Joseph Prince - Last To First When You Trust His Goodness
Greet at least three persons around you, all right, say something God to them like, "Thou shall not sweat, all right, the Lord will take care of everything for you". Or you can tell them what my son told me last night when I kissed him and put him to bed. One of the last things he says was that, "when you rest, God works". And I looked at him I say, "Whoa, Justin," I say, "Where do you get that from"? He says, "From the refrigerator". So, it's a great thing to always put God's Word in all these places, right, on your mirror, in your car. You know, the Bible says in Deuteronomy 11, check it out, okay, chapter 11 of Deuteronomy. It says that, "you will put my words on your gate, on the doorposts, in your house. You shall speak of them lying down, waking up, rising up, as you walk along the way that your days and the days of your children may be multiplied as the days of heaven on the earth," amen?
So, you never know that they are imbibing the words that they are saying, amen? So, just put all those things. We have all those things on like cushions, right? Words like, "don't worry". So, these are great things, simple words that it's a revelation from God that came to me years ago and now just one statement can change your life forever. And trust me, we are right now in the in the midst of a grace revelation all over the world, amen? Praise God. And also we realize that the Bible says that the glory of the Lord is gonna increase because the world will get darker and darker. In fact, the Bible says that not just dark, the Bible use the word "gross darkness". It's gonna be deep darkness, a darkness that is almost palpable. And God saying during this time, the glory of the Lord will shine upon you, amen, and kings will come to the brightness of your rising.
So, child of God, when it gets darker, your light will be evidently seen. You'll get brighter and brighter and brighter unto the perfect day when you see the Lord face to face, amen. I want to share, I want to open up with a word, a testimony, a word of testimony. This particular brother is from Mississippi, United States and it's in line of depression. Now, when we talk about depression, remember what the Lord said to me when I preached the theme of the year early this year? And there's a time before all of these celebrities these past few months that you hear about committing suicide, very sad. You know, but the Lord says that darkness is coming upon the earth and he mentions depression specifically and a spirit of suicide. There are people who are thinking of it. There are people who have attempted it, but really God's heart is really for us to catch that revelation that he wants us to see.
And all the more, my wife asked me during that time when we were reading about a report of another celebrity that committed suicide and she said, "What do you think the one single thing that people need to hear, people who are depressed"? And I said, "Really, not just knowing about, but experiencing as a revelation the love for God in Christ". If they really know God loves them, amen, not just in their heads, not just like God loves all of us generally, but they really know that, "I am the one whom Jesus loves," and it's a revelation to them, that's gonna change their lives forever, amen? And this brother here he shares, "For five consecutive years, I experienced terrible bouts of depression. I would have terrible thoughts about God and would constantly think about taking my own life. I kept trying not to submit to depression, but I just didn't know how to get out of the cycle of defeat. I felt like God was always disappointed and I was like the unwanted, unloved stepchild in his eyes". Y'all ever felt that way, that you are God's child but you're like a stepchild, an unwanted one?
A friend of mine told his friend about the difficult time I was going through. His friend began to share with me about Pastor Joseph Prince and how he taught the gospel. I could not imagine how a pastor's teaching about the gospel will be able to change my life. As my friend and I went through the four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John together, I also started watching Pastor Prince's sermons. The first I heard was grace flows in the worry-free areas of your life. In it, Pastor Prince spoke about the time when he was really depressed. Tears filled my eyes. I was touched that my heavenly Father spoke so personally into my situation. I continued watching Pastor Prince, but I still had a lot of wrong believing. I was also constantly worried that God would punish me if I did something wrong. After battling with these thoughts for some time, I was convinced that I could do no good for God or anything right in his eyes. I attempted three times to commit suicide in my dormitory room. At that time I felt the presence, at one time I felt the presence of the Lord like never before. It was almost as though he was crying to see me trying to take my own life. Then I heard my friend in my room praying over me and somehow I managed to get up and stop my own attempt to kill myself. From that day forward, I stopped listening to messages that caused me to fear God.
Now, there is a right kind of fear of God, okay, that worshipful, reverential fear of the Lord that produces a wholesome dread of displeasing him. You want to be displeasing to him. I mean, you really see his majesty and the beauty of his holiness. There is a fear of the Lord the Bible talks about, but this fear of God that most people actually have and even those that deny God's existence, they actually fear God. They rather deny his existence because they convince themself, there is no God, there's nothing to fear, right, his judgment and all that. But that's the wrong kind of fear of God. God does not want you to have that kind of fear. That fear is from the pit of hell. That's called the spirit of bondage again to fear, fearing God in that way that most people fear.
So, he says that, "from that day forward, I stopped listening to messages that caused me to fear God. I also asked the Lord if I should continue taking antidepressants and felt him telling me not to take them. From that moment, I was convinced that the Lord would do more for me than medicine could. I continued to watch Pastor Prince's sermons day and night. I also partook of the holy communion frequently and after weeks of doing this, the Holy Spirit brought my to attention that I had not been depressed. I also noticed that the depressive thoughts that I would normally have were now easy to reject. I waited a few more weeks to confirm the healing and guess what. The depression never returned. God completely healed me of depression all glory to God". Amen, praise the Lord. Thank you, Jesus.
So, you can hear your way out of depression, provided what you're hearing is the gospel of Jesus Christ, amen? You know, I was preparing for this Sunday and actually I have a sermon in mind that I think will get some hoots and hollers, but the Lord changed my sermon. While I was preparing for it, the Lord gave me totally another sermon completely and when I heard the Lord gave me that, you know, he was telling me to preach that. I said, "Lord, I preached on this sermon before". And but the Lord said to me, "I want you to share with them fresh insights, fresh revelations that I'm giving you, and I want you to tell them to see that they're living in that hour, in that time," amen.
So, it's a prophetic teaching today. It is for a time such as this. What is happening as we see the moral atmosphere of the world gets lower and lower, deeper and deeper into darkness as man don't even know how to discern right from wrong and good and evil. It's like there is a moral depravity that is running rampant, and what are we bringing our children into, into a world? But you know what? God saying that during this time, his glory's gonna shine on us but better than that, we're gonna be people full of grace. There was a man like this, the Bible says, in fact, there are a number of them in the Bible they're full of grace but one particular one was Stephen. The Bible says, "Full of grace and faith, he did mighty signs and wonders, miracles amongst the people". And God wants you to be strong in the grace that's in Christ Jesus. Can I have a good amen?
Now, grace is always what God does for us, it's not what we do for God. That is law. Grace is God doing it for us. Even the responsibilities in the New Testament, amen, it is seeing God supplying us, working in us, and then through us, amen, as we work it out. Work out your salvation is not work for your salvation. Work out means God has given you salvation, work it out in the way you live your life. Work it out in your relationships with others. Only when you have it in can you work it out. Can I have a good amen? So, as the Lord gave me this and the Lord gave me some fresh insights that's gonna bless you. I never heard anyone teach this or preach this. The parable, yes, but not these insights that I'm gonna share with you right now. I believe it's gonna set you free and set you free from depression, amen? Let's go straightaway to the question that precipitated this parable and the answer from our Lord. It's gotta do with blessing in all its fullness, the hundredfold prosperity.
