Joseph Prince - The Key To Robust Faith
All over the world, the grace revolution is happening. And you're all part of that grace revolution, amen? It is not something new. It is something being restored to the body of Christ. We have had this weapon, we've had this bread, we've had this powerful tool, this wonderful gospel that is everything to us, and yet, we think of the gospel as something to get souls saved by. But, no, the gospel is your bread. The gospel is our drink, is our life, amen? The gospel of grace is spreading all over the world, literally, thousands of souls are being impacted by the gospel of grace. Pastors of churches that are making an impact all over the world. So we thank God for that.
And I remember when I first rediscovered this gospel, it is not something given to me. It is something given to Paul. Paul says, "The gospel that was given to me". But for me, it is something that God restored, the same gospel that Paul preached. I remember I felt very lonely. I felt alone. I felt like, you know, I was misunderstood, and there were a lot of news that's going on, fake news. Back then we didn't call it fake news. But it was going around saying that, you know, Pastor Joseph Prince is a heretic and all that. That generation is getting smaller, thank God, amen. That tribe is, the voice is getting softer, and the voice, it's like the house of Saul got weaker and weaker, and the house of David got stronger and stronger all over the world, to the point that right now, it's like, if you're not part of the gospel of grace, then what are you believing, amen? You are believing something that is Antichrist's doctrine.
Notice the problem in the world is not anti-God. People believe in God, amen? And there are people will kill you, amen, or say bad things about you or just assassinate your character because of their belief in God, but the problem we have today is Antichrist. The person of Jesus, even in the church, the Spirit, Antichrist is working in removing the centrality of Christ. We are no more seeing Jesus as having that place. It's like either you use Jesus for something else, for prosperity or for destiny sermons or things like that, but Jesus is just a means to an end. No, Jesus is the first and the last. Jesus is the bread of life. Jesus is the alpha and the omega. Jesus is everything, amen? The Lord Jesus Christ is God's greatest gift to all of us. When God gave us Jesus, God gave us everything.
The Bible says: "He that spared not his own Son but delivered him up for us all, how will he not also with him freely give us all things"? It's almost like asking you, "How will he not, with him. God spared not his own Son. He gave him up for us. How will he not, with him, also freely give us all things"? If God holds back from you your provision, when God gave up Jesus, it is as if God is saying that provision, to God, is more precious than Jesus because he gave Jesus up, but he will not give you your provision. If God holds back healing from you, when God gave you Jesus, it is like God is saying healing is more precious to God than Jesus, because he gave up Jesus for you. No, friend, when God gave us Jesus, he gave us healing. He gave us our provisions. He gave us the abundant life. He gave us favor, amen? He gave us life indeed, amen. Even eternal life.
And that is what the church of Jesus Christ needs to come back to, the simplicity of believing God's goodness and God's grace. He that spared not his own Son but gave him up for us all, who is he that was not spared? The one whom God loved. I love the way the Bible says that even at the baptism of Jesus, the heavens opened to him. Doesn't say the heavens opened, generally. It says the heavens opened to him. Today, when you preach Jesus, the heavens open to him. The heavens opened to one, the altogether lovely one, our Lord Jesus Christ. The heavens opened to him and the Father spoke, like a father proud of his son, the Father says, "This is my beloved Son. In him, I am well pleased". That is the one the Father gave up for us all, because you will never know how much God loves you until you know how much God loves Jesus. And God gave up Jesus for you, amen?
And that's why it is important that we understand and study the names, the titles, the offices, of our Lord Jesus Christ because in so doing, we understand our place. In finding him, you find yourself. The Greek philosopher says, "Know thyself," amen. And then came spiritual warfare movement. It says, "Know your enemy". But according to the Word of God, the greatest knowledge is know him. Jesus himself says, "To know thee, O God". In his high priestly prayer, he says, "To know thee and Jesus Christ, whom thou has sent". I love it. "He told the Father that they may know thee and Jesus Christ, whom thou has sent". That's the greatest knowledge of all, because God has put you in Christ.
Today, God is not dealing with you according to your weaknesses. He's not dealing with you according to your sins. He's dealing with you according to the glorious man at his right hand, the Lord Jesus Christ. And what Jesus deserves, you get. Just as at the cross when Jesus became sin, he got all that sin deserves, all the consequences of sins, I should say. So that we, who knew no sin, might be made the righteousness of God in him, with all its consequences.
Now, let that sink in for a while. Jesus, when he became sin with our sin, did he commit sin? No, he became our sin. When you and I become righteous in God's eyes, did we become righteous because we commit righteousness? No. But when Jesus became sin, did he suffer the consequences? Yes, and part of the consequence is sickness and disease and that's why the Bible says: "Surely he has borne our sicknesses and our diseases". Those are the consequences of sin. God didn't make a world with sickness and disease, and God is healing people right now as I'm speaking.
I see someone has a liver condition. Would you please stand to your feet if you've been diagnosed with a liver condition? I don't care what kind of condition it is, just stand to your feet. God is healing you right now, and also a condition. This is what I was looking at, and you've been diagnosed. It's a liver condition? Well, the Lord is healing you, sister. Lift your hands. Thank you, Lord Jesus. I was looking down here and I see liver, liver condition, and God is saying he's healing that liver condition. Look at that. How accurate is God, amen?
That lady is being healed right now. You are feeling the warmth of God going right into your belly area. Somehow you're feeling it here. Your liver's somewhere here, but you're feeling it here. God is healing you also, your stomach conditions has been healed, right now. You have a stomach condition. God is healing you of that as well. Do you feel that warmth? You don't have to feel it, but sometimes he gives us a feeling to help us realize he's doing something, amen? Receive it in Jesus's name, amen. Have you been prayed for, sister, nearby? Okay, just lay hands on her. Is it a growth? What is it? Lawrence, help me.
