Beloved Part 5: Present for the Future – Ps John Bendixen (WTB)

Scripture references: John 3:5-8 (NKJV); Hebrews 12:9 (NKJV); 2 Peter 1:1-4 (NKJV); 1 John 3:1-3 (NKJV); 1 John 2:8-21 (NKJV)

Praise the Lord. Hallelujah. What a wonderful song that was written based on the messages that I’m busy ministering, and I’m glad to say that I am God’s beloved, and He is mine. What do you say? [Congregation: Yes!] Hallelujah. Are you God’s beloved? [Congregation: Yes!] Amen. And He is yours? [Congregation: Yes!] Glory to God. You may be seated. Thank you. Praise the Lord. 

I’ve been ministering on Beloved, and I’ve had different versions or different messages that have encompassed the Beloved Message. Last week, I titled the message: The Spirituals. This week, my message is entitled: Present for the Future, Beloved. Present for the Future. So, I just want to say to you that beloved means: Dearly beloved, a much-loved person, pleased, favourite, adored, cherished, esteemed, valued, prized, and exalted. Praise the Lord.

A couple of weeks ago, Brother Jerry was ministering in a city called or in a town called Roswell, Georgia. Roswell, Georgia, and he had a prophetic word. They sent me the prophetic word, and I wish to share it with you today. This is what the Word of the Lord said to him. It is a new season of My favour being poured out upon My people, says the Lord. A time of unprecedented favour. Favour like you’ve never experienced before. And with it, new doors will open for you. Doors that no man will be able to shut. New opportunities to prosper will suddenly manifest. And you will know that only I could have made this happen for you. And yes, along with this unprecedented favour will come an outpouring of My goodness. So many good things will happen to and for you that you’ll hardly be able to keep up with it all. I receive that. Hallelujah.

And many will see and say, “How is all this happening in such a time as this?” When others are having their worst of times, you will be having your best of times. I’m going to release unto you resources from places that you know not of at this moment. But just stay in faith and watch and see. It will happen for the mouth of the Lord has spoken it. Yes, you are a people that will see what other generations before you could only hope to see. I’ll say it again, the favour that you will experience will be: unprecedented. It will be wonderful and it will be uncomparable. So, lift your hands, lift your voices. And this is what he says, boldly declare that “The Lord is good and His mercy endures forever.” The Lord is good. And His mercy endures forever [Congregation repeats after Pastor John]. Hallelujah.

So, we will make this word available to you. We’ll send it to you via email, and we’ll put it on the website so that you can receive it. Hallelujah. You know, one asked the question. You know, he’s ministering to a congregation in Roswell, Texas. But if he sends it to us, then he realises that it’s a message from the Lord to all of the people that are connected to Brother Jerry. And it’s no wonder to me that I’ve been speaking on beloved, and being a favourite? And so, this message applies very strongly to us. Hallelujah. Glory to God.

Just making sure I’ve started my timer—not yet. You’ll have to give me those two or three minutes. I figured out how to work this timer. I can either start it later or finish it earlier. If I start a bit later, then you will work according to my timer. Hallelujah. 

I ministered last week from John chapter 3, verse 5. 5Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Do not marvel that I say to you, “You must be born again.” 8 The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit. (John 3:5-8 NKJV). Hallelujah. I also read to you the Scripture. Furthermore, from Hebrews 12, verse nine. 9 Furthermore, we have had human fathers who corrected us and we paid them respect. Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live? (Hebrews 12:9 NKJV).

So, God is always going to deal with our spirits. He’s never going to deal with our minds. He’s never going to deal with our bodies. He’s going to deal with our spirit. What He deals with you in the spirit man will change the way you think, and it will change the way you behave. The church, for many, many, many decades and centuries, actually had it the wrong way around. They always wanted to say, “Change what you do on the outside, and then God will touch you on the inside.” It’s completely the wrong way around—God ministers to you on the inside, and so, the change can come on the outside if you try and get rid of your weaknesses so that you can get favour with God. You’re never going to get favour with God because God doesn’t deal with you, because you can control your weakness, or you can control your self-nature.

God deals with you because you give Him your heart. You give Him the choices of your life. You give Him your spirit life, and then the power of His Spirit changes you from the inside. It’s important that you learn that when the desires come for things, that you have the power of the Spirit to say no to them. Not because you have the willpower to say no to it, but because you have the spirit life to say no and to say yes. You need to be able to say yes to the things of God, as much as you need to be able to say no to the flesh and to the things that attract you.

Remember, I said this, don’t put your body first, don’t put your mind first, put your spirit first. What you focus on is what you develop, and you are in danger of not nourishing and growing your inner man. If you put your mind first, and you put your body first, and you do not give nourishment to your spirit, then you’re going to be in danger. That what you develop has no eternal value may have value for now. There are many people in the world that are highly developed souls, highly developed in their physical attributes, and it is all going to just die with them—if they don’t have Jesus as their Lord and Saviour. Hallelujah. I asked you last week, and I said to you, your spirit is the real you and contacts God and should direct every part of your life. That’s the real you.

I asked you to say this after me and asked you to put your hand on your heart; let’s do it again today. “My spirit man is the real me.” [Congregation repeating after Pastor John]. Let’s say it again, “My spirit is the real me.” And again, “My spirit is the real me.” 

I said to you, and I spoke last week, I wonder if we could just automatically just get rid of our bodies. If we could just all get rid of our bodies right away and we looked at each other and wondered what we’d see. I’m going to share some of that with you today. What God sees, and then what other humans can see, based on what you feed your spirit. Second Peter, chapter 1 verses 1 to 4. 1 Simon Peter, a bondservant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who have obtained like precious faith with us by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ (2 Peter 1:1 NKJV). 

