Impressions and informal notes from the divine service for the service of departed in Blantyre, Malawi, as recorded by members of our social media team. Please note that these notes are not official transcripts.
Bible word (Text word): John 14-6: Jesus said to Him “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me”.
Opening Hymn: 396 – “The love of God”
Chief Apostle Schneider
My dear brothers and sisters here and all connected congregations.
We join our choir to worship our God. I wish you all over a great encounter with our Heavenly Father.
One day Apostle Peter and John went to the temple and a man was begging. When he saw the Apostles coming he asked for money and Peter said I have no silver no gold, but I give you what I have in the name of Jesus get up and walk. And the lame man stood up and entered with them into the temple, he went into the temple, God’s dwelling place and he praised God,
Many today ask God, please help me. Grant me your help in the daily life. Heal me, give me some money. But Jesus said the Apostle has one mission to tell people, “Hey, we don’t want to stay here on earth, we want to enter the kingdom of God. Get up and walk with us to the temple. Walk with us to enter God’s Kingdom. That’s the task of God’s Apostles. Dear brothers and sisters let us get up and follow God. That’s the desire that God wants us to enter his kingdom and have fellowship with Him and that is salvation. Salvation is to be in the fellowship with God and that’s only possible with Jesus Christ. Without Him no one can enter the kingdom of God.
Without him no one can be saved and that applies on earth as well as in the realms of the beyond, and that’s what Jesus explained. “No one comes to the Father but by me, I am the way the truth and the life”, and that’s also the message for the souls in the beyond, Jesus is the way to enter the Kingdom, and that means we have to believe that Jesus is the son of God, believe that he came, in his sacrifice, his resurrection and that he went back to be with God, and in His gospel and his teaching and to follow His way. It would be silly to say “Oh the gospel that’s ok Jesus is the son of God and the way, but I don’t want to follow and act according in the daily life.”
On earth and in the beyond we have to believe in God and the sacrifice of Jesus, no one can come to God without Jesus’ sacrifice. That means that no one can receive salvation if they don’t believe in this sacrifice.
There are many good people that entered the realms and they feel they deserve salvation just because they have good deeds, but that isn’t the case. We need God’s grace to be saved, on earth and in the yonder world, and to take grace we have to come to God like children “I am nothing without thee, I need you”. Dear brothers and sisters we need the sacrifice, we need his grace, we cannot deserve salvation, we need God’s grace and the forgiveness of sins and to obtain that we have to be humble. “Please help me I am nothing without you”. And for some people that’s extremely difficult u know, and I can imagine that many souls feel they deserve salvation, but first they should be humble, and come to God and ask for His grace.
Jesus is the way. He also explained that we must be baptized with water and the spirit, we have to be reborn, otherwise we cannot enter the kingdom of God, and then He sent His Apostles and told them “I send you as My father sent Me, go teach, preach and baptize all nations.”
That’s not the way of the New Apostolic Church, that’s the way of Jesus. He taught us. He sent His Apostles to dispense the Holy Spirit. That’s the way defined by Jesus Christ.
He gave us the one way to follow, to enter His kingdom. Jesus is the way, we need his grace out of His sacrifice and for that we have to be humble and asking for grace. We cannot deserve salvation and one has to be baptized through water and the Holy Spirit.
Jesus said I am the truth, and that’s also valid on earth and in the beyond. It means His word is truth. He said, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but by no means will my word pass away.” So the whole Gospel is the truth. Some people think maybe if they apply half of the Gospel it’s ok because some parts I cannot adapt into my life, people are funny they want to define what is a sin and what isn’t. They even invent their own gratification of sins, there are serious sins and not so serious. To kill my neighbor is serious but if you steal your neighbor’s money, not so serious. Look at the world today, if everyone thought that taking your neighbor’s money is a sin, the world would be a different place. Sometimes it seems like this sin has been erased from the Bible.
Some people realize when they enter heaven “Oh Jesus was serious about His teaching, every word was serious” … and then they become aware, Jesus is the truth all His words are truth. Many are surprised to discover that even the smallest word of Jesus was the truth.
Jesus tells us the truth about ourselves. Remember the Revelation, “You say you are rich but I tell you that you are poor.” There are men with a high opinion of themselves and Jesus will tell them the truth. And that’s the case in the yonder world and suddenly the souls discover “Oh I’m much different than what I thought” and then they must accept that Jesus is the truth.
