Joseph Prince - Experience The Grace Revolution
Praise the Lord. I took some time away and just to be by myself to be with the Lord, just the Lord and me, not a family time, okay? In fact, my wife actually was the one that advised me to go away because I've been so distracted with so many things in church as well as with my beautiful son, you know, spending time with him at home. And at work, there's always something to look into and to spend time with the leaders with that I almost like, you know, I've not gone for a holiday for a year. And my daughter and my wife would go for a holiday, for example, I'll be at home. Okay, so she told me, "It's best you take time away," and I thank God I listened to her 'cause my time with the Lord was really good.
It was fruitful. I was so blessed, just me and the Lord. I won't tell you where, all right? But it's a very beautiful place, and I just spend time with the Lord. And I tell you what, when I came back, I came back with such a strong affirmation from the Lord that this grace revolution that has happened all over the world is from him, and he wanted to strengthen my resolve in preaching this stronger than ever, amen, with guns ablazing all out, praise the Lord.
And he would have me, for example, in a while's time I'm gonna share with you a few things that he showed me even about the life of Martin Luther. You know, I never realized - Martin Luther by the way is the father of the reformation, great man of God. And God restored the truth of justification by faith through Martin Luther, but there was some things that he taught that I never knew that he taught until I took time to study. And what a strong reinforcement for what God is doing all over the world today that the things that, some of the things that God revealed to me, God revealed to him. For example, Martin Luther, he's just like me. He believed in confession of sins so much. I believed that if you don't confess your sins, you are not in fellowship with God, therefore God won't hear your prayers. So, I make sure that I was very quick to catch my sins, you know?
This is talking about my life as a believer. Some of you heard my testimony. And I would confess unbelief. I would confess even fear. I would confess every wrong thought. You know, if I exaggerated a little, I would confess to God. And my life was so fearful that I was out of fellowship, that I would confess to God, you know, all the time until I nearly lost my mind always thinking that there's always so many sins to confess. It do not understand these people who teach that 1 John 1:9 is for the believer and unless you confess your sin, God will not forgive you. I cannot understand people who believe that and teach that and yet, I don't see them confessing their sins all the time, you know? And I was a strong believer of that and I practiced that to the point that I was always self-occupied. I was introspective. I was depressed.
Now, I'm not against confessing your sins. In fact, when you are in the presence of someone that you can trust, whom you know loves you completely and loves you unconditionally, amen, like in the presence of your spouse, that's what every marriage relationship should be. You can be frank. You can be open. You can be honest, amen, in the presence of such a one. You don't reveal your intimate secrets to an enemy. So, if fact, the more we preach full forgiveness, complete forgiveness, people are willing to confess their sins, but they don't confess in order to be forgiven. They confess because they are forgiven and if they forget to confess, they're still forgiven, amen? Praise the name of Jesus. Are you with me so far?
You know, and there are those who say that "well, we are forgiven of all our sins judicially, but then parentally, fatherly, there's another question of forgiveness". The Bible doesn't says that there is one form of forgiveness, which is judicial, another form of forgiveness which is parental. It does not teach that. It takes the mind of man to teach that. And if you believe that in 1 John 1:9, it's referring to family forgiveness, all right, to confess your sin then the Father forgives you. Let me ask you then the next chapter, how do you explain this verse? 1 John 2, verse 12, "I write to you, little children..." And this "little children" it's a term of endearment. It means, "My dear little children, my dear ones, children, my dear children," literally teknion in the Greek. "My little children, I write to you because your sins are forgiven you for His name's sake".
Now, this is in the next chapter of 1 John 1:9 and it tells you that you are forgiven, and the forgiven there in the Greek is the perfect tense and perfect tense means you are forgiven once and for all. It need never be repeated. That is perfect tense. Now, question class, "little children," is that a family term or it is a legal term? "Little children, little children, answer me". Is it a family term? "My little ones". And the Father will say this is my - is this a family term or is this a judicial term, a term used in the courts of law? It's a family term, but it tells us that we are forgiven, perfect tense, once and for all.
I'm sure that when John wrote this, John knew something about the gospel that we all need to learn. When John was writing to believers, obviously he was writing to people who that morning they might not have it all together. Someone might have quarreled with his wife or the wife with the husband, or a teenage boy has gone rebellious yesterday night, all right? Someone has bitterness in his heart towards another person in the church. I'm sure these people are not perfect, yet John knew something for him to be able to write. "I write to you, my little children, because your sins are forgiven you for His name's sake".
