Joseph Prince - Experience The Life-Giving Way
You all ready for God's Word? Smile to your neighbor and say, "It's gonna be a great year for you," a year crowned with his goodness, a year of restful increase, a year of open door, amen. It is still all this, amen? Don't forget, we don't leave for another. We add to it. God's way is always to add. Add to your faith, virtue, to virtue, knowledge. So God never says, "Leave this to go on to this". God says, "Add to it". Praise the name of the Lord Jesus. We've been studying the offerings, especially, namely, the trespass offering. In Hebrew, the word "trespass offering" is the Hebrew word "asham". "Asham". I'm not too sure whether the English word derives its etymology from the word... the word "shame" came from "asham".
I'm not too sure about that, all right, but there are many, many English words that came from Hebrew. Even the Anglo-Saxon has some Jewish roots, all right, many words. For example, your cuff, all right, is from the Hebrew letter, "kaf," literally. They let it as such. So "asham" could be "ashamed" because the trespass offering is actually in your modern... I shouldn't say "modern". I should say new translation Bibles and all that, they'll say, "guilt offering," which is exactly what it means. "Asham" offering, it's not so much the sin offering. We have a sin offering. It's a trespass offering in your King James, but literally, "asham," is "guilt". It's an offering for guilt, amen.
And in these four offerings or five offerings, if you separate trespass from sin offering... some people put it together. It becomes four offerings in Leviticus, but if you separate them, sin offering and trespass, it becomes five offerings. Out of these five offerings, three of them, three of them is voluntary, which means you are allowed to bring it anytime you want, all right, as when you want to offer or to worship God with an offering, do it. It's a freewill offering. It's not something that is forced on you, something you're compelled to, something that is compulsory, all right? So three offerings, they are burnt offering, the "olah," the meal offering, the "minkah," and the "shelamim," the peace offering. All these three offerings are voluntary. The last two, or one if you put them together, sin offering and trespass offering, the "asham," this is compulsory.
If you have sin, you have to bring the sin offering, all right? If you have trespassed against the Lord, the holy things of the Lord or against your neighbor, you have to bring the trespass offering. So we learned last week, and, by the way, the first three offerings today, how is it applicable? The last two, the Lord Jesus fulfilled at the cross, amen? You don't keep on offering your sin offering. It is once and for all (can I have a good amen) at the cross. But do we still offer our burnt offering, our voluntary offering? Do we still... a burnt offering, by the way, is when you are happy about some things of the Lord, all right?
So the Lord has blessed you. You have a bumper crop that year, so this Jewish man, all right, he'll bring a burnt offering as an act of appreciation to the Lord, or if he wants to enjoy God's love, he wants to get closer, nearer to God, he brings his "shelamim," which is, "shelamim," as you can see, is from the word "shalom," all right? "Shelamim". And the word "restore" in Hebrew comes from two words. Sometimes they use the word "shuv," where we have "teshuvah," "return to God," amen, "teshuvah," "shuv," or "shalam," which is "payment," all right? "Shalom" is the word "peace". "Shalam" is "payment". Don't forget, I've said before, in Israel, there was a time when I learned this word "anime shalam," which means, "I will pay". And a few of my pastors were in a shoe shop, and I told the cashier, whatever they buy, I said, "anime shalam". So "shalam" is payment.
Notice the word "shalom" is "peace, health, wholeness". So long before you can have health or wholeness, it is paid for by Jesus's blood. And the word "shalam," or "shalam," is also used for "restore," okay? In other words, for "restore," is "shuv," which is where you get "repent, changed, turned around". Isn't it amazing all these words? Praise the Lord. Now, back to "asham," "asham" and "chataah," sin offering, these are two offerings that is compulsory. We don't offer them today because Jesus did it for us once and for all. Can I have a good "amen"? He did it once and for all, for all time, for all sins.
You say, "Pastor Prince, how can Jesus, who lived 2,000 years ago, die for someone in the future"? And don't forget, God is outside time. The Lord Jesus Christ is outside time. The cross is outside time. When he died outside the gates of Jerusalem, he died for all those who were before him, from Adam, and all those who will live after him until God says, "Enough," all right, the times of Gentiles are fulfilled, complete, all right? So the thing is this, church, we know for sure that the blood, in God's estimation, is as if it was just shed just now. See, we think 2,000, that's a long time ago. God thinks, just now, okay?
So there are three offerings that we still bring to God today. They are the burnt offering, the peace offering, and the gift offering, which is the grain offering. There's no blood in this one grain offering, all right? Out of all the offerings, there's only one that's bloodless, which is the grain offering. We call it the meal offering. Your old King James is misleading because it says, "meat offering," but in those ancient times, meat is used for grain, even, for food. Today, "meat" means... oh, I'm talking about food real early in the morning. I think some of you are looking at me like, "Wow, Pastor Prince, come on, man". So do we still offer burnt offering? Yes. Watch this, Hebrews 13, all right, "By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice"... sacrifice.
The word "sacrifice" here is not "I sacrifice, I don't feel like it". You know how people say it? All right, you don't feel like worshiping God, so let's give God the sacrifice of praise. It's not that, people. The word "sacrifice" has got to do with worship, the way you bring a sacrifice of a lamb offering, amen. So here, today, "We offer this burnt offering," all right, "the bullock of our lips," the Bible says, all right? "We sacrifice praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name". "Giving thanks to his name. But do not forget to do good and to share, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased". So worship, one way, is this vertical approach is towards God, and the other is horizontal, amen. You see the cross? We still worship God with our burnt offerings, but our burnt offerings, in fact, this one is more like a gift offering, the meal offering.
So we bring this voluntarily because we are happy of what the Lord has done in our lives. We give him praise, amen? But to do good here is actually to be generous and with such sacrifices, don't forget, because God is well pleased with these things. And the word "well pleased" is not the same word as you would find that God has received us, "we are highly favored". This word is a different word. This has got to do with something that you do. You see, Justin is my boy. I love him, all right? He is highly favored in my sight, but there are things that Justin does that makes me laugh so much, all right, I'm "well pleased" with those things. I'm well pleased with his actions. How many understand what I'm trying to say?
Okay, so these are things that we need to learn, what makes God well pleased. For us to be worshiping him, to be praising him, it's a forgotten art. You know, today, people are so embarrassed to say, "Praise the Lord," "Thank you, Jesus," even in public. In fact, it seems like it's a cool thing not to praise God anymore, even in churches. Sorry. To me, you can keep your "cool". I'll keep the blessings. I'm going with the sacrifices, amen. I'm gonna praise God because the Bible says it's cool to praise the Lord. Okay, the language of the Bible, it's comely. It's attractive to praise the Lord. So I'm not gonna go by the definition of the world, amen. If the world can be so bold about saying profanities openly, I am not ashamed to confess his name openly, amen?
If you walk into a situation, and someone is using vulgarities and all that, you can talk to your friend out loud that Jesus is so good, amen, amen. Don't feel like someone who walks into a beach that has everyone, you know, stark nude, and then you are fully clothed, and you feel guilty. You feel out of place. In a world that has gone berserk where, you know, there's no moral compass, don't be afraid to stand tall for Jesus. The Bible is full of stories of people that will not bow to the image of the world, all right, and, yet God never allowed them to burn but to shine for the glory of God, and not one strand of their hair was singed when they were thrown into the fire. God delivered them.
