Joseph Prince - Experience Abundance In Times Of Famine
Well, praise the Lord. Once again, we are gathered together in the Spirit, and like the Apostle Paul says, "I behold in the spirit your steadfastness", he told the churches. "I behold your togetherness, your steadfastness, in order in the spirit", amen? And I behold that for all of you, and I thank you for taking time to hear God's Word, and that's the most important time you can ever do, amen? Jesus said that, "Mary has chosen the good part which will not be taken away from her". And what did she do? She sat at Jesus's feet and listened to the Word. I think of all the things that we do during the entire week. Our sitting down before the Lord Jesus, beholding his glory, and listening to his Word is the greatest thing that we can do for the rest of our week, amen?
And especially more so on a Sunday, the Lord's Day, we set the pace, we set the tone, we set the spirit of the coming week. And the Lord himself taught us this when he rose from the dead on the day of his Resurrection. In Luke 24, the Bible says he walked with the two disciples on the road of Emmaus, and what did he do? He expounded things in the Scriptures concerning himself, amen? So the very fact that that happened on a Sunday, the very day of his Resurrection, he took time to do something very "everyday", something that is normal, walking with your friends, isn't that amazing that the Lord of heaven and earth, the one who has conquered death and rose from the dead, on the very day he rose from the dead, he walked with two of his friends, two of his disciples? But, of course, the Bible says that he kept their eyes from seeing him, who he really was.
And I asked the Lord, one time, why did he do that, and the Lord said to me, "Because it was more important for them to see me in the Word than to see me in the flesh". I said, "Wow", you know? I was just blown away when I heard that. So it's more important we envy those who saw Jesus in the flesh in the days when Jesus walked by the shores of Galilee, healed the sick, cleansed the lepers, and I'm sure that's very exciting, but the Lord says, in essence, he's saying to us in Luke 24, that "It's more important and more profitable for you to see me in my Word". So he kept their eyes from seeing who he really was, amen, and then he expounded things in the Scriptures concerning himself. He made them see him in the Scriptures. And because it's on a Sunday, I believe there's a pattern for us. And at the end of that journey, in their homes, the Lord Jesus broke bread, okay?
So that tells us that he wants the preaching of the Word, and the Word of Christ, that is, and the Lord's Supper to always be present on the Lord's Day, so we are setting aside time. Every Lord's Day is a special day we set aside time so that the Lord... It's like the tithe, amen? We give that portion of that day, amen. We give that day, set apart, the Lord's Day, the day of Resurrection, unto him, hearing his Word and partaking of the Lord's Supper, and that sets the tone for the entire week. Praise the Lord. Let's dive right into the Word right now. I am so excited about what God has for you, and I know that God will always take care of his people, provide for his people even in the times of famine.
You see time and time again that God is always providing. But it's Abraham, you know, it was Abraham's, in a way, you look at Abraham. God told him to leave his father's house, and come away from Ur of the Chaldees. And God says, "Go to a land that I will show you". But you know what happened? He brought along his father, Terah, and the name, "Terah" means "delay". So Terah delayed him, and Terah had to die. You know, he passed away, and only after he passed away, then Abraham continued his journey. So there was a delay, and because of the delay, by the time he reached the Promised Land, the land of Canaan, the land of Canaan was in famine, and that caused him to go down into Egypt, and whenever you go into Egypt, you go down, all right?
So he went down to Egypt. So you can say that, in a way, it was his fault for not obeying the Lord completely, but he was delayed, and the famine came. Nonetheless, God still provided for him. It was when he came out of Egypt, the Bible used the phrase, "Abraham was very rich", not just rich. "Abraham was very rich in gold and silver and in cattle", okay? So there's no way we can spiritualize that. That happened through Abraham, and he came out with silver and gold, amen. Whenever you go back to the land of Canaan, the land that God promised you, you always come up. When you go down to Egypt, it's always "go down", okay?
So he came up with silver and gold and with much cattle, and the Lord blessed him in the time of famine because it was a time of famine at that time. And not only that, Isaac, his son Isaac, the Bible says in Gerar, the place called Gerar in Israel, he planted in the year of famine. And what happened to him? He reaped a hundredfold in the same year, and he reaped a hundredfold. Even Joseph, it was a time of famine, seven years of famine. There was seven years of plenty that proceeded that, but seven years of famine, and, yet God gave Joseph the wisdom, amen, to provide literally for the known world then, amen, that, through his wisdom, Egypt became the breadbasket of the world, amen, and even his family had to come from Canaan to buy from Egypt because of the wisdom of Jacob's son, Joseph, amen.
So God always provide for his family. Why I'm saying this is because the days of famine is imminent, amen, financial famine, especially, and we see it in front of us. I'm not saying that in a way to discourage you. I'm doing what prophet Agabus did in the early church. In the book of Acts, if you look at the book of Acts in Acts 11, it says here, "Then one of them, named Agabus, stood up and showed by the Spirit that there was going to be a great famine throughout all the world, which also happened in the days of Claudius Caesar".
You know, a few months ago, and I literally mean about two months ago, I actually sat down with my pastors even before all this really broke out in such a widespread way in Singapore, and after our service, and in between service, I was sitting with my pastors, and I told them what the Lord has been showing me about famine that's coming. Now, during that time, the conditions and the crisis was not severe yet, okay? We were in the, just, the beginning stage of it, but I saw a famine coming, and I knew that this was gonna be a bit protracted even though we are praying for a quick end. I'm still praying for a quick end, amen, but it will cause a famine. Not only that, and when I saw the famine coming, during those weeks when I shared with my pastors, there was also locusts that actually, there was a outbreak of locusts like never in decades.
