The Work of an Apostle – Ps Sharon Bendixen (WTB)
Scripture Reference: Psalm 68:31 (AMPC); Ephesians 4:7-8 (TPT); Ephesians 4:11-13 (TPT); 1 Corinthians 12:27-31 (KJ21); Hebrews 3:1-2 (AMPC); Philippians 1:1-8 (AMPC); Philippians 2:25-30 (AMPC); 1 Thessalonians 5:12-13 (AMPC); Colossians 1:28-29 (AMPC); Colossians 4:7-17, (AMPC); 2 Timothy 4:8-15 (AMPC); 2 Thessalonians 3:1-2 (AMPC); Hebrews 13:18 (AMPC)
Good morning, everybody. Father, I pray again that You will speak through this vessel this morning. That You will find me yielded. I thank You for Your anointing that is not only upon me and within me, but upon all of Your people this morning and within all of them, Lord. Thank You, Holy Spirit, for Your ministry here to the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ. To the glory and honour of the Father and of Jesus, who is the Head of the Church. Again, in the precious and mighty name of Jesus, and we all say, Amen.
So, when Pastor John told me and asked me to minister this morning, it’s just because I am somewhat seasoned in bringing the Word of God, hearing from the Holy Spirit and bringing it. I know when He fills me up with words. I know when He’s given me the words to bring. So, the whole week, I’ve just been putting my trust in Him. I even spoke to Pastor John during the week; I said to him, “Mm, you know, John, I could go in quite a few directions, because there’s a lot of things that I’m full of, you know. Full of the Word,” because I’ve been in all Pastor John’s messages so, I’m full of them.
He just kept blessing me and saying to me, because you know, he is in Ethiopia right now, on a very important assignment for the Lord Jesus. He just kept saying to me, “The Lord will speak; He will show you.” Then yesterday afternoon, He began to just share His heart with me. Just shared His heart, and it’s the way in which He wants to bring it through me to you today. He wants to share His heart with you about certain things.
So, if you’re here this morning, and you’re visiting from another church, you should be planted in a church, your own church. The church where the Lord Jesus wants you to be planted. If you’re from out of town and you’re visiting or something, then you should be receiving something that you can take back to your own church, right? But this is family business this morning, Heritage of Faith business, it is from the heart of the Father to us this morning.
The title of my message this morning is called, The Work of an Apostle. Before Pastor John left to go to Ethiopia, I was praying for him, we were praying together, and I was praying for him. I found this beautiful scripture from the Lord. In Psalm 68, it says, 13 …Ethiopia, shall hasten to stretch out her hands to God. 13 …Ethiopia shall hasten to stretch out her hands [with offerings of submission] to God. (Psalm 68:31 AMPC) This is one of the countries that the Lord Jesus spoke to Brother Jerry about in 2010, that Ethiopia would be one of the ten Nations where your work would go.
So, our Bible School is going to Ethiopia. As I was praying for Pastor John, I saw Ethiopia, the Christians of Ethiopia, doing this [Pastor Sharon stretching out her hand] stretching out her hands to God, because there’s a legacy transfer that’s coming. There are teachings of the Word of God that’s coming, and the beautiful thing about this is that it’s the pastors that want this Bible School for their people. So, the local churches are going to be running these Bible Schools, and it is a mammoth task. It’s massive because most Ethiopians don’t speak English. They can’t read English. So, there’s a whole team now that’s being put together to translate things into Aramaic. And so, it’s really massive in the heart of God to get the Word to them. Things that you can just go to Bible School whenever if you want to, or if you don’t want to.
I saw the Ethiopians, though, stretching out their hands to God and saying, “Thank You, Lord. Thank You for bringing, thank You for bringing,” and so, Pastor John has been ministering to pastors. They’ve been going through it, of what to do, how this can be. God’s been giving them wisdom and helping them because some of you have been praying for him. Right? We’re going to pray for him right now in Ethiopia. He is ministering several services today, and so we’re going to pray for him right now. We’re going to pray in the Holy Ghost.
Those of you who don’t pray in the Spirit, you just be in agreement with the sound and say, “Yes, Lord, all of that, answer all of that.” Because God understands us when we pray in the Spirit, we pray for Pastor John, Lord. [Pastor Sharon and congregation starts praying in the Spirit]. Hallelujah, and Father, I want to thank You, Lord, in the presence of Your people in this congregation today, for the way in which You’ve taken care of Pastor John, such care, Father. Pastor John said he was sleeping and the attendance in the aeroplane. He woke up after an hour and a half, and he had a blanket put over him. I said, “Lord, You had someone put a blanket over him. Thank You, I praise You, Lord.” He had missed the meal, and they say to him, “No, no, Mister Bendixen, we got food ready for you.” Glory to God. Tender loving care.
I just rejoiced with Pastor John on the phone. Oh, bless them, Lord, bless every hand that just put a blanket over him, served him with a glass of water and a meal. Thank You, Lord. Thank You, Lord, bless them, Lord, and just like that, everywhere he’s gone, the tender care of God has been evident, to take care of him on his mission, being obedient to the Lord Jesus Christ. God takes care of us. Hallelujah.
I just want to thank God for all of that. Glory. I want you to thank Him with me for the care of God, in so many little things, so many little things that God has taken care of Pastor John. Hallelujah. Thank You. Thank You, Lord. Thank You. Thank You. Oh, thank You, Lord. Thank You. Oh, Your tender, loving care. Hallelujah. Your tender mercies, in Jesus’ name. And so, I thank you, I thank you, Pastor Garth, for just helping me make this start wonderful.
So, the purpose of this impartation to you today is that the Lord wants everyone in this local church to have a fuller, deeper recognition of how he is working with us so that we can make the progress that He knows we can make together. Great grace is upon Pastor John at this time. Heaven is fully backing him. If Heaven is backing him, I certainly am backing him. I’m on God’s side. I’m with God. If God is backing him, then I’m backing him. Just recently, the Lord just gave me these words about great grace.
