Joseph Prince - Find Power In His Presence
Greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. The Word of God is what transforms our lives. There's power in the Word of God to change any situation in your life. One word from God is all that it takes. When you hear a sermon, it is the word that God has for you. In the multitude of what is being shared, you hear that one word, that rhema word. In the Greek, it's called rhema. You feel as if that word is for you. That's what you look for in every sermon.
You meditate on it, you listen without any distraction, attend to God's Word like Mary did at the feet of Jesus, whereas Martha was too busy and that's why she gave vent to her fears, her worries, her anxieties, even her bitterness and anger, and resulting in a complaining attitude. All that we see in people around us, right? And we see that in ourselves as well, at times, when we don't spend time sitting at Jesus's feet and listening to his word. So, thank God we have this opportunity every single week to sit at the feet of Jesus and to hear his word, amen? Not man's word, but God's Word. Praise the Lord.
I hold in my hand right now my latest book on the Communion. It's a daily devotional Communion guide, amen. Because Communion's not something that... you hear so many testimonies in our church as well as from people all over the world of which some I'll be sharing from this book, and we have testimonies galore throughout this book. And just to build your faith because the Bible says they overcame Satan by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony. When we hear other people testify, you know, it builds such faith in us, amen. Just waiting at a doctor's office for your appointment, someone is before you and you're waiting outside. Don't spend time just, you know, doing something else on your phone. Go to all the testimonies and read about what God has done for them, even before you see the doctor, amen. Prepare yourself in that way and you'll be surprised how that just sort of imparts faith that the same God who did this for them will do the same for you.
I wanna start off by sharing with you a testimony from this book that just so blessed me and it's on depression, especially people during this time of this crisis that they are in, people feel a sense of not just aloneness, cut off from social interaction, but a lot of people are battling with depression. Some families, when they are put together for some time, it results in seeing the worst and the bad in each other. Some of the families, because they are looking to Jesus, they are able to take this time to really learn to love each other unconditionally and to learn to forbear and bear - the two bears you must have in your house, amen.
But there are many and even I was listening to the news the other day and it's saying that people with psychiatric problems and people with mental challenges, mental issues, are on the rise. A lot of people are dealing with depression, amen, loss of job, loss of health, loss of a sense of hope for the future, and this can result in depression, and depression is very real. And the Bible calls it the spirit of heaviness. It's a spirit. It's a spirit that is out, looking for people who are entertaining or lost in thoughts of negativism, pessimism, the worst is yet to be. They cannot look to the future. The Bible says: "Bible hope is not that I hope good things might happen". That's not Bible hope. Bible hope is a positive expectation of good. The word "elpis" in the Bible is always a positive expectation of good, amen?
So I wanna share this testimony of this precious lady who suffered from depression and not just any sort of depression. Listen: "I left an abusive marriage of 12 years and my kids live with my ex-husband. I am only able to see them twice in a year because I live 12 hours away. After my last visit to see my kids, I fell into a deep depression". I reckon if I'm separated from my child, I know how tortuous that can be. "I couldn't get out of bed. I couldn't get out of bed," she said, "and slept up to 20 hours a day". I can't imagine that: sleeping up to 20 hours a day because of depression. "Medications didn't help me. I lost 58 pounds in 5 months because I couldn't eat. Pastor Prince, I've been listening to your sermons on 'The Holy Communion,' literally for 24 hours on some days".
Wow, listening to my sermons on Holy Communion literally, she says, "for 24 hours on some days. I let them play as I sleep and I listen for the few hours I am awake. The revelation I receive on the Communion has helped me step out of such deep darkness and depression. Like the new manna that fell for the children of Israel every day, God showed me that his daily bread was my daily healing not for yesterday or tomorrow, but today".
So God gave her a personal revelation that, just like the manna fell every day for the children of Israel, his daily bread falls afresh every day for her and that is also the principle of daily Communion, amen? Partaking of the Communion daily. This is what she said: "God told me it is the same with Communion, that today he supplies all my healing through the elements of bread and juice, the simple things that represent what his Son did for me on the cross. When tomorrow comes, he'll provide me with new bread and new healing for that day". Notice that? She had a revelation that Communion is to be partaken of every day, daily, just like we pray the Lord's Prayer, "Give us this day our daily bread," and bread is a symbol of healing as well.
You know, Jesus says, "It's not right to take the children's bread," reference to healing, reference to deliverance. And here, she says that she has a revelation from God, a personal revelation that as manna came for the children of Israel every day, all right, when we partake of the Lord's Supper every day, we are receiving our daily health. Isn't that good, amen? And that's what I've been sharing also every time I preach on Communion I tell people to partake if they can, not just daily but sometimes if there's an issue that they are battling with and the doctors have given them a bad prognosis, just to believe God. Like you take medicine three times a day, take Communion three times a day.
But again, friend, it is not a matter of, like, "If I take Communion, there it is, the power of God. It works like magic". No, no, no, friend. This is a relationship with the Lord, and that's why I believe that, just like my book gives the general information and it gives you the spiritual intelligence on how to partake of the Lord's Supper and the revelation about the Lord's Supper in my first book, amen? "Eat Your Way to Life and Health". But here, this book is a daily devotional so that it doesn't become something like you feel like, "When I'm sick, I just go to Communion," without a revelation. This will build a revelation in you every single day so always partake of it fresh, amen?
Well, back to the story of this lady who was depressed. And she says that "when tomorrow comes, God will provide me with new bread and new healing for that day. So I began to take the Communion every day and especially when I had really dark moments. And here I stand, depression-free. God has restored hope in my life. Understanding the Communion better has given me hope and showed me that without Jesus, hope is just an empty word. All praise to God for his revelation," amen. Praise the name of Jesus. A lady who was depressed, sleeping all the time, amen, having this revelation is just simply amazing. We give God the praise and the glory for what the Lord has done for her, and what the Lord did for her he wants to do for you as well in the name of Jesus.
