I wish to write a book on my spiritual and physical “journey” as a missionary for Christ. A no-hold-back book. A book that will reflect my own story and the stories of the people I came in contact with and their spiritual stories. The stories of the institutions and organizations that impacted the lives of the ordinary people and the effects it had on them in their “worlds”.
So here is the layout. I will write it over time. Chapter by chapter. Do remember that it represents a “life journey” that took place over a period of about 32 years. What we experienced at certain times in the beginning may differ down the road after some time from what we experienced in the beginning. Knowledge and understanding are revealed as one experiences life on such a journey. A journey has a beginning and an end and much happens in between. This then is my story and it may differ from the stories of others who have lived and worked at KSB.
In the name of God!
The demise of a true revival.
ChaptersChapter I – Introduction
I have been seriously challenged on “why” I am writing this book!
I have been told, because I have left KSB, I should just turn my back on everything and walk away and leave KSB to continue with the work done at the Mission. I have been asked in all sincerity to stop writing the book, as it would achieve nothing at all. Looking at the history of others who wrote against the Mission, this seemingly may be a valid observation. But could it be that God had been speaking through them and yet their message had been ridiculed? I have been asked to withdraw my book from the Internet as it would not achieve its goal and the Internet is judged not to be the correct forum to reveal matters of concern. I have been thrown into the same basket with KSB Alert as if that would discredit me to the point that I would stop writing. However, KSB Alert may have paved the way for many to understand the concerns about KSB, but their approach is much different from my approach to the whole matter.
I have prayerfully considered everything. I have taken the book down from the Internet and considered my reasons for writing this book; my intentions I scrutinized and I have searched my heart for any sign of malice, bitterness or anger. I am satisfied, as I am ready to launch the book again on the Internet, that my life harbors no evil intentions and my heart won’t spew out unsubstantiated hateful arguments. I understand not all will agree with me in doing so. And I understand that some will reject me for continuing writing the book because for their own reasons they disagree with me on the substance of what I am reporting. However, it is my “spiritual journey” I am unfolding and my beliefs and experiences which are to be measured up against the Bible truths. As someone said to me: “you will stand before God yourself”. I understand my accountability to God, and my responsibility to be true to my calling as pastor in His church, preacher of His Word, teacher of His truths and counselor in His Wisdom. I failed Him in this at times, but by His grace and mercy I may ask forgiveness and do restitution.
There are basically two reasons I will put forward for writing this book. It concerns God’s message in this world as given to us in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Truth has to prevail. The Gospel is contained in the Bible in full, as the Word of God. And it is stated that God the Holy Spirit is the First Author of the Bible (2Pet 1:19-21) and that the Word is sufficient in everything as the only Way. Claiming that the 1966 revival at Maphumulu is a further or better revelation than the Bible put us effectively in the same category as the Muslims as they claim the same process with regard to Mohammed.
KSB proclaims the Word of God throughout the world. We have done this publicly in perhaps thousands of pulpits from 1966 to 2019, thus for more than a half century, on all continents, to millions of people. In all of this we have put forward the 1966 Maphumulo revival as a visitation of God, telling the world about everything supernatural that God has done. In the process we have exalted KSB for having received a ”better way” which brought a new foundation for preaching the Gospel. This is undeniably true; we have promoted KSB and her teachings perpetually across the whole of God’s created world. The reported “near death” experience of Thofozi supported the 1966 revival in many ways and was proclaimed with the KSB “message” as well. All in all, we have so to say proclaimed: “look at us, we have the way as revealed in the Word and the revival”.
When KSB proclaims God’s Word openly and collectively in this world whether in a pulpit or on the Internet, then KSB is in the public eye for whatever is done and said as KSB by whoever representing KSB. The preaching, speaking, counseling, proclamations, testimonies, witnessing and conduct are all before the people of this world, Christians and non-Christians alike, and as such KSB is also accountable to them for all things said and done. KSB cannot therefore claim privacy when their communal sin is revealed publicly. Therefore, I as much as any preacher at KSB, have proclaimed the Gospel of Jesus plus the revival as the better way as Thofozi so aptly put it: “we have better than the Bible because we have the Bible and the revival”. We at KSB, and again I include myself, have compromised the pure Gospel of Jesus Christ by giving the Gospel a very peculiar tweak to fit our “KSB way” as the ultimate revelation for our day and time.
This truth was never as true as during my time at Tulsa, Oklahoma in America. I remember clearly when I preached and spoke about certain things I said: “At KSB we don’t do things this way. The revival taught us a better way. This is how we do it and if you want to be a branch of KSB you have to do it the KSB way”. These words will haunt me for a long time to come. I failed to bring the people to Christ. My closest friends broke with me, their children rejected me. I knew with godly certainty, I failed God in preaching Christ as the only Way. Forcing a way on people that goes beyond Christ, actually nullifies the power of God’s Word and Spirit to bring people to the cross. I cried before God and begged His forgiveness. Now I have time to show the irrationality of all of this.
So the first reason then is that I have been part of a spiritual or religious system that has compromised the Gospel of Jesus in essential aspects. There are reasons for this, yet it does not make it right at all. We, as a church of God at KSB, should live by what we preach and proclaim to be the will of God. If we don’t we compromise God’s Word to the extend where we mean: “do as we say, don’t do as we do”. This is a paralogism or fallacy.
The second reason has to do with the voiceless multitude in the KSB congregations and where we as KSB were allowed to preach to audiences filling the pews. They accept the message we preach as the Truth and they accept the messengers as living that Truth. We judge their sin, we crush them in our preaching, we advise them according to God’s will for His people as set out in Scripture and we guide them in how to live holy lives. They come forward to confess their sins and we pray for them; it is actually all humbug because of the prevalent sin among the KSB co-workers. We teach them what we don’t believe ourselves in real terms. I believe, for their sake, I am their voice making known the suffering, pain and rejection they suffered at the hands of so-called “men and women of God” at KSB.
Because of what has been done to them, some are broken emotionally and spiritually. They are powerless to defend themselves. To tell those who have experienced rape or young girls molested to go to the police is to subject them to the most immense shame and suffering all over again. To help them to understand there is a God who love them even in what had been done to them, borders on the impossible because it is the loving and caring God’s servants who has done these things to them. They become victims all over again and the perpetrators walk off scot-free. These leaders have confessed and had been forgiven by their peers but on the road to their forgiveness lies the rejected broken bodies of their victims. Intimidated into quiet suffering by threats, shame and rejection.
I am no hero. Believe me! I don’t like what I am doing either. I understand the words of Luther when he said: “Here I stand, I can do no other”. I am no Luther either. I am just a voice and I stand too before my church KSB saying: “I have no choice but to speak out for them that has no voice”.
May God in His mercy and grace be with me.
I hold fast to the words of the song which says:” You are not alone, God is with you!”
So help me God in all of this.
Behold, My Servant,
whom I uphold; My chosen one in whom My soul delights. I have put My
Spirit upon Him; He will bring forth justice to the nations. (Is 42:1)
A Sunday evening, 1983!
I sat right at the back in the Reformed Church in Vereeniging, South Africa. I don’t hear a word the preacher is speaking. My heart is a smorgasbord of emotions in my chest, crushed by the overwhelming presence of Him, the everlasting God. Tears of brokenness and guilt are running slowly over my cheeks. A silent sob is stuck in my chest and I look at the pulpit where a vision is slowly revealed, just like the rays of the sun would push through a thick morning fog, the vision renders itself in progressive clarity.
I see myself on the pulpit. Preaching and uttering words I don’t hear. But then I hear a voice and words are profoundly whispered into my ears: ”This is where I want you!” I sat as if frozen to the spot. Scarcely breathing, without any doubt recognizing the voice and knowing my life is about to change dramatically.
I took the revelation as a command from God and over the next 36 years, to this day, I walked with God. I became His missionary to His people wherever He chose to send me. He took me all over this world and I preached His Gospel wherever the opportunity would present itself. Before starting this journey I promised Him, and myself, I would not be like a regular pastor, with a regular pastorate in a regular town. No, I wanted to be a missionary, preaching His Gospel to a people needing to hear the truth. No beating around the bush but preaching repentance and grace and mercy in a spiritual needy and lost world. I studied theology and education, accumulating the qualifications to the highest possible level to do the best I could for Him who called me into His ministry. I got so caught up in the theological studies at university though; that slowly I began to loose the impact of the vision I received some six years earlier.
Yet, one day I found myself holding a little booklet in the hand. It was an inconspicuous greyish booklet, with the title “When the fire comes”. I read its few pages and then read it again. The words gripping my very soul and reminding me of the calling God has put before me a few years earlier. It tore away the cobwebs of complacency and self-satisfaction to once again force me to my knees crying out for forgiveness for neglecting the calling into His service and finding personal solace in the academics. The time was at hand and the next move for my wife, our two-year-old son and I was at hand. The booklet was God’s directive to move on.
Written in Dutch, “When the fire comes”, relates the story of Mission Kwasizabantu and the revival that came upon the Zulu nation at Maphumulo in 1966. This booklet had a huge impact on my walk with God and obedience to His calling me as a missionary. My wife and I just knew, this place, Mission Kwasizabantu, would give us the answers we needed to hear for the questions in our lives. We went to Mission Kwasizabantu with a burning desire to find answers and indeed, there we found the living Christ for the healing of our lives and the consecrating fellowship with Him we so much desired. The fire has come into our lives as well; a refining, cleansing and consecrating fire taking away the dross accumulated over years of sinful living. We have arrived at a spiritual home and a physical place that would be our house for the years to come. In those initial years rev. Erlo Stegen, rev. Friedel Stegen and rev. Trevor Dahl taught us the “way of revival”, a deep biblical and spiritual walk with Jesus Christ through His Spirit and Word that would shape our lives and sharpen our minds not only to follow Him, but to desire Him with all our heart. To this day they are remembered in the highest regard as true servants of God.
During 1994 we moved permanently to Mission Kwasizabantu. Our full-time missionary life has begun. Mission Kwasizabantu was everything we spiritually desired to have. The preaching was biblical, speaking to our hearts and changing our lives. The principles for living a Spirit filled life so vividly revealed in the revival at Maphumulo were adequately lived and proclaimed by a fellowship of believers that personified “holy living”. Confessing our sins was a cleansing fire from God to make us into acceptable instruments to be used by the Master Himself. We committed ourselves and dedicated life and walk to serve Him and the brethren. We sacrificed family, time, effort and assets willingly to Jesus Christ the Lord to accomplish His call to preach the Gospel to all people. We saturated ourselves with the Word, did not miss a sermon preached, attended conferences and bathed ourselves in His glorious presence.
His people became our people. Their lives were exemplary. Some people just stood out in their walk with God and we marveled at the grace of God revealed through their daily lives, displaying the mind, attitude and life of Christ in a tangible way for us to follow – the likes of Erlo and Kay Stegen, Friedel and Rita Stegen, Trevor Dahl, Manfred Stegen, Heino Stegen, Detlef and Loretta Stegen, Mama Nzibande, Mama Dube, Michael Ngubane, Arno Stegen, John Lillford Powys, Alpheus Mdlalose, Sibongisene Khumalo, Thomas Mapanga, Kjell and Magrit Olsen, Beatrice Snyman and many more.
During 2009 we moved to Claridge near Pietermaritzburg. This branch of Mission Kwasizabantu represents the origin of the Lord’s work through Erlo Stegen. It was a tremendous privilege to be entrusted with the spiritual work where the original seed was planted for what we know today as Mission Kwasizabantu. The years we spend here were precious in the Lord. Here we saw Christ in the lives of ordinary people in the most treasurable and pleasing way. Simple people, living God’s way in breathtaking simplicity. It was the true revival, the life of the living Christ, poured into the human heart and life, bringing about a person so beautiful and accomplished that one just marvel the magnificent grace and mercy of the Christ we so much love and adore. We could just pray to God that we may never tarnish His image as to disappoint such a people of God. We experienced marvelous things at Claridge, the most precious repentances, healings and saving of souls. We loved and were loved in return and cared for in ways beyond understanding. We were accepted and drawn into family circles where skin color never ever played a roll – we loved one another as Christ has loved us. And I believe people could see we all were His disciples.
People loved to come to church and on Sundays we would look for one another to greet and enquire about one another. God gave us some special people in the work. They loved Him dearly and committed themselves to everything for His sake. They were rather more like blood brothers, sisters, mothers and fathers, than co-workers in the work. They left an indelible mark on our spiritual walk with the Lord. To God be the glory for such mercy and grace granted to us, as to have them in our lives. They are imbedded into our hearts and memories and I am thinking of Ray and Denise Dhewnarian and their family, gogo Hlatswayo, Sihle, Sizwe and Phelani Mnikathi and their families, Debbie Ximba, Thabile Ndawo, Jabo Ximba, baba Zondi, mama Dube, mama Msomi, sis Bawinile, sis Bonisiwe, mama Mthembu, mama Ngcobo, mama Mtolo and sis Nomzamu. And of course the older mothers in the congregation like gogo Hadebe, gogo Dumakude, gogo Sobantu, gogo Zuma, gogo Zondi, gogo Mnikathi and gogo Nqulunga. Also aunty Gwen, aunty Krishnie, aunty Sita and sis Nita have a special place in our hearts.
Many young people found Christ or a deeper spiritual walk with Christ during our time at Claridge. It was wonderful to see God’s Spirit at work in their lives and how well they responded to the prompting of God’s Spirit in their lives. I am reminded of Sanele, Ayanda, Zanele, Nomvelo, Nthando, Makhosi, Philiswa, Mbali, Sbongile, Lynn, Linda, Bongeka, Khayelihle, Caleb and Sele’a.
With all of them and many more we shared the Gospel of our Lord and Saviour. We walked a spiritual walk together and were bathed and cleansed by a merciful God through the blood of His Son, Jesus Christ. We received life and shared our lives with one another and so exalted the most merciful God who saved us all to His honour and glory. We laughed together, feasted together, cried together, prayed together and experienced fellowship in abundance. We worshiped God together, stood at open graves together and came together to “duduza” where death has struck. Together we encouraged the sick, prayed for those in difficulty, enjoyed weddings and together we praised God when a child was born. Claridge was the equivalent to happiness in the Lord.
During the years we tasted and experienced the revival in real time at Mission Kwasizabantu and the network of branches throughout South Africa and the rest of the world. We saw God working in marvelous ways and people were filled with awe at what they heard, saw and experienced. The Word was vibrant and alive and touched lives perpetually. It was awe-inspiring to be drenched by the blessings experienced in the revival. We were living roughly 30 years after the revival by 1998 and were looking ahead with divine anticipation to the years ahead! Spiritually speaking, with all due respect, we were on a roll thinking that nothing would stop the revival fire burning in our hearts.
But from 1998 and the years following, Mission Kwasizabantu was struck by a blow so powerful that the effect is still felt to this day. Evil and sin found a way into the hearts of some! Disillusionment, dissatisfaction and disappointment conquered the hearts of some and brother arose against brother and sister against sister, children against their parents and families broke away. Many left. Rev Trevor Dahl and others departed earlier from the Mission. Rev Barney Mabaso broke away with a group of members and valuable property to establish himself with a congregation in Tugela Ferry. Many members and co-workers left. Families were torn apart and much pain ensued. A continuous stream of people leaving Mission Kwasizabantu stretches the years from 1998 till now. We, God’s people, were devastated. Ms Thofozi Dube, a very prominent leader and co-worker did evil and had to leave Mission Kwasizabantu. She later returned after making her life right and receiving counseling especially from rev. Erlo Stegen. She asked forgiveness and was re-instated in leadership. But, Mission Kwasizabantu would never be the same again. The revival was compromised in a heartbreaking way by ms Thofozi Dube who was at Maphumulo when God’s Spirit came upon His people in 1966 and who had a near-death experience in 1973 according to some witnesses, which gave rise to a splendid work among the young people of South Africa. Even the Christian Church at large, was touched and seared by the “foreign fire” that flamed up in these times at the Mission Kwasizabantu. Delegation after delegation of the Christian Church throughout South Africa came to the Mission. They sought answers and offered spiritual counseling to a community of believers devastated and hurt. Repeatedly they were shown the door. The leadership of Mission Kwasizabantu was adamant, we will see to our problems ourselves.
But the devil and his demons have succeeded to enter the revival and a rot was started that we never succeeded to eradicate completely. It would raise its ugly head from time to time like a fungus that would infest its medium and never let go of it. Every so many years, soul-searching meetings would be held for the co-workers and yet no permanent cleansing could be established. The spirit so prevalent of Judas and Jezebel has found a place in the hearts of some at Mission Kwasizabantu. Distrust, lies, accusations, thieving, dishonesty, sexual immorality, pride, adultery, divorce, criticism and many more evil sins penetrated the co-workers and leadership at Mission Kwasizabantu. Evil embedded itself in the hearts of some of God’s people and the consequences were devastating, even to this day. The revival was gravely wounded and it would suffer many setbacks in the years to follow 1998.
Special services for focused teaching of God’s Word were abandoned. Services for the Mission’s youth ended. Special services for co-workers to build them up for their spiritual work were becoming less frequent until it was no longer done. Services for families, women and men all followed the same way – into the trash bin of discontinued spiritual events. Mission Kwasizabantu remained with the bi-annual Minister’s Conference, Easter Conference and two Youth Conferences (July and December). What remained is a remnant of events, struggling to keep what is left of the revival alive.
Perhaps the greatest spiritual setback of the revival was the compromise of the Gospel message. No longer were the principles set forth in the revival of 1966 kept in obedience to God’s Word and “strange fire” was allowed to burn away at the heart and theology so clearly brought about by the revival fire lighted at Maphumulo in 1966. What happened round about the year 2000 is raising its head now again and the final deathblow is ready to be dealt to a very weakened revival fire still burning in some hearts today. Confession of sin, sexual purity before marriage and marriage according to the way set forth by Mission Kwasizabantu have been set in stone and applied as “law”. When done correctly it exemplifies revival and the “working of God” in the lives of those concerned irrespective of a living relationship with the living Christ. These have been imbedded in a “theology of works” which falsely teaches the adherents that they are saved and will see God if they do the prescribed “laws”. The preaching of co-workers is awash with a “theology of works”. The punishment of believers not keeping or trespassing these laws are severe and without compromise. This is a sure sign that the revival fire is burning very low!
Many people have contributed to this book. They are the anonymous sources of this book. They are believers who had been hurt and had been carrying their hurt and burdens for many years. They are the real heroes of this book. They will receive closure when their stories are told. They will be vindicated when their hurt and burdens is publicly brought before the living God. This book is a sacrifice for justification, a cry to God for righteousness to be done onto those who suffered for His Name at the hands of those who ruled in His Name.
This book is also about the “strange fires” burning at Mission Kwasizabantu at the moment. It will highlight the compromised revival practices and evil deeds that have been practiced in secret. It will lay bare the evil intentions of those who have never rid themselves of the evil of the happenings in 2000. It will highlight how sexual immorality has come among the leaders and have been treated with a compromised theology keeping the leadership in place. It will endeavor to show how God’s people are destroyed by the love for money and high debts and interest in politics. It will reveal participation in criminal activities. It will show how divisions are rife and kept in place to the benefit of an elite few.
And all of this in the name of God!
This book is about the death of a revival!
But – God is not dead!
God came down!
But you will
receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My
witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the
remotest part of the earth. (Acts 1: 8)
Rev. Erlo Stegen describes the beginning of the revival at Maphumulo during 1966 as follows:
The day came when God rent the heavens, as it were, and came down while we were gathered together. Suddenly we heard a noise like a great wind. I can only faintly suggest what happened and attempt to make it clear with a small example. It was similar to pressurised air escaping from an air pump, and as if that wind were blowing right through every one of us. The Spirit of God came down and nobody had to explain to anyone else, “Look, God is in our midst.” Everybody was conscious of the presence of God without anybody saying a word. All I could do was to bow down and worship the God of heaven.
What happened then? The Spirit of God came over that place, over the whole area, and brought the people. The first person to come was a witch who lived seven kilometers away and was in charge of a training school for witches. God began at the very strongholds of Satan. To use the prophet Isaiah’s words: “The mountains flowed down at Thy presence, as when the melting fire burneth.” The fire burned as if everything were made of dry brush-wood. When I asked this witch, “What is it you want?” she answered, “I need Jesus. Can He save me? I am bound with chains of hell. Can He break these chains?”
The authenticity of the 1966 revival is very rarely questioned in the religious world. However, objections and critiques are raised by those who were present during the occasion and subsequent years of the 1966 revival at Maphumulo. There is wide acceptance of what happened at Maphumulo was the sovereign work of God. Dr. Kurt Koch has researched and written about this revival extensively and concluded it was real and a work of God. Koch was knowledgeable about revivals all over the world and he studied numerous revivals in situ. He looked and compared the common characteristics of the revivals and was sure that God moved miraculously at Maphumulo. In comparison to other revivals around the world he could “see” the signs and presence of God in what happened. He related extensively, the working of God’s Spirit in the lives of ordinary people. In his book, God among the Zulus (1979) he relates many of the conversions, wonders and miracles that occurred.
Prof. Koos van Rooy in his in-depth study of the revival among the Zulus was of firm belief that God was the author of the revival at Maphumulo. Academic that he was, he made a solid theological study of the revival in terms of Scripture as well as the Lutheran and Reformed doctrines. He also went to Zululand and studied the revival in situ. In 1987 he published his study and concluded that the revival at Kwasizabantu may be grouped with other past revivals in the world as an authentic work of God albeit quite different from the “neo-Pentecostalism” revivals, which mostly concentrate on the experiential and seeable phenomena. Perhaps this difference is not all that much of a difference at all when you read Kurt Koch’s book on the revival.
Albert Pilon, in his book Is this revival genuine?, is very critical of the Maphumulo revival of 1966. He did a comparative missiological study of the revival and the subsequent years up to 2015. In his research he spoke to many of the co-workers who were there in the beginning and have experienced the aftermath of the phenomenon. He is far less positive, to the point of denying that it happened as related by others, like Kurt Koch, as to wonders and miracles that have been trumpeted as proof of the revival being genuine in character compared to other revivals in the history of God’s church. He lists the experiences of very credible eyewitnesses, which contests much of the uncorroborated mainstream acceptances of the revival.
The voices condoning the 1966 revival as genuine outnumber in influence those who disregard its genuineness. It is not my purpose to decide the indisputability of the revival occurrence at Maphumulo in writing this book. My purpose lies elsewhere and thus I will accept that pertaining to the godly element of the revival that indeed God did do a work and God did come to be among those who cried out to him at that time in Maphumulo. I accept that the phenomenon was God-inspired and Godsend. If I therefore do write as if the revival is a undisputed fact, then know that it is for the purpose of this book it is done. In short I could put the purpose in a nutshell as follows: If the revival is accepted as true, what have those who experienced it done with it?
Although it is important to realize that in all revivals there are a godly and human element, one has to accept that God and not man was the author of what happened at Maphumulo in 1966. The almighty sovereign God came down in His power working in sinful people, cleansing and consecrating them, to do His work and preach His Gospel among the Zulu nation. As time went by many other nations would be touched as well and they would too experience the sweet taste of God’s grace and mercy in their lives. Many came to drink at this revival fountain, and the water thereof was taken all over the world as for example Kurt Koch did. The living water God poured out through this revival replenished the thirsty souls of the multitudes. Hundreds, thousands and even millions of people (as claimed by some), would eventually be touched spiritually by the preaching and lives of those who were together when God’s Spirit came as a rushing wind upon men and women in the unassuming cowshed at Maphumulo in 1966. This purity of a true revival that was proclaimed at KSB when we arrived at KSB was heavily compromised from about 2000 onwards and caused many to question the authenticity of the proclaimed revival truths by KSB leaders.
I entered trough the gates of the place Mission Kwasizabantu in 1985 for the first time. A good 19 years after the revival occurred at Maphumulo. My wife and I came seeking; we were spiritually thirsty to the point of dying. The convulsions of an eminent approaching spiritual death were evident in our lives and we needed to find a remedy. We believed, if the testimonies we heard were true, that spiritual healing would be found at this place. We desired the working of God in our lives. I was in my third year of theological studies at The University of Pretoria and my wife and two-year-old son were with me. I was struggling to keep the faith and could not help my wife in finding Christ at all.
Rev. Friedel Stegen and rev. Trevor Dahl were the first to step into our lives with the “living water” so vividly received during the revival at Maphumulo. God in His grace and mercy had compassion on us, and revealed Himself through His servants and the eminent approaching spiritual death was averted to this day. We found the fountain, so impeccably described in John 7:37-39:
Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water’”. But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive.
Our thirst was quenched and life has sprung up in us. We realized that life would never be the same again; we have been renewed in our minds. We received and accepted the doctrines, which precipitated out of the revival and taught to us by God’s servants. We practiced them in diligent obedience to the Word of God. We confessed our sins, how difficult and humbling it might prove to be in the presence of God’s servants. (James 5:16). We received prayer and believed God has forgiven us and justified us in His Son Jesus Christ. We believed God is now present in us through His Word and that we have continuous fellowship with God the Holy Spirit. We simply believed! Sometimes in tears of humiliation one would feel the cleansing from sin being wrought in one’s soul; but oh the joy that flooded our hearts afterwards was sweet, so sweet! God’s Spirit has come to us as well. Thankfulness flooded our hearts. We did not deserve what we received but we were thankful, so thankful to God for His grace freely given to us.
We came to love Christ and we loved his people. We grew in the faith and when I finished my studies at the University of Stellenbosch, we moved permanently to Mission Kwasizabantu. The first three months we stayed in the house of rev. Erlo Stegen and then moved to an apartment attached to the house of rev. Fano Sibisi. We were happy, contend and very satisfied with life. We were missionaries, sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ helping people to find Christ as much as we could. We lived and breathed the “revival” and encouraged one another not to let go of what we have received.
The first and foremost to be noted from the revival phenomenon is the awareness of God through His Spirit among those present. There seems, from reading and hearing the testimonies that a nearly tangible presence of God was discernible. The holy God came down and brought them to their knees, crying out in fear and confessing their sins aloud to seek cleansing from Him so vividly present with them. This experience in all its glorious interpretations became the founding statement of the 1966 Maphumulo revival and the foundation of Mission Kwasizabantu’s life.
What happened in the years to follow till now, belongs to the category of “fruit of the revival” and all experiences, miracles, wonders, healings, conversions and interpretations and observations of such are judged in the light of that moment that God came down to a people seeking His intervention in their lives. Those who experienced the moment of God’s presence and testified to the truth of that Presence will be held accountable to God for their words and works that followed that moment, whether good works or bad works.
One cannot experience the presence of God so concretely and not been changed. The testimonies of the current leadership of Mission Kwasizabantu resonate with God’s working in their lives, changing them into a holy people filled with His Spirit to proclaim His Gospel in word and life. And so should it be, for they were all there “in the beginning of the revival!” Whenever an opportunity is at hand, whether rev. Erlo Stegen is preaching, or ms. Lydia Dube is addressing the youth or mr Jabulane Dube speaks to the co-workers in a meeting or other co-workers relating the revival to visitors, the reality of what happened and the changes wrought in the lives of the people who were there, are told with perceived God honoring honesty to exalt God who came down to His people. Is this no longer true then in the current KSB? Is this reality denied today in the lives of the 1966 “revivalists?” Later chapters will reveal serious concerns.
In the aftermath of that day in 1966 rev. Erlo Stegen has preached many times on Isaiah 6: 1-7:
In the year of King Uzziah’s death I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, lofty and exalted, with the train of His robe filling the temple. 2Seraphim stood above Him, each having six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew.
And one called out to another and said, “Holy, Holy, Holy, is the LORD of hosts, the whole earth is full of His glory.” And the foundations of the thresholds trembled at the voice of him who called out, while the temple was filling with smoke.
Then I said, Woe is me, for I am ruined! Because I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.”
Then one of the seraphim flew to me with a burning coal in his hand, which he had taken from the altar with tongs. He touched my mouth with it and said, “Behold, this has touched your lips; and your iniquity is taken away and your sin is forgiven.”
Together they experienced the holiness of God. This left the group of believers with an impression that their lives and conduct should aspire to equal, or at the very least, to imitate God’s holiness. This overwhelming holiness of God gave rise to the doctrines that precipitated from the revival and became the inherent quality and substance of the preaching, teaching and practice at Mission Kwasizabantu. The indicative of God’s holiness became the imperative of their preaching and conduct because:
As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance, but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; because it is written, “you shall be holy, for I am holy. (1 Peter 1:15)
This in essence represents the revival message the best and people through the years after the revival happened, were most touched by this message of holiness so vividly displayed in word and life of the people associated with Mission Kwasizabantu. Holiness in this unholy world attracted attention across the globe and “holiness” became the associated attribute with Mission Kwasizabantu.
