Scripture reference: 1 Corinthians 1:18-31 TPT; 1 Thessalonians 2:10-13 TPT
Thank you, Lord. Praise You, Jesus. Thank You Lord that we can worship You and praise You, You are the living God. You have chosen to give us Jesus, Your only Son that in believing in Him, He can live in us. We can praise You and worship You with a clear conscience and with a clear heart. Hallelujah. Thank You that there is an authority, an anointing that is released with the coming together of the saints. We thank You that Your anointing and Your authority is here today to say, and do what must be said and done for us to become the Christ on the earth. Walking with power and authority, walking with strength, walking with joy, and purpose. We thank You Father that these words today, will continue to take us on those paths. In Jesus’ name. Amen. You may be seated.
What glorious, glorious praise and worship. Praise the Lord.
Hello, everybody. I’m glad you’re all here today. Thank you for being here. Hallelujah. I have a lot to do today, a lot to say. I’m going to just dive straight in. We’ve got a live audience; wherever people are watching us, we welcome them too.
I’m going to read first Corinthians chapter 1 verse 18, from the Passion Translation. The Passion Translation reads, from verse 18; 18To preach the message of the cross seems like sheer nonsense to those who are on the way to destruction, but to us who are on our way to salvation, it is the mighty power of God released within us (1 Corinthians 1:18 TPT).
There are some people, that when you preach Jesus, and you preach the cross of Jesus, they think it’s nonsense. There are a lot of people that say, “This makes no sense that you could believe in a man that died, and supposedly was risen from the dead and that believing in Him would secure your future eternally.” There are some people that say, “This makes no sense,” It’s ‘non-sense’ to them. To those who receive Jesus, it is power.
19For it is written, those same people, it is written, I will dismantle the wisdom of the wise, and I will invalidate the intelligence of the scholars (1 Corinthians 1:19 TPT). All of the smart people in the world system out there, I will invalidate them. You know, if you put in a wrong pin on your password on your phone or your device, it says ‘invalid pin number’. In other words, you can’t get in? Well, God says He’s going to invalidate their thought process, and their thinking, because with that they can’t get into the life of God. It is invalid.
20So, where is the wise philosopher who understands? Where is the expert scholar who comprehends? And where is the skilled debater of our time, who could win a debate with God? Hasn’t God demonstrated that the wisdom of this world system is utter foolishness. The system that we are living by the system of buying and selling, going to school, going to college; this whole system of workspace, workplace, all of the system. The system that dictates the governance of nations. The system.
God says; Hasn’t God demonstrated that the wisdom of this world system is utter foolishness (1 Corinthians 1:20 TPT). It’s not that we don’t need a system because a system, we do need. We need a traffic light that says, ‘Stop’, and ‘Go’, so we don’t have crashes all the time. We need a system, but the foolishness of the system is that it excludes God.
Wherever a system excludes God, it’s not that we don’t need a system as humans, it’s that God’s not the one who is the author of the system. The minute that God becomes the author of the system that has wisdom. The minute God is not the author of the system; it is foolishness because it’s man’s intellect trying to do for man what he thinks is best; for himself. 21He took great delight in baffling the wisdom of the world by using the simplicity of preaching the story of the cross, in order to save those who believe it. 22For the Jews constantly demand to see miraculous signs, while those who are not Jews constantly cling to the world’s wisdom (1 Corinthians 1:21-22 TPT).
The Jewish people, when they were looking for a Messiah, they were always looking for signs that there would be among them; the Messiah. They were looking for the signs of the Messiah. They got into this perspective that they were the ones that were going to be able to tell when the Messiah came. So if they didn’t authorize the arrival of the Messiah, because they didn’t say so, then, it could not be the Messiah. They were looking for signs but they could not interpret the sign when the Messiah did come. They lived as foolishness. Well, of course, to the Gentiles, they lived by human wisdom because, even though they had all kinds of gods that they worship, to them, their most valued thing was, wisdom, education, knowledge, information. That was the thing they wanted. So God says that, that wisdom is brought to nothing in the preaching of the cross. 23But we preach the crucified Messiah, the Jews stumble over Him and the rest of the world sees Him as foolishness (1 Corinthians 1:23 TPT).
It is clear that Jesus has become the marker for everything in the universe. Is that not true? Well, of course, Jesus, the Father, and the Holy Spirit, are the Source of all truth. They are the Source of all life. As the Source, They become the marker that everything else is measured against. Nothing else matters. Even if you have an opinion about the Word of God, and it’s an opinion of what the Bible says, the truth of what Jesus is, is what stands, not anyone’s opinion. It’s the truth that stands, they are, Jesus said; “I am the way, the Truth, and the Life. No man comes to the Source of all Life, the Father, but through Me, the Truth of Life, the Way of Life.”
Jesus became the marker. For those that are Jews that don’t believe in Him, He is a stumbling block, for those that are Gentiles that don’t believe Him, He becomes foolishness. Because the wisdom, the knowledge, the intellect that they’re after, doesn’t bring the two together, because faith is in the heart. You see, Jesus, by faith, you don’t see Him with wisdom, or knowledge, information. 24But for those who have been chosen to follow Him, both Jews and Greeks, He is God’s mighty power, God’s true wisdom, and our Messiah (1 Corinthians 1:24 TPT).
