Beloved Part 16 Relationship Restoration Honour Faith And Finances – Ps John Bendixen (WTB)

Scripture reference: Proverbs 3:10 (NKJV); Ephesians 2:1-2,6-7 (NKJV); Ephesians 2:1-10 (MSG); Ephesians 2:6 (TPT);  Ephesians 6:1-3 :NKJV);

Pastor Sharon:

Thank You, Father, that we can sing Your Word like this, Lord. Hallelujah. We can sing Your Word back to You. Your Word that You gave to us, Lord, we can sing it back to You, Father, and then at the same time, these Words get lodged in our hearts so that we really do believe it, Lord. We really do receive it, we conceive it, and we believe it, Father. We walk in the fullness of what the song declares, Lord. Father, now, we receive Your Words. You send a messenger with a message, and You release Your power for deliverance, Father. Every deliverance that we have need of in our hearts, Father. We receive all the scriptures that You’re giving through Pastor John. We receive Your scriptures, and we receive Your sayings, and Your speakings and Your Words, Your Spirit, the words that He speaks, that you speak to us today, through Pastor John. 

They are spirit, and they are life to us, Father. Today we eat the bread of Life. You are the bread of life to us, Jesus. You are our bread of life, and so today, You, Jesus, are bringing this message to us. We have ears to hear, and we have hearts to receive Lord, and hearts to believe Lord. Hallelujah. Then all week long, Father, our eyes, Your Words, and Your message will be before our eyes, Lord, and in our mouth and in our heart Father, so that we can do it, Father. We will not let Your Words that You’re bringing to us this morning depart from our eyes or from our mouths, Father, but they will be put into our hearts so that we can walk in the fullness of them. In the precious and mighty name of Jesus. We thank You that You’re giving Pastor John utterance this morning, Father, that he may speak Your Word with all boldness Father, that he may speak Your Words with all boldness Father. We thank You for the sharp two-edged sword that comes from him, Father, that divides in our hearts, divides in our whole being between soul and spirit, joints and marrow—revealing all the thoughts and intents and motives and purposes of our heart Father. Hallelujah. 

We thank You for Your instruction and Your correction that comes to us, Your direction, Father, and Your light that comes to us this morning through Your Word. We honour Your Word, Father. We give it first place in our lives. This word that comes to us today, Father, we give it honour, we give it honour because we are going to do it. We’re going to do it. In Jesus’ name, and we all say, “Amen.” You may be seated. Hallelujah.

Pastor John:

Praise the Lord. Thank you, Hans. Praise the Lord. Praise Jesus. Many, many moons ago, many years ago, when I was still in a church where I was serving another pastor. He was my pastor for 19 years. In a time when I was serving that pastor, I received, well, we were involved in a situation where we had been approached by a couple to help them in their marriage. We proceeded with great caution because of the stature of the couple and their closeness to our pastor, just from a friendship point of view. That’s part of the reason they came to us because they didn’t want to have all of their dirty laundry, as you might say, get to the pastor’s ears. They wanted us to help. 

So, we approached it with a great deal of caution. We spent a lot of time with them. We fasted for two weeks. Prayed about the answer that God gave us for their lives, and when we went to see them, made an appointment to see them with the greatest humility that we could walk in. Recognizing that we were just messengers, and there was nothing else that we could say except what God told us to say to them. They got mad. They got mad at the answer. They got mad at what the solution was, and they didn’t want to hear any further. Basically, what it meant was that, without them telling the pastor what their problems were. They went to the pastor and said they’d received counsel from us, and we were all wrong, and he needs to adjudicate. 

Well, the adjudication was basically “that,” tell them that they’re wrong. A couple of weeks later, my pastor called me into the office, Pastor Sharon and I, and we became aware that he certainly wasn’t going to hear our side of the story. He hadn’t called us; he didn’t want to engage with us about it. I spoke to a man that was the pastoral care of this large church. A man that I, I do still have, and eternally will have a great deal of respect for his walk with God, and his counsel, and his advice to me was, “Obey the Word of God, John, do not go after what’s right or wrong. Obey the Word of God.” And the Word of God says, no matter what your pastor decides today or in the days ahead, no matter what your pastor decides, submit to what he has to say. Do not go after what’s right or wrong. 

Well, I had a struggle with that in my natural man because, and I told it to him on the phone, I said to him, “It’s just not fair. It’s not right that he doesn’t hear even what I have to say.”  Given that I was at that stage, already an elder in the church. Well, we had a meeting with him, and he proceeded to tell me I was wrong. My answer to my pastor was, “Well, sir, you know, I can’t, I can’t see it the way you see it. But I accept what you say.” I’m just giving you an abbreviated version. “I can’t; I can’t see what you see. But what do you want me to do?” He said, “I want you to apologise to these people.” 

So, I did exactly that. I turned to them, and I apologised for hurting them and for any harm that I might have caused them. Well, you know, it’s not an easy thing to do. It’s not an easy thing to do. Well, they were not content with that answer in the meeting. They immediately wanted us to retract everything that we said was the problem and what the solution was. I said, “Well, I can’t do that,” and when I, as I began to speak, the other pastor that had advised me to behave spiritually and not based on what’s fair or what’s right or wrong. He intervened, and he said, “Now, this elder of the church has done the right thing here. He has done exactly as his pastor told him to do. Now you be quiet and stop accusing him.” 

