Power of Resurrection Part 7 – Ps John Bendixen (WTB)

Scripture Reference: 1 Samuel 1:20, 25-27 (NKJV); 1 Samuel 2:1-13 (NKJV); Hebrews 11:39-40 (ESV); Hebrews 12:1-6 (EVS); Revelations 20:12-15 (ESV); Ephesians 3:14-15 (AMPC)

Glory to God. Praise Jesus. Praise Jesus. Thank you. Praise the Lord. Praise the Lord. It’s one of the most joyful things in my life to be able to say that He is my God. He is my God. Hallelujah. Glory to God. This morning we declare that You are our God. I say that You are my God and everything in my life, everything in our lives. Father, we declare we submit to You. We ask You to lead us and guide us with all of that wonderful love and grace and mercy that You have. We thank You that it is extended towards us every day, every moment of every day. And therefore, we can only praise You and honour You and give glory to You. And I thank You Father that even in this service this morning, You are our God and we worship You. And every word that continues to be spoken may it be under the banner and under the mantle of Your anointing and everything that You want to accomplish in the service today. Father, we thank You that every ear is ready to hear, every heart who receives the things that would come to be a contest and a conflict in each person’s mind, I ask You, Father that You bypass that and minister the Word of life to their heart. Hallelujah, that we may grow and we may show the fruit of being ones that live with the Most High God. Thank You, Lord. In Jesus’ name, Amen. Amen. Amen. You may be seated. Glory to God. Praise the Lord. Praise the Lord. 

It’s my honour and my joy this morning to do baby dedications or how could I say babies dedicated, I don’t know what would be the correct but anyway.There are babies and they’re being dedicated to the Lord today. Amen. It has been something that has been developing in our ministry, and it’s getting stronger and stronger as time goes by. 

I’ve been in church life, I was born into church life, my father was a preacher, I’m a preacher’s kid, have grown up in church. I’ve watched thousands of baby dedications. I myself have done probably hundreds of baby dedications or should I say, babies dedicated. And there’s a go to passage of Scripture, that is, probably if you have a graph and say which percentages of scriptures are used most when babies are dedicated, the one that I’m using today is probably the highest on the list, by a long way, probably like 70% of the time. And so always it’s my position in the Lord that I don’t want to do anything that is just a go to. I want to do something that the Holy Spirit leads me to. So I always search in my heart before God what it is that He wants me to bring. And this day I need to, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, go to the go to Scripture. Amen. 

So it’s a story that I’m going to speak and share with you of a man in those years, in those times, in that sort of era, a man had two wives. And he favoured the one and loved her and the other one, doesn’t say that he had any particular bias against her or for her. But she ended up having seven children. So on the one hand, the woman that he loved, had no children, couldn’t bear children. This created a fair amount of hostility between the two women, especially at a given time of the year when as a ceremony, a religious ceremony, a covenant ceremony, they would go up and do Passover. And they would go up to the city and they would make sacrifices. 

The Bible says that this husband would give his wife with the seven children, he would each give them an offering that they could take and give to the Lord as they went up for a ceremony. But to the wife that had no children, he gave her double what he gave all of them together. But every year when they were to go up, she would be ridiculed, and she would be despised with words and with many actions, and many things, she would be despised by the one who had children. Because in those days, if a woman would not bear children, then she was looked down upon as God had forsaken her and there was something wrong with her. And so she was despised and ridiculed and mocked by the other woman. And as the years went by her grief and her sorrow for not being able to bear a child grew stronger and stronger until she had a communication with her husband. He said to her, “Is my love for you, not worth more than 10 sons?” And she said, “Of course, but I still want to have a child.” And so she goes up with him and while they have the ceremony, she eats nothing, she’s fasting. And she has a private moment where she goes into the sanctuary. She’s very quiet and sitting and she’s communicating with God deep in her heart. And so the words that are formed on her lips are words that are so quiet that no one can hear them, only her. The high priest, Eli or the priest Eli is actually watching and observing, and he thinks she’s drunk. He comes to talk to her and he basically tells her, “Hey woman, you must stop your drinking, and go and do what you’re supposed to do.” She says, “I’m not drinking, I’m full of sorrow, petition before the Lord.” And this Eli then answered and said, “Go in peace, and the God of Israel, grant you petition, grant your petition, which you have asked Him.” Just in a moment, there is a communication between the priest and this woman, and he speaks words over her that are ordered by God. He came to tell her to stop being drunk, and he ends up prophesying her future. 

This is quite a remarkable thing, because 20So it came to pass in the process of time that Hannah conceived and bore a son, and called his name Samuel, saying, “Because I have asked for him from the Lord.” (1 Samuel 1:20 NKJV). I have asked for him from the Lord. Well, she had, she had made a promise to the Lord that if He would give her son, she would give him back to God. And so the next year comes around, and they are supposed to go up to the sanctuary, but the child has not yet weaned off the breast. And so she says, I’m not going this year until the child is weaned. And then the next year, the child has weaned or in the process of time the child is weaned and she then goes with her husband up to the temple. And verse 25, says, 25Then they slaughtered a bull, and brought the child to Eli. 26And she said, “O my lord! As your soul lives, my lord, I am the woman who stood by you here, praying to the Lord. 27For this child I prayed, and the Lord has granted me my petition which I asked of Him. 28Therefore I also have lent him to the Lord; as long as he lives he shall be lent to the Lord.” So they worshipped the Lord there (1 Samuel 1:25-27 NKJV). 

