Joseph Prince - See His Love And Receive His Power
It is the year of the latter rain, which means what? It's the year of the harvest, amen, harvest. Harvest is coming your way, harvest is coming your way. And during harvest time, don't go to sleep, all right, during harvest time because you can have a harvest, right, and yet you fall asleep during that time or you just forget you have harvest and the harvest just gets over ripe and fall off. It's a time to possess, it's a time to take, it's a time to receive. And all the people said amen. Today, I want to real quick take a look at the nature of our God because how we look at God affects the way you live. How you look at God will also determine the kind of life that you will live. And whether you realize it or not, you will see in a while's time that even fear is caused by how you see God, okay?
So, for this, we look at a parable and there's a little nugget of truth there I want to share with you, and I believe that the Spirit of God will take it from there. Okay, y'all ready? Are y'all set for the Word, amen? You like your neighbor besides you, amen, amen? You all okay? You need your neighbor to go, anyone need your neighbor to go for a bath? Put up your hands, put up your hands right now. Okay, everyone okay, okay, everyone is cool with your neighbor? Okay, for the next four hours, all right, just a little nugget of truth right now in the story of the parable of the talents. I'm gonna read the entire parable, but just to tell you that once Jesus himself said that he shared a story of a man who went on a long journey and before he left, he called to himself all his stewards.
So, for the first, there were three stewards. The first one he gave five talents, say, "five talents". Now, talents in those days is literally money. Like, today we will say he gave him $5,000, okay? So, talent is like a talent of gold, but talent in English also means what? Gift, your talent, amen? So, he gave him five talents and to the next man, next steward, he gave him two talents. And finally to the third, he gave him one talent. So, he took his journey, his long journey and stayed away for some time. And the three of them, this is what happened, all right, they went traded, let's say for the last one, and finally the Lord of both servants came back and that speaks of our Lord Jesus when he returns, amen? We all know the Lord hears our lot, right? And the servants are all of us.
So, when he came back, he asked for accountability and the first one said this, "Lord, the five talents that you delivered to me". I love it. He was conscious that chose talents are not his. He's conscious that they came from the Lord. He gave the Lord the credit. "Lord, the talents you delivered to me, I gained five more talents". So, the Lord gave him five talents, he got five talents more, and he gave the Lord the glory, "The talents you gave me". The second one said again the same thing, "Lord, the two talents you gave me, you delivered to me, I have gained two more talents". Okay, then came the third one. Now, here's where that nugget of truth is gonna help you in your life, in your own personal life. The third one came and said these words, "Then he who had received the one talent came and said, 'Lord, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed'".
Now, notice he indicts the Lord of reaping where he did not sow. Is that true? It's the other way around. This man's talent came from the Lord, amen? And he's saying that "you're taking from me what belongs to me", in essence. But notice these words, "I know you to be a hard man". Nowhere in the parable says that he's a hard man, but in the mind and the perception of this third servant, his master was a hard man. Now, in the Greek the word "hard" is also the word harsh, violent, stern. So, we know that this Lord of the these servants is our Lord himself. How do you see the Lord? If you see the Lord as being harsh, demanding, even violent, and stern, it's gonna affect you and how you use your gifts, how you steward your money, and how you serve the Lord. Not only that, out of this came this, "And I was afraid", he said, "And I was afraid".
Notice that I was afraid. Fear came in. Fear came in, long before fear came in, a wrong belief of God. How you see God, if you see God as angry, harsh, violent, stern, the next thing you're gonna have fear, you're gonna have fear in your life and your fear might not be related to God. Your fear may be of old age, fear of not having enough, fear of losing someone you hold dear, fear of your health over your health, finances, not having enough, but all fears, the mother of all fears comes from the way you see God. Long before fear came in, Adam hid from God and he says, "I was afraid, when I heard your voice, I was afraid". The thing is this, God never wants that kind of fear.
People say, "What the world needs today is a good healthy dose of the fear of God". No, it all depends on what kind of fear. When Jesus defined fear in the Bible, when he was tempted in the wilderness and the devil came to tempt him, the devil says, "Fall down before me and worship me, and I'll give you everything". Jesus quoted from the Book of Deuteronomy. He says, "It is written thou shall worship the Lord thy God". Now, in our Bible it says in English, "Thou shall fear the Lord thy God". But Jesus changed that to, "Thou shall worship". He was actually giving us the exact definition of the God kind, the kind of fear that God wants us to have of him. It's not that kind of fear like you fear snakes, you fear disease, or you fear of the future or whatever. The fear that he's talking about is actually worship.
So, the fear of God that is healthy in the Bible, the Bible talks about fear of the Lord prolongs days, it will lengthen your life. How many want long life? Okay, five of them, note them, Father. How many want long life? Okay, the Bible says the worship of God, the more you worship God, it lengthens your life. Once I read a statistical research done and they say that people that live longest in America are people who go to church and it's proven. So, the Bible is right, worship of the Lord prolongs days, it prolongs your life. Can I have a good amen? How we see God is gonna affect our future, it's gonna affect the way we use our and steward our giftings.
And the Bible says this man says, "I was afraid and went and hid your talent". Notice, he didn't use what was given to him. He had it, but he didn't use it. Why, why didn't he use it? Fear, why was he fearful? He had a wrong thought of God, amen. So, how you see God affects everything in your life. When the Lord Jesus came to earth, he came to manifest, one of the reasons manifest God in the flesh to show man what God is like. Today, there's a lot of people arguing, "Is healing for today? Does God want to heal people? Maybe he doesn't want to. Maybe that"... You can stop all that when you look at Jesus. Jesus says, "He that has seen me has seen the Father".
