Jesus Turned Water Into Wine, But He is Not a Glorified Bartender! Tract

JESUS

TURNED WATER INTO

WINE, BUT HE IS NOT A

GLORIFIED BARTENDER!

~ With Compliments ~

Repent and Believe South Africa

Gary Stephen Crous

Cell: +27 (0) 72 221 1233

E-mail: luke9.23evangelism@gmail.com

Website: http://www.luke923evangelism.wordpress.com

Introduction

When it comes to the issue surrounding whether a Christian may or may not drink alcohol, or whether a Christian can exercise his/her “Christian liberty” in drinking alcoholic beverages, the parties who are pro to alcohol consumption go instantaneously to the scripture where the Lord Jesus Christ was attending a wedding in Cana and He turns “water into wine”. This is one of two of the most referenced scriptures in the entire Bible; the other being “JUDGE not, that ye be not judged” (Matthew 7:1) or the simple exclamation: “JUDGE NOT!” Even unbelievers know these two scriptures, but whether Christian or unbeliever, whenever these scriptures are referenced to argue their point, 99.9% of the time the verses are taken out of their true context, the other 0.1% also! To bring this issue into its proper context, let us read the account as recorded in God’s Holy Word in the Gospel according to Saint John, for it is written,

1  And the third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and the mother of Jesus was there: 
2  And both Jesus was called, and his disciples, to the marriage. 
3  And when they wanted wine, the mother of Jesus saith unto him, They have no wine. 
4  Jesus saith unto her, Woman, what have I to do with thee? mine hour is not yet come. 
5  His mother saith unto the servants, Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it. 
6  And there were set there six waterpots of stone, after the manner of the purifying of the Jews, containing two or three firkins apiece. 
7  Jesus saith unto them, Fill the waterpots with water. And they filled them up to the brim. 
8  And he saith unto them, Draw out now, and bear unto the governor of the feast. And they bare it. 
9  When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and knew not whence it was: (but the servants which drew the water knew;) the governor of the feast called the bridegroom,
10  And saith unto him, Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine; and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse: but thou hast kept the good wine until now.
11  This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth his glory; and his disciples believed on him. ~ John 2:1-11

Now according to these verses and especially where reference is made that the water was made into wine, but not just any wine, but “good wine”; this is used as their argument: “You see, Jesus turned water into wine! So we can drink alcohol!” Firstly, we must establish who is making the reference to “Jesus turning water into wine” – believer? or unbeliever? Secondly, if it is a ‘Christian’, why would a Christian want to partake of the “pleasures of this world”, when Jesus’ half-brother James says, “Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God” (James 4:4)? And thirdly, why would someone who has been delivered from his/her sinful pleasures, that they readily indulged in prior to the Lord’s salvation and regeneration of their soul, would want to continue in the pleasures of old when the apostle Paul tells us that in Christ we are new, as we read, “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17). And lastly, we know that if an unbeliever makes that statement, “But Jesus turned water into wine”, we can assuredly know that they wish to continue in their sin for their point of argument is: “It is alright to drink alcohol as your God even makes it okay to do so!” However, the unbeliever misses the mark in their lost state for this explains their present situation devoid of wisdom and understanding: “How much more abominable and filthy is man, which drinketh iniquity like water?” (Job 15:16).

Explaining the miracle

From the portion of scripture under discussion in John 2:1-11, what must be remembered are the reasons behind Jesus providing the wine at the wedding and what it ultimately accomplished? We know that those attending the wedding “wanted wine” (verse 3). It would also appear from the text that Jesus and His disciples were initially not at the wedding, but “was called” (verse 2), and His mother Mary was present at the wedding (verse 1) and said to Jesus that, “They have no wine” (verse 3) – in other words, “Do something about it.” Jesus makes it very clear to His mother, even censoring her, but not out of disrespect, when He says, “Woman, what have I to do with thee? mine hour is not yet come” (verse 4). Jesus used the same word “Woman” when speaking to her with affection from the cross, “Woman, behold thy son!” (See John 19:26).

We read on and see that Jesus instructs the servants to fill the “six waterpots of stone, . . . containing two or three firkins apiece” (verse 6) “with water” (verse 7). In order to work out how much is “two or three firkins apiece”, according to Smith’s Bible Dictionary: “The value of the Attic metrétés was 8,6696 gallons, and consequently the amount of liquid in six stone jars, containing on the average 2½ metrétæ each, would exceed 110 gallons.” This would equate to about 416.395 litres of water to be turned into wine! That is a lot of wine!

What we need to bear in mind is that whilst the Holy Bible does not outright ban the consumption of alcoholic wine, there is however severe warnings and restrictions placed on the consumption of intoxicating wine and strong drink. Hereunder are the Hebrew and Greek words that explain “wine” which also have a deeper and more expansive meaning and explanation (that will not allow for space here) than the English equivalent of the word “wine”:

H3196 יין yayin yah’-yin From an unused root meaning to effervesce; wine (as fermented); by implication intoxication: – banqueting, wine, wine [-bibber].

H4469 ממסך mamsâk mam-sawk’ From H4537; mixture, that is, (specifically) wine mixed (with water or spices): – drink-offering, mixed wine.

