Category: Theology

True Prophecy vs. False Prophecy

True Prophecy vs. False Prophecy

Obviously, not every prophecy is from God. That is why we are warned by John “to not believe every spirit but to test the spirits whether they are of God …” (1 John 4:1). We are never to assume that every prophetic utterance, spiritual experience or demonstration of spiritual power is from God.

Testing the spirits working in the body of Christ is the responsibility of every Christian, but especially of the church leaders and pastors. This is done using the gifts of discernment given by God to Christians in general, especially the leadership of a congregation.

9 Principles for Judging Prophecy in Scripture

How do we determine between true prophecy and false prophecy? John Hagee, general editor of the NKJV Prophecy Study Bible gives us nine principles to apply in determining if a prophetic word is true.

1) Prophecy agrees with the Word of God.

All prophecy is to be judged by Scriptural standards. Since all true prophecy comes from the Holy Spirit, who is the author of the Word of God, all prophecy will have to agree in fact and in spirit with the Word of God.

Prophecies are never to be received just because they are dramatic or given by certain individuals. In 1 Corinthians 14:29, the apostle Paul tells the church “to let two or three prophets speak, and let the others judge” (or evaluate). Why was there a need to evaluate what was said? This is to determine whether the speaker had truly communicated the Word of God through the Holy Spirit.

God will never contradict His Word

Every prophetic utterance comes either from God, the flesh or from the devil through an evil spirit. We need to test every spirit and evaluate every prophetic word because it is possible for a speaker, under the control of his own emotions, to imagine that God was speaking to him and through him. It is even possible for Satan to counterfeit a prophetic message (2 Corinthians 11:13-14).

God will never contradict Himself, and we can distinguish between true and false prophecies by confirming them with what God has already said in His word.

2) Prophecy will edify, exhort and comfort.

1 Corinthians 14:3 says “he who prophesies speaks edification, exhortation, and comfort to men.” The word edify means to build up or strengthen. Paul’s choice of this word was a wise one because the huge mistake the Corinthian believers were making was to emphasize their own personal strength to the neglect of the church.

Paul detected that the believers were neglecting prophecy (that edifies the church) and giving a wrong emphasis to tongues (that edifies only the speaker). They wanted to build themselves up, but they did not want to build up their fellow believers.

The word exhort means to encourage. It could be the speech of a basketball team coach inside the locker room just before a championship game, rallying the team to go out there and give everything they’ve got to bring home the crown.

And the word comfort means exactly that. It has the idea of not only consoling but also strengthening. In other words, to comfort someone is not just to cry with them when they’re hurting; it’s putting your arms around them and strengthen them to carry the load.

A true prophetic word will build someone up, not tear them down; it will encourage someone, not discourage them; and will strengthen, not weaken someone. So when anyone speaks a message into your life under the auspices of prophecy that leaves you filled with condemnation or fear, that message is not from God.

3) Any prophecy containing predictions that do not come true is false prophecy.

How will we know whether or not a prophecy is from the Lord? Deuteronomy 18:22 says, “When a prophet speaks in the name of the Lord, if the thing does not happen or come to pass, that is the thing which the Lord has not spoken; the prophet has spoken it presumptuously.”

God’s true prophets are always 100 percent accurate. Modern day “prophets” boast of being 75 percent accurate, or maybe 80 percent, but that admission only brands them as false prophets. A prophet sent by God is never wrong; what he predicts will come to pass.

Several Christian cult leaders have predicted the return of Christ and the “supposed” end of the world and repeatedly failed. Believers today must exercise spiritual discernment because many “false prophets have gone out into the world and (1 John 4:1).

4) Prophecy must bear fruit and agree with the Holy Spirit in conduct and character.

Paul wrote, “For the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit” (Romans 14:17).

Any form of joy and peace that bypasses righteousness is a demonic spirit of religiosity. A man who prophesies and does not care and provide for his family is a false prophet. A man who prophesies and lives in sexual immorality or financial irresponsibility is in deep deception and is a false prophet.

Prophecy must agree with the fruit of the Holy Spirit as stated in Galatians 5:22-23, namely: love, joy, peace, long suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. If the prophecy is without love, joy, or peace, it is not from God.

Galatians 5:22-23 NKJVOne thing we need to remember is that false prophets do not go around screaming obscene slogans. Instead, they come as wolves in sheep’s clothing (Matthew 7:15-16). They look fine. They talk fine. They even act like sheep, but their purpose is to devour and deceive the body of Christ.

The first thing a false prophet or any person in deception will tell you is, “Don’t judge me.” But you are not actually judging; you are simply inspecting his fruit.

5) True prophecy produces liberty, not bondage.

Romans 8:15 says believers did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but the Spirit of adoption by whom they cry out, “Abba, Father.” Also in 2 Corinthians 3:17, it says, “Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.”

In the new covenant ministry, there is freedom in the Spirit. God’s people no longer have to live by rules and regulations. God wants His children to obey Him not because of an external code (the Law), but because of internal character. God’s word is written on the hearts of His children and they obey Him because of the new life He has given them.

True prophecy will bring liberty to the individual and not bondage. Any form of control over another person by intimidation, manipulation, or domination is witchcraft. False prophecy will always lead to witchcraft and so Christians are warned to not get hooked on anyone but Jesus.

6) A prophecy that comes true but promotes disobedience against God or Scripture is not a true prophecy.

In Deuteronomy 13:1-3, Moses describes a prophet or a dreamer of dreams who predicted an event and it occurred, which was the test of a true prophet (Deuteronomy 18:21-22). But then the prophet invited the people to join him in worshiping other gods.

