THE BODY OF THE LORD

Romans 8:3 says Jesus came in the likeness of sinful flesh, not in sinful flesh. Jesus is the Son of God. He took on flesh and blood. He did not have sinful flesh, just as Adam did not have sinful flesh before he sinned.

According to the new testament, the body of Jesus is the offering for our sins (Hebrews 10:10). Jesus said he would give his flesh for the life of the world. ~ John 6:51-57

Under the old testament the sacrifices which foreshadowed Jesus had to be unblemished and holy.

Jesus redeemed us with his precious blood as of a lamb without spot or blemish (1 Peter 1:18-20). If Jesus’ body had not been holy and without sin, his blood could not have been holy. The blood of Jesus is holy because Jesus’ body was holy and because he was and is holy.

This is precisely why Jesus’ body did not decay in the tomb. The apostle Peter, referring to the body of Jesus in the tomb, said death could not hold Jesus because God would not allow his holy one to see corruption (Acts 2:27). Again, this is a reference to the body of Jesus in the tomb.

Jesus’ body was the fulfillment of the unleavened bread eaten by the people of Israel as they were delivered by the blood of the lamb. ~ Exodus 12

At the last supper, Jesus said to his disciples: “this is my body broken for you, and this is my blood shed for you.” ~ Luke 22:19-20

This memorial known as holy communion was given to us as an ordinance to observe until the coming of the Lord. In 1 Corinthians 11, Paul told the Corinthians that some of them were sick and some of them had died because they did not discern the body of the Lord. They were approaching the Lord’s table with irreverence.

Just as Jesus’ spiritual body (the church) is called to be holy, so his physical body was and is holy. Jesus was without sin in every respect.

Any concept that claims Jesus had sin in his body goes against the whole counsel of scripture and is based on a very flawed understanding the scriptures. Jesus is, was, and always will be holy.

FREE WILL

Man possess the knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 3:22), and has the ability to choose between one or the other. God does not make anyone choose to do that which is good, nor does he make anyone choose to do that which is evil. I say this regarding every individual’s personal responsibility before God.

This does not mean that God is incapable of involving himself in the affairs of men to accomplish his will. God can use anyone he wills as a vessel to carry out his will, and he can do it without their permission.

Pharaoh and Nebuchadnezzar are just two examples of those in scripture, whom God used to accomplish his purpose. God used Pharaoh as a vessel of wrath for the purpose of demonstrating his power when he delivered the children of Israel our of Egypt. God used Nebuchadnezzar as a vessel to judgment when the time came to punish Judah for her sins.

In both cases, Pharaoh and Nebuchadnezzar possessed the knowledge of good and evil, and could have chosen to do that which is good. God did not make either of them into wicked people.

When God appeared to Moses at the burning bush, and told Moses that he was sending him to deliver the children of Israel from Egyptian bondage, God said to Moses that he and the elders of Israel were to come before Pharaoh and say the following to him:

The Lord God of the Hebrews hath met with us: and now let us go, we beseech thee, three days’ journey into the wilderness, that we may sacrifice to the Lord our God. ~ Exodus 3:18

God then tells Moses the following:

AND I AM SURE that the king of Egypt WILL NOT LET YOU GO, no, not by a mighty hand. And I WILL STRETCH OUT MY HAND, AND SMITE EGYPT WITH MY WONDERS which I will do in the midst thereof: and AFTER THAT HE SHALL LET YOU GO. ~ Exodus 3:18-20

Notice that God says to Moses: “I am sure that the King of Egypt will not let you go.”

These words suggest that Pharaoh had a free will, and his will was to keep the children of Israel as slaves in Egypt. God knew exactly what was in Pharaoh’s heart, for God knows the hearts of all men. God knew that Pharaoh would not be compliant and therefore, God chose to deliver the children of Israel by hardening Pharaoh’s heart.

If Pharaoh did not have a free will, there would have been no resisting of God’s will by Pharaoh. The narrative of the confrontation between Moses and Pharaoh reveals God hardening Pharaoh, by his miracles, and breaking the power of Pharaoh’s pride to accomplish his purpose.

God hardened Pharaoh by confrontation: by Pharaoh’s refusal to submit to God. This speaks strongly to the truth of free will.

And the Lord said unto Moses, When thou goest to return into Egypt, see that thou do all those wonders before Pharaoh, which I have put in thine hand: but I WILL HARDEN HIS HEART, THAT HE SHALL NOT LET THE PEOPLE GO. And thou shalt say unto Pharaoh, Thus saith the Lord, Israel is my son, even my firstborn: And I say unto thee, Let my son go, that he may serve me: and IF THOU REFUSE to let him go, behold, I will slay thy son, even thy firstborn. ~ Exodus 4:21:22

Notice that at the outset of God’s confrontation with Pharaoh, God warns Pharaoh of what will happen if he refuses to let the people of Israel go. God says the very same thing to Pharaoh again just prior to the second plague.

