Blow Your Mind with Light – Ps John Bendixen (WTB)

Scripture reference: Colossians 3:12 (NKJV, TPT, MSG); 1 Corinthians 1:18-19 (MSG); Acts 2:28 (NKJV); Romans 12:1-2 (MSG); Romans 8:38-39 (NKJV); Ephesians 1:11-14 (MSG); Ephesians 6:12 (AMPC); Ephesians 6:10-12 (NLT); Matthew 6:23-24 (AMPC); Luke 11:34-36 (AMPC, TPT); John 12:35-37 (ESV); Ephesians 1:18-21 (TPT); Ephesians 2:10 (TPT); Ephesians 3:7-10, 20 (TPT); Ephesians 4:11-13 (TPT); Ephesians 4:22-24 (TPT); Ephesians 6:10-13 (TPT)

Well, Praise the Lord. Hallelujah. Let’s just praise Him. Praise You, Jesus. Thank You, Lord, that we can walk in the light and not walk in darkness. We are not those that stumble around, confused, uncertain about what to do. Unsure about what our future holds. We are light walkers. We walk in light. We walk in the truth of Your Word. We live by the living letters of Your Word, Father. Hallelujah. Hallelujah. Praise You, Jesus. Praise You, Jesus. Praise You, Jesus. Praise You, Jesus. Praise You, Jesus. Hallelujah. Hallelujah. Glory to God. Glory to God.

It is my prayer this morning that you will hear the Word of the Lord, that your hearts, your spirit, your mind is open to hear what the Word of the Lord has to say. I pray that as the Sound and the Song of praise to God has gone before us, it has prepared us to receive the things that God would say to us. Hallelujah. Praise You, Lord.

I asked You, Father, that those that are listening, here in the service and those that are listening by digital media, I pray Father, that they would receive the light of Your Word and they will hear the truth and nothing but the truth. So, we declare, Father, that our hearts are ready to receive the truth. We ask you Holy Spirit to rest upon everything that is spoken that is truth, that it might minister grace and peace and joy to those that will hear it. Thank you, Jesus. Thank you, Jesus. If you agree with that prayer, please say, amen. You may be seated. Hallelujah.

For those of you back in Church, welcome back in Church. Hallelujah. Glory to God. For those of you on your way back to Church, you’re welcome and those of you who are staying away from Church, we’re gonna come fetch you. Hallelujah. Praise the Lord. Glory to God. 

I need to spend about ten or fifteen minutes this morning just going over some of the messages that the Lord has had me, minister, over the last six weeks. I’ll do it as quickly as I can and then I’m going to go into the message that the Lord has declared, He wanted me to speak this morning. I started some, probably two months ago, and a lot has happened because we’ve travelled quite a bit, done many things with the interns, there’s been a lot of stuff happening. We’ve had fireside chats in between, so I probably started this series of messages, now that I think about it, three or four months ago. It was called, Blow Your Mind, and so, I’ve been talking on, Blow Your Mind. 

The original verse of scripture that I ministered on, is Colossians 3 verses 1 to 3 and I’m going to read it to you in all three translations that I read it in, on that day that I preached it because I think it’s really important and relevant. ¹If then you were raised, this is the New King James Version,¹If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, seek those things that are above where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. ²Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth (Colossians 3:12 NKJV).

Well, I would say that pretty much blows your natural mind, doesn’t it? Because if you set your things on things above, and not on the natural things of the earth, you blow your mind, and so we all need to be blowing our mind. The Passion Translation puts it like this, ¹Christ’s resurrection is your resurrection too. This is why we are to yearn for all that is above, for that’s where Christ sits enthroned at the place of all power, honor, and authority! (Colossians 3:1 TPT) And so we are to set our minds on things that are above, we are to yearn for what is above, all that is above, for that where Christ sits enthroned at the place of power, honour and authority. 

So, if you want to know what you want to blow your mind from, you certainly want to blow your mind, so that it can think of these things. Where Christ sits, in power, authority and honour. When you begin to think about Christ with power, authority and honour, you begin to think on a whole different level of living in God. 

The Message Translation says it like this, ¹So if you’re serious about living this new resurrection life with Christ, act like it. Pursue the things over which Christ presides, I’m going to read verse two here, ²Don’t shuffle along, eyes to the ground, absorbed with the things right in front of you. Look up, and be alert to what is going on around Christ—that’s where the action is. See things from his perspective (Colossians 3:12 MSG).

So, I don’t know about you, but when I was in a corporate world, I was fortunate enough, blessed enough, favoured enough, to sit at a fairly high level of senior management. Often we will have these, these senior meetings, these management meetings. You know, you kind of wait for everybody to drift in sort of five minutes before the meeting starts. Oftentimes if you had a meeting that would go for more than 45 minutes, you might have coffee brought in and have something on the table, some biscuits or something. In those moments, natural conversations would be held and nothing about spreadsheets and nothing about strategies or anything like that, you’d have natural conversations between people. 

I was very, not very, I should say, I was new to that level of management and so all the guys, they were talking about this new property deal that you had to get into, in the Cape. So, we were all living in Johannesburg, and they were talking about this thing that was going on in the Cape and around the Stellenbosch area, and you had to buy land there. This is the new thing, guys, you got to do that. So, then the one guy said, “Yeah, I bought mine two weeks ago.” The next person said, “Yeah, I’ve been in touch with the agent, I’m going to buy there.” So out of the six or so senior executives that were in the room, four of them already made plans to go and buy land there, because that’s where the action was. 

