Joseph Prince - Secrets Of Jesus Hidden In The Tribes Of Israel
Now, once, I think it was not too long ago, a minister asked me this question. You know, we all talk about seeing Jesus, about seeing Jesus, yeah, I know seeing Jesus is important but how do you see Jesus? What, look at a portrait? And also when you hear, "seeing Jesus", some people, they feel like it's too simplistic an answer. It is giving people impractical advice but they dare not say that because it's seeing Jesus. Yet, in the back of their minds, it's as if the answer whether you're a parenting challenge, the answer is to see Jesus. And somehow, the perspective, the wisdom, comes in, the divine impressions will lead you, but it all comes from seeing the Lord Jesus.
So how do we see Jesus? If you have a monetary challenge or you have a habit you are struggling with, see Jesus, amen? Habit — remove the "H", you have the "a bit". Remove the "A", you still have the "bit". Remove the "B", you still have "it". And the "I" can only be removed by the cross, amen? That's our challenge. Our promise, always back to the cross, Jesus Christ. Can I have a good "Amen"? Y'all don't know what happened just now. H-A-B-I-T. Remove the "H", you have "a bit". You got it? Slowly, slowly. All right, siloh, siloh, okay? So when we look at Jesus, whatever our challenges are, whether we are struggling with depression, we need to go back, I need to see Jesus in the Word. I need to see Jesus, whether it's in the sermon or in the Word, these are the ways that we see Jesus, our Lord, amen.
Now, once a while the Lord may give a vision but don't look for that. The demons can give visions also. Just be very careful. The Word is how you see Jesus because Jesus himself taught us that. When he rose from the dead, the very same day that he rose from the dead, you would have thought there are more important things to do after you rise from the dead. Well, the first thing he did was to dry a woman's tears. The second thing he did, we see, is that on the same day, he approached two disciples of his and the Bible says their eyes were restrained. Not on their part. It was restrained, means what? It's a passive term. It means the Lord restrained their eyes from seeing him in person. And then they were depressed. They were walking on their way back to their town called Emmaus from Jerusalem and the Lord intervened and the Lord talked to them, "Why are you talking to one another and you are sad"?
Listen carefully. This is a secret to your deliverance from depression and disappointment. They were disappointed, they were depressed, and they said, "Are you a stranger? You have not heard what happened recently? You know, this Jesus of Nazareth, he did great signs and wonders and we thought he was the one. We thought it was he who should redeem Israel", so he is a means their main interest is Israel. "We thought it was he who would minister and bring redemption to Israel", and their focus is on Israel as a central object of their affections. And Jesus is just a means to an end. The Lord is about to change that.
That's why we are depressed. We have something good in place of the best. We have something like in the center, we use Jesus to obtain what we think is best for us, when actually whatever else, the purpose of the Holy Spirit is to bring to this place everything else, like the book of Hebrews in the 1st chapter, he replaced all the angels and put Jesus in the midst. He's better than the angels. Another chapter, he displaced even Moses who was a servant compared to the son of the house. And then, next chapter, he removed the Levitical priesthood and talked about a greater and eternal priesthood, Melchizedek.
So it's always "Jesus is better than" in the book of Hebrews, and the Holy Spirit's jealousy to make sure to God the glory of Jesus so that we all can see him. And finally, compared to all the heroes of faith in Hebrews 11, it says: "Looking unto Jesus", at the end. And the word "looking" in the Greek is literally the word to look away from everything that would distract, even all these great heroes of faith in Hebrews 11. They are not our examples. Look away from them, all this great cloud of witnesses, unto Jesus, the author and finisher of faith. Can I have a good "Amen"?
So how do we look at Jesus? The road to Emmaus, they were disappointed. And the way to cure that, the Lord began to expound things concerning himself in the Scriptures. No wonder later on they said, "Weren't our hearts warmed when he opened up the Scriptures to us"? They didn't know this divine stranger. Their eyes were restrained from seeing him. Years ago, I asked the Lord one time, I asked a question that no one has preached on. In fact, a lot of people say that they didn't recognize Jesus because, you know, probably they were very sad or because in his Resurrection form he looked different. But the Bible doesn't say that.
The Bible says: "Their eyes were restrained". In other words, he restrained their eyes from seeing him in person, from recognizing him. And then these people will also say that they recognized because when he broke the bread, then they recognized him later on, when he broke the bread. Probably they saw the nail prints in his hands. Now, that's not true also because that's not in the Bible. They did recognize him in the breaking of bread because he allowed them to recognize him then. But why was it he restrained their eyes?
I asked the Lord many years ago and the Lord said this to me: "It was more important for them to see me in the Word than to see me in person". And that gives equal opportunity for all of us today, or else you would say they had the privilege of seeing Jesus in person, no wonder they had faith. No, no, all of us have the same privilege like the two disciples. To see Jesus in the Word is more important than to see him in person. Are you listening? And that's what delivered them from their depression, amen? Not only that, their feet were set back into its right track. They were going away from Jerusalem, now they walked back to Jerusalem, amen.
So I wanna tell you something, all right? Blessed are the preachers that unveil Christ to you. They are doing the greatest favor. Instead of saying, "Okay, you got a parenting problem, we'll teach on parenting". Nothing wrong with that, okay? Or "You got financial problem, we'll teach you on financial, stewardship, the next few weeks". You know, nothing wrong with that, or you say that "okay, you've got a problem with depression. We're gonna teach on, be psychological principles, on how to handle this, then human relationships and all that, type A, type B, type A and male temperament, how to handle this and that". I mean, all that is fine. I'm not against that, but the church is not exactly the place for this kind of thing. These are more like supplements. The main thrust of the church is to proclaim and expound Jesus Christ as the person and then him crucified. That's his work. Can I have a good "Amen"?
