Intentional Relationships Part 6 Mercy, Judgment, Tolerance, Grace – Ps John Bendixen (WTB)
Scripture reference: Acts 10:38-40 (NKJV); Romans 5:1 (NKJV); Romans 5:1-3 (NKJV); Romans 5:4-5 (NKJV); 2 Timothy 2:1-2 (TPT)
Glory, hallelujah Lord. We come into Your light, Lord. We walk in Your light, because we stand guiltless before You. And so we approach the hearing of Your Word this morning, guiltless. So we receive Your words to us Father, guiltless. Father, we thank You that the words that You speak, the words that You are speaking through Pastor John, they’re alive, they’re active, they’re energizing, they’re piercing to the dividing between our soul, and our spirit Father. And we receive Your message as Your message and Your words this morning, Lord, not as the word of mere man, Father. For you are bringing a messenger, a message through this messenger this morning, we receive it as Your word, what it truly is.
We receive it without guilt. We received the engrafted Word this morning, Lord. Just come straight from You to our hearts, Lord. The entrance of these words bring light. This is how we walk in the light. We thank You Father, for that. Every word that comes from Pastor John is anointed for us. It’s anointed for us, Lord. We receive the anointing of Your Word within our hearts, to Your glory, in Jesus’ name. And we all say amen. Hallelujah. Glory.
Hallelujah. Praise the Lord. Are you glad to be in church this morning? Me too. I’m glad to be in this church this morning. Glory to God.
Well, before you sit down, I’d like you to greet someone with a warm greeting. And tell them I’m glad you’re in church this morning. And then turn to someone else and tell them you’re glad. Thank you. Thank you.
Praise the Lord. Hallelujah. God is good. I’m so glad that you and I have the opportunity in life, to have a personal relationship with a living God, with the only true and the only living, the only wonderful God, there are no other gods. All other gods are just made up gods. They are man made, made up gods. But we, we have opportunity to serve the only true and the only living God. That is an amazing blessing. And it’s a, it’s a wonderful place to be. Amen.
Well, Brother Jerry, Brother Joe, and the ministers in Crowley Heritage of Faith Church there, they send their love to you guys. We had an amazing time with them. God ordained divine time. And we celebrated 25 years of Chariots of Light Ministry with Brother Jerry, who has through that ministry alone received a documented 500, more than 500,000 salvations. That is over 25 years, that is a tremendous thing. And I thank God that He dealt with me, and expected some obedience from me, so that we could engage in that same ministry, and have all the goodness that God had in store for us, come to us through obedience and then the desire followed. Amen. So, now I have a strong desire. But I didn’t always have that. I first had to be obedient. Amen. Praise the Lord.
Well, this afternoon, there will be Message Moments, five o’clock. And from the second to the fourth of June, you need to be in church here the whole weekend, don’t miss it. God’s got something really great lined up for us. Really. Regtig. Truly, I tell you a thing. Hallelujah. Praise the Lord.
I trust that this morning, as I declare the Word of God to you, that this will have a lasting and meaningful impact on your life. And it will help you go to the next level. And it will help you have the maximum in your life. It is a wonderful thing if you experience the blessing of God in natural material things, it is. It’s better to be someone who has money than someone who has no money. I was once in that place where I had no money. And now I have an abundance. It’s much better to walk in abundance. Much, much better. It’s also much better to walk in health than in sickness. Amen. Praise the Lord. It’s much better to have God’s maximum life in every area. And over these last weeks and months now, because of the travels that we’ve been doing, the Lord has put it on my heart to talk about intentional relationships. Because it seems to me and by the Holy Spirit, that relationships are significantly under attack everywhere in the world. Our relationship with God is under attack. And we must make sure that our relationship with God stays strong. And our relationship with each other is under attack with many, very subtle things.
So today, I’m going to speak to you about intentional relationships. I’m going to talk about mercy, judgment, tolerance, and grace. These are big words, and they have a big scope of factor in our lives. I’m going to read you from Acts 10, verse 38. And it reads like this, 38 How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, Please note that Jesus needed the anointing. Who anointed Him? God. God anointed Jesus with the Holy Spirit and with power who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, in other words, He was active in undoing things that the devil had caused chaos in people’s world, for God was with Him. He was with Jesus and now the writer says, 39 And we are witnesses of all the things which He did both in the land of the Jews and in Jerusalem, whom they killed by hanging on a tree. 40 Him God raised up on the third day, and showed Him openly, not to all the people, but to witnesses chosen before by God, even to us who ate and drank with Him after He arose from the dead (Acts 10:38-40 NKJV).
There are a couple of notable points I want to make to you today. I don’t want to focus too much on them but the first point that I’ve already made; that God anointed Jesus, He didn’t walk in His own power. He walked in God’s power. The next thing is, is that He went about undoing the stuff that the devil had already done in people’s lives. The next thing is that He was killed by hanging on a tree for you and me, we have a relationship with the living God today because Jesus died on a cross. He died on a tree but because He died illegitimately according to the order of God in the universe, God was able to raise Him up on the third day. This is important when we talk about mercy and we talk about judgment and how this applies to us today.
