Darwin’s Deception

Darwin’s Deception

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                        “In the beginning God created the heavens

                         and the earth.”

                                                            Genesis 1:1

 

                        “By faith we understand that the worlds were

                         framed by the word of God, so that the things

                         seen were not made of things that are visible.”

                                                            Hebrews 11:3

Darwin’s voyage on the Beagle in 1831 to the Galapagos Islands was a dark day for the human race because he consequently made assertions that effectively deny the existence of God as Creator and that have paved the way for Fascists to justify their programs of extermination on a scale never seen before. The world he wrote of in his books, “The Origin of the Species” and “The Descent of Man” is that of brutality and disregard for human life. Darwin was indeed a radical racist and described black people, Indians, South American people, Aborigines, Eskimos and Maoris as inferior to white Europeans and in fact as savages. He did this routinely and indeed he had to because his misguided theory of evolution demanded that “the best of us” emerge from the vast pool of evolving human beings. For him evolution was ongoing and thus must be seen in the human race. Consequently the European branch of humanity was the most developed leaving other peoples inferior, unequal to them and expendable. Here is Darwin in his own words:

“The western nations of Europe now so immeasurably

surpass their former savage progenitors that they stand

at the summit of civilization. The civilized races of man

will almost certainly exterminate and replace the savage

races through the world…” Charles Darwin

Adolf Hitler became an enthusiastic supporter of Darwin’s evil ideas and simply applied them with fanatical zeal. The German Arian race was therefore at the very top of the evolutionary process and the other nations particularly black people; Gypsies and Indian people were near the bottom. The Jews were at the very bottom; they had not evolved enough and were a threat to the survival of the best or the fittest amongst us! It was for this reason that the Nazi regime banned intermarriage, as this would weaken the gene pool of the more greatly evolved Germans. Welcome to the world of brutality and barbarism! It is of course necessary to take note of the fact that Islamic theology asserts, to this day, that Jews are the descendants of apes and pigs and in the 1930s many Islamic leaders made common cause with Hitler.

Richard Weikart in his book, “From Darwinism to Hitler” demonstrates:

That many leading Darwinian biologists and social

  thinkers in Germany overturned the traditional Judeo-

  Christian and enlightenment ethics, especially the view

  that human life is sacred. Many of these thinkers

 supported moral relativism, yet simultaneously exalted

  evolutionary fitness to the highest arbiter of morality.

  Darwinism played a key role in the rise of eugenics, but

  also euthanasia, infanticide, abortion and racial exterm-

  ination. This was especially important in Germany since

  Hitler built his view of ethics on Darwinian principles

  and not Nihilism.”

Of course some would consider this to be an extreme view of Darwin’s misguided thinking but in fact Darwin’s deception took hold of many British leaders and adventurers so that even Cecil John Rhodes, a great admirer of Darwin and well respected everywhere, because he digested Darwin’s writings, considered black people, Indians and others within the reach of the British Empire to be inferior savages that could with impunity be exterminated like unwanted pests! Consider his words below:

 “I contend that we are the finest in the world and that the

 more we inhabit it the better for the human race. It is our

 duty to seize every opportunity of acquiring more

 territory and we should keep this one idea steadily before

 our eyes that more territory simply means more of the

 Anglo-Saxon race, more of the best, the most human,

 most honorable race the world possesses..”

 Cecil John Rhodes

Darwin’s deceptive writings brought misery and murder to Australasia in that his writings, as substantiated by the “Melbourne Review”, were used to justify the genocide that was applied to the indigenous Australian people known as the Aboriginal people. These people were mercilessly slaughtered because they were considered to be mere underdeveloped savages. So, the paper wrote:

“The inexorable law of natural selection justifies the extermin-

   ating the inferior Australian and Maori races. The world is a

   better place for it since failure to do so would be promoting

   the non-survival of the fittest, protecting the propagation of

   the imprudent, the diseased, the defective and the criminal.”

The same is true of the slave trade in America in that when Darwin’s book “The Origin of the Species” was published in 1859 it reached America’s shores pretty quickly and at a time when the issue of slavery was just about to spark a civil war. The slave traders of the time defended their business by referring to Darwin and so for them black people were not really human but commodities to be bought and sold in the market place. In fact when brought over on slave ships black people were not listed as human beings but merely as cargo and in many instances they were thrown overboard in storms and thus jettisoned to save the ship from sinking. This is the brutality of Darwin’s world; a brutality that has left millions dead and six million Jews mercilessly slaughtered. Even Stalin, like all communists, embraced Darwinism enthusiastically because it validated his idea that the existence of God was a myth and consequently human life had no real dignity and could be exterminated and he set about murdering more people than Hitler! Again welcome to the world of the survival of the fittest! Of Stalin Michael Flannery writes:

“Biographically speaking, reading Darwin’s Origin was seminal in Stalin’s own march toward a godless communism.”

And then in “Landmarks in the Life of Stalin” (1940) Yaroslavsky writes about the influence Darwin had on young Joseph Stalin and Francis B. Randall, in “Stalin’s Russia” (1965) states:

“He remained all his life an admirer of Darwin, whose

theories had been so exciting and controversial in

Stalin’s youth. Darwin had taught him that all things

move progressively forward in an evolutionary

determinism.”

People who take Darwin seriously must become racists and fascists and they cannot become selective believers in his racist theories. Humankind, at different stages of evolution, comes from apes and this must be reflected in its evolving progression. Darwin believed this, wrote about it and thereby removed dignity from the human race and the idea that all men are equal and accountable to God and that they, albeit imperfectly, reflect the image of God. The “Grand Apartheid” government of South Africa was heavily influenced by the Nazis and took on board the notion that black people were underdeveloped and inferior to Europeans. They effectively embraced “The Fuhrer Principle” of racial superiority that was reinforced by Darwinism and consequently they introduced “bantu education” which was a dumbed down educational system designed to meet the inferior minds of black people. Darwin’s theory of evolution, by rejecting the God of the Bible, made gods out of human beings and these, with the greatest power and weapons available to them, became tyrants and were consequently able to subdue others and even exterminate them.

Darwin’s journey that led him to reject the notion that the God of the Bible created all things and set them in order began with his desire to become an Anglican Minister. He lived in the 19th Century that is considered by Christian historians to be the “Golden Age” of British Christianity; and indeed it was. The Wesleyan Revival of the previous century had greatly impacted the nation, even the Anglican Church out of which it came. The churches and chapels throughout the land were generally well-attended and great Christian missionaries; movements and preachers arose within the nation. William Booth (1829-1912) founded the Salvation Army; George Muller of Bristol (1805-1898) did remarkable work amongst the orphans and founded 124 schools. The London Missionary Society, The China Inland Mission and the Baptist Missionary Society sent people like David Livingstone (1813-1873), C. T. Studd (1860-1931) and William Carey (1761-1834) to the ends of the earth.  In Britain itself powerful preachers like Bishop Ryle of Liverpool (1816-1900), Charles Haddon Spurgeon of the Metropolitan Tabernacle in London (1834-1892), Professor Jacob Janeway of the Scottish National Church and Robert Murray McCheyne (1813-1843) were greatly impacting the nation and even in government evangelical Christians like Lord Shaftesbury (1801-1885) were exercising huge influence in the affairs of state. Christianity was at this time very well respected in society, in the universities and amongst the political establishment.

This climate made it unpopular to express views that would appear to dismantle Christianity and challenge its very foundations and Darwin well knew this. Though he set out to become a Christian preacher Darwin had no personal relationship with the God of the Bible and thus he did not know Christ and was not “regenerate” as the New Testament teaches (Titus 2:4-5). This fact greatly precluded him from understanding the Bible and he therefore came to conclusions about God that were nothing short of a betrayal of his own biblical ignorance. The Bible affirms that the natural man, without living faith, is incapable of subjecting himself to the Word of God because his mind is filled with dark imaginations (Romans 8:7; Ephesians 4:17-18). Of God then Darwin wrote the following:

“But I had gradually come by the time to see that the Old

Testament from its manifestly false history of the world,

with the Tower of Babel, Rainbow as a sign etc, etc., and

from its attributing to God the feelings of a revengeful

tyrant, was no more to be trusted than the sacred books

of the Hindoos, or the beliefs of any barbarian.”

Darwin- His private autobiography

Darwin was careful not to make public statements like this as he needed the respect and esteem of his peers but in his “private writings” he displayed a total rejection of the God of the Bible thinking Him to be nothing other than a tyrant! The Old Testament no where puts forth God in this light and in fact it was the validating truth that undergirded Jesus’ ministry (Deuteronomy 8:3;Matthew 4:4) and by which He demonstrated, in His life and person, what God is really like (John 1:18). Darwin was a man without living faith trying to understand holy things of which he knew precious little. His wife to be, Emmy Wedgwood, was duly alarmed by his opinions, as she, being a devout Christian, knew that by expressing them he was challenging the very foundations of the Christian faith. She consequently wrote to him and challenged him about them.

“I implore you to read the parting words of our Savior to

His apostles, beginning at the 13th chapter of the Gospel

according to John.”

Darwin for his part, not willing to lose her, essentially side-stepped her in his reply and really did not address the issues at hand. The truth then is that Darwin’s struggle was a spiritual one, as he did not want to be accountable to God for his actions and subsequently set out to cast off His shackles (Psalm 2:1-6)! Darwin did not rage against God, he planned against Him. A comment in Scientific America acknowledges this when it states:

“By dissociating intellect and morality from God’s power of

creation and attributing them instead to self evolving forces,

Darwin undermined the very foundations of a society shaped

by the Anglican Church, with its hopes of eternal life and the

omnipresent threat of punishment.”

As a divinity student he first attended Edinburgh University and it was there that he came into contact with some fellow radicals, who like him had no living faith in Christ and who also questioned the validity of the biblical record. Two of these were Richard Carlile and the Rev. Robert Taylor. Robert Taylor was so outspoken on these matters that he was actually imprisoned for blasphemy. Darwin found common cause with them and later abandoned his attempt to enter the Anglican ministry and instead took up his studies at Cambridge University in 1828 where he changed course and studied natural history and sciences. Here, by virtue of his studies and his investigative voyage on the Beagle in 1831 to South America, he eventually concluded that the species “were not to be attributed to God’s endless creativity but were the product of a blind, mechanical process that altered them over the course of millions of years.” Though sometimes claiming in public to be agnostic in private for him, God was not present at the dawn of creation and in fact never existed and the record contained in the Bible of His creative actions was false. Darwinism is not compatible with Christianity. Christopher Marty comments:

Charles Darwin’s “theory of evolution still clashes with the

creationist beliefs of some organized religions. For him

personally it meant the end of his belief in creation by God.”

 By contrast the Bible everywhere claims to be wholly inspired or God breathed (2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:21). Even Jesus, speaking of the Old Testament stated that it was absolutely true (John 17:17). In fact Jesus fully endorsed the biblical record of creation because He referred to Adam and Eve (Matthew 19:4-6), the flood of Genesis 6 and Noah’s epic voyage in an Ark (Luke 17:26-27), Jonah’s journey in the belly of a whale (Matthew 12:40) and much more. If Jesus lied about all of this then what else did He lie about and truly, if He did, then Darwin is right! How is it possible that the Man who has most influenced the world for good, and more so than any other, is in fact a fraud and a liar? But Darwin is wrong because Jesus, the greatest man that ever lived, was absolutely right. The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ created the universe and He did this through Christ by His word (Hebrews 1:1-4; Colossians 1:15-17). When we add to this the fact that in the Bible God everywhere presents Himself as the Creator of the heavens and earth then the idea that we are the product of random selection or choice and that we evolved from apes and monkeys is absolutely absurd. No, God made us within our species and humankind is the masterpiece of His creative work because it is endowed with a free will and is not bound, like the animal kingdom, to instinct. We believe then in micro-evolution, adaptation within the species, but not in macro-evolution, adaptation from the species.

