|Celebration Service at Tugela Ferry
(see photos and video
The occasion for the Tent meeting at Tugela Ferry was the celebration for the
graduation of Reggie Mchunu (graduation celebrations are traditional in Africa). The tent
was erected at the Mchunu home which is virtually on the banks of the Tugela River (see
The tent was full (with a hundred or two standing along the edges). It was an atmosphere
of joy and thanksgiving. Reggie (dressed in his graduation gown) gave a lengthy testimony
to God's working in his life. He thanked God for his time at Domino Servite School (the mission
school at Kwasizabantu). Seed was planted in his life which came to full fruition while he
was studying agriculture at the University of Natal. He made a stand for the Lord during
his university career and was a member of the Students Christian Fellowship's executive.
Reggie made an appeal to the audience to make sure that the lives are fully handed over to
Sermon by Erlo Stegen
Reading from Matt: 3:1-3 and Dan 7:13 Rev Erlo Stegen spoke about the Kingdom of God.
John the Baptist was unlike us and was the "Elijah to come." Though it says that
he "preached" in the wilderness the Greek word denotes a "herald with a
proclamation". The herald comes before Jesus and instructs the people about the law
of the kingdom which was "repent", a command to change ones mind. In other
words, the repenter can no longer go in his own direction.
John didn't speak for himself and of his own accord. These were not his own words but
straight from the living God. It was a message to change the heart and mind. Through it
the sinner is convinced and convicted of his sin. Also, because the kingdom was "at
hand" it was very close and therefore repentance was necessary lest the kingdom pass
The meaning of the kingdom can be interpreted that God wants earth to be like heaven.
Thus, Jesus taught us to pray: "Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven."
In his kingdom there is no fighting, grudges and hatred (which are part of hell). Wherever
you are it should be like a piece of heaven. When Jesus comes into your life it is like
heaven in you. His kingdom is one of love, joy and unity (and not schism).
In his message John said that the crooked things must be made straight and the valleys
filled or leveled in order to make a highway. Lives need to be fixed up and sorted out.
The one who repents is not noticed by a change of clothing (i.e. putting on Western
clothing) but rather a thorough change of life. Everything becomes heavenly because of
Christ's rulership and law. When Jesus comes into a life darkness ends.
Daniel saw Christ coming with the clouds and given dominion over all, and "a
kingdom". His kingdom is where He rules, only Him. No person can serve two kings.
Where Christ rules the rules are kept. The one who refuses to bow to his rule is outside
the kingdom. What are His rules. If you continue reading from Matthew 5 the Lord makes the
rules of His kingdom perfectly clear. Not just "from of old" but Christ's laws
are high and exalted. Thus the old definition of adultery and murder are revised and
lifted to a new level when Christ explains lust and anger.
Do you love such a kingdom and do you submit to His laws? His way is
"straight" and not confused.
John the Baptist's voice still speaks even though he was decapitated.