Scripture reference: Ecclesiastes 5:3 (AMPC), Ecclesiastes 5:3 (NLT); Luke 14:26 (NLT), Luke 14:26 (TPT), Luke 14:26 (AMPC); Acts 14:1-28 (NKJV), 1 Peter 2:7-11 (NLT), 1 Peter 2:7 (NKJV), 1 Peter 2:9 (TPT))

Praise the Lord. Good morning. Are you a blessed people? Amen. It’s wonderful to be in the house of the Lord. Always. Amen. Well, every day that we are alive is a day that we have the privilege of giving honour to God. And I pray that all of our lives, all of our living, of our breathing, give honour to God. Amen.

Just recently I was reading a statement that Steve Jobs made before he died, and of course, he realised he spent as much money as he could. He went to all of the medical professionals, and all of the cutting-edge research that was being done, things that no one else could get, he got as much medical attention as he could. And then in the end, he realised that for all of his creativity, all of the talent, all of the stuff that he had accomplished, achievements, the wealth, he realised he was going to die. And right at the end, as far as I know, he never had an encounter with God.

But he certainly made a statement to this effect, I’m paraphrasing. He basically said, “What’s the point of being alive?” All of the money, all of the stuff. Today, I use iPods, iPhones, and iMacs. I use all of the stuff he created. It was his dream, his vision. It was his pursuit of his life. In the end, he said, what is the point? Because he could not see a point because he had lived his whole life denying God. So then if you deny God, then what is the point? In everything we need to do, we need to give God the glory. We need to do it for God. We need to do it with God. Then everything becomes the point. Amen.

Before you sit down, just greet somebody and say, I’m glad you’re in church today, be ready for the word. Be ready. Receive it. Receive it. Receive it. Receive it. Praise Jesus.

I’m just going to read you this scripture from Ecclesiastes chapter 5 and I’m going to read it to you first from the Amplified Bible. The Amplified Bible in verse 3, Ecclesiastes chapter 5 verse 3 says; 3For a dream comes with much business and painful effort and a fool’s voice with many words.” (Ecclesiastes 5:3 AMPC). Different translations say different things. Many translations will say, A dream comes about with much activity, other translations. And a fool will just speak many words. The New Living Translation, verse 3 says; 3Too much activity gives you restless dreams; too many words make you a fool. (Ecclesiastes 5:3 NLT).

So either which way you look at it, whatever dream you’re dreaming, whatever activity you’re involved in, you’re going to have dreams. Either the activities that you are involved in are going to create dreams for you, or you are going to have a dream and then put activity to the dream.

I want to establish a baseline for us today, and this is part 2 of the message I started last week, in response and to respond, and to reach for a dream. I have been talking in the morning sessions, if you are listening to my morning sessions, I have been talking about dreaming. And there are many dreams that people have. I would go as far as to say that I am not sure it’s possible for anybody to live life without a dream. I think if you don’t have a dream or you feel your dream is hopeless, in other words, there’s no hope of you ever having your dream or fulfilling your dream. I think that’s the moment you actually begin to die.

I don’t want to get into too much of that, but even very poor people, people with very hopeless situations, have a dream. Even if their baseline dream is, I’m going to make a lot of activities to at least eat for the day. Right? They dream they have a hope that today they will have enough to eat. The minute they start losing hope that they will not be able to eat for another day, and another day, and another day, well, certainly, physically, they are going to start to die, but they’re also going to die in their soul. And hopelessness can become a big thing.

So dreaming is an important part of our lives. Dreams are important. The question is, what are you dreaming? If I read in the New Living Translation, 3 Too much activity gives you restless dreams; too many words make you a fool. (Ecclesiastes 5:3 NLT)

Many years ago, I had businessmen coming to me a lot of the time. And they would be believing God for an opportunity and a business deal, a business transaction. And they would say to me, you know, I sowed a seed towards this. I’ve been confessing the word about this, and now this opportunity has come my way, and it’s got to be God. And so oftentimes, they would do that, and they would go into the opportunity and then 3 months, 6 months, a year down the line, I would see them again, and they would, say, No. I’m not doing that anymore. That didn’t quite happen. That fell through. That didn’t work out the way that I thought it would work out. But you were sowing, you were believing, and then the opportunity came, and you said it was God’s opportunity.

I asked God about that. Many times, I asked God about it, and I said, “Lord, how come there are so many people that have these kinds of events happening in their lives?” His answer to me was a very simple answer. He said, many, many people have lived in their life, and they have sown seeds of energy. And in the context of this scripture, I can say they’ve sown seeds of activities. Many people have sown activities before you get there. When you came to a point in your life where you were looking for an opportunity, many other activities created it for you. That does not make that opportunity the opportunity that God has for you.

Recently, I chatted to a businessman who had an opportunity for great wealth and had had great wealth and had fallen on some difficult times, and for a two-year period had not earned any income, and he came to ask me. It’s a very rare thing that I meet somebody that’s not from this church. But the Lord led me to have a conversation with this man. He basically was saying to me, you know, I’ve been studying this Internet stuff, this e stuff, this, and I can do this and that. And he was talking about all these opportunities, but nothing had worked out for him.