Ms Lydia Dube had a second experience with the living God. She is said to have died and became alive again. During 1973 after being ill, she is said to have died and came back to life. Kurt Koch in Im Paradis (1979) describes her experience in intense detail. She saw visions before she died and spoke to the Lord Jesus in death personally and returned to this world to complete a task not yet finished. Did she die or did she have a vision? Koch is adamant that those around her experienced “death”. Since then she started a youth ministry that has run unceasingly to July 2018. If the truth of this is accepted, one marvels at the magnitude of God revealing Himself to her first in the revival as a child of about 13 years old and a second time in the near-death experience at the age of 21 years. The phenomenal impact of two such spiritual experiences should bring about a human being so filled with God’s quality that just being in her presence should be awe-inspiring; an extraordinary holy person should be the expected result of such experiences. Many times through the years her testimony was given to different audiences and many were blessed. She was highly honored after 1973 and in some quarters even to the point of reverence.
Ms Lydia Dube spoke to the Lord Jesus in person. She recalls her discussion with the Lord as follows as she met with Him in paradise:
In paradise the Lord Jesus called Lydia to Him and said to her – Your friends on earth weep for you. I want to send you back again. – Lydia experienced no resistance against the Lord’s will, although she wanted to remain in paradise. She asked only the following – Lord when I am back on earth, grant me this request that nothing will come between you and me. When the smallest sin wants to enter my life, show it to me immediately. (pp. 63-64).
Whilst discussing all with ms Lydia Dube in 1979 Kurt Koch (p68) asked her:
- Are you not in danger to become haughty as you experience how the Lord is blessing and using you?
- Since coming back to life, the Lord has always shown me when something wanted to sneak into my life. I pray incessantly that I would not miss the goal and I believe, that the Lord helps me, to reach this aim. By my own strength I cannot do it. However, I am in the Lord’s hand, and He will see me through.
This testimony of ms. Lydia Dube is overly authoritative. It empowered her testimony and established a spiritual integrity that drew the Zulu brethren to her with wonderful results. The Zulus said after hearing her testimony that they now belief the story of heaven and paradise to be true. Indeed, ms Lydia Dube was from that time reckoned to be one of them by their own witness. Rev. Erlo Stegen said to Kurt Koch (p67) that his total team of 50 young Zulus at that time was the fruit of Lydia’s experience.
As I said above, flowing from the revival and the experience of the holiness of God precipitated some core doctrines, teachings or doctrines very peculiar to Mission Kwasizabantu. Although these doctrines are all to be found in Scripture, in all of them without exception, a peculiar accent or twist made them atypical to the Bible and typical of the theology of Mission Kwasizabantu. One could highlight confessing of sin, marriage, counseling and church discipline as examples. These were not revealed as such in the moment when God send His Spirit, but developed from the interaction between the revival and the prevailing Zulu culture. It solidified into doctrine over time in what we have today as set doctrines or laws practiced at Mission Kwasizabantu and kept in place with merciless authority in the lives of congregants. It results in an “us and them” attitude pertaining who abides in the ultimate Truth and who does not. This brings about an obvious sectarian testimony that the Mission Kwasizabantu “way” is the only biblical way to obtain entrance to heaven. Breaking away from Mission Kwasizabantu equals thus choosing the world in all its manifestations and denying Jesus Christ the Lord, popularized by the phrase frequently used of those who departed from Mission Kwasizabantu that –they/he/she have left the way! -.
This is what we preach & teach!
Pay close attention to yourself and to your teaching; persevere in these things, for as you do this you will ensure salvation both for yourself and for those who hear you (1 Tim 4:16).
Holding fast the
faithful word, which is in accordance with the teaching, so that he will be
able both to exhort in sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict (Tit
I would like to caution my readers of this chapter not to think that I am penning a groundless critique, born out of revenge or having a grudge, of KSB and its doctrines hereafter. The foundational doctrines are biblical. They should be taught purely and adhered to for a good spiritual life. And I believe that these doctrines are indeed inspired by Scripture as a guide to the child of God for a deep spiritual walk in this world. However, I do offer a critique of the “doing of religion” aspect with which we approach these doctrines and teach them to believers who worship at the congregations of KSB. This is my concern and the concern of many others worshiping at KSB.
From the opening pages of Scripture it has always been the case with the people of God. They receive pure and God ordained doctrines, promised to adhere to it and yet, after some time, compromised or simply discarded the doctrines received from God. The Law received trough Moses and given to God’s people is a clear case in point. KSB should therefore not simply disregard the critique below as malevolent and baseless.
When we came full time to KSB in 1995. I was fresh out of seminary at the University of Stellenbosch having completed my studies at the end of the previous year. My knowledge of the doctrines of the church in general was very perceptive. I have studied doctrine for two years under prof. Willie Jonker and had developed a consciousness for the variants of denominational and ecumenical formulations of doctrinal statements. I just loved to understand the differences in which the denominations would express themselves concerning their doctrines with regard to God the Trinity, The Creation, Man and the Fall of Man, the Church, Heaven and Hell, Angels and Demons and the End Times. However, having studied at two vastly regarded Reformed theological faculties, the University of Pretoria and the University of Stellenbosch, my own doctrinal view was biased towards the Reformed theological view of the doctrinal statements mentioned above.
As we resided, worked and lived at KSB, we gathered from the Sunday service, twofold morning and evening services 6 days of the week and other morning devotions at the School (DSS) and the College (CCE) at KSB the doctrinal understandings prevalent at the Mission. There were no formal gatherings or Bible studies for the teaching of the Bible at KSB. There was also no formal Bible school of any kind to train and educate ministers for the spiritual work at KSB. Any one feeling the calling to go into ministry, male and female, received in service training, going with senior co-workers on outreaches, listening to them and observing their preaching and conduct. After time being allowed to preach and eventually be regarded as a preacher of the word of God. Although both male and female co-workers are allowed to preach the Word only males are entitled to the designation “Reverend”. And of course only males are allowed to preach the main service of the week, the Sunday morning service.
In general, to my understanding, adherents at KSB, have a high view of God as the Creator, God the Son as the Saviour and God the Holy Spirit as the Comforter. There is a particular doctrinal purity that stems from them being taught about the trinity in especially the preaching in those days, late 1980’s and early 1990’s by Erlo Stegen, Friedel Stegen, Trevor Dahl and Kosie Greeff. This was to be expected, as there was a strong Lutheran and Reformed background behind them. Trevor Dahl especially was a good teacher of the Word that would bring to the fore the deep truths and doctrinal statements of Scripture. He had a particular wisdom with the Word of God in counseling people with problems.
The Confessions of faith, The Apostles’ Creed and Darkness to Light Confession of Faith, displayed on the KSB website, have never to my knowledge and experience formally been taught to co-workers or congregants at KSB. Thus, although there seems to be a high view of God at KSB, there is indeed a lack of deeper understanding so foundational to the high view of God. This is especially to be heard in the general preaching about the Trinity. At KSB the Triune God is very much regarded in an individualistic sense as God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Man’s response in preaching, counseling and teaching would then be lined up in this consciousness to the “Individuals” of the Triune God. This inevitably culminates in a “theology of works” because so much focus is placed on man’s response to the three Persons of the Trinity. Signs of God’s working is also equated to the occurrence of prescribed “do’s and don’ts” in the life of the believer. These “do’s and don’ts” is legalistically and habitually linked to experiences during the Revival at Maphumulo in 1966. It is quite common to hear people at KSB say that “the revival taught us this” or “the revival did not teach us so”.
Being an interdenominational undertaking and mission enterprise, Mission Kwasizabantu holds to the Confessions of Faith set out hereafter as the basic doctrine concerning God, man and the church. These two Confessions of Faith is found on the KSB website:
Confession of Faith
The Holy Scriptures, both Old and New Testaments, to be the inspired Word of God, without error in the original manuscripts, the complete revelation of His will for our salvation and the Divine and final authority for all Christian faith and life.
There is one, and only one, true God: Creator and Sustainer of all things, Omnipotent, Omniscient, Omnipresent, Self-existent, Immutable, Spirit, Incomprehensible, Eternal, Sovereign and Master of the universe, infinitely perfect in love, goodness, holiness, and justice.
Within the one Being or essence of God, there eternally exists three distinct yet equal Persons, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.
In the full Deity and full humanity of Jesus Christ. These two distinct natures, perfect deity and perfect humanity, are inseparably united in the one Person.
In Jesus Christ’s virgin birth, sinless life, death on the cross for our sins, burial, bodily resurrection from the dead, ascension into heaven (where at the right hand of God, He is our High Priest, Advocate, Savior, and Lord), and in His visible and bodily return.
In the full Deity and full personality of the Holy Spirit and in His work in regeneration and sanctification, and His work of uniting His Church.
Human beings were created in the image of God, to glorify God and be in fellowship with Him. We, however, rebelled against Him and are now sinners by nature and by choice. We, therefore, stand condemned before God, deserving of His wrath and are unable to reconcile ourselves to Him by any form or amount of human works, merits, or ceremonies.
Salvation comes only by the grace and love of God, through regeneration by the Holy Spirit, repentance of sin, and faith in the Person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ.
In the bodily resurrection of the dead, of the believer to everlasting blessedness and joy with the Lord, of the unbeliever to judgment, everlasting conscious torment and separation from God. We further believe in the conscious existence of all souls between death and resurrection, of the believer in heaven with God, of the unbeliever in Hades apart from the Lord.
In the existence of angels and Satan and his demons. Angels are personal, spirit beings in the service of God. Satan and his demons are personal, spirit beings who are in rebellion against God, His angels, and His people. Their fate of eternal damnation was sealed by Christ at the cross and authority over them and their activities has been granted to all believers.
Mission Kwasizabantu also holds to the Apostles’ Creed:
The Apostles’ Creed
I BELIEVE in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth: And in Jesus Christ his only Son, our Lord; who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried; he descended into hell; the third day he rose again from the dead; he ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead. I believe in the Holy Ghost; the holy catholic* church; the communion of saints; the forgiveness of sins; the resurrection of the body; and the life everlasting. Amen
It is obvious from the above Confessions of Faith that there would be wide acceptance of Mission Kwasizabantu within the Christian African spiritual context, as well as the world wide Christian ecumenical fraternity. Preachers of the Mission have found open doors to preach in all manner of denominations within the global Christian community whether Evangelical, Pentecostal, Orthodox or Non-denominational gatherings. In South Africa the Mission occupied pulpits in mostly Dutch Reformed Churches and outside of its South African borders mostly in Russian Baptist (USA) and Evangelical and Lutheran churches (Europe).
It is understandable that the universal faith confessions would find its most basic application in doctrines that would implicate the day-to-day lives of the congregants. But how does one arrive at a handful of teachings that would sustain a mission enterprise indefinitely? Even to this day, more than 50 years later, the 1966 Revival is proclaimed to be intact, stronger than ever before and part and parcel of the daily life on the Mission. It is common to hear the “revival taught us so and so” and therefore divine authority is most casually attributed to a doctrine and then obedience and adherence to the doctrine becomes non-negotiable and a prerequisite for spirituality.
As stated above, there is no formal theological or bible teaching of any kind at Mission Kwasizabantu. Teaching of biblical truths, doctrinal beliefs and the revival is limited to the Sunday sermon; nightly devotions and accompanying recognized preachers of the Mission on outreaches. Biblical knowledge and spiritual wisdom are “by revelation and not education”, is a favorite dictum at the Mission. A variety of church denominations form the theological background of the co-workers at the Mission. This may represent inter alia Evangelical theology, Reformed theology, Roman Catholicism, African Traditional religion, Pentecostalism or raw heathenism, to name but a few. Without formal theological training the possibility is always real for non-biblical and cultural features to find a place in the practical spiritual life of adherents, as we will see later.
The greater danger, most evident at the Mission, is the reduction of the traditionally accepted doctrinal corpus by Christian churches, to a few biblical doctrines that are needed but compromised. These, in the context of the Mission’s proclaimed 1966 Maphumulu Revival, sustain the current spiritual work of the Mission and form the basis of the preaching. Currently there are only three preachers with formal tertiary theological education residing and working at the Mission. Only the director of Mission Kwasizabantu, rev Erlo Stegen, who has done a Bible School qualification, has any theological influence over the doctrines taught at the Mission. However, for many years now, this theological influence has diminished to become very minimal as he grew older and ill health took its toll. Both male and female preachers are allowed to preach although the Sunday morning services are always considered to exclude female preachers. There are many more female than male preachers. Female preachers do about 80%+ of the morning services whilst the female preachers would do about 60%+ of the evening services.
The lack of any formal teaching of the doctrinal statements, confessions of faith or just basic principles of biblical interpretation gives rise to a lack of theological understanding of the Scriptures. The result is a “theology of works”, where congregants are taught to “make their lives right with God”, lists of do’s and don’ts, to confess their sinful acts to a counselor and to live righteous lives. Confession of sin, in principle, is equated with the working of God in the life of a person. So, also the quantity of people, confessing their sin or staying after the service to speak to a counselor represents the quality of the work of the Holy Spirit at a specific preaching event. It is further obvious that personal aspects of the preacher will play a significant role in the preaching, such as, feelings, personal circumstances, personal encounters, the history of the revival, personal testimony, status within the organization, etc.
The revival of 1966 plays a significant role in the preaching content. Certain aspects and experiences during the revival time have embedded itself within the doctrines that are taught especially with concepts like holiness, choosing a wife and making your life right with God. These will be discussed below. The books Revival Among the Zulus by Erlo Stegen and God Among the Zulus by dr. Kurt Koch are especially helpful to understand the foundation of the teachings of Mission Kwasizabantu. These books relate the verbal testimony of rev Erlo Stegen’s experiences of the 1966 revival at Maphumulo, his testimony in five sermons preached at KSB and witness accounts of the miracles that people experienced. All of these form the basis of the doctrines at the Mission. This testimony of the Revival experiences is supplemented by the memories of those who were part of the revival experiences in 1966. One should note that only the positive memories supplemented the teachings at KSB. Although there are quite a few people who have been at Maphumulo originally and are challenging particular experiences of the revival, the main group who formed Mission Kwasizabantu has prevailed and established what today is known as Mission Kwasizabantu (KSB) notwithstanding these challenges.
So, as can be expected, the doctrinal statements making up the bulk of the teaching and preaching at KSB can be presented by only a handful of statements. These statements represent the “otherness” of KSB with regard to the Christian community at large and give to the KSB community a very distinct spiritual “flavor” or unique Christian character. This may be experienced as a sect-like exclusiveness overall. This exclusivity has been branded the “Kwasizabantu Way” as to be distinguished from the “way of other Christian churches or the way of the world”. The “Kwasizabantu Way” is invariably seen and proclaimed as the “Bible Way” and departing from KSB is consequently regarded as leaving “the Way”, accusing the one leaving of departing from Christ and following the sinful way of the world.
The identity and otherness of KSB is represented by these doctrines and is quickly shared with others in situ as to show KSB’s holy uniqueness in contrast to the church in general which is more into the world as into Christ according to the prevailing view on holiness at KSB. This attitude reminds one much of the character of the Essenes and the Sicarii community of Masada. I will discuss below to what I know, what I have seen and experienced, gathered from the testimonies of people, etc.
So we can identify these few doctrines as the essential doctrines of the KSB theology practiced at the community as it expanses to all branches (congregations) across the globe:
- The KSB way of holiness;
- The KSB way of baptism by the Holy Spirit;
- The KSB way of marriage;
- The KSB way of confessing sin;
- The KSB way of counseling;
- The KSB way of making your life right.
Mission Kwasizabantu has very exact and well-formulated doctrines they adhere to when it relates to the “Way of Kwasizabantu”. These doctrines are preached, taught, counseled and vigorously enforced trough all spiritual and disciplinary procedures whether in the church setting, educational location or working environment.
The KSB way of holiness
Two sets of verses are frequently used to explain the need for holiness at KSB. A multitude of sermons preached at the Mission have been inspired by these verses. In my 24 years living and working at KSB I have heard numerous sermons on these verses and I preached some sermons on it myself as well. The first of the two sets has been of particular interest to rev Erlo Stegen and he has preached some very inspiring and blessed sermons based on Isaiah 6.
The first then, we find in Isaiah 6: 1-4:
1 In the year that King Uzziah died, I had a vision of the Lord. He was on his throne high above, and his robe filled the temple. 2Flaming creatures with six wings each were flying over him. They covered their faces with two of their wings and their bodies with two more. They used the other two wings for flying, 3 as they shouted,
“Holy, holy, holy,
The earth is filled
with your glory.”(CEV)
And the second portion we find in 1 Peter 1:14-16:
14Behave like obedient children. Don’t let your lives be controlled by your desires, as they used to be. 15Always live as God’s holy people should, because God is the one who chose you, and he is holy. 16 That’s why the Scriptures say, “I am the holy God, and you must be holy too.”(CEV)
Holiness is biblical. Make no mistake about it. Without “holiness” no one will see God (Heb. 12:14). So, in Scripture “holiness” is an imperative and every Christian should live a “holy” life. The Hebrew word ‘holy’ (qadosh) probably originally meant ‘separate’ or ‘set apart’. It came to be used to describe the ‘otherness’ of God, and how his character and nature are so much greater and more wonderful than any other person or thing. For something else to be “holy” simply means for it to be dedicated to God. You are holy to the extent that your life is devoted to him and your actions reflect his character. Holiness and wholeness are closely related, and God wants the whole of one’s life. It means to live a life that is set apart from the secular world. A Christian, for instance, who is living a holy life avoids and resists the temptation to sin and focuses his/her attention and energies on God and good works. People who practice holiness are sometimes criticized for being proud or intolerant. However a person who is holy, should mostly be a joy to others because of the qualities of honesty, integrity and love that are a part of a holy person’s life because these also are the qualities of God
This is how the Apostle Paul described life in the holy church body, which is something to be aspired to by all its members. He says in Colossians 3:12-15:
12So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; 13bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you. 14Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity. 15Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful.(NASB)
We are not trying to live a holy life in order to earn salvation; living a holy life is a natural outgrowth of being saved by God’s grace and filled with His Spirit. It is also important to not give up when we mess up. When we fail, our response should be to confess the sin and keep moving forward in our Christian walk (1John1:9). Romans 8:1 reminds us, “There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” God’s grace doesn’t go away when we make mistakes. To live a holy life, to separate ourselves from sin, we must see ourselves as God sees us—as born-again children of the Most High, clothed with the righteousness of Christ and filled with the Holy Spirit. A holy living should be our normal, natural and dedicated day-to-day life. The Holy Spirit will produce Christ-likeness in us and as we yield to Him, we can live a holy life (Galatians 5:16, 25). Holiness is much more a “condition of being” or “ the way I am” as it is simply adhering to some “do’s and don’ts”. Indeed as the apostle Paul Put it in Galatians 2:20-21:
“I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me. 21“I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness comes through the Law, then Christ died needlessly.”(NASB)
And again in 1 Corinthians 1:1-5:
1And when I came to you, brethren, I did not come with superiority of speech or of wisdom, proclaiming to you the testimony of God. 2For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified. 3I was with you in weakness and in fear and in much trembling, 4and my message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, 5so that your faith would not rest on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God.
Surely then, holiness cannot be reduced to some “do’s and don’ts”! Absolutely the first step to living a holy life is to find Jesus as Saviour (Ephesians 1:13). It is vital to understand that apart from God this is impossible. We must have the Holy Spirit indwelling us and filling us with His holiness. We can only live a holy life through the power of the Spirit and by abiding perpetually in God the Spirit.
At KSB, the “doing of holiness” has to a large extend replaced the “being” of holiness. This can undoubtedly be seen in the observed “unholiness of being” manifested in the lives of leaders, co-workers, permanent inhabitants and preachers at KSB. Sin, as the expression of man’s failure to maintain “holiness of being” through “doing holiness” (legalistic living), is undeniably rampant among a community whose “way of life” has lost sight of the Holy One and focused on the methodology of living a holy life as it has precipitated out of the Revival of 1966. To keep the view of holiness untouched to the general congregants the sin among leadership is made known to the inner circle only or secreted for the sake of protecting the image and name of the holy community of KSB.
The “doing of holiness” is an external evil parasite that slowly eats away at the spiritual life of a child of God, inevitably bringing it to a state of hopelessness, spiritual emptiness and the point of giving-up. This “parasite” attaches to every aspect of Christian life and it feeds on the compromised doctrines, which are kept in place by a committed and dedicated leadership that created a religion to replace childlike faith in God. Like a parasitic nematode it destroys its host over time and if it remains undetected the destruction is fatal. Religion does the same and by “doing holiness” people are given false hope that they are true in following Christ by “doing holiness”, yet it is nothing else but the form of godliness that will bring them to “act religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly.(2Tim3: 5 NIT)
Holiness is well articulated in the main doctrines taught at KSB, and so it should be. However, the parasitic religiousness is far more the commoner than the biblical intended holiness the child of God should desire to live by. I would like now to look a bit deeper at the different doctrines and explain the concerns of what I have discussed above.
Drink and Eat (The Sacraments)
The sacraments are of utmost importance in the spiritual walk in the life of the child of God or then the disciple or follower of Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ commanded both. The communion (Luke 22; 1Cor.11) and baptism with water (Matt.28) are both never to be ignored commands for a powerful assured spiritual life. In Matthew 28:19, Jesus tells the disciples to baptize “in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit”, and according to Luke 22:19, Jesus’ final meal climaxes with a command: “Do this in remembrance of me.” The two sacraments are visible signs of an invisible grace.
Communion is served at KSB main campus only. This is done during the Easter time conference, normally on Easter Sunday. Communion is never served at the KSB branches in South Africa, but by the strictest concession to do so. This happens then only once a year. It has always been a very touching and moving occasion. There are many people from diverse backgrounds and young and old participate in the Lord’s Supper although children younger that 12 years are petitioned to refrain from using the Lord’s Supper. It is basically a free for all setting because there is little to no control over those partaking; it is practically impossible to do so in any case considering the quantity and variety of people attending the Easter conference. It is up to the individual believer, under these circumstances, to remain before the Lord and receive the grace ministered through the sacrament with a clear conscience in the Lord. The whole situation suggests that the possibility for “doing holiness or religion” is negligible with regard to the Holy Communion.
Baptism with water is altogether a different story. Baptism takes place very infrequently. It happens once in 3-5 years. Baptism has become a religious ritual within the apostolic Christian church. Kwasizabantu is part of this and have developed their own version of the ritual with ample opportunity for “doing holiness”. Acts 2:38 says:
Peter said to them, “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. (NASB)
Those who accepted the message were baptized. Obviously by expressing their willingness openly to part from the old life, their old gods and idols and to follow Christ as their savior. Then they embraced the teaching of the apostles.
So then, those who had received his word were baptized; and that day there were added about three thousand souls.(Acts2:41 NASB)
At KSB, those who desire to be baptized go through a rigorous process of preparation, cleansing, scrutiny, acceptance or rejection and final confirmation before being allowed to go for the physical baptism during a Sunday service set apart for baptism. The names of those who desire baptism are gathered over time; this may even take some years. During this time they are required to see their spiritual counselors regularly to confess their sins and build up a “testimony of righteous living”. The counselor fulfills a very important roll in the life of the one to be baptized, as the “regular” counselor will be asked for his/her spiritual evaluation of the one to be baptized as the day of baptism approaches.
Once leadership has taken the decision that baptism will take place, a date is set and the branches of KSB in Southern Africa are informed. Those whose names have been forwarded to KSB through the years are invited to attend special services for baptism at the Mission. There may be several weeks of special services mostly done over weekends and the last week where those to be baptized would attend daily services. During this last week selected counselors are in attendance and baptismal attendees are encouraged to confess their sin to these counselors. The last evening, Saturday evening, the baptismal attendees are brought before the KSB congregation and then anyone in the congregation can speak out against a baptismal attendee whose life is believed to be not in right standing before God. The baptismal counselors in collaboration with the personal counselors of the baptismal attendees then scrutinize all attendees and the list is finalized for baptism.
This whole process is fraud with “doing holiness”. The baptismal attendee is expected to “provide” a holy life to be adjudicated in right standing with God to be accepted for baptism. The bizarreness of the process is highlighted in that baptism for an attendee is refused if not all services are attended or some negative thoughts about the attendee is shared by a counselor or other person. It is a humanly controlled process where procedural correctness is elevated beyond the mere working of God the Holy Spirit in the heart and life of the one who desires to be baptized. The failure of this ritualistic process shows in the high volume of baptized persons who eventually leaves the “KSB Way” after baptism.
The Holy Spirit and the Holy Spirit again (Baptism with the Holy Spirit)
The doctrine concerning God the Holy Spirit is a core teaching in the Church of Jesus Christ. God the Holy Spirit is the third Person of the Trinity and is God! I am not criticizing the doctrine, far be it from such! The baptizing with the Holy Spirit has been a blessing to many, even at KSB. I am not criticizing the doctrine of being baptized with the Holy Spirit. Not at all. I am very concerned for how this doctrine is practiced in the reality of the life of the congregation at KSB. The “doing of religion” with the doctrine and how co-workers and leaders misappropriate the doctrine of being baptized with God the Holy Spirit. That is my concern.
This is one of the most guarded rituals at KSB. It is not openly spoken about and not taught in the preaching but shared in special meetings and by co-workers with others. Those who have received the baptism with the Holy Spirit are also never revealed or introduced to the body of Christ. The whole of the occurrence is veiled in secrecy. It is an “upper room” ritual, so called because it takes place in an upper room or second floor meeting place at KSB. It is sometimes referred to as the “upper room experience”. There is the underlying fear at KSB that the Mission would be regarded as Charismatic or Pentecostal in the eyes of the more conservative groups like the Reformed churches or Baptist churches in the USA if the baptism with the Holy Spirit is openly declared. “Doing religion” in this case brings about elitism; the belief or attitude that individuals who form an elite—a select group of people with a certain spiritual upper room experience—are more likely to be constructive to Kwasizabantu as a whole, and therefore deserve influence or authority greater than that of others.
People who have gone through this ritual to be baptized with the Holy Spirit are told not to share or speak about it. It is meant for some and definitely not for all in the church of Jesus Christ. The same rigorous ritualistic process applied during baptism applies to the process to be baptized with God the Holy Spirit. I have not been baptized with the Holy Spirit at KSB. I desired it with all my heart. When the special services started at one time I arrived two days late from a preaching outreach to the USA. I was refused to partake in the services because I did not attend all meetings and thus also entrance to the upper room was refused. However, I have a recording of a co-worker describing his baptism with God the Holy Spirit as well as the two personal testimonies of two co-workers who went through the upper room experience. One received baptism and one did not after the laying on of hands and prayer. There are some other snippets I have heard as well and read some written testimonies in books as well.
Those who make it to the upper room are really the “cream” of the brethren and elevated to a higher level of spirituality than others. Those who have experienced the upper room experience have told me blatantly on some occasions: “you don’t have the Spirit”, meaning you have not been at the “upper room”. In the upper room rev Erlo Stegen will lay hands on the kneeling person and pray for the baptism with the Holy Spirit. The “sign” of His presence is a feeling of warmth, heat or a burning sensation. In the case of the recorded testimony the co-worker experienced a burning sensation on the head and ears that moved down his spine. So much so that he called out: “Rev Stegen, I am burning!” This was a sure sign to all that he received the baptism with God the Holy Spirit. The one co-worker that did not experience the baptism with the Holy Spirit did not feel any heat. She was prayed for again, yet no warmth entered her body. God had passed her by. She testified how devastated she was and a counselor told her there must be some un-confessed sin in her life still and that is why the Lord passed her by.
