Coming Out of Babylon: Holding Hands – Ps Garth Bendixen (WTB)
Scripture Reference: Isaiah 61:1-11 (AMPC); Genesis 3:1-9 (AMP); Mark 12:30-31(AMP); Psalms 11:3 (AMP); 1 Peter 3:18 (AMPC)
Praise the Lord. Glory to Jesus. You can be seated, please. Glory to Jesus. Glory to Jesus. Well, you can turn with me, please, to Isaiah 61. Glory to Jesus. So, I want to remind you… first, let’s pray.
Father, thank you for this day that You have made. We rejoice in it. You are our God. Everything about You is what we love about You. We thank You for Your great love that is drawing us closer and closer to You all the time, face to face. We thank You for Your jealous, all-consuming love that is constantly giving us wings to soar to You. We’re so grateful for it. And we thank you that through the words that we hear in this house, You are setting things in order in our hearts, You are setting things in order in our minds, You are setting things in order collectively and individually so that we can become everything that You’ve created us and called us to be in Jesus’ name.
I want to do a quick recap for you. I want to remind you this morning that Pastor John and Pastor Sharon are called by God, by the Father and the Holy Spirit to us all. They are called to prepare for Him a people. A people perfectly prepared in heart. God has been preparing us, for Him, by calling us out of Babylon, which is really, and I want you to hear this, which is really just a heart that loves and is invested in the systems of this earth to provide what we think we need. Shall I repeat that? Because this came straight out of God’s Spirit to me last night. God has been preparing us for Him by calling us out of Babylon, which is really just a heart that loves and is invested in the systems of this earth to provide what we think we need. Excellent. Praise the Lord.
He’s been instructing us all to become like children so He can take us all into His Kingdom and for His Kingdom to be manifest on the earth. I’m doing a quick recap of what we’ve been hearing over the last few years, actually. He has been asking us what our more is for so; He can occupy our hearts and not the love of money. He has been instructing us to believe, rely on, and speak the resurrection life of Christ so that Jesus Himself can pull us out of self-oneness and up, high up, into glorious union with Him. Hallelujah.
Then the Holy Spirit, through Pastor Christi, has been teaching us how we trade with the enemy and how God wants us to exchange everything the enemy has given us for everything Jesus came to give us. Sounds good.
I thought I was going to take you for a field trip this morning, first thing, to the Garden, but the Holy Spirit led me in a different direction, and He’s taking us straight to what’s currently happening and His future vision for us, for His Church, foretold through Isaiah. Isaiah 61, the Amplified version, if you have it.
I asked the Lord, “Why are we starting here, Lord?” He said to me, and I want you to listen to this, please, because this is the Holy Spirit speaking to all of us. He said to me; “Tell My people that I Am, The I Am, is speaking in this house. My messengers in this house yield to Me to speak My words. And those who want to know how entangled and how bound up they have become in Babylon will find themselves in these words.” The words of this house. “I will reveal to them, according to Isaiah 61 verse 1, where they are physically and spiritually trapped in the prison of Babylon. And I will open their eyes so that they can see they are free and the doors they thought were impenetrable are actually open.” This is going to make a lot of sense to you in a moment.
“I will take them by the hand, straight out of Babylon, into everything they have ever seen, through the eyes of faith, hope, and love.” Glory to Jesus. That is the Word of the Lord to us.
Let’s get into Isaiah 61. 1 The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed and qualified me to preach the Gospel of good tidings to the meek. I want to take a quick moment here. The Spirit of the Lord is upon who in this house? Pastor John, and Pastor Sharon as our spiritual leaders because they have been anointed and are qualified to preach the gospel of good tidings to the meek, the lowly, and afflicted. That sounds like children to me. He has sent me, them, to bind up and heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the [physical and spiritual] captives and the opening of the prison and of the eyes to those who are bound, 2 To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord [the year of His favor] and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, 3 To grant [consolation and joy] to those who mourn in Zion—to give them an ornament (a garland or diadem) of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, the garment [expressive] of praise instead of a heavy, burdened, and failing spirit. Some of us can locate ourselves there, that they may be called oaks of righteousness [lofty, strong, and magnificent, distinguished for uprightness, justice, and right standing with God]. Some of you got God’s sense of humour there—by calling us oaks. [Pastor Garth laughing] [lofty, strong, and magnificent oaks, distinguished for uprightness, justice, and right standing with God], the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.
