Joseph Prince - His Radiance Upon You Brings Favor
Give praise to God. Let everything that have breath praise the Lord, amen. And every month we are receiving testimonies from all over the world, especially in America, of life transformed, people being delivered from drugs, people healed, especially of cancer, healed of tumors. Even today I have a testimony that I didn't get a chance to read in an earlier service of someone healed of cancer, cancer of the breast, a testimony from America. And no chemo, no radiation, just hearing the Word of grace, God transforms them. And truly, God is glorifying what his Son did for us at the cross. And the message of grace is not grace per se, it is the message of the Son of God, the Lord Jesus Christ whom God so loved and whom God gave up for us because God loves us. But God loves his Son and you must always remember that you are so loved because God loved his Son but God gave up his Son for us all. Isn't it amazing?
And I look at our church and how God has blessed our church. I'm so grateful. All right, look up here. Isaiah 60, it says, "Arise, shine; For your light has come! And the glory of the Lord is risen upon you". Next, "For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and deep darkness the people; but the Lord will arise over you, and His glory will be seen upon you". I want to emphasize that, that his glory will be seen upon you. Now, some people, they say that this passage will come to pass only in the millennium, the 1,000-year rule of Jesus when Jesus returns, all right? But that cannot be because when Jesus is ruling on earth, there's no darkness. And here it says, "Darkness will cover the earth and deep darkness will cover the peoples".
Now, that tells us that this glory will shine on God's people when there's darkness that covers the earth. This past year, we see such darkness covering the earth and deep darkness the peoples. We see the rise of Ebola virus like never before, the number of the casualties and victims have risen to a record high. We see like disappearances of aircraft, tragedies involving aircraft. We see all kinds of darkness covering the earth. We see children being murdered, literally being savagely murdered just for the cause of some group. And we never had it on this kind of scale that's happening around the world all at once. We see all kinds of natural tragedies as well. But I'm here to tell you, the Bible prophesies, all right, the Word of God prophesies to us that darkness will cover the earth. The Spirit of God tells us deep darkness will cover the people. So, you need to know, you are not the earth. You are not the people. You are the you, his glory will be seen upon you, you compared to the people, you compared to the world. Can I have a good amen?
So, when there's darkness in the earth, God's light will shine on you, and not only that, the Bible says the Gentiles shall come to your light. Now, there is a twofold application to this earth, one is Israel, natural Israel. And Gentiles will come to your light which means when Jesus returns, yes, all right, God will exalt the nation of Israel and Christ will rule from Israel. And once again, the purpose that God had for Israel will be fulfilled, amen. Now, they are set aside temporary because of the rejection of the Messiah, all right, but God has a purpose for their ultimate salvation, amen. And when this happens, Gentiles will come to their light. So, Gentiles are the goyim in Hebrew, the non Jews. But, don't forget, it's a twofold application. Spiritually it's to the church, amen.
Gentiles means unbelievers will come to your light. God wants you to shine. God wants his glory to be seen by unbelievers. This is not a glory that must be spiritually discerned. It's not a glory that you must have spiritual eyes to look at. No, unbelievers will see the glory that's on you, amen. And then it says that kings will come to the brightness of your rising. Kings are V.I.P.s, they'll come to the brightness of your rising. Next, "Lift up your eyes all around, and see: They all gather together, they come to you; Your sons shall come from afar, your daughters shall be nursed at your side". In other words, when God's glory shines on you, your children, your wayward son, your wayward daughter, they will return from afar. From afar means they have gone astray, but they will come back because God's glory is shining on you, amen. And the Bible says, "Your daughters shall be nursed at your side". Next, "Then you shall see and become radiant, and your heart shall swell with joy; Because the abundance of the sea shall be turned to you, the wealth of the Gentiles shall come to you".
Now, my message today is on that radiance that God wants his people to have. God wants his light to be seen upon you. God want you to become radiant. Are you listening? In a dark world God wants you to become radiant. Now, the thing is this, many of us we say, "Pastor Prince, you know, radiance or no radiance, is it really that important, pastor"? Yes, because I tell you something, I didn't plan this message. I didn't even think this message. As I was praying before the Lord, many of you think that, you know, the speakers that preach and all that, they all get their messages while they're in prayer. No, many a times they pray but God speaks to them even when they're in a mall, or doing something, or driving, or whatever, all right, very ordinary circumstance, God speaks to them. But this message came to me while I was still in prayer. When I was praying, God spoke to me and he gave me this message bang, bang, bang and he gave me the verses one after another while I was still in prayer. And God says, "I want my people to have radiant faces". God wants his people to have a radiant face.
And you say, "Well, Pastor Prince, big deal". I mean, you know, you thought that God has more important priorities for us and all that. But let me tell you this, if you think that having a radiant face is something small, something minuscule in the economy of the kingdom of heaven, God says when you are radiant, the abundance of the sea shall be turned to you, the wealth of the unbelievers will come to you. Are you listening? Now, I didn't say it. I didn't say it. The Bible (I'm reading Bible, people), the Bible says the wealth, not the poverty, the wealth of the Gentiles will come to you when you are radiant. So, think about it, when you are radiant, all right, good things happen. The verse before this, your children will come back to you. Your sons will come from afar, your daughters. Is that worth a radiant face? They come to you because of the glory that's on your life. They can see the glory on you.
