Beloved Part 11: Relationship Restoration – Ps John Bendixen (WTB)

Scripture Reference: 2 Timothy 3:1-5 (AMPC); Mark 9:17-29 (NKJV); 1 Corinthians 7:3-5 (AMPC); 1 Corinthians 7:3-7 (MSG); 1 Corinthians 6:16 (MSG)

Praise Jesus. Praise the Lord. Hallelujah. I’m glad that I’m here. I’m also glad that you’re here because when you come you bring your gift, you bring your spirit, you bring anointing, you bring it with you. If you will permit God, you bring it with you. If you ready yourself, you bring Him with you. When we all come together with Him, you often, often, often, more often than not, if you’re in that prepared state, more often than not, you will be ready to recognise His presence and recognise that He is with us and among us and He’s working in us. Hallelujah. 

It is a great, great privilege for you and me. It is a great privilege for us to be able to be in a place where we can say that the living God lives within us. Every one of us is a great privilege. It is a price that Jesus paid for, so that those who were not born into a heritage of the Jehovah God, that we could be reconciled to God through the death and resurrection of Jesus. It is a great privilege. It is the reason why we are speaking on relationships this weekend and our primary relationship must be with God. He must consume us. He must control and have full say over our emotions, over our thought life, over every part of who we are. Certainly, Jesus paid the price so that that could be so. Hallelujah. He would not have paid that price if we couldn’t be so. Hallelujah.

Who wants to send their only son into and be in a position that He was in, to have to die for us so that we could have what we are having now? What a great privilege and what a great honour. Hallelujah. Praise the Lord. All the songs that we sang this morning are amazing because, especially the last one, because we honour Him with our worship. We honour Him with our worship. Praise Jesus. Praise Jesus.

Well, if you weren’t here last night, you need to be watching on YouTube or on our website. But you need to be watching what Pastor Sharon did last night and you need to receive that into your life on an ongoing basis. It is the difference maker. Hallelujah. Praise Jesus.

Well, in order for me to be able to speak to you on the subject that God has given me today, and I’m going to be speaking on the restoration component of relationship, I have to just put it into context for you. I have to create a context, so I’m going to read from second Timothy 3. I’m going to read second Timothy chapter 3, verse 1. I’m reading from the Amplified Bible. 1 But understand this, verse one. But understand this that in the last days will come, andi it will be (set in). It won’t just be something that it’s just like a little bit there. In the last days, it will be set in. perilous times, perilous times. If you haven’t guessed it yet, or if you haven’t seen it yet, we are living in perilous times. of great stress and trouble, trouble of the kind that is [hard to deal with and hard to bear] (2 Timothy 3:1 AMPC). Trouble, stress and trouble. Stress and trouble. This is what is going to happen. This, I believe, is what is happening now on the earth. Stress and trouble. Times that are hard to bear. 2 For people, what’s going to cause the stress? I’ve said this to you before, there are a lot of people that are saying that the world is changing because of climate change. They say that the weather patterns and everything that’s happening in the earth is because we humans are using coal fired plants and driving petrol driven engines which create fumes. That may have a very, very small contribution, very small. But the biggest, the biggest contribution is actually this next verse why there is stress and troubles that are hard to bear; times that are hard to bear. Why? Because,  2 For people will be lovers of self. So, people in the earth will love themselves and be [utterly] self-centered, lovers of money and aroused by an inordinate [greedy] desire for wealth. 

This is what’s going to cause stress and trouble times hard to bear because if you don’t have money, you desire it. If you have some money, you want more. If you have lots of money, you don’t know that you have enough, so you still want more because your money becomes your security. They will be lovers of money. That’s what self-centred self-love does. It makes you love money. 2 and aroused by an inordinate [greedy] desire for wealth, proud and arrogant and contemptuous boasters. In other words, they will boast, even if they don’t say it out of their mouths because that’s just not politically correct. Even if they don’t say it out of their mouths, in their heart they will be contemptuous boasters. They will have contempt for God and His people and they will have contempt for people that don’t portray the same self-centred behaviour. 2 disobedient to parents. I’ll tell you what, this is a rampant problem on the earth and it’s not created by the children. It’s created by the self-centred lovers of self who have a greed and they want power and they want more wealth with their power. 

2 They will be abusive (blasphemous, scoffing), disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy and profane. 3 [They will be] without natural [human] affection, that means (callous and inhuman). They will make a decision; anything goes for me. As long as I’m not hurting anybody else, anything goes. You have a callous, you have no natural human affection. You become callous in your human affection, so anything is acceptable. 3 relentless (admitting of no truce or appeasement). There will be no truce between what’s happening in the world or appeasing Christians who love God. There will be no truce. I promise you, if you want to identify with the world and the system of the world, and what the world is doing, you’ll be in their camp. If you’re not, there is no truce. You will never do enough to appease them. Never. It’s not possible. You can’t put away your Christianity and say, “I will appease them so I can win them.” The only way that you win them is to actually not appease them, and to be a standard of the good news of the Gospel. 

3[they will be] slanderers (false accusers, troublemakers), intemperate and loose in morals and conduct, uncontrolled and fierce, haters of good (2 Timothy 3:2-3 AMPC). Wow. If you’re a good doer, they’ll hate you. I know but Pastor John, all these people are starting, you know, all these rich people, Bill Gates, all of these people they’re starting, Oprah Winfrey, all these people they start, they use their money, and they open foundations, they open schools, they donate to this, they get involved in free experimentation or donate theory experimentation for medication. Yeah right. So they would look like, I mean they will make it appear like they are okay. Just don’t touch my wealth and don’t touch my prestige. They are haters of good. So even though they may appear like they’re doing good, they’re not because everything they do is to benefit them. Why? Well, because it’s going to get known around the world. “Oh, did you hear? Bill Gates, he gave 100 million to a foundation that’s helping people get the vaccine. Yeah, and what about the side deals that he did with all the pharmacists, all the farmer people?” At the very least his name is in headlights. What a good guy he is. Self-centred.

4 [They will be] treacherous [betrayers], rash, [and] inflated with self-conceit. [They will be] lovers of sensual pleasures and vain amusements more than and rather than lovers of God. 5 For [although] they hold a form of piety or they may have a form of what true religion looks like, they deny and reject and are strangers to the power of God, true religion, [their conduct belies the genuineness of their profession] or their confession, their declaration. Avoid [all] such people [turn away from them] (2 Timothy 3:4-5 AMPC). So here’s the context. The context that I’m ministering restoration in, into this morning, the context is that we live in a world where people are so self-centred that anything goes. They will betray, they will be people that are conceited. They are arrogant. They are people that are just wanting to have everything for themselves. So that doesn’t just belong to wealthy people, that belongs, that title or this scripture refers to everybody that is self-centred and has a high opinion of themselves. Do you think we live in days like that right now? We do. I made mention of this last Sunday when I said, “Do you think Vladimir Putin just decided to invade Ukraine because the Ukrainians did something against him?” No, he is self-conceited and self-centred in his ambition. If anything gets in his way, he’s going to do everything he can to stop it, remove it, and do what he wants to do anyway. I mean, you know, he changed the legislation of Russia, so that he could institutionalise himself as a lifetime president of the nation. So even though they hold elections every year, they’re always rigged. Hallelujah. 

