Living in Christ – Ps John Bendixen (WTB)
Scripture Reference: Hebrews 8:1-3 (NKJV); Ephesians 4:8 (NKJV); Ephesians 4:9-13 (AMPC); Hebrews 9:13-15 (NKJV); John 17:15 (NKJV); Hebrews 10:5-7, 19-25 (NKJV)
Thanks for joining me. This is an amazing time to be alive. I guess in the whole of history of mankind, I would say that there are probably three times that I would have wanted to be alive. I would have wanted to be alive at the earliest of the time of men and so that was when people like Job and Methuselah and Enoch and those guys lived, perhaps because Adam and Eve would have still been alive at that time. And so that would have been quite an experience.
And then, of course, who would not want to be alive when Jesus died, and when He was walking on the earth, and when He rose again from the grave. I think that would have been an amazing time to be alive. But aside from the beginning of man and Jesus walking on the earth, to me, this is the greatest time to be alive – right now. And you might say to me but Pastor John, you know, we’re in a pandemic, and economies of the world are really struggling and we’re in depressions and that’s really not that much of a problem. We are living in one of the most significant moments of history. If you consider that at the beginning of man the timeframe I was talking about was maybe a 1000 years because that’s how long men lived. In the time of Jesus that would have been at least 40 years that you wanted to be alive. And then, of course, now in this time, who knows what these times will offer? But certainly, as far as the knowledge of Christ in the earth is concerned, there has never been a time where the knowledge of Jesus Christ and the Church has escalated and has been as pervasive as it is now. Yes, there are some places on the earth where the knowledge of Christ still needs to go – and we must always remember that – but this is an amazing, amazing time of man to be alive.
And so, just recently, as shortly as a couple of days ago, in our special services, we were talking about the divine or the supernatural, glorious being and the natural man. And that everything that happens naturally must first happen in the spirit because everything that is on the earth, was created by the spirit realm. And so Jesus Himself was prophesied to come and become the Messiah and become the One who died on the cross. He was prophesied that He would come so it was established in the spirit and then it became natural flesh. And so, Jesus, having come to the earth, died on the cross so that we could have our sins forgiven. And our sins are forgiven not in what we offer as a sacrifice, not in all the goodness and the greatness that we can provide out of our own human experience but we are saved from ourselves and into an eternal life with God by faith in Jesus Christ.
So, in this session today I’m going to talk to you about the wonderful love of God the Father that He would predestine Jesus to be the answer to a man who was as glorious as Himself, as creative and powerful on the earth as Himself, and yet chose in the wrong choices that he made, to actually lose all of his glory for the possibility that he might be able to obtain more knowledge about God. And so his desire to be walking and living as God on the earth kind of created a situation where through the persuasive words of the enemy of God, made him think that somehow there was something missing in his relationship and that only he himself in his choice could provide that something that’s missing in the relationship with God. And so that is the choice and the difficulty that we are constantly making as human beings that even though we are saved by the blood of Jesus, we sometimes still think, and the enemy persuades us with all kinds of deception and persuasion, he tries to persuade us that there is still something more that we have to do, something more that we can experience that will allow us to be more like God. And yet, the only way we can be more like God is by a complete release of ourselves into the hands of mighty God and into His will, and into the wonders of who God is.
So, Jesus, having given His physical body up to crucifixion and having put His body as a sacrifice on an altar, which was the cross, He now had to say I no longer need this body to be anything for My future. This body is no longer my care, it’s not important for me, because He understood that death was spiritual and soul separation from the life of God. When He said to His heavenly Father, “Into Your hands do I commit Myself, do I commit My spirit, I commit my soul,” He understood that for the first time in eternity He would be separated through judgement, He would be separated from the life of God. That is something that we cannot even begin to imagine. We cannot begin to comprehend someone who was God Himself, was the beginning of life and Creator of life, being separated from the life for our sake. It is something that is beyond comprehension.
I think we will, maybe somehow, in the spirit one day, when our bodies cease to exist on the earth, and we have an eternal body, and we have an eternal walk with God, maybe the Father and the Holy Spirit will allow us to see and understand what it was that Jesus experienced.