So this is an important thing that she had her vow before God and she’s now fulfilling her vow. And she says, “I know he’s my son, but I’m lending him to the Lord.” Well, that’s the way the Scripture is translated here. But, in reality, she gave him to the Lord. I want to just read without stopping, I’m going to read what she then declares as she presents her son to the Lord. 1And Hannah prayed and said, “My heart rejoices in the Lord. My horn is exalted in the Lord. I smile at my enemies because I rejoice in Your salvation. 2No one is holy like the Lord, for there is none besides You, nor is there any rock like our God. 3Talk no more so very proudly; let no arrogance come from your mouth, for the Lord is the God of knowledge; and by Him actions are weighed. 4The bows of the mighty men are broken, and those who stumbled are girded with strength. 5Those who are full have hired themselves out for bread, and the hungry have ceased to hunger. Even the barren has borne seven, and she who has many children has become feeble. 6The Lord kills and makes alive; He brings down to the grave and He brings up. 7The Lord makes poor and makes rich; He brings low and lifts up. 8 He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the beggar from the ash heap, to set among princes and make them inherit the throne of glory. For the pillars of the earth are the Lord’s, and He has set the world upon them. 9He will guard the feet of His saints, and the wicked shall be silent in darkness. For by strength no man shall prevail. 10The adversaries of the Lord shall be broken in pieces; from heaven He will thunder against them. The Lord will judge the ends of the earth. And He will give strength to His king, and exalt the horn of His anointed. 11Then Elkanah went to his house at Ramah. But the child remained to the Lord and the child ministered to the Lord, before Eli, the priest. 

I just want to read the next little verse to you. And the next verse, and it says, 12Now the sons of Eli were corrupt; they did not know the Lord. 13And the priest’s custom with the people was that when any man offered a sacrifice, the priest’s servant would come with a three-pronged fleshhook in his hand while the meat was boiling (1 Samuel 2:1-13 NKJV). Part of this was that they would begin to take things for themselves and they began a commercial enterprise in the house of the Lord. The sons of Eli, the same priest Eli that prophesied and the fulfilment of the prophecy came to pass. 

And so, it is in my heart to share with those that are here today, that God indeed loves every single one of the people that would consider Him to be his God. He loves all people across all nations, but those that choose to serve Him and those who choose to love him, He has something special for them. It doesn’t matter what happens in the world around you, it doesn’t matter if there’s poverty, it doesn’t matter if there’s all manner of things that happen. God is going to raise up and lift up and bring up the hungry, the weak, the people that seem to have no real future. God is going to raise them up. This should be good news. This should be good news. 

There is no greater thing, there is no greater thing for any being that is born into the earth, there is no greater thing that you can do, than to give your heart to the Most High God, to give your heart to Jesus Christ, to receive Him as your Lord and Saviour, to have Him live in your heart. There is no greater joy, there is no greater peace that you can have, there is no greater event that can be greater than the one where you have a meeting with the Most High God. 

Then, I have to say that as a parent, we tend to be ones that, responsible parents, actually tend to be people that raise their children, and take ownership of the responsibility to raise their children at every level. But I have news for you and the news is that your ownership of your child actually belongs to the Lord. What you do with your child is a very short time and before you know it, they grow up, and they become young adults and they’ve got choices to make for themselves. For a time when they are young, and the little ones that we’re going to be dedicating this morning, you know, for a while it seems like they’re very dependent. It seems like they’re never going to grow up because for the first five years or ten years of their life, they’re so dependent. They’re so integrated into the family life. And then before you know it, they’re teenagers and then it seems like all chaos breaks loose in the house. Right? Then, after the chaos there seems to come a settling down, hopefully. But you come to realise actually that they are now beginning to discover themselves. And it’s very, very important that we as parents raise our children to love God more than they love us. It is important for us as parents to raise our children to devote and dedicate themselves to God more than they do to the future that they can plan for themselves. It’s important that we give them the space to recognise and honour and love God more than anything that they might wish to desire for themselves or that you as parents desire for them. Because what strength of character, what devotion, what gratitude to God does it take for a woman who’s never had any children, and actually been put through the wringer as you might say because she couldn’t have children. What gratitude in her heart that she would bring her young son, three years old, more or less, and bring him to the house of the Lord, and then leave him there and go home, knowing that she will see him next year same time for a few days? And then going and knowing that next year same time, she may see him for a few days, but she may not even talk to him. Because now he’s not hers to raise. He’s not hers to love on. He’s not hers to put a value system in. He is given to God. 

Well, God made a plan, where He used a priest who could not raise his own children up with that same view because his own sons lived in the temple corrupted. God then judged Eli and his sons, and the end of their service to God came to an end because he, Eli, did not take charge of raising his sons properly in the house of the Lord. And so, I don’t want to tell you how gruesome the rest of the story is but the rest of the story is that they all died horrible deaths because they corrupted the house of God. In that same house, in that same temple, Samuel was raised. But that same temple he was raised, and God chose to speak to him and bypass all of the so-called people that would represent God and speak to a child and raise him up to be a prophet. A prophet that would end up putting a king in office, he would end up removing that king’s anointing, if you like, or at least, prophesying that he would be no more and placing the anointing on David, and that King David, the throne of King David, and the worship of King David, and the tabernacle of King David would last forever through Jesus. Same prophet, same child. What glory can our children do if we give them to God? What amazing deeds can they achieve if they are given to God? Hallelujah. 

I felt it particularly weighty for me to minister this this morning, because we have young adults that had a lot of promise placed before them in the future of their natural life. They were ready, poised, finishing high school. They were ready, poised to enter into a system that would welcome them and embrace them, because of what they could achieve and take all their potential, all their skill, all their talent, and say, “Give it to us. We’ll use it, we know what to do with it, we’ll take it, and we’ll direct it.” But they chose to give their lives to God first, and see what God would want to do with it before they chose anything else. 

And so, it’s significant for me that right at the end of this year, we are doing a baby dedication – at a time in COVID, when actually, you know, these things haven’t been done because of COVID, and many other reasons. But here we are today. We are here, ready to give ourselves to God. We are ready here to give little ones – to present them to the Most High God. Hallelujah. Praise the Lord. 

So, I need to ask my wife, Pastor Sharon, to join me and I’m going to ask for the following parents to come up and bring their children: Miles and Liesl Mulder, Wynand and Sarah Deysel, Garth and Marcelle Bendixen, Charlee Ferreira, Desmond and Madelein McClellan. Hallelujah. Glory to God. We will come down there. 

I understand that there are friends and grandparents that are here today of some of them that we are praying over. You are welcome. I am glad you are here, wherever you may be. Hallelujah. Praise the Lord. We’ve got the whole Bendixen clan up here today. Hallelujah. Glory to God. Good to see you guys. Hallelujah. Praise the Lord. Hallelujah. 

