Scripture reference: 2 Corinthians 1:8-10 (NLT); 1 Corinthians 15:16-19 (TPT); Matthew 13:11-12 (NKJV); Deuteronomy 7:7-9 (NLT); Deuteronomy 30:19-20 (NKJV); Proverbs 18:21 (NKJV); Proverbs 18:21 (TPT); Proverbs 13:3 (TPT); 1 Corinthians 2:1-15 (TPT)
Good morning. It seems as though we have load shedding in this area til 12:30. So we don’t have music and we don’t have anything for you because we don’t have electricity or backup here. Otto, we must actually see to it that we, within the course of a week or whatever, that we set up electricity. (Otto: Hein and Jeanine volunteered to sing here for us this morning.) Otto, they did tell me about it but their condition was that you dance to what they sing – to the whole thing. So, unfortunately, it is just us having conversation here today. There is no praise and worship or anything that is digital or electronic or whatever cause there is no power – so you just got me. Praise the Lord. Amen.
Well, I mean, I’m happy if there is someone here who wants to share a testimony but before I go into the service today, I want to welcome a couple of people from Witbank that have moved from Witbank to Pretoria so they are joining this fellowship – its Jackie and Hennie. So you’ll get introduced. Gideon has taken the responsibility to introduce them to this community of people. It seems like there are some people who are not brave enough to come in the cold this morning but praise the Lord, I am glad you are all here. Amen.
Let’s just pray together. Thank You, Lord, for this opportunity even in this cold that we can enjoy fellowship together and thank You for designing and creating the body of Christ – that we can see Jesus in each other, and we can learn from the Jesus in each other. We can grow from the Jesus in each other. So we thank You for it, Lord, and I ask you to bless the Word today, bless our fellowship today. Thank You that it’s anointed and it increases us. Thank You, Lord, in Jesus’ name. Amen. Hallelujah.
Now in my car, I have got this fancy gadget thing – you press a little button –it warms the seat for you, it does all kinds of nice things, you know, and then you have to come and walk out here, you put your hands in your pockets cause your hands are cold and all of that you know, but anyway. It’s still good to be here, still good to be here. Praise the Lord.
Well, since we don’t have praise and worship today, I’m going to use the opportunity to share a few things with you that you as a Jo’burg collective group, may or may not be fully aware of everything that’s going on but during the lockdown period when we went from phase five to phase four, we managed to get paperwork and we discovered that through our organisation, Rich Communications, that we were able to get essential work permits and so we issued them to our band members and in the meantime, in the three week period, we did nineteen or twenty video recorded new songs. So what you see as an image, is just one of the sets, one of the iterations of sets that we have done and we changed things up and so we are in the process of actually editing out those songs. You should have got an email if you haven’t got it yet, did you get it? That if you want to see the songs, you’ve got to log into the website. But we made it really simple. All you go to do is put your name and your email address and then you can view the videos and receive them and get the songs. The first two are going to be on TBN (Trinity Broadcasting Network) this week, on Tuesday and Wednesday, so you can also watch on TBN at five o’clock where you watch me and Pastor Garth do SNCTRY and we always have a music video. I’m very excited about it because really, the anointing of God was present in everything that we did and although we didn’t have any expertise, real training in terms of videography, to do professional videography of music, certainly our guys were anointed and did amazing work with what they had and the tools they had and the kind of camera work have been fantastic. So bear in mind when you watch the first two videos, we made a fundamental mistake, in the first four that we did and that fundamental mistake is that when we put everything together, and we decided not to go, like the first four videos that we produced – the black and white ones, that you have seen over and over again. Those black and white ones were done by one camera and it was an acoustic sound, it was designed to be an acoustic sound with the exception of the bass guitar. We decided to go for a full electronic band and so what we didn’t realise is that actually the cameramen needed to have in-ear monitors themselves so that they could actually understand who is playing what and if you have a guitarist going and you have a whole lot of stuff, so they weren’t necessarily following the pattern of music cause they couldn’t hear it. So if you had to sit inside the auditorium while we were doing it, you would have heard the drums and you would have heard the bongos, but you wouldn’t have heard the lead guitar, the bass guitar. You wouldn’t have heard the singers other than their voices that you would hear, you know, a little bit, so it was really a very different experience. But we learnt fairly quickly and so we got in-ear monitors for the camera guys and so it just got better and better as it went along. They could flow with the rhythm of the music in the way the Lord was taking it.
I just want to tell you that if you go through the website, you will have access to two songs. The one song you will have access to is a TBN version of the song which is about six minutes – both songs are about five or six minutes – and then you will have the extended version of the song. One song is sixteen minutes and the other one is twenty-one minutes and actually what happens in those two songs, is that the band just begins to flow with the Holy Spirit and there is amazing music, amazing guitar playing, amazing piano, and you’ll hear as the songs come out week after week – and they’ll start coming out now for the rest of the year basically – as the more songs come out you’ll see just how God helped us grow and how the pattern of flowing in the Holy Spirit with the new songs that have been written. The great work that God has done while we were in lockdown. So what the world thought was a very unproductive time actually for us as a ministry was a highly productive time. Praise the Lord.
