Joseph Prince - Prosper God's Way During Recession
Praise the Lord. Thank God for all the testimonies. We give all the glory to the Lord Jesus alone, amen? Amen, amen, praise God. And you know, every time we share the testimonies, we just want you to see the effect of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Because some people think it's only working in Singapore among the church members, but the gospel is the gospel for the world, amen? It has the same results all over the world. And that's what we want you to know, that we believe that this ministry was raised to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ. Let me say it more radically. I believe that we are gonna be part of the movement of the latest reformation that God's gonna raise all over the world, amen? Just like during the Martin Luther days, amen, there was a great movement of the Spirit in restoring the truth of justification by faith.
So we believe there's another greatest and the last day move of restoring this truth once again. That truth is lost. That truth has been lost. And in many church even, in many circles, in many denominations, in many parts of the world where Christ is preached, but it is always like there's an apology towards justification by faith. It will say like, "Yeah, you are righteous by faith, but we must not forget works. Yes, but. Yes, but". And our revelation of righteousness by faith is not so strong anymore, but I believe God is restoring that truth once again. And this time, whenever God restores, it's always greater in power, greater in its dimensions. Praise the Lord. We thank God we are part of the end time gospel revolution, grace revolution, amen, all over the world. People are gonna find out that God is a good God, that this God love you so much that He sent His Son for the sole purpose of dying for your sins, amen?
And remember, God loves His Son. God loved His Son so much that God opened up the heavens to Him when He came up from the Jordan River and said, "You are My Beloved Son. In You I am well pleased". No one pleased the Father as much as our Lord Jesus did. And yet, this Son of His love, and that's the phrase from the Bible, "The Son of His love," He gave up for you and I. Why? Because He loved you, amen? No one else can take your place. The best person on earth, the most so-called moral person can never take your place in substitute at the cross for your sins. It must be someone who is sinless, someone who knew no sin, did no sin, in Him is no sin. It must be someone who is a human being, because God cannot die. Yet at the same time, the quality of His blood must be eternal. That's God's kind of blood, amen? If God takes on human flesh, what will He be like? And that's our Lord Jesus Christ.
Hundred percent God, He never laid aside His deity, and 100% man when He came to earth. Do you know that right now in the center of the universe at the right hand of the majesty on high is a human being, a glorified human being? One of us is there at God's right hand. He represents us there. Think about it. A lot of people, when they think about Jesus at the Father's right hand, they think of God being at the right hand, God the Son being at the right hand of God the Father. No, you must think of Him when He's there, when He came down, He represented God, but when He's there, He's representing man to God. Think of Him there as man. And whatever He is, you are. His position is your position. All that He is, you are. All that He has, you have.
Only one point, one area that you and I can not possess in Him is His deity, all right? It's His deity. We are not God, okay? That's the only area. But whatever God did to Him on the cross is what God did to us. Jesus carried our sins, and not only carried our sins, He carried us, that part of us, the old man, the sinful nature. Because when man sinned, that sinful nature is already there. That cancer of sin spread through man in his blood. It can be seen, all right, that sin is in the blood. And that's why it manifests in disease, deformity. In heaven, there is no sickness, there is no disease, there's no deformity. So sin is in the blood. And that's why when you have children, they don't have to be taught how to lie. Sin is in their blood. But there's a beautiful verse, "I'll cleanse their blood," amen. And I believe being born again, your blood is cleansed. Praise the Lord, amen?
So the Bible says He has redeemed His church with His blood. Take heed that you feed the flock of God, whom He has redeemed. No, God is the subject here, whom He has redeemed with His blood. So that blood and God, that means royal blood. It's not any just blood, any blood. It is the blood of God's Son that redeemed us, amen? So he has to be fully God, fully man to die for our sins on that cross. As man, He died, He took our place. And even that part of us that loves to sin is finished off at the cross. It might not be so in our experience, our sense, our feelings, but it is so to faith, amen? Faith sees what God sees. Faith says, "Amen," to whatever God says. So when God looks at you, God does not see you in your sin. God sees you in your righteousness in Christ, amen. So never let the world define you, and you don't define you, all right, based on your own failures, experiences, shortcomings.
Don't even define yourself based on your successes, because if you define yourself by your success then it only lasts as long as that success lasts. What are you when you lose your position? What are you when you lose that job? What are you when you lose that fame or fortune? Never tie your definition of who you are with all these things. Let God define you, amen? You are the righteousness of God in Christ. You're a son of God, son of Abba, amen, son of His love, praise the Lord, in Christ. And as He is, as that Man is, as that glorified Man is at the Father's right hand, so are we in this world, amen. Whoo, praise God. If we go back home right now, we are happy, amen?
So some years ago when I saw this and I felt the Holy Spirit telling me, "Son, lay hold on it. Lay hold on it". As in everything in the Christian life, it works by faith. Without faith, it's impossible to please God. You go to Europe, all right, the means of transaction there is through your Euro currency, amen? You go to UK, all right, it is the British pound. You go to India, it is rupiah, right? Rupee, sorry, rupee. Rupiah is Indonesia, okay? So different parts of the world have different currency. The kingdom of heaven operates by faith, amen. Show God your faith and you receive what you need from Him, amen. So faith, without faith, God has ordained it that way. Faith, without faith, it's impossible to please God, amen. Abraham believed God and it was counted to him for righteousness. And that's where it all starts, amen?
So we wanna preach the Word because the Word builds faith. If you do not know what God has for you, you cannot lay claim on it, amen? So years ago, God says, "Lay claim on the fact that my Son is at the Father's right hand, amen, at My right hand". And whatever He is, you are. As He is righteous, so are you in this world. And I said before, if it said, if the verse says, that word in 1 John says, "As..." If it said, "As Jesus was," past tense, it would be good enough, right? Imagine Jesus in the gospels, healing the sick, cleansing the lepers. That was Jesus was, right? That'd be good enough to be like Him then. But it's not as Jesus was, it is as Jesus is: the ascended, the risen Christ, glorified at the Father's right hand. As Jesus is, so are we in this world. Not when we die, in this world. And I believe God's Word. So God said to me, "Start believing. What is it that you need"?
So I start preaching if you have depression, believe. Is Jesus having depression right now? Of course not. As Jesus is, so are you in this world, free from that depression, amen? Is Jesus righteous? Is Jesus ever concerned that He is gonna be out of fellowship? Don't forget, the same body of Jesus that bore your sins at the cross, no one borne so much sins as Jesus did when you think about it. At the cross, He bore the world's sin upon His body at the cross. In a matter of a few days when He walked into heaven, where are all your sins? It's the same body. Where are your sins? Gone. It's a perfect work. I said it's a perfect work. Where are your sins today? Gone. Why? Because your sins were on His body. Understand that. Your sins were on His body when He was at the cross. Three days after that, He rose from the dead, went back to the Father, amen, sprinkled the blood. And where are your sins? Gone, amen.
The Bible says it like this, "Having purged our sins, He sat down," amen. So we start saying, all right, "As Jesus is". Whatever you need, amen. You feel like you are having problems with your memory, say, "Jesus, does He have a memory problem"? No. He remembers everything perfectly. In fact, there's a phrase called, "The mind of Christ," amen? The mind of Christ. When God first made man, God made man with his mind beautiful and perfect. Adam could name all the animals. And imagine all the species of the different animals in the world. God brought them to him and he named them. And imagine how many species there are in the world, how many varieties of animals there are in the world. And then he can, and different sizes, right? He can go back to the first one that he named after thousands have passed by, and he remembered them once again, amen.
