that happen in this revival, some people keep their ears closed and become angry.
Albu van Eeden
We have heard a lot already which was a blessing and inspiration. We should be wide awake as we slowly move towards the end. There are many signs that tell us this. People will carry the mark of the beast in the end time which is 666. On the new South African money notes, it is interesting to note that there are 3 groups of 6 lines on the top and bottom of the notes. We do not know how close the day of the antichrist is. The Bible tells us that we are living in the end times and there have been antichrists already. In some European cities people walk around naked because it is their right.
There have been types of the antichrists through history. Antiochus slaughtered a pig on the altar in Jerusalem which reminds me of Jesus’ words in Mark 13:14 But when you see the abomination of desolation standing where he ought not be, then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. Another type of the antichrist was Ceasar Nero who lit fires and accused the Christians of starting the arson of Rome. They covered Christians with tar, hung them on poles and lit them as streetlights.
We are heading towards a time when the ultimate antichrist will be revealed: a cashless society where you cannot pay for anything except through a system which can be used by the antichrist; digital currencies when money is not physical and every cent that you spend is on record somewhere. It has been said that such a system can control how much money you spend on fuel and limit your spending to reduce carbon emissions. China’s digital currency can control every cent they spend. May God give us the grace to make sure that we do not slacken spiritually and that we will be prepared when this time comes. I think it will come slyly and not in your face.
In this service, I would like to look at how we hold the different positions that we have. There are two examples of different ways. Position is not only one of authority. If you are a child in a family, you have a God-ordained position there. How do you handle it? If you have a position in God’s work, it is a position. If you sweep the roads, He has given you that position. Each person has a different position. In a marriage, your position is either a wife or a husband. How do you handle it?
Now Korah the son of Izhar, son of Kohath, son of Levi, and Dathan and Abiram the sons of Eliab, and On the son of Peleth, sons of Reuben, took men. 2 And they rose up before Moses, with a number of the people of Israel, 250 chiefs of the congregation, chosen from the assembly, well-known men. 3 They assembled themselves together against Moses and against Aaron and said to them, “You have gone too far! For all in the congregation are holy, every one of them, and the Lord is among them. Why then do you exalt yourselves above the assembly of the Lord?” 4 When Moses heard it, he fell on his face…Numbers 16:1-4
What position was at stake? The leader of the children of Israel to the promised land. Look at the way Moses held this position and look at the way Korah, Dothan and Abiram wanted to take hold of his position.
13 Is it a small thing that you have brought us up out of a land flowing with milk and honey, to kill us in the wilderness, that you must also make yourself a prince over us? Numbers 16:14
4 When Moses heard it, he fell on his face…Numbers 16:14
This strikes me to the heart. It captures the attitude with which Moses held his position. When these men challenged Moses, he fell on his face. This shows the awe and respect Moses had for God and the horror of the sin these men were committing. They never saw sin in what they were doing. They thought it was time to reign Moses in because he thought too much of himself. Moses saw how terrible this sin was in God’s eyes. It was so terrible that he fell on his face and asked God for mercy. He saw himself as part of the nation of Israel that was committing such a sin, he felt convicted, and he fell on his face. It was so terrible that Moses did not really know how to handle it. Moses felt humiliated to be part of a nation committing such a sin. The rebellion of these men was so gross and outrageous in God’s eyes that Moses did not want to face it.
How did Moses reach this position? He was so different to them. He was trained in the courts of Pharoah in all the skills and knowledge of Egypt. He was royal prince. When he was 40, he saw an Egyptian beating an Israelite. Moses hit him and he died. Later he saw two Jews arguing with one another and he rebuked them. One of them challenged Moses with ‘Will you kills us the way you did the Egyptian yesterday?’ He realized that the people knew that he had killed an Egyptian, so he fled the country and ended up looking after his father-in-law’s sheep, not his own.