4 And they, these strong oaks, they shall rebuild the ancient ruins; they shall raise up the former desolations and renew the ruined cities, the devastations of many generations. 5 Aliens shall stand [ready] and feed your flocks, and foreigners shall be your plowmen and your vinedressers. 6 But you shall be called the priests of the Lord; people will speak of you as the ministers of our God. You shall eat the wealth of the nations, and the glory [once that of your captors] shall be yours. Hallelujah.
7 Instead of your [former] shame, you can see all the exchange going on here 7 Instead of your [former] shame you shall have a twofold recompense; instead of dishonor and reproach [your people] shall rejoice in their portion. Therefore in their land they shall possess double [what they had forfeited]; everlasting joy shall be theirs. If you’re wondering if I’m reading the whole thing I am. Are you getting a vision? Hallelujah.
8 For I the Lord love justice; I hate robbery and wrong with violence or a burnt offering. And I will faithfully give them their recompense in truth, and I will make an everlasting covenant or league with them. 9 And their offspring, their children, shall be known among the nations and their descendants among the peoples. All who see them [in their prosperity] will recognize and acknowledge that they are the people whom the Lord has blessed. 10 I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul will exult in my God; for He has clothed me with the garments of salvation, He has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself with a garland, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels. 11 For as [surely as] the earth brings forth its shoots, and as a garden causes what is sown in it to spring forth, so [surely] the Lord God will cause rightness and justice and praise to spring forth before all the nations [through the self-fulfilling power of His word]. Isaiah 61:1-11 (AMPC)
Glory to Jesus. If you’re ever discouraged about anything or feeling down, I suggest you turn to Isaiah 61 and let the Holy Spirit encourage you with vision. I want to read this to you again in light of what we just read.
Tell My people that I Am, the I Am, is speaking in this house. My messengers in this house yield to Me to speak My words. And those who want to know how entangled and bound up they have become in Babylon will find themselves in these words. I will reveal to them, according to Isaiah 61 verse 1, where they are physically and spiritually trapped in the prison of Babylon and I will open their eyes to see that they are free and the doors they thought were impenetrable, are actually open. I will take them by the hand straight out of Babylon, into everything they have ever seen through the eyes of faith, hope, and love. Glory to Jesus.
Then the Lord said to me, take them on a field trip to the Garden, where the trade began and ended, for I have already declared the end from the beginning. For those who have ears to hear, let him hear.
Please will you turn with me to Genesis three, we’re going on a field trip together. Genesis 3:1-9, and it’s all from the Amplified Bible. 1 Now the serpent was more crafty (subtle, skilled in deceit) than any living creature of the field which the Lord God had made. And the serpent (Satan) said to the woman, “Can it really be that God has said, ‘You shall not eat from any tree of the garden’?” I want to remind you quickly what God actually said to them. In Genesis 2, verses 16 to 17, Of every tree of the garden, you may freely eat. See what God said to them, of every tree of the garden you may freely eat. Listen to what Satan says. “Can it really be that God has said, ‘You shall not eat from any tree of the garden’?”
It sounds pretty close, hey. It’s good to note that if you do not have a clear understanding of what the Word of God says, you become easily influenced by the devil—easily influenced. If it’s just, I kind of know what the Scripture says. Look at how he twists the Truth. Make a note—lies can only be made if there is truth. Satan twists and wraps the truth around his lies so it looks good.