Why do I tell you that story? Well, because God, there is a powerful example that Pastor Sharon and I were living examples in the church of our marriage, of our faith, and of the way that we conducted ourselves in finances, faith, and in our family. As a living example that had authority in the church, God was using us. So because of their profile and their closeness to our Pastor, the next Sunday morning, the pastor’s wife got up and announced to the whole church that any rumours that anybody had heard about their particular circumstance were completely wrong and incorrect and that Sharon and I were wrong. I mean, she made a public announcement to 5000 people in the church, in the service that we were sitting in, that we were wrong. That’s a lot to take. We had every reason and every right to leave the church because it’s not fair because it’s not right. But I had made a decision that I would honour the counsel of a wise man that is based on the Word of God. That I would listen to the counsel of a wise man who was giving me the Word of God, so because I had honour for the Word of God, I was able to have honour for the office of my Pastor, even though he was wrong. He was wrong in the way that he went about it. He was wrong in the way that he just unilaterally made an assessment and made a judgment. 

I honoured wise counsel, and I honoured the Word of God. Well, as it turns out, what we said had and had discerned in this by the Holy Spirit that was afflicting the relationship showed up very, very publicly by way of dissent against the Pastor. They basically arranged a couple of 100 families to write a petition against the Pastor to hand over the administration and running of the church to other people because the Pastor was unfit to do that. So, when that came to my pastor’s ears and it came to his office, he remembered what I had said, what was the problem. What we had said was the problem in the relationship and some of the issues that needed to be dealt with. So, he immediately had a knowledge of truth that an elder had submitted, given honour, and given a place of authority and honour, where right and wrong was not the issue. Fairness was not the issue. It was obedience to the Word of God and submission to the Word of God that was the issue. 

So, he was immediately able to discern that my behaviour on that day was spiritual. It wasn’t just something that we sucked out of our thumb. On the basis of his recognition of who we were and who we are, he used our knowledge to judge that matter. So, of course, they left the church, and a couple of 100 other people left the church. But what had saved the church from a major, major problem, because of the way that they were trying to actually divide the church. 

If you operate in honour, and you give God first place in your life, it doesn’t matter what circumstances come to you. God must answer you. He must answer you based on His system of justice, which is the Word of God and the love of God. He must answer you with justice. Hallelujah. 

So, when I make a declaration to you, and I minister to you, and I say to you that God has, He loves all people on the planet. There is not a single person on the planet that He doesn’t love, including the man flying over our church right now. There’s not a single individual on the planet that God doesn’t love, but He has those that are His family and his children, and then He has those children that obey His commands. If you’re one of those that obey His commands and not just have a relationship with Him that is based on salvation, then you become a beloved one. Amen. So, that means that when you are a beloved one, you have a matter of honour that is brought to you, and you have great respect. Someone that is admired, deferred to, valued, prized, and appreciated. I’ve shared this with you already at great length, where someone that is beloved and someone that has honour or that lives with honour, there is a great intersection between those two values. 

So, as I said, on the digital service last Sunday, there is a great overlap between honour and beloved. Well, the end of the story with my Pastor and I, is that he called me, and I mean, my Pastor wasn’t a perfect man. He had his challenges as a human being. One of them was that he was not very quick to apologise to anybody for anything. So, the fact that he phoned me to apologise to me for what had happened, and the way that he treated me, very few people had that experience. I mean, look, he was also the head of a church of twenty-plus thousand people. So it wasn’t that many people that were there close to him. 

In critical moments of the ministry, and in different areas of that ministry, it was clear after that day, after that day of sitting in his office, and after that time of us sitting, going through six months of being basically ostracised from the church. I mean, literally, we would walk into the church, and people that we would have known that we were friends with before would literally part their ways. Like the Red Sea, you know, they would part to let us through because nobody wanted to be seen to be talking to us because we were just personae non-gratae. Well, after a public announcement, you know, I guess that’s the way it is. 

After that whole scenario unfolded, it became obvious and became clear to my Pastor that my walk with God in the way that I had operated was spiritual. So, from that moment onwards, there was a level of honour that he had for me. That was beyond almost just about anybody else in the church, certainly in the circles that we, that I was working with him in, to the point when there was a very critical moment in his personal life that, unfortunately, didn’t quite end up the way that we had hoped it would, that ended up in the courts, but in that moment, there was no one else that he would let into his life or into his wife’s life, but he let me in because he understood that I wasn’t there to judge him or criticise him or make a declaration of what’s right or wrong or what’s fair or not fair. I was there as a spiritual person, bringing a spiritual solution. Amen. 

God sits in the heavens. God sits in the heavens, and God made everything. Everything that you see around us God made. Everything. When you see human beings making computers, computers didn’t originate out of the grey matter of individuals. Computers operated because God gave the grey matter to the individuals to create computers. So, there is nothing that has been created that God didn’t – didn’t create. Perversion is not something that He creates. So, even though people make computers, they use it for running lives, but they use it for perversion too. 

Well, that’s the same with your body. He made your body, but you can use your body for the glory of God, or you could use your body for perversion. It’s a choice, but God still made you. He made everything. He sits in the heavens. Right next to Him is Jesus, the Savior of our lives. The Bible says that as Jesus sits next to Him, He is continuously, forever making intercession on our behalf. Well, His very presence next to the Father is an act of intercession because His presence there only came about because He died and rose again. 

So, I read this to you last week, Ephesians two verse one says, 1 And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, 2 in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience. So, we were once as those people that had no, we had no future, and yet God saved us. Verse six  says. 6 And raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace, in His kindness towards us in Christ Jesus. (Ephesians 2:1-2, 6-7 NKJV)

So, He made Jesus our Savior, and therefore, He showed His great mercy and His great kindness towards us. This is a good reason for us to live in the glory of God and in all of the good things that God has for us. I’d like to read you the scripture out of the Message Translation, those few passages of Scriptures. 1-6 He took our sin-dead lives and made us alive in Christ. He did all this on His own, with no help from us! Then He picked us up and set us down in highest heaven in company with Jesus, our Messiah. 7-10 Now God has us where He wants us, with all the time in this world and the next to shower grace and kindness upon us in Christ Jesus. Ephesians 2:1-10 (MSG) Wow. In this world and the next, He has us where He wants us, to shower kindness and mercy upon us. Eternally. 

