Category Archives: Curse

Yeshua Wants Us to Do Good Deeds and Reject Evil

As I continue to read the different introductions to the letters to each of the seven churches, I begin to notice that Yeshua introduces Himself a bit differently in the letters. In one He highlights the sword (word of YHWH). In another, He highlights the eyes like a flame of fire and feet like burnished bronze. I am almost sure there is significance there to be unlocked through further study and prayer. The symbolism has meaning. I have not conducted a truly deep study of Revelation, however. If you feel led to do so, I encourage you to test multiple sources and ultimately test everything back to scripture itself.

Revelation 2:18-29

Message to Thyatira

      18“And to the angel of the church in Thyatira write:
The Son of God, who has eyes like a flame of fire, and His feet are like burnished bronze, says this:

      19‘I know your deeds, and your love and faith and service and perseverance, and that your deeds of late are greater than at first. 20‘But I have this against you, that you tolerate the woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, and she teaches and leads My bond-servants astray so that they commit acts of immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols. 21‘I gave her time to repent, and she does not want to repent of her immorality. 22‘Behold, I will throw her on a bed of sickness, and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent of her deeds. 23‘And I will kill her children with pestilence, and all the churches will know that I am He who searches the minds and hearts; and I will give to each one of you according to your deeds. 24‘But I say to you, the rest who are in Thyatira, who do not hold this teaching, who have not known the deep things of Satan, as they call them—I place no other burden on you. 25‘Nevertheless what you have, hold fast until I come. 26‘He who overcomes, and he who keeps My deeds until the end, TO HIM I WILL GIVE AUTHORITY OVER THE NATIONS; 27AND HE SHALL RULE THEM WITH A ROD OF IRON, AS THE VESSELS OF THE POTTER ARE BROKEN TO PIECES, as I also have received authority from My Father; 28and I will give him the morning star. 29‘He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’

Yeshua reminds the people that He knows their deeds and that their deeds matter to Him. He wants more than just acknowledging Him with words! That goes for us as well.

He is not pleased that the people are tolerating a false prophetess among them, who teaches them to do things which are displeasing to Him. Notice she is not a witch, who outright claims to follow Satan. She is a “prophetess” who would seem to present herself as part of the church. He gave her time to repent and now judgment will follow. He offers the same to those who follow after her.

Let us not miss that He searches our minds and hearts, but also gives us according to our deeds. Living for Christ is so much more than a short sinner’s prayer and coming to the altar once. There is an expectation that we change and live according to His ways. We should not tolerate false teaching. We should not mix and mingle or blend good with evil.

Yeshua clearly tells us here that it is not enough that we live according to His word, but we also reject those who are leading fellow believers astray. We are not to just sit on the sidelines, but speak against and separate ourselves from them.

Those who hold fast to His teaching and overcome the world will be rewarded. There is a blessing of obedience and a curse of disobedience, which is consistent throughout scripture.

Deuteronomy 28:1-68 ESV

“And if you faithfully obey the voice of the Lord your God, being careful to do all his commandments that I command you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth. And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, if you obey the voice of the Lord your God. Blessed shall you be in the city, and blessed shall you be in the field. Blessed shall be the fruit of your womb and the fruit of your ground and the fruit of your cattle, the increase of your herds and the young of your flock. Blessed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl. …

Deuteronomy 30:19 ESV

I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Therefore choose life, that you and your offspring may live,

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Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

We Must Deal With Our Sin Before We Will Experience Victory In The Lord

Joshua and the Israelites faced defeat against Ai, as recorded in Joshua 7, due to sin and rebellion in the camp against YHWH. The sin of a single man led to defeat for Israel. Joshua dealt with the sin according to YHWH’s instructions and was once again directed by the Lord to continue taking the promised land. He then did as the Lord instructed, and those around him did as well, and the Lord granted them victory.

In a way, this serves as a blueprint for us in our everyday lives. We can not expect YHWH to give us victory while living in rebellion against his word or the Spirit. We must deal with our sin, the sins of our family, and even the sins of our nation if we are to experience full victory on the Lord’s path. That does not mean that we as individuals can not have strong relationships with the Lord even in a sinful nation… we can. However, do not expect him to grant great and lasting victory to a nation that rebels openly against him.

Joshua 8

The Conquest of Ai

     1Now the LORD said to Joshua, “Do not fear or be dismayed. Take all the people of war with you and arise, go up to Ai; see, I have given into your hand the king of Ai, his people, his city, and his land. 2“You shall do to Ai and its king just as you did to Jericho and its king; you shall take only its spoil and its cattle as plunder for yourselves. Set an ambush for the city behind it.”

