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Teach Well Your Children

Teach Well Your Children

In today’s society where abortion, child abuse, divorce and other sins against these little ones seem to be acceptable, it has become apparent that our culture places little value on the lives of these gifts from the Lord.

Bible Verse: Psalm 127:3-4

“Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb is a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one’s youth.”

Reflection

Charles Spurgeon QuotesChildren are precious; they are a heritage and they make the home a treasury. But they are also useful – like fruits and arrows – and make the home a garden and an armory. If parents do not raise their children to know and love the truth, who will plant the seeds of truth and fight the battles against lies and evil in the years to come?

Parents are to preserve the best of the past and invest it in the future. Every baby born is God’s vote for the future of mankind and an opportunity for parents to help make some new beginnings.

Teach Your Children Well

Line upon line, precept upon precept, it is your job as parents to teach your children to walk in the ways of the Lord (Isaiah 28:9-10). What could be the most effective tool for doing exactly that? It’s your own walk with the Lord.

Our children are smart; they copy what we do, repeat what we say, follow where we go, and learn of God as we study His Word and praise Him. Parents who boast of their of past sins with a smirk on their face and their children at their feet have no idea the damage they are causing.

Children soak up every word they hear. Parents set a benchmark for either righteousness or wickedness on how they live before their children. That is why parents are not only to bring their children to church, they are to teach them the Word of God in their homes (Deuteronomy 11:19).

Raising Godly Children

This is not to say that every child who grew up in a Christian home will automatically become a worship leader or a pastor. We have heard of pastors’ kids who have gone out of their way to become gang leaders and drug addicts. There are also kids who grew up in the streets but ended up being elders and deacons in their church.

The point is, while it is the responsibility of parents to raise their children in accordance with the will of God, it is no guarantee that they won’t get lost along the way. However, the Bible also assures us that a child who was trained according to God’s standards may go astray at some point in his life but will eventually find his way back into the truth (Proverbs 22:6).

A Godly Heritage

A godly man, husband, and father, knows that having the right relationship with the Savior means a healthy relationship with his family. He would care for and nurture his children not just by teaching them to love God. More importantly, he would show them every day by the way he lives his life and conducts himself.

Philippine pride, Manny “The Pacman” Pacquiao, is a well-known champion in the field of boxing. And while I am very proud of his accomplishments as a boxer and for the honor he has given our nation, what I admire the most about him is his faith in the Lord, which is reflecting in the way he is now raising his kids to love God and His Word, the way he does.

Raising Godly Children

Make Room for Family

Parents must always make room in their lives for family. Sometimes a business or social calendars need readjusting. I have heard stories about parents who walk around with their mobile phones in constant operation, thereby rendering “conversation across the dinner table” a lost art.

A man who had just lost his wife of many years to cancer was sitting in a hotel room with a friend twenty-five years his junior a few weeks after the funeral. The younger friend had his own family, a wife and two sons.

The older gentleman wept tears of regret and said, “Friend, take time to enjoy your family now, for they will be gone all too soon. Don’t let the busy-ness of your life steal you from them now, lest you regret it later.”

Learn to appreciate what God has blessed you with. The dirty hand prints on the wall and the muddy socks under the bed are signs of healthy, active children who are yours but for a short while.

Create for these precious gifts a Christian home where the love of Jesus is taught. Love them deeply. Give yourself to them completely.

Closing Thoughts

Reproducing a child does not make a parent – that is reproduction, not parenting. In other words, you can have a child or children but that does not mean you’re a parent.

On the other hand, you may not have a child of your own but when you raise a child in a way that pleases and honors God, you are a parent, a godly one for that matter.


*Recommended Resource:

Fearless Parenting: How to Raise Faithful Kids in a Secular Culture – eBook
By George Barna & Jimmy Myers

Product Description:

Today’s Christian parents face an uphill battle in raising godly kids. How can we teach children to live out their faith in a morally bankrupt culture? Offering expert insights, Barna and Myers help you foster your youngsters’ spiritual growth and encourage them to develop their gifts; prioritize family relationships; reject materialism; and rethink social media.

What is God’s Covenant with Noah?

What is God’s Covenant with Noah?

As we continue our series on Covenants, in this article we will be looking at God’s Covenant with Noah. What is this covenant and what are the provisions included in it?

Genesis 9:8-11 constitutes what theologians call the “Noahic Covenant.” This is the third or universal covenant and it is the first of God’s arrangements with humanity that He identified as a covenant (Genesis 9:9, 11-13, 15-17) because of its solemn promise to never destroy the earth and life again with a flood.

The Story of Noah and the Great Flood

For many, the account of Noah and the ark is merely an attractively unusual children’s story about an odd man who built a massive boat. Upon the ark’s completion, representatives from every species of the animal kingdom were drawn to Noah, and two-by-two he escorted them onto his untested vessel.

What is God's Covenant with Noah

Soon it started to rain and this floating menagerie survived a great flood. After all was said and done, the happy cast of characters got to enjoy a spectacular rainbow before going their separate ways.

In short, the story is often seen as little more than a delightful decorating scheme – cute pictures of Noah and the ark, place mats, and the ark-shaped cookie jars. Tragically, the timeless truths of this story often get lost among the trinkets that decorate our homes.

The Noahic Covenant Explained

Noah had just passed through the awful flood, and he and his wife, his three sons, and their wives – eight people – constituted the world’s population. Noah must have wondered whether his family and the animals from the ark could survive on an empty earth.

So God made a covenant with Noah to assure him that they would endure. Some of the terms of this covenant actually hark back to the original arrangement God made with Adam and Eve when they were the only people and sin had not yet entered the scene.

A second aspect of this covenant adapts the Edenic covenant to a world in which sin, violence, and death are terrible realities (Genesis 9:2-6). And finally, the promise of God’s Covenant with Noah addresses the terrifying prospect of another worldwide flood (Genesis 9:8-17).

At that point, Noah might have thought that the things provided by the covenant with Adam had been changed.

However, God gives the Noahic Covenant so that Noah and all the human race to follow might know that the provisions made in the Adamic Covenant remain in effect with one notable addition: the principle of human government which includes the responsibility of suppressing the outbreak of sin and violence, so that it will not be necessary to destroy the earth again by a flood.

Provisions of God’s Covenant with Noah

1) The responsibility to populate the earth is affirmed.

When Noah came out of the boat, he was like a “second Adam” about to usher in a new beginning on earth for the human race. Faith in the Lord had saved Noah and his household from the destruction, and his three sons would repopulate the whole earth (Genesis 9:18).

God had told Adam and Eve “to be fruitful and multiply … fill the earth” (Genesis 1:28), and He repeated that mandate twice to Noah and his family (Genesis 9:1, 7).

2) The subjection of the animal kingdom is reaffirmed.

Noah may have feared that the wild animals from the ark would prove a threat to the safety of his family. But the covenant assured that the wild animals of every type would fear and avoid humans (Genesis 9:2).

As another remnant of the original Edenic covenant, God promised Noah and his descendants that they would still exercise dominion over the birds, animals, and fish of creation.

3) Man is permitted to eat the flesh of animals but refrain from eating blood.

By the terms of the Edenic covenant, human diet had been vegetarian (Genesis 1:29; 2:16). God’s covenant with Noah introduced meat to that diet (Genesis 9:3). In some way, this reflects further alienation within God’s creation after the Fall as animals now live in terror of humans who may kill and eat them.

