Speak Life Not Death
These are notes on the sermon, Speak Life Not Death, preached by Pastor Joseph Prince on Sunday, 25 July 2021, at The Star Performing Arts Centre, Singapore. We hope these sermon notes will be an encouragement to you!
- Introduction: As believers, we look forward to the rapture instead of the grave
- God is pleased by simple faith that believes He is good
- The more you behold Jesus, the more shalom peace and undeserved favor will abound in your life
- As you receive the abundance of grace and the gift of righteousness, you will reign in life
- Faith is simple—when you see Jesus in His grace, He sees you in your faith
- Faith operates when you believe what God says in your heart and speak it forth with your mouth
- God has given your words tremendous power that can bring either life or death
- Jesus is always speaking life over you through His Word and anointed preaching
- When you fail, confess your righteousness in Christ and see victory and restoration
- Salvation prayer
- Closing prayer
- OWN THE WORD (life application)
Introduction: As believers, we look forward to the rapture instead of the grave
We look forward to the day the Lord returns for us as He will transform our lowly bodies to be like His glorious body (Phil. 3:21a ESV). On that day, our bodies will be like the Lord’s body, forever strong, young, and healthy.
“The body is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption.”
— 1 Corinthians 15:42b NKJV
The Bible says that our bodies are sown in corruption and raised in incorruption. Many of our loved ones have passed on already. But when the Lord returns, what a day to behold that will be! Those who have already passed on will receive their new, glorified bodies first, while we who are alive will and remain will be caught up together to meet the Lord in the air (1 Thess. 4:17a).
Our Christian position is always to look for the coming of God’s Son from heaven, not to look to the grave (1 Thess. 1:10 NLT). There is a generation that will not see death.
“By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death . . . for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.”
— Hebrews 11:5 KJV
“he pleased God” — The rapture is not a new concept. It happened even as far back as Noah’s time as Enoch was translated up to heaven so that he would not see death (Gen. 5:24). Enoch walked with God and pleased Him. As we know that without faith it is impossible to please God (Heb. 11:6), we can see here that Enoch walked with God, having faith in Him.
God is pleased by simple faith that believes He is good
God loves faith! When God looks at a crowd, He zeros in on the one with faith.
When the woman with the issue of blood sought Jesus, He was walking through a large crowd that was pressing in on Him on all sides. Some touched Jesus out of superstition, but those who touched Him out of faith, like the woman with the issue of blood (Mark 5:28 ASV), stopped Him in His tracks. Faith always gets God’s attention!
“But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”
— Hebrews 11:6 KJV
“without faith it is impossible to please him” — When carrying out good and morally upright deeds, such as helping the more unfortunate, your good motives and intentions will not please God as much as your acting out of faith.
“he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him” — When you believe that God is good and He loves to bless you, you have the kind of faith that pleases God. Often, people may tell us not to expect any good to come our way as our motives are bad, but actually what God is looking for is a person who looks to Him to bless them.
Rewards we can receive as part of the body of Christ:
- There are blessings that come by the sheer fact that you are in Christ.
- God gives you the grace to operate in whatever role, ministry, or task you are given, and when you use this grace, He rewards you for using it.
The more you behold Jesus, the more shalom peace and undeserved favor will abound in your life
As we look forward to the day the Lord comes for us, is there anything that we can learn or walk in that will bring us life?
“For He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet. The last enemy that will be destroyed is death.”
— 1 Corinthians 15:25–26 NKJV
“all enemies under His feet. The last enemy . . . is death” — Jesus won the victory over all enemies at the cross. That is redemption by blood. But in terms of redemption by power (experientially), the last enemy that will be put under His feet is physical death, and this will happen in the rapture. By that time, all other enemies including sickness, will have already been defeated or put under Jesus’ feet.
“In the way of righteousness is life,
And in its pathway there is no death.”
— Proverbs 12:28 NKJV
The enemy is using all means to try to destroy people in the body of Christ. As long as you are alive on earth, you can be used by God! You can impact the people around you, share the gospel with them, and be an instrument of God’s healing to them. Once you are in heaven, you will no longer be able to reach lost souls on earth.
Pastor Prince shares that mental health challenges are on the increase among the youth in Singapore and around the world today. There has been a fresh attack of the enemy against the youth of today because he is afraid of the Benjamin Generation that God is raising in these last days. We need to pray for the young people all over the world.
