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Official Joseph Prince Sermon Notes

Protection From Deadly Viruses—Answers From Psalm 91

Sunday, 9 February 2020
 

These are notes on the sermon, Protection From Deadly Viruses—Answers From Psalm 91, preached by Pastor Joseph Prince on Sunday, 9 February 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: Let God’s peace reign in your heart
  2. The key to God's protection in Psalm 91 is to sit (rest) in Jesus’ finished work
  3. You can rest in God's protection because you have been redeemed
  4. Live by the law of the Spirit of life and experience God's protection
  5. Every area of your life is covered in the promises of Psalm 91
  6. Closing Prayer

Introduction: Let God’s peace reign in your heart

In view of the novel coronavirus, Pastor Prince shares what God led him to preach about during the SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) period in Singapore in 2003. It’s from Gideon’s story in the book of Judges.

“Now the Angel of the Lord came and sat under the terebinth tree which was in Ophrah, which belonged to Joash the Abiezrite, while his son Gideon threshed wheat in the winepress, in order to hide it from the Midianites. And the Angel of the Lord appeared to him, and said to him, "The Lord is with you, you mighty man of valor!"
— Judges 6:11–12 NKJV

Gideon threshed wheat in the winepress, in order to hide it from the Midianites” —Gideon was threshing wheat at night because he was afraid the enemies would come and steal the harvest. Gideon was fearful and he responded:

Gideon said to Him, "O my lord, if the Lord is with us, why then has all this happened to us? And where are all His miracles which our fathers told us about, saying, 'Did not the Lord bring us up from Egypt?' But now the Lord has forsaken us and delivered us into the hands of the midianites."
— Judges 6:13 NKJV

if the Lord is with us, why then has all this happened to us?” — Earlier, the Angel of the Lord addressed Gideon as a “mighty man of valor,” despite Gideon having many doubts and questions.

Then the LORD turned to him and said, “Go in this might of yours, and you shall save Israel from the hand of the Midianites. Have I not sent you?”
— Judges 6:14 NKJV

Go in this might of yours” — This is how the Lord estimates weakness. Gideon did not display any might, yet the Lord told him, “Go in this might of yours.” God calls our weaknesses “might,” because in our weaknesses His strength is revealed!

So he said to Him, “O my Lord, how can I save Israel? Indeed my clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father’s house.” And the LORD said to him, “Surely I will be with you, and you shall defeat the Midianites as one man.”
— Judges 6:15–16 NKJV

Now Gideon perceived that He was the Angel of the Lord. So Gideon said, "Alas, O Lord God! For I have seen the Angel of the Lord face to face." Then the Lord said to him, "Peace be with you; do not fear, you shall not die." So Gideon built an altar there to the Lord, and called it The-Lord-ls-Peace. To this day it is still in Ophrah of the Abiezrites.
— Judges 6:22–24 NKJV

Now Gideon perceived that He was the Angel of the Lord” — Gideon realized that this was not an ordinary angel, but the Lord Himself. At that time, there was an erroneous belief that if you saw the Lord face to face, you would die. So Gideon was afraid. But the Lord assured him, “Peace be with you; do not fear, you shall not die.”

This is the word that God gave Pastor Prince to share with the congregation during the SARS outbreak in 2003:

“Peace be with you; do not fear, you shall not die”

“Peace be with you; do not fear, you shall not die” — the word “peace” here is the Hebrew word “shalom,” which means total well-being.

So Gideon built an altar there to the Lord, and called it The-Lord-ls-Peace. To this day it is still in Ophrah of the Abiezrites.
— Judges 6:24 NKJV

The Lord is Peace” — is “Jehovah Shalom” or “Yahweh Shalom.” This is the first time “Jehovah Shalom,” the God of Peace is mentioned and it is used in the same context where God assures Gideon, “You shall not die.” The result of knowing God as the God of peace is that you will live and not die!

This word is still God’s word for us today in the face of this new virus attack.

Pastor Prince encourages the congregation to say, “Peace be to you. Don’t be afraid. You shall not die.”

During the SARS outbreak, the church had 8000 regulars. Out of these people who came regularly, not one died, and this is a testament to God’s glory. Pastor Prince encourages the church to believe the same for this virus.

