Family – God’s Design and Desire – Ps Garth Bendixen (WTB)

Scripture reference: Ephesians 5:17 (AMPC); Genesis 1:26-28 (AMPC); Genesis 2:15-18 (AMPC); Genesis 3:16-17 (AMPC); Malachi 4:5-6 (AMPC); Luke 1:16-17 (AMPC); Ephesians 6:1-3 (AMPC)How is everyone? I’m good. I’m excellent. Praise the Lord. Glory to Jesus. Glory to Jesus. Glory to Jesus. Glory to Jesus. Praise the Lord. Well, let me just say, it’s always an honour for me to have this opportunity to minister to God’s people. It’s very exciting for me, and I’m grateful for it. I’m grateful to Pastor John, to Pastor Sharon, and to the Lord for giving me this opportunity. It’s something I take very, very, very seriously but also with a lot of joy. Praise the Lord. Is everyone ready? Glory to Jesus. 

 

Let’s pray. Please, will you agree with me? Let’s shift from being here to being here. [Pastor Garth points first to his head and then to his heart] Glory to Jesus. Father, we are all gathered in the name of Jesus. We are excited about Your Word, as we always are, because we know that Your Word is the only thing that has the power in this life to change us and to change our surroundings. So, we are always grateful for Your Word, Father. We’re grateful for the teaching and for the correction and for the discipline that it brings. We love it because we want to be more like Jesus. That’s why we are here. And so, Father, we open our hearts and we receive Your Word this morning in Jesus’ name. Father, I ask you to speak through my lips and to think through my thoughts. I am Your vessel this morning in Jesus’ name. Praise the Lord. Amen. Are you all ready?

I’m going to piggyback on something Pastor John said two weeks ago, and that’s; we are created with desire to fulfil design. We are created with desire to fulfil design. Okay. But, the title of this message is Family; God’s Desire and Design. Praise the Lord. 

I’m going to take my time, even though I said to my wife, I’ve packed this message like a sausage. I have done so much preparation, I feel like it’s a tightly packed sausage. But I am going to take my time because I want to flow with the Holy Spirit and not try and stuff everything down your throat, but give you a chance to chew on it and think about it and digest it. Praise the Lord. I would like to encourage you, you know, when we, when you and I come to church and we listen to the Word, God designed the Word to teach us and to train us. To teach and to train, just like a mom and a dad is designed by God to teach and train their children. Right? According to Ephesians. 

 

The Word of God that comes from Pastor John, Pastor Sharon, Pastor Christi, myself, is designed to teach and to train you. What you get here on a Sunday morning is teaching. You have to take the Word and let it train you. So, that is your choice because statistics show that if you don’t take the message and talk about it, even in your car, by the time you have gotten home, 85% of it is gone. If you don’t talk about it as a family and you don’t meditate on it and use it in your life, by the time next Sunday comes, you have retained 2%. Interesting, hey? Praise the Lord. So, it’s our responsibility to let the Word of God train us because Jesus is the One that goes home with you, the Holy Spirit in the form of the Holy Spirit. Praise the Lord. Okay, you ready? 

 

So, God is bringing about a revolution on the earth. His desire is for us to return to His original design for mankind. He gave His best design at the beginning. Right? Hallelujah. God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit gave His best design at the beginning. Can we all agree on that? He wasn’t thinking, “If they get this right, I’ll improve on it.” Right? He gave us His best plan and His best desire and His best design at the beginning. Some of you already know where I’m going with this. 

 

God wants us to live as He instructs in Ephesians 5 verse 17 which is, 17 Therefore do not be vague and thoughtless and foolish, but understanding and firmly grasping what the will of the Lord is (Ephesians 5:17 AMPC). Hmm. So, we must know His will. We must know His will. What is this? [Pastor Garth holds up his Bible] His will. So, we must know His will. That is a command. That is our responsibility. Again, Pastor John, Pastor Sharon, myself, Pastor Christi, don’t go home with you. We cannot force you to know the will of God. If you do not know the will of God, then you will be vague in your understanding of what this life is about. You will be thoughtless and you will be foolish because the knowledge that comes from this world is not God’s knowledge. It’s foolish. Unless the knowledge that comes from this world is used in service of God. Praise the Lord.

 

So, we must know His will in order to grasp it, live in the power of it, and bring change and salvation to the earth. I want to say this, church, that globally the church has been guilty of knowing as little, if not less, about how to actually change our environment and here is God’s instruction manual. [Pastor Garth holds up his Bible] So, that can only tell me one thing, is that people have drifted more and more away from knowing His will, or from doing His will. We must and we are waking from our sleep. Praise the Lord for this local church family. We find ourselves in an age where the tree of knowledge, information, and the image of success is at our fingertips and forced into our eyes and into our ears constantly. People are driven by the desire for more knowledge, more money, and more options. The way of the world promises satisfaction and happiness, but only gives brief moments of either, but gives lasting separation, dissatisfaction, and a desire for more. 

