Yesterday I heard that the U.S. economy is down some 36 percent year to date. This means that many millions of people in America are out of work and are struggling financially. My heart goes out to them. On the other hand, my business (a tree care company) is booming. We have never been so blessed financially. How long will this last? I don’t know. What can we learn from this? I will share my thoughts below.
In 2014 when I was pastoring our local congregation, I gave a sermon about how not only to survive, but to thrive in the economic hard times that the Bible prophesies are coming in the last days. The key to surviving and thriving was based on solid biblical principles and walking in a trusting and obedient relationship with Elohim and abiding continually in Yeshua the Messiah. I made a video of this sermon which is hopefully still on our YouTube channel. Nevertheless below are the updated notes from the talk that I gave at that time.
Truly, YHVH has been faithful to our family in these difficult times. It is humbling and we are grateful. This doesn’t mean that we don’t expect to go through some trying economic times ourselves, and we are actively preparing for this. In the mean time, however, we have seen the hand of Elohim at work in our lives in some truly amazing ways as we have endeavored to follow the principles which I will share with you below. For YHVH’s merciful grace, we give him all the glory. May you be blessed as you hear and obey him as well!
The Bible Prophecies Economic Hard Times in the End Times
Just prior to the second coming of Yeshua the Messiah, Scriptures warns the end times generation about the events that will transpire globally. The student of the Bible and disciple of Yeshua would do well to heed these warning and to prepare for the events that are to come.
Here are several such biblical prophecies:
- Revelation chapters 13 and 18 is an end times prophecy about a new world order that Scripture refers to as Babylon the Great. There we read that men will be slaves to a global, fascistic, collectivistic, oligarchic economic system that will control their lives and even determine who is able to buy or sell, that is, to survive economically.
- Revelation chapter six speaks about the famous four horsemen of the apocalypse. One aspect of this prophecy is economic woes which also includes war, famine and disease.
- In Matthew 24, Yeshua declares that as it was in the days of Noah prior to the flood, so shall it be just before his second coming. That is to say that life will continue with some degree of normalcy, even though the book of Revelation’s prophesies that there will be economic privation along with wars, famines, disease pandemics, and some sort of a global totalitarian governmental system among other things.
In light of what the Bible tells us is coming prior to the second advent of Yeshua the Messiah, how can we prepare ourselves to survive these economical dark times?
Obeying YHVH’s Torah Brings Blessings
The Bible teaches one thing over and over again: obedience to the word, instructions and commandments of Elohim not only is the right thing to do, but it brings blessings from heaven. To disobey (called sin) brings curses. A wise person will obey YHVH’s Torah-instructions in righteousness (that is, to diligently hearken unto the voice of YHVH and follow his Word) so that YHVH can bless a person. When we disobey his instructions (called sin) we bring curses upon ourselves (read Proverbs chapters one through four). If one is living contrary to the Torah-word of Elohim, now is the time to repent of Torahlessness or sin, turn back to wisdom and righteousness and get back into alignment with the Word of Elohim, so that he can bless you. When we are walking in obedience to YHVH’s instructions as revealed in the Bible, we will be living in YHVH’s spiritual river of life where there is safety from harm danger along with blessings and provision. The Scriptures are clear on this:
- Exodus 15:26, YHVH promises good health to those who obey his commandments.
- Leviticus 26:3–13 and Deuteronomy 28:1–14, YHVH promises a multitude blessings for obedience to his commandments (see also Deut 7:12–15).
The World’s Philosophy Versus Biblical Principles
Experiencing YHVH’s blessings and provision in times of difficulty involves the saint living in accordance with YHVH’s kingdom principles of prosperity and blessings. Often these principles are the opposite of what the world practices and what we as humans are naturally inclined to think and do. For example…
- When the world tells you to horde and save all your money, this is the time to start sowing into good ground trusting YHVH to provide you with a good harvest according to his biblical laws of sowing and reaping.
- The Bible tells us that we must sow in order to reap; give in order to receive.
- The Bible tells us that you must die to yourself so that you live to YHVH.
- The Bible tells us that we must you must become a servant in order to become great.
- The Bible tells us that we must you must give to the poor in order to become wealthy.
- The world says to flee in fear and hide when times get rough; YHVH says to stay where he has placed you, take a stand, occupy until he comes and continue to help advance his kingdom.
