Joseph Prince - Follow Jesus And Blessings Follow You
Greetings, church. Praise the Lord. Hallelujah. When I was around 17, 18, I remember when I first was attack mentally. It was a very dark moment in my life. If I go to a psychiatrist they'll say it's depression, but I know better than that, it's not just depression. It is actually an onslaught against my mind. I was very steeped in the occult for many years and when I try to extricate myself out, it's like the powers of darkness refused to let me go. It took the grace of my Lord Jesus Christ to rescue me. And after I was rescued... even after I was born again, water baptized, Spirit-filled, the attack still came on my mind. I thought I will lose my mind, and I was afraid that one day the temptation will get too strong. I will renounce Jesus and go to hell. I was so afraid of the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit.
I was confessing my sins all the time. I cannot understand how come Christians don't confess their sins all the time. I see them laughing. I see them playing soccer. I see them going to church, you know, singing. I don't see them, you know, confessing their sins, and I was thinking, "How can you wait until you go home to confess, even? What if halfway you need God's protection and then the car knocks you down," you know? I had all these kinda bizarre thoughts. So don't think for one moment I'm not someone who do not know how terrible sin is, okay? It is because I know how severe sin is that I'm so afraid. It's because I fear God the way a lotta people are teaching it today. I fear God in that way, so don't say for one moment I have no fear of God. I feared God because I feared that I get punished, that I started confessing all my sins. It got me worse. I nearly lost my mind, so one day said, "God", it was a very dark moment.
My parents don't know what I'm going through. In the quietness I couldn't sleep at night, started hearing strange voices, and then I took my little Bible. I still remember there's a black Bible, and I say, "God, speak to me, God. I have to hear from you. Please, speak to me. Speak to me". And all the other books that I've read, you know, books by great men on faith and different things, didn't help me at that time. I need a specific Word from God, and I just open the Bible at random, which, again, I don't advise you all to practice this. This was an extreme situation.
And I read 2 Timothy and, lo and behold, wow. I just went, by reading it, the sword of the Spirit cut away all the fears and all the depression and all the inroads the devil was making into my mind. And, like, it was 2 Timothy chapter 4:18. "And the Lord will deliver me", this has been personalized already. The "me" is there. "And the Lord will deliver me from every evil work". My fear at that time was that, "what if there's... so far so good, you know? I've been overcoming a lot of his traps, a lot of his, you know, telling me to blaspheme God, telling me all kind of crazy things, but I've not succumb to it. I've not yielded to it".
So, I say, "What if there's one strong enough and I yield to it"? And the Lord says the Lord will deliver me from how many? From how many? What if there's a new version? What if the devil bring temptation 6.0, a new version, you know, the latest? Every evil work. No weapon that's formed. Any weapon that's formed against you will not prosper, so this became my verse. And I was afraid I will not make it to heaven. The following say, "And preserve me for his heavenly kingdom". The Lord will deliver me from every evil work, amen? And preserve me unto his heavenly kingdom. "To him be glory forever and ever. Amen"!
This became my verse, and do you know something? Many years have come and gone. Quite some years have come and gone. The years pass so fast, don't they? And I'm still young. Many years have come and gone. I've never heard, until now, I have never heard anyone preach this verse. I have never heard on television, through media. I've yet to hear anyone preaching on this one verse that Paul said. It's an amazing verse. It's been personalized for you already. "And the Lord will deliver me". That is a strong will, amen, church? God wants your life blessed, people, and there's a sword for every situation in your life. Maybe you're a fearful type, so when you feel the fear coming up, you say, "It is written, 'For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. It is written.'" Sometimes, it's good not to personalize it, because the word is "us". God has not given us, so leave "us" there, because "us" give you a sense that you're not in this alone. Can I have a good amen?
The Bible says the Word of God is quick and powerful and sharper than any two-edged sword. You know, in those days, they have a two-edged sword that cuts both ways, but God's Word is sharper, sharper than any two-edged sword. So, what is sharper than any two-edged sword? During the time when Paul wrote it, Paul saw it, but they didn't use it yet. They had no capacity. It wasn't discovered yet. Today, we know that during surgery they can be so precise when they cut, all right? It's called laser. Even for your sensitive eye, they can use laser on your eye in such a way they cut what they want to cut and what they don't want to cut is left uncut. It is so precise, and the Bible says the Word of God is quick and powerful laser and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit.
How does a man divide soul and spirit? Very hard. Even those who teach soul and spirit, it's very hard for them to completely separate. And the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow. Joints and marrow. Your marrow is in your joints. Your marrow is in the bone. How do you separate the part where, "Yap. Here is where marrow ends and bone starts"? Well, God's laser-sharp Word can do that. That's why when you hear the preaching of the Word, where the doctors and where laser cannot even go in and touch those areas lest they affect the other organ, God's Word can. And that's why God's Word can bring healing. Where thank God for medical profession, but only God's Word can go places where the best of man cannot. The things that are impossible with man is possible with God. Always remember this law. When it's impossible with man, it's possible with God, all right? I think you can reverse it. You won't go wrong. When man thinks it's possible with him, it's impossible for God to help. That's my own version. There's not the Bible, okay?
So, the last part, you can ignore it if you want. I always find that it's not true that God help those who help themself. That's nonsense. That didn't come from the Bible. That's not a Bible verse, all right? That was Benjamin Franklin, I think, who said that. "God help those who help themselves". Lemme tell you this. God help those who are helpless, all right? People are still strong. That's the problem, so this year God wants to possess your family. "But, Pastor Prince, do you understand my family has broken up? I appreciate your heart, Pastor, but it's really bad now". Well, well, well, well, praise God. We're in the season of resurrection, amen? You don't tell God it's beyond. God says the things that are impossible with man... is it impossible with man now, impossible with you, husband? You're a man. Impossible with your wife? She's a woman. You're all in the category of man.
You know something? It's possible with God, and this is God's dream for all of us. It's taken from the 15 Songs of Ascents, or 15 Songs of Degrees. In the 15 Song of Degrees you'll find the book of Psalms. Some people believe the two, I'll just give you the two major thoughts, okay, which is more popular. The 2 thoughts are these: the 15 psalms from Psalm 120 to Psalms 134, 15 psalms, they are called the Songs of Degrees or Songs of Ascent. That means from one song you go higher to another song. It's like going up the steps, and one of the views is that back in the Temple of Solomon, in those days, the steps to the temple is exactly 15. This is not the Solomon step. This is the one that's inside, all right, going to the holy place. It is 15 steps. And every step, when the Levites step on them, the first step, they will read the very first psalm of degrees.
Then, they step the next step. They'll see the next psalm of degrees. Another view people have is that this song is sung by all the pilgrims for their main seven, the feasts of Israel, when they come up from usually the Jericho area, which is the lowest part of planet Earth. And they come up, up, up, up to Mount Zion. They go up to Jerusalem. As they go, they sing the 15 psalms. Whatever it is, the message to us is this: God doesn't bring you lower and lower and lower. God brings you higher and higher and higher. Keep on singing the Psalms, and you cannot remain the same level that you were before. You will go higher than you were before. And then, the more you do it, the more you go higher, until 15 is the number of rest. You come to a place of rest, the place of victory, the place where there's no enemy, no fatigue, no stress, all right? No curse because you have arrived. Can I have a good amen?
So, we're looking at the Psalms of Degrees today. Just to let you know, I'm quoting the Psalm of Degrees, okay? Psalms 128 says, "Blessed is every one who fears the Lord, who walks in his ways. When you eat the labor of your hands, you shall be happy, and it shall be well with you". How many want that? Say "amen". Some people eat, but they're not happy. Some people eat, and things don't go well. "Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine". Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine. Praise God. She won't be dried up, amen? You know, vine talks of grapes. She'll be a fruitful vine, and when they're fruitful it's like a cluster of grapes that the two spies brought back from the land of Canaan, that they bear it on their shoulders. Your wife will be like that, a fruitful vine, amen? And then, from vine, in those days, they make wine, amen? Amen. Your wife will have lips of wine, amen? Only if your wife is here with you, you may kiss and taste that wine, all right? Only if your wife is here with you, okay? All right. Okay. Your mother-in-law? Okay, Ken, all right?