The problems Moses experienced came from Israelites not Egyptians. Look at the friction in the church of Christ today, people fight for honour. From the beginning Moses experienced opposition from fellow Israelites.
If you have been placed in a position by God but you cannot die to yourself, you are unwilling to be the least and you cannot apologize, you will become an enemy to what God wants to do.
Moses fled for 40 years. This could have been God’s punishment on Moses, and he had to cool down in the desert for 40 years. When Stephen tells the story of Moses in Acts 7, however, he says that Moses did not sin when he killed the Egyptian. He killed him because he thought the Israelites knew that he was selected to lead the Jews to freedom. There was a calling on the life of Moses to lead to people out of Egypt. 25 He supposed that his brothers would understand that God was giving them salvation by his hand, but they did not understand. Acts 7:25 May you fill your position on the mission with fear and trembling. God selected a person to lead you into freedom but you oppose him because you are carnal and you cannot bow and let go of your own rights.
Moses herded sheep in the desert for 40 years. What went through his mind? God was not punishing him. God called him to look after sheep and he did it faithfully. Can God call you look after sheep for 40 years? This is the problem in the church. People do not have the spirit of Moses. Even though he knew there was a calling on his life, he did not mind looking after sheep until God called him from the burning bush.
This work was started by such a man. He looked after the sheep, the spiritual sheep of God, for about 12 years. No one noticed him. He did this until 1966 when the revival started. God appeared to him as he appeared to Moses, in the burning bush, which is a symbol of revival. As Moses approached the bush, God told him to remove his shoes because he was standing on holy ground. This is what happens in revival. God tells people who have served Him for many years to remove their shoes because they stand on holy ground. In 1966 God told them to remove their shoes because they stood on holy ground.
God told Moses to lead Israel to freedom. Moses was a broken man who led Israel as a broken man. Korah, Dathan and Abiram were not broken men. They wanted position but it would have been cursed. You can apply this to any position. If you enter marriage with the spirit of these three men, your marriage will be cursed. You enter marriage selfishly, for what you can get out of it, not as a broken person because God has told you to get married. If you live in this place with such a spirit, you will be rebellious because you want something out of it. Your problem might also be that you do not know how to serve and look after sheep. I have seen this happen so many times. God saves people, they start studying but the moment they get their qualification, the spirit of these men takes hold of them. They want to get something for themselves out of the qualification. They see themselves as princes of Egypt not as shepherds.
What was the problem of Korah, Dathan and Abiram? They were upset about the difficulties they faced. They complained that Moses had promised them a land of milk and honey, but they got a desert. Their speech made logical sense. The person who wants to live the Christian life with his human wisdom and carnality will find very logical reasons to find fault with everything that happens on this mission. Everything will be wrong. Moses fell on face. He did not give them a piece of his mind and say, ‘Who are you? What do you know?’ His prayer was, ‘Oh God have mercy on us, don’t come down with fire and wipe out the nation.’ He interceded on their behalf because they did not accept his authority. He fell down because he needed to see what was happening in God’s eyes. He wanted them to come to their senses. He wanted to bring the matter to God. His attitude was, ‘I don’t know how to handle this but show me Your will.’ How often do we destroy things when we take them out of God’s hands? We do not first bring it to God and ask for His advice. Moses did not cling to his position. It remained on the altar and he returned it to God. He did not claim it for himself. Do you take after Moses? Do you go to God with your problems or handle them yourself?
Korah, Dathan and Abiram spoke sense. They had experienced wars, deserts, droughts and lack of food. It was easy to think, ‘Well, what’s the difference between Moses and us? We have been with him through the desert.’ However, they were unaware of what happened between Moses and God when He anointed him. Such a person does not feel that what he is doing is wrong. ‘Moses is too powerful,’ they said. They judged Moses with human logic and fairness. This is the curse in the church of Christ today. People try to serve God logically. They judge things fairly or unfairly using human logic. They are constantly at loggerheads with what God is doing. They constantly cause problems. These people are with you day in and day out. They are counselled daily. Why? They serve God with the spirit of Korah, Dathan and Abiram. They do not have the calling of God on their lives. Their calling is not on the altar. They want justice the way their logic interprets it.
