These are notes on the sermon, Faith To Possess The Land, preached by Pastor Joseph Prince on Sunday, 28 November 2021, at The Star Performing Arts Centre, Singapore. We hope these sermon notes will be an encouragement to you!
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What is the one thing that will cause God to zero in on you and give you favor? It is faith. The Bible says that “without faith it is impossible to please God” (Heb. 11:6).
Faith is believing what God has said in His Word, being fully persuaded by His mercies and grace.
Faith is only mentioned a few times in the Old Testament, often in a negative way describing how God’s people did not have faith. However, there is a positive way faith is talked about in Habakkuk 2:4, and the apostle Paul quoted it when preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ, saying “the righteous shall live by faith” (Rom. 1:17).
Faith always gets God’s attention because faith justifies God and makes the devil a liar. Conversely, when we harbor unbelief, in our hearts we are justifying the devil and making God a liar instead. The book of Revelation prophesies that the first people to go into the lake of fire are the “fearful and unbelieving,” for God counts those as the worst sins (Rev. 21:8).
Fear is a lack of trust in God’s goodness. The more we discover how good God is, the more we have faith and we can rest in His goodness. Faith is a rest.
We can be busy outside and at rest on the inside. This is portrayed in the tabernacle of Moses, where priests worked in the outer court sacrificing animals everyday, but in the Holy of Holies (found inside the temple), there was perfect rest and quietness. Today, this represents how our spirit man is at rest and at peace even in the midst of a busy life.
Right now, because of Jesus’ finished work, we are seated at the Father’s right hand (Heb. 4:11), enjoying our position by faith and not by our five senses or experience.
As we approach 2022, know that God is preparing us for the coming year and that what He has in store for us will be something personal and unique to each of us. Let us continue praying Ephesians 1:17 (that we may have the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him) and asking the Lord to show us the areas to flow in for the coming year. When you flow with Him, you will see blessings come upon you and your family!
“The house of Jacob shall possess their possessions.”
— Obadiah 1:17 NKJV
“possess their possessions” — God wants us to possess our possessions, not just want them.
“Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases.”
— Psalm 103:2–3 KJV
“forget not all his benefits . . . forgiveth all thine iniquities . . . healeth all thy diseases” — The first benefit we are to possess is the forgiveness of sins that Jesus paid for at the cross. After that, this verse shows us that God’s benefits also include healing!
When God told Joshua to bring the children of Israel into the promised land (and possess their possessions), He said:
“Moses My servant is dead. Now therefore, arise, go over this Jordan, you and all this people, to the land which I am giving to them—the children of Israel. Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given you, as I said to Moses.”
— Joshua 1:2–3 NKJV
“to the land which I am giving to them” — In this verse, God was giving the land to the Israelites at that very moment, not in the future.
“Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given you” — Once God said the phrase “I have given you,” the land already belonged to the Israelites. But while the land was already their promised inheritance from God, they needed to step on it in order to start possessing the land.
Back to Obadiah 1:17:
“The house of Jacob shall possess their possessions.”
— Obadiah 1:17 NKJV
“The house of Jacob” — Here, the phrase “the house of Jacob” is used instead of “the house of Israel” (God had given Jacob a new name, Israel). So this verse refers to the old nature of Jacob, the carnal side, which is a picture of people who may not have it all together but still have a heart for God. This tells us that not only will “the house of Israel” possess their possessions, but the “house of Jacob” will too. By this, we know not only will the spiritual ones receive God’s blessings, but those who are still growing in the Lord and still stumbling upwards shall also possess their possessions!
When the children of Israel came out of Egypt, they were living in unbelief. Their unbelief showed that in their hearts, they believed what the enemy was saying instead of what God had promised them.
“. . . So I swore in My wrath,
‘They shall not enter My rest . . .”