And the Lord spake unto Moses, Go unto Pharaoh, and say unto him, Thus saith the Lord, Let my people go, that they may serve me. And IF THOU THOU REFUSE to let them go, behold, I will smite all thy borders with frogs… ~  Exodus 8:1-2

In verse 8, Pharaoh called Moses and Aaron and asked them to pray to the Lord to take away the frogs, and made the following promise: Intreat the Lord, that he may take away the frogs from me, and from my people; AND I WILL LET THE PEOPLE GO, that they may do sacrifice unto the Lord. ~ Exodus 8:8b

Pharaoh did not keep his word.

And the Lord did according to the word of Moses; and the frogs died out of the houses, out of the villages, and out of the fields. And they gathered them together upon heaps: and the land stank. But when Pharaoh saw that there was respite, HE HARDENED HIS HEART, and hearkened not unto them; as the Lord had said. Exodus 8:13-15

Notice that God answered Moses’ prayer on the behalf of Pharaoh, and Pharaoh reneged on his promise to let the people go. The text above says: Pharaoh hardened his heart.

Throughout the Exodus account we see God hardening Pharaoh’s heart, as well as Pharaoh himself hardening his heart. With each plague, Pharaoh’s heart continued to harden. During the 3rd plague, we read the following:

Then the magicians said unto Pharaoh, This is the finger of God: AND PHARAOH”S HEART WAS HARDENED, and he hearkened not unto them; as the Lord had said. And the Lord said unto Moses, Rise up early in the morning, and stand before Pharaoh; lo, he cometh forth to the water; and say unto him, Thus saith the Lord, Let my people go, that they may serve me. ELSE, IF THOU WILL NOT LET MY PEOPLE GO, behold, I will send swarms of flies upon thee, and upon thy servants, and upon thy people, and into thy houses: and the houses of the Egyptians shall be full of swarms of flies, and also the ground whereon they are. ~ Exodus 8:19-21

How did God hardened Pharaoh’s heart? It was by the plagues he set on the land of Egypt. God confronted Pharaoh, and Pharaoh resisted.

During the 4th plague Pharaoh again promised he would let the people go (Exodus 8:25-28) but after God causes this plague to cease, Pharaoh again hardened his heart.

And Moses said, Behold, I go out from thee, and I will entreat the Lord that the swarms of flies may depart from Pharaoh, from his servants, and from his people, tomorrow: BUT LET NOT PHARAOH DEAL DECEITFULLY ANY MORE IN NOT LETTING THE PEOPLE GO TO SACRIFICE TO THE LORD. And Moses went out from Pharaoh, and entreated the Lord. And the Lord did according to the word of Moses; and he removed the swarms of flies from Pharaoh, from his servants, and from his people; there remained not one. AND PHARAOH HARDENED HIS HEART AT THIS TIME ALSO, neither would he let the people go. ~ Exodus 8:29-32

Notice that the scriptures above say PHARAOH hardened HIS HEART at this time ALSO. There was a repeated hardening of Pharaoh’s heart by Pharaoh himself.

Exodus 9:1-7 covers the 5th plague. Notice verses 1-3 carefully:

Then the Lord said unto Moses, Go in unto Pharaoh, and tell him, Thus saith the Lord God of the Hebrews, Let my people go, that they may serve me. For IF THOU REFUSE to let them go, and wilt hold them still, Behold, the hand of the Lord is upon thy cattle which is in the field, upon the horses, upon the asses, upon the camels, upon the oxen, and upon the sheep: there shall be a very grievous murrain (an infectious disease). ~ Exodus 9:1-3

Notice that God again appeals to Pharaoh’s stubbornness: “if thou refuse.”

Pharaoh had a hard heart and in his stubbornness, he continued to refuse to obey God. The more Pharaoh resisted, the harder his heart became, and this is exactly how God hardened him. With every plague, we see Pharaoh hardening his heart, which, again, is how God hardened him.