And all of a sudden you find that you are healed. All of a sudden you find that your perspective changed. All of a sudden you find that, you know, not only you... sometimes I tell you this, you feel holy, you know. Holiness is a word that's been so maligned and misunderstood. Holiness is from the root word, English word for whole. Holy is whole. How many want to be whole? You wanna be holy. And the word "holy" means, the opposite of holiness is commonness. To be holy is to be uncommon. God wants you uncommon in a world that is so common, so common in their values, in their morals, in their practices. They want everyone to be like them or else they'll label you. In a world that pretends to be compassionate, actually it's becoming a very cruel world. But you are uncommon. You stand out. In a world where stats now, even statistics among Christians, they have a higher rate of divorce, you can be uncommon. That's holiness, my friend. Can I have a good "Amen"?
Yes, seeing Jesus will also answer to your marital problems or to whatever difficulty you may have in your marriage right now. You may not want even to look at one another but you can look at Jesus, right? Can you look Jesus? Anyway, every marriage must have a third party: our Lord Jesus. A problem happens when you start looking at one another and trying to put each other unconsciously in the place of Jesus, demanding from one another what only the Lord can do and give. Marriage is made up of two broken people coming together, okay? And by the way, all this is not my sermon yet; just to tell you why we see Jesus, amen? Praise the Lord, amen? C'mon, give Jesus the praise, hallelujah.
Aren't you glad you are in this church? Is it okay for me to say that? I hear pastors talking about their own church mission, their own church name and all that, very proud of their own church. I am proud of all of you. I tell you this, I really missed you all when I was in Israel. Really missed you all, amen?
All right, now, today I'm gonna share with you some things like I said, I'm gonna share with you some things that I asked the Lord when I go to Israel, some places I wanna go and, surely, the Lord puts in my heart some places that I wanna go to. You be blessed because some of these places are places where, when I go there for the first time, and there are a few places I went to for the first time, the Lord began to show, it's like pouring into me revelation, like a stream of revelation, just like... not a stream. Torrential latter rain. You all saw the tsunami pictures that Pastor Lawrence showed you last week? It's almost like that. Like drinking from a fire hydrant, you know? You wish you can take everything, you know? But that's what happens to your pastor. So always remember when they're in Israel, you stand to benefit. You will want them to go more often. Can I have a good "Amen"?
Now, let's go right now to the Word and you'll see what God has for us. We go to Genesis 49 and Jacob has come to a place where he's about to depart and be with the Lord. He knew his time has come so he gathered all his family. He has met Joseph, his son, amen, the viceroy of Egypt, the president of Egypt, and he has met all his grandsons now and Joseph's two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, and finally he calls them all because he knows his time has come. He wants to bless them before he goes. So let's look at the very first verse. It says: "Jacob called his sons and said, 'Gather together, that I may tell you what shall befall you in the last days.'"
So this blessing of his 12 sons are not just blessings. They are blessings. In fact, you look down at the end of all the blessings of his 12 sons. He says this: "All these are the 12 tribes of Israel, and this is what their father", Jacob, "spoke to them. And he blessed them; he blessed each one according to his blessing". So it is blessing his 12 sons. But some of them when you read, you are thinking, "Issachar is a donkey, a strong donkey". You are wondering, I wonder sometimes can I bless my pastors with this kind of blessing or not? Have you ever wondered that? Or "Can I bless my husband, Pastor Prince, with this kind of blessing"?
You'll find it's a blessing, trust me, okay? This entire thing is a blessing. "And he blessed each one according", it means all 12 sons, "according to his own blessing", okay? And yet, at the same time, verse 1 says what? "Come, I'm gonna tell you what's gonna happen to all of you", not them in person, but in their tribes, "in the last days", okay? So we cannot look possibly at all the 12, all right? There's no way I can keep you here within the time scope that I have. But I'm gonna show you a few things and then show you what God showed me, okay, amen?
Now, the rest of you, you're not interested, just switch off. Don't worry about it, amen? We'll come back and fetch you later, all right? This is a journey, all right, into outer space. I told you to bring tight-fitting socks and all that. You're in for a journey and it's gonna bless you. You're gonna see Jesus, amen? Praise the Lord.
So obviously, when Jesus expounded things concerning himself to the two, the Bible says: "Beginning at Moses", those are the first five books of Moses at Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, and then also in the Prophets, things concerning himself. The prophets are all that you read in the center part of your Bible, amen, and then you come to the Psalms. Psalms are central part, or nearly central part of the Bible. So Jesus didn't come 'til the Psalms. In fact, later on in the day, in the Upper Room, he expounded on the Psalms. So things concerning himself. It's all about him. The way he taught us to teach the Bible, on his Resurrection day, obviously he thought it was very important for us to know it, is that he taught us to see things concerning himself in the Scriptures, even in the Old Testament.
One thing that people like to say about us is that, "Oh, you all teach grace and all that, you all teach from Paul's letters, you all teach from the New Testament", but here's one pastor who preach a lot from the Old Testament. Am I right? Even though I'm not old. So let's start. We have a few of them, and see whether it resonates with your spirit, okay? You join me in this. Okay, praise the Lord. Let's look at the first one, at Gad. Is it Gad? Yes, we have Gad. Gad is one of the 12 sons so this, all the names of the son, we have Gad, we have Asher later on, we have Naphtali, we have Joseph. "Gad, a troop shall tramp upon him, but he shall triumph at last".
So I'm thinking to myself, years ago, what is this? "Gad". I got it from some time back. "Gad, a troop shall tramp him". Later on, "he shall triumph at last". You're wondering, "What is this? What is this? And how is this a blessing"? Then when you put Jesus in it, you realize that it's the story of Jesus in the Gospels. Prophesy 1,600 over years before Jesus came as a baby in Bethlehem, this is prophesied already, that there'll be a Gad, "a troop shall tramp upon him, but he shall triumph at last".
Do you remember the story of the Gadarene demoniac? The Bible tells us when Jesus asked the demon, by the way, you know, the Bible tells us that Jesus was in the boat asleep, going to the other side of Gadara because when someone screams from that side, across the lake, here in Capernaum you can hear it. So Jesus heard and every time, you know, I can just, if this is a movie, right, it's almost like people are eating and all that, then you can hear a cry: "Rahhh".