 

We live in a culture that prides itself in its evolution and thinks we have progressed as a result of technology, but in truth, we have devolved in culture and regressed as a result of technology. I would love to get into that a little bit more, but I’m going to keep moving. 

 

The greatest impact of all of this has been on the family. Are you listening, church? Families are alone and isolated from one another even under the same roof. The majority of families have become fractured and filled with strife and bitterness. Men have lost sight of their function, and real men are seen as toxic. Women have been made to feel victims of men, and have lost sight of their God-given purpose. Children are orphaned to institutions from as young as three or four months old and have never been so confused about their identity. God is serious about restoring the strength and the unity of families. Can I get an amen to that? [Congregation answers; Amen] Hallelujah. 

 

I’m aware that a lot of what’s in my heart is serious because it’s serious what has happened, but the Word is for us to change. So there’s correction and there’s change that’s required and maybe even some mourning for our condition and how we’ve allowed ourselves to regress. But then there’s also comfort and there’s also joy. I pray that the hope is not deferred that comes from the life of God, because hope deferred makes the heart sick. Right? So it’s our responsibility to take the Word, receive it and live it so that it can change our lives and change the lives of the people around us.

 

I want to give you the end from the beginning so you can all see where your part is in this. Are we all part of a family? I’ve forgotten the joke that Brother Jerry brought to us, but we’re all part of a family one way or another. Right? Glory to Jesus. So God’s desire for us is to have the law of recognition, which is what Pastor Christi brought to us last week. The law of recognition about what God is doing in this church family and who Pastor John is to us. Right? And what our place is in the church. So God’s desire and design is that the root of this, of what God is wanting to do in this local church is established in the home. So God wants us to learn this in the home. The first commandment with promise; children, honour your father and mother as God’s representatives. That sounds a little bit to me like what God desires for us to do within the local church. Children of God, honour your spiritual leaders as God’s representatives. Right? The root and foundation of this must be established at home. Are you all with me? Okay. God’s desire and design is that the church and disciples of the Lord Jesus within strong local churches change nations, Matthew 28 verse 19 to 20. 

 

So listen to this church; a local church family, a local church family – I would like for you to think about the household of God, the local church, as your church family. Okay. The local church family is only as strong as the families within it. Local families are only as strong as the father. A father is only as strong as his submission to the truth and his practising righteousness, which is the way of the Lord. He then becomes an agent of change in his home, his church, his workplace and the community. So this is part of our community. In a nutshell, as the church goes, so goes the nation. As the families go, so goes the church. As the father goes, so goes the family. Another way of saying this; as the church serves, so goes the nation. As the family serves, so goes the church. As the father serves, so goes the family. As the son serves, so he becomes ready for marriage. As the son serves, so he becomes ready for marriage. Marriage is not the place to begin learning how to serve. Lord Jesus, help us. Let me say this about that. The word, teenager is not a biblical word. You can tell me if you can find the word teenager in the Bible. Teenager is not a biblical word. It’s a word used by philosophy and psychologists, not a biblical word. So what the word teenager has given moms and dads and young people permission to do is to not be obedient, to not submit to mom and dad, to do whatever they want. It’s given them permission to not develop from a young man and a young woman into a woman and a man. So it’s prolonged their maturity.

 

In Jewish culture, a young woman becomes a woman at 12 and a young man becomes a man at 13. When a man, a young man or a man has seed to be able to reproduce, you are a man. When a young woman has a cycle and creates new life, she is a woman. You are not an adolescent, a teenager. You have every potential of being a mother or a father at that age and therefore, we should have all the responsibilities at that age as well, without giving them permission to behave poorly.

Right? Is our standard the Word or isn’t it? The Word of God. Praise the Lord. Glory to Jesus. 

 

So, when I was preparing, the Lord gave me this picture of families within the local church and the church in the family. And it’s like there’s this beautiful synergy that God has designed to happen within the local church family and families. So the family serves the church and the church serves the family. The family serves the church and the church serves the family. Praise the Lord. Just as the Trinity, God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit serves us and we serve Him. Right? There’s our pattern. Is that our pattern, church? God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit live 24 hours a day to serve you and I. God desires for us to do the same thing.

 

So, let’s prove this from Scripture, Genesis 1 verse 26. You can put these scriptures up on the screen, please. Amplified Bible, Genesis 1 verse 26 to 28. 26 God said, Are you all going to the Garden with me? I like to take a trip to the Garden. The origins of all things. It’s God’s original design and original, what’s the other word? Desire and design. God’s original desire and God’s original design.