H6071 עסיס ‛âsı̂ys aw-sees’ From H6072; must or fresh grape juice (as just trodden out): – juice, new (sweet) wine.

H7941 שׁכר shêkâr shay-kawr’ From H7937; an intoxicant, that is, intensely alcoholic liquor: – strong drink, + drunkard, strong wine.

H8492 תּירשׁ תּירושׁ tı̂yrôsh tı̂yrôsh tee-roshe’, tee-roshe’ From H3423 in the sense of expulsion; must or fresh grape juice (as just squeezed out); by implication (rarely) fermented wine: – (new, sweet) wine.

G1098 γλεῦκος gleukos glyoo’-kos Akin to G1099; sweet wine, that is, (properly) must (fresh juice), but used of the more saccharine (and therefore highly inebriating) fermented wine: – new wine.

G3631 οἶνος oinos oy’-nos A primary word (or perhaps of Hebrew origin [H3196]); “wine” (literally or figuratively): – wine.

We should also bear in mind that the common wine that was commonly drunk in Palestine was the pure juice of the grape, the fruit of the vine. Jesus says in Matthew 26:29, “But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.” (See also Mark 14:25 & Luke 22:18). “It was not brandied wine, nor drugged wine, nor wine compounded of various substances, such as we drink in this land today. We use the word “wine” now to denote the kind of liquid which passes under that name in this country – always containing a considerable portion of alcohol not only the alcohol produced by fermentation, but alcohol “added” to keep it or make it stronger.” (Barnes). If Jesus turned the water into wine of the fermented intoxicating kind, Jesus, Who is God manifest in human flesh (1 Timothy 3:16), would be violating His Own Word by encouraging the intoxication and drunkenness of the Cana marriage couple, their guests, even including His own mother Mary and His disciples. We read in Habakkuk 2:15, “Woe unto him that giveth his neighbour drink, that puttest thy bottle to him, and makest him drunken also, that thou mayest look on their nakedness!”

Therefore, if people try arguing the point that the wine was fermented and alcoholic in nature, then Jesus, the Son of God, was encouraging a violation of making His neighbour drunk! We are told to love our neighbour, not to cause his downfall! We are also instructed by God’s Word, “And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;” (Ephesians 5:18). This scripture to the church at Ephesus warns: Be not drunk, but be sober in the Holy Spirit. Also in Proverbs 23:29-35 we read about the conditions of a person partaking in alcoholic drink that leads to drunkenness,

29  Who hath woe? who hath sorrow? who hath contentions? who hath babbling? who hath wounds without cause? who hath redness of eyes? 
30  They that tarry long at the wine; they that go to seek mixed wine. 
31  Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his colour in the cup, when it moveth itself aright. 
32  At the last it biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder. 
33  Thine eyes shall behold strange women, and thine heart shall utter perverse things. 
34  Yea, thou shalt be as he that lieth down in the midst of the sea, or as he that lieth upon the top of a mast. 
35  They have stricken me, shalt thou say, and I was not sick; they have beaten me, and I felt it not: when shall I awake? I will seek it yet again. ~ Proverbs 23:29-35

1  Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise. ~ Proverbs 20:1

Did Jesus drink intoxicating wine?

We see from these scriptures that God warns against taking fermented wine and strong drink, yet there are many Biblical theologians who allude to Jesus drinking intoxicating wine, where they cite Matthew 11:18,19, for it is written, “For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, He hath a devil. The Son of man came eating and drinking, and they say, Behold a man gluttonous, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners. But wisdom is justified of her children.” However, those scholars err in that the aforementioned verses are not making the distinction between John and Jesus as to one not drinking alcoholic wine and the other was drinking alcoholic wine, respectively. No, writer agrees with Matthew Henry’s Commentary (Vol. V. pp.154-155) where he comments, quote:

“In the explanation of the parable is set forth the different temper of John’s ministry and of Christ’s, who were the two great lights of that generation.

(1). On the one hand, John came mourning to them, neither eating nor drinking; not conversing familiarly with people, nor ordinarily eating in company, but alone, in his cell in the wilderness, where his meat was locusts and wild honey. . . .

(2). On the other hand, the Son of man came eating and drinking, and so he piped unto them. Christ conversed familiarly with all sorts of people, not affecting any peculiar strictness or austerity; he was affable and easy of access, not shy of any company, was often at feasts, both with Pharisees and publicans, to try if this would win upon those who were not wrought upon by John’s reservedness: . . . “[Unquote]

No, the Lord Jesus Christ was not a “glutton” and a “winebibber” as those statements were wicked accusations brought against the Son of man Jesus Christ by the religious order of the day, for they were always trying to discredit Jesus. We know this, for Jesus says, “. . . and they say . . .”

So then, what was the significance of the miracle of turning water into wine? The miracle was Jesus the Messiah (Christ) exercising His authority over His creation. Here Jesus also showed that by filling the waterpots of stone with water, He could turn the water into wine without going through the process of making wine – that would be by going to the vineyard to pick the grapes, by taking the grapes to the winepress, by getting into the winefat and treading the grapes for hours on end extracting the juices, then cleaning out the skins and twigs and other debris, by bottling the grape juice, and by bringing it to the wedding without first passing through a distributor and shopkeeper.

