Scripture reference: Ephesians 2:1-3 (TPT); Hebrews 6:1-8 (NKJV); 2 Peter 1:3-11 (NLT); 2 Peter 1:5-7 (NLT);
So, we had a pretty dynamic morning session. Yes? I think we kind of pulled the veil back in terms of the fact that everything we’re doing there’s a spiritual component to it. There’s definitely a realm of the Spirit that is very active, that is ongoing. And we’re going to see later on this afternoon, we’re going to see just the end result of, not the end result, but a few more parts of how active the Spirit realm is.
So, when you are preparing for this next month, I asked them to prepare some envelopes for me. So, if you are doing a budget, then you are doing a budget that has rent and if you were dealing in the old days, probably the times when I was a young boy or a young man, people used to not deal so much with cheques in the days that I was growing up. It was cash. And people used to take cash and put it in an envelope, and that’s the rent money and put it in an envelope, and that’s the food money and put it in an envelope, and that’s for clothes and or different things that were important or needful in life. And then, of course, later on when the banking system got a bit more modernized, it became cheques, and people would write a cheque and put it in the envelope. And then, of course, more recently, people would just do debit orders or EFTs of some sort. It doesn’t change the concept. Money goes to that, money goes to that, money goes to that.
There’s a very important envelope missing there. [Congregation saying tithe] See, I didn’t put it there because it’s not a debt. It’s an allocation. It’s a purposeful faith allocation. It’s something that is about honour. It’s not just about a payment that you make. Amen. But then, you know, if you are doing a budget, then maybe you’ve got something new that you are budgeting for. And so maybe the new thing that you’re budgeting for is, for example, a new TV. And so you might say, well, now, Pastor John, how are you getting from this morning’s conversation about BlackRock and $10 trillion and demons and vomiting and doing all that kind of stuff all over people, you know, and now you’re talking about cash in envelopes and things like that. Well, the two are not disconnected because all the decisions that we make in life, as simple as they may seem like putting and allocating money to things, as simple as that may seem, you are going to have to make a choice. You’re going to have to be making a stand.
Because, if you’re choosing to buy a new TV and you’re allocating money to a new TV, let’s say you’ve got three-quarters of the money and you walk past the shop and you think the TV that you’re going to buy is a certain size and a certain kind of, you know, capability, and now after you’ve been saving up for your new TV and you come and you walk past the shop where the TVs are being displayed, you find out there’s a new one and it’s got this many more pixels and it’s got this much more stuff and it can do this much more and it’s now going to cost more. But, hold on a minute, if you can do 50% deposit, you can get the TV today and you can pay the rest off. And so, well, listen, I’ve been saving for the TV now for all this time. If I buy it now and pay the rest off, I don’t have to sit with my old TV. Decision time.
So, here’s a question. Are there devils involved or not? So, who’s the prince of the power of the air? Isn’t it the devil? Isn’t the prince of the power of the air involved in wealth? Isn’t he involved in knowledge systems? Isn’t he trying to influence everybody that they give all of their energy and their praise and their worship to the system that he creates? Isn’t it? So, I’m not making a judgment or I’m not making this about a decision whether you buy a TV or not, whether you may take it on debt or you don’t. I’m merely highlighting what happens on a simple thing such as managing your money and choices that you make and how you will be confronted by a system. For God, He says, seek ye first the kingdom of God and His way, His righteousness, His way of doing things, and then these things will be added to you. It’s not like He doesn’t want you to have a TV. He doesn’t mind if you have a TV. The important thing is which system are you listening to that’s influencing you? How are you going about your stuff? Hello? Are you still with me after lunch? Dis die ding né, magies vol en ogies toe. No? Your eyes are wide awake. Are you wide awake? So glad. Praise the Lord.
So, all along the line, you are going to be faced with a choice. You are going to be faced with a system. You’re going to be faced with an envelope in your life. These envelopes, although these envelopes are talking about money right now or about a budget, these envelopes are representative of everything in your life. There’s an envelope for every choice that you make with alternative decisions that you can put in the envelope. Everything in life, you are faced with a choice. Which system are you going to follow?
So, once again, when I preach like this and I’m confronting, with my words, the forces of darkness, and I’m representing the life of God and the light of God, I feel the voices of the spirit realm, the forces of the spirit realm, wanting me to be quiet. The book that I read to you from this morning about the battles of the demons and the Christians, the man who wrote that book, he was begged by Christian leaders not to release that book when he did, because the Christian leaders said that the church was not ready for it. And he actually, with his publisher, set a target at that time in the 2000s, in 2006, I think. He set a target that actually if they sold 20,000 books, they would all be ecstatic. When they released the book, they sold 20,000 books in a week. It has subsequently been one of the best-selling Christian books, and certainly for him, it’s his best-selling books, although he’s authored many books, his best-selling book by a long, long way. Because it was a vision that God gave him and asked him to write about it. It wasn’t just a subject that he studied or something like that. He was in a spiritual dimension seeing these things happen. He himself has faced great persecution and great attacks from the church and from people because he chose to release the book.
I can tell you for Pastor Sharon and I, when we got a hold of this book, it just validated and confirmed everything we knew was already happening to us in the spirit realm, and so we were glad to read it because it confirmed our story. Hallelujah.
I’m going to show you some pictures of the bridges. The first picture I’m going to show you on the bridge is a small bridge. Let’s see if they can get to it. The small bridge. Yeah.
We’re talking about crossing over, and we’re talking about transformation, right? This, actually, the picture is not so much about a bridge, this picture is a fishing pier or a launching pier, but it serves to illustrate something that the Lord put in my heart that I can talk to you about.
If you go – If you start building a bridge to cross over, and you go out into wherever – whatever you have to cross over to get to where you’re going, if you don’t complete the exercise, you’re either stuck somewhere out in the middle, standing still, going nowhere, or you have to go back. You don’t have, and I suppose you can dive off, but if it’s deep enough, dangerous enough, and all those other things, you don’t want to get off that bridge. So you have to retrace your steps, probably moving backwards, still looking forwards but moving backwards, and that’s dangerous. It’s just silly when you’ve got everything you need to keep building and moving forward. Yes?
So my encouragement to us as a ministry, as a church, is that we have to keep going forward, right? We have to keep building. We’ve come this far. We can’t turn back, yeah? Let me tell you, I’m preaching as much to myself today as I am to you. So we as a church, and I’m just going to talk briefly for a minute, but we’re going to go to the next slide, but the next slide is a medium-sized bridge, I think.
So I chose this picture because this is a picture of a bridge from a different angle, and there’s one in the background, and so I felt like this represents our ministry where we’ve had many bridges that we’ve built across many systems. We’ve built a bridge across a financial system. We’ve built a bridge against, and we are busy building a bridge against a church system that is not about congregation, but it’s about ecclesia.
We’re busy building a bridge across a system of knowledge and how to utilise knowledge that the world has in the way that God allows us to use it or the best way we can use it so that it’s not under the power and the oppression of the world system. That we can use knowledge to the advantage of God and His people and the kingdom in a proper order. Not with the world system oppressing us. So we’re busy building.
This last one, in terms of education, in terms of community centres, we’re only halfway across. But we’re still building. We’re still building. And I suggest we build as fast as we can. Don’t you think? Because our kids are growing, the world system is getting worse and worse, and the world system is not going to get better. Once they’ve opened the Pandora’s box of trans-this, identity that, everything else, that Pandora’s box is opened. They’re not going backwards. They’re going to make it easier and it’s going to get worse for the children.
Also, I wanted to show you from this level of the bridge what a proper bridge structure looks like that crosses a meaningful gap. So when you’ve got a proper bridge that’s crossed a meaningful gap, there are many other people that can cross over that bridge. It’s a meaningful structure, means it’s not easily taken down. And it means that once it’s going in a direction, people can keep going across it, can keep going across it, and it’s something that’s steady, it’s steadfast, it’s capable. And so it’s not something that’s just there for a short time, it’s there for something that’s going to last. Cross over. Trans-for-ma-tion: means you are forming something. We are busy crossing over with a formation and we are bridging over things. Amen.