 

So, verse 26, 26 God said, Let Us [Father, Son, and Holy Spirit] make mankind in Our image, after Our likeness, and let them have complete authority over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, the [tame] beasts, and over all of the earth, and over everything that creeps upon the earth (Genesis 1:26 AMPC). So, here’s my first note about that; God said, let Us – right, so I’m now proving this from scripture – let Us. Who is Us? God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. Is that family? So, what is God? God is family. God is family. God didn’t just create family, He is family. Are you all with me? He didn’t just design family, He is family. 

 

27 So God created man in His own image, verse 27, in the image and likeness of family He created him; male and female He created them (Genesis 1:27 AMPC). So, in male and female He created the image and likeness of the Trinity. The male represents a son and a father. The female represents God, the Holy Spirit, as helper and producer. The son, this is in a natural sense now, the son reflects the father. Okay, if you think about a family, let’s think about a natural family. A son reflects the father with the help of the woman. The son then becomes the father with the help of a woman. Son and daughter then image their father and mother and produce after their likeness and become a mother and father themselves. All in the image and likeness of God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. We see this pattern in the New Testament as well.

 

Then, verse 28, 28 And God blessed them and said, so, remember we’re saying this is God’s original design and original desire. Right? So, I want to talk just a second about a revolution – the actual dictionary definition of the word is to come fully about. So, if you start in one position which is where God started and then mankind fell and slowly drifted further and further and further and further and further away from God and then coming full circle all the way back. Is that a revolution? That’s a full circle, right? So, we’re talking about God wanting to have a revolution on the earth. 

28 God blessed them and said to them, Be fruitful, multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it, and in the Amplified it says, [using all its vast resources in the service of God and man] (Genesis 1:28 AMPC). So, this is the will and the desire and the design of the Father, the Son and Holy Spirit. Are you all still with me? Okay, there’s a lot in this. So the word bless is the Greek word bārak, and I want you to get this please, church, which means that God kneels before us, offering His service and His help. He ministered His life to us. God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit knelt before us at creation, knelt before us, not over us because we have this image or this subconscious way of thinking about God that He lords himself over us. And actually, the word bārak is; He knelt before us and ministered His life to us. And immediately He showed us the Way, the Truth, and the Life. He is continually ministering to us by showing us the way and reminding us about the truth. This is the essence of ministry and what the Holy Spirit of God does for us. Are you all with me?

 

First Timothy 4 verse 6, I’m going to just read it for, not going to read it, I’m going to tell you what happens. So, Paul is telling Timothy that in the latter times, people are going to leave their faith, and demons and false doctrines are going to pull people away from their faith. He’s telling Timothy to be a good minister by pointing them to the way, pointing out the way. He’s saying, “Timothy, be a good minister and remind them about the way, remind them about the truth.” So this word pointing out, you can go and read it for yourself in the Greek, is hypotithemenos, which literally means, so the word hypo means to come underneath. Tithemenos is to form a foundation. So, he was saying to Timothy, “Come underneath the people and form a foundation for them.” So that word pointing out means to come underneath. Are you seeing the image of the Father here again? To come underneath, to kneel, come underneath, and form a firm foundation for them. Point out the way. So that we will not be led astray and we will stay at our post. This is what God did when He blessed us. He came underneath us and laid a foundation upon which to build our lives. 

 

He then immediately pointed out the way and said, “Be fruitful”. So the word fruitful is the Greek word parah, which is to bear fruit and to increase in fruit. I want to say this about that, that mankind, Adam and Eve, were made in the image and likeness of God, but they were not God. Adam and Eve are not omniscient. They are not everywhere. They are not omnipotent. They were not all-powerful. And they were not, what’s the other one? Omnipresent. So they were not everywhere all at once. So when they were made in the image and likeness of God, but they were not God themselves. They were to become more fruitful. They were to multiply. They were to become mother and father. They were designed to follow the Holy Spirit. We see that in what God did with Adam and Eve in the Garden, well with Adam. He brought the animals to him and then the Amplified said, Adam studied the animals and called them. Even just in that he studied, implies that he grew in understanding. Okay. So they were always designed to grow. Praise the Lord.

 

The word multiply is the word rabah, which means to become much, many, great, in number. So God said, “Be fruitful, increase, grow in fruit, bear much fruit, and multiply.” Just have one or two children. I’m going to leave that there for now. The word fill is the Greek word mawlay, which is to drench, overflow, and satisfy. The word subdue is the Greek word kabash, which is to assault, to bring into subjection by force, to tread and to bring underfoot. This implies that there was going to be some resistance. What are you saying? That there were things that were not perfect? Interesting. Use its resources in the service of God and man. So we are then required to minister the resources of the earth to one another. 