So, you can have fun in church, you know? As long the jokes are kosher, all right? Do you think in heaven there's no such things? I can see angels saying, "Have you heard the latest"? Another angel will come, "Tell you what. This one is good". We have fun in heaven, amen? God created us to laugh. It's okay to laugh, but you never laugh. See, when you go to the movies today, they're getting lower and lower. There used to be a time comedy shows don't have to allude to sex, but now they allude to a lot of these kind of things to get laughter. That's the lowest form of jokes. When you have to resort to sexual innuendos to get jokes, it's the lowest form. Back in those days, when people like Jerry Lewis and you know, all those guys, Bob Hope and all that, I mean, they could talk something that's really funny. I mean, that is the master. Hmm? Anyway, y'all don't care.
So, the next one is, "Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine in the very heart of your house. Your children like olive plants all around your table". Your children like olive plants. They're anointed, people. The olive plant is a plant that's revered, you know, for holy purposes, sanctified purposes. They use it to anoint the priests, the prophet, the king. They use it to light up the menorah. They use it for medicine. They use it for soap in those days. In fact, there are stages whereby one day someone was teaching in Israel about the extra-virgin olive oil is always used for the temple, right? To light the temple. To light the temple, the very best. And then, see, after that they will squeeze it again, because it's all like, you know, with rocks and all, stones and all that. And they will go round and cause the stone to press some more. There's still some more oil. The next stage, the oil, right, is used for medicine.
Think about it. This is what the guide said in Israel. Then the third pressing, the third pressing, is used for cleansing, soap cleansing. I thought it was very interesting, the stages of that. When I was listening to it, minding my own business, the Holy Spirit spoke to me and says, "This is what Jesus went through. It all started in Gat Sheman". "Gethsemane" means "the place of the oily-oil press". The olive press. Gat Sheman. "Sheman" is oil. "Gat" is press. When Jesus was first pressed, it was a dark, dark time. It was the hour of darkness, in Jesus's own words. Why? To bring light of the sanctuary into your life, where you can see with unworldly eyes, where you can see with uncommon eyes. You see things that others don't see. That's the first pressing, Garden of Gethsemane. Second pressing, he was beaten. He was scourged. That one is used for medicine. By his stripes we are healed. Can I have a good amen?
And the last one, the last stage, they use it for what? Cleansing. Washing. At the cross he was pressed again, and this time it is for our cleansing, amen? So, you know, and here I am listening to the guide, and the Holy Spirit is taking his water of his sharing, turning it into wine, and I'm getting intoxicated, amen? I pray you are, too. And may your marriages be intoxicating. And kiss often, amen? Yeah, buy mouthwash and all that. Use it often and kiss often, amen? Amen, because I love to eat garlic, and I eat garlic raw, you know? I almost have with every meal garlic raw, onion raw. Praise God. Hallelujah. "Come here, baby," amen? Hallelujah. The secret of a fiery preacher. Hallelujah. My son say, "So smelly". "Your wife shall be like a fruitful," fruitful, fruitful, fruitful, "vine, the very heart of your house. Your children like olive plants all around your table".
And you know something? Olive, also, is a tree that lasts for thousands of years. It can perpetuate. As long as you put new shoots in it, okay, it will continue growing. New shoots in an old olive tree causes the old olive tree to continue to perpetuate, amen? Having children causes you to stay young. Playing with children helps you to stay young. I don't mean working in childcare and all that. Sometimes, there are ladies down there whose face look like it's baptized in lemon juice, all right? I'm talking about enjoying time with them, you know? I thank God for all those people, but I'm just saying doesn't mean that's your profession. Means you are doing, you know, there are people who are just looking at the bottom line, their salary or, you know, there are people doing this kind of thing in every sector, in every field, every profession, but there are people who really love kids. They really enjoy being with kids. They know how to go down in their knees and all that.
Lemme tell you this, all right? It's a way of staying young. Y'all don't agree. I'm telling you it's a way of staying young. Praise God. God gave me another one, right, not too long ago, and now I'm going through the whole thing again. And it's fun. It's fun to be on all fours just after you handle a call that is quite stressful, and then work calls. Then you spend time with this little one, and he just de-stresses you. He just help you forget everything else, amen? And you're having fun trying to find the missing map. Amen, amen. Okay, all your children, like, all around your table.
Next verse, "Behold, thus shall the man be blessed who fears the Lord". This is how the man will be blessed who fears the Lord. I'm showing you all this because this, my friend, is not just a song of degree. It's a faith picture that God has for his people. It does not matter right now whether your house is in chaos. Doesn't really matter right now that y'all don't spend time talking. Doesn't really matter right now where your children are. You don't even know, and they don't report back to you. Doesn't really matter, because I'm not talking to you about Bible that tells you about the law. The law says this is God's standard, all right?
Now you gotta do this, do this to be like that. This is not a message of law. This is a message of grace. Grace does not exact. Grace supplies. I come from God's presence to tell you God is giving you a faith picture of what your family will be like in the future, amen? A family that has gone through a crisis will be stronger than a family that hasn't. It's always true. All the leaders who have gone through the fire with me ends up on the other side stronger leaders than those who have never been through the fire, amen? It's always the principle, amen? It's better for the devil not to attack Israel than to attack Israel, even in modern wars. When Israel was attacked and Israel counterattacked, they always get back more lands, until United Nations say, "Hey, hey, stop". Always when Israel is winning they say stop. It's always the principle for God's people.
It's better for the devil not to attack you than to attack you, because when you know how to counterattack in the name of the Lord, you always get spoils, spoils of war. And you have to come back with all the spoils of war to divide, amen? Had there be no battle, there'll be no spoils. There'll be no gold, silver. There'll be no things, in fact, through the spoils David built Temple of Solomon. I know Solomon built the temple, but it was a supply from David. And David clearly says it's from the spoils of war, so he must have had a lot of war. So, if all the battle is coming against you, look at the spoils, amen? Don't just sit down there feeling spoiled, crying. Look around for the spoils, amen? There are spoils of war. Hallelujah. Every battle. Every battle. Every battle. Praise the Lord. Every child that's gone through a season of flu or whatever, how does it, as it is for the parents: all the sleepless nights, all the pain, all the mental anguish and all that. That child is now stronger in the area, amen? That particular virus won't be able to attack the child as before. The child is stronger in the area, amen? Amen.
So, the principle of life is all such that with the attack comes the law of compensation, the law of restoration, amen? I don't wanna preach that, but, see, this is my first portion. I need to finish this verse. Okay, church? All right. Now, all this, "The Lord bless you out of Zion". "Behold, thus shall the man be blessed". Now, he's telling you this is how, God say, "This is how I see a man blessed. If I bless a man, this is how he's gonna... thus shall the man be blessed: his wife will be a fruitful vine, his children olive plants, run about the table". Sounds to me like prosperity. Sounds to me like a house of honor, blessing, a house of where man and woman, husband and wife have children, family. And, most of all, Christ is there in the home, amen? Behold, thus shall the man be blessed.
