Scripture reference: John 6:26-27 (AMPC); John 6:26-39 (TPT); John 21:5-19 (TPT)
I’ll tell you what it doesn’t matter how you hear it whether you’re hearing it live or it’s just a power song that with power words isn’t it? Amen. Won’t you just turn to someone and say I’m glad you’re in Church today and then turn to someone else and say I’m glad you’re in Church today. And then please be seated. Hallelujah. Praise the Lord.
Yeah, we are in a Crossover moment and fully expect that 2024 is going to be the best year we have ever had. Hallelujah. Thank you, Carmen. Yeah, I mean, hey 2023 is supposed to be the year of Maximum Highest Level Attainable and halfway through the year the Lord began to speak to me and say, “More Of That In ‘24.” And in fact, when Brother Jerry brought the word of this year, Progression and Promotion and what? Advancement, thank you. And Your Highest Expectation To Be Met then I believe that and then he said it went on said I should have said and More In ‘24. And so, yes, I believe God’s got more for us in 24. Why not? I mean life is a series of progressions. So why not us, progress the way God wants us to progress? Amen. Hallelujah.
So, we’ve had some amazing times in the last couple of days since before Christmas. After Christmas, we’ve had afternoon sessions, five o’clock to six o’clock. Haven’t we had an amazing time breaking the Bread of Life, sharing the Word, it’s been just marvelous. Next week, we’re going to do the same, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, five o’clock, six o’clock. We’re going to just see what the Lord will do. Amen. Hallelujah. If not, why not? If not now, then when? Hallelujah. Praise the Lord.
I am going to just start off this morning by, oh, yes, there’s one more announcement, before I start off this morning and the announcement is Saturday the 13th of January. We are going to have a whole day of jumping into the Word. And we’re going to talk about the Ecclesia Economy. Hallelujah. Ecclesia Economy. So, praise the Lord. If you don’t know about Kingdom economics, you’re going to hear some of it this morning. Hallelujah.
So, if you remember, Brother Jerry has on times past, he’s been speaking about, Brother Copeland actually was the first one to minister on it quite significantly and meaningfully and what is the blessing? The blessing is the power to prosper and so God has given us the power, His power internally. God is all prosperity and God declares that over us. So, when we say you are blessed, then He’s given us the power in any given situation to bring His life and His will into that situation. Amen.
So, last week I just touched on it a little bit when I said, “What good is it if you have a need and you’ve got all the money in the bank, but the bank isn’t open and you can’t get the money, but you have a need?” So, one of the things I talked about was Jesus was at a wedding, and it didn’t matter if Jesus had all the money. If He couldn’t go and buy wine, then too late, wedding’s over, because you have to go and buy it, and it has to be delivered, and then it has to be opened, and then it has to be served, too late, wedding’s over. But the power of God, the blessing factor, was available to Jesus to meet a need that money couldn’t meet, right?
So then, Brother Jerry, one day he was asking the Lord, and he said, “Well then, if that’s what the blessing is there for, what is favour there for?” And the Lord said to him, “Favour is the opportunity for the blessing to work.” So, I’m believing for 2024 that there will be many opportunities. God will create many opportunities and we will see many opportunities for blessing to work. Hallelujah. Amen.
I’m going to just remind you of the ten benefits of favour;
It produces supernatural increase and promotion
Produces restoration of everything that the enemy has stolen from you
Produces honor in the midst of your adversaries
Produces increased assets, especially in the area of real estate
Produces great victories in the middle of great impossibilities
Produces recognition even when you seem least likely to receive it
Produces prominence and preferential treatment
Produces petitions granted by ungodly civil authorities
Hey, right outside our church here we are looking at the blessing every time you come to church, because they had no intention of putting humps up there. They arrived here one day, and they just put three humps up for us to slow the traffic down. While they were busy fixing the potholes that we prayed in, for them to fix. It worketh. Too late for you to tell me it doesn’t worketh. It worketh. I mean, the guy was literally standing outside there, and one of our guys went and said, “Will, you put…?” He said, “And then can you do another one there and another one?” He said, “Just write me a letter.” So the guys went inside, wrote the letter, sent off the letter via email to the municipality and he just put the three humps up. We bypassed all of that nonsense. Just immediately God did it. Can’t make the stuff up. God does the stuff.
Causes policies, rules, regulations and laws to be changed and reversed to your advantage
Produces battles won which you won’t even fight because God will fight them for you.
Hallelujah. I’ll tell you what? If you walk in the favour of God and other people are not, they will envy you and they will most likely persecute you and try and kill you because when they see the favour of God on you, they will have all manner of things to say about it. Because if they say it’s the favour of God and they’re not experiencing it, they have to ask the question, “Why are you getting it and I’m not?” Amen. Praise the Lord.
I had some moments with the Lord this morning and I found myself and I’m trusting that I’ll be able to get through this message today without breaking out into tears again, because I was just reading about Jesus and His death and His resurrection. It’s something powerful about the Word of God, you know, when you read about Jesus and how He gave His life for us, it doesn’t matter how many times you read it, the presence of God is there on the anointed Word to do something amazing, to do something amazing. I’m trusting that He will do something amazing in you, today, and He will touch you and change you. Hallelujah.
I felt in my heart this morning as I was praying, I felt in my heart that I wanted to share with you something that, a little bit of my life testimony that I don’t talk about in this way very often. But, when I was a little boy growing up, I grew up in a church like this. Every Sunday there was a church service. I grew up in a church where the preacher would only be part of the service and so every Sunday morning service was always a communion service and the church was always in a rectangle, seats were in a rectangle facing each other. Not in a square, three sides and the pulpit would be on the side like this, but more square, more linear.
The first part of the service most of the time, the first fifteen minutes, would be what they called open ministry. So anybody that had a reading or had a speaking tongues or a prophecy or something like that would come up and stand by the pulpit and they would deliver what they had of the Lord. Most of the time that was somebody that was known to the deacons and the elders of the church and if someone got up there that wasn’t known to the church, someone would try to intervene, otherwise if they would let it go for a few minutes and if it wasn’t going in the right direction, they would just come and stand up and cut them short, because sometimes you got flaky people that would just do things.