The last bridge photograph that I’ve got for you, is just to show you if you do something with purpose and scale, it stands for a long time and it provides huge productivity.
I will tell you something when you have a proper bridge, there are a lot of things that can happen around it, but the bridge does it’s job. I don’t want to go into all the natural things of what is happening under it and around it and over it and all that kind of stuff; I’m not trying to get technical like that. I am just saying, that when the bridge has its proper span and it’s doing its job, it is properly productive, it is doing a proper job. Amen.
Vision then becomes something that is quite important. In other words, what you see if what you will build for. If we go back to slide one and we build with a small little bridge and stop halfway, well, no one is going to be really impacted by that.
Even if you stop building, no one is going to be really impacted. When you start building a proper bridge it will have lasting, meaningful productivity but it takes a bit longer, it requires more effort, it requires more resources but it will do a properly productive job. Which one do you want to be part of?
We have got stuff to do. I’m going to talk about something personal, wonderful to me, a blessing to me. I am going to show you a set of binoculars here. This is a pair of Nikon binoculars, a very good pair of binoculars, these. Nikon. I have cameras with the same name. Better than Canon. I don’t know that Canon even makes binoculars, do they? Does anybody know if Canon makes… no, they don’t make binoculars. Nikon. Anybody, why do we use binoculars?
If you put your eyes to it, neh, it takes something that is further away and it brings it closer. If you have the right kind of binoculars and you get it in focus nicely, I’m looking at Simon’s head. It feels like Simon’s head is right here, I want to touch it. You know. The idea is to take an image that is out there and bring it closer. Right?
Okay, if you will bear with me for a minute, you know, this pair of binoculars were such a blessing to me. I was preaching in Montana, in Helena, Montana and I went with Br Joe and Jerry Lamping and we went into a sporting goods store in Montana, and they had this pair of binoculars there. It didn’t have a strap and it didn’t have a bag it just was the binoculars. These binoculars, at the time, cost, in South African terms, it cost about R3500. Now, it costs about R7000. Just so you understand, it’s a good pair of binoculars. I walked into the shop, it’s got no strap and it’s got no case, so they were selling it at, ridiculous price, I think it was $125 and at that time the exchange rate was probably thirteen to one or something like that, eleven to one. I thought, “Wow, just because it doesn’t have a strap and a bag, it’s down to $125,” that was like R1500 or whatever it was at that time. It was like, “I’m going to buy that.”
Later on, because of my contacts with Nikon, I got a strap and then I managed to get a bag, for nothing. Praise the Lord. I am blessed. How many of you would even think about buying a pair of binoculars? Probably very few. You would say, “Well, I don’t need a pair of binoculars. What do I need binoculars for?” Even if you go to the bush and if you’re a wildlife person or you’re someone who likes to watch birds, you may still decide, “I don’t need a pair of binoculars. If I can’t see it with my eye then it’s too far so why go to the hassle of getting a pair of binoculars?”
So, come on, let’s have a little, honest conversation here. The reason, probably, you’re not going to buy a pair of binoculars is because you could spend your money on something better than binoculars. So it’s a value decision. The value of how infrequently I use a pair of binoculars versus what else I can spend my money on, I’m not buying binoculars. I’m going to use it, maybe, once/twice a year. Maybe not even that much. Maybe every now and again. So what’s the point of spending money on a pair of binoculars? Okay. So now, you guys, you’re going to talk about me. I’m going to help you talk about me for a minute.
You know that Pastor John – he loves animals, he loves going on Safari, he loves birds. He has quite a sound knowledge base of birds. I wonder if he enjoys watching birds through binoculars. [Congregation says “yes”]. Okay. So, do you think, do you think Pastor John, actually, should have a pair of binoculars [congregation says “yes” again]. I think so. Yeah. So he, well, I think he should have a pair of binoculars because he’ll use it and he will have value, the binoculars will add value to his life. Right? Okay.
So, yeah, he should have it. Well, how much should he spend on a pair of binoculars? Is seven thousand rands too much money? Three thousand rand? So what’s the scope of binoculars out there? Well, you know, you can get a pair of Bushnells or a Tascos or whatever, and they can buy one thousand five hundred rand pair of binoculars. Or you can buy a pair of binoculars that is one hundred thousand rand, so what should, what should Pastor John buy? So, you don’t know what goes into binoculars and you don’t know what’s a good pair of binoculars or a bad pair of binoculars. Right? You don’t because you’re not interested in the binoculars. But Pastor John, he’s probably interested in binoculars. So, he’s probably going to find out. So, I’m going to tell you a little bit about binoculars. Just a little, I don’t want to get technical here today, but just a little.
So, there are a few things that make a good pair of binoculars. One is, of course, uh, what’s – what’s made around it and how easy it is to hold and carry. The focusing system, of course, is important. Right? The other thing, of course, the most important thing would be the lenses on the inside because the lenses are going to do two things; they’re going to take in light so that when they represent an image to you that the light that is available is properly used to reflect back into you, the most accurate image. Okay.
So, let’s talk turkey. If you go and buy a pair of binoculars for three thousand rand or you go and buy a pair of binoculars for fifty-three thousand rand, I’m just using numbers here, what do you think the difference is? Why do you think one is fifty-three and the other one is three? So, definitely, you’re going to find the quality of the mold; it’s going to be different. You’re going to, probably, find that the focusing; the central focusing and the focusing of the two eye capsules will be able to – if you’ve got a weaker eye, a stronger eye, on one or the other, you’re going to be able to work them out to the strength of your own eyes. More importantly, when it comes to getting light into the lenses, the one that’s fifty-three is going to, probably, have high-quality lenses that have got coating in it, has got stuff in, ground into the glass of the lenses that absorb light, they pull light in so when you’re getting the image, you’re getting a true reflection of what the image is. Okay.
Now let’s talk turkey some more. You are telling me, Pastor John, that you would spend fifty-three thousand rands on a pair of binoculars, or not me, anybody would spend fifty-three thousand rands on a pair of binoculars when you can spend three thousand rands on a pair of binoculars? One more thing, I’ve got to tell you about binoculars, you can get a 7×35 or a 7×40 or a seven by whatever, and so the seven is how close you bring it and the thirty, thirty-five, forty-five, whatever, that number is how wide you can see inside the binoculars.
If you don’t know anything about binoculars, today you’re learning. So if you’re a bird watcher, or you’re going to be carrying binoculars while you’re walking, and if you’re going to be moving and using binoculars, you probably want a 7 or an 8 x for two reasons. You want as much magnification as you can get without straining your eyes. If you go to a 10 magnification, you’ll find that it magnifies the image so much that it’s going to make your eyes tired very quickly because of the magnification of the lenses. So when people say, oh, but for R1,000 more, you could get a 10 magnification rather than a 7 or 8 magnification, they don’t know what they’re talking about.
Because if you’re watching birds at 10 magnification, you’re going to watch for a very short time, your eyes are going to get very tired because just a little bit of movement at 10 magnification. [Pastor John makes a shaking hand movement.] Amen. Okay. So if you want to have a proper experience using binoculars, you’re going to have a 7 or an 8 magnification, and probably 35 to 40 will give you the proper dimensions of what you want to see or the depth of field that you want to look at. Okay, so, do you tell me that someone would actually spend R53,000 on a pair of binoculars rather than R3,000 on a pair of binoculars? Yes. Why? Why would anybody want to spend that much money on a pair of binoculars? Well, it does depend on your value system. Doesn’t it?
Because if your life is measured in rands and cents and how much you’re going to save and how much you’re not going to spend, and everything is about saving rather than spending, then obviously there’s not even going to come on your radar. Okay, so the next question is maybe you don’t have the money for R53,000. That’s another thing. But that doesn’t mean to say you shouldn’t want it just because you don’t have the money. That’s a different question. So people might say, “But everybody wants the most expensive one.” Yeah, until you’ve got to spend the money. Then you face the game with the value system. Okay. But I’m really keen to have the truest, most accurate reproduction of what I can see. Because even if something’s far away from me and I want it close if I can make it as accurate, I can enjoy, I can appreciate, and I can understand some things that someone else can’t. Because at a R3,000 there’s a whole lot less light coming in versus a R53,000.
