Category: God’s economy and finances

A better king arises: reformation and transformation

Ezra 3:12The Proclamation of Cyrus (2 Chronicles 36)
22 Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, so that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and also put it in writing, saying,

23 Thus says Cyrus king of Persia:

All the kingdoms of the earth the Lord God of heaven has given me. And He has commanded me to build Him a house at Jerusalem which is in Judah. Who is among you of all His people? May the Lord his God be with him, and let him go up!

Ezra 1 New King James Version (NKJV)

End of The Babylonian Captivity
1 Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, so that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and also put it in writing, saying,

2 Thus says Cyrus king of Persia:

All the kingdoms of the earth the Lord God of heaven has given me. And He has commanded me to build Him a house at Jerusalem which is in Judah. 3 Who is among you of all His people? May his God be with him, and let him go up to Jerusalem which is in Judah, and build the house of the Lord God of Israel (He is God), which is in Jerusalem. 4 And whoever is left in any place where he dwells, let the men of his place help him with silver and gold, with goods and livestock, besides the freewill offerings for the house of God which is in Jerusalem.

5 Then the heads of the fathers’ houses of Judah and Benjamin, and the priests and the Levites, with all whose spirits God had moved, arose to go up and build the house of the Lord which is in Jerusalem. 6 And all those who were around them encouraged them with articles of silver and gold, with goods and livestock, and with precious things, besides all that was willingly offered.

7 King Cyrus also brought out the articles of the house of the Lord, which Nebuchadnezzar had taken from Jerusalem and put in the temple of his gods; 8 and Cyrus king of Persia brought them out by the hand of Mithredath the treasurer, and counted them out to Sheshbazzar the prince of Judah. 9 This is the number of them: thirty gold platters, one thousand silver platters, twenty-nine knives, 10 thirty gold basins, four hundred and ten silver basins of a similar kind, and one thousand other articles. 11 All the articles of gold and silver were five thousand four hundred. All these Sheshbazzar took with the captives who were brought from Babylon to Jerusalem.

Ezra 3

Restoration of the Temple Begins
8 Now in the second month of the second year of their coming to the house of God at Jerusalem, Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, Jeshua the son of Jozadak,[b] and the rest of their brethren the priests and the Levites, and all those who had come out of the captivity to Jerusalem, began work and appointed the Levites from twenty years old and above to oversee the work of the house of the Lord. 9 Then Jeshua with his sons and brothers, Kadmiel with his sons, and the sons of Judah,[c] arose as one to oversee those working on the house of God: the sons of Henadad with their sons and their brethren the Levites.

10 When the builders laid the foundation of the temple of the Lord, the priests stood[d] in their apparel with trumpets, and the Levites, the sons of Asaph, with cymbals, to praise the Lord, according to the ordinance of David king of Israel. 11 And they sang responsively, praising and giving thanks to the Lord:

“For He is good,
For His mercy endures forever toward Israel.”[e]
Then all the people shouted with a great shout, when they praised the Lord, because the foundation of the house of the Lord was laid.

12 But many of the priests and Levites and heads of the fathers’ houses, old men who had seen the first temple, wept with a loud voice when the foundation of this temple was laid before their eyes. Yet many shouted aloud for joy, 13 so that the people could not discern the noise of the shout of joy from the noise of the weeping of the people, for the people shouted with a loud shout, and the sound was heard afar off.

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Zechariah 5: warning of wickedness (reblogged)

(Note: Jesus warns of how one will open a door to the evil one by one’s mouth!)Zechariah 5

AAAJ watchman

We arrive at Zechariah 5 seeing the visions of prophet Zechariah: a flying scroll and a ‘woman’ personifying wickedness. We shall read the first part: see what God means by wickedness, as shown in the vision of the flying scroll.

Summary: (verses 1-4)

God sees wickedness in the land. He wants His prophets (messengers) to see too and issue warnings.

Wickedness includes: stealing; swearing falsely using God’s name.

God wants HIs people to know He takes action against wickedness; Consequences of wickedness: “I am sending this curse into the house of every thief and into the house of everyone who swears falsely using My Name.”