Well, this is a real joyful occasion. And what I’m going to do, Pastor Sharon and I, we are going to pray for you. So we are not scared of noisy children. So you guys relax out there. It doesn’t matter to me how much noise they make. Okay, we are here to pray for them. We know that they are little. And so, be at peace. Hallelujah. And so I just want to pray over you first, and then we’ll lay hands on your children. Hallelujah. 

Father, we pray that as these have come before You, they are bringing their children to You, Lord. They are bringing their children to You. We ask You to take them, Father. This is what this is all about – we are dedicating, and we ask You, Father that as we dedicate, these parents are dedicating, that these children will be devoted to You in their lives. They will love You all the days of their lives, Father. Hallelujah.

Pastor Sharon: 

Follow You. Amen.

Pastor John: 

Yes, they will follow You. And we ask Father that for all of these up here today, that You will give them, the parents, wisdom and understanding. You will give them knowledge, supernatural knowledge, knowledge that passes human understanding, a capacity for love, a capacity for understanding and wisdom, and all the things that they need to parent in the ways of God. We thank You for it, Lord. Hallelujah. Hallelujah, in Jesus’ name. Hallelujah. 

So, we’ll start on this side here. I’ve got to just find this here. Pastor Christi, will you come and join me, please? [Pastor John referring to the baby dedication certificates] Can you please sort it out for me? [Pastor Christi finds the correct certificates] 

[Pastor John lays hands on Rialdi] We just want to lay our hands on this beautiful, beautiful girl. And we’ve laid our hands on you, and we bless you young lady. Yes. And we dedicate you to the Lord Jesus. And we thank You, Lord that this beautiful girl – I’m going to try and say her name – Riarli Steyn, we bless you and we dedicate you to the Lord Jesus, and that you will spend your life serving Him and devoted to Him, in Jesus’ name. I pray that you will have the wisdom of God, understanding and knowledge to raise her, in Jesus’ name. Amen. Yes, you’re both looking so pretty today. Hallelujah.

[Pastor John lay hands on Gabriel and Jeduthun]

Pastor Sharon:

[Comforting Jeduthun] That’s okay, it’s grandma and grandpa.

Pastor John:

So Father, we just pray for Gabriel and Jeduthun. And we thank You, Lord, that they will serve You all the days of their lives, that Your anointing rests upon them, Your mantle of blessing and favour rests upon them, and that they will worship You in word, in deed, in song, and in everything that You have for them, Father.

Pastor Sharon: 

Their giftings, their callings.

Pastor John: 

Along with their parents, they will be dedicated to You for the rest of their lives. They will be devoted to You, and they will answer only to You Father, in Jesus’ name. Hallelujah. Glory to God. And those that You have put in their lives, Father, we thank You that You are blessing them. You are blessing them. Hallelujah. Glory to God. Thank You, Lord. Thank You, Jesus. Thank You, Jesus. Thank You, Jesus. Thank You, Jesus. Hallelujah. 

Pastor Sharon: 

You take these children. 

Pastor John: 

Yes, Lord. You take these children, and You take their parents too, You take their parents too. Hallelujah. 

Pastor Sharon: 

Glory to God. Hallelujah.

Pastor John:

[Pastor John lays hands on Eli] 

Thank You, Father. Thank You for Eli. We bless him, Father. He’s got curls in the back of his head, the first time I’ve seen that. So Lord, we bless Eli, and we thank You, Lord, that his life is dedicated to You, his future, his gifts, his calling, his potential – is dedicated to You – Your plans for His life.

Pastor Sharon: 

You take him, Father.

Pastor John: 

You take him, Father. Yes. And we thank You that for all of these that have been here, that are here, we thank You, Lord, that You protect all of them. You bless all of them. Hallelujah. In Jesus’ name. 

Pastor Sharon: 

All these giftings and callings, anointings.

Pastor John: 

Bless Eli’s parents, Father. Thank You, Lord, that You bless them, You protect them. Thank You, Lord, that You give them wisdom and understanding and knowledge in Jesus’ name.

Pastor Sharon: 

You speak to them, Holy Spirit. You tell them. You speak to them Holy Spirit. You show them the way in which to train up this child, in Jesus’ name.They will hear Your voice. They will hear Your voice for his life in Jesus’ name. Thank You, Lord. Hallelujah.

Pastor John: 

Eli William. Glory. Praise Jesus. [Pastor John prays for David Levi] You want to take your own certificate? 

Pastor Sharon: 

Yes, it’s for you. It’s going to go up on your wall.

Pastor John: 

Yeah. You must be careful, you must hold it nicely, because today we bless you. 

Pastor Sharon: We bless you.

Pastor John: 

We dedicate you to the Lord Jesus.

Pastor Sharon: 

David Levi.

Pastor John: 

And you will love the Lord Jesus all the days of your life. You will serve Him. You will worship Him. You will praise Him, and you will love Him and serve Him, and be devoted to Him

Pastor Sharon: 

…to Jesus

Pastor John: 

You will, hey? [David nodding] Praise the Lord.

Pastor Sharon: 

All of the Lord and all of God’s plans and purposes for your life will come to pass in your life, in your heart, and in your assignment, all the days of your life in Jesus’ name. And wisdom and understanding to Miles and Liesl to raise this boy. This boy that You have birthed into the earth at this time. You will speak to them.

Pastor John: 

Thank You Lord that You provide for them, and You take care of them, and You protect them all the days of their lives, in Jesus’ name. Amen. Hallelujah. Hallelujah

Hallelujah, so we bless you, Nathan. You look so cute with your clothes on today. We bless you. We dedicate you to the Lord Jesus that you will serve Him, be devoted to Him in Jesus’ name. 

Pastor Sharon:

Follow Him all the days of your life.

Pastor John: 

And you too. 

Pastor Sharon:

Have a strong desire to follow Him all the days of your life. A strong desire from now, from this laying on of hands and onwards, a strong desire.It will just be in your heart.

Yes, in Jesus’ Name. Ah, and to want to do His will, all the days of your life. To want to draw near to Him. Glory, we bless them.

