Joseph Prince - Find Hope And Refuge In Dark Times
Praise the name of Jesus. Hallelujah. Are y'all ready? Romans chapter 3. "Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God". You see, when God gave the law and someone says, "You know, I'm not so bad, you know? I don't do bad things and all that". And he says, thou shall not commit adultery. "Well, I've been faithful to my wife". Well, God says, "Have you ever committed adultery in your head, with your eyes"? Bang, everybody is guilty. So that every mouth may be stopped and all the world will become guilty. No one can boast in God's presence. Can I have good amen? "Therefore by the deeds of the law, no flesh", Chinese flesh, Indian flesh, no flesh. I don't care what kind of flesh. No flesh will be justified by the law in God's sight because flesh, when it comes to flesh, everything natural. In God's eyes, nothing of the flesh can justify you. But by the law is the knowledge of sin.
Then we come to this, verse 21, "But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed". Witnessed by the Law and the Prophets like Moses and Elijah saw it. "Even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe," all right? So, the righteousness of God comes to all. This is not universalism. Not everybody is saved automatically. I don't believe that, but I believe Jesus died for everyone. Praise the Lord. "For there is no difference; for all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God". You know, we know this verse from young. I mean, the moment you become a Christian one of the first verses you learn is, "All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God". Nobody tells you the verse before that that the righteousness of God to all and on all. And this whole verse 23 is sandwiched with the righteousness of God.
Next verse, "Being justified freely". No one taught us this. We are taught all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. How about y'all? Y'all had the same experience? All right, all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. Amen? "Being justified freely by his grace". Isn't this wonderful, being justified freely, gratuitously, without a cost, free gift? Amen? Say, "freely". Being justified freely. Do you know in God's eyes, you are justified freely, freely on your part without a cost, gratuitously on your part. You don't need to do anything but on God's part, God gave his Son. On Jesus' part, he gave his life on the cross. On your part, freely. You are being justified freely. Praise God. So, "God set forth as a", you can bring the ark out now, "Whom God set forth as a propitiation by his blood". That's a big word, that's a big word, "propitiation".
Now, I knew that y'all be looking down there, all right? What is coming? Let me just tell you what is coming is the ark. So, look as much as you want to, all right? It's the ark of the covenant, for real. We sent this to be made sometime back and very hard to make this, okay? Okay, not too far, okay. It's solid, no? Not solid gold. It's meant to reflect gold. By the way, the measurements as far as possible that we can do it, all right, we try to follow the measurements of the Bible based on the cubits, all right, your elbow to your longest finger here, the cubits, two and a half. So, this is the great, the furniture that speaks the most of Jesus.
Now, now that we have seen the furniture, look up here. "Whom God set forth as a propitiation". That's a big word, that's a big word. "God set Jesus," context, "being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus". "This Christ Jesus Christ God set forth as a propitiation by his blood through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in God's forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed", not your past life, nothing to do with you here. Old Testament saints, God passed over their sins, all right? But not at the expense of his righteousness because of the mercy seat. So, this word "propitiation" is a big word but actually it's used only twice in the New Testament but it is used everywhere that you find the word "mercy seat," which is this part, the covering.
The mercy seat is the cover or the lid, all right, of this oblong shape. This mercy seat, and the blood is sprinkled here. This mercy seat, this piece, this cover, kapporeth in Hebrew, this mercy seat, receives the blood between the wings of the cherubim. And by the way, this is the place where no Zika virus can come, this is where no terror can come near. This is where no disease, all right? We're gonna see that in a while's time. But this is where David is saying... some people believe it's Moses who wrote Psalms 91, some believe it's David. I believe it's David. Moses wrote the one before, Psalms 90, all right? David says, "Between the wings of the cherubim, therefore in the shadow of your wings, I'll rejoice. God will cover you with feathers. Under his wings, you'll take refuge". Amen? The idea there is that you are in a place of safety. Wings speaks of protection, so have this in mind when you travel. Have this in mind when you read bad news, when you hear bad news. Know this, you are not an ordinary person, all right?
