Joseph Prince - Powerful Truths From The Book of Revelation
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Okay, let's go right into the Word. Are you ready? Let's dive right into the Word. I wanna do the book of Revelation, ha ha ha. So one question that people ask is always this: What about the seven churches? In the seven churches, Jesus says some very, very strong things to the churches, all right? What about that? In fact, the seven churches Jesus said, "Repent, repent". Actually, he didn't say to all seven, all right? He said to five, "Repent," okay? And two of them, Jesus did not rebuke. And one of them he commended. So the thing is this: what about all this? I wanna answer this question as much as I can. But before that, we need to lay out the ground work, okay?
Revelation chapter 1, look up here. "Then I turned to see the voice that spoke with me". This is John talking, John writing, the apostle John who laid his head on Jesus' bosom. He was a young man and when the Lord died, the night that he was crucified, or rather the next day he was crucified, the night he was betrayed, John laid his head on the bosom of Jesus, amen? By the way, Jesus went up into a mountain and when he preached to the multitudes the most famous sermon, Sermon on the Mount, you know, Jesus preached it sitting down? Have you read your Bible, Matthew 5. He went up into a mountain. Blessed are the poor in spirit. The movies has it, he stand up, right? But the Bible say he sat down and preached to the people below. Good idea for not fainting, I'm telling you. So let's bring the chair here, c'mon.
All right, here, yeah, don't you think? Don't you think from now on we should do this? No, look at Matthew 5. Jesus went up the mountain and he sat down. So he sat down, right? You all sit down. Might as well the speaker sit down. So many a times, Jesus will sit and teach. In this way, you will never fall. So I'm gonna feel free, okay? Praise God. So Revolutions chapter 1: He heard a voice behind him, John did. "He turned to see the voice that spoke with him and, having turned, I saw," John says, "I saw seven golden lampstands". Now, the Jewish menorah, okay, this is how it looks like, the golden lampstand. Now this is the first verse of the entire Bible: "In the beginning," this the formation of the words, Genesis 1:1.
And Hebrew, like Chinese, reads from right to left. It starts like this. "In the beginning created God the heavens and the earth". Can you see the center one is untranslated? "Eet," it says "eet," right? It's untranslated in English, and if you ask the Jewish people "What is that in the center, the center shaft is not translated," they'll tell you "It's a sign of something". They do not know. But Jesus came in the book of Revelation and Jesus says, "I am the Alpha and the Omega," which is the first letter of the Greek alphabet and the last letter. But he's talking to his fellow John, Jewish guy. He won't be speaking in Greek. Our New Testament is translated in Greek but he'll be speaking in Hebrew. So he mentioned the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet is alef which is the one on the right and the second one is tav. You see that word?
Now coming up prominent. Jesus says, "I am the first and the last". So, "In the beginning, God created", which God? Jesus. His signature is there, amen? And this is like a seven-branched candelabra which is found in the tabernacle of Moses. John turned around and saw Jesus in the center, further confirming that he's a center shaft, and everything, if you put Jesus in the center, everything will hold together. The Bible says, and science comes short of asking "What is it that holds everything together? What holds the universe together"? They come short of that. They cannot explain the invisible force that holds everything together. But in the book of Colossians it says that: "By Christ all things were created and in him, in Christ, all things are held together".
When it comes into your life, you are held together. It's not like you mind is going in one direction, your heart is going in different direction, you are depressed always, your emotions are getting the better of you. No, you'll be integrated, amen. Disease is nothing more than dis-ease, no ease. But when he's in your life, he brings everything into ease, harmony, peace, in Hebrew shalom. When it comes in the center of your marriage, he holds your marriage together. I always say that a marriage needs a third party: Jesus, amen? If you focus on your loved one, even when you were dating, if you focus on each other, you will drain each other. But you focus on Jesus, you will draw closer to each other, amen. Put Jesus in the center of your career, your ministry, whatever it is, and you find everything is held together, amen?
Remember this. "He turned around". Go back to the passage again. "And he saw seven golden lampstands, and in the middle of the seven lampstands One like the Son of Man," that's Jesus. He's known as Son of God, Son of Man, 100% God, 100% man. Don't forget that. He is divine man, the God-man. "Clothed with a garment down to the feet and girded about the chest with a golden band". Let's drop down. "And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead". This one who laid his head on the bosom of Jesus, now fell at his feet as one dead. "But He laid His right hand on me". He's afraid. John is afraid, of course. He saw the resurrected Jesus and the Lord said to him, "Do not be afraid; I am the First and I am the Last. I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore".
For those who are taking down notes, this is exactly the phrase Jehovah, Yahweh, Yod Hei Vav Hei is made of three expressions in the Hebrew that says the God who was, who is, and who is to come. Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, today, and forever. He's Jehovah. He's Yahweh, all right? And look at this. "Do not be afraid". Do you know that from this time forth, even though John saw all the bad things happening on earth, now, we won't be around then, okay? We'll be in heaven, when all these things are happening. John was no more afraid. From this time forth, when the Lord, the resurrected Christ told him, "Don't be afraid," John was never found to be afraid. You can see all the thunderings and all the bad things happening, and he wasn't afraid because the one who rose from the dead is telling him, "Don't be afraid; I am the First and I am the Last". I have the final word in your life, amen? "I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I'm alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hell and of Death".
I have the keys of Hell and of Death. The devil doesn't hold those keys anymore, okay? Then let's drop down, let's go on. "Write the things which you have seen, and the things which are, and the things which will take place after this". So the book of Revelation, this chapter 1, this is a summary of the book of Revelation. The book of Revelation is made up, some people say everything down there has passed, happened in AD70. No, those preterist teachers, all right, they need to realize that the book of Revelation is talking about three parts: "Write the things", Jesus says, "Write the things which you have seen," number one. These are the things in chapter 1. He saw the Lord. He saw the seven golden lampstands. "Write the things that you have seen". Number two: "And the things which are".
During John's time, the things which exist. Chapter 2 and chapter 3 talks about the church, the church of Jesus Christ. The seven churches are found in chapter 2 and chapter 3. From then on, there's no more about the church. You find the church found in chapter 4 and 5, but they're in heaven. The four and twenty blackbirds, I mean, elders... I said that on purpose just to get your attention. The four and twenty elders, all right, represents twelve from the Old Testament, twelve, symbolical number. Doesn't mean only 24; it represents the people of God from the Old Testament and the New Testament, 12, 12. And John in the book of chapter 4... chapter 4 of book of Revelation, chapter 4, he saw the church in heaven already. So the bad things that happen on earth during that time of judgment falling on earth, we won't be around. We are in heaven. Are you listening? First chapter he saw Jesus in the middle of the candlestick.
Chapter 2, chapter 3, the churches on earth, "the things which are". These are the things John is to write, which is my focus tonight. And then the third one: "And the things which will take place after this". And that is from chapter 4 all the way to the end of the book of Revelation. Incidentally, the book of Revelation is exactly 22 chapters. The Hebrew alphabet, 22 letters. The first one is alef and every letter has a picture. Alef is an ox, so who do you see in the first chapter? Jesus, the leader, the ox, strong to labor. The sacrificial animal, amen. Alef, first letter. Beit. Beit is what? House. So chapter 2 and chapter 3 talks about the house of God. Chapter 3, chapter 4, the Rapture takes place. Gimel, which is a camel, transport into heaven, huh? Gimel, then dalet. Chapter 4 begins with "I saw an open door". Dalet is a door. Chapter 5 is Hei. Hei is grace. He saw Jesus and the question is asked, "Who is worthy to unroll the book"? And Jesus stood up and took the book. It's a whole chapter full of praise and worship, full of the glory of Jesus, everything good found in chapter 5, Hei.