Very important to know what God’s instructions are. There are house rules in His Word, and if we want to live fully in His house, we need to know what His house rules are. Praise the Lord. Otherwise, you become easily influenced.
2 And the woman said to the serpent; she answered, well, here, “We may eat fruit from the trees of the garden. She didn’t say any, though, 3except the fruit from the tree which is in the middle of the garden. God said, ‘You shall not eat from it nor touch it, otherwise you will die.’” ⁴ But the serpent said to the woman, “You certainly will not die! ⁵ For God knows that on the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened [that is, you will have greater awareness]. Is everybody reading this with me? In brackets, your eyes will be opened, and you will have greater awareness, and you will be like God, knowing [the difference between] good and evil.” (Genesis 3:1-5 AMP)
A few things to note here:- the first is that he always presents his lies by making you feel like something is being withheld from you. God is keeping something from you. He makes you feel like a victim. He makes you feel a victim of God’s love. Was God keeping something from Adam and Eve? You don’t have to answer me. Was God keeping something from Adam and Eve? No. Was God keeping them from something? A different way to look at it. See how Satan twisted the love of God to make Eve feel like God was keeping something from them and not protecting her.
God keeps you. Satan makes you feel kept. Praise the Lord. God keeps you. Satan makes you feel like you’re in a prison. Like His ways, His instructions are keeping you from something. Remember, the Lord is helping us to locate ourselves, where we are, how much we’re entangled and bound up in Babylon.
The second is that Satan was offering greater wisdom, greater awareness, a greater perspective, greater sight. Adam and Eve were mature spirit beings who knew their place. They knew they were not God Almighty. They knew they were not Jesus. They knew they were not the Holy Spirit. They knew they were kings under the King. They also knew they did not have knowledge of evil. So, evil was a mystery to them.
Satan was offering to reveal a mystery to them. In so doing, he said, “You will have greater perspective, greater vision, you will be more like God.” This was the trade of all trades. This is the trade; that is on offer to all of us every time we hear a message from this house. Why? Because the entrance according to Psalms 119 verse 130, “The entrance of His Words bring light and understanding to the simple” or another way of seeing it is understanding to the childlike. So the entrance of His word that we hear from this house brings light. Hallelujah.
The third is what he offers in trade you receive, but not in the way that it appears. You increase in awareness, and as you do, you die. Now you know the difference between good and evil, but now you have to deal with the consequences of death. God always wanted to keep us from the consequences of sin and death. He wanted us never to have to know the difference or deal with the consequence. Again, God was keeping us from something.
⁶ And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was delightful to look at, and a tree to be desired in order to make one wise and insightful, she took some of its fruit and ate it; and she also gave some to her husband with her, and he ate. (Genesis 3:6 AMP)
Eve saw that this tree, this tree was good for food. Food represents provision. What we need. and God had already provided everything they needed. What was different about this food? What was different about this provision? Well, this provision was delightful to look at, and it promised more than what God had provided. It also promised more God-likeness.
I had a moment here with the Holy Spirit because in my heart I saw a beautiful lure. For those of you who fish, I mean, I don’t fish, but I saw it in my heart, this beautiful lure and Eve had swallowed this lure completely. She was on the hook because now she was hungry. It looked good for food. She was convinced it would make her more like God, and she loved God. What’s to lose? She swallowed this entire lure.
Satan always makes his trade look good for provision and more than what God could ever provide for you. She now thought it would make a wise powerful. And here’s an interesting word, insightful. So, what does insightful mean? A clear, deep, and sometimes sudden understanding of a complicated problem. She was going to need insight because a complicated problem was just around the corner.
