Is Eating Food In The Dream Bad Or Sinful?

You’ve probably heard some Christians talk about the spiritual danger of eating food in the dream. Such people will readily tell you that feeding in the dream is a means of getting initiated into the kingdom of darkness. Anyone who eats in the dream is thus considered a candidate for special deliverance prayers, to exorcise evil spirits that must have possessed them while they were busy devouring exotic cuisine in the dead of the night. Is it really a bad thing to eat food while dreaming? Can a Christian be initiated into witchcraft just by accepting meals offered in the dream? Let’s examine the Scriptures to answer these questions.

Dreams are largely imaginary events that take place in the subconscious mind when one is asleep. When one is dreaming, while the body is asleep, the subconscious mind is actively roaming, regurgitating things and playing them out like a fantasy film. Most times, dreams are the troubled mind’s means of achieving catharsis and relieving tensions. At other times, unfulfilled wishes in reality find unrestrained outlet in dreamland. Thus, not only do people dream of stuffs that bother them, they also dream of things they long for and can’t have in reality! In dreamland, you can be anything or have anything you’ve been fantasising about! Fantasies happen freely in dreamland. That’s what the Scriptures teach!

Ecclesiastes 5:3 The saying is true: Bad dreams come from too much worrying,
and too many words come from foolish people (NCV).

Isaiah 29:7 Then all the nations that fight against Jerusalem
will be like a dream;
all the nations that attack her
will be like a vision in the night.

Isaiah 29:8 They will be like a hungry man who dreams he is eating,
but when he awakens, he is still hungry.
They will be like a thirsty man who dreams he is drinking,
but when he awakens, he is still weak and thirsty.
It will be the same way with all the nations
who fight against Mount Zion (NCV).

Psalms 73:20 They are like a dream when one awakes; when you arise, Lord, you will despise them as fantasies (NIV).

Apart from being an outlet for the projection of subconscious and suppressed agitations and anxieties, as well as a place for actualising fantasies, dreams can also be a means of divine revelation. God can speak to his people through dreams, as part of the manifestations of the prophetic gift. In the endtime, the outpouring of the Holy Spirit is to bring with it a lot of prophetic dreams as a means of divine communication. However, prophetic dreams require prophetic interpretation for the messages contained therein to be properly understood. That said, dreams are an inferior means of prophetic revelation, with open visions and audible voices being more superior, as majority of dreams are not of any prophetic significance, as pointed out earlier. Ultimately, dreams and visions and even audible voices must be judged by the written word, to determine their authenticity and divine/prophetic origin. Any dream or vision that contradicts the written word should be jettisoned, as it cannot be from God, since God cannot contradict himself. The written word is the judge of all things and the urim and thummim (final arbiter) for determining spiritual truth and the divine origin of extra-biblical revelations.

Numbers 12:6 He said, “Listen to my words:
When prophets are among you,
I, the Lord, will show myself to them in visions;
I will speak to them in dreams.

Numbers 12:7 But this is not true with my servant Moses.
I trust him to lead all my people.

Numbers 12:8 I speak face to face with him—
clearly, not with hidden meanings.
He has even seen the form of the Lord.
You should be afraid
to speak against my servant Moses.”(NCV).

Job 33:14 God does speak—sometimes one way and sometimes another—
even though people may not understand it.

Job 33:15 He speaks in a dream or a vision of the night
when people are in a deep sleep,
lying on their beds.

Job 33:16 He speaks in their ears
and frightens them with warnings

Job 33:17 to turn them away from doing wrong
and to keep them from being proud.

Job 33:18 God does this to save people from death,
to keep them from dying (NCV).

The Acts 2:17 ‘God says: In the last days
I will pour out my Spirit on all kinds of people.
Your sons and daughters will prophesy.
Your young men will see visions,
and your old men will dream dreams (NCV).

Deuteronomy 13:1 Prophets or those who tell the future with dreams might come to you and say they will show you a miracle or a sign.

Deuteronomy 13:2 The miracle or sign might even happen, and then they might say, “Let’s serve other gods” (gods you have not known) “and let’s worship them.”

Deuteronomy 13:3 But you must not listen to those prophets or dreamers. The Lord your God is testing you, to find out if you love him with your whole being.

Deuteronomy 13:4 Serve only the Lord your God. Respect him, keep his commands, and obey him. Serve him and be loyal to him.

Deuteronomy 13:5 The prophets or dreamers must be killed, because they said you should turn against the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt and saved you from the land where you were slaves. They tried to turn you from doing what the Lord your God commanded you to do. You must get rid of the evil among you (NCV).

Now, let’s get back to the issue of eating food in the dream. How bad really is it to eat in the dream? Can a Christian be initiated into Satan’s kingdom and become a wizard or a witch just by having a meal in the dream? Can evil spirits be transmitted to a child of God just by the act of sampling mouth-watering dishes in the dream, as some deliverance ministers would have us believe? Well, it would mean one would have to stop fantasising about delicacies and exotic meals during the day, because if you keep doing that, you’re most likely going to dream about them at night, and you’re most likely going to eat them in your dream! Remember what we said about dreams being an outlet for fantasies? That’s right! But don’t worry about what you eat in the dream, because it’s just fantasy! Nothing of what you eat in the dream enters your body or your spirit! That’s why you wake up still hungry, despite having had a sumptuous buffet in the dream! Nothing you do in the dream is real. You cannot commit sin in the dream because sin is not an involuntary or unconscious act. Sin is willful disobedience to a divine injunction. Since the will is not active while one is asleep, and the person dreaming is actually subconscious, he or she cannot do anything willfully while sleeping. You’re not responsible for any of your actions while asleep. That’s why people who commit crimes while genuinely sleep-walking are not held accountable for their actions! By the way, Pharaoh’s butler saw himself serving Pharaoh wine in the dream and Joseph told him it wasn’t a bad thing. It meant he was going to go back to doing the same thing in real life. It didn’t mean he was trying to initiate Pharaoh into the occult! Even God offered Peter food in the dream (yes, a trance is like day-time dreaming), and although Peter turned down the offer of a free exotic meal (he was afraid of being defiled, like a lot of us who are scared shit of eating in the dream), God told him to stop resisting and eat up! Whatever you do legitimately in the real world, you can also lawfully do in the dream! Stop feeling bad if you eat in the dream because there’s nothing to it! Remember what Jesus said about no food being able to defile us spiritually? That applies to what we eat in dreamland too! By the way, if receiving money in the dream or dreaming of winning the jackpot doesn’t make you rich in real life, why are you bothered about eating your favourite meal in the dream? After all, you’ve been dreaming about it all day!

Psalms 73:20 They are like a dream when one awakes; when you arise, Lord, you will despise them as fantasies (NIV).

Ecclesiastes 5:3 A dream comes when there are many cares, and many words mark the speech of a fool (NIV).

Ecclesiastes 5:7 Much dreaming and many words are meaningless. Therefore fear God (NIV).

Isaiah 29:7 The horde of nations fighting against Ariel,
and all who make war on her and her fortress and besiege her,
will be like a dream, a vision of the night.

Isaiah 29:8 It will be like when a hungry person dreams of eating
but wakes up and the mouth is empty.
Or when a thirsty person dreams of drinking
but wakes up and has a dry throat.
So will it be for all the horde of nations
who fight against Mount Zion (CEB).