Now, men, look up here. It starts off, verse 1 again. "Blessed is every one who fears the Lord, who walks in his ways. When you eat the labor of your hands", talking to the man or woman? "Your wife shall be a fruitful vine. Your children", who is he talking to? To the man. Drop down. "Behold, thus shall the man be blessed". When the man is blessed, his wife is blessed. When the man is blessed, his children are blessed. No point trying to lecture or nag at your wife to get blessed, or, "You know, you don't do quiet time". Or, "I see you don't do this. You don't do that". You be blessed, man. Man, you be blessed, until you so tempt her for the victorious life that she sees in your life. When she see her husband change, she will change. Women change when they see their leader change. Your wife is not the leader, amen? Stop abdicating responsibilities to her, amen? She will take it up. Women are amazing. They'll take it up. Praise God. Amen. People are fidgeting, walking around, wanting to leave the room. Shut every room right now, in Jesus's name. Praise the Lord. And put a bolt and a lock, hallelujah? You are stuck. Nah, see, the thing about me is that I don't hold marriage seminars. Have you notice this?
In the history of our church we don't have marriage seminars, because when you have marriage seminar, the ones who are responsible, who need change don't come. They'll tell their wife, "You go". They're not, like, 80% are all women. No, you have to hijack. So you're stuck, see? By now you can go your way, but you heard a lot already. I just think it's wisdom. All right, so Bible says when the man is blessed, his children are blessed. When he is blessed, his whole household is blessed, so God puts the onus on the man, amen? Are you listening? To me, this is good news. It is good news. When things go wrong, all right, I don't blame my wife. I don't blame, you know, the older brother or the older sister. I don't blame my children, even. I blame myself. "What example have I set, you know? What gave them this idea it's okay to watch this kinda movie? What was the practice in the house? Are there things lying around"? Blame yourself first. Don't blame others, and you'll find that God will come with you, because God is on the side of justifying those who are blame, who had blame. God didn't justify people who are blameless.
God justifies people who are ungodly, so there's no problem taking accountability. Be a man, amen? Like a great man once said, "To be a male is a matter of birth. To be a man is a matter of choice, y'all". It's a matter of choice, so be a man, amen? Okay, la-yah. "Amen, Pastor Prince"! It's gotta be like that, man. Come on, hallelujah. So it says, "The Lord bless you out of Zion, and may you see the good of Jerusalem all the days of your life". Many of us did just last month. We saw the good of Jerusalem. Even though when things are going bad in Jerusalem, when God blesses us, we go there. We always see good. When I go there, I see good. My leaders go there. They see good. And for the rest of our life, we will see good of Jerusalem. "Yes, may you see your children's children". This is long life, you know? I said this is long life. "May you see your children's children". You know, God wants you to know that "Thus shall the man be blessed". "Yes, Pastor Prince, have you noticed"? Yes, little voice? "Have you noticed it comes to the man who fears the Lord"? See?
Verse 4, "Thus shall the man be blessed who fears the Lord". You must have that Texas voice. "Feeears the Lord". I think the GRC people are gonna appreciate that. "The man who feeears the Lord". Look at verse 1, "Blessed is everyone who feeears the Lord and walks in his ways". "It's for people who fear the Lord, Pastor Prince," and you know something? People don't fear the Lord no more. So let me just say this to you: I understand what the guy is saying about fearing the Lord. I once did a study on the fear of the Lord, verse by verse by verse by verse. It was very exhaustive. I found all the verses, and I can tell you this: There's no one characteristic in the Old Testament, not a single one, that brings more blessings than the fear of the Lord. So I'm definitely one, I wanna be a person who fears the Lord, but I cannot be subscribing or allow the kind of fear of the Lord that's been taught or left the impression on people that is not the fear of the Lord because the fear of the Lord...
Let me explain. In the Old Testament, granted, even in Jesus's ministry, in the gospels, earthly ministry before he died and rose again, the fear of the Lord can be the fear of the Lord where God wants them to fear him in a right way, reverential fear, but there's also a fear where they're afraid of God. Now, today's teaching, when there comes a fear of God, they don't care which is which. You cannot do that. This is a song of degrees. This song is from Psalms 128. God will never tell you how to fear him without telling you how to fear him. Would you like God's prescription of how to fear him? When God tells... always Bible must interpret Bible. Remember this principle: Bible Scripture interprets Scripture. Don't interpret the fear of the Lord by what Pastor Prince says any more than you should by what this man of God says, what this person says, what that person says. Today there are new voices. I've never seen them before. And all of a sudden, they're coming up, and they are redefining "grace," amen.
Where were you when the grace revolution started? Amen, and now you are redefining "grace," even redefining that grace is not unmerited favor, when it's very clearly, even the book of the Amplified Bible, every time "grace" appears, bracket, "unmerited favor". It's not originally Pastor Prince. If that is not enough, in Romans 9, it says, "If it's not by grace, then it's no more of works, otherwise, grace is no more grace. If it's not of works, then it's no more by grace, otherwise, works is no more works". It's very clear. They are mutually exclusive, amen. So grace to be grace is unmerited. Amen, people? So God will never tell you to fear him without showing you how to fear him. So this is Psalms 128, right? Song of degrees. Go forward two psalms, Psalms 130. What is it? Psalms 130. It tells you, "If you, Lord," saying, David, "If you, Lord", he's talking to the Lord. "If you, Lord, should mark iniquities", the word "mark" here is like an accountant making an itemized account.
If God mark iniquities, "Oh, there you go. You got a bad thought of Pastor Prince, yeah, just now". Tick. "There you go. You had a bad thought of Pastor Lawrence". Tick. It's always the pastors who get it. "There you go. You are thinking about roasted chicken again during the service instead of concentrating on God". Tick. "There you go, falling asleep again". Tick. "You mean all these are sins, Pastor"? The Lord said we define sin by, you know, how we define sin, but the Bible says anything that's not of faith is sin, amen? You know, there's a verse even that says, "If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be 'anathema.'" Wow, "Let him be cursed". It's an amazing verse of Scripture. It actually tells you that people can be attending church all the time and still live under a cloud, you know, because they don't love the Lord Jesus. They don't love the Lord Jesus because the love of Jesus has not been revealed to them. So, friend, listen, the Bible says God make an itemized account of all your sin. David himself says, "God, who can stand? Who can stand in front of you"? "If you make an itemized account, Lord, who can stand"? "But there is forgiveness with you, that you may be feared".
Now chew on that for a while. It's the opposite of God making an itemized account of all your sin. If God did that, nobody here, plus the speaker, can stand, "but there is forgiveness with you", and look at the result, "that you may be feared". You hardly hear this preached, and, yet it's only two psalms away from "Blessed is the man who fears the Lord". "Then I want, pray tell me, how to fear the Lord"? First of all, you need to know that this Lord came down from heaven to die on that cross for all your sins. This is how much he love you. He stretch his hands wide. He didn't have to die. He wasn't murdered. Jesus himself said, "This commandment have I received from my Father. I have power to lay down my life, and I have power to take up my life again. This I have received from my Father". No one can kill him. In fact, on the cross, the way he died was awesome. Most people die first, and then their head drop. Jesus positioned his head and breathed out his last, all right? He laid down his life. Why? For whom? For what purpose?
All right, he was not captured against his will. No, the Bible says, when they came to capture him, all those people brandishing their staves and their swords, and they said, "We look for Jesus of Nazareth". He stepped forward. He said two words, "I am". And there's the God of the burning bush in the Old Testament when Moses asked, "Who is it? Who will I say sent me to the children of Israel"? asking God in the burning bush. God says, "I am that I am". And Jesus says, "I am". You know, all those strong soldiers all fell down. The captive held them captive on the ground, and it was up to him, his prerogative, when they get up. He was not captured. He laid down his life. There was a time they tried to capture him and throw him down the mountain. The Bible never say he ran away. The Bible says he walked right through the midst of him. That's cool, brother. That's cool. Any definition of "cool" comes short of that. You know, I understand if he ran away. It's not time yet. "Why you running, Jesus"? "Because I cannot die now. Not yet. Not timing yet. It's not Passover, you understand? I must die on the Passover". "Okay". And run, run, run, run, run. Okay? That's not my Jesus. The Bible says he walked right in the midst of them. That's power. That's cool. There's no other word. He did that more than one time. He walked right in their midst.