You know, the guy with the chains and no one can tame him. He will break the chains. He's a violent guy. I mean, he has supernatural power. Chains, he can break the chains, and no one dare pass by that area. But he will scream. He'll cut himself day and night. He's cutting himself and people are doing that today in different forms. Some literally and some in different forms. They are punishing themself. He's cutting himself, bleeding, crying. The Bible says: "Crying and crying and crying". And they will hear and a lot of people shake their heads and just go on their merry, they have learned to accept it. But Jesus would look yonder with those eyes of compassion.
And one day, the Bible tells us, he went into a boat. That was the time you find him sleeping. That's the 100% man. He came as man, fully man, but he's also fully God. And he slept. He's been healing the whole day, he's been preaching. That was a much-needed rest. And then there was a storm that arose. I believe the devil is trying to stop Jesus from reaching that one man. But Jesus woke up and rebuked the storm with one word... the whole thing and the Bible says there was, like, complete calm. They were afraid of Jesus, now, the disciples. And then they went to the boat, I mean, they went to the shore.
Now, what's interesting is that one day I was reading that and I realized that when Jesus met the Gadarene demoniac, he was the only one who met the Gadarene demoniac. Where are the rest? They travel all together in one boat, right? Where do you think they were? Just like any of my pastors today, right or not, amen? When I meet someone familiar and it's lunchtime, they all eat, they leave me talking, right or not? That's the way it goes, I mean. you know, you gotta serve the rest, amen, yes. That's my job. So he was the only one that stepped out. They were probably hiding inside the boat, and he was the most demonized man and he was breaking chains but something about him, all right? He knew that Jesus is his answer. There's a part of him that still knows Jesus is the only answer.
There are so many people today, they are so bound and all that but in the back of their minds, if they really, really go back to the essence of who they really are and listen to their heart cry, they'll want Jesus. And Jesus met him and he fell right at Jesus's feet. What a beautiful act, possessed as he is. God would never allow the devil to touch that free choice of responding to Jesus and with one word...
By the way, Jesus asked his name. "What's your name"? "Legion", all right? Legion means a troop. "A troop shall tramp upon him", but Jesus spoke one word to all those demons. Jesus asked the name of the demons: "What's your name"? The demon says, "A legion", which can be 4,000 or 6,000 demons in one man 'cause a legion, like, during the time of Jesus, the 12th legion of the Roman military, they were stationed there in Judea. They call themself legion or, in Jerusalem, 12th legion. And this pockets of 6,000 here, 6,000 there, 6,000 there, and these are 6,000 demons in one man. Only one word from the Master, "Go", they all left. They left, jumped into the pigs, and the pigs commit suicide, amen?
You still can see the place, the precipice where the pigs jump out. The pigs know better than to be demon possessed. Anyway, here is where people like to, you know, get diverted and say, "The swine. Must not eat pork, must not eat bacon". No, no, no, stick to the Word, stick to the Bible, okay? It's not about eating bacon and all that. But what we see here is that a legion tramped upon this man, all right? "But he shall triumph at last". And how did he triumph? Through Jesus. So the prophecy is about Jesus and it's about the Gospels, actually, and even the events. Isn't it beautiful?
I might write a book called "Secrets to the 12 Tribes' Blessing", one day, amen. That is, somebody don't beat me first. Remember, original down here. The word "Gad", gut. Look at the tribal allocations of the territories, it's all marked here. Look at this picture of the territories. The 12 tribes is all here. Can you see Gad, the Gad? Gad means a troop, all right? And Gad went all the way to the southern part of Galilee. Later on during the time of Jesus, it went upwards to the western coast of Sea of Galilee, and the whole place began to be called what? Gadara. That's why you have the Gadarene demoniac.
So back to the prophecy again, all right? It is literally Gad. Can you see that? Next one: "Bread from Asher shall be rich, and he shall yield royal dainties". Now, this is something fresh. I haven't shared this before, all right? But would you like to know what this is about? Let me read: "Bread", roti, lechem in Hebrew, chapati, amen? One of the first things I did when I reached Singapore, not the first thing, though. The first few food I ate was chapati, all right? "Bread from Asher shall be rich", wow. What is this bread? "And he shall yield royal dainties". What is this? What is this?
Again, let's look at the tribal territory allocations, all right? Look at Gad. Where is Gad? Oh, Asher, sorry, Asher. Where's Asher? Right on top. Can you see Asher? Can you see the city of Tyre? T-Y-R-E, Tyre. Can you see Tyre? Something happened there in the ministry of Jesus. That's the northernmost that Jesus ever went that's recorded in the Gospels, and there he saw a Syrophoenician woman, remember that? She was begging Jesus to heal her daughter. Her daughter was demon possessed but don't forget, Jesus's First Coming is not the Gentiles, but to the Jews, to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. But this woman acted as if she was a Gentile. She was pretending when she came to Jesus and no one can pretend. Because I asked the Lord a long time ago, why does he hate hypocrisy.
Now, he doesn't hate hypocrites; he loves them, but he hates hypocrisy. You can see that, amen? He has strong words for hypocrisy. Even the prostitute who came to him, he has no strong words for her. But hypocrisy, why? Because the Lord says, "When you pretend to be what you are not and I love you, you will never feel it. You'll never know it, because you know you are pretending. But when you don't pretend and I love you, with your sins and warts and all, you know you are loved". I love that. Can I have a good "Amen"? C'mon.
So, this woman pretended. She says, "Jesus, Son of David". And only the Jews used that term. And Jesus refused to answer her. There's one instance where Jesus refused to answer someone who's a plea for prayer, for a miracle. And Jesus, you know, answer and says, "It's not right to take the children's bread, bread from Asher, in the same region and give it to the puppies". Literally, it's the diminutive term of dogs where Jews call Gentiles dogs in those days, but Jesus used a very beautiful term puppies that are loved in the house, but she's a Gentile. That opened the door for her to say, "But puppies even eat the crumbs that fall". And the Lord says, "Woman".