Look at the verse before this, verse 3, it say that Gentiles will come to you. What about salvation? What about preaching the gospel? Well, one of the best ways is that people come to you because there's radiance on your life, there's radiance on your face. So, this is not a small thing. When God spoke to me in prayer, "I want my people to have a radiant face, tell them that. Tell them to ask me for a radiant face". 'Cause, many of us, we are saved but we haven't notified our faces. Our faces look worse sometimes than a Gentile, amen? So, let me just say this that when Moses came down the mountain, we have two, 40-day episodes of Moses' life. The first forty days I preached on the last midweek service.
Y'all still remember that, right, the first 40 days of Moses? And when Moses came down the Bible says he came down, all right, without a radiant face this time, the first time around, and he broke the two tablets of stone. And the Bible tells us that the Lord wasn't angry with him. The people were worshiping a golden calf. So, he was actually in line with what God was doing, okay? And then he went back up for another 40 days and this time God tempered the entire law with mercy. And when he came down, the Bible says his face shone. Albeit though his face was shining, the people, even his own brother, the first high priest of Israel, Aaron, they went away from him because the light that was on his face was the glory of the law, which was transient, which was temporal. Whereas the glory of the New Covenant is eternal. It's ever-increasing splendor.
And the Bible tells us when he came down, the people ran away from him. You can read about this, how he called them back to him. He had to call them back and the Bible says, Aaron and the people returned and the elders returned to Moses, which means they had to go away from him. It was a glory that says, "You have sinned, you have sinned, you have sinned. You shall not, you shall not, you shall not". And all the people, you know, they know that they should not but they have. So, it's too late. And the law says because you sin, you will die. Because you sin, you'll be punished. Because you have sinned, you'll be smitten with leprosy, with disease. That's what the law says. And the Bible says that the Ten Commandments, if you break one commandment, you don't break that one, you break all ten. James chapter 2 tells us that. So, think about it.
So, let's look at this in 2 Corinthians 3. So, let's not be selfish, okay? God wants you to be radiant because he wants your families blessed. He wants you to be a great testimony to your children. Without opening your mouth, they can see your radiant face, amen? And your radiant face is a mission weapon, amen, to get people saved. You know, the Bible says in Acts chapter 1, verse 8, "You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit is come upon you, and you shall be witnesses unto me". Notice he didn't say, you shall do witnessing. He says, "You shall be witnesses," all of you, you become a witness. You know what's becoming a witness as opposed to doing witnessing?
There are people who do witnessing but their face look like they've been baptized in lime juice or tom yom juice, all right? They look like they've been baptized in lemonade and they look so grumpy, they look so, you know, like the caption that says "Beware of the dog". So, God wants salvation to affect your face, amen. You know, I know it sounds simple. When I first heard this in prayer, I said, "Lord, I mean can you give me something deeper"? But he gave me verse after verse after verse. Now, many a times I receive all this and it takes a long time of preparation before I receive, but I receive ever one of them in illustrations while I was in prayer and in the spirit. I went to my study and he gave me the rest. So, if you don't like the sermon today, it's not me, okay?
So, look up here. It says that, "God has made us sufficient as ministers of the new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life". When God gave the law, the Ten Commandments, it was on Mount Sinai and it was the first Pentecost, the first feast of Pentecost. God gave the law and 3,000 people died, okay? But in the New Testament when the day of Pentecost was fully come on Mount Zion, a different mountain, God gave not the law, but the Spirit and 3,000 people were saved, which goes to show that the letter kills, the law kills but the spirit gives life, amen. So, this is what it's talking about the letter kills but the spirit gives life. Next verse, "But if the ministry of death, written and engraved on stones, was glorious".
I want to pause here and say this because it's quite popular now. I've been hearing people saying things that we are not under law in a sense, we are not under ceremonial law, all right, but we are still under the moral law. Let me say this, the only part of the Ten Commandments, the only part of the law that was written and engraved on stones was the Ten Commandments, okay? And the Bible says it is a ministry of death; that doesn't mean we don't have moral excellence, but we cannot purposely try to keep the law to have moral excellence. The more you try, the opposite happens. When Israel said, "All that God commands us we are well able to do," the next thing you see, the broke the very first commandment. The attempt to keep the law actually causes sin to rise to the surface because the law was given to expose your sin. The more you try, the more you see you're not able to.
So, God tells you, all right, "We are no more under law," amen. That takes away the power of sin. For 1 Corinthians 15:56 says, "The strength of sin is the law". And here it's very clear the Bible says, "The ministry of death written and engraved on stones". In other words, God calls the Ten Commandments ministry of death. It ministers death and he was glorious, not that he wasn't glorious, it was glorious. The Spirit of God testifies to that, but it was glorious. "So that the children of Israel cannot look steadily at the face of Moses because of the glory of his countenance, which glory was passing away".
Now, Moses was pretty smart. When he came down the mountain and his face shone, all right, the people ran away from him. He had to summon them back and the Bible tells us when he talked to them, he wore a veil so they couldn't see what was transient, what was temporal. It was passing away. He was very smart because he knew that if they see what was passing away, they might say, "Well, Moses has backslidden. Yesterday he had the glory, now he had none". So, he put a veil, but every time he went to God's presence, he took it out. But when he's in front of the people, he covered it. Are you listening, people? And yet in the Old Testament, if the law came with a glory on the face, even though it's not a full glory the glory of Jesus, how much more the New Covenant of grace? It should be a glorious face, a glorious countenance. Can I have a good amen?