All right, that word is not popular anymore people are afraid that we, you know, we'll be misunderstood as referring only to money. But the Bible does use the word "prosper. "Whatever he doeth shall prosper". And the Lord blessed Joseph and the Lord was with Joseph. And whatever he did, God made him to prosper, the Joseph of the Bible. I'm not referring to myself, amen? But my son love to say this, "Whatever I do prospers," amen. And the word "prosper" means to have a successful outcome. It's not just referring to money, that's only one small part, but a successful outcome. Can I have a good amen? So, the question that precipitated the whole thing was Peter, amen? Of all the disciples we thank God for Peter. Had he not asked some questions he asked, we won't have the answers that we have today.
Peter is the guy that, you know a Peter in your family or Peter among your friends? I have a Peter on my pastoral team. He just tame back from China yesterday, amen? He will ask questions that other pastors will like to ask sometimes, even ask me also but they will not want to ask. They ask him to ask me and sometimes they will give him the elbow to ask, you know. And then when he ask and I say, "Why you ask me that kind of question"? They will say, "Why huh"? When actually all the while, Mark will just let go, you know? And yeah, I love Pastor Mark and our Johns and Matthew. Okay so, let's look at the question. Matthew 19, "Peter answered and said to Him, 'See, we have left all and followed You. Therefore what shall we have? What shall we have? We left everything Lord, and followed you. What shall we have?' Jesus said to them, 'Assuredly I say to you, that in the regeneration, when the Son of Man sits on the throne of His glory, you who have followed Me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.'"
Now, he's obviously referring to the disciples, amen, then and there. But the next statement is for all of us. "And everyone," are you an everyone? "Everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My name's sake, shall receive a hundredfold, and inherit eternal life". Now, it's not saying you leave in the sense of, you know, divorce and all that, no. He's saying that whatever you sacrifice for the sake of the gospel, even like Pastor Mark as he goes for the mission work in China, there's sacrifice involved, amen? Anyone that goes for mission work, there's sacrifice involved, "But make sure you're doing it for my name's sake".
There are people who are doing mission work, they're even preaching and all that, but they're doing it because they want a place to preach. It's not for his name's sake, amen. They're not sent, they go. Amen, they're not sent by the church, they're not sent by any delegated authority from the Lord, but they want to go to create a name. Some go for financial reason, some go for contact, some go for different reasons but so just because someone is involved in mission work, does not mean the person is doing the work of the Lord. "But if you're doing it for my name's sake," it's really for the Lord, amen, because of love for him, the Lord says, "You shall receive a hundredfold". Whatever time you give up, even on Sunday, you know, as you give up the time that you have to wake up early in the morning, the Lord does not forget things like this. Whatever you give up, but it's for his sake, not for your own self-aggrandizement, or you want to meet someone, or because you're in love with somebody, you want to go and see that person, you know, and that's the reason you, no, no, whatever you reason you do, you have, "If your reason is for my name's sake," Jesus said, "you'll receive your reward a hundredfold".
Now, many of us will push this to the future in heaven one day, but in Mark's account of the same story, same passage, Mark has these very telling words. Look at this, in Mark 10, same response who shall not receive a hundredfold, whether we leave father or mother, "They will receive a hundredfold now in this time. Houses and brothers and sisters, mothers, children and lands, with persecutions". How many know that when you start to prosper a hundredfold, there will be persecution, amen? Get ready, Jesus mentioned that, right? But notice these words, "Now in this time". When will the hundredfold come? When will you be fully blessed? Now, say it. "Now in this time," amen. Very clear.
Now, back to Matthew, and here Jesus says, "But many who are first will be last, and the last first, for the kingdom of heaven". So, here we have this statement, "Many that are first will be last, and the last first". Now, he starts a parable to explain what shall we have therefore and the hundredfold blessing, amen, yet, he shared a parable to correct and to teach, not just Peter, but all of us, that the motive and what cause to us to, the posture that we have in serving the Lord, that's more important. It's not the what, it is the why. It's the why you do thing, amen. You don't pray for victory, you pray from victory, amen? You start from a posture of you are complete in Christ, now you walk it out. You are the righteousness of God in Christ, now, walk it out, act it out, amen?
So, it's always why that's more important to God than the what that you do for God, okay? At the end of this parable, Jesus reiterated himself but he adds something else in verse 16. "So, the last will be first, and the first last. For many are called, but few are chosen". I'll tell you the truth, when I was a young believer, I remember listening to this verse and it frightened me because it sounds like it was pertaining to salvation. "Many are called, but few are chosen". I've heard even preachers saying things like, "Yeah, many are called, but few are chosen". So, I start thinking, am I the chosen one? Sounds like one of the coaches, football coaches. Okay, anyway, the special one, the chosen one. Am I one of those who are chosen, amen? But it's got nothing to do with salvation. It's got everything to do with the fullness of the blessings. The ones that are chosen, of course, enjoy the hundredfold. I mean, if we are honest, we look at each other and all that, we can tell that we are all at varying levels of blessings that manifest.
Yes, it's true, we are all blessed in heavenly places in Christ. Yes, it's true that we are all highly favored in Christ, yes, but the manifestations of the blessing, how many want to receive a hundredfold? You're not satisfied with the thirty- or sixty-fold, you want a hundredfold, amen"? Amen, how about those that are right at the top? Okay, you're nearer to heaven, so you must be able to answer correctly. Okay, and then those second tier, okay. So, we all want the hundredfold, right? This message, someone I'm gonna preach today, many of you, you look at this sermon and say, "Oh pastor, I've heard you preach on this before and I know the answer". No, no, friend, what I'm gonna share has a different thing. It's not just comparison with the first group and the last group. It's also comparison with among believers, how to have a greater manifestation of the fullness of God's blessings in our lives.
Are you ready for that? I just want to make sure that I'm talking to the right crowd. Are y'all ready for that, okay? The hundredfold. You're not just interested in being partially filled with grace, you know, you want to be full of grace. You want to experience the favor of God in your life. And the Word of God actually in this parable not only teaches us, in the past I only taught one segment of it but today I'm gonna share with you what God said to me that has never been released before. No one has ever shared this, all right? It's straight from heaven. Now, I'm very careful about saying things like this because, you know, my sermon is all over. It's on the Internet, it's on the social media. It's all over the world and our reach is not exactly small, all right, we reach all over the world.
So, when I say that God said this, I'm gonna tell you God said it. I'll tell you what he said, okay, in a while's time. But you will know you heard it here first, authorized dealer, okay? All right, people got, you know, even in punishment in hell, I believe that there are varying levels of punishment in hell. The Bible, Jesus used the words, "It's more tolerable". Notice this word, "More tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrah than for Capernaum". Obviously, there are varying levels of punishment. And then he talks about the person punished with few stripes and many stripes, okay? There are levels of punishment. For someone who in the full blazing glory of the gospel of Jesus Christ being preached to him, he understands it and he turns his back on it. I think the punishment is greater than someone out there in the jungle somewhere and all that and actually God is fair. God is just, God knows how, but for believers who put their trust in Christ that it's not what they do, but what Christ has done, his blood that was shed has efficaciously removed all their sins from the sight of a holy God. As far as that person is concerned, he will never be lost. Can I have a good amen?
