Scripture reference: Mark 4:15 (AMPC); Mark 4:10 (WUEST); Psalm 127:1(KJV);
2 Timothy 2:6 (AMPC); James 5:7-8 (AMPC); Psalm 126:5 (KJV)
Pastor Garth Bendixen:
Father, thank You for today. There’s not a day that goes by that we take for granted, the breath that we have in our lungs is a gift from You and we’re here this morning in Heritage of Faith with purpose and with intention to come and worship You and to love You and also to listen to Your Words so that we can be changed. We can live in Your ways. We can live as a disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ and we come to listen and to see Your ways and to be trained by Your Word as we hear it and for the rest of this week. So, we have hearts to believe this morning and we ask You Holy Spirit to help us to hear what You need us to hear, what You want us to hear and eyes to see what You want us to see and what You need us to see so that we can become individually and as a people what You want us to become in Jesus’ name, amen.
Pastor Sharon Bendixen:
Thank you. Thank you, Pastor G. Thank you, Music Ministry. Glory. Okay. I’m not going to need the little table. Thank you. Thank you so much. I’ve just got a file and a cell phone. Thank you, Empie. Thank you so much. Good morning again, everybody. Again, I am speaking, primarily. Primarily, I’m speaking to Heritage of Faith people this morning. Those that know that God has called them here to be with the Lord. I’m looking for the string. Those that God has called to be here with Pastor John and I, in this Church to be planted here to be receiving what God is working in us, as a congregation, as a people, here. I need to state that.
So, there may be some of you that are visiting here for the first time and I’m sure that the Lord will minister something from this message to your heart. But this message is primarily comes from the Lord to this Church. Is that good with you? That’s very good with me. That’s how I’ve always believed it, it’s how I’ve always received it. Before Pastor John and I ever came into the ministry, that’s how God trained me where we were planted in our church for nineteen years. The Lord said to me, “Every Sunday morning when my pastor gets up or anyone else he puts in the pulpit, these are messages from Me that you are to listen to receive from Me.” Right.
So, there’s a reminder here that I want to make for December, you’ve all received something like this? [Pastor Sharon holding up the announcement card] Right? It says here it’s the 16th Inhabiting the Land Camp Meeting. We start on Saturday in Witbank, Saturday we go from the 16th to the 17th and then we go from Witbank, we depart to the farm. That’s all of us that are going with. All the information that you may need for it is on the website. Inhabiting the Land Camp Meeting continued on the farm on the 18th, 19th and 20th. Glory to God. Then we’ve got a Christmas service. But this has been given to you so that you can put it on your fridge with a magnet. So, that you can just remember.
Then in November, Pastor John wanted Doctor Gerrie to come and speak to us for a long time, Doctor Gerrie. So, finally, the Lord spoke to Doctor Gerrie. The last time Pastor John saw him and he said, “John, I got to come and speak to your people.” Pastor John said, “I know I was just waiting for you to know.” “I want to come and speak to your people about their health, that they only have one temple, one temple, one body that houses your spirit. You are the temple of the Living God, your spirit lives in your body. They only have one temple.” God only gave us one, to serve us for all of our lives. So, he is going to come and speak to us about many wonderful things that we need to … because God is doing something new. You ought to come to those meetings with a heart prepared to hear new things, even though your mind may fight it, your emotions may fight it, even though you may say, “I’ve heard this before,” or “You know what.” Warra warra warra warra… This is Pastor John that asked Doctor Gerrie to come and speak to us, this is God, so there are definitely things that God is going to say through Doctor Gerrie that the Holy Spirit wants us to hear. The Holy Spirit wants us to be cognisant and take note. Glory. So, I just want to – I’m not going to need this anymore [referring to her phone] thank you. Thank you, my son.
So, this morning, this is the Crossover – Part 8. In case you haven’t realised it yet. There are many of us already busy experiencing a crossover, a spiritual crossover with the Holy Spirit in our hearts. We’re already experiencing Him crossing us over from the old into the new and so because there are those of us that are in the fear of the Lord because of our recognition of the time of God, we are already having a Holy Vigil in our heart. So, God put this of the Holy Vigil in my heart when Pastor John started to minister The Crossover. This is an event in the heart of God. It’s an event, a happening that God ordained for this time for this people to crossover. So if you’re not in awe of that yet, then you haven’t got anything yet from those messages of The Crossover. You haven’t been in the messages, you haven’t been listening to the Holy Spirit.