In the meantime, a friend had offered him a job, and the job was paying so little money to what he thought he was worth, that he did not really want to consider the job. So, I said to him… I established all of the principles in our conversation. Do you have a pastor? Not really. Do you go to a church? Sometimes. Is that your church where you feel like God has called you? Not sure. Now I understand why the Lord had me talk to you. You have to have those things in place. I told him very clearly, and I know some of you have experienced this because many people that are here in the church now, for years. They wanted to come to the church, and they would have meetings with Pastor Christi, and she would say, “Don’t come to the church, you can come to Bible school, but don’t come to the church.” I think Bertus was one of them. I think Empie was one of them. Do not come to this church until, you know, something happens that we see that’s God. Come to the Bible school but go back to your church. And then over time, God brought them to our church. Their dominee released them to come to our church. It’s a fact. (Hey, I’ve got to put my timer on here otherwise I’ll keep you here all day. Yesterday. Okay.) So, their pastor released them. I established, and I said, the fact that you’re visiting me, and I’ve given you time doesn’t mean you should come to our church. In fact, I’m telling you now, don’t come to our church until you and your wife have had a conversation, and you have an agreement and there are things that you want to talk about, and then we’ll see what God says. God has given me this opportunity to talk to you because, and it became clear in the conversation, things that God had in mind.

But at the end of the conversation, at the end of the day, I said to him, that job that you can get that pays you is not what you’re worth… You know, if you’re a man, let’s just say that some years ago, you were used to earning an income of, let’s call it, and I’m just going to use numbers now, but it’s in the order of this magnitude. Let us say you’re used to earning R100,000 a month, and now you get a job offer, and it’s R10,000 a month. Well, hey, I’m worth R100,000 a month, and that’s clear because I’ve already been earning R100,000 a month, and my income allowed me to buy lots of other assets that have kept me alive till now, So I’m worth more than R10,000 a month. But are you earning any money right now? Nothing. So is R10,000 a lot more than nothing? Yes. So go and do the R10,000 a month’s job. But I’m worth so much more!!! Go and do the R10,000 job a month’s job. Why? Because if you are faithful in the activity, you can get your dream back. Because right now, you think that the dream must come to you because you are entitled to the dream. But if you don’t do something, that is the next thing to get the dream, you are just going to have foolish words – using this scripture. Amen.

You know, I mean, that happened to me. The Lord spoke to Sharon and me, and I lost the job because I stood for what God wanted me to do. You know my story; I wouldn’t go to “escort agencies” or “massage parlours” with clients. I refused to do some things that my boss wanted me to do, and so I got fired. But the Lord warned us that it was going to happen, specifically to Pastor Sharon. She was praying, and He told her that I was going to get released from my job, and I did.

I had a short period where I didn’t have a job immediately. It took a month or 2 months to get a job, and so I was presented with an offer. And the offer was, I must drive – this is a non-technical person here – I must drive from garage to garage, from place to place, and sell tools and screws and fasteners and nuts and bolts and goeters. It was my job. Drive from Caltex garage, workshop, workshop, mechanic, mechanic. Sell stuff. What did I know about that stuff? But they said, you can have the company car and we will put the petrol in, and we will pay you a basic salary, and there is an opportunity for commission. Well, at the end of the month, I exceeded my target because I got on the road, boy. I’ve got to work on this thing. Yeah. And I went and I worked it, and so I exceeded the target by 200%, and they gave me no commission. And so, I said, “How does this work?” “Oh no, here, in the fine print…. the commission structure works like this…” I said, “Here’s my car keys. Someone drive me home, please. Let me sign my…. I am out of here.” Because it is just unethical, the way that they treated their staff. It was unethical.

But God had another plan for us, and we have never been, since we learned to live by faith, we have never been without bread. Amen.

I told you last week – I was sharing things about our marriage, about our relationship, and how the Word of God has the power to save you. And so, if you trust in yourself rather than in the Word of God, then the trust in yourself is what will always be your fallback. I must trust me, I have to trust what I can do, I got to trust myself. Praise the Lord.

Remember last week, I said that every dream has a cost, and we have to count the cost. And I read it to you from a number of different translations. I’m just going to remind you of two translations. Verse 26 of Luke chapter 14 verse 26. 26If you want to be my disciple, you must, by comparison, hate everyone else–your father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters–yes, even your own life. Otherwise, you cannot be my disciple. (Luke 14:26 NLT) The Passion Translation puts it this way, 26when you follow me as my disciple, you must put aside your father, your mother, your wife, your sisters, your brothers; Yes. You will even seem as though you hate your own life. This is the price you’ll pay to be considered one of my followers. (Luke 14:26 TPT) The Amplified Bible says, 26if anyone comes to Me and does not hate his [own] father and mother [in the sense of indifference to or relative disregard for them in comparison with his attitude towards God] and [likewise] his wife and children and brothers and sisters–[yes] and even his own life also–he cannot be My disciple. (Luke 14:26 AMPC) I want to make a point here about the difference between discipline and a disciple, because the functional word of a disciple is a ‘disciplined one’. Yes?

Many years ago, I was a witness to someone that I knew very well, and as far as I know, they ended up running ten Comrades Marathons. That’s no small thing. To get that green number, I believe it’s a green number, that you run the Comrades Marathon ten times. That’s a big deal. That’s many days, many hours, many weeks of running. I would say that’s self-discipline. Isn’t it? That same particular individual, we had a conversation one time about following God. It was interesting to me that they really, really struggled to do the will of God in their life. Really. I mean, really, they were all about plans, lots of plans. We had a conversation about it, and I concluded that self-discipline cannot get you to heaven. If self-discipline could get us to heaven, then many people in the world would be there, because self-discipline indicates strong will. Yeah? A strong will won’t get you to heaven. So, what is the difference between self-discipline and a disciple? The difference is that you are disciplined in the burying of self, whereas self-discipline is in the promotion of self. So, if you are a disciple, you are in the habit, in the discipline, of dying to yourself. If you are self-disciplined, you are in the habit of promoting yourself. If I quit preaching today, right now, we can go home because this is a very good base.

