Scripture reference: Ephesians 6:10-13 (NKJV); 1 Timothy 1:18-19 (NKJV); 1Timothy 1:18-19 (NTL); 1 Timothy 1:18-19 (MSG); 2Timothy 4:7 (NKJV); Isaiah 59:19 (NKJV); Isaiah 58:13-14 (MSG)
Morning y’all. Glad to see you all back at church. Well, not all of you, but many of you are back and it’s good to see your faces again. You know, I’ve always said this; Christmas and Easter Weekends for a Pastor is like those times, you just got to endure it, because everybody leaves town, you know, but nou ja. I’m glad you’re back in town. Praise the Lord.
I’m going to start my ministry this morning by asking a rhetorical question, and the rhetorical question is; how much does God have to show you Himself, in your human natural world, for you to believe that He is God? How much? So, it’s a rhetorical question because there is a situation that people oftentimes have a Thomas, they want a Thomas experience with God. So, people kept telling Thomas; the disciple Thomas. Remember, this is Thomas that spent three years, three and a half years with Jesus. This is Thomas who watched Jesus die on the cross, you know. This is Thomas that heard everything that Jesus said for three and a half years.
He watched Him raise the dead. He watched Him turn the water into wine. He watched Him as God used Jesus’ vessel to heal the sick, cast out demons, and do many, many, mighty wonderful miracles. This is the same Thomas, that saw Jesus walking on the water. This is the same Thomas, that watched Jesus command the storm to be still and the storm was stilled. This is the same Thomas that heard Jesus said, “Cast your net on the other side”, and they drew a great harvest of fish, and yet when Jesus dies, all the disciples that he was living with, and all the people that he lived with all these years, that he knew by, by reputation, as people that were not taken by any kind of, you know, emotional moment. All of the other disciples were telling him, “We’ve seen Jesus, He’s alive. We’ve seen Jesus, He’s alive”.
Thomas turns around and says to all of the disciples, he says, “I won’t believe that He’s alive until I can put my finger in the holes of His hands. Till I can touch Him, I won’t believe it.” So, the next minute, Jesus walks through a wall, never mind a new door. He walks through a wall, you know, He just appears in the room and He says, “Here I am Thomas. Take your finger and put it in My hand. Take your hand and put it in My side. This is Me Thomas.” Then, of course, Thomas believes. So my rhetorical question is; how much of Jesus must you see in your natural world, how much must He prove to you in your natural world, that He is alive, that He is real, and that He is God, before you believe Him?
This is rhetorical because it is not something that you conquer once and for all. Certainly, Thomas is a very good example for us in some ways, because you would have imagined that Thomas, having been through all of these things, would have conquered his unbelief. Yet after Jesus dies, the natural world, so Jesus’s presence is gone from him, so that’s a significant factor. Jesus presence is gone, and He’s gone in a thought process and in a pattern that nobody comes back from the dead unless there is someone to raise Him from the dead. The only people we knew, the person we knew who could raise someone from the dead, was Jesus. Now He’s dead. How can He ever come back from the dead?
Thomas’ natural mind kicked in so big, his mental capacity to think through the natural world was so big in his life, that actually nothing anybody else said could change his mind. “But Thomas, we’ve seen Jesus”. Doesn’t matter, I won’t believe it, till I see Him. “But Thomas, where’s your faith?” My faith is only there when I can touch Him. So, we have this on-going thing in our lives, where we subconsciously want God to prove Himself to us constantly before we believe Him. So even in this ministry where we are people who live by faith, we live in faith and we live with the results of faith. We know how to live with faith. We know how to live with faith. We know how to live in faith.
There are many, many examples that we have shown you in our personal lives and you have witnessed amongst yourselves, with people that have done things in faith and have seen the results of faith. We know how to live in faith. Faith is not a mysterious something to us. Yet there are pressure moments in your life when things seem to go wrong, or not quite going the way you think they should be going, that you might say, “I am not going to actually believe that this works until God shows Himself to me.”
Where’s that line, for you? Like I said, that’s not something that you conquer once and for all, and so for every time from this moment onwards, you will forever be confident in yourself, that no matter what circumstance comes my way, I will believe Him. If you could project yourself into your future that way, well you know, you would be better than just about anybody else that ever lived. The fact is that you will only know when you are confronted with that circumstance. What you can do is, you can prepare yourself for it with an expectation of your heart that your heart is always looking for the God result, rather than the human result. Because when you’re looking for the God result then you begin to say, “The human result is not really what’s going to move me, or not move me.”
We stand here on the 1st Sunday of 2020. In many ways, 2020 is a significant milestone. Again, let me just lay a foundation for you as far as I’m concerned. I’ve pretty much lived this way all my life. I’ve never been someone that is naturally put a lot of emphasis on eventing. I haven’t naturally like, it’s like my biggest thing is to phone everybody to say, “Happy Birthday” to them when it’s their birthday.