That's what has been said by the experts, right? No such widespread outbreak of locusts, especially in Africa, in the continent of Africa, and then it went all the way, in these past few months, all the way to Iran, and then from Iran to Pakistan, right? And China is getting ready for the locusts and all that. For some reason, it sort of bypassed Israel, and I was sharing with the pastors before this, prior to this, about the locusts and all that, and they will cause a shortage, even a food shortage, and this will cause, again, a financial crisis... But God always prepares his people, amen? And even before that, so I was sharing with my wife about this. Before I shared with my pastors, I was sharing with my wife. This was, like, two, three months ago now, I was telling my wife that I see a financial famine coming, and it's from this passage that I'm reading to you now from the book of Acts 11. In the early church, "One of them, named Agabus, stood up and showed by the Spirit".
So, that's what I'm saying right now. The Spirit of God can tell you what's gonna happen. Now, of course, back then, we couldn't see the financial famine yet. Of course, right now, when I'm preaching, we are talking about, but I have my wife and also my pastors, who were in the room, who heard me share this three months ago that a financial famine is coming. But I'm saying like what Agabus is saying: A famine is coming, and in that day of Agabus, it came during the days of Claudius Caesar, and a "famine throughout all the world". And I told my pastors that this phrase, "throughout all the world", it's not just a localized famine in Africa or in Europe. It's gonna be throughout all the world, throughout all the world. And it's like the Lord is preparing, but the encouragement I have is from the passage that follows.
It says, "Then the disciples, each according to his ability, determined to send relief to the brethren dwelling in Judea. This they also did, and sent it to the elders by the hands of Barnabas and Saul". Notice, in verse 29, that God's people, the disciples, they had more than enough to be able to give to the poor brothers, to the poor brethren, obviously, those who are in Christ, amen, fellow believers that were in Judea, all right? And God will always make sure that his people have enough to help his fellow brother and sister in Christ, amen, and then to help the world as well, amen, and that happen also in the early church.
And then, as I was sharing this one of the days, a few months ago, I was telling my wife, it came on, you know, in my spirit just after I shared my wife, then I went to my study, and I felt the Lord telling me, "Look up the name Agabus", and I look up the name of Agabus, and guess what? I've never bothered to look up the name Agabus, although I know that names in the Bible have meanings. But, lo and behold, when I look up the word "Agabus", this is what I saw in the Greek. His name means "locust", okay? Locust. And, during that time, locusts was ravaging Africa like never before. It's, like, it's unprecedented. It's, like, they say that they have not seen this in decades, and they are on the rise, more and more on the rise, and there are more outbreaks and all that, even during this time as I speak. And his name, Agabus, means "locust". Wow, what a word. What a now word in season for us.
So what can we do? Because the disciples, back then, they had an ability, they had more than enough to be able to bless the other poor brethren, so we also, you know, will have more than enough during this time. Praise the name of Jesus. I know, in the natural, we look at all the different sources and all that. It seems like one after another is being shut down. One after another, you know, channels of provision and all that is being shut down, in the natural, amen? But we don't operate in the natural. We are in this world, but we are not of the world, amen? Praise the Lord. Praise the Lord. And God promises, "My God shall supply all your needs according to his riches in glory", not according to Wall Street, not according to the stock market, all right? "According to his riches in glory", amen? "According", again, "according to his riches", not "out of". If "out of" is good enough, amen, but "out of" means a portion of the riches, but "according to".
God lays out from start to finish, and no one can number it from start to finish, yet I'm just using as a human expression that might understand that God is supplying "according to the riches of his glory", amen, so rest easy, my brother. The supply is forthcoming in the name of Jesus, amen, amen. Sometimes there is a shaking in certain things in the financial realm, in our lives and all that, and we don't like it because we like what is visible and what is present and what is tangible, but, you know, God shakes the false trust that we have, all the false trust in our life. It's something good so that our trust can be in something unshakable, amen? Praise the name of Jesus. Hallelujah, God loves you.
God loves you, and Jesus says, "Look at the birds of the air. They sow not, neither do they reap, yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? Which of you by worrying can add to his stature? And look at the lilies of the field", he says. "They toil not, and neither do they spin. Behold how they grow. They toil not", amen? "Yet Solomon in all"... God clothes them. By the way, God clothes them. And this feeding, amen, speaks of food and provision, right? And what about the lilies of the field, how they grow? And God clothed them. It's talking about our health 'cause he goes on to say life is more than food, and the body, right? He says it like this: "The body is more important than clothing", amen? So life is more than food. What does that mean? Your life, your health is more than food, amen? And the body is more important than clothing.
Again, the idea of health, amen, your body, it cannot be a sick body. The idea there is a healthy body is more to be had than food, amen. Our deputy prime minister said not too long ago something very profound. He says, you know, "Money, you can earn again, but health, you cannot", okay? So, of course, we know that God wants to provide in every area of our lives, my friend, and he wants to provide for you financially as well, amen, so Jesus says, "Look at the lilies of the field, how they grow", amen? "If God clothed them", which today is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, "and they are better clothed than Solomon in all his glory, how much more will God clothe you"? And all he wants you to do, Jesus says, is, "Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness", which is a gift, amen?
Jesus came to give us the gift of righteousness, for on the cross, Jesus bore our sins. He who knew no sin, he did no sin, in him is no sin, became sin with our sin so that we, who know no righteousness (we are not righteous in the natural) we can receive his righteousness, amen? And God says today, "Seek that righteousness. Follow after righteousness. Learn all you can about this gift of righteousness, and all these things will be added to you", hallelujah, amen. You know, Paul wrote by the Spirit to Timothy about the days to come, how to lay a good foundation for the day to come, an evil day, that is, a day of lack. This is what Paul said in 1 Timothy 6: "Let them do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to give, willing to share, storing up for themselves a good foundation for the time to come". "Storing up for themself".
