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The Favour Of God (Vol 06) - It's Favour Time!

Sunday English Service - 24 JUN 18

Transcript

We've been talking about the favor of God for the last few weeks. And one of the things, we've been saying a lot of things. One of the things we've been, I hope you have seen is that we do have a role to play and it's not a big role compared to God's role. God's role is the big role. It's His favor after all, it’s not our favor. We just expect it, we just believe it, we just walk in it, enjoy it. That's it. But we have a role to play. And one of the simple things is just expect it. I mean that sounds simple, but so many people miss out on the favor of God simply because they don't believe and expect it to work in their lives. So one of the things I've been trying to emphasize is expect it to work like Ruth expected it, do you remember that? I hope this series has given you enough reasons to confidently expect the favor of God to work more and more in your lives. And let me remind you of some of the reasons we've seen. If God did it for Ruth, He’ll do it for you, if God did it for Nehemiah, He'll do it for you. Go ahead and expect it like they expected it. Let me give you another reason we covered. If you have favor in God's eyes, then you can surely expect to have favor in your life. You can surely expect to experience it, enjoy it in your life. You're already special in God's eyes. You have already found favor in God's eyes. That's the biggest favor we all need and you've got it. We've got it. As children of God, we've got it. And so we can boldly expect amazing things to happen in our life, God's favor to manifest more and more in our life. Why? Because we've got favor in His eyes.

Well, another reason we saw last week, I mean, just look all around you. You are already experiencing God's favor. God's goodness in your life. God's grace in your life. You're already experiencing it. Sometimes our eyes are blind to it. We don't see it, we only see our problem but the truth is at any given moment you are experiencing God's favor in a very great way, if you only have eyes to see. If your eyes can be opened to see the good like Jesus, like the Psalmist and see God behind the good, my friend you'll see how much favor God has already surrounded you with. The Psalmist says, He has surrounded the righteous with favor as a shield. Psalm 5 verse 12, surrounded us with favor. Right now you're surrounded with favor whether you know or not. If you have eyes to see you can see it. And so if God has already surrounded you with all kinds of favor, will He not do a little more? Will He not give you this and that that you're looking for, that other deliverance, that healing, that promotion, some kind of improvement in some area of your life? Will He not do that also? That is nothing big for Him. He will surely do this, He’s already doing so much. You see, that's the kind of perspective to have and that's what I hope you gained last week.

So I've been trying to give you all kinds of reasons to expect more and more of God's favor to work in your life. Because God has a lot of it, and it will keep coming. There's no end to it. There is no end to His favor. And so today, I want to give you yet one more important reason for you to expect God's favor to work more in your life. What is that reason? We're adding another reason today. That is you are living in a very special time. You are living in a very special time. I don't know whether you know that. I'm going to show you today that you are living in a very special time and therefore you can and should expect amazing things to happen to you. Why? Because you're living in an amazing time, in a special time, in special period or age. Amazing things are going to happen to you. One preacher used to say, “Something good is going to happen to you.” It seems he used to open his messages like that often. Used to say to him, “Something good is going to happen to you.” Just that one line changed a lot of people's life. Something good is going to happen to you. They started listening, “What is this?” Something good is going to happen to you. My friend, yes, something good is going to happen to you.

Some people get upset with that kind of talk. What is this something good...? This is the way preach. I say to you not only something good is going to happen to you, many good things are going to happen to you. More good things, more and more, they're going to happen. They're going to keep happening. You know why? I'm going to show you today, you are living in a very, very special time. More of God's favor is going to manifest in your life in a greater way than you've ever seen before because you're living in a very special time. Well, what's this special time all about? Am I just saying that? No, my friend, this is the clear teaching of the Scriptures. Let me take you to Luke chapter four. This is our main verse today. It is a very important verse. Jesus Himself talks about how we are living in this very special time. And this verse, we're going to read Luke chapter 4 verse 16 to 21. This is important for our subject, our topic today. But not only that, this is one of the most important passages in all the Bible because this is the first recorded sermon of Jesus. This is the first recorded sermon of Jesus’ ministry. He may have said some things before this, but this is what is given most importance at least in the Gospel of Luke. And not only that, Jesus sets His agenda for His entire ministry through this sermon that He gives here in the synagogue, in Nazareth. Jesus is instructing us in these verses how to view His ministry. Why did Jesus come? What did He do? Look at this, my friend? These are very important words to understand what Jesus is all about, what He came to do.

Let's read from verse 16 onwards. Luke 4 verse 16. And He came to Nazareth where He had been brought up. So this is Nazareth, His hometown. He's been brought up there. Everybody knows Him there. And as was His custom, verse 16 continuing, He went to the synagogue on the Sabbath day. So every week He goes to the synagogue and so He goes that week also, but something different is about to happen. He’s stood up to read, it's His chance to do the Bible reading. They are a public Bible reading there. It was Jesus's chance and not just Bible reading because Jesus was doing ministry, it just began, they also allowed Him to speak, read a passage, exhort, give an exhortation. And so He stood up to read verse 17, And the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to Him. They didn't have the whole Bible in one book like that, or even the Old Testament, just scroll of Isaiah was given to Him and He can choose any passage in Isaiah. That means, it looks like. So He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written. Very important. He found the place, that means it didn't just fall there, no, He found it. He very purposely found a particular passage in Isaiah and He starts reading. The passage He reads is Isaiah chapter 61, verse 1 and 2. Okay, let's read it in our bibles in verse 18. Jesus reads, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because He has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives, and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty, those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor.” Or as some translations put it, the acceptable year of the Lord. Verse 20, He rolled up the scroll and then gave it back to the attendant and sat down, and the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on Him. And He began to say to them, “Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”

