Joseph Prince - Restored To Wholeness By Grace
Jesus says, "Come unto me, all you that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest". Just come to him as you are. I don't care whether you're a diseased, all right, in a part of your body. I don't care if you are depressed in your mind or whether you have a chronic habit you can't seem to break. Come to him as you are. One thing about Lord Jesus is that you don't have to pretend in his presence. You just come as...
you know why he loves you? It cannot be explained. The source of the love does not lie in the lovableness of the one loved. The source of it lies with the one doing the loving. He just loves us. And the best thing you can do to bring joy to his heart is to come to him every day, all Right, practice his presence with you and just allow him to love you. Allow him to love you. Our God is a God who is so strong, so mighty, so loving, so powerful, and so rich, that he has so many blessings that I think sometimes it pains God because love can be hurt.
Love can be pained. Love can be grief, amen. When you open your heart, you know, with open arms, you can be hurt, but that's what Jesus did at the cross. He'd rather be hurt in loving than never to love and not be hurt. I should say you will still be hurt, and that hurt will be worse. So the thing is that, church, you know, when you love, allow God to love you. Let God bless you as well. Let God love you, amen. God wants so much to bless his people that sometimes he looks around and people are so busy fending for themselves, providing for themselves, defending themselves, looking out for themselves, occupied with themselves, that God is looking for someone who will look to him for goodness in a world that believes so much, unless you work really hard, you can't get it.
"There's no such thing as a free lunch," and all that. In this world, all right, that is running around like chickens with their heads decapitated, a rat race that doesn't seem to end, everyone looking around, you know, to outdo another, isn't it wonderful to sit back, let the world just pass you and look to Jesus and receive all his goodness and blessings? And he wants you to open your eyes and realize you are out there in the front, waiting for the rest to come, you know? And rested and blessed.
There is a place in God that, when the Lord brings you always like a lot of ants are trying to cross the highway, the expressway in Singapore, okay, and there's one of them that allows you to carry him on your little finger across the overhead bridge on the other side, guess who'll be in a better condition when the rest cross, if the rest make it, amen? It's like that. When you rest, your part is the rest. "Rest" doesn't mean no progress. "Rest in him," means you rest in his strength, his power that brings you to the other side, amen, church?
So I wanna show you something that... first of all, I'll share with you this verse which is the text of my ministry, and for this reason, I believe that every pastor, every church, every ministry has a specific call, all right, in that where we complement each other, amen? And this is my calling, John 1:17, "For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ", all right?
Notice that "the law was given through Moses," a servant of God, but grace, it should say, "True grace came through Jesus Christ, the Son of God". Jesus says the servant will not stay in the house forever, but the Son abides forever. And, yet many of us, we are holding on to Moses. We are holding on to the law when grace has come. The Son has come. We are not honoring the Son we are still holding on to the law as if the law, as if Moses is greater than Jesus.
Now, if you insist on holding on to the law... and it's amazing how many people are still under this idea that, as believers, they are under the law, and they'll fight for the law, and they will insist that we are still under the law. They will say, "Yes, Christ is the end of the law for all those who believe and all that, but we are still under the law in a sense that the law was never passed away," and they'll say things like that, and they're misquoting the Sermon on the Mount when Jesus says that all the law, every jot, every tittle, will not pass until it's all fulfilled, and Christ fulfilled it all. Every jot or "yud," the smallest letter, every tittle has been fulfilled in Christ, amen. That's why we're under grace. The law has been fulfilled.
When baby Jesus was brought to the temple for the dedication by Joseph and Mary, an ancient man, an old man, very old man by the name of Simeon came to see baby Jesus, and the Bible says it's so beautifully. He blessed the parents. He never blessed the Son. Why? Because the less is blessed by the greater. The less cannot blessed the greater. He blessed the parents but didn't bless the Son. Why? Because the Son is not just an ordinary baby, amen? He is God in human flesh.
And the Bible tells us that it is sum total of all the law and all the commandments is "Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is One Lord and shall love him with all our hearts, all our souls, all our minds," and this is called the "Shema" in Judaism. They summarize all the law in one word, "Shema", "hear". "Shema" means "hear". "Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is One Lord. You must love him with all your heart". So, in other words, when they say, "Shema," they mean the greatest commandment. Well, this ancient man that came, this old man, his name is Simeon, from the word "Shema," in Hebrew.
So the law saw baby Jesus come. The law saw grace come, and the law was very happy that grace finally came. The law was very old now, 1,500 years old, all right? From the time of Moses, the servant, until Jesus's grace came, the law was 1,500 years old. Fifteen centuries, Israel was under the law, and Simeon, a picture of the law, God hides all this truth in types and all that. Here's a picture of a law. He says, "My eyes have seen your salvation". In Hebrew, "Your Yeshua". "Now, let me depart in peace". Even the law was happy to see Jesus come, and the law says to God, "Let me depart in peace".
So the old man went out, all right, and immediately a lady came in. All right, her name was Hannah. And "Hannah" in Hebrew means "grace". If your name is John, your name is "Yochanan," all right? Which means "God Yahweh". "Yahveh" is God, Yahweh, is grace, amen. So Hannah came in, all right. The law went out, grace came in. And there's no record she left, all right? And she said to everyone there, all right, "Come, see the baby," all right? "Come". To everyone who's looking for redemption in Israel, she's saying, "This is the one," amen.
Well, the Bible tells us, "The law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ". If you look at Moses, the first miracle of Moses was a judgment, all right, turning the waters of Nile into blood, resulting in death. The first miracle of God, the Son, all right. Grace is turning water into wine, resulting in so much joy and celebration, amen. It's very obvious there's a contrast between Moses and Jesus. Moses was a great servant of God, an amazing leader. You can teach wonderful leadership principles from the life of Moses.
Today, we'll start off with showing the contrast, then we'll end up by showing the comparison because Moses is a type of Christ as well in terms of types, okay? But in terms of his ministry, the type is the law, all right? That's why Moses cannot enter the Promised Land. It took Joshua to bring the people into the Promised Land, and "Joshua" in Hebrew is "Yeshua," the name of Jesus, okay? So the law cannot bring the people. The law can bring the people out but cannot bring them in, amen.