Certainly, the Lord has opened new doors for us and we’re experiencing supernatural increase. And so this is my opportunity to thank all of you people that are here. I want to thank you for being obedient to the Word that’s in you as opposed to the Word that we preach all the time. I want to thank you for continuing to give your tithe and for you to continue to give your offerings because we haven’t taken up tithes or offerings in the ministry for three months going on four months. But we lack nothing. Hallelujah. We lack nothing. God has blessed us and increased us and that’s all glory to God. Hallelujah.
I’ll tell you this really is marvellous. You know, Brother Jerry said something, he’s preached a lot more in his Crowley church over this period and he said one day, recently, probably three weeks ago or four weeks ago. He said, “If you’re a person that has heard the faith message and it’s only been something that has been words to you – as opposed to what you live with your life – this is likely to be a moment where the real faith people are going to shine.” Because, if you look at your circumstances you can be tempted to actually, from a relational point of view, from a health point of view, from an emotional and psychological state of being, there are many areas where you can find yourself in difficulty. But if you’re a faith person you will trust in the Word and you will trust in what God has placed in your life. Amen.
Basically Brother Jerry was saying, you know, you’re going to see the faith people, you know. They are going to stand, they are going to keep standing, they are not going to quit. Amen. I mean I’ve always experienced this. Many years ago when I was first introduced to the faith message, I was part of a very large church and a subtle subconscious thing developed in the church at the time and it was this; if you had money, if you are wealthy, if you are prosperous then, of course, you live by faith because you can point to results in your life and you could say, “My faith is working.”
But I became to understand, I became to realise that actually, and it’s been part of my journey with the Lord, a lot of people would say that they’re in faith but all those people that had money ended up immigrating out of South Africa because their faith wasn’t in God. Their faith was in the way they viewed the future. The way they viewed the future is that there is no hope for South Africa so we are going to immigrate to Australia, New Zealand, America, Canada or Great Britain. Because they didn’t have faith that God could take care of them here and so they had a lot to lose with their money so they went somewhere else. Faith is not about how good a government situation is but faith is about how good God is to you no matter what the government situation. Right? So praise the Lord.
All I can say to you today is I’m grateful to the Lord, I give Him thanks on a daily basis – every day when I wake up – I give Him thanks. I give Him thanks well in the spirit because I’m grateful and I have a great deal of gratitude that I was introduced to the word of faith; I was introduced to the true meaning of living the Bible every day as opposed to a religious set of rules of do’s and don’ts. God is so vitally part of my life, you know, and He keeps on and continues to bless us day by day. Day by day. Hallelujah. Praise the Lord.
Anybody got a question for me that you want to ask since we have a free session this morning? I have become aware that tonight there is a presidential address this evening. The presidential address is actually about the Corona Command Council has been meeting together this week. My understanding is that the premier of Gauteng and other people in Gauteng have asked the Corona Command Council to re-impose stricter lockdown regulations because of the rampant coronavirus cases. This is real. I can’t say coronavirus doesn’t exist. It exists. The government is doing and responding to it in the ways that they feel they need to do it and we are praying for them. Amen.
I’m saying this to you because it may be that they actually lock down Gauteng from tomorrow or Tuesday or Wednesday – it may be. It might be that they say churches can’t meet any more and they might cause restaurants to close down and other things to happen again in Gauteng. It might also happen in the Western Cape I’m led to believe, and maybe the Eastern Cape as well. They’re not going to shut down the whole country but they are potentially going to shut down or bring back further restrictions to try and contain what’s happening in Gauteng. I’m just sharing that with you now because it might be that you have to join us on an online service next Sunday as opposed to us being live here in the auditorium next Sunday. So if you’re wanting to get a fix of fellowship then do it today. Do it safely, do it with a mask, don’t shake each other’s hand or do that kind of thing. By all means, have as many conversations you want to have. I’m saying; get your fix today because you might not have it for a week or two or who knows.
Certainly, I’m believing that the effects of coronavirus will not impact the economy of this nation, will not impact the things that are actually more severe, that is happening than actually the disease that is happening. I do believe this, that this is a fear strategy that is imposed by the enemy to make everybody actually run for their lives and certainly to diminish people’s income ability. So that’s why I believe this is the time of God for us. Amen. Hallelujah. Glory.
I have a few things to share with you this morning since you don’t have questions for me. I have a question for you then. The question is; how much power does it take to raise someone from the dead? How much power does it take to raise someone from the dead? Certainly, within our human experience, I think you’ll agree with me that we have no power to raise anyone from the dead. Anybody raised anyone from the dead lately? Even if you were able to raise someone from the dead it wouldn’t be your power, right? It would need to have a supernatural power to raise someone from the dead. Yes? So listen; to raise someone from the dead is not the way Hollywood portrays people being raised from the dead. I’m sure you’ve seen movies, someone is drowning and they have this drama where they drag them out of the water and there’s no heartbeat and they’re pumping the guy and they’re doing CPR and then no response and then suddenly the guy goes (cough, cough) and the water comes and he’s back from the dead. Right? I mean that’s Hollywood style raised from the dead. That’s not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about if someone’s really dead, they’re dead, dead. To raise someone from the dead that’s not within the scope of humanity.