I wanna pray for you right now. If you are suffering from depression and you're watching this secretly in the privacy of your little room somewhere, know this. This is not a permanent thing, amen, for you because you're tuning in. It's not gonna be your future. It will not dictate to you your life, amen, in the future. No, when you look at the future, my friend, the best is yet to come, amen. Your future is as bright as God's favor, as God's grace, amen. His mercies are new every morning. So when you look forward and some people don't look forward and they're depressed. They don't look forward to morning, when morning comes, and they don't look forward to night, when night comes. They don't look forward to falling asleep. But, friend, you can look forward because God wants you to have a positive expectation of good because, right now, in the name of Jesus, Jesus would do something for you right now that was just so set you free, amen? I just feel impressed right now to pray this for you.
In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, Lord Jesus, I thank you. You give us the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness and this wonderful brother and this sister that is watching, and, Father, right now, whoever's watching that is suffering from depression of any measure, in the name of Jesus, Lord, when you set free, you set free indeed. In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the blood of Jesus, I command that foul spirit of depression and I command the foul spirit of heaviness to be lifted from off your life, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Be free in the name of Jesus, amen, amen, amen.
And, friend, there's truly a freedom that comes. Yes, what you're sensing right now, many are feeling like that kind of a menthol refreshing, you know, like a better word, I use the word "menthol," eucalyptus, you know, you smell that. I feel like that's happening to you right now. You are breathing, like, fresh air, right where you are in Jesus's name. Now, friend, whatever is, that is heavy on you, that is dark, that is burdening you, that is just oppressing you, is gone, amen? But listen, there might be a counter attack and many a times there might be a counter attack. The devil come back and say, "You see, you're not the same. What happened this morning or what happened just now, you know, isn't real". No, don't listen to that. It's time to fill your thoughts with the Word of God, amen?
And the sermon I'm about to preach, start filling your thoughts with it. We call it meditation. Start to meditate on what I'm sharing. Go online, amen. Find the materials, amen. Get the book on Communion or get another book that I've preached on because, I recommend my books because I know what I'm teaching, amen? There are many good books out there but I'm recommending because I know what I'm teaching and I know it's the Word of God that will set you free, but do fill your mind. Fill your mind with the Word of God. Meditate on God's Word day and night, amen? And you know, time will come when your friends will say, "What happened to you? Your face is glowing. There's a light in your eyes," amen? "It's a joy to be around you". And they will ask you, "What happened to you," amen? You can testify to what Jesus has done for you, amen.
Hallelujah, let's dive right into the Word of God. Let's go to Numbers 16 right now for the now word that God has for us. "On the next day," now, the next day here, in the King James, "on the morrow". This day is a new day. It's like prophetically speaking of the age of grace. When Jesus died on the cross for our sins, and he rose from the dead, he brought in a new era, a new dispensation of grace, amen. God is no more dealing with men based on their sins. God is dealing with men based on grace, amen. The Bible says how God was in Christ, reconciling the world, not pushing the world aside, not condemning them for their sins, but God was in Christ. When Christ came, God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, amen. Not imputing their trespasses unto them, amen. Isn't it wonderful?
And Jesus, when he went around healing, you read all through Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, it is as if he doesn't see their sin. Now, they have sins and sin staring in the face, you know? I mean, obvious sins, even, amen. He will minister to the prostitutes, he will minister to sinners, outright sinners, overt sinners, amen? And they are manifesting their sins and some of them don't even care that they are manifesting their sins, all right? But Jesus touched them and they were healed. Jesus healed them. As many as reach out for Jesus, all received healing. Never was there a time in Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John, where Jesus says, "I cannot heal you because you have sins in your life". It seems like his grace was greater than the sin.
Now, are we belittling sin in people's lives? No, no, friend, listen, his grace is greater than sin. People say that sin can stop God's grace. No, friend, grace stops sin dead in its tracks, amen? And then, when people realized and experienced the grace of God, it is the goodness of God that leads them to repentance. It's the goodness of God that leads them into a life of holiness or sanctification, if you would, amen? But it is not the other way around. We don't live a holy life to get healing from God, amen? That's not the way that, you know, and you cannot live a holy life that is real, true holiness. Only grace can give you true holiness.
You must experience God's grace and the result, the fruit, of that as in Galatians, will be love, joy, peace, self-control, meekness, tempers. All that is part of the fruit of living under grace, hallelujah, amen. Praise the name of Jesus. So it's a new era because the day before this, in Numbers 16, what happened is that Korah, all right, the Dathan and Abiram, they rebel against Moses. They grumble against Moses, they spoke against the High Priest, Aaron. They say that who are they, you know, to lift themselves up against God's people? Why do I need a High Priest? I don't need a High Priest. I don't need a go-between. My works, amen, my behavior, is holy enough. And they used the word "holy," amen. "Why do you lift yourself? God's people are holy. Why do you"... So they don't see a need, amen. They don't distrust themself and see a need for their High Priest. So they are speaking against Aaron, a type of Christ.
You know what happened? And Moses says, "If this is what we are about, our ministry and all that, it's not from God," okay? Then you would know it soon enough. But if you are rebelling against God, know this. Who is Aaron and who am I, amen? But if you rebel against God, God will do a new thing, the earth will quake, and you'll be swallowed live. And that's exactly what happened. The sons of Korah were spent, okay? But Dathan, Abiram, the Korahites, they were all swallowed up, but their sons became, later on in the time of David, they became writers of the Psalms, they were part of the worship. That's the mercy of God. It shows that God showed mercy in the midst of judgment. But this is a picture of the old covenant.