So the people become W-O-W-A, wondering wandering people in the wilderness. It takes a Joshua to bring them in. It takes grace to bring them in. See, the Lord didn't just deliver you out of your darkness. He wants to bring you into his inheritance, all right? But we still have a lot of wondering, wandering Christians around, okay, and allow the Lord grace to bring you in. They are still holding back, all right, to the law, but the law is gone. It was after Moses died. After the law has departed then God said to Joshua, "Arise, bring the people beyond Jordan".
Okay, are we ready for grace? If you insist on keeping the law, all right, remember this: Some people, they don't even read the law, all right? In fact, I teach more from the law than most people who are against the law, from the Old Testament. Have you read Numbers 5? Look at Numbers 5. This is under law. "The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 'Command the children of Israel that they put out of the camp every leper, everyone who has a discharge, and whoever becomes defiled by a corpse. You shall put out both male and female. You should put them outside the camp, that they may not defile their camps in the midst of which I dwell'".
So it's very clear that under law, God is saying, okay, "You are left your human effort," okay? "I'm a holy God". But under law, everything is man-centered. In other words, "Thou shall not, thou shall not". It is all your strength. It is all your effort. What a big mistake. What a gigantic mistake it was on Israel's part at the foot of Mount Sinai to say, even before they heard the Ten Commandments, they said that "All that God commands us we can do it". What self-righteousness. What pride. What arrogance. What presumption that men assumes that he has strength to keep all of God's commandments and also having not heard yet.
And that's why the difference is God never judge anyone that came out of Egypt. When they murmured, when they sin, none of them died, but on this site, after they proposed to keep the law, when they sinned the same sin over here, they died. So God is saying, "If you want to be under the law, this is what it's like". Many a times, before we can understand grace, all right, it seems like we have a Romans 7 experience. It's understandable. It's like an elderly man, you know. Sometimes you have some stubborn elderly men. They have a disease that they need to go for an operation or take certain medicine, but they refuse to take their medicine.
Have you met some, you know, elderly guy who was very stubborn, all right? The doctor says they must take this medicine. They refuse to, all right, until they are really desperate, okay, trembling on the ground or something like that, you know? So sometimes God has to bring people to the end of themselves. It's very hard to save a drowning person as long as he still has strength. The problem with us is that we are not completely without strain. That's a problem, okay? And as long as we still have some strength, you know, we still think we can, we're not ready for a Savior. When a drowning person gives up, that's when he can be saved. That's when he can be held. Can I have a good "amen," church?
So the thing is this: Under the law, it's man's ability. Under grace, it's God's ability. Which one you're gonna live under, hmm? Under grace, it's D-O-N-E, done. And "done" doesn't mean you do nothing. "Done," when you rest in the "done," he does the "do" in you and through you. For it's God who works in you both to will, getting the willingness and the performance of his good pleasure. Your life is a life of rest. Are you with me?
But if you insist on being under the law, remember this: Look at the completeness, the comprehensiveness, all right, the all-inclusiveness of the law. Everyone is disqualified. Every leper, everyone who has a discharge, whoever becomes defiled, you cannot be in the camp. You must be outside. Okay, by the way, there are three categories of sin here. Leprosy is a type of sin in the Old Testament, okay? The first one is a leper. Leper. The first category. This leprosy, this sin here is passive uncleanness.
Some people say, "You know, Pastor Prince, I don't smoke, I don't curse, I don't swear, I don't gossip, I don't go to nightclubs, you know, I don't do", they don't do all this outward things, but when God looks at their heart, God sees the sin, the leprosy. It's passive. It's not active, but it's there. How many understand when God looks at your heart and God sees the sin, so you can boast like you're not like other people, but sin is sin. There's passive, and there's active, so leprosy is a form of passive. He can't help it.
All right, he's not manifesting the leprosy, all right? It is what he is. It's called sin in the flesh. Then we have leprosy is passive, passive uncleanness, then we have discharge, all right, then we have defiled by a corpse. So all these three shows different levels, all right? Leprosy is passive uncleanness, discharge is active. There are people who discharge things out of their mouth or when they get angry: "Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah, blankety-blank, blankety-blank, blank, blank, blank," you know? All kind of profanities, vulgarities, and, you know, adjectives come out of their mouth. They become very eloquent all of a sudden. "Blah, blah, blah, blah", and they think they are cool, you know?
It's like mucus coming out of their mouth, you know? And when heaven looks down, you know, it's uncleanness coming up, but it's very active. Someone who murders another person, someone who beat another person up, someone who will really do something damaging to somebody, all right, on the neck or whatever, assassinating someone's reputation, for example, that's active sin, and that's "discharge". Then we have a corpse. What is a corpse? Anyone defiled by a corpse. When someone dies in Israel, all right, if you're his relative, you have to wash him, you have to be near him, and you have to bury him, isn't it?
So the thing is that now you are unclean because you touched the corpse. So this is by association, sin by association, okay? Now watch this: No one escapes this. So in type, listen, the law disqualifies everybody, but when grace came, when Jesus came, when true grace came, when Jesus came, the Bible tells us he cleansed the leper. Remember the woman, the issue of blood for 12 years? She was hemorrhaging. She has a discharge. Jesus staunched her discharge, all right? And what about the dead? He raised the dead. That's what grace does, amen. Grace comes, meets your disqualifications and qualifies you and put an end to everything that's unclean. That tells us that we need to expose ourselves to his grace.
And some people have this idea that, you know, grace is lesser than the law, the law. It's like the Son is lesser than the servant, Christ is lesser than Moses. No, my friend, you expose sickness to Jesus, guess who wins? Sickness kowtows, amen. Expose a demon-possessed person to Jesus? Guess who bows? The demons, amen, and they'll beg Jesus not to torture them. That's in the Bible, by the way, amen. Expose unclean habits to Jesus. What happens? It's broken. Jesus remains. Grace reigns, my friend. Grace reigns. Grace is greater than all our sins and all our weaknesses and all our diseases, hallelujah! Grace reigns, amen.
