I Will Take The Children Part 12: Grand Plan – Pastor John Bendixen (JHB)
Scripture reference: Genesis 14:10-12, 15-24 (MSG); Genesis 15:1-13, 16-18 (AMPC); Genesis 17:1-10, 19, 22 (MSG); Genesis 22:1-2, 9-13, 15-19 (MSG); Matthew 3:16-17 (AMPC); John 3:5-6 (AMPC); John 6:53 (AMPC); Mark 3:31-34 (AMPC); Luke 23:44-46 (TPT)
Praise You, Jesus. Praise You, Lord. Praise You, Lord. Hallelujah. Thank You, Lord, that we can declare that You are our God. We can praise You, we can love You, we can worship You. You are real, living, alive and interested and part of everything we do every day. Thank You, Lord, that this time that we have together today will be significant and eternal. It will continue to bring us to a higher level of walking with You, closer to You, engaged with You, living with You and for You, in Jesus’ name, Father. Amen. Amen. Hallelujah. You may be seated. Praise the Lord.
Well, I have lots to say, obviously. Morning, y’all. Y’all look very happy and very beautiful; stunning people. What can I say? It’s a good day. Amen. It’s a wonderful day. Glory, glory. I have so much that I want to say and I’m always aware that on a Sunday morning, I have a limited time to say it for two reasons. Number one; your bum gets sore if I go too long. Number two; concentration time is a fact in terms of being able to stay concentrated and focused on what I am saying. Number three; when we get closer to lunchtime, other things begin to talk to you. So I am aware of all of these things.
If you’ve been part of Leadership Academy at any time, if you have done third year in Bible School, you will know that one of the things that I teach on is something that was taught to me many years ago called Time and Management and I learnt it from someone else and I couldn’t improve on it so I just used this analogy. So what he did was – I’m not sure if I did it in the Leadership Academy videos. Someone who watched it more recently may be able to tell me whether I did it or didn’t. I put a glass jar on the table and started filling the glass jar with big rocks. The glass jar is an indication of your life or your day and the rocks indicate the major things you want to do with your time. Obviously, if you have a jar – it doesn’t matter how big the jar is – if you start first putting in the big rocks, you may be able to put three, four, five big rocks in, depending on how big the jar is. I guess if you just take one of these glass water jars – just to give everybody a sort of a mindset – you take a glass water jar that you will fill up with water into decanters or glasses or something. You take that glass jar and you say how many rocks? Obviously, you can’t put big rocks in there, it would be dependent on the size of the jar. But you would be able to fill the jar with a certain amount of big rocks, let’s say that if it was a jar with a fairly big open mouth and a little spout, you could put, maybe, five or six, seven stones in there that would be the size of a fist. Right? And then, of course, the jar would be full with big rocks and so then you couldn’t put much else in there. So, what you would have to do is start putting smaller rocks in to fill up space. Right? So then you could take smaller rocks and pour them into the jar but you would be aware that there are still smaller spaces that you could utilise and use up. So, then you would take crushed stones and then you would start to fill up the rest of the spaces with crushed stones until your jar was now full. So, your jar will be full of large rocks, medium rocks and fine stony, sandy kind of material. Now you could say my jar is full.
When I learnt this, the man that taught it to me said that’s how you should manage your time. Manage your time by first allocating to your day, to your week, to your month, to your year, some of the big rooks – the big things that you have to do, you need to do, you must accomplish – fill it up with your big rocks. Then go to the less important, less urgent, less things that you need to get done but they are still relatively important to you to get done. Then, of course, you fill up all the other spaces that are left with the little things that don’t matter much but they are good to have in your life anyway. Are you all with me?
Of course, my perspective has slightly changed. I mean, time management is just a measurement. Of course, I’d rather like to talk in terms of how much energy I want to spend on a subject or on a thing and so if that means five hours or 10 hours, the measurement of my energy ends up managing my time. Time management to me is a little bit less of a measurement of your life because you can be very effective or less effective, highly productive, unproductive, depending on what energy you put into it. So time can go by and it might take up a big chunk of your time but actually, there may be very little going on in that time. So, you’re less productive in that time. I prefer to measure those big rocks as where do I want to put my energy, what do I want to get back out of the energy that I’ve expended.
So I mean, I certainly feel that way about physical conditioning, running, cycling, swimming. I have been saying this for many years; what you put into your training is what you’re going to get back in energy. It’s almost like a weird thing, you say I must go and run 5km and expend that energy that makes me tired, to harvest more energy. But that’s the way it works because the more you put into expending energy, your body rests better, recovers better, has better circulation, better everything, oxygen levels in your body. Everything happens and actually what you get back is a better energy level because you gave energy. So, that is a principle in God’s Word. If you give energy to relationships, what you’re going to get back is relationships; good relationships, Amen. Okay.
Why am I telling you all this today? I am telling you because what I am about to minister to you today and what we ministered on last week is the big rocks of the Word. Okay? These are big rocks. I understand that we’re going through a phase of ministry right now where we are talking about big rocks. We are talking about taking the children, we’re talking about life, purpose, callings, things that have to happen. Right? These are big rocks. The danger of talking about big rocks is that when you leave here, you go home and you find out that the big rocks have taken up so much space in your mind and your soul that you start to fill it with smaller rocks that are less impactful than the big rocks that have just been given to you. Then you begin to say I’ve got all this other space that I must fill up with my time. I can’t just focus on the big rocks all the time. So, you focus on the little rocks and then you go and focus on the little sandy rocks to fill up your day. The danger of that is that when you stand back and you look at the glass, you don’t always see the big rocks. You might just see the edge of the big rock because now you’ve filled up everything else with the little rocks and the medium-sized rocks. Then there is a danger of you losing sight of the big rocks that have taken up most of what we’ve been talking about.