One time he made them all, like, blind. They can't see him. He walked right in their midst. Remember the story? When it says, "Before Abraham was, I am"? They pick up stones to stone him, and the Bible says he walked right in their midst. He came nearer and nearer to all the stone throwers, and they can't see him. He walked through their midst, the Bible says, and the very next chapter, beautiful. It's a continuation, and then he passed them by. He saw a man who was blind from his mother's birth, and Jesus opened his eyes. His heart of love cannot be stopped by the rejection, by all the bad words spoken against him, amen? Seeing eyes become blind because they reject grace, whereas blind eyes begin to see. Same thing for the message of grace.
So, friend, if we preach forgiveness of sins, people's lives will change, and then there'll come a real reverential fear of the Lord. It's a fear that's born of knowing the price that Jesus paid. You don't want to disappoint him. In fact, it breaks your heart. It's easier for me to sin against two pieces of stone of the Ten Commandments, but to sin against the Savior, who loved me, who cherished me, who pour oil and wine into my wounds, when I'm lost, he will leave the 99 to find me, it's hard to sin against a loving Savior. You know, and people are fighting for the law. I'm saying, "Preach Jesus. Lift Jesus high". And people will come to him, amen. So the thing about the fear of the Lord, it's not this fear of the Lord like I'm afraid of snakes, I'm afraid of dogs, I'm afraid of God. Hey, what do you think God is, you know?
"But, Pastor Prince... doesn't really matter. When people are afraid of God, they are afraid of God". No, it matters, friend, because the Bible is very clear that there's a spirit of bondage. Romans 8, all right? "You did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship", "adoption", here in the Greek is "sonship", "by whom we cry out, 'Abba, Father.'" "You did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear", notice the word "again".
Now, people use this verse for all kinds of fear, all right? We can use this verse against fear of our mother-in-law, fear of dogs, fear of cats, you know? Fear of snakes, fear of this, fear of that, fear of sleeping, fear of losing someone you love, fear of losing money, fear of whatever it is, all right, God wants us free from all kinds of fear, but you cannot use this verse for that because this verse is talking about relationship with God, the context. And here it says, "You did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear", he's writing to the Jewish people, specifically at this point here, telling them, the whole book is for all of us, Jew and Gentile, but specifically is saying, "Once upon a time, we had a spirit of fear towards God". It was a spirit of "doulos".
"Bondage" there, a spirit of doulos, a spirit of slave, a slavery, all right? Slavish fear towards God. We came to God, but we are afraid of him. And always remember, parents, you want your children to honor you. You don't want your children to fear you because fear is just one step towards hate. Children will always hate the person they fear. It it's their teacher, it's a matter of time the teacher will be a victim of their hate, despise, dishonor, amen, and they think that, "By showing fear, I can give some energy of authority".
My friend, true authority, children will follow, amen. That's why they flock to movies. They're looking for a superman, for a superhero, you know, when actually all the while, Jesus exceeds them all. Have you noticed that even the superheroes, the best of them, Superman, to me he's the best, lah, of the original, all right? No matter how you improve him, you cannot improve on the Gospel story. The Father sent the Son with special powers to earth, all right? He lived like a normal man, wearing glasses as a reporter. He love an ordinary girl, amen? But whenever there's trouble, he operates as a man with the power of a man, a superman. Invariably, invariably, even Superman dies, right? Am I right? But I guarantee you, there'll be a resurrection, all right?
So I just wanna ask you all where did this story come from? And today's kids are flocking to watch it. A lot of the superhero stories, a lot of stories has the Gospel story, amen. Women still are drawn to romance movies and TV series where the hero, the hero lays down his life, lays down his pride, lays down to save the girl. Oh, that wins the girls. What about the hero of heroes who laid down his life to save us for all eternity, his bride, his loving bride, his beautiful bride, and he keeps her without spot or wrinkle? When he talks to her, he never makes her feel dirty. He never makes her feel old. And the Bible says that's what it means. He wash her with the washing of water, present her without spot and without wrinkle. "Without spot" means she don't feel dirty, and "without wrinkle" means she won't feel old when she talks to him. Hallelujah.
"Now, Pastor, I got a long, long way to go". I got a long, long way to go. And I look at my wife, and I get frightened, "Oh, yeah, you're married to me". "You know, in the morning, Pastor Prince", all right, there are things that are impossible with men are possible to God. God can help you, okay? I said, God can help you, amen? Amen, people. All right, the fear of the Lord. And the thing is this: This is definitely referring to fearing God in the wrong way, Old Testament way. You have not received that. When Israel was in Egypt, they had a slave spirit and even towards God, all right? It's always a ritual of I obey as a slave. It's one thing. If I have a large business, okay, and I have many, many employees working for me, how many of you understand, if Justin is working for me as well, amen, and I ask Justin why, let's say he's now 25 years old. He says, "Dad, one day, all this will be mine," you know, "I want to learn the ropes from start".
Now, his spirit by which he works in the company will be different from all the other employees. Do you understand now? In fact, when he sees the dirt on the floor, he has a personal stick. Not the way employee would do that. When lights are switch on after people leave, he will switch off the lights because he's my son, and, you know, it's Joseph and Sons company. Did I say plural? Whoa, Wendy, look out. Prophetic. Hallelujah. That woman never know, okay, praise God. So, all right, now we come to people saying, "Well, what about the fear of God"? And we know that Jesus in the wilderness, Matthew chapter 4, Jesus said, "Away with you, Satan. For it is written", but Satan just told Jesus, "Bow down. I'll give you everything". He says, "Away with you, Satan. For it is written, 'You shall worship the Lord your God, and him only you shall serve.'" You shall what? Worship. All right, this has taken, I told you what? All the verses he quoted is from Deuteronomy, all right? And this is from Deuteronomy chapter 6. "You shall fear the Lord your God and serve him", fear. Under law, it's called fear, but Jesus defined the fear.
Now, that's why you have people defining fear as a reverential awe of the person of God and all his attribute. That's fine. I got no problem with that, but I'd rather have Jesus's definition. Jesus, instead of saying, "You shall fear the Lord," which is the verse he took this from... by the way, if you ask the question, "How come he can change the verse"? I'll tell you this. You know who wrote this? Him. Jesus wrote this, and Jesus defined what is the fear. So the writer must define. You don't let other people define for the writer. So the writer says, and go back to Matthew, "Fear is you shall worship the Lord your God". Worship. I said worship. Coming from the Old English word "worth-ship" because of its worth, the value of his presence, worth-ship. David knew about God's presence. He lived in the day when the Holy Spirit comes, and the Holy Spirit leaves. The Holy Spirit comes, and David would do wonders, you know, kill Goliath, do mighty deeds. But then, when David sins, the Holy Spirit leaves.
So David prayed one time after he sinned, "Take not your Spirit from me. Please, whatever you do, God, take not your Holy Spirit from me". He valued the presence of the Lord. He knew, as a shepherd boy, he was nothing, but because he was anointed and the Holy Spirit came, he became something. So all of you, all of us, remember this: The Holy Spirit is with us, but he'll never leave us, but he can be grieved. That's why he can be grieved. Let's live lives that you can feel him almost, like, rejoicing inside. And every time he's come to glorify Jesus, the more we glorify Jesus, the more we bring glory to his name, he rejoices. When it's our decision and no one sees the decision you're making and no one will know if you cheat a bit, nobody will know, the Holy Spirit inside knows, and you say, "No, I'll do it this way," amen?
The Holy Spirit inside, you can sense him. You can sense him grieve. You can sense him rejoicing, amen, amen. Like a famous guy I knew, who played golf, and he was about to touch the ball and, actually, what happened was that he got nearer to the ball, and he touched the ball, but nobody saw he touched the ball, but he called out what he did. It was a big tournament many years ago, and somehow either the camera didn't get it or whatever it is, he knew he touched the ball. It takes a very hard... now, for me, when I, you know, I slide in a book that I took out to scan through. I find it not very interesting. I put the book back. When I put the book back, I put it, you know, in a way that it crushed some of the pages, and then I took it out again, and I put it nicely again, and I went on, and God says, "Where are you going"? I said, "I'm going off already". God says, "Then the book"? I said, "I don't like the book". He said, "Son, the value of the book has dropped because of what you did. Is the amount of the book more important than honor"?