Compared to the Bible there are some distinct differences that one may discern. The four instances in Acts that relate the filling, reception or baptism with the Holy Spirit did not happen in secret but were in-your-face-manifestations that had purpose and results as God ordained it. Thousands were touched by His presence in the presence of the multitudes. There was no secrecy at all. God wanted people to see and experience His real presence in people. It was openly to the benefit of Christ’s body, the church. It amazed, encouraged and inspired people and also raised and uplifted God. Because of the true presence of God people repented, was drawn onto Christ and added to the body of Christians. I would be less harsh in my criticism if the “doing of religion” was not so openly flaunted in the ritualism of the whole process. Why all the secrecy? Why the pride associated with this special “class” of people? Why then do these then fall into the worst of imaginable sin and cover it up? When we “do religion” it is always at the cost of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Sit down and let’s talk (Counseling)
Counseling is biblical and there are numerous texts to support its presence in the church of Jesus Christ. Godly counseling does take place by the grace and mercy of God at KSB. There is no doubt about it. However, I would like to expose the devilish “doing of religion” practices that have infiltrated that what is godly at KSB. I have found healing through counseling in many matters of my life. I am thankful for God for my godly counselors assisting me in my walk with Christ.
All preachers are counselors but not all counselors are preachers at KSB. At the Mission counseling is regarded as a gift or calling of God the Holy Spirit meant only for some. And this is true because God the Holy Spirit gives gifts to edify the church as is needed. Counseling is a meeting in the presence of God. It is between God, the counselee and the counselor. What happens there should stay there, never to be spoken about unless the counselee gives permission to do so. That is the essence of counseling. The counselee confesses sin, ask God for forgiveness, ask for prayer and the counselor is the witness to this. He/she is also the spiritual advisor and teacher of the Word to the counselee. Counseling should be a highly spiritual experience to both counselee and counselor. Therefore the counselor should abide in the Spirit and keep in step with the Spirit (Gal.5:25) at all times. So Scripture duly advises the counselor:
“My friends, you are spiritual. So if someone is trapped in sin, you should gently lead that person back to the right path. But watch out, and don’t be tempted yourself.”(Gal.6:1 CEV).
If we then regard the above as spiritual guideline, counselors should be very careful how they fulfill their roles as counselors in the life of the church and know they are accountable to God for their conduct overall in the counseling relationship. At KSB it is prescribed that everyone should have a counselor and if one does not have a counselor, KSB will provide a counselor..
Counseling at KSB is very much related to the confession of sin. These two moments are undeniably and intrinsically linked as an all-inclusive process. What happens when counseling becomes “doing religion”? First of all, counseling becomes an information gathering process where the counselee’s confession and matters shared are taken to others who accumulate, evaluate and manipulate the gathered information. It also becomes a system that reaches out to congregants in the congregations of KSB to gather information about others in the congregations through the counselors and again, all this information is collected and shared with those who manipulate the counseling system. Thirdly, counselors are told, when a counselee confess something significant or shares relevant information during counseling, to immediately report it to the elders or leaders of KSB. The reality of this “dead” spirituality, expresses itself when senior co-workers and counselors, fall into sexual sin with counselees, tell lies to gather information with predetermination and set up counselees for privileges and rewards because they are compliant to the appeals of the leaders.
Tell me your sin (Confession of sin)
It is impossible to do right to the overall doctrine of Confession of Sin in only a few paragraphs. I have to treat the matter superficially at best for the purpose of this argument. Confession of sin is demanded by God in Scripture. It is biblical and should be part of the Christia’s walk every day. The Lord Jesus taught it to His disciples as did God the Father to His people through Moses and it is clearly articulated in the the Wisdom literature of the Bible. Yet, again I reiterate, the doctrine of confessing one’s sin is a true teaching of Scripture. the concern is this; what has it become in the hands of God’s co-workers at KSB?
sin is biblical. There are many verses in God’s Word that guides believers in
the practice that could be described as “spiritual breathing”. Just read
Numbers 5:5-10, Proverbs 28: 13 and James 5:16.
Righteous living, implies living in peace with God and your neighbor (Heb. 12:14), confessing your wrongs to God and one another (Num. 5:10ff), receiving and giving forgiveness (Matt.6:14) and getting on with your life in faith believing that you have received mercy (Prov. 28:13). Then living a transparent spiritual or Christian life as 1John 1:6-10 instruct us:
6If we say we share in life with God and keep on living in the dark, we are lying and are not living by the truth. 7 But if we live in the light, as God does, we share in life with each other. And the blood of his Son Jesus washes all our sins away. 8If we say we have not sinned, we are fooling ourselves, and the truth isn’t in our hearts. 9But if we confess our sins to God, he can always be trusted to forgive us and take our sins away. 10If we say we have not sinned, we make God a liar, and his message isn’t in our hearts. (CEV)
This is the basic doctrine in the Bible. It is something that happens between the sinner, the victim and God.
But KSB has put a twist to this doctrine by way of “doing religion”. Sin has to be confessed in the presence of the counselor, understood by the greater KSB community to mean “to the counselor”. Even when one has confessed to the Lord, an opportunity has to be made in future to confess to the counselor again and to receive prayer for forgiveness of the sin. Congregants are encouraged to write down their sins for any one sin not confessed may cause the sinner to end up in hell. Whilst confession of wrongs or sin is indeed biblical, the excessive role of the counselor within the KSB religious life is not Scriptural as it goes beyond the James 5:16 guideline. The danger lurking in the KSB sanctioned process is this; the atoning death of Christ for our sin, is made subsequent to confessing the sin to the counselor. Acknowledging and confessing our sin to Christ can never be made of lesser significance than confessing sin in the presence of the counselor.
Should one indeed argue for the “counselor” to be biblically ordained in the process, based on a quantitative view of all the verses and occurrences found in the Bible with reference to confessing sin, one should consider the holiness of the confessing moment as it takes place in the real presence of Christ under the unction of God the Holy Spirit. Then indeed we are talking about something sacrosanct happening that should just stay between God, the counselor and the counselee. It can go nowhere because of the finality and conclusion of the matter in the presence of God. Then confession may never become or be intended as an information gathering sequence, as it is done at KSB. Also a counselor may never report on what has been confessed by a counselee to leaders as it is done at KSB and a counselor may never speak about what has been said by a counselee as has been done at KSB. Then indeed we are “doing religion” instead of living Christ. The depth of this deception is the fact that everyone living at KSB, permanent resident or school child or student is “decreed” to have a counselor. If one does not have a counselor by own choice, a counselor is provided. Visitors to KSB are advised to become the services of a counselor by going to Reception and be referred to a counselor. This obviously carries through to the KSB branches where the same system is in place. This flies in the face of godly counseling as set out in Scripture.
Make your life right (The do’s and and Don’t’s)
The truth of this was never as pertinent to me as when I went to America to help establish a branch of the Mission in Tulsa, Oklahoma. In Tulsa, I was confronted with my own theology as never before. This internal spiritual confrontation shattered my preconceived ideas and rattled my spirituality. I submerged myself into the Word of God, seeking answers to my failure to bring people to the cross and being the cause of driving people away from the Gospel rather than facilitating repentance and departing from sinful lifestyles. I explored the depths of my faith and teachings and found a theology of works rather than the theology of grace and I was disgusted at myself for being so blind. I was all along “doing religion” whilst preaching the Word of God. A dear brother in the congregation of Tulsa said to me: “You are preaching the Word pure just as Kwasizabantu do, but your preaching is dry and without life!” The impact of this statement on me as a preacher drove me to my knees. I looked at what I preached and found a “theology of do’s and don’ts.” I understood, I was teaching the “KSB Way”, instead of bringing people to the cross of Jesus Christ.
This kind of theology is judgmental to the core. It is a theology based on what is decidedly sin, wrong and under God’s wrath. So “holiness”, the quality of God’s character, is then described in terms of the absence of certain “sins” in the life of the believer. At KSB, these are linked to the otherness of KSB to the global Christian community. The definitive revelations to the KSB community stem from the proclaimed 1966 Maphumulo Revival and revelations to Thofozi Dube during her reported “death” experience. I assume that there is a substantial Zulu cultural influence as well. All this is justified in relationship to the command in 1Peter1:15:
5Always live as God’s holy people should, because God is the one who chose you, and he is holy. 16 That’s why the Scriptures say, “I am the holy God, and you must be holy too.”(CEV)
The phrase “Make your life right” or question “Have you made your life right with God?” is common at KSB. It implies that you have been to a counselor to confess your sin and rid your life from observable sin. You have then complied with doing the “KSB Way” because “at KSB we don’t do certain things” because it is decidedly sinful. Should one argue against certain things then one is simply taught, “every school has its rules”. These specifics are also reflected in the KSB Code of Conduct and all other codes of conduct are subservient to the KSB Code of Conduct. It is common to liken these “sins” to worldliness and therefore contra holiness in the life of a child of God. “Holiness” is legalistically applied in terms of the following which are judges as “sin” in the KSB context.
The list includes the following: coloring hair, using make up, wearing jewelry other than a wedding ring are all sinful, wearing lipstick, women wearing pants is sinful, wearing jeans or wearing clothes made from jean material is sinful, wearing hair in fashionable styles is worldly and sinful, women wearing either ankle length dresses or dresses or skirts above the knees is sinful, etc. Amorous relationship gets one expelled from the School, College or KSB Community because it is impure and sinful. Speaking to the opposite sex outside of formal settings or being found in the presence of the opposite sex alone or texting the opposite sex on the mobile phone are serious wrongs. Zulu girls are expected to cut their hair very short, to the skin of the head for long hair is worldly for a Zulu girl. This has caused much trauma for girls from other African countries studying at KSB and has been enforced as a chaste way of life. Zulu women may not braid their hair, straighten their hair or put extensions to their hair. Obviously for European girls a different set of do’s and don’ts is in place. When a woman (Zulu) marries she has to cover her head with a cloth. Braided hair hidden under the head covering is quite common then.
Although holiness, purity and soberness in the Christian’s life are to be cherished and pursued, it is the branding of the above and legalistic and discriminatory application thereof for different races, that brings about a “doing of religion” instead of a life-giving faith in Christ. Therefore, Kwasizabantu is very discernable for its legalistic approach to Christian living as much as the Amish and Mennonites within their own legalistic structures. Legalism is always detrimental to the Gospel and cause of Jesus Christ in this world. Many a life of God’s people and even families have been destroyed by this legalism and decidedly “pure” approach to “holiness” at KSB. I have seen the pain in people and even caused pain in God’s people myself when I promoted the “KSB Way” of legalism instead of just preaching the Gospel of Christ Jesus our Lord.
God showed me a girl (Marriage)
This may be the most contentious doctrine at KSB. Holiness, chastity, purity, virginity are all godly characteristics that should be cherished in the lives of Christian youth. The following portion of Scripture may well be the summary of the foundation of what is taught at KSB regarding marriage:
3It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; 4that each of you should learn to control your own body a in a way that is holy and honorable, 5not in passionate lust like the pagans, who do not know God; 6and that in this matter no one should wrong or take advantage of a brother or sister. b The Lord will punish all those who commit such sins, as we told you and warned you before. 7For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life. 8Therefore, anyone who rejects this instruction does not reject a human being but God, the very God who gives you his Holy Spirit.(NIV)
Holiness, chastity, purity, virginity are “conditions of being” in Christ Jesus the Lord. It pertains to the spiritual as well as the physical condition of ones life. It simply has to do with living a revived life in Christ, the condition of His life pored into the spiritual and physical body of the believer. It flows from a total love in the believer for his/her God, a love of all the heart, all the soul, all the mind and all the strength. Jesus said it as follows in Mark 12:33:
33and to love Him with all your heart and with all your understanding and with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself, which is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.”
Being in Christ, following Christ and being His disciple and living in the Spirit should guarantee the condition of holiness expressed as chastity, purity and virginity in the life of the young person. In the event that we as leaders, co-workers, preachers, elders and parents fail to bring this about, fail to teach our children such spiritual walk with Christ, fail to lead our children to the Lord, we need laws to govern the conduct of our children to the point of marriage. Such laws are legalistic, judgmental, discriminatory, and hurtful and bear little spiritual fruit. It breeds distrust, suspicion, and disbelief and brings much division, pain and rejection. It encourages children and young people to lie, deny, and hide away and to forsake God’s way for their lives. Inevitably rejection and bitterness and utter disillusionment drive them away from parents and the KSB community being labeled that they have forsaken the “KSB Way”. During a full co-workers meeting at KSB, 120 plus co-workers, a leader chairing the meeting, told those in attendance, that they should remember, that my wife and I did not marry the way people marry at KSB. It is a mark, like the mark of the beast; you carry it with you in the KSB community even being tolerated as fellow co-worker for 24 years! But that is the way of legalism or “doing holiness” or “doing religion”.
The origin of the law of marriage, as it pertains to KSB, is the result of dreams of a young man and young girl had in the late 1960’s after the Maphumulu Revival occurred. Dream believed to be a directive from God of how marriage should be done at KSB. Thus, when a man finds a woman he wants to marry, he speaks to his counselor who will refer him to the leaders and eventually to rev Stegen. He is not allowed to speak to her, her father or any one else about his intentions. “Find” may be by seeing a particular girl, having dreamt about a particular girl, finding her name in the Bible or any other possible reason that could focus the man on the particular girl as a future wife. He has to pray, talk and pray with his counselor and then, when sure, refer to the leaders.
In short then when it pertains to marriage, the KSB law states there should be no contact between members of the opposite sex. When all prerequisites are judged to be positively satisfied, rev. Stegen will call the girl and tell her about the marriage proposal. She has to pray about the matter and seek confirmation in God and return with an answer, whether yes or no. If yes, the engagement is arranged and thereafter the marriage takes place.
I don’t want to discuss the finer detail of the KSB marriage law here. It will take up to much space. For me, I wholly agree that the principles of holiness, chastity, purity and virginity as “conditions of being” in Christ Jesus the Lord should be preserved. That is what the Bible teaches. The Bible teaches purity before marriage as the godly way for all young people. However, when we formulate a law, we are the owner of that law, it is ours to enforce or not to enforce, to apply as is, change or compromise, to apply it diligently or haphazardly or ignore it altogether. The Bible teaches us the when it comes to the Law, no one can satisfy its statutes, eventually it leads to death. It is no different with our own laws; it brings more spiritual death and destruction than life to the community of believers.
In “doing holiness” or “doing religion”, the KSB law of marriage becomes at times a wrecking ball of destruction in the hands of the overseers. More potential marriages have been wrecked than the total marriages officiated at KSB. There is a cloud of witnesses testifying that leaders (co-workers) have interfered in the process or choice of a partner, even when things are done according to the KSB marriage law. Young people who wanted to be married, and who had contact with one another before, were told to abstain from contact for at least three months and then return for the process to be concluded. In another case the leaders refused to officiate the marriage because the young man and woman has been in a relationship at school, albeit there was no contact with one another for six years after school. In another case a co-workers child married totally “in the world” and not the “KSB Way”. It was accepted as God’s will and the KSB law was totally suspended. The subjectivity involved in applying an objective law is devastating within a spiritual community seeking to do the will of God and confuses the member in the pew.
It is very sad to understand that a spiritual yet devilish monster has infiltrated the KSB community. We can name it “Doing Holiness” or “Doing Religion”. Nevertheless the sum total of its doings is a “theology of works” that gives to the congregant a false assurance that “all is well with my soul”. The theologically corrupted spiritual leadership is essentially to blame for this situation. They are blinded and would not listen to those who warn them of the approaching spiritual devastation to be inflicted on KSB globally. The fallout of this is evident in the lives of the leaders, co-workers, elders of the congregations and others.
In Jeremiah 6:16 we find God speaking to His people. Will KSB respond as did Gods people?
Thus saith the
Lord, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths of the Lord; and
see what is the good way, and walk in it, and ye shall find purification for
your souls. But they said, We will not walk in them. (BST)
A bouquet of blessings.
1“Now it shall be, if you diligently obey the LORD your God, being careful to do all His commandments which I command you today, the LORD your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth. 2“All these blessings will come upon you and overtake you if you obey the LORD your God: 3“Blessed shall you be in the city, and blessed shall you be in the country. (Deut 28: 1-3. NASB)
15“But it shall come about, if you do
not obey the LORD your God, to observe to do all His commandments and His
statutes with which I charge you today, that all these curses will come upon
you and overtake you: “Cursed shall you be in the city, and cursed shall you be
in the country. (Deut 28: 15-16. NASB)
- Paprika and Avocados
- Some more!
If we argue that what we have is because of God blessing us, our accountability for what we do with that what God gives, is always to God. I will argue that God in his grace and mercy has blessed and blesses KSB. When He blesses KSB with all that is set out below, it is for His church and the work that is to be done in His Name. It should be to the benefit of His people who constitute His church at and through KSB. It can never be to the benefit of a single person or a group of people within KSB. No matter how much we hold the “man of God” or his co-workers in high esteem, they may never benefit excessively at the cost of God’s work or God’s church. The honour and glory always belongs to God and God only and the financial blessings should be administered in all humbleness to God’s people and work. However, what happened and happens with the blessings, the financial gain and profit, is of utmost importance.
God blesses His people because He loves His people and He plans for them to receive what is good from His hands. By this God is honoured and His name is uplifted. KSB has received its “fair” share of God’s goodness and blessings through the years and God has received much glory through what He had granted to KSB in its existence at Kwasizabantu since the revival happened in 1966. The intentions of God for His people is made abundantly clear in Jeremiah 29: 11:
‘For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope. (NASB)
As Moses was the instrument of blessing to God’s people in the Old Testament, Erlo Stegen was the instrument of blessing to God’s post Maphumulo congregations. I think any opinion that would negate this, will do injustice to God’s intentions for His people that gathered at Kwasizabantu in the years after the revival at Maphumulu. That being the case, the magnitude of what constitute the KSB “empire”, should exalt, uplift and glorify the Triune God and be solely to the benefit of God’s work. I am also of the opinion that it is natural, good and right to acknowledge and respect rev. Erlo Stegen for what has been accomplished for the sake of God’s case at KSB in this world.
Mission Kwasizabantu is a huge organization. It may be divided into the spiritual entity, known as KSB and the financial entities, Ekhamanzi Springs and Emseni Farming. I will give some information on the financial entities below and I quote extensively from the websites. The land and businesses of Kwasizabantu are owned by the mission, which is supervised by a board of trustees. Profits go hypothetically towards running Kwasizabantu as well as other mission stations they have set up on African soil.
In 1997 a uniquely wholesome brand of water was born. After testing a natural water source buried in the heart of KwaZulu-Natal and finding it was too good not to share, the water was bottled and branded “aQuellé”. aQuellé is a hybrid of the Latin word ‘aqua’, meaning water and the German word ‘Quelle’ meaning spring. aQuellé then introduced typically South African flavours in 1998 and we have seen our flavoured drinks range grow as it now offers 10 refreshing flavours. It’s no wonder then that aQuellé is loved by all South Africans.
The aQuellé bottling plant, which has grown from a mere 360 square meters in 1998 to over 18 000 square meters to date. In 2016, aQuellé acquired a secondary plant in Franschhoek, which supplies the Western Cape area. As with the main bottling plant, the Franschhoek natural spring water is of exceptional quality and taste.
In the bottling plant, the unique, customized bottles are blown in-line. The water is flavoured and carbonated, and then bottled in a completely sterile environment. The plant is equipped with the latest filling technology and state-of-the-art machinery and processes; all to make sure that when you enjoy your aQuellé you have a genuinely good experience. After being labeled and shrink-wrapped, the product is palletized and ready for distribution to all aQuellé’s eager customers!
Since 1991, Bonlé has been producing, as the name says it, “good milk” products in the heart of beautiful KZN. A total of 4 000l of milk passes through the dairy each day, churning out an extensive range of yoghurts, milk and cream.
At Bonlé, people are passionate about creating delicious taste and outstanding quality. At Bonlé, management stuck to old traditional methods of making good yoghurt with supreme quality. The supreme yoghurt range is diabetic friendly and is endorsed by GIFSA. Traditionally made for supreme quality and the finest taste.
4.4 Paprika and Avocados
Emseni Farming is one of the biggest sweet pepper (Paprika) producers in the country. It’s a project that keeps on growing and to date Vegtech has completed more than 10 hectares of high-tech greenhouses, with further expansions already planned. Record yields have again been achieved, and already, Emseni Farming and Vegtech, together, are planning further expansion.
The main commercial crops grown are avocados and peppers. Peppers are grown in 2ha of state-of-the-art greenhouses and yield on average 17kg/m2 to 19kg/m2, or 450 000kg of peppers each year. Avocado trees produce tens of thousands of cartons annually; a sum, which grows each year as trees mature, and yields improve. About 50 000 cartons, or 50% to 60% of the crop, are exported each year, mainly to the UK through Halls, the agent in Nelspruit. Avocado trees cover about 100ha, planted at a distance of 7,5m x 4m from one another. Five varieties of avocado are grown: Fuerte, Hass, Pinkerton, Ryan and Edranol.
4.5 Some more!
A jam factory produces 1000 bottles of jams and pickles a month. A pasta factory produces 180 bags of pasta a day, five days a week. Honey from beehives dotted among the commercial avocado orchards oozes into 1 500 bottles a month. KSB also manages a supermarket, Emseni Saverite Store.
Donations to KSB come from all over the world. Millions of Rands are donated in money or goods. This is because people want to support God and God’s effort in this world. Giving financial support by believers to KSB obviously acknowledges the Mission in the eyes of the Christian global community as God’s instrument through which God works in this world, nationally and globally.
The financial information of all of these and more is not readily available. There is no way to know what profit is annually made as this information is not shared information. But the profits on all these enterprises add into millions of Rands. However, knowing the financial information or not, the visual evidence of God’s blessing is there for all to see. If we read this chapter in conjunction with the previous, and the next chapters, the circumstantial picture created will suffice to support the hypothesis I am reporting.
4.6 Ethos & Ethic
The prevailing ethos at any of the financial and educational establishments at the Mission is that it is part of God’s work. Whoever works at any of the money generating enterprises is under no illusion about the purposeful existence thereof. This ethos (spirit, character, atmosphere or climate) filters through as a fundamental attitude and objective to the work ethic. Therefore remuneration is linked to the ethos and work ethic to the point that only government approved minimum wages are paid as the profit has to be maximized for the work of God to be done by KSB. In principle, this may be accepted as a work ethic principle based on a straightforward ethos that in any case infuses all enterprises at the Mission.
But, this ethos and work ethic demands fairness and above anything else that such profit made for God, be morally and especially biblically dispersed free of any corruption whatsoever in the work of God. If this is not done, then the leadership at KSB would not only be guilty before God, but also guilty before every soul that works in the establishments directly and indirectly. Obviously this is true also for money received as tithes or donations from people or organizations. If these monies, given by people for the work of God and support of God’s people are corrupted, then the core or foundation of the existence of KSB has been dishonored. If the foundation is dishonored, then in effect Christ has been rejected. This truth may highlighted in what God said to Samuel:
…6But when they said, “Give us a king to judge us,” their demand was displeasing in the sight of Samuel; so he prayed to the LORD. 7And the LORD said to Samuel, “Listen to the voice of the people in all that they say to you, for it is not you they have rejected, but they have rejected Me as their king. 8They are doing to you just as they have done from the day I brought them up out of Egypt until this day, forsaking Me and serving other gods.…(1SAm
See the next
two chapters for a further exposition and clarification of the hypothesis set
forth in this chapter.
the king called together all the elders of Judah and Jerusalem. 2He
went up to the temple of the Lord with the people of Judah, the
inhabitants of Jerusalem, the priests and the prophets—all the people from the
least to the greatest. He read in their hearing all the words of the Book of
the Covenant, which had been found in the temple of the Lord. 3The king stood by the pillar and
renewed the covenant in the presence of the Lord—to follow the Lord and keep his commands, statutes and
decrees with all his heart and all his soul, thus confirming the words of the
covenant written in this book. Then all the people pledged themselves to the
5.2 The Zambesi River connection.
5.3 The Dutch queen will help.
5.4 The couriers.
5.5 Bags stuffed with money.
5.6 Lies or truth.
Why this chapter?
The story of the millions of Rands “lost” at KSB reads like a Sherlock Holmes story. If true, and all indications are that it is true, it contains all the aspects of an intriguing police story with the entire specifics needed to excite and to thrill. There is money, lots of it, murder and corpses, stealth deliveries of “stuffed moneybags” and “money filled envelopes” at night to unknown people, deliveries by car and by plane at various places, guns, hijackings and killing of people presumed to be foreign agents. Good guys turned bad guys and a Church involved fighting darkness, good guys being deceived and then themselves deceiving others. A plot, a plan and money lost. There is an open-ended setting because the story is still being written; the end is yet to come!
Money is a powerful thing. We, who live in South Africa, are daily confronted with corruption in the government of South Africa and all because of money. Just think of the Guptas and Watson’s Bosasa, and don’t forget ESKOM as most recent examples. The love of money corrupts extensively. But, the Church of Jesus Christ is called to be above the love for money. Our Saviour warned that money could become a “god” in one’s life and “no one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money” (Matt 6:24. NIV).It is very clear, is it not?
And again Jesus said:” Whoever is faithful in very little is also faithful in much, and whoever is unrighteous in very little is also unrighteous in much. 11 So if you have not been faithful with worldly wealth, who will trust you with what is genuine?” (Lk 16:10-11. CSB). So this then is also very clear.
The abuse of money at KSB has been a contentious issue since stories started to leak about it at KSB over the past three years. The whole issue is clouded in secrecy and covert intention. This does not sit well with a church or mission organization, which proclaims:
5Jesus told us God is light and doesn’t have any darkness in him. Now we are telling you. 6If we say we share in life with God and keep on living in the dark, we are lying and are not living by the truth. 7 But if we live in the light, as God does, we share in life with each other. And the blood of his Son Jesus washes all our sins away. 8If we say we have not sinned, we are fooling ourselves, and the truth isn’t in our hearts. 9But if we confess our sins to God, he can always be trusted to forgive us and take our sins away. 10If we say we have not sinned, we make God a liar, and his message isn’t in our hearts. (1John1: 5-10 CEV)
This truth of Scripture guides me to lay bare the lies we are hearing at KSB which deny the spiritual truth we preach as quoted above. I have asked many times for clarity about the money matters and received all kinds of stories in return. Reverend Stegen spoke about murdered Dutch people put in a container and dumped in the Zambezi River as the reason for the money being given away in secrecy. I will mention it below in somewhat more detail. A second reason given to me and others is that this money is given to Judge X, as he and his team is preparing a case against the then president Zuma to be fought in the International Criminal Court in Den Haag for Crimes against Humanity in South Africa. Detlef said to someone that the money is needed because some politician did something wrong in parliament and the Mission is helping this politician. Thofozi told how Judge X arranged that thirty agents came to fetch her at KSB to meet with him in person, however they where ambushed on their way to KSB and 28 were killed. Whatever the truth, it had not been forthcoming at all. Uncle Friedel just simply said he does not know where the money has gone. Others won’t even speak to me concerning these matters.
We are not talking about a few thousand worth of Rands. We are talking about millions of Rands. Reverend Stegen personally mentioned an amount of R60 million during January 2018. Someone mentioned an amount as much as R100 million plus. I don’t know how much money is at stake. I accept for now that reverend Stegen may have spoken the truth by claiming that R60 million had been delivered in cash because the higher amount cannot be proofed to be anything else but speculation at this stage. I don’t believe that reverend Stegen lied when he said these things.
This problem with the money may easily be solved in the light of Scripture. The Mission leadership should be in the light and release a formal statement on the issue, saying how much money had been delivered in cash since 2015, to whom it was given and for what reason it was given. The Mission leadership should state why they did this covertly and if SARS knows about it. The Mission leadership should also state how the KSB auditors have reflected these amounts in the annual financial statements of KSB, aQuellé and Emseni Farming. More important even from a spiritual perspective, also those involved in the covert actions should appear before the co-workers and church and explain themselves concerning this covert project openly. That goes for all involved, leadership and co-workers so that no darkness remains concerning this matter.
I have tried to find the truth. This journey to find the truth and what I could uncover is related below. I have tried to stay with reliable sources that shared information with me. I relate what I could validate to the point of what is mentioned and written, is conceivable to be true. Some dependable people do not want me to relate what they have told me. But they have been invaluable to establish validity of what people related to me and to discern facts from fiction. They were deeply involved as well. They fear for their families. In any case, in what I share, it does not seem that KSB had been good caretakers of God’s household. It should never have come to this point where truth is sought in this manner. However, I believe it is God’s money and we should give account of how we use or abuse His money.
The glow of the moon falls gently on Mission Kwasizabantu. All is quiet. It is just after 11pm. The sound of voices disturbs the quietness. The sound comes from the garage at reverend Stegen’s house. The children have counted and packed the money in a cooler box and plastic bag. The stuffed cooler box and bag are loaded into the Fortuner. Used notes collected from the SPAR stores at Dalton and Harding made this delivery possible. There is a million Rand’s worth of cash tightly packed in the cooler box and bag.