Now, chapter 6 to chapter 19, the church is no more the subject. It is Israel and the nations of the earth. So people read into it and see the church there. The saints mentioned there is Israel, those who believe after the Rapture. So where's the church? In heaven. Which means the Rapture took place already. So from chapter 6 to chapter 19, watch this. Chapter 6 to chapter 19, chapter 6, Jesus coming for his saints; chapter 19, Jesus coming back with his saints. One is for his saints, one is with his saints. And during this time, chapter 6 and chapter 19, you see all kinds of things happening on earth. God defending Israel, God bringing judgment on the earth, God setting things right. We won't be around. We'll be in heaven, watching down. Are you listening, people? Okay?
So I'm not going to teach everything on the book of Revelation. There's no time for that tonight, but I'll focus on the seven churches, okay? "The mystery of the seven stars which you saw in My right hand". Later on, the stars is shown to be the angel of each church. There are seven churches, seven golden lampstands, "and the seven golden lampstands: The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches". I want to pause here and tell you this, all right? There are those who teach they are literal angels of the seven churches, because he says to the angel of the church of Ephesus, say this; to the angel I say this, I say that; to the angel of Sardis, I say this. But the thing is this: the word "angelos," from where you get the word "angel" just means representative. It can be divine, it can be like Jesus. He was called an angelos in the Old Testament. He would appear before his pre-human form. He would appear to Joshua, for example, with drawn sword, okay? He's the representation.
Now, it can also mean human. Angels is our English word from the Greek, angelos, right, which means representative. So to the...it's funny. If he says "angels" of each church, then you're left with this: Jesus said to one church, all right, "Remember from where you fell," the church of Ephesus. "Remember from where you fell". There's a fallen angel already. There's no way he will hold a fallen angel in his right hand, you understand? So I submit to you that all the seven stars of the seven churches are the leaders that God has appointed over that church, the pastors, so to speak. Now some people will dispute that but, to me, it's the most reasonable interpretation. Are you listening?
Now, seven churches. He's addressing the angel of the church. He's not addressing the people. Although there are lessons for us to learn because at the end of each church discourse, he will say, "Let every man hear what the Spirit says to the churches. Anyone who have an ear, let him hear what I speak". So the benefit's for everyone. But he's not addressing everyone. He's addressing the pastor of the church. For example, he says, "You allowed that woman to teach," Jezebel, "to teach," so that he placed the responsibility on the pastor, not on the people. And the judgment is not on the pastor, it's on the false teacher. Please understand that. All the pastors of the seven churches are believers. They are born again. That's why he holds them, "the seven stars which you saw in my right hand". "The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands which you saw are the seven churches". So he saw seven lampstands.
Now, this church, seven churches, existed during the time of the book of Revelation. They were there. They're all found today, all right, the remnants of it, you can see some...hardly find anything now but the place, the location, is still there. I've been there with Pastor Mark, all right? So our trip was just to look at the seven churches, and the kids would just play and all that, but we had a great time. All the seven churches are found in Turkey. Back then, it's Asia Minor, okay? So those seven churches existed. But because this book is a prophetic book, even though the seven churches existed then, these seven churches represent church history. From the time of the apostles all the way to our time. Let me just share this real quick, okay? We have the first church, Ephesus. This is a time of the apostles. In fact, it's the ending, the closing, of the apostles, that church, and the church left their first love.
By the way, what is first love? "You have left your first love," Jesus said. First love is not your love for God. You are never the first. First love in Greek, protos agape. Protos is like a prototype. The word "prototype" come from the Greek word "protos," which means first, all right? It's the first of its kind, all right? Protos agape. Who love you first? God. We love because he first loved us. When Jesus says, "You have left your first love," what is he saying? He's saying, "You have forgotten that God loves you". You're not believing in his love anymore, you're not practicing that love anymore, and that's the reason why you fell. Fell, "Remember from where you fell," he said. He told the pastor of Ephesus, "Remember from where you fell". Fell means you were in higher ground, previously. Remember from where you fell and repent. So he did say "Repent". Repent means change your mind, all right? Change your mind, change your belief system. Change your thinking, amen? Are you listening?
And then the way some people convey it is like he judged the church and the pastor and it's gone. The church has lost their salvation. There is no such thing as people losing their salvation. This creature never existed in the first century church. This teaching is brought later on. Jesus said in John 10, look at this. Jesus said this in John 10: "My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me". Are you his sheep? Have you believed in him? Do you believe he died for your sins on the cross? You believe he rose again from the dead to be a good shepherd, to watch over you, to love you, amen? Then you are his sheep. And what does it say about his sheep. "They follow Me. I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them," what? "Eternal life, and they shall never perish". They shall never perish. What is it about never we don't understand? And by the way, the never there is in the Greek double negative.
Now, when you find a double negative, which is not all the time, in the Greek New Testament, it's a powerful negation. It is not just No. It is "Never, in any way. No, ever". You understand? You will never perish. Once you're born again, you will never perish. Now I know your minds are filled with "What about this passage"? Just know that, by the way, some of them are in my books. "What about Hebrews 6? What about Hebrews 10"? I'm covering seven churches here. But watch this, okay? You must know this once and for all. Never explain an obscure passage with obscure passage. Always explain an obscure passage with clear, certain passage. Jesus won't say his sheep will never perish, no, in no way perish, and in another place, "Yeah, but if you do this you will perish". That's called schizo, and God is not like us. God means what he says. "How do you explain, Pastor Prince, the seven churches? Some of them are very strong words". Yes, I'm coming to that, okay? Be patient, all right?
So once, you must know this first. Once and for all establish in your heart these are very clear statements. Is it ambiguous? It is clear? "They shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand," Jesus said. Very clear. Very clear. "Well, Pastor Prince, you know, the Bible says Jesus said, 'Not everyone who calls me "Lord, Lord," will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he that do of the will'", show them the passage. "But he that do of the will of my Father," okay? In Matthew 7: "Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven". I don't know how many times people use this passage to say, "See, it's not a matter of calling Jesus, 'Lord,' and you are safe". Wow, that's dangerous. He is talking about people who call him Lord, all right, but were never safe. How do I know? Because the will of My Father is not something vague.
If it's something vague, then we're all done for, all right? Same expression, the will of my father. Look at John 6: "This is the will of my Father," Jesus said, "that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have," what? "Eternal life, and I myself will raise him up on the last day". So if you believe on Jesus, you have done the will of the Father. Go back to Matthew 7, all right? "Whoever does the will of My Father," Matthew 7, "Whoever does the will of My Father," will enter the kingdom of heaven, okay? So what's the will of the Father? It's to believe on Jesus. So don't ever let anyone use that on you anymore. You can establish once and for all what is the gospel. Can I have a good "amen," people, all right? So John 10, very clearly, all right, there are many other passages I can show you, like, "He that believes on me will never come into judgment," amen? "Well, what about judgment seat of Christ, Pastor Prince"?