And so you might say, “But you can’t see the difference.” If you took the one-off and you took the other one and you put it in your hand, you can immediately tell the difference. There are, if I’m going to talk about birds now, there are feathers that you can’t see on the R3,000 that you will see on the R53,000. You will see things at 6 o’clock at night when it’s getting dark, whereas the other one you won’t see things, just to name a few. Okay. So, I bought a pair of binoculars. I’m a wildlife lover. I’m a bird lover of the feather kind. There’s only one bird I’ve ever loved in my life that’s not of the feather kind. She’s sitting right in front of me. She’s my bird. So, I’m blessed. I’m not complaining. I had another pair of binoculars at one stage. It was a pair of Pentax binoculars, and for those people who knew Pentax at that time, it was one of the top pairs of binoculars you could buy. Some people came to visit our house, and then it went missing. They were visitors. I mean, I’m not talking about thieves. They were visitors, and one of the kids decided that it belonged to them rather than to me. So they just took it and then denied it. So what must I do? Bless them, Lord.
Some years later, some years later, somebody called me up and decided that they wanted to bless me with a pair of binoculars. So I just want to show you the case for now, and this case has got a little symbol on here. And this is called Swarovski. Does anybody know about the brand name, Swarovski? Maybe not in binoculars, but maybe in other things like crystals and stuff like that, Swarovski. Hmm, I wonder what crystals have got to do with lenses, a lot. You can put crystal in lenses, and so somebody phones me and said we would like to bless you with something, knowing that I was a wildlife lover and a bird lover they decided to bless me with a pair of Swarovskis. So, this is the Swarovskis here, you see, can you see the difference here? Just from the packaging, can you see?
The difference, can you see it? These ones here have little individual leather caps that you pull off here to protect the lenses. I mean everything about this just speaks quality right? So you say, “Well Pastor John how much money did you spend?” I didn’t spend a cent. Does it matter how much they cost? I didn’t spend a cent. So, I can tell you, I mean if you just feel the mechanism of the way this Swarovskis open, it’s so smooth. If you have to you can lock the focus on this thing here. I mean there’s things you can do with this, the light, the quality of the image, what can I tell you? Anybody that knows binoculars will tell you that this is probably the best that you can buy.
This is an 8 x 42. Huh, it’s actually perfect for bird watching, for wildlife viewing. It’s not too heavy, it’s not too light, and it’s nice and high quality. I didn’t pay a thing for it, wow. So, if you were to go and buy this today, today, this is not what they paid for it when they gave it to me. But if you have to go and buy it today, I haven’t checked the price in a long time but I think it’s going to cost you about forty-five thousand rand, for these for this. Fourty, fourty-five thousand rand, somewhere roundabout there.
So, let’s understand, how did this, how did this get into my hands? Okay, I have to talk about vision for a minute. If I wanted to see Simon now, I mean I can see the pimples on his cheeks. No, he doesn’t have a pimple, he’s got designer stubble on his cheeks today. But I’ll tell you what’s happening because I, with those binoculars I had no problem seeing Simon. Actually, with these binoculars, I’ve got more problems seeing Simon than I had with those binoculars because I’ve got TVED lights that are coming in here. This thing is so effective at absorbing light that it’s actually causing me more difficulty seeing because the light is coming directly into the lens. That’s how much better this lens is. You see, you cannot appreciate how good this pair of binoculars is because most of you have never looked through a pair of binoculars like this.
So, if I tell you that if you go and buy these new now it’s going to be about forty thousand rand. You’re going to say, “A pair of binoculars that’s worth forty thousand rand?” “Empie, we’ve got to make sure that this gets right into my office afterwards, straight into my car, keys in my pocket.” Those Pentax went missing. So, you cannot even begin to recognize how good the vision is and how beautiful and perfect the images are that I see.
So, if all of you decide that you don’t want to look at an object through a pair of binoculars because what you see with your natural eye is enough. Well all you’re going to see is what your natural eye can see. If you have binoculars that help you bring an image closer, you’re already a step ahead of the person who’s looking with the natural eye. If you’ve got a really amazing set of pair of binoculars, not only are you going to see the vision clearer, you’re also going to see details about the vision, that no one else can see. Are you getting the point?
So, if I am talking to you about cross-over, I am talking to you about cross over because I’m wanting you to see vision. I am wanting you to understand that there are places we have to go and we are building bridges and I’m wanting you to look through a pair of binoculars, that are God-ordained picture, bringing the vision closer.
So, let me just finish off the story of the binoculars. Let me show you how good God is and how God works. I have a desire in my heart that I want to have a pair of Swarovski’s. I don’t even have the conversation with Sharon that I am going to buy a pair of Swarovski’s. Tell me why not. Tell me why not? Huh. It’s too much money. If I am going to buy let’s say at that time, let’s just say it costs R30 000 at that time when I got it. If I spend R30 000, she might say to me, “Mmm what about me? You want to spend R30 000 on you, what about me?” She doesn’t do that – I just say, she might not do that, but in my heart, I would say, “Wow, you know, I’ve got to have this conversation with myself seriously.” She does enjoy those. When we go to the bush she looks through them as much as I do.
Actually, we very seldom use the Nikon’s anymore – most of the time we use these for our international friends – when they come, we use this [Pastor John picks up the Nikon binoculars] and says, we use these, [Nikons] and we give them the Swarovski’s to use. [Pastor John repeats what Pastor Sharon says] – there you go, she says, “I use the Nikon’s and she uses the Swarovski’s.”
Anyway, it is amazing, you know, Brother Joe is a prime example of this. Whenever he comes to South Africa, he brings a pair of binoculars with. Every time he leaves, he leaves them here. I’ve got inexpensive different size pair of binoculars – a drawer full, from him. You know what happens, he comes, thinking I’ve got to have a pair of binoculars, in case John takes me out somewhere and I need them. Really, that’s the way he thinks. But you must understand about Joe. Joe carries everything – everything. If Brother Jerry needs anything, Brother Joe has it in a zip lock in a cable tie in a something. Whether it is, you know, a little light, a little battery for a little light, to… Joe carries everything – everything. So, he carries torches, batteries, binoculars. But then, when he comes and he looks through my Swarovski’s he realises, I don’t need to take these back home. He doesn’t go and buy a pair of Swarovski’s, but he uses mine when he comes.
Part of the point of it is that when you show someone something with a really amazing vision, they get it. They get it. The big question is whether they buy into it enough. Ok, so let’s assume that when I got this, it was R30 000. It was just a desire of my heart that because I like birding so much and I love to be out in the bush, and if I am doing that to have an amazing experience with a pair of binoculars, I’d like to have the best.
So, the Lord arranged it to put it onto someone’s heart to buy me the best. So, then you say, “But, they could have used that money for a different kind of seed for a different kind of thing.” Who are you to tell them what to do with their money? God told them what to do with their money. And so, who are you to question what God told them what to do with their money? Come on now. So, the Lord said, “I have got two things I can do here. I can get someone to sow a seed, I can give something that John wants, that is the desire and delight of his heart. The person who sows the seed, I have got stuff going to happen in the future, they don’t know what they are sowing the seed for, but if it has to do with something, that might relate to wild-life, to vision, to relationships, to anything in the future, they’ve got a seed in the ground.”
And sometimes you don’t see the benefit of that. You don’t see the value of that until a long time down the track you say, “Oh, I sowed the seed for that.” And sometimes it needs a wake-up call. “It’s like, wow, that seed, this is it. Wow.” Sometimes you don’t even see that the seed is doing the work. You just bump into a harvest.
So, today, you sit enjoying my harvest. You sit here and just enjoy the delight of my heart that I have a harvest. You know. That should stimulate your faith. It should stimulate your faith because if it happens to me, it can happen to you. How long does it take? Does it matter? If you are asking how long does it take, probably the question is being influenced by some other force putting pressure on you through your emotion, putting pressure on you through a timetable, pushing and putting pressure on you through a relationship, putting pressure on you through something.
