Joseph Prince - Forgiven Righteously Through Jesus Our Mercy Seat
Turn to your neighbor, smile, and say, "We are in for an exciting time". "How are you doing," ask them. Tell them, "Shalom". That means health, wholeness, peace, amen. So we saw last week that the ark of the covenant's a picture of the Lord Jesus Christ. The ark is in a rectangular-shaped box, okay? And it's made of very resilient solid wood that's found in the desert. It's called shittim in Hebrew or acacia wood. Acacia wood is strong, sturdy, and very hard. And therefore, the idea of incorruptibility, all right? Jesus's humanity is incorruptible, hallelujah. But when you look at the ark of the covenant, you don't see the wood, you see the gold.
Just like the wooden box that make up the rectangular walls of the furniture, of the ark, all right, the tabernacle, I should say, the wooden walls is overlaid with gold, even though the walls are rectangular, wooden walls. And those walls are you and I, that make up the church. We stand by each other, but we don't see the wood. "Why behold thou the wood in your brother's eye," the speck, amen? We are to look at each other overlaid with the righteousness of God in Christ, amen, amen? So we are to see each other in the righteousness of God, amen. So Jesus also overlaid with gold, deity, so he's 100% man, wood, 100% gold, God, amen? Whereas for us, we partake of the divine nature. Then the solid slab of gold that covered, the lid that covered the entire ark of the covenant, that's the main focus of God's Word.
In fact, everything about the tabernacle focused on the mercy seat. Say "mercy seat". And God says in Exodus 25 that "From there I will speak to you," right? Exodus 25: "You shall put the mercy seat on top of the ark". By the way, church, the mercy seat is one solid slab of gold, made of beaten work. It speaks of the beaten Lord Jesus Christ, his passion, his sufferings, he being crushed, all right, to form the mercy seat, amen. The mercy seat is not gold overlaying wood. It is pure gold, pure slab of gold, all right? That's the lid. And God says, "There," there at the mercy seat, "I'll meet with you," all right? "There I will speak with you from," where? "Above the mercy seat". It's a place of Communion, it's a place of hearing God's voice. It's a place of fellowship with God. So we establish that.
Now, today, I want to bring you into a micro-view of the mercy seat. We go deeper into the mercy seat, shall we? Are you all ready? Let's have a good "amen". So let's take a journey back in time to the time of Moses. That's when the ark of the covenant was first built into shape by the skillful hands of Bezaliel who was filled with God's Spirit to do this task, amen. And let's have a top view first, once again. You know, when they camp, three tribes on each side. Why is the bottom one longer? Because the bottom one is where Judah is, and Judah has the largest number of people in Israel, amen. C'mon, okay, and they're facing the tabernacle. So when you put equal side, three tribes in the north, south, west, and then east, Judah's in the east, this is east, all right? Judah is in the east. You find that it makes up the shape of the cross. Isn't it wonderful when God looks at the church, God sees you in the cross, amen? And we all look good in the cross. So let's go down and look at the tabernacle up close. Let's swoop.
All right, this is the entrance. Can you see it? Is the entrance, all right? This is the entrance and here is only where the priests and the common people can come, okay? But within the tabernacle, yonder, all right, you see the golden pillar? Only the high priest and the priests that are allotted their task can go in. Then, after that, right in the Holy of Holies, only the high priest can go in once a year, all right? All of us are so blessed because our Jesus, our high priest, has gone in. And now we can all go in boldly. What was a privilege only for one person in entire nation of Israel in the Old Testament is now the blessed privilege of every child of God, to go to God. Have you been there in the Holy of Holies this morning? Did you go there? Did you say something to God? Did you greet him? Did you worship him? You were in the Holy of Holies, amen, amen?
And what happened was that the veil that divided the Holy of Holies from the common people was torn when Jesus died at the cross. And it was torn, the Bible says, from top to bottom, which means God was the one that tore it. It's like God was waiting to tear the veil. God doesn't like division. "But Pastor Prince, then why did he divide men"? For your own good, all right? Why don't you put your face under the sun? Because you don't wanna get freckles. You don't want to get wrinkles. So for your own good, you put sunscreen, right? So God, for man's own good, God will fry sinful men. His holiness will fry you up, amen. Unless you are perfect, you cannot come. But when Jesus died, he shed his blood, so the same blood that removed our sins tore the veil for us to come in boldly. So that's the privilege of every believer, all right? Not just pastors and leaders. Every believer can do that. Can I have a good "amen"?
We're not talking about difference or disparity of anointings. There are different levels of anointings, different types of anointings, but we're talking about equal access through Jesus's blood, all right, for the Father's ear. Every prayer of a child of God goes right in the Holy of Holies, amen. So something happened during the time of David. You can't see the ark here. It's inside the Holy of Holies. But something happened. You see the divine procedure. There's a bronze altar and then the priest must wash their hands before they go in, all right? They must offer the sacrifices and then only they can go in. But something happened during the time of David. David brought back the ark, all right? Brought the ark all the way to Zion, and then in Zion, that's where we left him last week. He brought the ark to Zion and there was great rejoicing, all right, to bring Jesus in the place of grace.
That's where we are, prophetically speaking all over the world right now, we are in the place where Jesus Christ is being brought back to the center of the church, in the context of grace, Zion. Not Sinai, but grace, Zion. Mount Zion, not Mount Sinai. So you look at David's tabernacle. There was no such thing as a bronze altar. You don't have to go there, sacrifice, and all that. You just come straight. Look at this: tabernacle of David. The people came straight. There was only a tent, a makeshift tent, over the ark. And all they did was they came before the ark every day. That's King David kneeling down there, and the people just danced and they played loud instruments, and I mean loud. I said, "loud". The Bible says they played loud instruments.
