Burry Stander ~ Obituary

Burry StanderBURRY WILLIE STANDER, son to Charles and Mandie Stander, brother, husband to Cherise Stander (nee Taylor), friend, competitor, entrepreneur, champion MTB rider, a double South African Olympian, was born September 16,  1987 – died January 3, 2013 aged 25.

It was saddening news that greeted many the world over that Burry Stander had been tragically killed by a collision with a mini-taxi on a training ride, cut down in what many determine to be the prime of his life, in his prowess. From learning of the news of his death much has been written in way of condolences that have steadily poured in from here at home and from abroad, and there has been many memorial rides organised at various places around South Africa in memory of his passing. Whilst many convey words of sympathy to his parents and Cherise, wife of Burry, it is heart rending that parents should be burying their son, and a married life was cut so tragically short after just six months – are there any words that can be spoken to ease the pain and heartache at this time? The bereavement of the loss of this life is painful just as many others have also experienced the loss of a family member, or a close friend at some other time before!

Whilst many messages pour in through the social networks and the public media, many obituaries have been written from specific points of view, most noticeably from the point of view celebrating Burry Stander – “humble celebrity, gentleman, world champion mountain-bike legend, athlete, icon, hero” – whilst these accolades describe this South African son known affectionately as Africanmtbkid, not much has been written about the normal man – the man Burry Stander.

While people the world over give much praise and homage to this celebrated life, many do not pause to ponder what lies ahead after one dies. If Burry could now speak from eternity, for death is not the end of a soul, what would he tell you? If he could speak to you, dear reader – the words would most probably be: “Repent and believe the Gospel of Jesus Christ!” While many people live life fast, hard and large, they fail to examine themselves and see where they are ultimately headed. The question that should be posted to you, dear reader, is: “Are YOU Ready?” (Gospel tract). People tend to downplay what awaits them after death. Many truly believe that they will “go to a better place”, “go to heaven”, and many will even say in sympathy statements: “My prayers are with the family” and “God bless!” But what do these sentiments really mean? Do all believe in a Creator God? Do all believe in salvation through Jesus Christ alone? Are all living truly Christ-centred lives? Or, are people just trying to soften the impact of death – as they do not really want to offend people by speaking the Truth. Is it that they don’t want to deal with the real issues of the after-life, eternity? Jesus said what is in the abundance of the heart is what a man really is.

I do pray and hope that the pastors conducting the church service on Thursday January 10, 2013 will be faithful to Almighty God, YHVH, and proclaim the unadulterated Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ (not the ear-tickling gospel of today in the Ecumenical system), and will not withhold the real TRUTH of what awaits a person once they die. There is bound to be many in attendance, some professing believers who need to be reminded of the surrendered life we are to live for our Lord Jesus Christ and many others who are unbelievers who need an urgent wake-up call to the frailty of life. Funerals are not for the deceased. The deceased’s soul has already departed and moved into eternity and the corpse is an empty shell that is lying there lifeless. Funerals are there for the family and friends that are left behind, who have been tardy or who have neglected to make preparation for the day when they too will die and meet their Creator. For God tells us in His Holy Word, the Bible, in Hebrews 9:27 ~

And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:

If God says there is a judgment after death, are you prepared to meet the Creator of all the universe at that judgment?

Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right? (see Genesis 18:25)

We are also reminded ~

2 Corinthians 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.

So: Are you ready? Are you prepared? And are you making preparation? Scripture warns that we are to prepare to meet our God (see Amos 4:12). Jesus said: “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God(see John 3:3). If any person dies outside the covering of our Lord Jesus Christ they will not enter heaven. So then what happens to them?  So what do you think will happen to YOU when you die and stand naked before your Creator? Do you think God would find you innocent or guilty before His Judgment Seat? God tells us in 2 Corinthians 13:5 to examine ourselves to see whether we are in the faith and whether we will pass the test, which is the judgment. You can examine yourself to see your condition before God Almighty by looking into the ‘mirror’ of God’s Holy and Moral Law, which are the Ten Commandments (the full version can be read at Exodus 20:1-17):