Pastor John: 

He doesn’t want to let go of my hand. 

Pastor Sharon:

Bless his parents with wisdom, supernatural understanding, supernatural insight into how to raise these boys from the person of the Holy Spirit. Hallelujah. That the Holy Spirit will show, and you will flow with Him for the raising of these boys that belong to Him. Hallelujah. Bless you. Bless you little one. 

Pastor John:

Hallelujah. Praise the Lord. Won’t you just stand with me, please? I would like you just to join me in giving thanks to the Lord for these young ones and these parents that have come to dedicate their children to the Lord Jesus. Thank You, Lord, thank You, Father, that this You have done. I look forward to being in a time when I see them grown up. When I see them giving their lives and their future to You, Lord. I look forward to that moment, Father, when they are busying themselves with the very things that You Yourself have shown over their whole lives. Thank you, Lord, thank You, Lord. That around every corner, in every relationship, every friendship, every place they go, everywhere they go, Father, that You will have Your angels protect them, and surround them, and hold them and keep them and that no weapon formed against their little lives will prosper -not physically, not with any sickness and disease, not with any of the world’s evil and darkness that is out there that might try and come in and take their lives. I ask You, Father, and we all agree as a congregation today that they are protected, divinely and supernaturally protected. That this was just not a ceremony to get a certificate. But this was an action of giving of children to the Most High God. And so, we ask You to protect them, Father, in the name of Jesus. And we’re all in agreement and we say; Amen. Thank you, you may be seated. Praise the Lord. Hallelujah. 

I have an announcement to make first before I minister this morning. I would like to share with you what happened to me, is that I was watching the news or I was catching up on news headlines. And I was actually just reading through some of the news headlines, just to know what’s going on with COVID and to know what’s going on with the world out there. I like to just keep myself informed with the comings and goings of men and the comings and goings of governments. I like to pray over things like that and see what God would say rather than what the news would say. I read that the President was travelling, I believe he was presiding on the Organization of African Unity. I believe he was presiding as or he was participating there and he was travelling back to South Africa. And when he came back he was going to meet with the Corona Command Council and they were looking at what needs to be done over this December period because of the spread of the new Omicron virus. So here’s what he said, he said, “It is my request of the South African public that you take responsibility for what you have to do with a virus. You take responsibility in events.” He especially talked about indoor gatherings and events around Christmas, around New Year and he said to take responsibility and don’t let the government have to impose restrictions on you. “Take responsibility for your own actions, or for what’s in your control.” And so, immediately I felt like I wanted to respond to that spiritually. As a result of that, we, over a period of time where this might be the most important season, perhaps second to Easter to the Christian churches, that’s why there’s always lots of gatherings and there are lots of meetings and lots of things going on over Christmas. And then, of course, New Year, there are all kinds of celebrations. But I felt in my heart that as a seed into having something significant happen in this nation that we would receive the blessing of it anyway, that we would respond to his request rather than wait for a command. So, this is our last meeting where we will be gathering together. All other services and all other meetings will be done digitally, until the first Sunday of 2022. I ask you, just watch all the WhatsApp’s, emails or messages, communications, and you can join us on YouTube and on different platforms on the websites. You can join the services and I am believing that as we do this, and we respond in this way that we represent and we will make representation before God that as we do this, that this is a seed that we are sowing towards the recovery and the restoration of our nation. This is a seed that we are sowing as a response and a recovery economically and relationally and in everything that our nation needs. And so you might say but Pastor John, you know, you don’t represent, you know, 10’s of 1000’s or millions of people. Well, in God that doesn’t matter how many people you represent, it’s only that He has someone that He can use. Amen. At the very least, our seed speaks for us. It speaks for our economic restoration. It speaks for our spiritual and natural protection. It speaks for our relational restoration and strength and growth. Hallelujah. Amen. 

So, what I’d like you to do is I’d like you to make a commitment in your heart, just to make a commitment in your heart that you will watch the services, and that you will be part of what we do just as an online message, online sound and song. As you participate in that I would like you to begin to declare that we participate in this kind of service and we see the seed that is being sown for a restoration economically, for a restoration relationally, for a restoration of government, for a restoration where corruption and bad politics are no longer driving this nation but we have the wisdom and the direction of God flowing into this nation because we sow a seed. Hallelujah. God has many ways of getting His will done on the earth. But the way that had the biggest impact was when He sowed His own Son Jesus. And so that gave us an understanding that sowing is a greater impact than any confrontation with government. Amen. So you can confront government with the law, you can confront government with many different ways. But actually, if you obey what God shows you to do, then what you can sow as a seed can change the course of a destiny, can change the course of a nation for sure. Hallelujah. Amen. 

I have great faith that any seed that you sow that is from a heart of gratitude and thanksgiving, that is from a heart that is of the Holy Spirit, that any seed that you sow, the Father takes it and multiplies it. If you will stay putting the seed in your mouth, you will speak about it and you will speak the words of God about it – He will multiply it and He will increase it. Hallelujah. Praise Jesus. 

Well, you guys seem all quiet this morning. Are you alright? Are you all with us this morning? Amen. Praise the Lord. There is a chapter in the Bible, it’s called the hall of faith or the hall of fame or the hall of fame faith, faith fame, if you like. It’s Hebrews 11. I’m going to just read you the last verse and I’m going to read a little bit of Hebrews 12 for you. My version that I’m reading from this morning is the English Standard Version and it says, verse 39, 39And all these, though commended through their faith, did not receive what was promised, 40since God had provided something better for us, that apart from us, they should not be made perfect (Hebrews 11:39-40 ESV). So for those of you that have been listening to the messages about the resurrection power of Christ, you would have remembered that I talked about the difference between hell or Hades, and Abraham’s bosom, and then ultimately, heaven, and in the future to come, the great abyss. And so I’m not going to speak about that again but other than to say that those that went before us, in time past, those that believed God did not go to hell, they went to a waiting place called Abraham’s bosom. I explained that, what that was, what that looked like. 