Now, God set forth Jesus as a mercy seat by his blood. But this is where the blood is sprinkled, okay? All right, show them the place of the where the ark of the covenant is found, okay? Let's go down to the old ancient camp of Israel. They're encamped in such a way... this is not our fanciful thoughts, you know? They are encamped in this way, in a cross in the Old Testament. God's people, Israel, is camped like that. So, you have the altar of burnt offering. Now, you can't see the ark of the covenant because it's in the Holy of Holies. The holiest place of all is where the ark is, okay? So, when we touch on the ark, we touch on the mercy seat, we are touching on the holiest subject ever.
So, right at the heart of holiness, the holiest thing you can ever preach, the holiest thing you can ever meditate on is the mercy, is the grace of God. We have a picture of the priest going right in front, all right, putting the incense here and this is where once a year on Yom Kippur, which is day of atonement in Israel, ancient Israel. Today, they don't have the temple anymore but they still observe the day of atonement as a solemn day of fasting and prayer. Amen? But Jesus is our true atonement. But in that day of atonement, the Old Testament, the priest will come in here with the blood, okay, and he will sprinkle the blood on the mercy seat, all right?
When he sprinkles the blood on the mercy seat... follow me now because I'm gonna show you something that this to help you understand verse 25. Don't forget that word "propitiation" is mercy seat, mercy seat. So, once a year, the priest will bring the blood of the bullock. Show them Leviticus where it says this. "He shall take some of the blood of the bull and sprinkle it with its finger on the mercy seat on the east side". By the way, the place of entrance into the Holy of Holies is the east side. I believe it's like this on the side. It will not hinder his coming. The blood of the bull, the bull is a picture of Jesus Christ, the sacrificial victim. Amen. The innocent dying for the guilty. All of us are guilty. They said of Jesus, "In him is no sin. He did no sin. He knew no sin," all right? Took the blood, the priest takes the blood, okay? And then he comes in, and this is what he does.
Read that. "He will sprinkle with his finger on the mercy seat on the east side". So, I'm on the east side. He will sprinkle it on the mercy seat and before the mercy seat, that means where I'm standing now, he will sprinkle the blood with the blood seven times. One, two, three, four, five, six, seven. Why? Why once on the mercy seat, seven before the mercy seat? It's a beautiful picture. Seven in the Bible is the number of perfection, okay? Why seven times here and once here? Because Jesus only have to die once. Are you listening? Seven times is a perfect, the place when you come before God, remember this, though you have sinned, don't be afraid to come to God. It's a new and living way. Even though you have sinned, you can come to God boldly. Why? Because the place where you are standing has been sprinkled seven times. You have a perfect standing before God right in the Holy of Holies!
Therefore, brethren, let us come boldly to the throne of grace. It's no more the throne of judgment for the believer. It's the throne of grace. To obtain mercy. Mercy is for when you fail and to find grace to help in time of need. Is it a time of need for you today? Has the doctors told you something that broke your heart? Have you heard something from your daughter or from her friend that sort of saddens you? Have you watched the news, or something like that, and involves your line of work? Are you afraid of what you have heard last night from someone or the media or whatever? Is it a time of need for you? Well, you can find grace to help, to help, to help in time of need. Amen? Praise the Lord.
Now, we're gonna bring this to a close. Watch this, Jesus in Matthew. Look at this, Matthew. "O, Jerusalem, Jerusalem", He came down the slopes of Mount Olivet and he was... y'all have been there before, the place where Jesus wept. You have all been there. He rode down on the donkey. He came down, all right? And this is what he said, "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem", He looked at the city and he wept, "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing! See! Your house is left to you desolate; for I say to you, you shall see Me no more till you say, 'Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!'" It's very sad. But look at this. "How often, how often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing"!