  1. Thou shalt have no other gods before me (v3)
  2. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image [idols](vv4-6)
  3. Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain [blasphemy](v7)
  4. Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy (vv8-11)
  5. Honour thy father and thy mother (v12)
  6. Thou shalt not kill (v13)
  7. Thou shalt not commit adultery (v14)
  8. Thou shalt not steal (v15)
  9. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour [lie](v16)
  10. Thou shalt not covet (v17)

Now that you know God’s standard of holiness and perfection, “we know that the law is good, if a man  use it lawfully; Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient” (see 1 Timothy 1:8-11) and we are reminded in Romans 3:23 that:

For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

So let us take a quick test to see your true condition. If you should die today, what will be your condition before God on Judgment Day? Listen to your conscience and answer honestly. The ninth commandment says you shall not tell lies (bear false witness) (Exodus 20:16). How many lies have you told in your lifetime? Fibs, half-truths, white lies – they are all lies. A lie is deception and someone always gets hurt by lying. Jesus tells us that if a person speaks lies he speaks the language of the devil, Satan, “for he is a liar, and the father of it” (see John 8:44). The eighth commandment says you shall not steal (Exodus 20:15). Irrespective of the size or value of the object, have you ever stolen something – taken it without someone’s permission. This also includes piracy which is buying, downloading or copying CDs and DVDs that belong to other people without their permission.

Then there is the seventh commandment that says you shall not commit adultery. Have you cheated on your spouse? But listen, you do not have to be married to commit adultery. Jesus said:

Matthew 5:27 Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery:

Matthew 5:28 But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.

Have you looked with lust? Roving eyes, lustful intent, leering at pornography; have you broken this command? This command would also include fornication (sexual relations outside the bounds of marriage) either heterosexual (mf) or homosexual (mm / ff) sex. Are you ‘living together’ out of wedlock as partners?

What about murder? Have you broken the sixth commandment? Have you murdered anyone? You do not have to pick up a gun, or knife or rope to kill someone to commit murder. If you hate someone you have committed murder in the heart:

1 John 3:15 Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.

Gossip is also considered murder of the heart by God’s standard.

The second commandment deals with idols and idolatry. Do you worship and bow down to things made of wood, stone, plastic, gold, silver and any other material? God has warned that no person is to fashion or make any idols or “any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth:” (Exodus 20:4). God also warns that those who worship and make these idols are just like them – DEAD! It also includes people who make a god to suite themselves in their own image, a god they are more comfortable with, someone who won’t punish sin. Idols can also be placing your love, devotion and worship in things of this world – money, material possessions, sports and their athletes, celebrities in the film and music industry, family members, sex and pornography, alcohol and drugs, your work, studies and all other manner of activities, even your religious practices including your idolised favourite pastor / teacher – these are all idolatries. Vanities of vanities.

God tells us in James 4:4 that any friend of the world is an enemy of God and according to His Word no enemy will R.I.P. (Rest In Peace) for any person that does not have the Son does not have life, but has the wrath of God abiding on him (see John 3:36).

Now consider that we have only looked at five of the Ten Commandments – and if God judged you by this Holy standard and sees you as a lying thief, adulterer, murderer and idolater, do you think you will be innocent? Or guilty? You see the law is a schoolmaster, a teacher that teaches us that we have transgressed God’s Holy Commandments; it shows that we are in need of a Saviour – Someone to save us from the wrath of God. Scripture tells us:

Galatians 3:24 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.

God’s Word tells us that transgressors of His law will be guilty and that:

1 Corinthians 6:9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,

1 Corinthians 6:10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.

Therefore you would be guilty and God warns that all guilty persons are condemned (see John 3:18) and will end up in Hell for all eternity. This is what Hell is described as in the Holy Words of God:

  • A devouring fire and everlasting burnings – Isaiah 33:14
  • A place of weeping and gnashing of teeth – Matthew 8:12, 22:13, 24:51, 25:30; Luke 13:28
  • Where the fire is never quenched – Mark 9:44, 46, 48
  • Where they can never repent – Matthew 12:32; Mark 3:29
  • Where they don’t want their loved ones to come – Luke 16:28
  • A bottomless pit – Revelation 9:1, 2, 11, 11:7, 17:8, 20:1, 3
  • Where they scream for mercy – Luke 16:24
  • A place of sorrows – Psalm 18:5
  • A place of outer darkness – Matthew 8:12, 22:13, 25:30
  • A place of torments – Luke 16:23
  • And many, many more verses …

On that Great Day at the Great White Throne Judgment, this is the Revelation of Jesus Christ of Judgment Day:

Revelation 20:11 And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.