Jesus came to cleanse the lepers, staunch the discharge, raise the dead, and this is so beautiful because it tells us we need not be afraid of our sins, our shortcomings, all right? We can expose them to Jesus, and they are killed. They come to a standstill, amen. They cannot function anymore. If you look through the Gospels, you will find nobody ever dies in the presence of Jesus. Nobody. And when Jesus steps into a situation where somebody has died, the died is no more dead in the presence of the Resurrection and the life. What does that tell me? That tells me it behooves me to spend time in the presence of Jesus, amen.
There is something life-giving, life-imparting. Wholeness is all that Jesus is. He makes you whole. He makes you well. He raises you from your deadness, amen. That's our Lord Jesus. Praise the name of Jesus, hallelujah. So we see here that under law, just imagine those who fight for the law. Have they read this before? Ask them, "When was the last time you had a discharge"? Don't tell me. "Did you go to church, or you stayed out of the camp"?
If you really wanna live by the law, you gotta live by the letter of the law. You cannot pick and choose what you prefer. The law is the law. The law is the law is the law. It stands as a composite whole. The moment you take what you want, you crumble the entire law. It stands as a whole, or it doesn't stand at all, amen. So either that, or you're completely under grace. Are you with me, church? And when you're under grace, this what happens.
Let's take an example of the leper. You know, leprosy is a disease that is contagious in the Old Testament, and ceremonially it is defiling, it's a type of sin, all right? It's not only killing you, it will kill others. Can you understand when I tell you, God loves to give you joy. Jesus says, "These things I've spoken to you that my joy might remain in you". Jesus became a man of sorrows only one time when he was suffering, all right, at the cross, that you and I might become people of joy.
"The joy of the Lord is our strength". It's not our joy. It's his joy given to us is our strength. He says things to us so like, today, you hear the preaching so that, when you walk out of this place, your joy is full. God is a joyous God. God is a singing God. God rejoices over you with singing. God loves to see his people joyful, amen. So you think for one moment God is saying, "Until you serve me, then I'll be happy"? No, it's when your joy is full, God is happy. He wants you full of joy. He wants you happy. Are you listening people? So Jesus came, and everywhere Jesus went, he brought joy. The dead were raised to life, the lepers were cleansed.
Let's look at one example Matthew chapter 8, verse 1 to 4. This is right after Jesus preached what we call the Sermon on the Mount. Many of you have been there at the Mount of Beatitudes. The acoustics is super. You don't have the microphone. You stand up here, and when you speak, your voice is carried down the valley. In fact, people far away at the end of the plantation can hear you without you even screaming. You just speak normally, "Blessed are the poor in spirit," and they can hear you.
So this was the spot where Jesus spoke. By the way, behind here, there is a church and all that. Normally we don't go in the churches and all that, okay? We appreciate and bless you, amen, all that. I got no problem, but, really, I wanna be where Jesus is. I don't think Jesus went right in somewhere in the center of the mountain and talked to the people below, "Yo, can you see me or not"? That's where the church is, okay? I think he was standing over here.
And, by the way, there's a huge rock there, which I choose to believe he sat on it because the Bible says, before he opened his mouth, he sat down, all right? The rock is still there. That's the rock, by the way. I'm standing in front of it. And then he preached down the valley. And now you can imagine the multitude is like the heads of all these banana plantations here, about 10,000 people, 5,000 men, not counting women and children, okay? So he preached down here. But the Bible says in Matthew 8, "When he had come down from the mountain, great multitudes followed him".
So I went over this side, and this is the place where I stood, all right. You saw the picture where I stood, where the people would be. Then, interesting, the Bible says that, when Jesus went down the mountain, which I assume is this one direct path down to the people, but the Bible says the great multitudes followed him. When he comes down this way, they followed him. They'll meet him. It must have been he went another way for them to follow him below. I tell you what happened. I went this way. I walked down this way of the mountain, and I walked down, and I got caught with the beauty of the place.
The plantation actually extended all the way to the other side, and I was intrigued, and I saw faraway down here... now, imagine I'm there now, okay, and I'm looking down here, and it's amazing I can see Capernaum far away because the next event, right after this, after Jesus preached the Sermon on the Mount, he went to Capernaum. And I thought, wow, this must be the part that Jesus took instead of going down the direct way, which I always thought it was. He went this way, away from the mountains, that they had to follow him. Are you with me? And guess what? Somewhere there, a leper met Jesus.
Now, the leper cannot be among the multitude. Why? He'll be stoned to death, all right? He came by stealth, and guess what? I was walking down there, and I was caught with the beauty of the place, and I saw a lot of, like, fallen slabs of stone, like, it looked like, they're not caves. Caves are huge, right? They are like small, small slabs of stone where you can crawl underneath and sleep and find shade from the scorching sun, you know?
So I looked at some of this, and all of a sudden, I had a vision that one of these human-sized slab of stone with space for you to crawl in, the leper must've hidden in one of this. I saw this slab of stone, and I was looking at it, and I was thinking to myself, and I saw this trembling man, all right, with two fingers missing or if bandages all over his hands, and he's trembling, his face, you know, his nose is about falling off and all that, and he was crying, he was hiding under the slab of stone, hoping that no one will find out that he is there, and when I was standing down there, guess what? I could hear my pastors not preaching, laughing.
Like I said, the acoustics there are so amazing that I could hear the voice carry. The voices carried all the way to where I was, facing Capernaum, and they were not even raising their voice. In other words, what I'm saying is that the leper must have heard the Sermon on the Mount. Whatever he heard, whatever he heard, he didn't hear about a harsh God. He heard about a God. You know, and I saw this, he was trembling. Hooping no one will find out about him and that's the best he could come as close to Jesus as possible, hiding under the slab of stone. And a bird came chirping near him.
Now, for a leper, no one dares come near him, not even his loved ones, okay? And her a little bird come near him, and he was touched that little bird would come near him. And all of a sudden, he hears the voice on the other side saying, "Why do you worry? Look at the birds of the air. They sow not, neither do they reap. Yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much better than the birds"?
And he began to weep. And he look around him, and the whole place, because Jesus preached this sermon around the time of spring, all right, all the whole place down there. And were there in spring. The whole place is carpeted with yellow carpet, all right. Lilies. And Jesus said, "Look at the lilies of the field. Why worry about clothing"? Ladies? "Why worry about clothing," he said He says, "Look at the lilies of the field," all right. "They don't have to toil. They don't have to spin, yet your heavenly Father feeds them".
