Joseph Prince - The Key To Soul Prosperity
I wanna share with you real quick about something that I think will really bless you. Many of you know this verse already, 3 John 2, but let's read the whole thing in context, because I really wanna expound on this passage here today. "To the beloved Gaius, whom I love in truth". Now, it is an individual letter from John. John who laid his head on Jesus's bosom when he was younger, John who described himself as the disciple whom Jesus loved, John who knew Jesus loved him more than he loved Jesus, and put his faith in the Lord's love for him, not his love for the Lord. This same John, when he was older, he wrote to this elder, all right, the beloved. Notice he used the same phrase, agapetos in Greek, "Beloved Gaius".
Who was Gaius? I studied the background of this man Gaius. He was actually quite a wealthy man, all right? And he's very faithful to the apostles, all right? But what happened was that there seems to be a church split. Something happened. Even back then they had a church split. A guy called Diotrephes whose name is mentioned in 3 John later on, he loved preeminence. He put himself in a position of authority, and he was not appointed by God. He put himself in a position of authority, and then he told the church not to support Apostle John, all right? So Gaius and others left, amen? So even back then, the gospel was slowly being perverted already. So he wrote to him as a faithful man, and later on we'll see evidence of his faithfulness, all right? But look at this man and look at the heart of John for Gaius. Verse 2: "Beloved," agapetos, "I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers".
Now, notice the prayer of the elder John, all right? By now, he was very elderly, all right? Many years have come and gone since, you know, he put his head on Jesus's heart, hearing the heartbeat of God. This man John who knew God I would say more than many other apostles in an intimate way, besides John I think Peter as well, but many of them knew Jesus in a very slow, you know, manner. In fact, they didn't have quick perception of who Jesus was. John did. Very quickly, John believed. John saw the grave clothes. Quickly he believed, amen? So there's something about John. He's a very special man, and he's the only one who didn't die a martyr's death among the 11, all right? "Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers".
Now, we would take this verse and rightfully apply it as God's desire for us. God's desire for you is that you prosper, all right, in how many things? And the word prosper here, church, the Greek euodoo, all right? The word euodoo in Greek literally means prosperity, even in finances. It is used in 1 Corinthians where it says, "Every man upon the first day of the week lay aside as God has prospered him". So when I come, you don't need a collection, he says. Now that's talking about offering. Upon the first day of the week, is Sunday, in 1 Corinthians. So the word, as God has prospered him, same word, euodoo, all right? Same word, and euodoo is used for the main word for prosperity in the Old Testament, in the Septuagint as well, okay? So, here God desires for you to prosper in how many things? In all things. But Gaius was already prosperous, and yet John prayed that he would prosper even more. And not only that, be in health.
Now, would John pray for someone, all right, a prayer that is not God's will? Of course not. So John who heard the heartbeat of God was the one that prayed that you prosper in all things and be in health. So, actually, instead of coming against those who preach health and prosperity, we should be saying these people know the heartbeat of God. In fact, if you read the Gospels with no prejudice or bias, all right, you read the Gospels, you'll find God's heart is that you prosper and be in health. See the numerous healings that Jesus did, besides multiplying loaves and fishes, transforming water into wine to bless and save the wedding couple from embarrassment. You see the heart of God is you prosper. But notice this safety valve as well as the criteria: Just as your soul prospers. Just as is one Greek word, kathos, all right? And kathos in Greek literally means to the degree of, in proportion with, your soul prosperity.
In other words, your prosperity outside, your prosperity in your business, your career, your ministry, all right, whether you're evangelist, whatever, homemaker, your prosperity in all things and your health, your bodily health, is in equal proportion to your soul prosperity, kathos, your soul, to the degree of your soul prosperity, in proportion to your soul prosperity. Those are Thayer's definitions, by the way. To the degree and in proportion. It's literally even as your soul prospers. Just as, even as, your soul prospers. So it behooves us, then, to want soul prosperity. Can I have a good amen? Many a times those who are sick, they want physical health, and I can understand that. Those who are broke or those who are in debt, they want a supernatural financial breakthrough, and I can understand that. But seldom do you find they stop and ask where am I missing it in my soul? What is your soul?
Your soul is your mind. Say mind. Your emotions. Say emotions. And your will, all right? It's the middle part of you. You are tripartite. God is triunity, one God but Father, Son, Spirit. One God. God made you in his image. You are tripartite, all right? You are a spirit, you have a soul, and then you live in a house called body. So that there are three parts to you. We don't say three Matthew Kong, all right? Good morning, good morning, good morning, all right? You don't say... this is one Matthew, all right? Thank God. So, okay, let's go on. "For I rejoiced greatly when brethren came and testified". Now, John is saying, "I'm so happy. I rejoiced". Not just rejoiced, but I rejoiced greatly when brethren came and testified of the truth that is in you, just as you walk in the truth. Okay, how do you prosper your soul?
You know, we hear so many times, even in the word of faith circle where I came from, all right, God wants you to prosper even as your soul prospers. But what is soul prosperity? Then they'll tell you: you've got to walk in the Word, all right? But actually, when you read the next verse, it says: Just as you walk in the truth. "I rejoiced greatly when brethren came and testified of the truth that is in you". What is this truth that is in you? "Just as you walk in the truth". So walking in the truth is the secret of soul prosperity. You see the word "Just as your soul prospers," the word prospers there in the Greek tense is literally present passive indicative, which means it is happening right now, it's still continuing. Passive means it's not something the soul is doing. It is something that's done to the soul. The soul cannot help but prosper. Present passive, all right? The tense in the Greek which means you are doing something that cause your soul to prosper. It behooves me, then, to find out what is that thing? So the next verse tells us in the context, it's walking in the truth.