Provisions of the Noahic Covenant

However, God put one restriction on the eating of animal flesh: The meat must be free of blood (Genesis 9:4). Even though people may eat animals; they must respect the principle of life represented by the blood of the animals.

The life is in the blood, and the life must be respected, even if you’re butchering an animal to eat at a feast (See Leviticus 3:17; 7:26-27; 17:10-14; Deuteronomy 12:16; 15:23).

4) The sacredness of human life is established.

After addressing the sacredness of animal life, the Lord proceeded to discuss an even more important topic: the shedding of human blood. Human blood still holds a higher value as the life symbol of a person bearing the image of God (Genesis 9:5-6).

Those who kill their fellow human beings will have to answer to God for their deeds. To attack a human being is to attack God, and the Lord will bring judgment on the offender. All life is the gift of God, and to take away life means to take the place of God. The Lord gives life and He alone has the right to authorize taking it away (Job 1:21).

Violence had been a primary cause of the flood (Genesis 6:11), and God introduced the principle of capital punishment as a deterrent to the repetition of such wholesale bloodshed.

5) The covenant is confirmed to Noah, all mankind, and every living creature on the face of the earth.

Though God spoke especially to Noah and his sons, the Noahic covenant includes all of Noah’s descendants and all generations to come (Genesis 9:9-10). The covenant doesn’t stop there, however, for it also includes every living creature (Genesis 9:10, 12, 15).

Humans, birds, beasts and wild animals, are encompassed in this wonderful covenant – a covenant with creation. At least four times in this covenant, the Lord mentioned “every living creature.” He was speaking about the animals and birds that Noah had kept safe in the boat during the flood.

6) God promised never to destroy the earth again by a universal flood and designated the rainbow as His testimony to this covenant.

In the same way that God helped Abraham remember His covenant with a visible sign – the sign of circumcision (Genesis 17:11; Romans 4:9-12) and Moses (the Mosaic Covenant at Sinai) with the sign of the weekly Sabbath (Exodus 31:16-17), God’s covenant with Noah was sealed with the sign of the rainbow (Genesis 9:12-17).

Whenever people saw the rainbow, they would remember God’s promise that no future storm would ever become a worldwide flood that would destroy humanity. It’s noteworthy that the New Testament alludes to this promise when it prophesies that God will use fire to destroy the earth at the end of time (2 Peter 3:10).

2 Peter 3:10 NIV

But the rainbow isn’t only for us to see, it’s an assurance that we don’t need to be afraid because certainly, God does not forget his covenants with His people. For the Lord said “the rainbow in the clouds serves as a reminder of My everlasting covenant with every living creature and of all flesh that is on the earth” (Genesis 9:16).

When we look at the rainbow, we know that our Father is also looking at the rainbow, and therefore it becomes a bridge that brings us together.

The Message of the Flood

1) God Grieves and Judges

The story of Noah and the Ark is, first of all, a story about the terrible depravity of men and women. According to the Scripture, human wickedness was rampant on the earth.so much so that the Lord was “sorry” and “grieved” (Genesis 6:6).

Here is a startling aspect of the story of the Flood, a rare glimpse of divine emotion and vulnerability. God our Creator was disappointed and wounded by sin.

The Flood is also a story about God’s judgment. We can’t soften the harsh realities of God’s severe verdict of the wicked people of Noah’s time. God issued His verdict in plain language: “I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth” (Genesis 6:7).

Is this a harsh verdict? Not really. A holy God certainly could not condone sin nor could He tolerate it. It had to be addressed; it had to be punished, for God to remain the God of justice.

When we read the story of Noah, we often forget the terrible loss of life. We tend to focus so much on the boat and the adorable animals, that we forget that great floodwaters beneath it. Below the rails of Noah’s boat were drowning sinners – real people entering a dreadful eternity apart from God.

2) Depravity Meets Grace

Yet the flood is also a reminder of the love and mercy of God. “Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord” (Genesis 6:8). By electing Noah and his family and saving them from judgment, God demonstrated amazing grace.

Even though humanity deserved the full force of His wrath, God in His mercy provided salvation.

All in all, the story of Noah and the Great Flood is a wonderful precursor of the ultimate salvation God would one day provide in Christ. Long after the floodwaters subsided, the human race would continue in its sinful rebellion. And God would continue to require the just penalty for sin; death.

But the next time, instead of providing an ark, God would provide His own son. By that act, He would open the door of salvation, for not only one family, but for all who would believe in him (John 3:16).

Closing Words

In many ways, God’s Covenant with Noah foreshadowed the New Covenant. The New Covenant also fulfilled much of what the Noahic Covenant anticipated. Looking at it more closely, Jesus Christ shedding His blood at Calvary brought the ninth chapter of Genesis into focus.

Like the Noahic covenant, the New Covenant was initiated by God and was accomplished by Him. What makes it different though is that while all flesh benefited from the common grace of God promised in the Noahic Covenant, only those who are “in Christ” benefit from the blessings of the New Covenant.

What is the New Covenant? It’s the New Covenant “in His blood” that is experienced by those who have trusted in the blood of Christ that was shed for the forgiveness of their sins and as a result, will receive the gift of eternal life.

The New Covenant in Christ

This means acknowledging not only Christ’s deity and the death that He died for sinners but also to make this a vital part of your life by trusting only in Christ for your salvation.

While the Noahic Covenant guaranteed all flesh that God would never again destroy all life by a flood, the New Covenant assures us that we will not face the outpouring of God’s divine wrath through other means, such as fire.

By the way, there is only one condition for entering into the blessing of the New Covenant and that is by acknowledging your sinfulness, repenting of your sins and expressing personal faith in Christ by receiving Him as Lord and Savior of your life (John 1:12).


References:

  1. NKJV Prophecy Study Bible (John Hagee – General Editor)
  2. The Transformation Study Bible (Dr. Warren W. Wiersbe  – General Editor)
Trusting God With All Your Heart

Trusting God With All Your Heart

When life gets tough, we need to trust someone. And that someone is none other than God. When we are going through one of life’s storms, the Great Physician has a prescription in Proverbs 3:5

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding.”

You can trust God with your heart because He is trustworthy. He knows the burdens you carry and the tears you shed. He suffered a broken heart and even had a dear friend betray Him. He is the healer of broken heart, broken dreams, and broken lives. You can trust Him for He never fails.

In Psalm 31:1, David affirms his trust in the Lord, “In You, O Lord, I put my trust.” We do not know the precise nature of the trouble David was in, but it severely afflicted him and made him despair of life.

*Related Article: Why We Should Trust The Lord

Trusting in the Wrong Things

Some people place their trust in the wrong things such as money, wealth, power, etc. The apostle Paul wrote, “Command those who are rich in this present age not to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy” (1 Timothy 6:17).

Why are riches “uncertain?” It’s because billionaires are one stock market crash away from being broke. Money can buy a bed of gold, but only God can give us rest. Money can buy the best physicians, but only God can give us health.

Mr. Chee Tat Ng (also known as Philip), the richest man in Singapore, said that he was always in search of a better life, a better purpose, a better everything, but realized he was just looking at all the wrong things. After receiving Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior, He said he has found the missing piece in his life.