And you know, Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like these lilies, why? The lily's beauty come from within and clothing without. Solomon has to go and get clothing from without. These lilies are greater than Solomon, but you know what? If you put your trust in God, your heavenly Father will clothe you much better than the lilies that's clothed better than Solomon in all his glory. And he was beginning to weep, and all of a sudden, he sees this figure. He hears the ending of the sermon, and all of a sudden, the crowds cheering and all of that. Then all of a sudden, he hears ruffling, rustling of the leaves as the figure comes close to him. That's what I believe happened.
All right, back to Matthew 8, "Great multitudes followed him". And Jesus went this way, all right. The leper met him. "And behold, a leper came and worshiped him". Obviously all this happened before the multitudes caught up. All right, and the leper says, "Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean". Notice, the word clean instead of the word heal. He needed healing, right, but he used the word clean. He understood something from the Old Testament, the law. Says, "Lord if you are willing to make me clean". So, then, obviously he didn't doubt that Jesus had the power. He doubted whether the Lord will use the power for him.
See, many people don't doubt God has power, but they doubt whether God is willing to use his power on their behalf. So the answer of Jesus settles that once and for all. "Jesus put out his hand and touched him". I love that. Not every healing that Jesus performed he touched the person. But here is one instance where Jesus touched the leper and humanized him. So only God knows how long this leper has been without human touch. The touch of his children, the embrace of his chubby little hands hugging him. You know, when Justin holds me and mommy says, "Love daddy," and he would lean his head against me.
All right, that's the way he says I love you. And I will hug his big head and chubby cheeks and I will hold him, all right, and he will hold on to me. You know, it's just like nothing on this world. Nothing in this world compares with that. I'm the richest man in the world, amen. But this leper is deprived of that, and the first thing Jesus did, Jesus touched him. Now, under law, if you touch the unclean, you become unclean. But watch this, Jesus touched the unclean and Jesus says, "Yes, I am willing". Forever he is the same. He is willing to use his power on you. And who is he willing to use his power on? Someone who can do something in return? He's a leper for goodness sake. He has nothing to give back. That's love.
You think God does something for you because you have done something for him. God doesn't do something for you because you are good. God does something for you because he's good. And here, the Lord is good. The Lord touch him. And he probably shuddered for a while, all right. Maybe afraid for Jesus even in his incomplete knowledge of Jesus, but Jesus remained undefiled. But the leper did not remain defiled. He was cleansed. He was cleansed. Hallelujah. Grace is greater than uncleanness. It swallows up uncleanness. Amen. Under law, uncleanness is contagious. Under grace, righteousness is contagious. Under law, sickness is, in fact, infectious. Under grace, healing and health is contagious. Hallelujah.
So, "Immediately his leprosy was cleansed". Immediately. The next verse... by the way, I need to show you Mark's version. Mark has this little insight that Matthew doesn't mention. Same story. Mark says, "Jesus moved with compassion. Stretch out his hand and touch him". "Moved with compassion". Every time, there's a phrase in the gospel that says, "Moved with compression". It is never of any other person but Jesus. Even in parable form, it's all about Jesus. He's the only one who moved with compassion. You know, when he looks at you, all right, you say that, you know, "Oh, God. Pity me not".
Let me tell you this, he's not moved with pity. He's moved with compassion. Amen. You know why he performed miracles? Not to show off. In fact, in this particular miracle, later on he tells the leper, "See that you tell no one. Don't tell anyone about this miracle. But prepare the gift that Moses said and show it to the priest as a testimony to them". All right, we go back to that again, we go back to what he said to the leper, "Jesus said to him, 'See that you tell no one, go your way, show yourself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses commanded as a testimony to them". Jesus didn't do miracles to show off. Jesus did miracles because he was moved with compression.
I want to announce to you that the Lord Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever, all right. This coming Monday, he's still the same Jesus. When Tuesday come, it's the same Jesus. Don't be afraid to involve him in your life. You know, it's amazing how when you have Jesus in your life, all right, whatever that is not measuring up to the glory of God will all dissipate, will all depart, will all melt in his presence. Whatever is of God in him will be imparted to you. You won't even know when you practice his presence how wisdom flows out of you, but the moment you are cut off from him, wisdom stops. Which goes to show it is not you.
God never gives a gift apart from him. Even that verse that says, "If God spared not his own Son but gave him up freely for us all, how will he not with him also freely give us all things"? Notice that little phrase, with him. So you know it's like Solomon, you know, he had no wisdom to begin with. He asked God, "God, give me wisdom," at the age, young age. I probably believe that 19, 20 years old when his father died, he became the king. And he asked God for wisdom. Of all the things, he asked God for wisdom. And God was so glad he asked for wisdom, God says, "I'll give you wisdom like no other king before you and no other king after you".
All right. Jesus accepted. Then there came a time he became proud. Says, "Man, you know, look at all this kingdom and all the kings send tributes to me". He multiplied wives, had concubines and porcupines. Thousands of wives and thousands of mother-in-laws, you know. And started worshipping their Gods thinking that he has executive privilege and all that. Bang, boom, all of a sudden when he exchanged gods, poom, his wisdom stopped. He forgot the wisdom is not an it. It's a person. "The greater than Solomon," Jesus said, "is here". And Christ has made unto us, wisdom.
So every day when I practice his presence, I see him who is invisible. Amen. I see him with me. I practice his presence. When I'm holding Justin in my arms, I say, "Lord, I thank you for this precious gift". I practice his love for me. I know he loves me. You need to do that. Amen, church. We come to a place where we have this this deserving attitude. We start, you know, "You don't know, Pastor Prince. You know, pride is bad part, Pastor Prince. Pride, I hate pride". You can say all the right things theologically, but your response gives your away.
Are you easily slighted? You know, are you easily slighted by this? Lose your temper over this person because of that or this? Saying things like do you know who I am? You know the promise that you do not know who you are. You have forgotten that we are nothing without him. Literally nothing. Even Jesus said, "Without me, you can do nothing". No, we don't believe that. What we believe, honestly, we don't say it, but what we really believe is this, without Jesus we can do no miracles.
