Scripture Reference: Jeremiah 1:4-10 (NKJV); Jeremiah 1:10 (MSG); Romans 12:1-2 (MSG); Romans 13:11-14 (MSG); Matthew 24:1-28 (NKJV)
Thank you, Father, thank You, Jesus. Thank You, Holy Spirit. Miracle-working God. Father, we thank You, actually, for Your dunamis, Your miracle-working power that’s at work in Your Word, Lord. Your anointed Word, Father. We thank You that You speak through Pastor John this morning. Your words of life, the breath of life, it comes to us again and again and again, Lord. Hallelujah. We thank You again, for this message from Your mouth. This message from Your mouth, this voice from Your lips, Lord. It’s just Your way that You’ve chosen to work through a human vessel to bring a message. We receive it, Lord, not as the word of mere men but we receive it as what it truly is – Your voice that works powerfully in us, Lord. We receive Your Word today. We believe Your Word today. We receive direction. We receive transformation. We receive correction. We receive revelation. We receive everything that Your Word is to us, in Jesus’ name. And we all say; amen. You may be seated
Praise the Lord. Hallelujah. Glory to Jesus. Well, how awesome is it? The sound and the songs that are written in this house, that are given as an offering to the Lord from this house. Hey? Praise Jesus. Thank You, Lord, for Your sound. Thank You, Lord, for the words that You’ve given our psalmists and our musicians, for us to be able to sing and to worship and to praise and to make these kinds of declarations through the power of sound and song. Hallelujah. Praise the Lord. Glory to God. It’s an amazing thing that we have this opportunity to create these kind of sounds and have this kind of praise in this geographic location, in this church. Hallelujah. Praise the Lord.
You know, I have lots to speak about when it comes to dreams and desires and plans and goals and all manner of human experiences that we can have. But I do know that when God gives you a desire, and He puts His plan into your heart, then almost certainly it will be to serve others, and not yourself. And that’s one way that you can measure your dream and your goal. If your dream is self-serving and self-centred, then almost always, it’s a measure of your desire, not God’s desire. If your dream is to serve others and is motivated by the love of others, and giving and caring for others, then you can be sure that it’s God motivated, because that’s definitely not the devil talking to you. But if your dreams are self-serving, then you can be sure that there’s a very large portion of that, that it’s coming from self, it’s not coming from God. Hallelujah. Praise the Lord.
And so, some years ago, you know, we were kind of just treading water with our music here. I just felt that the Lord wanted us to step up higher and have a greater experience and accomplish things for Him in the earth with sound and song that we had not yet been experiencing. And so, we were going through the motions as a church where we would sing some Bethel songs and some Hillsong songs. We would sing songs that were written by all different kinds of people that were kind of church famous songs, if you like, that everybody could sing, because everybody bought the CDs or listened to it somewhere. But I knew from before I even started the church, in Johannesburg and Witbank, I knew that God wanted to have a sound and song experience.
I approached the team and I said, “God wants us to go higher, He wants us to go bigger and He wants us to step up into His plan for sound and song for our church.” It’s the reason I employed people full time to write songs and do things at the early stage of our ministry, probably in the second or third year of us starting a church, I employed people to do that. It didn’t come to anything at that time. But no investment is a worthless investment, if it’s an indication, and a seed that you sow towards the future of what God wants. And so that seed sown then, we are walking in today. They all had an opportunity to come with me, and some of them chose to not. Some of them chose to leave the church and leave our lives completely. Some of them chose to be here and say, “Listen, I’ve got other priorities, I’m still part of the church. But for me to step up to that level that God is wanting, I have to follow other priorities.” Some of them are family people, they’ve got different things that they want to do. So that was exactly the kind of thing that we can have as an open, honest conversation when you’re family. And when you’re not family, well, then that’s in your heart, not my heart. I still got to obey God. Yes?
I guess it was about four years ago now, five years ago, I can’t remember exactly. But look what God has done in a short space of time. How many songs have been written, how many sounds have been created, how much we have been able to do? Sow a first fruit of our music into Brother Jerry’s ministry. As I’m spending time with the Lord right now, doing things, exploring things that God wants for us as a ministry, there’s more and more things that He’s putting in my heart and giving me understanding of how we need to execute the dream that He gives us to serve others. Hallelujah. Some of them have to be prayed out before they can be spoken out. So even though I might know something in my heart, it’s not appropriate for me to share something out of my heart until I’ve prayed it out, until I know it’s out. And when God gives us the execution of it, then it will be the right time. Amen. Praise the Lord.
Over the recent weeks and months, I started this before I went to go and be with Brother Jerry and I’m really looking forward to him coming. He’s cut back on the days of his travel to get here. Things have moved nicely, progressed along the schedule of things in the US and so they contacted me this week and please be ready from the 1st of February. Hallelujah. I’m really looking forward to the things that God’s putting on his heart to come and share with us, and the kind of things that God is going to lead us to and lead us in. Amen.
I said a few things then and I’m just going to remind you today, that Jesus came to fulfill the law, not preach it. Jesus came as a fulfillment of promise. When God makes a promise, He always fulfills His promise. If you receive the promises of God, you will receive the fulfillment of the promises of God. We can be free, He came to fulfill the promise, so we can be free from performance. The devil doesn’t have a promise that he can fulfill to you, because he doesn’t have power to make promises. He can only imitate the promise by giving you rewards from performance. So anything that is performance driven, is not promise driven. We need to not run our lives based on performance because a performance-driven person is walking in a system that rewards performance. Whereas God rewards faith, and fulfills promise. These are anointed Holy Ghost words.
In Him, know the truth, we know the truth, if we live in Him, and we receive His power. You can’t receive power if you don’t receive truth. You might receive the reward of men that might demonstrate human power, but God’s power can only come through receiving truth. Now we live in promise, not performance. We live in power, not personality. Anything that is personality driven, has a limit to it. We exchange our lives for purpose, not popular culture. Every time we try and make a choice for popular culture, we are almost certainly not going to allow ourselves to walk in purpose, because purpose is not dependent on popular culture. Purpose is dependent on truth and power. And purpose is not also dependent on performance.