Every Saturday night and every Sunday morning when I was growing up, I would go to the Bible and I would read the Bible for myself and I would prepare a message to preach on Sunday morning. Every Sunday, I would prepare a message to preach. Why do you think I did that? Well, first of all, I was a born-again spirit. Secondly, I had been filled with a Spirit to speak in other tongues when I was seven. Thirdly, I was passionate about God myself. And fourthly, I had a gift of a calling that God called me to that is now manifest in front of you. And so I found it extremely interesting when people would get up and share the Word and hear things that they would say. It was really something of great value to me. My dad would preach on a Sunday morning, and I would hang on his every word, because I wanted to know more about Jesus. I wanted to know more about the Bible. As I grew a little bit older, I found that there was a disconnect between the preaching of the Word and the living of the Word. So there was this great revelation that was being taught on many, many things. But when it came to telling you how to you live the Bible every day, it didn’t seem to be this answer about how you can be a successful, victorious, lifestyle, powerful Christian.
Everybody was talking about, well, if the Lord makes you sick, it’s for a reason. If you’re poor, He’s trying to teach you something and everything was God’s problem. It wasn’t man’s problem. Maybe some of you grew up in churches like that, too. But it was always something that God did. It was never your problem. So, I discovered that, and I began to search to have a walk with God that was much more meaningful to me in the living of it rather than just the hearing of it. So, don’t get me wrong. I was never turned off the Bible. I was always turned on by the Bible. It always was my hot button. It was always something that I always wanted to know more about.
Before I went, or around about when I was in the military, I could have been, even when I came on a break from the military at some point in time, I don’t recall exactly the circumstances, but I found a document that was written by the executive committee of our church and it was a six-page doctrinal thesis about why Ray McCauley and Rhema Bible Church was a cult. Well, when I read the six-page letter, I determined in myself, I want to go to this church because I want to see what a cult looks like. I did because I’d never seen a cult, so I wanted to go and see one.
So, I went and I sat in the church there and was listening to this Pastor Ray. He was preaching in a cinema. Well that, was already something that most people would say. If a church is in a cinema, you must know. It’s got to be weird because which church is in a cinema? So the cinema was packed, seated rows all the way down to the front. It was an amazing sound and song, praise and worship as we called it then and wow, I thought, “Ghee, this church is very close to what we do, amazing.”
Then Pastor Ray got up and he started to preach and everything he preached lined up with the Bible. There was nothing that he preached that didn’t line up with the Bible, you know. Ghee, I walked out after that service. People got saved. I walked out after that service and I thought, you know, there’s something wrong with between what was written in those pages and what I saw today. There’s a big difference, a big difference.
So, Sharon and I ended up getting married. We went down to Cape Town, came back to Cape Town after my son was born, and we, our church folded. The pastor went to California, the one that we had been attending. It was sort of in between for me when I came out of the army and we needed a church to go to. So I said, “Sharon, let’s go to Rhema.” Rhema at this time was meeting in a furniture store, a converted furniture store. I said, “Let’s go and see what’s going on at Rhema.”
Well, when I walked into that church, the Holy Spirit spoke to me and told me, “This is your church.” So, Sharon walked out, and the first word she said to me is, “I can’t come to this church, it’s too big. It’s too formal and it’s too many people and I’m not used to this, and I can’t come to this church.” So I said to the Lord, I said, “Lord, I know what You said to me, I’m asking You to work on her heart.” I’m not going to focus on our choices and our decision at that time, but we started going to Rhema.
Then I would go into work and I would start to speak words like this out of my mouth. People would say to me, I was in sales at that time and my sales managers would say to me, “Well, John, have you got any prospects? Have you got any business that you want to sell, you’re going to do?” I would say, “I’m working on it.” “So how are you going to meet your target?” I said, “I don’t know, but I’m going to be the best salesperson you have.” “Well, how can you say that?” “Well, I’m saying it, so I’ll get it.” They would always have an argument with me about it.
Then eventually, when the business started to come in, they started to ask me more focused, specific questions about my faith. So, they found out I went to Rhema. You know what? They had a lot to say about Rhema at that time. They said, “Oh, we heard Pastor Ray lays hands on Porsches for five hundred rand a Porsche and then serviced, supernaturally.” I said, “Really?” “Yeah, that’s what we heard.” “Oh?” “We also heard that when they do an offering in the church, they pass baskets that are so big with holes that you can’t put coins in it. You can only put notes in it.” I said, “Really?” “Yeah.” I mean, I go to this church every week and none of that stuff happens.
Then there were two articles written. One was by the Sunday Times and the other one was written by the Rand Daily Mail. I remember the Rand Daily Mail was the most widely read morning newspaper. It was before there was even a Business Daily or a Business Mail, or whatever it used to be called. The headlines was Hyper Rhema. You remember Hyper Rama? So they went Hyper Rhema. The whole article was about how Rhema was this church that was just a fake church. It was a fake church.
Well, Pastor Ray got up one day after that article, and he said, “Hey, Church, don’t you think God is awesome? He gave us such a big profile for free in the newspaper, for free.” Then he went on to say this, he said, “That newspaper is in trouble, because when they speak out against God’s anointed, they have no idea what they are touching.” It wasn’t two years later, and that newspaper went insolvent. The Sunday Times did a similar article and about five years later, their numbers dropped and dropped and dropped and dropped. Do you buy Sunday Times anymore? Yeah, it’s a real thing. It’s a real thing.
I want to tell you that one of the greatest things that happened in my life was that God brought me to a faith church, because the faith message was the one thing that connected me from knowing the Word of God, to living the Word of God. Because these words that I speak out of my mouth, these words that come out of my mouth, they are the power of life and death. The Bible says those who speak them will eat the fruit of them. When I learned that, I discovered that I can speak my way into health. I can speak my way into purpose. I can speak my way into the will of God. I can speak my way into the things that God has for my life. I can speak my way into having more than enough, not just enough.
