People all around the world are knit together in a common bond. Certain issues of life affect each and every one of us. The need to live life to the full is common to all and this is the desire of God for every human being. John stated very clearly what God’s will is in regard such matters-
Dear friend, I know that you are spiritually well. I pray that you're doing well in every other way and that you're healthy. I was very happy when some believers came and told us that you are living according to the truth. Nothing makes me happier than to hear that my children are living according to the truth. 3 John 1:2-4.
Jesus said that He came for a specific purpose.
I am the Door; anyone who enters in through Me will be saved (will live). He will come in and he will go out [freely], and will find pasture. The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows). John 10:9-10.
A door can grant or deny access to what is beyond. with regard to what Jesus said about salvation, or gaining freedom of entry into the things of God, we can enter by only one way. He is the door. There is no salvation by any means whatsoever, other than the cross of Christ, his broken body and his shed blood (see Acts 4:12) but Jesus did much more than give us an escape from the fires of Hell—He came to give us a rich and full life in the here and now that is so full, it overflows! God obviously hates poverty! It never existed in the Garden and came as a result of the fall which produced the curse on mankind. Jesus set us free from the curse. Paul elaborates in Galatians 3:13, saying-
Christ purchased our freedom [redeeming us] from the curse (doom) of the Law [and its condemnation] by [Himself] becoming a curse for us, for it is written [in the Scriptures], Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree (is crucified).
The commonality that exists with all men now is the need for the outworking of the provisions God made for us by Jesus Christ. It is not an automatic action because you and I need to firstly know what God has done and then act on that knowledge by faith. Without such we are all under the sway or control of the wicked that the bible calls the god of this world (system) whose sole purpose is to steal from you, make life a misery for you and kill you. If Jesus tarries, death is inevitable. A Christian has the blessed hope and assurance of eternal life in Him, because the fear of death is gone. Paul said-
Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord. 1 Corinthians 15:51-58.
The other aspects that held people in bondage were the fear of sickness and fear of lack or poverty. All of these things weigh on every human being’s mind in one way or another. We have dealt with sickness and eternal life elsewhere, so I will concentrate on finances.
The global financial crisis seems to be worsening. People are stressing out more than ever as the fabric of society as they know it is unravelling. Fear of poverty is holding people in bondage as much as being bound with chains, but did not Jesus set us free? If He did, then what is the problem?
Look at my opening statements. Jesus is the door—the way or the access to what is beyond.
If I asked you what you thought Heaven was like, you would most likely describe a veritable paradise and I guess you would be correct. Heaven is paradise indeed. Sickness, pain, suffering and poverty does not exist there. No lack of any sort is evident. There is no pollution, smog, famines, droughts, tsunamis—anything.
The weather is always perfect and food is in abundance all the time. There are no seasonal shortages, no contamination, food going rotten. Everything is always just right.
On one of my visits to heaven, I saw a fruit tree and ate a piece. It was like nothing I have ever seen before and was absolutely delicious. The instant I touched one, it came away in my hand to be immediately replaced by a fully mature fruit. You may see an account of my visits to Heaven here.
What I am saying is that we can be free in every respect from poverty, not just in Heaven but here and now on the earth. Poverty of course means much more than wealth or money, but I am concentrating on the financial aspects her because it is evident that without money, we cannot function. Someone has to pay the bills. Someone has to provide the commodities and necessities of life and in most societies the trading of goods and services takes place with the exchange of money.
This topic deals with breaking the curse of poverty.
Poverty is a result of the curse and Jesus redeemed us from that curse!
Do not think for a moment as many believers think that we have a mandate for prosperity and by that I mean money alone! A multi-millionaire may be prosperous as regards finances, but still be a pauper. The prosperity doctrine that is often preached is both true, yet misleading.
