Joseph Prince - Understand The Times
It's exciting as we dive into God's Word today to see what God has for us. It is something I call prophetic preaching because we are touching on what God is doing at this time. Praise the Lord. So, sit back, relax, and listen with a hearing heart, amen. Just one Word from God can change your life forever. You know, God has ordained that by the foolishness of preaching, to sozo, to save them that believed. And that's interesting. Every time I read that, you know, I get encouraged, just by the foolishness of preaching. Now, it's not public speaking that saves. It is the preaching, preaching of God's Word that saves. And the word "saves" that is not just saved from eternal destruction, but saved in the here and now from your diseases, from your temporal troubles, amen. The word "saved" there is all inclusive. It's also same word that Jesus used, right, for heal when he says, "Your faith has sozoed you. Your faith has healed you" to the one who just got healed.
So, by the foolishness of preaching, God's delivery goods is delivered to you through the means of preaching. And thank God he says, "By the foolishness of preaching". It's not foolish, but it's foolish in the context of what he's sharing there. Paul was talking about people of the world see foolishness in preaching, just standing up there, people's lives are transformed. Yes, if they are preaching the Word of God. So, it appears foolish but God has ordained that by the foolishness of preaching, not the foolishness of preachers, thank God, but by the foolishness of preaching to sozo, to deliver all his salvation goods to the people that hearing and believing, amen. May you hear and receive what God has for you today. Praise the Lord.
I want to open up with a testimony that came in recently and just to remind you that this is the purpose, this is the reason that we are preaching the gospel of grace. There's only one gospel, people, it's the gospel of grace and peace. It's never called anything else, but the gospel of grace and peace. That's how Paul calls it. In one place, he calls it the gospel of grace. And in Galatians chapter 1, he says, "I'm shocked. I marvel that you are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel". So whatever is not the grace gospel is another gospel. And Paul's pronounced a double curse on any one preaching any other gospel than the gospel of grace. So, I decided a long time ago that I don't want to come under the double curse mentioned in Galatians chapter 1, but to come under the double blessing as a preacher of the gospel of grace, amen. And this was the gospel of grace can produce. This is a sister from Delaware, United States. She shares:
I have been a Christian since my college ears. One day, I happened to see Pastor Prince's book "Grace Revolution" in a store. I had heard of his name before and decided to buy the book. As soon as I began reading, my eyes opened and a fire burned in me like never before. I didn't know how hungry I was to hear the true gospel of grace. The desire for alcohol, that had consumed me regularly since my high school years, just went away. I have also stopped smoking and have abstained from premarital sex for a year now, something I've always wanted to be able to do. My caffeine consumption has also drastically decreased. I know it was the Holy Spirit that led me to be at the right place at the right time to buy the book that has changed my life.
Now, this book is only effective because it's based on the Word of God, amen. It is the opening, the expounding of the Word of God, especially the gospel of grace, amen, that has changed this young girl's life.
I'm so on fire for the Word of God now and so glad God chose Pastor Prince to deliver the truth that is so desperately needed. I have read so many of Pastor Prince's books and have shared his teachings with many others. I am now able to read the Bible with a deeper understanding. I'm excited about my new walk with Jesus.
So, you see, friends, if the gospel of grace is preached, it must produce a life of victory, a life of holiness, a life to the glory of God. Like this lady who has been indulging in premarital sex, when she heard the good news, God just delivered her from that. The want to's are there. You know, God is not into behavior modification. He's into life or heart transformation from the inside out. So, while we are trying to change people's behavior, their hearts are still not in the right place. But God goes for the heart. For where your heart is, there will your treasure be. So, sometimes people's hearts are in the right place, but their actions are wrong. Allow them to grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ, and those things will just fall off, amen. Holiness is a byproduct. Holiness is the fruit, but grace is the root. If we are preaching the gospel of grace, holiness will be the fruit, amen, wholeness as well and health and well-being, shalom, in every area of your life. Praise the Lord. Thank You, Jesus. To God be the glory. God brings good out of darkness, amen.
You know, the riddle that Samson shared this riddle, which I believe is a riddle from God where he says, "Out of the eater come forth something to eat, something to feed. Out of the strong come forth something sweet. Out of the eater come forth meat or food. Out of the strong come forth sweetness". So, God can take all the difficult things and the dark places of your life, and the eater here, which was a lion that Samson killed, is a picture of the enemy who goes about as a roaring lion. And God can bring out good and sweetness and food for you out of all that the devil is trying to do in your life, amen. Even though he has done something, he has managed to do something in your life, out of that mess, out of that carcass, out of that dead places, out of the eater will come off food for you. Out of the strong, that lion that's dead, amen, that devil that has been conquered regardless of what he has done in your life, out of what he has done, God will bring something sweet. And he always does that.
When Adam and Eve fell, who would have thought that when God restores, God will restore greater. Before Adam fell, Adam had authority and dominion over the earth, but now, through Christ, man has been restored to a higher position, which men never had before. Today, for those who believe on Christ, we are joint heirs with Christ and we're gonna rule the universe. In the time to come, the kingdom of God expands and its greater than just the Garden of Eden or earth, amen. And man is now in a greater position. He was innocent before he fell but today, we are not innocent, but we are the righteousness of God in Christ, amen, at the Father's right hand, so close to his heart, all because of God's grace. Nothing by our works, nothing through our accomplishments, it's all the gift of grace through what Christ has done for us at the cross and in his resurrection, amen. He became the man, the forerunner.
And God says that "whatever this man does will be credited to your account. I will take whatever he does as what you have done". And therefore, when Jesus died on the cross, God says, "You died with him on that cross" when God raised Jesus from the dead. And that death is to be celebrated because he took everything that is of the old man, that part of you that caused you to be suicidal, that part of you that caused you to be discouraged, to be resentful, to be moody, to be angry, that part of you, even the old body that causes you to be sick, amen, to grow old, right, all that, old things are all borne by Jesus Christ. Although the body part will happen to us when Jesus comes again, but it's all redeemed at the cross, hallelujah. That's what the Bible says. "If anyone be in Christ, he is a new creation, old things are passed away".
