These are notes on the sermon, How To See Many Beautiful Days, preached by Pastor Joseph Prince on Sunday, 27 December 2020, at The Star Performing Arts Centre, Singapore. We hope these sermon notes will be an encouragement to you!
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Every year, the Lord has a prophetic word for His people. When Pastor Prince shares the theme of the year (during the first Sunday of each year), we need to know that the theme reveals to us what God is doing for His church, not for the world. While the world will get darker and darker with earthquakes, famine, strife, and turmoil, God will protect us from all forms of danger, harm, and perilous pestilence (Ps. 121:7).
We are now in the last days before Jesus returns for us, and that day is coming soon. While we wait for Him, we need not wait in fear because our path will shine brighter and brighter (Prov. 4:18).
2020 was the Year of Time and Space for our church, and we have seen the Lord work wonders in the areas of time and space for us—even as the world was confined in those two areas. This past year, we have seen churches going online (transcending the confinement of space), and reaching more people with the gospel of Jesus Christ. While God will bring us all together again one day to meet physically in church, we rejoice at what He is doing right now.
Recap of the theme of the year for 2020:
At the beginning of 2020, when Pastor Prince shared the theme of the year, he preached on the Temple of Solomon and shared how the 3 chambers in the temple were visual representations of what we would go through in the year. Now, as we look back on 2020, we can see how the year played out sequentially according to the 3 chambers.
The first-floor chamber contains the grain, the wine, and the oil, which speak of healing provision that the Lord has stored up for us. The grain and wine speak of the holy Communion, and the oil signifies the anointing oil, which are the spiritual weapons we wield against every disease, sickness, and plague. At the beginning of this year, when the world was first hit with COVID-19, the Lord had already prepared us with the grain, wine, and oil.
The second-floor chamber is the resting quarters of the priests, which speak of rest. In the middle of 2020, many countries went into lockdown where everyone had to stay home. For the church, we saw it as a time where we managed to spend quality time with our loved ones.
In the Temple of Solomon, the 3 chambers were connected by a winding staircase, which allows one to ascend the maximum height in the shortest amount of time. This is a picture of the church ascending higher and higher this year.
Lastly, the third-floor chamber (the widest chamber) contains gold and silver, which speak of God’s abundant blessings and the greatest riches of knowing the Lord Jesus. This signifies the last part of 2020, where we are living in abundant provision. Spiritually speaking, right now we are in this place—seated in heavenly places in Christ.
Spiritually speaking, we are in the third heaven where the Lord is.
“. . . such a one was caught up to the third heaven.”
— 2 Corinthians 12:2 NKJV
“the third heaven”— This third heaven is where God dwells, which is above the first heaven (earth) and the second heaven (the universe and its galaxies). When the Lord comes back for us, this is where we will be with Him physically. However, we don’t have to wait until we physically die to receive that heavenly position. Spiritually, once we receive Christ, we are seated together with Him right now in the third heaven, far above every disease (e.g. COVID-19), and everything that has a name (Eph. 1:21).
God has pronounced this blessing of Deuteronomy 28 over 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, because you obey the voice of the Lord your God.”
— Deuteronomy 28:1–2 NKJV
“set you high above” — This is referring to Israel that God has set high above the nations of the earth, which speaks of where He has also positioned us, the church—high above all circumstances.
“all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you” — Position comes before provision. The Lord has positioned us high above every circumstance and worldly event and that is why we can receive His blessings.
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every (‘pas’) spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ.”
— Ephesians 1:3 NKJV
“blessed us with every (‘pas’) spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ”— The Greek word “pas” means “every variety.” When we live in this realm, we receive every kind of spiritual blessing.
As children of God, let’s stop living as if we are limited by the natural supply we can see. The Lord has promised to supply all our needs according to His riches in glory (Phil. 4:19). All He has is ours today (Luke 15:31). You can expect all these blessings to come and overtake you because of Jesus’ finished work that purchased them for us (Eph. 1:6–7)!
Pastor Prince shares that chambers in the Bible speak of where God’s blessings are kept, and the third-floor chamber, also known as the upper room, is where you will remain when you allow the Spirit to lead you. In these last days, it is vital for us as believers to recognize that we are positioned in Christ!
