The Steps to Prosperity
John O. Reid (1930-2016)
Given 25-Sep-94; Sermon #FT94-10; 40 minutes
John Reid, reflecting on the derelict shadow population of the LA warehouse district, observes that amidst abundant wealth, pockets of poverty also co-exist. As modern Israel, we still suffer the consequences of ancient Israel's request to have a king like every other nation, and to adopt political and economic systems like every other nation (I Samuel 8:7). America, because of this fateful decision, is now the biggest debtor nation in the world. We have reaped the curses described in Deuteronomy 28:15. This terrible calamity will only be solved when: (1) God establishes His government on this earth. (2) God educates people how to use prosperity. (3) God provides arable land. (4) God provides meaningful employment for all. (5) God makes the New Jerusalem the financial capitol of the world. (6) God establishes the tithing system as the only tax, eliminating usury and perma-debt.
I have worked in the food service industry for a lot of years, almost 40. It has allowed me to see much of the country, and it has taken me into some of the finest hotels. I have even put on demonstrations on aircraft carriers, and patrol gunboats, and exciting places like that, that I never would have gone.
But it has also taken me into some the worst warehouse areas in America. As you can imagine, in Los Angeles in the warehouse district, from about 2 in the morning until about 6:30 at night, it is just swamped with people. The produce people come in first, and then the distributors, operators, trucks, and so forth. I had never given much thought to what happened after 6:30, but one of my customers told me, “You don’t want to be in this area after 6:30. It’s just not a safe place to be.”
I remember one time, I was leaving a place called City Seafood. It was in the wintertime, and as I was coming out, at about 6:30, I began to notice that a second population—of whites, blacks, Hispanics, poor people—were coming out of the alleyways, the doorways, from behind the garbage cans, and they were coming out to take over the warehouse area at night.
We know that in our inner cities we have the homeless, who are living out of garbage cans, behind restaurants. You wonder how they stay alive. I was in Chicago once, and there is a man there who chose to live in a cardboard box in an alleyway, behind a restaurant. He lived there year after year, through summer and winter. Everybody knew him. He was an ex-stockbroker, the man was a genius, but he just chose to live there.
We see soup kitchens that have been set up to feed those who are helpless, those that hurt, that cannot help themselves. We also see people, at least in California, by the freeway exits, that say, “Please give me food, please give me money for food. I’ll work for it.”
Our heart goes out to them. We have people that are just getting by, day by day, and can barely make it.
We live in a time of wonderful inventions, beautiful homes, luxury cars, escapes of all sorts—and yet, there are many Americans who cannot afford to put food on the table, cannot afford housing, do not feel secure in their old age, are not sure about feeding their families. And amidst all the seeming wealth, we have people from every walk of life who are unsure of their future, and who are unsure of what is going on in this world at this time.
Brethren, is this how God intended His people and the world to live? On the dole, not sure where their next meal is coming from, not sure if they can feed their children, not sure of their housing, not sure of a meaningful occupation. Does God want His nation to live in this condition, on the edge of bankruptcy? The answer is no, of course He does not.
What brought us to this point?
I Samuel 8:7-8 And the Lord said to Samuel, “Heed the voice of the people in all that they say to you; for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me, that I should not reign over them. [This is the beginning of the key, and there are some big lessons here for us.] According to all the works which they have done since the day that I brought them up out of Egypt, even to this day—with which they have forsaken Me and served other gods—so they are doing to you also.”
God says, “I brought them out of Egypt. I took care of them all of these years, and the whole time, they didn’t want me to rule over them. They didn’t want it, and now they don’t want you (Samuel) to rule over them.”
