CRUSADE 2001 - South Africa
The word "crusade" may appear to some as a big Gospel meeting. The minister who organized this "crusade" took it to mean to win the people to the Truth.
I left home on the 28th September 2001 for Johannesburg, S.A. Arriving there I was taken to a small hotel in a town called Alberton about a half-hour drive from the airport. The night was cold and the air was dry creating a problem for my sinuses.
In my two weeks of stay in S.A., I had noticed a "bad" habit manifested by the people. They hardly ever kept to the appointed time. Time to them is as stretchable as rubber. Meetings did not start on time.
I was told that most churches in S.A. do know, or have heard of, the Prophet one way or another, as he once had great meetings there in the '50s. But as far as the message is concerned, many know nothing of it.
The following Sunday morning I was taken to a township, which was about a half-hour drive from Alberton, call Thokoza. This was on a higher elevation. Not many trees were seen and the area was dusty. The place had seen many clashes between rival tribes in the past until some years ago when it was cleaned up. It was here that I ministered to a Pentecostal church called Assemblies of God Fellowship. The service started half an hour later than the scheduled time and the congregation sang and danced for about an hour and a half before I took the pulpit.
Generally most South Africans are sociable and religious, they love to "go to church" and sing and dance. Emphasizing on the importance of not only having fellowship and worship but the importance of hearing the true Word of God for our days by coming back to the Original Truth, I preached on the need to earnestly "eat the Word of God" with passion. Using the butterfly, I illustrated how we needed to eat and grow and be transformed from one stage of glory to another -- from an egg to a caterpillar to a pupa to a butterfly. The truth was well received even for that one message though some elders were earlier opposed to my being invited to the church to preach. It will take some time for them to grasp the importance of separating from the darkness of traditional doctrines.
The pastor extended his invitation to me to return in the future and minister to them again.
In the evening I went to a part of the city in Johannesburg to minister to a small group of Christians, also Pentecostal in faith.
The crusade was held in a tent some distance away from that Assemblies of God Fellowship church. It began only in the late afternoon. There were some teething problems, especially with a Pentecostal preacher who claimed to have always pitched his tent on the same spot for his ministry. A compromised was made in which he and his congregation was to be a part of the crusade. Well he loved that! Some people just love attention
During different periods of the meetings, I noticed him to be fidgeting and in deep discussion with his wife over some of the things I taught. One time he came up after the meeting to have his say and he spoke against the Word stressing that women are allowed to be preachers and even to wear a man's garments. These words brought applause from his group of believers. The next evening he began the meetings by individually calling upon the Three Persons of the Trinity to come down and be in the midst of the people, just to oppose what I had preached the evening before. He contended for his Trinity faith and allowing women preachers but could not even produce one Scripture. And finally he blatantly invited a woman from his congregation, who wore a pair of trousers, to come to the stage to close the meeting with a prayer.
Well, I was not deterred but continued to preach against the spirit of darkness that blinds the people.
Throughout the crusade, I could see just how religious Christian people could be -- everywhere. Blinded by the systems and traditions within Christendom, the people went about to worship the way they believe was the true approach to the Lord God of Abraham. They lit their religious candles so habitually in every gathering without a revelation of the Truth. They walked in darkness believing they have the Truth.
Nevertheless a Pentecostal woman, the mother-in-law of a preacher, said that she had never heard such straight preaching all the years that she had been attending Pentecostal services. She said that she would start dressing and living right according to the Word. A young man from a village in the far north took water baptism again -- this time according to Acts 2:38. Others were blessed but many generally did not say much.
Ministers there were not much at sitting down to absorb the Word during a ministerial meeting. Only a few were keen to listen to the Word.
A few days after I was in S.A., I had sinusitis, which became infected due to the dust that was stirred up within the tent during the meetings. Later my left ear was affected and then the throat. But the grace of God saw me through till I returned home on the 5 October 2001.
If the Lord opens a way, I would love to go back to those folks in the Assemblies of God Fellowship to minister a little more and to bring them fully into the light. Due to a commitment to their own programs, there was no opportunity for me to minister to them as much as I would have liked to. Do pray for them.