Bible Reading
Psalm 127: 1-5

Text verse 1
Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it:
except the LORD keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.

The dense African Jungle has long disappeared in our beautiful country
- today animals that once roamed free throughout this beautiful continent
can only be seen in the National Parks.
Major Lewis Hastings in his travel guide to Africa tells us of something
unusual that he once found in the heart of the African Jungle.
In a clearing in the heart of the jungle he came upon sticks carefully pilled
in the fashion to make a good fire.
A Bon-fire! A braai-vleis fire !
He asked his guide:
How did they come to be there, and why were they so well arranged ?
The explanation and answer surprised him: Chimpanzees !

The Chimpanzee - in 1738 a specimen was taken to England from Africa.
It was called by an Angolan name, Chimpanzee, or “mock man.”
The name stuck !

The Chimpanzee is not mentioned in the Bible but we do read that
about 3000 years ago King Solomon imported “apes”
—perhaps including chimpanzees—
to Jerusalem.

1 Kings 10:22
For the king had at sea a navy of Tharshish with the navy of Hiram:
once in three years came the navy of Tharshish,
bringing gold, and silver, ivory, and apes, and peacocks.

Job once said:
Job 12:7
But ask now the beasts, and they shall teach thee;
and the fowls of the air, and they shall tell thee.

Today, I want us to examine the Chimpanzee - the Mock man!
Major Lewis Hastings went further on to say in his Travel guide
that his African guide told him further that although the Chimpanzee
had built the fire heap and built it very well - that was all that he could do.
The Chimpanzee had seen men build the fire heap
- had seen how men sat around the fire for warmth -
and furthermore knew that the fire protected men from the wild animals.
The Chimpanzee could copy man’s actions
- or should I rather say ape them and build a fire heap -
Once the Chimpanzee had built the fire heap they even gathered
around the fire heap in great expectation.
Sat around the fire heap just as they had seen men do but all in vain
- one thing failed them -
the fire itself.
You see they could not start the fire.
They just did not know how to start the fire!
Even though they sat for hours around that fire heap
- with great expectations -
the miracle of the burning fire eluded them.
The spark needed to start the fire was absent!

In vain they had built the fire stack!
In vain they had stacked the sticks needed to start the fire!
The one thing that they need most was absent
- the spark to start the fire -
The fire itself!

Listen once again to our Bible Text:
Psalm 127:1
Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it:
except the LORD keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.

The Chimpanzee - the mock man - built in vain!
So often we do exactly the same
- we plan great things -
we build a beautiful house but the spark needed to turn it into a home
- a happy home -
is missing.
Love and the Lord !

Are you in search of a happy marriage?
Do you wish to build a happy marriage relationship?
You will build in vain if you leave the Lord out of your plans!
You will have as much or as little success as the Chimpanzees
had in enjoying the warmth of a roaring fire
- yes, they built a perfect fire stack -
but they failed to have a
fire because they lacked the spark needed to start a fire.

Matthew 6:33
But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness;
and all these things shall be added unto you.

This Church - This Assembly
There is something I need to share with you today!
Many a day I felt just like those Chimpanzees
- yes, many a day -
You see, I have done
every thing in my power to build this Assembly
- to cause it to grow -
but despite all my efforts
- something lacks -
Yes, the fire stack is built
- I have stacked the wood to the best of my ability -
every thing is ready for revival
- every thing is ready for growth -
I even have great expectations because I know and I preach weekly that:

Luke 1:37
For with God nothing shall be impossible.

Hebrews 13:8
Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.

Just like the Chimpanzees, I have sat around my heap of sticks and logs waiting
- with keen expectations -

Lord, speak to me - How long must I wait for the miracle of the fire?
Am I just as foolish as those Chimpanzees?
Must I not rather throw the towel in - Give up and try else where!

Nothing, is going to happen at the Goldfields Revival Centre
- Just examine the history of the local assembly -
Everyone says that it is a lost cause!

Like Jesus, I need to ask the question:
John 6:67
Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away?