Even when we started this church, I think we never used to have Easter weekends, or have events even over Christmas time, because so many people left, to go on holidays, then you know I said, “What’s the point of even having services?” Partly there was a thing in my heart that said I celebrate the life of Jesus every day; I don’t need an excuse on the 25th of December to celebrate Jesus. It is like this with my anniversary with Sharon, our wedding anniversary. She and I both know that we don’t have to make a big deal of celebrating our anniversary. We do, but we don’t have to, because we celebrate our marriage every day. Because we celebrate our every day, when it comes to anniversary day, it’s just another day to celebrate. It’s not a hugely different day to every other day. If you are sort of not quite celebrating your marriage that way, then maybe you make a big deal out of Valentine’s Day, and you make a big deal out of anniversary day, and whatever the case might be because those are days that you try and patch things up, or try and make a statement about how good things are when they’re not really. Ouch.
But 2020, and as I have become a little more mature, and a little older in my life, I’ve come to realize that actually moments, time tables, and as you know, I’m not one who necessarily talks much about time, I talk more about energy. I’m much more focused on how I spend my energy, rather than how I manage my time, because if you’re a time management person, then as long as you’re busy, you can actually keep managing your time properly. But if you’re an energy management person, then you focus your energy where it’s most valuable. It’s a big difference.
One of the things that I’ve realized is that over time, timetables and circumstances become opportunities to release energy that can become valuable. When we go into 2020, it’s not so much about this year is so much different to any other year, it’s that 2020 is an opportunity to release energy into things that God has spoken, and release energy into our togetherness, that can make God great. Amen.
However, you release your energy, that’s ultimately what you’re going to be accountable for in your eternal life, is how you release your energy. That’s why, what Pastor Garth was doing this morning, is release your energy by raising your hands, because you give glory to Him, rather than give glory to yourself. How you choose to use your energy, I’m not saying that it’s about you all, but if you go watch South Africa beat England in the World Cup Final, you know; whoa, crazy energy, noise, but come to church, “no thank you.” So, who is actually giving, who’s receiving your glory more than anything else? Anyway, just by the way.
I’m going to read to you from Ephesians chapter 6 verse 10 10Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. 11Put on the whole armour of God that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13Therefore take up the whole armour of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. (Ephesians 6:10-13 NKJV)
This scripture makes it clear that even though we, on this natural earth, make contact with other natural people and we are living amongst natural people and we touch human people and natural people. Our fight is not with natural people. Even though it might feel like in a family situation, you’re fighting with someone; it might feel like in your marriage, you’re fighting with someone, your spouse, or in your home you might be having, you know arguments with your children. Our fight is not against flesh and blood. Our fight is against all of the forces that are causing us as humans to respond in a way that want to make us fight with each other.
Again, if you get tired of me using my marriage, sorry it’s the best example that I’ve got. In the beginning of our marriage, when Pastor Sharon had to use the Word of God to control her temper and her anger; that wasn’t my problem, my problem was stubbornness. I could be very quietly, very stubborn. So, you get someone whose very anger orientated and you get someone who’s quietly stubborn oriented and you have conflict. We made a decision that we are not going to fight against each other; well, certainly it was first my decision to make because in our relationship it was easier for me to make that decision because I wasn’t anger oriented. I chose to use the Word of God and say, “I’m not going to allow your emotions to create strife and conflict that I must respond to.” What I’m going to do, is that when you come with your emotions and your anger, I’m going to take the Word of God and I’m saying, “I’m not going to argue with you.” I’m not going to fight you, because the Bible says where strife abounds; where strife is all manner of evil abounds.
I don’t want evil in my relationship, so I have to obey the Word of God to keep strife out so that I keep all evil out. A lot of people, just bear with me as I’m ministering this to you this morning, a lot of people will say, “But marriage is a very natural thing of people learning to live together,” so, it is. If I choose to live with a natural emotional response continuously, then I can never have the best that God has for me in this relationship. Then my relationship becomes and looks like any other relationship that must struggle and work it out and work it out to try and have some kind of solution about how we can live together. So, if you don’t have a reliable source that you can turn to, then who are you going to turn to? People think a reliable source is a marriage counsellor. People think a reliable source is maybe a psychologist, or sometimes even a pastor, but I discovered in the early years of my life that even some pastors have got more trouble in their marriage than the congregation members. Not so in this church, not so with us.
Well, that is partly because when I began to live with this girl; I decided to do what God said. I realized that if we are going to have the marriage that God wants us to have; I cannot afford to see my fight with her. I have got to see my fight with a spiritual force that’s trying to destabilize us. The way that I keep a spiritual force out of this relationship is to do what God says I must do and be quiet and not fight. What was her response? Her response was, “I don’t want you to say nothing. I want to know what you’re feeling. I want to know what’s going on inside of you, talk to me.” I don’t want to talk to you, because otherwise, we are going to fight.
