Joseph Prince - Under Attack? Put On The Armor Of God!
Amen. We are in a warfare. How many know we're in a warfare? All right, Ephesians 6 tells us, look up here, "Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities", here's the hierarchy, "against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places". You can put sickness there, because sometimes not all sickness is caused by a demon spirit, but they can actually manifest a spirit of infirmity.
Now, Jesus ministered to a woman who was bowed down for 18 years, okay, and when he laid hands on her, she was set free. But the Bible says she was bound by a spirit, a spirit of infirmity. And again, I just want to say this to people who are praying for the sick and all that, you don't always have to address the spirit. Some people say you must address the spirit. You must know his name. You must ask him for his name. What's your name? He says, lying? Are you telling me the truth? I just told you, you know?
So, the thing is that you can't depend on spirits to tell you. Only one time you find Jesus asking the most demonized man, amen, for the name of the... not his name, but the name of the demons. But in other places, Jesus cast it out with his Word. For that woman was bowed down who had a spirit of infirmity for 18 years. Jesus spoke to her. Jesus says, "Woman, you are loosed from your infirmity", and the demon left, the spirit of infirmity left, but he spoke to the woman. We forget that sometimes. And sometimes for a child, when you pray for a child who is afflicted, for example, it's better to speak to the child, "Jesus sets you free. Jesus loves you". And the demon goes.
So, it doesn't mean you have to address the demon all the time, but they can manifest as a spirit of infirmity, or they can manifest as a depressive spirit. You can't break your mental, you know, disposition from that dark thoughts, that foreboding thoughts that come, the gloomy thoughts that come to your mind. These are the work of the principalities of darkness of this age, the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Go on. "Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day and having done all, to stand". We stand because we are on victory ground.
Now, this is the Book of Ephesians. One thing you need to learn is this, the Book of Ephesians is divided into, first of all, the three W's, okay? The first of all you have the WEALTH of the believer in Ephesians 1. Ephesians 2 you have what we have, the riches we have in Christ, amen, all the spiritual blessings in Christ, all the riches, wealth. Then comes the walk. Walk worthy of the calling, the high calling, walk worthy. You are a prince, walk like a prince. You're a princess, walk like a princess, amen? Walk worthy of your vocation, of the calling, amen?
So, you have the wealth, or you can call it sit, amen, because we are seated with Christ it says in Ephesians. Our position is a rest. We start from rest. Can I have a good amen? Wealth. Then the next W is WALK. First one is sit then walk, walk worthy, all right, the W will be W. Wealth, then we have WALK, then we have WARFARE, the third W, which is also stand. You stand because you have the victory realm. All right, when the devil comes to lie to you about your health, you have this or not, remember that you are already standing on your possession.
Now, you look at healing or whether it's a peace that you want from your depression or addiction and all that, remember this, it's not a ground that you want to take so you pray to take the ground. Once you pray that way, you are praying from defeat. We don't pray from defeat. We are already on healing ground. We are on peace ground. Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace. Let us possess this peace. Can I have a good amen? Let's possess this healing, amen, amen? We pray from victory, not for victory. We pray from victory. Can I have a good amen?
Then it says that having done all to stand. All you gotta do is just stand, stand. The devil wants to move you away from your position. And many a times it makes us do things that are Christian, nothing wrong, you pray, but when you pray out of desperation, you move yourself out of that position. So, there is a time when prayer is wrong. You ask God, for example, to help you. Your prayers get desperate. Even a third party watching you would think that God is such a severe God, an austere God, when he's not. You gotta pray like the way I prayed just now, amen?
God's love simply, all right, seeing his love reaching out to you, amen, pray that way, amen. But don't pray desperate prayers. It's okay at times when you are desperate you cry out, "Jesus, help" like, you know, your car's about to be in an accident or whatever, it's okay. He will not disown you, I promise you that. Amen, there are moments in our life we get desperate, it's okay. He will never, never say that, "Why do you say that"? But the thing is that remember don't lose your place.
Okay, let's go on. "Stand therefore". Now, he's gonna tell you the armor, the pieces of the armor. And I think you all heard me share before. I think you all still remember that this is not putting on armor like some people teach us last time put on your girdle of, your belt of truth. Click, and then you put on another click, your shoes, click. You know your helmet of salvation, click. There's no clicking here. So, then when you click, you must click all these things on early in the morning before you go out.
All right, I heard that before last time, prayer teachings and all that, but really, all this position, all these pieces are actually doctrinal. It's got to do with doctrines that's based on the gospel. The gospel of grace that we preach, every piece of it has got to do with it. It's nothing to do with the Old Covenant. It's gotta do with new covenant. And if you have wrong believing in any one of these areas, that's an area where the devil can attack, where you can be shaken off from your position. Are you listening?
So, the first one is stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth. Now, the assumption is that having girded means past tense, right, aorist tense here, and it says, "having girded", that means you have your belt of truth. Now, how many under the sound of my voice have received the truth and the truth has set you free, amen, you're born again? If you're not by the end of this service, praise God, you can get saved right now. Just ask Jesus to come into your life, believe on him he died for your sins, amen? Praise the Lord, and you are saved.
Now, your loins are girded with truth. What are your belt, what is the belt for? All right, what's your belt for? To hold up your pants. No, in those days, the armor of God, this armor, okay, God's armor, notice, take up the whole armor of God, verse 13. This is the armor of God. It's not our armor and yet Paul is using the analogy of the Romans at that time, their belt is not just to hold up their pants, it's to where they hold up the sword, the scabbard, all right, the sword and also all their small daggers, amen? And all their possessions are actually in their special girdle, okay? Having put on the breastplate of righteousness.
