Water into Wine – Ps John & Staff Meeting
Scripture References: John 2:1-12 NKJV
[Pastor John speaking about Brother Jerry]
….in ten envelopes of a thousand dollars each and he sowed from his ten departments into Brother Copeland’s Ministry and he experienced a supernatural harvest. He preached that message around the world. That message had an impact on me and it changed my life.
This July will be two years ago. I woke up, it was two or three days after my birthday, I woke up with this great victory in my heart and this great praise and this shout of praise and the Lord just gave me the revelation of striking the ground. I had that revelation of strike for victory.
When the Lord placed that in my heart to strike the ground and sow seed into striking the ground… What happens is, when you get a revelation, when God places that in your heart, you have a spiritual momentum, you have a spiritual acceleration that must necessarily happen because of the revelation. So if you are obedient to the revelation then that acceleration must happen.
When you begin to live out your obedience there are many natural things that happen everyday that want to undermine your revelation and want to always drag you out of the redemption revelation into reason and reality. Every day you have to make a choice whether you are going to live in reason and reality or whether you’re going to live in redemption and revelation. This is an everyday choice and sometimes it’s not just an every day but a moment by moment choice.
Pastor Sharon and I were talking about it… Very often, when there is external pressure on you, the words that come out of your mouth are the most important things in that moment that matter. Even if your reason tells you these words don’t make sense to me, if your words are true, then you establish the truth forever in your life. If the words that come out your mouth are based on reason and facts, then those things change as facts change. As circumstances change, those things change. Then you never live by truth, you just live by the changing moment of facts.
I’m sharing all of that with you because as we went into lockdown and as the Lord has begun to accelerate many of the things that I have been striking the ground for. I’ve experienced a reality that is an obvious thing we have to deal with… The obvious reality is; there is a pressure that is coming and it is going to increase. It’s part of why I am calling you before this weekend that is about to happen. The pressure is going to increase, it is not going to decrease. As you get close and closer to what God is actually supernaturally increasing the pressure gets greater, it doesn’t get less.
The example that the Lord gave me that I want to share with you, for this weekend… Because I am believing for supernatural increase in everything we do; which means there’s got to be a supernatural anointing in the average things that we do that produces a supernatural result. We may not feel the supernatural increase, but the result is a supernatural result. What we feel is irrelevant. What we might see is irrelevant. It’s what God can do with what we do that becomes the relevant thing. Right?
The example that the Lord gave me and so I’m just going to read it to you because… and I’ll explain it to you for five minutes and then I’ll be done.
Jesus and His mother are at the wedding, right? And they ran out of wine. The mother of Jesus said to Him, 2 They have no wine. Stating an obvious fact, reality, reason. They have no wine. But the reality itself was actually causing her to make a demand on the supernatural. 4 Jesus said to her, “Woman, what does your concern have to do with Me? My hour has not yet come.” What does your concern have to do with Me? In other words you are making your problems Mine. Right? And He is saying, “Don’t make your problem Mine. This is not a problem that I’m supposed to deal with.”
She turns around and says, “No, actually I’m making my problem Yours.” Right? “I’m actually making my problem Yours. What’s more, is I’m actually making my problem Yours because all these people that I’m with, here, are my friends and my friends have trouble. I don’t have the trouble. So I’m making my problem, that is my friends’ problem, I’m making that problem Your problem and my problem.”
His mother said to the servants, “Whatever He says to you, do it.” She didn’t even wait for His answer, she just placed a striking demand. She struck the ground knowing that if she steps out with a strike, He cannot refuse a strike. Hello. Huh? “Whatever He says, do it.” She didn’t even ask for His approval. She just said, “He’s got the answer; I’m striking.”
6 Now there were set there six waterpots of stone, according to the manner of purification of the Jews, containing twenty or thirty gallons apiece. Gallons! So if, let’s just take the downsize, 20 gallons. A gallon is about 5 liters. So this is 100 liters per jar. This is not a small jar. This is not one guy that goes to pick up one jar. If you’ve seen stories the most likelihood of it was, they had poles through eyelets on the jars, most likely, and four people would carry the jar. Because you didn’t just carry a hundred litre clay pot filled with liquid. I’m trying to give you a picture here. So when she said, “Do whatever He tells you,” this wasn’t just, “You go do it, you go do it, you each pick up a jar and you go to the tap and fill it and bring it to Him.”
This was an entire mobilization of servants. Right? six pots, four people per pot. This is about the same as my A-team, right? It was an entire mobilisation of probably strong young men, more than anything else.They had to go and find the nearest water place where they could draw water out of a well because they didn’t have tap systems and they had to fill these jars with water. Process. Process. Technical detail.