Why would a prophet deliver a true message followed by an invitation to worship false gods? For the same reasons formerly orthodox religious leaders in the church will abandon their calling and get involved in cults or even organize their own cults in order to have a following, exercise their own authority and make money.

Moses clearly states that just because the prophecy comes true does not mean the person who gave the prophecy is from God. Any prophecy that causes a believer to look to another source for spiritual guidance such as horoscopes, psychic, hot lines, and palm readers is not from God.

7) True prophecy injects fresh fire into the meeting of believers.

The Bible says that “the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life” (2 Corinthians 3:6). Paul here isn’t suggesting that the law was a mistake for he knew that the lost sinner must be slain by the law and left helplessly condemned before he can be saved by God’s grace.

But a legalistic prophetic word brings death. A prophecy that condemns and puts the congregation under a dark cloud of guilt, thereby killing their joy, power, and effectiveness in witnessing for Christ is not from God.

True prophecy inspired of the Holy Spirit brings spiritual life to a meeting of believers. If a prophecy comes that destroys the worship service, that prophecy is not from God.

8) True prophecy given by the Holy Spirit will bear witness with your spirit.

The Word of God says, “It is the Spirit who bears witness, because the Spirit is truth” (1 John 5:6b). The Spirit was given to bear witness to Christ (John 15:26; 16:14) and we can trust the Spirit’s witness because “He is truth.” We may not be present at the baptism of Christ or at His death, but the Holy Spirit was present.

Today, the Holy Spirit is the only person active on earth who was present when Christ was ministering here. The witness of the Father is past history, but the witness of the Spirit is a present experience. And it is the Holy Spirit indwelling every believer that bears witness with their spirit.

Among the 9 principles used to judge prophecy, this is the only one that’s subjective. But when a given prophecy bears witness with your spirit, you’ll know that it is from God.

9) Any prophecy that comes true but does not give glory and honor to the Lord Jesus Christ is the spirit of divination.

This principle is much the same as principle number 6. The fact that a prophecy comes true is not proof it came from God. Again as John says, we need to test every spirit and every prophetic word that’s spoken.

Jesus Christ, the God-man

A prophecy uttered that comes to pass and yet denies the deity of Christ is false prophecy. Some groups today deny that Jesus is God (such as the Mormons, Jehovah Witnesses, and Muslims). Back in John’s day, people did not have a hard time believing that Jesus was God. But they had a hard time believing He was a real man.

Conclusion

False prophets and false prophecy abound in the world today. False prophecy leads to deception and makes the believer the object of manipulation or domination by false prophets who have ungodly motives and hidden agenda.

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)
What is the Significance of the Lord’s Supper?

What is the Significance of the Lord’s Supper?

Among the two ordinances established by Jesus Christ and observed by Evangelical Churches is the Lord’s Supper. (The other one is Baptism.) So what is the significance of the Lord’s Supper and why do Christians celebrate it?

Biblical Basis for the Lord’s Supper

The Lord’s Supper, which is actually the Last Supper that Jesus had with His disciples the night before He died, is recorded in the Synoptic Gospels (Matthew 26:26-30; Mark 14:22-25 and Luke 22:14-20).

Each Gospel writer describes Jesus giving thanks, blessing the bread and the cup and giving them to His disciples and saying that the bread is His body and the cup is the new covenant in His blood which is shed for many. In Luke 22:19, Jesus says, “Do this in remembrance of Me.”

What is the Significance of the Lord's Supper
Photo Credits: graceexposed.org

From the earliest records, we can tell that the church did exactly what Jesus said: they reenacted that Last Supper in remembrance of Jesus and His death. This is evident not only in Acts 20:7 but also in 1 Corinthians 11:23-26.

The Lord’s Supper is not just some afterthought on the part of the church leaders to give the Christian faith more appeal or character. It is not also an ordinance which has somehow evolved with the passing of time. Jesus Himself instituted it and commanded it to be continued.

Elements Used in Celebrating the Lord’s Supper

At the Last Supper, Jesus Christ took the bread and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me.”

In the same manner, He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me” (1 Corinthians 11:23-25).

There are two elements used in celebrating the Lord’s Supper: bread and wine (or grape juice). Note that nothing is specified about the kind of bread or wine to be used. But a great deal has been given through the years as to whether the bread should be unleavened or the wine should be fermented or unfermented.

Some say that using unleavened bread seems reasonable to use based on the fact that it is what the ancient Hebrew people who fled from Egypt have used to commemorate the “First Passover.”

Since the physical is only a figure of the spiritual, the choice of elements is secondary. It does not really matter if regular bread or unleavened is used. What we should be concerned about is using playful substitutes like bagels and the like.

What about the wine? We have good reason to believe that the wine mentioned in the New Testament was different from the wine we have come to be familiar with today. One of the early church fathers, Justin Martyr, described the Lord’s Supper around A.D. 150, “Bread is brought, and wine and water, and the president sends up prayers and thanksgiving.”

In Jesus’ day, grape juice could not be kept without fermenting it for they had no modern canning and preserving facilities. So He must have used the very common beverage during those times. However, it was very customary to mix in a ratio of three parts water to one part of wine – the normal mixture in the Passover ritual.

If Jesus used wine, why can’t we also use it today? Because of the problem of alcoholism, it might be the better part of wisdom to avoid the temptation with the use of grape juice to commemorate the Last Supper. Grape juice is easily accessible, inexpensive, and nonalcoholic.

Remembering Christ at Communion

Things to Consider When Partaking of the Lord’s Supper

On the night in which He was betrayed, Jesus took the cup and the bread – the ingredients of a common meal in that day – and transformed them into a meaningful spiritual experience for believers.