So, they were talking to me, like, “Hey, John, you know, we’re telling you stuff that we’ve kind of gleaned from all the connections and all of our connections tell us that’s where the action is. That’s where the land is going to grow. So, get in. We’ve pulled you into our connection circle, you’ve made it. So now, start, start living on the tips. Start living on the knowledge base of the connections, because this is where the action is.” 

Huh… You see, there is a natural world where there is action. But I don’t want to be involved in the action where the natural world is. I want to be involved where Christ’s action is. Because when I’m busy with His action, all of the stuff that the world thinks can last forever and will bring them profit and will bring good things to them, it can fail in a week. But when you’re doing what Christ wants you to do, you can’t fail. You can’t fail. You can’t fail. I can tell you that that property investment that they all invested in, has come and gone and is long time no more the action. It’s like that. It’s like that. So everybody gets kind of, you know, well, you’ve got to predict where the action is because that’s where your vision comes in. That’s where your instinct comes. I’d rather be where God’s action is. Let His instinct, His desire, let His blessing lead me and guide me. 

So I said at that time, in that message, I said, All revelation, God-given revelation, all revelation is intended to replace your current reality with redemption and restoration. But not by living in your reasoning and only those things relevant to you and your plans. So God’s revelation is intended to replace your current reality with redemption and restoration. Hallelujah. So, if you continue to live in your reasoning, and things that are relevant to your plans, you’re not seeking where God’s action is.

I can tell you this revelation will cease to flow to you because if you don’t act on the revelation that God gives you, he can’t continue to give you, more revelation because revelation is meant to bring redemption, it’s meant to bring restoration. If you don’t live in the revelation that God gives you. It doesn’t come to you. I want to say this, if you don’t act on what God says, you become deaf and blind to the things of God. 

Because why? Why would he want to give you more revelation when the one that he’s given you that’s supposed to redeem you and restore you, you’re not even prepared to act on it? It means you do not even recognize that this is revelation. You don’t recognize this as God talking. This is just a man talking, so I don’t have to do what the man says. So what’s it going to take for you to believe that God’s talking? I’ve got news for you. He doesn’t often send angels anymore. They hang around, but He has sent the Holy Spirit and He sends human messengers to come and speak to you.

I’m going to talk a little bit more about that later. The next message I preached on Blow Your Mind was, Blow Your Mind: Terms and Conditions Apply and that’s from one Corinthians chapter 1 verse 18, and 19. I’m reading from the Message Translation, and it says, 18-19The Message that points to Christ on the Cross seems like sheer silliness to those hellbent on destruction. Now, let me just make it clear. If you go to anybody in the world system and ask them, are you hellbent on destruction? They would say no ways, what are you talking about, I’m hellbent on success because they believe in their own wisdom. They believe in their own intelligence and their own world of reference. So they can say, can’t you see we are busy making a success of our lives. That’s what they’ll say because the Cross seems like sheer silliness to those hellbent on destruction, but for those on the way of salvation it makes perfect sense. This is the way God works, and most powerfully as it turns out. It’s written, I’ll turn conventional wisdom on its head, I’ll expose so-called experts as crackpots, (1 Corinthians 1:18-19 MSG).

There is more to that verse, but I’m not going to read any more. I want to tell you that it doesn’t matter how healthy you think you are now. A disease can come and overtake your body like that and conventional wisdom may not save you. But God’s power is always available to save you. Relationships, your relationships or relationships around you may fail, but God is the one who restores all relationships. Your money may deteriorate or it might become half of what it was worth because something can change overnight, but God is the one who supplies and provides and meets all your needs and He doesn’t need money to do it. Hallelujah. 

That’s the next message I ministered was, Blow Your Mind with Joy. Acts 2 verse 28, says, 28 You have made known to me the ways of life; You will make me full of joy in Your presence. (Acts 2:28 NKJV). When I’m in the presence of God, I’m full of joy. You want to find somebody depressed, anxious, full of insecurities, anxieties? Get them in the presence of God. Get them in the joy of God. Watch what happens. Watch what happens. That stuff just kind of just, what? Who’s worried anymore? Because in His presence there is joy. Hallelujah. Hallelujah. It’s like, you can be in his presence and suddenly you just go [Pastor John laughs] I do this quite a bit. You know, when the Lord speaks to me and I’m reading. [Pastor John laughs again] Just like that, and just like that I’ve got joy and it’s flowing out of the river of my spirit-being.[Pastor John is laughing again] Hallelujah.

Let me tell you where God is there is no depression. He did not invent it. He doesn’t know what it means, He can’t see it, He can’t touch it. It doesn’t belong there because in His presence is joy, not just joy, fullness of joy. Tell me how depression gets around the fullness of joy. Sadness, anxiety, madness, silliness, can’t hang around in the presence of God, because He’s got joy. His joy is like a river that flows out of His being to all of His creation. There is not a sad being in heaven. I’m telling you, all those angels and all of those created beings, they can’t help themselves. They just float around heaven shouting, “Joy”, “Glory to God,” “Hallelujah to the Lamb”, “Glory to the name of God” they can’t help themselves because in His presence is joy. 