So, celebrate the fact that you have died with Christ at the cross. The Apostle Paul says, "I have been crucified with Christ. Nevertheless, I live". How is that so? Because not only is the old man, the old you has been crucified, that part of you that is sabotaging your own self, that part of you has been crucified, that sinful part of you has been crucified, that part of you from home is like a cesspool of filth and uncleanness. All that has all been finished off at the cross. You gotta believe that. It's been done. It's not going to be done. It's been done, and we are to reckon it so. Praise God. On the other hand, the Bible says, like Paul says, "Nevertheless, I live," we rose with Christ. So, when Christ rose from the dead, God says you rose with him, hallelujah. You rose with him, I rose with him, a new creation. Praise the Lord.
Old things are passed away, all things are become new. And not only that. The Bible says not only he raised Christ from the dead, God told Jesus, "Sit on my right hand until I make your enemies your footstool". And guess what. The Bible says we are seated with Christ because whatever Christ did, he didn't do it for himself. In fact, by virtue of the fact that he's the Son of God, as well as the Son of Man, he could have gone back to heaven any time, amen, and be with the Father. But he did everything as man, as the forerunner, as the new federal head, just as Adam was the federal head that fell and all mankind fell in him. Whatever he was heir to, okay, not just the sins, the sinful nature, but also all the derivatives of it, sickness, growing old, aging, dying, all that came through the first Adam have all been finished at the cross. And now, a new federal head has come, the Lord Jesus Christ, amen. God sent him to be the head, and the Bible calls him the second Adam.
All right, the first man, he brought in sin, brought in destruction, brought in disease, amen. Now, the second man brings in righteousness, life, and wholeness, amen, and that life, eternal life. Praise the Lord. And we will see him again face to face. The Bible says that part of salvation that he accomplished for us at the cross is our body, that we will see the fulfillment of it when it comes again. Praise the Lord. I'm gonna share with you right now that we are waiting, church, as many of you are, for the rapture. We are waiting now for the rapture, amen. And the word "rapture" is not in the Bible. Yes, but the Greek word "harpazo" is, and the word "harpazo" is the word "rapture," which means to seize, catching away of the church. Praise the Lord. And this truth was shared first by Paul. Now Jesus intimated, actually, in the upper room when he said this in John 14. Jesus says, "Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father's house are many mansions. If it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself". That's the Rapture there, right there. "That where I am, there you may be also".
Now, it was the Apostle Paul that elucidated on the Rapture. And it was the Thessalonians Christians, all right, the Christians of Thessalonica, that he first uncovered this mystery to. Because you see, just like I shared just now, out of all the dark places, God brings forth sweetness, God brings forth food. And out of the ignorance and the darkness that the Thessalonian Christians were under, and at that time, they were under this, they were ignorant to the fact that were feeling a sense of despair over their loved ones who have passed on. And they felt like they only understood about the Second Coming of Christ that was prophesied by Isaiah, Jeremiah, Haggai, and all the rest of prophets in the Old Testament. They only have an idea of debt coming, not the Rapture. And they felt like now their loved ones have passed on, that their loved ones will not be part of what God will do, amen, of the bliss and the happiness that Jesus will bring.
And Paul, in writing this 1 Thessalonians, the first letter to the Thessalonian Christians, he dealt with this. And this is what he said: "But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus". Now, listen to this. "For this we say to you by the word of the Lord". This is not just Paul's figment of imagination or his own interpretation of the Old Testament Scriptures. This is the Word of the Lord. The authority of God's Word is behind the Rapture. "For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up (harpazó) together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words".
Not only that, church, the Bible says when the Rapture happens, we'll have a brand-new body. We're not floating around like spirits, disembodied spirits. No, we'll have a brand-new body. And in Philippians chapter 3, this is what Paul says by the Spirit. "For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ". Notice, church, that the Christian position is not looking forward for the grave, not looking forward to die, to grow old and die, okay? The Christian position here is very clear, from which we also eagerly wait, for what? "For the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body". And his glorious body will never grow old. His glorious body is not subject to sickness or disease. His glorious body can transcend time and space. It can appear and disappear, and it can appear far away. It transcends time and space. "According to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself". Hallelujah.
And it says again in 1 Corinthians 15, "Behold, I show you a mystery". The Rapture is a mystery. You know, people say things like, "You know, the Rapture is a new teaching". And hey, even from the time of Matthew Henry, that great commentator, he talked about the Rapture, amen. The Rapture has been uncovered. But, you know, you don't have to refer to this theologian or this commentator and all that. You just go to the Word of God. What you just read just now, is this the Rapture or not? It didn't say that we have to wait for the Antichrist to appear, then we who are alive be caught up together to meet the Lord in the air. In fact, the Rapture is a mystery. In that sense, mystery, in the New Testament whenever Paul talks about the mystery, when mystery is mentioned in New Testament, it's the word "musterion". It means something that was kept secret, something that was kept hidden in God but is now revealed, something that was kept hidden, but it's now revealed.
So, the Rapture is one of the mysteries that was kept hidden in God. In other words, you cannot find the Rapture in the Old Testament. You can find examples of it, but not the teaching of it. Isaiah didn't prophesy about the Rapture. Haggai didn't mention about it. All right, all the prophets, Joel and all that, they never talked about it, okay? So, it's not taught in the Old Testament. It was hidden from them, amen, but it's now revealed. Now, the reality of rapture was in the Old Testament, okay? It was Enoch walked with God, and Enoch was not. He was translated, amen. God just caught him off, amen, caught him away. Praise the Lord. And Elijah is another one. The Bible says Elijah was translated without seeing death. Him and the chariot of fire came, and he was translated just like that. So, the reality of rapture was already there in the Old Testament, but the teaching wasn't. So, the mystery is now revealed. And this is what Paul says in 1 Corinthians 15, "Behold, I tell you a mystery".