So, then you say, “Well how did you solve your problems when she was no longer angry?” Sometimes she had to deal with her anger by herself, with herself, for herself, to herself, and not with me trying to help her overcome her anger because if I try and help her overcome her anger, then she is dependent on me to overcome her anger and that can’t work either. She’s going to work with God. So then, how did we get into a situation where strife came anyway? Well, we’re living in a natural world where we fight not against flesh and blood, but against spiritual forces, principalities, powers, rulers of darkness.
Well, how did they come to impact your marriage? Well, one of the ways that it impacts your marriage is financial pressure. So, that when finances are running tight in your, in your marriage relationship then the, so hear me now, the god of this world; the god of Mammon is trying to control all the finances. Right? So, as the god of this world is trying to control all the finances because his influence is so great in the financial system it automatically comes and enters your marriage. So, now the first step that I can do is to say, “I’m not going to let strife come into my marriage. I’m going to keep strife out.” That gives me a launching pad that if the pressure that came into the relationship was money, it gives me a launching pad to say now I can take it further and say, “How do we deal with the money issue.” Because now we’re not fighting, we’re agreeing in the spirit and the minute we are no longer fighting and causing strife we can go to the next point and say, “How do we deal with that.”
So, I know we’ve got children in the auditorium so I’m not going to get too strong on this but I will say this. One of the areas that comes into your marriage is physical intimacy and so then it becomes the thing of one person wants this kind of intimacy another person wants that kind of intimacy, someone wants this more and someone wants less, you know. Different kinds of intimacy. So, what, how do you deal with it? Well, where does the pressure come from? As you were growing up pressure was coming to you about how physical intimacy is such a vital part and how the world wants to keep influencing you about how you should enjoy physical intimacy and it doesn’t have to be in marriage. It doesn’t have to be with one partner, it can be all kinds of things. Then when you come into marriage all of that physical intimacy stuff comes here.
So, now you think you’re fighting your partner, but it’s not your partner it’s all the system of the powers of darkness that have entered into your relationship, because that came your emotions and through your desires and through your thinking that it’s influenced, without even you knowing that it’s influenced you. So, what do I do with that? I’ve got to take that to the Word, I’ve got to take it to the Bible and bring it into the order of God’s Word. Which is why I say, if you think that the world has got the answer for physical intimacy and marriage, you’re wrong. The best physical intimacy counselling you can get is in the Bible. Yeah, but the Bible doesn’t talk very specific things, it does you know and it really promotes wonderful, free expression of intimacy and because this is not the service today in marriage yes, but because this is not the service and the moment and the time I will quit right here. I can see all of you’re really interested in what I’m saying. We want to hear more of that. Hallelujah.
2020. So, if we understand that we have to take the armour of God and use the armour of God, so that we can stand against these very tricky things that the devil brings into our lives and if you don’t think they are tricky, let me tell you, just let your financial pressure grow for two months in a row and you’ll see how tricky he is. Or just, just start to have arguments in relationships that are close to you and things seam together but unstable and you get worried about a few things and you watch how tricky things get. Sometimes he doesn’t even have to, he doesn’t have to bring any other pressure to you. He just has to, when you wake up in the morning; you wake up on what people call “The wrong side of the bed” neh? What you, what you are actually saying here, “I’m waking up with an emotional kind of feeling that is; I’m not feeling so great today.” [Pastor John growls.]
So, you have this kind of excuse, “Don’t talk to me I’ve got to have my coffee first. [Growls]” I mean, you may not be actually doing the sound but internally you are like that you know. [Growls] Where’s my coffee? [Growls] Now you drink your first cup of coffee and it doesn’t change you how you feel you know, [growls] today. What’s going on with me today? [Growls] I don’t know and so if someone comes and just says the wrong thing to you and [growls], it’s you know, “What happened to you,” you know. “Don’t touch me, don’t talk to me, not in a good space today.” “What did you just say?” “I’m not in a good space today.” Huh.
So, that’s what you just said, hey. You just said what you felt, what you felt is what you just said. So, what you just decided was what I am feeling is the most important thing right now to me and I will speak whatever I feel. Huh. So, he doesn’t even have to touch your button through someone else he just got to, you just got to wake up with the wrong emotional feeling. Well, how did you get that? Well, you have to believe that spirits are everywhere and you have to believe that even sometimes when people sleep at night and they dream and they dream bad dreams, that’s not from God.
Well, you’re getting a little bit out there Pastor John. No, listen. If you believe that God is real and angels are real and God is really the most powerful love force in the universe then you have to believe that there is a bad and you have to believe that even sometimes when people sleep at night and they dream and they dream bad dreams, that’s not from God.