I want to tell you that God, the God of Daniel, is your God. Dare to be a Daniel. Stand strong. Dare to stand out, amen. Diamonds are precious because they are rare. They are hard to find. Don't let the world try to squeeze you into its mold, try to bring you down to their level. All right, stones are dime a dozen, amen. Stand up. Dare to stand out for Jesus. And the world won't like it. The world will try their best. They will say, "You're a hypocrite. You are this, you are that," you know? The thing is this: When we make our stand, they say we are "intolerant". But they are actually being intolerant of our stand. What's wrong, making a moral stand for the things that you believe in that is in line with the glory of God, amen? That was my intro, just to let you know that.
Philippians 4, by the way, this one just came to me just now, and this is now my message here. So Paul is talking: "Even in Thessalonica you sent", he's telling the Philippians, "You sent help, aid, this financial aid, once and again for my necessities. Not that I seek the gift, but I seek the fruit that abounds to your account". Every shepherd heart does not seek a gift from people for his own benefit but that there'll be a harvest that will accrue to you. Next verse, "Indeed I have all and abound. I am full, having received from Epaphroditus the things sent from you, a sweet-smelling aroma, an acceptable sacrifice, well pleasing to God".
I used to read this when I was younger, and I thought that Epaphroditus was the messenger who brought gifts from the Philippians for the apostle Paul, and I thought that he brought perfume. Aha, some of you thought that way, right, when you read that just now. You thought that they brought sweet-smelling Chanel Number 3, for the apostle Paul because, after all, a camel ride is no joke. At the end of the ride, all right, you look like a camel. You smell like a camel. No, no, no, this is actually Levitical offering. The idea there is from Leviticus, where it says that all these offerings, these five offerings, actually, even the sin offering, there is actually a part where the fat is offered as a sweet-smelling savor, but, namely, the first three, which is not compulsory, which is voluntary, they are called the "sweet-smelling sacrifices".
So when you give to God, like you give to God just now, it went up to God in a sweet-smelling sacrifice. Every time you do good, every time you are generous, the Bible says, all right, to God, it's like "a sweet-smelling aroma". What the Philippians gave to the apostle Paul was "a sweet-smelling aroma, an acceptable sacrifice, well pleasing to God". God loves it. He smells it. He smells the tithes. He smells the offerings. It's a gift given in worship to God. These are voluntary. It's not something that's forced upon you, amen? And I even put the tithe there. I'm not one of those that says, "You have to tithe". I'm one of those that says, if you have a revelation, you see that "you get to," amen. And notice that "And my God", it starts with "and". That means it's gotta do with the previous verse. "And my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus".
But notice the context. Paul is talking to the people of Philippians. Of course, the Word of God is applied to us today, but notice, it's because they have been getting to Paul, and Paul looks at them and says, "My God", he gets personal, "My God shall supply all your needs". So don't forget this dynamic of worship with God, when you worship God, okay? Take time. Don't just rush through and put something, you know, in the bag as if it's not a time of worship. "We have finished our worship. Now is the time for offering". No. A time of offering is a time of what it says, offering.
And Leviticus chapter 1, verse 1, says, "Now the Lord called to Moses, and spoke to him, 'Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them, "When any one of you brings an offering to the Lord".'" Remember last week we saw this? The word "offering" is the word "korban," all right? And the word "korban" actually means "drawing-near offering," "approach offering," an "approach offering" or a "drawing-near offering". It's from the Hebrew word "karab". "Korban" comes from "karab". And "karab," over here, "When anyone brings", it's "karab". So, actually, you can see like this in the Hebrew: "When anyone draws near with a drawing-near offering", get it?
So the Lord Jesus on the cross actually brought us near to God. But the thing is this, church, today we don't have to offer the sin offering or the trespass offering because it has been offered, all right? But the idea is that, if you believe that Christ died as our sin offering, don't forget, the other three offerings, we still offer to God, amen, our praise and worship, amen, our doing good and our generosity, our tithes and our offerings. They are all sweet-smelling savor to God. When it comes to trespass offering, which is my focus for the year of restoration, the thing is this: God says, when you bring this offering, it's for guilt. "Trespass" there literally is "asham," which is "guilt".
When someone feels guilty, he has sinned against the holy things of the Lord, or he has cheated someone, he has defrauded his brother, someone trusted him with something to keep, and he failed, God says, "Bring an offering," all right? And then God says, "Bring a ram without blemish", that's our Lord Jesus, the male Lamb without blemish, "but you must also give the value of what you stole, the full value, and add one-fifth to it". So it's 120% compensation. So the injured party has now become a gainer, amen? Remember the first time one-fifth appears in the Bible? It's very interesting that it gotta do with Pharaoh. The wisdom of Joseph says to the people, and he said that the famine is coming. All right, so they told Pharaoh, "The years of plenty, gather and store up 'cause the years of famine are coming".
So when the years of famine came, the people brought money to buy grain. Joseph sold them grain. And then their money fell, so they brought their cattle, and they used cattle to buy grain. Their cattle failed. No more cattle. And all the way down to, finally, they said, "We only have our life and our land," and Joseph says, "All right, I'll take your land for grain". And the Bible says Joseph made Pharaoh very rich, not in those exact words, but the Bible says, "All the land became Pharaoh's". And then Joseph, he's always a man that makes sure that everyone wins. He says, "Guys, you have nothing left. Here is seed for you. You all take a seed. Sow the land. But, remember, every year in the harvest, one-fifth of the crop belongs to Pharaoh".
Okay, so all the land is Pharaoh's. He brought it to that place, but he gave them seed. You know what they said to him? "You have saved our lives". The wisdom of Joseph made Egypt great at that time, amen. And not only that, Pharaoh became a gainer even during the time of famine. I'm sure that Pharaoh says, one day, as he was walking down his balcony, he probably said things like, "You know, I thought when the famine hit, that's the end of my monarchy. That's the end of Egypt. We depend, you know, we don't have much water in the first place. We depend on the river now". Nothing comes up from the sky. Everything is the river now. So God tells the children of Israel that "The land you're going to is not like the land of you came from, Egypt. It's a land where people have to water their plants with their foot", it's a irrigation device, "but the land I'm bringing you is a land flowing", "flowing" is not "a landfill". "Flowing" means "abundance".
When something is filled and it flows out, "abundance," a land flowing with milk and honey that drinks of the waters that come from above. Your Father, your God rains the land, waters the land. You look up, and God... so Egypt is a type of the world because they look down. They depend on their efforts to get water. We, who live in the Canaan of God, in the promises of God, we look up. So I'm sure that Pharaoh said, "Boy, I thought the famine will kill me, but boy, boy, boy, I sure am glad the famine came. I sure am glad the famine came". In a way, we can also say, if we are honest, "I'm glad Adam fell," 'cause Adam had the earth, but through Christ, the second Adam, you and I have both heaven and earth, amen. Adam was a created being. We are sons of God. Adam was never in the position that you and I are in today.
