Joseph Prince - Blessings Flow Through Grace
You ready for the Word? All right, we are continuing from where we left off last week. We finished with Abraham praying for Abimelech. And for those who were not here, just a quick review. All right, what happened was that Abraham was in a place called Gerar and there the prince of Gerar, a Philistine prince, his name was Abimelech. And Abimelech is actually not a name, it's a title, all right, just like Pharaoh is a title. And Abimelech saw beautiful Sarah and took Sarah for his harem, but God came to him in a dream at night and God told him, "You're a dead man, for she's another man's wife". And we saw from the typologies that Sarah is grace, Abraham is faith, and we saw last week that when you take grace away from faith, it's a very serious thing with God, amen, unless grace is put back in her place of honor.
You see, people are trying to put grace among the women, among the teachings in the church. She's one of the teachings but not a queen, and God will not have it so. Grace is not a topic. Grace is the person Jesus Christ. Can I have a good amen? Grace is not a doctrine. Grace is the gospel of Jesus Christ. So Abimelech, in essence, represents all Christians who try to put Sarah, grace, as one of the teachings among the other beautiful teachings, all right? But God will not have it so. And healing never flowed until grace was put back in a place of honor.
Now, once again, for the rest of us who were not here and for our viewers as well, we touched on that last week, but real quick, passing in review to show that Abraham is a type of faith. "What then shall we say that Abraham our father has found according to the flesh"? Flesh always represents self-effort. When you see the word "flesh," don't think of sex sins all the time. These are not works of the flesh. Those are works of the flesh. Flesh is self-effort, performance. "What can we say that Abraham according to his performance found? If Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God. But what does the Scripture say? 'Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.'"
Now, we believe, all right, in good works, not dead works, okay? You don't come to church to get right with God. If you come to church to get right with God, it's a dead work. But when you are right with God, you want to come to church. That's a live work, not a dead work, amen? Praise God. And the thing is this, you know, many people they try to pray, you know, they pray so that they can be close to God. Actually, it's a dead work. No wonder their prayers are just boring times, okay, for them. But the thing is this, when you realize you are right with God, you want to take with God and take advantage of your position.
When you see an accident, you don't try to tune yourself and get, you know, into the flow. You pray straightaway for the person, amen, for the person's salvation, for the person's deliverance from death and whatever it is, 'cause you have influence with God, amen? You pray because you are right with God. You don't pray to be right. We receive Communion because we are right. We don't receive Communion to be right, okay? We will touch more on that afterwards. So, "Abraham was not justified by works, if he was, he has something to boast, but not before God. What does the Bible say? Abraham believed God".
The church, Christianity is all about right believing. Right believing will produce right living, always remember that. Don't worry about right living. Think about your right believing. If you believe wrong, you will live wrong. Next verse, "Now to him who works, the wages are not counted as grace but as debt," all right? If you work for something, then God will have to give it to you based on something he owes you, but God will be beholden to no man, all right? But the Bible says, "But to him who does not work," that means he rests, "but believes on God who justifies the ungodly". Wow, again it's not justifying the Godly. It's not justifying the Mother Teresas. You gotta believe in a God who justifies the ungodly.
Then you ask the question, how can a holy God, a thrice holy God, holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, how can the holy God justify sinful men? The cross, the cross changed everything. And the faith that is counted for righteousness is a faith that believes on a God who justifies the ungodly. That man's faith is accounted for righteousness. In this case, it's Abraham, okay? Are you with me? So Abraham is a picture of righteousness by faith. And how many people here today, all right, under the sound of my voice, is righteous by faith? How many are righteous by your performance? Okay, praise God, so far no one.
All right, sometimes you get someone shouting amen because they are sleeping for the first part of it. Now, we have seen Abraham, we look at Sarah, okay, Sarah, a picture, a type of grace. Where do I get my authority to say that Sarah is a type of grace? From this portion, Galatians 4:21, "Tell me, you who desire to be under the law". So, the problem with the Galatians was this, they believed in Jesus because of Paul's preaching sometime back. But after Paul left, some Judaizers came and brought in the commandments and the laws, and now they believe in Christ still, but they believe that they grow spiritually, they get blessed, they get holy by keeping the law.
Now, Paul is addressing them. Paul says, "Tell me, you who desire to be under the law, do you not hear the law? For it is written that Abraham had two sons: the one by a bondwoman, which is Hagar, all right and the other by a freewoman". Bondwoman is not James Bond's girls, all right? Bondwoman here is a slave girl and freewoman is Sarah, his lawful wife, all right? And Abraham had two sons, one by the bondwoman, one by his wife. And their names are, the Hagar's son is Ishmael, Sarah's son is Isaac. "But he who was of the bondwoman was born according to the flesh". Again, what is flesh? Self-effort, okay? Ishmael was born when Abraham was still virile, when he was potent. Yo, man, when he was still a man, man.
All right, his natural function was still there. It's according to the flesh. Ismael was produced much, much, earlier, all right? "But he of the freewoman through promise". Isaac was born when Abraham cannot, y'all, all right, hundred years old. Things are dried up. So, when everybody knew that this 90-year-old woman, when she was younger, she was barren already. Now she's 90 years old, she's doubly barren and her husband is 100 year old, and God says, "You're gonna have a son, both of you".
So, when everybody realizes that they cannot and God produces, guess who gets the glory? God gets the glory. And always remember this, when you cannot, God can. And maybe you are too strong, that's your problem. Maybe you are too smart, you're relying on your smarts, your own intelligence, your own effort and that's why you don't see that breakthrough, you don't see that miracle, you don't see that blessing. You don't see that manifestation, amen? So, here God is saying that Isaac was born, not based on the flesh, not based on effort, totally by promise, all right? Promise is by grace. "Which things are symbolic".
