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2021 online sermons » Joseph Prince » Joseph Prince - How To Prosper During Severe Famine

Joseph Prince - How To Prosper During Severe Famine

Joseph Prince - How To Prosper During Severe Famine
Joseph Prince - How To Prosper During Severe Famine
TOPICS: Prosperity, Famine, Abundance, Security

Praise the Lord. You know, everywhere we turn, people are saying that this won't be a year of recovery. Sometimes if you keep on watching the news, it can cause a spirit of depression to come on you, all right? They are doing the best they know how. They are looking around and just, you know, forecasting what they see. But I'm here to tell you that God knew all about this crisis long before it happened. God is a God that prophesies and calls those things that has not yet happened as if they already exist. God knows the end from the beginning. God lives outside time because God created time.

And that's why when Jesus, God's Son, died on the cross, he died outside time. That's why even if you lived before Jesus or you live after Jesus was crucified, his sacrifice avails for all sins of all time, amen. You see, if one sin was not put on Jesus at the cross of your entire life, then what security do you have? You must know that your sins are not forgiven you based on you being cognizant of it or based on your knowledge of your sins. Your sins are forgiven based on God's knowledge of our sins. How that settles our heart, how that gives stability. Can I have a good amen?

So, this idea of God forgive your past sins up to the point of conversion, the date from day of birth until conversion makes no sense because you're talking about all our sins were future when Jesus died. So, if God did not put all your sins of your entire life upon Jesus, then he put nothing at all. And where will you find that security? So, all your sins are forgiven. Now, what that does is that some people are afraid that when you preach like that, that people will take license and sin even more. Nothing could be further from the truth. The Bible says there's something sanctifying about believing the truth.

You know, the Apostle Peter, when he preached a message at Cornelius's house, Cornelius was an Italiano, amen? Pasta fresca. And he was a centurion, and he invited Peter to come and preach a sermon. And Peter said this at the end of his sermon. We don't even know what is the end, actually. It became the end because he lost control of the meeting in Cornelius's house. He said, "Through Jesus, all the prophets give witness that through Jesus, we receive forgiveness of sins".

What an amazing statement, no qualifying remarks. Just through Jesus, you receive forgiveness of sins, and the people believed. The moment they believe, they all began to be filled with the Holy Spirit, speaking in tongues, he lost control. And then later on, when he was giving an account of what happened to his fellow Jewish brothers, they're asking, "What happened? You went to Gentiles and all that". In those days, they don't mix with Gentiles that much, you know? And he explained, he says that, "What was I to do? I preached the message and God," he said this, "purified their hearts by faith".

What an amazing statement. Hearts can only be purified by faith, right believing. When someone believes, their sins are completely forgiven, their hearts are purified, amen. So, right believing is so important, church. And not only for our walk with God. All right, we got to keep on believing every time. You know, if every fresh sin committed brings up the subject again about our acceptance with God, then there can never be any solid, unshakeable peace with God. You got to know that the once and for all sacrifice of Christ avails for all time. And God was not, you know, caught by surprise when you sinned. God knew all about your sin. And we should not be afraid to preach the truth knowing that when people believe the truth, their hearts are purified by faith. Can I have a good amen?

So, even when it comes to our finances and our life and even this year, based on all that people are saying about this year and all the forecasts for this year, they say it's going to be a bad year, but God is saying it's going to be a great year for his people. Now, God did not say it's going to be a great year for people in Wall Street, but God is saying it's going to be a great year for us. You know, during times of famine, God does not initiate famine, God does not send famine. If God sends famine, when we go to heaven, there'll be famine. But there is no famine in heaven, there's only abundance all year long, amen. You can talk about a year in heaven, there's no time even. But God uses famine to demonstrate his limitless resources and the limited means of man.

So, every time there is a famine, God will use the famine, all right, to demonstrate his inexhaustible resources and man's limited means. Hallelujah. When Jesus shared the story of the prodigal son in Luke 15, all right, let's look up here. In Luke 15, Jesus talked about the prodigal son, about how, "After not many days after, the youngest son gathered all together, journeyed to a far country, and there wasted his possession with prodigal living". This is Wall Street.

Now, we have prodigal CEOs that is, they are giving themselves large bonuses for failing their companies with taxpayers' money. That is absurd, amen? But nonetheless, you see God's heart for people is amazing. Even when you fail, all right, if you turn to God, he will always rescue you. He will always help you, even when the trouble is of your own making.

Next thing that happens, verse 14, "When he had spent all, there arose a severe famine in that land, and he began to be in want". Would you say that the famine around the world today is severe? Used to be like Asian crisis in 1998, 1997, but now it is not just Asian crisis, it's global crisis, and they say it's almost like the Great Depression at the turn of the century, amen? There's even a book out there called "The Coming Great Depression". Don't read it, you get depressed. Amen. "But when he spent all, there arose a severe famine". So, this is a severe famine. Famines don't catch God by surprise. God knows all about famines, he knows how to provide for his people, but watch this, watch this, what famine does, all right?

Next verse, let's drop down to this verse, the son, about the son, "When he came to himself". Famine will cause people to come to themselves and realize that they need God. "When he came to himself, he said, 'How many of my father's hired servants have bread enough and to spare?'" So, even though there was a famine in the land, in the father's house there is bread enough and to spare. I want you to know that God's house will never lack. God's house will never be in want. God's house will never face recession. If you will avail yourself, don't leave the Father's house. You think that real life is out there, but there's only famine out there. You begin to be in want. But when the son came home, there was a fatted calf awaiting him. In order for the calf to be fatted, there are enough resources, there's bread enough and to spare, hallelujah. The Father's house has more than enough.