Revelation 20:12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.

Revelation 20:13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.

Revelation 20:14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.

Revelation 20:15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

If you should stand before the Judgment Seat of Christ know this that transgressors will end up in God’s prison – Hell for all eternity. On that Day there will be no Court of Appeal against your sentence, there will be no Constitutional Court to appeal to for a lesser sentence or an acquittal. There also will be no extenuating circumstantial pleas heard on your behalf. No, my friend, the judgment will be final and binding. Your only hope is – will you have the Lord Jesus Christ as your advocate (see 1 John 2:1) on that Day. If God is not your Father on Judgment Day, then He will certainly be your Judge. And Scripture warns that:

Hebrews 10:31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

Matthews 10:28 And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

The bad news is that Hell awaits all unrepentant evil and wicked sinners who have not repented towards God. But, O yea, there is Good News. And this is what a Good and Loving God did for you about two thousand years ago. God the Father took on human form – and became flesh (John 1:14) to take upon Himself the sins of the whole world so that redemption can be granted to His people. God is “not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (see 2 Peter 3:9). Scripture tells us of God’s great love for us:

John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

John 3:17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

Romans 5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

Jesus Christ – God in human form – became the sin offering – the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world – for you when He went to the cross to die in your place taking the wrath of the Father upon Himself:

2 Corinthians 5:21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

If God is speaking to you, do not harden your heart in the day of His visitation.

John 12:32 And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.

John 6:39 And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.

John 6:40 And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.

Jesus Christ took your punishment upon Himself so that He can legally commute your death sentence upon the Day of Judgment if you would believe upon His Name and be clothed in His Righteousness.

Scripture tells us that when Jesus died He was laid in a tomb (grave) and on the third day raised to life. Jesus has overcome this world, death and sin for all those who would believe in Him.

John 5:24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.

2 Timothy 1:9 Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,

2 Timothy 1:10 But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel:

Know this, that:

Ephesians 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

Ephesians 2:9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.

2 Corinthians 6:1 We then, as workers together with him, beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain.

2 Corinthians 6:2 (For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.)

Call upon the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ, for His mercy and grace for there is no other that can save you:

Act 4:12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

And Jesus said you must be born again, born of the Spirit of God, not of man or his will:

John 3:3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

John 3:5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.

John 3:6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.

John 3:7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.

John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

John 1:12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:

John 1:13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

So this day, your repentance must be toward God and your faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ (see Acts 20:21) and let God work repentance in you and receive Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour by faith:

Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

Come to Jesus:

Romans 10:9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

Romans 10:10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

Find a quiet place and go before the Lord God Almighty and do business with Him today, for you are not guaranteed of tomorrow. Then get yourself a KJ Bible, read and obey what is written in it. Live it out. Get into a Bible believing assembly of believers and follow Jesus. For God commands Perfection, Holiness and Obedience. What is the cost of being a disciple of Christ?

Luke 9:23 And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.

Luke 9:24 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it.

You never know when your time will be up and you will die. Are YOU Ready?

Mark 8:36 For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?

Mark 8:37 Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?

Mark 8:38 Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.

Soli Deo Gloria,

Amen.

__________________

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Obituary written by an evangelist who has attended at the UCI Mountain Bike World Championships held in Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal to reach competitors and spectators alike with the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. Possibly, you too, have received a Gospel Tract. Consider this – Are YOU Ready?

2 Corinthians 5:20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.

The Sign of Jonah

The open-air preaching that took place in the city of Pietermaritzburg on Saturday December 1, 2012 (“World’s Aids Day”) to hordes of peoples walking the streets, mostly xmas shoppers, as we preached at the crossroads of Church St. and Commercial Road (Albert Luthuli) opposite the City Hall. The Scripture reading was out of Luke 11:29-32 ~

Luke 11:29 And when the people were gathered thick together, he began to say, This is an evil generation: they seek a sign; and there shall no sign be given it, but the sign of Jonas the prophet.