Lawrence: A blood vessel.
Joseph Prince: Okay, in the brain? Okay, someone just lay hands on her in the name of Jesus. It will not... look, sister, look up here. Before you do it, look up here. You are very worried and concerned that one day, it will just happen like that. It will not. The word I have from the Lord for you is from Proverbs. It says: "Be not afraid of sudden fear". You're afraid of sudden. "Be not afraid of sudden fear. Nor for the work of the enemy when he comes. Because God will be your confidence and he will keep your foot from being taken". You are seeing yourself fall down. You're seeing yourself fall down. All of a sudden, a stroke, something like that. It will not happen. Right now, lay your hands and, Lawrence, lay hands on her in the name of Jesus. There it is. You're feeling the heat coming on you, the power of God.
In the name of Jesus, I curse that clot in the name of Jesus. I curse that condition in Jesus's name, and I command complete healing to flow into her brain right now, restoring all her mental faculties, Lord, and giving her a brain that is strong and young, Lord, even all her memory faculties healed and restored in Jesus's name, amen, amen, amen. Okay, sister, look up here. You're feeling like a bit giddy, am I right? Don't worry. This giddiness is the power of God coming on you. It is not that condition, amen? Do you feel it? And the Lord tells me that he's coming on you.
Lawrence, just one more time, just put your hands on her, and God restores her completely, spirit, soul, and body, in every other way, in Jesus's name. You also have, like, a back condition that is being touched right now by the Lord. It always comes on and off, on and off, and the Lord is touching you right now, sister. And it's a muscle condition that's being healed right now in Jesus's name. Thank you, Lord. Thank you, Lord. Okay, look up. How do you feel? Do you feel fresh? Move around. Ha, ha, it will not happen, okay? The Word from the Lord: "Be not afraid of sudden fear when it comes. The Lord is your confidence and will keep your foot from being taken," amen? Praise the Lord. Thank you, Jesus. Give him the praise, amen. Thank you, Lord Jesus.
I wanna share with you real quick on faith. I took some time today because I felt like, you know, a shepherd cannot just give you the Word. We've got to pour in the oil, amen, bind up the brokenhearted, amen, open the door for the captives to go out free, amen. That's what the anointing does, amen? And when the Lord does that, one of the things I really miss a lot is really praying for the sick, amen? And we've been preaching for the broadcast in terms of timing and all that, but I tell myself, "Hey, let's not worry about that anymore. God will take care of it," amen?
God will take care of it because you are precious. You think you are alone in this fight, and some of you are thinking, "Well, Pastor Prince, you didn't call out my condition and all that". But God knows your condition. You don't need Pastor Prince to know it. In fact, Pastor Prince doesn't know any of these conditions or so. Who was the one? The Lord. And he spared not his own Son. How will he not also freely give us all things? Can I have a good "Amen"?
All right, they limited the Holy One of Israel. This is a phrase that I feel that the Lord has put in my spirit that has happened to so many of us, we've become natural. We are God's people, yet we become natural. Psalms 38 says the people of Israel, pertaining to their experience in the wilderness, they, "Again and again they tested God, and they limited the Holy One of Israel". They limited the Holy One of Israel. God is able to do so many things, but we limit him. We limit him because of what we hear other people say. We limit him because of false doctrines that has crept into the church. We limit him because of human natural experience. We limit the Holy One of Israel. God is unlimited, amen?
And according to your faith, Jesus said here in Matthew chapter 9. "Jesus came into the house. The blind men came to him. And Jesus said to them, 'Do you believe that I'm able to do this?'" Do you believe that I'm able to do this? Do you believe? Now, I didn't say, "Do you believe you can see"? But, "Do you believe". Jesus said, "Do you believe that I am able to do this"? Our faith is not in our faith. Our faith is in him. Do you believe that I'm able to do this? You know, the father of the demon-possessed boy shouted to Jesus, "Lord, if you can do anything, help us". Jesus answered, "If you can believe, all things are possible to him that believes".
And do you know something? We always say that Jesus put the responsibility of belief on the man. Yes, and no. He's always gracious, he's always kind. Let me tell you this. He's not saying, and I've heard people say, "The father put the responsibility on Jesus: 'If you can do anything.'" Jesus said, "No, if you can believe," all right? But if something sounds real hard, actually what Jesus is saying, and the Greek structure does bear this out, Jesus said to the man, "If you can believe that all things are possible to the one who believes".
Do you know who is the one that believes that? Jesus. All I'm asking is that your little faith hook up to me. Just a mere touch of that very extremity of my garment can heal that woman. It is not your faith. It is who you have your faith in. He's altogether lovely. He's full of grace and truth, amen. And his name is Jesus. So he's telling the father, "If you can believe," then in our English, comma. That's a problem. "All things are possible to him that believes". Actually, it says: "If you can believe that all things are possible to the believing one".
And you know who is the believing one? Not the father; Jesus. All I want you to believe is belief that all things are possible for me, amen? As a man, I'm always full of faith. I'm always believing my Father, amen? So even you can't believe, you can put your faith. The apostle Paul says it like this: "I live by the faith of the Son of God". New Word Translation says: "I live by faith in the Son of God". But I love the old, and the Greek, by the way, tells you it can go both ways, but my spirit bears witness with the fact that Paul actually said in the King James Version, "I live by the faith," not in faith, in faith of the Son of God, but "I live by the faith of the Son of God. It is his faith I live by".