Notice, when you are ready to give, when you are willing to share, you're a generous person. God says you're actually "storing up for yourselves a good foundation for the time to come". You are sowing seeds for your future harvest, amen. You might be living off your past harvest, but are you sowing for your future harvest, amen? God says, "As long as the earth remains, seedtime and harvest", say, "seedtime and harvest will not cease". Every time there's a seedtime, there'll be a harvest as long as this earth remains. The last time I checked, the earth still remains. So "seedtime and harvest" principle has not changed, praise the Lord. Whatever you sow, you will reap. You sow generosity, amen, you're gonna make sure a lavish supply comes your way. Praise the Lord.
You know, in Luke chapter 18 and 19, the Holy Spirit put this to a chapter, side by side, to illustrate law, what law produces, and what grace produce. And law, under law, you know, under law, when Jesus gave the law to the rich, young ruler when he said, "What must I do"? He was boasting in his doing. He can hardly give a shekel, a dollar. He walked away, right? But, when Jesus gave grace to Zacchaeus, Zacchaeus says, "Half my goods, I give to the poor. If I have cheated anyone, I'll restore him fourfold". And Jesus said, "Salvation has come to this home", amen? No law is given to Zacchaeus, only grace, and grace made him generous. So, likewise, for you and I, amen, we can become generous because of God's grace on our lives. Praise the name of Jesus, hallelujah, amen.
Now, we go back to what the Lord showed us about the three chambers. And, once again, looking from outside at the temple of Solomon, we see the three floors, the three chambers, and Jesus says, "In my Father's house are many mansions. I go to prepare a place for you", amen? So this is a visual image, made according to the pattern shown to King David, amen, of the temple of God, amen. We are today the temple of God, the living stones making up a holy temple unto the Lord. So, the principles that apply here, even the rooms and all that, we can learn that we can tap into it right now, even in heaven, amen, because we are now dwelling already in Christ Jesus, seated in Christ at the Father's right hand, amen, in his house, praise the Lord. And we all make the house of God.
Let's step into the first chamber. It's a place where the grain, the wine, and the oil is stored. I've been sharing on this. And then Jesus talk about the Upper Room where he celebrated his final night before he died, the Passover, and it is in a room like this, a second-story floor, a larger Upper Room. We talked about that last week, how it's a picture of rest, amen. Like, Jesus's time, the Upper Room was furnished and prepared ready, praise God, amen. And then, the third floor is bright, brilliant, and glorious, because the Bible says God commanded Solomon to overlay even the walls and the floor with gold.
Notice 2 Chronicles 3, verse 9, it says, "And he overlaid the upper chambers with gold", referring to the topmost floor, the third floor. "He overlaid the upper chambers with gold". No limit. He just surround everything with gold, and that's what we see here, you know, in the picture, and notice that the storehouse stores gold and silver. I think there's a lesson here, and I just wanna say a word to people that are very concerned, "No, this is the health and wealth gospel and all that, and all that". You know, I really don't want to take time to address people who don't know any better in terms of just believing religiously, "Well, they themselves have two, three cars, and living in two, three homes, and all that. I think that there could be a little bit of hypocrisy going on, and all that".
You know, God is not for us going after these things. God doesn't want us covetous, doesn't want us greedy, doesn't want us to have the love of money. But the way to break the love of money is to learn how the ways of God in finances, because God's way is always to break the love of money, so to make sure that we are generous, amen? But nonetheless, every time the Bible says things, like Jesus says, "Give, and it will be given unto you", Jesus himself... Think of what Jesus said, amen, to the audience that heard him for the first time. He says, "Give, and it will be given unto you, good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, shall men give into your bosom".
What does that mean? Why tease us, you know? It's like the Lord is teasing us, all right? If he doesn't want us to think about the benefits and the harvest and what will accrue to us when we give, why tell us, "When you give, it will be given unto you"? Lord, don't tell us that because you'll be making us covetous. Is that the Lord's idea, amen? Does the Lord share the same idea like some of his critics, amen? No, my friend, God wants you to look at the results. God want you to know that there will be a harvest.
And, you know, when I was a young boy, I remember raking the leaves in my garden, and I would put the leaves into a... my father would ask me to do this job, and I'll put all the leaves into, like, a rattan basket, okay, a wicker basket, a large wicker basket, and then the leaves dry. Because they are dry, no matter how much you put, okay, it sort of pops up, and then I would go inside that huge basket, and I'll step on it, step on it, and then I'll rake some more and put some more, and then step on it, you know, until it's pressed down, good measure, pressed down, to make more space. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together to make more space, and then finally when you cannot fill any more, it runs over. That's the kind of harvest God wants to give you. That's what Jesus said, amen. Praise the name of Jesus, amen?
So don't apologize for that. The Lord tells you that. Even in 2 Corinthians it says, "He who sows sparingly shall reap sparingly. He sows bountifully shall reap bountifully". And there's no way, brother, sister, there's no way you can take that and say it's spiritual because the whole context there is about giving, about giving finances to the poor saints in Jerusalem. Read it. The entire context. And then the chapter before that says, "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 be rich", and there's no way you can say, "Oh, he became spiritually poor". He was never spiritually poor, amen. And if being poor spiritually is good for you, then we should be poor spiritually.
Why did his poverty cause us to have riches, amen? That "We through his poverty might be made rich". The whole context there is talking about finances and giving. So he became poor... where? At the cross. At the cross, he looked down, and one of the last sights he saw was the soldiers gambling over his garment, amen. I don't believe that they even gave him the courtesy of covering any part of his body. He became poor, amen. He came under the curse so that we can be abundantly supplied that you through his poverty, the Spirit of God says that, "You through his poverty might be rich". So in other words, every sin debt has been settled. Jesus settled it. He restored as my ashame as my guilt offering on the cross, he restored what he did not take away. He took my place. He paid a debt he did not owe. I owe a debt I could not pay.