However, the value of the experience depends on the condition of the hearts of those who participate. So what are the things we need to consider when partaking of the Lord’s Supper?

1) We should look back (1 Corinthians 11:23-26a).

The broken bread reminds us of Christ’s body, given for us; and the cup reminds us of His blood that was shed. It is a remarkable thing that Jesus wants His followers to remember His death.

Most of us try to forget how those we love died, but Jesus wants us to remember how He died. Why? Because everything we have as Christians centers in that death. We are to consciously call to mind the person of Jesus and His death as a means for the forgiveness of our sins.

2) We should look ahead (1 Corinthians 11:26b).

We observe the Lord’s Supper “until Jesus comes again.” The return of Jesus Christ is the blessed hope of the church and the individual Christian (Titus 2:13). Jesus did not only die for us, but He arose again and ascended to heaven.

And one day He shall return to take us to heaven at the Rapture (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; John 14:2-3; 1 Corinthians 15:51-53) for the rewarding ceremony at the Judgment Seat of Christ (Romans 14:10; 2 Corinthians 5:10), and the Marriage Supper of the Lamb (Revelation 19:9).

Today, we are not all that we should be; but when we see Him we will be like Him (1 John 3:2).

3) We should look within (1 Corinthians 11:27-28, 31-32).

The apostle Paul did not say we had to be worthy to partake of the bread and cup, but only that we should partake in a worthy manner. If we are to participate in a worthy manner, we must examine our own hearts, judge our sins, and confess them to the Lord.

To come to communion with unconfessed sin in our lives is to be guilty of Christ’s body and blood, for it was sin that nailed Him to the cross. If we will not judge our own sins, then God will judge us and chasten us until we do confess and forsake our sins.

The believers at Corinth neglected to examine themselves, but they were experts at examining everybody else. When the church gathers together, we must be careful not to become “religious detectives” who watch others while failing to acknowledge our own sins.

No one ought to come to Communion who is not a true believer. Nor should a true believer come to Communion if his heart is not right with God and with his fellow Christians. This is why we are given a time of spiritual preparation before partaking of the Lord’s Supper, lest any of us bring chastening on ourselves.

We are to treat the Lord’s Supper with reverence and to practice it in a spirit of self-examination. If we eat and drink in an unworthy manner, we eat and drink judgment to ourselves, and that is nothing to take lightly.

4) We should look around (1 Corinthians 11:33-34).

We should not look around in order to criticize other believers but in order to honor the Lord’s body (1 Corinthians 11:29b). This perhaps has a dual meaning. We should honor Jesus’ body as symbolized in the bread, but also in the church around us – for the church is the body of Christ.

The Last Supper should be a demonstration of the unity of the church – but there was not much unity in the Corinthian church. In fact, their celebration of the Lord’s Supper was only a demonstration of their disunity.

It isn’t only good manners to wait for one another when partaking of the Lord’s Supper; it also shows love towards others. If we wait for one another, then each one can receive an equal share.

5) We partake of it as often as we can (1 Corinthians 11:25b).

Nothing is said in the New Testament about the frequency of the Lord’s Supper. Some believe it would be good to do it weekly; others practice it quarterly and still, others celebrate it on the first Sunday of each month.

I believe we are free in this matter. But since we take the Lord’s Supper to remember Christ’s death, we should take it fairly often and regularly. In any case, it’s not the frequency that matters but the attitude of our hearts.

Purpose of the Lord’s Supper

1) A Remembrance

First of all, the Lord’s Supper is a remembrance, a recollection. As we partake, we are to dismiss from our thoughts the care of everyday life and focus our attention completely on the Lord Jesus, foundationally remembering His death on the cross for us.

Let us not forget as some often do, how much our Lord has sacrificed for us at Calvary. The Lord in His gracious wisdom instituted the ordinance of the Lord’s Supper as a loving reminder of His death, resurrection and soon-to-be return.

2) Spiritual Nourishment and Inspiration

Just as certain foods are essential to physical well-being, so we need spiritual foods to nourish our spiritual life. Prayer, Bible study and fellowship are a few of these, but the Lord’s Supper is also an important part of our spiritual diet and we should not neglect it.

3) Fellowship

The Lord’s Supper is a means of fellowship with one another in Christ. It is a sign of the union of believers with Christ, their head.

Since the beginning of the church, it was customary for the believers to eat together (Acts 2:42, 46). It was an opportunity for fellowship and for sharing with those who were less privileged.

They called these meals “fellowship meals” since the main emphasis was commemorating the Lord’s love and showing love for the saints by sharing with one another (Jude 12).

4) Means of Preaching the Gospel

Jesus said in 1 Corinthians 11:26, “For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes” The word translated “show” in the original language is actually the word for “preach.” So basically, Jesus is saying, “You do preach the Lord’s death until He comes.”

We need to understand that each time we do Communion we are actually preaching a sermon declaring that Christ died for the sins of the world, that He rose from the grave and He is coming again.

Significance of the Lord's Supper

Conclusion

The Lord’s Supper was a supper with great symbolic meaning attached to it. The two prominent symbols being the bread, which is broken into pieces and shared by all, and the wine poured into a common cup and drunk by all.

Jesus taught His disciples that the bread represents His physical body which was given for us so that we might be saved. The wine, on the other hand, represents His blood which was poured out for the atonement of our sins.

Jesus, the eternal Son of God, took on human flesh, adding perfect, sinless humanity to His undiminished deity. He took on a sinless body so that He could die in our place by taking our sins upon Himself.