It’s soulishly acceptable, understandable, and you’ve got to give yourself some grace that when I come and I talk or Pastor Sharon comes and talks about the big rocks of life here, that you don’t allow the small rocks and the grains of life to completely obscure the big rocks because they’re so heavy in their weightiness and they are so powerful in what they do, and so big in what the future holds for you. Y’all get me?
I’m trying to say to you; even though we have intense big rock moments here and you go away and you go and have lunch and you chat and you switch on the TV and you do something that is a very small rock or even granular activity, it doesn’t diminish the big rock that has been placed in your life. You’ve got to keep looking at that big rock. You’ve got to understand this big rock is designed to actually stabilise everything in your life but it is okay to go to the restaurant and have lunch and it’s okay to watch TV a little bit and it’s okay to do some other things that give you joy and comfort. Take your binoculars and go bird watching, do different things, whatever makes you happy. You know?
I certainly have come to peace with this in my life many years ago, because I was aware that as a man living in a human, in a mental world I had eternity calling in my heart. I’m talking about – I was early twenties – I was aware of the calling of God on my future, I was aware of everything that God was speaking to me from eternity. The same time I was aware of how much humanity I had in my life and I actually began to explore the Word of God and I asked God to help me understand how am I going to live like this in my future. He said this to me, “John, there will be times when I will come into your world and I will speak directly to you, and I will ask you to do things, and when I do that, you must obey and you must obey immediately, you must obey without question.” Later on, and before you today, I would call them big rock moments. He said, “I don’t mind so much, if what you do with the granular moments of your life because I am not looking at your life for the granules. I am looking at what you do with your life with your big rocks, those things that I tell you to do that are important to do.” And so I can tell you, I studied the Bible, I looked through many men’s lives, you know, Abram, and we are going to talk about Abram for a minute.
Abram had a big rock moment. He was living in a community where they worshipped all kinds of god’s and depending on what kind of business or what kind of cultural life you came from, you worshipped this type of god. For Abram, it was the sun god and the moon god. That is what he was taught to worship. So God appears to Abram and says, “Abram, I want to be your God and I want you to be my people, come follow Me. I will take you to a land and I will show you a land and I will take you to that land.” Big rock moment. Disobedience there, nothing else matters after. You got me? So what is left for Abram to discuss with God? No more discussion. Come on, Sarah, we are going. We don’t have any kids but we are going to pack up all of our possessions and we are going to go. So Abram’s father says, “Well, can I come with you?” And he says, “I suppose. I mean God didn’t say you must come with me. His nephew Lot says, “Can I come with you, too?” “Well, okay, but, I am going.” And so what must he do? He has got to pack up his stuff, put it on a camel or a train of camels and start walking. He has no idea of where God is telling him to go. He has just got to go. God said, “Go.” Big rock moment. Yes?
Another big rock moment; Abraham gets to the country where God says this is the country I am going to give you, and he gets there. “Okay, I must park here, this is it.” Famine. So he doesn’t speak against God, he just keeps going to Egypt because he has got to live. So he did the big rock moment but now he is busy with the smaller rock moment because he has got to live. Are you all with me?
I can tell you about David, King David, where King David did many things and I have even preached about this, where he went backwards and forwards, backwards and forwards getting food to his brothers, and all of the backwards and forwards was his preparation for him to fight his Goliath. So we tend to think backwards and forwards moments don’t really have much value in our lives, they do, they are just granular, you know. They are just granular until God has a big rock moment for us. We as a ministry with the young children and the people and the young adults that are among us that God has been speaking to parents for something new that God has got to do here, we are in a big rock moment. Amen.
So if you will permit me, I am going to ask Daniel to put up the verses so that I can pick out of the verses from what I am going to read, otherwise, I’ll have to have to read the whole story to you today but Abraham has now come back from Egypt and he is now living in a land and Lot is living in Sodom and Gomorrah and this whole thing is going on. They are living their lives, and so there are different kings and they want to war with each other. And so they all go to war you can see Genesis 14 verse 8, I am reading this out of the Message translation. So they all go to war; four kings against five kings. Verse 10, 10-12The Valley of Siddim was full of tar pits. When the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah fled, they fell into the tar pits, but the rest escaped into the mountains. The four kings captured all the possessions of Sodom and Gomorrah, all their food and equipment, and went on their way. They captured Lot, Abram’s nephew who was living in Sodom at the time, taking everything he owned with them (Genesis 14:10-12 MSG). So one of them escaped, comes to Abram, tells Abram the story, Abram gathers up all of his troops and he goes after these guys. They split into small groups and attack by night and they chased them, verse 15, 15They chased them as far as Hobah, just north of Damascus. They recovered all the plunder along with nephew Lot and his possessions, including the women and the people. 17-20After Abram returned from defeating Kedorlaomer and his allied kings, the king of Sodom came out to greet him in the Valley of Shaveh, the King’s Valley. Melchizedek, king of Salem, which is Melchizedek, the king of Jerusalem – as it is later translated, brought out bread and wine—he was priest of The High God—and blessed him: Blessed be Abram by The High God, Creator of Heaven and Earth. And blessed be The High God, who handed your enemies over to you. Abram gave him a tenth of all the recovered plunder (Genesis 14:15-20 MSG).
Now, there is no place in the scripture where Abram actually asked God, the God that sent him to this country, he didn’t ask whether he should take this fight to these kings. Why did he go and take this fight to these kings? Because he had family, he had family that went to a place they shouldn’t have been. They were living in a place they should never have been living in, so they found themselves in a war they should never have been fighting. And they get captured because of what they shouldn’t have been doing. But Abraham goes after and he gets victory, so God has blessed him.