So, God will never force protection on you. Jesus was willing to cover them. Literally, he was making reference also, wings are wings of protection. Wings is always a picture of protection. Amen? So, literally Jesus is saying, "I want to", He's telling them, "How I wish I would have gathered you like this, I would have gathered you like a mother hen would gather her chicks under the wings". Have you seen how, you know, chicken, that's where you get chickenhearted. They are very cowardly creatures. When it comes to the young, I've seen it before, all right? Although I was born in Singapore, I'm a Singaporean and all that, I lived for 8 years, my father was working in Malaysia. And we stayed in the Kampong area and I was, what? Seven years old at that time, six, seven years old. And I've seen small chickens when I chase them on their own, they will run. Cluck, cluck, cluck, cluck, you know? But when it comes to the young, they will turn around and they will raise up their wings, regardless of how big I am, and then I am running, amen.
They will protect their young. It's the idea of protection. And you have this imagery in the greatest of all Psalms, Psalms 91. At a time like this when the world has become a place that people are afraid to travel, people are afraid to go out, people are afraid, all kinds of things, even haze. We can believe and ask God for protection from the harmful effects of haze. There's no real study, all right, exhaustive enough yet to know the harmful effects of haze, especially at the level that we are taking in every year some more, all right, consistently. But I'll tell you one thing, believe God for protection, all right? Jesus told them, "How I wish I would gather you. You were not willing".
Remember those words, "You were not willing". Some people say, "Why don't God just do it anyway"? You cannot. You must have the consent. If God can do that, God can stop Adam from sinning, the very first man, all right? God says, "You were not", He says, "You're not willing". And in another gospel he says that, "Now you are left to yourself". And then armies will come which came in A.D. 70, all right? I believe he also foresaw the holocaust. They didn't realize that they're a nation most hated by Satan because from them came all the prophets of the Bible, from them came the Savior of the world. Psalms 91 starts with, "He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty," right?
When you travel, look around. In the world that we live in today, there is like a sense of unprotectedness. A child, baby, the moment a baby is born, you must swaddle the baby. The baby gets frightened. The baby cries. He cry with his movement. He needs to be swaddled. From beginning, God is showing us man was created to be swaddled with his love. You must live... give them Jude 21:20. All right, 21 says... 20, 21, yup. First verse y'all know. Verse 20 is praying in the Spirit. But look at verse 21. "Keep yourself in the love of God". Now, "keep" here is to protect from loss and injury in the Greek. "Keep yourself in the love of God". You must always feel that God loves you. You must always practice the love. Even though you don't feel it, say it, "God loves me". Say it. Say it right now, "God loves me". Say, "God gave Jesus for me". Say, "Jesus loved me, died in my place". Say, "I am loved".
So, friend, I'm telling you, when you practice the love of Jesus, you wind up first. You wind up nearer to God's heart and you protect yourself. Don't have a sense like, you know, "I'm flying next week and I feel vulnerable. I feel unprotected. I feel"... The devil wants you to do that. Say the Goliath, Goliath, his name means to strip, to strip. So, when Goliath is shouting at Israel... don't forget, all these are real events, real characters, real people, real persons. David's a real person. Goliath's a real person, but for us today, the enemy is not a person. The enemy is what he represents, and he represent the enemy that comes to you and say, "You know, you don't have this. You are dirty. You are unclean". Trying to strip you of that righteousness consciousness then tell you that, "you see all these things happening? God doesn't love you. You're forsaken. No one cares about you anymore," you know? To make you feel unloved. But this is war. I said, this is war. And that's why Satan's name is called the accuser, huh?
You gotta keep yourself in the love of God. You gotta hear sermons like what Pastor Prince offers, right? I'm serious. Sometimes I'm scared to offer sermons from elsewhere also because I do not know what they preach, but I know what I preach. And I'm not the only good preacher, all right? There are many other good preachers, but I'm scared to represent other people before I do an investigation on what they preach. But I know what I preach. I know that if you listen to my sermon again and again you will feel loved by God. Look at this from New Living Translation. "For he will rescue you, God will rescue you from every trap and protect you from deadly disease". Say, "amen".
