THE FINGER OF GOD

"THE FINGER OF GOD"

By: Dan Revoir

CHAPTER 7

THE FINGER OF GOD IN SOUTH AFRICA

Black mamba snakes are fast, nervous, lethally venomous, and, when threatened, highly aggressive. They have been blamed for numerous human deaths. African myths exaggerate their capabilities to legendary proportions. For these reasons, the black mamba is widely considered the world’s deadliest snake, and the fastest. Mambas are shy and usually seek to escape when confronted. When cornered, however, they will raise their heads and a third of their body, up to 14 feet, spread their cobra-like neck flap and open their black mouths, hence the name black mamba. If the attacker persists in confronting the serpent, the mamba will hiss and then strike, not only once but repeatedly, injecting large amounts of potent venom with each strike. A bite from this fearsome serpent is 100% fatal, usually within 20 minutes.

Pastor Daniel Schutte, Ralph Kerkstra and I were standing on top of a hillside by Roos’ house, our host, looking down into the valley where branches from fruit trees and other brush had been piled in several areas. Some national workers were tearing the piles apart. We asked why. He responded that they were trying to uncover black mambas and kill them. A cold chill ran through my body. These workers were putting their lives in great danger to protect their families and pets from this deadly killer.

It was 2008, and we had been invited to share a series on Spiritual Warfare in several cities in South Africa: Cape Town, Johannesburg, Pretoria, Durban and now a settlement in the heart of the Zulu nation named Kwasizabantu. The Zulus, under the leadership of Shaka, almost conquered the entire nation of South Africa. They were fierce warriors.

The compound was fenced with high wire and protected with armed guards. We were assigned to a bunk house. Our hosts were Peter and Bonnetta Roos and their youngest son Frantz. They had a couple of older sons but Frantz stuck to me like a cockle burr. When we sat at their table for supper he had to sit next to me or if I sat on the couch, he would squirm in to sit next to me.  One night he asked me very sincerely, “Can I travel with you in your ministry?”

I replied, “That would be wonderful, except your mom would miss you terribly.” This young boy had squirmed his way into my heart.

Ralph and I found the only level area in the compound, a landing strip that was green grass and long enough to get in our four-miles-a-day walk.

I had shared the gospel with a man named John, which sounded more like Zhawaan, and had been praying that the Holy Spirit would convict him of sin, righteousness and judgment. This was a continual prayer before the throne of God.

Ralph and I were walking down the airstrip the next morning. We decided that it would not be a four mile walk since he had not felt good during the night. As we walked at an easy pace, enjoying the coolness of the morning, I noticed someone coming towards us. He was a large man with a ruddy complexion and a red moustache: just picture an Australian from the bush. He was weeping as he approached and he sobbed, saying “I asked God to help me find you.” The next words out of his mouth were, “I am born again. I accepted Jesus in my heart.” I grabbed him and covered him with tears; my heart was so happy I thought it would burst.

I said to him, “We are going to the coffee shop. Will you join us and tell the others?”

He replied, “Yes, I will go with you.”

As we arrived, everyone was sitting around the table eating ice cream or drinking coffee.

I announced, “John has something to tell you.”

They acted as though we had intruded on their party.

John said, “I am born again. I sought Uncle Dan to tell him.” As if he had said, “I am going to get a cup of coffee”. There was no response; no Praise the Lord. No, “We are so happy for you.” Nothing! The great joy in me turned into anger and I rebuked all these spiritual brothers saying, “My Bible tells me that there is rejoicing in heaven over one sinner that repents.” Luke 15:7: “I say unto you that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than ninety and nine righteous persons, who need no repentance.” I continued in anger as they had judged the sincerity of his decision.

Romans 14:4: “Who art thou that judgest another man’s servant? To his own master he standeth or falleth….”

James 4:11-12: “If we judge, we make ourselves a law giver and there is only one law giver and that is God.”

I reminded them that we are all bond slaves. I had spoken my mind and sternly rebuked all present. Then Ralph, John and I had a cup of coffee, celebrating John’s testimony of being born again!

Later that week after supper with the Roos family, I said, “It is about time to get ready for the service. So we prepared ourselves and jumped into their car. It was a very short ride. The mission church was fairly large, holding about 300 people. The Africans were singing with all their hearts. What beautiful music!

