About Us

Jesus Christ is infinitely more than a historic Hero; He is both the mirror image of an invisible God and at the same time the reflection and blueprint of every person’s original design. His life, death and resurrection represent the human race, preserved and revealed in the most documented ancient record, and confirmed in our faith.

We believe that the church, ekklesia, is so much more than a building or an organisation. It is the voice of God that echoes in man and reveals man’s true spiritual origin and identity (Greek, ek, a preposition denoting origin, and kaleo, urgent invitation, to give a name to, to receive the name of, to call or salute by name). Jesus introduces Simon, the son of Jonah to his true identity, a stone hewn out of the Rock; the son of man is the son of God. It is in this context that Jesus says he will build His ekklesia. Math 16:13, 16-18. Isa 51:1, Deut 32:18, 1 Peter 2:5.

“And we all, with new understanding, see ourselves in Him as in a mirror; thus we are changed from an inferior mindset to the revealed opinion of our true Origin.” 2 Corinthians 3:18 – Mirror Translation

“They suddenly recognize that God is a living, personal presence, not a piece of chiselled stone. And when God is personally present, a living Spirit, that old, constricting legislation is recognized as obsolete. We’re free of it! All of us! Nothing between us and God, our faces shining with the brightness of his face.” 2 Corinthians 3:17, 18 The Message

About Francois & Lydia

Lydia and Francois met on the 25th of August 1974, while he was working with Youth For Christ. She was sixteen and he nineteen! The following year he studied Greek and Hebrew at the University of Pretoria for three years while Lydia completed her nursing training. In 1978 Francois also spent a year with Youth with a Mission. They married in January 1979 and are blessed with four amazing children, Renaldo, Tehilla, Christo and Stefan. They worked in a full-time mission for fourteen years, during which time they also pastored a church and led a training facility for more than 700 students over a five-year period. They then left the ministry and for ten years did business mainly in the tourism industry. They built and managed a Safari Lodge in the Sabi Sand Game Reserve and eventually relocated to Hermanus where they started Southern Right boat-based whale watching.

In December 2000 Francois started writing the book, “God believes in You” which led to him being invited to speak at various Christian camps and churches. They are now back in fulltime ministry since February 2004, and travel at least once a year abroad and almost every month into Africa and around South Africa.

Francois has written several books in both English and Afrikaans, including God Believes in You, Divine Embrace, Done! and The Mystery Revealed.

In order to focus their time on writing and translation, they relocated from Hermanus in 2015 to a remote farm in the Swartberg Mountains. They have also stopped most of their travelling. Lydia already wrote 5 amazing children’s stories of which one, Stella’s Secret is already published. The most recent 8th edition Mirror Bible is now almost 800 pages of bliss!

You’re a swan! not an upgraded ugly duckling!

Early beginnings

People often ask me how we got started in this wonderful mirror message. There are many moments of reflection and impression that quickened our understanding and appreciation of the success of the cross; our parents and others have laid such a sure foundation in demonstrating the simplicity of the love of God and his initiative to bring about closeness and friendship; but I must mention two outstanding moments that are deeply impressed in my memory.

The first was in October 1978 during a devotional time. I remember how it dawned on me that we cannot even begin to understand the cross until we realize Genesis 1:26. Humankind was made in the image and likeness of God. It was not the pitiful state of mankind that moved God to pay such a ridiculous price for humanity’s redemption; it was his love knowledge of our likeness that persuaded this act. My mother used to say, “The lost coin never lost its original value!” The man who redeemed the hidden treasure sold all that he had to buy the entire field! Math 13:44. I began to see that while we reduce the cross of Christ to a mere historic and sentimental reference, the amazing mystery of what actually happened there remains veiled from us.

I was reading systematically through the Bible at that time, doing two chapters daily from both the Old and the New Testaments. Part of my reading that morning, was from 1 Kings chapter 6. Verse 1 was certainly God’s way of powerfully arresting my full attention! Lydia and I were dating exactly 4 years and 2 months that day which I realized with a shock when I read, “In the fourth year, in the month of Ziv, which is the second month, he began to build the house of the LORD!” (And I was thinking that maybe I should be like Paul and don’t marry!)