We dive into the story of Tabitha, whose story holds many powerful truths for our coming days:
“At Joppa (Beautiful) there was a certain disciple named Tabitha (gazelle), which is translated Dorcas. This woman was full of good works and charitable deeds which she did. But it happened in those days that she became sick and died. When they had washed her, they laid her in an upper room.
— Acts 9:36–37 NKJV
“Joppa” — Joppa is present-day Jaffa, and the name “Joppa” means “beautiful.”
“Tabitha” — In Aramaic, the name “Tabitha” means “gazelle.” In the Greek, the name Tabitha is translated as “Dorcas.”
“an upper room” — In Greek, “upper room” is the word “hyperōon,” which refers to an apartment on the third story. After Tabitha died, her community brought her body up to the third floor, which was an unusual thing to do.
In the verses above, we see how in the place of something beautiful (Joppa), death came. This is a picture of the beginning when God made man and everything was beautifully created for man’s enjoyment. However, man sinned and death came in, for the wages of sin is death. In a place of beauty, there came death. However today, we can rejoice because Jesus’ finished work at the cross means that we do not look to the grave (death), but we look forward to Jesus’ return (1 Thess. 1:10, Titus 2:13).
We continue with Tabitha’s story:
“So it was that he (Simon Peter) stayed many days in Joppa (Beautiful) with Simon, a tanner.”
— Acts 9:43 NKJV
“many days in Joppa (Beautiful)”— In our lives, not every day will be beautiful, but God promises us that there will be many good days!
There are many types and symbols in both Old Testament and New Testament stories that God wants us to study because He has hidden meanings and truths in them. When we study the names of things, we begin to understand the hidden truths in the stories.
“Brethren, join in following my example, and note those who so walk, as you have us for a pattern (‘tupos’ — type).”
— Philippians 3:17 NKJV
“as you have us for a pattern (‘tupos’ — type)” — The word “pattern” is the Greek word “tupos,” which means “type.” God has placed types and patterns in the Bible for us to learn from.
Examples of “types” in the Old Testament:
Examples of “types” in the New Testament:
If there is an area of death or defeat in your life, all it needs is a touch of God’s anointing.
The story of the Shunammite woman whose son died
“And she said to her husband, ‘Behold now, I know that this is a holy man of God who is continually passing our way. Let us make a small room on the roof with walls and put there for him a bed, a table, a chair, a lamp, so that whenever he comes to us, he can go in there.’ One day he came there, and he turned into the chamber and rested there.”
— 2 Kings 4:9–11 ESV
“a small room on the roof with walls”— The woman and her husband built what was essentially building an upper room for the prophet Elisha.
When Elisha knew what the woman had done, he asked what good he could do for her. Upon knowing she was barren, he prophesied that she would have a son. This came to pass.
We follow this story of the Shunammite woman’s son:
“And when he had lifted him and brought him to his mother, the child sat on her lap till noon, and then he died. And she went up and laid him on the bed of the man of God and shut the door behind him and went out.”
— 2 Kings 4:20–21 ESV
“laid him on the bed of the man of God” — The last thing a mother would normally do would be to place her dead child on a bed and close the door behind her. Usually, mothers would be frantic and seek help for their child. However, this woman went to look for Elisha the man of God, and even said that “it shall be well,” though the situation was bleak.
The Lord wants you to know that even though your situation may look bleak and dark, everything shall be well in the end. You will see wellness, wholeness, and shalom peace in every area of your life. All because of Jesus.
“When Elisha came into the house, he saw the child lying dead on his bed. So he went in and shut the door behind the two of them and prayed to the Lord.”
— 2 Kings 4:32–33 ESV
“the child lying dead on his bed” — When death (e.g. manifestations of sickness, depression) has come in, and you know that these things are not supposed to happen to a child of God—for God’s will is for us to be healthy, whole, and full of joy—the first thing you need to do is to expose yourself to the place of anointing (in this context: the prophet Elisha’s bed).
This does not mean we have to hold on to physical items from anointed men of God.
Listen to anointed preaching and teaching that washes over you and reminds you that you are seated in heavenly places in Christ. Listen, believe, and align your spirit with the preached Word for miracles happen by the hearing of faith (Gal. 3:5).