I Samuel 8:9-20 “Now therefore, heed their voice. However, you shall solemnly forewarn them, and show them the behavior of the king who will reign over them.” So Samuel told all the words of the Lord to the people who asked him for a king. And he said, “This will be the behavior of the king who will reign over you: He will take your sons and appoint them for his own chariots and to be his horsemen, and some will run before his chariots. He will appoint captains over his thousands and captains over his fifties, will set some to plow his ground and reap his harvest, and some to make his weapons of war and equipment for his chariots. He will take your daughters to be perfumers, cooks, and bakers. And he will take the best of your fields, your vineyards, and your olive groves, and give them to his servants. He will take a tenth of your grain and your vintage, and give it to his officers and servants. And he will take your male servants, your female servants, your finest young men, and your donkeys, and put them to his work. He will take a tenth of your sheep. And you will be his servants. And you will cry out in that day because of your king whom you have chosen for yourselves, and the Lord will not hear you in that day.” [He will not hear you.] Nevertheless the people refused to obey the voice of Samuel; and they said, “No, but we will have a king over us, [we will have the system that we want] that we also may be like all the nations, and that our king may judge us and go out before us and fight our battles.”
Israel had a hunger for the way the world does things. The world without God. And they allowed this hunger to consume them. They wanted to do things differently than the way God was doing things.
The results, in essence, produced a system that, in one form or another, is the system that we have today. Israel is saying, rather than have God rule over us and take care of us, we will produce systems that will take care of ourselves. And this is where we find ourselves today.
God told them that their government would take their sons, their daughters, would tax them—all of the problems that we see today.
They soon came to realize what happened.
I Samuel 12:19 And all the people said to Samuel, “Pray for your servants to the Lord your God, that we may not die; for we have added to all our sins the evil of asking a king for ourselves.”
They saw it, but God said that He would not listen. He said, you have chosen it, you have bitten the bullet, and now you are going to live with it.
Of course, in Romans 8, we know that the entire creation groans, waiting for God to rule and for God’s people to want that rule. That is the key: God’s people have to come to the understanding that they have to want the rulership of God.
Would that Israel could have seen ahead in time, and seen the result of their decision, as it has affected mankind through all these generations. There is a lesson here for us today, there really is, if we are wise enough to observe it. History will teach us the result of living our lives apart from God.
We have to have faith and trust in God to rule us, to lead us in the right direction. That is the thing that Israel did not have.
At a glance, our nation looks prosperous. But with deeper examination, we see the rising taxes and the increasing cost of living. Because of that, bankruptcies have soared. In 1993, almost 1 million companies went out of business. Today, 13.4 million Americans are on welfare, with 1 in 7 receiving government aid in Southern California. The cost is $185 billion. We do not sound too prosperous by living the way of the world’s systems.
In Deuteronomy 28, God says that the alien among you will lend to us, and we will be the tail, and not the head. This is what has been taking place. Borrowing is how we pay our bills, it is how we pay our debts, and we are now the world’s biggest debtor nation.
I do not think that I have to tell you that soon, the nations that are loaning to us are not going to loan any more. I want you to hear what the debt is.
What is our nation’s debt today? Quoting from chapter 10 of a book called Prince of Darkness: Antichrist And New World Order, by Grant R. Jeffrey:
Are we being blessed, are we at peace? Officially, the national debt of the United States amounts to 4 trillion, 54 billion dollars, according to the line budget. [This means the everyday budget of the government.] This staggering figure is beyond the ability of the normal human being to understand or to grasp. However, the official debt of 4 trillion and 54 billion dollars is only the tip of the iceberg. The real, or the true national debt, is closer to 7 trillion dollars, when you add the off-budget costs, such as Social Security, the guarantee on that, the guarantee on military retirement.
How big a number is this? How much money is this? If you burn $200,000 every single hour, or 5 million dollars a day for over 4,000 years, from the time of Abraham until today, you would still not have burned up as much money as the true U.S. national debt.
The 7 trillion dollar debt amounts to $26,000 for every man, woman, and child in the country, and the interest charges on the national debt are a staggering 630 billion dollars a year. [Just the interest!] That equals 1.7 billion dollars every day, or 71 million dollars every single hour.
Does that make you feel secure? Do you feel happy about that?