Purposely He chooses a passage in Isaiah.  Have you ever wondered what kind of passages Jesus picked. Look at the passage He picks, look at the people He addresses. He addresses the poor. He’s saying, “I got good news for the poor. The Spirit of the Lord is upon me.” He's actually saying in a very personal way. He’s saying, Spirit of the Lord is upon me to proclaim good news to the poor, liberty to the captives, to the blind recovery of sight and to the oppressed liberty to proclaim, He ends it with this line, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor, the year of the Lord's favor or the acceptable year of the Lord. So this is talking about, He's talking about favor here, right? Not only favor, a very special time of favor. I want you to note that. It says the year of the Lord's favor. That means there are many years, but this is a special year of the Lord's favor. Now, this name, the year of the Lord's favor is another name for the jubilee year, you might know this, right? One of the ways they referred to jubilee year was like this, they called it the year of the Lord's favor, the acceptable year of the Lord. In other words, God's favorite year, something like that. Because blessings came more in abundance and extraordinary way that year. They called it God's special year. God's favorite year, the year of the Lord's favor.

So He's talking about jubilee year. So, jubilee year is a very special year. Let me remind you how special it was. When it began it was already special, when God gave the first instructions on jubilee in Leviticus 25 what did He say? Every 50 years you celebrate one year and call it the jubilee year. Now, what is so special about the jubilee year? Well, people get back what they've lost. What people have lost is returned back to them. It's a year of restoration, where people are restored to their previous condition. Mainly two things are mentioned in Leviticus 25. One is land, land that is lost, property. Another is individual freedom, personal freedom. You know, for any reason, if people had lost land, they don't have to lose it permanently. Every 50 years, there is a jubilee year and in that 50th year, they can write right royally go and claim their land back. God made each Israelite family, a landowner and He didn't want them to lose their land. So He said, “I'll give you this jubilee law to permanently keep it, no matter what happens you can recover it in every 50 years, the jubilee year. And the same way, personal freedom.” Some people got so much into debt. They sold themselves as to work almost like slaves, like indentured labor, as they call it but God didn't want them to remain in that low condition. He said, “No matter how much you owe, when the jubilee year comes, you can just walk away from that indentured labor. You can just say, bye-bye. I'm gone. I'm done. Because jubilee has come, I can have my personal freedom back.” It was one year where everything can change in your life, where you can go back to your previous condition, no matter what you've lost. And God said, “Do it, every 50 years.”

Problem is they didn't do it every 50 years. So it became more special because they didn't do it. What happened? As time went on, they didn't do it properly. That's what history suggests. There's no strong evidence for them keeping the jubilee year very often, or at least properly the way God said it. So time rolls by and Israel goes from bad to worse by the time Isaiah 61 comes. That is the passage Jesus is reading. By the time Isaiah 61 comes, jubilee year becomes even more special. You know why? Because Israel goes from bad to worse and they end up in exile. What happens in exile? They lose everything. I mean, they lose their land. They're driven away from Israel, from Jerusalem. They lose their freedom. They're taken away as slaves to a foreign land. They lose their dignity, they lose everything, literally. They’ve become nobodies after the exile. And at that point, they start longing for something like jubilee. That is, when correctly God comes and He gives them promises, in the prophets like Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, like Isaiah 61, He gives them grand promises, saying, “I will restore everything back to you.” And when He gives the promises, He uses this jubilee concept. So the people will get it, so the people will be inspired, encouraged by it. He says, “I will give you on jubilee. In one jubilee, I'll change everything.” That's what Isaiah 61 is about. In one jubilee, the poor don't have to remain the same. In one jubilee, the captives will be freed. In one jubilee, the blind will be able to see again. He's talking to people who have not even seen one jubilee. God told, “Observe it every 50 years,” but these fellows, they have not even seen it. So they're longing, just for one jubilee and God is saying, “In one jubilee, I will change your entire destiny. I'll give you back everything you lost. It will be a jubilee of jubilees. It'll be the greatest jubilee ever.” And that's why it gets the name, the year of the Lord's favor. God's favorite year.

There are many years, but this one year, see people in Isaiah, they're longing for that one time to come where their entire story is changed. They get a brand new future restored. By the time Jesus comes on the scene, that is 700 years after Isaiah, jubilee becomes even more special because everybody starts longing for it to come. Everybody they say, the historians say, but the time Jesus comes on the scene everybody knows Isaiah 61. Many people would know it even by heart, they would recognize the passage because a lot of people are talking about the passage in the other literature, if you read history. So it becomes a famous passage. Everybody knows the passage. Jesus comes on the scene. Everybody knows the passage. They are longing for it to come to fulfillment. Jesus correctly picks that passage. He reads it to them. And what does He do? Look at the way it is dramatically put in verse 20. After reading this famous, well known passage that they are all longing for, in verse 20, He finished it. And then He rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant, sat down, and the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on Him. He sits down everybody in the in the synagogue is looking at Him, because it's a passage they know very well. They're longing for it to come true. They are thinking, “What is this man going to say about this passage?” They're all looking at Him. And Jesus says this verse 21, He began to say to them, that means He was saying a lot of things. What He said is summarized in these words, verse 21, He began to say to them, “Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”