      3So Joshua rose with all the people of war to go up to Ai; and Joshua chose 30,000 men, valiant warriors, and sent them out at night. 4He commanded them, saying, “See, you are going to ambush the city from behind it. Do not go very far from the city, but all of you be ready. 5“Then I and all the people who are with me will approach the city. And when they come out to meet us as at the first, we will flee before them. 6“They will come out after us until we have drawn them away from the city, for they will say, ‘They are fleeing before us as at the first.’ So we will flee before them. 7“And you shall rise from your ambush and take possession of the city, for the LORD your God will deliver it into your hand. 8“Then it will be when you have seized the city, that you shall set the city on fire. You shall do it according to the word of the LORD. See, I have commanded you.” 9So Joshua sent them away, and they went to the place of ambush and remained between Bethel and Ai, on the west side of Ai; but Joshua spent that night among the people.

      10Now Joshua rose early in the morning and mustered the people, and he went up with the elders of Israel before the people to Ai. 11Then all the people of war who were with him went up and drew near and arrived in front of the city, and camped on the north side of Ai. Now there was a valley between him and Ai. 12And he took about 5,000 men and set them in ambush between Bethel and Ai, on the west side of the city. 13So they stationed the people, all the army that was on the north side of the city, and its rear guard on the west side of the city, and Joshua spent that night in the midst of the valley. 14It came about when the king of Ai saw it, that the men of the city hurried and rose up early and went out to meet Israel in battle, he and all his people at the appointed place before the desert plain. But he did not know that there was an ambush against him behind the city. 15Joshua and all Israel pretended to be beaten before them, and fled by the way of the wilderness. 16And all the people who were in the city were called together to pursue them, and they pursued Joshua and were drawn away from the city. 17So not a man was left in Ai or Bethel who had not gone out after Israel, and they left the city unguarded and pursued Israel.

      18Then the LORD said to Joshua, “Stretch out the javelin that is in your hand toward Ai, for I will give it into your hand.” So Joshua stretched out the javelin that was in his hand toward the city. 19The men in ambush rose quickly from their place, and when he had stretched out his hand, they ran and entered the city and captured it, and they quickly set the city on fire. 20When the men of Ai turned back and looked, behold, the smoke of the city ascended to the sky, and they had no place to flee this way or that, for the people who had been fleeing to the wilderness turned against the pursuers. 21When Joshua and all Israel saw that the men in ambush had captured the city and that the smoke of the city ascended, they turned back and slew the men of Ai. 22The others came out from the city to encounter them, so that they were trapped in the midst of Israel, some on this side and some on that side; and they slew them until no one was left of those who survived or escaped. 23But they took alive the king of Ai and brought him to Joshua.

      24Now when Israel had finished killing all the inhabitants of Ai in the field in the wilderness where they pursued them, and all of them were fallen by the edge of the sword until they were destroyed, then all Israel returned to Ai and struck it with the edge of the sword. 25All who fell that day, both men and women, were 12,000—all the people of Ai. 26For Joshua did not withdraw his hand with which he stretched out the javelin until he had utterly destroyed all the inhabitants of Ai. 27Israel took only the cattle and the spoil of that city as plunder for themselves, according to the word of the LORD which He had commanded Joshua. 28So Joshua burned Ai and made it a heap forever, a desolation until this day. 29He hanged the king of Ai on a tree until evening; and at sunset Joshua gave command and they took his body down from the tree and threw it at the entrance of the city gate, and raised over it a great heap of stones that stands to this day.

      30Then Joshua built an altar to the LORD, the God of Israel, in Mount Ebal, 31just as Moses the servant of the LORD had commanded the sons of Israel, as it is written in the book of the law of Moses, an altar of uncut stones on which no man had wielded an iron tool; and they offered burnt offerings on it to the LORD, and sacrificed peace offerings. 32He wrote there on the stones a copy of the law of Moses, which he had written, in the presence of the sons of Israel. 33All Israel with their elders and officers and their judges were standing on both sides of the ark before the Levitical priests who carried the ark of the covenant of the LORD, the stranger as well as the native. Half of them stood in front of Mount Gerizim and half of them in front of Mount Ebal, just as Moses the servant of the LORD had given command at first to bless the people of Israel. 34Then afterward he read all the words of the law, the blessing and the curse, according to all that is written in the book of the law. 35There was not a word of all that Moses had commanded which Joshua did not read before all the assembly of Israel with the women and the little ones and the strangers who were living among them.