Okay, again, we are opening up another subject altogether for another... service. But you write this down. Write this down, okay, somewhere. I'm gonna give you a statement right now, gonna blow your mind. Are you ready? Whatever people say about judgment seat of Christ, for me, the word "judgment" doesn't appear. It's the bema seat of Christ. The bema seat, you all saw "Ben-Hur," the movie? When he won the chariot race, all right, the emperor or the king would present a stephanos, you know, a wreath, all right, for his head, right? There is the bema seat. But some people argue and say, "But bema can also be used in some places as a judgment place". Okay, and let's use that analogy, it's a judgment place, okay? We will all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, okay? Write this down. This will blow your mind. The judge is my righteousness. Write that down. The judge made himself my righteousness.
So remember that when you stand before him. The judge is my righteousness, okay, all right? I'll explain that one day. I'll teach on judgment seat of Christ but not in this, not tonight, okay? Praise God. Let's go on. You must establish that once and for all. "But Pastor Prince, how about sometimes when the Bible says it writes some things and all that, it seems to indicate that in the church you can lose your salvation". One thing we have established, you cannot lose your salvation. I said, "You cannot lose your salvation". They shall never, strong negation, double negation, perish, right? Is it clear? God doesn't change his mind. I give them eternal life until your next sin. And what's eternal life? It's temporal life. Eternal life must be eternal life, okay?
Now, the issue of holiness and the right living and all that, I know your concern about that. I am concerned about that. I want Jesus to be glorified in people's lives. Today I went for lunch in the afternoon and I was by myself and next to me was two guys talking and their food came and this guy bowed his head and said grace, all right? So I said, "Cool, he's a believer," all right? And I go on eating and next thing I hear: whoa, all kind of profanity coming out. Talking about his boss or something like that. Profanity, so I look at him and think to myself, "Oh my goodness, how deceived can we be, we can be religious about some things, to say grace over our food, and then, you know, have our boss for barbecue". It's like he was burning his boss, you know? And whoa, man, my ears are, like, I said, "I can't believe it," you know? So even for you, when you see that, how do you feel? It's not consistent, amen.
So those who say that those who teach grace is teaching people license to sin. They have not gone to my JosephPrince.com to read all the testimonies that are there of people who are delivered from addictions, especially pornography addictions. By the way, just last week, I was at another coffee shop. You can find me in a coffee shop. Many of you met me there, all right? I love coffee shop. And I bump into this lady who said, "Hi, Pastor Prince," and all, and she wanna talk to me, so fine. And turn out that her husband, her husband, she attends our church. The husband comes once a while, but her husband has another woman, all right? So it's a sad story. And I said, "Is he still attending church"? She says, "No, he finds your message offensive". Said, "What"? "Because he says that you always share testimonies of people who are delivered from pornography and adultery".
He finds my message offensive because you're always sharing testimonies of people who are delivered from pornography and adultery. That's how can this be a grace church the way that some people criticize us, saying that anything goes, and people are feeling convicted. What are all these testimonies about? If people don't care about sin, why are people wanting to get out of pornography? Why are they...you can read all the testimonies that we have in our website, JosephPrince.com. Go to testimonial section. There are testimonies from all over the world, amen. So right believing will always bring right living, always. Wrong believing will bring wrong living. It's all in your believing. So you've got to believe that God loves you. You've got to believe that you are secure in that love, amen?
Have y'all seen the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco? You know, it was built in the 1930s at the cost of $35 million. Now, back then, the Depression days, that's very, very expensive. It was a huge, monumental task to just build that Golden Gate Bridge, but one of the biggest concerns that people had, and the workers had, is that, when they build something like this, people always die. They fall. So the whole thing came to a place where people are afraid to work. They were not motivated. But the project engineer, by the name of Joseph Strauss, he came up with this idea: he wanted to invest, and he got his wish carried out. He wanted to invest in a large net that stretched all across the bridge, and wide as well, a net. And the net will cost about six figures, $130,000, I think, or $150,000, which is a lot of money during Depression days, and guess what? The work got on more swiftly. They were able to do the project on time.
In fact, it was said, in some places where they finished the project before the time. Why? Because the workers were no more afraid to work. They were working with confidence and boldness. They were going from one steel structure to another, knowing full well that there's a net underneath. Their morale went up. They were secure, amen. Were there people who fell in it? Yes. But let me ask you a question, okay? Which one gave more security, no net, or net? Did the workers ever feel like, "Oh, there is a net. Hee-hee, I can practice diving"?
Now, why would anyone think that for us to say that "you are saved forever," "Oh, you're giving people a net"? Why not? Unless we are perfect, boy, do we need a net. When you fall, "Though a righteous man falls seven times, the Lord upholds him with his hand". Just like Noah in the ark, he might fall when the winds get too strong and bumpy during the flood, but he always fell in the ark. He never fell out of the ark. So, when you fall, you fall in the ark. That gives you security. You see, a child, you tell a child, "All right, Dad loves you, Mom loves you, but if you're naughty, we might leave you". Will the child grow up confident, strong, peaceful, smart, or will the child grow up with trepidation, with inferiority, never secure? When they fall in love next time, they're always thinking that, one day, their loved one will leave them. Are you listening, people?
This idea that "you make people secure, you'll make them sin more" is not from God, okay? So let me establish that once and for all before we look at the seven churches. So now we go to the seven churches. Are y'all ready? Are y'all ready? Let me tell you all first that there's such a thing as a church having sinners in it. Is there such a thing? Okay, I'll ask again. It's not a trick question. Is there such a thing as a church having people who are professors, all right, but the rest are possessors of eternal life? Just because someone says he's a Christian or he fills a form, right, "Religion: Christian," doesn't make him a Christian. There are "professors," not "possessors," of eternal life. To be a possessor, you believe on Jesus Christ. No one can say, "Are you saved or not"?
Now, I choose to believe you're saved. That's why I'm preaching a sermon for the saved, amen, but you can be in church and think that, you know, "My father was a Christian, my grandfather was a Christian, therefore, I'm a Christian". Sorry, God has no grandchildren, only children. You meet people like that: "Oh, all my family, my father, my grandfather, are all Christians". Doesn't make you a Christian. So is it possible for a church to have unbelievers in it? Of course, all the time. Are you listening? Let me show you a verse from 1 John chapter 2, all right, 1 John chapter 2, "Little children, it is the last hour, and as you have heard that the Antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come, by which we know that it is the last hour". Same John who wrote the book of Revelation.
Now watch this: "They," the Antichrist, "went out from us, but they were not of us. For if they had been of us, they would have continued with us, but they went out that they might be made manifest, that none of them were of us". Now, do you understand who is the "us"? We are Christians, all right? "Pastor Prince, this guy says he's a Christian, but now he practice", then comes, you know, whatever you wanna put down there: "Now he's a this, he's a that, he's a satanic", obviously, he lost his salvation. Now, how do you know he was saved in the first place? "If he was saved, he would not have left us". I'm not referring to New Creation Church. I'm speaking generally, "He will not have left us," the believers. "The fact that they went out from us showed they were not of us". If someone renounced Jesus later on, whom you believed was a believer, all right, that means he wasn't a believer in the first place. He might say the right thing. Hey, teach a parrot, the parrot can say, "Jesus is my Lord," all right?
