Best Life is in Him – Ps John Bendixen (WTB)
Scripture reference: Luke 4:14-30 (AMPC); John 15:1-5 (TPT)
Praise the Lord. I believe, I trust, and I pray that you will agree with me today, that the word that I’m about to speak will have an impact on your heart, it will touch your life, and there will be things that will happen in your spirit, that will change you forever. Amen.
That this is not just a normal everyday Sunday service, mentally speaking, like, “We’re in church, okay, cool,” you know, but that the Word of God will have an impartation into your heart.
I believe this with all my heart that every time the Word comes into our heart, it changes me. I don’t believe that there is a single moment where the Word comes into my heart that it doesn’t change me. I agree, and I ask you to agree with me today that the Word of God will change you today. Are you in agreement? [Congregation agrees]. Amen. You may be seated. Praise God.
I am going to share a message with you today; partly, I shared some of it in Johannesburg last week, but the Holy Spirit began to deal with me about something that Jesus did, and I think it’s very important that we get an understanding of what He did. I’m going to go to Luke chapter four, and I’m going to read from verse seven. I’m reading from the Amplified Bible. We’ll try and get through the scripture as quickly as we can because I’m going to move on to another scripture after this.
We know the story of Jesus that He goes into the wilderness and He’s tempted of the devil. He was led there by the Holy Spirit. If you read the Bible, the Bible says, “He was led there by the Holy Spirit.” He was fasting and praying. He was alone with God for 40 days, and then when His fasting was completed and His praying was completed, the enemy came to tempt Him.
He gets through the temptation, and immediately He’s finished with the temptation, and He has victory over the devil; He goes into His ministry. He was in Galilee at the time. Chapter 4, verse 14, says this, 14Then Jesus went back full of and under the power of the [Holy] Spirit into Galilee, and the fame of Jesus …spread through the whole region round about. Jesus went in a space of 40 days; He went from being a carpenter’s son to being full-blown in the ministry. Forty days.
Well, we know it didn’t take Him 40 days to get into the ministry, did it? It took Him 30 years of leadership, personal leadership with His Father, living with His heavenly Father. The next verse says verse 15. 15And He Himself conducted [a course of] teaching in their synagogues, the synagogues of the Galileans, being recognized and honored and praised by all. He comes out of the wilderness and immediately goes into the synagogues, and obviously, He does what other Rabbi’s, teachers of the Word would do, and He begins to teach the Bible. Then He leaves Galilee.
16So He came to Nazareth, [that Nazareth] where He had been brought up, and He entered the synagogue, as was His custom on the Sabbath day. And He
stood up to read. 17And there was handed to Him [the roll of] the book of the prophet Isaiah. He opened (unrolled) the book and found the place where it was written, 18The Spirit of the Lord [is] upon Me because He has anointed Me [the Anointed One, the Messiah] to preach the good news (the Gospel) to the poor; He has sent Me to announce release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to send forth as delivered those who are oppressed [who are downtrodden, bruised, crushed, and broken down by calamity], 19To proclaim the accepted and acceptable year of the Lord [the day when salvation and the free favors of God profusely abound]. 20Then He rolled up the book and gave it back to the attendant. Now His teaching job was done, and He gave it back to the attendant and sat down; and the eyes of all in the synagogue were gazing [attentively] at Him. Because He was already changing the cause of the protocol here. 21And He began to speak to them: Today this Scripture has been fulfilled while you are present and hearing. 22And all spoke well of Him and marveled at the words of grace that came forth from His mouth; and they said, Is not this Joseph’s Son?
Now the people in Nazareth know Him as Joseph’s son, but they are marvelling at the words that came out of His mouth, and He didn’t say much else that was written in the Bible, other than ‘this day’, this is, you’re seeing it come to pass right now. This day. Then He keeps on, so now they’re all talking amongst themselves, and this was not an uncommon practice in the synagogue, where people if there was something that was said, there was sort of a little bit of interaction and voices were spoken. Things were happening in response to the Word, to the teacher.
So remember that they marvelled at the Words of Grace that came from His mouth. Why? Because He was anointed. 23So He said to them, You will doubtless quote to Me this proverb: Physician, heal Yourself! What we have learned by hearsay that You did in Capernaum, do here also in Your [own] town. 24 Then He said, Solemnly I say to you, no prophet is acceptable and welcome in his [own] town. 25 But in truth I tell you, there were many widows in Israel in the days of Elijah, when the heavens were closed up for three years and six months, so that there came a great famine over all the land; 26And yet Elijah was not sent to a single one of them, those other widows, but only to Zarephath in the county of Sidon, to a woman who was a widow. 27And there were many lepers in Israel in the time of Elisha the prophet, and yet, not one of them was cleansed [by being healed]-but only Naaman the Syrian. 28When they heard these things, all the people in the synagogue were filled with rage.
What happened to marvelling at His Words of Grace? Now they’re all full of rage. In the space of a few sentences, Jesus has gone from “Wow” to “We want to kill You.” Rage. 29 And rising up, they pushed and drove Him out of the town, and [laying hold of Him] they led Him to the [projecting] upper part of the hill on which their town was built, that they might hurl Him headlong down [over the cliff]. What? This is Joseph’s Son; is this not Joseph’s Son who lived amongst us? Has He not just spoken great Words of Grace? In a few sentences, they went from grace to rage.
What happened? What were the Words that He spoke about? He was basically telling them, “You want Me to do the miracles you’ve heard of Me do? You’ve heard Me teaching? You’ve heard Me walking around with anointing. Now you’re expecting Me to come and show Myself in the anointing here, but a prophet is without honour in his own town.” Wow.
The next verse is 30But passing through their midst, He went on His way. (Luke 4:14-30 AMPC). Wow. How did this happen? I mean, they were in such a rage that they drove Him. They drove Him out of the synagogue. They drove Him through the town. This is a mob now. This is not just church people. This is a mob. Hey? The people of the church went from being in church, and now they’re a mob. They’re in a rage, and they’re in a frenzy, and they are not just wanting to have church anymore. They want to kill Him. Murder is on their minds.
