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Official Joseph Prince Sermon Notes

Fear Not! Christ Is In The Crisis

Sunday, 22 March 2020
 

These are notes on the sermon, Fear Not! Christ Is In The Crisis, preached by Pastor Joseph Prince on Sunday, 22 March 2020, at The Star Performing Arts Centre, Singapore. We hope these sermon notes will be an encouragement to you!

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Overview

  1. Introduction: Jesus is still the Lord of time and space
  2. Christ is in the crisis! Take time to enjoy His nearness
  3. In every challenge, we get to be in a position of rest
  4. In the crisis, we fight by feeding on God’s Word
  5. Receive Jesus into your situation today
  6. Closing Prayer

Introduction: Jesus is still the Lord of time and space

VIDEO: The Theme of the Year 2020 video, featuring the Temple of Solomon, is shown on screen.

In this season where time and space have been restricted and constrained, let’s be confident in knowing that the Lord is the Lord of time and space and He can manipulate time and space in your favor.

In His first two miracles on earth, Jesus demonstrated that He is the Lord of time and space (see John 2:1–10 and John 4:46–54).

Right now, the whole world wants time to be accelerated to get past the COVID-19 virus. The experts predict that a vaccine can only be successfully created in a year and a half but let’s look to the Lord to compress this time. We might have a fixed 24 hours a day but we can believe God to accelerate the process so that more is accomplished in a shorter time.

Pastor Prince prays for the COVID-19 virus to be brought to an end supernaturally and for an acceleration in the creation of a vaccine for the virus.

Recap of last week’s sermon:

The word rescue or “yasha” in the Gesenius’ Hebrew-Chaldee Lexicon means “to be spacious, ample, broad, figuratively to be opulent. The signification of ample space is in Hebrew applied to liberty, deliverance from dangers and distresses, as on the other hand narrowness of space is frequently used of distresses and dangers.”

Pastor Prince prays for the Lord to bring us into a large space, to enlarge our reach so that we might preach the gospel to many. Even as the church goes online these days, the Lord is enlarging space for us to share the good news with many more people all over the world!

We see from the Theme of the Year video that the priests' chambers are right beside the Temple of Solomon. This is a picture of the church at its best. The closeness of the priest’ chambers to the temple is a picture of our position today—we are right next to God! We are seated in Christ at the right hand of the Father (see Eph. 2:6).

Recap of the three chambers in the Temple of Solomon:

  1. The first floor chamber is where the grain, the wine, and the oil are stored. The grain and wine represent the holy Communion, which God has given us to be healthy and strong. The oil represents the anointing oil, which God has given us for healing and breaking of bondages. At this time of the year, God has supplied us with the health and healing we need via these elements.
  2. The second floor chamber is where the sleeping quarters of the priests are, and it represents rest.
  3. The third floor chamber—the highest floor—is where the gold and treasures are stored, which speak of the blessings and provisions that await us.

It seems like God is opening the first chamber for His people in this first part of the year. It’s not about natural grain, wine, and oil. The Old Testament depict shadows of the substance. The antitype is found in the New Testament.

Grain: Bread, which is a picture of the body of Jesus.
Wine: The blood of Jesus.
The grain and wine together represent the holy Communion, the Lord’s Supper.

Oil: The anointing oil, which symbolizes the power of the Holy Spirit

In this first part of the year, God has provided the solution to the COVID-19 virus in the grain, wine, and oil. Keep on partaking of the Lord’s Supper and keep on anointing yourself with the anointing oil.

You don’t have to be sick to be to partake of the Lord’s Supper. You can take it like you do your vitamins—as prevention of sickness as well!

Partake of it not as a ritual, but as a revelation of what Jesus has done for you at the cross—taken all your sickness and diseases in His own body, and shed His blood for the forgiveness of your sins.

“For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes.”
— 1 Corinthians 11:26 NKJV

In the Old Testament, every time God’s people brought the burnt offering and the suckling lamb, they brought a symbol of the Lord’s death. Every time they did so, God always gave them the victory.

The burnt offering is a symbol of the cross and the true lamb of God who died on the cross. Through the cross of Jesus Christ, God is righteous in making us righteous today.

The sin offering in the book of Leviticus is seen as most holy (see Lev. 10:17). It is a picture of the finished work of Christ when He carried our sins, becoming the propitiation for our sins at the cross.

Yet Jesus knew no sin, did no sin, and in Him was no sin. Instead, during His time of ministry on earth, He went about doing good and healing all. Friend, He is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

Receive this gift of righteousness and stand confident today!

