Clay Vessels for Supernatural Increase – Ps John Bendixen (Jhb)
Scripture Reference: 1 Corinthians 9:19-23 (NKJV); 1 Corinthians 9:22-23 (TPT); 1 Corinthians 9:19-27 (MSG); John 2:3-8 (NKJV)
Praise and worship with the Witbank music team. Praise the Lord. Let’s just pray and dedicate the service to the Lord. We thank You, Lord, for this opportunity to come together and be together and we recognise the wonder of being a church together. We recognise the glory of being blessed. We recognise the wonder of and the marvel of just everything that you have done for us in our lives, and that as a body we can come back together again. We thank You for the gift You have given to each of us, through each of us. I just pray that every part of this service today will be anointed. Everybody will have ears to hear, hearts to receive and their minds will be clear so that they can interpret the words of God for their lives. We thank You for it, Lord, in Jesus name. Amen. If you’ll all stand with me and then we’re going to sing along.
(Praise and Worship)
You guys may be seated. Praise the Lord. Well, it is good to see your faces even if you’ve got blue things on your ears. It’s quite a fun experience to have in church, hey? I want to read you a couple of passages of Scripture today and then we can all decide together how much time we want to spend in the Word after I’ve done that. First Corinthians chapter 9 verse 19 to 23 in the New King James Version says, 19For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win the more; 20and to the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might win Jews; to those who are under the law, as under the law, that I might win those who are under the law; 21to those who are without law, as without law (not being without law toward God, but under law toward Christ), that I might win those who are without law; 22to the weak I became as weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some. 23Now this I do for the gospel’s sake, that I may be partaker of it with you (1 Corinthians 9:19-23 NKJV).
There’s a couple of very important points that I want to make in this passage of Scripture as briefly as I can. The one point I have to do is, help you notice the first line which says, 19For though I am free from all men, so in other words there isn’t any man, there isn’t any human being on the planet that for the Apostle Paul had any hold on him. He didn’t owe anybody any money. He didn’t owe anybody for anything in the past and he was a free man, he was not a slave man. He was also not a man that was under law, meaning he had no more requirement for the law itself as under the Jewish custom, and so because he was free, though I am free from all men, I have made myself a servant to all. This is a choice for us to be servants to all men. It’s a choice. This is not something that, well, maybe theologically I agree with this or I don’t agree with this. This is according to the Word of God, it’s a choice that you are free. But it is a choice for you then to serve other people as a free person. Amen.
I’m going to read to you that passage of Scripture out of the Passion Translation, I’m just going to read verses from it from verse 22, the Passion Translation reads like this, 22I became “weak” to the weak to win the weak. I have adapted to the culture of every place I’ve gone so that I could more easily win people to Christ. That’s very interesting the way the Passion Translation says it. I have adapted to the culture of every place so that I can win some. 23I’ve done all this so that I would become God’s partner for the sake of the gospel (1 Corinthians 9:22-23 TPT). It’s quite important for us as a group of people that this is an example for us to follow that even though we are free that we become servants to all men. This is something that I’ve certainly, I’ve had to deal with in many certain ways. The older people get, the more money they make, the more status they have in community, the more they want to choose how they serve, not that they serve. They only want to choose to serve as long as it confirms their status, as long as it confirms their level of comfort so that when they are in the world space or in the church’s environment, I demand a certain amount of credibility and I demand a certain level of respect and so I will tell you how I will serve. I’m very grateful to people that say, I serve with my money. But it’s a lot easier to serve with your money than it is to serve with yourself. Although serving with money is something that God requires, serving with yourself is a recognition of your choice that you choose to serve yourself, not just with money. Because money is a very dignified, respectful way of serving but it is also an escape hatch, that allows you to not serve in any other way because of what seniority you are, because of what status you are, what kind of value you ascribe to yourself as a person. Amen.
I’m going to read you this passage of Scripture in first Corinthians chapter 9 out of The Message translation. I’m going to read the whole verse, the whole passage again. 19-23Even though I am free of the demands and expectations of everyone. This is a very powerful place to be in that the Apostle Paul is writing from, and I really like the way The Message translations puts that first line, you know. 19-23Even though I am free of the demands and expectations of everyone. In other words there’s no one who has an expectation and there is no one that can place a demand on me. I am completely free from everybody else’s expectations and demands. I have voluntarily become a servant to any and all in order to reach a wide range of people: religious, nonreligious, meticulous moralists, loose-living immoralists, the defeated, the demoralized—whoever. I didn’t take on their way of life. I kept my bearings in Christ. Even though he was called to minister to those people, he didn’t become, to use this word, loose living immoralists, to be able to reach them. Even though they were like that, he kept his compass, he kept his bearings in Christ so that he didn’t become like they were but instead had become and could become Christ to them. But I entered their world and tried to experience things from their point of view. I’ve become just about every sort of servant there is in my attempts to lead those I meet into a God-saved life. I did all this because of the Message. I didn’t just want to talk about it; I wanted to be in on it! (1 Corinthians 9:19-23 MSG).
Huh? This is a very wonderful passage of Scripture when you read it like this. Right?
