Power of Resurrection Part 4 – Ps John Bendixen (WTB)
21 November 2021 Power of Resurrection Part 4 Pastor John Bendixen (WTB)
Scripture reference: Colossians 3:1- 4 (TPT); Philippians 3:10-12 (AMPC); John 12:1-11 (NLT); John 12:23-26 (NLT)
Glory to Jesus. Praise the name of Jesus. Praise Jesus. Thank You, Lord. Thank You. Thank You that You are the resurrection and the life. Thank You, Lord. Thank You, Jesus. Thank You, Jesus. Thank You, Lord. I thank You, Father, that Your resurrection life is at work in each of us. I thank You, Lord, that Your resurrection life is causing us to have all of our filters removed from our minds. Our hearts are ready, open and ready to receive all that You have for us because Your resurrection life is working its full power in us. Hallelujah.
Thank You, Lord. Thank You, Lord. Thank You, Jesus. Thank You, Jesus. Thank You, Lord. I thank You, Father, that the words that will be spoken today—that they will continue to bring out the deep and great and mighty power that works within us. That very resurrection power that raised Jesus from the dead, that power that works within us. Hallelujah. Thank you, Lord, that everybody that is going to watch or listen to this message will receive it and does receive it with gladness and joy. And it bears fruit in their lives and in their hearts, Father. Thank You. Thank You, Lord, in Jesus’ name, amen. Amen. Amen. You may be seated.
Praise the Lord. Thank you. Glory to Jesus. Hallelujah. Well, I’m glad you’re in church today. Hallelujah. Here’s a question that you might take for granted on a regular basis, but I’m going to ask it anyway. So that you can think about it; a bit more. The question is, why did you come to church today? Why are you here? I trust that it’s not because the music’s real good, but it is. I trust that it’s not because we have a nice auditorium, and it is. I trust that it’s not because we all smell good and look good. Although I’m sure, you do. I trust that it’s not because someone else is doing it, and so you feel compelled to do it, although you might.
I trust that it’s because there is something deep inside of you, that is, the life of Christ, that brings you to church. If that’s the case, then you have much to do and much to be thankful for. Because the church is what God has created as an organism—as part of His body—to cause you to grow. If you are here today because you felt like you should be here today, but you’re not sure, I trust that by the end of the service, you will be sure. Amen, because maybe you are just here by someone else’s invitation. Welcome. I’m glad that you’re here. And I’m sure you will be back. Hallelujah. Praise the Lord.
I have, I have a short testimony that I want to share with you before I start. If you remember, when we did the fireside chats, for those of you who came to fireside chats, and or who watched it by way of digital platform, you will know that one of the things that need to get done in the church and one of the projects I named, is we got to fix the church’s roof. I was hoping that we could do it in winter before the summer came, but nou ja, the rains are here, but God’s never late. Amen.
So, I want to share with you something that happened on the fireside chat that you may or may not know about, but when we were in the fireside chat, and subsequently after that, at least one more time, from the pulpit, from this platform, I said, “It’s not what I want to spend money on; maintenance. I want to spend money on other good things.” So, the Lord began to deal with me about that. He said to me, “So John, who called you to the ministry?” I said, ”You did, Lord.” He said, “Who called you to Witbank?” I said, “You did.” He said, “Who gave you this building?” I said, “You did.” So He said, “You don’t want to fix the roof? Because if you don’t want to, I won’t.” So I said, “I want to fix the roof, Lord. I want to fix the roof. I really, really want to fix the roof. I’m really happy to fix the roof. I’m blessed that I have a roof to fix. I’m blessed that You gave me a building that’s got a roof on for a roof to fix. Thank You, Lord, that I can fix this roof. Thank You. Thank You, Lord. I’m happy, I’m joyful. I’m delighted that I can fix a roof.”
As I began to change what I was saying, the joy came in my heart to fix the roof. I’m sharing this with you by way of testimony that actually in everything that you do in your life, you have one of two choices. You can speak what you really have an emotion for, what you think of in your head, or you can speak what God says. If you think something with your mind, or what your head’s telling you, or your emotions are telling you, then you can’t access the solutions that God wants to give you.
So, a couple of business people that own a company had a customer, but the customer was going to spend a little money with them before the end of the financial year. I mean little money. This customer approached them less than two months ago. This customer approached them and asked them if they could do a whole bunch of work for them. By the way, they said, “This works got to be completed and built, and we got to pay you by the end of the year. We told the CEO we would get this job done, and we need to pay for it and get the job done. Can you do the job so that we can pay you before the end of the year?” They said, “Yes, we can do the job” and pay you before the next they started getting paid. They got paid so much money to do this job. They had so much turnover and profit. They decided that they are going to give the Lord—it’s between 25 and 30% of the turnover of that deal because He blessed them with the deal that wasn’t on the table two months ago.
Number one, number two, it was in the heart to bless the Lord anyway. God had put a figure, and a number in their heart that they wanted to bless the ministry with, and they were believing God that’s such a number would come in. That number came in two months. So, they approached me last week and had lunch with me and said, “We have money. Anything we can do for you?” I said, “Thank you, thank you that you asked.” I said, “Is there enough money to fix the roof?” When I told them what the number is, they said, “When do you want to start?” I said, “Well, next week.” They said, “Well, let’s do it.” I already had asked, already got updated quotes. I had it in my heart to get updated quotes to get the roof fixed.