So just because we say, "Follow us," in this prayer, doesn't mean the person really has a revelation. So we want the person to have revelation, but we cannot guarantee. It must be each person's faith in Christ, but if you have put your trust in Christ, don't doubt you are saved. You will never perish, okay? Are you with me so far? All right, do you remember the story of the parable of the tares? Jesus shared the parable of the tares, T-A-R-E-S. Tare is like a wheat. From afar, it looks like, among the wheat fields, the wheat, it looks like a wheat, but it's not a wheat, wheat from where you get bread. It is a weed, with a "D". "Lalang," like a weed, you know? So how can you tell what is a wheat, a "wheat" and a "weed"? Jesus shared this parable, and Jesus said, let's look at this parable, Matthew 13: "So the servants of the owner came and said to him, 'Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares?' He said to them, 'An enemy has done this.' So the servants said to him, 'Do you want us then to go and gather them up?'"
You know what Jesus will allow? He will allow the sinners to stay in the church. "He said, 'No,'" see that? "Lest while you gather up the tares you also uproot the wheat with them". The wheat are the real sons of God, the people of God, all right? Some people are trying to uproot the weed, the bad weed, but they hurt the wheat. "So let 'em be". Now, he shared this parable openly, then later on in the house, the disciples, like you and I, say, "Uh, what does it mean"? So I like that part, "What does it mean"? Let's drop down to the meaning: Jesus says, "The enemy who sowed them is the devil, the harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are the angels". You got it? "Therefore as the tares are gathered and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the age," this age. "The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom", oh, wait, look at that phrase, "out of His kingdom".
So these tares are in his kingdom. It's possible for sinners to be in the kingdom of Jesus Christ. It's possible for them to be in the church, but not believers. "Gather out of His kingdom," in the end, then we know who is really born again, who is saved, who is not, right? But don't think it's very hard to be saved. You believe on Christ, you know yourself, you are saved. Your head might bother you, but your heart says, "saved, saved, saved," amen, "gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and those who practice lawlessness," okay, anything else after that, "and will cast them into the furnace of fire. There'll be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous," see? The true wheat, "will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears to hear, let him hear". Are you with me so far?
All right, the Apostle Paul wrote to the Corinthian church. Watch this, 1 Corinthians 5, "I wrote to you in my epistle not to keep company with sexually immoral people. Yet I certainly did not mean with the sexually immoral people of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or idolators, since then you would need to go out of the world". So he's saying, "When I wrote to you guys, you guys misunderstood my instruction previously. I wrote to you not to spend time with people who are sexually immoral, but I'm not referring to people in the world". Many of them are extortioners, liars and...you know? Or else you have to get out of the world. You understand? So who's he referring to? Next verse, "But now I have written to you not to keep company with anyone named a brother," New Living Translation, "who claims to be a believer".
So Paul is saying, "I do not know he's a believer or not, but if someone says he's a believer, and he's practicing sexual sin or greedy or worships idols or is abusive or is a drunkard or cheats people, don't even eat with such people". He's not referring to people of the world. You can eat with people of the world, but if someone in the church, who claims to be a brother, indulges in this sin... now, what is he saying? He's saying these are the people that give a bad name to the true church. You understand? God is more severe, let me tell you this, I'm gonna say something very, very sobering. God can be very kind to people who are extortioners, murderers, sinners, adulterers out there, you know?
But if someone is in church and they're not born again, but they act like they are born again, they pretend they are saved, and they put a...because their life, they don't have the Holy Spirit, all right, and they live a life that brings dishonor to the church, God will deal with that severely. I don't know where this message got lost, but I'm telling you, church, this happened in Acts 5, Ananias and Sapphira. Were they believers? I got a whole teaching on that. They were not believers. They came into the early church to cheat, to con the people, so they positioned themself as if they were believers.
Now, is God kind of con artists out there? If they don't know Jesus, they are lost, God is very, very merciful to them. God is kind of them. But if they come into the church and call themself a believer and then cheats people but they're never saved, you know what happened to Ananias and Sapphira? They dropped dead. Just to let you know, I've proven that the fact that all believers in the book of Acts is called "a certain disciple named," "a certain disciple," but those who are not saved, "a certain man named Ananias and his wife Sapphira". Notice, "a certain man," not "a disciple". But a few chapters later, there was another man of the same name, "a certain man named, a certain disciple," "disciple" now, "named Ananias," was the one God sent to pray for the Apostle Paul. Are you with me so far? So it's not too late to get out or be saved. Which one is it? Amen? Which one is it? Come on.
Let me tell y'all something, okay? All right, this is something that really boggles people's minds, you know? They don't understand that God is a good God. God is not counting the world's sins against them. Jesus died for them. But God will not have deception. He will deal with people who call themselves "Christians," but they're never saved, 'cause these are the ones that live lives that people are saying, "But he's a church elder. What? He's a church deacon". Hey, do you know there are pastors who are not saved? There are pastors, you ask them how to get saved. They say, "Well, you believe on Jesus Christ, but you also must be holy, but you gotta make sure that you give up all your sin".
Now, he has just added works to the simple gospel. That's not salvation. And unfortunately, there are...by the way, do you know that John Wesley himself said he was preaching for Jesus, he was a missionary before he was saved? One day, he heard a sermon, and his heart was strangely warm, he said. That's when he believed on Christ. So there are people who are saved, who have a job as a pastor. They want a salary, or they want, you know, influence or whatever it is, but they're not saved, and out of their heart come all kind of crazy teachings that put the true body of Christ into bondage. Okay, are you with me so far? But, for you, don't worry. You are saved. So how about the seven churches, okay? The seven churches, what about it? Well, the thing is this about the seven churches. Let me just tell you this: every one of these seven churches, the first one, Ephesus, which is the apostles' time, all the way to Laodicea, our time, the last four is all the way until now.
Let me tell you real quick, okay? If you're taking down notes, I would say it only probably only once: Ephesus is the apostles' period, the closing of the apostle's period. Then, after that, is Smyrna, "the suffering church". In fact, in the place called Smyrna today, in Turkey, there's a place where they show you that a church elder by the name of Polycarp...probably Polycarp was the angel of the church of Smyrna. He was martyred. And the second church is Smyrna. No rebuke from Jesus for Smyrna. Why? It's a suffering church, amen? And the people there are saved, all right? Of course, in every church, there are people who are not saved. So, for them, he will say, "To him who overcomes". Okay, listen first, and then I'm gonna show to you, I'm gonna prove to you.
Number three, the third church, all right, is, after Smyrna, you have Pergamos, all right? Smyrna lasted until the last emperor of Rome... not last emperor of Rome, excuse me, the last emperor that persecuted them before Constantine came in and made Christianity an official Roman religion, okay? That is the period of Pergamos. But Smyrna entered in 313 A.D., with Diocletian the emperor. After Diocletian is the period of Pergamos, the church Pergamos. This is Constantine. Pergamos is the time of Constantine, okay, where the church no more suffered, was no more martyred. They were accepted but became political. And then, from Pergamos, we have Thyatira, which is Roman Catholic. And, from now on, you find it lasted until now.
The last four of the seven churches, first three, go up by steps, then you have the last four that lasts until now, until today, all right? Thyatira is Roman Catholicism. Until now, you still have it, right, from 590 until now. Then, after Thyatira, Roman Catholic, is Sardis. Sardis is Protestantism, Martin Luther. Sardis, all right, lasted and became official, okay, for those who are protesting. Then came all the way to, after Sardis, we have Philadelphia, okay? Philadelphia is the church that's still around today, all right, all the way, and they are the church that received commendation from Jesus. I want our church to be a Philadelphia church, but no one can say they are Philadelphia or not, but it still exists from then until now. And then the last one is Laodicea. Did I cover everything?