21The king of Sodom said to Abram, “Give me back the people but keep all the plunder for yourself.” 22-24But Abram told the king of Sodom, “I swear to God, The High God, Creator of Heaven and Earth, this solemn oath, that I’ll take nothing from you, not so much as a thread or a shoestring. I’m not going to have you go around saying, ‘I made Abram rich.’ Nothing for me other than what the young men ate and the share of the men who went with me (Genesis 14:21-22 MSG). So there were other kings and leaders that went to fight with him and, “Let them get their share of the plunder but nobody give me anything to say they made me wealthy.” I’m just giving you a context so Abraham left his people by a word from a God he didn’t know. Come on, I’m wanting you to be attentive as you can with me – it’s already hot this morning but work with me here. He got a word from a God he didn’t know. He was obedient and he went to a country that he never knew. When he got there everything was not the way he thought it should be because if a God had spoken to go to a place surely there should be there stuff to look after me; nothing, drought. So he leaves that place, goes to Egypt, comes back after the drought, now he’s got a war to fight that he didn’t actually want to fight because of his family. Right? At the end of everything that goes on, he has all this victory and even though he already has a lot of wealth and a lot of power, enough power to defeat kings that already defeated kings. I mean the guy was already just blessed by God, just because he obeyed Him. So now he’s hanging out in this land, he’s heading toward 90 years old and stuff’s going on. But here he is; just been blessed by this with this wonderful blessing – I’m not going to focus on that too much.
We go to chapter 15, now I’m going to the Amplified Bible, verse one, 1After these things, the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram, I am your Shield, your abundant compensation, and your reward shall be exceedingly great (Genesis 15:1 AMPC). So, he’s already rich and wealthy. He’s already powerful enough that he can take on kings and defeat them. Now God comes to talk to him and He says, “Hey, don’t worry about My presence, Fear not, Abram, I am your Shield, your abundant compensation, and your reward shall be exceedingly great. 2And Abram said, Lord God, what can You give me, since I am going on [from this world] childless (Genesis 15:1-2 AMPC). I mean he’s already accessed his wealth and he said, “I don’t need more wealth, my wealth is satisfying to me. I mean, I’ve got as much wealth that if kings want to make war with me I’ve got wealth in terms of…” I think the number is three hundred and eighteen warrior men that fought for him which means they had women, they had kids – these were all Abrahams people serving him. Keeping his cows, keeping his sheep, keeping his camels, feeding them. Just a living community; a thousand, two thousand people if you just do the numbers. How many kids did they have? So Abraham’s standing here, “I’ve got all these people, they all live here because of me, I’ve got all this wealth, what are You going to give me? I’ve got no children. Why give me more?” That’s quite a place to be in, hey?
2Since I am going on [from this world] childless and he who shall be the owner and heir of my house is this [steward] Eliezer of Damascus? (Genesis 15:2 AMPC). So, obviously, Abraham had a really good relationship with the people that he worked with because in his heart if he departed the earth with no children his servant, the guy who served him and managed his household was going to inherit everything. He obviously was a man of presence, a man of influence and a man of strength that could handle this. Right? It’s another teaching for another time.
3And Abram continued, Look, You have given me no child; and [a servant] born in my house is my heir. 4And behold, the word of the Lord came to him, saying, This man shall not be your heir, but he who shall come from your own body shall be your heir. 5And He brought him outside [his tent into the starlight] and said, Look now toward the heavens and count the stars—if you are able to number them. Then He said to him, So shall your descendants be. 6And he [Abram] believed in (trusted in, relied on, remained steadfast to) the Lord, and He counted it to him as righteousness, because he believed. 7And He said to him, I am the [same] Lord, Who brought you out of Ur of the Chaldees to give you this land as an inheritance. 8But he [Abram] said, Lord God, by what shall I know that I shall inherit it? He is already living there. 9And He said to him, Bring to Me a heifer three years old, a she-goat three years old, a ram three years old, a turtledove, and a young pigeon. 10And he brought Him all these and cut them down the middle [into halves] and laid each half opposite the other; but the birds he did not divide. 11And when the birds of prey swooped down upon the carcasses, Abram drove them away. 12When the sun was setting, a deep sleep overcame Abram, and a horror (a terror, a shuddering fear) of great darkness assailed and oppressed him. 13And [God] said to Abram, Know positively that your descendants will be strangers dwelling as temporary residents in a land that is not theirs (Genesis 15:3-13 AMPC). So what happens here is that Abraham is asking Him what does this all mean; this wealth, this inheritance. So Abram when he asks God, God says, “The only that I can show you the future is that I have to make a covenant of blood with Myself to make sure that your future becomes what it needs to become. So, Abram, your part is merely; go kill the animals, My part is the blood that is shed by the animals. I will swear by Myself and the blood of these animals that this will be your future. But I am going to show you things that only because of covenant can you now see.” So this darkness and this oppression that comes on Abraham is because God shows him through this covenant-making ceremony, He shows him hundreds of years ahead where Isaac is going to be born, Jacob is going to be born, all the grandsons are going to be born. They’re all going to live in Egypt, then they’re going to be oppressed unmercifully in Egypt. Then they’re going to come out of Egypt and Abraham sees all of these things happening in the spirit. No wonder, as the word puts it, a horrific darkness comes upon him. But his challenge to God was, “Show me, show me, tell me how my inheritance is going to get to me.” So God says, “You want to know? I have to do it through covenant. I can’t just show you. I have to do it through covenant because you believe Me and you have righteousness with Me, now I can have covenant with you.” Hold on I’m getting to the good part.
Verse 16, 16…they [your descendants] shall come back here [to Canaan] again, for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full and complete. 17When the sun had gone down and a [thick] darkness had come on, behold, a smoking oven and a flaming torch passed between those pieces. That’s God. 18On the same day the Lord made a covenant (promise, pledge) with Abram, saying, To your descendants I have given this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river Euphrates (Genesis 15:16-18 AMPC). And you can read on.