Scientists have said that we can take DNA and we can replicate DNA and we can make cats or dogs from DNA strands. Right? You know about this? Some of you don’t know about it. They say we are so advanced as a species that we can even recreate living life. They can’t really, they’re just duplicating a life that is already pre-existing. So they can’t do it without an existing DNA strand. So they can take the DNA that is a living organism and they can replicate it. But they can’t create it.
How much power does it take to raise someone from the dead? I don’t really know because I don’t have that power. The only One who has that power is God the Father. He has the power. This is good news for you and me because if He’s your Lord and your Saviour and He lives in you then there is something that’s in you that’s much more powerful than death. Just bear with me as I go through some teaching with you this morning. Remember two weeks ago I said; if there was only the cross sin would win and we could not live in grace. The power of grace and real future is in the power God used for resurrection and then sending the Holy Spirit to partner with us; our new life with the same power. The power that He used to raise Jesus from the dead is now the same power that lives in you.
I need you to think about this for a little bit and I’m hoping that you’re recording it here, that this recording is good enough that you can download a podcast from this message if you want to read it or meditate on it some more. How much power does it take to raise someone from the dead? That’s a good question I think. I believe I got to this scripture, I’m not sure if I got to this scripture with you or whether it was in Witbank so just bear with me. 2 Corinthians chapter 1 verse 8 in the New Living Translation says, 8We think you ought to know, dear brothers and sisters, about the trouble we went through in the province of Asia. We were crushed and overwhelmed beyond our ability to endure, beyond their ability as human beings to endure what persecution they went through, and we thought we would never live through it. 9In fact, we expected to die. But as a result, we stopped relying on ourselves and learned to rely only on God, who raises the dead (2 Corinthians 1:8-9 NLT).
That’s what the scripture says; we stopped relying on ourselves and learned to rely only on God, who raises the dead (2 Corinthians 1:9 NLT). So God raises the dead. 10And he did rescue us from mortal danger, and he will rescue us again. We have placed our confidence in him, and he will continue to rescue us (2 Corinthians 1:10 NLT). Our trust is in God even though we face such difficulties and such trouble we didn’t think we would make it. We thought we were going to die. Okay, question, rhetorical question; if you lose all your finances, you lose your job, you lose health, there are other things that you might consider valuable that you might lose you lose these things. What is the ultimate thing that you can lose that you have not yet lost? Is it not life? Some people will be persuaded that the life that they see ahead is less or is so insignificant that they think they should stop their lives now because there’s no reason to live beyond the now. So they take their lives prematurely and early because they can’t see a life that exists beyond right now. So that’s a sense of hopelessness, that’s a sense of a reality that in their minds is so powerful, this reality, that they cannot see a future for themselves.
I mean, it was a devastating thing for us as a family when Brynn and Garth were at a private boy’s school here in Johannesburg and Pastor Sharon used to drive them to school every day or I would take them on my way to work sometimes but we also had a lift club going with some of the boys of the same standard and in the same school – that just helped parents get kids to and back from school. We came to discover that shortly after one of the boys finished matric, one of the boys that we used to lift in the car many times to school, we heard – this would have been first year of varsity – this young man committed suicide. There is a part of us that said, “Well, you know, we didn’t see any sign of that, we didn’t see anything.” We lived our Christian faith, listened to Christian music in the car and we believed that he was a born again believer. But there wasn’t an expressed living out of his religion or his faith in God. There wasn’t an expression. But he, you know, he took his life because he got so bound up in a system that he could see no way out of the system. He said, “The system is so dominating, so overwhelming to me that I cannot see me living in the future”. That’s a desperate place to be. Isn’t it? It’s a real desperate place to be.
When I was in the computer industry so many years ago, one of the CEO’s, in those days, companies still used to buy – I am dating myself a bit here – but they used to buy mainframe computers, you know, and the mainframe computers were generally millions and millions of Rands. IBM’s mainframe computer was the standard and so you had companies like Hitachi and Dell and few other people that made IBM compatible mainframes. They did it because IBM could pay, would price their computers so high, so they discovered if they just produced hardware could run the same operating system, actually, they could do it at a much lower cost. In the end, it became a very good thing for the industry because the price of mainframe computers came down and that was one of the causes for the emergence of minicomputers, desktops and supercomputers or computer farms. It was the emergence of that because of that competition. But one of the men that got the sole exclusive distributorship of one of those compatible IBM mainframe products in South Africa was also married to a previous Miss South Africa who was also a very well-known TV presenter. They became quite well known as the glamour couple and I knew them from church. Well, I think he was about 55 years old, 55, when I was probably about 30. I thought he was old. Now I’m older than that, but anyway. At the age of 55 he ended up shooting himself in his study because he had lost a couple of big deals to other competitors, his business was in crisis and his reputation was tarnished because of that – in his mind. One day he thought the only way I could rectify this situation is to take my life and the insurance policy will take care of my kids and my wife and so that is what he did. He killed himself. He was a Christian and his wife was a Christian. We still continued having a level of friendship with her for some years after that but it was quite a devastating experience.