What is He saying? He's saying, the one great jubilee you've been waiting for, has arrived, has come. It's fulfilled today. This scripture that you all know about it, and you've been waiting for, has arrived. Arrived means fulfilled, it has been fulfilled in your hearing. It has been fulfilled. Notice that word fulfilled. Very important word in the Bible. It has been fulfilled in your hearing. Everybody say fulfilled. He's saying that special time that you've been waiting for, that one year, that one jubilee which will change everything for you, that has come. It has arrived. It has been fulfilled in your hearing. He says, jubilee has arrived. He says, favor has arrived. God's favorite year, time has arrived. People have been waiting for this for hundreds of years and Jesus is coolly saying, “That time has come. The time has come.” It has not only come, He says, “It's come today.” He says, “It's come today. It's come today. It’s arrived. It’s fulfilled today,” He says. Not only today, He says, “It is fulfilled in your hearing.” That means you know what it means actually. This scripture is fulfilled as you hear it, literally that's what it means. As you are hearing my words from my mouth right now it is being fulfilled. It has come to fulfillment. That's what Jesus is saying. That means now, now it is fulfilled. What does He mean by that? What does that mean? That means the poor don't have to be poor anymore, now. The captives can be free, now. The blind can see, now. That's what it means, isn't it?

If jubilee has come entire thing must change, everything must change. If jubilee has come you can return to your lost land. If jubilee has come you can regain your freedom. I mean, He’s coming and bringing them the greatest message. Talk about a first message and giving high hopes. This is as high as you can go. He's saying, “Everything has come. What you've been longing for has come.” What an amazing message. What was their reaction? Look in verse 22, to an amazing message look at their reaction. And all spoke well of Him and marveled at the gracious words that were coming from His mouth. That sounds like a good reaction. They said, “Wow, that's a nice message. Gracious words. Amazing speech. Nice ability to speak of nice examples. Nice wonderful speaking,” They're saying. It looks like a compliment, but it's not. As you keep reading you will see. After saying, “Nice message," they're saying, And they said, “Is not this Joseph's...?” What that means is, “You're speaking very well. Wow. What a wonderful. You spoke very well. Aren’t you Joseph’s son though?” That means, “Nice speaking brother, but we don't believe you what you said.” That's what it means. That means, “You speak very well. It sounds good but we don't think it's true.” Why? “You are Joseph’s son.” What they're saying is, “You expect us to believe that something as great as the news about jubilee is going to be revealed by our hometown preacher like you?” That's what it means. “Joseph’s son we've seen you from when you grew up, and are you telling us the greatest news that the entire nation has been waiting for, for centuries is going to be revealed by somebody like you? You are nobody special.”

And then, if you read on you will see that's what they mean because Jesus knows what they're thinking. In verse 23 He says, “Doubtless you will quote to me this proverb, ‘“Physician, heal yourself.” What we have heard you did at Capernaum, do here in your hometown as well’.” He's saying, “I know what you're thinking. You're thinking, and you're saying to yourself, ‘If jubilee has truly come, show something to accompany it. Nothing seems as though jubilee has come, nothing has changed. There's no grand announcement, where is the trumpet sound? In Leviticus 25, there’s supposed to be a trumpet sound. When jubilee comes, the trumpet should blow, the whole town should hear, it should be a grand announcement. Where is the trumpet sound? The Roman empire is still in place, somebody's got to eliminate them. We are slaves to them. Nothing has happened and you come here in a weekly service, read a passage and say, ‘Jubilee has come.’ What are you talking about?’” They're saying, “If it has come, at least do some of the miracles you did in Capernaum.” They heard some of the miracles Jesus did and they’re saying, “Do it and show it in our hometown. Do it. Let's see.” Jesus does not do it. Very surprising. Jesus does not do it. They don't have faith. They're not ready to accept Him, receive Him. You know why? Look at this. Jesus preaches the greatest message to them, they did not believe it. They did not believe, why? Familiarity. Let me say again, familiarity. They are aware of this approach. “We know you Jesus, we know the word. We know jubilee. We know everything you're talking about.” Too much familiarity became a hindrance for them to actually believe the message. “Now we know you. It can’t be you. It has to be something grander. This has to be something greater.”

Another thing they could not believe is that something as great as jubilee couldn't be announced in an ordinary sermon. In an ordinary preaching, message. They did not think preaching is so important and so great. But that is the role that God has kept for preaching in the church. There is no trumpet sound here, but they missed what it was there. Jesus was there. Think about it. They are expecting something grander but they missed what was right in front of their eyes. What was in front of their eyes? Jesus was there in person, in their synagogue that day. He was preaching. They missed that. What was He reading from? He was reading from the scriptures. The Word of God from Isaiah, He was reading. They missed that. They didn't think of that as a big deal. He was talking from the Word of God and He was preaching. They missed all of that, and they're expecting something grander, and so they missed the whole boat. Here Jesus came with the greatest promise of jubilee. What should they have done? They should have said, “My goodness. If you're really saying jubilee has come, I want this. I want that. I lost that thing over there, I want that. I want that returned to me.” That should have been their reaction. Instead what was their reaction? “That was a good speech, you spoke well. It doesn't add up.”

