Joseph Prince - Leadership Keys (NCC Leadership Conference)
This the crucial point that I want to bring across is many people, they think that they're building a church of grace, but they don't get the DNA, you know? They don't realize that we are strong on correction as well among our leaders. Now, you don't correct the members that come if they are living in sin and all that. Keep on feeding them, keep on feeding them, amen. But if they are in positions of influence, you deal with it if they're living in sin. They don't realize that. They think that having a grace church is just, you know, anything goes. No, it's not. But once you preach grace strong, you will find that there's less correction. I can hardly remember correcting my leaders for lifestyle sins or living in sin. The correction nowadays is more on your communication or you shouldn't be saying it that way or there's a better way of, you know, that kind of thing.
And it's amazing: grace, grace does that. Grace teaches people from inside. You preach grace and grace will teach. Grace is an amazing teacher. Remember what I shared the first night about Sarah, grace? Sarah don't have to invite Hagar (the law, represent Mount Sinai), don't have to invite Hagar into the house to raise up Isaac, amen. Grace is an amazing teacher. So, is there correction, all right, in the body of Christ? Yes, if God loves you, he will correct you. Hebrews 12, he corrects you, but not like the way some people teach correction, you know, chastisement, God gives you car wrecks, accidents, you know, God give you diseases to teach you a lesson. No, it's not that kind of thing.
God corrects you, how? With his Word. But what the Lord has taught me is not just... because people who need correction, many a times, are not exposed to the Word. They might be believers, but they have left church. They might be believers, they are not listening to, you know, watching TBN or Daystar or whatever. They're not watching, and you know what? Definitely they're not cracking open the Bible. So, how will God correct them? Circumstances, circumstances like Jacob, not diseases, not car accidents. Like, for example, in Hebrews 12 you read carefully, "No chastening for the present seemeth joyous". You cannot put "Bible reading" there. You cannot say, "No Bible reading for the present seemeth joyous".
I know that number-one way God corrects is through the Word, but it's talking about circumstance. Circumstance can come up in such a way that you get frustrated all the time until you say, "Lord, you know what? I want to go back to church. I want to start listening to the Word again". Correction, because he loves you, amen. A good father will always correct his... I love my son too much to let him get by with that, amen? And I'm sharing all this because I want you to catch the DNA. Now, we don't, and pastors, don't use the pulpit to hide behind the pulpit, to, you know, "That guy is, yeah, he's here today on Sunday. Okay, he's been doing this or been sharing that, you know, how I want to get to him". And you whack the entire church, you know, to get to that person.
So, don't do that. The pulpit mainly is for feeding, not for beating, amen. Feed, feed, feed, don't beat. Is there correction in the feeding? Yeah, sometimes it's within the teaching, amen. You see it. Like the one night, I think one session we had, you know, you're changing your mind all the time. That's correction, correction, correction in the way you think towards God, repentance towards God, the way you think about God, amen. You think that, "I'm here to serve him". No, no, God wants to serve you, then you can serve him effectively. So, it's like your mind is changing, right? That's correction. But mainly the kind of beating I'm referring to is they really whack, man. It's like ba-ba-ba-ba-ba-ba-ba, they slap 500 people to get that one person. Why don't you have the guts to go to that one person? Deal with that one person. If it's a leader, don't hide behind the pulpit.
Go to that one person or get your leaders. When our church was smaller, I did it myself. My leaders learned how to do it from me, then they do it now, amen. But if any leader is living in sin or whatever, we correct, we correct. We always prepare who is the best to talk to them, that kind of, we correct. Jesus says if your brother sin, bring someone with you, amen? You correct him; then, doesn't listen to you, bring someone with you. In the mouth of two witnesses, it shall be established, right? Are you with me so far? Is this helping you? So, there's correction. There is, you know, and you'll find that you'll build a glorious church. But the mainstay of the pulpit is not, it's not correction. It's feeding, feeding, feeding. And don't get distracted from that main call. Your people are hungry. They might not look like it, like, you know, a lot of my church people, you know, excited, you know, happy, amen? Right, Lawrence? Right. Lawrence will express it. You hear Lawrence voice, right? The only voice, the only voice you hear.
But believe me, your people are hungry. When you go to the pulpit, you must have that confidence, regardless of how they look, that they are hungry. People are hungry. They want to hear something that will feed them, amen. And no subject is better than the Lord himself. He's the bread of life. You can share a lot of ways. But again, we are making sure that the Lord is our central, like the two disciples at Emmaus, the Emmaus Road. Think about it. Jesus, on the same day he rose from the dead, he took time with the two. I mean, on the same day. That morning he rose from the dead, all right, he was walking with the two, because he's setting us an example of what to do on a Sunday. And they were depressed. They were talking to one another, right? And then he came say that, "Hey, why are you sad and talking to each other, you know, in a sad way"? "Have you not heard? Are you a stranger in town? How this Jesus of Nazareth we thought a prophet mighty in words and deeds, that God, you know, we thought it was he that should redeem Israel".
