Jesus – The Person, The People & The Purpose Session 1 – Ps John Bendixen (WTB)

Scripture reference: Ephesians 1:11-12 (MSG); 1 John 3:8 (NKJV); 1 John 3:7-9 (MSG)

Praise Jesus. Well, obviously the Holy Spirit is already here, because our mouth is already full of praise, our heart is towards the Lord and our praises have been on our mouth and amongst us. This is a good day, a glorious day to be in church. Will you agree with me that whatever the Lord has to say out of the message, that it will touch you, that it will change you and it will bring about the things that God wants for your life, all those good things. Do you agree? Hallelujah. Praise the Lord.

Well then you may be seated. If you didn’t know it, you actually prayed with me, you know. Hallelujah.

Chariots of Light was started many years ago by Brother Jerry and Brother Copeland, well actually a ministry to bikers was started many, many years ago. Brother Jerry, Brother Copeland and Jesse Duplantis were the guys that sort of used to hang out, riding bikes together and the Lord began to turn it into a ministry.

There was a time, where they had a, and I was privileged enough to attend one of those conferences in the Texas Thunderdome, where they had a bikers week and ministry at the Texas Thunderdome. I think they had some 30 000 bikes there, which is probably the biggest Christian Biker rally ever, I would say, but I mean it was really spectacular and very beautiful and amazing. I did not ride a bike at that time, shame on me. I was there for the fellowship and I was there to absorb all of the marvellous wonders of what this ministry was doing, without really thinking bikes – what are they to me, I don’t ride bikes, those are for guys who don’t like to drive comfortably, you know, because like bikes are cold in the winter and they can get hot in the summer, you got to put a helmet on that sweats, and you got to, you know, what are bikes for?

Well, it was not too long after I separated myself to pray for many things, but it ended up being for Brother Jerry for 40 days. The Lord just began to minister to me and said to me, “If you want everything that he and Brother Copeland and everybody else’s got in your future, then you must receive all their ministries. Not just some of it.”

So, you know the story and I went and I got my learners licence and I got my cyclist licence, booked myself to go on a tour in California. Ended up on my very first bicycle ride, never mind even in South Africa, my very first bicycle ride, riding on a Harley, I did not know. Big touring Harley, in the big highways of Los Angeles, in peak hour traffic.

Kom aan jong, I tell you what hey, if you ever need to know that the Holy Spirit is with you and His Angels are taking care of you? That is when you need to know it. I am still trying to figure out the buttons on the bike and what they mean and I am in which gear and I’m you know, trying to keep up with the rest of the guys. Turned out to be a marvellous and wonderful trip and I have done three now, and Corona Virus won’t stop me from doing a fourth, I promise you that. It might not be this year but it will be soon. Hallelujah.

The real reason that they started that ministry was, there are many many people out there, that have a concept of what life is, and it doesn’t include God. Certainly when it comes to riding bikes, people feel like the biking family is their family and certainly when it comes to biking gangs that is the case. They are people that live for the gang, they wear the colours of the gang and we certainly wear our colours. Chariots of Light for Jesus. We wear our colours with delight and with joy, but they wear their colours for whatever the gang stands for.

How many of you know that a lot of those people have got, have made lifestyle choices that are not very good for them. I am going to read you this passage in the Book of Ephesians and then I am going to tell you a story about Brother Jerry’s cousin.

Ephesians 1 verse 11 says, 11-12 It’s in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for. It is in Christ, it is not in bikes, it is not in work, it is not even in money or relationships, it is in the relationship with Christ. Long before we first heard of Christ and got our hopes up, he had his eye on us, had designs on us for glorious living, part of the overall purpose he is working out in everything and everyone (Ephesians 1:11-12 MSG) He is working out our purpose through everything and everyone right now.

I want to tell you a story about Brother Jerry’s cousin. I was privileged in my, probably about two years ago, now maybe three years ago. The first time I went to Kenya with Brother Jerry and Jo. I was privileged to sit with Brother Jerry’s cousin’s widow and some of the people that had been close to him. We supernaturally encountered a presence of God while we were talking, his name was Wade. While we were talking about Wade. In fact the conversation about Wade, moved me so greatly, that it led me to begin to cry, while I was listening to it, and of course, Brother Jerry was crying and suddenly all the people around the table, we just couldn’t control the deep, deep emotion, we felt for what God had done in his life.