I firmly believe in materialistic prosperity that is often termed a wealth transfer. Scriptures like Proverbs 13:22 that says- A good man leaveth an inheritance to his children's children: and the wealth of the sinner is laid up for the just are definitely real and God's intention for us. I recommend that you read the whole proverb and similar passages completely and carefully.
The problem I have seen is that we often stop at the parts of scripture that best suit us and not read the whole account. Sometimes we take something completely out of context, or do not realize who God is speaking to or about. He deals with three differing groups of people- The Jew, who has a covenant with Him, the Church, which has another covenant and the Gentil, who in essence has no covenant at all.
People see dollar signs only when they hear the prosperity doctrine. When no money comes to them, they can get very hurt and disillusioned and blame God for their greed. Without the scriptural balance we can get off onto false doctrines or cause hurt to some people who are seeking a man with a big bucket of money to dump in his lap.
Money without a mission is both a waste and a trap to those who do not know how to handle God's resources.
Money in the wrong hands more often than not leads to unbridled shopping sprees, wasteful squandering or throwing precious seed anywhere. I've seen it often. People came to us expecting the ministry to provide them a home with a car in the garage, but never sowed seed for it. They did not have a clue when it came to knowing how to handle money.
The children of Israel came out of Egypt after 430 years of slavery, carrying immense wealth with them that was intended to build a sanctuary for God, but within a very short time, they made a golden calf out of it!
God's blessings could actually destroy the people who are not yet capable of handling them!
It is like giving a gun with some bullets to a child and letting them play unsupervised! It is like giving a few thousand dollars to a brand new baby christian who was an alcoholic and has not yet matured in the Lord. Yes, he will be delivered and yes he will hopefully grow and mature, but until then, as with many others, the temptation may be too great and they will revert to their old habits.
I preach prosperity, but I do not suggest for one moment that all believers will receive the riches they claim. They could in fact harm them as I have just said, but true prosperity is liberty in every area of life.
The wealth transfer is real but it is not coming to everyone! It is coming to those who have a mission for it and it is only coming to those who have sowed seed where God told them to sow.
Never fall for the ministry that cries about needing money and beg for your support. A common ploy is to say that they cannot continue if you don't help them. Listen carefully to what I say. Do not send them one cent if they beg like that. They have a problem with money.
If God wants it... He will pay for it! When I built my last home, I never asked the building contractor to pay for the materials... I paid for them! I paid him a handsome sum of money for his work that included his experience and expertise.
The labourer is worthy of his hire you know. See Luke 10:7 and 1 Timothy 5:18.
Preachers need financial aid. I sure do! I am planning major meetings in countries around the world. I am not interested so much in merely conducting miracle crusade meetings and return home, but in also conducting on-going training, provide facilities and resources and teach the people how to live.
Jesus told us to do two things... (a) evangelise and (b) make disciples when He said "Go ye" He spoke about going into all the world.
This costs big money. I might need a ministry aircraft sometime in the future. It is merely a tool to enable me to get the job done and is not a status symbol, but it will cost an enormous amount of money. There will be the purchase or leasing price, then there are the various fees involved just in having it (insurances, hangar fees, licencing fees and the like) and then there is the employment of the crew. Those things cost big bucks and I am not in any hurry to force issues.
You will never see people like me beg. We do not ask for money and have made it a policy to never give money to those who ask for it. If the Lord speaks and tells us to do so, that is another matter.
We do however invite you to share with us and partner with us which is biblical, but I will never cry poor whilst we are about the Lord's business. I said... the Lord's business! Think about that for a moment.
God is my source. He uses people, but always remember that God is the one who supplies your every need.
If you watch a Christian program on television, it costs a lot of money just to be on the air. Someone has to pay for the electricity that provides the power, lighting and airconditioning in a church. Prosperity in the bible is very real and necessary!
1 Chronicles 22 describes the preparations King David made to build the Temple. He appointed masons to prepare stonework. He supplied a super-abundance of iron nails.He provided so much bronze that it could not be counted. He supplied an abundance of cedar.