How many of you want God’s true wisdom for your life? I mean, that may take you out of the foolishness realm, and it puts you into the way of the crucified Christ, and what He can give you as wisdom. I don’t believe there is ever a time where Jesus would want you to make a bad decision that will affect you badly. In His wisdom, He will guide you through everything.
25For the “foolish” things of God have proven to be wiser than human wisdom. And the “feeble” things of God have proven to be far more powerful than any human ability (1 Corinthians 1:25 TPT). This is just the way it is, for example; tithing, nobody in the world system would ever consider tithing to be of any value. In fact, even to your own mind, the enemy will come and lie to you and say; “If you’re short on money, don’t tithe, keep it to yourself to pay your bills.” When the real power of your freedom is in your trusting God with your tithe, even in the hard times.
In fact, I want to say the harder the times, the more important your tithe comes, because your tithe is a measure of your trust in Him. It’s a measure of your trust in His Covenant, not because He needs money. If you get into hard times, and you withhold your tithe, and you withhold your increase, then God is saying; “You don’t trust Me really. You still trust in mammon, and you trust in the foolishness of the system to preserve you and that system; I will dismantle it.” I’m going to read it to you now.
26Brothers and sisters, consider who you were when God called you to salvation. Not many of you were wise scholars by human standards, nor were many of you in positions of power. In those days you were either in the Sadducees, Pharisees, in the Levite clan where you were becoming a rabbi or serving in that. Then you were considered to be scholars and part of the elite system. Or you were a Roman soldier or in the Roman army, in which case, you were elite to everybody else, because even a Roman soldier of the lowest rank could order you to do anything. Paul’s writing, and he said, “You weren’t anything when God came and called you.” Not many of you were considered the elite when you answered God’s call. 27But God chose those whom the world considers foolish to shame those who think they are wise, and God chose the puny and the powerless to shame the high and mighty (1 Corinthians 1:26,27 TPT). He uses a strong word here. In this particular translation, that He would shame you. How does that happen? Well, there are many people that have had lots to say about God, how they don’t believe in God, only to find themselves in someplace in life, where actually their godliness, their godlessness has had to bow the knee to God, in one way or another.
The scripture says; “Every knee will bow, and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.” If you’ve spent your whole life speaking against Him, that shame will come to you. Whether it be here in human life, or in eternal life, that shame will come to you. Another passage of Scripture says, “There will be a wailing and a weeping and a gnashing of teeth, shame will come to you if you have not bowed the knee to Jesus Christ.”
28He chose the lowly, and the laughable in the world’s eyes – nobodies – so that He would shame the somebodies. For He chose what is regarded as insignificant in order to supersede what is regarded as prominent. 29So that there will be no place for prideful boasting in God’s presence. 30For it is not from man that we draw our life but from God as we are joined to Jesus, the Anointed One. He is the Source of our life. And now He is our God-given wisdom, our virtue, He is our holiness, and our redemption. And this fulfills what is written: If anyone boasts, let him only boast in all that the Lord has done! (1 Corinthians 1:25-31 TPT).
We have nothing that we can say of ourselves; “That my hand has gotten me this wealth, the power of my hand has gotten me anything.” It is He that gives us virtue, it is He that gives us wisdom. It is He that gives us life. It is Him. Everything is Him. Let not one of us boast that anything that we have is because we did it. Nothing that we could ever lay our hands-on, that we can say; “Look, what we did.” Has got any value, or any merit. It’s all because of Jesus. Amen. Hallelujah.
We are faced in our lives, with decisions every day, in every way, in many spheres of life, where the system is wanting to order and command, as it were, our decision making. It’s so all ordered and orchestrated, that it feels like we don’t have much choice but to live by the system. Well, the first thing I want to say to you is that words of life that you put into your spirit that are God’s Words of life, immediately put you into the wisdom of God category that will confound the wisdom of the world. It will confound debaters, it will confound philosophers, it will confound because the Word of God obeyed and lived is a mighty power. It’s a mighty power. It’s not mighty power through the debating, it’s a mighty power in that life is in the Words of God. Hallelujah. Those mighty power Words are what we must pursue, more than all else. Hallelujah.
I need to tell you a story about my personal life. I first want to ask you all out there. This here is nice cookies. See the packet is called, “Double Delight”; chocolate cookie. Who wants a chocolate cookie? Come on, come on. Don’t lie now, come on. Who wants a chocolate cookie? I only got limited cookies in this packet here, you know. Hey, did you put your hand up first? And she put her hand up second. [Pastor John speaking to Pastor Sharon] Do you want the chocolate cookie, Babes? Anybody else wants a chocolate cookie? Come on, come on. Come on. Come on. Who wants a chocolate cookie? All of you? I’m not going to hand out all these chocolate cookies.