On the 15th of January, He said to me, “My great grace is upon you. All the people in this church, here where I’m building. John, and all with him, I AM leading him and guiding him, I AM with him. He gave me; I AM in capital letters. I AM guiding him; I AM leading him. I AM is backing him. Prayer is to be made for him continually. I AM giving him territory; he is occupying with Me.” Then, He gave me this personal instruction: “Watch him, listen to what he’s saying, and go with him. Watch him, hear him, and then go with him.” That’s not difficult. So, that’s what He said. That’s what He said to me.
Precious, isn’t it? Great grace. What is grace? It’s “Can-do”. Grace is God’s “Can-do” power ability to do. Grace is not: “Well, I’ve got God’s grace, I can do what I want to.” Grace is a very powerful word. The Holy Spirit is called the Spirit of Grace, so grace means: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Grace is: “I can do His Word. I can become who He has predestined me to become. I can. I can do.” Hallelujah. Glory to God. We thank Him for His grace today. Hallelujah. So, I’m going to go to this prophecy; I’m just going to stay with God this morning. So, the Word for us as a congregation is: “Going Big and going Bold Version 2 in 22.” So, God’s upgrading it and updating it, right?
So, when you get a version 2, it means there’s an update and an upgrade. So, what was last year will not be this year. He’s a God that moves, always. So, going Big in Prayer, His upgrade, update. This is a document that we have made available to everybody; everybody should have this. I’ve had it since we printed it. It was available to everybody, and if it’s not still out there and you really want it, because you really want to know the recognition of the time, it is available to you. We are Going Big in Prayer, we are Going Big in Sound and Song, we are Going Big in the Word and the Messages that God is giving us, and as we are going big our faith is going to arise. Our faith: we are Going Big and Bold Together, right?
Bold. We must be Bold in Defence, Bold in Offence; it’s time to attack. We must be Bold in new directions, so when new directions come from Pastor John, from the pulpit. You see, every Sunday, that is why it’s so vital for you. If you’re going to stay with Pastor John, if you’re going to stay with God, you have to stay with what God is saying through Pastor John every Sunday. If you’re going to stay with God in His time, because every message has instruction, direction, correction; in every message is all of those things for us all the time. Training in every script, training in righteousness, training us to be obedient; correction, instruction, direction is in every message. What is God saying?
You will always hear in a message, Pastor John will bring the message, and then he’ll say, “This and this, and this is what the Lord is doing here and saying here now.” there is the recognition of the time, it’s in the message, right? You have every right to be getting involved in every single message. So, we must be Bold in our new directions, in our established faith, Bold in our sowing, Bold in receiving our great harvest, and Bold in sowing our God-given gifting, too, in the church, very important. We have to be bold to bring our God-given gifting to the church, into the church.
We must be bold in that. We are going to have enthusiasm and do things that are serious in nature. We’re going to be expanding and enlarging the way that we go forward with things. We’re going to be bold and courageous together. This is about the grace of God. What’s the grace of God? The “Can do” of God, in you. This is about the grace of God allowing your gift to have space to grow, to enlarge and to make big the body of Christ. Do you see in the spirit? It’s all from this document that you should be having. Do you see in the spirit that this is a strategic time?
This is a time for you and me, for us together, collective greatness. This is a time for us to begin to hold, join hands, to join and strengthen our combined resources, combine our faith, combine our prayers, get united in our prayers, begin to press in the spirit for the big things that God has got for us as we press, as we come together collectively, great together in our faith, great together in our agreement, great together in our prayer life, great together in Sound and song, and the way that we worship. Greatness in the things, and the boldness and the strength will grow.
How powerful is this, in the light of what Pastor John has been ministering of not being in your self-oneness? See what this means to you now. It’s not me in my self-oneness: “I. Me. My dreams and my plans and my goals and my things.” It’s me, at oneness with God, and if you’re at oneness with God, you’re at oneness with His church because the Lord said I must tell you, He’s not busy working in the world system. The only thing He’s doing in the world system is that He sent Jesus to save the whole world, and the Church will preach the gospel to the world system, but God is not working in the world system going: “I wonder how I can help all the banks. I wonder how I can help the education system in the world. I wonder how I can help the entertainment system in the world. I wonder how I can help the sports systems in the world. I wonder how I can help everything that’s been set up in the world.”
He’s not working in the world system; He’s only working in His Church. That’s the only thing that Jesus is presiding over. He’s the head of the Church. He’s not the head of the world system. Satan is the god of the world system. Jesus is the head of the Church, and there’s no contest there because Satan has been defeated, but Jesus is going to work. He’s building here in this place, under the assignment and ministry and purpose of the Lord Jesus Christ, for Pastor John’s life. He wants a ruling, reigning, governing Church.
That’s why in this church, you will be receiving messages that many other churches don’t receive, because others may, well maybe they shouldn’t, but you may not, and we may not, not in this Ecclesia. You can see the patterns of a church that Jesus is building because Jesus said: “I will build My Church”, and where Jesus is building, He builds His ruling, reigning, governing Church. It was always God’s plan, from the beginning, for man to rule and reign, now the new creation; the new creature that gets born-again gets set into Jesus’ Ecclesia; church.
Let me just show you then what He gives, Jesus gives: Ephesians 4, 7 to 8 and 11 to 13 from The Passion Translation. I didn’t give you that scripture; I apologise, but I’m going to read it from The Passion Translation because it’s on this prophecy document that Pastor John gave us last year that’s now applicable for 2022 because it’s upgraded. So, Ephesians 4:7-8 from The Passion Translation: ⁷ And he has generously given each one of us supernatural grace, according to the size of the gift of Christ. ⁸ This is why he says: “He ascends into the heavenly heights, it’s talking about Jesus now, Jesus, ⁸ “He ascends into the heavenly heights taking his many captured ones with him, and gifts were given to men.” (Ephesians 4:7-8 TPT) ¹¹ And he has appointed some with grace, He has appointed some with “Can-do”, ¹¹… to be apostles, and some with grace (Can-do) to be prophets, and some with grace (Can-do) to be evangelists, and some with grace (Can-do) to be shepherds, pastors, and some with grace (Can-do) to be teachers.