So, 40 Him God raised up on the third day, and showed Him openly (Acts 10:40 NKJV). In other words, there were people who got to see Him in His new resurrected state. Now, obviously, part of the reason why we talk about intentional relationships and Pastor Sharon has done a great job of highlighting what the word intense or intensive is and it means to turn one’s attention to, or to strain, or to stress, to be fervent in it, to have a passion for it in other words and it means you’ve got to have, a sort of a sense of having a plan so it’s not just by the way. If you’re intentional, it has the implication that you have a plan. It’s not just haphazard.
It’s characterised by persistence and it has the implication of involving a lot of work or activity, normally done in a short period of time but intentional means that you keep going at it until you recognise that what you’re intentional about, you’re seeing the results. Now I want to talk, for just a minute, about mercy. Many people don’t get the right meanings of the word grace and the word mercy.
So mercy is only applicable when there is judgment. If you make a judgment or if there is a judgment, judgment is the ability to make considered decisions or come to an outcome. A decision of law of a law court or a judge. It’s a decision of the law court or a judge in its very simplest terms. There are other ways that judgment has an implication and normally, if there is a judgment, there is an accused. There is in a very relational perspective, if you say and have an opinion about somebody for any reason whatsoever, that means your opinion is being passed. It’s a form of judgment. So your opinion is being exercised by you according to your views and you are passing a judgment on the person you’re expressing an opinion about.
So we might not think about it in terms of that. But this morning, Pastor Sharon came and paraded in front of me with her clothes and said, “How do I look, baby?” What was she asking for? She was asking for my opinion. She wanted my judgment. She didn’t want my mercy. She wanted my opinion. I guess one could say, if I was merciful, she might have come on stage here and not had the look that she wanted to look, she wanted me to have judgment, so that her own view and her own opinion could be verified. I’m wanting you to see that even in a very natural every day sense there is judgment that is happening. It’s an opinion. It’s a view. It’s words that get spoken.
It has this thing of criticism or condemnation to someone from a position of assumed moral superiority. Almost always when you pass judgment on somebody, it’s because you feel you have the superior perspective. Don’t shout me down because I’m preaching good now. This will help you. The minute you pass an opinion on someone it means that you think that your opinion is the higher place of superior perspective. Against who? Well, certainly against the person that you’re talking about.
So if I don’t like something that Pastor Sharon does and I pass an opinion on what she did. I’m saying that I believe that I am right and her perspective or her actions is wrong, according to me, so the only opinion that really matters here is mine. That means I have a place of superiority in this conversation. I have given myself this place of superiority. So, the minute I begin to do that, there is a reason why I’m doing that. Mostly those reasons will stem from a whole lot of baggage that you and I wouldn’t even think are relevant when you’re having those conversations but they come from fear.
They come from a sense of rejection, they come from a place of potential failure, many different things that have crept into our world and so we find the need to put ourselves on a pedestal to ourselves, and raise up ourselves in our own eyes with the self esteem that we need to give ourselves by passing superior judgment on someone else. Because God doesn’t give it to you. God doesn’t give you the right to talk about someone else like that. So you have to give yourself the right.
So, Pastor Sharon wasn’t looking for my mercy this morning. She was looking for my opinion because in our relationship, she’s going to be on stage, she is going to be in the public image and she wants to make sure that the way she’s seeing herself is acceptable. This kind of judgment is invited. It’s for good reason. So essentially she brought me and dragged me into her court of fashion law. So in very simple terms, she said, “I’m now putting you and I into a court of fashion opinion and I’m asking for your judgment on the fashion opinion court. What is your view? Make a case for me?” My case is, “This goes like this, like this. You’ve done a perfect job this morning.” In other words, she’s saying, “Do I present my case of how I want to look well?” “You have a good case, Pastor Sharon, in my opinion.” You may have a different opinion but she’s not asking for it. Right? So, was she asking for mercy from me? No. She didn’t need mercy. She didn’t do anything wrong. On the contrary, one could say, if she was asking for mercy, what she would have said, “I know I’ve made a mistake, please be gentle on me.” Because mercy is only relevant when a mistake has been made. So if she made a mistake, she’s not looking for my mercy, she’s looking for my judgment so that her mistake is not public. Ja?
When we come to get to know Jesus, when we were in a place where none of us had the right to know Jesus, we needed mercy. God, the Father said, “I have given My mercy to all of humanity. My mercy comes in the form of Jesus Christ who I judged on behalf of all of mankind. And because the court of sin of mankind was displayed in the spirit realm, and on the earth, on the earth He was declared perfect. Pontius Pilate said, “I find no fault in this man.” The court of human authority declared Him sinless. Then Jesus had to pass through the veil of death, so that He could stand the same trial in court – in the spirit realm – where all of His life was presented to the spirit realm where He was also found perfect. Which means His death therefore was illegitimate. Therefore God’s judgment could announce that because His death was illegitimate He could raise Him from the dead to undo the wrong of eternity.
So God undid the wrong through His judgment and thereby giving all of us mercy. All of us have mercy. It is the mercy that Jesus gives us in our lives. God never did that just because the circumstances presented itself. God did that because He had a plan of intentional relationship with humankind. He was intentional when He created man. He was intentional when man fell from His glory. He was intentional to bring Jesus to restore Him back to glory and He’s intentional in making our lives a glorious life. He the Father lived eternally with us in mind in glory. When He made man He made him glorious. Now He wants to restore us into glory in everything that we experience, not just when we die and go to heaven. So mercy has created this opportunity for us. Mercy was needed because judgment was exercised. Amen.