So, these two women, they are symbolic. Ah-ha, now we find Paul making typology kosher, that makes the entire Old Testament very interesting. amen? So, these two women, Hagar, the bondwoman and Sarah, they're actually two covenants. He says, "For these are the two covenants: the one from Mount Sinai which gives birth to bondage, which is Hagar". She's become a mountain. So, in typology, she's a mountain, all right? But God is saying, Mount Sinai, Hagar is a picture of Mount Sinai, and Mount Sinai gives birth to bondage. Did you know your Ten Commandments is from Mount Sinai? Do you know all the laws is from Mount Sinai? And in Hebrews 12 it says that God has moved mountains and people are still camping at Mount Sinai, all right? And pastors and leaders, we need to move our pulpits from Mount Sinai to Mount Zion, all right?
In Hebrews 12 it says, "Mount Zion is the place of grace. They that trust in the Lord shall be as Mount Zion who shall not be moved forever". And here you find that God is no more on Mount Sinai and Mount Sinai is a place of trembling, a place of fearfulness, a place of shadows and lightnings and thunders, whereas on Mount Zion, everything is bright, everything is beautiful. God is there and an enumerable company of angels are there as well, praise God, and all the spirits of righteous men made perfect. Hebrews 12, read all about it in Hebrews 12, God has moved mountains. We have moved from the mount of demand, where God demanded righteousness from man, to the mount where God supplied righteousness as a gift to man, amen? We have moved away from the mountain that says, "Do, do, do" to the mountain called done, and we rest because it's done, and the more we rest, the more we see things done. Amen, church?
So here, these two women are symbolic of the two covenants. Mount Sinai is Hagar, and it gives birth to bondage. If you hold on to the law, you'll be in bondage. The next verse, "For this Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia, and corresponds to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children". The Jerusalem that now is, even at our time, all right, is in bondage. Now, they have a zeal for God, but not according to the knowledge, Paul says. For they, one thing to establish their own righteousness, they have not submitted to the gift of righteousness, all right? You receive the gift of righteousness, and God sees you right with him, amen? In a sense, when you are busy trying to establish your own righteousness, that is not giving Jesus the glory, all right, for what he did in his finished work at the cross, okay?
When you receive, you say, "Pastor Prince, all you gotta do is just receive. That's so simple". Simple doesn't mean cheap. Simple doesn't mean it wasn't hard for somebody. He literally went through hell to give you this gift. All right, just remember that, okay? Now, it says, but the Jerusalem above". That is Sarah, the other covenant, all right? She's free, who is the mother of us all, amen? So, that means what? If one is law, the other one is grace. Sarah is grace, a picture of grace. And then he quotes Isaiah 54 here, "Rejoice, O barren, You who do not bear! Break forth and shout, You who are not in labor"! In other words, if you're a daughter of grace, all right, for a moment you might see no results but keep on singing, keep on worshiping, keep on breaking forth and rejoicing, because you will bear more children than the woman of law, amen. It's telling you that.
All right, next verse, "Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are children of promise". And all the children of promise said? But, as he who was born according to human effort, flesh, "then persecuted him who was born according to the Spirit, even so it is now". Isn't it true? Both Ishmael and Isaac, they have the same father. Their father's name is Abraham. But Ishmael's mother is Hagar, the law. Isaac's mother is Sarah, which is grace. Today, we have the same challenge. We have the same problem, even so it is now. We are being persecuted, in fact, I speak personally. Down through the years, those who persecute me have not been sinners. It has been those who have the same heavenly Father as me but not the same mother. My mother is grace, their mother is law. It is never the son of grace persecuting them. It is always the sons of law persecuting sons of grace.
Now, if you are here and you feel smart and you say, "Well, you know what? I'm in New Creation Church so I'm a child of grace". But if you are involved in persecuting other Christians and you start blogging or you start writing or you start saying things, all right, saying things like, "New Creation Church is the only true church, your church is the wrong church, you know, come to New Creation Church," you are an Ishmaelite. You know about grace in your head, but you are still an Ishmaelite in your heart, because an Ishmaelite heart always persecutes, amen? Grace is not given to you to be... you know? Grace is given to the humble. Humble means "I cannot, Lord". God says, "I can. I can now in your life because you can't," amen?
So, the thing is this, all right, just because you're in New Creation Church doesn't mean you're a child of grace. It doesn't happen by osmosis. Okay, church? It's a funny thing to say: make sure you are the one being persecuted, not the one doing the persecuting, okay? Praise God. In fact, when you get your next persecution, you shout, "Hallelujah, I'm a child of grace," all right? So, "Nevertheless what does the Scripture say"? What does the Bible say? "Cast out the bondwoman," that's Hagar the law, "and her son, for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman". You know who said these words? Sarah and God calls it Bible. She says cast out the bondwoman. Cast out the bondwoman and her son.
In other words, take the law and put it out of the church. The Holy Spirit cannot flow when the law is in the church. It is like Sarah is grace. The slave girl, Hagar, is the law, all right? The church today is trying to invite Hagar back into the house to raise up Isaac, which is not even her son. We have no confidence in grace. We are saying Sarah cannot do a good job. Sarah does not understand holiness. That's the things that people think about grace. Let me tell you this, Sarah is far able to raise her own child, all right? In fact, it was after Hagar was out of the house that Isaac was able to blossom so your Christian life, you're not able to blossom until the law is out of your life. The law is like a stone blocking the resurrection life.