The next verse, "How will the ministry of the Spirit not be more glorious"? That's the ministry of grace. Next verse, "For if the ministry of condemnation had glory, the ministry of righteousness exceeds much more in glory". So, the ministry of condemnation is the Ten Commandments, the law. In other words, it condemns you. It says, "You shall not steal," but grace gives you the favor and the supply of a job. And God says that you may have to give to him that needeth. The law can only says don't steal but grace says give and be a blessing. The law says, "Thou shall not commit adultery," but grace says, receive the love for your wife. Receive the patience. Receive he longsuffering, amen, longsuffering with your husband, amen?
So, "thou shall not" can only go so far. I'm not saying we are not under law to do whatever we want. I'm saying we're not under law so that we can have moral excellence. We are dead to the law to be married to Jesus Christ through the grace of God, amen? So, we are still after moral excellence and a life of holiness that glorifies God but it's how to get there from here. It is not by the law, it is by grace. Amen, people? But what I'm trying to say, the thrust of my message today is that is this that if the Old Testament came with glory and the glory was reflected on Moses' face, how much more the New Covenant, amen? So, if the ministry of condemnation had glory, God says the old time revival when they used the commandments and the law to make people feel guilty and all that, it had glory.
God is not saying there's no glory but God is saying, "You ain't seen nothing yet". Because the ministry of righteousness exceeds much more in glory. The ministry of grace, you see the ministry of condemnation demands righteousness from sinfully bankrupt men. But the ministry of righteousness, the ministry of grace, supplies righteousness as a gift to sinful men. Moses can only demand. A servant of God, which is Moses, can only tell you what God wants, all right? But the Son tells you the nature of God. For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son. So, we are not under Moses, we are under Jesus. We are not under law, we are under grace, all right? But the point I'm trying to bring across is this, people, that if the law came with glory on the face, how much more the New Covenant, amen.
How much more the glory there? Even our Lord Jesus, when he was transfigured like Moses was on the mountain, Christ was transfigured on a mountain, the Bible says in Matthew 17, verse 2, he was transfigured, his face shone like the sun. When Jesus came down from this event after his face was shining like the sun, he came down the mountain, the Bible says the people ran towards him. In Moses's case, they ran away from him, here they ran towards him, why? Grace says your sins are put away. You are made righteous as a gift, hallelujah. "I'm here to save you. I'm not here to condemn. I'm here to receive you," amen. "I'm here to give you sonship as an heir of God almighty," amen. "Your sins are put away by my blood," that's what the glory on Jesus' face declares. Are you with me so far?
So, how much more if Jesus's face shone, all right, God wants your face to shine? All right, you know, we Singaporeans we have a lot of phrases we use for face. Say, "face. You cause me to lose face. Now, I got no more face". So, God wants to save your face, amen. Literally, God wants to save your face. You know, there's a secret of David; David, the Bible says, he had beautiful eyes. He was ruddy, he was radiant. And this is his secret, David, the giant slayer as a shepherd boy, you know, this is his secret. He says, "Why are you cast down, O my soul"? So, he was depressed when he said this. "Why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; For I shall yet praise Him, the help of my countenance and my God". He says, "God is the help of my face".
Smile at your neighbor and say, "You need help for your face, bro". Look at somebody else and say, "You need help for your face"? Now, in the Old King James, it does not say, "Help of my face or countenance". It says, "The health of my countenance". So, why is it different? Because it's a very rich word. The word "help," the word "health" is a very rich word. It's a word that many of you are not familiar with. It's a very, you know, difficult word to understand in Hebrew but I'll try my best. Yeshua, that's the Hebrew word, Yeshua which is the name of Jesus. So literally in Hebrew it is the Yeshua of my face. So, Yeshua means the health of my face, the help of my face, the deliverance of my face. Now, look at somebody else and say, "Your face needs deliverance, bro," amen?
So, I want to say this to all of you, people. Listen carefully. I'm not talking about good looks. I'm not talking about being pretty or handsome. Not everyone can be Pastor Lawrence. I remember as a young teenager, I was saved, yes, but I was like a nominal believer. And my friend and I, we were checking out some of the girls on the next class, actually. And we found out they were Christians, and they attended a Christian fellowship kind of thing that is once a week every Friday. Y'all remember that, some of you? Christian Fellowship, CF they call it. So, my friend and I decided to go to CF, not because we were spiritual, but because we knew that the girls that we like we're going there.
So, we went there, all right, to check the girls out. And I was looking around, looking at that girl, you know? Right after the service it's almost like the leader of that group, which was a lady who volunteered her services, I don't know which church she's from. And she's probably, you know, she may get to see this sermon, but she's amazing because she was the leader of that group. And she's probably at that time in her 30's. And it's almost like after the service, "I'm gonna zero in on my target," right? And she came right in between. You know, of all the thing I was thinking, why not go for my friend? You know, why? And she stood in front of my face, and I'll never forget this, church, there was a radiance on her face and her eyes twinkled when she talked to me.
Now, it wasn't makeup. I don't think she was that well off, okay? I don't think she even had any makeup on, as far as I can remember. But her face shone with a radiance. She wasn't pretty by the conventional, in the conventional sense, you know, but have face shone. I couldn't dispute that radiance. Her eyes twinkled when she talked to me, and she was talking to me the most kind way, but I could see God in her. Now, that wasn't the only thing, but it was one of those things that caused my life to be completely transformed. And later on, I became a leader of her CF group as well. But until today, I still remember that shining face.