Okay so I have to now talk to you a little bit about tolerance because the church is confused between tolerance and grace. The world out there does not understand grace. The world out there only understands tolerance and they will shift the legal goal posts to accommodate tolerance where it suits them. They will shift the guidelines of social morality as it suits them. So let’s take the church for example. For a long time the church was extremely intolerant of divorce. The world out there in the social order had the same intolerance. As time went by the social world out there became more tolerant of divorce. More tolerant of divorce so the church became more tolerant of divorce.
Tolerance is not grace. Tolerance has just shifted the moral goal post. So what is the difference between tolerance and grace? Grace is God giving us the power of the Holy Spirit, the tools if you like, to live glorious living. It’s not overlooking sin. It’s not overlooking a legal system. It’s empowering us to live a new kind of life. The world does not know how to empower itself to live a new kind of life. The only new life it gives itself is the increased tolerance it permits in society. Therefore, in the church, we cannot identify ourselves with a world system that permits tolerance. We have to identify ourselves with a system of God’s grace that empowers us to live differently.
Why is this an important thing that I’m talking about here today? Well, because where society is unable to exercise its will of tolerance, governments demand tolerance of their abuse of power. North Korea, China, many different places – the government demands of its people that they tolerate their power, their exercise of power, because the government knows best what’s best for them. Whether that’s true or not, they’ll probably make them think that, but either which way, they demand tolerance of their people that they must submit to a dictatorial government. That’s a forced tolerance and one might say that that government is completely intolerant. So the world system out there has no real grasp of what’s good for itself. It all relies on this idea of tolerance or intolerance.
God says, “I know what’s good for you and I’m giving you all the tools for you to get what’s good for you. It’s the Holy Spirit. It’s the Word of God. It’s the Body of Christ. It’s the gifts of the Holy Spirit. It’s covenant relationships. It’s seeing the Christ in each other. I give you the tools to give you power, to elevate yourself beyond your current standard of human life.” So that your human life is raised to the level of the Spirit-life that God has paid the price for us for.
Now, if you watch movies, if you observe what’s going on in social media, if you see what governments are tolerating through things like abortion, through things that are all over our moral playground of humanity, if you see what’s going on – they will present their case of tolerance to you that says, “Do you see a drug addict who’s down-and-out, or an alcoholic, or do you see someone that is gay, or someone that’s homosexual, or someone that’s transgender, or someone like that? Look at this marginalised person of society. They need our tolerance.” They will present it as a point of mercy, but they don’t have the right to exercise that mercy. God has already exercised all the mercy that humanity needs. So they take on themselves tolerance, and present it as merciful.
So, if you are not tolerant and merciful, then what kind of a Christian are you? We as the moral harbingers you know, if you’re a moral harbinger, it means you hold the moral high ground. As the moral gatekeeper, we the world as the moral gatekeepers, we tolerate this kind of marginalization, because shame these poor people don’t have a place in society. And we must adapt our society to tolerate these margins. It becomes a very subtle thing and if we think that Hollywood had nothing to do with it, let me tell you, they’ve had a big part to play. Because you watch movies, and in very subtle terms, it all started off like this, where people would be having, two normal people would be having a conversation, or they’d show a movie of parents who didn’t know that their child was, had an alternative sexual bias and now they come out of the closet. And so now the parents were first very much against it and now they come around to it and now there’s grace, mercy, tolerance.
You see, the church, you guys are so rigid in your judgment that you don’t have tolerance for these kind of people, but we, the world, we have tolerance. But the church, you guys are a peer of conservative judgmental people that break their own rules. So, of course, we as the church get painted by the system out there, as a bunch of hypocrites, because they don’t propose to you that they have any morality. Rather, they take the high ground of tolerance. They intentionally go about changing the margins of relationship to tolerate more and more moral ambiguity, moral degradation. What’s the effect of this in society? The effect of this in society is that our moral fiber is disappearing.
It’s happening. There’s a fast-disappearing standard in our society. If you don’t know it, I’m about to tell you about it. This fast-disappearing group of people are strong men. The biggest threat to society now is strong men, is what they say. First, it was women’s liberation, women’s rights and then it was all kinds of other marginalized people’s rights and now, the biggest people that are a threat to democracy and a threat to human society, are strong men, particularly white, strong men. You think that’s a coincidence? Strong men of any colour.
The measure of what a strong man is has been tainted by this perspective of tolerance, because if you’re strong, you can’t be tolerant. And so, what’s happening is that all of the young men that are growing up in their 20’s, teenagers in their 20’s, even men in their 30’s, now, they have an identity crisis, because they feel like they are part of this group of people that have had the privilege of any colour or the privilege of taking a place in society where they grabbed it. It was not given to them; and because they grabbed it, they grabbed it illegitimately and so now we no longer have tolerance for that.
Why is it that a strong male image is under attack? I wonder, do you have a guess? You have a guess what God the Father represents? He not only represents a strong male figure, He also represents a strong female figure, which is also why the tolerance for transgenderism is so big in the world today.