24-25 You’ve all been to the stadium and seen the athletes race. Everyone runs; one wins. Run to win. All good athletes train hard. They do it for a gold medal that tarnishes and fades. You’re after one that’s gold eternally. 26-27 I don’t know about you, but I’m running hard for the finish line. I’m giving it everything I’ve got. No sloppy living for me! I’m staying alert and in top condition. I’m not going to get caught napping, telling everyone else all about it and then missing out myself (1 Corinthians 9:24-27 MSG). Hallelujah.
Wonderful, wonderful passage of Scripture. What you’ve seen from what happened in the Witbank church and what we’ve tried to recreate in a limited fashion and as best we can – thank you, Hein and Janine for helping I appreciate it. And Andre and Conrad and Otto and others that came from WItbank to help put this together and make this room look like it does and help with the social distancing, set out the seats and help with the cleansing and all the stuff that we need to comply with. I’m very grateful. The blue earphones were started, came about as a result of the main auditorium in Witbank. We started, the last two three days before lockdown we actually recorded six videos, music videos which you’ve been listening to for 8 weeks, on YouTube. Right? We were able to do that because we recognised number one that we weren’t going to need chairs in the auditorium and we also wanted to record something that could help me on my program on TBN which is us and could help us have church on a broadcast basis, YouTube basis without having to be together so we could worship and have ministry on social media, of what sort whatever sort that was going to be. I thank God that we were able to do that and we had some music that we could do through the lockdown.
Of course the first twenty one days of lockdown nobody was allowed to move out of the house, it was a very strict environment and Lord, please don’t let us ever go back into that again as a country, but after the twenty one day period Pastor Sharon and I were determined we were going to make the twenty one day period count. We were not just going to say well, we can’t preach to you all. So fortunately the Lord had already placed it in my heart at the end of last year, beginning of this year to be on the airwaves so to speak four times a day in different media platforms and I thought TBN had a big part to play because it would be more national. So they came back to me with prices of what that would take and I said I will pass on this one, but what the Lord had done is He put it on my heart to be ready because He knew what was coming and so I had already prepared all our social media people, and so we immediately started to record Facebook, we started to record Midday Moments, we were having prayer connect groups, we were having messages through the day into the evening. I was obedient to the Lord to begin to minister the Word to you in ways that I would not normally be ready to minister the Word to you, but it was in my heart and we were ready.
Aside from Pastor Sharon and I really hunkering down with God and being in a very good place spiritually, her and I together, we also knew that I had to get into church, I had to get into a place where I could do multimedia stuff. Most people I have contacted and being connected with have said that the continuous messages that have come to you have been helpful and spiritual and they have supported you in this period of time. Right? [affirmation from congregation]. It has been a wonderful thing. Certainly we were working hard.
The other thing that we then did is, we discovered that because TBN was an authorised permit holder as essential service and because we were on TBN we could get permits to do recordings and to do things in our auditorium that other people couldn’t get. We got those permits and we started to bring the musicians from Jo’burg into Witbank and we have spent quite a lot of time, I think we have done, I am not exactly sure, I am open to correction but I think we have done sixteen new video songs. The set that you saw here is the second or third iteration of sets that we have used in order to make music videos. It was a wonderful experience for me because we did not need chairs in the auditorium, so when we were standing in the auditorium, we just had four walls to work with. What do we do with this space? How do we work with this space? So as we spent weekends and days going through what needed to come out of the songs, I began to see that actually the church can do a lot of things if we have the will and the capacity and the will of God to do it. Amen.
I want to just know by a show of hands here today, how many of you have read the book by Kenneth E Haggin, Plans Purposes and Pursuits? Can I see your hands? A few of you. I encourage you, you can download it as an ebook, you can actually get it from one of the people of Heritage of Faith. We can distribute it, the ebook of Plans, Purposes and Pursuits to you if you request it. We can get it to you. One of the things that Brother Haggin did – that book was largely written because in 1989 he had a visitation from God the night before a Tulsa camp meeting was going to happen. The camp meeting happened normally in July, and it would run seven days, and they normally had ten to fifteen thousand people that would come through the auditorium at any given set of services. Right before he started, Jesus appeared to him and spoke to him. He gave him many instructions about the church and instructions for his ministry. One of the things he outlined is that Jesus said that part of the problem that the church has is that they are trying to do everything all together in one service. And that the church needs to have healing services, that the church needs to have evangelistic services, the church needs to have teaching services, the church needs to have believers meetings. Believer meetings are meetings where believers come filled with the Holy Spirit and they come to give Holy Spirit to other people and we sing songs, hymns and spiritual songs to each other. We allow the gifts of the Holy Spirit to flow amoungste and with us together all the time, in the believers meeting.
As I was meditating on that, the Lord began to show me that for the most part our ministry has done well in the teaching ministry, has done very well in the training ministry and in some instances reasonably well in the transfer ministry. What we don’t do very well is touch, we don’t touch the world, right? It’s easy for us to say that’s the job of an evangelist and an evangelist must do that work. Well, actually that’s not what the Apostle Paul is writing here. He is saying, I adapt myself to every culture so that I might win some. We have an outstanding opportunity created by what the world would call a disaster, but we have an outstanding opportunity to allow ourselves to step back as a ministry and a church and say; what is it that God wants for us with new doors and supernatural increase? Amen.