So, he is a means to an end. Israel is in their center. We thought it was he that should redeem Israel. Maybe your focus is, "I want my church to prosper," all right, prosperity. Jesus is a means to an end, amen. Or signs and wonders or a ministry of... Jesus is a means to an end, but that occupies your heart. It is not the Lord in the center, and the Lord corrected that. The Lord corrected that. It wasn't that the Lord wasn't factored in in their conversation, it was that he was a means to an end. And the Bible says he told them, "O fools," that means ignorant, "and slow of heart to believe". So, the church suffers from either one of this. Either they don't know or if they know, they're slow to believe what they know. The correction is how? And beginning at Moses, he began to expound in them the things concerning himself in the Scriptures.
And you know the Bible says he hid their eyes from seeing him? For a while, he hid their eyes. And many years ago I asked the Lord, "Why do you hide their eyes? Why not you just", man, if it was me, I will like... You know, lift up your, you know? And then your scars, you know, your... right? They'll make them believe, right? And I told the Lord, "Why do you hide their eyes"? Never heard this, anyone push this. The Lord himself said to me, "Because it was more important for them to see me in the Word than to see me in person". Whoa, whoa. And then by doing that, listen, by doing that, he's giving equal opportunity to those of us who live during this time because we can see him in the Word, right? If they see him in person, you know, we say, of course, you know, they saw him in person. But his first example, he thought it was so important for us to catch this, that every Sunday, because he rose on a Sunday, all right, every Sunday it's an expounding in the Scriptures, the things concerning himself.
Later on, they say their hearts were warmed. And then, it's not enough, and this is why we do what we do. You don't have to follow us. I just think I got mine from Emmaus. At the end of the journey, seven-mile journey, they sat down and Jesus took bread. The guests became the hosts. He took the bread, he broke it, their eyes were opened, and he disappeared or ceased to appear visibly. He's still there. He cannot be visibly seen because they remember his death, okay, disappeared. And then they said, "Wasn't our hearts warm when he broke open the Scriptures to us"? So, we have expounding from the Scriptures things concerning himself, and we have Communion on a Sunday.
Now, you don't have to do it that way; I just think that in the book of Acts, they came together to break bread on the Lord's Day, remember? Paul preached very long, hallelujah. That is a perfect example, people, amen, amen. Paul was preaching and the Bible says he was long preaching. Eutychus, whose name "Eu" means good and "tychus" means fortune, good fortune, the church good fortune, fell because they stopped listening to Paul's preaching, okay? Now, having said that, I spent a lot of time in the gospels because in the gospels, I see the beauty of our Lord Jesus Christ. So, I'm not saying that Peter's books are not important. I'm just saying the full-out revelation of grace was given to Paul. Every Scripture is important, amen. But because of not listening to Paul, falling asleep on Paul's preaching, the good fortune of church has fallen, from which position? No unnecessary detail: third loft. We are seated with Christ in the third heaven where God is.
So, the church good fortune fell, and they're wondering where their good fortune went. So, what did Paul do? Don't forget, the incident opens up with, "And on that Sunday, they came together to break bread". And who was the guest speaker? He was in town. Who was the guest speaker? Paul. Didn't even say they came together to hear Paul, the greatest preacher of all. They came together to break bread. Wow, there must be a revelation about this that we are missing, amen? So, when I saw that, I began to study that even the typology, there were many lights, you know, that's another thing down there. And then the guy fell, Paul went down. It was a young man, the Benjamin generation. It was a young man, amen. He went down there, he hugged him the way Elijah hugged the young child that was dead, the way Elijah did it, amen. You must not just teach from a distance. They gotta feel your embrace. Pastors and leaders, they gotta feel your embrace. They gotta feel that, "That pastor cares for us. We are important".
Is this helping you? He embraced the young man. And the way to revive this Benjamin generation is to preach the gospel of grace that Paul preached, the same gospel until it embraces them, amen? And the same word "embrace" is used when Peter preached in Cornelius's house, the Holy Spirit fell. Look up the word "fell". Fell is the same word as embrace, the same word the prodigal son's father ran and embraced his son. It's the word "embrace". It's not fell, the Holy Spirit fell. The Holy Spirit embraced them all at what point of the sermon? All of us in the Word of faith, we are very familiar with Peter's sermon, the point where it says how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power, who went about doing good, healing all that were oppressed of the devil. Am I going too fast? Slow down, okay. That verse, we are familiar with that verse, but we're not familiar with the verse through him. All the prophets witness that through him, you receive forgiveness of sins. While Peter spoke these words about forgiveness of sins, the Holy Spirit embraced them and embraced them to the point they started speaking in tongues. Amen.
So, Paul embraced that young man. And Paul says, "Don't worry, his life is in him". Now, I believe he died. I believe Paul raised him from the dead. His life came back. Or you can use the typology for people who are saved but they're sleeping, okay? Then if you were Paul, what would you do? It's been a long night, number one. You have preached for a long time, right? Somebody fell, yeah, come on. Somebody fell and the guy died. It's time for the service to zip, right, to culminate, come to an end, am I right? You know what Paul did? You know what Paul did? He brought them all up again with the boy and took Communion. Think about the priority. They took Communion. When Jesus raised Jairus's daughter from the dead, you know what? In Hebrew, by the way, y'all know, right? He said the words in Aramaic, Hebrew, "talitha cumi," and it's left there in our English Bible. That means the Holy Spirit wants us to learn.