All right, he's God's will in action. In the Old Testament, God was blessing, God was forgiving, God was pardoning, God was healing, God was providing. However, God did all these things with a certain reserve, with a kind of distance. For example, he provide for the children of Israel in the desert, in the wilderness with manna, angel's food, food of the mighty, but he remains in heaven. He forgives sins, but they have to go through a certain ritual but he remains in the Holy of Holies. Even for the leper, he has to go through elaborate ritual and then be separated from the, all the camp to one side and then wait, and the Lord would heal him after he follows and perseveres.
So, the Lord would provide but with certain kind of distance in the Old Testament. But when Jesus came, God manifests in the flesh, the Lord of glory. He came with the full of resources of heaven. He came and he went about at affairs of life, in the streets, in the homes, and doing the same acts of grace and love, but this time he was there. He also pardoned, but he would pardon standing by the sinner saying, "Your sins are forgiven you". He would heal, but he moved around in the crowd and he would heal everyone who was in need of healing. He would provide food, but he was there in the center of a table as he multiplied the loaves and the fishes. He was there. You can say that he gave his gifts, as he gave his gifts, he was in the giving himself.
And that caused a problem for the Pharisees for the religious leaders because they want to keep God in the Holy of Holies. They want to keep God in the temple so that, "if you want to come to God, you want his pardoning, you want his forgiveness, you want his provision, you have to come through me, amen? I have, I have access, I have the key, I have the combination to the lock. I know what God wants, I know what God doesn't want. You have to come to me so I become relevant". But when Jesus came and God stepped out of the Holy of Holies, so to speak, and he started moving amongst the people, went about doing good, healing all that were oppressed, the middleman become unnecessary, and that's not good for the middleman. The middleman is not happy, amen?
So, straightaway, they want to kill him. They want to destroy. Can you imagine God in the flesh came and they want to destroy him. So, that goes to show that their heart is not for the Lord, their heart is for their own self-aggrandizement. God was there in the flesh. You know, it's so beautiful, the Lord Jesus, it's like he came with the full resources of heaven and every virtue of heaven, all power, and he came moved among the needy people. And, you know, God is never turned off by your need. In fact, your need is your title to his grace. Your needy condition is your entitlement, in fact, it's the very thing he responds to because he has all the supply, amen? Positive and negative attracts. We all learned that in school, right?
So, here's the positive, all the supply and we are the negative, but the problem is that we are trying to be the positive. We are trying to say we're not needy. We're trying to say that we're not depressed. We're trying to say that we're not addicted. We've trying to say that we don't any needs and as a result when he comes to us, our pretends, there's no supply from him because he comes for the needy, amen?
So, he come with all his resources and whenever he finds a needy one in the gospel you find, oh, his heart opens up. It's like all resources of heaven goes into that woman, for example, that came behind him and touched even the very extremity of his garment, the hem of his garment. She touched it and she was made whole. All the fullness went into her with just a simple touch of her finger. You know, it's like, it's like when need meets power, when need meets supply, all supply goes into the need, and there's more supply than there is need. I said, there's more supply than there is need. In fact, with the Lord, it's an over supply, always an oversupply.
One time there was a widow who was crying for help from Prophet Elisha because, what happened? Her husband died and her husband left behind a huge debt, and now she's not able to pay the debt. And a very harsh creditor has come and now he wants to take her only two sons as slaves. So, she's crying to Elisha, whose name means Jesus Eli, my God, Sha, Yeshua, all right, my God saves. So, he's a type of Jesus. And she came to Elisha and says, "Please help me. This man, the creditor is coming to take my two sons as slaves". He says, "what do you have in your house? What do you have in your house"?
We are never so poor as not to have something that is supplied by God already in our life be that one talent, be that two talent, whatever it is. And she says, "I have a strong jug of oil". It's literally a jug of oil that you will use to cover their face during that time to prevent heatstroke and sunburn and that kind of jug of oil. And he says that, "okay, go to your neighbors, borrow from them empty vessels. Empty vessels should not be hard to find among your neighbors in our schools, in our place of work, empty vessels, just go where there's plenty of noise, you'll fine empty vessels". And he says this, and this was the specific instruction from the prophet. He says, "Borrow not a few. Don't borrow just a few".
And then after that when he came into the house he say, "Start pouring, start pouring the oil". Oil always speaks to the Holy Spirit. Don't always bemoan the fact that "Oh, God is not using me or whatever". Start praying for someone. Start praying for someone who is sick. Start praying for someone in need. As you keep on praying, the Holy Spirit keeps on pouring, keeps on pouring. So, they start pouring into the empty vessel, the more she poured, the more she poured. And the vessels were much larger, the empty vessel was much larger than the small jug but actually was pouring the supply keep on flowing and it kept on flowing to the next empty vessel, to the next empty vessel, and then she asked her son, "Bring me one more vessel". "Mom, there's no more".
The moment there's no more vessel, the Bible says the oil ceased. What does that tell you? That tells you the supply is greater than the demand. God's supply is always greater than your demand. This is not law of economics, scarce resources and all that kind of, you know? Man, I tell you one of my worst subjects was economics, allocating scarce resources to meet demand, law of supply and demand and all that. But I learned a new economics. God's supply is greater than man's demand, always. The problem is that there's not much demand this side of heaven.
When I realized that a long time ago, I always tell God, "Sorry, don't get angry at me for this. What they don't want, give me, amen, amen", because I know that God's heart aches. If you are love, if you are perfect love and love always wants to give, love always wants to share and you have, you are so wealthy. What's the greatest pain? Not being able to give, not being able to love, not being able to pour. So, I decided a long time ago to relieve God of that pain. Say, "God, anything you want to bless and people don't want it, Lord, give it to me", amen? So, the supply is always greater than the demand.