If you say, “It’s not happening quickly enough. What does that mean? It means something hasn’t yet come into order. I’ve been believing for a long time. How long must I wait for this thing to happen?” If you’re thinking like that, that very thinking is likely to undermine your faith. Can you just imagine for yourself some demons coming over you like vultures and sitting on your shoulder, picking on your head with these thoughts; doubt, unbelief, all kinds of pressure come to you trying to make you feel rejected by God, wounded – “Some people are getting things and I’m not. Other people are seeing results and I’m not. So now God doesn’t really care about me. It’s taken too long.” You think that’s the Holy Spirit talking to you? You think that’s God talking to you? Where do you think that’s coming from? Oh, some people might say it’s just doubt and unbelief. Where do you think that comes from? The prince of the power of the air. He’s constantly wanting you to believe things. Come on.
The Holy Spirit has just prompted me to talk about this. He actually spoke to me a couple of weeks ago about this and this week it came front and centre into my mind again. When I was preparing this morning, I was reminded by the Holy Spirit about this and so now I know I’ve got to just talk about it to you. You know, after my dad was killed – I’ve shared this with you – I had panic attacks. I shared this with you before.
Someone who’s been in the military, someone who jumped out of aeroplanes, someone who’s been in the forefront of firefights, your life on the line, I can say honestly I’ve lived my life with adventure. I’ve lived my life fearlessly. I’m not a person that in just the way God made me, my own confidence in God, I didn’t have issues doing outrageous things. You know, I’ve always been quite confident to just be out there. Now suddenly I’m having panic attacks and the panic attacks were so bad that I would phone Pastor Sharon and say, “I’m under such pressure. I can’t breathe. I don’t know what’s happening to me. I feel like I’m having a heart attack and if I don’t phone you or you don’t hear from me in the next 10 or 15 minutes again, this is where I am. This is where you can find me.”
So, severe was the pressure on me. Some people who have never experienced this before, certainly I was in that category, I was like, those people are just psychologically challenged. You know, shame. They’ve got a weakness. They’ve got a problem. No, no, no. I came to learn that it’s a spiritual, there’s a spiritual dimension that brings it to your doorstep. The entrance to that was fear. I recognized that. The only way that I could deal with it was I had to take the word of God to it with everything that I had. And so when those panic attacks happened, at first I didn’t realize and I didn’t know what it was. But then as I began to realize this is what’s happening, I started to take the word of God to it. And when it started to come over me, I started to speak the word of God loud in my car. Wherever I was, I began to speak the word of God, speak the word of God, speak the word of God, speak the word of God. Speak the word. Speak it, speak it. And over a period of about 18 months, they got less and less and fewer and further in between until eventually they just left. They just left. Hallelujah.
That shows you that it’s a spiritual warfare. It’s not just nothing. Amen. So, you know what that does is the enemy wants to bring your vision of the future down to a very right now, internal right now thing. Face this problem. It’s so big in your life, face this problem now. The minute he can get you to do that, your future you can’t see with vision. You can’t see through the lenses of the word of God as to what good things God’s got for you because you can only deal with this thing now. It shouts loud sometimes. Hallelujah. What’s the time here? Praise the Lord. Praise the Lord.
I’m heading down the home straight for this afternoon and we’ll be able to finish it tomorrow morning. I trust. We’ll see how we go this afternoon. Are you enjoying the blockbuster weekend? We’re blocking the devil and we’re busting him in the mouth. Hallelujah. Praise the Lord. Are you getting something out of this today? You are? Are you sure? Are you being blessed by this? Yes. The Lord wants us to have a future. He wants us to deal with it. I want to just conclude this session by saying I’m preaching to myself as much as you when I’m talking about seeing what God wants and making sure that it stays in focus, that it stays near to me, that it stays in my scope of vision all the time because if I lose track of that vision, then all manner of other things come into my eyesight and it distracts me all the time. I’ve got to stay focused on what God’s wanting me to do.
So, it’s important for me to have the eyeglasses of God and what He’s got for me front and center of my eyesight world. Amen. And I’m aware, I am very, very much aware that there are things that God is doing here. He’s bringing order into this church and in the relationships of this church. He’s bringing order. This order is the order of God’s ecclesia, which means it’s a church that is designed to rule and govern. So our ruling and our governing, I won’t be very long with this, but our ruling and our governing is going to be determined on different levels. So, if we can rule in this house, our relationships, if we can rule in this house and govern in this house, the flow of God’s word, the way it comes to us, the way we use it, the way we exercise it, we are beginning to show God that we are faithful people that understand the order of God that can use what He’s giving us. So He’s bringing an order. He’s showing us the systems of the world.
He’s showing us how we can take the word of God and do a thing that He wants us to do in this house. Because if we can do it in this house, then God is going to say, “I’ve got more for you where this house becomes a standard for other houses, for other communities, for other places.” So, we’ve got to do this job here properly, don’t you think? Yes, we’ve got to stay focused. So, I’m aware that in the order of things that are going on here, there are parents that are challenged because when they were raising their children, they raised their children with a mindset and a worldview.
Just work with me. I’m not talking to one parent here. I’m talking about a system and a generic thing. Please understand, if this happens to apply to you, that’s because the Holy Spirit is making it real to you. I don’t have anybody in mind when I’m talking about this. But if you raise your children and you had a worldview in mind, let’s say the worldview was from 20 years ago, 15 years ago, whatever that time frame, that worldview, and the world has changed so dramatically, that your worldview is now getting to see more through the eyeglasses of God’s binoculars, rather than just the way the world wants you to see things.
Now you say, “I know the system of the world and I know what the outcomes are.” Come on. I don’t know what the outcomes are of this new ecclesia ruling church. I don’t know what the order of God looks like. And so some people might say, “Pastor John, can you show us, please?” “If you can have my glasses, I can show you.” But I can only see so far as my glasses and I can only see the depth that my glasses will see. I’ve got to let God bring the things into what I need to see. Let Him bring them there so that I can stay there. Otherwise I get distracted. Same with you. I can’t see everything yet. But what’s in my lenses, I can see them well. Amen.
So, I’m aware that in the young people’s lives there’s a financial issue. Maybe they’re a year or two or three down the line. And where’s the money going to come from? I’m aware that there are questions about the future. What’s going to happen? What are the opportunities? What are the possibilities? What happens if there’s relationships that I want to pursue and I don’t have enough financial capabilities to pursue them? There’s many pressures from many different angles coming to us as we grow through this phase. All I can say is, “I’m going to keep building.” All I can say is, “I’m going to keep building.” I can’t answer every question. I can say we’ve got a blueprint and we’re going to just keep building that bridge. And I’m not going to go backwards. Because I can’t go backwards. I’ve got to go and see where God is showing me. I’ve got to build the bridge to that side. That side. I’ve got to go to that side.
Well, what’s on the other side? Why are you building the bridge to the other side? There’s a whole lot of resources there. There’s a whole lot of opportunities there. There’s a whole lot of stuff there. But I can’t unlock that until I get there. I’ve got to build the bridge to there before I can understand fully what there is. But, Pastor John, that’s not the way that the system works. I know. Why do you think Jesus said, you know, don’t even think about tomorrow? Because tomorrow has got all manner of evil of its own waiting for it.
So, just trust me today. Amen. So, I’ve got a session that’s lying ahead of us and I’m going to read scripture to you. And then I’m going to read the last of the story to you. Well, it’s not the last of the story. It’s the last of our reading of the story today. Amen. It’s time for a 10-minute break. Is 10 minutes good enough for you? Afternoon, just drink water. Have a quick body break I’ll see you back here. Quarter to. Sweet.
So tomorrow we’re taking up an offering for Spring Valley. Spring Valley needs about, is it Spring Valley? Yes, we need about between 10,000 and 15,000 rand so that we can do a jungle gym and a whole lot of stuff for the kids there, to make it a really nice environment for the community center that we’re getting more and more involved with, feeding there, doing all kinds of stuff there. It’s a good seed to sow.