The reaction is very bad. It's full of unbelief and doubt. It’s total unbelief. They never believed one bit. In fact, if you continue reading the passage, they get so irritated with Jesus, they pick up stones to kill Him. They drive Him out of the town. Jesus escapes from there. His hometown. Because they did not believe the message, could not benefit from the greatest promise of jubilee. What is our reaction to this message today? What is our reaction? This message is not just for those people that day. This message is coming to us today. Right now. Jesus is here right now. Do you believe that? Jesus’ presence is here. His words are here. We're reading from that, we are speaking to you from that. I believe Jesus is speaking to you. Jesus is saying to you, “Jubilee is here. Favor is here.” Jesus is saying... Praise God. See, this is the reaction that should have happened there. It didn't happen. They didn't think much of the fact that Jesus came in front of them. That is proof enough. You don't need a trumpet. What would you need? You have Jesus in front of you, man, saying jubilee has come. Want a trumpet after all this? For them, Jesus just came and started the ministry. For us, it's more. He came, He lived, He suffered, He died, He rose again. He ascended to the heavens. Today He’s exalted at the right hand of God and He speaks to the church today saying, “Jubilee is here.”

It's come, the favor of the Lord is here. You can get back what you have lost. Jubilee is about restoration. This year, the special year of God's favor, is about restoration. Have you lost something, my friend? Whatever it is, my friend, God can restore it to you. God can restore more than you can ever imagine. Even people like Job who lost everything, the Bible says, everything was restored back to him double, double. God can somehow make you forget the past sorrows and He can restore double to you. He can bring you new joy into your life. God can do that. That's what jubilee is about. That's what Jesus is saying. He's saying, “Jubilee is here. Restoration time is here. Experiencing abundant favor time is here.” It's here. “That's what I'm about,” is what Jesus is saying. Jesus, you know, He wraps His entire mission in the, if you will, with this jubilee concept. What is He trying to say? He’s saying, “Man lost everything as a result of sin and the fall. Why have I come?” What is Jesus saying? I have come so that you can get back everything you've lost as a result of sin.” Every evil, every cursed situation, every struggle, every problem in our life is a result of sin. I’m not saying it's a result of our sin. It’s a result of Adam's sin. And Jesus came so that whatever we have lost, whatever we are struggling with can be changed because jubilee is here. You are living in a special time of God's favor. You are living in the fulfillment time. You are living in the fulfillment everybody say fulfillment time.

This message applies to us. Why? Because we are also living in this fulfillment time. See, what Jesus was doing here was, He was announcing a turning of the ages. He was announcing a change in time. He was saying, “So far it's been one time period, from today it's another time period. Fulfillment time period.” When He says today, look at that scripture where He says today. Verse 21, “Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.” He does not mean, “Today, this scripture has been fulfilled completely and it's over. Finished.” No, that's not the meaning. The meaning is the fulfillment has begun today. It does not mean the fulfillment has finished today. It means, Jesus is saying, “The fulfillment time has begun today.” Perfect tense in the Greek denotes an action that has happened but has continuing effects. Continuing effects. That's what He's trying to say. Jesus is saying, “Jubilee has arrived and it is here to stay.” That's the meaning. He didn't mean only that day. He meant every day from that day. Now, listen to this. This is a new concept that the New Testament brings in. In the Old Testament they thought jubilee is only once in every 50 years, but Jesus and the other apostles make it clear, the New Testament makes it clear that in the New Testament the moment Jesus enters the scene here, jubilee begins. Until today, it's jubilee only. Every day is jubilee. Not every 50 years. Every day is jubilee and it will be jubilee until Jesus returns. That's the way it is. “Fulfillment begins today,” Jesus is saying, “and it will continue.”

So Jesus is trying to say, a new time has come, fulfillment time has come. This statement was made 2000 years before, but you are still living in that same time and therefore this message applies to you. We have to grasp the time that we are living in. We have to understand. Comprehend what time we are living in. Now when I say a statement like that what are the times we're living in, people will immediately say, “This is a post millennial whatever.” I'm not talking eschatology here. Different time. They have different names, right? Gen X, Gen Y, I don't know what Gen we are in now. What is the age that they say right now? They’re talking about the last 20 years at this time period or something like that. So we have different conceptions of times. We think we are very aware of time or we are living in this time, the tech age and this age and all that, but the truth is our consciousness of time is very micro oriented. We look at the small last 20 years. Sometimes people look at one year or only today's date. We are so conscious of the date. Every day we know what day it is, what month it is, what year it is, what time it is exactly. Go on time, come back on time. That's all good only but we only think of that. Some people go down to the second. You see the 100 meter race, even the millisecond counts. So people are looking at time in a very micro level, it's like through a microscope. They’re so conscious, occupied, preoccupied with time on a micro level, but is that the way God thinks about time? Is God preoccupied at the micro level with time? Think about it. You know, God can see it all. He sees the macro. He sees the big picture of time as well. Something we don't see often, and we need to get that awareness.

How does God see time? As a big picture. What is God's big picture of time? What is the Bible's big picture of time? Have you ever thought about it? In God's view point there are only mainly two divisions. We’ve got a lot of divisions. We got year, month, week, day, hour, minute, second. For God the main divisions are only two. You know what they are? Before Christ and... That's the main division. That's all. That's the main division. Before Christ and after Christ. Before Christ is the period of promise, after Christ is the period of fulfillment. Christ divides history and therefore time into two very distinct pieces. One is the period of promise, and one is the period of fulfillment. What happens in the period of promise? The period of promise is the Old Testament period. Where the promises are given. Old Testament is full of promises. If you remove Old Testament from your Bible, you lose most of the promises. It’s full of promises. Period of promise. That is why it is called. All the promises were given by God. You come to the New Testament. What’s the New Testament about? Some people think there's no connection between the New Testament and the Old Testament. They ignore the Old Testament. That's not right. There is a very deep connection between New Testament and Old Testament.

