Power of Resurrection Part 9 Relationships – Ps John Bendixen (WTB)

Scripture reference: 1 Peter 3:18 (NKJV); 1 Peter 3:18 (TPT); Colossians 3:1-4 (TPT); John 14:5-10 (MSG); John 14:5-10 (AMPC); John 14:15-17, 25-27 (MSG); John 14:23-27 (TPT)

Jesus, praise You, Lord. Hallelujah. Praise You, Father. Thank You, Jesus. Thank You, Jesus. How good it is, Lord, to be back in the company of Your people, to be together, to rejoice, to praise Your name. We glorify Your name, Jesus. We are grateful that it is Your blood that has saved us, it is Your blood that covers us. Thank you, Father, that our past is so far removed from us as the east is from the west. Even yesterday is removed from us. Hallelujah. Glory to God. And we can celebrate and have great joy. And we can rejoice in You , Lord, that You do all things and turn all things to our certain good for those who love You and are called according to Your purpose. Hallelujah. 

I pray, Father, that as we head into this year that we are blessed, we are blessed. You are going to do super abundantly above all that we can even think about, imagine or dream because you put those dreams in our hearts and then you will exceed those dreams, Father. We thank you for it, Lord. Hallelujah. I pray that we have ears to hear, hearts to receive. Our minds are silent so that our spirit man can hear and that our soul can receive by the Spirit what we need to hear. Thank You, Lord. Thank You. We ask You that every word that is said and done today will be to Your glory and edify the name of Jesus. We thank You, Lord, in Jesus’ name. Amen. And everybody said; Amen. 

Say hello to somebody before you sit down. Say, “I’m glad you’re in church today.” Praise the Lord. Welcome. It seems like my microphone is sort of up and down. Hello, seeone, two, three, seems to be a bit of an echo. Hello. Goeie môre. Ek is bly julle is hier vandag. Ek is bly ek is ook hier vandag. Praise the Lord. You know, many years ago, 1996 to be exact, I attended – it actually was a year of marking if you like, for my life, our lives. It was a most memorable, most remarkable signpost year in our lives. Because it was the year that the Lord asked, and said, and told me and instructed me to serve Brother Kenneth Copeland in his international believers conference here in South Africa. And so Pastor Sharon and I were personal aides, if you like, we served Kenneth and Gloria, and Jerry and Jessie and Creflo, and all those guys. We were in the back room with them, in the green room as it were, as it’s now called. We serve them night and day, and for any need they might have for about 10 days. An event occurred at that time that really stayed with me for a number of years, because my first reaction to the event was, it’s easy to say something like that and then when it happens, take credit for it. Here’s what happened; Brother Jesse Duplantis got up on the pulpit in one of his messages and he said, “I’m speaking today that the rand dollar exchange rate is going to improve, and it’s going to be beneficial for South Africa. And that is my declaration.” And when he said that I thought, okay, let’s see what happens. Well, over the next three days, the rand strengthened to the dollar, and it was beneficial for South Africa. He got up and he took credit for it. Well, he said, “I asked the Lord, and it happened.” My initial instinct was, yeah right? One man asks, and the global economy moves. Convenient, hey? Come on now.


It stayed with me for many years because of my reaction and because of what he prayed. So then you go back to one of the last services I did at the end of last year and you will find that Jesus is standing at the Lazarus’ grave, and He says to the Father, “I’m asking You, Father, not because You don’t hear me, but so that they may know that You hear Me.” So He didn’t ask because of His relationship with the Father. He asked so that God could answer but only after they heard Him ask. So then, it wasn’t a matter of the event only occurred because it was a coincidence after He asked. He was required by the Heavenly Father to ask before Lazarus could come out so that others could hear that it was indeed God the Father that raised Him from the dead. Right?

Over the years, I have begun to realise that sometimes God will ask you to do things. Not just because He is answering you, but because He requires someone to ask And not because you can take credit for it but because He requires someone to ask. All He needs is one person to ask in faith, and God can answer because someone asks in faith. Amen. How many people does it take for God to answer anything on the earth? Just one, right? If you are led by the Spirit of God to ask God for something and you ask, believing in your heart and not doubting, then He will answer that. If it is He that wants you to ask something, then He will give you the faith to ask it, and He will give you how to ask it. 

So, at the end of last year, I made a decision that the Holy Spirit asked me to do, and I said, we are going to, we have an opportunity. I was led by the Holy Spirit. I said, “We have an opportunity. I don’t know what the President is going to say about the future of lockdowns or not lockdowns.” Because nothing was, a lot wasn’t known about the Omicron virus. Right? And I said, “I don’t know what he’s going to say when he comes back from visiting Africa. But whatever happens, we have an opportunity to sow a seed into this nation’s recovery for the destruction of the virus in this nation, for the recovery of the economy in this nation, and for things to become much better than they were before.” 

What’s happened since we last left? Come on now, talk to me. The curfew was cancelled. Omicron has just about almost gone out of the country. The covid virus as in its entirety, is disappearing amongst our people. It’s creating the basis for us through December, where they didn’t have to go to more serious lockdowns, so there could be an economic investment by travellers coming from overseas. European countries decided to change their decision about allowing flights to come in and out of South Africa. America took a little bit longer to get to that point but they are there now. I would like to take a moment to say; thank you, Lord. Thank You, Lord. Whether we were the only people that asked You, if we were the only people that sowed a seed into You answering us, I’m okay with that. But I’m thankful that our country is in recovery. I’m thankful that our country is in restoration. I’m thankful that they’ve lifted up the meeting indoors to – what’s it, 1000 people or 2000 people you’re allowed to meet indoors now? And many, many events are coming back online, economy is beginning to revive itself. We asked. We asked. Hallelujah. 

