Power of Resurrection – Session 2 – Ps John Bendixen (WTB)
Scripture reference: Romans 1:16 (NLT); Philippians 3:10-11 (NKJV); Philippians 3:8-9 (MSG) Praise the Lord. Glory to God. Just raise your hands and say, Thank you to Jesus for your Word today, that changes me, in Jesus’ Name. Father, I ask you that your Word be blessed this morning. Amen. Thank you, you may be seated. I want to tell you about a story of something that happened to me many years ago. I was arriving here in Witbank. It must be about fifteen years ago, maybe twelve years ago. I was arriving here in Witbank, and as I was arriving you know, I got a telephone call from a lady, mother of a son, and she asked me for help. She said, “I don’t know where you are, but I need help.” As it turned out, her husband was having a physical, physical fight encounter with their son, who was about 28 years old. He’d lost his job, suffered with depression, and had been taking medication for it. He was fighting with his father because he had, he had wanted to get to the safe that housed a weapon, a gun. Because he was fully intent on killing himself, and his father was physically fighting with him to keep him away from the safe in the house. When I arrived at the home, I mean literally, I was walking into the bedroom and the father and son were still wrestling on the bed and my presence coming into the room separated them and they were both perspiring and sweaty, and it was a bad situation. The young man was in a rage, you could see it in his eyes. He was determined and in a rage and he was, he was desperately wanting to get to that gun because he said, “There is no reason for me to live. I don’t have a job, I can’t take care of my wife, I don’t have a future.” A lot of, he had a lot to say at that time. I asked where the safe was? They said, “It’s just over here,” and I walked and I stood in front of the safe. Now, I became the target of the son’s aggression and the son’s anger, because now, and his father had said, “I couldn’t fight anymore. Didn’t matter how much I wanted to stop him, my strength was gone. He’s young, he’s stronger than me, able to endure further than me, and I’m done. If you hadn’t come, I couldn’t stop him anymore.” All I did was, I stood in front of the safe, and he got up, and he sort of came and he stood right in front of me and he was now assessing me. Can I take him too? You know. I just said to him, and I called him by name, and I said to him, “You cannot come past me, in Jesus’ Name. You cannot come past me, in Jesus’ Name. You will not come to this safe today, in Jesus’ Name.” So, now he had a confrontation, where he was like, looking at me like; I still want to take him physically, but he’s just called upon the Name of Jesus. The end result of it is, he left me and he went for a minute and he stood on the other side of the bed, in the bedroom and then he went crazy. He just went absolutely bananas, he had a very, very, very expensive hi-fi set in the room. He had a tall mirror. He smashed the mirror, he smashed the hi-fi set. I mean, he went on a five minute rampage around his room, just tearing everything apart. When he was done, he went and sat down on his bed, he put his head down like this and he just started shaking his head like that [Pastor John shaking his head]. What happened was, all I did was, I didn’t use any physical strength. I just used the authority of the power of God that was in me, by the Name of Jesus. I didn’t have to, I didn’t have to twitch a muscle. I let the power of God do all the work. Wow. When he was seated at the end of the table, at the end of the bed. I went and I sat next to him and I put my arm around his shoulder like this [Pastor John demonstrating with his arm] and I said, “It’s going to be alright, Jesus is going to help you in your life. The same power that stopped you from getting to the safe, the same power is going to work in your life, and it’s going to change you on the inside and it’s going to change your future.” As far as I know, he went on to have two kids. Holds down a job, and has a successful, relatively successful life compared to what could have happened that day. I want to tell you that the resurrection power of Jesus is more real than money, it’s more real than a job, it’s more real than sickness and disease, it’s more real than government power, it’s more real than anything else. The resurrection life of Jesus Christ. There is not one of us that actually starts anywhere with the end goal in mind of being a failure; or you do anything that says, I’m doing this because I want to, I don’t want to succeed. Right? I mean, anything that you do, actually what you’re looking for is you’re, you’re looking for success. You want the potential to achieve. You’re looking for opportunities and often times when we do things in our lives we are, we are wanting to access the opportunity. Well, I’ve got news for you. If you have never made Jesus, Lord, and Saviour of your life, there is no, there is absolutely no guarantee that anything in your life can be successful. No guarantee. You may meet people, you may maximize opportunities, you may actually think you’ve got your life in control. Until something actually happens to show you how out of control you really are. Certainly, a worldwide virus that comes into our world, has shown us that you can go from in control to out of control in a very short space of time. And certainly, for me, when lockdown South Africa was started, I can say that for me one of the greatest things that impacted me the most is that; I was almost; how many of you felt that