Well, what has happened to them? A religious fervour: a religious fervour got a hold of them because they thought that He was proclaiming Himself something that they did not believe in. They thought, as a good church in; a good synagogue in Israel, their job was now to actually kill this guy that’s making false announcements about who He is; false announcements about who He is. So, let’s kill Him. It’s our job; we have to kill Him. Can you imagine this whole enraged town, this mob of people, they’re just pushing Him out of the doors, and they are pushing Him out of the town, through the town, and they guide Him and push Him all the way to a top pinnacle where they were going to shove Him off a mountain so He could die and He just walked through them. Come on.
How many of you people think that anybody whose focus of attention to actually kill them just gets to walk away with no consequences? Or nothing happening to them? How did Jesus do this? Well, He did it because the anointing was upon Him. Come on now. The anointing of God was upon Him. He was able to escape; He was able to escape things that were going to happen to Him because people got mad at what He was saying because His time and fulfilment of His time had come. He was about to be killed by them, but the anointing, the same anointing that was the announcement of His presence of the anointed One in the earth, that same anointing protected Him from a false killing.
It doesn’t matter. It doesn’t how zealous and how much fervour that religious spirit had; it could not quench the anointing. It could not silence the anointing; it could not silence the time of God that He was called to do. Could not silence Him. He made an announcement; He made an announcement. Why is it significant that He made an announcement to His people? Because of the very thing that they said about Him. Remove Is this not the Son of Joseph? That announcement was the very reason Jesus had to make that announcement to them because He was not announcing Himself as the Son of Joseph anymore.
He was announcing Himself as the Son of God, but who was announcing Himself to? The people who thought He was the Son of Joseph. I’ve got news for you, that God is about to make an announcement in the earth. I want to tell you that he’s already busy making the announcement in the earth. I want to tell you that He is already busy making the announcement in the earth. Here’s the announcement that He is
making. He is making the announcement; that His Church, the church, of the living Christ, the church of the Lord Jesus Christ, is about to step out of the shadows and become the “Anointed Church of the Ecclesia” that will rule and reign and govern and make announcements on His behalf into the earth.
We, the church, will make announcements on His behalf that the government cannot make, that other religious people that go to synagogue every Sunday meaning, other churches who don’t know who they are in Christ because everybody sees them as the local church down the road. Hello? God is about to make announcements into the heavenlies. Some people will get mad; other people will get very glad. They are. This is a fact; this is what’s going to happen. Some people are going to get mad, and other people are going to get very glad.
When Jesus gets to start announcing His church, He’s going to come because of the anointing. Not because of any single individual or because of any persona, or any special gift or any special calling. It’s going to happen because of the anointing. Hallelujah.
This is a good time if you’re a church that is a praying church. This is a good time if you’re a church that’s been doing and putting yourself out there as a church to do the assignment and the Will of the Father till now.
In the recent times, I believe Pastor Sharon’s done it. I’ve done it at different moments. Brother Copeland prophesied in 2009 that people are going to say, “Oh, but revival broke out there and revival broke out here.” And he says, “No, no, answered prayer broke out there”. He prophesied that there’s going to be a move of God that’s going to come, and it is going to come through the churches that know how to pray. Why is it going to come through churches that know how to pray? Because it’s the praying church that can pray the Will of the Father into the earth! It’s the praying church who knows that their sacrifice of prayer is what it takes to get the Will of God into the earth.
What did Jesus do for 40 days and 40 nights? He separated Himself too fast and…? Pray. Then after the fasting and prayer came the temptation. One of the things that we all have to be careful of is the temptation to say, “When the anointing is manifesting itself amongst us, that it’s us that made it happen.” When it’s not, it’s just. It’s just the fact that we have separated ourselves to pray for a long time. It’s not because of a gift. It’s not because of a special anything. It’s because Jesus just chose to answer our prayers. As we’ve positioned ourselves to pray, His Will into the earth, He answers. Who is He going to answer through? The one who was separated?
It is this way that in Nazareth, they didn’t want to have anything to do with Jesus. Later on, Jesus would go back there, and then the Bible says, and He could do no mighty miracles there, He saved a few things, saved a few sick people, because of their unbelief. Where did their unbelief start? Right here.
They didn’t believe Him here, so they didn’t believe Him then. Doesn’t matter how many miracles He did around the rest of Israel. They still saw Him as Joseph’s Son. They didn’t see Him as the Anointed One. Hallelujah.
Even though a lot of people in Israel did receive Him as that, they didn’t receive Him. I’m going to go to the Passion Translation, in the Book of John, chapter 15. I’m going to read the first five or six verses; it goes like this, 1 “I am a true sprouting vine, and the farmer who tends the vine is my Father. 2He cares for the branches connected to me by lifting up and propping up the fruitless branches and pruning every fruitful branch to yield a greater harvest.”
Okay, now, let me just ask you a question. Which branch do you want to be? Do you want to be the one that He cares for? 2He cares for the branches connected to Me by lifting up and propping up the fruitless branches? Do you want to be propped up? Or do you want to be one of those that is pruned? Which branch do you want to be? Do you want to be the propped-up branch or the pruned branch? Huh? [Congregation answers: Pruned] I wonder? Maybe we have become so used to a Christian experience, where going to church is so motivational and inspirational that we can’t live without our inspiration for the week. I call that propping up your Christian walk. I don’t want to be propped up. I want to be lopped off; I want to be cut off of the part that’s dying. That’s not yielding fruit. Because when you prune, it yields greater fruit, right? The one is ‘eina’, the other one feels good. Ja?
“Don’t hurt my theology, Pastor John, please. Please don’t give me a bad day in church today, please.” Sorry if you’re having a bad day, but maybe it’s because you’re being pruned right now.
I’ll go as far as to say if me or Pastor Sharon or anyone else that ministers on this platform. If our business is about propping you up at whatever level in life, we are not doing God’s business. We have to do God’s business because He’s all about making fruitfulness. Ok, move along, Pastor John.
