Joseph Prince - Declare You Are Highly Favored
Greetings, church. Once again, I welcome you to our church service online, and I'm excited. I'm all pumped up to share God's Word with you today. You know, I'm excited about God's Word, because every time we touch God's Word, we touch life. You know, there are many benefits, the Bible says, that will accrue to us when we receive God's Word. And it pertains to our spirits, souls, and bodies. You see, when God made you, God made you spirit, that's who you are. That's who you really are. The part of you that is born again. When the Bible says born again, the part of you that's born again is your spirit man, amen? And then your soul is being saved, amen. And that's your emotions, your mind, your feelings, your consciousness is where your emotion, your souls lie. And then there's your body. Your body is, of course, your health, and God wants to save your body, as well, amen.
Now, and the Bible says that the benefits of God's Word, there are so many benefits, but especially pertaining to this tripart type being of ours. The Bible says our spirit man, we are born again, not of corruptible seed, amen, not of man's seed, that part of us. Our bodies are born of man's seed, but that part of us, the real us is born again of incorruptible seed of God's Word. Hallelujah, amen, that's our spirit man. Then our souls, in James 1, verse 21, it says "Receive with meekness the engrafted word". Now, James is writing to believers, and he's telling believers who are already saved, already born again in their spirits, "Receive with humility, receive with meekness the implanted word, the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls". So, even for believers, our souls need saving.
How many can say that my emotions, you know, need saving, amen? "Pastor, sometimes, I get so irritable. I don't know why, and it's an addiction. It seems like I can't help it, you know, I get into this cycle of irritability, and anger, and resentment". But you know what? The Word of God can save your soul, even those areas, amen? And how does a soul that is saved looks like? A soul that is in joy, peace, tranquility, amen? Equanimity, you know, just calm, praise the Lord, and enjoying the peace of God. And the Bible says also in Proverbs 4, verse 22, "For our bodies". When you receive God's Word, it says like this. "For they are life," God's Word, "they are life to those that find them and health to all their flesh".
In the Hebrew, health is the word marpay, from the word rapha. Marpay, the noun, is the word for medicine, for health, for healing. And God's Word, when you receive it, it is life to you and not just life to you. It is health, marpay, health and healing to all your flesh. You know, some medicines that we take for a certain condition of our body, it can have a side effect that, you know, it's not good for other parts of our bodies, and we know that sometimes you've got to read all the contraindications, instructions, amen, before we partake, to make sure that we don't combine that medicine with something else that is not good for us. But God's Word, when taken, it is health to what? All our flesh, amen, and you can take as much as you want, amen. May you be a word addict, hallelujah, praise God.
So, God's Word ministers to us spirit, soul, and body, and I believe that the Word preached today will be implanted in your soul, saving your soul, saving your mind, amen, even saving you from early dementia, amen, saving you from the loss of your ability to use your brain, your mind, and save you into the mind of Christ. Amen. And your bodies, if you are sick and you are suffering in any way, the Word of God is able to minister life to your body and health and healing to all your flesh, amen. Let's dive right into the Word of God. In Hebrews, it says, "Without faith it is impossible to please him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him".
Notice that without faith, the Bible says very clearly, it's impossible... it's not that, you know, God can just take that as a fault in man. No, it's impossible, it's impossible to please God. It's not something that we can just say that, well, some people walk in faith. You know, some, their faith is not so strong. No, it's incumbent on us to learn how to walk in faith, because without faith it's impossible to please God. The Bible says by grace through faith are you saved, amen. Everything we receive from God is by faith, everything, amen. It's the currency of heaven. And yet, faith is not something that you look at by itself and try to break it down in all its different parts. And the more we study faith, it seems like, you know, faith flies away, amen, and it's like a bird, you know. The more you focus on it, the more you come near it, it flies off. So, when you look at Jesus, faith springs eternal, amen. When you look at Jesus, faith is just naturally, supernaturally there. Praise God. And I just want to share, though, that without faith it's impossible to please God. So, it behooves us to understand at least how faith looks like.
What does it mean to have faith? This will help you, because this definition really helped me a lot, amen? It's not the definition of faith. Faith is the substance of things hoped for in Hebrews 11, verse 1, and the evidence of things not seen. We all know that. And I think the Amplified says, "Faith perceives as real fact what is not revealed to the senses". Amen? That's all good, amen? All that defines faith. But how does it look like, you know, in our daily life? In the lives of the people that walk in faith in the Bible, amen, is this: faith is having a good opinion of God. Every time you think the best of God, you think that God is for me, God is not against me. This is the first area that man needs to repent. Remember, the Apostle Paul says in Acts 20, he says that "I preach repentance towards God".
Notice repentance, eis, in Greek towards God. What does that mean? Change your mind towards God. You used to think that God is out to get you. God's heart is into judgment. No, no, no, no, now you change your mind, amen. That's not true at all. God is for you. He's like the prodigal's father who was looking for his son, amen, daily looking for his son. The moment the son comes up across the horizon, he ran towards his son. It's time for us, church, to change our minds towards God, amen, and we are still learning about God and areas about God that we need to change our mind, amen? And repentance towards God, change our mind towards God, that now he is for me. He sent his Son. He spared not his own Son for me, but delivered him up for us all. How shall he not with him also freely - I love that word - give us all things, amen? How will he not with him also freely give us all things?
So, God is for you. God is not against you, hallelujah. We need to change our mind. We have a good opinion of God. If God tells you, "Trust me," and he doesn't reveal something to you, he's always got your best interests at heart, your greatest good in his heart, amen? He's out to conform you to the image of Jesus Christ. Sometimes things may happen in our lives that we don't understand, but we'll always maintain faith in God. And what is faith? Having a good opinion of God, amen. The Bible says, "By faith, Sarah receive strength". We can see it in Hebrews 11. By faith she received. And what does that mean? She has a good opinion of God. In fact, that verse goes on to say, because why was the barren made fruitful? Because she judged him faithful that promised, amen? Another translation says she considered him faithful that promised.