What do you think is going through these guys’ minds while they draw bucket after bucket of water out of a well to fill the pots. Why? Because Jesus who hasn’t shown any miracles yet… Come on? Jesus who is not really showing, I mean, everybody knows He’s got this grand teaching ministry and He’s, you know, all of that. But He’s not been healing people and raising people from the dead. In fact, he told His mom, “My time has not yet come.” But if you strike the ground…
7 Jesus said to them, “Fill the waterpots with water.” And they filled them up to the brim. 8 And He said to them, “Draw some out now, and take it to the master of the feast.” And they took it. 9 When the master of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and did not know where it came from (but the servants who had drawn the water knew), the master of the feast called the bridegroom. 10 And he said to him, “Every man at the beginning sets out the good wine, and when the guests have well drunk, then the inferior. You have kept the good wine until now!” (John 2:1-10 NKJV) When did the water become wine?
The water became wine when they took the water out of the pot and they went and handed it to the master and said, “Here it is to drink.” They didn’t taste the water to check that it had become wine, neither did Jesus taste the water to check that it had become wine. The water turned into wine when they obeyed Jesus and took it to the ultimate tester of wine. The only one that really mattered as to whether they authorized this water to be served to the guest, that one, when they gave it to him, it turned into wine.
Here’s what I am saying to you, is that I am aware… So I tried to explain the process to you because if you imagine six pots where you fit in, or pour in 20-30 gallons of water filled to the brim. Which meant Jesus made sure they weren’t going to run out again. Right? They weren’t going to run out again. I’m just trying to explain to you that in the process of obeying Jesus there’s a lot of time, there is a lot of natural thinking, there is a lot of human reality that comes into the equation while you are drawing water out of a well, while you are taking this liquid that is just water into a jar, then you have to pick it up and carry it back to Jesus and now all these jars put in front of Jesus and now everyone is thinking… So why did we do this? How is this going to change anything?How is this going to change anything?
But it wasn’t actually even in their obedience of drawing the water into the wine. It wasn’t whether they actually decided, actually it’s beginning to taste like wine, don’t you think this is good? It’s a beginning, can you taste the beginning? There was no such thing and it didn’t actually matter to Jesus whether when they thought it was turning or it wasn’t, it was irrelevant because Jesus knew when they took the water and that wine master tasted it, that’s when God would do the miracle.
If you have been around church circles long enough you’ll know, to get that quality of wine from the beginning of planting a vine to actually getting the grapes, fermenting the grapes, actually maturing the wine is a minimum of 7 years right?
We’ll for me, I’ve sown and I have struck the ground with seven arrows. The maturity of time has come for me. We’re here. I want to tell you that it might not seem like anything that we are doing in the ministry is making one big impact on anything. Whether it’s a four minute morning collective greatness unseen enemy video clip, whether it’s a midday moment that we were having and now become Daily Disciple, whether it’s having a Sunday televised service or having Prayer Connect groups or coming into the office and working on the computers and putting in stuff and updating Slipstream information. It might seem like all of these bits and pieces are really just – “What’s the point?” Because none of it looks like it is really anything worth it. None of it looks like it’s really… is this anything great going on here? The reality is – I don’t care what you think. You understand what I’m saying? I don’t actually care whether you see the result or not, whether you think it’s turning onto wine or not. I really don’t care what it tastes like to you. All I care about is that you do what you do, what God’s told you to do. Because if you do what God has told you to do then the end result is what matters, and the end result is not what you taste; it’s what someone else in the world is tasting, that God has called us to touch. That process between ‘we’ve run out’, to ‘there is an abundance of great wine’; that’s all up to God and we just have to do the process. Shew hallelujah – this takes the pressure off.
When Brother Jerry came out with the Word for this year and he said Supernatural Increase and God’s going to open new doors and there are going to be new doors that we walk through… This is what he is talking about. You know he is talking about; you can’t walk through a new door, you can’t see a new result, you can’t have supernatural increase unless you are obedient to the Word that God gave you. If any one of them stopped being obedient to that simple Word that God gave them then they wouldn’t see the result.