That’s such a wonderful, wonderful way of reading it in that particular translation. I’d like to read another translation to you. 6 He raised us up with Christ, the exalted One, and we ascended with Him into glorious perfection. We ascended with Him into glorious perfection, and authority of the heavenly realm, for we are now co-seated as one with Christ. Ephesians 2:6 (TPT). To many many Christians that are, come from denominational churches that have a very strict structure of ceremony, and order, and protocol that are in the churches, and that have grown up in those kinds of churches. A lot of those Christians have great difficulty understanding this. 

Remember what I’ve been asking you to say with me every week, “The real me is the Spirit me.” The real me is not the body that you see. I cannot exist on this earth without my body. Neither can my body exist on this earth without a soul that connects what I live to who the real me is. If you are born again, then the real you, your spirit you, is filled with Jesus. So, when this Scripture talks about we are co-seated with Christ in heavenly places, then He is not talking about a state that is yet to come; He is talking about a state that exists already now. Because you have Jesus living in your spirit, and as a spirit being that is completely connected to Jesus Christ, wherever He is, so there you are too. Which is why Jesus can say; what the Bible can say, “Be Holy as I am Holy.” That’s not a sacrilege, that’s a state of being, that you already have. It is a state of being that we already have. 

Can I read it to you again? 6 He raised us up with Christ, the exalted One, and we ascended with Him. How did we ascend with Him? Because in Him, our future always was there. Before you were born, your future was always in Him, and when He died for the whole world, He died for the world of past people, He died for the world of present people, and He died for the world of people yet to be born. Even young babies that are being born, even this very minute, when they grow up, and they become adults, and they start to become sin conscious; He died for them when they are ready to receive Him, which is where you and I got our salvation. Because He died for those who passed, and He died for those present, and He died for that future. And because He died for all mankind, those who received Him into their hearts, them, He took and ascended with Him into glorious perfection, and authority of the heavenly realm, for we are now co-seated as one with Christ! (Ephesians 2:6 TPT). 

So, I would like to just read to you the next few verses, 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God. (Ephesians 2:8 NKJV.) This is not something you can achieve through performance. This is not something that you can achieve, because you have the best value system or you have a better value system than someone else’s value system. Or because you adhere to all the laws of the land, therefore you now are saved by grace. You can’t achieve that through your performance, neither can you achieve it by keeping all the ceremonies of any religion, any person’s doctrine out there. This is a free gift. It is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast, that we could do it on our own. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for us to do good works. We are supposed to do good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. (Ephesians 2:8-10 NKJV.)

That means if Jesus died for you, then He knew that when you would come to the earth, that in Him, you would be able to receive a revelation of being co-seated with Him and have the same level of authority that He had while He was on the earth, and while He sits in the heavens. Now that might be difficult for some people to accept. I would go so far as to say that the Church as a whole—for generations that have gone past, have not yet fully embraced the impact of what this scripture means. Even as I preach it and even as I teach it to you, I say to myself, I have not fully embraced what this scripture truly means because if I fully understood the revelation of how powerful the scripture is. I spoke to you last week, and the week before, my worldview would change because my worldview as one that is with Christ in Heavenly places, co-seated with Him with the same authority that He has, I would see life completely differently. 

Life on Earth, if the Church of the Lord Jesus, if other Christians could understand this, and we all live this way, I believe personally, I believe that the whole earth would be in a better place. Because the Church would have a lot more influence on government policies, the Church would have a lot more influence in business, the Church would have a lot more influence across the board, and it would have a lot more of God’s gift and God’s love and God’s grace and mercy in all of it. Instead, what it’s become, is it become a performance-orientated connection base, power base, and political base and if you’ve connected to the right people and have gone to the right schools, the right universities done the right things, then you got a better chance than anybody else to make it. 

If you aren’t aware of it, I will tell you that the French President made an announcement in France yesterday. His announcement in France was to all of the French people, but he was probably addressing the European Union. Certainly, American and Australian television picked it up and ran with it. He basically made an announcement to his fellow Frenchman and he said, “The days of abundance are over because as we have to progress as humanity through the earth, we are no longer going to live according to the standards that we have lived before.” So, what he was basically warning the people about is that Russia has the world or the Northern Europe countries that are going to have a cold winter. Russia has them on a leash. Germany is now looking to fire up its coal plants to mitigate against the rising cost of power. That’s what he was saying. 

I’m telling you that it doesn’t matter what happens in the world. It doesn’t matter what happens to the cost of anything in the world, whether it’s fuel, because of other political leaders making other decisions. My life is in Christ Jesus. My worldview of the problems are completely different to the worldview of the French President. Just because he happens to be the French President, and he’s got a political problem to solve and an economic problem to solve doesn’t make his problems mine. Hello, I have the same to say about our South African President and our South African ruling party; just because they have political issues and they have economic issues doesn’t mean to say their economic issues must become mine. If there is an economic recession, if there is a supply chain problem around the world, God is going to give us wisdom and understanding and insight into how we can solve those problems before they become a problem to you and me. 