I believe that the reason why, at least partly why our country is doing so much better, is because God put it on our hearts to sow a seed of this gathering, so that He could use this seed to answer. I’m sure there are many other people in the country that have prayed, many other people that have done many things. Christians that have spiritual recognition of the times and what God’s doing and God would have heard them and inspired them too, to do what is necessary. But I know He asked us to do that. 

Now part of the reason I’m starting with this example today is, if you are led by the Holy Spirit to ask for something He will answer, He will answer. He will provide, He will do something about it. He wouldn’t have you ask something and put it in your heart to ask for something, if He was not going to answer it. Hallelujah. Praise the Lord. Well, it is possible, it is possible that God had other people, that He wanted other people to do the same thing. It is possible that instead of churches in South Africa taking the government to court that He wanted them to behave in this manner. I can’t say. I will say this, that without much effort, things changed quite rapidly after God asked us to do something. Hallelujah. Glory to God. 

I opened up with the story of Brother Jesse Duplantis because I understand in the intellectual mind, and in the emotion, in the soul realm where we live in the real world, the reality of the world, it would seem impossible that a few of us, one church could close down for three weeks and sow that as a seed to the recovery of a nation, and that would be enough for God. But it is enough. How many loaves and fishes does it take to feed 5000 people? And families? Well, as much as a bakery can produce and a fishery. Well, no, it just takes a small basket of a little boy’s lunch in the hands of God to do it all. 

We are in 2022 and we are in it not to survive. We are in it to thrive. We are not just in it to survive. We are in it to thrive. Come on, say that with me, “We’re not just in it to survive. We’re in it to thrive.” Hallelujah. Glory to God. The Lord has put it in my spirit that we will go Big and Bold version two in 22. He’s also put it in the heart of Brother Jerry to have a word for us that the open hand of God is extended towards us. And that means there’s provision, there’s favour, there’s blessing and that is going to be accelerated in 22. It’s not going to be decelerated. Amen. Glory to God. It’s time for us as a church to believe that God is with us. God is with us. God is with us. God is with us. And so today I am asking you to be ready, to be someone who wants to change and wants to become part of something significant that God wants to do in 22. Hallelujah. 

One of the things that the Lord has put on my heart very strongly is that the coronavirus pandemic, over the last two years, we’re in our third year almost, has brought a great deal of destruction – economically. It’s brought destruction to people’s health. It’s brought destruction in relationships and in people’s emotional and mental conditions. One Peter chapter three verse 18, says, 18For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit (I Peter 3:18 NKJV). So Jesus suffered once for sins. That means, there is no more sacrifice that can be made. He suffered once, so that He could what? Bring us to God. He could bring us to God. Please, let’s personalise that. He died, please say it with me, “He died to bring me to God.” In other words, He suffered so there is no barrier between you and God. Nothing. His desire is for you to be with God, to be in God, that’s His desire. The Passion Translation puts it this way, 18Christ suffered and died for sins once and for all – the innocent for the guilty – to bring you near to God by his body being put to death (1 Peter 3:18 TPT). Every day that you breathe and live, it should be your singular focus, to draw near to God. Not to go to work, not to go to school. Not to focus on anything else, it should be your singular focus to draw near to God. 

Next week I’ll have a diagram for you that will give you a very visual context of how the Lord has given it to me, where God is the centre of your life, where the church fits into your life, and how all the activities of your life fit into the whole picture. But you’re going to have to wait till next week for that because I’ve got to get through this first. 

Our scripture we’ve been using over the time since I’ve been talking about the power of the resurrection or the resurrection power of Christ, is Colossians three verse one to four in The Passion Translation. 1Christ’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, honour, and authority! 2Yes, 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. 3Your crucifixion with Christ has severed the tie to this life, and now your true life is hidden away in God in Christ. 4And 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). It is important for us to recognise that the resurrection of Christ, the power that raised Christ from the dead lives in you, so that you can be one with Him. The same power that raised Him from the dead is the same power that enables you to be one with Him. 

This is a very difficult concept for us as humans, is ‘oneness’. Because when you live with yourself, you are living in the oneness of yourself. You live with your emotion, you live with your intellect, you live with your spirit, the spirit where God is. You live with oneness in yourself. But for you to live in oneness with someone else, it’s generally confined to unique, singular events, like physical intimacy with your husband or your wife. Like a moment of emotional connectedness or conversational intimacy, or an event where emotions and ideas are shared. Then you might have singular events where oneness is experienced. But to live in a continual state of oneness is for you to live continually in the state of God’s awareness of your awareness of God in you; the Holy Spirit with you. Your mind struggles with the understanding of this concept of oneness; but your spirit yearns for the fullness of oneness. 

The church is the place where oneness can be evident amongst the many. I don’t want to spend too much time on this particular point here, but if you read in the book of Ephesians and in the book of Peter and different other books, when Jesus wants to make a point or when the Word of God wants to make a point about how the Church should be behaving, He refers to the oneness that exists between a husband and a wife. But He doesn’t refer to the oneness of a husband and wife, just on a physical level. He talks about the oneness of a husband and wife as they function together in Christ. It’s the best visual idea of how God refers to the Church as two becoming one. 