During the SARS period, the church meditated on Psalm 91 because the protection promises in Psalm 91 covers every facet of our lives. Pastor Prince encourages us to do the same in the face of this new virus.

The key to God's protection in Psalm 91 is to sit (rest) in Jesus’ finished work

The Hebrew language has 22 letters in the alphabet. These letters also represent numbers and pictograms. For example, the first letter in the Hebrew alphabet “aleph” is also the number “1” and its accompanying pictogram is an ox. The second letter in the Hebrew alphabet “bet” is the number “2” and its accompanying pictogram is a house.

The number 20 is the Hebrew letter “kav,” which is also a picture of the hollow of the palm (an open hand), which means “to bless.”

In the year 2020, double kav, God’s hands are open towards you to give you double blessing and double protection!

“Bless” in Hebrew is the word “barak.”

Going from right to left, the first 2 letters spell the Hebrew word “son.”

The last letter is “kav,” which is an open hand.

Therefore, “barak” literally spells “the son blessing.” It’s a picture of Jesus blessing us!

Jesus hands of blessing are always extended towards us. He is always imparting, restoring, delivering, and protecting.

The generic word for “hand” in Hebrew is “yod” and it is the letter before “kav” in the Hebrew alphabet.

He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High
Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
— Psalm 91:1 NKJV

He who dwells” — The Hebrew word for this phrase is “yashav” which means “to sit down.” The first word in Psalm 91 tells us to sit down. God is telling us that we dwell in safety when we sit down (rest).

The first thing we need to do in this crisis is to sit down. We can sit down because the work has been finished. Jesus has fully paid for our protection so we can sit down and enjoy it.

Jesus sat down at the right hand of God (see Eph. 1:20) and today we are seated together with Him (see Eph. 2:6).

When you hear bad news, don’t immediately jump up and do everything you can think of to protect yourself out of fear. The first thing you should do is sit down (rest) and say, “The work has been done. I am protected because of Jesus’ finished work.”

When it comes to the coronavirus, we are protected from it because we are seated with Christ, “far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come” (Eph. 1:21).

He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High
Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
— Psalm 91:1 NKJV

The first word in the verse is usually the emphasis of the verse, so the emphasis in Psalm 91 is “yashav” (to sit down).

Interestingly, the first letter of the word, “yashav” is “yod,” which is a picture of a hand. And the last letter of Psalm 91 is also “yod”! This shows us that God is holding us in both his hands. We are completely protected.

Psalm 91 is a picture of the all-encompassing hands of God, protecting and blessing us.

You can rest in God's protection because you have been redeemed

Today, we can dwell in God’s protection because Jesus has redeemed us from all sickness, disease, and harm. We now live in the realm of His blessings and protection.

In the Bible, the number 20 is not only represented by the letter “kav” (open hand of blessing), but it also represents redemption. We see this through the beautiful redemption story of Ruth:

  • After the death of her husband and sons, Naomi wanted to go back to Bethlehem. Her daughter-in-law, Ruth (a Moabitess), accompanied her.
  • Naomi had lost all her land and possessions, and in order for her and Ruth to regain them, they needed a relative who was both willing and wealthy to redeem them.
  • Ruth met Boaz, who completely fit the bill and redeemed her and Naomi.
  • Boaz is a picture of our Lord Jesus. Jesus became a man, a “relative” of ours. He was not only wealthy, but also willing to save us.
  • Ruth is a picture of us. She was a non-Jew but she was redeemed and welcomed into His family.
  • In the book of Ruth, Boaz’s name is mentioned 20 times. Boaz redeemed Ruth, and that’s why 20 is the number of redemption.

We also see a picture of Jesus’ redemption in the Tabernacle of Moses.

In the Tabernacle of Moses, there are wooden boards overlaid with gold and set in sockets of silver. The wooden boards represent us because wood speaks of our humanness and infirmities. When we receive Jesus and are saved, God overlays us with gold, which is a picture of His righteousness.

The wooden boards are fixed in sockets of silver by two tenons, which in Hebrew can be translated to “two hands.”

We, the wooden boards, are supported by two hands that hold us firmly in silver sockets. We are not depending on our strength.

Silver is a picture of redemption.

