Joseph Prince — Redemption Truths That Bless Your Relationships
The house of God is not a building. It is the gathering of God's many-membered church, amen? Wherever you are, the Body of Christ is, and the Bible says that the Lord himself said, "If two of you shall agree", "If two of you gather in my name", the smallest majority is two, amen? The Lord says, "There I am in the midst of them". Praise the Lord. The church of Jesus Christ is God's greatest dream. The church of Jesus Christ, otherwise known as the bride of Christ, is God's first council. When God first dream, you know, his love plan, his dream for man, God thought of the church. His Son was always with him. The Bible says, he says he was there at the beginning. Solomon in his wisdom says, "I was daily his delight," prophesying in the book of Proverbs. "I was daily his delight".
So the Lord was always there with the Father, the Triune God, one God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Even in Hebrew, the word is Elohim, and -im there at the end is always plural, but one God, Triune God. And God's dream for man is that when God thought of man, when God made Adam, the very first thing God thought of for Adam, what was it? Was it to rule over the earth? Which Adam was given the assignment? Was it to name all the animals of which God gave him also that assignment? Was it to dress and keep the garden? That's also what God gave him to do. But in all these things, God never consulted himself. God never spoke to himself, but what was written that God spoke to himself was this: God said, "It is not good for man to be alone," amen? You're all looking at me kind of strange. A few of you are saying, "I wish I was alone". No, if your marriage is being challenged, today God has a word for you, and one word from God can change your life forever. Okay, so let's look at Genesis chapter 2: "And the Lord God said, 'It is not good that man should be alone.'"
Now, if God says, "It's not good for man to be alone," it's not good. So God says, "I'll make you a helper. I'll make man a helper". Now, that woman is to be a helper. Say "helper". Helper. You don't actually help by nagging too long, okay? I mean, you help. You help, amen? Helper. Can I have a good amen? Okay, then look at this. This is strange. "Out of the ground," the next verse is "the Lord God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the air, and brought them to Adam to see what he would call them. And whatever Adam called each living creature, that was its name". That's authority. That's authority. Authority by your spoken word. Next verse, "So Adam gave names to all cattle, to the birds of the air, to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper comparable to him.
So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam, and he slept, and he took one of his ribs and closed up the flesh in its place. The rib he took from man he made into a woman and brought her to the man". Next verse, "Adam said, 'Now this is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh. She shall be called woman, because she was taken out of man.' Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh". The reason I'm reading all this to you is because I wanna show you that this was God's first and chiefest council, that he even spoke out to himself. Man's headship, man's dominion, all right, God did not even tell man, "I'm gonna bring the man all the animals for him to have authority over," but God mentioned about the woman. Now, what did have God have in mind? You know, God, he always has something deeper and stronger, right? So, physically, there's a woman be an inspiration to man. Man will kill. Man will fight battles. Man will do all kinds of things just for the love of a woman, amen? Keep this in mind.
Let's go to what God has in terms of that reality of this in Ephesians chapter 5: "For this reason", he's quoting Genesis now, "a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife". By the way, when the Bible says, "A man shall leave his father and mother," guys, you gotta leave, amen? Don't keep on saying that, "My mother said", "My mother used to", "My mother cooks it like that," "My mother". Leave or she will leave, all right? "And the two shall become one flesh. So this is a great mystery". Paul doesn't always say... Paul teaches mystery, musterion in the Greek. Mystery does not mean something hidden like a mystery book, I mean, a mystery novel and all that. You only find out at the end, usually. No, mystery is something that was hidden in the Old Testament, something that was hidden in God's secret council. It wasn't time yet, it wasn't the fullness of time for God to reveal, but in the New Testament, mystery means once hidden, now revealed, once hidden, now revealed to the initiated, to those that God is calling, amen? "This is a great mystery," not just a mystery, a great mystery, "but I speak concerning Christ and the church".
So here we have God already had in mind Christ and the church. Long before the fall, God had in mind redemption. Do you understand what I'm saying? The Lamb of God, slain before the foundation of the world. We cannot understand this because we are time-bound people. We are people who live in a time-bound world, so we cannot understand this idea that God can see things happen before it, and God's first intention in creating is redemption, is to save. Creation is not God's first thought and then redemption is his afterthought, no. Redemption is his first thought. Can I get a good amen? You see, I'm just introducing, you know. This might become a series. "So nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband," all right? Of course, I'm not supposed to add to God's Word, but for those who are lovers of golf and all that, let everyone love his own wife as his golf club. I think they take care of their golf club more than, you know? They're very careful with the polish. They care of their... when it come to their wife, "Huh"?
So, now the snake came, and the snake said, you all know the story, okay? I won't go into the story because it's a well-known story. The snake deceived the woman, and the woman gave the fruit to the husband. Chapter 3, all right? "She also gave to her husband with her". Hey, our friend is not somewhere, you know? Our friend is there, you know? All the fall happened because he kept quiet, "And he ate. The eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew they were naked". Now they forfeited the glory of God. "They sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings. Then God came and God says, 'Where are you, Adam?' Adam says, 'I heard your voice'", drop down all the way. "'Where are you?' 'I heard your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked, and I hid myself.' God says, 'Who told you, you were naked?'" all right? "And then the man said, 'The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate.'"