One of the best things that we can hold in our heart always... we may not understand what is happening in our lives. We used to say God is faithful, amen? God is faithful. Always have a good opinion of God, amen? Rest in him and always tell him, "Lord, I thank you, Lord, that you cause everything to work together for my good, amen, amen".
Remember when Jacob, he heard the news that Simeon, his son, was captured by the viceroy of Egypt, who happened to be Joseph, his son? But he thought Joseph was dead, amen? And the other sons came back and said that the viceroy of Egypt has imprisoned Simeon, and he will not release Simeon, and he will not give any more bread until you bring the youngest son, which is Benjamin. And the father said this. The father said, "And Jacob their father said, 'You have bereaved me: Joseph is no more, Simeon is no more, and you want to take Benjamin. All these things are against me". All these things are against me. No, no, no, Jacob. All these things are working for you. It is your son that is issuing all this, others, amen, to bring you into his care, to bring you into the provisions and the riches of Egypt, to bring you where he can take care of you. No, Jacob, all these things are not against you. All these things are working for your good, amen.
The reason why Simeon is in prison, he knows that's the only way to get Benjamin into Egypt, amen, before the palace, right. And it's the only time, you know, and the only moment that he can have to cause his brothers to see the error of their ways and what they have done, and then to be reconciled, and then to bring the entire family under the protection and provisions of Egypt, which is the most powerful kingdom at that time, and Joseph put them in the land of Goshen, which means drawing near, a place where all their needs are provided for. So, Jacob, all these things are not against you. They are actually for you.
The Bible says, "If God is for us, who can be against us?" Amen? And you know the word, "who can be against us," can be translated as what? In fact, the word "tis" in Greek, "for who" is also the word "tis" used in what? All the whats, most of the whats you see in the New Testament is the word "tis". So, you can say it like this. "If God be for me, what can be against me"? Amen? Yes, "who can be against me" as well, amen, but what can be against me? Everything is working for my good. What about this COVID-19 virus? It is not from God, amen, but God is making it work for the good of the church. God is making it work for the good of you, my beloved, amen. It's all working for your good.
"How can that be, Pastor, when I just got retrenched"? Well, friend, God has something greater in store. You might not see what God has for you, because even like Jacob, good old Jacob, you know, he was confined within his house. He could not see beyond the panoramic vision that God has. But God sees the end from the beginning, and we can only see one step at a time. But you've gotta trust the Lord, amen. As we go up like a winding step, we're going to a higher place, from the fifth cubit white room to a six cubit, and then to a perfect number seven cubits in the upper room, where we all are right now in the Spirit. If you know about time and space, then year of time and space, then you know what I'm talking about, amen. And the Lord will lead you one step at a time. The winding stairs is teaching about gaining the maximum height, amen, in the smallest space of time. As you take one step, you're going around and around, but you're going higher and higher, amen?
So, God just wants us to obey him one step at a time, and he's working for your good, amen? I know it's hard, it's hard to understand or comprehend. How can this bad report be working for my good? No, the report itself is bad, amen? The retrenchment itself is bad, right? But all these things God will make to work together for your good, amen. Maybe a better job is in the horizon. Maybe, if you hold on to this job, you cannot see what God has for you, amen, amen. Maybe that breakup that you had with that boyfriend of yours, who you cling on, even though he's abusing you, and emotionally abusing you and all that, but you love him too much, and maybe the breakup is good for you, because God is causing it to work together for your good, and maybe in your future there is someone who will compliment you spirit, soul, and body, hallelujah, that God knows is good for you. Have a good opinion of him, praise the Lord, hallelujah.
All these things are not against you, Jacob. All these things are for you. Amen? In fact, the word "working together," "all these things work together" is the word synergeo, where we get our English word synergy, amen, or working together and producing a prosperous result. Amen, there's a synergy, amen, there's a synergy. And what's it going to produce? Good, amen. All we know is that it's going to produce good. It doesn't say now, immediately, but in your future. Can I have a good amen? Praise God. Hallelujah. And if we look at all the patriarchs in the Old Testament, at all the heroes of faith. I just said it, heroes of faith. They're all heroes of a good opinion of God. They have a good opinion of God like Abraham. I mentioned Sarah just now, his wife, right? She was barren, but she judged him faithful who had promised. She has no physical evidence. In fact, the physical evidence was against her, and the physical evidence says that she's barren. All her younger years she was barren, and now she's past, you know, menopause and she's in her old age, at the age of 90. How can she expect anything? But she judged him faithful.
God is faithful. If God is faithful, it's not even incumbent on me to have to produce or conjure up my faith. I just rest on his faithfulness. It's incumbent on him, amen, not on me. I rest on his faithfulness, amen? I am just a branch in the vine, and I rest on the vine. The vine is the faithful one, amen? And it is his faith, his grace, his love, his compassion, his supply that flows into the branch. I don't have to produce these things. It is produced by the vine. I am the bearing part. I am the manifesting it part. I am the part that is a beneficiary. I am the part that receives and gives, receives and manifests. Praise the Lord. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your father, who is in heaven. Hallelujah.
Even Abraham, the Bible says, he considered not his own body now dead, who against hope believed in hope, when all evidence, his body said he's old, almost 100 years old, and then he looked at Sarah's womb. She's been dead in her womb, even in her younger years, and now she's 90 years old. And the Bible says he considered not his own body, neither the womb of Sarah, his wife, but he gave glory to God, amen? He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strong in faith, strong in his good opinion of God, giving glory to God. You know, one of the definitions of glory is having a good opinion, and this is what the Vine and Thayer says about the word "glory" in the New Testament. It means opinion, judgement, or view. In the New Testament, look at this. In the New Testament, it's always, not once a while, sometimes yeah, sometimes not, no, no, always a good opinion concerning one, resulting in praise, honor, and glory.