Why am I telling you these horrible stories? I am telling you these horrible stories because if you do not believe in what Apostle Paul says that there is power that raises the dead that lives in you, then anything around you doesn’t seem like you can conquer it because death inside of yourself, death inside your head, death inside of your emotions is equal to physical death. If you don’t have a real living relationship with Jesus and know that He’s got that same power to resurrect your emotions, resurrect your thoughts, resurrect your life; then you don’t have a relationship with God that is personal, meaningful, then you don’t yet have a full understanding of the power that raises the dead. That’s why Christians should always be hopeful. We should always be thankful. We should be like the Apostle Paul that says, “I trust in that God, and even though we didn’t think we would make it, we’re still here because His power was there for us”.
First Corinthians 15 verse 16 to 20 from The Passion Translation reads like this, 16If the dead aren’t raised up, that would mean that Christ has not been raised up either. 17And if Christ is not alive, you are still lost in your sins and your faith is a fantasy (1 Corinthians 15:16-17 TPT). I just got through telling you these stories about these people because if you don’t believe that Christ was raised from the dead and that same power is what resurrects you to eternal life then what you do is you live your life as a fantasy of faith, not a reality of faith but a fantasy. I’m preaching good the morning, even though it’s cold.
18It would also mean that those believers in Christ who have passed away have simply perished. In other words, they have no eternal future. They’re just dead.19If the only benefit of our hope in Christ is limited to this life on earth, we deserve to be pitied more than all others! (1 Corinthians 15:18-19 TPT). Why are we pitied more than all others? Well, first of all, you don’t really believe what you say you believe, then you should be pitied if you don’t really believe what you say you believe. Come on. This goes down to the heart of what believe. So that is one thing to be pitied. The second thing is if you don’t really believe what you say you believe and you are trying to live to a standard of what you believe but you don’t really believe it then you are to be pitied because you are living a life of fantasy that’s not reality. Come on. Many Christians what to say, “Well, I am a Christian and I am going to heaven and I go to church once a week and for the rest I want to live my life as a normal human being. You are to be pitied because you don’t really believe what you say you believe. If you really do believe what you do say you believe then you no longer have pity but you have power. So what do you say? This is not about; I don’t want you to pity me for anything. I want to demonstrate my power that is the power of God in me that comes out of me. Hallelujah.
When I was in high school, I was in matric and we had a guy in school that had to spend a couple of extra years in school – that is the best, kindest way I can say it. I think at the time I was maybe seventeen, I was in matric. I think he was nineteen already and some of us didn’t shave and he was a hardened shaver. Anyway, enough of that. He was the kind of guy who lifted up – we used to sit at desks in those days that had an ink well here and would lift up like this, and you could fit your books inside the table. What he would do is he would sit with this desk and he would pull the desk open and sit with his half jack of brandy and when the teacher wasn’t looking he would have a couple of shots of jack, you know. Then, of course, it was a big deal, how many other people he could get to share the shots with him while the lessons were going and what state they could get themselves in before break time came, so that they could do it again in break and then skip the last two classes of school. You understand? That guy and his friends persecuted me relentlessly and persecuted me relentlessly because I loved Jesus. Even though I played in sports teams, that wasn’t good enough for them. They wanted me to integrate my ways with their ways because every time I didn’t do that it showed them what was possible if you really believe. That carried on when I went into the army.
Sooner or later your light that shines is greater than the darkness around you and then ultimately the darkness that is around you will have to submit to the light. It has no other way. It’s like when you switch on a light in utter darkness, the darkness cannot remain where there is light, – it must bow. It must flea, it must. What I was a living example of is that the power of the resurrection life, that power to uphold me and up gird me and strengthen me, even when I didn’t think I would make it sometimes, certainly in a military context. God was always there for me.
Not only was Christ resurrected but we too are resurrected; raised and lifted up into a new life where you are in Him. Do you know that Jesus when He gave the Great Commission to His disciples, He said to them, “Go make disciples and baptise them.” Why is baptism such an important thing? Because when you go into the water for baptism you take the person that walks into the water as an old creature and you identify with the old creature, the old man. The whole idea of water baptism and immersive water baptism is that you identify with the death of Jesus. Then when you come back up out of the water, you identify with His resurrection. Which is why the baptism is not a matter of a religious ceremony, it is a real power of identity that I die with Him and I am resurrected with Him. Why is that so important? Because you cannot understand and live true Christianity unless you understand that you have died to everything that died with Jesus and you are resurrected with the same power that is the resurrection life of Jesus. That’s why when people are baptised and are raised from baptism, their lives should forever be altered. The only thing that can happen to you after that is deception.
Deception can cause you to choose what you want rather than what God wants. Every time you choose what you want you identify with the man that has been buried. Why would you live your life identifying with the man that has been buried all the time? You should be identifying with the man that has been resurrected, it’s got life, it’s got power to overcome and death cannot touch you again. It is for me the minute this body collapses because there is no strength to hold me on the earth; my spirit and my soul transition instantly into the presence of God which means I experience no death. I will never ever experience death. I might experience my physical body collapsing without life but that’s not who I am. Who I am is inside and who I am is who is speaking to you. This clay is just a vehicle and a vessel to speak and to do. And so we shouldn’t make our lives about the vessel, we should make our lives about the eternal life that’s inside of us. Because then when we live that kind of life, we live in the resurrection identity.