In the story of Ruth, the first chapter tells us that Naomi, later on Ruth's mother-in-law, Naomi and Elimelech, her husband, left the house of bread, Bethlehem, and went to a far country with their two sons. You all know what happened. All right, sometimes when you do things God's way, it may seem, all right, times become hard. It may seem the devil is attacking. All the more we are taking communion, all of a sudden you find there's symptoms in your body, that means you're on the right track. And the devil is so afraid because he knows you are handling something that will cause super health to explode in your body.

So, he has to stop you, he has to give you lying symptoms, he'll try to make all hell break loose that week as you are practicing holy communion in a reverential way because he has to stop you from even sharing this with others. But if you will persevere and you will keep on going on, it'll manifest thirtyfold, sixtyfold, hundredfold. But instead of persevering in faith, all right, Elimelech and Naomi left the house of bread, went to a foreign country, went by their sight, depended on natural resources, and their two sons died. And they found that there was bread in Bethlehem when they came back. But the good thing about God is this, when the son came back, there is not one word from the father's mouth about his waste. The father just says, "Spend more, kill, let's feed, let's celebrate". This is your Father's heart.

When Naomi came home, her husband also died, by the way. Her two sons died. She brought back Ruth, and you know what God did for them? Ruth married the richest man in Bethlehem. They were better off than before they left. God is able by his grace to bring you to a higher place than before you messed up if you will turn to him and believe his kind, generous heart. Amen, church? Do you love the Father in heaven? Lift your hands and just love him, come on. Just thank him, he's a good God. Thank him for the gift of his Son, amen. Praise the Lord.

Today, I want to share with you of a particular person, all right, who resembles you and I. In fact, the Bible presents him as a type of the new covenant believer. And that's the person of Isaac. Isaac is like a type of you and I, all right, why? Because he's Abraham's son, and we are Abraham's seed, all right? We must show you Scripture for this, Galatians. "And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise". Are you Christ's? Do you belong to Christ? Then you are Abraham's seed. Not just the Jewish people that has the DNA and the genetic makeup from father Abraham. We have more because the full seed of Abraham is Jesus Christ. And if you belong to Jesus Christ, the true seed of Abraham, then you are Abraham's seed.

And not only that, you're an heir according to the promise. I'm talking today to heirs of God's promise. I'm addressing Abraham's seed. What a high calling I have to address Abraham's seed, amen? Turn to your neighbor and say, "Wow, I'm seated by Abraham's seed". Here, we have Isaac facing famine. Let's follow the story, shall we? Because now we know we are Abraham's seed, like Isaac is Abraham's seed. Abraham's son is Isaac, so his story is our story. "There was a famine in the land, besides the first famine that was in the days of Abraham".

This Word is for this generation. I'm going to prove you further, all right, that this is for our time. "Isaac went to Abimelech king of the Philistines in Gerar". Say Gerar. Now, Gerar is in Israel, but which part of Israel is Gerar? I have a book on the topography of Israel written in 1800s. And I look at that book and I look for the location for Gerar. And during that time, this is what they said, "Gerar is in southeast Gaza". Now, does that ring a bell? Nowadays, you hear Gaza everywhere. Gerar is in Gaza, still in the Promised Land of God. Amen?

I'm telling you, church, God is telling us this is the now word for today's Isaac, Abraham's seed, amen? "And Isaac went to Abimelech king of the Philistines". By the way, Philistines is Palestinians in modern language. The word "Philistines" is today Palestinians. "Then the Lord appeared to him, appeared to Isaac, and said, 'Do not go down to Egypt. Live in the land of which I shall tell you.'" God says what? Don't go down to Egypt. Next verse, "Dwell in this land, and I will be with you and bless you, for to you and your descendants I give all these lands".

Notice God says, "Dwell in this land, I have given you the land". But wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, go back to verse 1. Who was in the land? Isaac went to Abimelech, king of the Philistines in Gerar. So, it's like God says to you today, "I'm going to give you properties, I'm going to give you lands, I'm going to give you houses through this crisis. But now, all right, unbelievers are living in those houses, unbelievers are having those money, all right? But I'm going to give you their possession".

The transfer of wealth took place a number of times in the Bible, it's going to take place again. In the darkest time of Israel's history on the night of the Passover, when there was death all around, God transferred the wealth of Egypt into Israel's hands, all right? Now, you must understand one thing, God is a God who does things justly. God does not rob something that belongs to others and give it to other people. God is not a Robin Hood. God owns the whole universe. God, the cattle on 1,000 hills belongs to God. God owns the land of Israel, all right? It's like you build a land or you build a house, you stayed overseas for a number of years and your house is completed. When you came back to your house, you find there were squatters living in your house.

Now, when you tell the squatters to get out, they sue you in court. And don't forget, the house doesn't belong to the squatters, they came after. The house belongs to you. Are you listening? So, the whole land of Israel belongs to God. So, God decides who stays there, but there were squatters already there who came earlier because the devil wants to position, all right, his people so that the people of God in the Old Testament is not able to come back or come to their rightful inheritance. The same thing is happening over the world.

You look at some of the things, you think that some of the ungodly people seem to have the biggest privileges or the largest houses. God says, "The transfer is happening". It will happen during famine. It will happen during famine, because of famine, a young Hebrew boy was promoted to the highest courts in Pharaoh's court. And there he served tennis with Roger Federer in Pharaoh's court. The Bible says he served in Pharaoh's court. So, he played tennis. Okay, never-mind. So, God says, "Don't go down to Egypt". Let's all say this, "Don't go down to Egypt". All right, next verse, God says, "Dwell in this land," what land is that? Gerar. And God says, "I've given you this land".