Pastor Daniel Schutte spoke that night on Spiritual Warfare. When he concluded, everyone was visiting together and I was standing in front of the pews. A young man about seventeen came up to me and asked “Will you help me?”He looked desperate. I responded, “I will help you if I can.” I looked around and saw Pastor Vincent VanZyl from Cape Town, who traveled with us. I knew that he spoke fluent “African,” the language of South Africa and possibly could help me with the language. I said, “Let’s find a neutral place and sit down.”

Again the young man asked me, “Will you please help me?”

“Yes, I will help you!”

Then he stunned me with his words. “When I was twelve years old my mother initiated me into witchcraft and now I’m drinking blood!” Again I knew we were going to go hand-to-hand with the power of Satan. I told him that Satan was his master and the only way he could break that bondage was by accepting the Lord Jesus Christ as his Savior. I explained the good news of salvation out of God’s Word and he blurted out, “I want to be saved now!

I led him through the sinner’s prayer and he was born again immediately. We were both crying as we hugged. Kenneth became a child of God and all heaven was rejoicing with us. Satan had lost the battle.

The next morning I awoke about six and decided to go for a walk so I could talk to God. Daniel and Ralph were still sleeping and I needed to praise God for Kenneth. It was a cool morning and good for a walk. I walked down to the tunnel under the grass-covered air strip. I was praying out loud, pouring out the sacrifice of praise to God, thanking Him over and over for releasing Kenneth from the bondage of Satan.

Suddenly out of the corner of my eye I saw something coming towards me. I stopped and a big dog hit me hard. His eyes were a fiery red and he was charging like a bull. He knocked me down and I laid there expecting him to attack me, when I finally looked to see how close he was he was gone. No sign of him at all. I laid there in terrible pain and put both hands on my leg crying out to God, yelling as if I had to make God hear. “God, please God, please, please don’t let this leg be broken.” The “Devil Dog” had hit me in the left knee where it had been broken before. He knew exactly where to hit me.

I struggled to my feet to see if the leg would hold me. I thought that it would be turning black if the bone was broken. As I stood there, again I cried out to God, “Satan does not want me to be in Africa. He sent this dog to break my leg.” I slowly started hobbling to the end of the airstrip. At the end of the runway I found a club or “runga” in Swahili so I could kill the dog if he attacked again.

I cautiously headed back to our room favoring the leg. By now the shock had worn off and it was throbbing with every heartbeat. As I walked in and stretched out on my bed, the guys asked me why I was hobbling, so I started to explain. We all noticed that the leg had already swollen to over double the normal size.

Word spread very quickly. Pastor Vincent VanZyl walked in and said, “Dr. Alby will come before the Sunday morning service to attend to your leg.”

Dr. Alby pushed and prodded the leg and said calmly, “You have a large hematoma; we must drain it.”

He had an emeses basin and all that was needed for surgery. I gave him a bottle of hand sanitizer and he used it to clean my leg. Then he took out a huge syringe that would be suitable for working on horses with a needle that looked as big as a darning needle. He stabbed it into my leg, much the way you would stab with a knife, no antiseptic or pain killer.

I said to myself, “We are in Zulu country and I will not flinch!”

The syringe was 25 ml and he filled it four-and-a-half times, emptying it into the basin.  “Do you want a shot for pain?” he asked. Again, I showed my bravery as I answered, “No.” That was a huge mistake.

He said, “Keep it up all day.” He continued, “They will give you a pair of crutches at the hospital. If you do not keep the leg elevated, it will start bleeding again and we will have to repeat this procedure. I got more bad news. “We must leave for Durban at 5 o’clock today.” It would be a harrowing two hour trip over very bumpy roads.

If I had regular crutches, it would have been a piece of cake but these crutches had bands that went just above the elbows. Ralph became my guardian angel, helping me go down a flight of stairs and wiggling myself into a maxi-van, propping my leg up so it would not start bleeding again. Daniel did not seem very empathic about my run in with the “Devil Dog”. But, as if I was a true Zulu, I would not show how much pain I was having.

We stayed in Durban one day and naturally, my room was on the second floor. After climbing the stairs, I decided to stay in my room, skipping the meals that came with the room. But Ralph and Daniel brought me trays of food so I could eat.