The silver to make these sockets were taken from half shekels (coins). In the Bible, one shekel is made up of 20 gerahs. Again, we see how the number 20 represents redemption.

“And you shall make the boards for the tabernacle, twenty boards for the south side. You shall make forty sockets of silver under the twenty boards: two sockets under each of the boards for its two tenons. And for the second side of the tabernacle, the north side, there shall be twenty boards”
—Exodus 26:18–20 NKJV

Here, we see the number 2020 in the Tabernacle of Moses.

In the year 2020, we are living in the safety of the secret place of the Most High.

In a crisis situation, believers are forced to decide if they’re going to take God’s protection seriously or not. Is it a theory or a reality to you?

Do you give lip service to Psalm 91 or do you really live in Psalm 91?

If you don’t really believe Psalm 91, you’ll be running everywhere trying to find protection for yourself. This is why Psalm 91 begins with sitting down—because when you sit (rest), you are declaring that you believe that the work is finished and you now live in God’s protection.

Pastor Prince shows a video of a cross-section of the wooden boards overlaid with gold, set in sockets of silver.

The wooden boards are lined up side by side to show that we are not meant to be alone, but standing together as the house of God. The middle bar which runs through the boards from one end to the other is the Holy Spirit that binds us together.

As the church, we should see each other like how God sees us—not in our own humanness and weaknesses, but overlaid with gold (covered by Jesus’ righteousness).

Live by the law of the Spirit of life and experience God's protection

Jesus has made provision for us to live above fear in the times we are in.

He already told us in His Word that these dark times would happen before He returns. But we don’t need to be afraid because even as they happen, we are protected in the realm of Psalm 91.

Jesus predicts the events of these last days

So they asked Him, saying, “Teacher, but when will these things be? And what sign will there be when these things are about to take place?” And He said: “Take heed that you not be deceived. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am He,’ and, ‘The time has drawn near.’ Therefore do not go after them.
— Luke 21:7–8 NKJV

“And there will be great earthquakes in various places, and famines and pestilences; and there will be fearful sights and great signs from heaven.
— Luke 21:11 NKJV

In these times, people will ask why God cannot prevent these bad things from happening since He is all-powerful. God is all-powerful but He will never force His hand upon you if you do not want Him.

Just like Jesus wanted to gather Jerusalem under His protection but gave them the choice to refuse Him, He gives us the same free choice today.

“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing!”
— Matthew 23:37 NKJV

So when we look at the state of the world today, we cannot blame God. God is the answer, not the problem.

God doesn’t have His way on this earth today. So don’t blame God for the virus that has happened.

God will have full reign over the world once Jesus comes back. There will be no more sickness, death, or poverty. Everything will be perfect when Jesus reigns.

And Jesus told His disciples of the signs that would reveal His return:

“And they will fall by the edge of the sword, and be led away captive into all nations. And Jerusalem will be trampled by Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled. And there will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars; and on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring;”
—Luke 21:24-25 NKJV

Jerusalem will be trampled by Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled” — We saw Israel under the rule of Gentiles for almost 2000 years, from the Romans to the British. In 1967, Israel finally returned to their land. This is a sign that Jesus is coming back soon.

“And they will fall by the edge of the sword, and be led away captive into all nations. And Jerusalem will be trampled by Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled. And there will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars; and on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring;"
— Luke 21:24–25 NKJV

signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars; and on the earth distress of nations” —In the past decade, we have seen more eclipses, blood moons and disasters like earthquakes, typhoons, and tsunamis than ever before.

And the result of this is:

"Men's hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near."
— Luke 21:26–28 NKJV

Men's hearts failing them from fear” — These times are times of fear. But that’s not what God wants for His children. You don’t have to live in fear because you are covered by His wings. Don’t allow fear to come into your heart because your heart was never meant to function in fear.

Pastor Prince shares the testimony of John G. Lake, who was a missionary in the early 20th century. During the Bubonic plague in Africa, he was helping to bury the ones who had died from the plague, yet he never contracted the virus. In fact, it was proven that the cells of the virus died once they touched his skin. He attributed this miracle to the verse, “For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.” (Rom. 8:2).

We have wrinkles and greying hair because of the law of sin and death working. God created men to be healthy and full of life but sin brought all these into our lives.