When we partake of the Lord’s Supper, we celebrate our Lord’s sacrifice on Calvary for our unmerited benefit and blessing.

Here’s a beautiful song by Matt Redman called “Remembrance.” Listen and be blessed.

Jesus Christ is the One True God

Jesus Christ is the One True God

As Jesus was discussing events that would take place on earth during the time of Tribulation in Matthew 24, He warns His disciples about being deceived by someone claiming to be “the Christ” (Matthew 24:4-5).

Jesus Christ is the one true God but the Jews have often been led astray by false prophets and false christs.

Matthew 24:4-5

And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many.”

The True God can Forgive Sins

Only God has the power to forgive and cleanse sinners from their sins but a false god can’t do so. Mark 2:7 says that only God has the power to forgive sins; this is the statement of the Jewish people, the people that know the very perspective of God when it comes to dealing with sins.

Jesus Christ is the One True God

In this passage, Jesus did not rebuke or correct them. Instead, He proved to them that He has the power to forgive and save (Mark 2:10).

Obviously, saying, “Your sins are forgiven!” would seem to be easier than healing him, because nobody can prove whether or not the forgiveness has really taken place.

So, to back up His words, Jesus immediately healed the man and sent him home. The healing of the man’s body was but an illustration and demonstration of the healing of his soul (Psalm 103:3).

The True God Sanctifies

Only the true Jesus is able to keep you sanctified; the false Jesus will require your sin offering every time you sin. At times, he demands you to come to another god (such as names of men or mystical gods) or demands you “to do” good works like feeding the poor.

In Philippians 1:6, it says that whatever good God has begun in the life of a believer, He will bring it to completion until the day of the Lord. 1 Thessalonians 5:23 teaches the same thing.

The True God Answers Prayers

Only Jesus, the one true God has the power to answer all prayers. The false god requires another name such as the names of angels or saints to come to God. 1 Timothy 2:5 says, “Jesus is the only mediator between God and men.”

The biblical account of “The Contest on Mount Carmel” in 1 Kings 18:20-40 is a great illustration of the power of the true God to answer prayers.

In this passage, the prophet Elijah challenged the prophets of Baal to set up an altar of wood with a bull offering on it and then call on the name of their gods to consume the offering by setting it on fire.

From morning until noon the prophets of Baal called on the name of Baal; they even danced around the altar they made and cut themselves with knives until the blood gushed out on them as was their custom, but there was no answer.

Then it was Elijah’s turn to call on the name of the God of Israel, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob to set the altar he prepared on fire.

“Then the fire of the Lord fell on the burnt sacrifice, and the wood and the stones and the dust, and it licked up the water that was in the trench. When all the people saw it, they fell on their faces; and they said, ‘The Lord, He is God! The Lord, He is God!’” (1 Kings 18:38-39).

The True God Answers Prayers
Photo Credits: pastorerickson.com

The True God Saves

Only Jesus, the one true God, has the power to give salvation while the false Jesus will require another name for salvation (Acts 4:12). The false Jesus or false god can’t give eternal life; only the true God can.

God gave His only begotten Son so that we might receive eternal life if we will repent and put our trust in Christ; we need to believe in Him (John 3:16). To believe in Jesus does not only mean having “head knowledge” about Him. Rather, having a personal relationship with God through His Son Jesus Christ.

The True God Has Power Over All Demons

Only the true Jesus has the name that has power over demons and “all” spiritual wickedness in high places. We read in Luke 8:26-39 how Jesus healed a demon-possessed man. Satan tried to destroy this man, but Jesus came to deliver him. By the power of His word, Jesus cast out the demons and set the man free.

We can tell by reading the passage that even demons believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and has the authority to command them (Luke 8:29). Demons even believe in prayer for they begged Jesus not to send them into the abyss.

The True God Brings Transformation

Only the true Jesus can bring change in our lives and bring forth the fruit of the Holy Spirit. While the false Jesus requires you to be a part of religion and keep their traditions in order to FEEL PURE.

In John 15:4-5, the apostle John wrote Jesus’ word, that only those grafted in the true Jesus will show good fruits, for apart from Him, no one will able to bear the Fruit of the Holy Spirit.

The Fruit of the Spirit does not rely on feelings because God’s words are not about our feelings but based on God’s faithfulness. God promised that He will give the true believer the Holy Spirit to help them walk in the Spirit, not in the flesh.

The True God Has Resurrected

Only the true Jesus has resurrected from the grave and has power over death but the false Jesus will die and remain dead unless he too will believe in the true Jesus. He will then rise from the grave too at the time on the day of the rapture.

1 Corinthians 15:3-8 records the risen Christ being seen by the first witnesses of His resurrection. John 20:26-29 records Thomas asking Jesus to show him His nail-pierced hands. He touched them and upon hearing Jesus’ voice he realized he was standing face-to-face with the true Jesus,

So Thomas cried, “My Lord and My God!” Doubting Thomas was convinced more than ever that Christ had risen!

The True God is the Creator

Only Jesus, the true God created everything, seen or unseen but the false Jesus was created and does not exist from eternity to eternity. John 1:3 says that “ALL” were made by Him and nothing was made without Him.

John 1:1 says the Word was with God and the Word was God, the Word here refers to Jesus in reference to Revelation 19:13.

Jesus Christ is the One True God

The true Jesus is part of the Trinity or the One God in three persons while the false Jesus separates himself from the Father and the Holy Spirit.

In John 17:21 (and the whole context of this passage), Jesus teaches that the Father and His Spirit together with the Holy Spirit will make their abode in the believer so that we will become “One” in them as “THEY ARE ONE”.