So, in a way, thank God Adam fell because or else we'll never have the "much more". Can you understand? Look at your own life. Some bad things have happened. Look out. Look at the way God will turn the whole thing around and make you a gainer through that. And that's why, friends, when it comes to the things of God, when you understand grace, we don't glory in that which is great. We don't boast in that which is shining and the world esteem as high and talent and gifts and all that. Thank God for talents, thank God for gifts, but, honestly, the Bible says... I was telling my daughter, when you look at all your subjects, all right, that you gotta study and all that, which is your weakest? And she smiled at me. I knew her weakest, so I said, "Probably this subject"? She says, "Yes". And I said, "That's the one that God's grace will flow in. That's the one his strength will be made perfect in," amen. "For my strength is made perfect in", your talents, in your strength. And some of us think it does. No, it doesn't. "My grace is made perfect or completed in your weakness".
So why try to be anything more than weak? Why try to pretend to cover up your weakness? In fact, you should boast in your weakness as the apostle Paul did. He says that "For when I'm weak, then I am strong," amen. You know, there's a wonderful revelation of grace. Grace seeks out the lowest, the last, the lost, the least. In fact, these are the heroes and the protagonists of all the parables of Jesus. The object of grace is always the lost son, the lost coin, the lost sheep. They end up getting blessed. The last shall be the first. So the lost, the last, and the least if you have faith as small as a grain of mustard seed. You know, the kingdom of God glorifies the lost, the last, the least, and we are trying to be the first, the greatest, the most.
So there's no competition, people. Step back, amen. And if your problem is you stammer when you talk, praise the Lord, God might make you a preacher, one day, of his grace, amen, because you are looking at a stammerer in secondary school, and my classmates still cannot believe I am doing what I'm doing today. It's the grace of God. Chances are, when you don't depend on God in certain areas, grace doesn't flow because you are strong in those areas. You are smart, man. You say, "I got this down to pat, man. I know how to handle my business. I can do this. You know, I can do that. I have experience in this, experience in that". Friend, times are coming, right, before us, even now that all this experience is failing. Money faileth, all right? Capital is failing. You know, everything is failing except God.
Mm, that's not my message today. Where we left off last week was that, you know, when you sin, you bring an offering. You draw near. You don't run away from God. And then we touched on the fact that Joseph, a type of Christ, told his brothers, "I'm gonna put you in the land of Goshen," and in Hebrew it means, "nearness," "a place of nearness," remember? With all his power, he saw his brothers in front of him with all his position of might and influence. How did he use his power? "Brothers, I am Joseph. Please come near to me". And these were the same ones that sold him for money many years ago, and this is the type of Jesus, when he returns to Israel, amen, he will tell them, "I'm your brother Jesus. Come near to me, and don't be angry with yourself that you sold me".
Amazing, amazing grace, wow. I say, "Wow". You know, I wanna say some things that I think will address a few issues because we are on this subject of drawing near. You know, we are all near to God. Granted, we are all in a position of nearness. But it's a place. It's a place. It's a position. In fact, if you look at Ephesians 2: "Therefore remember that you, once Gentiles in the flesh," he's talking to the Gentiles. The apostle Paul is talking to the Gentiles here. "You once were Gentiles in the flesh who are called Uncircumcised by what is called Circumcised made in the flesh by hands". In other words, the Jews call you uncircumcised. Remember David. He said of Goliath, "Who is this uncircumcised Philistine"?
Now, the idea of circumcised and all that, they are not trying to be crude. They are just saying, "You have no covenant. I have a covenant. And this covenant is reflected in circumcision". "At that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise". He was telling them, "Before you were saved, you were a Gentile. You were far from God. You were strangers from all the promises of the covenants of God with Israel. Having no hope without God in the world". Next. "But now," say "Now," "in Christ Jesus you who once were far off," the Gentiles, "have been brought near by the blood of Christ".
If you look at this word "near," all right, is the word... think of Angus beef, all right, in Greek it's angus. And it's actually the word in terms of the place of nearness, the position of nearness. Today, I'm talking to you about the place but I'm telling you to realize your place so that you draw near to God in a practical way. Realize your nearness to God. For many years, God is my witness. For many years, whenever I say "Father God, I come to you," because I hear people doing that all the time. "Father God, I come to you in the name", God says, "Why are you coming to me? Where were you just now, and where was I"?
You know, it's like God is telling me where, you know, "I never leave you nor forsake you but you say, 'Father God, we come to you,'" you know? And I still do it publicly because people need to understand there are people who are not practically but actually, spiritually speaking, I sense God's presence more and I realize my nearness to him when I say, "Father," straightaway. And we need to learn that as well. We need to enjoy our place of nearness and notice this nearness is not because of how good you are. It's not because of what you have done. It is brought near by the blood of Christ. Has the blood been shed? Yes, you are brought near by the blood of Christ. How near are you? As near as the blood of Christ can place you.
There's an old hymn that goes like this: "Near, so very near to God. Nearer I cannot be. For in the person of his Son I'm as near as he. So dear, so very dear to God. More dear I cannot be. For the love wherewith he loves the Son, such is his love to me". We cannot be nearer to God because the blood of Christ has brought us so near. Can I have a good "amen"? In the Old Testament, all right, they draw near to God, but for us today, we are near already. But I wanna talk to you about a practical nearness, okay? And amazing blessings there for people. Before I come to that, look at this: "He himself is our peace, who has made both," this both is Jew and Gentile, all right? He has broken down the middle wall of partition. Are you with me so far?
Now, though we are near in position, there are people who feel... our feelings are really, really a problem in our Christian walk. There are times we feel God is far away. There are times we feel like we are not believers. There are times we feel depressed. There are times we feel, you know, elated. There are times we feel excited, there are times we feel really depressed. But the thing is this, people. Feelings are not reliable. God's Word is. And God's Word says we are near. So we need to realize our nearness. We need to bask in it. We need to drink it in. We need to enjoy it. Say, "I'm near to God". I'm talking to believers. If you're a believer, you can say, "I am very near to God". Nearer I cannot be, amen? For in the person of his Son, I'm as near as he, amen. So you're in Christ, in the person of his Son. You are so near to God and so dear to God. You cannot be any more dearer, nor any more nearer. You are so near, so dear, because you are in Christ. Realize it.
When you pray, realize it. When you see an accident on the... I always do this. When I see an accident, all right, on the road. There are ambulances there, policemen, and all that. And sometimes, the guy is still on the floor, all right, on the ground, and I will just straightaway, while I'm driving, pray that the person will be spared, his life will continue, amen, God will give him, you know, a new lease of life, and God will bring him to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. Why do you think I pass by at that moment? Why do you think you pass by at that moment? "Oh, so I can stop and see, Pastor Prince," you know? Don't be like the world, amen? You are here to be a blessing, people. So use your nearness to bless. Like Joseph, he used his nearness to forgive. He used his nearness to draw them close. He used his nearness to reassure their hearts, amen?
So take advantage of your nearness to God. Praise the name of Jesus and I wanna talk about practical nearness. Now, when I talk about practical nearness, there are some things that are positional and practical but it's not righteousness. When it comes to righteousness, there's no such things as you have a position of righteousness but then there's practical righteousness. When people say that they don't understand, that when they go about establishing their "practical righteousness" and they're not submitting to their righteousness as a gift. So righteousness is one thing. Is either you are or you are not, okay? But holiness, yes, there's a sanctified position, once and for all by the body of Christ, and there's a practical holiness. Are you listening?