Now, some believers look at that and they say that means don't tell lies, all right? You shall not be lying. One thing that I don't like, all right, in people, in relationships, all right, no matter who they are is that I don't like people lying to me. Are you the same? I mean, other weaknesses I can tolerate, all right? God help me and give me grace for people who are lying. But I don't like lying. Do not lie to me. If you tell me the truth, you'll be amazed how much favor I can have for you, but do not lie, amen? And that's one thing Wendy and I established many years ago after we married, all right? We can fail, we can make mistakes, whatever, but don't lie to one another. One thing, if ever I find out you lie, you know, it's almost like the unpardonable sin, but it's not, okay? I'm just telling you, okay? So, but this is not referring to an honest lifestyle, honest conversation, all right? Although that is important, but this is not what it's talking about. What is walking in the truth?
So those who are in the word of faith will say we've got to walk in God's Word. We're got to learn to walk in God's Word. That is too generic. What is God's Word? If you tell people go to Exodus 20, it is still God's Word. But what is Exodus 20? The Ten Commandments. If you could tell them, you must walk in God's Word and they go to Leviticus thinking that that's how you prosper your soul, and it's full of loss, that even being a guy who is growing up, all right, certain manifestations or emissions during the night will cause you to be defiled. You wanna be under law? It's very quiet in this Presbyterian church, all right? So that's in Leviticus, all right? So the thing is that Word of God is not enough to say you've got to walk in God's Word, learn to walk in God's Word. You've got to transform your mind by God's Word. What part of God's Word? What is the word? Can I have a good amen, all right?
I know that some of you know the truth already, but it behooves us to really look at it in the context. The next line, verse 4, "I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth". Again, you find the emphasis. So I submit to you walking in truth will prosper your soul. He did not say knowing the truth. That's part of it, all right? Knowing the truth will set you free. But walking in the truth will prosper your soul. So what is this truth? John, the same John. In his Gospel account of Jesus's life, all right, in John 8, he says... John 8, all right? "Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, 'If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.'" There it is, Pastor Prince, "Abide in my word". Yeah, my word. His word is the word of grace. Always remember that. For that matter, when Jesus says things like, "He who has my commandments and keeps them, he it is that loves me". Another place: "If you love me, keep my commandments".
Someone go, "There, you see, Pastor Prince, the"... They interpret that as the Ten Commandments. No, "My commandments: believe on me and love one another. Those are my commandments," that Jesus said. Don't try to read something into it that Jesus never meant for it to be, amen? Just like the same John who said about, "If you love me, keep my commandments". He documented that. Of all the Gospels, John documented that. The same John in his Epistles says, "And we know that whatever we ask of God, we receive from him," all right, "because we keep his commandments". There you are, Pastor Prince. But the next verse says, "And this is his commandment: that we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another". There's no other commandment for the believer. Are you listening to what I'm saying, church, amen? And the way you love one another is even as I have loved you. You've got to know how much he has loved you, then you're able to fulfill this commandment, amen?
So someone will say, "Well, walking in truth is walking in love". You're not far from wrong. In fact, it's YES and NO. The answer is yes, it does involve walking in love but walking in love is the result of walking in truth. When you walk in truth, you find your heart becomes open. When you're not walking in the truth, your heart is closed. You're stingy. And in fact, we'll see that in 3 John of a guy called Diotrephes who didn't believe the truth. His heart was closed. He became proud. Then you look at Gaius. His heart was open. He welcomed the traveling evangelists and gave them out of his substance. The result tells you who believes and who walks in the truth. But Jesus said, "If you abide in My word," all right, "you are My disciples indeed. You shall know the truth".
Now, don't forget, for those who fight for, you know, the truth being the law and all that, believe me, church, there are people still preaching that today, all right? Don't forget, he was talking to Jews. Jews know the Ten Commandments. In fact, Jews know not only the 10, 613 commandments, all right? Jews know better than you. Jews know, all right, better than you and I the commandments. Do you understand? And what is required of even the feast days, the Jews know it. If Jesus is talking to the Jews and says, "You shall know," future tense. "You shall know the truth," if the law is the truth, it's redundant for Jesus to say that. He's talking to the Jews and telling them, "You shall know the truth. If you continue in my word, my teaching, you shall know the truth," and what's gonna happen? "The truth shall make you free".
Of course, a lot of people nowadays use this phrase, "The truth will set you free". That means what? Confess your sin, the truth will set you free. C'mon, tell the truth, the truth will set you free, all right? Or they try to expose this company or that company, The truth will set people free, you know? It's so abused, amen? The context is the truth that sets you free, all right, must be known, and it must be people who believe in Jesus. "To those Jews who believed him," all right? "Those who believe in my word," his teachings. How many want your souls to prosper? Don't forget when your souls prosper, your feelings are affected because your feelings is in your soul. You know, if you're always depressed, always sad, always fault-finding, always gossiping, always murmuring, I don't call that a prosperous soul. But if your feelings is joyful, your feelings is elation, you are feeling peaceful, tranquil, you know, you are loving in your emotions even, that's a sign that your soul is thriving and prospering.
And it is amazing how many people, all right, how many people start getting well when their souls prosper. Even their finances start getting well. I can't remember the time I prayed for money. I did pray before, but I can't remember now when was the last time I prayed for money, okay? I can't remember. I have taken major steps in my life, in my career, not because we are not successful. We are. And I made certain steps. But it's just that I'm not worried about it. But you tell me something, Pastor Prince, I'm too worried. My soul is full, all right? It doesn't come from the front, it'll come from the back. Doesn't come from below, it come from the top, all right? Every which way you turn, when your soul is full, you prosper in all things, amen. It's very hard. That's why it's important you have the soul prosperity. People who have soul prosperity, all right, you can't say much about them, because when you come against them, they own the favor that God has on them, and they will not lend you the favor. You've got to find your own.
By that I mean if you come and criticize them, they don't respond. You know why they don't respond? Because when they respond, they give you the favor. They just whatever. The favor is on me. You can say everything you wanna say until your face is blue, all right? I know that without God's favor on you, your words fall to the ground. But with God's favor on me, I've got to be careful what I say. If I get affected, or I respond to your slander, all right, I'm lending you my favor, because I'm making big what you said. Only I can make big, not the slanderer. So people forget who they are in Christ, and they start responding. So the thing is that we need soul prosperity, church.