And the Lord said unto Moses, Rise up early in the morning, and stand before Pharaoh, and say unto him, Thus saith the Lord God of the Hebrews, Let my people go, that they may serve me. For I will at this time send all my plagues upon thine heart, and upon thy servants, and upon thy people; THAT THOU MAYEST KNOW THAT THERE IS NONE LIKE ME IN ALL THE EARTH. For now I will stretch out my hand, that I may smite thee and thy people with pestilence; and thou shalt be cut off from the earth. And in very deed for this cause have I raised thee up, for to shew in thee my power; and that my name may be declared throughout all the earth. AS YET EXALTEST THYSELF against my people, that thou wilt not let them go? Behold, tomorrow about this time I will cause it to rain a very grievous hail, such as hath not been in Egypt since the foundation thereof even until now. ~ Exodus 9:12- 18

Pharaoh was raised up by God without even knowing it, and God used him as vessel of wrath to demonstrate his glorious power when he delivered the children of Israel out of Egyptian bondage.

This does not suggest that God made Pharaoh an evil person before the foundation of the world, but rather that Pharaoh (being an evil person) was sovereignty used by God as a vessel of wrath for his own purposes.

In Romans 9, Paul makes appeal to the God’s word to Pharaoh and says: For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth. Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth. ~ Romans 9:17-18

A few verses later Paul says: What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, ENDURED WITH MUCH LONG SUFFERING the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction: ~ Romans 9:22

If God created people to be evil and they had absolutely no choice in the matter, why would God “endure them with much long suffering?”

The answer to this question can be found in the 3 previous verses:

19 Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted his will?

20 Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus?

21 Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour? ~ Romans 9:19-21

What does this mean?

Does it mean that God arbitrarily decides who will follow truth and who will rebel, and therefore, he makes some people good and some people evil?

No! Not at all.

If we desire to rightly interpret Paul’swords regarding the potter and the clay, we need to allow scripture to interpret it for us.

Consider God’s words to the prophet Jeremiah:

1 The word which came to Jeremiah from the Lord, saying,

2 Arise, and go down to THE POTTER’S HOUSE, AND THERE WILL I CAUSE THEE TO HEAR MY WORDS.

3 Then I went down to THE POTTER’S HOUSE, and, behold, he wrought a work on the wheels.

4 And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter: so he made it again another vessel, AS IT SEEMED GOOD TO THE POTTER to make it.

5 Then THE WORD OF THE LORD came to me, saying,

6 O house of Israel, cannot I do with you as this potter? saith the Lord. Behold, as the clay is in the potter’s hand, SO ARE YE IN MY HAND, O house of Israel.

7 At what instant I shall speak concerning a nation, and concerning a kingdom, to pluck up, and to pull down, and to destroy it;

8 IF THAT NATION, AGAINST WHOM I HAVE PRONOUNCED, TURN FROM THEIR EVIL, I WILL REPENT OF THE EVIL THAT I THOUGHT TO DO UNTO THEM.

9 And at what instant I shall speak concerning a nation, and concerning a kingdom, to build and to plant it;

10 IF IT DO EVIL IN MY SIGHT, THAT IT OBEY NOT MT VOICE, THEN I WILL REPENT OF THE GOOD, WHEREWITH I SAID I WOULD BENEFIT THEM. ~ Jeremiah 18:1-10

In the context the potter that God used to speak to Jeremiah, the vessel was “marred” in the potters hand. One translation says: the jar he was making did not turn out as he had hoped, so he crushed it into a lump of clay again and started over.

Another translation says: But the jar that he was making from the clay became flawed in the potter’s hand, so he made it into another jar, as it seemed right for him to do.

The Potter was the one in control and when the vessel did not turn out as the Potter would have desired, he used it by reshaping it as he desired.

According to God’s words to Jeremiah, this is how God as “the Potter” had dealt with Israel. Though he had called them to be a holy nation, they were marred in his hand and now had become a vessel of his wrath. In Jeremiah 7:29, God refers to Judah as “the generation of his wrath.”

Yet they were originally chosen by God to be a holy people – that is what God called told them he had called to be after he delivered them from Pharaoh.

3 And Moses went up unto God, and the Lord called unto him out of the mountain, saying, Thus shalt thou say to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel;

4 Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles’ wings, and brought you unto myself.

5 Now therefore, IF YE WILL OBEY MY VOICE INDEED, AND KEEP MY COVENANT, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine:

6 And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.

7 And Moses came and called for the elders of the people, and laid before their faces all these words which the Lord commanded him. ~ Exodus 19:3-7

Even though the descendants of Jacob were called to be holy, they had now become a generation of wrath. Yet God endured their rebellion, with much long suffering, calling them to repentance.

Israel was called to be a holy people, and they were called to make the name of the Lord glorious throughout all the earth. Yet the went backward and failed to become who God called them to be.

Even though Israel failed to become the holy nation God had called them to be, God accomplished his purpose of having a people according to his grace, and he did this through Israel in the person of Jesus Christ, the Messiah!

30 What shall we say then? That the Gentiles, which followed not after righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness which is of faith.