you were under house arrest? I mean actually, that’s what we were. Our government actually made a house arrest and said everybody’s got to stay at home. They stopped short of putting an ankle bracelet around your ankle and make sure you stayed in the house, right? I am under house arrest. And actually, you did nothing to deserve that. You did nothing to promote a reason why you should stay in your house under house arrest. Somebody, somewhere, in a far distant land somewhere, released the virus that actually had an impact on the world. If you think this is the last one that is going to happen; and if you think this is the worst that is going to happen, I’ve got news for you; the devil’s plotting and planning against humanity because humanity represents God. Every human being that is born into the earth, represents the potential for God to get worshiped from that being. So being an enemy of God must come against every human being to stop them from worshiping God. If he can do that first, by not getting you saved, or preventing you from getting you saved, that’s his first thing. Once you are saved, he is going to try in every other way, to prevent you from worshipping God. “What is the point of being a Christian?” I Ask. The point of being a Christian is not so that you can go to heaven, although that’s a good thing. You all know me. I have said it many times. The point of being a Christian is so that you can become spiritual. So, that you can be more like Christ on the earth because when you do that you worship Him with everything that is your life. When you worship Him with everything that is your life, you begin to say like the Apostle Paul in the Book of Romans, he says, God promised the Good News long ago. Hallelujah. He says; I am not ashamed of the Gospel of the Good News of Jesus, because it is the power to save us. It is the power to save us, so that we are not in a place where we are living by rules, but we are living by His righteousness, by His resurrection power that He has brought into our lives. So, I want to read to you from Philippians 3 verse 10 in the New King James Version it says, 10That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, 11That if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead (Philippians 3:10-11 NKJV). In other words, He is saying; I have received the power of God, I know the power of God is working so strongly inside of me that I am pressing to live a resurrected life, like Jesus, even though I’m living in my humanity. This is a very powerful scripture, because He is indicating how free you can live life. Okay, thank You Lord for reminding me when I was sitting there earlier on. The Lord said, I didn’t do it in the first service, but the Lord said, “I want you to talk about freedom for a little bit.” I didn’t prepare this part of the message, but how many of you would like to be as free as you can be in your life? Freedom means what? Freedom means anything that you can be away from, or delivered from, or live away from oppression, right? Because if you are oppressed, or you are bound up, or you are under house arrest, let’s call it you under house arrest. If you’re under house arrest, then you are not free. You’re not free. So, people live their lives to have different levels of freedom. Sometimes your freedom is limited by how much money you have. Sometimes your freedom is limited about, dependent on how much health you have. Sometimes your freedom is limited by circumstances in life, perhaps relationships. I asked you to define for me what freedom is? So, you might have a version of freedom in your own mind. You might have a version of what freedom is, and that freedom could be this, anything I want to do, when I want to do it, right? Anything I want to do, when I want to do it. Freedom, but even when you start to do what you want to do, whenever you want to do it, you still have to obey rules of the land. Then you are not truly free, right? Come on. I mean, I feel like going to shoot someone with the gun. You can’t do that. You land in jail. Jy gaan tronk toe. For a long time. So, you are not really free to do whatever you want to do when you want to do it. There are rules that apply. Come on, and so you might say, “Oh boy I’m free, if I earn a million a month.” That might be good, that you earn a million a month, but you are still bound by the tax laws, which means you are going to pay tax. I wish I was free from the tax-man then you wouldn’t have roads to ride on. You wouldn’t have water points coming to your house. So, if I say what is freedom to you? You may have a version of freedom, but you are still restrained in some ways. So, you are never really free. There are always restraints and yet there are restraints that you are willing to live with, because those restraints provide a lifestyle of freedom, that is acceptable to you. Yes? So, then freedom is a different measure from different people. Yet when it comes to our walk with God, you who provides the ultimate’s freedom. Well what are you talking about? Well, you are free from the power of sin in your life. You are free from the power of sickness in your life. You are free from the power of poverty in your life. You are free from the power of relationship failure in your life. There is everything that you can be free, but there are some rules. What are the rules? Believe in Jesus, that you are free. These are not rules of do’s and don’ts. This is, I believe He is the life. So, the Gospel includes the cross, where Jesus died for us and all of our sins, were nailed to the cross with Him.Then He had to