I just want to say there, I want to make a point about children and about choices. This is as important as anything I’m about to say today, although it’s not about Abraham it’s very important. It says here, he said to Abraham, 16And in the fourth generation they [your descendants] shall come back here [to Canaan] again, for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full and complete (Genesis 15:16 AMPC).
Abraham goes and fights against the kings to deliver his nephew Lot with his family who goes back to live in Sodom and Gomorrah – you can read this for yourself. God comes to visit Abraham and says, “Because you are my friend and you have a relationship with Me and you trust Me, I’m going to share with you what I’m about to do with Sodom and Gomorrah. I’m going to destroy it because of its sin.” They have this conversation. God sends two angels to Sodom and Gomorrah to go and destroy it. The people of Sodom and Gomorrah actually almost break the door down of Lot’s house because they want to have homosexual acts of sex with the angels. Lot refuses to let them do that. The angels intervene, they bring him into the house, tell Lot, “Let’s get out of here. We’re going to destroy the city now.” They leave the city. As they’re leaving the city, fire and brimstone rains down on the city. They escape and they go to a cave.
Dad, supposed to be mom with two girls; grown women. Mom’s no longer with them because mom while escaping Sodom and Gomorrah turns back because her affection was what was being destroyed. I’ll tell you what; we’re at a place in our life now where we cannot look back with affection to where we used to live. You go back there, your life will turn into a pillar of salt and become useless. I said this last week; there are sometimes you can’t just ignore it and say, “Well, I think I‘ll just keep doing what I’ve been doing all along.” This is not one of those moments. This is a big rock moment.
I want to show you the results of what happened. Because of Lot’s choice to go live in Sodom and Gomorrah, because of Lot’s choice to go back there after the war, when they fled and they went into a cave – who can they turn to? Come on this is just a logical question you don’t have to know the Bible. It’s just a logical question. I’ve just given you the story. Who can they turn to for help? Abraham? Right? I mean Abraham helped them before. He came and fought a war for them. Right? They’re living in a cave but they can go find uncle Abraham, cousin Abraham, in terms of Lot. The two girls make a decision, the two women make a decision. I know there are kids here but this is important. They decide, they said, “Look, our whole family‘s destroyed. We have no future unless we have children and there are no men that can make us pregnant. So we’re going to make our father drunk and let him make us pregnant.” So the elder sister does it first and gets pregnant. The second sister does it second and she gets pregnant. They have two children that get born. The first one is called Moab and the second one is called Ammon. The first son became the father of all the Moabites that became Israel’s greatest enemy for generations. The Moabites and the Amorites became, both of them, the greatest enemy. So when God has got Abraham in this covenant vision of the future, He says, 16And in the fourth generation they [your descendants] shall come back here [to Canaan] again, for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full and complete (Genesis 15:16 AMPC). So, not only did he see what was going to happen to his seed, he was also going to see what was going to happen to his cousin’s seed that was going to rise up and become generations of anti-God people.
If you fast forward to the book of Judges and you go and read the story of Gideon, that God called him to Gideon, the companies of people that came to steal Israel’s harvest year after year was a huge volume. They looked like grasshoppers the Bible says as they filled the fields that came to steal Israel’s harvest. And they were called the Moabites. And Gideon was raised up to come and slaughter and destroy and chase them back to the sea – the Moabites.
We think our choices, and we think children are born to us because we have physical intimacy and our child is born. And now it is my job to manage this child and I will decide this child’s future. And I will make whatever future this child’s future needs to be. You think? You think? You think God appeared to Abraham just because he was just a guy that was there and He went, “Aaah, let’s see how many men are here. Maybe, let Me see if Abram… You think? No, He knew Abram from before he was born because he was in Him that Abram was born from. You think?
We as adults, we have our own story to tell. And so I am going to go back to my big rocks. I am aware, me, I’m aware that as my years tick by – I have a spiritual leader who’s believing to live to a 120 – so I am going there with him. I’m going to go there with him and I am going to be there healthy, strong and with my full mental capabilities and everything working well and when I do die, I am going to die the way Kenneth Hagin died. I am just going to be fully satisfied, put my head down on my chest and go to sleep and my spirit will leave this earth.
But I am aware that a young man with a lot of testosterone that I was, has already lived a life of all of that. So, I am aware that in terms of the big rocks in my life, I’ve got to be facing that it is not too far. I mean, my sixty years of living seems like it’s gone like that (Pastor John snaps his fingers). It’s just a thing that when you get older, it does feel like that. And when you’re about 20, it feels like you’ve got so many years to live, it’s like, “Jis, I can do anything with my time and anything I wish, anything I like because I am young and I am powerful and I’m…” You know, I know, I have been there. And then suddenly you find yourself at 50 or 60 and suddenly you say, “Yoh, what is, you know, I have got this ahead of me?” So what big rocks have I established there? If there are not too many big rocks there that I have established, that can help me stand in eternity and say, Father, what have You got to say, because I will. This is what Abraham was saying – Abraham is talking to God not about having a child, he’s talking about the blessing that You are imposing upon me is a generational blessing and how is this possible without a child, number one, and number two, what becomes of this generational blessing? It’s eternal that you’re talking to me about. Stars of the heaven, sand and the sky, and so God says, “I am going to let you see but I can only let you see through covenant.” There are some things in your future you can’t’ see. Number one, you have to be obedient, number two, you’ve got to start walking a journey, and number three when God shows up and He wants to talk to you about your future, you’ve got to be willing to say, “I am Your covenant partner and I’ll do what You say.”