Verse 12, very important to help get you out of your self-oneness: ¹² And their calling, … so these ones with “Can-do”, ¹² … their calling is to nurture and prepare all the holy believers to do their own works of ministry, and as they do this they will enlarge and build up the body of Christ. ¹³ These grace ministries will function until we all attain oneness into the faith, until we all experience the fullness of what it means to know the Son of God, and finally we become one into a perfect man …, you see, not in our own self-oneness, we become one with each other because we are one with God, one perfect man or one mature man, ¹³ … with the full dimensions of spiritual maturity and fully developed into the abundance of Christ. (Ephesians 4:11-13 TPT) So, God wanted me to read that to you.
Now, this is the next scripture out of the King James Version. 1 Corinthians 12 verse 27 to 31, remember that the Lord wants to share His heart with you this morning about the work of an Apostle. He is sharing His heart with you this morning because everything in your life, your spiritual life and your go forward is directly connected to this work that God has called Pastor John to do, and I’ll get there. He said to me to tell you that all of your eternal rewards are coming because you saw your place, and you worked with the apostle, not because you became famous in the world, or you became successful in the world. That will not get you any eternal rewards.
Your eternal rewards come from the way that He’s set it up in the New Testament. So, you see, everywhere in the Epistles, in the New Testament, everybody that worked with their Apostle, and everybody that worked against, you see the pattern of God, He had it written so that it could continue up to our day because we’re not living in the time of the Apostle Paul. We’re living in the time where there has been given to us—Jesus gave these gifts to men because Jesus came into the earth, as an apostle, as a prophet, as a shepherd, as an evangelist and as a teacher. Then, when He died and left, He gave those gifts to men, who He chose. Now, there are a lot of people—that put themselves in those offices—that Jesus didn’t put the gifts in, but that’s between them and God. Right.
But where there’s the real thing, we don’t throw out the baby with the bathwater, just because there’s the fake. We got to go with the truth of God’s Word in the pattern of God’s Word. So, here’s the next scripture, 1 Corinthians 12 verse 27 to 31 from the King James, 27 Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular. 28 And God hath set some in the church: the Church meaning, remember Pastor John’s been teaching on this. The Church is not a congregation that comes together on a Sunday morning to sing nice songs and hear a nice message and go home and live like everybody else lives.
The Church is what Jesus said in Matthew 16, I will build, I will build, I will build my Church, and that’s one of the major callings of an apostle. Is to build, build, build with Jesus, for Jesus, His kingdom on earth as it is in heaven. I will build My Church, and the Church that I will build there, the gates of hell will not prevail against it. There will be victory, there where I can build, and the people are building according to My pattern in my New Testament, there, there will be victory. There will be victory for people that are there because I am backing the leader because I have called him, with great responsibility to accomplish things that must happen in the earth in My time. Then I’ve called those and placed those around him and those that are backing him. I back them.
If you dismembered and you’re independent, and you’re out there on your own, you’re not backing anybody, you’re not giving God anything to back you with because it’s not according to His pattern. He does not back an independent, a misaligned, a dismembered. Can you see how He can’t? It’s His Church. He’s made the way of how things are done in His Church. It’s in Scripture. Hallelujah. So, 28 And God hath set some in the church: first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracle workers, then those with gifts of healing, helpers, governments—administrators, and those with diversity of tongues. 29 Are all apostles? No, Are all prophets? No, Are all teachers? Are all workers of miracles? 30 Have all the gifts of healing? All do not have the gift of healing, but all can lay hands on the sick if they believe. Right.
Just putting some context there. Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret? He’s talking about the gift of the Spirit of tongues and interpretation in Corinthians 14. Yes, but we do all speak in tongues. Alright. So, 31 But covet earnestly the best gifts. and yet show I unto you a more excellent way. Then he talks about love. (1 Corinthians 12:27-31 KJ21) So, in my studies in the past, I looked up this word first. Now God has said some in the Church first because I want you to know what first means and I wanted to know what secondarily means and I wanted to see the Greek word of thirdly. Okay.
So first, this word first that Paul was using is a Greek word called prōton: and it’s first in order, first in rank, first in order, and first in rank. So, God does have an army, and He has rank. If we have an intelligent recognition of it, and we work with it, we’re going to accomplish the purposes of Jesus, in His Church. So, it’s the first, first in rank, the chief, the principal. Apostle, Jesus Christ, Hebrews 3, and verse 1. I am going to turn there. This is the heart of the Father speaking to us this morning. Glory.
So, Jesus, Apostle Jesus Christ. 1 So then, brethren, consecrated, I am reading from the Amplified 1 SO THEN, brethren, consecrated, and set apart for God, who share in the heavenly calling, [thoughtfully and attentively] consider Jesus, the Apostle and High Priest. Apostle and High Priest. So, then it says here, verse 2 2 [See how] faithful He was to Him Who appointed Him [Apostle and High Priest], as Moses was also faithful in the whole house [of God]. (Hebrews 3:1-2 AMPC) He’s saying, Jesus was an apostle, as Moses was an apostle. Right, saying Jesus was an apostle as Moses was an apostle, and Jesus was faithful as Moses was faithful. Faithful in the whole house of God. So, Moses was sent on a specific assignment by God and Jesus was sent on a specific assignment by God. Then Jesus gave gifts. Do you see that? Jesus gave gifts to men. Jesus came as an Apostle, Prophet, Evangelist, Shepherd and Teacher. I don’t have time to go into all those scriptures.
Jesus came into the earth as an Apostle, as a Prophet, as a Pastor, as a Teacher and as an Evangelist, right. When He left, He gave those gifts of Jesus. He gave them to men so that the body of Christ may come to the fullness, so that the sons of God may come to the fullness. The highest calling, the highest calling, is a son of God. Then God gave apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers, and evangelists to equip sons of God. When Jesus arose, He gave gifts to men, and this is Jesus continuing His work in His Church in the earth. The work of an apostle is the work of Jesus in His Church. Whatever we do with Pastor John, we are doing with Jesus. Jesus presides over what He is doing in His Church in the earth. He is not working in the world system. He came to save it, but He’s working in His Church. He is only working in the world system because His Church is active in it, doing what He has them to do.