Pastor Prince also shared about a word of knowledge he shared during New Creation Church’s 2020 youth outreach event, Zone X. He gave a word of knowledge concerning a young man who was struggling with mental health issues and contemplating suicide. Hearing Pastor Prince’s word, the youth was shocked and overwhelmed by the love of God and reached out to one of the NCC leaders. Eventually this young man received salvation and was ministered to.
Though this generation is well-connected on social media, they have never been more lonely and in despair. God wants to use you to reach out to this young generation! Being sensitive to the Holy Spirit will help you to be at the right place at the right time to minister to people.
“Hear, O Israel . . . And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart . . . ”
— Deuteronomy 6:4–5 KJV
“Hear” — This is the Hebrew word “shama,” which means “hear.” The introduction of the law begins with this phrase, “Hear, O Israel . . .” right before the greatest commandment is articulated—to love the Lord your God, with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength. The word “shama” therefore alludes to the law.
There was a man in the New Testament called Simeon, whose name comes from the word “shama.” He is a picture of the law. God promised Simeon that he would not see death until he saw Yeshua, who is Jesus (Luke 2:26). At this time, Simeon was an old man and God kept him alive to see the first coming of Christ. Once he had seen Yeshua, Simeon (who represents the law) blessed baby Yeshua’s parents and then asked the Lord to let him depart in peace (Luke 2:29–30) because righteousness had been given to men. This is a picture of how the law was happy to depart once Christ came. The law was happy to make way for grace.
“Now there was one, Anna, a prophetess . . . she gave thanks to the Lord, and spoke of Him to all those who looked for redemption in Jerusalem.”
— Luke 2:36, 38 NKJV
“Anna” — After Simeon departed, Anna the prophetess came next. Her name is the word “hanna” in Hebrew and means “grace.” Anna’s role was to speak of Jesus to all who were looking for redemption and point them to Jesus. The law is not an evangelist but grace is a great evangelist, telling people about Jesus.
“With long life I will satisfy him,
And show him My salvation.””
— Psalm 91:16 NKJV
“With long life I will satisfy him” — Long life is a blessing from God. God’s desire is for you to live long so that you can see more of Jesus.
“salvation” — This is translated as “Yeshua” in the original Hebrew. The Lord promises that we will lead a long life so that we will see more of Jesus through His Word. Yeshua’s name summarizes all the blessings and promises of Psalm 91.
“Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord,”
— 2 Peter 1:2 NKJV
“in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord” — The only way for grace and peace to be multiplied to you is through the knowledge of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. The more you know Jesus, the more you have undeserved favor abounding in your life, shalom peace for your mind, and shalom wholeness and wellbeing for your body. It behooves us to see more and more of Jesus and to get to know Him more and more.
You cannot know more of Jesus through social media and other people because they cannot give you what only the Holy Spirit can. Beloved, spend time in the Word and keep on listening to anointed sermons about Jesus to know Him more!
As you receive the abundance of grace and the gift of righteousness, you will reign in life
“For if by the one man’s offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.”
— Romans 5:17 NKJV
“by the one man’s offense death reigned” — God never intended for Man to die. But the wages of sin is death, and Adam’s sin brought death into existence. From then on, death has reigned through Adam’s sin.
“those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life” — Contrary to the common notion that receiving grace and righteousness will cause us to reign in this lifetime, we can look at this verse to mean: instead of death reigning, you will reign through the life that is within you!
In order to reign in life, you need to receive:
- The abundance of grace — We need an abundance of the preaching of grace for there to be an abundance of grace. Salvation and almost all of the blessings of God are received by the preached Word. God has designed it in such a way that it is by the foolishness of preaching that those who believe are saved, healed, and delivered (1 Cor. 1:21 KJV). When praying for someone to be healed, it is important to not only lay hands on them, but to also share the Word about healing and what Jesus has done for them first. That will cause faith to spring forth!
- The gift of righteousness — Today, you no longer need to try to earn righteousness by obeying the Ten Commandments. The law was designed to bring out your sin, not designed for you to justify yourself by (Rom. 5:20). You don’t have to pay for righteousness or earn it. At the cross, the divine exchange happened where Jesus traded His righteousness for your sin. You simply need to receive His righteousness as a gift!
“I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.”
— John 10:10b KJV
Jesus did not come to make bad people good, He came to make dead people live. When you were first born again, God’s life was infused into your dead spirit and you became alive in resurrected life. The issue of morality will take care of itself with a person who has life, not death, reigning in them. The life of God in you will produce the character of God and the fruits of the Holy Spirit.
