P.O. Box 25, Genoa, IL 60135 August 30, 2016
I believe God gave me this message to encourage His people that He is preparing us for something very special. I trust it will be a great blessing to you.
We'd appreciate your prayers as we take another journey into Canada next week and do several meetings on the weekend.
God bless you all,
Ben and Brenda Peters
AN AMAZING PROPHETIC PICTURE OF THE COMING GREAT TRANSFER OF WEALTH
One of the most relevant and important, yet least talked about, Old Testament book, is the book of Ezra, which tells the story of the return of the Jews to their beloved land and its glorious capital, Jerusalem. In this fascinating historical narrative, we are given powerful and practical wisdom and insights concerning the coming and highly anticipated transfer of wealth from the kingdoms of this world to the Kingdom of Heaven on this earth. The parallels and principles revealed in the book of Ezra so very clearly spoke to my heart as I read this passage and I knew this was a word of encouragement and wisdom for the Body of Christ.
What can we learn from this historical/prophetic book?
THE KING OF KINGS PROCLAIMS AND DECREES
Look now at Ezra 7:12. It begins like this: “Artaxerxes, king of kings,”
This is one of three times in the Old Testament that an emperor is called a king of kings. (In the New Testament, Jesus is called King of kings three times as well) Artaxerxes was the only sovereign king, while other kings served him and his interests in their regions at his bidding. He was declaring his undisputed total authority and power, which no living being dared to challenge or disobey.
The next part of the verse says, “To Ezra, the priest, a scribe of the Law of the God of heaven.”
This earthly king of kings is addressing a servant/leader of the people of God who is also a scholar of His law.
In verse 13, King Artaxerxes declares: “I issue a decree that all those of the people of Israel and the priests and Levites in my realm, who volunteer to go up to Jerusalem, may go with you.”
This is a powerful and profound statement, made by a king with all earthly authority, to a people who had been in bondage for well over 70 years, both in Babylon and Persia, which happen to be Iraq and Iran, respectively. King Cyrus, the Persian, was the first to authorize a return to Jerusalem to rebuild the temple and the city, after 70 years of bondage, but the work had been opposed and hindered for some time, and different emperors had come and gone.
Now King Artaxerxes is declaring and decreeing that they would no longer be slaves, but they were free to return to their lost possessions in the land of their fathers, which God had given them through powerful miracles under Joshua. Those who were comfortable in their lifestyle in Persia and Babylon were allowed to stay, but those who longed for their homeland were freed and encouraged to go back to their natural and spiritual roots.
Verse 14 introduces the first “Whereas” portion of the decree.
“And whereas you are being sent by the king and his seven counselors to inquire concerning Judah and Jerusalem, with regard to the Law of your God which is in your hand;
Here’s a revelation about this sovereign emperor. He was a wise man that recognized the need for the wisdom of counselors. It reminds me of the apostles, who when they needed help with administration, chose seven deacons to take that responsibility. Seven speaks of completion or perfection.
THE GREAT TRANSFER OF WEALTH
The following eight verses describe a great transfer of wealth from Persia and Babylon to Judah and Jerusalem. Please read every verse thoughtfully, as there are great truth treasures to be gained from them.
Ezra 7:15 “And whereas you are to carry the silver and gold which the king and his counselors have freely offered to the God of Israel, whose dwelling is in Jerusalem;
Ezra 7:16 “And whereas all the silver and gold that you may find in all the province of Babylon, along with the freewill offering of the people and the priests, are to be freely offered for the house of their God in Jerusalem.
Ezra 7:17 “Now therefore, be careful to buy with this money bulls, rams, and lambs, with their grain offerings and their drink offerings, and offer them on the altar of the house of your God in Jerusalem.
Ezra 7:18 “And whatever seems good to you and your brethren to do with the rest of the silver and the gold, do it according to the will of your God.
Ezra 7:19 “Also the articles that are given to you for the service of the house of your God, deliver in full before the God of Jerusalem.
Ezra 7:20 “And whatever more may be needed for the house of your God, which you may have occasion to provide, pay for it from the king’s treasury.