Don’t let this virus reign in your life (by causing you to live in fear) but as you have received the abundance of grace and the gift of righteousness, you will reign in life (see Rom. 5:17)!

__

Pastor Prince shares how this past week, the Lord spoke to him about the word “clusters.” Recently, it has become a word that is associated with the COVID-19 virus, but this is God’s encouragement to us: He is turning what the devil meant for evil for our good.

He has provided “clusters” of blessings, healing, and anointing all over the world at this time.

“Then they came to the Valley of Eshcol (“cluster”), and there cut down a branch with one cluster of grapes; they carried it between two of them on a pole. They also brought some of the pomegranates and figs. The place was called the Valley of Eshcol, because of the cluster which the men of Israel cut down there.”
— Numbers 13:23–24 NKJV

the valley of Eschol” — The word “Eschol” means “cluster” in the Hebrew.

one cluster of grapes” — grapes produce wine, which is a picture of joy. The joy of the Holy Spirit.

While the word “clusters” might have a negative connotation right now, God is going to turn that around by bringing new “clusters” of great joy to people.

In Numbers 32, Moses recalls what had happened 40 years ago, when the children of Israel commit the sin of unbelief and refused to enter the promised land:

“Thus your fathers did when I sent them away from Kadesh Barnea to see the land. For when they went up to the Valley of Eshcol and saw the land, they discouraged the heart of the children of Israel, so that they did not go into the land which the Lord had given them.”
— Numbers 32:8–9 NKJV

The promised land was a land that was flowing with milk and honey. It was a picture of great abundance. Everything had been provided for. All the characteristics of the land showed that the land the Lord had provided for His people was a place of rest.

Today, our promised land is rest (see Heb. 4).

Rest doesn’t mean no activity, it means Spirit-directed activity. With every fresh challenge, we get to respond with this posture of rest, knowing that God’s got this.

Rest is saying, “Lord, You’ve got this. I will choose to rest in you.”

Position comes before provision.

When we get into a position of rest (our rightful position in Christ), that’s when we experience God’s blessings.

When the Israelites first sent 12 spies into the land and these spies went into the Valley of Eshcol, they had 2 different responses. 10 of them saw the giants in the land, while 2 of them (Joshua and Caleb) saw the giant clusters of grapes.

Today, will you choose to see the giants (challenges) or will you choose to see the huge clusters of grapes (God’s provision and blessings)?

The world is so full of news about the virus. There is nothing wrong with being updated about the news, but don’t be consumed with digging into all the details because it has a withering effect on your faith and it has a drying effect on your soul.

“The light of the eyes rejoices the heart,
And a good report makes the bones healthy.”
— Proverbs 15:30 NKJV

What you hear has an effect on you, so guard what you are reading and hearing! Make sure you’re listening to good reports, and more importantly, listening to what the Lord is saying to you through His Word and anointed preaching.

Christ is in the crisis! Take time to enjoy His nearness

“But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness towards us in Christ Jesus.”
— Ephesians 2:4–7 NKJV

This has been an emphasis in our church over the last couple of weeks: Knowing our position in Christ, that is, being seated in Christ at the right hand of the Father.

It might seem very inconvenient to be told to stay at home and avoid going out or gathering as a group, but let’s flow with what is happening and let’s make good use of it.

You can see this time as an opportunity for you to spend more time at home with your family and loved ones and a time where you get to rest more.

Christ is in this crisis and He is going to turn everything around for our good.

“But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness towards us in Christ Jesus.”
— Ephesians 2:4–7 NKJV

made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus” — We learnt last week that God gives us the position before He gives us the provision.

When you read this verse, notice that it is written in the past tense—we have already been crucified and raised and made to sit together in Christ in the heavenly places!

There may be times when it doesn’t feel that way, but as far as God is concerned, we have already been made righteous and are seated in Christ, right beside our Father.

Learn to see as God sees. Don’t learn to see as the media wants us to see. The way man sees is limited because our sight is limited by what we can see with our physical eyes right now.

God’s Word says that the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal (see 2 Cor. 4:18).

As the Lord of time and space, He is outside time. In His eyes, we have already “made it,” we are in Christ already, we are already seated in Christ beside God.

Learn to see the way God sees and learn to speak the way God speaks.

We don’t use a thermometer to measure the weight of an object. Are we using the wrong instruments to measure what is eternal and what is temporary? As spirit beings, we should be aware that everything we touch and feel on this earth is temporal.