But God is giving us all equal opportunity to come into this holy awe of God of what He’s doing spiritually in us all as a people right now. He’s going to make sure that you all had an opportunity to come with on this crossover. He’s making such a big deal of this crossover – that if you’re not coming, you’re going to wish that these messages would end. But if you are coming, you would wish they would never end so that you can have it all and you can come across completely. Glory to God. It’s a choice. This is the Crossover – Part 8 and this message, last week’s message was called, A Time of Temptation. This week’s message is called, The Temptation of the Time. The temptation of the time.
So, what God is meaning by that is that the temptation you will face right now because of the time that you are in, in this church; do not cross over. Do not come with all of these messages. Just the same as the people in the wilderness that God took out of Egypt. They believed Him for a little while and then they no longer wanted to go in and have anything to do with what God said He wanted to do with them and for them.
Jesus our Saviour, our Liberator, is building this Church. He is constantly watching over us. He’s watching over us as a people. He loves us. He purchased this Church with His own blood. He builds a Church, when He says, “I will build My church,” He means, “I will build a people. I will build inside of My people. I will build My church.” He builds a people according to a plan. He’s building us according to a plan, according to His purpose. He is a master builder. It is always for victory, it is always for triumph for His people, personally and for His Kingdom. He walks among the lamp stands, those are the seven churches in the Book of Revelation. Jesus walks among the lamp stands, He knows them all. He knows all the churches, He knows all their conditions. He knows what He wants to say to them. He knows our condition. He knows what He wants to say to us. He knows when He wants to say it to us by His Spirit through His messengers He will speak. He knew what He wanted to say to His people through Moses, according to a plan. He knew what He wanted to say to Joshua, through Joshua to the people according to a plan. He knew what He wanted to say through His prophets to His people at a specific time with a specific message. There was always the temptation of the time for all of God’s people throughout all the ages. He knew it through Paul, He inspired Paul to say specific things to specific churches at specific times, God building with a plan, with His plan. Specific and tailor made for every local church.
So, He knows it now through Pastor John, He knows what to say to Pastor John to speak to us and when to say and how to say it to us. He is building us, as a people. He knows it now through Pastor John, He knows it through me this morning. He knows exactly what He wants me to say to you, today. I know, I know because I hear His voice and He speaks clearly to me. So, I know He has spoken to me, what to say to you at this time about temptation.
So, Pastor John spoke this over me on the Sunday before he left. Pastor Sharon is going to be the spiritual leader in charge of what is going to be happening while I am gone. She will be flowing in an anointing that will be new. I know I am. I know I am and those that are spiritual in this place will know that too. She will be flowing in an anointing that will be new, it will be sure, it will be strong.
See, I need to say this to you this morning, that Jesus said to the disciples, “If they don’t receive you, they don’t receive Me.” Because Jesus had messages to give through disciples. So, you need to know that if you don’t receive me, you do not receive Pastor John. You don’t. You may say you do, but you don’t. You can’t. Because it is God’s order. If you don’t receive Pastor Christi, you don’t receive Pastor John and you don’t receive Jesus. If you don’t receive Pastor Garth, then you don’t receive Pastor John and you don’t receive Jesus because that is how God delegates in His Ecclesia.
So, when the Church at Corinth was saying, “I want Paul, I want Apollos, I don’t want this one, I don’t want that one.” Apostle Paul had to address them as babies and say, “You are still carnal and you’re babies.” Because you’re saying, “I am of Pastor John, I am not of Pastor Sharon, I’m not of Pastor Christi, I am of Pastor Garth.” So, you just need to understand that there is an order here in this church and this will help you to be able to receive. Receive from me. Receive from the Lord through me as His messenger today.
So, Pastor John said this, She will be flowing in an anointing that will be new, it will be sure, it will be strong. It will reinforce and bring new insights and revelation to what God has given us as a momentum. I see that so clearly. I sense it in myself as I am bringing, even as I am speaking right now, that I am carrying on with the momentum of the crossover that God began in Pastor John. Right? So this is happening. What Pastor John declared is happening. Why am I telling you this? So that there can be a recognition and a receiving from you on your part and understanding. Right? Because there’s nothing wrong with this transmission, it’s on the receiving end where the problem is. “I only receive this one, I only receive that one.” That is time for you to get out of that babyhood, remember I said last week, “Let’s be grown up now. Let’s understand how God works in a church.” Glory to God.
So, I urge you to pray for Pastor Sharon as the delegated spiritual leader while I’m gone, that she will have the mind of Christ. She will follow all the ways of God in everything that needs to be said and done. There is not a vacuum of spiritual authority while I’m gone. Whoever else God chooses to use as a vessel while I’m gone, anything else that might happen under her delegation and authority, there will be a strong anointing.