In subsequent messages, the Lord said to me; if you live in perception instead of truth, you will open yourself to deception. Because perception will lead to deception. Perception is something you think is truth, but it’s not really truth. So the more you think it’s truth, the less you can walk in truth. You leave yourself open for deception. The only way out of deception is correction. And that correction is the truth. Rejection of correction will enforce your perception that the highest form of self-believing is the truth. It’s not really the truth, but you will start to believe that your self-believing is truth because self-believing can accomplish a lot. Ask the whole world system out there, self-belief is what everybody that lives in performance trades on. You can’t perform unless you have self-belief. Well, your performance will be limited to whatever your self-belief is.
This applies to all issues and all relationships in life. If your relationship is a performance-based relationship, then all of the measurements of your relationship will be about perception and it will be about a self-interest motivation. So, all relationships depend on it. Okay, church, Pastor Sharon shared this on Thursday in a prayer meeting and I feel, I did feel it appropriate on Friday morning to share it with some of the MiXchange people and feel it’s the leading of the Lord to share it with you today – that the first call of God that I had on my life, the first time that I encountered my actual calling was close to my 15th birthday when Jesus showed up in my bedroom and called me into the ministry. I always knew that I had been called to the ministry, I just didn’t know exactly what the calling was. At that encounter with Jesus, He called me and He called me – how many of you know when you’re 14, 15 years old, you don’t on purpose go and read the major prophets in the Bible. You don’t go and read Ezekiel and Isaiah and Jeremiah and all of these guys. Mostly, when you’re a teenager, you’re reading in the New Testament, and you’re reading stories about Old Testament heroes; Samson and Goliath and David and all of these things. Right? You read about those kinds of things when you’re a young person. You seldom find yourself studying the major prophets. So, if you’re a teenager, and you’re doing that, good for you. I didn’t. I certainly received teaching from wherever source that came from and whenever I heard teaching about the major prophets of the Old Testament, and the law and everything else, my ears were open to it, and I received it. I enjoyed it but I didn’t particularly go and read it before I go to sleep at night. You guys are all quiet on me.
For me to go to a major prophet and receive a word from the Lord, it’s not because I knew the scripture, it’s not because I was looking for the scripture. It’s because the Holy Spirit led me to the scripture on that particular evening. Jeremiah, chapter one, verse four, the Word says, 4 Then the word of the LORD came to me, saying: 5“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; Before you were born I sanctified you…” The first words that my father ever said over my life when I was born was, he said to my mother, he said, “Here’s our preacher. Here’s our preacher.” Those were the first words my dad spoke over my life. 5 … “Before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations.” 6 Then said I: “Ah, Lord GOD! Behold, I cannot speak, for I am a youth.” 7 But the LORD said to me: “Do not say, ‘I am a youth,’ For you shall go to all to whom I send you, And whatever I command you, you shall speak. 8 Do not be afraid of their faces, For I am with you to deliver you,” says the LORD. 9 Then the LORD put forth His hand and touched my mouth, and the LORD said to me: “Behold, I have put My words in your mouth. 10 See, I have this day set you over the nations and over the kingdoms, To root out and to pull down, To destroy and to throw down, To build and to plant.” (Jeremiah 1:4-10 NKJV)
When people come into my life, it’s an amazing thing that happens, there is always a confrontation. Always. Because the very thing that rests on me as a mantle, on my ministry, on this ministry, on the call of God on our lives, is to confront those things that need to be rooted up, those things that need to be pulled down, those things that need to be destroyed and thrown away, and then those things that need to be built up and planted – those things that remain, then God says build and plant.
So, for many years in our life, I saw this very much at hand that God would use me to confront religious spirits. I want to just read to you what the Message translation says about verse 10. 10 See what I have done? I’ve given you a job to do among nations and governments – a red letter day! Your job is to pull up and tear down, take apart and demolish, and then start over, building and planting (Jeremiah 1:10 MSG).
If you’ve watched our ministry and our calling over these years, you will see this at work. It is an amazing thing that when people come into contact with the message, the message is a confronting message. Hey, hey. You see, here is what God’s called me to do. He has put it in my heart to do this. If you are in water – a big river, a dam, a place where you are drowning – God has put it in my heart to dive in and come and save you. I suppose, every Christian should have a measure of that. Some people will shout at you from the side-line and say, “This is how you get out,” you know. I am prepared to jump in and come and get you. Yes, God has put it in my heart to jump in and come and get you. Else, I’ll grab you and I’ll swim you to the shore and I will use my strength to save you. But I don’t expect you to go jump back in again, so I can come and save you a second, and a third and a fourth and a fifth time. After the second time maybe, I will push you in, so that you can, you know, save yourself, brother. You know, if you want to keep jumping in, I am not going to come do that. Hello?
So, you know, I think God is pretty much like that. Once you get born again, God doesn’t want to solve all your problems in life. He says I’ll save you, I will come and deliver you from your shame, your guilt, and everything. From this moment onwards, the Holy Spirit will come and help you, so that you can walk away from your shame and your guilt and everything else, so you can live a life of victory. He doesn’t expect you to keep jumping back in and out of a salvation experience so you can keep getting saved. I mean, why would Jesus want you anyway to keep you getting unsaved so He can keep saving you? Jesus wouldn’t die for you so that you could keep having that experience. He would say, “Come, let Me come and save you, I will dry you down, pat you on the back, give you a meal, put some clothes on you,” and then say to you, “Now stay away from the water. Come, let’s look after you, let’s build you up, let’s get you strong, let’s get you moving.” Yes?
What Pastor Sharon and I will do is we will walk with you and we will rescue you and we will do the things that need to be done, but there comes a time when we’ll build you and plant you. Why? Because someone that is built and planted will be able to save someone else that needs saving. Otherwise, you keep making me come and save you all the time. And then I can only do one or two, and then the water gets filled will people that are drowning whereas actually the way that God wants it to happen is, I save you, or get you strong, then you see someone else drowning, and you go and save them and you get them strong, and then the two of you go get somebody that is drowning and so and so we save more people and deliver more people. Right? I mean, this is the way that God wants us to operate in our lives.
