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STUDY NOTES
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01

Introduction: Understanding the times we are living in

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MAIN IDEA

We are living in the dispensation of grace—when the free favors of God abound and God is restoring the broken areas in our lives.

key scriptures

Amos 9:11–12

KEY TAKEAWAYS
FOLLOW PASTOR PRINCE AS HE EXPOUNDS ON THESE POINTS
  • Let us always be eager to grow in our revelation of Jesus. 
  • Before He comes again and rules on earth, we are still living in the dispensation of grace—the time when the free favors of God abound. 
  • This is also the time when the prophecy of Amos 9:11–12 is taking place—God is restoring the tabernacle of David (a picture of the church that is under the new covenant of grace). The main characteristic of the tabernacle of David is that the ark of the covenant (a picture of Jesus Christ) is front and center.
  • “In that day will I raise up the tabernacle of David that is fallen, and close up the breaches thereof; and I will raise up his ruins, and I will build it as in the days of old: That they may possess the remnant of Edom, and of all the heathen, which are called by my name, saith the Lord that doeth this.”
    — ‭‭Amos‬ ‭9:11–12‬ ‭KJV‬‬
  • This mention of “Edom” calls to mind Obed-Edom. Obed-Edom was an important character in the story of David bringing the ark of the covenant to the tabernacle of David in Jerusalem. Along the way, the ark was placed in Obed-Edom’s house, and the Lord abundantly blessed him and his whole household. So this mention of “Edom” suggests that when God restores the tabernacle of David, we will experience the blessings of Obed-Edom—family blessings.
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02

It's not always a bad thing when your strength is broken

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MAIN IDEA

When you see the insufficiency of your own strength, the answer is to depend on the Lord’s strength. Without Him, we can do nothing! Come to Him and experience His life flow into areas of death or defeat.

key scriptures

2 Sam. 6:8, John 15:5, Rom. 5:6, 1 Cor. 15:56, Rom. 6:14, Heb. 10:19–20, Num.‬ ‭19:2, 11

KEY TAKEAWAYS
FOLLOW PASTOR PRINCE AS HE EXPOUNDS ON THESE POINTS
  • Before the ark was placed in Obed-Edom’s house on the journey to Jerusalem, the Perez Uzzah incident happened (2 Sam. 6:8). Instead of transporting the ark on the shoulders of the priests as was God’s ordained way, David transported the ark on an oxen cart. As a result, the oxen stumbled, and one of David’s men named Uzzah (whose name means “strength”) reached out to steady the ark and was struck dead. David then named the place “Perez Uzzah,” which means “the breaking of strength.”
  • In this journey of restoring the tabernacle of David, we will see the breaking of human strength (man’s pride). It is only when man sees that without the Lord, he can do nothing, that he will be able to trust and depend on the Lord’s strength instead of his own.
  • Without Jesus, we can do nothing (John 15:5). Sometimes we think we need God for the big things in life but we can handle the small things. Yet the Bible tells us that without Jesus, we can do nothing. We need Him in everything we do. When we place our trust in our own strength, we open the door to failure.
  • “For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.”
    — Romans 5:6 NKJV
  • Christ died for us who were without strength. We are actually without strength and we cannot save ourselves. We need Jesus.
  • When you trust in your own strength to keep the law, you will fall into sin. The law was designed to be like a mirror reflecting mankind—sinners who can’t help but sin. The strength of sin is the law (1 Cor. 15:56). Thank God that because we believe in Jesus and all He has done for us at the cross, we are now under the new covenant of grace and no longer under the law. When we are under grace, sin will not have dominion over us (Rom. 6:14).
  • The differences between the tabernacle of Moses and the tabernacle of David are a picture of the differences between the new covenant of grace and the old covenant of the law. In the tabernacle of Moses, God’s people were afraid to draw near to God because there was always the chance of being struck dead because they were judged on their behavior and performance. But in the tabernacle of David, God's people could come freely before an unveiled ark to worship Him. When Jesus gave up His Spirit in His final moments on the cross, God tore the veil in the temple from top to bottom—He removed the separation between Himself and man.
  • Because of Jesus’ finished work, we have a “new and living way” to approach God (Heb. 10:19–20). The more you come to God, the more you live! The more you come to God, the more you experience His life flowing into every area of defeat or death. Physical death is the final enemy but before that, there are also different forms of death we may see in our lives. Depression is a form of death. Marriage breaking down is a form of death. Any kind of destruction you see in your life is a form of death. The more you come to God, the more you will see His life swallowing up death.
  • However, when we put forth our own strength instead of relying on His, death comes in (like what happened at Perez Uzzah). The way to remove death in your life is to come in contact with Jesus and His finished work. 
  • There is a special law only recorded in the book of Numbers, during the time when the children of Israel were wandering in the wilderness and sometimes touched unclean things: ““This is the ordinance of the law which the Lord has commanded, saying: ‘Speak to the children of Israel, that they bring you a red heifer without blemish, in which there is no defect and on which a yoke has never come. . . . ‘He who touches the dead body of anyone shall be unclean seven days.”
    — ‭‭Numbers‬ ‭19:2, 11‬ ‭NKJV‬‬
  • He who touches the dead body of anyone shall be unclean seven days” — There are still things in the world today that bring death when we expose ourselves to them (e.g. the occult).
  • that they bring you a red heifer without blemish” — This is a picture of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, and it is the answer to removing “death” from a situation.
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03