Again, a mystery is something previously hidden, but it's now revealed. "We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed". When the Bible talks about sleep, it means to pass away, okay, to die. But believers don't die, you see? So, we fall asleep. It's like falling asleep. Believers, the sting of death is gone for the believer. "We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed". Notice that for the Rapture, there are those who teach that it's a partial Rapture. Some believers will be raptured, some won't. Some will be left behind. But notice here in this verse 51 it says, "We shall all, all, be changed, all". The criteria is just, are you born again? Are you a believer in Christ?
It's not matter are you a carnal believer, a spiritual believer, a new believer, an old believer, whether you are extra holy compared to other believers. No, no, no, there are those who teach that only those who are specially holy, right, those who know about the prophetic timetable of God, will be the ones who are raptured. No, the Bible doesn't say that. It says we shall all be changed, okay? The only criteria is that you are born again, okay? Just like a magnet, if you put, you know, paperclips that are metallic and you put toothpicks, you break them into pieces and you put them amongst the paperclip, and the magnet comes down, which one will it attract? It will attract all the metal, metal clips, right? Because why? Metal. Now there could be an old metal, some are new metal, some are rusty metal, some are shiny metal. It doesn't really matter. Some are crooked and bent out of shape; as long as it is metal and it's not wood.
So, wood there represents sinners, but believers, it's like that metal. As long as you are born again, when the Rapture comes, you will go up. Praise the Lord. You'll be caught up. First of all, God transforms your body, amen, your lowly body, that body that is subject to decay, to destruction, like unto his glorious body. When you think about the Lord's body, wow, praise the Lord, it's a glorious body when he rose from the dead. And he can, you know, appear and then disappear, which means what? It's faster than the speed of light, amen. And the whole universe is your playground. Praise the Lord. And you never tire. You'll never be sick again. You'll never feel bored again. And you stay young and strong and powerful and energetic forever. Forever is a long time, folks. Praise the Lord.
Ah, the Rapture, any time it can happen. All right, you know, the Rapture is not subject to the fulfillment of any Bible prophecy. No. In fact, that is Second Coming of Christ, amen, the signs that shows, now there is a difference. I'm gonna show you presently the difference between the Rapture and the Second Coming of Christ, or the appearance of Christ after the tribulation. These are two separate things. But for the Rapture, it's not dependent upon the fulfillment of any Bible prophecy. It can happen any time, any time it can happen. Praise the Lord. And all of us have this sensing in our hearts, believers. No one knows the day nor the hour, but we all can sense like any time soon, soon, soon. There must be that sense because in the parable of the ten virgins, it talks about the cry going forth. "Behold, go you out to meet your bridegroom," remember? And all of them woke up, right, and they were aware of that cry. So, before you meet the bridegroom, there is a cry.
And I want to be one of the voices that cry out, "Behold, go forth to meet your bridegroom". So, you have a sense your bridegroom is coming. And who are we meeting? Not not a judge, no, no, no. You're meeting your eternal lover. You're meeting your bridegroom. You're meeting the wonderful Lord Jesus Christ who saved you by his blood, who loves you and loves you still. Praise the Lord. You're meeting him, amen. And when you see him, the Bible says, you'll be transformed. All this will happen, as we just read, in a moment, in a twinkling of an eye. Now you see the twinkle, now you don't. That's it. That's how fast it is. And the world won't see this happen. Like we read just now, we'll meet the Lord where? In the air. We'll be walking on air. Praise the Lord. We'll meet the Lord in the air and so shall we ever be with the Lord. And then we also read that when that happens, he will transform our lowly bodies like unto his glorious body.
Oh man, look at that believer, that Christian who is lying in the hospital. He hardly can talk. His body is racked with pain. He has that disease that the doctor says he has only a few weeks to live. Look at him right now. He's just, you know, like flesh and bones, that's all. And you look at him and you think to yourself, that's so sad. It's so sad to see someone like that. But when the Rapture sounds, if it sounds in the next moment, you will look at that same person, and he has a glorious body, hallelujah. Oh, come Lord Jesus Christ, hallelujah. You look at that person in the psychiatric hospital, he's lost his senses. He doesn't even know who he is or where he is. And but he's a believer. Once upon a time, you know, there was a time when he had his possession of all his senses. And but now, he's lying down there on the bed, hardly recognizing anyone. But when the Rapture hits, look at that man. He will rise with a new body, with a new mind. Hallelujah. Praise the Lord. All that Jesus accomplished at the cross for us. Hallelujah. Even so, come Lord Jesus, amen. Aren't you looking forward for the Rapture? Praise the Lord.
Now, like I said just now, when the Rapture happens, our mortality, all right, let's continue reading 1 Corinthians 15. "For this corruptible must put on incorruption". So, this corruptible body must put on incorruptible body. "And this mortal body must put on immortality," hallelujah. Immortality is gonna happen at the Rapture. "So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: 'Death is swallowed up in victory.'" Hallelujah. Praise the name of Jesus, amen? Death has been conquered. When Jesus rose from the dead, he conquered death for all of us. But in actuality, just like the enemies back in the Old Testament when they were defeated, the fact that they were defeated is an accomplished reality, but then they are brought right under the feet of the King, and the King will place his feet upon the neck of the enemies like a footstool.
The Father said to the Lord Jesus, "Sit on My right hand until I make Your enemies Your footstool". In other words, when all the enemies, they were all defeated at the cross. Don't misunderstand, okay, they will not be defeated in the future. They've all been defeated at the cross. When Jesus cried at the cross, "It is finished," it is finished, amen. But the reality of it, the experience of it will happen fully when he brings all these enemies under the feet of Jesus. Hallelujah. But with every passing day, I love to say this. You think about it, amen. Just have this godly reasoning, amen. The Bible says the last enemy to be put under Jesus's feet is death, and the context there is physical death. That means what? With every passing day, another enemy is put under his feet.