Genesis 40:9 The chief wine steward described his dream to Joseph: “In my dream there was a vine right in front of me,

Genesis 40:10 and on the vine were three branches. When it budded, its blossoms appeared, and its clusters ripened into grapes.

Genesis 40:11 Pharaoh’s cup was in my hand, so I took the grapes, crushed them into Pharaoh’s cup, and put the cup in Pharaoh’s hand.”

Genesis 40:12 Joseph said to him, “This is the dream’s interpretation: The three branches are three days.

Genesis 40:13 After three days, Pharaoh will give you an audience and return you to your position. You will put Pharaoh’s cup in his hand, just the way things were before when you were his wine steward (CEB).

The Acts 10:9 About noon the following day as they were on their journey and approaching the city, Peter went up on the roof to pray.

The Acts 10:10 He became hungry and wanted something to eat, and while the meal was being prepared, he fell into a trance.

The Acts 10:11 He saw heaven opened and something like a large sheet being let down to earth by its four corners.

The Acts 10:12 It contained all kinds of four-footed animals, as well as reptiles and birds.

The Acts 10:13 Then a voice told him, “Get up, Peter. Kill and eat.”

The Acts 10:14 “Surely not, Lord!” Peter replied. “I have never eaten anything impure or unclean.”

The Acts 10:15 The voice spoke to him a second time, “Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.”

The Acts 10:16 This happened three times, and immediately the sheet was taken back to heaven (NIV).

St. Mark 7:14 Again Jesus called the crowd to him and said, “Listen to me, everyone, and understand this.

St. Mark 7:15 Nothing outside a person can defile them by going into them. Rather, it is what comes out of a person that defiles them.”

St. Mark 7:17 After he had left the crowd and entered the house, his disciples asked him about this parable.

St. Mark 7:18 “Are you so dull?” he asked. “Don’t you see that nothing that enters a person from the outside can defile them?

St. Mark 7:19 For it doesn’t go into their heart but into their stomach, and then out of the body.” (In saying this, Jesus declared all foods clean.)

St. Mark 7:20 He went on: “What comes out of a person is what defiles them.

St. Mark 7:21 For it is from within, out of a person’s heart, that evil thoughts come —sexual immorality, theft, murder,

St. Mark 7:22 adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly.

St. Mark 7:23 All these evils come from inside and defile a person.” (NIV).

Remember this: as a child of God, Satan and his agents can’t possess or take you over when you’re sleeping! Even though you’re subconscious and defenceless while asleep, the God watching over you neither sleeps nor slumbers! The angels of God encamp around those who fear God, even when they’re asleep and dreaming. Satan and his agents have a standing order concerning God’s children: “touch not my anointed ones and do my prophets no harm!”. So, agents of darkness can’t break God’s hedge around his children to get to initiate them into the occult while they’re sleeping and dreaming (whether they eat in the dream or not). No weapon fashioned against a child of God shall prosper (in reality or in the dream). Finally, the Lord gave us the assurance that even if we eat any deadly thing accidentally or unconsciously (including eating them in the dream), we shall not come to any harm. Therefore, no child of God should be afraid of eating any food in the dream, because no harm can come to them thereby.

Psalms 121:2 My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth.

Psalms 121:3 He will not let your foot slip — he who watches over you will not slumber;

Psalms 121:4 indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.

Psalms 121:5 The LORD watches over you — the LORD is your shade at your right hand;

Psalms 121:6 the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night.

Psalms 121:7 The LORD will keep you from all harm — he will watch over your life;

Psalms 121:8 the LORD will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore (NIV).

Psalms 34:7 The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them (NIV).

Psalms 105:14 He permitted no one to do them wrong;
Yes, He rebuked kings for their sakes,

Psalms 105:15 Saying, “Do not touch My anointed ones,
And do My prophets no harm.” (NKJV).

Job 1:8 Then the LORD said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil.”

Job 1:9 “Does Job fear God for nothing?” Satan replied.

Job 1:10 “Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has? You have blessed the work of his hands, so that his flocks and herds are spread throughout the land (NIV).

Isaiah 54:17 No weapon formed against you shall prosper,
And every tongue which rises against you in judgment
You shall condemn.
This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord,
And their righteousness is from Me,”
Says the Lord (NKJV).

Mark 16:15 And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.

Mark 16:16 He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.

Mark 16:17 And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues;

Mark 16:18 they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.” (NKJV).

In conclusion, dreams are mostly fantasies that play out our subconscious and unaccomplished wishes and desires, with only a few being means of divine communication. Thus, most of the things we do in the dream are not real. Because dreams occur in our subconscious mind, we’re not responsible for what we do in the dream, and cannot therefore be held accountable for them. Also, anything we can do legitimately in real life can also be done legitimately in the dream, for most dreams come from what we think and do while awake. Thus, to dream of eating food is not bad or sinful, because eating food in real life is neither bad nor sinful. We cannot commit sin subconsciously or unconsciously, because sin is wilful disobedience to a divine injunction. Also, any fear of agents of darkness initiating a believer into witchcraft, through meals offered in the dream, is unfounded and unscriptural, as nothing taken into the body can defile us, since no food enters into our hearts to defile or contaminate us spiritually, including foods eaten in the dream. Most importantly, God watches over his children when they sleep, and Satan and his agents have a standing order to not touch God’s anointed and to do his prophets no harm, even in our sleep. Thus, worrying about any harm coming to a child of God through eating in the dream is baseless and groundless, because he that’s in us is greater than he that’s in the world! We have the promise of God that even if we drink or eat any deadly thing unknowingly or subconsciously, it will not harm us! So, let’s stop fretting unnecessarily about what we do in the dream and rather pay more attention to what we do while awake and conscious, for that’s when we can sin and offend God!

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We Do Not Run The Christian Race To Win The Prize Of Salvation!

(All Bible quotations, except otherwise stated, are from the New International Version).

A Christian’s life journey is compared to an athletic race in the Olympic Games, among several other analogies. In a race, athletes compete for a prize. There are rules governing an athletic race, which athletes must adhere to strictly, in order not to be disqualified from the race and the ultimate prize. Athletes prepare for a race by following a strict regime of training and dieting, to keep themselves fit and in shape. In the race proper, the competitors must keep to the rules of the race- not to take off before the sound of the starter pistol, to run within their lanes and to strive to reach the finish line before others, in order to win the prize. Failing to observe any of these rules will disqualify an athlete from the race and the prize. Thus, like professional athletes, Christians must discipline themselves and run their spiritual race lawfully, in order to be considered worthy of the prize at the end of it all.

1 Corinthians 9:24 Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.

1 Corinthians 9:25 Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.

1 Corinthians 9:26 Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air.

1 Corinthians 9:27 No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.

2 Timothy 2:5 Similarly, anyone who competes as an athlete does not receive the victor’s crown except by competing according to the rules.

But, what’s the prize the Christian is expected to win at the end of his spiritual race? For the professional athlete, the ultimate prize is clear-gold medal and the championship title. Only the fastest athlete in a professional athletic race who runs the race lawfully goes home with the championship title. So, what’s the prize the Christian athlete is supposed to win at the end of the spiritual race that he or she ran faithfully and lawfully? Some have opined that salvation is the prize at stake in the Christian race, and that not running lawfully or not coming out tops at the end of it all means the Christian is disqualified (castaway) and will fail to win the prize of salvation. Is salvation the prize to be won for running a successful Christian race? Is disciplining ourselves to run a lawful spiritual race just so that we can be saved? We’ll have to look at the Scriptures closely to answer these questions.

