These are notes on the sermon, Hope for the Third-Day Generation, preached by Pastor Joseph Prince on Sunday, 26 June 2022, at The Star Performing Arts Centre, Singapore. We hope these sermon notes will be an encouragement to you!
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Pastor Prince begins the sermon by sharing that God’s heart is to save those who are lost and far from His heart.
These days, we can observe more and more people living according to their own will instead of God’s will for their lives. This is because they do not know the Father’s heart of love for them. They no longer listen to what the leaders God has appointed over them have to say. All that matters to them is what they say and how they feel. For example, they go to church only when they feel like it. People are no longer coming together to contribute their gifts in loving each other.
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you;
Before you were born I sanctified you;
I ordained you a prophet to the nations.”
—Jeremiah 1:5 NKJV
The Lord gave us a purpose for our lives long before we were formed. However, most of us have forgotten to seek out our God-given purpose.
When we live for ourselves, we lose ourselves. As children of God, we are meant to live like royals according to His will. Do not compare yourself with people who chase after and achieve worldly success and fame—they are living in a polished prison. As much success as they have, they are also restricted in so many areas of their lives because of the attention they receive.
Beloved, do not take the freedom you have for granted. You are born with a God-given purpose. Fame and recognition do not fulfill your purpose in life. Your life does not have to be great by the world’s standards to be beautiful.
It is normal for us to admire a magnificent mountain. But do not look past the flower on that mountain that has intricate beauty. There is a lot of beauty in the small things in life. If you think your life is insignificant, know that the Lord has ordained your life to be beautiful and purposeful just like the flower on the majestic mountain. Chasing after fame and fortune does not satisfy the longing for meaning and purpose in your life. Even with these things, you will only find fulfillment when you use the influence given to you to serve and bless others.
Pastor Prince shares about a personal encounter with a stranger during his recent holiday. One evening, Pastor Prince was led by the Spirit to go on a walk in the park alone. A lady jogging past him recognized him even though he was wearing a mask and approached him. During their conversation, he learned that the lady was not born again and began to steer the conversation toward the gospel. She shared with Pastor Prince her wrong beliefs that she must meditate away the dark thoughts in her mind. It was then that Pastor Prince used the opportunity to tell her that Jesus was the only solution to her dark thoughts, not her meditation, and led her to be born again.
Each of us has a high calling from God. When you fulfill that calling, you are more fulfilled than people who are considered successful according to the world’s standards.
The words of the Teacher, son of David, king in Jerusalem:
“Vanity of vanities,” says the Preacher;
“Vanity of vanities, all is vanity.”
—Ecclesiastes 1:1–2 NKJV
Solomon, the man who had everything he wanted and dreamt of, began and ended the book of Ecclesiastes saying that all the success and riches he had were empty and vain. As believers today, we do not have to pursue that kind of life, but we can trust the Lord to give us fulfillment. Jesus said that He comes that we might have life and life more abundantly (John 10:10). Everything God has blessed us with, everything that we have today, was given to us to serve His purpose. When you lose your life for His sake, you will find it (Mark 8:35). That is when you will step into the abundant and fulfilling life that Jesus died for you to have.
Pastor Prince shares that when he first started working in full-time ministry as a pastor of the church, he experienced the biggest provisions in his life through his job then. Things happen when we focus on serving the Lord’s purpose for our lives. When we take time to serve the Lord’s purpose, the Lord fulfills the desires of our hearts. However, when we place our focus on trying to attain the things we want, we lose out on the best God has for us.
Some of us may find ourselves increasingly depressed with every new achievement. The more we try and the more we attain, the more we become depressed. It doesn’t make sense, does it? But it goes to show that these things cannot fulfill us. Beloved, do not waste your time chasing after these things only to realize that you have missed the calling that God has given you.
If a bird is made to fly, it should not try to swim. Success is doing what you were born to do. We do not have to try to be somebody else because everyone’s purpose is tailored to who the Lord has called them to be.