Luke 11:30 For as Jonas was a sign unto the Ninevites, so shall also the Son of man be to this generation.

Luke 11:31 The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with the men of this generation, and condemn them: for she came from the utmost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and, behold, a greater than Solomon is here.

Luke 11:32 The men of Nineve shall rise up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: for they repented at the preaching of Jonas; and, behold, a greater than Jonas is here.

communityaudioPlease listen to the audio at internet archive.org by clicking on the picture to the left or Here. Many heard the Gospel of our blessed Lord Jesus Christ and we also ask that you keep a lady named Leonie in prayer who came under conviction by the Holy Spirit and became tearful who we spoke to afterwards who said she had been in prison and had committed to God and had also been baptised, but since then has fallen back into sin. She told us that she had come into town today to drink alcohol and that she is also involved in prostitution. She said that she had also been contemplating suicide (praise be to God listen at 25:00) and that after hearing the Word she needs to go and buy herself a bus ticket back home to some family in Witbank, Mpumalanga. We, brothers Asis, Lungisa and myself, ministered to Leonie and prayed calling God to save her and that any demonic spirits would be removed in the Name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth.

Praise be to God for His great love, justice, grace and mercy!

The Face of Evil and Wicked South Africa

This is the sad face of evil and wicked South Africa. When a nation is sold out to the devil and serves no longer the Creator God exclusively, this is what you get – interfaith debauchery. On 28th November 2012 the President of South Africa met with the National Interfaith Council of South Africa (NICSA) which has been dissolved and is now known as the National Religious Leaders’ Council (NRLC). Here are two news articles for the NRLC meeting [(1) and (2)] that took place. They want to resolve “poverty and general social upliftment” together with other issues through an ecumenical system by bringing all faiths together – it will never work! God will not be mocked by having His Son Jesus Christ riduculed with such blasphemy! This is the type of debauchery that we are talking about. Look at some of the other websites here in South Africa that make a mockery of the One True Creator:

I wonder if the “reverend” Ray McCauley seazed the opportunity at the Union Buildings in Pretoria and actually preached the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the unbelievers who were present at that meeting – or is that possibly asking too much? This is what our Lord Jesus Christ said:

John 8:24 I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.

It is an abomination in the sight of a Holy God that man can blaspheme the One True God who revealed Himself as the Lord Jesus Christ who is LORD of all:

Act 10:34 Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons:

Act 10:35 But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.

Act 10:36 The word which God sent unto the children of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ: (he is Lord of all:)

Act 10:37 That word, I say, ye know, which was published throughout all Judaea, and began from Galilee, after the baptism which John preached;

Act 10:38 How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.

Act 10:39 And we are witnesses of all things which he did both in the land of the Jews, and in Jerusalem; whom they slew and hanged on a tree:

Act 10:40 Him God raised up the third day, and shewed him openly;

Act 10:41 Not to all the people, but unto witnesses chosen before of God, even to us, who did eat and drink with him after he rose from the dead.

Act 10:42 And he commanded us to preach unto the people, and to testify that it is he which was ordained of God to be the Judge of quick and dead.

Act 10:43 To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.

Here are the other blogposts (and a few historical posts) that have called on our President and peoples of South Africa to Repent and Believe the one and only Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ – the ONLY WAY God our Creator has given us:

Scripture warns us:

Proverb 29:2 When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn.

And South Africa can learn from the Ugandan President who Publicly Repented! He did not just say he is sorry to the people – his prayer was directed to GOD!

Objections by an “ex-christian-muslim”

These objections were received on my cell phone by short text messages on 29th May 2012 during our ministry outside the Royal Show Grounds in Pietermaritzburg. The posts of this event, in particular, can be read at these links: Day 05 and Day 07. A muslim convert who called himself an “ex-christian” (a contradiction of terms) raised these questions and these will be replied to by quoting the question raised and then the answer given from Scripture.

1. Q. “Who incited David to count the fighting men of Israel? (a) God did (Samuel 24:1)? (b) Satan did (1 Chronicles 21:1)?”

