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Sunday English Service - 05 NOV 17


Let's turn to Galatians 3. We've been talking about work and we said we'll teach it in three parts. The first part had to do with 'Why Work?' We titled it as 'Why Work'. It was all about how in the beginning, before the sin and the fall came, what was God's original design for work before the sin and the fall? We talked about it. Then, the second portion was about why work is difficult. This is about after the sin and the fall how it has impacted the area of our work. We talked about that and now we're in the third part and I have titled it as "Redemption and the Work of Our Hands". This part is about how our redemption and the blessing that has come to us through the redemption affects our work, impacts our work. I'm going to be talking about the effect of blessing upon our work. That's why we're going to read Galatians 3 and start here but we're going to go to many other passages.

We saw last week, I showed you that the consequences of the fall had a lot to do with the area of work. The mandate in the beginning in Genesis 1:28 was that Adam and Eve was to be fruitful, they must be multiplying, they must fill and they must subdue and dominate. These five things were said. This is the mandate God has given to them. "Go do this. Be fruitful, multiply, fill, subdue, and dominate." I showed you that as a consequence of the fall, those very five things that they are supposed to do, their job, their work, was affected. For Eve, it became very difficult for her to be fruitful, to multiply, to fill. To bear children was a difficulty now. For Adam, it became difficult to subdue and dominate, for both of them really to do these five things, to be fruitful, to multiply, subdue and dominate and fill has become a challenge now because of the consequences that sin and the fall has brought upon mankind.

When redemption comes, redemption is from the fall, when redemption comes through Jesus Christ, it deals with the consequences of the fall since the fall had much to do with man's work, that area of his life which we call as work. It impacted his work so much. The redemption also impacts man's work a lot and the Bible talks about it a lot. So, we're going to talk about redemption and how it affects our work.

Galatians 3:13 & 14 says this, Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law having become a curse for us. For it is written, Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus that we might receive the promise of the spirit through faith. Like I said, the gospels give us just a bare account of Christ's crucifixion and resurrection. It just tells us how the caught him, framed him, accused him, how they treated him, beat him, slapped Him, spit on him. Made Him carry the cross and put Him on the cross and nailed Him and pierced His side and there He died on the cross speaking those seven words. And then they buried Him and on the third day, He was risen. This is the account of what happened that is given in the four gospels. But the epistles are different. The epistles don't give just bare account of what happened. The epistles give us the meaning of what happened. That's why in the church we concentrate more on the epistles because it has to do with the truth behind what happened. It's not just 'what happened?' 'Why it happened?' What does it mean for us? What kind of benefits do we receive as a result of Christ dying on the cross of Calvary? That is why Paul is very important, Paul's epistles fill the new testament. He's a great man of revelation. Therefore, we pay a lot of attention to Paul.

Here's is Paul's interpretation of the cross of Calvary and what happened there. He says, "Christ has redeemed us from the curse." This is what he understands from the cross. What happened on the cross? He says, "It's our redemption from the curse that happened. Christ has redeemed us from the curse." How? As it is written, Cursed is everyone that hangeth on a tree. The old testament says that if a person is hanged and killed, he must be a cursed one. He died as a cursed one. Why? He was not a cursed one. He never sinned. He died bearing our curse. Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law as it is written, Cursed is everyone that hangs on a tree. But it doesn't end there, So that the blessing of Abraham might come upon all of us.

Curse is removed and blessing is given. This is Paul's interpretation of what happened on the cross of Calvary. He tells us what the gospels don't tell us. He tells us that this is the meaning of the cross, our curse has been removed. Sin brought curse and the curse impacted our work terribly. Redemption brings blessings and the blessing, therefore, impacts our work because the work of the cross is to reverse what happened through the fall. The redemption impacts our work and that's why we're talking about how this blessing, that has come as a result of Christ's death on the cross, impacts our work.

We're going to talk about three things here. First, I'm going to explain 'what does it mean to be blessed?' When we say we're blessed, we're not cursed, we're blessed, we believe as Christians that blessing has come to us through Jesus Christ and the cross. But what does it mean when we say that we're blessed? A lot of people don't understand this. What do we mean by being blessed? What has blessing done to us? And then, I'm going to go to a Biblical example of a Biblical character. I'm going to show you how the blessing literally impacts work. What does it do in the realm of our work? Then I'm going to show you how the blessing is to be believed. It will work only for those who believe. Even though the cross provides the blessing, through the cross blessing is provided, no one in Christian life... one thing you have to understand, everything works by faith. Nothing is pushed down your throat, nothing is compulsorily laid upon you. It just does not happen automatically, it just doesn't happen without your faith. You got to embrace what the Bible says, believe and fill your heart with it and speak it and embrace it. By faith only the blessing can be enjoyed. In the third part I'm going to show you how one man failed to embrace it, let go of it, let go of the blessing even the blessing belongs to him and what happened to him, how it impacted him. I'm going to show you how blessing impacted work of one man and how when a person lets go of blessing and does not care to believe it and appropriate it what does happen. These are things that we're going to understand right now.

Let's talk about what blessing means. Indians are very good at believing in blessing. That's one thing good about preaching in India. We all believe in blessing. We find all kinds of grey-haired people and fall at their feet. That's one plus point, having grey hair. We think some blessing comes upon us. It's something good about blessing. But you ask the people that fall on everybody's feet and tried to get blessing, you ask them, "What did you get?" They don't know exactly what it is. They can't define it, they can't articulate it. They know that it's something good. It's good to get the blessing of elders, good to get the blessing of people that are blessed. That's good. You got to appreciate it because in the western countries, they don't believe in blessing or cursing. "We don't care if someone blesses me or curses me. We don't believe these things." I believe about blessing and cursing because the Bible talks about it and blessing is a major theme of the Bible. So, I believe it. I believe very strongly in the Bible but I believe we need to understand what the blessing is.