I’m really making a point, though, don’t you think this packaging is lovely? It’s designed to attract, isn’t it? If I dip in here one more time to have a chocolate cookie, ghee look how pretty that looks hey? I mean, doesn’t that just isn’t my taste buds water just looking at the chocolate cookie? Huh, it’s nice. It’s really nice. I see you really wanted a chocolate cookie. I’m going to give you one more chocolate cookie. You’re not allowed to take his chocolate cookie hey?
This is designed to attract you. This is designed to entice you. This is designed to make you look with your eyes and desire it with your heart, or your stomach. You know, your stomach, yeah, that’s connected to your brain that says; “Can you taste the chocolate?” Right? Okay, now I have something else here. How many of you want to have baby marrow? You want a baby marrow? She’s brave enough to have to want it. It’s organic, by the way, came from our kitchen. Yeah. We bought organic. It’s a good baby marrow. Anybody else wants a baby marrow? See Jan wants a baby marrow at the back there. I’ll give him an organic baby marrow. Go for it Jan, it’s a good choice. Don’t eat the chocolates, eat the baby marrows. But I didn’t see so many hands up for the baby marrows. Right?
Avocado? I see a few more hands for avocado because I see people like avocados. You know, it’s better, hey. But notice actually, this is not really attractive, it doesn’t entice you, it doesn’t appeal to you, right? Doesn’t scream your name; “Eat me, I’m going to tingle the sensations of your taste buds.” If you eat this, you know you’re eating because it’s nice. Right? I mean, I could go through the line like this. This happens to be an organic tomato, so it’s a bit small. Other people like tomatoes. This is actually a fruit, it is not a vegetable. Tomato, anybody? Why not? Have an organic tomato. Just eat it after church. Otherwise, you could mess pips down your clothes. You understand? I’ve got nuts here, and I’ve got an apple here, but these things are not so attractive as this [pointing to a bag of cookies].
So it is with the world system. The world system is designed to actually make you think it has all the answers. It’s more attractive, it’s more tasty. It’s got more people following it and so by the way, the more people that follow something, and the more people that like something doesn’t make it the right thing. Because not so many people would eat baby marrows, a lot of people would eat chocolates. Just because a lot of people eating chocolate doesn’t make it the right thing to do in life.
Sometimes you got to eat baby marrows. Otherwise, you’ll just die. Yes, and you can die from chocolate. I remember there used to be a restaurant that used to have a thing called death by chocolate. Remember, there was a restaurant, I don’t remember which restaurant it was, but there was a restaurant that had some kind of double-thick malt or whatever. It was death by chocolate. Seemed to think it was a pizza restaurant or something like that. Yes, it was. I remember now. Anyway, death by chocolate. Sjoe. What a horrible thing to say. If you just eat junk food, it will kill you.
You got to eat healthy stuff, right? All the while this is really what they want you to eat [pointing to the bag of cookies]. That’s the way it is with the Word of God. It is the way of the life of God. Life and truth have got all the nourishment and have got all the nutrition, got all the good things that you need to live a healthy life. The world doesn’t want you to believe that. It wants to make other things more attractive to you. You reach for the ‘nice’ things.
LeRoux here, you know, he is like, he can’t walk past a donut shop. If he had to choose between a baby marrow and a donut it was like a no-brainer. It’s just donuts all the time. That’s why I gave his daughter the cookie, because otherwise, she might not get another one. Praise the Lord!
There’s something that can happen to the Christian. It’s not an automatic thing. The first thing that happens to you as a Christian is, you encounter Jesus as your Saviour and when you make a decision to make him Lord and Saviour in your life, there is a life transfer that happens to you. Suddenly, you want to know more about Jesus. You want to have more of Jesus, you want to be in the company of people that have Jesus. It’s something that is not like dynamite and crackers and fireworks. It’s not that. It’s constantly a force that’s inside of you that’s drawing you to life. It’s your encounter with Jesus.
There are a lot of Christians out there lots, lots, lots, lots, let me tell you, the majority of Christians are not even going to church on Sundays. They do believe in Jesus as Lord and Saviour. They’ve even received Him into their heart. But they don’t go to church on Sundays. They’re not involved in church communities or if they do, it’s just as it suits them. I’d like to say those Christians are double delight Christians [pointing to the cookies]. They are Christians that follow the world system wherever they can, but they know they’re going to heaven and that’s a good compromise for them. They don’t partake of the healthy things of the Word of God, and fellowship and relationship with God on a regular basis. They stay saved, but they don’t grow as Christians. There’s no ongoing life development in them.
I want to share with you, many of you have heard the story, but it is my personal life story and the Lord has wanted me to share this with you. When I was five years old, I gave my heart to Jesus. My mother led me to the Lord to say the sinner’s prayer, the salvation prayer. I don’t remember it. She told me I did it. I believe her. I had no reason to doubt that I didn’t pray that prayer, but I don’t remember me doing it.
When I was seven years old, my dad was a preacher, and I grew up as a preacher’s kid in a church. One Sunday night he was having a service. As the Lord led the service that night, he invited the people in the church to come down to the altar, and to come and kneel, and give devotion, and perhaps repentance. Whatever it is that they want to do before God, come and encounter God in the front of the church.