Quite often people react like children, when the Father says “Oh you did something wrong” we say “Oh no it was him and he forced me and it’s not serious because everyone’s doing it”. Jesus tells us that’s a sin that we are committing. Jesus is the truth, also has another meaning. Jesus actually meant I am God because God is truth. He meant he is God and God is him, the one who saw Jesus, saw God. They think God is a superior being, the punisher and judge, but Jesus showed us he didn’t come to punish but to save. That’s the meaning of “I am the truth”. I am God you can see me as God.
There are many souls that don’t accept this, on earth and in the beyond. They cannot understand or accept why God doesn’t punish the sinner. They are disappointed and angry when they see the sinner goes unpunished. Think about this, it isn’t easy to accept. When someone mistreats you, we would like God to do something and Jesus tells you “No, you know I love him exactly like I love you, I want to save him too, I want him to be in eternity with me as I want the same for you”. You agree with me, this is hard to accept. But to receive salvation one has to accept. Jesus is the truth God is like Jesus.
Jesus is the truth, He keeps His promises. There are people who sacrifice for God but God didn’t help them when they were sick and remained that way until death and they are so disappointed, “God promised He will help me, I called Him please help me and actually He didn’t. Where is this Saviour you talked about? And now Jesus says “I am the truth, I keep my promises”, and one has to believe it. Then we have to remember what the promise is, Jesus said those who believe and follow me won’t die I will give them eternal life.
He didn’t speak about the life on earth. He spoke about eternal life, salvation of the soul, fellowship with God. We will experience God and we can experience this now. We can feel God is with me. Even in sickness. We can feel He is beside me. He gives me peace and joy. But one has to believe He keeps His promises He is the truth.
Jesus is the truth, He tells us the truth about ourselves and we have to accept it, He loves the sinner and wants to save them, we believe in His promise of eternal life, and then Jesus said “I am the life” and what does that mean, we have to be aware what does life mean in the Bible. In the very beginning God gave man life when He made man a living being, he gave man life to stay with him in paradise. For God life was “I want man with me. I can talk with him. We can talk together”. That’s the reason God created man. To have fellowship with him. You know that was destroyed because of sin. Man was separated and now we understand what he meant when Jesus said I am the life. Through Jesus we can have this life again, we can come to Jesus and to God and again we can have fellowship with God.
Through Jesus we can have eternal fellowship with God. Jesus also said “I am the bread of life”. We need to celebrate Holy Communion to eat his body to eat his blood. That’s also a condition placed by Jesus. Not the New Apostolic Church. ‘If u don’t eat my flesh and drink my blood, you have no part of me”. To have this, we must celebrate Holy Communion continuously. Jesus asked His Apostles to dispense it. He told them, “Do this in remembrance of me”. Jesus is the life! Through Him we can have eternal life but we need to have Holy Communion.
We WANT to renounce evil and the sinful life. We want to live for Christ. In Christ Jesus is the life. We have renounced our life and to live in Christ and become like him and the more we celebrate Holy Communion we can become like Christ.
So He can give us grace and we can enter His kingdom. Dear brothers and sisters this is what Jesus wanted to tell people, both to us here and in the beyond. Jesus is the way the truth and the life, and let me change it a little bit. “Jesus is our way our truth our life!” Amen
District Apostle Helper João Uanuque Misselo from Angola
Dear brothers and sisters. The Chief Apostle today and this morning has really given a lot of the commission he has received from above. Jesus is able to tell Peter “It is you the rock and upon you I build my church” And today he has really fulfilled the word about what the Lord desires from our heart. Maybe we can also give one example. Small as it may be. If a parent was able to tell the child, please I am sleeping if anyone comes tell them not to disturb me, that child as little as he may be, he has the authority from the father. Whoever comes in whatever stature when he comes the child will say sorry my father is sleeping, you cannot enter.
Jesus Christ is saying “I am the way, and the truth and also the life. Not one can come to the father except through Me.” He has said “I am” He didn’t day “He is or that one is”, but “I am” He said this out of the authority and power He has received from His Father, and this is what we should accept as now the Chief Apostle is telling us this. Whoever will believe that Jesus is the Son of Man, he who believes in the sacraments that He has left, he who believes that Jesus died for our sins, He has left us a promise “I have gone to my father to prepare a place so that where I am there u will be”.