Another enemy is put under his feet. This COVID-19, it's a disease, it's a plague. It comes under his feet. It will be conquered in reality as well, amen? The price was paid at the cross, amen. There's redemption by blood, amen, but redemption by power will happen, established upon the blood. Praise the Lord. It's gonna happen in our lifetime, I believe it. Praise the Lord. And one more enemy comes in, amen, another enemy, depression, or all kinds of enemies that the devil has launched against mankind ever since Adam fell. All that has been conquered at the cross that Jesus finished when he cried "It is finished" will all be brought under his feet. And don't forget, we are the body of Christ. So, it comes under our feet, and we will triumph over it. We are in Christ, far above all principality and power, might and dominion, and over every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come. Hallelujah, to God be the glory. Praise the Lord. Praise God, hallelujah.
But there is a difference between the Rapture and the Second Coming. Now, you'll find, for example, the prophet Isaiah, he prophesied more about the Second Coming of Christ than the first coming of Christ. Yes, the first coming of Christ, of course, is very important, but Isaiah prophesied more on the Second Coming of Christ and what would happen. It talks about the day of the Lord, the day of the Lord when the Lord Jesus returns. So, he transcend, it's almost like the prophet was given a preview of the Second Coming and just transcending the age of the church, as well as the Rapture. All these were mysteries hidden, and he went right into what God showed him, the Second Coming of Christ. Now, I'm gonna illustrate this by showing you the chart right here. This is our present time, okay, on the left. Here is our present time. That's where you and I are at. And when the Rapture happens, all right, the next event for the church is not looking forward, "Who is the antichrist? Is this the antichrist"?
I'm gonna say this right now. Look at me. All right, we are not looking forward to the antichrist. We're looking for Jesus Christ. Amen. Our position right now is to wait for his Son from heaven, who delivered us from the wrath to come. All right, the wrath to come is the tribulation, all right. We are waiting for his Son from heaven. We are not waiting for death. That's not a Christian attitude. Amen. It's not a right Christian attitude. The correct, godly attitude for the Christian is to wait for his Son, God's Son from heaven. Amen. And therefore this futile exercise that you find, you can see a lot of it on YouTube and on the social media, Christians engaging themselves in these vain pursuits of saying, "Are we in the tribulation"? "Is this guy antichrist"?
You know, for a long time I've been hearing that guy is antichrist, that guy is antichrist, that guy is antichrist. You know, no, listen, my friend, we are not there yet. In fact, the next event we are looking for is the Rapture of the church. Praise God. What a delightful, joyous occasion, amen. Our hearts are to be overwhelmed with the joy, amen, and happiness thinking about the Rapture. And all that we feel right now in our bodies will all be gone, man. Praise the Lord. And to be filled, to feel fully alive, and to know you'll never be sick again, to know that you'll never die, amen. Death is no more in your future. It's all in your past. Praise the Lord. Hallelujah. Isn't that wonderful? Amen? And best of all, in that new body, you can endure the glory of God, praise God, to be in his presence and to see Jesus. I think that's the greatest delight of all, for me, amen, to see the Lord Jesus Christ face to face. Hallelujah. And to hear from his lips, "Well done, good and faithful servant. Enter thou into the joy of your Lord". Hallelujah, praise God. But the Rapture is not the Second Coming.
Now, look at this chart again. We are waiting for the Rapture, and then when we are raptured, we'll be in the Father's house, and the Bible talks about the marriage supper of the Lamb, amen, the bride. The church is the bride united with her bridegroom, amen. You notice no judgment. Praise the Lord. Now, the bema seat of Christ, or people call it the judgment seat of Christ. It's not a judgment on whether you'll be saved or be lost. No, no, our judgment is all past. That is whether you receive rewards and what kind of rewards you will receive. Praise the Lord. Okay, there's no judgment for the believer. The Bible says he that believed on Christ has passed from death, amen, into life. Those who believe on Christ will never be brought into judgment. Praise God. How many ways are we going to say it? The Lord has promised us that, and God cannot lie. Praise God.
So, after the Rapture, seven years of tribulation, all right, the tribulation period. The worst kind of tribulation will happen when the antichrist is ruling. People will look up to him as the world ruler, promising peace, but instead bringing destruction and havoc upon the whole earth like never before. Okay, then at the end of seven years, Jesus will come back. Notice he'll come back with his saints. Now, that is called also the Day of the Lord. You'll find that Isaiah talks about the Day of the Lord, which is Second Coming of Christ. Now, sometimes believers will talk about a Rapture as Second Coming, okay? So, they just sort of jumble the whole thing together. Second Coming of Christ. But actually, the Second Coming of Christ is physically. He'll come back in person, and his feet will touch down on Mount of Olives. He'll come, the Bible says, to avenge all those who obey not the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, all those who have spoken against him, all those who have sinned all their lives, and people that are bent, hell-bent on destroying others and indulging in a life of sin when God keep on calling to them, "Repent, turn around, praise the Lord and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, that he bore your sins at the cross," or else you have no covering at all, and they refuse.
So that's a day of vengeance that the Bible talks about, Isaiah talks about it. In Isaiah, as well as other prophets like Joel and all that, he talks about the day of the Lord. "Blow ye the trumpet in Zion. The day of the Lord is at hand. The day of the Lord is a day of darkness and gloominess," amen, a day of gloom, because it's not a day of joy for those who are on the receiving end. Of course, the Day of the Lord will come. Man had his day already, okay? For all these thousands of years, man had his day, and God is saying, "Now I'm gonna have my day. I'm gonna rule on this earth. But before that, I have to cleanse the earth of all the uncleanness. I have to cleanse the earth". So, God will send his Son, and this time the rescue is real, and he will come with all of us, and he will establish his kingdom on earth. His feet with touch down at Mount of Olives. The Bible talks about that.