Now, breastplate of righteousness, the Romans, they have this breastplate of righteousness. You ever saw that, right? It extends all the way to your... it's a one piece here. It's a whole piece here that covers your abdominal areas. Guys, have you seen that before? They have this six pack. I love that. And then when you watch a Ben Hur movie or one of those movies, they take off the whole piece, oh, man, the guy's just flabby. You feel like saying, put it back on, bro, amen? I feel like putting that on all the time, amen? Some of them have eight pieces, amen.
So, when they put on the whole piece comes on. It's a breastplate because this area is the most severe. In warfare, all right, if you get stabbed in your heart, you get stabbed in your lungs, you can die, amen? So, the breastplate covers the whole thing, and what is the breastplate? It is the breastplate of righteousness.
Now, some people when they teach on this part here, the armor, they teach that is your moral integrity. It is your right doing, it is not. Every piece here has got to do with the gospel, has got to do with objective truths, not subjective truths. Is not your inward righteousness that you work out that gives you the breastplate. If you think that way, you're never sure you have your breastplate on. No, you are the righteousness of God in Christ, amen? That's your breastplate from the accusations and the fiery darts of the enemy. All right, the enemy aims at your heart. He comes to you and say things so that your heart will be, you'll be condemned, and the Bible says if our heart condemn us, right or not, the devil wants to condemn our hearts, correct? Okay, so this part that you must be established in righteousness. Can I have a good amen?
I'm pointing to the heart, but actually the heart of man, the inner part of man. The inner part of man, the heart is not the spirit, all right, the spirit is pneuma, heart is cardia, but it involves the spirit, soul and spirit mixed up the center part called the heart, but heart sometimes we call spirit, it's not spirit. It is actually cardia, the word for heart. The word for spirit is pneuma, but your inward man many a times is known as the hidden man of the heart, known as your heart, your inward heart, okay? That must be protected by knowing that you are the righteousness of God in Christ. Can I have a good amen?
Then he says, "Having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace". Now, your shoes is called the gospel of peace, I said the gospel of peace. Now, this word preparation in the Greek is the word preparation, but I like what W.E. Vines says about this word preparation. He has this little insight from the Septuagint, the Greek version of the Old Testament, where in Psalms it says righteousness and justice are the foundation of God's throne.
The word foundation there, all right, of course, Old Testament is in Hebrew, but the Greek version, the Septuagint says exactly the same word as preparation. In other words, W.E. Vine says most likely this verse actually means, all right, not preparation. Your shoes is a preparation of the gospel of peace, but it's actually your foundation. It is your firm footing. When you have the gospel of peace, you know you're on firm footing, amen? Because the gospel of peace does not depend on you. It depends on Christ. It's not about how bad you are. It's about how good he is. It's not how faithful you are, it's how faithful he is. It's not how obedient you are, it's by the obedience of Christ and that's what must bring our thoughts to the obedience of Christ, not our obedience. The moment it's gotta do with you, you know you will fail. You are no more on firm footing, okay?
Next. "So above all, taking the shield of faith. Above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one". All right, the shield of faith. The Roman soldier will have this oblong shield, all right, of faith, and it's made of solid wood, but it's layered over, layered many times over with hides, okay, the leather hides of skin, and it's very sturdy. It stands against the arrows and the javelins of the enemy. But above all, above all, taking the shield of faith, and this word shield covers actually in the spirit.
The idea of shield here is Roman shield, by God's idea of shield in other places in Psalms and all that has this idea of all encompassing, covers your back as well, amen? It's a shield of faith. "With which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one", all the fiery darts of the wicked one. Don't forget what I said. All this got to do with the gospel, got to do with the gospel. You see the fiery darts of the wicked one?
I asked the Lord one time, "Can you show me how the fiery darts work"? Okay, and he showed me, right? The devil shoots a fiery dart. Today there's a... and the word dart you might think it's a dart, the way you play a dart. It's the word for javelin. It's the word for spear. It's the word for arrow, fiery arrow, and it's the word from where you get ballos, ballos, ballistic missile, and the word ballistic from the Greek ballos, ballos, to throw, to shoot, all right, a missile. So, the firing missiles of the enemy, the devil shoots missiles into your mind, and it's fiery.
Don't forget, all they gotta do the gospel, so I'm gonna show you right now what the Lord showed me in Hebrews 12, verse 20. It says, "For they could not endure what was commanded. And if so much as a beast touches the mountain, it shall be stoned or shot with an arrow". God says to Moses at Mount Sinai before he gave the Ten Commandments, God told them the moment they took their position on their obedience, when it was God's faithfulness that brought them out of Egypt, God took care of them in a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. God provided manna and God brought water out of the flinty rock. God took care of them, not because they were good, but because he is good. Not because they were faithful, because he's faithful.
But God brought them out and all of a sudden, they took their position on... All that God says to us, we can do it. Long before they even heard the Ten commandments, man presumed on his strength. Straightaway God told Moses, "Moses, tell them don't come near. And even if a man or a beast touches Mount Sinai, the mountain of law, he will die". How did it die? It will be stoned or shot with an arrow. The Bible says when God came down, there was an appearance of fire. Okay, the fiery dart, the fiery arrow, and this word arrow is the same from the root word where you get fiery dart, the ballos, the ballistic missile. So, it's shot with an arrow, fiery arrow of the law. That's how the devil attacks. His name's Satan.
1 Peter 5:8 says your adversary the devil, be sober, be vigilant because your adversary the devil. The word adversary is the word devil. In the Hebrew when he says adversary, if you look it up, the word is the word Satan. The word adversary is literally your opponent, your prosecutor at law. Are you listening? In the Hebrew Ha-Satan is actually gotta do with the courts of justice, the one who come against you, who points out your faults, amen. He's not your advocate. He's not your defense lawyer. He is your prosecutor. He is there to find faults. He will tear down all your excuses and all that. Your only plea is the blood of Jesus. I got nothing to plea but the blood of Jesus and all his all his arguments fall flat the moment you look to Jesus.