Okay. Right now there is a move across the earth for a globalist mindset. In other words, there is a mindset that is in the world today amongst politicians and amongst economically powerful and wealthy people. Quite famously, a speech by one of the wealthiest men and the chairman of the meeting of the annual coming together of wealth in Davos – this last time they met in Davos – he openly declared that, “We, the people that are here, the wealthy people, we have a chance to reset everything.” So what he was saying is; our wealth and our influence can reset everything to the way we think it should be. He almost said those words. One of the wealthiest men in the world is German. He spoke as the kind of facilitator, the chairman of the conference that was held in Davos. There is a global trend to globalise everything in the world. Why? Why would there be a trend to have a globalist agenda? Well, because if you have a globalist agenda then everybody in every country is subject to what a few people decide the global agenda should look like. So then we all become serfs. Servants of the agenda. Those are self-centred, self-seeking, arrogant people who have a form of piety because they donate to the poor or they do some benevolent thing. They think they’re all okay and they massage their conscience with their giving so that they can have more of what they want and so that those people that want to attack them, they have a defence against the attack because look how many people we help. Right? 

We are also in a place and time, we are in a place where if you’re going to globalise everything, you’re going to have to institutionalise everything. That means the institutions will run our lives. You know, there’s an old saying; corporations don’t pay tax, people do. So when companies are taxed, the cost of the taxation is passed on to the consumer. There is no tax that is given that someone’s not paying for it, which means you and me. It’s not companies, although companies submit tax returns, the cost of the tax is already in the product or in the service that they sell you. The cost of that tax is already there. If you don’t think so, just go and buy something and try and get your 15% back. The cost of that VAT is in the price that you pay because they’re not going to give it to you and say we’ll be benevolent and pay the tax for you. They put the tax on the price. 

We are in a place where there is, in the context of this teaching, I have to talk to you about the institutions that are governing you and me. They are having a meaningful impact on the earth. Institutions are, for example, our constitution. Our constitution in South Africa is an institution because it’s institutionalised through the courts. It’s also institutionalised through unions. It’s institutionalised through many different forms. Pastor John, I thought, you’re talking about relationships? I am. Just bear with me. If we allow ourselves to have a worldview that says we are prepared to live with the institution, then actually, we become followers of institutions rather than followers of God. So why would you do that? Well, many people are deceived and they think that institutions are right. In fact, I can tell you that in Europe, very strongly in Europe and in America, this is, you know, I’m talking about the European Union in particular, everything is institutionalised. Actually, the European Union government rules the governments of each country because they pass laws in the parliament of the European Union that impacts the whole of Europe. The Europeans say in the name of having a stable and better life, we open our borders, we share one common currency, and we will share one common government that will tell our governments that these are a basic set of framework and outlines that we must live by. We willingly submit to it. That’s what they say in Europe. Come on. 

So then there’s a group of people that rose up and said, “No, we don’t want to have that anymore, that was the British government or the British people, actually. The British people basically forced a referendum. In that referendum they voted to get out of the European Union. So that’s why there was all this thing about Brexit and all that stuff. Now England or Great Britain actually, is no longer part of the European Union. Theoretically. But why did that happen? Because actually, what people were saying was, you’re telling us from a very far distance how we must live our lives, but actually where we live in our county, or where we live in our village, or where we live in our place, we want to have a say in the way that we live. 

Okay, you got what I’m saying? The institutions want to run the world. I’m going to just briefly tell you that the European Union is an institution. Russia is an institution, it’s run as an institution. North Korea, China among many countries in the world, have an institutional mentality. The democracy that is America is under serious, serious threat of becoming part of that institution. If the Democratic Party stays in power, I believe the prayers of the saints in America and our prayers certainly, will prevent that from happening. But if the Democratic Party has to have another term of another president, just like President Biden, then America will become a socialist institution and no longer a capitalist democracy. Again, why is this agenda so strong? It’s so strong because it benefits a few people and it dominates other groups of people. You might be at home, you might have a good job, you might have a good profession, you might be in a good place, might earn enough money and you might be comfortable right now and you say, “Pastor John, the things that you’re talking about, they’re not touching me?” Well, they are already. I said last Sunday they are because you are already paying so much more for your fuel. Our country is feeling it, the poorest of the poor feel it more than anybody else. Hallelujah. But God has a solution. The solution is restoration to Himself. The solution is that He has reconciled us to Him. Jesus is the answer. Therefore by default, so is the Church. The Church is the answer. If the Church knows what the Church needs to do, if the Church knows who the Church is the answer. Not the government and not the institutions. Church is the answer. 

I have to give you this context because when you hear the Word of God, at any given time, from a messenger of God, when you are given the Word of God, you have a filter. You have a filter, you have a worldview filter. And that filter is already there because of institutions. When you’re hearing the Word of God, whether you are fully aware of it or not, you are filtering the Word of God based on your view of institutions. Amen. 

Well,I’m going to use a rather very, very common thread. I’m going to use sport as an example. If you have talent, the institution globally, the sports institution – they won’t call themselves that. They’ll call themselves a game. Yeah, that’s why you can go and earn 100 million by playing a game. No, if you’re going to play the game because you’ve got talent, you’ve got people who are buying TV rights, they’ve got people who want advertising, they want people and so they’re going to give you lots of money because you become a draw card for their institution. You might  want to make a career choice to pursue sport as a career to earn money and you may do that but be aware that what you are choosing is an institution. Yeah. Well, you might say to me, “But Pastor John, is that not the case if I go to work every day and I work for a boss, isn’t that also an institution?” The answer is, yes. If you value what the institution is for you, more than what God is for you, then you are in the same boat. God in His mercy and God in His great love for us, has given us a way out. He sent us Jesus and we are now reconciled to the very life of God. Hallelujah.