Now, in the Rapture, his feet does not touch down. And in fact, no eye can see him come except for those of us who are believers. It will happen in the twinkling of an eye, in a moment. And the word there is atomic second, like an atomic second, in the twinkling of an eye, in a moment, he will appear in the air, and he will call upon us to be raptured, and with the voice of the archangel, and the Bible says we will be raptured. With our brand-new body, we'll be raptured. No one will see that happen. They will just see us disappear. But over here, the Second Coming of Christ, his feet will touch down, not just in the air, like the Rapture, but he will touch down, and he will come, you know, real slow for everyone to see. And the Bible says every eye will see him. So, that means all the broadcast stations will be focused on him. They will see him come. They will see him come, come down. The Bible says that. So, it's different from the Rapture, amen.
Another thing is this. For Rapture, he's coming, he's coming for you and I. He's coming for his bride. He's coming for his church. But over here in the Second Coming, he's coming with his church. In the Rapture he's coming for his church, but in the Second Coming, he's coming with his church down to earth, and then we'll commence the 1000 millennial rule of Christ. The Bible says there'll be no sickness, no disease, but 1000 year of rule, of peace, tranquility, amen, free from sin for 1000 years because Jesus will be ruling. Hallelujah, praise the Lord. So, that is the difference. If you understand this, you will not be shaken. Because what I see nowadays is that people are mixing the two, and there are those who don't believe in the Rapture. They don't understand the mystery part, okay, and there are those who actually feel that we are already, and are teaching so, that we are already in the tribulation, at least the beginning of the tribulation, especially seizing upon the fact this pandemic, the COVID pandemic is now all over the world, so they seize upon that to say that we are already in the beginning stage of the tribulation.
No, friend, listen. In 1 Thessalonians, there was an error, right, there was an ignorance that caused the believers to be sad, downcast, and in despair. But you see, like, whatever the devil does, all right, to put the believers down and all that, God will always bring something to feed them, some fruit out of it. God will bring something sweet out of it. So, because of that, Paul wrote a letter that today all of us enjoy. We see the mystery of the Rapture. We see the beauty of it, and our hearts rejoice in it. So, out of something dark, God brought forth something sweet for all of us, amen, something we can feed on, praise God.
Likewise, in 2 Thessalonians, the next letter that he wrote to the Thessalonian Christians... now, after they receive the Rapture, some of them have this idea that the Rapture and the Day of the Lord... by the way, notice the Second Coming is called the Day of the Lord. Okay, it's the same thing. They felt like it's the same thing, the Day of the Lord. And some teachers came among them, some false teachers came amongst them and taught at that time, because of the intense persecution they were going through, right, they believe these false teachers when the false teachers taught them that they are already in the beginning days of the Day of the Lord. In other words, the Day of the Lord has come. And so they were all in trepidation and fear because the Rapture has not happened and they felt that they were not raptured, so they were all fearful. And Paul wrote a letter. Again, out of the ether come forth food, amen? Out of the strong comes forth sweetness. Praise God, hallelujah.
Every time the devil throws something at you, like lemon, God makes lemonade for you. Praise God. You know how they study the sun? You know how scientists study the sun? They don't study the sun directly. They can't look at the sun directly, all right? Virtually impossible. They cannot use even, let alone use binoculars or strong telescope to look at the sun. Their eyes will be destroyed. Know what they do? They wait for an eclipse. When there's an eclipse, okay, they study about the sun. That's when they study the sun because the eclipse help them to take in the glory of the sun, and they study the sun during the eclipse. In other words, we see God bringing light out of darkness, amen? In all the dark places, like right now the world is in a dark place, okay, naturally speaking, because of this pandemic here, right, all over the world. But what God is doing is that God will bring light out of this darkness. We can see God's glory in a clearer way, more than we can see it directly, okay, because of this darkness.
The Bible says in the last days, darkness will cover the earth and gross darkness the people, but the Lord will arise upon you, and the glory of the Lord will be seen, will be seen upon you. Praise God, amen. When everything is dark and there's a flicker of light, no matter how far you are, you can see it from afar. Why? Provided the background is dark, amen, the glory can be seen in darkness. Praise God. So, again, out of this pandemic, even right now, out of this strong, out of this ether, God bring forth food, God bring forth sweetness for you and your family. Believe God for it. Praise God, hallelujah, praise the name of Jesus, amen. So, we see that there's a difference between the Rapture and the Second Coming of Christ. And the Lord Jesus, when he was in his hometown, where he grew up, Nazareth, the Bible says at this point in time, by the way, he started his ministry already. He has done many miracles, and preached, and then he went back to his hometown, and the hometown people, of course, they knew that Jesus had done miracles and all that, and that's why later on he would say things like, "No doubt, you will tell me, 'Do miracles in your own hometown.'" But Jesus went to the synagogue. And as his custom was, he stood up to read.
Now, what they do is that unto today, Jewish people every Saturday, every Shabbat, every Sabbath, they will read a portion. They call it Parashat, a portion of Scripture, and it's all delineated for them for the entire year. You cannot choose where you want it to be. It so happens that Jesus's portion for that particular time when he was there in Nazareth was from Isaiah 61 about the Messiah, and this is what the Lord said. "And He was handed the book of the prophet Isaiah. And when He had opened the book, He found the place where it was written: 'The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor. He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.' Then He closed the book".
Notice this portion of the Messiah, Jesus read this portion. But when it came to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, he closed the book. But we know that in Isaiah, where it says in Isaiah 61, "To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord," it continues it saying, "and the day of vengeance of our God". But then Jesus stopped at the "proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord," and he closed the book. Now, where he closed the book, the church has got to learn to close the book, amen. Where he opens, we open. Where he closed, we close. Now, he closed, even though it's separated, when you see on your English Bible, by a comma, the thought is just one thought. The acceptable year of the Lord, the word "acceptable" there in the Greek is the dektos year. Dektos; Thayer, who is a Greek scholar, defines it as the year when the free favors of God profusely abound. I love it, where the free favors of God profusely abound.
