On Sunday 30 May 2021, Priest Brian Basson conducted the central AVT divine service at Sandton congregation. The divine service was conducted in English and translated into South African Sign Language (SASL) at the altar by sister Natasha Parkins-Maliko.
He was accompanied by District Evangelist S Holman, a small music ensemble and the NACTV crew. This divine service was made available on NACTV, Cape Town TV on DSTV channel 263, as well as Radio KC, Radio Teemaneng and SABIE stereo. This divine service was also streamed live on the NACTV Facebook page. For members who were unable to watch the divine service, please find a detailed summary of the sermon:
Opening Hymn: I will guide thee (EH:187)
Bible word: ‘The Lord bless you and keep you; The Lord make His face shine upon you, And be gracious to you; The Lord lift up His countenance upon you, And give you peace. So they shall put My name on the children of Israel, and I will bless them.’ (Numbers 6:24-27)
My dear brothers and sisters, a warm welcome to everybody to the altar of grace and mercy. This morning we celebrate Trinity Sunday, a feast, whereby we honour the Holy Trinity, God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. This Trinity has appeared in various phases. We go back to Holy Scripture. In our text word this morning, out of the book of Numbers six, we will see that the word ‘Lord’ appears three times in these three verses: ‘The Lord bless you and keep you’, ‘The Lord make His face shine upon you’ and ‘The Lord lift up His countenance upon you’. And this is the message that God gave Moses. He called Moses and He said that He needs Aaron and his sons to go and bestow a blessing upon the people of Israel. And whenever they announced this blessing, it is called the Priestly blessing. If you read the last verse of the chapter, it says, ‘…I will bless them’. God will bless them. So, the pronouncement is made. The blessing is bestowed upon the people, but they have been commissioned to do so by God.
And as I've indicated that our message this morning is that we believe in this Trinity. We believe in God the Father. We believe in the Son and the Holy Spirit.
And if we go back in the Old Testament, we can read about how God made His first appearance. Two months after the people had departed from Egypt, they were in the wilderness in Sinai. And God called Moses and He said that He needs him to prepare the people because God would be making an appearance to them. And God needed the Israelites to consecrate themselves. They needed to purify and sanctify themselves, because God would be speaking to them. And this is where God came, and He gave His holy will to the people; He gave them the 10 commandments. My dear brothers and sisters, it is important for us here this morning also to realize that God came, and He gave a specific instruction in that the people need to purify themselves when they interact with God. Because God is holy, He is superior, He is, if I may use the word, supernatural. And this interaction took place where God came and He shared His will with the people. My dear brothers and sisters, we know the 10 Commandments today. In our church, in our institution, this is what we teach our children from a very young age. The one commandment is about the Sabbath day, we need to keep it holy. Part of this is exactly what we are doing now, we are interacting, this is a holy moment for us. We are interacting with God. We are obeying this will of God. Honour your mother and father. And even though this was given to the people of the Old Testament, still today, it remains God's will. If you and I fulfil this will, we will please God. Because He came and He said, ‘I will come to you’. And He came in a cloud when He made His appearance. It was a dark cloud that appeared when He announced His will to the people. I'm often reminded about this, this text word. We had a family member, and each and every time, when it was somebody's birthday, or it was a wedding, this man, being the senior part of the family, always used to use this particular text word where it said, ‘May the Lord bless you. May the Lord be gracious unto you’. When the next event would come, this uncle would come again with this. I wonder if he will use another text word, but this is the one that was used. And thinking back, it was a blessing, a true blessing that was bestowed upon people.
My dear brothers and sisters, and today we come and this will of God, and we say that, you know it is not a will that is going to be to our detriment because if we look, there are certain characteristics of these verses which we can see, it is characteristics of this holy office. God the Father, God the Son, and the Holy Spirit. It says that ‘The Lord bless you and keep you.’ God is the provider; He gives everything to us. He blesses us, and He keeps us. When we look at this, it is a protection that is given to you and me. Further on it says, ‘And the Lord lift up His countenance upon you.’ May He find favour upon you. You know the times where we are going through difficult circumstances, that is when the Lord is there. That is when the Lord provides for us my dear brothers and sisters, in each and every circumstance in our lives. And obeying this law, it is one that also signifies that God is the Redeemer. He wants to save us. At times when we make those bad decisions in our lives, He comes and He picks us up. He understands. That's why He has offered this platform to us where we are today, whereby we can still go and be perfected in this life.
And then, it is the Son. And in all instances, my dear brothers and sisters, we acknowledge that God is Lord. Jesus Christ is Lord, and we believe He is Lord, and we can see that in Scriptures, the New Testament, various people referred to Jesus Christ as Lord and He too made His appearance to mankind. He was conceived by the Holy Spirit. Again, a supernatural event. And my dear brothers and sisters, He came and He established the Church, He chose servants. He came and He fulfilled His commission that He received from His Father. And we have one whereby God has come, and He appeals to you and me. And He says, love God above all and your neighbour as yourself. This is a new covenant. And Jesus came and it says it will supersede all other commandments. But again, my dear brothers and sisters, it is the will of God the Father and the Son, that is given to you and me. And it is one whereby we need to come and please this Triune God. We must use the tools and the guidelines they have given us in order for us to proceed through this life.