I’m going to tell you this story and then the next time I’m with you, I’m going to tell you, I’m going to embellish it and do better with the more time that I’ll have in another session.

Wade, he had something unfortunate happen to him, in his family and in his life. He ended up, as a young man, running away from home and looking for work, doing work. Certainly, he didn’t arrive, at first, in any bad situation, but he was looking for work and he was working here and working there and made his way around and he was finding it increasingly difficult to do life and to make friends.

Well, he got introduced to a cycling gang and, of course, the cycling gang family embraced him and brought him into the gang and he ended up becoming a man that was… Can I say it; he did the dirty work for the gang – “wet work,” as others might put it. Do you understand what I’m saying? In other words, his job was to remove people out of the way. You know, that makes it a very tough job. It also makes it a very difficult experience, if you have to live with that for yourself, but, so it was. He was involved in this gang.

In the end, something happened to him and there was a price put out on his head and so he ended up getting out of the gang and he literally went into hiding. For years, he literally went into hiding because he was afraid of losing his life in a violent manner, which was the custom of those bike gangs.

One day, Brother Jerry’s praying and the Lord begins to speak to Brother Jerry and says, “Go and find Wade. Find him. He needs you and he needs Me. Lead him to Jesus.” So now, nobody knows where Wade is. So, Brother Jerry keeps praying and suddenly he gets this impression that he’s somewhere in Montana. Well, that’s like saying he’s somewhere between the Free State and Cape Town. I mean, Montana is massive. There’s like hundreds and hundreds of kilometres between towns. Nevermind all the farmlands that are there, you know, it’s not like; well, if you live in the northern suburbs of Sandton and you need to find someone, that’s pretty difficult enough, but you know one day or another they’re going to go to a shopping mall or a shop or somewhere and you can find them. In Montana, you could go live out in a little store that sells food and live in a cabin and hardly anybody would ever see you or know that you’re there and, in fact, that’s exactly what Wade did.

He grew his hair, he grew his beard, and he found a cabin literally in the mountains and there was Wade living by himself, hiding out. He spent his days, literally he spent his days, wicking wood and making carvings of wood with his knife. Obviously, when you’re living in a cabin, you’ve got to cut wood for the fire, there’s some things that you’ve got to keep doing to stay alive; go into town and buy food. He went into a little town, you know, and that’s all he did was he went into a little town, bought his food, filled up his gas, I guess he bought booze for himself, whatever the case might be, and took it to his cabin and that’s how he lived. He had very little interaction with society because he didn’t want them to find him. He had been living in that condition for years.

Brother Jerry started his tour, and if you know Montana, Billings is the biggest city of Montana, it’s the university city of Montana and it’s sort of towards the east of Montana, and so he kind of started there and then began to work towards the Helena side of Montana, which is going towards the California coast. So, you know, if you do the whole thing across Montana, it’s probably, I don’t know exactly, but I’d say 600 miles, a thousand kilometres, maybe more, you know. Where do you find a guy that’s living in Montana?

They were hanging out in the city of Billings, if I get the story correct and I might get some details wrong, because I was actually very emotionally touched by it, so maybe some of the facts have escaped me. What Brother Jerry did was, I forgot to say, he called his dad and he said, “Dad, we’ve got to go find Wade, will you come with me?” He says, “How long is it going to take?” “As long as it takes. I’m just going to get in my car and I’m going to ask questions and I’m going to take an old photo of him. It’s all I can do; is just drive and ask questions and be led by the Holy Spirit. So, I’ve got no idea how long it’s going to take.”

He got to Billings and he kind of went around to dives and bars and now if any of you had seen Brother Jerry walking into a bar you’d say, “Ah! Heretic!” We have to be careful what we say about people. You know, give them the benefit. Anyway, they were asking questions and they had this old picture and they walked into the one place and the guy said, “Ja, you know, I seem to recall this guy, but he moved out into the lands, somewhere between here and another town that they’d called, but his name is not Wade. He’s changed his name.” That’s all he knew is, “They changed his name, they changed his name. That’s all I know.” They got in a car and drove to another town and they came to this town and they started driving around in a town and they walked into some kind of a saloon kind of a thing and showed a picture. One person said, “Yea, I know this guy. This guy, but his name is not Wade, this guy’s name, he’s called Bear. You be careful, you need to be careful if you go there, you know, watch your step. Don’t just arrive on him, you might find some harm come to you.” “No, don’t worry about that, so where can we find him?” “I don’t know where it is, but I can tell you it’s in that direction, up in that space, up a hill somewhere in the mountains.”