I also find it interesting that at the end of a great victory, Joshua reads the words of the law, the blessing and the curse, to not just Israel, but to the strangers living among them. It is another indication that the law of YHWH was not meant only for Israel, but for all who came to join Israel and dwell among them. One law for all, not separate law for Jews vs. Gentiles.

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Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Walk With The Lord, Do Not Turn Away

Imagine a home where you have instructed your children in the way they behave and they have clearly understood. Now imagine that they flagrantly defy you and do the opposite of what you instruct. Imagine they have no respect that it is your house and they do what they want regardless of your instructions. They ignore and openly defy you. You are still master of the house… how many of us would be pleased? Angry? Should there be consequences?

What about a city or town in which part of the population totally disregards the law and does as they please? Would others be angry? should there be consequences?

All of us would be angry and yes, there should be consequences. It is funny to consider why people assume YHWH will just continue to accept their rebellious behavior without consequences and without Him getting angry when they defy Him more and more, despite having every opportunity to access His instructions in the Bible.

We do not obey to “earn salvation”, but our obedience is a reflection of our love and respect for our Father. To say we have not been taught right and blame pastors or someone else calls for us to remember we are each personally accountable to YHWH and in our country essentially all of us have excellent access to a Bible.  All of us reading this post have the internet, which has free online Bible and study resources. If we choose not to put forth the time to study ourselves, it is a poor excuse. If we love Him, why not put forth that time as priority to know Him?

We can be sure that YHWH knows our hearts, our intentions, and certainly our behaviors. He is not fooled as easily as we fool ourselves or others by excuses about being busy. As a matter of fact, we are reminded that He is timeless. He knows the past, present, and future. He already knows what we have done, are doing, and will do. He loves us enough to give us a chance to go the right way or to even repent and come back after we start the wrong way. He is gracious and loving. However, we still must choose Him if we are to expect His blessing. We must choose Him not just with words, but with the actions and attitude. We must submit, ask forgiveness, and change our ways to be like His ways.  To say we have submitted, without changing our ways is to lie, perhaps even to ourselves at times.

Deuteronomy 31:14-22

Israel Will Fall Away

     14Then the LORD said to Moses, “Behold, the time for you to die is near; call Joshua, and present yourselves at the tent of meeting, that I may commission him.” So Moses and Joshua went and presented themselves at the tent of meeting. 15The LORD appeared in the tent in a pillar of cloud, and the pillar of cloud stood at the doorway of the tent. 16The LORD said to Moses, “Behold, you are about to lie down with your fathers; and this people will arise and play the harlot with the strange gods of the land, into the midst of which they are going, and will forsake Me and break My covenant which I have made with them. 17“Then My anger will be kindled against them in that day, and I will forsake them and hide My face from them, and they will be consumed, and many evils and troubles will come upon them; so that they will say in that day, ‘Is it not because our God is not among us that these evils have come upon us?’ 18“But I will surely hide My face in that day because of all the evil which they will do, for they will turn to other gods.

      19“Now therefore, write this song for yourselves, and teach it to the sons of Israel; put it on their lips, so that this song may be a witness for Me against the sons of Israel. 20“For when I bring them into the land flowing with milk and honey, which I swore to their fathers, and they have eaten and are satisfied and become prosperous, then they will turn to other gods and serve them, and spurn Me and break My covenant. 21“Then it shall come about, when many evils and troubles have come upon them, that this song will testify before them as a witness (for it shall not be forgotten from the lips of their descendants); for I know their intent which they are developing today, before I have brought them into the land which I swore.” 22So Moses wrote this song the same day, and taught it to the sons of Israel.

Let us as a people be far from false gods and the ways of the world. Let us embrace His ways, laid out in the Bible. They are timeless and unchanging, like our Creator. If we rebel against Him and break the covenant He offers, He will allow us this choice. However, we also reap the consequences. Wherever you are in life, turn toward YHWH. Submit to Him. Ask forgiveness. Turn away from sin and toward Him. We are all sinners. He has made a way for us to be forgiven all our sins. Let us not turn away from such a gift as this.

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Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Our God Is A God Of Forgiveness And Restoration

Deuteronomy 30 surely seems to apply to God’s chosen people, Israel. He prophetically foretold that they would sin and separate from Him, face the tough consequences, but that they would return to the Lord and be restored, even gathered back to the promised land… and they have been. It remains powerful evidence to the reality of God and the truth of His word.

We can also reflect that we serve the same God. One who offers us a choice of the blessing of obedience or the curse of disobedience… as a nation but also as individuals. Though we may choose poorly and make many mistakes, He is ready for us to return to Him, with humble and repentant heart… in obedience to Him and on His terms. What a wonderful God we serve!