So, if this world system wants to kind of say, “Ooo, wat gaan nou aan, wat gaan gebeur môre.” What’s going to happen the next day, in the next week? You just say, “I’m going into the Presence. I’m going to get some joy there, so I can deal with all this other stuff trying to come on me. Hallelujah.” If there was ever a time in the earth that we needed joy, it’s around about now. Right? Hallelujah. Hallelujah. Hallelujah. Hallelujah. Praise Jesus. [The congregation is praising Jesus] Praise Jesus. Praise Jesus. Praise you, Lord. Praise You, Lord. Hallelujah. Come on, that feels better already because just by opening your mouth and saying, “Praise You, Jesus.” It’s like the joy kind of just gets on you. Can’t even help it. It just gets, you know, it’s like. [Pastor John making gestures] I don’t want to be too happy before you know, your hand is up. I like this. Yeah, Okay. Okay. All right. Hallelujah. Blow your mind with joy. Let your mind get out of the way. All that stuff that suppose, it’s all on you like, how am I going to eat? What am I going to wear? How am I going to work? Joy! Blow your mind with joy. Hallelujah. Hallelujah. 

You’re getting the whole idea of what Blow Your Mind means? It’s not one of those crackpot things, you know. Those roofies, or whatever they call them. Don’t blow your mind, that stuff will only just implode your mind. We don’t want to implode your mind. We want to blow your mind. We want to blow it up so you don’t even think like the world anymore. You’ve got to take a hand grenade to your mind. Hallelujah. 

The next thing I thought was Blow Your Mind with Love. I read Romans 12 verse 2, 2Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you (Romans 12:1-2 MSG). I read that scripture because if you hang around the culture of the modern-day world, it will drag you down, away from the love of God. It doesn’t want you to do experience the love of God because the love of God is so powerful to redeem you. 

So then in Romans chapter 8, it says, 38I am persuaded that neither death nor life, your life culture, nor angels nor demons or principalities nor powers, nor things that are present nor things that are to come, 39nor height nor depth, nor any other creative thing. That means mother-in-law too. [Congregation laughs.] It means that angry boss at work. That means the taxi that cuts you off around the corner. No created being, no created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 8:38-39 NKJV). The only thing that can separate you from the love of God is that you become so well adjusted to the culture around you that you want to live there, rather than live the love of God. Why would you want to live in the culture around you? Why, why? What’s the purpose of you wanting to live in the culture around you? Why? What do they have to offer you? “Well, I’ve got to know them so that I can do business with them.” Yeah, knowing people and being well adjusted to their cultures are two different things. 

Hey, yeah, I was thinking about it the other day. The Lord really blessed me financially in the days when I was in the corporate world. I had to deal with, even those days I had to deal with corruption. Those days, I had to deal with bribery. Those days I had to deal with the people that wanted to adjust contracts. Do you know what an adjusted contract means? It means adjusted so that some of it can come to me. Adjusted contracts. Knowing someone and being well adjusted to the culture, they’ve got nothing to offer you. What you compromise to gain, you will eventually lose. But nothing shall separate us from the love of God. 

The message that I preached last week was Blow Your Mind with Truth, and Nothing but the Truth. That comes from Ephesians chapter 1 verse 11. I’m just reading from verse 11. 11-12It’s in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for. Long before we first heard of Christ and got our hopes up, He had his eye on us, had designs on us for glorious living. Remember I talked about this last week. He’s designed us for glorious living. I don’t have enough time in one meeting to explain all of the doctrine of how God never designed poverty at all. Poverty on the earth is not God’s vocabulary. In the same way, as there is no sickness in God there is also no poverty in God. It cannot exist there. He had his eye on us, had designs on us for glorious living, part of the overall purpose he is working out in everything and everyone. 13-14It’s in Christ that you, once you heard the truth and believed it, (this message of your salvation), found yourselves home free, —signed, sealed, and delivered by the Holy Spirit. (Ephesians 1:11-14 MSG) Hallelujah. 

Okay, so those are my catch-up messages today. I did it in about seventeen minutes, sixteen minutes. I said fifteen minutes. Hang with me now. Come on now. Because they sang, the last song that they sang today was walk in the light. And the message that the Lord wanted me to minister to you today, is Blow Your Mind With Light. Hallelujah. 

I have some fairly serious things to say today. Some important things to say today. They’re only serious because I have a recognition of what this message will do to those who hear it and I have a recognition of what it actually declares in the spirit realm. Amen. Praise the Lord. 

So Ephesians chapter 6 verse 12, in the Amplified, and I’m going to read it from two versions, says this. 12 For we are not wrestling with flesh and blood [we are not contending only with physical opponents], but against despotism, against the powers, against [the master spirits who are] the world rulers of this present darkness. They are the rulers of this present darkness. What darkness is this? What is this present darkness? It is the darkness of the cultures of the world that reject Christ. That’s darkness. 

So, 12against the powers, against [the master spirits who are] the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spirit forces of wickedness in the heavenly (supernatural) sphere (Ephesians 6:12 AMPC). So this is the apostle Paul writing to a Church. This was the Church of the Ephesians. If I can put it quite plainly, they were people like you and me, that attended Church in Witbank. The apostle Paul wrote a letter to people like you and me, and he would write to the people in Witbank. I want you to understand that we do not only contend with natural, human enemies, but our fight is with these forces that are in the heavenlies. These rulers, these dark forces, these spirits, these things that are happening in the spirit realm, that’s where our fight is. In Witbank? 

“No, Pastor John, I haven’t seen any demons in Witbank.” That doesn’t mean to say they’re not here. I’m going to just say to you, again; we are not wrestling against flesh and blood. This was real to me when I was in the corporate world, it was real to me if I was sitting across the table from somebody and I was after business. And typically at that time, the business I was dealing with involved multiple millions of rands worth of contracts because they were large computer systems, so it was always fairly big money.