Well, you are getting a little bit out there, Pastor John. No, listen, if you believe that God is real and angels are real, and God is really the most powerful love force in the universe, then you have to believe that there is a bad devil that is trying to influence you – especially you, you who know how to speak truth. You who know how to really live life in truth. You who know what the power of words are, what the power of being committed to words and being committed to the Word of God, and being committed to a love walk – especially you, if he can get you to change what you are saying, to be in line with what you are thinking and feeling and believing, then those words become very powerful in the way they direct your future.
So, when we go into 2020, hey guys, don’t allow those old habits that have been hanging around you – just don’t let them go with you, shake them off. I’m leaving them behind.
“Well it’s not so easy, I’ve been living with them for many many years.” So, you have got to start somewhere, if you don’t start somewhere, then they are going to live with you with many many more years to come. So you might as well start now. What do you say? Come on, you might as well start now, why not start now?
So, in 1 Timothy chapter 1 verse 18, it says this, in the New King James version it says 18This charge I commit to you, son Timothy, according to the prophecies previously made concerning you, that by them you may wage the good warfare, (1 Timothy 1:18 NKJV) So, remember we got reading in Ephesians, we don’t fight against flesh and blood, we fight against other forces, and we got to stand strong in God. So, now he is saying, I charge you according to the prophecies previously made concerning you, that by them you wage the good warfare, having faith and a good conscience.
Hello, here is what I just got through telling you. If you have faith and a good conscience, you stand strong. What upsets your conscience? When you let yourself down. Never mind letting anybody else down, when you let yourself down, it upsets your conscience. Because your conscience says to you, “Ja, you’ve been struggling with this for years now and you still can’t beat it. So, you don’t have any right to act free. You don’t have any right to speak free; you don’t have any right to be free. You have been trying to deal with this thing for many years, and it still got you.”
So, your conscience begins to tell you that what you have to believe about yourself is your history, rather than the Word of God. Come on now, so when you believe in yourself more than the Word of God, you wreck your conscience, because you determine that your conscience is related to your everyday results.
So, watch this. I use my son Brynn as the famous example, because this is truly how faith works, and my son Brynn was a smoker, heavy smoker, at least a pack of cigarettes every day, at least. He did that for many years, and he wanted to be free of smoking, because smoking is just a horrible habit, it makes everything stink, and it hurts your body, and look at him, he’s got good body and everything he was he was doing to his body, it was contrary to what his smoking was doing. Come on now. He was working out and looking good in his body, and internally he was like a dustbin, ashtray, better, you know what I am saying.
So, what he did was, he said, “Mom and Dad, I’m going to get free of this. I know how, I know how to be free, I know how to use the word of God, I’m going to be free of this thing, you taught me.” So that’s what he would do, he would light up a cigarette: “I’m free of this nicotine, in Jesus Name,” while he is smoking it. “I’m free in Jesus Name.” “Thank You, Lord, I am free in Jesus Name”
How can you be so you know, in two separate worlds at the same time? Well, here’s the thing, is that he is living by one fact, but his is depending on another truth. The fact is that he is still a smoker; the truth is that God set him free. Now he has just got to move from fact to truth. So, he is counting on the truth, to change the facts. So, it is a fact that I am enjoying this cigarette right now, but the truth is I am free of it. Do you love what nicotine is doing to you right now? Yes I do, but that’s exactly what I want to be free of.
He walks into the next garage, the next shop, another pack of cigarettes, every day, every day, for one week, for two weeks, for one month, every day. “I thank You, Lord, I am free of this cigarette, this nicotine, and I don’t. I am free of this, in Jesus Name.” Until after three months, one weekend like that, it came in his heart, “I am free of this thing. This thing can’t control me anymore; I’m free of this thing,” and he took his pack of cigarettes and he threw it in the dustbin and from that day to this day he hasn’t touched a cigarette again. How many years ago is that? Ten years ago. Hallelujah! He is free! He is free!
You see, the Word of God is not this wishy-washy, I either live this way or I live that way, and if I’m living like this, then I can’t live like that. Well, he understood very clearly in that moment, is the Word of God is more powerful than my conscious, and even though I’m not yet free of this thing, I can still live in truth. I got to apply the truth to be free of this fact, and so when you live in a world that is either right or wrong, black or white, then you are always living in a world where you can never live up to a standard. God is so, not asking you to live up to a standard. He says, “Let My power work in you. Let My power work in you; let My power work through you.”
Most Christians don’t like this message, they don’t, because actually what it says, it makes you responsible for your spiritual growth, whereas if you don’t believe this and your believing in the performance in right and wrong then they say, “Okay that’s going to happen in church on Sunday and the rest of the week is my stuff.” This makes you having to live with Jesus all the time, and when you come to church on Sunday it is just a celebration of all the things you did during the week. Hallelujah.