Many a times when people talk about practical righteousness, they are referring to holiness. Are you listening, people? And don't be afraid of the word "holiness". Holiness is actually, we've got to learn to put back the word "whole," W-H-O-L-E, whole, into holiness. The word "holiness," even in the Anglo-Saxon roots, all right, in English, it is the word "complete". In Hebrew, is the word "shalom," amen. So to be holy is... your marriage is holy. What does that mean? It's complete. It's integrated. It's sure to give you life. Whereas some things that when we are indulging ourself in unholy behavior, it is destructive, okay? Look at destructive behaviors and all that and don't argue, all right, this person has a right to whatever, you know, sin they want to apply in their life, you know. See the high rate of death or suicide or whatever it is, all right, and then come to your own conclusion. It's better to go by God's Word. Are you listening, people?
Okay, God wants people whole and holy, not because God says, "All right, I just want you to be holy so that I look good". No, God wants you as healthy as he is. Be holy for I am holy, all right? I'm enjoying perfect bliss. I'm enjoying love, joy, and peace. People, I want you to enjoy that. I want you to be whole. But you cannot be holy without first receiving Jesus Christ, amen, and becoming righteous. Can I have a good "amen"? So many a time when people talk about righteousness in terms of practicality, they are referring to holiness. Now, having said that, there is a place of positional holiness, sanctification, and progressive sanctification. But not righteousness. Also for nearness, there's a place of you are near to God, amen, but there are those who are near to God in a practical way. How many understand that?
Let me explain. Even the Bible teaches that. Do you know that Jesus actually had 70 disciples? We all know about the 12 disciples, but the Bible talks about the 70. Look up here, Luke 10. I'm gonna prove to you in case there are people asking questions like that. Here it is: "After these things the Lord appointed 70 others also, and sent them two by two before His face into every city". So he appointed 70 others also. So he has the 12, then he has 70 others also. Are they saved? Are they true followers of Jesus? Well, same chapter, we drop down to verse 17: "Then the 70 returned with joy, saying, 'Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name.'"
Now, you all say, "Well, praise God, man. Instead of 70, he has 82, actually," you know? But watch this. In John chapter 6 something happened. "Jesus said, 'Therefore I have said to you that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted to him by My Father.'" Now this is a statement of grace. What he's saying: "It's not your efforts, it's not your smartness, that caused you to come to me. My Father did it". If the Lord did not draw us, none of us would be worshiping God here today. None of us. We think that well, we come to God because we are smart. We come to God because, you know, we have insight that other people don't have, you know? No, no, friend. We were all sinners. It's the mercy and the grace of God that open our eyes. The fact that we are where we are today is not an occasion for us to look at other people and say, "Hah, they're oh, so terrible". It's for us to go to them and tell them, "I was once like you. But his grace reached out to me". Can I have a good "amen"?
So watch this, when he's made a statement of grace. People don't like grace, like when Jesus speak in his home town, "The Spirit of God is on me to heal the brokenhearted, to set the captives free," and then he closed the book or rolled back the book, then he says, "Today what you've just heard is fulfilled". They discuss, "Isn't this Joseph, the son of the carpenter," and all that? But when he said, "There were many widows in the days of Elijah. To none of them was Elijah sent, except to a Gentile woman," that got them angry. Then he told them, "There were many lepers in Israel but none of them were cleansed under the ministry of Elisha except a Gentile called Naaman". That really got them angry. Why? People don't like grace. They have pride of position, pride of achievement, pride of education, and pride of face.
Jonah, he forgot it was the mercy of God that he was saved, and he didn't want to bring the good news because he knew God would be merciful to the city of Assyria. He knew God would be merciful. That's why he ran away from God, from his assignment to preach to the city of Assyria, the city of Nineveh which is in Assyria, the capital. He refused to go there because he knew God is good. No, what are we doing with what we know? It's all kind of pride, you know, pride of position, pride of name, pride of knowledge, pride of face. And the worst kind of pride like Jonah, pride of grace. When God has given you grace, you go around saying, "That church is not grace church. That pastor is not grace pastor". That's pride of grace. Since when you make grace something to divide? And then people say it's me, when actually it's you. Whatever we've learned, it's the mercy and the grace of God.
So, watch this. It was a statement of grace that got angry. "From that time," after he said that, "no one can come to Me unless My Father grants him". When he say that, "from that time many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more". And these are the 70, because how do I know? Then Jesus said to the 12, "You also wanna go away"? It's so cool. I love the Lord. You know something about the Lord? When people walk away, all right, he asks the rest, "You wanna follow"? It's really cool, amen? He doesn't want, "You know, can we discuss this, people? Come on, people, I don't mean to offend you, come on, you guys," you know?
So the thing is this, people. Once we realize that, amen, and whatever we have we are stewards of because as sure as you came out of your mother's womb naked, you are going off naked, amen? Once a while, it's nice to talk like that, amen? Because somehow, you know, we always have this in church. Don't be afraid to be humble because God gives grace. Water seeks the lowest level, all right? God gives grace to the humble, but God resists the proud. The way you resist the devil, God resists you when you are proud. The whole object lesson of the story of Job and his sufferings is just to come to the point where he learns he is nothing without God. To abhor self and glorify Christ as your true self. So there are people still hankering after self, amen.
So you can tell they get angry when grace is being preached because "you give me no place to glory. So you're saying man has nothing to do, lah". No, you wanna do something because you want to glory. "So you're saying grace, grace, grace, everything's grace, grace". Why are you so angry with grace, amen? "Because I got nothing to do, eh"? So you want to go to heaven one day and say, "What is Jesus the Lamb and me, just a little bit". That's what you're hankering for. Let me tell you this. As long there's still 10% self, you cannot worship the Lord in such a spirit of liberty, all right, a spirit of new covenant. It must be all of Jesus. That's when we say, "Jesus is your righteousness," some people don't accept it 'cause they still think, "I'm much better than the guy down there. I know this person, I know that person".
Man, you've got to come to a place where you say, "Lord"... And you know people who say that kind of thing, they are in for a great fall. And when they fall, they realize, "My goodness, before I was a Christian I never even do things like this, and now I'm doing things like this. What's happening"? The Lord allowed that to happen, that you might see yourself. Flesh is still flesh. When you're a sinner, your flesh was bad. When you're a believer, your flesh is still bad. All your glory, all your boasting, must be in Christ and in Christ alone. He is my righteousness. He is my holiness. He is my redemption. He is my wisdom that gives me all this, amen? Praise God.
"Jesus said to the 12, 'Do you also want to go away?' Peter answered, 'Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. Also we have come to believe and know that You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.'" Now, church, watch this. So Jesus actually have degrees of nearness in terms of discipleship. The disciples had degrees of nearness. Am I right? There was the 70 and they did miracles. By the way, this is very interesting. You know, people tell you things.
"Well, Pastor Prince, have you read before the Bible says in the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus concluded the Sermon on the Mount by saying, 'Many will come to me in that day saying, "Lord, we cast out devils in your name, we did miracles in your name".'" Well, the 70 also cast out devils in Jesus's name. It's not them, it's the name of Jesus. "'And we did all these things in your name,' and the Lord will say to them, 'I never knew you. Depart from me. Not everyone that calls me, "Lord, Lord," will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he that doeth the will of my Father.'"