What you saw in the services last week and what I am showing you today is something that is a possibility that we might do things like this, where we can have events that take place that you can invite non-christians to that are more likely to come to an event like this than they would come to a normal church service at four o’clock on a Sunday afternoon, right? I want to tell you that in my heart I am seriously asking God for the wisdom and the execution of where we take the ministry from here. Because I am seeing this as a God opportunity to reset many things. Hello? This is a God opportunity to reset many things and so I like the way it says in the Message translation; you 24-25Run to win. All good athletes train hard. They do it for a gold medal that tarnishes and fades. You’re after one that’s gold eternally. (1 Corinthians 9:25-27, MSG) Are you after a gold medal eternally? How will you know whether you are getting a medal or not? Well, you’ll know that you’re getting a medal if you’re continuously obeying the will of the Father. There are two ways that we can touch people in the world. The one is you touch them personally. The other way is you bring them to church and they get touched at church. But for the most part people are a little bit antiseptic against church, right? So, I’m just exploring with God how this is going to work on an ongoing basis. But, certainly what has been shown to me is that if we just see the auditorium, we see this building. I just want to leave this message with you today. The message that I’m trying to teach you is that it wasn’t the Apostle Paul that was expecting the world to change so that they could receive from him. The Apostle Paul was adapting himself to touch them. He would adapt himself to every culture as much as is possible without becoming their culture. If he found himself in a place where men wore pant suits, because those days they wore robes mostly. But if he found himself in a new culture where men wore pant suits, and shirts, and all that kind of stuff, maybe they wore hats I don’t know. I’m being silly but I’m just saying, whatever that culture required he would do that. Please, don’t go and make yourself full of tattoos so that you could identify with the people that have tattoos. If you have one and you’ve done it for yourself, okay, but I’m just saying, you don’t have to go and get tattoos so that you can identify with people that have tattoos.
But what you shouldn’t do is go to a person that’s got tattoos, and I’m being silly with this but it is a relevant thing because by large the church has had negativity against people that have tattoos, generally. If you don’t go to somebody who’s got a tattoo and you say, “Well, I can’t talk to that person because they’ve got a tattoo,” or maybe they’ve got a tongue ring or looking wild and weird.
The way the apostle Paul would handle it is that he would accept that person with all grace and dignity and with respect. He wouldn’t judge anything about that person’s appearance. He wouldn’t judge anything about that person’s language, he wouldn’t judge anything about that person’s behavior. What he would do is he would best try and understand what brought that person to this place and minister the Gospel to them in such a way that they wouldn’t reject the Gospel but receive the Gospel. This is what the apostle Paul is saying.
I believe that once again God is speeding things up. What could have happened in ten years is going to happen in one year?It is already happening to us. What could have happened in 20 years happens in two years.
When we started this ministry it was in my heart as you well know, this was in my heart to have a really fantastic music group and have music flowing out of our ministry that the Lord showed me would flow. Songs would flow out of our ministry that would make a mark in the world. Well, here’s something that I don’t have the stats to, neither does Brother Jerry or Joe. But they’ve duplicated the CD a number of times, and when I gave Brother Jerry Walk in the Light album to sell in America and take all the proceeds to himself, they started off with I think they did 300 CD’s. Well, they’ve redone the CD’s a number of times and sold it as they’ve done meetings wherever they’ve gone. For sure Walk in the Light has made a big impact in America. It’s had an impact in South Africa and that’s our seed that we sowed to our future.
I’m happy to say that God is bringing more musicians to us of the standard that God has brought to us. Why is that important? It’s important because I know that it doesn’t matter what age you are or what generation you come from, music is a universal language and has an ability to attract people and to hold people and you can have a message through music. Hallelujah. I believe that God is wanting us to have an open mind, open heart that we might be able to do things in a way in our ministry that we touch more people. Because we’ve got teaching down pretty good. We’ve got training down pretty good. We’ve trained people to think like God and behave like God with money. We’ve trained people to think like God and do God in relationships. We’ve taught people and train people to think like God when it comes to matters of the church, right? In many ways, we’ve been able to transfer that not only to you but to many people that have come to our Bible Schools year after year after year.
It was the biggest surprise to me when we decided to start Bible School again this last Monday, we started Bible School in Witbank. I know also in Jo’burg too, but it was the biggest surprise that the first-year class – I think it is the first-year class. I think it was 54 people that were normally there and we had close to 50 people that showed up. That means that the coronavirus didn’t deteriorate what they were requiring in terms of hungry for the Word and wanting to get the job done now. Year after year this has been the case where God has supernaturally used the Bible school for us to teach people, to train people and then send them out and transfer them into their communities, where they can bring the truth of the Gospel.
A person who speaks the language of faith is a desirable person anywhere and everywhere, because faith is the language of hope. Faith is the language of God results wherever you are. Faith is the language of love, because you can’t have faith without love. If you’ve got love then you have the capacity in faith to reach out to many people and to touch them and to become all things you need to become to them so that you might win some or save some. Hallelujah. Praise the Lord.