So, "on the morrow" is the day of grace. We are looking at that right now, okay? "On the next day all the congregation of the children of Israel complained," whoa. It's as if they didn't learn. Just the day before, they saw, those who rebelled against and grumbled against the high priest and against Moses, they were swallowed alive in the earthquake, and yet on the morrow, the next day, they still said to Moses and Aaron, those who saw what happened, "'You have killed the people of the Lord.' Now it happened, when the congregation had gathered against Moses and Aaron, that they turned towards the tabernacle of meeting, and suddenly the cloud covered it, and the glory of the Lord appeared. Then Moses and Aaron came before the tabernacle of meeting. And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 'Get away from among this congregation, that I may consume them in a moment.' And they fell on their faces".
That's what good leadership does. They'll fall on their face. They'll fall on their face, amen? And they will always pray. You know, I pray for my critics. I pray that God will bless them, amen? If they criticize me, I always pray, number one. If there's something right in what they're criticizing, then, Lord, teach me, amen? And Lord, if it's not true, then, Father, right, in the name of Jesus I pray that you'll bless them, deal with them in your mercy and loving kindness. I don't wish ill for anyone that speaks against my ministry or whatever. That's the attitude that God wants leaders to have. "They fell on their faces. Moses said to Aaron, 'Take a censer and put fire in it from the altar, put incense,'" say "incense". "'Put incense on it, and take it quickly to the congregation and make atonement for them; for wrath has gone out from the Lord. The plague has begun.'"
So, here we are in a situation where the plague has begun in an age of grace, in a time of grace in our lives. Right now, we are seeing a plague that has never been experienced or seen before. In many people who are even older, they say they cannot remember a time like this, amen, since perhaps the Spanish flu in the early 1900s. But you know what, friend? We are in a day, in a modern time, there's never been such a plague that has caused such a shutting down of homes and businesses and nations. So, definitely we are in a time when the plague has started. And God has a now word for you and I. Notice that the very ones that the people were criticizing and grumbling against, the high priest Aaron who's a type of Jesus Christ, he is the high priest, amen. Our high priest today is our Lord Jesus Christ. He stands at the Father's right hand. Aren't you glad we have a high priest?
You know, people talk about Job and what Job went through and Job's sufferings and all that. There's one thing about Job that's different from us. Job didn't have a daysman. In fact, Job uttered his desire. He actually complained. He says that, "How I wish there was a daysman, a go between, a high priest, amen, a mediator between God and me that can lay hold on God, and can lay hold on me, amen? And reconcile us". And because Satan seems to have free access at that time and that's another message altogether. I have a entire sermon on Job. You can look that up as to what happened and all that, the three friends of Job and what they represent and how Job came out of it. But to compare yourself completely with Job, absolutely with Job in all points, cannot stand, cannot hold a test, all right, today because Job did not have a high priest that you and I have today.
We have a high priest after the order of Melchizedek. Melchizedek order is such that in his mouth when he pronounce a blessing on Abraham, he says, "Blessed be Abraham, and blessed be the Most High God". Our Lord Jesus is not after the order of the Levitical priesthood that is under law. Levitical priesthood pronounces blessing if you obey and pronounces the curse if you don't. We are not under that priesthood. We are under a priesthood where God is blessed and man is blessed. There is no curse. If you read up where Melchizedek appeared, there is no curse in his mouth, hallelujah. And he brought bread and wine. He brought the Communion, amen, praise the Lord.
And here we have a high priest, and the people are muttering and grumbling and speaking against Aaron. Aaron is a picture of Jesus Christ in that day because Aaron is the high priest of Israel. And notice what Moses said: "Perhaps we can find within this story the secret of standing against this plague, the secret of resolving this plague. The secret of what it takes to stop the plague", amen. And, you know, the Bible says, and we don't see any revelation from God, that God says. Take the incense, it seems like Moses knew what God wanted and he says this: "Aaron," the high priest, "quickly, take your golden censer, take your censer, and put incense on it. Take coals of fire from the bronze altar, put on the incense, okay? And put the spice, the spices of the incense".
The moment the spice hit the coals of fire, there is a smoke. And incense, there's a sweet-smelling incense to God. And all that incense speaks of the perfections of our Lord Jesus Christ. You know that the incense when God talk about the ingredients of the incense, God took the time in the Word in Exodus30 to give us the ingredients of the spices that makes up the incense and, then, there is this word at the end of it: "You shall make it", even the, let me show you passage in Exodus 30, and these are the ingredients that is needed. The Lord said to Moses, "Take sweet spices, stacte, and onycha, and galbanum," you say "what's all these things", okay? There's no, you know, meaningless details in the Bible. Every detail is there for a purpose. And if we can go deeper, it all depends on how deep you want to go in, amen? Shall we go and dive in, and just see what God has for us in the ingredients of the spices. Perhaps we'll see something that we can make use of, amen. Praise the Lord.
And here it says, "Take sweet spices, stacte", now, "stacte" is the Hebrew word for "nataf," and "nataf" is the same word that is used when a prophet prophesies, when a preacher preaches. It's gotta do with your words, inspired words. In other words, prophet, the word "nataf," is the word "drop," drop from your mouth words that are prophetic. It's used for prophecy, okay? So that is "drop, preach, and prophesy". And "onycha," the second spice, "onycha" comes from the word "shecheleth," and "shecheleth" comes from "shachal," which is actually "lion". "Lion". The Lion of the tribe of Judah. Who is that? Our Lord Jesus Christ, amen. He's the Lion of the tribe of Judah. Though which facet of Jesus, like, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. We can also see four animals that represent the Lord Jesus Christ.
The Lion of Judah is actually found in the gospel of Matthew. He is the King, amen? That's what the gospel of Matthew symbolizes, Jesus as King, and the lion is the King of the beasts, amen. Then you have Mark, which is the ox, that tireless servant. He starts instead of, like, his genealogy. It starts off by Jesus working, ministering, healing, delivering, and the words "immediately," "immediately," "straightaway," "straightaway," "immediately," is found in chapter 1, of Mark, the tireless worker, the ox. The ox doesn't start and stop in his, it's just a persevering work, tireless work, steady work, amen, strong to labor. And then we have the gospel of Luke, which is the picture of Jesus as man. He calls himself, especially more in the gospel of Luke, as the "Son of man," the Son of man, and you see him in a social setting, always in a social setting, a lot more in the gospel of Luke than any other gospel, all right, as man with human sentiments, with human feelings, amen.