When we were in Australia, the Chief Apostle told us, “There is nothing that God promised that he was unable to fulfill. He has made a promise of eternal life. He has made a promise that His Son will come and take us home. And He has also made a promise that He will make for us a new heaven, and He has left a promise with His Apostles I will be with you until the end of the age.”
This is offering us joy to you brothers and sisters, alive and in the beyond. Even today, when we are sorrowful because we are separate from those in the beyond. When the Lord will come we will be filled with jubilation. Amen
Children’s choir: “Saviour like a Shepherd leads us”
District Apostle Ndandula
My dear brothers and Sisters, dear guests and friends,. For almost two years when we received the message that Chief Apostle will be in Blantyre, Malawi. We have prayed we have pulled the curtains within our souls and our dear Chief Apostle has fulfilled his promise. He is here with us and we have heard that which he has brought for us. A message from our Heavenly Father. There is no other way. We may have heard that Jesus and God are like mountains we can climb from any angle and we will reach the top. This is the message from Jesus Christ and how do we know the way? The way is very difficult to pass through and we will experience many challenges.
In life you also have challenges, with the power of the spirit let nothing hinder us, let nothing distract us from the way. He is the way that leads to eternal life. He assured us that because He overcame so we can also overcome.
He is the truth. Many people say the truth can save you. The greatest truth is Jesus Christ. Not only the truth but OUR truth. Let our Lord Jesus Christ be in us. Like Jesus said: “If you have seen Me, you have seen My Father”. Then those who see us should be able to see Jesus Christ, and beloved like forgiveness is not so easy, because as human beings we always see human beings, but as our Chief Apostle teaches us through the Holy Baptism we can also see Jesus in one another. He is the life. Beloved in the Lord, I saw a sign on a store it said “No money ,no life”, but Jesus is the life. Yes we may die, but if He lives in us we will resurrect, death isn’t the end.
We also receive the gift of the Holy Spirit and with it, we will also be able to resurrect. Let us remain on this way, let us pray for the Lord’s help. Challenges will be there, but the Lord will grant us strength, the Lord won’t remove the challenges so we can walk freely with our hands in our pockets. We have the same needs here and in the beyond, He is the same God and the same Christ, He loves us and we love Him, and one day we will be with Him forever. Let us believe Him and trust Him and keep our faith till the end. Amen
Chief Apostle Jean-Luc Schneider
On this day we can experience the forgiveness of sins, but we have to be humble, not coming to God mentioning all our good deeds, let us come to Jesus like a little child, I have nothing, without you I can do nothing. I can give you nothing, please give me Your grace and I can be saved.
And then we celebrate Holy Communion together. We will receive the bread of life this allows us to become a new creature in Christ. Count the number of times the members of our church have celebrated Holy Communion and look at the many that haven’t changed. It’s not just one. Does this mean that Holy Communion isn’t efficient? Oh what God gives is always perfect.
Holy Communion contains life and strength of God but the efficiency of it depends on our will and that’s the problem. Is our will strong enough? Yes, we want to become like Jesus, we do want His thoughts to be our thoughts. I do want that His priorities becomes mine, I do want to see my neighbor as Jesus sees my neighbor. From time to time we will become weak. We don’t want to change our opinion of our neighbor, and so Holy Communion has no effect. Jesus will not force me to change my opinion. Dear brothers and sisters let’s celebrate this Holy Communion today with the strong desire that we want the thoughts of Jesus to become ours and then this Holy Communion will produce this effect, and not only we will experience it but the people around us will see.
Repentance Hymn: “Oh Saviour hear my cry” – Hymnal 53
Celebration of Holy Communion
Holy Communion Hymns: “A sparkling stream”. “A wonderful savior”. “Safe in the arms of Jesus“
Choir Hymn: “A glorious land awaits us”
Serving for the departed
Hymn: violin solo: “I see in Spirit ”
Special acts : Ordination of District Elder Jacob Mwansa as Apostle.
Closing choir anthem: “Glory praise and honor and We shall remain united” special arrangement.