You cannot argue with a shining face. I'm not talking about going around with a goofy smile and trying to fake it till you make it. I'm talking about that. You cannot fake, all right, the radiance to your spouse. They know you inside out. And one of the things that impact them is that when you are truly radiant, amen. The best argument that you have with someone who is mocking you or making fun of you is to beam, is to shine, without a word spoken. We'll touch on that in a while's time, but let me just tell you this. This is what we look for, even for the platform ministry. I tell my leaders who are in charge of the worship team, the choir, and all that, "Look for radiant faces". That's something you cannot fake, all right? You know, your heart betrays itself in your face, in your countenance. You cannot hide away from that.
Now, you can go for surgery. I'm not against that. I really am not against that. You can put in, you can take out, you can tuck in, you can tuck out, you can tighten, you can loosen, all right? You can tighten, you know? But if you are still grumpy, then you have a grumpy, tightened face. You are tightly grumpy, you know? I'm not against, look, look, that's not the point, people. The point is that, what's the point if you remove this, you put in this, take this out, and all that, but you still have the same old heart, and you are still grumpy, you are still naggy, you are still pointing people's faults, you know? And it's not a matter of age. I've seen people who are in their 60s and 70s who are radiant, and when you're with them you leave their presence feeling like I was with a young person. You hardly, you know, feel their age.
And then I have been with people in their 20s, and some of them are getting younger, even in their teens, yaking, yaking, yaking, yaking all the time. Complain, complain, complain, complain, complain. And they feel like, man, you feel tired being in their presence. You feel old. Like, I enjoy being with Pastor Mark. He's like a grown child. You know, you hardly feel his age. Hey, by the way, he's older than me, okay? Sometimes he calls me father. "Pastor Prince, you're my father". I say, "Father, please, lah"! I say, "I am younger than you, you know"? Anyway, Pastor Mark is like, you know, ageless. That's what God wants for you, never feel your age. You are ageless. You are born of God. Amen, people. But you know, when you complain, complain, nag, nag, nag, complain, complain, always complaining, you grow old very fast and people feel like you're old when actually you are not.
One of the things we look for for people in the platform ministry is a radiant face. You cannot fake it, amen. And you can tell when someone is faking it, even a fake smile. So, I'm not talking about going around smiling with a goofy smile all the time, all right? I'm not talking about that. There are guys who don't smile a lot, but they are radiant. And there are ladies, all right, who also don't always, like, you know, with a smile all the time, but they are radiant. Their face shine. And that's what I see in people in our church. My wife and I, how often she has said this to me and I've said this to her. We meet someone in the mall, or in a coffee shop, or somewhere, and then after they leave, you know, my wife says, "It's amazing, isn't it, our people's face", our people, our church people, their face always shine.
In fact, long before they recognize you, if you see them first, they stand out in a crowd. It's not a matter of good looks. It's not a matter of physical good looks. It's a matter of the shine. And you people, you are a wonderful example of that. We even have a hall called "Shine" where our youths meet. Our people just shine. I love it. Have you ever met someone in the street or someone that you didn't know from our church or from another church, even, all right, but I can only say for our church because they acknowledge me, so I can tell. But many times, before you know, maybe you're on holiday or whatever, before you know that this group or this person was a believer, all right, you saw the radiance on their face. And then when they introduce themselves or whatever, later on when they go away you say, "No wonder, he's a believer". You ever had that? There's a radiance, people.
The world is getting increasingly a very depressing place and people are getting depressed. And many of them are getting younger and younger who are depressed. They want some excitement. They're cutting themselves, they're hurting themselves, but they are depressed. It's a sad world. Parents, how much more that you need to have a radiant face, especially in front of your children. Ask God for that. I didn't say fake it, I said ask God for it, amen? I remember years ago when Jessica was about 3 plus or 4, I was thinking about some challenges at church, you know, and thinking about y'all and how to resolve some things. And then at the same time, I was reading a book. You know how you can do two things at one time, or at least you think you can. And I was frowning, and Jessica was across the table, and she looked at me and says, "Daddy"? I said, "Yes"? "Are you angry with me"? I put down the book and said, "No, sweetheart. Why do you say that"? "I don't know. You looked angry".
So, from then on, I purposely, when I look at her, I would smile at her, amen. I don't realize that my face is showing that. And many of us, we don't realize that, but that will tell them more than your words ever can. You know, people, sometimes even when you say no, sometimes it's not smiling all the time. You have to say no to your children, but you can do it with a radiant face and they can see it. They can see that, you know, it comes in the glory of the new covenant. It's not, like, you know, there's bitterness and there's, you know, that kind of thing. Like Hollywood try to portray Christians as always being depressed and mad at the world. "That is a sin. This is a sin. That's a sin. Kissing is a sin. Kissing your wife is a sin". No, you know, and they don't show preachers like me or Pastor Mark, amen?
So, thank God for Joel Osteen. He comes out and he smiles and the world doesn't know what to do. They never encountered a preacher, you know, that is a smiling preacher. And boy, is he radiant. So, God is raising a whole new generation, people, all right. Not only you do witnessing, you shall be witnesses, amen? And you know, your children need you to say no sometimes, all right? Sometimes they need your "No" to be an excuse. Let's say they themselves don't want to go to a party because they know what's going on in that party, but they don't want to say no to their friends lest they be perceived in a way that they don't want to be perceived. But so when you say no to them, they can take your "No" and say no to their friends because, "My father won't allow me".