We sometimes look at each other, all right, and we say, "Now, you look familiar. What's your name"? amen? And it happened to be one of your family members, all right? So that's a problem. So if that's a problem, you say, "As Jesus is, with a perfect mind, the mind of Christ, so am I in this world in my mind," amen? Now, everything your flesh will say, because the world in the flesh does not like the way of faith. It will say, "You are talking nonsense," you know, "This cannot be," that kind of thing and all that. And you know what? Forget all that, amen, because that is the way of the world. The world says, "Unless I see it, unless I experience it, I will not say it". God's way is that, "Believe what I say. Declare it, as if it is so," because it is so.
As far as God is concerned, it is so, amen. So you start declaring that. And I remember the first lady in our church broke through when she was diagnosed with breast cancer or breast tumor, right? There was a tumor there that was suspected to be cancerous. And when she received the report, she came up to me. And in those days, I would be hanging around in front. And she would come to me and she showed me her report, all right, and she wrote across it, "Does Jesus have lumps in His breast? As Jesus is, so am I. I am free from it". All right, she went back for the next checkup, completely gone. And that precipitated literally a revolution of healings in the same area among women, in America especially, when they heard this testimony. So it's like the first one broke through and the rest followed.
So, church, our authority is the Word of God, amen? This Word that you hold in your hand, the Bible, is your authority. Not any denomination, not any church. Listen, we can also even look at church history for lessons, okay, for to see how the church was back then, but we cannot use church history as authority. This is our authority, the Word of God. And what I'm gonna share today is something that I feel that has happened to the body of Christ. Now, I will not preach this. In the natural, I would not preach this because it would invite a lot of criticism. It would invite a lot of people who are people who are just out to get me. Anyway, they are always around, wah. You know, God bless them, amen. I take Communion for them also sometimes, right? But I bless them. I bless them.
Sometimes I pray that God would not do anything to them, amen, because you know, you gotta deal with them in love and mercy. Because I really believe they are sincere, all right, but of course sincerely wrong, lah, you know? Anyway, I'm just like you, you know? I don't want to be preaching something that causes people to, you know, criticize, and you know, get canceled. You know, that kind of, today's lingo, all right? The world, they don't like you, they cancel you. Rewrite history, you know? Imagine history can be rewritten. That's funny. What I thought, something happened, something happened already. You know what I'm saying? But you can rewrite history, amen? And people wanna cancel you and all that.
Just that I think that you must be powerful enough to cancel someone. Because in the first place, you didn't give birth to him, and then you didn't give him the ministry, you didn't give him the anointing, and you didn't give him the blessings and all that, how can you cancel him when God gave him all those things? I think there's a saying that says, "When God opens a door, no one can shut". I think in today's vernacular, it will be, "What God has written, no one can cancel," amen? So, but I'm gonna preach it anyway, all right? And it's something to do with my concern when I look at the young people today especially, a whole new generation, that have not heard the teachings that I grew up with that has blessed me so, you know?
In fact, right now you are living in a miracle. If you look at this amazing Star Performing Arts Centre, right, this whole centre here was nothing. This place was just vacant, amen. I forgot what buildings, small buildings there were here, right, but definitely not the Star that we have today, and you take it for granted. And you say, like, "Pastor, the reason I cannot believe in faith and all that is because I'm something I must see it, then I believe it". You know something? This started with faith. Now you say you experience it. Now you can see it. Now you sit in it. But it was actually nothing except for faith, amen? It wasn't easy because at that time, if you look at all the odds against us in the natural, amen, in Singapore, land-scarce Singapore, amen, every voice is saying it's impossible to find a place that seats like this.
But somewhere in my heart, I said that my eye is on the Lord, amen? When the Lord created Singapore, He knows what it's gonna be like, amen? We have a need for our people to have a bigger place, amen? Not just building a place for the sake of building it, amen, but we need the place. And I tell you something, we didn't have the money for it, hey, but God raised the money for us, amen. God provided for us, amen, supernaturally. Now, if you think about it, it's not easy. As Pastor back then, I remember that the ones that were appointed, the leaders in my church and some of the businesspeople that were appointed, you know, to look into all these place and all that when it was just an idea, they have a very easy job, though it appears very hard for them, right? Because they say this, "Pastor, we only want to know one thing from you, all right, before we pursue this".
Every juncture they come to me, "Shall we go for this? Shall we go for that? We just want to know one thing from you. Is this God"? You know? Even my wife asked me, "You sure? Is this God"? amen. The lawyers would ask questions from our leaders, "Is this God"? all right? So every... and they all bring back the question to me, "Is this God"? Now, that is one wonderful way to be stress-free, to hear this question every month, all right. Is this God? Are you sure this is God? If this is God, we go for it. All right, very easy, right? If this is God, we go for it. Why don't you find if it's God? So everything converge on me, all right? For the first time, I felt the pyramid was inverted. Usually it's, you know, the pastor, and the leaders, and all that, and all the way down, filtered down.
This was inverted and I'm right below, pshhhhh. I felt the weight. Good thing I survived through it, by the grace of God. No, God was faithful, amen? And so I told myself, "I really have to hear God. I really have to hear God," 'cause the amount of money that I'm gonna trust God to provide for us and our people will believe and provide for cannot be a failure, cannot fail, all right? We cannot, you know, start something halfway and give up. Like Jesus mentioned, someone built and building and he's not able to finish it. So it's gotta be God. It's gotta be God. There's a lot of naysayers at that time, amen. There were people who didn't believe we will do it, that we can do it. Some people believed that we should not do it. The whole thing for the place is just functional, so people can come together, amen, to worship the Lord in a place where they can be not forsaking the assembling.
So it wasn't meant for you to watch from home actually. It's meant for you to come here, huh? Amen. It's meant for you to come here, be together. You know, the Bible talks about, "And they came together in one place". So the idea of not forsaking actually is a physical gathering, coming together, "All the more," the Bible says, "as you see the day approaching". There's something about us. You know, the Bible says, "The devil comes like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour". You know what a roaring lion does? You know what, the Bible says, "The devil is like a roaring lion". He comes. If you look at all, I love to watch, you know, those NatGeo kind of documentaries and all that. You watch a lot of those animal stories, I mean, like predators and all that, you will find that the way, from what a notice, the lions, they go really slow and they are very patient.
And when they see a group of gazelles or zebras and all that, they mark someone that is weak, all right? And then they take their time. They follow the herd. They don't attack. They never attack, right, they never attack when the herd are really strong and together. They attack when the herd is confused or they leave behind a straggler who is injured or whatever. They wait. They wait until you are out of fellowship, you are isolated, when you are alone. So when you think about it, the analogy that the Holy Spirit used, "Satan like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour," there's safety in being together physically. There's something, I can't explain it, something spiritual, something, there's a divine protection. Have you noticed the Gadarene demoniac, the most demonized man in the Bible, the Bible used this phrase of him, "He was alone". He was alone.
You know, I can't begin to tell you that there are forces that's beyond the physical. When people are alone, they think crazy thoughts. When they are alone, they have a lot of depression. That's when depression reigns in their minds. But when they're together, maybe depression is trying to come in, you said something that just broke it, amen. Sometimes you don't even have to say something. I'm just in the presence of God's people and something about their spirit, they got the Holy Spirit in them, lifts me up. I'm not sure I heard God, but someone says something and I say, "There's no way he knew what I'm going through". And what he said confirmed what God said. There's, the Bible says, "There I command..." God says, "The place of unity, the place of gathering, there I command My blessing forevermore".
So is this what you're gonna preach, Pastor Prince, that's caused a bit of controversy? No, no, no. Number one, it's gonna cause a lot of controversy, all right, and it is this. Whilst I agree that there are extreme teachings, okay, and erroneous teachings on prosperity, let me tell you this, it is a valid and right teaching that God is restoring in the last days. Just like God restored the baptism of the Holy Spirit, that wasn't in the time of Luther. Luther didn't talk about the baptism of the Holy Spirit, speaking in tongues, and all the gifts of the Holy Spirit being restored. It wasn't for his day, but in church history there's a progressive restoration. A progressive restoration. Prosperity is something God is restoring in these last days, together with healing. And it's caused such controversy.
