We had the privilege of doing an interview with PD van der Westhuizen from Rise on Fire and, the author of Reigniting Spirit & Truth.
Congratulations on your first book! Before we get down to business, you started with Rise on Fire after a dream you had? Would you mind telling our readers more about where it all began?
A few years ago, as a student at university I loved the scriptures, attending multiple bible studies and growing in knowledge. But there was a big apparent lack in my heart: No love. I realized that I struggled to love like Jesus did, even though I had all the head knowledge of how He did. I knew that this was only possible by the Holy Spirit, so one night I fell on my knees and desperately asked for an outpouring of His Spirit on my life.
About 2 years later I had a dream: Standing in a marketplace in the streets of Israel, there was a little boy with me. In the dream I was teaching this young little boy how to pray for people. More specifically, there was a young girl in front of him, and I was teaching him how to pray for her hurting shoulder.
She gets healed! Runs to her Jewish mother and brings her. I tell her: “This was Yeshua (Jesus)”, and I wake up.
Confused and uncertain of this dream, since I had never even prayed for anyone at that point in my life, I prayed and fasted and a week later the Father changed my life.
While sitting at home, a thought came to me: “Go to Hatfield Square, there’s someone you need to meet”. This thought came out of nowhere, and I thought at first that I was going crazy, because this thought doesn’t want to leave me. I ended up shrugging my shoulders and getting in my car to drive up to Hatfield Square (a place in town close to my home). As I got out of my car, a man walked right up to me. He started telling me about his hardships, but all I could see was his shoulder. “Something is wrong with his shoulder”, I thought. But how should I know this? I take a step of boldness and ask: “Do you have any pain in your shoulder?”. “Yes… How do you know?” he says. “Jesus is going to heal that right now!”
As the words leave my mouth, I couldn’t believe what I was doing! But it was too late. I laid my hands on his shoulder and commanded the pain to leave in the name of Jesus. “Test it out”, I asked, because I didn’t want to just leave – faith is an action.
He moves around his shoulder, gently at first, and his eyes enlarge. “How did you do that? The pain is gone!” I couldn’t believe it.
He asks me to wait and brings his friend, who has limp and pain in his foot. I prayed again and God showed up to heal his friends foot. They both get super excited and, being locals, started bringing their sick friends. By the end of the night I ended up praying for around 25 sick people, and every single one of them got healed!
As I was crying myself home from that night, I heard the Father say: “PD, this is not about you, this is the walk of my Bride”.
What was the most difficult thing that came with the territory after starting Rise on Fire?
Many people are too comfortable in their Christian walk to consider walking as radically as the first century disciples, both in Spirit and Truth. This discomfort usually manifests in the form of persecution and rejection. I have personally received more persecution from fellow believers than any other group. But persecution is a promise and blessing, we must receive persecution if we are disciples of Christ, because that was what Jesus and His disciples experienced, especially from the religious groups.
You’ve seen a lot since you’ve started walking this path, what is the one thing according to you, that seems to be turning a lot of people away from the Gospel?
Lukewarm Christianity is one of the number one causes of the eruption of atheism and new age around the world. Because mainstream Christianity has in many cases lost the radical, powerful, uncompromising walk of the first century church, the world is looking to fill the hole in their hearts elsewhere. We were designed to walk in communion with the Holy Spirit and in the holiness of His Truth, but if we don’t we as humans will seek this elsewhere.
What made you write the book Spirit and Truth?
There is a big gap right now in Christianity, with two “revivals” (if you will) around the world. One of the Spirit: Where His people are returning to the great commission, where it is no longer left only for the pastor or leader. People are realizing that healing the sick, casting out demons, baptizing, etc. are instructions from Jesus to us, not optional, and for all who call themselves disciples of Christ.
On the other hand, another revival, that of Truth is also sweeping across the world. In this revelation, His people are returning to holiness, the keeping of His instructions, and walking as Jesus walked in accordance to that. That Jesus did not come to abolish the Torah, but to fill it up with meaning, which is what the word “fulfill” (pleroo in Greek), means. See Matthew 5:17-19.
The book talks about both these topics in detail in a practical manner, as well as God’s plans in bringing these two groups (that are currently living in disunity) together. I believe He is coming back for a bride equally yoked to her Messiah, that will worship in Spirit & Truth, not just on one side, lacking the other.
With all the negative things that has been going on lately all over the world, and the tension in South Africa, do you think that your book might help change all of this in a way? Leading people to the true Gospel and walking with God?
The gospel properly administered will most certainly always bring freedom in any and every situation. But I don’t believe the book is what will accomplish any of this, however, I believe the application of the knowledge in the book will. I hope for those who read it to not just read it and leave it at that, because knowledge without application is useless in the Kingdom. In this season, God calls us to shema, which means to listen and obey. If we start with this obedience, to walk as Yeshua and the first century church, we can truly change the world just as they did.
What was the writing process like spiritually?
The biggest hurdle was sitting down and writing, but after I started writing, the words just flowed from my mouth. The book was written in quite a short space of time and with just about no writer’s block at all. The Father really carried me through it, and I often glanced at what I read and thought “did I write that?”. Even today some of the things written is certainly above me, and therefore I can only give Him all the glory.
Did anyone play a big role in the writing of the book?
Yes, my fiancée Christina played the biggest role in reviewing and helping me communicate certain parts better, as well as adding a few extra revelations. Quite amazing since my mom had a vision years ago of a woman that was reading a book I wrote.
Katlego Hlongwane, Rean Combrinck, and my mother Rinette van der Westhuizen also reviewed the book. The editor of the book is Rebecca Wilber.