Now, tallit is the prayer shawl. When he says "talitha," "tha" usually with a "hei" at the end, it's a feminine, feminine word. In other words, girl under the tallit, "cumi," arise. Cumi, arise. And we see that prayer shawl, that tallit is Jesus's robe of righteousness. He was on his way to raise Jairus's daughter from the dead. Remember that? "Yair" means enlightened one. There are people in Israel today, even rabbis, they're enlightened and they want the touch of Jesus. So, Jesus has come to raise young Israel from the dead, or you can say the young generation, amen. On the way to Jairus's house, amen, the house of Israel, a woman came behind and touched him.
Now, this is a picture of the church that is bleeding. The church is bleeding. Isaiah says all our righteousness are as filthy rags, and filthy rags is actually the Hebrew for soiled sanitary napkin. That's the word, you can look it up, which means that woman, as long as she was bleeding, number one, she needed that sanitary napkin, okay? It's a picture of the church suffering from self-righteousness. Doesn't say our sins are filthy rags. Our righteousnesses in the Hebrew, plural, are filthy rags. Our self-righteousness is filthy rags. Are you listening? Our righteous is filthy rags.
Number two, as long as she's bleeding, she cannot conceive. She cannot bear fruit. She cannot produce. Does that tell you why the church is not producing? So busy establishing her own righteousness. The pulpit talks about your righteousness that the church is suffering. There's no fruit. And the more they preached, the more they say, "Try harder". The more they, you know, that kind of... there's no fruit. But she came in. She was desperate. No one could minister to her. She came behind and she touched Jesus, the hem of his garment. And you know that during that day and age, they have to wear (Numbers 15), they have to wear the prayer shawl with a blue tassel, and the blue tassel is the word "tekhelet," the blue tassel. Tekhelet is from the word "kulah," which is finished.
That's the word Jesus cried. If you're wondering what he cried, in the Greek it says In the Hebrew, he would have cried out in Aramaic. He would have said, "kulah," that is in the New Testament of my Hebrew friends in Israel. I asked them, "Look it up. What does it say"? It says, "Jesus cried with a loud voice, 'Kulah.'" "Kulah" is tekhelet, the blue tassel. She touched the finished work, amen, and what happened to her? Her bleeding stopped. Her bleeding stopped. Twelve years, twelve year, twelve year. The girl was 12 years old, and she was suffering for 12 years. Whenever you see 12, 12, you know that it's the typology already. Twelve is the number of government, administration. You know that this woman represents an administration which is the church. This lady here, young girl here is 12 years old, is also Israel. And today Israel is young. The Israel that came back, right, is a young Israel today, predominately all young people, amen.
Then Jesus turned to her, Jesus turned to her, amen. I love this one. I love this, pshew, amen. Jesus turned, because in the Old Testament, God only showed his back parts. Moses only can see God's back parts. God was always going. God was always leaving because man was always sinning. Only see God's back parts. But Jesus turned around so that she will behold the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ, amen. He had to turn around. And what did he call her? The only woman in the gospels, he called her "daughter". Now, the other one is daughter of Abraham, but directly daughter, daughter. She's the only one. "Daughter, be of good comfort. Your faith made you well. Go", in the Greek, not go in peace. There are times he said go in peace, "en," but here it's "eis", go into peace.
In other words, stay in the realm of shalom. Go into peace. Whatever caused her bleeding most likely is a state of restlessness, amen, a state of stress that produced that condition. I'm just expecting because Jesus says, "Go into peace. Go into Shalom, wholeness, peace," amen. He wanted her, because if she took from behind him, she always think that, "You know, maybe he didn't want me to have it. I took it". You know, but he turned around to make sure that she sees in his eyes he loves her, and he wants her to have the healing. No wonder he can say, "Go into peace," and it was easy for her. Then someone came to Jesus and said to someone else and said that, "Trouble not the Master, your daughter is dead". Jesus says, "Fear not, only believe". He went all the way there.
Here is where you'll find he put them all out, and he only took three with him besides the parents, Peter, James, and John. Peter means stone. James, Yakov, means replace, supplant. John means, come on, grace. The stone has been replaced by grace, brought Peter, James, and John, amen? And you find these three also in Mount of Transfiguration, these three also in the Garden of Gethsemane, and there's a reason for that. And he raised her by saying this, "Talitha". The same robe that woman touched, his robe of righteousness, he took it out, he throw it over her and said, "talitha cumi," and the Master of life and death, amen, spoke the Word and her soul came back from the dark recesses of the dead, amen. She came back into her and this is what Jesus said, "Give her something to eat".
That's why... you thought I forgot it, I didn't forget. I'm just telling you once they are raised, they are the grace generation, amen, feed them, he's the only one that realized the need. I mean, the parents were so excited. You know, parents, you thought the parents are the first one, right? If it's Chinese parent probably will say, "Feed". All right, that's Hokkien, all right. I told you, right, in Asia they say, when they meet you they say, "Have you eaten," right? But they are Jewish parents. Jesus is the only one who said, "Give her something to eat," like something spiritual. Once you are raised from the dead, what do you need? So, be a feeding center. Be a feeding church. Be a feeding ministry. Feed, feed. Don't worry about leadership. Don't worry about ten things to do, a hundred things to do administratively and all that.