So when I look at a situation, I don't ask, "Can I believe God for this"? I say, "Can Jesus believe God for this"? My belief is that Jesus can believe God for this situation. My belief is that... don't forget, Jesus became a man, just like you and I, and he has to live by faith, amen? So my question is can Jesus believe for this situation? Can Jesus believe God? I believe Jesus can. That's my belief. You see, we have taught faith in such a way that we legalize faith, you know? And God doesn't want anything to be legal. The moment it's legal, it is no longer faith. I said, once it's legal, it's no longer faith.
Now, I don't have it up here, but if you look at Romans chapter 4, just make me a note of that. It says that, "And the law is not of faith, for if they which are of the law be heirs, faith is made void and the promise made of no effect". So the problem with faith is that the moment you get law into it, in other words, you're trying to operate in faith. Let's say you're believing God for healing for your child, but then the voice comes in and you know whose voice is that telling you, "But you haven't prayed enough, okay? You haven't read your Bible enough. Hey, you're not good enough. Hey, remember what you did the other day"?
And then you start assessing all those things based on what you are doing or have not done instead of the goodness of God and what the Lord Jesus Christ has done at the cross, amen? Instead of putting your eyes on Jesus, you put your eyes on yourself, and that is effectively putting yourself under law. And the moment you put yourself under law, faith cannot operate. Many years ago, I remember I'd just got married. We had a one-bedroom, one hall kind of apartment, and my only study was actually the living room, the small living room, and I had all my books around me. There was a time when God said to me, "No one died, son. No one died from Egypt to Sinai. Study this period because it's a picture of pure grace".
And I turned to the Bible and I never heard anyone preach this. So I turned to the Bible and tried to find someone who died. But all the way the children of Israel from Egypt to Sinai, where they received the Ten Commandments, the law, no one died. Why? Because it was pure grace. God brought them out, even though they were not perfect. They were murmuring, murmuring, murmuring, all the way. God brought them out, not because they are good. Because he is good. God did not bring them out, amen, because of their faithfulness, but because of his faithfulness to the Abrahamic covenant that he made with Abraham, amen. An unconditional covenant that was made before the law even existed.
The law is about your behavior. The law is about your conduct. But the amazing thing is this. When we live by faith, faith purifies our hearts, which affects our conduct. But if you try to be good by your own efforts, you end up being bad, Romans 7. Another thing the Lord said, I remember that time, in that small living room, is that the Lord said to me, "Why is it that the centurion had great faith"? By the way, y'all know that that's in my book, right? "From Egypt to Sinai". They committed the same sin. You know that murmuring and all that is sin? Big sin, actually, to God, right? You don't say, "Right".
"Pastor Prince, there's no big sin or small sin". Beh, wrong. There are big sins and there are small sins. Jesus told Pontius Pilate, right, that "The one who delivered me to you has the greater sin". If there's a greater sin, there are degrees of sin. But one sin can send a person to hell. So there are degrees of sin. See, there are things that we always just take on as if, you know, but the Bible does talk about degrees of sin. The rejection of Jesus Christ is the unpardonable sin, amen? The constant rejection of Jesus Christ, the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit, all right? So there are degrees of sin, amen. But after they receive the Ten Commandments, after they receive the law on Mount Sinai, from then on when they murmured, they died. When they murmured, they died.
So there is a difference between murmuring before Sinai and murmuring after Sinai, not that we're encouraging murmuring. But just letting you know that this is a picture of grace, because God was dealing with them based on his goodness. Now, we are back in this place again, amen, of pure grace because of what Jesus has done. So, coming back to this again about faith, I was there and, not on the same day, but another day, with all my books around, my Bibles around, that's my Bible study. That's my library, amen?
Earlier on before I got married, my library was actually at the staircase of the HDB staircase. And at night, I felt very lonely and very cold so I put on a jacket and studied at the staircase. And then once a while a companion will come. It has feelers and he would look at me, smile, you know, or study the Bible, then he goes off, amen? There were a lot of cockroaches around and they were my friends. So you can see the Lord has blessed me some, amen? Oh, he has blessed me, hallelujah. No wife, nothing, at that time. I looked to heaven and looked to God, saying, "God, you know, can you give me a wife, a beautiful one? And one who loves Jesus". And God answered exceeding, abundantly, above all he has, amen?
Does it encourage anyone of you who are single, amen? So after I got married, we had a very small place, like I said, one bedroom and one small hall and there was my study. Progress from the staircase, right? But I sat down there, no seat, nothing, just sat on there and my books, my Bible, was all around me. And then besides the fact that God taught me about the Egypt and Sinai, pure grace picture there, that I've shared in my "Destined to Reign" book. He also asked me this: "Why did a Centurion have great faith"? Now, I said, "I know this. I've heard a lot of preaching on this. Because he understood authority". Yeah, ha, ha. And then the... no answer.
The Lord didn't, he was talking to me so I know his voice. He said, "Why did the centurion have great faith"? And I answered what I heard other people teach and preach: "Because he understood authority. He was a soldier". And no answer. And then I heard him say, "Would you like to learn the secret of great faith"? I said, "Yes". I've studied faith, you know, for many years then, and I thought I knew about faith. Said, "Yes, Lord". He said that "There are only two that I said in the Gospels that had great faith. One was the centurion and the other was the Syrophoenician woman. Study the common denominator".
The woman, her daughter was possessed with a demon, and she came to Jesus acting like a Jew when she wasn't one. She wasn't a Jew, she was a Canaanite. And then a centurion, right, he was coming to Jesus to ask for healing for his servant who was sick. Obviously, he love his servant. And the Lord says, "Find the common denominator between these two and you'll find the secret of great faith". Of course, you all know this now, all right, so it's redundant for me to tell you, but at that point in time, I studied both. One was a male, one was a female. One was a soldier, one was a homekeeper, right? You know, it was like, one was, within the land, one was on the outskirts of the land. It's like, whoa, a lot of contrasts, extreme contrasts.