So, at this time, he asked me to speak to you about temptation, about the tempter. Last Sunday’s message that Jesus brought to this church is just pure power. It’s pure power. So many people have been speaking to me about it because what is happening now, it’s new. What Pastor John has stepped into, stepping into and crossing over into is the new. It’s the new. What I’m stepping into is the new and these messages are coming to us to make us new. You’re going to become new through the things He’s saying to you every Sunday and then He’s saying the same thing to you during the week in the messages.
So, it comes as a warning to us. We’re going to look at Mark 4 verse 15, Jesus warns us that when messages come to a people, to a congregation, in the way that messages and instructions came to the people with Moses, to the people with Joshua, to the people with Paul, that when these messages come, that we not be tempted to disregard them, to dishonour them, to dis, to just dis them – dis them, okay.
So, this is what happens with the Word. Jesus is warning us, when the messages come to us as a people, we’re talking – I’m specifically now talking about the Word that comes to us as a people – the public message that He brings, like He’s bringing it right now. There’s four trusts that we have. We have trust in the precious, Holy, written Word of God, right? That’s the precious, Holy written Word of God. We have trust in the public spoken messages that come to us publicly. We have trust in the prophetic word that comes to us, that God will bring a prophetic word. And then we have trust in His personal words to us. And I would suggest that you take them in that order. Glory to God.
So, 15The ones along the path are those who have the messages from Pastor John and from Pastor Sharon sown in their hearts, but when they hear, Satan comes at once and [by force] takes away the message which is sown in them (Mark 4:15 AMPC).
I want to go to Mark chapter 4 from the WUEST translation. I want you to see the WUEST translation. It’s verse 10, right? 10The sower sows the Word. And these are… alongside the road where the Word is being sown; and whenever they hear, immediately there comes Satan. And immediately there comes Satan. Is this a warning from Jesus about the messages that come to us all the time? Is this a warning? Don’t you want to be warned? I want to be warned. To be fore-warned is to be fore-armed. I want to be warned and I want to take the warning seriously, right? He says, “Satan’s coming. You’re listening to this message. Satan’s coming to just take it right out of your heart for you to not even give it a second thought, not even give it – not even mind it again. 10…And those alongside the road where the Word is being sown; and whenever they hear, immediately there comes Satan and snatches away by force the Word which has been sown in them (Mark 4:10 WUEST).
So, what the Lord said to me was, “Sharon, the great temptation that will come to all of us at this time is to not take seriously or believe His messages to us right now as a people. Just like the majority of these people did in the wilderness. That is going to be a huge temptation, right now.” So we must be on our guard, awake and vigilant and sober for this enemy of ours is right now, right now, like He said for me to speak to you last week, many of you are already going through temptations and you don’t even recognize it. The enemy coming against your mind to get you off the straight path that He’s got us on as a people. You just think that you’re thinking is really God. You really think that you’re thinking like God about what you’re thinking about. But you’re only thinking about, you’re only thinking like God about something if you’re listening to these messages. Then you’re thinking like God because that’s the unity of the brethren is we’re from one mouth, one heart, one mind. That’s it. If you think something different, a different message other than the one we’re preaching here, you are deceived. If you belong here, you are deceived. God wants you coming out of your deception. He wants you to be part of what He’s doing here. He doesn’t want anyone, anyone to not participate and partake of the wonderful Heavenly things He’s got for us right now. Glory to God. Hallelujah.
So, that’s why He wants us, vigilant. The Holy Vigil. It’s a Holy Vigil. Holiness is just Who God is. It’s Who God is and what He is saying right now, vigil. We’re coming together to be vigilant together, to be awake together, to be active together, to hear what He’s saying together, to be together in our awakeness. Because we can be much more awake together than when we are on our own. You are isolated, you are not awake. You got to be – we’ve got to be together. We’ve got to be awake together because my awakeness helps you to be awake and your awakeness helps my awakeness and we’re to be having this Holy Vigil together.
Especially at this time of the crossover. This is the time that God is earmarking, it’s a landmark, it’s a milestone, it’s a milepost. We’re picking up stones of what God is doing here right now in this congregation. It’s for us to remember and have a memorial for generation after generation. This will be recorded. It will be recorded in Heaven and what we did with it, we will have to stand before God with it on that great judgment day. Us as a people we will be accountable before God as a people what we did with this, with this time of this crossover. How we were with it. So massive is it in the heart of God.