Just like when Jesus came to his hometown, Nazareth, the Lord of glory is there. Oh, think about it, the Lord of glory. And he went to the synagogue, he opened up the scroll and he read from Prophet Isaiah of himself, the Messiah, "The Spirit of God is on me to preach the gospel to the poor, good news to the poor". And what is good news to the poor? You don't have to be poor anymore. To preach healing to the brokenhearted, to preach opening of doors to those who are bound, and then to preach the acceptable year of the Lord.
Now, in Isaiah's portion where he read, it actually goes on to say, comma, "The day of vengeance of our God". But his first coming was not the day of vengeance of God, that day will come in our future, not our future, in the future. We have no judgment in our future. Our judgment is passed at the cross. He bore our sins. Can I have a good amen? come on, it's all passed, all right? There's no judgment, but there is a judgment for the world in the future but Jesus knew where to stop and where he stopped, we gotta learn how to stop. He stopped at to preach the acceptable year of the Lord, and that in the Hebrew is the year where God's grace profusely abounds.
And he stopped, he closed the book. His first coming was to bring all of heaven down to earth, and then you know what happened? He say, "Today, this Scripture is fulfilled in your years". And he started preaching to them and they said, "Is this not Joseph's son? You know, his parents are here with us. We know him. He grew up in this town Nazareth and all that", and they start pushing him. They were angry that he claimed to be the Messiah, which he is, and they pushed him all the way. Many of you have been there in Israel where the Nazareth is built on a tall mountain and start pushing him to the brink of the precipice of Mount Nazareth, and they're about to push him down. And, you know, no one can kill Jesus before his time. And the Bible says he turned around and walked right in their midst. It's almost like they push him, push him and he finally says, "Okay guys, enough". It's almost like he didn't want to leave them. All of resources are there, so many brokenhearted. He just said, "Spirit of God is on me to heal the brokenhearted, to heal and open the eyes of the blind".
And there's so many needs down there, and they push him, push him and gave him a chance. Finally at the brink of it, he stopped and the Bible says he turned and says, it's almost like saying enough. And the Bible says he walked right in the midst of him, no one being able to lay a hand on him. That's power. And he walked away. As he walked away and they looked, you know what? There walked away the healing of the broken heart. There were people with broken heart left behind. They shooed him away. There were those who were blind, who were left blind. There were those who were bound by all kinds of demons, and addictions, and depression who remain like that. They wanted him to go away and something about Jesus, you don't want to avail yourself of his resources, he'll just go to the next person.
He won't stand down there and cry. He won't stand down there and beg you. He'll just move away. Like the city of Samaria when they rejected him and John says, "Shall we call fire on them"? Jesus said, "You do not know what kind of Spirit you are of". And he just moved on to the next village. That itself is judgment for the previous village because they rejected him. There wasn't any healing. That's bad enough for them. For Nazareth that day, it could have been the greatest day of Nazareth. I mean, they could have extended their revival meeting, invite people from far and wide, from Dan to Bersheba all to Nazareth and say, "Come, come the Messiah is here. Brokenhearted, you need healing from that cancer? You need for your child? Come, bring one, bring all, amen. You need strength, you need provision, come, he's here". But they rejected him. But that day he walked away and that was like judgment on Nazareth. No one got healed. There were few, the Bible says, that got healed, only a few. He walked away, they didn't want it.
Think about it, he came with all the resources. And then in Mark 3, and this is what I need you to focus on. Mark 3, look at this, we are talking about how we view God and how we view God is gonna affect. When you come in prayer to God, how do you see God? Do you see a God that's sometimes happy with you, sometimes angry with you, sometimes happy with you, sometimes angry with you? No, friend, that's not the God of the Bible. If you're a child of God, he's always shining on you, he's always smiling on you. He's a good, good Father. That's who you are, that's who you are. It's always our declarations is that's who you are, good Father and you love me. That's who I am. I'm the one loved. That's who I am, amen, amen? That's your declaration. Can I have a good amen?
Come on, yeah, that's what God wants you to have. That's why God is raising songs like this and anointing people and blessing them when they write songs like this. It's not songs like, "You're a God, God, God, thou shall not kill. That's who I want to do. That's thou shall not steal, that's what I want to do, you know? Thou shall not lie, that's what I want to do, you know"? Doesn't flow, right? Doesn't flow. The law doesn't flow. I said, the law doesn't flow, all right? The law doesn't flow. No one writes songs based on the law. And even people who are legalistic, I know of song writers who are legalistic. They want me to write songs, their songs become very flowing, it's full of grace. Only when they go back in their mind again, become legalistic. When they preach, it's legalistic. It's hard to write songs in the head. When you write songs, you write songs in the spirit and when they're in the spirit and when they're in the spirit, you touch the Holy Spirit and it's always full of grace. Can I have a good amen?
So, like I said, pay attention to this passage here in Mark 3. "And he entered", Jesus entered, "the synagogue again, and a man was there who had a withered hand". Now, in the Greek, the man's hand became withered, in other words it wasn't born. It wasn't congenital. He wasn't born with this condition. His hand became withered, most likely through an accident, all right, his hand was shriveled up. "So, they watched him closely". The Pharisees watched Jesus closely, all right, "whether he would heal him on the Sabbath". They watched Jesus, whether Jesus would heal this man with the withered hand on the Sabbath. They did not watch him to see whether he can heal. They watched to see whether he would heal on the Sabbath on that day. In other words, they knew he could heal, "So that they might accuse him".