Why you can rejoice in your weaknesses

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MAIN IDEA

You can rejoice in your weaknesses because that’s where God’s strength is made perfect.

key scriptures

2 Cor. ‭12:9‬–10

KEY TAKEAWAYS
FOLLOW PASTOR PRINCE AS HE EXPOUNDS ON THESE POINTS
  • The name “Perez Uzzah” means “the breaking of strength.” For the past two years, the COVID-19 pandemic has shown up man’s weaknesses and limitations. Man has seen a breaking of strength and also the need for God’s power in their lives. It is not necessarily a bad thing when you see your strength broken. When your strength is broken in any area, that is where you get to see God’s strength come in.
  • The apostle Paul talked about having a “thorn in his flesh” and asking God to remove it. But God said to him: “And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”
    — 2 Corinthians‬ ‭12:9‬ ‭NKJV‬‬
  •  The Greek word for “strength” is “dunamis,” and it refers to God’s power. Because God’s power flows into our weak areas, we should celebrate the areas where we’re weak. Where your weakness is, there God’s strength is also.
  • We are people who are so used to showing our strengths (e.g. on social media). But as sons and daughters of God, let’s remember that we do not have to think or function like the world. We can rejoice in our weaknesses because that’s where God’s power can flow (2 Cor.‬ ‭12:10).
  • When God releases His power into your areas of weakness, you may not always see it or feel it immediately or tangibly. Sometimes you may not even be aware of the Lord working in you. But you will find that there are good results in time to come, or people will come up to you and tell you that something has changed.
  • Rejoice in all your areas of weakness and in the breaking of your strength. God is rebuilding those areas.
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04

Does rest make you lazy or passive?

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MAIN IDEA

Rest is not inactivity but Spirit-directed activity. It doesn’t make you lazy or passive but causes you to do the right thing at the right time and see amazing results you cannot achieve on your own.