Look at this. He blamed God, and he blamed the woman. "The woman you gave me," all right? So man, if you forget anything else I share, I pray that you will not forget this today. If you can only come to this place, sometimes when I have a certain disagreement with my beautiful wife because she failed to see the wisdom by which God has bestowed upon me that is pretty obvious and glaring for all to see, you know, except for her... I don't know why she don't see it, so she argue, I argue, she argue, I argue, right? No matter what, when I go to the Lord and I complain to the Lord, he never take my side. It seems like everything, he want me to learn from it. To learn for what? See, teach. He wants me to learn, and even when I think Most of the time I think I'm right. You guys are the same. Most of the time, we think we are right, right now, right? But if you can come, just come to a place — forget anything else? Don't forget this — come to a place where it's nobody's fault, even when I think I'm right, all right? "Lord, I'll take the place where I'm at fault".
I tell you this, you're gonna bring your marriage higher and higher. Grace people, listen. When you know you're forgiven of all your sins, you can be frank with God. You can be frank with your friends, right? But also can judge yourself. Now, I didn't say condemn yourself. You can judge. You can say it. "Okay, Joseph Prince, your tone just now was a bit curt, a bit sharp". The problem is that we're not willing to judge ourself 'cause we are people, we are so in pain. We are people who are suffering that we are trying to get approval from people. We have no time to judge ourself. The moment someone try to say something about us that's negative, we hit back. We lash back, but you'll never grow that way. You'll never find new areas of blessings because you don't see yourself. But you know something? Don't let anyone judge you. Yes, I understand, all right, in the sense of condemnation, but you can judge yourself.
The Bible says if we will judge ourself, we'll not be judged. Now, that means judge correctly, at the Lord's Supper, the bread and the cup, but we judge ourselves, amen? Sometimes when you're wrong, okay, you know where you went wrong just now, judge yourself. Judge it. And I find that people who are grace people who know their sins are forgiven, they're the righteousness of God in Christ, can look at their behavior and say, "They is not me, but because I did it, I can judge it". You understand? Amen. The next chapter, I'm not gonna spend time reading the whole chapter. I'll just show you something really interesting. Next chapter, "In process of time it came to pass that Cain", now the sons of Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel. "Cain brought an offering of the fruit of the ground to the Lord". The what? Offering of what? "The fruit of the ground to the Lord". Oh, I need to show you this: When Adam and Eve sinned, God said to the snake... All right, now God said first... Look, look. Go back to Genesis: "You have done this. You are cursed more than all cattle".
Just remember, Satan is cursed. He's not going to be cursed. He's already cursed. Always remember this: You are blessed, and he is cursed. Don't you forget that. He wants to bring you under his curse. When you touch his things, you come under his curse, all right? If you believe in reading horoscope, you believe in superstition, you believe in New Age stuff, or you are committing adultery or whatever, you are touching his things. There is no curse on you. You are blessed. The curse is on him. Don't touch his stuff. It's cursed, okay? "On your belly you shall go. You shall eat dust all the days of your life". Now, God made man from the dust. Don't become natural. Be spiritual. Walk with God, and you become undevourable, amen? Drop down. "And I'll put enmity between you and the woman, between your seed and her Seed. He shall crush your head. You shall crush his heel".
Bruise there is unfortunate. Bruise means like a blue-black, but in the Hebrew is the word crush. "You will crush his heel". Who is that? Jesus at the cross. Satan crushed his heel, but what did he do with his heel, Jesus? He crushed Satan's head. He crushed Satan's head. In doing so, he was wounded. Where was he wounded? At the cross. He crushed Satan's head, okay? So God promised that, and then God told man this. Watch this. God says to the woman, "I'll greatly multiply your sorrow in conception". Drop down to man, because of time, "Cursed is the ground for your sake. In toil you shall eat of it all the days of your life". Drop down. "But both thorns and thistles you shall bring forth". So, in other words, the ground had no thorns. There was no thistles. After Adam sinned, thorns came out. That's why Jesus wore the crown of thorns. So "Cursed is the ground," and then God says, "In the sweat of your face you will eat bread," okay?
Now watch this. Next chapter, Cain brought what? "Cain brought an offering of the fruit of the ground to the Lord". Now, it's not just that he trusts his own self-righteousness because he didn't bring blood. His brother "Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and their fat". In other words, Abel brought blood. Blood means, "God, I'm a sinner". Without the shedding of blood, there's no forgiveness of sins. Oh, I forgot to tell you this. After Adam and Eve dressed themselves in fig leaves, you know what God did? God came and says, "Where are you"? When God appeared in all his holiness, Adam was hiding. I mean, God appeared to man in a different light. God killed animals, amen? And blood was shed. God was the first one to offer sin offering, and God killed the animal, and God clothed Adam and Eve with coats of skin, blood dripping everywhere.