For parents, here is a nugget of godly wisdom to guide you. God has given you authority over your children, and it is important to exercise parental authority where needed (especially if they are going through a troubling time). Children need to see parents that will not embitter them but correct them with love and lead them by example. One example is ensuring that they watch the weekly Sunday service before heading out of the house—which is putting them under God’s anointing and also showing them the importance of prioritizing the Word.
Where there is death, expose that situation to the anointing of God. At this present moment, the place of anointing is through the screens (church online). The preached Word has the power to destroy yokes and bondages. When you listen to it, the Lord’s anointing is released into your life and situation. You can also surround yourself, your family, your children with anointed worship music (e.g. in the car). Whatever it is, the Holy Spirit will find a way to shine a light in dark situations and turn your negative situation around!
The Lord’s heart is for us to love life and see many good days.
‘He who would love life
And see good days,
Let him refrain his tongue from evil,
And his lips from speaking deceit.’”
— 1 Peter 3:10 NKJV
“love life . . . see good days . . . refrain his tongue from evil” — God’s Spirit encourages us to love life and see good days, but in order to see good days, we need to guard the words we are speaking over ourselves and our loved ones.
“Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler
And from the perilous pestilence (‘deber’).”
— Psalm 91:3 NKJV
“pestilence” — The word “pestilence” is the Hebrew word “deber,” which means “plague.” The word “deber” derives from the Hebrew word “davar,” which means “to speak”, or “words.” This implies that our words can cause plagues.
This year, there has been so much strife, clashing of opinions, and hateful words spoken over social media. This could be the reason for much of the pain and difficulty we see all over the world.
It is important to watch our words and what we say for there is power in the tongue. In order to see good, we need to start speaking it out!
We go back to Tabitha’s story in Acts 9:
“And since Lydda (strife) was near Joppa, and the disciples had heard that Peter was there, they sent two men to him, imploring him not to delay in coming to them. Then Peter arose and went with them. When he had come, they brought him to the upper room. And all the widows stood by him weeping, showing the tunics and garments which Dorcas had made while she was with them.”
— Acts 9:38–39 NKJV
“Lydda” — The place “Lydda” means “strife.”
“showing the tunics and garments which Dorcas had made while she was with them” — While the widows meant well (Dorcas was a person full of faith and good deeds who ministered to these women), they were trying to get Peter to work a miracle for her based on her good works. However, healing and resurrection are grace gifts—all of God’s blessings are freely given to us because of grace.
You cannot merit your blessing by any of your good works. We are blessed because of what Jesus has done for us at the cross. No matter who you are, where you’ve been, or what you’ve done right or wrong, you can receive your blessing because of God’s grace.
When you are trusting the Lord for your breakthrough, there will be many distractions—either from bad news or from negative people around you. We need to tune out of these distractions and negative thoughts, and instead focus on the Word of God.
This is what Peter did when the widows were trying to ask him to do a good work for Tabitha:
“But Peter put them all out, and knelt down and prayed. And turning to the body he said, ‘Tabitha, arise.’ And she opened her eyes, and when she saw Peter she sat up. Then he gave her his hand and lifted her up; and when he had called the saints and widows, he presented her alive. And it became known throughout all Joppa, and many believed on the Lord.”
— Acts 9:40–42 NKJV
“put them all out . . . knelt down and prayed . . . turning to the body he said, ‘Tabitha, arise.’” — The way to lay the foundation for your miracle to happen is to shut out bad news and negativity (which can fill our minds via social media), then without those distractions, pray to the Lord who hears you.
Peter learned to do this when he saw Jesus raise Jairus’ daughter from the dead:
“When He came into the house, He permitted no one to go in except Peter, James, and John, and the father and mother of the girl. Now all wept and mourned for her; but He said, ‘ Do not weep; she is not dead, but sleeping.’ And they ridiculed Him, knowing that she was dead. But He put them all outside, took her by the hand and called, saying, ‘Little girl, arise.’ Then her spirit returned, and she arose immediately. And He commanded that she be given something to eat.”