Now, we think of glory always as number three: splendor, brightness, magnificence, excellence, dignity. All right, we see the glory of the sunset, the glory of the stars, you know? The glory of God himself. Yes, splendor is the idea of brilliance, dazzling, amen, scintillating, brightness, amen? All that is glory, but notice the first definition of glory in the New Testament is always a good opinion concerning one, resulting in praise, honor, and glory. So, we have here Abraham, who was strong in faith, giving glory, giving good opinion to God. Hallelujah. When you say you give glory to God, what does it mean? You think of God in the highest. And that's not just saying hallelujah, praise God. All that is good, amen, amen. Our words are important. Our sacrifice of praise is important. But more than that is to have a good opinion of God. That's why we praise him, amen?
Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, amen. My circumstances may not be good, but God is good in my life. Hallelujah. And this trial I'm going through, I don't understand what's going on, but, you know, I would not want to be like Jacob. I know God is orchestrating something behind the scene. My heavenly Joseph is causing everything to work together for my good. Amen, amen, amen, praise the Lord. You see, the devil's temptation in the very beginning, the very first temptation that caused the fall of man and all the tragedies, and the heartbreak that you see in the world today, all the diseases, all this pandemic, amen, all the wars, and the killings, and all the weather going berserk, you know, it's not because this is God's plan for earth. God never dreamed for this earth to be like this. God's dream for man is to rule on the earth, amen, and enjoy his abundance, fellowshipping with him in the cool of the day, hallelujah. But Adam committed high treason. Adam listened to an outlaw spirit. Adam listened to Satan and gave up his right to rule the earth. As a result, man fell, and the earth has fallen ever since.
So, everything that you see is not an act of God. It is the result of sin, not man's sin directly all the time, although today a lot of things are happening because the earth is groaning. It's not climate change, folks. The climate is going awry because of man's sin. There is a, I can't explain it, but an energy. The Bible says in Romans 8, the whole creation is groaning and travailing for what? For the manifestation of the sons of God. They are waiting for you to manifest. They're waiting for me to manifest. They're waiting for the church to manifest. All that's found in Romans 8, amen. So, how did the first sin take, effect, how? Notice, this is what happened. The devil came to Eve. "The serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, 'Has God indeed said, 'You shall not eat of every tree of the garden?'" Notice what he said. "Has God said"? He attacked God's Word, and the devil always wants to attack God's Word.
Notice this. Here's the very first temptation. So, it behooves us to learn from the law of first mention about how this temptation works, so that we know what the devil, his device is like, okay? We're not ignorant of his devices, the Bible says. "You should not eat of"... Did God say, "You shall not eat of every tree of the garden"? No, he made God appear what? Stingy, miserly. God is holding back on you. "Did God say you cannot eat of every tree of the garden"?
Now, what did God actually say? All right, go back to chapter 2. "And the Lord God commanded the man, Adam, saying, 'Of every tree of the garden you may'," what? Freely eat, freely eat, freely eat. Not just eat, folks, freely, freely. I love it, freely eat. God says, "Eat and eat". You know, the Chinese have a way of saying, "Eat, eat". Amen? It's intensified form, freely eat, freely eat, every tree of the garden you may freely eat, except for the tree in the middle, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. And yet, the devil came and made God appear what? Appear stingy, and that's the way he works today. He comes to you and makes it appear like you are being, you know, held back. You are being restricted. You are being hindered from enjoying, you know, the deepest pleasures that God has... no, no, no. God wants you to enjoy the deepest pleasures, not just the pleasures of sinful pleasures, because these things will not satisfy. If these things become an addiction, you will come up empty, and you will feel frustrated, and you will be depressed, and the cycle goes on. God knows, and God loves you, and God is after your good.
So, but God wants the deepest pleasures to be experienced by you, amen. The Bible says at his right hand are pleasures forevermore. Hallelujah, amen, amen. The Bible said they shall eat abundantly of your house. God created all the food, not the devil. God created everything to enjoy. You love food? You like food? God wants you to enjoy everything. God is only against gluttony. And what is gluttony? It's not good for your body. Ask any doctor. Amen? It'll bring you to your grave earlier than you should, amen. So, God is against sin, which means your natural desires going wild, amen. So whatever God says, the devil said, "Well, he's trying to hold you back".
Did God say you cannot enjoy all these things? No, God says every tree. Do you know how many trees there are in the beginning, right? And Adam and Eve are the only beneficiaries of all those trees, amen? And God gave us a tongue. God has given you a tongue with no sensation, except for one sensation, right? Now it's like salt is sweet, bitter. Omami, what have you. And God gave you a tongue to enjoy. The Bible says in Timothy, "God gives us richly all things to enjoy". He's only against sin, because sin will destroy you, and he loves you, amen, just like you see your son or your daughter going on the edge of a precipice, and you yell at your son. He turns around and says, "Why are you yelling at me like this? You know, I", crying and all that. No, because you love the child, and the child is going to the precipice of a hill and about to fall, and you cry out, and you run to your son. He might cry for a while. But one day when he grows up and is more mature, he can appreciate fully everything you have done, amen.
And the Lord himself will allow you to misunderstand him just like Jesus did with Lazarus when Lazarus died, and the sisters were crying and saying, "If you had been here, my brother would not have died". And Jesus loved Martha, and Mary, and Lazarus. He was willing to be misunderstood by them, just so that he can accomplish good for them, amen, just so he can accomplish the demonstration of Lazarus being raised from the dead. Hallelujah. Amen. And them having a revelation. This is the best part, a revelation of him like no other ever had. "I am the resurrection and the life," amen? To have that revelation in your heart, in your life, amen?