From verse 14 onwards, you can see a detailed list of his provisions.
100000 talents of gold
1000000 talents of silver
Too much bronze to weigh
Too much iron to weigh
Too much timber to measure
To much stone to list
I conducted some research in 2007 and the following is therefore not up to date, but it will show you what God thinks of real prosperity.
David's combined offering of gold and silver came to a staggering $120 Billion. That is an amazing 120 thousand million dollars! Wow!
According to scripture that was only his Tithe! In other words that amount was only 10% of what he possessed and if I can count right, the remainder came to around $10,800 Billion.
His son Solomon had more! The Queen of Sheba visited him to see if the stories about Solomon were true and she fainted when she saw what he had!
Solomon's servants lived better than she! See 1 Kings 10:1-7; 2 Chronicles 9:1-6.
God is not broke and He is not against wealth. He dislikes wealth that is accumulated in the wrong hands and used for the wrong purposes.
Jesus spoke a lot about money and He was not poor, not as people depict. What happened to Joseph's house and carpentry business? We incorrectly assume that there were 3 wise men who came to the baby Jesus with their gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh, but the bible does not say there were three men! It only states that there were wise men from the east, who presented their gifts to an infant who at that time could have been two years of age! Religious tradition has led us astray. Historians like Josephus say that there could have been up to 200 men in that group. Check it out! This applies to finances also.
Jesus was the first son, so he was the heir of everything Joseph had. At the very least it was a carpenter shop, but what happened to those precious gifts he received as an infant?
Peter was a businessman with partners and they had a fishing fleet. They were still able to go fishing after Jesus' resurrection! We see this in John chapter 21. Peter was married and owned a home. See Matthew 8:14.
Judas was the treasurer of the Jesus of Nazareth Evangelistic Organisation and he disbursed funds to the poor. If they had no money, they could not have done that!
Jesus spoke about talents in Matthew 25:27 and Luke 19:23 and told the wicked and lazy servant that he should at least had invested the money given him to get some interest!
True prosperity gives one the ability to be and do whatever God asks of him. True prosperity releases one from guilt, shame, fear, phobias and bad habits. Our wealthy place in God is positional. Sometimes it is a kind word, or a prayer, visiting someone, mowing widow Jones' lawn, going to some distant place for an assignment and it sometimes involves money.
It is the freedom to be yourself. It is the freedom to live life to the full in any situation, with or without money.
Poverty is the lack of basic human needs, such as clean water, nutrition, health care, education, clothing and shelter. Often times, poverty exists because of the inability of people to afford these basic needs and requirements.
The word is derived from the Middle English word poverte, from the Anglo-French poverté and from the Latin words paupertat and paupertas. They basically mean, pauper or poor.
Webster’s Dictionary says it is the state of one who lacks a usual or socially acceptable amount of money or material possessions, scarcity, dearth, debility due to malnutrition and a lack of fertility.
Jesus said that we will always have the poor with us (Matthew 26:11; Mark 14:7; John 12:8). He said that when Mary anointed Him with precious ointment. Judas, who we suspect constantly took funds from the ministry account got angry with that, calling it waste.
We must understand that God's view on waste, poverty and prosperity differs vastly from ours.
Taking vows of poverty for religious purposes is not biblically sound at all. It is contrary to the plan of God. Being poor has nothing to do with humility or meekness at all. The church has suffered from many misconceptions about finances that are blatant lies designed I believe to hinder us from doing the work of God on the earth. Some folk have the mistaken idea of God you keep the preacher humble and I'll keep him poor, but that is a farse. True humility is an attitude of the heart. The bible teaches us that we choose to humble ourselves. See James 4:10 and 1 Peter 5:6.