At the same time, I realised I can speak my way into devastation. I can speak my way into sickness and disease. I can speak my way into things that are against the will of God. I can speak my way out of things that God has for me. So then I realised that as much revelation as you get, now you will all know that if you listen to my Thursday night message last week, this is what I talked about. So, if you were listening to Thursday, you will know, this is not a new subject that I’m talking about this morning. You will know that actually if you eat the fruit of this and you are teaching yourself the habit of speaking words out of your mouth that are contrary to the will of God, you will eat the fruit of that. I showed you a picture of Gulliver and Gulliver’s Travels and how this giant was put down by little strands and little cords of these little people that had kept a big giant down. And I talked and I said, “You are the giant.” And the world’s system has put little cords of restraint on us. And we are sleeping on our backside because the world has got us taken. Yeah? I say, “Thank God that I was introduced to the message.”
Pastor Ray, you know, they played on this name, Ray, Ray McCauley, and everybody was like, you know, he’s called Ray. That’s called Rhema because his name is Ray and he’s named the church after himself. And they had no clue actually that Rhema is the revealed spoken Word of God. It’s a Greek word that the church was named after. It’s from the Bible. Shows you how much they knew. But they had lots to say against the church. Lots.
Every company that I went to for at least ten or fifteen years, at least ten, twelve years, every company I went to when they found out that I went to Rhema, they immediately wanted to engage me about this sect, this cult, this fanatical way out church that’s all about money. Garth and Brynn, they all had the same persecution when they found out that they used to, that they went to Rhema.
Anyway, the fact behind it is that I had a choice to make every time I was in a public place. I had a choice to make. Either I’m going to stand up for the Word of God, not a man. I wasn’t standing up for Pastor Ray. I was standing up for the Word of God, the Truth. The Truth that was my truth. Come on.
This was not something new for me to do. When I was in the army, the army people, I didn’t know about what you speak is what you can get. I was in the army trusting God to get me through a very difficult situation. I wanted God to be part of it with me, to show me His power and His strength as I lived this. That kind of persecution wasn’t new to me. Hey, listen, they persecuted me so much that on the one time in the middle of the night, in July, out in the Bloemfontein, Plattelande daarso, when we were sleeping in tents and everybody was on a Friday night getting drunk, they had enough of me sitting there reading my Bible just on my stretcher with my sleeping bag. Because that’s what we were sleeping in. They came and they pinned me down and they grabbed a bottle of beer and they started to try and shove it down my throat because I wouldn’t drink and party with them. Persecution is not new to me.
I immediately recognized that when I was with Pastor Ray, I immediately recognized that same spirit of persecution. We’re in good company, you and me. We’re in good company because Jesus said, “If you think that they’re not going to persecute you because they persecuted Me, they’re going to and you should have joy about it.” Amen. I needed to share that with you because of what I’m going to teach this morning.
So I’m going to read to you, first of all, out of the Amplified Bible. I’m going to read this passage of Scripture to you here. John chapter 6 verse 26. 26 Jesus answered them, “I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, you have been searching for Me, not because you saw the miracles and signs, but because you were fed with the loaves and were filled and satisfied. 27 Stop toiling and doing and producing for the food that perishes and decomposes [in the using], but strive and work and produce rather for the [lasting] food which endures [continually] unto life eternal; the Son of Man will give (furnish) you that, for God the Father has authorized and certified Him and put His seal of endorsement upon Him.” (John 6:26-27 AMPC) That’s Jesus. I wanted to read it to you out of the Amplified Bible because the Amplified Bible amplifies it. Surprise.
I’m going to read it to you now out of The Passion Translation. 26 Jesus replied, “Let Me make this very clear, you came looking for Me because I fed you by a miracle, not because you believe in Me. 27 Why would you strive for food that is perishable and not be passionate to seek the food of eternal life, which never spoils? I, the Son of Man, am ready to give you what matters most, for God the Father has destined Me for this purpose.”
Can you see here? Jesus is saying, 27…“Why would you strive for food that is perishable and not be passionate to seek the food of eternal life which never spoils?” Hey? How much passion do you give? How much passion do you live to get achievement and success in life? How many hours do you work for it? How much focus do you give to it? How much drive and energy do you put into pursuing this life? Have you got it on the … can we put a Scripture up here? Is it possible? 27 “Why would you strive for food that is perishable and not be passionate to seek the food of eternal life which never spoils?” Can you see it’s John 6 verse 27? Does that … I’m showing you this because this is not John Bendixen speaking. I know it says John, but it’s not John Bendixen speaking. This is the Bible. This is the Word of God. So, 27… “I, the Son of Man, am ready to give you what matters most, for God the Father has destined Me for this purpose… to give to you what matters most.” What matters most? Food? Drink? Houses? Careers? All the stuff of eternal life? What matters most? Eternal life. The stuff of eternal life. The stuff of God Himself. That’s what matters most.
So, of course, they’re very practical, these people, they’re very practical. They’re covenant people. They’re Jewish people. They’re Hebrews. They’re very practical. They want to know, “Jesus, how does this work?” 28 They replied, “So what should we do if we want to do God’s work?” 29Jesus answered, “The work you can do for God starts with believing in the One he has sent.” Wow. So Jesus is standing in front of them, and He’s talking to them, and they’re saying, okay, all right, we get the issue, pursue eternal life. So how do we work this thing? First thing, you’ve got to believe in the One Who has been sent. Yes?
30-31They replied, “Show us a miracle so we can see it, then we’ll believe in you. Moses took care of our ancestors who were fed by the miracle of manna every day in the desert. Just like the scripture says, he fed them with bread from heaven; What sign will you perform for us? Come on, Church, this goes to the heart of darkness that’s in the world system, that darkness that’s even in the Church of the Lord Jesus because the Church of the Lord Jesus doesn’t want to follow Jesus because they don’t see the signs that they see in the world system. “If I want money, I’ll go and borrow it. If I want to achieve something, I’ll go connect with someone I know. If I just go to work harder, I just got to have the right way of going about it and I’ll succeed.”