When you understand that you can also understand how He wants the oneness of the two to become the oneness of the many. Many marriages make the Church, many families make the Church. The Church is made up of families, people; oneness in Him. Amen. 

John, chapter 14, verse five in the Message translation, there’s an event happening here. 5And Thomas said to Jesus, Master, we have no idea where you’re going, how do you expect us to know the road? 6-7Jesus said, “I am the Road. Other translations, you will know better, saying, “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life.” The Message Translation says, 6-7Jesus said, “I am the Road, also the Truth, also the Life. No one gets to the Father apart from me. If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him. You’ve even seen him!” (John 14:5-7 MSG). Now Thomas is asking a question, “Show us.” Jesus says, “You already know.” It’s just that they haven’t fully yet seen. 8Philip said, “Master, show us the Father; then we’ll be content.” 9-10“You’ve been with me all this time, Philip, and you still don’t understand? To see me is to see the Father. So how can you ask, ‘Where is the Father?’ (John 14:9-10 MSG).

Let me just make a statement here. The amount of time you’ve been a Christian, and the amount of time you’ve been around somebody does not mean to say that you have unity, or understand or know what you need to know. It needs a revelation from the Father for you to see. Time does not equal maturity. Knowledge or information does not equate revelation or the revealed will of God; it’s just knowledge and information. The revealed will of God is a different thing; it’s about unity. It’s about unity that comes from God and empowers you to be what God needs you to be.

9…Philip, and you still don’t understand? To see me is to see the Father. So how can you ask, ‘Where is the Father?’ Don’t you believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I speak to you aren’t mere words. I don’t just make them up on my own. The Father who resides in me crafts each word into a divine act (John 14:9-10 MSG). Don’t you believe that the Father is in you? Don’t you believe that the Father is in you? Do you believe that the Father is in you? God Almighty lives in you. This is not something you believe with your mind. You may acknowledge it because I read it out of the Bible. You may say “Yes, the Bible is true and I acknowledge it that it is said so in the Bible.” But to know that the Father lives in you is to have a relationship with the Father in you. It’s not just to acknowledge merely that you have, that you know the Father. 

I’m going to just read this because it has some substance to where we are going in the rest of the message today. I’m going to read it out of the Amplified Bible. So verse five says, 5Thomas said to Him, Lord, we do not know where You are going, so how can we know the way? 6Jesus said to him, I am the Way and the Truth and the Life; no one comes to the Father except by (through) Me. 7If you had known Me [had learned to recognize Me], you would also have known My Father. From now on, you know Him and have seen Him (John 14:5-7 AMPC). Wow. This is quite significant that Jesus is making a declaration. Jesus is saying something that they’ve just said they don’t know. He’s just saying something, “From now on, you will know.” I ask you, based on what I just read about every word is crafted by the Father, right? So if Jesus just said that, then that’s what’s going to happen? From now on, you will know Him. 

It is my prayer and my declaration that from now on, we, individuals, will know God intimately, in a much deeper, much greater way than we have ever known Him before. We will see Him in each other. The way that He has always designed the Church to function is to see God in each other; not just to live in the oneness of yourself, but to live in the oneness of the Body. Hallelujah. It is not just the oneness of yourself that is a witness to the world, although that is true, but it is the oneness of the love of God, that we show to each other that the world will know Jesus.

And so we have to know God, and the oneness of how we know Him in ourselves has got to go into the rest of the body of Christ and as the rest of the body operates in that oneness we become Jesus’ expression on the earth. The power of your witness becomes a lot stronger if you are collectively one with God in the oneness of the body, even though in the oneness of yourself, you witness, the power of the collective oneness becomes greater, because one will put 1000 to flight, and two will put 10,000 to flight. So, there’s a collective greatness of oneness that is a witness and a testimony to the rest of the world that only the oneness of your oneself with God cannot imagine to become. 

Our meeting here together today is a testimony to all of the forces in the heavenly realms, of all of the dark realms, and the heavenly realms that Christ lives and dwells amongst us. When you get up and pray in the morning by yourself with the oneness of yourself, God the Father is present and hears. Certainly, the spirit realm knows what you’re doing, if it is according to His will, and His Word. But when you do this together, this is the expression of Christ. Individually, you can’t be the expression of Christ. As a marriage, you become the better expression of Christ. As a Church, you become the fullness of the expression of Christ. I’m teaching very well today. You can say, Amen to that. Is it any wonder to you why the enemy of God is trying to divide churches all the time, and separate people and divide people out of church, stop them from coming to church? He wants to stop the potential of the oneness. Not only does that stop the potential of the individual, but he also stops the potential of the oneness becoming an expression of Christ. 

You think the Church, the world actually looks at the Church as a whole talking about the collective general Church, you think the world out there looks at the Church and says, that’s the way to live. There’s so many divisions in the Church, that any person out there is saying, “Well, you know, that doesn’t look like God to me very much. It looks much more like the way we operate in politics, in government or in business.” Amen. Come on, you can say, Amen, to that. Because that’s the way the world sees the church generally. But when the church comes together in the unity of the blood of Jesus, under the Word of God, knowing Him, we come with power. We come with a testimony, we come with a witness. Okay, I must read, I must carry on.