2And pruning every fruitful branch to yield a greater harvest. That’s why He does it – so that you can yield a greater harvest. 3The words I have spoken over you have already cleansed you. 4So you must remain in life-union with Me. Remain in life-union…this is not a day to day union, I mean a one day union. This is a day to day union. Everyday. Remain in life-union with Me, for I remain in life- union with you. (John 15:1-4 TPT)
If you think that God leaves you for one minute – He never leaves you, and He never forsakes you. How can He? He lives in you. If you’re a born again Christian, this body is the temple of the Lord. The house of God on the earth is in you. The house of God on earth is not this building; the house of God on this earth is you. Come on now. If He’s living, if this is your body and you’re a born again Christian, then He lives in you. He cannot leave your body because your spirit is in your body and your soul and your spirit are what make you eternally part of the body of Christ, so He can’t leave you. He’s got to stay in union with you. It doesn’t matter what comes out of your mouth; it doesn’t matter what you choose in life; He’s staying with you.
If you ever have this thought, “I’ve done something wrong, so wrong that God has left me,”. Sorry to tell you, not possible. There are some people that might want to challenge me on “once saved, always saved” like you can’t; if you do any little sin, then you’re not saved anymore.
Well, I feel like I need to address this just for a minute. I want to know how big a sin you’ve got to sin before He leaves you? Which is it? Do you lie, do you gossip, do you eat too much, do you drink too much, do you have one cigarette, do you watch one movie too much, that’s too bad? What is the sin, that’s the sin here, where now God must leave you because you’ve sinned now?
Some people would argue with me, ja, well it’s not one sin; it’s a pattern of sin. Well, what about the pattern of forgiveness? Is the sin greater than the forgiveness? Then they might argue with me, and they might say that it’s the condition of your heart. If it’s the condition of your heart, I’ll tell you what, when you’re sinning, it’s very seldom that you don’t put your heart into it; otherwise, you wouldn’t be doing it. Right?
Come on now, even if you’re speeding, going at like one forty, you’ve got your heart in it. If your heart’s not in it, you’d take your foot off the pedal, and you go back to the speed limit. So, on the contrary, I have a very solid theology for anybody who wants to argue this with me, and that is that in John chapter three, Jesus is talking to Nicodemus. He’s talking about “you must be born again”, and Nicodemus asks Him and says, how can I go back into my mother’s womb and be born again. And Jesus says that’s what’s born of the flesh is flesh and what’s born of the spirit is spirit. Jesus is making a direct connection of being born of the flesh and being born of the spirit. If you are truly born again, then it’s like you are born in the flesh. You cannot go back! You cannot go back; you cannot go back if you are truly born again. If you are truly saved, Jesus is your Messiah, you believed in your heart, and you confessed it with your mouth, and you are truly saved, you cannot go back. Jesus’ own words.
So, what must we do with sin in our lives? When first of all, when you’ve got the new nature, the new nature does not want you to sin. What you have to do is obey the new nature that’s in you because you are in life-union with Him. If you are in life- union with Him and He’s in life-union with you, then your life-union wants you to follow Jesus. It actually makes a conscious choice to not do what Jesus wants you to do. People say it’s the easiest thing to sin – I tend to disagree with anybody because the very Christ in you is working through your soul. I’m going to use this word, so you understand it because the book of Hebrews and other scriptures talk about your conscience. Because the Holy Spirit will talk to your soul and your conscience and say, “You shouldn’t be doing this. Don’t do this. Don’t do this. Follow Jesus. Be in life- union with Him. Be fruitful. Do this.”
That’s the default of your new nature. That’s not the other part of your nature; that’s the default of your new nature. That’s where Jesus lives, in your spirit, and He’s wanting you all the time to follow Him. So, then you have to be tempted. Hear me now; You have to be tempted to make a decision to not follow Jesus.
Now I’m busy with Online Bible School, me and Pastor Sharon, Monday night, Wednesday night is Leadership School and then Thursday night, and we’re dealing with prayer and faith. If you disagree with my theology and you’re listening to this, come to Bible School Online. You can sommer sit at home and watch if you have to, 20-minute sessions which gives you ten minutes to make tea in between, ‘nogal’.
While you’re at home, you can sit and listen to the Bible, listen to the Word. You can then take the Bible and study it for yourself and see where my theology, if you want to call it that, my doctrine. It’s not my doctrine, it’s the Bible’s doctrine, but anyway you know how people think. They say, “That’s the way you believe, Pastor John. That’s not what the Bible says.” Well, I dare you to go and find other scriptures in the Bible. I know there’s lots of things that talk about sin and how you got to watch out for sin and the sin nature and sin and all that kind of stuff.
Yes, that is in your flesh, but God’s nature, the new created nature in you, doesn’t want you to do that stuff and the nature of grace is what empowers you to actually say no to that stuff. It wouldn’t be grace if it didn’t give you the power to say no to that stuff. The reason it’s called grace is because you have undeserved merit; you have undeserved empowerment to say, “No.” Not your actual how many hours you spend in prayer or how many scriptures you confess every day that gives you the power. It’s the power of God in you. Life-union with you. You in Him and Him in you. Sorry, you can’t get away from Him. If you’re born again, and Spirit-filled He’s going to spend His whole life chasing you down.
Have you ever had someone who’s trying to get hold of you on the phone urgently? Huh? It’s like every five minutes they try to phone you or every ten minutes they phone you and sometimes you’re in a meeting or in a place, and you can’t answer your phone, and then you get it afterwards, and there’s like ten missed calls. No, it’s never happened to anybody here. I mean, it’s like you don’t answer your phone, but there’s ten missed calls. You know someone’s trying to get through to you, right? That’s the same thing as the Holy Spirit. He doesn’t quit just because you don’t pick up. He don’t quit. He keeps calling you every morning. Sometimes even while you’re in the sin that you attempted to sin, He’s still calling you.
Sometimes the most unhappy people are the saved sinners. I’m telling you because they’re busy sinning because they were tempted with a desire that they thought about, and so if you have come to the Bible School, the digital online school, you would know about thought words. The devil comes to you with thought words and thought pictures that become thought words, and you will have thought words, and those thought words create desire. What you give your attention to will give you desire, and then you follow out that desire. This is not the God desire in your spirit; this is your eyes and your ears and your senses.