I have a choice; if I live a very self-disciplined life, certainly, I will have very good order, very good structure, and the likelihood is that I’ll have a lot of activity. I mean even if you’re disciplined as a researcher, for example, someone who has to study, read materials, you know, collate stuff, and do different things, and you can spend 8 or 9 hours a day doing that. You are still going to have to be self-disciplined. Even though you might be doing one kind of thing, you’re still going to be busy, and very active in that thing. Much activity, you will touch much information, touch much knowledge, touch many things. Right? Hallelujah. It will lead you to many different ideas, many different things, research – and I’m just using one example of what you can do.

Self-discipline will lead to much activity, and that much activity can lead to many knowledgeable opportunities and things that can come your way. None of that is necessarily dying to yourself. The person who wants to become a disciple of the Lord Jesus has to be in the act of dying to yourself rather than promoting yourself. Both have the act of discipline, but they’re very different. They’re very different.

It is true. This is true. I have discovered this for myself, that when I take charge of my body, and I say “My body must not dominate my future,” then I release a greater level of potential spiritual connection because I’m not allowing my body or my soul connection to drive my future. That’s a healthy thing. But what I was reading to you from the Bible there is that when Jesus is talking about it, He’s saying, “Your focus is going to be so much on following Me that almost everything else in your life is dead. There is nothing that you invest in, in normal life that is more important than investing in Me.” Can I put it that way?

Recently, the Lord has been talking to me, and next weekend when we are together, for some of the time I’ll be with the men, on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday morning. I’ll be talking to you much more about this. Investment is a very important word because if you invest in something, it means you are connected to the return and the growth of something. Yes? That is the nature of investment; is the return on your investment. It’s the growth of your investment. It requires some activity that is going to bring back more than what you put in. Right?

When we are in Christ, our number one thing is, we should see our lives as an investment into death. Investment into death. Because only when a seed dies, can it multiply. So, if you want a multiplication investment, you’ve got to put it into death. Hallelujah. Praise Jesus. Praise Jesus. Hallelujah. Jesus is looking for us, as a people, to have dreams. I’ll talk more about this.

This is the journey of Paul. Acts chapter 14 verse 1. 1 Now it happened in Iconium that they went together to the synagogue of the Jews, and so spoke that a great multitude both of the Jews and of the Greeks believed. 2 But the unbelieving Jews stirred up the Gentiles. Can you just hear this now? Unbelieving Jews. So, they believed in the God of Abraham, but not this Jesus. Unbelieving Jews stirred up the Gentiles and poisoned their minds against the brethren. 3 Therefore they stayed there a long time, speaking boldly in the Lord, who was bearing witness to the word of His grace, granting signs and wonders to be done by their hands. (Acts 14:1-3 NKJV) So I’m just confirming that signs and wonders are breaking out amongst us. In this church. Every service that we have, I expect signs and wonders to be breaking out on many different levels. Healing, miracles of health, relationships restored, financial opportunities and possibilities, miracles, signs, and wonders are evident amongst us. Amen.

4But the multitude of the city was divided: part sided with the Jews, and part with the apostles. 5 And when a violent attempt was made by both the Gentiles and Jews, with their rulers, to abuse and stone them, 6 they became aware of it and fled to Lystra and Derbe, cities of Lycaonia, and to the surrounding region. (Acts 14:1-3 NKJV) I just want you to understand that Paul has come in with those that were with him, come into the city, they started to preach in the synagogues, and people started to get to believe. The unbelieving Jews started talking to the Gentiles and they needed the help of the Gentiles because they could not turn Jew against Jew. And they come against them, and they start a revolt. And it ended up in a revolt, but they keep preaching and they keep preaching because they know the power is in the Word. More and more people believed, and so great was the power of the Word that the city was divided in two. And so, the unbelieving city goes to the rulers of the city and says, “Hey. Look what is happening here.” And this whole thing got out of control, and they started becoming angry and violent, and were seeking to kill them.

Verse 8. 8 And in Lystra a certain man without strength in his feet was sitting, a cripple from his mother’s womb, who had never walked. 9 This man heard Paul speaking. Paul, observing him intently and seeing that he had faith to be healed, 10 said with a loud voice, “Stand up straight on your feet!” And he leaped and walked. 11 Now when the people saw what Paul had done, they raised their voices, saying in the Lycaonian language,. 12And Barnabas they called Zeus, and Paul, Hermes, because he was the chief speaker. 13Then the priest of Zeus, whose temple was in the front of their city, brought oxen and garlands to the gates intending to sacrifice with the multitudes.” Acts 14: 1-13 (NKJV) I can tell you that in this modern-day world that we’re living in, this is being duplicated, and this is a spirit that is evident in the world. Many, many people are saying they are – giving much credit to many different gods that they serve and make sacrifices. Including high powered, highly visible men that run big churches, but I don’t want to talk about that today.

14But when the apostles Barnabas and Paul heard this, they tore their clothes and ran in among the multitudes, crying out 15and saying, “Men, why are you doing these things? We also are men with the same nature as you, and preach to you that you should turn from these useless things to the living God, who made the heaven, the earth, the sea, and all the things that are in them, 16who in bygone generations allowed all nations to walk in their own ways. 17Nevertheless He did not leave Himself without witness, in that He did good, gave us rain from heaven and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness.” 18And with these sayings they could scarcely restrain the multitudes from sacrificing to them.” Acts 14:14 – 18 (NKJV) Wow. This is quite a thing, right? This is quite a story. Imagine, imagine what happens when people get healed. Miracles start to happen, and people see genuine things. The temptation to come and worship at the feet of the men who have the power to do miracles. Huh?