But, because we are in Jesus Christ, there is a new law in our lives—the law of the Spirit of life! When we walk in the law of Spirit of life, we are free from the law of sin and death.

Pastor Prince illustrates this further by using the law of gravity. The law of gravity is real, but the law of thrust and lift that aeroplanes fly by is greater. In the same way, the law of sin and death is real (which is why there is sickness, disease, and death in the world), but the law of the Spirit of life is greater. And we live by the latter, so we don’t need to be afraid!

Like John G. Lake, when you are full of faith, you will repel every disease and virus.

When you are full of faith, you are seated and restful because you trust that God will protect you. Even if disease was to touch you, it will die. Let’s believe God for that!

Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.
— 1 Thessalonians 4:17 NKJV

We” — refers to the end-time generation (us). We will not just live, but we will know how to remain alive until the coming of the Lord.

The scriptural posture for the New Testament believer is to wait for Jesus. We don’t wait for death like the world.

This is the posture we should take:

“Men's hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near."
—Luke 21:26-28 NKJV

Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads” — Jesus tells us to look up when these begin to happen.

because your redemption draws near” — What redemption is Jesus talking about here since we are already saved and redeemed by His blood? The only redemption we are still waiting for is the redemption of our bodies. We will have a new glorified body like Jesus, no more subject to decay and disease. We will be forever strong and healthy, and we will never die.

Instead of being discouraged when you see all the signs of the end-times, look up and look for Him! Jesus will come back for His church before the worst happens. He will come back for us (see Jn. 14:3).

Every area of your life is covered in the promises of Psalm 91

Even after the coronavirus is over, there will still be danger in this world because we are living in the end times. For this reason, we need to rest our hearts in God’s protection promises in Psalm 91.

Pastor Prince shares how God’s people overcame plagues in the Old Testament. Even though it is in the Old Testament, Pastor Prince teaches that “all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come” (1 Cor. 10:11). We study the Old Testament to learn.

When the Bible says the Lord “sends pestilence,” the word “sends” is in the permissive tense, which means that the Lord allowed pestilence to come. God’s hand is protecting us and even protecting the world, but when man insists on his own way and rejects God, then God lifts His hands of protection.

Do you notice how even with the plagues in Egypt, God was merciful to the Egyptians? He didn’t immediately allow the death of the first born. There was a progression, but no matter what, Pharaoh wanted to harden his heart. God allowed him to harden it so that in the end, God’s glory and love for His people would be seen.

The power of the blood of Jesus

When it came to the last plague, the death of the first born, what saved the Israelites was the blood of the lamb.

‘Now the blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you are. And when I see the blood, I will pass over you; and the plague shall not be on you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt.
— Exodus 12:13 NKJV

When it came to this plague, God told His people to apply the blood of the lamb on their doorposts. It was a picture of the redeeming blood of Jesus, the only thing that could protect them from the destroyer.

Every day, plead the blood of Jesus OVER your family and yourself.

Pastor shares a testimony about how he anointed Jessica’s room with the anointing oil (an expression of pleading the blood of Jesus) because she could hear bees in her room. The very next day, there was a line of dead bees where he had applied the oil.

Pastor Prince also shares about a man who pleaded the blood of Jesus over his farm because there was a case of rabid wolves around the area. A few days later, there were dead wolves in his farm and none of his animals were attacked.

God uses the simple things to confound the wise.

Today, instead of applying the blood physically, we can apply the blood with our mouths—we simply speak the word: “In the name of Jesus, I put the bloodline of protection over my family, around my family, right now!”

“For the LORD will pass through to strike the Egyptians; and when He sees the blood on the lintel and on the two doorposts, the LORD will pass over the door and not allow the destroyer to come into your houses to strike you. And you shall observe this thing as an ordinance for you and your sons forever.”
—Exodus 12:23-24 NKJV

not allow the destroyer to come into your houses to strike you” — When you plead the blood of Jesus, God will not allow the destroyer to come into your house to strike.

There are a lot of viruses around, not just the coronavirus, and God has been keeping us protected through the years.

God has protected you more than you realize, even before you knew Him.