You know, I’ve had many, many obstacles put in my way for this property and what’s happening in this auditorium this morning is something that I saw a long time ago – we would move out this wall by a meter, we would move out this wall to the end of that. We would move that wall out by a meter to right at the back there and we would have an auditorium here that could seat about 200 people, but I knew in my heart, I could see that this would be a multi-purpose, audio-visual studio where things could happen. As it turns out what we did in Witbank over the lockdown period is what I envisage this place to be that this was a newly rigged-out auditorium, that had all the soundproofing, all of the lighting, all of the stuff. That it was actually a recording studio that could be used for teaching, could be used for music, could be used for events. Hallelujah.
Right in the beginning, you know, I had a dream about this property. The vision was that where the outside little hut is there, just as it goes into the dip, to build a dome-like thing that was designed by an architect that did the dome, actually the North Gate Dome, and it would operate on cantilevers and the cantilevers would allow the roof to open and so that you could seat about 1 000 people inside the auditorium, but you could open it up to the banks that were on the outside, and so you could have concerts and music festivals and things that would happen and people could sit in the auditorium, but the music and the lights and everything would be of such a nature and such quality that you could have an indoor-outdoor, you know, event that could happen. I understand that that would take millions and millions, but I’ve never allowed my dream to be subject to money. I’ve had to use wisdom on how to execute it and so we’ve had a lot of challenges about this property, but I wanted you to get a vision today – that if this was an auditorium that was completely enclosed with a high ceiling that had all the cameras and everything and we hosted live music concerts in this building, that you could invite people to – that we could use that as a tool to get born again. I have a dream about this property that it would be a place of gathering for Christians and non-Christians alike, where they could play volleyball here, they could play in-door soccer here or outdoor soccer or whatever the case might be – that this would be – we’ve got enough place here to do many things with this property. Right? And so, here we are. It’s a wonderful thing.
I want you to have a vision, because we’ve got to become all things to all men, so that we might win some and we need to be partakers of this with Jesus Christ, otherwise we are not fulfilling our obligation as a church. Right?
I am seeking the Lord as to how we can do this. The danger and the challenge is this, that when you have an extravagant event that Christians come to, they always want to have that same level of extravagance all the time, which leads to laziness. It leads to spiritual deformity, because actually you depend on the experience to actually do it for you but what you need is the Word of God to do it for you, not the experience. Because if I spent much more money on a grand experience, there’s a lot of opportunity for the grand experience to actually drive the agenda rather than the Word of God and the Body of Christ to drive the agenda. Are you all with me? I’m quite comfortable in my walk with the Lord right now, in the way God has brought us all this time and I have confidence in you that if we had to double the amount of people that would come in here, because we have world class events or heavenly class events, that people would come, that they wouldn’t bring their culture into our lives so we would change our culture to bait them but when they’re introduced to Jesus, then we will begin to transform them – because the Word will transform them. Hallelujah, praise the Lord. Glory to Jesus. Glory to Jesus.
It might be that we do an extravagant event once a month, maybe once every two months, over a whole weekend. It might be another day of the week as opposed to a Sunday. There are many things that we can do and we’ll wait on the Lord to see how we should proceed in terms of that. Amen.
Do you like these earphones? It’s quite nice if you are somebody that doesn’t like the music too loud in the Witbank auditorium. You can have one of these on your head and you can adjust the volume to your own self. It actually gave me an idea when we started to do this and we started to explore what we could do; it gave me an idea – so this actually came about because we couldn’t use the in-church auditorium sound, because the way it’s positioned is for this kind of experience so that all the sound is positioned in the roof and everything towards the people that would sit in pews. So if we had that kind of scenario happening, we would get lots of feedback in the auditorium and it would cause us problems,. So we came up with this idea; someone had this idea and we decided to go for it and it makes it easy for everybody to hear what’s going on. Amen. Praise the Lord. So I’m done with my service today but I’ve got more things to share with you.
Here’s a question, how many of you watch me on TBN? If you say you don’t, I’m not going to be hard on you. Please, be honest about it because I have a second question to ask you. How many of you watch me on TBN? A few. To the other people, I ask you a question, why not? What? Don’t have DSTV. Who does not watch me on TBN because they have no DSTV? The majority, okay. That’s very interesting.
You know something that happened in this period of time, we were approached by a second channel that is on the DSTV bouquet, and that channel actually contacted us and asked for a conversation with us. There opening remarks with us; so I had Matthew take the call and I sat in on the call, although I didn’t let them know that I was there, I just wanted to hear what they had to say to Matthew. They basically said that they had done some research; they have a research department and their research department had identified our ministry as a ministry that they want to have on their channel. They would give us a half hour slot every day and they would repeat that half hour slot one other time during the day, throughout the week, and they would make their whole database of Facebook users, which is about, I think they said 180000 Facebook users, available to us to advertise anything we want to advertise from our ministry. They did this, virtually at half the price of the channel that we are currently on. I asked Matthew to kind of push a bit harder to say, “How did they really find out about us? What is the research,” you know. Then after, they didn’t want to say but then after some time, this way, that way, it turned out that – number 1; they saw us on TBN and number 2; they researched us and looked at our YouTube videos and all of the things that we had. And so they were really keen and are still very keen to have us on, virtually any time that we want and they are busy reaching out to ministries to be on their platform, whereas their platform is generally music – it’s 70/80 percent, music. But they want us to come and bring a message to the platform. As far as they are concerned they have approximately 300 000 viewers that they could tell on their channel which is as a result of work that they have done on Facebook, Instagram and other multi media things that they do and so, it’s quite significant.