7 Then the eyes of the two of them were opened. I want you to read what’s in brackets here. 7 Then the eyes of the two of them were opened [that is, their awareness increased], and they knew that they were naked; and they fastened fig leaves together and made themselves coverings. [that is, their awareness increased], and they knew that they were naked; and they fastened fig leaves together and made; if you’ve got a Bible, I want you to underline this, themselves coverings. (Genesis 3:7 AMP)
What happened here? They increased in awareness. They had insight. They had a sudden understanding of a very complicated problem. Here they had to deal with the consequence of death. They became self-aware. Another word for awareness is consciousness. They increased in consciousness. Where they were only conscious of life, now they were also conscious of death. Where they were conscious of good, now they will also be conscious of evil. This evil consciousness changed the way they saw themselves and each other. It revealed their nakedness and their need for covering. Remember, you underlined themselves, covering.
It reveals their nakedness and their need for covering. The lie had been revealed in the consequence, so not how it appeared to be. Now the lie is revealed in the consequence. They thought they would have more life, but life had been taken. They knew the difference between being spirit-filled and now being diluted with death. They knew God had been covering them, and now they were uncovered. This is truth. God was covering them with His life, His glory, His light, His power and with His Spirit. They were only spirit conscious, but now they had traded spirit-consciousness for self-consciousness, hidden in the lie that they would become more like God. They’d exchange the spirit for self.
Galatians 6 verse 8, they had sown to the flesh, and from the flesh reaped corruption. What do they do now? They are confused. They’re afraid, and we see what begins as a result of this—They covered themselves.
I’ve said in a previous message that our best efforts to cover and provide for ourselves are like fig leaves. God covers in Glory and man with leaves. Hallelujah. You’re either going to laugh there, or you are going to cry there. Glory to Jesus.
Verse 8, 8 And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool [afternoon breeze] of the day, and the man and his wife hid… and here you can underline again if you have a Bible, kept themselves, so the man and the wife hid and kept themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the gardens (Genesis 3:8 AMP).
Here is where a lot of us can find ourselves. They were now no longer attracted to the sound of the voice of the Lord. They were afraid of it. Their self-consciousness changed the way they heard the voice of the Lord. It revealed their lack. They no longer loved the voice of the Lord in the same way. They no longer trusted the voice of the Lord in the same way. Why? Because now, they had another consciousness inside of them. A self-willed, evil consciousness.
This consciousness was pushing and pulling them this way and that away from God, accusing them of their guilt and producing shame. This voice probably sounded like this [Pastor Garth speaking in a mocking voice]: “God doesn’t love you anymore. Look at what you did. What is He going to do when He finds you like this? Stay away; stay away. Hide, hide, hide.”
They kept themselves because they no longer thought that God would keep them. They were already experiencing the rejection of separation from God’s life. Joh. So, I want you to see something here; God, the Father, didn’t have to enforce discipline on them. God didn’t come into the garden and enforce discipline on them. They had already fallen. What gave them the consequence? What smacked them on the bum, so to speak?
God’s original instruction. God’s Words. God had already said to them, “Do not eat of this tree. If you do…” and He said, “Don’t touch it, don’t look at it. Don’t touch it. Stay away. Because if you do, you will surely die.” That was God’s rule. God warned them of what would happen if they disobeyed. He spoke to them like mature spirit beings. Not like children. So, they hurt themselves against God’s rule; they hurt themselves against God’s Word.
God, the Almighty Ruler, had already given them the only rule they would ever need. So, Ruler; rule [Pastor Garth gesturing with his hand Ruler at the top and rule underneath Ruler]. Don’t trade the life that I have given you for something that looks good for food and promises elevation above what I provide. Should I say that again? God, the Almighty Ruler, had already given them the only rule they have ever had. Don’t trade the life that I have given you for something that looks good for food or provision and promises above what I provide. It will end in your death. This tree represents another way, and this way will kill you.
When they disobeyed God’s Word, they received their consequence. It separated them from the life they had, and they fell from their positions as kings under the Almighty King. The Lord God called to Adam and said to him, “Where are you?” This is where we all find ourselves. “Where are you?”
“Where are you, Heritage of Faith Member? Where are you, Garth, Marcell, with your four children that I have gifted to you? Where are you, Pastor Christi, and Grobbies? Where are you, Brynn, and Miranda? Where are you, Interns? Where are you, every one of you?”