You remember when Lazarus was raised from the dead, even when Jesus was raised from the dead, life is in Christ. Life is in Lazarus, but the stone was there. That's why Jesus says, "Roll away the stone". The stone, God wrote on stone. The stone must be removed before resurrection life can flow. Are you listening, people? Now, we're not removing the stones from dead people, because if you remove the stones from dead people, what you smell is stink. You cannot remove the Ten Commandments from people of the world. They still need the "Thou shall not steal, thou shall not bear false witness" and all that, but how many know they are doing it outwardly, not here, not here? They don't have true holiness, but you still need that to govern the world. But in the church, it's a hindrance, because resurrected people are alive but behind the stone. Are you with me?
All right, so God wants inward transformation, all right, not just outward confirmation, all right? So, here we go, we have seen both Abraham as a type of faith and Sarah as a type of grace. Let's go the story now, Genesis 21, we'll continue. "For Sarah conceived and bore Abraham a son in his old age, at the set time of which God had spoken to him. And Abraham called the name of his son whom Sarah bore to him: Isaac". Which means laughter, yitschak, all right, in Hebrew, laughter. Now, whenever faith and grace meets, there's laughter. So, there should be laughter in the house of God. In a house of grace, there should be laughter. That's the result, all right, of grace and faith, amen? In some places you go to, man, they are so solemn. The only place that's really, really quiet is the cemetery. When you go to cemetery, everything is quiet, right? So, make sure there's some noise in the house of God. Make sure there's some celebration and some laughter, amen, you sons of Abraham, Isaacs.
"Then Abraham circumcised his son Isaac when he was eight days old, as God had commanded him". Next verse, "Now Abraham was one hundred years old when his son Isaac was born to him". So, everybody knew it was a miracle, amen? "And Sarah said, 'God has made me laugh, and all who hear will laugh with me". Now this is amazing, Abraham named the son Isaac because God said, "Call him Isaac, laughter". But Sarah had the spiritual intelligence to interpret the meaning of the name. Many a times, just like, you know, we have the Bible, it's given by God, the Scriptures is given to us by God. But how many know that we need the interpretation? It's one thing for you to have a dream from God, like Pharaoh. He had a dream from God, but Joseph had the interpretation, which is greater, amen? And God gives us the Holy Spirit to interpret, which is greater.
So, she, at this point in time, her name Sarai, God breathed the hei, the Hebrew hei of his name into Sarai's name, and she became Sarah. Now she's grace, and she has spiritual intelligence. When she was Sarai, she told Abram, "Abram, I cannot have a baby, go to my maid". Then Abram submitted, you know? And out came Ishmael, right, of course, not immediately, nine months later, all right? So, that's the result of listening to his wife. It was wrong. But here she has spiritual intelligence. She was able to interpret the meaning of the name. All right, let's go on. But another thing that happened with Sarah is this, folks, she was 90 years old at this time when Isaac was born. Abraham was hundred years old, she was 90 years old. Think about it, she said this, "Who would have said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse children"?
The word "nurse" there is breastfeed, nurse children. God did something to her body, y'all, something happened to her body. God renewed her youth. In the previous chapter, in fact, two chapters before that, God says, "At this time next year, you will have a baby" and then something happened to her body that year. How do I know? Because Abimelech is a heathen king. He's not a spiritual king. He go by his eyeballs, and he looked at Sarah and says, "I want that woman". Now, he has the pick of the land. He's the king of the land, so he has a harem full of beautiful girls, but he wanted Sarah, why? Because God rejuvenated her youthfulness, her body was renewed literally to the point she can breastfeed. Now, listen, when you are under grace, God will keep you looking young because you're not stressed. You are at rest. But when you are under law, you look older than you should, amen? Plus they like to wear black all the time, huh? You know what I'm saying?
All right, there are gloomed and sad. You know, God will keep you young, and you know, I asked the Lord one time in 1 Peter 3, I read it says, Christian women are daughters of Sarah. It's found in 1 Peter 3. So, I asked the Lord, "Why don't you say daughters of Esther? Esther was an amazing woman". I say, "Why not daughters of Ruth? Ruth is another virtuous woman". And the Lord say, "I want my Christian daughters to know they are daughters of Sarah, because Sarah is the only woman who got her youth renewed in her old age, and you are daughters of Sarah y'all, all of you, amen? "What about me, Pastor Prince"? You are Abraham, 100 years old so you can produce, man, potent, man, potent.
Next verse, now, The child grew, Isaac grew, and was weaned. Weaned means what? He goes to solid food, okay? Now, if you study the background of those days, they wean a child and they have a party when the child is three years old. Now, we all know a baby is weaned at about six, seven, eight months, right? They can go to solid food. But in that day and age, they might even breastfeed that baby until he's three years old to five years old, all right, especially a special child like Isaac. So, we are putting three to five years because scholars are saying it's around this time that Isaac had a great celebration the day he was weaned. Abraham made a great feast on the same day, not just a feast, man, a great feast. It must be something grand when his son is able to take solid food. But there is a meaning here. If you understand the meaning, you understand what is weaning, you'll be winning. Are you ready for the spiritual truth? We are all Isaacs. All the Isaacs said? Amen.
Let me keep on reading before I show you the meaning. Now Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, whom she had borne to Abraham, scoffing. Now, the Hebrew word for scoffing here is laughing, all right? But if you read the Galatians account of Ishmael persecuting Isaac, the word persecute in the Greek in Galatians is stronger than just laughing. All right, he was making fun of Isaac, but making fun of Isaac in a murderous way, in other words, there was hatred in the heart, intent to kill, persecute to the point of death, the way they persecute the early Christians. All right, that's the same word used.