Bang, I still got the book at home. You know, I never read it, praise God. I added sales to that guy's book, praise God, you know, but never read it. You know, and, again, these are things that you don't have to tell people. When I scratched somebody's car last time, you know, when I parked at the basement, I reversed. It was on a Sunday, by the way. Because of you all, blame somebody, y'all, pretty tired. All right, so I reversed my car, and "Argh, that sound, that terrible screeching sound". You know, I had to really put a note down there. Nobody saw, and that condo that I stayed at that time don't even have, you know, those CCTV, nothing. So I knew that I could go off. I could drive somewhere else and hide. But there's always the Holy Spirit inside, amen? And he's the one that you live for the audience of one. And then there'll be an anointing. There'll be a poise. There'll be a genuineness, an integrity around you that people can sense without you opening your mouth. These things are spiritual, all right? There'll be a weightiness, amen? Praise God.
Anyway, I got in touch with the lady. Again, when my wife found it's a lady, my wife said, "I'll meet her". Pay her the money, amen? See, my wife doesn't trust the flesh of her husband, which is a smart thing to do, you know. If any guy tells you, "Look, I'm just gonna counsel her, okay? I know it's late at night, but she really needs help. I'm going there to counsel her". It'd be smart for you not to believe your husband and say, "Can I come along? I know it's better for me to come, so hold on". "You're not going". Understand now, don't have the attitude like you are needed, you are the Messiah, you are the Savior, you are the hero, all right? If you are, so is your wife, okay? If you don't want your wife to come along, something is wrong, boy, amen? No more, "amen". I'm not so strong. The "amen" battery going down. "Amen, Pastor Prince". All right, all right, now watch this, all right? The Bible says very clearly in Hebrews that we are to have grace.
Look at Hebrews chapter 12: "Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear". How do you serve God with reverence and godly fear? How do you do it? "Let us have grace". And the words, "Let us have grace," "let us have" is echó. Echó is the same one used in Romans 5, verse 1, where it says, "Therefore, being justified by faith," echó peace with God. Let us hold on to that peace. Let us possess our possession. Let us possess with God. And the word there, all right, in the Greek is active, present active. Let us possess peace with God, because we have been justified by faith. Jesus's death on the cross and resurrection has justified us, people. Therefore, let us have peace. Your New King James and all that just says, "Being justified by faith, we have peace". But actually, in the Greek it's stronger than that. "Let us possess peace with God". Don't let anything tell you, you know, "Oh, you don't have peace".
If you don't feel peace in your heart, right, no, it's not my feelings. I have peace, because I am the righteousness of God in Christ. Possess it. It's an active, present active. Here is the same, "Let us," same word, present active, also in the Greek, echó also, "Let us have grace by which," that means only by grace you can serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear. Okay? I am showing you this verse because this is one of the verses people use against you, to tell you, "Well, the Bible says you must serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear". All right? They fail to tell you, "Let us have grace". Grace will cause people to serve god acceptably, number one, with reverence and godly fear, but it's not a slavish fear. It is a sonship fear, respect. A son working for me has the awesome respect for me. We'll be in a good relationship. That's that kind of thing. It's not a slave fear. It's a son's fear.
Okay, next verse. I purposely put the last verse there, because people use this verse a lot out of context. "For our God is a consuming fire". You see? It's almost like you don't serve God with reverence or with godly fear, God will consume you. The idea is always God will consume you. And yet, this entire chapter is about two mountains: Mount Zion, Mount Sinai. It tells us that Mount Sinai, you know, even Moses, the best of them, at a time, best in all Israel was Moses. He even said, "I exceedingly fear and quake," amen. It's a mountain that cannot be touched. The command was awesome. It says that if any animal, even, or a man touch, it'll be dead. All right? But you are not come to that mountain, that burn with darkness and blackness and tempest and smoke. You are come to Mount Zion, an innumerable company of angels, amen, to the city of the living God, to Jesus, whose blood speaks better things than the blood of Abel. You are come to that.
So, mountain of law demands righteousness. Mountain of Zion, where Jesus died, amen. By the way, the highest part of Mount Moriah, and Mount Zion is on the other side, where the Holy Spirit came, that's where grace was imparted. Mount Sinai, God gave law, 3,000 people died. Mount Zion, on the Day of Pentecost, God gave the Spirit, 3,000 people were saved. We don't live here. We live here. Even God doesn't live here anymore. God has moved mountains. Change address, change address. People don't even know God's address. They still stay at Mount Sinai. No. So, that is the chapter of Hebrews 12. At the end we find this: "Wherefore we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken". And down here, everything shakes, everything shakes. Down here, Mount Zion. Those who trust in the Lord shall be as Mount Zion, never shaken. So, we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken. Let us have grace, only by grace.
And then it says, what? "Our God is a consuming fire". In other words, he will consume everything that is not grace. But instead of that, we make people feel afraid. And by the way, this idea, consuming fire, has got to do with the two sons of the first high priest of Israel called Nadab and Abihu. Nadab and Abihu where in the tabernacle of Moses was set up, they actually brought fire. There was fire already from God, all right? But they brought fire, strange fire. And it's anything. You know, it can be a lady's makeup, strange fire. Amen. Oh, your hair is too long, strange fire. Oh, the music is too loud. Y'all use a electric guitar? Strange fire. It all depends on denominations. It depends on their beliefs and all that. I think we must go back to the Bible. Amen. So, let's go to the story real quick. It's only two verses. "And Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron," this is the first verse of chapter 10, "they took either of them his censer". That's the place you put the powder, all right? And all the, you know, the incense.
"They put fire therein, and put incense thereon, and offered strange fire", say strange fire, "before the Lord, which he commanded them not". See what happened? "And there went up fire from the Lord, and devoured them, and they died before the Lord". Wow. Say wow. Now, why did they die? So, today, people are trying to use this and just anyhow brand strange fire, strange fire. When something is strange to your ears, strange fire. You never hear Jess, Christian Jess, strange fire. Amen? Just because they never heard Jess. They call it, you know, strange fire. Just because you are old, all right, does not mean the younger generation is out of it. As long as Jesus is in the center and their heart is for him, amen. Are you listening, people? Okay, what was the problem here? The problem is that strange fire means they took fire from other places to light the incense before God, because this is the first verse, right?
Look at Leviticus, first verse. Look at the last verse of chapter 9. "And there came a fire," verse 24, "And there came a fire out from before the Lord, and consumed upon the altar the burnt offering and the fat, which when all the people saw, they shouted, and fell on their faces". Can you see that? In other words, when the tabernacle of Moses was prepared, there was a place, a four-corner shape altar for burnt offering, because Jesus's cross is four corners. Amen, amen? And all the sin of Israel is put on the ox, okay. The ox is killed, he is burned. The fire comes down from where? From heaven. And the fire consumes where? The altar of burnt offering.
So, Jesus, on the cross, instead of the fire coming to you and your family, the fire of judgment coming to your children, it came on Jesus. He became like a heat-seeking missile to save all of us. And the fire came into him. He absorbed the fire in Christ. Finished, amen, amen? So, he is the altar of burnt offering, right? But the promise that these people... so, the fire is burning. The fire is burning, and the Bible says the law is that the fire must never go out. They will put wood down there, and the fire originally came from heaven, and the fire of the sacrifice. What they did, these two sons of the priest, they took fire from elsewhere. Maybe they took two stones, two flint stones, and they made their own fire. One was called Fred. And then they offered it. So, how many know that's called strange fire.