7If you had known Me [had learned to recognize Me], you would also have known My Father. From now on, you know Him and have seen Him. 8Philip said to Him, Lord, show us the Father [cause us to see the Father—that is all we ask]; then we shall be satisfied. Well, Jesus just said, “You will know Him.” And now he’s asking, “Show Him to us.” 9Jesus replied, Have I been with all of you for so long a time, and do you not recognize and know Me yet, Philip? Anyone who has seen Me has seen the Father. How can you say then, Show us the Father? 10Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in Me? What I am telling you I do not say on My own authority and of My own accord; but the Father Who lives continually in Me does the (His) works (His own miracles, deeds of power) (John 14:7-10 AMPC). Jesus is actually saying, “That power that you see Me operating is not My power. It’s the power of the Father doing it through Me. My business is to live in the Father and then everything that the Father wants He does through Me.” Did I read anything in the Bible here that… Can you put that last verse up here. Is there anything that I misread in the Bible there? Did I interpret anything incorrectly? Shall we read it all together? I want to make a point, let’s read it all together. 10Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in Me? What I am telling you I do not say on My own authority and of My own accord; but the Father Who lives continually in Me does the (His) works (His own miracles, deeds of power) (John 14:10 AMPC).

So, when we look at Jesus, and we see what Jesus did, Jesus Himself is saying, “It’s not Me who’s doing this.” Some people might have this consideration that because Jesus was also divine, that was the Divine Being that did the work. And Jesus, the Divine was the One who did the healing. It was not Jesus, ever. It was always the Father working through the vessel of Jesus. That means that in our day, there is nothing that we can take for ourselves and say, we do this of ourselves. Which is why I can’t stand here and take credit, and take any glory to myself, by saying, when we decided to shut the church for three weeks, and sow it as a seed into working with our president, what happened was that God placed a desire in my heart. I responded to God, He did with it whatever He chose to do with it. 

When you come to prayer meeting on a Tuesday night, and you give of your – wherever you go to a prayer meeting – when you’re involved in prayer with us, and you come with your vessel, and you pray, you often might feel like what is the point of this praying time? Well, He needs people to come and ask Him. And you say, “Well, can’t God do anything on the earth without someone asking Him?” No, He can’t. He already made that determination when He made Adam and Eve. When He made Adam and Eve, He put them on the earth and He said, “Now you have dominion. And so I give you dominion, and you must keep all things that should not be in the Garden, guard the Garden, and keep it out. I’m giving you authority.” So, when Adam let something in, that shouldn’t be in and listened and seeded his own authority, now God requires a man to come and stand the way Jesus stood, and pray and ask God the Father to do things in the earth. 

So, if we don’t come and we don’t pray together, collectively as a Church, then God can’t do things on the earth, because we’re not asking. And hey, if you come and you ask collectively for things that are not just self-centred, then you have a much better idea of how to ask God for yourself because you now are exercising yourself in the collective oneness, rather than in the individual oneness of self-centred asking. Hallelujah. 

And so, we’re going to talk a little bit about relationships over the next couple of weeks, because this is one of the things that the enemy has really come after. And he’s tried to separate marriages, he’s tried to separate families. He’s tried to separate people from the Church, try to keep them away from their divine alignment, and their divine connections. I mean, he’s been about this since day one of humanity. This is not a new strategy for him. That’s what he did with Adam and Eve; separate Adam and Eve from the Word and the will of God. 

What happens when you do that? Shame and guilt. What happens with shame and guilt? You can’t live with it. It’s a weighty burden that no one can live with. And so he uses shame and guilt to separate you from God and not trust in the Blood. S

So, what is a relationship? Well, you know, Webster’s Dictionary, is a dictionary that is still in the modern day, a lot of times the Webster’s Dictionary, the 1828 dictionary, is very closely aligned to biblical references. And so there’s quite varied uses of the words relationship or relate. 

So the word relationship from the Webster’s Dictionary is, the state of being related by kindred, by affinity, or other alliances. So you relate by blood, by affinity or by alliances and/or by alliance. I suggest to you that our relationship with God is all three. We have a relationship with God through blood, we have a relationship with God, through the affinity of what the will of God is in the earth, for you and me. We have an alliance, a covenant with God, that He will do anything we ask, if we ask according to His will. That’s a covenant. It looks like you guys are half asleep on me here. Are you sure you’re awake? So, if you are, that’s what the word relationship means. It comes from the word relate, which is from Latin. It comes from two combined words in Latin Re and Pharaoh, which means to produce. Wow. So we have a blood relationship that has an affinity, or we have an agreement, we have a recognition of the will and the purposes of God. We have a covenant alliance for that to come to pass for the purpose of producing. Come on. If that’s not God’s instruction for us that relationships are meant to produce, not to reduce but to produce. The enemy is all about reducing. God is all about producing. The word relate also says to relate oneself, or to vent thoughts in words.

So this is part of what I’m referring to, that we are comfortable with the oneness of ourselves because we are used to venting our thoughts through our words and/or our deeds. What’s in your heart is going to come out of your mouth because people have something in their hearts, what they choose in their hearts, they begin to intellectually find a way to justify. Once you have justified what’s in your heart, you will now speak it into being. You have made a kindred blood relationship, an alliance with yourself to make something come to pass for yourself.