So Jesus took my place as the one liable for my sins as my substitute so that I can be blessed. He was cursed that I might be blessed. He was rejected that I might be accepted. And, friend, all this came because of what he did at the cross. Even the supply of finances. The Bible says you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ that though he was rich, amen, he flung the universe, the stars, in place. He was rich, amen. But for your sakes he became poor that you, through his poverty, might be rich, amen. It's up to you. Whichever part of the atoning work of Jesus, the redemptive work of Jesus, you want to receive, amen, you can receive. Nobody's forcing it on you, amen, but as for me and my house, we'll take whatever Jesus did at the cross to give us, amen? We will receive it in Jesus's name. How about you? Praise the name of Jesus, amen.
Now, I wanna share with you a story taken from the Old Testament. The story of the children of Israel when they came back from captivity after 70 years of being in Babylonian captivity and the 70 years was up. In fact, Jeremiah the prophet prophesied that they'll be in captivity only for 70 years so the moment it's up, God raised Cyrus and Cyrus saw his name probably through the prophet Daniel, his name was mentioned. He was mentioned by name as God's servant. And he sent the people of Israel back. You know, for some reason and the Bible doesn't say why, but Mordecai, Esther, Daniel, did not go back, all right? But there's a remnant that went back: Nehemiah, Ezra, and all the remnant of Israel, they went back and they had to prepare for the First Coming of Jesus, they went back to the land.
So there are some Jews, they're still in Babylon, amen, even until today. But those that came back, they started to rebuild the temple, okay? So they tried to rebuild the temple as much as they can with the limited resources they have and the old people, they were more than 70 years old, they saw previously the temple of Solomon, they wept on the day they get the temple because the temple is not as glorious as the temple of Solomon. Although it's built in the pattern of the temple of Solomon, it had the three chambers, it had the chambers for storage as well, which we're about to look at, but the older generation cried because they saw what it was and they saw now what it is, okay? But the young people rejoiced. They never know what the temple of Solomon was like, so they rejoice that there was a temple for them to worship in, okay? So that's known as Nehemiah's temple.
But then, God sent Prophet Haggai who said this: "Okay, don't be so sad, okay, because the glory of this latter house will be greater than the former". Why? Because Jesus never walked in the temple of Solomon, but this temple of Nehemiah, later on Southern Remnants was again broken down and all that, but some parts remained and King Herod rebuilt the temple, and Jesus walked in that temple. So that the prophet says, "The glory of this latter house will be greater than the former".
Now that is the first application. Second application is for the future, the church of the latter season, the latter age, is gonna be greater than the former. People long for the days of the Acts of the Apostles but God is saying, "The church is gonna be in a more glorious state, all right, in the church of the latter end", amen? We are that church. We are the 11th hour generation, the Benjamin generation, amen. We're gonna see the Coming of the Lord, amen? Praise the Lord. And we're not going out, okay, regressing, worse off than the early church. Even the early church, the Bible says that great grace was upon them all and with great power they gave testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. There were signs and wonders and miracles. Obviously, if we're gonna be the church of the greater glory, so much more of this is gonna happen. And I believe the days are upon us. We are seeing that happen already, praise God.
So what happens is Nehemiah asked permission. God moved on his heart, and he asked permission from the king to go back to the land, and the king already gave them the blessing. But because he was in a official role, but he wanted have a part in the remnant going back, he says, "Can I go as well"? The king gave him the blessing and the permission, and he became their governor, okay, of the remnant that went back. They rebuilt the temple. But before they rebuilt the wall, they look at all what it was before. It was all run down, all right? Everything was broken down, ruins everywhere, amen. And even Jerusalem doesn't look like it was anymore. And then some enemies of Israel came. I want you to notice their names, okay? There is a significance I want you to learn.
Okay, "When Sanballat the Horonite and Tobiah the Ammonite", they are two guys you don't wanna spend a night out with, all right? This Horonite and this Ammonite. Okay, both are bad, okay? "Sanballat the Horonite and Tobiah the Ammonite official heard of the desire of Nehemiah to rebuild the wall, they were deeply disturbed that a man had come to seek the wellbeing of the children of Israel". Now, among the two of them, I want you to focus on Tobiah. Tobiah. Now, Tobiah, his name means God is good. That's what his name means, okay? And they were very disturbed. They're not happy, all right? They were not happy that the children of Israel had someone coming seeking their welfare, their wellbeing, okay? They were deeply, not just disturbed. Deeply disturbed. So these are the enemies of Israel, okay?
Look at another chapter, chapter 4, and even Tobiah the Ammonite was beside him. His name means what? Tobiah, tov, like you say, boker tov, good morning. Laila tov, good evening. Tov is good, tov, right? Tobiah, Yah is God's name. Tobiah means God is good. And he's an enemy of Israel but he has a name that says God is good, right? He's not living up to his name, yeah? But here you go, all right, "Now Tobiah the Ammonite", and there's a reason I'm saying that, I'll come to it. "Now Tobiah the Ammonite was beside him, and he said, 'Whatever they build, even this wall they build, if even a fox goes up on it, the fox will break down their stone wall'".
So they are mocking them, and when people mock you and scorn you, and try to discourage you from your assignment in the Lord, from what God has called you to do, just look to God, amen? Don't curse them, don't fight against them, amen. Ascend higher, amen. Look to the Lord and this is what Nehemiah did and Nehemiah says, "Hear, O our God, for we are despised; turn their reproach on their own heads, and give them as plunder to a land of captivity", amen.