This is good news. But as I speak to you this message today and that’s why I prayed the way I prayed when I started speaking. In this message I’m speaking to you today, you must be aware that institutions and the way that the world does things is impacting you. You have to make an active choice for God every day in everything you do. Okay, so in bed or in red? Am I in bed with institutions or am I covered in red by the blood of Jesus? If you will go with me to Mark chapter nine, verse 17. This is Jesus and Jesus is dealing with an institution, it was called the synagogues or the institution of the law. 17 Then one of the crowd answered and said, “Teacher, well, because he was teaching. “Teacher, I brought you my son, who has a mute spirit. 18And wherever it seizes him, it throws him down; he foams at the mouth, gnashes his teeth, and becomes rigid. So I spoke to Your disciples, that they should cast it out, but they could not.” So why would this man talk to His disciples? Because they already knew how to cast out devils. They had done it before and they were continuing to do it under the guidance of Jesus. 19 He answered him and said,”O faithless generation, o faithless generation. How could He be speaking to a whole generation because of this one man? Because He was a symbol of an institution that couldn’t solve a problem. Come on. He was a representative, a symbol of an institution, a law, a religion that couldn’t solve a problem. Even His disciples couldn’t solve this problem. 19 … “O faithless generation, how long shall I be with you? In other words, He’s already speaking when I go, you need to be able to do this. How long shall I bear with you? Bring him to Me. 20 Then they brought him to Him. And when he saw Him, I want you to just see what it says there. They brought Him to him, small h, to Him. The boy to Him, capital H, Jesus. When he, little boy possessed by the demon, saw Him. Him saw Him. The little him saw the big Him. Hey, he saw Him, when he saw Him, 20 … immediately the spirit convulsed him, and he, the boy, fell on the ground and wallowed foaming at the mouth. Same symptoms but this time, there was a recognition of authority in the house. So watch what happens next, 21 So He asked his father, “How long has this been happening to him?” Think Jesus didn’t know? Think the full operation of the gifts of the Holy Spirit were not operating through Jesus? You don’t think that the gift of the Word of Knowledge wasn’t operating through Jesus, that He knew how long this had been happening? So why has He asked the question? Jesus never asked anything or did anything for no purpose, everything He did had a purpose. So why does He ask him how long has he been this way? Do you think Jesus is looking for information? Or do you think He’s wanting words to come out so that He can address what the words represent? So if you bear with me, we’ve got a weekend of teachings to get through. All right, this is all going to be very good by tomorrow, end of church service. 21 … “How long has this been happening to him? And he said,” From childhood.” 22 And often he has thrown him, he, little boy, has thrown him, himself, both into the fire and into the water to destroy him.” 

Okay, I have to let the cat out the bag here, before I go any further. Why am I talking about this? Because, depending on who you relate to, will be dependent on what your life looks like. If you think that serving an institution will not cause you so much stress and so much trouble that you might want to end your life by fire or by water or any other means, you are wrong. Because at some point the stress and the trouble will be too hard for you to bear. If you don’t have Jesus as your answer, then you’ve got no way to turn. This is about your relationship with either a system or your relationship with God. If you choose to have a relationship with God, the next thing happens. So He asks the father, the father keeps on saying, 22 … “But if You can do anything, have compassion on us and help him.”(Mark 9:17-22 NKJV). So why is he saying, “If You can help?” Well, he already asked the disciples and they couldn’t help. So now he’s questioning authority. 

Let me tell you the greatest weapon in the enemy’s arsenal in the modern day world, anyway, for the last 100 years at least, if not the last 4000 years, has been; get offended or observe the lack of authority and power in the disciples because if I don’t see the authority and power in the disciple, what makes me think that the Author that is of the disciples can do any different? That’s why he was questioning, “If You can do anything.” If You can do anything. I want you to remember this question; if You can do anything. If You can do anything. I ask you to be aware of your thought process and I ask you to be aware of your emotions and I’m asking you to be aware of your words, and you find out how many times you think or you feel or you say anything that is in line with, if God can do anything. Or it might come like this, “Can God fix this thing? Can God do this for me?” The next word is, 23 Jesus said to him, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.”

If you believe, you can even overcome the question of if You can do anything. If you believe. So Jesus is demonstrating, in the next sentence, demonstrates His belief. He doesn’t wait for the father to tell Him whether he believes or not. He already knows the father is in doubt because the father already asked Him, “If You can do anything.” So He’s not saying to his father, “If you believe then I’ll act.” He’s saying, “If you believe anything is possible,” I believe. How does He say that? The next thing He says, 24 Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!” Jesus already knew he had unbelief. So he didn’t know what measure of belief he had. He didn’t know, so he’s saying, “Lord, I believe but I know I have unbelief. Help my unbelief, please.” 

The compassion and the mercy of God for anybody who cries and says, “I believe, Lord, but I have unbelief in many things,” the compassion of God works. 25 When Jesus saw that the people came running together… So now there is this thing happening with Jesus and all of the people that were observing this thing because here is this boy foaming at the mouth, wallowing right in front of Jesus. We just got reading that. He didn’t stop when the conversation was happening with his father. This thing was happening in front of Jesus while Jesus was having a conversation with his father. And so this is attracting a crowd because this boy is manifesting but actually, there’s nothing going on here other than he’s manifesting. But this is a strange occurrence, so people are drawn to strange occurrences. 

If you become a believing person that says, “Jesus helped me with my unbelief,” things will begin to start to happen to you that will be strange occurrences that will draw a crowd. But Jesus doesn’t want the devil to get the attention. So when He sees the crowd coming, He immediately speaks to the devil that is destroying this young man’s life. 24 Immediately… So, 25 When Jesus saw that the people came running together, He rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, “Deaf and dumb spirit, I command you, come out of him and enter him no more!” He saved this boy’s life, this boy’s future for life because He knew that if He didn’t say, “Enter him no more,” he would come back with more like him. So He cast him out and He says, “Enter him no more!” 26 Then the spirit cried out, convulsed him greatly (Mark 9:23-26 NKJV). Let me tell you, when the truth comes, and authority presents itself, the devil is not going to try and let go of what stranglehold he has of your life lightly. Convulsions will happen, and there will be an extreme reaction to it. 26 … cried out, convulsed him greatly, but he had no choice but to come out of him. And he became as one dead. So great was the force of this demonic oppression in this young boy’s life, this young man’s life, so great was it that when the spirit left him, it appeared as though he was dead, so weak was his humanity. 

So, I am about to make a declaration to you and the declaration is this, that as God restores relationships, the enemy and people around will start to cry out and there will be convulsions. But I say to you, do not let the crying out and the convulsions, do not let them be the endgame. You have got to wait in faith, so restoration can happen. 

I’m going to finish this and I’m going to come back to this point. So he lay as one dead, so that many said, “He is dead.” 27 But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up, and he arose. So Jesus realises this boy’s body is now in a weakened state because the devil has oppressed him so long. He reaches down with the love and life force of God that drove that demon out. As He touches him life comes into him and he is restored, and he arose. 