But there's a lot of things we can do. No, Jesus didn't say without me you cannot do the big things. He says without me you can do nothing. And I believe Jesus. I said I believe Jesus. Without him, we are nothing. We forget one time he had nothing. I didn't have a family, I didn't have children, I didn't have, you know, a beautiful wife, I didn't have a ministry. I must never forget, I had nothing. All I had was Jesus.
And the Bible says, and I preached this many years ago. What is a successful man? The Bible says, "The Lord was with Joseph". The Joseph of the Bible. When he was a slave at the slave market, the Lord was with Joseph, and he was a successful man. The definition of success is the Lord is with you. And he had nothing, but when you're sold, probably they don't even give the courtesy of a loin cloth, all right. When you're sold, it's in the slave market, because there they have check everything about you, whether you have a skin disease. They don't want to bring skin disease into your house. So he was sold in the slave market. He had nothing on him, but the Lord was with him. And God says he was a successful man.
You see people with plenty of money, but they are poor. They are poor, rich men. All right, you have Jesus. Joseph was a rich poor man at the time. Of course, later on, all the royal clothes came on. The crown, the Johnny Depp makeup, you know. All that came later. But what he had was the Lord, and he never forgot.
See, we forget. We start to have this, you know, attitude of deserving. You see that in churches. Even among leaders sometimes. I'm not talking about this church. I'm talking about generally speaking, you have ego clashes. Who does he think, you know? What does he think he is, is what you do. Oh, my opinion is just put aside like that, you know. All of sudden, we have this attitude.
We forget the lesson that Job had to learn. Job came to a place where he even told God, "You know, I was eyes to the blind. I helped the poor. I did this. I did that". And finally, God spoke out of the whirlwind and God told Job who he was, what he had, and he had nothing without God. And God says, "Can you understand how hinds carve, and do you put the galaxies in place. Were you there when I put the stars and the stars sang for joy? Were you there when I", the Lord's telling him.
At the end, he just took, he said, "I spoke foolishly". Then he says this, watch this, he says that, "I heard about you, but now my eye sees you". Personal revelation. The next statement, "And I abhor myself. I realize it's not about me. It's about you. It's not my goodness, it's your goodness. I abhor myself". Bang, he moment he came to that place, all right, his body was healed. His children were restored. He had double everything he lost, and he lived twice his age. Amen.
God wants to bring us to the lesson, and we are so slow. Mean, some of us have this attitude, you know, we think that, you know, "When Jesus got me, man. You know, we are all sinners. You know what I mean but I was 50% bad but 50% good. Know what I mean, you know". Some people say, "You know, Pastor Prince, actually Jesus saved me". But in his heart, he's thinking, "You know what? Jesus saved me, but honestly I wasn't such a bad guy. I don't smoke. I don't shoot tobacco. I don't go to nightclub. I don't slap girls, you know. They slap me. But you know, Pastor Prince, the thing is that, you know, I wasn't so bad when Jesus saved me. I wasn't so bad. I was like maybe 70% good; 30% he saved me". And that's why your appreciation for him is only 30%.
You cannot have a full Jesus with all his fullness of his power, because there's a lot of self still in you. Until you come to a place, through trials, whatever it is, where he knocks you down, all right, and you are knocked down, not with disease, not with an accident. He doesn't do that, all right. But there such things as you don't know you resigned from this job. You go to this job, still the same kind of colleague is still there. Not the same person but the same kind, know what I mean? You find a Laban. Everywhere you turn, you find a Laban, you know. You cry out to God, and God says, "Don't worry, I sent him". Oh, you are so impatient on the road and all that.
Every time you go out there, and the more you complain, the more you have this kind of driver in front of you. You don't know why. Thank God you are being loved. I know you find that hard to believe, but you are being loved. You are someone that God loves so much he's going to develop you. He's not going to develop people of the world, but you are his child. He's going to bring you to a place where you become a vessel of his honor and glory. A carrier of his goodness. Are you listening, people?
So sometimes, you know, when you complain about a thing, and the things, God says, "Another lap around the mountain. You still complain. Another lap around the mountain". Took Israel 40 years, all right. Let's not learn so hard, okay. Let's study what Job finally found and jump there. What he found out is this, okay, "Lord, I'm nothing. You are everything".
So all of us, we must come to the place where we realize we can do nothing. Not just say it. Don't say it to impress people but really in your heart, "Lord," during times of worship, "Lord, really all that I have now, the clothes on my back, my beautiful wife, my beautiful children, this sense of knowing you, who you are and your love and all that, I'm really rich, Lord. I'm so blessed. And I don't deserve any of it, Lord, but that you love me, Lord".
And see if worship doesn't spring effortlessly in your heart. But instead, you sit down there, and you worship God and say, "Hmm, there's my spot down there. My favorite seat, and she's sitting down there. Who does she think she is"? You know. And we are so quick to criticize, you know other people. You know, we can believe in a theological term, you know, the total depravity of man. "Amen, I believe that, Pastor Prince". And the next thing you know, someone says something you are slighted. That's a test. That's a real test of what you think about yourself. Amen?
If people say something bad about me, honestly, okay, you think about it. If the Lord is in those words, it will stick. If the Lord is not in those words, who cares? It will fall through the ground. Don't give your validation to anybody else. Give it to Jesus. Let him be the one to validate you, and he has done so. All right, don't give any of your power away to this person and that person. Who cares what they say? Mere mortal whose breath is in his nostrils say you are lousy. Who cares? When the one king of the universe who lives forever and ever says, "You are my beloved". Amen. It's like a cat looking for, you know, approval from people. Always chasing the tail, because the cat was told that his validation is in the tail.
"When you find your tail, you'll find yourself being worth. People recognize you". So for years, you go and chase the tail. And guess what? You're going in circles. But you don't care about people's validation. Don't care about people's validation. Just go for Jesus. All right, when you go for Jesus, guess what? The tail comes after you. But now you don't care about it anymore. You'll get so much more when you follow Jesus, when you put your eyes on him. Amen, church. Are y'all learning?