So, Pastor John’s calling is primarily shepherd-teacher. That’s Pastor John’s primary call, it is shepherd-teacher, pastor-teacher, but he has been sent to Ethiopia as an apostle to establish what God has called him to do. In this new era, he is becoming, since the first 20 years was over. You have to understand that we had a word, those of you that are new, we had a word from the Lord. 2020 was the year when God had wrapped up things of that era, and He was beginning a brand-new era with us.
So, whatever we do with Pastor John, the work of the apostle is the work of Jesus in His Church. Whatever we do with Pastor John, we are doing with Jesus. Jesus presides over what He is doing in His Church, in the earth. He is not working in the world system. He came to save it, but He’s working in His Church. Pastor John, like I said, primary shepherd, teacher, but apostle, sent to establish what God has called him to do. In this new era, he is becoming. Since the first 20 years was over, God has shifted many things in him and changed many things in him. Spiritually, by His Holy Spirit, and it continues to happen all the time. Everyone who knows and loves him is experiencing and understanding that this is the Lord’s work in him, and they are fully cooperating. He is becoming what the Lord needs him to become now, in this new era, because the last era of what God has called Pastor John to do, is over. I don’t have time to go into all that. There’s so much stuff.
See, when God called Pastor John, He called Pastor John and Brother Jerry together. So, they, at the same time—when Brother Jerry said, Pastor John, you need to take that church in Witbank, because he came from South Africa, and he went home and he said, “Because I arrived home. The Lord had been speaking to me for a long time to start a church, but I said to Him, “You’re going to have to work on Carolyn because that’s not something she wants to do.” Brother Jerry had felt in his heart for a long time to start the church. So, he said, “You speak to her,” and the Lord did. While he was in the air, travelling home from South Africa, Jesus visited Miss Carolyn and came to her in a vision. He had His Church in His hand, and He dropped it into her lap. By the time Brother Jerry landed and came back, she was in tears because Jesus can change anything. Anything, anything. So, Brother Jerry said, “John, you call it Heritage of Faith,” and we started at exactly the same time as Brother Jerry.
Thank You, Lord, that You are helping me here now. So, in those first 20 years, God did what He needed to do, but now the 20 years, God’s perfect period of waiting is over. He’s shifted Pastor John completely, and he’s becoming what the Lord needs him to be so he can accomplish what Jesus needs him to do and finish before he goes home. Before he dies, before his body goes into the ground, and his spirit and his soul go to heaven. He is currently walking with Jesus on the water, hand in hand. All his eternal rewards are based on his obedience to Jesus. All of Pastor John’s eternal rewards are based on his obedience to Jesus, who is the Head of the Church. All of our eternal rewards have everything to do with us individually recognizing and doing our part to help him fulfil what Jesus is telling him to do.
You cannot see your life as “But I’ve got this job, and I’ve got this work, and so, the church has just got to get on without me.” God doesn’t see it like that. God placed you as vital—a member in His Church as Pastor John is. When you find yourself working with a pastor-teacher or apostle, sent one to do exactly what God tells him to do, and you do your part, his rewards in heaven are not bigger than yours. If you do your part in it, our rewards are the same because you did your part. I’ll get to this part of what an apostle means.
This I have to say, all of our eternal rewards have everything to do with us individually recognising and doing our part to help him fulfil this. All of the epistles in the New Testament is full of this way of God in His Church around Apostle Paul. Full of it. They were all people that had responsibilities outside of Ecclesia and church, but they all worked and functioned in their God-given gifting around the Apostle Paul to make sure that what God wanted to get down on the earth at that time got done.
You and I, this is fresh from the Lord, do not have a share and apart and a heavenly reward apart from our part of what Pastor John’s part is. I’m going to read that again. So, if you think you are putting for yourself rewards in heaven, because you are doing things excellently out there in the world system. That’s not how God rewards. Yes, diligence and all of those things, but God has called you to His Ecclesia. That’s your primary calling. He’s called you to His Church. I’m going to read this again, you and I do not have a share, and a part of the heavenly reward, apart from our part of what Pastor John’s part is.
So, you can’t say, “I’m going to have all these heavenly rewards, and I’m going to have all of this. But Pastor John just got to do what he’s got to do.” You can’t get eternal heavenly rewards from that because God’s pattern is a spiritual leader, and then a team around him to get accomplished what Jesus wants to get accomplished. Now, I can’t help it if other institutions that call themselves churches have given a different impression, but we are going with what God is revealing to us. His pattern in His Word; His pattern in His Word. You and I do not have a share, or a part of an, or a heavenly reward, apart from our part of what Pastor John’s part is. So, you can’t say, “I’m going to get my own heavenly rewards, just me and my own walk with God. Pastor John’s just got to carry on and do what he’s going to do.” It doesn’t work like that with God. You get that?
This is what it means to be a partaker of His calling. We are all called to be partakers of the heavenly calling. That’s on Pastor John. The Holy Spirit inspired men to record all the activities around the teacher, preacher, Apostle Paul. It records by name the people who helped him. Let me read that again. The Holy Spirit inspired men to write scripture, to record all of the activities around the teacher, preacher, Apostle Paul. It records by name the people who helped him, and it records by name the people who hindered him and opposed him—Philippians 1, verses 1 to 8 from the Amplified Bible. There’s an example of this.