I was seven years old and I was sitting in the second row, right on the edge, watching these people. As I was watching these people, I could see that in some cases, there was a mighty presence of God on them and some people were weeping and some people were just quiet and some people were praising the Lord quietly. You could see that the people were having different types of encounters with God. As I was watching this, something in my spirit just reached out and said; “God, I want to have an encounter with you like that.” I was seven years old. As that happened, as that came out of my heart, never spoke any words; it was just in my heart. As that happened the Holy Spirit’s anointing came upon me like a mantle, like a blanket that fell on me. I just knew that God was upon me. The next thing I knew, I was lying on the pew and I had all these adults, my mom and parents and all the elders of the church, looking at me, like this [Pastor John demonstrates, bending over]. You know? Bent over looking at me, lying on the pew, speaking in tongues. Then I came to my consciousness if you like, I became aware that I was speaking in tongues, and I was still aware of the strong anointing, this power of God that was on my life, on my body, right at that moment.
As I describe it to you, I see the picture in my head. I have not lost one detail of that encounter that I had with God. Not one of it is lost to my memory. It wasn’t something that just happened in my head. It was something that happened in my spirit, it was a life transfer of God in my spirit. The Holy Spirit began to speak out of my mouth with the evidence of speaking in other tongues. From that day to this, I’ve never had to have another baptism of the Holy Spirit. I have just always been filled with the Holy Spirit.
When I was the age of fourteen, fifteen, it was around my fifteenth birthday. I went to go with some friends and I would play my guitar. I’d go downtown Johannesburg to a place called Hillbrow. I would go and preach on a Sunday afternoon, and sing and preach with a megaphone and lead people to Jesus in the street, and then take them to church on a Sunday night.
You know, if you go downtown Johannesburg, there’s a big round of building as you approach Johannesburg, that building is called Ponte. Now we were in transition in our lives as a family. I found myself living in a disjointed way with some of my family in Ponte on the 33rd floor. I really felt a strong urging by the Holy Spirit; “Don’t go to church tonight. Go home.” Now, for me, that was very unusual, because I don’t miss church. I love church. I’ve always loved church, I’ve always loved being in church. I love Christians in church. It’s as much a part of my life as anything. I love church. I love the people of God. I love it that other people love God the way I love God, I love to talk to people about God, I love to hang around people, that love to talk about God. Church is my thing because I love God and the church, it’s His church, His people. I love that more than anything else. I love that. I loved it then. I love it now. For me to have not gone to church was a big deal.
I felt the Holy Spirit drawing. I went on my own to the flat. Went into the flat, and I had a key to get into the flat, and went into the flat. As I went into the flat, the Holy Spirit just, His presence dropped on me, and I knew that He was with me. I walked into my bedroom and the power of God was just upon me stronger and stronger. All I could do was fall next to my bed on my knees and begin to praise and worship and glorify God, because although I couldn’t touch Him, although I couldn’t hear His voice, His presence was so strong in the room. I felt like I could touch Him. I almost felt like if I’d looked up, and I saw, I would actually see a part of Him, His presence was so strong in the room with me. Then He said Words into my spirit. He said, “I want you to go and read a passage of scripture in the Bible.” I never read that passage of scripture before, or if I had I never remembered reading it like that before. I went to that passage of scripture and He called me with that scripture, and He said; “John, this is the call that I am calling you to. This is my mantle that I am placing upon you. This is the mandate that God has given, that I’m giving you to live by. This is what will follow your life.” He said some other things to me. I enjoyed His presence and it seemed like just after that, my family was arriving at the flat. They were all worried about me. “Are you okay being alone here?” It felt like, as quick as it took me to tell you the story, it felt like it was that quick, and they were home. But it had been three hours that I had been in the presence of God, where He was imparting life to me.
I ask you, do you think that I’ve ever had an identity crisis? I’ve never had an identity crisis. I’ve never wondered what I should be doing in my life. Why? Because I encountered God. God gave me a mandate. He said, “This is what I want you to do.”
When I got a bit older, and I’ve been in a church where poverty was a great thing in the church. It’s like, pastors are not allowed to be even remotely well off. At best they can live middle-class lives, at best. Pastors are not really supposed to be rich because rich and wealthy at that time was a sinful thing. If you don’t know that, that’s very good, because you don’t have that nonsense to deal with in your life. But when I was growing up that was a real thing. Pastors were poor.
When I came out of the army, I had a real God encounter again in the army. When I came out of the army, I just said; “Lord, would it be okay if I went and provide for my family before I went into the ministry? And He said; “Your time is not yet and you can do that.” I went and provided for my family. I thank God for that because in that time I learned to live by faith in finances in a corporate world, and lived in business, with my faith and commanding money, and business to come into my hands. Using my faith and my walk with God to do that. God has used that in my life quite a lot, because although I was in business that’s not what my calling was. Although I made good money, that wasn’t what my calling was. That was just something that I did until God said; “Now is the time to step into your mantle.”