And so to that point, I want to go to the book of Hebrews chapter eight, and I am reading from the New King James Version. And I want to read from verse one. We are going to do a little quick study, a short study in the time that we have left we are going to stick mostly in Hebrews but we are going to go to Ephesians shortly. But I want to read Hebrews chapter eight, verse one, and it says this. 1Now this is the main point of the things we are saying: We have such a High Priest, who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens, 2a Minister of the sanctuary and of the true tabernacle which the Lord erected, and not man (Hebrews 8: 1-2 NKJV). So, He is a minister of the sanctuary and of the true tabernacle which the Lord erected and nota. So again, I just want to say and for clarity purposes, and for context purposes, the Church of the Lord Jesus on the earth is not about buildings. It is not about extravagant church facilities. These things we may use, but if these things become the object of our ministry then they become idols of our ministry. We use facilities in the service of God to equip and develop the true Body of Christ. But they are not to be places of idols where we somehow find our identity as a church wrapped up in the glory of our buildings. This is not God’s intention because it is clear from this passage of Scripture that Jesus who is seated at the right hand … of the Majesty in the heavens, a Minister of the sanctuary – a sanctuary is a place, it’s a place of worship – a sanctuary and of the true tabernacle which the Lord erected, not man (Hebrews 8:1-2 NKJV). It’s the place of God’s worship and that place was erected by God, not by men. Sanctuaries are there for the purposes of God’s worship.
I’ve said in different sessions in recent times, we have spoken this and said; any kind of worldly possessions, even if they last longer than your natural life, and are left to your offspring, you yourself, your body and your soul, your body will be corrupted unto death. And you will leave this earth, and all of the value that you’ve placed in the beauty and whatever it is of your home, of any wealth that you create, or a church organization, any of that beauty is of no more value to you when you go to heaven. The only value of it is what you use it for to put into people. Wow, we have an amazing High Priest that is in the sanctuary of God and He is ministering in that sanctuary.
I want to read verse three, 3For every high priest is appointed to offer both gifts and sacrifices. Therefore it is necessary that this One also have something to offer (Hebrews 8:3 NKJV). Who is that, this high priest? Jesus, who is seated at the right hand of God. Here is where we go to the book of Ephesians. We read in Ephesians chapter 4 verse 8, 8Therefore it is said, When He ascended on high, so He ascended on high where? To be seated at the right hand of the Father. When He ascended on high, He led captivity captive [He led a train of vanquished foes] and He bestowed gifts on men (Ephesians 4:8 AMPC). So in other words, all of those people that had been vanquished in death because of the sin nature of men that were in Hades or in or in Abraham’s bosom, when Jesus came into hell and He conquered death and He conquered sin and He conquered everything that the devil had created to cause the fall of men, when He conquered Satan and the Father called Him back into resurrection, He led all of those people that had died before His time, who then believed in Him, He led them into heaven. And as He is ascending into heaven, the scripture says, He bestowed gifts on men (Ephesians 4:8 AMPC).
So that goes back to Hebrews. 3For, every high priest is appointed to offer both gifts and sacrifices (Hebrews 8: 3 NKJV). He Himself was a sacrifice. As He sacrificed Himself, He now brings gifts, and He gives gifts unto men. But in the Amplified in verse 9, 9[But He ascended?] Now what can this, He ascended, mean but that He had previously descended from [the heights of] heaven into [the depths], the lower parts of the earth? 10He Who descended is the [very] same as He Who also has ascended high above all the heavens, that He [His presence], Jesus, might fill all things (the whole universe, from the lowest to the highest) (Ephesians 4:9-10 AMPC). In other words, this is the all-conquering is the all-conquering High Priest. This is the all-conquering King of kings. This is the all-Conquering God Almighty, the Son of God, Jesus Christ Himself. This is Almighty God that He conquered His own creation which He made to be able to choose, and that Man gave Himself over to a lower form of living. And so He came back to conquer the one who deceived men to take on that lower life. And as He descended and conquered and ascends into heaven, and presents Himself as the sacrifice, He also gives gifts.
11And His gifts were [varied; He Himself, Jesus, appointed and gave men to us] some to be apostles (special messengers), some prophets (inspired preachers and expounders), some evangelists, here in the Amplified as (preachers of the Gospel, traveling missionaries), some pastors (shepherds of His flock) and teachers (Ephesians 4:11 AMPC). His intentions of giving gifts, so every high priest must bring sacrifices according to the old law, sacrifices and gifts. So He presents Himself as the sacrifice, and He gives gifts and to men. It’s these gifts, what is the intention of these gifts? I mean, every time you give a gift it’s got to have a purpose. And in this time, and we can celebrate the resurrection life of Christ, we can celebrate the fact that he gave gifts to men.