It was a test, yet it wasn't her time to receive, but it's almost her faith reached out to the time that salvation is for all, Jew and Gentile, which is today, amen? Amen, are you listening what I'm saying? Then Jesus says, "Woman, great is your faith. Be it unto you even as you will". She pent back, her daughter was delivered. It happened at Asher, in the territory of Asher. Now we understand, "Bread there from Asher shall be rich, and shall yield royal dainties". It's the healing bread. He calls healing because she was looking for healing, right? Jesus says it's not right to take the children's bread and to give it to the puppies, because you know why? At that time, it only for the Jews at that time, now it's for everybody. After Jesus die and rose again, it's for everybody.
For God so loved the world, not just Israel, he gave his only Son, but at that time, he came to fulfill the covenant promise to the fathers is for the lordship of the house of Israel and yet, we see he calls healing the children's bread. So, when he you say, "Give us this day our daily bread", all right, I know it's a rhema word. Give us the Word of God, but it's also, "Give us this day our daily health", amen? Let's go on. "Naphtali is a deer let loose; He uses beautiful words". Or in the King James, "He gives beautiful words". Naphtali let's look at the region of Naphtali.
By the way, all the allocation of the 12 tribes territories were given by Joshua. In the Book of Joshua, you can see all the boundaries the cities that belong to them. Look, can you see Naphtali, the Sea of Galilee, Naphtali is the area where two-thirds of Jesus's miracles were performed in the land of Naphtali. Do you hear that? And what is the prophecy? So, Naphtali, remember the prophecy in Matthew, Matthew 2. let's look at Matthew 2, "He went first to Nazareth, then left there and moved to Capernaum beside the Sea of Galilee in the region of Zebulun and Naphtali. Fulfill what God said through Prophet Isaiah in the land of Zebulun and Naphtali where so many Gentiles live beyond the river, Jordan river".
All right, that's where God put his Son. That's the place his Son calls home, and that's where he did two-thirds of the miracles in the region of Galilee, which is what? Naphtali, the tribe of Naphtali, can you see that? And the Bible says, you go on reading it says that this region is called the valley of the shadow of death. It's really called the shadow of death. It has seen a bright light when Jesus stepped into the place. It's a place where all the demon-possessed cases are all here. He delivered them here, amen? Amazing, two-thirds of Jesus's miracles were performed along the coastal sides of Sea of, the Sea of Galilee, especially on the eastern side.
Look at the map again. On the east side of the Sea of Galilee, you see Capernaum in the north there. Then you find the Sermon on the Mount, what's the prophecy again? "Naphtali's a deer let loose, he gives beautiful words". The Sermon on the Mount is some of the most sublime words spoken by a man, some of the most beautiful words. Even unbelievers love the Sermon on the Mount. At least they know their part, "Do unto others as others do unto you". And a lot of people, you know they read the Sermon on the Mount, but you do not know the man of the sermon. You're not ready for the sermon from that man. You gotta be born again to really understand the Sermon on the Mount. Anyway, beautiful words, and all along this shore it says what?
Naphtali is a deer let loose, right? How many people have he loosed in the synagogues along the mountain of we call it Arbel today, that whole area. How many people have he loosed? In fact, this that's the very word he used when a woman was bound by a spirit of infirmity for 18 years, which is six plus, six plus six by the way, for those in Bible numerics, and all she saw was dust. All she saw was dust, Satan's food. All she saw was dust. Recognized people by their toes, by their sandals.
And finally Jesus says, "Woman, you are loosed from your infirmity". And the first face she saw was Jesus, looking unto Jesus, amen? And then the ruler of the synagogue said, "There are six days man can come and be healed, not on the Sabbath Day". Jesus says, "You hypocrite, do you not loose", again the word loose, "your donkey, your ox, on a Sabbath and bring him for watering"? In other words, in Jesus's heart and mind, watering and healing are the same thing. When your bring someone to the water, it is basic needs that you are providing, right? Are you listening? So, Jesus said, "Ought not this woman to be loosed from this bond whom Satan has bound these 18 years on the Sabbath Day"?
Again loosed. Naphtali, this whole area, is a deer let loose. And she was like, you know, so many of them, they get healed, they are like deer. A deer let loose, amen, not like y'all, happy, disappointed. The only face I can see that is registering for me is when hungry. That face means quickly, quickly. So, must have chapati and tea, that's how you... it's a revelation, hallelujah. Okay anyway. No, I'm just teasing, okay? Be yourself, okay, church? Be yourself, amen. All right so, praise the Lord. So, that's Naphtali, the Sea of Galilee. So, the eastern part is where Jesus did most of his miracles. The gadarene demoniac, remember, he had to cross over to the western side. That's the place of Gad.
All right, later on Gad went all the way to the coastal side. And by the way, that one man who was delivered became a proclaimer of good news, amen? He preached about Jesus and that he was bound by demons and how Jesus set him free in ten cities. Think about that, hallelujah. So, that's Naphtali, it's a deer let loose. Jesus went around letting loose, letting loose, I love it, letting loose. People say, "I'm a freethinker". No, you're not free to think. Everyone who's born is born in sin, they're not free to think. They think negative, they think depressed all the time. They cannot get out of it. They think, you know, immoral thoughts, unclean imaginations, unclean thoughts. They cannot stop themselves and they call themselves freethinkers. The real freethinkers, if the Son shall set you free, my friend, you shall be free indeed. You'll be like a deer let loose. Only Jesus can set you free, amen? Can I have a good amen?
And as long as you're bound by negative thinking, depressed thoughts, and all that, you can say all you want to, and there are men who are bound by their reasoning and don't even realize they're slave to that kind of limited reasoning. Don't miss the real thing, friend. When I was eating chapati, a guy came over, "Are you pastor Prince"? There goes my chapati. And he sat down in front of me, started asking me questions. But he was like an elderly guy and the thing is that the's not sure about his salvation. Talk to me about salvation, talk about, you know, about people say that, "but I'm not very good. I'm not very perfect and all that". I feel like saying, get the book "Destined To Reign", you know? But, of course, I put the Bible first.