The only thing that we have or the thing that we have, let’s put it this way. The thing that we have is we have faith. If you don’t have faith, you have nothing. If you have faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave you faith so that you can get born again. Faith causes you to live in His Word. You know, we can’t see Jesus. I mean, He’s not visible, He’s not standing next to me, in a physical body, or His glorified body that you could see Him with nails in His hands and His feet, and He would look like that, and He would be able to show you the scar in His side. So, we know that whatever body we’re going to have in the future is going to have some resemblance of what we look like on the earth, but your spirit man is going to occupy a glorified body in the future.

Your Spirit Man, if you could look at your spirit man and your soul without the body, you would see some people, you would see their faith is strong, then you would see that they are big people. You might look at a little body that might be 12 years old or 14 years old, and you might see a very big person; because their faith is strong. On the other hand, you might look at a very big person and see a very small spirit; because their spirit is weak. What makes the difference between a strong spirit and a weak spirit is what you feed it. It’s what you feed it. It’s the choices that you make. It’s the way you follow God. We have precious faith. Our faith is precious, don’t you agree? You may say amen to that.

2 Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord (2 Peter 1:2 NKJV). Knowledge is something that the world is chasing because knowledge is what they think gives them an advantage. I would rather chase knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ and have His advantage that He gives me because verse three says, 3 as His divine power has given to us, all things that pertain to life and godliness. I read this last week, His divine life, His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him, not through the knowledge of what we know. Through the knowledge of Him. Praise the Lord. 

Based on the prophecy that Brother Jerry just gave us, or that we received from Brother Jerry that he prophesied in Georgia, I declare, and I say, That it is His divine power that has given me all things that pertain to the life and godliness through the knowledge that was given as a prophetic word of His intent towards us. I receive the knowledge of Him, and I receive His Divine power to have what He prophesied, and He declared He would give to me. Divine favour, Divine favour with such unprecedented goodness and greatness that other people will be astounded, and they’ll say, “How did you get this? How can you be doing this when other people are doing so badly in such times?” And so, by which, verse four, 4 by which have given us to us exceedingly great and precious promises. I receive the exceedingly great and precious promises that God has given me. Don’t you? Say; “I receive it.” [Congregation: I receive it]. Hallelujah. 

He’s giving us exceedingly great and precious promises that through these we may partake, be partakers of the divine nature (2 Peter 1:1-4 NKJV). I am a partaker of the Divine nature of God. I am. I am, because I understand the real me needs to be fed. I feed the real me with the Word of God. I feed the real me with worship and praise and thanksgiving; out of my mouth. I fill my ears, and I fill my life with sound and song. I fill my room, I fill my day with worship, and I give thanks to God. I praise Him. I fill my days with the Word of God. I’m constantly, constantly meditating on the will of God for my life. I’m constantly meditating, I’m constantly looking into my inner man for things that God wants to say about every single conversation that I have, every single meeting that I have, every single encounter that I have. 

I recognise that sometimes, when I have an encounter with a human being, and there is a strong emotion, strong desires being expressed, strong things, I recognise that sometimes I have to calibrate myself and, because I’m not used to being in the presence too much of people that want to come at me with strong souls. I’m used to people that want the spirit life and have words that speak spirit life the whole time. When I come into the presence of someone that’s got a strong soul and strong desire, strong intent, strong emotions going on, I have to sometimes calibrate my soul and my own… And say, “Be quiet. Listen to my spirit man. Be quiet. Listen to my spirit. What’s my spirit man telling me? What’s God telling me through my spirit man?” Hallelujah. 

I am 4…escaping the corruption that is in the world through lust (2 Peter 1:4 NKJV). So, the lust of the flesh that is constantly coming at me. I’m going to speak about this in a few minutes. I escape it, because His Divine nature is living in me. Come on. I escape it through His promises that He’s given me. I escape the corruption. Hallelujah. 

How do you escape it? Well. I feed my spirit man with the fact that God looks after me and He gives me long life, and He satisfies me; He shows me salvation. He gives me strength, that when I’m weary, I don’t feel the weariness, because through my weakness He’s made strong. The Word of God says, I shall run, and I will not grow weary. I shall walk and not go faint. That is a promise God has given me. Through that promise I can escape the corruption of the world. What is the corruption of the world? There is a world system that wants to tell me how I should live. I can promise you it’s not so that it looks after my health. Kentucky Fried Chicken doesn’t care about your health. As much as they may advertise that they do. Yah? Neither do Steers, or McDonald’s, or any other pizza that you like. It’s not after your health. It will give you energy and it will taste good, but it’s not giving you health. I’m giving you a very basic example now. 

I’ve used this example before, I like to use it, because it’s significant and there are witnesses to this example. Many years ago, I had prepared and there were many people that were with me. We were preparing to go and ride The Jock Cycle Tour, which was a three-day tour. Lots of kilometers, lots of heat, lots of mountain climbing. We were going as a group, I don’t remember how many… How many people was it Empie? Eight or ten? Simon? It was about eight, or thereabout. We were all going to go and do the race together. And as I was preparing for it, the Lord began to speak to me, I started to become uncomfortable about it. And the Lord spoke to me, and He said, “If you go, I can’t protect you.” So, I said, “Alright, Lord.” You know, I fussed with Him a little bit, because all the preparation I put in, all the expectation that all the people that had paid to go, and we were all, we all booked places to stay, and we were all going to go together. 

The Lord spoke to me, and He said to me, “If you go, I can’t protect you.” And I said, “Lord, I need a bit more than that.” He said, “I’m just telling you, if you go, I can’t protect you, this is not My will that you go.” What I had to do was I had to tap into His Divine power. And through His Divine power, and the promise that He had given me that He will, with long life, He will satisfy me and show me salvation. I had to say, I’m not going. I called some of the guys together, and I said, “Guys, I have to tell you what the Lord has told me. I’m sorry, I have to obey God, I can’t go with you.” So, they all went, they went without me. What happened to them? Nothing. That’s the whole point. It might be that nothing would have happened to them. Maybe it would have been me. I know this one thing, that because I obeyed God, no harm came near me. 