I would sit across the table and normally to start off with, it would be a guy who would be in charge of a tender or something like that. It often, and most likely, it was the information technology, director, manager, IT guy. Sometimes it was the financial director and the IT director, and we would receive a request for proposal and then we would go about our business to see the fit between our solution and their requirement. When I’m sitting in front of that person, I’m listening to what their requirements are because I was a man of faith, I am a man of faith, I’m a man of the Spirit. 

I was not only wanting to find out who my competition was, obviously, you’re in a better place if you know your competition, and your major competition is IBM, or it’s someone else. You want to know who your competition is because you know what their solution is going to be, what they’re offering would be, so you want to know. But inevitably a process like this would take anything from six to eighteen months, depending on the size of the solution that you were working on. I would sit there, and I would begin to allow the Spirit of God inside of me to begin to explore what spiritual forces are at work here. And are they going to prevent me from getting this business? 

If they want to try and prevent me, can I overcome it by my faith? Or is there something else going on here that God would require me just to walk away from it? Because my battle wasn’t just against flesh and blood, I’m contending for business that is influenced by demonic forces that work in people. If you don’t think that the person that you stop, and you do business with, and you buy your lawnmower from is not influenced by a demonic force or the prince of the darkness of this world. Then you’re only considering half of the matter every time. Hallelujah. 

You know, that thought that comes to you when you’ve decided to fast. Why don’t you just have that last piece of cake that’s in the fridge? You think it’s just your stomach talking to you. You just think it’s your mind training, talking to you. You don’t think that there are devils that want to stop you from fasting because you are seeking God’s face? Huh? I’m not talking about if you’re fasting to lose weight. That’s your story. That’s your business [Congregation laughing].

But if you’re fasting and giving up things, because you want to seek the face of God, suddenly you find out these are all these distractions. All these distractions start coming your way. What do you think that it is? It’s those forces that recognize; here’s a light, here’s a light seeker. You become like a, what do they call those things? A heat-seeking missile? You become like a beacon for a heat-seeking missile, you become a burning light. And that heat-seeking missile of enemy forces starts to make their way towards you because your burning fire in God, is visible in the spirit realm.

I want to read it to you from the New Living Translation that says this, 10A final word: Be strong… and this is verse 10 to 12, 10…Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Be strong in the Lord, be strong. I’ve said this to you recently. Be strong. Be strong. “Hallo Julle.” Be strong. This is not a request. Be strong. Be strong. 10A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Not yours. In His mighty power. 11Put on all of God’s armor so that you will able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. So, you think the devil doesn’t have strategies? He’s got strategies against you. Now if I had to come and stand before you and have personal conversations with you, and I had to ask you a question and say, “So what do you think just off the bat? What do you think the devil’s strategy is against you?”

You might say, “Well, um, I don’t know. Maybe insecurity?” Maybe you might, you might be a little unsure what his strategy is. I might say to you, “So well, what do you think he’s trying to prevent you from doing?” Cause the strategy is to stop you from doing something. So what is it that he’s trying to stop you from doing? He’s trying to stop you from understanding who Jesus is to you, and walking in the light. So he wants you to keep walking in darkness, he wants to stop you from walking in light. He has strategies against you; he has strategies against you, your Money, your family, your relationships, he’s got strategies against you, your future, your plans, your health, he’s got strategies.

10…Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. 12For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places. (Ephesians 6:10-12 NLT). Paul is going to a great deal of length to tell the people in Witbank that there are evil forces at work against you. So be strong in His mighty power; be strong and in His mighty power. I want to use an analogy of an athlete for a moment, it goes like this. I don’t think, and it can be any level of athlete, you don’t have to be a professional athlete. In fact, you can be a nonstarter. Okay?

It can go like this: “Why do you want to go and walk? You could injure yourself, just by walking. So don’t exercise. Don’t go walking because you could injure yourself.” So if you’re a walker, then you might say, “Well don’t run, because it’s the runners that drop dead from heart attacks, not walkers.” Right? Well, don’t get in your car and drive to the shops because you can have an accident. So subconsciously, Christians seem to have this kind of idea that happens in their heads. “If I don’t become too involved in the church, and I don’t become too spiritual., the devil will leave me alone, and I won’t be a target of his strategies.” I got news for you; you are already. Every human being on the planet is part of the devil’s strategy. He knows nothing else, but to steal, kill and destroy, and he doesn’t care who he does it too. So you are a target. 

Now you think okay, “If I don’t come to church, I don’t pray, if I don’t speak the word, I’m safe. The devil won’t see me; he won’t see me. If he doesn’t see me I’m oraait, as long as the devil doesn’t see me, and keep making my money, I can keep going to Cape Town for holiday,” or to wherever you go. I know some people that go to a place called Die Eiland. Ek weet nie wat is dit nie, maar nou ja. Yeah, I can keep going wherever I want to go. You know, as long as I don’t…. don’t….. Stay away from the devil. I got news for you. Jesus is in you. You are a new creation, and because you are a new creation, there is a light that shines in you and you can’t hide. Can’t hide that. 

But in the end, he doesn’t, I mean, he doesn’t even care about whether you got the light in you or not. He does care about it, and he’d prefer you to stop spreading the light, and so to that extent, he will try and come and have you try and stop spreading the light. But his target is everybody, everybody. There is no one on the planet, there is no one on the planet that is not his target. Everyone is his target. 