I mean, there is no record of any of the people that served and fetched the water and served the wine, actually drank any of the wine. Because it wasn’t about them. It was about all the guests that were at the wedding that needed to taste the wine. Right? If we think that the anointing that we are operating in here is for us – we’ve missed the boat. Here is the great thing; they were part of a miracle, they got first hand to see how faith works. That no one else that was around Jesus got to see. None of the wedding guests that drank the wine got to see how a faith miracle happened. Those servants got to see how a faith miracle happened. None of the wedding, none of the guys drinking the wine, they’re just happy to drink the wine, they were drinking a miracle; they had no clue they were drinking the miracle and that’s the way God designed it. It wasn’t for them to begin to praise Jesus and to praise God for the wine.
Those guys that were obedient to Jesus, they got to see from the beginning to the end how faith actually turns normal, natural things into supernatural things in your life. There is plenty of time on any of that timeline to bail out, “This doesn’t make sense. It just doesn’t make sense, it’s not real, it’s not rational, it doesn’t make sense, what I am doing here doesn’t make sense. I’m just carrying pots and filling pots with water, this doesn’t make sense.”
This weekend, from Garth to the singers, the musicians. I’m telling you I have been having conversations with Pastor Sharon. I am so glad God brought anointed musicians, skilled musicians into our lives, but their skill without anointing means nothing. Really, then it is just a performance. Right? I certainly don’t want anybody in my life that is just bringing skill. I want people in my life that bring skill that is ready to be obedient to what God said to do. Otherwise you are going to just say “Listen I’m going to drop… I’m going to walk away from carrying this jar and have someone else come take my place.” Right?
So what I am saying to you all is that you are already carrying the jars, you’ve been pouring water, you’ve been carrying the jars and so when we hand out the water to the people, we don’t know what impact we are having. What you’re doing, you can’t tell from where you sit. What God is doing with what we are doing. It might just seem like Pastor John is doing another four minutes and Pastor Sharon is doing another prayer connect group and we’re going to have another worship weekend and we’re doing all this work for another music video. So what?
It’s not for us to determine how much God is going to use it. The value is in what God does with the end result of it, our business is not to actually try to turn the water into wine, and that’s the mistake that we try to make in our lives. We want the wine, right? We want the wine, so I must do something to make the wine. No, your job is to be obedient to what the Word says and then the wine comes.
God is the only one who can accelerate that time and accelerate that process. I wanted to encourage you today to have your faith out, you know that when you’re putting up the set and when, this weekend, we’re standing behind cameras and when, this weekend, in the first part when we’re recording music and in the second part on Sunday when we’re serving the people and some of what we serve the people is going to go via electronic media to other people in JHB and other places. It might just seem like the same old task that we’re doing as we always have been doing but this is an important thing that I wanted to share with you. Please understand that you are carrying water pots. Please understand that you are being obedient to the Word that God gave us and it’s not our business to actually make wine. It is just our business to be obedient and let God make the wine.
I’m saying this to you because, and I wanted to just finish off with this thing about pressure. When Jesus said; “Take the pots and go fill them with water to the brim”, you know, when you go to the pot, there is not much pressure happening here, the pot is empty and actually you have spent no energy, there’s no real investment yet. Are you with me? Little pressure because there’s no investment. But when you pick up the pot and you walk to the well, now you are starting to invest and as you are walking, the pressure is increasing because your mind starts to say; “Why am I doing this?” When you have invested 20 pulls of water out of the well to fill the pot, now 80% of your investment is done, now the pressure is greater because I’ve got to carry this heavy thing back to Jesus. “Why are we doing this? Why are we doing this?” The pressure is on your mind, the pressure is on your energy because now you are carrying the full pot. Come on, and that heavy weight, that’s on your shoulders and this thing of carrying a full jar of water to Jesus. Every step you get closer to Jesus; “Why are we doing this? What on earth is this investment going to mean? How are we going to get…What for?”
When you put the pot down; “Okay my investment is over but I still don’t know why this is happening.” Then the pressure is on the one person that Jesus chose, it’s not clear, but probably one person from each jar, “Take this to the wedding master.” Now this guy is carrying this thing that is just water from the well.
Do you understand the pressure now? This is a whole different level of pressure to when you were just walking to the water jar to go pick it up to take it to the well. If you think that the pressure gets less the closer you get to your miracle, always the pressure is more. When the result turns out to be the God result for your life the pressure gets more.
Here is the thing, the next minute when God, when the miracle is revealed, if you’re one of those fortunate people, then you have learned something about God that very few people get to see. Those guys had an observation about the power of God at work; from words to activation, to expectation, to making a demand on the Spirit, to making a demand on God’s miracle-working power, to the obedience that is involved, to the pressure that comes with it to everything. That’s how it works. I mean I don’t know if they saw, but they got to observe first hand the miracle that God could do.