My preparation was never lost. It always made me healthy. I was always going to be in a good space, but I couldn’t put my desire before what God was speaking to me. Because through the promises that He gave me, and the Divine nature, I escaped corruption. To be clear, I understand very well that because of the leadership role that I have in ministry, I understand that the devil would like to take my life, and he would like to take me out. How do I know that? Well, he did it with Jesus, and he did it with the apostles. He did it… anybody that’s making a significant contribution to the Body of Christ as a leader, that raises the standard of the God kind of life. Not raises an organisation but raises the standard of a God kind of life. The devil will try and stop him or her or them. If you begin to walk with God, you will find that the devil will come after you. It might be that you put your faith out for things, and begin to believe God for things, and you don’t see the results as quickly as you want or would like to see them. Don’t underestimate the devil trying to hold things back and try and keep things so that you can lose hope, and you can let go of that faith. That’s one of the greatest weapons the devil has, is to have you put your faith down, because you lose hope, because you don’t see the result, the way that the Lord has promised that He was going to give us results. Hallelujah. 

1 John, chapter 3, verse 1 to 3, says, 1 Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us that we should be called children of God! I am His beloved, because I’m a child of God. 1…what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us? Great Love. 1…Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. Come on. Come on. The world does not know me, and the world does not know you, because they do not know Jesus. They do not know the Father, God, so they cannot predict how you will behave. They cannot predict or determine your outcome of your life. They can’t predict it, because they don’t know you. Hallelujah. 

2 Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. 3 And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure. 3…everyone who has this hope… purifies himself, just as He is pure (1 John 3:1-3 NKJV). Come on, you need to meditate on that. Everyone that has this hope that He has given us and bestowed on us the great love to be called sons, 3…everyone that has this hope… purifies himself, even as He is pure. That will tell you right away, right there that the real man is the spirit man and that if you just accept that He loves you, and that He wants to give you all of  Himself to you, and show Himself to you, then you purify yourself, if you have hope in that.

I need slide number one, please. So, this particular slide over here, I just want to read it to you. I’ve got it on my phone now, but I’m using my timer, so: The world teaches you to depend on yourself, but the Word teaches you to depend on God. The world teaches you to depend on yourself, but the Word teaches you to depend on God. So, if you’ve got two people sitting in the room, and one person is depending on himself, and the other person is depending on God, who’s going to get all the exceedingly great promises? 

Now, it’s got to be the person who’s depending on God. It’s not going to be the person that depends on themselves. So, you might say to me, “Pastor John, there are many, many people in the world, that they’ve depended on themselves, they’ve got lots of wealth, they’ve got lots of influence, they’ve got lots of power, they’ve got lots of things going for them.” Well, not everything appears, or is as it appears. Because let me tell you, their lives are messy, in a very bad way. They only show you the stuff that they want to show you. God has spoken about this anyway, that people who want to just keep building barns, and bigger barns, and want to say to their souls, “Look how magnificent you are. Why don’t you improve your life even more?” Tonight, your soul is required from you and then what does your eternity say? 

I can say this, without any doubt in myself, I believe this completely: there is no person on this earth that has got wealth, power, status, or anything that they on the outside might look like they’ve got it made. There is no person like that, that is satisfied. No person. Because God designed every human being only to be satisfied by Him. Even though they may have rejected God, if they reject God, still, they will never be satisfied. They’ve always got to push for more power. They’ve always got to push for more wealth, they’ve always got to push for more stuff, because they’re never satisfied; because they can’t be, because God created them to have Him dwell in them. 

If you look at the world, and you say, “But the people who depend on themselves,” then you sound like the person, the people that God was talking about in Malachi. Where the people in Malachi said, “Look at the world, they are happy and they’re full of money, and they don’t tithe, but we got to tithe so we mourn.” In other words, they are happy, and they don’t trust God. We are unhappy because we trust God. And so, God said, “Your words are against Me. Your words are against Me. Your actions are against Me”. Come on. Hallelujah. 

It’s not about… The tenth is what God says. You know, I don’t want to talk about tithing now, but giving your tithe and a tenth is something that is at least a demonstration of your trust in God. If you can’t, if you can’t give a tenth then you know you don’t trust God. You don’t really trust God. You don’t have faith in God to look after you, you trust in yourself, and you depend on yourself. It doesn’t matter how much money you have or how little money you have. Because to a person who only earns R1 000 a month, R100 is huge to them. And a person that earns R100 000 or a million rand a month, let me tell you, R10 000 or R100 000 tithe is huge. God says, “Show Me that you trust Me. Give Me your heart. Let Me show you My great exceeding promises.”  I’ve said this to you before, if you don’t have faith to tithe, keep your money. Because you’re going to need it. You are. You are. If you don’t have faith to tithe, keep it, don’t tithe. But you should put faith in your heart so you can tithe because you’re blessing and your covenant connector is in your tithe. Hallelujah. 

For Pastor Sharon and I, our tithe has long time been, long time ago, long time ago, I’m talking 20 years ago, our tithe has been the least that we’ve tithed. I mean that we’ve given to God, the very least. There have been many, many years, I’ve told you this, where we have taken no salary whatsoever. All of the income that would have come to us goes into the ministry. Because we trust God. I received this from one of my faith fathers. Kenneth Copeland said this for many years, ”I want to be able to live on my 10% and give 90% to God.” And so, then I found out after being in the ministry for about 30 or 35 years, he had already achieved that. Then I found out because, thank God that I’m personally connected to them and I can get some information, I found out that for a long time, he hasn’t been living on any of his salary. I got that, and I started to live with my faith to live like that. 