You vent your thoughts through words, which becomes actions. So having a relationship with yourself can be very destructive because if you’re having a relationship with yourself, and God’s not involved in the relationship that you’re having with your own inward beliefs, and your own inward thoughts, and the words that are coming out of your mouth, then you are inwardly having oneness with yourself, then you speak words and then if someone gets into agreement with your words that you’ve had in the oneness of yourself, then two of you become in agreement and you release the power of more than one. So if you want to know why things are not working out, in the will of God in your life, the way that you want them to work out is because the likelihood is that you are at oneness with yourself. Then you express your oneness to someone else. And if they get into agreement with you, they may come to pass what you believe. Not only that, but you sow a seed into their life, then they become one with the seed that you just sowed into their thoughts and into their hearts and they receive that seed. They get to oneness with themselves through that seed and they vent their thoughts to others. Which is typically how division happens. Not oneness, but division. Because you have a relationship with the oneness of yourself, not with the oneness of the word or the oneness of God.

I have to be very careful what I hear Pastor Sharon say to me, I have to be very careful what I say to her. Because we have reached a level of spiritual maturity and spiritual authority and spiritual leadership that instantly we say something, something can come to pass, if we just get into agreement with each other. If we are functioning in the oneness of ourselves and not the oneness of God’s Word, then we release the authority and the power for our oneness to effect an outcome. So, we have made a decision that we will as far as we are empowered and we overcome our human weakness, we will walk in the love of God. Not in the opinion of ourselves or in the emotions of ourselves but in the love of God.

The love of God is not just mushy. It’s not just huggy. That’s part of it. But the love of God is also strength. The love of God says, here is the standard of my life, it can’t be compromised. I myself can’t compromise my own standard of my life because my word is my life and my life is my word. Therefore, my word binds me to myself and myself binds me to my word. So God Himself is love, does not have love. If you read the Bible, it says, God is love. Continuous, this is the description God gave me, a continuous perfect state of being. When I asked Him to dis, to show me and reveal to me what love is, a perfect continuous state of being. And then I said, “Oh, but that’s God. And He said, “Yeah, well, of course, I am love.” So God’s love is a continuous perfect state of being, which means that the love of God can’t be variable according to your circumstances, or your thoughts, your dreams, or something you want in life. He must stay according to His plans and purposes, and He’s designs, including what He designed you to do on the earth. He’s got to stay true to the purpose He birthed you. He can’t allow you to say, “I think I’ll have some other purpose to what You birthed me, I’ll follow that.” He has to stay true to the purpose of what He called you from before the foundations of the earth.

He says those He foreknew He also predestined to become sons of God. So He foreknew you before you were even born. He knew you before the foundations of the earth were even born which means you were in Him and your purpose on the earth was already deliberately purposed to become someone right here, right now in this age. He needs you right here, right now in this age, and He has a purpose for you. He has an assignment for you to complete and accomplish. And anything you say, “I want to do that,” He says, “I have to match that against who I am and what My love birthed you to be in the earth because My love birthed you to reveal Me in the earth so that Me in the earth could be a sign to all others in the universe, that I am in the earth and I’m in the earth in the Church and in you in the earth. And the power of Me is released when you walk in purpose and assignment and you are connected to the Church and the Church and the families of the Church function as one.” The power of God is released. 

That’s why I’m asking you to be open to understand that when I’m preaching on relationships, I have a process that I talk about relationships and that is just a framework of identifying where you are in a relationship. But what I’m teaching is not the framework. And so the framework is touch, integration of ways, strategic intentions, divine productivity and covenant. And they are on that level. You can’t have strategic intentions with me if I haven’t touched you. And if we haven’t integrated our ways, we can’t get to strategic intentions, either. Because I don’t know which way you’re going to go. But people want to jump from touch to strategic intentions. I want to skip the integration of ways part. The unity comes in the integration of ways. And when you start to operate in strategic intentions, then divine productivity begins to happen and you begin to operate in a way that is truly divine. So, touch and integration of ways, that’s our business, that’s our part. But He gives us the Holy Spirit to help us. It’s our part. Strategic intentions; now we’re operating in the part where He asks us to do something, ask for something, operate in a certain way and He answers. It’s a cooperation. Divine productivity builds on that cooperation and it produces divine results. Covenant is a relationship where God can ask you anything and you will do anything and He will answer it in the way that He chooses because you trust Him. It’s covenant. Abraham, Isaac. “Isaac, give Me your son.” “You want me to kill my only son?” “Yes, I want you to sacrifice him.” Covenant – doesn’t matter what the outcome is, God has got a solution because He showed me, I trust Him. And in his heart, he killed Isaac. Covenant. So that’s a process. 

But what I’m talking about, that’s just a framework to understand where you are in the relationship. But the relationship that God wants us to have, is to have a deep belief and walk in Him. He wants to touch you in the innermost beings of your spirit. He calls to you every day, “Integrate with Me. Don’t just come to Me with what you want Me to do in your life. Come to Me to be with Me.” You will get more from God when you just go to be with Him than if you even ask Him because when you’re with Him, He gives you things to ask for. Praise Jesus. Hallelujah. Amen. 