Now, I'm not for the extreme. Listen, the extreme is what the Bible draws the line, all right? Beware of covetousness. You know what's covetousness? Greed, selfishness, amen, making money just for yourself, amen. No, the Bible says from the start, "God told Abraham, 'I will bless you, and you shall be a blessing.'" In other words, God knows if he can get blessings through you to other people, he will get blessing to you, amen. He can trust you for that, amen. So because of this teaching, all right, because of this extreme teaching and extreme thing that people bring up, you know, and the social media, with the advent of social media, people are looking at all the extreme teachings and they are turned off. And I don't blame them. I don't blame them at all, amen, because they are not taught the Word of God, amen. So we have a whole new generation of people who now swing to the other side.
Now, they don't exactly say poverty is holy. Like in church history, once they did that. They believed poverty is holy. They even take vows of poverty. Now they swing the other side and we got a whole generation of people who do not know what to do in this recession. We got a lot of young people, just married, and housing is so expensive. They do not know what to do. And God began to speak to me recently and God said to me, "Son, all the things that have made you what you are down through the years, when you were young and when you heard those messages, amen, the right message, the right Word, amen". Of course, God has taught me down through the years, amen, the accurate and true interpretation of a lot of things which I'm gonna share with you, amen.
As we enter into this global recession in these last days, because that's one of the signs of the end times, not just pandemic, not just plague, but also famine. Remember Jesus mentioned that, famine? So we're entering into it. Now, in Singapore we are blessed, amen. Our financial governance is very good. We thank God for a good, honest government, amen. But that doesn't mean we won't feel it. We will feel it. Our young people are feeling it, especially the young people. And that's how God spoke to me about this. If you don't preach it, their spirits are now open to receive it. In fact, they have seen in the social media the negatives, all right? They have seen the other side and they are turned off. Many young people are turned off when they hear that, and now they are leaning and their spirits are closed. Whenever they hear someone preach on God wants to proper you, they close their spirits.
I remember when I was a young man, I didn't have much money to buy a Christian book. I was reading a book and I came across this verse. I think probably one of the first times I came across that verse. I was a very young man then. And it says, "And Joseph was sold into Egypt and Potiphar bought him". He was a slave. And then it says, "Joseph was a prosperous man and all that he did, God made him to prosper". Maybe I liked that verse when I read it because it's the same name, right? So I said that, "Wow". It began to occur to me, "Wait a minute, whatever that means for this Joseph in the Bible, I want it". You can say whatever you want: God is not for prosperity, health-wealth gospel, all that. You can say whatever you want, but when the Bible talks about that, I want that. Do you want that? He was a prosperous man and whatever he did, God made it to prosper.
Oh, Pastor, that means everything Joseph did, it prospered spiritually, in the spiritual world. All right, if it is, I take that. Can I? But you know, it doesn't stand to reason that it is spiritual prosperity because the Bible says, "Potiphar saw". Potiphar is a heathen, as heathen as heathen can be, and he saw that the Lord was with Joseph. He saw. I said saw the Lord was with Joseph, and what he did, God made it to prosper. So maybe as he plants the crops, his crops are all bumper crops. As he takes care of the, whatever new assignment, takes care of the servants, the servants are now highly motivated. Whatever he did, he prospered. And his boss then, Potiphar, noticed that, that finally he put him in charge of everything. I want that. I want that. It's okay? That I can be a blessing.
Now, was that a curse to Joseph? No, it was preparing him for the ministry that God has that he will save many people alive. But then a lot of young people, their spirits are...you say, "Well, does it matter, Pastor, I believe or I don't believe"? Yes, because everything works by faith. If you don't believe it, you shut your spirit to it, you experience all kinds of lack and you find that there's no breakthrough and you don't understand why. I'm a Christian. God, what is happening? You know, that kind of thing, because somewhere along the way, you imbibe into your spirit, you imbibe something that you read on social media or whatever and you start saying that, "Yeah, I won't get into all these things, you know? I just wanna be holy and that's my thing with God".
Friend, your relationship with God is number one, prosperity. Your relationship with God is number one, prosperity. To be right with God, would you say that's prosperous, a true prosperous man? And that's what we receive, amen? We are now the righteousness of God in Christ. "For God made Jesus to be sin for us at the cross, He who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him". It's a gift. I didn't do anything to be righteous. Jesus didn't do anything to become sin. He took my sin, now I take His righteousness. It's a divine exchange, amen. We receive by grace, amen? Praise the Lord. So the more we believe it... Now, it's not enough to know it. You gotta confess it, because the Bible says in 2 Corinthians 4, "We, having the same spirit of faith..." Now, the quotation there is from Psalms. It's saying that, "We, having the same spirit of faith," that faith of David, right? "We, having the same spirit of faith, I believe, therefore have I spoken. We also believe and therefore speak". It's not enough just to believe. You gotta speak. You gotta say, "I am the righteousness of God in Christ".
Then comes another teaching. Now, I mean, it's been coming for some time already, but in the social media and all that, you find people come against Christians, and saddest of all are Christians coming against Christians. Friend, the social media must be a place where they see our love for one another. And maybe they are not being reached because Jesus says, "By this love for one another, by this shall all men know you are My disciples". Instead of using that platform to attack one another, why don't we use the platform to bless one another and use it for the gospel? Even if we have disagreement, let's revolve around the person, let's agree on the person of our Lord Jesus Christ, that He's 100% God, 100% man. He died for our sins on the cross. He rose from the dead on the third day, amen? And whatever else is peripheral, shall we? Shall we gather around that?
The Bible never talks about unity of the doctrine. It is says, "Unity of the Spirit". We cannot agree on everything, yes, because you know what? If there are two of us, there are three opinions, amen, among Christians sometimes. But let's not bring our dirty laundry for the world to see. And then you tell them, you know, "You need Jesus". Hmm? So out there in the world right now, social media, they will come against you if you confess, all right, like God. The Bible says in Romans 4, "Abraham was like God," because God quickens the dead and calls those things that are not as though they are. The Bible says that's what we are to be, call those things that are not as though they are. That are not what? Not visible, not sensible to touch, right, nothing that you can hear or whatever, yet, yet, it will always come out in the flesh, in the realm, like this building, amen?
Now we can see it. Now we can feel it. Now we can look at it. We can take pictures of it, right? But it came out of faith when there was nothing, amen? But faith, like God, is a spirit. God brought forth the visible world, amen? Everything visible came from the invisible, amen. So think about it, people. God calls those things that are not in the physical realm yet as though they are there. Isn't it, amen? God calls Abraham, when he didn't have a son through Sarah yet, all right, "You are a father of many nations". "You are a father," not, "You will be". In the Hebrew, literally, "I have made you a father of many nations," when he didn't even have a son through Sarah, his wife. Father of many? God changed his name. God says, "From now on, your name is called Abraham," which means "Father of many".
Imagine the wife calling him, you know, in their old age, to come back and eat lunch or dinner in the fields, "Father of many! Father of many"! All the village start thinking, "Oh, poor lady. Poor Abraham. They want a child so much, they changed their names, you know? One is called 'Princess,' all right, one is called 'Father of many.' Pray for them". "Father of many! Father of..." So like God, calls those things that are not as though they are. God saw darkness. God didn't say, "Whoa, it's so dark"! It will become darker. No, God called what He wanted. What He wanted is light. God says, "Light be". God saw darkness, but God didn't call darkness. God didn't call what He saw. He called forth what He wanted to see. That's God's way. That's faith. I believe, and therefore I speak.