As a ministry, we could have paid for this and gone ahead with it, but I felt in my heart that actually you guys needed an opportunity to sow into it, because of everything that God’s doing at this time. So, we’re going to take up an offering tomorrow. There will be envelopes and so on, that say Spring Valley on it, and so whatever God puts on your heart, let’s do it. Let’s make sure that we give them a place to play. Amen. Okay, cool.
Ephesians chapter 2 verse 1 in the Passion translation. So, anytime you’re ready with a dark man slide. [Pastor John looks to screen behind him] There you go.
And the Passion translation says, ¹And his fullness fills you, even though you were once like corpses, dark man, dead in your sins, dark man, and offenses. ²It wasn’t that long ago that you lived in the religion, customs, and values of this world, obeying the dark ruler of the earthly realm who fills the atmosphere with his authority, and works diligently in the hearts of those who are disobedient to the truth of God, dark men. ³The corruption that was in us from birth was expressed through the deeds and desires of our self-life. We lived by whatever natural cravings and thoughts our minds dictated, living as rebellious children subject to God’s wrath like everyone else. (Ephesians 2:1-3 TPT)
When we were like people in the world, when we were like that, we lived as dark men. We lived as corpses. People in the world want you to believe that they’re living life to the fullest. We’re living the dream, man. Check my life. I’ve got money. I’ve got ambition. I’ve got, I’ve got stuff. I’ve got opportunities. I’ve got career paths. I got… I’m living the dream. What you can’t tell is what’s deep in their heart. The darkness, the hole that’s there.
Christians that live like that have that same hole. They have it. They might not tell you about it, but they have it. Why won’t they tell you about it? Because they want you to believe that they’re living the dream life. But in their heart, they have a hole. It’s called the purpose of God. It’s called that sweet thing in relationship with God that you can live for. That you will die for because it’s that big in your heart, by God. Come on, now. Dark man.
Have you heard of that thing, dead man walking? There’s so many dead men walking. Like corpses, they’re walking around the world. What are they doing? According to the Passion translation, ³the corruption that was in us from birth was expressed through the deeds and the desires of our self-life. (Ephesians 2:3 TPT) Is it possible for born-again Christians to live like this? It is. It’s possible. You can live as a corpse. Even though, and I’m going to talk to you about this in a minute, I’m going to try and get through this as quickly as I can, but I have to prepare a foundation for this. But the Lord gave me this image and I tried to give it to our arts department to help me with it.
The thing that I saw in my head was a little different to this, but they did an animated version of it and they did a great job. The way I saw it was, I saw like a curtain of the blood of Jesus that was the entranceway between the dark life, the corpse life and the God-life. And so, you have to pass through the blood of Jesus for you to get to the place you need to go to.
The next slide, please.
So, here’s a man that is busy passing through the veil of the blood of Jesus. He’s living half of his life in darkness like a corpse and he’s living half of his life in the goodness of God. This guy, right at the moment, he’s quite confused because half of what’s happening to him is in a system that is so natural to him, it’s so normal to him, he knows how to function there, he knows how good that life can be, but yet the glory of God and the life of God is calling him. Yes?
Right at this moment he’s a confused man, confused person, because he’s neither in the goodness of God and he’s not out of the deadness of the world system, but it’s so natural to him that he thinks that’s still the way to live. But as he’s busy passing through the blood of Jesus, he’s got all the power to actually keep moving forward into the light, into the goodness of God. Inside of him, he’s got what it takes. The question is; what’s going to actually prevail in his choices? Next slide, please.
Well, go back to the previous slide, I just need to read this scripture. Hebrews chapter 6 verse 1. 1 Therefore, leaving the discussion of the elementary principles of Christ, let us go on to perfection, not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, 2 of the doctrine of baptisms, of laying on of hands, of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. Don’t worry, I’ll get to this in a minute, in a better way, easy for you to understand. Just stick with me. 3 And this we will do if God permits. 4 For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit, 5 and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, 6 if they fall away, to renew them again to repentance, since they crucify again for themselves the Son of God, and put Him to an open shame. 7 For the earth which drinks in the rain that often comes upon it, and bears herbs useful for those by whom it is cultivated, receives blessing from God; 8 but if it bears thorns and briers, it is rejected and near to being cursed, whose end is to be burned. (Hebrews 6:1-8 NKJV) The person who passes through the veil and then passes back through the veil, and I’m going to get to that in a minute, has no future. Amen.
Bear with me, just bear with me. I had to read that scripture because it’s the foundation scripture. Now, let’s go to the next slide. The next slide is the light man, the man that has moved through the Blood and is now living in the full life of God.
I really liked the way that they represented this picture because you can hardly see the man because he’s living in the light. So, he’s not living his self-life, he’s living the life of God so you can hardly see the man, but you can see all the evidence of the life of God. Amen.
Someone was telling me at the interbreak, they wanted to show me that they looked on Takealot and they said, “Look here, Pastor, the Swarovski is on special at Takealot for R70000.” Well, it was a 10 x whatever 40 Swarovski, so the one that I have is not even on sale because it’s the most popular one. So, maybe 40, 50 thousand rand for the binoculars. I’ve had that for many years. I could have talked about that many years ago, but I talked about it today because this was in the order of God and you’ve got to just taste a little bit of the favour of God that’s on me that God’s blesses my life with things that I desire because I live like that man.
I mean, I really feel like I’m like Brother Jerry on this thing. You know, Mrs. Carolyn talked about Brother Jerry and said, “Brother Jerry doesn’t even talk about what he wants and God gives it to him.” That’s why he calls himself the Favourite. Well, is it no wonder if I’m sticking close to him, the same things are happening to me? It has been for a long time. They do. They happen to me all the time. Things happen to me all the time that God blesses my life with that is a desire of my heart, it happens to me all the time. But make no mistake, I don’t take everything for myself. If people have been around me long enough, they’ll know that I’m a seed sower, Pastor Sharon and I. We’re seed sowers, we’re givers. Sometimes whenever we’re around, we are the biggest seed sowers and givers around. I’ve taken people away with me that I’ve thought is a trip where God wants certain things to be accomplished and paid for everything. I don’t talk about it. I don’t tell people about it because there’s no point in doing that. But I paid for everything, not the church, me. Me and Pastor Sharon.
So is it any wonder that God blesses us because we live like this man [Point to the image on the screen]
We live like this man. 2 Peter 1 verse 3. 3 By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of his marvelous glory and excellence. 4 And because of his glory and excellence, he has given us great and precious promises. These are the promises that enable you to share his divine nature and escape the world’s corruption caused by human desires. (2 Peter 1:3-4, NLT)
You have it in you to escape the world’s corruption that is caused by human desires. You have His divine nature in you that will lead you to escape it. I didn’t get there on my own. It’s not my self will. It’s not my impressive dominance of my bad nature. I’m not strong enough to tell myself to stop my sin nature. If I was good enough to stop my sin nature, Jesus wouldn’t have had to die for me. I’m not good enough to counteract my sin nature. Jesus is the only one in me that can do it. Hallelujah!
5 In view of all this, make every effort to respond to God’s promises. Supplement your faith with a generous provision of moral excellence, and moral excellence with knowledge, 6 and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with patient endurance, and patient endurance with godliness, 7 and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love for everyone. 8 The more you grow like this, the more productive and useful you will be in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 But those who fail to develop in this way are shortsighted or blind, (2 Peter 1:5-9 NLT) They have no binoculars. They can’t see. They’re short-sighted or they’re blind. Come on.
If we’ve got to this time of the day and you haven’t seen yet the pattern of how the Holy Spirit has led me this whole time to preach this message for you and how He perfectly fitted everything together, then I don’t know what I’ve got to do to persuade you. This is only the Holy Spirit. [Pastor Sharon, “I see it.”] Do you see it? [Congregation, “I see it.”] You know, this morning the Lord said to me, bring the binoculars, and I forgot the binoculars at home. So I had to go home at lunch to go and fetch the binoculars because I didn’t know which cupboard they were in. So I had to go and find them. I mean, it took me all of about 30 seconds because I knew there was one or two cupboards that it could be in, so I went and I found the binoculars. But I just knew I had to do this thing with the binoculars. I had a moment when I was in the lounge there, I wanted to rest up for the rest of the day.