One of the sons in law looks at his watch. It is 11h20 pm and time to go. It is his fifth trip delivering money. Tonight he is going with his wife. Previous trips he was accompanied by one of his brothers-in-law. But tonight his wife will go with him. He touches the pistol under his shirt and feels somewhat comforted. It doesn’t matter how many times one does this, there is always some anxiety and doubt about what he is doing. As usual there will be no observers when they leave; leaving this late at night when just about all are sleeping peacefully at the Mission is best. No one will be the wiser to their late-night activities. He goes upstairs to his father-in-law to ask for a prayer for save traveling tonight.
It is 11h35 when the car moves through the security gate at the Mission’s entrance. The security guard sleepily waves them through. He makes a right turn on the R74 and settles himself in the seat for the three-hour drive ahead. They are only heading to Van Reenen tonight and not Rand Airport like the previous time he went with another of the siblings. Thankfully there will be not much traffic on the road this time of night. Nevertheless his eyes return frequently to the rearview mirror to make sure there are no cars following them.
Just before 3am they turn into the Caltex petrol port at the top of Van Reenen. They drive slowly towards the parking area. A white Mercedez Benz is parked all by itself and he drives slowly towards the parked car. As he parks the Fortuner next to it, the front doors of the Mercedez Benz opens and two men get out of the car. The one he recognizes as Moses Ndlela. The other one is most probably a bodyguard.
Ndlela does not waste time. He wants to go. Like previous times he is only interested to lay hold to the “moneybags” and leave. In less than ten minutes he is looking at the rear lights of the Mercedez Benz as it leaves the parking area and drives off direction Harrismith. That is it. All done. He gets back into the car and starts the engine. Another three-hour’s drive back to the Mission awaits them.
Another time, another place and another story.
I am sitting with reverend Stegen on the verandah at his house. We speak about many things. It is April 2017 and winter is approaching. There is crispness in the air. Some others join us at the table. A son in law of reverend Stegen and pilot of the KSB planes, comes and stands next to him. Waiting for us to finish talking he asks reverend Stegen: “Shall I go now papa?” “Yes, go and deliver the parcel,” says reverend Stegen. He leaves and turning to me reverend Stegen says: “ The judge wanted over a million Rand. But we don’t have the money. We could only put together around R900 000. We collected money everywhere. We will see later what more we can do”. We were still talking as Arthur lifted the KSB Cessna into the air from the airstrip to go and make the delivery of the parcel.
I look at the Cessna as it banks to the left and disappears into the haziness of the morning mist. I remember a previous time that we sat with reverend Stegen and he spoke about the judge. He gave a name but my research of this man he named, a high profile judge in South Africa, did not turn up anything untoward at all. He is as clean as a whistle, at least according to write-ups on the Internet. This mystery man, Judge X in the whole money saga, surely intrigues one immensely. At one time he was in jail in Botswana. Reverend Stegen said the Mission had to find R1.8 million rand to get him out of jail and out of Botswana. I watched the plane again, disappearing in the distant haze and I can only assume that somehow the Mission was successful and obtained the money and brought “our” judge out of Botswana. Arthur is on his way and the judge is about to receive a fresh delivery.
Other times, other places and more stories.
Yes, there are indeed more stories. When millions of Rands are to be dispersed covertly, there are eventually more stories. But people are scared. They fear for their lives and the lives of loved ones. They have received strange phone calls, seen strange people around and received threats. They will not give permission for their stories to be shared because they fear they will be identified and contacted. But, even so, this book is their story as well. They are so valuable nevertheless to determine truth in all this chaos of information floating around KSB.
5.2 The Zambesi River connection.
Reverend Stegen told the story himself. He told it to me and he told it to others. This, apparently, is the initial reason why the Mission got involved. There are many gaps in the story. It also raises many questions. But that is the character of a cover story. It directs attention away from the real story. Someone once said: “when you lie, make it a big lie, otherwise people will not believe your story”. There is not even a hint to these stories to be found in the newspapers over the last five years. But the gullible believe the humanitarian attitude infusing the lies and retell the stories of KSB’s involvement with observable relish. As a co-worker said: “the money is of no importance because it is about God’s work”. During the dry season the Zambezi River was very low with water. It revealed a secret; a shipping container submerged in the river started to show itself as the water level subsided in the dry hot days. The container was taken out of the river and opened. Inside there were twenty-odd bodies, already in a bad state of decay. The bodies were identified as Dutch “contract workers”. Not much more was said about who they were. However, a politician got involved, the Dutch government was contacted and KSB was asked to help send the bodies back to the Netherlands. For that, money was needed. And the first cash delivery took place because things had to be done in secret. The Dutch Queen herself guaranteed that she would return all money spend by KSB on this matter. Reverend Stegen showed me a text message on his cell phone that referred to the “Queen” explaining to me that it is the Dutch queen being referred to. However, the Dutch did not have a Queen regnant during this time. At that point (about September 2016) the Dutch government owed KSB around R30mil rand for work done.
During 2017 (May/June) Reverend Stegen spoke to me about it again. Now there were more corpses of agents killed. Judge X is involved as well. A girl who had been a courier for money to be delivered to the judge had been killed. The judge’s daughter had been killed. These copses needed to go back to the Netherlands. The amount has now increased to R60mil.
I asked about the role of Judge X in all of this. Judge X is involved to prosecute president Zuma who is involved in all these murders. There is a rehabilitation program being done for people addicted to drugs and alcohol at KSB. Some of the young men in the program, in counseling, revealed that they were “hit men” for then pres. Zuma and his cohorts. This somehow linked to the deaths of all the Dutch “agents”, the Zambezi killings and N3 road killings. Judge X got involved and he will coordinate the investigation and eventual court case where Zuma will be brought before the ICC and charged with Criminal Acts against Humanity.
The story is told to make it sound as if KSB is involved in a humanitarian effort of very large proportion. Yet the counter stories about political involvement and money lost due to non-payment of money to be refunded seriously undermines the image of a humanitarian “good deed”. A smoke tendril of suspected corruption drifts about, it is the fire itself that is still to be found!
5.3 The Dutch queen will help.
It is not clear from the story told by reverend Stegen how the Dutch Queen involved herself in these matters and how she came to take responsibility for paying back the money. There was no Dutch Queen regnant at this time. The last Queen, Queen Beatrix, abdicated in 2013. That is when King Willem-Alexander became king. Did he believe and then told this story to people from what others told him? There was a suggestion that the contact with the Dutch queen came via judge X who had contacts with the Dutch government. However this story regarding the Dutch queen has been told to other people as well and yet, no one seems to have a complete version that could fill the gaps.
During a Sunday morning service in the KSB Auditorium, reverend Stegen mentioned the story about the Dutch people killed and that KSB is helping to send the bodies back to the Netherlands. He mentioned the Dutch queen will pay back the money spend and that Ruth, Thofozi and x are in the Netherlands to speak to the Queen and to have tea with her. The fact that they went to the Netherlands was confirmed by one of the siblings in reverend Stegen’s house. Notwithstanding this confirmation someone said they did not go to the Netherlands as the Dutch queen declined to meet with them because of a busy schedule. Well the truth is somewhere in between all the information I guess.
5.4 The couriers.
Quite a few people are involved when it has to do with the delivery of the “moneybags” or money parcels to individuals. Money was packed as needed in zipper cool boxes, boxes, plastic bags etc. These then were delivered by car, either of the Tuareg or Fortuner cars, or by plane, mostly the KSB four-seater Cessna. Sometimes they would stay over in an estate in Pretoria and then the host’s car was used. The moneybags were delivered and handed to a contact, mostly Moses Ndlela, a pseudonym name used by him but there were others as well. This pseudonym was given to him at KSB; “Ndlela” is linked to “Stegen” which both mean basically “road” or “path”. Deliveries were done to him at Rand Airport, Van Reenen Petro Port, Pretoria and sometimes other places. Envelopes with money were handed over at petrol stations, meeting points along the road or it was fetched at KSB.
There are only two pilots for the planes and both pilots have delivered “moneybags”. All the sons-in-laws accept one as far as I know have been couriers at multiple times. Two or three coworkers have been involved as couriers whilst one leader had been implicated as a courier. Some other co-workers have been involved in collecting the money from SPAR stores. Most of reverend Stegen’s daughters are implicated in the counting and packing of the money into the “moneybags”. So from all of this one may gather that the direct family of reverend Stegen, Thofozi, Eunice and closest coworkers have been involved with the planning, gathering, packing and delivering of the “moneybags”. There are about 9-11 couriers mentioned and about 26 people mentioned who knew about the whole money business. It is to be noted that this matter was never discussed at a co-worker’s meeting and therefore never sanctioned by the body of co-workers.
5.6 Lies or truth.
Truth can be a very evasive thing to determine.
However, when those involved start to speak, when information is leaked for whatever reason and circumstantial evidence are all put together in the same pot, truth oozes forth like alcohol being recovered in the distiller. The strength of the alcohol is determined by the inputs of fruits into the distiller and experienced and knowledgeable tasters of the alcohol certify the quality. It is no different when it comes to determining truth.
I believe, I have made a strong case; the custodians from the assumed 1966 Maphumulo Revival have compromised the household of God. They should speak the truth, the whole truth and nothing else but the truth. The spiritual community at KSB, nationally and globally, should ”taste” and determine the truth in this matter.
We, the church, the co-worker leadership who don’t know, as well as the church members, demand to know the truth. What did you do with God’s money? This is indeed a call upon the leadership to come clean and in line with what the Bible teaches and what the proclaimed 1966 Revival confirmed by their own testimony. Now is the time to tell everything and confess the trespasses, if any. KSB as a church community and many from outside are watching to see whether the KSB leadership will come clean on this matter.
Tell God’s people the truth and do not lie again!
For God will have the last say!
3But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. (Ephesians 5:3 NIV)
The apostles and elders, your brothers,
To the Gentile believers in Antioch, Syria and Cilicia:
24We have heard that some went out from us without our authorization and disturbed you, troubling your minds by what they said. 25So we all agreed to choose some men and send them to you with our dear friends Barnabas and Paul— 26men who have risked their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. 27Therefore we are sending Judas and Silas to confirm by word of mouth what we are writing. 28It seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us not to burden you with anything beyond the following requirements: 29You are to abstain from food sacrificed to idols, from blood, from the meat of strangled animals and from sexual immorality. You will do well to avoid these things.
6.3 God’s Will
6.4 Experts in the Holy Spirit!
6.5 A Wholly Mess!
There is a scene in the video “When God comes down!” where reverend Erlo Stegen speaks, Bible in hand, to a group of women asking them whether they are trampling the Lord Jesus under their feet. It is a very touching scene because it really focuses on what we do with the Lord Jesus in our lives. At the same time it reflects back to the preacher and his coworkers with him, because it suggests that he is telling them, that they (the preacher and coworkers) do not do it. Like the apostle Peter did and said: But Peter, along with John, fixed his gaze on him and said, “Look at us!” (Acts 3:4 NASB). But, as we look at the preacher and his coworkers, is it true of them as coworkers of Christ that they are indeed not trampling Christ under their feet?
The leadership of KSB globally has suffered the impact of sexual immorality notwithstanding the fact that these acts had been effectively hidden from the church. Now, within the proclaimed 1966 Revival truths and atmosphere at KSB this is unthinkable. As Thofozi said to a coworker: “We have better than the Bible, we have the Bible and the Revival”. One would accept still, perhaps, to hear about sexual immorality from among the members of KSB congregations living and struggling in the world, but not among those who is said to have experienced a Revival in 1966 or are leaders (co-workers) forthcoming from the aforesaid revival at KSB. I withhold names on purpose but do have a look at the list below, representing the past 10 years, and ponder the spiritual implications. I am concerned that the actual sin of spiritual immorality is so widely reported among the co-workers, and some of those are from the group, which have either experienced the 1966 revival or experienced the baptism with the Holy Spirit in the upper room. Now, please tell me how this is possible:
- Person 1: This person had been accused of raping a girl. Prominent co-worker and leader.
- Person 2: This person committed adultery and abused counselees sexually. Prominent co-worker and leader.
- Person 3: This person committed sexual acts with a married co-worker. Prominent co-worker and leader.
- Person 4: This person committed sexual acts with an unmarried co-worker. Prominent co-worker.
- Person 5: This person committed sexual acts with a man and fell pregnant. Prominent co-worker and leadership confidant.
- Person 6: This person sexually abused a girl who came for counseling. Prominent co-worker and leader.
- Person 7: This person sexually abused multiple girls. Prominent co-worker.
- Person 8: This person sexually abused own child. Prominent KSB member.
- Family 1: A co-worker molested their daughter. Prominent co-worker.
- Family 2: A co-worker molested their daughter. Prominent co-worker.
The above list is an incomplete list as it stands. Four of the above are current prominent leaders within the present-day KSB co-worker fraternity. To put this in context, one has to take cognizance of the fact that a few hundred pupils had been expelled through the years from DSS. They engaged in amorous relationships, writing letters to the opposite sex or established secretly boyfriend-girlfriend relationships. This is also true of CCE. Many young people had been excommunicated from the Mission or lost their work for very similar reasons. The Mission’s Code of Conduct very clearly states:
The following acts (but not limited to) are expressly prohibited:
- Using alcohol, dagga or cigarettes, or being found under the influence of intoxicating substances.
- Being in possession of illegal drugs, liquor or dangerous weapons during and out of working hours while on the premises.
- Unlicensed and/or undeclared firearms. Any firearms brought onto the premises must be declared.
- Amorous relationships between any two persons outside of marriage.
There can be no doubt that the Mission acknowledges God’s will and the Bible’s teaching on sexual morality very strongly and that the leadership within KSB and its institutions have applied discipline for sexual immoral acts with vigor and zeal and at times mercilessly. The aim of such discipline is to eradicate sexual immorality from the KSB community wherever and whenever it is found at KSB. Holiness and obedience to Scripture come at a high price for all who claim Jesus Christ as their Saviour.
When a church claims to have received a visitation from God the Spirit, those who experienced it and confess to the working of the Spirit in their lives should live an exemplary life when it comes to sexual immorality. When a member of church claims to have experienced a near-death occurrence and “returns from the face-to-face speaking to the Lord Jesus”, and the church heralds this as a life-turning experience in the church and foundation for preaching “holiness”, there cannot be even a hint to sexual immorality in the leadership of such a church.
6.2. Porneia (Sexual Immorality)
From the viewpoint of the New Testament, adultery was normally judged with reference to the married status of the woman involved in any such act. Sexual intercourse of a married man with an unmarried woman would be regarded as porneía (sexual immorality, fornication), but sexual intercourse of either a married or unmarried man with someone else’s wife was regarded as adultery, both on the part of the man as well as the woman.
Porneía (sexual immorality) is rejected in the Bible (Gal.5:19; Col.3:5) Porneía is all extra-marital sex. It is also clear that pre-marital sex is to be regarded as porneía (1Cor.7:1). This does not only refer to the sexual deed, but includes all actions, which would give rise to sexual desire or passion. Sexual purity implies not only the avoidance of physical contact, but also the avoidance of porneía in one’s thoughts (Mt.5:28). There is a total incompatibility between porneía and the Kingdom of God (1Cor.6:9; Eph.5:5).
It would seem therefore, that God’s revelation through Paul regarding sexual immorality is absolutely clear. All sexual relationships outside of marriage are porneía (sexual immorality). Therefore, all sexual relationships outside of marriage are wrong and in terms of biblical evaluation thereof, it is sin.
What I say above should be carefully considered as I expand on my argument about a sexually immoral compromised leadership at KSB and the consequences for the preaching of the Word and counseling of the believers with regard to a holy walk before God.
6.3 God’s Will
God’s will is stated in no uncertain terms when it involves sexual immorality. The most prominent teaching, which precipitated from the 1966 Maphumulu Revival, is “holiness”. The credo of CCE, “Sanctus Deo” or “Holy unto the Lord”, taken from Zechariah 14:20, makes it especially clear. God’s will is made sufficiently clear:
2For you know the instructions we gave you by the authority of the Lord Jesus. 3For it is God’s will that you should be holy: You must abstain from sexual immorality; 4each of you must know how to control his own body in holiness and honor,…(1Thes4:2-4 BSB)
Matthew Henry comments on the above:
To abide in the faith of the gospel is not enough, we must abound in the work of faith. The rule according to which all ought to walk and act, is the commandments given by the Lord Jesus Christ. Sanctification, in the renewal of their souls under the influences of the Holy Spirit, and attention to appointed duties, constituted the will of God respecting them. In aspiring after this renewal of the soul unto holiness, strict restraint must be put upon the appetites and senses of the body, and on the thoughts and inclinations of the will, which lead to wrong uses of them. The Lord calls none into his family to live unholy lives, but that they may be taught and enabled to walk before him in holiness. Some make light of the precepts of holiness, because they hear them from men; but they are God’s commands, and to break them is to despise God.
Barnes’ Notes on the Bible says:
For this is the will of God, even your sanctification – It is the will or command of God that you should be holy. This does not refer to the purpose or decree of God, and does not mean that he intended to make them holy – but it means that it was his command that they should be holy.
I think it is clear from the commentator’s writings that God’s will is that His people should be holy and pure.
6.4 Experts in the Holy Spirit!
The problem develops when we go beyond Scripture and become proudful like Thofozi implied that KSB has something better than the Bible, namely the Bible and the Revival. Also, when man thinks he has become an expert on God the fall is not to far off. Jabulane Dube made the point when he said in a full co-workers meeting that those in the Revival are “professors in the Holy Spirit”. Scripture does not teach us these “truths” because these arrogant assumptions negates the sovereignty of God the Holy Spirit as set out in John 16. This “expertism” also disproves His revelatory work in our lives and destroys His testimony of Jesus Christ in our lives and compromises the Spiritual walk with Jesus Christ.
We need to be reminded about the solas again:
- Sola scriptura (“by Scripture alone”)
- Sola fide (“by faith alone”)
- Sola gratia (“by grace alone”)
- Solus Christus or Solo Christo (“Christ alone” or “through Christ alone”)
- Soli Deo gloria (“glory to God alone”)
These may not be ignored. If the Revival is elevated above the Word, being “something better” than the Word, then it was no revival at all but a “counter revival” of the devil.
5.5 A “Wholly” Mess!
We have a “wholly mess” (completely, totally, absolutely, entirely, fully, thoroughly, utterly, quite, downright) at KSB South Africa. There is a heavily compromised leadership. We have coworkers, the overseers of God’s house who are blinded, the blind leading blind, the shepherds of God’s flock following in many instances and collectively their own ways.
A true and godly revival is never meant to create a “KSB way”; it is given to emphasize Christ as the only truth, way and life! Christ and Christ alone is the Way! Always!
The mess increases when the leadership goes into “self protection mode”. They don’t accept well-meant criticism. They attack the one who ask questions and highlight wrongs. They refuse to search their own lives but demand that the one who raise matters go on his knees and ask forgiveness and undertake to submit to authority. They bring together their “confidants” and deny all responsibility for the accusations leveled against them. Much more is said and done to protect the status quo.
Notwithstanding what is stated above, all that is needed is affirmed in in the words of our Lord Jesus Christ:
15“The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!”(MK 1:15;Matt4: 17 NIV)
But, when you proclaim repentance for others, there is never a need to repent yourself, is there? In the words of the Reformation: Ecclesia semper reformanda est – “the church must always be reformed”. Not a bad idea for the beloved leadership of KSB to embrace right now.
11When Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned. 12For before certain men came from James, he used to eat with the Gentiles. But when they arrived, he began to draw back and separate himself from the Gentiles because he was afraid of those who belonged to the circumcision group. 13The other Jews joined him in his hypocrisy, so that by their hypocrisy even Barnabas was led astray. 14When I saw that they were not acting in line with the truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas in front of them all, “You are a Jew, yet you live like a Gentile and not like a Jew. How is it, then, that you force Gentiles to follow Jewish customs? (Gal 2:11-14 NIV)
41. I don’t
care about human praise, 42 but I do know that none of you love God. 43 I have
come with my Father’s authority, and you have not welcomed me. But you will
welcome people who come on their own. 44 How could you possibly believe? You
like to have your friends praise you, and you don’t care about praise that the
only God can give! (Jn 5:41-45 CEV)
Before I go into a discussion of what I perceive the problem at KSB to be, I wish to highlight 3 aspects to help us identify the reason for the mess we have at KSB at the moment namely:
- The underlying theology – Theology of glory
- The underlying religious attitude – A pharisaical attitude
- The underlying communal exclusivity – The cultist trademark
- The deathblow sermon – Ministers Conference 6 March 2019
I have to reiterate that the issues above developed over some time at KSB. I recognize that others have seen it and experienced it much earlier than I did. For example many of those who experienced the “Kranskop days” have had their eyes opened to the things I will touch on in this chapter. However, my eyes started to see discrepancies more or less from 1998 onwards. One accepted explanations from the leaders, sat through excruciating cleansing meetings and services but eventually, just to realize that it was all in vain. Changes were forced upon individuals and confessions were required from co-workers and members however, some leadership stayed unrepented. Looking back at all things that happened since 1998, it becomes possible to fathom and understand the depth of the spiritual deception. Since 2015 things have become progressively worse to the point where we are now. The Mission is progressively becoming an abomination within the Christian fraternity as more and more of her atrocities are revealed.
The heading of this chapter is “The God-lie”. It implies that a falsehood is in the place of God. In other words, although it seems that the triune God is proclaimed as the only Way for salvation, His Word as the only directive to live our lives and His Spirit the only Inspiration for faith and conduct, something else is added or required over and above the sole sufficiency of Christ crucified. The God-lie is most destructive as it is embedded in evangelical understanding of the Word. But it reveals itself in proclaimed and lived religion. At Kwasizabantu the aspects I discuss below reveal the presence of the “God-lie”. Also read this chapter in conjunction with the previous two chapters for a comprehensive understanding of the “God-lie” underlying the religion of Kwasizabantu.
It is not my purpose here to do a comprehensive analysis or submit a detailed discussion of the four aspects I mention in this chapter. I will give only the essence of each to stimulate you, the reader to think and observe what is before us at KSB. I am trying to highlight for you aspects that is daily seen and experienced at Kwasizabantu to “open your eyes”. With what I highlight and reveal, you should be able to evaluate for yourself what has become obvious at Kwasizabantu namely that Mission Kwasizabantu has moved progressively towards being a cult instead of being an evangelical missionary entity proclaiming the pure Gospel of Jesus Christ only.
1-The underlying theology – Theology of glory
Firstly the theology of the Cross (Latin: theologia crucis, German: Kreuzestheologie) or staurology (from the two words in Greek stauros: cross, and logos: “the study of”) is a term created by Martin Luther to refer to a theology that postulates the cross as the only source of knowledge concerning who God is and how God saves. Indeed the apostle Paul establishes the importance of the cross when he says:
1And when I came to you, brethren, I did not come with superiority of speech or of wisdom, proclaiming to you the testimony of God. 2For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified. 3I was with you in weakness and in fear and in much trembling, 4and my message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, 5so that your faith would not rest on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God (1Cor2: 1-2. NASB).
Only at the cross does a fallen human being gain the understanding that is the result of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit at conversion (1 Corinthians 12:13; Romans 8:9; Ephesians 1:13-14). Cross theology is contrasted with the theology of glory, or theologia gloriae, which places greater emphasis on human abilities and human reason. Luther first used the term theologia crucis in the Heidelberg Disputation of 1518, where he defended the Reformation doctrines of the depravity of man and the bondage of the will to sin.
The main difference between the theology of the cross and the theology of glory is the ability or inability of man to justify himself before a holy God. The theologian of the cross holds to the biblical truths of man’s inability to earn righteousness, the inability for humans to add to or increase the righteousness attained by Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross, and the only source of man’s righteousness coming from outside of ourselves. The cross theologian agrees wholeheartedly with the Apostle Paul’s assessment of the human condition: “I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature” (Romans 7:18). The cross theologian rejects the idea that man can attain righteousness in any degree by keeping the works of the law, but is saved and sanctified solely by grace (Romans 3:20; Ephesians 2:8-9).
It is needed at KSB for the “theology of glory” or, if you wish, the “theology of the revival” be replaced with the “theology of the cross.”
2-The underlying religious attitude – A pharisaical attitude
The word pharisaical can be traced all the way back to the Pharisees, an ancient Jewish group who insisted on the strict following of certain laws, though some people considered the group to be self-righteous. This group advocated practicing strict observance of external forms and ceremonies of religion or conduct.
The Problem the Pharisees Had With Jesus
The Gospels show that the Pharisees were very critical of Jesus. The Pharisees simply could not comprehend the picture of a truly religious person doing the things Jesus did.
Furthermore, the Pharisees believed their hope of national deliverance from Roman rule depended on the holiness of the Jewish people as a whole. According to the Pharisees, this mandated holiness before God required not only a scrupulous observance of the rules and rituals prescribed by the Torah (the first five books of the Bible) and their oral tradition (rabbinical commentary on the Torah), it also necessitated a strict separation from sinners, whether Gentile or Jewish. Therefore, Jesus’ refusal to embrace and promote their unique understanding of holiness struck the Pharisees as not only heretical but treasonous as well. This, say some scholars, is why the Pharisees were so willing to do whatever was necessary to silence Jesus (Matthew 12:14). They considered Him a genuine threat to the spiritual and political welfare of the nation.
The Problem Jesus Had With the Pharisees
Jesus considered the Pharisees’ religious approach to be not only ineffective in establishing true righteousness (Matthew 5:20), but counter-productive to the trust-based, intimate, interactive, and genuinely transformational relationship with God He had come to model for humanity. At the heart of the Pharisaic approach to holiness is a craving for both certainty and control that functions as a form of idolatry.
What began as a well-meaning desire to make sure they did not offend God, adapted into a desperate fear-based need to be certain of their status before Him. This, then, evolved into an elaborate system of rules and rituals that allowed them to control God. Some scholars say this best explains the rather harsh nature of Jesus’ condemnation of the Pharisees recorded in Matthew 23, and His repeated warnings for His disciples to steer clear of the Pharisaic approach to the spiritual life (e.g., Matthew 16:6; Luke 12:1; 20:46,47). According to the canonical Gospels, there is such a thing as a Pharisaic “pseudo-holiness” that Jesus wanted His followers to avoid at all costs.
The Earmarks and Effects of Pharisaic Pseudo-Holiness
In her book, We Are the Pharisees, Kathleen Kern takes a long, hard look at the fierce diatribe Jesus directed at the Pharisees in Matthew 23. According to Kern, Jesus indicted His antagonists for:
- their exclusivity (verse 13);
- the negative effect they had on their converts (verse 15);
- their use of manipulative, slippery speech (verses 16–22);
- their gnat-picking (super-scrupulous legalistic ethics) that missed the heart of God (verses 23,24);
- their focus on pious rituals while at the same time ignoring their attitudes of greed and indulgence (verses 25,26);
- their obsession with appearing pious toward others while secretly and hypocritically harboring lawless impulses and engaging in sinful behaviors (verses 27,28);
- their inclination for persecuting anyone who dared to disagree with them (verses 29–36).2
In his book, Extreme Righteousness: Seeing Ourselves in the Pharisees, Tom Hovestol creates a similar list of vices Jesus attributed to the Pharisees. Hovestol sees Jesus finding fault with the Pharisees for their self-righteousness, doctrinal dogmatism, hyper-piety, traditionalism, legalism/moralism, separatism, and hypocrisy.
KSB is rife with a pharisaical attitude. The religion at KSB is saturated with what I described above. KSB need to get back to the pure Bible truths and the leadership should lead the way.
3-The underlying communal exclusivity – The sectarian/cultish trademark
To use the words sect, sectarian or cult, one has to note the differences carefully.
The word sect comes from the Latin word secta, which means “school of thought.” It is a subjective term that may apply to a religious faith or denomination, or it may refer to a heretical splinter group. Sects are found in all religions. Islam has Sunnis and Shias, Judaism has Orthodox and Karaites, Hinduism has Shiyaism and Shaktism, and Christianity has Baptists and Lutherans. These are all examples of religious sects, and they can be thought of as “branches” of different religions.