When your solution is more than half a million rand, and you have to understand that this is a God answer. So, we commence fixing the roof next week, and it will be completed from what I’m told by the time all companies close their business, which means around the 15th of December, more or less. Hallelujah. Praise Jesus. Praise
Jesus. That is Resurrection Power at work. You know, it just took a short Word from the Lord to me, “Oh, you don’t want to, do you? “I want to, I promise, I want to!” I really, I changed my heart, I change everything – I want to, I want to. I am blessed, I’m wanting to, I wanting to.
Because anyway, what’s more than half a million rand to God? So, you’re going to see this building being repaired over the next six weeks or so. Every time you come to church, and you see something is going on here, I want you to remember that it’s, it’s God’s power that made this happen. It’s God’s power that made this happen. It’s God’s power that made this happen. It’s God’s power that made this happen. Hallelujah. Glory to God. [Pastor John snaps his fingers.] Just like that. God did it. Just like that. The money wasn’t there two months ago. Two months later, there’s more than that amount of money available. We just yet have to figure out how we got to spend the rest. Huh.
I mean, I’ve got an orange jacket on today, but you know [Pastor John dancing)], it’s not because I have an orange jacket on it’s because God’s good to us because this is our church building. It doesn’t matter how good it looks on the inside. If it rains and the roof falls in, you’re not going to be happy. Right? God said I don’t want my people to be unhappy, I’ll fix the roof, but John, I need you to get in line with what I want you to do. So, if you say you don’t want to, then I won’t. Hallelujah.
See, because I had advice to fix the building, the roof, two ways. The one way was to kind of paint over it and do a temporary sort of weather guard fix of the roof. Then I had another solution that was significantly more than that, but it would be something that fixed the roof for 20 to 30 years. One is tempted because you don’t want to fix the roof with that much money—to go for the cheap solution? But thank God, through gifts and callings in this body, we came to the right conclusion about what the right solution would be, but it cost a lot more money. How many of you know it’s a lot better to have a solution that lasts three to five years? And have one that lasts 20 to 30 years? Glory to God.
So, I expect all of you to be around here for 20 to 30 years, so you can see the roof still lasts. We’re building for legacy, aren’t we? Amen. Praise the Lord. Come on, that’s good news. That’s a testimony. Hallelujah. Glory to Jesus. Glory to God. Hallelujah. Praise the Lord.
I felt led in me to share that with you in my heart today. Number one, because you’re going to see activity starting, and number two, if God can do it for me, He can do it for you because you know this! I put projects out there. I don’t come up here every week by begging you for money. Come on now. I don’t come here, and I ask for your money and say, “Hey, we are this much short on the project, and we are this much short, and we are doing this, and we just need another, 100 000, and we can get the job done. I don’t do that. Some people might think or let you know if you must keep plugging the vision, and then you’ll get the money. I really am a person who sows my own seed financially. I have my own seeds that come out of my mouth, which is why God had to correct me and say, “I won’t if you don’t”.
So, in this case, God did the job very quickly. It doesn’t always take this quick, but I do want to say this to you, in this season that God has got us right now, He’s doing things a lot quicker. He really is, and there is a Scriptural reference for this. The scriptural reference is that the harvester will overtake the sower. When God brings His power, the harvester will overtake the sower. That means you can’t sow your seed fast enough before the harvest is coming. We’re in that season. Hallelujah. Praise the Lord.
You should be happy that I’m not the kind of leader that comes and begs you for money all the time. You should be happy about that because actually, that’s not the way that God wants us to have church. I don’t believe that. I believe God wants to answer, He’ll answer, and He can answer any way He chooses. I do put the vision out there. I mean, it’s my job to let you know what’s going on. So, that if you want to sow, that you can sow. These business people, I mean, knew about the project. So, when I said it, they said, “That’s exactly the kind of thing that we would like to spend the money on.” The money is not even coming into the church account. They are just taking care of it. Praise the Lord. Glory to God.
That’s why I asked you the question, “Why are you in church this morning?” Because if you’re in church this morning to hear something from God and what God says to you through this vessel—I’m just a vessel. So, when God chooses to speak to you through this vessel, that you see it as God speaking to you, that you don’t see it as Pastor John speaking to you. If you know that God is speaking today—if this was Jesus standing here speaking to you today—maybe you would take the words a bit more seriously. Maybe not. We’re going to share with you a few things this morning. I trust it will bless your life. Are you all with me?
Colossians chapter three, verses one to three, is the Scripture I’ve been using as my foundation scripture with us. Colossians chapter three, verses one to three. I’m going to just read it out of The Passion Translation. 1 Christ’s resurrection is your resurrection too. This is why we are to yearn for all that is above, for that’s where Christ sits enthroned at the place of all power, all honor, and all authority! 2 Yes, feast on all the treasures of the heavenly realm and fill your thoughts with heavenly realities, and not with the distractions of the natural realm. 3 Your crucifixion with Christ has severed the tie to this life, and now your true life is hidden away in God in Christ. 4 And as Christ himself is seen for who he really is, who you really are will also be revealed, for you are now one with him in his glory! (Colossians 3:1-4 TPT).