You know what a testimony to the perfection of our Lord Jesus Christ that even his enemies did not expect any evil from him, but count on him to do good, even his enemies. They don't realize they're giving an unconscious testimony to the Son of God. They knew that he would do good and they are waiting for him to do good on the Sabbath day that they might accuse him of doing work on the Sabbath day. Even for you and I today, the people of the world, when they look at us, for some reason do you feel like they expect us to have a higher standard, to walk differently from them? Yeah, they do right, don't they? And they have a right to. We are heavenly people. We should give off the heavenly mint, you know, the fragrance of heaven in our life, in our marriages. But they expect us to be different from them, don't they? They don't realize if our Christianity is not true, why do they expect us to walk any different?
Even for these Pharisees, if Jesus, like they say, he is not the Son of God, the Pharisee says. If he is not the Son of God like what they say, and he is not the servant of Yahweh, then why they expect him to heal? They are giving an unconscious testimony that he is the Son of God. So they watch him. Drop down. "And He said to the man who had the withered hand, 'Step forward'". Now, it'll be prudent, knowing that the people are watching you to criticize you, not to ask the man to come forward. Maybe heal him another day, maybe find him somewhere at home or what? But that's not Jesus. He doesn't surrender to this religious bondage. You see, in the synagogue it represents all of us in the world today. It's like you and I are there. Where? We are the people with needs.
C'mon, you gotta acknowledge that. If you want the supply, the one who got all his supply in this story was the man with the need. We are all people born with needs. We must acknowledge that we have needs. We're the needy one. And not only that, we have no capacity because our hand is withered to help ourselves. We have no power to help ourselves, okay? Then we have the religious crowd. Which one are you? The religious crowd looks at the Lord, unconscious of the Lord of glory, of his wonderful glory. Looks at the needy person indifferent to the needy person, and totally oblivious of his own personal dire need, blinded, thinks that he's self-sufficient. Everyone fits in somewhere.
And there's the Lord of glory with all his resources and power, full of compassion. They watch him closely, not to learn his ways or his heart of grace. They watch him closely to see whether he would heal on the Sabbath day that they might accuse him. How hard can a man's heart be, mm? Their testimony, the way they looked at him, knowing that he would heal, actually gives glory to the grace in Jesus's heart and it shows up the hardness of their own hearts. Can be very cruel. So here he is, "And He said to them, 'Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do evil, to save life or to kill?' But they kept silent. And when He had looked around at them with anger, being grieved by the hardness of their hearts, He said to the man, 'Stretch out your hand.' And the man stretched it out, and his hand was restored as whole as the other".
Then the Pharisees, when they saw what happened in the healing of the man, they rejoiced and they went outside and said, "Let's celebrate our church member who had the withered hand is now healed. Hey, wife, your husband is back, hallelujah! He can provide for you all again. The right hand", right hand is the hand that he works with. Luke says it's the right hand. Luke is a doctor, by the way, and Luke's account of this story say it's his right hand. "Your husband is restored, hallelujah", right? The story, right? That's supposed to be the story. That is supposed to be the "how we should respond", isn't it, when that happens? "Then the Pharisees went out and immediately plotted with the Herodians against Him, how they might destroy Him", wow. Destroy a man who made another man well. Wow, anti-grace.
All right he says, "Stretch out your hand". He pulled his hand. His hand is completely well. And at the same time, when all this was going on, he was angry with all the Pharisees, "being grieved at the hardness of their hearts". He was grieved at the hardness of their hearts. Hard hearts. By the way, have you noticed that the Lord can get angry and still perform the miracle? Being angry, looking at them "with anger, being grieved, He said to the man, 'Stretch forth your hand'", and the man was healed, amen? Now, there is a erroneous belief that all anger is sin. Somehow we have this idea. No, not all anger is sin. In Ephesians it tells us: "In your anger do not sin". Do you know that our emotions... God made us in his image. God has emotions. "Oh, God is like me, Pastor". No, you are like God. God made you. You are made in his image.
But most of the time, most of the time, our anger is selfish. It is self-centered. It is selfish. So the Bible says: "In your anger do not sin". In other words, if you're angry, don't say that word that you feel like saying. Don't do that action that you feel like doing. "In your anger do not sin", because many a times our anger is selfish. Now, does the Lord have anger? Yes. Some people, they treat it like, you know, I got some school-friends last time, I remember years ago, they'll say, "Here, your Jesus overturned moneychangers', you know, table and all that. He was angry", and I'm thinking to myself, "Why not? He's a real man's man", amen? You know how they clean house, amen?
And I think you see him in the middle of the night, all right, and you're trying to, you know, take advantage of a girl, a lonely girl somewhere, you'll see him in a dark street. You won't wanna see him. He's a man's man. Working for 30 years in a carpenter workshop without modern tools of machinery. What does that do to a young man's body, his biceps, his shoulder muscles? He carried the cross. That is not smooth. It is sharp, jagged. No wonder he fell, because his back was already exposed. Not a sliver of skin was left after the scourging, yet he carried the cross until finally he asked Simon the Cyrene to help him. He's a man's man. He's Jesus. He spoke two words that the US Marines have copied: "Follow me". And strong men left their fishing net and their boats and all their fishes and followed him. Or do you think he said, "Follow me, can or not"? He's a man's man, Jesus.
I want you to know, friend, this wonderful Jesus became man but he's God. He's the second person of the Godhead. He came to earth to be with us, amen? So that he can die on the cross. His death wasn't a murder. I saw a title once. I didn't read the book but it says: "Murder of Jesus". Jesus wasn't murdered. He laid down his life. The Bible says he himself says, "I lay down my life and I pick it up again. This commandment have I received from my Father". No one can take his life. He lays it down of his own choice.