Your first priority, leaders, your first priority, pastors, is to sit at his feet and listen and receive. Let him serve you the bread. Let him serve you the bread. And you know the Bible says, Jesus says, "If any man thirst, let him come unto me and drink and drink". Drink is not draw. Many a times you go to him to draw a sermon for others. We go to him to draw something for others. You can draw water for other people and don't drink it. You can draw and you still are dying of thirst, amen, whereas others are... no, he said, "Come to me and drink". Drink is a very personal thing. Drink is personal consumption. Drink is for yourself. Drink is for you. You don't think about others, you just drink. Come to him and drink and drink and drink and drink. Then out of your belly shall flow rivers.
Now, rivers of living water, they are for others. They are for others. Now, you know, sometimes in a situation in a conference and all that, I feel like running away from the green room so that I can be alone because I need that kind of thing. I can't understand pastors who, you know, I understand like some pastors, they'll preach, I understand. I'm not saying it's wrong, okay? They preach the same sermon everywhere they go, right, okay? But for me, I need to hear what the Lord has because that one thing needful is very needful. So, sometimes in that one sermon is a combination of a lot of sermons coming in, but it's still a different sermon. You get what I'm saying? But drink, drink. Lim, Lawrence, lim. Keep on drinking. "Lim" is Chinese for drink, Hokkien, Hokkien, Hokkien. Chinese, "he," he, he. Remember, "hee-haw". Keep on drinking and out of your belly will flow rivers. Rivers are for others, living water; not just water, living water. People will be refreshed around your presence, they'll be refreshed; that's how you feed.
Pastors, prioritize this. Leaders, prioritize this. Don't let the devil distract you with many good things instead of the feeding ministry. You know, Jesus, when he rose from the dead, remember, by the Lake of Galilee, and this was two weeks after. No, one week after Emmaus, excuse me. Yeah, the week after. Not the same Sunday. And it's interesting, isn't it, that in the Gospels we find him appearing to the disciples from Sunday to Sunday. There's no record he appeared on a Tuesday or a Thursday. Sunday to Sunday. What does that tell you? Every Sunday, be expecting. Now, again, we don't glorify a day, but there must be a reason. He rose from the dead on the seventh day, right? Which... no, it's the first day. The seventh day is Sabbath. He rose from the dead on the first day, actually, of the week, am I right? Or the eighth day, spiritually speaking, is the eighth day, is a brand new day. It's called the Lord's Day.
So shabbat, Sabbath, ends on Saturday, right? Sunday starts a new day. Am I right? So for them, they have to work, the Jewish people. They have to work and then they rest. The Lord wants us to rest first, first day of the week, and then we can work, right? So it's important for people to understand every Sunday matters. You don't attend church for one Sunday, all right, you become a Thomas. Thomas didn't attend one Sunday, remember, and became an unbelieving believer. Am I right? And the Lord appeared again the next Sunday. By the way, those who want a proof of his deity, one of the places is this place where he says, "Reach out your hands and see my wounds". And what did Thomas say? "My Lord and my God". If Jesus is not God, he cannot receive that. He has to rebuke Thomas. No, he's God. Are you with me so far?
The next Sunday, okay, he was by the shores of Galilee. They were fishing. You know the story, right? And then the Bible says that he says, "Have you caught anything"? "Nothing". They thought it was a stranger at first. And then one of them realized it's the Lord. Who is the one? It says, "The disciple whom Jesus loved," amen? In other words, there's a fourth time that phrase appears. Every time it appears, there's a truth, and the fourth time it appears, it says, "The disciple whom Jesus loved said". Didn't say "John". "The disciple whom Jesus loved said, 'It is the Lord.'" So whenever you practice, you are conscious of the Lord's love for you, you become someone of quick discernment, quick perception, faster than anyone else because you're conscious of the Lord's love for you, amen? Then Peter, what did Peter do? He jumped into the water to swim towards Jesus, right?
Now, by the way, it's not recorded for us, but there are verses that say that when Jesus rose from the dead, he gave instruction, "and Peter," remember that? And then later on, the Emmaus Road disciples came back. In fact, after Jesus disappeared, all right, went away from being visible, amen, they took Communion. They went back seven miles' journey to Jerusalem to join the other disciples to tell them that they saw the Lord. But when they came into the Upper Room, they said, "We saw the Lord". They saw the Lord as well. And they said, "And he has appeared to Simon," same day. So that interview is kept from us. No one knows about the interview. We think the Lord corrected him by the shores of Galilee. No, that's restoration to ministry. The correction, it was veiled from us. Even Paul said in 1 Corinthians 15, he says that "Then when he rose from the dead, he was seen of Peter". Mentioned Peter, then the disciples, then the 500, amen?
So Peter has been restored, but it's one thing to be restored in your conscience, another thing to be restored in ministry. So this time, Peter jumped into the water to go to Jesus. Let me tell you this, when he first met Jesus, one of the first time he met Jesus, he was more conscious of Jesus or his sin? His sin. When Peter first met Jesus, one of the first time he met Jesus, not the very first time but one of the first times, still new to Jesus, Jesus gave him a net-breaking, boat-sinking load of fishes; what did he say? "Depart from me. I'm a sinful man". What was he conscious of in the presence of the Lord? His sin. So three and a half years after that, now we are here, right?