2022 is the year of Rest and Acceleration and we have been experiencing it as a church. We do not have to worry about how or when things will happen—our portion is to rest in God and He will make things happen for us.
Bible prophecy for our times
“After two days He will revive us;
On the third day He will raise us up,
That we may live in His sight.
Let us know,
Let us pursue the knowledge of the Lord.
His going forth is established as the morning;
He will come to us like the rain,
Like the latter and former rain to the earth.”
—Hosea 6:2–3 NKJV
The verses above are a prophetic message from God about the coming of Jesus. In 2 Peter 3:8, we learn that a thousand years with the Lord is like one day. With this, we can interpret “after two days” in Hosea 6:2 to mean 2,000 years after the resurrection of Jesus.
“After two days” — We are the people living 2,000 years since the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The year 2022 can be considered to be early in the morning of the third day. Jesus rose early in the morning on the third day.
But before the rapture, we can first look forward to the fulfillment of certain promises God has made to us, for example:
“He will revive us” — The Hebrew word “revive” means “to restore to life.” After 2,000 years, the Lord will bring restoration to His people—He will revive our physical bodies, giving us life and health, especially in times like these where there are many new plagues and viruses in the world.
With the increasing number of diseases and challenges coming ahead of us, we can hold fast to God’s promises that He will redeem us (Luke 21:28). The world is changing and no one can stop it. And the Bible says that when these things happen, do not be troubled. We can lift our heads up with confidence in the Lord because our redemption is drawing near!
If we can experience so much of God’s goodness on earth, how much more will we be able to experience in our perfect bodies! What the earth can offer us is bland compared to what heaven has waiting for us.
“live in His sight” — This is another hint of the rapture. He will raise us up and we will live in His sight, have a face-to-face kind of relationship.
There are two seasons of rain in Israel that are vital for the people’s livelihood—the seasons of the latter rain and the former rain. The former rain happens in late October and causes the new seeds planted to sprout. The latter rain happens in March of the following year and prepares the grain for harvest. God gives rain for the sowing season and rain for the reaping season.
In the book of James, we see that we are living in the season of the latter rain—we are experiencing the harvest of His people.
The former rain, which is “moreh” in Hebrew, means “teacher.” This represents God’s supply of words of life, power, and beauty.
Sometimes we may see God’s power in a situation but not yet see results. This can possibly mean that the seed is just being sown and the Lord has supplied the former rain needed for the seed to sprout. Friend, be patient—the latter rain will come and you will be able to harvest His blessings in due time.
Pastor Prince believes that his children, Jessica and Justin, represent God’s heart for him to observe the signs and wonders of the early and latter rain—Jessica was born in November (in the season of former rain) while Justin was born in March (in the season of latter rain). As it is for Pastor Prince, God’s desires you to observe the signs and wonders of the early and latter rain in your own life.
According to God’s promise to Abraham, the whole world would be blessed through his Seed (Jesus). When Israel rejected Jesus, He became the bread and life to the Gentile world.
This is similar to the Old Testament story of Joseph (a picture of Jesus) who was loved by his father but rejected by his own brothers (a picture of Israel). When the Gentiles received Jesus, they flourished in every area. Every breakthrough we have experienced in the last 2,000 years happened because we received Jesus.
However, just like Joseph never forgot about his brothers, the Lord has not forgotten Israel.
So what’s going to happen after the rapture?
Understanding Bible prophecy hidden in these New Testament and Old Testament stories:
The Wedding of Cana (John 2), the Woman at the Well (John 4), the Raising of Lazarus from the Dead (John 11), the Splitting of the Jordan River (Josh. 3)
“On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. Now both Jesus and His disciples were invited to the wedding.”
—John 2:1–2 NKJV
“On the third day” — This has significance to us as third-day Christians who will see the rapture.
“invited to the wedding” — After the rapture, we are going to have a wedding feast. It is the marriage supper of the Lamb. God is inviting us to a wedding, a feast and celebration, for when we return to heaven as the bride of Christ on the third day.