I’ve got to just emphasize a few things before I go ahead with the rest of the message. That is Christ’s resurrection is your resurrection too. It is the power of God that raises you from the inside. We are supposed to have our minds filled with heavenly realities, not natural realities. If you have your mind filled with natural realities, then you are going to be consumed with natural things. So, I don’t mind being vulnerable with you. You don’t use it against me, but you understand that deep inside of myself when the Lord said, “Change your confession because if you don’t want to, I won’t.”
What He was dealing with on the inside of me was, subconsciously, the enemy. Subconsciously, the enemy had come very subtly to kind of put me under this, and I’m going to call it natural pressure, which is in the natural realm. There is a lot of economic hardship going on. How is the collective church, who is naturally going to potentially, be part of the solution to funding a roof? How are we going to—over and above the normal expenses that have got to be done to run the ministry—how are we going to get the money to pay for the bill for the roof?
So, subconsciously in my own mind, I’m thinking: “There are lots of other things I have to do, for example, next year we have, potentially, there are people that have indicated to us that there will be up to 10 or 14 more interns coming into the programme here, which, and there are very few of the interns that are here this year that are not coming back. They’re going to stay for another year, at least.
Now we’re going to have a whole bunch more people coming into a limited office space at the back there. I’ve got to have solutions. So you understand that in my mind I’d rather have money to have a solution for there (the internship programme) than to fix a roof. But what that means is that I’m putting a limit on God as to what [gestures to congregation] your capacity is collectively to solve a problem.
God said to me: “You are putting limits on me, John because if you don’t want to, I won’t, but if you want to I will.” Listen, I don’t know what’s going on in everybody’s life, but if there’s a business out there that God knows that He can use to release 20 to 30 per cent of the total turnover of a deal into the church, He’s going to cause that business to be blessed beyond their wildest dreams and imaginations because that business is what He can trust.
That’s what happened here. Those business people obeyed God. See, the test isn’t before they earn the money, the test came when they earned the money. Because they could’ve taken ten per cent and said: “Here’s money for the church.” That would have been a great number, it would have been a good amount of money, and I would have said: “Thank you, Jesus.” Come on now.
So, what would they have done with the other 15 per cent of the money? Spend it on themselves. So, they made a choice, “We don’t want to spend this money on ourselves, we want to thank God for a deal that wasn’t on the table. He supernaturally put this deal on the table, and had all the money come into our business within a quarter of a year.”
Come on, we’re talking about in their life, in their deals, millions. Hello, how does that happen? God, but, the real test didn’t happen when they got the deal, the real test came in when the money was in their account, and now they have to decide. Come on now, because after that, you know, “Well hey, I can build a few more houses for myself, or I can buy a new car, or I can…” Cash. I’m speaking more about me than about them, but thank God that they were obedient, but for me, we put limits on God when we say that the Resurrection Power of God is not enough power to be available through my word-speaking and through what I believe in my heart. There’s not enough power to do the job.
I want to say to you, if that’s the case, it’s time to focus. It’s time to focus on what I’m going to be ministering to you this morning. It’s time to focus on your personal walk with God. I don’t mean to share this testimony with you to put pressure on you in any way about your faith, or where God hasn’t answered a prayer or a request, or where you have sown a seed and haven’t seen the result of it, or any other reason other than for you. I want you to see that the way God has been dealing with me is that I had to fix what was inside of my heart. Amen. Hallelujah.
So, it is with all of us, because 3 Your crucifixion with Christ has severed the tie to this life, and now your true life is hidden away in God in Christ. (Colossians 3:3 TPT) Your true life. The life that is your natural life, when you leave here and you go and have lunch or you go and buy take-aways, and you spend the rest of your afternoon resting, doing whatever you’re going to do on a Sunday afternoon. Whatever it is that you do, that natural world that you live through this natural body, that’s not your true life. Your true life is what’s happening on the inside-man of you; that’s in the spirit-man.
If you let this temporary man’s life, if you let this life dominate you, then it will. In my case, I had allowed a subconscious thought to come in and say, you know, even a great blessing, I would rather spend it on something else because I didn’t think there would be another blessing that would come after a great blessing. So, that means in my heart I was subjecting myself to a scarcity mentality. There was still a root of some poverty-thinking in my mind and in my heart that I had to immediately deal with in my confession, and say: “Thank you, Lord, for calling me. Thank you, Lord, for blessing me.” I had to speak it by the Holy Spirit, I had to speak it out of my heart. I had to speak those words out of my heart, and so I’m making a public confession about it because often you just see the results and then you think that it magically happens by faith. Oftentimes it sounds like that.