Allow yourself to be used as an excuse. But if you dare not say no, your children need your "No". They need your "No". And parenting your children, don't be afraid. They will not hate you if it comes with a radiant face, even though you are not smiling. All right, there are things that you need to set boundaries and all that. You can do it with a radiant face. Can I have a good amen? And that's how I advise. I don't pick them myself because the church is too big, so I have leaders, and that's the thing I tell them to look out for ushers and all that. Look for people that don't have a sign that says, "Beware of the Dog, hmm". You, late again, hmm!
Moving right along, you know, I wanna share with you something real quick. Recently in the month of August, Pastor Benjamin went to preach at a pastors and ministers conference. And it was a great meeting in Switzerland, so the pastors from all over Europe were gathered there. And also that conference, the pastors there, they were launching, especially the German pastors, they were launching my book in German for the first time. By the way, they told us that it's very close to becoming a best-seller now, so praise God for that. In German. Now, the lady that was there, she was there. The one that translated my English into German, all right, she was there. And I want you to see an example of a radiant face. This is what I mean, all right? At the same time, you can see the testimony of that book.
Hi, Pastor Prince. I translated your book, and I'm so blessed by your book and everything you say in your messages. And it was a miracle for me to just be a part of, like, your message. And I'm very looking forward to everything it's gonna do here in Germany. It's always been on my heart for Germany to get this grace message that you have. And so, thank you very much for everything and I'm very much looking forward to seeing you one day, in heaven maybe.
All right? Hair combed back, wear glasses, radiance. And some of you, hair beautifully curled. Your husband have to wait for 1 hour. Actually, he wanna come for the first service, but ended up in the second service or third service, you know? That's not the point. By all means, I'm not against your hair, okay? Please don't see me walking down the street and then pull your hair straight. No, I'm not talking about that. I'm not talking about that, people. Go ahead, you know? Do whatever you need to help your hair, go ahead. I'm not talking about that. But have you noticed her hair? It's almost like nothing. It's all combed back, tightened, right? Into a bun, probably, and glasses. But can you see the radiance? Can you see the radiance? Many of you probably didn't even hear what she said, all right? A German girl that translated my English book into German. That's what the world is crying out for. They are crying out for reality. And there's purity, it convicts you. It's beautiful.
I remember a true story of a missionary, he shared this many years ago in England. In his younger days, as a young man, he was a thief. He came from a very poor family and he was a thief. He would break into houses and carry away his loot in the night in a big, you know, sack, like an Ali Baba sack. And he broke into a particular house, and he got some knives, silver, lamp stand, and some expensive items. He thought they would fit into his bag. And he was making his getaway from a particular room, at the window of a room, and as he put his foot down, about to go out of the room in the dark, he heard a cooing sound.
He look around and his eyes got accustomed to the darkness. Then he saw that there was a little baby cot one corner, and the cooing sound was coming from the baby cot. He realized all of a sudden as he approached the baby cot that there was a baby inside there that was awake. And the baby, with those big, beautiful eyes looking at him, and the baby was cooing like a dove. And he put down, you know, his sack one corner, then he look at the baby and he came closer to the baby. And he put his little finger between the baby's hands, and the baby grabbed his fingers, and looked at him and smiled. And when the baby smiled, he shared something happened to him. Something happened in his heart. And he said this, "This is what I thought. Little baby, you love me unconditionally. You don't know how bad a person I am. You don't care about my background before you give me a smile. You just love me. This is what God is like since you are so fresh from heaven".
You know what happened? He left all his loot and from that day, he said the first thing he did was to find a church, and he got saved and became a missionary. Isn't that wonderful? All through a baby's countenance. And maybe every baby that's born into this world is a testimony to all of us, you know, of the innocence and the purity. And people say innocence, you know, today it's such a bad word. Like, everything has been flip-flopped. You know, when you are making a stand for moral excellence, they say that you are narrow, when actually they are narrow. You know, when you say, you know, "Let's love God, you know? Let's love the Lord Jesus. Let's love one another," all right, we are talking about something that is all-encompassing and not narrow.
And then for them, it's like, "Oh, you know, you are against sin, therefore you are a hater," you know? No, no, no, no. People, if there's cancer in a child, you should hate the cancer and do your very best to excise the cancer out of the child because you love the child. So, we hate sin but we love the sinner, amen? So, the world is trying to make us into haters, Christians into haters. And they try to produce movies and all that that make the Christian look square, not radiant, always grumpy, you know? Like, "Simpson Movie," you know? Simpsons, they are very anti-Christian, you know? Let me tell you this. And our young people are being influenced. They're thinking that this is a norm, but it's not. A real Christian, when you look at Jesus, the Bible says he said to his disciples, on the night that he was betrayed, he looked at them and says, "I'm saying these things to you so that my joy might remain in you".
Can you imagine? Can you say that without a radiant face? Can you imagine him looking at his disciples and he's grumpy, like the religious grumpy? "I tell you all these things so that my joy might remain in you". Peter would say, "Lord, can you take it back or not? I have enough problems of my own," you know? No, you cannot imagine that. You imagine the Lord smiling and the Lord saying, "These things I've spoken to you that my joy might remain in you".