Then you find a Christian who loves God in their hearts, and they go, and they sin, and actually, they might be sinning, and their flesh might be liking it, but actually in their heart, they’re like, really sad. Right? You’re really sad because you know. Actually, you shouldn’t be doing this. So there does come a point where you sin, and you sin, and you sin, and you sin, and then you say, “Ja, I can’t deal with this guilt anymore. I can’t deal with this conscience that keeps reminding me the whole time
that I should be following Jesus.” Then you go, and you start cutting off that conscience and the Bible says you sear your conscience. You sear it.
If you get a cut and you put a hot knife on it, or you put a hot thing on it, you will immediately seal the wound. You seal it off from the outside world, and you seal the blood in. It’s like that, or here’s a better thing. If you eat a piece of steak that you’ve now just made perfect like you know, rare to medium-rare. All the Witbank Afrikaners said, “Nee, nee give me a burnt to crisp steak.”[Conrad says: Nee]. Thank you, Conrad, thank you. Here’s a man who knows how to eat meat. Hey, don’t get involved with me on this now.
But if you’ve got a nice piece of steak and it’s a nice thick piece of steak, and it’s just done to perfection, what you want is a nice, very sharp knife that you don’t have to battle with the meat. It’s so sharp you just put the fork in there, and it just slices through it like that. Then it’s just a little bit of bloody that comes out there and… [Congregation laughing]. You know, all the people that eat over burnt steaks say, “No, no, no, get away from me.”
That’s what happens with your conscience; you get to a point where you make a decision, “I don’t want to hear from God anymore, because I’m in conflict with my Spirit Man that’s leading me to Jesus. I want to do with Jesus, but I want choices in my life that don’t include Him. I want to be able to do things that don’t include him.” Because you’ve got a habit in your life, or you’ve got some thinking in your life that’s got fear, or it’s got things in your life, and so you’re not sure about what God’s going to say what to do. You say, “I’m not going to follow all the obedience of what God wants for me”, you’ve cut off your conscience. Then you live in a way where you no longer keep thinking about the consequences of what you’re doing, but God is still dialling you.
The Holy Spirit keeps phoning you on that cell phone 100 times a day. He doesn’t quit. Where you’ve cut Him off like that, you know, maybe it’s got like a no answer response thing. It’s like when you phone someone, and they don’t answer the phone, and it rings and rings, and eventually it stops. Then you ring again, and it ring-ring, and it stops. Ring-ring-ring, and it stops. That’s the way the Holy Spirit … He never stops dialling, but you just stopped listening.
One day, what happens is, He make sure that someone comes into your life or something happens in your life, where you can’t not answer the phone. Why does He do this? Because you are His child. He’s living in you. He can’t leave you. It’s not possible. The scripture says: “You’re in life-union with Him.” life-union. Not sometimes union, life-union.
Verse four, 4So you must remain in life-union with me, for I remain in life-union with you. For as a branch severed from the vine will not bear fruit, so your life will be fruitless unless you live your life intimately joined to Mine. 5I am the sprouting vine and you’re my branches. As you live in union with Me as your source, fruitfulness will stream from within you – but when you live separated from me you are powerless. (John 15:1-5 TPT). If you are connected to Him,
fruitfulness will stream from you, in you, through you, fruitfulness, but if you are disconnected from Me, you are powerless.
When the Covid virus hit the world, the first people it hit was the older generation of people, older people; their immune systems were weakened, they had other issues that were touching their lives, so when the Covid disease hit them, they died quickly. Obviously, if you look at the percentage of people that have died as a result of Covid, a large percentage of those people were older people. I remember this, in perhaps, if you followed the stories, you might not, you might know this or not, I don’t know.
In America, there is a period of time; I think it might have just happened a couple of weeks ago or a month ago. They have this thing in America, which they call Spring Break. Might be happening right now, actually, in this time. It’s the beginning of spring; it’s the beginning of, they’re close to the end of their academic year, which normally ends in May, they have what they call a spring break. For us, that would be like our schools break in the week of September. They normally have a week break, that’s our spring break, but in America, it’s called Spring Break.
In 2020, a lot of people that were living in the state of Florida decided, the young people, it was all young people, university students, they said, “Oh, the Covid is only hitting the old people. We’re not going to adhere to the social distancing mandate, and we’re not going to do all this mask thing and all that. We’re going to enjoy spring break.” And so they went on a massive party spree. Spring break. It was so big in America, in some instances, it went viral. These young people in the state of Florida that actually were having this massive party while people were dying.
You see, they felt, as young people, they felt, “Our immune system is strong enough to resist this virus, so why do we have to adhere to lockdown?” That’s what they thought. That’s exactly what they thought. That’s why they did it. Why do we have to adhere to lockdown when we are not the ones that are at risk? But the whole deal was, you got a contagion factor here; where you don’t know that you have the virus and then you walk into a home with somebody that is not resistant to it and they die because you’re going to have a party.
Well, that’s the way it works in your walk with God. You might feel like, well, “Hey, I’m not powerless. I’ve got power. I’ve got strength. I’ve got resources, I’ve got family, I’ve got health, I’ve got all these good things going for me. I’m not powerless. I’m powerful.” Like all those young people, “I’m powerful,” but there are consequences to what your decisions are. Regardless of how you feel, in time, God’s going to call your number.
I preached this in a slightly different way in Joburg last week, and the Lord was really on my case about this being in union with Him. This is so powerful, this union, that Jesus, when He went to make His announcement, that the anointing of God is upon Me to bring the good news to the poor, which means the poor don’t have to be poor anymore. You understand that? That when Jesus is reading from the Prophet Isaiah, who said, “There’s a Messiah that’s coming, and when He comes, He’s going to say these words, that God has put His anointing on Me, that He’s going to preach the gospel to the poor.”