You know, the one problem with being on DSTV, is why I am asking you the question because if you ask DSTV how many people watch any given programme at any given time, whether it is TD Jakes, whether it is Kenneth Copeland, they can’t tell you how many people out of the so-called 300/500 million people that are in Africa, watch Christian channels. They can’t tell you, and which times they watch. They just say we have a potential market of three hundred million or whatever the viewership is that has coders of whatever the case might be but they can’t actually tell you how many people are watching your programme at any given time. But it is clear to me that the Lord is honouring us and raising our profile out there and so God is opening new doors. Amen. Praise the Lord.
I know I have said this on one of my sessions and so if you listen to that session, this will be a repeat for you but I want to just share with you that when we went into lockdown, you know, the Slipstream Athletic Club that God gave us, or put it in my heart to start some five years ago, was just boiling, boiling – a few cyclists, a few runners, a few this – it was really not much going on with Slipstream. Lockdown happened, we had a conversation about people can walk in their gardens and they have got nothing to do, let’s get everybody working and so we thought, let’s see what happens. We started with the cycling group and immediately there was like 20/30 cyclists that wanted to participate in the cycling challenge that was for the month of April. Then we decided to make it available to runners and walkers and whatever and to our surprise we now have on our database, I think we have approximately 230 people on the Slipstream database that are participating in our challenges. What we couldn’t do when there was no lockdown with the club, we have actually surpassed my every expectation because everybody will tell you, if you have got a sports club that has got 200 runners in it, you’ve got a serious club because most clubs out there have got 30/40/50 people. Which is why Athletics South Africa makes it – you have to buy a minimum of 20 licenses a year in order to always maintain your status as a license holder at Athletics South Africa because they know that there are many clubs out there that get 10 people together, maybe 15 people together but they found that 20 is a bit of a threshold and God has just blown us away, in a small thing like that. Hallelujah.
There are many things that God has done in lockdown. We have been a very busy ministry. Actually we have been busier in lockdown than we were normally. Just because, when you do different things you have got to expend creative energy. Then you have got to expend planning and talking about things and how to get it done, that if it’s just a normal process, you don’t have to worry about it, it just is an easy flow, it just gets done but when you are always trying something new, it takes more energy to get it done. Amen. So watch out for the videos there are some new videos, music videos coming your way. It’s just going to be awesome how, and some of the songs and the music. So what you heard on this song today, and we changed our profile, is that we wanted more flow and more instrumental and more things going that would facilitate worship. I have a song on my phone that they have just post production upgraded the music quality in a studio so that it’s CD class music, audio that goes with the video. When I heard the song, this one song runs 21 minutes. But what happens in that 21 minutes is just instrumental and then there’s praise and worship and then Pastor Sharon starts to sing in the Spirit and then it goes back into the music – and you’ve got 21 minutes of real worship and instrumentals of worship. It’s really heaven-class stuff. Hallelujah. Praise the Lord.
You are here so should I just talk for another ten minutes? Are you good with that? Otherwise I must go home. But I missed you guys a lot, you know. I know you can see my face often but I don’t see your faces. Just by the way so you know, Pastor Sharon and I have been very upright about our visitations and the things that we have done or not done over lockdown and we have kept our distance. I want you to know that just because I live in Witbank doesn’t mean to say that I was socialising in Witbank. I wasn’t. The only thing I was doing in Witbank was actually work with my team at church and then go home. I would have done the same thing in Jo’burg, I would not have visited you although I understand that there was a lot of stuff like that that happened in lockdown. Ek sê maar niks (I’m not saying anything.) But I just wanted you to understand, just because I live in Witbank it doesn’t mean the Witbank people got more of me – you understand? One who can testify to that for you is – because he is both half here, half in Witbank, is Gideon. Gideon actually was there all the time and he said, “Pastor, I saw you less living in Witbank, in Bankenveld, half a mile away from you than when I would see you staying in Jo’burg. Well, we were in lockdown for a reason. I listened to why we were in lockdown. Pastor Sharon and I felt it was necessary for us to rather connect and do things and allow that moment to be spiritual for us and to have a great impact on us because by that doing it will have an impact on you. Amen.
I’ve actually taught this, I’ve taught so much in front of a camera I don’t actually remember how many time I’ve taught, where I’ve taught. But the Lord, when I woke up one morning, the Lord gave me this revelation. As I was meditating on the Word He began to show me this. It really has impacted the A team and I’m trusting that it will impact you. You may not quite have heard it the way I taught it but I want you to see. How many of you have already received the latest word from Brother Jerry, that was last week? All got it? Amen. Well, I mean that basically says that it is not all done yet. God is going to come through for you in a big way. He is going to bless you and increase you and prosper you the remaining part of this year. Well, I’ve been standing on the word that God said anyway that new doors are opening for us and we are going to prosper and increase – supernatural increase is coming my way. Hallelujah.