So, Brother Jerry, off he goes with his dad and they arrive at Bears house. They find Bear’s house, supernaturally led by the Holy Spirit they find Bear. There’s Bear standing with his beard. The first question he asks is, “How did you find me?” Because no one is supposed to be able to find me and his whole thought is if you can find me, other guys can find me, “So, how did you find me?”

They said to Bear, “Bear… Wade, we are not here to hurt you, or turn you in or to do anything. We are here to just tell you about Jesus. Remind you, that a long time ago you believed in Jesus.” They spent two or three days with Bear or Wade, just showing him love. He was too far gone for him to actually hear too many words. He was too far gone in his ways for him to really make any meaningful commitments or any changes or anything like that, but they spent the next couple of days, just hanging around Bear or Wade. Brother Jerry made him an offer.

So, now here’s a guy, I mean he’s, he’s dirty, rugged, in bad shape, tattoos everywhere, he’s had a rough past. Brother Jerry made him an offer and he said, “Wade, if you’ll come down to where we live in Crowley, Texas. I’d love you to attend Bible School and we’ll pay for all of it. We’ll find you an apartment. We’ll set you up, I just want you to come and join Bible School. Just come and sit in a few classes.” Wade said, “I’ll think about it.” And off they left.

Well, I don’t know if it was a couple of weeks or a couple of months later, Bear arrived at Brother Jerry’s door, knocked on the door and said, “Here I am.” So, he said, “Glad to see you Bear.” They bathed him, cleaned him up, put new clothes on him, took him into Bible School and his life began to change. Jesus began to change him from the inside out.

I want to read you another scripture or two passages of Scripture, then I’m going to finish the story and that’ll be us done for today. In 1 John 3:8 it says 8 He who sins is of the devil, I’d like you to understand that sin is a twisted wicked way, it’s a way of men or a way of the enemy of God that causes men to live, that is not the way God would live. I don’t want you to kind of get bent out of shape about what sin is or isn’t… and I’m not a sinner… please. 8 …for the devil has sinned from the beginning. He’s had a way that lives away from God, from the beginning, For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil. (1 John 3:8 NKJV). He has come to die for us. He has been resurrected by the Father, so that His life can become our life, so that we don’t have to live with twisted ideas and twisted ways in our hearts and in our lives.

1 John 3:7 says, 7-8 So, my dear children, don’t let anyone divert you from the truth. It’s the person who acts right who is right, just as we see it lived out in our righteous Messiah. Those who make a practice of sin are straight from the Devil, the pioneer in the practice of sin. The Son of God entered the scene to abolish the Devil’s ways. 9-10 People conceived and brought into life by God don’t make a practice of sin. How could they? God’s seed is deep within them, making them who they are. It’s not in the nature of the God-begotten to practice and parade sin. (1 John 3:7-9 MSG).

What happened to Bear, or to Wade, was that he came out of the mountains and with him came a whole lot of baggage from the past, a lot of thinking, a lot of bad talking, a lot of bad habits, a lot of bad ways.

Now, if we thought that the Christian life is about cleaning the person in the mountain before he can come into the church, we’ve got it all wrong. God has never ever been about cleaning the person in the mountain, that mountain may be in the corporate workspace, maybe it be in an entertainment industry, maybe it could be in your own business, maybe it could be in some kind of physical athletics space, academia, whatever it is. Our business is not to try and clean people before we bring them to church, our business is to let Jesus clean them when they come to church.

When Wade arrived at the church, I mean a lot of people looked at him because here was this rough, rough guy, and to be sure he upset people. He upset good Christian folk.

I like it when people come along and upset good Christian folk because what it really means is, good Christian folk have gotten into such a comfortable routine, that they need to be getting out of it, because actually we’re not here for our comfort. We are here for the world. We are here for people that don’t have an answer. Amen.