If people come and say to me, you know, “I don’t want to tithe. I don’t want to give my tithe. I don’t want to do this”. You can’t touch me. You can’t touch me with money. Because a long time ago, I learned to trust God. When you trust God, that what Brother Jerry prophesied, things will come to you unexpectedly in unexpected ways that you won’t; can’t predict now how they will come to you. That’s how God has blessed us for years and years and years and years. Unexpected things that God has done for us. For years, for years and years, unexpected things that God has done for us because we trust Him, we trust Him, we live for Him. It’s too late for somebody to say to me, ”I can’t trust God with money.” I got to move on. 

I don’t depend on myself. I depend on God. I depend on God for my relationship. I can tell you without a doubt that I would not have the marriage I have with Pastor Sharon for more than 40 years. Our marriage is getting sweeter and sweeter as we get older. Now I know a lot of people say that because a lot of tension gets removed out of the marriage relationship because, you know, the kids are, you’re not fussing about money and responsibilities. And so, people say, “Okay, we live more comfortably with each other now because we’re older.” No, we’re pressing into the kind of marriage that we had when, but better than we had when we were in our 30s.

At every level, with a word, we are pressing into raising the standard because we don’t want to just give God in these years of our lives; well, we’re okay. We’re comfortable with the marriage we’ve got. If I start doing that, I go backwards because I stopped using faith. I stopped trusting God for more that He actually has for me and if I don’t want it and that’s my business. It’s not His business. It’s my choice if I don’t want Him to be in my marriage, better and stronger. 

So, because I know how the Word of God worked for us in the beginning, both of us are committed to having more of the Word of God in our marriage now than we’ve ever had before, and we are making ourselves uncomfortable in our relationship on purpose so that we can have more. Because you get into a zone of comfort that you live with each other, and you know all the signs and the signals, and you read all the body language and, and you can be, you know.  Sharon can be standing in the back of the room there, and she can look at me in a certain way, and I already know what she’s thinking. Come on. If you’ve been married, anytime you know that. You know, sometimes she can walk in the house even from the car in the garage, and I might be upstairs, and I can feel. You say, “Well, how do you feel it?” I know how she closes the door and opens the door, and I can feel it. Come on; we know each other so well, but that doesn’t mean to say that that comfort zone is where we should stay. We’re going to press for it. We are pressing for more. We have been doing that. Hallelujah. Come on. 

The greatest surprise of my life was when we went on Tour of Destiny last year. I put a rooftop tent because I was going to be on my own and travel with everybody, and Pastor Sharon said, “No, I’m coming with you” because the Lord said to me, invite her. I said to the Lord, “She’s not going to come. She’s not going to go camping with me.” I mean, I’m barely getting to the place where I can camp, never mind her, you know, but the Lord said,” Invite her.” And because she’s in a place where she’s saying, “I’m expansive, I’m growing; I’m open. Whatever God has got for me, with John, in this season, on assignment together, we can make it work.” Surprise, she’s coming with. Mindset change. Hallelujah. 

Because the inner man was at work, you see, if I wasn’t nourishing my inner man, I wouldn’t even think about inviting her. Because of my comfort zone of who I am and my comfort around people and that I’m willing to go spaces and places, I would have just thought, I’m not going to invite her. I wouldn’t have heard from the Lord. I don’t depend on myself. I depend on what God says, and then I always know that I’ve got a future that’s good. Praise the Lord. You can take this off now.

1 John chapter 2, verse 8 says, 8 Again, a new commandment I write to you, which thing is true in Him and in you, because the darkness is passing away, and the true light is already shining. He’s talking about you and me and the body of Christ. Jesus in us. 9 He who says he is in the light, and hates his brother, is in darkness until now. 10 He who loves his brother abides in the light, and there is no cause for stumbling in him. 11 But he who hates his brother is in darkness and walks in darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes (1 John 2:8-11 NKJV). The world wants us to live according to our own passions, according to our own desires, according to depending on yourself, which is the way the world wants us to live. If you do that, you can’t have an unrestricted love relationship with your brother. It has to be restricted based on your own dependence on yourself. 

Why am I reading this to you because the next few verses in verse 12 says, 12 I write to you, little children, Because your sins are forgiven you for His name’s sake. 13 I write to you, fathers, Because you have known Him who is from the beginning. I write to you, young men, Because you have overcome the wicked one. I write to you, little children, Because you have known the Father. 14 I have written to you, fathers, Because you have known Him who is from the beginning. I have written to you, young men, Because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you, And you have overcome the wicked one (1 John 2:12-14 NKJV). 

I’m going to speak about this in a minute. I told you earlier on in the message I was going to speak about this. 15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. Jesus already said that. He said you can’t love money and Me at the same time. In this case, you can’t love the world, and you can’t love God at the same time. ’You’ve got to love one or hate the other. 16 For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. 17 And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever (1 John 2:15-17 NKJV). If I love God, and I am doing the will of God, and He is number one in my life, everything I do now abides forever. If I love the world, and I have a lust for the things of the world, and I have a pride of life in me, that is all about me. Everything I do, even though I’m a Christian, everything I do, dies with me. It’s going to be burnt like wood, hay and stubble; it will be burnt up. It cannot be in the presence of God. 

I’m talking to you about this because the real you is the spirit you. When God the Father is speaking to you, He’s speaking to the spirit man in you. He’s not speaking to your intellect, He’s not speaking to your soul, He’s speaking to your spirit man; so your spirit man can be alive. 18 Little children, verse 18, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that the Antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come, by which we know that it is the last hour. 19 They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us; but they went out that they might be made manifest, that none of them were of us (1 John 2:18-19 NKJV). 