28 … when He came into the house, His disciples asked Him privately, “Why could we not cast it out?” 29 So He said to them, “This kind can come out by nothing but prayer and fasting.” (Mark 9:26 – 29 NKJV). So is there any evidence that Jesus was fasting at that moment? No, but Jesus lived a life where he fasted regularly. He was fasting and praying regularly. The authority that He came and that He was walking in, that He was declaring to people is that, “Even though My spirit man is perfect, as a submitted human being, I have to go and pray and fast. And in the state of prayer and fasting, My authority comes with everything that I do.” 

Relationships, I was with Pastor Sharon up here last night and I said it a little bit, God is a relational God. He is so relational that He sent His Son to die so that He could restore us back to Him – all of humankind through Jesus. He never ever wanted us to be separated. He never ever wanted a law to come between us and Him. He always wanted to have a relationship, fellowship. Hallelujah. Nothing, this doesn’t come out by prayer and fasting, so why are we fasting this weekend, in a relationship weekend? Because there are some things in your life that have deep roots, deep, deep roots that you don’t even know where those roots are, or what kind of roots they are. You just know your behaviour pattern keeps happening, keeps happening. And as your behaviour pattern keeps happening, you don’t know how to deal with it, you are constantly being thrown to the ground and convulse. 

In relationships, you find people all over the world find themselves, they can’t stay married. Then they want to live together with people, so they don’t want to get married every time because their relationships fail, so they live together. The pattern is happening all the time. I am here with good news today; to you and to those watching by camera or by digital media. I’ve got good news for you. Jesus is in the house. Jesus is in the house and the relationships that have been destroyed and are continually under oppression because we live in times hard to bear, Jesus is ready to restore them. Hallelujah. Jesus is ready to restore them. 

Number one; He’s ready to restore you to Him. That’s the first relationship and the one that’s most important. “But Pastor John, I’m attending your church. I’ve been here a long time. I know all the stuff that you’re talking about.” But still God has chosen this year to restore relationships. Why? Because there are still roots and baggage in our lives that keep us from going to the highest place with God. Having that free open place with God where you could worship Him. What kind of convulsions? What kind of convulsions do you experience convulsing your life? What kind of convulsions do you experience? What kind of stress? What kind of trouble do you experience where the devil will just keep throwing you down? Keep throwing you down. Keep throwing you down. Just as soon as you think your life is normal, there’s a throwdown that happens. 

It could be in your own mind; I’m not worthy to be having this kind of relationship with God. It could be that. That is a very common thing where the devil has a throwdown. Oh, you think you can pray now this morning? Or you can come before God this morning? What did you do last night? Oh, well, I drank three bottles of wine and I woke up with a headache today and I’m not talking to you. (Pastor John refers to the congregation). I’m talking in general. You can still wake up in the morning and say this throwdown thing no longer controls my life. I no longer receive this convulsion. I declare and I command this convulsing spirit to leave my life. It could be that there is shame in your life because of things that you have done that maybe some people know of, maybe they don’t. Maybe it’s just a shame to you and the devil uses it as a continuous throwdown. Maybe it’s insecurity. Maybe it’s a desire to always be recognised and accepted and you have a need for acceptance because you don’t want to have this feeling of rejection. There are many things that happen in people’s lives. Maybe you have questions about how it can be fair that things happen to people that are bad. It could be many, many things where the devil uses throwdown tactics to wrestle you to the ground and keep you from getting up. The most deceptive tactic that the devil uses, if he can’t get you to be on your own, is that he will make you believe in the institutions, so that the institutions become your focus. 

I’m here to say to you that Jesus, even to His disciples Jesus had an answer for them when they asked Him. He gave them the answer, how to deal with this thing in the future. I believe with all my heart that God is about us, He is amongst us, He is working in us, that He is restoring us back to Himself. He is restoring us to each other. Hallelujah. 

What I’m speaking about this morning is no small matter. This is a big thing because God is a relational God. He sent Jesus because He wants to restore relationship with Jesus. I’m going to talk on Sunday morning, I’ve got some things I want to say to you. I’m going to teach you some things and we’re going to have communion at the end of our service on Sunday. I don’t want to get ahead of myself. But you know, there was a veil that was set up to prevent anybody from entering into the Holy of Holies. There was a strong veil that was set there because if you went into the Holy of Holies and you were not worthy, you just died. We have a veil. It’s called the blood of Jesus. The veil of the tabernacle has been replaced by the veil of the Blood. If you will live in the holiest place behind the veil of the Blood, then what’s out there in the world cannot penetrate the veil of the Blood. I don’t want to preach Sunday’s message now. 

I thank God that Jesus dealt with this dumb, this mute and deaf spirit and cast him out of that boy’s life. With the authority of the Holy Spirit and with the authority of the gift that God has called me to stand in, I command this morning, right now, in the name of Jesus, any spirit that is harassing you, any devil, any demon anything that comes against you from time to time that brings depression, that brings stress, that brings trouble, that brings all manner of things that come against you, I declare and I command in the name of Jesus, devils, you come off God’s people. I command in the name of Jesus, those people that are outside of your circle harassing you, I command in the name of Jesus, that harassment may not penetrate the blood of Jesus, the veil that is set around you, the power of the Holy Spirit. I say in the name of Jesus, be free. In the name of Jesus, be free. In the name of Jesus be free. Hallelujah. Are we not in a fasting prayer weekend this weekend? Then this type must come out with our prayers and our fasting. It must come out in the name of Jesus. Those systems that are oppressing relationships and oppressing your relationship with Jesus and keep on preventing you from making progress, it leaves now in the name of Jesus. It may not remain on you or in your life, and it may never enter back into your life in the name of Jesus. Hallelujah.

Notice, Jesus didn’t say that to the boy. He said it to the spirit that was in the boy. I’m not talking to you. I’m talking to the spirits that are harassing you. Hallelujah. I want to tell you, marriages often are on the point of breaking. There are moments where marriages can make a big decision, in a moment can affect the whole outcome of a marriage and then people are left with doubts. They’re left with all kinds of thoughts about the future of their lives and then that next thing comes, an oppressive thought that controls you. I want to tell you, I know what I’m talking about. I’ve had to deal with a devil that harassed me for many years. I took authority over that thought but one day, just one day, it became too much for me to bear. I spoke words to Pastor Sharon and in the life and the light and the love of God that thing left me. It never came back, it never came back. Never. Hallelujah. Glory to Jesus. Praise You, Lord. I need some water, please Empie.  How are you guys all doing? Are you doing good? You know, I don’t want you to fall asleep on me or am I preaching too good for that? Come on. Let’s stand for a minute please. We do have lunch right? Some form of lunch, Miranda? It’s tomorrow. Thank you.