Matthew chapter 6 verse 23, 23But if your eye is unsound, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the very light in you, [your conscience] is darkened, how dense is that darkness! (Matthew 6:23 AMPC) I want to say to you if the Lord keeps prompting you to want to do something, and you keep saying no…. No, because it doesn’t suit my agenda. No, it doesn’t suit my wealth proposition. No, because it doesn’t suit my way I want to spend my leisure time. No, you keep saying no to God. Your darkness gets denser because you’re not obeying what God told you to do, the last thing He said to you. Nothing new is coming to you from God until you do what He last told you to do. If you think that Christians only live in light, I promise you, there are many Christians who disobey the Word of God and disobey what God is telling them, and they shut it down because it doesn’t suit them. They shut it down, and so this Bible says darkness increases. How dense does your darkness come, because now, you fool yourself, not you all here, but you fool yourself into thinking, I can come to Church, I can give a bit of money to Church, and I’m still okay. Your darkness is growing by the very, the thought that you think. Because you’re just saying, “I’m okay. God is on that side, my life is on this side, and the two shall be separate.” 

I’m preaching good today, because the next verse says, 24No one, there is no one on this planet that can serve two masters, no one; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will stand by and be devoted to the one and despise and be against the other. You cannot serve God and mammon (deceitful riches, money, possessions, or whatever is trusted in) (Matthew 6:24 AMPC). You cannot serve God and whatever else you’re trusting. You cannot serve God and your riches. You can’t. That’s not me talking, that’s if you’ve got a red-letter Bible that’s in red, it’s in red. It’s Jesus speaking. 

Luke 11 verse 34, says 34Your eye is the lamp of your body; when your eye (your conscience) is sound and fulfilling its office, your whole body is full of light; but when it is not sound and is not fulfilling its office, your body is full of darkness. 35Be careful, therefore, that the light that is in you is not darkness. 36If then your entire body is illuminated, having no part dark, it will be wholly bright [with light], as when a lamp with its bright rays gives you light (Luke 11:34-36 AMPC).

I don’t know about you, but I want to blow up the darkness of my mind, and I want to walk in the light. I want to walk in light. Hallelujah. Why would you want to walk in darkness?

Luke 11 verse 34, in The Passion Translation, says: 34The eyes of your spirit allow revelation-light to enter into your being. When your heart is open the light floods in.  But when your heart is hard and closed, the light cannot penetrate and darkness takes its place. It’s not a question of, I’m walking in a little bit of light. No, when you are walking against the light, your heart gets hard and light cannot penetrate. That’s why it becomes so dark. 35Open your heart and consider my words. Watch out that you do not mistake your opinions for revelation-light! 36If your spirit burns with light, fully illuminated with no trace of darkness, you will be a shining lamp, reflecting rays of truth by the way you live.” (Luke 11:34-36 TPT) 

If you choose Jesus and you choose light, it will be reflected in the way you live. I’m really not picking on any individual today. I’m really preaching a message that Jesus gave me to preach. He told me in the early hours of this morning, about four o’clock this morning I was awake. And He told me and He said, “If people are not willing to tithe, it means that they’ve already put their trust in a system of money, that is not God’s.” He also told me that based on the COVID pandemic and other things that have happened, if people will not come back to Church, and not continue being in Church, then they have allowed darkness into their heart, and they’ll become closed to the light. Because they think that the medical professionals out there, have more knowledge on safety and virus control, than being in Church. 

Huh. I’m not disputing that the virus is a real thing, and I’m not disputing that things should be done about controlling and managing the virus. I’m not disputing that, but there needs to be a time when the assembling of the saints are beginning to gather together. Now you got to obey God, and you got to get back in Church, and you got to be in Church every Sunday, not some Sundays. I’ll use the pandemic to kind of do what I want to do when I want to do it, and when it suits me, I’ll stay away from Church. Trust me, this is a thing that’s happening in America big time, half the Christian Churches, staying away from Church, so-called Christians. Well, actually, what they’ve done is they said, we’ll use any excuse to stay away from Church and not serve God. 

I’m reading from a different version. It’s the ESV version. 35So Jesus said to them, “The light is among you for a little while longer. Walk while you have the light, lest darkness overtake you. The one who walks in the darkness does not know where he is going. 36While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become sons of light.” When Jesus had said these things, he departed and hid himself from them.

His disciples, He just got to preaching to them about believing the light, right? So He goes, and He hides from them. Look what happens next. 37Though he had done so many signs before them, they still did not believe in him (John 12:35-37 ESV). 

Were they walking with the light? They were walking with the light, they’ve even seen signs and wonders. And so He just leaves them for a short while, and they still don’t believe in Him. If you think you are immune to this, then you’ve probably the strongest person since Jesus. Because we are all susceptible to this. Because our fight is not against flesh and blood, our fight is a fight against principalities and powers and rulers of darkness. That’s where we fight. That’s why we pray. Prayer for us is not a Church religion activity. Prayer is something we do because we talk to God and He hears us, and then He answers us. We know that He answers us because He’s a living God. I have too much evidence of God answering my prayers in my life not to believe that He doesn’t? Hallelujah. 

We don’t praise and worship God because it’s a religious practice. We do it because He hears us, and He honour’s us with His presence. When He’s presence comes, you know, He’s here. [Congregation says yes.] So, I’ve got something to teach here. It’ll take me another 10 or 15 minutes. This is really important for me to say this. I want to know if you guys are all doing alright. Are you still with me? Is your attention with me, if you still with what I have to say?