Now, what is Egypt? What is going down to Egypt? What is the meaning of Egypt? You know, God gave me a passage of Scripture, he opened up a passage of Scripture that so excited me. And I didn't realize that when I preached this sermon today, how it coincides so beautifully. And this is the passage from Deuteronomy 11, it's so beautiful. Look at Deuteronomy 11, God was talking to his people Israel when they came out of Egypt. And this is what God said, "For the land which you go to possess is not like the land of Egypt from which you have come, where you sowed your seed and watered it by foot, as a vegetable garden. But the land which you cross over," the land of Israel, "to possess is a land of hills and valleys, which drinks water from the rain of heaven".

So, the land of Egypt, all right, they have to depend on the river Nile. Until today, they depend on the river Nile. And the river Nile is a picture of natural resources, something you can see, something you can rely on for a while at least, you know, and they irrigate their fields with their foot. And this is always a picture of human effort. When the foot or the hand is mentioned, it's a picture of human effort. And people like this, people like to be in control, they like to control something they can see. They don't like to look up, they like to look down. And it's a picture of Egypt. Egypt is a picture of something visible.

God says, "Don't go down to Egypt". In other words, do not depend on what is visible. Depend on God's invisible resources. Because the land of Israel, the land of Canaan that God said he is bringing his people to, it's like this, watch this. They come into the land, all right, and they cannot take the river. They have to depend on rain. So, everybody has to look up.

And last week, I saw the business people in our church looking up for God's favors to rain on them, God's blessings. It puts you in a place of dependence. Whereas in Egypt, all right, you are depending on the river Nile. You're looking down, your feet down there is going to work, all right? But the river Nile of the world is drying up. And you're trying your best, and a trickle comes. Not even a trickle, and it's all dried. When it dries up, your crop, your career, your livelihood dries up. And then your relationship with your wife dries up. And then your soul dries up. But in the land of God, in the land of Israel, you are put in a position where you have to depend on God for rain. If God doesn't send rain, nothing will come. You are at the mercy of God. And God loves it, for he has called us to walk by faith and not by sight.

Many years ago, a 30 year old, strong, able bodied Jewish carpenter took a boy's lunch. The Bible says the five loaves and two fish. It was small loaves in the Greek. He looked up. He didn't look at the smallness, his disciples did. They said, "What is this among so many"? But he didn't, he looked up. He thanked the Father, and the Father blessed the scarce resources with more than enough to feed 10,000 people with 12 basket full leftover.

That's the reason why in Noah's ark, there is no instruction to build windows around Noah's ark. Because Noah's ark is like a picture of Jesus Christ. We are safe in the midst of destruction, amen. There is no windows all around, only windows on the roof. Why would God instruct them to build windows on the roof? Because God doesn't want people to look around at all that's going on, the depression in the world, and all the death and destruction. He wants us to look up from whom all blessings flow, hallelujah. Amen, look up for your free favors. Look up for him to bless your seed. Look up and believe in him alone.

See, one thing about this position of looking up is that it's hard on the flesh. The flesh says, "Show me something, I want to see. Show me something I can do. Show me something I can use". Depend, I feel so vulnerable. God loves it. The world has being brought to a place where they have no choice but to depend on God. Amen? We walk by faith and not by sight. Don't go down to Egypt. Don't go down to the visible. Do you know that visible, if something is visible, you can take it as a rule, if something is visible, it is temporal. Can you see one another's bodies right now? All right, you can see each other's face and all that? It's temporal. Thank God that face is temporal. Because one day, you'll have a brand new body, amen?

You see this stage, you see this chair? You can touch it, it's visible, it's temporal. One day, it will pass away. But what is invisible is eternal. Can you see angels all around, God's angels? They are here. You can't see them, you know why? They're eternal. Invisible does not mean non-existent, invisible means eternal. It's more powerful than the visible. But man wants to depend on the visible, why? It's only temporal. Your spirit, you cannot see, but your spirit is eternal. Can I have a good amen?

When you look at available balance after you punch the keys, it says available balance, you can see it, thank God it's temporal. You look up to heaven, your invisible resources, they are eternal. You look around you and there's no one, no girlfriend, all right? Thank God, you can see it, it's temporal. Hallelujah, amen? Look on the other side, there's no husband. Thank God, you can see no husband, all right, that's sure sign it's temporal. Can I have a good amen?

You know, we have to depend on the invisible. We don't have to depend on X-rays after X-rays, scan after scan, there's no end. After you scan here, a scan there. You scan in the front, you forget to scan in the back. If you're always going by sight, it will never satisfy you. You must trust, some way you must trust the eternal Word of the living God who loves us so much, he gave his Son, who cannot lie. God cannot lie, he has no ability to lie. He simply cannot lie. Why would you trust the word of a man who tells you, "You're in for a bad time"? How does he know your future? Plus the fact he never gave his life for you. Why put your trust in someone who never gave his life for you? Put your trust in the one who stretched his hands open wide and says, "This is how much I love you," and gave his life for you. Amen, church.