Verse 7 then spoke powerfully to me, “When the house was built, it was with stone prepared at the quarry; so that neither hammer nor axe nor any tool of iron was heard in the temple, while it was being built.” What struck me was the thought that enough happened to the stone in the quarry to cut it to such precision that no further chiseling was needed! How do we define the quarry in our theology? So much of our sincere Christian doctrine encourages us to believe that God has to daily employ the ‘hammer and chisel’ to continue to chip away little bit by little bit of our characters to hopefully eventually get us ready for heaven one day! God would use anything, like your wife, or your boss, or neighbor, even your neighbor’s dog sometimes, we believed!

If our perfection and ‘sanctification’ depended on how many years we spend in some wilderness, whether domestic or financial or some human crisis we are facing, then sanctification would be reduced to the law of works and human experience again, and we would have to pray and play for time! We would need to grow as old as possible, because this is going to take at least a lifetime!

The cross is the quarry! Not your marriage or job or who or whatever!

In the light of the finished work of Christ I became convinced that any doctrine that distracts from the success of the cross was a waste of time to pursue. The only
possible way we can delay the glory that follows the cross is by underestimating what happened there when Jesus died and cried: “It is finished!” If it did not
happen in the death and resurrection of Jesus it is not going to happen anywhere else! In God’s economy Jesus died humanity’s death, once and for all! None of the rulers of the religious system of the day understood this mystery; if they did they would never have crucified the Lord of glory! 1 Corinthians 2:8, 1 Cor 1:30.

While the cross cannot be reversed, man’s understanding of how included we were in his death and resurrection can be veiled; yet this ‘veiling’ can only happen with your permission! Paul says that the minds of the ‘unbelievers’ are veiled from seeing the light of the gospel. Unbelief simply means to believe a lie about yourself! Just like Israel did in Numbers 13:33. See also 2 Cor 4:4.

I was in a mission at that time where inner healing, spiritual warfare and deliverance were very popular teachings; I began to see how many of our pet doctrines and interpretations clashed with the simple message of the cross.

If we do not understand that the body on the cross was the document of humanity’s guilt, we will never understand how God succeeded to disarm the devil and cancel every possible claim to blackmail human life, once and for all!

Sadly it has become fashion to preach a defeated devil back into business again,
almost as if Pharaoh was not thoroughly beaten in the prophetic picture of Israel’s
deliverance! Israel did not die in the desert because of an inferior deliverance out of Pharaoh’s hand! Ex 14:13 “And Moses said to the people, “Fear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of the LORD, which he will work for you today; for the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall never see again.” Israel wasted forty years living a neutralized life in the wilderness and that entire generation except two died
because they believed a lie about themselves and underestimated their salvation! Num 13:33, Josh 2:11, Hebrews 2:3. The supernatural is proof of God’s mercy and not proof of faith; they died because of unbelief.

The next passage in my reading that day was from 1Peter 2, and I quote v 2-5 “Like newborn babies, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up to salvation; for you have tasted the kindness of the Lord. Come to him, to that living stone, rejected by men but in God’s sight chosen and precious; and like living stones be yourselves built into a spiritual house.” (Haha! Two months later that verse was on our wedding card!)

Jesus is the living stone and we are like him! Even as new born babies we share his perfection; no chiseling required, only nurturing! We grow up by our addiction to the undiluted pure milk of the gospel message that proclaims how Jesus fulfilled and perfected the prophetic word of our salvation. Peter says in the previous chapter that we were born anew when Jesus was raised from the dead! What God spoke prophetically about the sufferings of Christ and the subsequent glory is the living and incorruptible seed of the Word. This truth realized awakens us into newness of life! Col 1:6. In the calculation of God we died with him and were raised together with him! Hosea 6:2, Ephesians 2:5. Notice that Peter writes, “Be ye built into a spiritual house” he doesn’t tell us to first get chiseled and shaped in order to eventually become something useful to God! The language of the Old Testament was, “Do in order to become”, while the language of the New Testament is, “Be because of what was done!” We do not grow in completeness; we only grow in the knowledge of our completeness!