So, if you remember, and I’m talking about relationships and honour, but I’m beginning to move into faith and finances here because that’s where the Lord was taking us for the next long weekend of teaching that we’re going to have. Money, money, the amount of money is never a Christian’s problem. Can I say this again? How much money you have or how much money you don’t have is never a Christian’s problem. A Christian only has a relationship problem. Not a money problem because if a Christian has a proper relationship with Heavenly Father with God, then the relationship that you have with God, that needs to be close. God answers all of your supply problems. It’s not a money problem. It’s not how much money you’ve got, or you don’t got. It’s about how close your relationship with God is. 

I can tell you that. There are many, many, many, many, many people in this world that have many degrees and they’ve had high-powered positions and they’ve lost their jobs, they’ve lost their positions, and suddenly they realise that all the years of giving themselves to a company serving a company, giving up their best of their lives nights and day, night and day, having all the degrees in the world makes no difference. Because suddenly, their marriage isn’t there because now they’ve lost their job, and suddenly there’s strain in the relationship. It was always there, but now that there’s a problem, the problem comes, the kids leave home, things happen, and suddenly they find themselves in a place, “Well, what have I done all of that for? 

Because the system absorbed them, and so their worldview is that the system knows best how I should live. So, I must live according to the system. If I live according to the system, I’ll get the best outcome. If I’m smarter, work harder, and I’ve got a special advantage, if I work the system, I won’t be one of those that will be without. Ask Steve Jobs. When he got liver or pancreatic cancer, they tried everything with all of his wealth, they tried to save his life, and he’s gone. One of the most creative, wealthy men in the world, he could do nothing against the attack on his body. 

I don’t care what you got, or you don’t got, the system doesn’t have the answer for you. Jesus does. A lot of people want questions to their answers, answers to their questions. They have a lot of questions about, “Well, how do you live in Christianity then? How do you live that kind of life in Christ? How do you live that kind of life, where you give yourself so much to God, that you give your life, whole life to God? And then He solves your problems? How do you live like that?” I will give you the answer that I give to people who ask me: “How do you live in a successful marriage for 42 years? Where the life of our 42 years of marriage has been sweet. I’m making a purposeful statement here, 

Our marriage hasn’t just been compatibility and comfortableness; our marriage has been sweet. She is still and continues to be the darling of my life. She is still and continues to be my friend that I have personal, daily, active engagement with. She is not someone that, after 42 years of marriage, we just live in the house together and deal with each other, the responsibilities, and then have conversations all about responsibilities or about other things that affect our lives. 

We have meaningful conversations about where we want our life to go to. “Are you saying, Pastor John, you still have a vision for your life, after 42 years of marriage?” I’ve got a vision for my marriage after 42 years of marriage, and it’s better. We’re actively working towards making it better. Even as good as it is, and I will give you the answer of how to serve God, and have God involved in your life every day, in the same way that people ask me, “How do you get such a great marriage?” And I tell them, “One day at a time.” 

How do you, and I say the negative too. People say, “ Well, what went wrong with their marriage?” “One day at a time.” Every day you let, you withdraw out of life, you withdraw, you withdraw, you withdraw, and you lean on your marriage, you lean on your marriage, and then you have a credit basis. Then one day you find that you can no longer pay the credit card back in your marriage, that there are too many things that have been paid for on credit that you can’t get back, unless God. 

God is the one; Jesus is the one way that you can get it back because He restores all things. You can count on Psalm 23; The Lord is my Shepherd. I shall not want. He restores my soul. You can count on the Word of God if the living Word of God is a living reality to you. That’s the keyword. The Living Word of God has got to be a living word in you. It’s not a piece of paper, remember last week, or the week before I brought my Bibles and I put my paper Bibles here, which I don’t use very much. I said, “These are just words on paper, but if they live in your heart, and they live in your life, then they’re meaningful.” Well, how do you have God take care of your life if you are just completely sold out to Him? One day at a time. “But we need a plan. We need a long-term plan.” 

You need a long-term retirement plan. You need a long-term investment plan. You need a long-term plan, long-term plan, and long-term plan. So, everything I’m doing in the short term is for the long term. So, everything I’m doing now is what the institutions say; I must manage my life the way they say I must manage my life so that eventually, somewhere down the line in the long term, I’m okay. 

How much has changed in my personal life when I had my first encounter with an insurance broker who said you’re in a perfect position to have a long-term plan? I believe I was 22 years old, or thereabout, a young married man with a kid. “Need to have a long-term plan, John.” I could hardly could keep down a job, but I needed a long-term plan. So, I decided to make my long-term plan, Jesus. So, how did that happen? Every day I got up, and I began to give Jesus my life every day. Every day.  “So, John, what did it change in your world?” It meant that when I was driving in the car, I was speaking to Jesus, I was speaking the Bible, I was praising God, I was giving Him thanks, and I was glorifying Him. During my day, when I was at work, I was glorifying Him, I was praising Him, I was giving Him the words of my mouth, and I was giving Him my heart as broadly as I could while I was working. 

When I drove home at night, after a day’s work, I would praise Him, I would thank Him, and I would glorify Him for His blessing upon my life. I was a faith-gung ho young man. I was. I was gung ho about my faith. I’ll never forget, I was working for a salesman, two sales managers that were running that sales team and they asked me one day, they asked me, how do I think; I was early days, early days in the company, I wasn’t there more than three or four weeks, I’d just gone through my training, getting integrated into the company and all that kind of stuff. 

They had a meeting with me, and they asked me how do I think I’m going to do now that I know the product range and know the company’s operations and all that kind of stuff. I said, you know, they asked me how do I feel about how things are going to work. I said, “I’m going to be the best salesman you ever had.” 