The True God Leads Us to the Father

The true Jesus is the only way to Father while the false Jesus needs another name to go to the Father, such as in order to get to heaven, we need to be a member of certain church, in order to get to the Father, we need to go to certain name of saints (man) or Angels.

In Acts 4:12 says that only the name Jesus Christ was given for men’s salvation, In 1 Timothy 2:5 says that only the name Jesus Christ we have a mediator between God and man. In John 14:6 Jesus said He is the way, the truth, and the life, none can come to the Father except through Him.

Narrow is the Way that Leads to God

Dear readers, Jesus said in Matthew 7:13-14, that many will choose the wide gate leading to hell and few will find the right narrow gate leading to God’s Kingdom.

And Jesus continues in Matthew 7:21 that many “will call to Me Lord! Lord!” (The name Lord KURIOS in Greek, the name for God, which Jesus uses on that day).

It would be blasphemy if Jesus will be called Lord on that day in heaven on the Judgment day for only God/ELOHIM/One God in three persons, will stand with us on the Day of Judgment.

Again Jesus said, “FEW” will be saved while “MANY” will be condemned. Religions are many but few have a true relationship with God.

Religion or traditions will not save you; you need to have a relationship with God through Jesus Christ!

Conclusion

My friend, only Jesus Christ the one true God can save you; a false Christ has no power to forgive “ALL” your sins (past, present, and future). The true Christ has PAID ALL YOUR SINS while the false Christ will demand you to pay some of your sins or demands you to do something for God. (Hebrew 10:14, Philippians 1:6, Galatians 5:4).

Examine your faith. Are you a follower of Jesus the one true God? Have you considered the messages above? Will you repent of your sins and believe in the real Jesus?

Who Do You Say Jesus Christ Is?

Who Do You Say Jesus Christ Is?

Peter’s confession of who Jesus is in Matthew 16:16 has been considered by many as pivotal and climactic in the entire narrative of Matthew. That’s because it was on this confession that Jesus built and established the Church. Who do people say Jesus Christ is? Who do you say He is?

We learn from the Gospel accounts that people followed Jesus around wherever He went during His earthly ministry, either to listen to Him teach, have the sick and demon-possessed healed and delivered, or in the case of the religious leaders, to test and trap Him.

Peter’s Confession of Jesus as the Messiah 

Matthew 16:13-17 

When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?” 14 They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”

15 “But what about you?” He asked. “Who do you say I am?” 16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” 17 Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven.”

Background of the Passage

After the account of Jesus’ rejection at Nazareth (Matthew 13:53-58), the feeding of the five thousand at or near Bethsaida (Matthew 14:13-21), His encounter with the Canaanite woman who has great faith in the region of Tyre and Sidon (Matthew 15:21-28), and the feeding of the four thousand on a mountainside near the sea of Galilee, Jesus and His disciples withdrew to the region of Caesarea Philippi.

This move was likely a retreat from the pressing crowds. Do you notice in the Gospels that whenever Jesus wanted to teach His disciples some very important “Kingdom” truths, He would take them to a private or remote place?

About Caesarea Philippi

Caesarea Philippi was a Gentile city at the northernmost region of ancient Israel, some 25 miles or 40 km north of the Sea of Galilee, 50 miles southwest of Damascus and situated in a beautiful location at the foot of Mount Hermon.

Something noteworthy is the historical fact that Caesarea Philippi was a region strongly identified with pagan religions and idol worship. In his commentary, Barclay says, “The area was scattered with temples of the ancient Syrian Baal worship.”

Originally, Caesarea Philippi was called Paneas in honor of the pagan god Pan. And during the reign of King Herod the Great, he built a temple there to honor Augustus Caesar.

Who Do You Say Jesus Christ Is?
Photo Credits: enterthebible.org

When Herod’s son Philip took over, he developed and expanded the city and renamed it Caesarea in honor of Emperor Caesar. He then added his name to distinguish it from other regions named Caesarea, hence, Caesarea Philippi.

What a setting for Jesus to ask a very important question. They had just left the city where there were a lot of false teachings about Jesus. (See Matthew 16:5-12 where Jesus warned His disciples about the yeasts/leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees.)

And as they came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, they saw the temple built by King Herod with all the statues of gods. Some commentators even suggest that Jesus and His disciples could be standing in front of the temple when the conversation took place.

The Question of Jesus’ Identity

In Matthew 16:13, Jesus asked a pointed question – a question of His identity: “Who do men say that I, the Son of Man am?” In other translations, it reads, “Who do people say the son of Man is?”

In other words, Jesus was asking what men in general, whether high or low, rich or poor, educated or uneducated, are saying about Him. Why did Jesus ask this question? Was He interested to know who people thought He was?

Is Jesus having some kind of identity crisis? Didn’t He know who He was? Or was it because He’s so concerned about other people’s opinion of Him? Of course not! Jesus knew exactly who He was.

Some say that one probable reason for asking this question was the changing opinions about Him under the teachings of the Pharisees and Sadducees. Consider this scenario: Every time Jesus finishes teaching a certain crowd, the religious teachers would step right in to teach the people something else contrary to what Jesus taught them.

No wonder then that despite all the wonders and miracles that Jesus performed which the people witnessed with their own eyes, they still couldn’t figure Him out.

The Reply

“Some say John the Baptist, some, Elijah, and others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets” (Matthew 16:14).

Obviously, people who thought that Jesus was John the Baptist (such as Herod the tetrarch in Matthew 14:1-3) didn’t know much about Him; or they would have known that Jesus and John had ministered at the same time.

Apparently, some people thought Jesus was a herald of national repentance like John the Baptist.

