Joseph Prince - The Power Of The Amen
In Luke chapter 4, Jesus was in his hometown, Nazareth, and the custom of the Jewish people every Shabbat, which is Saturday, is that when they go to the synagogue to celebrate Shabbat and to worship God, they will read the parashah of the day. The parashah is the Scripture reading, the Scripture portion. Doesn't matter whether you are worshipping in a synagogue in China, or in Russia, or in America, or in the North Pole, all right? Wherever you are, every synagogue for that Shabbat will all read from the same parashah all over the world, all right? They would go to the parashah, the Scripture portion, all right, the same every year.
So, it so happens incidentally, quote unquote, that it was Jesus's time to read the parashah. And when Jesus read it, the parashah happens to be the messianic chapter from Isaiah 61. And this is what happened, they handed Jesus the book of the prophet Isaiah. And when he had opened the book, or unscrolled it, he found the place where it was written, "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor. He has sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord. And then," next verse, "then he closed the book".
Right after he said that, then he closed the book and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. "And the eyes of all who were in the synagogue were fixed on him. And he began to say to them, 'Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.'" It's one thing for us to just share the Bible, it's another thing to say, "This is going to happen. This is happening right now". Amen? So, in essence, they knew that he's applying the messianic Scripture to himself by saying, "This Scripture is now fulfilled in your ears".
So, when he said that, all of them said, "He's calling himself the Messiah". Which he is, all right? And it caused a commotion later on. They tried to push him off the hill. You all know the story, they rejected him, all right? And but notice that Jesus closed the book right after he read the portion, to proclaim the acceptable year of the lord. Now, let's go to the portion of Scripture, the parashah that he read from Isaiah 61, all right? "The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me," Isaiah 61, verse 1, "because the Lord has anointed me to preach good news to the poor".
You all know what's the gospel to the poor, the good news to the poor? You don't have to be poor anymore. Amen? "He has sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound". Next, "To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God".
Now, Jesus did not come to the day of vengeance. Right after he says, "To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord," he closed the book. Actually, if he kept on reading, it will say, "The day of vengeance of our God," but the day has not yet come, and the day is still not come. Are you listening? God's heart is not into judgment. God's heart is into blessings and favor. So, what is acceptable, all right? The word "acceptable" there is here in the Hebrew, is ratzon. And ratzon means delight, favor, acceptance. Are you listening, people?
All right, Jesus is still proclaiming the acceptable year of the Lord, the year of delight, favor, acceptance. Now, in Gospel of Luke, all right, Luke's portion, when it says, "To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord," your New Testament is in Greek. So, in Greek, the word there is not ratzon, which is Hebrew. The word here is dektos. Say dektos. Now, dektos in Hebrew, what does it mean? All right, it is a year, by Thayer's definition, this is Thayer, Thayer's Lexicon. Thayer is an awesome Greek scholar. He's still the reputed authority for most theologians, all right? They use him as the authority. He's an amazing Greek scholar. He says this about dektos. Dektos denote the most blessed time, when salvation and the free favors of God profusely abound. I love the profusely, amen?
Ask God for a favor. "God, can you do me a favor"? It's a year of free favors of God. And I like the profusely abounding part. It's going to profusely abound this coming year. All right, a few amens again, all right? Therefore, I must share with you about the power of saying amen to anything, all right, that is preached that is good for you to hear, all right? I already prepared this sermon, okay? You'd be surprised to see that 2 Corinthians, 2 Corinthians chapter 1 tells us, "All the promises of God in Christ are yes and in him amen, to the glory of God through us". All the promises of God in the Bible is for you, because you are in Christ and in Christ is all amen. Praise the name of Jesus.
The Bible says in Psalms 34, "Come, children, listen to me. I'll teach you the fear of the Lord. Who is the man who desires life, and loves many days, that he may see good? Keep your tongue from evil". And if you think this is an Old Testament Bible verse, let me bring you to 1 Peter chapter 3, all right? "Not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling". When people insult you, don't insult back. But on the contrary, bless them, blessing, knowing that you are called to this, that you may inherit a blessing". Next verse, "For he who would love life and see good days". He's quoting Psalms 34, all right, "He who would love life and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil".
So, not only God says this coming here will be a year, a dektos year of the Lord, amen? Profusely abounding with salvation and the free favors of God. Regardless of what the world says, amen, God says it's going to be a year of profusely abounding with free favors of God. You say amen to that. You say amen, all right? God says not only your year, macro view, will be blessed, your micro days that make the year. Actually, days make the months, months make the year. Even the micro will be blessed. You will see good days, plural. You will see good days. That doesn't meant there are no trials in this coming year, but you know what? The Bible says when bad days come, it's called singular, the evil day.
Ephesians 6, "Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day". Notice when it comes to good days, it's plural. God wants you to see many good days, plural. I say in Jesus's name you will see many good days. But God says even when the evil day come, you'll be able to stand. Notice this evil day comes on you because that you may be able to withstand in the evil day. God wants you to be able to resist it. Now, it doesn't mean 24 hours, you know? It can mean a short season, but it will be short because it's a day, not days. But your good days are long. Your bad days are short.