And you need to know this, for whatever sermons you hear, you need to be rest assured that for a believer, you will never come into judgment. Look at John 5, verse 24, "Most assuredly," or in the original, "Amen, amen". He repeat himself, "Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation or judgment, but has past from death into life". We will not come into judgment. A believer does not have the great white throne judgment one day when all the living and the dead will stand before him. We will not be going through that. Death is behind us. Judgment is behind us. Now, if Jesus tarries when we pass on, our heart stop beating, but we'll never die. We pass out from our body into a different dimension and one day we'll have a brand-new body as well when Jesus comes again. But we are still alive. We are never more alive than when we have that new body, amen, we step into that dimension. But death is not there front of us. Judgment is not in front of us, it's behind us. We have passed from judgment, from death into life. A believer will never come into judgment.
So, if you hear a sermon, you read a book, whatever it is that's imparted to you, it leaves you a sense that judgment is in front of you, amen, it is not from God. "But Pastor Prince, what about the judgment seat of Christ"? Now, that is one of the mistaught, misunderstood subjects and one day if I have time, I've preached on it before many years ago. I think it I'm for me one day to preach on it again. The judgment seat of Christ, or better known as the bema seat of Christ, in the Greek it says bema. It's when all of us believers stand before the Lord at the bema seat of Christ for rewards or no rewards. Whether the things that you do, notice not the WHAT but the WHY. Is it built on wood, hay, and straw, or is it built on gold, silver, and precious stones? It's a why you do what you do. And then you get a reward from the Lord and that will locate your assignment for all eternity, amen, your reward. Are you listening?
By the way, do you know the bema seat is a friendly place to the believer. It's not a place of judgment. I said, it's not a place of judgment. And do you know that the judge, the so-called judge that you think you're fearful of, he is your righteousness? And has it ever occurred to you that all believers stand before the Lord it's after he comes again, after our bodies are glorified? You'd be standing in front of him in your glorified body. So, it's not a question of being judged to go to heaven or hell. That is passed. It is a question of merits in terms of your performance, in terms of your world, in terms of your service that's built on gold, amen, silver, and precious stones, which is I'm tempted to go into it, but I'm gonna keep my mind on this subject, okay? So, you will never come into judgment. You have passed from death to life.
So, back to Matthew 20. So Jesus says, "The kingdom of heaven is like a landowner". So, he's answering the question, what shall we have? We left everything". Then he answered by saying, "You'll receive a hundredfold". Yet he felt he needed to teach them how to receive a hundredfold. Then he starts sharing this parable. "For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard". So, he went out early in the morning before 9. All right, early in the morning to the marketplace to hire laborers for his vineyard. Obviously, this landowner is our Lord Jesus because this is a parable of the kingdom of heaven. "For the kingdom of heaven is like unto a landowner". So, he went out to the market to hire laborers for his vineyard. And then it says, "Now when he had agreed," say, "Agreed". Say it again. One more time. What is agreed? You come to a settle, amen. Both bargain, a barter.
The whole principle of capitalism is built on barter system, right? We agree for such and such. "I'll pay you this amount, and I work for you, you pay me this amount. It's an agreement, isn't it? It's very understandable to us. He's speaking our language, even the language of the people of his day. We understand that, right? So, there's an agreement. In other words, he went out early, very early in the morning. We know it's before 9 a.m. And he saw this group of people and he told them, "Go work for me". And they said, "Well, how much will you pay me"? Said, "All right, I'll pay you denarius". A denarius a denarius a day, a denar even today in the Middle East, in many places you go it's called denar. But in that day a denarius is a full day's wage, a full day's pay, all right, daily wage. So, they agreed the landowner and laborers agreed. Say, "agreed" again.
Okay, so he sent them and he went about the third hour, and by the way, all this third hour, sixth hour, nine hour, Jesus was crucified at the third hour and he died at the ninth hour. In those days, they reckoned by hours. All right, they divide their time with hours. The third will be 9 a.m. okay? Jesus died at the ninth hour, which is 3 p.m. So, third hour is 9 a.m. So, it's 9 a.m. and he saw others standing idle in the marketplace. Obviously, the first group that agreed with him is before 9 a.m. right? Okay, so now he went back to the market, at 9 a.m. he saw others. He says, "Go also into the vineyard and whatever is right, I will give you". So any agreement? No, no agreement. They had to go based on his word, right? "Whatever is right. Go ahead, guys, go and work for me and whatever is right, I will give you".
So, there's no agreement, no denar, nothing right? "So, go". Again, he went out about the sixth, the sixth would be 12 p.m. noon, and the ninth hour, which is 3 p.m. and did likewise. So, he went out again and got more laborers. Did likewise means what? No agreement. "Based on whatever is right, I will give you". Then it says, "And about the eleventh hour, eleventh hour". By the way, just let you know that the Jewish day ends at 6 p.m., which is the twelfth hour. So, 11th hour is what time? Five. Intelligent, I got an intelligent bunch of people in my church, amen? 5 p.m., very good. Their day starts, the new day starts, for example, if you celebrate Monday, all right, let's say Shabbat. Shabbat is what, Saturday, right? Sabbath. Okay, they celebrate on Friday evening at 6 p.m. Shabbat starts and ends on Saturday 6 p.m. Their Sunday starts at 6 p.m. Saturday, amen. Their Monday starts tonight at 6 p.m., amen?
Now, God's way is always evening and morning. When God created everything in Genesis 1, again we see the refrain, and the evening and the morning was the first day. The evening and the morning was the second day. And the evening and the morning. God starts with evening and it ends with morning. Man starts with morning. We say morning, night, and day, morning and evening, right? Because we are more pessimistic. We always think of yeah, it's very bright now, right? Yeah, very evening, right? You know, ours is like morning, right, morning? We morning, very bright, right? But you know why? It's getting darker and darker. I know you are happy now but wait, wait, wait. I know you just got married, but wait. I know this sounds very nice now, but wait.
All right, we always believe it's bright now morning, but it's gonna get dark. God's Word is like this, even it looks like it's getting darker, look ahead. It's gonna get brighter and brighter and brighter. But notice evening goes into night, it gets darker and darker, right? And it's darkest before dawn. But God is always saying it's getting bright, amen? And true enough, it will get brighter and brighter and brighter, amen. So, evening and the morning. So, the Jewish people, unto today they still celebrate that their coming day at 6 p.m. So, their work ends at 6 p.m. That's their new they already. Okay, got it so far? So, this is 11th hour. So he went out and he found them. He says, "Why have you been standing here idle all day"? They said to him, "Because no one hired us". He said to them, "You also go into the vineyard, and whatever is right, you will receive". Go ahead. "So when evening had come, the owner of the vineyard said to his steward, 'Call the laborers and give them their wages, beginning with the last to the first.'"