I remember years ago when I was 18 years old, all right? Before that I was involved in the occult and all that, and I remember I pulled free and I thank God for Brother Hagin's teachings, Brother E.W. Kenyon, all these wonderful men of faith, and I began to read their books, listen to their cassettes back then, and I was really blessed. And my soul began to prosper, all right? But something happened. Something uncanny happened. Somewhere along the way, I got hold of a book that said that believers today can commit the unpardonable sin, all right, and lose their salvation. And the moment I believed that, something happened to my mind. My mind was all of a sudden became very vulnerable to blasphemous thoughts and imaginations about God. But I can still trace it back from the moment I believe I can lose my salvation, which now I know is an erroneous belief. It is not walking in the truth to believe that. The moment you believe something that's not true, you manifest the untruth or that lie in your life. And the more I don't believe that, the more I believe I can lose my salvation, and I read more materials that says I can lose my salvation, all of a sudden the assurance is no more there, my mind was unprotected. I ended up with more evil thoughts about God to the point that I really thought I had lost my salvation.
Oh, I thank God for that journey. That journey taught me, and my journey back to God was actually rediscovering that I cannot lose my salvation, blasphemy against the Holy Spirit as in one of my chapters in the book, "Destined to Reign", I explain in detail, it cannot be committed by a believer. Jesus wasn't talking to the believers. He wasn't even talking to sinners, man. He was talking to the Pharisees who say he has an unclean spirit. And he says this is the only sin that God cannot forgive, all right? He's not talking to believers. To believers, all right, after he died he rose again. There is no sin God cannot forgive, amen? In fact, all of you responded to the Holy Spirit. You didn't blaspheme the Holy Spirit. Continual rejection of Jesus is blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. But all of you believers, you accepted Jesus. You're on the other side where all your sins are forgiven according to the riches of his grace, amen.
But no one taught me this, you see? There was no "Destined to Reign". There was no New Creation Church. I was told I must renounce this, renounce that, renounce this, renounce that. The best thing, I even came to a point I think I better stay at home because demons are lurking all over the place, especially during, I mean, if you walk down the Orchard Road, what if they jump on me, you know? I was so fearful, and the kind of belief, that kind of Christianity, that I had back then caused me not to go out and even evangelize. I wasn't joyful. I was depressed. I was more out to make sure there's no sin in my life than I was out to find people to share the gospel with. And I know my journey back was finding out the truth of grace, the truth of the gospel. Now, I used the phrase "the truth of the gospel" already because of time, okay?
So let's go right into... you all remember the story of Jesus before Pontius Pilate? Pontius Pilate say, "Are you the King of the Jews"? Jesus says, "You say rightly that I am". I think we have that verse. "'You say rightly that I am a king. For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.' Pilate said to Him, 'What is truth?'" I'm gonna answer that question today. "What is truth"? Remember that scene in "Passion of the Christ"? They both spoken Latin to one another. That part, by the way, was Latin. Jesus spoke Latin to Pilate, Pilate spoke Latin to Jesus. And he says, "Veritas"? That is Latin for-, veritas is truth. Let me show you the word truth in the Greek, all right? This is the Greek word for truth: aletheia, all right? Aletheia. That's the Greek word for truth. Say truth, aletheia.
Now, in the Hebrew, in the Old Testament, truth is... I'm gonna show you this verse, all right? You know aleph tav? This aleph tav, right? I'm not gonna take time to teach on this because we have been teaching on this past few weeks. First letter of the Hebrew alphabet, the last letter of the Hebrew alphabet on your left. Aleph tav, Jesus's signature, right? Now, look at this letter: mem. This is mem, the letter mem. Mem, the picture for mem is water, which signifies either the Holy Spirit or the Word. All right, you take the mem, you put in the center of aleph tav, all right? And what do you have? You have emev. Emev means truth. So the first letter of the alphabet, the last letter of the alphabet, somewhere in the center is mem. You take them all together, first, center, last, you have emev, truth. So the Holy Spirit between aleph and tav brings the truth about Jesus from beginning to end. It's all about Jesus. The truth is not about the law, it's about Jesus.
Now, go back to... by the way, he never stopped for the answer, you know? Go back to Pilate. He says, "'What is truth?' And when he had said this, he went out again to the Jews, and said to them, 'I find no fault in Him at all.'" He never waited for the answer. So do not rush out before the answer is given, all right? Sometimes before the doctor can remove the tumor, he cuts you open first, all right, amen? But do not jump out of the operating table, hold your intestines and say, "Okay, thanks, I'll see you again," amen? Let him properly remove the whole thing, stitch it up, and then you're fine. So, sometimes one service alone is not enough, amen? You need to hear a series and your souls will start to prosper. I wanna teach things in context. So here we have a wonderful picture of truth. I mentioned just now truth of the Gospel. Truth of the Gospel. Where do you find that? We find that in Galatians.
In Galatians, what happened was that some people came. They are called false brethren, "And that because of false brethren unawares brought in, who came in privily to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage". Do you know, it's amazing? The same thing is happening. There are people going to churches and ministries, trying to write down what you say. They come in by stealth to write down things so that they can report back to the church in Jerusalem. The church in Jerusalem is known as a church that advocates the law, all right? It was a time of transition. It was a time of transition, and because of that, they didn't have a full revelation. Paul had a full revelation. So what happened is that there are people coming in, trying to find, you know, fault with our liberty. Do you know, church, the wonderful picture there is, in grace, we have liberty, freedom - not freedom to indulge our lust - freedom to serve and love, amen, but we are free. You're never free to succeed until you're free to fail, but you must be free in order to succeed, and Jesus came to set you free.
