Joseph Prince - Looking To Jesus: The Key To Blessings And Victory
I wanna share with you people something. You need to learn this because it's crucial for us. There are those who really believe, they call it "practical teaching". You know, you gotta be practical. There's nothing more practical than looking at Jesus. You know what happened to Peter when Peter look at Jesus? He beat the supernatural. Jesus was above the storm. As long as Peter's eyes was fixed on Jesus, Peter did what Jesus did. Is that practical? God, give us people that will look at Jesus. I'm not saying there's no storm. I'm not saying pretend there's no storm. In the midst of the storm, Peter looked at Jesus. The problem happened when he took his eyes off Jesus. That's when he began to sink, and then Jesus got hold of him, amen? He says, "Wherefore didst thou doubt"? He pulled him back.
Now, that, my friend, is a lesson in Christian life that you're not to look at each other and try to find out, you know, try to get answers from each other because there's no answers horizontally. The answer is vertically. How good you are horizontally is how good you are vertically. In fact, in the book of Galatians it begins with everything has been given to you. You are seated with Christ. How well you... can you bring a chair here? How well you sit, come on, how well you sit, in the next chapter, walk worthy of the Lord. How well you sit is how well you walk. How well you rest is how well you work and serve. Amen, are you listening?
Now, the more you sit, the Christian life begins. Salvation begins with sitting. You come to God and you say, "Lord, you've done it all. Thank you". I said it begins with sitting. It is not D-O. It is D-O-N-E. What about healing? No, healing, you must get up. You must get up and get it on your own. No way. Everything, every blessing comes with a fresh sitting, if you would. If you sit well, you'll walk well. Walking, the next chapter talks about husbands, love your wives. How well you love your wife, how well you submit to your husband or adjust to your husband, how well you treat others and all that has got to do with how well you sit. As long as the devil can affect your rest, he can affect your relationship.
So, you see, with every problem that comes, you do this, amen. The devil says, "What are you going to do"? Say, "Nothing". Prayer, true prayer in the New Covenant is praying from victory, not praying for victory. The moment you start praying for, you've lost. You've fallen from grace. So, pray, yes, but pray from your position of victory. Are you listening, people? Amen? So, when you sit, the devil always say, "What are you going to do about it? This happened, this happened. What are you going to do about it"? Said, "Nothing, I'm gonna rest," amen. It's not a question of what I'm going to do. It's a question of he's going to do it. When I rest, Jesus gets up, amen. You get up, Jesus says, "Go ahead. Give it your best shot," amen?
And that's the reason why the Bible says in 1 John 4, verse 17, it says, "This is how our love is made perfect, that we may have boldness. Love has been perfected among us in this, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment because, as he is, so are we", where? "This world". Amen, come on, give him praise. You see, the devil will always come to you and try to turn you around to yourself, you know? "Look at this, hey, you didn't pray enough. Hey, you didn't confess enough. Hey, you didn't read the Bible enough. Hey", even if you do right, you read two chapters, he will say, "Hey, the other guy read five chapters. You didn't do it enough". Or you pray half an hour, and he says, "Hey, so-and-so prayed three hours". It's never enough. Nag, nag, nag, nag.
And the devil is always wanting you to look at yourself, but the Holy Spirit wants you to look at Jesus because every which way you turn Jesus, every which way you turn him, you see glory. You see perfections. You see beauties and excellencies. And that's why the Bible says about the truth of a high priest. The high priest of Israel is a picture of what the Lord Jesus is doing at the Father's right hand right now. I want you to put your hands together, and let's welcome my high priest. I thought I'll close the event by sharing with all of you the greatest superhero. He's one of my pastors, by the way. He looks Jewish, doesn't he? And to be a high priest, even to be a priest, you must have no defilement, no blemishes. This guy is perfect. Look at that, except for one mole over here, brother.
Now, look at this verse, Hebrews 5, verse 1: "Every high priest is taken from among men", that's why Jesus had to come to be a man. "They're every high priest taken from men, appointed for men in things pertaining to God". So watch this now. Turn around. Face the back. The high priest represents the people. He's there for the benefit of the people. In things pertaining to God. A prophet, on the other hand, comes from God's presence, representing God to the people. Do you understand? The Bible doesn't say Jesus is our great prophet. It says he's our great High Priest. Now, every high priest in the Bible, "kohen gadol," in Hebrew, they've all been high priest, one high priest chosen among the priests, but there's only one great High Priest, and it's our Lord Jesus.