Don't forget, we can so talk about Jesus's deity, we forget he came as a man. He's truly a man, amen, perfect nonetheless, no sin in him, praise God, but a man nonetheless. Today, as High Priest, he's not there as God. He's always God, amen? He's there as man, glorified man, the man of God's pleasure, the man of God's glory, amen, the man that's brought such delight to God's heart, praise the Lord. And that's why Jesus is the High Priest 'cause it takes a man to be a high priest, amen? Praise the Lord. So here is the... which aspect of Jesus is it? It is the lion aspect. The gospel of John, by the way, is an eagle because it starts off by saying that the Word, all things were made by him, and the Word became flesh. No genealogy because deity has no birth, amen.
As a man, Jesus was born. As deity, let's look at what Isaiah says in Isaiah 9: "Unto us a Son was given. A child is born". "A child is born," first, "and then a Son is given". A child. As a child, he's born, amen, but as the Son, he wasn't born. He was always the Son. The Son was given. "The child was born. A Son is given". Isn't it beautiful? He's deity, and he's humanity. And errors, doctrinal errors about the person of Jesus has got to do with either of these, either saying that he's just a man, "The Messiah is just human," that's all, not deity, or "He's just deity," and refuse to acknowledge his manhood, amen? Both ends are errors. We gotta see the full scope, the stature, the fullness of Christ, amen? He's the God-man, hallelujah. Praise the name of Jesus. But here the focus is on the Lion.
Now, I'm sharing all this with you because, you know what? These are the ingredients that will stop the COVID-19 virus from entering our lives, amen, in the name of Jesus, praise God. If you have been infected by it, it is the secret to removing it out of your body in the name of Jesus. The next one is "galbanum". Now, "galbanum" come from the word for "fat," "fat," all right, "cheleb". "Fat," now, the idea of "fat" today is not very popular. People don't want to be associated with fat. In fact, "fat" has got a bad reputation now, especially pertaining to food, but let me tell you this: The "fat" in the Bible is always the richest, the choicest, the best, all right? It means the best, the finest, hallelujah.
Now, for example, when the Bible says you bring your tithe like in Numbers 18, it says, "You shall offer a heave offering to the Lord from all your tithes". By the way, "tithe" is actually a "heave offering". There are two types of offerings, manner of offering to God, in Moses's time. One is the wave. It's the "tenufah" is the wave. For example, the breast of the lamb that has been roasted, a picture of Jesus's love for us, amen, is waved before the Lord to remind the Lord of the Lord's love, the Lord's love for the Father, and the Lord's love for you and I, and that's the wave, "tenufah".
And then there's a "heave offering," which is lifted up like this, amen? Can you see it makes the cross, amen? The tithe is one of those that is heaved, and the peace offering, where the breast is waved, the strongest part, the right thigh, it says, of the lamb, is heaved, amen. So we gotta have both the love of Jesus in our life as well as the power, represented by the tithe, in our life, hallelujah. May this be real in your lives. You may experience the power of Jesus as well as the love of Jesus, amen? Power without love, you know, can be abusive, amen, and love without power can be helpless, amen, to see someone you love and not able to relieve that person of the suffering and the sorrow, but we have both in Christ Jesus. We have his love, and we have his power, amen, on our behalf. The power, sometimes, I'll just lift up like this, in my room. I'll just say, "Lord Jesus, I lift up before you the power of Jesus".
I remind the Father of the Lord Jesus because the sacrifice is Jesus, so I say, "Father, I thank you for his power, the Lord Jesus's power to keep me and my family from the COVID-19 virus, to keep me and my family strong and healthy, amen, to keep me and my family from the power of the evil one," amen, hallelujah. You can pray the same also, amen? All this the Bible tells us, it's not just Old Testament, the pattern in all this, for all of us to learn, amen? But back to this again, the tithe is not waved. The tithe is actually heaved, amen? "Heave" speaks of strength. "Wave" is easier. More people understand the love of Jesus than the power of Jesus, all right?
So part of the heave offering is also the tithe, but notice what it says here in verse 29: "Of all your gifts you shall offer up every heave offering due to the Lord, from all the best of them," and this is the word "cheleb," where you find just now it says, "galbanum," all right, the "fat of them," so it's the best, the best. So the best of your income goes to the Lord Jesus, amen. The best of your day goes to the Lord Jesus, amen. The best of your strength goes to the Lord Jesus. That is worship, my friend. That is honoring the Lord in your life, and that's why the best of your week is Sunday. The Lord ordained Sunday as the Lord's Day. It is called the Lord's Day in the New Testament, and we give it to the Lord. We refuse to be distracted. We refuse to spend a day, all right, focused just on Netflix or some other distraction or sports, okay? The day must first go to Jesus. These things are all right, amen, but they're after. They should not have the best of your time, amen, on a Sunday. Praise the name of Jesus, hallelujah.
So back to the offerings, the ingredients. Here we go, all right, "We have sweet spices. We have pure frankincense". So frankincense is the fragrance that goes up. The Bible says, when Jesus was born, wise men came, bringing him gold, myrrh, and frankincense. Gold speaks of his deity, myrrh speaks of his death, amen. Frankincense speaks of his fragrant life, every thought, every word, every deed of Jesus exudes a fragrance to the Father. Man cannot appreciate it, but the Father can. Never was there a man who spoke every word that brought such fragrance of rest to the Father as Jesus did.