So, today, how do we apply it? Very simple. Any message, any song that we do that is not based on the work of Jesus Christ is strange fire. And today when you preach grace, you preach the centrality of the person of Christ and the cross, people say it's strange fire. How the whole thing has gone, you know, is amazing. In the world we live in today, everything is topsy-turvy. People who ought to be ashamed are glorifying, glory in their shame. People who are, who ought to be happy and glorious are hiding themselves, refusing to let even their colleagues know they are Christians. What a topsy-turvy world. Kings hiding themselves, princesses refuse to reveal her identity. Sad. People with power to pray for the sick, hiding their gifts. And here comes another thing, another revelation I'll share with you. You know why people hide their gifts? You know why people hide? You know why people hide? You know, hide their talents, hide their gifts, and they use money in an irresponsible way in the body of Christ. Would you like to know?
I'll tell this, Jesus himself, here's the answer, Jesus says a man was about to go far away, all right? He gathered ten of his servants together, and he gave all of them ten minas. Minas is a Latin, Latin word for, kingdoms use the word pounds. He gave them ten pounds. But actually, if I say pounds, you will have the idea British pound. So, he gave them, he was going away for a long journey. He gathered ten of his servants, gave them ten minas. Ten minas is actually three months' salary, okay? So, after a long journey, he came back. He asked for accountability. The first guy says, "Master, your mina has gained ten, another ten minas, another three months' salary". And the Lord says, "You're faithful. Well done good and faithful servant. Have authority over ten cities". Then the next one came and said, "Yours have gained five other minas". And he says, "Great, you have authority over five cities".
I'll tell you all something. You all think that this is just a parable. When Jesus returns, there are different responsibilities assigned for different people. You know that in heaven, you're not playing the harp all the time. We are ruling, you know. Do you understand that? There are creatures and creation. I do not know other creation, but we are ruling. Someone is responsible for ten cities because of faithfulness. Some is responsible for five because of his faithfulness. The more faithful you are, it's rewarded accordingly. Even our bodily capacities, if you want to find out about this... because of time, I'm trying to get it, to real fast. In 1 Corinthians 15, it says even one star, the glory of one star defers from another. Even stars, their brightness is not the same. So likewise for our terrestrial body, all right? Our bodies is planted natural. It comes out supernatural.
When Jesus returns, we have a brand-new body, but different capacities. Some will have strong intellectual capacities like no one has ever seen it. Some will have lesser, but they have other strong talents. Whatever you have used your talent for on this earth, this side of heaven, in heaven, in the rule on earth, when Jesus returns, first on earth, then heaven, on earth you'll be using those gifts forever. Your new body will never die again, but even your body and my body, our bodies will have different capacities. Do you understand? Some of them will be more, you know, that's why I'm saying all this Marvel Man and all that, Superman, all the different things, they're actually not far from the truth. That's what the Bible says that will happen in the millennium; different bodily capacities, but a glorified body, nonetheless. So, let's be faithful to the Lord. What you are doing is not mundane. It has eternal consequences. Amen?
So, here we go. You understand that? Is it clear to you? "Yeah, but Pastor Prince, Paul says, 'I was with you in weakness and fear and in much trembling.'" You need to understand Hebraism. That fear and trembling doesn't mean we must fear and tremble before God. Let me just say this to you, all right? So, there are times I worship God with reverence. I reverence God. I don't believe that people... I have my own opinion. You know, I don't like people just go around saying, "Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, Jesus". It's okay, nothing wrong with saying Jesus, but I like for them once in a while to say the Lord Jesus, or the Lord Jesus Christ. Now, that's something my pastors know, all right? So, I believe in reverence. I believe in, you know, mentioning the name of Jesus more often then people are doing nowadays. It's always God, God, God, God. The spirit that's released in the last days is not anti-God. It is antichrist. It's the person of Jesus.
So, I in reverence, when I worship God, in certain songs, I just, I'm just, you know, I don't call him Father, even. Worship him as God. There are times I just love to worship him as God. He is my Father, and the name that he wants to be known by, more than any other name, is Father, the name that Jesus revealed. So, I call him Abba Father. I call him heavenly Father, or you can call him Daddy Father or Father in heaven. You must say it in the spirit of sonship and not a spirit of slavish fear, spirit of bondage. Are you with me so far? It's all about spirit thing, you see, all right? So, you say, "Yeah, but the Bible says, 'Work out your own salvation.'" And this is very, very common. It's in Philippians, all right? It says, "Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling" - There it is, "fear and trembling" - "for it is God who works in you both to will and to do His good pleasure".
I don't know how many preachers that I have met who have challenged me on grace. And usually one of the verses that they'll bring up is this verse. "Work out your own salvation in fear and trembling". I feel like saying, "Then what is the gospel"? And the way they are interpreting "Work out your own salvation" is work for. It doesn't say work for. It says work out. You cannot work out something that is not in you. You can only work out what has been worked in. He's not telling you to work. He's writing to believers, y'all. All right? Says, work out. Like, for example, you're having thoughts of love for your wife. You're having feelings of love for your wife. Don't just let it die there. Go to her and tell her, "I love you". And she says, "You know, I was just thinking whether you still love me or not". Which happened to me, right? You all know the story, right? Right?
My football days, I'd just got married. I still love football, and I have a bride of a few months in another room. We had a small house, one room, one hall. And she was there. I don't know what she was doing, but I think important to see. If I move and talk to her, there will be a goal score. In those days, they don't have, you know, those recording and all that. I didn't buy it. We can't afford at that time. So, all of a sudden I felt, watching TV I felt love for my wife, you know. It was being worked in me. So, at one point, I got up. I don't always get up. Being honest. But at that point, I got up and go to her and just hug her and say, "I love you". And tears start flowing. "I was just thinking only a few months in the marriage, you are taking me for granted". I said, "Jesus, thank you". Amen? Jesus knows. So, when God works it in, you work it out.
Next verse, "For it is God who works in you". See, you work out because, follow with me, because it is God who works in you, both to will, giving you the willingness and giving you the good pleasure. That's a fantastic verse, because a lot of people think when God wants you to do something, all right, even though you're not willing, you just do it, you know. But actually, this verse says it is God supplying you the willingness and then God supplying you the pleasure of doing it. Ha, ha, do you see that? It is God who works in you both the willingness and the good pleasure. God is so good. It's like God is telling you, you love Kentucky Fried Chicken, right? And you've not been eating lately. You've not been feeling well. And now you are back in robust health, and I put Kentucky Fried Chicken in front of you. Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait. All right, I want you to only eat if there's an urge inside. Don't eat for the sake of eating. All right?
The guy says, "Brother, the urge is there all the time. The moment I smell it, even behind the door, it's there". It's been worked in, and now he's working it out with fear and trembling. All right? So, fear and trembling. Then we come to fear and trembling. What is fear and trembling? What is fear and trembling? Fear and trembling is Hebraism, a saying, where you say, you know what? Outside it's raining cats and dogs now. Let's go see what kind of dogs. Let's go and see what kind of cats. Duh. It's an expression, right? The Americans have it. The British have it. Singaporeans have it. Amen? It doesn't mean it's raining cats and dogs. It means it's so heavy, it's like cats and dogs fighting. Are you all with me so far? Understand that, cats and dogs? Hebraism is fear and trembling means you are awed. Wow, it's like whoa. Whoa. It's like, cool, man. It's like so awesome you say, "Get out of here, man". It's like, you know, if the guy really get out, you can't hear the news, you know? But it's an expression. "You're bad, man, you're bad". Actually, you're good. That's why they say you're bad. You're bad, you're bad, man. Hey, brother, you're bad. You a bad brother, you know? That means, don't worry, you're loved.