But at the same time, the New Testament is in one way superior. In what way? Let me tell you how it's connected to the Old Testament. The New Testament is nothing but a fulfillment of the Old Testament. The New Testament is not anything entirely new in that sense. It is a fulfillment of the Old Testament and bringing the Old Testament into its full bloom, shall we say. But the New Testament therefore is on another level. Why? Fulfillment is greater than promise. Fulfillment is greater than promise. Think about it. You promise a child that you'll buy chocolate for them? Have you seen the joy the child gets. When you promise itself they get so happy. “Oh, chocolate, where, when, which chocolate?” They’ll always keep that in mind. So they're already having a lot of expectation and even joy. But then what happens when the chocolate reaches their hand and then when it reaches their mouth? Have you seen the joy that time? Have you seen how much the child enjoys it? There is a huge difference between promise and fulfillment. Fulfillment is when you get it in your hand, in your life and you enjoy it. That is fulfillment. So they are connected, but one is clearly superior. Why? One is fulfillment of the promise. There's no comparison. You cannot compare that. And so time is divided into these two. That's the way God looks at it. Period of promise, period of fulfillment. And you are living in only one period. Which period are you living in? You are living in the period of fulfillment. After Jesus, after Jesus.

And so Jesus comes here in the synagogue in Nazareth, and He is announcing that turn of time here. He is saying, “At this point I announce to you, today, this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing. Today, the time has changed. We are moving from promise time to fulfillment time.” And from that moment, He wants us to be conscious that we are living in a fulfillment time. He wants us to be conscious of that. Paul is conscious of that. Peter is conscious of that. I'll show you. Go to 2nd Corinthians. We are more conscious about what time it is now. How much longer for lunch maybe. But I'm saying, forget about that time for a few minutes. Don't worry, I won't delay you too much. But put aside our thinking when it comes to time, what time it is now, what age we're living in, all that you put it aside and just imagine there are only two divisions in time. One is promise time the other is fulfillment time and you are living in fulfillment time.

2nd Corinthians chapter 6 verse 2, Paul says, For He says, that is God says through the scripture, “In a favorable time I listened to you, and in the day of salvation I have helped you.” Behold now is the favorable time; behold, now is the day of salvation. Paul is doing exactly what Jesus is doing. He picks a verse from the Old Testament like Jesus, from the book of Isaiah, like Jesus a passage about jubilee and about favor like Jesus. Exactly like Jesus he's doing. He picks it from Isaiah chapter 49, verse 8. This is from there. And like Jesus, he picks a messianic passage. Isaiah 61 is about Messiah and what He will do and Isaiah 49 is also about the Messiah. They both follow the same pattern. Where do you think Paul learned from? He learned from Jesus. He does the same thing. He goes to the Old Testament, picks up this promise of what will happen through Jesus, about jubilee, favor, and he quotes it and he says, “In a favorable time I listened to you, in a day of salvation I have helped you.” And then look at how he interprets it. Behold, now is the favorable time, now is the day of salvation. He's taking a verse that was spoken 700 years back, quoting that and then he’s saying, “That favorable time is now.” Not back then. Isaiah said it 700 years ago but that was not the favorable time. Behold, now is the favorable... What does he mean? That only this minute for Corinthians it's a favorable time? No. Paul is conscious that once Jesus has come the ages have turned, it's a new time, it’s fulfillment time, it's favor time and he says, “Now is that favorable time.” He’s conscious that he's living in a new time now, after Jesus. Now is the favorable time. Now is the day of salvation.

Go to Hebrews chapter 3. All the New Testament writers they're very conscious that the time has changed. It's not like the old days. Time has changed. This is after Jesus. Once Jesus comes, lives and dies and rises again, everything changes including time. Hebrews chapter 3 and verse 12. But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today”. You remember Jesus said, today. Jesus said, “Today the Scripture is fulfilled.” Here also we see this word today. If you read in verse 7, you see that the Hebrews’ writer is quoting from Psalm 95. And Psalm 95 says today. Psalm 95 written hundreds of years back says, today if you hear His voice, and the Hebrews writer picks that up, and he says, as long as it is called today, that means even now it's today. Now this is something more than all words in the Bible apply at all times. No, no, it's not just a general meaning. You lose the main point if you just take it very generally. The point is, Jesus turns time and takes it to the next level to fulfillment time. Henceforth, it becomes a different time altogether. That's why in the New Testament, every apostle has this idea that they're living in the last days. They're living in the last days. Now today, you talk about last days immediately where they will go, antichrist, they start talking about who are the two horsemen in Revelation and this and that.

You read the New Testament every time it talks about last days or latter days, it doesn't talk immediately about, the Antichrist or things like that. No, no, no. I'll show you some examples. In Acts chapter 2, where the Holy Spirit is poured out, Peter says latter days. What happens there? There, there is no antichrist coming and everything it's not what people think of today. But Peter calls it last days. In Acts chapter 2 verse 17, And in the last days, He's reading from the prophet Joel and he says, Joel prophesied about the last days, the last days have come. That's what Peter is saying. The last day have come. Look at Hebrews chapter 1 verse 2 it’s a little clearer, I'll show you. Hebrews chapter 1 verse 2. If you can’t turn quickly, you can just listen. I'll just read it. Okay? Hebrews 1:2 Long ago, at many times in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets but in these last days He has spoken to us by His Son. In these last days He has spoken to... He has already spoken to us by His Son. Hebrews’ writer is saying, just the fact that Jesus came and revealed God is last days. It’s last days. Look in 1 Peter 1:20, they're all conscious, the time has shifted there. He was foreknown before the foundation of the world but was made manifest, talking about Jesus, in the last times for the sake of you. in the last days. Again, Peter is talking about Jesus being manifest for you in the last days. 1 John 2:18 we’re living the last days.