A.      In dealing with this question and providing an answer, you cannot raise a question in isolation and refer to one Scripture verse and raise it against another Scripture verse without first looking at the verses in the context in which they were given. We see in Samuel 24:1 that “And again the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel” so there were other times also that God’s anger was kindled against His people Israel, and for the people’s sin David was left to act wrong. We see in 1 Chronicles 21:1 “And Satan stood up against Israel, and provoked David to number Israel” which we also understand from the Scriptures that follow that in 1 Chronicles 21:3 “And Joab answered, The LORD make his people an hundred times so many more as they be: but, my lord the king, are they not all my lord’s servants? why then doth my lord require this thing? why will he be a cause of trespass to Israel?” (Writer’s emphasis and underlining, and hereafter). God does not tempt anyone as we read in James 1:13 “Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:”, but God can use Satan (or a man) to go and try his children for His purpose and His will as we see in the case with righteous Job in the Book of Job 1:12 “And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, all that he hath is in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of the LORD.” In the context of the Scriptures under discussion, God used Satan to try David to count the fighting men, which was in any event against what God wanted. The sins of Israel were the real issue here just as the sin that you have raised against God by tempting Him by not trusting His Word. Our Lord Jesus Christ, the anointed of God (see Acts 10:38), said to Satan as it is recorded in Matthew 4:7 “Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.”

2. Q. “Jesus descended from which son of David? (a) Solomon (Matthew 1:6)? (b) Nathan (Luke 3:31)?”

A.      Both. The Book of Matthew shows the genealogy – descendants going forward – from David through Solomon to Salathiel (Matthew 1:12) by Succession and the Book of Luke shows the genealogy – descendants going backwards – from Salathiel (Luke 3:27) through Nathan to David by Nature. From both genealogies from Salathiel (Matthew 1:12; Luke 3:27) to Joseph: “And Jacob begat Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ” (Matthew 1:16) and Mary: “To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary” (Luke 1:27) the lineage that comes through Joseph is by Law and the lineage that comes through Mary is by Nature. Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary sums it up: “Matthew’s list of the forefathers of Jesus showed that Christ was the son of Abraham, in whom all the families of the earth are blessed, and heir to the throne of David; but Luke shows that Jesus was the Seed of the woman that should break the serpent’s head, and traces the line up to Adam, beginning with Eli, or Heli, the father, not of Joseph, but of Mary. The seeming differences between the two evangelists in these lists of names have been removed by learned men. But our salvation does not depend upon our being able to solve these difficulties, nor is the Divine authority of the Gospels at all weakened by them. The list of names ends thus, “Who was the son of Adam, the son of God;” that is, the offspring of God by creation. Christ was both the son of Adam and the Son of God, that he might be a proper Mediator between God and the sons of Adam, and might bring the sons of Adam to be, through him, the sons of God. All flesh, as descended from the first Adam, is as grass, and withers as the flower of the field; but he who partakes of the Holy Spirit of life from the Second Adam, has that eternal happiness, which by the gospel is preached unto us.”

3. Q. “Was John the Baptist Elijah who was to come? (a) Yes (Matthew 11:14; 10:13 [misquote])? (b) No (John 1:19-21)?”

A.      This question shows the arrogance of attempting to catch God in His Word. Let us see what God’s Word teaches on the matter. Yes – John the Baptist was to come “in the spirit and power of Elijah”. We read in Luke 1:16,17 “16And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God. 17And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.” We also read the prophet Malachi prophesied in Malachi 3:1 “Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the LORD of hosts.”

As also the prophet Isaiah prophesied in Isaiah 40:3 and recorded in the Gospels of Matthew (3:3), Mark (1:3) and Luke (3:4), John the Baptist surely did “go before him [Jesus] in the spirit and power of Elias” as was confirmed by the Son of God Jesus Christ when He came down from the mount of transfiguration after meeting with Moses and Elijah in the presence of His Father God, when He said in Matthew 17:10-13 “10And his disciples asked him, saying, Why then say the scribes that Elias must first come? 11And Jesus answered and said unto them, Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things. 12But I say unto you, That Elias is come already, and they knew him not, but have done unto him whatsoever they listed. Likewise shall also the Son of man suffer of them. 13Then the disciples understood that he spake unto them of John the Baptist.”