So He says the great temptation that will come to all of us at this time, is not to believe His messages of what He is speaking to us right now. So, we must be on our guard for this enemy of ours is right now going about seeking where he has access in our minds to devour and steal your part in this end time work of God. Steal, kill, steal, to steal your part, your precious part in this end time work of God. Pastor John helped us with that prayer to pray. He said, “Just say, I’m ready. I’m ready. Lord, in my humanity, in my frailty, in my weakness, I’m just saying, Lord, I’m ready. I’m ready. Take me. Take me. Show me. I’m coming. I’m coming. I’m coming, Lord.” Right?
So, Pastor John and I have been working with Jesus to build this church. Our creed and our anchor and our true north for decades now has been Psalm 127 verse 1 from the King James. This is what we live by. 1 Except the Lord build the house, Pastor John and I are not building this house because this is too real for us and we fear God too greatly. 1 Except the Lord build the house, this Ecclesia they labor in vain (Psalm 127:1 KJV). For me and for Pastor John and I to come to the end of our life and to find our ladders up on the wrong wall and we’ve climbed it and it has been on the wrong wall all the time, to run a race in vain. To have laboured the way that Pastor John has laboured and I have laboured together, I’ve been a co-labourer together with Pastor John. Contending for things, fighting beasts, the bestial natures and carnal natures of Christians that have had things to say and opinions to have. We have fought, we have sowed, we have ploughed, we have sowed, we have worked, we have sowed, we have ploughed, we have laboured in this vineyard and God says now, we don’t say it. God says, it’s our harvest time now and those that are with us, it’s their harvest time too. It is His vineyard and everybody that is labouring in this vineyard is going to get the same pay. No matter which part of this timeline you have come in here, if you have come in here with the heart of, “I’m here, Lord, I’m here.” Same pay and you can go and have a look at that. You can go and have a look at that. Matthew 20 verse 1 to 16. Glory to God.
So, what is happening here now? I am awake. My awakeness is here to awake you today to where we are at, to what is happening right now. Pastor John, it’s the Lord, first of all, it’s His harvest. Because He waits patiently for the precious harvest and the fruit of the earth, that when the early and the latter rain come, there is His harvest. It is His. But the hardworking farmer must, must be first partaker of the harvest. It’s unequivocal for God that Pastor John and I’s labour, we must be first partaker of it. In whatever form it manifests itself, because it will be manifesting. It is already manifesting itself in such great blessing, in such great power, in such great wonder, in such great goodness, in such great, such greatness. [Ps Sharon speaking in tongues]
“These things are only spiritually discerned. They are foolishness to the natural mind,” says the Lord. We have been working hard. We’ve been hardworking farmers in His vineyard and 2 Timothy 2 verse 6, Amplified Bible says, 6 [It is] the hard-working farmer [who labors to produce] who must be the first partaker of the fruits (2 Timothy 2:6 AMPC). It’s the Lord’s harvest time for His work of this ministry, in this ministry. It is, it is. That’s why you saw what you saw this morning. That’s why Pastor John brought messages to the MiXchangers of multiplication and multitudes and the breaking. It’s the time of the breaking of the loaves and the fishes. It’s the time of that. It’s the time when God does miracles. When you cross the Jordan, there was always the time at the crossing of the Jordan where miracles happened with Elijah and Elisha. A miracle happened when the Jordan opened up and the people could walk through. It’s a time for miracles and it’s a time of miracles.
That’s why things are breaking, going to break out for people financially, break out for people in healing. Miracles, financial miracles. We’ve had all these words coming to us. We cannot just ignore them and set them aside. They are what God wants us to take cognisance of now. Now is when I’m doing it. Have an expectation now. He had instructions for people in this congregation. Get your mouth ready. He spoke and He spoke to specific people and then He said, “It is for all of us.” Get your mouth ready to speak, to speak and expect these things to happen. They’re not just a nice little word that Pastor John is bringing to you and speaking to you. It’s what God wants happening right now.
He’s been patient for this harvest. God’s been patient for this harvest. He’s been patient for this harvest. He is the Lord of the harvest and we’re going to look at James 5 verse 7 to 8, 7 So be patient, brethren, [as you wait] till the coming of the Lord. This is not the second coming. If you look up that word coming, you will see it when Jesus manifests Himself. Like He manifested Himself when He was with Joshua, He’s manifesting Himself with us right now, because we are crossing over and we are going in and He is manifesting Himself. Hallelujah. Right now. He’s manifesting Himself in our hearts in the crossover. It’s a happening event right now.