31 But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness.

32 Wherefore? BECAUSE THEY SOUGHT IT NOT BY FAITH, but as it were by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumblingstone;

33 As it is written, Behold, I lay in Sion a stumblingstone and rock of offence: and WHOSOEVER BELIEVETH ON HIM SHALL NOT BE ASHAMED. ~ Romans 9:30-33

THE KING BECAME THE SERVANT

Jesus performed miracles and healings while on earth in the role of “servant” anointed by God, but this in no way suggests that his nature changed.

The King and creator of the creation, humbled himself and ministered to his subjects as a servant, even though he was King. Those who came to him, having their eyes opened to his true identity, would often worship him.

Only God can be worshipped.

Jesus ministered to people, taking the role of servant of God, even though he was God’s own Son in essence (his nature never changed). His “role” (for a lack of better words) did.

While on earth, he ministered in the role of servant, he now ministers in the glory of his Kingship.

1. Jesus is, was, and always will be divine.

2. Jesus came into this world to serve, not to rule.

3. During his earthly ministry, he ministered as a servant.

4. His true divine identity was veiled in his human flesh.

5. When the spiritual eyes of those who sought God were opened, they understood that he was more than an ordinary man, and they often worshiped him, and reverenced him.

Jesus is the King who laid aside his kingship authority in Heaven, and he came to minister to humanity. He submitted to the authority of his Father, who anointed him to do his will.

Jesus obeyed the Father completely, giving his life as a ransom for our sins. When he had fulfilled all the will of God, by his redemptive work, the Father restored to him the glory which he had with the Father before the world was.

He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. ~ John 1:11-14

For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich. ~ 2 Corinthians 8:9

And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant: Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many. ~ Matthew 20:27-28

But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory: Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have CRUCIFIED THE LORD OF GLORY. ~ 1 Corinthians 1:7-8

JESUS IS THE “DIVINE” SON OF GOD

Then they that were in the ship came and WORSHIPPED him, saying, OF A TRUTH THOU ART THE SON OF GOD. ~ Matthew 14:33

Have you ever consider that they worshipped Jesus as “the Son of God.”

If Jesus had been an ordinary man, it would have been idolatry to worship him, but if it was acceptable with God that Jesus was worshipped, then he was more than a mere man when he walked this earth.

The disciples would not have worshipped Jesus as the Son of God if being the Son of God were a common thing as with others. Unlike others, Jesus is God’s own unique Son – the only begotten Son of God.

The apostle John says: “the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and WE BEHELD HIS GLORY, THE GLORY AS OF THE ONLY BEGOTTEN OF THE FATHER,) full of grace and truth.

Jesus was God with us ~ Matthew 1:23, and God manifested in the flesh ~ 1 Timothy 3:16. Yet his divinity was concealed by his humanity, but to those who came to him searching for truth, to them it was revealed that this is the Son of God!

Son of God, applied to Jesus, speaks of his divinity.

The apostle Peter tells us: “we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you THE POWER AND COMING OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST, but were eyewitnesses of HIS MAJESTY. For he received from God the Father HONOR AND GLORY, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, THIS IS MY BELOVED SON, in whom I am well pleased. And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount. ~ 2 Peter 1:16-18

Peter, and the other disciples were eyewitnesses of HIS GLORY, and they testified that this man Jesus was more than an ordinary man: he is the Son of God.

As the Son, he his divine, and worthy of worship, for being the Son is HIS MAJESTY!

John the Baptist proclaimed: “I saw and bare record that this is the Son of God.” ~ John 1:34

If Jesus being the Son of God were not unique, there would be no need for John the Baptist to bear record of Jesus as such. When we examine the testimony of John about Jesus, we see that John declared that Jesus was more than an ordinary man.

John bare witness of him, and cried, saying, this was he of whom I spake, he that cometh after me is preferred before me: FOR HE WAS BEFORE ME. ~ John 1:15

John the Baptist proclaimed that Jesus was before him, even though Jesus came after him – a reference to the deity of Jesus Christ. John calls him Lord, saying, I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of THE LORD, as said the prophet Esaias. ~ John 1:23

The title Son of God carries a weight when applied to Jesus that it does not when applied to any other man. Jesus is not an ordinary man privileged to be called God’s child. Jesus is the Lord who came down for Heaven, and eternal life comes through believing he is the Son of God, i.e., believing he is divine!

Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God. ~ 1 John 4:15

For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God? ~ 1 John 5:4-5

If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater: for this is the witness of God which he hath testified of his Son. He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son. And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God. ~ 1 John 5:9-13

And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life. ~ 1 John 5:20

WHO WAS MELCHISEDEK?