Okay. I’m going to do the very best I can in a very short space of time to explain the book of Ephesians to you. Because I was talking to you about the Apostle Paul that wrote letters to the Church of Witbank. He wrote a letter to the Church in Ephesus, which I’m now replacing with Witbank. All right? Let’s call it rather Heritage of Faith for those that are not here in Witbank. Okay. 

Ephesians chapter 1. The Apostle Paul is praying. Here’s what he prays. Do you think he’s praying because it’s a religious practice? He’s praying because he knows God hears him. So here’s what he’s praying, I pray God that You hear me. 18I pray that the light of God will illuminate the eyes of your imagination, flooding you with light, until you experience the full revelation of the hope of his calling—that is, the wealth of God’s glorious inheritances that he finds in us, his holy ones! 19I pray to you, Heritage of Faith people in Witbank and other places, that you will continually experience the immeasurable greatness of God’s power made available to you through faith. Then your lives will be an advertisement of this immense power as it works through you! This is the mighty power 20that was released when God raised Christ from the dead and exalted him to the place of highest honor and supreme authority in the heavenly realm! 

The same power is at work in you; the same power is at work in you, that raised Him from the dead and put Him in the highest place. Same power. 21And now he Jesus is exalted as first above or over every ruler, every authority, every government, and realm of power in existence! In other words Witbank Church, there is not a government, there is not a ruler, there is not a power in existence that has more power than you. If you are seated with Christ, and His power is at work in you, you rule. You rule. 21And now he is exalted as first above every ruler, authority, government, and realm of power in existence He is gloriously enthroned over every name that is ever praised, not only in this age, but in the age that is coming! (Ephesians 1:18-21 TPT)

Let me tell you, I don’t care how famous anybody becomes, and I keep using this. John Lennon said, “I am more famous than God.” Really? Than Jesus. I’m more famous than Jesus. John Lennon is dead, and he will be dead for eternity. Jesus is alive, and we still praise Him. This scripture says that He will be praised more than any other name will be praised for eternity. So that’s the beginning of Ephesians.

Chapter 2 of Ephesians verse 10, 10We have become his poetry, a re-created people that will fulfill the destiny he has given each of us, We have become His poetry that will fulfil the destiny that He has for each of us. What is your destiny? What’s your destiny? Do you know it? If you don’t know it yet, hang around us long enough and you’ll find out. That’s for another day. … a re-created people that will fulfill the destiny he has given each of us, for we are joined to Jesus, the Anointed One. Even before we were born, God planned in advance our destiny and the good works we would do to fulfill it! (Ephesians 2:10 TPT)

He even planned the good works you’re supposed to do to fulfil your destiny. Do you want to know what your destiny is? Listen, this time that we have on this earth is short, short, short, short. Short, it’s time to fulfil destiny. Why wait? Why wait? Why would you want to live your life, your whole life, and then only find out when you’re sixty or seventy or eighty and say, “Hey, I could have had a destiny, you know,” I got news for you, though, if you’re eighty, and you find out what your destiny is, get busy doing it because at least you’ll end your life doing it? And God is so powerful that He can restore in an eighty-year-old man with a little bit of energy in a year that his whole life should have accomplished. God can do that. But don’t waste your time waiting for that. 

Now we go to Ephesians three, verse seven, 7–8I have been made a messenger of this wonderful news by the gift of grace that works through me. Even though I am the least significant of all his holy believers, this grace-gift was imparted when the manifestation of his power came upon me. Grace alone empowers me so that I can boldly preach this wonderful message to non-Jewish people, sharing with them the unfading, inexhaustible riches of Christ, which are beyond comprehension. Verse 9, just the beating verse, 9My passion is to enlighten every person to this divine mystery. (Ephesians 3:7-9 TPT)

I have to say, if I’m the Apostle Paul, I have to say, “I stand here today least amongst all of Christ’s believers.” Isn’t that what he wrote? He said, “But God’s grace has empowered me to be a messenger to you.” And it is only by his empowered grace, that he is a messenger. So I am a messenger to you. I am, God’s grace has empowered me to be a messenger to you, I did not choose it. I did not promote myself to it. I didn’t even ask God for it. I did not even desire it.

He placed it in me and upon me when I was seven years old. His Holy Spirit fell upon me and I spoke in tongues and I didn’t even know what tongues meant. From that moment I knew there was a God-mantle on my life. All through my life this mantle, this messenger mantle has been upon me. Even though I may fail you as a human being, and I might, because you have expectations of me as a person you have come to know and you may know me well and one day I might do something that is out of character of my normal behaviour pattern and so I might disappoint you, I might let you down. That does not change the fact that I am the messenger of Jesus and it’s His grace that empowers me to be so, not my perfection. Hallelujah.

But I do say like the Apostle Paul, I beat my body daily. I daily take hold of that natural man that wants to make me subject to its own natural desires and I beat it so that I might overcome it so that I might accurately represent who Jesus is. 

Chapter 3 of Ephesians. 10The purpose of this was to unveil before every throne and rank of angelic orders in the heavenly realm God’s full and diverse wisdom revealed through the Church. (Ephesians 3:10 TPT) Why has He got me preaching this? Because actually, the only way God is going to rule in the earth is through the Church. That’s you and me. That’s why he (the enemy) wants to bring the Church into disrepute. He wants to divide the Church, he wants to make it irrelevant, he wants to water it down. “Be a Church, but don’t be a Holy Ghost Church. Be a Church, but please don’t even mention that there are demons.”