It is interesting to note that it is Mr Rock himself (Petros) who writes about us
being living stones! When asked who he thought Jesus the son of man was, it was
revealed to Simon that Jesus was the Messiah, the son of the living God. Immediately Jesus then introduced Simon to the fact that even he, the son of Jonah was hewn from the same Rock! Deuteronomy 32:18 You were unmindful of the Rock that begot you, and you forgot the God who gave you birth. Isa 51:1 “Hearken to me, you who pursue deliverance, you who seek the LORD; look to the rock from which you were hewn, and to the quarry from which you were dug.” It is upon this same Rock that God builds his ekklesia and the gates of hades (ignorance) shall not prevail against his ekklesia’s claim! Jesus has come to introduce man to himself again, because we have forgotten what manner of man we are! “By the waters of reflection my soul remembers who I am by God’s design” Ps 23:2,3

The first was during our honeymoon in January 1979 in the Bourke’s Luck area in Mpumalanga. Lydia and I met a nature conservation officer who told us how they released a Black eagle that was in the Pretoria zoo for ten years. This happened about a week prior to our visit. She told us how excited they were when the bird finally arrived in its wooden crate. They knew that this was the day for this eagle to be freed and to return to the life of its design.  But their excitement soon turned to frustration when, after opening the cage, the bird just would not fly! They realised that the ten years of caged life trapped this poor birds mind in an invisible enclosure! How could they get the eagle to realise that it was indeed free. After some hours the bird suddenly looked up, and in the distance, they heard the call of another eagle; immediately the zoo-eagle took off in flight! No flying lessons are required when truth is realised!

This story gives such clarity and content to the fact that Jesus came to the planet not to upgrade the cage of Jewish or any other religion by starting a new brand called, the Christian religion; but to be the incarnate voice of the likeness and image of God in human form! He came to reveal and redeem the image of God in us! His mission was to mirror the blueprint of our design, not as an example for us but of us! Col.1:15, 2:9,10.

In God’s faith, mankind is associated in Christ even before the foundation of the world. Jesus died humanity’s death and when the stone was rolled away, we were raised together with him! Every human life is fully represented in him! Hosea 6:2.

If the gospel is not the voice of the free eagle it is not the gospel.

The second vivid memory was during our honeymoon in January 1979. Lydia and I met a nature conservation officer who told us how they released a Black eagle that was in the Pretoria zoo for ten years. This happened about a week prior to our visit. She told us how excited they were when the bird finally arrived in its wooden crate. They knew that this was the day for this eagle to be freed and to return to the life of its design.  But their excitement soon turned to frustration when, after opening the cage, the bird just would not fly! They realized that the ten years of caged life trapped this poor birds mind in an invisible enclosure! How could they get the eagle to realize that it was indeed free. After some hours the bird suddenly looked up, and in the distance, they heard the call of another eagle; immediately the zoo-eagle took off in flight! No flying lessons are required when truth is realized!
This story gives such clarity and content to the fact that Jesus came to the planet not to upgrade the cage of Jewish or any other religion by starting a new brand called, the Christian religion; but to be the incarnate voice of the likeness and image of God in human form! He came to reveal and redeem the image of God in us! His mission was to mirror the blueprint of our design, not as an example for us but of us! Col.1:15, 2:9,10.
In God’s faith, mankind is associated in Christ even before the foundation of the world. Jesus died humanity’s death and when the stone was rolled away, we were raised together with him! Every human life is fully represented in him! Hosea 6:2.
If the gospel is not the voice of the free eagle it is not the gospel.