Rooted and Grounded In Christ

INTRODUCTION

By all evidence, the book of Hebrews was written before the destruction of the temple in 70 A.D. We know this because the writer of Hebrews makes reference to the temple service, the priests, and the sacrifices in the present tense. In the present tense, he makes a comparison regarding the superiority of Jesus’ ministry in the heavens (in the greater and more perfect tabernacle) to that which was on earth (which only served as a shadow and an example) to point men to Christ.

He tells us that if Jesus were on earth he would not be a priest since there are already priests who offer gifts and sacrifices according to the Law. Even though that priesthood which had been ordained by the law was still functioning in the temple it had been made completely ineffective by Christ’s work on earth at the cross, and by his ministry in…

View original post 2,787 more words

GENERATIONAL CURSES (Part 2)

Before Israel entered into the promise land, God told them exactly why he was driving out the previous inhabitants.

24 Defile not ye yourselves in any of these things: FOR ALL THESE NATIONS ARE DEFILED WHICH I CAST OUT BEFORE YOU:

25 And the land is defiled: therefore I DO VISIT THE INIQUITY THEREOF upon it, and the land itself vomiteth out her inhabitants.

26 Ye shall therefore keep my statutes and my judgments, and shall not commit any of these abominations; neither any of your own nation, nor any stranger that sojourneth among you:

27 (For all these abominations have the men of the land done, which were before you, and the land is defiled;)

28 THAT THE LAND SPEW NOT YOU OUT ALSO, WHEN YE DEFILE IT, AS IT SPEWED OUT THE NATIONS THAT WERE BEFORE YOU.

29 For whosoever shall commit any of these abominations, even the souls that commit them shall be cut off from among their people.

30 Therefore shall ye keep mine ordinance, that ye commit not any one of these abominable customs, which were committed before you, and that ye defile not yourselves therein: I am the Lord your God. ~ Leviticus 18: 24-30

When God gave to Israel the Ten Commandments He commanded them the following in the first command:

2 I am the Lord thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.

3 Thou shalt have no other gods before me.

4 Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.

5 Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;

6 And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments. ~ Exodus 20:2-6

After Israel entered into the promised land and possessed it, Joshua reminded them that God is a Jealous God and warned them that God would keep his promise to punish them if they went after other gods, and Israel promised to serve the Lord ~ Joshua 23-24.

This is what is really going on in those texts that televangelists pervert into general curses, that they claim they can break the power of.

God’s promise to punish the Israelites by driving them out of the land happened just as God had promised. The northern tribes of Israel were eventually taken captive by the Assyrians, and Judah by Babylon.
________________________________________

To read Part One follow the link below:

https://michaelbattle65.wordpress.com/2017/04/10/generational-curses/?frame-nonce=536e7fabff

GENERATIONAL CURSES

Generational curses are neither an old or new testament concept. The scriptural texts that are used to advance the ideology of generational curses are taken completely out of context.

Please consider Exodus 20:1-6

1 And God spake all these words, saying,

2 I am the Lord thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.

3 Thou shalt have no other gods before me.

4 Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.

5 Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;

6 And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments. ~ Exodus 20:1-6

This is one of the main texts used by those who advance the concept of generational curses. Yet it is the first of the Ten Commandments. In this first command, God reveals that HE ALONE is God and that Israel (as well as us today) are to have no other gods beside him. It is within this context that God says he is a jealous God.

I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.

In the old testament, God referred to himself as a Jealous God within the context of idols. God alone is God, and there is no other God besides him. Those who serve idols provoke his anger. Even under the new testament, God is a jealous God who will not tolerate his people serving other gods (idols).

When God says he visits the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation, he is not speaking in reference to the so-called, generational curses, preached by some televangelists.

Instead, God is revealing who he is. He punishes those who hate him, and he will continue to punish the descendants of those who hate him if they follow in the sins of their parents.

Please understand that God does not punish children for their parents sins (Ezekiel 18). Rather, God deals with the sins of those who hate him. If the children walk in the iniquity of their fathers, God will punish them, but if a person repents an turns to God, God will, as he says, in the first commandment: show mercy.

God does not say, “I visit the iniquity of those who hate me, by punishing their descendants to the 3rd and 4th generation, while I bless those that love me to the 3rd and 4th generation.”

The context is punishment to those individuals who hate God and mercy on those individuals who love him.

I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation OF THEM THAT HATE ME; And shewing mercy UNTO THOUSANDS OF THEM THAT LOVE ME; and keep my commandments.

In Ezekiel 18 God told the people: As I live, saith the Lord God, ye shall not have occasion any more to use this proverb in Israel. Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die. ~ Ezekiel 18:3-4

Ezekiel 18 completely refutes the ideology of generational curses taught within some places today.