The Scriptures make the fact abundantly clear that salvation is not a reward for our labours. It’s not a prize we win for our hard work. Salvation is a gift of grace, not a reward for works! We do not merit salvation! We are saved by grace through faith. Salvation is a gift of God, to preclude men from boasting about earning their right standing with God! The Jews attempted to earn salvation through the works of the law and missed it! Abraham was saved simply by believing God. He didn’t work for his salvation, but was made righteous just by believing God! David described the blessedness of the man who does not rely on his works to be saved, but depends on God for justification. Thus, according to the Scriptures, we do not earn God’s salvation by our discipline and hard work while running the Christian race, simply because salvation is a free gift of God’s grace! We’re saved the moment we believe and accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour! Salvation is not a futuristic prize to be won at the end of the Christian journey, but a current and present possession of every born again Christian! Thus, the Christian is not running the heavenly race to be saved, but he’s running because he’s already saved! Only the saved are qualified to run the Christian race!

Ephesians 2:8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith —and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God —

Ephesians 2:9 not by works, so that no one can boast.

Romans 4:1 What then shall we say that Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh, discovered in this matter?

Romans 4:2 If, in fact, Abraham was justified by works, he had something to boast about —but not before God.

Romans 4:3 What does Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.”

Romans 4:4 Now to the one who works, wages are not credited as a gift but as an obligation.

Romans 4:5 However, to the one who does not work but trusts God who justifies the ungodly, their faith is credited as righteousness.

Romans 4:6 David says the same thing when he speaks of the blessedness of the one to whom God credits righteousness apart from works:

Romans 4:7 “Blessed are those whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered.

Romans 4:8 Blessed is the one whose sin the Lord will never count against them.”

Romans 5:1 Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,

Romans 5:2 through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God.

The Acts 16:25 About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them.

The Acts 16:26 Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everyone’s chains came loose.

The Acts 16:27 The jailer woke up, and when he saw the prison doors open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself because he thought the prisoners had escaped.

The Acts 16:28 But Paul shouted, “Don’t harm yourself! We are all here!”

The Acts 16:29 The jailer called for lights, rushed in and fell trembling before Paul and Silas.

The Acts 16:30 He then brought them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”

The Acts 16:31 They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved —you and your household.”

St. Mark 16:15 He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.

St. Mark 16:16 Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.

Romans 10:9 If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

Romans 10:10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.

Romans 10:11 As Scripture says, “Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame.”

Romans 10:12 For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile —the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him,

Romans 10:13 for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

If salvation is not the ultimate prize Christians strive for in the heavenly race, what then is the prize the Apostle Paul alluded to that we must run to win? What is the reward for faithful Christian service? If we’re already saved at the beginning of the Christian race, what is the reward for our labours of love in Christ at the end of the race? The apostles made it clear in their writings that our Christian service will be appraised and rewarded by the Lord, not with salvation which we already possess, but with positions of honour and glory in God’s kingdom. In the future kingdom of the Lord, believers will rule with the Lord Jesus when he assumes his rightful place as King of kings and Lord of lords on earth. We will occupy various positions of authority, as we help the Lord in administering his kingdom. Our greatness in that kingdom will be determined by the faithfulness and diligence of our service to the Lord during our period of pilgrimage on earth right now. If we labour faithfully and diligently in God’s vineyard here, we will be adequately rewarded with commensurate positions of honour and glory in his kingdom. If we build God’s building (his church) according to God’s blueprint and with precious stones (representing high-quality selfless service), our labour will be accepted and rewarded accordingly. If, however, we build outside of God’s blueprint and with combustible materials, our works will be tested with fire, and if consumed, there will be no reward for our labours, though we will not lose our salvation, which is not a reward for our labours (that is, if we maintain our faith in the Lord to the end). Entering God’s kingdom is a free gift of grace, but our positions in that kingdom will be determined by our labours and diligence in serving the Lord.

St. Matthew 16:24 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.

St. Matthew 16:25 For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it.

St. Matthew 16:26 What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul?

St. Matthew 16:27 For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what they have done.

1 Corinthians 3:6 I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow.

1 Corinthians 3:7 So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow.

1 Corinthians 3:8 The one who plants and the one who waters have one purpose, and they will each be rewarded according to their own labor.

1 Corinthians 3:9 For we are co-workers in God’s service; you are God’s field, God’s building.

1 Corinthians 3:10 By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as a wise builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should build with care.

1 Corinthians 3:11 For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ.

1 Corinthians 3:12 If anyone builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw,

1 Corinthians 3:13 their work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each person’s work.

1 Corinthians 3:14 If what has been built survives, the builder will receive a reward.

1 Corinthians 3:15 If it is burned up, the builder will suffer loss but yet will be saved —even though only as one escaping through the flames.

Revelation 22:10 Then he told me, “Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this scroll, because the time is near.

Revelation 22:11 Let the one who does wrong continue to do wrong; let the vile person continue to be vile; let the one who does right continue to do right; and let the holy person continue to be holy.”

Revelation 22:12 “Look, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to each person according to what they have done.

Revelation 22:13 I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.

Hebrews 6:9 But, beloved, we are confident of better things concerning you, yes, things that accompany salvation, though we speak in this manner.

Hebrews 6:10 For God is not unjust to forget your work and labor of love which you have shown toward His name, in that you have ministered to the saints, and do minister.

Hebrews 6:11 And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end,

Hebrews 6:12 that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises (NKJV).

2 Timothy 4:5 But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.

2 Timothy 4:6 For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time for my departure is near.

2 Timothy 4:7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.

2 Timothy 4:8 Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day —and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.

1 Peter 5:1 To the elders among you, I appeal as a fellow elder and a witness of Christ’s sufferings who also will share in the glory to be revealed:

1 Peter 5:2 Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, watching over them —not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not pursuing dishonest gain, but eager to serve;

1 Peter 5:3 not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock.

1 Peter 5:4 And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away.

Revelation 2:26 And he who overcomes, and keeps My works until the end, to him I will give power over the nations—

Revelation 2:27 ‘He shall rule them with a rod of iron;
They shall be dashed to pieces like the potter’s vessels’—
as I also have received from My Father;

Revelation 2:28 and I will give him the morning star.

Revelation 3:21 To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.

The Lord Jesus, after saving us by grace, gives us gifts of grace with which to serve him and humanity. He expects us to use those gifts and talents and other resources he’s made available to us to minister to him and others and earn eternal rewards thereby. How gracious is the Lord in his kindness towards us! He saves us by grace, loads us with gifts of grace and still looks forward to blessing us for using those gifts! He requires only one thing from us- that we cultivate and use those gifts and talents well. That we discipline ourselves in the use of the gifts he has given us, in order not to misuse them. We’re going account for every gift, talent, skill and ability, and the rewards for our service to the Lord will be based on his evaluation of how well we used the gifts he gave us. All Christians will appear before the judgement seat of the Lord, not to be judged for our sins (those were already judged at Calvary), but to be judged for our works and service to the Lord. Our faithful services will be adequately rewarded, while unfaithful services will receive no reward, though our salvation will remain intact, as it’s a free gift of grace, through faith, and not a result of our works.