⁷ So be patient, Heritage of Faith people, [as you wait] till the coming of the Lord. The Lord is coming here now. See how the farmer waits expectantly for the precious harvest from the land. [See how] he keeps up his patient [vigil] over it… I am keeping up my steadfast, consistent vigil over this harvest that must come now. I’m vigilant over this harvest that’s coming now, at this time. I’m keeping up my patient vigil. Consistent, insistent, persistent, steadfast. Pastor John and I haven’t come this far just for this harvest to rot in the field. No, no, no. It will manifest. It will manifest. It is manifesting. It will continue to manifest.
But there is a very real devil who will come to try and he is right now busy stealing your part in it from you. You’ve led him. You’re letting him. You want to have feelings of unworthiness. You should by now know how to be dealing with those feelings of unworthiness. You’ve been with us long enough to not be feeling unworthy. You deal with that. You deal with the devil with that and you tell him, “I’m worthy because of the blood of Jesus.”
If you’ve messed up, you get it right. Now. Get it right, now. Make it right with God now. 7 … patient [vigil] over it until it receives the early and late rains (James 5:7 AMPC). It’s receiving the early and the latter rain right now. It’s receiving it right now. Pastor John read the book out of Joel, the former and the latter rain. It’s when all the rains come. All right.
So, for the coming of the Lord is very near. Actually, the Lord said to me this morning, “My coming is here. My coming is here.” So, now I’m going to read to you, I’m going to read to you, how God has been speaking to Pastor John and I for a long time, for many years and you will all know, those that have been with us for a long time, will find these things familiar. So, Timothy, the Scripture says, I’m not going to put the Scripture up. You need to be – Pastor John and Sharon, you need to be all three of these things. You must fight like a soldier, train like an athlete, be committed to the work. Work and work like a farmer. You must view yourself as a soldier, athlete and a farmer.
Then I’ve already put second Timothy 2 verse 6 up, 6 The husbandman that laboureth must be first partaker of the fruits (2 Timothy 2:6 KJV). Whah, whah. I see, Lord. I see. He is having me speak these words into the very spiritual atmosphere right now, because these things will get done. God will bring them from the north and the south and the east and the west. He will bring in the labourers. He will bring in the people that will be reaping the harvest with us. He will bring them in. He must. We must. He must have this fruit of this labour. He will have it. If you are not going to do it, someone will come in your place. Jah.
Husbandman in the Greek refers to one who tills and works the soil. A soil worker, a soil tiller, Pastor John and Sharon. Husbandman is used. There is no doubt that Paul is referring to the activities of a farmer. He is referring to a hard-working farmer. The husbandman that laboureth, word labour in Greek is the word kópos and kópos doesn’t refer to just regular work. Rather to the hardest type of work. This was a man, this was a man. I’ll tell you, Pastor John and I, working to the point of sweat and tears. Using the word kópos, Paul is painting us a picture of a farmer working in the heat of the afternoon sun, during the hottest period of the year, the ground as hard as clay.There is little moisture and the work is strenuous.
I remember when we first came to Witbank. Haaard ground! I still said to the Lord, “Oh, this can’t be it. This can’t be them. This can’t be the people You have called us to”. Haaard ground! Everyone living for themselves. Everyone having an opinion about everything. Hard ground. I remember, the Lord had to encourage me, He said to me, “The gold is here. You must just dig. Keep on digging, keep on digging, the gold is here.”
The farmer is ploughing and sowing and ploughing and sowing. Physically exhausted, drenched with perspiration, covered with dirt. His done a hard day’s work. By using this illustration Paul is telling us once again to live in the combat zone is hard and difficult and exhausting. However, rather than complain and moan about it, Pastor John and I had faced it. We had to get out there and do the job, because God had called us to do it.
If a farmer wants to reap the benefits of the crop, that means he’s got to plough and plant. The unbearable heat doesn’t change the necessity of the task. Regardless, his job is to plough and plant. If we do our job in the combat zone faithfully, and it has been a combat zone for Pastor John and I. On many levels of many different kinds of people. Many different heart conditions. Many different attitudes. Many different kinds of stubborness, disobedience, disregard, dishonor. It didn’t matter that we were touching Christians like that. God said, “You plough, you plough and you plant. You plough and you plant and you water and you plough and you plant and you water.”
If a farmer wants to reap the benefits of a crop. Okay, no, okay. The unbearable heat doesn’t change the necessity of the task, his job is to plough and plant. And if we do our job in the combat zone faithfully, like a hard working farmer, we will reapt the benefits of our crop and that’s where we’re at, right now! We are busy preparing to bring the harvest that is white, it is ripe in the fields. The labourers are few, but I tell you, God is going to so mightily use those few labourers. Whah, Whah. I tell you now, that the harvest is white, it’s standing white and ripe and ready and that is why Pastor John has got this fever, it’s a harvest in gathering fever.