There is a level of conversation that God is having with us here through the Apostle John that is saying, there are people that God calls into a relationship with Him, and they choose not to go further with that relationship. They choose to rather go out from among the Christians that are pursuing God that can be called His children, and they live their lives the way they choose to live their lives; they don’t pursue God and God says it so that they can be exposed, so that they can be seen that they are not on the same level of faith that we are committing ourselves to with God. 20 But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you know all things. 21 I have not written to you because you do not know the truth, but because you know it, and that no lie is of the truth (1 John 2:20-21 NKJV).  I need to just keep reading. I’ve got some more slides to share with you in a few minutes, but everything I say to you must be on the foundation of the Word of God and I have to establish the truth of the Word of God based on some things that I’m going to share with you in a minute. 

22 Who is a liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist who denies the Father and the Son. 23 Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father either; he who acknowledges the Son has the Father also. Let Truth Abide in You 24 Therefore let that abide in you which you heard from the beginning. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, you also will abide in the Son and in the Father. 25 And this is the promise that He has promised us—eternal life (1 John 2:22-25 NKJV). 

I am wanting you to see that God is all about abiding, He is about abiding, He is not about… He is about abiding, He is not about binding. He has not come to bind you to a set of works. He has come to empower you to be abiding. He didn’t come to bind you; He came so that you can abide in Him. Hallelujah. 

This is a great thing that we don’t have to be bound to our past, we don’t have to be bound to our natural selves, we don’t have to be bound to all the things that people say that we must be self-dependent. We can abide in Him and then all things in our lives get given to us freely.

I just want to say something for a minute. I have read a number of commentaries. I have these commentaries with me in a document here that is my ministry notes. I’m not going to read them, I am just going to briefly tell you what most commentators and indeed my own revelation of the Word of God is about the way that the Apostle John writes, and he talks to children, then he talks to fathers, then he talks to young men. The reason he talks to children, He is talking to children because children have an exuberant desire to know their father and to be with their father. You just have to watch a little kid and I watch my grandchildren with their father, with Pastor Garth. I watch them. It’s like when they’re around him, they have an exuberance about wanting to be with him, and they jump all over him and they irritate him a lot.  He deals with it very well. 

He’s got four of them that demand his attention when he comes home from work, church. They’re demanding, but he handles it. But they have an exuberant love for him, so exuberant that sometimes he has to discipline them because they overstep the boundary. As he disciplines them, because he might command them something, he might tell them to do something, as he disciplines them, they learn. As they learn, they grow up into young people, and his kids won’t get there, but my kids have gone there. But as they grow up, they get taught where their strengths are, where their boundaries are, what they can count on, what they’ve got to watch out for. They get to learn these things. Again, we have a mindset that the schooling system and social activities will teach them their boundaries. That’s not the way God expected it to be. God needed parents to raise their children, not institutions and systems. 

I am going to speak more about that in a few minutes, but just bear with me. Little children, he is speaking about spiritual children here. Little children have an exuberance that they want to love God, and when they learn about God and they get disciplined by God and they get corrected and they are given and they say, “These are the possibilities,” they grow up and now they have to confront their new identity. As they grow up, what is their new identity?  “I’m now no longer a child, that has God changing my nappies, and God feeding me all the time. I am now someone who needs to take responsibility for my own actions. I’ve got to take responsibility and I’ve got to count the cost of my own actions.” That’s what a teenager has got to learn. 

It’s an identity change from being a little one to being a teenager that has now got much more strength because they’ve grown up, because they’ve been nourished because they have much more strength now. They take on things that little children won’t take on. They go places and they try and find what their boundaries are, and they bump into things that sometimes they find themselves in difficult circumstances and as they deal with them correctly, they learn. You don’t learn from incorrect behaviour. You learn from the consequences that come from incorrect behaviour. You don’t learn from incorrect behaviour. Some people don’t even learn from the consequences. They keep repeating the same thing all over again because they just don’t want to learn because the consequences… They don’t want to see the consequences because they just want to keep doing what they are doing. 

So then, fathers, fathers are people that have been children, that have become young men, and that have learned how to face circumstances, how to use their strength, how to watch out for their weaknesses, how to go to other people where they have a weakness and say, “Come stand by me and help me in my weakness, so that we can be strong together.” Fathers have learnt that through being young men. The way that the apostle John addresses this matter, he writes to the young men first or the children, then he writes to the fathers, and then he speaks about the in-between-stage of strength building, of identity changing, and so he addresses them in those ways because the young children; they’re just free, the fathers already know, the middle section is where they’ve got to apply it, keep working it, keep working it, keep working it, keep working it because they have to live with their developing strength. 

Why do I want to share all of this with you? Can you put the next slide on for me please? Your faith is more precious than gold, not your talent, success or status. It is your faith that is more precious than gold, not your talent. It is your faith that is more precious than gold, not your success. It is your faith that is more precious than gold, not your status. Now, does that sound like something I have been preaching for the last number of weeks? Yes? And the previous one too; Don’t depend on yourself, depend on God. Yes? Have I not been preaching that for a number of weeks? Well, let me tell you, these two quotes I got, I got as quotes from one of our generals in the faith that was sent out on a Tweet in the last week. Huh! I wonder if God is speaking to them the same way He is speaking to me? Yah, they’re following me, I got there first. [Congregation laughs] Tell me I’m wrong! No, thank God, we are listening to the same Holy Spirit and we’re speaking the same message. Hallelujah. 

It’s my faith that is more precious than gold. That is what John was speaking about, that we have a precious faith. That’s what Peter talks about, we have the precious faith. If we have faith, we have everything. If we don’t have faith, we’ve got nothing. Jesus has given us all the measure of faith. Amen. 