Now, God's system is always, what? Beginning with what? The last, and then to the first. Man's system is always first to the last, right? You know, the heroes of the parables of Jesus is always the last, the lost, not the found, and not the mighty, but the least. The lost, the last, the least, they are the heroes of the Bible, amen. God's ways are always different from man's ways. Man glorifies the strong, the mighty, the superheroes, Wakanda. All kinds of, you know, heroes, and incredible heroes, and iron hero, and flexible heroes, and, you know, and little itsy-bitsy heroes and, and spider webby heroes, and all kinds of heroes, but they gotta be mighty, something strong, right? But God, God is saying, "If you want to see my power, I need to see your weakness. You need to allow yourself to be what you are. My strength is not manifested, it's not channeled, it's not flowing through your strength. Your strength is a hindrance to my strength. But when you are weak, then you are actually strong because my strength is the strength that's flowing through you". Can have a good amen?
Grace is attracted to your weakness, amen? And one day that statement will also go around. Now, the statement, "Grace is contagious," is getting very contagious. But the next one will be grace is attracted to your weakness. Don't be afraid to be what you are in the presence of God. He loves you. And you know what? He delights in the fact that you're willing to be weak in that area because it shows forth his strength, his power, his miracles. It's got to do with miracles because the word "strength" there is the word "dynamite," which is used for miracles, dunamis in the Greek. Okay, back to this. "When the first came". Okay, beginning from last to the first, last to the first. You know, this parable is really telling people, how many of you have ever been in that place where maybe during school, back in school, you were one of those that always were called upon last? How do you feel? Like you when you play games, you know, they divide you into groups, right? And people start picking out different ones.
And then guess what. You're either the second last or the last. How do you feel? Or you found out that in the birthday invite, or some invitation to a party or whatever, you found out later on somehow, you found out that your name was mentioned last, and the invitation was given to you last, how do you feel? It's not a good feeling, right or not, right? This parable is for you. It's for all those who ever felt that way before and how they can end up winners. And not only that, they get the fullness of the blessings. Can have a good amen? Okay, so here we go. And when they, those came who were hired about the eleventh hour, they each received a denarius".
Now, he starts with the last hour, only one hour, he starts with them first and then he gives them the full day's wage. In other words, would you agree that they got a hundredfold, complete blessing, am I right? But when the first came, the very early in the morning, they supposed that they would receive more and they likewise received each a denarius". They supposed they would receive more, why? They worked the whole day, right? But did they agree for a denarius? Yes, so they supposed they receive more, but they received each a denarius. "And when they had received it, they complained against the landowner". You know why we complain a lot, Singaporeans? Do you know why we love to complain? You know why we complain? You think of complaining, "Yeah, come on, just complaining, nothing wrong, what"? But do you know in the Old Testament when the children of Israel complained bad things happened? And bad things don't happen until they complain. But when they complain, bad things happen.
1 Corinthians 10, verse 10 says, "Neither should we complain," and the word "complain" in the Greek is the same complain here in Matthew 20, same Greek word. "Neither should we complain as they did," and were destroyed of the destroyer. Complaining makes you devour-able, according to 1 Corinthians, New Testament Scripture, verse 10. So, what is it that cause us to complain? I'll give it to you right now. Comparing yourself with others, comparing yourself with others. Instead of them looking at the goodness of the landlord, "Wow, this landlord, he's a very kind generous man," amen? If their eyes was on Jesus, they'll not be jealous, they'll not be complaining. You know, we tend not to be jealous of people who are not in the same area of specialty or job choice. For example, a girl will not be jealous of a guy. A girl is usually jealous of? Oh, you don't want to help me preach, right? You don't want to help. Okay, a guy is jealous of another guy. A doctor is not jealous of a pastor. A pastor is usually jealous of another pastor. A minister is jealous of another minister, amen?
And so, age group, everything that's more similar you're more jealous of or you have the tendency to be jealous. Not y'all, lah. Y'all New Creation people, don't get jealous one, right? But also age group. Usually a young person is not jealous of his great grandfather. He's jealous of people around the same group, especially around the same area of expertise, amen? So, when you're aware of that, in fact, I didn't learn this from anyone. The Lord taught me this many years ago. He told me about the similarity will cost you. At least you'll be alert, you see, amen? And it's always this horizontal viewing, not this vertical looking to the Lord. Instead of looking, they could look at the good man say, "My goodness, I want to work for him again". Look at the kindness of his heart, the goodness, amen, of his person. But they took their eyes of the landlord and start comparing with each other.
Now, we are never happy, people, because you know why? It's our flesh. It's not a problem of not having enough. It's not a problem, look, you know, we think that if we had the latest gadget, the latest television set, the latest home that, you know, the latest, latest, we'll be happy. But if you were to enter into a time machine right now, let's just suppose, and we sent you back to during the golden era of Israel, the Solomonic era, King Solomon himself. And your time machine opens up in his palace. And you see King Solomon, and you see his ivory throne, and you see his vassals of gold, everything is gold. You say, "Wow, so much gold, lah. Wah, bling, bling, bling, you know? Everything is bling, bling". And you are so glad to be there. And then Solomon says, you know, you exchange some cordial greetings and all that. He found out who you are and all that. There's time machine.
Solomon says, "Okay, I want to go forward to your time". He goes into your time machine and you all switch places. He comes to our time, and then he looks around and the first thing he thinks thought of being from Israel he says, "Why do I feel so cool here when the sun is shining outside"? We call it air conditioning. God bless the man who invented air conditioning. And all the people said? Amen, we take it for granted but imagine it's really hot outside and the air con breaks down in this place, amen? You will see every lady becoming a matchmaker, right? You know a matchmaker, with a fan. Okay anyway, okay, but he looks at all this and he says, "Wow, they". And you pick up your phone, right? And he says, "What's that"? You're talking to someone. The object talks to you. Say, "No, I'm talking to someone that's far away". Say, "My goodness". "Yeah, it's from your country actually, Israel". Yes, Schmolek. I have a friend called Schmolek. Say, "No joke, I mean no kidding". This is the wisest men that lived during the time of all the way in the Old Testament until our time, except for Jesus of course. And he says, "This is amazing prosperity".
Prosperity is relative. And he looks at your bed. He touches your bed. He says, "I must get one of this". And he looks up and he says moving images, and he sees people playing with only one ball, people running around. So many men running after one ball. And only that, thousands upon thousands all over yelling at over one ball. And they're looking at it, and he's looking at it, and he's wondering what's going on. How come you're able to put so many small people into one little set? And you're saying, "I'm watching something that's miles and miles away in another country". Say, "Far out, man". He said, "This is crazy. This is incredible prosperity". "Are you a king"? he asks. Say, "No, I live in a HDB. I have an average income". Says, "It's amazing. How do you do this"? I can go on and on. He looks down, he say, "Come, I'll bring you somewhere". He goes say, "Aren't they gonna bring you horses"? "No horses, horsepower". He said, "Wah, I gotta have this. I must have one of this"! And we complain because our neighbor has a bigger car.