12His intention was the perfecting and the full equipping of the saints (His consecrated people), [that they should do] the work of ministering toward building up Christ’s body (the church) (Ephesians 4:12 AMPC.) And so the building up of Christ’s body that is the church, as we’re building, the intent of the building is so 13[That it might develop] until we all attain oneness in the faith and in the comprehension of the [full and accurate] knowledge of the Son of God, that [we might arrive] at really mature manhood (Ephesians 4:13 AMPC) Well, I’ll tell you something, Church, if we had any doubts about how great the work is that Jesus did, then today, I am intending and believing the Father and the Holy Spirit, our Lord Jesus, that He will make these words real and alive to you that what He did on the cross was a sacrifice beyond anything that we could ever think about. But the greatness of the sacrifice was in the resurrection power of the Father. When God the Father resurrected Him from the grave, all those that had previously died and could not enter into the presence of God because of the sin factor, Jesus reveals Himself as the Messiah. Jesus reveals Himself to them as the One that was always prophesied of. And so He leads Abraham and all of those that had died, all the prophets, all the believers, all the covenant ones of God, He leads them into the presence of God. And as He does it, He gives gifts to men, so that the gifts can be a fulfilment of His High Priestliness.
What an amazing, amazing opportunity we have as a people in this time to demonstrate that we receive the gifts of men that He gave us, not appointed by men, but appointed by Himself. He appointed men. He appointed men, not angels. He appointed men and He gave some men, different gifts, so that these gifts working together, might bring maturity to the Body of Christ.
I praise God that we live in this time that I can speak to you like this. We can have this amazing conversation – on a digital platform – where the Holy Spirit can take these words and anoint these words with power and bring them into your heart and bring them into your life and give meaning and purpose to your life if you will receive these words.
I want to fast forward into Hebrews, chapter 9, verse 13. So we read Hebrews, chapter 8 and we’re reading Hebrews chapter 9. All of these chapters, chapters 8, 9 and 10 are predominantly about Jesus, the High Priest and the sacrifice and the blood of sacrifice – the blood that came from sacrifices and the great work of what Jesus did. So we read verse 13, 13For if the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies for the purifying of the flesh, 14how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, how much more will this sacrifice, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? (Hebrews 9:13-14 NKJV). In other words, He cleanses us in our conscience so that we don’t have to go back to try and prove our goodness or prove how our services to God make us better Christians. No, no. You cannot improve on the salvation power of the blood of Jesus Christ. There is nothing more you can do to improve on it.
15And for this reason, verse 15, He is the Mediator of the new covenant, by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant, that those who are called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance (Hebrews 9:15 NKJV). So in this passage of Scripture, Jesus, the Word of God is talking about that we may all receive the promise of the eternal inheritance. For some time, I have been as often as I can, and in as many messages as I can – both myself and Pastor Sharon and in this ministry – we have been talking about establishing an eternal inheritance. And so we have spoken much about our own walk with God that we do not live in a system that is created to undermine the very life of God in us. We call it the Babylonian system. Jesus prayed this prayer in the Book of John, chapter 17, and He said, “Father I pray, that these that You have given me, 15I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one (John 17:15, NKJV). So we are understanding that in these bodies, we need to be in this world but we need to be delivered from the evil that is in this world. And evil is not just wicked things that happened. It’s an entire system that is anti-Christ, anti-God’s way of doing things. So God wants us to build an eternal inheritance, not just the natural inheritance on this earth.
Praise God that we are part of that great opportunity – the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ – that great eternal Sanctuary that is built by God, Himself. We are part of that. The minute you become born again and have Jesus in your heart, you become part of the eternal sanctuary, the eternal Church, the eternal worshippers. Wow, what an amazing thing that we can experience already on the earth before we even go home to be with the Lord.