All right, Laodicea is the last one. It's a wealthy church. Now, "wealthy" doesn't mean "wrong," but they were boasting in their wealth. They said, "I am rich. I need nothing". We say, "My God supplies my needs," all right? We hold on, the church of Philadelphia that received commendation is the church that Jesus says, "You hold fast My name". It's all about Jesus. "You keep the word of my patience". And the last one, the last four, he talks about his coming. It's either they're, mentioned or implied. So to every seven church, listen carefully, to every one of the seven churches, he always end up by saying, "To him who overcomes," "To him who overcomes". Now, there are those who teach, "To him who overcomes" means you must be Christian that overcome everything that's wrong and immoral and sinful and all that.
Now, how many of you know that we want to overcome them all? But how many know that none of us have arrived in terms of experience? Come on. So if that is the teaching, then there's no overcomer, all right, but that's what they say: they that, "To him who overcomes" are people who are saved, but they overcome something. Or they overcome something, and then Jesus says, "To him who overcomes". Is that true? If that is true, then how do you explain the church of Sardis...oh, excuse me, the church of...let's look at this second death. Pergamos, I believe it is. "He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes shall not be hurt by the second death".
So if you say you must overcome all sin or whatever it is the world, the world and all that, okay, and then you will not be hurt by the second death, that's bad news. John 10 just went out the window. In other words, a Christian must not just be saved, they must overcome. Am I right? You know, when you have a truth, the antithetical truth is also truth. If you say that "unless you overcome, you will not be hurt by the second death," what is "second death," by the way? Book of Revelation tells us in next, chapter 21: "The cowardly," or "the fearful," in the book of, in the King James Version, "unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death".
Сhristians, you will never perish. Though Christians commit these sins, unfortunately, I've met some of them, yes, all right? But they don't stay there. Understand? These are people who are "practicing," all right? These are people who are practicing. You understand? They're not saved. They're not saved. God will never call a believer, all right, a liar and, he calls you saints even though, at times, you exaggerate; at times you have lied to your wife. "Where were you"? You don't say that you're bowling with guys or you know, you say that, "Well, overtime," you know? Then you ask God to forgive you after that. But, you see, the thing is this: as believers, we don't wanna sin, but, sometime, we fall into sin, but you're still saved. You understand? You must be secure in that. Unless you're secure in that, you cannot overcome that lying.
I've read so many testimonies of people that write to me and say, "Pastor, after you shared the revelation of 'I am the righteousness of God in Christ'", and Pastor Lawrence shared an amazing testimony last week of a guy who practiced that, amen, and he got out of adultery...oh, sorry, pornography, amen. Are you with me so far? Like the Golden Gate Bridge, unless you know there's a net, or some pastors or some teachers believe in removing the net, and they're not happy with me. They say, "You're giving people a net". I didn't give, I'm not so smart to give people a net. I'm not so smart to... the gospel. It is a gospel that Paul preached. You understand? When you are secure and you are loved, you're loved. People who are loved best, love others best, amen. Are you listening? So we've gotta preach the love of God.
See, right now, the problems and the challenges people are faced with is this: you know why these things happening to you? "Because you sinned that day. Remember, you sinned that day? Yeah, yeah, you asked God to forgive you, but how many times have you done that? That's why these things happening to you right now". Sounds familiar? That's not the voice of God. That's not the voice of the Holy Spirit. You know whose voice? Accuser. "Why do you think your friend got the promotion, and you didn't get it? Why do you think your child fell sick? Remember last month, what you did? Yeah, the rooster came home to roost". No, my friend, when Jesus died on the cross, the rooster got roosted. It is completely roasted, gone. It is not coming home to roost. There's no place to land. You are the righteousness of God in Christ, amen.
So, but you see, our mind still, no matter how established we are in grace, when bad things happen, our first thought is always we see an angry God, a stern God, an austere God. We don't need help to tell people that God is like that. Everyone in the street believes God is like that. But a happy God, and I'm being scriptural, Paul says, "The blessed gospel of the happy God," no one knows. A God who wants the best for you, a Savior who said, "I come that you might have life, and have it more abundantly". "The thief comes to steal from you, to kill, and to destroy. I come that you might have life". Why don't we preach that? By the way, that's from the same passage, John 10, where he says, "I give them eternal life". So the first thought that comes when you fail is always, "You know why this is happening? Ask yourself why this is happening. Remember what you did"?
People are not assured. And then we have people who teach others, right, long before they understand what is righteousness by faith, they are teaching them holiness. Sanctification comes after righteousness. Unless you understand you're righteous by faith, you're not ready to understand sanctification. Do you understand, people? I told you it was gonna be deep today, but it's gonna help you. Well, then who is this? Go back again to the Revelation chapter 2, verse 11. Who is the one that overcomes, that'll not be hurt by the second death? Who do you think it is? Let me ask you now. Who do you think it is? Who's he referring to? Christians who have overcome all the bad habits in their life? Then you're saying salvation is by your works.
Now, we want to overcome every bad habit. That's not a question. We want to overcome. I'm talking about the reality of this verse. What do you think it's referring to? It must be consistent with every other verse in the Bible that talks about eternal security. They shall never perish. So I submit to you it's referring to what? "He who overcomes... everyone who is born again will not be hurt by the second death". Now, before I prove that to you from scripture, let's go to another church and Jesus expressed to him who overcomes, okay? All right, this one is the church of Sardis. All right, "He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments". Who is that? Does that mean that there's another category among believers, there's another group of people who specially overcame, and then they will have white raiments? Then what raiments do I have? Purple? What do you think it is?
"And I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life". So this special group of people, their name will never be blotted. The implication is that if you're just a mere Christian, you might get blotted. Again, explain the obscure with the certain. John 10 says, "I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish". And here, he's telling you not what he will do, what he will not do. "I will not blot out. Don't make him say I will blot". So who is he referring to? "And I'll confess his name before My Father before His angels". Who is it? It's just the believers. Believers are all wearing white in God's eyes. It is the spotless righteousness of our Lord Jesus Christ given to us. In the eyes of God, this clothing you have frightens the devil, invokes angelic help, attracts the blessings of God and the favor of God. Once you accept Jesus Christ, God looks at you in that white raiments and God says, "I'll never blot out your name". That means your name is there. It's a positive statement, "I will not blot out," mm?
Let's look at another overcome, another church, all right? This time, the church of Laodicea, the last church. You can see these churches all over the world now, okay? Laodicea, he says this. "To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne". Wait a minute. Jesus says, "To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne". But then didn't Paul say in the book of Ephesians, writing by the Holy Spirit, that "you has he quickened from the dead and made to sit together with Christ at his Father's right hand"? Are you going to be seated or are you seated? Seated. The language there is past tense. The tense there is past tense. You are seated with Christ. But here is a condition. "To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne," so I submit to you, you read for yourself, people. Don't let other people read for you and tell you what they mean. I'm asking you now, what do you see? Is it another category of Christians? Then that means what? That means not all of us will sit with Jesus on his throne. But that negates the truth of Ephesians, okay? "As I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne".
You know how Jesus overcame? By faith. And we overcome by faith. Now I give you the Bible interpret Bible. Is this Revelation? Who is the one that wrote Revelation? He's just a pen man, okay, he's the secretary, but we know that Jesus gave him the revelation, but he wrote it, right? So every author has their own language style, okay? So did John say anywhere about overcoming? Same John, yes, the same John in 1 John chapter 5 said, "Whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world, our faith. Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God"? That's all of us. I submit to you that's all of us. I said that's all of us. I don't have time to cover everything, but let me just tell you this. The church of Laodicea, they say, "I am rich. I need nothing". Jesus not even in their lips. Is a church that is almost like an institution, all right? They are there for profit-minded purpose, and they have no place and no heart for Jesus, and Jesus rebuked them. "You do not know you are blind, you are poor, you are naked. I counsel you to buy me gold tried in the fire".