And then I said, finally, my lightning-fast mind after about 10, 15 minutes, I forgot the time, you know, but probably longer than that. I said to the Lord, "Tell me". And the Lord says, "Both were Gentiles". Therefore, they did not know the law, but they know me. Because when you know the law, the law will always tell you, "Wait a minute. Wait a minute. You don't qualify for this. Wait a minute, what have you done? Wait a minute, have you done enough? Wait a minute, even you do right, you've not done enough. Wait a minute, wait a minute". That "wait a minute" is the law.
And some people have this idea that Pastor Prince is saying, "Throw out the law". I'm not saying, "Throw out the law". I'm just telling you I am for the moral excellence that the law was supposed to achieve and produce, but that wasn't the reason God gave the law. God gave the law that by the law is the knowledge of sin, so that men will stop... you know, if there's no law, no one will know they're sinners. What's adultery? What is lying? They do not know. Even though they're committing it, they do not know they are sinners.
So, God gave the law so that men will become sin conscious. But now that the law has served its function, the law was our schoolmaster to bring us to Christ. But after faith has come, the law is our schoolmaster to bring us to Christ that we might be made righteous by faith. But now that faith has come, we are no longer under the schoolmaster. And to put a believer under the schoolmaster again is to make him afraid and be sin conscious. And thereby depriving the believer of believing God with robust faith. Okay, so the common denominator is that they're both Gentiles. They just focus on Jesus. They're not focused on I'm coming short of this, I'm coming short of that. Then to compound the problem, the Jewish people have 613 commandments added to the Ten Commandments, all right?
Now, many of it is from the Scriptures, but it's a lot of rabbinical traditions and laws that comes in, okay? So, are there no commandments for the believer? There is. The commandment is to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and to love one another. And I'm glad that y'all did that just now by loving one another, amen? And we come together. You know, we don't have much time, but really we don't just love our families, we love one another. Man, we pray for each other. You have someone in mind that God brings to you, pray for that person. Don't forget Job, he's about nearly one year of captivity, he had all kinds of problems. His deliverance came when he prayed for his friends. He prayed for his friends, he got set free. Isn't that amazing? Amen. Who knows when you pray for your friends what can happen to you.
The first, you know the law of first mention, the law of first mention means something significant, when a subject is mentioned for the first time, there's something significant in the Bible, all right, to tell us. When I studied healing many years ago, first time healing was mentioned was Abraham praying for Abimelech, who took his wife. Good thing nothing happened, God intervened. So, Abraham prayed for Abimelech, the law of first mention. Notice a person who just lied about his wife, and that's how Abimelech got his wife, he lied about his wife. So, the first mention of healing, the law of first mention teaches us an undeserving man praying for an undeserving man and receiving healing. And the man receiving healing. And you know what's the very first verse of the next chapter? After he prayed, you know what happened? Very first verse, next chapter, "And the Lord visited Sarah and Sarah was pregnant".
He prayed... oh, by the way, Abimelech, what happened was that God shut him up, he cannot produce, God shut all the women of his family members in his hometown, they're all shut all because of the king's sin. And when Abraham prayed, God opened up the wombs again. So, he prayed for someone else for the wombs to be open, and God opened up his own wife's womb. So, when you pray for people, God can do the same miracle for you, amen? Are you all learning, people? They limited the holy one of Israel.
Now, I'm going to tell you something. You know, I read the Bible and I ask questions that people don't ask. That's how I get my messages. I like to ask questions that people, some people don't even bother. I ask them, "How about this verse"? "Uh, there must be an explanation," then they would go on. For me, I need to find out the answer. For example, today, I'm going to share with you about they limited the holy one of Israel, but I don't have much time now because of the prayer took to pray for all the rest of you, but I'm going to share this part here, very important that you understand. And if I have time, I want to share with you why Gideon becomes before Barak, and Samson comes before Jephthah, okay? It's all in this message, okay?
So, the next three hours for our Bible study, we're going to study these, amen? You want your faith to be strong and robust? Okay, watch this. This is very interesting. I was reading this one day in Judges chapter 1, verse 19. And it says this, "The Lord was with Judah". How many like the Lord to be with you, all right? But what I can't understand was what follows. It says, "And they, Judah, drove out the mountaineers, but they could not drive out the inhabitants of the lowland, because they had chariots of iron". So, when I read this one day, I asked myself, "What"? I mean, if the Lord, if Jehovah, if the Lord is with his people, what about chariots of iron? They might be as well be made of tissue paper. Am I right? I mean, we have seen time and time again, Goliath clad in armor, in brass, knocked down by a single stone of a boy who had faith in God, amen? So, what is this? They could not drive out the inhabitants of the lowland because they had chariots of iron.
Now, same chapter, chapter 1, let's go to the beginning, see what happened. "Now after the death of Joshua it came to pass that the children of Israel asked the Lord, saying, 'Who shall be first to go up for us against the Canaanites to fight against them?' And the Lord said, 'Judah shall go up.'" In all your challenges, the first thing that must go up to God is always praise, because Judah means praise. All right, for everything that happens in life, you get stuck in a traffic jam, you say, "Praise the Lord anyway". Something good, you say, "Praise the Lord". Something bad happens, "Praise the Lord anyway". Amen? First thing that goes up is praise. Judah means Yehudah, means praise. So, who will go up first? Praise, Judah. "And the Lord says, 'Judah shall go up. Indeed,'" watch this, watch this, "I have delivered the land into," whose hand? "His hand," singular. That's important for you, okay?