The ideology of generational curses is an out of context ideology. You cannot “rebuke” something that is God punishment. God’s punishment for iniquity can only be removed by a person humbly repenting.

Finally, the truth of what God said he would do by, visiting the iniquity, can be understood by Paul’s word in Romans 1.

18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;

19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.

20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:

21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.

22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,

23 And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.

24 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:

25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshiped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. ~ Romans 1:18-25
_______________________________________________________

To read Part Two click the following link:

https://michaelbattle65.wordpress.com/2017/04/11/generational-curses-part-2/?frame-nonce=536e7fabff

A MORE SURE WORD OF PROPHECY

The apostle Peter declares that the Words (the scriptures) spoken by the holy men of God who are moved by the Holy Spirit, is a MORE SURE WORD OF PROPHECY concerning Jesus, than the disciples hearing the voice of God from heaven.

16 For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty.

17 For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such A VOICE to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

18 And THIS VOICE which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount.

19 We have also A MORE SURE WORD OF PROPHECY; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:

20 Knowing this first, that no PROPHECY OF THE SCRIPTURE is of any private interpretation.

21 For THE PROPHECY came not in old time by the will of man: but HOLY MEN OF GOD SPAKE AS THEY WERE MOVED BY THE HOLY GHOST. ~ 2 Peter 1:16-21

These words from 2 Peter chapter 1, are the lead-in into Peter’s declaration that there would arise false teachers.

1 But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.

2 And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. ~ 2 Peter 2:1-2

The apostle Peter warns of false prophets among the people during the times when holy men of God were moved by the Holy Ghost to speak forth the prophecy, contained in the scriptures, regarding Christ.

It is in this context that Peter tells us there will be false teachers among us. Even as the false prophets opposed the prophecy of Christ, so shall false teachers cause the way of the truth (contained in the more sure word of prophecy) to be evil spoken of.

WHY DID JESUS SPEAK IN PARABLES?

The story of the rich man and Lazarus (Luke 17) is often called a parable, but it wasn’t. It was a story to explain of the truth so that everyone could understand.

Jesus spoke in parables, not to reveal truth, but to conceal it. In Matthew 13:3-9 Jesus gave the parable of the sower. We who read that today understand the meaning of it because Jesus explained it to his disciples in private. Before he explained it to them, they ask Jesus “why do you speak in Parables?”

Consider Matthew 13:10-16

10 And the disciples came, and said unto him, WHY SPEAKEST THOU UNTO THEM IN PARABLES?

11 He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, BUT TO THEM IT IS NOT GIVEN.

12 For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath.

13 THEREFORE SPEAK I TO THEM IN PARABLES: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.

14 And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive:

15 For this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.

16 But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear. ~ Matthew 13:10-16

In verse 17 -18 Jesus says the following to his disciples: For verily I say unto you, that many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them. HEAR YE THEREFORE THE PARABLE OF THE SOWER.

Jesus then proceeded to explain the meaning of this parable to his disciples.

Parables were meant to conceal the truth, so that the truth would be revealed to those who would pursue it. When Jesus told stories like the one in Luke 17 (the rich man and Lazarus) nothing was concealed. It was spoken on a level where everyone would understand it, regardless if they accepted or rejected it.

HAVE I COMMITTED THE UNPARDONABLE SIN ?

Can a person who has deliberately, willfully, and by a conscience decision walked away from the Lord, ever be restored to him again?

This is a serious question which needs to be answered, because there are those who at one time walked with the Lord, who turned away from God, and who now believe there is no longer any hope for them.

I recently had someone in this situation write me, expressing that they wake up every day with depression because of their decision to walk away from Jesus so many years ago.

This dear soul is the reason I am addressing this matter, and make no mistake about it, there are others out there who feel very much the same way. What you are about to read is intended to help them, as well as equip my fellow Christians with an understanding of the teachings of scripture, so that they can help others  as well.

When Jesus made the statement regarding the unpardonable sin it was aimed at the hardened, and unrepentant Pharisees who despised Jesus and wanted to put him to death. The Pharisees were not merely speaking out of poor judgment.

The Pharisees were leaders within the religious ranks of Israel, and those among them to whom Jesus was speaking, were hell bent on destroying him. Their speaking against him was an intentional effort to smear the reputation of the Son of God because they hated him so much. In their hatred for Jesus, they intentionally spoke evil against the work of the Holy Spirit, in and through Jesus.

In 1 Timothy 1:13, the apostle Paul referred to himself, before his conversion, as a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and an injurious man. He than adds: but I obtained mercy, because I did it IGNORANTLY in unbelief. 