To answer (b) the answer is also: No. When the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask John the Baptist who he was, their question to him was: “Art thou Elias?” (John 1:21). John the Baptist told them the truth – No, he is not Elias [Elijah]. They never asked him whether he was the one coming “in the spirit and power of Elias”, so he confirmed what the prophets prophesied of him in times past in verse 23: “He said, I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord, as said the prophet Esaias.” He truly did come as Elias in spirit and power, but not as Elias in the person of Elias. There is nothing irrational reading both portions of Scripture in context and answering both “yes” and “no”.

4. Q. “Did Judas kiss Jesus? (a) Yes (Matthew 26:48, 50 [misquote])? (b) No. Judas could not get close enough to Jesus to kiss him (John 18:3, 12)?”

A. Yes – Judas Iscariot, the betrayer, did kiss Jesus Christ of Nazareth. We read in Matthew 26:48,49 “48Now he that betrayed him gave them a sign, saying, Whomsoever I shall kiss, that same is he: hold him fast. 49And forthwith he came to Jesus, and said, Hail, master; and kissed him.” Now from the apostle Matthew’s vantage point, he saw Judas Iscariot kiss Jesus in betraying Him. In the account of John as we read in John 18:3, 12 there is no reference that “Judas [Iscariot] could not get close to Jesus to kiss him” as quoted in the question. We cannot presuppose something when there is no mention to the contrary. The apostle John did not record that Judas kissed Jesus, but we cannot then take it that this was what never took place. The apostle Matthew from his vantage point saw the kiss and recorded it under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost (see 2 Peter 1:20,21), but the apostle John under the same inspiration did not record it, but revealed other information that Matthew did not. They were both at the same place at the same time, but reported from two different perspectives of the very same event. Both could have been ‘hindered’ by seeing the events unfolding before their eyes, as eyewitnesses from two different vantage points – possibly one close to the events, another afar off; one with a clear view another with soldiers and other persons obscuring the view.

Q. “The Bible directly contradicts its self. How did Simon Peter find out that Jesus was the Christ?? (a) By Revelation from heaven (Matthew 16:17)? (b) His brother Andrew told him (John 1:41)?”

A. The Holy Bible is a Lion who can defend itself. It does not need sinful man to convince sinful man to the facts of the Truth. The Bible is the Holy Words of God and can never contradict itself. Just as the questions were absurdly raised trying to catch God in His Word as we have seen in the Q&A’s to items 1-4, we will see the folly of the statement: “The Bible directly contradicts its self.” The answer to this question would be BOTH! In Matthew 16:17 we need to read the verse in context. There were debate as to who people were saying Jesus is. Some saying John the Baptist, some Elias [Elijah], and others Jeremias [Jeremiah], or one of the prophets. There were contentions as to who He was, so Jesus asked the question at that time in Matthew 16:15 to His disciples: “He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?” In Matthew 16:16 we read: “And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.” When Peter answered this, Jesus was affirming that he could not have said that unless it was given to him by revelation of His Father in heaven.

In the account where Peter is told by his brother Andrew in John 1:41 we need to go a few verses back to get context again. Andrew had heard what John the Baptist had said in John 1:36 “And looking upon Jesus as he walked, he saith, Behold the Lamb of God!” Being Jews they knew what the Scriptures spoke about when the prophets prophesied of a Messiah (Christ) to come. And so Andrew went and fetched his brother Peter to come and see as we read in John 1:41 “He first findeth his own brother Simon, and saith unto him, We have found the Messias, which is, being interpreted, the Christ.” Just as John the Baptist went before Christ proclaiming Him as dealt with in item 3 above, so Peter came to see this Christ. This fetching of Peter by his brother Andrew was not something just by happenstance, as we read what Jesus the Christ said to him when he arrived to see Jesus, as it is written in John 1:42:  “And he brought him to Jesus. And when Jesus beheld him, he said, Thou art Simon the son of Jona: thou shalt be called Cephas, which is by interpretation, A stone.”

You see – the Holy Bible never contradicts itself. It always confirms Scripture with Scripture – the Living Word.