 

So Genesis 2, verses 15 to 25. And 15 And the Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to tend and guard and keep it (Genesis 2:15 AMPC). So now I’m talking to men for a little bit. The word tend is to labour, to work exceedingly hard, to work. The word keep is the Greek word shamar, which means to guard, to watch, to preserve, and have charge of. And that’s the exact definition from the Greek; to have charge of. So that’s interesting. It’s different to take charge of. It’s to have charge. I’m going to explain why that’s different.

 

16 And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, You may freely eat of every tree of the garden; 17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and blessing and calamity you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die. 18 Now the Lord God said, It is not good. Now the Lord God said, “It is not good.” It’s the first time God said something is not good. 18 Now the Lord God said, It is not good (sufficient, satisfactory) that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper (suitable, adapted, complementary) for him (Genesis 2:16-18 AMPC). We then see God put Adam to sleep and take the female’s side – it’s also a beautiful study to see that actually the female and male nature were in Adam. He took the rib or the side that He took out of Adam was the female side, and He made woman. The Greek word is ezer kenegdo, which means a helper, companion to take hold of against. This is going to mean something to you in a moment. So, woman is designed as helper, companion, to take hold of against. This implies again there was going to be some resistance. The earth was not perfect. It needed to be brought into subjection to the will of God. So she would help Adam fulfil his assignment on the earth.

 

So Adam’s wife, ezer kenegdo, would be at his side naturally but spiritually Adam was responsible for her as we see when he named her. God brought ezer kenegdo to him; woman, helper, companion, to take hold of against. Brought her to him and he said, “Hmm, yummy. Flesh of my flesh, bone of my bone, you shall be called woman.” He named her, he took responsibility for her. He is also to guard and have charge of. She was in his charge. This is where you can see not to take charge but to have charge because the responsibility was given to him by God, to have charge. So if someone is given into your charge, it means that you are to be responsible for them. You are meant to make decisions that they must follow – to enforce the rules and to care for them. Are we all getting a picture of what this means? Remember this is God’s original desire and design and God is bringing about a revolution on the earth. Praise the Lord. The church must reflect this. Glory to Jesus. If someone is in your charge, it means you are responsible for making decisions, enforcing rules and caring for them. 

 

With all this being said, I would like to rephrase the blessing from the Lord as He knelt before man and woman. Are you all listening? This was really, it was quite overwhelming for me when I wrote this down by the Spirit of God. He knelt before them and said, “I bless you with My Spirit to serve you and show you the way in all things. Serve one another as I serve you and you will grow and become exceedingly fruitful. To man; this woman and this environment is in your charge. Care for her and protect her. Be responsible and work hard. This is your charge. Woman, help your man fulfil his responsibilities. Be a companion to him and take hold of things against, with him. Man and woman have many sons and daughters and serve them as I serve you. Come underneath them and bless them with all that you are, just as I have come underneath you to bless you with all that I am. Show them the way of a man and show them the way of a woman. As you do this, fill the earth and bring it into subjection to My will. Do it together. You are powerful as a family, just as I have made you in Our image as a family. Establish My Kingdom on the earth and fill the earth with My glory. This is My will, My desire and My design forever and ever.” Amen. Praise the Lord. Thanks for coming. No, I’m not done yet. [Congregation laughs]

 

Ah, then Satan. So, where did it all go wrong? I’m not going to read it from Genesis, you all know the story. I’m going to give it to you in a nutshell. Eve was deceived. My wife made quite a funny joke. She said, “Evil (Eve wil), maar Adam wil ook.” [Congregation laughs] So, Eve was deceived. Thanks, Marcelle. Okay, so Eve was deceived. Please listen to this, church. Eve wanted to be more like God and less of what God created her to be; a helper and companion. She was deceived into thinking that she was a victim and that God was keeping something from her. She could be more. Adam didn’t protect and care for Eve and openly rebelled against the instruction of God. From the moment that man and woman did what was right in their own eyes, they lost sight of what really mattered – family. This was absolutely strategic from the enemy. 

 

He knew the power of family because he had seen it for however long he had been in existence. He saw it in the Trinity. He saw the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit working together. Powerful force. He was absolutely strategic in bringing division to the family. He wanted to dismantle the family. Right? You all see that. He hates the image of the Son. He hates the image of the Father. He hates the help of the Holy Spirit. He can never create life and so he seeks to take it. Hence we find ourselves here where God says, “I will take the children.” He’s had enough of us giving our children to the institutions of this world and the enemy gladly taking them. He has, is and will always seek to undermine the unity and strength of family because it is a perfect reflection of the Godhead; Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Are you all hearing?