Matthew 25:14 “For the kingdom of heaven is like a man traveling to a far country, who called his own servants and delivered his goods to them.

Matthew 25:15 And to one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one, to each according to his own ability; and immediately he went on a journey.

Matthew 25:16 Then he who had received the five talents went and traded with them, and made another five talents.

Matthew 25:17 And likewise he who had received two gained two more also.

Matthew 25:18 But he who had received one went and dug in the ground, and hid his lord’s money.

Matthew 25:19 After a long time the lord of those servants came and settled accounts with them.

Matthew 25:20 “So he who had received five talents came and brought five other talents, saying, ‘Lord, you delivered to me five talents; look, I have gained five more talents besides them.’

Matthew 25:21 His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’

Matthew 25:22 He also who had received two talents came and said, ‘Lord, you delivered to me two talents; look, I have gained two more talents besides them.’

Matthew 25:23 His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’

Matthew 25:24 “Then he who had received the one talent came and said, ‘Lord, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you have not sown, and gathering where you have not scattered seed.

Matthew 25:25 And I was afraid, and went and hid your talent in the ground. Look, there you have what is yours.’

Matthew 25:26 “But his lord answered and said to him, ‘You wicked and lazy servant, you knew that I reap where I have not sown, and gather where I have not scattered seed.

Matthew 25:27 So you ought to have deposited my money with the bankers, and at my coming I would have received back my own with interest.

Matthew 25:28 Therefore take the talent from him, and give it to him who has ten talents.


Matthew 25:29 ‘For to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away.

Matthew 25:30 And cast the unprofitable servant into the outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ (NKJV).

Romans 14:1 Receive one who is weak in the faith, but not to disputes over doubtful things.

Romans 14:2 For one believes he may eat all things, but he who is weak eats only vegetables.

Romans 14:3 Let not him who eats despise him who does not eat, and let not him who does not eat judge him who eats; for God has received him.

Romans 14:4 Who are you to judge another’s servant? To his own master he stands or falls. Indeed, he will be made to stand, for God is able to make him stand.

Romans 14:5 One person esteems one day above another; another esteems every day alike. Let each be fully convinced in his own mind.

Romans 14:6 He who observes the day, observes it to the Lord; and he who does not observe the day, to the Lord he does not observe it. He who eats, eats to the Lord, for he gives God thanks; and he who does not eat, to the Lord he does not eat, and gives God thanks.

Romans 14:7 For none of us lives to himself, and no one dies to himself.

Romans 14:8 For if we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. Therefore, whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s.

Romans 14:9 For to this end Christ died and rose and lived again, that He might be Lord of both the dead and the living.

Romans 14:10 But why do you judge your brother? Or why do you show contempt for your brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.

Romans 14:11 For it is written:
“As I live, says the Lord,
Every knee shall bow to Me,
And every tongue shall confess to God.”

Romans 14:12 So then each of us shall give account of himself to God.

Romans 14:13 Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather resolve this, not to put a stumbling block or a cause to fall in our brother’s way (NKJV).

In conclusion, salvation is not the prize Christians strive for as we run the Christian race, because salvation is a free gift of grace all born again Christians possess at the beginning of their Christian journey, the moment they placed their faith in Christ Jesus as Lord and Saviour. The prize Christians are expected to win at the end of the Christian race is the reward for our labours in God’s vineyard. We will be rewarded with positions of honour and glory in God’s kingdom, depending on how faithful and diligent we were in our service to God and his people. Our rewards in God’s kingdom, to be given to us after the evaluation of our works at the judgement seat of Christ, will be based on how faithfully we used the skills and talents God gave us, and how lawfully we laboured, according to God’s blueprint. If our labours are accepted after God’s evaluation, in addition to the salvation we already possess, we will receive exalted positions of honour and glory in God’s kingdom. If our labours are rejected (because we did not strive lawfully), we will lose our rewards, but will maintain our salvation, as long as our faith in Christ Jesus as Lord and Saviour remains firm to the end. Thus, the prize we strive to win at the end of the Christian race is not salvation, but positions of honour and glory in God’s kingdom, which are the rewards for faithful and lawful service.

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Does God Still Punish Children For The Sins Of Their Fathers? Examining The Doctrine Of Generational And Ancestral Curses In The Light Of The Bible

(Except otherwise stated, all Bible quotations are from the New King James Version).

Many Christians in Africa believe that ancestral curses are actively working against them, negatively impacting on their successes and achievements in life. These followers of Christ, despite their new birth experience and faith in Christ, still believe in the potency of generational curses, blaming their setbacks and failures in life on the outworking of curses incurred by the sins of their ancestors. For this reason, we see many believers undergoing endless curse-breaking and family liberation/deliverance sessions, all in a bid to free themselves from the stranglehold of familial curses. Is God still punishing children for the sins of their forebears? Do generational curses actually work against born-again Christians? We shall examine the Scriptures to answer these questions.

The doctrine of children receiving punishments for the sins of their fathers was first expressed in the Mosaic Law. In the Law, God promised to visit the iniquities of fathers upon their children, to the third and fourth generations of those who hate him, while holding out mercy to thousands of those who love and obey him. Based on this principle, we see many children and families in the old testament being punished for offences committed by the family heads. For instance, Achan stole the accursed things during Israel’s victory over Jericho, and he and his entire family were stoned to death. The Moabites and Ammonites were banned from entering the assembly of the Lord, because of the opposition of their forebears to Israel, and their ancestors’ lack of support for God’s people during their migration from Egypt to Canaan. In the same vein, God declared Amalek a perpetual enemy, for their ancestors’ unprovoked attack against the Israelites during their sojourn in the wilderness. We see the children here being visited with punishments for the sins of their forebears. At the other end of the spectrum, we see the descendants of favoured people like David being promised an everlasting covenant of peace, for the good relationship their progenitor had with God. The descendants of Phinehas, Aaron’s grandson, were also promised God’s blessings, because of Phinehas’ love and zeal for God. That’s the mercy of God being extended to the generations of those who fear and love the Lord. Thus, while the progenies of those who hate God are cursed, the descendants of those who love God are assured of divine favour and peace.

Exodus 20:1 And God spoke all these words, saying:

Exodus 20:2 “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.

Exodus 20:3 “You shall have no other gods before Me.

Exodus 20:4 “You shall not make for yourself a carved image—any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth;

Exodus 20:5 you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me,

Exodus 20:6 but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.

Exodus 34:5 Now the Lord descended in the cloud and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the Lord.

Exodus 34:6 And the Lord passed before him and proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth,

Exodus 34:7 keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children and the children’s children to the third and the fourth generation.”

Joshua 7:1 But the children of Israel committed a trespass regarding the accursed things, for Achan the son of Carmi, the son of Zabdi, the son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, took of the accursed things; so the anger of the Lord burned against the children of Israel.

Joshua 7:24 Then Joshua, and all Israel with him, took Achan the son of Zerah, the silver, the garment, the wedge of gold, his sons, his daughters, his oxen, his donkeys, his sheep, his tent, and all that he had, and they brought them to the Valley of Achor.

Joshua 7:25 And Joshua said, “Why have you troubled us? The Lord will trouble you this day.” So all Israel stoned him with stones; and they burned them with fire after they had stoned them with stones.

Joshua 7:26 Then they raised over him a great heap of stones, still there to this day. So the Lord turned from the fierceness of His anger. Therefore the name of that place has been called the Valley of Achor to this day.