Every time I say like that, okay, you say, "amen," all right? That's what Israel did. Amen means be it unto me, Father, all right? "He will rescue you from every trap, every trap, and protect you from deadly disease. He will cover you with his feathers". See the imagery? "He will shelter you with his wings. His faithful promises are your armor and protection. Do not be afraid of the terrors of the night, nor the arrow that flies in the day". Or you can say the mosquito that flies in the day. "Do not dread the disease that stalks in darkness".
You never know, you never know, my friend. He never knew he had this disease, you know? When you're getting ready to check out, all of a sudden, you know, "I do not know". Don't leave that way. Do not be afraid. "Do not dread the disease that stalks in darkness, nor the disaster that strikes at midday". Whether it's a bomb or whatever it is. "Though a thousand fall at your side"... "Pastor Prince, are you saying these things don't happen"? No. "Though a thousand fall at your side, at your side". There's very near, isn't it? "Though ten thousand are dying around you, these evils will not touch you". Hallelujah! Will not touch you!
Go back to Romans 3. We'll close with this. "Being justified freely," praise God, "by His grace to the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness," all right? In other words, people are saying, "How can God forgive all the sins based on the blood of bulls and goats? How can God accept all the forgiveness of sins just by covering sins every year? If God is holy and righteous, how can God just forgive Israel just based on covering their sins every year"? Now, God's about to demonstrate his righteousness, his fairness, all right? Because in his forbearance, God had passed over the sins that were previously committed, not referring to our past life here, referring to Israel in the Old Testament, all right?
Now, watch this. I'm gonna give you the New Living Translation here so you understand. "For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood. This sacrifice shows that God was being fair when he held back and did not punish those who sinned in times past". Can you see it? Now, Jesus will pay, it's like a Visa card every year, cover, cover, cover. Covering is not payment. It's like your Visa card. Your Visa card is not payment. Hello, it's not payment, okay? You must pay it, right? So, Jesus is the true payment. He came and when he died, he died for all the sins that were covered on Yom Kippur, Day of Atonement. He paid for them all and he died for all of us who would live in the future because Jesus is eternal, all right? He's outside time. Amen?
All right, his sacrifice is eternal, I mean. It's outside time, okay? Praise God. Go back to Romans 3, New King James. All right, verse 26. "To demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus". God now, God is just in becoming your righteousness. You see God is demonstrating his righteousness. Grace is not something that is compromised. People talk about grace as if it's a compromise. "Oh, grace is good, you know? Grace is something". But it always has a tone of it's a compromise. Law is not compromise, but here it says, "To demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that God might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus".
Hey, he's your justifier. When God justifies you, God is just in justifying you. It is not at the expense of his righteousness. Amen. His righteousness has been fully met in the cross of Jesus Christ. All the claims of divine holiness on your life, on my life, on your family, has been fully met in the blood of Jesus shed at the cross. God is now righteous in declaring you righteous. God didn't do it out of mercy. Mercy sent his Son, all right? Mercy saw our need, but this is not mercy. This is judicial terms. God is righteous in making us righteous.
That's why understand when you say, "I'm the righteousness of God in Christ," you pay God the greatest compliment. You're giving God the greatest glory. You are saying, you are saying in essence that, "Jesus died for my sins. God raised him when I was justified in Christ that God is justified, God is righteous". Whenever you confess, "I'm the righteousness of God in Christ," all of God's characteristics and attributes come in one. And people who don't have this revelation they think, "How can you say that? How can you say that"? There are more into confessing your sins.
And I believe in confessing of sins. I believe in saying sorry. I believe that there's a place for that, but we don't confess to be forgiven today. We confess because we are forgiven, but the greatest confession we can make in the New Testament is to confess that we are the righteousness of God in Christ, in Christ Jesus our righteousness. With every mouth that if you confess with your mouth Jesus is your Lord, believe in your heart God raised him from the dead, you shall be saved for with the heart man believes unto righteousness. You gotta believe that. And with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. Have you learned something? Give him praise. Hallelujah! Thank you, Jesus.