19Holding faith, and a good conscience which some have rejected, concerning the faith have suffered shipwreck. (1 Timothy 1:19 NKJV) Let me tell you when you decide to walk away from God and you decide to walk away from the things of God you make your faith a shipwreck. That is very hard to put it back together. But God, but God. You know, God is so great you make shipwreck of your faith in this one, He just calls you to walk on the water, and then you don’t need a boat. He says, “Oh, you made shipwreck of that boat, come walk on the water with me and we will go and find another boat.” Hallelujah! Praise the Lord, Praise the Lord, Praise the Lord!
I’m going to read to you that scripture in the New Living Translation, 18Timothy my son, here are my instructions for you, based on the prophetic words spoken about you earlier. May they help you fight well in the Lord’s battles. 19Cling to your faith in Christ, and keep your conscience clear. For some people have deliberately violated their consciences, as a result their faith have been shipwrecked. (1 Timothy 1:18-19 NLT) See, because they don’t understand that you don’t have to live by performance, you have to live in the love of God. I’m going to read it to you one more time out of a new translation, a message translation; 18I’m passing this work onto you, my son Timothy. The prophetic word that was directed to you prepared us for this. All those prayers are coming together now so you will do this well, fearless in your struggle. 19Keeping a firm grip on your faith and on yourself. After all, this is a fight we’re in. (1 Timothy 1:18-19 MSG)
It’s a fight of faith; it is not a fight against doing right or wrong. Hallelujah! It is interesting that he speaks to Timothy and in second Timothy chapter 4:7, 7I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. (2Timothy 4:7 NKJV) Hallelujah! So if I can use that analogy that my son had, when he threw his cigarettes away and stopped smoking, he could turn around and he could say, “I have finished this particular race, I have stood my ground in faith and I have fought the good fight of faith and my faith worked and it got me free of cigarettes.” Hallelujah! Praise the Lord!
Part of the reason I was reading all of this to you today, is that we have a prophetic word for 2020. 2019 a year of marvels and wonders and extraordinary manifestations of the greatness of our God such as never been seen before in the earth. Don’t stop believing this just because 2019 comes to an end. The Lord impressed upon me to tell the people, “add and beyond.” So, we continue to live in marvels and wonders and manifestation of the greatness of our God in 2020, but in 2020 I will open a new door and I will cause my faithful ones to experience supernatural increase like never before! How many of you want supernatural increase like never before? So you remember what I’ve been saying, supernatural increase is not just about money, it is about supernatural increase in every area of your life. You want supernatural increase in relationships; you got to press for that now. Now is the time. Don’t wait until the end of 2020. Don’t wait to middle of 2020. Press for it now! Hallelujah! You want a supernatural increase? This is the moment this is what God has said. This is God, He is bringing a supernatural authority to us, that we can fight the good fight of faith with this word or this prophetic Word. It increases our faith to believe God for this in 2020. Hallelujah.
So, a personal testimony for Pastor Sharon and I, is in the 1980s, jis I’m ageing myself a little bit here, but in the 1980’s we got to find out that a spiritual leader in the faith movement, had Prophesied in a meeting in America. So, it wasn’t something that came to us through our church, although our church was connected with that man, but it was something that came to us by another source, and there is a whole lot of reasons that I don’t want to go into today that why we found it, in another way. We heard this prophetic word that was a five-year word for the body of Christ. I think it went like this:
1986 will be the year of the fix,
1987 you going to feel like you have died and gone to heaven,
19 was that the 80’s or the 90’s my darling? Can’t remember,
‘88 is going to be very great.
’89 will be a year of divine.
It was the ‘80’s hey? I still remember that, and I don’t forget, I don’t remember the last year. Ja, I think last year was everything will be fine.
But, we heard that prophetic word, in the middle of 1986, the year of the fix. We immediately took that prophetic word and we said, “Lord, we don’t know exactly that need to be fixed in our lives, but we are going to use the word that You start to fix things in our lives.” We started to use that word and started to speak that word out because we realise God’s anointing came through a special messenger and he said, “There’s special ability and power available to get this done in your life.”
Immediately, we began to experience things started to get sorted out, things just began to change, because we kept putting it in our mouths, and we kept putting in our heart, 19 in the ‘87 we felt like we had died and gone to heaven, was a year I had such supernatural increase in my business and in my professional life, it was like, money just kept pouring into our lives, not only that, but many other things began to change and Sharon and I said, “We truly feel like we’ve died and gone to heaven.” Hey?
So, from those days until this day, we do not take the prophetic word as our major source of living, we take the Bible as our major source of living, we don’t need a prophetic word, and we don’t need a prophetic word to live our lives, because God has directed us to live our lives, its right here. I already gave you an example of how the Lord said don’t let strive into your marriage, so I kept strive out. It’s so that’s a written word, it is how to live your life successfully. Do what the Bible says, but when you do what the Bible says then God comes with His prophetic words that say, now because you know what to do what the Bible says, take this extra word and do what this says and you will see how powerful it is.