See, in life death is the greatest restriction. You think about it, death is total. Even an insect dies, plant dies, germ dies, and this COVID-19 is gonna die, right? So, everything is dead, right? Death has come in, but you know what's resurrection? Resurrection is overcoming the greatest restriction put on this earth, put on man, which is death. Jesus conquered death, and that's why, you know, in that realm of resurrection there's no time or space, amen? You cannot say Jesus came, and he went, amen? In the resurrection form he appears and disappears beyond time and space, and he's with you right now. That's why he's with you, amen? And not only Jesus, friend. You're all raised in him. The Bible says, "Reckon yourself dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God," amen? Like Christ was raised from the dead, who dies no more. And the death that he die, he die unto sin once. And the life that he live, he lives unto God. Likewise, in the same way, reckon yourself dead to sin, amen? But alive unto God. I'm a resurrected spirit in an unresurrected body.
You are a resurrected spirit in an unresurrected body. When Jesus comes again, which I believe is very soon, amen, you're gonna have a brand new body, a resurrected body, amen? And me also. Hallelujah. And we'll look really good, amen? Praise the Lord. Thank you, Jesus. Amen, amen, amen. So, devil came to make God appear stingy. Not only that. Notice what Eve said. "And the woman said to the serpent, 'We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden.'" She drop out one word. What is that? "Freely". Now she's, like, succumbing a bit to the fact that God may not be that generous, right? "But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God had said," she said, "'You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.'" Did God say you can't touch it? So, she added to God's Word. The devil made her doubt God's generosity so that she will have a bad opinion of God. Then she took away the word "freely," and then she added the word "touch". "You must not touch it".
That's what is happening in the world today. The devil will have to come against God's Word, and either he takes away from God's Word a phrase, a word, amen? Or he adds to it. And usually he's adding other laws and manmade laws and restrictions and things like that that God never put down there, amen? Like I said just now, God gives us richly all things to enjoy. And there are voices today that say, "There's nothing for us on Earth to enjoy". You know, no, friend. God gave us richly all things to enjoy. Even the Bible says the reason God gave you marriage, amen, is to live joyfully with the wife of your youth, and that's in Ecclesiastes. The word "live joyfully" is to enjoy, enjoy life. The Bible says in 1 Peter 3 that you and your wife are joined heirs of life, to enjoy life, and the whole context there from chapter 2 and 3 talks about he that will love life and see good days, amen?
So, don't add to God's Word. God is wanting you to enjoy life here. We're to wait for, you know, the soon-and-coming King. Then we'll enjoy life. No, he is coming, and it'll be soon, right? But there's no doubt, amen, we have a brand new body, and all our days then will be good days, amen? But until then, God still want you to have heaven on earth, amen? He gave us life, and life more abundantly, amen? So, don't allow anyone to add to God's Word or take away from God's Word, and don't allow the devil to make you doubt or to have a bad opinion of God. You know, when the leaders of the 12 tribes, 12 spies went into the Promised Land. What did God say about the Promised Land? God says, "I bring you to a land flowing". I love that word "zub" in Hebrew. It's the word "gushing," flowing, amen? Like blood flowing out, right? It's a flow. It is like gushing, springs of water gushing out, amen? And the land gushes, flows with milk and honey. The idea of abundance.
He could have just said, "The land has milk and honey". That'll be good enough, but, no, it won't fit a God who is generous, a God who has abundance in mind for you. He says, "The land flows with milk and honey," and yet they didn't have altogether a good opinion of God. They said to Moses, "Let us send spies". They came to that suggestion, and Moses says, "Okay, go". So, 12 spies went in the Promised Land, spied for 40 days, and they came back. And the two of them carried a piece of wood with a cluster of grapes. That's how heavy it was. There was a cluster of grapes, "eshkol," from the land of Israel, and they said this. They said, "We went to the land where you sent us. It truly flows with milk and honey, and this is its fruit. Nevertheless the people who dwell in the land are strong; the cities are fortified and very large; moreover we saw the descendants of Anak there".
Now, so, there is God, what God says is true. Nevertheless. What God said about land flowing with milk and honey, this is the fruit. Nevertheless. You know, there's always someone who wanna say something bad about something that is good, amen? You know, you say something nice about someone, and somebody will come and say, "But you know what? I know about this person". It's like, you know, they have an amazing, uncanny gift of snatching the ugly out of beauty, snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, you know? You can trust them to always complain, even in heaven. If they go to heaven it's like they will say, "Hey, hey, it's too bright, God. Can you tune down on the, you know, tone down on the dazzling brightness and glory"? You know, it's like no wonder God, you know, there's something God doesn't like, is murmuring. Why? Because it's predicated on unbelief. And what is unbelief, opposite of faith? A bad opinion of God, so that's what they had, you know?
You know, in fact, they go on to say that "those giants are gonna eat us," amen? Keep on reading. The say, "The giants are gonna eat us". That's a bad opinion of God. God says, "I bring you into a land flowing with milk and honey". And here they say, "The giants will eat us". Not that, "we will enjoy the fruit of the land". But look at what Joshua and Caleb, the two spies, said. "Joshua, son of Nun, and Caleb the son of Jephunneh, who were among those who spied out the land, tore their clothes; and they spoke to all the congregation of the children of Israel, saying: 'The land we passed through to spy out is an exceedingly good land. If the Lord'", look at this word, "exceedingly good land". Oh, my. If you can look into the Hebrew, you know what it says? I think Darby's version brings it out best. It is a very, very good land. Meod, meod. Repeated twice. Meod, meod, meod. It is intensified form of meod, good. You know, good, good land. Exceedingly good land, amen? They had a good opinion of God. They spoke in line with God, and then they said this, "If the Lord delights in us, then he'll bring us into this land".