They said, “Well, we hear that from everybody that joins the company the first time.” I said, “No, I’m going to be the best salesman that you’ve ever had,” and they said, “Well, how do you say that?” “Well,” I said, “because I’m a Christian, and I believe God when He says, what I put my hands to prospers. So anything that I’m going to put my hand to, I’m going to prosper in what I do.”

So, they said, Oh, you’re one of those Christians that believe that?” I said, “Yes, I’m one of those Christians.” They gave me a rookie’s territory, which was to go and, so I’m talking about a long time ago now, 40 years ago; this is not the way business is conducted anymore, but they gave me this huge industrial area that has very little volume of sales, but you got to do a lot of walking, to walk from company to company to go and do business, to go and find out what they’ve got, and see if you can sell product to them. 

I walked hours in the sun. I walked for hours. I did the best job that I could. I made all records; I had a few deals out there. About two months later, they wanted to, so my sales managers were kind of keeping tabs on me on what I’m doing, where my work is, and how am I going about it. At the end of that period of time, they said to us, “You know, we’ve never had a salesperson that has been that diligent about recording every product of every company in such a large industrial, commercial environment.” 

They said, “In fact, most salespeople when they get given a territory like that, they quit after a month, because it’s such hard work, or they quit soon after, not very long. But you have given us such an incredible wealth of information for us to have a future database to work with; and one of our salespeople was transferred,” or I don’t know exactly what has happened, “but we’ve got this, this whole number of city blocks downtown Johannesburg that needs a salesman, we think you should come and do the same job there that you did here.” 

I said, “Thank you very much. I’ll take it.” Every day, whatever my hand’s touch prospers. Every day, I’m giving glory and praise to Jesus. Every day, my day starts with Him, and my day ends with Him. Every day. All of my days are filled with words out of my mouth, that give Him praise, that give Him glory, that give Him honour for the very fact that I can walk around and breathe, and even have the opportunity to make money. Now, some people would say, “John, you chose a hard way to make money.” I was giving my life to Jesus. There’s nothing hard about living for Jesus. 

As I started getting into my territory, I began to discover the wealth that was in my territory, that had previously been untouched for whatever reason. I discovered the wealth of opportunity that was in the territory. And I started closing deals. Started closing deals. [Pastor John Clicking his fingers] The company had a sales program where they were selling to dealers, a dealer network, as well as selling direct. I’m selling direct, and we have a salesperson who is in charge of the dealer network. Are you with me? Theoretically, the person who is in charge of the dealer network should be doing just about ten times more than any salesperson in the company because they have all these dealers out there selling the product, right? 

That person was always the number one salesperson in the company until John Bendixen arrived. In a full year of sales, my next full year of sales, my sales were better than the dealer sales. Impossible, you say? Not with God, I say. When these hands are committed to worshipping the Most High God, then everything these hands touch is blessed. Everywhere my feet go, are under the inspiration and the guidance and the leading of the Holy Spirit. My declaration, as all of you, will know: “There is nothing that happens in my life by coincidence.” Everything that happens in my life is a God encounter one way or another. From a parking space to a person that I talk to at a till, whoever it is, I’m there. Even if I’m buying something in a shop, I’m there. God knows I am there; He can use me there, I can have an encounter with somebody there; something is happening. When I go anywhere, God goes with me. After all, I’m seated with Jesus right next to the Father. I’m in heavenly places; my whole worldview is changing. Praise the Lord. 

You know, if I talk about honour, the Bible says: 1“Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2 “Honor your father and mother,” which is the first commandment with promise: 3 “that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth.” (Ephesians 6:1-3 NKJV). Hold on a minute; if I believe the Word of God, and I teach that to my children, then I must believe that Word. What does it say if I honour my parents, what does it say? It will be well with you, and you may live long on the earth. Now, who is going to make it go well for me? Come on; this is the Bible. Who is going to make it go well for me? The system? The degrees that I get? All of the banking institutions who will loan me money if I have my degrees? The talent that I have? Who is going to make it go well for me? God. There is a condition. I must honour. I must understand honour, and I must honour my parents. Actually, if we had nothing more to say about how God can take care of you for your life, He has already said that is how it can be well for you. 

You’ve got to believe this, though, and you can speak this. You can speak it every day. If your parents are still alive, my parents are all gone to be with Jesus, but if your parents are alive – and I still honour them with my words – but if your parents are alive, you can honour your parents because there is a promise attached to honour. This is much greater than obedience and even respect. It is about honour. If I was in a court of law, I would say to you: “Judge, I rest my case.” “Is there anything else that anybody would like to say against my case that says I will make it well with you?” These words are spoken by God. These are not my words that I’m preaching today. These are words that are spoken by God. 

May I continue for a few more minutes? My watch says I’ve got 15 minutes to go. Actually, it says 10, but I normally go five minutes more, at least. Proverbs 3:1 says I’m going to read the whole ten verses for you of Proverbs. 1 ”My son, do not forget my law. So, I ask you, if you are a son of God, a Christian, have you forgotten the law of God? Because if you have forgotten the law of God, then this scripture no longer applies to you. That means you can remember everything the institutions want you to remember. Your worldview is about the news; it’s about financial capabilities. If your mind is filled with that, then you’re likely to forget God’s law. 1 My son, do not forget my law, But let your heart keep My commands. This is honour. 2 For length of days and long life And peace, they will add to you. Do you know the word “peace” from Shalom is nothing missing and nothing broken? So, if you have peace and long life and things will be added to you, that means God is going to ensure that your life has nothing missing and there’s nothing broken in it. Which means you can have all of the blessing of what God intended relationships to be. And all of the blessing that God intended your life to live as. They are not mutually exclusive. 