I ask you, what has logic, what has human logic got to do with an eternal spiritual experience? Let me explain to you. Why don’t you take your logic and explain to me what happened to you, or how you actually got born again? Explain to me how it happened. Explain to me, explain to me with your logic how you were unsaved and now you’re saved. Explain to me that spiritual experience. You cannot. No. Why? Because the spiritual encounter, the spiritual experience of being unsaved and then being saved, being away from God and then merely believing in your heart and making a confession with your mouth and having Jesus in your heart, you can’t explain the difference that happens to you. You can’t explain the change that happens to you. You can’t explain what is in you now, other than when you live it, you can say, look at the change that has happened to me. Right? But you can’t explain it because it is a spiritual experience.
So, what does logic have to do with an eternal Spiritual God? Are you going to get to heaven and use your logic before God about what you did in your life? How do you think that is going to work out for you? I think I will have a good argument before God about why I did this. I think I’ll have a good explanation to God about why I went there. And He is going to say to you, “I didn’t ask for you to have a logical experience. I asked you to have a spiritual experience because you are not just human, you are also now spiritually alive.”
So, if you are a born-again Christian, you should be looking to have more spiritual encounters rather than logical encounters. We should want to live away from our logic and more in the Word and in Truth because the more you live in logic, the more you’re going to live in perception-deception. Logic cannot evaluate truth but truth can evaluate logic.
Oh my, are you having a logical experience right now? What I’m trying to say to you is that if you as a Christian are trying to run your life with logic, then you should say, wait a minute, at what point am I switching from the natural human logic experience everybody else does to a spiritual, supernatural experience that I’m designed for. Because my future and my eternity is based on my supernatural spiritual experience rather than how good my logic is. In fact, I would go so far as to say it like this. Very seldom does a God-instruction seem logical. Most often an encounter with God, certainly your salvation, is not logical, is it? I mean, oftentimes people will try and figure out what salvation is and they will tell you all kinds of things, but you can’t actually apply logic to salvation. But once you have salvation, you can understand how logic will either work for you or not work for you.
So, what role does logic have in your life? What role does logic have in your life? Well, you are human and as much as you have human responsibilities, logic has value. But if your responsibility is only about logic, you’re still not allowing the supernatural to come upon your responsibility. So, what would the supernatural on your human experience do to logic? Most often, it will be completely divorced from logic. For example, if you go and talk to someone that is logical, that is not saved, and that doesn’t go to church and you say to them, “God requires that you give 10% of all of your income to Him.” He’s going to say to you, “Say what? 10%? Are you crazy? Who ever wants to give 10% of their income away?” Notice, I didn’t say your salary. I said your income. A lot of people want to say, “Well, here is my salary. I’ll tithe on my salary.” Well, your salary is not necessarily your income. Your income is everything you live your life by – the total sum of money you live your life with. That’s your income. So people want to say, “I will just take a salary out of my business and I’ll pay a tithe on my salary.” So you don’t put your car into the business, and you don’t pay your kids’ tuition through the business, and you go and do all those things? “Ja, I do that.” Well, then that’s your income. “But I don’t pay tax on that.” Well, that doesn’t mean to say, that is not your income. Anyway, if I don’t get off this subject, I’m going to get in trouble any minute.
So, to someone in the world tithing is not logical. How do you evaluate your tithing? Well, if you’re in truth, truth will evaluate it. Your logic can’t evaluate the truth of tithing because logic can’t understand tithing. But truth, your recreated spirit man understands that when you are sealing your covenant with God every month with your income by your tithe, you’re giving God glory for your health, your strength, your intelligence, your talent, everything you’ve got. You say, “I’m honouring You with my tithes,” then your spiritual man says you have the right to access all of your covenant when it comes to your well being because that’s your covenant connector. That is a spiritual knowing, that’s not a logical process. That is why I can with confidence tell anybody, if you don’t believe in tithing, keep your tithes. I know there is this teaching out there – even some people that we are very familiar with and close to preaches that we listen to on many things, they say, “If you can’t tithe 10%, give what you can.” I say tithing is not a measure of what you can give, tithing is a measure of your faith. So, you don’t tithe because of what you can give, you tithe because of faith in your covenant. So, if you don’t have faith in your covenant, then you should rather work on your faith. So, if you are not prepared to tithe on all of your income, then it is because you are already in fear of losing too much income. Then, rather don’t tithe at all because you’re deceiving your heart. Then you are making everything a marginal evaluation logically about what you should tithe or not tithe. You’re making all of your spiritual experience a function of your logic and your logic is almost always about what you fear, scarcity, lack syndrome. Or it could be a pride thing that says, “I worked so hard to get where I am and what I’m earning, why should I give 10% of my income away?” In which case, your logic is telling you that you can do more with your money than God can do with it in your hands.
You see, logic can have no place when truth examines logic. But the minute you say I’m going to examine truth with my logic, then you’re always limited to your logic, and logic can only be as much as you can intellectually understand. And so, anybody here intelligent enough to explain the new birth experience to me? That means your logic is already limited by the experience of faith because you got saved by faith, not by logic. Hallelujah.
I don’t know about you but I don’t want to keep living by my logic. I will use it while I am growing up spiritually so that my whole life is based on my spiritual walk, not my logical walk. Hallelujah. And that is the measure of a spiritually mature person. A spiritually mature person is a person who thinks according to the truth that has come to him, that lives his life in accordance to the truth that he has, not according to his logic or his human experience. So, if you want to know what a baby Christian is like; a baby Christian is someone who always wants to live according to their desires and their logic. They’re saved, but they want to live according to the human experience. You want to know a spiritually mature person? They recognise that they are human, but they want to live by a spiritual experience. They want to live by truth and all the decisions they make and all the way they live their life is based on a spiritual experience.