So people ask the question, someone challenged me one time, many years ago, and asked me when I was in school, "Where do you find this charismatic worship in the Bible? Where do you find it in the New Testament"? they asked me, all right? And I was glad to tell him something that God taught me early back then, that God promised in the book of Acts, all right, James, the pastor of Jerusalem church, stood up and he quoted Amos, Prophet Amos, saying that in the last days, God will raise again the tabernacle of David. And the tabernacle of David are full of instruments; when there's not an instrument to describe something that David felt in his heart, the Bible tells us David created or invented an instrument. All string instruments have its beginning there, amen. And you know, they had cymbals, they had tambourines, and they had all kinds of levels of music, and there are times of quiet worship as well, not always loud, okay? By the way, David also says, "Play skillfully," he told his musicians. "Play skillfully upon the string instruments," and then there's times of worship, okay? But notice there's no screen. There's nothing, there's no procedures to go through. Everyone can go.
So this is a picture. God says, "I will raise again, not the tabernacle of Moses you saw just now where you have to go through different procedures," but God says, "I will raise the tabernacle of David". Did I tell you all about Solomon? Solomon went to the tabernacle of Moses that was at Gideon at that time, during time of Solomon, after Solomon's father, David, died, Solomon took over as king, all right? He went to find the tabernacle of Moses. Very strange. And the tabernacle of Moses at that time was over the place called Mount Gideon. So, what you saw just now, the burning bronze altar, the place of washing of the hands, it still stood down there, except one difference. The ark, the very presence of God, the symbol of God's presence, is no longer there. So at Mount Gideon, Solomon offered a thousand burnt offerings to God. That night, God asked him, "Ask what I shall give you," all right? God asked Solomon, he didn't ask for 4D. He asked God for wisdom, and God gave him wisdom like no other king before him and no other king after him.
Now, watch him. This young man, when he woke up, the first thing he did, he left the place of formality. I mean, the furnitures were there, but the presence of God wasn't there. There are people who go to church and they don't care even if God leaves, you know? If God leaves the church, let's say, everything will still go on. Nobody would know. I don't want to be in a place where, you know, the Shekinah glory of God has gone for a number of years and no one understand, no one misses him. So the tabernacle of Moses, the ark is no longer there. Solomon's father, David, brought it here in Zion. So the first sign of wisdom, the first sign that a man or woman has received wisdom, he begins to cherish the presence and not just rituals, not just procedures. He begins to cherish the presence. The presence is what makes me a success, the presence is what makes you a success. The presence is all you need. You don't have to be eloquent. You just need the presence, amen.
When you pray for people, stop for a while. Don't just rush in and just say, "By his stripes, you are healed". Just stand down there for a while and just worship the Lord or just say a few words and just know his presence. And when his presence is sensed even by the sick, faith is released. You don't even have to ask, all right? This is the way to have faith. "I have faith, I have faith," no, no, you don't even have to confess like that. Just sense his presence. He will never leave you nor forsake you, amen? Hallelujah, do you sense his presence? Do you sense his presence right where you are? Because there's no distance in the Spirit. Praise God. And the Bible tells us he got up, Solomon, first sign he received wisdom. Straightaway, read your Bible, straightaway he went to Mount Zion and he worshiped before the ark. Clear sign. The moment a young person receives wisdom, he stops sowing wild oats.
All of a sudden he says, "What am I doing? Will these things matter to me 20 years from now? Am I doing things that are really weighty, solid, something to command my own respect? Or am I doing things that cause me to despise myself? What am I doing"? One thing you can never take away, all right, is this: the fact that sin will cost you wasted time and wasted years. Remember this, all right? God can forgive and God does, and God has, amen. But sin can cost you wasted time, wasted years. Always remember that. Sin will cost you more than you want to pay. Always true, amen? Yes, God can bring back, God can do this, but the thing is that those years can never, never, never come back. It's gone. If you're gonna play around in your 20s, before you know it, you are 30s; then you say, "I still wanna play around," then you're in your 40s.
Some people, they wait too late to enjoy the abundant life, the life where you're doing things that not only, you know, invokes God's pleasure, but you can respect yourself, because at the end of the day, all right, you are with yourself all the time, not only God is with you. And the thing is that when your word is not your bond, all right, how can you speak to the mountain and not doubt what you say will come to pass when you yourself know that, many times you tell your kids, you know, "Let's go to the zoo this Saturday," and then you change your mind later on. You must be someone who will swear to your own hurt, in other words. When you say something, you are bound by it. You be that kind of man, and your word is titanium, amen? Your word is solid. Be the kind of person, if you say, "I'm gonna start exercising once a week," then carry it, even you bleed, you die, you carry it, amen? Be a man. Praise the Lord, all right?
I find that sometime I have to share these things with the people of God. I find that today's generation is a little bit too spoiled, all right? And I find that there is no more marcation of a man and women, you know? God made man and God made woman. When man saw woman, he said, "Whoa, man," became "woman," all right, that's how that came. And it's in the Bible. It says "woman". The thing is that, you know, I look at the men today, for example, and their word is not your bond. How can you respect yourself? You want others to respect you, but you don't respect yourself because many times, people respect you when they sense someone with self-respect. Instead of saying, "You better respect me, yeah? Show some respect, yeah"? All right, that's demanding respect. Why don't you just command respect without any words spoken? Why not be a man that commands respect from your family, all right?
And the first thing you must have respect from is yourself. Don't do things in private when no one sees that cause you to disrespect yourself. "Pastor Prince, it's only me who'll get hurt, what," but you wouldn't respect yourself. And when you don't respect yourself, what's gonna happen is that unconsciously, you send out a vibe, people know that you are not trustworthy, amen. At the end of the day, when you know you are clean, you know, who cares who says what? You can respect yourself. One thing they can't take is your self-respect, amen? I find today's guys, for example, all right... is it okay for me? I was sharing this with a few of the guys the other day, still my heart burning. Today's guys are so whiny. You're a man, or no? If you're a man, stop whining, whine about election, you know, so whine, whine, whine, whine, complain, whine, whine, whine. You are a man.