These processes could also have taken days, weeks or even months, but Jesus performed the miracle in a matter of minutes! We are told, “This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth his glory; and his disciples believed on him.” (John 2:11). The disciples believed Jesus to be the God-sent Messiah. And so is it with us. Jesus can change us from sinners into saints in an instant. It is more than just Jesus turning water into wine.

God’s warnings and man’s conduct

In Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary in respect of John 2:10, he writes, quote:

“Those that expect Christ’s favours, must observe his orders with ready obedience. The way of duty is the way to mercy; and Christ’s methods must not be objected against. The beginning of Moses’ miracles was turning water into blood, Exodus 7:20; the beginning of Christ’s miracles was turning water into wine; which may remind us of the difference between the law of Moses and the gospel of Christ. He showed that he improves creature-comforts to all true believers, and make them comforts indeed. And Christ’s works are all for use. Has he turned thy water into wine, given thee knowledge and grace? it is to profit withal; therefore draw out now, and use it. It was the best wine. Christ’s works commend themselves even to those who know not their Author. What was produced by miracles, always was the best in its kind. Though Christ hereby allows a right use of wine, he does not in the least do away his own caution, which is, that our hearts be not at any time overcharged with surfeiting and drunkenness, Luke 21:34. Though we need not scruple to feast with our friends on proper occasions, yet every social interview should be so conducted, that we might invite the Redeemer to join with us, if he were now on earth; and all levity, luxury, and excess offend him.”[Unquote] [i.e. DO NOT let Jesus be offended by your conduct!]

In 1 Corinthians 6:9-11, we read,

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, 
10  Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. 
11  And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God. ~ 1 Corinthians 6:9-11

These afore verses reveal that, among others, no “drunkards” will inherit the kingdom of God. All drunkards are headed for Hell, but the Word tells us in verse 11 thereof, “And such were some of you . . .” implying a change in nature having been washed and sanctified and justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of God. A new creature has come into existence. A new creature is one who is set apart from the norm, as we read:

3  For the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries: 
4  Wherein they think it strange that ye run not with them to the same excess of riot, speaking evil of you: ~ 1 Peter 4:3,4

Do you find yourself different to what people expect? Or do you want to fit in with the crowd, “As a dog returneth to his vomit, so a fool returneth to his folly (Proverbs 26:11). These warnings are given to keep the disciple of Jesus Christ perfect in thought, word and deed. In Hebrews, we are warned, “Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:” (Hebrews 12:4). Does your conduct meet the holiness requirement that God requires?

Earlier, reference was made to Matthew 7:1, “JUDGE not, that ye be not judged.” Persons often stop the verse there which is out of context, for if one continues reading then the full context will be known. You cannot judge a brother or sister of doing something unless you have examined yourself, and if you are right before God in a matter, you can now see the speck in your brother’s eye because the beam has been removed from your own eye! You see Jesus says that if you judge you must judge righteously, for we read, “Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment” (John 7:24). And to judge righteous judgment is to use His Holy Scriptures (See 2 Timothy 3:16,17). For we read, “For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?” (1 Peter 4:17)

By way of writer’s testimony, before, when I was a slave to alcohol, I could not make righteous judgments, but when God delivered me from my bondage he made me free that I can testify of His goodness in setting me free. If I was still drinking alcohol, going into bottle-stores, shebeens, nightclubs, etc, and living a life of a drunkard (one who gets drunk) then how can I show a brother the error of his ways if I am doing likewise. That would leave the sinner justifiably calling the “preacher” a Hypocrite! And Jesus has a lot to say about hypocrites that will perish in hell and ultimately the lake of fire, for we read in Matthew 7:21-23,

21  Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
22  Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
23  And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
~ Matthew 7:21-23

Conclusion

It is no secret that alcohol consumption causes major health problems, including cirrhosis of the liver and injuries in automobile accidents. These are not the only risks posed by drinking for researchers have linked alcohol consumption to more than 60 diseases. 12 of the more severe conditions are: Anemia, Cancer, Cadiovascular disease, Cirrhosis, Dementia, Depression, Seizures, Gout, High blood pressure, Infectious disease, Nerve damage, and Pancreatitis. Alcohol is also the tool of the Devil that has destroyed many families, with abuse of children and spouses an evil scourge, in some cases leading to murder!

Three times a year, at Easter, at Christmas and at New Year, these celebrations make the Pharisees’ accusations against the Lord Jesus Christ a reality in the lives of those revelling (i.e. to feast in a noisy manner). By way of an examination of your behaviour: Are you gluttonous and a winebibber? “For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.” (1 John 2:16)

The apostle Paul exhorts true Christians, “Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.” (1 Corinthians 11:1). So let us take heed what Paul says about walking in charity (love):

13  Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother’s way. 
14  I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that there is nothing unclean of itself: but to him that esteemeth any thing to be unclean, to him it is unclean. 
15  But if thy brother be grieved with thy meat, now walkest thou not charitably. Destroy not him with thy meat, for whom Christ died. 
16  Let not then your good be evil spoken of: 
17  For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. ~ Romans 14:13-17

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________________

Footnotes:

* All Scripture is from the Authorised Version (King James Bible, 1611)

* Smith’s Bible Dictionary, by William Smith L.L.D. (1986 Thomas Nelson)

* Albert Barnes Notes on the Bible (e-Sword)

* Strong’s Complete Word Study Concordance, Expanded Edition

* Matthew Henry’s Commentary, Vol. V (Marshall, Morgan & Scott)

* Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary (e-Sword)

* http://www.webmd.com/mental-health/addiction/features/12-health-risks-of-chronic-heavy-drinking

Published by Repent and Believe South Africa

Please visit the website for more information.