Do you see what I am doing in my message today? You see what my calling is doing? It’s pulling down, it is rooting up, it is throwing away and discarding things that shouldn’t be, and it’s building and planting things that should be. This happens just about every Sunday, and every time we come together.
Why did I tell you about music? Because our music has gone to many nations already because of the way that we sowed our first fruits. The truth tore down the norm. It rooted up the norm the way that people did and do music, and we sowed it as a seed into Brother Jerry’s ministry and it went through all his partners. Hallelujah. We’ve just ensured the fact that we are going to continue to do good music. Spiritual music, godly music. Hallelujah. All of the above.
Romans chapter 12, verse one, in the Message translation, 1-2 So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you. God never leaves you alone. That’s the thing with God, He’s supernatural, He’s spiritual and He never leaves you. 1-2 … God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life, can you see responsibilities? And place it before God as an offering. Your logic, your responsibilities, your dreams, all the things that you want to accomplish in life – give it as an offering to God. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you. See, here’s the whole process; going from logic to spiritual. So if you see everybody else in life living and you say, “I’ve got to live the way everybody else lives because that’s the way to live,” you are just going about the same things that everybody else is going about, all day, every day. You are just like a mouse on a treadmill, on a little wheel. Look, everybody else is running the wheel, so that must be the right thing to do; let’s run the wheel. Come on. And the faster the mouse can run, the more you can get things done. You get ahead because you’re faster than the other mouse. You can work harder than the other mouse. You’re on the same treadmill as every other mouse.
It’s time for Christians to get off the treadmill and begin to say, “Hold on a minute, I don’t want to just keep doing what everybody else is doing. I want to do what God does because my whole life experience is going to change when I don’t live according to what logic says I should do but what my spiritual life says I can do.” So, Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you (Romans 12:1-2 MSG). God saved you out of the water and He made you good and He doesn’t expect you to jump back in the water and say, “I’ve got to go and identify with all those people drowning and splash around and make a big noise because that’s the way to live life.” Half drowning all the time. Doesn’t it feel like that to you sometimes that you’re trying to save money, you’re trying to make a way of life, you’re trying to do stuff? And it’s just like always just treading water, I’m just, just, just. God doesn’t want us to live like that. He doesn’t want us to be adapted to the culture around us. He wants to bring out the best for us. So if we give our lives to Him, He’ll do it. He’ll show you how, He will show you how. He didn’t save you, just leave you the way like everybody else in the world. I’ll tell you, this is so real to me, it has become more and more real to me. So real to me that actually God has saved us from being like everybody else. I used to think this way, I used to think that the best kind of Christian is the excelling kind of Christian. It’s the kind of Christian that does better than anybody else in the world because you’ve got Christ who can help you do the things of the world better than anybody else can do. Well, I happen to believe now that if you obey God, it might be different to what the world is doing but it’ll have a better outcome than what the world’s doing. Praise the Lord.
In Romans 13, verse 11, to 14 in the Message translation, it says, 11-14 But make sure that you don’t get so absorbed and exhausted in taking care of all of your day-by-day obligations that you lose track of time and doze off, oblivious to God. I’ll get so busy doing my stuff, I’m not even thinking about God today because I’m so busy. By the way, just so that you know, this is the reason that so many preachers in so many ministries fail. Because ministry just becomes another job. It becomes another task. If you lose your passion for God, and you lose your passion for helping people, then all you’re doing is you’re just doing it because it’s like a job to you. And then you can get on the same wheel – every other ministry is doing this, every other ministry is doing this, every other pastor is doing this, every other preacher is doing this, so I must keep doing this. Come on.
If the devil could deceive some group of people, don’t you think it’s preachers and ministers that he would want to deceive? Because if he can get every preacher to do what every other preacher is doing and then he could just deceive a couple of big preachers and their names and their stuff, then he can get everybody to do what the big guys do and then it doesn’t make it right. So if you lose that place of searching out what God wants for you, your life as a pastor, as a preacher and as a minister can be the same. Doesn’t exempt us from having this kind of thing happening to us. So, … you lose track of the time and doze off, oblivious to God. The night is about over, dawn is about to break. Be up and awake to what God is doing! God is putting the finishing touches on the salvation work he began when we first believed. We can’t afford to waste a minute, must not squander these precious daylight hours in frivolity and indulgence, in sleeping around, and excess, … in bickering and grabbing everything in sight. Get out of bed and get dressed! Don’t loiter and linger, waiting until the very last minute. Dress yourselves in Christ, and be up and about! (Romans 13:11-14 MSG)
In other words, be doing what God wants you to do, not just carrying on like everybody else is doing all day long. Put on Christ, put on the new man, see things the way that the new Christ in you will see things. Do you think it’s possible that God sees money differently to the way that First National Bank sees money? Standard Bank? Investec bank? Do you think it’s possible that God sees money in a different way than Rand Merchant Bank? Perhaps the Reserve Bank? Huh? You think God sees money differently? Definitely. So I think it’s good for us to find out what He says about money, not what they say about money. Right?
Well, what about relationships? Do you think the world’s got the answer for relationships? Well, the proof is in the watching. I mean, all the relationships from kid to kid, from kids to parents, parents to kids, from parent to parent, from parents to anything else, from work colleagues to bosses, to everything -things are falling apart all over the world. And now we want to go and live life like them and say, “They’ve got the answer for us.” No, God’s got the answer for us. God’s got the answer for us. God’s got the answer for you in particular. Now, the last time I ministered on this subject I read to you from Matthew chapter 24. So I just want to remind you of what Romans 13 said, 12 The night is about over, dawn is about to break. Be up and awake to what God is doing! God is putting the finishing touches on the salvation work he began when we first believed (Romans 13:12 MSG). He’s basically saying things are wrapping up. Things are wrapping up. Yes? So that was the Apostle Paul writing the letter to the churches roughly 2000 years ago.