1Paul and Timothy, bond servants of Christ Jesus (the Messiah), to all the saints (God’s consecrated people) in Christ Jesus who are at Philippi, now this scripture, you must just look at the pattern here with the bishops (overseers) and deacons (assistants): ²Grace (favor and blessing) to you and [heart] peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah). ³I thank my God in all my remembrance of you. 4 In every prayer of mine I always make my entreaty and petition for you all with joy (delight). 5 [I thank my God] for your fellowship (your sympathetic cooperation and contributions and partnership) in advancing the good news (the Gospel) from the first day [you heard it] until now. 6 And I am convinced and sure of this very thing, that He Who began a good work in you will continue until the day of Jesus Christ [right up to the time of His return], developing [that good work] and perfecting and bringing it to full completion in you. 7 It is right and appropriate for me to have this confidence and feel this way about you all, because you have me in your heart and I hold you in my heart.
Do you have Pastor John in your heart? I know he holds you in his heart. I know that, and more importantly than that, God knows that. God knows that he holds you in his heart, and do you see in that scripture you’re supposed to hold him in your heart? 7 … because you have me in your heart and I hold you in my heart as partakers and sharers, one and all with me, of grace (God’s unmerited favor and spiritual blessing). And verse 8, look at verse eight, For God is my witness how I long for and pursue you all with love, in the tender mercy of Christ Jesus [Himself] (Philippians 1:1-8 AMPC).
Now we’re going to go to Philippians 2:25 to 30. The point God is making here is that it records by name the people who helped him, and the people who hindered and opposed him—because God sends a messenger, He appoints a leader, first apostles, that word first means first, right, doesn’t mean second. God’s got order and rank in His kingdom for function, so everything can get done.
Look at this here, verse 25. 25 However, I thought it necessary to send Epaphroditus [back] to you. He names people by name to send Epaphroditus [back] to you. [He has been] my brother and companion in labor and my fellow soldier, you see, you see that. Are you Pastor John’s companion in his labour? What is his labour? He’s got to obey what God tells him to do. Are you his companion in his labour? You are my companion in labor and my fellow soldier, he cannot do without Epaphroditus. You are my fellow soldier, as well a [having come as] your special messenger (apostle) and minister to my need.
So, I’m your special minister. I’m your apostle, and you minister to my need. Oh, praise the Lord. 26 For he has been [homesick] longing for you all, so he’s sent Epaphroditus to His church in Phillipi… he has been [homesick] longing for you all and has been distressed because you had heard that he was ill. 27 He certainly was ill [too], near to death. But God had compassion on him, and not only on him but also on me, lest I should have sorrow [over him] coming upon sorrow. 28 So I have sent him the more willingly and eagerly, that you may be gladdened at seeing him again, and that I may be the less disquieted. 29 Welcome him [home] then in the Lord with all joy, and honor and highly appreciate men like him, 30 For it was through working for Christ that he came so near to death, risking his [very] life to complete the deficiencies in your service to me [which distance prevented you yourselves from rendering]. (Philippians 2:25-30 AMPC)
Can you see that? People laboured with the Apostle Paul risking their lives because they were doing it as unto the Lord. They understood the pattern of God, how things work in God’s heart for His Ecclesia; His Church.
Look at 1 Thessalonians 5:12 to 13. This is all going by how God records the names of people who helped him and people who hindered him and opposed him. 1 Thessalonians 5:12 to 13. 12 Now also we beseech you, brethren, get to know who labor among you [recognize them for what they are, acknowledge and appreciate and respect them all]–your leaders who are over you in the Lord, this is not heresy, your leaders who are over you in the Lord, and those who warn and kindly reprove and exhort you. 13 And hold them in very high and most affectionate esteem in [intelligent and sympathetic] appreciation of their work. Be at peace among yourself. (1 Thessalonians 5:12-13, AMPC)
You see what your attitudes got to be towards Pastor John. You’ve got to acknowledge and appreciate and respect him. He’s over you in the Lord. He will warn and kindly reprove and exhort you, you are to hold him in very high, most affectionate esteem. It’s okay for you to do this because the Bible tells you to do this. Hallelujah. The Bible tells me so. Hold them in very high and most affectionate esteem. That means you love him for the work he’s doing for Jesus. An intelligent, sympathetic appreciation of their work, and be at peace among yourselves. This is how God sees it. The Lord wants me to read you these scriptures this morning because He wants you to know that He sees it like this because it’s in His Word. So, if you see it in a different way, it’s not how He sees it. He sees it like this. It’s in His Word. This is how He intends it to be.
Here is Colossians 1:28 to 29. I have to read it. The Lord gave me the scripture in the Amplified. Colossians 1:28 and 29. This is the Apostle Paul, this is Pastor John, Pastor teacher, but he’s doing an apostolic work, right? 28 Him we preach, so Christ, Pastor John preaches and proclaims, warning and admonishing everyone, so will you be warned? Will you be admonished through the gift of Pastor John? Can you see that he has to warn and admonish? 28 Him we preach and proclaim, warning and admonishing everyone and instructing everyone in all wisdom. Why?
I know it says (comprehensive insight into the ways and purposes of God), and that is what I’m teaching you this morning. I’m giving you a comprehensive insight into the ways and purposes of God. The purposes that we may present every person mature (full-grown, fully initiated, complete, and perfect) in Christ (the Anointed One). 29 For this, Pastor John labors [unto weariness], striving with all the superhuman energy which He so mightily enkindles and works within me. (Colossians 1:28-29, AMPC)
It doesn’t matter what you’ve seen or experienced in other churches and what you think; how other people do it. This is how Pastor John does it. This is his ministry motive. Right here. If you ever read it again in the Bible. Pastor John preaches and proclaims and warns in admonishes everyone. He instructs everyone in all wisdom. He instructs everyone into the comprehensive insight into the ways and purposes of God that he may present every person mature in full-grown and fully initiated and complete and perfect in Christ. For this, Pastor John labors [unto weariness], striving with all the superhuman energy which He so mightily enkindles and works within me.
Now we’re going to have a look at people who help Apostle Paul. Look at Colossians, 4:7 to 17. Look at this; there’s those who help him. You are here. This is an example because you are here to help Pastor John. Pastor John is called to do a very specific task for Jesus. Jesus, who is the head of the Church. He’s got to do a very specific task. He’s got to do what Jesus tells him to do. Not what Jesus tells another Pastor in another church to do. That’s their responsibility. What Jesus tells— how to build here? So, those who help him.