But that’s not what Jesus said. Jesus said, you have to believe in the One Who was sent to you. So they say, “Okay, okay, okay, okay. But perform a miracle for us so we can believe in You. Come on, show us a sign. Show us how amazing You are, Jesus, because You are telling us You’re it. You are the Son of God.” 32 The truth is, Jesus said, Moses did not, that word says didn’t, so didn’t is did not, right, It’s just a short word for did not. Moses did not give you the Bread of Heaven. It’s my Father who offers bread that comes as a dramatic sign from heaven. In other words, He’s standing before him and he says, “I am the Bread.” Moses was not the bread, the bread came through Moses, I am the Bread. 33 The Bread of God is the one who came out of Heaven to give his life to feed the world. (John 6:26-32 TPT)
So, of course, they don’t understand what Jesus is saying, so they’re trying to bring it back to their world the whole time. Doesn’t that sound like most Christians do, “If it doesn’t sound like it’s my world, then it can’t be right because it doesn’t sound like my world.” Well, all the people are showing, is their unbelief, because it doesn’t sound like my world? Doesn’t sound like other Christians that are in the world? So then it can’t be right.
So, I am not going pull back one time from the Crossover, I’ve been saying that for weeks now. I’m not pulling back from the Crossover, I’m pushing harder into the Crossover because God has ordained this time for us, for us. Hallelujah. And I say, “I thank God, that God has placed us with people, their lifestyle and their walk with God is unwavering. The message that they preach is unwavering and I am committed to preach the same.” Pastor Christi and Grobbies were in that room that day in November 2014. We were sitting in Brother Jerry’s boardroom and before he started anything, he said, “John, just promise me one thing. You will never stop preaching faith. You will always preach faith.” I said, “Yes Sir, I will do that.” I am committed to that. I am committed. I have not changed that. I’ve been in this ministry as a pastor and a preacher. I’ve been in this ministry twenty three years, going on twenty four years. I haven’t changed my message. I haven’t changed the way I live. I haven’t changed the way God has asked me to do things. I’m not changing now. On the contrary, I pressed in then and I’m pressing in now. What about you? Are you crossing over? Are you going to press in with me? Come on, Church, we must do this together. Yes. This is our moment to press. This is our moment to give what we need to God. I’m not going to be like the faithless that stand in front of a preacher or stand in front of a church or stand in front of the Word of God and say, “Show me a sign so that I can believe in You.” Huh? Hallelujah.
So they said, 34“Then please, sir, give us this Bread every day,” they replied. I mean, isn’t this practical? You’re talking about bread. Moses was the channel for Bread in the wilderness every day. You say you are the Bread of Life. So now you give us the same Bread of Life every day that Moses gave to the children of Israel. Then we’ll know that you are the Son, that you are the Christ. 35 Jesus said to them, “I am the Bread of Life. Come every day to me and you will never be hungry. Believe in me and you will never be thirsty. (John 6:34-35 TPT) So, you know, some people would say, “Now he’s talking about spiritual food and spirit. Ah, but he started off, why would you strive for food that is perishable and not be passionate to seek the food that is eternal that will never spoil?” He was directly connecting what you eat every week and living for God every week. Why do you want to pursue that stuff when you can pursue God?
So, I started off with my testimony because, when I was selling photocopiers, my sales managers wanted to know, how am I going to make my target? And everything that came out of my mouth to them and everything that came out of my mouth every day was, “I’m going to make it, I’m going to be the best salesperson in this company.” Empie’s been in that business for a long time. He will tell you that the dealer manager that supplies dealers with products should be the highest selling salesperson in that company. Obviously, if that’s the dealer manager, they’ve got many dealers to supply products to, right? In one year, I outsold the dealer manager. I was the number one salesperson, I outsold the dealer manager. How does that happen? I was eating of the Bread of Life. Every day, I was eating the Bread of Life. Every day, I was drinking the Water of Living Water that I would never thirst again. I was eating that Bread and I was drinking that wine, that Water, and I was flowing with God.
So, when the thing came at the end of the year, “How did you do it? How did you do it?” “I did it because I walk with God.” “No, tell us how you did it.” “No, I did it because I walk with God.” “No, no, no, no, no, don’t come with your Rhema stuff.” That’s what they told me. “Don’t come with your Rhema stuff. How did you do it?” “I’m telling you how I did it, I walked with God.” They don’t want to hear that.
Yeah, you know, I mean, I was sent to Cape Town to go and learn about how to do flexible packaging. I came back from Cape Town and this boss, he wanted me to do all kinds of things that the world system says you should do to get business. I said, “I’m not going to do that. I’m going to pray about it and I’m going to believe God for it.” So one day he comes and he sits in front of me at my desk and he says to me, “So how does God talk to you?” I said, “Well, He talks to me through the Word of God.” He said, “So what does God say to you?” He said, “Specifically, you don’t want to come and drink with us. You don’t want to go and take people to escort agencies, massage parlours. You don’t want to do that. You don’t want to…so how does God speak to you, about us?” I said, “You don’t really want to know, sir.” He said, “No, I do. I want you to tell me.” So I said, “Well, if you must know, I opened my Bible to Psalm chapter 1. And I said, here the Bible says, “Sit not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stand in the way of the wicked.” He said, “Are you calling me ungodly and wicked?” I said, “No, sir, the Bible is.”
At the same time, that same day, Sharon was praying at home for me and the Lord spoke to her and said, “John’s going to get fired from his job, but don’t worry, I’ve got it covered. He’s going to walk from one job into another.” I mean, I didn’t actually get fired that day. It took to the end of the month because he had to fly to Cape Town to get permission to fire me. So if they said to him, “Why are you going to fire him?” He said, “Because I can’t work with him. He’s this religious nut.” And he told them what I told them from the Bible. Like I said, I’ve been there. I’ve done that. I’ve burnt a T-shirt. There’s not anybody that can call me a name, tell me about something, or tell me this Word of God, this Bread of Life that I eat, this Water that I drink from the Living Well of the Holy Spirit is not God. This is my Truth. This Bible is my Truth. What about yours? What’s your truth? Why would you want to walk in any other truth but the truth of the Bible? (Pastor John’s iPad fell down) Dit was goedgevang. It’s better if I do this. Sharon says it makes me look more authentic when I hold up a leather Bible. (Pastor John holds up his leather Bible up in the air.) Do I look more like a hellfire and brimstone preacher now? Praise the Lord. Praise the Lord.