And in other words, when Hagar and Ishmael saw Isaac being given a special treatment because of great feasts and in that feast, they would decorate the boy with all kinds of ornaments and a special tribal clothes, which means he's the rightful heir. She realized there's no hope for her son anymore to be the heir. So, probably she instigated the boy to do things that would harm Isaac. Now, that carries a death sentence in those days. It's a serious thing. In other words, he did something that, you know, may be Isaac escaped then he start laughing, but it's a murderous thing. It's not a small thing. So, you understand when they are cast out, you won't say, Wah, very pitiful. You understand, folks? All right, let's go on. So, what did Sarah say to Abraham? Sarah said to Abraham, "Cast out this bondwoman and her son; for the son of this bondwoman shall not be heir with my son, namely with Isaac".
Now, don't forget, the Bible calls this Scripture. And the matter was very displeasing in Abraham's sight because of his son. Next verse, But God said to Abraham, 'Do not let it be displeasing in your sight because of the lad or because of your bondwoman. Whatever Sarah has said to you, listen to her voice.' Guys, I know the Bible says wives are to submit, but there are times, if you are listening, God says, Listen to her voice, amen? You know, guys will pay hundreds of dollars to attend a seminar to hear the same things their wives are telling them for free but because they pay, they put more value. I don't know how many times Wendy has said things to me, all right, that, you know, sometimes when somebody else says it and I'll tell her, You know what this guy suggest, great. Say, I've been telling you that. We're not listening, guys. We gotta listen to that voice of wisdom that God has put in our lives. And all the women said? And all the guys said? Make amens, make amens, make amens, make amens.
Okay, now, he was concerned about Ishmael because after all, it's still your son, isn't it? So, Abraham was concerned about Ishmael and God said to Abraham, all right, Yet, I will also make a nation of the son of the bondwoman, because he's your seed. By the way, in the natural, Ishmael became the father of the Arabs, all right, and dwelt in Saudi Arabia later on, all right? So, in physical terms, the descendants of Isaac became the Jewish people, the Israelis, all right, and the physical descendants of Ishmael became the Arabs. Now, an Arab, when he receive Jesus is spiritually an Isaac. A Jew who rejects Jesus Christ is an Ishmaelite. Do you understand that? So, we're not talking about natural things here, okay? Praise God.
Now, talking about spiritual things. Let's go back to the account when he was weaned. He made a great feast on the same day that Isaac was weaned. When did the persecution start? When Isaac was weaned. In other words, Isaac wasn't taking milk anymore. Isaac was taking solid food, okay? Now, what is milk and what is solid food? How do we understand these terms? Bible must interpret Bible. In Hebrews 5, look at Hebrews 5, For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food. Now listen, For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe.
In other words, babies who drink milk, why are they babies? Why do they only drink milk? Because they don't understand the word, the logos here in the Greek, of righteousness. They don't understand the teaching of righteousness. Do you know that I have heard, time and again, even theologians, professors of Bible schools, making statements of righteousness like, we need to be more righteous. You cannot be more righteous. You can be more holy, but you cannot be more righteous. Just like you're a male, how do you become a male? Uh, I applied seven principles. No, you're a male by birth. Can I be maler? You can learn to be the male, to be the man, that God has made you to be but you're a male. Same thing, how are you righteous? You were born again. When you are born again, you are born righteous in God's eyes, amen. You were born that way. Praise God.
All right, now babies, babies who drink milk, they are the ones who are unskilled in the word of righteousness. It's like they don't understand, they think righteousness is still a performance. I've heard babies preach things like, Seek you first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things will be added to you. Now people, we must seek God's righteousness, find God's ways of doing things, learn how to be right with God. We gotta be right in our thinking, right in our speech, right in our actions. What is the person doing? Unskilled in the Word of righteousness. New Testament righteousness is righteousness is a gift to be received, not to be performed. That goes against the grain of the gospel.
Righteousness by performance is actually, back then, is heresy and, yet you have people and just because they wear all black and their hair is white, all white, doesn't mean that they are giving you the right interpretation. They look old but they're babies, why? Because they tell you this, grace is milk. Many a times you hear them saying, grace is milk, all right? But once you understand God loves you, you understand Jesus loved you, they always consider this, the love of God, the love of Jesus and all that, as basic. They consider grace as basic. But now once you understand grace, you know who you are in Christ, it's time to progress into maturity and find out God's claims, God's requirements, God's commandments.
And the Jewish person look at that and say, Wait a minute, if that's maturity, we were mature long time ago in the Old Testament because when we came out of Egypt, God taught us the Ten Commandments and gave us the law. It's actually regression, not progression. We got the whole thing upside down. Actually the Jewish people began with the law and then Jesus brought grace. Now, grace is maturity. And it's so hard for them to receive grace, amen. And when they hear righteousness, they always think of works righteousness, not gift righteousness, so they are still babies. They are more comfortable with commandments, but they're not comfortable with grace, and we think the other way is progress.
Let me prove that from the Scriptures. Same passage you got the typology of Sarah from, Galatians 4. Look at Galatians 4 in the very first verse, Now I say that the heir, as long as he is a child, does not differ at all from a slave, though he is master of all. The word child is nepios in the Greek which means infant, baby, all right, infant. Now the heir, as long he's a child, like my son, for example, my son, Justin David, is now three months old, very cute, adorable. He's handsome like his mother, all right? And he has that side smile, smoky eyes, amazing. Now, my son can only take milk. In my fridge, there are all kinds of goodies, chocolate, you know, filet mignon, all right, grass-fed rib-eye steak, bread, but he can't take it. But my maid can eat. My domestic worker, she can eat, amen.