So, you see, man's heart is never satisfied even with every convenience, every breakthrough. You just have to realize that, that complaining is not in the person you're complaining, it's another thing. There could be injustices here and there as there always will be, but you gotta judge it based on your heart. You gotta tell yourself, "When will you be happy? When will you stop comparing your spouse with somebody else's spouse? And When will you stop comparing your spouse with a drama serial guy? When will you stop comparing all that, huh? When will you stop comparing yourself with another lady on TV? When will you stop comparing yourself? So, all this cause, anyway, I didn't plan to stick on one particular topic, but this complaint thing is one of the things the Lord showed me. And I've been reading this parable for the longest time down through the years and never saw it.
So, it's not a sermon on complaining, okay? So, don't complain to me. Don't write to me and don't complain, okay? You do not know you're in a good church, and a lot of people want to be in these church, you know, amen? To God be the glory, amen. You know, sometimes one of the best ways for us to stop jealousy that produces complaining, comparing one another that produces this murmuring, is to learn from the last reference to the five times that John used the phrase, "The disciple whom Jesus loved". John knew that he was loved by the Lord. The Lord loved all 12, but John believed in it, John walked in it, John relished it. And the last time it appears was this, John was following Jesus and Peter asked Jesus, "What should be done to this man? What will this man do"? He's asking about John's ministry, John's future. His eyes was on Jesus, but John, who practiced the Lord's love, was following Jesus. His eye was on Jesus.
And there's the secret of Caleb. Caleb says, "I followed the Lord fully". The secret of following the Lord is keep your eyes on Jesus, not on others, not comparing your social media with other people's social media, not putting a post and seeing how people respond to it, amen, not looking for other people's approval and all that. Now, social media is fine. I'm not knocking, I'm not one of those social media bashers, but keep it to the purpose for dissemination of information or to keep in touch with your friends, but not to get approval, the number of likes. "Pastor Prince, you're just sour grapes and all that". No, have you seen my social media before you say that, all right? So, I believe, I got no problem using tools, but a tool can use you. Don't be used by the tool. Don't get hooked to your phone all the time that you lose a social touch in your family setting, in a social setting with friends and all that. Everyone is on the phone all the time. You'll miss that moment and it'll never come back. You may have the same friends, but moments like that never come back. You have different moments, but that moment will never come back. Time with your children and all that. 'Okay, come back here again".
As John was following the Lord, Peter asked about him. His eye was on John, and Jesus answered, "Let this answer be the one that rests your heart. Jesus says, "If I want him to tarry until like I come, what is that to you? You follow me". Heard that? "You follow me". And sometimes when I think about what other ministries are doing and all that, I hear the Lord telling me, "What is that to you? You follow me. You just do what I want you to do. You don't have to do what others do. You just do what I tell you to," amen? And all the people said? Even those close to heaven, they're the first one to be raptured. If the Lord comes right now, you're the first one to be raptured. Y'all know that, right, amen? All right, Matthew 20, that's right? So they complained. They worked one hour. "And we borne the burden in the heat of the day".
Look at the response of the Lord, the response. Drop down, "He answered one of them and said, "Friend, I'm doing you no wrong. Did you not agree with me for a denarius"? Did he agree? Did they both agree on that? Yeah, so the Lord did not do them any wrong. So, don't for one moment, you see, we all understand this early morning crowd. We understand these laborers. We have an affinity with them. Who, which worker does not feel inclined to be sympathetic to them? We understand. If you see other people working only one hour and they get the full day's pay that you get. But if the Lord wants to be generous, what is that to you? You got what you agree. He did you no wrong because your relationship with him was based on a barter system, on a bargain, on an agreement. That's called the law. Israel at the foot of Mount Sinai, so to speak, they exchanged covenants. You know, God brought them out of Egypt, not because of the law. The law was not yet given. It was based on the unconditional covenant of grace that God made with their father Abraham. God says, "I will, I will, I will, I will," and they will not perfect.
In fact, in Joshua we learned that they worship idols, the idols of Egypt. We also found them complaining, complaining all the way to Mount Sinai, right? And yet, God brought them out. Was God close to them? Did they pray like to three hours every day for God to be close? No, God was close with them in the pillar of fire by night, in a pillar of cloud by day. Imagine out there in the desert, it gets very hot during the day. Many of you been to Israel, right? And your guide will tell you, "See out there in the hot sun? Many are children of Israel". And being a Jew himself he will say, "You can understand why the Jews complained, yeah? Right, and you see, "Ya-huh, so hot". Actually, it was air conditioning for them all the way. There was a pillar of cloud that, the Bible said, that spreads out a covering. They never felt the heat of the sun. They were kept cool all the way. Nighttime in the desert gets really cold, it's the opposite. And he appeared to them in a pillar of fire. He was the heater.
So, the Lord was always close to them, but the moment they came to Mount Sinai, and God did all kinds of miracles, brought water out of the flinty rock, manna, bread from heaven, the food of the angels, yet they complained every step. And yet, God kept on demonstrating his grace, his blessings, because it was not dependent on them, on their goodness, it was dependent on his goodness. If only they maintained that relationship. But at the foot of Mount Sinai, Exodus 19, they said, "All that God commands us, we can do it". Man presumed on his righteousness on his own strength, which he had none. Straightway, God changed his tone and God says, "Moses, tell them don't come near. Even a beast touches the mountain, he will die". God never had that tone with them. God never had that kind of approach telling, "Don't come near". He was close to them all the way from Egypt, why? It became a barter system. "Don't bless us based on your goodness, bless us based on moi's goodness".
So, now I have shared that aspect before in this sermon. We understand what it means, you know, you see, even today, I'll tell you the truth. Being a preacher of grace is so hard to not sometimes get into the mode of a barter system, or a mentality that, "if I do more, God will bless me more". We still have that, our flesh still hankers after that. And it shows up in the area of anxiety, worry, we are still self-righteous. You see, you do not know how self-righteous you are, but here's a good test, whatever areas of worry you have or anxiety, that's your area of self-righteousness. So, back to this again, all right? So, he said, "I do you no wrong. Did you not agree with me for a denarius? Take what is yours and go your way. I wish to give to this last man the same as to you. Is it not lawful for me to do what I wish with my own things, or is your eye evil or stingy"? Evil eye is actually a Hebrewism for stingy.
Like in the Book of Proverbs, he that has a bountiful eye shall be blessed. He gives to the poor, all right? Jesus says, "Your eye is sound, single or sound, your whole body is full of light. Your eye is evil stingy person, your body is full of darkness. So here it says, "'Is your eye evil because I am good?' So, the last will be first, and the first last. For many are called, but few chosen". Now, I've shared this before, like I said just now, for the longest time I was thinking to myself, what is this phrase, many are called, few are chosen? It's in terms of blessing, in terms of rewards, in terms of what God gives to you, a hundredfold remuneration. So, all of them are called, right? Early in the morning, 9 a.m. crowd, the noon crowd, the 3 p.m. crowd, and the 11th hour, 5 p.m. crowd. All of them are called, right, but few are chosen. Who are the ones that God chooses? God chooses the ones that allows him, that gives him the opportunity to show himself in the goodness of his heart.