Please, say this with me, “I am awake and I am alert. I’m receiving the Word of God.” Hallelujah. So, relationship most often refers to the following; family relationships or relatives, interpersonal relationship – which is a strong deep or close association or acquaintance between two or more people. A correlation and dependence; relationships, for example, between mathematics and statistics, or between two variables or sets of data. Romance, love; a connection between two people driven by love and/or sexual attraction. I like this definition as given by the dictionary the best; a state of connectedness between people. A state of connectedness between people. If you are connected, that’s not just something that is a casual acquaintance. There’s a deep alliance.

I go to John chapter 14, verse 15. I’m going to read it in the Message translation.  15If you love me, show it by doing what I’ve told you. Hello, I’d say that’s a deep connectedness. Right? If you love me, show me by doing what I’ve told you. 16I will talk to the Father, and he’ll provide you another Friend so that you will always have someone with you (John 14:15-16 MSG). I’d say that’s a deep connectedness. Do you always have someone with you? Always? Always? Always? Even when you’re at your worst,? Always? They’re always there to help you. In the moment of bad decision making, the Holy Spirit is your Friend, still there helping you to undo the decision as you’re busy making it. He will even give you the strength to do it. But you have to believe in your heart that He is there to help you with it. 

17This Friend is the Spirit of Truth. The godless world can’t take him in because it doesn’t have eyes to see him, doesn’t know what to look for. Lack of connectedness, right? But you know him already because he has been staying with you, and I will even be in you! (John 14:17 MSG). When He comes to live in you, then the Father and the Holy Spirit come and live with Him. The Father is in you, Jesus is in you and the Holy Spirit is in you. 

Same chapter, chapter 14 verse 25, says, I’m going to be done in about five or seven minutes. Well, can you hang in there that long? [Congregation answers, “Yes, Pastor John] This will set us up for next week when I talk about the diagram and I show you through the diagram how things operate through a connectedness with God and the Church. A lot of things will become clear to you. It will help you. John 14, verse 25, 25I’m telling you these things while I’m still living with you. 26The Friend, the Holy Spirit whom the Father will send at my request, will make everything plain to you. He will remind you of all the things I have told you (John 14:25-26 MSG).

If people tell me that it is only men who wrote the Bible, then of course, they would only see that it is the men who wrote the Bible, and they would only refer to it as a historical notation. But they don’t understand the Holy Spirit because they can’t see Him and they don’t know Him and they don’t see how the Holy Spirit can bring truth to people’s remembrance and reveal it to them even in visions and write down what they see in vision – they can write exactly what the Holy Spirit tells them to write. It’s not merely just a thought process – “Oh, I remember Jesus said that.” No, the Holy Spirit will bring it to their remembrance. 26… He will remind you of all the things I’ve told you. 27I’m leaving you well and whole. That’s my parting gift to you. Peace (John 14:26-27 MSG). Hello? So, if COVID is in the world, when He departed the earth, did He suddenly stop giving peace? It means you have peace. Well and whole – nothing missing, nothing broken. That’s what peace is. Well and whole. Oh, but COVID. Oh, but this. No. Oh, but Jesus. Oh, but the Word. Oh, but oneness with Him not just oneness with myself. When you’re at one in the oneness of yourself, it’s like you are in a box. If you can just picture this with me for a moment, it’s like someone that’s in a perspex box. They can see themselves in every direction that they turn, they see themselves and they’re trying to get out of the box. And it feels like they can, but they can see through the box at the same time. They can see that there’s a way out. And there’s other things out there. But it feels like you’re in a box and you just can’t break out of the box. That’s because you’re at oneness with yourself, in yourself, with your thoughts, with your ideas, with your own emotions. 

When you come into the oneness of God, you have peace, and suddenly the box shatters. Not because you can do the shattering because God just shows up. 27I don’t leave you the way you’re used to being left – feeling abandoned and bereft . It’s that – I’m in a box, I can’t get out. I’m abandoned. I have no one to help me. How can I get out of this thing? “I won’t leave you that way,” that’s what Jesus said, “I’ve got a Friend who will lead you into truth and He’ll shatter the box around you.” 27So don’t be upset, and don’t be distraught (John 14:27 MSG). Relationship with God is meant to relieve you – not to bring you into more bondage. It’s meant to break all the shackles of the past, and all the shackles of yourself oneness, to break it off you. Hallelujah. 

It’s what the power of the blood of Jesus does. It’s the very power that raised Him from the dead. It’s that same power that lives inside of you. And as you speak in oneness with His Word because you believe it in your heart, not because you try to change an event or change a circumstance or change the … But because you believe it in your heart, then you speak to the event and it will obey. It shows whether you have a performance-based relationship or whether you have a believing-based relationship. And unfortunately, too many Christians have been indoctrinated either through their own self-life, or through church doctrine, or through some other way that performance-based Christianity is the way to live. And even in the faith walk if I confess so many times, if I pray so much, if I read so many books from Kenneth Hagin, and if I read so much of the Bible, and if I just speak enough of the Word it must change. That doesn’t mean you believe any of what you’ve just done. So, what then, Pastor John? How do I get to it? You’ve got to ask the Friend, the Holy Spirit to say, “I’m bypassing all the performance of me and I’m asking You to help me bypass this performance. Because I recognise within myself that I want to do everything by myself and I’m in myself oneness with myself and I’m asking You, Holy Spirit, to take me out of my selfness and bring me into the oneness with the Lord Jesus, with the Word of God, with the Holy Spirit, with the Father.” 