But the thing is this, little Justin David is three months old. As long as he's a nepios, an infant, though he's Lord of all, he inherits everything, as long as he's a baby, he cannot enjoy it. Are you with me? But let's keep on reading. But he's under guardians and stewards until the time appointed by the father. So, Paul is talking about the Jewish people, all right? He's saying, Even so we, The Jewish people, all right, he's writing to the Jewish people in Galatia, all right? He says, "Even so we. When we were children, in the Old Testament, when we Jewish people, we were children, we were in bondage under the elements of the world".
Now, children are under guardians and stewards, right? You know when children come to my house, okay, I will tell them, "Don't go to the kitchen, all right"? If they are running in the kitchen, I tell them, "Hey, don't touch the gas stove, okay? Don't touch the knife". Now, there's a lot of laws given, you know why? Because they're children. But when you come to my house and I tell you, "Don't go to the kitchen, then after for a while," I find you in the kitchen. I say, "Don't touch the gas stove, okay"? And I tell you, "Don't touch the knife". You'll be insulted, right, why? You're an adult. Now, we think by giving commandments to people who have received grace, let me just finish it, okay? So they're under guardians and stewards. Even so we, we Jewish people here, all right, when we were children, in the Old Testament under law, we were in bondage under the elements of the world.
Now the word elements is very interesting Greek word called stoicheion which means the ABCs, the ABCs of God's teaching. In other words, the law is the ABC. When they came out of Egypt, they were still babies. The first thing God taught them was the Ten Commandments. This is the stoicheion of the world. This is the step one, step two, step three, kindergarten level. But Jesus would come one day, amen, and he'll bring us grace for the law was given by Moses but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ. That's maturity, amen. So, when We were children, we were in bondage under the elements of the world. Next verse, But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. The word "sons" here is the Greek word "huios" which means mature sons. No more nepios, nepios is under the law, okay? Sons are under grace.
Now, we're not talking about growth. Growth is like when you are born again, you're a spiritual baby, you need to come to church, you need to read the Word of God, you need Christian fellowship. All that is growth, personal growth. He's talking about law and grace here in Galatians. When grace came, it brought us straightaway into maturity. Do you know you inherit everything that God has? Huios, sons, mature sons. And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, 'Abba, Father!'
Now, why did the Holy Spirit leave the Hebrew, the Aramaic Abba down there? Why? Because God wants you to know it is not this Father. It's not this formal, Father. It's actually the word you hear in Israel today when you go, you know, among the children in the playground. You will hear them shouting at their father, Abba, Abba, Abba. Come here, Abba, Abba. Abba is daddy. God is saying, all right, when you have the spirit of sonship, you call God, Daddy, Father, Daddy, Father. And sometimes, you know, when you're in need, whether it's for healing or for some breakthrough in your life or there's some need that just arose and you come to God, take time, don't just bring the need straightaway. Take time, all right, and say, Daddy. Know who you're talking, Daddy. Are you listening?
All right, Daddy. Make sure there's no spirit of bondage, but a spirit of sonship, Daddy. I'm telling you, that is a powerful prayer. And you know why you can cry daddy? It's a spirit of God's son, Jesus that's in you. Some people say, "Well, there are Christians, you know, teaching others to call God daddy, daddy. What do you think God is? Sugar daddy? I want you to know God is almighty God. God is Elohim. God is El Shaddai". Let me tell you this, okay, I can teach on all the Hebrew names and I've done so as well. And there's benefit in teaching the Hebrew names but all that is compressed when Jesus came into one word that means his high priestly prayer Jesus said, Father, I have manifested to my disciples your name, that the love that you have for me may be in them and the name he revealed is Father. All right, yes he's El Shaddai, but that El Shaddai is my daddy, amen?
Just like Jessica can say, Yes, he's the senior pastor, but that senior pastor is my daddy. And there's something about Jessica, when I have a meeting when she was small, all right, in my office, in my meeting with all the leaders and all that, all right, usually you can't come into the conference room until you pass by my secretary. All right, but there's something about this little girl, she can bypass everybody in the hall, bypass the secretary, don't even say, hi, all right, bypass all the pastors and jump on my lap. You know why? Daddy. Yes, I'm an author but as far as she's concerned, this author is my daddy. When she cries at night when she was small at the time, nowadays she don't cry anymore, not in that way, but she cries at night, she doesn't say, "Oh, senior pastor, senior pastor of New Creation Church! Hasten of thyself to me-eth and rescueth me-eth". No, she doesn't do that. She will just say, "Daddy". That's a prayer. Poom, I'm down there, man. And I'm telling you if there's a monster down there, the monster's head is rolling, amen?
All right, there's a spirit of grace, a spirit of sonship and that's how you receive. When you come take Communion, devil say, "Get right with God. Before you worship, get right with God. Before you take Communion, get right with God". And this attempt to get right is actually falling from grace because we are always right by God's grace, by Jesus because God sees us in Christ. Doesn't mean our actions are right but when we believe we're always right, it will produce right actions. Don't worry about that. Are you with me? There's something about the flesh, the flesh needs the law before it can be stirred. The devil is very, very shrewd. He's very cunning. It's like, a glass, okay, let's say if I bring up a glass of water, you can't see the sediments below but there's a lot of dirt inside, but it's all settled down to the bottom, all right?
Now, you know something, you can still drink it because it's all settled. But what the devil is does that's like our flesh. The devil says, "Stir it. Try to do something good. Why don't you do something good with your effort. You don't need God's grace. You can do it, just do it". The moment you start doing it, it's like stirring the water. Guess what. All the dirt comes up and that's why their attempt to try to keep the law stirs up all the wrong things. The devil never tells you directly to do something bad. He will tell you just to stir your flesh. Try to do something good. How about praying one hour, how about praying two hours? Come on. How about reading ten chapter in your attempt? In the morning you get up you say that, "I'm always quarreling with my husband nowadays. Today in Jesus' name, I determine I'll be very patient with my husband".