 

We see the desire and design of God unchanging through the Old and the New Testament. God changes not. God doesn’t change His mind to suit the circumstance. Only men do that. We see this starting in Genesis 3 and all through Scripture. In Genesis 3 you can go and read about the fall of mankind; Eve was deceived, she partook, Adam did as well and then God had to bring discipline. To the woman He said – I want you to see that God’s desire and design don’t change, even after the fall. Right? So, 16 To the woman He said, I will greatly multiply your grief and your suffering in pregnancy and the pangs of childbearing; with spasms of distress you will bring forth children. Yet your desire and craving will be for your husband, and he will rule over you (Genesis 3:16 AMPC).

 

Since that point to now, women have been trying to get away from something that God has put in a woman’s DNA. They can never run away from it. Their desire is for their husband and if they don’t have one, their desire is there to have one. Right? Hello? So a woman’s biological purpose is to help and to produce. Amen? Great. I know there’s a lot of confusion about that in today’s culture. A woman’s purpose is to help and to produce. 16 … your desire and craving will be for your husband, and he will rule over you (Genesis 3:16 AMPC). Same charge is still given to the man. It’s not rule with violence and force. It’s ruling by caring, loving and having charge. Can you see how fine the line is? Having charge and taking charge. No, you don’t take. It’s given to you. It’s given to a man. You don’t take it. You have it and we do it by the grace of God. Praise the Lord.

 

17 And to Adam He said, Because you have listened and given heed to the voice of your wife and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you, saying… So let’s just stop there for a second. You’ve given heed to the voice of your wife and whose voice did he not listen to? [Congregation answers; God] Excellent.  And have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you, saying, You shall not eat of it, the ground is under a curse because of you; in sorrow and toil shall you eat [of the fruits] of it all the days of your life (Genesis 3:17 AMPC). Which means now your focus is going to be on working this ground that is now cursed because of you, man. Man. Men. 

 

Where did the responsibility lie? Men. Did the Lord put it on the woman? Why? Because whose charge was it? Men. Adam. So men, younger men, older men, here we sit, generations later, with generations laid waste because of men not taking up their charge. Men not taking up their charge. Let me just quickly say this; this is not a message so that women can go home and elbow their husbands and point a finger at them for not being a good man. This is a message for you to go and fall on your knees before the Lord God Almighty and ask the Lord how you can be a helper, companion and take hold of against for your husband. Right? 

 

If you’re a young man and a young woman who’s not yet married, God desires for you to learn how to be a helper before then and a servant before then. All the young people and to come out of adolescence, teenagehood, where we have all the liberties of an adult but not given the responsibilities. Well, what does that mean? If you do something wrong, there’s consequences. It’s not because of your hormones. Uh-huh. Praise the Lord. Praise the Lord. 

 

The Lord said this to me, church, that men will stand before the Lord on the day of judgement and much of what has happened in the earth will fall on the shoulders of men. Men. Men. Why? Because the charge of this environment was given to men. Oh, Jesus. Just as the responsibility fell on Adam, so too will the responsibility of war, death, corruption and compromise fall on the heads of men. Things like war, divorce, abortion, homosexuality, contraception, institutional education, feminism, Marxism and many more. Where is it going to fall, church? On men. Should I read those things again or should I just not mention any of them? War, divorce, abortion, homosexuality – this is just a few – contraception, institutional education, feminism, Marxism, many more. It’s going to fall on the heads of men. Why? Because men are responsible for the charge of their families and for the earth. So at this point we can either laugh or cry. Say; Amen or oh me. But God has a plan. Glory to Jesus. 

 

God still desires fruitfulness, multiplication, filling of the earth and the subjection to the will of God and to use the resources of the earth in the service of God and man. But we now see that the ground will not yield without great toil. Fruitfulness from both the heart – excuse me – fruitfulness from both the ground and the heart will be hard, because the ground was cursed and men’s hearts were evil. The ground was cursed and men’s hearts were evil.

 

We see this through the generations to come and I’m going to give you the scriptures for all of this. Noah, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. We see God giving them the same blessing. Genesis 9 was to Noah, “Be fruitful, multiply, and replenish the earth, fill it, subdue it, use the resources in the service of God and man.” Genesis 12 to Abraham. Genesis 26 to Isaac. Genesis 35 to Jacob. Genesis 48 to 49 and Deuteronomy 33 to the twelve tribes of Israel. Okay, we find our descendants somewhere in all of that. Right? So the blessing is still for you and I. We all agreed on that? Excellent.

 

Every time there was a man that stood for God, that worked with God and took his place as a man, a son or a father, a son or a father, the desire and design of God could be seen on the earth. The land flowed with milk and honey. The people were content and satisfied. There were none that were barren. Even the animals were blessed to multiply. None of the animals were barren. Talk about the blessing of the Lord. Whenever there were time periods of men not standing for God  and not taking their place, there was regression, violence, corruption, barrenness and the curse took mankind further and further away from God’s desire and design. You’re all listening? And so, here we find ourselves, church. Malachi 4, verse 5 to 6. So now we’ve gone through the whole of the Old Testament. Praise the Lord. That was a quick history lesson. And now we’re at the end of the Old Testament. 