2 December 2018

This tract may be copied for free distribution if it is copied in full

Football Evangelism News

15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.
~ Mark 16:15,16

HE must increase, i must decreaseThis praise report is solely for GOD’s glory alone and that no attention be directed our-way! “He must increase, but I must decrease” (John 3:30).

2017 PADSA Easter Soccer Tournament

We give thanks to GOD our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ for allowing us to be of service to HIM at the Easter Soccer Tournament at the Northdale Stadium as in 2016.

This year we attended on Saturday 15th and Monday 17th April 2017 where many Gospel tracts were handed out and Christ Jesus the Saviour of the world was proclaimed.

PIC000 PIC001 PIC002 PIC003 PIC004 PIC005 We met and spoke to current Pirates’ coaches and past MDFA Pirates players such as Stevie Ruiters and even a referee stopped by to chat. Also recognised by some spectators from yesteryear who also received Gospel literature.

Whilst we did have no problems with the distribution of Christian literature and speaking to players and spectators, an official organiser (?) did try to move us from our position claiming we were obstructing the thoroughfare between the main field and the top outer fields, when clearly crowd support was down on past years and there was not much foot traffic passing that way at that time! He indicated towards a place that was muddy and unclean. We however did move the ‘Are You Ready’ cross and Gospel tract holders in the opposite direction up against a pillar which had more visibility for the time we were there! Praise be to GOD alone!

2016/17 PSL Season 

Cape Town CityThe PSL football match between Maritzburg United and Cape Town City that was to take place on Friday evening the 28th April 2017 at the Harry Gwala Stadium was rescheduled to take place on the following Monday afternoon the 1st May 2017 at 15:00 at the same venue.

Early on with our neighbours at the Maritzburg United vs. Cape Town City match Gary invited some of our neighbours to the football match and handed out Gospel literature after the game. It was really encouraging when the youngsters eagerly jumped in and asked if they could hand out some tracts coming back for more tracts each time until the tracts were finished and klaar!

We were unable to attend the Maritzburg United home fixtures on Wednesday 10th May 2017 against Platinum Stars and the last fixture of the season on Saturday 27th May 2017 against Bloemfontein Celtic. However, GOD willing, we do look forward to being out in the LORD’s harvest field at the PSL 2017/18 football matches for HIS glory proclaiming the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.

PMB Pirates Football Club News

On Saturday 6th May, 2017, Pirates FC played in the MDFA 5-a-side tournament at the Collegians Club in Pietermaritzburg. The Under 10s again finished Runners-Up to Soccer Kids Academy in the Final that went to extra-time losing 0-1 after having beaten the same side 1-0 in the round-robin League stage.

Pirates 'White' Under 10 Final Runners-UpPirates ‘White’ Under 10 Final Runners-Up:- L-R : Thando Hlophe, Cee-Jay Mulder, Curt Rogers, Kaydon Adonis, Malachi Momplé, Azande Zondi and ‘Kofi’ Atta.

Record: League – Soccer Kids 1-0, Westside Lads 2-2, Savages Blues 6-0, Savages Ballies 1-0, Savages Rangers 3-0, Pirates Black 5-0, Savages United 9-0. [Pos.1 P.7 W.6 D.1 L.0 GF.27 GA.2 Pts.19 GD.+25] Semi-Final – Westside Lads 2-0. Final – Soccer Kids Academy (0)0-(0)1 a.e.t.