The unpardonable sin, is not a sin that can be committed in ignorance, or accidentally. Nor is it a sin which is committed by those who are overly tempted, or who draw back from walking with God because they are unwilling to live a consecrated life, etc.

The difference between Paul and the Pharisees whom Jesus rebuked in the gospel accounts, is that Paul blasphemed (against Jesus) because he was zealous for God according to the Law. The Pharisees, on the other hand, were power hungry religious leaders. Their blasphemy was a display of their hatred for God and that hatred was aimed at God’s Son, whom God had anointed with his Holy Spirit.

They were leaders claiming to see! 

39 And Jesus said, For judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind.

40 And some of the Pharisees which were with him heard these words, and said unto him, Are we blind also?

41 Jesus said unto them, If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth. ~ John 9:39-41

When the gospel accounts of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John are examined closely, we find that the Pharisees, to whom Jesus gave such a stern warning, rejected Jesus, not out of ignorance, but as leaders within Israel. They willingly rejected the testimony of the God, whom they claimed to represent, when God through the Holy Spirit spoke to them by His Son.

When Jesus appeared to Paul at the time of his conversion, Paul humbled himself and said: Who art thou, Lord? The Pharisees, whom Jesus warned in the gospels refused to humble themselves in the presence of Jesus.

The Pharisees, as well as the scribes and the lawyers, were so corrupt that they were keeping the people from entering the Kingdom of God.  When God, whom they were supposed to represent, walked among them in the flesh, rather than pointing the people to him, they taught them to despise him.

This is not a sin held to the charge of anyone who fears God, and desires to serve him.

Many years ago, when I was under a cloud darkness (spiritually speaking) I was fearfully tormented with thoughts that I had committed the unpardonable sin. Yet in that place of torment and fear, I determined that I was going to serve the Lord, even if I was condemned to hell; and I told Lord that very thing!

Only the Spirit of the Lord could have led me in such a proclamation! 

If there is any desire for God in a person’s heart, that desire is because of the conviction of the Spirit of God drawing them.

Jesus said, No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him ~ John 6:44. And, no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father. ~ John 6:65. 

But what about those who have turned away from the Lord? Isn’t it an unpardonable sin to turn away from God once you have been saved?

The short answer is NO!

Please allow me to explain. First consider Hebrews 10:26-31.

26 For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,

27 But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.

28 He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses:

29 Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?

30 For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people.

31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. ~ Hebrews 10:26-31

This is a very sobering text, and one we need to understand correctly, or else things can get read into it that it doesn’t actually say.

Verses 28 and 29 are key to having a proper understanding, because despising the Law of Moses is the precedence for the punishment of those who do the same under grace.

According to the Law, the one who was worthy of death, could only be put to death at the testimony of two or three witnesses. Even if a person was worthy of death, they could not to be put to death on the testimony of one witness (Deuteronomy 19:15).

The author of Hebrews mentions the Son of God, the blood of the everlasting covenant, and the Spirit of grace in correlation to the two or three witnesses of the old testament.

This is very important because the sin being referred here is a deliberate renunciation of Jesus as the Son of God (the Messiah) just as the Pharisees who renounced his Messiah -ship and refused to believe that he is the Son of God.

Rejecting Jesus in this manner, consequently results in discrediting the saving power of the blood of the covenant, and causes a complete hardening of the heart against the Holy Spirit’s witness or testimony of the person of Jesus Christ.

This is not merely turning away from the Lord because of being overly tempted, or being unwilling to live a consecrated life.

Many who are backslidden still believe that Jesus is the Son of God, yet they are tormented with the thought of being damned forever because at one time they served God and drifted away from him, or at some point they deliberately turned away from him, or in of a moment of weakness, pain, sorrow, or being overly tempted: they said or did something which they now deeply regret.

Yet, they still believe that Jesus is the Son of God, they know he is the Savior of the world, and the precious lamb of God who shed his blood to redeem them. They struggle to overcome condemnation, fearing they have committed the unpardonable sin, but Jesus loves them. God patiently waits for them to return to him just as the Father of the prodigal son patiently waited for his son to return home.  ~  see Luke 15:11-24.

Many years ago, when I was under the torment that I had committed the unpardonable sin ( I wasn’t backslidden, but tormented because of my past), I had a life changing experience.

I had gone to work one morning and was struggling terribly. I prayed a simple prayer and cried out to God, asking for him to relieve me from work that day so I could go and pray. Not long thereafter, the manager came over where I and some other employees were standing. He asked, “Who wants to go home?” I gently raised my hand and he gave me the rest of the day off.