All right. A few verse as we close, okay. Are you ready? I do not know we have time to tell you about the secret of Moses and how he stayed 120 strong. His eyes not dim nor his natural force abated. We'll see how it goes, okay, with time. All right. "Now, show yourself to the priest as a testimony to them," Jesus says. What testimony is this? What gift is this? Jesus told the guy who was cleansed, the leper, "Go show yourself to the priest. Don't tell anybody else. Go show yourself to the priest and offer the gift".
So the gift back then was actually two birds. The leper will come to the priest or rather the leper is brought to the priest. Let's read the portion, okay? Leviticus 14, "Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 'This shall be the law of the leper for the day of his cleansing. He shall be brought to the priest". Now, church, "He shall be brought". Is that active or passive? Active would be what? He went to the priest. No, he's brought to the priest. That means what? There's a third party. Guess what? It's the Holy Spirit, all right? It's the Holy Spirit who brought us to Jesus, or else we are lost as a goose.
None of us can find our way to Jesus. And we say, "You know what? I found the Lord in 2007". No, the Lord wasn't lost. I understand the terminology, okay. I'm not, you know, I'm not trying to split hairs over your doing, but actually, the Lord found you. It's better to say, "The Lord found me. I was lost," amen. "And I didn't want him to save me, all right, but he saved me anyway". And look at this, he shall be brought, that means someone brings him. He's the Holy Spirit to the priest. And look at this, "And the priest shall go out of the camp". Aren't you glad that Jesus, after he preached the Sermon on the Mount, he left the Jewish camp and looked out for the leper? The priest went out of the camp. If the priest didn't go out of the camp, the leper has no hope. Jesus left heaven and came down to save us. He left his camp. Praise you, Lord Jesus. Hallelujah.
And then he says... but don't forget, this is the law, under the law so the law cannot be perfect because grace has not yet come. "So the priest will go out of the camp, and the priest shall examine the leper; and indeed, if the leprosy is healed". Now, if the leprosy is healed. In other words, the priest here has no power to heal the leper. He only has power to examine what is there. Is he healed or not?
So, poor leper he says, "I feel better, eh. These few days I don't feel so tired anymore. I think I'm well," all right? Then he tells someone, someone brought him to the priest, and now the priest examined him. The priest, "You're still unclean. Go away," all right? So, do you know how long this took, this happened? One thousand five hundred years. Nobody ever came to the priest healed of leprosy, nobody. I challenge you look through the Old Testament, under law, nobody ever got healed of leprosy.
"Pastor Prince, I found you there. I got you there". What do you mean? "Naaman was cleansed of leprosy". Friend, Naaman wasn't under the law. He was a Gentile. He was the captain of Syria. I'm talking about those under law, and notice how Naaman was healed. Elisha never laid his hands on him. If Elisha touched Naaman, Elisha would be unclean, because Elisha is not at the place of Jesus. In everything Jesus has the preeminence, amen. The way he healed is by touching the leper, but for Elisha, he gave the Word of the Lord to Naaman and said, "Go dip yourself in the River Jordan seven times".
And the seventh time when the captain of Syria got out of the water, the Bible says, now listen to this, ladies, His flesh was fresher than a child's. I don't know about you, but I'm claiming that "Father, be it unto me according to your word, Lord. Make not my face and my body like a Sahara Desert Lord. Make it fresher than a child's, Lord. In Jesus's name". And all the people said? How many can say amen? Hey, if it happened to a guy who's a leper who is a Gentile, all right, not even part of God's covenant people, it can happen to us. The Bible says when he came out the seventh time, his flesh was fresher than a child's.
So, here you have Jesus cleansing the leper, and his skin became fresher than a child's, right? But in everything, Christ has the preeminence. The way Elisha did it is from a distance. He cannot touch the leper. Jesus came close to heal, even to the point of touching him. Blessed be our Lord. Now, Jesus says what? "Go to the priest and do the ritual as a testimony to them". So, for 1,500 years, all the priests waiting. So far any leper healed? You? No. And it seems like God was waiting for grace to come. No one in Israel was healed of leprosy. No wonder this guy got healed, and Jesus says, "Go to the priest. Tell no one," amen. "Bring the offering and then it's gonna be a testimony to them". A testimony of what? The Messiah has come. Grace has come.
Fifteen centuries in the temple. They have this ritual and they start thinking, "Maybe this passage is not supposed in the Bible or what". No one was healed. You see, the priest during that time like I said just now, he can only examine to see if he's already healed. That's what law does. Law leaves you alone and say "Work it out, then come to God". Grace doesn't do that. Grace says, "Let me touch you and then you can work it out. Let me touch you, and you'll walk it out. Come to me first," amen? Praise the Lord.
And let's look at the ritual. Now, by the way, verse 2 says this is the law of his cleansing, the leper for his cleansing. After he's healed, he must go through a ritual of cleansing, and the ritual is this next verse. All right, "The priest shall command to take for him," that is if he's healed already, "who is to be cleansed two living and clean birds, cedar wood, scarlet, and hyssop".
Now, because of time, I want to tell you what the ritual real quick. Look up here. The law, this is how you teach the law, when you teach the law, you bring Christ out. Now, God is saying, if the leper is healed, which never happened under law, all right? But the leper, this leper would have gone to the priest as a testimony with two birds, all right, two living birds. And what the priest does is that he takes one bird, he kills it. That's a picture of the Lord Jesus Christ. The bird is a picture of our Lord Jesus Christ, two aspects of his death and his Resurrection. Bird because he came from heaven. And the bird became as a sacrifice, all right becomes a sacrifice.
The bird is killed, all right, over a bowl, all right, and running water and blood is all over the place. And then the living bird, a picture of his Resurrection. It's dipped in the blood of the dead bird and then the leper who is healed, now he's supposed to be cleansed. He's sprinkled seven times, which means perfectly by the blood, all right, of the dead bird on the living bird. And then the living bird is still alive and the priest will let him go, a picture of Jesus died for our sins, rose again, and went back to the Father.
So, in those days, they see birds with blood on their wings, they know that it's a sacrificial bird, but it never happened under law. But watch this, I said under law, there are two parts, the leper must be healed and then he is cleansed. In Jesus's case, he says what? That's why I said just now he didn't say, "Be healed". He says, "Be cleansed". Watch this, Jesus wrapped up the two in one. The priest has no power to heal. The priest's part is to cleanse after the person is healed. So, they waited almost forever, all right, 1,500 years to be exact. But Jesus did not just heal, he cleansed all in one fell swoop, why? Because he's king priest. Not just a priest, he's king priest. As king, he used his decree to heal. As priest, he cleansed him. Hallelujah, amen.