When the Lord of the vineyard says, "Go, whatever is right, I will give you," they didn't stop down there. Said, "How do I know you'll keep your word? How do I know? No way, Jose. I've been fooled before. Uh-uh, uh-uh, no way. You sign on the dotted line then I'll go". They could have said that, but they went so they trusted. You see, God is not undervalued. When you read all this, please don't think that God undervalues work. God does not undervalue work but what God values above everything else, he prides very highly, is simple faith in himself, in his Word, in his goodness. That's what he treasures above everything else. In the gospels, we find Jesus veiling himself, his glory, in the human flesh. He came as the Messiah of Israel, the Son of Man. He emphasized that a lot, but he's the Son of God. He's deity in human flesh and yet, he always hid his deity. He always covered his deity. He didn't want that to be seen, amen? He moved among men as man, as the Messiah of Israel.
And yet, whenever he meets simple faith, that person draws on him and trusts in his goodness, it's almost like the veil of flesh is opened up, and all the resources of God's provisions flow out to that person in all its fullness. It can be a simple touch of faith upon the very extremities of the Lord, the hem of his garment, and the fullness of the blessing comes in that person. Without faith, it's impossible to please God. Now, you may have all kinds of idiosyncrasies, and shortcomings, and character defects, like me, all of us have that, okay? But what the Lord looks at is that simple faith that brings all his resources into your life. That's what he prizes above everything else, those who trust in his goodness. So, who does the Lord choose? Many are called, but few are chosen. Those who choose to let him, those who have simple faith in his goodness because they gave him the opportunity to express his heart. Grace will give to the last what justice paid to the first. So, here we go. I showed you the first thing the Lord showed me afresh about this parable, the complain part.
Now, let's go to the verse 8 of this portion. "When evening had come, the owner of the vineyard said to his steward, 'Call the laborers. Give them their wages', when evening had come". When will we see that favored generation, the hundredfold generation? For so long, we look at church history and we see yes, you know, the church is struggling, and many a times they have stumble on some blessings and yet, they don't seem to walk in the fullness of the blessings. Well, would you agree with me that we are the evening generation? Would you agree we are that generation? So first of all, by the way, do you know that this parable appears only in the gospel of Matthew, no other gospel does it appear? Only one time in the gospel of Matthew, and the gospel of Matthew is the gospel written to the Jews. So, I must say this first, all right, in all fidelity to the text. I must say that first and foremost, the last, and the first. The first refers to Israel, and the last refers to the church.
So, in relation to time, Israel was first and the church was last. But in respect to position and favor, the last, the church, will be the first, amen? Israel only has physical blessings, the land and material blessings. We have heaven. We are seated with Christ in heavenly places. Jew and Gentile in the church, one new man. We have become the first, all right? We need to establish that first. The second application is for believers. Some believer don't receive a hundredfold, they receive thirtyfold, sixty-fold. I submit to you now, let's forget about the early crowd, okay, the complaining crowd. Let's forget about the early morning crowd, the agreement crowd, the bargaining crowd. Let's leave them one side now.
Let's talk about the 9 a.m, all the way to the 11th hour. Would you agree that this group, they went by faith in his goodness? But even then among them, some trust somewhat in his goodness, some trust more in their goodness, some in their, would you agree that 9 a.m. one worked more but still went by faith, right? Did they receive the hundredfold? No, because talk about hundredfold means you work very little, they get the fullness of it. It's the 11th hour, only exclusively the 11th hour, am I right? And then the noon ones, the noon crowd, did they go by faith? Yes, and yet, so, let's compare 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Which one do you think, when they received a full day's wage, feel more grateful to the Lord? The 5 p.m., right? But both had faith in the Lord. Now I want to talk about something the Lord showed me. This is among Christians. Why is it that some Christians are more grateful to the Lord than others? Because some have still this hankering after their works. Their eye is still on their performance so partly, their eye is on Jesus, and partly it's on self.
So, the sense of gratefulness and charis, you know, grace, the sense of thankfulness, which is same word in the Greek for grace, charis. The sense of thankfulness and gratefulness is not as strong as the one who really see, "He's really good and I depend on him completely. I can trust him". When a call is made to serve the Lord, I don't have to say Sunday is my day off because if you say that, you know what? You'll be off, you will be off, amen? You can serve the Lord without that part. Now, I'm not saying that everyone gotta serve on Sunday. There are other ways you can serve, but what I'm saying, your motive for serving, the thought of sacrifice comes in, the flesh want to bring this up, that up, you'll be shortchanged. You lose your reputation this and that, and all that. You say, "No, I trust his goodness. I trust his goodness. I will not be shortchanged".
I mean, the 9 o'clock, the noon, the 3 o'clock, the 5 p.m. would have said, "Hey, how do I know if I go down there I'll be shortchanged"? But they trust his goodness, and they were amply rewarded. But between the 9 a.m. and the 5 p.m., who do you think felt more grateful? The 5 p.m. Who trusted his goodness more, who? Like you said 9 a.m. No, I think the 9 a.m. probably had a thought that they'll get more as well because of the work they did. So, somehow it goes back to this, even among believers. Why do we accept someone is fully grace, that they got more grace? I'll tell you this, they receive more. So, the Lord says many are called, but few are chosen. Who are the chosen ones? Those who choose his grace, choose to give him the opportunity to show the goodness of his heart. These are the ones the Lord chooses.
Psalms 132 says, "For the Lord has chosen Zion". Zion, the Mount Zion, why is Zion so close to God's heart? It says he has desired it for his dwelling place. You know, the word desire here is a very intense craving like some of you have for food. You have this intense craving for, for food. Ahav, where you get the word ahava for love. The ahav, desire, he desires for a dwelling place, why? Zion compared to Sinai. Sinai is the mountain of the Ten Commandments. Right after Israel says, "All that God commands us, we can do," the very next chapter Exodus 20, God gave them the Ten Commandments. "I'll bless you now based on your agreement with me. You keep all my ten, and I'll bless you". If only they had not agreed on that, right? So Zion, on the other hand, Sinai means law, Zion grace. The mountain where God dispenses grace, where the place where God ministers grace because law is demand, exacting. Grace is dispensing, supplying, giving. When you say you are not under law but under grace, do you wake up every day knowing that God is supplying you, God is giving to you? Even as you're serving him, even as you go to work and all that, you don't see demands as demands.
You see the supply for the demand. The greater the need, the greater the demand, the greater the supply. You see God supplying all the time. You see God supplying for you, God ministering and dispensing grace in you, God working through you. You are seeing God all the time. Do you see that? If that is what you see, then effectively you're under grace and when you're under grace and not under law, sin shall not have dominion over you. You know, people are so natural in their reasoning, they think that you preach grace, sin will have all kinds of, but the Bible says the opposite. It is when you're under grace and not under law, you're under supply mentality and not under exacting, demanding mentality, that sin will have no power over you. Those will live waking up, "I got all these demands placed on me. God wants me to be a good husband. God wants me to be a good worker. God, God," you know, like God demanding.