A lot of people will explain the saying, “Well, they all thought Jesus will come back very soon. That's the reason.” No, no, no. There is more than that. It’s more than that. Their concept of last days was not what will happen at the very, very last when the Antichrist will come and God will judge.... No, it was a broader concept. That the moment Jesus enters into the world He changes times and last days begin there itself and it goes all the way till when He returns back. The last days begin in His first coming and it ends in His second coming. Go to Isaiah chapter 61. I'll show you that Jesus Himself had this in mind. Isaiah 61 is the passage Jesus reads in Luke 4 okay, we're doing a little about Bible study now. Isaiah 61 verse 1 and 2 is the passage Jesus reads in Luke 4. Scholars say, one of the reasons people got angry with Jesus in Luke 4 is because He didn't read the passage properly. Isaiah 61 verse 2, Jesus stopped in the middle. I will read the rest of it here. Okay? Jesus read verse 1 and then verse 2. Look at verse 2, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn. Jesus stopped right in the middle of a verse. So they say, that is one of the reasons they didn't like it very much. He didn't do the reading, Bible reading properly. Stopped right in the middle. But think about it. Jesus, stopped right in the middle of the... to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor and the day of vengeance of our God. There is an and there, He should have read that, why did He stop there?

What's going on is, Isaiah sees two things. Imagine it as two mountain tops. He sees from a distance. He gets a revelation of the future and he sees from a distance two mountaintops. One is the day of the Lord's favor, the year of the Lord's favor. The other mountain is what? The day of vengeance. It's like he sees two mountain peaks from very far distance. He doesn't know how close they are. It looks very close to him. But Jesus comes on the scene, He knows they are not very close. And He knows that He has come in to introduce now the year of the Lord's favor. The day of vengeance is that judgment day when God will judge the world through Jesus Christ, and that will be coming. But now's not the time to speak about that. So Jesus did not speak about that in His first sermon. He left it and He said, “Now let's first think about what is happening right now, the year of the Lord's favor, I am introducing that to you. From henceforth it will be the year of the Lord's favor.” One day will come, Jesus will return, He will judge the world but until that what time are we living in? It's the year of the Lord’s favor, my friend. So all the New Testament writers, I believe, learned this kind of interpretation from Jesus. And so they believed that they're in the last days. Yes, the disciples would have thought first, Jesus may come back soon. They had that kind of thinking and all. But as they started living the Christian life, they would have gotten more clarity. There is a big gap now but this is all last days only.

Why am I saying all this? I'm saying all this because we should have that same awareness of the time we are living in. We are living in the last days. We are living in the fulfillment time. We are living in the fulfillment time. The fulfillment time is better than the promise time and we are living in that time. I told you what is so special about the fulfillment time? You can put it in your mouth, you can taste the blessings, that's what special. This fulfillment time is about manifestation. What was so special about the trumpet being blown on jubilee day? When jubilee came before the trumpet was being blown, they had to put up with all the nonsense. The person working almost like a slave, like an indentured laborer, he had to put up with the low salary, the inferior treatment, all the debt he had. He had yet to struggle, toil. But when the jubilee trumpet blew, what happened? He could throw his tools and he could say, “Bye-bye. I'm going.” And he could be gone. Why? He can go enjoy jubilee, right? Imagine somebody had a family property, they lost it. 40 years, somebody else is enjoying it. When jubilee trumpet blows he doesn't have to put up with that thought, “Oh, my property is gone.” What can he do? He can get up and go to that person and say, “Listen, did you hear the trumpet? Do you know what year it is? Give me back that land. It is my...

Jubilee is about tasting the blessings of God, not just putting up with what's in your life. You go and you get it because now it belongs to you. The difference between the day before jubilee and the day the jubilee begins, is what? Even the day before jubilee you got to put up with all the nonsense, put up with the mistreatment, put up with this. But on the day of jubilee, you don’t need to put up anymore. You can say, “I'm done putting up with all this nonsense. Give me what is rightfully mine.” It's about enjoying the blessings. It’s enjoyment time. Everybody say enjoyment time. So it's about tasting the blessings. It's about enjoying the blessings. It's about greater manifestation in your life. And so when we are more aware that we are living in this kind of time, we will not put up with the nonsense that the devil is throwing against us. That's why I say this. You see, sometimes in life we start putting up with the nonsense. Have you noticed that? Because the devil just keeps coming at us, where we start to think, “Oh, maybe I just have to live with this.” So we just start putting up with the certain things in our life we know that it shouldn't be there. We're standing on the promises of God but we have waited for some time and just nothing is changing. So what happens? You start resigning ourselves to it. You say, “Okay, I'll just put up with this,” and live an attitude of, “Let's put up with it.”