He comes to make an announcement, “I’ve come, and today the Scripture is fulfilled in your ears, that the anointing has come to deliver the poor from being poor. The anointing has come to those that have been captured by self-desire and poor choices; you can be liberated from those that have all manner of ailments and sicknesses and diseases. This anointing has come to set you free from that.”
This anointing has come to give you sight, where you know you didn’t have sight before, whether it be physical sight or life vision sight in God. The anointing is there for that. How do you get the anointing? You remain in union with Him. You can’t say, “I want to have all of God’s best in my life, but I only want to talk to Him occasionally.” If you only talk to Him occasionally, then you’ll have occasionally anointing.
Hello? “Pastor John, maybe you’ve been a bit serious this morning.”
Well, then all the worship songs were for you. “Can’t take my joy, I got joy; I got joy, Satan’s under my feet, I got joy.” Then the worship is for you this morning. I suggest you go home and watch the YouTube clip again and play it over and over and over again, so you get your joy back. If you think I’m preaching a bit heavy today.
Part of what God had placed on my heart today was to say that God is announcing Himself to the world. The world thinks that they have separated the church from each other. The world thinks that the COVID-19 has been able to close the church down. I want to tell you that God is actually about to announce the church into the earth in a much bigger way than has ever been seen before.
I’m telling you, watch this space, and it’s going to come because we are united with Him. We’re in union with him. Whilst the enemy thinks that it’s his best hour right now. That’s what he thought when he got Jesus on the cross. He thought, “I got the Godhead now. There’s no one else that can come and be a saviour. I managed to kill a perfect man.” That is what the devil thought, “I managed to kill a perfect man. How can God in heaven stop me now?” He didn’t know. He didn’t understand that God was judging all of the sin of the world on Jesus. Right that moment, when he said, I’ve got God where I want him. He (God) said, let me tell you, you have no clue that you’re killing illegally, and your illegal killing is about the judgment of Jesus and all of the people that will come after this day. It’s all about the judgment of sin is on Him.
When the devil thought he had God where he wanted him, God just broke Jesus out of the earth, broke Him out of hell, resurrected His life, and Jesus said, “Now let’s get on with a party.” Because Jesus went into hell there, and he said, “All right, Father, lay all the judgment of the sin of the world on Me. Lay it on Me, because of the perfect walk I’ve had with You, vitally in union with You all of My life. Lay it on me.”
That’s why when He was on the cross, the last words He said, “It is finished.” The judgment has been complete. For three days and three nights, there was a judgmental conversation in the Courts of Eternity. The case that the devil brought against Jesus, one after the other, God said, “He didn’t do that. He didn’t do that. He didn’t do that. He didn’t do that. He paid the price. He paid the price.”
Why did he pay the price? This is hard for people to accept intellectually, but He paid the price so that you don’t have to. When Jesus came to live in you, He gave you the power to overcome everything that holds you down. Everything. Everything. Everything. The religious spirit that tried to throw Jesus off the cliff, that religious spirit, that one.
Now I want you to remember this, that religious spirit said, “Wow, the grace that’s on you is amazing.” That religious spirit turned into a rage overnight, in a minute, not even overnight, in a minute. It turned to a rage, that religious spirit came upon those people.
That same religious spirit wants you to live your life that says, “I’m good enough, I’m not good enough. I’ve done enough; I haven’t done enough. I’m doing more; I hope it’s enough. Maybe it will be, maybe it won’t be. I’m not sure where I stand with God.” That religious spirit is all about stopping the anointing of God in your life because once you’re saved, the devil can’t do anything about that.
What he’s going to try and do, he’s trying to keep you in bondage to yourself, and he’s going to try to keep telling you that it’s you that’s got to perform to actually get free. It’s you that’s got to actually make a choice, and you got to give up smoking, or you got to give up drinking, or you’re got to give up even eating. You got to give up gossiping, you got to give up all those bad thoughts that you have in the middle of the night of fear, and all those things that make you do things in the daytime, that are trying to control your environment because of fear. You got to get rid of that before you can come to God. No, that is the reason why Jesus came, so that it gives you the power to get rid of all of that. Hallelujah.
I mean, this is not the first time I’ve preached this. I’ve preached it a lot over the years, and I use my sons, my son Brynn as an example. You know, I mean, listen, I’m personally. I mean, if somebody wants to smoke a cigarette, that’s their business.
It is not a sin in God’s eyes more than gossip is. Come on now. The religious church wants to say, all of these visible things that people do are more sinful than these invisible things that people do, but actually the invisible things are more damaging sometimes than the visible things.
So, they’ll judge someone for smoking, but they’ll get into a ‘lekker’ gossip session boy, about ‘tannie’ so and so and ‘oom’ so and so and this guy and that guy, and everything else, and they’ve got a lot to say about everything else, and they think that’s not sin. No.
Why am I picking on smoking? Because it’s bad for your body. That’s all. Just bear with me now. Just bear with me. I’m using my son Brynn as an example. My son Brynn used to smoke a packet of 20 at least every day, right Brynn? Sitting at the back there. He used to smoke a packet of 20 a day, minimum. For years and years and years. Then one day, he just said, he kept saying, “I want to be free of this.” Then one day he came, and he said, “I know what to do to be free of this. I’m going to speak the Word of God, that I’m free of this smoking because He’s given me the power to be free.”
The religious spirit won’t like what I’m saying now, but God’s grace loves what I’m saying now. Because here’s how he behaved. He’d go and stand outside and light up the cigarette, and while he’s smoking, he’d speak in tongues. He’d be speaking the Word of God and say, “I’m free from this cigarette. This thing doesn’t have any hold on me. This thing can’t control my life. I want to be free of this habit.” Because it was, he was going to the gym, working out every day, and looking buffed in his body, but he was killing his lungs.
Not only that, it was damaging his walk with God because the devil kept lying to him that this sin is stopping him from doing things. It’s not the truth, but that’s what the devil uses.
He just started to say, “I’m going to be free of this, I’m going to be free of this, I’m going to be free of this.” He would pray in the Spirit, and he would just declare, “I’m free. Jesus has made me free. I’ve got the grace of God; I’ve got the power to be free of this.” While he’s smoking the same thing that’s causing him ‘stories’. Internal conflict.