Now, the high priest is there for the benefit of the people, for your benefit to God, not for God to the people. That's a prophet. With that in mind, for example, when David went down the Valley of Elah, David went down as all Israel. If he was defeated, it's the defeat of all Israel, but praise God, he won, and all Israel won in him. He was a conqueror, but all Israel were more than conquerors. You understand? So everything in ancient Israel hinges on the high priest. You can turn around. Now, everything hinges on him. If the high priest is good, and the people are bad, the people are still blessed, but if the people are good, the high priest is bad, God rejects the people. In other words, their entire standing is in the high priest. Do you understand? The only problem with a good high priest is that he dies.
So Brother Shmolech here, I'll call him Shmolech, he's a good high priest, all right? But then his son, Spielberg, Goldberg, any of the -berg, he's on drugs, and he will succeed the father. The father's getting very old. He's about to die, and his son is on drugs, and he's the next high priest. How many of you know that there's no security in Israel's high priest? But our High Priest today lives after the power of an endless life, amen. So real quick, before I let you go, I'm gonna show you all these garments that you see, please don't think that's how Jesus is dressed at the Father's right hand today. All this are outward to demonstrate what he is intrinsically. These are visual aids, if you would. Are you listening?
All right, let's start off with his turban. There's a golden plate. If you look at the Scripture, in Exodus 28, "You shall make a plate of pure gold and engrave on it, 'Holiness to the Lord'", "Kodesh l'Adonai", all right? "Holiness to the Lord" will be on his forehead, okay? Now, Jesus today doesn't need a crown of words saying, "Holiness to the Lord". His thoughts are holiness to the Lord. But why must this crown be there? It says that "So it shall be on Aaron's forehead", now, who is Aaron? He was the high priest, the first high priest of Israel. So he's a picture of Jesus, all right? Are you with me so far? "So it must be on Aaron's forehead that Aaron may bear the iniquity of the holy things which the children of Israel hallow in all their holy gifts".
How many of you know that even in our holy gifts, in our deepest times of worship to the Lord, how many of you know that there's still iniquity? How many of you know that in our greatest service, there is still sin? How many know that, in all your well-intentioned plans and purposes for God, you end up, there's still sin in your plans of self-centeredness or selfishness. So, you know, when the devil points that out to you, listen, the Bible says, "It will always be on Aaron's forehead. It shall always be on his forehead, that they, that they the people may be accepted before the Lord". Are you listening? Come on. "It shall always be on his forehead".
How many of you know that Jesus's thoughts are always pure and holy? Therefore you are always accepted. In other words, God is accepting you, not based on your thoughts. God is accepting you today based on his thoughts, which is always holiness to the Lord, amen. The Bible says, "By one Man's obedience we are made righteous. It's by one man's disobedience", who is that? "By one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man's obedience many will be made righteous". Question, why are you a sinner when you were a sinner? Because you sinned? No. Because of Adam's sin. That rascal. He brought all the mess into the world. And that's why, in heaven, there's a special security fence around Adam's mansion. No, I'm just kidding. In heaven, everything's pure, perfect love.
But look at this: "We are", listen, "with sin because we are sinners". We are sinners because of Adam's sin. We're not sinners because we sin. We're sin because we are sinners. We are sinners because of Adam's sin. By the same token, how are we made righteous? By one Man's obedience. You are not made righteous by your obedience. You are made righteous by one Man's obedience, and who is that one man? Shout out his name. See, what the devil wants to do is to bring your thoughts to your obedience or the lack of it. He'll point to you how, you know, how you have obeyed or not obeyed enough. He'll point you always to yourself. And preachings that point you to yourself all the time is helping the devil along. That's how people get depressed with religion, amen.
Now watch this. In 2 Corinthians 10, it tells us "The weapons of our warfare are not material, not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds, casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the", to your obedience? To whose obedience? "To the obedience of Christ". Not obeying Christ, but bring your thoughts to that obedience of Christ. What is the obedience of Christ? "By one Man's obedience we're all made righteous". Keep that truth in your mind all the time. Can I have a good amen?
But because of time, let's go on. The two shoulders, I'm gonna go down here. Two shoulders here has onyx stones. Say, "onyx". Yeah, I gotta be a bit nasal, "onyx". Onyx stones. Okay, for a close up, look at this: "With the work of an engraver in stone, like the engravings of a signet, you shall engrave the two stones with the names of the sons of Israel, and set them in settings of gold. You shall put the two stones on the shoulders", the shoulder always speaks of strength. Jesus's strength carries you because the names of the tribes of Israel is on the shoulders. Six tribes here and six tribes here. Watch this. Six tribes on the right and six tribes on the left, borne on his strong shoulders. Come on, give him praise.