So, I love the portrayal that Mel Gibson did of Jesus in "The Passion of the Christ," how he would tease his mother, you know? Even when he taught his disciples, there was a smile on his face. There was joy that was so evident in his eyes, in his demeanor. Amen, people? Now again, I'm not talking about a goofy smile. I'm not talking about just going around and all that. But I'm talking about God will use your natural personality, but the radiance is from him. Can I have a good amen? So, one of the things that we find, that y'all might not even know that it's happened to you many times, is that when you are being persecuted as a believer, when you are being mocked and insulted, or made fun of because you're a believer, if you can take a look at yourself at that time, many of us are oblivious probably, all right, your face is shining as bright as you might ever imagine. I have seen this for myself.
When I was in National Service, all right, for those of us who are 17, once we hit that age, we are drafted into the army whether we like it or not, amen? In Singapore, it's compulsory. But I remember that the place where I was posted, only me and another guy was a believer, all right, in this particular place. And we had a staff sergeant that was really nasty against the Christian faith, you know? And I don't know why he targeted my friend, particularly my friend. He would make fun of him, give him some of the heaviest responsibilities, and that kind of thing. But one day, I still remember, I cannot forget it. I was sitting across my friend and my staff sergeant came in, and he was again, riling about something, about Christians and all that.
And he looked at my friend and he make fun of my friend. And my friend was looking down, actually he was doing some work, and then he looked up at the staff sergeant. Not in, you know, a retaliatory way, just looked up. Just looked at my staff sergeant and his face shone, people. I saw it for myself. I was taken aback. And my staff sergeant immediately kept quiet. He was taken aback as well. He saw it. My friend never realized his face shone. Later on I told him, but I saw it for myself. And then later on, I saw this Scripture in the Bible. It says in 1 Peter 4, "If you are reproached for the name of Christ, blessed are you, for the Spirit of glory," not just Spirit of God, "Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. On their part he is blasphemed, but on your part he is glorified".
Now, notice he's writing to believers. We already have the Holy Spirit in us. We have the Spirit of God indwelling us. But this is talking about the Spirit of God resting on you and resting in such a way that he manifests as the Spirit of glory. It's the glory of God being seen, resting on you, when? When you are being persecuted, when you are being insulted. In fact, the Lord Jesus said it like this, "Blessed are you when you man shall revile you, and persecute you, and say all manner of evil against you falsely for my sake". You know what Jesus said? "Leap for joy, and rejoice, and be exceeding glad for great is your reward in heaven".
Now, when he says, "Great is your reward," he's not referring to one day you die, you go to heaven, then you receive your rewards and all that. He's also referring to the here and now. When we lay up our treasures in heaven, it does not mean we can only claim it when we go to heaven. Why do you need treasures in heaven when you are in heaven? Amen. What it's saying, lay up treasures in the bank of heaven and you can always make withdrawals. It manifests on earth. But in heaven, no moth can destroy, no rust can corrupt, no thief can break through and steal the bank of heaven. So, invest in heaven. But that means you can make withdrawals on earth because on earth is where you need it now.
So, when Jesus said, "Leap for joy, for great is your reward," that means he'll bless you if you're single with a good-looking husband, a good-looking wife, a beautiful house, a beautiful family, or whatever you need. Great means great. It's your reward, reward for suffering for the name of Jesus. Once you get this revelation, man, I'm telling you, it's almost like you say, "I've not been insulted for quite some time. Please bring it on, man. Bring it on. Make a greater and greater reward". Hallelujah. We have a beautiful story of this in the book of Acts. There is a young man named Stephen. Let's read the story. "So God's message continued to spread. The number of believers greatly increased in Jerusalem, and many of the Jewish priests were converted, too". I love this, the fact that many Jewish priests were converted. "Stephen, a man full of God's grace and power, performed amazing miracles and signs among the people".
Notice, he was full of God's grace and power before he performed the signs and wonders, amen. But one day some men from the Synagogue of Freed Slaves, as it was called, started to debate with Stephen. They were Jews from Cyrene, Alexandria, Cilicia, and the province of Asia. None of them could stand against the wisdom and the Spirit with which Stephen spoke. So they persuaded some men to lie about Stephen, saying, 'We heard him blaspheme Moses, and even God.' This roused the people, the elders, and the teachers of religious law. So they arrested Stephen and brought him before the high council. The lying witnesses said, 'This man is always speaking against the holy Temple and against the law of Moses.'"
And by the way, I'm getting this accusation as well. I'm not speaking against the law of Moses, I am for the law for the reason God gave the law. And yet, there are people saying, "I'm against the law". Anyway, good company, amen. "'We have heard him say that this Jesus of Nazareth will destroy the Temple and change the customs Moses handed down to us.' At this point everyone in the high council stared at Stephen, because his face became as bright as an angel's". Hallelujah. The best defense is a shining face. Smile at your husband or your wife and say, "It's salvation, dear". Look at another brother and say, "Notify your face that you're a believer," amen? In old England, whenever the queen or the king is back in the palace, the flag will fly high. You can tell that they're not in when the flag is not flying high. So, the King is in your heart, and the flag is your face. A song that goes
♪ Joy's like a flag flown high ♪
♪ From the castle of my heart ♪
♪ From the castle of my heart ♪
♪ From the castle of my heart ♪
♪ Joy's a flag flown high ♪
People, the world, this is not a smiling face or a radiant face, it's not just nice to look at, it's a weapon. In the world we live in today, it's a weapon that rescues people, that slays the powers of darkness because the dark spirits are always, you know, when the Bible says the evil spirit came on Saul, in the Young's translation, he brings out the Hebrew, a spirit of sadness comes on Saul. There's a spirit of darkness, a depressing spirit, that comes on people. The Bible calls it, in Isaiah, the spirit of heaviness. God gives you in place of the spirit of heaviness, God gives you the garment of praise, amen? You cannot be praising God and have the spirit of heaviness, but the world is suffering there. Many of you don't even realize sometimes even a child can suffer there. It's wonderful to have children that are joyful, but you need to be praying for them because in the world we live in, there are forces of sadness, grief, depression, trying to step in.