In contradistinction, the word cult always carries a negative connotation. There are specific criteria used to identify a cult. In Combatting Cult Mind Control, deprogrammer Steven Hassan singles out what he refers to as “destructive cults,” which he defines as “a pyramid-shaped authoritarian regime with a person or group of people that have dictatorial control. Hassan also correctly points out that cults are not only religious; they may also be commercial or secular in nature.
Hassan developed the BITE acronym, which describes the components employed by destructive cults using mind control. BITE covers the following areas of control:
Behavior Control: An individual’s associations, living arrangements, food, clothing, sleeping habits, finances, etc., are strictly controlled.
Information Control: Cult leaders deliberately withhold or distort information, lie, propagandize, and limit access to other sources of information.
Thought Control: Cult leaders use loaded words and language, discourage critical thinking, bar any speech critical of cult leaders or policies, and teach an “us vs. them” doctrine.
Emotional Control: Leaders manipulate their followers via fear (including the fear of losing salvation, fear of shunning, etc.), guilt, and indoctrination.
From a Christian perspective, a cult is any group that follows teachings that contradict orthodox Christian doctrine and promote heresy. Under this definition, the Watchtower Society and the Latter-day Saints (Mormons) are both cults. And it would seem to me that Mission Kwasizabantu could also now be classified as a cult measured against the criteria set out above. The four criteria, represented by BITE, are increasingly witnessed at KSB. Read chapters 4-6 above. Unless there is repentance, the cultic ethos would become more and more entrenched.
Because not all cults are immediately recognized as such, and some people may easily confuse cults with sects or denominations, it is critical to follow the example of the Bereans in Acts 17:11: “Now the Bereans . . . received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.” Always research the beliefs of a group before committing to it, examine its behaviors and doctrines in light of the Bible, and beware of the methods listed in the BITE model. Talk to members, but refuse to be coerced by them. Importantly, if something doesn’t seem right, don’t do it.
4-The deathblow sermon – Ministers Conference 6 March 2019
On the evening of March 6, rev Erlo Stegen preached his third sermon at the Kwasizabantu Ministers Conference. His theme for the sermon being: “What Stops Revival”. He based his sermon on Achan’s crime and punishment (Joshua 7:1,6,10-11).
In the context of what I am writing, this was truly an amazing sermon. He highlighted many aspects that will bring a revival to an abrupt end. The truth of what he said cannot be doubted; but then, these truths are not discerned in the very lives of his co-workers who have been living in secret the very things he highlighted as “death” to any revival. Let me highlight what he said in his sermon and then we will look at this matter in more depth. I quote from his sermon:
1 – Sin
- It is sin which kills revival.
- Achan and a few with him ended the work of God. It came to an abrupt end.
- If there is a revival where sin is rampant, then it is a false revival.
- Revival and sin don’t go together.
- If they say there is revival, just test it for sin.
- Light and darkness don’t go together.
- The Holy Spirit and other spirits don’t go together. The Spirit and the flesh oppose one another.
- The carnal Christian is the enemy of the spiritual Christian. The carnal Christian in the work of God is a curse to God’s work.
- The devil has his agents among Christians. See Romans 8 – to be carnal brings death.
2 – Hiding sin
- The carnal Christian among the people of God, hides sin. He sins in secret and then hides it. But God in heaven sees it.
3 – Punishment
- Even Achan’s family died. He punished his own family with death. They kept quiet, yet Israel had sinned. Israel had to die. If you identify with Achan, you are guilty with him.
- If you deal with your sin, you are free.
- There is no future for us as long as we tolerate sin. This is not just in the Old Testament. God is still the same. This is how He works.
- Luke 12 says there is nothing covered, done in secret that will not be revealed.
- Christians! Stop with your secret sins! Don’t you know God? God sees what is in secret.
- These grieved the Holy Spirit. When He is grieved, the revival stops. If revival continues, when He is grieved, it is a false revival.
- Sin is not tolerated in a Holy Spirit revival.
- When they purified and sanctified themselves, God was in their midst again, they went from strength to strength, they lived in victory again.
4 – Disobedience
- Where there is disobedience, the revival ends (Acts 5:32).
- Obedience to God is a prerequisite to receive the Holy Spirit.
- God cancels His promises when the Christian is disobedient to God.
- Must obey God. The Bible says disobedience is the same as witchcraft.
- I won’t tell people what I was told in confidence (counseling).
5 – Personal question
- As you sit here, and I explain to you how it is when God works; Are there rivers of living water flowing forth from your life?
- Has the desert turned into a garden?
- Is there one river flowing from your life, of this living water?
- If there is no fruit, you are not a believer. Christian! You are a Pharisee, a hypocrite.
- You can be at Kwasizabantu and you are dead. God does not rule in your life, you rule your own life.
- Jesus said – “If you believe in me as the Scripture has said….” Do you believe as the Scripture says?
Dear reader, don’t just disregard what I am writing here. Many are doing so, especially those currently living at KSB. Take a good look at the chapters above, especially chapters 3-6, and the writings I submitted to the leaders and co-workers. The very things reverend Stegen said would stop a revival in its tracks are all visible at KSB. The underlying theologies, (The underlying theology – Theology of glory, The underlying religious attitude – A pharisaical attitude, The underlying communal exclusivity – The cultic trademark) are all currently experienced at KSB. It is obvious from the issues revealed in the preceding chapters to be true.
The revival is dead, d-e-a-d! It is non-existent at the moment and if it is proclaimed that the revival has been going on for more than fifty years, that it is stronger than ever before, that more wonders and things are happening now than at the beginning of the revival, as had been done during the 2019 Ministers Conference preachers are living and preaching a God-lie. It is simply not true. Reverend Stegen said that when sin is rampant in an ongoing revival then that revival is false. KSB is busy keeping a false revival, according to the sermon of reverend Stegen in place, with historical pure revival rhetoric. The very words he preached are judging the very actions and attitudes of his leaders and co-workers at KSB as unrighteous. The only reason why one will not see and understand it is because of the underlying theologies prevalent at KSB. These theologies are entrenched in the preaching at KSB and the leadership and coworkers are saturated with the falsehoods at KSB to the point that KSB functions as a cult and it is going to be devastating to many in future.
Behavior control, thought control, emotional control and information control are deeply rooted within the KSB community. Just sit trough a single full co-workers’ meeting to understand the truth of this statement.
I am so thankful for the sermon reverend Stegen preached, which obviously was not meant to be applied to the KSB community but meant for the benefit of the conference delegates, nevertheless, he nailed it! Measured to the criteria he set out, and all the evidence given in this book, which to this point in time, has not been set aside by any one, KSB Mission is in dire need of a spiritual cleansing of monumental magnitude.
It should be clear that KSB is currently in a bad state of affairs. The leadership at KSB should do well to arrange a soul-searching retreat to cry out to the Lord. Corruption and money embezzlement seems to be happening, sexual sins are rife among leadership, lies are something frequently told, Christian principles are compromised, cultic characteristics are obvious and in general pharisaic attitudes are obvious.Although so many co-workers agree privately with me with what I write, and testify to me to that effect, not one is prepared to challenge the status quo at KSB with me. Reasons given varies; What will happen to me, I have a family, I fear for my life or the lives of my loved ones, I care for KSB and God’s work, etc.
I have been threatened a few times now. I have been told to
stop writing and close down my blog. Two days ago I lost my work because of
undue pressure on my employer. Some of my sources at KSB cringe in fear.
But, I know, silence is approval of the status quo! Do you realize it as well?
 GARY J. TYRA, D.Min., is author of Defeating Pharisaism: Recovering Jesus’ Disciple-Making Method, from which this article is adapted. He is associate professor of biblical and practical theology, Vanguard University, Costa Mesa, California.
What about God’s Way?
1You stupid Galatians! I told you exactly how Jesus Christ was nailed to a cross. Has someone now put an evil spell on you? 2 I want to know only one thing. How were you given God’s Spirit? Was it by obeying the Law of Moses or by hearing about Christ and having faith in him? 3How can you be so stupid? Do you think that by yourself you can complete what God’s Spirit started in you? 4Have you gone through all of this for nothing? Is it all really for nothing? 5God gives you his Spirit and works miracles in you. But does he do this because you obey the Law of Moses or because you have heard about Christ and have faith in him?
6 The Scriptures say that God accepted Abraham because Abraham had faith. 7 And so, you should understand that everyone who has faith is a child of Abraham. 8 Long ago the Scriptures said God would accept the Gentiles because of their faith. This is why God told Abraham the good news that all nations would be blessed because of him. 9This means everyone who has faith will share in the blessings given to Abraham because of his faith. 10 Anyone who tries to please God by obeying the Law is under a curse. The Scriptures say, “Everyone who doesn’t obey everything in the Law is under a curse.” 11 No one can please God by obeying the Law. The Scriptures also say, “The people God accepts because of their faith will live.”(Galatians 3:1-11. CEV)
- The corrupt shepherds!
- “God’s Way”
- “KSB way”
- False teachings
- Collecting information
- Self interests & power
- Sexual immorality
- Tainted money
- Special grace for shepherds only
- A fleet of planes
- A Row of houses
- What about His Way?
The old woman sitting next to me, is just one of many habitually coming every Sunday to confess their sins and ask for prayer. She speaks softly as if ashamed of what she has to reveal, barely audible to my ageing ears. Sometimes I miss her words but I comfort myself with the thought that God sees and hears.
“The Lord must forgive me!” The words come tumbling out of her mouth. “I have shouted at my son. I have kicked the dog, I have……I have….” I look at the woman sitting next to me on the church bench. She is old. She had been diagnosed with cancer some months earlier. But she comes every Sunday from Sobantu Township, waiting in the line to confess her sins of the week. She had been doing this for years. She is truly very sincere in making her life right with God. Next Sunday she will be here again, that is how she had been taught, confessing the same sins, sometimes in tears. There is no victory over the sins, she just confesses to God every Sunday. And she will do it until her shriveled-up body gives way to the cancer and she can’t come to church anymore. Then, I know, I will go to her at home, I will hold her hand and pray for her as her life fades away. When she finishes I take her wrinkled hand and enfold it in my hands. She lowers her head and closes her eyes.
“Let us pray Gogo (grandmother)”. As her hand slips from my hands I softly says to her: “Jesus loves you Gogo!“ A faint smile pulls the corner of the one side of her mouth. She scratches around in her pocket, pulling a wrinkled R20 note from it. She holds it out to me and whispers: “For the Lord’s work pastor”. While she walks away from me, my eyes roam over the ten or so people waiting in the queue for their chance to come to me; the old faithful ones. “This is useless”, I thought by myself. But God knows and understands. They are so naïve in their faith, so childlike in their weekly Sunday ritual. Oh, how I long to still be like them, so innocent and childlike in faith. But my eyes have seen and my ears have heard and I know a truth they cannot even imagine to be true. I hold onto faith for their sake, I cry out to Jesus for their sake and I plead for forgiveness for them from our precious Lord, for their sake.
2. The corrupt shepherds
There are few things written in the New Testament that riled our Lord Jesus Christ as much as a corrupted clergy did. When Jesus saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees (the clergy of His time) coming for baptism, he said to them, “You brood of vipers, who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? 8“Therefore bear fruit in keeping with repentance; 9and do not suppose that you can say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham for our father’; for I say to you that from these stones God is able to raise up children to Abraham. 10“The axe is already laid at the root of the trees; therefore every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. (Matthew 3: 7ff).
At its core, religion is a set of beliefs, traditions, and practices that define the way in which people worship God. At Kwasizabantu it includes the Bible, the 1966 Maphumulu Revival and the Zulu culture, accumulatively proclaimed as the “Kwasizabantu way” (“KSB way”) to believe, do and be right with God. The purpose of religion or faith in God is to create an individual connection with oneself and with God. Religion, when kept pure, has done remarkable things for mankind. But when religion is corrupted, it is potentially responsible for incredible and widespread suffering as we see in the case at hand, namely our corrupted beloved Mission Kwasizabantu.
To quote from “megaessays”: The brilliant Swiss psychiatrist, Carl Jung once said, “If you have one man with a spiritual idea, WOW. If you have two men with the same spiritual idea, you have a committee. If you have a committee, you have politics.” That is the path leading to corruption, which almost all religions have stumbled down. In most cases, a religion arises from a good set of beliefs and teachings. People with similar beliefs and views become attracted and begin studying the teachings and practicing the religion. As the number of people grows, there is a need for organization. As soon as there is organization, money and power become involved. At this point, unscrupulous and power hungry individuals take control of the organization through manipulation and greed. They regulate the teachings to fit their perspective and greed, and consequently, the religion becomes corrupted. Christian “shepherds” should therefore be above such corruption, don’t you agree?
Mission Kwasizabantu has Christian shepherds or so we believed. At least until recently that was the conviction of most sitting in the pews of the auditorium on a Sunday or the benches at the numerous preaching points scattered globally listening to the shepherds of KSB leading the religious flocks associated with KSB. The Sunday message preached in the Kwasizabantu auditorium is streamed across the world and everywhere people listen in awe to the Mission preachers proclaiming the wonderful fifty-odd year old revival in Africa. I was one of them and today it brings no joy to my heart that I being deceived have deceived others. We proclaim holiness, purity, confession of sins, being right with God, a victorious life over sin, forgiveness and restitution all backed up with marvelous miracles, healings and testimonies from the ongoing revival. I have heard the testimonies, but in 32 years with the Mission I have seen no miracle or wonder performed. The proclaimed revival gave to Kwasizabantu a bit of an edge on other churches; we had the Bible and the Maphumulo Revival. That, according to one person, who is at the moment the second most important leader at the mission, gives Kwasizabantu the spiritual edge. She has also seen and spoken to the Son of God face to face. Her brother “boasted” that all coming from the revival are “professors in God the Holy Spirit” as others are professors in theology.
Therefore, surely with such credentials it is unreasonable to liken them to a “brood of vipers!” like Jesus did with the clergy of His time. But the sins seem to be of the same kind, perhaps even worse. Leonard Ravenhill wrote a booklet “Sodom had no Bible”, and may I add, neither did they have a Jesus. But we have the Bible, we have Jesus, God the Son, and we have God the Holy Spirit and that should make a monumental difference in the life of a Christian shepherd. Among the preachers and leaders at Kwasizabantu we find the sins of lying, stealing, sexual immorality, rape, sexual abuse of minors, incest, lust, pornography, embezzlement of money, fraud, adultery, pride, and money laundering, Perhaps the label of “brood of vipers” as used by the Lord Jesus Christ is after all not so inappropriate to apply to the current group of preachers at the Mission. Yes, I deliberately do cast the net wide, because when one knows about the atrocities of you clerical colleagues, and you do nothing about it and go along with it, surely you are as accountable as the one committing the sin.
Why is it like this at KSB? Perhaps they don’t recognize the essential quality of sin even when they should. Essentially sin is unbelief and disobedience – the perpetual perpetrator does not belief God will punish disobedience to His Word and secondly they are disobedient to what God says. Kyle Campbell says of sin: “Sin has four characteristics: self-sufficiency instead of faith, self-will instead of submission, self-seeking instead of benevolence and self-righteousness instead of humility. Selfishness is the root and source of all sin”. For the immoral shepherd, the false teacher, the fake disciple, the false prophet, the unethical coworker and the deceitful preacher, Hebrews 10: 20-31 is a terrible portion of Scripture, whether they believe it or not:
26For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, 27but a fearful expectation of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries. 28Anyone who has set aside the law of Moses dies without mercy on the evidence of two or three witnesses. 29How much worse punishment, do you think, will be deserved by the one who has trampled underfoot the Son of God, and has profaned the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has outraged the Spirit of grace? 30For we know him who said, “Vengeance is mine; I will repay.” And again, “The Lord will judge his people.” 31It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
Accept for argument’s sake that the 1966 Maphumulu Revival was a true revival, that Thofozi did have a near death experience and saw and spoke to the Lord Jesus face to face, that all the miracles and wonders reported by Kurt Koch in his book did happen and that the revival is as reverend Stegen said at the 2019 Ministers conference, stronger with more miracles and wonders and even more visible after 50 years than ever before; how then can we have such corrupted shepherds and leaders at KSB? How in the Name of the Living God is such a thing possible? We should not blame people then when they challenge the authenticities of the revival, the miracles and near death experience because the “disciples” of all of that are living and hiding wickedness.
If the alleged corrupt shepherds, the likes of Thofozi, Eunice, Dietmar Joosten, Detlef Stegen, Michael Ngubane, Jabulane Dube, Dorothy Newlands, Busi Hadebe, Esther Bornman, Dirk & Ruth Combrink, Jabo Majola, Albu van Eeden, Tobie Vermaak, Jan Willem Mout, Jan de Bruin, Peter Dahl, Ernie Engelbrecht, Christopher Nhlabathi, Derrick King, Nthokozo Nhlabathi, with others, would only come forward and would recognize their sin and not harden their hearts. If only they would repent and confess their sin in truth and sorrow, it might still be possible to salvage the Mission from the imminent destruction awaiting her.
3. “God’s Way”
The apostle Paul does not beat about the bush when he admonishes the Galatians. To the Corinthians he made it very clear that Jesus Christ crucified is the only way. Now, he reminds the Galatians that Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified before their eyes and that they have received the Spirit by hearing with faith. Why then now are they pursuing works (the law) to be perfected by the flesh? “God’s Way” we know, says Paul, “is that a person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, so we also have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law, because by works of the law no one will be justified”.
If the above is perhaps a bit difficult to comprehend then lets look at some verses to simplify everything:
16“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. 17For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. 18Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. (John3: 16-18 ESV)
35The Father loves the Son and has given all things into his hand. 36Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him. (John3: 35-36 ESV)
10Whoever believes in the Son of God has the testimony in himself. Whoever does not believe God has made him a liar, because he has not believed in the testimony that God has borne concerning his Son. 11And this is the testimony that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 12Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.(1John5: 10-12 ESV)
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. (John 14: 6).
These verses make it abundantly clear; salvation is only possible by faith in Jesus Christ crucified and nothing else.
Crueler than the pain of the cross was the shame of the cross. See 1 Cor. 1:18-25. Why does Paul refer to the cross as foolishness and a stumbling block? The message of salvation through faith in a crucified Savior was deemed “foolishness” and a “stumbling-block” because the cross was itself the embodiment and emblem of the most repugnant of human obscenities. The cross was a symbol of reproach, degradation, humiliation, and disgust. It was aesthetically offensive. In a word, the cross was obscene. The apostle Paul forces home the Gospel’s truth when he says: “24 Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires”. (Galatians 5: 24 NASB) and again: “20 I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me”. (Galatians 2: 20 NASB). His way brings life, a desire not to do unrighteousness and a willingness to die to the self. If we see the cross for what it is and understand the price Jesus paid, it will become the “my bed of salvation” as I see myself crucified with Him! I will desire to sin no more.
“God’s Way” then is finally explained by the apostle Peter saying: “24 and He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed. 25 For you were continually straying like sheep, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Guardian of your souls”. The cross, the marvelous cross where Jesus wrought salvation and freedom from sin for those who believe in Him as Jesus, the Son of God.
How is it possible to loose sight of “God’s Way” for our lives?
4. The “KSB way”
There is something tremendously wrong when “fallout” occurs in a church. “Fallout” may be defined as the adverse results of a situation or action in the church. What we see at Mission Kwasizabantu is a spiritual “fallout” that is the result of the implosion of the “KSB way”. In nuclear terms “fallout”, is the residual radioactive material propelled into the upper atmosphere following a nuclear blast, so called because it “falls out” of the sky after the explosion and the shock wave have passed. This nuclear situation is an appropriate comparison for what is happening at KSB. The effect of the destruction of the revivalist “KSB way” will have a devastating effect globally because the revivalists themselves did not practice what they preached.
Whereas “God’s Way” results in salvation the “KSB way” has brought about a different set of values. Lust, envy, anger, greed, gluttony and sloth are all bad, the sages say, but pride is the deadliest of all, the root of all evil, and the beginning of sin. Could it be that excessive pride in the 1966 Revival or subsequent “KSB way” was the beginning of the downfall of KSB? It seems there is unwarranted pride if one listens to what Thofozi said: “We have something better than the Bible, we have the Bible and the revival” and forget not Jabulane Dube’s assertion that those in the revival are “professors in the Holy Spirit”. The “KSB way” is preached, taught, implemented, counseled and enforced by the preachers, coworkers and counselors of the Mission. Non-conformity with the “KSB way” is mercilessly punished and deep spiritual wounds are inflicted. These punishments leave at times bodily, emotional, psychological and spiritual scars on the inflicted souls. Those coming to hear the services, devotions and conferences are the receivers of the “KSB way” and should not be seen as the source, they merely receive and practice what they have received. It is almost natural that sins will be found among them, as many of them still need to find Christ. It is though, vastly different when reference is made to the KSB shepherds.
Therefore when the “enlightened” ones, the coworkers, fall into sin, “4 It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, 5 who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age— 6 and then have fallen away—to be restored again to repentance, because they themselves are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting Him to open shame”. (Hebrews6: 4-6 BSB). This results in spiritual “fallout” that manifests itself in sinful actions, wickedness and non-Christian attitudes. I will briefly highlight such issues below.
- False teachings – the law replace faith (sola fide). Rules, regulations, laws and strict observation of these become the norm for spiritual faithfulness and being right with God. (See chapter 3). Spiritual and emotional control, behavioural control and fear becomes the norm. Cultus like power over adherants is in place.
- Collecting information – The spiritual moment that the sinner meets with His God to confess his sin and receive forgiveness becomes an information gathering opportunity for the counselor. When the sinner receives forgiveness from God, the couselor relates the confession to the leaders. Information gathered becomes a manipulative tool in the hands of a corrupt clergy. (See chapter 3)
- Self interests & power – one’s personal interest or advantage, especially when pursued without regard for others is highly regarded. (See section on Ethos & Ethics). It is simply expected that congregants and lower order clergy will bow to the will, self interest and power of the leaders. “Don’t ask questions, just bow” or “Just do as the leaders say and you will be OK” or “ Go on your knees before the aunties and apologise for everything and all will be good for you”.
- Sexual immorality – because of vested power (confered or bestowed power, authority, property, etc. on coworkers because of their spiritual standing at KSB) on coworkers, the power corrupts the coworkers and all sorts of sexual immoral deeds are commited with congregants by the leaders of KSB. (See chapter 6). Especially girls and women are abused by those in higher positions.
- Tainted money – God’s money is corrupted. The coworkers, the overseers of God’s house, the very leadership of KSB, have acted dishonestly with the money God blessed the Mission with. This resulted in a moraly depraved leadership, who has wasted, lost and squandered millions of Rands that should have been used in God’s vineyard. (See chapter 6). The net result is that there is no money for the Mission’s branches because it was said: ” We need the money for the Judge”.
- Special grace for shepherds only – Coworkers receive grace and mercy for the most vile sins while cogregants get excommunicated for trivial sins. The sexual sins of coworkers and leaders are covered and hidden and they remain in their positions whilst the sexual sins of school children, college students and congregants results in excommunication and expulsion. Sinful deeds in the life of coworkers are condoned as the will of God while similar actions in the lives of congregants are severely punished.
- A fleet of planes – Affluence is common practice in the lives of leadership. The fact that the Lord Jesus did not have what the Pharisees and Scribes had, yet gathered Himself with the poor is conveniently forgotten at KSB. The Mission’s leader has four planes, total value near R50 mil for personal use whilst the congregation’s members and others thithe and slave for the work of God. That whilst many fulltime missionaries work without compensation and suffer financially for God’s cause.
- A Row of houses and Holiday Homes – One of the most important propositions of being a missionary is that the missionary should blend in with those he serves and not live in excess of those he serves. Again, this is conveniently forgotten when one looks at how the missionaries and some coworkers live at KSB. Why would the leader need a palace of a holiday home in neighbouring Namibia and fly there in his private Pilatus plane to rest ? Whether he bought the house or aeroplane or wether it was gifted is not the point? Branches are told that there is no money to support the work in the congregations but the lingering impression is that money is no problem looking at the affluence at KSB Kranskop. Affluence is regularly equated with the blessings and prosperity from God. However, the perception is that it befalls mostly the white missionaries and the congregations somehow never get to share therein.
5. What about “God’s Way” then?
What does the Bible say? Let us look at some verses:
For they don’t understand God’s way of making people right with himself. Refusing to accept God’s way, they cling to their own way of getting right with God by trying to keep the law. (Romans 10:3 NLV)
So they asked him, “Teacher, we know that you’re right in what you say and teach, and that you don’t favor any individual, but teach the way of God truthfully. (Mark 12:14 CEV)
12 After Jesus had washed his disciples’ feet and had put his outer garment back on, he sat down again. Then he said: Do you understand what I have done? 13You call me your teacher and Lord, and you should, because that is who I am. 14And if your Lord and teacher has washed your feet, you should do the same for each other. 15I have set the example, and you should do for each other exactly what I have done for you. 16 I tell you for certain that servants are not greater than their master, and messengers are not greater than the one who sent them. 17You know these things, and God will bless you, if you do them. (John 13: 12-17 CEV).
Surely, if the shepherds of the Mission (coworkers) would prayerfully read these verses and words spoken by the Lord Jesus, the Son of God:
- They will realize their foolishness and irrationality.
- They will also realize that they have being disobedient to God and followed their own way.
- They will further understand that they need to repent and openly confess their sin and make restitution.
- They will comprehend that they have deceived the people of God and led them astray.
- They will hopefully recognize that they as an elitist group, has hardened their hearts to the voice of God and continue to cover sin.
- They will possibly regret and deny the self-interests and find Christ anew.
Or will they?
There is a way, which seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.
At the the end of Ezekiel 18 the Lord says: 30 I will judge each of you for what you’ve done. So stop sinning, or else you will certainly be punished. 31Give up your evil ways and start thinking pure thoughts. And be faithful to me! Do you really want to be put to death for your sins? 32 I, the Lord God, don’t want to see that happen to anyone. So stop sinning and live! (30-32 CEV).
The will of God is “life”! Life for His shepherds and life for His people!
I plead with
the KSB coworkers and leaders, the shepherds of Gods flocks under the wings of
KSB; for God’s sake turn around now and save KSB from being destroyed!
“Hello darkness my old friend!”
18From heaven God shows how angry he is with all the wicked and evil things that sinful people do to crush the truth. 19They know everything that can be known about God, because God has shown it all to them. 20 God’s eternal power and character cannot be seen. But from the beginning of creation, God has shown what these are like by all he has made. That’s why those people don’t have any excuse. 21 They know about God, but they don’t honor him or even thank him. Their thoughts are useless, and their stupid minds are in the dark. 22They claim to be wise, but they are fools. 23 They don’t worship the glorious and eternal God. Instead, they worship idols that are made to look like humans who cannot live forever, and like birds, animals, and reptiles. 24So God let these people go their own way. They did what they wanted to do, and their filthy thoughts made them do shameful things with their bodies. 25They gave up the truth about God for a lie, and they worshiped God’s creation instead of God, who will be praised forever. Amen. (Romans1: 18-25. CEV)
- “Hello Darkness My Old Friend”
- “In Him Is No Darkness!
- The Pigs Are In Control
- Silence Of The Lambs!
- “Silence Is Golden”.
It is dark. Well, it should be dark as it is after midnight. But at this time of night, there is notwithstanding the darkness always the faintness of light penetrating the darkness of the bedroom, especially living in the city. It is dark though, without the normal shimmer of light. Eskom is busy with load shedding; all electricity is down, there is no light. It is simply dark! So dark you can “touch” it.
I think about darkness. The song of Paul Simon comes to my mind, “Hello darkness my old friend”. Originally it was called “The sounds of silence” and sung by Simon & Garfunkel. Written in the years 1963 and 1964. Also in 1964 the American vocal group the Four Seasons recorded a song “Silence Is Golden”. These were songs of the times embedded in the struggle for identity by many youth of that time. These were songs with meaning, written to depict the “soul” of that time. The songs were on the hotlists of that time weeks on end.
I try to remember the words. I remember only the opening lines.” Hello darkness……..”, I remember the melody though. I softly humm the melody, afraid to wake Andra, sleeping next to me. Darkness; it is the friend of evil and the cover of evil intentions and evil deeds. Darkness is the intense desire of the unregenerate spirit of man. I am reminded of the words in 1 John 1; the apostle John is speaking and he says that Jesus told us God is light and doesn’t have any darkness in him. If we say we share in life with God and keep on living in the dark, we are lying and are not living by the truth. But if we live in the light, as God does, we share in life with each other. And the blood of his Son Jesus washes all our sins away.
