Joseph Prince - Overflowing Life And Health
The Bible says that God spent 40 days, or I should say, Moses spent 40 days and 40 nights with God up on the mountain and he took seven chapters to talk about it, whereas creation, only one chapter, Genesis chapter 1. Now, why it took seven chapters is because up there on the mountain, God talked about his Son in figures, types, and shadows. Isn't it precious? Only at the end of the seventh chapter, the very last verse, then God mentioned, all right, to Moses, the very last verse, God mentioned to Moses he had two tablets of stone, and Moses went down with the two tablets of stone. Right at the end of the 40 days, God gave him the two tablets.
So, what happened to him up there? He was listening to God talk in detail, share with him the delight of his heart, his Son. It's all about his Son. See, God wants you to know that worship is bringing reminders to him about his Son. You know, like Joseph, our heavenly Joseph is, you know, the Bible tells us about the earthly Joseph is like the heavenly Joseph. You know, when he discovered himself to his brothers he says, "I am Joseph". With all the power he had, he forgave them for what they did to him in betraying him and selling him off. He forgave them and says, "Come near". With all the power he has he says, "Come near", and they all wept on his shoulders. And then he said this, "Go tell my father", in that case it's Jacob, "of all the things that you have seen and heard".
So, worship is telling the father of all the things that you have seen and heard with a Savior, his Son, our redeemer, our precious gracious friend, Jesus Christ, amen? So, every time we sing about the Lord, you know, the Father delights. Don't ask me why, okay? The Bible says, even the Book of Proverbs, "I was daily his delight", the Bible tells us. And what you do with the Lord Jesus is what God would do with you. If you honor Jesus, God honors you. If you reject him, God rejects you. If you accept him, God accepts you. So, always remember that what you do with his Son.
I'm reminded of a rich man, a story of a wealthy man who had a precious son and the time came, this was during the war times, and the time came when every young man, every able-bodied young man had to go to war, and his son was so no exception. So, his son went it. It was the only son he had, and the father waited for him to come back. And then one day, he received the news that, you know, the news that he had dread to hear, his son had died. Many years past, and now the father only have a servant in the house. The old man grew old and finally passed on and then the auction, because he was a wealthy man.
So, you know, wealthy people came from all quarters of that nation, and also have abroad, to especially to get his paintings. They want to auction, they want to make sure that they get his paintings when they are being auctioned. So, many of them were gathered there and the auctioneer started the whole thing, and he started and there are many famous paintings that the old man had. So, the auctioneer started off with a painting that he had, the old man had of his son. Oh, I need to tell you this, the old man missed his son so much and finally he got a painter to paint his son.
And the very first thing that he sold was that painting, all right? He put it in his will that the first painting would be... nobody bidded for the painting. Look at the boy, he's like any ordinary young man, and the old servant at the back who was still sorrowing over the decease of his master, he put up his hand and offered what he could. It was just a meager sum and so they all said, let's get it on, you know? And the auctioneer says, "The auction is over". And they'll say, "What do you mean it's over? We haven't come to the other paintings yet". So, the auctioneer says, "He has left it in his will", and nobody knows about this, "that he who gets the painting of the son, gets all the paintings".
So, the thing is this, people, he who gets the Son gets every blessing of God, gets everything that heaven has. Can I have a good amen? Do you have the Son? Do you have him? Today I'm gonna share with you something, and we're gonna see an example of the Emmaus Road exposition because there are many ways to teach the Bible, and there are those who teach the Bible in such a way that they preach very strong on holiness to the point that we don't see the love of God and the grace of God. On the other hand, there are those who teach grace to the point as if God is not a just God anymore, that God will not punish sin, all right?
He does punish sin, but our sins have been punished already in the body of Christ. If God is not a just God and he's not a faithful God, he's not a true God, if a judge is not judicial, is not upright, then the whole fabric of society will crumble and disintegrate. We need our judges to be unbias, to be righteous, and to be just, to be faithful to the law. In that way, the society can flourish, amen? Wrong will be punished, good rewarded. The thing is this, people, we must understand that God is a just God or else there's no need for the cross. How can a just holy God receive sinful men? The basis is the cross where his Son died. Can I have a good amen?
Because of the cross, God is righteous in receiving sinners. Because at the cross, when the blood of his Son was shed, it fully met all the claims of divine justice and righteousness, so much so that God is satisfied. These few weeks you've been hearing me say that because the revelation is still so strong in my heart. It just came so strong to me, especially recently and I preached on this so many times, that God's righteousness is satisfied by what his Son has done, that not only God accept you, but he doesn't accept you like a servant. He accept you and make you a son. Can I have a good amen?
So, the Lord Jesus taught us that the way to teach the Bible is actually to look for him throughout the Scriptures. Remember the two disciples were discouraged and the Lord Jesus appeared to them and the Bible says he restrained their eyes from seeing him. That was the first day he was resurrected, and he did something so, so we will say, commonplace, you know, on the first day of his resurrection. He spent time walking and talking about the Bible. The Bible says that these two were discouraged. How did Jesus bring them out of their depression and doldrums? How did he bring them out? The Bible says beginning at Moses, the first five book, he begin to expound things in them concerning himself. Later on they said their hearts burned, okay, people?
So, the way Jesus taught the Bible and the way he deems it should be taught and, by the way, that was a Sunday which ended in Communion in that house. He was giving us a divine pattern, a paradigm, to show us that on Sundays what we are to do. We are to expound about Jesus. Can I have a good amen? And we thank God there are many churches that do that. You know, we thank God that the body of Christ, every time people come, they might not know their need is Jesus but Jesus, in different aspects, in different facets, if you are hungry, he's the bread of life. If you are thirsty, he's the fountain of living waters, amen? Praise God.
If you feel like you are being beset by death, the forces of death is attacking you, don't forget, "I am the resurrection and the life", amen. And the Bible tells us...
I asked the Lord one time, "Why did you keep their eyes from seeing you in person? Wouldn't it be great for them? Won't they be encouraged, won't they be lifted out of their depression by seeing you in person and show them your nail-print hands"? The Lord said to me, I asked him why the Lord must keep their eyes from seeing him. The Lord says, "It's more important that they see me in the Scriptures". In that way, every generation will have equal and fair chance, amen, or else we will say, they saw them in person. But no, they were encouraged. They were lifted up out of their depression because they saw him in the Word. So, we have the privilege today, amen?
I'm gonna show you a beautiful story in the Bible that shows you that, you know, it's like this, the old is the new. The Old Testament, the old is the new concealed. The New Testament, the new is the old revealed. You can say it like this, the old in the new is open, amen? So, when we look at the Old Testament, we see pictures, beautiful pictures, of our Lord Jesus Christ. Today, I want to focus on Elijah and Elisha, all right, this prophetic ministry. First, let me just tell you this about prophetic ministry in the Old Testament. In the Old Testament, first God gave Israel, during the 40 days and 40 nights up there with Moses, God gave Moses the paradigm, the picture of how his dwelling, his sanctuary would be. And for the first time, God mentioned the high priest and the high priest's garments, okay? Are you with me so far?