What was God really asking here? “Where’s your life? Where’s your heart? Don’t keep yourself from Me”, and in this situation: “You’ve never done this before; you’ve never kept yourself from Me.” He’s saying to all of us: “Don’t keep yourself from Me. This is not good; to keep yourself; where are you, My beloved child?”
Do you think God didn’t know where they were? Of course, He knew where they were, but He wanted them to come out to Him. Do you hear His call, church? Do you hear His call, church? He’s calling us all to come to Him. He’s calling you now. He’s calling us to walk and talk with Him in the garden of our hearts.
He wants to fill us once again with His life, with His sound, with His glory, and with His Spirit. Through generations, the Almighty God, our Ruler, has been calling us to come to Him. To love Him, and for us to worship Him only. To trade with Him only, to exchange the lies for truth, to exchange sin for love.
This was amazing to me; the Lord instructed me to go and look up the original Hebrew word for sin, and it’s translated: chata, c-h-a-t-a, which means: to go astray; to miss the mark, and it comes down to one basic purpose, which they went astray from, and missed the mark, which is: To love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and strength, and: To love your neighbour as you love yourself. (Mark 12:30-31 AMP) Missing this mark is what has destroyed the foundations of a godly society.
Psalms 11, verse 3 in the Amplified; I want you to see this for yourself. Psalms 11, verse 3 in the Amplified: ³ “If the foundations, this is just the plain Amplified, [of a godly society] are destroyed, What can the righteous do?” (Psalms 11:3 AMP) This is the Old Testament. So, David’s asking: “If the foundations are destroyed of a godly society, what do the righteous do?”
1 Peter 3, verse 18: ¹⁸ For Christ [the Messiah Himself] died for sins once for all, the Righteous for the unrighteous (the Just for the unjust, the Innocent for the guilty), that He, being Jesus, ¹⁸ might bring us to God. (1 Peter 3:18 AMPC) And this is where I want you to see the picture of God holding us by our hands, by the hand and taking us to God. ¹⁸ In His human body He was put to death, but He was made alive in the spirit…(1 Peter 3:18 AMPC)
This was and is God’s plan and purpose for us, church. To take the hand of Jesus, so He may bring us to God. To take us out of Babylon and restore, repair, and rebuild, starting with the foundations.
What are the foundations of a godly society? This is also very interesting. The word society comes from the Latin word socius, s-o-c-i-u-s, which means companion. So, a godly society is built upon the companionship we have with Jesus – we have with Jesus the Father and the Holy Spirit.
First our companionship with Jesus, personally, His companionship, then in our marriage, His companionship in our families, with our children, and then our blood-bought family, the town, the city, the nations. Where do the foundations or the repairing of the foundations begin? With me. First, me and my companionship with the Lord, coming out of self-oneness into union with the Father. Hallelujah.
This is how we come out of Babylon together: Holding hands with Jesus first, then families, then each other. One thing is for sure. This church is coming out. Praise the Lord. We are. We don’t really have a choice; you might think you have a choice, but in this church, God is taking us because we are all becoming little children. I wanted to read you one last thing quickly.
This is Pastor John’s prophecy from the beginning of this year, Big and Bold Version 2; He is doing something very powerful in this Ecclesia to govern, to show all the beings in the universe that this Ecclesia knows who they are in Christ Jesus and they know who they are together in Christ Jesus and right now. And so, for me, I’ve underlined together as family, family at home, family in the Church.
We must focus on relationships and be Big and Bold in our relationship development and growth. We’re going to push the envelope with relationships and see what God can do in covenant together. See what God can do as we serve and as we love. So, serve, love, and as we speak words of gentleness and kindness, and we become the hands of Christ, the mouth of Christ, the feet of Christ, and we begin to do what Christ did.