What is blessing? In order to understand blessing, you got to go to Genesis 1 again. That's why Genesis 1 is the most important chapter. Some people think Revelation is the most important thing. They say, "Preach about Revelation." Let's get through Genesis 1 first. Genesis 1 says, In the beginning God made man in His image and likeness. Why did He make man in His image and likeness? Verse 26 says that. Why did God make man in His image and His likeness? He made him in His image and likeness so that he can function like Him. Man was made to be like God, to function like God. That is why God made man to be like Him. And He made them male and female, verse 27 says. Verse 28 says, God blessed them. After making them, God blesses man. Blesses man saying five things, "Be fruitful, multiply, fill, subdue, and dominate." He blesses them with these five words. This is the creation mandate. This is what God said they should be as a result of His blessing. He pronounces a blessing upon them and says, "Be fruitful, multiply, fill, subdue, and dominate." And they ought to go out and live in that way.

Blessing, I would say, is the ability to be fruitful, is the ability to multiply, is the ability to fill everything that has been emptied, is the ability to subdue and is the ability to dominate in every situation when challenges are faced. That's what blessing is. God gave an example of what He means by that - those five words by the first chapter itself. If you read from the first verse onward you read that the earth was created by God, heaven and earth were created by God. Earth was without form and void and darkness was filling the earth. Verse 3 onward, it talks about how God went about removing the darkness, removing the chaos, removing the emptiness and filling the earth with every good thing and making it an inhabitable world for man and animals and birds and fish and everything and made it a beautiful earth. That's what He calls as being fruitful, multiplying, filling, subduing, and dominating. This is what man is supposed to do. He must follow this pattern. Even the garden of Eden and the way God planted it and gave it to man and put man there is a pattern God sets before man saying, "Do what I did. Be fruitful, multiply, fill, subdue, dominate. Do this." Man cannot say, "I don't know what that means." He has an example in the first few verses itself.

This is what blessing is all about. Blessing is the power to be fruitful, the power to multiply, the power to fill everything that has become empty, the power to subdue, and the power to dominate. This power is given so that man can live like God and function like God. When God made man like Himself, He wanted man to function like Him. To function like that, man must be given an authority. We appoint policemen in this country and all over the world, governments appoint policemen. They have to give them some authority. An employment letter is the starting point. The employment letter is given. That endows him with certain powers. The government has vested in him certain powers. He can go and exercise... he's got to deal with law and order and crime. He's given that power. But just because he got the letter, that' not enough. He must show that power. That's why a uniform is given to him so that when people look at it, they will have some respect, right? Supposed to have it. The uniform is not enough because some people don't obey the uniform. They don't have respect for the law. So, they give them a lathi. If somebody does respect and not come in line, they can give them a couple of blows and bring them to subjection. There are some guys that don't fear a lathi so they're given a gun also. The point is a person is appointed to have authority and take care of law and order and crime, deal with all of those things, he must be given all the necessary powers, weapons, abilities that he must have to carry out that job, right? When God made man like Himself, made him in His image and likeness and told him to be fruitful, multiply, fill, subdue, and dominate, God gave man the power and the ability to do that. The ability was given, the power was given by God to man.

The Bible talks about it in so many ways. I want to go to a couple of passages and show you how the Bible talks about it in other places. It's so important because unless you realize that you really have it in you... it is God-given power and you need to be like God, you need to function like God because God has made you like that. The fall made man a loser. He lost all of these abilities. The redemption is about giving man back this ability that he lost at the fall. That is why we need to understand this. Unless you know and believe and live your life in the light of this truth, that you're made in the image and likeness of God and you need to be fruitful, multiply, subdue, and dominate, unless you believe and live this truth, you cannot really be the person God has designed you to be. God has not designed you to be anything else. He has designed you to be fruitful, multiply, fill, subdue, and dominate. Any other kind of life is not for you. God has not given you any other kind of life. This is the kind of life that's given. Unless you know this truth, how are you going to operate like that? How are you going to live like that? The devil fights this truth, I can tell you that. The devil does not want people to learn this truth because if people learn this truth, the devil has to be on the run because they will exercise their authority. They will get rid of darkness, they will remove chaos, they will remove emptiness, they will start being like God, functioning like God, taking victory in situation. That's why the devil opposes this truth. The devil doesn't mind you going to church, the devil doesn't mind you singing songs, the devil doesn't mind you going through all the rituals and ceremonies and all of those things that is Christian. Sometimes those things are necessary. The devil doesn't mind you being a Christian in that way but the devil does not want you to be a Christian who believes that you are to live like God, function like God, you're made in the image and likeness of God. You got to be fruitful, multiply, fill, subdue, and dominate. That's your job. That's the way you must live and that's what is given to you by redemption and Jesus Christ. That's what blessing is all about. When you say you're blessed, that's what it means. It means you've gotten back what you lost. Now you could be fruitful. You can go into a dead situation, you can go into a darkness, you can go into emptiness, you can go into a failure situation and turn it around completely because you are blessed. You can go into a dark place and speak saying, "Let there be light" and what you say, you will have. You can turn situation around. That's why the devil hates this subject.