Where are the men whose word is their bond, amen, who love his wife, and there are some things you refuse to compromise. I'll be faithful to my wife, and that's something I refuse to compromise. Nonnegotiable, amen. Where are those men? Where are those men that command your respect? The thing is that I find, personally, we have lost a generation of men. Now, this is not my message today, tabernacle of David to men, but it's good, I wanna stay on this for a while, amen? They're whining, whining, whining. You know, one thing I tell my daughter, Jessica, all right, is this. When she was growing up, I tell her, "Jessica," all right, even simple things like drinks, you know? You have chrysanthemum, you have Coke, or whatever, and she's, "Ummm, ummm". You know that kids come to that stage of, "Mmm, mmm". I said, "Jessica". One day I brought her one side and I told her this: "I know you are fearful of making decision," because sometimes they get scolded in school when they make a wrong decision. So that tells them, "Best thing, let other people make decisions. We just follow".
Hence a generation of followers and no leaders. So I always tell them, "You know, Jess"... I always tell Jessica this: "Jessica, it doesn't matter. Daddy will never scold you for making a wrong decision. But Daddy is not happy when no decision". So even you make a wrong decision, all right? Later on it's wrong, never mind. You know what? You tried. You tried, Jessica. That's it, amen. That's how you build leaders. And she's a girl. This meant for boys, actually. Girls have the privilege of being led, amen? They have the privilege of speaking their mind, you know? They need a rock, but this speak up your mind and all, before it's over, you know, "You should speak up your mind".
And I also have my problems, you know, you know? There are times I will tell Wendy, like, if I'm talking to Jessica, all right, one thing that we both have is that she must never circumvent me. Even if she feel like the way I'm doing it is wrong, all right, she will have to tell me later, not in front of my child. She doesn't have the privilege of correcting me in front of my child. That's one thing we have an agreement. If she does that, all right, I will gently put her in her place, amen? We have this agreement. It's a healthy agreement and I love and respect my wife, okay? So decide. But girls are funny, right? I say, "Where do you wanna go"? She said, "I wanna go to the zoo". The zoo? For what you go to the zoo? But at least you decided, you know? And after that, they go, I said, "Yeah, but I decided, right? You ask me where I wanna go, I tell you where I wanna go". Then they start telling you, "Why you wanna go"? That's their privilege, you understand? But it's not your privilege to say, "You are very funny and all, you ask me", that is not your, you become whiny, "Wah, wah, wah, wah. Wah, wah, wah. You're so unfair".
Grow up! Okay, finished. Go back to the mercy seat, okay? We're talking about mercies. I just think that we gotta, you know, I see a whole generation of... I'm okay blogging. I mean, I see a lot of wonderful Twitters going on, you know? You can get on, I'm on Twitter, amen? And we send out words of encouragement, words in season that build people up, you know? But I don't want anyone send, "I'm now in a Pizza Hut, enjoying, I'm ordering the Hawaiian pizza. It's wonderful, no", who cares! Now, I'm not against the Twitter per se. You can use it for the glory of God. You can put a small statement and change people's lives. People are going through something and they're reading something. I have my day-to-day devotional and all that on Facebook, on Twitter. It's all over the place, but the thing is that don't get into this funny, funny thing that I need to express all the time. Learn to keep some things in. You are a man, amen? Praise God. Learn to decide, amen.
Sometimes it's okay to have a bit of disagreement with your wife, it's okay, all right? It's a decision you feel is important to take, you take it, but be nice to your wife. Even she go hysterical, never mind. It's her privilege, all right? But it's not your privilege. You just decide. And one day she will see that you, and she'll respect you also. Women are looking for men to make decisions. Even professional women, you know, they make so much decisions at work, when they come back, they want a man. They wanna be a little girl and lean on a hard rock. But come back and ask, "Where shall we go and eat? You decide, la, dear," you know? She have to decide again, like in the workplace. And that's my concern, Matthew. Oh, I'm just sharing this with my pastors. I'm saying we've got to raise a generation of, you know, men who are really men. Not afraid to, you know, speak up their mind, stand for their conviction.
"Oh, you still believe in being faithful to one girl? Oh, you're dating. You still believe in sex only after marriage, huh"? "Why you... explain". Don't have to explain. Why explain? Just say, "Yes, I do, 101%". And look at them in the eye and tell them so. "You mean, you don't"? "So what? Majority of us don't". "So what? Majority's wrong. I'm right". You see, another thing you need to learn with your kids, your teenage kids especially, if you need to punish them for something or whatever, is this, okay? When they say things, you ask them why they do it? And they say, "All our friends are doing it". Punish. But when they say, "I did it because I thought it was right, I made my own decision, no one influenced me," all right? Don't have to punish all the time.
In fact, say, "Good, you're making your own decision. But if I hear you are influenced by the rest," you see what I'm saying? You understand what I'm saying? All right, we gotta raise kids that are able to think for themself, even they make a mistake, at least they thought for themself. But the kids that says, "But everyone is doing it, Dad," you'll get punished. When I say "punished," I mean, you know, different, relative to the case, okay? I'm not saying whacking the child. The child's age must be brought in consideration in. I'm not into this whacking business either. I'm talking about discipline. I don't like to hear, "My friends are doing it, therefore I do it". That, you'll get it from me, okay?
But you tell me, "I thought through the whole thing and finally I weighed everything and I decided not because of my friend but I myself decided," good. Sometimes, I skip the discipline because of that. You are raising leaders, okay? Praise God. I hope all the women are okay? You're all right? You're cool, huh? All right, the mercy seat. How in the world did it get down here, okay, praise God. It was good. It's called rabbit trail, huh, Pastor Henry? Praise God, amen. So let's look at this right now and I was talking about tabernacle of David. It's an open concept. God says he will raise this tabernacle again. Not the other tabernacle of Moses, which is ritualistic, okay? Thank God for that, and all the people said, "amen".