Now, this year has extended for nearly 2000 years now. The first coming of Christ, we are still in that acceptable, that year of where the free favors, the grace of God profusely abound. We are still in it. We're not out of it yet. We're not in the beginning of the Day of the Lord. No, it does not come to an end. It will come to an end at the Rapture. Okay, we are still in the acceptable year of the Lord. In the Hebrew, in Isaiah, the acceptable year of the Lord is the word ratson, same idea, favorable year of the Lord, the favorable year of the Lord. But notice the day of vengeance. Jesus didn't read that. He stopped there, why? His first coming was not to bring vengeance, and that's the reason why, when vengeance against sin and all those who are promoting sin, okay, notice that in his first coming is to forgive, amen, to pardon, amen, to heal, to restore. Praise the Lord. And it's not a day of vengeance, and that's why when the Pharisees brought the woman caught in adultery, the Bible says and they indicted her and all that and asked the Lord what should be done with her, okay.
Jesus stooped down and wrote on the ground as though he heard them not. His ears are not attuned to judgment or vengeance. It's not the day of vengeance. It's the day of grace. And this year of grace, year is longer than day of vengeance. This year of grace has extended for nearly 2000 years now. We are still in it. Don't let anyone talk you out of it. We are still in it. God is not dealing with the world with vengeance, and that's the reason why people seem to get by with sin. And sometimes in our heart we are saying, "Man, I kind of wish that that person will experience". No, no, that's wrong. Our attitude, Christianity, should be "bless those who curse you, pray for them which despitefully use you". That's our position. So, we are still in a day of grace and God expects us to extend grace, amen. "Love one another as I have loved you". Amen. Extend grace. We are still in the day of grace. Praise the Lord.
And God wants you to be conscious of it, amen. Because when you are under grace, that's why this idea that when you're under grace, you'll sin more. It's not in the Scripture. The Bible says, "For sin shall not have dominion over you when you are not under law, but under grace". That's the plain declaration of Scripture. It is distinct, it is certain and sure statement. There's no ambiguity in this statement. For sin shall not have dominion over you because you are not under law, but under grace. And that's the reason why I endeavor so much, all right, to bring people under grace. Hallelujah. Mmmm.
And grace is not natural with us, you know? We do good, get good, do bad, get bad. We understand that. We can deal with that. Our mind can comprehend that. But to get good I don't deserve, I mean, to enjoy undeserved favors from God, I cannot understand that. I feel like I deserve something bad, you know? Sometimes I'll tell my wife, you know, "I feel like I don't deserve this". And she'll say, "Since when we deserve anything"? Right? All the good that has come to us has come by the grace of God, unearned, undeserved favor. That's why grace can never make you proud. If you are a preacher of grace, you know you cannot be proud because grace, the very idea of grace is unearned, undeserved favor, amen? Who did it all? Jesus. So, all the glory goes to him, amen? I want to share with you another testimony. Praise the Lord. And this is a brother from Canada, and he shares this:
I was raised in church but never really understood what it meant to be a Christian. When I left my hometown to further my studies, I started to smoke, drink, and gamble. I was even addicted to pornography. Eventually, I got married and had a baby boy. In order to support my family, I had to work overseas. When I was abroad, things grew worse. I started living in adultery, and my wife also got involved with another man. That crushed me. I was so hurt and felt that my life had no more meaning. Nonetheless, for the sake of my son, I still applied for my family to join me in Canada. Months after we reunited, my love for my wife rekindled; however, the pain and hurt was still present. I realized that I needed God's intervention, and we started going to church where we learned to forgive each other. One day, I came across Pastor Prince's sermons on YouTube. His preaching was profound, yet straight to the point. I never heard anyone share such amazing revelations and anointed words that imparted grace to the listeners. I have learned a lot from Pastor Prince, including being conscious that we have been made the righteousness of God in Christ. I will listen to his sermons all day long.
Now, what do you reckon? Someone listening to a sermon that tells you, because you believe on what Christ has done at the cross, you are now the righteousness of God in Christ, and proclaiming that. Does it make a person licentious? "Yippee! I now can go and sin. Doesn't really matter. My life doesn't really matter. I'm under grace". Is that the attitude this guy has? Let me share you the result in his life.
Since then, since then I have been delivered from my drunkenness, stubbornness, and sexual immorality. My physical body has also gotten stronger after partaking of the holy communion daily, discerning the Lord's body. My wife was even healed of scoliosis without any surgery. We've also been practicing the Lord's presence and love together. Now our marriage is completely restored. Today, whenever I'm asked to share the Word of God, I make sure that the message only points to Jesus. The reason for our living and nothing else, all glory and praise to the Lord. Thank you, Pastor Prince and New Creation Church.
Praise the Lord. Thank you, Jesus. Have you noticed something about all these testimonies? And not just today, but all the past testimonies we have shared. Although they're appreciative for the delivery boy, which is me, they give all the glory to Jesus. You can tell a false teaching or heresy by who does it point to? Who does it glorify? All cult leaders and all heretics, they all point everything to themselves, self-glorification; "Unless I pray for you, nothing will happen. I have a special word from God. Unless you give me this, you'll not receive this". All that are signs of a false teacher. You can tell if someone is teaching under the anointing of the Holy Spirit when all the glory goes to God's beloved Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, amen. The Holy Spirit's come to glorify one: Jesus. Not any man, not any church. That's how you can tell. Praise the Lord. Thank you, Jesus, amen? To God be all the glory. Praise God, hallelujah. Amen, amen, amen, amen.
Now, I shared just now that God brings light out of darkness, and out of the ether, he brings forth meat, brings forth food; out of the strong, he brings forth sweetness. And in the 2 Thessalonians, I was sharing just now that, you know, they had another problem. Now, they think that, oh, man, we are left behind and the Rapture has happened and we are now in the beginning stage of the Day of the Lord. Someone came and told them that they are now in the beginning stage of the Day of the Lord, the beginning stages of the tribulation period. Isn't that like many teachings today that you see on social media and everywhere? We are now in the beginning part of the tribulation. It's the same problem that the Thessalonian Christians were going through. Now, see how Paul brings forth sweetness out of the strong in this. He tells them this, 2 Thessalonians chapter 2, "Concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered to him, we ask you, brothers and sisters, not to become easily unsettled or alarmed by the teaching allegedly from us, whether by a prophecy or by word of mouth or by letter, asserting that the day of the Lord has already come".