So a lot of people say, "See, you see? This idea that you can be saved and be lost is in the Bible". No, no, my friend, read carefully. This 70 were disciples. They were not saved. They were not saved. Even the 12 were not saved. But they were disciples. No one can be saved without the blood of Jesus being shed. They are disciples, they are followers, but they're not saved. The 70 are professors. The 12 are sincere, but even then, you can drop down, verse 70: "Jesus says, 'Did I not choose you, the 12, and one of you is a devil?'" You think he doesn't know? "He spoke of Judas Iscariot," in case someone here is wondering, "Is it me"? No. "He spoke of Judas". I thought of teasing you and leave out the last verse, you know, so leave you wondering, but I'm a pastor who gives assurance. "He spoke of Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon, for it was he who would betray Him, being one of the 12".
So Jesus knew, amen? And all were not saved, but one is a devil. One is really, really, really not saved. One is really possessed by the devil. The thing is this, people, so, you cannot use that. Even Judas did miracles. So who is he talking to in the Sermon on the Mount? He's talking on no one that, "Not all that call me Lord will enter the kingdom of heaven," but "he that doeth the will of my Father". And what is the will of my Father? What is the will of my Father? Believe on me. Have you done that? You have done that, you're saved. Don't let anyone use that passage to rob you of your assurance.
"Well, Pastor Prince, he that doeth the will of my Father. No one knows the will of God. No one knows". So they leave people hanging. They leave people not assured, because as long as people are insecure, you can control them. I'm not interested in controlling you, people. You all realize that, right? All right? I leave you to the control of the Holy Spirit. I'm not a controlling person. I don't like control. I don't like to intimidate. I don't like to control. I leave you to God. Then you'll wish you'll be controlled sometimes. God has ways of dealing with us. Are you listening, people? He will chastise people that he loves, but not with disease. The Lord spoke to me the other day and said to me, "Cain and Abel. Cain left the presence".
The Bible says Cain left the presence of the Lord. Cain, the son of Adam, who murdered his brother, he left the presence of the Lord, left the presence of the Lord. There was another guy who fled from the presence of the Lord, Jonah. I just talked to you about him. Jonah left the presence of God, but God never left him. God hunted him down. Even if God's gotta get a big fish, God will get him. And God said, "What's the difference? I didn't go after Cain. I went after Jonah, because Jonah is mine. I disciplined Jonah because he is mine, and I love him. Cain is not mine". I said, "God, never leave me in that sense. When I go astray, deal with me". You'll be grateful that God doesn't leave you alone. You know how he deals with you?
Some of you are not happy in your work place. You are frustrated. When you are proud, you get hurt by people. Then you say, "God, why"? It's your pride, not the people, but you don't want to hear that. You are angry with me right now, anyway. Pride! Angry for what? People are trying to help you, you know? And please don't jump up from the surgery table. The doctor just opened you up before he can remove the problem. All right, you jump and say, "It is nonsense, man. I get hurt and all. Cut me open like that". Then you hold your intestines, running out the hospital. At least wait for the doctor to sow you back up. Remove the tumor, sow you back up, until you are well, okay? Amen? So, listen to the Word first. God loves you.
So, let's remove all this pride. Then, you know, when you see people who are failing, you see, you deal with waiters or waitresses, and they are nasty. "What? Who do you think you are? You are just a waitress. Don't be nasty with me. Huh? I won't give you tip. Wait a minute. I don't give tips anyway". Why don't you be kind to the waiter or the waitress? Why don't you be kind to the, you know, the gas attendant? Why do you take time? You know, people, people are working. Wendy and I, the other day, we saw a young guy working, just probably still in secondary school, but he was working at night, and he was busy. He was being yelled upon. He was being pressured by his boss and all that, and he was trying his best. He came to our table, and, you know, when he does things in a way that is not exactly, you know, when you are rushing, you make mistakes. It's very easy for us, you know, sitting at a table to say, "Hey, excuse me. You leave this alone, okay? Yeah, you go".
I've seen people do that, you know. But it's nice to stop everything and just smile at him and say, "Hey, you're doing a great job". Say something. That could be your son, you know, one day. Amen. That could've been your son. Let's say your son grows up, he goes out to work for a while or whatever, or attachment, or whatever it is. Just think of him as your son. Would you want someone to treat your son like that? And you know what? I respect him. He's working, when other boys are just partying. Amen. If a rich boy has a Ferrari to drive around, a lot of money to burn, I'm not jealous of them. I'm just telling you, is that guy better off than the boy who is earning his keep? Let's be kind, people, let's be kind. So, are you established on that? You're all clear? That, that passage cannot be used against a believer in favor of the position you can be saved today and lost tomorrow.
Let me tell you this. It's a miserable doctrine to say you can be saved today, lost tomorrow. No, friend, you are saved forever. There's something about the things of God we need to learn. God wants you to have long life. We all say, "Amen, 120, Pastor". Yeah, I'm all for that, people. Listen. But let's a life that, God says, "With long life will I satisfy him and show him my Yeshua". His long life is to discover more of Jesus and then to know him and make him known. You are of use, divine usefulness on earth. You die and go to heaven, no use. "Oh, I want to see Jesus". You can see Jesus on earth. There's plenty of time for that next time, but you have no use, you understand.
You cannot say I'll visit for a while, say, "Can I go back there and preach to the lost souls there"? No, you can't do that. We are of use down here. Amen? So, the thing is this, degrees of nearness. Even with the 12, there is Peter, James, and John. It's very obvious. There's more than one incident where Jesus, our Lord, brought only Peter, James, and John. Remember? Right? Jairus' daughter, the garden of Gethsemane, the Mount of Transfiguration, only Peter, James, and John, which names means the stone has been replaced by grace. And we see some outstanding miracles there. But amongst Peter, James, and John, there's one that's even drawing nearer to Jesus than all the rest. And who is that? John, who leaned on Jesus's bosom.
And that's what the Gospel of John begins in chapter 1, the Son in the Father's bosom. No man has seen the Father but the Son, and the Father's bosom has declared him. There's the Lord Jesus in the Father's bosom. The last chapter of the Gospel of John, we see John resting on Jesus' breast, it's mentioned the same John who rested on Jesus' breast. The Gospel of John ends with two bosoms: the bosom of the Father, the Son rested in his bosom, and the bosom of Jesus' disciple resting there. So, the whole Gospel of John is about love, love of the Father for the Son, the love of the Father and the Son for us. And God says, "Continue in my love. Continue in my love". Are you listening, people?
Someone says, you know, famous people down through history have said do not do unto others as you would not have others do unto you. Yeah, but Jesus positive, "Do unto others". Do you know you can actually not do unto others as you don't want others do unto you and lead a selfish life? But Jesus says, "Do unto others". It's more positive. Someone said, "Well, that's why I don't hurt people". But that's not positive. "Love your neighbor" means practical steps. Take steps to love them. Amen? Hm. Praise God. Hebrews 10, verse 1 and 2. "For the law, having a shadow of the good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with these same sacrifices, which they offer continually year by year, make those who approach perfect". Perfect in the previous chapter of Hebrews, pertaining to the conscience. All right?