So again, back in those days, you know, it's not about loving your enemies, okay, they were still under the law, okay? And this is what he prayed, but his eye was on God. You know, when he wants victory over his enemies, his eye was on God and that's always the right thing to do, praise the Lord. So in other words, they were in a place where they were starting to build the walls and the walls are important because even you build the temple, there's no walls, the enemies come in to destroy the temple. But with the walls, back in those days, it gives them a chance to defend from the top of the walls and it will keep the enemy out, amen? Praise the Lord.
So they are building the walls and this Tobiah says, "Even a fox goes up the wall, even a fox can destroy the wall", okay? So this a enemy of Israel. He's not a good man. He's an evil man, okay? Let's see what happens. And let's go to chapter 13: "Now before this", look at this, "Eliashib the priest". Now this Eliashib is actually the High Priest, not just a priest. Earlier on, if you read the accounts in chapter 3, you'll find that Eliashib is actually the High Priest at that time. But do you know, this High Priest was in cahoots with Israel's enemy, Tobiah. And the Bible says: "Now before this, Eliashib the priest, who was appointed over the chambers of the house of our God, and who was related to Tobiah, he prepared for Tobiah a large chamber".
Now this chamber is the upper, the third floor. I showed you just now, and let's go to that third chamber again. Now, don't forget, this is the third chamber where the tithes are stored, where the gold and the silver is stored. This is where it's stored and, friend, if you think about it, these three chambers that God gave to our church, in the first Sunday, of course I receive it last year, but I preach it for the first time on the first Sunday of this year as part of a theme of our church and I used, the entire theme of the church was based on King Solomon's temple.
And I talk about the three chambers and little did I know that God would open up gradually all the three chambers this year. Who would have thought that we will enter the first chamber that has the grain, the wine, and the oil, to combat against the COVID-19 virus, amen? And I shared about that last few weeks. And then we go up higher and every time you go higher, all right, the chambers increase in space, amen. It's enlarged. Notice, the first floor was 5 cubits wide and then, as you go higher, it is 6 cubits wide, amen? And then we see again that God is... right now, I feel like we are somewhere in between, we are in the place of rest, already coming to the middle of the year, going towards the middle of the year, we are coming slowly to the place of rest, amen. Rest in a special way because we always have rest from Jesus but rest, perhaps, you know, is gonna happen that we'll have more and more stabilizing of the COVID-19 virus and slowly a dissipating of it, praise God. Let's believe God together for that, amen?
But notice in the second story is where Jesus had Passover with his disciples on Mount Zion, okay? And it's a place, again, of grain and wine, amen? Although that's the place... show them the second floor, where back in temple of Solomon, it's a place of rest. And then the third floor is a place, like I said just now, of storage of the gold and silver and all the tithes. So what happened was this. The High Priest during the time of Nehemiah, he actually prepared the third floor.
Let's read that. "Now, this High Priest prepared for Tobiah a large chamber where they had previously put the grain offering, the frankincense, the vessels", which is the instruments of worship and what they use for to carry the blood and all these vessels, "and the tithes". Notice the tithes are there. "The tithes of grain, wine, and oil", so that speaks of the third floor, "which were given by commandment to the Levites, the singers, and gatekeepers, and the contribution for the priests".
So in other words, these tithes is to maintain the house of God. It is for the singers, the worshipers, for the priests, for the Levites, for those in full-time work in making sure that the work of God, the priesthood, all right, God's part is always being taken care of because God... let me say it this way. For us, it's a priesthood ministry when we minister to the Lord, amen, the Lord wants us in front of him. And the Bible says: "Lift up your hands, you whose hands are bowed down", all right, at night. "Lift up your hands", David says.
So we minister to the Lord in worship, in praise. And today, how you minister to the Lord is to always worship the Lord with things that remind him of the Lord Jesus Christ. The Father loves the Son, and the Father loves to be reminded of his Son in the burnt offering. The burnt offering is not like the sin offering. The sin offering is to remind God that Jesus bore our sins on that cross and that's why dung... dung is mentioned in the sin offering, but dung is not mentioned in the burnt offering because the burnt offering has this characteristic. The primary reason that Jesus laid down his life is not to bear our sins. That's not the primary, he did bear our sins but that's not the primary reason. Is to glorify God. His heart's desire is always to fulfill God's will.
He wants, "I desire always to please him. I always please the Father. My meat, my nourishment, is to do the will of him that send me". No wonder the Father love him. The Father love him always. He says, "Therefore, doth my Father love me because I lay down my life". Like my daughter and my son, I love. I love Jessica and I love Justin so much that if they do nothing for me, I'll still love them. But when they do something special for me, there is a fresh love, you know what I mean as a father that I love them at that moment. So when Jesus said, "Therefore, doth my Father love me because I lay down my life".
So, friend, whatever you bring to the Father, amen, whether it's the burnt offering; the minkhah, the gift offering, which is a grain offering; or whether it's a peace offering, the shelamim, it's always to remind the Father. The shelamim, by the way, they take the breast of the lamb that is roasted and they wave it like this, tenufah, all right? It's like a waving before the Lord, all right? This is terumah, it's a heave offering. So there are two ways they worship the Lord with what they have in their hands that remind the Father of Jesus. One is like this, amen, amen. It's called the wave offering. And the other is like this, heave offering. And that's why when we tithe, you know, I love it that our church do it and I pray that you all do it at home as well as Pastor Joe leads you all or Pastor leads you all in dedication of our tithes and our offerings whether it's through digital, you can just raise your hand phone, you can just raise your envelope, you can just raise whatever it is that is an expression of your giving to the Lord. It's actually raised.