Now, this "if" is not a conditional "if". This is the certain "if". This is what "if" is used in other places six times as "certainly," "surely". Rather, "surely" in the King James Version, right? So, for example, "if" can be certain. It's not condition. In many cases it's condition, for example, I say, "If you are a man, you'll provide for your family," right? I can also say, "Since you're a man, you will provide for your family". Or you can say it, like, you know, buy an item. And you're longing for it, and I'm in your presence, "How I wish I can buy this". And I know you have the money. I say this. You know, I says, "Since you have the money, buy it". Or I can say, "If you have the money buy it". And I know the person has the money. It's still a correct expression, so they're not doubting God.
They say, "Since the Lord delights in us, then he'll bring us into this land and give it to us, 'a land which flows with milk and honey.' Only do not rebel against the Lord, nor fear the people of the land, for they are our bread; their protection has departed from them, and the Lord is with us. Do not fear them". They are our bread. These difficulties, these giants, these enemies, they are our bread. You got retrenched? Therein lies your bread, not the retrenchment. Something that will feed you, something that will strengthen you, something that will nourish you. And bread is also a picture of health and healing, as Jesus said "the children's bread," referring to healing. And the Syrophoenician's daughter who was demon-possessed, God delivered, amen? Because she receive the bread, the children's bread. So, there is bread in your difficulty, child of God. There is bread in your situation.
Are you going through a tough time? The apostle Paul says he has this revelation that "these bad things that's happening, these negative things that's happening, they are bread for me. I glory in my infirmities, in necessities, in distresses for Christ's sake; for when I am weak, then am I strong". Amen. He says when he glories he boasts. In fact, the word there is "boasts". He say he boast. I mean, it's, like, unheard of, amen? Because why? He has a revelation. He says, "When I do this, the power of Christ tabernacles over me. The power of Christ comes on me". Hallelujah. There's bread in that difficult situation. Feed on it. Find the bread. Don't find the difficulty. See the bread in the difficulty, amen? The Father has placed it there. Go eat it and be strong.
The reason why Caleb at the age of 85 was still strong, and he says, "I'm as strong today as I was the day Moses sent me to spy out the land. I'm as strong today". And he's no liar. He's no exaggerator, amen? He says, "I'm as strong today". Why? Because he ate a lot of bread, he ate a lot of difficulties, man. He ate it up. Instead of allowing the difficulties to overwhelm him, he ate it, hallelujah, and became strong. Imagine, we know life will bring a lot of difficulties. There'll be a lot of difficulties out there, but you know something? If we see the difficulties of life as bread for us, amen, every time a difficulty come in our life, every time a situation comes that puts pressure on us, "Amen. I'm gonna feed on this". Imagine the attitude. Nothing brings you down. You're not stressed. You will live long. Praise the Lord. Hallelujah. You'll be healthy. You won't be so distressed and downcast.
A lot of the fears that I feared, a lot of the worries I worried about never came to pass. You know, it was a waste of time, amen? I wish I had a good opinion of God in those situations, amen? So, child of God, amen, the reason why Joshua and Caleb are the only ones that made it to the Promised Land, this is what God said, "These others certainly shall not see the land of which I swore to their fathers. But my servant Caleb, because he has a different spirit in him and has followed me fully, I'll bring into the land where he went, and his descendants shall inherit it". What's a different spirit? A spirit of faith. A spirit of having a good opinion of God, amen? Amen.
You know, when the angel Gabriel was sent by God to John the Baptist's father, you know, Zechariah the priest, he was an old man. He and his wife, Elizabeth, they were advanced in age and the time came his role, because in those days they go by a cycle of service in the ministry, in the temple, and it is said that the most coveted service in the temple was to burn incense. And this lot fell on Zacharias, and he was burning the incense, amen, during this time, when the angel Gabriel appeared on the right side of the altar of incense. And Gabriel said this to him, "When Zacharias saw him, he was troubled, and fear fell upon him. Angel said, 'Do not be afraid, Zacharias, for your prayer is heard; and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John. And you'll have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth. For he'll be great in the sight of the Lord,'" amen?
Now, this is what the angel said. Is it good news? It is good news, but notice how Zechariah respond. Zechariah says, "How shall I know this"? How shall I know this? "For I'm an old man, and my wife is well advanced in years". Do you know what he said? "How do I know that what you're saying is true? How can I know it for sure"? This is what the NLT says. He says, "How can I be sure this will happen"? he said to Angel Gabriel. "How do I know what you're saying is true"? Now, you don't say to the angel of God, "How do I know that what you're saying is true"? He says, "I'm an old man," he says. And so was Abram, wasn't he? Right? "And the angel answered and said to him, 'I am Gabriel, who stands in the presence of God, and was sent to speak to you and bring you these glad tidings.'"
Actually, it's amazing that a lot of the stories of faith that I read is actually God bringing the message of good news, good tidings. Good tidings, and yet today those who preach good tidings are seen like false prophets, you know? They are a cult. They're this. They're that, you know? But, actually, all the messages, even right now this message here, is good tidings for a elderly couple who never had any child, children, you know, even in their old age and right now they're doubly barren, right? So, how much more, you know, when God comes with good tidings? Our response should be, "Thank you, Lord," right? But, no, a lotta people their response is always to have a bad opinion of God and his, "How do I know this? How can I be certain of this"? And the angel says, "I am Gabriel, who stands in the presence of God, and was sent to speak to you and bring you these glad tidings. But behold, you'll be mute and not able to speak until the day these things take place, because you did not believe my words which will be fulfilled in their own time". "Because you don't believe, you'll be dumb".