So long before you see, you gotta believe it, "I'm the righteousness of God in Christ," before you can manifest righteous thoughts, righteous behavior, righteous actions. Right believing leads to right living, amen. So in this area, you know what some people, the way they say it, it sounds so bad. They make it sound like, like for example, "Health and wealth gospel" sounds bad, right? It sounds bad, "Health and wealth gospel". Honestly, I never subscribed to a health and wealth gospel. I thought the gospel is a gospel of grace and peace, amen? But it does produce. Okay, you don't like wealth? Provisions. You don't like health? Well-being, peace, okay? But when you put it like that, "Health and wealth gospel," it sounds bad because the Bible never talks about health and wealth gospel.
The Bible talks about the gospel of grace. That's where it all starts. When you are made righteous, amen, you receive the blessings of the righteous, amen. Another one that they like to say, "This is the 'Name it and claim it' bunch". They call you all a "Name it and claim it" bunch. This is the "Name it and claim it" bunch. Oh, that church is the "Name it and claim it" church. That's making fun of what? God calls those things that are not as though they were. Jesus heard, all right, that person is dead. Did Jesus confess the death? No, amen? He didn't confess what was in the natural. He confessed what He wanted to see. "I am the Resurrection and the Life. He that believes in Me, though he were dead, yet shall he live," all right? He did not say, all right, that he was dead.
At one point he said because the disciples, they cannot understand. He says, "I go, you know, to wake Lazarus. He's sleeping". Oh, it's good. If he's sleeping, let him sleep. Then Jesus said, "Lazarus is dead," all right? That's because of their weakness, He came down to their level. But you find that always Jesus always calls those things that are not as though they are. He tells people who are, you know, withered in their hand, "Stretch forth your hand," amen. He called forth what he wanted to see, wholeness in that hand. "Stand, take up your bed, and walk," amen. "Fear not, believe only, and she shall be made whole," amen. That's faith, amen. And this whole universe bows to faith. I'll tell you this. Why? Because this universe is made by God, not by this cancel culture, not by these people who are now trying to take dominion over the world. It's not. Are you listening?
So when you hear this kind of thing, don't swing to this side. By the way, there are extremes. There are people, "I claim this person's Cadillac. I claim this person's Lamborghini". You don't claim people's Lamborghini. Hello? Wake up. Your God is not so poor so as to claim, and all they claim is Lamborghini, Ferrari, that kind of thing, you know? Okay, you want to, does God answer that prayer? These are the things that give a bad name to the true teaching. It's prosperity with a purpose that God wants us to see, that we can be a blessing to many. So the first thing we need to establish, you gotta believe that, why? Why must we believe? Is it important? I said just now, is it important for us to believe or not believe? Does it matter, Pastor, if I believe? It matters because your spirit, you don't even realize it. Your spirit is open when you believe that God wants you to have it, God wants to prosper you. Your spirit is open.
That's the faith realm. And you begin to see breakthroughs after breakthroughs, miracle after miracle, blessings after blessings, when in the natural there's none. But on the other hand, if you don't believe that, you know, this is for you, all right, in fact you shun it, you won't receive. God will never force you to receive something you don't want to receive. You know, before you were saved, amen, you might even be against Christ, be against Christians, and make fun of them, make fun of the church, and all that, right? How do you get saved? You heard the Word. There's no other way. Faith comes by hearing, hearing by the Word of God. Either someone shared with you the Word of God, about salvation, about Christ, the gospel, or you saw it, amen, the gospel being preached. It is still the Word, amen, being watched, being heard. And then you have faith and then you can be saved.
So as in everything, you need to hear the Word, and that's why I'm preaching. Are you listening, people? Now we are heading in tough days, all right? Back to Genesis 26, Abraham's son, Isaac. "There was a famine in the land, besides the first famine that was in the days of Abraham. And Isaac went to Abimelech king of the Philistines, in Gerar". Say, "Famine". Say, "Famine". So famine is a time of lack, okay? Now, this famine is bad, okay? That means there's not enough to eat. Your crops cannot grow. And the Bible goes on to say it was a famine that was severe, just like the time of, if you keep on reading, it is the time of Abraham, which was severe, and the time of Joseph, it was also severe. Whenever famine comes into the world, so, first of all, we see that famine does come periodically to the world, okay?
So what makes this famine something we can learn from for today? You know, when you read the Bible like I told you in the lesson on how to study the Bible is that a lot of things written in the past, in the stories in the Old Testament and all that, are "tupos," types for us to learn today. In other words, God put them there because it's so relevant. It speaks to us today. God who saw the future put it in the book then that it might speak to us, what? In the future, of what happened then. And what they did then is what we can do today. And the result we saw then is the result we can see today, amen. Are you with me so far? So first, we established already that we are Abraham's seed, right? "If you are Christ's". Are you Christ's? Turn to your neighbor and ask, "Are you Christ's"? Christ's, belong to Christ, that is. Are you someone belonging to Christ? Are you Christ's, right?
"If you are Christ's, then," what? "You are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise". Heirs according to the promise. Amen, so you are the heir according to the promise. So the clearest picture of a direct seed of Abraham, we know the Seed above all the seed that God is referring to is Christ. And if you are Christ's you are in Him. As He is, so are we, you see, right? So you are Abraham's seed, but a direct illustration of that is Isaac. Isaac was the son of Abraham, the promised seed, all right, that came finally. So this is the story of how Abraham's son, Isaac, dealt with the famine, okay? Now, many of you know the story, but you know, the Holy Spirit is bringing it into a new light.
Okay, so back to Genesis 26. Drop down, and drop down. "Then the LORD appeared to him and said: 'Do not go down to Egypt; live in the land of which I shall tell you. Dwell in this land, and I will be with you and bless you; for to you and your descendants I give all these lands, and I will perform the oath which I swore to Abraham your father.'" So the first thing God said to Abraham's seed, all of you, "Don't go down to Egypt". What does that mean? When famine happens, don't give up on God's ways and use the world's ways. And remember this, every time it says about Egypt, it is always, "Go down". Come let us go up to the mountain of the Lord. But like Jonah, when Jonah rebelled against God, it was down, down, down, down. He went down to Joppa, all right, the port. Got into a boat, went down into a boat. When he was in the boat, went down to sea, right? The boat that threw him down, he went down into the seat. Went down into the whale's belly.
So moral of the story, very simple. Turn away from God: down, down, down, down, down, down. Amen. Come back to God: up, up, up, up, up, up, up. Amen. So don't go down to the world's ways. Now, the world will offer you a lot of things, immediate gratification, and we've got a whole generation of people who want quick money. They want quick returns. They're not interested in, "He that gathers by labor shall increase". They're not interested in honoring the boss and the company, which is the spirit of what Colossians writes about, "Knowing that of the Lord you shall receive the reward". Somehow impatience has come in. They are not looking for that job anymore. I believe that I'm called by God to prosper.
Now, this is extreme, all right? They are not going by the Bible way. All that I'm gonna teach, and in the weeks to come, will be on God's kind of prosperity, which is not world kind of prosperity. Now, you might be sitting here, "Pastor, I don't need all this. I have many millions in my bank". You know, I think Billy Sunday was the one who says, "He who has no money is poor, but he that has nothing but money is even poorer, truly poor". You have nothing but money. No, I'm not talking about that. There are poor people with plenty of money. I mean God blessing you in every area of your life. Every area of your life. What the Bible calls in Joshua 1:8, "Good success". What the Bible calls, again and again, "Whatever he does prospers. Whatever he does prospers". "And the Lord will bless you and you shall lend unto many", Deuteronomy 28 right now, "You shall lend unto many nations and you shall not borrow. And the Lord will make you the head and not the tail," amen.