But the moment you say, "But I obeyed the Lord, I did this, I did that, I did this", he'll keep on pointing to things you have not done. You're listening, people, all right? So, the only plea is the blood of Jesus that was shed. So remember this, the way he shoots is that, "you have not done this, you have not done that". Make sure your armor is on. Make sure you're girded with truth. Make sure that you have the gospel of peace, you're understand. It's all gotta do with right believing. Putting on the armor has got to do with right believing. Do you believe the truth, the fact that you are righteous in the gospel of peace? Are you listening, people? Amen.
And once you know that, and I want to say something else to you. You see the word, back to Ephesians 6, taking the shield of faith. People, look up here. How many want to quench all the fiery, not just a few? It says all, quench all the fiery darts. There are two ways this can happen. I'll tell you right now, if you jump ahead verse 18. Look at verse 18 down there. Praying always involve prayer and supplication in the Spirit, right? So, that's one way. And the word quench is what? When you hear the word quench, what kind of idea do you have, quench? Water, very good, water. And fiery, fire and water, who wins? Water.
So, you pray as if praying in the Spirit, you're praying in tongues, it quenches all the fiery darts of the wicked, amen. I'm gonna read to you a testimony right now. Believe it or not, I just received this testimony yesterday. I don't even know about this testimony until yesterday. She gave her full name here. I won't give her full name. I'll just say her name is Corrine from California from US.
"A couple of months ago, I had my first mammogram. I was called back for a follow-up appointment because the doctor found something irregular. During the follow-up appointment, new images were taken as well as an ultrasound. When the nurse left me in the waiting room for the doctor, I remembered Pastor Prince's".
They found, don't forget, they found something irregular, right? So, new images were taken, as well as an ultrasound.
"When the nurse left me in the waiting room for the doctor, I remembered Pastor Prince's message about praying in the Spirit to quench the enemy's fiery darts, so I began praying in tongues. The nurse came back and guided me out of the room for more images because they found something irregular. I was a little more nervous this time but prayed in tongues again when I returned. The nurse came back again for a third set of images. Instead of feeling nervous, I began to realize something, the doctor had not been able to find what he was looking for. When I returned to the room after taking the third set of images, I prayed again in tongues. Finally, the doctor came into the room, checked a few things and confirmed that my mammogram was normal. All Glory to God".
All right, so by the way, I do not know what my team would send me, all right, for testimonies, the latest testimonies. And when I'm preparing the Word, I get someone to prepare the whole thing and they don't even know I'm teaching on this. So, when I received this, the first time I read this was yesterday. I was preparing already on this, and here the Lord is confirming one of the best ways to fight your fears, your anxious thoughts and your worries and anxieties is to pray in the Spirit. It will quench all the fiery darts. He puts all kinds of thoughts in your mind, amen, all kinds of bad images. Well, pray in the Spirit, amen, pray in the Spirit.
I was so excited about this, and I taught my son this, and I said, "When you pray in spirit, you're like the fireman. You're putting out the fire. The Holy Spirit, the language comes out like a river". "You mean like the Malayan"? "Yes", I said, "like the Malayan". All right, quench, say all, quench all. Say all. Don't you like that word all? Okay, and take the helmet of salvation. By the way, the rest of the pieces of the armor are all in participles, okay, they're all in participles, but here is the first imperative in the Greek. It's a command. Take the helmet means receive the helmet of salvation. It's literally the word receive, and receive is an imperative. "Receive the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God, praying always all prayer and supplication in the Spirit".
Now, stop here for a while. Let's look at all the pieces again. Okay, go back again to the beginning. All right, look at all the pieces again. You have, number one, ways you're girded with truth, the first piece, right? Then you have the breastplate of righteousness. Number two, you have your feet with the gospel of peace as your firm foundation. Three, drop down. Shield of faith. Four, helmet of salvation. Five, sword of the Spirit. Six, God never ends on a six. What's the seventh? The seventh is this, praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit.
I'm gonna tell you something really powerful here. Actually, I don't know why they don't translate the very first word in the Greek. If you read the Greek in the verse 18 in Greek, the very first word in Greek is the word dia, and dia always means by means of, through the instrumentality of or through, okay, by the means of, through the channel of. I don't know why they don't translate that word there, but the other translation that translates that is Young's Literal Translation. Young's says like this, through all prayer. You receive the helmet of salvation, you receive the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God, through dia, by means of praying all prayer and supplication, praying at all times in the Spirit. That's praying in tongues. Wow.
How do I receive the helmet of salvation? How do I receive that specific rhema word? Because the word, go back to the King, New King James again. All right, praying always with all prayer and... Now, it says, notice that? How do I receive the sword of Spirit, the Word of God that's specific? This word here is rhema, the saying of God. How do I receive the utterance of God, that one word that I need in my fight? I receive it by praying in the Spirit. When I pray in the Spirit, I become sensitive to the Holy Spirit and God gives me the spoken Word inside here. Right, there's the written Word and then the spoken Word, and the spoken Word will never contradict the written Word, but we all need the spoken Word. We live by the rhema of God. Can I have a good amen?
So, how do I receive the rhema? How many want God to speak to you? How do you receive the rhema? How do you receive the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit? By praying in the Spirit. Okay, y'all can go home already. That's all. Okay, praise God. That's an easy job. No, listen, that's how you pray in the Spirit. Now, helmet of salvation, notice the helmet, that's the first time the imperative appears. God is saying, "Okay, you have all these pieces, now receive", imperative in the imperative mood. Receive, receive the helmet of salvation, and receive the sword of the Spirit by means of praying at all times in the Spirit.
So, when I pray in the Spirit, the first thing I receive is helmet of salvation. Now, this helmet of salvation as 1 Thessalonians tells us, go back to the first, "We, who are of the day be sober, put on the breastplate of", now, "helmet, the hope of salvation", same writer, Paul, by the Spirit says, "hope of salvation". Do you see that? "Hope of salvation". Go back to Ephesians 6. What is the helmet of salvation? And that's why I find that, when you tell people or when you teach the people there is a place where, if they do something, they can lose their salvation, then I'll tell you this: You've just broken the armor, the helmet. There is a hole in the helmet.