Now, I wanna show you something about the mercy seat, all right? Look at the ark of the covenant, the picture of the ark of the covenant. Once again, there's the ark of the covenant. Let's have the video turn 60 degrees, look at the ark of the covenant. See the two cherubim. They are made of one solid slab with a lid. The lid is called mercy seat, okay? Now, what is inside? We covered last week the three items. What's inside? The three items. Okay, thank you. You see the cherubim looking at each other towards the mercy seat. Now, show them the three items. Let's open up... push aside the mercy seat and you have three items come out of it. What is it? The golden pot of manna, Aaron's rod that budded, and the two tablets. All indicate man's rejection, all right, of God's provisions.
Number one, the Ten Commandments, man's rejection of God's standard. Then we have the Aaron's rod that budded. You know how it happened, right? They murmured against God's appointed leader, Aaron, and because of that, God caused Aaron's rod to bud, whereas the rest did not bud. It bud, brought forth flowers and almonds. Then the golden pot of manna. The occasion for the manna was actually their murmuring. They were murmuring about God not providing for them and God gave them manna. So all these three reminds God of man's rejection of him, okay? And you know what God says? God says, "Put it all inside the ark". The word "ark" we saw last week was the word, the first time it was mentioned, it was a coffin to place Joseph in, all right? Coffin. So the three items went into the coffin, which means what? God says, "Put them out of sight, and put the lid of the mercy seat on it," okay? So he put the lid of the mercy seat on it.
Now, look at the ark again. The ark is covered, okay, with the cherubim and the mercy seat. Where are the three items? Put out of sight, okay? So what is on top? Mercy seat, grace. Now the word "mercy seat" is actually a Hebrew word, one word, called "kapporeth". Say "kapporeth". Kapporeth. Now, "kapporeth" means covering. "Kaphar" means cover, "kapporeth" is covering. It is made of these words. Look at these words, all right? Kaf, reading from right to left, okay? Don't forget, Hebrew reads from right to left. Kaf. Kaf in the beginning of a word in the Hebrew always means like something, according to something, as something, okay? Kaf. Peh, resh, tav. Now we have the two middle words. "Par," peh, resh, which means bullock, all right? This word, entire word, means what? Mercy seat. But if you break it down, it's like a bullock, a sacrificial bullock.
You ask any Jewish person today, "What is a par, an animal par"? They'll tell you, "Bullock or ox". And the last one, tav, is the cross. Aleph tav, remember? The cross. So, put them together, you have "like the bullock of sacrifice on the cross". That's the word "mercy seat". Mercy seat. And let's look at the blood on the mercy seat now. Once a year, the high priest goes into the ark... I'm sorry, goes into the holy place, I should say, Holy of Holies, where the ark is, and he will sprinkle blood. There, blood is sprinkled. Now, if you look carefully in Leviticus, Leviticus 14 or 16... 16, "He shall take some of the blood of the bull". See the bull? The word there is "par". Hebrew word for bullock is "par". "He will take the blood of the bull and sprinkle it," where? "With his finger on the mercy seat".
Now, don't forget, he represents God. This is the first time you see the word "finger". You do a study on the word "finger," you find the finger of God wrote the law, all right? And the finger of the priest sprinkled the mercy seat. So for every violation of the law, the blood covers it, all right? And it's the blood of the bull. The largest animal for sacrifice is not the lamb, it's the bullock. So the Holy Spirit uses the largest expression of Jesus's death on the cross. "Like the bull on the cross," kapporeth, okay? So here, notice, "the high priest sprinkles with his finger on the mercy seat," show them the picture of the blood on the mercy seat. There, on the mercy seat. But something else happens in front of the mercy seat. Look at this. Back to the verse. "And before the mercy seat".
Now, before, he sprinkles what? "With his finger seven times". On the mercy seat, once, but before the mercy seat, seven times. So, look at me, look up here. This is the mercy seat. Sorry, this is the ark of the covenant, the mercy seat, okay? In other words, the high priest will sprinkle one time on the mercy seat because once is all it takes for God. Jesus sacrificed once and for all. But why seven times in front of the mercy seat? Who's gonna stand before the throne of God? Who's gonna come down there that needs perfect standing? You and I. Seven is number of perfect. So the blood gives us perfect standing. Are you with me? So it is the word in Hebrew "kapporeth," all right? Kapporeth in Hebrew, mercy seat.
Now, your Old Testament is in Hebrew, your New Testament is in Greek, all right? I must say that because we have new people all the time. In the New Testament, look at this verse in Romans 3. Romans 3: "Being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus". Church, we are justified freely. This Greek word, "freely," "doréan," is actually a word that means gratuitously, praise God. Gratuity, you get the word "gratuity". Gratuitously, all right? That means freely, it means undeservedly. Freely means what? Undeservedly. If you say you are justified and then you must do this, must do that, it's no more freely. But we are justified freely. And the word "justified" in the Greek is actually the present passive participle, all right? Present passive participle, being justified, all right? That's what it means. That means what? Even right now, all of you, sitting down there, you believe on Christ, you're always justified, even present tense. You are justified freely, gratuitously.
I'm gonna try again. Gratuitously, all right? Praise God. You are justified freely, doréan, in Greek. "Whom God set forth," as in Christ Jesus, "whom God," referring to Christ, "set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness". What is this big word, "propitiation"? Propitiation, what is it? It's literally "mercy seat" in the Greek. The Greek is "hilasterion". Hilasterion. Hilasterion literally is mercy seat. "God set Jesus," let's read together, "through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God set forth as a mercy seat through His blood". Jesus is the mercy seat through his blood. And the Greek is hilasterion, all right? Hilasterion, mercy seat.
Now, Young's Bible, Young's Translation, directly puts it, "Whom God did set forth a mercy seat," okay? I think I prefer, you know, if people are just direct about it, because you know why? There is a Greek version of the Old Testament. Old Testament's in Hebrew, but there's a Greek version. It's called the Septuagint, and every time in the Septuagint version, the Greek version of the Old Testament, when it mentions mercy seat during the time of Moses, it's always hilasterion. It's always the Greek word "hilasterion". Are you with me? So Jesus is the mercy seat, all right, cool? He's the mercy seat. Now, go back to the picture of the mercy seat sprinkled with blood. Can you see the wings of the cherubim? The Bible says in Exodus 25, the cherubim must look at each other, all right? Towards the mercy seat.