Jesus's grace can do for you what the law never can. The law has all this ritual, and for the first time, this guy walked back to Jerusalem to the priest, and the priest says, "What? You got what"? "I got healed". "I can see that your face, your everything looks very... I've never seen skin like this, so fine, so beautiful, but you were a leper once"? "Yes". "I don't understand". "Here are the two birds, but Jesus says to give it to you as a gift". "What do you mean? If you are healed, then you must be cleansed". "Sorry, too late. He healed me and cleansed me. Bye-bye". Hallelujah.
I'm telling you, church, this is our Lord Jesus. How wonderful, how precious, how heartwarming it is to know that the king uses his decree, not for his self-aggrandizement, for his own benefit, but the king uses his decree, not to command people to serve him, but the king uses his decree to save, to cleanse, to heal, to deliver. This is our God. This is our king priest. His name is Jesus. That's why we worship him. That's why we love him, because he never stops loving us and how he loves us, amen, as king priest, amen. He uses his power.
Isn't it wonderful the Holy Spirit, of all the miracles of Jesus, the Holy Spirit saw fit that the first miracle of the New Testament will be the cleansing of the leper? Do you know the cleansing of the leper in Matthew 8 is the first miracle recorded? Not the first miracle Jesus did, that's turning water into wine, but the first miracle recorded in the New Testament by the Holy Spirit is this one. Why? Because the gospel of Matthew is portraying Jesus as king, and the Holy Spirit wants you to know he's not the king that commands you around. He's the king that commands your disease out of your body. He's the king that speaks for your wholeness, that speaks for your family blessings.
That's why there's a Justin in my life, amen. The King uses his power to bring blessings in my life, blessing I don't deserve. This is my King. That's what a good leader does. When people see Jesus, step back. The applause is not for you, it's for him. The praise is not for you, it's for him. See, the donkey better know that carried Jesus, you know, into Jerusalem the people shout "Hosanna to the son of David," with palm leaves and all that. All right, and the donkey was carrying Jesus. The donkey better know not to, wah, you see, I'm walking on red carpet. In those days it looks like red carpet. And they're all shouting at me, "It's not you, donkey. It's who you're carrying," all right?
You don't have to worry that Pastor Prince will ever get big headed, you know? I went through a lot for the Lord to teach me this. My ministry goes around though, because you know why? We bring Jesus to the people, and that's all we do, all right, and step back and let the sheep love the shepherd. Let his heavenly subjects love the king. But what a king he is. He uses his power. What a king. He never wears that kind of robe with a crown to move around and say, "Serve me. Worship me". No, he goes around humble and in humble garb.
But what a king he was, king of all kings. Even naturally his line, his birth line, all right, from Joseph goes all the way to King David from his mother's side, Mary, goes all the way to king David, all right, from two different sons. And all the blood came from the Father in heaven. He has all claims, even on the throne of David, and the king came and he moved among common people, but there's nothing uncommon about him. Don't think for one moment, you know, he was as common the way he looked, the way he talked. No, he was uncommon among common people, but he never want you to pretend to be in his, you know, to pretend to tithe, to be spiritual or religious. He wants you to be real.
You can always come to him and say, "Lord, I don't feel like talking to you". The Lord says, "What"? "I don't feel like talking to you". Keep that going. You get what I'm saying? Because now you're talking to him. Y'all didn't get it the first time around, I had to repeat it a few times, lor. Just say, Lord, you are my wisdom. Come on say, "Lord, you are my wisdom," amen. Don't forget, the Lord is our wisdom. Let me close. Two verses we close, okay? Cool? Cool? Because, okay, these two verses I don't have to share them with you. It's about Moses being 120 years old, his eyes not dim, his natural force not abated.
Years ago I asked the Lord for the secret, and he gave me the secret. So, maybe we can skip this for another week. How about that? Want me to share with you? Oh, y'all asked for it, okay? So, okay, praise God. Let's go, all right? Deuteronomy 33, second last verse. "Moses was one hundred and twenty years old when he died," one hundred and twenty. Now, we talk about no more contrast, okay, but compare, all right? Moses 120 years old when he died. His eyes were not dim. Some of us primary school, our eyes are dim already. "Moses's eyes were not dim nor his natural vigor diminished".
And that's why today's doctors, thank God for doctors. They're in a very important profession, all right? But doctors are like priests, in a sense. They can only examine you and report what's there. They don't have the power to change it. Jesus can do that. Are you with me? That's why I'm saying, you say that it's not possible when it comes to a certain age, you know? If you are under the law, you become natural, but I'm not choosing to be under the law. I'm choosing to be under grace, all right? Moses, in ministries under the law, okay, but in terms of his person, he was under grace, amen? He could come close to God, even though there was sin in his life and yet be accepted through the blood of the offering. How many understand that, all right?
So, Moses was 120 years old, his eyes was not dim, his natural vigor was not diminished. Wow. So, years ago I asked the Lord, I said, "Lord, what is the secret? I cannot find the secret in this passage, so, God, give me a secret". And the secret must be it's so clear that this is what Moses did. You cannot find it anywhere else, that kind of idea. And I asked the Lord, after some days I forgot, and I asked the Lord. All right, I was going through my Bible, and I came to Hebrews 11 about Moses and it says here, "By faith, Moses forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king; for he endured as seeing Him who is invisible".
So, Moses forsook Egypt. He wasn't afraid of the king, all right? And he endured as seeing him who's invisible. And the Lord says, "You have your answer there". I said, "What"? "The answer you asked me about Moses, what was his secret? The answer is there". I said, "Where is the answer"? "He endured," God said. I said, "Endure means endure, like you endure long enough". And God says, "Look up the word endure". And God as my witness, this is the first time I looked up that word. Nobody reading this would think that the word endure is not the word endure.