In the story of Jesus and the woman at the well (John 4), Jesus was the seventh man she met and He spoke to her in exactly seven exchanges. Seven is the number of perfection. It can be said that she encountered perfect love and was changed forever.
“So when the Samaritans had come to Him, they urged Him to stay with them; and He stayed there two days. And many more believed because of His own word. Then they said to the woman, “Now we believe, not because of what you said, for we ourselves have heard Him and we know that this is indeed the Christ, the Savior of the world.” Now after the two days He departed from there and went to Galilee.”
—John 4:40–43 NKJV
Jesus stayed with the Samaritans, who are not Jews, for two days after He met the woman at the well. This is a picture of how Jesus has stayed with the non-Jews in the world for 2,000 years.
“. . . For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him.”
—Matthew 6:8 NKJV
God is aware of the increasing demands of today’s world. In fact, there is a special promise that God has made to third-day Christians:
“Before they call I will answer; while they are still speaking I will hear.”
—Isaiah 65:24 NIV
“Before they call I will answer”—The Lord knows about our needs even before we speak of them. Sometimes we intend to pray for something, but before we get to it, we realize that the Lord has already answered our needs. This is the acceleration that only God can provide. We are in the days where we can expect to see this prophecy in Isaiah fulfilled!
Back to John 4, we see that Jesus left the Gentiles after two days and returned to Cana where He had attended a wedding and performed His first miracle. This is a prophetic sign for us today—a divine hint that there will be a wedding feast 2,000 years after Jesus’ resurrection.
“Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. So, when He heard that he was sick, He stayed two more days in the place where He was. Then after this He said to the disciples, “Let us go to Judea again.””
—John 11:5–7 NKJV
“two more days” — Yet again, we see the mention of “two more days.” This time, Jesus stayed two days with the Gentiles and returned to the Jews on the third day. What this means for us today is that in the 2,000 years since Jesus’ resurrection, He has been restoring and reviving the Gentile world. After these 2,000 years, He will return to the Jews and bring forth restoration and revival among His chosen people.
“Then Joshua rose early in the morning; and they set out from Acacia Grove and came to the Jordan, he and all the children of Israel, and lodged there before they crossed over. So it was, after three days, that the officers went through the camp; and they commanded the people, saying, “When you see the ark of the covenant of the Lord your God, and the priests, the Levites, bearing it, then you shall set out from your place and go after it. Yet there shall be a space between you and it, about two thousand cubits by measure. Do not come near it, that you may know the way by which you must go, for you have not passed this way before.””
—Joshua 3:1–4 NKJV
“after three days” — This is significant for us as third-day Christians. The ark of the covenant is a picture of Jesus. Jesus is about to move. Get ready for the rapture.
“two thousand cubits” — This represents the 2,000 years between Jesus’ resurrection and us. You will have a bodily resurrection two thousand years after Jesus’ resurrection
“So Joshua said to the children of Israel, “Come here, and hear the words of the Lord your God.” And Joshua said, “By this you shall know that the living God is among you, and that He will without fail drive out from before you the Canaanites and the Hittites and the Hivites and the Perizzites and the Girgashites and the Amorites and the Jebusites: Behold, the ark of the covenant of the Lord of all the earth is crossing over before you into the Jordan. Now therefore, take for yourselves twelve men from the tribes of Israel, one man from every tribe. And it shall come to pass, as soon as the soles of the feet of the priests who bear the ark of the Lord, the Lord of all the earth, shall rest in the waters of the Jordan, that the waters of the Jordan shall be cut off, the waters that come down from upstream, and they shall stand as a heap.””
—Joshua 3:9–13 NKJV
“He will without fail drive out from before you the Canaanites and the Hittites and the Hivites and the Perizzites and the Girgashites and the Amorites and the Jebusites” — These were the enemies of Israel. On the third day, before the rapture, the Lord is going to drive out our enemies for us!