Can I just give you an example of how this happens in a worldly, in a worldly setting? You take any number of musicians from Mick Jagger and the Rolling Stones to Deep Purple, to the Beatles, modern-day version of all of that, Taylor Swift. People are flocking to the music. Flocking to the music, because what an incredible talent, and they treat them like gods. Don’t they? They have idol worship. Isn’t one of the biggest shows on television around the world, Idols? Wow. They even name it. They put it in plain sight. Idols. Idols. Just to give one. Here are men that come into a city, and the most high God is working to bring deliverance, healing, and restoration, and make His name great, and suddenly people are giving credit to Zeus and Hermes and different gods, and, and so, hey, gods have visited us in the form of men, so we must come and give our sacrifices to the gods because they’ve chosen to visit us with power. And so, Paul and Barnabas run out there, they tear their clothes off. Well, you know, I mean, I just meditate on it, and there’s no specific thing to say about it, but I believe the reason they tore their clothes off was to say, “Look, we are men. We are not something different. We are not spirit beings. We are men.” Right?

¹Then Jews from Antioch and Iconium came there; and having persuaded the multitudes, they stoned Paul… (Acts 14:19 NKJV) Those guys that were from the other city that were causing a problem, followed them. When they got there, these other people were calling them gods that had visited us. These guys arrived there and said, “These are troublemakers.” So, they ¹came there and having persuaded the multitudes, they stoned Paul and dragged him out of the city, supposing him to be dead.(Acts 14:19 NKJV) Now, this is just a sentence in the Bible, but I want you to understand the process of what happened here. They stirred up a crowd to the point where the crowd was in such a frenzy. How did they do that? They did it with words, and they did it with such passion and such intensity and with such thorough argument that the words had an impact on them.

Then they all dragged Paul to a place where there were stones, normally, it was just outside of the city where there were stones. And they all begin to take stones and they throw them on Paul, and they stone him to death. They intended to stone him to death. They were not stoning him to teach him a lesson. For them, he was a heretic, and he needed to die. So, they came to stone him to death. So, understand, they stoned him long enough that when they got to his body, they perceived him to be dead. So, okay, you know, in our modern-day world, maybe he’s in a coma, breathing so shallow that they think he’s dead. And if you wanted to make an argument in our modern-day medical understanding of stuff, understanding of stuff, that maybe he wasn’t dead, he was just, you know, almost dead. Hey, this guy was in a serious condition. If he wasn’t dead, he was nearly dead. They believed him to be dead. That was the nature of his condition. ²However, when the disciples gathered around him, he rose up and went into the city. And the next day, he departed with Barnabas to Derbe. (Acts 14:20 NKJV) Well, that’s just smart. These guys are going to kill him again.

But here’s the point I want to make. He’s lying there dead or pretty close to it. The disciples come and stand around him. And so maybe they’re about to say, “What must we do with him and with his body?” At the very least, I can imagine the disciples saying, “Let us give praise and thanks to God for the life that Paul lived, for the preaching of the gospel that he has done without backing away from it. Let us give praises to the Most High God. Let us worship the Most High God. Let us not turn back ourselves from what God has called us to do.” They didn’t just stand there with no faith. They were all journeying with faith. Amen.

And so he stands up. He gets up. And they leave. I believe God did a miracle. And so, they departed with Barnabas, they went to Derbe. 21 And when they had preached the Gospel to that city and made many disciples, they returned to Lystra, Iconium… Antioch, This is the place where they were going to be killed. In fact, they were stoned. They went to another city, regained their strength, got their mojo back. They say, “Hey. No city. I’m going back there.” 21…they returned to Lystra, Iconium, and Antioch, 22 strengthening the souls of the disciples… Because you can imagine what happened to the disciples there because angry mobs were against the church. So, they went back there. 22…exhorting them to continue in the faith, and saying, “We must through many tribulations enter the Kingdom of God (Acts 14:20-22 NKJV). Hey? The apostle Paul here was making a plain statement: Wherever the power of God is, the enemy is going to try and stop it. Yeah. Wherever the power of God is, the enemy is going to try and stop it.

But I tell you, Paul particularly was called by God, from the beginning of his calling, that he was going to suffer many things in his physical body. I don’t want to water down tribulations that you may have in the service of God. I don’t want to say to you, I don’t want to preach a rah-rah message to you and say, “Hey, let’s just all walk with God together and you’ll never experience difficulties.” Scripture says, if you’re going to enter the Kingdom of God, you will have tribulations. You will. 23 So when they had appointed elders in every church and prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord in Whom they had believed. 24 And after they had passed through Pisidia, they came to Pamphylia. 25 Now when they had preached the word in Perga, they went down to Attalia. 26 From there they sailed to Antioch, where they had been commended to the grace of God for the work which they had completed. So, when they got there, 26 …where they had been commended to the grace of God for the work which they had completed (Acts 14:23-26 NKJV).

Do you know what Brother Jerry’s memorial was all about? He was commended. He was commended to the grace of God for the work that he had completed. Is our work yet complete? Not yet. They were still working, yet they were commended. I’m going to be sending you via WhatsApp or email, whatever way you want, I’m going to be sending you a voice note that will be coming to you this week, and I ask you to please listen to it, a message, actually. I want you to listen to it before you come on the weekend. This is a message that Brother Jerry preached in this auditorium, from this stage, in 2012. And at that time, when he preached the message, he had decided he was going to retire. And you will hear the message that he preaches. He was standing in this pulpit essentially commending us for the work that we had done and the great work that was to come. And you will hear him say this, that because he was going to retire, you will hear him say, I’m just going to sit back and watch the work that you are going to accomplish. So, will you please listen to it? It’s about 45/50 minutes because I will be ministering to you from parts of that message.

When I stand here on a Sunday and I say to you, like I did last Sunday and many other Sundays, you guys wow me, and I love you because you wow me, because you are willing to be disciples of God. And there are very, very few Christians around the world who are willing to be disciples of God. They are willing to be called Christians. They are willing to go to church. They are willing to some, in even many instances, they are willing to tithe, but they are not willing to die to self. They are very much wanting to hear messages about self-promotion. And so, the church has actually become very smart in preaching self-promoting messages because that’s what the world wants to hear. I want to be motivated. I want to be inspired. I want to be encouraged. I want to be so that I can become all that I can become, that I can reach for my dreams, that I can become something big.