So, it's an expression, fear and trembling, you see? In all this good fear and trembling, that means with all that God has done for you, you work it out in the way you treat your boss. When your friends are gossiping about him, you don't. You pray for your boss. Amen. Or else don't work there. A lot of things, I think the spirit of honor must return to the body of Christ, to the church, to the body of Christ, honor. We've forgotten honor. The world has forgotten honor. The young generation does not know what's honor. All right, time is catching up, so I'll bring this to a close. Look at this real quick. Look at the woman with the issue of blood, Mark 5. But the woman, she came behind Jesus. She's been hemorrhaging for 12 years, had a chronic disease, and she came behind Jesus, touched the hem of his garment, and she was healed. But Jesus turned around and says, "Who touched me"? "But the woman, fearing and trembling," fearing and trembling.
So, when you read "fearing and trembling," with our Western mindset, you know, we look at it, and we say, what? She's afraid now. Uh-uh, uh-uh, she got it, plus the fact, under law, a woman with that kind of condition cannot be seen in public, all right? She's gonna get it, she might get stoned, all right? She's gonna get it. So, we assume, we read into the Scriptures what's not there. We say that fearing and trembling because she's caught, fearing and trembling because she might get killed. But what does the Scripture say? Read the Bible for yourself. It says, "The woman, fearing and trembling, knowing what had happened to her," not what is going to happen to her. And what had happened to her? Healing. And she's fearing and trembling because of the healing. That's the thing. You're awed. You say, "Oh, my goodness". Some of you, your awe like this. Man, you see something that Pastor Prince preach or in the Word of God, you say, "Wow".
Now, what's happening to you? Fearing and trembling. It's like an awe, wow, you know what I'm saying? Amen? "And he said to her, 'Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace, and be healed of your affliction.'" There's a Old Testament Scripture in Jeremiah 33 and this establishes the Hebraism. God says, "I'm gonna do something to Jerusalem and to the people of Israel. It shall be to me a name of joy, a praise, and an honor before all nations of the earth, who shall hear all the good that I do to them. They shall fear and tremble for all the goodness and all the prosperity that I provide for it". Hey, hey. They shall, all the people, may all your colleagues fear and tremble when they hear the prosperity, all right, and all the goodness that God provides for you. May all your aunties, uncles, grandfather, may all the people that make fun of you last time, may they all fear and tremble for all the goodness and all the prosperity that God provides for you. Can you understand the fear and tremble now? It is not something bad; it's something good. May the people be awed.
Now, I've not forgotten about the parable. So, he came back after a long journey, all right? He called his men together and the man says, "I've gotten ten". "Have authority over ten cities". "I've made five, five more". He says, "Then have authority over five cities". And there's one that came and said, "I took the one mina that I had and I put it in the handkerchief". And the lord says, "You did what"? "I put it in the handkerchief". And he ask him later, "Why didn't you put it in the bank"?
Now, I learned many years ago that putting money in the bank is the last resort with the Lord. At least put it in the bank. It will gather interest. I learned from this parable, in the Lord's mind, putting money in the bank is the last resort. He wants them to use money to multiply. It's free, free, free. Free, hallelujah, praise God, all right? Anyway, the thing is this, listen. We're bringing this to a close. The guy says, "I didn't use it for business". So he said, "Why? You didn't even put it in the bank for interest"? "No". "Why"? From his own mouth, this man said. "Another came, 'Master, here is your mina, which I have kept put away in a handkerchief. For I feared you.'" Underline that. The wrong kind of fear of God will affect the way you use money. You won't be effective. How you see God will affect how you use your talents.
Some of you don't wanna serve on Sunday because you think that the next day, all right, I'll be even more tired. Interview those who really serve the Lord with their eye on the Lord, not trying to impress anybody here, whose eye is on the Lord. The next day, supply flow. The next day, strength flows. You must have a good opinion of God. The first one didn't have a good opinion, so this guy didn't have good "I feared you," you see? There can be a wrong fear of God. Am I right? Am I being consistent or no? I'm telling you this guy is fearing the Lord, but is it a right kind of fear? No, it's not. By the way, the Greek word is phobeo, where you get "forebear". I fear you. There is a wrong fear of God. It paralyzed him in his service. This is money, using money, but it involves gifts as well and talents and not only that, "I fear you, because you are an austere man".
You know what's a austere man? One Bible version says, "harsh man". New American Standard Bible says, "exacting man". Means he sees the Lord as demanding. And there's the very thing that grace comes against. Yeah, under law, God was demanding. Under grace, God is supplying, hallelujah. It's why the devil hates this message. It makes people change their view of God. But notice this message of somehow this guy start hearing about his master. Obviously, he didn't know his master well, and whatever he was, he saw his master as a austere, harsh, exacting man, and therefore he feared him in the wrong way. And therefore he didn't use his money for God's glory and therefore he didn't use his gifts. Simple. Instead of complaining that people are not using their gifts, what kind of pictures are we painting before the people, of God? I tell you, you give him your boat.
Your boat is your profession because you need your boat to go fishing and Jesus need the boat to preach because the people are thronging on him and he's backing up. The crowd is growing. It's like, the people are coming to us and at the back is the Sea of Galilee. He says, "Can I use your boat"? It was Peter's boat. Whenever he come and ask you something, he's preparing you. You should feel privileged. When you are asked to serve, the Lord is setting you up. And the Lord preached from the boat and the words are carried through the water, as we all know, better than on land. At the end, Jesus says, "Launch out into the deep," and they caught a net-breaking, boat-sinking load of fishes. He's always a good paymaster. You say, "Lord, I think we need the boat. Just in 20 minutes' time, we need the boat. I think you need more than me. Go to the other guy's boat".
So, the view of the Lord is always what causes people to use their gifts or not use their gifts. There's always something you can do. Maybe not on Sunday but there's something you can do. You can get involved, amen, amen, amen? Praise the Lord. Let me close. And there's one thing that people don't realize. They always say that fear of God, fear of God, fear of the Lord. Now, it's true, both Old Testament and New Testament uses it, but it's amazing that people don't talk about following the Lord. And yet, if I can choose one characteristic of Caleb, the man who never grew old. Remember the man, Caleb? Forty years old, he was among the spies that God sent into the land, to spy out the land. He came out. He was full of faith. He said, "Let us go up at once and possess".
The people didn't believe. They had to wander for 40 years. And Caleb wandered with them, you know, for 40 years, but his heart is always in Canaan. His heart is always in Beulah Land, the land flowing with milk and honey. Though his body was in the wilderness with all the people, his heart is in So even we are on earth, our heart, our minds, is in heaven where there is no lack, where there's no fatigue, where there is no disease, where there is no strife, where there's no bitterness, where there's no unrest. My spirit must be in heaven. Those that are planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of God. And they shall be fat and flourishing, and the Hebrew there, they shall always be green. Flourishing is green. They are full of sap. So even though we live, he that dwelleth in the secret place of the most high in heaven, you live there, all right, shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. Your shadow is on your ground. On earth, you are under his shadow. If you live there, you're under his protection.
So learn, learn. I mean, you see all the strife around you. Learn to rise in the spirit with eagles' wings. Go above and see and smell the fresh air in heaven and see Jesus glorified. See Jesus come. All shall be well, amen. See Jesus far above all principality and power. If you have symptoms in your body, look at him and say, "As you are free from every disease right now at the Father's right hand, so am I in this world," and see him smile at you. Learn to rise. Learn to rise and then you'll be very effective on earth. Don't believe that, you know, they're so heavenly minded, they're no earthly good. Whoever said that, all right, better, no one knows who said that, number one. Could be from hell. I don't know. I'll tell you something. If you're heavenly minded, only then you can be earthly good. Because somebody who brings the peace of heaven can bring peace to a strife, a situation of strife because he's come from heaven. Do you understand?