God’s about wrapping up. Well, He’s been wrapping up for a long time. Well in human time for sure. But if God is not subject to time, then time doesn’t matter to God, He’s just wrapping up in the timeframe that He says it’s going to wrap up. Right? So Matthew, chapter 24, verse one says that 1Jesus went out and departed from the temple, and His disciples came up to show Him the buildings of the temple. 2 And Jesus said to them, “Do you not see all these things? Assuredly, I say to you, not one stone shall be left here upon another, that shall not be thrown down.” Verse three, 3Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming and the end of the age?” (Matthew 24:1-3 NKJV) What age?
What age were they talking about? Well, they were talking about the end of the age of the law. They were talking about the end of the age of the rule of the time when the Messiah would present Himself. And when that age came, everything else would change. Yes? Do you understand that they weren’t actually talking about the end of time. They were talking about the end of this current age of law-driven life.
4 And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives you. 5 For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. I’ve already said that the word deceive is to seduce, to wonder, to be out of the way, to lead astray, to lead into error, sin to sever all or fall away from the truth of heretics, or to be led away into error and sin. So many will come and want to use Christianity as a way of leading into sin, deceiving people into a way of life that seems to be okay but it’s actually away from Christ. 6 And you will hear of wars and rumours of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. 7 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. 8 All these are the beginning of sorrows. (Matthew 24:4-8 NKJV) Will everybody just say it with me; the end is not yet.
Jesus was talking about the end is not yet. He says, “But in the meantime, before the end comes, there will be many that will come to deceive, to lead you astray, to lead you a different way.” As I progress in my own revelation before God and my own knowledge before God, and as I progress and walk in my life with God, I’m more convinced than ever that we are not supposed to live the way the world is telling us to live. We are supposed to live according to the way Jesus says we must live. Because the more we try and fit in with the world, the more we are going to be deceived to live as a Christian, the way the world finds acceptable.
We will be deceived into thinking that the way that other Christians live in the world is also the way to live. Why would I want to pin all of my future hopes of living a Christian on someone else’s lifestyle? So if I go and have dinner with a bunch of Christians, you know, and I mean, this happened to Sharon and I, while we were still dating before we got married. The pastor of our church at that time invited us to his house after church one night. When we got there, he ordered Kentucky Fried Chicken and when he got there, there was an open bottle of red wine. And so I discovered something that night that I’d never known before. And that was that some red wines have to breathe. I asked him why he opened the wine before he went to church. He said, “So it can breathe.” I said, “Really?” He said, “Yeah, good red wine has to breathe.” I said, “Okay, if you say so.” So I’m just trying to tell you, just because one Christian lives that way doesn’t make it right for God wanting me to live that way. But if you get a whole bunch of Christians that get together and they’re drinking together, and they all say, “It’s okay,” that doesn’t make it okay. If you get together with a whole bunch of Christians that say, “It’s okay to sleep with each other before you get married because the whole world is doing it,” it doesn’t make it okay. Just because you get a whole bunch of Christians that get together and they smoke, and they take marijuana and they do other forms of drugs doesn’t make it okay because they’re doing it. And there’s a lot of them doing it. It doesn’t make it okay. So then, where do you take your measure of truth from? Is that not their perception of what truth is? So because they have a perception of what truth is, then they are living in the deception, not truth. Then the only way to do it is to come with correction, not come and fit into their deception. So where does this line get drawn?
“Well, we’re not into partying, and we’re not into all of that bad stuff. But we will build careers the same way that the world builds careers.” So where’s the line then? “Everybody builds a career, everybody has got to do the best they can at school, and then they got to go to university or they got to go and start a business. And so that’s the way the system works.” Really? Where’s the line? Because everybody’s doing it, you must do it? Where’s the line? Well, you know, I’m very clear about that God says we must work or we don’t eat. But God’s way of working is very different to the way the world works because the world wants to reward performance. God wants you to work His promises because promises require faith and faith is rewarded. There’s a whole different set of rules out there in the Kingdom of God that are not in the kingdom of the world. They don’t know about the Kingdom’s rules, they’re blind to it, it’s darkness to them, they can’t understand it. In the same ways, they don’t understand tithing, they can’t understand God’s rules and laws of working His Kingdom. So we must take our advice from those people? For our future? I’m really preaching good this morning.
So then He goes on to say, this is 8 …the beginning of sorrows. Verse nine says, 9Then they will deliver you up to tribulations and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. 10 And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. You mean, this is going to happen in the church? 10 …many will be offended, and will betray one another… in the church …and will hate one another in the church. He doesn’t have to tell this to the world, the world already knows how to do this. This is going to happen in the church. 11 Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. What’s a prophet? Someone that will speak something that’s very motivated, and inspired and it sounds like God’s speaking, and they will rise up and speak with great authority and they will deceive many that the authority that they walk in is the truth, and become lawless. 12And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold (Matthew 24:8-12 NKJV). Come on, what is the biggest scourge, the biggest virus that we face in the church today amongst all Christians? What’s the biggest virus? It’s lawlessness. So, what is an unlawful person or a person that doesn’t understand lawfulness? It’s a person who doesn’t live by truth. They live by their own version of truth, which is their perception, which means you’re open to deception. So if we’re going to talk about prophetic Scriptures that talk about the End Times, we must just understand what God is saying here, what Jesus is saying here. He says, “Hold on a minute, before anything happens, before I come, in whichever version of you say what I come looks like, these things will happen.” So I want to just put this into context for you today. There are some things about the timetable of God that I can do nothing about. I can’t tell you when Jesus is coming again and how He’s going to come again. I can’t tell you when and how this earth system and this world as it currently stands, is going to come to its end. It will at some point. God said it will. He said there will come a time when there is a new Heaven and a new Earth. I don’t want to talk about that now, I just want to say that there are some things that are on God’s timetable that I can do nothing about, and you can do nothing about, and even Jesus can’t do anything about it because the Bible says even the angels and Jesus don’t know the time in the same Scripture.
So, there are some things that I can do something about. What can I do? I can make sure I walk in truth, so I’m not deceived, and I don’t walk around in lawlessness. I’m not doing… I want to make sure that I’m not betraying people. Hello? But He… So the end result of it is that my love of God will grow cold. Come on. I will love other things more than I love God. This is something I can do something about. I can do something about this. I can make sure that I’m loving God and stay red-hot in my love for God.