I discovered something, I discovered something in my A team. I discovered that in isolation where they were working in lockdown, when we started to come back together I began to hear we are much more productive in terms of getting tasks done when we work from home than working in the ministry because in the ministry there are many interruptions but at home you can actually focus and get the task done. In my heart of course, I’m not confined to a tradition of doing work. If you know me anyway I am open to anything that might be more productive, that might be useful, that would also help people have a balanced life in terms of work and family and things that give them joy.
When I started to hear stuff like I began to say, “Okay, Lord, is this the way we need to make a transition into creating more at home stuff as opposed to the people coming into the office stuff, and how does that look like?” Do they work at home and we have a meeting for two hours every morning and then we all go back home again. What does that look like?
The message that you have, the title that you have, which you watch on Facebook every morning is called Collective Greatness,. The Lord began to give me that in my heart and He began to say to me, “John, there is much more value in the collective gathering of christians than the isolated individual.” Because there is a reason why God said, “One will put a thousand to flight but only two can put ten thousand to flight.” There is a reason why there is such an increase and a multiplication of productivity and that is because God has designed the body of Christ to look like this body and even though half of this leg wanted to stay in bed this morning and not come here, because it is still recovering from a back nerve thing that I developed, so part of my leg has still got pins and needles and numbness in it. The fact of the matter is that because I decided to come, it had to come with me. Probably a good thing. Right? The fact of the matter is that if we are going to be a body then we must behave like a body, because the body itself begins to function a lot better when it is collectively working with all gifts,callings, skills, talents working towards each other, all the time connecting with each other. Then you have Jesus as the Head, you can have the body that will function very well. Without the body you can’t.
I remain before the Lord to see what that balance is between having the people come to the office and at the same time having time out from time to time when there are stress objectives that need to be achieved, where they get time out, they get time out to work at home to recover and to do certain things and have more productivity. For me it certainly was not a waste, because it was highly beneficial for me to recognise that most of the staff that work for me are highly self-motivated and actually they will achieve a lot when no-one is looking over their shoulder. It is a good thing to discover that. Praise the Lord.
It came out of this passage of Scripture that He showed me; John chapter 2. I am not going to read all of it but, Jesus and the disciples and His mom went to a wedding. Of course, they ran out of wine, and when 3They ran out of wine the mother of Jesus said to Him, “They have no wine.” 4Jesus said to her, “Woman, what does your concern have to do with Me?” In other words what has your problem got to do with Me? It is your problem. What has your problem got to do with Me. “My hour has not yet come.” (John 2:3-4 NKJV). In other words, I am not ready to do anything as the Divine being that you know I am, but no-one else knows I am. you know how divine I am. Because Mary knows that Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit. He was not conceived by a man. If there was anyone who knew that He was a Divine being, it was Mary. Other people might have had a revelation of who the Messiah is, that was Jesus, but she had a real revelation of who He was. So He is saying to her, “Woman, My time has not yet come.” Notice this is the same Jesus that at twelve years old said to his mom and dad, “Don’t you know I have got to be about my Father’s business?” In other words; I have a different relationship here. Nevertheless, 5His mother said to the servants, “Whatever He says to you, do it.” 6Now there were set there six waterpots of stone according to the manner of purification of the Jews, containing twenty or thirty gallons apiece. 7Jesus said to them, “Fill the waterpots with water.” And they filled them up to the brim. 8And He said to them, “Draw some out now and take it to the master of the feast.” (John 2:5-8 NKJV). So they did it and he tasted the wine and it was the best wine and then he complained to the person who had set up the wedding, “Why did you leave the best wine for last?”
There’s a few things I want to just bring to your attention then I will call it quits here but do you think they had 20-gallon plastic containers there? No. No plastic those days, right? So what was the container that they had? It was a clay pot. In itself without anything in it probably weighed 10 kilograms or more, right? They had these clay pots 20-30 gallons, there is not one man that could carry a pot like that. So normally, it will be four of them because they would have eyes in the clay pots where you would stick sticks through and you could carry a clay pot between four people and bring water. Come on now.
When Jesus spoke to the people and He said, “Go and take these clay pots and go and fill them with water,” He understood well that there was six people times four that was going to go and do work. Now, I am just wanting to show you that a miracle that God does, He needs to do, is often on the back of very mind numbing anti-reality obedience, because I just want to show you this quickly. When Jesus is standing there and He says, “You guys, pick up these pots and go fill them with water and bring them back.” At this point in time, they have a choice to make. The choice is, I can say yes or no. Right? If they say no, well, there is no harm done because someone else is going to do it and I am not invested in this stupid scheme because this is stupid to think that water can get turned into wine.
The minute they pick up those pots and they start to walk, the stakes get higher and the pressure gets higher because now you are starting an investment cycle. You are investing your energy, you are investing what your mind is telling is ridiculous. You’re investing in something that is beyond reality. If you take four steps, put the pot down and say, “Ah no, come on, what are we doing? Let’s take a reality check. This is crazy”. It is much easier to do that after four steps because you are not invested but if you walk all the way to the well and now you’re already getting tired and you start drawing water out to fill the pitcher, the jar, you’re now really invested but the pressure is getting higher and being turned up because I’m just drawing water out of a well and as I’m drawing this water andI am putting it in and I’m going to take this back to Jesus and it is going to be so much heavier than I brought the jar and then what is Jesus going to do with it, right? So notice this is not the time when great miracles have happened yet because Jesus said, “My time hasn’t come”.