And if this is not bad enough, the government is accumulating a 1.5 billion dollar additional new debt, every day, for welfare and education, and it is all borrowed money. Even if Mr. Jeffrey was a little off, I think we can say that the nation is not being blessed, it is being cursed.
Deuteronomy 28:1-2 “Now it shall come to pass, if you diligently obey the voice of the Lord your God, to observe carefully all His commandments which I command you today, that the Lord your God will set you high above all nations of the earth. And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, because you obey the voice of the Lord your God.”
Deuteronomy 28:15-19 “But it shall come to pass, if you do not obey the voice of the Lord your God, to observe carefully all His commandments and His statutes which I command you today, that all these curses will come upon you and overtake you: Cursed shall you be in the city, and cursed shall you be in the country. Cursed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl. Cursed shall be the fruit of your body and the produce of your land, the increase of your cattle and the offspring of your flocks. Cursed shall you be when you come in, and cursed shall you be when you go out.”
This is what we are reaping now. We are in hock up to our eyeballs; we cannot pay it off. Our people are sick, there is crime in the street. The world is miserable.
Brethren, this is the time that we are to talk about the World Tomorrow. This is the time that we are to talk about what is on the horizon.
Daryl Henson said, “There is good news, and then there is bad news, and then there is really good news. The good news is that Jesus Christ is going to return; the bad news is that this world is going to have to come to the brink of destruction. And then the really good news is that Jesus Christ is going to set up His government and rule, and all of mankind will receive the most wonderful blessings from that rulership.”
We are going to touch on a few of these today.
Some difficult times are here, and calamitous times are on the horizon, but when they are past, prosperity will spring forth for God’s people and for the world, and it will be beautiful to behold. God’s punishment will have been completed, and those coming out of the end-time tribulation will have a heart to listen, for the first time, to what God is saying. They will want to please God, and thus, God will be able to bless them and to prosper them at long last, because His heart is to do so. He wants His people to be blessed and to prosper.
I have broken this down into several steps. These are my steps to what will take place.
Step number one is what God is going to do is to set up His government.
Daniel 7:25-27 [speaking of the beast] He shall speak pompous words against the Most High, shall persecute the saints of the Most High, and shall intend to change times and law. Then the saints shall be given into his hand for a time and times and half a time. But the court shall be seated [God the Father says, “That is enough.”], and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and destroy it forever. Then the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people, the saints of the Most High. His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey Him.
This is the time of Daniel 2, when the stone comes from heaven, hits the statue on the toes, the whole statue crumbles, and now God’s Kingdom is being set up, and it is being given to the saints of the Most High—and that is you. To rule, to take care of. He is going to set up His government.
Micah 4:1-3 Now it shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established on the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and peoples shall flow to it. Many nations shall come and say, “Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord [Their minds and their hearts are going to be ready.], to the house of the God of Jacob; He will teach us His ways, and we shall walk in His paths.” For out of Zion the law shall go forth, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. He shall judge between many peoples, and rebuke strong nations afar off; they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore.
As soon as possible, those coming out of captivity will go to Jerusalem and they will be given property, they will be given a place to live. They will be given land. And after a concentration camp of no hope, of terrible cruelties, this will be the first sign of prosperity, to have their own home, to have their own acreage where they will not have to be afraid anymore. They and their children, their family—it will be a wonderful time. For many, it will be the first piece of property they ever owned.
Micah 4:4 But everyone shall sit under his vine and under his fig tree, and no one shall make them afraid; for the mouth of the Lord of hosts has spoken.
God is going to provide His people with a place to live and start to work with them.
There will be no more dirty cities, there will be no more homeless, there will be no more crime, there will be no more graffiti, there will be no more dangers in the streets. Animals that have been wild will be peaceful. It will be quite a change.
Step number 2, which is extremely important: to be able to handle prosperity, to be able to be prosperous and to handle it correctly, you must be educated.
Isaiah 25:7 And He will destroy on this mountain the surface of the covering cast over all people, and the veil that is spread over all nations.