It is what I call, the written word of God, versus the spoken, interpreted will of God. Many, many people are looking for this prophetic word and this word, because it’s the big thing that is going to change my life, and I don’t want to do what the bible says. I have got news for you; you’re not going to get what God says until you do what His written word says. Hallelujah.
So, 2020 I will open a new door and we will experience supernatural increase like never before, and he said, “Experiencing supernatural increase is like this. Its God, it’s beyond anything I can think of, it’s beyond anything I can do, it’s anything and it’s beyond anything I had ever experienced before.” I can have some of that. I can have some of that. Hallelujah.
Brother Copeland said this; Brother Jerry and Brother Copeland had been travelling together the whole of 2019 and are going to keep doing the same in 2020. 2020 yields itself to new vision. It’s a time of great increase in dreams and visions, hallelujah. It’s a time of change; it is going to be a year of great change. Wonderful and magnificent changes in the Kingdom of God, hallelujah. There is going to be changes in the Kingdom of God and there is going to be in the earth, changes that will come because of insights, ideas and concepts that are directly from Jesus, directly from Jesus to His church by His Mighty Holy Spirit. Hallelujah.
So Isaiah 59 verse 19 says, 19So they shall fear the Name of the Lord from the west, and His glory from the rising of the sun; when the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him (Isaiah 59:19 NKJV). This is the standard that God has brought in against him. It’s the year of supernatural increase. Hallelujah.
This is a fact. The South African economy is, some people would say, “It’s stagnant” others who are more honest would say, “It’s in recession.” Come on now. This is a fact. China is in a recession. This is a fact. Europe is in a recession. Hello? This is a fact; America is in an economic boom. Oh, this is the evil Donald Trump, hey? I wonder if God got more to do with using a vessel than what the world likes or doesn’t like about the man. You don’t have to like a man, for God to use a man. You don’t have to like the way he speaks or you might have to like the way he looks. Come on now. But God can use a man.
I made a declaration many, many years ago now, that money is coming back to this city, this community and I’m telling you now, He is going to use the church to bring it back. You can believe that or you can allow yourself to live on this natural world like Thomas, “I’ll believe it when I see it.” Or you can say, “I’m an instrument of God to bring about the supernatural increase, so that this whole economy begins to thrive because I’m thriving in it.”
Well, maybe you are like a Donald Trump, people don’t have to like you. They don’t have to like the way you talk, the way you look, the way you think, just get used by God. I don’t live my life by recessions or by economic booms. I live my life by the Word of God.
So, you remember this, that some years ago now the word of the Lord came upon me to speak to you and I said, “Get yourself ready, things are going to change economically, pay up your debt, increase your buffer, make sure that everything you because something’s coming and God’s making you prepare for it.” Do you remember that? I didn’t know this, nobody would know that within a space of about four or five months after that, Highveld Steel was going to shut down. Five to eight thousand people would lose their jobs and a major economic change would happen in this community. If you had been one of those that heard what God said through me, I didn’t know that was going to happen. I was hearing the voice of the Lord. So, if you hear the voice of the Lord, He will protect you against economic factors and He will start to say and prepare you, “There is something coming, get ready for it.” Now I’m not going to get caught out by a recession, because God spoke.
I remember at that time you know, we moved from Johannesburg to Witbank and I was looking to buy a house. The Lord said, “Don’t buy one,” but that’s not what you do. You go, you buy a house because otherwise, you going to pay rent. “Don’t buy a house,” because I didn’t realize at that time that because Highveld Steel was going to close, prices of houses were going to drop by thirty to forty percent in Witbank. If I bought a house then, I would have bought at the top of the market it would have taken me years and years to recover the lost that I would have made in the house. Anyway, the Lord said to me, “I’ve got another plan for you.” I rather live by God’s plan then live by my plan. People say to me, “But Pastor John, what if for God’s plan…” You just stand strong enough and you stand still long enough and you say, “I’m not going to let the forces of this world come and derail what God spoke to me. I have a Word from Him and I’m going to live by that Word. I’m going to stand by that word. That Word is the thing that’s going to take my future.”
Come on now. So, many of you know, all of you lived with me and Pastor Sharon through these things. This is none of what I’m telling you as a surprise to you. Therefore I don’t live my life based on economic factors that say, “There is a recession or there’s an economic boom.” If I’m obedient to God, it actually doesn’t matter. The Lord might say to you and this may happen in an economic recession the Lord may say to you, “John, I want you to take your savings and I want you to give it away.” “But Lord, Lord, it’s like, Lord this is a recession here I need my savings to live.” “No, no John, you don’t understand this, because this is a recession here that I’m telling you to sow.” Isn’t that what He said to Isaac? Isaac … there was a drought in the land, a famine in the land, like the same drought that his father had, and his father left his land and went to Egypt and so that he could survive because there was no drought in Egypt because of the River Nile.