Praise Jesus. Praise Jesus. Let’s just give thanks to God for what He has done here already this morning. Thank You, Lord. Thank You. Thank You, Jesus. Thank You. Thank You. Thank You. Thank You. Thank You. Thank You. Thank You, Lord.  Hallelujah. While you’re standing I want to tell you that the prayer that I’ve prayed includes all manner of sexual sin. Past and present sexual sin, misbehaviour, misconduct. That spirit that harasses people through sin of sex outside of the purity of the marriage bed, it is broken in your life. It may not come back and enter again. In Jesus’ name. Hallelujah. Hallelujah. That was by the Spirit of God why I needed to wait a moment because I needed to take authority over that. There is a spirit out in the world that’s driving pornography. There is a spirit out there in the world that is driving all manner of transgender sexuality, all manner of “I don’t know what kind of sex I was born to be and what kind of sex I must have now.” It’s designed to confuse you and to distract you and to cause all manner of problems in maybe not you but people around you that you know. I spoke under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit and declare that all of those sex spirits out there that are driving a sexual agenda outside of the Word of God, it doesn’t come near you. It is bound in your life now in the name of Jesus and it may not enter back, may not come back. You know, that sex spirit is a spirit of idolatry. It wants you to worship the pleasure of body more than to worship God. It’s idolatry. He will have no other god before Him in your life. Hallelujah.

If that harassing spirit comes back to you and causes you to want to behave in a way that you shouldn’t be behaving, you just say, “You may not enter any more. You may not enter any more. You may not enter any more.’’ It is broken. The power of that thing that wants you to worship the pleasure of body more than God, it’s broken. In Jesus’ name. It is broken in Jesus’ name. Hallelujah. Glory to God. Glory to Jesus. 

God meant sexual intimacy and sexual pleasure to be beautiful and amazing, fantastic. Special with you and your partner. Maybe you have a continual throwdown. because you may not want to have that intimacy because it takes work for you to be intimate. So you stay away from your partner and make excuses and so then you don’t have intimacy for a long time, so that it only becomes just enough, just enough, just enough. These are words all coming out of my spirit right now by the Holy Spirit. So that it’s just enough, just enough. I’m telling you now, in the name of Jesus, this thing, this spirit, this devil has gone out of your life because it’s the same thing that wants to cause a gap between you and your husband and or your wife so that you only have sex that’s just enough. Maybe you don’t like sex, physically. Maybe you don’t like sex. That’s not a reason not to have sex. 

Sex in the marriage bed is not an option. It’s a commandment. The Bible says in first Corinthians chapter seven, you may not withhold your bodies from each other. It’s a commandment. It’s not a moment of, I’m ready for it now. I’ll tolerate it now. It’s designed to bring and represent the intimacy that you can have with God Himself. “Well, Pastor John, if you put it like that.” Okay, you can sit down. I started to preach so good, you would have stood forever. But this is the Holy Spirit’s speaking because if the enemy of God can bring a gap through sex in a marriage, then he can widen that gap. He can put a truck between you. What does that truck look like? It looks like I’m too busy working to make money. I’ve got too much pressure at work. I’ve got all these kids I have to deal with. I’ve got all these responsibilities, I don’t have time for sex. Ah, such stress in my life – trouble. So much time to consumes my thoughts and I’m in such a mess most of the time because I don’t have time to get myself ready to be ready. That is the institution of the world system that says, when you’re young and you’re newly married, you can enjoy sex until the kids come. When the kids come, then you have to kind of deal with whatever can happen or not happen whenever it can happen. And maybe it happens once a year or once or whatever. 

I’ll tell you what, God I didn’t give you a choice. He said you may not withhold each other. How long is that? He says while you’re fasting. In other words, you are permitted to ask your partner if you can abstain from sexual intimacy while you’re fasting. How long can you fast for? “Well, Pastor John, if it’s a command, then you know, it feels like there’s no spontaneity in it. We, you know, we only want to have sex when it’s spontaneous.” For you young people, that’s not married yet, you can learn while I’m talking about what’s to come. So, if sex is not spontaneous, then it’s not nice sex. How did I get here? The Holy Spirit brought me here. I had no intention of speaking like this today. Hallelujah. Praise Jesus. Well, then if it’s not spontaneous, then okay, you have no time for spontaneity because everything is process, process, life, life, work, work, achieve, achieve. “I’ve got too many things to think about. You want to have sex and I’m talking hundreds of millions and billions and and I’m talking about budgets for my company, for our lives. I’m talking about, look, we’re running short of money. I am under stress. I can’t have sex.” Or maybe it’s the wife that says, You don’t provide enough and now we must have sex. Well, I’m not feel like it. I’m stressed out because we don’t have money. We’re getting further into debt. I’m stressed out so we can’t have sex.” 

So what does the Bible say? I think you want me to read it to you. I think you want me to read it to you because then you can hear it from the Bible exactly as it’s written. It’s 1 Corinthians chapter seven, verse three, 3 The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights. You know what conjugal means? Sex. You mean women have sex rights? Yes. Why would a woman have the right to demand sex? They don’t have the same urges as men because it’s not just about the physical act, it’s about the intimacy and it’s about obedience to God’s Word, so that the intimacy is a protection against other things. Intimacy is also something that you can take with you into the presence of God because you experience it. Not because it’s necessarily pleasurable but because it must be so. Because if people say, “I don’t like sex, I’ve never liked sex and so we don’t have sex that often in marriage” You need to… [Pastor Sharon hands her phone to Pastor John and ask him to read it out of The Message Bible.] Okay, I’ll read it out of The Message Bible too. Thank you. I’m reading out of The Amplified and I will do so. But I’ll also read it out of The Message – Pastor Sharon wants me to do that. And I’ve got you, babe – I thought you were going to come and ask me for conjugal rights, and I thought… tomorrow morning, I’m on. She has got to be at band practice at half past seven or eight o’clock in the morning. 