I’ve never wondered whether I should be in the ministry. I’ve always known I should be. The only thing that I’ve had to walk out in wisdom in my life, and you don’t have an answer for this, for your whole life, otherwise you don’t need faith. The only thing I don’t know is the execution of how things have got to be done and when they’ve got to be done, as they have to be done. That is a walk of faith.
Sometimes you think it’s going to look like this and then God speaks and it looks like something else. Sometimes you have to retreat and say; “Sorry Lord, I did something in haste or I did something too slowly, or I made a left turn or a right turn,” but identity crisis, I’ve never had. A calling crisis I never did, because when you encounter God, He’s wanting to say; “Here’s my stamp for your future.” Right? Hallelujah.
Ten years ago, I started a program here in the church. I call it a program but it’s not a program. It was something that God wanted me to minister to young people because I saw the world just consuming young people. I had a young man in this church, I’m not gonna speak his name, but I had a young man in this church, eighteen years ago. When I first got to know him he was in grade eleven, grade ten or somewhere round and about there and he was in the church with us for two or three years. Then he left the church to go to university in Pretoria. He went to university and when he was there, he met a girl that was in university. She studied to become a teacher, he studied to become an engineer and they stayed in Pretoria for a long time, because they found work there and they found an ability to live there. Then his work brought him back to Witbank.
I was doing a sporting activity and I found him in the sporting activity. He was in the same circles that I was. I greeted him and said; “Good to see you. How goes it with your life?” “Everything is well, I’ve got a good job.” “Where are you living now?” “Living in Witbank.” Okay. I didn’t see him in church though. He came to church for a while, for a particular purpose, and then he wasn’t in church anymore. Now he doesn’t even live in the country even anymore. He’s moved somewhere else. He took the responsibility to make choices for his life but what happened was, when he went to university these opportunities opened up to him, that he perhaps wanted, desired them, and when they came, he just took them, without consulting with God what His plan for his life was. “Look I’ve got a degree, I must work with this degree, this degree will bring me money. This is what I must do.”
That is a system that God’s says will be foolishness. He will dismantle that system. Dismantle it. In the end, both he and his wife, with all their credentials couldn’t find work in South Africa, so they had to go and move overseas, to go and find work in a country in Asia. Follow God for your life. That is where the wisdom is. That’s where life is. That is where the goodness is.
I became aware that this system out there was drawing young people that were growing up in the Word, growing up in church, growing up in life and they go and encounter that system and that system begins to change their minds. Daar is ‘n goeie Afrikaanse saying; “Smokkel met hulle brein”. It works with your head. It begins to, I mean you can’t really interpret that in any other way. I guess the word would be smuggle with your brain, but that doesn’t quite fit like that. It causes chaos in your brain, that system.
In that system, it begins to insert, implant ideas, thoughts, emotions. It begins to give you alternatives. It brings the Double Delight package to you, and as you’re experiencing the double delight package, it’s… That’s where I’ll go, obviously it’s the easiest, the nicest, that’s where the good things are, but actually God wants you to have avos and baby marrows and tomatoes. Ah, but look how good this looks, and everybody is eating it. This must be the stuff. [Pastor John referring to the cookies]. That’s not the way it is. Hallelujah.
It’s an opportunity we have to have, it’s to encounter God. Ten years ago I started this thing called MiXchange. MiXchange, it was a name the Lord gave me. Exchange some of your time to encounter God so that before you go into the system, that you have an encounter with God, so that you go into a system with God in your life. This is not you going to school every day and then immediately swapping school time for college time or for work time. It’s time for you to set aside, that you can encounter God time. That you can encounter God. That is what MiXchange was all about.
We’ve had people come through it. Where is Matt and Sarah? Is Sarah still here? No? She’s got a baby, so she went home already. Come up here, Matt. Matt and his sister Sarah, were the first attendees of MiXchange. Matt encountered God here, and then he encountered a wife here, which wife was singing up on the stage here. Matt encountered many things here because he exchanged. He didn’t think it was going to be that long, but as he began to, he thought I’ll go and do that for a little bit and then he found himself here still, ten years later.
God touched his heart, and God called him to me, to this ministry, but that was the encounter that he had with his heart. And so when Matt came, he had certain kind of, he was quite rough around the edges. He had a lot of double delight in him. Right? That’s a good way of saying, yeah, come on. [Matt says; “Yeah, yeah, okay.”] Yeah, a lot of double delight in him. In his ways of living. God quickly sorted out the double delight, and gave him the real thing, and as he began to live for God, he began to realize, actually, my calling is not to go out and make business and make money, my calling is to be here and as he accepted that, he has grown, to be running our music and video and all of this department in the ministry. He’s grown in himself, in his, in his abilities. Not only that, God gave him a house for free. He lives a married, debt-free life because he encountered God. He could have chosen to stay in Joburg where he lived. He could have because I was living in Joburg and I said, Matt, you must go to Witbank and he was like; “No way. But okay. Yeah.” He used to come every weekend back to Joburg, because all his friends were there but then he began to realize, actually, those same friends are ones that are holding me back. I’m not being free. Hey, Matt? [Matt says, “Yes sir.”] I’m using you as an ambassador for MiXchange here. We walked together, we walk together in life, we have a recognition, understanding that I couldn’t do my ministry without him, and he can’t be what he must be without me, and so God called us.