Deuteronomy 23:3 “An Ammonite or Moabite shall not enter the assembly of the Lord; even to the tenth generation none of his descendants shall enter the assembly of the Lord forever,

Deuteronomy 23:4 because they did not meet you with bread and water on the road when you came out of Egypt, and because they hired against you Balaam the son of Beor from Pethor of Mesopotamia, to curse you.

Deuteronomy 23:5 Nevertheless the Lord your God would not listen to Balaam, but the Lord your God turned the curse into a blessing for you, because the Lord your God loves you.

Deuteronomy 23:6 You shall not seek their peace nor their prosperity all your days forever.

Exodus 17:8 Now Amalek came and fought with Israel in Rephidim.

Exodus 17:9 And Moses said to Joshua, “Choose us some men and go out, fight with Amalek. Tomorrow I will stand on the top of the hill with the rod of God in my hand.”

Exodus 17:10 So Joshua did as Moses said to him, and fought with Amalek. And Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill.

Exodus 17:11 And so it was, when Moses held up his hand, that Israel prevailed; and when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed.

Exodus 17:12 But Moses’ hands became heavy; so they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat on it. And Aaron and Hur supported his hands, one on one side, and the other on the other side; and his hands were steady until the going down of the sun.

Exodus 17:13 So Joshua defeated Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword.

Exodus 17:14 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Write this for a memorial in the book and recount it in the hearing of Joshua, that I will utterly blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven.”

Exodus 17:15 And Moses built an altar and called its name, The-Lord-Is-My-Banner;

Exodus 17:16 for he said, “Because the Lord has sworn: the Lord will have war with Amalek from generation to generation.”

Psalms 89:1 I will sing of the mercies of the Lord forever;
With my mouth will I make known Your faithfulness to all generations.

Psalms 89:2 For I have said, “Mercy shall be built up forever;
Your faithfulness You shall establish in the very heavens.”

Psalms 89:3 “I have made a covenant with My chosen,
I have sworn to My servant David:

Psalms 89:4 ‘Your seed I will establish forever,
And build up your throne to all generations.’” Selah

Psalms 89:19 Then You spoke in a vision to Your holy one,
And said: “I have given help to one who is mighty;
I have exalted one chosen from the people.

Psalms 89:20 I have found My servant David;
With My holy oil I have anointed him,

Psalms 89:21 With whom My hand shall be established;
Also My arm shall strengthen him.

Psalms 89:22 The enemy shall not outwit him,
Nor the son of wickedness afflict him.

Psalms 89:23 I will beat down his foes before his face,
And plague those who hate him.

Psalms 89:24 “But My faithfulness and My mercy shall be with him,
And in My name his horn shall be exalted.

Psalms 89:25 Also I will set his hand over the sea,
And his right hand over the rivers.

Psalms 89:26 He shall cry to Me, ‘You are my Father,
My God, and the rock of my salvation.’

Psalms 89:27 Also I will make him My firstborn,
The highest of the kings of the earth.

Psalms 89:28 My mercy I will keep for him forever,
And My covenant shall stand firm with him.

Psalms 89:29 His seed also I will make to endure forever,
And his throne as the days of heaven.

Psalms 89:30 “If his sons forsake My law
And do not walk in My judgments,

Psalms 89:31 If they break My statutes
And do not keep My commandments,

Psalms 89:32 Then I will punish their transgression with the rod,
And their iniquity with stripes.

Psalms 89:33 Nevertheless My lovingkindness I will not utterly take from him,
Nor allow My faithfulness to fail.

Psalms 89:34 My covenant I will not break,
Nor alter the word that has gone out of My lips.

Psalms 89:35 Once I have sworn by My holiness;
I will not lie to David:

Psalms 89:36 His seed shall endure forever,
And his throne as the sun before Me;

Psalms 89:37 It shall be established forever like the moon,
Even like the faithful witness in the sky.” Selah

Numbers 25:10 Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying:

Numbers 25:11 “Phinehas the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, has turned back My wrath from the children of Israel, because he was zealous with My zeal among them, so that I did not consume the children of Israel in My zeal.

Numbers 25:12 Therefore say, ‘Behold, I give to him My covenant of peace;

Numbers 25:13 and it shall be to him and his descendants after him a covenant of an everlasting priesthood, because he was zealous for his God, and made atonement for the children of Israel.’”

However, during the time of the Prophet Ezekiel, the concept of generational responsibility in God’s dealings with Israel was abandoned, with individual responsibility instituted in its place. Now, the children of evil men would no longer be automatically punished for the sins of their fathers. Such children would now be dealt with on their own merits. If they were righteous and had faithfully served the Lord despite the wickedness of their parents, God promised to bless and prosper them, even though their parents were cursed. The children of wicked and ungodly men were no longer to be automatically punished to the third and fourth generations, for the sins of their fathers. Also, fathers would not be punished for the sins of their children. Every individual would now bear responsibility for their sins, while every man’s righteousness would earn them favour with God, irrespective of their ancestral backgrounds. Ancestral curses and blessings would not automatically be transmitted to progenies now. That was a monumental change from the concept of ancestral and generational curses as earlier pronounced by Moses. One would expect the people to be happy with this new principle of individual responsibility, as people would no longer suffer for the sins of their forebears. Unfortunately, the people seemed to prefer the status quo to be maintained! They were actually happier with children suffering automatic punishments for the sins of their fathers, no matter how righteous the children lived! The people preferred to continue to use the proverb that “the fathers had eaten sour grapes and the children’s teeth were set on edge” (meaning children being punished for the sins of their parents, as was previously operational in Israel). For abolishing generational curses and instituting personal responsibility and accountability for sins, the Israelites considered God to be unfair, preferring instead that generational curses had continued! What a warped way of reasoning! The people had become so used to ancestral and generational curses that they had actually fallen in love with them, and didn’t want them abolished! It’s like a slave being in captivity for so long and getting so used to living in bondage that when set free, refused to walk away, considering release from captivity as being unfair! This is nothing but Stockholm syndrome! This is insanity! But, that was what actually happened in the time of the Prophet Ezekiel, as recorded in the Scriptures below.

Ezekiel 18:1 The word of the Lord came to me again, saying,

Ezekiel 18:2 “What do you mean when you use this proverb concerning the land of Israel, saying:

‘The fathers have eaten sour grapes,
And the children’s teeth are set on edge’?

Ezekiel 18:3 “As I live,” says the Lord God, “you shall no longer use this proverb in Israel.

Ezekiel 18:4 “Behold, all souls are Mine;
The soul of the father
As well as the soul of the son is Mine;
The soul who sins shall die.

Ezekiel 18:5 But if a man is just
And does what is lawful and right;

Ezekiel 18:6 If he has not eaten on the mountains,
Nor lifted up his eyes to the idols of the house of Israel,
Nor defiled his neighbor’s wife,
Nor approached a woman during her impurity;

Ezekiel 18:7 If he has not oppressed anyone,
But has restored to the debtor his pledge;
Has robbed no one by violence,
But has given his bread to the hungry
And covered the naked with clothing;

Ezekiel 18:8 If he has not exacted usury
Nor taken any increase,
But has withdrawn his hand from iniquity
And executed true judgment between man and man;

Ezekiel 18:9 If he has walked in My statutes
And kept My judgments faithfully—
He is just;
He shall surely live!”
Says the Lord God.