key scriptures

1 Chron. 15:26, Matt. 11:29–30, 1 Pet. 1:8, 2 Sam. 6:12, 2 Cor. 5:14

KEY TAKEAWAYS
FOLLOW PASTOR PRINCE AS HE EXPOUNDS ON THESE POINTS
  • If God wants to get all the glory, let Him do all the work—in, through, and for you. This doesn’t mean that you become passive or lazy. Look at Jesus: in 3 and a half years, He finished all the work His Father had assigned Him. There was no one more productive yet more restful than Jesus. We can be restful and still see acceleration. We are to rest from our human strength and start trusting the Lord.
  • Rest is not inactivity but Spirit-directed activity. When you let the Lord lead you, you are depending on His strength. And when you follow His leading, His strength will continue to support you on the path He’s leading you on.
  • However, when you follow your own leading, you have to depend on your own strength, smarts, and abilities, and the result is death (like what happened at Perez Uzzah).
  • When the children of Israel were in the wilderness, they followed God’s ordained way of transporting the ark on the shoulders of the Levites (the priests). As the Levites carried the ark (a picture of us carrying the name of Jesus and following Him), God helped them (1 Chron. 15:26). It was as though the moment the ark touched the shoulders of the priests, God lifted them. In the same way, when we do things God’s way by trusting His leading and trusting His strength to support us, we will be empowered and supplied.
  • “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”
    — Matthew 11:29–30 NKJV
  • Following Jesus is easy and light. The devil wants you to think it is hard to serve the Lord but easy to live in the ways of the world. That’s a lie. The truth is that “the way of transgressors is hard” (Prov. 13:15b KJV). Sin makes life hard. There are pleasures of sin, but they only last a season (Heb. 11:25). On the other hand, following Jesus gives you joy unspeakable (1 Pet. 1:8) and shalom peace. The first time David tried to transport the ark using man’s strength (not doing it God’s ordained way), there was death and fear. But when he did it God’s way, there was gladness (2 Sam. 6:12). When you are led by the Lord, there will be joy and gladness that all the billions of dollars in the world can’t buy.
  • The Christian life is full of joy unspeakable. It is easy and light. We have responsibilities and tasks to do, but when we allow the Lord to lead us, they become easy and light. The moment you take the direction the Spirit is leading you in, His power starts flowing and carrying you.
  • The key is to keep your eyes on Jesus. When you are conscious of His love for you, you end up loving others. 2 Corinthians 5:14 KJV tells us that “the love of Christ constraineth us,” and “constraineth” has the idea of us being carried away by a current. The love of Christ is the motivating force behind everything we do. When we know His love, we act in love toward others. We love because He first loved us (1 John 4:19). That’s why the devil always tries to cut off the sense of being loved by the Lord.
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05

Where your strength ends, His strength begins

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MAIN IDEA

You don’t need to have all the answers or hold everything together with your own strength. Instead, labor to enter into rest and allow the Lord to lead you and His strength to carry you through.

key scriptures

John 10:10, Heb. 4:11

KEY TAKEAWAYS
FOLLOW PASTOR PRINCE AS HE EXPOUNDS ON THESE POINTS
  • This year, as God rebuilds the church, He is also rebuilding the broken areas of your life.
  • When God restores something, it is always greater than what you originally had in quality and/or quantity. 
  • If you have lost something, or something dear to you has been stolen, know that it is not the Lord who took it away (Ps. 69:4). The devil is the one who steals, kills, and destroys while Jesus comes that you may have life (John 10:10).
  • As we rest, the Lord will do the work of restoration. This year, let us labor to enter into His rest (Heb. 4:11). We are to work at resting. We work at not reacting to everything that happens with our own strength. A practical way to labor to enter rest is to work at not reacting to everything that happens. Many times, we react to situations based on our emotions or intellect. If you know that you are someone who reacts out of your flesh, know that the Lord doesn’t want you to be someone who is so easily controlled or manipulated by their buttons being pushed. So instead of reacting, let the Lord be the One to lead and guide you. When you feel like reacting, take some time to pause and tell the Lord, “Lord, You’ve got this. I trust You. I’ll rest in You.” If you have a problem with a colleague at work, don’t try to force yourself to love that person. Just say, “Thank You, Lord. I trust You with this situation/this person. I will rest.”
  • Your areas of weakness are where God’s strength flows, so don’t try to be strong. A drowning person can’t be saved until he has lost his strength, so just allow the Lord to save you.
  • This is not a life of laziness or passivity. When you trust the Lord, you end up being very active without tiring out because the power that energizes you is not your own. You’ll be like the burning bush—burning up but not out.
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06

Let the Aleph-Tav (Jesus) hold your life together

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MAIN IDEA

Place Jesus at the center of your life and He will hold all things (especially your family) together.