It's why I love to spend time with babies and little children because they are fresh from heaven. You learn. You learn that life is a joy. It's not event, then you're joyful. Don't wait for an event, then you're happy. They are happy all the time. Whoever they are, even poor children, even poor children. I asked my son yesterday night, said, "There are poor children in the world. Would you like to give one of your... you have many Thomases now. Wanna give one Thomas to the poor children"? He says, "No". I say, "Why"? "Send Jesus instead". See, he said, "Abba, Abba," honest, all right? He say, "Jesus is stronger. I'm not strong". All the while, I told him Jesus gave him the... I always tell him, all the toys, Jesus gave it to him. Jesus gave it to him. So he said, "Send Jesus". One day I'll tell him. When he's older, I'll tell him, all right. And it's a lie. "You collect what you do not deposit, and reap what you do not sow". It's a very evil thing to say. We just, you know, we enjoy what we do not sow. Jesus suffered, he sowed at the cross. We enjoy what we don't sow.
See, we are the ones enjoying. But the next statement is like this: "Out of your own mouth, I will judge you. You call me austere? You call me exacting? Out of your own mouth you will see me exacting," all right? So that is the thing that people must understand. If they see a God like that, they seem to only have that side of God manifesting, it seems, okay? Are you all learning so far? In closing, let me just say this, about the man who never grew old. How many want to learn how to not to grow old? You wanna learn how to not grow old? Okay, all right, I thought you might know one. Okay, the number one characteristic, a lot of people say, "Caleb this, Caleb this, Caleb that". The number one characteristic of Caleb is this, okay? Numbers, God said, "All these men who have seen my glory, ten times they have not heeded my voice, they will not enter. They certainly shall not see the land". Next verse. "But my servant Caleb, because he has a different spirit," and the word "different spirit," in the Hebrew is following spirit. He has a following spirit. "And has followed me fully".
See the word "followed me fully"? We don't even talk about following the Lord. Fear, fear, fear of the Lord, fear of the Lord, fear of the Lord, fear of the Lord. We hardly even talk about following the Lord. Sheep follow the Lord. The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want, all right? Sheep follow the Lord. Are you listening, people? When you follow him, you will not want. Jesus say, "Follow me," a lot. He says, "Follow me, and I'll make you fishers of men. Take up your cross and follow me," amen? He's told the rich young man, "Sell all you have and follow me". He said, "Follow me," to the fishermen. Now, we don't even say that. We don't even teach that. It's all about, oh, fear of the Lord, fear of the Lord, fear of the Lord. Actually, it's the wrong kind of fear. Well, following was a Caleb secret. He not only followed, he followed fully.
All right, next. "Surely none of the men who came up from Egypt, will see the land, except Caleb," I'm sorry, "because they have not," the last part of verse 11, "because they have not wholly followed me, except Caleb, Joshua, they have wholly followed the Lord". People, this emphasis I'm showing you, and then I'm gonna dismiss you, is to show you how God emphasizes things that we don't even preach. Wholly followed, okay? Wholly followed. Okay, next. "Many years came and gone", all right? Many years. This is now Joshua now. Joshua, 40 years, 39 years have come and gone and Joshua and Caleb are the only survivors. Those that came out of Egypt, all the men died. None of them went through the River Jordan into the Promised Land except Joshua and Caleb. Even Moses died. Aaron died. Only Joshua and Caleb and finally good old Joshua and Caleb, and Caleb says this: "You know, Joshua, 40 years old was I when Moses sent me to spy out the land. And 45 years have come and gone". And he said this. He said, "I'm as strong this day as Moses was". Sorry, "I'm as strong this day as I was when Moses sent me". And he's not lying. Then he says, "Give me this mountain".
So see what he says here: "My brethren made the heart of the people melt, but I wholly followed the Lord". Now he's 85 years old, talking. "Still strong," he said. Drop down. "Hebron therefore became the inheritance of Caleb the son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite to this day, because he wholly followed the Lord God of Israel". Do you see that? At 85, he drove out the sons of Anak from that hill. The hill, by the way, if you go to Israel, is near Machpelah. You can still see the hill, all right? That hill was where the giants were. He drove them out at 85 years old. And the reason is because he wholly followed the Lord. How many want to wholly follow the Lord?
All right, John 21, last passage, we'll close. "Then Peter, turning around," after the breakfast, Jesus made breakfast, Jesus has risen from the dead about two weeks now. "Peter turned around, saw the disciple whom Jesus loved," who is that? John. "Following". What was John doing? Following. John was already following. "Who also had leaned on his breast at the supper, and said, 'Lord, who is the one who betrays you?'" It's the same John, okay? "Peter, seeing John, said to Jesus, 'But Lord, what about this man?' Jesus said to Peter, 'If I will that he remain 'til I come, what is that to you? You follow me.'" You follow me. John practiced the Lord's love. He was conscious of the Lord's love for him. Therefore, he was conscious of the Lord's love for him, therefore he was following. But he was following unconsciously. One more time. When you are conscious of the Lord's love for you, you are following already. But Peter who always boasts of his love for the Lord, had to be told, "You follow me".
"Pastor Prince, why don't you teach your church more, some imperatives"? Because my people are following. Maybe you have to do for yours, but my people are following. You understand? The secret. John didn't have to be told to follow him. In fact, the mood there is not imperative. It's he's following. He's following. It's a fact. But when Peter says, "What about him"? He says, "What is that to you? You follow me". The mood there in the Greek is imperative. It's a command. You follow me. And, friend, sometimes the Lord speaks to me. I look at what this person is doing, what this minister is saying, all that kind of thing, and God had to rebuke me with this verse many times, many times. "What is that to you? You follow me". Sometimes I forget how much the Lord loves me and I get into the... I be told, "You follow me. Don't care about what this person is doing, what that person is saying. You follow me," amen?
Ministers, leaders, stop looking horizontally and blaming people, finding fault. "What about this person," amen? It's never, "What about me"? It's always, "What about this person"? You follow Jesus. You follow Jesus. You do what he tells you to do. But those who practice his love, they are always following, amen? May that be true for you as well, amen. That's one reason why I don't teach so much imperatives. Why? Because our people are following. You unveil the love of God and they are following, and they'll stay young like Caleb, amen? Give praise to him, hallelujah. Praise the Lord. C'mon, stand to your feet. You've sat long enough. Stand to your feet. All right, everybody just stand for a while, amen. Remain just in a atmosphere of stillness for a while, 'cause there are souls that are about to respond to his love. Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved and your house. Pray this prayer with me, amen. Jesus died on the cross for your sins and if you believe in him, pray this prayer right now with me from your heart:
Heavenly Father, your Word says whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved. Lord Jesus Christ, I'm calling on your name. I believe you came to earth to die for my sins and you bore all my judgment, my guilt, and my condemnation, as well as all my sins and all my diseases on that cross. You were buried and on the third day you rose from the dead without them all. And your victory is my victory. Give me your grace, Lord, to live in the Spirit, to live in the heavenlies, to live in Canaan Land while my feet is planted on earth. That all the resources will flow from you. Remind me always to rest in you, that I'm just a pipe and not a container. I'm just a pipe for you to flow through. The responsibility's not on me, is on you. Thank you, Father, in Jesus's name, Jesus Christ is my Lord, amen.
Praise the Lord. Lift your hands.
This coming week, the Lord bless you and your families, and the Lord keep you. The Lord keep you, preserve you from all harm and danger. The Lord keep you and your families from sickness and disease, and from the power of the evil one. The Lord keep you from terror. The Lord protect you and your family from all evil. The Lord make his face shine on you and on your families, put you at the right place at the right time, enjoying the supernatural favor of God. May the world fear and tremble for all the goodness, for all the prosperity, that God will supply in your life. Be not discouraged with circumstances now, is gonna change. Change is coming. Change is coming, praise the Lord. Your family will be blessed. The Lord lift up his countenance on everyone here under the sound of my voice and upon your loved ones and grant to you and your loved ones his shalom health and peace. In Jesus's name, and all the people said, "Amen".