This scripture says that they went there, so they could not, they did not receive a salvation until Jesus was to come to the earth, and we would all be able to receive the same salvation together. So that’s what that scripture means that apart from us, they should not be made perfect. 1Therefore, chapter 12, verse one says, 1Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance, the race that is set before us, 2looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. 3Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or faint hearted (Hebrews 12:1-3 ESV). Do not grow weary or faint hearted in the way that you serve God. 4In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. 5And have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons? “My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor be weary when reproved by him. 6For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives.” (Hebrews 12:4-6 ESV). 

It’s really a remarkable thing when you find somebody who is quick to hear what the Word of God says, and quick to respond to what the Word of God says. And is quick to change the course of direction of where they’re going, because the word of God says. So the way that God disciplines us as sons is He doesn’t put sickness on us. He doesn’t cause poverty to come upon us. He doesn’t bring all manner of hardship upon us. He brings His Word and He brings His love, and He brings all of the life that He is; He brings that to us. It is in this great love, that we have an opportunity to respond to Him to change. 

I am going to read Revelations 20 verse 12 to 15. This is the great Apostle John, with his revelation that God gave him. 12And I saw the dead great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the book of life. So I want you to notice that books were opened and then another was opened, it was the Book of Life And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done (Revelations 20:12 ESV). Now I asked you; how is it possible that the dead get judged? How is it possible that the dead get judged? Surely, if you’re dead, then you’re dead. So how is it that the dead get judged? Well, if you understand the Scripture, then you will know that we are three parts of a being; you are a spirit that has a soul and you live in a body. So your body will just become something that is corrupted, it will deteriorate, and it will at some point cease to have breath, it will lie down, and it will no longer be on the earth. Your spirit and your soul leaves your body at that moment, leaves your body, and your spirit and your soul will go into one of two places now that Jesus has died, and has been resurrected from the dead. Your spirit now goes to one of two places, either goes to hell, or it goes to heaven. There is no more Abraham’s bosom, there is only hell, and there is heaven. 

The dead are the people that have died physically, but their spirits and their souls are waiting for this time in eternity. This is a time that is yet to come. All of this, all of the living, all of the dead that have gone before, all of us will stand here. It says, And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done. 13And the sea gave up the dead who were in it, Death and Hades gave up the dead, who were in them, and they were judged, each one of them according to what they had done (Revelations 20:12-13 ESV). So there is a time when every single being that has been on the earth – I want to say there is no one excluded from this – everyone is going to be in a place where you stand before the judgement throne. What you have done on the earth is going to speak through the books that have been written about you and about me. What I’m preaching to you this morning, this is not to frighten you. You either believe in God or you don’t. I don’t have to frighten you into believing God. The Holy Spirit will convict you and the Holy Spirit will convince you of Jesus. That’s not my job. My job is just to be a messenger. I’m not trying to do scare tactics so that we can have a dramatic end to the year and a dramatic end to the services. I’m not trying to do that. I am, however, not going to shy away from what the Word of God says. There is a scripture in the book of Matthew that talks about, that there will be a weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth. It refers to this moment here, when your works, and all that you have done, will be judged and you will see in your life, what you could have done, according to what God has meant for you; what God has assigned you to do; what God had called you to do on the earth; what He had gifted you to do on the earth and then what you did do. The first judgement is; did you receive Jesus as Lord and Savior? And then your works will be judged. 

There were two books – remember I told you – there were books that were opened. And then there was the Book of Life that was opened. The books that were opened would be the works that you had done and the Book of Life would be that your name is written in the Lamb’s Book of Life, that you had received Jesus. So of course, you want your name to be written in the Book of Life, don’t you? Because that means you get to live eternally in heaven. But then, there’s also the works, the books that will be opened that are written about what you have done. And there are different outcomes according to what You have done. 

13 … Death and Hades gave up the dead who were in them, and they were judged, each one of them, according to what they had done. 14Then Death and Hades all of this, all of the spirits, all of the souls that had been judged, that came from death and Hades, Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. 15And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire (Revelation 20:13-15 ESV). 

When Jesus was hanging on the cross and He said – and if the Lord is willing, I will have an opportunity to minister this in the new year – but there is a moment on the cross where Jesus is on the cross and His physical body is almost at the point of death, almost at the point of death. The two on the sides of Him, the one is railing at Him and saying, “Well, if you’re God save yourself and save us.” In other words, his own interest was all about himself. The other one on the other side of Him on the cross said, “Forgive me, please forgive me for what my life has represented.” And then Jesus says, “You are forgiven and today you will be in paradise with Me,” meaning Abraham’s bosom. In that moment, there is a contrast of what is happening and about to happen to humanity from that moment onwards, because in a few moments time after that interaction, Jesus speaks to His Father, as He is about to give up His life and He says, “It is finished. It is finished. The purpose, the reason that I’ve come was to die on the cross and to give Myself and it is finished, the work is finished.”

I trust I’ll have time to talk to you about the Old Testament sacrifices that were made and the connection that God has given me from the Old Testament sacrifices that were made; the Passover Feast, when God released the children out of Egypt; and the processes that were put in place over the generations where people could sacrifice year on year. And in fact, this morning, I read to you from the book of Samuel, the annual journey that was made by Elkanah, the man, the husband, with his wives, that he would make this annual journey to come and make sacrifices and offerings to the Lord. There was only one way that God could solve this problem for eternity. And hopefully, we can talk more about what Adam and Eve gave up because Adam and Eve didn’t just give up eternal life. Or how can I say this, they didn’t just give up a little bit of authority; they gave up so much more than that. When Jesus came to die on the cross, we need to understand what it is that the resurrection life has restored back to us. Because truly the resurrection life of Christ has restored so much more back to us, then we in our modern day life have to deal with.