In addition, if God is to be God, then it matters not whether He created everything in one day, seven days, seven thousand days or seventy million years because if He cannot create everything in one day then He is not God! In fact He chose to create everything in seven days and because He is God I believe it, and so did Jesus and His followers. Indeed the complex nature of our beings makes it impossible to believe that it all came together by accident. Just the amazing make up of the eye with its cornea, retina, lens, perfect balance and connection to the brain to process images and all this times two is beyond the boundaries of chance. Darwin himself could not explain this and admitted that it would be absurd to attribute all of this to haphazard events that began in a primeval mud pool with a single genetic amoeba. He therefore wrote:

“To suppose that the eye, with all its imitable contrivances

   for adjusting the focus to different distances, for admitting

   different amounts of light and for the correction of spherical

   and chromatic aberration, could have been formed by natural

   selection seems, I freely confess, absurd in the highest degree

   possible.”

No wonder he exclaimed, “The intricacies of the human eye give me cold shudders”, and yet for all this he asserted that it all came about because of chance or random selection. Since the 19th Century medical science has made startling discoveries about the human body and its amazing abilities that Darwin knew nothing of. The Bible correctly attributes this to God.

“For you formed my inward parts; You covered me in my

   mother’s womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and

   wonderfully made; marvelous are Your works, and that

   my soul knows very well.”

 Psalm 139:13-14

Darwin planned against the existence of God because he did not want to be accountable to Him. In fact, if the truth be told, he knew that God existed but did what every sinner in need of the love and grace of God does; he rejected this knowledge, removed God from creation and ended up honoring creation more than he did God. This is a common problem amongst men and Paul knew it and wrote of it:

 “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes

are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are

made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are

without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did

glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in

their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened.

Professing to be wise, they became fools, and changed the

glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like

corruptible man-and birds and four-footed animals and

creeping things.”    Romans 1:20-23

This passage fully describes Darwin’s position in that his problem was not physical or scientific but in fact spiritual. He knew that God existed and that he, Darwin, is and would be accountable to Him for his actions and therefore he deliberately suppressed this knowledge and contrived a theory to ease his conscience. The absurdity of his theory is seen in the fact that having removed God from creation he was left with no explanation as to how everything, including the whole universe, came about from nothing. Nothing is not the atmosphere or air that we breath since this contains atomic elements. Nothing is really beyond our ability to comprehend it as it resides outside of our universe and so it can best be described as a total void. This nothing, we are to believe, went off with a bang and produced all the foundational elements required to build the universe and to sustain life upon the earth. Quite frankly it takes more faith to believe in this than to believe that God created all things and was responsible for the “bang”.

In the 1980s the “Venus Probe”, a satellite that was sent to investigate Venus, accidentally recorded, what is called, the “ripples of the universe.” That is, the speed with which the universe is expanding through nothing! It even sent back a computer image of the universe, which looked like an egg traveling through nothing. The mystery that this provoked is, who or what is accelerating the universe in this way? Actually the universe needs to expand at a remarkable speed in order for life to be sustained on earth! In short, to use scientific language, what gives “the bang” the power of continuous acceleration? The answer is; God by Jesus Christ.

“He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over

   all creation. For by Him all things were created that are

   in heaven and that are on the earth, visible and invisible,

   whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers.

   All things were created through Him and for Him. And He

   is before all things and in Him all things consist.”

  Colossians 1:15-17

 In the end Darwinists are not going to admit that they are wrong; this will never happen. Not even if they are presented with infallible truth and proof concerning intelligent design will they agree that they are wrong. A few years ago two Darwinists were debating two Creationists on this issue and, not realizing that their microphones were live, the one Darwinist was heard saying to the other just before the debate began, “Whatever happens tonight do not concede to intelligent design.” In other words the debate was not concerned with truth but with stubbornly holding to evolution and the rejection of God as the Creator of the heavens and the earth. According to the Bible, this is the definition of a fool (Psalm 14:1).

Malcolm Hedding

 

 

                         

The Politics of Hatred and Betrayal

The Politics of Hatred and Betrayal

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An overview of the historical issues that have brought South Africans to where they are today

 

“You will achieve more in this world through acts of mercy

than you will through acts of retribution.”

Nelson Mandela

 

A few weeks ago my wife and I were watching the submissions being made by South African citizens to Members of Parliament concerning the proposed ANC legislation that would give the government the right to change the constitution and thereby seize or expropriate white owned land without compensation. To be honest the language being employed by many of the black people making their submissions was absolutely shocking, totally racist and filled with hate. To be sure if a white person ever spoke like this in a public forum he or she would be instantly condemned and possibly even prosecuted. But, hiding behind the “victim of apartheid” shield these bigots were allowed to get away with it. Also, the threats they made of taking matters into their own hands were alarming and should not be passed off as rhetoric especially since it is now a proven fact that since 1994 some four thousand white South African farmers have been brutally killed by black criminals. This is no isolated occurrence as some have glibly asserted, no it is a coordinated initiative driven by revenge and hatred to slay innocent people. All of this has been made more alarming by the fact that senior ANC politicians, including the erstwhile President Jacob Zuma, went from rally to rally all around the country since 1994 singing songs that called for the slaughter of the Boers (Afrikaner farmers). “With our machine guns we will kill the Boer” they sang and no one stepped in to stop this rabble rousing that coming from government leaders seemed to give license to the average listener to go out and do just that. All that Nelson Mandela had stood for had been betrayed by irresponsible leaders who could not and cannot “hold a candle” to him. The question is, how did we get to this and what are the historical roots that have brought South Africans to this crisis point in their history? Well for your consideration here they are. Please read this document in its entirety as, if you do, a picture will emerge, as it did with me when I researched the content, that will surprise you.

 

The Way Station
The early sea faring adventurers of the 15th and 16th centuries were Portuguese. Two famous names come to mind in this respect being Vasco da Gama and Bartholomew Dias. These two adventurers rounded the Cape of Storms (later called the Cape of Good Hope) and to prove it erected stone crosses some of which can still be seen today. They ignited the thought that indeed a way to the east could be found via the tip of Africa and the Cape of Storms and so in the 17th century the Dutch East India Company picked up the challenge and in 1652 Jan van Riebeek, sailing on his flagship the Dromedaris, landed at the Cape of Storms. Here they established a way station for ships traveling to India and beyond. For him, and those with him, there was no intention to establish a new colony but with the passing of time and the arrival of more ships a settlement was established in order to replenish the ships and an impressive fort was built to protect the route from other would be sea faring nations like England for instance. To facilitate the expansion of the way station land was actually bought from the Hottentot and Koi people who were indigenous to the region and inevitably a certain amount of racial intermingling took place that led to the birthing of what is today called the Cape Coloured People. Also, with the shipping demand more land was needed and so the arriving Europeans eventually, by overwhelming technology and military strength, just took the land from the indigenous peoples and a colony was truly established. Added to this was the arrival of the French Huguenots who were fleeing the persecution that had broken out against them in France on St. Bartholomew’s Day. They brought with them the grape cultivars that laid the foundations of South Africa’s modern day and magnificent wine farms. Today in a beautiful town called Franschhoek (a corner of France) one can see an impressive monument to their achievements, which also records, sadly, the agenda of the Dutch colonists to force them to assimilate into the Dutch community at the Cape. They were thus forced to speak Dutch and speaking French was forbidden. This racial pressure was successful and so today the Huguenots are recognized only by their names; the Dupree’s, the Rossouw’s and the Fourie’s etc.

 

Competitive Interests
The growing Dutch colony at the Cape demanded a governor of which Simon van der Stel was the most famous and with government administration came magnificent Dutch Gabled homes the most impressive of which being those on the wine fields around Stellenbosch and Groot Constantia, a very beautiful homestead and winery nestled south of Cape Town near Constantia Neck. However, competing commercial interests and the rise of England as a maritime power meant that the British were not going to allow the Dutch to milk the lucrative eastern markets. Therefore in the late 18th century and early 19th century the English literally squeezed the Dutch East India Company out of business and invaded the Cape Colony. Cape Town was now becoming a thriving town and the British, not satisfied with a “small town colony”, decided to expand up the eastern coast and subsequently in 1820 hundreds of British settlers landed on the coast in what became known as the Eastern Cape and founded an outpost called Grahamstown and beyond including Port Elizabeth and Algoa Bay. This brought the British settler initiative into contact and conflict with the indigenous Xhosa people and so the so-called Kaffir Wars (Wars with the black infidels) broke out. To this day the Anglican Church in Grahamstown records in its sanctuary the British soldiers and people who died in these wars. In short the colonial power set out to seize land from the Xhosa people and by virtue of their superior civilization, as they saw it, and military strength they thought that they were entitled to it. The Xhosa people were in the end subjugated and while vast tracks of lands were still left under their tribal authority the coastal regions were developed and new cities like King William’s Town and East London were built. The seeds of bitterness and hatred had been planted and they would in the end produce from the Xhosa people one of South Africa’s greatest sons, Nelson Mandela. He, knowing full well the injustice that had visited his people, freed himself from the hatred and bitterness that could have so easily entangled his life and was thus able to also free his people from their long journey of servitude under white domination. Mandela was a God given gift to South Africa.

Still thirsting for more adventure and discovery, on Christmas Day in 1835 Henry Francis Fynn dropped anchor off the coast some 500 miles east of Grahamstown and founded what today is called the city of Durban. He named the new settler port after the Governor of the Cape Colony, Sir Benjamin D’ Urban. This new colonial region would be called Natal but once again this colonial adventure would collide with the indigenous black people. In this case a proud warlike people called the Zulus. While some attempts were made to purchase land from the Zulu King Dingane the ever-expanding new settlement needed more and more land, which in the end provoked a frontier war with the Zulus in 1879. This war saw the Zulu Impis (Warriors) achieve some spectacular victories over the British troops stationed at Rorkes Drift, Isandlwana and Intombe but in the end the superior weapons of the British overwhelmed the Zulu army and the King Cetshwayo was forced to surrender and cede territory to the British Crown. With Zulu power broken the new Natal colony spread in land and with the passing of time towns like Pietermariztburg, Newcastle, Ladysmith, Greytown and Harrismith emerged; all linked together by roads and a railway line and supported by schools, hospitals and governing infrastructure. The black man became a defeated second class citizen whose lot in life was to now serve the interests of the colonial power and, if the truth be told, the British generally held the African people in disdain and contempt and years later in 1910 this would be clearly demonstrated.

 

The New Exodus
After three decades of enduring British colonial rule in the Cape Colony the Dutch settlers decided to trek north in 1835 in search of new lands where they could again be self governing and free. They therefore put together a train of ox drawn wagons and began a new exodus that would take them into the hinterland. This would be a courageous journey fraught with great difficulty as they would have to find a way through high mountain regions and all the while make sure that they could defend and sustain themselves. They were also a “godsdienstig” (Godly Christian) people and were by now an emerging nation group with a new language called Afrikaans. Their epic journey would henceforth be called The Great Trek but it would also sow the seeds of racial hatred and bitterness that would in the end destroy their national aspirations forever and, like the Xhosa and Zulu people of old, they would end up humiliated and stripped of all power.

The route of the Great Trek was through the Hottentots Holland Mountain range and then north east towards the interior and the Drakensberg Mountains. Once well beyond the Hottentots Holland Mountain range the leaders of the Great Trek made a fateful decision that would forever deeply impact the Afrikaner people. It was thus decided that a significant part of the wagon train, under the leadership of Andries Pretorious and Piet Retief, would break off from the main group and make an explorative detour into the Natal colonial region in the hope of establishing a Boer homeland there. In the main they would seek to avoid the British colonial authorities in their attempt to scout out the land. Unfortunately this brought them into the Zulu territory ruled by Dingane the Zulu King. In need of an agreement upon which the Zulu King would cede land to them and give them supplies to sustain their people they formed a protective laager at a river where they could protect themselves if needs be. Andries Pretorious stayed with the wagons while Piet Retief led a delegation to the Royal Zulu Kraal (Palace) where having arrived unarmed, in order to demonstrate their peaceful intentions, they met with Dingane requesting a land agreement, food and the right of peaceful passage through his royal lands. Dingane, already worried by Trekker incursions into his territory near the Drakensberg Mountains, received them well, prepared a feast in their honor and then had them brutally murdered. When news of this reached the wagon train they knew that within a short time the whole Zulu army would attack them. This attack came on the 16th of December. Being only 475 people they had little hope of survival but also being people of faith they gathered together in prayer by which they promised God that if they survived they would honor Him all the days of their lives by keeping the Christian Sabbath and by building a monument to His glory. They fulfilled this promise on the 16th December in 1949 when the Voortrekker Monument was officially inaugurated.