The very image of God is under attack. So why is this important? Because as we continue to grow in society, if I’m going to be intentional about my relationships, I’ve got to have a God perspective of my relationship, not some perspective that the world demands I have, so that I’m tolerant of things.
So I have to assess, what is my role then, as a Christian? How do I live in this tolerant world and yet maintain my standards of strength? Well, the way I have to do it is to walk in the love of God, because the love of God doesn’t pass an opinion on anybody. His judgment has already been made and He now no longer has an opinion about society. He has left all of the decisions of society over to Jesus and Jesus says, “I’ve not come to condemn the world, but I’ve come to save the world.” (John 3:17)
Our job, therefore, is not to judge the behaviour of other people, but neither do we have to tolerate their behaviour. I’m preaching really good today. Why? Because if I let their mindset touch my relationships, then my relationship becomes a relationship of tolerance with people. And so I accept all of their moral ambiguity as being rightful. It’s not right. It’s not Godly.
God’s the standard of life, not tolerance. So I have to keep living the standard of God, which means I always exercise the love of God. Which means if an ambiguous sexual person comes into my world, I love them the way God says, but I don’t tolerate them. So how’s my behaviour? I don’t change my behaviour. You might say, “But you’re being tolerant.” No, I’m being kind, I’m being gentle. I’m being steadfast in who I am in Christ. I’m exercising the mercy of God to that person’s ambiguity. So I’m not passing a judgment on who they are, I’m passing the love of God to who they are.
I’m looking at your faces and I can see the rubbers burning. I can feel you’re taking it in, I can see it. You know, I consider this, by the Holy Spirit, I consider this to be a role that the pastor, a spirit life pastor, must take his place in the church, and mustn’t turn a blind eye to these issues. We got to talk about it in church, otherwise, we just become a church that says, “We’re the moral high ground here. No one else needs to be there, we’re there.”
Now we, this church, we have our own dangers of judgment. Because our own judgment danger is; look how good our Ecclesia life is. So shame, those poor, other Christians that don’t have it. We cannot be afraid to raise the standard of Ecclesia life, but we’ve got to do so without judgment of any other Christians life. Our love says, “Here’s the standard.” Our compassion, our kindness, the fruit of the Spirit says, “We will give you space to get to that point. But we are not going to tolerate what you allow.” Amen.
Because if I become tolerant of what you want me to tolerate, then very soon, I begin to tolerate all manner of marginal issues in myself. Because if I let your ideology of tolerance come into my world, then I’m allowing your ideology to become mine. Your philosophy, your ideology, the way that you want to live your life. But in the meantime, God says, “I’ve got a life. Here’s what I want you to live.”
So, I ask you, does God tolerate your substandard living? No, He doesn’t. God doesn’t tolerate it. He made sure that He judged it. He judged it. I judge every substandard life choice you make. Oh, you don’t like those words, do you? I can use another word that you’re more familiar with, sin. I judged every sin you make. What is your sin? Substandard life choices that are substandard to the life that God has given you to live. Come on.
Adam and Eve didn’t do some immoral sin that they knew they were doing. They made a choice to go against the standard that God gave them to live. Didn’t they? So, God had to judge their choice of substandard living to the point where He had to go and kill other animals to cover them for their choice. And so the giving of blood always had to be shed to cover bad choices.
So, God said, “No more – one blood, all choice.” So, God judged our substandard choices. Now, He no longer needs to tolerate it, because in the way of Him doing it, He said, “Jesus, come and live with Me and sit at My right hand so that You can make intercession on behalf of everybody else’s substandard choices forever. And keep telling Me how Your blood has washed away all their substandard choices. In the meantime, we will send the Holy Spirit.” So that you can stop making substandard choices and live the highest kind of life that God has – that’s grace. That’s not tolerance, that’s grace that comes from mercy. It had to be upon judgment so that we stop judging each other for substandard choices.
Rather, the Word of God is full of “encourage those in the faith. Have hope, be strong in the Lord. Make a joyful noise. Give thanks to the Lord”. What are these? These are choices to live a higher life, not tolerate substandard living. You know, this kind of thing is a choice that you’ve got to make every day and you’ve got to make it in a moment by moment – that’s what being spiritual is. Is when something comes into your world, you make an assessment of what my reaction is going to be to this thing that has come into my world.
Can I tell you, Brother Copeland said this to Jerry Savelle really early in his life, and he got really mad at him. Brother Copeland turned – and if you read his book “In the Footsteps of a Prophet” – Brother Copeland said to him, “Your problem, Jerry Savelle, is below your nose – it’s called your mouth.”
So, you want to have an opinion about somebody? Shut it, while you are talking about them. Gyjumjum Jum. And the person you’re talking to is embarrassed, then feel the embarrassment, but shut up. Because what you’re doing is your own words, are elevating your opinion to a self-level of choice that is going to make it more difficult for you to elevate yourself to a God-standard of choice. Because you keep putting yourself on the level of God, to yourself, because I am now the judge.