I’ve got a seed sowing, what did he say? “I’m in a seed-sowing frenzy.” Because on the banks of the river when the Jordan was flooding, they did their last bit, they got on boats, in those days. They got on boats and they threw some seeds into the river Jordan while it was flooding because they knew when the floods subsided there would be something that would come up in that fertile mud and fertile soil.
Your harvest, those of you who have been instinctively listening to the voice of the Holy Spirit and saying, “I think I’ll just give this now.” You think you’ve made a casual decision? No. No. You’re listening to the Holy Spirit because this is a time, this is a time to be in a seed-sowing frenzy. Hallelujah. Because the banks of the river are overflowing of the Jordan and God’s about to part the waters, He is parting the waters already, we are overlapping on many things now. We are overlapping on many things now. Sho, sho. The fruits belong to the hard worker first, everyone else eats after him. Right?
The job of sowing seed, the reaping is done by hand. That’s the best way. Concerning teaching, preaching and sowing the Word into the heart, like a farmer would sow into a field, the Lord said, “Behold a sower went forth to sow.” The sower goes into the field to sow. Pastor John has been a sower and me with him, we have gone into the field to sow, we have been sowing the Word. Which Word? The Word that God gives us to give, at that time, and how He wants to give it. That’s why our planting has been so orderly. The sowing has been so orderly because we have been listening to the Builder, the Master Builder Who has been giving us Words; messages in succession for the last 23 years. He has been giving us ordered, planned, detailed messages. Some of them we didn’t understand, “Why God do You want to say this now? You say this now. You speak this now.” Hallelujah. “Because I’ve got to have this planted now.”
He goes into the field. A farmer is personally involved in all the activities of the field. It’s our responsibility. God gave us this field of ministry and it’s Pastor John’s responsibility and mine with him, to take care of this vineyard. It was his job to sow and no one else’s. This farm is so precious to him that it requires his complete total attention. Later, when harvest time came, many workers could come into the field to help reap the harvest. However, the planting of the seed, because it was crucial and vital job, was the responsibility of the farmer himself, personally involved in the work God has called us to do.
I just want to read something to you. A computerized telephone message doesn’t care if the listener hangs, if the listener listens or hangs up. It has neither feelings nor emotional. As one evangelist said, “It’s great trying to reach people with this new computerized device. You never get rejected, you never get cussed out, and you never have to answer any difficult Bible questions. Really, there’s no personal involvement and doesn’t require any of your personal time. Just let the telephone do all the work.” So, so, so. I’m talking about this in the light of the personal work that has to be done. We thank God that if he uses these other methods to reach, but it’s the personal touch God’s after. It’s the face to face, it’s the heart to heart, it’s the shoulder to shoulder of the army, it’s the showing up of us together. It’s us knowing each other after the Spirit.
So, there is no replacement for the touch of a caring pastor, the powerful personal influence of an apostle. The heart stirring message in presence of a prophet. The personal fine tuned anointing of an excellent teacher and a strong fiery presence of an evangelist and the impact on warm hearted believers. So, Satan wants to keep us out of the field. He wants to keep you and the anointing of God away from the saints. It is true that the anointing can be transmitted through tape cassette or video messages, letters, radio, television programs, even prayer cloths but there is no substitute for the anointing that is passed on through one’s personal presence. God meant for the anointing to be passed on through your life, through your life. Your presence among the saints. Hallelujah.
Sowing the Word inside the church. Inside the church we have the opportunity to work with soil. Prepare the believers’ hearts. What am I sharing with you? I am sharing with you Pastor John and I’s story up until now. To show you how we get and how we got to this time that we find ourselves in. That we have full recognition of. Our eyes are wide open, our spirit eyes are wide open. We are awake to this and so it is not enough for Pastor John and I to be awake to this now because many workers are required to bring in this harvest. You have to see what we see. You have to get what we give, what we get.