Early in the morning of the 16th of December they heard the battle chanting of the approaching Zulu army and a little later the battle was engaged. With women and children loading weapons the Boer Voortrekkers were not only able to withstand the Zulu army but they inflicted on them a devastating defeat. Thousands of Impis were killed and so much so that the river that formed a half moon protective barrier to the wagons became blood red. It was thus later called Blood River and the tragic events of that day would henceforth be known as the Battle of Blood River. The Zulu King Dingane withdrew his warriors from the battle and sent word that the wagons could leave and would not be attacked. Slowly but surely the laager was broken up and the wagons, filled with watchful and thankful hearts to the God of the Bible, began to take their journey to the north.

There is no doubt that Dingane’s willful betrayal and treachery was shameful and I have yet to hear any black South African acknowledge it and repent of it. This murderous act would in the decades to come fill the Afrikaner heart with a relentless bitterness and hatred toward the African people. Consequently, as time passed, they not only built an imposing monument that to this day dominates the skyline of a city called Pretoria but they also named the city after the brave and surviving Voortrekker leader of the Blood River Battle, Andries Pretorious. They emblazoned the monuments “inner sanctuary” with motifs from the epic battle at Blood River and they also proclaimed a day of remembrance, which they arrogantly called Dingane’s Day. That is, quite literally meaning, “The day when Dingane met his Moses!” Recognizing the unsuitability of this designation it was eventually changed to “The Day of the Covenant”, then “The Day of the Vow” and finally the “Day of Reconciliation”. The fact that God delivered them from such a peril of epic biblical proportions left them with the mistaken idea that God had uniquely sanctified their mission which henceforth included separating themselves completely from the African people in such a way that the Africans would be robbed of their human dignity and subjected to appalling suffering. Sadly the day of their greatest victory also became the day of their greatest failure since it laid the foundations for their defeat in the new century to come.

 

Two New Nation States
The Great Trek ended in two regions of Southern Africa. The one being a land mass a little north west of the British colony of Natal and the other almost due north of Natal on the other side of a huge river called the Vaal or Grey River. The Boer Trekkers crossed this river and founded a state in 1853 called “The Transvaal Republic.” This republic’s first President was Paul Kruger. The other Boer state, named the Orange Free State, just north west of Natal was also founded at about the same time and it elected a leader called President Steyn. It is a fact that these two new states were not founded on any land belonging to the African people (See note 1). No major wars in this regard were ever fought with the African people although there were African tribes further north of the two Boer Republics and these were the Pede, Tswana and Matabele peoples. The latter actually being Zulus that had split from the main tribe down south and had relocated in a region that would, with the passing of time, become known as Rhodesia and now called Zimbabwe. It is true that from time to time these republics had on going skirmishes with the Zulus just south of them and with the Basuto and Swazis just east of them but generally they were free from serious conflict with other tribes and in fact they were fully recognized by the Netherlands, Germany, France, Belgium, England and the United States. Then the unthinkable happened in that in the Transvaal Republic the world’s biggest gold deposits were found and in the Orange Free State Republic the world’s biggest diamond deposits were found. This quickly got the attention of the other colonial powers and chiefly that of the one nearest to the action, Great Britain.

 

The Short Lived Freedom
The discovery of gold and diamonds in the two Boer Republics led to a “gold and diamond rush.” This essentially meant that thousands of people from the two British controlled colonies began to pour into the two Boer Republics. This alarmed the governments of these two nations and accordingly they viewed these people as “Uitlanders” or foreigners and thus refused to let them vote in elections or take prominent positions in civil life. This greatly annoyed the British colonial authorities who, if the truth really be known, were looking for a pretext to get at the emerging wealth of the two Boer Republics. Seizing on a particular situation in this regard an impasse was reached and subsequently in 1877 by special warrant the British government attempted to annex the Transvaal Republic. This was to a degree resisted by Paul Kruger who twice visited London in an attempt to resolve the matter peacefully, sadly to no avail. Subsequently tensions rose between the two entities finally reaching breaking point on the 16th of December in 1880 when the First Boer War broke out. It did not last long as in March1881 it came to an end, remarkably with a Boer victory. The pride of the British Empire being dented it was determined to reignite the conflict at some later point and did!

Again, citing the mistreatment of British colonial nationals, the British colonial leaders in cooperation with London engineered the so-called Jameson Raid at the end of 1895. The raid was a botched affair but it put the two Boer Republics on notice that war with England was inevitable. The Boers being well armed struck the British army on the 11th October in 1899 with impressive victories at Magersfontein, Colenso and Stormberg and so the 2nd Boer War or Anglo Boer War began. It would be the dawn of a new era of war for no longer would the opposing armies square off in colorful battle regalia with no real element of surprise as to the hour of engagement. Now trenches, machine guns, heavy artillery, commando unit tactics, snipers and concentration camps would all be employed for the first time. This would in fact be a precursor to the Great War that broke out in Europe in 1914.Though eventually totally out gunned and overwhelmed by the number of British soldiers facing off against them, the combined Boer armies of the two Boer republics only lost 6189 combatants whereas the British army lost 22092! Sadly however the British army took 26370 Boer women and children captive and sent them to some 100 concentration camps throughout the country where in appalling conditions they starved them to death. It was in fact a British nurse called Emily Hobhouse who became the whistle blower in this respect. When news of this atrocity reached London it provoked outrage and to its great shame the British government was forced to acknowledge, albeit reluctantly, this terrible crime against the Boer people.

Today the ANC government of South Africa is equally and shamefully responsible for a similar crime being perpetrated against the white farmers of South Africa. Under their watch some 4000 white farmers, mainly Afrikaans speaking, have been brutally murdered. This is a fact now verified by a number independent investigations and this crime will come back to haunt the ANC. They cannot continue to “sweep this matter under the carpet” like the British first attempted to do. It just goes to show that racism is no respecter of persons and if we are driven by hatred and lust for revenge we become like our erstwhile oppressors.

So it was then that on the 31st of May in 1902 the Boers surrendered and signed the Treaty of Vereeniging. The Two Boer Republics were dissolved, Paul Kruger fled to Europe where he died and the Transvaal and Orange Free State were annexed by the British and thus, together with the Cape and Natal colonies, became subject to Queen Victoria’s reign. The Boer War also left some 24000 civilians dead and many of these were black people who, for various reasons, became embroiled in this “all white shoot out.” The Afrikaner people were left humiliated and disinvested of the right to determine their own future. Consequently, given all that had happened to them, including the loss of their women and children, they allowed their hearts to be furthered infested with a deep hatred of the British people. This hatred and resentment would in just over thirty-six years drive some of them into the arms of the Nazis!

 

The Union of South Africa
In July of 1996 Nelson Mandela, the first truly democratically elected President of South Africa, undertook an official visit to the United Kingdom. While addressing the British Parliament he made the claim that Britain had indeed laid the foundations stones upon which the Apartheid state had been built. Though many expressed shock and disdain at this comment the question is, was it true? Indeed he was right and the events of 1910 prove it. The British were the undisputed victors of the Anglo Boer War meaning that all the colonies, including those of the two erstwhile Boer Republics, were now under British sovereignty. Their next step would demonstrate their true intentions and agenda and thus in 1910 they approved and gave birth to a new nation called The Union of South Africa. The flag of this new nation said it all in that it was emblazoned with orange, white and blue, symbols of the Dutch origins of the people, and an insert in the middle was made up of a Union Jack flanked on one side by the flags of the two erstwhile Boer Republics. In other words this would be a white dominated country and the flag had nothing in it that gave reference and recognition to the vast black majority who at that time numbered about 19 million people. The symbols of the flag gave notice then that the black people of the country were irrelevant and would be excluded from power in a democratic system that, though built on the Westminster model, would be a limited democracy serving the interests of three million whites only.  The majority black peoples would be left disenfranchised and subjugated. This was Britain’s chosen system of government for a nation that would now become a fully-fledged member of the British Commonwealth of Nations. The “Scramble for Africa” by the European colonial nations had nothing to do with the welfare of the indigenous people living on the continent but everything to do with the vast mineral wealth that lay under their ancient tribal lands. Indeed, Nelson Mandela was absolutely right! The suffering of the black people would now continue and become even more intense.

 

The Second World War
Given Britain’s commitment to the perpetuation of white power on the sub continent, some of the most well known Boer Generals, who fought against the British in the Anglo Boer War, now became enthusiastic supporters of Britain’s policies in the region. For them this was the only means to secure the interests and well being of the Afrikaner volk (people). General Louis Botha and General Jan Smuts were two of these amongst others. The latter, as leader of the South African Party, eventually became Prime Minister of the newly formed Union of South Africa and consequently by the outbreak of both World Wars actively encouraged South Africans to volunteer, sign up and go to war against the Germans on behalf of Britain. Thousands of South Africans did, including my father and two of his siblings. Jan Smuts, in fact a brilliant man, actually became a personal friend of the British Royal Family, was part of the Joint Chiefs of Staff that pursued the war against the Nazis and was one of the founders of the United Nations. However, for many Afrikaners at home, especially those of the provinces of the Transvaal and the Orange Free State, he and Louis Botha were traitors and they set about to finding a way to unseat and defeat them. This “way” consisted of four components: First they would organize politically by forming the Purified Nationalist Party. Second they would establish a Boer militia called “Die Ossewa Brandwag” (The Wagon Fire Watch). Third, given their hatred for the British, they would actively align themselves with Nazi Germany and four, they would find a means to ignite Afrikaner nationalism. In addition a highly secretive and well organized body was formed called “Die Broederbond” (The Fellowship of the Brothers) in order to be the real power and protectors of all things pertaining to the Afrikaner people and their destiny. No Afrikaans leader came to power in the government, in commerce or even in the world of sports without the approval of the Broederbond.

The Ossewa Brandwag, founded in 1939 at Bloemfontein, had an emblem that was in all respects similar to that of the Nazis and they essentially began to sabotage the war effort in South Africa by assaulting or killing men who had volunteered to sign up, by demolishing military installations and by disabling military equipment. They had “insiders” everywhere and their impact was not insignificant. Many men were killed or badly assaulted, planes were damaged beyond repair as was other military equipment. They were well organized with strong leaders and the Smuts government responded aggressively by rounding them up and placing them in a concentration camp at Koffiefontein. Some of these imprisoned, Nazi sympathizing leaders, would eventually become Prime Minister (John Vorster) and cabinet members of a new nationalist government that would sweep to power in 1948. In one of their publications called  “The Observation Post” they wrote, “Mein Kampf shows the way to greatness in South Africa” and a Nazi publication of the time noted that the Ossewa Brandwag was founded on the “Fuhrer Principle.” That is, the principle of racial purity.

In order to reignite the desire for independent sovereignty and the means to determine their own destiny free from the British Commonwealth of Nations the newly formed so called Purified National Party under D. F. Malan, together with other nationalists, took advantage of the centenary celebrations of the conclusion of the Great Trek in 1938 by organizing “Another Great Trek”. This Trek, replete with replica wagons, would wind its way through the country ending in Pretoria at the Voortrekker Monument. Its impact on the Afrikaner people was huge and being the white majority in 1948 they easily defeated the Smuts government and took over the reigns of power. The jubilation that swept through the Afrikaner community was huge as now they were on the verge of forming a new Afrikaner Republic; only this time it would embrace all four provinces. The majority black population had much to fear.