Deuteronomy 30:1-14

Restoration Promised

      1“So it shall be when all of these things have come upon you, the blessing and the curse which I have set before you, and you call them to mind in all nations where the LORD your God has banished you, 2and you return to the LORD your God and obey Him with all your heart and soul according to all that I command you today, you and your sons, 3then the LORD your God will restore you from captivity, and have compassion on you, and will gather you again from all the peoples where the LORD your God has scattered you. 4“If your outcasts are at the ends of the earth, from there the LORD your God will gather you, and from there He will bring you back. 5“The LORD your God will bring you into the land which your fathers possessed, and you shall possess it; and He will prosper you and multiply you more than your fathers.

      6“Moreover the LORD your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your descendants, to love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, so that you may live. 7“The LORD your God will inflict all these curses on your enemies and on those who hate you, who persecuted you.8“And you shall again obey the LORD, and observe all His commandments which I command you today. 9“Then the LORD your God will prosper you abundantly in all the work of your hand, in the offspring of your body and in the offspring of your cattle and in the produce of your ground, for the LORD will again rejoice over you for good, just as He rejoiced over your fathers; 10if you obey the LORD your God to keep His commandments and His statutes which are written in this book of the law, if you turn to the LORD your God with all your heart and soul.

      11“For this commandment which I command you today is not too difficult for you, nor is it out of reach. 12“It is not in heaven, that you should say, ‘Who will go up to heaven for us to get it for us and make us hear it, that we may observe it?’ 13“Nor is it beyond the sea, that you should say, ‘Who will cross the sea for us to get it for us and make us hear it, that we may observe it?’ 14“But the word is very near you, in your mouth and in your heart, that you may observe it.

What He asks of us is not too difficult. It is not out of reach.  Our God has made it very achievable to do as He asks and don’t let the world tell you different. However, He does require us to come to Him on His own terms, not our own. We can not submit to Him halfheartedly and expect His full approval and embrace.

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Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

A Blessing or A Curse… Which Will You Decide To Choose?

YHWH repeatedly emphasizes that we have a choice. We can choose blessing by following all of His commands faithfully, or we can choose curse by living our own way or redefining His instructions to our own making… changing some, ignoring some, claiming others are obsolete.

The bad news is that this does not work like a menu where you pick and choose what you will obey. It works like a choose-you-own-adventure book where you choose to submit to Him, seek Him, and obey the fullness of His law / instruction… or you don’t.

Though some of the commandments can not be completed due to the lack of a temple and priesthood, we are to obey to the extent we can the rest of the commandments and instructions.

Deuteronomy 28 is a bit long, but don’t dismiss it as repetitive or redundant without taking time to contemplate and reflect on why YHWH takes to much time to emphasize this point. This is not the first chapter focused on the blessing of obedience or curse of disobedience. He repeats it, and with dramatic emphasis, for the same reason we would do so… to make an important point… so that people would really hear and understand this is important. Treat it as such.

Deuteronomy 28

Blessings at Gerizim

      1“Now it shall be, if you diligently obey the LORD your God, being careful to do all His commandments which I command you today, the LORD your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth. 2“All these blessings will come upon you and overtake you if you obey the LORD your God:

      3“Blessed shall you be in the city, and blessed shall you be in the country.

      4“Blessed shall be the offspring of your body and the produce of your ground and the offspring of your beasts, the increase of your herd and the young of your flock.

      5“Blessed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl.

      6“Blessed shall you be when you come in, and blessed shall you be when you go out.

      7“The LORD shall cause your enemies who rise up against you to be defeated before you; they will come out against you one way and will flee before you seven ways. 8“The LORD will command the blessing upon you in your barns and in all that you put your hand to, and He will bless you in the land which the LORD your God gives you. 9“The LORD will establish you as a holy people to Himself, as He swore to you, if you keep the commandments of the LORD your God and walk in His ways. 10“So all the peoples of the earth will see that you are called by the name of the LORD, and they will be afraid of you.11“The LORD will make you abound in prosperity, in the offspring of your body and in the offspring of your beast and in the produce of your ground, in the land which the LORD swore to your fathers to give you. 12“The LORD will open for you His good storehouse, the heavens, to give rain to your land in its season and to bless all the work of your hand; and you shall lend to many nations, but you shall not borrow. 13“The LORD will make you the head and not the tail, and you only will be above, and you will not be underneath, if you listen to the commandments of the LORD your God, which I charge you today, to observe them carefully, 14and do not turn aside from any of the words which I command you today, to the right or to the left, to go after other gods to serve them.