 

Malachi 4, verse 5 to 6 in the Amplified. 5 Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet, interesting this, anyway, I’ll talk about it now. 5 … before the great and terrible day of the Lord comes. 6 And he shall turn and reconcile the hearts of the [estranged] fathers, estranged fathers, to the [ungodly] children, and the hearts of the [rebellious] children to the [piety of] their fathers [a reconciliation produced by repentance of the ungodly], lest I come and smite the land with a curse and a ban of utter destruction (Malachi 4:5-6 AMPC). So ends the Old Testament with this. It’s like God set off a bomb and this is what echoed.

 

You want me to read it again? Malachi 4 verse 5 to 6, 5 Behold I will send you Elijah the prophet, before the great and terrible day of the Lord comes. 6 And he shall turn and reconcile the hearts of the [estranged] fathers, to the [ungodly] children, and the hearts of the [rebellious] children to the [piety of] their fathers [a reconciliation produced by repentance of the ungodly], lest I come and smite the land with a curse and a ban of utter destruction (Malachi 4:5-6 AMPC). 

 

Okay, New Testament, Luke 1 verse 16. So God is now prepared by coming to Zechariah and saying you’re going to have a child and he’s like, “Lord, what do you want me to do with this child?” This is the angel of the Lord speaking to them. Luke 1 verse 16, 16 And he will turn back … I want you to see this. So this is about John the Baptist now. Are we all on the same page? 16 And he, John, will turn back. Hey, what? He’ll turn back. Does that sound like a revolution to you? 16 He will turn back and cause to return many of the sons of Israel to the Lord their God. 17 And he will [himself] go before Him, being Jesus, in the spirit and power of Elijah (Luke 1:16-17 AMPC). So I wanted to talk about this quickly about the spirit of Elijah. Why is this so important? Because Elijah learned with Elisha about how to be a father to Elisha because Elisha was with him all the time. Elijah had to go to God and say, “This person, this young man that You’ve given me, Lord, what the heck must I say to him? What must I do?” God said, “You’re going to teach him and you’re going to train him and you’re going to teach him and you’re going to train him. Know My heart as a Father.” Which is why he then got a double portion of his father’s spirit.

 

You’re all getting this, church? So, 17 … he will [himself] go before Him, being Jesus, in the spirit and power of Elijah to turn back the hearts of the fathers to the children. Does this say anything about a mother? We’re going to get to that. Why not? And the disobedient and incredulous and unpersuadable to the wisdom of the upright, [which is the knowledge and holy love of the will of God] (Luke 1:16-17 AMPC). So the wisdom of the upright is the knowledge and holy love of the will of God. Do you all see that? So, 17 … the wisdom of the upright, [… is the knowledge and holy love of the will of God] —in order to make ready for the Lord a people [perfectly] prepared [in spirit, adjusted and disposed and placed in the right moral state] (Luke 1:17 AMPC). 

 

Oh Jesus. So why has there been so little change in the nations, the church, the family, and the men? Good question. Should we talk about what we can see on the earth at this time? And the reason I say that church is because God desires for you and I to not live our life thoughtlessly, vague and foolishly. God put every single one of us in the earth at this time, with everything that’s in the earth as it is right now. With the darkness that we all see. Dense darkness and gross darkness on the earth and on the people. Do you all see the darkness? Gross darkness. Dense darkness. We’ve heard about some of it and if you’ve got any ears to the news you will hear about what they’re doing in America trying to impose – that’s a good word – force their agenda onto young children in schools about their identity. Whether they’re a girl, whether they’re a boy, whether they’re homosexual, whether… trying to rob and steal and confuse from as early and as young as they possibly can. And don’t be fooled, it’s here as well. It’s here as well.

 

So why has there been so little change in the nations, the church, the family and the men? Wouldn’t you say that’s a good question? Men have become focused on themselves. Well, let’s go one step further than that. Young men, boys, boys have become focused on themselves. Young men have become focused on themselves. Men have become focused on themselves and so they become fathers and are still focused on themselves. The family has become focused on itself and the church has become focused on itself. As a result, the church has become more focused on the bride than the Bridegroom. Are you hearing that, church?

 

I heard this like the Holy Spirit shouting this at me, “We become what we look at!” You become what you look at. We become what we look at. Okay, you’re getting the emphasis there. We have looked at the things of this world, we have loved them and have become an image of them. We have become a reflection of the evolution of culture and God is not into evolution. God is not into evolution. God is not into evolution. No, He’s about revolution which is to bring us back to what He originally intended for creation. He is not doing something new. He’s doing something ancient. Praise the Lord. 