The moment you're not assured that you are saved... don't forget what I said, all the pieces of the armor has got to do with the Gospel truths, not Old Covenant truths. You see, the Ten Commandments is the truth, but it's the truth of that day and age that we are no longer under. Today we have only one New Commandment: Love one another as I have loved you. The more I find out how much Jesus love me, we love one another. That's the only commandment. That's why we are called to function in love. Can I have a good "amen"?
All right, not called to function in bitterness, resentment, anger, unforgiveness. You will suffer. Regardless of what the person has done to you, forgive the person for your own sake, amen? So that's the only commandment that we have, and it's the only commandment that we can keep because the last part makes it possible, "as I have loved you". So notice, how am I supposed to love you? "As I, as I, Jesus, have loved you". So I must be conscious of Jesus's love. We love because he first loved us. We love God, and we love one another because he first loved us, amen? But all these pieces of the armor has got nothing to do with Old Testament law or truths. It's gotta do with the truth of today.
Jesus looked at the Pharisees and the Jewish people of his day and those who were his disciples, even, and he said this: "You shall know the truth, and the truth will set you free". These are people who know the law, and, yet Jesus says, "You shall know the truth". What truth? Gospel truth, amen? The Gospel truth is this. Listen: Christ came to die for our sins and for our sin. All our sins by one offering on that cross, Hebrews 10, "For by one offering", amen, "he has forever sanctified us", amen? By that one offering, we are perfected forever, "perfected" in terms not in our behavior, but in our conscience. The chapter before that tells us "perfection".
In other words, when it come to God, we have no more imperfect conscience. "Imperfect" means you have sin on your heart. You're afraid to go to God's presence, and that's why people don't spend time with God because, oh, they're afraid to talk to God. Even when they pray, I always like to say like they: They go into God's presence. They throw their requests real fast, and they get out, lest they think a bad thought or say something wrong, and they drop dead. They still have a Old Testament mentality. They don't understand that Jesus has, by his blood, has opened up a new and living... and the Old Testament way, when you come to God, is an old and dying way because the more you come, chances are you might drop dead, amen? So they only go once a year, but now the more you stay away, the more you are dying. The more you come to him, the more you are living.
Aren't you glad you came to church today? Amen, aren't you glad that the Lord gives you fresh dose of renewal of strength and youth? Many of you received that, but you don't even know it. Look at your faces. Your faces are shining. It's so bright already, and you're still shining. Stop it. Top and bottom, I'm covered, you know? Usually when I go back to my room, and I look into the mirror, my eyes are a bit red. I don't know. "Is it your glory or is it the light"? Amen? But this is for the... someone asked, "Why don't we make it more dim", and all that? It's for broadcast, okay? Because they say that they can't even see my eyes when I look down so, I was born like that. Okay, so, praise God.
The seventh piece is "always the praying with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit". Now, you can lose your weapon. You can lose your whatever it is if you are lost and you are surrounded. You are besieged by enemies, but as long as you have your communication line still open, you can ask for help. You can call for bombing raids on the enemy, amen, as long as you have communication. So praying in the Spirit keeps that line with headquarters, amen, when you are besieged by the enemy. So don't feel like you're alone, amen? May this message bless you and help you to know that all these pieces... are you believing right? Usually, when you believe wrong, that's the area that is vulnerable to the devil.
Now, there is a teaching that's been revived that a Christian can be demonized, a Christian can be... Now, and people try to say it nicely, "Oh, you cannot be demon-possessed, but you can be demonized but the problem is that people get the fear that they have a demon". Let me tell you this: A Christian cannot be demon possessed. Know this: God will not share his holy of holies, your Spirit. He will not share his holy of holies with another demon. He won't come down and say, "Okay, you take that side. I'll stay down here", all right? No, no way, no way. Even an Old Testament priest, if he's not ready, is not prepared, and he goes into the holy of holies, he dies. How much more demon? There's no way God will share his. You are the temple of God, but can you be attacked from outside? Yes, but we got the shield of faith, amen?
I remember years ago the helmet of salvation, for me, wasn't working too well because I remember how it happened. I had a bout where I started believing that I had committed the unpardonable sin. Now, I'll tell you what happened. I can trace it back to the very day that my ports became an open field to the devil's thoughts and fiery darts. It's almost like the gates opened. I don't know what happened. The gates opened, and almost every other hour, I have blasphemous thoughts about God.
Later on, I found out that John Bunyan also suffered that, John Bunyan of "Pilgrim's Progress". I was so encouraged to know that, and he went through the same journey, the one who wrote "Abounding Grace to the Chief of Sinners", the one who wrote "Pilgrim's Progress". All right, he had the same problem, his blasphemous thoughts, but what opened that door? I had very bad thoughts about God almost constantly. I tell you what opened the door. I read a book. I read a book. I got hold already of good teachings and all that, all right, and I don't blame the author of this book. It's not his fault in the way I receive it, but, nonetheless, I read this book, Christian book, and it says that you can lose your salvation.
I don't know why it bothered me. All of a sudden, I said, "Wow", I was enjoying this romance with the King. I was enjoying the Lord's love. I was enjoying the peace of God. I thought it was secure forever, but, all of a sudden, I read this book, and it says you can lose your salvation, a Christian can lose his salvation, and the guy went to point out some ways that you can lose your salvation, and the moment I heard that, or I read there, something happened to me. It's as if my mind, the helmet open up. The hope of salvation was gone. The confident expectation of salvation was gone. "I won't make it to the end. I might be safe now, but can I make"... Hope has got to do with the future. Can I make it all the way?