— Hebrews 4:3 NKJV
“rest “ — Because of their unbelief, God told them that they would not enter His rest. Notice that the word God used was not “land,” but “rest.” Their promised land was a land of rest because it was full of “large and beautiful cities which [they] did not build, houses full of all good things, which [they] did not fill, hewn-out wells which [they] did not dig, vineyards and olive trees which [they] did not plant” (Deut. 6:10–11). The work had already been done for them!
In the same way, our promised land today is also a land of rest. Our promised land is filled with God’s benefits and blessings that we saw in Psalm 103 (e.g. healing), and it is a land of rest because we don’t need to earn them. Our Lord Jesus has already purchased them for us at the cross.
In this land of rest, you do not need to earn or perform for God’s blessings. While that was true in the Old Testament when people were still living under God’s law, we are no longer living under that covenant. Today, we are under the new covenant of grace, where we live out of a place of rest because of what Jesus has done for us at the cross!
This does not mean that we live flagrantly in sin because we can still expect to receive God’s blessings. When we know that our Lord Jesus has purchased our forgiveness and made us righteous at the cross (which is why we are qualified to receive all of God’s benefits), we will not want to live in sin any longer but we will want to live the high and victorious life that God has for us, which is above sin.
Believing right always comes first. Even if you fall away, there is a part of you that will always believe right about God.
In the parable of the prodigal son, when the son had squandered his inheritance and had nowhere to go, he remembered that his father was a generous man for his servants were well-fed (Luke 15:17). Because of that right belief, the son returned home wanting to work as one of the servants, but found that his father loved him and welcomed him back as his son.
Faith is having a good opinion of God.
“Through faith (a good opinion of God) also Sara herself received strength (‘dunamis’) to conceive seed . . . when she was past age . . .”
— Hebrews 11:11 KJV
“Through faith (a good opinion of God) . . . Sara herself received strength (‘dunamis’)” — Sara had a good opinion of God and by believing His grace and mercy, she received strength to conceive. The word “strength” is “dunamis” in Greek, which means God’s miracle-working power.
As Christians, we all want to live holy lives that glorify God, but we need to know that holiness is not the reason behind us possessing our promised land. What stopped the Israelites from possessing the land flowing with milk and honey was not their lack of holiness, but their lack of belief.
“. . . entered not in because of unbelief (unpersuaded).”
— Hebrews 4:6 KJV
“unbelief (unpersuaded)” — The word “unbelief” in the Greek means to be “unpersuaded.” In the Israelites’ hearts, they were unpersuaded that the Lord loved them and was good to them. Sadly, they even believed that the Lord hated them (Deut. 1:27). Today, some believers are not possessing their promised land all because they don’t have a good opinion of God. They are unpersuaded that the Lord is that good to them that He would want them healed, delivered, or blessed, and that He has already purchased these things for them.
Faith comes by hearing, and hearing the word of Christ (Rom. 10:17). Before Sarah conceived her promised child, she first heard from a “preacher” who had come to Abraham’s house to prophesy that she would have a son a year later (Gen. 18:10). While Sarah didn’t believe it initially and laughed (Gen 18:12), she later grew to be persuaded that God would do the miracle that He had promised her.
If you are battling with unbelief and doubt in your heart, then expose yourself to the word of Christ. Faith will come as you keep on hearing, and hearing the Word of Christ through a preacher (Rom. 10:14). While we can hear God directly, there is safety in a message that a preacher openly preaches because it can be openly scrutinized and proven to be in line with Scripture.
Pastor Prince shares a testimony about a lady who had faith that God would bless her with children. Because she had heard a word from Pastor Prince about God’s blessing of children, she believed God wanted to give her a baby despite her physical age. She is now a mother to twin boys, and we rejoice with her!
Faith is the substance of things hoped for (Heb. 11:1). “Hope” has got to do with the future, while “faith” has got to do with the now. The Greek word for “hope” in the Bible is “elpis,” and it means to have “a positive expectation of good in your future.” This is the definition of Bible hope. When people’s hopes are raised scripturally, they will realize that hope does not disappoint (Rom. 5:5).