Consequences of Disobedience

15“But it shall come about, if you do not obey the LORD your God, to observe to do all His commandments and His statutes with which I charge you today, that all these curses will come upon you and overtake you:

      16“Cursed shall you be in the city, and cursed shall you be in the country.

      17“Cursed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl.

      18“Cursed shall be the offspring of your body and the produce of your ground, the increase of your herd and the young of your flock.

      19“Cursed shall you be when you come in, and cursed shall you be when you go out.

      20“The LORD will send upon you curses, confusion, and rebuke, in all you undertake to do, until you are destroyed and until you perish quickly, on account of the evil of your deeds, because you have forsaken Me. 21“The LORD will make the pestilence cling to you until He has consumed you from the land where you are entering to possess it. 22“The LORD will smite you with consumption and with fever and with inflammation and with fiery heat and with the sword and with blight and with mildew, and they will pursue you until you perish. 23“The heaven which is over your head shall be bronze, and the earth which is under you, iron. 24“The LORD will make the rain of your land powder and dust; from heaven it shall come down on you until you are destroyed.

      25“The LORD shall cause you to be defeated before your enemies; you will go out one way against them, but you will flee seven ways before them, and you will be an example of terror to all the kingdoms of the earth. 26“Your carcasses will be food to all birds of the sky and to the beasts of the earth, and there will be no one to frighten them away.

      27“The LORD will smite you with the boils of Egypt and with tumors and with the scab and with the itch, from which you cannot be healed. 28“The LORD will smite you with madness and with blindness and with bewilderment of heart; 29and you will grope at noon, as the blind man gropes in darkness, and you will not prosper in your ways; but you shall only be oppressed and robbed continually, with none to save you. 30“You shall betroth a wife, but another man will violate her; you shall build a house, but you will not live in it; you shall plant a vineyard, but you will not use its fruit. 31“Your ox shall be slaughtered before your eyes, but you will not eat of it; your donkey shall be torn away from you, and will not be restored to you; your sheep shall be given to your enemies, and you will have none to save you. 32“Your sons and your daughters shall be given to another people, while your eyes look on and yearn for them continually; but there will be nothing you can do. 33“A people whom you do not know shall eat up the produce of your ground and all your labors, and you will never be anything but oppressed and crushed continually. 34“You shall be driven mad by the sight of what you see. 35“The LORD will strike you on the knees and legs with sore boils, from which you cannot be healed, from the sole of your foot to the crown of your head. 36“The LORD will bring you and your king, whom you set over you, to a nation which neither you nor your fathers have known, and there you shall serve other gods, wood and stone. 37“You shall become a horror, a proverb, and a taunt among all the people where the LORD drives you.

      38“You shall bring out much seed to the field but you will gather in little, for the locust will consume it. 39“You shall plant and cultivate vineyards, but you will neither drink of the wine nor gather the grapes, for the worm will devour them. 40“You shall have olive trees throughout your territory but you will not anoint yourself with the oil, for your olives will drop off. 41“You shall have sons and daughters but they will not be yours, for they will go into captivity. 42“The cricket shall possess all your trees and the produce of your ground. 43“The alien who is among you shall rise above you higher and higher, but you will go down lower and lower. 44“He shall lend to you, but you will not lend to him; he shall be the head, and you will be the tail.

      45“So all these curses shall come on you and pursue you and overtake you until you are destroyed, because you would not obey the LORD your God by keeping His commandments and His statutes which He commanded you. 46“They shall become a sign and a wonder on you and your descendants forever.

      47“Because you did not serve the LORD your God with joy and a glad heart, for the abundance of all things; 48therefore you shall serve your enemies whom the LORD will send against you, in hunger, in thirst, in nakedness, and in the lack of all things; and He will put an iron yoke on your neck until He has destroyed you.

      49“The LORD will bring a nation against you from afar, from the end of the earth, as the eagle swoops down, a nation whose language you shall not understand, 50a nation of fierce countenance who will have no respect for the old, nor show favor to the young. 51“Moreover, it shall eat the offspring of your herd and the produce of your ground until you are destroyed, who also leaves you no grain, new wine, or oil, nor the increase of your herd or the young of your flock until they have caused you to perish. 52“It shall besiege you in all your towns until your high and fortified walls in which you trusted come down throughout your land, and it shall besiege you in all your towns throughout your land which the LORD your God has given you. 53“Then you shall eat the offspring of your own body, the flesh of your sons and of your daughters whom the LORD your God has given you, during the siege and the distress by which your enemy will oppress you. 54“The man who is refined and very delicate among you shall be hostile toward his brother and toward the wife he cherishes and toward the rest of his children who remain, 55so that he will not give even one of them any of the flesh of his children which he will eat, since he has nothing else left, during the siege and the distress by which your enemy will oppress you in all your towns. 56“The refined and delicate woman among you, who would not venture to set the sole of her foot on the ground for delicateness and refinement, shall be hostile toward the husband she cherishes and toward her son and daughter, 57and toward her afterbirth which issues from between her legs and toward her children whom she bears; for she will eat them secretly for lack of anything else, during the siege and the distress by which your enemy will oppress you in your towns.