I want you to see this, church, for yourself first and then in your home. Right? How will we do it in the Church unless it first happens at home? I’ll never forget a day I was standing in the back, then I was listening in the sound room, and I was listening to Pastor Sharon speak about the Church being our greatest attraction. And in my heart, I was saying: “Yes, Lord. Yes, Lord” And you know what He said to me? It was one of those times where I felt His voice like a hammer. I felt Him hit me with His Word. And He said, “The Church will never be your greatest attraction until your wife is first.” Since I’ve had children, He’s changed it more: He said, “Your wife and your family.” Why? Because the same things that you love, and are a distraction to you in your home outside of your home, will be the same that you love more than your wife or your children. Right? Those things that you love, those distractions that you love, the things of the world that you love. Those same distractions, those things that you love, will come with you into the Church and will be the same reasons why the Church won’t be your greatest attraction. Right? By Church, we mean actually, God, the Father, right?
I want you to listen to this again because God wants this for ourselves and in our home first. See what God can do as we serve, as we love, and as we speak words of gentleness and kindness, and we become the hands of Christ, the mouth of Christ, the feet of Christ, and we do the things that Christ did.
First with the people around us in our home, this is Pastor John, and then the people that we’re with, in the smaller communities of work and church, and then see how God takes us from there. I believe, this is Pastor John, I believe we’re going to see that and as we do, God will take the energy that we have in our obedience, and people will come to the shining of His glory. Hallelujah. Glory to Jesus.
Can you see the shining of God’s glory in you and then in your family? And you know, sometimes having the shining of God’s glory in your family seems the hardest place to see it? O ya, no, I see it in the Church. Well, it’s not going to happen in the Church unless it happens in your home first. O no, no, no, no, I can’t see that. Well, the Lord’s showing you that it can be done. Praise the Lord. Praise the Lord.
And then just a little bit further on. He is going to do a major, major work on relationships. He is going to do major work on relationships between husbands and wives, between fathers and mothers and children, between siblings, Glory to God, and between different family members. God is doing a major thing, and he is going to bring them together under His mantle of knowing Him, and there’s going to be a wonderful restoration. Hallelujah. Glory to Jesus. Glory to Jesus.
Well, that’s all I have for you. I want to quickly read in the context of all of this, the words that God gave me last night. I asked the Lord, “Why are we starting here in Isaiah 61, verses 1 to 11?” He said to me, Tell My people that The I Am is speaking in this house. My messengers in this house yield to Me to speak My words and those who want to know how entangled and bound up they have become in Babylon, will find themselves in these words. I will reveal to them according to Isaiah 61, verse 1, where they are physically, so that’s in your body, and spiritually trapped in the prison of Babylon. I will open their eyes to see that they are free, and the doors they thought were impenetrable are actually open. I will take them by the hand, straight out of Babylon into everything they have ever seen through the eyes of faith, hope and love.” Glory to Jesus.
I want to lead you in a prayer based on what the Holy Spirit said there. Hallelujah. Father, we thank You for Your precious words. Thank You for loving us through Your instruction. Thank You for keeping us in Your word and in Your instruction. And Father I pray that as Your people have heard Your words through Pastor John, through Pastor Sharon, through Pastor Christi and myself, that You will open their eyes. You will open their eyes to see that they are free. You will open their eyes to see that the prison doors are open. And You will take them by the hand and lead them out of Babylon into the wonderful loving arms of the Father. And those who do not want to see Father, I ask that You change their desire, that they would want to see how entangled and how bound up they have become in the systems of this world. How reliant, how dependent, they have become all of us, Lord, all of us desire to see this so that we can come out of Babylon fully. And we all agree with this prayer in the wonderful name of Jesus.
Thank you for coming to church. I feel like that was short. Was it very short? Good, Yeah, I have no more than that. I can only say what He’s given me to say. Any questions? Thank you, and be blessed as those of you travel home to Joburg. We bless you with safe travels in Jesus’ name for those of you that didn’t come. Praise the Lord.