Whatever Christ has accomplished for us at the cross is our promised land and our possession today. Though Israel’s promised land was a physical land, it was a shadow of the true promised land that Jesus would die to give us. Compared to the blessings in the physical promised land, God has better blessings for us that are established on a better covenant (grace)!
At the end of Joshua’s life, God told Joshua a very sad thing: “there remains very much land yet to be possessed” (Josh. 13:1). While God told him that every place the children of Israel treads upon would be theirs, they did not possess all that they should have and they settled for land that was less than God’s best.
Today, there are believers who know what God’s best for them is and yet are not possessing all that God has for them. A large reason is that every time God restores a scriptural truth to the body of Christ, there are naysayers and voices of unbelief.
For example, during the reformation, God used Martin Luther to restore the true gospel that declares “the righteous shall live by faith.” Martin Luther preached about how we are saved not by works but through grace (“sola gratia”—grace alone) (Eph. 2:8). At that time, there was much opposition against this truth.
At that time, God had not yet restored the truth about the rapture, the end-times, and the importance of Israel during those times. The book of Revelation tells us about this future, but at the time of the reformation, it could not be deciphered yet.
A great part of the Bible contains prophecy, and so we need to pay attention to it. Just because Bible prophecy has been misinterpreted and misused does not mean we should shun it.
In fact, Bible prophecy has been misinterpreted and misunderstood precisely because it is valuable for us to understand, and therefore the devil sends counterfeit “truths” in order to confuse us.
The same goes for the gospel of grace. Why are there counterfeit gospels that oppose the gospel of grace, which is the true gospel? The devil has sent such counterfeits because the gospel of grace is so valuable that he needs to blind people from seeing it.
In the same way, he sends counterfeit teachings about other scriptural truths to stop us from experiencing God’s best—the benefits of what Christ has done for us at the cross.
One of these benefits which is a scriptural truth is healing.
Healing is in the atoning work of Christ. It is written:
“Surely (‘aken’) He has borne our griefs (‘kholee’ — diseases)
And carried our sorrows (‘makov’ — pains);
Yet we esteemed Him stricken,
Smitten by God, and afflicted.”
— Isaiah 53:4 NKJV
“Surely (‘aken’)” — The word, “surely” is “aken” in Hebrew, meaning “without a doubt.” It is a word that carries strong assertion.
“griefs (‘kholee’ — diseases)” — The word “griefs” is “kholee” in Hebrew, meaning “diseases.”
“sorrows (‘makov’ — pains)” — The word “sorrows” is “makov” in Hebrew, meaning “pains.”
This is how the Young’s Literal Translation says it:
“Surely our sicknesses he hath borne,
And our pains--he hath carried them,
And we--we have esteemed him plagued,
Smitten of God, and afflicted.”
— Isaiah 53:4 YLT
This is especially clear because Isaiah 53 is quoted in the gospel of Matthew this way: “He Himself took our infirmities and bore our sicknesses” (Matt. 8:16–17). In this context where this verse was quoted, Jesus was healing people of physical conditions. Clearly, Isaiah 53 is not talking about sorrows and griefs, but diseases and pains.
“But He was wounded for our transgressions,
He was bruised (crushed) for our iniquities;
The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,
And by His stripes we are healed.”
— Isaiah 53:5 NKJV
“bruised” — The Hebrew word for “bruised” does not refer to a regular bruise, but it actually means “crushed.” This is what the Lord went through for you.
“by His stripes we are healed” — It is very clear that at the cross, Jesus carried our infirmities, sorrows, and pains, and by His stripes we are healed!
Pastor Prince shares that there was a time when some scholars came together to produce a new Bible translation, and one of them brought up Isaiah 53. Even though they looked at the Hebrew translation which states “kholee” and “makov” (diseases and pains), another scholar decided against translating the words that way because he did not want to prove that the Charismatics and Pentecostals (who believe in healing) had rightly interpreted that passage. It is wise that we don't go by our experience or denominational beliefs, but to base everything on the Word of the living God and look at everything in its proper context.