Instead of saying, "God is supplying me the grace to be a good husband, God is giving me the charisma, the favor, God is opening doors for me. If there's is a difficult situation, God will bring me out. It's gonna to get better, amen. God is working all things for good. I don't understand what's happening now, but God is working it for good. God is always ministering. God is always working all things together for my good. I see God dispensing". If that is your life, then effectively you're under grace. "I love grace. I love Zion". The Lord says. "I have desired this as my dwelling place. This is my resting place forever. Here I would dwell, for I have desired it," he repeats. "I will abundantly bless the provision in the place of grace. I will satisfy her poor with bread. I will also clothe her priests with salvation," yesha in Hebrew, which is, "I will clothe you with protection, not only will you have protection, you are clothed with safety. I will cause her saints to shout aloud, her saints shall shout out for joy".
The word saints there in the Hebrew is hesed, the hesedim, the ones full of grace. Are you getting this, church? And something else the Lord showed me. I was blown away when I saw this. Says, "Son, I went out to them. They didn't come to me. Every one of them, "I went out". Say, "went out". "I went out to them early in the morning". They were standing there, right? If no one came for them, they will still be there. The Lord went out just like the leper I taught y'all from the Book of Leviticus. The leper can ever come into the camp, but the priest went out to where the leper was. So, here we find the word "went out" in this parable. And you know he went out how many times? Let's count together, okay? Early in the morning. Matthew 20, verse 1, "He went out early in the morning," right, one. Verse 3, he went out at 9 a.m., right? Verse 5, "He went out about 12 p.m.," right? "And he went out about 3 p.m.," four times. Not only noon, but also 3 p.m., right? He went out, right? And finally, the 11th hour, 5 p.m., it says, "He went out," five.
Five is very interesting to New Creation Church. God is bringing the fullness of the teaching of the Bible all back, significance of names and numbers. It very interesting, right? There's a revolution going on. So, five times, just like the prodigal son. The father, he saw him. The father ran. The father embraced. The father fell on his neck. The father kissed him. There's five responses. Number of grace. Now, please don't choose to sit at the fifth row at the fifth seat. Don't get extreme, okay? I'm just teaching you from the Bible. You know, there are things that the Bible teaches, it's to show us that the Bible is inspired, amen. So, that's what the Lord showed me, which I never saw before, never heard preached.
And the final one I wanna show you is this that I think is gonna bless you. It's really what the Lord said among Christians now. Now, forget about the early morning crowd, the butter crowd, the beginning crowd, okay, the agreement crowd. Let's forget them for awhile. Let's talk about all those who received by grace, right? Even amongst them, there are those who received more, right? Am I right? Look at this, verse 3, the 9 a.m. crowd, "Whatever is right I will give you". That goes for the people of noon, "Whatever is right I will give you," and the 3 p.m. crowd, "Whatever is right I will give you". "I will give you," right? Whatever's right. But the eleventh hour, he said, "Whatever is right, you will receive".
And you know, I read this so many times, never saw it until the Lord just opened up to me, okay? You know what's the difference or no? Okay, let me help you. Third hour, includes noon, as well as 3 p.m., and the 5 p.m., the most graced, favored one, okay? "Whatever is right," the 9 a.m. one he says, "I will give you". The eleventh hour, "Whatever is right you will receive". Okay, what's the difference? Duh, Pastor, it's the same thing. No, it's one thing for God to give. It's another for you to receive. The end time generation will receive. Now, for example, God told Israel time and time again, 40 years earlier. They didn't even have to wander. When they were at Kadesh Barnea, God had been saying to them even before they came. And while they were there, God keep on saying again and again. God says, "I will give". Say, "Give". "I will give you the land flowing with milk and honey. I'll give you the land flowing with milk and honey. I have given you the land," in fact. In the Hebrew, past tense, "I have given you the land flowing. I have given you".
It's one thing for God to give. It's another thing for you to receive. They didn't receive, right? For 38 years, they didn't receive. It's possible for God to give and not us receiving. So, those who are receive the fullness are those who are graced most are those who receive most, simply put. That's why this is very important... This means, "I see God giving all the time. I'm a fool if I don't receive". I see needs, demands, areas of concern, my family, my job, my life, but God is giving, but I'm not receiving until I, "God," pray for the blessings to manifest. Pray for your children. Pray for that, 'cause God is giving all the time. Prayer is actually receiving. How we have turned prayer into a work. Have you prayed today? Have you had your one-hour prayer? Have you prayed for three hours? We turned prayer into something that people feel they must go through the motions.
We make prayer into a performance, when actually prayer is nothing more than receiving. So, the more you pray, the more you receive. You see things, you pray. I'm not saying you gotta be in the position all the time. Because you are driving, right, and that thought come to your mind. You come down there... But that spirit, seeing prayer as a means, a mode of receiving. That is what prayer is all about. We say that prayer changes things. Yes, but actually God is dispensing. God is ministering all the time. Prayer just puts you in the posture to receive. Okay, the water has a way of finding the lowest places. The lower it is, it'll win. If this guy is low, but this guy is lower, the lowest one will win. Just amazing how God favors the lower you go. God resists the proud, you know, but gives grace to the humble. It's not that humility is a merit, you know, you merit, but it's just a position. The less you think that you can do, the more God will do through you.
Now, I'm not agreeing with those who are, "Oh, I'm lousy. I'm nothing". They are self-occupied people. They are very proud people, you know? You see whether they are proud or no? You say to them, "Yeah, you are right". "What? I'm just saying this about myself. You can't say that to me, you know"? You see they are proud. So, I'm not talking about that kind of false humility. I'm talking about people who really know that, wow, God is dispensing all the time. What a life. Even right now as I'm preaching, I see God dispensing all the time. God is giving me things sometimes. There are rabbit trails, and the rabbit trail go rabbit trail, and he's always helping somebody, you know? And then I find my message so full sometimes that I don't know when to stop, you know, and I pity you all because somewhere along the way the grace of God is also supplying me the mercy, the merciful heart, then I stop. I'm about to stop right now, okay?
So, you can see the difference? Even among believers. These are believers, right, those who received grace, amen? One more thing I want just to tell you is verse 8. Evening, timing, tells the timing, the owner said to the steward, his steward, unnamed steward. I never saw that there's an unnamed steward there. And I know in the Bible, whenever there's an unnamed steward, a good unnamed steward, it's the Holy Spirit, a type of the Holy Spirit. Remember when Joseph's brothers came to Egypt to buy bread and Joseph recognized them, they didn't recognize him? The Bible says Joseph, who is a picture of Jesus, said to his steward, "Bring them to my house for lunch". It is the steward that supplies the spread. Do you know what the brothers spoke to the steward? The first word ever from the steward's mouth was, "Peace be to you. Don't be afraid". He told Joseph's brothers.