And before the day ends, what happens? Your biggest fight, why? Because it cannot be done by the flesh. It cannot be done by the effort of men. You are stirring your flesh. Israel said, "What's wrong with saying, 'All that God commands us, at the foot of Mount Sinai, we can do it.'" I mean it sounds good, it sounds noble, isn't it? But it's actually pride in God's eyes. They're stirring their flesh. They're trusting their effort. They should say, "God, if you give us your laws, your laws are holy, we cannot keep it. We cannot. We need your grace. Your grace brought us out from Egypt without laws. It's by your grace. Bring us home into the Promised Land by your grace". And I believe the Ten Commandments will never reach them but they boasted. And what's the result of stirring the flesh? The golden calf. There was never a golden calf until they said, "All that God commands us".
That's why in Galatians it says, "When you get into the works of the flesh, the performance of the flesh, the works of the flesh are adultery, fornication, witchcraft, resentment, hatred". See that? It's called works of the flesh in Galatians 5. But watch this. When you're under grace, you rest and you just trust his goodness, his love for you. Call him daddy, amen? You know what happens? Fruit of the Spirit, not works of the Spirit, fruit of the Spirit. Works are the result of effort. Fruit is the result of life. Are you with me, people? Let's go back to the story to bring it to an end, praise God. Hallelujah. Are you with me so far? All right, so the child grew and Sarah saw the son of Hagar mocking her boy. She said, "Cast out the bondwoman" and the boy was cast out, okay? So finally, Abraham took the boy, Ishmael, and Hagar and sent them out with a bottle of water, all right? She meant to go down to Egypt where she came from, Hagar, came from Egypt, but she got lost and she wandered in the wilderness. She was wandering in the wilderness until the bottle of water ran out and then her son was dying.
Now, I want to call your attention to something here, all right? At this point in time, all right, depending on whether Isaac was weaned at three or five, okay, Ishmael would be either 19, 20 years old, if it's five years. If Isaac was weaned at five years, all right, Ishmael would be about 20 years old. If Isaac was weaned at about three years old, okay, that means what? He's about 17, 18 years old. Are you with me? Either way, he's quite a young man. But you see what happened in the desert? All right, his mother was stronger than him. He was weak, 18 to 20 years old and he was weak. And the mother, finally he was faint. The mother put him under a shrub and the mother went one boat short away, the Bible says, and she wept to the Lord and says, "Don't let me see the death of the boy". And this is what God said, all right? Drop down, "And God heard the voice of the lad," not the voice of the mother. Now she was crying, but God heard the voice of the young man. The word "lad" here is young man. God heard his voice, why? Because God has a covenant with the boy, not with the mother. Though the mother cried, God was looking for the boy's voice, all right?
I say boy, he's about 18 to 20 years old at this time, all right? And he was dying, yo. He was weak. His mother was strong. His mother could carry him and put him under a shrub, the Bible tells us. He was about 18 to 20. When you're about 17, even 18, all right, not any less than 17, all right, I mean you should be a strong young man. He should be carrying his mother, not his mother carry him, put him under a shrub, the Bible says. He was like, "Ma, ma. I need water," 18 years old to 20 years old, why? Because in the same chapter we find the typology in Galatians 4. We find this phrase in Galatians 4 again, "Now after you have known God", Paul is writing to the Galatians because they're going back to the law. He says, "Or rather you are known by God, how is it that you turn again to the weak and beggarly elements, to which you desire again to be in bondage"? He calls the law weak and beggarly. "You desire to be under the law. Don't you know the law produces weakness and beggarliness"?
Now, the word "weak" is the same word "weak" the same Greek word used when he says, "Go, heal the sick" in the Gospels. Jesus says, "I was sick, you came to visit me," you know, in the parable. Remember that? It's the same word used. Weak means sickness, weakness. It's a result of being under condemnation. It produced poverty. At this time they only had a bottle of water. He was weak. He was not strong as a teenager. It's a picture of the law. Are you with me? Not only that, it produces beggarliness. This word "beggarly" in the Greek is the same word used when Jesus shared the parable, there was a certain beggar named Lazarus. The word "beggar" is the same word "beggar" here. It means poverty.
In other words, sickness and poverty is the Lord of those who are under law, who live under mixture. One moment God loves me, another moment God may judge me. One moment God is my father, another moment, God is my judge. They live under mixture. They're not sure. They're not certain and it produces sickness, produces poverty. But I tell you this, believers who are under grace, they are strong. You know why? Because Isaac is a picture of the son of grace. The very next chapter, Genesis 22, he carried the cross or the wood with the father up to the Mount Moriah. That happens in the next chapter and he was a young man by then. And you know something? He was strong.
Do you see that, right? "And God heard the boy's voice. Then the angel of God called to Hagar out of heaven, and said to her, 'What ails you, Hagar? Fear not, for God has heard the voice of the lad where he is. Arise, lift up the lad and hold him with your hand, for I will make him a great nation.'" "I'll make him a great nation," all right? "Then God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water. And she went and filled the skin with water, and gave the lad a drink". Now God opened her eyes. This is amazing, church. The water was there all the time. God didn't open the water. God opened her eyes. When you are under law, you cannot see good. Remember our passage for this year, the theme of this year? Look at Jeremiah 17, "Thus says the LORD: 'Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength.'" You trust your own works, you trust your own performance. "Whose heart departs from the Lord. For he shall be like a shrub in the desert, and shall not see when good comes".