When you partake of the Communion, remember that Jesus’ body has been broken for you (1 Cor. 11:24). When you discern the Lord’s body that was broken for your healing and when you discern His blood that was shed for the forgiveness of all your sins (Matt. 26:28), you are proclaiming the Lord’s death till He comes (1 Cor. 11:25).
As the perfect man who was untainted by sin, Jesus was altogether lovely (Song of Sol. 5:16), physically beautiful in every way. But when He died for us at the cross, He was scourged so badly that His visage was entirely marred. Aside from being scourged, Jesus bore all our sins and diseases, including every deformity, and that is why Isaiah 53:2 says that “there is no beauty that we should desire Him.” The judgment upon His physical body made Him hideous, and God covered the place in darkness for three hours.
At the cross, God dealt with Jesus as God, and not as Father. Jesus cried out, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” (Matt. 27:46) so that today we can cry out, “My Father, My Father, why have You so blessed me?” This is the love story of how God loved us even in our sin, when we were not worthy of His blessings. Yet He held us dear to His heart, He valued us and loved us enough to give His Son for us. Every other love story pales in comparison to this.
Once you are cleansed by Jesus’ blood, born again and saved, you are now made worthy to be partakers of God’s inheritance (Col. 1:12). God calls those who are unqualified and then qualifies them so that all the glory will go to Him alone.
Many of us remember the Sermon on the Mount where Jesus proclaimed the constitution of the kingdom and the kingdom to come. Though He brought it to Israel, the people rejected it. While we can find many Christian principles in the Sermon on the Mount that are also included under the new covenant, we need to understand that the Sermon on the Mount was shared as a constitution of the kingdom.
If we want to look at a sermon that Jesus preached with pure church truths, we should be looking at the sermon on another mountain—Mount Zion. On the night Jesus was crucified, He spent time with His disciples in the upper room on Mount Zion, Jerusalem, and shared pure church truths with them. These are the teachings that completely apply to us as believers under the new covenant today.
One of the things that Jesus shared heavily on in the upper room is the arrival of the Holy Spirit, who is also called “the Spirit of truth” (John 14:17, 15:26, 16:13).
“. . . when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth . . .”
— John 16:13 KJV
“the Spirit of truth . . . guide you into all truth” — The Spirit of truth will guide us into all truth, for He bears witness to the truth. If you believe a lie or falsehood that's not in the Bible, whether by hearsay or a preacher, the Spirit of truth cannot bear witness to it because it is not true. But when you believe a scriptural truth, the Holy Spirit bears witness to it by producing miracles, blessings, and breakthroughs in your life.
That is why it is so important that we believe right about God (that He is good, gracious, and merciful) and that we believe right about Jesus’ finished work (that He has paid for the forgiveness of sins, made us righteous in Him, and qualified us to receive all of God’s benefits).
When we believe this, the Spirit of truth will bear witness in our lives with signs and wonders.
When it comes to healing, we shouldn't be coming to God with an attitude of needing to plead or beg for it. While these pleading prayers may sound sincere, they don’t get the answer of healing.
“And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.
— James 5:15 KJV
“the prayer of faith shall save the sick” — This is not the prayer of pleading or begging, but the prayer of faith. Healing is your right, purchased by the broken body of Jesus. Your miracle comes when you believe the truth that Christ has done it at the cross. Faith comes when you hear this truth through a preacher. Then when you pray for healing based on the finished work of Jesus Christ and the sure foundation of the cross, not your hoping or pleading with God, the Spirit of truth will bear witness with that healing miracle. It is time to rise up and possess our possessions! Let’s take healing for it is already ours.
Some may question, What about those who are not healed? The Bible makes it clear that the prayer of faith saves the sick, and Jesus Himself said that we will “lay hands on the sick, and they will recover” (Mark 16:18). It is God’s will for us to be healed and whole! If someone is not healed, then either the manifestation has not yet come, or there is an area of unbelief somewhere that needs to be eradicated.
