South Africa Ministry Trip Report
Oct 01, 2008
After boarding the first plane in Port Elizabeth in South Africa at 9:40 a.m. their time, I finally arrived in Minneapolis yesterday afternoon at 3:40 p.m. Taking into consideration the 7-hour time difference, the trip took 25 hours.
This being my first trip to South Africa, I did not really know what to expect when I got there. The conference in Capetown occupied the first week, and I taught the Word three times there. There were about a dozen speakers from all over the world, and I was impressed most by Dr. Martin Schmaltz of Georgia and John Boney of Florida. I also greatly appreciated the intercessory prayer support from three sisters who came from Australia--Lena, Diane, and Queenie. They came primarily to provide prayer support for John Boney, but they also adopted me.
Martin taught about the Apostolic calling, and then there was a man sent from God whose name was John. John strongly urged me to return to South Africa next week (or to extend my stay) to teach at another conference, but I already have three commitments in October which will occupy close to 3 weeks.
I had opportunity to spend the day with Bishop McFarlane of London (U.K.) at the waterfront in Capetown. He wants me to come to London some time and do some teaching on the (first ever) world-wide computer satellite system being set up. I am sending him a set of my books, and we'll see then if he still wants me to come.
I got to know about a dozen key ministers and a few lay people in 3 locations in South Africa: Capetown, Paarl, and Uitenhage (near Port Elizabeth). Wherever I went, I always found a few key people with ears to hear, who, I believe, are the primary ones through whom the Gospel of the Kingdom will spread to the rest of the country. Even a member of Parliament (Bishop Sidney Mannie) wants to arrange for me to speak to them about righteous government according to biblical laws. He is the head of Pan African Godly Governance, whose purpose is to train the next generation of governmental leaders to understand godly principles of Kingdom government.
I also had opportunity to speak the Word in a half dozen other churches, but I just popped in and out of those meetings and did not establish any long-term relationships in those cases. Perhaps at a future time even some of those introductory messages will bear fruit. Most of those churches were Pentecostal or Assemblies of God, and I discovered that my teachings on Tabernacles were generally incomprehensible to them. I think it is due to the fact that once we step past Pentecost, they are in unfamiliar territory and cannot conceive of how this might be important.
In Paarl, there were six other ministers who attended when I taught on the two works of Christ, Jonah, and a little on the book of Acts. Three of them understood; the others did not have the foggiest notion of what I was saying. The fact that I came as a teacher rather than as a preacher made it difficult for them, because they were not accustomed to actually learning or studying.
The biggest problem that I discovered was that the Prosperity Message (the golden calf) is the staple diet for most of them. Everyone is promised great wealth if only they will give their last rand (or dollar). If their giving does not produce wealth, it is obviously due to their lack of faith or the fact that they withheld that last rand in their pocket.
Naturally, the tendency is for the Prosperity preachers to get richer and the people to get poorer. This brand of Christianity promises a way out of poverty, but in actual fact it merely contributes to the overall poverty problem. I myself was careful to pay my way when the people shuttled me around, since gasoline is expensive and average people cannot afford to drive a lot. One lesson learned by my drivers and hosts was that if they sow in my field, they will actually reap in my field. Basic prosperity teaching is that the people are to sow in Field A and then expect to reap in Field B. That way the prosperity preachers get to keep the offerings for themselves, buy their expensive cars, and pass off all responsibility upon God to repay their contributors.
My last stop was in Uitenhage, where I did the most extensive teaching. I taught each day from Thursday through Saturday, and then Sunday morning and from 4:00 - 9:30 that same evening in a more informal session with a dozen people. In the Friday evening session, after I spoke on Sonship, the Spirit of the Lord was poured out in a greater manner, and again on Sunday morning. This did not come during the singing prior to the message, but afterward. The Lord confirmed His word to the people.
The informal session on Sunday evening was especially valuable to the dozen who attended. That is what they told me. They did not want to leave, but finally had to go home about 9:30 p.m. So Sunday was my busiest day just before leaving the following morning.
I first had to fly to Capetown because my ticket was from there. That plane left at 6:00 p.m. (sundown) on Sept. 29. This was the beginning of the Feast of Trumpets, since the day of Trumpets was Sept. 30 (when I arrived home).
Ever since I had arrived in Capetown on Sept. 5, I had been contemplating the significance of this. A year ago in Hawaii, we had seen (prophetically) the birth of John the Baptist (i.e., "Elijah"), and Oklahoma Bob had gotten the word that this was actually applicable a year later. So I was expecting to see some sort of fulfillment now. In The Laws of the Second Coming, I wrote about the Elijah pattern of the autumn feasts.
First of all, Elijah left the country during the drought, and then returned after raising the widow woman's son from the dead (1 Kings 17:23). That was the Trumpets pattern. This was followed by the showdown with the prophets of Baal (Day of Atonement), and then the seven prayers for rain (7 days of Tabernacles).
The fact that I was out of the country until Trumpets seemed to indicate that I was following an Elijah pattern, so I was watching for the widow to emerge. In my last stop, I stayed with a widow and her son. The "son" that was raiesd up in her, however, was really about Sonship than her physical son. I saw a transformation in her, and hope as a result of the Sonship message.
This tells me that we ought to watch the Day of Atonement (Oct. 9) as well as the Feast of Tabernacles (Oct. 14-21) to see if this "Elijah" pattern continues. Elijah and John were forerunners. It appears to me that we are entering a "John" phase of ministry for an unknown period of time. In practice, it looks like the initial phase of the Gospel of the Kingdom being preached in all the world before the end comes (Matt. 24:14).
If this proves to be so, then we have to start thinking in terms of a world-wide ministry. Now that the 13-year warfare has been completed (as of Oct. 7, 2006), and Babylon is collapsing fast, it is necessary to focus on building the Kingdom to fill the coming vacuum. I have spent most of my time in America up to now, but I think this coming year could begin a more world-wide ministry. I have spoken of this in the past as the "Open Door" ministry. It is something that has been prophesied since the early 1980's, and I suspect that we are near that time.
I will certainly have to return to South Africa next year, since I now have many invitations to come for at least a week at each location. The Banner has been planted there, we have established a foothold of teaching there, and now they need to be trained to do the type of spiritual warfare and intercession that we have done here in America. Once they grasp the foundational teachings, then we can proceed with the practical outworking of it--spiritual warfare.
Dr. Stephen Jones