13 But he who endures to the end shall be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come. So the end of the age will come. 15 “Therefore when you see the ‘abomination of desolation,’ spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place” … 16 “then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. 17 Let him who is on the housetop not go down to take anything out of his house. 18 And let him who is in the field not go back to get his clothes (Matthew 24:13-18 NKJV). I would like you to see what He is saying here, He’s saying when the moment comes when you have to choose your love for God and your love for the system, don’t even go back for your clothes, don’t go back to your house, don’t go back to the way things were always done. You’ve got to go flat out for God.
Can you tell me what happened to Lot’s wife? She became a pillar of salt. Right? Well, what happened? Well, you know, Abraham was interceding on behalf of the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah and he couldn’t get God to change his mind about the judgement on those cities, but God was gracious enough to send angels into the city to save Abraham’s family. Lot, his wife, his children. And so then, they instructed Lot to leave and not look back. Don’t look back. So he gets them out of the city and as they’re leaving the city, Lot’s wife looks back. Why would you want to look back at the judgement of God on something that is sin? Because your heart is in what lies there rather than what God’s got for your future. Why did the children of Israel wander around in the wilderness for 40 years? Because they didn’t place themselves in the belief in God that what He promised He would give them. Because of their unbelief they wandered around in a desert when they didn’t have to because they actually looked back. They hungered after Egypt. What is Jesus saying? He says, “When the time comes, don’t go back for your clothes, don’t go back to your house, don’t go backwards, you’ve got to go forwards. You’ve got to go to your future, not to the past, because if you go back to the past, the tribulation will get you. The troubles will get you.”
19 But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! 20 And pray that your flight may not be in winter or on the Sabbath. 21 For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. 22 And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened (Matthew 24:19-22 NKJV). Hallelujah. You mean to say, God is so invested in us that there is a timetable that He says, “I have to shift this timetable because those who are elect, would not be able to make it because the deception will be so great.” What is the deception? I’ve got to go back. I’ve got to go back. I’ve got to become like everybody else. You do that, you’re not going to make it. Amen.
“Pastor John, Pastor John, I was hoping I could come to church today and I could get this message of hope, and I could get this nice message that would fill me with joy and peace. I want you to tell me that it’s all going to be okay, Pastor John. I want you to tell me, just tell me some good news, Pastor John, please. Please give me some winning formula. You know, give me some successful stories, cause I can leave here feeling good.” Well, I’m giving you the greatest success story. It’s the success story of Jesus taking us out of an eternity where we had no hope, to becoming one of those hope people that have got a future in Him, and we do not have to look backwards, that we can look forward to all the good things He’s got for us. We don’t have to live like everybody else and struggle through relationships, and struggle with money all the time, and struggle with all of the struggles that the world struggles with. We don’t have to struggle, struggle and fight and fight and perform and perform and we’ve got to get it all… “But, Pastor John, you don’t understand. I like to do all that stuff.” And so your like has got what to do with it? Just because you’ve been trained in a way of thinking doesn’t make it right. “But to untrain myself after all of these years, you don’t understand how difficult it is to untrain myself.” I do. I do, I know. How do you think I got to this way of thinking? This way of believing? This way of faith-walking? Because I had to walk with God and say, “You want me to do what? Okay, Lord, I’ll do that. I’ll do that. You want me to sell this beautiful mansion of a home, that has been my family home for nineteen years, or seventeen years, or nineteen years I forget the amount of time now. You want me to sell it, and go and move to Witbank, and Pastor Sharon and I live in a small little townhouse?” We lived in a house that was 635m2 of house on nearly an acre of ground in Randburg, with beautiful trees. We lived near a koppie that was… it still is today, it’s a nature reserve. We had beautiful birds, aside from the hadidas that… I want to kill those birds, you know. I mean, we lived in a magnificent, beautiful home. The Lord said, “I want you to move your address and go and live in Witbank.” “Jinne Lord, they don’t even have a Woolworths in Witbank.” They didn’t at that time. “They don’t have a Woolworths there.” Pastor Sharon prayed and she said, “Lord, I’ll move to Witbank if you start a Woolworths…” Before we moved… from the time that we sold the house, to the time we moved to Witbank, God opened up a Woolworths for us here. He did. Now we’re praying and asking God to move a Jackson’s here, or something like that. We need a few other options here in Witbank, and since we are here, God will favour us and bring a Frankie’s or a Jackson’s, or something like that. If you don’t know what they are, sorry, but you’ll find out at some point. Hallelujah.
You see, when I’m on God’s schedule, and I’m on God’s agenda, then my past doesn’t matter. All I had to do when God said, “Move”, I had to say, “You’ve got to talk to her, because she’s my partner in life, and we built this house together, we built this home together, and this house has got… I see now, Lord, this house is nothing compared to what Your assignment is for me and where You want me to be, because where I am is everything, and that matters to You. Where I live and where my house address is, matters to You. So what’s it to me if it’s been my house that I built and I raised my kids in it?” So what? It’s just brick and mortar man. In twenty or thirty years my body won’t be here, this brick and mortar will disappear and decay, and then what? Anything that I’ve done spiritually will remain eternally, everything that I’ve done carnally will die with my body. It’s the same with my house. Whatever I’ve put my energy into a house is going to be irrelevant to me when I’m gone. Oh, but for your kids. Let your kids also do their own faith work too. If they don’t have to faith God for their houses, then they must at least faith God for their assignment, and so if they don’t have to worry about houses, then focus their energy on their assignment, not on their houses. Either which way, we’ve got to do a new… [Pastor John’s timer on his cell phone went off.] Nee, man. Hallelujah.