Colossians 4:7 to17, Amplified Bible. Look at the names of these people—your names, your names are being recorded. God knows you all by name. Everyone here around Pastor John, here, verse 7, 7 Tychicus, here’s a name, Tychicus will give you full, here’s the Apostle Paul sending a letter about these people. Tychicus will give you full information about my affairs; [he is] a much-loved brother and faithful ministering assistant and fellow servant [with us] in the Lord. Isn’t that beautiful? God’s bringing this scripture to us this morning so we can see how He works among us.
8 I have sent him to you for this very purpose, that you may know how we are faring and that he may comfort and cheer and encourage your hearts. 9 And with [him is] Onesimus, [our] faithful and beloved brother, who is [one] of yourselves. They will let you know everything that has taken place here [in Rome]. 10 Aristarchus my fellow prisoner whishes to be remembered to you, as does Mark the relative of Barnabas. You received instructions concerning him; if he comes to you give him a [hearty] welcome. 11 And [greetings also from] Jesus, who is called Justus. These [Hebrew Christians] alone of the circumcision are among my fellow workers for [the extension of] God’s kingdom. And they have proved a relief and a comfort to me.
Isn’t that beautiful? That Apostle Paul could have people like that, that would provide a comfort and a relief to him, helping him with what God was telling him, he had to do while he was alive on earth, in His Church. Here is 10 Aristarchus my fellow prisoner whishes to be remembered to you, as does Mark the relative of Barnabas. You received instructions concerning him; if he comes to you give him a [hearty] welcome. 11 And [greetings also form] Jesus, who is called Justus. These [Hebrew Christians] alone of the circumcision are among my fellow workers for [the extension of] God’s kingdom. For the extension of God’s Kingdom. And they have proved a relief and a comfort to me.
12 Epaphras, here’s Epaphras, who is one of yourselves, a servant of Christ Jesus, sends you greetings. [He is] always striving for you earnestly in his prayers, [pleading] that you may [as persons of ripe character and clear conviction] stand firm and mature [in spiritual growth], convinced and fully assured in everything willed by God. 13 For I bear him testimony, who is he bearing testimony of? Epaphras. I bear him testimony that he has labored hard in your behalf and for [the believers] in Laodicea and those in Hierapolis. What is he doing? Pleading and striving earnestly in prayers for the people, that they may please be people of 12 …ripe character and clear conviction] stand firm and mature [in spiritual growth].
This is church life. Messy but marvellous. 13 For I bear him testimony that he has labored hard in your behalf and for [the believers] in Loadicea and those in Hierapolis. 14 Luke the beloved physician and Demas salute you. 15 Give my greetings to the brethren at Laodicea, and to Nympha and the assembly (the church) which meets in her house. 16 And when this epistle has been read before you, [see] that it is read also in the assembly (the church) of the Laodiceans, and also [see] that you yourselves in turn read the [letter that comes to you] from Laodicea. 17 And say to Archippus, See that you discharge carefully [the duties of] the ministry and fulfill the stewardship which you have received in the Lord. (Colossians 4:7-17, AMPC)
You see, it’s work. We work together, shoulder to shoulder, we all, real-time, real face to face, real shoulder to shoulder. That’s how it’s supposed to be. It gets messy because we’re all still growing, but it’s marvellous.
All right, and then those who oppose him. So, those are those that help him, an example of it. Then there are those that oppose him. 2 Timothy 4:8 to 15, here’s the Apostle Paul, too, so it could be Pastor John writing this; 8 [As to what remains] henceforth there is laid up for me the [victor’s] crown of righteousness… which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me and recompense me on that [great] day—and not to me only, but also to all those who have loved and yearned for and welcomed His appearing (His return). 9 Make every effort to come to me soon. 10 For Demas has deserted me for love of this world. There we go.
Here’s a man who was working with him and then deserted him for the love of this world. “I’m not so much into the spiritual stuff of the church. I like the way the world functions. This church is too spiritual for me. There’s too much growth that God is expecting me to have, spiritual growth. I’m going somewhere else.” So, 10 For Demas has deserted me for love of this present world and has gone to Thessalonica; Crescens [has gone] to Galatia, Titus to Dalmatia. 11 Luke alone is with me. Get Mark and bring him with you, for he is very helpful to me for the ministry. 12 Tychicus I have sent to Ephesus. 13 [When] you come, bring the cloak that I left at Troas with Carpus, also the books, especially the parchments. 14 Alexander the coppersmith did me great wrongs. There are people that oppose Paul. There are people that oppose Pastor John. I mean, we have been in the full-time ministry now for 22 years, and we know people in the church oppose us. Right, they opposed him.
14 Alexander the coppersmith did me great wrongs. The Lord will pay him back; the Lord will pay him back for his actions. 15 Beware of him yourself… You see, so there’s a responsibility for us in a congregation to beware of people that are opposing Pastor John. 15 Beware of him yourself, for he opposed and resisted our message very strongly and exceedingly. (2 Timothy 4:8-15 AMPC) Praise the Lord. Praise the Lord. Well, I’m done. That’s what the Lord wanted me to bring this morning. The work of an apostle. God works with us.
People who pray for him. 1 Thessalonians 5:25, 25 Brethren, pray for us. (1 Thessalonians 5:25 AMPC). 2 Thessalonians 3:1 and 2, Furthermore, brethren, here is Apostle Paul speaking to his churches, not other churches, his churches, do pray for us that the Word of the Lord may speed on (spread rapidly and run its course) and be glorified (extolled) and triumph, even as [it has done] with you, 2 And that we may be delivered from perverse (improper, unrighteous) and wicked (actively malicious) men, for not everybody has faith and is held by it. (2 Thessalonians 3:1-2 AMPC)
Hebrews 13:18, 18 Keep praying for us, for we are convinced that we have a good (clear) conscience, that we want to walk uprightly and live a noble life, acting honorably and in complete honesty in all things. (Hebrews 13:18 AMPC). So, glory to God. He wanted me to read you The Work of an Apostle.