We are not perfect in our behavior, but we are perfect in our conscience before God. Why? "For then would they not have ceased those sacrifices to be offered. For the worshipers, once purified", and the word "once" is once and for all, "would have had no more consciousness of sins". You know, one of the things that people who would oppose the teachings of grace is that they say that we don't give people a chance to be conscious of sin, which is something good. There's this idea consciousness of sin is good, and we teach you not to be sin conscious. The thing is this. No matter how not sin conscious you are, in the world that we live in, you'll still be, okay? People need help with guilt and condemnation. This idea that you are sin conscious, you will live holy, is not true. For by the law is the knowledge, consciousness, awareness of sin.
And what happened after Israel had the law? They committed something that they never, ever did before they received the law. They had a golden calf. Well, actually, what they said, called. All that God commands us, we can do, we are able to do it. Yes, that's what they said, but they ended up with a golden calf, a work of the flesh. So, people, it's very clear that sin consciousness, the moment that they were conscious of sin, it produced sin. Now, does that mean that we are saying we are sinlessly perfect? Some people accuse me of that. I never said that. I've never said it. What's the point of saying I am the righteousness of God in Christ, if there is no sin in your life? If there is no sin in your life, you are your own righteousness. Think, think. Tilt, tilt. All right?
Make sure your elevator goes all the way up to the top. All right? Think about it. Some people say, "Well, you are one of those 1 John chapter 1. You say you have no sin". No, we are people who confess we have sin. In fact, in the present tense, we are confessing our sins. That means we are people who acknowledge we have sin. I don't believe 1 John 1:9 should be used to keep short accounts like when I sin I must confess it or else I'm not forgiven. I'm against that teaching. But are we people who confess our sins? Remember the ledger illustration I used in my book, "The Power of Right Believing"? A businessman has a ledger, and the ledger is full of red marks, okay? Red ink, why? It's all the debts that he owes. Many a times he comes into the office. He doesn't want to even look at the ledger. Why? Because it is very stressful. It is heartbreaking to look at it.
So, he tells his secretary, "Pay as much as you can, whatever you can with what money you have, we have". All right? And finally, one man, who was a generous man, a wealthy man, his friend, his old friend, found out about his predicament and paid everything. Now, when he comes in, he asks for the ledger himself. He opens his debt ledger and looks at all that which he owed. That's all been paid now. And then with every awareness of sin, falling short of the mark of debt, there is an increasing sense of gratefulness to your benefactor. So, the thing is this. Are we people that are still aware of sin? Yes, we are confessing our sins in that sense. Amen. But not confessing to be forgiven. Confessing is, "homologeo" to say the same thing to God, that we have sinned, but God has forgiven it in Christ.
So, I've never taught, you know, we have no sin. If we say we have no sin, we make God a liar. Look at the contrast. If we are confessing our sins and we say we have no sin, it's back to back. The whole idea there is people say they have no sin. The Gnostics, "We have no sin". We have never said that. If you have no sin, then why confess, "I'm the righteousness of God in Christ"? Amen? Praise God. So, the Bible says, "Have those sacrifices of bullock, lamb, year after year, continually sacrificed on the Jewish altars, have they worked at least one time? Worshipers once and for all purified, would have had no more consciousness of sins". This is Bible, people. If there was a sacrifice that worked, would have no more consciousness of sins. If there was a real payment for the ledger, albeit how thick it is, if there's a real payment, there's no more debt on your conscience.
Does that mean that once in a while you don't look at the debt and all that? No. Once in a while, I tell God, "God, I'm such a proud person, Lord. Lord, I'm such a bad-tempered person, Lord". It's okay to say that, but I'm not confessing to be forgiven. I'm confessing because I'm forgiven. In fact, his forgiveness generates an atmosphere where I can be honest. I can confess with each other. You know, the other day someone text me and said he's going through some physical problems and challenges, going to the hospital and all that, you know. I said, "Let's believe God together". Sometimes I go through these lying symptoms, as well. Amen. I confess my faults, amen.
I'm not here to say, "Well, praise God, brother. Where did you fall"? No, we are all on this journey together. It's nothing wrong. In fact, sometimes, you know, you can smile with your wife will say, "I've got such a bad temper, darling. God is still working on it". You can only say that when you are in an atmosphere of acceptance with God and with your wife. And that's the reason why we hide. We're not sure God forgives us, all right? So, we have to confess every sin to be forgiven. That generates an atmosphere of insecurity. Whereas this verse, verse 2 says if a sacrifice had worked, there would be no more consciousness of sins. So, if I owe someone a lot of money, guess what? I'll be avoiding the person all the time. The person comes in, I go out. I'll see the person at the mall, all right, I'll rush up the next escalator. Why? Not because I hate the person. There's debt on my conscience.
What if somebody wealthy pays off my debt? Amen? I'll go to the person and say, "Hi". But the Bible tells me not only is my debt paid; Jesus, my Lord, is an overpayment. It's like I have a debt of 10,000. He paid that man that I owe one million. Now, if I know the person has gained, because of trespass offering, he has gained hundred, I mean, he has gained 120% more. He has gained, let's say, one million. I know one million is not 120% more. Forget the math for a while, okay, people? Follow me. So, for my 10,000 debt, someone who loves me paid the man that I owed, the creditor, paid him one million. Is that an overpayment? Yes. Now, when I see him, what do you think I'll do? Run off, avoid him? No, I'll go to him. I'll march to him, man, and say, "You've become a gainer because of me, huh? How about a treat, man? Come on. We're in a mall, they've got a nice restaurant. Come on. You've become a millionaire because of me. My $10,000 debt, how about you borrow, then I get one million? Come on".
How many understand what I'm talking about? Do you understand how Jesus is an overpayment for all our sins? Man, you'll come to God boldly. You'll draw near to God. And if you know your sins are forgiven, and forgiven in such a way, in such a manner that God is glorified, his holiness, all right, is upheld. There's no compromise on his holiness. In fact, his holiness is glorified in the death of his Son, because the law exacted a penalty. Jesus fully met the penalty, and all the divine claims of God on me and my family of righteousness and holiness, Jesus' blood has met. So, God now, let me say this reverently, it's almost like the blood was sprinkled on the altar, and Jesus says, "Is that enough, Father"? Friend, it's more than enough. God is glorified. His law is magnified.
Jesus never broke the law. He fulfilled it. We're not under law because he fulfilled it, not that he broke it. He fulfilled it. Are we together? Are we understanding this? All right. So, we should have no more... so, the thing is this. If I come to God, and I have sin debt on my conscience, if I know somebody paid for me, and that person finds out I'm still avoiding the other person, I'm still acting like there's debt, won't the person feel insulted? Won't the person feel like I have dishonored his generosity? But what if he paid my debt, and no one told me? Which is story of the world. They're avoiding God because, in their heart of hearts, they think, "God demands holiness that I cannot perform. You know, God demands this of me, and God demands that of me. So, I'd better not think of God or his existence". Why? Because I can't take my conscience.
One thing you cannot run away from. You go to the highest mountain. You swim the deepest ocean. Your conscience is with you. That conscience (con science) that knowing on the inside. It must be met and sprinkled with the blood of Christ, so that you don't have debt on your conscience. What if my sins are paid, but the person telling me that my debt has been paid, the person came from the generous, wealthy man, all right, but he happened to be a clerk, or he happened to be just a security man, whatever, at the door, and he doesn't speak well, and he tells me something about paying your debt. He's not clear in his communication. Guess what? Will I still have sin on my conscience? Yes.