Now, there's a wisdom of God to this, because if the wife is pregnant, right, and then he's always speaking unbelief, he can actually offset what God is doing. There's power in your words. The power of life and death is in the tongue, so when Joshua had the men of Jericho go around the walls, he made them all shut up. He says, "No one will speak anything". Under the hot sun, wherever it is, God says, "You know, just go around and keep quiet". They learn the lesson much earlier, 40 years earlier. They learn the lesson how their fathers or the tribes, that the spies that went in, they came out and they spoke murmurings and complainings and unbelief, expressing their bad opinion of God. And they felt it in the wilderness. So, Zechariah was a mute, amen? Until John the Baptist was born and his mouth was loosed, when they ask for his name, for the baby's name, and he wrote down, you know, he wrote down, "His name will be The Grace of God". Literally, Yohanan, the grace of God, John. And his mouth was loosed, and he went into a prophecy, a beautiful prophecy, a beautiful doxology. Hallelujah. Amen.
Now we go to the same chapter. Drop down. Now we go to Mary. "Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth". This is how it all began. She was in Nazareth. Nazareth is from the word "neser," which is actually a stem, a shoot. God promise in Isaiah 11 God will bring forth a shoot of Jesse, a stem will come out, but the word "neser," actually, is more than just a stem. It is the word a special stem that they will take because they know it'll produce a good tree. They'll preserve it. They'll guard it. They'll preserve it, and that's actually the story of Jesus of Nazareth, amen? He was the one born. And where was he growing up in? In Nazareth, a place where this young shoot was preserved and protected, amen, to make sure that he comes up strong, amen? Comes up the way God wants him to. Praise God. "To a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin's name was Mary".
So, Gabriel was sent to Mary, and Gabriel said to her, "Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women"! You know, the Lord said this to me. When the Lord first gave me this message, it was from this verse. The Lord said to tell all of you that every morning when you wake up and every night before you sleep and during the day here and there when the Lord reminds you, all right, call out your name and say, "You are highly favored, amen? Blessed are you among men". Or, "Blessed are you among women". Say that, amen? You know why? This word "highly favored" is the same word used for all of us in Ephesians 1. "Highly favored" is "charitoo" in the Greek. "To the praise of the glory of his grace, by which God made us accepted," or highly favored, same Greek word, "in the beloved". That's in Jesus, amen? God has made us highly favored in the beloved. Highly favored in the beloved. It's used only twice in the entire New Testament: for Mary and for all of us here in this verse in Ephesians, amen?
Charitoo in the Greek, from the word "charis," grace. Highly graced. Highly favored. Every morning when you wake up, look at yourself and say, "You're highly favored," amen? "You're blessed among men," amen? Not above. Notice, Mary is not blessed above women. She's blessed among women. That means what? She stands out, amen? Others may not have the blessing, but you have the blessing. You are blessed among men, among women, amen? And you are highly favored, highly favored. Not just favored, but highly favored. Hallelujah. Hallelujah. "When she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and considered what manner of greeting this was. Then the angel said to her, 'Do not be afraid'". Have you noticed that heavenly beings, when they come to us, the first thing they tell us is always, "Don't be afraid," amen? Even angels, or the Lord. "Don't be afraid". In Hebrew "al tirah". "Don't be afraid. Don't be afraid," amen?
Have a good opinion of God. God don't want you to even entertain fear for one moment, amen? You know, he's not like some people who are insecure. When he appears and people are afraid of them, they feel good. They feel good. They feel like, "You know, I'm being recognized. I'm being respected. I'm being adored". No, no, no, no, no, no. God has no need for all these ego trips, amen? Praise God. The first thing he says, "Don't be afraid," amen? "You have found favor with God". Again, emphasizing, "You have found favor with God". Remind yourself always, "Don't be afraid," amen? You hear some bad news, "Don't be afraid. You have found favor with God". The doctors gave you a bad prognosis. Just say, "Don't be afraid. You have found favor with God. This thing is gonna turn around," amen? Health is in your future, not disease, amen? Amen. You won't grow worse. You're gonna get better, amen? Praise the Lord, because you have found favor with God. And you're blessed among women. You're blessed among men. You're highly favored. Praise the Lord. Praise the Lord.
"'Behold, you'll conceive in your womb and bring forth a son, and shall call his name Jesus. He'll be great and be called the Son of the Highest; the Lord God will give him the throne of his father David. And he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there'll be no end.' Then Mary said to the angel, 'How can this be, since I do not know a man?'" Now, she did not say, "How do I know this for certain? How do I know what you're saying is true"? which is what Zechariah said. She asked about, "How can this be, the method, seeing I know not a man? I'm not married, amen? And normal way of having children is to be with a man, right? But I'm not married, amen"?
So, she's asking for the methodology, not questioning the angel. Therein lies the difference. "How can this be"? "And the angel answered and said to her, 'The Holy Spirit'", now, she asked for how, and the Holy Spirit answered, "'The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God. Now indeed, Elizabeth your relative has also conceived a son in her old age; and this is now the sixth month for her who was called barren. For with God nothing will be impossible.' Then Mary said, 'Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word.' And the angel departed from her". Notice this, "Let it be to me according to your word".
That's the response God wants from all of us. When you hear the preaching of God's Word, when you hear that God wants to heal you of your diseases, what do you say? "Let it be to me according to your Word". Amen. When you hear that God wants your family to come together, amen, and to be in peace and harmony, amen, that God has well-being for your family, how do you respond? You say, "Amen, amen". You say, "Amen". Amen is actually the Hebrew word for faith. The word for faith in the New Testament in Greek is pistis. In the Old Testament, in Hebrew, it is the word amen, literally. When it says in Genesis 15, verse 6, "Abraham believed in the Lord, and he counted it to him for righteousness," the word "believe" is the word amen. It is the word amen in Hebrew. That's why we say amen. You know, amen is Jesus' name. Amen. Jesus' name is amen.