You know, that this did happen in a very very quick time, but this is, in some ways, it is my natural way that my faith works for me, and it has worked in miraculous ways to this point. I get quotes in, I find out what the scope of the problem is, or the next thing that God wants us to do, and then I sow seed towards it and I begin to speak about it, and then I wait. I just wait, and the people that work here will tell you, oftentimes they know the project is already planned, it’s already done, it’s all ready; everything is to the T, to the minus, we planned it out, and then nothing happens. And so, sometimes, they think, “Well, what happened? Pastor John’s got us on like “go-mode”, and yet, there’s nothing happening.” Well, I’m just waiting. “Why are you waiting?” I’m waiting for God to meet the need. I’m waiting for God to bring the money because He uses human channels. Hallelujah. Praise the Lord.
So, it will be with you, if you do that, God will provide supernatural channels to bless you. I’m telling you now there are business deals out there that are waiting to be closed because God wants you to have the prosperity. But if you’re going to keep that prosperity locked up for yourself and say, look at God, look, you know, all this stuff. Then God will say, Okay, I see, I can bless you and you are my child.
Recently, I’ve been speaking about supernatural provision and established prosperity. I’m going to speak more about this in another while. As a child of God, God will supernaturally provide for you. He will. It doesn’t matter how bad circumstances look, He will provide for you. I’ve never seen the righteous begging for bread. Right? He will provide for you. He provided for the children of Israel when they were in a desert for 40 years. Their clothes never got worn out. They had food every day, they had enough water in their lives. They had a heating and cooling system of a supernatural nature, supernatural provision, but that’s not where God wanted them to live—in the supernatural provision. He wanted them to move on into the covenant level of relationship, where they have supernatural or established prosperity through covenant. Where every year your walk with God brings about a result.
So, you understand the difference. I’m wandering around the desert, God’s got to provide for me. Well, this is a nice life, I don’t think I want to move out of there. That’s not where God wants His children to live. God wants His children to move out from supernatural provision and walk into the promised land where year on year, the fruit has to go and be plucked, the fruit has to come in. The water has got to be drawn from the well that you didn’t dig. Why? Why would God make you work for your water when He’d have you walk around the desert and give you water every day? Why would God want you to go and draw water out of the well? Because if you’re drinking from wells that you didn’t dig, and if you’re feeding from vineyards and harvests that you didn’t plant. If you’re living in houses that you didn’t build, then every day, every year, all the time you have to thank God. You have to recognize that God is doing this.
Not because He has to, because He brought you out of Egypt, but because He wants to because you’re His covenant child. Established prosperity, year on year, it doesn’t just feed you. It feeds your next generation and your next generation and your next generation for generations to come. Established prosperity. Hallelujah. Come on, this is a good word today already. Glory to God. Praise Jesus.
Philippians chapter 3, verse 10, in the Amplified Bible, says, 10 [For my determined purpose is] that I may know Him [that I may progressively become more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him, perceiving and recognizing and understanding the wonders of His Person more strongly and more clearly], and that I may in that same way come to know the power outflowing from His resurrection So can you see this? It’s my determined purpose that I may know Him, that I may get to know Him so intimately, so progressively, so well, that I may so get to know and recognize this amazing Spirit-Being, new life that is God, that lives in me, that I may in that same way come to know the power outflowing from His resurrection. (Philippians 3:10 AMPC)
How do you get to know Resurrection Power in your life? Becoming more acquainted with Him. You can’t come to church on a Sunday, every Sunday and say this is enough to get to know His resurrection power. You got to live this life with Him every day. All the time. That I may in that same way come to know the power outflowing from His resurrection [which it exerts over believers], and that I
may so share His sufferings as to be continually transformed [in spirit into His likeness even] to His death, So just hold on with me [in the hope]. 11 That if possible I may attain to the [spiritual and moral] resurrection [that lifts me] out from among the dead [even while I am in the body]. (Philippians 3:10-11 AMPC) This is a Resurrection Power that is inside of you, and Paul is saying, I don’t mind sharing in the sufferings of Christ. He’s not saying that my body is going to die, so that I may share in the Resurrection Power of Christ. He’s saying that while I’m in the body, I may suffer some persecutions and some sufferings. But all of that is worthwhile if it teaches me what kind of power the Resurrection Power is.
So, you think you’re going through a financial hardship, you’re going through a relationship issue, you’re going through a physical health issue? And so you might say, well, none of this can teach me anything. Well, God didn’t put you through all of that to teach you that stuff, but you’re going to go through that stuff while you’re on the earth. So, you might as well say, I’m going to believe God that while I’m going through a process, I will get to understand His Resurrection Power.
He’s not leaving us with this. He’s not leaving us without hope. In fact, this is a very hopeful scripture. This is a very powerful Scripture because it’s giving us the recognition that there is a resurrection life that is available for us to live in. If we are prepared to know Him. Amen. I mean, He says here, 12 Not that I have now attained [this ideal], or have already been made perfect, but I press on to lay hold of (grasp) and make my own, that for which Christ Jesus (the Messiah) has laid hold of me and made me His own. (Philippians 3:12 AMPC) Hallelujah.
At this point, I have to ask you a question, and if you don’t listen to these messages again, you should. You should listen to this message again and again. If you don’t, you should at least just remember this question. Are you your own man? Are you your own man? Okay, woman, that’s a generic statement, but just in case you missed it, are you your own woman? Some feminists among us, no not you. You know you might have an issue with me, but when God speaks about sons in the Bible, He always talks generically about everyone that is His child. Are you your own man? Are you your own person? Or do you belong to God?