The book of Proverbs says that a whisper, a whisper between friends – a whisper will even separate close friends. Sharon and I made a conscious decision that we will stop talking about people. It’s not something you make a choice one time in your life and then you’ve always got it right. It’s a choice that you have to make once and keep making it every day in every conversation, and where you get it wrong you’ve got to keep correcting yourself by His empowerment, called grace.
Because, Sharon and I said, what is the closest relationship – what’s the best friendship we have? That’s us. So, if we whisper things about other people to each other, we separate ourselves from each other and we cause a division in our friendship. Well, how does that happen? Well, quite simply what it does, it’s always creating a perspective – my opinion counts, yours, (Pastor John points to Pastor Sharon) we’re in agreement with each other’s opinion. We’ve just elevated our agreement to a God-level of choice. We’ve made ourselves gods in our own eyes, and we’re in agreement with each other that we behave like God. But God doesn’t talk like this about us. What do you think God talks about you? What do you think God says about you? If the devil comes into the throne room of God, and he brings an accusation against you, what do you think God’s going to do? He can no longer what do what he did with Job, just in case you were wondering, because the blood of Jesus had not yet been shed. So, he can’t go into the throne room of God and bring an accusation that God must act upon to see whether Job was going to stand the test of believing God regardless of his circumstances.
If the devil comes into the throne room of God and brings an accusation against you, God the Father will turn and say, “Jesus, tell him,” because Jesus is now the judge, and He’s the intercessor. The Holy Spirit is the case maker and they’ve already thrown the case out of court. Because judgment has been passed, mercy has been applied and now the power is given to be set free. Get out of jail free card. Every time your choices want to put you in jail, plead the blood, plead the blood, plead the blood. Plead the power of the Holy Ghost to set you free.
I know this is an example of something practical that always reminds Brynn of his past but I know he doesn’t mind it. But you know, when he used to smoke cigarettes, I’ve told you this before, he would stand, he wanted to be free of smoking cigarettes. And he would stand there smoking cigarettes outside the house. And while he was smoking, he’d say, “I’m free from this thing, this thing doesn’t bind me or hold me anymore. And this thing doesn’t control my life anymore.” And then as he would puff the cigarette, and he would breathe out the smoke, he would pray in the Spirit. “Well, that’s rather hypocritical, don’t you think?” No, that’s exercising your right to be in the presence of God because you are justified by your faith in Him, not by your actions.
The devil always wants you to justify yourself before Him with pure actions. It’s the same accusation that the world system brings against the church. “Your actions are hypocritical, because you’re intolerant.” They don’t understand grace, so neither should we try and explain it to them. Which is why to try and get into an intellectual argument with someone who’s not born again. Or someone who doesn’t even want to know Jesus, who just wants to argue that Jesus is not Lord, they can never understand it. Because they don’t understand grace. They only understand right or wrong, tolerance or intolerance; their own perverse system of justice, that they choose to be the order of the day. But we have to find ourselves in God. If I have nothing more to say today, then I believe we’ve done a good job.
So, Romans, just to verify that there’s Scripture of what I’ve said, Romans chapter five, verse one says, 1 Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ (Romans 5:1 NKJV). We have peace with God, we have peace. While he was smoking the cigarette, he had peace with God, he could speak in tongues, he could declare himself free because he was exercising grace.
He was not free immediately. For some months, he continued to smoke that cigarette. Until one day, you know, people will tell you that the worst time to give up smoking is on a weekend or drinking or anything else, because you have all this free time on a weekend. But as far as I know, it was right at the beginning of a weekend if I remember correctly. Friday afternoon, he came home, he took that packet of cigarettes, he threw it into the dustbin. He said, “I’m done” and he never went back from that day till now.
What happened? The Word of God, the tools that God gave Him, praying in the Spirit, the power of the Holy Spirit, his words that came out of his mouth, the exercising of the empowerment, which is grace to get free is exactly what he did. And is the way God wants us to live. Be free. So are you someone who easily passes an opinion about many things in life? Get free, just stop yourself. Say, “You know what? Hey, I’m just this is not the right kind of talk, sorry.” Let me tell you, till today Sharon and I will do this in conversation with ourselves when we find ourselves well Pastor John what happens it’s, it’s the old sin nature in you that suddenly just creeps up on you. And you thought I got rid of that old man and then you find him still there in the most unexpected moments.
Yeah, and that even though we walk continuously at a higher level, that old man has a way of creeping up on you. It happens less and less. And it happens with less regularity and happens. And you find yourself that as you get exercised in it, you find yourself stopping yourself, as you begin to talk about it and say, “No, no, no, what am I doing here? No, no, no.” Right? And so we find ourselves walking in peace. And so we don’t find ourselves walking around having spoken words about people. And then when you come into that person’s company, those words stand as a barrier. You think they don’t, they do. In your own soul, those words stand as a barrier. And the more words you speak, and the more words you speak, the more the barrier is there to the point where your own words have created such a barrier in yourself, that you no longer can even have a relationship with that person.
So if you come into this pastor’s life, I’m not going to tolerate you. I’m not. I don’t tolerate substandard behavior in Pastor Sharon. She doesn’t tolerate substandard behavior with me. So people think that I have a relationship of tolerance. I don’t, I have a relationship of kindness. I have a relationship of compassion. I have a relationship where, where my words are measured, where my responses are measured by the Holy Spirit. And I find myself slow to exercising any form of decision making that would influence you to think that I’m judgmental. But at the same time, I cannot afford to compromise or tolerate.