The third vivid memory encounter that molded this message in me was a few years later (1983) when I was asked to pastor a church in White River, Mpumalanga. Until that time I was preaching in the schools of Kangwane and would speak only once or perhaps twice a week to the same audience. I felt a bit worried at the thought that I would now have to speak to the same group of people almost daily. One morning I was specifically praying about this when God reminded me of the five loaves and two fish miracle. I realized that Jesus just continued to multiply the same five loaves and two fish! He did not at some point run out and then had to ask for a few more fish or another loaf!
I suddenly felt a strong urge to read 2 Corinthians 5. I already knew verse 17 off by heart but my eyes were drawn to verse 16.  It felt like I was reading it for the first time in my life! When I read the first line I started weeping as God began to open my understanding to what it was that caused Paul to say, “From now on, therefore…” That morning became my personal, “From now on, therefore” moment! “From now on, therefore, I no longer know anyone after the flesh!”
Wow, I mean Paul was so aware of people’s natural pedigrees; even his own prominent lineage dwarfed into insignificance when he realized that whoever he was by natural birth died when Jesus died. One has died for all can only mean that all have died!” I was totally overwhelmed with this thought and realized that this simple calculation was the only possible conclusion of the gospel according to God’s economy.  No wonder then that Paul could encourage Titus to speak evil of no man, to avoid quarrelling and to show perfect courtesy towards all men; for we ourselves were once ignorant! Titus 3:2-5. The only difference is in what we know to be true about us! What is true in him is equally true in us! 1John2:7,8.
This message has set the stage for New Testament ministry! When Jesus motivated his own ministry nothing could better illustrate his mission but the three parables of Luke 15. The stories of the lost sheep, coin and son clearly confirm original ownership and the fact that their lost condition did not cancel their original value! From there Paul’s urgency, “the love of Christ constrains me.” 2 Cor. 5:14.
In the most dramatic fashion, God persuades Peter to no longer call any man unholy or unclean! Acts 10:28. The Lamb of God has taken away the sin of the world! It is about time that the good news of great joy is proclaimed with bold clarity!
Mankind is the property of God! Psalm 24:1.
It is so important to ponder the Genesis of it all, where did we begin? How awesome to consider that he knew us before we were formed in our mother’s womb. Our brief history on this planet did not introduce us to Elohhim! We are their love dream…how easy it becomes then to understand the gospel and why our father paid a non-negotiable price to redeem his own!… he bought the entire field because of the treasure it holds! Jer 1:5, 2 Cor 4:7

Fourthly, the mirror message became a very prominent ingredient of our ministry focus in the next few years. It dawned on me that James, the younger brother of Jesus also once knew his brother merely from a human point of view; John 7:5 “For even his brothers did not believe in him!” But after the resurrection, Jesus specifically also appears to James. 1 Cor 15:7.

The enormous impact of this encounter prompted James to discover and write that God birthed us by the Word of truth, and to hear this word is to see the face of your birth as in a mirror! James understood that what was veiled from us in the law of Moses was now redeemed in us in the law of perfect liberty! We are no longer window-shopping. While the Old Testament represented a display window of promises, the New Testament unveils mankind’s redeemed likeness and innocence as in a mirror. The one who gazes deeply into this law of our perfect liberty discovers the freedom of his redeemed identity!

James shows how contradiction would attempt to veil a person’s mind in unbelief and give one a ‘valid’ excuse to walk away from the influence of the mirror word and thus immediately forget what manner of person you are. Jas 1:23 The difference between a mere spectator and a participator is that both of them hear the same voice and perceive in its message the face of their own genesis reflected as in a mirror. Jas 1:24 They realize that they are looking at themselves, but for the one it seems just too good to be true, he departs (back to his old way of seeing himself) never giving another thought to the man he saw there in the mirror. Jas 1:25 The other one is mesmerized by what he sees, he is captivated by the effect of a law that frees man from the obligation to the old written code that restricted him to his own efforts and willpower. No distraction or contradiction can dim the impact of what he sees in that mirror concerning the law of perfect liberty (the law of faith) that now frees him to get on with the act of living the life (of his original design.) He finds a new spontaneous lifestyle; the poetry of practical living. (The law of perfect liberty is the image and likeness of God revealed in Christ, now redeemed in man as in a mirror. Look deep enough into that law of faith that you may see there in its perfection a portrait that so resembles the original that He becomes distinctly visible in the spirit of your mind and in the face of every man you behold Mesmerized, parakupto, para, a preposition indicating close proximity, a thing proceeding from a sphere of influence, with a suggestion of union of place of residence, to sprung from its author and giver, originating from, denoting the point from which an action originates, intimate connection, and kupto, to bend, stoop down to view at close scrutiny, parameno, to remain under the influence. Freedom, eleutheria, without obligation.) Mirror Bible