Well, obviously if I’m asking you that question, you’re going to answer and you’re going to say I belong to God, but what you do with your life tells you who you are. I mean, how you think about yourself. I don’t want to be my own man. The more and more I serve God, and the longer I serve God, the more I realize that I don’t want to be my own man. I want to be God’s man. It doesn’t matter whether you’re in business, it doesn’t matter if you’re at home raising children. It doesn’t matter what you do with your life. You can choose to be your own person or not. You can choose to be God’s person, and you should. That’s where everything good happens for you. I don’t want it to sound doom and gloom, but you will face persecution, and you will have sufferings. Hallelujah. Praise the Lord. Praise the Lord.
I need to move on with my message, but I have had experience, and I feel led of the Lord to share this with you today. I have had experience with my faith walk with God, the faith that God gave me. It’s not my faith. It’s the faith that He gave me. He’s just
given me the opportunity to grow it as I get more, I know Him better. I’ve had the experience where I’ve been working my fingers to the bone, literally from early morning, till late afternoon. When I was a young man in my early twenties, I had to provide for my family. I literally, as being in a sales environment in those days, we didn’t have telemarketing and automatic cell phone coverage, marketing. I don’t know how many of you read that anyway, you just delete it, switch it off. Nobody wants to watch it, right? Digital Marketing phobia, that’s what I call it. I have it.
In the years that I was growing up, I had to physically go and knock on buildings, go knock on business doors, go and speak to somebody. How many of you know that if someone’s calling you that’s not wanted, it’s hostile. You don’t really want to hear from someone who wants to sell you another cell phone contract, or another insurance policy. Right? Those days weren’t quite as bad as it is now. When you walk into an environment, and you’re wanting to find out about whether you can become a potential customer or not, there’s a whole lot of layers that you got to peel open before you can even get to the point where you can reasonably talk to them. I didn’t have the luxury of a whole lot of time because I work on commission. No, turnover of selling products, no money.
I had to speak, I had to literally speak to those customers that I didn’t know who they were. I didn’t know where they were, didn’t know what they were doing. I had to speak to them and tell them to come into my hands. I mean, I did my work, I worked hard, make no mistake, but that didn’t guarantee me any success. It didn’t matter, I mean the product that I was selling was so competitive in terms of—the marketplace was so competitive. It was all about functions and price and reliability and profit, whatever. It was so competitive that the big players were the big players, and if you were not one of the two or three big players, you were always having to fight and scrape for a deal.
I’ll tell you what—when you speak with your mouth, and the Resurrection Power of Christ, is at work in you and you speak it out of your mouth, you can call deals into being that are not yet on the table. You can cause money to come into your hands that you have no idea where it’s going to come from. Just like the roof. Hallelujah. Praise the Lord. Speak it, speak it.
I’m going to read you the story of Lazarus. I’m so glad that I had no idea that they were going to sing the song this morning, but wow, what a song. Thank you for blessing us with this song, Sharon. Hallelujah. John chapter 12 verse one, in the Living Translation, says 1 Six days before the Passover celebration began, Jesus arrived in Bethany, the home of Lazarus—the man He had raised from the dead. By the way, the name Lazarus is an abbreviation of the name, Eleazar, and that means whom God helps. Well, I don’t know about you, but I need God’s help all the time. All the time. Thank you, I thank God that His help is available, all the time. Verse two 2 A dinner was prepared in Jesus’ honor. Martha served, and Lazarus was among those who ate with him (John 12:1-2 NLT).
I would like to just have you picture this for a moment. Lazarus got sick, he died. It is impossible for a human spirit and soul to remain in the domain of the earth when the
body is dead. The spirit and the soul has got to depart from where men live, has to depart from that space because it becomes an eternal being. A soul and a spirit cannot live amongst the natural, living people, it has to depart. Where did Lazarus spirit go? Where did his soul go? His soul went to a place that was a waiting place for all spirits until Jesus was going to die and be raised from the dead. At least those spirits that believed in God. Lazarus is one of the very few people that departed from the natural order of men, and went into a spiritual, went into an eternal place of waiting. Eternal is not quite the word, I want to say, a spirit realm place of waiting because now we go immediately to an eternal place, but at that point, they went into a spiritual place of waiting. People that died without God or who were completely serving other idols and other gods, it appears they went already into a separated place from God eternally. There are references for that in the Bible. I don’t want to teach about that today, but Lazarus had gone there.
Can you imagine when Jesus said to Lazarus’s body, Lazarus come out! Can you imagine what that was like? For Lazarus, to come back into his body, and now the power of God that raised him from the dead, is there sitting at the table? And he’s having a meal with Him. Can you imagine, for a moment with me, what is happening to Lazarus? In the first instance, he’s now one of those few people that knows what goes on after death. He also knows the very living life and the power of who’s at the table, and yet, the Bible says, almost nothing more about Lazarus other than this. Well, that’s because Jesus was about to die, and He was about to pay the price. God wanted everybody to be focused on the death of Jesus. Not on the resurrection of Lazarus. Amen.