Why would you want to live in anybody else’s words but these Words? I’ll tell you what the thing you should do? You should. When all those Gulliver Travels chords come and they want to hold you down and bind you, you should go back to the Bible. You should say, “Well, let’s go and see what the Bible says about this.” But people don’t want to listen to the Bible. They want to go and see what’s on YouTube and they want to go and hear what other people have got to say about YouTube. Let me tell you this. You know that there are people out there that have got whole YouTube channels that have got huge amount of views. That their whole reason for existence is to talk against Kenneth Copeland, Jerry Savelle, against all of these preachers that we are connected to. Their whole reason for existence is to speak against other preachers. I wonder how often you hear Kenneth Copeland speak against the preacher or Jerry Savelle speak against any church or preacher. Or John Bendixen speak against any church or preacher. But they want to speak about us. I wonder why that is. Maybe we are living in the Bread of Life. Maybe we are. Hallelujah. Praise Jesus.
Well, Pastor John, what’s going on here, today? I’ll tell you that Jesus did an amazing thing. He did an amazing thing. If you just stick with me for a little bit, I’m gonna get to this. 36 I’ve told you that even though you’ve seen Me, you still don’t believe in Me. 37 But everyone my Father has given to Me, they will come. And all who come to Me, I will embrace. I will never turn them away. 38 And I have come out of Heaven not for My own desires. Hello. 38 I’ve come out of Heaven not for my own desires, but for the satisfaction of my Father who sent me (John 6:36-38 TPT).
Let me tell you, I said this some weeks ago. I said, if I was wanting to be in a popularity contest, I wouldn’t be a preacher. And if I was wanting to be in a popularity contest as a preacher, I certainly wouldn’t preach this message. Because this message is a confrontational message. Yeah, it’s a confrontational message. Because it says, “You must take responsibility to walk with God.” Right? Doesn’t leave it up to some God, like I was raised to believe you know. It’s God who makes you sick, and it’s God who makes you poor, and it’s God, and God is in control. And as long as people say God is in control of everything, then obviously it relieves them from responsibility. So, then they can live with whatever they want to live with and pursue however they want to pursue life and they don’t have to believe God for anything. Because whatever God’s going to do, He’s going to do, because He’s in control.
Well, God is in control of the whole agenda from beginning to end, but He’s not in control of your choices. If He was, then you would not be a man that was made in His image. And that’s why He can clearly speak in the Bible and say, “You choose life.” And this is our choosing moment, isn’t it, church? This is our choosing moment where we have to cross over. This is our choosing moment where we have to eat of the Bread of Life. This is our choosing moment where we’re going to drink of the Living Water. Amen.
39 My Father who sent me has determined that I will not lose even one of those he has given to me, and I will raise them up in the last day (John 6:39 TPT). Well, I believe this with all of my heart that God has assigned and destined people to walk with Heritage Of Faith in the same way that God has assigned and destined me to walk with Brother Jerry. I believe that God has called people to walk together. It’s all in the Bible. He called twelve, then He had seventy, then He had hundred and twenty. These are people that were called to Him. This is what He’s talking about. This is what Jesus is talking about. Hallelujah.
There is no, there is no ambiguity in this. In the whole Book of John, I just want to read, these are some notes that I made here. You know what? I didn’t press the timer start. Anyway, I’m going by that clock. So, I made some notes here. These are the miracles. These are the miracles that John writes about. These are different miracles to what Matthew, Luke, and Mark and Luke write about. John talks about Jesus turning water into wine. There is a man whose name is Nicodemus. He’s a Pharisee, a ruler and he comes to Jesus and Jesus is talking to him about being born of the flesh and being born of the Spirit.
In the Book of John, you will read about the woman at the well. And we were ministering this the other day. And I was talking to you about, if those of you watched it or heard it, you will know that I talked about Jesus who was a Jew who came from Judea and He met a woman of Samaria at the well of Jacob who gave the well to Joseph. Hallelujah. Jesus Who was a Jew wanted us to know that no longer will you have to worship in Jerusalem, but you will worship wherever the Spirit of God leads you in Spirit and in Truth. It will no longer be the need to be in a building, but it will be a need for you to worship God in Spirit and in Truth.
So, just let me make this clear. When I say I believe God has assigned people to this ministry, then I don’t have any claim on anybody. I don’t have any claim on anybody. Rather, God must witness it to your heart or not and you must choose or not. And this same thing I’ve been saying for twenty four years. This is not new. A royal official came to Jesus and he had a son who was ill in Capernaum and he came to Jesus and he said, “Will you come and heal my son or will you just heal my son?” And Jesus said, and I’m just making a long story short, and Jesus said, “Your son is healed.” And he left Jesus and his servants met him on the way and they told him that his son was well and he inquired about the time and he realised that his son was healed at the time that Jesus said, “Your son is well.” Jesus comes to the pool of Bethesda and there was a man there who’d been sick and lame for thirty eight years, with a lingering disorder and Jesus healed him.
Then, of course, there’s the multiplication miracle of five loaves and two fishes. And this Scripture that I’m talking to you about here, that is about Jesus saying, “I am the Bread of Life and I am the Water that you need to drink.” Is the same story of the multiplication of why there was such a story of the multiplication and I’m not going over that because I taught on the multiplication already, far back as July this year. Né? Julle onthou né? Ja. Of course, Jesus walked on the water and I mean, in another part of the book, of one of the other things, Peter gets out of the boat and walks, and the Bible says that the boat immediately went to the other side. So there was definitely a component of the supernatural involved where Jesus got into the boat and it was immediately translated to the other side. I wonder what modern day seafaring people would think about the possibilities of a boat just being in one place on the ocean and finding itself on the other side of the shore. I wonder what they would say. Well, they would say, “Science will tell you that’s impossible.”
That is the problem with so many people in church is that they are more willing to believe science than they are to believe the Word of God, because science is more credible than the Bible. Come on. The Bible is just a preacher that stands up once a week on a Sunday and he preaches the Bible. Science is everybody’s thing. Yeah. Science will undermine your faith. God didn’t want that. God wanted science to show you more of how powerful He is. But the world has convinced us, the church and itself, that science and God don’t come in the same package. Actually, science proves God. And then, of course, after this passage of scripture that I’ve just read here, Jesus talks about, “You must eat My flesh and drink My blood, otherwise you have no part of Me.” And then what happens is that everybody wants to stone Him and leave Him, and eventually He turns to His disciples and says, “Will you leave Me also?” And they say, “Well, listen, we don’t agree with your teaching here, but where must we go with the Bread of Life? I mean, this teaching is hard.” It’s what they said, “This teaching is hard, but where else can we go? Because You alone have the Bread of Life.” Let me tell you, Jesus didn’t come to be the best friend to everybody in the world.