Those folk are usually poor themselves, run second hand stalls for their church and never really get the gospel of the Kingdom out there to change people's lives. Think about it for a moment. They have a poverty stricken mentality that makes God look like a pauper, but He owns the cattle on a thousand hills (Psalm 50:10), the wealth in every mine and the earth and the fulness thereof is all His. See also Haggai 2:8-9.
People look at the account with the rich young ruler and mistakenly believe that the Lord expects us to sell everything we own and give it away to the poor before we can follow Him.
This religious junk has caused a lot of harm to people and made the Christian life a joke. If anyone cares to look deeply into such things, it is evident that this is not what God wants.
That ruler spoken of in Matthew 19:16-30; Mark 10:17-31 and Luke 18:18-30 did everything he said.
Jesus never corrected him on those issues, but said that he lacked one thing when it came to finances and it was a matter of trust! It was a matter of what the man based his life upon. He trusted his own abilities and resources more than he trusted God and that is the change Jesus wanted him to make. The Lord wanted him to see how the kingdom of God worked. The kindgom of God is not the place but the way God does things!
If you really know how God operates, you will see that Jesus wanted him to learn to trust God, not his wealth or his own ability to gain wealth and you will also see that Jesus was trying to get the man to sow some seed!
Without seed-sowing, there is no harvest! Another thing to consider is that it may be possible that Jesus wanted him to take over from Judas!
In Matthew chapters 5 to 7, Jesus taught. Most religious folk get it mixed up here.And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him: And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying... Matthew 5:1-2 (emphasis mine).
He was not talking to the crowd but to His disciples!
Religious folk got the sermon on the mount and the beatitudes wrong and I think this is deliberate to accommodate their own beliefs.
Jesus is clearly talking to two different groups of people. Matthew said that Jesus opened His mouth and taught them (the disciples).
He told His disciples, blessed are THEY (the other people). He said THEY nine times, then started talking to them!
He continued teaching and covered prayer. What religion has dubbed The Lord's prayer" might sound nice, but it is religious tradition that carries as much weight as a feather! He spoke about using vain repetitions in prayer which is what religious tradition does.
He then said... After this manner...pray. He never told us to repeat the words parot fashion. See Matthew 6:9.
In Matthew 6:19 He described how or where we are to place our emphasis. He did not say not to seek treasure, but to get it in right perspective.
In other words to make God our source!
We are instructed in the bible to be wise in business; not to be slothful; not to be wasters; to redeem time or be good time managers; to pay taxes (considering that some taxes are unrighteous); how to earn interest on investments and the like, so God is definitely interested in our money.
The only problem we have is that we cannot serve two masters. We either serve mammon (money) or we serve God, but God already knows what we need (including money), so Jesus told us not to worry about things. He spoke about the birds and the lilies of the field, about our food shelter and clothing and then told us the secret!
Therefore do not worry and be anxious, saying, What are we going to have to eat? or, What are we going to have to drink? or, What are we going to have to wear? For the Gentiles (heathen) wish for and crave and diligently seek all these things, and your heavenly Father knows well that you need them all. But seek (aim at and strive after) first of all His kingdom and His righteousness (His way of doing and being right), and then all these things taken together will be given you besides. So do not worry or be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will have worries and anxieties of its own. Sufficient for each day is its own trouble. Matthew 6:31-34 (emphasis mine).
We see here that by getting our priorities right and doing things God's way, that all of our needs and requirements in life, which includes finances, will be provided.
God does not want you to live in poverty. He wants you to be set free from that bondage and poverty is a debilitating bondage from the pit of hell.
Heaven is an amazing and wonderful place. It is stunningly beautiful... from the park-like fields and gardens to the snow-clad mountains... from the babbling crystal clear brooks, ponds and streams to the serene lakes and crystal sea. Heavenly Jerusalem is also beautiful. Lavish in its appointment, it is illuminated by the glory of God that causes brilliant flashes of light reflecting off the gems and glass-like gold from which the city is made.
When God created the heavens and the earth, it was as if He made a mirror image of Heaven and planted a garden in Eden.