3 Let not mercy and truth forsake you. Mercy and truth. Bind them around your neck, Write them on the tablet of your heart. When you write the Words of God on your heart, when you keep remembering His commandments, and you have put them in your heart. 4 And so you find favor and high esteem, In the sight of God, and in the sight of man. Do you want to know how God takes care of you? You write His laws in your heart, you bind them about your neck, you keep them in front of you, you speak them and you find favour in the eyes of God, and then no man can have a say about that. So, you find favour in the eyes of God and favour in the eyes of men. The favour principle kicks into your life. How? By obeying the Word of God, putting it in your heart. 

5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; Well, why would He say that? Well, because the whole system that we live in today is geared towards your own understanding: I’ll speak to this lawyer for that, I’ll go to that auditor for this, I’ll go to this investment manager for that. I’ll go to this person; I’ll go to this doctor for whatever that I need, I’ll go do this, I’ll go do that. Lean not on your own understanding. Hallelujah. 

So, what are you saying, Pastor John? Are you saying that these people that are in the world, you shouldn’t hear anything that they have to say? No, you should actually hear what they have to say, but if you lean on what they say, and you trust in what they say, then you’re saying, that is more important to me than what God says. Because I go to doctors, I go to doctors, but I don’t always do what the doctors tell me to do. Oh, now you are really touching on something because surely the doctors know best. Better than God? They don’t know better than God. I’ve got doctors in this very service. They don’t know better than God; they will admit that themselves. 

What do I do with something that a doctor says to me? Well, I take what they have to say to me, and then I go before the Father, and I say, “Father, what must I do with this information?” My first action is; I’m not in agreement with the diagnosis, but I hear what the diagnosis is. Now I go to the Father who is the truth of everything and I say, “Father, what must I do with this diagnosis? Because I acknowledge You in all my ways. I lean not unto my own understanding. In all my ways I’m giving You the first place. So now what do I do next?” Even if I go back to the doctors and let the doctors do what they say they should do, I’m not leaning on their understanding, I’m trusting God that their knowledge will actually do what it needs to do in my body. “But aren’t you trusting in the medical profession?” I do trust them as far as their knowledge is concerned, but my life is not limited to what they know. They can’t tell me everything about my body and about my life as much as medical science has improved. I’ve got to go and do what God tells me to do. Hallelujah. 

I mean, Doctor Amanda is in here. I went to go visit her, I had a toothache that started in America, and I came back, and she took some X-rays, and she discovered that there was an abscess in my tooth. A big absence in my tooth. I can say this because she’s here, and she’s present, and she can verify everything, by way of pictures of X-rays that she took of my tooth. When I went there, she said, “This is a big abscess, and it’s in a place that we can’t fix it. The tooth got to come out.” I said to her, “Doctor Amanda, is there anything that we can do in the short term? She said, “I can give you antibiotics and I can help you with a few medical things but you’re going to have to have the tooth out.” I said, “I need some time for my faith to work.” She gave me antibiotics and I asked her because she’s a spiritual doctor. We got into agreement that faith will work in my tooth. I went back to her for another reason a year later, they took another x-ray of my tooth. She said, “Not only is the abscess gone, but the bone that was missing in the tooth has regrown in my tooth.

It’s few people that can say, with their doctor present in a service like this, give glory to God that when You give Him your life, He gives you the wisdom and understanding of what to do. I have had other teeth taken out of my bod,y out of my mouth. I had bad things fixed in my mouth, but on that occasion, the wisdom of God was, “Don’t do that, John.” So, I lean not unto my own understanding but in all my ways; I acknowledge Him in all my ways. 

8 It will be health to your flesh, And strength to your bones. 9 Honor the Lord with your possessions, Honour the Lord with your possessions, And with the firstfruits of all your increase; 10 So your barns will be filled with plenty, And your vats will overflow with new wine (Proverbs 3:8-10 NKJV). What? We’re talking about honour the Lord. Honour the Lord. This is not just a matter of obedience of tithing. I want to give you a new level of how to tithe. 

I want you to begin to recognize that your tithing is not something that you obey, it’s a choice that you make. I’ve said this all the years that people that have been with me for long enough will know this. If you don’t have faith to tithe, then don’t. Rather keep your money until you have faith to tithe, but faith you should get in your heart, so you can tithe. Why? Because it’s your covenant connector to honour. Honour the Lord with your possessions. Honour the Lord with your possessions. This is not something that the institutions of the world are going to tell you. They’re going to tell you, “You want to give 10% after-tax money? You want to give that to the church? Don’t be daft. I mean, this is hard work. This is hard work that you’ve done to earn this money. Don’t be daft.” You see. Nee man, die ding moet af gaan. 

You see, if you talk to anybody that is going to talk sense to you financially, financial sense, to you. They will say, “Rather take that 10% and put it into a savings account or investment account or something, you know. Why do you want to give it away to the church? It’s a waste by giving it to the church. It’s a waste. You’re just serving some other, you know, somebody else’s lifestyle. Well, that shows you how their thought life has become institutionalised. If they don’t understand what you’ve got in God, then your thought life is so institutionalised that there’s no place for God there. Come on, you can shut me down because I’m preaching good here. And so when institutions come and tell you what to do with your money, you say, “Hold on a minute, God says I must honour Him with my first fruits and with all of my increase.” 

9 Honour the Lord with your possessions, And with your firstfruits of all your increase. What’s going to happen after that? 10 So your barns will be filled with plenty. What does God want you to have? Poverty? This is where a lot of people that disagree with what I’m teaching say, “You shouldn’t be talking about money in the church.” Let me tell you something about the church. Most people think more about money than just about anything else. Two biggest things that you spend your life thinking about is money and relationships. And so people don’t want the Pastor to talk about the two biggest, most important things in your life. Money and relationships. 