One day, listen, this was a big deal in our family. One day, a Friday afternoon, and he’s driving home, comes home. He’s got a new packet of cigarettes in his pocket; he comes home, he takes… He’s living in the flat in our house there. He takes the packet of cigarettes out, throws it in the bin, and he says, “I’m done with this. I’m done with this.” He didn’t hardly have any, even cravings for nicotine in the next 24 hours, a few here and there. After that 24 hours, he’s never looked back. He’s never looked back. Because the power of God to set him free from a habit that had controlled him for years and years and years, is the same power that raised Jesus from the dead.
It’s the same power that can overcome a religious spirit that is at rage and wants to push Jesus from a mountain and they think all the people’s power is behind them. And God says, “You think you’ve got power, all of you mob, against one man.” We got all the power against one man. He says, “Watch Me now; the anointing is going to come on Him, and he’s going to walk through you.” What happened? I can’t say exactly, but I believe that Jesus, that God the Father, just closed their eyes. They were looking at each other, and it was like Jesus became the Invisible Man. They just couldn’t see him. “Where’s he? Where’s he? Where’s he? Where’s he?” Like blind men, “Where’s he? Where’s he? Where’s he?”
And He’s gone. And Jesus… I don’t know. I don’t know what happened, but hey, my story’s as good as anybody else’s because the Bible is not specific about that. He just walked through them, and he was gone, on His way.
Same Power lives in you; the same Power makes you fruitful. Same power can change everything in your life, and you never have to look back. You never have to look back. Same power, same thing. Same power. If you’re struggling with anything in your life right now, you can take this message today, and you can just use these words.
“Same power that raised Jesus from the dead, the same power is in me. Same power that saved Him from being thrown off a cliff, same power in me.” Power! I’ve got the power! I’ve got the power!” You can walk around, “More power to me, more power to me.” You can do whatever; just get your words out. Same power, same power. I’m in union with Him. I’m in union with Him. “Well, you don’t act like it.” The devil will tell you in your mind, “You don’t act like it.” You say, “Well, my acting is catching up with my saying.”
“Yah, but you’re saying is not doing anything, look; you’re still acting like this.” The devil is sneaky; hey, he turns your words on you like that. He says, “You’re saying doesn’t match up with your acting,” then once you say, “No, but my acting is catching up with my saying.” He says, “Yah, but your saying doesn’t match your acting. You’re saying false statements.” You say, “No, no, no, that’s not a false statement. That’s the truth. My life is just catching up to the truth.”
Just like Brynn did, he started to say, “I’m free from cigarettes,” but he was still smoking. Some people say yeah, that’s being deceitful. No, no, that’s being truthful, but your actions are just catching up with what you’re saying is true. Hallelujah. Let me tell you something. Whatever it is that you have an issue with. You have the power. You have the power. You have it. You have it. You have it. Praise the Lord. Glory to Jesus. Glory to Jesus. Praise the Lord. Praise the Lord. Praise the Lord. Hallelujah. Praise Jesus. Praise Jesus. Praise Jesus. Praise Jesus.
Last week Pastor Sharon said something like this, but these are my words today, but if you don’t have the desire to want the power because maybe you like the habit so much that you don’t want the power to actually set you free from the habit. You understand what I’m saying? You look like, “What’s this Pastor talking about?” But when you are filled with a desire, that’s become a habit in your life or a pattern in your life. When you’re filled with that, sometimes you don’t have the desire to actually want God to work on your problem. It’s like, I like this. Don’t mess with what I like.
About a month ago, it’s about a month ago, one day I was standing in my kitchen, and I was about to make myself a cup of coffee, now you must know we’ve got a proper coffee machine, hey. Proper, we make proper coffee. You know, if you go to a restaurant, and you ask for a cappuccino, and they’ve got a proper espresso kind of machine, you get a proper coffee, the proper cappuccino. That means the machine grinds the beans; right then and then, you have hot water go through the beans, and you get a proper coffee as opposed to powder coffee. If you drink powdered coffee, I’m happy for you. Please be happy for me that I drink proper coffee.
[Conrad saying: Hallelujah]) Thank you, Conrad. There’s a man in the front here with a discerning taste—a discerning palate. I drink proper coffee. I don’t drink a lot of coffee. I mean, if I do drink coffee, I drink maybe one or two cups a day at the most. If I’m having a bad day, it’s two cups. On my normal average day, I will just drink one cup of coffee. I don’t drink a lot of coffee, but when I do drink one, I like it; I value- driven like to have it be proper.
You know, so some people would say, well, why do you spend all this money buying beans and having a proper machine when you only drink once a day? Well, that’s because I like to choose proper coffee when I want one. I don’t have to make 10 cups to make it a value driven decision. If you spend that much money buying the machine, you must use it a lot because you spend so much money buying a machine. I don’t live like that. If I still live like that, God set me free from that, please Jesus.
Sometimes I still find my own self-thinking like that, and then I have to get myself by the ear and say, no, no, no, God’s a prosperity God, you don’t have to think like that. When you go to a restaurant, and you order a plate of food, and you have to finish the food because you paid for it. No, you went to the restaurant because there’s a whole lot of things you get there, you get service, you get good food, hopefully. Depends on what kind of restaurant you go to. Anyway, I’m not going to go there. You get service, you get reasonable food, and you don’t have to cook it yourself, and if you go there with someone, you get to talk to someone that you don’t normally get to talk to when you’re cooking.
You’re getting all these value things, but now you’ve got to eat the whole plate because you paid for it. That’s like your Christian experience. You get all these things from God, but the one thing that’s a problem in your life, you can’t actually connect with Him because it’s just the one thing. Anyway, see what I did there; hey, the Holy Spirit helped me there, connected that eating story to that. Did you see that? Did you get that?