Catch it now, catch it, amen? I said your good days are long and many. And your evil day is short. Praise the Lord. So, if God does not want us to see many good days, why promise us? He who would love life and enjoy life and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil. Refrain your tongue from evil doesn't mean don't speak vulgar words. Of course we should not be speaking vulgar words, but many people think evil means vulgar words and bad words. No, evil can mean negative, not agreeing with God. Like John the Baptist's father, you know, doubting God. Or when your pastor is saying, "This coming year is going to be a great year and all that," you say, "Are you sure? No". That's evil.
It's amazing that what can happen if we don't engage our mouth in a negative way. But you know what? The best things is actually this. The best things of God is not so much of do not, do not, do not. It is do something, all right? Fill your mouth with good things. Fill your mouth with the amens of God. Fill your mouth with speaking in tongues. You feel like scolding someone on the road, just, Amen, let it go, let it go. Let off the pan of steam. Just let it go, man, amen? And the Bible says amazing things about your tongue and the quality of your days. For example, in Deuteronomy 11, it says that if you lay up God's words, these my words in your heart.
Now, look at verse 19, "And you shall teach them your children, speaking of them when you sit in your house". Speaking of what? God's Word when you sit in your house. Doesn't have to be chapter and verse, you know? It can be like, "See, see what God did for daddy? Look, you know what happened just now? You enjoyed the day today? The Lord gave us a good day today". So, whatever you're doing, whether you are walking, that's for ladies in the mall, when you lie down, that's for the daddies, always do that.
All right, when you rises up, whatever you're doing in a daily affair, all right, don't have to use chapter and verse, but speak in line with God's Word because your children don't so much listen, all right, to your instructions to them, they observe you. And when they find you talking and referring to God all the time, they'll be conscious of God's presence. They will attribute events to not just some happenstance, but they will attribute it to God. The master operator, all right? They will trust God that God can change events. They have seen you call out miracles or even something that seems so natural but was supernatural, you call attention to it, all right, your children will learn to see God in every circumstance. Are you listening, amen?
So, that's saying. So, when you keep God's Word in your mouth, verse 20, all right, verse 20 is not applicable for us today. You don't write them like Jewish people do, a mezuzah, but look at verse 21. When you do that, keep God's Word in your mouth, you focus on God's Word, your days will be multiplied, and the days of your children. How many want your days and the days of your children multiplied? Not only multiplied days for you and your kids, but also the days will be like the last line, "Days of heaven upon the earth". Days of heaven upon the earth.
Father in heaven, in the name of Jesus, bless us this coming year, Lord, with many, many, many days of heaven upon the earth, days of heaven upon the earth in Jesus's name. And all the people said? Hallelujah.
Now, let me just bring this to a close. Praise the Lord. By the way, do you know that Jewish people, you can ask your Jewish friends about this, all right, especially the orthodox ones or those who are observant. There is a day where they actually don't like that day, but they still observe that day, it's called the Ninth of Av. It's an evil day for the Jewish people. Let me give you one by one, and this can be verified with your Jewish friends even, all right? The Jewish history.
Number one, the children of Israel, it was the day when the 12 spies saw the giants and all that. Instead of believing God's Word, which Joshua did and the people shout up, with a shout the giants died. Or the giants, you know, the walls collapsed on them, they died. Amen, many of them were killed also. You see how easy it was to defeat the giants? And yet they could've done that 40 years earlier. But the day the spies came out with an evil report was the Ninth of Av, Jewish calendar, okay? So, they say that because of that evil day, all right, things happen on the Ninth of Av.
The next thing happened was that the temple of Solomon was razed, burned to the ground by the Babylonians on the Ninth of Av, the first temple. Come to slightly modern times, Hitler came on the scene and Hitler's extermination, termination of the Jewish people happened. The beginning, extermination of the Jewish people happened on the Ninth of Av. Treblinski. Isn't it amazing? You think Hitler knows all this? No, of course doesn't care about the Jewish customs and Jewish beliefs, all right? Happened on Ninth of Av.
So, I'm here to tell you, all right, you and I, we don't have a day because Jesus removed the evil day. The day the Jewish people turned to Jesus and shout, you know, "Baruch haba b'shem Adonai," blessed is he who comes... they recognized him as the Messiah, Ninth of Av shall be no more. Because Jesus... you see, you must understand one thing. You know, it is not right just to say Jesus came for the sole purpose of saving us from sin and its penalties. All right, that's not true because there are many things Jesus did for us at the cross, of which of course redemption, forgiveness of sins is the main clause. All right, the main thing that he came to do for us. But he also came to ransom us from the curse of the law. He came to redeem us from evil days, amen.
Let me show you this and I will close with this. I love to close with the cross. All right, look at the cross, all right, in Matthew 27, Matthew 27. "Now from the sixth hour until the ninth hour". Sixth hour Jewish reckoning of timing, okay, is 12 o'clock in the afternoon, 12 noon. Ninth hour is 3 o'clock in the afternoon. Okay, so three hours, right? So, when Jesus was hanging on the cross from 12 o'clock until 3 o'clock in the afternoon, there was darkness over all the land.