We have a tendency as a people, and certainly, the enemy of God has a tendency to focus on the fine little granules of your life, and try and make you focus on those granules that are like using a swear word, breaking the speed limit, you know. Granules of your life that you get wrong and as a human being you beat yourself up because I didn’t, I wasn’t exactly perfectly one hundred percent on time. You understand what I am saying? Granules in your life – he wants to focus on interaction in human society, he heightens the granular effect so that you forget the big rocks.
I had a big rock moment in my life. I was all of 21-years-old and had a big rock moment in my life. I realised I married this woman and this could lead to major trouble because of my stubbornness and her fiery temper. And so I had to go to God, we did. We went to God. First I had to go to God and God said to me, “Love her, give yourself for her and to the measure you do that, you will be blessed in your marriage.” He was not talking to me and she will do this, and she will … He said, “You John, obey Me.” So, you want a better marriage, don’t look to your partner to try and fix them. Do your stuff before God that He tells you to do. Okay, that’s what I did. Big, big rock moment – why? Because when I started to love her that way she began to respond because she wanted to respond by God’s way. How big a rock moment do you think that was in the context of our lives? I mean that big rock still stands. I dare say, I think there are many young people that have come into our lives and many marriages that have come into our lives that have seen hope because here is a Christian marriage, here is this Christian leader that can stand up and say my marriage is good. I love my wife and I enjoy her. We have joy and we have peace. Right? Secondly, God had to come to me another time and say, “You are not called to marriage, John, you are called through marriage.” He solved two of my problems at one time. He said, “Enjoy your marriage with everything you’ve got because it will facilitate better ministry.”
Same with having children. You’re going to have children, raise them in the Lord. Work with them, love them, energise them spiritually because you can all grow together and achieve things together. Okay, Genesis 17, 1-2When Abram was ninety-nine years old, God showed up and said to him, “I am The Strong God, live entirely before me, live to the hilt! (Genesis 17:1-2 MSG). He is 99. So He comes to him with the word; I am the strong God. I personally believe it is used in different ways. I personally believe that when God came to Abraham and spoke to him there, in that moment God actually put an extra life energy into him that in that moment gave him back as much energy as a man that was 40 years younger – whatever the timeframe was. 1-2“I am The Strong God, live entirely before me, live to the hilt! I’ll make a covenant between us and I’ll give you a huge family.” (Genesis 17:1-2 MSG).
Now, this is after all this over stuff has already happened. 3-8Overwhelmed, Abram fell flat on his face. Then God said to him, “This is my covenant with you: You’ll be the father of many nations. Your name will no longer be Abram, but Abraham, meaning that ‘I’m making you the father of many nations.’ I’ll make you a father of fathers—I’ll make nations from you, kings will issue from you. I’m establishing my covenant between me and you, a covenant that includes your descendants, a covenant that goes on and on and on, a covenant that commits me to be your God and the God of your descendants. And I’m giving you and your descendants this land where you’re now just camping, this whole country of Canaan, to own forever. And I’ll be their God.” 9God continued to Abraham, “And you: You will honour my covenant, you and your descendants, generation after generation. This is the covenant that you are to honour, the covenant that pulls in all your descendants. Hello. I know you can read the scripture that’s coming next. I’m just wanting you to see; I made a covenant with you. Kings are going to come from you, many, many, many. It is more than you can even understand are going to come from you. I’m your God and I will be their God and they’re going to be My people. They’re going to live in this land and they’re going to have all the blessing I put on you. And so, obedience now, Abraham. Abraham, what is the obedience now? 10Circumcise every male (Genesis 17:10 MSG). Big rock, little rocks, granular rocks. How big a rock do you think this is now? Ninety years old and he’s got all these adult men that have just gone to war and fought with him and won battles with him. Then he’s got all these young men in his life. “You, Abraham, you circumcise them.”
Some parents might have a difficulty with their kids after this. I pray that the wisdom of the Holy Spirit rests upon you to answer their questions, if they do. I’d say, be open and be truthful and explain it all to them. Hallelujah.
I want you to understand that God was taking this covenant personally. “This is My covenant with you, Abraham. Now I need you to show Me how personal this covenant is to you. Because when you go mano a mano, face to face the most intimate thing that could ever happen – circumcision.
I am not telling you that everything God’s going to tell you is easy but when you obey God and you get that intimate with the things that God wants you to do, you establish the covenant forever. You establish the covenant forever. I ask you, question; do you think Abraham would have had Isaac if he had not circumcised every male? The condition of the covenant was obedience. Right?
I wanted to have a moment here where I can just show you that as a man in a male’s body – stand up for me, please, Paul – a man in a males body. I mean, I know Paul well enough that I can get in his space and I can push him around a little bit. I will not do it too long, he might klap me back. I can hug him, you know, and we can talk straight to each other and we can have this kind of relationship. And I can push him around a little bit and see how far I can push him before he pushes back. You know? And so you will all say, that is okay, that is one man to another man, and we are two male bodies that it is easy to connect with because I mean it would be difficult to do this with a female. You understand? There are things about the male relationship that is permissible. Right? So there are things with a female – thank you, Paul – there are things in a female relationship that are permissible. But let us not, let us not misunderstand that the power of the connection that I have just demonstrated with Paul from a man to a man, I have the same possibility and capability, that same power connection with a female because I am not doing it through the physical. I was just demonstrating with Paul that I can do it in the physical but I have the same power in the spirit realm with the woman body. So I will treat the woman body differently. I will be a little more gentle, I will be careful, I will be kind because that is acceptable. But when it comes to the spirit realm, there is no difference between the relationship that I have with Paul or any other woman.