go and leave and go to the place where all spirits, that had lived on the earth, that couldn’t measure up to the life of God, all spirits went to that place. Call it hades, call it hell, call it whatever you want to call it. Separated from the life of God. So, Jesus went there. When Jesus went there, He had no power to raise Himself from the dead. He had no power to do that. He had to trust in the power of the Father to raise Him from the dead. That power that raised Jesus from the dead, is the same power that is inside of you and me, that causes us to be Christians. So, the cross is powerful, but the resurrection makes the power available, by the presence in the person of the Holy Spirit. So, if there was only the cross, sin would win, and we could not live in grace. The power of grace and real future, is the power of God used for resurrection, and then sending the Holy Spirit to partner with us, in our new life with the same power. As it turns out, that young man that I put my arm around, and then I said to him it is going to all right. The Lord spoke to me and said, “I want you to try and get a job for him,” because he had been, three or six months, whatever. Some people would say well, why did he try to do all that, he still had a house to stay in, him and his wife were staying with his parents? Let me tell you, the battle of depression and oppression in your mind is a greater battle than you could ever imagine. If you haven’t had that kind of oppression and depression, you might wonder how it happened, but the devil knows where to put a trigger point, to every one of your live’s and it might be different for every one of you. I went and started speaking to acquaintances of mine and we found him a job, and it meant that for a period of time, he had to drive through to Jo’burg everyday from Witbank, and they paid his petrol to get him to the job. As he was working in that job, what happened was that his soul began to get restored. His confidence began to return, he began to see himself, as a man that could provide. A man that had a future, and so in Witbank, he went out looking for a job. He found a job, because he had a job, because he carried that confidence to the job, and so, now he has got a couple of kids. He lives a life and I haven’t seen him in many, many years, but I assume that his life is good. What happened was that God used a spiritual being, who understood the power of resurrection and authority of God, to prevent that family from having a devastating experience. I got news for you. Jesus lives inside of you, and day by day His authority and His power and His resurrection life is available to you, and what you need to do is let that resurrection life come into your world, and everything that you touch in your world, let it be that resurrection life that, Holy Spirit power, let it touch you. Let it touch your world and watch how He changes. It begins to change your confidence. It begins to change your authority. It begins to change the way you see your future. Jesus is your future. There is no other future that you can be guaranteed from, but Jesus. I’m going to finish with this scripture, in Philippians 3 verse 8 to 11 in the Message Translation, 8Yes, all things I once thought was so important, are gone from my life. Compared to the high privilege of knowing Christ Jesus as my Master. First hand, everything I once thought I had going for me was insignificant – dog dung, poop (Philippians 3:8 MSG), there are other words you can use for it, smelly stuff. In other words he is saying, I want you to understand, that he was born to a high, a high born family he had a status family who had wealth, who had connections, politically, organisationally, in the religious circles of the city, his folks were well off, they were well established, good high born people, they were a upper class family. He says; I had everything going for me, but none of that stuff that was going for me was worth anything. I consider it smelly stuff, compared to the knowledge of knowing Jesus Christ, my Saviour. Because when you know Him with that power, there is nothing in this earth that can oppress you and keep you down. Your freedom is truly in Him. If there are any things that you need to be restricted by, it will be the guidance of the life of Christ that says; Don’t do that it’s going to hurt you. I am not saying stop doing that because you can’t do that or because you have the right to do that, as a human being, you have the right to do anything. I am saying don’t do that, because it will hurt you in your future. You might say, “Pastor John, I feel like. One day I wanted to just get drunk.” Why, I’ve told you that story? One day, I had just finished school, I went out to see if I could get drunk and have a thing with a woman. Sitting in a bar somewhere, trying to do that and the very life of God, that resurrection life that was in me, and I couldn’t drink anything, and I couldn’t get to a girl, and I went home almost miserable. Because of what I set out to do, was to have an experience that I could have a testimony about that God saved me. I only realised later that God saved me already because I was sitting in the bar and I couldn’t do anything, because the very life that I was grown up with, was the life that shielded me and protected me. Hallelujah. Hallelujah. 8I’ve dumped all that good stuff in the trash, so that I could embrace Christ. 