Now we come to the breastplate, amen? Notice the breastplate. There are 12 tribes, and they're all represented by precious gems, precious stones. We have diamonds, we have amethyst, we have sapphire, we have ruby. Over here, you have same color, all right? Onyx stones. But over here is unity with diversity. Unity with diversity. And here it says, "So Aaron shall bear the names of the sons of Israel on the breastplate of judgment over his heart", say, "over his heart". God has made his judgment about you through the death of Jesus Christ and his Resurrection, and the judgment is you are righteous. And where are you and I today? We are on his heart, amen. May the Lord always be in your heart because he always have you in his, amen? And the Bible says, "When he goes into the holy place, as a memorial before the Lord continually".
Why should God be reminded? Is it for his omniscience? No, not for his omniscience. He's all-knowing, not for that, but for the satisfaction of his love. I love to look at my children's pictures, even when I'm here. I know how they look like, but it's for the satisfaction of my love, that God wants Jesus to always present us, and how are we presented? How are we presented? Like stones, just simple, ordinary stones, pebbles? No, as precious stones, each one individually precious on his heart. Are you listening?
Now watch this. Let's turn around here and face your right. Let's say we approach God's presence. The high priest approach God, and God is light. Ladies, when you go to a jewelry shop, notice they have all the precious stones on a velvety background, dark background. Why? Because it brings out the brilliance. It brings out the light, all right? The dark background brings out the light. So watch this now. I want you to always picture this in your heart and mind. I want you to picture this when you come to God in prayer. The devil is always reminding you of your bad thoughts: "Look at how you felt just now towards so-and-so. Look at your emotion. Look at this, look at that". But God says, "Look at Jesus".
And this is how you look like when you come to God. Jesus presents you to the Father. God is light. When the light shines on the breastplate, guess what? It reflects back the glory of the Lord. Its brilliance, its variegated hues and excellencies shine out. The more you come, the more your beauty is seen. You go on to the next verse. It says, "And you shall put in the breastplate of judgment the Urim and the Thummim". Say, "Urim," "Thummim". And this is what Urim and Thummim is. It is in the breastplate. Got to this verse, all right? "You shall put in the breastplate of judgment the Urim and Thummim, and they shall be over Aaron's heart when it goes in before the Lord". So Aaron shall bear the judgment of the children of Israel over his heart before the Lord.
Now, listen people, you remember John in the Upper Room? John was leaning on Jesus's bosom. It's a picture of what? Leaning on his love for him, not learning on his own bosom. It's hard to lean on your own bosom. So John leaned on Jesus's bosom, and then Jesus says, "One of you shall betray me". Look at the way the Bible says, "John, leaning back on Jesus's breast," depending on his love for him, say it, "Lord, who is it"? And the Urim and Thummim spoke because, when you depend on his love for you, you are listening into the heartbeat of heaven. Now, how does it work? I don't have much time. Would you like to see how the Urim and Thummim works?
All right, look at this Hebrew word. I'mma give you some Hebrew before we close. Some Hebrew. This is the word "radaph". Okay, "resh," "dalet," "pe". It means "pursue". Pursue. Now, "Urim" and "Thummim" means "lights," plural, and "perfections". "Urim" means "lights," "Thummim" means "perfections," amen. So when the high priest of Israel or the king of Israel wants guidance. He goes to his high priest, amen. He goes to his high priest, and he says, "I need to know whether to attack this enemy or not. I need to know the mind of the Lord".
David, the Bible says, he got the ephod, amen, when his family was captured and his soldiers and all his mighty men. Their families were captured by the Amalekites, and David took the ephod, and the men were talking about stoning him, and the Bible says David, the high priest wasn't with him but he took this part here, and he asked the Lord, "Speak to me". And, in those days, God would speak through the breastplate. How does it happen? Now I showed you the word "radaph" means "pursue," and this is how God answers. "Resh," Yehudah, the "dalet," the letter from Ephraim, the "pe". Resh, dalet, pe, "radaph". In other words, the king's eyes must be on the breastplate.
Now, you say, "Pastor, I wish I can bring home this because the last lottery we had", but let me give you one better. You have Jesus. Now, how do you get guidance? Your eye must be on him. Number two, not only on him, what about Jesus that's most important? You know, of all these, it's very expensive, this multimillion-dollar clothing in Israel, the most expensive is the breastplate with the precious stones. What is the part of Jesus that is most precious in the economy of heaven, is most precious, most dear? His heart, his love. Very good.
Now watch this: What about Jesus must you focus on? His love. If you want guidance, you need to be focused on his love, and then you will see all of God's people as precious. Even those who disagree with you, those who speak ill of you, amen, they're all precious stones. Although they do not know it, they're all precious to God, and we need to see them all like that, regardless of denomination, regardless of where they - we're all one in the heart of Jesus, amen. And you know something? As long as your eye is on Jesus, especially on his love, and you rest on his love for you, you will always receive accurate guidance and leading. Urim and Thummim.