I'm giving you the revelation right now straight away, all right? Whose hand did God deliver the enemies to, the Canaanites? Judah's hand. There are 12 tribes, but it was into Judah's hand. But look at the next verse though, verse 3, "So Judah said to Simeon his brother," hmm, "'Come up with me to my allotted territory, that we may fight against the Canaanites, and I will likewise go with you to your allotted territory.' So Simeon went with him". Now, God never said bring Simeon along. God says, "I've delivered them into your hand. But he limited the holy one of Israel because we all want support of the flesh". We all want, you know, we want people around us. Even though the Lord called you, but you want someone else to come.
That happened to Moses as well, the weakness of faith. We can see that when God first called him, it was actually God calling him to speak to Pharaoh. But then time and time again, he said, "I cannot speak, I cannot speak". And God got angry, God said, "Who made man's mouth"? Then finally God says, "Take Aaron your brother, he'll be your spokesman". That wasn't God's best. God wanted him to be the spokesman. So, many a times, you know, when God calls you, he will equip you. So, who cares they're chariots of iron or not, right? But he called for his brother to help him, okay? "'And you'll fight for me and I'll fight with you.' And Simeon went with him, then Judah went up and the Lord delivered the Canaanites".
So, in the beginning, there was deliverance. There was victory, victory, victory until finally, drop down to verse 19, you see this happen, they could not drive out because the chariots of iron. In other words, when you limit God, your victory is limited. It will always show up. Where you don't trust God, it will show up, amen. Now, we're not saying don't use means. For example, if you pray, what I'm saying, talk to the Lord. Ask counsel from God before you ask counsel from man. Ask God first before you ask the opinion of anyone, no matter how godly the person is. Because man can make mistakes. And your life is too precious for man's mistakes. It's not saying don't ask for advice, but ask the Lord first. Pray to the Lord first. Don't run to the doctor first, go to the Lord first. And doctor says, "Must cut this out". Go to the Lord first 'cause doctors can make mistakes, amen. They cannot put it back. It's like someone cutting your hair, right? And then he says, "Did I cut too short"? "What, put it back," right? Ask the Lord first.
The Lord can tell you, "Go to this doctor". The Lord can give you peace, or the Lord can arrange circumstances whereby the right doctor can come before you. But now, your trust is not in the doctor, you know the Lord brought that doctor to you. So, your trust is in the Lord because you prayed to the Lord, amen. So, that's what I'm talking about. And even you're believing God for a child, doesn't mean you cannot go for IVF, you cannot. Who says that, who told you you cannot? You can, but go to the Lord first. Amen, ask the Lord. If the Lord tells you this is the way he wants you to go, maybe it's to humble us in some ways. I do not know, but God has his ways, but always go to the Lord first. It's not a shame to do IVF. Amen. Every good, even medicine, and perfect gift is from above. Amen? Take medicine that doctors prescribe you, don't take medicine because of what I just said. That is addiction, that is abuse, okay? Are you all with me so far? So, that's what limited Judah, eh?
Now, let's do another case, we're coming to the Hebrews. All right, but first, let's look at a guy called Barak. His name is lightning, Barak. Okay, so here we go. In Judges 4, "And the children of Israel cried out to the Lord, for Jabin had 900 chariots of iron". See? Chariots of iron again, right? So, let's see what happened. "And for 20 years he had harshly oppressed the children of Israel. Now Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lapidoth, was judging Israel at that time". So, at that time, Deborah was a prophetess and she was judging Israel. Isn't it amazing? We have women prophetess, and some people say that women cannot speak in the church. They misinterpret what Paul is saying, amen? Women shall... if a woman is a prophetess, she need to speak. Okay? And she's not a single woman, she has a husband. Her husband is lap it up, Lapidoth, okay?
So, what happened was this, she appointed a man to fight. She's a prophetess, she appointed a man. Of course, the Lord spoke to her. And drop down. And she's talking to the man, his name is Barak, and she says, "Barak, against you I will deploy Sisera, the commander of Jabin's army". You all know Sisera? He got nailed, right? His head got nailed. All right, what happened was that he was... okay, I'm going to tell you the story real quick. You know, he was running away from Israel, and his armies were all scattered because God gave them the victory. He ran into a tent, he told a woman, "Can I just hide"? Or not hide, but she knew who he was. And she allowed him to lie down there for a while, and she gave him some milk, but he was hiding there.
And you know what milk do to you, right? When you're, it makes you sleepy in the daytime, right? Even at night, a glass of milk, so he fell asleep. When he fell asleep, this woman, her name is Jael, she took a hammer and a stick, and she put it on his forehead and she slammed him, he was nailed. Fixed, he was fixed, all right? And he was a commander of King Jabin's army, who had all these hundreds of chariots of iron, amen. So, there's a story, that happened later on. But in the beginning, actually what happened was this. This Sisera who got nailed, who got a, you know, permanent head damage, THD.
"With his chariots and his multitude at the River Kishon, 'And I will deliver him into your hand.'" Who is the your? Barak. God wanted Barak to destroy Sisera. But what did Barak say? Barak looked at the prophetess and say, "If you will go with me, then I will go. But if you don't go with me, I won't go". So the prophetess said, "So she said, 'I will surely go with you, nevertheless there'll be no glory for you in the journey you are taking, for the Lord will sell Sisera into the hand of a woman.'" Was that God's purpose? Was that God's plan? No, go back again. All right, what did God say? "I will deliver him, Sisera, into your hand". But because he says, "Unless you go with me, I will not go". You limit the holy one of Israel. God says, "Then there'll be no credit for you. The credit will go to a woman, his name is Jael". Are you with me so far?
Now, we come to the question that I left you all hanging weeks ago. Hebrews, the famous hall of faith, and we have this question asked in Hebrews, "What more shall I say? For the time would fail me to tell of Gideon and Barak and Samson and Jephthah, also of David and Samuel and the prophets: who through faith subdued kingdoms, worked righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions".