Similarly, when a preacher goes to preach the gospel at evangelistical rallies, God’s desire is for everyone to be saved, but we know there are some who will choose not to answer the call of salvation and end up walking out the same way they came in. God’s will is for none to perish (2 Pet. 3:9), but it all depends on man’s own free choice to be saved.
“. . . not discerning the Lord’s body. For this reason many are weak and sick among you, and many sleep.”
— 1 Corinthians 11:29–30 NKJV
“not discerning the Lord’s body. For this reason” — This verse tells us that the reason many in the church are weak, sick, and dying before their time is the lack of discerning the Lord’s body while partaking of the holy Communion. When we think of the Communion, many of us think of the forgiveness of sins and not healing. However, the apostle Paul said that it is for this reason that many believers are dying before their time: all because they did not discern the Lord’s body. We are to discern the Lord’s body and His blood separately—that His body was broken for our healing (Isa. 53:5) and that His blood has cleansed us of our sins.
It is vital for believers to know that our sins are not the reason we have yet to receive our healing, for Jesus’ blood has cleansed us completely. In Christ, we have been qualified and are now worthy to partake of the Communion. When you partake, remember Christ’s finished work and not your failures, sins, or shortcomings. By doing so, you are proclaiming the Lord’s death (1 Cor. 11:25).
God’s love language is for us to receive the Communion, and that is how we remember Jesus actively and His finished work at the cross. And when we do, everywhere the soles of our feet tread on shall be ours (Josh 1:3)!
Pastor Prince shares a testimony of a young man who was delivered from a bad temper and saved by hearing the preached Word online. Now, he has grown patient and loving toward his family, and best of all, he has received Jesus into his life!
The way to know if a preacher is preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ is when you see sinners receiving Jesus and their lives start transforming from glory to glory. You will also see godly character traits and healing breakthroughs in the church. These testimonies cannot be the fruit of a false teaching (Matt. 7:20).
Martin Luther did not talk about the gifts of the Spirit during the reformation era. But now, God has restored the truth of the baptism of the Holy Spirit. It’s not a debate over the gifts or fruits of the Spirit for God wants us to receive both! There are nine gifts of the Spirit and nine fruits of the Spirit—let’s not reject any of them.
Today, we are still to seek the knowledge of church truths in God’s Word. We have not yet reached the time where knowledge has vanished because that will only happen when Jesus comes again (1 Cor. 13:8, 10). Until then, He perfects our lives step by step and restores what has been lost. However, God will not force His blessings on you. You need to consent by believing Him and having faith.
God has ordained that faith comes by the hearing of the Word of Christ through a preacher, and only then when faith is released can you receive the portion that is already yours—whether it is healing or any other blessing.
Know that God wants to give you His best and have the desire and faith to receive it. We can see God’s desire clearly when we look at what Jesus went through for us at the cross (e.g. we can see God wants us healed because Jesus took our sicknesses and pains). Whatever Jesus paid for at the cross, He wants us to enjoy.
Abundant provision is another thing that the Lord wants to possess!
The gospel of grace is not a “prosperity gospel.” We are not money-minded or consumed by the pursuit of material wealth. At the same time, it is a fact that the Bible talks about God’s people being well provided for (Gen. 39:3). In Psalm 1, we read about how the man who meditates on God’s Word will be “like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper.” And in 3 John 2, we see how it is God’s desire for us to “prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.”
When God tells us He wants to prosper us, He is not telling us to be materialistic or have avarice in our hearts. But He wants us to know that it is wrong to believe He wants us poor and needy.
“For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich.”
— 2 Corinthians 8:9 NKJV
“though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich” — These “riches” are not referring to spiritual riches, but material needs. The context of this verse is clearly talking about finances as Paul is talking to the Corinthian church about their generosity.
The only time Jesus was made destitute of any clothing and made poor was when He was at the cross. The whole universe belongs to our Lord, but He lowered Himself and came to die for us as a man in the flesh. Our Shepherd gave up everything for us, His sheep, and because of His sacrifice, we shall not be in lack (Ps. 23:1).