God is going to remove the blindness. He is going to, as it says in Hebrews 8, write My law in their heart. He is going to remove the blindness, the covering over them, they are going to understand. He is going to teach them, and give them a new heart, a heart of love, and kindness, and gentleness; a heart of just wanting to please God. It is not going to come all at once, it is going to take education. And certainly, that is where you are going to come in, because you are going to be doing the educating, as are all of God’s people.
Step number 3 toward prosperity will be to provide land for crops to grow. The world will have come through a devastating time, leaving a scorched earth, and God will see to it that the earth is renewed.
Isaiah 35:1-7 The wilderness and the wasteland shall be glad for them, and the desert shall rejoice and blossom as the rose; it shall blossom abundantly and rejoice [picturing lush growth and a wonderful time], even with joy and singing. The glory of Lebanon shall be given to it, the excellence of Carmel and Sharon. they shall see the glory of the Lord [reflected in the crops, in what is growing and being produced], 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. The parched ground shall become a pool, and the thirsty land springs of water; in the habitation of jackals, where each lay, there shall be grass with reeds and rushes.
God is going to make the land beautiful for the people, He just is.
It has been said that only 15% of the earth is inhabitable, and 10% can be cultivated. But God is going to change that. You can read in Isaiah 41 how He threshes the mountains, and He makes the trees and springs come forth. It is going to be beautiful, just beautiful!
There will be no more homeless people, God will see to that. There will be no more thousands that daily are starving from malnutrition. There will be no more pictures of Biafra and Africa, where you see the little black children, skin and bones. There is probably nothing more lovely and more exciting than to see a little black baby that is just full of food, and round and happy, and smiling—any baby. There will be no more starvation, people are going to be blessed. They will be happy, and they will be filled with love.
Amos 9:13 “Behold, the days are coming,” says the Lord, “When the plowman shall overtake the reaper, and the treader of grapes him who sows seed; . . .”
How about that? “Will you please harvest faster, so I can plow?” There will be so much coming out of the ground, it will be awesome.
Amos 9:13 “. . . And the treader of grapes him who sows seed; the mountains shall drip with sweet wine, and all the hills shall flow with it.”
It will be so lush and producing so much food that nobody will be hungry.
Amos 9:14-15 “I will bring back the captives of My people Israel; they shall build the waste cities and inhabit them; they shall plant vineyards and drink wine from them; they shall also make gardens and eat fruit from them. I will plant them in their land, and no longer shall they be pulled up from the land I have given them,” says the Lord your God.
It is going to be a time of security and plenty. People are going to be so blessed and so appreciative. It will be a wonderful time.
Step number 4. One of the biggest problems we have today in this world is unemployment. I heard Mort Sahl some years back, one little joke that stuck in my mind. He said, “I just read a book about the end of the world. There are only six people left, and four of them are unemployed.”
I want you to know that there is going to be nobody unemployed in the World Tomorrow, unless they choose to be. There are going to be cities that have to be rebuilt.
Jeremiah 33:6-7 ‘Behold, I will bring it health and healing; I will heal them and reveal to them the abundance of peace and truth. And I will cause the captives of Judah and the captives of Israel to return, and will rebuild those places as at the first.’
Jeremiah 33:10-13 “Thus says the Lord: ‘Again there shall be heard in this place—of which you say, “It is desolate, without man and without beast”—in the cities of Judah, in the streets of Jerusalem that are desolate, without man and without inhabitant and without beast, the voice of joy and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride, the voice of those who will say: “Praise the Lord of hosts, for the Lord is good, for His mercy endures forever”—and of those who will bring the sacrifice of praise into the house of the Lord. For I will cause the captives of the land to return as at the first,’ says the Lord. “Thus says the Lord of hosts: ‘In this place which is desolate, without man and without beast, and in all its cities, there shall again be a dwelling place of shepherds causing their flocks to lie down. In the cities of the mountains, in the cities of the lowland, in the cities of the South, in the land of Benjamin, in the places around Jerusalem, and in the cities of Judah, the flocks shall again pass under the hands of him who counts them,’ says the Lord.