I am just going to share with you, I’m going to ask you to set up the photographs in a minute, but I just want to talk to you about six, seven years ago, maybe even eight years ago. I really felt strong in my heart that we should have a kind of a fitness club of our own as a church, as a people. We started off and we called it MiChurch,  MiCycle, Mi whatever. Anybody remember that? It was a long time ago and we did some Pilates events, and we went to Emmarentia for the Joburg people, we did stuff out there, we rode our bicycles, and it was a long time ago. I really did feel that we needed to have a conditioning kind of a physical conditioning programme. 

Anyway, one thing led to another, it didn’t happen the way I expected it to happen, but things began to change. We changed it to a new name which was called Slipstream Athletic Club and we decided that we were going to activate our club to be a running club, a cycling club, a triathlon club, and then see how it goes from there. Then, COVID came. We were, a small club, really, we were a small club; and then COVID came. But we had prepared ourselves to be a really vibrant club with lots of vibrant ideas and so we started implementing those ideas in the time of COVID and suddenly our club exploded. Hundreds of people joined our club, because they wanted to walk at home, run at home. I mean, one of the guys that have mental strength is Conrad who works for us. You know Conrad ran a full marathon 42km in the front of his garden. Right? 

His mom and dad are here to witness. They probably had to feed him as he kept running around. There you go, there you go, because you can’t run 42 kms without – he ran it in their front garden, a whole marathon in his front garden in COVID. Come on, you’ve got to be a little off your…. he is that. I know him well enough to say that about him. No, he is wonderful, he is a great person, and he is just wonderful, but I’m just trying to say that part of it was because we had a challenge in the club in COVID. “Let’s see how far you can walk. Let’s see how far you can run. If you want to do indoor cycling, post your results.” And the club exploded. Once COVID was over, things begin to develop, and we decided we wanted to do somethings, and we went to the Town Council, and suddenly the Town Council opened its doors to us, and the Town Council said that we could run the Nature Reserve and literally run the Nature Reserve on their behalf except for people that want to come there and pay their fees and go in for the day and picnic and do all that kinds of stuff. Anybody that wants to do athletic stuff has to come through Slipstream, in the reserve. Hallelujah. 

In the meantime, we applied to Athletic South Africa to be able to run a sanctioned race, that was a trail, a trail run, which we, all of you, are part of. When was it, April? Somewhere around there, April? Athletic South Africa sent referees to come and check out what we did. A mayor, a representative of the mayor of Witbank arrived to come and see what we were doing and suddenly we became the talk of the town, literally. To the point where everybody was saying, “How did you get it right to have the council approve that you could use the reserve, when we’ve been trying to do that for years and years and years?” Some of them, some of the clubs, 20 years, they’ve been trying to get access to that reserve, and we got it. I think that’s favour. I think that’s a source of favour that you didn’t even anticipate or account for.

You see what happened was that the Council had a problem that people kept coming through into the reserve area and into the thing and money was changing hands and it wasn’t coming to the council. Ja. So, we said, “We’ll solve your problem.” They said, “You can have it and you can have the access.” So, we solved their problem, and we have the control or the access. So now, Matt, who has been working with the council, he suddenly gets a request, but all the clubs in Witbank that have been here for much longer than we have. “Can we please have a meeting?” “And can we please ask the council that all the clubs can participate in the reserve?” “Yes, you can. It’s got to be done through Slipstream.” Favour.

We started solving a problem and we started raising the visibility that counsellors and executive managers were looking to have success with because how many of you know that when you’re in politics, you’ve got to show the community that you’re serving them? We helped them solve a problem to serve the community and took the problem away from them. Just gave them the solution and we gave them the credit. So much so that Athletics South Africa, referees that came, they said, “Next year we’re going to get ASA to send someone else to come and referee because we want to come and participate in the race.” Because they said, “This is one of the best run races that they have, it’s a top shelf run race for anywhere.” The way that we ran the race. I say thank you to the interns and the MiXtreme team for helping us do that.

Here’s what I’m getting at. Suddenly we have access into a level of management in the municipality that we haven’t had before. What have we been praying every week for our government, for local government, for all kinds of things? So, the Lord has me wanting to be the salt and the light in the earth without standing up and saying, “It’s my church.” So, we’re doing it through Slipstream. So, the mayor, you remember the mayor and her husband unfortunately were tragically killed in a motorcar accident, the previous mayor of Witbank. How long ago was that? Maybe nine months ago? December, so six months ago, tragically killed in a motorcar accident. So now the manager that is working with us in Slipstream has a problem. They don’t have the capability to do the live streaming of the memorial service.

So, they approached us. We say, ‘We’ll solve your problem. We’ll bring our cameras, and we’ll do live streaming for you. No charge.” It was not a very complicated thing; was an easy thing to do for us. So now, we have a new mayor, and she comes to do the, they have this big event where the end of the year, which is the municipalities end of the year, 30th of June, they have a big event, they are celebrating, they’re doing a whole lot of stuff and they have another problem. The problem is that there’s a lot of thousands of people they want to show the results to and the meeting that they’re having. So, they ask us.

Matt comes to me and says, “Pastor John, they have asked us to help them with technology.” I said, “Let’s do it.” So, then they come. So, they just asked us to do the live stream. So, the next minute they come to us, and you know, in building, they’ve got this thing called ‘scope creep’. Well, obviously, you know, they wanted more and more and more. So, Matt kept coming to me and saying, “Pastor John, they want us to do this, and they want to…” I said, “Do it.” It got bigger and bigger and bigger. Can you show the slide please? The first slide, of the picture, the pictures? So here is the director of communications for the Witbank city council, the director of communications is in our offices, sitting with Conrad there, I think, looks like his head. Hey, Mom and Dad, ja? Look, he’s on the phone. He’s, “What does the city council want? Can you do this? Can you do this? Can you do this?” So, he’s sitting. Now he knows we are a church. But we didn’t actually do this as the church, we have a publishing company called Rich Communications, which the Lord had me start, how many years ago, people? 20 years ago. Rich communications. So, I said to Matt, I said, “Matt, we’re not doing this through the church because they don’t want us to be ‘the church’. We do it as Rich Communications.” So, but he knows, we’re a church. I mean, how closer to the church do you get than that? Huh?