 

The Apartheid Government
After assuming the reigns of power the Nationalist Party, heavily influenced by the “Fuhrer’s Principle”, began to formulate its philosophy of governance and with it what “Nuremberg” style laws it would now adopt, not against the Jews but against the black majority in the country. Sadly, and to the shame of the Dutch Reformed Church of the day, some of these “new racial architects” were Christian ministers! The apparent mastermind of what would eventually be called  “Grand Apartheid” was a Dutch Reformed Minister by the name of Du Toit and the first Prime Minister of the incoming Nationalist Party was another Dutch Reformed Church Minister by the name of D. F. Malan. For them the Afrikaner Volk (people) was the ” New Israel of God” having a divine destiny confirmed by their exodus from the Cape Colony and the favor of God bestowed upon them at the “Battle of Blood River.” Incorrectly invoking portions of scripture from the Old Testament, which in context referred to the nation of Israel only, they demanded that the Afrikaner people, and indeed the English speaking white race amongst them, should keep themselves apart from the infidel (Kaffir) black majority people. Consequently they set about passing laws that imposed upon the black people of the country burdens of great pain and suffering. The most notable of these were: “The Influx Control Act” that restricted the movement of black people in their own country. The so-called “Pass Law Act” that enabled the police to immediately determine whether a black person was legally in an area or not. This was a type of identity document that had to be on the holder’s person at all times. The black population called this a “Dom Pass”, meaning a stupid document. The “Job Reservation Act” that ensured that only white people could occupy places of management and be employed in many trade and high-end professions. The black people would have to be content with the “lower end” professions, which usually meant that they would give their labor to the cities, suburbs, mines, industrial concerns and farms of the nation. The “Bantu Education Act” that asserted that black people were less intelligent than white people and therefore that they should receive a “dumbed down” education to suit their inferior minds. The ” Mixed Marriage Act” that made it a crime to marry across the racial lines and the “Reservation of Separate Amenities Act” of 1953 that designated beaches, parks, buses, hospitals, schools, benches and toilets for white use only. With these draconian laws in place the Nationalists could now allow black shanty-towns (locations) to spring up like satellites orbiting the well manicured towns and cities of their white overlords. The most well known of these was Soweto but there many others by the name Umlazi, Mamelodi, Payneville, Daveyton, Kwa Thema, khayehalitsha, Kwa Mashu, Gugulethu, Nyanga, Langa etc. These were deliberately left in shocking conditions because they initially desired them to be so in order to encourage the black people living there to leave for their tribal homelands. All those living in “The Location” had to carry their “Dom Pass” and so, like shadows, they would emerge in the early mornings to their places of work in the white only cities and towns and in the evenings they would return to their ghettos again. Even the public benches in the cities had emblazoned upon them the words “Whites Only.” I well remember that in the evening at about 6pm a siren went off thus announcing that all black people had to leave the area except for those whose Pass restrictions authorized them to stay. The white towns and cities were “white by night” and police vans would patrol these areas in order to ensure that this would be the case. Grand Apartheid had arrived!

 

Bantustans
The first batch of National Party Prime Ministers were fanatically committed to the idea of Afrikaner supremacy. D. F Malan immediately began to lay the ground work for a policy that would constrict blacks to only 13% of the land mass of the country by having the so called “Bantu Authorities Act” passed in 1951.That is, black people were going to be forcibly removed from much of the country and deposited in Homelands according to their language and tribal affiliation. Even black people who did own land, like those of Sofia Town, would in the end be upended by land confiscation and sent to a Location or to a Homeland. Malan stepped down in 1954 and was followed by J. G Strijdom who was actually called, “The Lion of the North” because he was so single minded on building an Afrikaner kingdom that would tolerate English speakers and totally exclude the black people from any part in it. He was thus determined to, not only follow through on the Bantustan policy but also to remove South Africa from the British Commonwealth of Nations and declare it to be in essence an Afrikaner Republic. Dr Hendrik Verwoerd became Prime Minister in 1958 and he was able to achieve the Afrikaner dream of establishing a new republic in that on the 31st of May 1961 the South African Parliament finally took South Africa out of the British Commonwealth thereby abolishing the Union of South Africa and establishing the Republic of South Africa, which actually remains until today. The date was highly significant in that it was on this very day in 1902 that the two Boer states surrendered to the British and signed the Treaty of Vereeniging. The Afrikaner had finally prevailed at the expense of the black majority people of the nation who, within a few short years, would be subjected to unbelievable pain and suffering by mass forced removals. Verwoerd was in fact assassinated in the very halls of the Parliament in 1966 by a Coloured man called Demitri Tsafendas and was replaced by, the Neo Nazi and Ossewa Brandwag member, Advocate John Vorster. It was John Vorster who fully implemented the Bantustan Policy and consequently had hundreds of thousands of black people loaded up on trucks and sent to the homelands. These homelands became known as the TBVC states in that they were made up of four new black states called the Transkei, the Ciskei, Venda and Bophuthatswana. These were totally non viable as they had no industrialized economies and were ruled by “puppet leaders” the most well known of which were Kaiser Matanzima, Bantu Holomisa and Lucas Mangope. They were heavily subsidized by the Nationalist Government that considered this a small price to pay for the privilege of having an all white republic.

Most white people had no idea of the huge suffering that was being inflicted on the black people of the country as the isolation between the two segments of society was so complete that they lived in a type of political bubble and were subjected every evening at 6:55 to a brain washing radio broadcast called “Current Affairs.” Prime Minister John Vorster had a brother called the Rev. Koot Vorster who was also the Moderator of the Dutch Reformed Church. He was theologically and ideologically totally committed to the idea of a white only state and so the country was run by a “prince and a prophet”. I know this because I once attended a lecture presented by Koot Vorster.

 

Revolt and Liberation
The black peoples dis-enfranchised, dis-invested of owning property in their own country and restricted from traveling freely throughout the land began to organize in a way that they could resist the government and so the ANC ( African National Congress) was actually established in 1912 in Bloemfontein in order to challenge the newly formed government of the Union of South Africa about the dis-enfranchisement of the black population in the country. At their 1955 congress they unveiled the “Freedom Charter” that to this day constitutes the democratic vision that they have for the country. However, the Sharpeville Massacre of 69 black people by the South African Police on the 21st March in 1960, who were peacefully protesting against the Pass Laws of the country, shocked the country and many overseas nations and galvanized the ANC into action. The brutality of the apartheid government had been laid bare for all to see and so the ANC decided to take a more aggressive approach in their resistance to the apartheid government. This aggressive approach meant that they would now, because they were banned, open up a front organization called the United Democratic Front and they set up a military wing based in Zambia, Zimbabwe and Mozambique called Umkhonto we Sizwe, meaning “The Spear of the Nation.” Initially Umkhonto we Sizwe targeted military or police installations but sadly they also launched a terror campaign against civilians in which South Africans of all racial groups were killed and wounded. The most notable attacks in this regard were the Church Street bombing in Pretoria, the Magoo Bar bombing in Durban, the Standard Bank bombing in Roodeport, the Johannesburg Railway Station bombing and the Amanzimtoti Shopping Mall bombing. Also, the English speaking papers, notably the Rand Daily Mail, and to a lessor degree the Sunday Times and The Star, began to expose the awful crimes of the National Party government which provoked the government to secretly fund, with tax payers’ money, a new English speaking daily called, “The Citizen.” A prominent cabinet minister called Connie Mulder was entrusted by John Vorster’s government to initiate this instrument of brain washing and deception. Fortunately good journalism by the other English speaking papers exposed this sinister initiative and so “Muldergate” or “The Information Scandal” broke out leaving the government highly embarrassed and with “egg on its face”.

Nelson Mandela, born in the Eastern Cape in 1918 and well educated, became an active member of the ANC, first in the youth league and then in its decision making structures and finally he became its recognized leader. He in 1964 was put on trial for treason together with what was called “The Rivonia Seven.” Facing the death penalty he made a final statement where he declared: “I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But, if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die”. Consequently Mandela was convicted of treason and sentenced to life in prison, a sentence he would begin at the maximum security prison situated on Robben Island off the coast from Cape Town. His image, all references to him and any news about him was banned by the government. It was as if he had passed into oblivion but the wider world launched and sustained a “Free Mandela” campaign to the annoyance of the South African government.

In 1976 the Soweto Riots broke out when the Nationalist government decreed that all black children should no longer be tutored in the language of their birth but in fact in Afrikaans. This crazy act of stupidity enraged the black people, it was the “straw that broke the camel’s back” and so the young people began to protest. A young black student, called Hector Peterson, while walking across a playing field was gunned down by the police. This outrageous act of murder turned the protest into a riot that quickly spread all over the country and became an uprising. Young black people everywhere stood up and revolted against the all white government. Of course the government reacted with overwhelming force in an attempt to put it down but this was a major turning point in the country and it sparked the beginning of the end of the Apartheid Government. For the next decade and more the only way in which the government could preserve their all white republic was by placing what was called “a ring of steel” around the African townships. Even the military was called in to enforce this and many township dwellers were killed and perceived trouble makers were taken hostage and murdered. The testimonies to these crimes at the post apartheid “Truth and Reconciliation Commission” were heartbreaking and shocking.

In 1978, mainly because of the Information Scandal, John Vorster stepped down as Prime Minister and was replaced by P. W. Botha who took the title of President. He had been the Minister of Defense under Vorster and was also considered a hardliner. However, by now some of the Cabinet Ministers in his government were beginning to question the viability of the all white government given the desperate security problems in the country and the worsening economic situation, because of the sanctions being leveled against the nation by the international community. In short they knew that the “New Afrikaner Republic” was a lost cause and something had to be done to save the country from a massive catastrophe that would involve a huge amount of bloodshed. In 1989 F. W. de Klerk, supported by Botha’s cabinet, removed Botha from power and immediately called for a referendum among the white community only whereby they would say yes or no to a proposal that would give the government permission to hand over power to a black majority administration to be led by none other than Nelson Mandela. The vote was an overwhelming “yes” and so on the 11th February 1990 Nelson Mandela walked to freedom after being in prison for 27 long years and, after a long and sometimes arduous constitutional conference, a deal was struck that resulted in all South Africans, regardless of colour or creed voting into power, on the 27th April 1994, the very first democratically elected government. Nelson Mandela rightly so became the nation’s first President. The long dark night of racial prejudice, hatred and betrayal was over but the carnage left behind by all of this would now have to be removed and sorted out. Winning the peace can sometimes be more difficult than winning the war! South Africans today are facing this challenge and it may turn out to be more dangerous than we think. That is, do we sort out the carnage of our history by renewed violence, expulsions and anger and bitterness or is there a better way?

 

Conclusions
The historical overview I have given above, though not comprehensive, is nevertheless well researched and accurate. It faithfully documents our journey as a people and as one reads it a picture clearly emerges as to where real blame lies and who then should shoulder it and do something right to rectify it. I believe that it is precisely for this reason that history is so important as it shows us where we truly come from, who we are and what events brought us to where we are today. Without a working knowledge of it we shall come to the wrong conclusions and take decisions that will only perpetuate the hatred and distrust between our peoples. The facts of history are the facts and we cannot change them but we can honestly square up to them, acknowledge the place, by virtue of our ancestors, where they have put us so that we can do the right and appropriate thing to right the wrongs of the past. I then wish to draw your attention to the following:

1.    There is no doubt that the arrival of the Dutch and British colonial powers at the tip of Southern Africa was a dark day for the indigenous people of the sub continent. As a consequence they would journey through a dark tunnel of intense pain and suffering for some 340 years. Yes, the colonial powers brought a more advanced civilization and sophistication to the region and thus built cities, towns, schools, hospitals, enterprise, roads and railways but the price for all of this was paid in the currency of black labor, disenfranchisement, dispossession of land, subjugation, humiliation, forced removals and much sorrow.

2.    The British government was deeply involved in this dark saga and most certainly, as Nelson Mandela pointed out, was responsible for laying the foundations in the country of white supremacy leading ultimately to the Grand Apartheid regime. It was the British who defeated the Xhosa people, the Zulus and the two Boer Republics and therefore had control of all four provinces that embodied the nation and yet they chose to form a new union in 1910 that totally excluded the majority black population from voting and from the powers of government. It was this reality that enticed Jan Smuts and Louie Botha, the two Boer Generals, to support the British concept of empire. The British government, in my view, has yet to make proper restitution in this regard and should be held accountable for its crimes.