Okay, verse 20. 20Never doubt God’s mighty power to work in you and accomplish all this. He will achieve infinitely more than your greatest request, your most unbelievable dream, and exceed your wildest imagination! He will outdo them all, for his miraculous power constantly energizes you. (Ephesians 3:20 TPT) So, if you think He’s going to give you destiny and a plan and not give you glorious living, He’s going to give it to you, but you’ve got to make the decision that you are going to stick with Him. Hallelujah.

Okay, so now I’m getting into the final… I’ve turned the final bend of the race now and I’m running towards the finish line and I’m heading for it, so hang in there with me. 

Ephesians 4 verse 11; 11And he has appointed some with grace to be apostles, and some with grace to be prophets, and some with grace to be evangelists, and some with grace to be pastors, and some with grace to be teachers. 12 And their calling is to nurture and prepare all the holy believers, which is you. So what am I called to do? Nurture you. Hello? Nurture you. I’m called to nurture you. If you don’t show up to Church, I can’t nurture you. “Ah, but Pastor John, we’re going to have coffee and then you can nurture me.” That’s not how it works because the grace gift that works on me works best here. That’s the way God designed it. 

12 …their calling is to nurture and prepare all the holy believers to do their own works of ministry. (Ephesians 4:11-12 TPT) Please, everyone, say; my own work of ministry. [Congregation: My own work of ministry.] Who’s work? [Congregation: Mine.] Who’s work? [Congregation: My own.] What, what? You have a what? You have a work? You have a work? [Congregation: Yes.] Of what? [Congregation: Ministry.] You? I’m supposed to nurture you so that you can do your work of ministry. I’m not supposed to be the guy that does everything. I’m supposed to nurture you so you get to do what you’re supposed to do. 

Let me tell you, the Church by and large in the world has got this upside down. They want to elevate a great preacher and the great musicians of the world. They want to elevate them and say, “Teach us and give us a good experience,” meantime God is saying, “I want the Church to do work.” You guys are the workers. And then when I get off this pulpit I’m just like you, I’ve got to work too. 

So I’m supposed to nurture you and prepare holy believers to do their own works of ministry, as they do this they will enlarge and build up the body of Christ. Shew… 13 These grace ministries will function until we all attain oneness into the faith, until we all experience the fullness of what it means to know the Son of God, and finally we become one into a perfect man with the full dimensions of spiritual maturity and fully developed into the abundance of Christ. (Ephesians 4:12-13 TPT)

Okay, I’m going to make this plain and simple. Let me call my son, Brynn, up here. Let me call my son, Brynn, up. I mean, you know, he’s a fairly large dude, and long ago I stopped being able to carry him. Actually, my son, Garth, you can come and join me, please. [Pastor Garth: The one that’s not so large…] He might not be as large, but he’s very strong because he carries 4 kids around.

So, long ago I stopped being able to carry them around. They are still my sons even though I can’t carry them around, but there was a time where I would actually carry them around. When I was busy carrying them around and they were growing up from being little kids and growing up, I was what to them? Dad. So, as dad, my influence on them was in the house.

They may know this, I’m sure they know this, but they could never develop as men if we did not go to a Church. They could not develop as men if there was not a pastor who was teaching them. My job was to daddy them. The pastor’s church that we went to, his job was to teach them – teach me and to teach them. So, they could not become the men that they are today without another pastor teaching them. Even though I was called to the fivefold ministry as a pastor, my job was not to pastor them. My job was to daddy them. My job was to live out the life of Christ in front of them, so they saw Christ in me, they saw the power of God working through me, they saw God at work in my life so I can be an example of Christ, but my job was not to pastor them. My job was to daddy them.

So now, the reality of it is, if he [Pastor John points to Pastor Garth] did not receive pastoring, then he may not have children. So, what’s his main job for his children? To daddy them. What’s the main job of his children’s mother? To mother them. Not to pastor them. Where do they get pastoring? [Pastor Sharon: In the Church.] In the Church. This is what the devil is trying to stop with COVID. He’s trying to keep children and parents at home looking at TV’s and say, “We’ll get pastored through the TV channel.” You cannot get pastored through a TV channel!

You can’t get pastored through a TV channel. You can’t get pastored because you’re watching some other ministry. Why? Because nurturing comes through relationship. It doesn’t come through a screen. Nurturing comes through a relationship. It doesn’t come because I can read the Bible. There’s a lot of Christians that say, “I can teach myself the Bible and I can listen to messages and I can grow spiritually.” Yes, you’ll get information, but you won’t grow if you’re not planted in a Church. But you don’t understand Pastor John, my work takes me away from Church all the time and so I can’t come to church as regularly as I can. Believe God to change your job, because you’re supposed to be in Church. Church life is where the action happens. 

You know, how they grew, they learnt how to grow to be men in the house. You know, boys will be boys and they have differences of agreement and they’ve got to kind of struggle it out en hulle stamp koppe. Right? Having a clash of wills. Brynn wasn’t always as big as he is now. They clash, they used to clash wills.

It’s in the home when you are clashing wills that you’ve got to choose to do Jesus or not. It’s born through relationship, not through a TV screen. Oh, I think I’ll get to know my brother through a TV screen. Can’t get to know your brother through a TV screen. So if I can’t get to know my brother through a TV screen, how are we supposed to let this work happen between us if we stay at home? 