I’m going to give you a few scriptures this morning. Are you up for this? In some ways, I am glad we did not have praise and worship so I can preach longer to you today. So, if you do not live in the power of His resurrection then you live as those who are blind and even in a grip of death; separation from the life of God. This is no good to you, to anyone around you, in fact, it causes confusion because you are one thing and choose to live another. We settle for the dying life. Why would you settle for the dying life? When you become a Christian, you have excess to a completely different dimension of living which you can see what others don’t see and have the power to live in what you see. Come on now. Listen, I sat and typed that out, hey. I have had this revelation for a while so I will give you a little bit of time to assimilate it. But when you are resurrected you live in a new dimension of life. If you understand that your resurrection has brought you to a new dimension of life. So you don’t want to be identifying with everybody else around you so that you can fit into the community. What you want to do is you want to identify with the life of God so that you can become useful to the community. Hey, I should write a book, don’t you think? It’s coming, let me assume it’s a month – first book will be ready for publication. Then you won’t just be able to call me Pastor, Doctor, Professor, you will have to call me Author. It’s like everybody must listen to you when you are an author. Anyway, just having a bit of fun here.
Matthew chapter 13 verse 11 says, 11He answered and said to them, “Because it has been given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given. 12For whoever has, to him more will be given, and he will have abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him (Matthew 13:11-12 NKJV). Note what this is talking about. This is talking about the mysteries of understanding the Kingdom of God. If you live by the Kingdom of God and you live with the resurrection power that says; I’m a new creature, I have a whole new creative life I must live and the power of resurrection lives through me then I begin to understand the mysteries of God and the life that God says we can live. If I choose to identify with the dying breed of people, they are blind to what God can show you that you see. And because they are blind to that and they can’t see what you see they can only live by what they can see. And so, if you say; I only want to live by what they can see then your whole life becomes about what other people see, not what you see spiritually. But if your life becomes what you see spiritually and what you see from God then you have a place that you can live by what you see because God gives you the power to live by what you see, – you see?
Just so that we are clear about who we are as a people, Deuteronomy 7 verse 7 in the New Living Translation it says, 7The Lord did not set his heart on you and choose you because you were more numerous than other nations, for you were the smallest of all nations! (Deuteronomy 7:7 NLT). So, let me say this; your significance, your wealth, your education, God didn’t choose you because you had more than what others had, on the contrary, God chose you because you had less than what others had. Now you might say, “But, Pastor John, I have a good education, I have a whole lot of stuff going for me.” Let me tell you that’s why many, many people say Christians just use their religion as a crutch because only the weak need Christianity. They just don’t know that their identity with themselves is already dying because they identify with themselves. Those that say I got nothing to offer, I will make Jesus the Lord and Savior of my life, their identity is in resurrection and so they become more numerous and greater and more powerful than those that are already dying because they can’t even see they’re dying. It’s like somebody who’s got cancer and they are dying from cancer and they just refuse to be tested because they deny that they’ve got cancer. You think cancer is not working because you are denying it? That cancer is in the body and it’s defeating you. You understand my analogy?
If you identify with someone that’s dying all around you and let me tell you, that world system does not have any integrity about their motives. That world system, they may schmooze you, they may speak good words about you, they might use your gifts and your talents, they might elevate you, they might say anything about how great you are and all kind of stuff but make no mistake there is no integrity in what they do. They’re using you for their own ends and the minute you lose your usefulness you’re no longer part of the special ones. I’m preaching pretty good, hey? You may say; Amen.
8Rather, it was simply that the Lord loves you, and he was keeping the oath he had sworn to your ancestors. That is why the Lord rescued you with such a strong hand from your slavery and from the oppressive hand of Pharaoh, king of Egypt. Understand we all know that whenever there’s a mention of Egypt, Pharaohs and Kings we understand that in our modern-day world that refers to the system and the people who rule the system. So, I can just as easily say that’s why the Lord rescued you with such a strong hand from your slavery and from the oppressive hand of the system and those who rule the system. 9Understand, therefore, that the Lord your God is indeed God. He is the faithful God who keeps his covenant for a thousand generations and lavishes his unfailing love on those who love him and obey his commands (Deuteronomy 7:8-9 NLT). I ask you; if you have unlimited resources and you choose to give lavish love to those that you love, do you think that that lavish love includes sickness? Do you think that that lavish love includes poverty? Do you think that that lavish love includes struggle? Quite the opposite. But you can’t get the lavish love unless you believe that it’s that love that is part of the resurrection power. Otherwise, you are blind to it, you can’t understand it. You might understand it intellectually. Let me tell you there are a lot of people that have an intellectual understanding of the Bible. There are some people that actually don’t believe God, but they can quote most of the Bible at you. Just because you can read the Bible and quote the Bible and you can even understand some spiritual principles like sowing and reaping – who doesn’t understand that? Anybody will tell you, if you sow into lots of hard studies, you can reap good marks and good rewards from that. Right? If you are an athlete and you put a lot of energy into what you’re trained to do, you can reap rewards from that. Everybody understands sowing and reaping. It comes from Jesus. It comes from the Bible. Just because you understand that, doesn’t make you a believer in God. In fact, I can tell you I know that unfortunately the religious organisations – and I mean that in its broadest sense – even the church that preaches the Gospel of Jesus, even the church that preaches being filled with the Spirit and speaking in other tongues, even the church that believes in God can place the organisation and the excellence of the organisation to such a level of importance that it consumes talent and resources and energy to such an extent that people get discouraged and disenchanted with church, Then they associate church with God and so then they walk away from God because they associate the church with God. You cannot associate the church with God because the church is not buildings, the church is not even organisation and the excellence of organisation of lights and music and other stuff. The church is you and me and even and I have said this before to you; even with me, if you judge your walk with God by me, I am likely to let you down somewhere. I mean, you could phone me, and I don’t return your call in two days and you say, “Pastor John doesn’t care about me. What kind of Christian is he? Does he really love me?” I mean I am using just a basic example, but your expectation could be that I let you down. So being let down should never be a measure of your belief in God and Jesus.