I touch Andra’s shoulder in the dark. There is something very reassuring to touch your wife of many blessed years. I dearly love my precious wife. Having her next to me fills my heart with warmth towards God, the light of our lives. Some thirty years earlier when we came to Mission Kwasizabantu, this portion from 1 John had been our inspiration to live in the Light and to shun darkness from our lives. We took the verse at face value and applied it vigorously to our lives, as it was the basis of the teaching of confessing one’s sins. It was preached from the pulpit, taught in devotions, advised in counseling and talked about on the grounds of the Mission. Light has come into this world, it shunned darkness and we lived in His light. And we did just that in faith.
“Hello darkness my old friend” was simply no longer the case. We both said goodbye to darkness. But, when you have lived in darkness before accepting the life in the Light, you do recognize its evil character when it returns to send its fungi tentacles into the fertile soil of unsuspecting “light dwellers”. It reminds me of truffles.
Truffles are the fruit of an ectomycorrhizal fungus. That means they can only grow underground and away from sunlight, near the roots of trees. With these trees, they have a special relationship. The fungus is a network of threads that wind around and into the roots of trees like beech, poplar, oak, etc. The trees give the fungus sugar made from sunlight and the fungus gives the trees minerals and nutrients it gets out of the soil. Truffles are expensive because it is very hard to farm them. They only like very specific kinds of soil and tree. Because they live inside tree roots, you can’t just plant truffle seeds in a field or something. The fungus that is living inside the roots will hopefully be transferred to the new area through transplanting young trees, and in 10-20 years, one might start getting truffle tubers from the new transplants.
The fungus threads grow a big smelly underground tuber. The tuber has such a strong smell animals can smell it underground. They dig up the tuber to eat it, which spreads dirt and spores all over the place. Some of the spores might land next to tree roots and grow into new fungal threads. Humans like the strong-flavored tuber, too.
There is something very spiritual about all of this; darkness, light, big smelly tubers and harvesting expensive fallouts.
- “Hello Darkness My Old Friend”
I want to look at this song of Simon & Garfunkel, written by Paul Simon, in some detail. It relates to me the current atmosphere at Mission Kwasizabantu. Or, perhaps, it is more the case that the atmosphere at KSB fits the entire enduring text of the song.
Hello darkness My Old Friend
Hello darkness, my old friend
I’ve come to talk with you again
Because a vision softly creeping
Left its seeds while I was sleeping
And the vision that was planted in my brain
Within the sound of silence
In restless dreams I walked alone
Narrow streets of cobblestone
‘Neath the halo of a street lamp
I turned my collar to the cold and damp
When my eyes were stabbed by the flash of a neon light
That split the night
And touched the sound of silence
And in the naked light I saw
Ten thousand people, maybe more
People talking without speaking
People hearing without listening
People writing songs that voices never share
No one dared
Disturb the sound of silence
“Fools” said I, “You
do not know
Silence like a cancer grows
Hear my words that I might teach you
Take my arms that I might reach you”
But my words like silent raindrops fell
And echoed in the wells of silence
And the people bowed and prayed
To the neon god they made
And the sign flashed out its warning
In the words that it was forming
And the sign said, “The words
of the prophets
Are written on the subway walls
And tenement halls”
And whispered in the sounds of silence
The speaker woke up in the dark night and wanted to tell somebody about his dream.  He addressed the darkness as his old friend and started to describe it as he had done before. He said that when he was sleeping a vision left its seeds and it was deeply rooted in his brain. He could still realize the vision, but had no words to express it.
In his restless dreams he walked alone in the narrow streets under the light of a street lamp. He arrives at a place where more than ten thousand people are talking without speaking and hearing without listening. They are writing songs that voices never shares and no one dares to break the silence. The poet tells them that silence grows like cancer. He asks them to hear his words and to hold his hand. But his words do not touch them at all. Instead, the people pray and worship the neon signs. When he turned his collar, a flash of neon light would dazzle him. The light would make the scene as if it had been in the daylight and explain the meaning of silence. The neon sign flashes suggesting “The words of the prophets are written on the subway walls and tenement hall.”
The speaker regards the people as fools and said that silence grows like a cancer. He asked them to hear his advice and to hold their arms, but his words were like silent raindrops and had no effect on them. Instead of listening to the speaker, the people were worshipping the neon God they made. The neon light said that they had to follow the commands of the producers, who had advertised their products by painting on the walls of the subway and large buildings. The light showed these things without using a voice.
According to Paul Simon, the multinational companies’ and the capitalist have taken the position of God. They guide people’s choices, necessities and goals through their commercial advertisement. The Neon signs or hoarding boards have taken the place of the Holy Scriptures. People listen to or see what these advertisements say and work accordingly. They have neither their own voice nor their own choice. They are obliged to choose among a few goals put forward by the industrialists. When such materialistic waves are dominant, the voice trying to remind people what their goal should be is always subdued (defeated). People are not willing to listen to such things, at first. Even if they listen to it they will never follow it as they are so busy in running after the material prosperity. The poem presents a frightening picture of the modern world doomed by the lack of spirituality and true meaning of life. It is the voice of a visionary asking such people to be serious towards the true meaning and goal of life.
The poet of the song depicts the life of people who have welcomed darkness into their lives. Let us take a look at what Scripture says about darkness.
The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it (John 1:5).
This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all(1John 1:5).
To open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the dominion of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who have been sanctified by faith in Me (Acts 26: 18).
For you were formerly darkness, but now you are Light in the Lord; walk as children of Light(Ephesians 5:8)
For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened(Romans 1: 21).
For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son (Colossians 1:13).
This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil (John 3: 19).
Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them (Ephsians 5: 11);
Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, “I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life (John 8:12).
If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth (1John 1:6).
There were those who dwelt in darkness and in the shadow of death, Prisoners in misery and chains (Psalm 107: 10).
Now we understand darkness. With all of the above in mind, let us now turn to the concept of spiritual light.
3. “In Him Is No Darkness!”
Light is the absence of darkness. Holy light has never experienced darkness. Pure light is darkness removed and replace by holy light. Thus, spiritual light stimulates spiritual sight and makes spiritual things visible, particularly darkness or things contaminating light. Synonyms of the word “light” brings to the fore an array of exceptional nuances in meaning – illumination, brightness, luminescence, luminosity, shining, gleaming, gleam, brilliance, radiance, lustre, glowing and glow. The sum total of these confirms that in light there is no darkness. It testifies to the fact that the Triune God, God the Father, God the Son and God the Spirit, is essentially Light or Truth. God is Light (Truth) and God abides in Light (Truth) and God imparts Light (Truth) to all His children and requires of them to abide and walk in the Light (Truth) as He is in the Light (Truth).
Scripture has much to say about “light”. Here are some verses to guide our discussion.
When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”(John 8: 12)
For you were formerly darkness, but now you are Light in the Lord; walk as children of Light (Ephesians 5: 8-9)
We must work the works of Him who sent Me as long as it is day; night is coming when no one can work (John 9: 4).
The night is almost gone, and the day is near Therefore let us lay aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light (Romans 13:12).
So that you will prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world (Philipians 2:15).
For you are all sons of light and sons of day. We are not of night nor of darkness; so then let us not sleep as others do, but let us be alert and sober (Thessalonians 5: 5-6).
But if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin (1 John 1: 7).
“But he who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God (John 3: 21).
For the fruit of the Light consists in all goodness and righteousness and truth (Ephesians 5: 9),
Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours in the day? If anyone walks in the day, he does not stumble, because he sees the light of this world (John 11: 9).
The one who loves his brother abides in the Light and there is no cause for stumbling in him (1 John 2: 10).
“The eye is the lamp of the body; so then if your eye is clear, your whole body will be full of light (Matthew 6: 22).
“For so the Lord has commanded us, “I have placed you as a light for the gentiles, that you may bring salvation to the end of the earth” (Acts 13: 47).
And are confident that you yourself are a guide to the blind, a light to those who are in darkness(Romans 2: 19)
“Then watch out that the light in you is not darkness(Luke 11: 35).
“Indeed, the light of the wicked goes out, And the flame of his fire gives no light (Job 18: 5).
From all of the above, contrary to “darkness”, we can say that to be in the Light is an emphasis of maintaining a credible and obvious witness in the world, a witness that shows us to be faithful, God-honoring, trustworthy, sincere, earnest, and honest in all that we do. Also, we should always be ready to give an account of the hope that we have (1 Peter 3:15), for the gospel Light we have is not to be covered, but made obvious for all. Obvious also to the brethren around us to see and benefit from, so they may increasingly live in the Light or leave the darkness and come into the Light.
Believers in Christ must confess any darkness within themselves to God– their sins and transgressions – and allow God to shine His light through them. Christians cannot sit idly by and watch others continue in the darkness of sin, knowing that those in darkness are destined for eternal separation from God. The Light of the World desires to banish the darkness and bestow His wisdom everywhere (Isaiah 9:2; Habakkuk 2:14; John 1:9). In taking the light of the gospel to the world, we must by necessity reveal things about people that they would rather leave hidden. Light is uncomfortable to those accustomed to the dark (John 3:20). Jesus, the sinless Son of God, is the “true light” (John 1:9). As adopted sons of God, we are to reflect His light into a world darkened by sin. Our goal in witnessing to the unsaved is “to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God” (Acts 26:18).
To “walk in the light” is a common metaphor within Christian culture. It is often taken to mean, “acting correctly” or even “living openly” or “living a clean life”. Biblically, however, the phrase has the idea of renouncing sin by following Jesus (Proverbs 28:13). The only Old Testament occurrence of this precise phrase is in Isaiah 2:5, “O house of Jacob, come and let us walk in the light of the Lord.” The Psalms contain similar phrases (56:13; 89:15), as does Isaiah (9:2; 50:10-11; 59:9).
In the New Testament, “walking in the light” is directly related to following Jesus, who said, “I am the light of the world. He who follows me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life” (John 8:12). This verse does emphatically warn against walking in darkness, the opposite of walking in the Light; therefore, those who follow Jesus are “walking in the light.”
To “walk” is, in short, to live one’s life. One’s lifestyle or way of life can be considered a “walk.” The word also indicates progress. Walking is related to growth; it is taking steps toward maturity. “Light” in the Bible can be a metaphor for life, happiness, righteousness, or understanding. The Bible is clear that light comes from the Lord God, the “Father of the heavenly lights” (James 1:17). He is the opposite of evil. Putting it all together, “walking in the light” means, “growing in holiness and maturing in the faith as we follow Jesus.” We are clearly told in 1 John 2: 6 that “Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did”.
The apostle John repeatedly used the “light” metaphor in relation to the Messiah. For example, he writes that Jesus is “the true light that gives light to every man” (John 1:9). In 1 John 1:7 he says, “If we walk in the light as He [God] is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.” In verse 5, John says that God’s very nature is light. Jesus, then, is the conduit or provider of light to the world.
Our Christian duty is to live in the light God gives: “Now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light” (Ephesians 5:8). When we walk in the light, we cannot walk in darkness. Sin is left in the shadows as we let our light “shine before men” (Matthew 5:16). It is God’s plan for us to become more like Christ (1 Thessalonians 4:3).
To be in the “Light” in all simplicity means, people must see Jesus Christ in us, always!
- The pigs are in control!
Do you remember George Orwell’s Animal Farm? I think anyone who made it to Matric (Grade 12) in South Africa will know Animal Farm and the lessons gained from the story.
Socialism as Orwell understood it, stood for all the values – democracy, liberty, and equality – that Soviet Communism rejected. Orwell believed that only a truly democratic Socialist regime would support liberty. “Orwellian” is an adjective describing a situation, idea, or societal condition that George Orwell identified as being destructive to the welfare of a free and open society.
Animal Farm, written by George Orwell, is an allegorical story about the Soviet Union’s early years. There are several themes in Animal Farm, some including: Leadership and corruption, control of naïve working class, lies and deception, and dreams and hopes. The two main themes in Animal Farm have to do with leadership and corruption. Animal Farm portrays the history of the Russian Revolution by retelling the development of communism. Animal Farm, or Manor Farm at the beginning of the book, symbolizes a society. Specifically, it represents the Soviet Union during Communist rule. Animal Farm begins after a revolution, like the Russian Revolution, and it quickly develops its own form of government and structure. Since Animal Farm is an allegory based on the problems resulting from Russian Revolution, and its subsequent oppressive communist state, one of the messages of the novel is about how power can often lead to corruption and oppression. One of the biggest morals within the story, and the best remembered one could be expressed through the phrase “Power Corrupts, Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely.”
By the end of Animal Farm, pigs are walking on two legs, Seven Commandments have become one, and the pigs insist to the other humans that all they wanted all along was to “to live at peace and in normal business relations.” No wonder the animals can’t tell the pigs and humans apart. The pigs were in control.
The commonness of Animal Farms plot may be applied to all kinds of communities where the potential for corruption of power exists. One such community may be the “religious cult community”. In the middle of the jungle in Guyana, South America, nearly 1,000 people drank lethal cyanide punch or were shot to death, following the orders of their leader, Jim Jones. Mothers and fathers gave the deadly drink to their children and then drank it themselves. People screamed. Bodies trembled. And within a few minutes on Nov. 18, 1978, 912 people were dead. Jones’ followers originally came to the Guyanese community, known as Jonestown, seeking paradise and an escape from racism and persecution in the United States. Instead, they found something that resembled a concentration camp in which they worked long hours with little food and much abuse, those who escaped Jonestown have reported.
Jonestown should serve as a warning to the social psychology community in what can happen when leaders of an organization abuse principles of influence. Jones, who acted as the pastor of the People’s Temple, studied Orwell’s system of mind control described in “1984” and commissioned a song that his followers were required to sing at Jonestown about the advent of the year 1984.
Some of the mind control techniques Orwell described used in the Jones community include:
“Big brother is watching you.” Jones used this idea to gain the loyalty of his followers. He required followers to spy on one another
Self-incrimination. Jones instructed followers to give him written statements about their fears and mistakes and then, if they disobeyed him, he used that information to humiliate them or subject them to their worst fears during public meetings
Suicide drills. Orwell’s main character said that “the proper thing was to kill yourself before they get you” in a threat of war. Jones had his followers do practice suicide drills right up to the actual mass suicide event.
Distorting people’s perceptions. Jones blurred the relationship between words and reality, for example, by requiring his followers to give him daily thanks for good food and work – yet the people were starving and working six and a half days a week. Similarly, Orwell described such a technique, which he called “newspeak.”
By mastering such mind control techniques, Jones was able to gain followers’ obedience and loyalty. “Jim Jones is probably the most charismatic cult leader in modern times in terms of his personal appeal, oratory, his sexual appeal, his just sheer dynamism and his total participation in the control of every member of his group according to Zimbardo.
There are frightening parallels with the above in what we see and experience at Mission Kwasizabantu. Animal Farm as well as Jonestown highlights progressive developments from fiction to reality over time that brought catastrophe to the congregation. It induced the condition “silence of the lambs” on the adherents and eventually destruction was brought about and untold suffering resulted. Let those who have eyes see and those who have ears hear!
- The Silence of the Lambs!
The Biblical metaphor of shepherds and their flocks are well recognized. Psalm 23 and its application to the Lord Jesus and the New Testament church springs to mind. The portion of Scripture between Jesus and Peter in John 21 is very well known. When Jesus and his disciples had finished eating, he asked:
“Simon son of John, do you love me more than the others do?”+
Simon Peter answered, “Yes, Lord, you know I do!”
“Then feed my lambs,” Jesus said.
Jesus asked a second time, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”
Peter answered, “Yes, Lord, you know I love you!”
“Then take care of my sheep,” Jesus told him.
Jesus asked a third time, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”
Peter was hurt because Jesus had asked him three times if he loved him. So he told Jesus, “Lord, you know everything. You know I love you.”
Jesus replied, “Feed my sheep.
The symbolism of “lambs” and “sheep” is of utmost importance. References to sheep are found throughout the Bible. Sheep were often used as sacrificial animals (Numbers 28:4; Exodus 29:39). They were also a primary source of income in ancient Middle Eastern cultures. But sheep are also used symbolically to represent God’s people (Matthew 25:32). The Bible even refers to Jesus Christ as the “ Lamb of God” (John 1:29; 1 Peter 1:19). The humble status of a shepherd may be one reason Jesus chose that title when He described His relationship with us (John 10:14). Identifying Himself as a Shepherd demonstrated Christ’s meekness and emphasized the fact that He came for even the lowliest of the low (Matthew 11:29). We can summarize this metaphor as follows:
- God’s people are compared to sheep for several reasons (Psalm 79:13; 100:3). First of all, sheep are one of the few animals that do not have a defense system. Sheep are helpless without a shepherd (Matthew 9:36; Numbers 27:17).
- Sheep are notorious for following the leader, regardless of how dangerous or foolish that may be. Like sheep, human beings are extremely gullible when an attractive or charismatic leader promises a shiny new idea. History is replete with tragic illustrations of the “herd mentality” in action (Acts 13:50; 19:34; Numbers 16:2).
- Sheep are prone to wander away from the flock (Isaiah 53:6). A sheep’s only chance of survival is with the flock under the care of a competent shepherd. Yet sheep become overconfident, rebellious, or distracted, and they wander away. They spy greener grass in the other direction or fail to notice when the flock moves away. Peter had this tendency in mind when he warned the church to be on the alert because the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour (1 Peter 5:8).
That being the case the following reality becomes the silenced pattern by which the members of the church (flock of sheep and lambs) live their lives where the shepherds have departed from the biblical directives for living as the church of Christ in this world. “Silencing the lambs” (including the sheep) is a consequence with far reaching effect on the lives of members of the spiritual community. The resulting effect is that the “powers” in place, is effectively kept in place by the silence of the member’s body, members of the spiritual community or members of the congregations. Here are some of the implemented strategies, which keep the “silence of the lambs” efficiently in place:
critical thinking. Never question the leaders but accept and bow to their
- Isolating members and penalizing them for leaving.
- Emphasizing special doctrines outside scripture, received for example in a revival, a visitation by God, or other spiritual experiences.
- Seeking inappropriate loyalty to their leaders, many times an elitist group, to the point of worshipping leaders
- The “Prophet”, “Man of God”, “Voice of God” image of the leader is exalted to the point of singular godly appointment and vested authority.
- Dishonoring the family unit to protect the community.
- Crossing Biblical boundaries of behaviour (sexual purity and personal ownership).
- Separation from the Church, shunning those who leave as if they have left the “communal way” even Christ.
When these are given as “food” in sermons, devotions, counseling, discipline, school etc., the “silence of the lambs is virtually guaranteed. The flock may see things, the flock may hear things but the trust and faith in the doctrine(s) of leadership can never bring the majority to move outside of the comfort zone of the community. They will rather face persecution, ridicule and suffering than speak out or resist the corrupted shepherds.
- “Silence Is Golden”.
Now, I want to bring everything together that I have written above. I am trying to explain to you, the reader the silence of the majority of people living currently at the Mission. I don’t judge them. I have been there for many years and I do speak of involvement in all of this. I was simply one of them who lived with “the silence of the lambs” syndrome. It is a religious community that has effectively said “Hello darkness my old friend”. It is as being awake in a nightmare dream. The godly biblical spiritual base is eroded and replaced with a pseudo-religion. Someone put it like this – “by scare tactics, psychological abuse and also flattery a misplaced loyalty was created, whereby these people are totally obedient and faithful to everything that they are told. They either too afraid to say anything because of the dire consequences, or do not agree at all and can’t do anything about it. Leaders control our daily lives, and the obedient follow, and the scared keep a low profile”.
The words of a song sang by a group from 2001 is below:
Silence is Golden
If I am silent then I am not real
But if I speak up then no one will hear
If I wear a mask there’s somewhere to hide
Silence is Golden
I have been broken
Safe in my own skin
So nobody wins
If I raise my voice will someone get hurt
And if I can’t feel then I won’t get touched
If no truths are spoken then no lies can hide
Silence is Golden
Nobody gets in
Safe in my own skin
So nobody wins
For me, the above poem, gives a perfect picture of the subdued community of Mission Kwasizabantu. Keeping one’s mouth shut is a great virtue; as in don’t tell anyone else about whatever — silence is golden. Although this precise phrase was first recorded only in 1848, it is part of a much older proverb, “Speech is silver and silence is golden.” Speech is silver, but silence is golden is a proverbial saying, from middle of the 19th century; meaning that discretion can be more valuable than the most eloquent words. But when discretion gives way to a deliberate enforced “silence of the lambs”, the virtue has become a vice or sin.
The “pigs” are in control according to the story line and characters in Animal Farm. This had dire consequences for the Animal Farm community. I have likened what is happening at KSB to what Jacques Pauw writes in his book, “The President’s Keepers. I said to someone and acknowledged that I said it to a coworkers meeting on 23 October 2018, that the same pattern related in the book reveals itself at the Mission with Thofozi being the architect and driving force. I have been severely chastised for this at KSB. It is not that I have any concrete evidence but the abundance of circumstantial evidence points directly to this being the case. However, there is a cloud of witnesses testifying to the same effect. Whilst the “Old Major” in Animal Farm dies, “Snowball, Napoleon and Squealer” formulates the new philosophy called Animalism and finalize the takeover in Animal Farm.
The same is true at KSB. A new powerbase has developed over time under the auspices of Thofozi and her initial cohorts. A sizable select group of coworkers have surrounded her now. The ailing health of the Mission’s “Old Major” has empowered them to the point of being the “authority” in place, referred to as “Room 5.” It is common knowledge among those living at KSB and those outside KSB that “Room 5” and the select group of coworkers function as the “parliament” of KSB. Both nametags are in common use inside and outside of the Mission. This power base controls the daily lives of those living at the Mission; the obedient follow, and the scared keep a low profile. The taking over of power, is however the result of years and years of subversive actions to this effect. The fungi tentacles grabbing control have entered all branches of KSB in South Africa and the vile smelling “truffle” is about to come to the surface. However, some distance away, European branches of KSB are resisting the annexation of branches into the “Room 5” sphere of control. Because of the “man of God’s” health condition, the time has come to effectively control and execute the transfer of power now. Metaphorically, the “pigs” are formulating the policy for taking control.
As is the case in Animal Farm, the opponents to the group are sidelined or shunned from the Mission. Jan de Bruyn was the first to enlighten me on the divisions at KSB. In his words, uncle Erlo, the mamas and coworkers are on the side of the revival and uncle Friedel and Arno and some others from Europe are on the opposing side. I asked Thofozi about it face to face but she did not answer, however, a pregnant silence is as good as a yes, I would say. The marginalization of uncle Friedel and Arno Stegen is obvious, consistent and the talk of the town. Arno was seen as the one who will follow uncle Erlo as leader of KSB; he was groomed for it and there was common acceptance of it. But the new “power base” lifted him and sanctioned him to the ghettos of the rejected coworkers of the Mission. Indeed, the Animal Farm “pigs” have taken “control” already and it will be to the detriment of all at KSB. Mark my words! Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts even absoluty.
In Africa, observing the dictatorships in many countries, the untold suffering of the multitudes shatters one. The African people seem to have a capacity to suffer beyond what is reasonable for a human being to suffer at the hands of its leaders. At KSB, the same situation is unfolding. It has been going on for years but lately in this power struggle and pending final coup d’état there are signs of untold suffering for many ahead. And the overarching indication is what I would call the “silence of the lambs”. It is not that we don’t know what is right. It is not as if we don’t have a biblical model of what it should look like. It surely is not because we lack a Blueprint. No, it is because we have a corrupt power base and “all good knowledge of what should be” is reinterpreted for the “sheep and lambs” by trusted yet corrupted shepherds. And the “sheep and lambs” of the spiritual flock suffers in silence as they wait to be set free by a redeemer that God may raise.
What is so downright disheartening to the issue of the “silence of the lambs” is the whole issue of “hello darkness my old friend”, the return of the suffering saints to the comforts of previously known darkness whilst the shimmer of His light is also within eye contact. As the song showed, the “silent lamb” is not alone, but “ten thousand” others are there as well to exalt, uplift and worship the false neon light whilst the shimmer of godly light stays on the horizon of spiritual sight. And the wonderful Word of God is like graffiti on the wall, everybody sees it, but nobody really understands it anymore, and God’s Daniel has been silenced and words are words without meaning. Yet, the writing is on the wall!
But He is light and in Him is no darkness. If we follow Him, then we will walk in the light as He is in the light. We will exit darkness!
my old friend!”
 https://www.bachelorandmaster.com/britishandamericanpoetry/the-sound-of-silence.html. Songwriters: Paul Simon. The Sound of Silence lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group.
 Recommended Resource: The Holiness of God – RC Sproul.
 The Holiness of God – RC Sproul.
 I quote extensively here. I cannot say it clearer myself. The Letters of John, NIV Application Commentary by Gary Burge. https://www.gotquestions.org/walk-in-the-light.html.
 MELISSA DITTMANN. Monitor Staff. November 2003, Vol 34, No. 10. Print version: page 36. Also Philip G. Zimbardo, PhD, APA’s past-president and a psychology professor at Stanford University. https://www.apa.org/monitor/nov03/jonestown.
 https://www.gotquestions.org/sheep-in-the-Bible.html. “What is the significance of sheep in the Bible?
 Lessons from a Sheep Dog: A True Story of Transforming Love by W. Phillip Keller
 https://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2014/06/the-seven-signs-youre-in-a-cult/361400/. The Seven Signs You’re in a Cult
 “Silence Is Golden” as written by Douglas Elwin Erickson, Shirley Ann Manson, Steve W. Marker and Bryan David Vig.
Deconstruct of the “Men of God”.
11But flee from these things, you man of God, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love,
perseverance and gentleness. 12Fight the good fight of faith; take hold of the
eternal life to which you were called, and you made the good confession in the
presence of many witnesses. 13I charge you in
the presence of God, who gives life to all things, and of Christ Jesus, who
testified the good confession before Pontius Pilate, 14that
you keep the commandment without stain or reproach until the appearing of our
Lord Jesus Christ, 15which He will bring
about at the proper time—He who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of
kings and Lord of lords, 16who alone
possesses immortality and dwells in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen
or can see. To Him be honor and
eternal dominion! Amen. (1 Timothy 6:11-16. NASB)
- The “Man of God” concept.
- Constructed – not biblical mandate.
- The “Man of God” at KSB.
- Deconstruct of the “Men of God”
- “Et tu, Brute?”
- “Here I stand”
In writing this chapter, I know many will agree and as many will disagree with me. I will open myself up to fierce criticism as well as unyielding agreement. But my dear reader, remember I am writing about my own life journey with these men I will mention in this chapter. And if you disagree with me it is surely your prerogative and freedom to do so. Notwithstanding my critique of the three men in previous chapters, I still highly regard them as believers and brothers in Christ. I remember when Barney Mabaso left the Mission in 2000 and he was regarded as a heretic at KSB, I wrote a letter to the Mission’s leaders and cautioned them for doing so because in Christ he was still a believer and brother. I was called to a meeting, still the CFT offices at that time, to explain myself but I stood firm, Barney Mabaso has never denied Christ therefore he is a brother in Christ.
As you will see in section 2 below, the concept “Man of God” is a description given to a man who follows God; yet this “office” is not one of the five-fold ministry gifts (“offices”) of Ephesians 4:11 – apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers. So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers. The point is we cannot regard someone who is called “Man of God”, as being appointed by God or called by God to that as a particular “office” in the church. The “Man of God” designation has to do with a believing man’s walk with and before God. This life of the “Man of God” is experienced, observed and perceived as he lives his life in this world. One thing is for sure, it ill becomes men, but especially so-called “Men of God”, to set their hearts upon the things of this world; “Men of God” should be taken up with the things of God. There must be a conflict with corruption, and temptations, and the powers of darkness at all times with deliberate, faithful and perpetual intention.
Through my years of association with the Mission, only three people were regarded as leaders at the Mission, uncle Erlo, uncle Friedel (as they were warmheartedly called) and Arno Stegen. The so-called “mamas” were not leaders but staunch “women of prayer” to whom issues were referred for prayer. They were the “Huldas” of the leaders at KSB. From the time my family and I arrived at the Mission, uncle Erlo Stegen was known by the designation “Man of God”. We accepted this without any disquiet. Later we came to the conclusion that uncle Friedel Stegen by his life in Christ was also true to the designation of “Man of God”. Arno Stegen whom we regarded as the “replacement in time” for uncle Erlo, also revealed in his life the same qualities and as a “biblical Timothy” could be regarded as a “Man of God”.