Mr Chee Tat Ng

Some people place their trust in education but education without God only produces intellectual barbarians. Take Hitler’s Nazis for instance. They were well educated, and yet they threw Jewish children alive into the blazing ovens of Auschwitz. They had obtained scholarly degrees, but they were educated heathens with hearts of stone.

Public schools in America have thrown the Bible out the back door and brought condoms in the front. Without much imagination, we can see where public schools are heading. Without God, they will produce human beings with little moral fortitude.

Trusting God Completely

Trust must be complete or it is not trust.

A farmer went to the county fair and saw a sign that read, “Airplane rides for $50.” He told the pilot the price was too high. The pilot said, “I’ll make you a deal. If you trust me enough to ride without screaming, the ride is free. If you scream, you pay double.”

The farmer agreed to the deal. The pilot took off and took the plane through a series of aerobatic maneuvers. After the plane landed, the pilot said to the farmer, “I’m amazed; you didn’t scream once.” The farmer replied, “I almost screamed on that barrel roll when my wife fell out.”

God asks but one thing of us – that we should trust Him. He does not ask that we understand Him or explain Him or vindicate Him, just that we trust Him.

Trust  in Me Lyrics and Chords

Unbelief: The Opposite of Trust

The opposite of trust is unbelief. What does God think of people who will not trust Him? Revelation 21:8 says, “But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”

Unbelief releases fear, doubt, and suspicion. Unbelief binds the hands of God and releases the demons of hell.

The woman who doubts her husband’s love and loyalty does not sing for joy. Her face is haggard, her heart is broken, and her eyes are flooded with tears. That’s emotional.

The person filled with self-doubt is not a picture of joy. He is withdrawn, fearful of other people, angry, and seething with resentment. Again, that’s emotional.

The Knowledge of God Builds Trust

Trust is not emotional. It is based on knowledge. We know that God is faithful, and trust is born in faithfulness.

When David was facing great trials, he remembered the faithfulness of God in times past (Psalm 31:15). When the lion roared against David’s sheep, God came. When the bear appeared, God came through. When Goliath mocked Israel, God gave David victory (1 Samuel 17:34-37, 48-50).

Closing Thoughts

All relationships are built on trust. We trust our spouse, our friends, our co-workers, and our family members. If we do not trust them, our relationships wither and die, choked by suspicion, jealousy, and fear.

In the same way, our relationship with God is based on trust. We are saved by trusting in Jesus. We are healed by trusting in His Word. We are delivered by trusting in the power of His name.

Trusting God with Your Heart

We are forgiven by trusting in the power of His blood. We have hope for the future because we trust He is all-powerful and sovereign.

When we are facing a crisis, we need to remember how many times God has come through for us. God is faithful. He paid our sin debt at Calvary. He conquered death in the grave. And He is coming again with power and great glory.

Do you trust God with all your heart?


*Taken from Diamonds for Daily Living, NKJV Prophecy Study Bible

NKJV Prophecy Study Bible Review

NKJV Prophecy Study Bible Review

Do you know that many people are willing to spend money on psychics and will do almost anything in their quest to know the future? Only to end up disappointed because these fortune-tellers are not able to give accurate predictions.

If you want to have a glimpse into your tomorrows, there is only one place to look – the Bible. Unlike horoscopes, astrological predictions and New Age books, God through His written Word, foretells the future with inerrant accuracy.

The God who created the heavens and the earth knows the end from the beginning and has given us a snapshot of things to come. But you may ask, “How am I supposed to understand a book that has been written several hundred years ago in a culture that’s very different from ours?” This is where a good prophecy study Bible comes in.

In this review of the New King James Prophecy Study Bible, I’ll be giving you a glimpse into what’s in it, its amazing facts and features, and my recommendations.

Product Name: NKJV Prophecy Study Bible (Understanding God’s Message in the Last Days)

General Editor: John Hagee

Publisher: Thomas Nelson, Inc.

Edition (Year Published): 2015

The Best Place to buy: Christianbook.com

Verdict: Highly Recommended

Features of the NKJV Prophecy Study Bible

A. The Bible Text

In order to give the reader a detailed imagery of what the Bible is talking about and to assist them in personal study, special features such as italics, paragraph breaks, quotation marks, etc., have been incorporated both in the text of the Bible and in special study aids on each page.

NKJV Prophecy Study Bible Review

B. Introduction to Prophecy and Events of the End Times

Since approximately twenty-seven percent of the Bible was prophetic at the time of its writing, having some guidelines to follow for their proper interpretation is of utmost importance.

This section discusses both prophets and prophecy:

  • Who is a Prophet?
  • What are the Two Purposes of Prophecy?
  • How to Interpret prophecy

It also gives us a short introduction to:

  • The Last Days
  • The Rapture
  • The Tribulation
  • The Second Coming
  • The Millennium

C. Master Index to Bible Prophecy

This is divided into five sections:

  1. Prophecies Fulfilled from the beginning to the Exile of Judah
  2. Prophecies Fulfilled from the Exile of Judah to the First Coming of Christ
  3. Prophecies Fulfilled at the First Coming of Christ
  4. Prophecies Fulfilled during the Church Age
  5. Prophecies Fulfilled after the Rapture of the Church

And within each of these sections are the prophecies listed in biblical order along with their reference texts, a short description of the prophecy and a notation regarding its fulfillment.

D. Monies, Weights, and Measures

Although we cannot make exact equivalents and determine the actual monetary values of the currencies used more than two- or three-thousand years ago, relating them to current values in terms of how much a common laborer gets paid on a daily basis is helpful.

E. Top 20 Questions about Bible Prophecy

This is one of my favorite features of the NKJV Prophecy Study Bible. These articles answer the questions most frequently asked about prophecy and end time events. Questions such as: What is God’s view of the Tribulation? What is Armageddon? Who is the coming Antichrist? How can I know Bible Prophecy is accurate?

NKJV Prophecy Study Bible Review

F. Diamonds for Daily Living

Who doesn’t enjoy reading the Psalms? Diamonds for daily living is a series of forty devotions drawn from the Book of Psalms.

While Rick Warren’s Purpose Driven Life guides you into a 40-day journey to discovering God’s purpose for your life, the NKJV Prophecy Study Bible gives you 40 Diamonds for Daily Living to encourage you, especially during difficult times.

H. God’s Great Salvation

Undoubtedly, the theme of salvation runs through the Bible from Genesis to Revelation. God has laid out His plan of salvation for man from the time that Adam and Eve declared their independence and rebelled against God in the Garden of Eden.

Explore God’s Great Salvation with these 20 articles starting with the “Forbidden Fruit and Lost Innocence” on page 11.

I. God’s Great Promises

This series of seventeen articles explores the covenant promises found in God’s written Word, the Bible. We know from reading the Bible that God has made several covenants not only with the nation of Israel but with the Church as well.

But which ones are for Israel only and which ones are for His Church? Does God plan to fulfill them? How confident are we that He will? The covenants God made with Israel are so significant that they say a lot about His covenant with the Church.

Start your study of God’s Great Promises with “The idea of Covenant in the Bible” on page 26.

What is in the NKJV Prophecy Study Bible

J. Evidences

The Christian definition of faith is NOT belief without evidence. As Oxford professor John Lennox said, “Faith is not a leap into the unknown, but an evidence-based commitment.”