This doesn’t mean that all of us will become multi-millionaires, but this means that it is a sure promise from God that we shall be blessed with a bountiful harvest—more than enough so that we will have enough to bless others (2 Cor. 9:6–7).
During the feeding of the 5,000, the miracle of the multiplication of bread and fish kept going on as the people ate. When they were full after eating “as much as they would,” there were still twelve baskets of food leftover (John 6:11).
Pastor Prince shares a personal word he received from the Lord 12 years ago to go without salary for the sake of the testimony of the gospel, and to depend on the Lord’s supply through his intellectual property. He listened to the Lord, knowing that the Lord is his source and the Lord would supply all his needs. Pastor Prince emphasizes that there is nothing wrong with pastors receiving a salary, and churches should take care of their pastors. 1 Timothy 5:17 speaks of “double honor” which relates to remuneration for pastors.
2 Corinthians 8:9 makes it clear that it is through the Lord’s poverty that we might be rich (practically and materially). Other than healing, God’s provision is another church truth that the Lord is restoring in these last days.
Don’t allow voices of unbelief to hold you back. You need to step into the land which God has promised you, the blessings that Jesus has purchased for you, and start possessing them! God wants you to have all His blessings! But it is only when you start believing right that the Holy Spirit can bear witness in your life with the miracles, breakthroughs, and blessings that God’s Word promises.
When Jesus went to the cross, He took our griefs, sorrows, stress, and anxiety. He also wore the crown of thorns for us (Gen. 3:18). By wearing the crown of thorns, He took every worry and care and redeemed you from a life of fear, worry, depression, and anxiety (John 19:2, Luke 8:14).
In the garden of Gethsemane, Jesus was so overcome by the distress of going to the cross that He suffered from hematidrosis, a condition that causes one to sweat blood (Luke 22:44). Jesus’ blood has a redeeming quality, and when His blood was shed, it redeemed us from the curse of sweat that came as a result of Adam’s fall (Gen. 3:19). “Sweat” in this context means “laborious toil or effort to get what you need.”
Today, we don’t have to stress out or work with laborious toil, but to simply receive what we need from Jesus and rest in His finished work and love for us.
“Heavenly Father, thank You for sending Jesus Christ to die on the cross for all my sins. He bore all my sins in His own body on that cross. Thank You, Father, that Jesus took my place and was condemned that I might take His place as a son before You. I am now the righteousness of God in Christ, acquitted from all my sins. Father, I thank You that You raised Jesus from the dead. Jesus Christ is now my Lord, my Savior, my Healer, and my Shepherd. In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.”
“Now may the grace, the favor of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of your Father God and the fellowship, the friendship, the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you and your loved ones throughout this week. In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. And all the people say, Amen.”
If you find yourself struggling to “have faith” to believe God for a breakthrough in your life, you don’t need to focus on trying to have more faith. As Pastor Prince shared in today’s sermon, having faith is simply about being persuaded that the Lord is good and that His Word is true.
Beloved, the Lord is already reaching out to you to persuade you. And one of the main ways He is reaching out to you is through the preaching of His Word.
This week, have faith imparted to you as you simply listen to sermons that show you from Scripture how your heavenly Father is good, gracious, and merciful to you, and how He loves you very much. Sermons that show you all that our Lord Jesus has accomplished for you at the cross—bearing your sins upon His own body, making you righteous in Him, and qualifying you to receive all of God’s benefits. And if you are in need of God’s healing or provision, listen to today’s sermon again!
Listen, and allow your heart to be persuaded.
As you start believing the truth that the Lord loves you and all your needs have been met at the cross, the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of truth, will bear witness in your life with signs, wonders, and miracles.
We hope these sermon notes blessed you! If they did, we encourage you to get the sermon and allow the Lord to speak to you personally as you watch or listen to it.
© Copyright JosephPrince.com 2021
These sermon notes were taken by volunteers during the service. They are not a verbatim representation of the sermon.
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