Anyway, I’m having coffee. I’m having coffee. So I go to the coffee machine, and I’m about to make a coffee, and just in my spirit man, it’s like just this gentle voice said to me, “Don’t have coffee; don’t have coffee.” And it was like, it just caught me, but this is my routine. I have a coffee now. You know, just in my spirit, “Don’t have coffee, and just quit coffee for a while.”
It’s just what the Holy Spirit said to me, just quit coffee for a while. Now listen, I can go into all kinds of gymnastics in my mind about why the Lord is telling me not to drink coffee. It’s like, what’s the problem here? But I don’t have to actually understand why He is saying that to me. He knows my body better than I know my body. If He is saying to me, just don’t drink coffee for a while.
I’m not putting any guilt trip on you if you drink coffee, hey? If you want to drink coffee, be my guest. I hope you drink nice coffee. Eish, I got to watch myself here now.
The Holy Spirit spoke to me, and He said just don’t drink coffee for a while. Just like this, it became the easiest thing for me. I come into the office, and, you know, when I come into the office, there are people that make me coffee, because we drink nice coffee here in the office too. We do. I mean, we make sure that if people in our office, in our ministry want to drink coffee, they must drink the right stuff.
I don’t buy Ricoffy for the office staff, I don’t. I buy them the same beans that sometimes they buy better beans than me. Because there’s a whole story going on
in the… there was anyway. At one stage, about you know, what’s the best bean to buy. So they are shipping beans from all over the place in the country, testing out all these beans to see what’s the best coffee to drink—what a joy for me. People think like, this is, you know, over the top for people that work for you. Says who? I mean, people that don’t have enough that think that God’s poor. He is not poor.
Anyway, I come to the office, and they would normally offer me a coffee. “No, thank you,” and day after day, it became the easiest thing for me to say, “No, thank you.” Yesterday, I went on a mountain bike ride, and I did a long distance. When I was halfway on the ride, we stopped at a coffee shop. I walked into the coffee shop, and I’m just checking this out, and I just had this release in my heart. If you want to have a coffee, you can have one. You see, it’s not a law. God wasn’t telling me, “This is a law now; you never drink coffee again.” It was a season just for a time. Maybe it was a spiritual thing. Maybe it was just a physical thing that God wants to protect me from?
I don’t know, but I just felt okay. Then I know now I haven’t drank coffee for a month. I went in and said, “Can I have a weak one? Can you make me a half a coffee, please? They said, no problem, sir. They made me half a coffee, and I enjoyed it. Then I cycled out the caffeine for the next two hours or whatever it was, you know? But it was wonderful. That also doesn’t mean that I’m now going to go have coffee every day again. You say to me: “Pastor John, you feel like you know, your decision making is like too basic, you know. You ask God, and God is involved in your drinking coffee? You know, what kind of choices do you have actually left in your life if God is talking to you about your coffee?”
Well, I’m going to make this bold statement to you. I’d like God to tell me everything about all of my life. Why do I want to make my own decisions about having coffee if He can help me with that? “No, no, no, Pastor John, where is your own brain?” Well, ask Jesus that.
Jesus didn’t depend on His brain to make anything happen in His life. He said: “I only say what the Father told Me to say. I only do what I see the Father doing. I do nothing other than what I see My Father doing.”
Now we are better than Jesus? We want to depend on our brain and ourselves, but Jesus had to depend on the Father for everything? Why did He want to depend on the Father for everything? Because He knew the Father had His best interests at heart all the time. He never quit for one second giving up on the best for Jesus.
“Yeah, but I know what’s best for me.” You think you do? The devil wants you to believe that you know what’s best for you. Because he wants you to take over the running of your whole life to yourself and include Jesus in nothing. Huh?
Okay, I’m nearly finished. I’ll tell you, one of the most valuable lessons that I learned in my life is when I went into the military. The military wanted to control your life. The first period of time that you go into the military, it’s all about uniformity. It’s about collective thinking the same all the time. That’s really what they want.
You talk about the best military unit that is on the earth; it’s a group of soldiers that have been trained the same. That in any given confrontation with the enemy, they will all behave exactly the way they were trained to behave. In that moment, they become the best military unit that’s available on the earth because if their training and their behaviour are the same, then you’ve got the best ability to actually respond.
Just hear me now. I mean, this was just a thing in me. At that time of my life, I was a bit naïve, if you like, but I made a decision. I said, “Lord, I’ve heard all these guys are going to the army”, and the most casualties, if you don’t know this, it’s a fact, the most casualties that the military ever had in a time of war in South Africa was friendly fire. More people were killed in friendly fire than the enemy did kill South African forces. It’s a true fact. Statistically, it’s a fact. More military guys were killed by friendly fire than the enemy.
That means you all have been trained, but you’re out into a pressure situation, and you react in a way that you didn’t, or you make a mistake, and you shoot somebody that you shouldn’t be shooting from a mistake or from pressure. I mean this thing was quite big in me as a 17-year-old. I was 17 when I went into the army, 17, they demanded at 17 years old that I would go to the army and that I would have to go and learn how to defend and fight for my life and not just for my life, but for everybody else in the country. Supposedly at that time.
I had this walk with God anyway. I said: “God, I am going to go to a unit where they do the best training, and I am going to ask You to help me get through the training.” You understand that what they do is they are controlling almost every single minute of your day. They’re controlling everything that you do. From lining up to eat, even sometimes when you’re eating in the mess, they would be walking around there, and they would be making sure that you’re on a clock because they want you to do something else.
You got to eat quickly, or I mean various kinds of things that they did to you, both mentally. They were programming you to think the way they wanted you to think. Are you all with me? That is what the best military men are about. They behave according to the program. Training program. Trained act; trained act. With all of this stuff going on, they are pressurising you night and day, night and day, but physically your body has to rest. So, you know, they would push you, push you, and then they would give you a water break, and so when I had a water break, or they would give the guys a smoke break. Can you imagine that? Those days they gave people a smoke break.
I wonder where their priorities lie or where their priorities were? You have a water break, and you have a smoke break at the same time. I’d drink my water, and I had a New Testament in my pocket of my uniform, and I would take my New Testament out. I mean, we only had five minutes or ten minutes of water break slash smoke break, and this is your rest period between the next set of physical exercises or training.