Heave offering, and the tithes are heaved, by the way. You can read this in Numbers 18. It's heaved, amen? So the breast meat, for example, that's roasted, the lamb, is waved and what is the breast a picture of? The love of Jesus. You wave the love of Jesus before the Father. You remind the Father, "Father, Jesus loved you". And not only that, you remind the Father, Jesus's love for you, amen? The Son of God who loved me and gave himself for me, amen? Praise the Lord, hallelujah. So, the tithes is a picture of, listen carefully, Christ, our first fruit, the Bible says.
Now some people teach, "Oh, because Christ is our first fruit, we don't have to give tithe anymore", amen? Or it's almost like saying because Christ is also our worship to the Father, amen, a sweet-smelling fragrance, we don't have to worship, amen. Read this verse carefully in Hebrews chapter 13 where it says: "Therefore by him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to his name. But do not forget to do good and to share". This talks about giving. But look at this: "For with such sacrifices God is well pleased", amen. Don't forget, we are already accepted in Christ because of what Christ did. But when we do certain things, amen, that is in line with God's will, amen, God is well pleased. When you praise God, God is well pleased.
And notice it says, "With such sacrifices. When we give, God is well pleased". What it's saying that with such sacrifices, the word "sacrifices" is used, is the of sacrifices, the peace offering, the gift offering, amen, the burnt offering. Now, our burnt offering... by the way, these three, the burnt offering, the flour, grain offering, the gift offering, and the peace offering, is all voluntary, amen? It's not compulsory. You give it because you love God. Because you want to show God your appreciation, amen? But the last two, the sin offering and the trespass offering or the guilt offering, that two is compulsory, all right? You have to bring it, amen? But notice, these two, the last two, is not sweet-smelling.
The word "sweet-smelling" is only used for the fat, but not for the offering itself because this offering remind God of our sin. But these first three offerings remind God of his Son, amen, remind God of Jesus, all right? Whereas the last two remind God of our sin. So only the first three has this phrase, all right? It's a fragrance of rest to the Lord. It's a sweet-smelling fragrance, hallelujah. Our tithes are first fruit, and that's why the tithe remind God also of his Son, hallelujah, amen. Praise the name of Jesus.
Let's go with Nehemiah. This High Priest, I mean, can you imagine a High Priest of Israel cahooting, amen? I mean, giving the largest chamber. The uppermost chamber is 7 cubits. The bottom one, 5, then 6. And then 7. The largest place, the place where it's all gold and not even sleeping with the Levites or where the Levites are sleeping in the second story. He gave him the upper chamber, the large chamber. And the Bible said: "That's the place where the tithes are, where the grain and the wine are, the vessels are, the frankincense are", which is supposed to be given to the Levites and the gatekeepers. Next verse: "While this was taking place", how come Nehemiah didn't say anything? Because Nehemiah wasn't in town. He wasn't in Jerusalem. He went back to meet up with the king that sent him, all right?
"While this was taking place, I was not in Jerusalem, for in the 32nd year of Artaxerxes king of Babylon I went to the king. And after some time I asked leave of the king, and I came to Jerusalem", came back, that is, "and I then discovered the evil that the High Priest Eliashib had done for Tobiah, preparing for him a chamber in the courts of the house of God". That's terrible. You say, "Pastor Prince, what is that? What's that a picture of"? What do you think the Holy Spirit is saying from this passage? It's speaking to our times. We are living in the days where we are about to be ushered into the largest chamber where our God supplies all our needs according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus but, instead of that, instead of where the tithes are, you don't find the tithes anymore. You know why? Because the message is God is good.
God is good has taken the place of... because God is good we don't have to tithe. That's the idea. Some grace people, unfortunately, right, has gone to seed on this. They really say, "You know, God is good. We are living in the days where God doesn't require all this anymore". But you just read "To praise God is a sacrifice that is sweet-smelling". Even in Philippians chapter 4 where Paul says, "My God shall supply", and Paul reminds the people that gave to him that your offering, they gave to him. They gave to him finances, they gave to him to support him, and he says, "I receive it as a sweet-smelling fragrance to God". Read it. That's what it says. So today, our praise is a sweet-smelling fragrance because it reminds God of Christ, and our giving and our tithes is a sweet-smelling fragrance to God.
Friend, it's a life of worship, amen. But instead of that, another message has taken the place where the tithe is supposed to be. Another enemy has come in where God wants the tithe to be at, amen, and as a result, you know, we wonder sometimes, you know, what is happening? Those who just teach "God is good", "God is good", it's almost like you don't have to read the Bible, you don't have to give, you don't have to participate in the church life. No, friend, don't give grace a bad name, amen, amen. I'm not saying like some people say, "Grace has a higher standard". Yeah, grace actually is a heavenly standard. Jesus is our standard, amen, but we don't achieve that standard or arrive at that standard by our efforts. That's true, but it is still something to be conformed to by the Spirit of God.
And the Christian life is a dynamic life where there's interaction. There's worship. There is praise, and there is giving. There is sharing, amen? And the tithe is prominent. You say, "Pastor Prince, we are not under the tithing system. Yes, I believe in giving, Pastor Prince, but I don't believe in tithing". Let me just say this to you. Tithing was way before the law. It was given by Abraham. When there's no instruction of tithing, not that I know of, but the first mention of the tithe was Abraham tithing to Melchizedek. And who is Melchizedek? He appeared awhile in Genesis in a few verses, and then one time in Psalms, and that's it, and, yet the Bible says in Hebrews 7, that Jesus Christ today is our High Priest after the order of Melchizedek.