No house will escape. Note: there is no differentiation between thieves. God uses one description: thief. (Jesus warns of the motives of thief, in John 10:10)

  1. The curses are written in heaven and voluminous. Zechariah saw a scroll measuring 30 feet long and 15…

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proof by fruit: today I bless this woman

proverbs 4:2324EngI find it hard to make some Christians understand the importance of fruit. One person keeps saying Christians are supposed to be the underdog and bullied and trampled upon by the society in every aspect of life! I am trying to encourage her to read Andrew Wommack’s “You’ve already Got It!” which shows how the Bible clearly says that God is on our side and and has already given us all resources by grace, and the power (Holy Spirit) to appropriate them and live an abundant and well life in this life too! But we need to know the spiritual keys (God’s words) to unlock them! (My interpretation of what Andrew teaches). Anyway I told this woman this: “Guard your heart! Guard your mouth! See the fruit! Jesus asks for fruit that can be seen!” Fruit is tangible and can be seen no matter how knowledgeable about the Bible and how spiritual we say we are. Real treasure can only come from the store of rich treasure (God’s good words) we have in our heart.

Coincidentally, here is a small incident that happened in the marketplace today with another woman to prove that fruit can be seen and blessing can be tangible.

While waiting for my takeaway from an oriental food stall, I overheard a conversation at another food stall between the solo food seller (a woman) and an older man who appeared to be one of her regular customers, from what I heard in their conversation. The woman looked like any ordinary food seller manning a small chicken rice stall. She appeared middle-aged. What interested me was what she told the older man.

“Look, you claim you are not judging others or saying bad things about others, but you are talking about people behind their back! You mention names. We are taught not to say things behind others’ back, no matter how pure you claim your motive is. Stop it! I don’t want to listen and be a part of this! Don’t tell me or anyone about others! It is not right. It will harm you. Look at the state you are in! Stop!” Compared to this energetic woman the man indeed seemed less fit or well. He struggled to even sit down. He listened to her and finally shut up and nodded.

After I paid for my food I drove off and my spirit was prompted to lead me into a blessing prayer for this woman who was brave enough to speak the truth to help out that poor man. I blessed her with health, wellness, and prosperity in all she puts her hands to do. Today she will receive. This is a woman who has faith in God’s words and practices them in her daily life. She is wise to guard her heart and her mouth. She refuses to join in the gossip. She has got it-The secret to prosperity. She was faith-filled and godly in her own simple way. I marvel at how God blesses the small people.

Proverbs 4:23-24 Keep your heart with all diligence,
For out of it spring the issues of life.
Put away from you a deceitful mouth,
And put perverse lips far from you.

A prayer inspired by the Holy Spirit

O Lord, take ________into your great pavilion. Lead him/her/them, direct him/ her/ them, preserve him/her/them, strengthen him/her/ them, uphold him/ her/ them by your mighty power. Let the peace that passes understanding, the joy of the Lord, the comfort of the Holy Spirit, be with him/her/them always. In Jesus name we pray. Amen. –Smith Wigglesworth

Financial Freedom: the Joseph Way

More and more individuals are called today to serve the Lord on a voluntary basis and have often to rely on his/her own savings or income from investments. I believe there is an urgent need for this group to learn the Joseph way. The key is to be able to know what is ahead and hear God’s instructions on what to invest.

Genesis 41:33Lately I received this reminder and again today to learn from Joseph’s testimony. There is no doubt Joseph had close relationship with God and could hear God.

Genesis 41 recorded how Joseph rose to financial power. Briefly, one night the powerful Egyptian Pharaoh (king) had two dreams that caused his spirit to be troubled and no one could interpret his dreams. He knew of Joseph’s ability to interpret dreams through his chief butler. He immediately summoned Joseph to be brought out of the dungeon to him.

Joseph not only accurately predicted the forthcoming economic boom, its subsequent global famine crisis and their timing, he also presented an immediate financial strategy and action plan to the king as a solution. It was remarkable that Joseph prophesied that God would give Pharaoh a favourable answer even before he knew what Pharaoh had dreamed of! He also knew the solutions beforehand. The king rightly recognized Joseph’s worth!