— Luke 8:51–55 NKJV
“He put them all outside” — The people Jesus put outside were all the naysayers who had ridiculed His statement of faith (calling death a temporal sleep).
Jesus used this same language in another instance when talking about Lazarus, who had already been dead for more than a day (He called Lazarus' death a temporal sleep because He knew resurrection would happen the moment He spoke) (John 11:11–12, 14).
It is time to stop viewing and listening to negative news, shows, and social media. Being aware of what is happening is wise, but instead of bombarding your spirit with bad news all the time, fill yourself with good news that is found in the preached Word.
We can also see how David, before he slew Goliath, actively turned away from negativity:
“Now Eliab his oldest brother heard when he spoke to the men; and Eliab’s anger was aroused against David, and he said, ‘Why did you come down here? And with whom have you left those few sheep in the wilderness? I know your pride and the insolence of your heart, for you have come down to see the battle.’ And David said, ‘What have I done now? Is there not a cause?’ Then he turned from him toward another.”
— 1 Samuel 17:28–30 NKJV
“Then he turned from him” — Like David, we need to learn to turn away from naysayers, critics, and the negative bombardment of social media. It is wise to not get entangled in the web of pessimism, for you cannot see good days when you allow your mind to be filled with negativity.
The reason Jesus blesses us is to “provoke others to jealousy” (Rom. 11:14). When others see you blessed beyond measure, they are drawn toward knowing our God (Acts 9:42).
Before you can speak the word of authority and faith, pray.
“And He said to them, ‘It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer,’ but you have made it a ‘den of thieves.’”
— Matthew 21:13 NKJV
“My house shall be called a house of prayer” — Today, we are the temple (house) of God, and we need to remove all the “thieves” that are robbing us of our peace. One way to turn the house into a house of prayer is by praying in tongues.
Although Peter knelt down and prayed, we do not need to physically kneel down and pray. We simply need to adopt this inward posture of prayer before we speak to that dead situation in our lives (Acts 9:40).
We look at Acts 9 again, which holds a powerful truth on hearing the Word of God:
“So it was that he (Simon Peter) stayed many days in Joppa (Beautiful) with Simon, a tanner.”
— Acts 9:43 NKJV
“he (Simon Peter) . . . Simon, a tanner” — There are two Simons in this verse: one refers to Simon Peter, and the other is Simon, a tanner. A tanner is someone who treats hides of animal skin and turns them into leather (an item of beauty). The name “Simon” means “hearing,” and we see two mentions of “Simon” here, which represent “hearing, hearing”—a double hearing.
“. . . if thou shalt hearken (‘shama’—listen) diligently (‘shama’—listen) unto the voice of the Lord thy God . . .”
— Deuteronomy 28:1 KJV
“hearken diligently” — Both words, “hearken” and “diligently” are the same Hebrew word, “shama,” which means “listen.” In this context, it alludes to a “double hearing” of the Word.
When you keep on listening and listening to the Word of God, your spirit will be filled with truths and promises found in His Word, and you will begin to see many beautiful days ahead of you.
When you hear the Word of God, faith arises, and you will reap the benefits of hearing and hearing (Rom. 10:17, Gal. 3:5).
Just as Simon the tanner dealt with the dead flesh of animals and turned them into beautiful leather, so the hearing of the Word will cause our flesh to be dead and our lives to be turned into beautiful testimonies.
May your days of 2021 be filled with many beautiful days through hearing and hearing the Word of God!
Pastor Prince closes the service by praying over the three requests that the church has brought to the Lord to fulfill in 2021.
Whatever you are believing the Lord for, ask Him, believe His promises and you shall receive them, for He is a good God (Matt. 7:11, Mark 11:24). God’s way is to believe you receive them first, and then you shall have them this 2021. How do you start believing? By thanking the Lord for what He is going to do in your life.
“This coming week, these final few days of the year, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord bless you and your family with the blessings of father Abraham and the blessings of Deuteronomy 28. The Lord make His face shine on you and be favorable to you, lift up His countenance and grant to you and your families His shalom peace and well-being. In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. And all the people said, Amen.
Get ready to tune in for the rhema theme—what God is going to do this coming year—next week. Amen. God bless you in Jesus’ name.”
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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