I suppose it is easier to believe for a miracle if you have seen people healed and you’ve seen blind eyes opened and someone then says to you, “Go and do this.” Right? But they didn’t have a reference point and so as they put the heavy full jars back on their shoulders and they start walking back to Jesus, the investment is increasing with every step but so is the pressure. I want just to tell you, whatever you invest in will always create pressure, always.
If you invest in life, you will experience the pressure of reality and reason that will always put pressure on you to walk away from the spirit realm. If you choose to invest in reality and reason, then you’re always going to miss out and you’ll pay the price of revelation and redemption. There’s always going to be pressure and the pressure will increase and increase and increase and increase. Wherever you invest, you are always going to experience pressure. If you invest into reason and into your human self and your carnality and your own personal comforts, that’s where you invest, the spiritual pressure is going to heighten. Because every day you don’t invest spiritually, your investment in yourself creates a pressure on the harvest that is not happening in your life. Come on now. I’m preaching really good. But if you are investing in the spirit there is a different pressure that comes because as you invest in the spiritual realm the pressure of the outcome and the reward begins to really – that is not yet seen – begins to ratchet up a lot. When I am carrying a full and now I am invested in energy and I am invested in obedience, I am invested in the word that was spoken, and now I am carrying these heavy pots and I am carrying them and I just dump them at Jesus’ feet, because now these are really heavy, put it down you know. The next thing He does takes the pressure to the next level. Take that small little jug and take and dip it in the water and go and take it to the master of ceremonies and let him taste it.
I just filled this from water from the well. You understand what pressure is happening now? The pressure that was there before they even picked up the jar was a mental pressure of reality like, “Come on, this can’t really do anything. What’s happening here?” The more you invest in it the higher the pressure builds, to the point where you are so close to actually seeing the fulfilment of the miracle; which is take the water and go and let someone else taste it. The closer you are getting to the master of ceremonies, which would be the guy where everything around him is happening because he is heading up all of everything that is happening in the wedding. The closer you get to him the pressure builds and builds to quit, until he tastes the wine, the water, wine and when he tastes it he says, “ What’s going on here,? Why is this the superior wine?” Now what you invested in is one of the few people ever eternally to see how a miracle takes place from beginning to end.
Because you withstood the pressure you were able to see how a miracle happens from the very inception to the very end of the result in the miracle. If you don’t put yourself in that position you will never see a miracle. I have started to talk to my A team this way and they’ve all excepted it and are using this language themselves. When we get to work on a Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday morning, whatever day of the week, when we get to the office we’re starting to use this language; let’s go and carry the jars,.Let’s go and fill the jars with water from the well because you know people, it’s not us that does anything that is magnificent. Ours is to do the carrying of the pitchers. Ours is to actually do such menial, mundane things that seem to be completely stupid and irrelevant but to be part of a miracle like that is a life changer, it’s a life changer.
There are very few of them that got to see how a miracle happens. Last thing I want to leave with you today, is this is miracle season, this is supernatural season, supernatural increase. I’d say and so I know you have been around church a long time you wouldn’t have known conservatively from preparing the soil, planting a vine to harvest time of the harvest that can actually be turned into wine is a minimum of a seven year period. Right? Jesus did in probably seventy minutes maybe, let’s give the guys seventy minutes chance to pick up these things and go and fill them with water and bring them back. Seven years, seventy minutes. Not only did Jesus come through with wine but He came through with wine that was so superior that everybody commented on it and most times people won’t be able to taste the difference between the good wine and the bad wine, because that’s why he says, “Why did you serve it at the end?” Because it’s the beginning of the taste of the wine before you get a little bit, “How’s your aunty?” When you’re drinking and you’re eating, you know and your taste buds are alive you would taste good quality wine for what it is. When you have been eating for some time and drinking for some time, you don’t necessarily taste the quality of the wine anymore, now you are just drinking wine because it’s wine. Don’t shout me down because I am preaching really good. But this man says, “How do you bring the very best at the very last?” It was so superior that he immediately tasted the difference. I want to say to you that this is a season for supernatural increase, and if you keep talking the Word and not be put out by circumstances; if you don’t allow fear, if you don’t allow unbelief and you don’t allow the enemy to come in with all manner of anxiety, all manner of torturous thoughts, all manner of hopelessness, all manner of things that the enemy would design to bring you down. If you keep your mouth pure and you keep your heart straight there is no reason why you shouldn’t see the end result of a miracle by the end of the year. Amen. Hallelujah. Praise Jesus.