The “Man of God” designation is a construct of man, an ideological or religious construct; an idea or theory containing various conceptual elements, typically one considered to be subjective and not based on empirical evidence. In other words, men believing in God calls another man “Man of God” because the particular man satisfies a specific set of presuppositions concerning the construct (concept) “Man of God”. The “Man of God” then is recognized by the special designation as a most blessed individual and honored as such within the religious group. There are only two ways a “Man of God” could experience deconstruct of his designation. Firstly when he falls from grace by living in any way contrary to the religious and spiritual presuppositions and perceptions and secondly when the same people who were responsible for his construct, are also responsible for his deconstruct in a deliberate and intentional way.
I am using a word that may be foreign to the reader’s ear and understanding. I want to explain the meaning of the word “construct” as it is important that the readers of this chapter understand. Merriam Webster dictionary gives us the following explanation:
Definition of construct
1 – something constructed by the mind: such as
- theoretical entity … the deductive study of abstract constructs …— Daniel J. Boorstin
- working hypothesis or concept: The unconscious was a construct that came from the daily effort to understand patients.
2 – a product of ideology, history, or social circumstances. Privacy is more than a social construct or an idea; it is a condition of the body.
A construct is therefore an action to produce a concept satisfying a set of presupposed, perceived or assumed requirements. Keep this in mind as we carry on.
- The “Man of God” concept.
The concept of “Man of God” appears only once in the New Testament. In total it appears 78 times in 72 verses of the Bible. It is applied to 13 individuals in the Bible. It is obviously not lightly used of an individual, as the following names will show: Moses, the Angel of the Lord, the priest Eli, Samuel, David, Elijah, Elisha, and Timothy.
Got Questions in their discussion gives a very profound description of the concept “Man of God” and I quote it here as a whole. It provides a very apt portrayal of what I would use as the standard by which one would want to judge religious men by. The concept “Man of God”is the description given to a man that follows God in every way, who obeys His commands with joy, who does not live for the things of this life but for the things of eternity, who willingly serves his God in giving freely of all his resources yet gladly suffers as a consequence of his faith. Perhaps Micah 6:8 sums up the man of God in one neat verse: “He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”
The man of God does not swindle or defraud his employer by turning up late for work or spending an hour on the internet during work hours; he doesn’t gossip or slander; he keeps his mind and heart pure by guarding his eyes and ears from the filth of the world; he is the spiritual leader of his family. He does everything opposite to what the world does or approves of; he goes “against the grain” of society because he knows these things displease God; he considers those who are “disadvantaged” or those rejected by society, those that are lonely or despairing; he is a listener to other people’s problems and does not judge.
Most of all, the man of God understands that when our Lord commanded him to “be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Matthew 5:48), he is only able to accomplish that because God enables him to be “holy and blameless in his sight” (Ephesians 1:4) through His power and the indwelling of His Spirit. On our own, we are incapable of holiness and perfection, but through Christ who strengthens us, we can “do all things” (Philippians 4:13). The man of God knows that his new nature is that of the righteousness of Christ, which was exchanged for our sinful nature at the cross (2 Corinthians 5:17; Philippians 3:9). The final result is that he walks humbly with his God, knowing that he must rely solely upon Him to be able to live to the full and persevere to the end.
The apostle Paul designates Timothy (and by correspondence all faithful ministers) as “Man of God”, a title given to Moses (Deut 33:1), David (Neh 12:24), Elijah (1 Kings 17:18) and Elisha (2 Kings 4:7) in the Old Testament. In so doing, the apostle sets the minister of the Word of God apart as one having a special relationship with and an origin in God. The minister is God’s special representative, one whom God has personally chosen and sent. Ministers should not simply claim this designation as if to have special sanction without the walk in Christ. The designation is earned and bestowed upon the one deserving of it. The calling to serve God is a calling to a position of special honor.
I would like to quote also an extensive piece from the Bible Gateway discussion of 1 Timothy 6: 11-16.  I quote: “God has placed an incredible weight of responsibility onto the Christian leader’s shoulders. The leader must not only faithfully nurture and direct the church but also pay careful attention to personal piety. A healthy church depends on healthy ministers whose ministry and personal life reflect equally the power of God.
Paul emphasizes the weight of this dual responsibility by closing the letter as he opened it, with a solemn charge to Timothy in the presence of God. The dangers of unfaithfulness, both to the leader and to the church, have been graphically spelled out in the interplay between descriptions of false teacher and faithful minister throughout the letter. Now, as the final contrast is made, the clarion call to faithful service resounds. The shape and tone of the text suggest that Paul may have adapted a formal ordination or baptismal charge for emphasis. But again, although the focus in this passage is on leaders, the instructions Paul gives apply to us all.
And God’s expectations of those with a high calling are great. There can be no compromise in the Christian leader’s lifestyle. Against the backdrop of spiritual defection, Paul makes this clear in the flee . . . pursue command that he issues. This traditional formula of exhortation (2 Tim 2:22) compels the readers to “escape” from the dangers of sin (in this case, the way of the false teachers in 6:3-5, 9-10–all this) to pursue a righteous life (compare 2 Tim 2:22). The tone is that of an emergency. Both flight and pursuit, however, require not only a conscious decision but also a sustained, lifelong effort; the emergency ends only with the appearance of Christ (6:14).
The first four terms, righteousness, godliness, faith and love, depict the new life of faith in contrast to the perverse behavior of the false teachers (6:4-5). Righteousness means observable “uprightness,” a life in accordance with God’s values. Godliness is Paul’s term for the whole of the Christian experience, the vertical posture of faith and its horizontal, visible outworking in life. It appears in this list (it is not in the others) because the heretics’ false notions about it were mentioned in 6:5. Faith and love (see 4:12; notes on 2:15) depict these two dimensions of genuine Christianity, a balance of personal faith and correct doctrine and works done in the power of the Spirit.” End quote.
So it is clear that not all spiritual leaders, and definitely not all ministers will “qualify” to receive the designation “Man of God”. The three “Men of God” in my opinion, are deserving of the designation because of what I saw and understood from their lives as they lived their lives at the Mission and outside of the Mission. They satisfied, on face value, the prerequisites, presuppositions, expectations and perceptions necessary to be designated “Men of God”.
- Construct – not biblical mandate.
I want to reiterate the assertion that the Lord Jesus and therefore the Bible do not authorize the designation of ”Man of God” as an office within the New Testament church of Jesus Christ. It is most interesting that none of the Jesus’ disciples, later apostles, were ever designated as “Man of God”. This is not to say it should not be used at all today. However, the designation should be used with caution and bestowed on individuals within the church who are ministers of the Word and whose lives testify of an exceptional walk with the Lord.
In the first place the “Man of God” is a construct of God the Holy Spirit. We are told in Galatians 5: 25 (BSB): Since we live by the Spirit, let us walk in step with the Spirit. The result of this, the indwelling Spirit in our lives, is to produce observable, perpetual and “edible” fruit of the Spirit in our lives, for the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is then an end to the works of the flesh or sinful nature, which inter alia includes immoral ways, filthy thoughts, and shameful deeds. Such people are worshiping of idols, practicing witchcraft, and hating others. People become jealous, angry, and selfish. They not only argue and cause trouble, but they are envious. They get drunk, carry on at wild parties, and do other evil things as well (See Galatians 5: 19ff).
Secondly, it being a construct of believing men and women in the church, the designation “Man of God” is bestowed on the person during the normal walk of life. It is not the result of a decision at a church counsel’s meeting, a coworkers’ meeting or elitist group’s meeting. Not at all, rather it is the spontaneous designated title of the body of Christ, the church, for the minister, because of His walk in the Spirit, with Christ before God and God’s people. It is therefore a construct of the body of Christ, the people of God to the honor and glory of God.
- The “Man of God” at KSB.
The designation “Man of God” has been used extensively to honor reverend Erlo Stegen in all spiritual circles in South Africa and abroad. At the Mission you heard the phrase very regularly. Somewhat less was it used of Friedel Stegen and quite infrequently with regard to Arno Stegen. Notwithstanding the frequency of usage, all three men were designated as “Man of God” at KSB.
As “Men of God”, they live their lives at the Mission in the sight of God and man. Whereas in the case of Friedel Stegen and Arno Stegen, the designation never became an “office” within the church, it was definitely different with reverend Erlo Stegen. With the aforementioned two, the designation remained very much in line with how the apostle Paul titled Timothy. It was a more of a factual designation than anything else. A very weak construct came into being for these two ministers at KSB.
On the contrary, with reverend Erlo Stegen, a genuine recognizable religious and social construct came into being. He was not only designated as “thee man of God”; but the designation bestowed on him predicted biblical entitlement, Christ ordained office, ministerial status, Holy Spirit exclusivity and occupational respect. This assumed character was established, vigorously guarded and kept in place by a zealous, jealous and loyal clergy, and it manifested in a religious construct that went beyond the biblical ordination of the Fivefold Ministry given by Christ in Ephesians 4:12-13. I don’t know when it was used for the first time of reverend Erlo Stegen. Nonetheless, the designation is embedded in the theology of the Mission to the point where people are reminded that criticizing the leader of the Mission, the man of God, the servant of God, the anointed of God or the “apple of god’s eye” will be like criticizing the Lord God directly or metaphorically “poking one’s finger in the eye of God”.
Tendencies from within the Zulu culture were added to the construct and combined with biblical presuppositions to create a “Man of God” construct with authority to decide without restraint in matters of “life and death.” This brought a huge and at times an unbearable responsibility upon reverend Stegen. To offset this burdensome responsibility he would exploit and manipulate the relationship with the mamas to be able to cope with the leadership burden. The mamas were “women of prayer” to assist him in doing the will of God. They included the late mama Nzibande and late mama Dube. Today three others have taken over namely Thofozi Dube, Eunice and Busi Hadebe, although Busi Hadebe has fallen from grace because she had been shown to have “feet of clay” in the time she was one of the “women of prayer”. They were never supposed to take over the leadership of KSB and neglect their “prayer capacity”; yet experience is showing that they did. Over time these women became the real “rulers of the nest”, but more about that later. It suffices to say that these women became masterful manipulators with their cohorts to bring about a deconstruct of the designated “Men of God”.
One has to understand, when the authors of the construct manipulate the constituents of the construct, they can deconstruct it or reduce it to its constituent parts in order to reinterpret and reconstruct it to suit a new set of presuppositions of their choosing. What does this mean in real terms? It means that man is in control of his creation (construct) to suit his own needs. Within the domain of the spiritual man this should not pose a problem. However, when the spiritual man is enticed to the point of saying “hello darkness my old friend” things may change drastically and the possibility of deconstruct is eminent.
Conditions at KSB that are conducive to deconstruct is prevalent. Over time the “Man of God” designated, reverend Erlo Stegen, has had a health issue. It is said that he is in the early stages of dementia. The loss of memory and degeneration of mental abilities is very conducive to deconstruct and manipulation. And it is happening at KSB. The leader is losing spiritual and physical control, can’t remember, can’t foresee consequences and depends on others for guidance in KSB matters. There is no one indicated to take over the reigns as spiritual leader after him. This is very conducive to a situation to deconstruct the “Man of God”. The other “Men of God” is so to say expendable within the current spiritual philosophy and atmosphere at KSB as their construct as “Men of God” has never reached the levels of the true “Man of God” as was the case with Timothy in the Bible.
Deconstruct of Friedel Stegen and Arno Stegen is complete. As if with a pen, they were crossed out from among the coworkers of KSB. Their God ordained calling cancelled, their gifts of the Spirit scorned and their being chosen by Christ as preachers and teachers was annulled. That is the power of the constructivists.
Deconstruct of the “Man of God” designated, reverend Erlo Stegen will take somewhat longer. The process is in place and will be completed in time.
- Deconstruct of the “Men of God”
It is common knowledge that a new management power (“Power”) is established at KSB. It is also common acceptance that Room 5 is the “war room” for this new entity at KSB. It is further, also recognized commonly that Thofozi and her cohorts or associates are in full control of the Mission and referred to as the “parliament” of KSB. Everything has to be referred to Room 5 for approval. The associates are recognized to be Eunice, Jabulane Dube, Ruth Combrink, Michael Ngubane, Detlef Stegen, Dietmar Joosten, Dirk Combrink, Nthokozo Nhlabathi, Dorothy Newlands, Tobie Vermaak, Albu van Eeden, and some others of lesser importance and standing at KSB. Together with Thofozi they are the “Power” at Mission Kwasizabantu.
As such, the new power is exerting itself in many ways especially with deconstruct of the “Men of God”. Deconstruct followed the fact that the two “Men of God”, Friedel Stegen and Arno Stegen did not agree with what is being done at KSB. There are perhaps two obvious reasons why deconstruct was so severe and final with regard to them. Firstly, their non-compliance with the intentions of the new “Power” at KSB signed their eligibility for deconstruct to take place. I assume they said, “No!” to involvement with the “Moneybags” scheme. Secondly the fact that Arno Stegen was to follow reverend Stegen as leader of the Mission did not sit well with the new “Power”. Scarcely three weeks back from the USA last June I was informed of the power struggle at the Mission by three sources. I was told about the division at the mission. Three coworkers, speaking about the coworker’s meetings that took place at KSB, also informed me that Arno Stegen was confronted about the succession issue during the meetings and severely censured afterwards.
With the above as background and motivation deconstruct was swift and final. The new “Power” put them aside. They were not allowed to preach the Gospel or counsel congregants. I was told by Thofozi not to speak to Friedel Stegen about matters, although he had been my counselor for 20 years. The reason being that I have not received permission to do so. Others were also told not to counsel with them anymore. Arno Stegen, was no longer allowed to translate when reverend Erlo Stegen was preaching whereas he had always been the number one choice to do so when available. He and his family were now living in the background and even sat back of the rest of the congregation during services in the auditorium. People noticed, congregants asked questions but no answers were forthcoming. Many congregants and even coworkers spoke to me about their confusion regarding these phenomena at the Mission.
Deconstruct of the two “Men of God” was complete. They have fallen from grace completely. The two men shut up and remain silent. They have been banished to the slums of the “rejected ones.” What they know, what they have done and what they have allowed is locked up behind their closed mouths. How they live with themselves seeing how others are ill-treated, hounded, oppressed, maltreated and wronged whilst they refuse to reveal the atrocities is beyond my understanding. By being silent the very destruction of the Mission is at hand and like Pilate they stand back and let be what shall be.
A leader can never withdraw himself as if innocent of the corruption and power struggle that happened under his leadership and is perpetually happening to the detriment of all around him. Other people are ostracized and fighting against unrighteousness whilst they hold all the aces that could ensure the victory for righteousness. Untold suffering is eminent and they shut up to protect who knows what. God’s children at KSB are crying out to God for mercy and the two men “withhold mercy” as they shut the truth from every one. The truth is; God may require the blood of the innocent from their hands!
Dietrich Bonhoeffer said: “Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.”
- “Et tu, Brute?”
It is common for people to use this expression when someone whom they did not expect has betrayed them. This is one of many expressions that the famous English playwright William Shakespeare popularized. This quote appeared in the play Julius Caesar, a tragedy likely written around the year 1599. This play revolves around the historical figure of a leader of Rome, Julius Caesar. In the play, other political leaders, senators, were worried that Caesar would become the emperor of Rome. They did not want Rome to have an emperor; they wanted Rome to be a republic. Therefore, they conspired to murder Caesar (to deconstruct Caesar). One of the conspirators, Brutus, was a friend of Caesar. He did not want to kill Caesar, but believed he had to in order to prevent Caesar from becoming an emperor and, as a result, destroying the Republic of Rome. When Brutus and the other senators came to assassinate Caesar, Caesar spoke to Brutus, asking him how he could betray him in such a way through the Latin question, “Et tu, Brute?” Shakespeare quoted Caesar speaking in Latin, “Et tu, Brute,” meaning “Even you, Brutus?”
When I look and analyze the situation at KSB, the above quote is very much in my mind. As I said above, deconstruct of “thee Man of God”, reverend Erlo Stegen stands on two legs. The first is that deconstruct is done by the very ones that did the construct of reverend Erlo Stegen as “thee Man of God” in the first place. Indeed, he can quote Julius Caesar by asking “Et tu, X” and replace the X with the name of his most nearest associates accommodated into the new “Power”, starting with Thofozi Dube. The truth of this had been confirmed to me by some very reliable sources. How does one deconstruct someone who is “thee Man of God?”
Firstly he is allowed to embarrass himself. As a person with particular health issues, dementia specifically, he is encouraged and allowed to preach. His sermons are streamed across the globe. In the pulpit he can’t remember, repeats himself continually, he would read his sermon at times up to three times, and don’t know how and when to finish his sermon. Later it had been better as he read more carefully being coached to do so. When confronted with the situation the “Man of God” finds himself in, Thofozi said this is how he preached in the beginning of the revival at Maphumulu, which is simply not true. There are videos and hundreds of tapes of his sermons contradicting her statement. Marius Pretorius stated that it is God the Holy Spirit that would cause him to pray repeatedly, up to nine times. This is contrary to God’s Word as God the Holy Spirit is never incoherent or chaotic or embarrassing of the Godhead. Many people listening to him preach would be embarrassed on his behalf. Some would laugh and even walk out of the service when he preaches.
It is clear that those around him did not assist him and manage him in his health crisis. His embarrassment became the Mission’s embarrassment and then his image as the ”Man of God” is tarnished. The Mission’s leaders would directly deny any ill health situation despite proof of the opposite to be true. Any one who dares to question or discuss reverend Stegen’s health problem would be seriously chastised and scorned.
Secondly he is advised and used to do something without him comprehending the situation or having the facts. On the 5 January 2019, I was requested to meet with him. He admonished me for preaching when I was told by the Mission not to preach at all. I asked who told him that I am preaching outside of the Mission and he simply said he does not know and became very perturbed. He looked at the others in the room and said he will have to ask from the others. He really seemed to have lost his argument. He took my hand and then prayed a prayer of blessing for the preaching that I am doing in Mafakhatini. He subsequently told the others, Detlef and Hulda, who were present: “ Do you hear, I am blessing him?” It was clear that his whole act was pre-planned and he did not have any information to base his action on. He was simply manipulated and used.
Reverend Stegen is stripped of his authority and his decisions are turned over without him being involved. One is referred to him regarding matters that need a decision. One is told that reverend Erlo Stegen and him alone make the decision. He decides and then, without his knowledge the decision is turned over and the matters at hand is handled contrary to his initial decision by those now in authority. This is not an isolated case. It happens over and over again.
His spiritual authority is denied as the “Man of God” who is filled with God the Holy Spirit, who abides in the Spirit and hears the voice of the Spirit. That is the testimony of whom he is because of the construct done over a long period of time. If he is “thee Man of God”, if he is the one whose prayers move the mighty hand of God, if he is the one whose prayers bring miracles and wonders, if he is the one whose prayers brings demons to tremble and flee, if he is the one who decides under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, then how is it that his associates can go against the Spirit of God present in the man and overturn his decisions and manipulate him to do their begging. Unless of course he is what he is because of him being their construct and nothing more. There are testimonies that he had been coerced many a time into doing financial undertakings based on the advice of his associates, as is the case with the “moneybags” story.
There are also many testimonies that Thofozi and her associates are getting bolder and are taking control. They use scare tactics, psychological abuse and spiritual manipulation to control people. Loyalty to the “Power” is ensured through generating fear in people. They base their new standing not on the authority of the ”Man of God” but on the fact that they have been there when the revival happened and when Thofozi died and became alive again. Arno Stegen as the natural and envisaged replacement for the “Man of God“ is removed and silenced. Into this leadership vacuum steps Thofozi and her associates and manipulate a take over of everything and they deconstruct the “Man of God” in doing so.
The “Power” induces a lying spirit in the “Man of God” to suit their deconstruct strategy for the “Man of God”. His health condition is exploited to support the deconstruct goal. The Dutch story, the Dutch Queen, the Judge X, the murder of the 28 agents, the container in the Zambezi River, the repayment of the millions embezzled all originated in Room 5. The “Man of God” has limited understanding of reality because dementia is so present in his life. Dementia is not a specific disease but an overall term that describes a group of symptoms associated with a decline in memory or other thinking skills severe enough to reduce a person’s ability to perform everyday activities. He told these “lies” to whoever at KSB and overseas and even during a church service in the KSB auditorium, and is never corrected because his lies suits the covert activities born in Room 5 to the mint. But his lying is progressively enhancing the process of deconstruct.
The second leg of deconstruct is the life of the “Man of God”. Here one refers to his preaching, his observable conduct, his public utterances and appearances, his personal testimony, his walk with God, his family relations, his relation with other leaders and coworkers. Virtually every walk of his life, which is observable to the naked eye, is applicable. The very important mute and deciding consideration in the life of the “Man of God” is his covert actions in the light of who he is and represent.
Reverend Erlo Stegen as “thee Man of God” at KSB, comes with a historical evaluation, firstly very positive by his constructivists (Thofozi and associates, family and coworkers) and very negatively by the “realists” (KSB Alert and others). His observable and apparent life inclines to the constructivists’ version of him as the “Man of God”. It might be that negativities, like the lies, accumulating wealth like holiday homes and airplanes or particular actions like getting angry, are observed; but these are discounted against the image of him as the “Man of God” and are overall not too detrimental to his image as the “Man of God”. After all, it is said, he is regarded as the “anointed” of God at KSB and thus his life should reveal the blessings and goodwill of God.
On the other hand, his covert actions now coming to the fore, whether because of his direct or indirect involvement, is very conducive to deconstruct him as the “Man of God”. A case in mind is the whole deconstruct of the “Man of God” Jimmy Swaggart whose covert life, when brought to the light, decimated him totally. In real terms, considering the current situation at KSB, one can conclude that “thee Man of God” at KSB has a covert life worth hiding. The sad part is that he is neither capable to reveal it himself nor capable to reveal those who seduced him into it nor capable to defend himself. In this condition his deconstruct is eminent at the hands of the constructivists and his historical observable and perceived live will incline heavily to the conclusion of the realists as his covert actions are revealed.
To his detriment, Thofozi and her cohorts will deconstruct him fully, using historical and current inputs that will suit their course, and he will be helpless to defend himself. Thofozi and her cohorts will blame him and never accept blame themselves. Remember, nothing happens at KSB without the “Man of God’s” knowledge or permission. So, Thofozi and her cohorts only did what the ”Man of God” approved and they never took the decision themselves. The “Man of God” is between the devil and the deep blue sea (Room 5) with nowhere to go. He is in checkmate!
His covert life at KSB involves, together with Thofozi and her cohorts, lots of money – actually millions of Rands, wealth, airplanes, houses, corrupt government departments, concealing rapes, sexual immorality, threatening sexually abused women into silence, abuse of human rights, covert money laundering, defrauding the government of tax, lies to cover covert money laundering, payment of bribes and perhaps more. The question to ask is this: “To what extend is he accountable for these clandestine actions?”
The answer to this question, I believe, will also be the nail into the final “deconstruct” coffin of the “Man of God” as we have known reverend Erlo Stegen. Two things need to be established. Firstly, when did his dementia started? Medical records will play a vital role to establish facts. Secondly, when did the corrupt covert actions started? Looking at the facts at hand it seems in my opinion that the corrupt covert actions precede the onslaught of the dementia by many years. If this is proven to be true the “Man of God” image will shatter into a myriad of fragments and the deconstruct of the man will be completed. The real implication lies beyond the mere deconstruct of the “Man of God”; if he is proven to be a religious fake living a God-lie, the whole revival will be judged to be fake too. In other words; “thee Man of God” at KSB is a construct, the 1966 Revival is a construct, the 1973 Near Death of Thofozi is a construct and then the deconstruct of KSB will follow.
Not reverend Erlo Stegen nor Thofozi or anyone of her cohorts or those locked up in their silence will be able to claim “innocence”. When the guillotine falls, all heads will roll!
And the “realists” will simply say: “We told you so, did we not!”
- “Here I stand”
Luther said: “Here I stand I can do no other”.
Here I too stand (on my belief), and I cannot NOT believe what I believe. In other words: In a physical sense I cannot help but stand where I stand. Luther uses this as a metaphor, meaning that he, in a mental sense as well, cannot help but stand where he stands. He has to believe what he believes. So do I! I don’t just stand for myself; I also stand for the victims and those who have suffered immensely because of the evil that had befallen them at the hands of the KSB “saints”. I will stand for them, I will stand with them and I will speak on their behalf. So, “Here I stand I can do no other!
I challenge KSB to come forth with the truth. Many voices have spoken to me. Many opinions have been put forward to me. Corporate KSB has been silent. Friedel Stegen and Arno have been silent. Coworkers with knowledge have been silent. Yet, slowly but surely the commoners are speaking. Slowly but surely the alleged transgressions are being corroborated.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer said: “Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.” This is very much the same we find in the book of Esther when Mordchai spoke: “Do not imagine that because you are in the king’s palace you alone will escape the fate of all the Jews. 14 For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows but that you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” (Esther 4: 14. SB). The most powerful antidote to a lie is someone who can confidently say: “I have seen the truth with my own eyes or I have heard the truth with my own ears.”
I would like to quote from a sermon titled “The Sin of Silence” by Dr. Laurence White. I am touched by what he says for my own walk with the Truth. But I would like to share this with the three men of God at KSB as well as the silent ones among the coworkers.
We, as Christian pastors, seem to have forgotten that God did not call us to be popular or successful, God called us to be faithful. Faithful preaching never comes in the form of safely vague, pious platitudes. Faithful preaching must identify and denounce the false gods of this world that call upon our people to bow down before them every day. God did not call us to be successful CEOs, protecting institutional peace and tranquility, bringing in the bodies and the bucks by avoiding controversy, and telling everybody what they wanted to hear.
God called us to proclaim His Word, to be vigilant watchmen standing high upon the walls of Zion, sounding forth the clear clarion call of the trumpet, calling out God’s people to war against the host of evil advancing all around us.
The great reformer Martin Luther once declared that the preacher who does not rebuke the sins of the rulers through God’s Word spoken publically, boldly and honestly, strengthens the sins of the tyrants, and becomes a partaker in them, and bears responsibility for them. Now note carefully Luther’s words. They ought to sear the conscience of every pastor in America today. The preacher who does not speak out becomes a participant in the wickedness of the tyrants and bears responsibility for it.
When Adolf Hitler came to power in Germany in 1933, he scornfully dismissed the church, and her pastors, as an irrelevant force, which posed no threat to the Nazi agenda for that great nation. “I promise you,” he boasted to his inner circle, “that if I wish to I could destroy the church in just a few years. It is hollow, it is rotten, and false through and through. One push and the whole structure would collapse.”
“We should trap the preachers,” he said, “by their notorious greed and self-indulgence. We shall thus be able to settle everything with them in perfect peace and harmony. I shall give them a few years reprieve, why should we quarrel? They will swallow anything in order to keep their material advantage. The parsons will be made to dig their own graves, they will betray their God for us, and they will betray anything for the sake of their miserable jobs and incomes”.
The dictator’s words proved to be tragically accurate. The great majority of Christians in Germany looked the other way and minded their own business. They kept their religion. They did that which was expedient and practical and safe, while their country was dragged down into a swirling maelstrom of barbarism and death.
In 1940, that lonely voice of truth proclaimed, “We the church must confess that we have not proclaimed often or clearly enough the message of the One God who has revealed Himself for all time in Christ Jesus, and who will tolerate no other gods beside Himself. She must confess her timidity, her cowardice, her evasiveness and her dangerous concessions. She was silent when she should have cried out because the blood of the innocent was crying aloud to heaven. The church must confess that she has witnessed the lawless application of brutal force, the physical and spiritual suffering of countless innocent people, oppression, hatred, and murder. And that she has not raised her voice on behalf of the victims. And has not found way to hasten to their aid.
“The church is guilty of the deaths of the weakest and most defenseless brothers of Jesus Christ. The church must confess that she has desired security and peace, quiet, possession, and honor to which she has no right. She has not born witness to the truth of God and by her silence, she has rendered herself guilty, because of her unwillingness to suffer for what she knows to be right.”
Bonhoeffer’s warning went unheeded. He was dismissed by most of his colleagues as a single-issue fanatic. In less that five years, he was dead, hung naked from a piano wire noose, in Flossenburg concentration camp.