Now, why must God have these two beings, the cherubim, there? Why? Why must they be the ones to look at the blood? Who do they represent? God, all right? Cherubim is plural in Hebrew for cherub. Cherub is not the one chubby little baby with wings and an arrow, a bow and arrow, helping people to fall in love, all right? It is not "Stupid Cupid," you know, Cupid, or whatever. It is a strong being who was first mentioned when Adam and Eve were driven out of the garden of Eden, all right? They were there. Look at Genesis: "So God drove out the man; and God placed cherubim". Now, I don't know why they didn't put "cherubs". Some translation put "cherubs" because "cherubim" is I-M, "bim," is actually plural, so most likely there were two holding a sword "at the east of the garden of Eden, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to guard the way to the tree of life". In other words, man sinned against God and there's now this flaming sword. Church, look up here.
If you think that sin is a small matter, look at the cross. Even God did not spare his Son, his own Son, all right? Sin is not a small matter. Sin is so horrible and so terrible, all right, when you look at the cross, only the cross can give you a true estimate of sin. There you see God's beloved Son, not spared. When he chose to become sin on our behalf, he who knew no sin, he did no sin, in him is no sin, he chose to become our substitute, and even then, God not spare him. He has to go through, literally, all the terrible sufferings and anguish as our sacrifice on that cross. Sin is terrible. It makes you stay longer than you wanna stay, go further than you want to go, and costs you more than you want to pay, all right?
Don't think for one moment, you know, grace makes sin light. It does not. That's why you must have the cross. So here, see how terrible sin is? Once sin is found out, God loves sinners, but God hates sin. You must understand this clearly, okay? Just like someone you love has cancer. You better hate the cancer if you love the person; even though the cancer is in the person, you've got to hate the cancer and try your best to kill it, amen? Something is wrong when you say, "If you love the person, you will love the cancer as well," all right? Thank God in some places stupidity, all right, is outlawed, and one place is New Creation Church, all right? The Bible will help you think straight. God hates sin. God loves sinners, all right?
To really appreciate grace, you must really understand the extremity of God's hatred for sin and the extravagant love of God for you and I. Until you understand these two sides, you can never understand grace. It's not, without the cross, like, this universal idea, you know, this sentimental unity beliefs that without the cross, I'm talking about Christ, even, you know? We all have the Christ within us, the Christ consciousness, you know? We only have to tap into the Christ consciousness. You read their New Age writings, they can talk about God, they can talk about Christ, yet there's no cross, no blood. Why? The devil cannot stand the blood of Jesus being mentioned. It's the mercy seat. It's not forgiveness without the cross. The sacrifice was on the cross, okay?
It's not like, "There is sin but God is love, so God forgives the entire world. His heart is so big. God's heart is so big". Yeah, his heart is very big, but he's God of justice. And because he's God of justice, there must be the cross. God cannot just forgive presumptuously, all right, without justice. do you understand? There must be a righteous foundation, all right? For the righteous foundation, God looks at all of us and we have sinned, so God drove Adam and Eve out and God placed cherubim to make sure they don't come back to the tree of life. That's how terrible sin is. It cost Adam paradise. Every time you cough, every time you see a child cry in pain, every time you see someone die, just know this: they were never part of God's plan. You're gonna hate someone, hate sin.
"But, Pastor Prince, God can stop Adam and Eve from sinning or what"? But God gave them free choice. If God used even the slightest bit of his power to influence their free choice, their free choice is not free choice. For free choice to be free choice, it must be free choice. I know that's very deep, but brings home the point, okay? But when you choose something, remember, you choose it, you must live with it, all right? You choose God, you live in paradise. You choose the devil, to obey him, because when you disobey God, all right, you're obeying the devil. When you disobey the devil because you're obeying God, amen, that's the way God wants it, all right? Who is your God? So you follow the devil, he's outside the paradise. He's outside where there's a sickness, disease, and curse and poverty. So Adam and Eve had to follow the devil out. That's how terrible sin is. And what did God put down there? Cherubim.
So the first time cherubim is mentioned, they are guardians of God's holiness and righteousness. Are you with me? Guardians of God's righteousness and holiness, the law first mentioned. Cherubim is first mentioned here. They guard God's holiness and righteousness, so no one can go to the tree of life. The tree of life will cause you to live forever. How man is desiring that. Man is doing their best. Every time I open the papers, you know, there on Saturday, I find man crying out all the time for the tree of life. They do not know, but they're crying out for tree of life. They wanna live as long as possible and live as young as possible. They wanna live forever if possible. They are looking for the magic bullet, the magic capsule, the magic medicine that can cause them to live forever and... no, no, no, no, my friend. The promise that God wants you to live forever, God is for that, but sin is not for that.
When you touch sin, you cannot say, "I can touch fire, what. Don't have to burn, what". No; fire, burn, together. Water, wet, together. Sin, death, together. Just think of that. You cannot separate the two. You cannot say, "I believe, I believe when I touch, there'll be no pain. I believe, I believe my hand go into water, there's no wet". You can't do that, okay? Now, this the good news. There's a flaming sword to guard the way to the tree of life. First mention of sword is flaming. Flaming means a sword of judgment, all right? No one can come close to God because there's a sword down there. God is holy. Now, it's the mercy of God that God keeps men out. And God say, "Don't come near, except with your sacrifice". So, Cain and Abel, the sons of Adam and Eve, would bring sacrifice to the entrance where the sword is... in all direction. A flaming sword that cuts in all direction. It's the first mention of sword.
Sword speaks of judgment, flaming sword especially, okay? That's the first mention. The last mention of sword in the Old Testament is very interesting. It's from Zechariah. Zechariah says, God is talking now, God says, "Awake, O sword, against," who? My Shepherd, "Against My Shepherd". Who do you think that is? Who do you think God the Father is talking about? "Awake, O sword," the same sword that God talk about in Genesis. Now God says, towards the end of the Old Testament, God says, "'Awake, O sword, against My Shepherd, Against the Man who is My Companion,' says the Lord of hosts. 'Strike the Shepherd, And the sheep will be scattered; Then I'll turn My hand against the little ones.'"