Remember Nazareth, they tried to kill him? Push him off the cliff? He walked right in their midst. It wasn't time, amen. He has power over death, hallelujah. When they came to arrest him in the garden, he spoke two words: "I am". They all fell. That's the name of God, by the way, amen? He's a man's man, rugged, strong, gentle, loving. Look at him, you will see him. Imagine: no sin in his blood. What does that do to your complexion? The most radiant man that ever lived. Perfect man, altogether lovely. The only time he became ugly was at the cross, after the scourging. The Bible tells us: "Let the beauty of the Lord, our God, be upon us", amen?
So let's study something here before we close. The question of anger. This is the only time the Holy Spirit records for us that the Lord is angry and the Lord was grieved at the hardness of their hearts. The only time. "Pastor Prince, I'm sure he was angry, you know, when he overturned the moneychangers' table at the temple". Yes, I agree. Personally, I think he was angry. But the Holy Spirit doesn't say in those accounts and there's in more than one account in the gospels that he overturned the moneychangers' table but nowhere does it say he was angry. For some reason, the Holy Spirit never put the word "angry" in those accounts. The only place the Holy Spirit said Jesus was angry and grieved was in this account. For us to learn, to demonstrate to us today, as people under grace, what makes the Lord angry? What makes the Lord grieved?
Never once do you find they threw that woman caught in adultery right before his feet and he looked at her and she looked up at him, into his eyes, and his eyes blazed with anger. Do you find that? Never. Was that a sin? Yes. Is sin wrong? Yes. But there was no anger in those cases. Here, there's anger. "He looked at them with anger, being grieved at the hardness of their hearts". Is an anger born out of love? Is an anger when you realize someone you love is going down the wrong track and you can see it, you've been there, you have done that, you got the T-shirt, and this person's going down there as well. And you love the person so much. And you love the person like maybe your family member, a son, a daughter, and you don't want them to go there. And you are angry. You are angry not because you hate them. You are angry because you love them. And you are grieved. It goes with grief. You are grieved. Why? Because you want the best for them for their future. Any parents in the house can identify with that? Isn't it remarkable that in the accounts of people with direct sin, even overt sins, you don't find Jesus angry?
Now sin is still wrong. I'm trying to help you believers understand this. God has anger but it's not his main personality. In fact, the Bible calls in Isaiah, his strange work. Anger is his strange work. That means it's foreign to his real nature. When God is angry, by the way, his anger endures for a moment. His mercy endures forever. Where should our preaching focus on? Okay, for the believer, he will never be angry with you, ever again. That's God's promise. But if you're not a believer, the Bible says: "The wrath of God abides on you". And one day, when Jesus comes again, there will be wrath poured out on this earth. There will be judgment. Don't misunderstand, there'll be judgment, righteous judgment. When the fire fell on Mount Carmel God in his mercy told Prophet Elijah to prepare an altar of sacrifices on the 12 stones.
So the fire of God's judgment, instead of falling on a guilty nation, would fall on the sacrifice instead, a picture of Jesus's cross. The fire fell, the sacrifice was consumed, the nation was spared. And the rains fell. They had not fallen for 3 and a half years. You fast forward a few chapters, this time, a number of years have passed since Mount Carmel. The incident's forgotten. There was another hill near Mount Carmel. Elijah was on top of it and the soldiers came to arrest him and he says, "If I'm a man of God, let fire fall", and the fire fell and all 50 of them were "fired" from their jobs. This time, there's no sacrifice. This time, there's no sacrifice.
You see, had it not been for Jesus, the judgment would fall on us. But now that Jesus is our substitute, Jesus has died for our sins, and you believe on him, there is no more judgment for you. God is just a Father who loves you. Does God correct? Yes. Not with anger. Whenever God corrects me, I'm so happy. God never corrects with accidents, not with sickness and disease, but God does correct. Sometime with frustrating situations, sometimes with things that you feel, "Ahh", you know, "I keep on getting this kind of drivers down the road. It's all their fault, never mind", amen? You wives know I'm talking about, right? Amen, so it, like, God will correct you. God will lovingly correct you, mold your character. But he'll never do it in anger. God will never be angry. God promised he will never be angry.
Isaiah 54, real quick: "This like the waters of Noah to Me", God says, "for as I have sworn that the waters of Noah would no longer cover the earth, so have I sworn that I would not be angry with you, nor rebuke you". Now, God is talking to who? Those who believe Isaiah 53. This, Isaiah 54, right? Chapter 54. What happened in Isaiah 53? Isaiah 53: "Jesus was wounded for our transgressions. He was crushed for our iniquities. The chastisement of our peace fell upon him. With his stripes we are healed".
So Isaiah 53 is the work of Jesus on the cross on our behalf. God's judgment fell on him because he was carrying our sins. He did no sin, knew no sin, in him is no sin. But he took all the judgment for sin because he was carrying our sins and God consumed all his wrath in the body of Jesus Christ. God has no more wrath for the believer. I said, "For the believer". No more wrath. Romans 5 says: "If we are justified by his blood", real fast, right? Verse 9: "Now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from", what? "Wrath through Him". Back to Isaiah. So after Isaiah 53, the work of Jesus, Isaiah 54, God promised, "This is like the waters of Noah to Me". So whenever you see a rainbow, don't think of the story of Noah no more. Think of God's promise. He will never be... that I promise "as I have sworn that the waters of Noah would no longer cover the earth, so have I sworn that I would not be angry with you, nor rebuke you".