So, this is what Pastor John and I have been doing. In the church we have the opportunity to work the soil, prepare the believer’s hearts, get them ready to receive God’s Word. Then after receiving the seed it can be worked further and deeper into their hearts by constant teaching. I mean there’s got to be things in God’s heart. “When are they going to get it? How much more do I have to say this until they can actually get it? They are still afraid. They still don’t trust Me. They are still not doing the Word. They still have opinions. They are still asking questions.” It is like God, it’s like how many times must I say it? How many times? But, that’s not the question that we ask. It must be worked further and deeper into their hearts by constant teaching. The best farmers would actually sit down in the dirt of the field to personally plant the seed into the soil by hand, one by one, one plant at a time. By doing this, not only did they make certain the seed was safely planted, they were also able to keep the rows in an orderly fashion. Planting in an orderly fashion. This helps the reaper when it comes to harvest the fruit of the field. The more orderly the field, the easier the harvest. This is a picture of ministry. Right. Plant by hand to the church and her members to plant the seed by hand in an organized orderly fashion. This is what discipleship is all about. Personally planting the seed, covering it with protection, watering it, pouring fertilizer on it in order to ensure its growth.
Messages from God. Our messages from God have been organised and have continuity. Our messages have flowed with previous messages. Our message links with a series of messages to follow. It helps keep the rows of plants and the people, all of us, in line. On the other hand, disjointed messages. A message here and a message there and boom, another new subject. Boom. Another new subject. Confusing the saints. Their lives not in spiritual order. The more orderly the field, the easier the harvest. Thank God for shepherds who have helped prepare the hearts of their people. A prepared heart or congregation is a joy to teach. They soak up every word they hear.
I had that experience last Sunday, if you remember. I was ministering when I started to minister on temptation. I just sensed there were some, enough people in this place whose hearts were going, reaching out to whatever God was saying through me and going (suction noise). Because they’re following God. They’re not following a man. Yes, they are following a man. But they’re following God in following a man. Because that’s what God, they followed Joshua. They followed Moses. They followed Paul. It’s God’s pattern. But they’re following God because they understand God’s pattern and God’s order.
Preaching to a congregation who has no appreciation for the messages, no desire for more of God is an extremely hard challenge. In such cases, we have to ignore their lack of response and preach regardless of what their reaction may be. Then dig, dig, dig and dig. Plough, plough, plough and plough, until you get that seed down on the inside of them. This type of ministry is not fun. It’s not fun. Fun or not, it must be done. Fun or not, it must be done. That’s why God calls Pastor John and I husbandman or farmer, our function as ministry gifts, which includes Pastor Christi and includes Pastor Garth and others that will have delegated authority by the Spirit of God that will come. A husbandman or a farmer, our function as ministry gifts is to get that seed into the field. A husbandman, that’s why Paul calls us the husbandman, the farmer that laboureth, labourers, labourers, labourers, labourers soaking the seed with protection.
By the time of the New Testament chemicals had already been introduced to protect the seed from insects. Primitive as these chemicals were, they worked. Before the seed was sown, it was first soaked in a powerful liquid solution. The solution didn’t hurt the seed, but it was deadly to the vile insects that would attempt to eat the seed once placed in the soil. Soaking the seed is crucial. We must cover and soak and saturate the seed of God’s Word with prayer. That’s why we’re a house of prayer. The speakings of God, the declarations of God, the professions of God, the things that we speak, to declare is prayer. It’s part of prayer to declare. Speak the Words of God. We are to thoroughly saturate our ministry. Our ministry, our prophetic message, our preaching and in teaching and instruction with prayer. This is a vital task of saturating the word of prayer. Our prayer acts as protection. Harvest time finally arrives. Let me just see. Let me just see. I’m going to go a little longer, is that okay? I’m going to see if I can just get through this part and then I’m done. Are you with me? Are you with me? Right?
Okay, so here we go. Harvest time finally arrives. Psalm 126 verse 5 says that, 5They that sow in tears… God will know the tears that Pastor John and I have cried in the process of dig, dig, dig, plough, plough, plough, sow, sow, sow. God knows those tears. He’s kept them all in a bottle. That’s what the Bible says. He keeps our tears in a bottle. Hallelujah. There is that time, 5 They that sow in tears shall reap in joy (Psalm 126:5 KJV). Ecclesiastes 3 verse 2, there is a time to sow and a time to reap that which has been sown. Now it’s multiplication and multitudes. Glory.
Who does the reaping? Who does the reaping? Who does the reaping? While the farmer was personally responsible to sow the seed into the soil, it was impossible for him to bring in the harvest single handedly. Therefore, many workers were employed to help bring in the harvest. When the harvest was just beginning to come in, the farmer and his immediate family did the reaping and this harvest was small and easy to handle by the farmer and his family. They took great joy in reaping the first fruit and we have had some fruits of our labourers, right?