In Revelations 3, it says, "These things says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness". "These things says the Amen". The Amen is a person, amen. When you say... there I go, amen. Amen. You know, "amen" means so be it. You don't know how to respond? Respond like Mary. When God promises you something, or you hear something being promised in God's Word, don't just sit down there at home and just say, "Well, it happens, it happens. You know, it doesn't happen". No, God works with faith. Don't forget. Amen, faith is having a good opinion of God. Faith does not deal with suppositions or uncertainties. Faith deals with certainties, amen, verities, amen, sureties, amen, sureties, amen. It does not deal with speculation and perhaps and maybes. No, faith is amen. Praise the Lord.
And when we preach like this, you know, it's like 2 Corinthians chapter 1. It says this. "Therefore, when I was planning this," Paul says, "do I do it lightly? Or the things I plan, do I plan according to the flesh"? And what is planning according to the flesh? "That with me there should be Yes, Yes, and No, No"? Like, doing things of the flesh is yes, yes, no, no, yes, yes, no, no. God is good. And God may allow things. You know, it's like you don't see the end. God is always good, friend. And even bad things happen, he's not a source of it, but he'll make it work for your good, amen. So, "God is faithful, our word to you was not Yes and No". Look at this. Our preaching is not yes and no. Sometimes God heals, sometimes he doesn't. Yes and no. No, no, no. Paul says, "My preaching is not like that".
Look, friend, are you listening to New Testament preaching? This is what Paul says. "The Son of God, Jesus Christ, was preached among you by us, by me, Silvanus, and Timothy, was not Yes and No, but in Him was Yes," certain yes. "For all the promises of God"... People ask, "Pastor Prince, can I claim the promise in the Old Testament"? And things like that. Why not? "All the promises of God, in Him was Yes," including all the Old Testament. In fact, most of it is from the Old Testament. When Paul says, all, it's all. "All the promises of God in Christ, in Him is Christ, are Yes, and in Christ Amen, to the glory of God through us". Through us means what? We say amen. God says yes. It's like this. God says, "Blessed are you among women". What do you say? You say amen. Amen? God gets the glory through you, amen? That's another promise that comes. God says, "By his stripes we are healed". Actually, it's accomplishment, not a promise anymore. Amen? And what do you say? You say amen. And God gets the glory, amen? And you get the fulfillment of it in your body. Praise God, praise God.
God wants us to respond in faith, having a good opinion of God, you know, like Mary. "Let it be to me according to your word". Again, it's not incumbent on you to produce the faith. It is the Lord. Let it be to me according to your word. Everything rests on your Word. Lord, I'm resting on your Word. My little faith has hooked onto your Word. It is incumbent on God to fulfill his Word, like Sarah. She judged him faithful, amen? It's not my faith. He is faithful. Hallelujah, amen. When you have the perspective, God sees you in your faith, amen? You are someone like David. Even before the giant fell, he knew the Lord who delivered me from the paw of the bear, from the lion, he will deliver you into my hand. Before even Goliath fell, he had a good opinion of God, and God didn't let him down. The Bible says whoever has a good opinion of God, whoever believes in God, that's having a good opinion of God, will not be put to shame. Amen? Hallelujah, hallelujah.
In fact, when she went back to her cousin Elizabeth, Elizabeth said, "The moment that your voice was heard, the baby leaped in my womb for joy". You know, your voice can activate the miracle in someone else's life. When you speak God's promise, you speak God's Word to someone, the dream that seems barren, the dream that seems dormant will leap with new life. Amen. Speak words of life, speak the words of God over your children, over your spouse, over your family, over your ministry, over your career, amen, amen. Don't say that person is always like that. No, he will be saved in the name of the Lord Jesus, amen. We are made in God's image. "We having the same spirit of faith," like God. And God saw darkness, but God says light be. Amen. Ohr is light. Light be, light was. God never saw light until God spoke. We are made in his image. "We having the same spirit of faith, we believe and therefore we speak," amen?
I'm going to read to you a testimony that came in recently, and this is a brother from Utah, United States, and he shares:
I grew up believing I needed to do good things in order to earn my blessings. It was through Pastor Joseph Prince Ministry that I learned about the grace of God. And the theme of the year that Pastor Prince received for his church, the year of time and space has been very encouraging for me and my wife. I have been feeling stuck in my current job for four years and wanted to switch jobs because of the lack of growth. My wife had just graduated and was looking for a job, as well. This happened in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and right before my visa was due to expire. If we weren't able to find jobs, we would have had to leave the country under unsafe circumstances and with a lot of debt. I've been going for interviews and getting rejected since the beginning of the year. I felt depressed that nothing seemed to be changing and tried to keep going and to have faith. When I watched one of Pastor Prince's sermons on speaking out our faith, I started practicing that. I began to declare that just one touch of the Lord's favor can catapult me to the top and that he can make up for any time I had lost. For the first time in my life, I was praising God before receiving my breakthrough. Right before my visa was about to expire, I received a job offer from a dream company. They offered me more than double my previous pay. The Lord even used an interview I had with another company three days earlier to refine my answer for the exact same interview question for this offered job. Praise the Lord.
Hallelujah, amen, amen, amen, to God be the glory. So, you have the same spirit of faith. Don't say, "All these things are against me". Amen? And watch out for complaining and murmuring, amen? It's our natural propensity to complain. It's our natural... natural is not good, amen. That's your flesh, right? We're in the spirit, people, amen. Start to speak the new language of heaven, amen? Speak positive. Praise the Lord. And don't worry about all the naysayers that would say, "Oh, you know"... In fact, when Joshua and Caleb said that "They are bread for us. We are well able to take the land. It's a great land. God is with us. God delights in us. God delights in us. God delights in us. He'll give us the land". And they picked up stones to stone Joshua and Caleb. Can you imagine that? They picked up stones to stone them. People say don't like good news. So, don't tell them. But if they criticize you, just move on, amen? Because one day you'll be around, and they won't. Amen.