Again, boat's full of fishes, large fishes, 153, they drag it to shore, amen. By the way, there's something else. I was studying this some years ago and the Lord, every time I study, you know, the Bible is amazing, isn't it? When you study the Bible, it keep on talking to you. And there are things that you thought you had exhausted that portion; it keeps on talking to you, amen? So I saw that the Bible say he swam towards Jesus. By the way, he swam towards Jesus. If he's still sin-conscious, if he's holiness-conscious, he would jump the other way, away from Jesus. He jumped towards Jesus. Now, what is he conscious of? The Lord's holiness, amen, he's still holy, don't misunderstand me, or the Lord's love? So it seems like when he was not mature, he was conscious of the Lord's holiness. When he has grown in the Lord after three and a half years, he is conscious of the Lord's love. And they tell us that holiness, all right, is the university level.
Grace, "Yeah, we know grace is wonderful, Pastor Prince, it's so wonderful. We are saved by grace, amen, amen, but". There's always a "but" coming, you know, there's always a "but" coming, you know? And invariably, they try to portray it as holiness is greater, it's maturity. Nothing could be further from the truth. Because God gave the law first. And when Israel was under the law, God calls them "nepios" in Galatians, in the Greek. "Nepios" means infants. Infants need laws, laws of holiness, amen. But when grace came, all became sons. So grace, I submit to you, is maturity. Doesn't mean we don't become holy, but grace will teach us how to be holy. But just don't compare grace like a kindergarten stage and then holiness is this stage. "Pastor Prince, it's good that you preach grace to the people and all that, but you must understand there's more. Must go farther". No, my friend, you go deeper into grace. Grace is the new covenant. Grace is maturity.
Like I said, some years ago, I saw that and they put in the, you know who pulled the fish by himself? The whole load of fishes. You know who pulled the fish by himself? Don't think you read that before, no. Peter. Peter went and... have you ever dragged a dragnet. You know what's a dragnet? It's one thing to have a fishing rod. I know many of you, "Man, I'm telling you. I love the tug of the fish". No, I'm not talking about fishing rod. Talking about dragnet of a boat. And you know when it's full, you know, water especially doesn't move freely. And then you've got to drag the entire thing. Peter alone did it. That means there's an effect. When he realize he sees the Lord, there's an effect on his body. He became strong. He dragged the entire thing himself. Whenever you're in the presence of the Lord and you see Jesus, there's strength. There's strength. Don't just limit the strength to spiritual. Strength in every dimension. Strength. Strength is strength. You're not just a spirit being, amen?
Do you have the strength to endure my strength in preaching to you? Are you sure? Amen? Can your...can your feet take some more, amen? Pat, pat. You okay? You need extra padding? It's such a waste, amen? You come here just for three days and then before you know it's over. It's our last session's this evening. And Jesus sat down with him and Jesus asked him this question: "Peter, do you love me more than this"? I used to think that "more than this" is referring to the fish. Do you love me or all the fishes there, right? "Peter, do you love me more than this"? But then I realized that in the Upper Room Peter actually said, "Even if all these," the disciples. He said it in front of them. He said, "If all these should deny you, I'll never deny you. I'll never deny you". So now the Lord says, "Peter".
Now, he's telling the Lord what? "I love you more than this," right? You all know my teaching, that he represent the believers who boast about their love for the Lord. And John boast of the Lord's love for him, amen? So he says, "Even if all these deny you, I'll never deny you. I'll love you. Where you go, I'll follow. Even to prison and to death". He said that in the Upper Room in one Gospel, "Even to prison and to death". So the Lord says, "Do you love me more than all this"? He did a Lawrence... "Do you love me more than all this"? "Lord, you know I phileo". In the Greek, you see it in the Greek; in the English you don't see it, it's just "I love you, I love you," but actually in the Greek, it distinguishes, "I love you". You know that I used to tell you that "I agape you," the self-sacrificing love, I give up everything for you. Lord, I realize I love you at this level where I'm fond of you, I'm affectionate towards you. I like you. That's phileo.
At the level of phileo, the Lord says, in other words, in essence, he's saying, "You realize it's not your love for me. It's my love for you". So even at the level of phileo, at the level of you liking me, how many realize we don't really esteem and appreciate and value and love the Lord the way he's supposed to receive it? No one can appreciate the Lord more than the Father can, no one. None of us, none of us. All of us. We are learning to esteem the Lord and we think we have arrived but I'm telling you this, that's why in the meal offering, Leviticus chapter 2, he talks about the flour offering, fine flour. It speaks of the character of Jesus, the bread of life, all right? Nothing, and even when you touch fine flour, it's so fine, it's so you can't even, like, sense anything, you know, you touch it, like, it's more than talcum powder. It's fine flour. It's the person of Jesus. There's nothing uneven. No one characteristic of him, no one attribute overwhelms another. Not one characteristic preponderates. When he's kind, you know, he's not servile.
When we are kind, it's almost like we are, you know, servile. Even the disciples were afraid to ask him questions about who is the greatest. They're with him every day. He's not servile, even though he serves. But he's not proud, even though there's dignity. When you look at Jesus, such a beautiful thing. Like, when he raised Lazarus and Jairus' daughter, amen? There's such a balance in his beautiful character that you see. The rest are all rejoicing. He looks at the girl. "Give her something to eat". The timing, the beauty, the moral beauty of our Lord Jesus, the official glories of our Lord Jesus, the wonderful person of Jesus, that's why our hearts can rest when we see him, because you know why? There's no one on earth like him. All the celebrities fade in oblivion. All of us, we all have feet of clay. I told you all, never put anyone on a pedestal, all right? Paul dropped himself like Gideon dropped the earthen vessel. And drop ourselves. Don't have to worry about our reputation in front of people. Let 'em see Jesus, amen?