So, I know that this is not a message that, you know, is just to tell you to you have a nice expression. No, no, definitely not. When God gave it to me, I told God, "I want something deep". I'm ashamed to tell you, forgive me. This is your pastor. Anyway, when God gave me this message, he really wanted me to preach this. He wants his glory to be seen on you. I'll tell you what, no one can dispute a radiant face. It is always in demand, amen? Like that sister we saw just now, she's radiant. And by the way, I know a little bit about their background, not all of them are that well off. They're doing this as a service to the Lord. You can say it's a dressing, amen, and by all means, dress well. Yesterday, my wife and I, we had lunch together. And in this coffee shop, we were sitting down there, my wife is always the first one to observe, you know? She's very quick to see whether another group is a believer or whatever. I'm just focusing on the chicken. And she will tell me, "This next group is, you know, they're believers because they said grace," all right?
So, we assume they're believers, and they all said grace. There was a father, mother, one teenage boy, and a child. And I tell you this, throughout the entire lunch, not a single one of them said anything to anyone else. The last time they talked to somebody was God. I mean, my wife and I looked at each other, and it's like, throughout the entire conversation. And the son, a good-looking boy, he's probably about 14. And he was down there he was, after he finished, he just fold his hand and he look here, look there, look at the table, look at his dad, look at his mom. Nobody said anything to him. After they finished their lunch, I thought that maybe this is when the conversation would start, but the father took something, right, from his back, and out came his iPad, and the rest of the time he was doing something on his iPad.
It's very sad, very sad to see that. And in my heart, I cannot be self-righteous. It can happen to any of us. I prayed and I said to the Lord, "Let this never happen to us, Lord". We cannot assume that there are times, you know, even when we're sitting with each other and all that, we will look at our iPhone and all that. But make sure it doesn't become like you went out for dinner, you went out for lunch, but you're focused on something else. Sad. I looked at the boy, and one day, amen, the father will say, "Son, we have not been going out for sometime, how about". And he'll say, "Dad, I'm quite busy nowadays, I'm married and all that, and with kids and all that. You know how it's like". The time will never come back again. You know, when that little Jessica, three years old, three-plus, who asked me that.
Today, that girl has grown up. So, some years ago, I made a request. I said, "Lord, give me a son so I can start all over again and this time I'll take it slow. I won't travel so much. I'll take it slow. I'll be with him". And there was one of my three requests, and lo and behold, he came, and this time we are taking it slow. This year, I'll be traveling quite a bit, but every time I do that, when I come back, my priority is to be with him, to be with Jessica, to be with Wendy, and to be with all of you, of course, amen? But treasure what you have. You think that you have it forever, but you won't have it forever. Some people find that a bit too late. Every moment you have, you never know when it's the last time that he'll be doing this or doing that, or she'll be doing this or that. Treasure your present time, amen? Have you notified your faces?
Let's close, okay, with this. "Pastor Prince, is it important? How can I have this"? Well, the Bible says here very clearly in Ecclesiastes, "Who is like a wise man, and who knows the interpretation of a thing? Thing here is the Hebrew word debar, which is used for God's Word as well. Who knows the interpretation of God's Word? If you are someone who hungers for revelation of God's Word, good news. The Bible says a man's wisdom makes his face shine and the sternness of His face is changed. This word sternness is used in another place for judgment on Israel should they ever rebel. God says, "A nation of fierce countenance". The word fierce is the same word as stern. "A nation of fierce countenance will come on you".
So, God says even if a person is stern, his face is mean. But because of revelation coming into his heart, the Bible says, "The sternness of his face will be changed". And I've seen that, I've seen a gentleness, a kindness come to someone's expression. Maybe as a child, once upon a time, they were generous, they were happy. Somewhere along the way, they got disappointed. There's a lot of lonely people with broken hearts all over the world. And many of them are lonely in a crowd. But just remember, if someone is mean out in the road somewhere or in the mall, a waiter is rude or, just remember, it takes people in pain to be very rude to others. Remember this, hurt people hurt people. So, take time to be someone who is different. Give them a smile. Say something. You might not see them again, no point losing your anointing and your peace over them. Bless them, amen? Say something kind to them. Say, "I like your hairstyle," or whatever.
A man's wisdom makes his face shine and the sternness of his face is changed. May this happen to all of us. And the more revelation of God's Word you have, I'm talking about knowledge of good and evil. That knowledge is depressing sometimes. What you know a lot can be depressing. Even like, like I bought a health Almanac or book of signs and symptoms, that's the worst thing you can do, okay? Go by God's Word. Soak yourself in all the healing passages of Jesus, how he healed the sick, how he went about doing good, healing all that were oppressed of the devil until your heart is full of his life, consciousness of his health, beholding his glory, being transformed into the same image, amen?