What do people believe about Jesus
Photo Credits: Bibleinfo.com

But why Elijah? Because of the miracles that Jesus performed, some people believed He was the forerunner of the Messiah and a famous worker of miracles. The Jews knew their Torah so very well and were familiar with the various miracles that Elijah performed (in the name of God).

And still, others thought Jesus was someone who spoke the word of God, like Jeremiah and the prophets.

The Unbelief of the People

Notice that no group was officially confessing Jesus as the Messiah. Regardless of the fact that in His words and His works, Jesus gave every evidence to the people that He was the Messiah, the Son of God, the people did not get the message.

They never denied that Jesus was a great teacher and prophet; they did not deny that He performed many miracles. Yet they chose to listen to popular opinions and followed them, instead of diligently seeking for the truth, just as many people do today.

Instead of following their convictions, the people chose to rely on their opinion and the opinions of others, and this is what led them all astray.

While the opinions of the crowd were complimentary towards Jesus, they were inaccurate. Jesus was much more than a national reformer like John the Baptist, more than a miracle worker than Elijah and more than a prophet like Jeremiah.

We might think that the above answers as to who Jesus is are not in any way bad or negative. However, the general tendency was to underestimate Jesus and to give Him a measure of respect and honor but end up falling short of the honor due to Him for who He really is.

The Follow-up Question

Going back to the question of Jesus’ identity, Jesus asked the question as an introduction to a more important follow-up question.

Upon hearing the different opinions of men concerning Him, I find it interesting that Jesus did not make any reflections or comments. Instead, He immediately redirected the question to His disciples. He asked, “But what about you? Who do you say I am” (Matthew 16:15)?

The disciples had been with Jesus for three years. They left everything and followed Him when He called them and became His disciples. Why? Because they believed in Him. You wouldn’t follow someone unless you believe in him, right?

On the part of Jesus, He knew exactly what kind of faith His disciples had on Him. He could see right through them and that is why He often rebuked them for their little faith and told them to increase their faith.

Why did Jesus have to ask His disciples who they thought He was? Because it was not enough to just believe in Him, they must confess Him as well. A confession has to be made as Romans 10:9-10 clearly says.

Romans 10:9-10

Peter Confesses Jesus as Christ

Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God” (Matthew 16:16)! In other translations, it says, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the Living God.”

Note: “The Christ” is the Greek rendering of the Hebrew “the Messiah,” meaning, the Anointed One.

In his answer, Peter was saying, “You are the Anointed One, the only Son of God, the Savior of the world, the Life Everlasting.”

Peter understood that Jesus was not only the Messiah but also God Himself. In the Jewish context, to receive the title “The Son of the Living God” in a unique sense was to make a claim to deity itself.

Jesus Pronounces a Blessing

Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by My Father in heaven” (Matthew 16:17).

You see, Christ’s messianic claims had always been subtle allusions to Old Testament prophecies, combined with miraculous works that substantiated those claims. Jesus had never explicitly taught His disciples the fullness of His deity.

So what happened was, God the Father had opened Peter’s eyes and heart and revealed to him who Jesus really was. When Peter confessed Jesus as the Christ (Messiah), the son of the Living God, it did not come out as a mere expression of an academic opinion about the identity of Jesus.

Who do you say Jesus Christ is?
Photo Credits: rainbowtoken.com

Instead, it was a confession of personal faith that was made possible only by a divinely-regenerated heart.

The carnal man does not have any idea who Jesus is (2 Corinthians 2:14). Only true believers are the ones who understand who Jesus really is. Unless God reveals to us in our spirit, we will never truly understand who Jesus really is.

Closing Words

We know that many people today do not believe Jesus to be the Messiah, the Son of God and Savior of the world. But what about us as individuals, what do we believe about Jesus. Who do we say Jesus is?

“Who do you say I am?”

This is the question placed before us today and all who hear of Jesus. Do you believe that Jesus is the Christ? The Messiah? The son of the Living God? The Life Everlasting? Did you confess with your mouth His lordship over your life? Do you believe in your heart that Jesus is who He claimed to be?

Believing Jesus is the Messiah is one thing, confessing Him as Lord and Savior of your life is another thing, especially these days when talking about Jesus, Christianity and the Bible is not the most popular thing to do.

What you and I believe and confess about Jesus is a matter of life and death. We deserve the death penalty as a result of our sin but we receive eternal life as a gift from God when we place our faith in Jesus Christ our Lord.


*Recommended Resource: 

Who Do You Say that I AM?: A Fresh Encounter for Deeper Faith
By Becky Harling

Who Do You Say That I Am? is an 8-week study of the “I AM” statements of Jesus that will help women draw deeper into the Word of God for a more personal relationship with Christ. He wants your answer to his question, “Who do you say that I AM?”

The Study Book contains five days of study for each of the 8 weeks along with reflection questions.

Jesus Christ is the King of Peace

Jesus Christ is the King of Peace

Prior to His departure, Jesus uttered these words to His disciples, “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid” (John 14:27 NIV).

Jesus Christ, who is the King of Peace, does not give us the same peace that this world gives. While the peace that this world offers is the absence of conflict which often results from a positive way of thinking, the peace that God gives us is the state of being confident in knowing that He is in full control.

Knowing that Jesus Christ is not only the Prince and Ruler of Peace but also the King of Peace gives us the confidence under any circumstances that we do not have to fear the present and the future. He gives His peace to those who accept it as a result of the Holy Spirit working in their lives.

Jesus Christ: The Prince and Ruler of Peace

In John 12:12-16, we read the account of Jesus’ Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem riding on a donkey’s colt and a multitude of people came out to meet Him spreading palm branches while shouting, “Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord! The King of Israel!”