People say, "I'm a free thinker". You are in bondage. You can't stop thinking some things, man. I'm telling you. Only when you are alone, you and yourself, you know, okay? You're not free to think. You're not even free to think. Jesus came to make you a free thinker, set your mind free, and then, when you think on him it's because you love him. He wants that kind of love. Jesus came to truly set, we believers are the freest people, happiest people, most blessed, amen, because of the truth that sets us free. So, they came. The problem in Galatia is what? They're trying to bring the law into grace. They're saying, "Okay, grace is fine, Jesus is fine, but you need to keep the law. You need to be circumcised. You need to keep the law of Moses", all right? They tried to bring this into the church in Galatia, all right, to bring them into bondage. Notice, to bring them into bondage. And look at Paul's response: "To whom we gave place by subjection, no, not for one hour, not even for an hour. We didn't even submit to them".
So there' is something about the Gospel that we must come to a place of no compromise. When it comes to the gospel of grace, there's no compromise. I sat down with Marcel over coffee, and I said, "Marcel", he says, "Pastor Prince, I've been so blessed". You know, he was sort of complimenting me and all the changes he has seen in his life, his church, and all that. I said, "Marcel, I'm not there yet". He looked at me. I said, "I'm really not there because, to be like the apostle Paul, he believe in the Gospel so much, he pronounce a double curse on anyone who does not preach the gospel of grace". I said, "Until now, I have not done that. I don't know how to do that. I don't know how to pronounce a double curse on anyone who does not preach the gospel of grace," and I can understand why Paul does that because he loved the people of God so much, and he knows that these people are causing confusion.
In fact, in his earlier letter in 2 John, all right, he's writing to the elect lady. Okay, that's proof that ladies can be leaders as well. Before Gaius's letter in 3 John, there's a 2 John. There's another letter to elect lady. And to the lady, she was a wealthy lady, and she had a huge house where she welcomed believers like a care group, all right? She welcomed believers, and John wrote to her a letter, and John says, "If anyone comes to you, does not bring the doctrine of Christ, don't even welcome him into your house. Don't even bid him Godspeed". "Well, Pastor, we must love one another". Love when they need help during affliction, they're sick, they need our prayer, we'll help them. But if they want our help to propagate their heresy and their lie, no way, Jose. No way. You don't even welcome them into your fellowship. You don't even welcome them into your house. That's true love: love for the truth, amen.
What's gonna happen if there's no double curse on those who are preaching "you need the law". After those people have received grace, they try to bring in the law. Paul pronounced a double curse on these people. Why? So that their ministry don't become effective. It's like God's people can be blessed. You see, I'm not stupid, you know? When I look at that, I tell myself, even, whatever you say about me, you can never pronounce a double curse. There's no apostolic anointing in your mouth. So I'd rather preach the gospel of grace because, if that can happen negatively, positively, if I preach the gospel of grace, I'm under a double blessing. I'm not stupid, you know? A little bit here and there, but not very, okay? I can tell you that, all right?
So I know that, at the end of the day, it's not what people say about you. It's whether God is blessing their ministry. It really doesn't matter what people say. God keeps on blessing us. What to do? You know, you ostracize, you say things, you write e-mails, whatever. At the end of the day, is God blessing those e-mails? Is God blessing what people are saying? Is God blessing the opposers, that's the bottom line, or is God just blessing us? And just enjoy, amen, amen. So that's the reason why he pronounced a double curse because of his heart of love for the body of Christ, to protect the truth. Now, are you there? I'm not there. I have no heart still to pronounce a double curse on anybody, all right? But don't push me too far, amen? Because I love the body of Christ, amen. And here it says, "No, we refused to give into them. We refused even to give in one hour to go back to the law, so that the truth of the gospel might continue with you".
So what is walking in truth? The Gospel, walking in the Gospel. Are you believing every day your sins are forgiven? Amen. If you don't and somebody else come, and you pick up a book that says, "No, not all your sins are forgiven," you stop walking in the truth. You start to feel fear, worry, condemnation. That's how it all starts. Everything in your soul that's bad came about by believing wrong. Everything in your soul that you feel good about, and it's prospering, your soul is what you believe right. So, when you sit down with someone, or your life, you know, you find that there are problems in your life that you know the Gospel covers... now, the Gospel does not cover, Jesus did not say, "You'll be delivered from persecution". In fact, on the contrary, the Bible says, "All that live godly will suffer persecution," all right? When people persecute you because you belong to Jesus, all right, rejoice. You're about to have a house on the beach, okay, you know? Because he says, "Great is your reward in heaven," all right? "In heaven" doesn't mean, one day, you die, then you go... oh, your reward is there, all right? "Great is your reward in heaven," because in heaven is where everything comes.
Many a times, the reward happens down here 'cause all of us would have mansions, anyway, in heaven. Are you listening? Praise God. And people persecute you. You come to a place. Say, "Bring it on, man, bring it on," 'cause the Bible says, when you are reproach for the name of Christ, the Spirit of God in glory rests upon you, whoa. You know, people under persecution, their face shines. Now, don't be persecuted because you're stupid, all right, you do stupid stuff, all right, or you suffer as a busybody or you suffer because you didn't pay your tax, all right? Don't say, "I'm suffering for Jesus". No, no way, man, that is not suffering for Jesus, amen? But you're suffering for preaching the Gospel, for making a stand for Jesus, "Bring it on, man", because God says your reward will be great, amen?
Now, I don't care what is going on in your life. If the Gospel covers it, like I said, except for persecution, if the Gospel it... sickness, by the way, is covered in the Gospel. Poverty is covered in the Gospel, amen? Curse is covered in the Gospel. It's all covered, Jesus took them all away at the cross, all right? The only thing is persecution this side of heaven. We will suffer persecution, and it's a sign like a brand that says, "Proven and Tried". Persecution is God's heavenly endorsement that your ministry, people don't kick a dead horse 'cause when they kick the horse, the horse go... The guy will start running. How many understand that? All right, you kick a dead horse. You don't kick a horse that's alive. You can kick even a dead lion, amen? Church, the truth of the Gospel is everything that Jesus did at the cross and in his Resurrection. Your sins are forgiven. Are you believing that? Will you believe that? Will you run with that? Number two, there is no condemnation for you. Do you believe that?