I started worrying that I might lose my salvation, and the door was open. All of a sudden, I had a blasphemous thought about God, and I said, "How can I think that about God"? "Pshew". And I thought about God. "Pshew". Then another thought about Jesus. "Pshew". Another thought about the Holy Spirit. And the moment it came to the Holy Spirit, this verse came to my mind, another fiery dart. How many of you know the devil can quote Bible? But it's never accurate. So I didn't read it accurately, and he says, "You have committed the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, and because you have committed blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, there's no more forgiveness for you". But what Jesus said, all right, were what people that saw him in person and rejected him and says, "He has an unclean spirit".
It must be people who see him in person and people who will see him in person when he returns not in the Rapture, but the Second Coming of Christ with the Jews then, not with the believers. Believers, your sins are forgiven. When Paul writes to the believer, he says, "In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins". In Colossians, he says again, "We have forgiveness of sins". In Colossians, again, he says, "Having forgiven you all trespasses". That means what? God saw your entire life. We see from a time perspective, day by day. God sees your life until the day you die or the day you meet Jesus face-to-face, amen, in the Rapture. God sees your entire life. When God put your sins on Jesus, and God says, "having forgiven you all", God means all.
Now, this won't cause people to have, you know, a propensity to want to sin, knowing they're forgiven much because Jesus says, "Those who know they're forgiven much will love him much". It's for the lack of preaching this, we see sins rampant in the church. We see people struggling, you know?
And, now, back to my story again, I started having blasphemous thoughts about the Holy Spirit, and, all sudden, you know, I didn't know it's been shot from outside. It felt so much coming from inside. Then this verse was quoted to me, "You blaspheme against the Holy Spirit, you have no more forgiveness". And Jesus is not referring to the believer. A believer cannot commit this sin. A believer cannot commit this sin. I tell you, I cannot sleep at night. I cannot rest in the daytime. I was troubled, troubled. I went to this man of God to ask for deliverance. I went to that man of God for ask for deliverance.
Man, my life was hell, all right? You can read all about this in "Destined to Reign", and probably in a few other books that I have written, but my life was like hell on earth because of my thoughts. My thoughts became so dark, and the more I had those bad thoughts, the more I had bad thoughts about God, you know, and all because I believe. And it was this area that was attacked. Notice that? The helmet of salvation was no longer there because of wrong believing, but when God brought me back, that's when God introduced to me the gospel of grace when God showed me that I'm saved and the Bible says, "Having obtained eternal redemption", and "I give them eternal life. No man can pluck them out of my hand". "My Father, who is greater than all", amen, "has given me them, and no man can pluck them out of my Father's hand".
So you have the Father's hand and Jesus's hands, and we are complete, protected. The propensity of the flesh, the flesh is so bad that it will try to say, "Yeah, what if you jump out"? See, the flesh always want to find something. You know, it snatches defeat from the jaws of victory, you know? And God comforts you, and say, "Well, what if you jump out, okay"?
Now you're talkin' about free will, okay? I really don't wanna go into a discourse of pointing to other verses at this point. I don't care if someone has a dream, someone has a vision, someone has a Jesus appearing, or someone has this prophet of God saying to them this and all that. Must go by the Word. We must go by the Word, and the Word says very clearly, "I give them eternal life". If eternal life is not eternal, pray, tell me what is, "eternal life"? Can I have a good "amen"? Eternal, "I give them eternal redemption". Jesus offered himself by the eternal Spirit. Are you listening? Eternal, everything that Jesus touch is eternal. The moment you are saved, it's eternal. Are you listening?
You know, someone says if you live like... I don't believe a Christian lives like the devil, but he can live a defeated life for even a few years. It's not for us to judge, but if he's saved, he's saved, amen. Are you listening? Go and deal with the person. There is chastisement, amen? God will deal because he loves the person. God will deal with the person, but it doesn't mean the person is lost, need to get saved again.
So I was getting saved every other Sunday, every time there's a altar call. Back then, people don't know me, so I can go up there and get saved again, amen, and I was getting saved so many times. I don't know how many times I was born again and again and again and again and again. My thoughts became so dark, so dark. It's no fun, you know? I remember carrying my big Bible, looking for a deliverance minister, and it started raining. Had big Bible that can choke a donkey. It was a big Bible, and I walk in the rain, and it was raining, you know? And, all of a sudden, I felt like, "Yes". I was crying in the rain. The song came, "Crying in the Rain". And I was singing to myself, "Even the heavens", tiana, you know? "Even the heavens is not for me". Here I am, I'm lost, looking for the house, you know?
It was a lender property of a minister that prays for people to be delivered from demons, and I thought I had a demon because of all these blasphemous thoughts. In fact, I met a few ministers that say, "Yes, you have a demon. It's a demon of blasphemy". Another one told me, when he lay hands on me, I still remember this. It was in the bookshop, Christian bookshop. He lay hands on me, and he says, "Yeah, it's very dark". Happened to see him there in the bookshop and asked him to pray for me. He prayed for me. He says, "Ah, it's very dark. I sense something very dark on your mind". And he walk off. I'll never forget that. He walked off right after that. Now, I'm like... phew.
There was another Christian bookshop I went to. I was reading a lot of books in those days, all right, all kinds of books I could find because I didn't have the money to buy those books. And the bookseller, the lady says, "You wanna buy or not"? And I put the book back, walk out slowly. And that's why, when I see young people browsing books and all that... Once, I was in our own bookshop here and saw a young person browsing... no, not our bookshop. Sorry. Another Christian bookshop, I saw a young person browsing, and I saw the books that he put back, put back, and so I took back all those books that he put back, and I bought it for him because he reminded me of me.
That lady in the Christian bookshop, she never knew that she was talking to a pastor, one day, who will preach, okay? God bless you, lady. If you're in this church, it's okay. It's all forgiven, amen? It's all forgiven. Praise the Lord. Don't feel guilty. Don't feel bad. It's okay. Thank you, Lord Jesus. I was so sad. Even heaven is crying on me, you know? Heaven has rejected me, and I'm just walking in the rain. My Bible got soaked. I got soaked, and I didn't care. It's like, "I've lost my salvation".