Who would have thought that when his life was full of double delight, that God would take a double delight minded person and say; “Come and have an encounter with God, and I’ll transform your future in such a way that you couldn’t even have all of the plans that you would have desired.” He desired all of that. He desired to live in a home that he owned. He desired to live debt-free. He desired to learn to live and have a motorbike and do all the things that he’s doing. Debt Free. He desired all those things. He just never could see a path to getting there. When he followed God’s path, God just made it all happen.
That’s cool, hey? Hallelujah. Over the years, my MiXchange has kind of drifted here, drifted there, and didn’t really take shape, because things happened in the ministry, challenges happen, things had to happen for us. Now, in the last couple of years, God has been working in the ministry, where He has been very specific, and people that have some of the people that have grown up in this church. Literally, their kids were born in this church. The Lord showed me in the Spirit one day, at one of them the devil was about to consume his life. He was going on a trajectory that his life, the devil would consume it. I was walking out of the auditorium and I saw him coming to walking towards me. Holy Spirit said, “Speak to him.” Within a couple of weeks, he came into the ministry here, and started to just be part of what we were doing. So God has done, I’m just using one. God has done, God has begun to bring young adults, young people into the ministry supernaturally. Every one of them, He’s rescued them out of a double delight lifestyle, and He’s brought into a baby marrow, and avocado lifestyle. Hallelujah.
I mean, any one of you will know that Pastor Sharon and I have never attempted to build for ourselves a mega ministry. We have never tried to make anything happen for ourselves. The things that have happened to us, have been God directing us. Always. Always. I didn’t want to be on television, but when they phoned me and they said; “We would like to have you on television.” I phoned Brother Jerry and Joe McCroskey and I said; “These guys want me to be on TV, here’s the deal. They’re offering me.” It is because they came to seek me. I didn’t go looking for them. They both said, “God’s in this, John. Do it.” I didn’t go and ask to go and be on TV. TBN came to look for me. Hallelujah.
All the things that have happened, and I live my life, we live our lives before you, transparently. I’m going to read you a piece of Scripture right now. In the Passion Translation. 10With God as our witness, you saw how we lived among you, in holiness, in godly relationships, and without fault (1 Thessalonians 2:10 TPT). Now I can say I live without fault because I live my life with Jesus. That doesn’t mean to say I haven’t made faults. I have made faults. You cannot live life on this earth, and make every decision perfectly. You’re going to live and make faults. I admit that. I’m not shying away from any responsibility of decisions that are made that have been faulty. I live my life in God without fault, and I live before you without fault. Even so, if I have made decisions that have been wrong decisions, I have admitted. Sometimes you have to admit them to leaders that are in private because in a public setting you don’t always understand the context and in to make them in context in public to make sense, you’ve got to tell long stories and tell things about people’s lives that is none of anybody’s business.
You’ve got to be before God on these things, and accountable to those that are around you. 11 And you know how affectionately we treated each of one of you. Like a loving father cares for his own children. 12We comforted and encouraged you and challenged you to adopt a lifestyle worthy of God, Who invites you into His kingdom and glory (1 Thessalonians 2:11-12 TPT). That’s our job. Our job is to live before you, as we preach to you, and with that, I live without fault.
As I preach faith to you, so do I live by faith. As I preach the fear of God to you, so do I fear God, as I preach to you to love your partner in life, the way God wants you to live in marriage, so I live before you. As God wants me to live with my children, and raise them up in the ways of God and have a relationship with them, and now my grandchildren. I live so before you. I have not lived so in a place where you don’t know my life, my life is transparently open to you. We have not tried to hide anything from anybody. When my sons, we’re making bad decisions, in particular my youngest son at a time when he was making bad decisions, and habits. I had to go in front of the church and had to tell the church, you may not do anything to help my son, he’s in a bad space, you got to not help him. He’s got to recover from that bad space, I had to do that publicly to the church. I could not spare my son, for the honor that I have for the Word of God. That it would be the Word of God that could save his life. I’ve lived my life before you, me, and Pastor Sharon, we have lived it before you like this.
13This is why we continually thank God for your lives because you received our message wholeheartedly. You embrace it not as the fabrication of men, but as the Word of God. And the Word continues to be an energizing force in you who believe (2 Thessalonians 2:13 TPT).
This Word that I’m ministering to you today, is not the fabrication of words that I preached to you. This is the Word of God, it’s the mighty power of God. It reaches into your spirit as you’re hearing it today, and as you’re hearing it today, it’s changing you profoundly. It’s doing its work on you. It’s the Word of God. It’s a Sword that goes and separates those things that are soulish, and spiritual things, and it pierces them, and it separates them, so you could know what it is to worship the Most High God and not go after the double delight. God wants you to go in the right way with Him for life, not pursue double delight. Because He’s dismantling that system. That’s a foolish system. It’s got no future for us. For us, as Christians, we might use that system. Like you need a traffic light to stop you from crashing your motorcar when someone’s going through it. You need governance, but you don’t need the system to succeed. You need Jesus to work in you to succeed.