Daniel informed us that we must leave for the airport at 9:30 the next morning. So we had breakfast at 7:30, packed up, and I hobbled down the stairs; we boarded a “combie” (van) and went to the airport.

Daniel had advised them that I would need a wheel chair but he cautioned me that I would have to climb the flight of stairs to enter the plane. But thankfully they put my wheelchair on a lift and brought me into the plane.

When we arrived at Johannesburg – colloquially called ‘J Burg’ we reversed the procedure and a beautiful young woman started pushing my wheelchair. She was a black lady about 25 years old. We had a long ways to go and as we journeyed she said, “I am hungry.”

I asked her, “What are you hungry for?”

“The Word of God,” she stated. “Do you have some books?”

Of course, I did not have any on me but told her we had some with us. “Do you know about Jesus?” I asked.

“Yes.” She said emphatically.

I asked, “Are you born again?”

“Yes” she stated.

“Praise God,” I shouted and started weeping tears of joy.

She stopped the wheelchair and came beside me, embraced me and we both wept tears of gladness. Daniel and Ralph caught up with us and we had a praise meeting in the middle of the airport. Her name was ‘Maakis’ and we gave her several books to pass out. We also gave her the phone number of Pastor Simon Gcabashe so she could contact him about attending his church. Praise God!

This might be a good place to share about the “wild fire.” When we were in Grand Rapids I learned about the team going to South Africa, and started praying for their ministry. While praying, God gave me a ‘vision’ – the only one I ever had.

The wild fires were raging in California and the Santa Anna winds were blowing over 100 mph spreading the fire over several hundred miles. God ‘spoke’ to me saying, “My Word will spread everywhere, even as these wild fires.”

I was invited to join the team and I shared God’s vision with our little congregation, not realizing then we would, by God’s grace, start a little blaze in dry kindling!

The vision was given by God in the USA; now, we were in South Africa seeing the ‘vision’ start to come to pass.

Pastor Simon picked us up at the airport and carried us to his house. Sarah, his wife is a wonderful cook. We were to have a service after supper and before the service started, I had Ralph and Daniel lay hands on my throat and pray for God to clear my voice so I could speak loudly and clearly. I was able to preach.

On November 27, 2008, Thanksgiving Day, my heart was with my wife, Martha and our family. I knew they were celebrating with a huge turkey and a traditional meal. We went to a mall and had supper at a restaurant. The others had different cuts of lamb and I ordered a steak which was not as tasty; I wished I had ordered the lamb!

Pastor Simon advised us that we would be speaking several different times, usually catching us off guard, unprepared. He did that quite often, such as in the night he requested that we go and pray for a couple whose 54-year-old son had been stabbed several times and was sent to the I.C.U. Upon arrival, we found the house filled with people having a service for him.

Simon told me that I was to speak so I shared a portion of my testimony about spending almost a year in Munson Hospital in Traverse City, Michigan. My body was filled with gangrene and the doctors all knew I was going to die. Hence the doctors called the, ‘Miracle Man’.

Then I read Hebrews 13 where God said, “I will never leave you or forsake you,” trying to comfort the parents. The son had been released from the hospital and much to our surprise he was at home.

Very gently Daniel asked if it was possible that the attack happened because the man was drifting away from God and living in the world’s sin. Pastor Tembo, Simon and Daniel went in to pray for the mother in another part of the house to comfort her. Then they went in to see the man.

Pastor Tembo asked the man if he had sin in his life. He confessed that he was living in sin and he confessed his sin. Pastor Tembo then led him to pray the sinner’s prayer and that night, salvation came to that house, the man accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as his Savior. Praise God, all the angels of heaven were rejoicing!

Ralph and I went walking the next morning and my leg still hurt. I noticed that Ralph was limping. He had been catering to my every need, hovering over me like a mother eagle caring for her eaglets. Now, it was time to minister to him. I told him to sit on a bench and asked him to remove his shoes. My podiatrist, Dr. Peelen had taught me how to move the bones in my foot, which had been crushed and operated on several times.

Ralph complied and I started on his foot. As I worked, the bones snapped and he winced and grimaced as though I was performing surgery. The last step was to put the ‘quboid’ back in place. He said, “That hurts.”