Every species of plant was planted there by the heavenly landscape artist, with fruit laden plants that I suspect were modelled on the gardens in Heaven.
Genesis tells us some of what it must have been like.
In verse after verse, God said that it was good!
God issued command for everything to be fruitful and multiply. His intention was abundance. If He never changes, then His intentions have not changed.
We also see in Genesis that God created man in His own image and likeness.And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness... Genesis 1:26.
The words used in the Hebrew text are Demuth and Tselem, painting the picture of someone who is like a mirror image, or a carbon copy of the original. Adam was made like a statue that came out of a God-shaped mould. What an amazing being. Little wonder that the angels looked on in astonishment. Psalm 8 says-
O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! who hast set thy glory above the heavens. Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast thou ordained strength because of thine enemies, that thou mightest still the enemy and the avenger. When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him? For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour. Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet: All sheep and oxen, yea, and the beasts of the field; The fowl of the air, and the fish of the sea, and whatsoever passeth through the paths of the seas. O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth!
The original text paints a different picture to that religion portrays. Those who do not know better say we are unworthy... like worms in His sight, but we are God's crowning achievement. The original texts read-
Thou has made him a little lower than god!
We are gods (with a lower case g). Jesus stated this in John 10:34, citing Psalm 82:6. Never think more highly of yourself than you should (see Romans 12:1-3), but please consider yourself as a fearfully and wonderfully made man (no gender implied) who looks like God in the spirit and can speak like God!
God gave man rulership, or dominion (Genesis 1:26-28).
God made complete and total provision for every possible need and then stated that it was very good and then rested (Genesis 1:29-31). Please notice that God rested from His labours. Man was created in a restful state.
God then Planted a Garden, Eastward in eden and He then Put man into it! Inside that Garden, it was a literall paradise. Everything was good; pleasant to the sight; good for food, a river flowed into the garden bringing pure fresh water; gold was in abundance and precious gems were in abundance.
All that Adam had to do was guard it! He did not have to work for it. He never had to dig the soil and plant seed. There was no sweating due to labour. That came later after the fall.
We also see that God brought all of creation to Adam so that the man could name them. God looked on and agreed with Adam's choice. See Genesis 2:8-15; 19-20.
I believe that the Garden was a replica of Heaven! I have been to Heaven and it is simply beautiful. The streets are not paved or merely coated with gold like our streets are, but are made out of solid gold! I saw diamonds as large as motor cars, laying on the ground in a garden just as one would put stones into place for a rockery garden. I saw a tree that was made out of precious gems. The trunk was made of blue gem-like material that had to be sapphire. The leaves were green gems that I believe were emeralds and instead of having fruit or flowers, the foliage was covered with sparking diamonds.
This is the original pattern.
God is not broke. He is not a miser. He is lavish with His love and His gifts.
Although the poverty doctrine is a smack in the face to God and the excess prosperity doctrine is offensive to some people, God clearly wants us to live in freedom from poverty.
When Adam sinned, he was expelled from that garden. That is when poverty set in. That is when sickness, toil, sweat and hard labour came. That is when death entered in, but the Second Adam, the Lord Jesus Christ restored us to the original state of relationship with God. The restoration of all things including true wealth is catching up as part of our inheritance, but you and I must appropriate it by faith.
The original state of man was perfect in every detail. Sickness did not exist. Death was totally unknown. Fear was not part of Adam’s life. It was a state of absolute perfection. All manner of fruit abounded in a perpetual state of perfect ripeness. Man needed no clothing or shelter because the weather was continually perfect. It has been said that the man and the woman were clothed with the glory of God. If God is light (see 1 John 1:5) man was clothed with light. This is probably why the devil hates us with a vehemence that defies logic. He was the original light reflector, before he was expelled from Heaven.