On your website you talk about the True New Covenant and the fulfillment of it, what do you think that is going to look like?
When the Bride of Christ walks in obedience to the law (Truth) written on her heart (Jer 31:31), as well as in the Spirit (Matthew 10:8). In its simple form, when we walk as Yeshua radically, uncompromisingly, and without any excuses along the way.
Is there any significance/meaning to the illustrations you used in the book?
The most prevalent illustration is that of the pendulum. It illustrates the pendulum we have today that swings along the 33 000 denominations. On the one extreme, we end up in lawlessness, and on the other, legalism. God is calling us to a balance of Spirit and Truth where it is not one or the other, but a perfect balance and unity of the Spirit in communion with the Truth.
Ever seen someone with the knowledge of the Truth, but the inability to walk it out due to the lack of Holy Spirit in their lives? Or someone who is eager for manifestations of the Spirit, but does not have the knowledge of Truth? Both are dangerous places to be, but He is restoring us back to the fullness of His walk, even as we speak.
In your book you talk about all of the different denominations, do you think that God sees us all in different “categories” or as just one people?
I don’t think there’s going to be a gate for Baptists, or a gate for Catholics in the Kingdom. Revelation 21 speaks of the 12 gates containing the names of the 12 tribes of Israel. Israel has always been God’s people, not by bloodline, but by the ingrafting into Yeshua through our obedience and call on His name, through faith. Israel is one people. Interestingly though, even before our 33 000 denominations, the enemy has from the beginning tried to divide Israel, as we see with the fall of King Solomon, causing the first big split of Israel into different kingdoms, who even today stand divided. I have a video on YouTube called “Scattered & Regathered” that speaks more on this.
There is one thing I’ve always wondered about and that is how will we be divided into nations/tribes?
Good question. As I mentioned, we have the 12 tribes. Now when Israel left Egypt we had the native people from the 12 tribes leave, but not only that – we also had a “mixed multitude” (Exodus 12:38) come out of Egypt with them. This was the Egyptians who saw the plagues and decided to follow the God of Israel. God said that these people should be treated as the native born (Leviticus 19:34), and therefore part of the 12 tribes of Israel.
When each tribe was given a portion of the land, these foreigners were able to choose to reside in any land, and the one they chose would become the tribe they belong to. I imagine the same would be the case of the day we stand before those 12 gates in the kingdom: the gate we choose, would become the tribe we belong to.
You mentioned in your book about Christians that walk in the Spirit but they don’t obey the law, does that mean you won’t enter heaven then?
Well, I can’t really answer that. Of course, when it comes to the question of salvation then it would be up to the Judge. It also depends on what we define as “obeying the law”. For example, if I choose to abstain from gossip, I have kept the law. If I choose to never murder, I have kept the law. If I choose to keep the 4th commandment of the sabbath, I have kept the law. Now if I consciously rebel against the ways that Jesus died for us to live in, then I’m treading on dangerous
If I say I am a Christian, yet murders, am I truly a Christian? The bigger problem has really been that we end up picking and choosing the instructions we want to follow, and the ones that are too weird (because we are living in such a far removed and lawless culture), we leave out. Some of it is also because we are still learning too, which is fine. God desires our hearts attention, and from that place, even if we fall – consciously or not, He will pick us up with His grace. As long as that grace does not become our license to live a life of lawlessness. I certainly have much to learn about how to be obedient and to live as my Messiah, and I truly do still fall.
The bigger question is whether my heart and choices are in rebellion against His covenant instructions written on my heart, or in communion with them.
You talked about a vision that you had where you walked with Jesus in a golden field, did everything fall into place the same as you mentioned about the golden people that will be sent to accommodate and not hinder?
Yes truly. If we make the decision to walk in the fields of harvest Yeshua talked about, He will send the right people on our path. I just came back from preaching in the United States, and saw incredible things, and that is a testimony to accommodations and doors God opens for us if we only say: “Here I am, send me”. All glory to Him.
I think the part that scared me the most was were you talked about sin and, how if we continue to sin after coming to the knowledge of the truth, what Jesus did for us would ultimately be void. Do you think Christians who fall under this category sins deliberately just not to obey or is it a form of the enemy keeping them “blind”?
It can really be both. The enemy lies to us about who God is, about His words, instructions, character etc. and by choosing the believe the lie, we can easily fall into that category. But in the end, we have choice, just like Adam & Eve had the gift of free will.
Those who’s hearts are truly after Him and walking in righteousness, will most certainly find Him and the righteousness in Yeshua
I never understood the real reason for the cross, after I watched your video on scattered and regathered my life and relationship with God changed radically. What was it like for you, when you received this revelation the first time?
The same. Because for the first time we start understanding who we are and why He really had to die. If we don’t understand the bigger picture of the Bible, of how God previously divorced Israel amongst other things, we will never understand why He really had to die (it was for much more than our sins).
What is the main thing you want readers to take away from your book?
It’s simple, to audit themselves, look at the life of Yeshua, and make the necessary changes in heart and action to walk more like Him despite the culture or even religious traditions that doesn’t line up with Him. It’s very simple, but it’s not easy.
My book is available globally in either paperback, eBook or as a free PDF from: http://www.SpiritTruthBook.com
If you want to get in touch with me you can go have a look on YouTube at: http://www.YouTube.com/RiseOnFire or visit our website: http://www.riseonfire.com/ or email me: email@example.com
Thank you so much, all glory to God!
Photos taken by Dewaldt Walters at the launch of PD’s book. Book illustrations done by Lenè Magro Walters.