Deuteronomy 30 verse 19, 19I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live; 20that you may love the Lord your God, that you may obey His voice, and that you may cling to Him, for He is your life and the length of your days; and that you may dwell in the land (Deuteronomy 30:19-20 NKJV), which He gives you. It says Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and all that – the land or the place that He has given you in this world right now. I read to you two separate translations of Proverbs chapter 18 verse 21 in the New King James. I read it because you know it and can quote it yourself. 21Death and life are in the power of the tongue, And those who love it will eat its fruit (Proverbs 18:21 NKJV). The Passion Translation says it this way, 21Your words are so powerful that they will kill or give life, and the talkative person will reap the consequences (Proverbs 18:21 TPT).
Let us just understand this; words that come out of your life are creative words and I am reading this to you because if you keep silent, you’re likely to not create death structure. Come on. But if you keep silent, you are also not creating a life structure. There is no option regardless of your personality. If you are a personality that talks a lot, you need to watch out that your words are in line with God, because words will come easy for you if you’re a talkative person. The more you talk, the more you have the opportunity to have conversations and discussions and things that are emotional, that are reality around you rather than what God’s Word says. So that doesn’t mean to say we can’t have fun to talk about running and cycling and that Liverpool is champions – we are the champions. The Liverpool song is a really great song because it says you will never walk alone again. Really, it was a song that was designed after an unfortunate incident in Liverpool in the 1970s, where 70 plus people were killed because Liverpool was playing a big game against another competitor and people jammed into the stadium and they were overcome – 70 people lost their lives. The Liverpool theme song was written after that event and part of the declaration and part of the theme is that you will never walk alone again. It is awesome, hey? I knew there was a reason why I liked Liverpool. Listen, in the last 18 months, the South African Springboks have become world champions, Liverpool have won the Premier League, Liverpool has won Champions League. I’m in the pound seats. Anybody wishes to have any other alternative conversations? The facts speak for themselves. All Blacks what? Manchester United what? Or Manchester City what? Sorry. I haven’t been able to do this for some time so I’ll do it today.
Proverbs 13 verse 3 says, 3Guard your words and you’ll guard your life,
but if you don’t control your tongue, it will ruin everything (Proverbs 13:3 TPT). Okay, I’m going to finish with this passage of scripture, I’m going to read the whole passage of scripture to you, reading it out of the Passion Translation, it’s one of the most, it’s just I couldn’t improve on it in a debate if I wanted to I’m just going to read it to you in First Corinthians chapter 2 from verse 1 to verse 15 in The Passion Translation. This is what it reads, 1My brothers and sisters, when I first came to proclaim to you the secrets of God, I refused to come as an expert, trying to impress you with my eloquent speech and lofty wisdom. 2For while I was with you I was determined to be consumed with one topic—Jesus, the crucified Messiah. 3I stood before you feeling inadequate, filled with reverence for God, and trembling under the sense of the importance of my words. 4The message I preached and how I preached it was not an attempt to sway you with persuasive arguments but to prove to you the almighty power of God’s Holy Spirit. 5For God intended that your faith not be established on man’s wisdom but by trusting in his almighty power. That’s the power that raised Jesus from the dead. 6However, there is a wisdom that we continually speak of when we are among the spiritually mature. It’s wisdom that didn’t originate in this present age, nor did it come from the rulers of this age, that’s of this world system, who are in the process of being dethroned. If you think, coronavirus and death and poverty and economic disaster are busy becoming all the more powerful, it is a sure sign, the very fact that it is doing what it’s doing in the earth, is a sure sign that God’s power is about to defeat it. As for me, I’m in the church that’s going to be one of those that defeat it, and I am busy defeating it every day, every day. I’m living as a person that has no impact by coronavirus. I’m living as a person that no impact of the coronavirus is in my relationship with my wife, neither is there any impact with my relationship with other people, neither is there an impact on my economic circumstances. There is no impact that it can do to defeat me. And the fact that it exists is a sure sign that it is just on the brink of being destroyed. 7Instead, we continually speak of this wonderful wisdom that comes from God, hidden before now in a mystery. It is his secret plan, destined before the ages, to bring us into glory. This glory is not a glory of our death in heaven, this glory is the same glory that you can read in John chapter 17 when Jesus says, now Father glorify your son and glorify those that believe in You and Me. He wasn’t speaking that they would die to get the glory. He was saying that when I die, the glory that We have must become theirs while they live – that’s the power of resurrection life. 8None of the rulers of this present world order understood it, they still don’t understand it, for if they had, they never would have crucified the Lord of shining glory. Why? Because the minute they crucified Him God’s power was able to resurrect Him. So if you wanted my answer of how much power does it take to bring someone to life, do you want the answer? Or should I leave it for another time? No, now? Are you sure? Definitely? Nah, I’m not sure. I don’t know if you can handle it.