Let me ask you to turn a verse... you need to look at the Bible and how the Bible emphasizes this truth. Turn with me to Psalm 82 please first. Psalm 82, let me read to you verse 6 and 7, I said, "You are gods and all of you are children of the Most High. But you shall die like men and fall like one of the princes."" Here he says, "I said, "You are gods."" Unbelievable. It says, I said, "You are gods and all of you are the children of the Most High. But you shall die like men." He's telling the people I told you that you are like gods, that you are gods, with a small g make sure you understand that. I'm not saying that you are God with a big g, you are god. In other words, ordinary men can be called God in some way. That's what it's saying basically. Don't be confused about this and don't take it to another extreme when you say you're a god. No, no. Men and women, because they are made in the image and likeness of God, because they have been given this ability. Which ability God Himself had. God transferred that ability by blessing man. The ability that He had to turn darkness into light, to remove chaos and fill the earth with good things, that ability was transferred to man when He blessed him to be fruitful, multiply, fill, subdue, and dominate. That's what is blessing.

If that is so, then man, in some way, can be called a god. That's what it's talking about. I said, "You are gods." Some people go berserk with this. "How can you say that you're gods?" Here it says that I said you are gods and all of you are the children of the Most High God. Clearly, it's talking about people there. But you shall die like men and fall like one of the princes. The 'die like men' is translated in some of the translations this way... KJV, I real NKJV. I don't know what you're reading. If you're having NIV, you will read, But you will die like mere mortals or mere men some translations have it. The 'mere men' is simply saying that even though you are called to be like God, exercise authority like God, even though you are called to be fruitful, multiply, fill, subdue, and dominate and rule over everything, you're going to die like people that don't have any power. You're going to die like mere men, men without all these abilities. Who's he talking to?

Whenever you take this passage, you run into trouble because people say, "Oh my God. I don't believe this." Let me go through it even more clearly than I have gone through before with this. If you look at Psalm 82, He's talking to a particular group of people. Who did God call gods? He says, "I said, "You are gods."" Did God say there are gods anywhere before this? Yes. I don't have the time to read it but I'll give you the reference. When He addressed the judges of Israel or the officials of Israel who had the power to execute judgment and punishment and execute God's laws among people, He looked at those officials, generally called judges... you remember at one time before the Kings came there were only judges and everyone was ruled by judges. God looks at Judges in Exodus 21:6 He calls them gods. He also calls them gods in Exodus 22:9 and Exodus 22:28. Instead of reading that, let me just give you the reference. There the judges, people that are in leadership positions that had some power to change things, power to do things were called gods, especially judges. They were called gods. Now read, you will understand. With that in mind if you read, you will understand because when He says, "I said, "You are gods." He's talking to a particular kind of people here in Psalm 82. In verse 1, you will read the context. God stands in the congregation of the mighty; He judges among the gods. Who is the congregation of the mighty? The congregation of the mighty consists of mighty men of Israel, mighty people in power. The people high in authority, people that have position and power that can make a change in their society, he is saying, "God stands in the congregation of the mighty." He is addressing the mighty, the judges, the leaders, those in authority, those in positions, the governors, the people that rule. The rulers, you may say and says, "God stands in the congregation of the mighty. He judges among the gods." Who are the gods? They are the gods.

For example, even today in the court of law the judge is addressed as 'My Lord.' You address the judge as 'My Lord.' What are you saying? He is a lord in a certain way. In what way is he lord? Why are you addressing him as lord? Because he is a person who has some authority. He can pass certain orders, everybody has to obey. If the judge passes an order, everybody, every official has to come in line and obey because he has such powers. He can tell things from his position of power and execute certain things and put in position certain orders. He has that power, enormous power so he is called lord, my lord because in that way he is lord. We're not saying he is God. In a certain way he is lord because if he says, it must be carried out. That's what makes him a lord. God says, "God stands in the congregation of the mighty; He judges among the gods," which are judges. "How long will you judge unjustly?" Now you know it's talking to judges. "How long will you judge unjustly and show partiality to the wicked? Defend the poor and fatherless, do justice to the afflicted and needy, deliver the poor and needy, free them from the hand of the wicked." They're supposed to do that. Judgement is supposed to be along these lines. They were supposed to do a decent job of defending the poor, the fatherless, doing justice to the afflicted, the needy, delivering the poor and the needy, and freeing the people from the hand of the wicked. That's what their job is all about. They need to make sure they enforce the law and make sure that these people, powerless people suffering under cruel people, must be saved from trouble. But they've not been doing their job, they've not been doing right. The judgements have not been right. It's been partial to the wicked, supporting the wicked, on the side of the wicked. So, God says, look at verse 5, "They do not know nor do they understand. They walk about in darkness. All the foundations of the earth are unstable, are moved, are shaking." That's what it's saying. What he's saying, these people don't know, do not do what is right, they are not exercising judgement in the proper way, not ruling and governing in a proper way. And because they do not do justice and govern and do things in the right way and do the right thing, the whole foundation is shaking. Foundation of the society is shaking, the nation of Israel... I'm talking about Israel. You don't be thinking about something else. I'm a Bible preacher talking about Bible. He says, "The foundation of the nation of Israel is shaking because its leaders are like this. They're not doing justice, they're not doing the job right, they don't exercise their power and authority for the poor and the needy." And then He says, after saying this, reprimanding them for this, then He says, "I said, "You are gods and all of you are children of the Most High but you shall die like men,"" mere men, according to some translations. "I said, "You are gods but you're going to die like mere men and fall like one of the princes.""

