As panic spreads over the Coronavirus (COVID-19), it may be appropriate to draw attention to spiritual diseases, which pose serious risks to us all.
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"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your paths. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and depart from evil. It will be health to your flesh and strength to your bones." Proverbs 3:5-8
We cherish health for our bodies but most tolerate disease in their souls. Holiness is to our soul and spirit what health is to our bodies. We are body, mind and spirit. Our thoughts affect our emotions. Our understanding affects our decisions. It is all interconnected. Many people today are living far below their potential and failing to fulfil their purpose, or accomplish their destiny, because of spiritual diseases.
Truth is Under Attack
“Justice is turned back and righteousness stands afar off; for truth is fallen in the street and equity cannot enter. So truth fails and he who departs from evil makes himself a prey…” Isaiah 59:14-15
Deception and Theft Go Together
“You shall not steal, nor deal falsely, nor lie to one another.” Leviticus 19:11
Truth is Being Killed
“…This is a nation that does not obey the voice of the Lord their God nor receive correction. Truth has perished and has been cut off from their mouth.” Jeremiah 7:28
Deception is Pervasive
“Everyone will deceive his neighbour and will not speak the truth; they have taught their tongue to speak lies; they weary themselves to commit iniquity.” Jeremiah 9:5
So That Satan may Deceive the Nations No More
“Then I saw an angel coming down from Heaven, having the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. He laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the devil and satan and bound him for a thousand years and he cast him into the bottomless pit and shut him up and set a seal on him, so that he should deceive the nations no more…” Revelation 20:1-3
The Whole World is Being Deceived
“And war broke out in Heaven… that serpent of old, called the devil and satan who deceives the whole world…” Revelation 12:7
Beware of Your Mind Being Corrupted
"But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ." 2 Corinthians 11:3
"And they sang a new song, saying: 'You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals; for You were slain, and have redeemed us to God by Your Blood out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation.'"
Any city requires well-organised delivery and defence systems. Every municipal area requires supplies of water, food and electricity. These supplies are delivered through a complex infrastructure. Thousands of trucks travel down the freeways, roads and side streets delivering essential supplies to stores and homes. Other trucks remove refuse to allow the city to function effectively and thrive.
It is a biological fact that our bodies have a transportation system far more complex and complete than that of a metropolis. Our bodies' transportation system cuts through every tissue and organ by means of a network of approximately 100,000km of blood vessels. Each cell of your body is a hair's breadth from a blood capillary. The heart of this vast system is a pump about the size of an apple that has to pump thousands of litres of blood through its chambers every day, sending blood to every part of your body. This blood carries vital, life giving oxygen and nutrients to every cell in your body.
"The message of the Cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God." 1 Corinthians 1:18
All too often the Cross is seen as the "national flag" of the church. The Cross was never meant to be the mere nostalgic symbol of a religious system. Neither is the Cross a signpost. The Cross was not meant to just re-direct our lives, but to end them. The Cross was not an ornament, but an instrument of death!
Life Out of Death
The cross was used by the Romans in the same way as people have use the gallows, the guillotine, a gas chamber, an electric chair, or a firing squad. The Cross in the Bible is an instrument of death, yet out of it has come life. It was meant to be the sign of a curse, but it has become a symbol of God's blessing. It should have signified defeat, yet through it Christ achieved a triumphant victory. Christ has turned that instrument of destruction into the means of salvation.
While much has been written concerning the Trans-Atlantic slave trade, surprisingly little attention has been given to the Islamic slave trade across the Sahara, the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean. While the European involvement in the Trans Atlantic slave trade to the Americas lasted for just over three centuries, the Arab involvement in the slave trade has lasted fourteen centuries, and in some parts of the Muslim world is still continuing to this day.
CONTRASTS IN CAPTIVITY
A comparison of the Islamic slave trade to the American slave trade reveals some interesting contrasts. While two out of every three slaves shipped across the Atlantic were men, the proportions were reversed in the Islamic slave trade. Two women for every man were enslaved by the Muslims.