Yo, good comes, even to this man, but he cannot see it. He cannot see it. Just like Hagar, the law makes you self-reliant. The law makes you trust your performance and Hagar was in the desert, the well was there and she can't even see it. God didn't cause the well to spring up. God didn't open up the well. God opened her eyes. You know, those under law, many a times they are very critical. They see the bad in every church. They see the bad in every Christian and when you spend time with them, they always see the bad in everything. They cannot see good. Even their children, God has blessed them with wonderful children, they always find fault. God has blessed them with wonderful spouse, they cannot see all the good. They find fault. It's terrible living with somebody under the law. Don't turn around, just look straight, all right?
It's terrible to live with somebody under the law. This finger-wagging religion. I'm telling you, it's like life on earth become hell. A marriage, by the way, is the closest thing to heaven or hell on earth, you know that? Make sure you marry the right one. That was a loud, "yeah," praise God. Only one "yeah". Come on, guys, what happened? Come on, wives, don't let him go. Come on. Come on, guys. Sound more scared than anything now. All right, let's go back to the story. Praise God, Genesis 21, "God opened her eyes," and then what happened to the boy? Next verse please? "The boy grew up and became an archer". Now, I got another message down there but I have to go, all right? Because the word "archer" there means what? He's always shooting arrows.
All right, sons of the law are always shooting emails and blogging. Oh, sorry, what did I say? Arrows, arrows, you know? They're always shooting fiery darts, amen. You know, the shield of faith that quench all the fiery darts? Where do you think the fiery darts came from? How do you think the wicked one launched the fiery dart against you? There's only one place, the Bible says, that burned with fire, one mountain, Mount Sinai. And the Bible says whoever touches Mount Sinai should be thrust through with a arrow or a javelin. Think about that, whenever you touch the law, arrows are being launched at you. You better be perfect before you touch Mount Sinai. That's the standard. Wow, it's getting a bit quiet in this Presbyterian church. Okay, so you think of an archer. Just like his nephew, Esau, also a picture of the flesh. He became a skillful hunter, all hunting, all shooting, you know? "He dwelt in the Wilderness of Paran; his mother took a wife for him from the land of Egypt".
Now, "It came to pass at that time". What time? After the law has been removed from Abraham's and Sarah's life, after Isaac can grow completely under grace. Isaac does not need to be brought out by any other woman. Grace is enough to bring up Isaac, faith and grace. Isaac does not need Hagar's help, neither does Abraham and Sarah. After the law has been cast out, after the son of the law is also out, at that time what happened? "Abimelech and Phichol, the commander of his army, spoke to Abraham, saying, 'God is with you in all that you do.'" The favor of God started flowing. From then on in Abraham's life, favor, strength, blessings started flowing like a mighty river. This same Abimelech was the one that took Sarah away from Abraham, now he's coming to Abraham with his commander in chief and he says, "God is with you. We want to be with you".
Keep on reading. Next verse, "Now therefore, swear to me," Abimelech said to Abraham, "that you will not deal falsely with me, with my offspring, or with my posterity; but according to the kindness that I have done to you, you will do to me and to the land in which you have dwelt". In other words, believers are always claiming that verse, God will make us the head and not the tail. But many a times you look, it seems like the world is the head and Christians are the tail. What happened? Believers still have Hagar in the house. When will this happen that the princes of this world will intrigue your favor? It will happen at that time when the law is out and you're completely under grace, under favor. Even the people of the world will intrigue your favor. This prince of the world, Abimelech, was the one that Abraham feared. He was so fearful of him, he lied to this man, "This is not my wife, my sister". Remember that? Now he's no longer afraid of him. In fact, Abimelech is afraid of him. Abimelech says, "I can see that God is with you".
When will the world see that God is with us? When we stop playing hypocrites. Tell the world that God loves them unconditionally, when they come in, we roll out the scroll of all commandments. Abraham is now dwelling in the land that used to belong to Abimelech, but there's a new dignity now. You know what Abraham did? He asked Abraham to swear, "Abraham says, 'I will swear.' Then Abraham rebuked Abimelech because of a well of water which Abimelech's servants had seized". Now Abraham can even rebuke Abimelech. God is making the head and not the tail, when? At that time, at that time. Church, are you listening? At that time. God is waiting for the church to mature. And what is maturity? Understanding all that grace is. It's not going back to the law. Those who are not skilled in the Word of righteousness are babies.
"Then Abraham rebuked Abimelech about the well of water which Abimelech's servants had seized. And Abimelech said, 'I do not know who has done this thing; you did not tell me, nor had I heard of it until today.' So Abraham took sheep and oxen and gave them to Abimelech, and the two of them made a covenant. And Abraham set seven ewe lambs of the flock by themselves. Then Abimelech asked Abraham, 'What is the meaning of these seven ewe lambs which you have set by themselves?'" Next verse, "And he said, 'You will take these seven ewe lambs from my hand, that they may be my witness that I have dug this well.'"
Now listen carefully. Abraham is coming to a place where he's possessing his possessions. Now, after the law is out, Abraham has a surge of faith to possess the land. Are you listening, people? He's now possessing the land and he's saying, "But let it not be said I took this land from you for nothing," okay? Here is seven ewe lambs, that means what? They'll give birth in the future and have more lambs, all right? Seven ewe lambs, seven in Hebrew is shabua. Say, "Shabua". When you say I swear by the... Okay, swear in Hebrew is also shabua, all right, same word as seven, shabua, got it? So, seven ewe lambs, shabua, okay? And he dug a well. "And he says, 'This well will be a witness that I have dug this well.' Therefore he called that place Beersheba".