So, again, there are believers who have sin debt on their conscience because the communication from the pulpit has been very bad. It's not clear. And then there are people, I'm sorry to say, there are preachers, even, who would rather you be sin conscience, so that they can tell you to do this, do that, do this, do that, and you will feel good doing it, because it eases your conscience. But what you're doing is you're offering dead works. You're not bringing to God good works, and there is a difference. Amen? Okay, I've got to bring this to a close. But watch this. I call this chapter the three W's. Okay? How did he do it? Drop down. "For then in those sacrifices there is a reminder of sins every year".
So, notice, no more consciousness of sins in contrast of a reminder of sins. It seems like the church is saying we should remind people of their sins instead of this Joseph Prince teaching people no consciousness of sins. But actually, I'm on God's side. I am testifying to the perfect work, the completed work of our Lord Jesus Christ, that it so glorifies God, that one sacrifice for sins for all time avails. So, we should have no more consciousness of sin. We should not have a Jewish conscience, like what they had in the Old Testament. Every year they must bring, because it's never perfect sacrifice; therefore, they don't have a perfect conscience.
The reason we have a perfect conscience is because we have a perfect sacrifice. Drop down to verse 4. "It's not possible," all right, "for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins". Okay, next. "Then Jesus said, 'Behold, I've come to do your will, O God.'" So we are the first "W". There are three W's. The first "W," God's will. Remember what Jesus says? "Not everyone who calls me 'Lord,' but he that doeth the will of my Father". What is the will of the Father? We have it here: "He takes away the first". Jesus came to do God's will. "He takes away the first that he may establish the second". So, the first "W" is the will of God. What is the will of God? "To take away the first to establish the second". "What is that, Pastor Prince"? To take away the Old Testament, which is, "If you obey, then are bless you. If you disobey, I'll curse you". God wants to take that away and bring in the second. What's the second? Grace. So the first is the law. The second is the New Covenant, grace. It's God's will, you know?
Some people have this idea like, "You know, grace is inferior. You know, law is", but, actually, God's will is to remove the law. God never wanted the law in the first place. Men asked for it. So Jesus says, "Father, I see in your heart, you don't want to deal with people based on, 'If you obey, I'll bless you. If you disobey, I'll curse you.' I see your heart of love, Father". Always end up, these people end up on the wrong side of the law. "I see your heart. Your will is to take away this first covenant to establish the second covenant. Here I am to do your will". To establish grace will cost God the costliest price that he would ever pay, and, yet he says, "I've come to do your will". So the first "W" is the will of God, all right? "By that will we have been sanctified", set apart, holy. The word "holy" is from this word, "sanctified", "through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all".
Do you know you are holy in terms of your position before God once and for all? And all the blessings of the Holy One's come on you. "Holy" means I go to your house, there are some things you won't let me see. It is so precious, it is so expensive, you hide it behind lock and key, your gold bars. You don't want me to see how many you collect. So, but you let me see your photo, which, actually, I don't wanna see them. I see you enough already, you know? So there are things that we hide under lock and key because they are so precious, they are so expensive, they are priceless. "Sanctified" means you set apart those things. Do you understand? Because you are special, God sets you apart from the world.
So when the world is depressed, you are at rest. When the world says, "How? How"? You say, "Praise God, I know him, and he will carry me through". When the world says, "Crisis, crisis, financial crisis," "This crisis," "That crisis," we see Christ is in the crisis. Thank God we have... no wonder, one bird to another bird, "Hey, all these human beings, how come they are so stressed? Look at us. We are happy. We are carefree". The other one says, "Maybe they don't have a heavenly Father that feeds them the way we are fed by him". "Behold, the birds of the air," Jesus says, "they sow not, neither do they reap, yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of better value, more worth than they"? Amen?
Second "W," "Every priest stands ministering daily", in the Old Testament, they stand. That means their work is not finished, "and they minister daily, every day, offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But this man", our Lord Jesus. Aren't you glad he came as a man? "This man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God", hooh, ooh, ooh. The whole does not even know this verse because the church itself is not fully established in this verse. In this chapter, the only thing they know is, if we sin willfully, there remains no more, there are people who are just famous for snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. They'll find some fault somewhere, and, by the way, sinning willfully has got nothing to do with the finished work of Jesus and all of us being established in that work. It's gotta do with people who see all this work, and they sin willfully by rejecting what Christ did. So don't read yourselves into it.
So this is the second "W," the work of Jesus. The work of Jesus is, "one sacrifice for sins forever". That's why he sat down. You know, Jesus didn't sit down. Today he is seated at the Father's right hand. He didn't sit down because he's God's Son? He's always God's Son. He didn't sit down because of that. He sat down because our sins have been purged once and for all. If you are smart, you'll sit down also because, when you stand up, he sit down. When you sit down, he goes to work, amen? His modus operandi, we are seated with Christ. Praise God. He works when we rest. All right, let's drop down to the last "W". "But the Holy Spirit also witnesses to us". The witness of the Holy Spirit.
So the first "W," the will of God to remove law and bring in grace. Number two, the work of Jesus, one sacrifice for sins forever. We are all forgiven once and for all, forever, amen? And now the third witness, the third one is the witness of the Holy Spirit. So, do you see the triune God? I said, do you see the triune God? The will of God the Father, the work of Jesus, the Son, and now the witness of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit witness, first of all, he said, this was the idea of the Greek, that "This is the covenant," the new covenant, all right, "I will make with them after those days, says the LORD: I will put My laws into their hearts, and in their minds I will write them".
By the way these laws are the royal law of liberty, the royal law of love, the perfect law of liberty, I should say the royal law of love. All that, all right? The law of the spirit of life. This is the new covenant laws. Then the next verse, after he said that, then he adds, this is the witness of the Holy Spirit. "Their sins and their lawless deeds," God says, "I will remember no more". And no more here is a powerful negation in the Greek. It uses two words for no, different words for no in Greek and put them together, bringing forth the strongest negation. "No way ever will I remember your sins again".
Now, are we saying we are sinlessly perfect? Again, we are not. When God says, "I'll not", if we have no sin, what is there for God to say? Are you all with me now? So we are not perfect. Our standing is perfect, our conscience is perfect. We have no more debt on our conscience, amen? "Their sins and their", so the Holy Spirit says, "Their sins", hey, Muto Sami, you are in the "their sins". Lin Pei San, you are in their sins and their lawless deeds, God said, amen? Richard, in GRC, you are in their sins. "Their" includes us. Our sins God remembers no more. There was a time in the Old Testament in the Law, God says, "I'll remember your sins to the third and fourth generation, and I'll visit your sins". Because of what Christ did, God says, "I'll remember and visit your sins", in other words, the idea is there, "I'll remember and visit your sins, or punish your sins or visit your sins, no more".
"No more" is strong negation. The witness of the Holy Spirit. Isn't there a better person, a more reliable witness that we can have in the court of heaven than the Holy Spirit? Would you rather have an angel witness? How about putting your feelings on the witness stand as a witness? "Yeah, today, Sunday, praise God, I feel saved. I feel I'm right with God. I feel I'm near to God". Monday, "Boy, I'm lost. I'm as lost as a goose". So can we have a more reliable witness than God the Holy Spirit testifying to us, "Your sins I'll remember no more"? I mean, would you rather have an angel, a great man of God? We've got God, the Holy Spirit, now testifying to us in the witness seat. He's unimpeachable. He doesn't fluctuate. And in what form does he witness? What better than the Scriptures of truth? Would you rather a voice from the sky? I know some of you rather that, but then, one year from now, you'll start wondering whether you heard voices. Isn't it better to have that witness on the most reliable manuscript there is in the world, amen?