Then they brought a woman to Him that was caught in adultery and they wanted Him to judge it. And He says, “He who is without sin cast the first stone.” Then a man born blind is healed. Jesus spat on clay and healed him. Mary, who anointed Jesus’ feet, her brother was Lazarus and he raised Lazarus from the dead. That happened in chapter 12. Then Mary put perfume on His feet in chapter 12 of the Book of John. Then Jesus heals the high priest servant whose ear was cut off in the Garden of Gethsemane. Then right at the end of the chapter, 153 large fish were caught because Jesus said, “Put your net in on the other side.” These are some of the miracles that you can read in the Book of John.
The Book of John was not so much about the characteristics of the miracles. John was more writing about Jesus and Jesus’ ministry in terms of the people’s experiences, how they connected to the miracles and the relational component of who Jesus was. So, in the Old Testament, all the prophets would declare, “Thus says the Lord.” Why? Because the prophets were talking on behalf of God. When Jesus came onto the earth, He never said, “Thus says the Lord.” Why would He not say that? Because He was the Lord. So He said, “I am.” He said, “I am the Bread of Life.” That’s in chapter 6 verse 35. He also said, “I am the Light of the world.” That’s in 8 verse 12. He also said, “I am the Door.” That’s in chapter 10, verse 7. He also said, “I am the Good Shepherd.” 10 verse 11 and 14. He also said, “I am the Resurrection and the Life.” Chapter 11 verse 25. He also said, “I am the Way and the Truth and the Life.” In chapter 14, verse 6. Then He said, “I am the True Vine.” And that’s in chapter 15.
Now, I want to tell you that if I am standing before you today and I want to make a declaration of my trust in Jesus and my life in Jesus, then here’s what I want to say. I want to say, “Lord, I take hold of the great I am for me. I live with the great I am who lives inside of me. I thank You, Lord, that You are the Light of the world and You are my Light in the world. I thank You, Lord, that You are the Door. You are the Door to eternal life. You are the Door that opens things to me and opens doors that no man can shut. And You close doors that no man can open. I thank You that You are the Door of eternal life for me. I thank You, Lord, that You are my Good Shepherd. You are the One that guides me, You lead me, You feed me, You give me waters and make me drink of waters that I can’t even hope that I can get. You give it to me, Lord. You are my Shepherd taking care of me and protecting me all of the days of my life. I thank You, Lord, that You are my resurrection and my life. And every day that I wake up, I thank You that I’m resurrecting out of my natural man and into my spirit man. Every day I’m not thinking as naturally as I did yesterday, but I’m thinking more spiritually today than I did yesterday. And I’m resurrected into a new way of thinking. I’m resurrected into a new way of living. I’m resurrected into a new way of believing You. Every day I wanna get up and speak that. Glory to Jesus.
I thank You, Lord, that You are my Way, You are my Truth and You are my Life. And there shall be no other truth that will come into me. There will be no other way that comes and tries to distract me and lead me away and go any other way than the way that You have destined for me to walk. I thank You, Lord, that Your Word says, “Broad is the road and many of them walk on that road to destruction, but narrow is the road that goes to life and few, there are that find it.” I declare that I am one of the few who will find that way to life. I thank You, Lord, that there will be no deception in my life. There will be no mistruth in my life. There will be no words that will come in you that will undermine Your Word in my life. You are my way, You are my truth, You are my life. And I receive it every day. I wake up, I receive it in Jesus’ name. I thank You, Lord, that You are the Bread of Life, You are the Way of Life and I eat Your Word every day. I drink of the Living Water of Life every day. I drink it in Jesus’ name. Hallelujah. I thank You, Lord, that I am eating of the True Vine. Every day I’m eating of the True Vine and that productivity, that nourishment, those nutrients of the Spirit life of God come into my spirit. They fill me, they give me nourishment, they give me life, they make me strong, and they make me understand that in You I can do all things. There is nothing that I can’t do in this life with You on my side. Because You live in me and I’m engrafted in the Vine and You are in me. I produce the fruit of the Holy Spirit. I produce the fruit of the Word of God in my life. Hallelujah. Thank You. Thank You. Hallelujah. Thank You. Glory to Jesus.
Many years ago, I’ve got five minutes left. Many years ago, and you all say, “No, Pastor John.” [Pastor John laughing] “There was no Sound and Song this morning so you can preach an extra half an hour.” So, many years ago, I found myself in a shopping mall an open-air shopping mall kind of thing. And lo and behold, I found my pastor there. My old pastor, Pastor Ray, that I’d walked with for nineteen years. He was sitting at the table. Some weeks before, maybe some months before, Pastor Sharon and I had asked the Lord for an opportunity that we could have to honour him. And you know, he lives in a bubble. Got a big church. Now he doesn’t preach anymore very much. He stays at home most of the time. He’s not that well physically and so he stays at home. So you can’t get to him even if you try to. But you know, we found him sitting there with his son and with his grandchildren and they were having a moment. And because I know him very well and he knows me very well, he didn’t for one minute think I was intruding into his personal time. He was very happy to see me and very happy to talk to me.
In the meantime, I asked Pastor Sharon to go to the ATM and draw some money. And all of our cards that we could use in one time, all of the daily limits, we went and drew all of that money. And she brought it to me and I sat at his feet. I knelt down right at his feet, he was sitting at the table, I knelt down at his feet and I said, “Pastor Ray, I want to thank you for being a man that has stood for the Truth.”
Hey, I want to tell you, I watched that man in his natural man and he had many problems as a natural man. Hello? He had a temper. He had a whole lot of stuff that he had as a natural man. I never ever had a problem with that because I looked past his natural man to the calling that God had on his life. I recognised that if it wasn’t for his stubbornness against the system that tried to destroy him, I would not have had the opportunity to live the life of faith that I now live. So how do you express, in a moment, honour to a man that you’ve walked with for nineteen years? It’s, you know, it’s a hard thing to do because words don’t speak it. Words can’t speak about the hours of him having to face himself and him having to face the press, him having to face the media, him having to face church articles that were written about him all the time, him having to face all of those things.