All this is part of the blessing of Abraham. So, the first thing God says, "Don't go down to worldly ways". Now, worldly ways, you cannot tell, "Pastor, is this wrong? Is this right? Is this wrong? Is this right"? Look at the principle. Is it taking a lot of your time? Are you losing your health, your sleep over it? Are your eyeballs swollen? Are you stressed over it? Are you looking at the prices all the time to see the fluctuations? So, principles like this, I can't say, "This is right. This is wrong". Principles. God doesn't bless with all these sorrows. There's a verse that says, "The blessing of the Lord maketh rich," and listen, "and adds no sorrow with it". Read what it means. In the Hebrew, "It doesn't accompany with toil, painful toil". He adds no sorrow. The pain is not there. Are you listening, people?
He adds no painful toil. "Etzev," pain. No painful toil. So when God blesses you, amen, even though you are working hard, there's a pleasure, you know? You body builders, those who are body builders, I think we have one or two in front. Enough of showing them, lah, huh? Camera on me, all right? I mean, you know that they say, "No pain, no gain," right? But actually, what they will tell you is that the pain cannot be excruciating. It cannot be like sharp pain. It's gotta be a pleasant kind of, like, exercise has gotta be a pleasant kind of, like, exertion, not painful exertion, or else you are hurting yourself. Now we begin to discover that, right? You gotta exercise. Yeah, there is labor, there is sweat and all that, but it should not come to a place of breathlessness and pain that is acute, all right?
So friend, when God blesses you, everything in your life is blessed. So when God says, "I will bless you," then God says, "Dwell in this land". There was Gerar. "Dwell in this land and I will bless you". So what does God mean? The argument about blessing. Is blessing from God or what? You know, what is blessing? Oh Pastor Prince, blessing means you have peace in your heart. And when you say peace, where did you got the word "peace in your heart" from? Peace is in the heart and in the mind, yes, but where did you get it from? You got it from the Bible, amen. The Bible talks about peace, amen. You got it from the Old English peace. Where'd they got it from? The Bible, amen? And you have the Greek word in the New Testament for "peace" is "eirene". You have the Old Testament word for peace which is what? "Shalom".
Now, "shalom," you ask any Hebrew person, you go to Israel, many of you are going to Israel already. All right, ask them, "What does 'shalom' mean"? Is "shalom" only peace of mind and heart? No, "shalom" is health. They'll tell you that. "Shalom" is prosperity. When they say, "Shalom"! they are saying, "May all things go well with you, inside out and all around you," amen? Now, Pastor Prince, you are just saying that, okay? Or they are just saying that. Maybe the Bible meant something else. Okay, let's look at a scholar, okay? And this is "shalom" definition from "Mounce's Complete Expository Dictionary of Old & New Testament Words," okay? Mounce is a Hebrew expert, okay? If you are looking for an expert, so I put this down for you, all right? It's not just Pastor Prince saying it, okay?
So, "Shalom is one of the most important words in the Old Testament. In addition to 'peace,' it can be translated as 'prosperity, well-being, health, completeness, safety.'" Now, is that a mouthful? So when I say "Shalom," what does it mean? Amen. And by the way, you cannot say it's changed because the only thing that's changed in the New Testament is the word is changed to Greek. But when Paul speaks to the Jewish people in the New Testament in the church and all that, do you think he spoke Greek with his fellow Jew? No, amen. When Jesus appeared to John and says, "I am the First and the Last," the first letter, "I'm Alpha and Omega," the first and last letter of the Greek alphabet. But then when he talked to a fellow Jew, do you think he said, "Alpha and Omega". No, it's translated for us. He would speak Hebrew. What is it? "I am Alef and Tav," the first letter and last letter of the Hebrew alphabet.
Alef Tav, you put together, it's the fourth word of the first sentence of the Bible, "In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth". It says, "In the beginning, God," three words there. The center one is "Alef Tav," untranslated. "The heavens and the earth," three words. Make a menorah, center, untranslated, which is the signature of Jesus Christ right from the beginning. He says, "I am the Alef Tav". He revealed that He is the Creator, amen. Are you with me so far? All right, so very clear, "Shalom". So when Paul says, "Shalom," to his fellow human beings, right, what does he mean? It's a mouthful. Do you see it now, people?
All right, it's not just peace of mind. Yo, peace, bro. Yo, peace, bro. Peace. We mean peace, peace of mind, all right? Peace, bro. Don't go in pieces, amen? Yeah, the idea is there. It means complete, completeness, right? Completeness, not in pieces. Hello? How many want peace? Bible peace, right? And every time Paul opens up his letters, he says, "Grace and peace," "Shalom" in the Hebrew, right? "Eirene" in the Greek for peace. It's the same, same. Same Bible, different words. Sorry, different language of the same word. Okay, so God told Isaac, "I bless you," right? Bless you. Okay, look at the bless. "Dwell in this land, and I will be with you and I will bless you". The word there is "barak," barak. Now, what is "barak"? The noun is like God told Abraham, "I will bless you and you shall be a blessing. I will barak you and you will be a barakah". The Valley of Barakah. You shall be a blessing.
So "blessing" is the noun, right? "Barak" is the verb, okay? So this is "Barak". What is "barak"? That's why I say God will bless you in every area of your life. Where it really matters, number one, relationship with God. You are the righteousness of God in Christ. The blessing of Abraham has come on us. Hello? Amen? Real quick, "Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, that the blessing", okay, "Christ has redeemed us". Who is us? You and I. You and I, all right? We have been ransomed from what? The curse of the law. We are not under the curse of the law, amen. Even though we are not perfect, we are not under the curse of the law. Okay, why? Because, by the way, it cannot mean anything but that we are not perfect, why? Because if you say, "Pastor Prince, it's only for people who are keeping the law," that makes no reason why is there a curse for him.
Why should there be a curse for someone who is keeping the law? It only means something when people are not perfect, right? But he says, "Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us". And notice the purpose, "That the blessing of Abraham". The blessing of what? "Abraham might come on the Gentiles," that's you and I, non-Jews, "through Jesus Christ". How? Through faith. "That we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith". Do you see that? So the blessing of Abraham, the blessing that brings every blessing, is righteousness of faith. God has made you righteous with Him. You are so close, your position before God right now is so near Him. Say, "So near". You are so near. Nearer you cannot be, for in the person of His Son, you are as near as He. Okay, you cannot be nearer. You are in Christ, so near to God. When you pray, you must always have the sense, like, not that God is so far away. Talk to God, amen.
Some people just yell. By themselves, they yell, "Oh God"! It's like, you start from the wrong premise, like God is so far away. Lovers don't yell, you know? You don't walk, you know, I don't know if they still date in Botanic Gardens or not, but I go to illustrate. You find out all of a sudden you're walking in the evening, "Whoa, I love you! What does she want"? You know it's a Japanese couple. Another one. All the monkeys scrambling, all hiding and that, right? I love you too! Say, man, now we know where they are. You know, it's like, no one does that. Lovers don't yell. Lovers whisper, "I love you". I love you. Love you too. Amen? Especially in front of the parents, "Love you". Sometimes far away, just... Amen? Amen? This kind of thing I must teach you all. Okay, so the blessing of Abraham comes on us, right? So God says, "I bless you". Say the word "barak".
Now, "barak" includes blessing in the area of prosperity in terms of material things as well. Is that in the Bible? Okay, you say, "Pastor Prince, that's your opinion". Okay, it's just my opinion. Let's go to a scholar, a Hebrew scholar. This time, not Mounce. I find somebody else. "The New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology," sounds fancy. These are scholars who are reputed who write these kind of books. See what he says. "Basically BARAK," or "eulogia". By the way, "eulogia" is the Greek for "blessing, bless," all right? So, left is Old Testament, "barak". New Testament is "eulogia". Same meaning, okay? Like you say, "Eulogy," right? It's from the Greek word "eulogia". "Eu," good, "logia," word, okay? Together, it becomes "blessing". "Basically BARAK," the Hebrew word "barak," "means endue with beneficial power".