3.    The Afrikaner people, deceived by their political and religious leaders, considered themselves a nation entrusted with a special divine mission. A mission that called them to preserve their racial purity at the expense of the black people. Grand Apartheid, imposed upon the country in1948, was a crime of huge proportions. It dehumanized millions of people and inflicted great horrors upon them. The statistics alone demonstrate that their forced removal policy in the end dislocated millions of people from their homes and families. The truth is God heard their cry and sent them a deliverer in the person of Nelson Mandela but the Afrikaner people bear a huge weight of guilt for the brutality that they visited upon the indigenous people of the country.

4.    The English speaking white South Africans by and large came to the country, mainly in 1820, seeking to escape poverty in England and with the hope of beginning a new life with better prospects for their children. They therefore happily went along with the notion of the greater glory of the British Empire. They may not have understood its implications completely but they happily complied with its dictates. The same is true of their place in the Union of South Africa and the Apartheid State that replaced it in 1948. The English ” went along for the ride” because it greatly benefited them. Indeed the English speaking component of the country was always in the opposition seats in Parliament and did in many cases challenge the Afrikaner majority members as did their press but, given that they had control of the major commercial enterprises of the country, they could have used their economic strength to challenge and cripple the Nationalist Government. Sadly they didn’t and consequently thereby share much of the blame as well for the horrors that descended upon the black majority population.

5.    The treachery of the Zulus in murdering Piet Retief and the Boer leaders accompanying him when he went in peace to meet with Dingane was a crime that hugely impacted the Afrikaner people. I have yet to hear any African leader express remorse in this regard. This awful event may well pale into insignificance in the light of what the Afrikaner did to the black population of the country but it should be acknowledged and repented of. The interests of healing and nation building demand it.

6.    The “land question” is a huge issue that must be faced and dealt with. The fact that the government of the Union of South Africa and that of Apartheid regime squeezed the majority black population into 13% of the land mass of the country is totally unacceptable. This then is today a complicated matter because it is true:

·               That the early Dutch settlers legally bought land in the Cape Town region of the country from the Hottentot and Koi people.

·               That the British settlers also legally purchased land in the Eastern Cape and at Port Natal from the indigenous black population.

·               That the two Boer Republics were in the most part situated on land that was not the possession of the black people. Some in recent years have attempted to deny this but it is indeed true.

·               That colonial expansion ended up provoking conflict and war with the indigenous black tribes and with the two Boer Republics. This in turn led to land invasions and the subsequent disinvestment of the black people of their territory and in many cases herded them into shanty towns.

·               That most countries of the world including America, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Russia, Europe and the Middle East have witnessed the same type of conflict and migration of peoples. The answer to unravelling the problems left behind by this reality is not a simple one as, for instance, one cannot hand back the cities of New York, Miami and Philadelphia in the United States to the indigenous Indian people. The same is true of the Maori and Aboriginal people of Australia and New Zealand. One cannot “unscramble scrambled eggs” and if one attempts to do so the nation will be handed over to anarchy and chaos and everyone will be the losers. A better way, and indeed a just way, has to be found in sorting out the debris of the past and this is especially true of South Africa.

·               That we have a generation today, black, white, Indian and Coloured, who have had nothing to do with where they were born and with the legacy that their forefathers left them.

A Proposed Solution
In my view the only way forward would be the following:

1.    The country was in recent years saved from a bloodbath because of the goodwill of its leaders and because it convened two important gatherings. The first was the “Congress for a Democratic South Africa” (CODESA) where the logistics of the hand over of power from a white minority government to a black majority government were hammered out coupled with the drawing up of a new fully democratic constitution. The second was the “Truth and Reconciliation Commission” that brought to light all the crimes and perpetrators thereof relating to the years of the Black People’s subjugation and disenfranchisement. This conference laid bare the horrors of the Apartheid regime and had a strong element of healing and forgiveness built into it. This was quite remarkable and without precedent and was a tribute to the vast reservoir of goodwill that does exist between the nation’s eleven tribes!

2.    In my view a third conference needs to be urgently convened called, ” The Renewal and Restitution Conference”. This conference should of course include the government but also the major leaders of all the segments of South Africa’s society. It should fully examine where and how land can and should be expropriated without compensation and it should strongly resist the “willy nilly” invasion of land just because white people own it. The historical facts in this regard must be taken into consideration especially where land was legally purchased and settled upon.

3.    The Conference on Renewal and Restitution should impose upon the white population a “Land Restitution Tax” of 2% of their gross monthly salary for five years. All white South Africans should pay this additional tax whether they live in or outside of the country. The money in this regard should be levied by SARS (South African Revenue Services) and administered willingly and without compensation by an independent financial organization like Sanlam etc. This will ensure that every Rand is accounted for and that the money is deployed with maximum benefit to the black population. That is, it should be used for projects related to black upliftment, the improvement of black townships, education and medical facilities. It should also be deployed in empowering blacks economically by helping them to acquire property and thereby obtain a greater stake in land ownership.

This tax is the very least that the white community can do to help put right the injustices of the past and if it hurts to pay the tax well this is nothing compared to the hurt that was visited upon our black South African compatriots for over three hundred years.

4.    In addition the murder of 4000 white Afrikaner farmers has to be urgently addressed by the government and brought to an end by all means possible. This may include calling out the army to defend these people but this can no longer be ignored or passed off as random acts of burglary. Also political leaders must henceforth control their language and not incite their hearers to violent action in the name of political rhetoric. If they persist in this regard they should be vigorously prosecuted by law enforcement agencies.

5.    Finally the Voortrekker Monument should be turned into a symbol of hope and reconciliation.  That is, its outside walls so strong and high should by night be illuminated with the colors of the new South African flag and the conference on Renewal and Restitution should conclude with a unique and fully televised and internet streamed event in its 20,000 seater amphitheater.

 

Final Considerations
While the colonial involvement in the nation was hugely problematic for the black population of the country it remains true that by it many sincere, godly Christian missionaries came to the country. It was these missionaries who largely at first brought caring communities, schools and hospitals to the region and even Nelson Mandela was educated in a Methodist school as were many others. These servants of God did not bring a colonial religion to the country but a Jewish one centered on the person and work of Jesus Christ. Their work was amazing and by it many great black Christian leaders were raised up and gifted to the nation. Even to this day we are grateful for the role that Archbishop Desmond Tutu played in challenging the apartheid regime and bringing healing to the nation by his involvement with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Nicholas Bhengu, called the Black Billy Graham of South Africa, was another great healing evangelist who gave oversight to some 2500 churches of the Assemblies of God of Southern Africa. And then there was Michael Cassidy, an Anglican Lay preacher and founder of Africa Enterprise, who constantly fought against institutionalized racism together with many other white preachers including the Rev. Beyers Naude of the Dutch Reformed Church.

Indeed for many black people in the very dark days of apartheid it was the hope of the Gospel of Jesus that gave them the courage to keep going on. The same is true today and it is the Church of Jesus Christ that must now arise in the nation to demonstrate powerfully that God loves all people in the same way and receives them into His kingdom without reference to their race, creed or status in life. In Christ we are all one and united in love. My dear friend Angus Buchan is also a God given gift to the nation as his huge gatherings and national prayer meetings, on a scale never seen anywhere before, should be supported by all South Africans. South Africa can once again astonish the world with its capacity to solve besetting and overwhelming problems because the deep waters of suffering and hurt can become redemptive if we are all willing to pay the price that love and restitution demands. This payment is now overdue!

Malcolm Hedding


Notes:

1.    “ The reason for the strangely empty parts of the country the Boers saw in the 1830s and 1840s was the Mfecane (“The crushing”, the scattering), the most violent and bloody episode in South African history. King Shaka, South Africa’s greatest soldier, had from about 1818 transformed the Zulu nation and, by using new techniques, forged a frighteningly powerful and aggressive Zulu army. It invaded and conquered other Bantu tribes far and wide, with great bloodshed, scattering them to the ends of the country, sometimes indeed beyond it. The Matabele occupation of what is now southern Zimbabwe was a consequence. The Zulus dispossessed other tribes of their lands.”

Andrew Kenny, 6 September 2018. Contracted           columnist to the Institute of Race Relations.

estiny free from the British Commonwealth of Nations the newly formed so called Purified National Party under D. F. Malan, together with other nationalists, took advantage of the centenary celebrations of the conclusion of the Great Trek in 1938 by organizing “Another Great Trek”. This Trek, replete with replica wagons, would wind its way through the country ending in Pretoria at the Voortrekker Monument. Its impact on the Afrikaner people was huge and being the white majority in 1948 they easily defeated the Smuts government and took over the reigns of power. The jubilation that swept through the Afrikaner community was huge as now they were on the verge of forming a new Afrikaner Republic; only this time it would embrace all four provinces. The majority black population had much to fear.

The Feast of Tabernacles

The Feast of Tabernacles

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            “And they found written in the Law, which the Lord had

             commanded Moses, that the children of Israel should dwell          

             in booths during the feast of the seventh month, and that

             they should announce and proclaim in all their cities and

             in Jerusalem saying, “Go out to the mountains, and bring

             olive branches, palm branches, and branches of leafy trees

             to make booths as it is written.”

                                                                        Nehemiah 8:14-15

The yearly celebration of the Feast of Tabernacles is one of the three great annual and biblically required festivals; the other two being Passover and Pentecost. These biblical Feasts have great significance in that they all speak of the glorious redemptive plan of God. Passover teaches us about the Door to the Kingdom of God in that we can only be saved from our sins by the spilt blood of a lamb. This serves as a glorious picture of the death of Christ. Pentecost reminds us of the Power of the Kingdom of God. That is, the giving of the word of God and the coming of the Holy Spirit upon blood washed believers on the Day of Pentecost. (Acts 2:1-4)

The Feast Tabernacles is a picture of the Triumph of the Kingdom of God since it reminds us that all of life is to be lived under the protection and sovereignty of God. The Israelites coming out of Egypt were required to build leafy booths and to live in them for eight days. These were very fragile and could not protect one from the harsh desert conditions. The lesson was clear; God would protect and care for them. We have to learn this lesson as well as so often, as Jesus pointed out, we are consumed with anxiety and worry about so many of life’s issues. Our Father in Heaven cares for us and watches over us every day because we are part of His Kingdom! How easily we forget this. (Matthew 6:25-34)

Jesus underlined this when on the Great Day of the Feast of Tabernacles, as He watched the water libation service in the temple, He cried out that if we believe in and follow Him a river of God’s love, empowered by the Holy Spirit, will flow out of our lives bringing joy and blessing to our lives. This is the triumph of the Kingdom of God in our personal lives and we should be living in it! (John 7:37-39)

The Feast of Tabernacles also points us to the future when, by the second coming of Jesus, the world will finally be subjected to the Kingdom of God. That is, Jesus will reign over the nations from Jerusalem and peace will for the first time envelop the world. War will be a thing of the past and for a thousand years the nations will live in the very light of the glory of God. What a day that will be and to celebrate it the nations will ascend every year to Jerusalem to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles.  (Zechariah 14:16-19) We await then a glorious fulfillment of this great Feast and our annual celebration of it is a prophetic picture pointing to the coming Triumph of the Kingdom of God.

In fact this day is fast approaching and the restoration of Israel in our time is evidence of it. It is worth noting then that the Feast of Tabernacles is a joyful celebration and those living in the Kingdom of God are actually commanded to be joyful. All this reminds us that serving Jesus brings much joy to our lives and this Joy is supernatural and powerful. Paul noted this when he wrote:

“For the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking,  but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy  Spirit.”   Romans 14:17

Those celebrating the Kingdom of God at the Feast of Tabernacles carry a Lulav, which amounts to four species of plants. These tell us that we are all at different spiritual growth levels in that some are weak, others are strong, some are complacent and yet others are discouraged. God loves us all and desires that we should all celebrate His love with much joy at the Feast Tabernacles!