Oh hallelujah, I feel the anointing of God, amen. So, back to the story of Isaac. So, Genesis 26, the next verse, "Isaac dwelled in Gerar". He obeyed God, he dwelt in Gerar. All right, he didn't go down to Egypt. All right, see what happened, "And the men of the place asked about his wife. And he said, 'She's my sister.'" Does that sound familiar? Remember who else did that? Abraham, right? His father Abraham. I mean, it's a clear fact there's a chip off the old block. Amen? "'She's my sister,' for he was a", he has a very spiritual reason, "For he was afraid to say, 'She is my wife,' because he thought, 'Lest the men of the place kill me for Rebekah because she is beautiful to behold.'"

Can I be very frank with all of you? You see, I'm not religious. I teach the Bible, I don't teach religion. I don't teach Christian customs, I teach what the Bible teaches. And if you are honest, you read the Bible, you find that every time there's a man of God mentioned, his wife is always beautiful. If you marry already before you become a man of God, then God will make her beautiful. She's in the process. Amen, it's always in the Bible, hallelujah, amen. So he lied about his wife.

Now, there's a big thing about God. One of the things that people don't wanna handle about grace is this: When the trouble is of your own making, will God still rescue you? Will God still help you? We have to answer that question because, you know, even in the Bible, many a times, we want God to lead us. We don't want any troubles of our own making. We want God to lead us all the time, but how many of you know that sometimes instead of God leading us, we walk? Like, in Psalms 23, it begins by "The Lord is my shepherd," or literally in the Hebrew, "The Lord is my pastor," all right. "He leads me beside the still waters".

Notice, when he leads you, you're beside the still waters. It's peaceful. "He leads me in the path of righteousness". Notice that? He's the path of righteousness. Now, all of a sudden, in the same psalm, "Yea, do I walk", he's no more being led. He's walking into a valley called the valley of the shadow of death. Will God leave you there and say, "Too bad"? "Too bad, man, you're in hot soup. Didn't listen to me. Didn't follow my leading. Too bad. I'm outside here. You're down there. Ah, I got 99 more. You're only one". Does he do that? No, Jesus shares about how he'll leave the 99, and he'll go down and reach out, all right? Go down to the valley. "Yea, do I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me".

So even when you are walking on your own, he will not leave you, and he's there to bring you out. So let's see how, we all know that lying is wrong. We are against lying. I don't like lying people, amen? You can be my friend, but one of the biggest things don't do: Don't lie. Don't ever lie to me. I can forgive a lot of things, but one of the challenges I have is forgive lying. It's very hard for me to trust you again. So we're all against lying.

So don't send me e-mails saying, "Pastor Prince, you know, you must preach about lying and all that". Don't waste your time. I'm against lying. But even when he lied, and his spiritual reason is because he was afraid to die, see what God did? God protected his wife, and God protected him, all right? 'Cause, one day, Abimelech, next verse, "It came to pass, when he had been there a long time," Isaac, "that Abimelech king of the Philistines looked through a window, and saw, and there was Isaac, showing endearment to Rebekah his wife," in such a way, you know, he's not brother-sister. He was showing endearment in a way that brothers and sisters don't. It's not a peck on the cheek because brothers and sisters can give pecks on the cheek, all right? Obviously, he was kissing her in a way this is not brother-sister thing.

The king looked like, "Hey". You know, I like the Old King James Version. You know what Old King James Version says? He looked out of the window and he "saw Isaac sporting," doing sports with his wife. I submit to you they were playing bowling. "Sporting" with his wife. I love the Old King James. All right, so he was most likely kissing her, all right, caressing her, that showed Abimelech that he was not the brother. "Then Abimelech called Isaac and said, 'Quite obviously she is your wife, so how could you say, "She's my sister"?' Isaac said to him, 'Because I said, "Lest I die on account of her".'"

Next verse, "Abimelech said, 'What is this you have done to us? One of the people might soon have lain with your wife, and you would have brought guilt on us.' So Abimelech charged all his people, saying, 'He who touches this man or his wife shall surely be put to death.'" Do you see God's favor on him? I mean, he's a king. He could have killed Isaac and taken his wife, but obviously the fear of God came on the king, all right, and Isaac had favor of the king. The king even issued a command to protect them both, hallelujah, even though the trouble was of his own making. Can I have a good amen?

Now you watch what happened. God said, "Stay in the land, and I'll bless you". Next verse, "Then Isaac sowed in that land, and reaped in the same year". What year? What land? What land? Go to verse 1, again: "There was a famine in the land". He sowed in the land of famine. What year was it? All right, it was a year of famine. Go back to verse 12: "Then Isaac sowed in that land," that land of famine, "and he reaped in the same year of famine a hundredfold," and the reason? "The Lord blessed him". The Lord blessed him, hallelujah. I mean, he took his seeds, he look in the land, and it was parched, dry. It was all cracked, clots, dried up clots, and he look around, and when he looked behind, there were dust that he kick up in the air. It was so dry, and, yet he must not go down to Egypt. He must not believe the visible and trust God and sow.

Let me tell you this, church, the devil does not want you to sow because you are Abraham's seed, and when Abraham's seed sows in the year of famine, in the land of famine, you will reap a hundredfold because the reason is given: "The Lord blessed him". The Lord blessed him, amen. You know, I really don't care about what people say as long, God's hand of blessing is on me. It really doesn't matter, all right, how smart you are, how educated you are, how lacking in education you are, how you don't have this qualification, you don't have that qualification, you don't have this kind of color of skin, or your background is this. You don't come with the right family. You're not rich and all.