Now this was fulfilled when Jesus was arrested. This verse was quoted. Now, in other words, one who is sinless, all right, is the only one who can walk. By the way, he is the tree of life inside. You understand? But no one can come because of the cherubim left and right and the sword that turns every way. So you know what happened? Watch this. This is so cool. The tree of life, Jesus Christ, all right, walked out and the sword did not penetrate him. But because he came into our world, he can actually anytime say "Hasta la vista," "Vaya con dios," "God bless you," "Sayonara," or "sayo and vegetables," or whatever, all right? Then he says, "Goodbye". By himself, he goes back into God's presence and enjoy forever all the worship of the angels and leave us to rot. And you can blog all you want, you will still rot, amen? You can have all your creation that you want, invention; you will still rot. You will still die one day. He can leave us to die forever.
But you know what? He didn't go back without us. He came through the sword, but the sword did not penetrate. Why? He was sinless. But for him to go back, he didn't want to go back without us. Now there's a price. He says, "God, let me become their substitute". God says, "You are my Shepherd". "Let a Shepherd die for the sheep". Then God says, "You are my Companion". "I'll bring back more companions". So the price is that he must carry our sins. Now, watch this. Because he is carrying our sins now, can he go through the flaming sword? Yes, he can, but he'll die. So the cross is literally that. He went through the flaming sword, and God says, "Awake, sword". Shoom, and the sword was sheathed in the heart of our Savior. And boom, all of a sudden, the way is clear. C'mon, guys, you watch all these science fiction movies, and all the laser and all that. All of a sudden, somebody press the thing and laser stop, all right?
The whole thing was the sword of judgment found its rest in the heart, in the bosom, of our Savior. And now all of us come, we can come in to paradise again and eat of the tree of life. C'mon, c'mon, Jessica, come. Hallelujah, abundant life. Let the world say what they want, say what they want, say what they want. We're enjoying abundant life, hallelujah. How to tell them what we are seeing? How to tell them what we're experiencing? How to tell them the paradise, the pleasures of God, the abundant life? And once in a while we go out there, we tell them a little bit, they don't understand. Say, "Never mind. Let's eat some more down here. Praise God, praise God, hallelujah".
See, whether you believe, you don't believe, we are still eating, you know? You're not believing for our sake. I mean, you can feel like telling sinners, you know? It's almost like sometime Christians give them the impression you are believing for our sake. Who says? You are saved right now. You are preaching for their sake. You don't believe? I'm still saved, amen. So we are preaching for their sake. So have a dignity about it. You're ambassador of Christ, all right? If someone doesn't accept it, don't get all riled up and worked out about it. Just turn your, spiritually speaking, dust the feet off, and find somebody who will. It's like finding friends, you know? There are a lot of friends if you have eyes to see. Just because someone is nasty to you and betray you doesn't mean he must forever be your friend. There are a lot of friends. Look around you, amen? Amen.
So have this attitude, praise God: someone rejects you, they didn't reject you, they reject their own salvation, 'cause you're not rejected. You are always going to paradise, enjoying God's presence, accepted, loved, amen. And after, you come out with wisdom from God. You're able to handle your affairs and then go in again, all right, whatever you lack. "Oh, I've been having some pain here". God says, "Yeah, more than enough grace". Whoosh, hallelujah. Go out there, all right? Someone says, "Hey, I have pain. I usually have pain in that area". Come, lay hands on you. I've got some things from paradise, praise God. Here, receive in Jesus's name, hallelujah. That's why we raise our hands like that. We take from heaven, shoom, put inside in Jesus's, amen. God gave him a new pancreas in Jesus's name, amen. Go inside some more. You feel tired, go inside, praise God. There's always strength down there. No one gets tired in the presence of God. They come out like this... Amen? Ha, ha, I know some of you can't stand me, I know, praise God.
So, "Awake, O sword, against My Shepherd, Against My Companion". So God is talking. Isn't it beautiful? Do you see all that? Let me close, let me close, by bringing this to a close. You know, the new covenant is something that people don't understand. They are saying, "Well, God", you know, people talk about forgiveness all the time. What will motivate them for good living? I must tell you this first, all right? Let me finish off the Romans 3 again. Show them the other one, there, all three, all right. Look at the last line there, verse 26. Okay, God set Jesus as a mercy seat in verse 25. Verse 26: "To demonstrate at the present time His righteousness".
In other words, Jesus's death on the cross is to demonstrate God's righteousness. Think of a court. This whole verse is about a courtroom. It's to demonstrate that the Judge is righteous judge. Not like a referee that gives a penalty, all right, because he's got eyesight problem or whatever, okay? That's not a righteous referee. But a referee who is just. It's almost like he's got this little computer thing over his eye and he can see in a instant. That's a good idea, you know, by the way, all right, all right? In an instant he can see whether it's on line or what is a real foul or whatever. So, God is a righteous judge. He sees precisely, laser-sharp. So Jesus's death on the cross is to demonstrate not his mercy, his mercy sent Jesus, but it's to demonstrate his judicial rightness, okay? "That He might be just".
Now, I don't know why they changed the word to "just" and "justifier". Actually, the word "righteous," "that He might be righteous and the righteousness of the one who has faith in Jesus". But let's stick to this. "That He might be just," that's a courtroom word, a legal word. "That God might be just and the justifier of the one," justifier of Matthew Kong, justifier of Benjamin, justifier of Tanny, even justifier of Carolyn, justifier of whoever you are. If you have faith in Jesus, God is just and the justifier of you. Now, how did that happen? How in the world can God be just in making us sinners just? How can God be righteous in making us sinners righteous? How? The cross.