And I have a chapter called "Condemnation Kills" in the book "Destined to Reign", amen. It's a serious business, man. We'll not give room to people who bring condemnation, not for one hour, amen. All right, praise God. Are you with me? All right, so it says we didn't give room to them. And then you drop down. There's something that happened. Very interesting. You know, if I'm Peter, I'll feel a bit embarrassed, but they're all in heaven rejoicing, loving one another. But this thing that Peter did, Peter did something wrong, and it was documented for 2,000 years for all of us to see. It's amazing that, when it comes to the sins of the flesh, or whatever sins, all right, it's all forgiven. All right, it's all gone. But when it comes to this sin of not believing the Gospel, I mean, you read, "But when Peter was come", now, who is writing? Paul is writing, the one that received the revelation, the gospel of grace.
"When Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed". Wow. Who walked with Jesus physically? Peter or Paul? Peter. Who got saved first? Peter. Who preached on the day of Pentecost, 3,000 got saved? Peter. Who did Jesus say, "Blessed are you, Simon bar-Jonah. Flesh and blood has not revealed", Peter. Who got saved later? Paul. Who was the persecutor of the church? Paul, right? But Paul was so assured who he was in Christ and his calling as an apostle of grace that he confronted Peter when he saw Peter compromising. You see, he said that "For before certain came from James", now, James was the pastor of a church in Jerusalem that is still into the law. They are saved, they are saved, but they are still, you know, under the law. So James, the pastor of the church of Jerusalem, sent some people to check these Christians in Galatia, and "Before these people came from James, Peter ate with the Gentiles".
Whoa, he ate shrimps, lobsters, bacon. He says, "Bring it on, man". What else do you do when you eat with Gentiles? Gentiles eat pork, amen? In Singapore, it's called "char siew". In America, in England, they call it bacon, right? So he was eating, the Gentiles, "but when they" the Judaizers, "when they came, when they were come, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing them which were of the circumcision," the Jews. So he said, "Oh, I better, you know, make an appearance that I'm keeping the law". Well, what's wrong with that? The poor guy, just goin' to make a bad impression, isn't it? Right? Right? Is it a big sin? I mean, you don't wanna eat, one time you eat, another time you don't eat. Say, "You know, try to be nice to everybody". Your Jewish brothers come. Don't put bacon there, all right? But the thing is that he withdrew from fellowshipping with the Gentiles, non-Jews, when these Jewish people came from James.
The next verse, "And the other Jews dissembled", by the way, the word "dissembled" is a seldom-used English word for "hypocrisy," all right? It's "hypocrisy". "And even the other Jews became hypocrites like him insomuch that Barnabas," the son of encouragement, the Bible calls him, "he was also carried away with their dissimulation," all right? So, again, "The other Jews dissembled likewise with him, insomuch that Barnabas also was carried away with their dissimulation". All these are all English words seldom used for "hypocrisy," separating yourself, out of hypocrisy, all right? "But when I saw", Paul says, "When I saw that they walked not uprightly according to the truth of the gospel", now we have the word "walking in the truth". "I saw they were not walking uprightly according to the truth of the gospel". What did Paul do to Peter? "I said to Peter before them all," before all his Jewish brothers that came from Jerusalem, "if you, being a Jew, you live after the manner of Gentiles, and you don't do as the Jews, why do you compel the Gentiles to live as the Jews"?
And, by the way, I'm trying to get his emotion here. Verse 15, "We who are Jews by nature", Paul is here talking, "and not sinners of the Gentiles, knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we believe have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law, for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified". That's how he corrected Peter. That's how Paul argued with Peter. He says, "You live like the Gentiles, all right, and you're trying to make the Gentiles now live like the Jew, just to impress your friends".
You see, when Paul talks about "If I should be a man pleaser, I should not be the servant of Christ," it was in the book of Galatians that he said that. Today we have reversed the thing. Actually, those who preach the law are man pleasers. That's what Paul is saying because that statement only appears in Galatians. "If I should be a man pleaser, I should not be the servant of Christ". Why? Because the cross is an offense to the flesh. The reason why some people don't want grace is because it makes nothing of them. And some people say, "Well, we don't want grace because some people go into extreme and all that". No, no, no, the real truth of the matter is that you don't wanna lose control to the control of the Holy Spirit. When I'm free, I want to be a slave to Jesus. Man, I'm telling you, I want I'll tell you right now, Joseph Prince wants to be a slave, bond slave to Jesus Christ. Because I have the freedom, I can say that, and then my slavery becomes a pleasure to the Lord because it is out of freedom. "When I don't have to but I want to," I tell you, you'll receive the gift, amen? So "walking uprightly according to the truth of the gospel" is nothing more than "believe the Gospel". Live like it, amen.
If someone comes to you and try to make you feel small or inferior because you believe in grace, stand tall and say, "Amen, I'm walking uprightly," and "No good thing will God withhold from those who walk uprightly". And how do you walk uprightly today? "According", back again, please, to that verse, "according to the truth of the gospel". And for a moment, Peter stopped walking uprightly according to the truth, right? And the rebuke came. So I would submit to you, since Paul represents God's mind in the New Testament, today there's no correction, but whenever you step out of grace, there is strong rebuke when you don't believe the truth. Are you listening, church, hmm? "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God". And in John 1, it says, "The Word became flesh and dwelt among us". Who is he? "The Word became flesh". Dwell, the word "dwell" there is "tabernacle" among us. "And we beheld his glory," beautiful, "the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth".
When Jesus appeared, grace and truth appeared, all right? Look at this. Drop down to verse 17, "For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ". Now, many of you may not realize, you can see grace and truth many, many, many times in Psalms, in Genesis, in Proverbs. You'll see the phrase, "mercy and truth," all right? Literally, it's "grace and truth," okay? So grace and truth was something that... David had a revelation. David says, "O Lord, you are full of compassion, plenteous in chesed and emet, grace and truth". Another place it says, "Let your grace and truth preserve me". Are you listening, church? And, finally, grace and truth came. Well, I have heard some Christians saying, "Amen", instead of dividing grace and truth, all right, with the law of Moses, instead of separating the two because the dichotomy is actually the law on one side, grace and truth on the other side.