Now, turn with me to John 10. A very interesting thing happens here, Jesus quotes this. If you turn to John 10, let me read to you from verse 30 onward. 10:30, "I and my father are one." This lands him in trouble because this is a terrible statement as far as Jewish people are concerned because they think there is only one God. They're right. There is only one God. They had no understanding of trinity, trinity was impossible for them so, there is only one God. Jesus says, "I and the Father are one." Look at their reaction. Then the Jews took up stones again to stone Him. 'Again' means they have taken it up for many times. Many times, they took stones to stone Him but each time they had to put it down. Remember they brought a woman caught in adultery and they said, "Moses' law said you must stone her because we caught her in the act of adultery and we can prove it." And Jesus said, "He who has no sin, let him cast the first stone." Slowly the dropped all the stones and walked away because if you got a stone, you got to stone yourself. So, they walked away. Like this, many times it has happened already. They tried to stone Him but He would change their minds by just talking to them. You need to learn to talk like Jesus. Then Jesus answered them... they were ready to stone Him, they had taken up stones. Jesus answered them, look at what He says, "Many good works I have shown you from my Father. From which of those works do you stone me?" The Jews answered Him saying, "For good work, we do not stone you but for blasphemy." They're very pointed in their accusation. "No, not for good works but for blasphemy. We accuse you of blasphemy." What is blasphemy? "Because you being a man, make yourself God. You said, "I and the Father are one." How can you, a man born of Mary, become one with the Father? How can you and the Father are one and the same? It can't be. We will not allow you to talk like this." Look at Jesus' answer. Most amazing answer. He knows it's a very Jewish problem. "I and the Father are one" doesn't upset everybody. Only Jewish people will be upset by it because they believe in one God and you talk about anything else, they will stone you. Since it's a very Jewish problem, He handles it in the Jewish way. He knows that they will not respect anything than the old testament, their law - what Moses, the prophets and the old testament says, they will respect highly. He deals with them through that. Look at it. Jesus answered them, "Is it not written in your law" I like the way He says it 'in your law.' Is it not His law also, He's also a Jew. What He is saying is, "The way you interpret your law, the way you understand the old testament, is it not written in your law?" He is reminding them, you believe in the law, you're a great believer in the law, you respect the law. Is it not written there? What is written there?

"I said, "You are gods."" God is telling the people of Israel that you are gods. Is it not written there? If He called them gods, to whom the word of God came and the scripture cannot be broken. They believe in the infallibility, inerrancy of the scriptures. They believe that scriptures are sure, certain. There is no doubt about its accuracy so He reminds them, "You know that scriptures cannot be broken. If it says, it says what it says and it's truth. It is true that God called people gods. God called human beings gods. It's in the Bible," He says. "It's in your law. You have read it." He says. What is he quoting? He is quoting Psalm 82 and He is aware of Exodus how human judges were called gods and so on.

But then people raise an objection. They say, "That again is not a reference to ordinary people. It refers to high and mighty in authority; judges, rulers, governors maybe, not ordinary people. so, you cannot apply that to everybody and say that everybody has the image and likeness of God and they can rule and reign. All of that does not suit because this only applies to the high and mighty in authority."

Let me take you and show you how it is just not the high and mighty in authority but every human being in the sight of God is like that. Turn with me to Psalms again. Turn to Psalm 8. I already showed you Genesis 1, that is the beginning point. I need to remind you of that. In the beginning itself God blessed man. He made him in His image and likeness and blessed him. That itself shows that every human being is in the image and likeness of God, should function like God and he's been given the same powers that God had. What powers? To be fruitful, to multiply, fill, subdue, and dominate. That Genesis 1 I'm not going to go through it again, you already have it. But let's consider Psalm 8:4, "What is man that you are mindful of him? And the son of man that you visit him?" The psalmist is very curious about why God pays so much attention to man. What is this thing about man that God is constantly thinking about man - his needs and wants to attend to him and do something for him?

Look at from verse 3, "When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars which you have ordained, what is man?" In other words, he says, "The sun, moon, and the starsI look at it. They are glittering, beautiful, wonderful. Man looks very ordinary but you are thinking only about man. Your mind is full of man, thoughts about man and what you can do for him. You want to visit him. You want to care for him." "Why?" he says. Now, he understands, he gets a revelation. He says, "For you have made him a little lower than the angels." Verse 5, "You have crowned him with glory and honor." See that? "You have crowned man with glory and honor." Now he's not talking about some special people in power and authority. He is talking about man, man in general, men and women in general. When I say man, ladies please excuse me. It means men and women. So, he says, "For you made him a little lower than angels; you have crowned him with glory and honor." Look at that expression 'crowned man with glory and honor.' Why? How? "You have made him to have dominion over the works of your hand. You have put all things under his feet." All things under his feet. The next two verses tell us about the beasts of the field, the birds of the air, fish of the sea and so on. That is put under man's feet.

For more clarity, go to new testament. This is one thing good about the Bible. What the old testament says, the new testament often uses. Whenever the new testament is using what the old testament says, you need to go to it because it gives you further understanding of that, how you need to interpret it and so on. Chapter 2 of Hebrews, here the author of the book of Hebrews is using this. Have you ever wondered what the new testament church preaching would have been like? Sometimes people will say, "Is this the way Paul preached?Is this the way Peter preached?Is this the way John preached?" Is what you're preaching in line with what they preached? Was the new testament church, the first century church preaching like this? I have thought about it. I have often thought about it. Did they preach like this? What was their preaching content all about? Have you ever thought about it? All you have to do is just go to the epistles of the new testament and read them. They are all derived from the teaching that was given in the new testament church. Whatever was taught in the church is what was written here. The synopsis of what was taught in the church is what is written here. The writing material comes from the teaching material used in the church.