Feed on God’s love for you
In the book of Leviticus, we see that the peace offering is the only offering where parts of the animal can be eaten after it’s been offered to God and roasted in the fire. The breast of the lamb, which is a picture of the love of Jesus (our sacrificial lamb) is eaten.

Many times, we are trying to live life based on our love for the Lord, and we are trying to find nourishment from our love for the Lord, but there is no nourishment to be found there.

Instead, feed on His love for you. The love that went to the cross and bore every stripe, the love that gave Himself up for you. When you’re feeling fearful, take time to remember the great love God has for you again.

The finished work of Jesus is outside of time. That’s why Christ can die for the sins of those in the past, present, and future. Every time you partake of the Lord’s Supper, partake as if Christ just went to the cross for you moments ago.

Our position in Christ is also outside of time. We are all righteous before Him right now and always. You can draw close to Jesus even emotionally—don’t neglect that part of your relationship with Him. Don’t just rest in the fact that you are righteous in Him. That is true, but remember that Jesus also has emotions and affections. Draw close to Him every day.

See Him gathering you and your family under His wings. Take refuge under His wings. Be conscious of the fact that you are under the protection of the El-Shaddai.

Learn to begin your day with this prayer:
“Father, in the name of Jesus, I bring my family and myself underneath Your wings, under the shadow of the Almighty. We are now in Christ, the risen Christ, at Your right hand, far above the COVID-19 virus. Therefore, no evil shall befall my family and no plague shall come near my family but with long life, You will satisfy us.”

Pause, take time to see the Lord protecting you and your family.

He wants to protect you more than you want to be protected.

In this time, God is raising clusters of healing and protection. He is also raising clusters of light via the church. All over the world, churches are going online and spreading the good news of Jesus Christ, spreading light into darkness.

The world is getting darker. This reminds us of the 9th plague in Egypt when a deep darkness fell over all the Egyptians, but the children of Israel had light in their dwellings (see Exod. 10:23). The darkness the Egyptians had was not natural—if not they would have been able to get rid of it by lighting a match. But it was a supernatural thick darkness. Likewise, the light that the Israelites had was not natural light from a lamp, but supernatural light.

Today, we have supernatural light in our dwellings.

Arise and shine for the glory of the Lord has come upon you (see Isa. 60:1)! Darkness will cover over the earth but not over the people of Christ and the clusters of God. His light and His glory will be seen upon you.

Our light is never more prominent than in the midst of darkness. So, let us shine with the love of Jesus for the people in the world at this time. Let’s demonstrate that we are different. God knows how to take care of us. Let’s not be panicking like the others are because our trust is in the Lord.

In every challenge, we get to be in a position of rest

Blessed shall you be in the city, and blessed shall you be in the country. Blessed shall be the fruit of your body, the produce of your ground and the increase of your herds, the increase of your cattle and the offspring of your flocks…”
— Deuteronomy 28:3–8 NKJV

In the original Hebrew, these verses were not written in future tense but present tense. The truth is that we are already blessed!

God has given you the firstborn blessing:
“Therefore may God give you of the dew of heaven, of the fatness of the earth, and plenty of grain and wine.” (see Gen. 20:27–28).

If you are sick, take plenty of grain and wine (the holy Communion). Take it every day. As often as you are taking medicine, you can partake of the holy Communion too. The Communion is your inheritance today!

“The Lord will cause your enemies who rise against you to be defeated before your face; they shall come out against you one way and flee before you seven ways.”
— Deuteronomy 28:7 NKJV

before your face” — Many times, we wish we didn’t have to see the enemy at all. But sometimes, they’re not defeated until they’re right in front of our faces because when we see them defeated right before us, we will know that it was truly the Lord who gave us the victory!

Pastor Prince prays that this virus will come to an end in such a way that it will glorify the name of Jesus Christ and that Israel will have their place as being part of the solution.

“Now it shall come to pass, if you diligently obey the voice of the Lord your God, to observe carefully all His commandments which I command you today, that the Lord your God will set you high above all nations of the earth. And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, because you obey the voice of the Lord your God;”
— Deuteronomy 28:1–2 NKJV

if you diligently obey the voice of the Lord your God, to observe carefully all His commandments” — This is the condition for all the blessings in Deuteronomy 28. But because of Jesus, we get an A+ in this. We are in Him, and His righteousness is imputed to us!

the Lord your God will set you high above all nations of the earth. And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you” — Notice again that position comes before provision? You are already there positioned on high, you’re not trying to get to that high place. Once we are established in our position, that’s when all these blessings will come upon us.

Contrary to what people might say, our resting will not result in laziness or inactivity.