So if I see things wrong in your life, I will allow the love of God inside of me to be exercised continuously towards you. I give you space to grow. I give you space to sort yourself out. That doesn’t mean to say I’m tolerating you. Do you see how this word ‘tolerate’ has got so into us that every time I say it to you, “I don’t tolerate you.” It sounds like, “Oh, he’s hard, hey.” Because the world wants us to tolerate stuff. God says I don’t tolerate any substandard living, but I have given you power.
So have peace with me, you justified by faith. We have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom also we have access by faith into this grace. How do you get this grace? By faith, in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 3 And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations (Romans 5:1-3 NKJV)
Well, what are these tribulations? Tolerance. Tribulations are everything you tolerate in your life is going to cause you anxiety, trouble. If you look at all the trouble in your life, it’s because you were tolerant. Because we were taught in society what to tolerate and what not to tolerate. So this big question of tolerance is still our biggest issue. You want to look at all the troubles in your life. It’s somewhere you’ve tolerated something that substandard God behaviour and you have compromised that for something else that you thought was more important. Which was your opinion to have and your judgment to make upon the choices you were going to do? So not and not only that, but we also glory in tribulations. Why? Knowing that tribulations produces perseverance (Romans 5:3 NKJV). We don’t quit when we find ourselves tolerating things, or being intolerant of things, or we find ourselves living in marginalized society. We must persevere with the standard of life that God wants us to live. 4 And perseverance produces character (Romans 5:4 NKJV).
Come on, if I don’t show you this kind of life while I’m living around you, then you can’t see the God character in me. If I isolate myself from you because I think that somewhere along you are going to be intolerant of something that I do. Then, I’m allowing the tolerance system of the world to affect the way I treat you. Talking about a Pastor, as a Pastor, I’m also talking about how we live with each other. Are you getting this? Does this make sense to you?
You see, part of what the enemy wants us to do is he wants us to live in this place, of tolerant and intolerant and marginalisation of issues. So that we are afraid. Did you hear the word? We are afraid to walk amongst each other. In case they talk about me the way I’ve talked about them.
See how deep this thing goes? Where does it start? At home, in the school yard. Five years, six years, seven years old, the nursery school kids are talking about each other, talking to each other, having words about with their friends to each other. And from that year, from that age onwards, the tolerance, intolerance, judgment, criticism is already happening. And it’s impacted all of our lives. So, character produces hope. Now hope that comes from this kind of life does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit. The love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us (Romans 5:5 NKJV).
So, here’s the, here’s the tool that we live by; love. For love, read it in first Corinthians 13, it’s not haughty, it’s not puffed up. It brings no attention to itself. It doesn’t parade itself and make a big noise about how great itself is. Why because love says, “I won’t tolerate you but I will give you space to grow.” I will give you space to see if you want to see where I live according to the God standard where you see me not living according to the God standard, thank you for giving me the space to grow. How do you think that kind of church will function in the world that we live in? Hey!
So finally, second Timothy chapter two, 1 Timothy, my dear son, live your life empowered. Live your life. This is the passion translation. Live your life, empowered by God’s free flowing grace, which is your true strength. Found in the anointing of Jesus and your union with Him. Huh, come on. Is that scripture just not perfect? And verse two, Paul writes to Timothy, and he says, 2 And all that you’ve learned from me, confirmed by the integrity of my life, pass on to others faithful leaders who are competent to teach the congregation the same revelation (2 Timothy 2:1-2 TPT). I close with that.
Can I tell you that we have to give space to a younger generation of people to come and teach us this. Why? Because the younger generation of people that are in our ministry are learning to not tolerate what the world has presented to them, as life. They have already made a choice that they don’t want to settle for an inferior life. But they want to press for the God kind of life. They already, by their choice, understand how to step into the space of God’s empowering them to make better choices. So, a young person might get up here, and he might, or she might have not a full scope of doctrine to pull on.
May not have years of experience to talk about, but what they do have is choices that they have made, that’s already forming a God-character in them, that we must give ourselves our ears to hear, what their choices have presented to us. Why will that be valuable to us? Because it will challenge us no matter our age. That if they can do it, because God has created by His Grace, He’s empowered our young people to be able to be here. He has raised an ecclesia. He has raised the congregation of people. He’s raised leaders. He has raised divine connections. He has put the pieces of the puzzle together, making space for our young people to come into this world, and say, “I might not be perfect, but I am growing. I’ve got the space to grow into what kind of choices God wants me to make. To live the kind of standard of life that I can push for.”
Let me tell you, and I will finish with this. Let me tell you what the world wants you to do. The world wants you, young people, old people, they want you to be sexually marginalised. Because they want you to make sexual choices that goes like this. If you haven’t tried it, then how will you know what you like when you get married? So the more you can have before you settle with one person, the more freedom of choices, the more you are going to experience life to know where your sexual identity is, so that when you get into marriage you will know what you want. Or, at least you would have sown your wild oats and don’t have to sown them into your marriage anymore. That is horse-manure! ‘Cause why? Because that kind of experimentation is pure tolerance of evil. Why? Because it is not the kind of standard life that God has set out to be the life.