Ezekiel 18:10 “If he begets a son who is a robber
Or a shedder of blood,
Who does any of these things

Ezekiel 18:11 And does none of those duties,
But has eaten on the mountains
Or defiled his neighbor’s wife;

Ezekiel 18:12 If he has oppressed the poor and needy,
Robbed by violence,
Not restored the pledge,
Lifted his eyes to the idols,
Or committed abomination;

Ezekiel 18:13 If he has exacted usury
Or taken increase—
Shall he then live?
He shall not live!
If he has done any of these abominations,
He shall surely die;
His blood shall be upon him.

Ezekiel 18:14 “If, however, he begets a son
Who sees all the sins which his father has done,
And considers but does not do likewise;

Ezekiel 18:15 Who has not eaten on the mountains,
Nor lifted his eyes to the idols of the house of Israel,
Nor defiled his neighbor’s wife;

Ezekiel 18:16 Has not oppressed anyone,
Nor withheld a pledge,
Nor robbed by violence,
But has given his bread to the hungry
And covered the naked with clothing;

Ezekiel 18:17 Who has withdrawn his hand from the poor
And not received usury or increase,
But has executed My judgments
And walked in My statutes—
He shall not die for the iniquity of his father;
He shall surely live!

Ezekiel 18:18 “As for his father,
Because he cruelly oppressed,
Robbed his brother by violence,
And did what is not good among his people,
Behold, he shall die for his iniquity.

Ezekiel 18:19 “Yet you say, ‘Why should the son not bear the guilt of the father?’ Because the son has done what is lawful and right, and has kept all My statutes and observed them, he shall surely live.

Ezekiel 18:20 The soul who sins shall die. The son shall not bear the guilt of the father, nor the father bear the guilt of the son. The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself.

Ezekiel 18:21 “But if a wicked man turns from all his sins which he has committed, keeps all My statutes, and does what is lawful and right, he shall surely live; he shall not die.

Ezekiel 18:22 None of the transgressions which he has committed shall be remembered against him; because of the righteousness which he has done, he shall live.

Ezekiel 18:23 Do I have any pleasure at all that the wicked should die?” says the Lord God, “and not that he should turn from his ways and live?

Ezekiel 18:24 “But when a righteous man turns away from his righteousness and commits iniquity, and does according to all the abominations that the wicked man does, shall he live? All the righteousness which he has done shall not be remembered; because of the unfaithfulness of which he is guilty and the sin which he has committed, because of them he shall die.

Ezekiel 18:25 “Yet you say, ‘The way of the Lord is not fair.’ Hear now, O house of Israel, is it not My way which is fair, and your ways which are not fair?

Ezekiel 18:26 When a righteous man turns away from his righteousness, commits iniquity, and dies in it, it is because of the iniquity which he has done that he dies.

Ezekiel 18:27 Again, when a wicked man turns away from the wickedness which he committed, and does what is lawful and right, he preserves himself alive.

Ezekiel 18:28 Because he considers and turns away from all the transgressions which he committed, he shall surely live; he shall not die.

Ezekiel 18:29 Yet the house of Israel says, ‘The way of the Lord is not fair.’ O house of Israel, is it not My ways which are fair, and your ways which are not fair?

Ezekiel 18:30 “Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways,” says the Lord God. “Repent, and turn from all your transgressions, so that iniquity will not be your ruin.

Ezekiel 18:31 Cast away from you all the transgressions which you have committed, and get yourselves a new heart and a new spirit. For why should you die, O house of Israel?

Ezekiel 18:32 For I have no pleasure in the death of one who dies,” says the Lord God. “Therefore turn and live!”

With the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ and the abolishing of the Law, following his substitutionary and sacrificial death for mankind on Calvary, the curse of the Law was removed from God’s people. Christ became a curse for us, by taking our curses upon himself on Calvary, so as to transmit God’s blessings to us. Anyone who is in Christ Jesus, by virtue of the new birth, becomes a new creation: old things in his life (including ancestral and generational curses) pass away, and all things become new. The curses incurred from the violation of the Law by the individual, as well as those inherited from his ancestors, all pass away. The born-again believer, in the place of curses, now enjoys the blessings of Abraham through Christ. No matter your ancestral background, the moment you become a Christian through the new birth, you become a new creation, and your ancestry (however vile and cursed) no longer counts against you in the sight of God. You become discharged and acquitted from all charges and curses of the past! No one can lay any charge on God’s elects! No one can condemn whom God has justified, and no one can curse whom God has blessed! It’s impossible! Thus, the idea of a born-again Christian suffering from generational or ancestral curses is unscriptural! It’s contrary to the principle of God’s justification and blessings in Christ! You cannot be in Christ and still be experiencing the effects of ancestral curses! Just as light and day cannot coexist at the same time, and fresh water and salt water cannot proceed from the same spring, it’s impossible to be in Christ and still be suffering the effects of generational curses! All curses on all children of God were broken at Calvary! Therefore, no one should deceive any child of God about the necessity of performing special curse-breaking and family-liberation/deliverance services for breakthroughs! The only method of curse-breaking preached by the original apostles of the Lord is the new birth experience. Once you’re born again and in Christ, you become a new creation, and old things pass away in your life, while all things become new. Being in Christ makes you sit in heavenly places, far above all principalities and powers! If the Son sets you free, you’re free indeed! As Christians, we’re empowered to trample upon serpents and scorpions and all the powers of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt us. We’ve been delivered from the powers of darkness (and all the curses associated with them) and have been conveyed into the glorious domain of the Lord Jesus Christ, where only blessings flow! Hallelujah!

Galatians 3:10 For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse; for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who does not continue in all things which are written in the book of the law, to do them.”

Galatians 3:11 But that no one is justified by the law in the sight of God is evident, for “the just shall live by faith.”

Galatians 3:12 Yet the law is not of faith, but “the man who does them shall live by them.”

Galatians 3:13 Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”),

Galatians 3:14 that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.

2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.

2 Corinthians 5:18 Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation,

2 Corinthians 5:19 that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.

2 Corinthians 5:20 Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God.

2 Corinthians 5:21 For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

Colossians 1:9 For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;

Colossians 1:10 that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God;

Colossians 1:11 strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, for all patience and longsuffering with joy;

Colossians 1:12 giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light.

Colossians 1:13 He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love,

Colossians 1:14 in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.

Romans 8:31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?

Romans 8:32 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?

Romans 8:33 Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies.

Romans 8:34 Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us.

Romans 8:35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

Romans 8:36 As it is written:
“For Your sake we are killed all day long;
We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.”

Romans 8:37 Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.

Romans 8:38 For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come,

Romans 8:39 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Numbers 23:19 “God is not a man, that He should lie,
Nor a son of man, that He should repent.
Has He said, and will He not do?
Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?

Numbers 23:20 Behold, I have received a command to bless;
He has blessed, and I cannot reverse it.

John 8:36 Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.

Ephesians 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ,

Ephesians 1:4 just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love,

Ephesians 1:5 having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will,

Ephesians 1:6 to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved.

Ephesians 1:7 In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace

Ephesians 1:8 which He made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence,

Ephesians 1:9 having made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself,

Ephesians 1:10 that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth—in Him.

Ephesians 1:11 In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will,

Ephesians 1:12 that we who first trusted in Christ should be to the praise of His glory.