So, you know, friend, we don't live horizontally. We live vertically. We live with the eye of God on us, amen? We're not obligated to please men, amen? We're not out here to get the number of likes and all that. We are out here to please the one, amen, who saved us, amen, the one who called us to live unto him a life that'll please him, amen? And without faith, it's impossible to please him, and faith is having a good opinion of God. Hallelujah. Thank you, Lord Jesus. Thank you, Lord Jesus, amen.
I see like someone is, there is like your ankle, your ankle is bruised. It's terribly bruised. It's like purple, turning purple, blackish purple, and I don't know how you injured your ankle, but the Lord is healing your ankle right now. Now, do this gently. Get up, right, and just move the ankle as much as you can, if you can, amen, because the Lord is healing the ankle right now. In Jesus' name, be healed, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Thank you, Lord Jesus.
Recently, someone, I think all of a sudden, it appears to me like sudden, all right? You woke up, and then it's like your ear is partially deaf. And you don't know what's happening, and now you're waiting to go to see a doctor. But I see God already going to, you know, action and touching that area. I see God healing you, amen, and opening up your ear. In Jesus' name, be open, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, amen. If that is you, please write to us and let us know about it, amen. Thank you, Lord Jesus. Praise the name of Jesus, amen.
Someone who has a valve situation in your heart, you have a heart condition, but it involves a valve. I see God's creative miracle, placing a new valve in that heart, amen. And right now, you are feeling a surge of strength. Friend, it's time to say amen. It's time to say, "So be it, amen, this is true. This is certain in my life, amen. Be it unto me according to your Word, amen". Praise the Lord. These are not my words, friend, amen? I don't plan for all this before I come. I'm telling you the Lord is giving these words. Say amen to him. Just like Gabriel... she's not saying amen to Gabriel's words. She's saying amen to God's words. "True Gabriel". Right now, receive that healing, in Jesus' name, amen, amen, amen. Receive it. Praise the Lord. Thank you, Lord Jesus.
And someone with like your shoulder blade condition, if you'll move your shoulder right now, move the shoulder... I think it's your right shoulder. You just move like this, amen. Move and move in Jesus' name. That's the release right now. Praise the Lord, amen. Praise the name of Jesus. Thank you, Lord Jesus. Thank you, Lord Jesus, hallelujah.
There's someone with cataract on your left eye. The Lord is removing it supernaturally right now, in Jesus' name, amen. Praise the Lord. You are seeing for the first time, like everything come clearer, and that's the Lord healing you right now, in Jesus' name. Go have it checked, amen, and confirm what the Lord has done. Praise the name of Jesus. Thank you, Lord Jesus. Thank you, Lord Jesus. Thank you, Lord Jesus.
And someone, you actually had a filling that fell out. And right now, you're waiting for the appointment to have it filled. And right now, God is sealing it up. I see like a special metallic thing that God is putting into it, and I think it's going to be silver or gold, amen. If you can see it, and you know it's true, take a picture of it, and send it to the office, amen? Send it to our church office. Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, hallelujah. Thank you, Jesus. Thank you, Jesus. Thank you, Jesus, amen, amen.
Friend, whatever ailments you are going through, amen, whatever you're experiencing right now, whatever you've been told by the doctor, with God nothing is impossible. You know that phrase, "With God nothing is impossible"? It's exactly what angel Gabriel goes on to tell Mary. "With God nothing will be impossible". Amen? Nothing. So, place your hand upon that area right now. I don't care how advanced, you know, it may be. With God nothing is impossible, amen. Praise the Lord. Place your hand on that area right now.
And Father, in the name of Jesus, I ask of you, touch that area right now. Revive, resurrect, Lord, that broken organ, Lord, that broken part of the body, Lord. Resurrect it, in the name of Jesus. Amen, amen. Revive, Lord, that system, Lord, in Jesus' name. Be healed in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, from the crown of your head to the soles of your feet. I command, in the name of Jesus Christ, I command the spirit of infirmity to loose you and let you go, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Receive your healing, amen. Just say, "Lord, be it unto me according to your Word". Just receive, amen. As you can see, all those who receive simply have a good opinion of God. What God said is true, amen, and you receive it. Praise the Lord. Just say amen. Amen means faith. Believe it, so be it, it is true, amen. Thank you, Lord Jesus.
If you have never made Jesus your personal Savior and Lord, friend, the Bible says this. God, if he's for us, who can be against us? He is for you. And long before you knew him, he gave his Son to die for your sins on that cross. And on that cross, he bore all your sins in his own body, amen, that you might receive his righteousness, amen, the divine exchange. All your sins went into him. All his righteousness he's put on you, amen. And the Bible says that whoever calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. If you confess with your mouth Jesus is your Lord and believe in your heart God raised him from the dead, you shall be saved. So, do that right now, amen. Pray this prayer with me:
Heavenly Father, heavenly Father, I confess Jesus Christ is my Lord, and I believe you have raised him from the dead, when all my sins were put away. Thank you, Father. In Jesus' name, I'm greatly blessed, highly favored, and deeply loved. In Jesus' name, amen, amen. Praise the Lord, praise the Lord. Thank you, Jesus.
Church, stand to your feet, if you can, all the families standing together to receive this benediction. I believe that every time I pronounce a benediction, it is not something just to soothe people. It is something that angels respond to. They go into your week and prepare circumstances, rearrange things, and the Holy Spirit will lead you to be at the right place at the right time, and we all need that, especially during these times, amen. Lift your hands all across everywhere that's watching this right now.
This coming week, the Lord bless you and your families. The Lord bless you with the blessings of Deuteronomy 28, the blessings of Father Abraham. The Lord preserve and protect and keep you and your loved ones from the COVID-19 virus, from every sickness, from every disease, from every danger, from harm, from all the power of the evil one. The Lord make his face to shine on you and be favorable to you, oh, highly favored one, amen. And the Lord lift up his countenance on all of you and grant to you and yours his shalom, peace. In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, amen. God bless all of you, love all of you.