Hallelujah. I am done with this part of my ministry. I have something else I need to share with you today. I believe that we are at a season, and I just need to say this. I am just going to log in here quickly, because they were charging my battery from the first service, because it didn’t work so well in the first service, so we are going to try and see if it works now. It worked on Friday, it didn’t work in the first service, now we’ll see if it can work in the second service. Amen. Praise the Lord.
Everything that God is doing right now, is because God has placed something in my spirit, for now until the year 2022. I am being bold about it, and I am being fearless about it, and God told me to be bold and go big, He said; “Be bold and go big John.” Like everything that is happening around the world now, is restructure, downsize, “Watch your money because everything is going to go pear shape.” Right?
That is not what God said to me, God said; “Go bold and go big.” Go bold and go big. Hallelujah, praise the Lord. I have been ministering ‘this is a time to be fearless’ because God is going to do things in the Kingdom. I want to say, before I get into the presentation. If you are in a financial situation where you are tight, because of what is happening out in the world, and you are not tithing, then it shows you that you don’t trust God, because tithing is not because God wants your money. Tithing is God making sure that you get your money. It is your covenant with Him. You say; “I trust You Lord, I don’t have to give You my tenth, but here it is. I trust the covenant that will keep me.” You need to trust the covenant that keeps you.
I stand here before you today, because, and I said this in the first service. You know, this is something that is always not in my nature to do this, to say things like this, but when the Holy Spirit leads me, I’m bold to say them.
When Elijah, his time was up when the brook ran empty, and the ravens no longer could feed him, God sent him to be fed by a widow woman. When he arrived at her, he arrived and he said; “Give me something to eat and to drink.” She said; “We have only a little bit and I was going to make this for my son, and die.” And he said; “No, but make me something to eat and drink.” She gave literally the last of what she had to the prophet, and it never ran out. God is sending a Word that can save you at a time when no one else can save you. Nothing else can save you.
We are in a moment like this. You do need to trust God to tithe. You must not quit on your tithe. If you don’t trust God, then you must put the Word of God in your spirit. Your future is not dependent on whether you can keep your job or lose your job. Your future is not whether you must keep your boss happy, so he doesn’t fire you. Your future is not in some political party who is going to give you money that’s going to come via the Unemployment Insurance Fund or is going to come through some other way that might happen; but that will run out. Then who you’re going to trust? Time is to trust God now. Hallelujah. If you trust God, let Him speak to you. He will begin to supply you, and keep you steady until the flood comes back, until everything returns the way it should be.
I don’t see anything on the screen. Is it there? There it is. We have some success. Yes. I can look, I have to scroll here? Where is it? Is it further down, is it up? Okay got it now. Okay so jah, the lighting is not so great. If you go into the website HOFMI.net, so by the way, if you don’t know that, that’s our website, you should because you should register for church on HOFMI.net. Right?
HOFMI.net you register for church, or you send an email or whatever, but if you go into the website, now, you don’t have to go to YouTube to watch any of the messages or watch any of the TBN services or any of the Being Filled services by Pastor Sharon on Psalms, or any of the other messages. You go all into the website, and all of our video materials and our messages on the sound or on video are all embedded in the website. You don’t have to go to a YouTube channel and find all other funny things that you can just be distracted with. It’s all embedded in the website. Come on, well done to the website guys.
If you go to the HOFMI.net website, you will see there is HOFMI PROJECTS. If you click on HOFMI PROJECTS. I’ve clicked with the cursor there, that’s on a number of different tabs that you can see all the projects that we are busy doing. One of the things that we are wanting to do is we are wanting to upgrade the space that you see on the left there. That’s what our current workspace looks like for the A-Team. This is what we want it to look like. What do you think? This is where we want MiXchange to happen.
There is a big, big building. I don’t want to speak too much about it, because I don’t want anybody else to go look at it. There is a big, big building. I got to be careful because, you know, but it costs R10 million. It’s like, it can be a hostel, and it can be many other things and it may be for sale. We are kind of just exploring it in our hearts, and see what God will do with it so that when MiXchange becomes even bigger than it is, because I know what’s going to happen is that people are going to come from America, because they’ve already started to hear what’s happening here. When the Pastors from Fort Worth Texas came, they said; “How do we get this kind of leadership? How do we get this kind of relationship? We want it in our church?” Well, how do you tell them what happened? And how God has led you for 15 years? You can’t transfer how you built relationships. You can tell them about it, but how they do it is how God must lead them. People want to come and have encounters with God and they want to have encounters in working with God in the ministry, and so we will have people who will come from America and other places, who will come and spend periods of time here. They can encounter God and they can encounter the things that God wants for their lives. We need lots of space. Today I’m not talking about that, not yet.
Today I’m just talking about the A-Team workspace which we want to convert into something. The bottom line, or the smallest number to convert it into something really special would be half a million Rand, R485,000. The big number is about 600 to R650,000.