The cities will be rebuilt.
Isaiah 61:4-5 And they shall rebuild the old ruins, they shall raise up the former desolations, and they shall repair the ruined cities, the desolations of many generations. Strangers shall stand and feed your flocks, and the sons of the foreigner shall be your plowmen and your vinedressers.
He is showing here that the other nations are going to provide labor for you; you are going to have help so you can do what you have to do.
Isaiah 61:6 But you shall be named the priests of the Lord, they shall call you the servants of our God. You shall eat the riches of the Gentiles, and in their glory you shall boast.
There are good times coming, brethren, prosperous times. When you consider all of the military weapons that have to be melted down, there is going to be employment for everybody.
But what about the land that Israel left when they were taken into captivity? What is going to happen to that land when you have been taken out of the land?
Here it shows where Israel is going to be captured:
Leviticus 26:32-35 I will bring the land to desolation, and your enemies who dwell in it shall be astonished at it. I will scatter you among the nations and draw out a sword after you; your land shall be desolate and your cities waste. Then the land shall enjoy its sabbaths as long as it lies desolate and you are in your enemies’ land; then the land shall rest and enjoy its sabbaths. As long as it lies desolate it shall rest—for the time it did not rest on your sabbaths when you dwelt in it.
We never took care of our land, and when the nation goes into captivity, the land is going to lay empty. I have heard it said in the past that God is going to bring tremendous earthquakes and destroy the roads and the highways and the buildings. The land is going to be reseeded, and lay fallow, untouched for many years—I figured out roughly 30 to 40 years. But it could be longer than that. America, England, all of Israel’s land, will have rest, for maybe 50 to 100 years.
It has been speculated that God will reseed it, and bring back virgin forests and virgin land. Who do you think is going to occupy it?
Isaiah 49:13-21 Sing, O heavens! Be joyful, O earth! And break out in singing, O mountains! For the Lord has comforted His people, and will have mercy on His afflicted. But Zion said, “The Lord has forsaken me, and my Lord has forgotten me.”
“Can a woman forget her nursing child, and not have compassion on the son of her womb? Surely they may forget, yet I will not forget you. See, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands; your walls are continually before Me. [God has not forgotten His people.] Your sons shall make haste; your destroyers and those who laid you waste shall go away from you. Lift up your eyes, look around and see; all these gather together and come to you.”
“As I live,” says the Lord, “You shall surely clothe yourselves with them all as an ornament, and bind them on you as a bride does.”
“For your waste and desolate places, and the land of your destruction, will even now be too small for the inhabitants; and those who swallowed you up will be far away. The children you will have, after you have lost the others, will say again in your ears, ‘The place is too small for me; give me a place where I may dwell.’ Then you will say in your heart, ‘Who has begotten these for me, since I have lost my children and am desolate, a captive, and wandering to and fro? And who has brought these up? There I was, left alone; but these, where were they?’”
In other words, children have come from everywhere. If you continue to read Isaiah 49, kings will be bringing back babies, queens will nurse them. From the enemy that captured you, they will serve you and bring back your children.
The point is, Jerusalem is going to be crowded, and the children say, “It’s too small for us, give us some place to go.”
And talk about employment! They will be populating the brand-new world that they have to go back to. The countries that Israel used to live in. What an awesome adventure that will be, to pioneer, once again, but this time, doing it correctly.
Ships will have to be built, if a land bridge has not been put together. Supplies have to be manufactured. Every kind of aid will have to be given to recolonize the world that we have left when we went into captivity. And all of mankind is going to be busy.
Step number 5. What about national wealth? With Mr. Armstrong, sometimes you could not find a specific scripture to prove something that he said, but when you began to know him, you began to know that he had God’s mind, and could start to see what God was thinking. From The Wonderful World Tomorrow by Herbert Armstrong:
God shows that Jerusalem will be the financial capital of the earth!