When God made man, the Hebrew language describes the act as being like someone making a piece of pottery out of clay—squeezing it and molding it into a statue-like replica or mirror image of the Creator. The word used in this fashioning process is Yāṣar צַר.
And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. Genesis 2:7.
The act of blowing life into this inert piece of clay was extremely powerful. The word is נָפַח (Nāpaḥ) and it was no mere slight puff or act of breathing, but a forceful injection of the very life force of God. The derivatives of the word speak about blowing, breathing, sniffing and seething. The word gives us the impression of blowing forcefully, like the use of force ventilation for a fire. This is the kind of thing that happens during the smelting and refining of metal, wherein bellows are used to fan the fire to an intense heat.
It seems that the man was created in a standing or upright position and God got so close that His breathing into the nostrils injected life.
Imagine what it might have been like as Adam opened his eyes for the first time and the first thing he ever saw was the face of God! Thus was the original state of Adam.
Endowed with authority second only to God on the earth. Able to move with graceful agility and gentle yet giant-like steps, speak intelligently to all life-forms and lacking nothing whatsoever. He was god of planet earth (notice the lower case G).
When the man and the woman disobeyed by eating the forbidden fruit which was the only single command of God with restrictions on it, the first thing that happened was, I believe, that this light went out. The glow of God that surrounded them had gone and they suddenly became aware of the realm of the natural in a way they had never experienced before. They saw that the birds wore feathers; the animals had skins; fish had scales, but they had no covering!
They immediately started to cover themselves by natural means and this has never ceased to be man’s desire; always seeking someway to appease an angry God, always looking for someone or something to worship and always looking for self-gratification. The Genesis account goes like this-
Now the serpent was more subtle and crafty than any living creature of the field which the Lord God had made. And he [Satan] said to the woman, Can it really be that God has said, You shall not eat from every tree of the garden? And the woman said to the serpent, We may eat the fruit from the trees of the garden, Except the fruit from the tree which is in the middle of the garden. God has said, You shall not eat of it, neither shall you touch it, lest you die. But the serpent said to the woman, You shall not surely die, For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing the difference between good and evil and blessing and calamity. And when the woman saw that the tree was good (suitable, pleasant) for food and that it was delightful to look at, and a tree to be desired in order to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate; and she gave some also to her husband, and he ate. Then the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves apronlike girdles. Genesis 3:1-7.
Look at how it happened and consider that this is the same basic ploy Satan uses today.
Questioning of God’s word or commandment
Refuting what God said
Appealing to the natural desires Self-consciousness came in
They started to meet their needs by natural works
What Eve did not remember was that they already had it all!
When God then came for His regular time of fellowship, they hid themselves because fear had arrived for the first time in their lives. Perfect love had been replaced with fear. I believe that love and hate are not opposites, but love and fear are opposites.
There is no fear in love [dread does not exist], but full-grown (complete, perfect) love turns fear out of doors and expels every trace of terror! For fear brings with it the thought of punishment, and [so] he who is afraid has not reached the full maturity of love [is not yet grown into love's complete perfection]. 1 John 4:18.
God knew where they were and what they had done, but wanted them to identify the problem and confess it. I wonder what things would have been like if they had confessed their deeds and repented! Instead of admitting error, they blamed everyone else.
I see this a lot in ministry. It is always some other reason or some other person’s fault with many people. He or she will use any excuse for their own deeds, especially by denial, or blaming circumstances, childhood experiences, their spouse, educational status and so on. If they looked in the mirror, they would see the source of the problem! I hear folk say in church, If only so-and-so had been here today. That sermon was just for him. He was not there! They were! The message was for them!
God expelled them from the garden for their own sakes. In His mercy, He prevented them from returning and eating of the tree of life. If He did not prevent that, they could have lived without any possible chance of restoration, doomed forever in a sinful state without any way of redemption. What we call the curse followed.