So, I went and I sat at his feet and I took the money and I put it in his hand. I said, “Pastor Ray, this doesn’t do anything, but this is the least I can do in a moment when I connect with you. Will you please take this as an offering? I want to just bless you, honour you with this.” I mean, he immediately just prayed over it with us. He told me, yeah, thank you, Pastor Sharon. He told me he loves me. It was a wonderful moment. I wasn’t to know at that time that that would be the last time that I would have an opportunity to actually connect with him face-to-face because his health would deteriorate, many things would happen after that and that was the last moment that I had, but I thank God I took the moment. I thank God I took the opportunity. Favour, you see, favour creates the opportunity for blessing. God created an opportunity for me to bless someone and honour someone that had meant a lot to my life. Hallelujah.
When I was in America now with Brother Jerry, on the last day that I was with him before I flew back to South Africa, I had determined that I wanted to give him a gift. I know that there’s a particular set of things that he likes and that he lives with. I just said to the Lord I’d like to bless him with something that is unique that no one else would know about, other than someone that’s very close to him that knows his lifestyle, that knows about some personal details of him. I would like to bless him with something that he knows that only someone who knows him really well could actually give him that.
So I just was led of the Lord to walk into a shop and I saw this thing there. It was so unexpected. I said to the lady, “I would like to buy this.” She said, “Sir, this is so new. They don’t have any manufactured models. You have to order it. It’s so new that we only have this one in the showcase and it’s to show everybody.” I said, “I don’t have time to wait to order this thing. I need to give it today or tomorrow.” The store manager went into the back, a few things, she came out and they said, “I’ve got permission to sell you this one that’s in the store. This is the only one we know of in the whole of Texas, this is the only one we know of that exists in the whole of Texas.” There’s only two or three that were made in the whole of America. I bought it for him. On the last day I was there, I gave it to him. He was like a little kid in a candy shop when I gave it to him.
Why am I telling you this? I’m telling you this because if we think that the spiritual world and the natural world have got nothing to do with each other, you are mistaken. We are mistaken. The two live beside each other and the two connect with each other. If you say, “I am going to go and make money and I’m not going to include God in it.” You are mistaken. You can do that, but then God’s not got anything to do with you because you’re not letting Him in there. Come on. The same can apply to health and healing. The same can apply to relationships. The same can apply to everything. Everything you live on this natural earth is connected to a spiritual principle. It’s connected to a spiritual force. And so why do I tell you this? Because the honour that I have in my heart can never, ever be revealed by natural goods. But if there’s something that I can do in the natural to show my honour, then I want to do that. Right?
If you say you honour the Bible in your life, then why don’t you show the Heavenly Father how much you honour the Bible? Why don’t you take the Bible and say, “How do I live with this Bible that I read? Let me read what the Bible says and let me live what the Bible says.” If I honour the Bible, if I honour the Word God, if I honour my Father in heaven by this much, then I should at least do what the Bible says. Yes? Come on. You might say, “But Pastor John, there’s no way that I can show my love for the Father on an earthly way.” He requires it. He says, “If you love Me, do My commandments. If you love Me, live the way I tell you to live.” Doesn’t He require it? Well, I’ve done my job this morning. I’ve done my job, and I must end off by reading you a passage of Scripture out of the Bible.
I was going to read it to you out of the Amplified but actually I think it will be better out of The Passion Translation just because it reads easier. So, if you want to follow me, you can read this. In John chapter 21 verse 5. Jesus is standing by the seashore. I just want to refresh your memory. Jesus, in the Book of John, just go and read the story of how Jesus and John comes to the tomb. You will read in the chapters 19 and 20 of this Book of John, you will read how John is writing about himself as the one who Jesus loved, as the one who put his head on Jesus’ chest, as the one who loved Jesus. And you will read, actually, in the last supper, when Jesus is talking about there will be one who will betray me, Peter turns to John, who had his head on Jesus’ chest, and said, “Ask Him. You have this close relationship with Jesus. Ask Him who is the person that’s going to betray Him?” And Jesus doesn’t tell all of the disciples what He told John and Peter, but in the end, He said, “The one who’s going to walk out is going to be the one who betrays Me.” And then the Bible says, when Judas got up to walk out, the other disciples supposed that he was going, because he carried the money bag, that he was going to go give money to the poor. But they didn’t know what John and Peter knew, that actually, he was going to betray Him.
So, Jesus dies. John and Peter go to the tomb. Mary’s there. Mary has an encounter with Jesus. Jesus has His moment with the disciples. He has a moment with Thomas who doubts whether Jesus has risen from the dead. And he says, “I will only believe if I can put my finger in His hand, in the nail of His hand, the scar of His hand, and in His side.” Jesus comes into the room, and He just presents Himself to Thomas, and He says, “Thomas, put your finger in My hand.” And Thomas says, “Forgive me, for doubting You.” And Jesus has words to speak, and Jesus is about to go and be with the Father now, and this is His last encounter with His disciples. He’s standing on the beach. Hello? I recently called the beach a dessert. A dessert by the sea. Come on. It is. I can redefine beach as desert by the sea. Because nothing grows on a beach. It gets washed up on the beach. Anyway, I’m just having some fun.
5He called out to them, saying, “Hey guys! Did you catch any fish?” “Not a thing,” they replied. 6Jesus shouted to them, “Throw your net over the starboard side, and you’ll catch some!” And so they did as he said, and they caught so many fish they couldn’t even pull in the net! 7Then the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, this is John talking about himself. “It’s the Lord!” When Peter heard him say that, he quickly wrapped his outer garment around him, and because he was athletic, he dove right into the lake to go to Jesus! 8The other disciples then brought the boat to shore, dragging their catch of fish. They weren’t far from land, only about a hundred meters. 9And when they got to shore, they noticed a charcoal fire with some roasted fish and bread. 10 Then Jesus said, “Bring some of the fish you just caught.” 11So Peter waded into the water and helped pull the net to shore. It was full of many large fish, exactly one hundred and fifty-three, but even with so many fish, the net was not torn. 12“Come, let’s have some breakfast,” Jesus said to them.