So, the Holy Spirit always speaks peace. When Joseph saw Benjamin, his first word was grace, "God be gracious to you, my son". So, the first word of Jesus is grace. The first word of the Holy Spirit is peace. Grace and peace. When Boaz came to his field to check out the reapers, his workers and all that, he's a very kind employer, he came to the field and a young damsel from Moab was there. Her name was Ruth. And he saw her. The Bible says he spoke not to her but to the steward of his house, of the reapers, excuse me. The steward of the reapers, the unnamed steward. And the steward is the one that reported about her what good things that she has done, how hard she has worked, how little she had rest. And then the Lord said, or Boaz said, a picture of Jesus, he said to her, "The Lord repay your work, and a full reward," say, "Full reward," "be given you by the Lord God of Israel, under whose wings you have come for refuge".
We think of work as, "Oh, she must have worked really hard for him to say that". No, he says, "The Lord repay your work, and a full reward be given you by the Lord, under whose wings you have come for refuge". Imagine God calls you all coming to him for refuge. You are in need. You are in dire straits. You are in trouble and you go to him for refuge, for help. And God says, "That's a great work. You have a full reward". He rewards you for taking refuge in him. Amazing God. What an amazing God, calling what you did a work, saying that God will repay your work. What work did she do? She took refuge, because by all calculations, she's actually forfeited from any work. She's not even a Jew. She's under the bend of the curse, a Moabite under the curse of the law. But under grace, she receives.
Isn't the Lord good? Isn't the Lord wonderful? So, how do we apply this now to our nitty gritty, our everyday life? Does God want us to have a high moral atmosphere about our lives? If you are a prince of God, a princess, there ought to be something royal in your walk. People must smell the mean of royalty when you walk into a room. It's not that you are pompous and proud, you act like royalty, that kind of, no, no, no, I'm referring to, like, there's something beyond the ordinary. You are not ordinary, amen. You forgive. You don't, you know, come onto the level of using language. They use the same language, you use the same language. If all of you are common and you try to fit in to be like them, you think you are cool, you are just to become common. You dare not be different lest people talk about you. Your eye is still on people. There's only one person to please, his goodness. Trust his goodness, amen?
Holiness, the opposite of sin is not holiness, or rather, I should say the opposite of holiness is not sin. It is commonness. Whatever is holy is set apart for sacred, for high, noble uses. In the Old Testament, the word "holy" means set apart. You are a treasure. You are special people. You are people that shine when the world is depressed. You're a people that has the joy when happenings that happen to happen don't happen the way you want it to happen, you still have joy. And the world see you have peace. And the world see that you are blessed and your family have light in the dwelling. Imagine the Bible says when all Egypt was dark, Israel had light in their dwellings. You say, "Pastor Prince, but darkness was covering the whole place".
Yes, but Israel had light. It's supernatural light. No, I believe they lit a lamp. No, if they had lit a lamp and there was light in their house, every Egyptian house can also light a lamp. But it was a supernatural darkness. No amount of lamp they lit was able to work because it was a supernatural darkness. Therefore the light that was in the house of the people of God is supernatural light, and the world sees that. That is holy. That is set apart in the end times. So, what is our response then? So, sometimes you pray, it's not just receiving. You want to give to God. But it's a response. You receive the charis, the grace. Then you Eucharist, amen. You give thanksgiving. Thank you, Lord. I was taught last time, you don't feel like anything, just thank God. It's very sad, isn't it? If you come to me and say, "Pastor Prince, I just want to be grateful to you". I say, "For what"? "Nothing, lah, I was just taught that I must be grateful to you". You were taught to be grateful to me? You don't feel it in your heart? "No, my mother asked me to come and say thank you. I don't know for what, just say thank you".
It's very sad, isn't it? Even David says, "Praise the Lord for he is good. His chesed endures forever," amen? God is dispensing. I can only preach according to your receiving, so it ends right now. "Bring me another vessel," and there's no more vessel. The oil was stayed. You can take what you can take. So, let's pray that God enlarges even more. Do you know, many times I meet guest speakers, they say, "Your people are able to receive so much and a long sermon". They've been trained. If you expand the wineskin. Give him praise. Come on, church, hallelujah. Don't forget, he values highly that trust in his goodness, amen?
Every head bowed, every eye closed all across this place and everywhere that's watching this right now. Friend, perhaps you say in your heart, "Well, where do I get started in all this"? First and foremost, you need to realize you're a sinner. We're all on a one-way road to everlasting destruction. We are lost as it is. It is not as if you reject Jesus, then you get lost. No, we are lost, but God so loved us. He could easily have dispensed away with us the way we dispense with our rubbish, things we don't want anymore, things that does not serve any more use to us. We throw them in the bin. But friend, God is not willing to lose you. And God allowed, or rather God designed from his heart of love to send his Son, why? Which one came first, Jesus died for us then God loved us, or God so loved us he sent? He loved us first that he sent his Son to die for our sins on that cross.
And Jesus did a perfect work, my friend. If Jesus did not do a perfect work in removing our sins to the satisfaction of God's righteousness, Christ would not be raised from the dead. The Bible says Christ was raised because of our justification. In other words, God accepted what Christ did at the cross. Then God raised Christ from the dead. His resurrection is our divine receipt that all our sins are put away. So friend, if you are here today and you wanna make this real in your life, pray this prayer with me right now. Say:
Heavenly Father, I thank you for the gift of your Son, my Lord Jesus Christ. Christ died for my sins and was raised from the dead when I was declared righteous. Thank you, Father, I now have a new identity before you. I'm your child, righteous, holy, blameless in your eyes. You see me as Christ, as Christ is, so am I. Thank you, Father. Jesus Christ is my Lord. In Jesus's name, amen.
Stand to your feet, praise the Lord. If you prayed that prayer, my friend, you are now passed from death to life. Judgment is behind you. Death is behind you, amen. And only glory is in front of you, praise the Lord. Praise the Lord. Thank you, Jesus. How many are glad that you are growing in the Lord? Your capacity to receive has increased more and more, amen? Lift your hands all across this place. Remember that even safety is of the Lord, amen. Like salvation is of the Lord, the word "salvation" includes safety. Do not take safety for granted. We're gonna receive safety and preservation right now.
Father in heaven, I thank you for everyone under the sound of my voice. As they go forth, Father, from this place, I pray for this coming week. Make this week, Father, a week full of grace for them. And Father, keep on sharing with them, speaking to them, ministering to them your Word, your Word of revelation, your Word of liberty, your Word of freedom, your Word of health and healing to all their flesh. Minister to them, Father. Let them not be conformed to this world, thinking like common people, Lord, but let them think, Lord, according to your thoughts that their lives might reflect that holiness, Lord, that setting apart, Lord, of your people called up by you to show forth your glories and your brightness, Lord, in the midst of a nation in the world, Lord, that is lost. I pray, Father, that the grace revolution will spread all across the nations of the earth and that the name of Jesus will be exalted. I pray, Father, that people be freed from depression, from self-hatred, Lord, from being lost, Lord, rebellion, Lord, and lawlessness, Lord, and falling away from that glory that you called for us, Lord. Thank you, Father, for this grace revolution. I pray that everyone here become a vessel of it, in Jesus's name. And all the people said amen, amen.