God says… Umh, I’ve got to read you this scripture. I already switched off my computer here, but you pulled it out of me. 19 So Jesus said, “I speak to you eternal truth. The Son is unable to do anything from himself or through my own initiative …”, this is the Passion Translation, “… I only do the works that I see the Father doing, for the Son does the same works as his Father,” (John 5:19 TPT). He is talking about a unity that is with one being for eternity. God the Father was not experimenting with other gods. And He didn’t create man to experiment with other gods. And if you think, sex outside of marriage is not a god, it is a man-made god that people want you to worship at the altar of that god and say, “This is the highest form of pleasure.” This is the highest form of pleasure. Go at it. In the meantime it tears away at the fabric of your soul. It tears away at the essence of your unity with God. It tears away at the very identity that God has given every person at birth to follow their assignment in life.
It tears away their purpose. It tears away their soul. It tears away their identity. It separates them in society because all of that is performance-based pleasuring. I am talking straight now. Because if the Pastor doesn’t talk like this in church no one else is going to. So then we will be ignorant people, and God doesn’t want us to be ignorant He wants us to be spiritual. And so the more spiritual we can be about this, the more we are going to find ourselves able to express ourselves in Christ, in holiness, in physical intimacy.
What does that look like to a Christian in church? Well, very few people know that, what it looks like yet. Because the church has been so minded in the question for tolerance for so long that we ourselves don’t have an identity in the church of what that kind of behaviour looks like. So the church has been good at exercising judgment. Therefore the world demands that we are hypocrites because we break our own rules of judgment. In the meantime, God doesn’t say, “We must judge what the world is doing.” The world has already been judged rather He gives us the power to live in that relationship with freedom.
The book of James says the marriage bed is undefiled. In other words, when two people get married and they have the confidence and the grace to talk about what they want and how they can go about enjoying each other, there is a power and a freedom there that the Holy Spirit gets involved with and you live on a higher dimension because it is not just physical intimacy, it is spiritual intimacy. It is emotional intimacy, and the integration of the three represents the Godhead and He comes with His presence and He fills all those spaces and your joy is full.
Now, before I close, it is my second closing, I got one more to go. [Pastor John laughing]. Before I close. If your marriage relationship is not there yet, this is not a time to be judgemental, accusatory, separate, or lay down the law, this is a time when you have got to start exercising grace. I am going to give you space. I am going to let; Please give me space. Let us create a space where we can allow the Holy Spirit to show us how we must go from here.
So it is time for me to leave it over to the Holy Spirit to show you. I got there because the moral fabric of our young people in society is being torn apart because they want young people to be exposed to the question of what is your sexual identity at the age of ten. They are in some places in the world, they are busy passing laws that will allow children to go to government employees, all our school teachers and other medical doctors and experiment with puberty-blocking drugs without their parent’s consent, from the age of ten or twelve.
If you don’t think that the devil is after the next generation so that perverse living can happen in the next generation, so the church can be more tolerant. Because if it can get the church to be tolerant then the church has no foundation of moral strength, and the church has no foundation of spirit power to make a stand on. So, our life is not to be tolerant, our life is to walk in kindness, and grace, and to walk with the power of love of God that He is shed abroad in our hearts for everybody.
There’s never been a person that has come into our church, and you don’t even know of these people that have come into our church, but there have been many people that have been coming into our church that’ve been homosexual, had other sexual orientation. Openly. Come into our church with that lifestyle, openly on display. Not that any, I mean they didn’t show affection to each other in church, but they came into church to sit in our services for years. We didn’t make a big deal out of it. Here’s what my trust is. The love of God in this church is going to do one of two things, it is either going to set them free or they are not going to be able to come anymore. Because love will be the standard, not judgment. And when love is the standard, you don’t have to be the judge. Their own actions judge them. Hallelujah.
Do you know what I sensed when I was asking the Holy Spirit what I should preach about today? I sensed the Holy Spirit saying to me, “This is one of those marker messages, John.” This is one of those standard messages, those messages that elevate the level of what church life can be. Certainly, it is for us. Right. We are not going to be in judgment of people who have ambiguous lifestyles, of any sort. But we are going to let the love of God be the standard. It draws them. In which case they will be free. Or alternatively set the standard to which they are so convicted and then they’ve got a choice to make. Hallelujah. Praise the Lord. Glory to Jesus.
You know God’s job of what He has done in the message here today is done through the messenger. Now the work of the message has got to be in your heart and from today onwards the work gets done in your heart. My job is done today. And it’s got to continue in my heart. Hallelujah. Praise Jesus. Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, Hallelujah.
So you know. Part of what triggered this in me, is that while we were in America, you know people were really moved by the quality of the young people that were with me, and just the quality of relationships that we have as a ministry. And I had some people come and ask me… ministers come and ask me. How can we have what you’ve got. How can we have happen in our church what’s happening in your church? Well, there’s no formula for this. What I’m preaching to you is the work that God has done in my heart and my life. It’s the gift that God has given me, and us in the way that we walk. From early years, God gave me an understanding, supernaturally, when people were leaving our very large church because the pastor was separating from his wife. And people were saying to me, “When are you going to leave the church? When are you going to leave the church?” And I said, “I’m not.” And they would say, “But why not?” I said, “Because God didn’t tell me to leave the church.” I said, “Besides, if I leave the church, I split the church.” And they said, “But if you don’t tell anyone else to leave then you’re not splitting the church.”