If it looked like a bumper crop year, a maximum. If it looked like a bumper crop year, the smart farmer had already trained and prepared other workers. When the farmer could no longer handle the massive reaping and harvesting alone, he would send word to these other trained reapers who had come to assist him in the joy of reaping. I’m seeing that happening. You know, your natural eyes may see something so naturally and I feel for you that that’s all you can see. I do. I wish you could see what I see. But when I see that Matthew and Kate have gone down to Durban with their little baby to go to their mom and I see Tishri and I see Michael step into their place of sound and song at the desk and in the back, I see labourers in His vineyard. Oh, glory to God. If you don’t see that, you’re not seeing. You don’t see as God sees. You’re not looking. You’re asleep. You’re asleep. Oh, Jesus.
I’m just using them as an example. My heart… because it’s happened to me this morning. I’m like; Tishri, you’re there at the sound desk? Michael, you’re there. My heart is leaping with joy because I’m recognising the harvest is coming. It’s on its way and the labourers are ready and all I could hear from Tishri was, “We’ve got to be ready, Pastor Sharon. We’ve got to be ready. We’ve got to be ready.” And I was looking at her and I just saw the glory on her. I said, “Yes, Tishri, we’ve got to be ready.” Oh, can we just give God a moment here? Can we just give God a moment of acknowledgment of what He’s doing here. Glory to God. Shh. Glory to God.
This is a picture of the Church. While the pastor can handle a small early harvest and wants to pick the first fruit, it isn’t possible for him to handle a massive harvest by himself. Therefore, like a smart farmer, he must train and prepare the saints, equipping them to do the work of the ministry. If willing believers are trained and prepared before the harvest comes, then reaping and harvesting will be a joy. However, if God sends a large harvest and there are no trained workers, a large harvest can be a curse.
Oh! Spiritually speaking, if we knew that the harvest is here and there is no one helping, we would know it died. It rotted in the field. And then, my Lord, I’m telling you now, take me home. I’ve got nothing more to do on earth. It’s been in vain.
So; Unfortunately, this has happened many times large God-sent harvests have rotted in the fields because of lack of preparation, I’ve heard it over and over again we didn’t realize the people would respond, we weren’t ready for this kind of response. We simply were not prepared. After praying for a large spiritual bumper crop, finally, it arrives and is left in the field to rot because no one trained and prepared in advance to bring the harvest into the Church. What a shame to finally have the blessing of God on your church community or ministry and then miss your opportunity to reap.
So, I want to finish with this and then I’ll pick up from here next week.That at the time of harvest, Satan is at his most deadly because he’s a spirit being and he knows what’s happening in the realm of the spirit and then when there’s a beautiful crop out in the field, he will send a swarm of locusts. A swarm of locusts to come and voraciously see if they can eat up the harvest of God’s Word, God’s plans. But I’ve got good news and I’m going to leave you with this. When I looked it up on the internet, it’s quite amazing you see pictures of swarms of locusts, swarms coming to farmers’ beautiful harvests that are full grown, they’re about to reap.
These swarms come and you know what they do? In parts of the field, they will build fires in ungrown parts of the field, they’ll build fires because locusts hate smoke. They hate Holy Ghost fire and Holy Ghost smoke. The Shekinah Glory of God, they cannot deal with it! Why do you think it is that God is expecting and requiring it of us at this time? “Secure My presence at once on a Sunday.” It’s our Holy Ghost fire and it’s the smoke that keeps the locusts away of our harvest. Holy Ghost smoke and Holy Ghost fire. If you’re not burning with the fire of God, the locusts are going to get your harvest and that’s another teaching.
So, glory to God. All glory to God. All glory to God. That’s what the Lord wanted to say today. He wanted you to know, be in the know of where we are at today. What’s happening now. What’s happening? This is what’s happening. This is where we are. This is what’s happening. Glory to God. Quite clear, I think He was this morning. Quite clear.
Father, I thank You for Your precious people that have been sitting under the sound of my voice as I have been bringing to them the things that You have told me to bring to them, Lord. Father, thank You that the Word and the Blood of Jesus surrounds them and protects them, Lord. Protects the seed that has been sown into their heart, that it will take root, that it won’t be something that Satan will just come immediately this afternoon, already it’s gone. No, Lord, it’ll be something that they will be thinking about. Something that they’ll be speaking about, Lord, in Jesus’ name. They’re protected going out, protected coming in. Blessed going out of this building, blessed coming in, Father. They are Your beloved, Lord. They are Your beloved. They are Your vineyard and You are looking out for them and You are dealing with them, Father. I commend them now to the Word of God, which is able to save them and it’s able to make them to get their full inheritance, among the saints, here in this place, in this Church, in Jesus’ name. And we all say, amen. God bless you all and I will be at Holy Vigil at one o’clock.