Doesn't really matter as long as the hand of God's blessing is on you. And even though she was a widow, God favored her, and that's based on the true story of Ruth. She was a widow and married the richest man. You want God's hand to be on you. Let the world take all the skills they want. Let the world take all the luck they want. They call it "luck". I want God's hand on me. Little, in Jesus's hands, the boy's lunch, became plenty with leftovers. Be careful what you put in Jesus's hands. It becomes plenty. Put your heart there, your heart becomes big, amen. Put your health there, your health is blessed. Whatever you put in Jesus's hands multiplies, amen.

Ooh, Peter fished all night, caught nothing. Gave his boat to Jesus's hands, and that boat attracted all the fishes of the Lake of Galilee. Be careful what you put in Jesus's hands because it becomes attractive. It becomes prosperous. It becomes blessed, amen. How did God bless him? A hundredfold in the year of famine. Obviously, Isaac was not reading "The Gerar Times". It is obvious he's not reading "Gerar Newsweek". He doesn't know it's a year of famine.

You see, I'm not against reading those things. I'm just telling you God is beyond those things. Those things are looking all around, making their forecasts based on all around, based on all around, all around. It gets very giddy, you know? Look down. River Nile dried up. Where else to go? Push and push. Nothing is flowing. And the Bible says, "The man began to prosper, began to prosper". That is thirtyfold, begin to prosper. Church, I prophesy to you, this year, when you start sowing, you'll begin to prosper, and then that's thirtyfold, "and continued prospering", sixtyfold, "until he became very prosperous," hundredfold, hallelujah. He began to prosper. He continued prospering until he became very prosperous, hallelujah.

"Well, Pastor Prince", "Yes, voice of unbelief"? "It's very obvious you are a prosperity preacher". "Yes, yes, I'm guilty. I'm sorry I'm not a poverty preacher". "Well, you prosperity church people, you talk about prosperity all the time". "Yes, yes, guilty". We don't talk about poverty. And if you know me, I hate hypocrisies. I hate people being pretentious, you know, because, if you really don't believe in prosperity, you should never say during this time, "Gong Hei Fat Choy". You should never, never wish your relatives prosperity, and your Lo Hei should always be "poverty, poverty, poverty this year". But please don't be a hypocrite. Don't pray your children will get the best schools and the best teachers, and what you want for your children is a prosperous result, and, yet when it comes to the things of God, you have this religious facade, "transparent", don't give me that. Your hypocrisy is showing, and it's not nice.

The Word of God says you know who hates for you to prosper? The devil. So you don't like prosperity? Prosperity? You are in someone's company. My Bible says, the Lord says, the Bible says, "God takes pleasure in the prosperity of his servant". You know, if you love your child so much, you want your child to prosper, just that you don't want your child to be selfish with his resources. You want him to be blessed with more than enough so he can be a blessing 'cause those who have nothing cannot be a blessing to anybody because nothing can give nothing. That's very deep. You can write down somewhere and think about it, amen? And the Word of God for us today is that, for us, what is Isaac's secret? Isaac sowed. Say, "sowed".

See, you know, something about sowing. When a farmer sows seed in the ground, the seed is gone. The seed is dead. The farmer has to depend on the rains, from what is from heaven. He has to depend on God to resurrect the seed, and when God resurrects the seed, God does not resurrect a seed. God resurrects the tree that has many fruits, and one fruit has many seeds in one fruit. God does things like that. He multiplies our seeds sown by God's ways, sowing and reaping. God's way is not taking your seed and put in the stock market. That's the world's way, and have you realized, have you noticed recently it's failing?

Amen, God is bringing everything to a place where... God is not against you investing in houses and all that, by all means, and later on, you'll see something Jesus shared, which is very interesting about houses, but God is saying the number one system, God's heavenly system, is sowing and reaping because it puts you in a place, when you put a seed in the ground, you put it in a place where you're fully dependent on God to send the rain, to send the multiplication because you cannot. But when you invest in the stock market, it's still your money, and you follow your money. You're still in the realm of visible. Are you listening, people?

Back to Genesis 26. Notice a little word before I close. I wanna call your attention to this word. "Then Isaac sowed," verse 12, "Then, then Isaac sowed". Now, there are no superfluous details in the Bible, and the Bible says "then," all right. It is connected to the previous story. What was the previous story? About his wife. After he got things right with his wife, then, when he sowed, the Lord blessed him. When he got things right with his wife, "then". When his marriage was no longer a farce, "then". Are you listening, people?

Let me just tell you this: The devil wants to divide marriages because he knows that, when you're in agreement, you are a force that cannot be stopped. Jesus says, "If two of you shall agree on earth as touching anything that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father who is in heaven". There is a Bible principle of interpretation called the "law of first mention". Any time a subject is mentioned the first time, there is something important. Do you know the word "help"? Say, "help". How many of you want help? The first time "help" is mentioned, it is a woman, the wife. "I'll make him", Genesis 2, "The Lord God said, 'It's not good that man should be alone. I'll make him a helper".

The law of first mention says, "help" is tied up with the wife. "I'll make him a helper comparable to him". Your wife is not your obstacle. Your wife is not against you. God gave you your wife to be your help. "Yeah, but Pastor Prince", God gave your wife to be your help. She's not against you. Now listen carefully. "Help" doesn't mean agree with everything. Sometimes there's no help. All right, watch this now. "I'll make him a helper comparable to him". Even the law of first mention, God did not wanna take, even God is a helper, a very present help. He didn't wanna take the first mention. His help is wrapped up in your wife.