There’s a place for that, but first, let’s die to ourselves so that God can resurrect our multiplication in a dream that He’s got for us. Amen. And so, Brother Jerry commended our church in 2012 for what we have done. How I’m so amazed and I’m so blessed by the fact that God spoke to him and said, I didn’t tell you that. You made that decision yourself. And he was open and honest about it while he was alive. You remember? He came here and told us that many times. He chose to retire. That wasn’t God’s desire. And so, God had to encounter him and say to him, Jerry, who told you to retire? Who told you to stop believing Me for aeroplanes? Well, it was me. Yes, that’s right, I didn’t tell you, Jerry. I told you, you still have assignments to complete, so you can’t do that without aeroplanes. You have to believe God for your aeroplane . Amen?

Now, for many things, many things that have happened in our ministry, I want to say this, it’s no small thing how the Lord showed it to me as I’ve been going through many things. He lived 77 years. The last 10% of his life, the last seven years, from 77 from, let’s say, the age of 69 to 77, the last seven years of his life have been the most powerfully, divinely connected relationship between him and us.

Because in the last 7 years, we were able to sow an irrational honour seed to him. In the last 7 years, he came here, and God told him to come and stay for as long as He told him to stay as long as he needed to stay, and then He would release him, whenever that was. It was only the second time in his life that he’d ever done it. The next thing is that he believed God all of his life to have a jet that he could fly internationally with the jet. He only did it once to us, but we became the fulfilment of his dream before he went. God commended him. Hallelujah.

You know, I think it’s a great thing if you and I are commended by God. Even while we’re alive, I commend you for standing, for not quitting, for pressing, for reaching. So, 27 Now when they had come together and gathered the church together, they reported all that God had done with them, and that He had opened the door of faith to the Gentiles. 28 So they stayed there a long time with the disciples. (Acts 14:27-28 NKJV)

In time to come, we’ll talk more about this because what happened to Paul was, in this whole process of his death or near death, and him going back to a group of people who were persecuted for their faith, encouraging them to live by faith. The Bible says he appointed elders because he knew now that the time was coming close where he wouldn’t be able to stay there with them any longer. So, he stayed with them as long as he could, developing the structure of the church. Amen. Praise the Lord.

I’m going to read you something from Charles Spurgeon. If you don’t know who Charles Spurgeon was, Charles Spurgeon was considered to be in his era, and still is, considered by many Christians around the world as one of the greatest preachers that ever lived. This is what he said. So now, if you love the Lord, if you have only just believed in Him, begin to do something for Him at once. It is a pity that we have so many Christian people, so-called, who do nothing for Christ. Literally nothing.

What difference does it make if you take someone who’s got little knowledge about Christ and someone who’s got 30 years of knowledge of God, theology, studied theology, Bible school, whatever, whatever, and they both do nothing for Christ? What is the point of all the learning? So, someone that just got born again that’s only just begun to believe, and they do nothing for Christ, what is the point of their salvation? I’ve said this for a long time now. Salvation is not the point of everything. You get saved so that you can go to heaven. That’s a great thing. But we are saved from ourselves so that we can follow God.

He dies for them, redeems them with His precious blood, and they have done nothing for Him in return. We need to have a church in which all the members do something, in which all do all they can, in which all are always doing all they can; for this is what our Lord deserves to have from a living, loving people bought with His precious blood! If He has saved me, I will serve Him forever and ever. And whatever lies in my power to do for His glory, that shall be my delight to do, and to do at once! -Charles Spurgeon

What do you say, church? This is how we should live our lives. We should live our lives for everything that we do should be to His glory. Everything. Everything. Isn’t that what Jesus was saying in the book of Luke? You must live as though you don’t have a husband, you don’t have a wife, you don’t have a mother or a father, you don’t have a brother or a sister, you don’t have any of… you must live as though those things are dead to you, even to yourself. That’s not literally saying don’t have anything to do with them. That is saying when it comes to the relationship that you have with God, God must have such a high priority that if any of those relationships interfere with it, you choose God, not them.

So I know, I know this challenges me to my core because loyalty in a human sense is a very, is a very powerful value system. If you are somebody who has loyalty at the core of your value system and someone is making a pull on you to do something, your loyalty wants to do it. Come on. And certainly, family loyalty is almost a manipulated value. Because if you can’t, if they want to do something and you don’t participate, they’re going to have something to say about it. And in many cases, family events have all turned out to be very horrible family events because they are all manipulated into coming together. And so that’s because family values and loyalty to the family is such a highly prized thing. What about that loyalty to God? But you see when it comes to dealing with people, it’s much easier for us to say, alright, I’ll come, and God can wait. Because God is not a face. And God is not a voice on the other side of the telephone, and God is not an email and God is not on Facebook. He cannot read what some people think. God is not on Facebook, and God is not on Instagram, and God is not on YouTube. So where is God?  It’s in us. He is in us, so let us do all that we can.