It’s relevant because Lazarus is a problem for people because he is a problem for the religious order of the day. Because Jesus has just shown that He has authority from heaven, and He has the power to back the authority from heaven. He claims to be God, and so the religious order of the day says, if we can’t counteract this claim, then we are without a job. Everything we have lived our lives for no longer is relevant. We have to give up every bit of thing that we’ve achieved in our human society with our status, with our money, with our position. We have to give that up because this man is raising people from the dead.
So, Lazarus is a problem for them, and he’s having lunch with people. He’s walking around with Jesus, and everybody knew he was dead, but there’s an amazing thing that happens next. I’m really not wanting you to focus on that, because often when this message is preached, it’s preached on the value of the seed that was sown, and I really don’t want you to see that. I’m teaching completely something different here. 3 Then Mary took a twelve-ounce jar of expensive perfume made from the essence of nard, and she anointed Jesus’ feet with it, wiping his feet with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance. (John 12:3 NLT)
Let’s not read further for a moment, and let’s just focus on what Mary’s doing. Mary’s taking a year’s worth of income, an entire year’s worth of average person’s income, and spent this money on this perfume. Now she’s come to sit at Jesus’ feet, and she’s taking this expensive perfume, and she’s rubbing it onto His feet. She’s taking her long hair, and she’s wiping this perfume with her hair onto His feet. I just want
you to imagine for a moment what that looks like. The probability is that Jesus wasn’t sitting on a chair like we would sit on chairs today, given what the culture was, at that time, the probability was that Jesus was half seated, half resting, half upright, propped up by maybe pillows or other kinds of materials that He would be relaxed against.
If He was already sitting at the table, and He was sitting on a chair, there’s no reference to how that looked exactly. Either way, if it is more kind of common in our thinking. Their tables were often low tables where people would sort of half sit, half lounge around the tables, but if it was a high table, it makes them seem more dramatic. I want to just have it in your mind for a moment, that you just think that whatever happens, she goes to kneel at His feet, and she’s taking this expensive perfume, and she’s taking her hair, and she’s taking this whole act, it’s physically extremely personal. It’s very humbling. It’s very intimate. It’s something that you do deep from your soul, something that you do from a deep place inside of you. It’s not something that you just do because, well, here’s a gift here’s a perfume. This is something. If you take your hair, she had long enough hair, you take your hair, and you go and rub perfume into someone’s feet, that is quite something.
So, I want you to be the same kind of observer that everybody else was. If we had to enact that here on the stage, we would probably have a few pillows here, and someone would be lying here. Someone will come with long hair, and they would come and probably kneel right down, put their head right down, put their head right by the feet, so their nose and eyes and facial features would be right by the feet of the person, and they would be rubbing the fragrance into the feet of the person.
Now, suppose you can see this not as an act, as a performance, but as an act of great love, of great emotional, spiritual intimacy and desire to show affection and love. In that case, I tell you what, if you’re observing that, and the presence of God is in the church here with us, the likelihood is that we would probably all be choked up. Yes, we’d be choked up. It would be probably something we never forget. It will be something very deep, very spiritual, profound. We might even feel a little bit embarrassed because the moment is so intimate, because there’s so much love and affection, and so much care being given to what’s happening here.
In her mind, the value of the perfume was irrelevant because the moment for her was not about how much money she spent on the gift, on this perfume. The moment was that she had this to be able to give to Jesus. It was an extension of her affection. It was most precious to her, and to her, this is the way that I can show my intimacy by not just taking a normal cloth and rubbing a few bits of that into His feet, but by taking my very hair and taking this oil and rubbing it into His feet. Most personal, most intimate, most precious, most affectionate, eternally powerful. Because we’re reading about it, and we’re talking about it, which means it’s an eternal gift. It’s an eternal moment that Mary had with Jesus. So, to say that the value of the gift is the important thing here, it’s not. It has significance because it was a big, expensive gift, but in her heart, there was nothing big enough or more expensive enough that I have that I can show my affection to Him.
I wanted us to experience this moment as best we could before I read you the next verse. The next verse is, 4 But Judas Iscariot, the disciple who would soon betray Him, said, 5 “That perfume was worth a year’s wages. It should have been sold and the money given to the poor.” The Bible says, 6 Not that he cared for the poor—he was a thief, and since he was in charge of the disciples’ money, he often stole some for himself. (John 12:4-6 NLT) Jesus speaks up. I’m wanting you to understand that in this intimate moment of worship, a money spirit, a Mammon spirit, the love of money, the love of possessions, the love of status, the love of fair value systems, the love of possessing what doesn’t belong to you, comes into the room. Intimate worship, the most intimate worship, the spirit of mammon is immediately present to undermine this worship moment. This should have been sold and given to the poor. Who extravagantly, wastes money on the preacher? Disciple neh, jah neh. He was a thief disciple. So, obviously here is an eternal moment of worship, and at the same time, there is an eternal moment of betrayal because Judas, at that moment, revealed his heart of what was to come.