Everything that we do, we have to be aware that we actually are just instruments in God’s hands. What we can’t afford to do is to ever think that what we are doing by carrying water pots is just ‘stuff’. That’s the biggest threat that we face when the enemy lies to us that what we do in the ministry is just ‘works’. This is not just work, this is work with assignment. That is what Jesus assigned them to do, the miracle needed to happen, the work you do needs to get done so that the miracle can happen. The assignment is the miracle. The work was just there to get the miracle done.
Supernatural increase, seven years, supernatural increase, not just seven years, but seven years that produce the best harvest, the best cultivar, the best, best of the best. Not just sommer a result; the best of the best.
This is why I believe and I certainly see this happening. That there are many many people around us, that may be as individuals you may not be aware of it, but actually what is coming out of this ministry is beginning to be recognised by many people that what we are doing is of the best. The most important thing to me is how it’s touching people’s lives; that’s the best result. That’s the best result.
So that’s all I want to leave with you: I’m believing God, I’m believing that this weekend, as with the other weekend that we did recording, that the post production that is busy happening of the music that’s going to become music videos that is going to go out… It might look like just another video like other people do videos, a music item. I’m just wanting to say that Jesus didn’t set Himself up to compete with the other cultivars of vine or the other vintages of wine. There was no competition in His heart. He was just obedient to make provision. But when He does it, it becomes the best, not because, I mean it’s subjective… isn’t it? I mean it’s subjective I mean who determines that it’s the best tasting wine, right? Because it’s what it tastes to you, it tastes different to someone else. Right? It’s subjective, there is no competition here it’s only; here’s the Word of God and it will be the best for whoever it needs to be the best. Amen!
What we do… We just have to be carrying the pots, putting in the water, being obedient to God and then He is going to make it supernatural. The increase comes from Him. Right? I mean if you had said to me even a year ago, we’re going to celebrate over 100 episodes of TNB by this time… We would not even have been on TBN I would have said. Well maybe a year ago I would have said, because it was happening about a year ago, but I mean if you had said that Denholm, Nick, Riaan, all these guys would have been in the ministry and they are going to come for the message not just because of the music, I would have said; “How is it possible?” And here we all sit. Striking the ground, supernatural increase. I think my half an hour is up.
From this day onwards if there is anything that happens, we can refer to ourselves as jar or pot carriers or jar fillers of water. No, I mean it, because I am happy to make our stuff mundane because out there in the world everything is about strategy and how clever and how you have to maximize opportunities and how you have to do all of that and influence comes into the Church and so the Church has to find, reach for a higher standard to show how brilliant we can be so that we can match the world’s excellence. When actually, none of that mattered to Jesus at all. He took pots that actually were designed for people to wash the dirt off their hands. He took those and said go and fill those pots with water and let’s see what happens and he makes the best wine with those pots.
It’s not about how good your strategies are, it’s not about how clever you are or me or how much cleverer we are than someone else. Whatever we got, God gave us and all that we do, if we just understand that all we have to do is carry pots and fill them and then that’s when the supernatural comes that’s when the miracle comes.
When we have more time I’ll talk to you about living life in the miracle versus experiencing the miracle, because I want you to understand that at some point, Jesus lived a life of living in the miracle whereas the people that were actually serving Him only experienced the miracle. I don’t know about you but I don’t want to be the one that looks on while the miracle happens, I want to be the one who is living a life of miracles. That it isn’t now, any more, a miracle; it’s just an expected outcome of what you obey God with.
Jesus did not for one-second doubt the Father was going to do what He needed to do to turn the water into wine, not for a second. He lived in the miracle from the moment His mother began to speak he was living in the supernatural increase. From the moment His mom said, “They’ve run out of wine.” “So what’s your problem got to do with Mine?” He was already living in the supernatural, He didn’t even doubt if she makes a demand and she strikes… It will be met. He was living in the supernatural with the miraculous, the outcome was always a sure thing. The guys who carried the pots were always in doubt.
Carry that in your heart when you are working this weekend, next week when you are working. I really want you to be aware of the fact that you are a carrier pots, that you are filling jars, because the rest is actually just up to God. If I see myself as anything more than that, then actually I am depending on myself. All I am is a jar carrier, I just do a different thing. Then we give Him the glory because we can’t change the outcome.
So what do you think?
Isn’t that one of the best places we can be in – right in the middle of God making miracles; turning water into wine?
When the guys are making music, I am not looking at them as musicians, I am looking at them as pot carriers, water fillers; that’s what they do.
Praise the Lord.