You know, so I start sharing about the Word of God. But I looked at him finally and he was saying that, "I love reading the Sermon on the Mount". He told me that, you know? I say that, "Look, do you know what's the gospel? Can you tell me what's the gospel"? He can't tell me what's the gospel. He can't tell me the full gospel. Finally he just said, "Christ died for us", why? Said, "Unless you know the gospel, you're not ready for the Sermon on the Mount". Then I looked at him with compassion and I said, "You know, at this age, don't waste your life. Make sure you find the real thing. You cannot be unsure about your salvation. You cannot be unsure about forgiveness of sins. You cannot be unsure about your relationship with God, you know? I mean, make sure".
I didn't say make New Creation Church our church, no. I just said, your life is too precious. You're at this age now. I didn't ask him for his age, but he's quite elderly. And I said, "Don't miss it. Your life is too precious. You are too precious. God loves you. Make sure of your salvation, amen? Make sure you know the gospel". There are many things to know in this world. You always want to, you wake up in the morning, you reach for your phone because you feel like you'll be left out, FOLO, FOLO, is it? Not that you follow people, you FOLO, F-O-L-O, fear of losing out.
"Oh, this news, what a news I don't have. I must know all the news. I must know all the news! I must know, I must know all the news in the world, then I'll be in touch, I'll be better person". Really? You'll be more depressed. These things are stealing your time. Control it, don't let it control you, amen? The only knowledge you need, he that boasts, don't boast that he's the rich man. Don't boast he's a strong man. "Boast that he knows me", the Lord says. "Boast that he knows me". Life is if you can talk about long life, 120 life but in essence, compared to eternity, life is too short to miss the most important thing of all in life, knowing Jesus, amen, and having that life transformed by him. Can I have a good amen?
Okay, so, we go back again to the prophecies. I don't have the time for everything. Naphtali is a deer let loose. We saw that. He uses beautiful words. All along the shores of Galilee, you find Jesus's words. Many of you love to read them in the gospels. Then you find all these prophecies, does this bear witness with your heart? If not without the key, you can't see all those prophecies as meaning anything. Then you come to Joseph, it's a fruitful bough, a fruitful tree, a fruitful branch, a fruitful bough by a well, by a well. His branches run over the wall.
Now, there's a wall called the wall of partition between Jew and Gentile. In the temple during the time of Jesus, there's a wall there and there's a sign there, "Gentiles cannot cross over here upon the pains of death". So, it's a wall of partition and in Ephesians it says that Christ broke down the middle wall of partition. A lot of people think that there's between us and God. He did that already by the veil being torn and all that, but that one is actually Jew and Gentile coming together. That's the middle wall of partition and made one new man, no more Jew or Gentile, a new creation in Christ, which is the name of our church, okay? Are you listening?
But back then, there was a little wall of partition. So, Joseph a fruitful bough, a fruitful bough by a well. You see a fruitful tree sitting by a well. Does that remind you of something? And by the way, Joseph is the most beautiful picture of, Jesus, the clearest, the most evident, loved by the Father, rejected by his brothers, became the bread of life to the world while his brothers reject him. Two thousand years ago, Jesus came, the beloved Son of the Father, whom the Father prized above everything else. He gave us his Son. He did not give us an angel, Gabriel, or Mark, or, you know, Gideon, or Lawrence. Gave us the best, not even Pastor Prince. Gave us think best, Jesus Christ, his Son. Didn't give us any archangel or Michael, gave us the best, the only begotten Son. Can I have a good amen?
All right, praise God. So, Joseph is fruitful bough. Let's see this rejected by his brother, became the bread of life, amen? And then in his first appearance to his brothers, they didn't recognize him. His first coming, they didn't recognize him. Second time, the brothers appeared, he told them, "I'm Joseph", just like Jesus. And during the separation from his brothers, he married a Gentile bride. Most of the church is made up of non-Jews, Gentile bride of Jesus Christ, the church, amen? And it's coming back. We are looking for the reconciliation between Jesus and the Jewish people, amen, between Israel and Jesus, hallelujah. That's happening already. There are so many of them turning to the Lord, amen?
So here, we have this, "Joseph is a fruitful bough". We go to John chapter 4, the story of Jesus needing to go to Samaria. I love the word "needed to go through Samaria". "So He came to a city of Samaria which is called Sychar, near the plot of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph". Now, this whole area is Gentile area in the sense at that time when Jesus came, it belonged to the Samaritans who are Gentiles, okay? And Jacob's well was there, well, fruitful bough by the well. The well was there.
"Jesus therefore, being wearied from His journey, sat thus by the well. It was about the sixth hour", which is 12 noon, very hot. And you know what happened, right? A woman came and she was a Gentile, and his blessings went over the wall of partition. So nice to sit down and preach. Even while he was tired, while he was seated, he was a great blessing. He was ministering life, living water, to that woman. Don't you think that you have a Savior who loves you? He never gets tired, like Pastor Prince, of pouring out. He keeps on pouring out, even when he's tired. In fact, after he poured out, the disciples came and saw that he was refreshed. "I have meat to eat you do not know of", he said. Wow, don't you just love Jesus? He was a fruitful bough, even while he was tired sitting by the well.
So, this was a prophecy, right? But look at this, Jacob gave to his Son Joseph. This only mention of Joseph, the patriarch Joseph of the Bible in the entire gospels. In all the gospels, this is the only mention of Joseph. In the entire gospel of John, you find Joseph mentioned only once here. Now, the other Joseph, Joseph of Arimathea is not the Bible patriarch Joseph. The Father gave to his Son Joseph, okay? So, Jesus is the heavenly Joseph, hallelujah! And he's waiting for the Benjamin generation. Okay, that's another message altogether. All right, praise God. Let's go back to the story and finally I'm gonna share with you the last part. Okay, we don't have time to go to all the 12 tribes. We'll come to Joseph, right?