That’s what happens when disciples come with worship. Religious spirits, spirits of mammon, familiar spirits, all manner of activities immediately come against disciples that are come to truly worship, to undermine the power of the eternal moment of such worship. It’s in your face straight away. I’m sharing this with you, because day by day you will experience this. I want to say to you that Jesus, the Word of God, in you always has a reply, and this is what Jesus replied, “Leave her alone.” The reply of the resurrection life for you, where you come with your worship, of whatever sort it might be, when you come with your worship, the reply from Jesus, and the Resurrection Power of life that is in you is, “Leave him alone.” 7”Leave her alone.” (John 12:7 NLT) This is a moment of worship.
7 “… She did this in preparation for my burial. That’s how eternal this moment was. 8 You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have Me.” 9 When all the people heard of Jesus’ arrival, they flocked to see him, and also to see Lazarus, the man Jesus had raised from the dead. 10 Then the leading priests decided to kill Lazarus, too. They already decided to kill Jesus. Now they had to decide to kill Lazarus because he was a living testament of the power of Jesus. 11 for it was because of him that many of the people had deserted them and believed in Jesus (John 12:7-11 NLT). Hallelujah.
I’m here to say to you today, the resurrection life of Christ that is in you, is calling you to moments of eternal worship. The Resurrection Power of Jesus, the life of Jesus that is in you, that spirit is calling you, moment by moment, day by day. It’s calling you to worship. It’s calling you to give yourself to Him and to become intimately more acquainted with Him. Having that life of His in you, He’s wanting you to speak like Him. He’s wanting you to behave like Him. He’s wanting you to have all of the life that He has, He wants you to have that in every area of your life. Hallelujah.
Will there be a struggle? There will be because wherever you decide to have intimate worship, the enemy is going to come with a spirit immediately try and undermine that, and it always happens with people. Sometimes, it can happen with your past. Your past may come to bring a condemnation or as guilt or shame or
judgment against you. Don’t let it. Don’t let it. The past is nothing you can do to fix, and if the devil uses those things to come in to try and bring something against you, stop him. “Leave me alone. I use the name of Jesus, leave me alone.” Hallelujah. Praise the Lord.
Finally, I have the scripture to read to you today. I just want to paint the rest of the picture for you. There’s this dinner that happens. There’s this worship moment that happens. There’s this thing that happens, and then Jesus enters into Jerusalem on a donkey, and all the people line on the streets, and they praise Him, “Hosanna.” Pharisees all gathered together, and they don’t know what to do because they were going to kill Lazarus, and they were going to kill Jesus. Suddenly he’s the most well known person in town.
Then there’s this moment where a delegation of Jewish Greeks arrive, and they want to meet Jesus because they came for the Passover. They want to meet Jesus and Philip. I think Philip and Andrew I think it is, Philip and Andrew. They come to Jesus with the Greek delegation’s request, and Jesus doesn’t answer them.
I have a story, I have a message to give you, and I want to show you that Jesus was not concerned about people, that felt privileged and entitled, and had all kinds of, well, it’s, you know, we come a long way. We’re covenant people, we need to have a moment with you. So, you should give us this because, you know, we’ve asked for it. We have a protocol, we understand, we’ve asked your disciples, had an expectation, Jesus has never been moved by people’s expectations. Come on. Jesus was always moved by what the Father wanted Him to do. If your expectation is based on faith, then God will answer it.
Then Jesus answers their request with this next passage of scripture. 23 Jesus replied, “Now the time has come for the Son of Man to enter into His glory. 24 I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat is planted in the soil and dies, it remains alone. But its death will produce many new kernels—a plentiful harvest of new lives. 25 Those who love their life in this world will lose it. Those who care nothing for their life in this world will keep it for eternity. 26 Anyone who wants to serve me must follow me, because my servants must be where I am. And the Father will honor anyone who serves Me. (John 12:23-26 NLT). So, what are we to do today? We are to follow Him. We got to be where He is. We got to serve Him. That means we don’t serve ourselves, we serve Him. Hallelujah. Praise the Lord.
If you want to experience the resurrection life of God on a daily basis, in many areas of your lives. I want to say to you; it’s time to make a choice. I know last week was a very powerful time because we all responded to the resurrection life, and the power of God. So, I’m saying to you; it’s time for you to serve Him. It’s time for you to follow Him. It’s time for you to say, “Why am I at Church on Sunday morning?” Because if you’re just here because we have a nice building, we have got good sound and we’re nice people. I’m happy for that, but I’m much more happy if you’re here because you’re responding to the call of God in your life, to that call that says, experience God more powerfully, experience Him more intimately.
I want to say this, what do you think Mary did when she took her expensive perfume, and she rubbed that into Jesus’ feet with her hair? Do you not think she was dying to herself? Do you not think she was already laying down her life? Do you not think that she was already showing so much worship that she was gaining something that was eternal? Well, I can confidently say yes to all of that because her act is what we’re talking about now. God chose to put that thing in the Bible.
You know, the Bible says that all the miracles and all the things that Jesus did are so many that there are not enough books to put them in. They can’t be written about. There are so many things that Jesus did while He was on the earth. It’s what the Bible says, but this one He chose to say, this is My Word to you for eternity because this moment of intimate worship is so powerful it speaks into eternity. Don’t be surprised by what else happens around you when you have these moments between you and God. Hallelujah.