Today, you are actually a resurrected spirit living in an unresurrected body. The only form of redemption that will take place when Jesus comes again is when our bodies are transformed into an incorruptible, glorified body.
Faith is simple—when you see Jesus in His grace, He sees you in your faith
The greatest blessing that you can ever receive is for your dead spirit to come to life, which is salvation.
“For by grace you have been saved through faith . . . ”
— Ephesians 2:8 NKJV
The Bible says that salvation is received by grace and through faith. On God’s part, He gives us grace, which is unearned, undeserved favor, and on our part, we receive it through faith.
What exactly is faith and how do we operate in faith? If the greatest blessing of all salvation comes through faith, it is evident that every other blessing will come to us by faith as well. Faith is the divine currency of heaven—as we give God faith, God gives us the things that we need.
This does not mean that we are earning His blessings. Receiving something by faith means that it is given by grace on God’s part. Great faith acknowledges there’s no work for you to do; you only need to receive from the Lord.
Sometimes we don’t want to receive a blessing because we want to earn it. Child of God, we all have to learn to receive blessings by grace, to just enjoy God’s love and say, “Thank You!”
Many times when we have faith in God, we are not even conscious of it. It can be easy to make faith into a work if we are not careful, but faith is actually very simple.
FAITH SPRINGS FORTH WHEN YOU SIMPLY SEE JESUS IN HIS LOVE AND GENEROSITY TOWARD YOU.
When you see Him in His grace, He sees you in your faith.
“And He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well.”
— Mark 5:34a NKJV
“your faith has made you well” — When the woman with the issue of blood touched the hem of Jesus’ garment and received her healing, Jesus gave her the credit even though it was His power that healed her. While the woman was seeking Jesus, she was not conscious of her own faith, but was only conscious of Jesus.
“So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.”
— Romans 10:17 NASB
THE MORE YOU HEAR ABOUT JESUS, THE MORE FAITH YOU WILL HAVE!
Beloved, when you are conscious of Jesus’ grace, loveliness, and generosity, He sees you in your faith.
Faith operates when you believe what God says in your heart and speak it forth with your mouth
The process of faith is very simple: it involves your mouth and your heart.
“But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith which we preach): that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”
— Romans 10:8–10 NKJV
“confess with your mouth . . . believe in your heart” — Just as salvation is received by believing in your heart and confessing with your mouth, other blessings like healing are received the same way. Besides knowing that God wants you healed and that Jesus has paid for it by His stripes, you need to say it with your mouth as well!
With the mouth, confession is made unto healing, unto protection, unto overcoming a sinful habit in your life. It is not enough for you to know what God is showing you about that particular area of your life. You need to speak forth what you have learned from the Lord too.
“We having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken; we also believe, and therefore speak;”
— 2 Corinthians 4:13 KJV
“same spirit of faith” — This is how the spirit of faith operates: “I believed, and therefore have I spoken.” This is the same spirit of faith that the woman with the issue of blood, as well as Joshua and Caleb (Num. 13:30, 14:9 KJV), had. They simply believed in their heart and spoke it with their mouth.
“And Peter calling to remembrance saith unto him, Master, behold, the fig tree which thou cursedst is withered away.”
— Mark 11:21 KJV
Pastor Prince shares the story in Mark 11 where Jesus cursed a fig tree which bore no fruit.
“the fig tree which thou cursedst is withered away” — This tells us that the moment Jesus cursed the tree, it still appeared green and healthy. When they passed by it a second time, they saw that it had withered up and died. From here, Jesus taught His disciples a lesson on faith.
“And Jesus answering saith to them, `Have faith of God;”
— Mark 11:22 YLT
“Have faith of God” — Here, Jesus is telling the disciples to have the faith of God, which is God’s kind of faith, rather than having faith in God.
When God first created the world, He simply spoke to create it. He spoke first, then He saw it come into existence (Gen. 1:3-4a). We are created in the image of God, therefore when we speak out what we believe in our hearts, we will see it.
“ . . . whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.”
— Mark 11:23 KJV
WHEN YOU BELIEVE IN YOUR HEART AND SPEAK IT WITH YOUR MOUTH, YOU SHALL HAVE WHATEVER YOU SAY!
God has given your words tremendous power that can bring either life or death
“Death and life are in the power of the tongue,
And those who love it will eat its fruit.”