So, the high priest would be the leader, all right, not just the spiritual, but the civil leader. They didn't have a king then, and the high priest would lead them. It wasn't a short time after that, the high priest failed, mmm. The sons offered strange fire, okay? And then the Bible tells us from the high priest down through Israel's history God raised the king, the king. And the king was now in first place, and the high priest was in second place. When the king felt the need, then he will go to the high priest, okay? But even the kings of Israel and Judah failed. Even the best of them, David failed, and then God brought in the prophetic ministry.
During the time of the greatest corruption of Israel's time, the kingdom of Israel divided into two, the kingdom of Israel to the north, the kingdom of Judah to the south, all right, the Bible tells us that the kingdom of Israel, at this time of the appearance of Elijah and Elisha, was in the most corrupt state ever. The king was Ahab and he had a terrible wife. He married a witch, literally. Her name was Jezebel, you know? And that woman is crazy. She's a crazy woman, I'm telling you, all right? And not only that, she forced the Israelis, all right, the Israelites to worship Baal, the rain god. And they have, you know, fertility rights which involve all kinds of sexual promiscuousness, okay?
This is something that is God forbade it. They let their children go through the fire, which means throw them into the fire, amen, as on offering to Baal. And I it's a horrible, horrible practice. During the time of the deepest corruption, God brought forth the prophetic ministry and, of course, the first prophet proper was Samuel, okay, back then. But unlike the kings and unlike the priests, there was succession there. In other words, like the high priest dies, his son will take over, all right, the normal succession. For a king, when a king dies, his son takes over, but for a prophet, it's not the same. There is no succession. God can raise a prophet from anywhere. There's one exception, only one, Elijah and Elisha his successor, all right?
Now, why did God put the stories of Elijah and Elisha in the Bible? Because Elijah reminds us of John the Baptist. Elisha reminds us of our Lord Jesus Christ. In fact, his name Eli-sha means my God saves, my God is Savior. Remember Jesus's name is there. Jesus's name Sha is Jesus's name. Yeshua, shua is Sha, all right, saves. Jesus, whereas a different Eli-sha is Eli, the God of power, Elohim, Eli. God is salvation, Yeshua is Yahweh is salvation, that's the only difference. So, he's a picture of our Lord Jesus Christ and all his miracles, except for one, are miracles of grace. Whereas for Elijah, all his miracles are miracles of judgment.
In fact, when he first appeared, Elijah the Tishbite said there'll be no rain for three-and-a-half years because of the people's sin. All right, he told the king that. So, he typifies and judgment and the Lord, I mean, Elisha typifies our Lord, which is grace. And just as John the Baptist was a forerunner of our Lord Jesus Christ, so is Elijah. Elijah lived an ascetic life, you know, out there in the desert, in the rocks, in the mountains, whereas Elisha, he was a homely prophet. He moved among widows, lepers, kings, captains like Naaman, and he was accessible to the common people, as well as royalty.
Whereas for Elijah, he was always out there and he even dressed rough and looked different. Everyone knows how he dressed, you know? Camel's hair. The Bible tells us, I'm gonna prove to you that John the Baptist is a type of Elijah. When the angel Gabriel appeared to John the Baptist's father in the holy place when he was offering incense, the Bible tells us that the angel Gabriel appeared on the right side of the altar of incense. There's a Jewish tradition, which I knew about, at the right side of the altar of incense for many, many years, since the time of Elijah, this is the rabbinical tradition. They said that they kept the garments of Elisha, the one they took when God raptured Elijah, and then he hit the water and the water opened, all right?
So, it was on the right side which means when the angel Gabriel appeared, most likely he was holding Elijah's garments to Zechariah, John the Baptist's father, and said this, said, "He will also go before Him in the spirit", talking about his son, "He will go before God in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children and the disobedient of the wisdom of the just, to make ready a people prepared for the Lord, amen". So, you see that even Jesus himself said, our Lord said that to his disciples of John the Baptist, "This is Elijah that should come". All right, there's always an appearance of Elijah, however, Elijah's ministry, in a sense, was cut short.
Let me explain, something happened to Elijah. The most famous story of Elijah was that confrontation with the prophets of Baal on Mount Carmel. How many been there? It's a great place to be. You can still go up to the mountain, the Mount Carmel, and you can estimate the very place where it all happened because Mount Carmel has one peak and the Bible tells us, they all went up to the mount for a great confrontation. So, Elijah confronted all of them and he says, "The God who answers by fire, he is God". Y'all know the story, they all agreed, right?
And the Bible tells us... don't forget, it's a time of famine. It's not been raining ever since Elijah said, all right, there'll be no dew nor rain. So, things are really dry and arid. And the Bible tells us that the people tried their best and danced and cut themselves, you know? It's all remember that the ways of God never ask you to mutilate yourself. He'll never tell you to cut yourself, to hurt yourself, amen? God heals, God blesses. So, the prophets of Baal were cutting themselves on the altar and they were calling on the fire of Baal to fall, nothing happened and you can read about it. Elijah make fun of, you know, Elijah says, "Maybe he went to the toilet, you know, shout louder". You can read all this. "Maybe he went, you know, aside to the toilet or whatever".
This guy is terrible. But he was, he was a man of faith, man, I'm telling you, all right, man of God, amen? So finally, after they did everything finished he says, "Enough". They're all bleeding and they were all on the ground, and they were panting and he says, "My turn"? Right, the Bible says he says put 12 stones, all right, put the offering on, build trenches around the stone, 12 stones for the 12 tribes of Israel, which at this time does not exist because Israel was divided. Ten tribes to the north and two tribes to the south but the thing is this, whenever you present to God, you always present the unity of the body of Christ.
You see, the thing is in our prayers and all that, we always pray in terms of the glory of the church, the way the Father sees it. We don't present it the way we see each other. Can I have a good amen? So, he put 12 stones together and he put the offering there and the Bible says he said, "Oh God, show the people, show Israel that you are the true God", and fire came consumed the... by the way, I must say this, the trench, he asked them to go to the River Kishon, get water up, and he filled the trench again and again and again until the Bible says, and poured water on the sacrifice until it was overflowing. He's trying to make it hard, and God answers.
The fire came, when the fire came, they burnt up the sacrificial victim, burnt up all the 12 stones, people. And all the water was licked up, completely gone. So, you cannot find the 12 stones today to go to Israel, all right? It's gone. In that day, under law, judgment was greater than the sacrifice. When Christ came, he consumed the judgment and cried "Finished" and then said, "Father, into your hands". This time the sacrifice was greater than the judgment, amen? And he did it for us. Can I have a good amen?
So, the Bible tells us he's a type of John the Baptist. His wrath, I men, he tells it like it is but Elisha was different. Elisha was known for his miracles of grace and except for one incident and the thing is this, some people say if our Lord Jesus are miracles of grace, yes but there's a little glimpse of him cursing the fig tree. That's the only one, but that's an object lesson for his disciples to learn about the faith of God. So, it's about the same, except one. Okay so, comparing both of them, Luke 7 says of John... Jesus is talking. John the Baptist, he was telling the Israelis of his day, "John the Baptist came neither eating bread nor drinking wine, and you say, 'He has a demon.' The Son of Man has come eating and drinking, and you say, 'Look, a glutton and a winebibber, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!'"
So, the, you know, the flesh cannot be satisfied. They either say you are too legalistic, or you are too grace. Do you understand? The problem, all right, is in their hearts. Come on, talk to me, people. So, for John the Baptist, they say he's too severe, amen. For the Lord Jesus, "Oh, he's too indulgent".