The Creator says of the newly built city, “Then thou shalt see, and flow together, and thine heart shall fear, and be enlarged; because of the abundance of the sea (the world’s gold and silver reserves are mostly under the seas) shall be converted unto thee, and the forces of the Gentiles shall come unto thee”! (Isaiah 60:5)
He felt that the sea would give up its gold and its minerals, that God was holding them there, in reserve, for the World Tomorrow. We are going to have such treasures in the World Tomorrow.
And what vast wealth there is in the sea! The Dow Chemical Company, manufacturers of about 500 substances taken directly from seawater, say one cubic mile of seawater stores 175 million tons of dissolved chemicals, worth five billion dollars.
Each cubic mile of seawater contains 93 million dollars worth of gold and eight and one-half million dollars worth of silver.
That is just the beginning, and this is back in the 1980s.
Each cubic mile contains seven tons of uranium, and enough other minerals, elements and chemicals in dissolution to make each cubic mile worth, in today’s figures, five billion dollars.
It’s been estimated that the total value of the oceans would amount to [are you ready?] one quintillion, five hundred quadrillion dollars.
That is almost as big as our national debt!
A quadrillion dollars means a thousand trillion. And a trillion is one thousand billion. A billion is one thousand million. And a million is one thousand thousand. So a quintillion is one thousand quadrillions of dollars!
I hope you have that and you enjoy that.
Haggai 2:6-9 (New English Bible) One thing more: “I will shake the heaven and the earth, and the sea and the land, and I will shake all nations. The treasure of nations shall come hither, and I will fill this house with glory,” so says the Lord of Hosts. “Mine is the silver, mine is the gold,” says the Lord of Hosts, “and the glory of this latter house shall surpass the glory of the former,” says the Lord of Hosts. “In this place I will grant prosperity and peace.” This is the word of the Lord of Hosts.
National treasures from other countries are going to come and be given to us. Nations are going to worship God, and bring gold to the headquarters of God in Jerusalem.
Isaiah 60:5-7 “Then you shall see and become radiant, and your heart shall swell with joy; because the abundance of the sea shall be turned to you, the wealth of the Gentiles shall come to you. The multitude of camels shall cover your land, the dromedaries of Midian and Ephah; all those from Sheba shall come; they shall bring gold and incense, and they shall proclaim the praises of the Lord. All the flocks of Kedar shall be gathered together to you, the rams of Nebaioth shall minister to you; they shall ascend with acceptance on My altar, and I will glorify the house of My glory.”
At this time, all of our treasures will be on national display. There will be gold in the land everywhere, and there will be beautiful treasures. We had the treat of being able to go to Istanbul, Turkey, and we went through Topkapi Palace. They do not have any armed guards there, and there will not be any armed guards in the World Tomorrow, either. They had old men sitting in chairs to tell you where all of the huge diamonds were. I saw thrones of gold.
In Turkey, they do not sit on a throne like we do, in a chair. They sit cross legged on a pad, so the thrones were built that way. They were solid gold, and they were filled—and I cannot even begin to tell you the number—they were filled with pearls and rubies. They were gorgeous! This was a national treasure.
They had diamonds that were huge. They had six foot candlesticks made of solid gold. And they had their treasure on display for anyone to look at, no guards. You do not steal in Turkey.
It is going to be like that. Our national treasures are going to be on display for the people to see and enjoy. They are not going to be held in some vault.
Step number 6. What will our financial responsibility for the government in the World Tomorrow? In some parts of the world, people pay 40 to 90 percent of their income in taxes. But will we have high income taxes? No. If somebody has a nicer home than somebody else because of extra diligence and work, will he pay higher property taxes? No, he will not.
Our responsibility will be to pay faithfully, to give our tithes and offerings. Ten percent and our offerings will be all that is required, except in third tithe year. That is far better than man’s system, it truly is. We do not have any police force to worry about, no army to pay for, God is taking care of it all. And the government is true. There is no pork-barreling.
I do not know if you knew this, but on the California earthquake bill, to help the Californians out, it also paid for condominium restoration in some southern state, it paid for bridge rebuilding, it paid 1.2 billion dollars to send troops to Somalia—it was all tacked out. That is called pork-barreling.