Now God still corrects but rebuke he has condemned. He has sworn he will never be angry with a believer because all his anger was exhausted in the body of his Son at the cross. God designed it to be so. And, friend, listen. Does God really have to swear? God doesn't have to swear. God's Word alone is enough. But when God swears, wow. I call it double iron-clad guarantee. And God swore, "I will never be angry with you. What does it take for you to believe, hoy"? God put up his hand. He's like, there's no higher than him, you know, so he swear by himself. "I have sworn". You know, God has no higher than himself, right? So he swear by himself. The Bible says in Hebrews: "God cannot swear higher than himself. God swore by himself". "I swear I will never be angry with you, nor condemn you". This after what Jesus did. What would it take for the church to believe this? And we still think that we have a primer, almost like a pipe to God's emotions. When I behave, all right, God is happy. When I misbehave, all right, the pipe makes God unhappy. As if we affect God's emotion. No, God looks at the cross and God looks at what his Son has done and God is not moved by the ebbs and flows of your emotions. "Preach it, Pastor Prince. Good preaching, hallelujah".
Many years ago, let me bring this to a close, many years ago, many years ago, I was in Israel. This was many years ago, and I was flying my pastors and I was sort of like, you know, as the pastor, they can rest but I have to prepare food for them, right? Like a mother prepares food for her children. And I knew that we arrive. First night, I wanna spend time with them in a relaxed way at the hotel and share them something from God, something fresh. So many, many, many miles up there in the sky, God spoke to me from Proverbs. This is the first time God gave me this. You all know the devil goes about as a roaring lion and in 1 Peter it says: "The devil goes about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour". He looks about, he goes, rrr, He goes around like a roaring lion.
Now, the devil can't just presumptuously consume or devour anyone he wants. This erroneous idea the devil can pick and choose anyone he wants to devour is not true. He has to seek whom he may. Even that "whom he may". That's why he "goes about" like a roaring lion. So I knew that if I can find how he goes about like a roaring lion, I'll find the answer because Bible must answer Bible, amen? So what's a roaring lion? So I was up there in the sky and God gave me the answer up there, on the way to Israel, many years ago. And it's from Proverbs 19. It says: "The king's wrath is like the roaring of a lion, but his favor is like dew on the grass". I was just reading this and just minding my own business, just reading, then the Holy Spirit caused these words to jump out, "like the roaring of a lion".
See, that sounds familiar. 1 Peter 5: "The devil goes about like a", but here he's talking about, the king is Jesus, right? "The king's wrath" is the same as "but his favor" is the same king. So if the second line is referring to him, the first one is him as well, right? So how can the king's wrath be like a roaring lion? Like a flash I saw it. The king's wrath is like a roaring lion. When the king is angry, it's like a roaring lion. But let me tell you this. He has no more anger for us, right? But a devil is going around like a roaring lion. What does that mean? The devil goes around impersonating Jesus or God as if he's angry with you.
He goes around saying, "You know what you did that time? God is angry with you. You know why your car, there's a puncture? You got a problem coming to church today? God is angry with you. He don't want you to come today, all right? You know why that happened just now? You know why you didn't get the deal? You know why you didn't close the deal? Your boss is mad at you now, right? Not only your boss is mad, God is mad at you. No, the king is mad at you. The king is mad at you. The king is mad at you". Every time you feel like the Lord is angry with you, you have just been wrought at. But is the king angry at you? No. So who is the one impersonating him? The devil, an angel of light. He pretends to be like God's voice and the people say, "You know, I feel like, today I don't know why, I feel like there's no favor from God. There's no favor".
It's your feelings. Nothing more than feelings. Try to forget these feelings. God is not angry with you. When you pray, all right, hear a voice. You know why he's not answering you? You feel like he's very far, right? Right, you feel like your prayers are only going to the roof and the ceiling and then drop down, right? Right, he's angry at you. What do you do? Then they got to stop and say, "No". Go to 1 Peter 5: "The devil goes about like a roaring lion", hey, like a roaring lion, "seeking whom he may devour". He goes about seeking whom he may devour. That means what? Ah-ha, he believes it. This one is devourable. Ah-hah, he believes it. Ah-hah, she believes it. Devourable. Then comes the New Creation Church and you're, "God is angry with you". "Ha, ha, ha, is that you, devil"? "Drats that Joseph Prince". He loves you, church.
In fact, the secret here. Let me close with this: "But hear, be sober", all right? The devil walks about but you know, what's the verse before this? It says: "Casting all your cares upon Him, because He cares for you". He cares for you. You cannot see him angry, saying, "I care for you. I'm caring for you". He cares for you. I love this. It's feeding me. He cares for you. Smile at your neighbor and say, "He cares for you". "What about my son"? "He cares for you", amen? "What about this issue, Lord"? "He cares for you". That's all you need to know. He cares for you.
So somehow, these two verses are related. The day you forget that God is caring for you, God cares for you and is very intimate, very close, caring for you with a smile, a Father's heart, that's when the devil can find you devourable. The devil will tell you all kinds of things: "Because you didn't spend time in devotions for the past week, because you're too busy for him, and now you want his time, he got no time for you. He's angry with you". We expect that faux pas, we expect that kind of response, from even our human relationship, even husbands and wives sometimes, amen? You say something. The guys, you all know, right, they can be quiet. "Listen to the sound of silence". If your wife talks to you, bro, there's still hope. But when your wife gives you the silent treatment, pray. The quieter, the worse. Even when you ask her, "Anything wrong"? What does she say? "Nothing". Ha, ha, ha, ha.