So these teachers were deceiving them. They are asserting that the Day of the Lord has already come. Like many today, they are saying that we are in the beginning stages of the Day of the Lord. No, my friend. And Paul goes on to say, "Don't let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day, the day of the Lord, will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed," that is the antichrist, "the man doomed to destruction". When the antichrist is revealed, the whole world will be raving after him, okay? We don't see that happen. The antichrist might be a, I do not know, maybe a young boy, a teenager, a grown man, but he's not revealed yet, so, friend, we are not in the Day of the Lord. That day will not happen until the man of sin, the antichrist will be revealed. Okay, it's very clear in the scriptures, okay? So we are not in the beginning stages of the Day of the Lord or the tribulation. And there's no mark of the beast. Don't let anyone tell you "this is the mark of the beast," "if you do that, that's the mark of the beast," "you take this, that's the mark of the beast".
Friend, you know, this just causing people to be in turmoil and you know, right teaching will always deliver you from fear. Just like when Jesus talked about the signs, we shared the last time, Jesus talked about the signs. In Luke 21, he talks about great earthquakes in many places, wars and rumors and wars. What did he say? "Do not be terrified, do not be terrified". It talks about you will see pestilence and famines and all that; do not be terrified. And yet, we are terrified. However it's being taught, if it leaves behind a sense of terror and fear for the believer, amen, you know, for the unbeliever, let me tell you this. There is a sense of fear looking into the future. But for the believer, you are someone where the free favors of God profusely abound, amen. Surely goodness and mercy pursues you, hunts you down, and follows you all the days of your life. Underneath you are the everlasting arms of God. You dwell in the secret place of the Most High under the shadow of the Shaddai, hallelujah. God keeps you in his pavilion, amen. You are saved in his hiding place, amen.
And God never deals with you based on your sin. You are blessed because all your sins are forgiven. You are blessed because he will never impute sin to you. Does that make you want to sin? No, it makes you want to love him. When you fall in love with him, you fall out of love with sin. Hallelujah. Praise the Lord. Thank you, Jesus. So, why is this important? Because, friend, if you have a wrong perspective about prophecy, and this is the reason why people shun prophecy, all right? To their lack of prophet, amen, from the Word of God because prophecy was given, all right? And you know what? Really, a great part of the Bible is prophecy. We must study prophecy. And the Bible says that everyone that has this hope in him purifies himself. That's why it's called the blessed hope. When you have the hope in you of seeing Jesus in the Rapture, praise the Lord, you have this hope, your body will be transformed. It has a purifying effect, amen, on you. Praise the Lord.
How you look at prophecy, how you look at your future, with hope or with dismay, determines your mental health. You know psychiatrists and all that will tell you that people who are suicidal, people who have mental and emotional issues, okay, who are always in despair and feeling suicidal, they actually see no hope in their future. They feel like there's no future for them. And that's why prophetic teaching must be imparting the helmet of salvation, amen, the hope of salvation upon the heads of every believer, that it will affect their thinking, they will think of the future with joy, with expectation, amen, hope. The Greek word "elpis" means a positive expectation of good in my future. Hallelujah. And that's what all of us should look forward to. And friend, another thing is this: when you hear wrong teaching, we are in the beginning of tribulation and all that, that means we are no more under the age of grace, we're no more in the acceptable year of the Lord, we're no more in the dispensation where the free favors of God abound.
You know what? Our mentality becomes judgment mentality. We look at the world and we start thinking, "Well, it started already. God is judging the world. God is judging the world". Is that true, my friend? Look at what 2 Corinthians chapter 5 tells us. "Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself to Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation". What is the ministry of reconciliation? "That is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself," now listen to this, "not imputing their trespasses to them". Now, by the way, it's in the present tense in the Greek, not imputing. Even right now, God is not imputing their trespasses unto them. It's in the present tense. That means our attitude is this. We cannot say God is judging America, God is judging Singapore, God is judging the Philippines, God is judging, we cannot say God is judging all this because we're not in the day of vengeance of our God.
Friend, we are still under dispensation of grace. God's attitude... God cannot be... not imputing their trespasses. And "their" here refers to all those who do not know Jesus, amen. God's attitude is not imputing their trespasses to them. If God impute their trespasses to them, God will have to judge them. But God's position is today is not imputing their trespasses to them. And God has given you and I, right, a ministry called the ministry of reconciliation. God has committed to us, what? The word of reconciliation. "Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God was pleading through us; we implore you on Christ's behalf, be reconciled to God". Be reconciled to God. God is not counting your sins against you. That's the gospel of grace. God is not counting your sins against you because he counted all your sins in the body of his Son at the cross. Now come back to God. God is not mad at you. All your sins have been judged at the cross. The way is open, his blood, the same blood that he shed at the cross, tore the veil and paved the way for you to enter into the presence of a thrice Holy God with no fear or trepidation. Not only that, God is righteous in making you righteous, and the foundation by which he can do that is Christ's death on that cross. Hallelujah.
So friend, we beseech you. Be reconciled to God, and God is not mad at you. Come back to God. See, God doesn't have to be reconciled to you. His heart is always reconciling you already. He's not counting your sins against you. It's your move. Be reconciled to God. For God made Christ who knew no sin, he knew no sin, he did no sin, in him is no sin. Well, God made Christ who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. Praise the name of Jesus. Hallelujah. Mmm, oh man, praise the Lord. I sense that anointing. And friend, every day you have this opportunity to share this Word of reconciliation to everyone. I believe one of the reasons God is not behind this pandemic, God is not behind any pandemic. He's not behind any sickness or disease. But, you know, once in a while, God can show man, proud man who trust in their works, in their inventions, in their creativity, all right, to provide for himself, to fend for himself. God will show man that man needs God. And he wants the gospel of Jesus Christ to go to all the four corners of the earth quickly, beyond time and space, and the only way to do that is online.