Kaydon Adonis vs. Westside Lads Curt Rogers vs. Westside LadsMalachi Momplé vs. Westside Lads Cee-Jay Mulder and Kaydon Adonis vs. Westside LadsCee-Jay Mulder turns a Westside Lads' defender Kaydon Adonis and Cee-Jay Mulder vs. Westside LadsKaydon Adonis and Curt Rogers attacking vs. Westside Lads Malachi Momplé and Curt Rogers dribbling vs. Westside Lads'Kofi' Atta makes the tackle vs. Westside Lads 'Kofi' Atta supports Cee-Jay Mulder taking on the Savages Blue defenceCurt Rogers controlling midfield vs. Savages Blue Malachi Momplé vs. Savages BlueCurt Rogers determination, 'Kofi' Atta and Thando Hlophe vs. Savages Blue Great save by Azande Zondi vs. Savages BlueThando Hlophe attacking vs. Savages Blue 'Kofi' Atta and Curt Rogers dropping back vs. Savages Blue'Kofi' Atta and Curt Rogers defending in midfield vs. Savages Blue Malachi Momplé and 'Kofi' Atta vs. Savages Blue'Kofi' Atta vs. Savages Blue Thando Hlophe vs. Savages Blu'Kofi' Atta, Thando Hlophe and Curt Rogers on the charge vs. Savages Blue Goal vs. Savages BluePirates taking on the Savages' defence Pirates shot goes wide vs. Savages BluePirates lining up to receive their medals watched by Soccer kids Academy Coach Miles Rogers presents Malachi Momplé with his medal, watched by 'Kofi' Atta in lineSoccer Kids Academy going forward to receive their winners' medals applauded by the Pirates players Back Row: Gary Crous (Asst. Coach), Miles Rogers (Head Coach). Front Row: Thando Hlophe, 'Kofi' Atta, Azande Zondi, Malachi Momplé, Cee-Jay Mulder. Laying: Curt Rogers. We give thanks to GOD for the skills, talent and abilities all the boys showed during the course of the day and their fair play. We also pray GOD opens doors for the Gospel of HIS blessed Son our Lord Jesus Christ to be proclaimed during the junior football season going forward.           

Soli Deo Gloria  _________________________________

Footnotes:

* For the record Maritzburg United won 1-0 against Cape Town City, drew 0-0 with Platinum Stars and drew 1-1 with Bloemfontein Celtic.

> Maritzburg United 2016/17 Home Fixtures @ Harry Gwala – posted August 24, 2016

> My Friends Are Dying And, Though They Be Alive, They Are Dead Men Walking! Tract – posted March 26, 2017

The Gospel at the PADSA Easter Soccer Tournament

Preaching the Good News at the Northdale Stadium The PADSA (Pietermaritzburg And Districts Soccer Association) Easter Soccer Tournament took place from Friday 25th through Monday 28th March 2016 at the Northdale Stadium. Aziz, Jono and Gary attended on the 25th, 26th and 28th March to engage soccer players, spectators, response support staff, and many others in attendance with the Blessed Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.

From beer drinking loiterers outside the grounds, to scripture twisting car-guards, to young children eager for tracts and a chat, to teenaged youth open for conversation, much Christian literature was distributed with the clear message of Jesus Christ and Him crucified, declaring “. . .  For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us:” (see 1 Corinthians 5:7).

It is also truly amazing how many “Christians” we regularly bump into at these type of events who move around incognito! It is really sad to say the least.

37  Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few;
38  Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.
~ Matthew 9:37,38 

Friday 25th March

Jono and Aziz tracting some food stalls Young Indian boys received the Gospel ~ A Hindu (left) and three Christians (middle to right)

Saturday 26th March

Aziz tracting some spectators Aziz tracting some young children with a Hindu ANC counsellor in the backgroundSoccer match Soccer matchPanoramic view of the outer fields at the Northdale StadiumSamuel and Gary Whilst taking a lunch break, Samuel in the yellow Maritzburg United kit, who hails from Nigeria, came by and heard some of his friends say, “Are You Ready?” aloud, to which Gary responded, “Yes. Are you ready to stand before GOD on Judgment Day?” Whilst his team mates carried on, he came to chat and said he needs to recommit himself to GOD! After sharing the Gospel with him and conviction coming upon him that his life is not pleasing to GOD, that soccer is an idol in his life and other things too, he said he needs to repent. We then prayed with him afterwards and encouraged him in his commitment to being a living sacrifice for GOD! We pray for Samuel’s salvation.

Monday 28th March

Speaking to two elderly African men Speaking to two elderly African menSpeaking to two elderly African men Speaking to two elderly African menSpeaking to  young Christian footballers Speaking to  young Christian footballersSpeaking to  young Christian footballers Gary and AzizGary and Aziz  Aziz had earlier used a bullhorn to preach around the main grandstand, but was approached by an organiser that had summoned a SAPS officer to confront him to stop using the same. They had no problem that we distribute our literature and speak to people, but they were concerned for Aziz’s safety if the crowd became hostile towards him using the bullhorn and, as theyYoung children wanting the Ten Grand tract said, could throw bottles at him. They also mentioned that there were other religions present. Gary had warned Aziz before hand that PADSA had jurisdiction as we were in an area they had paid for and therefore we would have to have a sound permit. In circumstances like this we should exercise a measure of caution where we are to heed the words of our Master, “Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.” (Matthew 10:16). In stead of being run off out of the stadium, we still were able to distribute much Gospel literature after the bullhorn incident and were also able to have many more conversations.

Ten Grand Note Front ~ Click to open Ten Grand Note Back ~ Click to open

The above “Ten Grand” tract was one of many used. We also used a pink-paper tract titled, “The Reason You Must Be Born Again.”

Aziz dishing out some tracts Young children receiving Gospel materialSharing our Lord Jesus Christ with the children An older group from RichmondAn older group from Richmond An older group from RichmondThe Gospel going forth An older group from RichmondLifting up the Name of Jesus Preaching Christ

And much later on Gary raised the name of our Lord Jesus Christ using his voice as a trumpet and nobody objected to the preaching. Many heard the Gospel of GOD calling all to repentance and faith in the only Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! All praises to our Great and Sovereign GOD for ordering our steps in His harvest.