Yeshua on Giving or Sowing—the Keys to Receiving
How we handle our money along with the talents and time that YHVH has given us will determine how blessed we are. If we use our time, talent and treasure according to YHVH’s kingdom principles, then we will be blessed. If we walk contrary to these principles, we will not be blessed. The following is a list of some of these principles.
- The world looks at the money and its amount; Yeshua looks at the man and his heart motive. Giving is a matter of the heart; it’s not about the amount. The widow gave a small amount out of her poverty, but her heart was in a better place than the rich Jews who gave a lot out of their abundance (Mark 12:41–44).
- Money-giving is a test of one’s character. Do we give regularly and cheerfully (Luke 6:38; 2 Cor 9:7)?
- The world asks, “What does a man own?” Yeshua asks, “How does one use what one owns?”
- The world is more concerned with money-getting; Yeshua about money-giving.
- Like the widow giving her mite (Mark 12:41–44), are we giving all to Elohim without reserve, without holding anything back? She gave all she had out of her poverty, while the wealthy Jews gave out of their abundance. For her it was about sacrifice, not with the Jews. Man looks at the size of the gift; Yeshua asks whether it was a sacrifice. Who was more devoted to Elohim, more in love with him? The widow or the rich Jews? That and only that was what was of concern to Yeshua. The matter of the heart is what matters!
- Man asks how much a one gives; Yeshua asks how much one keeps. Those who make large donations get plaques and monuments in their honor and building named after them, but nothing is said or known about their heart motive for giving. This is because the world doesn’t care about this, but YHVH does.
- If we want the Master’s approval as was the case with the poor widow, remember one thing: you must put all at Yeshua’s feet and hold all at his disposal.
Giving Money as a Means of Grace
How we manage our money is often an indicator or spiritual barometer of where our true heart is. Yeshua declared that where a man puts his treasure is where his heart really is (Matt 6:21).
Money is the great means the world has for gratifying its physical and soulish desires: the lusts of the flesh and eyes and the pride of life. Do we use our money just to gratify the lusts of the flesh and eyes and to gratify our pride or are we using it to help further the kingdom of heaven?
Though living in this world, Yeshua’s disciples are not of this world (John 17:11, 14). By the disposal of our money, we are to demonstrate our other-worldness; that is, that we are not of this world. As much as possible we are to use it for spiritual purposes, and to be aware of the spiritual power of money.
It Is More Blessed to Give Than to Receive
In times of economic difficulty, it is our natural inclination to close a helping hand, to preserve and protect ourselves by hoarding material goods and money. Let’s keep these spiritual principles in mind:
- What joy and happiness is brought to needy or helpless people (and to us as well) by our timely love gift.
- Ultimately, giving to others brings greater joy to us. Yeshua said that it is more blessed to give than to receive (Acts 20:35).
- Giving brings eternal rewards; spending money upon ourselves only brings earthly rewards.
Our Spiritual Priorities Determine Our Material Well-Being
Yeshua instructs his disciples to seek first the kingdom of Elohim, and his righteousness, and all these things (i.e. one’s physical needs) shall be added unto you (Matt 6:33). To prosper in difficult times, find out what your ministry calling is in the kingdom of Elohim, and then place yourselves squarely in the middle that ministry. You will now be in the middle of YHVH’s spiritual river of life and perfect will for you. There you will find physical and spiritual abundance, provision, protection and blessing from heaven.
Giving into the Kingdom of Elohim
Sowing financially into the kingdom of Elohim by giving to those who are doing his work is a key to financial prosperity.
Honour YHVH with thy substance, and with the first fruits of all thine increase, so shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine. (Prov 3:8–9)
The Spiritual Plain Controls the Physical Plain
A fundamental biblical truth is this: the spiritual laws of YHVH’s kingdom of heaven transcend, supercede, override and control the physical laws of this earth including the laws of man. YHVH controls the economic systems of the world.
By sowing into YHVH’s spiritual kingdom, we activate the divine principles of economics to that govern the physical laws of material gain to our favor. Spiritual laws override and govern the physical plain. When we apply these spiritual principles, and have faith in YHVH, who set these laws into motion, they will manifest in the physical realm to our physical well-being no matter what the physical economic conditions may be that are prevailing around us.