In Corinthians, the Bible says that whatever happened in the Old Testament are “tupos,” which means “types,” for us to learn from. The doctrine is in the New Testament but its details are in the Old Testament. The Old Testament is the New Testament concealed, and the New Testament is the Old Testament revealed.
“And Joshua said, “By this you shall know that the living God is among you, and that He will without fail drive out from before you the Canaanites and the Hittites and the Hivites and the Perizzites and the Girgashites and the Amorites and the Jebusites”
—Joshua 3:10 NKJV
Here are the seven enemies that the Lord will drive out for you.
1. “Canaanites” — The name of this enemy means “traffickers or barterers” in Hebrew. Canaanites represent the spirit of self-righteousness (wanting to barter with God / earn His blessings through your good works). You do not have to barter your good deeds with God for His blessings. In the kingdom of God, the first thing to defeat is your self-righteousness. God’s blessings and love for us can be freely received—they are unmerited and unconditional because of the finished work of Jesus Christ.
Truly, we cannot give anything to God because everything that we have is first from God.
2. “Hittites” — The name of this enemy means “terror and fear” in Hebrew. God’s heart is to drive out every fear and terror that is holding you back from living your God-given purpose. Whether it is fear of the future, fear of lack, or fear of man—any kind of fear has no place in your life because you are God’s beloved child.
3. “Hivites”— The name of this enemy means “squatters” in Hebrew. Squatters are people who illegally stay in your house and use things that do not belong to them. Are there any areas in your life where the enemy is squatting right now? Perhaps the enemy is squatting on the influence you have over your children, making them heed the advice of the world instead of yours. Maybe the enemy is squatting your own personal belief system, stealing the word that God was sown in your life and replacing it with lies.
Fear not, beloved, because the Lord is working to drive these squatters out of your life!
4. “Perizzites” — The name of this enemy means “unwalled villages” in Hebrew. In the past, an unwalled village is one that is not protected. Walls are for defense and protection. Those of us attacked by this enemy often feel vulnerable, alone, uncared for, and unprotected. Some of us fall into depression and anxiety because we feel this way.
“He will feed His flock like a shepherd;
He will gather the lambs with His arm,
And carry them in His bosom,
And gently lead those who are with young.”
—Isaiah 40:11 NKJV
When the Lord says He will drive out the Perizzites, He means that He will shepherd you and keep you close to Him. As your Shepherd, the Lord protects you and fights for you. He keeps you in His embrace so you do not have to feel vulnerable. Beloved, you can rest easy knowing that the Lord cares, protects, and fights for you.
“He will gather the lambs with His arm” — The Lord wants you to feel safe and know that you are being held close to His bosom. It’s good for us to also share this image of Jesus with our children and tell them that Jesus holds them close to His heart.
5. “Girgashites” — The name of this enemy means “dwellers in clay” in Hebrew. Clay is a picture of the flesh. The Lord is saying that He is going to deliver us from walking in the flesh. When we are born again, we are no more in the flesh but of the Spirit. However, as Christians, we must learn to walk in the Spirit.
6. “Amorites” — The name of this enemy is derived from “amar” which means “slander” in Hebrew. This does not only refer to humiliation from a single person but also public slander. Christians today are generally represented in a negative light in mass media, so we should not believe everything we see on the Internet.
The only truth that you should believe is the unchanging and infallible Word of God. Deuteronomy 28:10 prophesies that the world will see that you are God’s beloved and they shall be afraid to make false and damaging statements about you.
7. “Jebusites” — The name of this enemy means “down-trodders” in Hebrew. If you are being attacked by this enemy, you constantly feel downtrodden because of bad treatment, shame, or humiliation. Beloved, if that is you, the Lord promises to raise you up with His love, joy, and peace. This does not necessarily refer to a promotion in position, but you will experience an elevation in your spirit where your thoughts become wonderful and beautiful.
You may have observed and experienced these 7 enemies coming against you in your life. Take heart! As we approach the third day (the day of the rapture), the Lord is wiping out these enemies from our lives and bringing forth a season of restoration and revival.