So I walked down Orchard Road. I remember passing out tracts, believing that all these people are going to heaven, but I'm going to hell. I did that, thinking that I'm going to hell already. "I've lost my salvation", amen? They're all going to heaven. So, hopefully, when they go to heaven, God tells them, go ask them, "Who got you saved"? And they say, "Oh, Joseph Prince", all right? Then God will think of me in hell. That was my reasoning. It was terrible. And some people listening to me, "Oh, that's why, you know, that's why you are so afflicted like that". No, no, everyone is afflicted to a certain extent. I have a calling to preach the gospel of grace, so I believe that, because of my calling, the experience I went through is more extreme, amen, so that I can understand the torment that people go through.
So I understand, when people go through depression or that, I don't take that lightly. I've been through that, amen. What got me out is the gospel of grace. In those days, by the way, I was confessing my sins as much as I can. I was confessing every sin. I confessed more than any of you put together. Like Paul says, "I thank my God I speak in tongues more than you all". I confess my sins more than you all. When I talk to you and I think I exaggerate, I'll suffer because exaggeration is sin, okay? In case you all didn't know, exaggeration is sin. When you say, "Everyone had a smartphone", not everyone. Then I will confess, "Oh, sorry I said, 'everyone'".
You know, every little thing, if I feel a bit of a desire for the opposite sex, "It's lust already. It's lust. It's lust. I must not have any desires", all right? I confessed even desires. I confessed wrong thoughts. I confessed everything, all right? Why? Because I really believed if one sin unconfessed will keep you out of fellowship with God... and don't start arguing about a relationship or fellowship. In the Greek, it's only one word, "koinonia". So don't argue with me about "fellowship" or "relationship". Go back to the Greek, okay?
You all know 1 John 1:9. Do you all know 1 Corinthians 1:9? It says, "God is faithful", not me, "God is faithful by whom you are called into fellowship by his Son, Jesus Christ", amen? I have fellowship with his Son, and it's not based on my faithfulness. I have "koinonia" with his Son, and it's not based on my faithfulness. "God is faithful by whom you are called into fellowship". So, anyway, I believed this, that it's for the believer, and I believed one unconfessed sin would put me out of fellowship, therefore, I must confess every sin, so I became my own Holy Spirit, trying to find every sin to confess because I dare not be in a place where I am not in the flow with God.
And that also led to my mind becoming, you know, all kinds of, even though I thought I was going to hell, I was still hoping that I can get back into God's good, you know, favors, and it was terrible. It was a terrible time. I don't wanna bore you with all the details, but when God unveiled to me the gospel of grace, it set me free, all right? No one can move me from that position that I know that I'm forgiven, and I'm forgiven forever, amen? It's too late, amen. It's too late. You cannot convince me anyhow that Jesus's salvation is only good, is only good until you commit one sin, and that sin, no one agrees on, you know? We don't know what sin it is. "Oh, you renounce Jesus".
By the way, coming back to this, you can't jump out of Jesus's hands. Somehow, he's trying to assure us "No man can pluck you out of," and "man" there is italics. "No one, no demon, nothing can pluck you out of my hands". And my Father is greater than all, right? And I give them eternal life and they shall never perish. What part of "never" you don't understand? And then we say, "Oh yeah". The flesh will always find something. The flesh will find what if I jump out of his hand? You jump out, you bounce, okay, in his Father's hand. "But Pastor, we have a free choice". No, you're not as free as you think you are. I've said time and time again, can a sinner... sorry I point to you, brother. But, you know, the most secure people in the front row, right?
So I can illustrate, if I tell a sinner, okay, "You're lost". They say, "I have a free choice". No, you know, you know who is dominating your life? The devil. And he says, "No, the devil is not dominating my life". I said, "Yes, he is". "What do you mean"? I say, "He's dominating your life". "I renounce the devil. With my free choice, I renounce the devil. I don't want him. I don't want Jesus. I don't want the devil so I renounce the devil". Is the devil still in his life? Hello? Is the devil still in his life? Yes. Is he still unsaved? Yes. I say, "You are unsaved state". "I renounce my unsaved state".
Is he still saved or unsaved? Is he saved or still unsaved? Unsaved. So your free choice is not so powerful as you think, huh? You know what's more powerful? First Adam, what he did. His choice. The first Adam's disobedience make you a sinner. Now we need another Adam to rescue us, okay? I cannot, even a person gets angry, he's under pressure. The devil pressures him, his wife pressures him, mother-in-law pressures him, whatever. Then finally, he says, "I renounce Jesus", okay? The same way that a sinner renounces his sinnership, he's still a sinner because of what the first Adam did. There might be chastisement, there might be dealings with him, but if he's truly saved one time, he's born again one time, he cannot be born again and again, okay? That much I wanna say and then we go on because I'll bring this to a close. Are you all learning this so far?
All right, now I wanna show you something about praying in the Spirit. Would you like to see it? It's a gift in closing, I just wanna tell you. It's a gift that is unique, listen. That is unique for the new covenant. In other words, only those who know they are forgiven of their sins receive this gift. On the first Pentecost, God gave the Ten Commandments, the law, on Mount Sinai, 3000 people died. On the first Pentecost when the Day of Pentecost has fully come, God gave the Spirit on Mount Zion, all right, and 3000 people were saved. So the law kills, the Spirit gives life. And when God gave the law, God spoke about man's works. When God gave the Spirit, they all spoke in tongues declaring the wonderful works of God. The emphasis is on God, not on man.