On the contrary, I desire, I expect women to actually have a place in our ministry and our world that is as powerful as their spirit wants to become. You can be sure of this, in this ministry, there is no limitation on any woman to become anything that God calls them to be. I consider my wife to be a powerful spiritual being. Don’t you? I will tell you now that part of her powerful spiritual being is because my big rock was; love her, John. As I loved her, her self image of herself began to change and then she began to say these words out of her mouth and she would say, “John, your love and the love of God to me and through you has convinced me of who I am in the spirit.” So that she now has the confidence to become a bold, prophetic spirit being in this ministry. I have never tried to hold her back, on the contrary, she will tell you I have been kicking her in the backside. Because I recognised how powerful she is and I wanted her to be that powerful spirit.
I wonder, do you think the devil likes to hear us preaching like this? I think he is hopping mad. I think he has got fire coming out of his nostrils because of this message. Because this message, number one, says we have a covenant with God that is generational, it is eternal. And He has got things planned for us that we cannot even begin to hope or think of or imagine how great our life is going to be but we have got to get the big rocks right. Do not let the little granular sands and small rocks say to you the big rocks don’t matter. You know, how can I put it this way? If you are training for something and you need good sleep, then you must have good sleep. It is a big rock of time by the way; energy replenishment, good sleep. Right? But then the alarm clock goes off in the morning and now you have got another big rock and that big rock is; I need to train for an hour or two hours – push-ups, sit-ups, run, cycle, whatever it is. When you wake up, some people are better at this than others. When you wake up, well, I know for me it is like oh no, oh no, it is already that time. And so I have a process with myself; give myself five minutes snooze, snooze, snooze, until I know that I have got so many snoozes. I am just being real, this is me. Do not fuss with me because I found a way how to manage my big rocks. Some people like Sharon, when the alarm clock goes off it is like, she is like a spring that springs her out of that bed – peeew. I say, “Babe, how do you do that?” She said, “It is easy, you just move your feet out of the bed and get up.” I said, “I can’t even do that,” because when I turn over on my side, you know the sheets on my legs feel so good, come on. So here is the problem; if you let the granular energy management of your life now dictate what happens to the big rock time. Hey? I have got to move on because I am just not even going to get close to that.
Abraham and Sarah have conversations. Nothing is happening, no pregnancy so Sarah says to Abraham, “Here is my maidservant, have a baby with her.” That is hearing a promise from the Word of God and trying to make it come on your own terms. It causes trouble. Then God has to have a conversation with Abraham, and He says, “This is not the son that I had spoken of in covenant. This is not the son. I will bless that son because he comes from your loins.” That is how God is; you make a mistake, He will still bless you but that is not where He is going to focus His big rock energy time, on the son that came by your hand, productivity that is born out of you. That is why many Christians for years and years have gone and done anything that they like and God has blessed them to the extent that He could because they are still His kids. They still live under the covenant of Abraham. And so then people say but everybody is blessed, everybody… There is a bigger blessing, there is a more accurate way of living that God wants because really, that is where the real future lies.
19But God said, “That’s not what I mean. Your wife, Sarah, will have a baby, a son. Name him Isaac (Laughter). I’ll establish my covenant with him and his descendants, a covenant that lasts forever (Genesis 17:19 MSG). So, I am just jumping, verse 22, 22God finished speaking with Abraham and left (Genesis 17:22 MSG). See, Lord, I saw so many things. I told Pastor Sharon this morning, you know, I saw so many things, because as I have been going through the Word here and so many things I want to say, but there are times that God will speak to you and He will leave. He is not leaving you to imagine your smallness because let’s – do you want to hear this just quickly? When God comes into your life to establish a big rock moment, His presence and His greatness and His magnificence and your knowing of just how amazing this is to be here with God knowing your future, knowing what your direction is and then God leaves you, not that He is leaving you alone. He is just leaving you because you cannot manage all of the intensity of all of God, all of the time. And so He leaves you and when He leaves you what fills that space has the potential – the small granular stuff – to say, oh maybe that was not so important. Maybe I can choose something else. Maybe He did not mean it so big because the bigness of who He is when He leaves there is this vacuum. And believe me, if I tell you, your thoughts, your emotions, your desires and other people will come rushing in to fill that vacuum but you have got to remember that big rock moment. Come on, I’m talking to someone, if not all of you this morning, I should be. Really? Is that the best you’ve got? You can say; Amen. There you go.
Then we have another moment; big rock moment. Genesis 22 verse 1, 1After all this, God tested Abraham. God said, “Abraham!” “Yes?” answered Abraham. “I’m listening.” Fantastic. 2He said, “Take your dear son Isaac whom you love and go to the land of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains that I’ll point out to you.” (Genesis 22:1-2 MSG). Now, can I show you that the reason God said, I’m having covenant with you for generations and your obedience is to circumcise every male – that was not such a small thing. It was a huge, bloody thing that happened in the camp. Right? But He was preparing Abraham for something that was much bigger to come, a much bigger rock. The son, that is the generational son. “The son that I said is your covenant son, not Ismail, this son, give him to Me. All of him. His whole life. You take his breath, you give him like a slaughtered lamb. Give him.”
What kind of God does this? What kind of God asks this? I have to say, it’s a God with a grand plan. It’s a God with a grand plan that you can’t see until you’re obedient to the grand plan. And only when you’re obedient to the grand plan can He start the next phase of the grand plan. But God’s got the plan that you need, that’s all plans that do everything beyond your wildest imaginations. But He’s got the grand plan. Not you. Because Abraham would have said, Abraham, my son. Because Ismail, he was no longer living with them, you understand. Abraham gave him a whole lot of wealth, sent him and his mom away and they went off to go and live their lives. So he didn’t have another Ismail in the house. The person living in his house was Isaac.