Listen to verse 6. Look at what new testament teaching is like. But one testified in a certain place. Now, he's writing to the Hebrew Christians, Jewish people converted to Christianity. One testified in a certain place, other people don't know which one and they don't know certain place, which place. The certain place they don't know which place because they have not read the old testament but the Jewish people will instantly understand. The Jewish people were thorough with the old testament. So, when he said, "One testified in a certain place," they know the one is psalmist and in a certain place is Psalm 8. Look at this, What is man? Then he is quoting Psalm 8, What is man that you are mindful of him? Or the son of man that you take care of him? You made him a little lower than the angels. Exact quotation. You have crowned him with glory and honor and set him over the work of Your hands. You have put all things in subjection under his feet. This is quotation. And then he gives an explanation and teaching on what it means to say that You have put all things under his feet. He says, "Let me tell you what it means by saying that God has put all things under man's feet." Then he goes to explain. For in that He put all in subjection under him. In other words, that means, when it says, Everything was put under subjection to him, it means He left nothing that is not put under him. This is an explanation clarifying that everything was put under him because some people... I'm glad he said that because some people would say, "Only the fish, the birds, and the animals were put under us. You can tell a dog, "Come here and go." No more than that. Maybe your cat. At best maybe in a circus a lion can be told to sit down and stand up and all that. A bear can be told to do so. Nothing more than that. Man's authority is only for the beasts of the field, the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea and nothing more that." But Hebrews clarifies saying, "When He said all things are put under his feet," it means nothing was left out. All created things was put under his feet.

Listen to this. This is the most important statement here. But now, we do not yet see all things put under him. What is he talking about? He says, "Now, when you look at people, it doesn't look like everything is under their feet. It looks like they are under everything. They're under the weather, they're under sickness, they're under problems, they're under worry, they're under burdens. It doesn't seem like they're over anything. It seems like they're under and everything is above them. It doesn't look like.Now, when you look at people, it doesn't look like everything is under their feet." He says. And then he says, listen to verse 9, "But we see Jesus." He said, "Look at humanity. It doesn't look like they have got everything under their feet even though the Bible says, the Psalmist says that all things were put under his feet, which means that nothing was left out, everything was put under his feet. That all of God's creation comes under man's control and governance." "We do not see man in that position today." He says. And then he says, "But we see Jesus." Everybody say, "But we see Jesus."

What do we see in Jesus? He says, "But we see Jesus who was made a little lower than angels," That means he was made a man. "For the suffering of death, to die he was made a man crowned with glory and honor." He says, "But we see Jesus. Jesus is the son of God. He was made as a man. To die, he took on the form of man. He became a man in order to die so that He can have a human body and shed his blood." So, we see Jesus was made as a man for the suffering of death and we see him crowned with glory and honor. That He, by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone." He says, "We see Jesus. He's crowed with glory and honor." Jesus is something you must see and learn a lot of things. When He was on this earth, He was an unusual human being. He would just speak a word, the devils would run. Even the sea will calm down. He will walk on water. By speaking, He says, even the mountain can be removed. He was a different kind of person. He was a strange being as far as some people were concerned. They thought, "This guy, what is he doing? He's healing the sick, making the blind see, lame walk, and doing these miracles, raising the dead. He had authority and power." Even in His teaching, there was such clarity and power and anointing. He was a different kind of man. He was not like the other human beings who were always under something. Here is a man, we see Jesus. What do we see of Him? We see Him on top, we see Him as the head notthe tail, we see Him as above and not beneath, we see Him as the person with power. Human being born of Mary having flesh and blood just like us. Raised up in a little town called Nazareth. A human being among human beings but a different kind of human being because He is a man who is just living in the image and likeness of God and functioning like God. We see Him like that. And what happened to Him? He died. He suffered death. Why did He suffer death? So that He can make us also like Him. So that He can turn us around and make us also people who had the power and authority and lived in the image and likeness of God. So, he says, "He tasted death for everyone," that's what the 'for everyone' means. Why should He taste death for everyone? Because by taking our sin and punishment, which is death, and our curse upon Himself, the blessing can be now transferred to us. In the beginning, God simply spoke and transferred the blessing that was upon Him, the power that was upon Him to man, to Adam. The second Adam comes by dying on the cross, taking our sin and the punishment for our sin and becoming accursed for our sakes. He now transfers the power that was originally given to us but lost due to sin now back to man.

Amazing truth. There is no doubt in my mind that not only judges are called gods. That every single person in God's sight is like a god in a way. I am not saying they are God. I'm just saying they are in the image and likeness of God with enormous power and ability. That power and ability to change things is what is called blessing. We know now what blessing is. Now, let's see how that blessing works in real life.

Turn with me to Genesis 39. We'll look at a person's life and see how this blessing works in that person's life. I'm not going to go through the whole story because everybody knows the story and I've gone through it several times in other occasions. I'm going to touch on certain thing that are necessary to us only with regard to work. Talk about Joseph, amazing story of Joseph. This man was chosen by God. He is in the lineage of Abraham, he's a descendant of Abraham, that blessing lineage. God spoke blessing over Abraham and his children and his children's children and ultimately upon all of us who are in Christ. That blessing of Abraham comes down that lineage and then to Christ and from Christ to everyone, even the Gentiles. That's the way it works. So, it came to Abraham then to Isaac, then to Jacob then it continues through Joseph. He is a very special person. Because he was chosen by God to continue that lineage, God is now dealing with him and giving him a vision about his future. He was having dreams. Those days there was no Bible. Now, if you read the Bible, that's supposed to give you dream, a lot of dreams about your future. At that time God quickly took over a person's mind and influenced him greatly through dreams. And so, he saw a dream that all of his brothers would come and bow before him and at one point he saw a dream where his father and mother, brothers will come and bow before him. But the problem is, he went and told his mother and father and brothers. They were all very angry naturally. The brothers thought, "Who do you think you are? You think we're going to come and bow before you? And even the father is going to come and bow before you? What nonsense is this?" They were angry. One time he goes to meet them out in the field where they were taking care of the sheep and they decide to kill him and in the last minute they decide to throw him in a pit and then again when they saw some travelers come by that way they decide to sell this guy for some money to them. So, they sold him to some travelers and they took him to Egypt and sold him to a man named Potiphar who was a big official in Egypt, a wealthy man. Joseph was in that house as a slave.