"Amen, Pastor Prince. Whoa, that's good. That's really good. That's really good," amen? Might as well, you know? Very hard to see yourself and talk behind your back. Options like this don't come always. I read a Hebrew commentary, a Jewish commentary about the word "comparable". It's very interesting. This Jewish rabbi says, "helper," "comparable". Your English says, "comparable". Actually, the Hebrew for the word "comparable" has two meanings. It means "for," and it means "against". Even when she's against, she's a help. And the Jewish guy says, the rabbi said, "You know, when our wife is 'for,' it's our help. When they're 'against,' it's our help". But we don't have to hear that you see?

Many a times, when Wendy disagrees with me, all right, I don't like it. She does not see the wisdom in her husband, right? But many a times, what she's sharing, it's really something that'll be helping me even though I don't like to hear it then, amen. You see, the devil has managed and succeeded in putting one thought in man's minds. Any man married for some length of time will have this thought crossing through their mind, and it's from the devil. It's not from you. It's devil, and this is the thought. Listen carefully. "This woman is not for me. This woman is against me. This woman has no respect for me. This woman is against everything I stand for. This woman is always contradicting me, therefore this woman is not for me because she's not for me".

So anytime these kind of thoughts come and you start believing you're married to the wrong person, stop yourself and tell yourself, "God made her my help," all right? Amen, are you listening? Are you listening? Now, ladies, you can be disagreeing, but help us, all right? I do not know whether I should share with you this secret weapon because I'll be giving you something that can make you control your husband completely. I'm not too sure because I'm a man, all right? I'm weighing whether I should share with you because, when you know this secret, it's only one weapon.

If you know this secret, the man is putty in your hands. He is Play-Doh. You will control him. You can make him whatever. He'll be your love slave for the rest of your life. You say, "I wanna buy these clothes". He'll say, "Amen". And he will always have the final word. He will still have the final word, "Yes, dear". And that's the final word he will always have. You will control him. In fact, if you don't watch it, you might abuse this special weapon. I don't know if I'mma tell you or not. No, it's not love. It's not love. Ah, should I? Guys, we're making ourselves vulnerable. One guy says, "No". Are you married? Not married yet? Forget it.

All right, you know what's the secret, the weapon? Ladies? Guys, sorry. Respect. More than love. I'm telling you, guys want respect more than love and if a girl is able to show respect. That's why sometimes adulterous affairs start. We don't justify it. We're just telling you and observing something. Many a times it's not the guy is lecherous or lustful. That comes later. Many a times, he feels that this lady at work respects him. He doesn't feel respected at home, and then that becomes, later on, something more downward spiral. But if you're able to communicate with him in such a way respectfully, you disagree but you're respectful about it, like, one time, Wendy told me this. She says, "Darling, I know, okay, you're the head, and I know that whatever I say is just a suggestion, okay? Don't get angry. I just want you to know that it's just a suggestion".

You know something? Even before I hear what she has to say, "I'm sorry". Now I'm vulnerable to whatever comes down the road. Then I understand Samson's problem because, many a times, the Bible says in the book of Proverbs, "With a flattering speech", man is so hungry they settle for flattery to make themself feel built up. But, you know, you find a woman, even a man gets retrenched. He comes home discouraged, all right? She comes over and say, "Darling, I don't care, all right? This job may not be the one for you, but in my heart of hearts, I know you can, and you will succeed". He'll be like "Climb every mountain, cross every sea. You raise me up to climb on mountains".

I'm telling you the truth. And I don't know why ladies don't apply that weapon. Now, guys, please, don't, after this sermon, say, "Oh, you don't respect me. You don't respect me". Just be cool. That's not your part. Your part is not to read her mail. Your part is to read your mail from God, all right? Just like you don't want to hear her say, "You see? Husbands, love your wife. Husbands", it's not for her to say. It's your e-mail from God. Her e-mail is respect. Your e-mail is love. So don't go lookin' for a response. Even if you don't respond, I'm gonna fulfill God's instruction to me, amen. Something powerful about a couple in agreement.

Years ago, I remember, this was in the '90s. One couple came up to me. Sorry, the husband came up to me first, and he was telling me to pray for him, asking me for advice and all that because financially he was in dire straits, all right? His finances going down and he didn't know why and all that. Then I happened to know about his wife because some time ago his wife resigned to take care of the kids, but before she resigned, she was a high-flier. She was greatly respected by her boss and always given increments and new positions because she was able to balance out the books, she was very good in accounts, and she's very good with finance, all right? But finally she went full-time to take care of the full-time homemaker, that is, to become a full-time homemaker, take care of the kids.

And I was wondering after they chat with me what was his wife doing with her background and experience. So one day I saw the wife and I asked the wife this. I said, "Aren't you helping your husband in this crisis? Why don't you help him? You have experience". You know what she told me? "He won't let me". I said, "What"? "Yeah, because he always says, 'I have my own "system"'". Well, his "system" wasn't working, was it? I think it's really sad when another man, the lady's boss, previous boss, can tap the help that God has put in her that was meant for the husband and use it to prosper his company, whereas her own husband to whom she belongs completely, has no ability nor revelation to tap into the help. The help of God is wrapped up in the wife. That's foolish.

And I tell myself, "What's the point of praying, amen". He's not even, you know, men will pay large sums of money to attend a seminar to hear the very same things their wife are saying for free at home. Maybe the value is because they pay for it. So, ladies, next time, you say, "I've got a very, very important suggestion but it'll cost you 50 bucks". Maybe it'll get you more leeway. And never, never say, ladies, "He doesn't deserve my respect," because honestly, he can also say you don't deserve his love. You go on this way, it's a downward spiral. Stop thinking that way. Believe that that's the one God ordained. God knows what you need. God knows what you need five years from now. That's the one you married. If it's not where God wants him to be, God will bring him there. Believe that, amen? And believe the best of your partner because together, you have the power.