If you are reading this post and you too have questioned the integrity of God and His Holy Word, just as I also had in times past, then you need to know that you are a mocker and a blasphemer. To call God a liar is a grievous thing. Instead of trying to believe in a man named Mohammed who is dead in a grave and who has seen corruption where he lays cold and lifeless, if God is speaking to you through His Word then you best repent towards Him and have your faith towards our Lord Jesus Christ, who is alive and who sits at the right hand of the throne of God the Father in heaven, in order that you could be saved from the wrath of God that abides on you in your unbelief. Scripture tells us:

He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son. ~ 1 John 5:10

6Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: 7But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: 8And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. 9Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: 10That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; 11And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. ~ Philippians 2:6-11

This is your only hope. Repent today!

_____________________________

The link to this response has been sent to the questioner’s cellular phone. Please pray that God will show him mercy and offer him the free gift of grace through faith in Jesus Christ our Lord.

Report from the FIFA Final Draw in Cape Town

On the evening of Thursday December 3, 2009 we had a meeting at Brother Nigel and Sister Charlene Titus’ home in Grassy Park where we discussed the schedule and prayed for the outreach in and around the Cape Town city centre to take place the next day.

By the grace of God and after some time of planning this event, the day arrived on Friday December 4 where a team of evangelists would be taking to the streets of Cape Town to meet sinners whose only interest in this particular day would appear to be “to go out and party in Long Street”.

We left Nigel’s home shortly after 12:00 and proceeded into the city. The team would eventually comprise an “early” team and a “later” team for those joining us after work in the late afternoon / early evening. The members present were Nigel Titus, Donovan Nelson, Timothy Brown, Madge Titus (Nigel’s mother), Veronica Neutt, Bradley Scott, Bernadette Wagner, Craig Ernstzen, Barion Smith, Daniel Manuels (cameraman) and Gary Crous.

THIBAULT SQUARE

We arrived at Thibault Square; Nigel had received a call to collect the gospel tracts delivered to the mail room at his work in God’s perfect timing from Living Waters Africa. At the Square there were many people sitting around, walking through, waiting or taking their lunch break, and some were even on their “smoke-break” from work. Meeting these people allowed us opportunities to witness to them about the Day of Judgment that is approaching them as we opened the Perfect Law of God to their consciences and revealed the mercy and grace of Jesus Christ through the perfect atonement of sins through His sacrificial death on the cross, but most importantly His resurrection to life where He has conquered the sting of death, the grave and sinners’ sins for those who will repent and believe the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

During this time there were many one2one witnessing encounters undertaken by us zealous evangelists. Challengers were also encountered and overcome by the power of God. One particular incident was when Veronica was approached by a security officer, who is employed at the Square, who questioned her about handing out tracts and whether she had permission to do so. Veronica approached Gary to discuss the situation, whilst he was witnessing to an elderly gentleman who understood the Word being opened to him. Afterwards, Gary explained to Veronica that the Square was public domain unless there was any signage prohibiting the distribution of written materials (including Gospel Tracts) or a code of conduct that was viewable. The situation did not proceed any further as we were not approached again by security. In all that unfolded in the Square He is the One who is glorified in all the good works that took place. We were merely the vessels that were available to God for Him to speak His Words to dying sinners. No praise is due to us – God is the One to be glorified for orchestrating us. There were some persons who were receptive and open to discussion and there were also those who held fast to their unbelief and were prepared to take a gamble with their eternal wellbeing where their consciences terminated the conversations rather than receive the Truth in and through Christ Jesus.

ST GEORGES STREET MALL

From Thibault Square, the soldiers of the cross rounded up and proceeded up St. Georges Street Mall. After taking a short “time-out” the work of the Lord continued with handing out of tracts, one2one witnessing and ministering to believers and the unsaved. Craig Ernstzen shared that there was a security guard who had heard the gospel proclaimed to him once before and was at the point of making a profession for Christ Jesus. We pray the Holy Spirit convicted him of sin, righteousness and judgment (John 16:8) and saved him by reconciling him into God’s family by making him a child of the Almighty.