The Greek word apostolos is one who is… Everybody knew when Jesus used the word apostolos, all the Greeks, even the unsaved Greeks, knew what the word apostolos meant. Even the unsaved people knew what apostolos meant. Apostle. Apostle. Apostolos. This is what it meant; one who is sent away, personally selected, sent on assignment on behalf of a very powerful government, empowered, invested with authority, dispatched to accomplish a special task; an admiral of a fleet of ships. The word apostolos at that time was a naval term that described an admiral, the fleet of ships that travelled with him, the special crew who accompanied and assisted an admiral. The fleet would be sent out to sea on a mission to locate territories where civilisation was non-existent.
You have to understand that we are all with Pastor John in this Apostolic Mission. We’re all with him. You have to understand that he’s got a crew and his crew are the people that God has brought to him and planted here with him to do the apostolic work with him. That is where your reward for eternity lies. Not because you did something great in the world system apart from the Church and apart from spiritual leaders. Your eternal rewards are because of what you did on earth in the Church with your spiritual leader. You will get the same rewards as Pastor John if you do your part. Pastor John doesn’t get a greater reward. Everybody that works together on this ship and does their part and pulls their weight and does their part gets the same reward.
So, the word apostolos at that time was a naval term that described an admiral, the fleet of ships that travelled with him, the special crew that accompanied and assisted an admiral. So, the fleet would be sent out to sea on a mission to locate territories where civilisation was non-existent.
Well, Witbank happens to be one of those territories here. Johannesburg happens to be a territory. God has not given us other territories. We don’t do what so many in the Body of Christ do, just because they can, is build a church in every city. God’s got to tell you where to go. You can’t just go where you want to go just because you can, and you got the means to do it. You’ve got to do what God tells you to do. You’ve got to go where God tells you to go.
Once the region was identified, the admiral, along with his specialised apostolic crew and all their cargo and belongings, would disembark, settle down, and work as a team to establish a new community. This would begin the process of transforming a strange land into a replica of life as it should be. Their purpose was the total colonisation of the uncivilised territory. Within the special fleet of ships were the personnel, the cargo required to establish a new culture, a new life, a new community. When that fleet pulled up to shore, it contained workers trained to build roads, construct buildings, teach uncivilised people, people who don’t know the Word, teach uncivilised people how to read, write and function in a new kind of society. Thus, the admiral became the team leader for the construction of a new society.
You see, Pastor John is anointed to be able to assign people to things, to see where people should go. Like this admiral, he knows where people should go and what they should be doing. When the fleet pulled up, it contained workers trained to build, teach, read, write, and function in this new kind of society. Thus, the admiral became the team leader for the construction of a new society, and once the job was completed, they would go to a new territory and repeat the entire colonisation process all over again.
When the word apostolos is applied to New Testament individuals, it refers to God-appointed ministers who are called to lead believers to spiritual heights and depths of revelation that are unattainable without the apostolic ministry. A New Testament apostle is given revelation of truth and deeply spiritual experiences filled with insight. If a person or a group of churches was connected to a particular apostle, they had access to spiritual truths they wouldn’t have been able to obtain on their own. In this sense, an apostle was a spiritual passport that gave believers a rite of passage into heavenly realms and deep spiritual truths.
An apostle is a personal representative, a person who had the authority to act on behalf of the government who sent him. So, when the apostolos spoke, his words were counted as the words of his senders. When the apostolos acted, his actions were interpreted as those of the sender. The connection between the sender and the person who was sent was almost inseparable. A spiritual leader: an apostle is a spiritual leader whose insights would take people from one realm to the next.
We have to know what’s available to us. We have to know what to expect this gift to do. Hallelujah. Glory to God. A spiritual leader whose insights possessed supernatural knowledge and insight unavailable to the average man. So, you cannot say, and no, you are not average; you are a born-again son of God. I’m not calling you an average person. You are a supernatural son of God, born again! But God has predetermined and predestined for there to be apostles, prophets, pastors… God’s plan is for that to be there to bring powerful sons of God to maturity so that we can all work together and bring to pass the Kingdom of God on this earth as it is in Heaven. Hallelujah. Hallelujah. Glory to God. Hallelujah.
God wants you to see these gifts accurately. Whatever your perceptions have been in other churches of what spiritual leaders are, you have to can it all. You have to take on this that I’m teaching you this morning. This is accurate. This is according to God’s Word. His God’s personal representative. He has the authority to act instead of the one who sent him—a spiritual leader. The word apostle in New Testament times was already a word. Apostolos was already an old word with quite a lengthy history because the world system knew what that word meant.
So, It says here; When people in the early Church heard or read the word Apostle, they understood its meaning very well. An apostle was a person specially selected, specially commissioned, specially sent to represent the Lord. An apostle arrived on the scene with a mandate, a vision for establishing the church in a territory. He was a pioneer, an adventurer – I mean, I know Pastor John so well in all these things, pioneer, adventurer, overseer, coordinator. A leader is responsible for colonising a region with the Word of God and the culture of the New Testament Church. Glory to God.
The culture of the New Testament Church and of Jesus’ culture, Jesus’ culture and what He’s building. An apostle provided passage from one spiritual dimension to another. He would literally take a church to new levels in its spiritual growth that it could never reach apart from the apostles anointing. The apostle is authorised to speak and act on the Lord’s behalf, like an ambassador who represents his government to another government, with the backing of God’s Kingdom behind him.
I want to just add this to you. He is not perfect. He’s not perfect because he’s not Jesus, the Apostle Jesus, but God will back him anyway. That’s exactly what God did with Moses. When God said, speak to the rock, and he hit the rock, God still let the water come out. He dealt privately and personally afterwards with Moses, but He will back the leader. That’s why people who murmur against the leader. Do you know what you do when you do that? You just stifle your own growth, and you stop your development right there. You’re just not going to develop any further than that. You just stifle your own growth right there because you’ve got something to think and something to say because you saw some kind of humanity of the leader. That’s not God’s way. He’s used to have a sympathetic understanding of the work of this apostle.