So, what has the enemy of God been up to in the last two years of COVID? He’s isolated people from the Church, he’s isolated relationships, and even where people have been living together – what’s been happening is that they’ve been living in the oneness of themselves. And when they come together, they come together out of the power of the oneness of themselves. So no wonder they are butting heads all the time. No wonder they are bashing each other literally. No wonder they’re divorcing each other. No wonder so many people are committing suicide because they have been deceived into believing that you are yourself, are one with yourself and everything that you desire for yourself,with yourself is the true reality of everything. When the true reality is not the oneness with yourself, but the oneness with God, that’s where true reality is. That’s the truth. 

You may say it. [Congregations says, “Amen, you are preaching very well, Pastor John] You may say it again. And so, John 14, verse 23, 23Jesus replied, this is The Passion Translation. I just read, verse 25 to 27, from the Message and I thought reading two verses earlier from verse 23, out of The Passion Translation will just give us a nice, rounded ending to what I have to say today. 

23Jesus replied, “Loving me empowers you to obey my word. And my Father will love you so deeply that we will come to you and make you our dwelling place.” (John 14:23 TPT). Remember what we said; If you love Me, you will do the things that I say? Don’t just say it, do it. What’s the most basic thing, the most basic thing that you can obey God to do? The most basic thing is that you can speak to Him every day. Right? Come on. When you wake up in the morning, the most basic thing you can do is to say, “I’m going to connect with You. And I’m going to tell you, Father, that I love You.” “Yeah, but you don’t know what I did last night. Last night, I went out with the guys from work and we were… I was like, I don’t know what happened to me. But I did stuff I shouldn’t have done.” I’m not even going to talk about what you should or shouldn’t have done. In case you do. And I don’t want to be the judge of that. But you know what you did and you say, “Yes, but I do I wake up now this morning and say, “I love you God?” The first thing you can say is, “Sorry, Lord. Sorry that I gave into the oneness of myself last night.” Then you can say, “But now, I identify myself in the oneness of who You are in me. And I thank You that You empower me today. And today, I can do more with You than I did yesterday. Today, I can overcome more than I could overcome yesterday.” It’s the most basic thing you can do – have a relationship with God every day. Right? 

Well, some people might say, “But you don’t know how much responsibility I’ve got. When I wake up, I’ve got little babies or I’ve got children, and I’ve got to get the children to school. And I’ve got this and I’ve got that.” Think God doesn’t know that? Do you think He’s limited to the space that you’re in? Hey, breastfeeding mom, while you’re breastfeeding that baby, speak to God. Perfect time. Hey, businessman going to work, “You don’t understand how busy I am. All the time I’m dealing with contracts. I’m phoning people, I got stuff to do.” You can talk to God. “Well, how do you know?” Because I’ve done it. I used to have, those days we were just introducing cell phones – shows you how long ago I was in the corporate world. We’re just introducing cell phones into the corporate world. We still had phones that you had to pick up or push buttons. From the time that I picked up the phone and I started pressing a button for a phone number, I would speak to the Father and say, “Thank you, Lord, that You and I are having an outcome on this phone call that is blessed by You. I thank You that You guide me and lead me on this phone call.” You know what? I’m just expressing oneness with Him. I’m calling on my Friend to help me. I’m showing Him that He’s the most important thing in my life, not this phone call. This phone call is just an expression of my living as a human being but my walk with Him is an eternal, forever deal – which is a perfect segue. Don’t know what that means? It means a perfect lead into my message for next week. 

I just want to finish the Scripture. 23“Loving me empowers you to obey my word.[q] And my Father will love you so deeply that we will come to you and make you our dwelling place. 24But those who don’t love me will not obey my words (John 14:23-24 TPT). So, what’s the next thing that you can do? The next most basic thing you can do is obey His written words. Yes? So, people want to know what my purpose is, what my assignment is, but I don’t want to tithe. Well, if you love Him, obey His Word. People want to know what their purpose and their assignment is but they don’t want to come to church. Obey His Word. Don’t do it for me. And don’t just do it because you like the other people that come to church, although that’s nice that you like the other people to come to church. It’s better. But don’t think even the people that you like are not going to rub you up the wrong way. In fact, most of the time, there’s definitely going to be somebody in the church that’s going to rub you the wrong way. In fact, God will probably see to it. Why? Because He will cause assignments and alignments to come to make sure that you reach maturity and that doesn’t happen without some flexing. Some growing. You can’t grow if you don’t have some resistance. Some tough times. Kom boetie, wat sê jy nou? jy sê wat? I don’t like what you are saying, Pastor John, I don’t like what you say. It doesn’t suit my whole experience of the way I want to walk with God. “Obey My Word.” Don’t just say it, obey it. Hallelujah. 

25I’m telling you this… Well, I’ve got to go back to verse 24. 24But those who don’t love me will not obey my words. The Father did not send me to speak my own revelation (John 14:24 TPT). Say what? My Father did not send me to speak my own revelation. Even Jesus says, “I don’t speak My own revelation. I only speak what God reveals.” You have a new revelation? Don’t think so. 24but the words of my Father. Everything God needs to have you do on the earth – this is my Electronic Bible – see it? [Pastor John holding up and showing his Ipad]. Everything God has for you to do on the earth is in the Word. Everything, everything, everything. 