I want to just encourage you for you to be a water-carrier; be a jar bearer. Be obedient to God because He’s the One who’s going to turn the water into wine. It’s not your job to do that. He’s the One who makes things happen significantly in your life. Hallelujah. By the way; I’m believing God for that process to happen in our ministry – that as the Lord gives us instructions, “John, this is a good opportunity. Go ahead and do music videos.” “Yes, Lord.” As we started to do that one thing happened, next thing happened, next thing happened, and now God’s been speaking to me through Brother Hagin’s book on Plans, Purposes and Pursuits that actually we must do the job of having more and more people. Here’s an interesting thing. Between last Sunday morning and this Sunday morning we’ve already had more new people, even though we are limited to 50 people in three services, we’ve had more new people come to church than we have had in the last year in two services. Why? Because it’s not sitting in a church pew. You sit on the podium or the platform and you’re looking down at the spectacle and you’re immersed with these things in an experience with live music. I couldn’t do that for you today but it will come here where we can have an experience. I don’t have the scope of what it might look like. I’m telling you, I’m walking this thing out one week at a time by the Holy Spirit, literally. But I do know that this is a season of increase for us and that we will do whatever it takes in obedience to God to bring a message of salvation to the world. What do you all say? Do you agree? I tell you, I know this for a fact. I know this. There are many husbands and wives whose marriages are on the brink of disaster who have children. Do you know what they need? They need Jesus. There are many men out there that are abusive and violent and have got addiction problems and they need Jesus. There are many women out there – they have all manner of stresses and strains that lead to the responsibilities of life and they have potentially been exposed to abuse themselves, might be physical abuse, might be verbal abuse, I tell you they need Jesus.
I mean, the statistics between when there was no alcohol sales to when there was alcohol sales – there was no deaths on the road, or deaths and then suddenly there’s 80 deaths in the first week of alcohol sales on the roads and other forms. I mean that will tell you how much alcohol abuse is part of our society, just to name one thing. I also know this for a fact that there are many sick out there that actually need the divine hand of God to touch their bodies and be healed. That the doctors actually can’t heal you, they can only help you. They might be able to cut cancer out and then you might be able to be saved from that. But actually, unless it’s an intervention and a trauma in your body that can be helped that way – your body’s immune system is the only thing that can fight against anything. Right? And of course, Jesus. Hallelujah.
When I injured my back, so I injured it once, I really only did cycling. I stopped running so that I could give it a rest and see what would happen and it was getting better, better, better and I really started to feel good and I went on my first 3 km run very slowly, eight minutes a kilometer. My back was doing good and I went on my second 3 km run and my back was doing good. I did a little bit faster and my back was doing good. The next morning I woke up, I just about collapsed next to my bed for the second time because the nerves at the bottom of my back here, where they call vertebrae 5, the pain was so severe in the bottom of my back, down my legs, into my legs, that I actually couldn’t get up, almost get up off the floor. I mean it took me 20 minutes to get up off the floor. Pastor Sharon was downstairs in her own prayer room but I nearly phoned her, but the pain was so severe. Actually now that I remember it, I did phone her, she just didn’t answer the phone because she was praying. No, it was a real challenge for me because I was in that much pain, you know. I immediately began to speak to the Lord and ask Him to help me with whatever is going on here. The second time was much more significant to me because unlike the first time although it was painful, the second time I lost feeling in my right leg. As I am speaking to you I’ve just got about most of my feeling back in the top part of my leg, but on the outside of my ITB going down from my knee to my ankle it’s still like my leg doesn’t, it’s not there – the nerves are not activated there but it’s coming back. I can feel the pins and needles happening in my leg. I’ve been to the chiropractor three times in the last ten days. They put me in traction and they’ve done many things to me to help me, you know. I am saying this, that actually I have faith and I believe my faith with the doctor’s helpers and just being wise and resting a bit, you know, has brought me back to recovery.
It does somewhat raise the relevance of the healing power of God that’s in our hands that no one else can bring to the world, but it is in our hands. You know our hands are just the same issue as the hands that carry the water jar. The hands that carried the water jar could not do the miracle but their hands could carry the water jar. Our hands have no supernatural healing in them but our hands can carry the water jar for Jesus and for people. We can lay hands on the sick and the Bible says they will recover. Not because we have healing power but because He does the miracle in the same way. Amen. Glory to God.
We’re looking to have wonderful, new experiences and new opportunities for God to do wonderful, amazing things in the ministry. Have you got it? Stand with me, please. Praise Jesus. Praise Jesus. Praise Jesus. You don’t have to rush, there’s more tea and coffee downstairs. I’ll be very happy to look at your smiling faces through your masks. Hallelujah. I just want to pray for you.
Father, I thank You that for each one of us You have brought us to this point. I thank You, Father, that for years You’ve had me pray over our people, Your people that no weapon formed against them will prosper. I have for years declared that the blood of Jesus will surround them and protect them. That they are blessed going in, and going out and coming in. My declaration remains consistent both in the pulpit and in my midweek prayers. Father, I thank You that Your people are blessed and I thank You, Lord, that they walk in the fullness of who they can be in Christ. I thank You, Lord, that Your light of the Gospel that shines through them would touch people around them. I pray, Father, that the peace of God rests heavily upon them no matter what they find themselves in this situation. Lord, I ask You to bless Your people today and this week. Bless then mightily, Father. Bless them. Increase the work of their hands. Increase their imagination and their capacity to be able to not just see new things, but to activate them and to receive the prosperity of those things. We thank You for it Lord; in Jesus’ name. I ask You to bless the children and our families, and some of the older people that through wisdom are not here today. I ask You to bless all those, those people from Lenasia, I ask You to bless them, Father, in Jesus’ name and everybody said; Amen. Thank you for coming to church. I’ll see you downstairs.