      58“If you are not careful to observe all the words of this law which are written in this book, to fear this honored and awesome name, the LORD your God, 59then the LORD will bring extraordinary plagues on you and your descendants, even severe and lasting plagues, and miserable and chronic sicknesses. 60“He will bring back on you all the diseases of Egypt of which you were afraid, and they will cling to you. 61“Also every sickness and every plague which, not written in the book of this law, the LORD will bring on you until you are destroyed. 62“Then you shall be left few in number, whereas you were as numerous as the stars of heaven, because you did not obey the LORD your God. 63“It shall come about that as the LORD delighted over you to prosper you, and multiply you, so the LORD will delight over you to make you perish and destroy you; and you will be torn from the land where you are entering to possess it. 64“Moreover, the LORD will scatter you among all peoples, from one end of the earth to the other end of the earth; and there you shall serve other gods, wood and stone, which you or your fathers have not known. 65“Among those nations you shall find no rest, and there will be no resting place for the sole of your foot; but there the LORD will give you a trembling heart, failing of eyes, and despair of soul. 66“So your life shall hang in doubt before you; and you will be in dread night and day, and shall have no assurance of your life. 67“In the morning you shall say, ‘Would that it were evening!’ And at evening you shall say, ‘Would that it were morning!’ because of the dread of your heart which you dread, and for the sight of your eyes which you will see. 68“The LORD will bring you back to Egypt in ships, by the way about which I spoke to you, ‘You will never see it again!’ And there you will offer yourselves for sale to your enemies as male and female slaves, but there will be no buyer.”

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Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Shall We Choose Wickedness or Righteousness?

Yeshua pulls no punches. He can be very straight and direct. The time of His earthly ministry was unlike any other in history… God Himself in human form walking amongst us and revealing Himself to us. For those who reject Him face to face and deny Him when He shows up right before them… even others who rejected Him will condemn them for they had the greatest sign of all. They had Jesus in the flesh and then his death and resurrection, the sign of Jonah.

Luke 11:29-32

The Sign of Jonah

     29As the crowds were increasing, He began to say, “This generation is a wicked generation; it seeks for a sign, and yet no sign will be given to it but the sign of Jonah. 30“For just as Jonah became a sign to the Ninevites, so will the Son of Man be to this generation. 31“The Queen of the South will rise up with the men of this generation at the judgment and condemn them, because she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and behold, something greater than Solomon is here. 32“The men of Nineveh will stand up with this generation at the judgment and condemn it, because they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and behold, something greater than Jonah is here.

We have the earthly ministry of Yeshua recorded and available practically at our fingertips through the written word and now online access as well. We can carry a Bible(s) with us on our phones everywhere we go. Generally speaking we have amazing time on our hands with which to seek Him, pray, worship, study the word. We can say we are busy, and we can allow ourselves to be busy… but by and large we are not desperately seeking our next meal to survive. We fill our time with games and videos and all manner of trivial distractions. But do we fill our time with building relationship with the Lord?

We have time and access to our Lord and a record of His works and who He is. We have clearly documented history of the sign of His death and resurrection. If we are to reject Him still, than we truly are a wicked generation as was the generation which rejected Him during His earthly ministry.

Put God first. Seek Him first. Do not wait for Him to have the leftover time you don’t fill with other busyness.  Seek first the kingdom of God and everything else shall be given to you. This is the way to experience His blessings in abundance.

 Matthew 6:33

33“But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

Each of us has an opportunity to decide for ourselves… shall we choose righteousness and blessings? or wickedness and selfishness and the curse that goes with it?

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Have you submitted your life to Jesus Christ? Are you living today filled with the peace and joy of truly knowing and following Jesus Christ? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Submitting to and Accepting the Lord’s Will

In Numbers 22 and 23, Balak tried over and over to get Balaam to curse Israel. He tried with money and from different angles and locations. Balaam consistently indicated he could only bless or curse according to the Lord. The power comes from the Lord and he could not just pick or force God to act in a way contrary to what God decides. Balak was clearly used to getting his way and was persistent. However, each time Balaam would ask the Lord about it, he would be instructed to bless rather than curse Israel, resulting in multiple blessings for Israel.