Now, I was reading this one day, and then I knew that there was no insignificant details in the Bible. You know, Jesus quoted the Bible based on one word and the Pharisees never answered, "You're quoting this on just one single word?" as if the Bible is not inspired. They knew the Bible, the Pharisees, every word is inspired. Jesus argued that God is a God of not just the dead, God of the living, God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. He says, "I am the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob". He argued from the am, I am. Elohi, Elohenu, I am, present tense. I'm still the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in arguing about the resurrection. And the Pharisees never said, "You're arguing based on one word". Today, liberals are taking advantage of the Bible and saying that, "Oh, this part is not".
Let me tell you, every word is inspired. So, when I read the Bible and I see Gideon and Barak, wait a minute, chronologically speaking, who came first? Barak came before Gideon. All this in the book of Judges, okay? Then Samson and Jephthah. Wait a minute, Jephthah came before Samson. Samson is towards the end of Judges. In fact, he was the last judge. Officially, it was Samuel the last judge, but Samson was the last judge. Just like the time of the kings, he ended with Nebuchadnezzar coming in. And the last king, his eyes was gouged out. The last judge of all the judges, his eyes was gouged out. In Christendom, the last church, the professing, the people, not the true church Philadelphia, but the last one, Laodicea, Jesus says, "You are blind".
So, in everything that man does, whether it's through prophets, whether it's through kings, whether through priests, whether it's through Christendom, it always fails if we forget the Lord is number one, central in our life. So, here we go, Samson came after Jephthah, but yet his name is mentioned first. What about David and Samuel, who came first? Samuel anointed the boy David, right? If not, there's no prophet to anoint him. So, David came after Samuel, yet David came first here. What's the reason? We don't have time because I prayed so much and we'll continue next week, all right? It's really time's out already. I really... want to venture a guess? I told you about Barak compared to Gideon, Gideon and Barak.
Real quick, Gideon and Barak both had faith or else their names won't be here. But it's not about time, it's not about this, when God puts a name first, it's usually God's priority, it means God favors that first. It is actually not based on time, it's based on the quality of faith. It's based on the excellency of faith. It's a greater faith. As I showed you just now, Barak compared to Gideon, Barak's faith was, "If you'll go with me, then I'll go with you". Whereas for Gideon, his eyes was on the Lord. You know, he did put out the fleece, but obviously with God, God allowed it because he was looking to the Lord. Whereas Barak was looking to the woman. Are you with me so far?
It's not about chronology, it's about the quality. It's about the excellency of faith. What about Samson and Jephthah? You know, people today, I hear people preach against Samson a lot and all that, but let me tell you this, carnal as he is, he reminds us about all of us. But he had faith in God. His name is mentioned in the hall of faith. He made it to heaven, yes of course, amen? And Samson and Jephthah, what about Samson? What is Samson doing? What did Jephthah, what did Jephthah do? Samson, for example, here's the story where it says, "He found a new jawbone of an ass, put forth his hand, and took it and slew a thousand men therewith. And Samson said, 'With the jawbone of a donkey, heaps upon heaps, with the jaw of a donkey have I slain a thousand men.' And it came to pass, when he had made an end of speaking, that he cast away the jawbone out of his hand, and called the place Ramath-lehi," which means the exaltation of the jawbone. All right, drop down. "And he was sore athirst, and called on the Lord".
Now, he was sore athirst. When he was thirsty, who did he call on? The Lord. He called on the Lord and said, "Thou hast given this great deliverance". He gave God the glory. Say what you want about Samson, he knew where his deliverance came from. "'You have brought this great deliverance. You've given this deliverance to the hand of your servant, now shall I die for thirst, and fall into the hand of the uncircumcised?' But God clave an hollow place that was in the jaw, and there came water thereout. And when he had drunk, his spirit came again, and he revived. Wherefore he called the name thereof En-hakkore". En is fountain, hakkore is the caller. The fountain of the one who called.
Okay, which is now in Israel. And one of these days, I pray that you go to Samson's house and the place where he was buried, it's all there. And there's no monuments, by the way, only the place that he's buried, there's a Jewish tomb. But I'm telling you, it's exciting. We were there this March, right? And oh, let me tell you this, this is not based on law. If it was based on law, Samson failed the moment he picked up the jawbone. Go back, go back, verses before. Yeah, "He found a new jawbone of an ass, and put forth his hand". You see that? He touched a dead carcass. He's not supposed to. Nazarite vow, he's not supposed to touch any dead body. And yet God brought the victory for him because, in a way, he functioned like the Syrophoenician woman. It wasn't time for the Gentiles, but she reached out into the future.
Faith will transcend time and space, amen. But effectively here, he's not under law, but he was under grace. He was functioning in faith in the Lord. He was looking to the Lord. Are you with me so far? So why was he put above Jephthah? Jephthah came first. Who is Jephthah? The Bible says he was son of a harlot. He was called back. At first, he's rejected by his brothers, rejected by his community. Then, later on, they call him back when the enemies came because he was a warrior. But look at what he did: Samson called on the Lord, but Jephthah made a vow to the Lord and said, "If you will indeed deliver the people of Ammon into my hands, then it will be that whatever comes out of the doors of my house to meet me, when I return in peace from the people of Ammon, shall surely be the Lord's, and I'll offer it up as a burnt offering". He made a vow to the Lord.
When you don't have a relationship with God, you will do a barter system: "God, if you do this for me, then I'll do this for you". It shows a weakness of faith. It shows inferiority. Are you listening, people? You don't barter. Like, I was preaching a few months ago on the Lord of the Vineyard, the parable, right? The one that received the most favor for the least effort, right, put in, a full day's wage was the one that trusted the landowner, whereas the one that bargained, and we bargain. You know, that shows we are legalistic. Legalistic people bargain: "Lord, if you'll do this for me, I'll do that for you. If you do this for me, I'll do that for you". That should not be, people.