You know, the Deuteronomy 8:18 says: "You shall remember the Lord your God. It is he who gives you power to get wealth," and the Bible says God doesn't give you wealth. Many of us want God to, zap, give you wealth. Doesn't do that. God gives you power to get wealth, and the word "power" is koach in Hebrew. Say "koach". Now, wanna learn a bit of Hebrew? Very interesting. The word for bride, reading from right to left because Hebrew is like Chinese, read from right to left. The word for bride is kallah. Now let's show them the word "koach" first. Koach, this is koach, all right? Koach. Show them koach. This is koach, all right? Like, inverted "C", kaf, cheit. Kaf, cheit. Cheit, sorry. Kaf, cheit, makes koach. This is the word for power to get wealth, okay?

Now, the word for bride, okay, reading from right to left, is kaf. Can you see that? The first letter for bride, kallah. The word for groom, bridegroom, is chatan. Notice the first letter? All right, you see the first letter of the bride? First letter of the bride, first letter of the groom. You combine them: koach. When husband and wife comes together, that's the power to get wealth. No wonder the devil wants to divide you. And have you noticed, every time you're divided, finances get mixed up, amen. But if you agree and finally, you cannot agree even, agree to disagree on certain points. At least you're in agreement. You're in agreement you're in disagreement. Let's agree to disagree on this but, all right, but you're the head of the house so I'll submit, amen. That's power to get wealth.

The Bible says, Proverbs 18:22: "He who obtains a wife finds a good thing, and obtains favor from the Lord," amen? Your favor is sitting beside you, amen. I'm going home tonight to my favor, hallelujah. It feels good when you go home, all right, and there's someone who knows the good, the bad, and the ugly about you, and she loves you eternally, amen. Sometime we get lost in the fight of life, in the hustle-bustle of daily living, in the daily grind of human existence. We forget sometimes, all right, marriage is to be enjoyed. In the simple things of life, she is my help, she is not my obstacle, amen. And all the people said, "Amen".

Last point and then we'll close. Go back to Isaac's story: "The man began to prosper," so that then tells you he got his marriage right. "They began to prosper, continued prospering until he became very prosperous". By the way, I must tell you this, okay, all right? This prosperity, some people say, "Well, Pastor Prince"? "Yes, boys, wanna believe"? "I believe that this prosperity is spiritual prosperity on the inside that no one can see, inside, deep inside". Well, the next verse says: "For he had possessions of flocks and possessions of herds and a great number of servants. So the Philistines envied him".

This year, let me prophesy to you. When you learn to sow in the year of famine at the end of this year, the Philistines in your life will envy you. They'll envy you, amen. They will see the evidence of God's blessing on your life, all right? The Bible said God multiplies seed sown. Once it's sown, the multiplying power of God comes into play. So it's almost like God says, "I can't wait to bless my people. All right, get the seed in the ground as soon as you can". So remember, one more time, our style of giving. You don't have it in your heart, don't give. Ask God what he would have you do.

Say, "I'm the spiritual Isaac. I see this year as a year of famine, that's what people are saying. But I'm trusting the same God, you, blessing Isaac is the same one that blesses me. This is my seed". And ask him what he would have you give, and don't do any more, don't do any less. Just do what he tells you, amen? You know, many a times, when we start sowing generously, all right, we start to enjoy the harvest, you know, and we ride on the harvest for a while. We forget to sow for future harvests. The momentum carries us. And then one day we find, pwum, we fall down. There's not enough financial, "How come? This last week, last month, I was expecting", but you were enjoying the momentum, but you forgot to sow seeds for your future harvest. It's time to sow seeds for this year.

Let me bring this to a close by encouraging you. You'll be a blessing that the world can see, the Philistines can envy, all right? Now, is this applicable even in the New Testament? See what Jesus says, we'll close with this, okay? What Jesus said in Mark chapter 10: "Jesus answered and said, 'Assuredly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for my sake and the gospel's, who shall not receive a hundredfold.'"

Now, listen, he's not saying, "Divorce your wife, divorce your father, divorce your mother". He didn't say that. What he's saying is that if you lose time with your wife because you're serving as a care-leader for Jesus's sake, because you're losing time with your children because you're serving the Lord for his gospel's sake, whatever is lost with your children, whatever's lost with your house investment or planning or to sell your house, whatever's lost because of Jesus's sake and for his gospel, every time I go overseas and preach and spend time there, and Jessica's experiences on special days here, some holidays here, Jesus multiplies when I come back. Multiplies my time with my wife because he says, "Whatever you give up for my sake," doesn't mean divorce. It means you sacrifice whatever areas sacrificed, "for my sake and the gospel's, that person will receive a hundredfold".

"Well, Pastor Prince, that's when you go to heaven". No, "now in this time". That's why it's important not to listen to what people say, but read the Bible for yourself. Whatever you give up for Jesus, there are wives who are jealous of their husbands who have the capacity to be a leader in our church because they are so afraid that the husband won't have time for them. They have not interviewed the other husbands who are serving the Lord and yet their time with their wife is multiplied and multiplied and multiplied. Even their finances are multiplied. Small, narrow-mindedness robs them of the best that God has. "You'll receive a hundredfold now in this time," just like Isaac, a hundredfold. "Houses, brothers, sisters, mothers," notice wife is not there. You don't receive wives.