What's our attitude, my friend? Our attitude reveals whether or not we believe the jubilee message. Jesus is bringing the jubilee message to us today. What is our attitude to our struggles? How do we view our struggles in life? We’re putting up with it or are we saying, “I am done putting up with it. It's jubilee time, it’s fulfillment time, it's high time I enjoyed the blessings of God in my life. Devil you better get out. I rebuke this thing. You get out of my life. I'm going to take the blessings of God.” See that's a different attitude, different way to approach life, isn't it? But for that you got to be aware you are living in the fulfillment time. What is Paul saying? 2nd Corinthians 6:2, go back there. I like that verse very much. Paul says, Now is the favorable time. Behold, look. Behold means look, pay attention. Now is the favorable time. Everybody say now is the favorable time. So as a Christian if I asked you what time it is, from a Bible point of view, shouldn't say 12:30, time to finish the service brother. No, what time is it? It's favor time. Everybody say it's favor time. Yeah, look at that clock also but don't forget this. This is more important than that. It's favor time. What time is it, now my friend? It’s favor time. It's time to experience the favor of God in a way you've never experienced before. In a greater way in your life. It's favor time. It’s enjoyment time. It's improvement time. It's healing time. It's deliverance time. You ask Paul, “What time is it now?” He says, “Now is the favorable time man.”

What is occupying your mind? This micro level time or the macro? We pay attention to this. Yes, it's important. Even this God only created. But when it comes to believing the promises of God, when it comes to expecting God's favor to work in our life, when it comes to any of that in our walk of faith and all of that, forget about this time. Be more conscious that it is favor time. It is the year of the Lord's favor. See when you live with that consciousness, there is no bad time. In our society sometimes we believe in this auspicious time, inauspicious time. People have days, inauspicious days, they won't do important things, right? What do you think about all that? What does the Bible have to say about all that? If you live with this consciousness, there is no inauspicious time for the believer, period.

There is no inauspicious day. I don't believe in inauspicious time or inauspicious day. Every time is auspicious. Why? Jesus died and rose again and He changed the time to auspicious. He changed the time to a blessed time. He changed the time to a favorable time. Behold now is the favorable time, it’s the word that must ring in our ears, my friend. If Paul was here today preaching he would say that, “Now is the favorable time.” Don’t look at the calendar for auspicious day or not. Don't look at the fact that people are saying, “Oh, now it’s not a good time, the people's business and all, it’s a terrible time for everything.” The way they say is, terrible time for everything. Nothing will... Surely that can't be true.

It's not true for us, my friend. For us, it's a good time. It's a good time to do the will of God, the plan of God. The good time to take the next step. It's a good time to go ahead and expect God to do greater things because now is the favorable time of the Lord. Don't give into that bad time business. You see, we are living in a better time even than the Old Testament period. Think about it. I mean, the great saints who lived in the Old Testament, Abraham, Moses and David and Ruth and Nehemiah, we are living in a better time. I'm not saying that, the Bible says that. Look at Hebrews 11 verse 39, important verse here. Hebrews 11 verse 39. We look at the Old Testament saints sometimes with envy, saying, “I wish I was there when Moses and the people of Israel crossed the Red Sea. I wish I was there when they ate manna from heaven.” But look what the Bible says. Hebrews 11 verse 39, and all these, people, though commanded through their faith, did not receive what was promised. Who's it talking about? It's talking about the heroes of the faith. This is Hebrews chapter 11. It mentions all the great heroes of the Old Testament like Abel, like Abraham, like Moses, like you know, these great guys who did great exploits through faith and it says about them all these people, even though they were commended through their faith, they did not receive what was promised. Why are we living in a better time? Because they didn't receive what was promised. They got the promise. But they didn't receive what was promised. They had the promise. But they didn't have the fulfillment, the entire fulfillment. Look at verse 40, since God had provided something better for us. Since God had provided something better for us, that apart from us, they should not be made perfect. God has provided something better for who? Not for Abraham, Moses, David, for us.  It’s what this passage is saying. God has provided something better for you. You are living in a better time. Why? Because they didn’t receive everything that was promised. Yes, they experienced God's favor to a great extent but we can experience more because God provided something better for us. This is the Bible truth, my friend.

Go to Matthew chapter 11 verse 11. I look at Moses and I say, “Wow”. Who does Jesus look at and say, “Wow”? Matthew 11:11 Truly, I say to you, among those born of women there has arisen no one greater than John the Baptist. Yet the one who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. Two parts to this verse. Jesus says, first of all, in the old covenant, in the Old Testament time, in the old time, who's the greatest? John the Baptist. Now, first of all, I wouldn't pick John the Baptist. I mean, there's great guys in the Old Testament. Moses split the Red Sea, think about that. David enlarged the kingdom of Israel. Elijah called down fire from heaven. I mean, there are so many candidates for who's the greatest. I wouldn't pick John the Baptist but Jesus says, who's the greatest? John the Baptist. So He must be right. And then He says, in the kingdom of heaven, that is in the new time, Jesus came preaching the kingdom of heaven. What did He say? The kingdom of heaven is at hand, the new time has come, the kingdom of heaven has come. So He says, in the kingdom of heaven those who are least, the one who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than John the Baptist. Think about that statement. John the Baptist Jesus is saying the greatest in the old time, in the new time, kingdom time, the least in the kingdom, the most ordinary believer, the person who became a believer yesterday, doesn't know anything, the person who is sometimes not living a very good life also but is a believer, genuine believer, least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than...

What is going on here. How do you understand this verse? You can understand it if you realize the way Jesus for Him... You know what is greater? You know how Jesus determines greater? Based on the time. Why is John the Baptist considered greater than Moses and David and Elijah? I'll tell you why. Because John the Baptist lived closest to the turning of the ages, nothing else. He lived closest to the turning of the ages. And so because he lived closest, he is the greatest in the old time. But once the ages have turned, once it becomes fulfillment time through Jesus, once Jesus comes, lives, dies and rises again. Now the least in the new time becomes even greater than the greatest in the old time. Why? Again, it all has to do with time. We are not really greater than John the Baptist in holiness, in righteousness, in sense of mission and everything, but we are living in a better time. And so in the eyes of Jesus, we are considered... that's what He's saying. It's amazing to me how important time is in the mind of Jesus. Is what I'm trying to convey today. It is everything. If you live with an awareness of the time you are living in, that it is a fulfillment time I am telling you, you will have breakthroughs like you've never imagined. Because time is on your side. This time is not on my side most times but this greater time is on my side. It's on your side. I'm living in the fulfillment era., after Jesus, That changes everything. It should change the way I get up and face life every day.