And the Lord God said to the serpent, Because you have done this, you are cursed above all [domestic] animals and above every [wild] living thing of the field; upon your belly you shall go, and you shall eat dust [and what it contains] all the days of your life. And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her Offspring; He will bruise and tread your head underfoot, and you will lie in wait and bruise His heel. To the woman He said, I will greatly multiply your grief and your suffering in pregnancy and the pangs of childbearing; with spasms of distress you will bring forth children. Yet your desire and craving will be for your husband, and he will rule over you. And to Adam He said, Because you have listened and given heed to the voice of your wife and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you, saying, You shall not eat of it, the ground is under a curse because of you; in sorrow and toil shall you eat [of the fruits] of it all the days of your life. Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth for you, and you shall eat the plants of the field. In the sweat of your face shall you eat bread until you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you shall return. Genesis 3:14-19.
The passage above contains the first prophecy as such about Jesus. The fulfilment came at Calvary. Since that sad day, man laboured and toiled to eat and he became mortal, with a statement that he would eat by the sweat of his brow until he died and returned to the dust of the earth.
…Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness. Galatians 3:6.
My friend, you need to believe God. I did not say to believe in God, but to believe God. Anyone can believe in God. Even the evil spirits do that. See James 2:19. To believe God means to have trust and confidence. It means that you can depend on Him to see you through. It means that you walk the faith walk and it is surprising how few Christians really do live by faith. This is an absolute requirement. The bible says that we cannot please God without faith.
The faith chapter of Hebrews chapter eleven is worth studying well and I suggest that you do this, but for now, look at this particular element God wants from us. But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. Hebrews 11:6.
We are to believe God; full stop. We are to believe that He not only exists but that He rewards our diligence in seeking Him and His ways. When you know Him and how He operates, you can walk on water if you need to.
Paul said- Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham.
And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed.
So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.
For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.
But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith.
And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them.
Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:
That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.
Brethren, I speak after the manner of men; Though it be but a man's covenant, yet if it be confirmed, no man disannulleth, or addeth thereto.
Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ. Galatians 3:6-16. Jesus redeemed us from the curse that came after the fall. When Jesus came, He restored the right, privilege or authority to us to live like days of Heaven on earth. Time and space will not permit me to elaborate more, but because of what Jesus did, we are heirs once more of all that He is and all that He has. See Romans 4:13-16; Galatians 3:6-14; 16; 29.
If we are heirs, we qualify to receive the blessing of the Lord according to Proverbs 10:22 which says- The blessing of the LORD, it maketh rich, and he addeth no sorrow with it.
Please notice that it does not say blessings (plural), but Blessing (in the singular)! the blessings are the by-product, but it is the blessing that produces the blessings! The bible says It makes rich, so the blessing makes us rich. The blessing is a benediction. It is the wordבְּרָכָה(berākâ)which has several meanings including benediction, prosperity, blessing, liberal, pool and present. The part most of us like is the Hebrewעָשַׁר (āshar) and it speaks about enrichment. The derivatives talk of, wealth, riches, property, treasure, savings, profit and so on, so God is not against prosperity. He disapproves of wrongful use of it! The redemption from the curse means that we do not have to sweat as Adam did. The word sorrow describes vexation, anguish, toil, hard labor and the like. Jesus has redeemed us from the hardships of the curse to the extent that, although we still need to go to work or go about our everyday affairs in life without being slothful… the bite… the hard labor is gone. Works, good charitable deeds, church membership or even attending church avails nothing, because it is all by faith. Ephesians 2:8-9 says-
For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
Not of works, lest any man should boast.
We accept what Jesus did by faith and receive salvation as a gift. Once we are members of His royal family by virtue of our re-birth, we are immediately joint and equal heirs, deemed to be so by God Himself. See Romans 8:17.
Jesus came as the Second Adam, to redeem us—to pay the price for sin and restore us to the Father. The promises made were to Jesus and to those who are His followers.