We are the seed of Abraham, so we still receive the communion, don't we? Jesus brings the bread and wine, just like Melchizedek brought the bread and wine. We do receive bread and wine, don't we? So we respond with a tithe, amen, friend. Listen, you don't have to tithe. You get to tithe. So that's why I say that tithing is a revelation, amen. Why do you wanna get out of it when it's a way of... I mean, God loves it. It's a way of pleasing God. You are saying, "God, I'm just giving you 10% as an expression of my declaration that you are the source of my supply. You are the source of my wealth". "You shall remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you power to get wealth", why? "That he may establish his covenant".
"God gives you power to get wealth that he may establish his covenant", not the Sinaitic law covenant, but that he may establish his covenant which we swore to your fathers Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, which is unconditional covenant of grace. And in the same passage where Abraham respond with a tithe to Melchizedek, the word "tithe" there is the word "maaser". "Maaser" is spelled like this, all right, with a "mem" in front, that makes it a noun, "maaser". If you remove the "mem", you have the word "aser", which is the word "rich". So the "rich" is in the "tithe". It's a revelation. You don't have to receive this. If you don't believe in it, it's up to you, but I'm just saying that you cannot say that "It's not for grace people because God is good", amen, "and 'God is good' has replaced the tithing message". No, you gotta evict, all right, this false teaching. Yes, God is good. Don't misunderstand. But to use that as a cover-up for a heart of animosity against the things of God is no excuse. We must make sure that this doesn't take place, praise God.
So, friend, I'm just saying that to prepare for the day to come, the evil day to come, the financial famine that'll be at its worst, even towards the end of this year, God is saying, "Make sure you're a tither", amen. God entrusts. Like, God says, "If I cannot trust you". Jesus himself said, "If you cannot be trusted with the unrighteous mammon, who will trust you with the true riches"? Amen, we know unrighteous mammon refers to money. And God is saying, if God can trust you with money, he can trust you with riches, amen? So therein lies our supply. Praise the Lord, amen? It's a revelation. We must receive this revelation.
So let's continue the story. And it says that "While this was taking place, I was not in Jerusalem, but I came back, and I came to Jerusalem", all right, "and I discovered the evil that Eliashib, the high priest, did". Next verse, "I was very angry", yeah, I reckon. I reckon, amen, to have an enemy in the chamber of God, right? "And I was very angry, and I threw all the household furniture of Tobiah out of the chamber. Then I gave orders, and they cleansed the chambers, and I brought back there the vessels of the house of God, with a grain offering and the frankincense. I also found out that the portions of the Levites had not been given to them".
Friend, if you're watching this today, all right, you need to tithe to your local church to support the ministry there, what God is doing. It's a time when everyone is sorely pressed, amen, in financial straits, even, but God has raised the church to have a system that's different from this world. We are in the world, but not of the world. Don't forget your church, amen. If this is not your church, this is not the place for you to tithe. Tithe to your local church, amen. Even digitally during this time of the COVID-19, make sure the tithes are forthcoming. Trust God to give wisdom to your pastor. Trust God to give wisdom to your full-time people. I can say this because I don't draw a salary from our church. You can imagine, during this time, I'm trusting God to supply all my needs, amen? And he's faithful.
So I feel like God told me not to go on salary so that I have a moral authority to speak this into the lives of people because I want you blessed. I want you to enter into God's financial system where he supplies his people, amen? Will he still love you if you don't tithe? Yes, amen. The tithe today is not a debt you owe. It's a seed you sow, amen? It's still a seed, amen. Some people say, "Well, the tithe is like to equalize everything". No, Jesus equalized everything at the cross, amen. Now the debt is cleared. How much you put on it is how much you will reap. You sow sparingly, you reap sparingly. You sow bountifully, you reap bountifully.
In closing, let me just show you this. By the way, he says that "The Levites", the full-time ministry, "the tithes have not been given to them, so the Levites and the singers, who did the work, had fled each to his field. So I confronted the officials and said, 'Why is the house of God forsaken?'" So for to forsake the tithe and to not support the church, your local church, amen, is to forsake the house of God. Don't forsake the house of God. Don't forsake the house of God. Prophet Haggai, who's a contemporary at that time with Nehemiah and all that, he actually prophesied this in the first chapter of Haggai. He says that, you know, "You folks, you eat, and you're not full. You drink, and your thirst is not quenched. You earn wages to put into a bag full of holes". Why? "Because my house is forsaken while you live in your houses".
So don't forsake the house of God. And this is how God sees his house forsaken, by saying, "God is good, and you don't have to bring the tithe". "And I gathered them together and set them in their stations. Then all Judah brought the tithe of the grain, the wine, and oil into the storehouses", hallelujah, so may that be for every church that's watching this right now, in Jesus's name, amen, friend. And the Bible says, when you tithe, your generations are blessed. In closing, let's look at this passage here in Hebrews chapter 7: "Now consider how great this man was", Melchizedek, "to whom even the patriarch Abraham gave a tenth of his spoils".
When you give the tithe, it is not to become rich. The primary reason for the tithe, listen, is to show how great your Jesus, your Melchizedek is, amen. Then drop down. It says here, "Here mortal men receive tithes, but there he receives them," by the way, friend, this is in the present tense, in the Greek, present passive participle. "Here mortal men receive tithes, but there he", Jesus, our Melchizedek, "receives them", still receives them, "of whom it is witnessed that he lives". So the tithe is a witness that he lives because we don't tithe to a dead person, hallelujah. And it says that "Even Levi, who receives tithes, paid tithes through Abraham, so to speak, for he was still in the loins of his father when Melchizedek met him".