One time, they sent some soldiers to arrest Jesus, and they came back empty-handed, and they asked them, "What happened"? They said, "Never a man spoke like this man. Never a man spoke like this man," amen? And his words, the Bible says that the people in Nazareth looked at Jesus and wondered at the gracious words that proceeded from his mouth, amen, words like, "Come unto me, all you that labor and are heavy laden". And even as a child, he would say, "Did you not know I must be about my Father's business"? Every word is like fragrance to the Father, amen, and at the cross, the Father's business, he cried, "It is finished," amen. The Father sent him to earth, amen, to accomplish a redemption for you and I, and he cried at the cross, "It is finished". The Father's business is finished. Praise the name of Jesus, hallelujah.
So that's a life of worship, a life that brings delight and joy to the Father. "And make an incense blended as by the perfumer, seasoned with salt, pure and holy". And there's a verse, a New Testament counterpart, "seasoned", look at the word "seasoned with salt". Colossians 4, tells us, "Let your speech always be with grace". You know, when you speak with grace, that means some people, well, you feel like telling them what you think they deserved, amen? Telling them like it is, telling them based on what you think that they deserve, amen, because grace is undeserved favor. So to have your speech always with grace means you give them blessings. You give them benefits. You give them good works that they don't deserve, amen. That is grace.
Let your speech be always with grace when it comes to your spouse. Yeah, I know that sometimes you feel like that guy deserve to be, you know, I'm not talkin' about correcting. Even correction must be done with grace. I'm not talking about areas where you need to discipline your son, all right, with your words and all that. Even that must be done with grace. But never accord people what you feel they deserved, all right? Give them what they don't deserve, grace, the way the Lord gave us what we don't deserve - grace. "Let your speech," my friend, "be always with grace, seasoned with salt".
Now, salt is what they use for sacrifice in the Old Testament. All the sacrifices are salted. Salt has the idea of, this phrase appears in the Old Testament also, "the salt of your covenant". "Do not allow the salt of your covenant to be lacking". This phrase appears in the Old Testament: "Do not allow the salt of your covenant", "salt covenant" means a "perpetual covenant," a covenant that keeps on keeping on, amen? So let there be words that are spoken that endure. People remember your words, words that are, you know, now days, people feel like words are very cheap, right? They don't care anymore.
I'm sad also that people use words that are not poetic anymore, you know, like... sometimes, I'm not saying all the time, but sometimes it's beautiful to use words that are enabling, and nobleing, words that are dignified, words that are precious, words that lift people up. All too soon today, so many are using profanities and using words that, you know, just put people down. Not only that, they think they are really being cool. You know, how cool is it when you give in to just these animal instincts? Yeah, it is from the flesh, from the fallen flesh, amen, and doesn't take a cool person, right, to give in. It takes a cool person to restrain them. Power, amen, power under control. Praise God. And you don't give people what they deserve, but you give them grace, praise God. Thank you, Jesus.
But there are times you wanna give people a piece of your mind, right? That's a problem. We've been giving people pieces of our mind so much, there's not much peace left, amen? And when you give them the piece of your mind, that's it, amen. You always give them something that you lose. All right, so we go back to these ingredients again. And it says, "seasoned with salt, pure and holy". Drop down. "You shall beat some of it very small, and put part of it before the testimony in the tent of meeting where I shall meet with you," God says. "It shall be most holy for you".
Now, friend, when I look at this, "You shall beat some of it very small," do you know what God is saying? All this represents Jesus Christ. He is the prophet, the stacte, in Hebrew, "nataf," the prophet that spoke words that drop like honeycomb, like a Song of Songs says, in 4, chapter 4, Song of Songs, it says that, "Your lips, my spouse, drop as honeycomb". Have you seen a honeycomb dropping honey really slow and is dropping sweetness? So Jesus's words are full of honeycomb, and it drops into your life, bringing sweetness in every area of your life. "Your lips, my spouse, drop as the honeycomb". That's why I'm saying, poetic, amen, we don't speak like that anymore.
Wife, and even Shakespeare understood the poetic nature of romance, you know? Lysander said to Hermia about her cheeks that had gone pale, he says, "How now, my love? Why is thy cheek so pale? How chance the roses there do fade so fast"? Today, we say that "You look really pale, really bad," you know, like dead men walking, huh? Don't use phrases like that, amen? Your woman will laugh, but in her heart, she longs for that "Your lips drop as honeycomb," amen, hallelujah.
Okay, so in the very small manifestation of Jesus, "You shall beat some of it very small". Even the very small gestures of Jesus, the very small expression of Jesus, when Peter denied Jesus with cursing and swearing that he never knew Jesus, Jesus turned. Even though he was bound, he turned around and looked at Peter from afar. Just that little gesture emits a fragrance to the Father, amen. So even every small acts, thoughts, and words of Jesus emits such frankincense, such a perfume to the Father, hallelujah. So all these ingredients remind you and me of Jesus, amen? Praise the Lord.
But when we see Jesus, may this be true of our lives also. May our words drop like prophecy for edification, for exhortation, for comfort, for lifting up, amen. May we also, at times, when we pray, have the lion's spirit about us. Declare things into manifestation. Command the spirit of depression to go in Jesus's name. Command healing to be effected in that body in Jesus's name. There's a time to pray, and there's a time to command, amen. And then, the last part of it, "galbanum," worship. Give out the best of your worship. Notice all this is your words, giving praise to God, hallelujah. When you see Jesus, we become like him, amen? And that's God's desire for all of us.
Last week, I talk about, you know, different kind of sufferings that come into our lives. Remember this? "All things", Romans 8:28, look at this verse up here. Romans 8:28, says, "And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to his purpose". Now, don't allow anyone to say that "only if you love God enough," all right? This is a given. It's characteristic. "Those who love God, and those who are called according to his purpose," are people who are born again, amen?
We all love God, of varying degrees, but we love God. A true child of God will love him, amen? His love might be thirtyfold, not sixtyfold or hundredfold, but you know what? He loves God, and he's called. The moment you're born again, you are called according to his purpose. So everything in your life is working together for good: good things, bad things, amen, delayed traffic, amen, being stuck at home, locked down, amen, all these things.