The very fact that if I’m called to a church and I leave that church, I’ve split it because now my gift and my calling and all of the stuff that God has put in that church is no longer available to that church so I’ve weakened and split that church. This is not something I’m telling you now just because you’re here today. I’ve lived this, for 35 years I’ve lived this, with this understanding; that anybody who walks away from their assignment and the people that they’re assigned to and the divine connections that God has placed in their lives, they’re splitting the church and the order of God. It’s like a divorce. It has the same consequences. It causes people to take sides. It causes people to be… they have question marks and then they have opinions about what happened and then we, Pastor Sharon and I have often been, the blame comes to us because could we not be more tolerant, could we not create more space? Meantime the people who speak have no idea how much our love has been exercised. Not the kind of love that they would say is fair or unfair, tolerant or intolerant but the kind of love that says, “We won’t compromise the church. We won’t compromise the way God causes us to live this life.” Won’t you stand with me, please?
I thank God that we have had all these trials and tribulations in this ministry because that tribulation has created perseverance and that perseverance has caused Godly character to be formed in me and Sharon. I don’t care about anybody else, I mean I do but whatever their choices are, they must live with them. But it has caused Godly character to be formed in us and that Godly character has caused us to live in hope and this hope can’t be disappointed. What is that hope? That as we continued to obey God, this kind of God-kind of life in our church has materialised. It’s not disappointed, it’s getting stronger. It’s getting more effective. It’s becoming a standard for God in the earth. Hallelujah.
Come on, how many of you want to make choices on an ongoing basis to have the highest kind of life? Don’t you want to do that? Don’t you want to quit doing substandard living? Come on, put your hand on your chest like this and say this with me, “I’m not going to make any sub-standard choices anymore. I depend on the grace of God, the power of the Holy Spirit to help me to make the best God-kind of choices for my life, in every area of my life. I’m intentional about my relationship with the Lord Jesus, with the Holy Spirit, and with God the Father and His church in Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Now, Father, I have delivered Your Word in the best way that I know. And wherever I have made choices in any of the words that I have spoken, that have been substandard words that I have used, or any emotion, or any of my soul that has come or permeated into the purity of Your Word, I ask You by the grace of the Holy Spirit that You make up the difference and You minister this Word into the heart of Your people, that You create a force of life energy inside of them by the power of this Word that elevates them out of the world system, that elevates them out of darkness and a substandard life that we have settled for.
And I pray, Father, that as they go from this place today that a great joy will come upon them, that Your peace will rest upon them, that they will be able to navigate their way through life understanding that it’s not tolerance, but it’s kindness, it’s not something that is just human and soulish, it’s the power of the love of God that is the order in our lives.
And so, Father, now I leave them in Your grace, I leave them in the power of Your Holy Spirit and I ask You that Your peace overwhelms them and is the direction of their lives. And I pray that no weapon formed against them will prosper. I pray, Father, that as they go out into the world, that they will be shining lights out there of Your love. Hallelujah. Praise Jesus. And I pray, Father, that Your healing power comes upon everybody in this church, that You restore them to the God kind of life physically, emotionally and financially in every area of their lives, in every relationship. Restore Your people. Redeem them to the God kind of life, now, Father, by the power of the Holy Spirit, in Jesus’ name. Hallelujah.
Renier, do you mind if I use what happened to you? Well, I’ve already spoken about it publicly, they just don’t know it’s you. I was blessed today. I couldn’t help myself when I saw him standing here, I went to come and hug him because before I left to go to America, I told you about a man whose heart stopped beating for ten minutes, but because we had the covenant communion on the blood of Jesus before he went into that theater, the doctors were able to start his heart again and he stands as a living example of a covenant relationship with God and he is alive again today. People will say, “But those doctors did the right thing.” His heart stopped. He was clinically dead for 10 minutes and the power of God came through our prayers and brought him back to life. And I’m glad he’s with us today and not somewhere else in eternity, that he’s with us. And God’s got a plan for his life. I prophesied that over you some years ago now, Renier, and His best is yet to come.
Hallelujah. Praise Jesus. Praise Jesus. Praise Jesus. Praise Jesus. Hallelujah. Hallelujah. Glory to God. Glory to Jesus. Praise the name of Jesus. Praise the name of Jesus. Praise the mighty name of Jesus. His Name is above every other name. His Name is above death and destruction. His Name is above sickness and disease and poverty and relational destruction. His Name is above every other name, in Jesus’ name. Hallelujah. Hallelujah. Glory to God.
I want to tell you that I have great respect for what those doctors did, but it was the life of God that brought him back to life. And I will continue to give Jesus thanks for that. Hallelujah. Glory to God. Hallelujah.
I’ve got some money, will you please make sure this goes into the offering on your way out? Hallelujah. Praise the name of Jesus.
Be blessed in this week ahead. Don’t tolerate anything. Walk in power! Okay, bye julle.