I would like to just for a moment, just share with you because in our modern day life, we don’t see this very often. But if you were here today, and you had come to the temple, and you had come because as a covenant child of God, as one born from the loins of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and you were part of the Hebrew nation, part of the Israelites, and you were a covenant child of God. If you had come to church today…

Hallelujah. If you were here today, and you had come to make an offering to the Lord, if you could just imagine for a minute that I am from the tribe of Levi, and perhaps I might be the priest, or might be the high priest, or whatever the case might be. And according to your financial status in life, you would bring offerings. You would bring an offering, maybe you would bring a lamb. And so then, when you brought the lamb, I would take the lamb and I would have those that would help me. And I would take the lamb and I would cut the lamb’s throat, and the blood of that lamb would begin to spill out. Then we would begin the process, according to the Old Testament ritual of sacrificing this lamb on the altar for your sins, and for your family, so that you would be forgiven for the sins that you had committed. So just imagine all of you here today, bringing lambs, doves, different types of animals, according to your financial status, that you would bring. And every time that you would an animal we would have to slaughter it, kill it, blood must flow. 

Can you imagine how gruesome and how bloody that was? You see, today, we don’t see that anymore. Because we go to a supermarket and we buy meat to eat and it’s wrapped in a nice vacuum pack or whatever, you know. Then you take it out, and you put it on a braai (barbeque) or whatever, and you eat your meat. But there’s a process that comes from that – you literally kill animals. That happens away from people’s eyes and away from where people live in our modern day society. But if you were going to be one of those that was living like that, you would literally have to come and bring the lamb or bring doves or bring different types of animals, different offerings, that the Lord said were available to you to bring and you would be there, and the blood of the animal would be spilt for you and would take your place, the blood of that animal would take your place for the sins that you had committed. 

Imagine if Jesus had not died, how many animals would have still had to be sacrificed every year? Every year. Every year there would have had to have been sacrifices made. On and on, and on and on. But what Jesus came to do, was He came to shed His blood and He came to shed the pure blood of Jesus, of Himself. So that His blood that was shed would come and be presented to God and that He would take the judgement of all sin of the human race – all of the sin of the human race would be judged on His body, on His blood that was spilt. In the moment that Jesus dies and says it is finished, there is a thunder and there is an earthquake and there is a darkness that comes upon the earth and there is a tremendous shaking of the earth that happens. Why?  Why is there this seismic, literally this seismic activity that happens in the heavens and on the earth? Well, because in that moment, God is judging all of the sin of humanity, past, present, and future. All of the sin of humanity is judged in the blood of Jesus. And so from that moment onwards, there is no more barrier of a sacrifice that yet has to be sacrificed for you and I to come into the presence of God. There is no more a high priest that must go on behalf of the whole nation into the Holy of Holies and present on the mercy seat the blood and present on behalf of the nation of Israel all of the sins that have been committed. There is no longer a high priest that is required to go into the innermost Holy of Holies and be there. 

You know, that Holy of Holies was such a place of holiness that literally the Bible says that they tied a cord around the feet of the high priest so that if he had impurity in his heart and he was judged by God to not be worthy as a high priest to come and bring the blood  that had been shed with all the animals for all the people, on the mercy seat in the Holy of Holies, that God’s holiness and the glory of God would confront his humanity and he would literally die. His physical body would drop dead in that place. They could not go in because anybody else going in there would die also. The only way to get him out would be to pull him out with a rope and then God would have to pronounce who would be the next high priest so that this could continue. Well, when Jesus died on the cross, what happened was, He became sin for us, that we no longer have to shed blood for our sins. What we have to do is receive the fact that Jesus was the offering; we have to receive the fact that He paid the price. But we can only do that because of something that happened after that, and what happened after that was because He was judged to be pure and perfect, and therefore He could take the place of all of the sins of all of mankind. Because of that God the Father could resurrect Him from the dead because He was pure. Therefore,  He lives in a resurrected state before the Father eternally, sitting at the right hand of God forever. Hallelujah. 

The resurrection life of Christ is not something that is just, well, paid the price for your sin. I’m so grateful that He did because there is not one of us who in our humanity is worthy enough. There is nothing that we can do that is good enough. There is nothing that we are capable of doing that is good enough for us to earn our salvation. It is unfortunate that there are many religions today that continually demand that people come and repent every Sunday, they come and repent and they continually demand a repentance, a penance if you like, that they have to continually come and show the act of repentance in order to receive an ongoing connection with God. That is something you can do anytime, anywhere, any place with God. Hallelujah. Because Jesus is alive, because Jesus is alive. Jesus is sitting at the right hand of the Father, and the Bible says that the Father has handed all judgement – the judgement that I read to you of all the things that had been done and all of the names that are in the Book of Life, He has handed all judgement over to the Son – the One that paid the price.  The resurrected One. He has handed all judgement to the Son. That same Son, Jesus Christ, now lives in your heart. If you have received Him as your Lord and Saviour, He lives in your heart. His desire for you is that you not only receive Him as the One Who paid the price for your sin, but His desire is that you receive Him as the One Who brings life to you because he says, “I have not come to judge the world, but I’ve come to bring life to the world. I’ve come to give life and joy and abundance to the world. I’ve come that you might have life and that you might have it more abundantly.” The judgement that I’m talking about is the judgement at the end of all time. But He didn’t come into the world to judge the world. He came to sacrifice His life so that all of the judgement that would be on the world would be on Him. He came therefore, so that when He became the resurrected One, that He could give you life and give it more abundantly. Amen. 

So I ask you today, I ask you today; what do you consider as abundant life? You might have a natural, human perspective of what abundant life looks like. I can almost assuredly tell you this, that whatever you can think about what abundant life looks like, it’s less than what God thinks about abundant life for you. So you might have an idea of what abundant life might look like. If you don’t mind me speaking about a few issues here today – does abundant life look like, well, if I’m really wealthy, I’ll be protected from any kind of government things. I might be protected from economic downturns. I might be protected from many things if I’m very wealthy. Is that what abundant life looks like to you? What about; I have status, I have power politically. Because if I’m connected there’s a lot of things I can do that other people can’t do – if I’ve got power, if I’ve got status. Because status puts me higher and better than others. Maybe that’s what you consider to be abundant life. Maybe you would consider abundant life as being, just doing whatever I want, whenever I want to do it, and having the means to do it whenever I want to do it. That’d probably be the broadest definition of what most people in the natural would consider abundant life. Right? Just being able to do whatever I want to do, when I want to do it and having all the resources to do what I want to do when I want to do it. Yes? That would be most people’s definition of abundant life. But that’s not the abundant life that God is talking about because it doesn’t matter if you think that abundant life, doesn’t matter if you think that abundant life is the pinnacle of successful, that’s the pinnacle of what I want. Abundant life that Jesus wants you to have is when you believe in Him, He fills a hole, he fills a vacuum that you were born to have filled by Him and only Him. There is nothing that can fill that hole inside of you, that vacuum inside of you, that space that you long for having to be filled. There is nothing that can fill that space, other than Jesus. He wants to fill your heart with Himself. He wants to fill your heart with Himself. That is abundant life. 