Now, there's one I want to close with and it's the donkey, the one that you thought about calling your husband, yeah, I'm gonna touch on that. All right, Issachar, say, "Issachar". Verse 12, Issachar is a strong donkey, lying down between two burdens; He saw that rest was good, and that the land was pleasant; He bowed his shoulder to bear a burden, and became a band of slaves", a group of, like you see a group of slaves, all right? But then the first part is good. He saw that rest was good and that the land was pleasant. For a while I've been asking the Lord this, "What is this, strong donkey? Before I can preach it, I must know, you know? And it really doesn't help. You know commentary doesn't help, it doesn't really tell you".
By the way, this tribe, the people of this tribe, they have understanding of the times and the seasons, what Israel ought to do. One of the things I had in my heart for his trip to Israel, before I left for the trip, there are a few places I felt that God put on my heart and I wanted to go and see, all right? And one of them was the city of Nain, and Nain, it's called Nain. Today is called Nain. In your Bible it's called Nain, but the Hebrews pronounce it Naim, with an M, Naim, right? So, Nain, the city of Nain is a place I want to go and see, why? Jesus met a... it's like two processions, a large crowd following Jesus and a large crowd following this funeral procession, and they met at the gate of Nain.
Let's follow the story right now. It says, "Now it happened, the day after, that He went into a city called Nain", Nain means pleasant. That's where Naomi got her name from, Naomi, right, pleasant or beauty. It has different shades of meaning, pleasant, beauty. But in this place of beauty, in this earth where God made everything pleasant for man to eat, every kind of fruit. It was pleasant to the eyes even. It was beautiful. It was good. Everything was good. Man spoiled everything by sinning against God. So, it's a picture of the world, Nain. "Death has come in, and many of His disciples went with Him, and a large crowd".
It's not often that you see that, all right, it must be a time... now what happened? It happened the day after. What's the day after? There's nothing insignificant in the Bible. The day after means it was the day after he had a series of miracles which ended with the centurion in Capernaum, remember that? And right after the centurion servant's healing, you have the day after. So, he was in Capernaum the day before. Capernaum to Nain is about 25 miles, that's about a day's walk.
By the way in that day, but a day's walk. And many of the disciples went between a large crowd. So, obviously the crowd saw his miracles and all that, and they followed him. And Jesus left Capernaum, right, all the way to Nain and by the time they arrived, it's one-day journey, they arrived in the evening because of the time taken to go to Nain. And during that time, the time of Jesus, the Jewish funerals is always held in the evening, or they go to bury in the evening. So, have many of timing at the gate, they will bring the body out of the gate, out of the city. They cannot bury within the city. It must be outside the city, all right, because of religious uncleanness and all that. So, they brought the body out of the city, they're about to come out, Jesus came with this large crowd.
"And when He came near the gate of the city, behold, a dead man was being carried out, the only son of his mother". I love this, the only begotten Son saw the dead body of the only son of the mother, and the mother was a widow. She has no husband. So, her only son is dead and her husband has been dead for sometime, which means she has no means of livelihood. In those days there's no such thing as banking and, you know, welfare and all that. Bible says a large crowd from the city was with her.
So, there's a large crowd here and a large crowd there. These two groups is about to collide. Which of the two will give way? Traditionally, all right, when you see Jewish custom is that when you see a funeral procession, even if passing by your way, you have to follow all the way to the burial site. That's the custom of that day. I studied it. It's a custom of that day. But when the funeral procession met, the Lord of life with a large crowd, he stopped. Next verse, look at it. It say when the Lord saw her, the Lord saw her. It's the first time in the gospel of Luke, the Lord is being used because he's the commander of life and death. He's the supreme one. He is death, okay, death and life met. Who will give way? Death bowed down to life.
First time this word used, "the Lord" in the gospel of Luke which in Hebrew, in Greek is Kurios. In Hebrew they will say Adonai, but I believe, don't forget, Lord is also, Lord is also Yahweh. So, the phrase is used here and he said to her, "Do not weep". I love this. One of the first things he did, is not just jump to the miracle. He told her first, "Do not weep". You know, it's not just giving you a miracle, it's about your entire person, spirit, soul, and body. He said, "Do not weep".
The first thing that Jesus did when he rose from the dead, as I told you just now, is to wipe the tears of a woman's eyes, Mary Magdalene, first thing. In fact, he was on his way to the Father's throne to sprinkle the blood when he heard the tears and he stopped, right? First mention of tears in the Bible in the Old Testament are the tears of Hagar over her son and the angel came to her and says, "Don't cry. God has heard the boy's voice", and gave her a wonderful prophecy, first mention of tears. First mention of tears in the New Testament is Rachel crying over her children in Bethlehem because they were gonna slaughter of the young babies. So, mothers and sons, in tears, God knows it all.
Let me tell you, you might have even lost someone you love very much. I want to tell you this, the commander of life and death has raised your boy from the dead. He's more alive than you are. In fact, he's in a place where he's more alive than you are. We believe God's Word. We know it is true. God declares it, amen. This life is just temporal. We got used to living in these bodies. We make up this body, we do all kinds of things in this body. But this body is encumbrance. When Jesus comes again, even if you don't die, you're not going with this body. This body cannot even take the height. It's afraid of the heights. You have to have a new body. He transforms you first, but your loved one is in the place of perfect bliss and happiness, amen?
We'll miss, this side of heaven, we'll miss them, but it is not an eternal missing. We'll meet again, amen. So, here Jesus says that he came and touched the open coffin and those who carried him stood still. By the way, in Jewish custom, you cannot touch a coffin or a dead body. Jesus is greater than the law, amen? He eradicate the reason for the law is to prevent, to help people not to be defiled, but here, he's greater than the defilement. He cannot be defiled. In fact, the defilement has to give way. He touched the stretcher and he says, "Young man". And those who carried that corpse stood still. And he said, "Young man, I say to you arise". Now, it says earlier on they carry a dead man. The word "man" is not there. It's actually a young boy. The word used is a youth, a teenager, most likely. "Young man, I say to you, arise".