He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High
Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress;
My God, in Him I will trust.”
— Psalm 91:1–2 NKJV

"I will say" — We need to speak out God’s promises of protection. Pastor Prince reads out Psalm 91 with the congregation.

You shall not be afraid of the terror by night,
Nor of the arrow that flies by day,
Nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness,
Nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday.
— Psalm 91:5–6 NKJV

Pestilence” — In Hebrew, this word is “deber.” It is made up of the letters “dalet”, “bet” and “resh.

The etymology of “deber” is “dabar,” means “word.” God is telling us that the words we say (“dabar”) have an effect on how we experience protection from pestilence.

The first time “dabar” (word) appears in the Bible is in this verse:

After these things the word ("dabar") of the Lord came to Abram in a vision, saying, "Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your exceedingly great reward."
— Genesis 15:1 NKJV

God came to Abraham in a vision, so Abraham saw a shield. A shield is for protection. The Word of God comes as a shield against pestilence.

We need to watch what we say. Don’t rely on the law of probability when it comes to how you feel about the virus. Speak forth and rely on the unshakeable Word of God.

We know that God leads us, one step at a time, so that we can be at the right place at the right time.

Psalm 91 covers every area of your life. It is so specific that it even covers every area of your physical body.

He shall cover you with His feathers,
And under His wings you shall take refuge;
His truth shall be your shield and buckler.
— Psalm 91:4 NKJV

Cover you” and “under His wings” — He protects you from the top.

You shall tread upon the lion and the cobra,
The young lion and the serpent you shall trample underfoot.
— Psalm 91:13 NKJV

Tread upon” and “trample underfoot” — He protects you from dangers below.

A thousand may fall at your side,
And ten thousand at your right hand;
But it shall not come near you.
— Psalm 91:7 NKJV

At your side” and “at your right hand” — He protects you on your left and right.

No evil shall befall you,
Nor shall any plague come near your dwelling;
— Psalm 91:10 NKJV

Nor shall any plague come near your dwelling” — He protects your household, your family.

You shall not be afraid of the terror by night,
Nor of the arrow that flies by day,
Nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness,
Nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday.
— Psalm 91:5–6 NKJV

Terror by night”, “flies by day” and “noonday” — No matter what time of the day, you are covered by His protection.

With long life I will satisfy him,
And show him My salvation.”
— Psalm 91:16 NKJV

With long life I will satisfy him”— His protection will see you through all your years and result in long life.

Psalm 91 covers all angles. Memorize it and speak it over your life.

The power and life and death is in the tongue (Prov. 18:21). So be intentional about what you’re saying! Speak according to God’s Word.

In Psalms 91, 21 out of the 22 Hebrew letters can be found. The only letter not used is “zayin,” which is number 7 and the pictogram for “zayin” is the sword.

But “zayin” is hidden throughout Psalm 91, implying the hidden power in Psalm 91.

Pastor Prince closes the service with a time of ministering and prays for people with joint conditions.

Closing Prayer

“This coming week, the Lord bless you and the Lord keep you. Father, I ask in Jesus' name, that you keep everyone under the sound of my voice at the right place at the right time.

I pray, Father, in Jesus’ name, that at this time Your people will shine for Your glory. In the midst of this darkness, I pray, Father, that people will be more open to hearing about eternity, about their souls, about their lives. Lord, I pray in Jesus’ name, that you'll make the people here, Lord, Your evangelists, messengers of the gospel of grace.

Father, I pray in Jesus’ name that You cause their lives to be such a lighthouse to all the people around, that people will come to them and ask them what their secret is. I pray in Jesus’ name, You'll keep them in divine health. Protect them as You have declared in Your Word, Father. Not a single one will be afraid of the terror by night, nor for the arrow that flies by day, nor for the pestilence that walks in secrecy in thick darkness, nor for the destruction that lays waste at noonday. A thousand might fall at our side and 10,000 at our right hand in this world, but none shall come near us, Lord. Thank You, Father. No evil shall befall them throughout this week and no plague will come near their dwelling in Christ. Your angels bear them up in their hands. Thank You, Father, that with long life, you satisfy them. Thank You that You are the God that delivers them, honors them, and thank You, Lord, that You satisfy them with long life.

In Jesus’ name, Amen.”

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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