He wants to fill you with Himself. He said when He had risen from the dead, and He was out and about He said, “I’m going away and the Father will send you the One that has been promised to you and He will show you all the truth and He will bring and He will be your Strengthener and He will be your Helper, and He will bring everything that you need to you in your life. Everything you need, there is One coming that is – the Father is going to send to you.” It’s the Holy Spirit. When you receive Jesus as the resurrected Lord and Saviour of your life, you receive the power to have the abundance of the Holy Spirit inside of you. I have observed many Christians sitting on the fence of Christianity in their life. They are fence-sitting Christians. A fence-sitting Christian is one that says, “I believe in Jesus, I have received Him into my heart as my Lord and Saviour. I recognise that but I am going to run my life the way I think best to run my life that suits me.” They sit on the fence because on the one hand, they are making sure that eternally they have salvation but on the other hand they just want to keep on doing what they want to do. So what happens to those kinds of Christians, they are always in conflict. They’re confused most of the time, even while they’re doing what they’re doing for themselves, they are clearly focused on what they want to get out of life. They are clearly focused on that. It might be wealth, it might be politics, it might be power, it might be something. They’re clearly focused on what they want out of life, and God is just something that they put and they have in their life because He is real and they know that. So they have this confused state of living. I want to do what I want to do, but I also want to stay in the good books of Jesus. The Bible talks about such people as wavering people. They’re tossed to and fro in life. 

So, what is the answer to this abundant life that Jesus has given us? The answer is to say, “Father, I recognise that in myself,” and I encourage you to find a translation of the Bible that is good for you to read. I can tell you that you could read and find The Passion Translation if you like, or the Message Bible or perhaps even the Amplified Bible that is easier to read for you. If you find some of the old English, of the older versions more difficult to read, I would suggest that you go and read the book of Romans. In the book of Romans you will find that there is this man, the Apostle Paul, that has been called by God and he is devoting his life to God to such an extent that he is beaten and he is shipwrecked and he is imprisoned, he was left for dead many times and he was actually raised from the dead by God because they had stoned him to death. This Apostle Paul had given his life to bring about the church of the Lord Jesus Christ in the world of the Gentiles. The Apostle Paul writes in the book of Romans and he says, “I find inside of my body this nature, this old nature, and this nature says that on the one hand, I find myself doing things I don’t want to do and not doing the things I want to do.” So in other words, there are things in my flesh I really want to do those things, but I don’t really want to do those things because I really want to do what God wants me to do. But I actually find myself struggling with my natural man and my carnal man that says I want to do this stuff. Then he keeps on writing and he says, “Who will save me from this body of death?” And then he says, “Thank God, Jesus Christ is the One who saves me.” In other words, Jesus Christ doesn’t just give us the grace to get saved. He gives us the grace to live in power. He gives us the grace to live in victory, He gives us the grace to live with the power to overcome our own nature. Hallelujah. 

This is good news, this should be very good news for every Christian. You have to believe in the resurrection power of Jesus Christ. The same power that raised Christ from the dead now dwells inside of you, now lives inside of you. That same power lives inside of you. That same power that raised Him from the dead – come on people – that same power can certainly help you overcome your weakness in your life, that same power can help you overcome the patterns that have become bad behaviour patterns in your life. That same power can bring you from a place of saying, “I don’t know what to do,” to being sure I can live in Him. Hallelujah. Glory to God. 

I want to just leave you with this thought – I’m only just going to read you the first two verses of Ephesians chapter three, verse 14 and 15 from the Amplified Bible. 14For this reason, the Amplified Bible says this way, [seeing the greatness of this plan by which you are built together in Christ], I bow my knees before the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15For Whom every family in heaven and on earth is named [that Father from Whom all fatherhood takes its title and derives its name] (Ephesians 3:14-15 AMPC). I want to show to you that God has a plan for us as his family, He has a plan. The plan is not just the plan of salvation, the plan is a plan of salvation that is entrance into this wonderful life of living in God. Hallelujah. 

So if I may conclude with us; I want to declare to you that the resurrection power of God that raised Christ from the dead, that dwells in you, He will infuse you with mighty strength, with power in the inner man. And you, I declare, that because you have the power of Christ inside of you, if you will be one of those that make it your place to not be destroyed through a lack of knowledge – so there are many Christians that because they pursue everything that they want out of life, they don’t pursue God, and what He has for their lives. So when you’re pursuing your own plan for your life, you do not understand all the plans that God has for your life. And so the Word of God says, My people are destroyed through a lack of knowledge. Because you can’t gain the knowledge of the Spirit when you are focusing on the knowledge of the carnal man, the natural man and the desires of everything that your body and your soul wants to get. When you pursue that, you are pursuing a life that is taking you further and further away from the light and the life of God. So I often, well, I’m not going to do that this morning. I’m just going to say that if you have developed patterns in your life, if you have developed habits in your life that are things that you enjoy, things that are constantly just satisfying every whim and every will and everything that you choose for yourself to be satisfied with. If that has become a pattern in your life, and then you say, “How can I ever bridge this pattern of life? How can I ever bridge that to the way that God wants me to live?” Then I say to you, you can’t. You don’t have the ability to do it. You don’t have the power to do it. You don’t have the strength to do it. You don’t have the willpower to do it. But if you will take your will and give it over to the power of God, then you can accomplish it. Hallelujah. If you will give your will and say, “Father, I ask You to help me to get rid of these patterns that I’ve developed in my life. I really want the abundant life that is in Christ Jesus.” He will give you the power, He will give you the strength. He may bring you into the lives of other people that will talk life to you, that will speak words to you, that will walk with you, that will help you in those early stages of when you are giving yourself to God and it seems very difficult for you. He will strengthen you. It might come in the form of other people but you might even find in yourself a new desire to actually just go forward in God. I have witnessed and I have seen that people that have had substance abuse in their lives, I’ve seen the power of God come upon them, and they are instantly released from the power of that substance abuse. I have seen other people unable to do that immediately but as they give themselves over to God, they get released from those substances that they’ve abused in their lives.

