Experiencing a revival has become a yearning in the hearts of ATS’ people. It started growing from deep within us and has become more and more urgent. We are thinking about it and are listening to the whispering of the Holy Spirit to help us understand this yearning. We wonder if revival should not be the dream or desire of the church of Jesus Christ? Is it correct to think this way, or is it just wishful thinking or worse, a way to escape reality?
Ons gesin kom van ’n Gereformeerde agtergrond. Een aand het ons kinders saam met my ma, ’n Pinksterbiduur by ’n Pinkstergemeente bygewoon. Na die preek het die pastoor almal wat graag die doping in die Heilige Gees wou ontvang, vorentoe genooi. Die geleentheid was vir ons vreemd en ons het daarom nie vorentoe gegaan nie.
An open letter to Auckland Park Theological Seminary’s staff.
I write this to you as a testimony, praise be to God, of His faithful love to us at ATS.
On 31 December 2008, the AFM church terminated ATS as being a training institution for the AFM church. I was on vacation in George during this time and was busy evaluating a thesis as an external examiner. The dissertation was about the trauma care of someone who has experienced the death of a loved one.
I invite you to reflect very seriously on God’s calling for your life. Do not shake your head too quickly. Rather, read slowly and listen to the whispering of the Spirit. As I grow older, I become more aware of the importance of God’s calling in a Christian’s life. I am surprised by the tragic fact that the devil has managed to rob God’s people of this truth, and by the boundless losses that God’s kingdom has suffered and continues to suffer.
Ek nooi jou om baie ernstig te besin oor die feit dat God jou roep. Moenie jou kop skud nie, jy moet stadig lees en die fluisteringe van die Gees hoor. Hou ouer ek word, hoe meer word ek bewus van die belangrikheid van God se roeping vir ’n Christen. Ek is verbaas oor die tragiese feit dat die duiwel daarin geslaag het om God se mense van hierdie waarheid te roof en daarmee saam die grenslose leed wat God se koninkryk daardeur gely het en steeds ly.
Abstract: Our whole life is a prayer which consists of a praise to God, a hallelujah, an amen, an echo on the Lord’s Prayer. It embodies the kingdom of God advancing forcefully and us vigorously laying hold of God’s kingdom. It represents our calling. Paul’s statement on the ministry of the Spirit was spot on: “But thanks to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of him.” (2 Cor 2:14). We should never settle for less, for Jesus’ death was too costly.
The Gospels convey a lot of information about Jesus’ prayer life. He prayed through the night, rose up early in the morning to pray, went alone to the mountain side to pray and went to lonely spots to pray. The writer of Hebrews commented on Jesus’ prayer life as follows: “He offered 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, …”. (Heb 5:7). He talked to his Father in the dark moments of his life on earth and made great decisions after long periods of prayer.
Doubt was and will always be one of life’s challenges. Our world has never been without the temptation to doubt.
In the beginning, we find the snake’s question to Eve: “Did God really tell you not to eat fruit from any tree in the garden” (Gen 3:1). This question was intended to suggest something along the lines of: “Is God really so nasty in that He does not allow you to eat the fruit from all the trees?” With this question the Devil created the perception that God is not good and sowed doubt in her heart.
The Devil even approached Jesus to plant a seed of doubt when he tempted Him: “If you are God’s Son, order these stones to turn into bread.” After having spent forty days and nights in the desert without food, the Devil tempted a fragile and hungry Jesus with doubt. It was a temptation to go for a shortcut and to tempt God to prove his care for his Son and his Son’s mission.
The world has never been without doubt: doubt in God’s goodness, love and His involvement in this disastrous world and in our own endangered personal lives. People usually ask many “why” questions when things go wrong and events happen which is seemingly against the belief in an almighty and loving God.
Auckland Park Theological Seminary (“ATS”, for short) is the oldest Pentecostal and charismatic theological seminary in Africa. The seminary is an academic institution and has been engaged in theological training and education since 1945.