But the Lord said to me this morning, “Use the binoculars when it comes to this thing because I want you people to see. They’re gonna either be short-sighted or blind.” If they don’t get the vision and they don’t use God’s way of seeing things, they can’t see it. So if you can’t see it because you don’t have binoculars and you’re short-sighted, that doesn’t mean to say it’s not true. You know, sometimes if you’ve got a proper pair of binoculars and you can see into some grass, this has happened to us many times, you see into some grass and you’re just looking, looking, ah, and then you see two ears with a bit of black tuft on it and wait a minute, that looks like it could be a lion there. And so now you feel, oh, there it is. There’s the lion, but you can’t see much of it. It’s hidden in the grass. You could see something is there. Now you just wait. And then in good time that lion gets up, stretches. You wouldn’t be there if you didn’t just see the little tufts on the ears. Or sometimes you just see the leopard’s little white on the end of the tail, walking through the tree, the bushes like this [Pastor John demonstrates the tip of a tail]. Don’t shout me down because I’m preaching really good now. Huh?
And sometimes you need a clearer vision than just your natural eyes and then you just wait and then the scene unfolds in front of you. That’s how God is. He uses His God-sighted vision to draw you. “Stay here, wait here, something’s about to happen. Just stay with Me, keep your confession straight, keep your things going, don’t move from here.” God’s about to do something right here. If you don’t see it, you can’t get it. 9 Those who fail to develop in this way are shortsighted or blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their old sins. 10 So, dear brothers and sisters, work hard to prove that you really are among those God has called and chosen. Do these things, and you will never fall away. 11 Then God will give you a grand entrance into the eternal Kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (2 Peter 1:9-11, NLT). Hallelujah.
So, I’ve read you all those scriptures, right? You’ve got those scriptures? So what I’ve done for you is I’ve taken the book of Ephesians and I’ve just put them on bullet points, and I want to show you the dark man. And I’ve put some bullet points on the dark man for you. So I’ve just taken Ephesians and I’ve said to you, this is what a corpse looks like; 1. dead in trespasses and sin, 2. in which we once walked, 3. according to the course of this world 4. according to the prince of the power of the air 5. in the spirit of disobedience. Another word for disobedience, obedience is rebellion. 6. In the lusts of our flesh 7. fulfilling the desires of the flesh and the mind, whereby we 8. were by nature children of wrath or God’s anger just as others.
In other words, if you don’t pass through the blood, then the judgement that God has got for the rest of the world who don’t receive Jesus, you are in that anger, that judgement, the wrath of God. That’s how a dark man lives. That’s how a dead man, walking corpse lives, according to the course of this world. Hey, come on, the Church has got to be different to the world. If we are walking according to the way the world walks and we do everything the way the world does it, then what is the point of the Church? We might as well just quit the Church and go home and play games. You don’t need to come to church. Stay away from church. I mean it. What do you want to come to church for? Just do what the world says. Go and behave like them, live like them, think like them, do like them. Don’t mess up the church, those that are serious. Yeah. What do you all say? Wat sê julle nou? Say, “Amen.” [Congregation says, “Amen.”] That’s better. Hallelujah. When you are a person that’s busy passing through the blood and you’re in between the blood and the life of God, you are a baby Christian. That means you still are learning how to live your life in God. So, there’s a lot of things in the world that are natural to you, that feel comfortable to you, but then there are things that you begin to see in the Church. So according to this scripture of Hebrews, if you are somebody who is living in the cares of this world. So, this is also Mark chapter 4. I’ve taken a few elements out of Mark chapter 4 and Hebrews chapter 6. According to Mark chapter 4, the things that you are going to contend with as a baby Christian are 1. the cares of this world 2. the deceitfulness of riches 3. and the desires of other things. This should not be a surprise to you. The cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires of other things. When this is important to you, you are learning. As a baby Christian that is receiving milk, you are learning things like repentance from dead works. What is repentance from dead works? It’s a performance-oriented program that says, by works, I can earn something from God. Are you all with me? By works, I can earn something from God. We are learning that you can’t earn from God. It’s repentance that brings you to God. That stimulates our faith towards God. And so now you learn how to live in faith towards God.
At the same time, you have to learn about the doctrine of baptisms, because the doctrine of baptisms is an important revelation for you to live. You have to identify with the death and the resurrection of Jesus by going into water. When you identify with the death and resurrection of Jesus by going through the water, you’re telling the hosts of heavenly realm, hardly anybody ever talks about a one-time baptism. Certainly you don’t go around wearing a sign around your neck, I’ve been baptised.
So, why is it important to do a one-time thing of being baptised in water? You’re being baptised in water, because it speaks to the heart condition of you. It also speaks to the spiritual realm that I am circumcised in Christ and I’ve died with Christ and I’ve been resurrected with Christ. I am now that new person, that new divine nature person that can walk in the light. And it tells everybody that you are baptised into Christ. Therefore you are baptised into the body. You can’t say, “I’ve been baptised in water and I’m not baptised into the body.” That might be a choice you make, but it’s not a choice that you should live by. You are baptised into the body of Christ.
And then of course you will learn about laying on of hands, because wherever you are going you can receive healing from the laying on of hands. You can receive the impartation of gifts of the laying on of hands. You can receive many things with the laying on of hands that is a basic thing that we live with in the church. Laying on of hands. It’s a powerful thing. It’s a powerful thing. If you stand in front of Brother Jerry, you come and stand in front of me and I lay my hands on you. I lay my hands on you. You know what’s happening here? Is that you are recognising the body of Christ at work, because you are saying, “I’m submitting to the unity. I’m submitting to the corporate power.” Means that there’s a Christ in someone that I recognise that works through that someone to me.
This is what the Bible calls basic doctrine. Most Christians are still in the gate of the veil of the blood with this stuff. Resurrection of the dead. In other words you have to believe that Jesus has been raised from the dead, because if you don’t believe that Jesus has been raised from the dead then you don’t believe that you’re going to be raised from the dead.
So, if Jesus has been raised from the dead and He is seated at the right hand of the Father, then you and I have a whole different perspective of the way we need to walk our lives in Christ. It means He’s alive. He is the head of the Church. We are the Church. He’s put all things under our feet. We must take up this thing. We can’t just live the way we want to live. Resurrection from the dead.
Eternal judgement. Well, if we don’t believe in eternal judgement then we’re going to just live the way we want to live. But God said there will come a day when everybody’s going to give an account of their works. This is not repentance from dead works, that’s already done in this world. But eternal judgment is, “I chose to live not as a person with works but as a person of faith towards God.” So I read you this in Hebrews chapter six because the apostle Paul says, “I’m talking to you about this because this is basic doctrine.” This is something that everybody should know.
Everybody should live this way. In the church. And so he says, “I wish I could treat you like mature people because there’s a lot more I can teach you but I feel like I’ve got to keep going back to teach you this stuff because you’re in between. You’re still living in between so I’ve got to keep going back because you live like babies. Half in the world, half in the church.” Half in the world, half in the, it’s an amazing thing, people that live like babies they think they can tell everybody else what actually the Bible says. It’s a sure sign of being a baby. They can tell every pastor what he’s doing right or wrong. They can tell everybody else in the church what they’re doing right or wrong. They can, “I’ve been to Bible school. Don’t come and tell me I don’t know what church life is all about and I can read my Bible. I’ll tell you, I’ll tell you.” Sure sign. Baby talking. Sure sign.
When you walk through the veil and you get into the light, this is what happens in the rest of Hebrews when the Apostle Paul says, “Let’s move on and I should be teaching you more things.” This is what he’s talking about, a person that lives like this enlightened, have knowledge and have tasted the heavenly gift. That means you’ve tasted things about the spirit realm about the life of God that are marvelous to you and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit. Have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come. What? You see when you move on from basic doctrines you can taste of the goodness of God and of the power of the age to come. In other words you’ve got a vision into the age to come and you’ve got the power to live now that crosses over. You have a bridge to cross over to get to the future. This mature person has the possibility of going there.