The abundant life of God is so much higher than the abundant life that you can think of. If I have to describe to you today what abundant life looks like, then I would say; the abundant life is when you are connected to God and you understand that the presence of Almighty God is never withheld from you. Never. It doesn’t matter what you did yesterday. If Jesus lives in your heart, He is never going to keep away from you the presence of the Holy Spirit. He has given you the Holy Spirit to help you. Why would He take your help away from you in the moment when you need help the most? Come on. You can say; Amen to that. The moment that you need help the most, He is going to give you the Holy Spirit and make sure if you turn to Him, His presence is there. When you know that God is with you, it immediately begins to encourage you because it doesn’t matter how badly you have behaved, you can immediately say, “I’m sorry, Lord, please help me. Please help me.” And in that moment,He fills you with His love. In that moment He fills you with His peace. In that moment He fills you. Your mind might say to you, “Yeah, but this is the tenth time you’ve done it today.” That doesn’t matter. Don’t let your mind dominate what you do next. Let the Holy Spirit tell you how to go and do about it the next. Hallelujah. 

That is the resurrection life of Christ. It is in the form of the Holy Spirit who stands by you to strengthen you, to help you, to comfort you, to teach you, to bring you to a place of greater joy of life. Hallelujah. The Bible is clear that to follow your own course of life, there is no future there. There is only emptiness there, there is only death there. But if you follow Jesus, there is joy, there is peace and there is wonderment in the wonderful, the wonderful, wonderful life of God. He has come to give us abundant life. Hallelujah. He has come to give us abundant life. Thank you, Lord. Thank You, Lord, for abundant life. Thank you, Lord, for Your abundant life. Hallelujah. Praise Jesus. Praise Jesus. 

It is a privilege for me to be able to bring a message of good news to you, the good news of the abundance of God. If you’ll stand with me, please. Praise the Lord. I would like you, if you are willing to do this – if you’re a visitor here today, you may want to join us regular folks that come to the church. But for the regular ones, you know what I do at this time of the service, I ask you to put your hand on your heart. And I ask you just to make a declaration with me. And I say; Jesus, I thank You that You are my Lord and Saviour. I thank you for abundant life. I am a child of God every day and in every way. In Jesus’ name. Hallelujah. 

You know, I wake up in the mornings and first thing I do in the mornings when I’m kind of awake. You know, there’s different stages of wakefulness, you know. All waking up, but when I’m properly awake then, I mean, some people just never wake up, they walk around but they never… But when I’m awake, you know, I begin to thank God. Often I thank Him and I put my hand like this on my chest, and I thank Him and I say, “Thank You, Lord, that You live in me. Thank You for the greatness of life that You’ve given me. Thank You for the abundance of Your Word. Thank You for the goodness that You are to me. I experience Your goodness every day, every way, all the time. I thank You, Lord, that You’ve given me so many good relationships, so many good people, so many wonderful things. Thank You for an assignment in my life that I’m so full of.” There is not one moment in my life that I feel that I’m lacking anything because I’m on assignment for God. At any time when the devil comes to lie to me that maybe I’m lacking something, I shout back at him. I do, I shout at him and say, “You have nothing to say to me. All you want to do is steal, kill and destroy from me. And so, I don’t listen to anything you have to say.” I tell him he is a liar, he is a thief. I say plainly to him he must voetsek (get lost). You know, he must just hamba, hamba. You mustn’t come and talk to me. He’s got nothing to do for me. He has got nothing that he’s got anything good planned for me. Any temptation he’s got, that seems so good – I know that thing ends in death. There’s no good thing there for me. Hamba, hamba, hamba, voetsek jy. Get out of my thinking, get out of my life. Get out of my way. I want the God thing for me. I want what God’s got for me. Hallelujah.

We are not going to see each other for a couple of weeks. You’re going to miss this face. At least in person. You know, you can see it on the digital platforms, Pastor Sharon and I. So take a good look at this gorgeous face. I’m having a good look at your gorgeous faces because I’m going to miss you too. Because there’s such wonderful joy in this kind of fellowship, isn’t there? Just to have the anointing of God in the gathering together and the bringing together of our meetings. I’m going to miss you for a couple of weeks. But the Lord is already speaking to me and has been speaking to me about Big and Bold, Version Two in 22. And we have that word from Brother Jerry about the open hand of God that’s come to bless us in 2022. We’ve got things to do, places to go, things to do for God. Hallelujah. I’m so full of it, I can’t hardly wait to get there. Glory to God.

I just want to pray for you and bless you. If you will receive this blessing from the Lord. I want to declare that whatever you’re doing over this season that you will consider the life of God as your portion, you will consider His blessing, His peace, His abundance, His life, His joy. Make it yours. Let it be the fullness in your life and in your heart. I pray that whatever you’re doing that you are protected in your driving. No weapon formed against you or your family will prosper. I declare that you’re blessed in leaving your home and then you’ll be blessed coming back into your home. You will go away and you will come and you will find nothing missing and you will find nothing broken. I declare that wherever you are going, there the Spirit of God is. His angels are there to protect you and to make your life joyful and full and blessed in Jesus’ name. And I say that no sickness or disease comes upon you, that you are protected by the Word and the blood of Jesus. I speak that the angels of God surround you and are going before you in the name of Jesus to make your path smooth and plain before you. And that you will not allow and the Father will not allow your foot to get caught in a hidden snare. But you will see clearly where you’re going and how you’re going. And that nothing, no weapon formed against you may prosper. You are blessed in going everywhere you go. In Jesus’ name. Please declare with me; I am the blessed one. I have abundant life. I have peace. I have joy. In Jesus’ name. Hallelujah. Now that’s a good way to leave church. Thank you for coming. God bless you.