Let us read some of the Bible verses and see this spiritual yet financially proficient man in supernatural action:

Joseph’s Strategic Action 1: Before Joseph knew what the dreams were, Joseph confidently gave a prophecy of good news to the king. How could he be sure of the positive outcome? Amazing. Joseph was a man of God. God told him what was to happen.

Verse 15 And Pharaoh said to Joseph, I have dreamed a dream, and there is no one who can interpret it; and I have heard it said of you that you can understand a dream and interpret it.

Verse 16 Joseph answered Pharaoh, It is not in me; God [not I] will give Pharaoh a [favourable] answer of peace….

Joseph’s Strategic Action 2: After Pharaoh told him the dreams, Joseph gave his interpretation, and advice on an economic/financial strategy and action plan to solve the future crisis and take advantage of the crisis.

He states the problem and its size ahead: 25 Then Joseph said to Pharaoh, The [two] dreams are one; God has shown Pharaoh what He is about to do…29 Take note! Seven years of great plenty throughout all the land of Egypt are coming. 30 Then there will come seven years of hunger and famine, …for it will be very woefully severe. 32 That the dream was sent twice to Pharaoh and in two forms indicates that this thing which God will very soon bring to pass is fully prepared and established by God.

He also states the solution in terms of action plan. The solution actually ensures favour to him: 33 So now let Pharaoh seek out and provide a man discreet, understanding, proficient, and wise and set him over the land of Egypt [as governor]. 34 … let him select and appoint officers over the land, and take one-fifth [of the produce] of the [whole] land of Egypt in the seven plenteous years [year by year]. 35 And let them gather all the food of these good years …36 And that food shall be put in store for the country against the seven years of hunger…

Indeed, the king gave Joseph a positive response according to God’s plan for Joseph to rise:

37 And the plan seemed good in the eyes of Pharaoh and in the eyes of all his servants. 38 And Pharaoh said to his servants, Can we find this man’s equal, a man in whom is the spirit of God? 39 And Pharaoh said to Joseph, Forasmuch as [your] God has shown you all this, there is nobody as intelligent and discreet and understanding and wise as you are. 40 You shall have charge over my house, and all my people shall be governed according to your word [with reverence, submission, and obedience]. Only in matters of the throne will I be greater than you are. 41 Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, See, I have set you over all the land of Egypt.

Joseph’s Action 3: Implementation of a win-win action plan for the king, his nation and people. In doing so, his own family (his father Jacob and the whole family) was also ensured protection and sustenance.  Other countries too benefited from his wise administration.

…56 When the famine was over all the land, Joseph opened all the storehouses and sold to the Egyptians; for the famine grew extremely distressing in the land of Egypt. 57 And all countries came to Egypt to Joseph to buy grain, because the famine was severe over all [the known] earth.

Chapter 47

…20 And Joseph bought all the land of Egypt for Pharaoh; for the Egyptians sold every man his field because of the overwhelming severity of the famine upon them. The land became Pharaoh’s,..

23 Then Joseph said to the people, Behold, I have today bought you and your land for Pharaoh. Now here is seed for you, and you shall sow the land.

24 At [harvest time when you reap] the increase, you shall give one-fifth of it to Pharaoh, and four-fifths shall be your own to use for seed for the field and as food for you and those of your households and for your little ones.

25 And they said, You have saved our lives! Let us find favour in the sight of my lord; and we will be Pharaoh’s servants.

26 And Joseph made it a law over the land of Egypt—to this day—that Pharaoh should have the fifth part [of the crops]; …

faith pleases God: “Lord, if it is You…”

Matthew 14:28Seeing and believing in the spiritual realm make a difference in exercising faith. Peter walked on water by faith because he saw Jesus walking on water. At that moment he was filled with the faith of the Son of God Himself. Faith is a gift. Jesus acceded to his request:

Matthew 14:28 And Peter answered Him, Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water. 29 He said, Come! So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water, and he came toward Jesus.

Peter saw Jesus with physical eyes. In the burst of excitement and impulse he got out of the boat and walked on water. He may not have done it perfectly but he did it for those moments.

Did Jesus want him to get out and walk on water? Why did Jesus allow him? Because Peter said, “Lord, if it is You.” Jesus is Jesus their Lord. He could not deny this fact.