People have this argument, “Well, of course, the Pastor will want to talk about money because he needs it.”Well, anybody that knows how God blessed me in the business world knows that I came into the full-time ministry with God not needing any money. How did I get to that? One day at a time. Every day I would wake up and say, “I’m giving my life to God today. I’m giving my life to God today. I am giving my life to God today. I’m giving my life to God today. I’m committing my walk with Him today. All the work of my hands is His.” So that when my income came in at the end of the month, it was an amount of money. It was the greatest joy of my life to say I’m giving God at least 10% of my gross income, not my after-tax income, my gross income because my hands were blessed by everything that came in. I lived this before I preached this. Now I can preach it because I live it. 

We are close to getting the connection between relationships and the honour of relationships, and what God has in store for you when you give honour to God because the greatest relationship that you can have with God on the earth, forever, is with God. If you have a relationship with God, you are certain of two things. You are certain that He has got your best interests at heart, and while you’re on the earth, He wants, from a financial point of view, He wants your barns to be filled with plenty and your vats filled with wine. Meaning there’s more than enough for any kind of situation. Right? “Old Testament,” you say, wait till next week, I’ll show you some New Testament stuff. Hallelujah. 

If I give, if I have a relationship with Jesus Christ, if the Word of God, Jesus Himself, the Holy Spirit is resident in my spirit-man, I have to give a significant amount of consideration to changing my worldview. Because I have to change my worldview to read like the Bible reads, not like the institutions tell me. Praise the Lord. Praise Jesus. 

I was listening to a US senator, and they were asking him his opinion about this new Biden announcement in America that he is going to give $10,000 per person forgiveness on their college debt or university debt, as long as they earn less than $125,000 a year. Well, anybody who has been to America and has lived in America will know that any income family that’s earning $10,000 a month is a fairly well off at least high level, middle-class income group of person or family if they are earning that much money in their household, every month. 

They asked the senator what he thought about this new policy. He said, “Well, the President might have made a political statement, but he doesn’t have the authority to actually make it stick.” Because that kind of decision is not made by executive order, that decision is made by Congress, by the legislative arm of the US. So, it will be challenged, it will be challenged legally, and it will have to change. Well, that was what he said, but then he talked about the morality of it and the fairness of it. He said, “Well, I can tell you that as a US senator and as someone that is earning a reasonable income, and that is a Harvard law graduate, he said, “Up until more recently, I had $100,000 University debt.,” and he said, “I was I have been all these years been unable to pay off my debt, because of the interest rate and the volume of my debt.” He said, “Until I wrote a book, and the book became a bestseller, and so with the money that I earned from the book for the first time, I was able to pay off my debt.” 

This is a guy that got a degree at Harvard, and he couldn’t pay off his debt until he wrote a book. So, of course, he’s anti-what Biden’s trying to do with this whole thing. 

Here’s what I’m trying to tell you. The world out there doesn’t have an answer. Someone says, “Socialism is the right way”, someone says, “Capitalism is the right way”, and someone says, “Marxism is the right way.” The world and the globe, all the nations of the earth, are currently in a conflict of world view systems that each of them has. Our little South Africa, where we live at the end of the African continent, is impacted by decisions that they are making all day long, which is why we pay the kind of price we do for fuel. Which is actually why there was a collapse of apartheid. Because the world out there made such a financial constraint on the South African political system and economic system, that it ended up becoming something that was a great enough movement to bring about a significant change. 

I guess, at the end of my message, today, I want to say to you, if you lean on your own understanding about how to conduct relationships, then the best you can ever do is have an understanding of the relationship, the way that you think relationships should be conducted. Sometimes it will go good for you, and sometimes not so good for you. Two-thirds of people that are getting married now are getting divorced. So obviously, that’s not going good anymore, right? 

Statistics, two thirds of people that get married, they are getting divorced within about 10 years, or 15 years, or whatever the case, most of them within a few years, but some of them 10,15 years. Marriage as an institution has collapsed. So, why? Because people are conducting relationships in the way that they know best. Then when it’s collapsing, they say, “Well, let’s go to a relationship specialist.” We pay R1500 an hour or whatever it is to get some advice on relationships so we can fix this thing. They’re going to get the answers from where? Some universities, some social sciences, call it a PhD in Clinical Psychology. You’re going to get help from them? And they’ve got answers from where? Plato? Socrates? All of the guys  gone by, and they got their answers from where? Grey matter. 

So, because something has been around for a long time, this is the answer, but people don’t want you to mess with the system because the system wants to control your life because if it gets control of your life, then it’s got control of your potential. It’s got control of your future. It’s got control of everything. But the rewards if you work a system well, what about the rewards if you work God’s Word well? Which one do you want to trust more? The Word of God or the system? I think I’ll go with God. It’s too late for anybody to tell me anything else. I’m one of those people that the President of the Democratic Party in America would call deplorable’s because I didn’t get a degree. I was one of those people that—I got married very early. I met this gorgeous young girl who now happens to be my wife, 42 years into the making. Gorgeous, she was absolutely spectacularly good-looking to me. But more than anything else, she had a heart and a passion to love and serve Jesus. 

I didn’t want to—I go with what God said, and now I want to marry her. And I, you know, I married her as a virgin. So how good is your sex life, and how good you know your sex life will become or how good is it? How would you know how good it is? Does it matter what anybody else thinks? Does it matter what anybody else thinks? Does it matter? All that matters is, do we enjoy ourselves? And that’s none of your business either. So, you say, “Oh, but is God in sex?” 