While the mortality rate for slaves being transported across the Atlantic was as high as 10%, the percentage of slaves dying in transit in the Trans Sahara and East African slave trade was between 80 and 90%!
While almost all the slaves shipped across the Atlantic were for agricultural work, most of the slaves destined for the Muslim Middle East were for sexual exploitation as concubines, in harems, and for military service.
While many children were born to slaves in the Americas, and millions of their descendants are citizens in Brazil and the USA to this day, very few descendants of the slaves that ended up in the Middle East survive.
10 October used to be celebrated as Kruger’s Day, a public holiday in South Africa, which marked the birth of this great founding father of our nation.
Oom Paul was born on his grandfather's farm at Bulhoek, 10 October 1825. Paul's parents were Casper Kruger and Elsie Steyn. Drought, locusts and migrating herds of buck forced them to lead a nomadic existence in the Karoo. He was hardened by nature and schooled by the Bible. He received only three months of formal education, mostly being home schooled. He read the Bible daily.
His father, Casper Kruger, joined the Trek party of Hendrik Potgieter in one of the very first of the expeditions, 1835. As a young boy of 10-years-old, Paul Kruger set out on the Great Trek under Hendrik Potgieter.
The Father of Modern Missions, William Carey, launched the Greatest Century of Missions with his electrifying sermon: “Expect Great Things from God! Attempt Great Things for God!”
The Desperate Need for Accessible Leadership Training
There is a tremendous need and hunger for literature and leadership training throughout Africa. However, one of the ongoing problems is that most of those who leave rural areas for urban training institutions tend to stay in the urban centres and are lost to the rural communities who sent them for further training.
Urbanisation and Diaspora are Depleting Church Leadership
Similarly, most of those who go to first world nations for further training tend not to return to their third world countries of origin. In this way, the church is haemorrhaging in Africa. Some of our most promising leadership candidates are failing to return to their communities. The rapid urbanisation and mass movement to first world countries is devastating to local congregations. Most pastors in the rural areas where we work have no tertiary education at all.
In 2010 Christians in South Africa are celebrating the 150 anniversary of a most remarkable Revival which swept across the Cape in 1860.
A Spiritual Wilderness
The Cape Colony prior to the 1860 Revival was a spiritual wilderness. The Dutch East India Company controlled the appointment of pastors and establishment of congregations. Yet, in the first 150 years of Dutch rule in the Cape only five congregations had been established, all within 130km radius of Cape Town. Most of the farmers and Trekboers had no access to pastoral guidance, or opportunities for religious services. Even more seriously, although few of the people in the colony spoke Dutch anymore, the authorities deemed their vernacular, Afrikaans, to be unworthy for church services, prayers, or even for personal devotions. This led to very stilted services where the average member of the congregation struggled to understand the high Dutch of the pulpit and found it hard to express themselves in prayer through the Dutch language. The only Bible available was Dutch, which most of the population had trouble reading. Without the ability to pray from the heart, most resorted to following fixed formulas of well worn expressions.
9 June is Pentecost Sunday.
God has promised "I will give water to the thirsty land, I will pour out My power on your children." Isaiah 44:3
"Here is My servant, whom I uphold, My chosen One in whom I delight; I will put My Spirit on Him and He will bring justice to the nations." Isaiah 42:1
Commands to Christians
The disciple of Christ must learn and experience what it means to:
Be filled with the Spirit (Ephesians 5: 18).
Be led by the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:14).
Walk in the Spirit (Galatians 5:26).
Pray in the Spirit (Jude 20; Romans 8:26).
John the Baptist was "The voice of one crying in the wilderness: Prepare the way of the Lord; make His paths straight." Matthew 3:3
John said: "I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I'm not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fan is in His hand and He will thoroughly clean out His threshing floor and gather His wheat into the barn; but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire." Matthew 3:11-12
"For our God is a consuming fire." Hebrews 12:29
"For our God is a consuming fire." Hebrews 12:29
When the Lord made His Covenant with Abraham He revealed Himself as a burning torch (Genesis 15:17-18).
God revealed Himself to Moses through the burning bush (Exodus 3:2-14).
(These Articles are all subject to change)