He used their language because they're commercial people. They think of commerce all the time, money, money, money. So he used their language and he says this...money is not wrong, by the way. But if you trust the Lord Jesus to supply your needs, it's different from being greedy. The church is not the place to make money. It is a place where in the last days the wealth of the sinner is laid up for the righteous, okay? If you maneuver, you manipulate, and you lie and you cheat to get money, whether it's in the church or in your business life, instead of trusting the Lord, trusting his ways, then you are part of the Church of Laodicea. Do you understand? So Jesus told them, he used the language, "I counsel you to buy me gold," buy. Of course, it's Isaiah's language. Isaiah says, "Come", God says, "Buy from me, without money, without price". Yeah, he says, "Buy from me".
What a beautiful way of saying it, all right? You believe in buying? Come, buy something from me for free. "I counsel you to buy me gold tried in the fire. Buy from me white clothes so your nakedness will not appear". What is that? Righteousness. He's telling them to be saved. Open your eyes with eye salve to see. You're lost. Lost as a goose. And what should it profit a man, he gains the whole world but lose his soul? You go to a coffin, they say that this guy is wearing the most expensive whatever. He's dead. He's lost. He's not gonna bring that to the other life. What does it profit a man he gains the whole world? Now I'm not against people making money and all that, I'm not against that, okay? I am, however, against people think that that is the end. And some people, they won't use Jesus till the end. No, Jesus is the center, not money. Jesus in the center.
If you're given three months to live, do you think that, "Okay, man, these three months, I must close that deal". No way, you wanna spend time with your family, you wanna spend time with your loved ones. All of a sudden, priorities are rearranged. You see what's really important. So it's okay to have money. Nothing wrong with that, okay? But these people, they boasted in their wealth. It seems like it identified who they are, and then Jesus says, "You are blind, you are naked. I counsel you to buy me white raiments". That can only come if you're born again, amen? Are you with me so far? Are you established with who is the overcomer? There are always those in the body of Christ who will dispute this and they will say, "No, no, those who overcome are special group of people that overcome, all right, whatever that means".
To what extent do I overcome before I am a overcomer? They can't explain it. No, God is not so vague. I say God is not so vague. And then you are left with what? That if you don't overcome, you might be hurt by the second death. Church, God will never leave his people without their assurance, okay? Are you all assured now, people? That when you pray, God hears your prayer. When something wrong happens, it's an attack, don't worry about it. Pray, ask God to be involved in that. Use the name of Jesus. Speak to that condition, amen. Get brothers and sisters to pray for you, but don't think that God is against you. God is for you, amen? So the last part, let me just go to the... by the way, go back to "To him who overcomes," Revelations 3, right? Look at chapter 20. The verse before this. It's Laodicea, right? It's Laodicea Church, okay?
Look at this, "Behold, I stand at the door and knock". Jesus is outside the church. I said Jesus is outside the church. And he says, "I'm knocking". Oh, no knocking sound. "If any man hear My voice and open the door". Billy Graham used this a lot in his crusades, in his rallies. Or he used this a lot, and people say, "Do you know that he lift it out of context because this is not meant for sinners. It's meant for the church". No, he's right. It's talking to the sinners in the church, which in Laodicea's case, the majority were lost, all right? So he says, "I stand at the door. If anyone hears My voice, open the door, I'll come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me". That's fellowship. If you invite Jesus into your life. He will not break down the door of your heart, of your life. He can do it, he has the power, but he will not do it. He waits to be invited. Are you with me so far?
So the seven churches. Let me finish with one, okay, the first one. I only have time for the first one. Actually, I wanna expound on Laodicea, but we went to the first one, Revelation chapter 2, Ephesus. "To the angel of the church of Ephesus write, 'These things says He who holds the seven stars in His right hand, who walks in the midst of seven golden lampstands.'" I wish I can tell you that every church he presents himself in a special facet. Over here, he says he's the one who walk in the center of the golden lampstand. To other churches, it shows that he is the one whose mouth has a sharp edged sword, all right? So every church he presents differently because that's the part of the church, the revelation of Jesus that church needs to help them. Here, they need to put Jesus back in the center, why? They left their first love. Let's keep on reading. "'"I know your works, your labor, your patience,"'" stop.
So this church had works, they had labor, they had patience, and yet the Lord says, "I have something against you. You have left your first love. Remember from where you fell, and do the first works," which is what? You know, when in a marriage situation, when a husband or a wife lose their love for their spouse, you know what you need to do? Don't try to get back the feeling. Don't sing, "I've lost that loving feeling. Lost that loving feeling". No, love is not about feeling. When you lose that feeling of love, start doing the first works. Start saying sweet nothings again or sweet somethings. Start being romantic. Start doing as if she's the most attractive woman on earth, even though you don't feel it, start doing it. And she must respond as if he's the greatest guy, even though she don't feel it. Do the first works and guess what? You'll start feeling the love again. Love follows your action.
If you're waiting for love to come and possess you, you'll never have the action. Start doing the first works. Start remembering the first love, which is his love for us, and start, you know, going to church, start, even though you don't feel it, keep on doing it, keep on saying, "Lord, how you love me". Even though you don't feel it, start telling him that. And guess what? Feelings will come. And God knows, he made us with feelings he understands, all right? God didn't say, "Oh, boy, that one came from the devil, sorry. That part came of the devil. I was making you, the devil came in. 'I put feelings.'" No, God made you with feelings. Aren't you glad God made you with feelings? But he doesn't want feelings to rule you, amen. So you start acting loving towards someone and you start feeling it later, amen? So anyway, they were a church that needs to repent. You've left your first love. And Jesus says, "Repent or else I'll remove your candlestick".
Here's again, some people take security out of the believer by saying, "See, he remove your candlestick". What does that mean, bro? "That means you will lose your salvation". No, remove your candlestick. What is the candlestick? We just read. The candlestick is the church. What does it mean? That means this pastor will no longer have his church. The church is removed. I'll remove your candlestick, not that I'll remove your eternal life. I'll remove your candlestick means, right, your sphere of influence is gone. Every pastor listening to me must understand, we are what we are, whatever influence, because God wants us to give us the influence. If you believe you have something better than Pastor Prince, no problem. There are many, many, thousands, millions of people better than me, all right? But let God give you the favor. Let God give you the influence. Let God give you the reach. If God doesn't, what you say doesn't amount to a hill of beans, amen.
"Pastor Prince believe this, but I believe this". Let God give you the influence. But if God doesn't, I wanna know why, amen? You think Pastor Prince make himself famous? Look at this face. Don't laugh so loud. Look at your own face. "My England is better than Pastor Prince". Of course, of course. "My jokes are better". Of course, I'll be the first one to admit. But for some reason, God gives influence. It's something that you cannot make happen. Either you have it or you don't have it. Prophet Samuel, the Bible says it was understood that Samuel was a prophet ordained by God because God let none of his words fall to the ground. If all that you say that I have a better revelation, I have the correct revelation, good for you, brother. We need more people who preach the truth, but let God give you the influence. If God doesn't, then don't just be like a little puppy yacking a lot, whereas a bulldog, big one, quiet. Are you listening, people?