— Proverbs 18:21 NKJV
When God created man, God gave him a power that he was not even aware of. It was the power to call forth things into existence. God brought the animals to Adam to be named, and whatever Adam named the animals, that became their nature (Gen. 2:19b). God was teaching Adam the power that lay within his mouth.
We often lean naturally towards death in the words we speak daily. This is because the devil has subtly programmed death into the human language. The enemy wants people to think that phrases such as “I’m dying for a piece of cake” are merely figures of speech but what people don’t realize is that they are sabotaging themselves because the Bible says life and death are in the power of the tongue.
Adam came to understand the power he had in his words. At the time that he and Eve sinned against God, Eve was not yet named “Eve.” When God created the first man and woman, He named both of them “Adam” (Gen. 5:2 KJV).
When they had sinned, their spirits died and God pronounced death on them.
“In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread
Till you return to the ground,
For out of it you were taken;
For dust you are,
And to dust you shall return.”
And Adam called his wife’s name Eve, because she was the mother of all living.”
— Genesis 3:19–20 NKJV
“And Adam called his wife’s name Eve” — It was only when God declared that Adam and his wife would die that Adam turned to his wife and named her “Eve,” which is the Hebrew word “havvah,” meaning “life-giver.” This name comes from the Hebrew root word that means to “declare life” or “proclaim life.” Though the sentence of death had been pronounced on both of them, Adam loved his wife and told her, “You’ll be the mother of all living. You’ll be living, not dying, and you’ll be imparting and proclaiming life.”
We can see here that Adam was conscious of the power God had given him to speak life and death, and this caused the effect of death to be much slower upon him and Eve. Even though their spirits died when they sinned, they only experienced physical death 900-over years later.
To those who are asking, “Why ask God for a long life? Even the apostle Paul had his life cut short by martyrdom.”
Actually, Paul’s life was not cut short prematurely. Paul could have overcome death, living to more than a hundred years old, but he chose the path of martyrdom because it was more glorious.
“For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure is at hand.
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”
— 2 Timothy 4:6–7 NKJV
“fought the good fight . . . finished the race . . . kept the faith” — Paul did not leave until his work was done, by which time he had nothing else that he looked forward to on earth except for the Lord.
“For I am hard-pressed between the two, having a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better. Nevertheless to remain in the flesh is more needful for you. And being confident of this, I know that I shall remain and continue with you all for your progress and joy of faith,”
— Philippians 1:23–25 NKJV
In the book of Philippians, we see how Paul had a difficult decision to make between leaving his body and being with Christ, which was far better for him, or staying in the flesh, which was more needful for the church. He seemed to be able to decide when to leave his body, which is something that can only be said when one has power over death. Paul evidently understood the power of his words!
There are other martyrs who, like Paul, also decided to die by martyrdom:
“Women received their dead raised to life again. Others were tortured, not accepting deliverance, that they might obtain a better resurrection.”
— Hebrews 11:35 NKJV
“Others were tortured, not accepting deliverance” — These martyrs had a choice, and they chose to not accept deliverance.
Jesus is always speaking life over you through His Word and anointed preaching
Beloved, what are you doing with your words today? Are you using them to speak life over yourself and those around you? Are you ministering health and healing to them?
It’s important for us to be aware that criticizing those around us is equal to speaking death over them. In Mark 11:14 KJV, Jesus didn’t explicitly say to the fig tree, “I curse you.” Instead, He said to it, “No man eat fruit from you hereafter forever.” It was simply a negative statement.
When we tell our spouse or children, “You are forever careless,” or, “You are always critical,” this is tantamount to a curse. Let’s reverse that practice and instead speak blessings and positive words to our loved ones.
YOUR WORDS CARRY POWER GIVEN BY GOD AND THIS POWER IS INTENDED FOR LIFE, NOT FOR DEATH.
“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word (‘rhéma’), that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.”
— Ephesians 5:25–27 NKJV
“gave Himself for her” — Jesus loved the church (you and me) firstly by giving Himself up on the cross for us. By giving Himself for us, He is now able to “sanctify and cleanse [us] with the washing of water by the word.” This is an important part of how He demonstrates His love for us.
“sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word (‘rhéma’)” — The word “sanctify” means to “make special, set apart.” And “the word” is the Greek word “rhéma,” which refers to the spoken word of God. Our Lord Jesus speaks over us and sets us apart, makes us special, and cleanses us. We can see how He did this for His disciples in the upper room in John 15:1, 3, 5.