In those days, slavery was common. Slavery gives you no right at all. You're just someone else's possession. They can kill you, no one will ask. You got to just do the work. You had no rights. You got the worst jobs possible. You cannot claim anything there. That kind of thing. He gets into that situation and look what happens to his work. I want you to pay attention to his work.

Verse 2 of chapter 39, The Lord was with Joseph and he was a successful man and he was in the house of his master, the Egyptian. He was a successful man. Everybody say, He was a successful man. I like the English translation. Some Christians think to be successful man is to be a sinner. Really? It's important to be a successful man. He was a successful man. He was 17 years old when he was taken captive and taken as a slave. And here, he was a successful man, he was in the house of his master, the Egyptian, And the master saw that the Lord was with him and that He had made all that he did to prosper in his hands. So, Joseph found favor in his eyes and served him. Then he made him overseer of his house and all that he has he put under his authority. Notice that - All that he had he put under his authority. They say he was 19 years old at that time when Potiphar put everything that he had under his authority. In two years this guy's fortunes had completely turned around. He started as a slave, at the bottom level, doing job that nobody would do. In two years... I want young people to listen today. In two years... did he go to college? Where did he get his MBA? Where did he learn all this stuff? Somehow, he excelled in his job and somehow, he got along very well in that new society among evil people that will treat you like dirt and walk all over you all the time if you are a slave. He got along with them and earned their favor so that the master recognized that God was with him, that everything given in his hands was successful.

Talk about testimony. I grew up in the church where people testified. But usually when people testify, there are four other sitting there saying, "Why did you allow that man to testify? He's such a bad man. You shouldn't allow him to testify." That's the way people will talk sometimes. Now, we don't have any testimony. The best way to have this testimony is... I think the best person to testify about us is not us. Hallo? The best person to testify... people always say, "Give me the microphone for five minutes. I want to give a testimony." The best person to testify about us is I think first of all, our spouse. You ask the wife or about the wife you ask the husband. "Is he or is she a very blessed person? Is everything that he puts or she puts his hand to do or he puts his hands to do blessed? Is he a person who trusts in God? Brings success to the house in everything that you do? Is the home a beautiful, wonderful little heaven?" they must testify. The spouse must testify. If the lady says, "Well, he carries his Bible, goes to every meeting in the world but does not take care of the house. Doesn't attend to the problems in the house, doesn't pay attention to any of our needs. Plus, he's a problem himself." Then you got a real problem. If the man says, "Well, she is again going to every fasting, every prayer, all night prayer and everything. But the only thing is we don't have any food in the house because she never cooks in the house. Never gets along with people, never gets along with the family."

First the spouse must testify. I think the second most important person that must testify about you is your boss at work. How we do our work. I have not forgotten my subject. Some people sometimes think, hope that I'll forget it. But second person that must give testimony about us is our boss. What about our work? Look at the testimony this boss gives about this man. "He's a wonderful worker. I am sure he goes in time, carries out all his responsibility, does an excellent job, he's trustworthy, he's honest, he's good, he's industrious, works very well. Whatever is given in his hands he accomplishes, does." He has earned a testimony there.

Now, listen to this. Thus, he left all that he had, verse 6, in Joseph's hand and he did not know what he had except for the bread which he ate. That man came only for dinner to the dinner table and gave everything in Joseph's hand. All business was handled by Joseph because everything was given to his hands. This guy is fruitful, he multiplies, he fills, subdues, and dominates. He is a guy in the image and likeness of God. He knows everything. He knows how to bring everything under his control and manage it well and do it with excellence. He knows it. Now, listen to this, the last part of that verse. Verse 6, Now Joseph was handsome in form and appearance. That's where the trouble begins. He's not only a good, wonderful guy at work but he's got good looks. So, the boss's wife was after him. She wanted to somehow bring him under his control and use him. He refuses. Many times they have the conversation and he refuses. He said, "The boss has given everything into my hands. How can I do this thing to him? I cannot do it. I cannot oblige." She wouldn't listen. She's persisting and one day it got to such a place where she was pulling on his clothes and he left his clothes in her hands and ran because he said, "This is sin before God. I can't do this." And he ran.

Have you ever thought about this? This 19-year-old good looking young man, you think he was not tempted? If anybody says that temptation doesn't come to me, there is no greater liar than that person. Everybody gets tempted - young and old they get tempted. Temptation is for everyone. But what keeps you from falling into the temptation? That's the thing. To be tempted is common. Everybody is tempted. But what keeps us from winning when the temptation comes to us? Where did you learn to win against the temptation? What taught him that? What saved him from falling into the temptation? It's very easy for a 19-year-old boy. 19-year-olds are usually foolish. They'll first do whatever they got to do and then think about it. They will go with their impulses but here was a unusually wise man, wise beyond his age. He refuses even though he was forced into it and runs from it. What taught him that? I say to you, blessing. Blessing is what taught him about his work. Blessing trained him. Blessing trained him better than any Harvard MBA would give the training. Blessing trained him to excel beyond all the problems and difficulties and opposition and all of the problems that he faces. Blessing enabled him to overcome all these things, kept him from sinning.