Jesus walks in the spiritual realm and physical realm with the same power and authority over both realms. Peter saw Him performing supernatural acts in the physical natural realm. When he asked Jesus, his Lord, for the same ability, Jesus gave him. Jesus has said, “Ask, and you shall receive.” Peter asked and received, even the power to operate in the supernatural and spiritual realm! (Matthew 7:7 Keep on asking and it will be given you; keep on seeking and you will find; keep on knocking [reverently] and [the door] will be opened to you.)

It took me a long time to understand, believe, and start practicing the amazing supernatural truth about faith in action.

Here is the Bible verse that has spoken to me several times lately.
Hebrews 11:6 Amplified Bible, Classic Edition (AMPC)
6 But without faith it is impossible to please and be satisfactory to Him. For whoever would come near to God must [necessarily] believe that God exists and that He is the rewarder of those who earnestly and diligently seek Him [out].

Proof by Fruit: And the eyes of the blind shall see

Matthew 15:30
Is it not yet a very little while
Till Lebanon shall be turned into a fruitful field,
And the fruitful field be esteemed as a forest?
In that day the deaf shall hear the words of the book,
And the eyes of the blind shall see out of obscurity and out of darkness.
The humble also shall increase their joy in the Lord,
And the poor among men shall rejoice
In the Holy One of Israel.
(Isaiah 29:17-19)

…They shall see the glory of the Lord,
The excellency of our God.
Strengthen the weak hands,
And make firm the feeble knees.
Say to those who are fearful-hearted,
“Be strong, do not fear!
Behold, your God will come with vengeance,
With the recompense of God;
He will come and save you.”
Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened,
And the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped.
Then the lame shall leap like a deer,
And the tongue of the dumb sing.
For waters shall burst forth in the wilderness,
And streams in the desert.
(Isaiah 35:2-6)

“I, the Lord, have called You in righteousness,
And will hold Your hand;
I will keep You and give You as a covenant to the people,
As a light to the Gentiles,
7 To open blind eyes,
To bring out prisoners from the prison,
Those who sit in darkness from the prison house.
I will bring the blind by a way they did not know;
I will lead them in paths they have not known.
I will make darkness light before them,
And crooked places straight.
These things I will do for them,
And not forsake them.
(Isaiah 42:6-7,16,)

Matthew 11:4-6
4 Jesus answered and said to them, “Go and tell John the things which you hear and see: 5 The blind see and the lame walk; the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear; the dead are raised up and the poor have the gospel preached to them. 6 And blessed is he who is not offended because of Me.”
Matthew 15:30-32 New King James Version (NKJV)

15:30 Then great multitudes came to Him, having with them the lame, blind, mute, maimed, and many others; and they laid them down at Jesus’ feet, and He healed them. 31 So the multitude marveled when they saw the mute speaking, the maimed made whole, the lame walking, and the blind seeing; and they glorified the God of Israel.

John 14:12-13
The Answered Prayer
12 “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father. 13 And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.

(All Scriptures are quoted from the Bible New King James Version (NKJV))

He calls them all by name, no one is missing

The glory of the Lord shall be revealed,
And all flesh shall see it together;
For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”
“Behold your God…Behold, the Lord God shall come with a strong hand,
And His arm shall rule for Him;
Behold, His reward is with Him,
And His work before Him.
He will feed His flock like a shepherd;
He will gather the lambs with His arm,
And carry them in His bosom,
And gently lead those who are with young…
Have you not known?
Have you not heard?
Has it not been told you from the beginning?
Have you not understood from the foundations of the earth?
…Lift up your eyes on high,
And see who has created these things,
Who brings out their host by number;
He calls them all by name,
By the greatness of His might
And the strength of His power;
Not one is missing…
Have you not known?
Have you not heard?
The everlasting God, the Lord,
The Creator of the ends of the earth,
Neither faints nor is weary.
His understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the weak,
And to those who have no might He increases strength.
Even the youths shall faint and be weary,
And the young men shall utterly fall,
But those who wait on the Lord
Shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up with wings like eagles,
They shall run and not be weary,
They shall walk and not faint.
( Scripture quoted in parts from Isaiah 40 New King James Version Bible)