If the authority of God is the authority that created everything, everything that has ever been created, right? There is no other creator on the earth, in the universe. The devil could not even create his own will. He could only use the will that God gave him that He created him with, to use it against God. So that’s why the devil can’t come up with anything new against humanity. Because he can’t even create sin. He can only create what the will of men do with the power that God gave them to be humans, and he uses that against humans. God is the original Author of everything. How much power does it take to create everything? It only takes the author and the authority of the one that can create everything. Come on now, how did He create it? He spoke it. So He believes in His words so much that He knows that when He speaks whatever He speaks it is created because between the Son and the Holy Spirit, They become the Word in action and They become the power for the Word to be in action. So how much, does it take more power to create everything from nothing or does it take power to take something that’s dead and relive it, relife it? It’s not a different power, it’s the same power. How much power does it take to raise Jesus from the dead? There is only one requirement and that requirement was that God could not go against His own word. Because the minute He went against His own word He would destroy His own power and authority. He couldn’t author something with everything that it was authored to become and then change His mind about it, because then that would show that what He did, in the beginning, was the wrong thing He did, and He can’t do anything wrong. So when He created everything it was all good. Read it in Genesis Chapter 1, I don’t have time to go there. That’s why He said, He made this and it was good and He made this and this and it was good. And He made this and it was good. Why? Because He can’t do anything that’s wrong because He is the ultimate authority of everything and when He speaks words whatever His will is that He’s creating is good and it is created by His words.
The only requirement was that the man that He would rise from the dead had to be a blameless man that so looked like Him that when he died it would be an illegal death. So because the death was illegal He could stand up with the authority of His own creative order and everything He began life with and He said, “My word still stands, it has never changed, I’m still the same. You killed Him illegally because He did nothing wrong. So the same words I used to raise the whole world up into its state of being is the same words I used to raise Him from the dead.” It’s the same word that raised you from the death that you were separated from God and then He said, “You believe in My Son and I will recreate you.” Because you were dead to God, you were alienated from God, you were as those that never knew God, but when you received Him into your life He recreated your spirit man to house God. The same power that made everything is the same power that resurrected Him, is the same power that you have in you because you are a new creation. Therefore with the same power in you, your words must be guarded because when you speak words, they create.
If you say; I don’t know how I am going to get through all this stuff. Well, you’re creating, I don’t know how. I don’t know if I know what my future looks like – it’s what you are creating; I don’t know. Living in emotional integrity is not the same as living in spiritual order. We tend to think that living in emotional integrity is the highest form of humanity that we can live in. It’s not, because it is a lie from the devil because it depends on your own strength of what you hold dear as a value system to you, whereas God says, “I don’t really care what your value system is, you have got to experience My order, then when My order becomes your value system you have pure life.” Are you getting all of this? Are you sure you are getting this?
If I believe in the resurrected power of God living inside of me – I believe it, I believe it – then I have got to believe that everything that I can speak out of my mouth that is in line with His will, in line with His Word, and if I am not sure about anything else I go back to His Word and then I let that living Word come out of me and speak into existence things that do not exist as though they already existed. Faith. The one thing God can’t change in you and me is his will, you can’t change a man’s will. If he sets his will against God, God can’t change that. That is what makes you like God. That’s why some people in the world think that they are gods because they have the will like God to elevate themselves as gods and when they do what they want to do because they want to do it when they want to do it how they want to do it without consulting what God wants for their life, they become gods to themselves. And then that journey, it ends up somewhere along the line where there is always destruction in that journey. And when that destruction happens they begin to question whether they are God, and then they justify themselves because of all the choices they have already made and then they just perpetuate themselves as gods.
I don’t know if you are getting this? Like I said I typed all this out and wrote this, so you know, I am living in this stuff. You are getting it in one fifty-five minute blast. You will have to download it on the podcast or from the website. Okay, I am not going to preach anymore, I am just going to read. 9This is why the Scriptures say: Things never discovered or heard. The rulers of the world, they said, “If we had known that this would happen we would never have killed Him.” 9This is why the Scriptures say: Things never discovered or heard of before, things beyond our ability to imagine — these are the many things God has in store for all his lovers. Those who love Him. 10But God now unveils these profound realities to us by the Spirit, the Holy Spirit. Yes, he has revealed to us his inmost heart and deepest mysteries through the Holy Spirit, who constantly explores all things. 11After all, who can really see into a person’s heart and know his hidden impulses, or motives, except for that person’s spirit? So it is with God. His thoughts and secrets are only fully understood by his Spirit, which is the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of God. 12For we did not receive the spirit of this world system but the Spirit of God, so that we might come to understand and experience all that grace has lavished upon us. 13And we articulate these realities with the words imparted to us by the Spirit and not with the words taught by human wisdom. We join together Spirit-revealed truths with Spirit-revealed words. 14Someone living on an entirely human level rejects the revelations of God’s Spirit, for they make no sense to him. He can’t understand the revelations of the Spirit because they are only discovered by the illumination of the Spirit of God. 15Those who live in the Spirit are able to carefully evaluate all things. Please, listen to this. They are able to evaluate all things. Why? Because now you are living in the Spirit and your revelations are from the Spirit and you’re speaking Sprit words and so you’re living in this realm of spirit that others can’t see that you see, and you’re living it out that you see what you see and you live what you live what see. And so others can’t see what you see and they can’t understand what you live and they’ve got no insight about how you do it. Spiritually, and they see things from God and they speak God’s words. They can stand up against any scrutiny, and people will have much to say about them and they themselves are not subject to those words that those people say about them cause those words can’t touch them cause they’re living in the resurrected life. So those words that they speak over them are death words, dying words. Death words that are creating their own death, but you stand free from it because you stand in the resurrected life. So they can actually not judge you or evaluate anything that you do because you live in the resurrected realm they can’t even see. Okay, I’ve got lots to preach still but I’m done. Praise the Lord. Hallelujah.