People, I want to ask you this question. Does this sound like Jesus is involved in their everyday life? Does this sound like Jesus is coming to their world to encounter them? I’ll tell you something, we need to be a people that Jesus can use to have encounters with people out in the world. We are supposed to bring the Light to the world. And as we go into 2024, we are going to, we are going to be the Light of the world. The multiplication factor is happening in and around our ministry. We’ve spent most of this year redesigning websites, redoing multimedia so that we can go and get the multitude and be part of the multiplication. If you’ve been hearing me preach for any time in this year, you will know that this is not a today message. This has come from way back in the year. Then the disciple, so I want to just finish this.
13 Then Jesus came close to them and served them the bread and the fish. 14This was the third time Jesus appeared to his disciples after his resurrection. Can you remember how Jesus started his ministry? He was preaching on the seashore. And then the people grew so many that they couldn’t hear Him anymore. He asked Peter if He could use his boat. Then when He was preaching from the boat, afterwards He said to Peter, “Peter, cast out your net and go and catch some fish.” He says, “We’ve been fishing all night. We caught nothing.” That is how He started His ministry. This is the last time that He’s having an encounter with His disciples. How does He finish His ministry? “Have you caught anything, boys?” “Not a thing, nothing.” “Well, throw your net on the other side, man, and catch some fish.” And John the brilliant one says, “Hey it’s the Lord,” when they caught all these fish. Hello? It’s the Lord. It’s the same Lord that called us all those years ago. Now it’s the same Lord who’s standing on the beach again. Let me tell you, He’s involved in our everyday life. Every choice we make, all the words that we speak, every decision that we make, everything that we do, God is part of it. Jesus is part of it. Let’s make Him the Lord. And I finish with this because here’s the question.
15 After they had breakfast, Jesus said to Peter, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you burn with love for me more than these?” Peter answered, “Yes, Lord! You know that I have great affection for you!” “Then take care of my lambs,” Jesus said. 16 Jesus repeated his question the second time, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you burn with love for me?” Peter answered, “Yes, my Lord! You know that I have great affection for you!” 17 “Then take care of my sheep,” Jesus said. Then Jesus asked him again, “Peter, son of Jonah, do you have great affection for me?” Peter was saddened by being asked the third time and said, “My Lord, you know everything. You know that I burn with love for you!” Jesus replied, “Then feed my lambs! 18 Peter, listen, when you were younger you made your own choices and you went where you pleased. I just want you to notice, when you’re young, you go where you please. When you’re young in the Lord, you go where you please. But when you get older in the Lord, you no longer do what you please, you do what God pleases. 18…And you went where you pleased. But one day when you are old, others will tie you up and escort you where you would not choose to go—and you will spread out your arms.” 19 And then he said, verse 19 19“Peter, follow me!” (John 21:5-19 TPT)
I’m here today to ask you to follow Jesus. I’m asking you to follow Jesus. He has given me an instruction to feed His lambs, to feed His sheep. That’s you. This is my job. This is what I’m doing. I stand before you as a messenger of the Lord Jesus Christ. I stand with His permission, not with my own. I stand because He wants me, not because I called myself. I speak with the Apostle John, and if you heard anything I said last week, I talked about how John was a witness of the One that he touched, the One that he saw, the One that he heard. He was talking about Jesus. And there is no one on this earth that can preach this gospel on their own permission. If they do, they are in trouble. Because the Most High Shepherd, He’s watching. He’s watching. And I’m pleased to say that I don’t answer to men, that I answer to Him. I answer to Him. I thank God that I rather answer to Him than answer to men. Aren’t you glad too? Aren’t you glad that you answer to Him and not to men? Hallelujah.
The reason I’m going to talk about Ecclesia Economics is because in the Ecclesia, the Church of the Lord Jesus, there’s an economic factor that’s going to happen. It’s happening already. Where the glory of God is going to be on everything we do every day. Amen. Won’t you stand with me, please? Hallelujah. I trust that you received something out of the Word of God today. Amen.
I don’t want to assume that everybody that’s here today is born again. I know most of you and I know that most of you are born again, but I just don’t want to assume it. So, will you pray with me, please? Please put your hand on your chest like this and just pray with me and say; Jesus, You are my Lord and Saviour. I receive You as my Lord. Forgive me of my sins. Today, I am free, I am forgiven, I am Your child. Thank you that You live in me, now, and I am Your child. In Jesus’ name. Hallelujah. Hallelujah. If you prayed that with me and you believed that, then you are born again. Amen. That’s a wonderful thing – if you pray that and you believe that, then you are born again. Hallelujah.
I pray that you are blessed going out and you are blessed coming back in. I pray that the peace of God will rest upon you and that no weapon formed against you will prosper. That He gives His angels charge over you and you will live a life without any harm or your foot being caught by a hidden snare. Hallelujah. That you live under the protection of the Most High God. In Jesus’ name. Hallelujah. Do you agree with this, today?
I want to tell you that I believe in 2024 the healing power of God is going to be so evident in our church, that it is going to be so powerful, the anointing for healing is so powerful in our church that people are going to experience miracles of healing every Sunday and they’re going to come and give their testimony about their healing power of God that has touched their bodies. I for one am sick and tired of being sick and tired. Hallelujah. I am sick and tired of God’s people being sick and tired.
And I know that I can preach this with more confidence. Doctor Gerrie came here and told us how to live. And if you don’t learn how to live like that, then that’s on you. Now, I can preach the healing power of God because you also know how to live properly. Hallelujah. Praise Jesus. Glory to God. I tell you, I am free. I am free because I know if you drink Coke, that’s your problem, not mine. And Doctor Gerrie told you not to drink Coke. [Pastor John laughs] I’m not talking about the white stuff. I’m talking about… [Congregation laughs] Just in case. Some people, you know, you’ve got to be careful about everything you preach about from the pulpit, because people have a way of twisting things. Believe me. Ja nê. Ja nê. Hallelujah.
I pray, I really pray that the joy of the Lord will be your strength. That you will have such peace and blessing that you won’t know how to contain it. Hallelujah. And that your God will be so personal to you that He will live with you every day, everywhere, all the time. In Jesus’ name. Do you agree with this prayer? Be blessed. Have a wonderful week. We see you Wednesday night, for those that are going to be here.