Notice that truth is on the side of grace, not law and truth. "Oh, Pastor Prince, are you saying that the law is not truth"? You misunderstand the apostle's definition. Truth cannot be truth until it's full truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, amen? So the whole truth never came with the law. "The law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ," all right? And some people instead of dividing these two, they bring the division here. "Well, there those who are preaching grace, and that's wonderful, but we need to preach truth". So instead of dividing where the Bible divides, "What God has joined together, let no man put asunder," all right? Grace and truth, God joined together, they are putting asunder, duh. And then, even the exposition, all right, in the Greek, shows them to be wrong because "grace and truth," there are two things, right? In these people's minds, these are two things that must be separated, but in God's mind, they are one. Why? Because, in the Greek, the verb there is in the singular.
"Grace and truth comes," or "Grace and truth come". In English, "two things come," or "comes"? "Come". But in the Greek, the amazing thing is that "grace and truth comes," the singular verb. Yeah, yeah, but I did pass my English, "Grace and truth comes". I know it's very hard to believe sometimes, but, you know, long time ago, the Lord said to me, "Feed my sheep, not my giraffe". So if I speak, you know, powerful English, huh, you know, people's, you know, it just go over their heads, amen? So here the word "grace and truth," they are one because they exist in Jesus Christ. When you touch grace, you touch truth that sets you free, amen. I mean, touch the Gospel truth, you touch grace because the truth of the Gospel is grace. You cannot separate these two, amen? Are you with me?
Now watch this: Do you know when this phrase, "grace and truth," first appeared in the Bible, "grace and truth"? It's so beautiful. It speaks of the Messiah. It speaks of our Lord Jesus. When you come to him, he's full of unearned, unmerited, undeserved favor for you. He's full of grace so that, when you come and you don't deserve it, you get blessings because he's full of your unearned favor, your unmerited favor. The only problem he has is with people who try to marry to the law. When they come to him, they receive nothing. Are you with me? That's the truth. Somehow, we have this idea of truth like, you know, truth is "Well, you know, tell them off. Tell them the truth". You know, truth is always hard. It makes people think, you know, "Truth is hard". Like, even these people try to advocate "Grace is soft, but sometimes you need truth".
Nothing is more powerful than grace. And why is truth always given the appearance of hardness? Truth sets you free. You know, let me show you something, okay? This'll blow your mind. Are you ready to have your mind blown? All right. It can't do more damage than it already is, you know I'm saying? So let me just show you this in Matthew 12, verse 20. Watch this, okay? Watch this, eh? Matthew 12:20, talking about Jesus, "A bruised reed he will not break". "A bruised reed he will not break".
Now, those days, kids will pick a reed that grows in abundance by the River Jordan, and they will make pipes out of it. They'll play pipes, okay? Now, supposing the reed, like a straw, is bruised, damaged, all right? Do you still use it? No, you throw it away. Why? Because they're a dime a dozen. You can find other reeds. When one straw breaks, all right, today we'll say a bruised straw he will not cast away. He will not break it, right? I mean, why? Straws are, you know, even you don't buy straws from the coffee shop. You can ask for two and three and your children can start making a long train out of it. I mean, it's priceless, or is it no price? But yet, in the mind of Jesus, when you lose your tune, when you've lost your song, you're not able to worship God, your life is out of key with the key of heaven, you're bruised, he will not break you. He won't say, "You know what? There are many other preachers I have out there. Too bad. There you are on the heap".
And that's what some preachers will try to make you think, right? Too bad. You went through a divorce. There you are on the heap. Now, I've never gone through a divorce, okay? Just let you know that, all right? I'm just saying that a bruised reed he will not break. He won't say, "Too bad". No, he will take it and he will heal it. Oh, I love Jesus. "Smoking flax he will not quench". The flax is like a small cloth usually taken from a linen cloth, and you put it in a clay, you know, lamp. There's an olive oil inside, and you put the little cloth at the tip, where you put it in the tip of the spout, and it touches the oil. And then when you light it, that's how they lit it during the time of Jesus. And you know how many little pieces of cloth they have in 'em? The more one becomes, you know, shot, smoking, and it start smoking, instead of giving light, it starts smoking, you throw away, isn't it? Because you have many, many pieces of cloth. And yet when you start to smoke a lot, your life is full of smoke.
Sometime, when I talk to people, it's almost like, "Whoa. Whoa, man," you know? And they think that I can't tell that they're smoking. I'm not referring to this. I'm referring to smoking. Their eyes are smoky eyes as well. You know, you feel like, "Whoa, whoa, whoa, man. Come on, tell me the truth," amen? There's smoke. Their life give us smoke. They're not able to be a testimony anymore. They're charred. Somewhere along the way, they got burned. Circumstance burn them or someone burn them, cheated them. They're victims of abuse, rape, molest. They're burned, and the message they hear from the pulpit sometimes makes them feel like God doesn't need smoking, burned, chaff, all right? Or flax. But Jesus, he will not quench it. He will heal that little piece, and he'll never say dime a dozen. He will never say that, amen? That's why when you leave church, don't think that in a 20,000, you know, member church your presence won't be felt. Somewhere along the way, I miss you, all right? I've learned this from Jesus, amen? I'm not a pastor of a megachurch saying, "Well, you know, you go down there. On your way out, don't hit yourself on the door". You know, I won't say that because you are precious.