This is so real to me that in this time of where everything is in chaos and confusion; I have resurrected life in me. I have the life of Jesus Christ in me. This very life shields me from sickness and disease. When you see me wearing a mask and I bounce you with my knee, with my elbow – I’m fit but I’m not that fit. But you know, if I bounce you with my elbow, and I wear my mask and I do what the government is asking me to do, that does not diminish that I believe that the life of Christ in me kills any virus or germ that comes into my body. When everybody else is losing money and losing their job that does not apply to me, it does not apply to me. It does not apply to me. And if I have lost my job or if I have lost something then it just means that God is creating an opportunity that’s going to be better for me. It might not look like it on the rands and cents column that it matches what I had before, but I can tell you this that your overall prosperity will be better if you have words of Spirit and realities of Spirit or revelations of Spirit, and life things because that is what will drive your future.
If I was preaching this to you like the Apostle Paul also says, so that I could show you that I’m persuasive or that I could show you with clever speech I would be defeating the whole reason why God will raise me up to come and speak to you. The reason I’m speaking to you is because those things have become my revelation. Those mysteries of God have become real in me. So as I live it, I preach it. I don’t come to you with persuasive words but I come to you with the Almighty power of God. That same power that raised me up from financial ruin, that same power that raised me up from a marriage that could have failed, that same power that raised me up that could have lost my kids, that same power that raised me up from inadequacy and failure that has caused me to be in Christ what He has made me, that same power is yours. And these are the words that you should receive into your heart and live them fully in your life.
So, you should stand with me before I preach again. Hallelujah. Hallelujah. It would be a wonderful thing for me to see you again next week but if for some reason another governmental thing happens that I don’t see you, please know that Pastor Sharon and I are praying for you every day, every day. Maybe we skip Sundays. But it’s not that we don’t pray for you, it’s that we pray for you in a different context. Our prayers for you on a Sunday is that everything that God needs to do for you in church and in the worship and in things that are said and done and connected to that you will receive it. Hallelujah. Praise the Lord.
Put your hand on your heart, please. Say; thank You, Jesus, that I am a son of God. I thank You for the resurrection life that beats in my spiritual heart. I choose to live in life, to live in blessing. I thank You, Lord, that Your favour and Your abundance is my portion in Jesus’ name. I don’t have to be worried of any of my frailties or my weaknesses or my poor judgement. I hide behind the cross and the person of Jesus Christ therefore I live in resurrection power, in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Well, I want to say to you, if you find yourself having conversations in the next day or two or three, or week or whatever, if you find yourself having conversations or having any thought patterns that are about weakness, about inability, about constraints, and about the things that the enemy wants you to focus on in this time, then I want you to – I mean really you should do this. This is the way that I literally overcame the impossibility of me being promoted to the levels of senior management in the corporate world that I was promoted to. It wasn’t because I was well educated, it was because I was well faithed. Come on now. If faith can do that for you, let me tell you, that’s the place that you can say, “I can’t be defeated.” Praise the Lord. Then you just need to put a – I mean, I lived this. I used to walk down passages, I used to be in my cubicle, I used to be in my offices, I would be in my car, wherever I was, I would speak day and night, day and night. I would speak it out of my mouth, I would speak it out of my mouth. I’d think about it and when I thought about it I would speak about it and when I thought about it and I would speak about it. And so when you think about it and speak about it, and think about it and speak about it, then when somebody comes to you with an alternative reality your words immediately begin to find a way of not judging them, criticizing them, running them down, or alienating yourself from them, but immediately your words start to begin to think about ways that you can guard your heart, guard your mouth and still have a reasonable relationship.
So when you say, “I’m a son of God, I’m a son of God. I live by the resurrection life of God and every word that comes out of my mouth is a power word that comes. It’s for my future, it’s for my recovery, it’s for my restoration, it’s for my blessing, it’s for my future. I speak it out, I speak it out.” Let me tell you it will guide, it will direct, it will elevate, it will strengthen. Don’t let the words that are in the world right now be the words that you live by. Even though we adhere to things; don’t let those words, don’t let those behaviour patterns undermine your future with God. Amen. You promise? Amen.