I would take my bible out, and I would read two or three verses or four verses, whatever you could read in three minutes or two minutes. Hello? Then they’d say, “Okay, come on, come on!” and they’d shout at you. I’d take my New Testament, and I’d put it back in my pocket, and I would see all the guys that were smoking. They’d put the cigarette pack back in their pocket. That’s where I put my New Testament, same pocket they’d put their cigarettes.
Do you know that the power of those words that got into my soul because I was eating the word of God sustained my spirit man, that no matter how much they programmed me, they could not conquer me inside? They demanded my behaviour, but they couldn’t change my belief.
I saw other Christians that didn’t do that; they wanted to fit in; they wanted to fit in. Please listen to me, people; they wanted to fit in with everybody else. When they went into the army as good Christians, within weeks, they were swearing like everybody else, behaving like everybody else, living like everybody else. You couldn’t tell them apart from who they were as Christians to the military behaviour, to everybody else that was there.
The time came, the time came when we were, we had to put into action in real life what we had trained. What would be happening is that I had been training my spirit at the same time that my body is being trained. When the time came, and I was in real life battle situations, my spirit man led me, and my spirit man saved me. It wasn’t just my training. Praise the Lord.
If you’re in a place in your life where the world system and the philosophies of men have been trying to make you pattern your life after the way they want you to live. I want you to know that the power is in you.
The power is in you to say, “No!” The power is in you to say, “I am taking a different course of action in my life.” It doesn’t matter how long it’s taken you; it doesn’t matter how many years have gone by. It doesn’t matter how many difficult or bad patterns or behaviours that you’ve developed. If you touch God every day and you let Him live in you, then the union that’s in you is going to give you power. It’s going to give you fruitfulness in your life. God will reverse it, just like this.
I am telling you, you don’t want to live your life propped up; you want to live your life being pruned. You don’t want to live your life not knowing what’s going to happen next. You want to be completely in the flow of the Holy Spirit, and He will take care of you, from drinking coffee to telling you, you mustn’t have doughnuts anymore.
I’m just having a bit of fun with LeRoux here. Yesterday after we were having a social time together, he said, “I am going to Woolworths. I am going to buy doughnuts”. So, I am just having a bit of fun with him. Praise the Lord.
The Lord is not going to tell me to stop drinking coffee just because He’s like a God that wants to prove how powerful He is, that He can stop you from doing something. He’s going to tell you to stop doing something because it’s for your good. Maybe He’s trying to train you; He’s trying to repattern you. He’s trying to re-engage you in
little things so that when the big moments arrive, you know what His voice sounds like.
That’s really what He’s all about. He wants to lead you in smaller things all the time, and if you get used to listening to His voice in those smaller things when the big things come and hit your life, it’s like, “I know what to do next.” Some of the… most of the things that I have to deal with as a spiritual leader is because people, for the most part, are choosing to do their own thing, and then they need my spiritual input to actually help them disengage from that thinking. Really.
Well, you know, “What’s that all about, Pastor John?” Well, hey, there’s a gift on me, a mantle, a calling that God has placed on me that helps people disengage from natural thinking to spiritual thinking. It’s on me. That’s what this morning is all about. It’s to help you, to help you disengage from that. Glory to God. Hallelujah.
Won’t you all stand with me, please? Hallelujah. You know you know what I do by now? [Pastor John put his hand on his heart].
I am a son of God. The Power of His life is in me. More Power to me. I am empowered by the grace of God to overcome everything that will hold me back in my life. The power is in me. Hallelujah. Hallelujah.
I’d like you just to say this with me and say, “Jesus, thank You that You are in my heart, and You empower me to live like You. I recognise that the power is in the name of Jesus. Thank You, Lord. Amen.” Hallelujah. Woah, let me tell you, this is amazing. I want the music team to come up, please, so we can sing a song as we close the service.
I want to just give you; I want to tell you a story quickly while they’re coming up. Many, many years ago, I had a friend whose father I met him in Church. His father was the best sinner there was [Congregation laughing]. He was good at what he did. I mean, he was, whatever he did, he was going to be the best sinner. You understand what I’m saying?
So anyway, he’s doing his thing, living his life. At that time, he was living in a country called, it’s now called Zimbabwe, those days, it was called Rhodesia. He was driving in his motor car. He was, so you understand those days, it wasn’t as built up as it is now. There was a lot of empty land in between and all that. The infrastructure was predominantly trained. He’s riding from one town to the next town, and on the way to the town, he’s got to cross a train track. He’d been sinning very nicely, and he’s driving on these roads back to where he has to be.
Suddenly, he almost falls asleep at the wheel, and when he comes to himself, he actually realises that he’s about to go across the train track and here’s a train, right here. He has absolutely; he’s got no chance of surviving this accident. No chance. It’s like, here’s the train, here’s my car, inevitable. It was inevitable. The train hit his car.
In a split second, all he could do, he only had time for this was, he just shouted, “Jesus!” That sinner. He didn’t even; he wasn’t even born again. Never made Jesus the Lord of His life. He just shouted because that’s all he had heard was that Jesus can save you and shouted out of his mouth, “Jesus!”
That train mangled his car so that everything in that car was completely, completely crushed, except where he was sitting. It’s like his seat as the driver of the car was like a bubble. The whole car was crushed. The train flipped his car. This is his story that he told me; the train manoeuvred his car as it was trying to break and slow down the car, the train manoeuvred his car under the tracks of the train until it was the only thing it wasn’t mangled was this capsule.
I mean, you know, those years it took lots of time, people had to come in, they actually literally cut him out of the car, didn’t even have a broken bone. Nothing. All he just shouted was, “Jesus!” I want to tell you something. You are struggling with something in your life; all you got to do is shout, “Jesus!” If you believe in your heart and you shout Jesus with your mouth, it’s all you need. The Power is there for you. The Power is there for you. Hallelujah. Praise the Lord.
Let’s sing a song, and then I’ll pray a blessing over you before we go home.