All right, he's a friend. What a wonderful accusation, a friend of tax collectors and sinners. What they meant to be accusation for us is a accolade, it's a glory, it's extolling our Lord Jesus today, amen, people? He's a friend of sinners, amen? If you say, "But Pastor Prince, I'm not a sinner", he's not your friend. He's my friend and always will be my friend, and you know what? He's a gracious, faithful, ready friend. All those who came to him in necessities, in their necessities and in their needs, they always leave with a blessing. They always leave with healing. He's a ready friend, gracious, amen?
The first thing when you see the Lord Jesus will be his eyes and you will see in his eyes love for you, like rivers of living water. In Psalm of Psalms it says his eyes are like rivers of living water, the dove, the dove is around those rivers of water. Full of love, full of gentleness like eyes of dove, amen, hallelujah. That's our Lord Jesus. He's altogether lovely, people. The Bible tells us there came a time in Elijah's life right after the victory, the people shouted, the fire came, consumed everything and the people of Israel shouted, "The Lord, he is God. The Lord, he is God. The Lord, he is God". You would have thought the whole nation turned to God, right? They didn't.
I know that many people, they stopped that right down here but if you go on reading, the nation didn't and that caused Elijah to be very discouraged. There's nothing like failure in ministry that causes us to be discouraged. You know, sometimes we can handle some other things but when there's failure, you know, we get very discouraged. "After all, we are faith people, you know, we are success people", then we have our encounter of failure. Something happened, we feel like a failure or we really failed.
Elijah was depressed and then to confound the problem, the Bible tells us that this crazy woman, Jezebel, the wife of King Ahab, when she heard that Elijah... by the way, Elijah killed all the prophets of Baal on Mount Carmel. The Bible tells us that when she heard that, she heard how Elijah killed all her prophets and all that, she says that "I'm going after him and I'll kill him". And the Bible tells us that Elijah heard about it. When Elijah heard about it, Elijah ran. This is the man that stood against the prophets of Baal, against all Israel when they were backslidden, amen, called upon God, even mocked the prophets of Baal and all a sudden you find him running because a woman, a crazy woman threatened him.
Now, before we start, you know, feeling smug and self-righteous, you know, towards our brother Elijah, remember this, it happens to all of us. There's a time that our faith is up and there's a time like David, David who conquered the Philistine giant, killed him, decapitated him, won a great victory that day for all of Israel. Only a few chapters after that the Bible tells us he was running away from the king of Israel, King Saul, and this is what came out of his mouth, "One day I'll perish by the hand of Saul". This is the same David who says, "The Lord who delivered me from the paw of the lion and of the bear, he will deliver me from your hand, you ugly Goliath".
Okay, ugly is added to the Bible so I must tell you that, okay, because the Bible says don't add to his Bible. All right, so you need to tell people when it's added, okay? But, you know, that's what David said about the Lord. "The Lord will deliver me from this small situation, he will deliver me in the big situation, and he will deliver me from Satan", amen? And yet, just not too long after that David was saying, "One day I'll perish by the hand of Saul". Goliath's own sword cannot protect Goliath himself and yet a few chapters after that David took Goliath's sword and said, "There's none like it".
You know, things happen the moment you take your eyes off God, you take your eyes off the Lord and all a sudden, circumstances become very big. What people say becomes very big, you know, because you took your eyes off Jesus, and now you're not walking supernaturally on the water, you're looking at the storm, the winds, the turbulent waves, and all that and you are thinking to yourself, "Oh my goodness, what's happening to me"? You become self-occupied and the answer to all this, turn your eyes back to the Lord.
So back to Elijah. Elijah was discouraged so he ran. He ran away from a woman. He ran down and the Bible says he ran a long journey, he was tired, and he threw himself under a juniper tree. And you will find them in abundance in Egypt as well in Israel. And they call it broom tree or Juniper tree. And under that tree he said to God, "Lord, let me die". Actually if he wanted to die, he could have waited over there for Jezebel to find him 'cause Jezebel says, "I'm gonna kill the guy", that's why he ran, isn't it? You know, we all become very confusing when faith is gone, you know what I'm saying? We become a walking contradiction.
Turn to your neighbor, "I think he's talking about you again". When we take our eyes off God, you see, the thing is this, make small of your problems, make God big. Put your eye on the Lord Jesus, amen. So, the Bible says that an angel appeared, he fell asleep. He told God to kill him. "Lord, take my life", and God put him to sleep. Sometimes when you're complaining... aren't you glad, number one, God doesn't answer all your prayer? Your wife is grateful. If you're not grateful, your wife is grateful that God didn't answer all your prayer, amen? But instead God saw his need, his servant's need for rest. He was burnt out. He needed rest. Maybe there's a word for some of you, but do not practice that rest now. He needed rest. God gave him rest, this burnt out, depressed prophet of God.
You know, the thing is this, people, who are we to even criticize Elijah? But remember that all these things are in the Bible for our instruction and learning. God expects us to learn, all right, from all these examples so we're not, you know, criticizing him to the point. We are considering ourselves because if this can happen to a great man of God like Elijah, like David, where are we? So consider yourself, amen? These are not just stories put in the Bible by the Holy Spirit for entertainment. All right, they are there for our instruction and our learning, amen?
So, the Bible says he slept under the Juniper tree. God is so kind. He put him to sleep, amen? I can see that manifestation of the Word God confirming the Word right now with signs and wonders, following, hallelujah. Okay, so he slept under the Juniper tree and then he was awakened out of his sleep. The tells us it was an angel and an angel has cooked on stones for him some food and there was a cruse of... there's a bottle of water above Elijah's head and the angel says, "Rise, eat, and drink". And he got up, he ate and drank and slept again. After he slept for a while, we do not know how long, the angel woke him up again and prepared another food, set of food and drinks, and he ate and drank.
How many understand that many a times we ask God to take our life and God puts us to sleep, God gives us food, and God nourishes us? And we know who the food is that nourishes. There's no other food in this world that nourishes, all right? You might be depressed and the worst thing you do is watch too much Korean drama because I'm telling you, you watch, you become even depresseder. I'm telling you this one, the mother-in-law says this one cannot stand up for his own, this one running away. This one is the real daughter but they don't know it's the real daughter so they are actually giving all the blessings to another imposter daughter. It's very depressing, you know what I'm saying? It doesn't satisfy. If you're talking about satisfaction, you need satisfaction, only Christ satisfies. Spend time in the Word say, "Lord, feed me, Lord, with yourself". Okay, praise God.
So he got up from the Juniper tree and the Bible says he went in the strength of that food for 40 days and 40 days to Mount Horeb. Mount Horeb is Mount Sinai. God never told him to go to Mount Horeb, okay? Nonetheless, he was there at Mount Horeb, he went into a cave. Isn't it like us we are so discouraged and all that, we want to stay in a cave, don't want to talk to people anymore, all right? The cave is where, you know, like here I just... me and God, I'll just stay in the cave. The problem is that your problem is with you, you see, everywhere you go. You might not have a mirror, but your problem is with you, you understand, amen?