Wade got through Bible School and while he was attending Bible School, Brother Jerry was going to go and teach at John Osteen’s church in Houston. Brother Jerry said to him, “Wade, I want you to come with me.” He said, “No no no no,” he said, “You don’t understand, the club that wants me dead, their headquarters are in Houston. They don’t forget a contract and that’s like me going to a death sentence.”

Brother Jerry said to him, “Wade. the Lord wants me to take you to Houston. He will protect you and He will resolve any problems that have come from your past. Now you must come with me.” Eventually he said, “Ok I’m going with you to Houston.” So, of course, the guy is not very happy about this, in one sense, you know, he’s going right back into the lion’s den, where he had left.

So they arrive at Joel Osteen’s church and they’re having some ministry time and then they have some fellowship and in one of the moments of them having fellowship together, Joel Osteen is told by Brother Jerry and Wade himself, he’s told the story of what happened to Wade and that there is a contract on his life, from this gang in Houston.

Joel Osteen says, “I’m running a TV show and it’s live and you’ve got to be on the TV show and it’s going to go all over Houston.” Wade says, “Say what? Not going to happen. You’re just advertising to the whole of Houston that I’m here.” So Brother Jerry and Brother John Osteen said, “We really feel that you’ve got to do this because your testimony must go out on the airwaves.” So it did, he gave his testimony.

The very next night, those gang guys showed up in the church. The message of the gospel was preached, those very same gang guys, that had the contract on him came and walked to the front of the church and bowed their knee before the Lord Jesus and they all gave their hearts to the Lord Jesus and they hugged Wade as a brother and then they said, “Your contract is released, go and live your life in peace.” Hallelujah. Glory to Jesus.

The reason we are on the earth is because Jesus died for us. The reason we live this life that we live and I go back to Ephesians 11-12 It is in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for. Long before we first heard of Christ and got our hopes up, He had His eye on us, had designs on us for glorious living. Part of the overall purpose He is working out in everything and everyone (Ephesians 1:11-12 MSG).

You see, people, if I had to go to, I don’t want to get into an ideological debate today, in your own mind about bad parents, good parents, the realities of people living. I want to say this; if you have a good mother and a good father, they should be raising their children up well. Right? That’s what should happen. Good mother’s, good fathers should raise their children, well. They should have good relationships with their kids and they should raise them well. I’m aware that that’s not always the case, certainly in South Africa but as I said I don’t want to get caught up into that debate.

So what will a good parent do? If that parent is living next to an open field area, and constantly a snake keeps coming or snakes or some creatures keep coming into the garden, at certain times of the day, that are dangerous to the kids. Do you think it’s a good idea for the parents to say to the kids, “Don’t do that. Don’t go out, when you see them in the grass or in the garden? If fact from two until six before it gets dark, don’t go into the garden, play somewhere else.”

Which good parents would on purpose let their kids go and play with snakes? Dangerous ones? I mean they wouldn’t, they’d stop it, right? What if that animal was something more dangerous, what if there was a leopard that was roaming around your house or hyaena or even jackals. Right? I mean you would tell your kids, “Be careful of that.”

Well, our Heavenly Father is a good Heavenly Father and He is all about telling us what we should and we shouldn’t do. So, it’s not a matter of; I’m trying to prevent you from doing whatever you want to do in your life. He’s saying, “If you do what I do in My life. Number one, you won’t feel the pain, you won’t have the hardships, you won’t get into the stuff because I’m a good Parent.”

How many of you know that it’s inbuilt and next week I’m going to have a very live demonstration or the next time I preach? It could be next week, but we’ll see, we’re just being led by the Holy Spirit week by week, but I’ll give you a very visible and live demonstration of how you were born and what it looks like, just I’m going to use chemicals and water and stuff and I’m going to show you what you looked like when you were born. I’m going to show you what Jesus does in your life. I’m going to show you how this all comes together. Jesus is a good parent, and the Father is a good parent. Jesus died for us as an elder brother, the First born. He is saying,”Live in Me. Live for Me. Believe in Me.” Because, like Wade, people make decisions that attract a lot of baggage in their lives.