God didn't say, "All things that are good will work for good," no, no. God says, "all things," "all things," and the word synergy is there, "synergia". "All things work together for good", good things, bad things, negative things, things that seemingly seems really, really evil, amen. They all work together for good. God didn't say those things are good. God says but they'll work together for your good.
I'm reminded of Jacob. Remember Jacob? When his son was the one that's ruling in Egypt, his son had all the wealth at that time, in the world, amen. All the prosperity was in Egypt, and Egypt was well-stocked with provision when the land of Canaan, the land flowing of milk and honey was, at that time, in famine. But the father thought his favorite son, Joseph, was dead. And remember, when the request came from his own son, Joseph, he didn't know it was Joseph, and the request is "Bring Benjamin. Now, next time you want bread, there'll be no more bread until Benjamin comes". And the father, you remember what the father says, Jacob says? "All these things are against me. All these things are against me".
No, Jacob, these things are not against you. Your son, the son that loves you, your favorite son, he's not dead. He's still alive, and one day, all Israel will realize that the Messiah, the so-called - they rejected the Messiah. They said that "He's not the Messiah. He's a so-called Messiah," you know. They will realize he's alive. He's alive. And he's the one that wields all power and authority in heaven and on earth. So Jacob says, "All these things are against me". No, Jacob, all these things, even though some of it looks negative and bad, they are actually for you. They are working for your good.
So, child of God, everything that happens in your... when God says, "all things," don't limit God. "All things" means "all things," amen? Doesn't mean, when we get into a bad situation, we just sit down there and say, "It'll work out for good". No, believe God for a breakthrough, believe God for healing if it's a sickness, amen, but all things, sickness included, amen? Remember, when you're sick, believe God for healing, but even then, everything in your life is an inheritance or a child of God. All things are working together for your good, amen? So what are they working? What is that "good" that is working?
Now, this is God's desire for you. If ever you want an ambition that is as a great as heaven's, as great as God's desire for you, know this: There's a great destiny. The next verse tells us, "For whom he foreknew, he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren". God foreknew. You see, the foreknowledge of God, a lot of people teach that God foreknew, therefore, God predestined, you know, some to be saved, and some not to be saved. I don't believe that. I believe that God foreknew that you will accept Jesus Christ, that you will not be numbered among the unbelievers who keep on, you know, rejecting Christ.
God knew. God foreknew. God didn't manipulate your free will. God gave you the free will, and God foreknew that you would accept Jesus Christ. So, "For those he foreknew, he predestined them". Notice the word? "He predestined them to be conformed to the image of Jesus," amen? You can either go the easy way or the hard way, but you will end up like Jesus. All things that's working together for good is to make you more like Jesus. Remember what I said one of the sermons I shared last few weeks that "Never judge your position by your behavior". Judge your behavior by your position.
When God looks at you, your position is that you are the righteousness of God in Christ. You are a new creation, created in righteousness and true holiness. God sees you holy, blameless in his sight, unreprovable in his sight. Behavior-wise is a different ball game, right? So never judge your position by your behavior. So, let's say, you have a behavior. You are given to, you know, anger, you now, short outbursts, you know, of temper.
If that is your problem, you know, you're a very short-tempered person, amen, don't say, "Because I'm short-tempered, I don't think I'm, you know, I'm righteous in God's eyes. I don't feel like praying to God because I feel that this is my big problem. I try my best to suppress it, but the more I suppress it, the more I get very angry, and when it bursts out, it really burst out, you know"? No, friend, listen, that's not the way to do it. The way to do is like, "I'm the righteousness of God". Judge your anger by the fact that you are righteous in Christ. No, this is not who I am. This anger is not who I am. I am the righteousness of God in Christ. I am, in God's eyes, holy unreprovable, blameless in God's eyes, amen, amen. So now I judge this anger.
"Joseph Prince, this anger is not you," amen. I judge my anger by my position, but never judge your position by your behavior, amen? Praise the Lord. So everything that's working in your life, my friend, is working together for your good, amen? The words are good to end up, you be conformed, God predestined you'll be conformed to the image of his Son, that wonderful Jesus. His attributes, his characteristics is so lovely, amen. The Bible used the word "fine flour" to characterize him. You know, when you touch fine flour, it just goes through your fingers. It's so fine, amen? No, no characteristic of Jesus preponderates another character. Everything is an equal poise, even balanced, amen. When he is authoritative, you know, he's not abrasive, amen?
When he's humble and washed the disciples' feet, he's not servile. Doesn't even look like a servant. Looks like a King. There's such dignity in his humility, amen? When his love, he's not sentimental, that gives in to people's sinful outbursts, amen. When he loves, he loves in a way that will produce good in the life of the loved one, amen? Such beauty in Jesus, amen. He's a man's man, amen. And when he's in your life, he will bring out all the characteristics that he is, and he's so beautiful. If you are a wife, imagine your husband manifesting all these traits in your life, amen? Would you say that it'd be hard to submit to him?
As a husband, and then looking at a wife who has all the Christlike characteristics, amen, would it be hard to love a woman like that? Amen. As an employee, when your boss look at you, just like Potiphar looked at Joseph and knowing that the Lord is with him in all that he did, he got many to prosper, and to see Joseph's humility, not pride, amen. Just imagine, Joseph had all the power in the world, and, yet with all that power, he was not vindictive. He didn't give retribution for his brothers selling him and lying to the father, amen. In fact, all the power he had, he used it to forgive them, and he invited them to come near. "Come near unto me," hallelujah. That's our Lord Jesus, humble, meekness, but you see majesty, amen? Steel and velvet, such a beautiful balance in his person, and that's the kind of person God wants you to be conformed to, and everything is working towards that end.