One thing about your thoughts, it's amazing how in a dark cave it comes alive. Live it in color, all right? So, the thing is this, I'm finished with testifying. I'm finished of testifying against evil, nothing left for me, all right, he was in the cave and God said to him, "Elijah, what are you doing here"? Elijah said... now I'm getting ahead of myself 'cause I want to show you something here 'cause this might shock you, the way we read the Bible. It's important to read slowly sometimes, all right? There's a way of studying where we read a lot of it in terms of the story to get a whole picture, but there's also meditation which means we read slow.
Look at Romans 11, "God has not cast away His people", the Jewish people. By the way, the whole chapter is about Jewish people, the nation of Israel. "God has not cast away His people whom He foreknew. Or do you not know what the Scripture says of Elijah, how he pleads with God against Israel, saying, 'Lord, they have killed Your prophets and torn down Your altars, and I alone am left, and they seek my life'"?
I don't know, have you noticed this, how he pleads with God against Israel? I used to think that this passage is him pleading for Israel. He is accusing them and he is recounting their sins to God. Let me tell you something about God, okay? Even though your brother sins and you go to God and you complain about your brother, all right, or you go to one another worse and you complain about your brother, God doesn't appreciate it. You are saved, not by works but by his Son's blood. When you come to his table, he expect some good manners. You don't talk bad about your brothers. Are you listening, people?
And there's something that, you know, there are times we have to handle sin and that's another message altogether. I have taught on this before in the way leprosy's handled in the Book of Leviticus. There's a lot of wisdom there but it's for leadership. But it's a general rule, you are saved, not to try to recount your brother's sins. If you need to recount, make sure you're a leader and you do it in a spirit of meekness considering yourself, lest you also be tempted. You are not beyond, bro. So, he started recounting the sins against Israel.
Next verse, "But what does the divine response say to Elijah? 'I have reserved for Myself seven thousand men who have not bowed the knee to Baal.'" You know he said, "God, they have forsaken your covenant. They have torn down your altars, and they've killed your prophets. I'm the only one left! And they seek to kill my life". God says, "Elijah, I have 7,000".
Sometimes we have this fantasy that comes to our mind and I'm sure the enemy puts that in our mind that we are the only faithful one, that we are the only church that preaches true grace. The things that y'all impose on me that I never said, that we feel like we are the only one that God has raised and if we are not there, God has missed a lot. In other words, "God, I'm the only one left".
Whenever a servant of God comes to a place where he thinks of himself as being indispensable, you see the difference between Carmel and Horeb where he is now? In Carmel, he was presenting the truth, wanting to convert his brothers, but over here, he is telling God the sins of his brothers, recounting their sins. And we all can fall into that the moment we take our eyes off the Lord and put it upon men and put it upon ourselves. Are you listening, people? God doesn't appreciate it, I'll tell you that. And if you think you're indispensable, he has an answer. Let's look at the account itself. This is Romans 11 telling us what happened.
Let's look at 1 Kings 19. So Elijah said, "I have been very zealous for the Lord God of hosts". Wow. "Nobody else is zealous for you. I am very zealous for the Lord God of hosts; for the children of Israel have forsaken Your covenant, torn down Your altars, and killed Your prophets with the sword. I alone am left; and they seek to take my life". Of course, the Bible tells you God's response straightaway in Romans 11. "I have 7,000 who have not bowed their knees to Baal", all right? But that's where you find, it's also found in this passage but a bit later down in this passage. Let's read God's response, immediate response to God, shall we?
Next verse, this is 10, verse 11, "Then God said, 'Go out, and stand on the mountain before the Lord.'" All right, because of time, the Lord sent a strong wind, broke in pieces the rocks, all right, "But the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake". Next, "And after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice".
In other words, the wind, the earthquake, and the fire... this is not that rock group Earth, Wind & Fire. This is totally different. This is God talking about, and the Lord is not in the Earth, Wind & Fire, by the way. That's what we just read. God is saying sometimes a ministry has fire, and loud, and strong, and all that. It's not exactly going to accomplish the results you think it will. God's ways is the ways of grace, the still, small voice. And the Bible says when Elijah heard it, he wrapped his mantle around him. For the first time, he hides himself. We all gotta learn to hide ourself and not boast about ourself. None of us here, including the speaker, is indispensable.
The moment we think we are indispensable in this service, in this church, in this ministry, or whatever you're doing, the moment you come to a place where you think that, all right, "I'm indispensable, this church is really blessed to have me", all right, the moment you do that because of depression, or whatever, or burnt out, the Bible says God came again and said, "What are you doing here, Elijah"? Next verse, and he said, "I have been very zealous for the Lord God of hosts; because the children of Israel have forsaken Your covenant, torn down Your altars, killed Your prophets with the sword. I alone am left; and they seek to take my life".
Look at God's response, all right? Later on God says, "I've reserved 7,000", but this is God's response. Next verse, "Then the Lord said to him: 'Go, return on your way to the Wilderness of Damascus; when you arrive, anoint Hazael King over Syria, Jehu, king over Israel, Elisha, you shall anoint as prophet in your place". The moment you think that you are indispensable, God says, "I want you to anoint your successor now".
Now, I want to tell you that these are written for our learning. I believe there's a lot more ministry left in Elijah besides the only incident we know of that seems to tower over the rest is fire from heaven, and this happens after the fire from heaven. And God is saying, "Elijah, you're looking for the wind. You are looking for that kind of response. You are looking for outward manifestation, but my ways are ways of grace. What all the preaching of judgment cannot do, my grace will and the one who will come in your place, the prophet who will succeed you, he's gonna demonstrate".
And by the way, that prophet ask for double portion of Elijah's spirit. Elijah did eight miracles. Elisha performed sixteen miracles and the sixteenth one was after he died. They threw his body into a pit and not long after that it became bones, Elijah's bones, and they threw a guy who just died into a pit and the guy stood up alive the moment he touched Elijah's bones. That was the 16th miracle so it's double the miracles of Elijah. "Let a double portion of your spirit be on me", he said to Elijah before Elijah went up.
Now, I'm showing that it was not on intercession for, it was an intercession against. Moses interceded for Israel when Israel sinned in regards to the golden calf. He said, "Lord, don't blot them out, blot me out". It was a real sin. I mean the thing is that we need pastors and leaders who are willing to sacrifice themselves, all right, for the people but more for the glory of our Lord Jesus. Can I have a good amen? And always think, it's a privilege, it's a privilege for me to serve, you know? And for me, you know, it's a privilege for me to be doing what I'm doing. It's a privilege, amen?
I rather be preaching than to know that I have a calling and somebody else is actually looking in and say that, "hey, wait a minute, Pastor Prince is walking in my anointing that I said 20 years ago I won't walk in and God gave it to him". I rather be this person than that person. The other day I was reading the Scriptures. It so happens that God led to me Acts 1. I didn't know why, I really didn't know why, I just read from Acts 1 and I read from verse 1 all the way down. All of a sudden, I read the part where they came to the story of Judas who died, hung himself. He died, his intestines gushed out and the Bible says they talk about that. The whole place is called Akeldama, the field of blood.
And Peter stood up and Peter says, "Guys, we got 11, now we need 12. All right, we need one more person who has been with us when the Lord Jesus was here". So, the Bible says then he quoted a verse from Psalms. He says that about Judas, "Let his office another take". Now, when you look at the word "office", "bishopric" in the King James, "office" in many versions. I look it up and the Greek word is actually the word for Episcopal, overseer, someone who oversees the church, someone who is a leader in the church. What God is saying is this, if you don't want to be diligent, your office somebody else will take.