At KSB we all preached the Gospel, those who are silent preached the Gospel, the preachers amongst Thofhosi and her cohorts preached the Gospel, the leaders of KSB in Europe preached the Gospel, and the preachers among the coworkers preached the Gospel that our allegiance to the Lord Jesus Christ must take precedence over any other loyalty in every part of our lives. If the Lord Jesus is truly our Lord, then we must serve Him. If the Lord Jesus is truly our Lord, then He cannot be safely compartmentalized to one place, one time, one day of the week, with one group of people, while we live like the heathen now in silent sin all the rest of the time. God has called us to be faithful spokesmen for His Word.
34Don’t think I came to bring peace to the earth! I came to bring trouble, not peace. 35 I came to turn sons against their fathers, daughters against their mothers, and daughters-in-law against their mothers-in-law. 36Your worst enemies will be in your own family. 37 If you love your father or mother or even your sons and daughters more than me, you are not fit to be my disciples. 38 And unless you are willing to take up your cross and follow me, you are not fit to be my disciples. 39 If you try to save your life, you will lose it. But if you give it up for me, you will surely find it. (Matthew 10: 32-38CEV)
The Roman statesman, historian, Pliny Legonier once observed, “The common people find all religions to be true. The philosophers find all religions to be false. The politicians find all religions to be useful.” We, the preachers at KSB dare not associate with this, not even in keeping silent.
In the winter of 1943, a group of university students in Munich, calling themselves the White Rose, began a desperate effort to awaken the young people of that nation to the malignant evil that had engulfed their country. A twenty-five year old student named Hans Scholl led them. He wrote: “Everywhere, and at all times of greatest trial, men have appeared, prophets and saints, who cherished their freedom, who preached the one God, and who with His help, brought the people to a reversal of their downward course. I ask you now, as a Christian, wrestling for the preservation of your greatest treasure, why do you hesitate? Why are you inclined toward intrigue, calculation, and procrastination? Are you hoping that someone else will raise his arm in your defense? God has given you the strength. God has given you the will to fight. We must attack the evil now, where it is strongest.”
As your brother in Christ and fellow servant of the Lord, I ask you before the living God, brothers and preachers of God’s Holy Word, to speak out against the evil at KSB and to reveal the evil for what it is. Do not be silent! Silence under these circumstances is sin!
Please speak and confess the works of darkness at KSB openly (publicaly) before God and God’s congregation:
Reverend Erlo Stegen
Jan Willem Mout
Albu van Eeden
Thofozi Dube (Not a preacher)
Ruth Combrink(Not a preacher)
The conclusion and verdict is obvious; when you do not speak against the evil and do not reveal the evil at KSB:
- You proclaimed a false religion. Your Jesus is not more important to you than anything or anyone else in this world.
- What you preached to others you do not practice yourself. You do not have the fear of God in your life.
- Your message of a Holy God calling His followers to live a holy life because He is holy is not true.
- You are hypocrites for you have convicted others to hell for their evil but you cover your own evil in silence.
- All your children and brethren being send away from the Mission because they did not want to follow your God were right to do so, you also do not follow the God you preach.
- Sodom and Gomorrah had no bible. You do have the Bible. What do you believe? It is unbelief to disobey the Word of God is it not?
- Your silence proclaims a life fearing man not fearing God.
The Lord Jesus said: “Repent of your sins and turn to God, for the Kingdom of Heaven is near.”(Matthew 4:17NLT)
A son of man that will hide his evil will not succeed, and God will be moved with compassion upon him that confesses to his sins and passes from them. (Proverbs 28:13 Aramaic Bible in plain English)
I am the least
of you and I speak in fear and trembling.
 1 Timothy 6 – IVP New Testament Commentaries. https://www.biblegateway.com/resources/commentaries/IVP-NT/1Tim/Timothy-Man-God
 An address delivered September 6, 2000 at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Kansas City, MO by Dr. Laurence White, Senior pastor, Our Savior Lutheran Church Houston, Texas. The Sin of Silence. A message to American pastors and their congregations
The KSB System
And do not have fellowship with the unfruitful works of
darkness, but rather even expose them
1 Dear friends, my greatest wish and my prayer to God is for
the people of Israel to be saved. 2 I know they love God, but they don’t
understand 3 what makes people acceptable to him. So they refuse to trust God,
and they try to be acceptable by obeying the Law. 4 But Christ makes the Law no
longer necessary for those who become acceptable to God by faith (Romans 10:
- The KSB System
- Principles in the KSB System
- Cult Status? Really?
- “A cult by any other name is still a cult”
- Deconstructing the System
- A truth and Reconciliation Commission
I have not planned to write a further chapter. But some matters brought to the point to still compile this closing chapter. This then is my last chapter for the “book”.
Below are two “WhatsApp” messages I have received from a KSB member and KSB supporter(s) in the last week. We have also received phone calls where no one speaks when one answers. All one hears is heavy breathing on the phone. Then there were some other text messages, phone calls and emails as well. But it is very interesting to note what they are saying to us. I don’t think they meant it to be a secret either therefore I put it with their names and mobile numbers below. I speak in the open so I assume they would also like to be in the open speaking to me.
Mr and mrs I just want to let you know that we are not Ksb member’s but Ksb and uncle Erlo helped us when we came back from exile than we vowed to that anyone who who fight Ksb or uncle Erlo will be fighting us and I don’t think you want to be our enemy unfortunately we know you but you don’t know us 4rm Freedom Fighter’s –
(Received as is from phone number 0739330761)
Good morning! Oh shame, do you have nothing better to do in your old day than to hurt others …? Rev Peet, your ego was your problem for many years, I think “dictator” is the word I’m looking for … I’ve seen trough you for years. You could never get steadfastness in your lives, now you have to blame something. I hope I do not see your faces in Heidelberg …. because I will personally work you out of town. We don’t need people like you here … actually not in our country either. So my suggestion is, go to Chris, overseas, and see how long he wants to sit up with two disgruntled old people. Kind regards, Eloise van Niekerk. (Afrikaans message translated with Google Translate. Received from phone number 0833266843).
The way they write and threatened Andra and I, as did others, brought me to realize just how correct it is what I plan to write in this chapter. When a religious community can’t take criticism and try to defend themselves by threatening those who criticize them, into fear and silence, there surely is something seriously amiss within the community.
I cannot forget that we are accountable to the living God and not to man. I cannot forget that what I have received in preaching of God’s Word at KSB has changed and directed my life as I have accepted the truth of it. Therefore, I cannot understand the compromise at KSB with human inclinations rather than God’s Truth now so vividly seen. And you, the reader, may feel to react like the two people above as well or understand and accept what I am writing, and again that is your prerogative. Notwithstanding the reaction I get, let me further highlight the condition of the KSB community that she finds herself in at the moment. If this condition becomes the established norm for the KSB community and the spiritual reality for KSB as a religious entity, all will be lost.
The basics of the criticism of what I have written in chapter 10 relates to the concept “complicity”. When is one complicit in a system’s policies and deeds and when not? To what extend am I myself complicit in what has happened at KSB? When does complicity ends? Does it simply end when I say, “I am sorry?” If one keeps silent, is complicity still an issue? If one does not confront or expose wrongs, are you then complicit if you keep silent? These questions need to be answered. The biblical correctness of the answers is most important to us. Therefore I would like to endeavor to give a theological answer to the questions and from that assess my evaluation of KSB.
We first of all have to understand what it means to be complicit. Here are some opinions to help us understand. Some people have expressed themselves concerning complicity and I quote them below:
- “If I were to do nothing, I’d be guilty of complicity.”
― DaShanne Stokes
- “Nothing strengthens authority so
much as silence.”
― Leonardo da Vinci
- “The point is there is no feasible
excuse for what are, for what we have made of ourselves. We have chosen to put
profits before people, money before morality, dividends before decency,
fanaticism before fairness, and our own trivial comforts before the unspeakable
agonies of others”
― Iain M. Banks
- “We need to remind the peers of the
bully that they benefit from bullying even if they are not themselves the
transgressors. Indeed, they benefit from it, but they are tarnished by it. To
chip away at the humanity of select groups is to chip away at humanity itself.”
― DeRay Mckesson
- You think that your silence on
certain topics, perhaps in the face of injustice, or unkindness, or
mean-spiritedness, causes others to reserve judgement of you. Far otherwise;
your silence utters very loud: you have no oracle to speak, no wisdom to offer,
and your fellow people have learned that you cannot help them. Doth not wisdom
cry, and understanding put forth her voice? We would be well to do likewise
― Ralph Waldo Emerson
- In the end, we will remember not the
words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends
― Martin Luther King Jr
- First they came for the Socialists,
and I did not speak out for I was not a socialist. Then they came for the Trade
Unionists and I did not speak out for I was not a Trade Unionist. Then they
came for the Jews, and I did not speak out for I was not a not a Jew. Then they
came for me and there was no one left to speak for me.
― Martin Niemöller
It is clear that silence is not the answer. When one knows the wheel of understanding has turned the full circle and childlike naivety is departed to make way for a renewal of the mind and spiritual clarity had been gained, one has to speak. Silence under these circumstances, one may conclude is motivated by personal considerations and not biblical mandate.
At KSB it is taught that living in the light means one has to talk, confess and reveal the darkness in your life or in the lives of others when you observe them. Talk, talk and talk! Or confess, confess, and confess! Even the past Sunday, (March 24, 2019) dr Albu van Eeden’s whole sermon of more than an hour resonated with this single biblical exhortation, be in the light, confess and be right with God and God’s people. Therefore, the deafening silence of KSB as a whole, the leadership and specifically the three “men of God” do not establish the Bible’s exhortation to “live in the light” as taught at KSB. The lack of action, verbal or otherwise, fly in the face of a Gospel that was preached to tens of thousands where obedience to the Word of God was always held as a clear prerequisite for the child of God. And now? Is it a classic case of, “Do as I say, do not do as I do?
- The KSB System
Let us try first to understand the concept “system”. A “system” is a whole that functions as a whole because of the interactions between its parts.
Mission Kwasizabantu functions as a “system” by definition. The contents of the KSB system may be identified as the “KSB way”. This is documented to go back as far as the start of the 1966 revival. I have written about it in previous chapters as well. All people subscribing to KSB, from the leaders to the least of the members are part and parcel of the KSB system and are living the “KSB way”. When I was called upon to go to Tulsa OK, in the USA to establish a KSB branch there, teaching the “KSB way” to the congregants was also a priority. It is not possible to deny the existence of the “KSB way” as there are ample references supporting its teaching and exultation as the lifestyle at KSB. The issue of loyalty to God became entangled with the problems of loyalty to the “KSB way” and KSB as an institution with influence in the world.
The point to be made is this; being part of a system, makes one complicit to everything in the system unless one speaks out and stands up to the atrocities within the system. If you do not speak out, you are simply complicit in keeping the status quo in place irrespective of whether you expressly partake or whether you remain silent and continue to benefit from the system.
KSB is a religious system in place. It is Bible based and it is peculiar to a specific community, the KSB community, as it manifests itself at various places in South Africa as well as globally. Therefore as a system it has a “face”. The system is kept in place by preaching a particular Bible message, living and promoting a particular lifestyle, and doing specific conduct within the community. As in any community certain rules, regulations and laws govern the KSB community as well. Therefore those associated with KSB are what they are because they are body and soul members of the KSB community. As such, one is complicit to all public and salient features and conduct of the KSB community unless one distances oneself from the deeds of the community. As is the case with any cult, the liability, accountability and complicity “nerve-lines” run deep and are unrelenting on the one who sees the evil and experiences guilt for being part of it.
KSB has no member’s list or register. It is safe to say that all and only coworkers and their families are listed as members because coworkers are “officials” of the Mission. None else. Others may claim to be members by default but their names are listed in no register. Those members, who are coworkers of the Mission, have to understand, like in the “deep-state” government issues, all coworkers at KSB are complicit in the “deep-KSB” matters either directly or indirectly. Knowledge of the “deep-KSB” matters sets those with knowledge apart from those that don’t know about it. However, when issues are revealed and knowledge becomes available as common knowledge, and nothing is said or done to correct the wrongs, “complicity” brings perpetrators and supporters together under the same umbrella.
Today, the coworkers have knowledge and access about all that is related in my writings. Daan van Tonder has told them in a full coworkers meeting on 23 October 2018 about the “moneybags” and how deliveries were done. A dubious document attributed erroneously to Daan van Tonder has circulated with non-corroborated information that also informed the coworker’s body of KSB worldwide of alleged and atrocities at the Mission. There is enough information; factual and alleged, floating around that by now all coworkers would know the “deep-KSB” situation is seriously compromised.
- Principles in the KSB System
The KSB system is known for very pertinent biblical principles. However, in line with the “KSB way”, these were fine-tuned with the principles precipitated from the revival of 1966. These principles are taught and upheld as the essence of the KSB community life, collectively forming the “KSB way”.
They may randomly be identified as:
- Faith in the Triune God, God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. He is alone God.
- The absolute authority of the Bible to direct the believer’s life.
- Adult/believers water baptism.
- The two sacraments – Holy Communion and Water Baptism.
- The holiness of God and therefore holiness of His people.
- The purity of God and therefore the purity of His people.
- The separateness of God from the world and therefore the separateness of His people from the world.
- Purity and holiness before marriage.
- Finding one’s wife in holiness.
- Living in the light as God is light.
- The community of the saints.
- Confession and forgiveness of sins.
From the 1966 revival
- Baptism with the Holy Spirit and “heat” experience as proof of baptism with Holy Ghost “fire”.
- Speaking in tongues.
- The Maphumulu revival that added shades to the Bible doctrines.
- The “death and life” experience of Lydia Dube and what she has seen in heaven, which added extra spiritual insights to biblical doctrines.
- Trances, visions and dreams as ways of God communicating through the “mamas”.
- Confession of sin to a counselor or in the presence of a counselor.
- Those who depart the Mission are shunned and is anathema (a person detested or loathed, a person accursed or consigned to damnation or destruction and excommunicated from the community).
- Total and unquestionable obedience to the “Man of God” and leadership as God’s called “instruments”.
- The KSB way of marriage.
- Rules and regulations relating to clothing, opposite sex.
More may be added but the above suffices to show the principles by which the KSB community lives. To some extent it is biblical and very godly. These principles are entrenched in the preaching and teaching as it sets forth God’s way for the community’s conduct and attitude. However, certain peculiarities are specific for KSB and that sets them by definition apart from other faith communities (See chapter 3). As with any particular faith or religious system claiming exclusivity, at its core develops a “they – us” distinction from other religious groups.
The leaders and coworkers form the bedrock from which the preachers, teachers and counselors of God’s Word are selected. Among them are also the founder members of KSB, meaning those who were present when the 1966 revival took place. Among them are those who have gone through the “cleansing” services and have been baptized. Also among them are those who have experienced the “upper room” where the baptism with God the Holy Spirit is received. Many also by testimony were present when miracles, wonders and signs happened. So all in all one has a group of leaders who are of saint-like stature and deeply rooted in the principles, rituals and cult of the “KSB way”. Sin should hypothetically find no place among such and the devil and his demons should have no chance to tempt any to deny the principles of the “KSB way”. That is the kind of people one finds and expects to find at KSB. This exclusivity logically developed into a cult group dynamic and I believe full cult status has been reached during the last few years.
- Cult Status? Really?
This is very contentious and there will be outright denial! The possibility that one can think of KSB in terms of being a cult is preposterous to those associated with KSB. This will put me forever outside of the boundaries of KSB for even making such an assertion. Well, I am not the first to say or warn so. Quite a few persons and at least two Christian commissions have stated so in the past. Hypothetically I find myself in good company.
Obviously not all religious groups may fit the definition of a cult, but religious groups may pose potential risks for participants. Here are some warning signs of a potentially unsafe group or leader:
• Absolute authoritarianism without meaningful accountability;
• No tolerance for questions or critical inquiry;
• No meaningful financial disclosure regarding budget or expenses, such as an independently audited financial statement;
• Unreasonable fear about the outside world, such as impending catastrophe, evil conspiracies and persecutions;
• There is no legitimate reason to leave, former followers are always wrong in leaving, negative or even evil;
• Former members often relate the same stories of abuse and reflect a similar pattern of grievances;
• Followers feel they can never be “good enough”;
• The group/leader is always right;
• The group/leader is the exclusive means of knowing “truth” or receiving validation, no other process of discovery is really acceptable or credible.
There have been many sober studies done on the dynamics of cults and behaviour of people within those cults. One has to be careful when assigning cult-like behaviour to any group and must be careful to be sober in one’s assessment and final verdict. A conclusion to confirm cult-like behaviour can be very subjective and sober objectivity must be maintained in one’s assessment. Generally, it takes a trained person who can identify unhealthy patterns and teachings as compared to healthy ones and can then identify a cult or cult-like warning signs. Furthermore, cult-like behaviour is more commonly identified when excessive control, manipulation, and obscure teaching are recognized of a group where the group’s members are often isolated and indoctrinated into special teachings and practices.
- “A cult by any other name is still a cult”
“A rose by any other name would smell as sweet” is a popular reference to William Shakespeare’s play Romeo and Juliet, in which Juliet seems to argue that it does not matter that Romeo is from her family’s rival house of Montague, that is, that he is named “Montague”.
In the same way we may argue that a cult remains a cult, notwithstanding its “name” or “reputation”. The smell of the rose gives the rose’s presence away as the “cult-like” character gives the cult away. That being the case one may analyze KSB in terms of a list of features to determine whether the “cult-smell” is indeed central to its existence. Collaborative efforts at influence and control lie at the core of cultic groups, programs, and relationships. Many members, former members, and supporters of “cults” are not fully aware of the extent to which members may have been manipulated, exploited, even abused. The following list of social-structural, social-psychological, and interpersonal behavioural patterns commonly found in cultic environments may be helpful in assessing a particular group or relationship.
Let us compare these patterns to the situation of KSB. This list below may help us determine if there is cause for concern. Bear in mind that this list is not meant to be a “cult scale” or a definitive checklist to conclude if a specific group is a cult; this is not so much a diagnostic instrument as it is an analytical tool guiding the one using it to come to a more sober assessment of the community in question. Here I would also advise readers to refer back to previous chapters as well where I have discussed KSB. This will give the necessary information to be able to use the assessment tool constructively. There are also countless letters, emails and testimonies received over the years to confirm what is written below. Cult victims and those who have suffered abusive relationships often suffer from fear, confusion, low-self esteem, and post-traumatic stress and they write speak and counsel about it. Their testimonies are vital to understand the depth of cultism at KSB, if any.
The list below is taken and adapted from the work of Janja Lalich & Michael D. Langone. When one tries to find a list of common features for cults, this list is as appropriate as some others are to determine the “smell” or “presence” of cultism. I applied it to KSB and I am not quoting any references or sources now for my positive conclusion concerning the points. But, that what I say, is the inference based on available sources to that effect.
At KSB, the leader, elitist management group, coworkers body and fulltime residents/members:
- display excessively zealous and unquestioning commitment to its leader(s) and (whether he is alive or dead) regard his belief system, ideology, and practices as the Truth, as law;
- questioning, doubt, and dissent are discouraged or even punished;
- mind-altering practices (such as meditation, going into a trance, speaking in tongues, denunciation sessions, and aleged God given visions and dreams) are used in excess and serve to suppress doubts about the group and its leader(s);
- the leadership dictates, sometimes in great detail, how members should think, act, and feel (for example, members must get permission to go to family , change jobs, marry or leaders prescribe what types of clothes to wear, how to wear one’s hair, where to live, whether or not to have children, how to discipline children, and so forth);
- the group is elitist, claiming a special, exalted status for itself, its leader(s) and members (for example, the leader is considered thé Man of God, a special being, or the group and/or the leader is on a special mission to save humanity, the country);
- the group has a polarized us-versus-them mentality, which may cause conflict with the wider society. (for example, their way is the only true way, they (outside) have not the same light);
- the leader is not accountable to any authorities (only to God, unlike, for example, teachers, military commanders or ministers, priests, monks, and rabbis of mainstream religious denominations);
- the group teaches or implies that its supposedly exalted ends justify whatever means it deems necessary. This may result in members’ participating in behaviors or activities they would have considered reprehensible or unethical before joining the group (for example, lying to family or friends, or collecting money for bogus charities, getting involved in money schemes);
- the leadership induces feelings of shame and/or guilt in order to influence and/or control members. Often, this is done through peer pressure and subtle forms of persuasion or threats;
- subservience to the leader or group requires members to cut ties with family and friends, and radically alter the personal goals and activities they had before joining the group;
- the group is preoccupied with bringing in new members.
- the group is preoccupied with making money, or investing in money making projects;
- members are expected to devote inordinate amounts of time to the group and group-related activities;
- members are encouraged or required to live, marry and/or socialize only with other group members;
- the most loyal members (the true believers) feel there can be no life outside the context of the group. They believe there is no other way to be, and often fear reprisals to themselves or others if they leave (or even consider leaving) the group.
- members who have left the community are threatened, cursed, receive threatening phone calls, receive death threats, subjected to verbal abuse.
It is clear from the above that KSB has completed the circle; the strong smell of possibly being assessed a “cult” is observable. All the signs are there, whether it has come to be like that intentionally or not. There is an ovewhelming “cloud of witnesses” to support that conclusion. Cultism at KSB must be seen as a social and Christian doctrinal construct. And although it may not be regarded as only physically abusive and destructive, it surely is accountable for the emotional, spiritual, phsycological, and physical abuse that has befallen members in the name of KSB.
- Deconstructing the System
If deconstruct has to take place, acknowledgement of wrongs has to go before it. Normally when closed systems, like cults, are confronted they harden their “hearts” and acknowledgement of any wrong is the last thing on the agenda. Ranks are closed, silence is enforced, denial is in place and strategies are in place to ensure the status quo. This I suppose is understandable in the light that KSB stands so much to loose if the wrongs are acknowledged and restitution is to be made. But, if this attitude will prevail, the same result that has befallen exposed cults in the past will befall KSB, namely total destruction!
Personally I think KSB, and here I refer to KSB’s leaders (“Power” group) in South Africa, have already gone too far down the path of no “U-turn” to be able to return to the biblical Way they have preached to the tens of thousands in the past. Every one of them is compromised, some much more than others, and each could run the risk to loose perhaps his/her ministry if the truth should be acknowledged and revealed. KSB leaders, some counselors and some coworkers have forced so many out of the ministry and community in the past years that they are truly compromised.
Deconstruct and reconstruct of Mission Kwasizabantu can and should only be done in God. It would be disastrous if worldly entities, like SARS and the HAWKS, would be involved and destroy KSB because they are not spiritually orientated but in place to punish corruption. To them it does not matter what amount of destruction is needed to mete out punishment, as long as the goal is satisfied. Here below is my “solution” to the problem at KSB.
A truth and Reconciliation Commission
A Truth Commission or Truth and Reconciliation Commission is a commission tasked with discovering and revealing past wrongdoing by an entity, in our case Mission Kwasizabantu, in the hope of resolving conflict left over from the past and to bring about change and restoration. A Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) is a court-like restorative justice body assembled with a specific mandate.
Witnesses who are identified as victims of gross spiritual and physical violations are invited to give statements about their experiences, and some may be selected for public hearings. Perpetrators of wrongs could also give testimony and request pardon from both civil and criminal prosecution. The above is perhaps more defined in the secular sense, however there are definite points of overlapping. We need a spiritual TRC with vested power that will bind all to its conclusions, restorative actions, pardons and recommendations. Therefore it needs to have legal and evangelical standing.
Such a TRC will create space and place for anybody to speak out without fear of being victimized for their testimony.
The systematic theology for KSB has to be compiled. Systematic theology is a form of theology in which the aim is to arrange religious truths common to KSB in a self-consistent whole; this is what we preach, teach and live at KSB. The doctrines taught at KSB have to be set out in a systematic way for all to understand. These doctrines must include the Apostolic Creed and may then be broadened to include the 1966 Revival and what has been theologically gained from it. All doctrines must be tested for being biblically sound. This also means that some sort of theological training for preachers has to be done. All preachers have to pass through the KSB theological training so that the KSB theological footprint stays true to the Bible. Preachers are to be ordained within the Mission.
I have written much and said much. I have put everything on the table for all to see. Many will agree and many won’t agree with what I said. But I am praying that the seriousness of what is disclosed would bring every one of us to the point of self-search before God. I especially pray that the community of Mission Kwasizabantu, in South Africa and Europe, would consider itself as well in the light of everything that has come to the surface the past few months.
have failed God in this in my years at KSB because I have waited so long to do
anything. You have failed God in this too. We have all failed God in this. KSB as
a whole has failed God in this. With God, together, when we are all repentant,
we could turn things around to His honour and glory.
 Characteristics Associated with Cultic Groups – Revised
Janja Lalich, Ph.D. & Michael D. Langone, Ph.D. http://www.csj.org/infoserv_cult101/checklis.htm
 This excerpt written by Janja Lalich and Michael D. Langone is from Take Back Your Life: Recovering from Cults and Abusive Relationships (Bay Tree Publishing, 2006). Characteristics Associated with Cultic Groups – Revised
Janja Lalich, Ph.D. & Michael D. Langone, Ph.D. http://www.csj.org/infoserv_cult101/checklis.htm. & http://cultresearch.org/help/characteristics-associated-with-cults/
 Published in the new book, Take Back Your Life: Recovering from Cults and Abusive Relationships by Janja Lalich and Madeleine Tobias (Berkeley: Bay Tree Publishing, 2006). It was adapted from a checklist originally developed by Michael Langone.
Someone said, “You can’t make things better unless you realize what is wrong!”
I have failed God in being His missionary at KSB! This truth has hit me in the “spiritual solar plexus” of who I am in Christ. It was a realization that grew the more I wrote what was on my heart and mind. The more I felt prompted on matters by God the Holy Spirit, the more I saw myself standing defenseless before God for lack of words to explain myself to Him Who called me into His service. I dare not blame any one for my contribution to the problem; I should have known better. I am guilty as charged.
To whom all shall I offer my apology? I do not know. How does one undo the hurt you caused others through one’s preaching and teaching of God’s precious Word in a contaminated way? Contaminated by man’s own effort to bring the Word and…..something else! I do not know. How is it possible that one could be blinded for so long? The answer is not easy to find. I remember in 1963 Bob Dylan sang these words, “The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind”. Looking for answers may be a cumbersome task. One can blame others, that might be the easiest but the answer my dear reader, is to be found in one’s own heart. This undeniable truth brings the pain to the surface as nothing else. The realization of one’s own shortcomings is the beginning of a new understanding of one’s dependence on God.
Perhaps I should just apologize to all; I am truly sorry if I caused you hurt because I did not always preached the Gospel of our Lord Jesus purely. I am sorry if I tried to force you to conform to the “KSB way” or system rather than to the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. Forgive me please and may the Lord God in His great mercy and grace in Jesus Christ our Lord and through the working of His wonderful living Word, and by the loving and caring fellowship of God the Holy Spirit heal you from everything hurtful, hateful and resentful because of my doing. I trust Him for that.
So, I decided to speak. I have been challenged to take time and make sure writing all these things, naming people and highlighting issues is the will of God. There is no easy way in all of this is there, keeping quiet, talking or writing or whatever? There is no easy way. I prayed and I asked God and I am sure, very sure I am doing His will for my life to write the book. The Internet though? That was a tough challenge when I was asked by some brothers from KSB not to write publically on the Internet but to accept that I have done my part in submitting a letter to the coworkers. They advised me it should end there. I withdrew my book from the Internet for a week and prayed and waited. But in faith I received Jeremiah 6: 16 as guidance. I may speak yes, on the Internet, but “they” will not listen, again! I had peace and the book was online again.
It is amazing how much effort and time people put into attacking me personally. My wife and I have been insulted, cursed, threatened, we even received a masked death threat and been told to remove ourselves from Heidelberg where we stay to Canada where our children are. That is all fine, but what about the issues I have spoken about in the book? There are real issues at hand beloved, I have written a book full on just the issues. Whilst some of my beloved brethren at KSB could find the time to needle me, not a single one addressed a particular issue I mentioned. Some three letters to reverend Stegen, a meeting with selected coworkers in reverend Stegen’s room, a meeting in Thofozi’s room with some others, a letter of thirty pages to the coworkers, three full house coworkers’ meetings on average six hours each, a book on the Internet and yet the issues are still lying wrapped in burial cloths in the catacomb of denial.
As I said in the beginning of this chapter, “You can’t make things better unless you realize what is wrong!”
God be with you all.
Soli Deo Gloria.