Now, you can facilitate the process by submitting, amen, or you can just rebel in having your own way, and "I wanna be known as a cool guy, authoritative, and profane in my words and so that people think I'm cool". No, they don't think you're cool, honestly. You don't know what they're thinking about you in their hearts or what they're telling their friends, friend. To be really cool is to see Jesus. Look at him in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, and you'll see a person, oh, amen, not that kind of religious, but spiritual, amen? What's... Words fail because, when I start talking about Jesus, I'll have to elucidate everything. Okay, so that's what God wants you to become, to be conformed to the image of Jesus, amen, my friend? Praise the name of Jesus.
So we bring this, Numbers 16, to an end right now. So Moses says, "The plague has begun. Now take the incense. Put it on the golden censer". It's like a... look up here. You'll see the picture of the censer, all right? That's what the high priests would use in those days. They'll put the coals of fire on it, and then they will add the powder or the spices onto the coals of fire. "Boof," there's a smoke. And the Bible says, even on the Day of Atonement, the high priest must do that. He must bring in the censer, full of smoke, lest he die. Why? The incense speaks of Jesus. Even in its minutest form, amen, it speaks of Jesus in his beauty, in his perfections before the Father, amen.
Friend, the work of Jesus in redemption and atonement is not just removing our sins. That is wonderful, but that's negative. Notice, you can remove something to have it empty. No, it is to remove, and then, to fill in, to restore, amen. So, he removed our sins, and then, before the Father, he comes before the Father in all his fragrance, typified by the incense. He comes to the Father in all his perfume, in all his fragrance, and the Bible says we are in Christ. We are unto God a sweet fragrance of Christ. Remember that when you pray. Whenever you pray, imagine fragrance coming to God. God delights in you coming to him, and that's why the Bible says that it is a new and living way. You know, that word "new", look it up. It's the word "freshly killed". That means an animal, a sacrificial animal is freshly killed.
In other words, the way to God is fresh. It's as if, when you come to God and you talk about Jesus, in your heart you say, "The Father knows about Jesus, you know, and if I tell the Father, 'Isn't he beautiful?' The Father knows already, right"? No, no, friend, it's always fresh with God. When you come to God, you must always come to God fresh, amen. That's what he means, "A fresh way, a fresh way has been opened, a new and living way," as if Jesus just died just now, as if he was on the cross just now, bearing your sins and all your diseases, amen, as if he took all your curse and condemnation just now. Always remember it's fresh. When you come to God, it's always fresh, and our minds who are bound by time and space cannot understand this, but God lives outside time and outside space, so every time you come to God, it is a new and living way.
Why? Why a living way? Because, in the Old Testament, the more they come to God, chances are they are not well-prepared. They have sin in their lives, amen, and they might be struck down, dead. So you can say that is an old and dying way. So people are afraid. People still have that spirit. For some reason, flesh always goes back under law and to the Old Testament way, and they think that, "If I come to God and, you now, even I need God to answer my prayer, I'll just throw in my prayer request real fast and get out, get out before I die, get out before I get striked down," or something like that. So that is very carnal. That is no more the deal, my friend. In the Old Testament, without Jesus's death, that was true because what happens to the mud when the sun comes up? It's not the fault of the sun. It's the nature of the mud. It dries up. You cannot blame the sun.
So people say, "Let God appear to me right now". Friend, it's God's mercy. It doesn't appear to you, amen. I'm talking about people who are not saved, amen, 'cause God is a God of wonderful perfection, true holiness, loving, and full of compassion, tenderhearted, amen? But he's holy, amen. So when we come to God today, it's no more the dying way. The more you come, look at this new and living way. What is living way? The more you come, listen, my friend, I want you to keep this in your heart always. When you pray, whenever you pray, whether you're walking or kneeling or wherever you are, when you pray, always remember, "I'm coming to God. Every time I come to God, it's a living way". It's a living way.
You know what it means? The more you come to God, the more you are enlivened, the more you are reintegrated, the more you are restored in your health. It's not a dying way anymore because of Jesus's blood. We come to God. It's a living way. On the other hand, it's not just removing our sins. The blood has brought in the perfections of Jesus in place of all our shortcomings, and that's what the fragrance is a symbol of, amen? Praise the Lord.
Let me bring this to a close. "So Moses said, 'Take a censer, put fire on it. The plague has begun.'" All right? "Then Aaron took it as Moses commanded, and ran into the midst of the assembly, and already the plague had begun among the people". By now, thousands have died. Thousands have died. So that's why Aaron ran into the midst of the assembly. "So he put in the incense. He put in the incense and made atonement for the people, and Aaron stood between the dead and the living, so the plague was stopped".
I love this picture of Aaron lifting up the censer. On his left, everyone are just on the floor, on the ground, corpses, the dead. On his right, is everyone kneeling, praying, lifting their hands, alive, spared. And the difference is the incense and the high priest. The very high priest that they complain against, the very high priest they came against, the very high priest they accused, was the high priest that saved them, and the incense, it is the incense that went up to God. Wherever the incense, remember?
Incense, in all its minute details represents Jesus in all his, even the smallest traits, amen. Whenever God is reminded of Jesus, the plague stops, hallelujah. When you bring something that reminds the Father of Jesus, anything evil in your life stops, amen. Praise the Lord. May there be expressions, even in your lockdown, of praise, worship to God that glorifies the Lord Jesus Christ. May you talk to your loved ones at home about how wonderful Jesus is. He is beautiful. Come to the Father and tell the Father how beautiful he is.
Isn't he, Father, beautiful? Beautiful isn't he? Prince of Peace, Son of God isn't he? Isn't he wonderful? Father, isn't he beautiful counselor, Almighty God? Isn't he? Isn't he? Isn't he?
"And the plague was stopped," amen? It wasn't because of the people here, who were alive, are good, because they are extra holy. It's because of the incense and the high priest, amen. Friend, you have a High Priest in heaven today. The Bible says we have such a High Priest, after the order of Melchizedek, that blesses and never curse, amen. In all our dealings with him, we praise. He makes our praises acceptable to the Father, amen? Even right now, Jesus is interceding for you at the Father's right hand.