Our hearts can rest. Little gestures like this. I love it, like, for example, when Peter says, you know, "Lord," you know, in one of the Gospels, said, "Lord, this should never be to you, going to the cross". You know what he did? In that one Gospel, he turned around and looked at all the disciples before he answered Peter. It's almost like he says, "Don't go to the cross? Then what about all this"? Everything he does is just so beautiful. Even his actions emits a fragrance that only the Father can appreciate. That's why the Leviticus 2, the flour offering has frankincense. Frankincense is perfume. It smells so nice, but you know something? When it's burned on the altar, the offerer takes a handful to burn on the altar, the offerer. But none of the frankincense, only the oil, because he's anointed of the Holy Spirit, and the flour and the salt. He does not take the frankincense. He burns it. You know what it means?
By the way, a handful means all of us have different perceptions and the way we see Jesus is different. Our handful might differ. Lord, give us bigger hands to receive more, amen. To grab some more, to apprehend more, of the wonderful person of our Lord Jesus, amen? We pray for greater capacity. He cannot be greater. You say, "Jesus gets lovelier". Actually, we are changing, amen? So, no frankincense because you know why? All frankincense goes to God, all the meal offering, frankincense, all goes to God. Only God can fully appreciate every thought, every look, every gesture, every word, that the Son speaks on earth. Every movement emits a fragrance to the Father. That's why the meal offering, it says, is a sweet-smelling fragrance to God, 'cause it reminds the Father of his Son, amen. Isn't he wonderful, the Lord? Give him praise, c'mon, hallelujah. Thank you, Lord.
And he says to Peter... we've got ten minutes more, I'm gonna let you go. Or we've just let go of the dinner, lah, huh? Hah, I got you worried for a while. I saw your face. I saw your face, Lawrence. Lawrence's energy goes low by evening time and then when he's in front of, you know, food, especially meat, all right, beef especially, man, he talks so much. I never hear him talk so much except when he's in front of food. It's always the same, especially beef. Am I right or not? As the joy returning, so don't worry, eh? I will let you go, okay? The Lord look at... he says, "Do you love me more than this"? At the level of phileo, he says what? "Feed my lambs". So the lambs are the younger ones. But he says, "Feed them". This is the youth ministry also, am I right? Then when Jesus threw that tallit over Jairus' daughter, I believe this is happening all over the world. I believe he's throwing his righteousness over this young generation.
The generation that they say is hopeless, is hard, is beyond, because you know what? They have access to stuff that we never had access to. They're exposed to sin at a earlier age and all that. In other words, they are saying, "It's a dead generation". Jesus would throw his tallit, amen, his robe of righteousness, over this dead generation and they will arise again, amen, amen? And all over, I'm seeing him raising this generation. And what they need at this time is feeding. "Feed my lambs". And then he asked again. This is restoration to ministry. He asked, "Peter, do you agape me"? Again, he asked, "Do you love me the self-sacrificial love"? So second time he asked, "Lord, you know that I phileo you". Now he has learned a lesson. It's not his love; it is the Lord's love for him. At the level of that he says, "Shepherd my sheep".
Now, it's a different word here. It's not "feed," it's "shepherd". But notice, "Feed my lamb" come first, then "Shepherd my sheep". "Shepherd my sheep" is tending to them, you know, a shepherd tends, which means you shepherd or have oversight. Literally, the word is having oversight. You see what they need in the spirit. And again, it come back to food again 'cause the mainstay for the flock is food, amen? But once a while, a shepherd must step back and see where's the flock going to? Is there water there? Is the water too rough, too wild, for their comfort? They want to drink, amen? He has the oversight. So that's a shepherd. The word "episkope," overseer, and Peter says, "Feed the flock of God". Later on, he wrote in his epistle, "Feed the flock of God," whom God has appointed you an overseers, whom God has appointed you episkope, having a scope over the people. Literally, the word "scope," our English word, come from there, overseer, oversee, amen? Not for filthy lucre, not for money. Don't do it for money.
So you see, rich or poor is the same. I'll tell you something, okay, and my leaders are here. I'll tell you, I used to and still I don't spend that much time with people who are rich in our church. I don't have special meetings with them, and you know what? They don't mind. Our people are so well taught now, they don't mind, amen. It's just me. You know who I spend time with? Pastor Mark, Pastor Lawrence, Pastor Daniel, Pastor Gideon, and what's your name, bro? And James Dean here, yeah. And you know why? I enjoy being with them. It's just that, you know, I used to have a bad attitude. I don't even want to go out with them at all, and then the Lord corrected me and the Lord says, "Do you know that I invited myself to a rich man's house"? I said, "You did, Lord"? He said, "Zacchaeus's house".
Many a times, you must see them as people with needs as well. It can be pride not to go with. But it's something else when a pastor spend too much time with only the movers and the shakers, you know, in business and people who are celebrities or whatever it is, you know? I think we've got to be careful that we don't go, people are watching. Your flock is not stupid. Not for filthy lucre. Not by constraint. You know what that means? Not because, "Oh, I have to, I'm a pastor," right? And the story of a woman who woke up her husband to go to church. "Wake up, wake up, wake up. It's time to go". "I don't wanna go". "No, you gotta go. Why don't you wanna go? It's a great church". The wife said, "They don't like me". "Who told you they don't like you"? "I know. They don't listen to me. You've got to give a good reason why I must go". "You are the pastor". Okay, so it can happen, right?