Again, I want to tell you I’m not talking to anybody specifically. I’m telling you I woke up at four o’clock this morning, I already had my message and the Lord said, “I want you to do the Book of Ephesians.” In fact, the interns will tell you that the Book of Ephesians has been in my heart since the beginning of the trip, of the intern trip, because I kept telling them, if God gives it to me, I want to give you, I want to tell you the Book of Ephesians. And this morning, I woke up and the Lord said, “Today, you will do a brief overview for the Church, the whole Church on Ephesians.”

13These grace ministries will function until we all attain oneness into the faith, until we all experience the fullness of what it means to know the Son of God, and finally we become one into a perfect man with the full dimensions of spiritual maturity and fully developed into the abundance of Christ. 14 And then our immaturity will end! And we will not be easily shaken by trouble, (Ephesians 4:12-13 TPT) Do you want to not be easily shaken by trouble? This is where we learn how. This is where we learn how.

“I don’t like the way you spoke to me, Pastor John.” Sorry, what did I say? How did I say it? “Well, you said… ja and I’m going through this and you said this.” Hey, listen, I came out of a meeting, I was doing this, I was doing this. I didn’t even have it on my mind that I thought I did that to you. “Oh, so you were going and busy doing that. That’s what happened. Sorry, man. Okay, misunderstanding, then you don’t actually hate me?” No, actually, I love you. You know? 

So but I don’t want to have all that messy stuff. I’ve got news for you. You don’t get the marvellous stuff of God if you don’t go through the messy stuff of God because growing up is messy, I know, I changed their nappies. I did, I had to smack their backsides and when they became teenagers, I had to go and sort out their messes. Sometimes. Sometimes they had to face their own consequences. 

Hey, it gets messy, living. Come on now. Come on, don’t look at me like some foreign object, living gets messy. And if you think living is not messy in the Church, and the Church is this perfect place to be? It’s not, it’s as messy as everywhere else. The difference is we got the Holy Ghost here, we got Jesus here, we got everybody else here walking in love and our messiness becomes a marvellous powerful thing in the spirit realm. Because even though we are messy, God says, “I choose you to display my full authority to principalities and powers.” But we are so messy, how come? “You are still My Church.” Amen. Hallelujah. 

Okay, one more scripture. Ephesians 4 verse 22. 22 And he has taught you to let go of the lifestyle of the ancient man, the old self-life, which was corrupted by sinful and deceitful desires that spring from delusions. 23 Now it’s time to be made new by every revelation that’s been given to you. 24 And to be transformed as you embrace the glorious Christ-within as your new life and live in union with him! For God has recreated you all over again in his perfect righteousness, and you now belong to him in the realm of true holiness. (Ephesians 4:22-24 TPT)

Let me tell you, whatever messiness here, this scripture says you’re still righteous. When messy, righteous people get together, they can still get into agreement and pray together and change the world. Hallelujah. Hallelujah. Praise Jesus. 

Now he writes in chapter six, this is the end. There’s only six chapters you can be pleased about that. The Passion Translation, Ephesians chapter 6, 10Now my beloved ones, I have saved these most important truths for last: Be supernaturally infused with strength through your life-union with the Lord Jesus. Stand victorious with the force of his explosive power flowing in and through you. 11Put on God’s complete set of armor provided for us, so that you will be protected as you fight against the evil strategies of the accuser! 12Your hand-to-hand combat is not with human beings, but with the highest principalities and authorities operating in rebellion under the heavenly realms. For they are a powerful class of demon-gods and evil spirits that hold this dark world in bondage. 13Because of this, you must wear all the armor that God provides so you’re protected as you confront the slanderer, for you are destined for all things and will rise victorious. (Ephesians 6:10-13 TPT)

You are destined for all things, and you will rise victorious. I’ve given you a brief overview of the Ephesian Church, which was the Church that was the example Church in the New Testament and I had to give it to you today because the Lord put it on my heart to say, “You got to get this done today.” So I have preached a little bit longer, and I’m not sorry. Hallelujah. Because if you get this message, and you hear it over and over again, and you keep putting Witbank and you and me and you and me and Witbank in it. Now you will begin to understand what God has actually got in store for you and me. Victorious, great things, victorious, great things.

Stand with me please. Hallelujah. Praise Jesus. Praise the Lord. Praise the Lord. Praise the Lord. Hallelujah. Hallelujah. I just want you to do this with me. I haven’t done this in a while. But I want you to do this with me again, put your hand on your heart and just say, I am a son of God. I am a son of God. I, thank you, Lord, I am protected. And you are my God. And I will serve you. I will love you. I will obey you. In Jesus name. Hallelujah. Hallelujah. 

I pray that His grace rests upon you. His anointing rests upon you. His peace that passes understanding is like this fog, this cloud that hangs over you. It just rests upon you everywhere you go, peace is yours, favour is yours, blessing is yours. I pray that the message that I preached today will be a living, powerful force in your life and you will listen to it and absorb it and it will become part of you and you will be infused with mighty power in the inner man. You’re blessed going out and blessed coming in. No weapon formed against you will prosper. No virus or sickness or disease will come near you or your dwelling place, in Jesus name. Your income is protected, your place of work, God provides you with a source of income that is a blessing to you, in Jesus name. Hallelujah. Hallelujah, everybody said, “Amen!” Thank you for listening to me. Goodbye.