Some of you, and now I’m speaking under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. I need you to understand this is a Word coming to you. That follows on this message that is inspired by the Holy Spirit anyway. This is a direct word for some of you. Some of you have a walk with God, and you have a faith walk with God or let me say that you have a consistent walk with God, but you feel like there is a barrier that you haven’t broken through, that you haven’t entered into, that you feel like you’re, you are there with God, but you haven’t crossed that threshold, into this experiential walk with God that sustains you.
The Lord has put it on my heart to say this to you. That if you will give Him daily heart oriented, personal worship, you will experience those breakthroughs. You will cross over. You will cross over from being someone who walks out your walk with God to somebody who walks in your walk with God. It’s not a matter of just walking out your walk with God. It’s also walking in your walk with God.
So, if I can just use an example of something that happened yesterday, normally, on a Saturday morning, I would go riding on a bicycle. So, my physical body needed some healing from various things, but I had something else happen, which very seldom happens. I had my wife say to me, on Friday evening, she said, “John, please don’t go cycling tomorrow. Please stay with me. Just be with me.” There’s a whole lot of people there that I could go cycling with. It was kind of almost expected that I would do because I normally do-do. When the most important person in my life, the most valuable person in my life, despite some physical conditions, I was waiting, and have been waiting for them to be completely over before I cycle again. Besides that, when Sharon asked me to stay with her, she didn’t have a specific reason. She just, in her heart, her love for me, her affection to me was wanting my attention. She was wanting time with me, me and her.
So, I asked you then how important is going cycling with a whole bunch of other people compared to that. So, other people might say, but you have that all the time and cycling only happens on the weekends. With that amount of people? The answer is, I don’t care how many weekends or there are, or there aren’t. This is why I
have such a good relationship is because when we have these moments, we take them. We share them. We engage with each other. So we spent most of the morning talking, sharing our hearts, just chatting. Then we went and visited, I mean from early in the morning, from early in the morning, which is really early in the morning.
Some of the early birds that go cycling, that early in the morning. Not like early in the morning. So, later on in the morning, we went and visited our children and grandchildren. We spent some time there, but the rest of the day was about her requesting me to stay and be with her. Hello.
So, what do you think the Resurrection Power of the Lord Jesus Christ is calling you to do? It’s calling you to have moments where you just respond to Him and say, “Alright, Lord, I’ll come and spend this moment with You.” As I’ve said to you before, don’t let anybody else’s walk with God put pressure on you. If you got to start with two minutes a day, start with two minutes. I mean, you can even put your alarm clock on your phone or whatever you do, put it on and say I’m going to do two minutes where I’m just going to, I’m not going to focus on anything else. I’m not going to. I’m just going to have a moment with Him where I thank Him. I praise Him, and I give Him glory.
But you’ll find that two minutes becomes four minutes and six minutes very quickly because once you’re in that presence, when you’re in His presence, it becomes easier. The biggest thing is to get out of your head and get out of your functions and your tasks and the things that you got to get done. Get out of your head, and go and say, I’m going to go and sit at His feet. I’m just going to love on Him and let Him talk to me, and I’m going to talk to Him. Hallelujah.
Won’t you all stand with me, please? So, by the way, this, what I’ve said to you this morning, is the secret to a better, newer, more engaged relationship with anybody and everybody that’s around you. It really is. If you give God the time, that you can praise and worship Him. He opens up every relationship that’s currently closed. Every relationship that’s not working properly. God opens it up. He opens it up. He begins to restore it. He begins to work on it, and things begin to happen that give you opportunities that you can take to improve relationships. Hallelujah. Praise the Lord.
Because when you base your relationships on the relationship, that’s the rock, it’s Jesus, they work. Hallelujah. Praise the Lord. Won’t you put your hand on your heart here with me, and let’s all just say this together and say, “Jesus, I thank You, that You are my Lord, You are my Savior, and that You died for me. And that God, the Father, raised You from the dead. I receive the full Resurrection Power that raised You from the dead into my heart and into my life, in Jesus’ name. I receive it now. In Jesus’ name. Hallelujah.
I’m telling you this Resurrection Power of life, the Resurrection Power that raised Jesus from the dead, that life of Christ is so powerful in your world, that the words that you speak, the things that you do have got such energy, they’ve got such capability, they’ve got so much things they can do, when you’re in Him. Hallelujah. Can I pray for you before I close the service?
Let’s pray together. Father, I thank You in the name of Jesus that this word will touch the hearts of Your people. No weapon formed against them will prosper. I declare, Father, that sickness and disease leave their body. I thank You, Lord, that any emotional and mental disorders leave in the name of Jesus’. I thank You that You restore every part of their life, physical well being, emotional and mental well being, financial well being, all of the relationships that are around them. You will restore them. One by one, day by day, You will restore those areas in their lives and bring them to a place of joy and peace. Hallelujah. I thank You, Lord, that they’re blessed going out and blessed coming in. I thank You, Father, that Your peace and Your blessing rests over them, covers them and protects them in the week ahead, in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Do you agree with that prayer? Do you receive that prayer? Then please say amen. [Congregation: Amen!] You got to say it a bit louder than that. [Congregation replies louder: AMEN!] Ok, now you can go. Bye, everybody. Thank you for coming.