If the Lord speaks to you, and you have a million or two lying around, this is a good seed. This is a good place to help and minister to young people’s futures because you’re not just making a space for people to be, you’re making space for people to encounter. Hallelujah. I’m not going to go through because the visuals are not… you can actually donate money directly via credit card. You can see there is the A-Team workspace. You can donate money there R50, a R1000, R100,000, a million rand, a hundred million… I think you must have the right credit card if you want to do more than a R100,000. Never mind about that. You can also do an EFT transfer to the ministry website, and ministry bank account, and you can just put the name in there of what project it’s allocated to.
There are many projects that we have got going. From multimedia… We are busy building an app, we’ve already done quite a lot of work on it, so that you can experience the whole ministry on the app, on your mobile device from watching any of what we preach from Digital Touch Bible school, to any of the music videos that we’ve got, and more coming down the line. Everything that’s happening, you can encounter it on your phone, or on your tablet, or on your app. We are busy building it, but we need some money to do that.
There are different projects there. If you’ve got a business and you want to… we are, for example, we are about to subcontract decorations, a furnishing company, an interior design company that will change our television set that we are going to be shooting in, every six weeks. They bring new furniture, they bring everything in, they refresh the set every six weeks. That costs us R20,000 every six weeks. For the longevity of what we are recording, it’s nothing. Once you record something, it can stay recorded and minister to people for 20 years, or longer. If you take that, and we think we need three to six months of doing that, so you could participate and be part of that, and your company can pay for it because it’s an external contractor if you so wish.
I have not done something like this with you, for a number of years. That’s the truth. I’ve not done, but this is what the Lord said to me; “I want you to show the people what it means to go big and go bold, in a time where there’s no fear.” I’m not going to go through any more of the screens and the slides, but it’s essential for us that we are in a place where we are obeying God, and we are obeying what God’s called us to do. We must obey his assignment for our lives. If we follow our own callings, our own thoughts, our own things that we think are important to us.
I’ve got some young people, and I’m going to finish with this. I’ve got some young people because we focused mostly on MiXchange today, but there are things that God wants us to do with multimedia, for example, this live streaming that we’re doing now is actually live streaming through YouTube. We don’t want to do that anymore. We want to have a different scenario, we want to be able to do live streaming directly to the Joburg campus, and the Joburg campus directly to us, and or any of the other campuses and other churches that we have connected to us. We’re busy putting up a satellite dish, doing all the things that we need to do to have the bandwidth, internet bandwidth, so that we can do live services, live, live services, praise, and worship live not streamed through YouTube, which is not exactly live.
Anyway, if you don’t know the difference, I’m not going to bore you with the difference. I’m not sure I know the difference, other people tell me that too, you know. Anyway, we are also having conversations with Jerry Savelle Ministries in the US where they want to first, they want to participate with us and Brother Jerry wants to minister to us, like in this forum, live. If he can’t get here by flight, he’s going to get here by technology.
We are busy creating the technology environment so that we can have life services with Brother Jerry and he can minister to us, and brother Joe, and whoever else that we have in the USA, which opens up a whole scope for us to have all of our contacts ministered to us live from the USA. We might have to do an evening service, they have a morning service, but that’s doable. As we test out the technology, we can have many campuses in South Africa and Brother Jerry can minister to all of the churches that are involved with Bible school with us, all of them can all have a live, streaming scenario.
You will find that on the project plan too. We’re about to test, we’re going to go shortly in the next week or so and we’re going to test going live in Joburg because that’s under our control. The equipment, the purchase, the setting up of the link, stuff that we need, that’s all just about to go live. Hey Matthew? Yes, sir. He’s like; “yes sir.” Praise Jesus.
God has done marvelous things for us, and He continues to do marvelous things for us. I for one will say to you, I’m grateful and thankful to you that you obey God, and you live for God. I’m thankful that God has called us to do what we do because I would be in no different place other than in the work and the calling that God has called us to do. I have found that as I follow Him, all good things come into my life, and He makes everything good for me, and so He will do for you, as you continue to serve Him, and follow Him. If you don’t know what identity you have in Christ, and you struggling with what your future looks like, I encourage you to reach out to us and let us at least get you into a Bible school course, or let’s get you to talk to someone, and invariably it will be a discussion around the Word of God and help you find what it is that God wants for your life. Amen.
Won’t you all stand with me please? Praise You, Lord, praise You, Father. I thank You, Father, this word that You have had me minister, and I just declare that it remains powerfully in the heart of Your people, that it will not leave them, will remain embedded in their soul and in their spirit, and that You will water it by Your Holy Spirit. It will grow and it will bring fruit because Your Word never returns to You void, but it always accomplishes that which it’s been sent out to accomplish. I thank You, Father, that as Your people go out into the world today and tomorrow, that You bless them, You shield them, You protect them. You are their strong tower. You are a ready defense for Your people, Father, and as they put their trust in You, they will never be forsaken and You will never leave them and I thank You for that Father. I ask You, that no weapon formed against them will prosper, and that prosperity follows them into their house and out of their house, into their business, out of their business. I thank You, Lord, that You restore relationships wherever restoration needs to come, in Jesus’ name. And everybody said, Amen.
Thank you all for coming to church. God bless you.