Just look at Jesus. Jesus is the most restful, stress-free person who ever walked on earth. And yet He always had time to minister to the masses and to the individuals. There was a rhythm and a cadence of rest that He operated in and He accomplished every single thing that He came to accomplish in His three and a half years of ministry on earth!

“He who dwells (‘yashav’ — sits) in the secret place of the Most High
Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.”
— Psalm 91:1 NKJV

The word “dwells” is the Hebrew word “yashav,” which also means “sit.” All the promises of Psalm 91 are for those who are seated—that’s us! We are already seated in Christ (see Eph. 2).

Position before protection.

God even wants your soul, your emotions, to line up with this truth so that you feel at rest. He doesn’t want you to be afraid!

God has made us seated far above sin, depression, ignorance and blindness. Far above every virus or threat. We are in Christ today.

This is a grace gift, how can we boast that we have achieved this position by our own efforts? We are not self-made men, we are all Christ-made men.

The secret to accomplishing much and being effective:

“These are the names of the mighty men whom David had: Josheb-Basshebeth the Tachmonite, chief among the captains. He was called Adino the Eznite, because he had killed eight hundred men at one time.”
— 2 Samuel 23:8 NKJV

What was Josheb-Basshebeth’s secret that he was able to kill eight hundred men at one time?

The secret is found in his name. This man is the chief among the other captains, he led the rest of the mighty men of David. Josheb means “the one who sat in the seat.” We see this in the King James Version as well, “The Tachmonite that sat in the seat.”

The one who sits (rests) accomplishes more than the one who doesn’t.

The Lord of time and space can give us the victory even as we remain at rest. The first place the enemy attacks us in is in our “sitting.”

“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.
— 1 Peter 5:8 NKJV

The devil goes around looking for whom he may devour. Let’s keep him seeking as far as us and our families are concerned.

When you realize you are full of worry and fear, cease and be still.

The word “be still” is the Hebrew word “rapha,” which is also the root word of “raphah”— the Hebrew word for “healing.”

Your healing is found when you are at rest in God.

The devil goes around seeking those who are not at rest, who are not sure if they are truly saved and seated in Christ. In this time of flurry and panic, be at rest and know that He is God over all the chaos and crisis.

“Be still and know that I am God.”
— Psalm 46:10 NKJV

Not “I was” or “I will be” but “I am.” Don’t put God in the past or in the future. He is in the present!

Now is where we live and now is where He lives in us.

In the crisis, we fight by feeding on the Word of God

Sometimes we allow the devil to attack because we have neglected to feed our souls on the Word of God.

“Now Amalek (stressful labour) came and fought (‘lacham’) with Israel in Rephidim (resting places).
— Exodus 17:8 NKJV

Rephidim” — In Hebrew, it means “resting places.” Israel was in a resting place.

Amalek” — In Hebrew, it means “stressful labour.” There is nothing wrong with working or doing work, but this refers to strenuous and painful labour.

Fought” — The Hebrew word is “lacham,” which is also made up of the same three letters for the Hebrew word for “feed.”

Within the problem (the fight) is the answer.

We don’t fight by using swords and shields. We fight by feeding on God’s Word!

In the presence of your enemies, the Lord prepares a table (see Ps. 23:5). While the symptoms are still attacking your body, while the financial struggle is still there, the Lord has prepared a table for you to feast at. Don’t wait until you receive the victory before you feed. Feed now even in the struggle.

When David first begins Psalm 23, He speaks about God in the third person. But when David goes through “the valley of the shadow of death,” he speaks to God in the second person. He starts talking to God directly (“...I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.” Psalm 23:4–5).

When you are going through a trial or a valley season, it’s a time of closeness with the Lord.

When you’re going through a trial, talk to Him. He loves to hear your voice. The Lord loves to have you come to Him, to be in His presence and to meet with Him face to face.

In this time, the way we fight is by listening to the Word. Listen to messages that are Christ-centered and based on Scripture. Eat your way into that bigger place.

Feed on the Word and feed your soul!

Receive Jesus into your situation today

Recap of last week’s sermon

The feeding of the 5000, the miracle that appears in all 4 gospels:

“Then He commanded them to make them all sit down (recline) in groups on the green grass. So they sat down in ranks, in hundreds and in fifties.”
— Mark 6:39–40 NKJV

sit down (recline)” — In Bible times, when people sat down, it was the norm for them to recline.

Position yourself to fight by positioning yourself to feed. Even when you don’t see the victory, position yourself first.