Malcolm Hedding

Yom Kippur 2018

Yom Kippur 2018

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                        “So he shall make atonement for the Holy Place,

                         because of the uncleanness of the children of

                         Israel, and because of their transgressions, for

                         all their sins; and so he shall do for the tabern-

                         acle of meeting which remains among them in

                         the midst of their uncleanness.”

                                                            Leviticus 16:16

 

                        “Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost

                         those who come to God through Him, since He

                         always lives to make intercession for them. For

                         such a High Priest was fitting for us, who is holy,

                         harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and

                         has become higher than the heavens…”

                                                            Hebrews 7:25-26

 Yom Kippur is the Great Day of Atonement. It is an awesome day in which nothing moves, cities and their commerce come to a complete standstill in Israel and even the roads, just the day before congested and given to gridlock, are empty. It’s as if all of creation is holding its breath since this is the Day when sinners, living under the wrath of God, can be freed from it. It requires introspection, fasting and prayer and the courage to acknowledge one’s sins and cast one’s self upon the grace of God. Only God’s unmerited favor can save us from His anger and a lost eternity.

In days of old the High Priest would enter the Holy of Holies on this day and there before the Mercy Seat on the Ark of the Covenant he would present the blood of the Lord’s Goat.  Around his one foot a rope was tied in case He was struck down dead and thus he could be pulled out by it. On the fringe of his High Priestly Garments were little bells, which, when the power and glory of God came down upon the High Priest, would tinkle together as a sign that God had accepted the atoning sacrifice made on behalf of His people (Exodus 28:31-36). It was a sound of joy and the whole nation would listen intently for it. If heard they knew that their sins were again overlooked (Romans 3:23-25)(Acts 17:30) and not attributed to them. They were free from the wrath of God! According to Jewish legend a ribbon dipped in the blood of the atoning goat was attached to the outer structure of the Temple for all to see and so when the atoning sacrifice had been approved and accepted by God it turned white as snow. This is a reminder of what the Prophet Isaiah had stated in chapter one and verse eighteen of his oracle:

 

“Come now, and let us reason together,” says the Lord,

                         though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white

                         as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall be

                         as wool.”

 The Scapegoat was at the same time brought before the High Priest who confessed the sins of the nation over it and then sent it away into the wilderness (Leviticus 16:20-22). This goat was called the Azazel, which also means “The one who opposes.” So, the Scapegoat not only carried the sins of the people away into the wilderness of forgetfulness but it also symbolized release from the Devil and his demons. What an amazing picture of God’s perfect deliverance in Christ Jesus.

The Day of Yom Kippur reminds us of the gravity of sin, the great price that Jesus paid to release us from its grip and the joy of being reconciled to God. The Scapegoat also symbolizes our complete deliverance from inbred sin and from the Devil. This is exactly what Jesus came to do (Acts 10:38). This is a Day that reminds us of God’s mercy and love and just how undeserving of these we are. It teaches us to fear God and live righteously before Him since Jesus, taking our place on the cross, spilt His blood to save us from the wrath of God (1 Thessalonians 1:10). A great price was paid for our redemption and we should never forget it (1 Peter 1:18-19). This is precisely why we take the sacrament of Communion regularly. We surely must remember what Jesus did for us on the cross and thus Yom Kippur is an awesome reminder of the reverence we should hold in our hearts for God’s great redemptive act in Christ.

Malcolm Hedding.

The Ten Days of Awe

The Ten Days of Awe

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                        “Speak to the children of Israel, saying: ‘In the seventh

                         month, on the first day of the month, you shall have a

                         Sabbath-rest, a memorial of blowing trumpets, a holy

                         Convocation.”

                                                                        Leviticus 23:24

 

                        “Also the tenth day of this seventh month shall be the

                         Day of Atonement. It shall be a holy convocation for

                         you; you shall afflict your souls, and offer an offering

                         made by fire to the Lord.”

                                                                        Leviticus 23:27

             

                         “I, therefore the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to

                         walk worthy of the calling with which you were called,

                         with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering,

                         bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep

                         the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”

                       

                                                                        Ephesians 4:1-3

 

Days of Reflection

 Between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, the Great Day of Atonement, there are ten days. These are meant to be days of personal reflection, repentance and prayer and they are to fill us with a healthy fear of God. Therefore they are also called the Ten Terrible Days. Not only are we to awaken to righteousness and zeal as we hear the trumpet blast at Rosh Hashanah but we are also to think most seriously about our relationship with God and with one another.

Reconciliation and Unity

The message of the Bible is about reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:18-19). That is, reconciliation with God and with our fellow man. Sin alienates and divides people and thereby births conflicts, wars, murders, outbursts of anger and all manner of hatred between people, families and races (Galatians 5:19-21). Those who come to God by faith in what He has done for them in Christ, the Messiah, have this cycle of alienation and hatred broken in their lives. For the people of God to live in schism and disunity constitutes a denial of the very essence of what it means to be a Christian (1 Corinthians 3:1-4). This should not happen and we should do everything to preserve the unity of the body of Christ (Ephesians 4:1-6). In the end contentious people should be rejected and removed from the community of faith after having been appropriately warned (Titus 3:10). All of this dear friends is very serious business and we would do well to think deeply about it.

Humility and Grace

When living in Jerusalem a very dear friend of mine, and a beloved Rabbi of blessed memory, asked to see me during the Ten Days of Awe. He had promised to do something for me and had forgotten. While praying and reflecting upon his life he was convicted of this and felt that he had to ask my forgiveness and so it was that he came to my office and apologized for his lapse in memory, asked for my forgiveness and promised to rectify the matter; which he did. I was greatly moved by this and cannot help but wonder what would happen to the body of Christ if we all acted in this way. The Ten Days of Awe therefore enable us to take hold of the grace of God and to be the people that Jesus wants us to be (Ephesians 4:31-32). Five is the number of grace in the bible and so the Ten Days of Awe, two fives, remind us of the amazing, blessed and abundant grace of God that has come to our lives by Christ Jesus. We need to think about this and respond appropriately. This period reminds us of these wonderful things and challenges us to be all that God, by Christ Jesus, wants us to be.

Indeed the Ten Days of Awe help us to focus on what it means to truly be a child of God; just as Passover or Easter enable us to see more clearly what Jesus did for us on the cross. We need these times to refresh our souls and draw closer to God.

Malcolm Hedding

Rosh Hashanah

Rosh Hashanah

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                        “Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, speak to

                         the children of Israel, saying, ‘In the seventh month,

                         on the first day of the month, you shall have a Sabbath

                         rest, a memorial of blowing trumpets, a holy convo-

                         cation.”

                                                                        Leviticus 23:23-24

                         “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of

                         Christ, that each one may receive the things done in

                         the body, according to what he has done, whether

                         good or bad.”

 

                                                                        2 Corinthians 5:10

Rosh Hashanah, the head of the year, is the Jewish New Year and as such is a proscribed biblical celebration. It is also known as the Feast of Trumpets because it constitutes a clarion call to the believers to take stock of their lives always remembering that God Himself is weighing them in His scales to determine how pleasing they are to Him. If we live for Him, in all that we say and do (1 Corinthians 10:31), we shall have a sweet year and so at this annual celebration apples and honey are eaten in the hope that we will all have a good inscription or assessment. Paul echoed the same sentiments when he stated that we should make it our constant aim to be pleasing unto the Lord (Colossians 1:10) (Hebrews 13:20-21).

There is no doubt that believers who are not pleasing to the Lord have limitations put on their lives and actions. For instance Paul says that if we live lives that are not clean and holy and consistent with what Jesus did for us on the cross and then, we take Communion without making the appropriate corrections, we can bring weakness, sickness and even death to our lives (1 Corinthians 11:23-31)! We are thus called upon to carefully examine or judge ourselves before sharing in the Lord’s Supper. This is the meaning and message of Rosh Hashanah and we would do well to embrace it. Of course this is not about works in terms of salvation but about the love for Christ that should flow out of our lives because of His death, burial and resurrection on our behalf. Jesus Himself stated that He cannot endure lukewarm Christians and that those Christians who are in this state should make some hard decisions (Revelation 3:16). Repentance is the only remedy!

Rosh Hashanah is therefore followed by the Ten Days of Awe wherein the believer should embrace with joy the blessedness of repentance. That is, godly repentance that truly and joyfully turns him away from everything that displeases God in his life (2 Corinthians 7:10). Paul writes in his Ephesian letter that Christ followers should awaken from their spiritual sleep and eagerly embrace the blessings of God (Ephesians 5:13-15). We should all heed these exhortations because it is so easy to slip into a spiritual routine that can make us deaf to the voice and presence of God.

Rosh Hashanah is therefore also a picture of that great final Day of Judgment that awaits all of us for we shall all stand before God one day to give an account of our lives (Romans 14:10-12). On that Day we shall not be able to hide anything or make any excuses since everything about us will be laid bare before Him who loved us and gave Himself for us. That Day will determine our place of standing in heaven and we should all live our lives in the light of it. Rosh Hashanah is a timely reminder of all these things and we should heed its message. May you have a good inscription!

Shana Tova,

Malcolm Hedding.

Prayer Horizons

Prayer Horizons

2018 devotionals 2018Devotional

            Now in the morning, having risen a long while before day-

            light, He went out and departed to a solitary place; and

            there He prayed.”

                                                    Mark 1:35

 

            “And take up the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the

            Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all

            prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this

            end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints.”

                                                Ephesians 6:17-18

Prayer can be defined as talking to God. This, of course is a very simple definition of the practice and yet it is true. More definitely, prayer is working with God to bring forth His purpose in the world (2 Corinthians 6:1). This is a privilege that every Christian should shoulder. The Bible clearly teaches us that all of life is to be handled with prayer but indeed there comes a time when prayer must move away from concentrating on ourselves but rather on the will of God for the world around us. The great intercessor Rees Howells bore the prayer burden of saving Britain from a Nazi invasion during the Second World War. God heard him and did just that!

Jesus invites us into a meaningful prayer life and in this study I want us to lift our horizons to see what types of prayer we can move into if we are prepared to enter this adventure with God. Prayer is hard work, it demands discipline but God does nothing without it! It is also rewarding because we observe the hand of God moving in response to it. Prayer is thus the ultimate demonstration of a life that is fully submitted to god!

  1. The Call to Prayer

“Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers,

 intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men,

 for Kings and all those who are in authority, that we may

 lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence.”

                                                1 Timothy 2:1-2

       It will be noted from this passage that there are different types of prayer. Namely; those that plead with God (supplications), those that please God (prayers), those that do for others what they cannot do for themselves (intercessions) and those that give thanks. It will also be noted that our state of national security and peace is dependent upon the people of God praying in these ways! No wonder Jesus said that His house should chiefly be a “house of prayer for all nations” (Mark 11:17).

  1. The Nature of Prayer

“For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according

to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal

but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the

knowledge of God……”

                                                2 Corinthians 10:3-5

There are five types of prayer in the scriptures and these, as far as Paul was concerned, constituted our mighty weapons for the ”left and right-hand.” At some point we need to learn how to pick them up, as our effectiveness is dependent upon it!

  1. Responsive Prayer

This is caring and instant prayer that introduces the recipient to the love and grace of God. Jesus employed it when upon the cross He prayed, “Father forgive them, they know not what they do.” We call it the “Let’s pray model.”

  1. Conditional Prayer

Prayer is made powerful and effective by lives that reflect the character of God. Clean lives attract the power of God. James wrote, “The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much”(James 5:16). Peter warns that if husbands do not treat their wives in a godly way God will not hear their prayers! (1 Peter 3:7) God honors the prayers of godly men and women.

  1. Importunate Prayer

This is the type of prayer that never gives up. It is sincere and earnest and those who utter it cast themselves on the grace and mercy of God like Cornelius did (Acts 10:1-4).  The early church also employed it on Peter’s behalf (Acts 12:5). Jesus said, “Keep knocking and the door will be opened up to you” (Matthew 7:7).