I want to take you to Hebrews 10, verse 5, 5Therefore, when He came into the world, He said: “Sacrifice and offering you did not desire. God, the Father, has never desired offerings and sacrifices. 5But a body you have prepared for me. In other words, Jesus’ body was prepared. 6In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin you had no pleasure. 7Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come – in the volume of the book it is written of Me – to do your will, O God.’ (Hebrews 10:5-7 NKJV). And so Jesus came to do the will of the Father. And that’s why, when He was in the Garden of Gethsemane and He was getting Himself ready to be taken and put on the cross, and to become in His body the judgement of the sin of all men, He prayer this prayer and He said, “Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me but nevertheless, not My will but Your will be done.” He was asking the Father at this moment when He was becoming ready to be separated from the life of Christ, from the life of God, that He Himself being God had been eternally part of the creation of all things, and now He was being separated from the very things that He had created – the very creation that was made for Him – He was being separated. In that moment He said, “Nevertheless, not My will but Your will, O God.” And so, here in Hebrews chapter 10 verse 6, He says, 6In the volume of the book it is written of Me – to do your will, O God (Hebrews 10:6 NKJV).
If I can leave something with you today I would say, as a gift that is given to you; a gift that Jesus has sent to this earth, when my body was born to human parents and when this soul that was placed in this body and this spirit was placed in this body, was given to human parents – it was in those moments that God said, “I will give gifts unto men and this is another gift I’m giving to men.” It is this gift that now speaks to you and says to you, in this season, in this moment; turn not to your own flesh, turn not to your own strength, turn not to your own might; turn not to your own ways of delivering yourself but turn to the Christ, the Messiah, the One who was raised from the dead by the heavenly Father and brought gifts to the earth. He Himself was a sacrifice so that we could have life; we could have life abundantly; we can have life to overflowing – abundant life – we can enjoy this life in our service and in our obedience to Him.
Therefore, I read chapter 10 verse 19, 19Therefore, brethren, I say to you, therefore brothers, sisters in the Lord, children of the Most High God; sanctuary believers of the eternal sanctuary, brethern, having boldness, boldness through the blood of Jesus, enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, 20by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh, 21 and having a High Priest over the house of God, 22 let us, now in this season, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith. The closer you draw, the more assured you become of your faith. Why? Because the closer you draw, the less the enemy’s persuasive, intimidating words impact you and your assurance grows stronger. 22With a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water (Hebrews 10:19-22 NKJV).
In other words, your boldness says, the evil consciousness of the system which seeks to grab hold of your conscience, what is that? That there is still something more you have to do. There is still something better you can do to experience more of God. There is something more to be achieved by you. There is still some sin perhaps that you have to lay down before you can have more of God. There is still something else that you must do. I say to you today, believer, enter into the presence of God with boldness. Your heart assured because Jesus has sprinkled your conscience with the blood, His blood and made it so that you don’t have to go back to performance or go back to searching for better things. You don’t have to listen to all of your body’s desires and demands because He has cleansed it so that you can be standing pure before Him. And then, 23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering. This is not a time to waver in your hope. This is not a time to waver in your faith. 23Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering for He who promised is faithful (Hebrews 10:23 NKJV).
This is the same One who went into the depths and descended and then ascended and then gave gifts unto men. He is faithful. 24And let us consider one another. Please listen to this believer. I’m nearly at the end of my conversation with you today. As a messenger bringing you a message, I just need you to pay attention for just a few more minutes cause the next part is very important. 24And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works. So we need to be always considering each other and stirring each other up, in love and in good works, 25not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much more as you see the Day approaching (Hebrews 10:24-25 NKJV).
So, I want to say to you the body was intended to be connected to the body. The body was never intended to be separated from itself. God the Father didn’t create your human body for your little finger to be separated from your arm or your hand and then you think that your little finger can just decide whatever it wants to do and then say, “Well, I think I can develop myself without being attached to the rest of my body.” You can’t, it’s not possible. There are so many references in the whole Bible, from the book of John to Corinthians, to the book of Ephesians, to so many different books. There’s so much talked about the connection between the Body of Christ and the human body.
We all need each other, we need to be connected to the Body and so this book of Hebrews is creating a context for us. It’s saying that because Jesus paid the price and because Jesus is the high priest of the heavenly sanctuary and we are already part of that heavenly sanctuary by the fact that we are His people on the earth that we have the boldness to enter into that place of worship, enter into that spiritual sanctuary. But here on earth, we need to stir each other up in love and good works. We need to consider each other. You can’t do that if you’re separated from each other.
So in the season, the enemy has done everything that he can to separate the church from each other. But I tell you something, believer, that it’s not possible for him to succeed because we are the Body of Christ. The power and authority are already rested in us as a people. As we pray and as we declare the things of God into the earth, so the momentarily, this brief moment of time when the enemy has tried to separate the Church, when he turns God the Father will bring about a special anointing by the Holy Spirit will bring about a special anointing to bring His Church back into that order of fellowship, of stirring each other to love, stirring each other to good works. We will display boldness, we will display all of the things of worship and honouring the father that is always in our hearts that has always been in our hearts. You, His consecrated ones.