Sometime back, at a Christian Convention in our City,
a well known Nation-wide if not World renown Preacher
called on those attending the Convention not to invest
their tithes and offering in small little local churches were nothing seems to be
happening but rather to invest in those ministries that are doing great things
- country wide and those large Churches were things are really happening!
Invest wisely the Lord’s money he appealed!

Will you too desert the local Church
- resign to join a large ministry -
withdraw your tithes and offerings to support those who claim
to be doing greater things for the Lord?
It is so easy to have a big vision with another person's money!
To do great things for God - with another person's money!
So many in our city have heeded the call!

Lord, I have done my best - I have stacked the fire heap - am I foolish like the
Chimpanzees and waiting in vain for the miracle of the revival fires!

And then the Lord spoke to me:
My son, remember Thomas - doubting Thomas
- he left the gathering of the eleven -
he was not present when I appeared to the eleven!

John 20:19
Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were
shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in
the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.

Remain, faithful - something will happen when you least expect something to happen.
Who would have thought that Jesus would appear to His disciples
while they were gathering behind locked doors?

Remember what Jesus said:
Acts 1:8
But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you:
and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria,
and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

Remember the Words of John the Baptist:
Matthew 3:11
I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance:
but he that cometh after me is mightier than I,
whose shoes I am not worthy to bear:
he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire.

It was the Fire of the Holy Spirit that changed the Disciples.
It is the fire of the Holy Spirit that will change the Church today.
They changed into bold witnesses for the Lord - all because they
waited for the Power of the Holy Spirit.

Ours is a small Church!
Remember the small Church at Ephesus

Acts 19:1-2
And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth,
Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus:
and finding certain disciples, He said unto them,
Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed?
And they said unto him,
We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost.

Acts 19:7
And all the men were about twelve.

Nothing had happened there - But Paul visited the Assembly
and listen what happened after they received the Holy Spirit:

Acts 19:10
And this continued by the space of two years;
so that all they which dwelt in Asia heard the word of the Lord Jesus,
both Jews and Greeks.

Acts 19:12
So that from his body were brought unto the sick handkerchiefs or aprons,
and the diseases departed from them, and the evil spirits went out of them.

The fire power of the Holy Spirit changed that Assembly!
It became a witness throughout Asia!
How? - by the Power of the Holy Spirit!

Friend, Church we need the power of the Holy Spirit in our lives
- are you prepared to wait for that experience?
Many fear that by asking for the infilling of the Holy Spirit
they might receive something counterfeit but listen to what Jesus said:

Luke 11:9-13
And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock,
and it shall be opened unto you. For every one that asketh receiveth;
and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.
If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone?
or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent?
Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion?
If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children:
how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?

We do not need to be like the Chimpanzees who sat around a fire heap
waiting in vain for the spark to ignite the fire.
We are Children of the most High God and He has given us a promise
- Ask -
Pray and you will receive!

Now, I need to ask the same question that Paul asked the Church at Ephesus:
Have you received the Holy Spirit since you believed ?

Is it not time that we ask the Lord to fill us with His precious Holy Spirit?
Is it not time to seek the guidance of His Holy Spirit?
Is it not the time to walk in the Power of the Holy Spirit?

But Friend, there is a condition to receiving the Power of the Holy Spirit
in our lives and in our Church.

Listen to the Words of Peter on the Day of Pentecost:
Acts 2:38
Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you
in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins,
and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

Repentance means a turning to Jesus!
Friend, have you turned to Jesus - Do you believe enough in HIM to follow HIM !
Your eternal future depends on your following Jesus!

John 14:6
Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life:
no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

You need to make that decision today - tomorrow may be too late!

Church - without the Power and Fire of the Holy Spirit
there can be no revival in this place
and then we will be just as foolish as those chimpanzees
sitting around a heap of sticks - waiting in vain for the fire!
Will you join me in prayer for the Power of the Holy Spirit to descend in this place ?

In closing remember our Bible Text:
Psalm 127:1
Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it:
except the LORD keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.

Pastor CSJ Claassen
PO Box 99

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