So, 3 The husband should give his wife her conjugal rights (goodwill, kindness, and what is due her as his wife), and likewise the wife to her husband. 4 For the wife does not have [exclusive] authority and control over her own body, but the husband [has his rights]. Am I reading the Bible? You can’t just cherry-pick what scriptures you want to obey in the Bible. “Oh, I like the prosperity stuff, Pastor John. I like the healing stuff, Pastor John. I even like the relationship, but don’t touch my marriage bed stuff because eish.” Or maybe you’re in a place, “Preach it, preach it.” Just don’t nudge your partner, just let me do the preaching. So, 4 … the wife does not have… control over her own body… or how does the Bible say it? 4 … authority and control over her own body, but the husband [has his rights]; likewise also the husband does not have [exclusive] authority and control over his body, but the wife [has her rights]. 5 Do not refuse and deprive and defraud each other [of your due marital rights], except perhaps by mutual consent for a time, so that you may devote yourselves unhindered to prayer. But afterwards resume marital relations, lest Satan tempt you [to sin] through your lack of restraint of sexual desire (1 Corinthians 7:3-5 AMPC). So, I’m going to read, which scripture do you want me to read here? But you’ve put it on verse 15? Oh, okay. I’ll scroll. 1 Corinthians 7, I was reading from verse 3. Okay, I say this as bluntly as I can to wake you up to the stupidity of what you’re doing (1 Corinthians 6:5 MSG). It’s not this scripture. 

Okay, I’ve got it now. I’ve got it. Sorry, babe. Okay, 3 The marriage bed must be a place of mutuality – the husband seeking to satisfy his wife, the wife seeking to satisfy her husband. This doesn’t mean that you are sexually satisfied or unsatisfied. This means the act of what you’re doing satisfies what God requires marriage to do. So, 4 Marriage is not a place to “stand up for your rights.” Marriage is a decision to serve the other, whether in bed or out. Abstaining from sex is permissible for a period of time if you both agree to it, and if it’s for the purposes of prayer and fasting – but only for such times. Then come back together again. Satan has an ingenious way of tempting us when we least expected it (1 Corinthians 7:3-5 MSG). Thank you. [Pastor Sharon asks Pastor John to continue reading.]  Okay, you want me to read more? Ja, ja. Could be. Oh ja. It is. Okay, I’ll do it. Okay, I’ll just keep reading then. 6 … I’m not, understand, commanding these periods of abstinence – only providing my best counsel if you should choose them. 7 Sometimes I wish everyone were single like me – a simpler life in many ways! But celibacy is not for everyone any more than marriage is. God gives the gift of the single life to some, the gift of the married life to others (1 Corinthians 7:6-7 MSG). I can’t find it in this verse. Hallelujah.

Restoring relationships. Hey, if I can restore good sex lives. Everybody should be saying, Amen, round about now. Well, certainly the married people. The unmarried people say, Amen, for the future marriage person. Hallelujah.

So, okay, what about if the woman’s going through menopause? “Geesh, my body is so all over the place – hormones, whatever. I don’t feel like it.” Pastor Sharon has a very good saying. She says, “Don’t put your men on pause when you go into menopause.” Those were Pastor Sharon’s words. She’s preaching from the front row. It’s no excuse. Paul doesn’t give exceptions here. So if you’re asking, “How often should we have sex?” I’m not going to tell you but if you can fast and stay away from food – I don’t want to see skinny people walking around the church. What are you doing? “I’m fasting, I’m fasting, I’m fasting.” Why? What happened to you? You were so healthy and now, you’re just so skinny? “I asked for permission but I have to keep fasting here.”

So, let me tell you what Pastor Sharon and I have learned out of this in our lives – that if we obey the Word of God, and we recognise that we do not keep our bodies from each other because of the way we feel but we make a decision that we will have intimacy because God said so. I know some people are going to say, “But that seems so calculated.” You know, “It seems like a rule that you must obey.” In the beginning it might feel like that but if you keep obeying God, it’s like everything, it becomes part of your life, and then it becomes good. You found the scripture. (Pastor John speaking to Pastor Sharon) [Congregation laughing]

Pastor Sharon Bendixen:

It is in the same chapter, but it says here, 16 There’s more to sex than mere skin on skin. It is very powerful, it is exactly what you were saying.

Pastor John Bendixen:

Okay, okay. So here is the scripture. Stay here my babes so I can give you your phone back once I’m finished reading. 16 There is more to sex than mere skin on skin. Sex is as much spiritual mystery as physical fact (1 Corinthians 6:16 MSG)..So that is 1 Corinthians 6, verse 16, in the Message Bible. It’s spiritual, as much as it is physical. So, some older people might be listening to this. You say, “You know, we’re a bit older now. We haven’t had sex in a long time. We don’t even know what it’s like.” Well, find out again. 

Pastor Sharon Bendixen:
Good preaching, Pastor John.

Pastor John Bendixen:
Good preaching, Pastor Sharon. Why did I get here because it’s one of those throwdown tactics that the devil has that bring convulsions in your life because sex is either in order or it’s out of order or there is a sex spirit that’s working in your life that’s trying to either prevent you from having what you should be having or disobeying the Word of God. Maybe you haven’t had intimacy for such a long time you don’t know what it’s like. Well, if you’ve done it once before you can do it a second time. Hopefully, you haven’t even just done it once in your life but if you were in the practice of it once before you can get into the practice of it again. “Yes, but it is going to be very uncomfortable. Very uncomfortable.” So what. There are some physical things that happen in a woman’s body that I’m not going to talk about just in case you got worried for a minute but if there are things that are happening in a woman’s body that make it uncomfortable for you – get medical help. Find the condition of why it is uncomfortable for you physically. Sometimes it can just be a simple choice. Go to the chemist, make it a bit easier. I’m being very careful here. I believe the Holy Spirit has said something today and He’s made sure that an order is coming today because He’s restoring relationships. Hallelujah.

So, “What if my husband is so demanding I can’t keep up with his desires?” Well, you’ve got a much more powerful partner in Jesus and the Holy Spirit than his desire. But there is a part that men can play and that what men can play is, as it says in the book of Peter, men you must live with your wives with understanding. A woman’s body doesn’t react the same way that a man’s does. So, you have to live with her with understanding. At the very least, you should be having conversations about it. Don’t keep it in the closet, lock it, and throw the key away. That skeleton will rattle. That skeleton will convulse. That skeleton will convulse and it will become its own throwdown.

I pray, Heavenly Father, I pray right now in the name of Jesus, that this that You’ve heard me speak, this word that You’ve had me declare right now, I pray in the name of Jesus, that this power of this word penetrates the hearts of every person that needed to hear that, and that it sets in order, sets inline and it becomes the order of God in their lives. In Jesus’ name, in Jesus’ name. Hallelujah. Praise You, Lord.

If you’ve been married a very short time, it’s normal to want to have sex a lot. You’ve been married a long time, it’s normal that sometimes responsibility of life gets in the way. If you’re going to have an understanding about this thing, you’ve got to keep talking about it. I have now by the Holy Spirit, given you permission by the Word of God to talk about it. You need to have a conversation and say, “If we want to obey all the Word of God, we need to obey this word, so that we can get the benefits that God’s got for us through this word.” What’s another benefit? The benefit is that if you – I can’t preach again, I can’t preach and teach on restoration of relationships if I don’t talk about closing the gap. If you can’t close the gap with intimacy, then you are not going to be closing the gap on many things in your life with God because if you can’t obey that Word if you’re married, then what other word are you going to choose to obey the way you feel like you can choose to obey it? It’s a bit quiet in this place now. It’s a bit quiet, it’s a bit quiet.