Another thing the Bible tells us to do is in Psalms 34, which is my favorite psalm actually, "At all times, I'll bless him". All right, in verse 5 it says, "They look to him and were". Looking to the Lord makes you radiant, and you will not lose face. That's Singlish version. Their faces were not ashamed, their faces were not ashamed. They looked to him and we're radiant. Every time you take a look at the Lord, make sure that you take a look at the Lord when you are worshiping. Be conscious of him, his glory, and listen to sermons that point you to the Lord, amen? When you read the Bible, find Jesus in it. The Bible is like, like pictures, like, you know, children's books where they have hidden pictures, and your thrill is to find it.
Well, throughout the entire Bible, the Old Testament especially, there are hidden pictures of Jesus, amen? Look out for him, and you become radiant like him. They looked to him and were radiant. Many a times, you're not looking to him. We are looking to each other. We are comparing ourself with one another, and that's where jealousy comes in, that's where envy comes in. "How come she has this I don't have? I wish my nose was like hers. I wish my forehead was his. And I wish that". You know, and people compare themself with one another. Hey, stop it. There's only one you. God made you, and there's probably somebody who envy you for the way you look, but you don't like the way you look. We always dissatisfied with ourselves. And not only that, there are business people who want to know what this person is doing, what that person is doing, what this person is doing. It's all horizontal, amen. "Oh, he's investing, I better invest in this". Only to find both of you crash. Don't do that. Don't do what others do. Man fails, people. Man is subject to failure. Look to the Lord, amen?
I love this part where after Jesus rose from the dead, a week after that, the Bible tells us this was like, you know, two Sundays after that. And the disciples were fishing in the lake of Galilee, and Jesus walked by. Y'all know the story, and Jesus told them to cast their net on the right side. They caught so much fish and then after that, Jesus and the disciples were having breakfast. In fact, Jesus made breakfast for them. What a beautiful picture of our Lord Jesus. Even though risen and glorified, he made breakfast for them, and that's when he asked Peter, "Do you love me"? Three times. Well, at the end of it, the Bible tells us at the end of the breakfast, Peter saw John, and Peter said to the Lord Jesus, "What will happen to this man"? Look at the Lord's response.
The Lord looked at Peter and says, "What is that to you? You follow me. Don't compare yourself with others. You follow me". Don't say, "Wah, this person, he has that kind of anointing. I want to copy him". No, God gave you your unique gift. There are people who preach really fast and fiery, and they're anointed. There are those who preach fast and fiery, and they're not anointed. There are those who preach slow, and they're anointed, amen? Look for anointing. People, don't compare yourself. Everyone is differently gifted. Everyone is as unique. Your fingerprints, there's never been someone like you. God broke the mold when God made you. You are unique. Celebrate your uniqueness. You don't have to be like anybody else, people, but you can be successful at one thing, yourself. By all means, improve, improve yourself, improve your field. But while you're improving, don't compare yourself with anybody else. Don't be jealous because somebody has something you don't have.
But hey, you have something that person does not have, amen. Stop looking horizontally and start looking vertically to the Lord. They looked to him and were radiant, amen, and their faces were not ashamed. Have you learned something? Have you been blessed? It's no small thing, the Bible says, when your face is radiant, your sons will come from afar. That means what? They've been wayward. Gentiles will come to you. Kings, VIP's, will come to your rising. The wealth of the Gentiles will come to you. It's no small thing to have the radiance of the Lord on your face, amen? So once again, we're not looking for good looks. We're not looking for pretty face. Don't look for that, that can be deceptive, the radiance that come from within. And I see this church, you already have it. You don't realize you have it, but may you shine even more. And all the people said, amen. Give praise to Jesus, hallelujah.
For chance there's someone here you have never experienced God's love, not just salvation for your face, salvation for your life. If your heart were to stop beating, you have the assurance, the real you step out of your casing, your shell, your body. The real you, where will it be housed? You are made in God's image. God breathed that life in you. God made you and God housed you in a physical body, but your body is not you. And because God breathed you, that part of God is eternal and that's why hell is hell. It was never created for man. It was created for the devil and his fallen angels. But if a man rejects God's love and slap his hand and say, "I don't need your son, I don't need your forgiveness, there's nothing to forgive," that man God cannot force his salvation into his life.
Jesus said it like this, "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life". And I love the next one. "For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn, but to save". Hey listen, Jesus didn't come to condemn, but to save. We don't care what kind of background you come from, we know one thing, Jesus is a greater Savior than all your failures and weaknesses and sins put together, and he wants to save you. He wants to be your Savior. Will you allow him? The only thing you gotta do is consent to be saved. If that is you, wherever you are right now, those of you who are watching this, if you want this abundant life, knowing that God is your Father and you're a son, heir to all his promises, pray this prayer with me right now.
Heavenly Father, I believe Jesus Christ is the Son of God. I believe he died on the cross for all my sins. I believe you raised him from the dead for my justification. Thank you, Father, that his precious blood washes me clean from all my sins. And I thank you from this day forth, you are in my life. Your Spirit indwells me. Your blessings rest on me, and my life shall be a witness and testimony to all around that Jesus Christ is Lord. In Jesus's name, and all the people said, amen, amen, amen.
Praise God, hallelujah. Praise the Lord. Praise the Lord. If you prayed that prayer, you are now a child of God, a son of God, amen. You're no longer a sinner. You were a sinner, now you're a son of God. You're not perfect, but you're a son of God. You cannot lose that position, amen. God is your Father forever, amen. All right, praise the Lord.