24But the Father did not send me to speak my own revelation, but the words of my Father. 25I’m telling you this while I’m still with you. 26But when the Father sends, the Spirit of Holiness, the One like me who sets you free. People think holiness is something that you shouldn’t want to aspire to. Holiness is the one who comes to set you free. 26He will teach you all things in my name. He will inspire you to remember every word that I’ve told you. 27I leave with the gift of peace with you—my peace. Not the kind of fragile peace given by the world, but my perfect peace. Don’t yield to fear or be troubled in your hearts—instead, be courageous!” (John 14:24-27 TPT).

Come on, when you’re in oneness with Him, then you are capable of having peace and being courageous at a time when everything in the world is falling apart because you’re united to Him. You’re connected to Him. Listen, He’s the God who made all of the universe, you don’t think that He can take care of you? You can be in a war zone. I mean, bombs exploding all over around you and He can still protect you. The world’s economy can collapse, He will give you a way out. Well, where do you get that from, Pastor John? Well, I can tell you that there was a lady who was a widow and she was in a time of famine that was God orchestrated to bring His Covenant people that were worshipping other gods, it was designed to bring them to their senses. And in this famine, this widow woman is about to die, she’s about to have her last meal. And He goes to the prophet, and He says, “Come out of your cave, the water is drying up.” I’m sure for myself that God made that water brook dry up anyway because He could have kept that water running for him forever. “I’m taking you out of the water brook, out of your cave. Come, I will take you to a widow woman and she needs help. When you get there, ask her to give you the last of what she’s got.” “Why are you doing this?” “I’m looking after you, Elijah because I’m taking you out of solitude, and it’s time for you to be reconnected with the population because I’m about to use you. You’re about to slay hundreds of false prophets. I’ve got to reintegrate you into the… So, Elijah I’ve got something for you and I’ve got something for the widow.” And every day, she just has what she has left, what she started with. She didn’t suddenly have more. Every day she would just make food and there would be. Every day she had to believe that the food that she made yesterday that it was going to be there tomorrow. 

We live in such a mindset that we have to take care of our retirement and we’ve got to take care of our future and we’ve got to take care of everything and everything and everything, everything, that we don’t even consider that God has got a plan for us. That He can really take care of you no matter what. Hallelujah. Because we don’t yet have a revelation of how God works outside of our modern-day Babylonian mindset. 

I have to say this to you. I have to say this to you. I’m not against retirement annuities. I’m not against investments. I’m not against anything that you are busy doing in the world system. I’m saying that to you because we are not yet free of being connected to the Babylonian mindset. But if we were free from the Babylonian mindset, we would know that we don’t have to use their systems unless God showed us how to use their systems. Wow. Glory to God. 

So, I’m talking about the power of resurrection and I’m talking about relationships. And you will see in the weeks ahead, how God is going to lead us that this teaching of relationships and our connectedness with Him, rather than self connectedness is going to liberate us, and free us, and bring us peace. Hallelujah. Glory to God. 

Will you all stand with me please? Praise Jesus. Praise the Lord. You know, I did remarkably well this morning because I haven’t preached for nearly a month to people. I mean, I’ve talked to cameras, but not people, you know, too much – I mean, preaching. I’ve done other stuff, but I haven’t been necessarily preaching. Praise the Lord. So, I have a lot that has got to come out, you know. Glory to God. Praise Jesus. Praise Jesus. 

Will you do this with me? Will you put your hand on your heart like this? Say; I’m a son of God. I thank You, Lord, for Your peace. I live in oneness with You. I love You and I obey Your Word and I do Your Word. I thank You, Lord, that every one of my needs is met in Jesus’ name. Everyone. Do you know why I use that word everyone? Because your need might not be financial, your need might be something else. And I really want you to know that in the weeks, literally in the weeks that are ahead of us, God has led me. I’m just looking for the execution, we’ve been on leave as a ministry. I haven’t wanted to call anybody back from leave, because I know that this is a time when it’s important for them to rest, because we’ve got a lot of work to do this coming year. But we are going to have water baptism services. I have an idea perhaps of how it might work. But we will have weekly water baptism services for anybody and everybody that wants to be baptised. Even if you’ve been baptised before. Because you will understand that in the oneness of Christ, there is a power that is released. 

I know that there are some interns that want to be water baptised. But God has put it on my heart that we will make this available to the whole church. And we are going to do it in such a way that people in the church can get involved and be participating and watching and being activated in the decision of every one of you to say, “I choose to be in oneness with Him and I identify with Him in the power of His death and His resurrection, which comes upon all of my life right now.” Hallelujah. Glory to God. Glory to Jesus. Hallelujah. 

I’m telling you, this is where my faith is at – I have asked God that as we go through this process, there is going to be miracles, there is going to be healing miracles, there’s going to be habit-breaking miracles, there is going to be all kinds of peace that’s going to come on people. People are going to get filled with the Holy Spirit. They’re going to come with power out of that water. Things are going to happen in this ministry and in this church, and people are going to change and be ready for what God’s got for your future. Hallelujah. Hallelujah. Praise the Name of Jesus. Glory to God. Glory to God. We’re in for some good times. We’re in for some glory times. Holy Ghost times. Praise Jesus. 

Before you go, I just want you to shake hands with someone or fist pump them if you’re COVID kind of shy. Fist pump them and say, “I’m glad you’re in church. It’s good to have you back. I love you.” And then you may go. Be blessed, be protected, be at peace. Hallelujah. Be prosperous in Jesus’ Name. Glory to God.