Next slide, please. This is our setup for what they actually ended up wanting us to do. Can you see this is a major exercise for us? Do we have another slide? I think these are the only two slides I asked for hey. There we go. It’s from another angle. Conrad looks like he’s got a yarmulke on but it’s just an illusion. It’s like the devil, he’s got an illusion, you know? It’s earphones. Yeah. What happened in the end is that they had a time overrun. Lots of things happened. They were making decisions in the Council. Our guys ended up staying there much later than we expected. In the meantime, the EFF arrive outside, and they come to say their say. 

In the meantime, people are coming up and questioning all of us, our people: “Who are you? We need people like you. Where do you come from?” “Well, we are Rich Communications.” “How can we get a hold of you?” “We’re Rich Communications. We’re Rich Communications.” “Well, we want to use you, we want to use you.” Many, many people. Even the EFF came to us, “Can we use you please?” Because they’re not dealing with the church, you see, they’re dealing with Rich Communications, but who’s Rich Communications? So, we don’t have to, they don’t have to deal with politics. They don’t have to deal with anything, but we are the light and the salt of the earth. Right in the centre of all the decision-making processes in the government. We are providing a service at the highest level so that everybody’s getting to know, “We want Rich Communications.” Now it’s not just Slipstream, it’s Rich Communications too. The Bible says we’ve got to be harmless as a dove and as wise as a serpent, really, that’s what the Word says. And so, this is how harmless we appear. But we are not harmless. We are the light and the salt of the earth and wherever we go, we’re adding flavour, we’re adding, we’re making a difference. Hallelujah. Praise the Lord. 

The Lord wants us to make a difference in many, many areas. And, you know, I’ve had stuff in my heart for so many years and one of the things that I have in my heart, and I’m going to show the MiXchange students, I’m going to show them a podcast that was held between two Christian men in America and one of them has written a book. It’s the number one bestseller on Amazon, at the moment in its category. I believe the book is called Battle for the Minds of America. Battle for the Mind of America. I believe the book is called that. (Battle for the American Mind). I’m not sure, exactly. But it’s on the podcast, I’ve saved the podcast, and I’m going to show it to the people but essentially, they’re talking about, on the podcast, they’re talking about the solutions that we can have for educating our children.

If you don’t know this, there’s a war going on in America right now and the war is because the education department which is a union run organisation, and it is run by the Democratic Party of America, it is run by the Democratic Party, they have made it a creed that they are going to insert into their into their education, Critical Race Thinking otherwise known as CRT. CRT thinking, Critical Race Thinking – is actually all about racism and it requires that white people apologise for the fact of being white and having a privileged background. They want to teach about anti-racism, but they’re actually teaching people about racism. This is causing division. Not only that, but they have inserted into the education system, this whole thing of identity of sexual gender.

They are wanting and they are already teaching. [Pastor John’s clock goes off]. You didn’t hear that, it’s my clock [Pastor John and congregation laughing]. They are wanting to teach children as young as the age of nine and ten years old that it’s their option to choose what gender they want to be, it’s part of the… They are wanting it to be part of the curriculum of every union government-based school in America. This is not a game, people. This is not a game. This is the enemy after children so that he can impregnate the minds of the children at a young age, so that they follow the world system and they don’t have an option, opportunity to actually follow God. This thing started a long time ago, when they started to pass laws that you may not pray in the schools in America. Do you remember how long ago that was? That was like almost 20, 30 years ago. You can’t pray in the schools. 

By the way, let me just tell you about this, that we are doing the camera work and then they have an ‘inter-faith’ guy, with a white collar you know? At the City Council, they had an ‘inter-faith’ guy come and do a prayer and then they had a Hindi person come and do a prayer and then they had a sangoma come and do a whole spiritual thing, because as the Council, as the ANC, they have to be seen to be inclusive. So do you think we would have had the option to do the photography work if we said, “We’re a church?” Not a chance. But there we are, our guys are there and we are praying, and they are praying for the people while they are shooting with the camera. We’ve got people in the inner circle. Glory to Jesus.

I believe it is time for us to put into warp speed everything that God has been talking to us about with educating our young people and having a system, ourselves, this ministry having a system, a program, that we can teach our children things that are acceptable to the standards that the world say that we have to live up to, but we can teach them God. Don’t you agree? There are things that we have to do. You know, I wanted to share this with you because the Lord gave me vision about music here, 20 years ago and it took 18 years or 17 years for us to get the kind of music and sound that I saw in my spirit all those years ago. You may say to me today, “Well Pastor John why did it take so long?” Resistance. Resistance from people in my ministry. Resistance from people. Let me tell you, there was a person, he was considered by some people… So we had some churches merge in Johannesburg, and by some people he was considered to be highly, highly prophetic. So, he was about to die and before he died, I don’t remember the story now exactly, he turned to one of the business people in my church at the time, in the church at the time, he turned… Before he died he turned to him and said, “And Pastor John is a true man of God and you must use your finances to support him and make sure that he accomplishes all the things that God has called and put in his heart to do.”

Before he died, that man left the church. Before he left the church, I believe he went to you Grobbies, before he left the church he came up to Grobbies and said, “Grobbies, that man told and prophesied that I must use my finances to help Pastor John. I am leaving the church. I’m giving you the job.” Resistance. He just refused. “I don’t believe. I don’t believe that God’s calling… ahhh. I’m headed for higher things, so I’m taking my money and I am going.”