This series of 47 articles offers a positive apologetic for the Christian faith that includes among others:

  1. The Uncaused Cause of Everything Else
  2. What Happened to Jesus’ Body?
  3. The Trinity
  4. Was Jesus the Predicted Messiah
  5. The Search for the Historical Jesus

K. Spokesman for God

The prophets of the Bible spoke God’s word. Read about the main prophets and their messages in this series of articles.

L. Bible Insights

This collection of over fifty short articles provides additional information about the Bible, its people, its times and its prophetic message.

M. Bible Prophecy Charts

In this feature of the NKJV Prophecy Study Bible, there are sixteen charts given on the key aspects of Bible prophecy, including the prophecies of Daniel, the Tribulation, times of the Gentiles, the Rapture and the Millennium.

NKJV Prophecy Study Bible Review

What Others are Saying about the NKJV Prophecy Study Bible

“The Bible helps alone are priceless. There are charts and outlines for every book that list the prophecies with references and give the fulfillment references. I really like the NKJV Prophecy Study Bible and I am excited to have this tool at my disposal. I’d say this is a must for equipping believers to be prepared with truth and ready to give answers to those who question the reason for their faith” – Nellie Dee

“The NKJV Prophecy Study Bible is packed with amazing features that will help beginners and serious students of Bible prophecy. It is filled with special features that offer details designed to bring a clearer understanding of prophetic themes.” – Kara

“The NKJV Prophecy Study Bible is an excellent tool for understanding Bible prophecy and so much more. I wasn’t actually planning on buying it, but couldn’t leave it in the store after looking inside.” – Tommy King

“Pastor John Hagee has done a truly magnificent job with the NKJV Prophecy Study Bible. Each book provides us with information on the author, the time it was written and of “The Christ” of that book. Christ’s words are also in red letters plus there are references that point the reader to parallel verses in order to help them understand better what they’re currently reading. This would make a wonderful gift for our friends and family.” – VicsMediaRoom

Conclusion

The NKJV Prophecy Study Bible is a great material for anyone who is serious about understanding God’s message in the last days. As I said in my article Reasons to Study Bible Prophecy, approximately 1/3 or 27% of the Bible was prophetic at the time of its writing and if we claim to love studying the Bible, we must also love to study Bible prophecy.

What better way to do this than having your own copy of the NKJV Prophecy Study Bible.

Get you copy here: NKJV Prophecy Study Bible, 2015 Edition

What is God’s Covenant with Man?

What is God’s Covenant with Man?

We are on a series on the different covenants of God and today’s article deals with God’s covenant relationship with man. When God purposed to create man, God made His covenant with him. What is this covenant and what are the provisions or conditions included in it?

Here is an in-depth explanation of God’s covenant relationship with man by Bishop Moses R. Chungalao, the founder, president and senior minister of the Free Believers in Christ Fellowship International (FBCFI).

The Word Covenant Defined

Another word for covenant is an agreement or a contract. It is much like an employment contract or agreement between an employer and an applicant employee, where all the terms have been set by the employer and the employee only has to agree and sign to be employed.

It’s also like a Lease Agreement of Contract where all the terms have been set by the owner-lessor of the property and the lessee only has to agree and sign the contract to be able to use the property.

In the same way, God already set all the terms of His covenant with man, and man had no part in making the terms and conditions thereof. God’s covenant reveals and expresses His will for man.

What is God's Covenant with Man

The terms are all His commandments, laws, precepts, ordinances or instructions in His word, the Bible. The Bible is full of provisions saying, “These are the decrees and laws you must be careful to follow…” (Deuteronomy 12:1 NIV) or “Teach them to observe all things that I have commanded you” (Matthew 28:20).

Man has no choice but to obey the covenant of God. Remember Adam and Eve who were cut off from God and were cast out of the Garden of Eden to suffer the curse because they disobeyed God and broke the covenant.

The Basis of God’s Covenant with Man

The basis of God’s covenant is His immeasurable love because He is love; that is His whole being and character. God is Love, and we say, “All the time.” There’s not a bit of time that He is not Love. That is His nature and the nature of love is it is reciprocated or symbiotic.

Love seeks to be reciprocated; it seeks to be loved back in the same way and measure. So God planned and purposed to create man to be the object of His love. And He decided that the kind of relationship to the man is as a Father so that He would lavish His son with His love and blessings of great prosperity because of His love.

Because of His love, God could not avoid lavishing his son with everything He was going to create in this earth that is why He made and prepared the whole earth and all it contained for man before creating him.

What is God's Covenant with Man

Ephesians 1:4 (NIV) says, “He chose us in Him before the creation of the world…” In fact, God did not only choose to create Adam but He also “chose us” and even knew us by name (Jeremiah 1:5). So God chose (or decided) everything for man and His covenant with man (and with us) before He created the world, and man had no part in making the terms and conditions of the covenant.

They are all God’s terms and conditions. The whole Bible is God’s covenant and everything written in it is God’s terms and will. God’s will are revealed and expressed by His word or covenant.

LOVE
The First Requirement of God’s Covenant with Man

An expert of the law asked Jesus, “Which is the greatest commandment in the law?” Jesus replied, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment.” Jesus further said, “And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:36-39).

It must be noted that Moses said the exact same thing in Deuteronomy 6:5. Loving your neighbor and yourself is only secondary, including family since your family is part of yourself. To love God is foremost and number 1 priority in God’s covenant with man. Jesus made this very clear in Matthew 10:37.

In fact, Jesus further says, “If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple” (Luke 14:26).

What is God's covenant with Man

Why is love the first and foremost requirement of God’s covenant with man? It’s because love is the nature and basic character of God, and the nature of love is reciprocal; it is symbiotic. By nature, love wants to be loved in return, and it wants to be loved back in the same way and measure.

Everyone who loves will always want to be loved back because we were created in the image and likeness of God.

OBEDIENCE
The 2nd Requirement of God’s Covenant with Man

God’s covenant with man requires absolute full obedience of man to all the laws, decrees, statutes, precepts, ordinances and commandments in God’s word, the Bible.

The commands of God are very absolute as we read in Genesis 2:16-17. When God said to the man that he will surely die when he eats from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, death here means separation or being cut off from God.

What is God's Covenant with Man

When man disobeyed and violated the command of God, man was cut off from God and was driven out from the Garden, the kingdom of God.

In many passages of Scriptures such as Deuteronomy 4:9, 23; Deuteronomy 5:1; Deuteronomy 6:12, 17-18, 24; Deuteronomy 8:1; Deuteronomy 11:8, 13, 16, 22; Deuteronomy 12:1; Deuteronomy 11:26-28; Deuteronomy 28:1-8 and Matthew 7:21, God’s covenant explicitly states absolute obedience demanded of man by God.

WORSHIP
Third Requirement of God’s Covenant with Man

From creation it can be understood from the Bible that God planted the Garden of Eden and put the man He created in that garden to work it and take care of it (Genesis 2:8, 15). Just like a landlord and a tenant, God already planted the garden and it was profusely bearing fruit.

God gave the garden to the man to work it by planting, harvesting and maintaining it, so the man gave all his time and efforts up-keeping the garden of God. The Garden of Eden was the property or Kingdom of God on earth, which He planted and gave to the man for his heritage as a son.

The garden had everything the man needed; it was a paradise. As the man worked the garden and harvested all the fruits, he worshiped God every day and offered the best portions of his garden products (“first fruits”) and fattest animals (“firstborn”) including the fruit of the 2 trees in the center of the garden, the “tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.”