Now, there's a saying that no one else can take anyone's ministry and all that, yes and no. We gotta be scriptural, not based on popular teaching, amen. You have a set of footprints, fingerprints and footprints, and you have a voiceprint that nobody else have. God made you unique. God wants you to serve him in that uniqueness that he has made you. But the moment you start feeling you're indispensable, somebody will fill your space. Can I say this? God is not hard up, okay? He is not. He's got a long, long, long, long, long time. You don't. Even you're 120 years old, it's not a long, long time. He's got eternity. He can raise somebody else.
The moment we started complaining, we start, you know, forgetting, that's when Eucharist, thanksgiving is no longer there. We don't have a grateful heart of grace. If it's really grace, you will thank God. You will thank God every day I get to serve. I thank God I get to preach in this wonderful church. I get a chance to tell you all about Jesus, the bread of life, this altogether wonderful friend, the desire of all nations, the bright and morning star. I get to talk about him, what a privilege. Whatever you give him, he multiplies back. Those who seek to save their life, they lose it. But those who lose their life, make sure it's for his sake, for his sake. They lose time on Sunday. They lose that day they have for... off. They lose whatever it is for his sake, not to impress others, but his sake.
"He that loses his life for my sake shall find it". Those who try to save their life, they lose it. And we all know that sometimes one day can be like so long, and so full, and so rich. And sometimes one day can be like blah so fast, no event. Every day is precious. Let me tell you this, once you come to 35, 40 years old, please, every day is precious, don't squander it. I didn't say you're old, I'm just telling you wake up, amen? Are you with me so far? Praise the Lord. Are y'all learning? Okay, praise God. "So you shall anoint as prophet in your place".
Now, I'm gonna tell you something right now I think it's gonna bless, it's gonna help you. Remember this, let's not be discouraged. You sit in a church, a good church. We just finished two weeks of preaching from Melchizedek and Abraham and how these two things were distinguishing sin, very clearly, all right, elucidated even in Hebrews 7 that Melchizedek brought bread and wine. Abraham respond with the tithes. How many of you know that in this world, the biggest, natural problems or challenges we have has got to do with these two area? Either provision, we don't have the provision, okay?
Even rich people worry about their money, you know, by the way, every banking industry in the world, every government in the world is concerned about these two things, all right, money, enough money for the populace, and their health. Every time you talk about the aging population, it's about the health. These are the two areas. So, let's not be a hypocrite and say that "oh, you know, the Lord is only preparing us for heaven, only for heaven", okay? Let me tell you this, if you die now you go to heaven God says, "What are you doing here, Elijah"? You understand? There's work to be done, people?
So, these are two areas and it's covered by the Communion and it's covered by the tithe. I'm gonna show you something beyond any dispute that God sees these two twins as the answer to our natural necessities of life in this, what we call, earthly life. He has given us the answer. And there are churches who don't even believe the importance of Communion relating to our health. There are grace people who tell you you don't have to tithe anymore and they will say, "Nowhere, it's nowhere found". And I'm not gonna preach that again because I already preached that entire sermon last two weeks, all right?
We see first in 2 Kings, chapter 4, verse 38, "Elisha returned to Gilgal". Very interesting, Gilgal is the place where it used to be a place of blessing. It was the first stop of Joshua and the people of Israel when they crossed the River Jordan. Gilgal is the place of the 12 stones. Gilgal is the place where they circumcised the kids that were not circumcised when they came out of Egypt for 40 years ago, all right, they circumcised, and it's a place of blessing. It's a place where God says Gilgal, the name means rolling away of your shame, of your reproach. The cross is the place where our shame has been rolled away, and there was a famine in the land. So don't forget, say, "It's a time of famine". Say, "A time of famine".
Now, I'm preparing you for the days to come, okay? We all know that the world is in a famine until Jesus returns, of course. Ever since our first parents fell in the Garden of Eden, the world has been in a famine, it's always in a famine, but I'm speaking in terms of comparatively. We are entering in a time of famine, okay? This message is the word of the season, the word, the now word for you. There was a famine in the land. "Now the sons of the prophets were sitting before Elisha and Elisha said to his servant, 'Put on a large pot, and boil stew for the sons of the prophets.'" Put on a large pot, boil stew.
Next verse, "So one went out into the field". Now, it's already boiling. The stew is already there but one joker, one of them, his name is not given and we don't care. All right, we don't care who is it but one person went out to try to improve what is already ready made, what has been made. The prophet says, "Put on a large pot, put on stew on it". And he went, say that the stew will need something that will make it even better. It all began in the garden. God had a rich, dainty feast for his first creation, Adam and Eve. Everything was prepared. Their first day was the first day into the finished work. They didn't have to build. They didn't have to sow. They didn't have to dig. They didn't have to cut. They didn't have to manufacture, they just stepped in into a finished work.
God wants man to enjoy and give him all the glory, but man started looking with his eyes at a tree and said, "I think God missed out on something that I can improve my wisdom", and hence the fall. Men always try to, want to improve and what they bring is death. I'm getting ahead of myself but read this. "So one went out into the field to gather herbs". And by the way, if you look at the word "herbs", it's a very word it's from the Hebrew word owrah and owrah is not just herbs, it's actually from the word owr, light. It's something sparkling. It's something bright, something light.
So, sometimes we say our praise and worship, you know, something we gotta have a bit more kind of like, you know, doesn't matter people hear the words or not, you know, as long the beat is there, that kind of thing, people love it. We attract people, they can preach a message later on. No, no, friend. I'm not against drums and all that. I mean you see how, but the message is more important. The words of Jesus, the words that depict him, this burnt offering, this peace offering that goes up as a sweet-smelling aroma to God is more important.
So, you think that, you know, "Pastor Prince, if you have more this kind of stuff, you know, illustrative sermon and all that kind of thing". I'm not against all that but things that sparkle, things that are loud like the wind, and the earthquake, and the fire, may not be the answer. Are you listening, people? So, he found herbs and found a wild vine. And he thought it was a vine. And some people, they're always into organic food and all that, here's a message for you also. This is a wild vine. It's not a homegrown vine. It's a wild vine, organic vine. "And gathered from it a lapful of wild gourds", or cucumbers. The technical word for this is colocynth, and they use this for medicine today, okay? But it can be poisonous. "Wild gourds, and came and sliced them into the pot of stew".
Now, he's going by his eyes. "Though they did not know what they were". In other words, he saw something shining. It looks ripe, it looks good. Adam and Eve, Eve saw the tree was good. It looks great, hallelujah. "I think I can improve on what God has done for me", only to find she lost everything. And he wanted to improve because it was shining. He took it, he cut it into the ready-made stew that was still sizzling. Next verse, "Then they served it to the men to eat. Now it happened, as they were eating the stew, they cried out", the sons of the prophets that is, "and said, 'Man of God, there is death in the pot!' And they could not eat it".
Do you know that the place of the pot, when I think about it, I was meditating on the this, the pot is the place of food, isn't it? It's supposed to be a place of life. It's a place of sustenance. It's a place where you don't expect to find death. It's a place of nourishment, of life, not death. But instead now there's death in the pot. I think about it, what is the typology here of the pot? I'm thinking, people are looking for life but instead they found death. What is it that sustains life? What gives life? I know natural food, yes, but there's a hidden truth here.