I think what he was thinking was, "Wait a minute, I don't want to fall into this and ruin my whole life, my whole future, the blessed life that God has for me. God has a great plan and purpose for me. Do I want to get into trouble here? Do I want to do this and fall into sin and experience shame and guilt and be in sin the rest of my life? Do I want to serve her wishes and go along with her and suffer like that? Or do I want to live a peaceful life? Go home and sleep peacefully. Not be tormented in mind, not be guilty, not be put to shame, not be afraid. Which do I want? What does God want for me? God wants me to live a blessed life, a good life, a life that I can enjoy." So, he decided that he'll keep the blessing, that he will not discard the blessing by getting into sin. He knew that Adam discarded his blessing by sinning. He does not want. He is given an opportunity now, he chooses life. God said, "I put before you, life and death, blessing and cursing. Choose life, choose blessing." And every time when temptation comes, you choose not to go along with the temptation but go along with God's words and God's commandments. You are choosing life and you are choosing blessing. That's what he chose that day. Blessing taught him to overcome disappointments and all the unjust and evil treatment he had received. Blessing taught him to overcome sin.

That woman caused all this problem and then he ended up in jail for some years. In the jail he meets a guy who is a cupbearer for the kinghe tells him, "They're going to release you and you're going to go back in service for the king again. And when you are moving very close to the king, please remember me. Tell the king that there is a guy in the jail that is unjustly put there. He has not done anything wrong. Please remember and recommend me for release." Conveniently, that guy forgot him for two years after he was released. His own brothers rejected him. His own brothers wanted to kill him, sold him. So much evil has been done. These are just three things I just mentioned from what is written here but there must have been so many things that have been done against him. But do you know he never spoke about that woman? Never said one bad thing about her. Never said, "Because of her only I am in this condition?" He never spoke about his brothers in a bad way. He never said, "My brothers landed me in all this problem. They are the evil people. Because of them my whole life is spoilt." He never spoke about that cupbearer and how he is forgotten and he did him such good things but that guy has forgotten. No, he never spoke about that because blame and blessing do not go together. You don't have to blame anybody for your problem because blessing is going to bring you up anyway. Blessing is going to protect you anyway, blessing is going to bring you to the very top anyway. Blessing is going to help you anyway to overcome all of these problems. He became a real winner. He was full of faith and wisdom. He was wise beyond his years and built his life in that way. The Bible says, A house is built with wisdom. It is established with understanding and its rooms are filled with every kind of pleasant and precious riches with knowledge. With wisdom, it's built. With understanding, it's established. With knowledge, it's filled with every good thing. That's what the Bible says in Proverbs 24:3&4.

Here is a man. Not only a house, one translation says, Anything is built like that. Life is built like that, your business is built like that, your home is built like that. Everything is built like that. A church is built like that. Everything is built like that. Here is a man building his life with wisdom, with understanding, establishing his life through all the difficulties, through all the problems, years of difficulties. Through all the problems, he is using his wisdom and understanding and knowledge to establish his life and filling his life with every good thing.

Look at the way the man goes about after he becomes the Prime Minister of Egypt, second only to the king, such power and authority. He never acted against these people that betrayed him, that did against him. He could have done. He had such authority. The king told him, "No one will shake even a finger without your permission." He could have pulled up that woman. He could have punished all those that acted against him. He doesn't seem to be like that vindictive person. He is a forgiving person, caring person, compassionate person, a good person. Look at his abilities. By the time he became the Prime Minister of Egypt, he was only 30 years old. At 19, he became the head at Potiphar's house. At 30, he became the head official of Egypt. Everything was run by him. He traveled to the corners of that land. It's a big empire. Surveyed it, assessed the problem. He was looking forward to making sure that everybody had food during the famine time. Seven years of good times are going to come. After that it's going to be followed by seven years of famine. He was getting prepared for that. He's got to assess the agricultural situation there. He must have studied a lot of agriculture and he must have studied about infrastructure - how to build storage places, how save food grain without getting spoiled, how to distribute it in all areas, in all towns and all villages in very area so that people don't die in the time of famine and how to collect from people the grain to be saved during the good years. All these things he mastered in such a short time. What a tremendous administrator he is. Talking about our work, my friend. What taught him all this? What made his so wise?

Even about Daniel we read that in the whole of Babylonian empire, there was no one like Daniel. There is no one like these men - Daniel, Shadrach, Meshack, and Abednego. Very special people. No one more wise and better than these fellows in their work. Here, in the whole of Egyptian empire, they could not find a local person, an Egyptian person. Here is a foreigner, here is a slave, a former slave been made the highest authority of the land. He's running the land. Such ability. No one can stop his growth and progress. Why? The power of the blessing. The blessing teaches him, the blessing protects him from sin, the blessing keeps moving him forward, the blessing helps him overcome all difficulties, the blessing helps him deal with his inner turmoil as he faces difficulties and problems. This is so important, my friend. When he was going through issues, he could have easily given up because it took many years to get here, from the time he was 17 to 30. Gone through a lot of problems but the blessing kept him going, kept him motivated. That's the power of blessing.

That's what blessing does. You think it can do it in our job here now? You think blessing can do something for us? You think we can walk into a situation that's a very bad situation and be fruitful, multiply, fill, subdue, and dominate? You think we can have enormous wisdom and understanding and build our enterprises, our businesses, our work, our job, our career based on those things? Do you think that we can be better than the people of the world because the blessing of God is upon us? That we are God's people?

We looked at how work is impacted by blessing. But look at what happens to a man if the man forgets about blessing and discards blessing. What happens? Look at Jacob's life. Jacob at one time knew what blessing was. He knew it very well because he one time decided to steal the blessing because he realized that if he had blessing, he can become like Abraham, his grandfather and his father, Isaac. He knew that blessing is what brought them up and made them like that. So, he stole the blessing. He had to run away from his family. In his journey away from home he learned many things. He becomes a better person when he comes back. After 21 years, he returns to his father's house. Against all the cunning craftiness of his father-in-law who wanted to send him home empty-handed, he became very wealthy and came back by the grace of God. He was a changed man. Even his name was changed from Jacob, the surplanter, the cunning, crafty, cheater to Israel. Became a wonderful person. He experienced blessing. He knew blessing.