Sacrificial giving is basic worship, as it is commanded, “No man should appear before the Lord empty-handed” (Deuteronomy 16:16). So the man faithfully offered and worshiped God every day until the devil came to them in the garden and were deceived into disobeying God.

Conditions of God's Covenant with Man

Even after the man and woman were driven from the garden, their sons Cain and Abel continued to worship God by offering the fruits of their works (Genesis 4:3-5). God looked with favor on Abel and his offering but not on Cain and his offering because it was not sacrificial.

We can, therefore, understand from all Scriptures that worship is basically honoring God with our whole body, heart, mind, soul, and strength, which is required by God as our expression of love to Him.

Worship was the first thing Noah did after God destroyed the whole creation on earth with flood and it pleased God not to destroy all lives again (Genesis 8:20-21). Worship was the first things Abram did when God called him and he obeyed. And God appeared to him and promised to give the land to his offspring (Genesis 12:7).

When God gave Abram victory over his enemies, Abram gave “a tenth of everything” in honor and worship (Genesis 14:20). Worship is the first thing God commanded Moses to do with his people after bringing them out from Egypt (Exodus 3:12).

SACRIFICE
An Expression of Man’s Love, Worship, and Obedience to God

In God’s covenant with man, sacrifice is the one word that underlines the love of God to man, the required love of man to God, the required absolute obedience of man to God and the required worship and offerings of man to God.

First of all, the love of God was characterized by sacrifice. When God came to earth in the person of Jesus Christ, He not only gave His life but also suffered to pay for the redemption of man.

In return, God requires sacrifice on the part of man as proof of his love for God. God commands man to “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your mind and with all your strength (Deuteronomy 6:5).

Sacrificial offering has been the express form of worship from the time of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, the time of Cain and Abel (Genesis 4:3-4), the time of Noah (Genesis 8:20), the time of Abram (Genesis 14:20) and the time of Moses (Deuteronomy 12:5-6).

What is God's Covenant with Man

The Israelites resolved to obey the laws of God and bring to the Temple all the duties required for the house of God (Nehemiah 10:30-39). The Bible says, “Honor (or worship) the Lord with your wealth, with the first fruits (the best) of all your crops; then your barns will be filled to overflowing and your jars will brim over with new wine (Proverbs 3:9-10 NIV).

Before Jesus ascended into heaven, He gave the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20). To “be careful to obey every command” is very difficult for sinful man to observe but with the sacrifice to deny ourselves and our self-will to become like Jesus Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit, we can become like Him. To become like Christ is possible only if we offer ourselves as living sacrifices (Romans 12:1).

True worship is definitely and absolutely expressed in sacrificial offering. Giving the best of everything to God in worship is a sacrifice of worship. The devil reversed this principle of God when he deceived Adam and Eve into believing that they must reserve the best of their harvest to themselves and their families and offer to God only too little.

Closing Words

At the start of God’s covenant with man, the facts were established that God created man and put His Spirit on him to be God’s son (Genesis 2:7), lavished the man with everything he needed as proof of His love for him, and established that obedience, worship, and sacrifice are the requirements for man to show his love to God in return.

Spiritual Inventory Checklist

Spiritual Inventory Checklist

Like forgiveness, obedience is one of the major themes in the Bible; it is a clear indication that one has genuinely placed their faith in Christ. But how do we know if we’re living in obedience to the Lord? We can use Proverbs 4:20-27 as a personal spiritual inventory.

While Scriptures are clear that salvation is solely based on the finished works of Christ, good works which include faithfulness and obedience to the Word of God are the marks of true believers.

Spiritual Inventory Questions

Are we living in complete obedience to the Lord? Let’s ask ourselves:

1) What comes into my ears?  

“My son, give attention to my words; Incline your ear to my sayings.” – Proverbs 4:20

Whatever enters my ears will ultimately influence my mind, my heart and my decisions, so I’d better be careful what I listen to. In Ephesians 5:4, Paul warns us to beware of “obscene stories, foolish talk, and coarse jokes.”

They say, “Laughter is the best medicine,” because according to scientific studies, laughter does not only trigger the release of the body’s feel-good hormone endorphins, it also decreases stress hormones. The same idea is found in Proverbs 17:22? It says, “A merry heart does good, like medicine. But a broken spirit dries the bones.”

But what are we joking and laughing about? There are a lot of things Christians can joke about without having to resort to coarse or green jokes. So when unbelieving friends and colleagues engage in obscene talks, it is wise to walk away.

A merry heart does good like medicine - Proverbs 17:22

What about worldly music? I am reminded of what my music coordinator said about being on a bus or cab on our way to work. The driver then starts playing worldly music and sitting there unaware, we might start nodding our head and humming to the tune of the song.

Should Christians stop listening to worldly music? As new creations in Christ, we no longer belong to this world and so our desires are no longer for the things of this world. Worldly pleasures and entertainment, which includes worldly music, belong to this world and we want nothing to do with it.

What about the people we should seek counsel from? Psalm 1:1 tells us to avoid ungodly counsel. Why would you, a Christian, seek counsel from people who do not regard the Bible as authoritative? Christians must seek advice only from Christians who hold to the Bible as the final authority.

2) What is within my heart?

“Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life.” – Proverbs 4:23

It isn’t easy to keep or guard one’s heart for there will be many opportunities to give our heart to a person or path that we are warned against. But it is necessary to keep the heart in the sense of guarding it. Solomon is saying here that the heart should be kept and guarded against the way of the wicked (Proverbs 4:19).

Whatever the heart loves, the ear will hear, and the eyes will see. Do you notice how your kids always manage to find the ice cream shops and the toy stores no matter where you’re driving? If you love bags and shoes, I’m sure you will always manage to locate the best stores. The things that occupy the attention of your heart will determine the course of your life.

The Bible further warns us to avoid a double heart (Psalm 12:2), a hard heart (Proverbs 28:14), a proud heart (Proverbs 21:4), an unbelieving heart (Hebrews 3:12), a cold heart (Matthew 24:12), and an unclean heart (Psalm 51:10).

Do you want to live in obedience to God and not sin? Remember to always keep God’s Word hidden in your heart (Psalm 119:11).

3) What is upon my lips? 

“Put away from you a deceitful mouth, and put perverse lips far from you.” – Proverbs 4:24

Whatever is in the heart will ultimately come out of the mouth (Matthew 12:33-34). As God’s children, we must be careful to “have sound speech that cannot be condemned” (Titus 2:8) and speech that gracious and attractive (literally, “seasoned with salt” – see Colossians 4:6).

The ancient Romans, listening to one of their orators, would look at each other, smile and say, “Cum grano salis”“Take it with a grain of salt.” But Christians are supposed to put the salt into their speech and keep their words pure and honest.

For believers to stay on the path of the just, they must pay attention to what they say. Perverse and deceitful words are often used to cover perverse and deceitful actions and could lead us further along the way of the wicked.

Keep your tongue from evil and your lips from telling lies. - Psalm 34:13

Proverbs has a great deal to say about human speech; in fact, the word “mouth” is used over 50 times and the word “lips” over 40 times in some translations. Among other things, Solomon warns us about perverse talk and corrupt speech (Proverbs 4:24), undisciplined talk (Proverbs 10:19), lying lips (Proverbs 12:22), gossip (Proverbs 20:19) and deception (Proverbs 24:28).