Moreover, it is YHVH Elohim who gives us power to get wealth and not we ourselves. He gives us wealth that he may establish his covenants with us and that we might do his work on this earth. If we forget YHVH, turn from his ways and turn to secularism we (and trust in our wealth), our wealth will perish (Deut 8:18–20). Or we could say it this way: to the degree that we turn from obeying his ways and following divine principles of economics, that is the degree to which we will not prosper.
Never forget that as the sovereign ruler of the universe, YHVH controls our power to get wealth, not the U.S. Federal Reserve, the U.S. Congress, the Secretary of the Treasury, the President of the U.S., the U.S. Internal Revenue Service, the international bankers or any other agency or government of man or any man-made policy.
But thou shalt remember YHVH thy Elohim: for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth, that he may establish his covenant which he sware unto thy fathers, as it is this day. And it shall be, if thou do at all forget YHVH thy Elohim, and walk after other gods, and serve them, and worship them, I testify against you this day that ye shall surely perish. As the nations which YHVH destroyeth before your face, so shall ye perish; because ye would not be obedient unto the voice of the YHVH thy Elohim. (Deut 8:18–20)
Giving Financially into YHVH’s Kingdom Brings Divine Blessings and Protection
Another blessing that comes to us from sowing into the kingdom of Elohim financially is not only the showers of blessings and abundance from heaven, but also divine protection from the evil one—Satan the devil who comes to steal, kill and to destroy (John 10:10).
Will a man rob Elohim? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings. Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation. Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith YHVH of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it. And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith YHVH of hosts. And all nations shall call you blessed: for ye shall be a delightsome land, saith YHVH of hosts. (Mal 3:8–12)
The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. (John 10:10)
Principles of Free and Cheerful Giving
Giving cheerfully back to Elohim is essential whether we are sowing financially into his ministry on earth or helping those in need. Paul discusses this principle in 2 Corinthians 9.
- 2 Corinthians 9:6, Principle of sowing and reaping: Let your giving be bountiful. This will bring a reward.
- 2 Corinthians 9:7, Let the giving not be grudging or of necessity, for the cheerful giver receives YHVH’s love.
- 2 Corinthians 9:8, Giving brings YHVH’s grace and sufficiency in all things, so that you will have all that you need to fulfill YHVH’s purposes for your life.
The generous soul will be made rich, And he who waters will also be watered himself. (Prov 11:25)
Giving to the Poor Is a Way to Activate Heaven’s Blessing
In tough times economically, giving to those in need activates some powerful spiritual laws to our favor. The Bible promises to bless those who are generous financially to help the poor and needy.
He that hath pity upon the poor lendeth unto YHVH; and that which he hath given will he pay him again. (Prov 19:17)
He who has a generous eye will be blessed, for he gives of his bread to the poor. (Prov 22:9)
Blessed is he that considereth the poor: YHVH will deliver him in time of trouble. YHVH will preserve him, and keep him alive; and he shall be blessed upon the earth: and thou wilt not deliver him unto the will of his enemies. (Ps 41:1–3)
Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living Elohim, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy; that they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate; laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life. (1 Tim 6:17–19)
A good man sheweth favour, and lendeth: he will guide his affairs with discretion. Surely he shall not be moved for ever: the righteous shall be in everlasting remembrance. He shall not be afraid of evil tidings: his heart is fixed, trusting in YHVH. His heart is established, he shall not be afraid, until he see his desire upon his enemies. He hath dispersed, he hath given to the poor; his righteousness endureth for ever; his horn shall be exalted with honour. (Ps 112:5–9)
Diversify Your Giving Portfolio
Another biblical principle to prosperity is to spread our time, talent and treasure into various areas. This is similar to the investment principle of diversification.
Cast thy bread upon the waters: for thou shalt find it after many days. Give a portion to seven, and also to eight; for thou knowest not what evil shall be upon the earth. (Eccl 11:1–2)
YHVH’s Supernatural Provision for the Israelites
YHVH supernaturally cared for the children of Israel for forty years through their wilderness journey because they had faith in and trust him. Their clothes didn’t wear out and they had food and water (Deut 8:3–4; 29:5; Neh 9:15, 19–21).