And that's why the preaching has got to be declaring the beauties, the glories, the excellencies of Jesus, his titles, his offices, what he's done, it's all about him and who we are in him. You must only see yourself in him. Can I have a good amen? Amen, you are in Christ risen. Why are you protected today? Why are you in the secret place of the Most High? Because you are in Christ risen. Can I have a good amen? There's our emphasis. But the moment it becomes a lifestyle message about you, your character, what you need to do, the seven steps, it can be good for motivation, all right, for a little bit but too much emphasis on that becomes self-occupied instead of Christ-occupied. Are you listening? Spending time with Jesus will cause us to focus on him. This right now you are spending time with him. Let me bring this to a close, okay? Is this helping you so far?
Now, I wanna call your attention to this armor of God. Go back to the beginning of this verse or this armor is the whole armor of God. I wanna close with the New Testament counterpart, or rather the New Testament picture of God's armor. Go to Isaiah 59: "God put on righteousness as a breastplate". See that? It's God's armor. "God put on righteousness as a breastplate". Now, the context is that God saw that truth is falling in the street. There's no more justice in the world. God saw that the people who depart from evil and make themself a prey. How can those who stand for morality, for right things and all that, today, in the world we live in today is mocked, made fun of, and even persecuted at law in some countries, amen.
So the thing is this: God saw the context I'm giving you. Context real fast. God saw that truth is falling in the streets. God saw that those who depart from evil make themself a... I think I said wrongly just now, those depart from the Lord. Make themself a prey, a victim, amen? I mean, those who obey the Lord, those who wanna follow the life of the Lord, they make themself a victim. God didn't like it. God looked down, he saw. He was displeased. And then God put on righteousness as a breastplate, now this armor of God, amen. These are armor of God. "And a helmet of salvation on his head". That's why we take on the armor of God. It is his armor, amen? "He put on the garments of vengeance for clothing".
It's not vengeance against us, it's vengeance against our enemies, all the spiritual darkness that oppresses you, that depresses you and it causes pain in your body or emotional pain or whatever. These are the enemies he's declaring vengeance on. Can I have a good amen? "I'll be an adversary", he says, "to your adversaries". "And he was clad with zeal as a cloak. According to their deeds, accordingly he will repay. Fury to his adversaries, recompense to his enemies; the coastlands he will fully repay". Drop down. "So shall they fear the name of the Lord from the west, and his glory from the rising of the sun".
It's very interesting that the name of Jesus, the revelation of the restoration of the name of Jesus and the power of the name of Jesus came from the west, but the revelation of the glory of Jesus, the felt presence, you know, the glory of the Lord, is from the rising of the sun, Japan, Singapore, Korea, China. It will come from this way, okay? He could have said, "From the west you have thought they are from the east, is from the rising of the sun". Okay, watch this now, "'The Redeemer will come to Zion, to those who turn from transgression in Jacob', says the Lord. 'As for me', says the Lord, 'this is my covenant with them: My'"...
Is it possible to put the two verses together, 20 and 21? All right, no, no. Go back again to the verse. Go back, okay, "'As for me,' says the Lord", because of time I'm gonna show you real fast. "'This is my covenant with them: My Spirit who is upon you, and my words which I have put in your mouth, shall not depart from your mouth, nor from the mouth of your descendants, nor from the mouth of your descendants' descendants,' says the Lord, 'from this time and forevermore'". Now, this, "As for me, this is my covenant with them: My Spirit that's on you, and my words that I've put in your mouth", get up again. "My words in your mouth, all right, will not depart from your mouth, nor from your seed, your children's mouth, nor from your grandchildren's mouth".
In other words, it starts with your mouth. And what is this words. We all speak words. So what is this special covenant, "As for me, this is my covenant with them. I'll put my words". It's praying in the Spirit. I submit to you the new covenant and the words that came on the Day of Pentecost was praying in the Spirit. So God is saying, "Don't worry about your children praying in the Spirit. If you pray in the Spirit, it will not depart from your mouth, then it will not depart from their mouth. It will not depart from your seed's mouth", right? You see that?
Now, these two verses, go to verse 20 again. Notice, "The Redeemer will come to Zion, to those who turn from transgression in Jacob", keep that in mind, "says the Lord". And then verse 21: "As for me, this is my covenant with them". Do you know that these two verses are quoted in Romans 11. You all saw a flash just now. Romans 11, do you know that? And in all the marginal rendering the Bible, they tell you it's quoted from Isaiah 59. But look at the two together. Compare them. In Romans 11 it says: "So all Israel will be saved, as it is written".
Now, as it is written where? On the left, Isaiah 59: "The Deliverer will come out of Zion, and he will turn away ungodliness from Jacob". Now look at this: "For this is my covenant with them", verse 21 on the left side. "As for me, this is my covenant with them". But instead, talking about praying in tongues, he says, "This is my covenant with them when I take away their sins".
So taking away our sins is equivalent to us praying in tongues. And that's why I'm telling you, people who are not established in the fact that their sins are forgiven, they have a problem praying in tongues. They can pray but their prayer is not a flow. Because praying in tongues is like the moment you realize in Cornelius's house when Peter preached how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit with power, nothing happened. He talk about all the good things, nothing happened. But the moment he says, through him all the prophets witness that everyone who believes in him receive forgiveness of sins, the Holy Spirit fell.
And the word "fell" in the Greek is the word "embrace". The same word used for prodigal son's father embracing him. The Holy Spirit embraced everyone in Cornelius's house and they all began, it was a bear hug, it was a love hug. And they all began to speak with tongues. It was out of the flow of knowing that God loves you. Jude says, "Pray in the Holy Spirit, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit", comma, "keep yourself in the love of God".
So the way you keep yourself, not your love for God, but God's love for you. Keep yourself in the love of God. You know how you keep yourself in the sense that God loves you? When you drive your car, all of a sudden someone cuts in front of you, you feel anger, you pray in the Spirit. All of a sudden, you realize God loves you, you are special. This is too special for you to lose over someone who just cut you. You pray in tongues, you feel the love of God. God loving you and even love for others. Praying in the Holy Spirit keep yourself in the love of God. Isn't it amazing when you compare these two passages, yeah, the right is from the Septuagint, but the Septuagint is the Greek version of the Old Testament. But why is this complete change? Because the Holy Spirit wanted it changed.