In our walk with God, he's our Father. You are his son, amen, and Jesus is your High Priest. He's the Good Shepherd. We have a relation of love. Instead, we feel like God will not move unless I tell him, "Lord, if you do this, I'll do that. I vow to you". All vows are under the law. Believers don't vow today, okay? Are you with me so far? Okay, so you can see it. By the way, it's a very sad story. You know who came up to see him first? You thought it was an animal, right? It was his daughter. He said, "Whatever comes out, I will offer as a burnt offering".
Now, he did not kill her because God doesn't want a human burnt offering, all right? The Bible says she bewailed her virginity. In other words, for the rest of her life, she gave her life up, all right? Never married, okay? You can read the story, Jephthah's story. So, nonetheless, we don't have time to go back to Hebrews 11, to see about David and Samuel. Just to let you know, if you read 1 Samuel 8, we have the only mistake that I can see of prophet Samuel, which was actually he put his sons (1 Samuel 8) "He put his sons over as judges over Israel, but his sons did not walk in his ways. They turned aside after dishonest gain, took bribes, perverted justice".
And even though, you know, David loved his sons, David never placed his sons in position. It was his son Absalom that usurped the authority, all right? So there's a faith quality... God forbid I should say anything untoward, okay, or amiss about this wonderful prophet Samuel. It's a story to learn. I mean, his character is amazing, but in terms of faith, David had faith that God really puts his approval on, amen? Are you with me so far? And then go back to Hebrews 11. The last one is the prophets, you see? The prophets, put last. If you look at all the names here, all six of them are ordinary people except for David king. All of them are ordinary people. What is that saying? And God put prophets last. You'd have thought the prophets like Pastor Henry, Pastor Lawrence, all would be named first, right? But God put prophets last. Why? God is saying, "Ordinary people can walk in their excellency of faith," amen?
Last one, and then we close. If you are under the law, this is what happens in terms of your service, in terms of your functioning in the church. Because of time, I'm gonna tell you real quick. This is under the law. This is what God says under the law. This is what pertains to the Levites. Levites are people who serve the Lord, all right? They help the priest. "From 25 years old and above, one may enter to perform service in the work of the tabernacle of meeting. At the age of 50 years they must cease performing this work, and shall work no more". In other words, if you are under law, your strength is limited. You are subject to the natural decays and wear and tear. Don't forget, people.
I wanna tell you something. Remember this: The Bible says Joshua grew old. Caleb did not. The Bible records Joshua's death. Does not record Caleb's death. The very chapter, Joshua 13, that says God told Joshua, "You're old," in the next chapter, Caleb said to Joshua, "I'm as strong today at 85 as I was the day Moses sent me out at 40 years old. My strength is for war. I can fight. Give me this mountain. Give me this mountain," amen. And, by the way, show them Judges 1, just now, verse 19. We started with this, right? Right? We started with this, right? Look at the next verse, "And they gave Hebron to Caleb, as Moses had said". Hebron is the mountain he says, "Give me this mountain".
Caleb alone, expelled from there the three giants, the three sons of Anak. What a contrast within someone who believe God and someone who says, "Brother, you must come with me". Caleb alone did it. I see men and women of faith. Okay, go back to this and we'll close. Go back to the, just now, "Twenty-five years old". So, 25 to 50, many of you are saying, "Oh, my goodness, I'm beyond". So, in the natural, but, listen, "Moses had served until he was 120, and died without sickness and disease. His eyes was not dim, nor his natural force abated". Caleb served, at 85, he says, "I'm as strong today as I was," and there's no record of his death, amen. The Bible says, "Young men shall faint, and the youth shall fall, but they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength. They shall mount up with wings as eagles. They shall run and not be weary. They shall walk and not faint".
Genesis 18, Abraham was sitting in the shade of a tree, and he looked up, and he saw three men coming. He realized that one of them is the Lord, and the Bible says he ran. He was 80-plus, and he ran. And after he greeted them, he ran to help them prepare food for his guests. He ran at 80-plus. Usually, when you come to 40s, you don't run. I'm not saying running is a good exercise. It's not for your joints, all right? I would recommend walking, but here is what we see in the Bible. If you are under law, you'll be limited because the law is all about your strength: "You shall not, you shall not, you shall not, you shall not". It's about your strength. You understand? But grace is beyond your strength, above and beyond what you can do, above and beyond your ability. Can I have a good "amen"?
So if you function by grace, this is the promise for you, amen? And this is for happy people. All right, Deuteronomy 33, this is the last verse. We'll close with this. You all must turn to this, okay? Deuteronomy 33, verse 20-something. This is the blessing of Asher. "As thy days, so shall thy strength be". Deuteronomy 33, verse 25, the promise to Asher... "Asher" means "happy". People who are happy people are fruitful people. I've can't understand Christians who are supposed to be spiritual, but they're so grumpy and so legalistic, amen? Happy people, Abraham laughed when God says he will have a son. Sarah laughed when she heard she will be a mother, amen? And then they decided to call the boy, laughter. They had a lot of fun, and they were fruitful.
When the Lord said to Sarah, "You're gonna have a"... God said to Abraham, rather, but Sarah was eavesdropping in the same story we already talked about Abraham running to greet them, in the same chapter, chapter 18 of Genesis. She was listening, and she heard that she will have a baby. She laughed, and this is what she said, not to impress anybody, She said within herself, "Shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also"? Now, the Lord just said she will have a baby next year, right? But she says, "Shall I have pleasure"? She did not say, "Shall I have a baby"? She said, "Shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also"? In other words, she's saying, "If I enjoy my lord, the baby will come". Whatever you want from the Lord, you're gonna enjoy.