 

The wine that He’s waiting to pour out has already been prepared. It’s only getting richer, fuller and more intense. He’s waiting for us to get ready, to be prepared so that our vessels can contain the wine. So that He can pour it out. Are you all hearing this, church? It’s an underlying subconscious force that the enemy is all about. The enemy is all about pressing towards something that’s elusive. It’s not real. It’s something I must still get to. It’s done. Jesus on the cross said it, “It is finished.” He’s waiting for us to get it. What? Be fruitful, multiply, replenish the earth, subdue it. “Men, take, have charge.” Sorry, I must get that out of my head too. “Have charge. Have charge. I give it to you.” 

 

Hello? Young men, boy, taught by father to have charge, be responsible. So, young men or boy taught the way of a man by an older man, a father. We see that in Timothy and Titus, right? That is the pattern. Older men teaching younger men. It’s part of what we see here in Luke. It’s the wisdom of the upright, which is the knowledge and holy love of the will of God. God is doing an ancient thing. He’s doing an ancient thing and it is simply this. His desire and design is that fathers discipline and disciple their children. Hello? Oh, Jesus. His desire and design is that father’s discipline and disciple. If you go and look at the root of that word disciple, it has discipline in it, cannot be a disciple without discipline. His desire and design is that father’s discipline and disciple their children in the truth and the ways of the Lord. Children honour their father and mother as God’s representatives.

 

So, what happens if a mom and a dad have not been faithful to God in disciplining and discipling their children? What is a child to do then within a home? [Pastor Garth holds up his Bible] Can a child still know the will and the ways of the Lord? That’s where the church can come in and mediate and equip. That word is such a beautiful word, equip, because it has like a medical part to it, which is to fit, to align. So, where a child has not had that in a home growing up, a church then helps. It’s happening right now, right here, right now. Talk about MiXchange. Glory to Jesus.

 

Mothers help in this divine assignment and children honour their father and mother by turning from being disobedient, incredulous and unpersuadable to the wisdom of the upright, which means learning from their father and mother, older men and older women. Glory to Jesus. Glory to Jesus. Glory to Jesus. Glory to Jesus.

 

Ephesians 6 verse 1, because we’re all children at some stage, aren’t we? Ephesians 6 verse 1. We’re all children of God, but we’re all children at some stage in our home. ¹ Children, obey your parents in the Lord [as His representatives], for this is just and right. ² Honor (esteem and value as precious) your father and your mother–this is the first commandment with a promise – ³ That all may be well with you and that you may live long on the earth (Ephesians 6:1‭-‬3 AMPC). Here’s the law of recognition, church. If the law of recognition and honour that mom and dad are God’s representatives, is not taught and trained, then they will not develop a route of submission and honour. They will question and dishonour their parents, their parents’ authority, the church’s authority and institutional authority. This is what happens.

 

This is the result and I am sure that for some of you this is hitting hard, sinking deep, cutting some things out of your heart, but this is God’s desire and God’s plan – that the hearts of the fathers are turned towards the children. Is there anything more important than that? Is there anything more important than that? I’m glad our Heavenly Father didn’t think so. That He sent His Son for His children. There was nothing more important to God than family. Nothing. Praise the Lord. Praise the Lord. Glory to Jesus. Thank you for helping us, Lord. Thank you for helping us, Lord. It’s like Pastor Sharon said on Tuesday night at prayer; these things seem far away because culture has come so far away from this. They seem far but we have to speak about them. Hey? We have to speak that God’s desire and God’s design is for a father to discipline and disciple his children. Right? Is there anything more important than that? 

 

So we see that from the curse which is that God said, “You are now going to work. Your focus is going to be work”. Hello? Providing, and it’s going to be flippin’ hard for you, because the ground is cursed. So it’s going to be very difficult for you to work and to provide. So that’s going to be your focus. Now we have the blessing again to be fruitful and the blessing of the Lord makes rich and adds no sorrow, and we don’t have to toil for the blessing. We just have to follow our Heavenly Father and do what He tells us to do, which is to be fruitful and to multiply. Just have one or two. No. 

 

What happens with multiplication? It’s like telling God that we don’t want more people in the church. Don’t add more children to us, Lord. What happens with every child that gets added to the church? Increased responsibility. God, what is it that you have for this child? I must adjust so that I serve the needs of the child. Come underneath. And so we’ve said to God by just having one or two, “No, Lord, I don’t want the responsibility. Don’t force me to compromise my life. Don’t force me to compromise the way that I want to live my life for me. I want more money, I want more knowledge and I want more options. Don’t take my options away from me God by giving me more children”.