1 Peter 2 verse 4. 4 You are coming to Christ, who is the living cornerstone of God’s temple. He was rejected by people, but he was chosen by God for great honour. (1 Peter 2:4 NLT) Jesus was chosen by God for great honour. Now I’m going to read you the entire context of the verse. From the Living Translation. Verse 7 all the way through to verse 11. Yes. 7 Yes, you who trust him recognize the honour God has given him. But for those who reject him, this is the quote, “The stone that the builders rejected has now become the cornerstone.” 8 And, “He is the stone that makes people stumble, the rock that makes them fall.” They stumble because they do not obey God’s word, and so they meet the fate that was planned for them. I don’t know if you are actually taking that scripture in. 8 … They stumble because they do not obey God’s word, and so they meet the fate that was planned for them. 9 But you are not like that, for you are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light. 10 “Once you had no identity as a people; now you are God’s people. Once you received no mercy; now you have received God’s mercy.” 11 Dear friends, I warn you as “temporary residents and foreigners” to keep away from worldly desires that wage war against your very souls. (1 Peter 2:7-11 NLT)

So, oh, desires, worldly desires, I wonder if that’s dreaming? I wonder if I can say it this way, keep away from worldly dreams because the worldly dreams wage war against your soul. “Now Pastor John, you know, everything we’ve been taught all our lives is that you must dream big dreams.” And in fact, you might even argue with me here today, and you say, you know, Oral Roberts even said, “No small dreams made here.” I’m in total agreement with Oral Roberts. No small dreams, because we serve a big God, and He’s got big dreams, but they’re His dreams. And so, that’s why Oral Roberts was always on about it. If you’re having God’s dreams, they’re not small. God’s got big dreams. Amen.

Verse 7, in the New King James Version, I’ve read it to you in the Living Translation, New King James. 7 Therefore, to you who believe, He is precious; but to those who are disobedient, “The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone,” (1 Peter 2:7 NKJV) Verse 9 in the Passion Translation, 9 But you are God’s chosen treasure – priests who are kings, a spiritual “nation” set apart as God’s devoted ones. He called you out of darkness to experience his marvellous light, and now he claims you as his very own. He did this so that you would broadcast his glorious wonders throughout the world. (1 Peter 2:9 TPT) Amen.

He did this so that you would broadcast His glorious wonders throughout the world. His glorious wonders throughout the world. His glorious wonders throughout the world. Okay? Just work with me now. If you will hear in the message that I’m going to be sending you the audio note that Brother Jerry talks about a man in the US who lived in Dallas, and his name was Ross Perot. Some of you who are a bit older will know that Ross Perot was a very wealthy billionaire, and he actually ran for the presidency of the United States as an independent. And he didn’t get much votes, but he did enough so that the Republican didn’t win the nomination, or didn’t win the presidency.

Ross Perot, you will hear from Brother Jerry, had a reputation for buying land, and he was a big property developer. And wherever Ross Perot bought property, property value went up because he made his money in property development. Jah? Amen? You know why I’m walking down here? I’m trusting God that the healing power of God is coming amongst you. I’m here because signs and wonders and the wonders of God are beginning to be evident. Hallelujah. Meredith, welcome back. Good to have you back. We love you, brother. Amen. Praise the Lord. Hallelujah.

So, Ross Perot always bought land, you will hear this from Brother Jerry, who always bought land in the northern parts of Fort Worth. Brother Jerry bought the piece of land that was across the road from him. Soon after that, Ross Perot Junior came and started buying up land all around where Brother Jerry bought his land. What did it do to the value of his land? It immediately increased the value of the land because of the reputation of Ross Perot Junior. Just on reputation alone, the price of the land went up. Hey, it is time that you and I, and we are functioning at a level where Christians show up, the value of things goes up. Does not matter if some people are offended and they want to walk away from you and they want to stone you. When you show up, the Life of God shows up, shows up.

People, you and I, we got some things to do with God. We got some things to do. I’m not finished with my message, but I’m finished preaching from my notes. Hallelujah. We got some things to do with God. I’m wearing this watch, and I’m actually wearing it more, I’m actually only wearing my Garmin now to sleep with, so I can have my sleep measured. But I’m wearing this watch because Brother Jerry was given a watch like this. In fact, you guys were with me in Washington. What year was that? What was the year when we went to Washington? Was it 2019? 2019, we were in Washington.

What was the year when we went to Washington? Was it 2019? In 2019 we were in Washington. We did a motorcycle rally, and then we ended up at Brother Copeland’s Victory Campaign. At that Victory Campaign, Brother Copeland gave Brother Jerry a gift, and that gift was a watch. It was a Breitling watch. This watch is a Breitling. This watch was given to me. That watch was given to Brother Jerry from Brother Copeland just as an honour gift to him, to love on him for the years that he’d stayed faithful and connected to Brother Copeland. It was just a gift of love and honour for their friendship. Brother Jerry sat at the dinner table with me and Sharon that night, and he showed us the watch, and he talked to us about the watch. I’m going to tell you that the watch, I’m under correction now, but I believe the value of the watch in US dollars, I think it’s $55,000.

That’s not the value of this watch. It’s the value of that watch; $55,000. It’s just a gift. A gift of love. So, I’m traveling with Brother Jerry, and every now and again, I see he’s got a different watch on. Sometimes he’s got Brother Copeland’s watch on. Sometimes he’s got a different watch on, and I’ve come to realise over the years, he loves watches, you know. And every time I’d see a different watch on him, I’d make a point; “So, Brother Jerry, what about this watch? What about this watch?” And so, some of them had a story. Some of them were just about; “I walked in, I liked that watch, and I bought it.” And so, then I go and I look it up and I find out, “Oh, that watch is $10,000.” He liked it, he walked in, and he bought it.

I can see what happened to Brother Copeland. He’s having thoughts about his friend, 2019. I’m just privileged we were there, you know. He’s having thoughts about his friend. And so, “I want to buy something for my friend, that’s special. So, what I know is he likes watches, we both like watches.” Breitling is something that Brother Copeland likes because he’s a pilot. So, he goes to go and buy him a watch. So, he doesn’t just buy him a watch, this is typical of Brother Copeland. He doesn’t just buy him a watch; he buys him the most expensive Breitling watch that you can buy. Hey? I find myself in a place where Brother Jerry is not with us anymore, but I am going to live with everything that he taught me. I am not going to forget any of those things. Yes? One of the things that Brother Jerry said to me, he said, “You know, John, I’m drawn to people that have a spirit of excellence. I’m drawn to things that have quality and excellence. I am drawn to it.”