Now, in Hebrew, quwmah. Doesn't even say shout. I must do justice. He didn't say shout, right? He says, "I say". No, I shout. "I say to you, quwmah", and the boy's eyes opened. And the boy, he was dead, sat up, and began to speak. Whoa, not just get up, he spoke. "Mama", and he presented him to his mother. He presented him to his mother. He didn't say, "Now, I have raised you from the dead, follow me". He never does that. He never does a miracle and then says, "follow me". For those who say whom he says, "follow me", are those people that he appoints. He never makes his miracle a reason for you to serve him. He presented him back to his mother.
Now, that is the city of Nain. When I want to go to city of Nain, we pass by one someday in our bus with all the pastors and I say, I'm going to Nain, and then my guide pointed far away to a city called Shunam. Now, Shunam in the Old Testament is the city where the Shunammite woman came from. And this Shunammite woman, notice one day, Elisha was passing by and realized that he's a man of God. She's a woman of great character and the Bible says a great woman. And she told her husband, "Why don't we build something for him in a small room so ever time he passes by, he can retire him, refresh himself", all right?
So, one day Elisha says, "What do you want me to do for you", all right? And the servant says, "She has no baby. They don't have any child". So, Elisha says, "This time next year, you will carry a son". And you know what happened the story, the son came, right, and the son was in the field with the parents, and he had a heatstroke, with the father, had a heatstroke, something like that. Says, "My head, my head", you know and then brought back to this mother at home and the mother held him until he died. At that time, Elisha wasn't around, Elisha was at Mount Carmel and if you look from Nain to Carmel, you have to go through the valley of Jezreel. Thank God it's not a hilly valley, it's flat.
So, she had to reach there, all right, by evening time and then make it back again probably at dusk or whatever or at dawn rather. And then when she came back, the man of God saw her, by the way, and the man of God, Elisha says, "How is your family, how is your son"? And she says, "shalom". That's amazing. She says, "shalom". It is well. Your Bible says, it is well. Where the hymn was written, all right, the very phrase, it is well with my soul. It is well. The word in the Hebrew is only one word, "shalom". And Elisha says something is wrong. "So, Gehazi", he told his servant, "Take my staff and go ahead".
All right, and she says, no. He doesn't want Gehazi a servant. "I want you to come with me". So, Elisha went with her. Gehazi reached first, touched the dead boy with the staff, nothing happened. Then Elisha went in. Elisha prayed to the Lord, the Bible says. When Jesus did his miracle, he didn't pray. Elisha has to pray, you know why? Elisha had to pray to Jesus, pray to the Lord. The Lord himself is here now. See, the compare and contrast? And then I realized something. All of a sudden on my way to Nain, and this is what I told the pastors. I said, "Do you realize Nain is the opposite side of Shunam. God put the two cities opposite each other. And then the hill that separated them is called the hill of Moreh".
Early this year I said the year of latter rain and all that, and the former rain is called Moreh but Moreh is also for teacher. Today, you go to Israel, they'll say, "Shalom, Moreh". All the school's kids will greet their teacher with, "Shalom Moreh", teacher. There's a hill, there's a hill called Moreh, teacher, or former rain. And this side here is Shunam and this side is Nain. I googled this, right, to help y'all to see. Can you see Giv'at HaMoreh? That's the hill of Moreh. Can you see the word "Moreh"? Giv'at is hill. Ha is the Moreh, hill of the Moreh, okay? And can you Nin? There's today an Arabic city of Nain, they call it Nin.
Okay, see the resemblance there? By the way, we went there. The pastors all went there. That was my first time there. And the opposite in Shunam where Elisha raised the boy from the dead. On Nain, Jesus raised the only son of a widow from the dead. In Shunam, Elisha prayed and the Lord raised the only son also from the dead. But he put this here for our instruction that moreh means the instruction, isn't it? Moreh means the teaching, right, compare and contrast. Elisha, his name means my God saves. Yeshua means Yahweh saves. Eli is Elohim saves. Yeshua is Yahweh saves. Elohim can be a God far away, but Yahweh is a God very near. It's a covenant-keeping God. Are you listening, people?
Another thing I told you just now, when after... by the way, there's great exertion on the part of he prayed. He walked to and fro. He was straining, praying. He put himself on the boy and identified himself to the boy. He got up again. The boy only felt a bit warm, then the boy was being raised from the dead. But he did a lot of effort, but with the Lord, only one word, quwmah, and the boy arose. Compared to great exertion of Elisha. Are you listening, people?
And another thing, the ending. Don't miss the ending. Jesus and Elisha. Elisha told the mother, "Pick up your son". Almost like hey, see, raised him from the dead, now you pick up your son. Jesus took the boy and presented him to his mother. Go to Jesus, he presented him, the last line, to his mother. In every way, he's greater than even Elisha, so much so that the people said, verse 16 down, the people said, "Fear came upon all of them, they glorified God. A great prophet has risen up among us. God has visited His people. And this report about him went throughout all Judea and surrounding". Now, I understand why they said, "a great prophet" because just beyond their hill on the other side, a great prophet, a prophet was there called Elisha who raised. And now they called Jesus a great prophet, but we know he's more than a prophet, hallelujah.
And this is a picture we took from afar, Shunam. Go nearer, okay, that's the city of Shunam right below here, the smallest city, and that's the hill of Moreh. On the other side is Nain. Ha, what does that gotta do with the final prophecy? Okay, let me close with this, go to the prophet of Issachar, strong donkey don't forget, I have not forgotten donkey. I look only it remind me of donkey. I look here, it remind me of donkey, so I remember the donkey. I'm just teasing. Issachar's a strong donkey lying down between two burdens, not good translation.