Ephesians 1:13 In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise,

Ephesians 1:14 who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.

Ephesians 2:4 But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us,

Ephesians 2:5 even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),

Ephesians 2:6 and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,

Ephesians 2:7 that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.

Luke 10:17 Then the seventy returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name.”

Luke 10:18 And He said to them, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.

Luke 10:19 Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.

In conclusion, generational curses were part of the Mosaic Law, wherein God promised to visit the iniquities of fathers upon their children, to the third and fourth generations of those who hate him, while holding out mercy to the progenies of those who love and obey him. During the time of the Prophet Ezekiel, God abolished the concept of generational responsibility for sins committed by forebears, making each person now solely accountable for his or her actions. No longer would children suffer for the sins of their parents, or automatically benefit from their parents’ righteousness. The soul that sinned would be individually punished, while the righteousness of a parent would no longer benefit an ungodly child. Thus, the children’s teeth would no longer be set on edge because the parents ate sour grapes. With the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ and the abolishing of the Mosaic Law and its curses, every believer in Christ is automatically delivered from the curse of the Law and from all ancestral curses, and becomes a new creation at the new birth. We’re no longer under the domain of Satan where curses operate. In Christ Jesus, we’re seated in heavenly places, far above all principalities and powers, and are eternally blessed. We’re empowered by the Holy Spirit to trample upon serpents and scorpions and all the powers of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt us. Nobody can curse a believer in Christ, simply because we’ve been blessed by God by virtue of our being in Christ. The idea of a believer in Christ being under generational curses is therefore unscriptural and a belittling of the great exchange that took place at Calvary. It’s a great trivialising of the power in the blood of Jesus Christ to deliver from all sins and from all curses. The breaking of all curses took place at Calvary, and anyone who places faith in that great atoning and redeeming sacrifice of Christ becomes completely delivered from all curses, whether personal or ancestral. It’s therefore dubious and heretical to persuade any born-again Christian to undergo any curse-breaking exercise outside of what Christ did at Calvary. A born-again Christian is not under any ancestral curses because he’s been delivered from his old ancestry and now belongs to the lineage of Christ where no curse exists! You cannot be in Christ and be under the influence of any curses, because blessings and curses cannot coexist in the same place at the same time, just as light and darkness cannot exist at the same time. As Christians, let’s then enjoy our liberty in Christ, for he whom the son of man has set free is free indeed!

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Is The Death Penalty For Murder Justified Under The Dispensation Of Grace? An Examination Of Capital Punishment In The Light Of The Bible

The death penalty is a highly charged and emotive hot-button issue, and a subject of endless debates. Among Christians, opinion is divided on the lawfulness of the death penalty under the current dispensation of grace. With the abolition of the law of Moses (where the death penalty was freely used as a punitive measure for offences like idolatory, murder, rape, kidnapping, adultery, blasphemy, homosexuality etc,), the argument rages among Christians as to whether the death penalty for murder is justified in the New Testament. Since murder is not the unpardonable sin, and God does forgive murderers who repent, should Christians still support governments inflicting the death penalty on convicted murderers? What’s the biblical view with respect to the death penalty as punishment for murder under the new covenant of grace? We shall examine the Scriptures to answer these questions.

From the time of Noah, God made a universal and everlasting covenant of grace with mankind, after the great deluge. In the Noahic covenant, God identified murder as a heinous sin and crime that should be dealt with ruthlessly. God considered murder as a violation of his unique image in humankind, and therefore prescribed the death penalty for anyone who kills a human being, be they animals or fellow human beings. Thus, the concept of the death penalty for murder started with God. The aim of this severe penalty for murder was two-fold: to take life for life and thus prevent a murderer from killing again, and to deter other would-be murderers from executing their murderous intentions. God created human life in his very image, and therefore, he alone knows the value of human life and the deserved penalty for snuffing it out, as well as the necessary deterrent to prevent people from contemplating murder.

Genesis 9:1 God blessed Noah and his sons and told them, “Multiply and fill the earth.

Genesis 9:2 All the wild animals, large and small, and all the birds and fish will be afraid of you. I have placed them in your power.

Genesis 9:3 I have given them to you for food, just as I have given you grain and vegetables.

Genesis 9:4 But you must never eat animals that still have their lifeblood in them.

Genesis 9:5 And murder is forbidden. Animals that kill people must die, and any person who murders must be killed.

Genesis 9:6 Yes, you must execute anyone who murders another person, for to kill a person is to kill a living being made in God’s image (NLT).

Deuteronomy 17:8 “If a matter arises which is too hard for you to judge, between degrees of guilt for bloodshed, between one judgment or another, or between one punishment or another, matters of controversy within your gates, then you shall arise and go up to the place which the Lord your God chooses.

Deuteronomy 17:9 And you shall come to the priests, the Levites, and to the judge there in those days, and inquire of them; they shall pronounce upon you the sentence of judgment.

Deuteronomy 17:10 You shall do according to the sentence which they pronounce upon you in that place which the Lord chooses. And you shall be careful to do according to all that they order you.

Deuteronomy 17:11 According to the sentence of the law in which they instruct you, according to the judgment which they tell you, you shall do; you shall not turn aside to the right hand or to the left from the sentence which they pronounce upon you.

Deuteronomy 17:12 Now the man who acts presumptuously and will not heed the priest who stands to minister there before the Lord your God, or the judge, that man shall die. So you shall put away the evil from Israel.

Deuteronomy 17:13 And all the people shall hear and fear, and no longer act presumptuously (NKJV).

It’s instructive to note that God’s covenant with mankind through Noah is an everlasting covenant that’s meant to be operational for as long as the earth remains, and for as long as night follows day. Unlike the Mosaic covenant that was abolished by the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the Noahic covenant, like the Abrahamic covenant, is still effective and operational today because it’s an eternal covenant of grace! God’s covenant with mankind through Noah was not part of the old covenant of law God made with Israel on Mount Sinai that’s been replaced with the new covenant of grace ratified by the blood of Jesus Christ. As a result, God’s promise of not destroying the world again with a flood remains, as evidenced by the sign of the rainbow in the sky each time it rains; seedtime (springtime) is still followed by harvest; winter and summer have not ceased, and night still follows day. All these are parts of God’s promise to mankind in the Noahic covenant. Therefore, the death penalty for murder prescribed in the Noahic covenant still remains valid, for as long as the other components of that covenant remain valid! The Lord Jesus too taught that those who live by the sword would die by the sword, and that those who kill others would be killed in return. Thus, under both testaments, murder remains a death penalty offence in the sight of God.

Genesis 8:20 Then Noah built an altar to the Lord and sacrificed on it the animals and birds that had been approved for that purpose.

Genesis 8:21 And the Lord was pleased with the sacrifice and said to himself, “I will never again curse the earth, destroying all living things, even though people’s thoughts and actions are bent toward evil from childhood.

Genesis 8:22 As long as the earth remains, there will be springtime and harvest, cold and heat, winter and summer, day and night.”

Genesis 9:8 Then God told Noah and his sons,

Genesis 9:9 “I am making a covenant with you and your descendants,

Genesis 9:10 and with the animals you brought with you—all these birds and livestock and wild animals.

Genesis 9:11 I solemnly promise never to send another flood to kill all living creatures and destroy the earth.”

Genesis 9:12 And God said, “I am giving you a sign as evidence of my eternal covenant with you and all living creatures.