So, as pastors, we are thinking we long for those days, you know, we can come together, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves. Yes, all that is well and good, but God's heart is for sinners. God's heart is to reconcile the sinners to himself. God's heart is for them to know the gospel of grace, that God is not mad at them. God loves them. And today is the day of salvation. Now is the time, and he's given us the ministry of reconciliation. So, God has made everything so easy. They don't even have to come to church to hear the gospel. They don't even have to make that travel there. They don't have to go high and low to be physically there. They can, in the privacy of their own home, push a key, right, and then there you are. The gospel is right at your doorstep. God has brought salvation so near you, the Bible says, hallelujah, in your mouth and in your heart that if you confess Jesus Christ as your Lord, you believe in your heart God raised him from the dead, you shall be saved.
I believe the main reason, people, is evangelism. Evangelism means good news being shared. Hallelujah. Evangel, good news. Praise the Lord. And the good news is that God is not mad at you. God wants to reconcile you, amen. And in the Father's house, there's bread enough and to spare. There's all kinds of goodness and blessings. At his right hand are pleasures forevermore, amen. In his presence, fullness of joy, hallelujah. God wants to bring you into all this, amen. You moody, frustrated, angry, bitter, unbeliever, amen, God wants to invite you into the presence of his Son who gave his life for you, who loves you right now. In spite of all your sins, God has never stopped loving you. And God is saying, "Come home, come home. Let me fill your heart with my love, joy, and peace". Praise the Lord. Thank you, Jesus.
So, I think that during this pandemic is a great opportunity for us to do something I coin, and I share with my pastors, the word "evangelink," amen? Just send a link. Send a link, amen. Send the gospel by a link, amen. Send it to this person that you are thinking about, someone that God lays on your heart. Send it to them, amen. Now, just at the touch of their finger, all right, God allows all these witty inventions and all that for social media and all that. Regardless of whose thought is it, God works everything out. God brings something sweet out of the strong, something that can feed you out of the ether, amen, so that we can all hear the gospel of Jesus Christ. So, right now you can send a link and let people who need Jesus hear in the comfort of their homes, in right where they are, right where they are, the gospel has come. That's what God wants to do. And you know what? When this lifts and the whole thing lifts, it's gonna be like the distance is there, amen. So, God is allowing this for the sake of the gospel.
So friend, get involved in evangelink, amen. Or you can just share. You got a chance to share, share the gospel. What you learn, even down here, what you learn about the gospel, share with them, amen? All it takes is for them to turn their hearts towards the Lord and they'll be safe, amen? Hallelujah. I pray that this has blessed you, friend. And I know that God wants your life to be filled with love, joy, and peace because these wrong, erroneous ideas about the end times will cause your heart to be filled with fear and dread. And God doesn't want that for his children. God's dear people, amen, must always be in the place where they know they are favored, their hearts are full of love and joy unspeakable, amen, knowing goodness and mercy is following them, underneath are the everlasting arms of God, amen, and the hand of the Father covers them. They are safe and no one can snatch you out of his hand. Praise the Lord. You're safe and secure in Christ.
Friend, if you have never made Jesus Christ your personal Lord and Savior, I'd like to invite you right now to be reconciled to God, amen. He loves you. He knows all about your sins, and he has made provision for your sins at the cross. Jesus died for your sins. That's how much he loves you. He took upon himself the burden of your sins and became himself liable for your sins so that you will not become liable, amen. He took your place and now that God's judgment fell upon him, because he was carrying your sins and my sins, God's judgment can never ever fall on you if you believe what Christ has done or else it'll be a miscarriage of justice on God's part. So, God ordained these to be so so that God is righteous in making you righteous today. Friend, believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved. Praise the Lord. Pray this prayer with me. If that is you, wherever you are right now, pray this prayer with me. Say:
Heavenly Father, I thank you for the gift of your Son, my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Thank you, Father, that you raised him from the dead when I was acquitted in him. Thank you, Father, that I'm now the righteousness of God in Christ because Jesus Christ is my Lord and my Savior. And from now on, goodness and mercy follows me all the days of my life until I dwell in the house of the Lord forever. In Jesus's name, amen.
Welcome to the family of God. Welcome to the Father's house. From this day on, God will never deal with you based on sin. God will deal with you based on his Son, amen. And I'm telling you, God deals with you based on his Son, all blessings, amen, all blessings are yours. Praise the Lord, amen. Church, stand to your feet, hallelujah, if you can, amen. Hold the hands of your loved ones if your partner is there. We're gonna believe God for a blessed week, amen. We know that as we take one step out, we do not know what's gonna happen in the future. But if our hand in his hand, amen, our eyes upon him, he knows the way long before us. There's a verse that says, "He goes before us and prepares the way. He make the crooked places straight". So, we felt like as if, you know, we are walking easy, we're walking light and free. Praise the Lord, amen. So, let's believe God for this coming week, amen.
This coming week, the Father in heaven himself, who loves you, grant you a blessed week, a week where you and your families are protected from the COVID-19 virus and from the Delta variant, where throughout this week, you are protected from every sickness and disease, and that you are protected from every harm, danger, accident. For God has promised that no evil will befall you, neither shall any plague come near your dwelling, why? Because, child of God, you and your family are in the secret place of the Most High. You are now in Christ under the shadow of the Shaddai. Hallelujah. And God fill your heart with love, joy, and peace throughout this week. And I pray, in the name of Jesus, that you and your loved ones, even your little ones, will have a special revelation through the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Christ himself, that you'll fall deeper in love with him this week in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. And that throughout this week, you will sense the communion, the leading, and the friendship of the Holy Spirit in your life leading you, guiding you, into paths of fullness, of joy, and paths of abundance and paths of peace. In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and all the people said amen.