In fact, “he who guards his mouth will preserve his life but he who opens wide his lips shall have destruction” (Proverbs 13:3).

4) What is before my eyes? 

“Let your eyes look straight ahead, and your eyelids look right before you.” – Proverbs 4:25

Outlook determines outcome. Abraham was the friend of God because he “walked by faith and waited for the city … designed and built by God” (Hebrews 11:10). Lot became a friend of the world because he walked by sight and moved toward the wicked city of Sodom (Genesis 13:10, 12).

Everybody has some wisdom before them that helps to determine their values, actions, and plans. We would all be wise to imitate David who said, “I will set nothing wicked before my eyes” (Psalm 101:3), and the writer of Psalm 119 who prayed, “Turn away my eyes from looking at worthless things” (Psalm 119:37).

Out of distraction, we often depart the path of the just. For that, the blinders used on horses that do them much good would do many of us good as well. To be fit for His kingdom, Jesus said we must not look back or around (Luke 9:62). Instead, we must keep our eyes on Jesus (Hebrews 12:2) as we walk the path of life.

5) What is the direction of my path? 

“Ponder the path of your feet, and let all your ways be established. Do not turn to the right or the left; Remove your foot from evil.” – Proverbs 4:26-27

The Hebrew word translated “mark out” means “to weigh” or “to make level.” It is related to a word that means “scales” (see Proverbs 16:11).

The apostle Paul wrote, “Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves that Jesus Christ is in you? – unless indeed you are disqualified” (2 Corinthians 13:5).

Examine me O Lord - Psalm 26:2

It’s necessary for us to consider the destination of our present path as it would lead us to wise living. Carefully pondering where we are headed will help us to establish our direction and help us to not turn to the left or to the right.

The Lord is weighing our ways (Proverbs 5:21) and our hearts (Proverbs 21:2), as well as our actions (1 Samuel 2:3), and we had better do the same. Life is too short and too precious to be wasted on the temporary and the trivial. If we’re walking in the way of wisdom, God promises to protect, direct and perfect our paths.

Closing Thoughts

After going through this spiritual inventory checklist, can you say with all honesty that you are living a life that is pleasing to God? Are you obedient to Him in everything?

One of the marks of a true Christian is OBEDIENCE. If you claim to have placed your faith in the Lord Jesus but you’re still living like the rest of the world, you’re not only fooling God but yourself.

Let us continually ask God to examine our heart and mind, and reveal to us any area of our life that is not yet fully submitted to Him.

How To Receive God’s Guidance

How To Receive God’s Guidance

There is no question that God’s people need His guidance and we read over and over the subject of God’s guidance in the Old and New Testaments. But how do we receive God’s guidance and direction in our lives? In Proverbs 3:1-12, conditions are given for receiving God’s guidance.

Conditions for receiving God's Guidance

Conditions for receiving God’s guidance:

1. We must learn God’s truth and keep them within our hearts (Proverbs 3:1-4).

The will of God is revealed in the Word of God (Colossians 1:9-10), and the only way to know His will is to study His Word and obey it. By receiving the Word within our hearts, we experience growth in godly character so that loyalty and kindness become beautiful ornaments in our lives (Proverbs 1:9; 3:3).

It is not enough for believers to carry the Bible in their hands; they must let the Holy Spirit write God’s Word on their hearts.

2. We must trust the Lord and obey Him (Proverbs 3:5-6).

These are the key verses in this chapter, a promise God’s people have often claimed as they have sought the Lord’s guidance and direction for their lives. And this promise has never failed them – if they have obeyed God. God keeps His promises when we obey His precepts because our obedience prepares us to receive and enjoy what He has planned for us.

To “not depend on our own understanding” does not suggest that God’s children turn off their brains and ignore their intelligence and common sense. It simply cautions us not to depend on our own wisdom and experience or the wisdom and experience of others.

*Read here: How to Love the Lord Your God with All Your Mind 

Abraham did this when he went to Egypt (see Genesis 12:10-20), and so did Joshua when he attacked the little town of Ai (See Joshua 7). When we become “impressed with our own wisdom” (Proverbs 3:7), then we’re heading for trouble.

God has promised to guide and direct us on which path to take, but the fulfillment of that promise is predicated on our obedience to the Lord. We must trust Him with all our heart and obey Him in all our ways.

That means total commitment to Him (Romans 12:1-2). The word translated “trust” in Proverbs 3:5 means “to lie helpless, facedown.” It pictures a servant waiting for his master’s command in readiness to obey, or a defeated soldier yielding himself to the conquering general.

3. We need to share God’s blessings (Proverbs 3:9-10).

The division of “spiritual” and “material” does not apply to the followers of Christ, for everything comes from God and belongs to God. The Old Testament Jews brought the Lord the firstlings of their flocks and the first crops of their fields (Leviticus 23:9-14), and in this way acknowledged His goodness and sovereignty. The New Testament parallel is seen in Matthew 6:33.

4. We must submit to God’s correction (Proverbs 3:11-12).

Discipline is a part of God’s plan to help His sons and daughters mature in godly character (Hebrews 12:1-11). God chastens us, not as a judge punishes a criminal, but as a parent disciplines a child.

God acts in love, and His purpose is that we might “share in His holiness” (Hebrews 12:10). Sometimes God chastens us because we have rebelled and need to repent; other times He chastens us to keep up from sinning and to prepare us for His special blessing.

No matter how much the experience hurts us, it will never harm us, because God always disciplines in love (Deuteronomy 8:2-5).

Conclusion

The promise of God to guide and direct us will never fail if we obey the conditions God has laid down. God keeps His promises when we obey His precept because our obedience prepares us to receive and enjoy what He has planned for us.

What Is God’s Covenant With Adam?

What Is God’s Covenant With Adam?

God’s covenant with Adam, also called the Adamic Covenant found in Genesis 3:14-21, is the second general or universal covenant. But what is this all about? The Adamic Covenant could be called God’s covenant with mankind, for it sets forth the conditions which will hold sway until the curse of sin is lifted.

The conditions within the Adamic covenant include:

  • The serpent, the tool used by Satan to effect the fall of man, is cursed (Genesis 3:14).
  • Satan is judged; he will enjoy limited success but will be judged ultimately (Genesis 3:15).
  • The first prophecy of the coming Messiah is given (Genesis 3:15).
  • Multiplication of conception, necessitated by the introduction of death into the human race (Genesis 3:16).
  • There will be pain in childbirth (Genesis 3:16).
  • The woman is made subject to her husband (Genesis 3:16).
  • The ground is cursed and will bring forth weeds among the food which man must eat for his existence (Genesis 3:17-19).
  • Physical change takes place in man; he will perspire when he works and will have to work all his life (Genesis 3:19).
  • In sinning, man dies spiritually and ultimately will die physically. His flesh will decay until it returns to dust from which it was originally taken (Genesis 3:19).

The Sin of Adam

From man’s perspective, Adam’s sin does not seem to be a very great sin. All he did was take a bite of some fruit. But what made Adam’s sin serious is that the fruit was of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, of which God specifically said that he was not to eat under the penalty of death (Genesis 2:17).

Up to this time, Adam was morally innocent. But when he sinned, he became a sinner by nature. So he died. He not only died spiritually immediately, but he also began to die physically.