There were many more opportunities of handing out tracts as we walked the length of the Mall and we also had opportunities of engaging the lost in conversation taking them through the Good Person Test, opening up the Perfect Law and expounding upon the Goodness of God expressing His Mercy and Grace through the cross by the sacrificing of His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.

THE GARDENS (Outside Parliament)

This would be where we would do our Project Ezra readings – we had chosen Matthew 5 – 7 and other readings. Today would also be the first time for five of our brothers and sisters in Christ to break the sound barrier. God is gracious in bringing His children to a place of overcoming what we call obstacles. In God’s strength all things are possible. Hallelujah.

              (From Top L to R and Bottom L to R in order of Project Ezra readings – Nigel Titus, Gary Crous, Veronica Neutt (Newbie), Madge Titus (Newbie), Timothy Brown (Newbie), Donovan Nelson (Newbie), Craig Ernstzen, and Barion Smith (Newbie))

While the readings were taking place, passer-bys were handed many tracts and witnessing conversations also took place under the tree lined walkway. It was also at this point that a few of the brethren commenced with open-air preaching as the proclamation of God’s Law and the Gospel of Grace echoed in the Gardens of Cape Town. During the preaching of the Word Nigel handed a Million Dollar tract to a guy named Matthew. On receiving it he looked intently at it and said: “Is this the Way of the Master tract?” A conversation commenced between Nigel and Matthew – who opened his backpack to reveal that he, too, was carrying Living Waters tracts and material. Matthew has recently moved down to Cape Town from Durban to work there and Nigel now has his contact details. It is awesome to know that the ekklesia is being exposed to The Way of the Master Evangelism. Praise God that Biblical Evangelism is being preached!!!

LONG STREET (The Party-Zone)

We proceeded down to Long Street in the heart of Cape Town where the party-zone was cordoned off by the ever present South African Police Services (SAPS). To gain access you had to enter from the side streets – after being bodily searched by SAPS Law Enforcement Officers. It was a sea of humanity and chaotic – we could never even think about having meaningful conversations with the hoards of lost souls from every creed, tribe and tongue who were there for one thing – to party. Long Street was out of the question, but the side street we entered the zone from was ideal. Conversations could be had even with the everpresent soundings of the Vuvuzelas and we were also able to open-air preach to the lines of fans waiting to enter the party-zone.

“But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone. For the coming of the Son of Man will be just like the days of Noah. For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and they did not understand until the flood came and took them all away; so will the coming of the Son of Man be.” – Matthew 24:36-39

There is so much more that can be written about our evangelising the lost and hopefully individual stories and testimonies will be penned and sent in to be posted by our Lord’s labourers. Praise belongs to Our One and Only God – The Lord Jesus Christ for without His Good Works we can do absolutely nothing.

The Class of 4 December 2009 – Back Row L to R – Donovan Nelson, Bradley Scott, Craig Ernstzen, Gary Crous, Nigel Titus, Timothy Brown; Front Row L to R –  Veronica Neutt, Barion Smith, Bernadette Wagner, and Madge Titus; Cameraman – Daniel Manuels. Late arrivals Emile & Teri Jansen and their daughter.

After a long day, with tired limbs, hoarse throats but vibrant in heart we fellowshipped as a family around a meal at Nandos where we discussed our experiences, shared “war stories” and testimonies of how Great and Good our God really is – it was a perfect way to end a perfect day.

SOLI DEO GLORIA!

To see all the photographs view them at this slideshow.

Photos of FIFA Final Draw Outreach

Here is a link to the photographs from our outreach in the heart of Cape Town.

Reports to follow.

First John Preaching on July 4th

As part of the Project Ezra challenge to open-air street preachers / evangelists, on the 4th July 2009 the Scriptures to be read was the Book of First John and to preach the Law and the Gospel of Grace.

1 John  - Preaching 042

From the photos at the following link, please look at the faces of the people who passed by and those that lingered and others who stopped to listen. The photos are in number order and from first photo (#001) to last (#055) the reading and preaching took about 45 minutes. You will see my son Chad handing out my last few tracts and his brother Jason, who was asked to capture as many peoples’ reactions, was busy taking the photos. Notice how long – from frame to frame – some people stayed to hear the Awesome Word of God.

Glory to our King Jesus.

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