I’m preaching real good. I’m preaching real truth here. “But, Pastor John, you don’t understand. Words have been exchanged between me and my partner. Things have happened in our marriage, things that have broken trust, things that have caused abuse, things that have done many things.” Well, if that’s still plaguing you, then let spiritual leaders come and help you with it. First of all, go to the Holy Spirit and the Word and ask Him to help you but then come and get help. Don’t stay away from it because these things are still in you. Because then you are allowing offence or you’re allowing someone’s past or you’re allowing something to abuse, to still be happening to you even though it may not be happening to you on the outside, it may be happening to you on the inside. Then you’ve got to get free of what’s happening on the inside so you can obey God on the outside. God has an answer for every problem in His Word. Praise Jesus. Praise the Lord. Praise the Lord. Praise the Lord. Praise the Lord. Praise the Lord. Praise the Lord.

You know, I feel like I’m done and we’re going to have a bit of a break now. Because I’ve got a little bit more to preach about this today. Are you good with this? Hallelujah.

Ja, while I’m talking about sex, carry on as long as you want to, Pastor John. Maybe not. I don’t know but, you know, if your marriage gets to a place where right in the beginning you’re having sex so many times, this often, whatever, whatever. Now you’ve had children. I mean, you know, I had to live with Pastor Sharon with understanding because there was a time when she was breastfeeding kids. I mean, you’ve got to live with understanding for a period of time. I mean, even then, as a woman, you don’t have to abstain. But I’m just saying there are some things where you have to have some understanding. You have to have some understanding. But as a general rule, you can’t let those things interfere with everything you’re doing in your life. Ha, one last thing about sex; the biggest lie that the devil will bring to you is a lie that is institutionalised in humankind. 

It is a lie of the devil. The lie is that you have to perform in bed so that your partner has ultimate pleasure before it’s considered good. And so performance in bed is the biggest problem that brings a gap between people. That’s why I said you don’t have to have sex all the time because you like it. If you don’t want your kids to hear what I’m saying you can take them from the room. I’m being careful what I’m saying here, but I believe God has got to have me keep pressing this. Hallelujah. Because He wants to restore some things. He wants to restore relationships. So, women, you don’t feel like it, hey? “I don’t feel like it. So how do I close the gap with my husband?” It’s much easier for a woman to do this by the way – most often. Most often it is much easier for a woman to do this than a man. But for a woman, you make a date. Pastor Sharon just said it jokingly now but what she just did is real. You can just say, “Make a date. Husband, you and me, bed tonight.” Friday night, tomorrow night, whatever night. Whatever morning, whatever time of the day. There’s kids or no kids or whatever, you know. Go home for lunch, if you can. Why? Well, there’s no kids at home.

“How? But I’m busy. I’ve got all these mind things and I’ve got all this business.” You make a commitment, you stick with your commitment. “Tomorrow night, husband.” You watch that husband spark. “Hey, been missing out on some things here. But tomorrow night!”  And husbands, I’ll tell you what, if you as a woman, if you just let your husband know, you let him know, “Listen, I’m not letting a week go by that you and I don’t have this.” Why do I say a week? Well, you can fast for a week. If you do it too often though you’re going to get skinny or your body’s going to react in unnatural ways. If you don’t have food and nutrition, you know, properly. I mean, all kinds of things. You can get diabetes, you can I mean, I’m just saying. I don’t want people to misunderstand my words here because of the subject that I’m talking about today. 

But if you’re in that space where this is the way it must be then don’t let a week go by. It’s like the Bible says, don’t let the sun set on your wrath or your anger. Get it out so that you can have a peaceful night and you can start the new day with a fresh slate. It’s like that with intimacy too.  You make a plan, you make a time, you stick with it, you go for it. And so actually, it might be something that you do and you might actually have this conversation, “Listen, I’m being obedient to the Word of God here, husband. I don’t know how my body’s going to react to this. But I’ll make it as fun for you as I can.” And all the men said, Amen.

And the men, don’t allow yourself to become so egotistical that, you know, “I’ve got to make this happen for you. If it doesn’t happen for you, then we don’t have this thing happening. I’m not going to do this until it happens for you.” That’s a lie of the devil, it’s trying to prevent you from having intimacy. Because if you come with the right approach, “I’m doing it because I love God, and I love you. I don’t want this to be because I have pleasure or I don’t have pleasure, I want to have this because we take pleasure in doing the Word of God and being intimate and we are doing this thing.” Already things will change in the atmosphere in your life. You shut the door on the devil bringing temptations in all manner of ways. 

Let me tell you, people compensate for this thing in many different ways. They go and spend money they shouldn’t spen, because they’re compensating. They make friends with other people that they shouldn’t be making friends with because they’re compensating. This idolatry sex thing has got everybody warped in their way of thinking about how often and how it should be done and when and when not. And I shouldn’t get married because sex was good when we weren’t married or it’s better when you’re not married because that’s what the world will say. I say, the world does not know. They do not know how to have intimacy. They only know how to have carnal sex because the life of God is not in them to help them and to be present in their marriage bed. “You mean God’s there?” If He’s in you, He’s there too. He’s not skaam (embarrassed) to be there because He made it. 

If you’re not married, stay away from it because it will ruin what you’re going to have in marriage. God can overcome that and repentance and forgiveness and all of that stuff can work for you. But still, you’re going to have to work with the Word of God so that if it’s happened outside of marriage, you’re going to have to overcome thoughts and things inside your marriage. But the good news is that I took authority over that thing today. You can be free of whatever is plaguing you, convulsions and throwdowns and all foaming at the mouth happens to try and prevent you from closing the gap between each other. 

Pastor Sharon and I started doing this kind of thing. We started with this language, “Babe, it’s time to close the gap. It’s time to close the gap here. Is a gap widening.” It’s the responsibility of life. It’s whatever – we haven’t made time for each other. We’ve got to close the gap here because otherwise the gap widens and it widens and it gets longer and fewer and everything and then all manner of compensation happens because we were designed by God to have this. May the restoration begin. May the restoration begin. Some of you that live in Witbank – lunch is an hour and a half. Please, stay in the building. You watch all these cars, wheeez. “Where are you going?” “We just booked a B&B.” So be it. That’s what it takes, so be it.  