Ezra 7:21 “And I, even I, Artaxerxes, the king, issue a decree to all the treasurers who are in the region beyond the River, that whatever Ezra the priest, the scribe of the Law of the God of heaven, may require of you, let it be done diligently,
Ezra 7:22 “up to one hundred talents of silver, one hundred kors of wheat, one hundred baths of wine, one hundred baths of oil, and salt without prescribed limit.”
What a powerful statement by an earthly king of kings! Ezra’s response is also very profound:
Ezra 7:27,28 “Blessed be the Lord God of our fathers, Who has put such a thing as this in the king’s heart, to beautify the house of the Lord which is in Jerusalem, and has extended mercy to me before the king and his counselors, and before all the king’s mighty princes.”
It was obviously Ezra’s passion to see the temple restored and made beautiful once again. It had previously been one of the most glorious and beautiful buildings on the earth, during the reign of Solomon. To Ezra, it meant so much, because it was an earthly picture of a glorious and powerful Heavenly King, who dwelt among His people in the Most Holy Place. In short, it represented the glory of His Presence.
Now let’s focus on just a few of the applicable nuggets in the above passage:
I don’t know how this strikes you, but it speaks very profoundly to me. When it comes to the restoration of the Living House of God on this earth, God will not spare any expense, as long as He trusts those who have been given the stewardship responsibilities of their assignments.
I believe that the time is coming very, very soon that the King of kings in Heaven will issue a powerful decree that will go something like this: “I Jesus Christ of Nazareth, King of kings and Lord of lords, do hereby decree that the time has come to authorize the provision of all the resources that are needed, both natural and spiritual, to rebuild and restore My House on the earth, whose glory will be greater than its original glory at and after Pentecost. I have found the Ezra’s and Nehemiah’s that I can trust with my resources and they shall make My House of Prayer, Praise and Worship so beautiful that once again, many will behold it in wonder and desire to become a living stone in the House of My Glory. I therefore decree: Let the finances and resources, both natural and spiritual, be released and continuously replenished under the leadership of My true apostles and prophets, who will empower my evangelists, pastors and teachers to transform the world they live in and bring a multitude of souls into fellowship with Me. Let none hinder or limit the work of my chosen servants. I do now release the abundant resources from many secret and hidden places on the earth, and declare that great amounts of wealth will shift from those who now possess it to those who will use them for My glory.”
WHO ARE THE MODERN EZRA’S AND NEHEMIAH’S?
We are focusing here on Ezra, but Nehemiah followed Ezra to Jerusalem, as recorded in the Old Testament book by his name. Ezra’s focus was restoring the temple and the city, while Nehemiah’s focus was on rebuilding the wall that was broken down. Both were and still are needed today. However, Ezra was the trailblazer with the responsibility to bring some of the wealth of the empire to Jerusalem to restore temple worship after many years of neglect, even after Cyrus released the first group who came to Jerusalem with some of the articles that had been taken from the temple of Solomon. Cyrus had gotten the ball rolling, but it was Artaxerxes that made sure the resources of his kingdom were available for the temple restoration and temple worship.
Let’s look at an earlier portrait of Ezra now. I’ll leave out some of the names:
Ezra 7:1-6 “Now after these things, in the reign of Artaxerxes, king of Persia, Ezra, the son of Seraiah, the son of . . . . . . . . . the son of Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron, the chief priest – this Ezra came up from Babylon; and he was a skilled scribe in the Law of Moses, which the Lord God of Israel had given. The king granted him all his request, according to the hand of the Lord, his God upon him.”
It was this last statement that suddenly grabbed my attention as I read it. Really??? This powerful king granted Ezra everything he asked for!!! What favor! What a prophetic picture of what Jesus told His disciples in John 16:23, “Whatever you ask the Father in My name, He will give it to you.”
So what’s the secret of such favor? Let’s take a quick look at the verses above. Here’s a very simplified analysis.