You know we should face life with a greater expectation than the Old Testament saints. You remember how Ruth got up and went that day? We saw that the first day. She got up and went with positive attitude, with great expectation that something somewhere she will find favor. I say to you, we ought to get up with greater expectation and enthusiasm and encouragement than Ruth and go and face our day Why? We are living in a better time than Ruth. It's not enough to think the God who did for Ruth will do for me. No, no, that is a low level of thinking. I'll tell you what is the high level of thinking according to this revelation about time. If God did it for Ruth itself won’t He do it for... Because I am living in a better time. If God did it, it takes some faith to think like that. You got to believe in this. You got to believe that jubilee has come and therefore in the eyes of Jesus, you are in a better position to receive than Moses. If you stretch out your hand, things will happen. That's why Jesus said, “The works that I do you will also do.” John 14:12 “and even greater works than these you will do, because I go to my father. When I go to my father, the new time will come into full force. The Holy Spirit will come upon the church and it will be a new time.” That's what Jesus means, you see. If God did it for Moses, He certainly will do it for me. Because in His eyes I am greater, not because I am greater in every way. No, no, no. I'm living in a greater time. In a better time. Everybody say I’m living in a better time.

And so my friend get up and face the day with more confidence. And, there are some challenges of course. It's not as easy as I make it sound, is it? But it wasn't as easy even back then. I mean, imagine the day of jubilee came and like I said, if the fellow really believed the trumpet sound and he said, “It's jubilee.” He throws his tools and he walks away and say, “I'm done. That's all, done.” Do you think that owner will let him go like that so easily? He's been getting cheap labor for 10 years. He's been hiking up the interest rate so that he can keep this guy as an indentured laborer for life. You think he's going to let him go so easily? He would have said, “Jubilee?! you better to continue working for me. I don't care what it is. I didn't hear that trumpet sound. What are you talking trumpet sound? Continue working.” It wouldn’t have come easy, my friend. Imagine I said, some guy lost the property 40 years, somebody else is enjoying it. And jubilee day he goes and he really believes it's jubilee. And he says, “Give me back that property.” Do you think they'll hand over the property just like that? No, no, no. He would have said what? “40 years I'm on this land. You expect me to give it to you now?.” So you got to fight for it. Even back then they would have fought for it. They would have said, “No, no, no. The law says, ‘Jubilee year you got to hand it over to me.’” That fellow would have said, “Nothing doing. I won’t hand. I won't do it. You go to court.” So they’d have gone to court, they might have fought it out, something would have happened. But if you really believe it's jubilee, then you will fight for it. And you won't settle until you get it. That's where you know whether you believe jubilee is here or not.

In our life today there are oppositions here. The devil doesn't want to let go that easily. He fights us through different angles, different ways. He tries one method that doesn't work, he tries to come at us different way. But if you really believe you are living in the time of fulfillment, the time of deliverance and healing and greater favor then you will fight for it. Everybody say fight for it. You're fighting for it, the way you fight, the confidence with which you fight itself reveals how much you believe in this message. My friend, believe in the message. Some people may say, another challenge is, “Well, all this business about macro time is fine but we got to go back into the micro time world. And I've been waiting for 10 years for this promise to be fulfilled.” My friend, the moment we start talking like that what happens? That’s it. We have deviated. When it comes to waiting for promise to be fulfilled and all that, it's even though it's natural to talk how long we've been waiting, it's better to avoid it. It's better to avoid it. That kind of talk doesn't go along with faith because when it comes to God's promises being fulfilled, there's only two times. Listen to me. There's only two. There is the promise and then there is the fulfillment. And you are living in the fulfillment time.

Yeah, it may it take 10 years in micro level that doesn't matter. You should put it out of your mind and say that does not matter. What matters is I will get it because I am living in the fulfillment time, that's all, finished. I'm going to stand right there and not think about how long it takes me. So don't say it's taking time rather, if you want to open your mouth say it's favor time. Every time you think it's taking time, don't say what you think, open your mouth and say it's favor time. I'm living in fulfillment time. You see, my friend, we can expect greater things to happen, greater than the Old Testament saints. I really believe that if we believe... The teaching of the New Testament is if we believe in this truth greater things can happen than what happened to them. In an easier way for us, in a much quicker way. Greater things can happen more easily, more quickly. Why? Because we are living in a better time, that's why. Greater things than what happened to Ruth and Nehemiah can happen to you. It can happen more easily to you and it can happen more quickly to you. Abraham had to wait 25 years for his main promise to be fulfilled. One baby. But my friend, you can have a baby in much lesser time because it's fulfillment time. You can have that baby, you can have that deliverance, you can have that healing, you can have that progress in the name of Jesus. You can go forward, nothing can stop you because time is on your side. God is smiling at this time. It's the favorite year of the Lord and it will continue until the end of time. My friend, just grow in your awareness of this time that you're living in. Everybody say greater favor. More quickly, more easily. Do you believe that? Well, if you believe it, what time is it? That's it. Thank you. God bless.

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