The word "burdens" is not burdens. NASB brings it out, Issachar is a strong donkey lying down between two sheepfolds, all right, should be two there because two, the word two is there. Two burdens, the word burden is bad, wrong. It's the word sheepfolds. So, the territory of Issachar, watch this now, Issachar, look at Issachar there. Issachar is where Nain, Shunam, Moreh is. If you look at the map, any tribal territory map, some Bibles have at the end, usually in the area of Issachar, you'll see Mount Moreh. So, Mount Moreh is like a donkey lying down in two resting places. Jesus made them resting places. A place of death, a place of tragedy became a place of victory and a place of rest. And you know what the name Shunam means, Shunam? Double resting place.
When I saw this, oh, my, my, my, my. Another piece of the 12 tribes blessing fit in. By the way, if anyone start preaching this from now on, you know where they got it from. This is revelation from God, and you're getting fresh bread. You like the smell of fresh bread? Getting fresh bread. Aren't you glad you came today? All right, let me close by the prophecy, all right, it says, "He saw that rest was good, and that the land was pleasant". The word "pleasant", does that ring a bell? It is the word Nain, literally the name of the city where you find a city in the tribal area of Issachar. He saw and the land was pleasant. Nain. It's as if the Holy Spirit through the mouth of Jacob, prophesying in 1,600 years after this Jesus the Son of God would come, the only Son, and he would raise the only son of the widow, all right, from the dead in a place called Nain.
And he saw that the land, that land, land was Nain. He bowed his shoulder to bear a burden, and this burden here is the stretcher and a band of slaves following. You know why? Ever since man sinned, death came in and we are all a band of slaves. None of us are free. Jesus came to meet us, where? Near the gate because the Bible says, Jesus says, the gates of hell will not prevail against the church. That means one of the strongest gates is death. The king of terror bowed its knee to Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Prince of life.
And friend, if you're a believer, you do not fear. If Jesus tarries, all right, a hundred years from now, not a single person will be alive. But you know what? Death holds no fear for the believer. In fact, the Bible don't even call death for the believer death, it says sleep. You go to the other side, amen? Are you listening, people?
I love this. Don't you just love God's Word? How when man sinned, it's literally a band, a large crowd of slaves. That's how the world is. Following death, Jesus broke into the entire thing and rerouted them into life, and now a large crowd followed Jesus. By the way, at the end of the day, I believe if you do a movie, the whole thing happened. The young man and Jesus walking with the mother and now there's only one largest crowd. Give Jesus the praise, amen?
Every head bowed, every eye closed all across this place. Praise the name of Jesus. Friend, if you are here today, you've never made Jesus your personal Savior and Lord, I want to give you this wonderful opportunity right now to put your trust in Christ. Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved. If you confess with your mouth Jesus is your Lord, believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you shall be saved. Whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved. No maybes, no ifs. Life is too short to miss the most important thing.
Friend, don't miss it. Don't miss it. Are you saved or are you like that elderly man who saw me, been attending church, this church, that church. He told me he attend more than one church, but he doesn't have the assurance, doesn't really know. He told me he read the Bible from Genesis to Revelation. When I asked him what's the gospel, he doesn't really know. He tells me he reads Sermon on the Mount every day. When I ask him what is the good news? Doesn't really know. He knows part of it, but it's not enough for him to have that peace of heart and rest of conscience towards God.
Friend, God love you and God sent his Son that same Jesus, greater than Elisha. Elisha with great exertion, Jesus with calm majesty. This same Jesus that you have seen throughout the Scriptures that I've been sharing wants to be your friend, wants to be your shepherd, wants to be your Savior. Before you can do all that, he has to go through the cross. He who knew no sin, he never committed any sin. At that cross, he laid down his life. No one could take his life without his consent. He laid down his life, allowed them to crucify him, why? Because he knew it's was all part of God's plan to save us.
For on that cross, Christ bore our sins. God took your sins and God laid it on Jesus Christ. God took mine and laid it on Christ. He was condemned in our place and on the third day, God raised him from the dead as a testimony, like a divine receipt. His work has been accepted, no sin left behind. All the claims of God's holiness fulfilled, fully met in the cross of Jesus Christ, and that's why God raised him from the dead as a testimony of that. And you need to know that, friend? Your sins are forgiven through the blood of Jesus Christ. I said, your sins are forgiven through the blood of Jesus Christ. Do you believe that? Then pray this prayer with me right now.
Heavenly Father, I believe you loved me and you loved me long before I knew you, and you sent your Son Jesus Christ to die on that cross, to bear all my sins, to be my sin bearer. He became my sin at the cross that I might become the righteousness of God in him. He took my curse that I might be blessed. He was forsaken that I might have your constant presence. Thank you for raising him from the dead as a testimony that what he did is fully accepted and all my sins have been put away. There's nothing between you and me. Father God, you're not God far away, you are my Father, my Father in heaven. I love you, Father. Thank you for loving me. In Jesus's name, I confess Jesus Christ is my Lord, amen, amen, amen, amen.
You prayed that prayer, you're now a child of God. Don't doubt. Don't be like the elderly man. Don't doubt. You are now saved. If your heart stops beating, and it won't, praise the Lord, amen, illustration, if it stops beating anytime, heaven is your home. You'll wake up more alive, okay? But don't go yet. All right, don't go to heaven yet. There's work to be done here, amen? Stand to your feet, I'm gonna dismiss you with the blessings. Lift your hands all across this place.
Father in heaven, we don't take for granted your protection. Father, we know that you promise that those who dwell in the secret place of the most high shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. A thousand can fall at our side, ten thousand at our right hand, but it will not come near us. We thank you, Father, that arrows can fly by day and all kinds of disasters can strike at night, but it will not come near us. It will not come near our dwelling. And thought this week, Father, be it unto us according to your Word in Psalms 91. Preserve your people, protect them from danger, harm, from all the powers of darkness, and Father, let them live their life, Lord, looking at Jesus, enjoying him, wanting more and more and more from your Word. In Jesus's name, and all the people said amen.