It’s taken a bit longer but let me tell you, because I trust God and I do not depend on myself, God has made everything come to pass that He has called me to do and He is busy aking it come to pass. Hallelujah. We are just getting started. We are just getting started. We are just getting started. Why don’t you come along? Why don’t you come along? God is looking, God is establishing for Himself a people. I want to be calculated with my words now because I want to say what I need to say without taking too much time. The world system is teaching us to depend on ourselves. Everything that my parents taught me and my parent’s parents and their parents taught me to depend on me. They said, “Go to church and give God what you need to give God but you depend on you. That’s not what my bible teaches me.  My Bible teaches me a completely different thing. It’s because the church wanted to depend on themselves that they didn’t depend on God that we sit in this mess of a world system that we sit with right now. We must learn to live by our most precious faith, that is like gold. We must learn to live by our faith, not depend on ourselves. The world system is after your mind. I promise you now, the world is after your mind to cause you to think like it’s telling you to think. The enemy of God is after your mind, the way that you think, so that you don’t accomplish the will of God for your life. Whether it’s in business, whether it’s for you to be part of the churches staff and ministry, being part of the ministry, whether your, whatever God has called you to do; he will try and use, try and tell you that you’ve got to go and be successful in the world because you can’t be successful in obeying God. “It’s about who you know, you know?” That’s what they will say, “It’s about who you know.” So, you’ve got to go and get yourself into the right network, be part of the right club, be part of the right environment, it’s because “It’s who you know you know?” 

Where do they get that from? [Pastor Sharon says “The world.”] No baby, they got it from the Word. [Pastor Sharon says, “The world got it from the Word.”] Normally you get it right, there you were thinking about something else. [Pastor Sharon says, “Ya, no, I was typing. I’m blonde I can’t do the two at the same time.] You’re blonde but you can do many things at the same time baby. [Pastor Sharon laughs] 

The thing is, the world got it from God, because “It’s who you know, you know?” If you know Him you don’t have to depend on anybody else. At least you don’t have to depend on yourself. Listen, most of you don’t even trust yourself, what do you mean you are going to trust someone else? Many, many times, some of us have caved under pressure at one sort or another. We have had circumstances happen in our lives where things have happened and you’ve let yourself down, and so you don’t trust yourself. Now you want to go and trust other people? But there is one Person you can trust, His name is Jesus. He will never let you down, He will never forsake you, He will always keep you, He will always be strong for you and He will lead you and guide you into the Truth that you need everywhere you go and in everything you do. Hallelujah.

Aren’t you glad that we pray and that God is raising us up to be significant wherever we are touching lives and wherever we are going in communities; we are touching people. Hallelujah. Because we are a church of prayer and we are a church that trusts in the Word of God. I don’t trust in you, none of you. I don’t put my trust in any of you to finance what God is doing. I trust God. But you might say, “But Pastor John, you wouldn’t get it done if we didn’t do what we do.” If you don’t do what you do, God will bring someone else. He has done it. He has done it. In this church He has done it. God has raised up people that will obey Him and will give finances into what God wants us to do as a ministry. He has done it. Hallelujah. Glory to Jesus. 

And where the education system is failing us we are going to raise up a standard that God is…  Going to say “We will get it done. We will get it done the right way. We will raise up God kind of people and they will have the God kind of education and they will be able to do the God kind of thing.” Glory to Jesus. There’s many things that are on my heart that I want to share with you and I want you to be praying into but I’ve said enough for today. I’ve got slides and I’ve got things.

This week we are going away, we are going to do some some cycling with the interns and we are going to camp out in the cold. Ya, it’s an adventure they will never forget. They don’t know it yet, shhhh, they are going to do bootcamp. No I’m teasing. I’m teasing… Maybe not. [Pastor John laughing] Come, won’t you stand with me please. Hallelujah.

We serve a mighty God. Aren’t you glad that we don’t have to depend on the world for anything because those guys are so into themselves that they don’t know what’s coming next. You. Hallelujah. We are into the Most High God. We trust Him, we obey Him, we follow Him, He is worth following . Hallelujah. Glory to God. Praise Jesus. 

I want to encourage you to keep speaking the Word, keep praying, get into the morning moments that Pastor Sharon ministered before our prayer meetings weekend, get into the messages of the weekend. You should stay, you’ve got to stay for Foot in the Message now. You are going to have lunch. You may not go home. Arrr. If you’ve got other things to do, change it. You’ve got to be here because you’re going to learn some things about how many people put their foot in the message and live in the message week by week; it’s why they are making progress spiritually. It’s why they are overcoming the devil, it’s why they are little children, they are becoming strong, young men; because they are overcoming the world system because they are giving themselves to God. Glory to Jesus. Hallelujah. Hallelujah. Hallelujah. If the older people want to get stuck in the mud, we will fly over it. If you want to stay stuck in the mud that’s your business; I’m flying with God. The young people have got to work hard to stay, catch up, not even stay with me, catch up. Glory to God. 

Put your hand on your heart like this: I am a son of God. I thank, You, Lord, as a son I walk in power, with Your Divine nature in me, this week, in Jesus’ Name. I walk and I expect all of the promises that You have given me to come to pass and I walk in them this week in Jesus’ Name. Hallelujah. Glory to God. Hallelujah. Hallelujah. Hallelujah. Praise Jesus.

So, we are not giving you soup today, we are giving you noodle salad. Whatever that is, enjoy it. I will be enjoying it with you. I declare the fast is over. Enjoy noodle salad. Hallelujah. And please come back at 12:30 for Foot in the Message, you’ll learn some stuff.