And so, verse 9 of 22, 9-10They arrived at the place to which God had directed him. Abraham built an altar. He laid out the wood. Then he tied up Isaac and laid him on the wood. Abraham reached out and took the knife to kill his son (Genesis 22:9-10 MSG). Come-on. I’ll tell you what; my son, Garth, he’s 37 years old, and he is living his own life. But if God spoke to me today and said, “Go get your son and go and put him on the altar, and give him to Me,” I’d say, “What about me?” I would. I’d say, “Take me first. He’s got his whole life. He’s got four children to look after now. Just take me.” God wasn’t interested in taking Abraham. He wanted to take something from Abraham that was more precious to Abraham than himself, which was his seed for the future.
You see, it’s the future that means a lot. “Give Me your son.” So, Abraham, he’s already walked this walk with God, and he says, “There’s no debate here. There’s no debate here.” And he takes the knife, and his son has already been told. His son is prepared. “We trust this Almighty God that has got us to this place.” And his son – you think his son didn’t ever want this to happen? It was just Abraham there, no servants around, just Abraham. His son was strong enough to push his dad away and say, “Don’t tell me to get on this altar.” Modern-day young man, challenging his son, “Don’t tell me to come and kill myself. You do it.” He didn’t do that. He just goes and lies on the altar and he says, “Bring that knife, Dad.”
11Just then an angel of God called to him out of Heaven, “Abraham! Abraham!” Urgently. “Yes, I’m listening.” Remember I said, and Abraham listened. There is a lot here, anyway. “I’m listening.” 12“Don’t lay a hand on that boy! Don’t touch him! Now I know how fearlessly you fear God; you didn’t hesitate to place your son, your dear son, on the altar for me.” 13Abraham looked up. He saw a ram caught by its horns in the thicket. Abraham took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son. 15-18The angel of God spoke from Heaven a second time to Abraham: “I swear—God’s sure word!—because you have gone through with this, and have not refused to give me your son, your dear, dear son, I’ll bless you—oh, how I’ll bless you! And I’ll make sure that your children flourish—like stars in the sky! like sand on the beaches! And your descendants will defeat their enemies. All nations on Earth will find themselves blessed through your descendants because you obeyed me.” 19Then Abraham went back to his young servants. They got things together and returned to Beersheba. (Genesis 22:11-13, 15-19 MSG). I have to just get through this today. I’m cutting out huge parts of my message.
Matthew chapter 3 verse 16, 16And when Jesus was baptized, He went up at once out of the water; and behold, the heavens were opened, and he [John] saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on Him. 17And behold, a voice from heaven said, This is My Son, My Beloved, in Whom I delight! Jesus is born from a virgin woman. As incapable as Sarah was from having, bearing a child, as incapable was Mary from bearing a child as a virgin. This is now, God makes a declaration out of heaven; This is My Son (Matthew 3:17 AMPC).
John chapter 3 verse 5, Jesus answered, 5Jesus answered, I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, unless a man is born of water, which means born of the flesh, and [even] the Spirit, he cannot [ever] enter the kingdom of God. 6What is born of [from] the flesh is flesh [of the physical is physical]; and what is born of the Spirit is spirit (John 3:5-6 AMPC). This is so big, this is so big that I’ll have to come back and tell you more about this. But in John chapter 6, He says, 53And Jesus said to them, I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, you cannot have any life in you unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood (John 6:53 AMPC). And everybody gets deeply offended because He is saying; you cannot have a part of My future unless you drink My blood and you eat my flesh. What they couldn’t understand then was He was about to go through something that Isaac and Abraham didn’t get to do.
Mark 3 verse 31, 31Then His mother and His brothers came and, standing outside, they sent word to Him, calling [for] Him. 32And a crowd was sitting around Him, and they said to Him, Your mother and Your brothers and Your sisters are outside asking for You. 33And He replied, Who are My mother and My brothers? 34And looking around on those who sat in a circle about Him, He said, See! Here are My mother and My brothers, and My sisters (Mark 3:31-34 AMPC). Here they are. I ask you, was Jesus making a distinction? Was He making a statement? There is a level of relationship with Jesus that is about to become about the Father’s will that there will be a difference between a blood-born family relationship versus a blood-bought family relationship. And before He even shed His blood He said, “Who is the one most important to Me – is it the one of My blood or is it the one who does the will of My Father?” Jesus said that before He even died. Whoever does the things that God wills is My brother and sister and mother.
Now I go to my final passage of scripture. Jesus is taken to the cross and He’s hanging on the cross between two people. Both of them are criminals. As they’re on the cross the one criminal looks at Jesus and he says to Him, “If You say You’re this Saviour, this Messiah, this Man of God, why don’t You save Yourself and save us? Pathetic man, You can’t even take Yourself off a cross and Your whole thing about Your life is that You can heal people, save people.” You think that sounds like the devil? “What do you think You’re doing hanging on a cross here? You came into the world to save the world and now You’re hanging on a cross. Save Yourself, man.”
If anybody thinks that that was just a coincidence, that there were two others on the one side and the one guy’s at Him the whole time, “Who are You, who are You, what have You got, what power have You got, what authority do You have? And if You’ve got this authority, come-on, use it. Us it. Show us, show us for our own benefit.” The other man on the other side of the cross looks at Him and he says, “I perceive, I see that You are who You say You are and if You are, please, remember me. I’m just a sinner.” And then Jesus turns to Him and He says, “I forgive you. Today you are going to be in paradise with Me.”
Let me tell you, repentance is like that with God. There is nothing else that you have to do is to speak those words and believe it in your heart and immediately God changes your future. Hallelujah. Immediately God changes your future. But I have something else to say to you. 44It was now only midday, yet the whole world became dark for three hours as the light of the sun faded away. 45And suddenly in the temple the thick veil hanging in the Holy Place was ripped in two! 46Then Jesus cried out with a loud voice, “Father, I surrender my Spirit into your hands.”And he took his last breath and died (Luke 23:44-46 TPT).