Now, if you leave because you're angry with me, all right? Right? Because if you're angry with the pastor, find a place where you are happy with the pastor, amen? I can tell you that, all right? You're only there for a while also, all right? Because there's no perfect pastor. You understand? All right. Another revelation: there's no perfect church. No perfect congregation, either. That's why we need Jesus, amen? Yeah. Can I help it if I look good? Amen. Forgive me for being good-looking. You don't look like you believe what I said, brother. Lawrence think he's the only one. Okay, never mind. All right. "Till he send". Okay, church, I got distracted with the beauty of our Lord Jesus in the bruised reed and smoking flax.
Actually, I wanna call your attention to the word "till he sends forth justice to victory". See the word "justice to victory"? Nikos, where you get the word "Nicholas," "Nikolai". "Niko" means victory. Now, watch this. This is a quotation about Jesus's messianic portion from the Old Testament, Isaiah. Isaiah says, 42, verse 3, the last line, "He will bring forth justice for truth," emev. My goodness. Where the New Testament says "victory," the Old Testament says "truth". What does that tell you? Jesus is full of grace and victory. Truth brings victory. Victory and truth are synonymous in the mind of God, amen? Praise God. Praise God. You see, it gives the whole idea. "Truth. Well, then, just tell them the gospel truth". They even put the word "gospel" there. "Tell them the gospel truth". And it's always hard. No, truth is victory. "Brother, I don't know how to tell you this, but I need to give you some victory". That's what it means when "I need to give you some truth," amen?
Yeah, sometimes telling the truth, yes, there are times, you know, it might hurt, but it's a victory that is given to you, amen? I'll close with this, okay? Praise God. I close with two verses real quick. Are you ready for two verses? Okay, praise God. Some of you still thinking about what I said just now. No, I'm just joking, okay? I'm just joking. Praise God. I don't think I'm good-looking, okay? Really, I don't think so, all right? Praise God, 'cause I'm praying that I'll be one day, amen? Okay, so I'm not like Lawrence. Lawrence really believe. He's walking in that truth, okay? He's walking in that truth. See his face? You know, he don't mind, it's okay.
All right, the first time "grace and truth" appears in the Old Testament is the story of Genesis 24, when Abraham sent his servant to get a bride for his son, Isaac. It's a picture of the heavenly Father sending the unnamed servant, the Holy Spirit, who does not bring glory to his name but the name of the Son, all right, Jesus. And the Holy Spirit has gone to prepare a bride for the Son, amen? It's a beautiful story. So, he sent the servant. The servant is at the well finally after many days of journeying to find this place, and he saw this beautiful girl come out. Her name was Rebekah. And when he asked, "Whose daughter are you"? he found out that God led his way, all right? All the way to the right place to get a bride for Isaac, and this is what he said. The servant said, "Blessed be the Lord God of my master Abraham, who has not forsaken his mercy and his truth towards my master. As for me, being on the way, the Lord led me to the house of my master's brethren".
Now, watch this. Why is this important? I was preparing this, and then the Lord brought me to this portion, and, lo and behold, when I studied it, I realized it's the first time the phrase "grace and truth" appears. Now, you say, "But it says mercy". Look at the word "forsaken his mercy". He has not forsaken his mercy. That is hesed. Hesed, which is grace. And his truth, which is emev. Do you see it? Now, why do I say mercy? Translated as grace, by the way. Hesed is always grace. Yesterday, I called my friend Shmulik in Israel, and I just wanna confirm that, because he reads his New Testament in Hebrew. And the Hebrew scholar that wrote it is a very highly esteemed man, all right? A Jewish man called Delitzsch. Very famous scholar. He wrote the New Testament in Hebrew, all right? And he tells me the law was given by Moses. What does your Bible say? He said to me, "Hesed ve emev".
Literally, grace and truth, which means here instead of mercy... mercy should be "racham" in Hebrew, but here it should be translated as "grace and truth". The servant says God has not forgotten his grace and truth towards Abraham. Isn't it interesting the first time in the Bible these two words mentioned together, all right, is in the story of Abraham, before the law? Because we are under Abraham's blessings, amen? We're under Abraham's blessings, okay? Another thing, he says that "the Lord led me to the house". The word "led," nachah, is the first time the word "led" appears in the entire Bible. Here. In other words, the leading of God is in the context of grace. You see, the difference between the Old Testament, you can say it like this, the difference between the Old Testament and New Testament, Old Testament are commandments to keep. New Testament is the Spirit to lead. One you keep, one you follow. You follow the Spirit. He will lead you into all truth. Isn't it beautiful? And it's tied with Abraham, the man who first received the gospel of grace. Hallelujah.
One more verse. I said the last verse, and then we'll close. Let's go back to Proverbs 3. "Let not mercy and truth forsake you". This man is the wealthiest man that ever lived. His name is Solomon, and to date he's still the wealthiest man. He built for God the most expensive building ever built. Praise God. And this is what he said by the Holy Spirit, "Let not hesed and emev," grace and truth, "forsake you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart, and so find favor and high esteem in the sight of God and man". Now, this is what we want, isn't it? Favor with God. Favor with man. Jesus increase in wisdom and stature, having favor with God and with man, amen? The Bible says David had favor with God, favor with man. Esther had favor with God, favor with man. Ruth had favor with God, favor with man.
Now he tells you the secret. The secret is never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never leave grace and truth, the gospel. Bind it. Remind yourself of it. Keep on hearing messages that proclaim it. Amen, praise God. "And so find favor and high esteem". Praise God. The word "esteem" there is sakal, which is very interesting. It's the same word used in Joshua 1:8 for meditation. So, "You make your way prosperous, and you shall have good success". "Good success" is one word, sakal. Same word here. High esteem. It's wisdom, prudence, that gives you success, that gives you esteem. If you stay in grace and truth, it will make you wise. Stay in grace and truth, it'll make you a success. Stay in grace and truth, your soul will prosper. When you deal with people, deal with them kindly, graciously, all right?