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.

Soli Deo Gloria

Go preach to every creature . . .

1  Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and shew my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins. ~ Isaiah 58:1

Yes indeed! Go, stand and speak (see Acts 5:20). We are commanded to “GO” and proclaim by way of preaching the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ to the nations. We are commanded by GOD to make disciples of all nations and this can only come about by teaching, for it is written,

18  And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
19  Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 
20  Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.
Amen. ~ Matthew 28:18-20

We are instructed in the Gospel according to Mark, for it is written,

15  And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
16  He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.
~ Mark 16:15,16

Whilst it might seem nigh impossible to reach every creature, one should endeavour to attempt to reach as many as you can from every tribe, tongue and nationality using every opportunity that presents itself by GOD’s leading! For GOD’s ways are not our ways, for it is written,

9  For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. 
10  For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: 
11  So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it. ~ Isaiah 55:9-11

For we preach Jesus Christ and Him crucified, for as it is written,

21  For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.
22  For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom:
23  But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness;
24  But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God. ~ 1 Corinthians 1:21-24

Here are some picture stories of our evangelism adventures for the Glory of GOD Alone . . .

Saturday January 8, 2016

Jono, Philip and his son Obadiah distributed Christian Gospel literature and DVDs, whilst Gary preached with a loudhailer in Raisethorpe on the main road Chota Motala. The predominant people groups reached were Indian / Asian, of the Hindu, Islamic and other religious faiths. Was heckled by a Hindu woman who said we cannot judge other peoples’ faiths and also chirped by a coloured “professing christian” woman who took offence at us saying drunkards will not enter the kingdom of GOD (see 1 Corinthians 6:9,10).

Gary proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus ChristRaisethorpe OutreachRaisethorpe OutreachRaisethorpe OutreachRaisethorpe OutreachRaisethorpe Outreach

Wednesday March 2, 2016

Outside Bessie Head Library Jono, Aziz and Gary joined up to spend time sowing Gospel literature into the hands of people congregating outside the Bessie Head Library and passing by the Magistrate’s Courts across Church Street in Pietermaritzburg. Had a solid 1-on-2 Gospel conversation with two African youth, before breaking out into an open-air proclamation of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ to a gathered group atop the stairs. Much literature was distributed.

Wednesday March 9 and Thursday March 10, 2016

Attended at Townhill Psychiatric Hospital and was lead of the LORD to speak with and present the Gospel to an Islamic woman named Nasreen who was divorced by her Islamic husband. She was there to pick up medication from the outpatients’ department for her eldest daughter that suffers with Autism. On the Thursday Aziz and Gary visited the Northdale Hospital’s outpatients and much Gospel tract distribution was done to patients and medical staff alike. An open-air preaching session went forth unhindered as GOD provided an open door to make known the Gospel of His Son our great physician Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour Who heals a disease all of humanity suffers from – SIN! Whilst physical healing was being sought there, the greatest miracle would be spiritual healing of one’s soul by GOD Almighty through His Son Jesus Christ to all who believe upon His name. 

Friday March 11, 2016

Jono distributed many tracts and Gary distributed some tracts whilst preaching open-air atop “The Box” outside the Harry Gwala Stadium’s South Gate before the Maritzburg United vs. Golden Arrows ABSA Premiership League soccer match. It became a cold and a very wet evening for which we thank GOD our Father for we are in a drought at present!

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Saturday March 12, 2016

Attended outside the Mall @Scottsville where a school fundraiser for four primary schools were taking place. Jono and Gary sowed the seed of the Gospel and whilst Gary preached there appeared to be some “mocking” comments made from what we perceived to be some Varsity students. This Mall is near the UKZN Campus with students passing by regularly. The passerby was told they must repent and turn back to GOD and have their faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ (see Acts 20:21).

Jono making tract distributionJono making tract distributionScottsville fundraiser in the Mall @ScottsvilleScottsville fundraiser in the Mall @ScottsvilleJono making tract distributionJono AndersonGary preaching atop "The Box"Gary preaching atop "The Box"Gary preaching atop "The Box"Gary preaching atop "The Box"Gary preaching atop "The Box" 

Friday March 18, 2016

It was break-up day for the Easter holidays outside Scottsville Primary School. Whilst waiting for our grandson, Gary and his wife Tammy distributed Gospel tracts, including one titled: “The Reason You Must Be Born Again.” He also proclaimed the Gospel to the pupils, and passing parents, that Easter is not about bunnies and chocolate eggs, but the crucifixion, death, burial and resurrection of the Saviour of the world, our Lord Jesus Christ! Children and parents took many Gospel tracts. Praise be to YHVH!

Scottsville PS outreachScottsville PS outreachScottsville PS outreachScottsville PS outreach: Gary preaching to the pupilsScottsville PS outreachScottsville PS outreachScottsville PS outreach: girls reading the tractsScottsville PS outreach: Girls reading the tractsScottsville PS outreach: Gary preaching to the pupilsScottsville PS outreach: Gary preaching to the pupilsScottsville PS outreachScottsville PS outreachScottsville PS outreach: Gary preaching to the pupilsScottsville PS outreach: Look what I have receivedScottsville PS outreach: Look what I have receivedScottsville PS outreach: Look what I have received

8  But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; 
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. 
10  For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 
11  For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.
12  For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.
13  For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
14  How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?
15  And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!
16  But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report?
17  So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. ~ Romans 10:8-17

Soli Deo Gloria

Which Date in 2016 for Easter or Passover?