When God blesses you, listen, in this time of famine, when God blesses you, you are endued with beneficial power to effect all these things in your life. "The nature of the blessing is that of the conferring and transference of beneficial power". Beneficial. Say, "Beneficial power". All right, "Which produces fertility in men and in livestock and lands". Would you say that back in those days, "barak," because he's translating for the Old Testament blessing of the Israelis and all that, in what way does it manifest? Because they are all people involved in husbandry, in farming, right? They grow grapes, vine grapes, and figs, and olive trees, and all that. The more they have, the more they prosper. And they have flocks as well, so the more fruitful their flock is, what happens? They prosper.
So here it says, all right, "This blessing works vertically in the continued growth of succeeding generations. Horizontally, it effects peace, security from enemies," think of that, think of that, "good fortune". Now we come to Chinese New Year. Is this a Christian study book? "And well-being". What does that mean, "well-being"? Does that mean that you are always sick, always tired, no energy, depressed? Is that well-being? No! "Well-being for a tribe or group (expressed most comprehensively in the concept 'shalom', 'well-being')," again. So "barak" and "shalom" is very close. Can you see that? All right, if this book is not enough, let me show you another book. This is the "Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament". You grace academy has started, all right? This is your "Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament".
Now, watch this. "To bless in the Old Testament means 'to endue with power for success, prosperity, fecundity, and longevity.'" You know what's fecundity? It means you are very fruitful, plenty of children. How many want blessing? Fecundity. How many want fecundity? Okay, lah, at least you know you are fecund. You wanna have a lot, effect or not, never mind, all right? You are fecund. All right, "fecundity" means having a lot of children. It means you are very fruitful, "fecundity". For the animals, like the sheep, that they raise the goats, and the cows, and all that, when they have fecundity, they have plenty of offspring, which increases the wealth of those people in those days. But in our context, what does it mean? Our business, our ministry flourishes, increases. See, God doesn't think that when these things increase they're a curse, for Him to put the word "bless".
Isn't the blessing, today we hear, "When God removes something, it's to bless you, my friend. When you're not feeling well, that's a lesson. It's a blessing for you". What's the lesson? I wanna know the lesson fast. I wanna learn it fast so that this lesson can be shortened, all right? No, usually sometimes it takes the life away before the lesson can be learned. No, my friend. If that is true, if people who are always broke, always poor are the only ones God is calling to preach the gospel, and those who are sick, always sick, always on their backs are the ones that God calls to preach the gospel, the gospel would never go around the world. Think about it, people. Who is behind this systematic elimination of this teaching in the church? Why? Because he's trying to stop the gospel from spreading.
Think about it. If you are always broke, can you sponsor the gospel? No. If you're always sick, can you be in a position to go around, share with people, or even travel, or even, you know, put in the effort if you're always flat on your back? No. Is this the army that God is raising to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ? That's what the devil wants you to believe. Now, I am not for, listen, I am not for love of money. Let's establish that once and for all. And the Bible says it's the love of money that's a problem, all right? 1 Timothy 6, "For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil". Don't say, "Money is the root". Read carefully. The love, avarice, love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. It's amazing, you know, I can preach a whole sermon on this. All kinds of evil can be traced back to money. You think that, "Oh, this is nothing to do with money," it can be traced back to money. All kinds of evil in the world today can be traced back to money.
People say, "Well, a lot of animals are now extinct, why"? Love of money. A lot of things. All kinds of evil means all kinds. You know how to break the love of money in your life? You don't want all kinds of evil to manifest in your life, right? You know how to break it? The tithe. That's why God gives the tithe, and that's why it's so, so attacked by the enemy, amen. The tithe is the proof that however blessed you are, you never forget that God is your source. "Honor the Lord with your substance and with the first fruits of all your increase. So shall your barns be filled with plenty and your winepress will burst out with new wine. Honor the Lord with your substance and with the first fruits," your tithe, "of all your increase". Jacob said to God, "Of all that You give me," when he had nothing but the clothes on his back and the staff in his hand, he left home.
In fact, fled from home, because fleeing from his brother who was about to kill him. He told God, "Of all that You give me, from now on I'll give a tenth to You". And that is before the law. That was before the law. When he came back many years after, now with his family and his 12 sons that make up the 12 tribes of Israel, he came back plentiful, with plenty and all that, a lot of herds and all that, and he had a lot of people with him at that time, God reminded him. "Remember, Jacob, I am the God of Bethel," and God said this specifically, "where you vowed and vow to Me". What was the vow? The only vow you read, "All that You give me, I'll give a tenth to You," amen. No senior partner asks for one-tenth. No, God is a senior partner. I guess you understand already, amen. Now, again, relax. Relax, breathe.
Am I asking you to tithe? No, this message of tithing, the Bible says in Hebrews, is for people, it's strong made. It's for people who have a revelation. God doesn't take the tithe from people who don't have a revelation, and that's why it's so disputed. It is still valid for today, amen. And it's sad when you have people saying, "Oh, you know, I don't believe in this anymore. I don't believe in that anymore," and all that, without even knowing the repercussions of what they're saying. And now after the pandemic, so many churches especially, we thank God for our church. Our church people are amazing, all right? New Creation Church is blessed. I must say that. But in... yes, you deserve it, amen. I salute you. You know, as a volunteer pastor, I love coming here to preach, amen. You ought to take care of all these people who are drawing a salary, amen. I love this church, and really we are helping other churches.
One of the first things we did when we went into the pandemic in 2020, right, one of the first things we did, and Pastor Lawrence is here, is that, now you can focus on Pastor Lawrence, whether he agree or not. So Pastor Lawrence remembers that one of the first things we did was to sit down and discuss churches in Singapore and around the region, but basically at that time Singapore, that are suffering that need help, all right? Financial help, okay, because we hear that many of them, they are not getting the help, amen? And then the thing is that we must do it anonymously. You will never find their names. We wanna do it anonymously. The record is there, but we won't announce to you their names, which church and all that, because I don't want the pastor to be embarrassed, you know? One thing we tell them, "When we support you, please don't say it's New Creation Church. Don't have to tell anybody except those you are accountable to, all right, in your church council and all that, but don't mention us, amen. Don't even mention us".
Okay, another thing we did is that churches did not know how to get online. We have the technology, we have the expertise, we have the people, so we invite them to come to our office to learn how to go online. We sent some people over to teach them how to do it. And again, we won't mention it so that their members will not hear about it and the pastors don't have to be embarrassed also. You get what I'm saying? All right, one of the first things we did. Now, are we putting a feather in my cap by sharing? I think this is probably the first time, right Lawrence? I'm sharing publicly for the first time. I'm just telling you that is what a good prosperity teaching is all about, to be a blessing, amen. It is not to be greedy. It's not the love of money. Yeah, give Jesus the praise, amen. This is your church, amen.
So even after the pandemic right now, many churches, many churches, we thank God that this is not true of our church. Our church is still going strong by the grace of God and the people who are tithers are the solid backbone of this church. Thank God for them who have this revelation, but many, many places after the pandemic, they are suffering financially. Some churches are shutting down. Some can't pay their rent. Some can't pay their, and then we got teachings coming up, "Oh, you know, we don't believe in prosperity," you know? Christians rising up. You are prosperous, keep quiet, amen. Don't rob people of the truth. Number one, good ground is the gospel of Jesus Christ, wherever the gospel is preached. If you don't think I'm preaching the gospel, never mind. Don't sow. Go find a place where the gospel is being preached and sow into it. Because I tell you one thing, what Isaac did was this. It was famine. The famine was bad, okay, because it was mentioned like it was the famine of Abraham. The famine of Abraham was like that of Joseph in Genesis.