In one man named Ezra, we have a picture of the coming together of the work of the Holy Spirit and the eternal Word of God. We have the one who prays and sacrifices on behalf of others before the Lord, and we have a man who is a scholar and expert in understanding the written Word of God.
Here is what I believe God is looking for in those who would steward the transfer of wealth for the restoration of the glory of God on His church. He is looking for both men and women who not only value the work of the Holy Spirit and His power, but they also know and honor the written Word of God and know how to apply it.
I don’t believe God is saying that He will only use those who are both mighty in spiritual gifts and in scholarship of the Word, but He is definitely looking for those who will fulfill their calling in one or the other and humbly partner with those who have the complimentary gifting from God. In one way or another, the people of the Word must come together in divine love and a unity of purpose with the people who focus on the ministry of the Spirit. The Word teaches us and illustrates the work of the Holy Spirit, and the Holy Spirit reminds us of what has been written in the Word of God.
As was prophesied by Smith Wigglesworth many decades ago, the world will see its greatest revival when the people of the Spirit come together with the people of the Word of God. This will require a letting go of pride and prejudice, which has raised a wall of separation between these two groups, like we see between Republicans and Democrats in the USA.
So where are we today? I see some wonderful signs in Christendom. I wrote about the Cessation of Cessationism in a recent book, in which I cited some very encouraging developments in some of the leading anti-Charismatic groups and denominations, who have leaders that now reject the view that God does not do miracles anymore. At the same time, there has been a softening and humbling of the pride of being right in both camps, as well as the spiritual superiority attitude that has frankly characterized many Charismatics in the past.
Just today, after writing most of this article, I was emailed a church promotion that showed a coming together of two different streams of Christianity, in which the well-known leader of a major stream gave amazing compliments to a worship team from a much different stream and will host them in his own megachurch. This is so encouraging. It is the bringing together of the Word and the Spirit and the breaking down of dividing walls.
In addition to the softening of hard hearts by the work of the Holy Spirit, we have now, in America, an unprecedented attack on our religious liberties by an unfriendly element in society and in government. This has drawn many of us together to fight side by side against the forces of perversion and hatred that would eliminate all remnants of our godly heritage if they could.
ARE YOU CALLED TO BE A STEWARD OF THE GREAT TRANSFER OF WEALTH?
If you have a heart to see the Kingdom of Heaven expand on the earth and if your heart longs for the world to behold the beauty of the Lord in His sanctuary, as David did, you may be a candidate for such stewardship. Here are some suggestions:
I do believe the great transfer of wealth has begun in very small increments. It’s like when Cyrus said the Jews could take some religious articles back to Jerusalem, but there was no great financial support to fully accomplish what they desired to do. But our King of kings is looking for an Ezra to empower for His Kingdom harvest. He wants to provide all the spiritual and the material wealth these Ezra’s need to build His Kingdom.
MOTIVATION IS OF UTMOST IMPORTANCE
God will allow us to enjoy many blessings in this life, but He is certainly looking for those who seek first His Kingdom and not His personal blessings. Many have preached about God’s love for us and His desire for us to prosper. There is often a mixed message that comes across that leads to a focus on materialism in this life, more than a focus on eternal wealth and seeking first His Kingdom.
Ezra was a steward of a great amount of wealth, just like the early apostles in the Book of Acts. God used the wealth brought in by the zealous converts to expand His Kingdom and meet many needs. The apostles did not crave personal wealth, but God put in their hands much more than they ever dreamed would come their way. Getting our motives right is a huge step in God trusting us with greater stewardship opportunities.
The harvest is ripe. We are being prepared with powerful harvesting tools. We are also anticipating finances to rent or purchase stadiums and large industries and businesses, including television and movie making networks to bring professional quality productions of biblical stories and Christian events. We will see a surge in miracles of all kinds in biblical proportions and multiplied millions of souls will come into the Kingdom.
May God truly raise up a host of Ezra’s in every nation that can steward well the blessings from the King of kings and Lord of lords!!! Will you be one of His faithful Ezra’s, and steward the natural and spiritual wealth that He desires to provide?%%detect_both%%