From there I went to a wooded area to pray. While I was there praying, I remembered that the place where I attended Bible study was kept unlocked and I could go there to pray, so I did. While I was there praying, I noticed a magazine from a ministry that would become a great blessing to me.

I picked it up and began to read it. In this article, the minister addressed the lies of the devil concerning the unpardonable sin, and how Satan uses this lie to bring people under condemnation. Towards the end of the article I remember reading a line that said something like this: “don’t let the devil bother you about this anymore.”

I knew God was speaking to me!

In this article the minister also shared truth about the blood of Jesus. That was the moment when a desire for a strong faith in the blood of Jesus was conceived in my heart, and that is where my personal journey of learning, and teaching about the blood of Christ, the cross of Christ, and our redemption in Christ actually began.

So the things I teach today about the cross are more than what I have studied. They are the result of my desperation for God. Early on in my journey of learning about the power of the blood of Christ, Hebrews 10:19 became the lifeline that sustained me. Hebrews 10:19 says, having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus.

Through that one verse I latched on to the hope that if I had faith in the blood of Jesus, nothing could separate me from the presence of God. The same holds true for you!

Those who want Jesus in their life, but fear they have committed the unpardonable sin, have been lied to by Satan. They have been lied to about the character and nature of God. They have been lied to with scriptures which Satan twists to deceive many people.

Consequently they are deceived  into reading the Bible through the lens of a wrong interpretation of the unpardonable sin, rather than allowing the context and the whole counsel of scripture to rightly interpret that sin.

The Bible teaches us that God established a testimony in Jacob (Israel) ~ Psalm 78:5. Accordingly, the author of Hebrews appeals to the Law (God’s testimony in Israel) as the precedent for the sobering words in Hebrews 10, which also properly interprets the words of Hebrews 6:4-6.

This is why we should consider the words of God through the prophet Isaiah to backslidden Israel.

Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth: for the Lord hath spoken, I have nourished and brought up children, and they have REBELLED against me. 

The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master’s crib: but Israel doth not know, my people doth not consider.

Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evildoers, children that are corrupters: they have forsaken the Lord, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger, they are gone away backward. ~ Isaiah 1:2-4

Notice the indictment against Israel. God literally calls the heavens and the earth to record, to behold this astonishing thing, namely, Israel’s turning away from his Master: they have rebelled against me. 

Think about that for a moment, and allow it to sink in: Israel had rebelled and turned away from God.

They not only turned away from God, but they did very wicked things in his sight. He indicts Israel of their sins, calling them (1) a sinful nation, (2) a people laden with iniquity, (3) a seed of evil doers, (4) children that are corrupters; and accuses them with FORSAKING THE LORD AND PROVOKING HIM TO ANGER. 

If you are reading this, and you have feared that you have committed the unpardonable sin, think about this for a moment in view of your past: Israel had forsaken the Lord and provoked him to anger, but as we will soon see, he still extended mercy to them.

God tells them their whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint (v.5), and likens them to Sodom and Gomorrah: Hear the word of the Lord, ye rulers of Sodom; give ear unto the law of our God, ye people of Gomorrah (.10).

God also rebukes them for their corrupt temple worship because of their sinfulness:

11 To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices unto me? saith the Lord: I am full of the burnt offerings of rams, and the fat of fed beasts; and I delight NOT in the blood of bullocks, or of lambs, or of he goats.

12 When ye come to appear before me, who hath required this at your hand, to tread my courts?

13 Bring no more vain oblations; incense is an abomination unto me; the new moons and sabbaths, the calling of assemblies, I cannot away with; IT IS INIQUITY, even the solemn meeting.

14 Your new moons and your appointed feasts MY SOUL HATETH: they are a trouble unto me; I AM WEARY TO BEAR THEM. 

15 And when ye spread forth your hands, I WILL HIDE MINE EYES FROM YOU: yea, when ye make many prayers, I WILL NOT HEAR; your hands are full of blood.

The indictment against Israel was severe. 

If we were to stop reading at this point, and interpret what happens next based on the indictment against them, we might come away with the conclusion that God was absolutely done with them, and that there was no longer any hope for them – ONLY DAMNATION!

Yet with all this, God says the following to them:

16 Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil;

17 Learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow.

18 Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: THOUGH YOUR SINS BE AS SCARLET, THEY SHALL BE AS WHITE AS SNOW; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.

19 If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land… ~ Isaiah 1:16-19

Even though Israel had forsaken God and done very evil things in his sight – He still offered them MERCY! That is the truth about the Living God.

Those who are being lied to in their minds regarding the unpardonable sin, are being persuaded by Satan that God is not merciful.  Yet God IS MERCIFUL !