“Behold, the ark of the covenant of the Lord of all the earth is crossing over before you into the Jordan. Now therefore, take for yourselves twelve men from the tribes of Israel, one man from every tribe. And it shall come to pass, as soon as the soles of the feet of the priests who bear the ark of the Lord, the Lord of all the earth, shall rest in the waters of the Jordan, that the waters of the Jordan shall be cut off, the waters that come down from upstream, and they shall stand as a heap.” So it was, when the people set out from their camp to cross over the Jordan, with the priests bearing the ark of the covenant before the people, and as those who bore the ark came to the Jordan, and the feet of the priests who bore the ark dipped in the edge of the water (for the Jordan overflows all its banks during the whole time of harvest), that the waters which came down from upstream stood still, and rose in a heap very far away at Adam, the city that is beside Zaretan. So the waters that went down into the Sea of the Arabah, the Salt Sea, failed, and were cut off; and the people crossed over opposite Jericho.”
—Joshua 3:11–16 NKJV
“the ark of the covenant of the Lord of all the earth is crossing over before you into the Jordan” — This is a picture of Jesus going before us. Bear in mind that the leaders you follow can lead you to walk in God’s goodness or keep you from walking in it.
“the waters which came down from upstream stood still, and rose in a heap very far away at Adam, the city that is beside Zaretan” — This is a picture of the Lord clearing every sin committed since the time of Adam and pushing back the distress and trouble (Zaretan) brought about by Adam’s fall. Once again, this happens on the third day.
“the feet of the priests who bore the ark dipped in the edge of the water (for the Jordan overflows all its banks during the whole time of harvest)” — God does not supply in advance of your need. He will not equip a soldier with strength and courage today for a battle tomorrow. God will give the soldier what he needs when he is face-to-face with the enemy. The grace that God has given you is for today, and tomorrow He will provide you with the grace you need tomorrow.
While the Israelites were in the camp, they saw the river Jordan overflowing with water every day. When God instructed them to step into the waters the night before, He did not part the waters then. He only parted the waters when the sole of the priests’ feet entered the waters. This requires faith.
Similarly, in the story of Elisha and the Widow’s Oil (2 Kings 4:1–7), the supply of oil came according to the number of empty jars the widow had amassed. There has to be a need before the Lord supplies according to His goodness.
When you serve the Lord, there is a release of His anointing and He will refill His anointing in you. Similar to how we know that it is toxic to keep and reuse the same oil, the Lord does not keep stale oil. He will always anoint you with fresh oil.
At the end of the service, Pastor Prince prays for healing for people with:
“Father in heaven, I put my trust in the Lord Jesus Christ and in Him alone for my salvation. I believe Christ died for my sins and was raised from the dead for my justification. I'm now justified in Christ. Once I was a sinner, now I'm a new creation. Father, fill me with your Holy Spirit. Jesus Christ is my Lord now and forever. In Jesus' name, Amen.”
“God bless all of you this coming week. The Lord goes ahead of you and makes all the crooked places straight. He blesses you with his favor. But remember this—His favor flows only when you need it.”
In these last days, when there seem to be many reasons to be afraid, you can have hope in the Lord Jesus who has promised to fight for you, protect you, and provide for you before His return.
This week, if you are worried about a specific need or lack in your life—whether it is in the area of your finances, health, relationships, or walking in your God-given purpose—remember the Lord’s promises to care for you, provide for you, and replace all your fear and shame with His joy and peace.
He provides fresh grace and supply for you daily. So take one day at a time. Instead of worrying, trust that His grace will meet every need when it arises. Just like the Israelite priests acted in faith by stepping into the river Jordan when the waters were still overflowing its banks, you can also step out in faith by showing up where you need to be day by day, one step at a time, and trusting the Lord’s grace to be there when you need it.
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These sermon notes were taken by volunteers during the service. They are not a verbatim representation of the sermon.