We are that company of people that live by faith and if you go further into the rest of chapter 10 of Hebrews and into chapter 11 of Hebrews, chapter 10, he says, and the just shall live by faith. And then in chapter 11, it says, now faith is the substance of things hoped for; the evidence of things not yet seen and begins to bring about an entire conversation, about it is faith that pleases God, and great and mighty people that went before us that lived by faith and some of them never saw the end results of their faith. Then you go into chapter 12 of Hebrews and which talks about that we have a great cloud of witnesses that are watching us as we live on this earth.
And so, if I go back into the beginning of this conversation that we had, and I said, there are maybe three times in the time of men that I would want to be alive, and this certainly, I cannot speak for future, I can only speak till this point in the time of men. I would have wanted to be around in the earliest of times of men. I certainly wanted to be on earth in the time of Jesus. But other than that, this would be the time that I would want to be alive. I am not intimidated by the enemy’s tactics to try and separate the Church. Oh believer, believe me, if I tell you that the enemy of God tried to destroy the Church soon after Jesus died and went to heaven. He tried to destroy the Church by persecuting the Church. And then when it only grew stronger history will tell you that the enemy of God brought a master strategy and said let us not take the church out of government, but let’s include the church in government. And so by doing that it made the church part of the governing order of the political systems and of the order of kings. For centuries, the church and kings and kingdoms and the church and governments were aligned together in the form of ceremonies and sacrifices; none of which contained the true spirit of the living Christ.
Oh brother and sister, covenant child of God, the enemy has tried for centuries to try and break down the church and try and separate the church and try and bring the church into nothingness. But it is not possible because of the great sacrifice that Jesus paid. It is not possible that the Father would allow any moment in history in any government, in any human order that the Church can be silenced. The Church will never be silenced, never. It will never be silenced, it will never be stopped. It will never stop being less meaningful because of buildings or no buildings, because of government rules, or no rules. The Church is you and you, beloved, as you pray become the church. As you worship you become the Church. As you give your life to be shown to others that Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life you become a living representation of Jesus Christ Himself.
And so, I leave you with these words on this most significant of moments in our history. I leave you with His words. Please, continue to not let any of the things that you do as a believer do not let them lapse. Do not let them fall at your feet. You are the eternal sanctuary of the Father, you are the living embodiment of the sanctuary of the heavens, you are that body of believers that is existing now on the earth; let every moment count towards investing in your eternal inheritance. Hallelujah. Be the answer to someone’s problem. Be the solution to someone’s issues that they are having in life. Pray that the Father sends out labourers into the field and that we can reap those that are not saved and become the labourer as you are a person that walks through life. Let your light shine. Let Jesus use your hands to heal. Let Jesus use your mouth to bring good news. Let Jesus use your finances to bring solutions to people. Be kind, be generous, be the Church, be the living, breathing life of Christ on the earth. This is the wonderment of the time that we can live in that we can still do this.
Glory to the Most High God. Praise and honour be to Jesus Christ. May the Holy Spirit Himself stir you up. May the Holy Spirit descend upon you now as you hear these words, and may He stir up your heart to the significance of who you are in the eternal ages as part of the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ – part of the eternal living sanctuary that worships God eternally with Jesus, who is seated at the right hand of the Father, with all the saints that have gone before us and with all the saints that now still live amongst us. And not forgetting that Jesus still has many more saints to join us.
Well, I pray that you will be touched by these words and that you will make a renewed consecration of your life, you will make a renewed determination that you will follow Jesus, be a disciple of the Most High God and that when it is spoken of you, in human phrases, they will say; there goes, a disciple of the Most High God. There goes someone who can pray, there goes someone. Give the angel something to talk about. Stir up the hornet’s nest of demons and make them mad because you are the light on a hill, you are the salt of the earth. You are the living body of Christ.
May the peace of God be upon you, may His joy spur you to allow the shouts of joy and praise in the morning, in the noontime and in the evening. I look forward to seeing you soon together in not just the sanctuary, in the heavenlies and the tabernacle of God, but I look forward to seeing you again soon in the tabernacle that we have on the earth where we can stir each other in love and good works.
Thank you for listening and may God bless you, in Jesu’s name.