Let me tell you; in the relationship world, sex is a big deal, and if the Church is not willing to talk about sex, then everybody else that thinks they know about sex will try and tell you what sex should be like. When you go, and you begin to seek God on how sex should be in your marriage, then He gets involved in it, and the One who made it makes it good. Everybody should be saying amen right about now. Hallelujah. If you put God first place in your marriage, if you put God first place in every area of your life, you will walk with freedom, you will walk with confidence, and you will walk with strength because you are not going to be dictated to by the system, but you are going to be the one that calls the shots. 

I am one of those deplorable’s. I am one of those extremists. I am extremely blessed. I am extremely healthy. I am extremely satisfied in my relationships. I have an extreme amount of peace and joy and the presence of God completely satisfies everything that I need in my life. I am an extremist! Label me! Fanatic, extremist – I am that! I’m extremely in love with Jesus! I’m extremely in love with His Word. I put His Word beyond and before anybody else’s word, ever. His Word is my guide. His Word is my shield. His Word is my answer. He makes my path straight before me. He puts light on my path. He leads me in the way that I should go. And when I need to go lie down and rest, He makes it best for me. When I need to feed, He gives me the best food. When I need protection, He’s there for me. Hallelujah.

Well, you know, the Lord reminded me about this earlier in the week and so I’m going to, I must finish, because the Holy Spirit has reminded me again; Pastor Sharon was sitting with Pastor Garth in one of his piano lessons and she was sitting outside, this is many, many, many years ago, he was a teenager then still, and she was sitting outside in the car waiting for him to come out of piano lessons. As she was sitting in the car, reading her Bible, this guy walked up beside her and had a gun like this [Pastor John demonstrates the position of the gun] and he put a gun to her and he said, “Just be quiet ma’am and everything will be alright.”

Then a guy got in the car next to her. At that time we were driving a nice luxury sedan car – a Mercedes Benz if you want to know – and so she was sitting there, he got in the car. Immediately he took her handbag and he started to take all of the credit cards and the money and stuff out of her handbag and he asked, the guy with the gun, he asked her for her wedding ring and all the rings and jewellry she had on her finger. There was a third person. And when Garth came walking out of the house, that house, that third guy immediately walked up to Garth and put a gun to his head, making sure that no one is making an alarm or making a sound here or doing anything. The next minute, they all decided this is over and they turned around and they walked away. How many people, do you think, walk away from situations like that?

But you know what happened? She was reading the Bible. The Word of God was her protection. Well then, why did that happen? Because a weapon that the enemy had set, was set to be formed against her. But the Bible says that those weapons that are formed against you, they shall not prosper! They shall not prosper. 

That’s why, if you say to me, do I trust this Bible? I trust it with the life of my wife and the life of my sons because it worked when it needed to work. In every situation in my life, the Bible has worked for me. “Have you gone through difficult times?” Yes, but His Word has brought me out. It’s always delivered me. It’s always protected me. It’s always kept me. And I’m no different to you because I’m the pastor, because there was many years where I wasn’t a pastor. Well, that’s not true. I’ve always been called as a pastor, I just worked in the corporate world for a while. Hallelujah… If I’m going to be accurate. 

Won’t you all stand with me, please? So, what do you think? You think that God’s got an answer for our future? [Congregation: Yes.] When we get to the long weekend of faith and finances and fasting, you think that God’s got something to say? He’s got something to say about your future and about the future that we are facing. I want to tell you; I’m facing the future with confidence. 

I’ve got four grandchildren here, that are with me in South Africa, I’ve got four grandchildren that range from the age of seven to two years, from seven to two years. I have got great confidence for their lives for the future. Why? Because I know the confidence that I have is not in what the system can be to my grandchildren, it’s what God can be to them. Hallelujah. Praise Jesus. 

Will you put your hand on your heart and make this declaration with me, please? If this is not something you can say with any conviction, then I encourage you to say it today with the conviction of your heart and say; Jesus, I trust You because You died for me. I ask You to be my personal Lord and Saviour. I thank You, Lord, that from this day I am going to honour You and where I’m weak, You make me strong. Where my mind has been dominant, I release the real me, the spirit me to guide me and lead me in my life, in Jesus’ name. Amen. Hallelujah.

I just want to declare over you before you go, I just want to declare that no weapon formed against you will prosper. It doesn’t matter what the enemy has designed against you or your life, it will not prosper. His angels have protection over you, they are a shield and a fortress around you and your life and all that is yours. I want to say I declare that what you put your hands to will prosper. Where you walk, your feet take you, they are directed and guided by the Lord and you are blessed in your going out and your coming in. And I declare a great peace upon you, great joy in your life and with long life He will satisfy you and with great peace you will live in your world. Hallelujah.

Don’t you want to just say that; I have peace. I have joy. I live with thanksgiving in my heart. In Jesus’ name. Hallelujah. Glory to God. Glory to God. We love a God who is always with us and working with us, wherever we are and at whatever level we are at in our lives, His grace and His mercy is there for us all the time. Hallelujah. Glory to God.

Hopefully next week we’ll have some video material and some pictures we can show you if you weren’t following our tour, but I want to tell you; we had amazing God encounters. I’m full of God. I had to restrain myself today. You saw my alarm clock went and I just shut it off, I do that normally anyway, but today I feel like I can just preach and preach and preach and just preach because I’ve been preaching for days. I mean, we’ve just been sharing the Word with each other. Hallelujah. God is busy giving us an alternative world view about how we can live our future. Hallelujah.

Thanks for coming to church. Have an awesome day, have an awesome week. Be blessed. See ya later.