There are times you don't feel like going, you know? And you feel constrained. You know, I was, "Oh, I gotta do it because, you know, after all, I'm drawing a salary, I'm a pastor, I'm expected to". It's very sad if your life come to that place that you have to by... don't do it by constraint, Peter said. So he said, "Feed the flock, willingly, for then you will have a reward. You have a reward". Then finally, he said, "Peter, do you", now, you know what he did, the last question? "Do you phileo me"? He came down to his level, and he says, "Lord, you know all things. You know all things. You know that I only like you". And the Lord smiled at him and said, "Feed my sheep". Feed my sheep. What an honor, what an honor. The mouth that denied knowing him is the same mouth that stood a few days after, amen? Fifty days after, on the Day of Pentecost and preached. Three thousand people were saved.
And you know what he preaching on? You know what he preached? Look at what he preached on the Day of Pentecost. He told the Jewish people, "You denied the Holy One. You denied the Holy One and the Just". He was so righteousness conscious, he was so full of the revelation of grace, that he can point his finger to them and, "You denied the Holy One". So we've got to be so, you know, full of grace that our past doesn't affect us anymore. It's not what you were. It's what his grace has made you to be. Can I have a good "Amen"? Okay, let me just drop this into your spirit because we wanna close on the... actually, I don't, I cannot close on David because... and I can't close either. I don't know how to close. You know, y'all pray for me because one of my afflictions and they're all laughing now because they know it's a true affliction. Pray for me, okay, amen? I don't know how to close, amen? Probably you all realized that. But it's a good weakness because when there's weakness there is his strength, amen.
So let me just give you this nugget before we go for our dinner. David, back to David again. When David, you saw that he was anointed with a horn of oil. When the first king of Israel was anointed, he was anointed with vial of oil. And the oil comes on the head. So vial in the book of Revelation is a picture of the wrath of God. The angels poured the vial of the wrath of God. So David was anointed with a ram's horn, the death of the male ram, Jesus Christ, amen? And then you find that "the people followed Saul, trembling". The people that came to David, actually they were the 3D army, right, in distress, in debt, discontented, but they became the mighty men. They become giant killers like him. But there's something else I want to leave you with and you need to see this, is that when David was out there, he brought bread. He's a picture of our Lord Jesus Christ, another wonderful picture of Jesus.
The father sent him with bread, cheese, provisions, for his brothers. The Father sent the Son, and the first Coming of our Lord Jesus, he came as a child, amen, as a baby born in Bethlehem, was first to the house of Israel. Don't forget, amen? He says, "Don't go to the Gentiles. Go to the house of Israel". Only when he was rejected, then it became for the whole world. Now, of course, God ordained it that way, but it's got to be the Jew first. He's to fulfill his promise to the Jew first. Are you with me so far? So the father sent David for the welfare of his brothers. Just like Joseph, the father sent Joseph, remember that, for the welfare of his brothers? The brothers were camping somewhere. He sent Joseph.
So again, it's a picture of Jesus. Can you see it? Then, when he was there, he saw the giant. When Jesus came, he sure was intimidated. The world was under the tyranny rule of the devil, Satan, and David killed him with one stone. Actually, to fight, you use a sword. But he didn't use a sword until the man was dead, right? He cut off his head. He used a stone because he was blaspheming the Lord, and the penalty for blaspheming is stoning, amen. So David used a stone. It went right into his head, and the giant fell, and the Bible says, you know, it's not like all these stupid romantic movies and horror movies, you know, monster movies. The monster is killed and the guy kiss the girl. No, cut off his head because, I'm telling you, he always gets up, amen? I don't watch horror movies but when I was young I watched some horror movies, you know? And always, invariably, the monster wakes up, okay, while they are kissing, all right? You're always, like... So, cut off the guy's head. Cut off his head, amen?
David knew better, amen. He knew how to get ahead in life. So he took Goliath's sword and he decapitated Goliath's head. He raised up the head and all Israel shouted. They chased down the enemy and, very interesting, I like this kind of little details, I don't know why. It's just me, all right? It's for my own consumption. But I never knew that I'll be preaching on all this, you know, and so I love to study the little nuances in the Bible. It says that David kept the armor of Goliath in his tent, amen? But he went to Jerusalem. So the armor is there, but where's the head? He brought the head to Jerusalem. But the battle is outside Jerusalem. It's way, miles outside Jerusalem. Not that far but, you know, a number of miles, but we've all been there.
When you go to Jerusalem, it's quite some... why did he bring the head there? He must have had a revelation, because later on, the place where he buried the head began to be called Gal-golia, the burying of the skull of Gol-lia. Later on became corrupted as time goes on that, places, names, become corrupted. It became Golgotha, the place of the skull. Whose skull? It's the giant. Where Jesus would be crucified. The greatest Son of David, conquering a greater Goliath for all of us, amen? But this is the thing that I wanna leave you with. When he was at the battlefield, when Goliath came out and, again, went through his tirade and boasting in pride about how, you know, he knew he was a fighter. He knew that no one can come close to him. It's like the flesh is so big, it screams so loud, you can be so easily intimidated. But our battle is the Lord's. It's not based on the arm of flesh, amen?