Now, I did not say the Septuagint in every case is of the Holy Spirit. Every translation into Greek. But where it is used in the New Testament by Jesus or the apostles, all right, where it's quoted, the change was intended by the Holy Spirit, all right? So the covenant that I'll take away their sins, hey, it's taken away. It's taken away.
You think God meant what he said? When will it be take away? When will he take away? When you confess all your sins. Then you are believing something that God never intended. No wonder there's no flow. Your life is a struggle. I have been there, done it, got a T-shirt, don't like it, all right? Help yourself. You wanna lead the kind of life, help yourself. But I'm here to tell you that we are all forgiven, those who believe in Christ, forever and now we have a truth about the fact that we are righteous in Christ and our feet have the gospel of peace shoes.
One last thing and then I'll close. It says in verse 16, show them verse 16. Ephesians 6, verse 16. Never mind, you all know it, I'll tell you anyway. Verse 16 says: "Above all, taking the shield of faith". Do you know that the word "faith" here has a definite article, "the" faith? We all think of faith as a teaching, you know. I have faith in healing, all right. So I put up the shield of faith and all the fiery darts of symptoms can't come near me. I think that's true. I'm not saying that's not true. It's a general truth. But, specifically, all this has got to do with the gospel truths and when the Bible says the faith, it's referring to justification by faith. "Taking the shield of the faith".
Young's translation is "Taking the shield of the faith". The faith is there. Sometimes, in the book of Galatian, for example, it say: "After faith has come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster". Actually, "the" is there. "After the faith has come". What is the faith? Righteousness by faith. Are you listening, people? Are you listening? And that is where we all want to rest. Can I have a good amen? Have you been blessed? Praise the Lord.
Every head bowed, every eye closed, all across this place. You are the righteousness of God in Christ. If anyone can move you away from that by their teaching or their unbelief, let me just tell you this. If you invite that wrong teaching, no wonder there is uncertainty in your heart. No wonder there is shakiness. And it can also affect all your ability to receive the blessings of God, whether they be healing, health. Many a times, those who struggle to receive are those, deep down they have a wrong belief. And it's so deeply entrenched that sometimes it takes hours and hours of listening to right teaching, gospel truths to set them free.
I didn't ask you whether you know these truths. I'm asking you what do you believe deep down? Do you really believe that you are the righteousness of God in Christ? Do you really believe that you have firm foundation under your feet because of the gospel of peace? Do you believe that you are the righteousness of God justified by faith and that becomes a shield that quenches all? Do you have the hope of salvation? If not, today is the day that you renounce all your wrong beliefs and start believing right. I don't care how many times you click on these pieces, it won't work if you believe the wrong thing.
Stop believing that you are vulnerable to losing your salvation. Stop believing that you are unclean and dirty in the eyes of God. Stop believing that God is holding your sins against you. Stop believing wrong and start believing right. All your sins are forgiven through Jesus's blood. You are the righteousness of God in Christ, amen. You stand before God in all the fullness, in all the efficacy of the work of Jesus. We are unto God a sweet fragrance of Christ. You are highly favored in the beloved. God wraps you up with Christ. He is the armor of God. Putting on the Lord Jesus Christ and fulfill not the lusts of the flesh. You gotta put him on, put him on, put him on. Realize he's your new identity.
One day, John Bunyan walked through the fields near his place somewhere and he look up to heaven and he heard the Holy Spirit tell him, "Your righteousness is in heaven. Your righteousness is in heaven". And he was set free. Even though that verse or that statement is not found in the Bible, the truth is. Jesus is your righteousness and he's in heaven. Therefore, your righteousness cannot be moved. It cannot be assailed. It cannot be shaken because your righteousness is in heaven, amen? Praise the Lord.
Now a word to those who are not yet believers, amen? But today, your heart has responded to the love of God. Your heart feels the pull of the Holy Spirit. Remember, you have a choice. You can choose to believe or walk out of here with your unbelief. The Bible says that whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved. You gotta call. I'll help you in this prayer. Pray this prayer with me, okay?
Heavenly Father, I believe that you love me and that you sent your Son to die for my sins on that cross. And I believe that Jesus bore every sin and all the condemnation of those sins in his own body on that cross. When he cried, 'Finished, is all finished,' my sins are no more in your eyes. And when I was justified in him, you raised him from the dead. Today, you have glorified him. I confess Jesus Christ is my Lord and my Savior and because you have glorified him, baptize and fill me with your Holy Spirit in Jesus's name right now, amen.
Now everyone pray in the Spirit right now. Let the water flow, c'mon. De-stress yourself, amen, by praying in the Spirit. Walk in peace. It's not a emotional thing. It's a very deep thing. Walk in that peace by praying in the Spirit. You've never prayed in the Spirit, do it right now in Jesus's name. Open your mouth by faith, step out into the water by faith, and start speaking right now in Jesus's name. Let's all stand to our feet. All right, stop.
You see, you can stop anytime you want to, amen? You were designed to contain God. Your body, your whole vessel, is designed to contain something. You don't contain God, you're not saved, you'll contain another spirit, amen. And this spirit's not loving you. Only God is a Spirit that loves you, amen. You were designed to contain God. Thank God for praying in the Spirit, amen? It's a weapon that cuts away all the lies of the enemy. He helps us put on the helmet of salvation. Hey, man, you know it, amen? Lift your hands all across this place.
This coming week, the Lord bless you and the Lord keep you. The Lord make his face to shine on you and be gracious to you. The Lord lift up his countenance on you and grant you shalom, wholeness, and peace in Jesus's name. And all the people said, "Amen".