9And be embraced by him. I didn’t want some petty, inferior brand of righteousness that comes from keeping a list of rules when I could get the robust kind that comes from trusting Christ – God’s righteousness (Philippians 3:8-9 MSG). Let me tell you, if you have a walk with God that is about do’s and don’ts, it is a very limited experience. I’ll tell you, when I was raising my kids, I discovered that the more rules I put in place, the more they were going to be likely to break it. Because actually in the unique experience of a teenager growing up, they want to express their uniqueness, and if you put a rule in place, they are almost certainly wanting to show you how I am going to express my uniqueness by breaking the rule. Don’t look at me like this like it never happened to you. Huh? I have discovered actually that my relationship with my kids was much bigger than the set of rules, and so I always used to say to them, when they did something wrong, “I will always be there to bail you out, because my love for you and our relationship is much bigger than you messing up or you doing something wrong.” Hey! Jesus stands there, and He says; I’m not wanting to set a whole lot of rules in place for you. What I am wanting you to do, is experience the freedom of the life that I have, the freedom of life that I have is so full of joy, so full of power, so full of all possibilities, all potential, all good stuff that comes your way. You will never lack for anything, there’s nothing that you won’t be able to say, I want to do it and you can’t go and do it, because He’s grace says, if you want to do something I will give you the desires of your heart, just ask Me, and if you have that kind of relationship then you are free completely free, free, free, free. Completely free. Freedom is not doing what you want to do whenever you want to do it. Freedom is doing what bursts in your heart and out of relationship with God and sometimes that freedom for me says; it is time to go to the bush. And God says, “When were you going to ask Me?” “Ja, but, Lord.” “No, no, when are you going to ask Me? I will organise it for you.” Sometimes that freedom might be, Ahh, I want to go, go and do something and the Lord says, “I don’t want you to do that, John. I want you to stay at home and pray.” Then you say, “Shjeesh, what a boring thing God asks me to do, stay at home and pray.” No. That is real freedom, because if He is asking me to stay at home and pray, then He is preparing something in my future or touching someone else’s future, that I am praying for, and I am creating freedom because of my obedience to Him, and when I create freedom because I obey Him, He makes all good things come to me, and no one can stop it, because He makes it come. No one can stop it. People think they have power over me. I’ve got news for you, they don’t. Pontius Pilate stands by Jesus and he says, “Don’t you know I have the power to take your life?” Jesus looked him square in the eyeballs, in the Afrikaans South African version is, “Nee boet, no boet, you have got no idea, I lay My life down, you can’t take it from Me, you can’t take Me, even if you tried, even if you tried, you can’t take Me.” This is one of the most powerful men in the whole region, he was treated almost as a king, Pontius Pilate, the only one he used to report to was Caesar. Power, real military power. You have got no power, because I call on a legion of angels. They will decimate the whole place around you, just to keep Me alive, if I have to, but I choose to lay down My life. Why? So that I can take your sins and God can resurrect Me from the dead and that same resurrection power becomes yours. That same resurrection is my resurrection power and I live my daily life by. Hallelujah. How can you get a better life than that? How can you get it better than that? The only thing that the devil will try and do now, is try to make you believe that it is not so. He will use circumstances, he will use people’s words, he will use other peoples experiences, he will use churches, rules and regulations put in there by churches, ceremonies, all kinds of things in churches that will try to say, that’s what Christian relationship is? It is not like that. It is about a living relationship with Jesus. Won’t you all stand with me, please? You know, I am so glad I can get to see you all, and I am so glad I can talk to you this way. But it is just way too short. I’ve got so much to talk to you about. Praise the Lord. So, you better watch out, there’s going to be more TV time coming your way, digital stuff coming your way. Because I‘ve got things to say about the resurrection life of God. Glory to God. Put your hand on your chest like this and say, Jesus, thank You for saving me, thank You for giving me new life. I believe in You, Lord, and I ask you to cleanse me from all of the bad things of myself, from today, I walk in resurrection power, free from twisted ways, free to live for You, in Jesus Name. Amen. I bless you, I ask the Father to bless you, in the Name of Jesus, that whatever you put your hands to this week will prosper, wherever your feet go, you take power, resurrection power with you, in order to take the power of God to where you need it to be when you need it to be there, in Jesus Name. I pray that you will have the peace of God resting upon your mind, and in your heart and that no anxiety, oppression, depression or any kind of thing that is happening around the world, that is hindering us and putting us in some form of lockdown will depress you, oppress you, or keep you down, in Jesus Name be free, in Jesus Name be prosperous, in Jesus Name be elevated out of your circumstances and live the high life of Jesus Christ. Do you agree? Amen. Okay baai julle. Thanks for coming to church.