Never make worthless idols or set up a carved statue or a sacred stone for yourselves. Never cut figures in stone to worship them in your country, because I am the LORD your God.
Observe my days of worship and respect my holy tent. I am the LORD.
This is what I will do if you will live by my laws and carefully obey my commands:
I will give you rain at the right time. The land will produce its crops, and the trees in the field will produce their fruit.
Threshing time will last until grape gathering, and grape gathering will last until planting. You will eat all you want and live securely in your land.
I will bring peace to your land. You will lie down with no one to scare you. I will remove dangerous animals, and there will be no war in your land.
You will chase your enemies, and you will defeat them.
Five of you will chase a hundred of them, and a hundred of you will chase ten thousand of them. You will defeat your enemies,
and I will be pleased with you. Your families will be large, and I will keep my promise to you.
You will clear out old food supplies to make room for new ones.
I will put my tent among you, and I will never look at you with disgust.
So I will live among you and be your God, and you will be my people.
I am the LORD your God. I brought you out of Egypt so that you are no longer slaves of the Egyptians. I have broken their power over you and made you live as a free people. Leviticus 26:1-13.
All these blessings and curses I have spoken about will happen to you. Take them to heart when you are among all the nations where the LORD your God will scatter you.
If you and your children return to the LORD your God and obey him with all your heart and with all your soul, doing everything I command you today,
he will restore your fortunes. He will have mercy on you and gather you from all the nations of the world where he will scatter you.
Even if you are scattered to the most distant country in the world, the LORD your God will gather you and bring you back from there.
The LORD your God will bring you to the land your ancestors owned. You will take possession of it, and the LORD will make you more prosperous and numerous than your ancestors were.
The LORD your God will circumcise your hearts and the hearts of your descendants. You will love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and you will live.
Then the LORD your God will put all these curses on your enemies, those who hate you and persecute you.
You will again obey the LORD and follow all his commands that I'm giving you today.
The LORD your God will give you many blessings in everything you do: You will have many children. Your animals will have many offspring. Your soil will produce many crops. The LORD will again delight in making you as prosperous as he made your ancestors.
He will do this if you obey him and follow his commands and laws that are written in this Book of Teachings and return to the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul.
This command I'm giving you today isn't too hard for you or beyond your reach.
It's not in heaven. You don't have to ask, “Who will go to heaven to get this command for us so that we can hear it and obey it?”
This command isn't on the other side of the sea. You don't have to ask, “Who will cross the sea to get it for us so that we can hear it and obey it?”
No, these words are very near you. They're in your mouth and in your heart so that you will obey them. Deuteronomy 30:1-14.
How precious is Your steadfast love, O God! The children of men take refuge and put their trust under the shadow of Your wings.
They relish and feast on the abundance of Your house; and You cause them to drink of the stream of Your pleasures.
For with You is the fountain of life; in Your light do we see light. Psalm 36:7-9.
The Lord swore to David in truth; He will not turn back from it: One of the fruit of your body I will set upon your throne.
If your children will keep My covenant and My testimony that I shall teach them, their children also shall sit upon your throne forever.
For the Lord has chosen Zion, He has desired it for His habitation:
This is My resting-place forever [says the Lord]; here will I dwell, for I have desired it.
I will surely and abundantly bless her provision; I will satisfy her poor with bread. Psalm 132:11-15.
Then will He give you rain for the seed with which you sow the soil, and bread grain from the produce of the ground, and it will be rich and plentiful. In that day your cattle will feed in large pastures. Isaiah 30:23.
Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that the plowman shall overtake the reaper, and the treader of grapes him that soweth seed; and the mountains shall drop sweet wine, and all the hills shall melt.
And I will bring again the captivity of my people of Israel, and they shall build the waste cities, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and drink the wine thereof; they shall also make gardens, and eat the fruit of them.
And I will plant them upon their land, and they shall no more be pulled up out of their land which I have given them, saith the LORD thy God. Amos 9:13-15.