The Scriptures of truth. All right, we'll finished with the last few passage. Drop down. "Because of that, therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way", now we have a new and living way, as contrast, the Old Testament, the more they come to God because of their sins, they might die. Without the proper preparation, all right, they need to come to God with holy fear and trepidation. If they don't prepare right, they drop dead. Uzziah the king went in presumptuously and was stricken with leprosy. He had to run out. So the presence of God was awesome, all right, and God is still awesome, but, folks, he's now our Father 'cause the blood has been shed. He loves us, and there's, "a new and living way", I like the New Living Translation. By the way, New Living Translation says, "He opened a new and life-giving way".
In the Old Testament, it's a old and dying way. Today it's a new and life-giving way. If you are sick, the more you come close to God, amen, you are receiving life in your very cells in your muscles, in your bones, hallelujah. The more you come, the more life is being given to you. It's a new and living way. And, you know, the word "new", go back to... the word "new" is actually the word, not for the usual word for "new" in the Greek. It's the word "freshly slain," an offering that's freshly slain. It's "a new and living way," which means, as far as God is concerned, the death of Jesus just happened just now. That's the spirit you must come to God in. His blood gave you the right to be there. His blood has removed your sins so that God looks at you in his Son, amen?
"And having a High Priest over the house of God", do you have a High Priest? His name is Jesus. Drop down. People, come on, "Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith", any other teaching that gives you nothing short of full assurance of faith, I'm telling you, is not of God. Good teaching, divine teaching, teaching of the Holy Spirit will give people full assurance of faith. This "Maybe, maybe you're saved," "Maybe you're not saved", I had a preacher one time saying this: "Well, you know, I can't tell who is saved and who is not. I don't even know if I can say I'm saved". Then get off the pulpit, man, come on. You are insulting God. These things are written in the Bible. It says, "that you may know you have eternal life". You have the witness of the Holy Spirit. He stands in the witness court of heaven, and you say, "I don't believe you". That's what you're saying. Then stop preaching. What are you there for? The money? The salary? Let me finish, will you? This one is my own, okay? Praise God.
"So let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience", what's an evil conscience? Every time they come to God, their conscience says, "You still owe God. You have sinned, you have sinned, you have sinned. Remember what you did yesterday? Remember what you did this morning? You have sinned, you have sinned". That's an evil conscience. You'd better see the blood of Christ and not what you have done. And folks, if there is a bad habit, when you come to God, it will all be wiped out, amen? Can I read to you a testimony, then close? I have, all right? So we'll continue this.
Let me close with this, Pastor Josh Motley, from Illinois, United States: "I grew up as a pastor's kid and was baptized at eight years old. I knew about Jesus and the Father but not the Holy Spirit due to the lack of teaching on the subject. From the age of 15, right up to when I was 28, I was involved in heavy drinking, experimenting with different kinds of drugs and taking antidepressants to cope with my life. I got married at the age of 25. After three years, my wife finally told me she couldn't handle my lifestyle choices anymore and was taking our newborn baby girl to live with her mother because I was destroying my own life and the lives around me".
I'm sure, during this time, his father was praying for him. He come from a pastoral family, and I'm sure that his wonderful father was interceding for him, you know? I know what it's like to be a father of a son, and sometimes, even for Justin, being the son of Joseph Prince is not easy. He doesn't know yet. His life is full of Thomas and Bob the Builder, and things like that now. I pray for my son. He says that, "My wife couldn't handle my lifestyle choices". He was in drugs and all that.
"She took our newborn baby girl to live with her mother because I was destroying my own life and the lives around me. It was then that I cried out to God for help. Right at that moment, I turned on the television and channel-surfed until I heard this man of God telling me that God loves me. I also heard that, no matter what I've done, God has forgiven me and will never stop loving me. Since that day, I have recorded and watch you're, 'Destined to Reign' broadcasts twice a day, for two years. In that time"...
I'mma show you how dangerous my teaching is, "In that time, I stopped drinking, I stopped experimenting with drugs, and I stopped taking antidepressants, instantly, without any side effects. I also received the baptism of the Holy Spirit and, within two weeks, began to speak in tongues after watching Joseph Prince teach on the topic. In 2011, after five years of meditation, study, and focusing only on the message of the finished work of Jesus at the cross, I started a grace-based ministry. I began to introduce the gospel of grace to nursing homes, other churches, as well as have our own service on Saturdays. We are also in the process of uniting churches in the area to come together at a different church building each month to pray together under the finished work of Jesus. My wife saw the change in my life and chose not to leave me. We celebrated our tenth wedding anniversary in July last year, and we now have two beautiful girls, age seven and five. Learning about the gospel of grace through Pastor Prince's ministry has transformed a depressed, drunk, and drug addict into a healthy pastor who takes the message of grace everywhere. Praise be to Jesus Christ, the author and finisher of our faith. Thank you, Pastor Prince, for reviving the gospel of grace," amen.
So, we thank God for this testimony, and there are many, many others. I chose to read this one today. But, friend, that's what a lost world is crying for. They're crying for what you know, amen? Let's not be like the world. Let's not behave like the world. Let's not be maybe, you know, looking down on people the way the world does. Let us be there to lift up, let us be friends to them, and let us, most of all, proclaim with word and life the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. And it's not about, "God is out to get you". God is out to forgive, to bless, and to make your life abundant, amen?
Friend, if you are here today and you have never received Jesus Christ as your personal Savior and Lord, pray this prayer with me right now. It's the greatest and the most important prayer you can ever pray in your life. You're gonna invite Jesus Christ to come into your life. You're gonna put your trust no longer in your efforts yourself but in his finished work. If that is you, wherever you are right now, pray this prayer from your heart. Say:
Heavenly Father, I believe that you love me and that you sent Jesus Christ to be my substitute on that tree. All your judgment, your condemnation, and punishment against all sins fell upon him, for he was bearing my sins. He cried, 'Finished,' because my sins have all been put away, once and for all, by that one sacrifice. Thank you, Father, that on the third day, you raised Jesus from the dead, and Jesus Christ is today my Lord, my High Priest, my Savior. Thank you, Father. From this day forth, I will live the abundant life. Bring glory to the name of Jesus, in Jesus's name, amen.
Stand to your feet. Lift up your hands, and let's not take this week for granted. Praise the name of our Lord Jesus.
This coming week, the Lord bless you with the blessings of Abraham and the blessings of Deuteronomy 28. The Lord keep you, preserve you, protect you from all dangers, harm, and accidents. The Lord keep you and protect you from every infection and from every disease. The Lord heal whatever disease is growing in your body right now, completely, and remove it, in Jesus's name. The Lord make his face shine on you and be favorable to you. May you walk into a supernatural favor of God all week long, you and your loved ones. And the Lord lift up his countenance on you and your families and grant to you and your families his shalom peace. In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, amen. God bless you.