So, verse 23, 23 “Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There!’ do not believe it. 24 For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. 25 See, I have told you beforehand. 26 “Therefore if they say to you, ‘Look, He is in the desert!’ do not go out; or ‘Look, He is in the inner rooms!’ do not believe it. 27 For as the lightning comes from the east and flashes to the west, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. 28 For wherever the carcass is, there the eagles will be gathered together (Matthew 24:23-28 NKJV). Do you get what He’s saying? Just because all the other people that say they are covenant people are doing something doesn’t mean to say that’s where God is. Okay, I have to wrap it up here because my time’s out, but, “So how do I know what the truth is then, Pastor John? How do I know whether I’m following God and …” Well, I’ve got to follow the Word. I can’t do what other people are doing. I’ve got to follow what God’s Word says. Yes?
So, it boils down to a very simple truth that I have declared to you many times, but it’s the most valuable truth that I can continue to share with you. How do you live a successful marriage? One day at a time. You can’t start off a marriage and say, “I will have a successful marriage” and then because I’ve loved her today, that’s enough for us to have a love walk. “I told you when I got married to you I love you, that’s enough” Nah, every day. Every day. How do you destroy a good marriage? Or how do you destroy a marriage? Same principle – one day at a time. How do you walk in your walk with God successfully, so that you do not get deceived? You got to walk with God every day, one day at a time, and you’ve got to live in the truth of God today. In fact the Bible says in Matthew chapter 6, don’t even worry about tomorrow because tomorrow has got enough trouble of its own.
You know what we want to do? We want to plan all of our tomorrows. We actually want to live in all our tomorrows so that we can dictate what our tomorrows look like. I want to tell you there is great danger in that deception because the minute you can plan all of your tomorrows you stop living in your faith today. Because why do you have to live in faith today, when all of your tomorrows are planned? [Audience says, you are preaching good Pastor John.] Thank you. I feel like that myself, I’m preaching good. I’m preaching myself happy because I want to live in the moment with Jesus now. I want to live in my faith now. Now faith is the substance of things hoped for. Now I have to live in faith. I can’t live in faith tomorrow. If I can plan out my tomorrow then I don’t need faith now. So, the minute I don’t need faith, I’m going to just live in the logic of my planning for tomorrow.
Come on, what is the whole system of the world wanting us to live in, tell me? Security, they want you to be planning, they want you to be living… I don’t know when I was 20, I came out of the army, started a job and some insurance guys were already trying to tell me, “Pensions funds, and life insurance policies, and you know, start as early as you can because the earlier you start the more you’re going to have when you get older.” Retirement annuities and all of that stuff. What are they trying to tell me? “You’ve got to plan. You’ve got to work the system, boy and the sooner you work the system the better your life will be.” So what you are trying to tell me is, I got to live as everything today for tomorrow, and tomorrow’s tomorrow and tomorrow, and tomorrow’s tomorrow and tomorrow. I got to keep living for tomorrow but I’ve got to do everything today so that I can live tomorrow. And then when I get tomorrow it is not enough, I still have to live for the next tomorrow. And when I am 50 years old it is still not enough. I’ve got to live for another tomorrow. And when you get to 60 years old, you find out that I didn’t put enough pension money away and I didn’t put enough retirement away and I didn’t because inflation has taken over, the cost of things, and there was this war, and the petrol price went up and… so I still don’t have enough, so they still have to plan for more tomorrow. And tomorrow never has enough for tomorrow because it’s always changing and the rules are always changing. Meantime you have been performing your butt off when you were young so you can fix it for tomorrow, and you never get enough for tomorrow.
So the world says, “You have to perform today, you have to perform today.” I say, “No, thank you, I want power today. I don’t need performance today, I need power today. I only need one day to turn water into wine.” “Pastor John, you can’t turn water into wine.” No, I can’t, but the God inside of me can. And if I need wine then He is going to tell me how to get water into wine. If I need to go and catch a boatload of fish, He just says, “Put your boat out, cast on the other side, obey My words and I’ll show you how wealthy you can get in one morning. Then you don’t have to worry about any tomorrow, just follow Me.” “But, Pastor John, that’s just New Testament stuff, that happened to Jesus, that can’t happen to us.” Say what? Who is living in you? Who is living in you? So which one do you want to live in? Perform today, perform today, perform today, every day, so you can maybe have something for tomorrow when you get to tomorrow it is never enough. Or, just say, I’m going to give my faith today. Today I’m going to live in faith, I’m going to live in faith. I’m going to live in truth. I’m going to live in the Word today. Today, I’m going to give my life to Jesus, today. Today I’m going to live with Jesus, today. I can’t worry about tomorrow, but today I am going to give Him everything I’ve got. Today. Today I’m going to praise Him. Today I’m going to thank Him. Today I am going to worship Him. Today I am going to put His Word in my heart and speak it out of my mouth, like my spit’s coming out. I’m going to speak it out today. I’m going to live for Him today. And I’m not going to worry about tomorrow because I am going to give Him everything I’ve got today. And when I get to tomorrow, I’m going to do it again. And when I get to tomorrow, I’m going to do it again, and again. As long as there are tomorrows I’m going to give Him my todays.
Then I become one of those elect. So what is the future of the elect? God says, “I value you so much that if you get into trouble, I will shorten the things that happen to you, and the time it happens to you so that I can get you saved.” Want to know about tomorrow’s security? Live today. “Pastor John, I have had so many todays and seen no results.” So what other options have you got? “I must turn back and go and quickly fetch my coat. I must go back and fix my house, I must go back and go and do…” Yeah, you want to go back? There’s more tribulations there than you’re going forward, so what options have you got? Don’t let that thinking get into your head. Stupid thinking. It’s stinking thinking. It’s thinking like the world thinks, that they always want everything to be performance related, they don’t even know the power of God. The Bible says they deny the very power and existence of God. Those people must tell us what life looks like? Hallelujah.