"Well, Pastor Prince, I don't wanna forgive him". "Why"? "He does not deserve it". Friend, grace is for people who don't deserve it. We all receive grace because grace is for the undeserving. That means guaranteed to receive. I said guaranteed to receive, amen? You don't forgive because they deserve it. Now, I said forgive. I did not say make them your best friend. I did not say marry them. I did not say go back to them. I did not say cut a business deal with them. Forgive is forgive, all right? So, cut a long story short, if you read the remaining verses, because I don't have time, you'll find that Gaius, all right, after walking the truth from verse 5 onwards, John commended Gaius for being charitable to the visiting speakers that came from John. He says that, you know, you gave them. You blessed them.
Notice, love is the result of walking in the truth, all right? You know what? Let's finish it, lah, okay, real fast. 3 John, all right? We'll start at verse 4, verse 5, all right? Let your eyes travel real fast, all right? Notice that, okay, "the church has borne witness of your love," verse 6. All right, "You bless the visiting itinerant speakers". They were strangers to Gaius, yet, then, Gaius took care of them. This Jewish speaker, so to speak, all right, they were sent by John. They went forth for Jesus name's sake, taking nothing from the Gentiles. Now verse 8. "We therefore ought to receive such, that we may become fellow workers for the truth," all right? So, the result of walking in the truth is amazing, all right? Verse 6 says what? That even the church testifies. Verse 6, please. All right, "The church testifies of your love".
Now, let's go on to verse 8 and 9 to close. Go back to verse 9. Now go to verse 9. "I wrote to the church, but Diotrephes," watch this guy, "who loves to have the preeminence among them, does not receive us". So, this guy, there's a guy down there who loves the preeminence, okay? He think he's handsome. "Therefore, if I come, I will call to mind his deeds which he does, prating against us with malicious words. And not content with that, he himself does not receive the brethren, and forbids those who wish to, putting them out of the church". So, there are two kinds of leaders now. There are leaders who are loving. They really are charitable. Notice that this is the result of walking in the truth. And those who don't walk in the truth, they're always glorifying their position. They're always wanting position, control, all right? They love to have the preeminence, and then they don't receive those who preach the gospel. It's all from the same Gospel of John, or the same book of John, I should say, so, church, look up here. How many want your souls to prosper?
All right, let me just tell you this, okay? Your souls, when your soul start prospering... John G. Lake also said this. Many a times, all right, there's something corrosive inside a man. If I can get that part healed, I'll get his body healed. He said many a times, he says that, you know, he would have a meeting, and Kenneth Hagin is the same. He will a meeting, a few days' meeting. He will just teach the Word. He says at the end of that meeting, the series of meeting, many people are not healed by laying on of hands. They are healed, the vast majority are healed by the teaching of the Word. Why? The soul start adjusting. The soul start prospering, so listen to the word of grace. Read the word of grace, amen?
Share the word of grace and, above all, walk in the truth of the gospel of grace and watch your souls prosper and watch your health prosper and watch your finances prosper, because it will manifest all the way out into your life. And it'll be evident for all to see, and Jesus will be glorified. Every head bowed, every eye closed all across this place. Thank you, Jesus, I preach myself happy. Praise the name of Jesus. Thank you, Lord Jesus. We have good news. I wanna talk to you real quick, believers. We have good news in our hands. What are we doing with it? What are we doing with it? Are we just enjoying it, eating it, basking in it when the world is lost, the world is dying? Even in Singapore, many people think of Christianity as a religion. They call us a religion. They do not know about relationship, of a God who loves them. They do not know about the truth that will set them free.
Free thinkers think that when come to church they come into bondage, when the opposite is true. They come to church, a church of grace, they come into freedom, freedom to love, freedom to reign over sin, freedom to live for God, freedom that comes with love, joy, and peace in your heart. Money cannot buy this. Believers, are you sharing the gospel? And, above all, are you walking in the truth yourself? If there's an area of sickness... this is not a formula. It's just a suggestion. Sit down before Jesus and say, "Lord, show me areas of my life where I'm not prospering," and he might show you an area where maybe you're very quick to find fault, very quick to find fault.
You're like the children of Israel in the wilderness, quick to find fault, and to that area your soul is not prospering. And he will show you the reason why you're finding fault. Maybe because subconsciously you still think God finds fault with you. I didn't say whether you know the gospel mentally. I said do you walk in it. And these are areas where you need time before the Lord and ask the Lord to show you areas where your soul is not prospering, and he'll be very gentle. Like when he was sitting at the well, he was gentle to probe, and yet set that woman free. He will do the same with you. Don't be afraid in the presence of one who loves you completely, who gave his life for you. He will do a thorough work and cause your soul to be set free, to prosper for his glory.
With every head bowed here, now I want to address those of you who are seekers and you've never made Jesus your Savior, your Lord. The Bible says Christ came to die for sinners. He didn't come to die for people who are well. He didn't come to die for people who have it all together. He came to die for people who have messed it up, and all of us have messed up. Christ died for the ungodly. Christ died for sinners. Jesus is not a Jesus for the saints. The church is not an army barrack like some preachers try to make it. It is a hospital. It's a place where wounded people come to be healed, to be made whole.
I want you to know something, church. Life is precious. One soul is precious to God. Every one of you, you are important to God, of full value. That God sent his Son just for you. So, if you're there, you say, "Pastor Prince, I want to receive Jesus Christ as my Savior and my Lord," if that is you, wherever you're watching me right now, be it in the gallery in Suntec, be it in the cinema, wherever you may be, be it here, you say, "Pastor, I want this wonderful Savior, Jesus, to be my Lord. I believe the gospel, the good news that Jesus died for my sins and there is therefore now no condemnation," if that is you, pray this prayer right now with me, all right? Say this:
Heavenly Father, I thank you for the gift of your Son, Jesus Christ, full of grace and truth, who left heaven's glory and died at Calvary for all my sins. His precious blood has cleansed me from every sin. You have raised him from the dead. Thank you, Father, Jesus Christ is my Lord and my Savior. And I thank you, Father, all my sins are forgiven. I'm greatly blessed. I am highly favored in Christ. Jesus is Lord. Amen. Praise God. Thank you, Jesus. Thank you, Jesus.