Beer in Hebrew is not Anchor beer or stout. All right, beer is well. Beersheba means well of the seven or well of the oath, the promise, okay? "Because the two of them swore an oath there. Thus they made a covenant at Beersheba. So Abimelech rose with Phichol, the commander of his army, and they returned to the land of the Philistines". They never came back to the land again. It's also a prophecy, you know, of the future for Israel. One day Israel, the law... God is waiting for even the messianic believers, many of them are still holding on to the law but there are many, many of them now, all right, beginning to realize what grace is all about and the law is out of their lives. And when the law is out of their lives, they begin to possess the land.
So, the thing is this, church, there is a well there as a witness that this land belongs to Abraham and to Isaac, his son, not to Ishmael, okay? And the proof is this, he dug the well, all right, he gave seven ewe lambs to Abimelech, Abimelech left, okay? Abimelech himself acknowledged, the prince of this world acknowledged, "This land is your land" and he left. Next verse we'll close. "Then Abraham planted a tamarisk tree in Beersheba". What tree was that? Keep that in mind, "tamarisk tree in Beersheba, and there called on the name of the Lord, the Everlasting God". In Hebrew, El Olam. "And Abraham stayed in the land of the Philistines many days". And that's the end of chapter 21. Look up here.
About two years ago, my leaders and I, we went to Israel and at this particular time, I wanted to go to see Abraham's well, all right, and Beersheba. It's still there. How many would like to see it, all right? This is Beersheba, all right, ancient Beersheba and let's look at the well. That's the well that you can see me in the center there with my band of brothers. Can you see Abraham's great, great, great grandson standing really tall, Pastor Mark down there, the sunglass? That's one of the seven ewe lambs that went missing. Okay, so we are standing at the well of Abraham. It's right at the entrance of the ancient city of Beersheba. Can you see a tamarisk tree behind?
By the way, that is a tamarisk tree. Can you see that even though they cut off, cut off, all right, it still sprouts new shoots? Now this is not the actual tree itself that Abraham planted. It is the descendant, you know, the descendant because it's all in the same place. How many understand that? So, new shoots come out, they cut off, new shoots come out. It's the tree by the well. All right, another close-up, you see me looking down into the well. That green helmet is not mine, all right? Let's look into the well. The well is very deep. You can see the reflection of water right at the end down there. Can you see that? So, we were there, all right and we saw the well. We saw the tamarisk tree. We were fellowshipping and all that, then something happened.
Behind the Beersheba there is a wadi, they call it like a river, a river bed, all right, or wadi. And the water came from another place that was raining and it was like a floodtide. It was too strong. It was torrential and then after I left the place, early this year, or was it last year? God showed me something about the brook that flowed through, all right? It's called wadi Beersheba, but it's also known as the Brook Besor, Brook Besor. Now, Brook Besor is the one that David and his 400 men went to the brook and 200 stayed behind. They were too faint to go over the brook because it's probably like this, torrential. David went through with his 200 men. You know the story? That's Brook Besor. And you know what besor means? It means good news.
So, when I was there with my leaders talking about the Gospel of grace, we turned around and God gave us a demonstration that in these last days, the gospel, the good news of Jesus Christ is gonna flow like a torrential river. No one can stand it, no one, no human effort can stand it. Are you listening? The only help, all right, this message of the Brook Besor is that help comes from the Lord who made heaven and earth. No one can stand that torrential river, only help is from on high, amen? That's the message of the good news. Human effort cannot avail anymore. So church, what am I saying? I'm saying this, all right, be careful of what you hear. Amen, church? It's time for us to come to God in simplicity and say, "Daddy, daddy". What do you need from him? He's your heavenly daddy, amen? "But pastor, I must get right first". You are right. If you believe in Jesus, you are right. Lift your hands, call him daddy. Say, "Daddy. Daddy".
♪ My soul cries ♪ ♪ Abba Father, ♪
♪ Father, my Father. ♪ ♪ My soul cries ♪
♪ Abba Father ♪ ♪ because I am his child ♪
♪ He tells me ♪ ♪ that he loves me, ♪
♪ he loves me, ♪ ♪ how he loves me. ♪
♪ He tells me ♪ ♪ that he loves me ♪
♪ because I am his child. ♪
Every head bowed, every eye closed everywhere that's watching this. My friend, God loved you so much that God sent his Son Jesus Christ to die on that cross. He didn't send an angel, he sent his own Son. Oh, how he loves you because at that cross, he who deserved no judgment, no condemnation, received it at the cross because at the cross, he who knew no sin became our sin so that you and I today who knew no righteousness, we have become righteous and God's grace, God's favor, God's blessings, rest on us. But you say, "But how can I receive something I didn't work for"?
Well, Jesus received something he didn't work for. He received our sins at the cross. He received our judgment, our curse at the cross. He didn't deserve them, but he received them. Likewise, we don't deserve the goodness, the grace, the favor we see, but we must receive it because Jesus received our judgment and he wants you to receive his righteousness, his favor, his grace.
With every head bowed here and everywhere that's watching this, you say, "Pastor, pray for me, I want to receive this wonderful Jesus and all that he has done for me. I want to receive the gift of righteousness that makes me right with God". If that is you, pray this prayer with me right now from your heart wherever you're watching this, whether you're in a hotel room, whether you are in your living room, whether you are in a prison cell, wherever you are, pray this prayer with me right now.
Heavenly Father, I believe that Jesus is the Son of God. I believe he died for my sins. He knew no sin but became my sin at the cross so that I who know no righteousness have become righteous with his righteousness, his blood that was shed cleanses me from every sin and you raised him from the dead. Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior now and forever. In Jesus's name, amen.