So I think, all right, you can apply it to your own body but it's also the pulpit ministry because from here, the word shall go forth that it's supposed to be life giving and you don't expect death to be in the pot. Are you listening, people? So now the problem is this, there's death in the pot, okay? And they could not eat it. So, they shout to the man of God. At least they knew who to shout because Elisha, whose name got his salvation, is the type of our Lord Jesus Christ. And look at what Elisha said. "So he said, 'Then bring some flour. Bring some flour.'" What? "'Bring some flour.' And he put it into the pot, and said, 'Serve it to the people, that they may eat.' And there was nothing harmful in the pot".
Now, look up here, people. The way of the world if there's something bad, is to remove it. God's way, add something greater. Now, listen carefully. Don't misunderstand me, all right? The world today is still under the curse. We are blessed. We have been redeemed but the world is under the curse, agreed? If you have good food, I mean nice, really luscious looking rice, or potatoes, or whatever and then somebody put a bit of feces in it, fecal matter, but the fecal matter is minuscule, just a small bit, is it okay to eat entire food? No. So, if your son says, you know, "Daddy this movie is good, just that part only there's a naked lady, that's all", all right, present him the food, say, "Eat but just let you know our little baby brother has a little participation here".
So, the thing is this, people, when clean, no matter even clean is 90% clean and 10% dirty, what happens to the food? It's dirty. What about water? You drink the best water, the water that has gone through filtration after filtration, amen, thirtyfold, sixty-fold, hundredfold filtration. It's the best water in town. Okay, you're promoting this. I'm not knocking your... don't get angry with me, okay? I'm just telling you what works even for your business. And you put a bit of poison, just a bit, a bit of drain water, okay, drain water, will you drink it? No. Why? Because uncleanness spreads. Uncleanness is worse than the good, no matter how much good it is. That's the world we live in. There's only one cure when Jesus steps into a poisonous situation.
You know, our Lord Jesus came into a time of famine. Jesus walked among the regions of death and wherever he was, people, nobody ever died in his presence but there are evidence that whatever he went that someone is already dead, they will raise from the dead because he says, "I am the resurrection and the life", Amen. The Bible tells us he stepped into a situation. He came right into the midst of our necessities, our depression, our fall, and our curse. He moved among us. He was in the palace somewhere in Jerusalem fellowshipping only elite people, the elite, the elitist group and he was among the poor. He was among the people and whoever touched him, power.
The Bible says, I love the King James, "Virtue went out of him and healed them all". I'm telling you walking down the path, and I walked down that path. They uncover that path, the 2,000-year-old path of the village of Bethsaida, and I put my pastors on either side lying on the ground. We took a video of it. Of course, I'm Jesus, lah. And it's such a small path. We thought it was a big road. And the Bible says they lay up people on the streets on either side. I can understand now and as many as touched his robes, touched his hand.
Can you see the scene? All sick people lying down there on their stretcher, all right, with their crutches and all that, crying, wrapped up in bandages, smelly, you know, it's a terrible sight of broken humanity. And the Prince of peace came, the Son of God, the Father loved him so. He's the fine flour and he came and they all touched him. They touched his robe. They touched his fingers. And behind him, in front everyone is still on the ground, behind, everyone start walking. Those of you who are movie directors and all that, take note. This is amazing. I love it. I love the picture of it.
As many as touched him were made whole. There is virtue in him in the regions of death. There's resurrection in him. He is, not that he has, the resurrection and the life. "Bring some flour". If you look at flour in the five offerings in Leviticus, we have one offering that is not typical of his death. All the other four are types of his death. There's only one that is of his life and that's the flour offering or grain offering. Look at Leviticus 2 here real quick. "When anyone offers a grain offering to the Lord, his offering shall be of fine flour". Fine flour, ladies know this, when you touch it you can hardly feel it. It's so like powder, fine flour, fine. It's so fine. It's fine. You touch it, it's so soft.
There's nothing coarse, nothing uneven. Our Lord Jesus, there is nothing coarse about his style, his words, his ways. There's nothing uneven. No one characteristic in him preponderates. It's not like when he's firm, all right, he does not hurt. When he's serving and washing feet, he's not servile. There's still a princeliness about him. He is totally balanced it all, his character. Truthful, but kind. Some people are kind at the expense of truth. They don't tell you the truth or they got no guts to tell you and some people need the truth. Our children need to hear the truth if us. If something is poisonous, they need to be told it's poisonous, but some people are so truthful, there's no love. Speak the truth in love. Can I have a good amen, people?
Jesus is fine flour. Every action, look at this, "And he shall pour oil on it". Oil is the Holy Spirit. So, it's earthly life, he's fine flour, and he's anointed of the Holy Spirit. Every word, every action was motivated, prompted, led, by the Spirit, amen. "And put frankincense on it", that means every thought, every word, every deed goes up like sweet-smelling perfume to God. Oh, what material for our holy meditation, people? We can just think of this, sometimes I'm exercising and my mind is so free, you know? I'm walking down a road, climbing up a hill or whatever, I start meditating on I just say, "Fine flour, fine flour". That's all my breath can give me, fine flour. When you're exercising you don't say, you know, one long verse, right? You say, "Nine flour, fine flour". Then I'll say, "Oil" or I'll say, "Frankincense", everything about him.
The Father loves it, you know? The Father loves to hear about the Son. You see, when he was born, then you know what they do? By the way, it's burnt offering made by fire, sweet aroma to the Lord, right? A sweet aroma to the Lord, it's all burned. Drop down. They make cakes out of it, the flour, they make matzah bread. And notice there are two things mentioned, fine flour, the cakes of unleavened, cakes of... that's matzah bread. Mixed with oil, unleavened wafers anointed with oil. Remember in the virgin womb, the divine Son of God was mixed with oil and that's why the Angel Gabriel told Mary, "That holy thing which is conceived in your womb shall be called the Son of God. The Holy Spirit shall overshadow you".
That's how she will have the baby. There was no human participation. The Holy Spirit will overshadow you. He was mixed with oil. His whole person was mixed with oil in his mother's womb, then when he was 30 years old, the next one, he was anointed with oil. Now anointing comes on, mixes within, anointing is upon. He came out the River Jordan and the Holy Spirit came. By the way, those who believe Jesus only, Jesus is the Father, Jesus is the Holy Spirit, Jesus is Jesus, they go to Jesus only have a problem here because when he came out the water, the Father spoke, "You are my beloved Son in whom I'm well pleased". The Holy Spirit came like a dove. We have three divine persons, one God. So, Jesus only people have to say that he was practicing ventriloquism. Triune God. One God, people, one God, triune God. Can I have a good amen?
All right, so "Bring some flour". Back to that again. "Bring some flour. 'And he serve it to the people that they may eat.' There was nothing harmful in the pot". Pastors and leaders, our sermons are not perfect, none of us. So make sure we have the Lord Jesus in our sermons, at least it will purify the rest of the unclean elements in our sermon. In every sermon, there is a human opinion. In every sermon, there is a tradition. In every sermon, there is an ignorance being manifested. But when you put the Lord Jesus in it, it will purify the rest. I told you in this world the curse, the unclean made the clean unclean but when you put Jesus, he's the only one greater than uncleanness. When he touched the unclean, it becomes clean.