Some of you are reading books by people who criticize the grace message. Ask yourself where are their testimonies? Where is the testimony that says, "Ever since I found out that grace, I was delivered from this extreme grace, I've been delivered from adultery". But if you go to JosephPrince.com, amen, okay, see, I'm taking time. I become full in God glorying. I'm just here to tell you, church, you have attacks that will rob you of the assurance you have. But let me close with this, Revelations 2, okay, and then I'll let you off. Here, "I know your works, your labor, your patience". So the church had works, the church had labor, they had perseverance. The word here is perseverance, patience. And yet the Lord is not pleased, why? Because if you look at 1 Thessalonians 1, "Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, labor of love, patience of hope," what's missing? Put them together. You see up there? Even the order of it, works, labor, patience. Below, work of faith, labor of love, patience of hope. Faith, love, hope is missing. And only when you hear the message of grace, the gospel, will you have faith, hope, and love.
So what brings Jesus joy? It's not you doing it. Are you doing it out of faith? It's not just your laboring. Is it a labor of love? "Ah, I persevere, I persevere". But you might be persevering to impress people. Are you persevering with hope in our Lord Jesus Christ? "So, Pastor Prince, what brings faith, hope, and love"? I'll close, but before that, 1 Corinthians 13:13, show them. "Now abides faith, hope, love, these three; the greatest of these is love". Old King James says, "Faith, hope, and charity," which is agape love. "Have faith, hope, and charity. That's the way to live successfully. How do I know? The Bible tells me so", amen? So what the Lord loves is faith, hope, and love, amen? Okay, the last passage, I'm gonna show you something. It's because the lack of assurance, we have a promise: faith, hope, and love. It's not a matter of doing something. It is why are you doing it? There are people who do it for, like I say, for money. There are people who do it to have influence. There are people who do it because they want to be seen. So, motives are very important with the Lord, okay? Are you with me so far?
All right, let's look at the last passage, and we'll close. Hebrews 10: "Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith," faith, "having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. And let us consider one another in order to stir up love". And you know why these three is lacking in many places? Because Hebrews 10 starts off with the first two verses. Go to the first two verses. It says, what? "Once you are purged," verse 2, "Worshipers, once purified, would have no more consciousness of sins". It's a message of grace that will bring people to... go back to verse 22, "Full assurance of faith, holding the confession of hope without wavering, stirring one another to love". You know, people say, "Pastor Prince, you know, a lot of people want to listen and you have a big church and things like that and all that".
Now, big doesn't mean, you know, necessary a sign of success, okay? I understand that. Okay, but influence and favor is, okay? But you know that the influence that God has given is bigger than just this church, but the thing that people are asking, why do people wanna come, why? Because I'll tell you something, the next verse, see verse 24? "Let us consider one another in order", look at the next verse, "Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together". Put them together. This is verse 25. Verse 24 says, "Stir up one another in order to love, faith, hope, love, then not forsaking the assembling". People will want to come all the more as you see the day approaching. Why are people not attending church? Why? You know why? I'll tell you why. Because one moment, you tell them, "You believe in Jesus, you are saved. You have eternal life". Next thing you say, "Now that you are saved, if you do something wrong, all right, you can get unsaved". "All men", he says, "Not everyone who calls me 'Lord, Lord,' will enter but he who do the will of my Father". Then you ask, "What's the will of my Father, Pastor"? "Well, keep on coming". He'll never make it vague. He will never make it vague. Something like this, you've got to be clear about, c'mon, amen?
So only he knows what the will of my Father? I gave you what Jesus himself said is the will of his Father: to believe on him, right, amen? Are you with me so far? You see, go back to verse 22. And he says, "Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith". You know, what's the verses before this? "Boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus". And what's the verse before that? It says that "where there's forgiveness of your sins, there's no more offering for sin". You know what's the verse before that? "By one offering, this man Jesus," amen? "By one offering for sins forever, he sat down". He's not gonna rise up again and offer for us. When you commit a fresh sin, he's not gonna rise up and die for you again. One offering forever.
Show them Hebrews 10, verse 2 again: "Once purified," verse 2. "Once purified," the worshipers, "would have no more," no more is hapax in Greek, which means, all right, once and for all. Sorry, "Once purified," once is hapax. "Once and for all purified". Once and for all, hapax in Greek. "Once and for all purified, would have no more consciousness of sins". And the word "purified," the tense in the Greek is perfect tense, which means it happened once with continuing effect. You can never repeat it again. So you have hapax once and for all purified, you have the Greek tense, perfect tense, cannot be repeated. We should have no more... you see, somebody, my benefactor paid off my debt. Let's say my benefactor paid off my debt, a huge debt, all right? For me to start feeling I still owe money and I don't wanna approach him and all that, insults him when he has paid my debt. Are you listening, people?
So, because we know we have no more sin consciousness. Why? 'Cause sins have been removed by the body of Jesus Christ, okay? Now comes because of that. Let us draw near, verse 22. Verse 22, "Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience". What's an evil conscience? Always feeling, "I have sinned, I have sinned. I cannot pray. I cannot come to God. I have sinned, I have sinned. Can you pray for this brother? I cannot. I'm not Pastor Henry, I have sinned, I have sinned". This consciousness of sin all the time is an evil conscience. It is saying, in essence, "Jesus, he didn't do a good job". Only when you have no more evil conscience, you can draw near with true heart and full assurance of faith. "Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering".
Hope is a positive, confident expectation of good, amen? And last one, "provoking one another to love and good works". No wonder we're not forsaking our assembling. Why? Because we're having faith, hope, and love. So, the problem with the church is this: Yes, there are seven churches. Listen carefully. Not all of them are, doesn't mean that all the seven churches people are unsaved. No, no, majority of them, except for Laodicea, they are saved. The angels, the pastor of the church is saved. But Jesus will tell a pastor, for example, "You allowed that woman Jezebel to teach". He put the responsibility squarely on the pastor. Why are we preaching messages that's meant for the leadership, for the pastors, to the members? We are preaching to the members as if they're responsible. Jesus addressed the pastor for allowing that woman to teach. Are you listening?
And Jesus says, "And I'll kill her children to death". Watch this. That woman that teach the wrong doctrine, "I will kill her children to death". Not referring to children; her disciples. In those days, they say "children," it's disciples, those who follow teaching. Listen carefully. I'll close with this. Paul says, "I'm shocked that you are so soon removed from him who called you into the grace of Christ to a different gospel". Which means what? If this is a different gospel, he called you into the grace... grace is the true gospel, all right? In Galatians chapter 1, "I am shocked that you are so soon removed from him who called you in the grace of Christ to a different gospel".
Today, people are trying to make it sound that grace is a different gospel. This is the true gospel: you must keep the law. Paul's time, this is the true gospel, the grace of Christ. This is a different gospel, telling you you must keep the law. And what happens when people preach like that? Preach a different gospel? Paul says, "I tell you, though we or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached, let him be anathema, let him be accursed". Wow, gospel of grace preacher, Paul, pronounced, then he says, twice. He pronounced a double curse on anyone who preach any other gospel.