Dear brothers and sisters, in the New Testament, we have seen a lot of amazing things that have happened because of people being blessed with the Holy Spirit, the things that they were able to do. And today, you and I carry this Spirit. We have come in belief, and we have allowed ourselves to come under the hand of an Apostle to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. And we came and we've done so in the belief that when we accept the Spirit, this is the Spirit that will lead us into all truth. This is the Spirit that will give us the needed guidance in life, to be able to fulfil this will of God the Father and the Son. And we look at ourselves today, and we look at the things that we are able to do. Jesus Christ came and He said, ‘And you will do greater things than I’. I always asked myself, but how is it that I would be able to do greater things than Jesus Christ when He spoke to the disciples. Jesus has compared himself with us as normal human beings, as sinners, but He said that we will do amazing things. My dear brothers and sisters, and we look today, and the effect of the deeds is sometimes unknowing to us. Sometimes we serve as this true living example where many look at us and follow the path we lead. Sometimes I say it is good that we do not know about it. Because imagine that we know when we spoke to one or the other, being inspired by the Spirit, sharing the word of God, and you realize this significant change in people's lives, where they come and they are drawn closer to God. When they fully understand the belief and God's will, our faith. And that is winning over souls which is pleasing in the sight of God. If we look at Jesus Christ, His sole purpose here was to die for all mankind in order for us to be saved. He gave us the commission. He said, ‘Go out and make disciples of all mankind, and I will be with you until the end of age’. And we know, my dear brothers and sisters, that end of age is not when we depart from this earth, when we die, but it is until Christ returns. And during this time, filled with the Spirit, and the motivation to continue doing this work, my dear brothers and sisters, amazing tasks are being performed. But it is because of the Spirit that we are filled with. And it is not tangible, it is not something that we have seen like we saw the fire, and we saw the dove, and the disciples experienced Jesus Christ. And Moses and his followers experienced this cloud. This my dear brothers and sisters, if we look at it, it is the deeds that you and I perform. This is the special things that we do in this life, which is according to God's Holy will. Without this Holy Spirit on earth, none of this would be possible. This Christian life that we are living, it wouldn't be. Jesus Christ told the disciples, do not do anything until you receive the Spirit. If we look at the universal Church, how it has grown in stature, and how many today, come and bow before God, knowing where their strength comes from. It comes from being inspired by the Spirit. This word that we have my dear brothers and sisters sometimes, and we take it in our own lives and the things that we do. You know, sometimes we go and we look at ourselves and we say I don't have enough to look after myself. I cannot fulfil my own natural needs. But still, you have the ability of going and looking around at others and looking and identifying those needs of others and you lend that helping hand. You have illnesses in your family, there are people that are going through retrenchments, there are people who are sick, they're not sure if they go out in the outside world, whether they will be affected by this virus that we have. And still, they have the care for others. It is the same way if we look at God. God was concerned about the Israelites. He parted the sea so that they could go to a land, which He promised them. Jesus Christ hung on the cross for you and me. The concern for mankind. The concern for God's creation. And that is still being fulfilled today, whereby we go out, and we fulfil this task.
In conclusion, our belief in the Triune God is one whereby we need to come and make sure that we increase this faith. God has blessed us with the Spirit; He has placed it within this body, and we need to avail ourselves to make sure that this Spirit grows. It is there whereby each and every time we receive word, it goes and it is placed within the same place where God has placed the Spirit. And this allows for growth to take place. Jesus Christ comes and speaks to this Spirit as we have heard. And this is for our benefit, because it allows us to face the challenges of the world. This is what is important to use because it is going to ensure that we are victorious, that we become overcomers and we acknowledge that God is there for all of us, redeemers. Amen.
Thoughts from Priest Brian Basson
For the benefit of those who were not connected to the divine service, please find the announcements below:
Various provinces around South Africa have announced that they are experiencing a third wave of Covid-19 infections. Thankfully, phase two of the vaccination process is starting to gain momentum across the country. However, the vaccination process is only the start of the fightback against Covid-19, and the decision to get vaccinated remains with the member. Let us continue to do our part in the fight against the virus by continuing to wear our masks, keeping a safe social distance and washing or sanitizing our hands regularly.
The Protection of Personal Information Act (POPIA)
As a church, we need to ensure that we comply with the Protection of Personal Information Act. Part of becoming compliant is that we need to share certain information with you, our members. To this end, there will be two broadcasts to share the relevant information with you. The first session was screened on Thursday, 27 May 2021. This session is now available for viewing on the NAC-SA website.
The second session is for ministers and all MIS coordinators and will screen on Thursday, 3 June 2021. Members are also invited to view this session.
On Sunday 06 June, District Elder Roderick Mosalisa will conduct the central AVT divine service from Silvertown congregation. This divine service will commence at 9 am and will be made available via all current radio, television and online platforms.