When the flour went into the pot, all the death went out. Our Lord Jesus stepped into the caldron of death at the cross for you and I. And you know what stepped out? Our Lord Jesus. You know who was left behind? Death. Death had to kowtow to the only man that ever made it bow before him. Every man is afraid of death. The Son of God, the Bible says, "For this reason he took on human flesh and blood that through death", in other words the Christmas story, he became a baby to die so there is a body to die. And why die? That through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil, amen?
Okay, come on. Then we come to this story. It's only seven verses, by the way. We come to the next story. "Then a man came from Baal Shalisha, and brought the man of God bread of the firstfruits". See the word "then"? It seems the Holy Spirit linked these two miracles together. It is about the tithe and it's about Communion 'cause today the way we practically receive the fine flour is through Communion as well. And so the Lord says, "Do this in remembrance of me". There is a lie, a major lie that was going on just before the Apostle John departed. He lived a long, long life, by the way, the Apostle John, and John wrote 1 epistles, 2 epistle, 3 epistle of John and he was warning against the Gnostics, and the Gnostics do not believe that Jesus came in flesh and blood. They believe that he's a cosmic consciousness.
"You have the Christ in you. You have the Christ in you. The guy in the street have a Christ in them. It's a matter of us going inward and touch the Christ, cosmic consciousness". How do I know? I was involved in that before, new age, and it's dangerous. It will bring death into your soul. So, every time you have Communion, you come against that lie. There's the bread and there's the wine, the body and the blood. Every time you have it, you break the Gnostics, Gnosticism into pieces. Every spirit that denied Christ came in the flesh is a spirit that's not from God, spirit of Antichrist. Are you listening, people? So, Communion. You know, the devil has backlash, huh? He will attack you.
Last week I preached on Communion, the entire sermon was on Communion, right? And you know what happened this week? My boy fell sick on Thursday. He had a high fever. And during his life as a baby, I mean he's only here for 2-1/2 years but throughout his life, all right, his career as a baby, and an infant, and now a toddler, he never had temperature up to 39.5, which is very high, 39.5. And the doctors will tell you 39 is already a mark off point but 39.5. And I was stunned and I didn't know what to do. Of course, the devil will throw thoughts in your mind and say, "Now where is your Communion teaching? You know, you gotta rush to the hospital right now, bring your boy there, all right, or else it will be in your hands". And it's like, you know, the counterattack.
I know of preachers, I know of people, who dare not preached on healing because they know there's counterattacks coming. But friend, the counterattacks means the devil is trembling. The counterattacks means that the devil is afraid, amen? You know sometimes like Mark 4 says, right, Mark 4, "Afterwards, when tribulation, trouble, arises for the word's sake". Trouble or persecution arise for the word's sake, in other words, because of the word, the devil brings trouble. What is he afraid of? He's afraid that the word will take root, amen? He wants me to stop preaching on Communion and here I am preaching on Communion again. Mmm, mmm.
So, that night when he came down with 39.5, I tried to put him to bed, he was crying and I took Communion that night on his behalf. And then the next day when I got up, I took Communion to him, all right? Then I said, "Justin, this is Jesus's body, eat it". And his temperature was still high at that time. He ate it and I brought him to my study. I put him on my lap and we were some Bible stories, all right, Jesus healing the leper. He didn't want to play running around so he just was quiet, you know? I can literally feel with my lips and my hands on his body, which is warm, slowly, slowly becoming cooler and cooler. His fever broke that day. And thank you for your prayers for those who know about it. He's okay. Amen, no more fever.
And I'm telling you, I literally felt the fever go down and this time it wasn't me taking it, it was him taking. So, the thing is this, when the devil come and say, "See, it doesn't work", that's the time to persevere, my friend. Tribulation arises for the word's sake. What is it? Trying to remove the Word. Some people have a negative response. "If that's the case, I wouldn't get into the Word". I mean he's got you already.
It's like I said before, a hunter that shoots with a quick firing rifle. He shoots down three birds dead, two birds wounded, the rest fly away. Which one is going first? The one wounded or the one that's dead? The one that's wounded. The ones that are dead, you can come back later and for you, you don't get the Word of God. You say: My friends, oh, they're happy-go-lucky. That's what you think. The grass is always greener on the other side. Every church is greener on the other side.
I was in New Zealand one time and the green was so green, rolling hills of green. I had to stop the vehicle and I had to go out, jump over the fence to run to the green. Running, running, running and then I realized I looked down, what is all these brown patches? Some church members have been there. They're called sheep. And I look around I'm running on? Sheep waste. This is sheep fecal matter and they're all dried up in the sun, but from the road I can't see a single one of them until I'm on the other fence. That woman is always more attractive. Appreciate what you got. Every church looks greener on the other side. Every career looks better on the other side until you are on the other side, until you are married with somebody else and you realize, "This woman don't have what my wife had". Too late.
All right, go back to the story again. It seems the Holy Spirit put these two stories together. One is to combat the answer to the time of famine, the other is provision. Look at this, "A man came from Baal Shalisha, and brought the man of God bread of the firstfruits". This is the tithe, bachurim in Hebrew. "Twenty loaves of barley bread, and newly ripened grain in his knapsack. And he said, 'Give it to the people, that they may eat.'" The man of God says, "Give it to the people that they may eat. And the servant of the man of God said, His servant said, 'What? Shall I set this before one hundred men?'" It's not enough for 100 men. "The man of God Said again, 'Give it to the people, that they may eat; for thus says the Lord: They shall eat and have some left over. So he set it before them; and they ate and had some left over, according to the Word of the Lord".
Friend, they brought the tithe, that's the reason why this nation, at that time, was in a time of dearth, of famine. The tithes was not being brought. It's not supposed to be brought to even a prophet, it's supposed to be brought to the sons of Aaron who at this time was ousted out of the land. Everything was not in its place anymore. It was all in disorder and confusion and that's why there's a man who was sincere. He says, "I still want to tithe, but where do I go to"? He went to Elijah. And not only provisions flowed and flowed, there was leftovers, y'all, leftovers. I love the leftovers.
What does God always have? By the way, does this story remind you of something? Does this story remind you of something and someone? Our Lord Jesus Christ, remember that, amen? And the Bible says, by the way, there are two difference between Jesus and Elijah, all right, one is size of the miracle, the other is the style of the miracle, the size. Elijah fed 100 men. Our Lord Jesus fed 5,000 men not counting women and children, which probably about 15 to 20,000. There's always more women and children than men, and they had 12 basketful leftover. So, in everything, he has the preeminence. The style, notice how Elisha did it. Elisha had to say, "Thus says the Lord". Jesus didn't have to say, "Thus says the Lord". Why? He is the Lord.
Elisha has to use the name of the Lord. He has to use the word of the Lord, but Jesus is his name. Jesus is the Word of God become flesh. Our Lord Jesus is the word that Elisha used to feed the people. He was a servant. Our Lord Jesus is in the class, a place, a standing of his own that no one can come to. Amen, people? Why in both cases there's leftover, leftover in this story, there's leftover there? 'Cause God wants you to know his provision always, always is greater than your need. It's a story of in my father's house is bread enough and to spare! It always exceeds your need. The love of our Lord Jesus, his love is as large as his power, and there is no measure or end to it. And you can say his power is as large as his love, immeasurable.