The Triumphal Entry
Photo Credits: Free Bible Images (Pinterest)

This event is the fulfillment of the first coming of Jesus as prophesied in Zechariah 9:9. And if we continue on to Zechariah 9:10-11, we read about the prophecy on Jesus’ second coming which is yet to come.

We refer to these Scriptures among other Scriptures, to see clearly the attributes given to Jesus as not only the “King of Righteousness” but also the “King of Peace.”

He Pardons Our Sins

The King of Peace has the authority to pardon or forgive us from our sins (Matthew 9:6 NIV).

Pardon is synonymous to forgiveness. They have a common denominator, that is, “cancellation of sins.”

In Matthew 9:2 where Jesus forgives and heals a paralyzed man that was brought to Him, He said to the man, “Take heart, son; your sins are forgiven.” It could have been easier for Jesus to say, “Get up, take your mat and go home.”

But He did this to make known to them that the Son of Man has authority on earth to pardon sins (v.6) and He does pardon our sins!

From this passage and also the Healing of the Lame Man by the Pool near the Sheep Gate in Jerusalem (John 5:14), we can say that sickness is directly associated with sin.

Jesus is the King of Peace

Sickness, however, is part of life in this fallen world as a result of our collective rebellion against God. We can see a lot of convicted murderers and criminals who have sinned against the law of man and the laws of God and yet, are in much better health than some pastors and other faithful servants of God.

This tells us that sickness befell man indiscriminately as we can read in John 9:1-3. Whether sin is associated or not with the sickness of men, one thing is for sure; and that is Jesus our King of Peace has been given the authority to forgive our sins.

This is exactly what He has done in the past, is doing at present and will continue to do in the future for those who will turn back and repent of their sins.

“He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.” – Colossians 1:13-14

He Enriches Our Lives

The King of Peace is generous to enrich our lives (2 Corinthians 8:9).

The apostle Paul was writing to the believers in Corinth about the generosity of the Churches in Macedonia, Philippi, Thessalonica, and Berea, that despite their poverty, they have given beyond their ability.

The Corinthian church excels in many ways and Paul desired that they may also excel in the grace of giving (2 Corinthians 8:7). In Paul’s exhortation, he used the example of Jesus who has given all He has.

Jesus who is “rich” in every way became “poor,” in submission to the will of the Father. He assumed human nature and became subject to time, place and other limitations of a man through His incarnation. He did not cease being God but set aside the right to His glory and power.

And He did all these to make us “rich” the moment we received His gift of salvation and eternal life.

“For God is the one who provides seed for the farmer and then bread to eat. In the same way, He will provide and increase your resources and then produce a great harvest of generosity in you. Yes, you will be enriched in every way so that you can always be generous. And when we take your gifts to those who need them, they will thank God.” – 2 Corinthians 9:10-11 (NLT)

Just like the “seed” used by Paul in his illustration, God wants us to “plant” rather than to hide the provisions that we are receiving from Him in order to produce a greater harvest. God wants us to invest in our service to Him so that He can bless more abundantly for greater service. (See Matthew 25:14-30, The Parable of the Bags of Gold.)

Jesus is the King of Peace

Our God and all His children are rich. But what is the definition of rich in this context? Being rich means sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; poor, yet making many rich; has nothing, and yet possessing everything (2 Corinthians 6:10). We declare that we are rich with the riches that God has in store for us.

“Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.”– 1 Timothy 6:17

He Abides in Us in Trials

The King of Peace never leaves His people (Hebrews 13:5).

God has repeatedly assured us in His word that He will never abandon us; He has promised to be with us even to the end of the age. But why do we feel at times that God has abandoned us? The time that you feel abandoned by God could have been the time that you abandoned God.

It is often said that promises are made to be broken and that’s because we’re humans. But with God, there’s no such thing as broken or unfulfilled promises. Numbers 23:19 says, “God is not human that He should lie, not a man that He should change His mind.”

Jesus Christ is the King of PEace

Isaiah 43:2 is another promise of God that we can trust. He said that He will be with us when we pass through the waters and won’t allow us to be swept away. Also when we walk through the fire we will not be burned and the flames will not set us ablaze.

Deep waters, rivers of difficulty and fire of oppression all represent calamities, which in turn represent the different trials and difficulties that God allows to happen in our lifetime. But the time that we go through these calamities is also the time when God says, “I will be with you.”

Other Scripture texts where God promised to abide in us include 1 Chronicles 28:20; Joshua 1:5, Deuteronomy 31:6, 8; Genesis 28:15; Joshua 1:9 and Romans 8:39.

He Comforts Us in Troubles

The King of Peace is our comfort and our resting place (2 Corinthians 1:3-4).

The kind of comfort that God gives us is far higher to the highest level than the comfort that this world gives us. To be comforted by God does not necessarily mean that we are spared from any trouble. It means we receive strength, encouragement and hope to deal with whatever trouble that comes our way so that we can also comfort those who are in any trouble.

Sometimes God brings us to the oceans not because He wanted us to drown but so that we would learn how to swim. You know what? Our enemies do not know how to swim. Romans 8:28 says, “All things work together for the good of those who love the Lord, to those who have been called according to His purpose.”

Jesus Christ is the King of Peace

Before leaving His disciples, Jesus promised that He will not leave them as orphans for He will send the Holy Spirit to be their Teacher and Comforter (John 14:16-17, 26).