This was posted many years ago on fb, “Thank God for the simplicity of the Gospel!
When I first began to discover the dimensions of God’s redeeming love demonstrated in Christ I realized that this is what the gospel is all about! Nothing else I’ve ever learnt or heard in the typical evangelical theology could ignite a greater passion for God and a more genuine love for people than this! I was a young pastor in the early eighties when the Holy Spirit took me to 2 Cor 5:16
I have read thru the Bible many times by then but never saw this scripture before! “From now on therefore, I no longer know anyone from a human point of view!”
I remember reading it over and over and just weeping with a revelation that flooded my whole being!
How could we have missed this for so long, I cried! Suddenly verse 17, which by then was a favorite scripture of mine, made new sense! 
Paul never wrote “If anyone is in Christ he is a new creature!” Instead he began the sentence with “Therefore!” If we discover what the therefore is therefore it changes the “If” from being a condition to being a glorious conclusion! From a question mark to an exclamation mark!! Heeha! Good news cannot get any better than that! 
Our ministry immediately transformed, people began to respond to the gospel like we’ve never witnessed before!
So to now have people warn me about including too many in the good news, is too late!
If the gospel we preach does not begin with the fact that every person on the planet is equally valued and included in Christ, well then our good news is just not good enough!
The danger was never to exaggerate the gospel, but always to underestimate it!
Something happened to mankind in Christ, which is by far superior to what happened to mankind in Adam!
And it happened without our permission!
While we were still dead in our sins and trespasses, God made us alive together with Christ and raised us up together with Christ and seated us (fallen humanity) again together with Christ!!!! Nothing could elevate us more than that!
Truth is already true long before anyone but God believes it! We wouldn’t have anything worthwhile believing if it wasn’t true to begin with!
Belief doesn’t make a mathematical equation true! Discovering the truth certainly makes it true for you!
This is why we urgently and passionately proclaim the gospel!
Many are living in blindfold mode and suffering the judgment of the DIY tree while Jesus already brought that judgment to an end! “When I am lifted up on the cross, I will draw all judgment unto me! Behold the Lamb of God who took away the sin of the world! 
I always say that the best test to true teaching is to see how the fruit of it fulfills the whole law! We knew how impossible it was to love the Lord our God with all our hearts and all our minds and all our strength, never mind loving our neighbor as we loved ourselves! The guilt and duty-driven law of willpower could never do it! 
This gospel ignites romance with our Maker like nothing else does! And equal to that, not inferior to that, we find ourselves passionate about people! 
There is no more beautiful gospel! 

My philosophy in doing the Mirror Bible is reflected in the following example:

I do not read music but have often witnessed our son, Stefan, approach a new piece on the piano.

His eyes see so much more than mere marks scribbled on a page; he hears the music.

His trained mind engages even the subtleties and the nuances of the original composition, and is able to repeat the authentic sound, knowing that the destiny of the music would never be reduced to the page;

but is always in the next moment, where the same intended beauty is heard and repeated again!
The best translation would always be the incarnation!

I so value the enormity of the revelation of the incarnation.
Yet, before flesh, the Word was προς face to face with God!

And fragile text scribbled through the ages in memoirs of stone, parchment and papyrus pages –
carrying eternity in thought and continues to translate faith to faith!

Now we have the same spirit of faith as he encountered when he wrote…
“I believe and so I speak!” Conversation ignites!
“Did not our hearts burn within our being when He spoke familiar text of ancient times, in the voices of Moses and the prophets and David and Abraham,
who saw his day and announced its dawn in our hearts!

The mystery that was hidden for ages and generations is now revealed!

In dealing daily with ancient text, rediscovering thoughts buried in time, I am often overwhelmed and awed at the magnificence of eternity captured in little time capsules,
opening vistas of beauty beyond our imagination- face to face with the same face to faceness of the Logos and God and us – conceived in their dream!
And irresistibly intrigued by the invitation to come and drink – to taste and see – from the source – and to hear a saint reminiscing and reminding himself of the utterance of another earth dweller-brother, David, who wrote a song 3000 years ago,

“Return to your rest oh my soul!
For the Lord has dealt bountifully with you!
I believe and so I speak!”

And with fresh wounds bleeding from the many angry blows he was dealt with, Paul echoes,
“We have the same spirit of faith as he had who wrote, ‘I believe and so I speak!’ We too believe and so we speak!”
Let’s celebrate the “sameness” of Jesus yesterday – yes, as far as history and beyond time can go – and today! This very finite, fragile moment – plus the infinite future!
Inexhaustible, beyond boundaries and the confines of space and time!

Our Statement of Faith

Paul says in Ephesians 4:5 that there is only one faith!
Jesus encourages his followers in Mark 11 to embrace the faith of God – some translations say “have faith in God” – there is a huge difference!
In Hebrews 12 verse one we read that Jesus is the Author and Finisher of faith. Faith finds its most complete meaning and relevance in Jesus Christ.
In fact, Jesus is God statement of faith!
Jesus is what God believes about you!

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