THE CLEANSING WORDS JESUS SPEAKS OVER YOU ALWAYS AFFIRM YOU OF WHO YOU ARE—SPOTLESS AND WITHOUT BLEMISH.
Today, Jesus is constantly cleansing you by speaking good things over you, and you can hear His rhéma word when you expose yourself to anointed preaching and spend time hearing the Holy Spirit on the inside of you leading you. You can ask the Lord what His rhéma or spoken Word for you today is as we must live by the ever-proceeding (present tense) rhéma Word of God (Matt. 4:4 KJV).
Pastor Prince shares some wisdom for marriages. He encourages husbands to love their wives as Christ loved the church and to speak good things over their wives to make their wives feel special. Husbands, when you speak to your wife, does it feel like a refreshing, cleansing bath for her, or does it cause her to feel inadequate?
Nobody is perfect in this area and we are all a work in progress. Nonetheless, Pastor Prince encourages couples to love one another because they enjoy loving and not simply in order to get the response they want (e.g. “I love my spouse so that he/she will change.”).
When husbands choose to use words that will make their wives feel special and cleansed, such as in Song of Songs 4:7—“You are all fair, my love, and there is no spot in you.”—it is not a lie. It is simply calling those things that don’t exist yet as though they are, just as God does (Rom. 4:17). In fact, the Lord really does see your wife as Song of Songs describes. As you speak it forth, you will see a glorious woman before you!
When you fail, confess your righteousness in Christ and see victory and restoration
The Lord wants us to know and walk in all these truths—to speak forth who we are in Christ and also remind our loved ones who they are in Christ. Most importantly, let us confess and believe: “I am the righteousness of God in Christ.” It is so important to confess your righteousness whenever you feel you have slipped up or fallen short.
Pastor Prince shares a testimony of a brother from Florida who was addicted to watching pornography for 28 years. In 2007, he discovered Pastor Prince’s ministry and began watching his sermons every day. As the grace of God became real to him, and he began confessing, “I am the righteousness of God in Christ,” even in the midst of his addiction, he began watching pornography less and less. Today, he has been set free from pornography for eight years.
Pastor Prince has received many similar testimonies of people who confessed, “I am the righteousness of God in Christ,” while watching pornography. While this may seem wrong, it is in fact calling the things that are not yet in the present as though they exist. Because in God’s eyes, this is reality!
God sees you in the spirit (which has been infused with His resurrection life and righteousness), so call forth what is within your spirit until it touches your soul and flows to your body (Rom. 8:10)!
Heavenly Father, I thank You for sending Jesus Christ to die on the cross for my sins. And I thank You that You raised Him from the dead. I thank You, Father, that all my sins have been removed from my life, cleansed by the blood of Jesus. Jesus Christ is my Lord and my Savior. And I thank You that I am the righteousness of God in Christ, in Jesus’ name, Amen.
This coming week, the Lord bless you and your families and the Lord keep you and your loved ones from the COVID-19 virus. The Lord make His face to shine upon you and be favorable to you. The Lord lift up His countenance, smile on you, and grant to you shalom well-being, healing, and wholeness in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. And all the people said, Amen.
OWN THE WORD (life application)
As believers, we get to operate in faith and see amazing breakthroughs, miracles, and blessings happen in our lives and in the lives of our loved ones.
Faith is simple—you don’t need to try very hard to squeeze it out. You need only focus on seeing Jesus in His immense grace and goodness toward you. The more you see Him in His grace, the more He sees you in your faith!
As faith springs forth effortlessly in your heart, don’t let it stop there. Speak it forth! 2 Corinthians 4:13 tells us that the spirit of faith believes and then speaks. As you see more of Jesus in His grace and learn more about the promises and blessings He purchased for you at the cross, speak them forth in your life—whether it is healing for your body, shalom wellbeing in your emotions, or good success in your career.
What you say is powerful. Proverbs 18:21 tells us that life and death are in the power of the tongue. So this week, speak forth the truth of God’s Word over your life. Speak forth your righteousness in Christ. Speak forth good over your spouse, over your children, and over your circumstances.
Also, take time to listen to the Lord Jesus Himself speaking good over you. How? By listening to anointed preaching that brings His rhéma word—His word in season—for your life, and by asking the Holy Spirit to speak to you as you read the written Word for yourself.
Begin to speak life, not death, and you will see life manifest according to your word!
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.