  1. Battle Prayer

This type of prayer takes hold of the Word of God and its promises and holds them up before God until He does what His word proclaims (Isaiah 62:6-7). Daniel prayed in this way and consequently great spiritual strongholds, that held the people of God captive, were brought down (Daniel 9:1-3). A great spiritual stronghold in our nation is that of abortion. The Word of God is against it and believing Christians can bring it down. However, this will demand dedication and commitment. Paul acknowledged this realm of prayer when he wrote that out conflict is “not against flesh and blood but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12).  Meanwhile other spiritual strongholds are growing and threaten to engulf us with evil. We must lift our prayer horizons urgently and deal with these dark powers.

  1. Regular Prayer

The early Church believers were together all the time in regular prayer meetings. (Acts 2:42). Prayer was undoubtedly  “the lungs of the Church.” They could not survive without it and so the book of Acts states, “These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication…” (Acts 1:14). It is from regular prayer that the local Church derives its power and we would see more evidence of the power and presence of God amongst us if more people would gather in this manner. The fact that too often the prayer meeting is the smallest weekly meeting of the local church is evidence of our spiritual weakness. We will not change our world until this changes. Indeed we will sing and shout the victory but it will remain just words! (Exodus 32:18)

  1. The Content of Prayer

As far as Paul is concerned prayer should cover all things in life. He again wrote, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be known unto God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7).Prayer has more to do with our mental well being than we imagine or care to admit.. Anxiety leads to fear and fear to depression and prayer is the way out of these crippling mental disorders.

I firmly believe that we should employ the “Lego Principle” in living this out. That is, enlarge your prayer life by adding new issues and topics to it all the time; just as one adds one Lego piece to another. If you are faithful and regular in this you will not believe how God can use this and thereby entrust to you a “memorial” that will be raised up in heaven before Him. God answers prayer like this.

Malcolm Hedding

 

 

The Testings of God

The Testings of God

2018 devotionals 2018Devotional

 

            “Come and see the works of God; He is awesome in His doing

             toward the sons of men. He turned the sea into a dry land; they

             went through the river on foot. There we will rejoice in Him.

             He rules by His power forever; His eyes observe the nations;

             do not let the rebellious exalt themselves.”

                                                                                                Selah

            “Oh, bless our God, you peoples! And make the voice of His praise

             to be heard, Who keeps our soul among the living, and does not allow

             our feet to be moved. For You, O God, have tested us; You have

             refined us as silver is refined. You brought us into the net; You laid

             affliction on our backs. You have caused men to ride over our heads;

             we went through fire and through water; but you brought us out to

             rich fulfillment.”

                                                                        Psalm 66:8-12

 

Definition of terms:

Trials and tribulations constitute that process whereby God deals with our characters. The “Testings of God” is that process whereby God deals with our love for, and friendship with, Him.

God is actually looking for friends but a friend of God is a person that actually does what He commands. Consequently such a person will be entrusted with the secrets of heaven!

“You are My friends if you do whatever I command you. No

             longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know

             what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for

             all things that I heard from My Father I have made known

             to you.”

                                                John 15:14-15

 

An invitation to understand the sovereignty of God (V5-7)

If we do not have a good understanding of the sovereignty of God we shall not be able to trust Him; we will establish our own ways and thus become rebellious. Consequently Jesus will not have His way with us and we run the risk of disqualifying ourselves from participating in His purpose. Trusting God based on our understanding of who He is is at the root of building a friendship with Him.

An invitation to worship God (V8-9)

Worship is that activity whereby we chiefly describe the worth of God. By it we give God what He is due in righteousness and we behold His power and glory. This calms us down and makes us candidates for a miracle. (Acts 16:25-28)

An invitation to embrace the testing of God (V8-12)

 Testing imparts the ways of God into our lives and usually it is:

  1. Mysterious

There is not always a discernable reason as to why one is put to the test other than that God believes the time has come to accomplish additional things in one’s life (1 Peter 1:6-7; 1 Peter 4:12). By the testing process of God we discover things about ourselves that we didn’t know existed and we change!

  1. Refining

The process by which silver is refined is different to that of gold! That is, the refiner takes particular care over each piece of raw silver to ensure that it is not over heated and spoiled. When he gets it right the silver is pure and easy to work with. If he gets it wrong the silver may still be pure but it becomes hard to work with and is consequently used for less important projects. Paul alluded to this in 2 Timothy 2:20-21.

  1. Difficult

God traps you, like a bird, in His net and leads you through paths that are difficult just like He led His people into a desert and there He tested them and they, we are told, “murmured in their tents” (Psalm 106:25).

  1. Humiliating

Sometimes God will even allow others to gloat over you even though you know that you are in the right and have done nothing wrong. This teaches us to let Him vindicate us in due time. It is a hard lesson to learn but learn it we must (Romans 12:17-21).

  1. Blessed

Those who endure the testings of God will emerge into “rich (or abundant) fulfillment”. This implies that Jesus has a wonderful purpose for your life that He can only bring you into by the process of testing. Do not forget this.

Three examples

Peter

 Peter was put to the test at the trial of Jesus and was humiliated by a little girl. He found out a lot of things about Himself, learned the lessons and changed. It was He who once had no boldness, who was able to stand up on the Day of Pentecost and with boldness preach the gospel (Acts 2:14). Peter’s denial of Christ was in fact a breach of friendship and consequently Jesus was more heart broken than Peter (Luke 22:61). For this reason when Jesus met up with Peter at the Sea of Galilee, after His resurrection, He asked Peter three times whether he was indeed His friend (John 21:15-17). The word that Jesus uses here for love is not agape’ but phileo which designates the love of friendship!

Abraham

He was called by God to sacrifice Isaac upon whom all the promises of God in terms of world redemption rested. Abraham was tested as to whether He really believed God and trusted Him no matter what; even when no way forward is evident. Abraham was brought to a dead end and only the word of God sustained him and because of this God called him His friend (Isaiah 41:8). It is important to recognize that God called Abraham to do something that God never really intended him to do. It was in effect a test that had to do with the matters of trust, friendship and obedience. Consequently God shared the complete DNA (secrets) of world redemption with Abraham! The Lord placed a similar test before us at the beginning of this year and so told us to apply for a ministry position on the Isle of Wight. As it turned out He had no intention of sending us there but He did put us to the test to see if we would still obey His command and give up everything again to follow Him. This is what His friends do!

Joseph

God spoke to him about his destiny and then put him through circumstances that would appear to contradict everything that God had said (Genesis 37:7-11). He was sold into slavery by his brothers, taken to a foreign land, falsely accused, thrown in jail and then raised to the right hand of power and his brothers did indeed come before him and bow down! (Psalm 105:16-22) If God has really spoken to you about a particular destiny that He has for you then you are probably a good candidate to have it all taken from you! The question is, will you give up or better still are we the friends of Jesus? This means; are we involved with the kingdom of God in order to fulfill our purpose and destiny or to be the friends of Jesus?

False Teachings of the End Time

False Teachings of the End Time

2018 devotionals 2018Devotional

 

                        “For false christs and false prophets will rise

                         and show great signs and wonders to deceive,

                         if possible, even the elect.”

                                                            Matthew 24:24

 

  1. Truth

There is no doubt that one of the great signs of the end time is the re-emergence of the state of Israel on the stage of world history. This is a sign without precedent, as it constitutes the first time in over two thousand years that the Jews have sovereignty over Jerusalem again. Jesus placed this reality in the basket of His signs pointing to His second coming (Luke 21:24). He also stated that in the days in which this miracle occurs there would be world-wide upheaval, wars and rumors of wars and the arrival of a perilous time, such as the world has never seen before, called the Great Tribulation (Matthew 24:21). Israel on the very brink of annihilation at the hands of a global attack will be saved out of this tribulation physically and spiritually (Zechariah 12:1-10). This spiritual salvation will be the “trigger mechanism” for the return of Christ to the Mt of Olives. That is, Israel’s recognition of Jesus’ messianic credentials will bring about what Paul called “resurrection from the dead”. This means that the Church of all ages will come out of their graves and, together with living believers, will rise to meet Christ as He comes again in great power and glory to place His feet on the Mt. of Olives (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18).

This picture that I have painted above is the one that scripture gives us and it is the one that was embraced by the early Church. The blessed hope of the Church is not a renovated world system because of some great end time revival but it is indeed, and only, the second coming of Jesus (Titus 2:11-13). The present world is actually passing away (1 John 2:17) because it is an “evil age” (Galatians 1:3-4) and God is determined to bring it down and He will. Every city and nation will be brought down as God visits the planet with what scripture calls the Day of the Lord (Revelation 16:19)(Joel 3:9-17). Our hope is not in the man made systems of this world but in the living God who by His glorious Gospel has saved us and given us a longing for a new heavens and a new earth wherein righteousness will dwell (2 Peter 3:13). You need to be assured of this: That we are approaching a global upheaval the likes of which the world has never seen before and, as the prophet Daniel stated, wars and desolations are determined until the end! This is not an eschatology of pessimism but one of hope because it is anchored in the truth of God’s word and in the promised coming of Christ.

The documents of the Early Church, that is the very Church founded by the Apostles themselves, testify to this understanding of scripture. Here below is a sample of these writings all of which were written before the fourth century.

The Epistle of Barnabas

“The final stumbling-block approaches. We take earnest heed in these last days; for the whole time of your faith will profit you nothing, unless now in this wicked time we also withstand coming sources of danger; as becometh sons of God. That the Black One (Antichrist) may find no means of entrance, let us flee from every vanity, let us utterly hate the works of the way of wickedness.”

Justin Martyr

The man of apostasy shall venture to do unlawful deeds on the earth against us Christians….”

The Shepherd of Hermes

“Happy ye who endure the great tribulation that is coming on.”

The Teaching of the Twelve Apostles

“For the whole time of your faith will not profit you if you are not made perfect in the last time. Then shall appear the world-deceiver as Son of God, and shall do signs and wonders. Then shall the creation of men come into the fire of trial, and many shall be made to stumble and perish; but they that endure in their faith shall be saved from under the curse itself.”

Irenaeus

“….and they shall give their kingdom to the Beast and put the Church to flight.”

“But he (John) indicates the number of the name now, that when the man comes we may avoid him, being aware who he is.”

Hippolytus

“Now concerning the tribulation of the persecution which is to fall upon the Church from the adversary (The Antichrist). That refers to the one thousand and three score days during which the tyrant is to reign and persecute the Church.”

Tertullian

“Now the privilege of the favor awaits those who shall at the coming of the Lord be found in the flesh, and who shall, owing to the oppressions of the time of Antichrist, deserve an instantaneous death which is accomplished by a sudden change to become qualified to join the raisings saints..”

The Constitutions of the Holy Apostles

 “…for through the abounding of iniquity the love of many shall wax cold. For men shall hate, and persecute, and betray one another. And then shall appear the Deceiver of the world, the enemy of the truth, the prince of lies, whom the Lord Jesus shall destroy with the spirit of His mouth, who takes away the wicked with His lips; and many shall be offended at Him. But they that endure to the end, the same shall be saved..”

  1. False truth

 In recent years a new message is being preached by Evangelicals, Pentecostals and neo-Pentecostals and this message is false but it is being accepted and embraced everywhere and essentially it states that much of Matthew 24 and the other great eschatological passages of the Bible have been fulfilled and now we await a great end time revival that will actually transform nations, rehabilitate all spheres of human endeavor and usher in peace and then, and only then, Jesus will come again.  This is actually Kingdom Now or Dominion Theology or Postmillennialism built on the foundation of Preterism (The belief that all of Matthew 24 etc. has been fulfilled by past historical events)(1). Indeed many of the propagators of this error are telling us that a soon coming spiritual revival in Israel will bring resurrection blessing and power to the nations thus sweeping multiple millions into the Kingdom of God. All of this sounds very triumphant and wonderful but in reality it is a false teaching and in fact a very dangerous one at that because it is based on a totally false exegesis of Romans 11:15 and thus does not prepare Christians for the great trials that are about to come:

“For if their being cast away is the reconciling of

                         the world, what will their acceptance be but life

                         from the dead?”