Oh, the Bible says: "Knowing the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren throughout the world", amen? And then we are supposed to be investigators, guys. We need to find out what made her silent? But the problem about understanding women is that to understand them we need them to tell us because we are very lousy at trying to understand women because when God made them we were sleeping. So asking them is not an option because they're silent. And yet, the way out of all this, brethren who are suffering the same affliction... by the way, my wife and I are very good, okay? Don't worry, I'm just illustrating 'cause I've been there before, amen? The best way is to ask her, "Did I do something", all right? Expect "Nothing". Don't believe the first "Nothing". Then ask her again. "I'm sorry if I did something wrong". "Well, what do you think you did"? Ah, got hope, got hope, got hope, got hope, all right?
Then you start running yourself down and, "I really, sometime I'm so selfish, I'm so inconsiderate. Sometimes I really don't, you know. Please tell me. I'm really blurred, do not know what I did, all right"? There's hope. Be humble, amen? Then not only that, go back to Mark 3. We're gonna talk about this real quick. Mark 3: "Being grieved".
So another one is grieving the Holy Spirit, which is the same word here that's used in the Greek. It's the same word in grief. God did the Holy Spirit in Ephesians 4 and it's so prevalently used as a cliché now that the Holy Spirit's grieved. Anything the guy is pushing, all right, he will say that the Holy Spirit is grieved because today we don't worship enough or you all don't pray enough. The Holy Spirit's grieved. Everything's grieved, grieved, grieved, grieved, grieved. But, according to the Holy Spirit himself, when he wrote the Scriptures, he tells us what he's grieved by. Do you believe what he says or what man says? Here it says: "And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God". We know that no statement opens with "And". "And" is a conjunction, right? It's based on the previous verse. "And do not grieve".
By the way, the word "grieve" here is the same word used of Jesus being grieved at the hardness of your hearts. So we are about to find out what grieves Jesus. We find out what angers Jesus. By the way, what angered Jesus? Lack of grace. Not sin, overtly, but lack of grace. Am I right? C'mon, am I right? Lack of grace. When there's no grace. What grieves the Holy Spirit? Look at this. Look at the verse before that, the context: "Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit". In other words, if your words don't impart grace, words that impart grace are words that delight the Holy Spirit. Am I right? If he is grieved by words that are not ministering grace, by the same token he is gladdened by words that minister grace. What are words that minister grace?
By the way, people read these and think, "Oh, don't speak profanity and all that". Yeah, we're all against profanity. We're not for profanity. I think it's very, you know, like uncool, totally uncool, to be profane, amen? It's like you're not cool at all to be profane. And now you find girls being profane. So of course, but he's not talking about that. "Let no corrupt word proceed", but wholesome words that minister grace. What is grace? Grace is undeserved favor. And some of you, we tell you to praise your husband or praise your wife and praise your children, encourage them, tell them good things. And you say that "not until they finish their PSLE, I see the good marks, I'll tell them. Not until he does that for me. Well, wait for her to do that first. Wait for this, wait for that".
But you see, that's not grace. If they deserve it and you say something good to them because they deserve it, it's no more grace. Jesus said this: "If you greet those who greet you", on Sermon on the Mount, "what thank have you"? The word "thank" in the Greek is charis which is grace. What grace have you? If you say, "Hi", to those who say "Hi" to you, what grace have you? If you only respond in kind to those who respond nicely to you, what grace have you? But if people don't deserve it and you say something good to them, you praise your husband, amen, you say something good to him, amen, that he doesn't deserve, that is grace. And that gladdens the Holy Spirit. So whatever doesn't minister grace will not gladden the Holy Spirit or grieve the Holy Spirit. It was lack of grace that grieved Jesus in his heart.
And by the way, this word "grieve" appears only down here in the Gospels in Jesus. Only down here in Ephesians. With the Holy Spirit and Jesus. In other words, we can say the Holy Spirit's grieved in many, many, many things. Yes, you can say that. I remember when I was a young Christian and I'm bringing this to a close. I remember attending a care group, a cell group, and then quite an attractive lady joined the care group. And all the teenagers like us, we were, like, sitting more straight. A few guys were sucking their stomach in. You ever see guys tuck their stomach in? You pity them, you know? After the service, they are in one corner. You see them... And then, lo and behold, when this girl comes in, there's one particular other girl who always say, "I dunno why, but today the atmosphere is like the Holy Spirit is grieved. It's like, ever since this girl came in, the cell group atmosphere's different and now I feel the Holy Spirit's grieved". No, the Holy Spirit's not grieved. You are grieved. You are grieved called jealousy grieved, amen?
We charismatics are notorious for saying, "He grieve this, he grieve that, he grieve this". It's not grieve, such things. Don't use the Holy Spirit's name. You wanna find out what he's grieved by? Go by the Bible. The only thing that he's grieved by in the New Testament, it tells us, are words that have no grace. So I think preaching of grace gladdens the Holy Spirit. He gives the glory to Jesus and tells people who the Father really is. Can I have a good "Amen"? Aren't you glad to be in the house of God? That's why whenever you hear grace being preached, your heart jumps up and down, right? There's the Holy Spirit being gladdened because if we can grieve him for the lack of grace, we can also gladden him. Can I have a good "Amen", church? Amen, give him praise. Praise the Lord. Thank you, Jesus, amen.