*Related Article: Death Penalty For Sin, Eternal Life In Christ

The story of creation tells us that Adam was the first man ever to live upon the face of the earth. From Adam and Eve has come every other human being who ever has lived. Thus, Adam is the “federal head” from whom every other man came. Like begets like. Dogs beget dogs. Apples beget apples. Human beings beget human beings.

Since Adam sinned before Eve conceived a child, every human descended from him is a sinner just like him except Christ. As a result of Adam’s sin, death entered into the human race (Romans 5:12-14); every human being needs to have the new life (John 3:3, 5-7).

Forbidden Fruit and Lost Innocence

Imagine what may very well have been the single worst moment in the history of humanity: Adam and Eve standing outside the gorgeous Garden of Eden – banished, an angel with a flaming sword to make sure they will never again experience the intimate walks and talks with God or the delicious fruit from the tree of life.

The blissful feelings of joy and security they had felt in the Garden of Eden were forever gone. In their place, Adam and his wife Eve felt only nagging, haunting emotions of fear, guilt, and shame.

Lost Paradise

Adam and Eve had declared their independence by a single act of rebellion against God. What they had done was more than merely eat a piece of forbidden fruit. At a deeper level, they had defied God’s clear-cut command. They chose to listen to the seductive voice of the serpent and succumbed to their own pride.

They made a huge mistake of overtly challenging the right of the Almighty God to guide and direct their lives, exercising authority and power over their own lives. The consequences of that deplorable decision were catastrophic: the curse of God their Maker, sorrow, death, and a life of pain and regret – not only for them but for all their descendants.

We can’t help but think that at some point, Adam and Eve must have taken one last look at Eden before turning away. Were they quiet? Who broke the silence? Did they blame each other? Or did they fall into each other’s arms?

The Curses Pronounced By God

1) A Curse on the Serpent

The first curse of God’s covenant with Adam and mankind is on the serpent, the tool used by Satan to deceive and seduce Adam and Eve into sin (Genesis 3:14-15). The curse affects not only the instrument, the serpent, but also the indwelling Satan who is still working hard to destroy God’s creatures (Revelation 12:9).

Great physical changes took place in the serpent. Apparently, the serpent walked upright before the curse; since, it has gone on its belly (Genesis 3:14). It used to be the most desirable animal of the animal creation; since, it has been the most despicable. The sight or thought of a snake should be an effective reminder of the devastating effects of sin.

The other half of the curse on the serpent is the predicted final judgment of Satan (Genesis 3:15). Satan will injure the “Seed” of the woman; however, ultimately he will be destroyed by the promised “Seed.” Satan wounded Christ through His suffering and death on the cross, but his apparent victory was only a “bruise” as the Resurrection proved.

The Resurrection of Jesus Christ delivered the crushing blow to Satan as it defeated death, the legacy of the fall.

2) Curses on the Ground Causing Chaos to Return to Earth

When Adam and Eve sinned in rebellion against God by doing exactly what God has commanded them not to do, God pronounced curses on the ground which Adam and mankind were to tend as God’s representatives (Genesis 3:17-18; Genesis 2:15).

When God had created the earth, He caused order to replace chaos (Genesis 1:2). After Adam sinned, a measure of chaos was brought back into God’s ordered world. “Thorns and thistles” (Genesis 3:18) represent everything in life that resists human efforts to create order in God’s name.

Further Effects of Sin

Aside from the two curses, God also proclaimed how sin would affect both genders of humanity. The focus of sin’s effects on women is in childbearing, child rearing and in their relationships with men (Genesis 3:16).

The injection of physical pain into childbearing also hints at the years of emotional pain spent on child rearing. Within women’s relationships with their husbands, they are caught between their desire and need for intimacy and the tendency of their mates to dominate them, a clear violation of God’s intention of loving leadership.

On the other hand, men would find the effects of sin permeating their efforts to provide a livelihood for themselves and their families (Genesis 3:19).

The disorder loosed in the soil and in all human enterprise reduces men to toilers who can never win for long in their efforts to make a living. They continue to struggle in order to get ahead of the chaos represented by the thorns and thistles which in effect will distract them from God.

The Gift of Hope

As Adam and Eve began to reflect on the terrible, final moments in the Garden of Eden, they must have thought of the sorrow in God’s voice when He had called out, “Where are you?” And the puzzling curse on the serpent kept running through their minds (Genesis 3:14-15).

God said the serpent would inflict yet more pain and suffering upon humans, but in the end, he would be crushed by the Seed of Eve. It was a small ray of hope, a glimmer of a promise that Paradise would not remain lost forever, a promise of a Deliverer and Savior (fulfilled in Jesus Christ, see Galatians 3:16, 19-26).

It could be that Adam and Eve also recalled the gentle way the Lord had graciously provided them with clothes before sending them away – a hint of God’s love and mercy. The more they reflected, the more they must have become convinced that God wanted to restore them to Himself.

Great news! The long wait for God’s promised salvation has come. Today, unlike Adam and Eve, we don’t have to wait. The day of salvation is already here (2 Corinthians 6:2). Jesus has already come to save us from our sins. 

Did you receive God’s offer of salvation through the finished works of Christ? If you haven’t, now is the time to do it. Now is the day of salvation!


*Reference: 

NKJV Prophecy Study Bible, 2015 Edition   (Understanding God’s Message in the Last Days)

General Editor: John Hagee

The prophecies of the Bible assure us that God will prevail. The NKJV Prophecy Study Bible 2015 Edition has hundreds of pages of special features that offer a broad understanding of prophetic themes, salvation, covenants, and other important doctrines of the Christian faith.

Features include:

  • Introduction to Bible Prophecy
  • Index to Prophetic Passages
  • Top 20 Questions about Bible Prophecy
  • Diamonds for Daily Living
  • God’s Great Promises
  • God’s Great Salvation
  • Evidences
  • Spokesmen for God
  • Bible Insights
  • Bible Prophecy Charts
  • Full concordance
Choosing Between Blessings And Curses

Choosing Between Blessings And Curses

Bible Verses: Leviticus 26:3-4, 14-16 (NIV)

“If you follow my decrees and are careful to obey my commands, 4 I will send you the seasonal rains. The land will then yield its crops, and the trees of the field will produce their fruit.”

“However, if you do not listen to me or obey all these commandments, 15 and if you break my covenant by rejecting my decrees, treating my regulations with contempt, and refusing to obey my commands, 16 I will punish you.”

Reflection and Challenge

In these verses, it’s very clear that to obey God is “to follow My decrees” but to disobey Him is “to reject My decrees” and to despise His statutes. The word translated “reject” means “a hostile meeting with the intention of fighting.”

Our bodies are the sanctuary of God, and we must be careful to use them for God’s glory (1 Corinthians 6:15-20). The Holy Spirit of God lives in us, and we must not grieve Him by using His temple for ungodly purposes (Ephesians 4:30). Christians who indulge in illicit sex or who defile their imagination with evil thoughts are guilty of violations just as serious.

As children of God, we already have everything we need for “living a godly life” (2 Peter 1:3), because we now possess “every spiritual blessing” in Christ (Ephesians 1:3). But to possess these blessings is one thing; to enjoy them is quite something else. As we trust God’s promises and obey His commandments, we draw upon our spiritual inheritance and are able to walk successfully and serve effectively.

Some of the “success preachers” today like to claim these covenant blessings for the church but prefer to apply the judgments to somebody else! Think about it, if this covenant applies to God’s children today, then we should be experiencing the judgments whenever we disobey Him.