So, now, “Ok I feel better, Pastor John, it was a hope message.” Do you understand that if I live like this, I don’t really care when the Son is coming, the Son of man, the Son of God. I don’t care when the tribulation is, you know, there is a whole lot of questions – post-tribulation, pre-tribulation, mid-tribulation, no tribulation, a 1000 years of tribulation, 7 years of tribulation, three and a half years the church will go tribulation. So many questions about tribulation, millennials, all kinds of things like that. And I say to you if I live today, everything I’ve got today, then I don’t have to worry about tomorrow,because God says, “Oh, the time is up and things are about to happen but because you are an elect, I am going to shorten the time for you. Before you have a chance to quit on your love for Me, I will take you out of here.” Well, what does that look like? Who cares? Who cares about whether this is the third blood moon or fourth blood moon? Who cares about whether the fig tree has blossomed or it hasn’t blossomed? And the blossoming of the fig tree is Israel, and it’s already been 50 years or 60 years since that fig tree blossomed and Jesus hasn’t come yet. Who can measure whether all the Gospel has been preached to all the nations and then the time will come? Who can measure that other than the Holy Ghost? In the meantime if I live with Jesus every day, who cares about all that stuff? People only want to know about stuff, they don’t live for Jesus every day they want to see what everybody else is doing, in case I miss it. Well, I can guarantee you how not to miss it, live for Him every day. Hallelujah. Hallelujah. Glory to God.
So, are we waiting for a rapture, or are we going to get raptured or is Jesus going to come back and we are going to rule and reign with Him? All of the above, none of the above, who cares, I’m living everyday. When’s it going to happen? Don’t know, Jesus doesn’t know, so how are we going to know?
Pastor Lynn, am I preaching this good? [Pastor Lynn responds, yes.] Hallelujah. Glory to Jesus. I am a Kingdom-now-person. I know some people say, “Ah, you are a Kingdom now,” and they categorise you as a Kingdom-now-person. I’m definitely a Kingdom-now-person. Why? Because I live in the Kingdom of God now. Not even tomorrow, right now. I have got to speak the words of life, right now.
Won’t you stand with me, please. Why worry about stuff that actually you shouldn’t be worrying about? Ja-nê? Ja-nee? Ja-nê? Ja-nee? Ja-alles. Ja-niks [Pastor John laughs]. Glory to Jesus. Praise the Lord. Praise the Lord. Praise You, Jesus. Praise You, Jesus. This is how you overcome, right here, right now, this is how you do it right here. Praise You, Jesus. Praise You, Jesus. Praise You, Jesus. Praise You, Lord. Praise You, Lord. Praise You, Lord. Glory to God. Hallelujah.
So do you think God was ever going to let me down when we sold our house in Joburg? That God was ever going to let us stay in a small little 120m2 townhouse? We had to store most of our furniture because even one of our lounges could not fit into that thing. Literally. So do you think He was ever going to let me? No, because everything I give up on this earth, in this same lifetime, He’s going to give me a 100 fold return. So if God is wanting you to give something, it’s not because He wants to take it from you, it’s because He wants to give you something better. And that’s the way His system works. It’s always better, it’s never worse, it’s always better.
So how come, how do we want to approach this thing with logic? Take your logic, switch it off and say, “I’m going to faith it.” Put your hand on your heart and say; I’m going to faith it. I’m going to live by the Word of Jesus, and by His Words I live my life. I give me whole self to the Word of God, to the truth of Jesus Christ. Him crucified, Him raised from the dead and Him living in me. I am His child. He will never let me down. Hallelujah. Glory to God. Glory to Jesus. Glory to Jesus. Glory to Jesus.
This whole world is looking for safety and security and there is no guarantee about it anytime, anyplace, anywhere. You can live in the most secure place anywhere that you think you can create for yourself and you can go and drive out in your car to go and put in petrol, and someone can be waiting there for you to try and steal you, rob you, kill you – you can’t control that. But if I’m living in Jesus, He’s always going to talk to me. He’s always going to lead me. He’s always going to guide me. He’s always going to prepare me, if I live with Him. Not in that system. Amen.
For those that are away on holiday, and are watching with us on live TV, I want to just pray for them and I want to pray for you. This is the season of holiday. And so, you know, Christmas day is a Sunday? Hallelujah. So you can’t be like, “It’s Christmas, I am not going anywhere.” It’s Sunday, you are supposed to be at church on Sunday. To the more important point, you know that New Year’s day is a Sunday. So those people that want to stay awake until midnight, you can be glad we didn’t move church service till 8 o’clock in the morning on New Year’s day, it is still 9:30. You know, you have no excuse, church. What better way to have a New Year happen than to go to church the first thing on the first day of the whole New Year? Glory to Jesus. Praise the Lord. Praise the Lord. Praise the Lord.
So I want to pray for you, I want to pray that while you are away, or maybe you have got some down time, you are not going to work, or maybe things are going to be a little quieter for you this time of the season. I’ve spoken this to you and I pray it over you that you will use this time to be waiting. And you will use this time to be quiet before God so that you can hear what He says to you. Because the more you hear from Him the more you will be able to live your life in Him. He will guide you and lead you into all things that you need to know, so that you can live in tomorrow as though you are living today.
Do you want to know what your tomorrow looks like? Do it today. What you do today is what your tomorrow will look like. Hallelujah. I pray that you will give your everyday today to Him. Give to Him today what belongs to Him today, everyday. Hallelujah. Praise the Lord. I pray that the Holy Spirit will rest upon you, that His peace will be upon you. That no weapon formed against you will prosper. I pray that this word is secure now in your heart and that no amount of thinking or conversations or other people’s words will, or other peoples logic will come and steal this word out of your heart. That a logical, marginal thinking process that is based on theology will not come and take this truth out of your heart but that the truth will live on in your heart and guide you and lead you and protect you and show you all the good things that He’s got for you in your future.
And I pray that you are blessed going out and blessed coming in. No weapon formed against you will prosper. Whatever activities you are doing, whatever riding or whatever you are doing in motorcars, on holiday, if you are on a beach, if going somewhere, I pray that the presence of God goes with you, that He rests upon you. His anointing is with you. You are protected from anything on the road, in your house, around you, in your environment, that the Word of God and the blood of Jesus surrounds and protects you. He gives His angels charge over you and you are just blessed in everything that you do because you give Him your today. Hallelujah. Do you receive that? Do you take that prayer for yourself? Everyone says; Amen. Hallelujah. Thank you for coming to church, be blessed everybody.