I told him that the bones in his foot were all out of place and that’s why his knee was hurting so badly. After a few minutes I told to him to walk on it. He came back almost running, saying, “The pain is gone!”

So I taught him how to move the bones, and he worked on my foot as I instructed him. He exclaimed excitedly, “I felt the bones move,” as he put my foot in place. The attack of the “Devil Dog” had put it out completely.

Later that afternoon we decided to teach Simon’s daughter how to make lemonade. We took lemons off the tree in their yard and showed her how to squeeze the juice out of them. We added sugar and ice cubes and she was delighted after she tasted it, drinking about a pitcher full.

After church on Sunday, we had another wonderful meal prepared by Sarah. After dinner, I decided to walk to keep working the leg but it still really hurt as it was only a week since I had been attacked. After my strenuous walk, Simon announced that we had another meeting that night and must leave at 5 o’clock.

We drove a long way and got lost. After driving around in circles for some time, we finally stopped and prayed. Minutes later we were there. It was raining, and admittedly I was less than anxious to get out of the dry car and hobble around on my crutches. The lights of the car revealed a huge tent that glowed in the night. I working my way towards the tent. I froze as I saw the very steep embankment covered with rocks and rain water. I knew this could be treacherous and I most assuredly did not want to fall, possibly damaging the leg again. My guardian, Ralph, came up beside me and said, “Don’t worry; I will make sure you don’t fall!”

We slowly inched our way down until we reached the ground level of the tent. Ralph hurriedly got me a chair and then another chair with a cushion to put my leg on so I could tolerate the pain. To me, this was just another service but I had no idea that God was going to use it for His glory.

The people were singing with all their hearts but it was in “African, their national language,” we could not understand the words of their beautiful singing. There were two long tables in front of all the people, probably close to 80 in the congregation. There were five pastors there and Pastor Simon and Daniel were seated with them. Pastor Simon introduced us as visitors from the USA. Then, he brought my wandering mind to full attention. ‘Pastor Daniel Revoir, I would like you to greet the people in Swahili!”

Loudly I said, “Ham jambo, Habari secu” from where I was seated. The people murmured in delight even though they did not understand what I was saying.

Daniel started speaking and I found my mind drifting again; I had heard this sermon several times already. I was ‘people-watching,’ a favorite pass-time of mine. I was very surprised when Pastor Simon called on me to close in prayer. I was calling on God for utterance so I would pray exactly what He wanted me to say. When I finished my prayer, Pastor Good Hope, seated on my left side leaned over and said, “They want you to pray for a little boy who is supposed to go to the hospital in the morning.” I started weeping as God poured out His Holy Spirit upon me. I pleaded with God to heal the little boy so he would not have to go and would be completely whole.

People started forming a line up the aisle where I was seated all the way across the front of the tent. Pastor Good Hope again said, “They want you to pray for them.” This was where the incredible happened!

An older man came and asked me to pray for him but I told him he had sin in his life and he must go and confess that sin to God and ask for His forgiveness for the bitterness in his heart, then come back and I would pray for him. “God will not answer my prayer until you confess.”

A big college-aged young man was next and he wanted for me to pray for a job interview that was pending. I looked him in the eyes and said, “I cannot pray for you; you lust after women and God’s Word says in Matthew 5:28: “But I say unto you that whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.” He admitted that it was true… “You must go and confess your sin before God and ask Him to forgive you. Then come back to me and I will pray for you.”

Ralph had brought another chair for the people to sit on, so I could look them in the eyes and lay hands on them as I prayed.

Another man came and asked me to pray for his business that it might prosper. Anger waved up in me and I told him, “You cheat people and steal from them. Go and repent of your sin and confess it before God and come back and I will seek God to bless your business.”

At this point Ralph and Pastor Good Hope had seen I was battling in the spirit realm, came and asked “What can we do?” as they sat down beside me, one on each side. I asked them to pray for strength because I was getting fatigued.

A young girl about 18 came and sat down in front of me. She was very distressed as she blurted out, “My hands are on fire and my arms burn.”

As I looked at the young girl I said, “You have sin in your heart.” She bowed her head and nodded yes. “You must confess your sin to God right now.” She started weeping as she prayed in African. When she finished, I laid hands on her. I already knew who was torturing her and in a loud voice, I commanded the demons of Satan to leave her in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and never come back. I looked up and she was smiling, “It is gone, it stopped burning.” Great is our God and greatly to be praised!