I’ll tell you, church, I’m making my final statement today when I say this to you; that whatever our future is in these moments of walking in God together, God has literally put His money where His mouth is and He has said, “I have given You My Son, brought Him in human form and caused Him to take all the sin of the world and be separated from Me for the first time in eternity,” so that neither the Father nor the Son understood the nature of this relationship, other than in the Father’s will He had power to raise Him from the dead. And Jesus said, “I’ve got to give it to You, from here this is new ground, I have never been this way before, My future is in Your hands. Father, Father, Father, I’ve done everything You have asked Me to do and now You leave Me? You’re gone?” Of course, He wasn’t. He had to allow Jesus to go through three days and nights of judgement so that He could raise Him from the dead, legally, eternally. Why? So that you and I can just choose life as a Christian for ourselves. Wake up in the morning and I think, “Ah, I’ll do this, I’ll do that, I’ll do this, I’ll do this next week, I’ll do that next week and the next week after. I’ll just do, I’ll live my life, I’ll just do what I want to do. I’ll plan my life. I’m smart, I’ve got some talent. I’ve got a few people I can connect with. I know what to do with my life.”
Well, of course, you can live like that. You’re about to experience a lot of Moabite activity in your life, a lot of Amorite activity – people that will come and eat away at your things that you think you are creating and just come. The other way the Bible puts it is; moth and rust and corruption makes it fade away but what you do on earth in obedience to Him, like Abraham, today, today, Abraham is sitting in the heaven and he is listening to my conversation. He is listening to my discourse with you about him and today he is saying, “Yes John, preach it. I did that. I did take my Isaac and I did put him on that altar. I did build that altar with bricks. Preach it, John, that’s the way it happened. I did take that knife and I was ready to take him and I did it so that Jesus would, God the Father would have the right to send His Son, Jesus into the earth and so that He could take His life because I was willing to do it, He had a legal, legitimate right to come and do it for His Son. So I did it,” and so that’s why he is known as the father of faith because it started with him. Right?
And so it doesn’t matter what’s happened before. Today you can start with you. I know I said this last Sunday but it just so happened, I was not going to be here and preaching to you today, Pastor Sharon had to come but God has got a way of turning things around, you know. And here I am, telling you, on another day, this is another day. This is a big rock moment, it’s a big rock moment and you can fill the rest of your life with many granules, many sands, many little rocks, many little things and you can allow those things to completely dominate and overwhelm your life but the big rock moments matter. Praise the Lord.
I am really keen to establish a forum that we can have conversations on WhatsApp, on any kind of social media. I would prefer it to be a social media where it’s about our ministry and not just about everything. Then we can decide together what goes public, but I would really like to have a forum where you can ask me questions about this and I can answer you, questions in the Word you know. Because I had a big rock moment, another one and another big rock moment was when God said to me, “Go serve Jerry Savelle and Kenneth Copeland,” in 1996 and I said, “Yes, Sir,” and I took leave and I went to go and serve them. And God said, “You are connected to Jerry Savelle.” And so, that was the beginning of me leaving my corporate life where I was earning millions of rands and go work in the ministry where I didn’t know how much I was going to earn and my whole life changed, like that. But if I hadn’t done that big rock moment, none of us would be here. There are some big rock moments you have to just, you’ve got to take it, you’ve got to go with it. Amen.
So what do you all say? You ready to have a few big rock moments? I really am okay with you going from here and hanging out at, wherever you hang out and have a coffee at Seattle or someplace, you know, eating something. Talk about the Word, don’t talk about the Word, talk about the stars and the moon and the sky – whatever. But don’t forget about the big rock moment that God has done here today. It is critical you hang onto it, it’s critical that you make this part of your life going forward, it’s really critical. Hallelujah. Please, stand with me.
Well, Father, all I can ask is that it will be so, as You have shown it to me in the Spirit. Your Word says in the book of Proverbs that Your Word is like a hammer and it breaks down the hardest and resistant. Some translations say hard, rock-like resistance and I pray, Father, that Your Word will be a hammer that just breaks down resistance to this message so that anyone of us and all of us that as our old culture, our old ways, our old thinking, our old self tries to get in the way through all those little granules that filter into our lives, that this word will be powerful in our lives. Your Word also says it’s like a fire that burns and I’m asking you that this word will burn with fire in the hearts of the people that You have destined and called to hear it, so that You can have a generation after generation after generation of people that You can show Yourself how much You want to bless Your people.
I thank You for it, Father, and I commit this message and all its implications and all its meaning, for every single person, uniquely, that it will work in their hearts, in their circumstance in their life, in the way that You need to work with them. I pray that it does the job, Father.
You have given Pastor Sharon and I great faith, that as these messages come out, they will truly just completely annihilate the things of the past in our lives. Into Your hands do I commit this word, Father. Into Your hands do I commit their hearing and their doing, to the hands of the Holy Spirit. Thank You, Lord.
I ask You, Father, to bless Your people, that no weapon formed against them will prosper. They are blessed going out and blessed coming in. The peace of God will rest upon them and I pray, Father, wherever there is a decrease in economic income in anyone’s life, I ask You through the Covenant that You have established with us, that You begin to immediately redress it and make it up, and begin to show Yourself strong on their behalf. Wherever healing needs to come, I pray healing comes into their physical bodies right now, Father. Strengthen them where they need to be strengthened, body soul and spirit. That is my prayer, that is my cry, that is the heart’s desire that You have placed in me to pray these words for Your people today, in Jesus’ Name. Hallelujah. Hallelujah. Amen. Praise Jesus.
Did God do alright today? I’m not asking about me, I’m asking about God. Did God do alright today? Did you get from God what you needed to get from God today? Okay. I love you all. Bye.