In Numbers 24 we see that Balaam finally has a clear understanding of what God’s position is on the subject. He no longer even seeks “omens” to discern God’s will in hopes or thoughts that it will bring back a different answer. Now, he is confident in the Lord’s decision and that it will not change. Balaam has accepted it and embraced it. Having done so, the Spirit of God came upon Him.

Numbers 24

The Prophecy from Peor

     1When Balaam saw that it pleased the LORD to bless Israel, he did not go as at other times to seek omens but he set his face toward the wilderness. 2And Balaam lifted up his eyes and saw Israel camping tribe by tribe; and the Spirit of God came upon him.

3He took up his discourse and said,
“The oracle of Balaam the son of Beor,
And the oracle of the man whose eye is opened;

      4The oracle of him who hears the words of God,
Who sees the vision of the Almighty,
Falling down, yet having his eyes uncovered,

      5How fair are your tents, O Jacob,
Your dwellings, O Israel!

      6“Like valleys that stretch out,
Like gardens beside the river,
Like aloes planted by the LORD,
Like cedars beside the waters.

      7“Water will flow from his buckets,
And his seed will be by many waters,
And his king shall be higher than Agag,
And his kingdom shall be exalted.

      8“God brings him out of Egypt,
He is for him like the horns of the wild ox.
He will devour the nations who are his adversaries,
And will crush their bones in pieces,
And shatter them with his arrows.

      9“He couches, he lies down as a lion,
And as a lion, who dares rouse him?
Blessed is everyone who blesses you,
And cursed is everyone who curses you.”

      10Then Balak’s anger burned against Balaam, and he struck his hands together; and Balak said to Balaam, “I called you to curse my enemies, but behold, you have persisted in blessing them these three times! 11“Therefore, flee to your place now. I said I would honor you greatly, but behold, the LORD has held you back from honor.” 12Balaam said to Balak, “Did I not tell your messengers whom you had sent to me, saying, 13‘Though Balak were to give me his house full of silver and gold, I could not do anything contrary to the command of the LORD, either good or bad, of my own accord. What the LORD speaks, that I will speak’? 14“And now, behold, I am going to my people; come, and I will advise you what this people will do to your people in the days to come.”

      15He took up his discourse and said,
“The oracle of Balaam the son of Beor,
And the oracle of the man whose eye is opened,

      16The oracle of him who hears the words of God,
And knows the knowledge of the Most High,
Who sees the vision of the Almighty,
Falling down, yet having his eyes uncovered.

      17“I see him, but not now;
I behold him, but not near;
A star shall come forth from Jacob,
A scepter shall rise from Israel,
And shall crush through the forehead of Moab,
And tear down all the sons of Sheth.

      18“Edom shall be a possession,
Seir, its enemies, also will be a possession,
While Israel performs valiantly.

      19“One from Jacob shall have dominion,
And will destroy the remnant from the city.”

      20And he looked at Amalek and took up his discourse and said,
“Amalek was the first of the nations,
But his end shall be destruction.”

      21And he looked at the Kenite, and took up his discourse and said,
“Your dwelling place is enduring,
And your nest is set in the cliff.

      22“Nevertheless Kain will be consumed;
How long will Asshur keep you captive?”

      23Then he took up his discourse and said,
“Alas, who can live except God has ordained it?

      24“But ships shall come from the coast of Kittim,
And they shall afflict Asshur and will afflict Eber;
So they also will come to destruction.”

      25Then Balaam arose and departed and returned to his place, and Balak also went his way.

Let us challenge ourselves to seek out the Lord and submit to His instruction rather than holding to our own. Balak demonstrates the futility of trying to constantly manipulate or coerce God to a different position based on location or other details of how we ask. We can not control God. We can, as His children, come before Him and ask and even ask multiple times, but we should do so with a submitted heart which accepts what He tells us. Let us not keep trying to manipulate the outcome, but rather have a genuine heart to heart relationship with the Lord. Once we see the Lord has spoken clearly and consistently on an issue, it is good for us to follow the example of Balaam and focus on accepting or embracing His decision rather than continuing to ask for a different answer over and over.

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Have you submitted your life to Jesus Christ? Are you living today filled with the peace and joy of truly knowing and following Jesus Christ? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Blessings Of Obedience Or Curse of Rebellion

Deuteronomy 11 records a passionate call for God’s people to obey Him and receive His blessings. It also contains a strong warning for those who choose instead to disobey God and do things their own way. While this was addressed to God’s people at a specific important point in their journey out of Egypt and into the promised land, it is incredibly applicable and relevant today. Read it as if God is talking to you today and let it speak to you. Focus more on the blessings of obedience and curse of disobedience, which are enduring general principles of God,  than literally the direction to occupy a  land, which was situation specific.