A young man about 20 years old was next in line and asked me to pray for him. He looked very forlorn and as I looked into his eyes I saw he was going to commit suicide. I did not sense any sin that he would have to confess, just a very sad countenance. I started my prayer asking God to comfort him and fill him with peace; also to put a song in his heart. Then I cried out in a loud voice, “Demon of death and suicide I rebuke you in the name of Jesus Christ! Come out of him right now and do not come back again!” Then I thanked God for hearing my cry and answering as I said, “Amen".

I looked at the young man and he was smiling, so I asked him if God had given him a song in his heart. “Yes!” he said, as he broke out with a wide grin!

“Sing it for me.” He started singing the most beautiful song you could imagine in his native tongue. I said, “Sing it again only louder.” So he sung it again. “Louder, so everyone in the congregation can hear you. Sing it at the top of your voice!” As he sang from his heart there was a hushed, “Amen, Amen, Amen”, being sung from every voice in the congregation.

The young man who lusted after women had worked his way back through the line and came again. I asked him if he had confessed his sin to God. He said, “Yes, I am very sorry I did that.” I then prayed that God would provide this job for him.

It was so incredible that God was using me to heal people. They would sit down in front of me and I would look into their eyes and God would tell me if they had sin in their lives.

Many were filled with anger and bitterness and I told them to confess that to God because it is sin according to God’s Word.

An elderly woman, who could hardly walk, hobbled over to the chair in front of me and sat down and asked me to pray for her. I said “Mama, I cannot pray for you, your heart is filled with bitterness. Why are you so bitter?”

She replied, “I am very angry with my grandchildren!”

“You are sinning against God and you must confess it because God will not answer my prayer.”

She bowed her head and started weeping before God as she confessed her sin, asking Him to forgive her. I laid hands on her and prayed an intercessory fervent petition to God on her behalf, asking Him to heal her completely. Then in a loud voice I commanded the pain to leave, “In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not come back!”

The elderly woman stood up and started walking, not hobbling, but walking like a healthy person!

The rain had ceased and I had prayed for all the people that were in line. I was completely fatigued, hardly able to lift my arms, so Ralph and I had to start going up the steep embankment of hard red clay and the slippery rocks. We reached the car filled with the wonder of God’s power that He manifested at the tent meeting! The ride back to Pastor Simon’s house was a long and silent yet joyous one.

I mentioned the ‘vision’ of wild fires and God revealing that was the way His Word would spread. Well, the blaze is spreading by the wind of the Holy Spirit.

We estimated that more than 8,000 tracts had been passed out and several hundreds more to people who wanted to join us in the distribution of God’s Word. We had run out of tracts and needed at least another 1,000. Talk about soldiers running out of ammunition while in a war. People were being saved and revival was started in the churches.

The World Cup International Soccer Tournament was held in 2010 in Johannesburg. God gave us, the elders of Inner-city Church Planting Mission, a burden to send tracts for all the nations attending.

We had tracts written in several different languages. Our little congregation started praying and God opened the windows of Heaven and gave us enough money to have 660,000 tracts printed in South Africa. The ‘fire’ is now raging. We have sent tracts to Zambia, India, Albania, China, Korea, Singapore, Burma, Haiti, Mexico, Cambodia, Kenya, Colombia and many others in different languages. Our goal is to reach every nation with the Gospel of Jesus Christ to show them the way of Salvation.

Zechariah 4:10 “For who hath despised the day of small things?” Our church congregation of just 30 inner-city people could not financially support this ministry. We were completely dependent on the grace of God for the resources to print these tracts.

In the next couple months, God has given us a burden to send tracts to the Summer Olympic Games in the City of London, England in 2012. God has opened the windows of heaven again and poured out His blessing of money that will be used to have six hundred thousand tracts printed to hand out before and during the Olympics! At this point the mission has sent out over A MILLION tracts to about three quarters of the world. Our goal is to reach every country.

How important is God’s Word?

Psalms 138:2: “I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy loving-kindness and for thy truth; for thou has magnified thy word above all thy name.”

 
Tracts are the Word of God and again we have seen the Finger of God!


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