May you always be conscious of his presence, amen, at the Father's right hand. May you always know that, even though your prayers are not perfect... you know, someone just prayed for me, and, you know, for my birthday, and when the person prayed for me, there were tears in the person's eyes, and the person said, "I'm sorry. I really don't know how to pray". I said, "Do not know how to pray"? Those tears were so eloquent, and God, you know, God doesn't look at perfect words, amen, in your prayer, but when you pray, your prayers go to Jesus, the High Priest, first. He takes it to the Father, amen. He removes everything that is superfluous, anything that's unnecessary, and then, not only that, he adds his fragrance, and then he brings your prayer to the Father. That's what it means, "In Jesus's name," amen?
All prayers, all worship, all praise goes through your High Priest, Jesus Christ. In fact, Revelations 5:8, says this. It says that "When Jesus had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the 24 elders fell down before the Lamb, each having a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints," amen. Our prayers are like incense today because, in our prayer, we don't pray just based on our merits or on someone's merits. It's based on Jesus's merits, his perfections, amen, and you're conscious of that, hallelujah.
David says in Psalms 141, "Let my prayer be set forth before you as incense, the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice". "Let my prayer be accounted before you as incense, the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice". My friend, even in New Testament, God wills that we pray, lifting up holy hands without wrath and without doubting, amen. And God loves it. God loves it. You can pray for anything you wanna pray for, amen, and you transcend time and space. Praise the Lord as you pray. But know this: Don't worry that your prayers, you know, don't be concerned your prayers are not reaching heaven... you feel like, "I don't know how to pray", because through Jesus your prayers are more eloquent than you realize, amen? But pray, and pray in Jesus's name.
In the name of Jesus, may your life be filled, be surrounded, amen, be imbued with the fragrance of Christ. May your testimony, may your character, may your behavior, may your conduct reflect that fragrance of Christ that all the world may smell him and desire what you have and come to know him, amen? Praise the name of Jesus, hallelujah. Praise the Lord. I preach myself happy. I do not know about you, but, friend, I believe that, during this time of COVID-19 virus, God just wants us to talk to one another about Jesus, amen, and to even talk to the Father about Jesus, sing songs about Jesus, about the Lord Jesus, and you know what? It produces, in the spirit world, it's like an atmosphere, a fragrance, a cloud that keeps, not just COVID-19 virus, but evil, amen, Satan's depression, and all the evil winds from coming into your life, the smoke will just push them away, amen.
The incense, by the way, naturally, people still use incense in the Middle East, and they use, and some of the reason, they say that it keeps away snakes. Snakes don't like the incense, right? And the incense of Jesus keep away all the evil spirits, amen, the powers of darkness from your life, but fill your life with Jesus, amen? You know what? The heroes that you try to follow in your drama and all that, they are fine, but, you know, friend, there's no incense there, amen. The one you talk about, Jesus, talk about him all the time. Every time you talk about Jesus, your heart is filled with love for him, amen. You now, it exudes a fragrance to the Father. Well, praise the Lord. Thank you, Jesus, amen.
We are so happy that we got a chance to share with you this now word that God wants you to have, and I believe that it's not just enough for us to just listen, but meditate on it. Go back, talk to your family about it, which parts spoke to you, what was the rhema word that you received for yourself. Each person may receive a different rhema word, amen? But meditate on it. Chew on it, amen? Turn it over in your mind because, when you meditate, you retain 80 to 100% the more you meditate on it. You retain the part that God wants you to have, amen? Praise the Lord.
If you've never received Jesus Christ, my friend, I wanna pray for you right now. Christ died for our sins, and all that I shared just now about Jesus becoming our High Priest, it all starts with you proclaiming him as your own personal Savior and Lord. Believe in your heart that God has raised him from the dead, and you'll be saved. Let me pray this prayer, and you follow me in this prayer, amen. Let's talk to the Father.
Father God, in the name of Jesus, I come to you. I thank you. This is a new and living way. Oh, Father, you delight to bless me. You delight to love me. You find joy in seeing me, Lord, enjoying all the goodness that your abundance brings in my life. Thank you, Father, that Jesus died on the cross for my sins. Thank you, Father, that you raised Jesus from the dead when I was acquitted, justified in him. Thank you, Father, that right now you see me righteous. You see me righteous by the blood of Jesus. Thank you, Father, from now on, you see me, the righteousness of God in Christ, created in righteousness and true holiness. Thank you, Father that's who I am, and I understand that my behavior may not be commensurate, but in the days to come, Father, I'll come to know you more and more, and I'll judge my behavior based on my position that I might be conformed to the image of Jesus Christ. Thank you, Father. In Jesus's name we ask, amen.
If you prayed that prayer, my friend, you are now a child of God. Yes, in one fell swoop, amen? You don't become gradually righteous. The moment you're born again, you are righteous. Just like a baby that's born, the understanding might still be in its infancy stage. Doesn't understand a lot of things, and there's a growth process. So we grow in the Lord. And we partake, desire the sincere milk of the Word, amen, and you partake of it, in the name of Jesus, and the more you receive God's Word, the more you grow, amen? But that doesn't negate the fact, the very moment you're born again, you are the righteousness of God in Christ. Any more righteous you cannot become. Any less, you cannot become also. You already are, amen? And just to know that, you can grow in that security, knowing that you are the... praise God, hallelujah. All right, friend, wherever you are right now, in Jesus's name, and you have received that word, I want you to say this after me right now:
Father, I thank you for your rhema word to me. Teach me, Lord, how to meditate on your Word. Even throughout this week, let me chew on it, mull over it, ponder it, and let me become like the tree planted by the rivers of water. My leaf always green, ever green, my health never fails, and whatever I do prospers, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, until the next time, amen.