So it's the same famine, and I established last week that there's a clue here, which I won't go into now, that's it's a time when Russia is prominent, right? Oh Pastor, show me the clue. Go and get the message last week. Last week, you don't wanna come. Now you come and you expect me to go back for you, just for you alone? I got thousands of people waiting, you know, for other things, you know, and time is of the essence, you know? Before you know it, I'm gonna send you back already, okay? So Pastor, you scold me or what? Hey, part of the ministry is reproof, rebuke. Because I love you, man. I love you, amen? I want you to keep on hearing. You miss one Sunday, all right, you know what happened to Thomas when he missed one Sunday? Jesus appeared the previous Sunday, he wasn't there, right?
When Jesus appeared again, by the way, he didn't appear, he wasn't there and he became and unbelieving believer. He says, "Unless I see the print in His hands, I won't believe," right? And Jesus appeared next Sunday just for Thomas also, right? So one Sunday, it makes a difference. Are you all...by the way, you all going to revenge holiday, right? I know school is coming to an end and all that. Do not forget to tune in, all right? I don't care. In the midst of your sashimi, you can hear, all right? You don't have to be listening or watching. You can be listening. Understand or not? Amen, you need to get into the Word. In not just one week, huh, wow, I'm telling you, you become a Thomas. If your name is Thomas, my apologies. Okay, so the love of money. Okay, so watch this. It says that, "For which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness," and greed is the problem, "and pierced themselves through with many sorrows".
It's no joke, you know? I mean, you have love of money, many sorrows is coming your way. It's like an arrow. You'll be pierced with many sorrows. That's what the Bible says, all right? So money is a tool. It's a servant, it's not a master. Jesus is the Master. But having said that, you don't throw away money and say, "Money is the root of all evil". A lot of people, "Money is the root of all evil". Hey, read your Bible, lah! Read your Bible, amen? It does not say that, amen. Well, the Bible says it's hard for rich people to enter the kingdom of God. Really? Really? Well, the disciples thought that was what He said. Then Jesus clarified. Look at this. "Jesus looked around His disciples and said, 'How hard it is for those who have riches to enter the kingdom of God!' The disciples were astonished at His words".
You know why they're astonished? They must be quite rich. They have a fishing business. They have partners. Remember Peter had partners. They have partners in their fishing business. When Jesus says it's hard for rich people to enter, you know what happened to them? They were astonished. Now, if they are poor, they say, "Amen". They were astonished. Why were they astonished? They must be quite okay there financially. Then Jesus knew that they misunderstand and Jesus explained again. Watch, this is very important. He says, "Jesus answered again and said to them, 'Children, how hard it is for those who trust in riches,'" not those in God. "Those who trust in riches to enter the kingdom of God"! Like I said, can you have the love of money with no money in your pocket? Is it possible? Can someone with no money love money? Yeah, every time they think, "Money, money. I wish I had more money. I can't do that, lah. I got no money".
All right, who is your god? Your God tells you, "Go here". I got no money, lah. So money is your god because your money says, "No, stay". God says, "Go". No money. Amen, I can't do that. Why? God says, "Do that". No, I can't do that. Why? No money. So he's saying, "Who is your god"? It's the one you obey. So you can see how the devil can bring in lack of money, right, listen, people, to control you. So we're not controlled by money. Like this beautiful picture on Deuteronomy 28, the blessings are behind. Is always behind. They come on you and overtake you, but you are focusing on Jesus, amen? Amen? Gold, frankincense still follow Jesus. They still follow Jesus, amen. Go after Jesus. Praise the Lord.
Pastor, you mentioned gold. Gold is no good. You know, there's a Bible principle called the law of the first mention, all right? The law of first mention. That means every time a subject is mentioned for the first time, there's something significant. Would you like to know when gold was mentioned? In Genesis chapter 2. It says, "A river went out of Eden to water the garden, became from there four riverheads. The name of the first is Pishon; it is the one which skirts the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold". Some of you might be intrigued to know that Josephus, the Jewish historian, says he believed Pishon is the River Indus or Ganges, Ganges River.
Now, there's a lot of opinions, okay, about this, okay? I'm just telling you what Josephus believed. "The name of the first is Pishon," but now the earth is divided so all the geography is changed. So one of the rivers is called Pishon. "It is the one which skirts the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold. And the gold of that land is good". So the first mention of gold is good. Just reading the Bible, folks. I'm just reading the Bible. There must be a purpose why God put it... see, again, like money, it is not gold that's wrong. If gold is wrong, gold is evil, God did wrong. Can I say that? Because God put the gold. Hey, God put the gold here, right? Then who did God, who put the gold here? My auntie, she got plenty of gold. No, God put the gold here. And the first mention of gold is good, right?
Now, because of time I have to close with this. I need you to see this. This is very important, okay? Did Jesus take the curse of poverty on Himself on our behalf at the cross? So that verse you all know, and some people here are well-established in it. But you look at 2 Corinthians chapter 8, verse 9, "You know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich". Right? So here, stand alone, you can say, "Oh, it's spiritually rich, spiritually poor". You can say it that way and who is there to argue? But everything must be translated in context. Remember what we said about how to study the Bible? Must be translated in context. This is talking about physically. Even physically, He was destitute. They gambled for His clothes at the foot of the cross.
One of the things He carried for us, of course, first and foremost, He carried our sins, praise the Lord. But the Bible also says He carried our diseases, amen. "Himself took our infirmities and bore our sicknesses. With His stripes we are healed". But He also carried our poverty. There is no lack in heaven. We walk on streets of gold. Something is very wrong with heaven. You won't feel comfortable going there. You will tell God, "God, I think this is a bit grandiose. Tone it down. We don't want people to say of You, God, that You believe in the health and wealth gospel, okay"? Something is wrong when Jesus says, "Pray this way, 'Thy kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven.'" No lack, no lack. Supply, supply. Okay, I gotta put this through. The context is important. This is verse 9, right? Look at the verses before. He's talking, Paul is saying, "I bear them witness according to their ability, beyond their ability, they were freely willing," talking about the people in Macedonia, Christians in Macedonia, "imploring us with much urgency that we would receive the gift and the fellowship of the ministering to the saints. And not only as we had hoped, but they first gave themselves to the Lord, and then to us by the will of God". See?
Talking about giving. "So we urged Titus, that as he had begun, so he would complete this grace in you as well". Giving is a grace, he says, all right? These people in Macedonia, they encouraged us to take a gift to the poor saints in Jerusalem, the poor Christians in Jerusalem. They're asking us, they're imploring us to take the gift, so we're gonna send Titus to prepare your... you're in Corinthian. You're gonna have a part to play in this, that Titus can finish this grace in you. Giving is a grace gift, amen. And then look at this. He says that, "As you abound in every thing, in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in all diligence, in your love for us, see that you abound in this grace also". What? Giving grace, amen? Drop down. "I speak not by commandment, I am testing the sincerity of your love," whether you give or not. "It's not by commandment, but I test the sincerity of your love, amen, by the diligence of others. You know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ". Okay?
This is before this verse. After this verse, still on money. "In this I give advice: It is to your advantage not only to be doing what you began and were desiring to do a year ago; but now you also must complete the doing of it". Give the money. You promised to give the money to the poor saints, Corinthian church. Now fulfill it. It's all about giving. And smack dab in the middle is that Jesus became poor that you might be rich. I said Jesus became poor that you might be rich. Translate in the context. By the way, this is chapter what? Eight. You know what's chapter 9? Chapter 9 goes on, the context here, and this is the one we use always, verse 6, "This I say: He who sows sparingly will reap sparingly, he who sows bountifully will reap bountifully. Let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver".