Do you know that he, you know, he told Joe, so this goes back probably 2017? He said to Joe, he said, “When we go to South Africa, we are going to go, our sole purpose of going to South Africa is going to be going for John.” For us. You know what that means? That he is prepared to travel from America to South Africa just to come minister to us. And if you saw the clip on when he was riding his bike that we gave him, he talked about, “My congregation gave me this bike.” There were no other people that he talked like that about, but he talked like that about us. “My congregation.” He didn’t say, Heritage of Faith in South Africa, that is Pastor John’s congregation. He said, “My congregation gave this to me.” He took us into his heart because he saw a spirit of excellence in us. An excellence to die to ourselves. To become disciples. (Pastor John’s alarm goes off. I think my phone is… and I’ve got a light on, so you’re probably all distracted by the light).

For a long time, I’ve preached to you about value, about cost and value, and the difference between investing and the cost and the value of things. Right? So, you can go and buy a t-shirt from Sportsman’s Warehouse, you can go and buy a t-shirt that’s got a Sportsman’s Warehouse brand logo on it. I don’t know what it is, but I know they have one. Just like you can go and buy K-way. That’s, what’s that? Cape Union Mart. It’s a Cape Union Mart brand. You can go and buy that, and you can wear a T-shirt, and you can pay 80 bucks for it, 100 bucks for it. Yes? Whatever. I mean, I don’t know. Whatever. 150 bucks. I don’t know what it costs. I have not been shopping there for a while, but you can go there. Then you can go into the Nike branded, Adidas branded, or Under Armour branded shop, and you can go and buy a t-shirt, which will be the same, let’s call it a running shirt. Yes? Running sweatshirt.

You can go and buy one from Sportsman’s Warehouse that’s 100 bucks, let’s just say. And you can go to Nike, and they’re going to charge you 300 bucks. Yes? More or less, I don’t know. So now you would say, hold on a minute, I’m going to buy the 100 bucks’ shirt because the only difference between the two is one’s got a Nike tick on it and the other one doesn’t, so there’s no extra value in buying the Nike shirt versus the Sportsman’s Warehouse shirt. Don’t look at me like … I got your number. But then there are some specialist shops. You don’t have them here in South Africa, but you could go to Lululemon, for example. And you can go buy a sweatshirt from Lululemon. So, you’ve got Sportsman’s Warehouse 100 bucks, Nike 300 bucks, Adidas 300 bucks, whatever. Then you can go to Lululemon, and they will charge you 1,000 bucks, South African Rand. Okay? So, you’re looking at this in this range of money, and you say, “100 bucks? I’m just going to run it, sweat in it, and put it in the wash. So, why must I spend 300?” And then you look at the guy that’s spending 1,000 and say, “Eish that’s crazy stuff.” Because you allow the cost value of something to impact your decision-making of your life.

So, I want to be careful here if I say to you, that I’m all for saving. I am all for having savings and I’m all for having money that you don’t squander on just things. But there is another value that you can bring to it when God is blessing your life, that you don’t keep judging your future based on the R80 or R100 value. So, God is bringing all these blessings into your life, but I’m still measuring my life by the R100 value. That R100 value system is a very hard thing to break. Does not matter how much money you’ve got, it’s a hard thing to break. When Brother Jerry walks into a store he says, “I like that watch. I’m going to buy it.” $10,000, who spends $10,000 on a watch? He did. Hey?

There are two parts of this – the reason I’m talking to you about this – there are 2 parts of this. The one part is this; I want to continuously be impacted by, number 1, his boldness to walk in the favour of God that when God blesses him on one thing, God is going to keep blessing him. So, he does not have to take a standpoint, “Because I’ve got one thing, I must save it. Because this one thing might not happen again. So, I must keep what I’ve got because I might not get it again.” So, if you have, “I’ve got to keep what I’ve got because I’m not sure of the future,” that mentality will stop you from living by faith. That mentality will stop you from having boldness in God.

The other side of it, or another part to that is, you know, that when Brother Copeland started his ministry, he understood excellence. And he came out of the music industry, and as you know, he made a single that was a very well-sold single in America. When he went to record the single, he would have gone into a recording studio that, at that time in his life, would have had the best microphones, the best mixing board, the best instruments, and the standard that they would have mixed the song to, the sound to, would have been the best. You got me? Furthermore, he was also someone who was passionate about flying aeroplanes, and he began to understand that the amount of investment and money you put into an aeroplane, you will get it back safely. You will get it back in many different things, time, speed, different things. So, he had a mentality about excellence. When he went into the ministry, he said, “I’m not going to do what all other churches do, all other ministries do, that settle for good enough. I’m going to aim for the highest standard.” That had an impact on brother Jerry, the highest standard.

You and I, we have things that God wants us to complete. There are things that God wants us to do. And we, collectively, as a body, are going to decide together, together. Are we going to chase God’s dream or our own dreams? And if we chase God’s dream, He’s going to multiply it back to us in this lifetime a hundredfold, and in the lifetime to come eternal life. This is what the Bible says. This is what Jesus told His disciples Himself. If you leave your mothers and your fathers, you leave your houses and your lands, you leave everything that is precious to you and follow Me, you will, in this lifetime, receive a 100-fold return, and in the lifetime you, you will the next lifetime, you will receive a 100 fold return. Eternal life.