And for the theologians and scholars among you, let me just tell you this. It is a profound thing but one day I realized also in Israel when I read the portion, Jesus literally, "Jesus said, 'It's more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment than for Capernaum because the mighty works that were done in Capernaum were works of grace'". Jesus did all kinds of miracles in Capernaum, miracles of grace, undeserved grace. The people received healing. Jairus's daughter was raised from the dead. Yet that city turned against him. The rejection of grace is worse than the sins of Sodom and Gomorrah. Those sins of Sodom and Gomorrah, they are still sins but the sin of rejecting grace is worse than these sins.
"Pastor Prince, I don't believe there are degrees of sin". You don't believe? Let me first and foremost say that one sin is enough to send anybody to hell. But there are degrees of sin. Jesus told Pontius Pilate when he stood before him, "The one that delivered me to you has the greater sin". If there's a greater sin, there's also a lesser sin. There are degrees of sin and Jesus said, "The sin", He told his disciples and he told the people of Capernaum who saw his miracles of grace, "It's more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment than for you. Okay, the mighty works were done in you. The mighty works of grace was done in you". Sorry, "If the mighty works of grace that I did in you was done in Sodom and Gomorrah and Tyre and Sidon, they would have remained", wow.
Wow, did you hear that? It's time for us to get our perspective right because you know why? When you reject grace, you reject the washing machine that can wash all your dirt. No matter how dirty your clothes are at home and all that, there's no problem. You got a good washing machine. Can I have a good "Amen"? Introduce grace, clean laundry is no problem. Reject grace, what do you have? "Pastor Prince, you like to preach grace, huh"? No, I like to preach Jesus. Grace is not a teaching. It's a person. It's not a doctrine, it's the gospel, amen? And let's not be among those who see him, the Lord of glory of all the resources, pass us by. Say:
Lord, whatever you have, come in. I'm needy, needy, needy, needy. For my head, for my hands, for my feet, everything, amen? I want all of it. Not just Psalms 105, blessings or forgiveness of sins, but healing of diseases. Redeeming my life from destruction, me and my family. Yes, Lord, renewal of youth like the eagles. I'll take that as well, Lord. With long life you satisfy me. I'll take that as... Lord, amen.
And there are people fighting whether God wants us to live long, is healing for today or not? Let 'em fight; we enjoy. Are you with me? Very good. You are from my tribe, okay? Praise the Lord. Let's give the Lord praise, hallelujah. Every head bowed, every eye closed, all across this place. My friend, what a good God we have. What a wonderful God. And yet there are forces trying to change your and distort your image of God. Be careful who you listen to. Be careful what you read.
The world is full of anger. I turn on to a news channel, any news channel, I see a lot of angry, angry people. A lot of anger is out there in the world today because there's a lack of grace. No one wants to give someone undeserved favor, unearned blessing. Everybody wants everybody to measure up except themselves. Very angry world. We have the light, we have the testimony. We're not offering a religion, we're offering grace, amen, that we have received from the Lord. Your friends, your colleagues, they need to hear the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ and you are the witnesses of his grace. Will you do it? Share with them. Share with them. Shock them, shock them. Tell them, "That's not the God we believe". Tell them what you hear me preach, amen? Be witnesses. Don't just witness. Live grace. Not just share it, live it before your friends, amen.
All across this place, every head bowed, every eye closed. If that is you, wherever you are right now, I'd like for you to pray this prayer if you want Jesus Christ and all that he did to become real in your life, especially what he did for you at the cross in bearing your sins as the Lamb of God, the sacrificial Lamb, to take away all your sins from the sight of a thrice-holy God. If that is you, you put your trust in him. Say, "Pastor, from this day, my trust is in Jesus. I don't trust my morality. I don't trust my family good name. I don't trust my own works. I trust in Christ alone". If that is you, friend, good news is that whoever believes in him shall have eternal life, not just for a while, not a life or for the moment, but eternal life. If that is you, wherever you are, pray this prayer with me right now. Say:
Father in heaven, thank you for the gift of your Son, Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior. I believe he died on the cross as the Lamb of God, the sacrificial Lamb, for all my sins, and all my sins have been judged in his body and put away and all your anger has been exhausted in his sacrifice on that cross. You have no anger left, Lord. You designed this to be so. And you raised Jesus from the dead as a proclamation that all my sins are put away, hallelujah. Jesus Christ is my Lord. You are my Father and I'm greatly blessed, in Jesus's name amen.
Stand to your feet, hallelujah. Praise the Lord. Lift your hands all across this place. Thank you, Jesus, thank you, Lord. Are you all glad you came to church today? Amen, aren't you glad I didn't preach 40 days, 40 nights? Father, I thank you. I just wanna say this real quick as you lift your hands. Don't take protection for granted, amen? Your God has gone ahead of this week, amen. He always goes first, just like Noah's ark. He's the first one in and he says to Noah and his family, "Come". And then, after one year, he's the first one to say, "You all go. Go out of the ark", because he's the last one out, amen? So he's gone ahead of your day, of your week, even, and he knows what's ahead. Trust him when he leads you. Will you do that, amen? Trust him. And always trust he's smiling on you. Even when he corrects you, see a smiling Father who loves you, a good, good Father, amen?
Father, I thank you for everyone under the sound of my voice and, Father, in the name of Jesus, I thank you, Father, that throughout this week, Lord, no matter what happens, Father, I thank you, Lord, that you are the God that has gone ahead of them and prepared the way and you brought down the high places and the mountains and make it a straight way, Lord, for your people. And Father, I thank you that you're making the crooked places straight as well. Father, in Jesus's name, protect everyone under the sound of my voice throughout this coming week from every danger, harm, accident, sickness, and from all the powers of darkness in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, I ask. And I thank you, Father, that you've over-answered me and all of us, in Jesus's name, amen, amen.
Praise God. God bless you all. Love you all, amen?