The true Christianity, the gospel of Jesus Christ in its authentic essence is forgiveness-based and we are forgiven of all our sins. If we're not clear on this, we cannot be clear on healing. Many a time people who are sick, they are sick because they think there is some sin that's not forgiven or not confessed, and it's holding back the belief. It's holding back that faith from being released to believe they can be healed. That's why I'm so strong on this, my friend. I want people well. I want to see people blessed, amen. And they have a wrong concept of God and that's why in James the writer writes it like this, the Holy Spirit through James write it like this, "The prayer of faith. When you are sick, call for the elders of the church and let them pray over the sick person anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord and," listen, "the prayer of faith will save the sick and if he has committed sins, they shall be forgiven him".
If only we had told every sick person when we pray for them, "Don't worry. The same verse says the prayer of faith will save the sick and if the sick has committed any sins, it shall be forgiven". With one fell swoop, the same power that heals your body, remits your sins and that's in the Bible, people. I'm quoting James chapter 5. If only we had told every sick person we have prayed for the truth. What's holding them back? Unbelief. So, why then 1 John 1:9? Number one, you don't build a doctrine on 1 John 1:9, amen? Chapter 1 of 1 John was not written to the believers. I said chapter 1, I didn't say the entire 1 John. So, if you're quoting me on this, quote properly, okay? The first chapter of 1 John was written to Gnostic Jews.
Look at 1 John, verse 8, "If we say that we have no sin..." singular. Inherent sin, that means they say that they don't have sin, they don't have a sinful nature. That's what Gnosticism does. Gnosticism says that we have no sin. Sin doesn't exist and God says, "No, we have all sinned". Or God says that we should say, "We have all sinned". But they say we have no sin so this sin here is inherent nature. We say we have no sin, we deceive others and the truth is not in us. But look at verse 10, "If we say that we have not sinned..." Now, this is a deed, a an action. Verse 8 was inherent, this is, "If we say we have not sinned," in action, "we make God a liar, and His Word is not in us".
So, are we people that deny that we have, we have sin in our flesh? No. Are we people that deny that we have sin or ever sinned? No. So, the verse comes, "If we confess our sins," if we are confessing our sins, in the original Greek. That means, what? Homologia, the word "confess" means homologia. Say the same thing with God. That means, what? God says it's sin. We say it's sin. Number two, God says it's forgiven through the blood of Jesus. You must say it's forgiven through the blood of Jesus. Then you are walking in step with God.
Let me ask you a question, and this is something the Lord asked me, okay? He knew that I knew this verse so he asked me this, "What do you deem is the greatest of all sins? What do you think is the greatest of all sins"? I'll tell you right now. Paul wrote these words, "Whatever is not of faith is sin". Now, I'm gonna show you something that the Lord showed me in my time with him. Like I said, it's a fresh revelation. In John 20, Jesus just rose from the dead, "Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week..." That's a Sunday, right, like today, the first day of the week. "When the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled, for fear of the Jews..." For fear of God? No. Why were they hiding there? Why were they bolting the doors, why? Because they were afraid of the Jews. Fear, what is fear? Sin. Whatever is not of faith is sin. Of all the groups, which group went in first? Fearful, listed, that's listed in Revelation 21, fearful.
Now they are fearful. This is post-cross, post-resurrection. You tell me, "When Jesus walked on earth, Pastor Prince, yeah, he didn't mock sin. He treated them with grace and all that, but now he's risen from the dead. He expect more from us". Well, this is post-resurrection. This is post-crucifixion. This is after he rose from the dead. And he's dealing with his church people. Are they perfect? No. Do they have sin? Yes. Notice how he react towards them. They are in fear, which is sin, all right? "Jesus came and stood in the midst". By the way, he loved to stand in the middle always. He wants to be in the midst of your marriage, in the midst of your business life, in the midst of your studies, in the midst of your relationships, in the midst of your heart.
Jesus came, and what did he say? Confess your sins. Did he say that? No, peace, shalom, peace be with you. "Lord, wait a minute, they're out of fellowship with you". Oh, are they? As far as he's concerned, there is no such thing as out of fellowship. He sought them out when they were in their fear. They didn't seek him. He appeared to them and his first words were, "Hey, shalom, guys, shh". He shushed their fears, "Shh, shalom". And remember what I told you? Repentance is always unveiling himself to us. We see more of him. He made them repent without using the word "repent".