That's why this is not a new age kind of grace. "You know, universal grace, God's love for everybody for a stone and for a cockroach and for everything. You know God loves everything. God loves everyone. God loves the stars, the sun, the moon". No, no, this is not a sick sentimental love. This is a real love that sees you with a problem and still loves you, but handles your problem, remove the cancer, destroys it, so you can live the abundant life. That's real love. That's tough love. That's responsible love. So, God knew sin must be punished. That's how severe sin is. It's not a matter of like God gives grace and doesn't matter, you know, sin doesn't really matter. You know, sin doesn't come into the equation. No, it does not. It comes in. Every sin must be punished. So, at the cross, God took your sins and mine, and God put it on Jesus.
Okay, now watch this. In the courtroom, that happened once and for all. Jesus said, "It is finished," because every judgment of God fell on Jesus, one stroke after another. Every judgment the curse, the condemnation, the disease, the poverty, the separation from God the Father. All the darkness fell upon Jesus stroke after stroke for all our sins, not for him, all right, not for his own sake, but for us because he was carrying our sins. And he was punished until finally he cried, "It is," the last stroke, "finished". And who was he representing? You and I. So now, let me ask you a question. We are forgiven, but are our sins punished? Think carefully. Okay, how you talk to your friends about grace is very important. All right, some of you present grace like the universal people. "Grace," you know? It's not that kind of grace, all right? I'm gonna ask you a question again. God forgives us, but did our sins go unpunished? Ah, our sins did not go unpunished. God cannot let sins... if God is a righteous judge, he cannot let sins go unpunished. Was it paid for? Yes.
So God, to demonstrate his righteousness, God sent Jesus. Jesus died on the cross. Now, God is righteous and the righteousness of the one who has faith in Jesus. It's a legal word. Okay, are you with me? Are you with me? Do you understand that so far? And by the way, justifier is present active participle because God is the one justifier. God is the one who is justifying you, therefore it's active. Present active participle. Even right now, hey, God is your justifier. If God is your justifier, who can condemn you? Who? You tell me who can condemn you when God is your justifier? Amen? Praise God. Are you with me? Now, the New Covenant, look at this picture of the New Covenant, all right? "Behold the days are coming", can you read up there? Can read y'all go to heaven. Can you read or not? The first line. "Behold the days are coming, says the Lord, where I'll make a new covenant". Say, "New covenant". "With the house of Israel and the house of Judah, not according to the covenant of law that I meet with them and I brought them out of the land of Egypt because they did not continue my covenant".
Now, disregarded them. "This is the New Covenant that I'll make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord, I'll put my laws in their mind, write them on their hearts". How many want God to give you an internal guidance system? Like you're about to sign, God says, "Don't sign". All right, you're about to invest. God says, "Don't invest. Invest in this instead". How many like that kind of internal guidance system? God says, "I'll put my laws in your hearts and in your mind," okay? Now, then God says, "I will be their God and they shall be my people". Wonderful. "If God is our God, you need not worry during these turbulent times because you are his people, he is your God". All right, then he says this, "And no one will teach each other. Know the Lord, know the Lord because all shall know me from the least to the greatest". And all this happens because, for means because. In Greek it hoti. The word means because. "Because I will be merciful through their unrighteousness and their sins and their lawless deeds".
Three things together, unrighteousness, sins, and lawless deeds. Unrighteousness, sins, and lawless deeds. Put them all together sins that's inside you. Sins that are in your head. Sins of commission. Sins of omission, not doing it. All those sins God says, "I'll be merciful and their sins and lawless deeds, I will remember no more". Why is this not being preached? This is new covenant? It's found in Hebrews 8 quoting Jeremiah 31. Why it's not being preached? You say, "Pastor Prince, if you preach that God is merciful to our sins and God is propitious to our sins and our sins and God remembers no more, people will go out and sin". But here it says God says, "I'll put my laws in your heart because, I'll be propitious". The word "merciful" is propitious to your sins. Same word from the mercy seat. "I'll be propitious to your sins. Because I'll be propitious because your sins I remember no more". The word "remember" means mindful.
Now, when you all come to God, are y'all conscious that God is mindful of your sins? Do y'all see a God who is mindful of your sins? Well, God says in the New Covenant, "I will remember your sin, be mindful of your sins no more," okay? Now, because of that, because God does not consider sins in your life anymore, because of that, God can put internal guidance. You see, how strong that final clause is is how strong your guidance is. No wonder Christians are saying things like, "You know, I find that was God talking to me? But then I was confused and all that. Maybe it's not God". You know why? Because they don't understand how forgiven they are. If they know how forgiven they are, okay, they rest in that, the guidance becomes supernaturally natural. Not only that, "I'll be there God". Because why? "I'll be propitious to their sins. I'll be propitious," okay? "All will know me," why? "Because their sins I remember no more".
Can you get it? In other words, there's a safety valve. You don't have to worry. Teaching grace, teaching forgiveness, teaching that God remembers our sins no more is not gonna produce license. In fact, because of this, God put his laws in our heart, therefore you're following the way of true holiness. God becomes your God. You have a relationship and you know him intimately. Do you see that? The devil wants to attack this clause. You know why? Because this produces all the rest. So, let me show you, in closing, these two divisions. The Old Testament says this, Exodus, all right, "Keeping mercy". Because of time, I'm gonna show you this. This is Exodus 34 giving of the Ten Commandments. All right, Hebrews 8 is the new covenant. Now, watch this. Under law, God says, "Keeping mercy or thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, by no means clearing the guilty".
So, the law has a mixture of grace, as well as law and judgment. Do you understand? All right, the Ten Commandments. But watch this, "By no means clearing the guilty". Very clear. "By no means clearing the guilty visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children and the children's children to the third and the fourth generation," okay? How many want to live under that law? That's the agreement you abide by. God will visit your sins, not only your sins, visit means he will punish your sins, all right, in your body, but he'll also punish in your children's bodies in their lives. That was what the law was all about. But look on the right side, the New Covenant, because of Jesus and the cross. God says, "I will be merciful". The word there is "hileos" from where you get hilasterion, propitious. It's not that God forgives our sins because he's merciful. You understand or not? It's because he's just.