We have no downside to this. The only discomfort that cost that we have to count is what if someone wants to stone us? Do you understand the metaphor that I’m using? What if someone wants to stone us? What if someone has words to say about us and undermines us and brings accusations against us? Things like that. What about that? What are we going to do with it? I’m going to finish with this. Do you know that in America, the Democrats are throwing the kitchen sink at Donald Trump? They’re literally throwing their entire national pride, their national reputation in America, they are literally throwing the kitchen sink at Donald Trump to try and stop him. Literally. They’re undermining their justice system. They are doing everything they can to stop him. They even use words like this, “It will be the end of democracy.”

All the major television networks, and all the major newspapers in America, if you ask them what is the greatest single threat to democracy in America, they will say, “Donald Trump.” That’s the democrats. Do you know who the greatest threat to democracy is? The pursuit of liberalism and socialism is currently swamping America. Those same people say that Donald Trump is the greatest threat to democracy. They are trying to ruin his reputation. There’s now a guilty verdict against him for a felony charge that is just a joke. It’s literally a joke. Why are they doing this? Because they can’t take his money, they’re trying to take his money so he can’t have money to campaign. They’re trying to they’re trying to stop his energy from being put on display so that he can’t campaign. They’re trying to undermine his reputation by sentencing him. They’re trying everything they can to stop him from running and from becoming President. Because he has the boldness and the courage to say… the possibility of him now in the second term is so real that now he understands what’s happening in the swamp at Washington. He has the boldness, he has the courage, and he has the willpower to drain the swamp. He promised that in the 1st election, and he’s going to do it if he comes into power the second time. He’s going to drain the swamp, and they fear that more than anything else because they’ve spent 50 years building up their swamp in Washington so that they’d…

I bumped into someone who was from America recently, and I had a 2-minute conversation with her. And I heard her American accent, I said, “Where do you come from?” She said, “I come from America.” I said, “But where?” She said, “Washington DC.” I said, “How did you get to Washington DC?” She said, “I worked in Idaho for a congressman, and then when he went to Congress in Washington, I went with him.” Now I can hear, if you are in Idaho, maybe you’re a Republican. Maybe? Anyway, so she says, “I stayed there because I was offered a job in government, and so now I’ve been there for the last 13 years working in government.” Now 90% of the people who work in government in Washington are Democrats. She said this to me. I asked her another question. She said this to me, “Yeah we, there in the government, we watch all these people get elected and it’s a swing door. And they come and they go, and they come in and they go, and they come in, and we just are there.” I said, “Very interesting. Thank you for sharing that with me.” I could immediately get, I mean, she was basically telling me, “We are the guys that really run the show. These elected politicians that come in and come out, they don’t really run the show. We are the ones that run the show.”

I’ve got news for you. The very essence of our ecclesia is what God has been looking for, for a long time, that He will have a standard that He can show off, that He can reveal to the world, that we are the ones that are the stabilising force. And it doesn’t matter what’s coming and going, how many people come in and go out, it doesn’t matter. When God has put his stamp of approval on it, that is what He wants. And I’ll tell you, the systems and the institutions of the world, they hate Ecclesia. They hate Ecclesia because they say, “We’ve worked long and hard to establish education as an institution, financial institutions, government institutions.” Because the power belongs to all of the institutions, until Ecclesia comes on the line, and suddenly the real power of God and the real governance of God is revealed. So, it does not matter to me how many people come in and out of the church as long as we do what God has told us to do. And as for me and us, we are going to pursue God at the highest standard and the highest level. Amen.

Thank you for being here today. Thank you for listening. Next weekend, we are going to have an amazing time. I’ll be getting into a lot more things about dreams and visions and the things that God has for us. What do you say, Church? We are going to have a wonderful time. Let’s take up an offering. Let’s take up an offering.

You know, part of the reason I was sharing this thing about the watch with you is, you know, when I was last with Brother Jerry in November we bought him a gift. Remember I told you? We bought him a gift. God led me to a thing. Because I know he loves watches, and I bought him this magnificent portable watch protective carrier that he could carry with him everywhere he went in his plane. So that as he swapped watches, whatever watch he wanted to wear in a day, he had this beautiful safety casing that he could carry with him. Wow.

Do you know what happened? That gift that we gave him is a reward that is already in heaven, waiting for us. Because when he went there, he arrived there with all of our honour, our love, our everything – he took it with him. And he’s already established our name in the records there as part of his journey. Wow. It’s amazing. It’s amazing. That’s why I think when we get to heaven, we’re going to find things that are going to astound us how God, when you live by faith, when you live on purpose, when you live with the things that God’s got, you’re going to find so much stuff up there.

You know, the Apostle Paul, he was so, he was so thinking about this, he said, “I can choose whether I want to go or stay, but I’ve chosen to stay for your sake.” Shew. What a thing, hey? To have an understanding of eternity like that. Amazing.

Where is the offering? Won’t you all stand with me, please? Praise the Lord.

Thank you, Father, for every seed that is sown, every offering that is given. Thank you, Father, that You have given us the power to obtain wealth. You have given us the ability to have seeds to sow. Thank you, Father. We bless You. We give You honour for everything that You have provided for us. So, I ask You, Father, that these seeds that have been sown, these financial seeds, that we bring them before You and we ask You to bless Your people with blessings upon blessings upon blessings upon blessings that will never end, in Jesus’ name. In Jesus’ name. Amen. Hallelujah.

Will you put your hand on your heart like this and just say; I am blessed going out and blessed coming in. Everywhere I go, I am blessed. I just want to pray for you. I declare that the peace of God rests upon you. No weapon formed against you will prosper. I declare in the name of Jesus that He gives His angels charge over you. And that everywhere you go, every day, everything that you do, the healing anointing of God is resting upon you. That all of the things that are out of place in your physical body come into order, in Jesus’ name. And for every relationship and every financial need that you have, God is present to meet it, in Jesus’ name. Hallelujah. And everybody said? Amen. Thank you. Bless y’all.

There is Message Moments this afternoon at 5 o’clock. Asseblief.