If you’ve heard me preach at any given time, you would have heard me say, “I’m not so strong,” it’s not the message that I want to bring to people, that makes Jesus the Lord of your life, so that you cannot go to hell. Let me tell you, hell is a bad place. It’s a real place. You don’t want to go there, but if you’ve preached to somebody that’s never made Jesus the Lord and saviour of their life. They are not even sure that they believe in Jesus, then they may not believe in hell, and they may not believe in heaven. So if you tell them, “Make Jesus Lord of your life so that you can make heaven your home, and you’ll skip hell.” Well, they might not believe in that, so the whole point of your argument is gone. Right?

For me, I would rather say that when you make Jesus, the Lord and saviour of your life, the very stuff that’s in you that wants you to be driven to live in a way that is contrary to the ways of God, which is taking you away from the good life of God, taking you away from the peace of God, taking you away from – how did Ephesians put it? 12 …part of the overall purpose he is working out in everything and everyone (Ephesians 1:12 MSG). In other words, he has got something for you that makes you design from before you were born, and so in your human self you might have been running away from that your whole life.

Now, when you make Jesus the Lord and Saviour of your life, He saves you from yourself. That self, that is so strong that it thinks it can decide on its own eternal destiny, but when you actually say, “Jesus, save me from myself. I believe You, I trust You, You are the saviour of my life.” You’re getting to a place where some amazing thing happens in your spirit, and it’s in the scripture here; 7-8So, my dear children, don’t let anyone divert you from the truth. It’s the person who acts right who is right, just as we see it lived out in our righteous Messiah. … The Son of God entered the scene to abolish the Devil’s ways. (1 John 3: 7-8 MSG). He comes into your life to abolish the devil’s ways. Next time I minister to you, I’m going to speak briefly about that because it is important for you to understand what you are born with, what God wants to make you, and what you can become.

The title of my message is, Jesus the Person, Jesus the People, that’s all the people of the world, and The Purpose that Jesus came for. Which makes your purpose something very clear and evident. Hallelujah. Praise the Lord.

You like this set, here today? Do you like what we are doing today? Well part of what we are celebrating in the next couple of weeks; We are celebrating that God connected us with people, that had the spiritual intuition, they had the spiritual leadership to say, we are not going to consider those people as lost. We are going to dress like them, we are going to ride like, but we are going to take the light to them. Hallelujah. That’s what we do. Like Brother Jerry loves to say, “That’s we do man, that’s what we do.” [Pastor John imitating Brother Jerry] Hallelujah.

Yes, sure, we have the bikes where we can just fellowship and us, Christians we can get out and go ride some place, you know, do pancakes and coffee and do wonderful things. Praise the Lord for that. Take our cameras with us, and take our muso’s with us and go and jam, do some wonderful things. Clarens is still coming. I haven’t given up on Clarens. And the devil is not stealing Clarens from us. When the time is right, we’re going to do it. Hallelujah. Praise Jesus.

Won’t you all stand with me please? You guys, if you are saved, you’re walking around with an amazing life force that is Jesus. Whatever habits you struggle with, whatever you think is causing you not to live free that stuff, it’s not what you worry about. Wade didn’t come from the mountains clean. As he was coming out of the mountains, God purposed to clean him. It wasn’t he who made himself clean, it was God who cleaned, and God who fixed him, and God restored his relationships, and God saved him from death and an assassination contract. If you will trust God, He will do the same for every area of your life. Hallelujah.

Will you all pray this prayer with me? Put your hand on your heart like this. Your right hand on your left heart, I suppose.

Let us pray together. Say, Jesus thank You, that you died for me. Thank You, that You are my Lord and saviour, I believe in You, I trust in you. And I ask you Lord, to clean me, from everything, that has held me back in my life, that is preventing me from living the good life, full of purpose. I trust You, and I thank You for continuing to wash me, and help me to become a strong Christian. In Jesus’s name. Hallelujah. Amen.

If you’ve prayed that prayer, you are in a good place today. Hallelujah. You will see who will be going to keep praying that prayer, keep praying that prayer, and if you want to come and find a home here, please come and find a home here. I mean even during lockdown we got lots of visitors coming, lots of people saying they want to come back, and it is a good thing. We’ve seem to have all those people come in the third service, but it is good. Then we have a third service full of new people. Praise the Lord. Hallelujah. Hallelujah

Thank you all for coming, make your way out. God bless you.