And I learned a long time ago if I preach the true gospel, I'll be doubly blessed. I wanna tell you this. When Paul preached the gospel in one place, there was a sorcerer, his name is Elimus, all right? He came and Paul was preaching to the, like, the mayor of the city, all right? A VIP of the city. And the guy was believing what Paul was preaching, and this guy, the sorcerer, came. He was jealous of Paul's influence and he starts trying to stop the whole thing. And Paul turned to him and says, "The hand of the Lord be upon you. You will be blind," then he says, "for a season". By the way, that's mercy: "for a season". The guy became blind. The sorcerer became blind. One day I was reading that and God said to me, "Do you know the sorcerer was sorcerizing all the time"?
That's the wrong... that's not the right word. God didn't say that, but I'm trying to speak in a way you can understand. In that city, he was busy practicing sorcery. People believe him and all that. Even the mayor believe him and all that. When Paul came in, notice no judgment fell on him. No judgment fell on him. He was practicing, and yet no judgment fell on him. But the moment he stands against the gospel, the true gospel, bang, he became blind. I'm telling you this: when people stand against the true gospel, I have seen things happen. I can name names, I can tell you things happening. It's almost frightening. You know why?
You see, some of you are, "Oh, I feel afraid". Don't be afraid. He holds a rod but he also hold a staff. The staff is for you, sheep. The rod is for your enemies. It's for the wolves. It's dangerous. Dangerous to come against the gospel of grace. It's the only gospel that will save people. While we Christians are trying to put each other right, the world is going to hell. Nobody is preaching the gospel anymore. Neither are we encouraging each other. We'll never agree on everything. But let's agree Jesus is Lord and only by his blood can we be saved. If I tell you we're not saved by our works like Abraham, what shall we say then that Abraham our father has found as pertaining to the flesh? If Abraham was justified by faith, he has something to boast about but not before God.
Now to him that... what saith the Scripture? Abraham believed God without works, and God imputed to him righteousness. Now, to him that worketh is the reward not reckon of grace but of death. But to him who does not work but believes on him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness. That's the gospel. But then, why is it there must always be a comeback? Yeah, "A faith without works is dead". Why must you always come back with that? Is this the gospel or not? Justification by faith without works. Is that the gospel or not? It is. But why must you always come back so fast with, "But faith without works is dead"? Now, is that true? Is that from the Bible? It is, but why are you saying? Are you saying that we need to add some works? Then you are preaching another gospel.
So what is faith without works... is dead? I have another message I preach on that. That one is, this is justification by faith before God. That one is justification by works before men. Don't confound the two. Why is it the comeback must always come back with "Faith without works is dead". You talk about faith without works, "faith without works is dead". You are confounding the two. This is Abraham became righteous long before his Son came. Under the starlit night, you know, he believed the gospel, he got saved. And that one, he says, was not Abraham justified by works when he laid Isaac? That was many years after the incident of being justified before God. Many years after Isaac came, depending on how old Isaac was when Abraham offered Isaac on the altar, God says he was justified where? Before men. He is a man of God. You understand? Don't confound the two.
How can we believe right and live wrong? People are scared, you tell people you are justified by faith without works. I didn't tell them; God did, amen? Have you been blessed? We'll just bring this to a close, okay? I'll just show you one single thing, one last verse, and we'll close. And this verse will tell you there are seven things you need to do which will bring us to seven other verses. No, I'm just kidding. Give Jesus the praise, c'mon, hallelujah. Have you been blessed? Have you been blessed, amen. So, do not let the rebukes of Jesus that's meant for the pastor, all right, come on you, amen? Also, don't let the rebukes of Jesus for those who are not saved in the church come on you. Let, the Bible says, warn the unruly, comfort the weak, the feeble. There are people who warn the weak and comfort the unruly. You see? You don't rightly divide the Word, that's what happens.
So, church, all the promises. Notice, let us draw near with full assurance, full assurance. Where do we get this idea that, you know, God wants us to live life that we're not sure whether we are saved or not. I had one pastor say this: "I do not know who is saved among you. I don't even know whether I'm saved". Then come down from the pulpit because the Bible says, people, "These things I have written unto you, that you may know you have eternal life," amen. I know I'm saved. Oh, thank God for his grace and the blood of Jesus. Nothing but the blood of Jesus, that's why I'm saved. Today I'm the righteousness of God in Christ, amen. I know I'm saved. I know I'm saved. And you know you are saved. Your head might give you problems, but your heart says "Saved, saved".
But you can't say you're saved... friend, today you can be saved. Jesus died on the cross, my friend. He died on the cross when he didn't have to. He's the only one who says, "I have power to lay down my life and to pick it up again. No man takes my life from me". No, friend, the Romans didn't murder Jesus. No one can touch him before his time. He laid down his life. I like the part where in the movie, "The Passion," he laid down on the cross. I believe that's what happened. No one can take his life. He gave his life because he's the only sacrifice that God would accept. If I die for you, Joseph Prince's blood has sin. If you die for me, all right, your blood has sin. But Jesus is the only one, precious blood that washes away all our sins. No one, you know, if God let us all go to hell, he'll still be just.
I say that again. If God let us all go to hell, he'll still be just. And say, "Well, I resent that. I'm offended by that". Ping, you're gone. He can do that. But God doesn't do that. He loves us. He gave his Son, the best. He didn't give an angel; he gave his Son, and his Son died on the cross, and God is not saying you must climb the highest mountain, swim the deepest ocean before you can be saved. No, it's so simple. "My Son did everything for you. He took your sins. Now will you take his righteousness? He took your curse; will you take the blessings of God? He was rejected because he was carrying your sins. Will you allow yourself to be accepted by me? Will you receive my love? Return, come home, you were made for love. You're not made to fend for yourself, to live life on your own. You were created to be loved and with the fuel of love, live life," amen. Do your job. You're a student; study, but with the fuel, energy, of love, his love for you, amen. And you find life beautiful, life most wonderful, life more abundant. Every head bowed, every eye closed. If that is you, wherever you are, you're gonna put your trust in Jesus right now. Pray this prayer with me. Say:
Heavenly Father, your Word says, "I give them eternal life and they shall never perish". I believe Jesus Christ is the Son of God who died on the cross for my sins. I believe he rose from the dead. He's alive forevermore. He has conquered death for me. I'm no longer afraid of death. Jesus conquered death for me. Jesus Christ is my Lord and my Savior. I believe all my sins have been forgiven. I believe in full assurance of faith that God is for me, not against me, I have hope for my future, and my future is beautiful, my future is bright because my shepherd will always lead me, guide me, protect me. Surely, goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life until I dwell in the house of the Lord forever. In Jesus's name (and all the people said), amen.
Stand to your feet. Praise the Lord, hallelujah. Whoa, whoa, hallelujah. Remember to sit down. Well, praise the Lord. You've been a good congregation. Lift your hands all across this place.
Father God, I thank you for your Word tonight. I thank you, Father, that Word has been sown and even there are people who don't understand, Lord, everything that was shared, Father, I thank you they have been cleansed. They have been purged, they have been washed. They have been healed, Lord. Thank you, Father God, they leave this place going out with joy and, Father, health is springing forth speedily in their bodies, Father. Thank you, Father in heaven. Give them grace, Father, multiplied, amen. Favor multiplied. And Father, increase their blessings, increase their favor, increase it, increase it, Father. Thank you, Father God, until we meet again, Father, we thank you for the Church of Jesus Christ that he gave his life for. Thank you, Father, we love this church. We thank you for every church that's watching right now, that's listening, Father. We thank you, Lord, that you bless every church, you bless the pastors, Lord. What an awesome responsibility, Lord. You anoint them, I pray. Thank you, Father, we pray. In Jesus's name we ask and all the people said... God bless you.