On April 9, 2015 we wrote an open article directed at “Dear _____(insert the name)_____ Church” in a blogpost titled “Passover or Easter Controversy”, wherein we discussed at length the etymology of the translation of the words “Easter” in the Authorised Version (KJV 1611) and “Passover” in the modern translations pertaining to Acts 12:4. We also directed the readers . . . , let God be true, but every man a liar; . . . ~ Romans 3:4 to two articles dealing with the true etymology of Easter which were posted in September 2014 under the title “Correct Rendering of Easter at Acts 12:4” which can be read at these links Part 1 and Part 2. We do suggest that you read these preceding articles to gain the context from which this particular article is written.

As discussed online, and via an email to a local body of believers at LHBC where I once fellowshipped, writer pointed out the following pertaining to the celebration of “Good Friday” in 2015 in relation to the Jewish Passover, bearing in mind that the oracles of GOD were committed unto the Jew (Israel)(see Romans 3:2), yet the “Gentiles” make up their own ways as they deem fit! The quote read as follows concerning the date Easter was celebrated in 2015:

This “Good Friday” (3rd April 2015) was before the true Jewish Passover (Nisan 14) for 2015 which only took place at sunset on Saturday 4th April to sunset Sunday 5th April 2015 [the first day of the week] and therefore the resurrection would be three days and three nights later on Thursday 9th April 2015 [the fourth day of the week]! Just “celebrating ‘Good Friday’” as the day of the crucifixion would be in and of itself Roman Catholic! And this year “we” have failed to keep the Jewish feast! This is why we have a real drastic problem keeping days and feasts as we are warned in Galatians 4:9,10 ~

9  But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage?
10  Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years. ~ Galatians 4:9,10 

Do you desire again to be in bondage? The real problem actually comes into true contrast when we see how the modern denominational churches – including some “professing remnants” – will celebrate Easter/Resurrection Sunday in 2016! Now which date are you going to use for your church/celebration services? The Roman Catholic and protestant churches have “Good Friday” set down for Friday March 25, 2016 and “Easter/Resurrection Sunday” set down for Sunday March 27, 2016! However, about 2,000 years ago our Lord Jesus Christ was crucified at Passover Redeemed by Yeshua, the Passover Lamb and the Jewish Passover in 2016 takes place from Nisan 14 (see Leviticus 23:5-8) in the Jewish calendar which equates to the secular calendar of the evening of Saturday April 23, 2016 and ends seven days later in the evening of Saturday April 30, 2016! There is about a month difference from the “Gentile celebration” preceding the actual celebration day and date of the Jewish Passover. So which day/date holds the more credence? Biblical truth? or man’s traditions and customs? This shows the disjointed ways of modern churchianity. However, the reason for the month’s difference which will escape many is that the Jewish calendar is also in a leap year, i.e. today, 20th of March, 2016 is 10th of Adar II, 5776. The chart hereunder reflects the first day of the Passover celebration which is the First day of unleavened bread proper (see Matthew 26:17ff; Mark 14:12ff; Luke 22:7ff):

 

YEAR EASTER PASSOVER* DIFFERENCE
2013 Good Friday, March 29 – Sunday, March 31 Evening of March 26 (Nisan 15, 5773) – evening of April 1 Easter in the midst
2014 Good Friday, April 18
– Sunday, April 20
Evening of April 15 (Nisan 15, 5774)
– evening of April 21
Easter in the midst
2015 Good Friday, April 3
– Sunday, April 5
Evening of April 4 (Nisan 15, 5775)
– evening of April 10
Easter one day before
2016 Good Friday, March 25 – Sunday, March 27 Evening of April 23 (Nisan 15, 5776)
– evening of April 29
Easter one month before
2017 Good Friday, April 14
– Sunday, April 16
Evening of April 11 (Nisan 15, 5777)
– evening of April 17
Easter in the midst

* A date converter from the Gregorian calendar to the Hebrew calendar can be found at: www.hebcal.com/converter/

[The same unbiblical situation with secular feast days plays out every December 25th, too!]

Jesus suffered God's wrath in your place Brothers and sisters in Christ, our Lord Jesus Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law (Galatians 3:13) “Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter [law], but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life (2 Corinthians 3:6). Therefore, we are called to be of the same speech, of no divisions, perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment, and as there were contentions back in the first century so there are contentions even today which ought not to be so, as it is written:

9  God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord. 
10  Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. 
11  For it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them which are of the house of Chloe, that there are contentions among you. 
12  Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ. 
13  Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul? ~ 1 Corinthians 1:9-13

1  I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, 
2  With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; 
3  Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 
4  There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; 
5  One Lord, one faith, one baptism, 
6  One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. 
7  But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ. ~ Ephesians 4:1-7

11  And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
12  For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:
13  Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:
14  That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;
15  But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:
16  From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love. ~ Ephesians 4:11-16

Today’s churches appear so disjointed and divided from what we have just read from GOD’s Word, the Holy Scriptures that speak of our Lord of Glory Jesus Christ. How is it that there are so many different days kept for Christ, or teachings taught that are  diametrically opposed to the unity in Christ and His disciples are The Holy Bibledivided? Surely, the “His disciples are divided” statement would be an oxymoron? Right?