13 Is it a small thing that you have brought us up out of a land flowing with milk and honey, to kill us in the wilderness, that you must also make yourself a prince over us? Numbers 16:13
This is the root of things. They longed for Egypt.
You may say, ‘I have not gone back,’ yes, but they also did not return to Egypt. They left Egypt but it did not leave them. They harshness of serving God and wandering through the desert was too much for them. They longed for the milk and honey of Egypt and what they had had there.
Examine yourself carefully. What is your promised land? Canaan? Egypt, where you have come from? You constantly long back for the pleasures of Egypt where you served the devil. Be careful because the harshness of travelling through the desert can change your mind. They became depressed because there was only desert. They no longer saw the grace of God in their lives, and they did not realize the grace it took from God to remove them from their slavery of sin. It became too harsh and depressing for them.
Pilgrim, on your way to the promised land, has the harshness of the journey blinded you to the grace of God in your life? You are something in your eyes. Things are too harsh and you no longer see the grace of God. Do you know how you feel when you have the grace of God in your life? Listen to the words of this hymn:
Hear, gracious God, a sinner’s cry!
For I have nowhere else to fly;
My only hope is found in Thee:
O God, be merciful to me!
2 To Thee I come, a sinner poor,
And wait for mercy at Thy door;
For, Lord, I’ve nowhere else to flee;
O God, be merciful to me!
3 To Thee I come, a sinner weak,
Scarce knowing how to pray or speak;
From fear and weakness set me free:
O God, be merciful to me!
4 To Thee I come, a sinner vile,
Upon me, Lord, be pleased to smile,
Mercy alone I make my plea:
O God, be merciful to me!
5 To Thee I come, a sinner great,
And well Thou knowest all my state;
Yet full forgiveness is with Thee:
O God, be merciful to me!
6 To Thee I come, a sinner lost,
Having no worth in which to trust;
But where Thou art, Lord, I would be:
O God, be merciful to me!
Samuel Medley, 1738-99
I remember when I experienced the burning bush - the revival, I had been a Christian for many years, but I felt as if I was in a desert, but I did not know why. I chose to expose my life to the light all the things I was sure about and unsure about. The moment I walked into this place, God told me to remove my shoes because I was on holy ground. The moment I exposed my life to a child of God, and I realized that the devil was accusing me of things I was not guilty of. There were places where I was guilty and needed to apologise, and I pray that I will remain aware of his grace in my life.
I don’t know what you are doing or what the sheep are that God has asked you to take care of. Are you willing to do that without recognition? Even if the devil tells you that you are a prince. If you come out of the world, you are not a prince, you are a child who needs saving. Are you faithful in looking after the sheep? It does not mean you need encouragement all the time, it means you are living for God all the time and that is your reward. If God has lead you into a marriage, stop wanting to get something out of that marriage. If you live in a marriage to get something out of it, is going to meet a curse in their life but a person who is aware of God, will be a blessing.
We know what happened with Korah…finally Moses said that they should bring their incense to a meeting and he told the rest of the nation to move away from them because they would be destroyed. Why do you want to have a relationship with Korah? Don’t you realize you will also be harmed. Moses and Aaron were there and God opened up the earth. Korah, Dathan and Abiram and their families with all their belongings were swallowed. Do you realize why Moses fell on his face? Do you realize how series jealousy is in the eyes of God? Do you think it is logical? Are you living a double life? You want to curse a person so that you can be recognised. You want medicine so that you can curse someone. Do you realize how serious this sin is? May God make you sensitive like Moses to deal with sin in your life so that God’s grace can work in your life. If you don’t see your sin God’s grace cannot work. When you see your sin, you can go to God and confess it. Confess what you said, done and thought and the words of this hymn writer will become true in your life.