 

Can you see the foolishness, thoughtlessness, vagueness, not understanding the desire and the design of God? Same thing. Same thing. “No, Lord, don’t add more to the church because we’ve got enough, we’ve got enough, we’ve got enough, we’ve got enough.” That is not what’s happening here. Which is why God can bring a message to us where He can say, “Be fruitful and multiply. Multiply.” Why? Because our trust is in Him and He has blessed us, and the Heavenly Father, through the Lord Jesus Christ, has turned the heart of the Heavenly Father to the children. Right? Because His heart was turned too. He was grieved. He was grieved with the disobedience of His children from the Garden. Right? Holy Spirit of God – gone from out of us. What was the spirit that God breathed into us? Could only have been His Holy Spirit. Right? Disobedience. Evil came into man. Holy Spirit said, “I’m out of here. You’ve been disobedient. Return to the Father.” Father and Holy Spirit.  Marcelle and I often joke about it but I say it with absolute honour and reverence that the Holy Spirit is like the mom, stays at home with the children. Why? To help, to help, to help, to help, to help, to be a companion, to take hold of against, to help the man in his assignment to be fruitful, multiply, to tend, to keep all of those things. Right, church? Is this God’s Word and is it His desire and design or not? So where does the failure of a family sit? The father. Where does the failure of culture sit? On men. Same in the church. It’s the same in the church. The failure of generations of church will sit on the shoulders of men leaders. Lord, help us and we pray for our men. Glory, glory, glory, glory, glory to God. 

 

This is God’s sovereign will. We cannot run from it. We can’t do anything against it. This is God’s sovereign will. It is His desire. It is His design. It is His plan. So we are part of a family and God commands us to love one another, to honour one another and be Christ to one another in the home first. The family is our practice ground. Praise the Lord that we can practise. Where we learn to submit and grow in love and honour. Even if our family is unsaved or very difficult to love, this is where we develop a root within ourselves. Talk about the heart condition of man. When trouble and persecution come then they give up because they have no real root in themselves. Where do we develop a root? In our home. The home is our practice ground to love, to honour, to submit. Even if the family is unsaved or very difficult to love, this is where we develop a root within ourselves. Praise the Lord. Glory to Jesus. 

 

Well, I think I’m done. Was this good? Father, thank You for Your Word. Thank You for loving us with Your Word. Thank You for bringing us life and correction and for showing us the way, for pointing the way to us, coming underneath us to serve us and provide a firm foundation for us to live our lives on. Glory to Jesus. Glory to Jesus. Thank You, Heavenly Father. Thank You wonderful Jesus and thank You wonderful Holy Spirit. Thank You for helping us to be like this. We are absolutely and utterly incapable of doing this without Your help, Holy Spirit. We rely on You completely. Lord Jesus, we rely on Your precious Holy Spirit to help us get here. Where the hearts of the fathers are completely for their children, completely for their children. Completely. Amen. 

 

Let me tell you, I am in the same boat. Marcelle will tell you this, for me too. This has been on my heart for a long time and there are many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many areas that God is still working on with me as a father. But this is the standard. Right? It’s the sovereign will of God. I can’t run from it. I can’t bury my head in the sand. And as much as I do, is as much as I compromise my family, and I compromise the church, and I compromise the community. God desires that I be a spiritual man. Have charge, and bring discipline and discipleship to my home. Glory to Jesus. Glory to Jesus. Glory to Jesus. So I encourage you, go let the Word train you because by the time you reach your car, some of it’s already…

 

Listen, the Word goes into your heart and it stays there. The Word is incorruptible. The area that the Holy Spirit is working with us on is the mind. We must have our minds renewed. Hey? Praise the Lord. So we have to take this and train our minds. Renew our minds and let the Word of God grow up in our hearts, so that like Pastor Sharon says; the Word of God grows, and then it becomes a weapon. And we use that to annihilate the enemy. Praise the Lord. So we have to be trained by this word, just like any other word that comes to us from our spiritual leader, the father of this house. Glory to Jesus. Praise the Lord. Let me pray for you. Oh, did I pray for you? Oh. 

 

Well, Father, thank You for this day. Thank You for loving us with Your words. We receive Your love. Not condemnation, we receive Your love and we receive the help of the Holy Spirit to do, to be doers of the Word and not hearers only. Hallelujah. Father, I bless your people. I plead the blood of Jesus over all of them. I thank You for keeping us all safe, for keeping us all healthy. Thank You for helping us as parents to discipline and disciple our children. Thank You for being so gracious and merciful towards all of us, long suffering and patient. Thank You for Your goodness, Lord. In Jesus’ name, Amen. 

 

Thank you for coming. Wait, I must give you an announcement. Save the date for the weekend of the 30th of September. More details will follow. Message Moment starts at 4 this afternoon, from 4 to 6 there’s a celebration of faith. Praise the Lord. Glory to Jesus. Okay, bye.