So you know what David did? By the way, this is what I want you to see. The brothers came to him. His brothers are warriors. David is a shepherd boy. This is what the brothers said. Watch this, this attitude I don't want you to have. God has entrusted you, all of you, with the flock. But you look at New Creation Church, you look at other churches, and you see that, you know, and you get discontented with your people. Don't do that. People are people. They're all precious to God, okay? If you're not gonna steward the people under you, why would God trust you with more? And God is always on the lookout for someone who loves the flock, to entrust them. He will recommend to people in dreams, including desires in their heart to go to your place. But if he knows you're not feeding, you don't have the food, you have this attitude. What attitude? The brothers' attitude. Look at this attitude.
I know none of you have it, I'm just saying, okay? "Now Eliab his eldest brother heard when David spoke to the men; and Eliab's anger was aroused against David. 'Why do you come down here? With whom have you left those few sheep...'" few sheep. Really? Number one, we're not told it's few. Most likely, it's not few. And Jesse was quite well off. He was a great-great-grandson of a rich man, Boaz, who married Ruth. Nowhere it says a few sheep, but the attitude. "You're not a soldier". But out of that spite came out this, "And the few sheep". That's how a non-shepherd spirit is like. "Ah, just a flock". Don't have that. Well, what did David say about the flock? Drop down. When he was in front of King Saul, this is what David said to King Saul. "David said to Saul," the king, "'Your servant has been keeping his father's sheep.'" They are my father's sheep. They are my father's sheep. Don't look at people, go, "Ah, they're just, you know, same people giving me same problems". No, they're the Father's sheep. And God is entrusting you with them, amen? To give you the oversight.
Yeah, c'mon, praise the Lord. Give him praise, hallelujah. And you see that in David's attitude. Just one lamb being taken by a lion, did he just say, "Well, you know what? Ah, just one lamb. Just one, you know. I got many other". Was he willing to let that one go? No, he went after the lamb, man. Got hold of the beard, the mane of that lion and killed the lion. And after that was the bear, right? So let me just ask you, before we go, you know, deep down in your heart, don't have to put up your hands, all right, but what is your attitude towards your flock, your work, your ministry? Do you say, like, "Oh, this little work, this little sheep, this few sheep"? Or is it, like, "My Father's sheep, and I'm so privileged that I am given this honor, amen, to oversee them, to feed them, amen".
I know there's challenge, I know, just like I shared yesterday. Sometimes, strange things happen to you before you preach. But don't let it rob you of the Spirit. The whole thing is to stop you from feeding the flock. Once again, by the show of hands, how many find there are challenges sometimes? Funny, funny things happen? Or you have a quarrel with the missus, you know? Or things happen that normally you don't do, all right? It happens just before, any of you? Like, I told you sometimes in the middle of the night you get up, and your heart is beating real fast. You think you have a heart attack or what? I know some of you went through that before, all right? Or you're about to preach and the middle of the night you wake up. You don't know why and you can't go back to sleep and you're supposed to sleep because you need the energy, you need the rest, but you're awake, you're wide awake. Who woke you up? Attack, amen?
So I know. But I ought to tell you that the devil is so afraid of your feeding ministry, all right? Of feeding the people that are coming. He knows who is coming. If he can smite the shepherd, what's gonna happen? The sheep will scatter. By the way, that is said of our Lord Jesus. When they came to arrest him, it is written, "Smite the shepherd, and the sheep will scatter". Hey, listen. Our sheep does not have to scatter because he was smitten. That was written about him. He was smitten, amen? So always think, "Lord, you took this smiting," amen? Our warfare is to rest. But once you recognize it, at least you know. But as long as you don't see it, you're, "What's happening? What's happening"? Definitely it's not God. God wants you to rest. But realize it's a warfare. And that ought to be, listen carefully, ought to be a compliment to you 'cause the devil does not kick a dead horse, amen? So just thank God and now you know why you quarrel, right?
Ladies, if you're a wife, understand your man, all right? In other words, no heavy conversation when weekend is approaching. Wendy and I have an agreement. We don't talk about heavy stuff. It gets too heavy, okay, chop, peace, time out, amen. I'm serious, I'm serious. The same, yeah? Oh, she said it, in the luncheon yesterday? What else did she say? Okay, anyway, good things, okay, praise God. No, it's okay, I know my wife. But you know, we are in a spiritual warfare. It is a warfare. It's a spiritual warfare. It's all the devil can do, distract you, amen? By the way, just let you know, "smite the shepherd, and the sheep will scatter," is in the context of Zechariah. "Arise O sword". God is talking. "Arise O sword," all right, "and smite my shepherd".
Do you know this, the last occurrence of sword in the Bible? The first occurrence is a sword that cuts every way to the entrance of the Garden of Eden. After Adam and Eve were driven out, all right, there was a cherubim there with a sword that cuts every way. So the sword speaks of judgment. And finally, the last mention. This is the first mention of sword. The last mention of sword and I'll close with this. It's truly the last one. The last mention is in Zechariah, "Awake". God is talking. "Awake O sword, and smite my shepherd". And who is the shepherd? His Son. The sword was sheathed in the heart of his Son at the cross, amen? So the way is open to us. God bless you, amen. Praise the Lord, hallelujah.