It's all one thought. From Jesus becoming poor at the cross, now you are rich. Act like it. Never say you don't have anything to give. Give. He who sows sparingly shall reap sparingly. He who sows bountifully shall reap bountifully, amen? Man, time is up, man. Oh, real fast. "God is able to make all grace". Shout, "All grace". "Abound". Say, "Abound". Towards who? Towards who? Yeah, I can say me. "Towards you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work," amen. And I have not finished on Isaac again. Want me to finish it? Well, let's finish Isaac, okay? And then I'll send you home, okay? Ha ha, all right, Isaac. So God says, "Stay in this land, I'll bless you," all right? Drop down. "Then Isaac sowed in that land, and reaped in the same year a hundredfold; and the LORD blessed him".
Don't you just love that? How much did he reap? And what year was it? Famine! You know what is in front of him when he sowed? Would you like to see the land? If it's severe famine, you know what the land looked like? Now like this. All right, just imagine, just imagine. Here's seed, all right? You are asked to sow in this land. Would you? You gotta do it by faith. I said you gotta do it by faith. Your mind is saying, "There's no way this seed will sprout. No way! Famine! Not enough water! The ground has lost its nutrients that's necessary. It's just like dust". It takes faith. Sowing takes faith. It's easier to look at the stock market and say, "A lot of my money can go there," because it looks green, potential. Natural logic, everything's good. Oh, this investment, everything, you know, today we decide where our money goes based on the greenery and the logic. But when you look at this, no way you would invest.
And God says, "Look at gospel ground". You say, "What is it gonna do for me"? For you, gospel ground is just like dry. Stock market, ahhh. Crypto, ahhh. And whatever, okay? Now, I'm not saying these things are wrong. I'm not saying that, all right? The Lord may lead you into this, whatever it is. Go ahead. I'm just saying this is not the main system of God. And if you're involved in it, and you are really stressed out, and you're always in strife, it's not God. If you're in it, you are in rest, but your main state is always tithing, trusting the Lord, that's cool, all right? But when you look at gospel ground, it looks like this. And God says, "Sow". This is what Isaac sowed. It's a year of famine, don't forget. That's how the ground looks. Go back to the verse again. But Isaac sowed. Is that faith? Do you think he did it by faith or by logic? "And reaped in the same year a hundredfold; and the LORD blessed him. The man began to prosper".
Okay, it's not enough, okay? "And continued prospering until he became very prosperous". I call this 30-fold, 60-fold, 100-fold, all in the same year, you know? He reaped in the same year 100-fold. And he tells you who is behind it. "The LORD blessed him". Now, you have a problem. When you start prospering, remember this, all right? Prosperity with a purpose, God's purpose. And this is the problem, "For he had possessions of flocks and possessions of herds and a great number of servants. So the Philistines envied him". There'll be people who'll be jealous of you. There'll be people looking at a church and try to find, "Oh, this church manipulate the people for money. Must be one," right? They look at a big house of a celebrity and all, they don't say anything. All right, a big house of a businessman, don't say anything. If they see a house, even average-sized, lah, all right, "He might be doing something wrong," right? That's the mentality. Or a church must be small and poor.
As the saying says, "As poor as a..." how can you say that? Why is a church mouse different from other mouse? Oh, there is a difference. Compare church mouse with Mickey Mouse. Mickey Mouse is prosperous. No one says that Mickey Mouse believe in the health and wealth doctrine. Nobody says that. No, of course not. Don't blame Mickey. Don't blame Minnie. Don't blame Donald. It is the flesh. The flesh doesn't like God's people to prosper. They can prosper, but you cannot. And religious people unfortunately, the religious side of Christianity, all right, does not give an alternative, the middle of the road, how we can be good stewards of God's money, how to become faithful stewards of God's money. If you say God doesn't prosper, it won't come your way, amen. And I'm just starting. I'm just starting a series. I wish I had more time. I wish this whole day was a seminar. I can just go line upon line, go into some more stuff, okay? But how many are glad that at the cross, one of the things He paid for us, He became poor.
He who flung the stars, the galaxies, the universe in space, He, the Bible says the cattle on a thousand hills belongs to Him. He put the diamonds, the amethysts, the rubies, the sapphires, the gold in this earth. When He came, He divested Himself of all that. And on that cross, He died. He died like a poor man with nothing, why? Was He poor? In and of Himself, no. He did it for you. It's part of the redeeming work, the atoning work, that He bear our sins and you receive His righteousness. He bear your disease, you receive His healing and health. At the cross, He was rejected that you might be accepted. He said, "My God, My God," at the cross, that you might say, "My Father, my Father". And He also bore your poverty. Are you receiving His riches, amen?
And remember, this riches is always a channel. It never like a dead sea. It's me, it's mine. I wanna keep everything I have. No, no, no. I get all I can, I can all I get, and sit on the can. That is not God's way, amen? God's way is an outlet, always a blessing, always giving, always sowing, looking for opportunity, especially the gospel of Jesus Christ. You gotta believe that the tithe belong to the local church. And if you are listening to me and you are from another church, please don't tithe to this church, amen? Tithe to your local church. But when you tithe, make it an act of worship, the way they did it in the Bible times, amen?
Bring it before God and say, "God, I'm bringing You a portion, my first fruits as an honor, as a worship to You. I know, Lord, that this money I have is my sweat, my tears throughout the month, my difficulties and all that, but it was You who brought me through, lest I say my power and the might of my hand has gotten me this wealth. But I remember You. You are the one who gives me power to get wealth, that You may establish the covenant. Thank you, Father. And I receive Your windows of heaven blessings that there's not room enough to receive. Thank you, Father God". Make an act of tithing. Not just tithe. The Bible uses the word, "Tithing the tithe". That's worshipping the Lord with the tithe, amen? And for those who wanna argue about the tithe and all that, this is not the place for it. Time is up, too late. Okay, so praise the Lord.
Every head bowed, every eye closed all across this place. I got another message I preach on tithing that's available on, I think on YouTube, okay? I preach it in Hillsong in 2019. You can see it, all right? It's still available. My name is Joseph Prince. You can look it up. Every head bowed, every eye closed. Now, if you have never made Jesus your personal Savior and Lord, my friend, you have heard the gospel just now. I shared He bore your sins. He bore your curse. He even took your poverty upon Himself. And friend, why did He do that? That you might receive the divine exchange, receive His righteousness. That's where it all starts. Confess Him, Jesus as your Lord. Confess Jesus as your Lord and believe in your heart unto righteousness. The Bible says if you do that, you are saved. If that is you, wherever you are right now, together with me, say this from your heart:
Father in heaven, I thank You for Jesus Christ, Your beloved Son. I thank You Christ died on that cross for all my sins, for all my diseases, and even bore my poverty in Him on that cross. In Jesus' name, I receive His righteousness, His health, and His riches. In Jesus' name, I confess Jesus Christ is my Lord and my Savior. I declare Jesus rose from the dead and sat down at the Father's right hand. Where He is is where I am in God's eyes forevermore. Thank You, Father. In Jesus' name, amen, amen.
Praise the Lord. Amen, stand to your feet. If you prayed that prayer, my friend, you are now a child of God. You are a new creation. Old things in your life, in your spirit man are all passed away. All things inside have become new. And one day, you will have a brand new body outside as well. Praise the Lord, Jesus is coming back for us, amen. Lift your hands all across this place.
This coming week, Father, protect Your people, Lord, throughout this week. Protect their children, all their loved ones, I pray throughout this week. And Father, bless them richly, Father. And especially, Father, in this area where we are studying, grant them, Father, true revelation from You about how much You want them blessed. "For the Lord has pleasure in the prosperity of His servant," You declared in Your Word. So Father, throughout this week, I pray that... you know what I see? I see God taking pleasure in giving you this revelation. He delights in you prospering. Oh, what a picture right now that God is wanting you to see, amen. He wants to prosper you. Imagine yourself to be a Joseph, a prosperous man, and whatever you do prospers, amen? Amen. Whatever you do prospers. See yourself like that Joseph, amen? But all of you begin to prosper from this day forth in the name of the Lord Jesus because you are believing right. Amen, God bless you.