You know, I think Christianity is really about the joy of the Lord, really, the joy of the Lord, and we even misconstrue that. You know, in Matthew, we say, "You gotta be joyful. You must be joyful". Doesn't say that "Your joy is your strength". The joy of the Lord. It is his joy that is my strength. And you know who he rejoices over? You. He rejoice over you with singing. Once you know the joy of the Lord, no wonder you're strong because you know that he's joyful over you. You are his joy. Look at Justin. He doesn't know how much he's a joy to me, amen. He's such a joy, amen.
Last night, he sent a message, a beautiful message to Pastor Mark. He said, "Pastor Mark, you preach very well," he said, "but why do you"... Pastor Mark sent him back, "You are very cute". Hah-hah-hah, ah-hah. "Why do you snort"? Amen. He was watching Pastor Mark, and he understands some Chinese, so he's just enjoying it. But he was asking the question, so I said, "You better ask him," hah-ha-hah. You are his joy. The joy of the Lord is not "You gotta be joyful, man. You gotta be joyful. Come on, be joyful, man". That's a law. No, it's knowing his joy. What he's joyful over is the joy of the Lord that's my strength, amen? I'm done. I got a lot more to share, but that's it, okay? Praise the Lord. Give him praise, hallelujah.
So, friend, if you stay in the natural, you trust your abilities to be moral, to be excellent, amen, that is the law. "You shall not, you shall not," focuses on you. But if you trust the Lord, put your trust in the Lord, "He is my righteousness," "He is my holiness," "He is my redemption," "He is my wisdom," you trust the Lord, the result will be supernatural. You trust the law, all right, the law only limits to "You shall not, you shall not," based on your own limited ability. You trust grace, you trust the Lord, it's beyond and above.
You see, the Lord is not limited. We limit him. When Jesus fed the multitudes with the boy's five loaf and two fish, the Bible says he gave them "as much as they would". That goes against the grain of a lot of religious teaching that says that "Jesus gave according to God's will, Jesus gave based on", no, no, there's no scarcity. He gave them "as much as they would". It was in the imperfect active tense. They decide how much they want to eat. As long as the demand was there, the supply flowed. The very next verse says, "And when they were filled, he commanded them to pick up the fragments that remained". That's our Lord, amen? We limit the supply, not him.
And, friend, maybe your trust, there is an independence of the flesh which is "I don't need anybody. I don't need anybody". In fact, within here, someone like-mind, what I shared today, they'll say, "Yes, I and God is enough". No, that's an independence of the flesh, but what we're talking about today is independence of faith. Now it's your eye is on the Lord, but then, when the Lord tells you to invite someone, it's because the Lord is leading you. The Lord is asking to go to your counselor, your care-group leader for advice or counsel. Do it if the Lord is leading you, amen? That's the independence of faith.
So, friend, ask yourself, "Do I trust the Lord, or have I been trusting in my doctor all this while, putting him in the place of God, his advice is final? Is that it"? "My lawyer, my broker, my banker", have you asked the Lord? Have you prayed? Is there peace in your heart? Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, not wicked, ungodly. I'm not saying you can only go to believers. I'm not saying that. I'm saying, "Have you asked the Lord"? Seek to the Lord first, amen. He loves you, man. You are his joy. You are his joy. And knowing that will give you strength.
Every head bowed, every eye closed. I pray for you people, in the name of Jesus, that as your days, the doctors tell you, "As your days progress, this part here will get weaker, that part will get more and more decayed. This one will get worse and worse, not better and better". But I'm here to tell you, the Word of God says, "As your days, so shall your strength be". Who will you believe? In other words, the older you grow, the stronger you are. That's what it's saying. Oh, I don't get hear no "amen," except for one over here, I think. "As your days", but the experts can only tell you what is the truth based on their limited understanding.
I wouldn't call it truth. I'll call it facts. But it's still limited to the flesh, to the boundaries of man's understanding and knowledge, but when you trust the Lord, there's an inexhaustible reservoir of his supply open to you. In all our reasonings, never leave God out of the calculations. When you leave God out, "How can all the animals fit into the ark"? They left God out. And, by the way, scientifically, not all the animals were there. Only the small ones. Only one family of dogs that produced later on in the genes, wolves and all kinds of other dogs, and that is scientifically proven, amen? I won't go into that. Just let you know that. Don't leave God out of the calculation, amen. In all your reasoning, put God first, amen? Every head bowed, every eye closed.
Friend, if you are here, listen. God love you so much that God gave you his Son, who died on the cross for all your sins. He was judged in your place. He became sin with your sin so that you can become the righteousness of God in him. If that is you, wherever you are, pray this prayer with me right now. Say
Heavenly Father, I believe in your love for me. I'm truly loved. Thank you, Father. It's not by chance that I'm here today. It's not by chance I'm watching this right now. Thank you, Father God, that Christ died for my sins and was raised from the dead when I was justified in him. Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior. Thank you, Father, in Jesus's name.
You're saved. I said you are saved, amen. Stand to your feet right now. Thank you, Lord Jesus. Lift your hands all across this place. Sorry I took a bit more of your time. It's very unique today because of the way the Spirit of God moved and all that. See, my sermon was very short. Lift your hands all across this place.
The Lord bless you with the blessings of Father Abraham, and the Lord keep you, protect you from every danger, harm, accident, tragedy, from all the powers of darkness throughout this week, you and your loved ones. And the Lord favors you, shine on you, and grant you shalom, well-being, peace, and health, in Jesus's name. And all the people said, "Amen". God bless you. "As your days, so shall your strength be".