So, when Isaac said, “Oh that’s what my father did, I’ll make my way over to Egypt.” The Lord said “Nah, ah, Isaac, you’re not going to do what your father did. This is your time to live by your faith.” Oh, so You mean I must stay here in this drought? Yes, that means Your blessing is upon me in this drought. Yes. So, then I’m going to take my seed and sow it in this drought. And in that same year, the Bible says he received a hundredfold return on the seed that he sowed in the time of drought. You see he wasn’t living by what his eyes could see, he was living by what God said to him and every time you live by what God says to you, you’re the one who’s going to get wealthy, while the other people are going to get poorer. Why? How did that happen? Well, he got all the harvest, so who needed the food? The people who couldn’t get a harvest because there was drought.
So, how much could he sell his harvest for? He could just about demand his own price. Do you want some of my grain? Hoes. Bring your money. “I don’t have money but I’ve got all these lean cows.” Don’t worry, bring your lean cows, I’ll fatten them up, I’ve got enough harvest here. Okay, I’ll give you some food for your cows. Do you want some food? “Yes. I’ve got no money but I’ve got camels.” Bring me your camels, I’ll fatten them up, I’ve got harvest. Have some food.” I don’t have any money but I’ve got herds of goats and sheep and I need to feed my family.” Bring them. I’ve got plenty of harvest, I’ll fatten them up. While everybody’s got nothing to feed their cattle and all of their livestock, he’s got all the stuff to feed them by and he’s got stuff to sell them at any price that he likes. Cause they got no food.
So, come on now. What does the Lord say about 2020? Supernatural increase, because He is opening new doors. Hallelujah. Come on, you can say, “You’re preaching good today Pastor John.” Hallelujah.
Okay, I’m done with this last, this last verse is, Isaiah chapter 58 verse 13, in the Message Bible. So, I don’t want you to look at Sabbath as a Sunday. I want you to look at Sabbath as every day. Okay? So, I just want you to read it in that context. “If you watch your step on the Sabbath (every day that you get up day) and don’t use your Sabbath (every day that you get up day) for personal advantage, If you treat the Sabbath (every day that you get up day) as a day of joy, God’s holy day (every day that you get up day) as a celebration, If you honor it by refusing to say that this is my life as normal or ‘business as usual,’ making money, running here and there— Then you’ll be free to enjoy God! Oh, I’ll make you ride high and soar above it all. I’ll make you feast on the inheritance of your ancestor Jacob.” Yes! God says so! (Isaiah 58:13 MSG)
If you don’t wake up in the morning and say well, okay, you know, growl. You wake up in the morning and you say, “This is my day of celebration. This is my day of joy. This is my day. I’m going to give my day to God. I’m not going to make this business as usual, where I get up and I go to work every day and I’m just going to live my life like I normally do. I’m going to wake up this morning and say, Lord where is my new door today? Where’s the new door today? I’m going to celebrate You, I’m going to have joy in You. I’m going to put You first. Where’s my new day? Where’s my new door? Where’s my supernatural increase coming from? My eyes are wide open. It’s not business as usual.” Then every day becomes a holy day for you, not a holiday, a holy day. And you’ll be free to enjoy God in everything that you do in your life.
Wow… I don’t know what I said there but it’s like you all went really quiet on me there. What happened? What happened? Huh? Are you getting this? Hey, you know I know that’s talking about the Sabbath day, but like I said to you, the way that I read that scripture, was that every day is my Sabbath day. Because every day is my day in God. Every day is my day for a celebration. Every day is my day for joy. Every day is my day that I’m going to say “It’s not my business as usual. It’s not my life as usual.”
This is a new day and every new day has got a new door potentially that I can walk through and it’s got new things for me, supernatural increase for me. I’m going to dream dreams and I’m going to have visions that God’s going to give me. I’m waiting for them to come upon me. I’m waiting for them so that I can see them, so that I can walk into new things. I’m not just waiting for a business-as-usual day, tomorrow to happen to me. I’m going to get up tomorrow morning and I’m saying, “I am the one ready for change. I’m one of those in the kingdom of God, where great change is coming. I receive ideas. I receive new revelations and concepts and all kinds of new things that are coming into my head that no one else can get because I’m a new day, new door, celebration, joy person. Hallelujah.
How real does God have to be to you for you to believe in this? Are you going to be a doubting Thomas that says “I’ll believe it when I see it” or are you going to be someone that says “I’ve seen Jesus and He’s alive in my world today!” Hallelujah. Hallelujah.