 This “life from the dead”; otherwise translated as “resurrection from the dead”, means exactly what it says in that, according to Paul, Israel’s spiritual recovery will trigger the literal and real resurrection of the dead and usher in the visible second coming of Jesus. “Life from the dead” means then that all the saints of all of history will come forth from their graves to meet Christ in the air as He descends to the Mt. of Olives. It is to be noted that Paul’s teaching in this regard is further clarified in verses 25 and 26 of the same chapter. That is, it is only after the fullness of the Gentiles has been gathered in that Israel gets saved; not before, and consequently the Deliverer (Savior) will “come out of Zion.” Meaning that Zion or a Jewish Jerusalem brings Christ back to the earth. Jesus in fact said that this would be the case (Matthew 23:37-39)(Luke 13:34-35).

The fullness of the Gentiles is completed before Israel’s acceptance of Jesus’ messianic credentials and not afterwards as these false teachers assert. So then there are not two “fullnesses of the Gentiles” in scripture; only one. To teach otherwise is a contradiction of the context and is just nonsense and yet this is exactly what is being taught with the expectation that the nations will get saved in a manner never seen before after Israel comes to faith. This is not true. Israel is not a catalyst for a world-wide revival. If anything she is a catalyst to save the world from utter destruction as her spiritual restoration brings the King of Kings back to the earth at a time when things are so bleak and dark that God has to shorten the time in order to save humanity from total annihilation (Matthew 24:21-22).

Furthermore, those propagating this error frequently support their error by quoting passages from the Bible that refer to the coming Messianic Reign of Christ or what is known as the Millennium. That is, these passages describe global conditions after Jesus has come a second time and not before. Sadly the unsuspecting unable to “rightly divide” scripture buy into this error and so one such passage is Isaiah 2:2-4:

“Now it shall come to pass in the latter days that the

                         mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established on

                         the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above

                         the hills; and all nations shall flow to it. Many people

                         shall come and say, ‘Come, and let us go up to the

                         mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob;

                         He will teach us His ways, and we shall walk in His

                         paths.’ For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the

                         word of the Lord from Jerusalem. He shall judge

                         between the nations, and rebuke many people; they

                         shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their

                         spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up

                         sword against nation, neither shall they learn war

                         anymore.”

 Again, this picture of peace and absence of conflict only applies to the age to come or to what the Bible calls the “regeneration” when Christ sits on His glorious throne ruling and judging the nations with a “rod of iron” (Matthew 19:28) (Revelation 12:5). The consummation of our age will be characterized by global conflict, on a scale never seen before, the falling away or apostasy of millions of Christians (2 Thessalonians 2:3), great natural disasters and upheavals, the persecution of the Church, the rise of a new Hitler or Beast, who will be destroyed by the second coming of Christ (2 Thessalonians 2:8), (2) and the Great Day of the Lord. In fact Jesus warned that the situation will deteriorate rapidly, just as an expectant mother experiences a growing intensity in her birth pangs, and that consequently those days will have to be shortened lest no flesh survive on the earth (Matthew 24:21). This is not a picture of some great global revival but in fact just the opposite and, if we do not prepare ourselves for it, we may well fall away or, worse still, give our allegiance to a new global order actually driven by Satan himself and characterized by great signs and wonders (2 Thessalonians 2:9). Jesus, concerned about the state of the Church in the world in the end time, wondered whether He would find the faith on the earth when He comes again (Luke 18:8).

The picture I have described above is not pessimistic but biblically realistic and anyway our hope is not in a rehabilitated world that is passing away but in the coming of Christ and His visible and regenerated kingdom on earth (Hebrews 9:28). Beyond the “birth pangs” then is a new age of peace and joy in a world finally free from war. We are also not going to lock ourselves away with our “end time prepper provisions” and hope for the end to come. This too is certainly not biblical. No, we are going to do everything possible to call people out of the world to the cross of Jesus since this glorious Gospel will be preached in all the world as a witness and then the end shall come (Matthew 24:14). We have good news to preach and we had better do so now, more than ever, for indeed the “night cometh when no man will work.” (John 9:4).

Even so Lord Jesus come!

Malcolm Hedding

 

(1) Preterism is an eschatological teaching that was compiled in 1614 by a Jesuit Priest called Luis de Alcazar. He did this specifically in order to counter or resist the Reformation in that Luther, and the other reformers, accused the Pope of being the Antichrist. The strategy was simple: If all the Antichrist passages of scripture were fulfilled in AD 70 then it is not possible to accuse the Pope of being an Antichrist!

(2) The fact that the Antichrist is destroyed by the coming of Jesus a second time is consistent with Daniel’s prophetic oracle and constitutes proof that the events of the end time, as described by Matthew in his 24th chapter, were not entirely fulfilled in AD 70 and beyond. They have more than one fulfillment and are therefore what we call “progressive prophetic fulfillment”.

 

Faith to live by

Faith to live by

2018 devotionals 2018Devotional Weekly Devotional

 

“But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who

             comes to God must believe that He is a rewarder of those

             who diligently seek Him”

                                                            Hebrews 11:6

Definition

Faith is the unshakable belief in the reality and existence of God and that He is able to do anything and everything when diligently petitioned.”

 

  1. The nature of our commitment to Christ

The Bible tells us that when we surrendered our lives to Christ we handed our lives fully and completely over to Him. We surrendered possession of ourselves to the God of heaven!

“… and He died for all, that those who live should

             live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died

             for them and rose again.”

                                                    2 Corinthians 5:15

 

            “Or do you not know that your body is the temple

             of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have

             from God, and that you are not your own?”

                                                       1 Corinthians 6:19

  1. The nature of faith

The messianic believers referred to in the book of Hebrews did not expect to be persecuted and abused when they embraced Christ as their Lord and Savior. They expected a different outcome and so when these difficulties arose they were disappointed and considered abandoning their faith and returning to Judaism. Consequently the writer of the book exhorts them to continue and to have faith in the reality and goodness of God.

That is, he desires that they should entrust themselves to Him and in so doing he reminds them of the Prophet Habakkuk who, having encountered the same dilemma, was told by God that he would have to trust Him by walking in faith. Hence we have the famous statement, “The just shall live by faith.” True faith does not determine the outcome but believes that whatever the outcome it will be for our good and that God has indeed answered (Hebrews 10:32-39). Actually, this is precisely Paul’s point in Romans 8 where he declares that in fact we do not really know the outcome of our prayers but we confidently entrust ourselves to a loving God who will cause “all things to work together for good” for those who love Him (Romans 8:26-28).

Hebrews 11:1-6 is a response to Hebrews 10:32-39 and a preamble to the great passage that follows, which many call the “role call of faithful people.” In other words the context of the chapter will reveal what his definition of faith in verse one of chapter means i.e.

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the

             evidence of things not seen.”

It is very important to note that in every case here mentioned faith is a positive response to the self-revelation of God. That is, people accomplished great things not because they knew the outcome of their journey but because they knew the God of the journey! This is precisely why the more one knows the Bible so the more one comes to know who God is. “Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God.” (Romans 10:17)

Consider this: Abraham did not know where he was going when he left Ur of the Chaldeans and he did not know that Isaac would be spared when God called upon him to sacrifice him. Enoch so trusted in God that, though he was well pleasing to God, he did not know that God would one day take him. Moses’ mother trusted in God but did not know that when she put Moses in the river that Pharaoh’s daughter would find him and adopt him. Neither did she know that she would end up nursing her own son. She had faith in God but did not know the outcome. Some of these great saints trusted God but never expected to be sawn in two and then all of them died having never experienced the full outcome of their faith (Hebrews 11:13). They had faith in that they fully entrusted themselves to God, as they were not their own, and they left the outcome to Him.

In fact it must be noted that Abraham’s biggest mistake was to seek to determine the outcome of his walk of faith by manipulating the production of a son through one of his servants called Hagar. He could not trust God and consequently his attempt to “determine the end” gave birth to Ishmael and with him came a huge conflict that still rages to this day. Despite all of this Abraham remains a great man of faith who was able to trust God fully with his life.

Seeking to determine the outcome is actually like playing “Russian Roulette.” It’s a dangerous game and while sometimes it works in most cases it doesn’t and the consequence are not good to say the least. For instance, in the case of healing, not even ten percent of people prayed for are healed in the way that we hoped for and firmly affirmed. A lot actually die even though time and time again we pronounced them healed and urged them to hold to this positive confession. The burden placed upon these people is immense and truly quite cruel but we persist in this call to faith because we have falsely believed that this is what faith is. It is not! Please remember that even Jesus struggled with the outcome of His faith journey and had to learn to entrust Himself fully to God His Father:

 

“…who in the days of His flesh, when He had offered up

             prayers and supplications, with vehement cries and tears

             to Him who was able to save Him from death, and was

 heard because of His godly fear, though He was a

             Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which

             He suffered.”

                                                Hebrews 5:7-8

Faith is the unshakable and unswerving belief in a righteous and good God who will always answer our prayers but in His way. To determine the outcome is to play god. Another way of putting this is to say that, faith is believing in God in such a way that you can feel, see and touch Him. (1 John 1:1) When you have this “substance” in your hand you know that God will do everything you ask of Him, but again, in His way. Oral Roberts, the great healing evangelist of the last century, recognized that the majority of the people he had prayed for in his great healing crusades were in fact not healed. Of course a small percentage were but he was honest and concerned enough that he embarked upon the building of a hospital.

  1. The challenge of faith

Do you have faith? That is, are you able to entrust your self to Him so that He can do anything He likes with your life; even heal you by taking you home? This is precisely where we come apart because we strongly desire to determine the outcome because we are, rightly so, consumed with compassion, sorrow and yes self-interest. We want our friends and loved ones to continue with us and so we construct prayers that are more a commentary on these desires than real faith. I have seen so many people, even dear friends of mine, go through this “spiritual obstacle course” and then when they died and were not healed, as was so fervently affirmed, discouragement, confusion and even anger at God set in. On the other hand, as a Pentecostal preacher, I have indeed seen many people instantly healed and set free from their terminal illness. In this I have greatly rejoiced but it was faith in God and not in the outcome that did this and also Jesus gives us the gift of faith by the Holy Spirit whereby we just know for certain that if someone is prayed for they will be instantly healed (1 Corinthians 12:8, Acts 14:8-9). This is all true and we must affirm it within the boundaries that our faith is in God and He has the right to do with His children as He pleases.

  1. The foundations of faith

We need to live our lives in such a way that God can help us in our time of need. We must be true to our verbal commitments to Christ and we must live holy lives. We have handed our lives fully over to Him as Lord and Savior and so we must live in harmony with this act of dedication. Failure in this regard means that God Himself may well strike us down with physical weakness, sickness and even death. No amount of so-called believing faith will reverse this except real and sincere repentance. Paul warns of this when giving instructions about taking the communion elements. We must take these “judging ourselves” meaning that we must consider our commitments to Christ based on what He did for us on the cross. To “eat of the bread and drink of the cup in an unworthy manner” will invite God’s correction and judgment (1 Corinthians 11:29-30).

Conclusion

There is a real need for biblical counseling and care when dealing with people who are facing real and serious life threatening medical challenges. We must tell them the truth and thereby affirm that God will answer their prayers and those of the ones who stand with them. Indeed He will heal them but in three possible ways: by reversing the condition instantly, by the use of medical attention and treatment and by taking them home. In every case they will be healed because they entrust themselves to Him. And, in every case, He will deposit His supernatural power, strength, blessing and peace upon them.

Sometimes the end of this struggle can appear to be so definite and hopeless especially if the person we were believing God to heal died. However an understanding of the word “end” in the Bible fills us with real comfort and hope. In the Greek this word “TELOS” does not mean the end of the matter as of something definite and conclusive but rather it means the conclusion of a set of circumstances that actually pave the way for the “new” to come. An example of this is that the end of the age is not simply to bring the present age to a close, but to allow a new age to emerge wherein peace and righteousness will prevail and dwell. Those who come to an end in this world are passing into something glorious! We do indeed mourn the loss of their presence but we also rejoice in their triumph in Christ.

May we forever hold this in our hearts!

Malcolm Hedding