Sorry to disappoint you there, brother. But notice wives is not plural. What happens? One wife, quality. Quality time, quality wife, quality relationship. You understand quality or no? Look up here. You can have a big bed, the most luxurious bed linen and all that. Only God can give you quality sleep. Quality time, quality relationship. Only God gives that. I came to give you life and life equality, more abundantly, amen, amen. So he is careful. He didn't mention wives in case you think more than one wife. "And children and lands," Singaporeans, lands. Houses, Singaporeans, houses. Hey, don't be pretentious, okay? Houses! Who are you trying to impress by not saying, "Amen"? I'll try it one more time, okay? Give you another chance.

And Father, this time, whoever doesn't say "Amen," whatever you meant for him to get extra, give it to me instead. Houses! Smart. Lands! Jesus said, "With persecutions," ha, ha, ha. No "Amen". Ha, ha, ha, ha. It's gonna happen. It's gonna happen. You know why the persecution? People will start talking when you start prospering. People will start to persecute you. "Well, you're a prosperity Christian, huh? Oh, New Creation Church is a prosperity church. Your pastor, your pastor is a prosperity pastor". Persecution. Guaranteed to come. You cannot claim all that without the last part. Okay, you don't have to claim it; it will come. It will come, all right? "And in the age to come, eternal life". Who says you can't have the best of both worlds? Jesus himself said, these are his words. "You'll receive now in this time and in the world to come, you enjoy eternal life," amen, amen.

So how many think you can handle the hundredfold because it comes with persecution? You okay, the persecution? You okay? You're cool with that? People start saying things about you, all right? Will you just keep on shining? Praise God. I wanna pray for you at the end of the service that God will make you an example like he did of Isaac, that by the end of this year he'll provoke many Philistines to seek God for themself. Is that cool? Is that okay, amen? May the blessing of God so rest upon you, amen, that when you sow you shall reap in the same year of famine, in the land of famine, you shall reap a hundredfold, in Jesus's name, hallelujah.

Every head bowed, every eye closed all across this place and also in the overflow rooms. Thank you, Father God. Now, all this are promises for the believer. It is not for those who don't believe. If you have not yet received Jesus, I wanna give you this opportunity right now. My friend, God loves you so much. God is not a God that is looking out to punish, looking out for your faults. God is a God who knows all about our sins and send his Son to die on the cross for our sins.

Jesus Christ gave his life in exchange for us. Everything that happened was a divine exchange. When they brought him before the Roman praetorian, there was a multitude of soldiers and what did they do to Jesus? They strip him of his clothes. It's a horrible thing to stand before a band of soldiers, completely naked. Why? Because the first man sinned against God and became naked. To clothe us, he had to be unclothed, and they spat upon him. They beat him. Little did they realize they were beating, spitting upon the face of the one who opened up the Red Sea, who made a way where there was no way, who sent bread from heaven.

A God who performed miracles, signs, and wonders was standing before them, completely, completely unretaliating so that we can be saved, we can be clothed in our shame with his robe of righteousness. When they were crucifying him at the cross, he cried, "Father, forgive them for they know not what they do". They knew what they were doing to him physically but they don't know what they were doing to his heart, to his inside.

And when he cried, "My God, my God," it's so that we can cry, "Father, Father". When Jesus cried, "Why have you forsaken me"? He deserves not to be forsaken. We deserve many times be forsaken, but he was forsaken so that you and I, like Isaac, even when we fail, God will not leave us. He will not forsake us in the Valley of the Shadow of Death, but he'll be with you to bring you out. He paid for you to have God's constant presence, regardless of your performance.

Have you received him? He became your sin and gave you his righteousness. I wanna give you this opportunity right now to receive Jesus Christ, the Son of God, as your personal Savior. This is not a religion. I don't preach religion. There's not a religious bone in my body. I'm preaching Jesus Christ and a relationship with the God of heaven who is here right now, who wants to come into your life. You say, "Pastor Prince, pray for me. I want Jesus Christ to come into my life". Then pray this prayer with me right now, wherever you are, here or in the overflow rooms, pray this prayer right now. Put your hand on your heart, everybody, close your eyes and say this after me out loud, everybody. Say this to God from your heart:

Heavenly Father, thank you for your great love for me. You saw my need, my cry, my hunger, and you cared for me. You sent your Son, Jesus Christ, who died in my place for all my sins. He was punished so that I'll never be. He was cursed so that I'll never be. He was rejected so that I'll never be. His blood cleanses me from every sin, and you raised him from the dead as a proclamation that all my sins have been put away by the blood of Jesus. Jesus Christ is my Lord, my Savior, my God, now and forever, in Jesus's name, amen.

Praise the Lord. Lift your hands all across this place, in the overflow.

Father in heaven, we thank you, Lord, for speaking to us today. Thank you so much, Father, for all the things that you have caused our eyes to see, that the world is totally ignorant of. Thank you, Father, for bringing us into the secrets of your heart, even the secrets of how to prosper during the time of famine, how to thrive when everything is withering. Thank you, Father God, that we are in this world but not of the world. Father, we thank you that we are Abraham's seed and we thank you that the blessings of Abraham: health, abundance, wellbeing for our family, abounds in our lives, Lord, in our families. I pray in Jesus's name.

I speak your Word over your people. Everyone in the overflow rooms, their families, and everyone here in this hall, Father, I pray in Jesus's name you'll make our lives a testimony to your glory, to your goodness, to your loving heart, Lord, that by the end of this year many will say, or even during the year, Lord, many will say of this people in this church, "They're a people that are very fortunate. They're are a people that God has blessed," and provoke them to seek you and hunger after you, in Jesus's name, and all the people said, "Amen". God bless you.

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