Peter says in the book of Peter, supplement your faith with a generous provision of moral excellence, and moral excellence with knowledge, 6 and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with patient endurance, and patient endurance with godliness, 7 and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love for everyone (2 Peter 1:5-7 NLT). This is a Christian that is living in the light. This is a Christian that understands what’s next, what’s next, what’s next. I’m going to not preach on this too much right now although this is a vast subject. You understand? I’m just giving you an insight today. Just giving you an insight today. Are you all happy? Are you blessed? Are you sure? Are you all with me?
You can move away and you can bring the main slide back. I go back to my book and I finish our session this afternoon and you all say, “Ah.” [Pastor John laughs] Remember the three great angels named Faith, Hope, and Love, immediately came and stood behind the army. As we looked at them, all of our shields began to grow. It was amazing how quickly despair had turned to faith. It was solid faith, two tempered by experience. Now everyone had swords named…
the Word of God and arrows named for different biblical truths. I just got through giving you biblical truths, arrows. We wanted to shoot back but we did not know how to avoid hitting the Christians that the demons were riding on. Then it occurred to us that if these Christians were hit with truth they would wake up and fight off their oppressors. I fired off a few arrows as did some of the others. Almost all the arrows hit Christians. However, when the arrows of truth went into them they did not wake up or fall down wounded, they became enraged and the demons riding on them grew much larger. This shocked everyone and we began to feel that this was an impossible battle to win.
Why do you think it is that when you shoot the truth to Christians they become enraged? Because if you don’t have a heart for the truth then your response is going to be defensive. Anybody that’s defensive, is going to be angry, enraged at the truth. This shocked everyone. We began to feel this was an impossible battle to win. Even so, with Faith, Hope, and Love we were confident that we could at least hold our own ground. Another great angel named Wisdom then appeared and directed us to fight from the mountain behind us. On the mountain, there were ledges at different levels for as high as we could see.
At each higher level the ledges became narrower and more difficult to stand on. Each level was named for a biblical truth. The lower levels were named after foundation truths such as salvation, sanctification, prayer, and faith. The higher levels were named after deeper biblical truths. The higher we climbed the larger both our shields and our swords grew and fewer of the enemy’s arrows could reach our positions. Some who had stayed on the lower levels began picking up the enemy’s arrows and shooting them back. This was a grave mistake.
The demons easily dodged the arrows and let them hit the Christians. When a Christian was hit by one of the arrows of accusation or slander a demon of bitterness or rage would fly in and perch on that arrow. He would then begin to urinate and defecate his poison upon that Christian. When a Christian had two or three of these demons added to the pride or self-righteousness he already had, he was transformed into the contorted image of the demons themselves. We could see this happening from the higher levels but those on the lower levels who were using the enemy’s arrows could not see it. About half of us decided to keep climbing while the other half descended back to the lower levels to explain to those below what was happening.
Everyone was then warned to keep climbing and not stop, except for a few who stationed themselves on each level to keep the other soldiers moving higher. Praise the Lord. When we reached the level called the unity of the brethren, none of the enemy’s arrows could reach us. Many in our camp decided that this was as far as they needed to climb. I understood this because with each new level the footing was more precarious. However, I also felt much stronger and more skillful with my weapons as I went higher, so I continued climbing.
Soon my skills were good enough to shoot and hit the demons without hitting the Christians. I felt that if I kept going higher I could shoot far enough to hit the main leader of the evil horde who stayed behind their army. I regretted that so many had stopped on the lower levels where they were safe but could not hit the enemy. Meanwhile, the strength and character that grew in those who kept climbing made them great champions. Each one able to destroy many of the enemy. At each level, there were arrows of truth scattered, which I knew were left from those who had fallen from that position and many had fallen from that position, from each position.
All of the arrows were named after the truth of that level. Some were reluctant to pick up these arrows but I knew we needed all we could get to destroy the great horde below. I picked up one of the arrows, shot it and so easily hit a demon that the others also started picking up arrows and shooting them. We began to decimate several of the enemy divisions. Because of this the entire evil army focused its attention on us.
For a time it seemed that the more we achieved, the more the enemy attacked us. Though our task seemed endless it had become exhilarating. Since the enemy forces could not hit us with their arrows on the higher levels swarms of vultures would fly above us to vomit down on us. Other vultures carried demons that would urinate or defecate upon the ledgers making them very slippery. Our swords grew after we reached each new level but I almost left mine behind because I did not seem to need it at the higher levels. I almost casually decided to keep it, thinking that it must have been given to me for a reason.
Then because the ledge I was standing on was so narrow and slippery I drove the sword into the ground and tied myself to it while I shot at the enemy. The voice of the Lord then came to me saying, “You have used the wisdom that will enable you to keep climbing. Many have fallen because they did not use their swords properly to anchor themselves.” No one else seemed to hear this voice but many saw what I had done and did the same.
I wondered why the Lord had not spoken to me to do this sooner. I then knew that He had already spoken this to me somehow. As I pondered this, I began to understand that my whole life had been training for this hour. I knew that I was prepared to the degree that I had listened to the Lord and obeyed His voice throughout my life. I also knew that for some reason the wisdom and understanding I now had could not be increased or taken away while in this battle. I was very thankful for every trial I had experienced in my life and I was sorry for not appreciating them more at the time. I can tell you that we have had that experience too. Because after the trials we realised what strength it gave us, how it increased our courage and our determination and gave us the wisdom and the understanding to keep fighting and keep standing and to bring us to this point.
Soon we were hitting the demons with almost perfect accuracy. Rage ascended from the enemy like fire and brimstone. I knew that the Christians trapped in that army were now feeling the brunt of that rage. Some of the demons became so angry that they were now shooting at each other. Normally this would have been very encouraging but those who suffered the most were the deceived Christians in the camp of the enemy.
I knew that to the world this was appearing to be an incomprehensible meltdown of Christianity itself. Some of those who had not used their swords as anchors were able to strike down many of the vultures but they were also more easily knocked from the ledges where they were standing. Some of these landed on a lower level but some fell all the way to the bottom and were picked up and carried off by the vultures. I spent every free moment trying to drive my sword deeper into the ledge or trying to tie myself more securely to it. Every time I did this, Wisdom would stand beside me so I knew that it was very important. The arrows of truth would seldom penetrate the vultures but they hurt them enough to at least drive them back.
Every time they were driven back far enough some of us would climb to the next level. When we reached the level called Galatians 2:20, we were above the altitude that the vultures could withstand. At this level the sky above almost blinded us with its brightness and beauty. I felt a peace like I had never felt before. Until I reached this level my fighting spirit had been motivated almost as much by fear, hatred or disgust for the enemy as it had been for the sake of the Kingdom, truth or love for the prisoners. But it was on this level I caught up to Faith, Hope and Love which before I had only been able to see from a distance. Here I was almost overpowered by Their glory. Even so, I felt that I could get close to them.
When I got next to faith, hope and love they turned to me and began repairing and shining my armor. Soon it was transformed enough to brilliantly reflect the glory that was coming from them. When they touched my sword great bolts of brilliant lightning began flashing from it. Love then said, “Those who reach this level are entrusted with the powers of the age to come.” Then turning to me with a seriousness that was very sobering he said, “I still must teach you how to use them.”
The Galatians 2.20 level was so wide that there did not seem to be any danger of falling and unlimited supply of arrows was available with the name hope written on them. We shot some of them down at the vultures and killed them easily. About half of those who reached this level kept shooting while the others began carrying the arrows down to the Christians still on the lower level. The vultures kept coming in waves upon the levels below but with each wave there would be fewer than before.
From Galatians 2.20 we could hit any enemy in the army except the leaders themselves who remained just out of our range. We decided not to use the arrows of truth until we had destroyed all the vultures because the cloud of depression they created made the truth less effective. This took a very long time but we did not get tired. Finally it seemed as if the sky over the mountain was almost completely rid of the vultures.