*Read here: Blessing Through Obedience

However, experience shows us that more than one compromising believer is successful, healthy, and wealthy, while many of God’s faithful children are going through trials and difficulties. Now, why is that?

The good news is that even in the worst situations, however, there is always hope, for the Lord is “the God of compassion and mercy! He is slow to anger and filled with unfailing love and faithfulness. He lavishes unfailing love to a thousand generations. God forgives iniquity, rebellion, and sin” (Exodus 34:6-7).

God’s covenant with His people never changes, and if we confess our sins, He will forgive and restore us (1 John 1:9). Whether in blessing, chastening, or forgiving, God always keeps His covenant and is true to His Word.

But knowing how merciful, faithful and forgiving God is must impel us to obey His decrees and statutes all the more. Let us be reminded of God’s great love for us that caused Him to give His only begotten Son to die for us so that we will be reconciled back to God.

And whenever the choice between God’s blessings or curses is laid before us, let us choose the blessings by obeying God’s commandments.

Understanding the 70 Weeks of Daniel

Understanding the 70 Weeks of Daniel

The prophecy in Daniel 9:24-27 which is often called the “Backbone of Bible Prophecy” and “God’s Prophetic Clock” tells us that God has put Israel’s future on a time clock. As I said in my article, “Daniel’s Seventy Weeks Timeline,” this prophetic passage is quite detailed.

Daniel 9:24-27

“Seventy weeks are determined for your people and for your holy city, to finish the transgression, to make an end of sins, to make reconciliation for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy, and to anoint the Most Holy. Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the command to restore and build Jerusalem until Messiah the Prince, there shall be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks; the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublesome times.

And after the sixty-two weeks, Messiah shall be cut off, but not for Himself, and the people of the prince who is to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end of it shall be with a flood, and till the end of the war, desolations are determined. Then he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week, but in the middle of the week, He shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate, even until the consummation, which is determined, is poured out on the desolate.”

In order for us to have a better understanding of its astounding accuracy and significance, let’s break it down into ten basic keys.

Ten Keys to Understanding the Seventy Weeks of Daniel

1. It’s about weeks of years.

The term “week” refers to sets of seven. It could refer to sets of days, weeks, months, or years. The context determines its meaning. In the context of Daniel 9:24-27, we know that this refers to sets of years because Daniel had already been thinking in terms of years in Daniel 9:1-2.

2. The total time is 490 years.

The period involved is a time period of 490 years (seventy sets of seven-year periods using a 360-day prophetic year).

3. It’s about the Jewish people and the city of Jerusalem.

It’s very important to note that the 490 years concerns the Jewish people and the city of Jerusalem, not the church. Gabriel tells Daniel this time period is “for your people (Israel) and your holy city (Jerusalem)” (Daniel 9:24).

The Jewish people and Jerusalem

4. The purpose of the seventy weeks.

The purpose of these 490 years is to accomplish six divine goals. The first three have to do with man’s sin, and the last three have to do with God’s righteousness:

  • to finish the transgression
  • to make an end of sin
  • to make atonement for iniquity
  • to bring in everlasting righteousness
  • to seal up vision and prophecy
  • to anoint the most holy place

Christ’s death on the cross made provision for sin, but Israel’s acceptance of this sacrifice will not be realized until they repent at the end of the seventy weeks, in conjunction with Christ’s second coming. The last three of these goals look ahead to the coming Kingdom Age.

5. When the clock starts ticking.

The divine prophetic clock for the seventy weeks or 490-year period began ticking on March 5, 444 BC, when the Persian king Artaxerxes issued a decree allowing the Jews to return to rebuild Jerusalem (Nehemiah 2:1-8).

6. The first sixty-nine weeks (483 years).

Sixty-nine sets of seven (7 X 69) or 483 years would transpire between the beginning of the countdown and the coming of the Messiah. This exact period of time – 173,880 days – is elapsed from March 5, 444 BC, until March 30, AD 33 – the day that Jesus rode into Jerusalem for the Triumphal Entry (Luke 19:28-44).

The precision of this prophecy is staggering! I call it the greatest prophecy ever given. It stands as a monumental proof of the inspiration of the Bible.

7. The gap called grace.

The first sixty-nine weeks have already run their course. But what about the final period of seven years or what is called the “seventieth week?” When Israel rejected Jesus Christ as its Messiah, God suspended His plan for Israel. So there is a gap or parenthesis of unspecified duration between the sixty-ninth week and seventieth set of seven.

During this parenthesis two specific events are prophesied in Daniel 9:26:

  • The Messiah will be killed – this was fulfilled on April 3, AD 33.
  • Jerusalem and the Temple will be destroyed – this was fulfilled on August 6, AD 70

God’s prophetic clock for Israel stopped at the end of the sixty-ninth week set of seven. We are living in this gap between week sixty-nine and seventy – it’s called the church age. The church age will end when Christ returns to rapture His bride, the church.

After all, since the church was not around for the first sixty-nine weeks from 444 BC to AD 33, it makes sense the church will not be here for the final week of years either. The seventy weeks have to do with Israel, not the church. This rationale supports the pre-Tribulation Rapture view.

8. The Antichrist’s treaty and the final seven years.

God’s prophetic clock for Israel will begin again after the church has been raptured, when the Antichrist comes onto the scene and ratifies a seven-year treaty with Israel (Daniel 9:27). This is the seventieth set of seven years, which awaits fulfillment.

Because the first sixty-nine weeks of years were literally fulfilled down to the very day, it stands to reason that this future time of seven years will just as literally fulfilled in the future.

The Antichrist signs a 7-year treaty with Israel

9. The Antichrist breaks the treaty.

In one of the greatest double-crosses of all time, the Antichrist will break his covenant with Israel at its midpoint (after 3 ½ years) and set an abominable, sacrilegious statue or image of himself in the rebuilt Temple of God in Jerusalem (Matthew 24:21); Revelation 13:14-15). The final 3 ½ years will be the “Great Tribulation” Jesus talked about in Matthew 24:21).

10. The end of the seventy weeks.

At the end of the seven years, God will slay the Antichrist (see Daniel 9:27, 2; 2 Thessalonians 2:8; Revelation 19:20). This event will mark the end of the seventy sets of seven and the beginning of the one thousand year reign of Christ when the six divine goals in Daniel 9:24 will be completely fulfilled (see Revelation 20:1-6).

Closing Thoughts

As mentioned earlier, predicting a time period of 173,880 days to the very day is the greatest prophecy ever given. Be reminded that when Jesus rode into Jerusalem on March 30, AD 33, the first sixty-nine weeks of years (483 years) were fulfilled to the very day.

Jesus knew the significance of it when He said to the people, “If you have known in this day, even you, the things which make for peace” (Luke 19:42 NASB). He added those sobering words, “Because you did not recognize the time of your visitation” (Luke 19:44 NASB).

Jesus emphasized “this day” and “the time” to the Jewish people because He stood before them fulfilling this astonishing prophecy. The time of visitation had come on the exact day prophesied but they had missed it due to their unbelief.

Jesus is coming again someday, maybe very soon. There is a final future “time of visitation” that will also occur right on time according to God’s timetable


*Reference: The End (A Complete Overview of Bible Prophecy and the End of Days) by Mark Hitchcock