The normal word for endure is makrothymeo, which is the long word for endurance, like longsuffering, endurance. The most common word is the makro, like macaroni, long noodles, you know, makro from the word makro, makrothymeo. That's the word endurance, but here it's a different word. I was stunned when I searched it out. It's a word used only one time in the entire New Testament, and it's over here. You know what it literally says? The word is kartereo, which means continued strong. Moses continued strong. It's only one time used in the entire New Testament right over here. Literally kartereo is from the etymology of kratos, which is power, strength, might.
Now, it's not just referring to spiritually he was strengthened, we all know that, but physically as well. And what is the secret? How did this happen? How did this come about? "As seeing him who is invisible". Remember this, the Lord is with you Monday, Tuesday, all the way this coming week. Remember this, my friend, he will never leave you nor forsake you, but you need to learn to practice his presence. See him who is invisible. When you are enjoying your holidays or enjoying your family or you're at work whatever, talk to him. Thank him. Make your prayer more of thanksgiving.
Don't just talk to God in terms of prayer requests, always requesting, then that's the only time you talk to God. Most of your prayers should be thanksgiving. "Thank you Lord, for a wonderful day. Thank you, Lord, for protecting me and my family during the holiday. Thank you, Lord, for this good food. Without you, Lord, I am nothing. I have nothing". That is good prayer to say many a times, all right? "Lord, you are my wisdom. Lacking wisdom, Lord, you are my strength". Pain come in your body, "Lord, thank you by your stripes I am healed. Lord, you are my health and the length of my days. Thank you, Lord". Talk to him. Honor his presence by talking him.
Imagine I'm with Wendy. Monday I don't talk to her. Tuesday I don't talk to her. All right, third day she go depressed. Something is wrong because she loves me. How many understand that? Y'all ladies know one of the best ways to get your guy's goat is really to ignore him, don't talk to him, amen? You girls are good. It's not only cold shoulder, it is icy cold shoulder. You know what I'm saying or not? It is wow, man. If you don't talk, that's it, the guy is killed. All right, so you don't realize you are doing the same thing to the Lord. Talk to him, thank him.
Most of your prayers should be thanksgiving. Thank him. Thank you, Lord. When you hold your child, you hug your child say, "Lord, I thank you. I feel like a million dollars, and this child is a gift from you," amen? Hold your wife, hold your husband, says "You're a gift from God," amen. That becomes worship. Your life becomes worship. Thank God for this church. Thank God we have a building. Never get tired of thanking God for this building. Has this blessed you? So, see him who is invisible and your age will pass on, but you will stay the same.
When you see him who is invisible, invisible doesn't mean not real. In fact, everything you can see here, let me close with this, all right even this speaker will one day diminish. You know that seat will one day disappear. Everything you can see will one day fade away. That tree will one day die, all right? Everything that's visible is temporal, the Bible says. The Bible says everything that is unseen is eternal. God who is here is unseen. He's eternal, amen. Angels who are here they're unseen, they're eternal. The world says, "Unless I see it, I won't believe it". All right, they say that the things that are seen are real. God a saying the things that are seen is only temporal. The things that cannot be seen are eternal. So, even Satan is eternal. That's why there must be a place called hell to house Satan, because as a spirit, he's eternal. Do you understand?
Everything you can touch and feel is temporal. Even your body will one day give way to a brand-new body that will never grow old, never die, all right? If not through the course of sleeping in Christ, it will come through the rapture. You will still get a new body. Everything that can be seen is temporal. Everything that cannot be seen is eternal. The unseen is more real. Learn to live in the unseen. Learn to see him everywhere you go and thank him that he's with you. And the more you see him, the more stronger you'll become and you'll remain that way like Moses did, 120, fully strong, completely healthy. And all the people give him praise. Thank you, Jesus. Hallelujah.
Every head bowed all across this place and also in the overflow room. My friend, I want to pray a special prayer for those of you who want Jesus Christ to be your personal Savior and Lord. I don't believe for one moment that your steps were directed into this place by happenstance. I really believe that God brought you here. He shall be brought to the priest. You were brought here. It was no accident you came here today. God brought you here because he loves you. And friend, if you want abundant life, forgiveness of your sins, a rich inheritance in Christ with Father God knowing that you are no longer part of the world, but God's people, God's chosen people, if you want that, then pray this prayer from your heart after me. Are you ready? Say this to the Father. Say:
Heavenly Father, I'm a sinner, and I thank you Christ died for sinners so I qualify. I thank you his blood that was shed on the cross cleanses me from every sin. I acknowledge Jesus Christ is my Lord. Jesus Christ is my Savior and my God. Father, you raised him from the dead. I thank you. The greatest enemy, death, has been conquered by Christ. And I thank you that when he rose from the dead, you raised me in him. Thank you that my life is now favored. I'm your favorite child. I'm blessed. I am blessed, greatly blessed, and highly favored. Thank you, Father. In Jesus's name.
And this coming Monday onwards and throughout this week, sense his goodness. Sense the Father's eyes of love is looking at you. Don't feel alone, all right? You may be alone, but you should never feel lonely, because the Lord is with you. Talk to him and see him who is invisible.
This coming week, the Lord bless you and your families with the blessing of Abraham and the blessings of Deuteronomy 28. Blessed coming in, blessed going out. Everything you set your hand to is blessed. Blessed shall be the fruit of your body which means blessed are your children. They are the seed of the righteous, and they are protected and delivered. The Lord make his face shine on you, keep you, preserve you, protect you and your families from every danger, from accidents and from harm, from every disease, from every contagion, and from all the powers of darkness, and from the evil one himself. For Father, yours is the kingdom, the power, and the glory.
And I thank you, Father, that when people look at these people they will say, "Truly these people have a life that I want. I'm hungry for what they have". May all of them be salt that will cause others to be thirsty for the fountain of life our Lord Jesus Christ. May we live life, Lord, honoring you, walking worthy of your name. In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ we ask. And all the people said amen.
And I thank you, Father, that when people look at these people they will say, "Truly these people have a life that I want. I'm hungry for what they have". May all of them be salt that will cause others to be thirsty for the fountain of life our Lord Jesus Christ. May we live life, Lord, honoring you, walking worthy of your name. In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ we ask. And all the people said amen.
God bless you. Don't forget God's favor is on you, and you are not alone. The Lord is with you. See him who is invisible.