Now, it is literally a miracle because you know something? It is in the month of April, all right, where the sun shines the brightest. And by the way, noon to three is the brightest part of the day. But you know what happened over Jesus's head and over all the land? It became a very dark day for him. He redeemed us from this day, from the evil day. Are you listening? And then at the end of the 3 o'clock in the afternoon, Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, "Eli, Eli, lama sabachtani"? that is, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me"?
Now, what was Jesus doing? He was illustrating something for all of us to see that God turned his back on him. Now, watch this now, all right? All the while in the Old Testament, even Moses saw God's back parts. He was not worthy to see God's face even, all right? And God showed him his back parts so it seems like God was always leaving, forsaking. The moment you see God turn his back, all right? And God faced Jesus, Jesus was God's delight, God's pleasure, God's joy. But at the cross, the transfer took place.
All your sins and your lawlessness was placed on Jesus Christ, and Jesus's delight and ratzon was placed on you, so that God now turned his back on his Son, all right? And Jesus knew for this purpose he came, to take our place. And God so loved you, he sent his Son for this purpose. So, God turned his back, Jesus cried, "My God, my God," so you can cry, "Father, Father"! And he cries, "Welcome home". And he will never leave you nor forsake you. Can I have a good amen? Darkness is always the back parts of God, the place of the curse. His face is always portrayed in the Bible, the Lord make his face shine, bright days for you and I. So, Jesus paid for us to have good days, amen?
Watch this now. In Psalms 22, he's quoting Psalms 22 at the cross. See Psalms 22, verse 1? "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from helping me, from the words of my groaning"? This is the cry of Jesus at the cross. Look at verse 2, "Oh my God, I cry in the daytime, but you do not hear; in the night season, and am not silent". Notice the daytime and the night season God is not hearing him? Now, how can Jesus at the cross say to God, "I'm crying to you in the daytime and in the night as well"?
Now pastor, maybe he's referring to Gethsemane. No, Gethsemane, the Bible says God heard him. Here, God is not hearing him because he became our sin. How can he say he's praying in the daytime and also in the night? Because there was three hours of deep darkness. Are you listening? Do you know that Exodus 12 talks about the Passover lamb? Do you know the Passover lamb has this distinction? It shall be killed between two evenings. You read your Bible, it says it will be killed between two evenings. What is between two evenings?
There's only one day in history where there were two evenings. See, the Jewish evening happened at 6 p.m. That's evening, all right? Six, seven, eight, evening for them. The only day had two evenings was the day he was crucified because there's a first evening, then became night. Then became what? Evening again. There were two evenings. The Passover lamb will be killed between two evenings. So, Jesus was the fulfillment of the Passover lamb. Are you listening? And watch this now, all right? Notice in the daytime, and night season. And you know why God turned his back? Next verse, even Jesus justified God, "You are holy. You are enthroned in the praises of Israel".
You know why God turned his back on his Son? Because he was carrying our sins. So, God is too holy to look at sin. You know why God can look at us and smile? Because you have the righteousness of Jesus. And God loves to see you covered with the righteousness of Jesus, amen? And I want to close with this, it's that the curse mentioned in Deuteronomy 28, all right, watch this now. Verse 29, "And you shall grope at noonday, as a blind man gropes in darkness". What a curse. The brightest time of the day, you are groping in darkness. You can't find your way like a blind man.
That's why there was three hours of darkness. Those who know the Old Testament will know what's happening. He was redeeming us from the curse of evil days. And the Bible says, all right, the curse is like you'll be groping at noonday like a blind man gropes in darkness. You shall not prosper in your ways, but now because Christ has redeemed us from this curse, you will prosper in your ways. You will walk in the light. Amen, you will stay in the light. And not only that, you will prosper in your ways instead of being oppressed and plundered continually. You'll be liberated and satisfied and provided for continually. Instead of "No one shall save you". Your Savior's name means he saves. Jehovah saves, amen? He redeemed us from this curse.
Drop down, all right? The next one, this is a curse, "Your life will hang in doubt before you; you shall fear day and night". What a horrible way. You want to spend the year 2009 fearing the whole day, have no assurance of life? "In the morning, you will say, 'Oh, I wish it was evening!' Evening you will say, 'I wish it was morning!' because of the fear which terrifies your heart".
Many of you know what I'm talking about. There's some evil days you go through, you wish it was a night time during the day time. When night comes, you wish for morning to come because you cannot sleep at night, whatever it is. Those evil days, Jesus redeemed you from the curse. And this is the conclusion, the last part of the curse list by the way, the next verse is the last one. Look at the last line, look at the last line, "But no one will buy you". No one will buy you. You'll be sold slaves, no one will buy you. This is a curse. But you know what? God sent his Son and his Son bought us.
Galatians 3:13, "Christ has redeemed us, ransomed us". That is the word "buying". Us from what? The curse of the law. You're no longer under the curse. You are under the blessings of God. You are under the promises of God, hallelujah. You will walk more and more in the salvation and the free favors of God. And you'll walk in it profusely. Hallelujah.