key scriptures

‭‭2 Sam. ‭6:11, Gen. 1:1, Col. 1:16–17, Deut.‬ ‭11:18–21, 2 Sam. 6:11–12

KEY TAKEAWAYS
FOLLOW PASTOR PRINCE AS HE EXPOUNDS ON THESE POINTS
  • It’s the broken areas of your life that invite God’s repairing.
  • There are the Hebrew letters Aleph א and Tav ת that remain untranslated in this verse: “And the ark of the LORD continued in the house of Obed-edom the Gittite three months: and the LORD blessed Obed-edom, and all his household.”
    — ‭‭2 Samuel‬ ‭6:11‬ ‭KJV‬‬
  • The את (Aleph Tav) is Jesus’ signature. When we find His signature hidden untranslated in Bible verses, there is significance to it.
  • We find His signature right in the center of Genesis 1:1. There are 7 Hebrew words in this verse, and the word at the center is את (Aleph Tav). There are 28 Hebrew letters in this verse, and the letters את (Aleph Tav) are at the center. Genesis 1:1, the verse about creation, shows us that God wants us to live our lives with Jesus Christ at the center. “All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made” (John 1:3). “And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist” (Col. 1:17).
  • “For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him.”
    — Colossians 1:16 NKJV
  • When you live for Jesus, He holds everything in your life together. When you give to Him your career, your marriage, your parenting, your ministry, you allow Him to come in and hold them all together. It is when Jesus is not at the center that things start to disintegrate. Put Jesus at the center of all you’re dreaming about for your future. Make sure you count the Lord in your future. When you flow with His pattern, everything in life flows for you and not against you. You’ll be resourced, anointed, and gifted. Everything you do will shine for His glory.
  • Wisdom for parenting (from Deuteronomy‬ ‭11:18–21‬): There are the Hebrew letters Aleph א and Tav ת that remain untranslated in this verse. In the original context of this verse, parents are encouraged to teach their children the law. However, under the new covenant, God has ordained for us to speak words about Christ. Today we can read the verse like this: “You shall teach Jesus Christ to your children, speaking of Him when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.” In your everyday life, follow the flow of the Spirit as He leads you to speak to your children about Jesus. Not just during designated devotional times, but throughout the day. Learn to speak to your children casually about the Lord—what you learned about Him from Sunday service or from your own personal study. Share with them whatever God shows you about Jesus. The Holy Spirit will be the One to give your words influence with them. You’d be surprised to find that they are listening even when they don’t seem like they are. As you speak to your kids about Jesus more, your days shall be like heaven upon the earth.
  • From 2 Samuel 6:11, we can see that it is also the Lord את (Aleph Tav) who blessed Obed-Edom. David heard about the blessings that came upon Obed-Edom’s house and he decided to take the ark to Jerusalem on Mount Zion, the center of God’s people, where God’s blessing could reach everyone.
  • In the next verse, 2 Samuel 6:12, there’s another hidden את (Aleph Tav). David had a desire to put the Lord Jesus at the center of it all. When Jesus is placed at the center, there will be gladness. And all the resources of heaven will come to you.
  • Ask the Lord for an area of ministry you can serve His Son. He who serves the Lord, God will honor. When you serve, look to serve Jesus, not man’s approval. Whether people recognize your service or not doesn’t matter because you will receive your reward and inheritance from Jesus.

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07

Amazing things happen when you place Him at the center

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MAIN IDEA

When you put Jesus at the center of your life, all the resources of heaven are made available to you and all you set your hand to is blessed.

key scriptures

Gen. 39:5

KEY TAKEAWAYS
FOLLOW PASTOR PRINCE AS HE EXPOUNDS ON THESE POINTS
  • Something happened to Potiphar’s house when he put Joseph (a picture of Jesus) at the center—”the Lord blessed the Egyptian’s house for Joseph’s sake; and the blessing of the Lord was on all that he had in the house and in the field” (Gen. 39:5). Joseph is a type of Jesus. When you put Jesus at the center of your life, all of heaven and all the power of God will start to assist you. You’ll find the help of God in every area of your life.

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