There will be none of that in the World Tomorrow. You will pay your ten percent, and 90 percent is going to remain with you. That is how God’s government works, and you are going to be blessed. And it is going to be a wonderful 90 percent.
What about loans and interest? There will not be any interest if you have to borrow money.
Exodus 22:25 “If you lend money to any of My people who are poor among you, you shall not be like a moneylender to him; you shall not charge him interest.”
People are paying 19 or 20 percent, and then defaulting on their loans because they cannot afford them. They are going bankrupt, seeing no hope of getting out from under.
Leviticus 25:36 “Take no usury or interest from him; but fear your God, that your brother may live with you.”
Do not gouge him, do not hurt him. You see God’s system of love and care for His people.
Leviticus 25:37 “You shall not lend him your money for usury, nor lend him your food at a profit.”
What happens if you cannot pay your debt? How about that, you got in over your head? Every seven years you get it forgiven. If you want to borrow something in the sixth year, God tells the person that can loan it to you, “Don’t withhold that loan. You help your brother, because if you do, I’m going to bless you for it.” God is very real; He will bless His people, and they will know it.
If you are poor, and on the street—but you see, there is not going to be the homelessness that we have today, because there will not be any plant closures, where 6,000 people get dumped out in the street. We had a sad case. A person lost their job, then they sold their furniture, to just put food on the table. They sat in the house with their suitcases until the sheriff came. These were middle class people, and they all of a sudden were sitting on their suitcases, and then the sheriff came. The last they saw of them was walking down the street with their suitcases, nowhere to go.
That is not going to happen in the World Tomorrow, because if you are in that situation, you will be able to hire on with somebody. The Bible refers to it as a slave, but if you are from Israel, you will be able to hire on, and if you like it, you will be able to stay and work. God is going to see that we take care of His people, too.
If you do not have food, there is the theory of gleaning, where God says, do not pick all of the sheaves of corn. Do not pick all the grapes, do not pick all the fruit. And every seventh year, let your land go fallow. Why? Because the trees will produce, and that is for the poor, and the widow, and the homeless, and the hungry, because the poor will be there.
God’s people really do not know God right now, but they will know Him in the World Tomorrow, and the prosperity will be there.
The good news is that Christ will return. The serious news is that mankind is going to have to go through great tribulation. But the wonderful news is that that tribulation will produce an attitude and a heart that will allow God to bless His people as they have never been blessed before.
Isaiah 65:17 “For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; and the former shall not be remembered or come to mind.”
The apostle Paul said, “I count it all as dung, because of what has been given.”
Isaiah 65:18-22 “But be glad and rejoice forever in what I create; for behold, I create Jerusalem as a rejoicing, and her people a joy. I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in My people; the voice of weeping shall no longer be heard in her, nor the voice of crying. No more shall an infant from there live but a few days, nor an old man who has not fulfilled his days; for the child shall die one hundred years old, but the sinner being one hundred years old shall be accursed. They shall build houses and inhabit them; they shall plant vineyards and eat their fruit. They shall not build and another inhabit; they shall not plant and another eat; for as the days of a tree, so shall be the days of My people, and My elect [I know this refers to God’s people, Israel, but “My elect” also refers to you] shall long enjoy the work of their hands.”
You are going to enjoy it. You are going to enjoy the prosperity in the World Tomorrow, and the wonderful things that are on the horizon.
Isaiah 65:23-25 “They shall not labor in vain, nor bring forth children for trouble; for they shall be the descendants of the blessed of the Lord, and their offspring with them. “It shall come to pass that before they call, I will answer; and while they are still speaking, I will hear. The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, the lion shall eat straw like the ox, and dust shall be the serpent’s food. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain,” says the Lord.
We should all be of good cheer, and we should look forward. Tough times are coming, but the other side of the coin, the other side of that time period, Israel will be blessed with tremendous prosperity, spiritually and physically. It will be a wonderful time.