By the way, you know where the feeding of the 5,000 when Jesus fed them, you know where it happened? The Bible says it happened in a desert place in the wilderness. Jesus told his disciples, "Go, get food". And they say that, "Where can we buy food? This is a desert place". Remember this, people. What is a desert place? What is man's wilderness is our Lord's storehouse. Your wilderness is his storehouse. The problem is that when you think you are able, he cannot be your ability. When you think that you can, he cannot perform for you or through you. When you think that you have the ability, he ceases to be your ability. But the moment you rest, rest everything in him, he becomes your ability.
Every situation you face from this day forth you say, "Lord, this is your situation". It's almost like you step back and say, "Lord, this is your situation. Lord, this is your problem. Lord, this is your problem". When you meet your boss, "This is your problem". Or your mother-in-law, "Lord, she is your problem". You expose everything to the life of Christ in you. The more you let go, the more he flows. But no, many a times we are the ones trying to stop.
So friend, let me close with this, both stories have got do with healing and provision. Just like the story of Melchizedek, healing and provision, amen? It's all found in the grace of our Lord Jesus who is a ready friend, a tender friend, he's a gracious friend. He loves you more than you know. Many a times you do not know this but things turn around it's because he prayed for you, amen? Before Peter says anything let me just show you real quick that sometime we go through troubles, counterattacks, not because we did something wrong, because we did something right. I preach on the Word on healing so strong.
When my son fell sick I said, this is a counterattack, guess what. I'm taking Communion, amen. Sometimes God protects you from, sometimes God allows you to go through. Luke 22, the Lord said, "Simon, Simon! Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you like wheat". Sift you like what? Wheat. "But I've prayed for you, that your faith should not fail". He didn't say that you will not fail, your faith will not fail. In other words, he's going through it. "And when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren". "Why pastor, why did the Lord allow him to go through that"?
Sometimes he allows us to go through. Sometimes he protect us from. But if he allows you to go through, always remember you're going through to a higher place, you're going through to a wealthier place. And I suspect in Peter's case, let me tell you why, all right? Satan has asked for you that he may sift you as wheat. In other words, there's something in Peter that needed sifting and the devil knew it. He knew he had a right to ask for that and the Lord allowed it. The only thing that the Lord prayed is that Peter's faith will not fail and he even prophesied that he will return to me. You see?
I suspect the reason is because the next verse Peter said, "Lord, I'm ready to go with you, both to prison and to death, ah". He was very self-confident. It's a demonstration of why the Lord says, "You'll go through this but at the end, your faith will not fail and you will return to me, and you'll be stronger. You will strengthen others". Are you listening, people? "I tell you, Peter, the rooster will not crow before you deny knowing Me three times". People forget the context of this story. So, sometimes you go through it.
Last verse I'm gonna share with you this. The psalmist says in Psalm 66, "Thou hast caused men to ride over our heads". Do you feel like that sometimes that God allowed people, you confessed favor, Pastor Prince blessed you with the favor of God and yet sometimes men ride over your head. Why God? Okay, "We went through fire, we went through water; but thou broughtest us out". When you go through all this, remember this, look for the out because the out won't be from where you came in. You are going out to a wealthy place.
NASB, NASB, "You brought us out into a place of abundance". And the Hebrew word is "revayah". Revayah is from reva which is the etymology of revayah is the word that Jewish people use for intoxicated. If you look up this word, it means more than enough, it means oversaturation. God will bring you higher to a place of greater abundance of health, or provision, or whatever it was.
So remember this, before the devil attacks you, he has to think twice because if you respond in faith, he has to give up and you have the spoils of war. Spoils of war don't come unless there is a war and, people, we are in a war, but don't be afraid. If the devil want to throw an attack, you're bringing your family or yourself to a wealthier place. By the way, the only other place in the Bible, the only other place revayah, abundance is used is our famous psalm, "The Lord is my shepherd", Psalms 23, "I shall not want". You know where it appears? "You prepare a table, Communion, before me in the presence", not away from, from our enemies. In the midst of the sickness, take Communion. In the midst of the attack, take Communion.
"You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; My cup revayah, runs over". That's the only other place where it appears. So, if God allows your colleagues to ride over your head, your fellow students to ride over your head, your relatives, whatever it is, you say, "God, where's the favor? What happened"? Be cool. It might seem you're going through the fire, through the water. Look for the out. He'll bring you out and when you're out, it is higher than when you came in. It is a place of overabundance. It's a place of running over. Praise the Lord, I've preached myself happy. Give him praise, hallelujah. Thank you, Jesus.
Every head bowed, every eye closed all across this place. Everywhere that's watching this right now, in a while's time, I'm gonna pray for you that God will protect you. Yet, the Lord Jesus said, "Pray this way. Pray that you lead us not into trials". He told us to pray that. Even though there's some trials he allow us to go through, most likely to jerk off that self-righteousness of our lives. We are more humble after that. But whatever the case is, he will never allow you to go through something that he will not allow. And if you go through it, you are coming out into a wealthy place. If that is you wherever you are, you say, "Pastor Prince, pray for me. I want the Lord Jesus Christ as my Savior and Lord".
Friend, he died on the cross for your sins, the righteous for the unrighteous. The Son of God bore all your sins. And it is so beautiful the Bible says, we all know John 3:16, but do you know John 3:17? God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world. He didn't come into the world to condemn but to save, to save the world. If that is you wherever you are right now, pray this prayer after me. Let's all pray out loud, okay? Our TV audience can pray this from your heart wherever you are. The Lord will hear your prayer. He's there, right there with you.
Lord Jesus, you are altogether lovely. I thank you that you left everything to come down here, live as a man, live that perfect life to offer that perfect body as my sin offering on that cross. You have born all my sins, all my curse, all my diseases, none accepted. You bore them all in your own body and on the third day, God raised you from the dead. I confess, Lord Jesus, you are my Savior. You are the Christ, the Son of the living God, and you are my Lord. I'm saved, completely forgiven, deeply loved, greatly blessed. In the name of Jesus, amen, amen, amen.
Stand to your feet as I bless you. If you prayed that prayer just now for the first time, you are now a child of God. Old things in your life are passed away. I encourage you to take some time, take some time. Church life is so vital to your family blessing, your well-being, amen, and your complete peace in every area of your life. Church life is not man's idea, it is Christ's idea. He died to produce the church. Amen, praise the Lord. Lift your hands all across this place. This coming week, the Lord knows what the week has in store for you and your family. The Lord told Moses he will go ahead and I hear him saying, "I'm going ahead. I'm going ahead and preparing the days of this week for you and then I'll bring you through. If you'll just look to me as your shepherd, you will never lack. Look to me and don't look at the storm. Don't look at the vicissitudes of life. Look unto me", saith the Lord.
The Lord bless you and your families with the blessings of Abraham. The Lord keep you and your loved ones and preserve you and your loved ones from all evil, from all dangers and accidents, from every infection, from every disease and sickness, from all the powers of darkness and from the power of the evil one. The Lord make his face shine on you and be favorable towards you, shine his face on you. The Lord grant you supernatural favor in superabundance. The Lord lift up his countenance on you and your families and grant to you and your loved ones his shalom, well-being, and wholeness, and peace in every area of your life. In the name of the Lord Jesus, and all the people said, amen. God bless you. See you again.