Think about it: when Melchizedek met Abraham, Abraham, at that time, didn't even have Isaac, right? Isaac is the father of Jacob. Jacob is the father of Levi, where you have the Levitical priesthood. So it's saying that even though they didn't exist yet, but because the father Abraham tithed, their father Abraham tithed, they were blessed in him. Can you see how that tithing blesses your sons and your son's sons, and your great-grandchildren, even? 'Cause all the way from Abraham, Levi is his great-grandson.
I'm reminded today, we have so many examples of Jewish people that, for some reason, they have an exponential ability to make money, like Mark Zuckerberg, young as he was when he started Facebook and all that. I mean, it's an idea that all of us could have, right? But how come he got it? When you think about it, it doesn't mean that they are naturally religious. I mean, some of them, in fact, some of these people I talk about as examples of Jewish, wealthy people today, they are not religious, some of them. In fact, Mark Zuckerberg, from what I hear, is getting religious, but what I'm saying is that, even if their great-grandparent tithed, the blessing goes on, all the way down, amen? Jan Koum, the founder of WhatsApp, is a Ukrainian Jew.
So I'm not saying he's religious, I do not know him, okay? I don't know whether he's religious or not, but nonetheless, even if he's not religious, the blessings can come from his fore-fore-forefathers who tithed to the Lord because here it says, "Levi was in the loins of Abraham", amen. God sees people who tithe. The blessing goes to you and to your seed and to your seed's seed, and all the way to your seed's seed's seed, hallelujah, amen, amen, amen. Your grandchildren are blessed in the tithe, hallelujah. I'll just preach myself happy, amen. Praise the name of Jesus, hallelujah.
Trust you've been blessed, my friend. I so want you to not worry about money, and God himself wants you to just "Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you", amen? But learn the ways of God, amen. Learn the ways of grace. Don't just say, you know, "God is good. I don't have to spend time in the Word. God is good. I don't have to hear sermons anymore. God is good", no, no, friend, you are using "God is good" message as an enemy now. It's taken the place where God wants you to focus on the things that enrich you, truly enrich you in every way, amen, friend?
So I believe that God is opening up the third story to you and to your family. And don't worry, my friend, "God will supply all your needs according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus". Don't focus your eyes on the news. Don't see all the financial famine which will abound in the days to come, more and more, more and more, but remember the Word of God. Lay a good foundation now for the time to come, and be faithful to your church. If you're from another church, be faithful to your church and tithe to your church, amen. Let me pray for you.
Father in heaven, in the name of Jesus, I pray for everyone that's watching this right now that, Father, you will remove from their hearts every fear, worry, anxiety, Lord, over not having enough. I pray, Father, in Jesus's name, in place of it, release, Lord, I pray, faith into their hearts. Grant them that assurance, Lord, that you are their Father, and their needs and worries, you know about it even long before they even ask you. As Jesus says, "Your Father knows what you need before you ask". And, Father, you just want us to spend time with you. You want us, Lord, to focus on Jesus, and even our expressions are expressions of your Son in worship to you because he's so wonderful, isn't he? Father, isn't he wonderful to you? Amen.
That's what you do. You come to the Father. You say, "Father, I bring to you Jesus as my burnt offering". If you know how to say that, you can say that. But, in essence, everything you do is to remind you of Jesus. You are to be Jesus-occupied, amen. The more you see Jesus in his beauty and glory, for no man is perfect like that man, that glorified man, that wonderful man, fine flower. Not a single attribute, characteristic, is out of place. Every part of him is perfect equilibrium. His characteristic, amen? Nothing preponderance. Everything is in its rightful place, hallelujah. He's altogether lovely, conceived in the Holy Spirit, anointed by the Holy Spirit at the age of 30, amen. Every part of him, fragrant to the Lord, his thoughts, his words, his deeds, amen. And you bring this to the Father in Jesus's name, and the Father is so delighted.
The Father lives outside time and space, and it's as if Jesus just died just now. He never forgets that, and he never wants us to forget that, the greatest expression of love, for no one ever loved the Father the way Jesus loved him with all his heart, all his soul, all his mind, all his strength, and he gave his life, number one reason, to glorify the Father. His blood that was shed fully met all the divine requirements of holiness and righteousness upon my life and your life. Not only that, the blood has fully satisfied and glorified God in all his attributes, amen. And that's why the cross is central, amen, in our lives. Praise the Lord. And I pray in Jesus's name, if you're watching this now and you've never received Jesus Christ as your personal Savior and Lord, pray this prayer with me right now.
Heavenly Father, thank you for Jesus, and I believe Jesus died in my place for all my sins. I thank you he bore all my curse and my judgment. And I believe you raised him from the dead when I was declared righteous in him. I thank you, Father, because Jesus Christ is my Lord, because Jesus Christ is my Lord, I'm greatly blessed, highly favored, and I know I'm deeply loved by you, Father, in Jesus's name.
And, my friend, if you prayed that prayer just now, you are now a brand-new creation in Christ. "Old things have passed away. All things are become new". And start to learn more and more about the ways of God because the ways of God transcend the ways of the world, and you'll find yourself increasingly becoming more and more peaceful, more at rest, poised, confident. When you face the future, you're not afraid, and you live in the now with full vibrancy and full power of the Holy Spirit, amen, and you're a blessing everywhere you go, when you can go everywhere, amen, when this thing lifts, in Jesus's name, because you are far above this thing. As far as God is concerned, you are in Christ, praise God.
The Lord bless you this coming week. The Lord bless you with the blessings of Abraham and the blessings of Deuteronomy 28, and the Lord keep you and your families from the COVID-19 virus throughout this entire week. The Lord keep you from harm, danger, accident, and even from the financial famine that's coming. It will not affect you and your house. And the Lord lift up his countenance on you and your families and grant to you and your families his shalom peace, in Jesus's name, amen, hallelujah. Until we meet again, God bless you richly. Love you.