Faith, hope and love we had grown like our weapons with each level were now so large that our new people far beyond the battle area could see them. Their glory even radiated into the camp of prisoners who were still under a great cloud of vultures. I was very encouraged that they could be seen this way. Maybe now the prisoners and the Christians who had been used by the enemy would understand that we are not the enemy but they in fact had been used by him. But this was not to be the case, at least not yet. Those in the camp of the enemy who began to see the light of faith, hope and love started calling them angel of light who were sent to deceive the weak or undercerning. I knew then that their bondage was much greater than I realized.
The non-Christian who were not a part of either of these armies saw the glory of faith, hope and love and started to come closer to the mountain to get a better view. Those who came closer to see them also started to understand that the battle had really been about. This was a great encouragement. I’m just making sure that I where I have to finish. Nearly there.
The exhilaration of victory continued to grow in each of us. I felt that being in this army and in this battle had to be one of the greatest adventures of all time. After destroying most of the vultures that had been attacking our mountain, we began picking off the vultures that still covered the prisoners. As the cloud of darkness dissipated the prisoners were bathed in sunlight and began to wake up as if they had been in deep sleep. They were immediately repulsed by their condition, especially by the vomit that still covered them and started cleaning themselves up. As they beheld faith, hope and love, they also saw the mountain and ran towards it. Though the evil horde sent arrows of accusation and slander at their backs, the former prisoners did not stop. By the time they got to the mountain, many had a dozen or more arrows stuck in them, yet they seemed to not even notice. As soon as they began to scale the mountain, their wounds began to heal. Praise Jesus.
With the cloud of depression largely dispelled, it seemed as if everything was now getting much easier. The former prisoners had great joy in their salvation. They seemed so overwhelmed with appreciation for each new level of the mountain that it gave us a greater appreciation for those truths too. Soon a fierce resolve to fight the enemy arose in the former prisoners. They put on the armor provided and begged to be allowed to go back and attack the enemy who had held them captive and abused them for so long. We thought about it and then decided that we should all stay on the mountain to fight. Again, the voice of the Lord saying, “A second time you have chosen wisdom. You cannot win if you try to fight the enemy on his own ground. You must remain on My holy mountain.” I was stunned that we had made another decision of such importance. Just by thinking and briefly discussing it, I then resolved to do my best to not make another decision of any consequence without prayer.
Wisdom then stepped up to me quickly, took both of my shoulders firmly and looked me straight in the eye saying, “You must do this. Stay on the holy mountain and pray.” As wisdom said this to me, he pulled me forward as if he were saving me from something. I looked back and saw that even though I had once been on the broad plateau of Galatians 2:20 I had drifted to the very edge without knowing it. I had come very close to falling off the mountain. I looked again into the eyes of wisdom and he said with utmost seriousness, “Take heed when you think you stand, lest you fall. In this life you can fall from any level.” I thought about wisdom’s words for quite a while. In the exuberance of the victory we were starting to achieve and the unity we were beginning to experience, I had become careless. It was more noble to fall because of the onslaught of the enemy than to fall because of carelessness.
If you and I think that living in this life is just a bit of human experience, we are mistaken. Indeed, you and I, born again Christians. We are spirit beings having a natural experience, whereas the rest of the world would see themselves as natural people having some kind of spiritual experience. We need to see ourselves in this light, that we are not destined to be natural people, living a natural life as effectively and as successfully as we can. That’s like walking blind, blind and short-sighted. That’s like walking like any other corpse. Dead man walking. There is no reason for you to even be at church if you’re going to live like that. Pastor John, you are such a radical preacher on this Saturday. I always have been. I always have been. My whole life I have been radical. When I got to meet Brother Jerry, Brother Copeland, Brother Hagin, my pastor for many years, Ray McCauley, I was drawn to their radicalness because I was just as radical. I’m radical and I’m blessed. I’m radical for Jesus. I’m radical for truth. I’m radical for the unity of the body of Christ.
But I’m not staying at the level where we’re at now. I’m transforming. I’m not going to be conformed to any level. I’m going to keep going up. I’m going to keep growing and I’m going to keep moving and I’m going to do everything that I can depending more and more on the grace of God to hold me and keep me. Lest I think by some chance I’ve made it. Lest I think by some chance that I’m anything special. There go I, but for the grace of God. It’s His grace that has kept me till now. It’s His amazing, amazing grace that has kept me. It is not because I’m super spiritual. I am super spiritual, but that’s not what’s kept me. It’s His grace that has kept me. I’m becoming more spiritual, but even spiritual people can go unwittingly towards a ledge and have some kind of slimy vomit that the devil vomits out around them. And maybe they’re not even the subject of the vomit, but someone else brought it there or somehow it got there and then you end up slipping off a ledge and finding yourself falling, falling, falling and all of the progress that you’ve made.
Kenneth Hagin taught me this. Kenneth Hagin said, “There are many, many, many ministers that have fallen because of money. Many, many ministers that have fallen because of money.” When he preached that, I made it a decision in my life that I would not manage the money in the church. I would not count the money. I would not manage the money. I would not abuse the money. I would not take money from the offering to help me with any of my personal expenses. I would not put myself in a position where anybody could point a finger at me and accuse me of mismanaging or abusing money. So, I’ve made myself accountable because you can easily fall off a ledge quickly because of money. Neh? At the same time, you can fall off the ledge because you get deceived in an area and then you think you’re doing something good. Praise the Lord.
You know, if I get something wrong here, Pastor Sharon just remind me of the actual story if I get the detail wrong. But Kenneth Hagin was in a hotel room and I believe the Lord spoke to his wife, said you must go to his hotel room. Was that his church? In the hotel? Oh, and then? Because I think we’re telling two different stories, but… [Pastor Sharon talks to Pastor John.] And then? Yes. Yes, but that, yeah. So, we don’t seem to find the recollection of the circumstances, but the one thing we agree on that we do know about, was that a woman arrived with her husband. And he had a camera on him and she was naked underneath her coat that she was wearing. And they had prepared a trap for Kenneth Hagin. Husband and wife, they had prepared a trap for Kenneth Hagin that at the right time, she would fling off the coat, throw her naked body around him and he would take a picture of them and then use that against him. And the Lord spoke to Kenneth Hagin’s wife, Aretha, and said, “Something’s about to happen, you must go there.” And her arrival there stopped that from happening. You know, what I’m trying to tell you is that the devil can use whatever he wants, he can use so many things to bring you down, but by the grace of God, but by His grace, but by His grace. Praise the Lord, praise the Lord.
I’ll tell you what, this is a true thing, this is a fact. If you look at anybody’s life, I don’t care who they are, if you look at anybody’s life close enough, you will find something that you can criticize them for. You can find a fault, you can find a weakness, you can find a flaw. If you look closely enough, you can find one. I promise you, anybody. I don’t care who they are, you can find something. And if you, as a natural person, can find it, you think the devil can’t? He knows, he knows where your weakness is, and he’ll come after you if he can, he’ll try and get it. But when we walk together as a body of Christ, and we walk in love together, we become stronger. Hallelujah.
We become a powerful army, we become really powerful. So church, what do you think? We still got tomorrow. I’ve got many things to share with you tomorrow. Did you have a blockbuster day? [Congregation answers; yes.] Hey, praise the Lord. I do believe the Lord is leading us step by step, day by day, moment by moment, He’s leading us. Hallelujah. He’s revealing things to us, He’s showing things, and we’re building, and we’re doing things together. Amen. Amen.
I want to say thank you for giving your attention to the teaching of the word today. Thank you for being here on a Saturday. Thank you for your time, thank you for your wonderful attitude, the way that you have received the word. I appreciate it, the Church of the Lord Jesus appreciates it, and this can only be good for us going forward.
And so, I bless you in your going out, and I bless you in your coming back tomorrow morning, and I pray that you will have sweet sleep tonight, and that you will dream dreams that are godly dreams, and you will dream dreams of faith, hope, and love, and the great angels of God that stand before us, the great truths of the word that underpin us and keep us strong. The great wisdom of God that is ours to enjoy fully, and that we trust in His grace that we don’t fall, that we stay strong. In Jesus’ name. Do you agree with this? Say amen. [Congregation says, amen.] Amen. Thank you, we’ll see you tomorrow morning.