D3. VARIOUS MINISTRIES AND OCCUPATIONS
HATFIELD CHRISTIAN CHURCH
By now we were very apprehensive of joining any congregation before we were quite sure that we were in agreement with the doctrine they preached, so we attended meetings of many different Charismatic and Pentecostal groupings. Some were indeed very boisterous. Coming from very conservative backgrounds, we did not feel at ease there at all. At last we came to the Hatfield Christian Church, a large Charismatic denomination in the eastern environs of Pretoria where we felt at home and sensed the Lord saying that He was giving it to us as our new spiritual home.
This did not mean that we had arrived at the end of our spiritual pilgrimage; we had in fact just entered through the door and now had to sit down and be instructed in a totally foreign field of experience. We were very pertinently confronted with the question whether specific prophecies, words of knowledge, tongues, words of wisdom or whatever gift was practised, was of the Holy Spirit or whether it just emanated from the speaker’s own mind or spirit. There was only one to whom we could turn for answers to these questions and that was God the Holy Spirit Himself and He was more than willing to guide us. He also found special ways to assist me in my search for truth and often confirmed in a supernatural way that what we heard and saw, was mostly from God.
During a certain meeting, the Holy Spirit gave me a prophecy and prompted me to go forward to the ministry microphone and share it with the congregation. Since I am rather shy by nature and was, in addition, very new in flowing in the gifts of the Spirit, I hesitated to do so. The next moment a certain brother in Christ, a person I knew well, got up, went forward and brought the exact words which I had been prompted to bring. What an awesome experience it was for me! Some weeks afterwards our pastor took us along to assist him in ministering to a congregation to which he had been invited. As I was speaking to a certain young man, I shared a vision with him, saying that I saw a light plane at an airport, with ropes criss-crossed all over it and pegged to the ground. I interpreted this to him saying that God made him to be spiritually free like an aeroplane that could leave the ground and fly high at great speed to its destination, but that he had many things in his life, sin and unbelief that prevented him from becoming what God intended him to be and that he was to cut those strings by confession and by faith. I then moved on to minister to other people. On our way home, our pastor told me that the man to whom I had ministered, was a professional pilot of a light aircraft and that the vision I got from God had spoken to him very forcefully. This was a great encouragement to me, working boldness in my heart to flow in the gifts of the Spirit in greater measure.
The Head pastor of our congregation, pastor Ed Roebert, also came from a very conservative spiritual background and knew what questions were going around in our minds, so he was in a favourable position to help us to get these settled. A gift of the Spirit that causes much controversy and heated debates, is the gift of speaking in tongues. To outsiders and even to the person that flows in it, it may sound weird, like incoherent gibberish and since it cannot be studied like any other language, it could be embarrassing, causing Christians to shy away from it. Pastor Ed told us how he had, in the early stages of his discovering of the Gifts, faced the same spiritual battle. What he gradually discovered was that every time after he had allowed the Holy Spirit to utter these unknown words through him, a great peace flooded his heart, a peace he came to identify as of the Holy Spirit, confirming that this language unknown to the mind of man was indeed breathed and inspired by Him.
This brought about a tremendous breakthrough in my life for I recalled how I had uttered these incomprehensible words when I was filled by the Holy Spirit and how I had suppressed the urge to utter them for fear of the unknown and of offending the Lord. On receiving this teaching, I just opened my heart and effortlessly began speaking in my heavenly language. The Lord had not withdrawn the gift He had previously bestowed upon me but kept it “on hold” till I was ready to use it and till this day it is such a blessing to me in my private prayer life. Whenever I just do not know how to pray about a certain matter, I switch to my gift language, allowing the Spirit to pray through me as He pleases and sense a tremendous relief and peace afterwards. Oh, indeed, the devil is a liar and is continually looking for ways to deceive and rob us of the blessings our Lord desires to bestow upon us.
The gifts of the Spirit are God’s tools which He uses when and where He pleases to bless His people and to further His work. Yes, I have witnessed the misuse of the gifts and I myself have on occasion brought prophecies that missed the mark, but I will never ever again shy away from flowing in the gifts for that would be to mistrust the Spirit that inspired the penning of Scripture that applies to these.
In the congregation where the Lord put us, we also experienced the flow of the Holy Spirit in many other ways. Gone were the days when a strict liturgical order regulated every meeting. God was in control and every meeting differed from the other; no two were alike. They were vibrant, filled by the very life of God. You could sense His presence, observe His deeds as visitors broke into tears, responded to the alter call, went forward and were saved. This was a New Testament church as depicted in the Bible and we enjoyed every moment of it and, till this day, after some 30 years, Martie and I are still members of it. Blessed be the Name of the Lord. All the searching and all the trauma we went through, were well worthwhile for we had found a fountain of Living Water, the source of which was God Himself and, though we love and respect all other Christian congregations that do not share our understanding and experiencing of the Holy Spirit, we will not exchange what we now have, for what we had before.
Probably the most precious teaching, or rather training we received in HCC, was that of praising and worshipping the Lord God Almighty, the King of Kings, the Creator of mankind and of the heavens and the earth, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace, The Lily of the Valley, the Bright Morningstar, the Fairest of Ten Thousand. In worshipping and adoring Him we are lifted from this world into the very throne room of God, we become part of the heavenly multitudes, we join the angels, the twenty-four elders and the four living beings as together we behold His all surpassing glory and sing His praises and bow down and worship at His feet. Our congregation worships for at least three quarters of an hour uninterruptedly before we go into the flowing in the gifts of the Spirit and then listen to the preaching of the Word.
Praise and Worship must not only be practised in church or in song. Martie and I get together just about every morning singing praises to God and worshipping Him. When travelling somewhere, we normally spend the first three quarters of an hour in praise and worship and, if it is a long journey, we repeat this later on. We do not confine it to song but praise and worship Him by reciting all His attributes and praising Him for all His works as observed in nature and seen in His Word. God inhabits the praises of His people and as we do this, we are continually freshly anointed by His spirit and perceive Him as a living, loving, speaking and providing God, Father, Saviour and Spirit. Oh, bless the Lord oh my soul and all that is within me, bless His holy Name!
What also is a great blessing to us is the fact that our meetings are open to all races under the sun. We not only open our doors to them but we open our hearts and welcome them with the love of Christ and share with them everything we receive from our Lord. They are drawn into our home meetings and fellowship with us in every way.
Oh, how good it is to serve the Lord in the freedom which the Holy Spirit brings when He is allowed to take full control!
HALLELUJAH, HALLELUJAH, HALLELUJAH!
OUR HEARTS ARE OVERFLOWING WITH THE JOY OF THE LORD.
OUR SPIRITS ARE DAILY REFRESHED AND AT THE AGE OF 70/73 RESPECTIVELY, MARTIE AND I ARE STILL IN FULL-TIME MINISTRY.
BLESS HIS NAME, BLESS HIS NAME, BLESS HIS HOLY NAME!
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