“Then Jesus said, “Make the people sit down.”... And Jesus took the loaves, and when He had given thanks He distributed them to the disciples, and the disciples to those sitting down; and likewise of the fish, as much as they wanted.
— John 6:10–11 NKJV

To those sitting down … as much as they wanted” — For those who are resting, the supply is always greater than the need. There was plenty to go around and the supply only stopped when they did not want any more of it.

After the feeding of the 5000, Jesus walked on water toward His disciples who were caught in a storm:

“And when He had sent them away, He departed to the mountain to pray. Now when evening came, the boat was in the middle of the sea; and He was alone on the land. Then He saw them straining at rowing, for the wind was against them. Now about the fourth watch of the night He came to them, walking on the sea, and would have passed them by.”
— Mark 6:46–48 NKJV

He departed to the mountain to pray” — Jesus is present with us by His Holy Spirit but He is bodily at the Father’s right hand, praying and interceding for us.

The sea is a picture of the nations and the boat is a picture of the church in the midst of all the nations.

Even though the seas may be raging and there seems to be chaos, you can rest because the Lord will see you through it.

Jesus came to the disciples at the darkest watch of the night (between 3am and 6am).

“And when they saw Him walking on the sea, they supposed it was a ghost, and cried out; for they all saw Him and were troubled. But immediately He talked with them and said to them, “Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.” Then He went up into the boat to them, and the wind ceased. And they were greatly amazed in themselves beyond measure, and marveled.”
— Mark 6:49–51 NKJV

Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.” —Even in the midst of the chaos, Jesus remains calm and collected. See Him calm and at peace today; He is not fazed by what is happening. He already has the victory prepared for us. God didn’t create this disease but He can make use of this for His glory. He already has the answer.

“But He said to them, “It is I; do not be afraid.” Then they willingly received Him into the boat, and immediately the boat was at the land where they were going.”
— John 6:20–21 NKJV

“But he said to them, “I AM. Don’t be afraid.”
— John 6:20 HNV

“I am” is a blank cheque that God is presenting to you today.

If you want victory over a sinful habit, He says, “I am your victory.”

If you see a lack in your life, He says, “I am your Good Shepherd who provides you with everything.”

If you feel pain and symptoms in your body, He says, “I am your healer.”

If you see the news and you start to feel scared, He says, “I am your protector and I am your defender.”

they willingly received Him into the boat” — Have you said this to the Lord recently? “Lord, I willingly receive you into my family / my career / my relationship.”

The Lord is with you, but He wants you to make the conscious decision to allow Him into these areas and involve Him in these areas of your life.

Jesus would have passed them by if they did not willingly receive Him into their boat.

immediately the boat was at the land” — Despite straining at rowing throughout the night, they didn’t make it to their destination. But once they brought the Lord into their boat, the Lord brought them to where they had to be immediately.

He is the Lord of time and space!

The moment you willingly receive and involve Him in your life, you don’t operate within the natural realm of time and space, but the Lord manipulates time and space in your favor so that you see supernatural results.

This is not about praying and claiming all the promises of Psalm 91 religiously every hour. Don’t do it out of stress or in fear, hoping that the Lord will protect you. Do it out of rest, knowing that you are seated in the secret place of the Most High!

Take time to get to know the One who is protecting and leading you; take time to enjoy His love for you every single day. The way out of fear is to enjoy His perfect love for you.

You cannot convince yourself to stop being fearful. Let His perfect love cast out your fear effortlessly.

When the Amalek (stressful labour) threatens to rob your rest, see the Lord beside you and saying this to you, “I AM. What do you need from Me today?”

Bring your life to a place of peace by sitting down before the Lord and enjoying His love.

Closing Prayer

“The Lord bless you this coming week with the blessings of father Abraham, the blessings of Deuteronomy 28 and all the blessings that He has in His heart for you. This coming week, may they all manifest in the name of the Lord Jesus. The Lord keep you, preserve you and your families, defend you, preserve you from the COVID-19 virus, from every sickness and disease. From every danger, harm, from all the power of the evil one. Thank You, Lord. Amen.

The Lord preserve you. You are in the place of refuge throughout this week. The Lord make His face to shine on you, give you favor everywhere you go; favour first with your family; favour with everyone that you meet. The Lord lift up His countenance on you and grant to you and your families His Shalom well-being, wholeness, and peace. In the name of the Lord Jesus and all the people said, Amen.

God bless you. Tune in again! Until then, remember the Lord Jesus is with you throughout this week.”

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 2020
These sermon notes were taken by volunteers during the service. They are not a verbatim representation of the sermon.


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