Come on. The Holy Spirit and the truth of God has just delivered you from all kinds of manner of wrong thinking. Oppressive, convulsive, foaming at the mouth stuff. It’s liberated you to walk in a relationship where you close the gap and God will restore your relationship in intimacy and sex like you can’t even think it’s going happen. If you will obey Him, it will happen. He will restore you, He will reignite you, He will fire that intimacy in you. And then you will find out what it does for your walk with God if you’re married. It’s powerful. It’s glorious. It’s designed to be a representation of that intimacy. 

So, I haven’t spoken this directly in a long while. But today you got unfiltered pastor, unfiltered pastoring. The Shepherd, the Good Shepherd of the Holy Spirit, unfiltered love towards you today. It’s not rated. It’s just unfiltered. If you want a rated session, Pastor Sharon and I can do that for you. But the kids got to stay at home. But you’ve got the Holy Spirit in you to help you because everybody has their own thing and our thing is not your thing. You’ve got to work it out for yourself. Hallelujah. 

Jesus, what did You do through me today? Thank You, Jesus. I had no intention of going here today. I’ve got my next scripture; Psalm 23, The Lord is my Shepherd. Ask them at the back. I sent them my notes this morning. Is my next scripture not Psalm 23, The Lord is my Shepherd? Well, I can go there. I shall not want. I shall not want, I shall not lack. Hallelujah. Because I was going to get to the part of He restores my soul and I tell you what, I am going to still preach on this next session, but I’ll tell you what, if you do this, your soul will get restored. Your soul will be restored. Praise the Lord. 

Well, I was still going to preach for another half an hour or so, but I think I am done. I think the Holy Spirit has kind of dragged some things out of me that I had no … This is the kind of thing I go back into my lounge and I say to Sharon, “What have I done today?” In my soul, but in my spirit, I know this is what God wanted to say. Hallelujah. Praise Jesus. Praise Jesus. 

I will just say to the unmarried people, I want to say to you that if you make godly choices about your partner and you allow this message to be part of your go-forward in your life, you will not have to be performance orientated in your sex, you will become intimacy orientated in everything that you do. And then you will find that what God will do with the sex will be supernatural so that your enjoyment will be both physical, spiritual and in your soul you will find peace. But don’t go to the world and ask them how to have sex because they don’t know how. They only know how to have carnal pleasure and that has no end to its demand for satisfaction because you’ve got to keep trying something new all the time. Keep trying something new to be satisfied, otherwise, it just becomes the same old thing. But if you do it in God, every time you do it, you have intimacy in God, it becomes a powerful force in your life. Thank You, Jesus. Thank You, Jesus.

Pastor Sharon, come stand here with me, please. I am going to close with this now. Just come stand here with me, please. So, I brought Pastor Sharon up here so that we can be in agreement because we’ve spoken about this a number of times, but God brought it out today. I had no intention of speaking about this. In our agreement, I want to pray for you right now. I pray and we speak over your life, the order of God in your intimacy in the marriage bed. The order of God and the blessing of God and the power of God’s joy in your intimacy. I also release in the name of Jesus as the two of us are standing together, I release the power and the blessing of God to work this message into your lives that you may receive it with the wisdom and the understanding that is personal to you. And that the enemy will not come in and distract and bring all manner of bad thoughts, old thoughts, old ideas, that from this moment you go new in God going forward. The anointing that is on our marriage, the blessing that is on our marriage, the price that we’ve paid, the press that we’ve made, the decisions we’ve made on behalf, for ourselves but God told us that our obediences that we gave to Him, God told us that those that come under the anointing of our marriage, they will receive what has gone on in our marriage, you will have that anointing, you will have that blessing, you will have that peace upon you. So, we speak it over you in the name of Jesus. If you are not married and you are single, you can get this message and you can believe for this in your relationship in the future, in Jesus’ name, in Jesus’ name, in Jesus’ name. Even as we are pressing for more, we pray that the more comes to you. We pray in the name of Jesus that all of the learnings we have had to learn, all of the pressing in the Word of God and the decisions and the obediences that we had to give, that you won’t have to do all of that, that you have a jump-start, you have a springboard from our relationship, that it becomes easy for you to flow in this. Joyful, easy, peaceful. Hallelujah. Glory to Jesus. Hallelujah. Amen.

Sharon and I, we have made a commitment, we know that we are not perfect but we will speak the truth as we see it according to the Word of God. I have not spoken one thing today that is not in the Bible. Be blessed, be blessed, be blessed, be blessed, be blessed, be blessed. Hallelujah. 

Pastor Sharon Bendixen:  

Be gentle, be kind, blessed, joyful.

Pastor John Bendixen:

Amen. Won’t you all stand with me, please? What time are we meeting, one o’clock? One o’clock? Who knows what God is going to do at one o’clock but praise the Lord. May your time over this period of time – I just want to say, I say in the name of Jesus that there is no shame in any of the things that you have made choices in the past. Put that shame behind you. Don’t let the devil come and lie to you. Put any guilt behind you in Jesus’ name. Put anything, performance things, condemnation things, words, arguments, fights, strife, jealousies, envies, all manner of things, put it behind you in Jesus’ name. Do not let it be and continue to be part of your life. Put it away, put it behind you. Make it a conscious decision that I am pressing in with God on this matter. Hallelujah. Don’t have conversations where you get into strife about this again. If you are going to have conversations about this, have them with gentleness as Pastor Sharon has said, with kindness, understanding each other and if you struggle with it, I am going to give you a tip. Go and sit in a room or lie in your bed, switch the lights off, if you have to, if it is difficult for you, switch the lights off and talk to each other. Sometimes the gap can be so wide that you don’t know how to bridge that gap. You don’t know how to start having the conversation. So, sometimes it is easier to just go in and switch the light off and talk. Say, “Hey, these are the feelings that that devil has brought to me. These are the things I have been struggling with.” Or maybe you can just say, “Let’s struggle no more, let’s make a decision of how we’re going to go forward.” But talk about it. Talk about it by the Holy Spirit in the Holy Spirit so that it becomes a greater, more meaningful part of your life. Hallelujah. Well, I know I preached good because the Holy Spirit did it today. 

If you have questions about this, don’t ask me, ask Pastor Sharon. No, if you have any questions, please send them if you need to, send them somehow. I don’t know how. Maybe you can do a letter that is just unsigned, put it into an envelope, give it to somebody, that gives it to somebody that gives it to me. 

Pastor Sharon Bendixen:

Maybe I could have a ladies meeting and you can have a men’s meeting.

Pastor John Bendixen: 

Yes, maybe we can have a men’s meeting and a ladies’ meeting and then there can be questions. In the meantime, enjoy your lunch. I love you, we love you.