[notice]In the first of a series of KMMC 2016 speaker profiles, Alf James introduces Dr Arno van Niekerk who will speak at the first session on Friday, April 29.[/notice]
Today, in these end times, in these times of tribulation in our country and throughout the world, we are encouraged to stand firm in the unity of our diversity as South Africans and Africans through our identity in Jesus Christ.
Our identity in Jesus Christ is what defines us, not the colour of our skin, political persuasion, environmental principles, cultural character or national citizenship.
“It is true that each cultural group has a unique identity, like the Afrikaner or the Zulu, etc, but once we discover that our identity in Christ is higher than that, we truly become salt and light,” says Dr Arno van Niekerk in his book
“Enough! What is the plan”, which is the essence of the call he will make when he speaks at the Karoo Mighty Men Conference 2016 (KMMC 2016).
Identity gives direction
“Identity gives direction, direction gives meaning and meaning brings about fulfilment and restoration. As believers, we are in the first place citizens of heaven – to make an earthly difference. This is God’s desire for us in South Africa. Then He can ignite His power in us – and through us, bring real HOPE for the nation. Nothing is as bad as having no hope. Only God, who knows the future, can bring true hope! HOPE also stands for Heaven On Planet Earth.
“Our Father . . . Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in Heaven’ (Matt. 6:10). Let heaven invade earth in South Africa!” says Van Niekerk.
He contends that the meaning of our calling today – which all believers in Christ in South Africa share – is to receive direction from God and to give that direction to the nation.
Van Niekerk says as believers, we are called “for a time such as this” (Esther 4:14).
“While the world dilutes (even despises) the Gospel, it is time for South Africa and Africa to unashamedly STAND UP for the Gospel so that its power (Rom. 1:16) can be practically demonstrated to a broken world. To achieve this, the purity of the Gospel needs to be preserved by staying true to the Word of God, so that true Biblical faith can be lived out in word and deed.”
Van Niekerk says the country is in a desperate situation mainly because South Africa accepted two twisted ‘gospels’ in the 1900s. Apartheid, which was an attempt to justify the separation of races with the Bible, and Post-modernism (after 1994), which is an attempt to “bury the Bible and to adopt non-Biblical, man-centered (humanistic) values”.
We are a ‘Christian country’ yet most Christians live powerless lives. In this way, the enemy succeeds in robbing South Africans, of whom 80% claim to be Christian, of our identity in Christ. It puts us in a powerless slumber from which we MUST wake up,” writes Van Niekerk in “Enough! What is the plan”?
“There is so much brokenness in South Africa – among all racial groups. God wants to make us ALL whole. He wants to bring healing. We need to (acknowledge and) allow our Father, whom we love so much, to bind our wounds so that we can reproduce that healing and freedom to others.
“In this way we will rediscover our identity in God and by the power of the Holy Spirit turn the tide in SA.”
Van Niekerk is excited to both attend and speak at KMMC 2016. He says the Lord has already given him a word to bring to the men at the conference.
“I have felt strongly during times of prayer the Lord emphasising that more than ever the nation needs ‘mighty men’ to fight the right fight, which is the good fight of faith.
“The Lord is calling us to action, in terms of not focusing on or being distracted by racial issues. God’s people need to move in and occupy the middle ground, because what is happening in the country is not conflict between races, but between light and darkness.
“Unless we take-up the armour of God and step up to the plate, the country will remain in disorientation. These times require of us to have understanding and see through the lies of the enemy, to bring direction to the country through God’s truth.”
Van Niekerk emphasises that the army of God that needs to give direction to the country is made up of all races, men and women, young and old: all those who put their hands up and gather together to operate in the spirit as prayer warriors and worshippers of the Lord in spirit and truth, and then impact and influence society.
Healing from a hurtful past
“A very important part of this is to bring healing to a nation that is not healthy. The start of the good fight of faith is to bring healing, because we come from a hurtful past and unless we bring healing we will not have sustainable change and transformation.
“The emphasis is on a change of hearts. We, ourselves, need to investigate our own hearts and become instruments in God’s hands for others’ hearts to change.”
Being a prayer warrior and intercessor places us in a position of authority, which we get from being under the authority of Jesus Christ, according to Van Niekerk, which brings us to a point of becoming the hands and feet of our prayers and doing what we are praying for.
“When we have faith in the Lord and stand in His authority, we have to be prepared to step out onto the water. However, it is all dependent on humbling ourselves before the Lord. The more we humble ourselves, the more His authority in us grows.
“The Lord says, ‘when you humble yourself before Me, I will raise you up’. Spiritual authority is only given by the Lord, you can’t earn it yourself, so the key to spiritual authority is to humble yourself before the Lord with a servant heart.
Humility and authority
“The more you humble yourself before the Lord, the more you start carrying authority in the spirit,” says Van Niekerk.
He has a strong belief that is expressed as an urgent call for the unification of the body of Christ, both in South African and Africa.
Van Niekerk emphasises that we also have an African purpose.
“Our diversity blends into a unique unity in Christ as hearts start opening up and minds are renewed. Doctrines, denominations and worship styles, etc, may differ, but we are called to unite the body of Christ and be His messengers.
“When God’s Word truly comes alive in us, in power, we unite to become agents of change that this continent has never seen before. The time is ripe, the desperation levels are high, to set in motion the fulfilment of Africa’s final purpose in these end times.
“The Kingdom of God is indeed ready to expand with tremendous restoration power in Africa. Let’s seize it!” says Van Niekerk.
He emphasises that we have been prepared for God’s purposes in this day, but it is up to us to fulfil that calling.
“We are a nation set aside by the living God for Transforming Revival in these end times. Hear the Word of the Lord, South Africa, ‘you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of the darkness into His marvellous light’ (1 Pet. 2:9),” says Van Niekerk.