See, "When he had said this, peace, he showed them his hands and his side, then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord". In other words, he says, "Guys, peace". They were fearful, "Peace, shh, your sins all forgiven, justice satisfied, Satan defeated, man reconciled. Shh, your conscience purged. You have a purged conscience, no more sin consciousness". And he showed them the divine receipts, his hands and his side. These are the divide receipts from heaven saying this is every reason why you can be at peace. Are y'all with me so far?
So, let's go on, next verse. "So Jesus said to them again, "Peace to you". That's a double peace, amen? It seems like after he showed them his hands and side and they were glad and he says to them again, "Peace be unto you," all right? "And when he had said this, He breathed on them". Them who? Them who were fearful, them who were trembling, them who were hiding behind closed doors because they were fearful. "He breathed on them and said, 'Receive the Holy Spirit.'" Whoa, whoa, wait a minute, I thought they were out of fellowship. So obviously, the Lord doesn't see the way some theologians see it today.
Last part, we'll go down here. Same chapter, same chapter, okay? Guess who was not there that Sunday? Thomas The Tank Engine that my son loves. Justin loves Thomas The Tank Engine, you know, the train? Thomas wasn't there that's why they call him doubting Thomas. So, the disciples told Thomas the same day, "Hey, our Lord appeared today this morning, he came to us, and he showed us his hands, his side". You know what Thomas said? Drop down same chapter. "The other disciples therefore said to him, 'We have seen the Lord.' Thomas said to them, 'Unless I see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe.'" Just now it was fear, now it's unbelieving, fearful and unbelieving.
So, now this guy, is it a sin? Yes. The two main ones that lead the group into hell. And now believers, or rather this guy is unbelieving believer. So, he said, "Unless I put my hands into his side, into his nail prints, you know, in his hands, I will not believe". And after eight days, eight days means what? From one Sunday to another Sunday, he was unbelieving. "After eight days His disciples were again inside, and Thomas with them. Jesus came, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said," what? Again, "'Peace to you! Shalom!'" Next verse, Then He said to Thomas, "Repent Thomas. Spent three-and-a-half years with you, and I told you I will rise from the dead and you don't believe. Get out of here now, Thomas. You don't belong to my group. Or at least confess before you can get back in fellowship with me". Did he say that?
We created Jesus and we presented to the people that it's not the Jesus of the Bible. No wonder that needs their grace revolution and it's happening in the earth today. What did he say? He said to Thomas, Thomas had special attention. He said, Thomas, what? "Reach your finger here, and look at My hands; and reach your hand here, and put it into My side. Do not be unbelieving, but believing". The word "unbelieving" is the same Greek word that says fearful and unbelieving just now of all those who go into the lake of fire, same Greek word, apistos. Hear also, do not be apistos. Do not be unbelieving, but believing.
Did he correct Thomas? Yes. Does the Lord correct us? Yes, not with sickness and disease. He correct us with a fresh revelation of himself. There's always either, "Behold my hands," or even told Thomas, "Touch me". It's always a revelation of himself. Repentance is always a fresh revelation of himself. "Reach my hand, feel me, feel my side". Jesus said to him, "Thomas," now does that sound like someone who is out of fellowship? When he calls your name, "Thomas because of you have seen me you have believed". Oh, let's look at Thomas's reaction. I forgot to tell you. Thomas answered and said to Jesus, "I confess to you, Lord"! Did he say that? "Lord, forgive me, Lord"! No, what did he say? "My Lord," it's a revelation of him. "My Lord and my God". Then Jesus said to him, "Thomas, because of you have seen me, you have believed. Blessed are those that have not seen. Blessed are those that have not seen, blessed, blessed, blessed are those who have not seen and yet believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believed. Blessed, blessed, Thomas, you believe because you see. Blessed are those who have not seen, blessed and yet believed, and yet believed".
When the Lord showed this to me I said to myself, "Lord, I will never again be introspective. No more self-occupied but Christ occupied". And friend, if you think that this will lead to licentiousness, let me tell you this, believing the other brand of 1 John 1:9 will lead to licentiousness. People will start thinking it's okay, lah, I'll just go and sin first. Later on, I can confess, but this will cause you to fall in love with Jesus in spite of all your imperfections as he loves you into wholeness. He doesn't wait until you are perfect and then loves you. He doesn't wait until you're no more fearful, then he loves you. He doesn't wait until you are no more unbelieving that he loves you. He loved you in the midst of your unbelieving. He comes to you and he calls you by name, "Thomas". And that, my friend, produces true repentance.