11 “You must love the Lord your God and always obey his requirements, decrees, regulations, and commands. Keep in mind that I am not talking now to your children, who have never experienced the discipline of the Lord your God or seen his greatness and his strong hand and powerful arm. They didn’t see the miraculous signs and wonders he performed in Egypt against Pharaoh and all his land. They didn’t see what the Lord did to the armies of Egypt and to their horses and chariots—how he drowned them in the Red Sea[a] as they were chasing you. He destroyed them, and they have not recovered to this very day!

“Your children didn’t see how the Lord cared for you in the wilderness until you arrived here. They didn’t see what he did to Dathan and Abiram (the sons of Eliab, a descendant of Reuben) when the earth opened its mouth in the Israelite camp and swallowed them, along with their households and tents and every living thing that belonged to them. But you have seen the Lord perform all these mighty deeds with your own eyes!

“Therefore, be careful to obey every command I am giving you today, so you may have strength to go in and take over the land you are about to enter. If you obey, you will enjoy a long life in the land the Lord swore to give to your ancestors and to you, their descendants—a land flowing with milk and honey! 10 For the land you are about to enter and take over is not like the land of Egypt from which you came, where you planted your seed and made irrigation ditches with your foot as in a vegetable garden. 11 Rather, the land you will soon take over is a land of hills and valleys with plenty of rain— 12 a land that the Lord your God cares for. He watches over it through each season of the year!

13 “If you carefully obey the commands I am giving you today, and if you love the Lord your God and serve him with all your heart and soul, 14 then he will send the rains in their proper seasons—the early and late rains—so you can bring in your harvests of grain, new wine, and olive oil. 15 He will give you lush pastureland for your livestock, and you yourselves will have all you want to eat.

16 “But be careful. Don’t let your heart be deceived so that you turn away from the Lord and serve and worship other gods. 17 If you do, the Lord’s anger will burn against you. He will shut up the sky and hold back the rain, and the ground will fail to produce its harvests. Then you will quickly die in that good land the Lord is giving you.

18 “So commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these words of mine. Tie them to your hands and wear them on your forehead as reminders. 19 Teach them to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up. 20 Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates, 21 so that as long as the sky remains above the earth, you and your children may flourish in the land the Lord swore to give your ancestors.

22 “Be careful to obey all these commands I am giving you. Show love to the Lord your God by walking in his ways and holding tightly to him. 23 Then the Lord will drive out all the nations ahead of you, though they are much greater and stronger than you, and you will take over their land. 24 Wherever you set foot, that land will be yours. Your frontiers will stretch from the wilderness in the south to Lebanon in the north, and from the Euphrates River in the east to the Mediterranean Sea in the west.[b] 25 No one will be able to stand against you, for the Lord your God will cause the people to fear and dread you, as he promised, wherever you go in the whole land.

26 “Look, today I am giving you the choice between a blessing and a curse! 27 You will be blessed if you obey the commands of the Lord your God that I am giving you today. 28 But you will be cursed if you reject the commands of the Lord your God and turn away from him and worship gods you have not known before.

29 “When the Lord your God brings you into the land and helps you take possession of it, you must pronounce the blessing at Mount Gerizim and the curse at Mount Ebal. 30 (These two mountains are west of the Jordan River in the land of the Canaanites who live in the Jordan Valley,[c] near the town of Gilgal, not far from the oaks of Moreh.) 31 For you are about to cross the Jordan River to take over the land the Lord your God is giving you. When you take that land and are living in it, 32 you must be careful to obey all the decrees and regulations I am giving you today.

I recognize certain difficult times in my life where it has seemed that God was metaphorically or symbolically calling me out of Egypt and directing me to a promised land. It required obedience to His word and to His direction in prayer. I had to boldly leave behind some things in my past that were important to me and how I viewed the world and trust God, stepping out and into a new way of approaching my life. In hindsight, I can now clearly see where God was leading me out of bondage and into freedom and prosperity in living my life for Him. At the time, it seemed daunting, as if He were leading me to a strange place that made me uncomfortable.

I encourage each of us to take time and pray that God would reveal to us His direction and that we would have the courage to obey and trust Him. Seek to apply God’s call to obedience to your life personally in the small every day decisions and actions as well as the larger “life changing” big decisions. God will lead you through if you will follow.

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Have you submitted your life to Jesus Christ? If you die today, do you know for sure that you would be with God in heaven? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

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