Then there are believers who proudly state that they are Calvinists or Arminianists or (fill in the blank) when we are to follow the Bible’s teachings of the apostles’ doctrine (see Acts 2:42). John Calvin and Jacobus Arminius and (fill in the blank) did not establish the foundation and authenticate the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ for you as the apostles and prophets of old did, for the “written works” of Calvin, Arminius, et al, are extra-biblical,

19  Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; 
20  And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; 
21  In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:
22  In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit. ~ Ephesians 2:19-22

By way of another example: How can believers hold to “a pre-trib rapture”? “a mid-trib rapture”? and/or “a post-trib rapture”? and each holding to each of the respective teachings think their doctrine is correct! These are three different doctrines. Surely, if believers are abiding in Christ and have received the Holy Spirit of GOD, He, the Holy Spirit, does not divide by teaching diametrically opposed teachings?

33  For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints. ~ 1 Corinthians 14:33 

Ekklesia of GOD, something is drastically amiss and in error! We can learn a valuable lesson from the apostle Paul. He said that if his eating meat would offend his brother he would abstain from it, as we read,

11  And through thy knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died? 
12  But when ye sin so against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, ye sin against Christ. 
13  Wherefore, if meat make my brother to offend, I will eat no flesh while the world standeth, lest I make my brother to offend. ~ 1 Corinthians 8:11-13

If we are serious of being obedient to GOD’s commands, then we ought to keep His commandments and also lay down our lives for our brethren. It must cost us to be a true disciple of our Lord Jesus Christ! Sadly, what is playing out in modern churchianity is that there are teachings and celebrations that are done in lust and pride for one’s own gratification and teachings to make a name for oneself which is sinful and contrary to glorifying GOD. We are told by our Lord Jesus, for it is written,

24  God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. ~ John 4:24

If we are not in agreement, how can we be of the same Spirit and Truth? That is why our Lord protects us from sinful behaviour of having contentions amongst ourselves of observing days, and months, and times, and years and draws all of His born again disciples into unity when He gave command to remember His death through His instituted supper until He will come back, as we read, for it is written,

23  For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread:
24  And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.
25  After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.
26  For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come. ~ 1 Corinthians 11:23-26 [my emphasis]

Some will hear and sadly others will neglect the Biblical instruction and continue on as they please: But, be warned, all must give an accounting to Christ Jesus . . .Soli Deo Gloria

Preaching our Lord Jesus Christ outside a Soccer Stadium

Today, had the honour of raising our Great God and Lord Jesus  Christ’s (Yeshua haMeshiach) name outside the Harry Gwala Stadium South Gate in Pietermaritzburg, before the PSL match between Maritzburg United and SuperSport United, on the actual Hebrew Passover (Nisan 14) that would commence at sunset. Brothers Jono Anderson and Marius Louw joined Gary to distribute Gospel tracts and engage the fans in conversation.Internet Archive

Here is the audio which can be heard by pressing the logo to the right >>>

The preaching today was taken from 1 Corinthians 15:3-8 which reads as follows:

3  For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; 
4  And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: 
5  And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve: 
6  After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep. 
7  After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles. 
8  And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time. ~ 1 Corinthians 15:3-8

Please pray, trusting God for an increase of souls in His Kingdom.

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Soli Deo Gloria!

School’s Out !

Yesterday, April 1, 2015, the South African schools’ first term came to an end with the commencement of the “Easter* holidays.” Whilst waiting for my grandson, I had earlier rounded up the troops, brothers Marius and Jono, to come out and sow the seed of the Word to waiting parents, grandparents, and the like, as well as the soon arriving school staff and scholars eager to go on vacation!

The open-air preaching of our Lord Jesus Christ and Him crucified came from:

13  Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:
14  Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.
~ Matthew 7:13
Internet Archive,14

You can listen to the audio by clicking on the logo >>>

The pupils at one point were called back by the teacher on duty as she said they could not leave the premises without their parent(s) – but this shows how children gravitate to the Good News and are hungry for the Word whilst their “elders” tend to reject the same – though not all. We pray for our Father in Heaven to bring a harvest for His glory alone.

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Soli Deo Gloria!

____________________

* Easter or Passover? Here is a two part explanation dealing with the following portion of Scripture:

1  Now about that time Herod the king stretched forth his hands to vex certain of the church. 
2  And he killed James the brother of John with the sword. 
3  And because he saw it pleased the Jews, he proceeded further to take Peter also. (Then were the days of unleavened bread.) 
4  And when he had apprehended him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four quaternions of soldiers to keep him; intending after Easter to bring him forth to the people. 
5  Peter therefore was kept in prison: but prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him. ~ Acts 12:1-5 (Authorised Version KJV)

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