That Adam saw God in a new light. He came out. In the light of holiness, he hid himself. He was afraid. When God appeared in the light of redemption, the light of grace, he came out, amen, and don't forget, without the shedding of blood. Of course, he taught his sons, "Cain and Abel," you gotta bring blood". Blood means, "I am a sinner. I deserve to die," but this innocent lamb dies in my place. You and I deserve to die, but Jesus, the Lamb of God, took our sins. He was punished in our place, amen, church? So "The Lord respected Abel and his offering, but he did not respect Cain and his offering. And Cain was very angry. His countenance fell". The next thing, he was very angry. He murdered his brother.
Now, God came to him. Before he killed his brother, "The Lord said to Cain, 'Why are you angry? Why has your countenance fallen? If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. Its desire is for you, but you shall rule over it.'" God came to Cain. Look at the gracious God. God came to him and said, "Cain, if you do well", what is "doing well"? The Bible says in 1 John 3, "In this the children of God its manifested". People are saying, "See, Pastor Prince, 'Whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God.'" All right, there's a practice in righteousness, but keep the context. This is verse 10. Verse 11, "This is the message that you heard from the beginning. We should love one another, not as Cain who was of the wicked one and murdered his brother. Why? Why did he murder his brother? Because his works were evil and his brother's righteous".
Now stop for a while. What is "practicing righteousness"? It says here "Cain's works were evil, his brother's righteous". But what this brother do that his works were righteous? He did nothing but brought the offering. He brought the lamb. So whenever you bring the Lamb, you bring Jesus to God. You put your trust in Jesus. God says, "Your works are righteous". So interpret this correctly. What are righteous works? What is practicing righteousness? Trusting in the sacrifice. Okay, go back to the story. We close. All right, "God says, 'Cain, why are you angry? Why has your countenance fallen? If you do well'", What is doing well? Offering correctly. One translation says, "If you offer correctly, will you not be accepted? And if you don't do well, you don't offer correctly, sin lies at the door". It's like a person. It personify its desires for you, but you shall rule over it. But what's sin in the Hebrew, hata, you must see the context. Sin and sin offering is the same word.
Do you know the word sin and sin offering is the same word? You must see the context for its application. Here it's personified, so what do you think it is? Sin offering. In fact, Young's put it that way, Young's translation: "Is there not, if thou dost well, acceptance? and if thou dost not well, at the opening," at the door, "a sin-offering is crouching, and unto you its desire, and thou rulest over it". So God even brought to his opening, his house, his door, God brought an animal. God brought a lamb, and the lamb is crouching, and the lamb desires for him to take and offer it, but he refused. This was before the murder, you know? Why did he murder his brother? You'll be shocked to hear this about approaching God. One approaches self-righteousness. The other approach with no righteousness of his own but the lamb's righteousness. One produces love, and the other approach produces hatred, even murder.
And I'll close with this last verse, Luke 22, Jesus in the garden. "Being in agony, he prayed more earnestly. Then his sweat became like great drops of blood". Sometimes we quote it like, "He sweat blood," but the Bible doesn't say that. It says, "His sweat became like great drops of blood", yes, he sweat blood, but notice what it says further, "falling down to the ground". The ground is what? Cursed. So what happened in a garden, in another garden? God said in the first garden, "Man, you will live by stress. Just to get bread, you will live by stress". And don't think these are poor people. You know, rich people, and now they're stressed out, looking at what's happening around the world.
So that's the curse on man, "By the sweat of your face, you will eat bread," and the ground is cursed. Here the very first thing Jesus did before he died on the cross, the very first area he shed blood is his sweat, and under intense pressure, your blood capillaries burst only under intense pressure. Doctors will tell you that. There's a certain term they use for it. It burst into the capillaries, and you sweat blood. But it doesn't just say he sweat blood. It says the blood fell to the ground. Now, you must understand, by the Son of God, his blood has redeeming power. His blood has saving power. So when his sweat and his blood mingle, guess what? He redeemed all of us from the curse of stress, from the curse of self-effort, from the curse of sweat, amen. And not only that, his blood fell to the ground.
So wherever you walk is blessed ground. Wherever you walk is blessed ground. Wherever you go is blessed ground. That's why, when you walk into a cafe, into a restaurant, into a boutique, into a school, whatever it is, you know, there's no one there and all that, people coming in. You know why? Because you don't realize how blessed you are. You are a blessing of God, going somewhere to happen, amen? You are redeemed, and I wish, I wish with all my heart that you know how forgiven you are, how loved you are, how redeemed you are, and live life loved. Live life protected. Live life basking in his goodness. Live life as a testimony for his glory, and the greatest testimony is a life well lived for Jesus, amen, church? Praise the Lord. Give him praise, hallelujah, amen, amen, amen.