Are you weary and heavy-laden? Jesus is inviting you to come to Him and He will give you rest (Matthew 11:28-30). Jesus our King of Peace not only promises comfort but also rest. The kinds of rest found in the Lord include physical rest (Psalm 127:2), peace of mind (Philippians 4:6-7) and healing for our soul (Jeremiah 17:14).

He Ensures Us His Love

The King of Peace gives us divine assurance of His everlasting love (John 15:13).

God did not simply tell us that He loves us; He showed us by voluntarily laying down His life for us. He did not have to but He did it anyway in order to assure us of His love and to secure our salvation.

God has given us His unconditional love even when we were so unworthy of Him (Romans 5:8). He gave up His life so that we may be reconciled with God and gain access to the Father. No matter what we do, we can never out-love God. We only know love and are able to love God because He first loved us (1 John 4:19).

Should there be times when you feel defeated and you hear the devil telling you that it’s over, stand on the promise of God that you are more than a conqueror and that nothing and no one can separate you from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 8:38-39).

Jesus Christ the King of Peace

Being more than a conqueror means winning with an overwhelming victory. It is not just simply being victorious but going beyond the normal scale of quantifying the win. This is all because we’re not fighting our battles anymore; Jesus is.

Because Christ is living in us (Galatians 2:20), nothing else can separate us from the love of God. This is God’s way of letting us know His great love for us so that we can feel totally secure in Him. Nothing can stop His constant presence with us.

We are also secure in the love of God because we have become an heir and legitimate son to our heavenly Father (Romans 8:17). We have lost our rights to our old family and gained the privilege of being led by the Holy Spirit, and as such, nothing can separate us from His love.

Closing Words

To sum it up, Jesus Christ the King of Peace:

Pardons our sins

Enriches our lives

Abides in us in trials

Comforts us in troubles

Ensures us His love

We can surely receive the peace that God offers us if we only learn to put our trust in Him while we remain prayerful, thankful and present our request with a believing heart.

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4:6-7

Do you accept the peace that Jesus Christ the King of Peace is offering?

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.

What is Covenant in the Bible?

What is Covenant in the Bible?

The concept of “covenant” has been revolutionized by research in recent decades of studying the Old Testament. What is the idea of covenant in the Bible?

Many scholars, whether conservative or liberal, have maintained that “covenant” is the organizing principle around which Old Testament theology must be constructed and understood.

It has become clear that in the near eastern world of the second millennium before Christ, formal covenants were the primary way people who were not blood relatives related to one another.

The Meaning of Covenant

The word “covenant” basically means “contract;” it is an agreement between God and His people. In the said agreement, God makes promises to His people and usually requires certain conduct from them.

As used in Scriptures, the word “covenant” is the Hebrew word “Berith” which means “to cut or divide.” This is an allusion to the Jewish sacrificial custom in connection with covenant-making, where the two parties involved would divide the animal by which the covenant was ratified and laid them out in two halves.

After that, the contracting parties would then “walk between the pieces” to establish the covenant.

What is Covenant in the Bible?

In the Greek Septuagint, covenant is the Greek word “Diatheke.” Unlike Hebrew, the Greek differentiates between a covenant where one party is the recipient (diatheke) and the other the benefactor, and other covenant made between equal parties.

If the two parties come together in agreement, making it a two-way arrangement, the word “Suntheke” is used, which means “to place together.”

Of Meals and Marriages

People in Asia Minor, ancient Mesopotamia and first century Palestine depended on covenants to appease the gods, regulate personal affairs, international relations and business deals. All kinds of covenants existed between equal partners, between greater and lesser partners, and between absolute sovereigns and object servants.

Covenants were often memorialized with stone pillars (stellae) as Jacob and Laban did (Genesis 31:44-47). A ceremonial meal between the parties involved would signify the harmonious nature of the new relationship and a marriage between the two families seals the compact.

In every case, the gods of all parties involved were called to witness and guarantee the contract, agreement, vow or treaty.

Fortunately for Bible scholars, the people of the ancient Near East went out of their way to write down all kinds of covenants. All during the twentieth-century archaeologists dug up, dusted off, and deciphered clay tablets and stone monuments that recorded countless covenants regulating the commercial, political and religious life of nation after nation.

Perhaps the most significant covenants for Old Testament studies turned up in the archives of the Hittite monarchs, which were discovered in 1906 among the ruins of Boghaz-koi in Turkey.

*Related Article: What is the Adamic Covenant?

The Covenant Form

It has been demonstrated quite conclusively by Meredith Kline and others that the structure of the Hittite treaties between oriental monarchs and their abject vassals parallels in close detail the covenant format between Yahweh and Israel found in Exodus chapters 20 to 23, Joshua 24 and the Book of Deuteronomy.

When the one, true living God initiated a relationship with the descendants of Abraham, He utilized a covenant style universally understood at the time:

  • a preamble identifying the absolute sovereign
  • a brief history of relations between the absolute sovereign and the subject people
  • the benefits for and obligations of the subject people
  • an oath of allegiance and its accompanying blessings for obedience
  • a list of witnesses and directions for keeping the covenant

At times there followed instructions for periodic renewal of the covenant.

The Old and New Testament

The Bible is divided into an Old Testament and a New Testament. “Testament” was a synonym for “covenant” in the English era of King James I. All of God’s Word concerns an old and a new form of the way in which He provides for a personal, mutually committed relationship between Himself and those who He calls and who respond in faith to Him.

Various other biblical covenants predate the “old covenant” or elaborate aspects of it. People of God’s covenant have a basis for saying, “My beloved is mine, and I am his” (Song 2:16).


*ReferenceNKJV 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
  • Evidences
  • Spokesmen for God
  • Bible Insights
  • Bible Prophecy Charts
  • Full concordance
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