I’ll tell you, you all know this, but it’s worth saying again; many, many a day, Sharon and I have got up in our lives that we’ve lived all these years together and financial pressure is on us and all kinds of pressure is on us and we get up and we feel like we’re walking on our lip. You know what that feeling is like? When your bottom lip is, you’re walking on it? You know? Come on now. You wake up in the morning and it’s like; I’ve got to walk on my lip again today. When you’re walking on your lip, you get up and you say, “I’m going to use my lip to praise Him. I’m not going to walk on my lip. I’m going to use my lip.” You don’t feel like it, “This is not the real thing.” I don’t see the fact, I see the truth and the truth is I can praise Him no matter what lip I’m walking on. So, pick up this lip, roll it up and praise Him! Just praise Him and say this is a day of celebration, this is a day of joy.
Me and Sharon did that many, many days. We’d walk around and we’re both walking on each other’s lip. It’s not just one of us walking on a lip. We’re sommer both walking on each other’s lip; we felt so bad and felt so defeated and felt so terrible, but we said, “We’re going to praise You, Lord. We’re going to praise You, Lord. We’re going to praise You, Lord. We’re going to be… The joy of the Lord is my strength. This is a day of my victory.” I felt like I was defeated from yesterday till forever, you know, but I’m saying, “It’s my day of victory! It’s my day of victory!” Guess what happened – I didn’t speak, what I felt, I spoke what His truth is. Guess what happened; victory came.
If you walk on your lip, that’s all you are going to get, is lip. If you roll up your lip and walk in God, you’re going to get what He’s got for you. I will praise You with my lips. My lips shall praise You every day. Hallelujah. I’m going to wake up every day and say, “Every day is my holy day. Every day is my joy day. Every day is my glory day. Every day is my rejoicing day. Every day, every day, every day!” Hallelujah.
Come on, stand to your feet, everybody. Put your hand here [places hand on chest over heart]. I’m a son of God and because I’m a son of God, I don’t have to walk by facts, I walk by truth. The truth is; I’m free! In Jesus’ name. Hallelujah. Hallelujah. I want to tell you, if there is nothing else you can do any day and every day, just wake up and say, “I’m a son of God. I’m a son of God. I’m a son of God.” You just keep saying it until you begin to believe it. I’m a son of God. I’m a son of God. I’m a son of God and I don’t have to put up with this nonsense. Even if the nonsense is my own self-self.
You know, my own self that wants to walk on my own lip. I’ll tell you what, hey. It’s a hard thing to do when you want to walk on your lip. Huh! I’m feeling so bad and I like it. I’m feeling so bad and I like this feeling that I’m feeling so bad. I want to walk on my lip and [growls] don’t take my lip from me, because I feel like I just want to be my lip today. I feel this kind of self-pity feels good, you know, it’s like, you know, meh… don’t mess with me. It’s my own personal lip time. It’s time for you to get away from your lip and begin to praise Him. If you can’t do it by yourself, phone a mate and say, “Hey, I’m on my lip. Speak truth to me. Speak some truth to me. Speak some truth to me.” So come on, now. We’re not going to walk on our lip now, son of God. We’re just going to praise Him. Just for 30 seconds. I’ll time it here. You don’t have to shout or scream. We’re just going to praise Him. Just praise Him for 30 seconds. Just say, “I’m practising to not walk on my lip.” I’ll tell you when 30 seconds is up. [Congregation praises.]
15 seconds gone. 5 more seconds to go. Okay, stop. 30 seconds! Listen, if you do 30 seconds every hour… I mean, that felt a long time, hey? Now, listen. Listen here. Listen here. I know that it’s like when you’re switching gears like from one space to another space, 30 seconds can feel like a long time. You know. [Mumbles] 5 seconds. I mean, I did that for 5 seconds? [Mumbles] Shoo, 15 seconds. I know when I said 15 seconds you couldn’t believe it. It was like, only 15 seconds? That felt like a long time! But I’ll tell you what; if you do 30 seconds every hour, you can switch to a minute. You can say, “I’m just going to praise Him. This is my day of joy. This is my day of new doors. This is my day of new ideas, new things, that are coming to me. I’m walking through new doors. This is my holy day. This is my celebration day. This is my day of joy with God.” If you do that for 30 seconds every hour watch your life change. Watch your life change. Hallelujah. Glory to God. Hallelujah. Praise Jesus. Praise Jesus. Praise Jesus. Praise Jesus. Hallelujah. Glory to God.
I pray that this week will be a week of celebration and joy for you. No weapon formed against you will prosper and I pray that you’re blessed going in and blessed coming out. Whatever you put your hands to, you’re going to prosper in it, because this is a year of new doors and new opportunities and new things are coming your way, in Jesus’ name. Do you agree with that prayer? Can you say amen? Thank you for coming to church. God bless you.