But when he heard that his son died... turn with me to 37th chapter of Genesis. When he heard that his son died, look at what happens to him. Genesis 37: 32 - 35, Then they sent the tunic of many colors and they brought it to their father and said, "We have found this. Do you know whether it is your son's tunic or not?" They lied to the father sayingthat he's dead. They put some blood on it of an animal and brought his clothes back and said, "He's dead." And he recognized it and said, "It is my son's tunic. A wild beast has devoured him. Without doubt Joseph is torn to pieces." He concludes that Joseph is now in pieces, the animals have eaten him alive. Then Jacob tore his clothes, put sackcloth on this waist and mourned for his son for many days. And all his sons and all his daughters arose to comfort him but he refused to be comforted. Listen to that. He refused to be comforted. As a pastor I have seen in some occasions some people literally refusing to be comforted. I'll show you in a moment what happens when you refuse to be comforted.

Comfort is one of the blessings that God gives you. You must allow yourself to be comforted. You can go through grief for a while but not forever. He refused to be comforted and he said, "For I shall go down," look at his words, "I shall go down into the grave to my son in mourning." Thus, the father wept for him. When he heard of Joseph, he lost all hope. He forgot about blessing. He forgot the power of the blessing that has brought him up and given him all the wealth and every good thing that he had. He forgot about what blessing will do. He discarded the blessing. He embraced these words that, "I will go down to my grave to my son weeping," he said "mourning". He decided how he was going to go down. Every time people say things like that, it happens exactly like that. The whole nation of Israel people said, "Have you brought us here to die in the wilderness?" Did they die? They died in the wilderness. And here is a man saying, "I'll go down to the grave, to my son mourning." Do you know what it did to him? You read what that did to him.

Turn with me to chapter 47. Remember when Joseph's brothers find Joseph finally and then they bring their father to Joseph. Listen to this, verse 7, Joseph brought his father, Jacob, and set him before the Pharaoh and Jacob blessed Pharaoh. Pharaoh said to Jacob, "How old are you?"" Now, listen to this. Interesting. And Jacob said to Pharaoh, "The days of the years of my pilgrimage are 130 years. Few and evil have been the days of the years of my life and they have not attained the days of the years of life of my fathers in the days of their pilgrimage." The King asked him, "How old are you?" He should have said, "130," and just shut up.The guy goes on and on. He's used to lamenting now. For many years he's been lamenting now. He says, "See, I'm 130. Few and..." how does he say it? He says, "My years have been few and evil." And then he goes on and says, "My parents, they lived longer and I have not come anywhere near them. My grandfather lived till he was 175, my father lived until he was 180, and look at me, 130 I'm still almost there. I'm ready to go." "I'm worn out," in other words he says. "I'm worn out. I'm finished.

Hello. This man has been doing this, speaking that instead of speaking blessing, instead of embracing blessing, instead of believing in the blessing, instead of claiming the blessing, possessing the blessing, and living in the blessing, he has let go of it. He has let go of it and it wore him out. He's 130, he's already ready to go. By the time he reached 147, he died. He came nowhere near his father or grandfather.

Curse has a way to take a person and literally run him down even in physical health - fill them with worry and burdens and problems, torment the mind with sorrow and grief so that it never lifts from that person. Weighs down on him heavily and crushes him under its burden with feelings of disappointment, frustration and all of that. That's what has happened to him. He has allowed these things to come in and as a result, by the time he is 130, he's almost finished. Now, he's counting his days to go. But blessing, you know what blessing is? Be fruitful, multiply, and replenish. You know what replenish? Is resupply. That means when you get old, you get some divine strength from somewhere. It looks like you've lost a few years. It looks like you come back a few years. It looks like in strength you have increased now, in ability, you've increased now. It looks like things are getting better now. Health is getting better now because replenishing is a blessing. Replenishing means to resupply, to fill everything that is emptied. Psalm 103 puts it like this, Your youth shall be renewed like the eagles. Tamil it's beautiful.In Tamil it literally says, Again, your age becomes like your youth. In age you become like a real youth. People are looking for how to make yourself look young everywhere and searching and spending a lot of money. It's right here - The way to make yourself healthy and successful in every way is to understand the concept of blessing. Jesus died on the cross to give you the blessing. Don't let go of it. Don't forget it. Don't embrace your problems. Don't embrace your disappointments. Don't embrace the difficulties that you're facing. Don't think that this is life and this is what you'll have forever. No, God has a wonderful plan to change everything. While Jacob was lamenting, God was preparing a wonderful life for him in Egypt. He never knew it, never understood it, never believed it, never possessed it. He could have had a better life, he could have been in better health and lived much longer if he had understood that the blessing will come about because God never lies. If He has promised, He will fulfil. That God is good. That no matter what problems I face, what difficulties comes my way, I'm going to trust and believe that I'm going to come out ahead in the end.

In the boxing match, there's 15 rounds my friend. For the first 14 rounds, some guys look like they're getting good beating. In the 15th round, he turns around, gives one knockout punch and the other guy falls and never gets up. Amen? Wait till the 15th round. Don't decide in 10th round itself, "I'm going to give up." No. The game is not over until you win. If you are not winning, if you are still getting beaten, it looks like the circumstances of life are beating up on you, I'm telling you the game is not over. Keep on. By the time the end comes around, you're going to win. God has made you to be a winner because He's made you in His image and likeness and filled you with blessing. He has pronounced blessing. Adam lost it but Christ has brought it back to us and we have it through Jesus Christ.

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