If YHVH provided for the Israelites as they were en route to the Promised Land, will he not do the same for his last days servants who are en route to the Promised Land of his eternal kingdom? He can and will do the same for his people in the end times who trust in and obey him. He can make provision and money appear out of nowhere. He can make seemingly limited provisions stretch and last. He can bring provisions to you from unexpected sources and open doors in front of you and in your time of need when there were no doors there.
YHVH Is Our Shepherd
YHVH promises to be a shepherd to his people, to feed and water them, to lead them through the valley of the shadow of death, and to prepare a table for us in the presence of our enemies.
YHVH is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; my cup runs over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of YHVH forever. (Ps 23:1–6)
For the YHVH Elohim is a sun and shield: YHVH will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly. (Ps 84:11)
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, Nor shall the flame scorch you. For I am YHVH your Elohim, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior…(Isa 43:2–3)
Basic Principles of Sowing and Reaping
Sowing and reaping is another basic principle of Scripture: we reap what we sow. If we don’t sow, we won’t reap a harvest. If we don’t give, nothing will come back to us. If we don’t invest, we can’t expect a return on an investment that doesn’t exist.
There is that scattereth, and yet increaseth; and there is that withholdeth more than is meet, but it tendeth to poverty. The liberal soul shall be made fat: and he that watereth shall be watered also himself. (Prov 11:24–25)
Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again. (Luke 6:38)
If you give to Elohim, he will give to you. To reap, you must first sow. To prosper, you must first invest. Not giving to Elohim is stealing from him and robbing ourselves of blessings (Mal 3:8–10). Giving is also a form of spiritual warfare and is like an insurance policy that protects us from those things that would otherwise devour our finances; it deprives the enemy (the devourer) from access to our finances. The end time Babylonian the Great New World Order international bankers and economic policy makers as humanly powerful as they are powerless to control the windows of heaven. Through Elohim and the blood of Yeshua, the saints possess spiritual power the devourer (Rev 12:11; Luke 9:1; 10:19; 1 John 4:4; Jas 4:7).
Example of Isaac and Elijah Surviving Famine
YHVH provided supernaturally for Isaac when there was a famine in the land. All Isaac had to do was to hear and obey YHVH.
- Genesis 26:1, there was a famine in the land
- Genesis 26:2–4, YHVH gave Isaac specific instructions of what to do in light of the famine.
- Genesis 26:5, Isaac stayed faithful to YHVH’s commands or instructions (Torah) as had Abraham.
- Genesis 26:2, Isaac was not to go to Egypt during the famine. We learn from this that we are not trust in the world’s philosophies or ways of doing things to survive during hard times; rather, obey YHVH instructions.
- Genesis 26:3, Do not move to another location unless YHVH tells you to do so. YHVH is able to bless and protect you anywhere.
- Genesis 26:12, Isaac continued to work diligently and sow during the famine, and YHVH blessed him.
YHVH also supernaturally protected Elijah from an unexpected source during a sever and prolonged drought in the land (1 Kgs 17:8–16).
Some Common Sense Principles to Surviving the End Times Economic Difficulties
Much could be said on this subject, but several basic, common sense principles need to be listed to make this brief study on not only surviving but thriving during economic hard times complete. These include:
- Get of debt. If you can’t afford to buy something without going into debt, then likely you don’t really need it. If you must to go into debt, be prepared to pay it off quickly, or be certain that the thing that your are financing is making you more money than the debt is costing you.
- Live within your means. Don’t spend more money than you make.
- Live frugally. Reduce your consumption and lower our standard of living a bit if necessary, and be grateful and content with what you have.
- Set aside money and provisions for difficult times. Wise people prepare for hard times not out of fear but out of common sense, prudence and thinking ahead.
- Learn to be a little more self-sufficient if possible. For example, plant a vegetable garden and stock up on things that you need and that may be in short supply in difficult times.
- Get physically fit and adopt a more healthy lifestyle. You don’t want to be sick and weak when economic hard times come.
- Build relationships with other like-minded people that you know and trust and who have the same beliefs, values and understanding as you. Being involved in a community in times of difficulty may mean the difference between life and death.
- Build family relationships. Your family is likely your most trusted human asset in difficult times.
- Most important: draw closer to Yeshua the Messiah. Study his word, the Bible. Pray, seek him, make him a part of every aspect of your life. Obey and love him by keeping his commandments. Turn from sin and walk in his ways that bring life, blessing and provision even in hard times.