You have found grace in My sight, and I know you by name

Exodus 34:6Exodus 33-34 (excerpts)
The Command to Leave Sinai
33:1 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Depart and go up from here, you and the people whom you have brought out of the land of Egypt, to the land of which I swore to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, saying, ‘To your descendants I will give it.’
7 Moses took his tent and pitched it outside the camp, far from the camp, and called it the tabernacle of meeting. And it came to pass that everyone who sought the Lord went out to the tabernacle of meeting which was outside the camp.
9 And it came to pass, when Moses entered the tabernacle, that the pillar of cloud descended and stood at the door of the tabernacle, and the Lord talked with Moses. 10 All the people saw the pillar of cloud standing at the tabernacle door, and all the people rose and worshiped, each man in his tent door. 11 So the Lord spoke to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend. And he would return to the camp, but his servant Joshua the son of Nun, a young man, did not depart from the tabernacle.
12 Then Moses said to the Lord, “See, You say to me, ‘Bring up this people.’ But You have not let me know whom You will send with me. Yet You have said, ‘I know you by name, and you have also found grace in My sight.’ 13 Now therefore, I pray, if I have found grace in Your sight, show me now Your way, that I may know You and that I may find grace in Your sight. And consider that this nation is Your people.”

14 And He said, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”

15 Then he said to Him, “If Your Presence does not go with us, do not bring us up from here. 16 For how then will it be known that Your people and I have found grace in Your sight, except You go with us? So we shall be separate, Your people and I, from all the people who are upon the face of the earth.”

17 So the Lord said to Moses, “I will also do this thing that you have spoken; for you have found grace in My sight, and I know you by name.”
18 And he said, “Please, show me Your glory.”

19 Then He said, “I will make all My goodness pass before you, and I will proclaim the name of the Lord before you. I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.”

34:5 Now the Lord descended in the cloud and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the Lord. 6 And the Lord passed before him and proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth,

The Faith of Moses
Hebrews 11:23 By faith Moses, when he was born, was hidden three months by his parents, because they saw he was a beautiful child; and they were not afraid of the king’s command.

24 By faith Moses, when he became of age, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, 25 choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin, 26 esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt; for he looked to the reward.

27 By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king; for he endured as seeing Him who is invisible. 28 By faith he kept the Passover and the sprinkling of blood, lest he who destroyed the firstborn should touch them.

29 By faith they passed through the Red Sea as by dry land, whereas the Egyptians, attempting to do so, were drowned.

(Scriptures quoted from New King James Version Bible)

His descendants will be mighty on earth

psalm 112:3The Blessed State of the Righteous
Praise the Lord!
Blessed is the man who fears the Lord,
Who delights greatly in His commandments.
2 His descendants will be mighty on earth;
The generation of the upright will be blessed.
3 Wealth and riches will be in his house,
And his righteousness endures forever.
4 Unto the upright there arises light in the darkness;
He is gracious, and full of compassion, and righteous.
5 A good man deals graciously and lends;
He will guide his affairs with discretion.
6 Surely he will never be shaken;
The righteous will be in everlasting remembrance.
7 He will not be afraid of evil tidings;
His heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord.
8 His heart is established;
He will not be afraid,
Until he sees his desire upon his enemies.
9 He has dispersed abroad,
He has given to the poor;
His righteousness endures forever;
His horn will be exalted with honor.
10 The wicked will see it and be grieved;
He will gnash his teeth and melt away;
The desire of the wicked shall perish.
(Psalm 112 NKJV)

Romans 3:22 [Full Chapter]
even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference;

2 Corinthians 5:20-21
20 Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God. 21 For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

2 Corinthians 9:8-10
8 And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work. 9 As it is written:
“He has dispersed abroad,
He has given to the poor;
His righteousness endures forever.”[a]
10 Now may[b] He who supplies seed to the sower, and bread for food, supply and multiply the seed you have sown and increase the fruits of your righteousness,

Footnotes:
2 Corinthians 9:9 Psalm 112:9
2 Corinthians 9:10 NU-Text reads Now He who supplies . . . will supply . . . .