Alright, so an apostle, an apostolic anointing would literally take a church to new levels in its spiritual growth. He was authorised to speak on God’s behalf, with the backing of God’s Kingdom behind him. As the envoy for the Risen Christ, he had the anointing, the authority and the spiritual backing to get things accomplished. I’ve seen God with Pastor John. I’m telling you, God just backs everything that he does what God tells him to do. He backs him. An apostle is a man of divine revelation, not just an implementer of pragmatic ideas and strategies, though he is an implementer of pragmatic strategies and ideas too. It’s a very complete package gift.
It’s wonderful. I’m amazed sometimes because my gift is like that, [Pastor Sharon gestures with her arms a straightforward line] you know, it’s like that. Pastor John’s is like that [Pastor Sharon gestures with her arms a broad area] just like that. Not just an implementer of pragmatic ideas, but he carries with him supernatural insight and revelation, vital for the growth and the building up of the church. I think I’m going to finish with this. The apostle is uniquely graced to encompass all five ministerial offices as and when needed. The apostle is uniquely graced to encompass all five ministerial offices as needed. You see, here’s this apostle on the ship. Here’s the work that must be done. Here are all the people that are with him, and God says, I’m going to show you when you need to do this, you’re going to flow in that anointing when you need to do this and this, because I need the job done.
The apostle is uniquely graced to encompass all five ministerial offices as needed in order to establish an Ecclesia, a Church and develop the ministry gifts within believers. Shoo, I can park there. Ahh hah. I’m going to read it again, though. The apostle is uniquely graced to encompass all five ministerial offices as needed in order to establish the Church and develop the ministry gifts within believers. That’s why he knows what needs to happen in the worship team. He knows what needs to happen in the music ministry. He knows what needs to happen in the Bible school. He knows what needs to happen here with the help’s ministry. He knows what needs to happen here with missions. He’s uniquely graced. He’s uniquely graced.
You don’t want to want what he wants. You want to know what you have been uniquely graced with, on this ship, this fleet of ships that we work together with this apostle, to get God’s job done. Hallelujah. Hallelujah, because my reward is going to be equal to Pastor John’s reward, as I walk in what God wants me to do to help him in what God has assigned him to accomplish in his lifetime. All of us. If we walk like that, we will get the same reward as Pastor John. This is very real people, we’ve had a very wrong perception of ‘Somebody in the ministry’. We have to love them. People, we must love him, and have an intelligent recognition of his work and, and support him in it. This is not something you know, like we do in, like people do in the world. It says this is a real job that’s got to get done for God, while we’re alive on earth. Because these people coming after us, we don’t know when God’s going to wrap it all up. But I want to be found accounted, my part with Jesus, with my spiritual leader, because that’s how God sees my life.
God does not see my life of how much I achieved in the natural world. He doesn’t. He sees my walk with Him in His Church, with His spiritual leader, what I did there, that’s where my eternal rewards and your eternal rewards lies. For a time, the apostle will operate prophetically to do the work of an evangelist in a pastoral capacity too and as a teacher. He may minister consistently as a pastor-teacher. That’s our Pastor John, right? But it will be with a higher level of authority than the pastoral or teaching ministries. That authority is God-ordained and demonstrated in the manner in which the apostle establishes, builds up and develops the believers. You see, his anointing must be very all that so that we can develop all that in all that, you see.
God’s put that all in him so that whatever we need, we need for our development comes to us. Praise the Lord. Praise the Lord. We want all these things to function through Pastor John so that we can all come to maturity and all come into the fullness of our callings and everything because that’s where our eternal reward is. When I die and go to heaven, there are my rewards. I mean, I already get my rewards on earth, He does, He rewards you already on earth, you know, but my reward is in Heaven for eternity that I lived accurately according to God’s pattern in His Word for Him. [Pastor Sharon laughs] I live according to His pattern in His Word the way I was supposed to in His Church.
He may minister consistently as a pastor or teacher. That authority is God-ordained and demonstrated in the manner in which the apostle establishes, builds up and develops the believers, which is so crucial for people to recognise and see the Lord in His Church at large so that He can build according to the will and plan of the Lord for the local church. Only a divine endowment of patience and endurance can give a person a sufficient measure of strength and courage to keep him pressing forward when it seems as if all of hell is raging against him.
Apostle Paul testified that the hupomeno ability to stay put while laying a foundation and then building upon it, which includes establishing divine order, strengthening the saints, often in the face of potential discouragement or intense opposition, is both remarkable and supernatural. Thus, he listed this attribute as the first sign that always accompanies true apostolic ministry—a sent one. He was sent to Witbank, it was confirmed by Brother Jerry, it was witnessed by Brother Jerry. Sent, he was sent to Johannesburg. Glory to God. We are all in with him, right? Glory to God.
I know you all got something out of this; this morning. See, this is a kind of a, quite a meaty teaching this, this is not ‘Que Sera, Sera, whatever will be, will be’. This is so that you can understand the seriousness of who we are in the body of Christ, right? Hallelujah. All right, won’t you just stand with me and let me pray with you, please.
Hallelujah. Father, thank You. Thank You for what You have transmitted to us this morning. Thank You for what You have opened our eyes to, Lord. Many of us You’ve just initiated something in us. I thank You that You will bring each of us to a full understanding of the responsibility that lies upon our spiritual leader to flow all the time in everything, for all our development Father, and all our growth and all our maturity in the Church in the Ecclesia, so that Jesus may be glorified. I thank You, Father, thank You for Your blessing that rests upon Your people, that they are blessed going out, Lord, they are blessed coming in, Lord. They are the head, and they are not the tail. They’re not the tail. They’re above and not beneath, Lord. I bless them all. I bless them all in the mighty Name of Jesus. And we all say, Amen.
Thank you, everybody.