So, I don't like the word "merciful" because the word "mercy" is a different Greek word altogether. The word here should be propitious. God says, "I'll be propitious to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more". No more. No more. Why? Because Old Covenant says, "By no means clearing the guilty, I'll visit it". But God says, "I won't visit it. I won't remember no more". No more means what? "I used to, no more. I used to be mindful of your sins, no more. I used to punish the sinner's children, no more. I used to punish them for their sins, no more". You understand? "When a sinner comes to me in the Old Testament all right, I used to be mindful, no more! Their sins I remember no more". It's a double negative, ou me. No more is a double negative. Oh, hallelujah. Ou is no. Me is never. Put them together, never ever.
Thayer, a Greek scholar, says it like this Thayer's Lexicon. It says, "The particles ou and me in combination when they combine they augment the force of the negation". In other words, becomes what? Not in all, in no wise, by no means. You understand? Go back again to the division. All right, God says, "Your sins I remember no more". So, either you can preach from the left side or you can preach from the right side. All depends on what kind of ministry you want to have, all right? But just because we preach on the right side, remember this, our sins did not go unpunished. They were all punished, and therefore God has a righteous foundation to declare us righteous when we believe in Jesus because it was Jesus who was punished for our sins.
So, everything is done in such a way that the law is magnified. God's justice is glorified. You understand? We are forgiven judicially. We're not forgiven mercifully. You don't want that kind of forgiveness. Mercifully means, "I don't have a righteous foundation, but I'll show you mercy". No, the mercy of God sent his Son, but we are all forgiven judicially, righteously. Hallelujah. And how is God now when you come to him? How is God now when you come to him? He's no more mindful of your sins. Don't see a God mindful of your sins. He almost like swear, you know, with a double negative, "Your sins I remember or I'm mindful of no more".
One last verse, Mary went to the tomb when Jesus rose from the dead, all right, with Peter and John. Peter and John ran first. John outran Peter. John looked in. John saw where Jesus laid, but he was no more there. He rose from the dead. And the Bible says something about John. John believed, very beautiful. John don't have to see, all right, Jesus. He just saw empty tomb, he believed. Then Peter and John left. Mary was there, Mary Magdalene. She looked in and she cried. This is what she saw. "Mary stood outside by the tomb", and we'll close with this verse. Weeping, she was weeping. "And as she wept, she stooped down and looked into the tomb. And she saw two angels in white sitting, one at the head and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain".
Wow, two angels in white, sitting where Jesus's head was and his feet was. Y'all have been to the Garden, right? Like picture of the Garden, the tomb, right? That's the tomb on the left. In fact, they cut because Jesus was tall, so they had to break in for the legs, all right? That was a last minute kind of thing. That tells us Jesus was tall. Most tomb will not have this etched on the side, all right? It's cut perfectly for the owner. Okay, but the fact is that this was cut in tells us for the legs, that the owner was not the original owner. And we know that he laid in a borrowed tomb, okay? From the borrowed womb to the borrowed tomb, the Son of God came, all right? And it was Joseph of Arimathea, his tomb. And they cut a place for Jesus's legs.
So, the angels sat on the side and on this side. What do you see? The mercy seat. What do you see? Mary was the first one to see the real mercy seat, the two angels looking down. And you know what they looked down? When they looked down, they were laughing, they were rejoicing. Because you know why? When the cherubim, they are no more holding the sword. When the cherubim over the mercy seat see the blood, their eyes represent God's eyes. You know what they see when they see the blood? They no longer see the broken law underneath. They no longer see the pot of manna being rejected. No more see Aaron, the high priest being rejected. They see the blood. And forevermore, the blood of Jesus will never lose its power. It is there. So, when you come to God, come boldly. When you pray, pray boldly, all right? When you see God, see a God who is no longer mindful of your sins. He cannot be anymore. If he's righteous, all right, he must be righteous to what Jesus did and he did it, he designed this whole thing so that he can show forth his righteousness and be your righteousness. And all the people said? Praise the Lord.
Every head bowed, every eye closed all across this place and also in the overflow room. Thank you, Jesus. Hallelujah. Blessed are your eyes, for they see. Blessed are your eyes, for they see. Blessed are your eyes, for they see. Blessed are your eyes, for they see. I'm telling you, you are richer than the richest millionaire or billionaire in Asia. For blessed are your eyes, for they see. Many of them, they're struggling with the market today. They are troubled inside. They have no assurance. They are so fearful. Many of them, their marriage is crumbling. There's no intimacy. They are lonely in the midst of so many people around them, lonely in company, crying out. But blessed are your eyes, for you see. You are truly, truly rich. You are truly wealthy. You're not numbered among people who try to push God into a place where he become like a fairytale granddaddy, universal love. No, you see God accurately. You see God in his righteousness but blessed be God, you see God sending his Son to become your righteousness.
My friend, if you are here today, you have never received this wonderful Jesus Christ, you've never placed your faith in him as your mercy seat, will you do that right now? All heaven is ready for your new birth. It's as if all the angels are running all over the place right now, preparing you to come in, to come into this kingdom of God, kingdom of light, out of the your darkness. Are you ready to say yes? But God will never force you to be saved. God will never force you to be blessed. God will never force you to receive what he wants you to have. You must personally say yes. If that is you, wherever you are, you say yes to God's forgiveness, you say yes to Jesus Christ as your Savior. Wherever you are watching this right now, pray this prayer from you heart. Say this after me:
Heavenly Father, Father God, what a good God you are. You are righteous and yet so loving. You sent your Son Jesus Christ to die on the cross for my sins. His precious blood washes me clean, whiter than snow. You raised him from the dead. I thank you, Father, Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior now and forever. All my sins are forgiven because they're all punished, not a single one escaped, punished, but in the body of another. Oh, Jesus, how you love me. Oh, Father, how you love me. Let me live always conscious of your love for me. To enjoy your love is truly the abundant life, a life of meaning and purpose, a life of love, joy, and peace. Jesus Christ is my Lord. In Jesus's name, amen.