Genesis 9:13 I have placed my rainbow in the clouds. It is the sign of my permanent promise to you and to all the earth.

Genesis 9:14 When I send clouds over the earth, the rainbow will be seen in the clouds,

Genesis 9:15 and I will remember my covenant with you and with everything that lives. Never again will there be a flood that will destroy all life.

Genesis 9:16 When I see the rainbow in the clouds, I will remember the eternal covenant between God and every living creature on earth.”

Genesis 9:17 Then God said to Noah, “Yes, this is the sign of my covenant with all the creatures of the earth.” (NLT).

St. Matthew 26:45 Then he came to the disciples and said, ” Still sleeping? Still resting? Look, the time has come. I, the Son of Man, am betrayed into the hands of sinners.

St. Matthew 26:46 Up, let’s be going. See, my betrayer is here! “

St. Matthew 26:47 And even as he said this, Judas, one of the twelve disciples, arrived with a mob that was armed with swords and clubs. They had been sent out by the leading priests and other leaders of the people.

St. Matthew 26:48 Judas had given them a prearranged signal: “You will know which one to arrest when I go over and give him the kiss of greeting.”

St. Matthew 26:49 So Judas came straight to Jesus. “Greetings, Teacher!” he exclaimed and gave him the kiss.

St. Matthew 26:50 Jesus said, ” My friend, go ahead and do what you have come for.” Then the others grabbed Jesus and arrested him.

St. Matthew 26:51 One of the men with Jesus pulled out a sword and slashed off an ear of the high priest’s servant.

St. Matthew 26:52 ” Put away your sword, ” Jesus told him. ” Those who use the sword will be killed by the sword.

Revelation 13:9 If anyone has an ear, let him hear.

Revelation 13:10 He who leads into captivity shall go into captivity; he who kills with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints (NKJV).

The implementation of the death penalty for murder has been left for human governments to effect, right from the time of Noah. Under the Mosaic covenant, Israel operated a theocracy, with priests, judges and later kings given the mandate to implement God’s law, including the death penalty for murder. Although the death sentence was not always faithfully executed under the law, it was more a failure of human governments to enforce a divine law, than a rescinding of the death penalty by God. Governments of all shades, including autocratic and despotic ones, have this divine authority to enforce the death penalty for murder. Even under the covenant of grace, the apostles still recognised the divine authority of rulers to execute the death penalty on offenders. The apostle Paul mentioned the fact that rulers do not bear the sword in vain, and are to legitimately use it to punish those who violate the law. In that respect, rulers are to be a terror to evil doers, by effectively using the sword to punish crimes adequately and uncompromisingly!

Deuteronomy 17:8 “Suppose a case arises in a local court that is too hard for you to decide—for instance, whether someone is guilty of murder or only of manslaughter, or a difficult lawsuit, or a case involving different kinds of assault. Take such cases to the place the Lord your God will choose,

Deuteronomy 17:9 where the Levitical priests and the judge on duty will hear the case and decide what to do.

Deuteronomy 17:10 The decision they make at the place the Lord chooses will always stand. You must do exactly what they say.

Deuteronomy 17:11 After they have interpreted the law and reached a verdict, the sentence they impose must be fully executed; do not modify it in any way.

Deuteronomy 17:12 Anyone arrogant enough to reject the verdict of the judge or of the priest who represents the Lord your God must be put to death. Such evil must be purged from Israel.

Deuteronomy 17:13 Then everyone will hear about it and be afraid to act so arrogantly (NLT).

Romans 13:3 For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same.

Romans 13:4 For he is God’s minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God’s minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil (NKJV).

1 Peter 2:13 Therefore submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake, whether to the king as supreme,

1 Peter 2:14 or to governors, as to those who are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and for the praise of those who do good.

1 Peter 2:15 For this is the will of God, that by doing good you may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men—

1 Peter 2:16 as free, yet not using liberty as a cloak for vice, but as bondservants of God.

1 Peter 2:17 Honor all people. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king (NKJV).

How is murder viewed from the perspective of those murdered? If the victims of murder could communicate with us, what would be their number one demand concerning the people that killed them? What would constitute adequate and satisfactory justice for them? What would make their souls really rest in peace? Well, murdered people have actually spoken in the Scriptures (in both the Old and New Testaments), and they’ve demanded for only one thing- vengeance upon their murderers! The blood of Abel cried out to God from the ground for vengeance against Cain. The souls of those martyred for their faith in Christ in the book of Revelation cried out relentlessly for vengeance upon their murderers. They looked up to God, the avenger of blood, to avenge their deaths. By vengeance, the souls of murdered people want the termination of the lives of their murderers. They want nothing less than the death penalty inflicted on the people who killed them. And God has granted human governments the authority to execute that vengeance upon their murderers. But, in the instances where the human justice system failed them, God has promised them divine justice in bringing their murderers to book. If God promised to destroy those who destroy their own bodies, how much more would he destroy those who destroy the lives of others? Initially, God placed a curse on Cain and declared him a fugitive and a wanderer for murdering his brother, and prevented him from being killed in return, by threatening to punish seven-fold whoever would kill Cain for killing his brother. That apparently emboldened Lamech, Cain’s descendant, to kill too, and he expected killing him in return to be punished seventy-seven fold! Cursing Cain and condemning him to a life of vagrancy (more like banishment from civilised society, a form of imprisonment) didn’t appear to be a sufficient deterrent for his progeny Lamech to refrain from murder. Lack of sufficient deterrence for murder may also have occasioned the unprecedented violence that engulfed the world just before the flood, which necessitated a near-total obliterative judgement for the chaos that resulted from humanity’s extreme wickedness. The above factors may have been responsible for God upping the penalty for murder to the death sentence in the Noahic covenant and in subsequent covenants with mankind. The death penalty appears to be the strongest deterrent for murder, as a murderer is not allowed to live further to have the opportunities to kill again, and other people who witnessed their execution would think twice before contemplating murder, knowing the fate that awaits them.

Genesis 4:8 Now Cain said to his brother Abel, “Let’s go out to the field.” While they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him.

Genesis 4:9 Then the LORD said to Cain, “Where is your brother Abel?” “I don’t know,” he replied. “Am I my brother’s keeper?”

Genesis 4:10 The LORD said, “What have you done? Listen! Your brother’s blood cries out to me from the ground.

Genesis 4:11 Now you are under a curse and driven from the ground, which opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand.

Genesis 4:12 When you work the ground, it will no longer yield its crops for you. You will be a restless wanderer on the earth.”

Genesis 4:13 Cain said to the LORD, “My punishment is more than I can bear.

Genesis 4:14 Today you are driving me from the land, and I will be hidden from your presence; I will be a restless wanderer on the earth, and whoever finds me will kill me.”

Genesis 4:15 But the LORD said to him, “Not so ; anyone who kills Cain will suffer vengeance seven times over.” Then the LORD put a mark on Cain so that no one who found him would kill him (NIV).

Revelation 6:9 When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God and the testimony they had maintained.

Revelation 6:10 They called out in a loud voice, “How long, Sovereign Lord, holy and true, until you judge the inhabitants of the earth and avenge our blood?”

Revelation 6:11 Then each of them was given a white robe, and they were told to wait a little longer, until the full number of their fellow servants, their brothers and sisters, were killed just as they had been (NIV).

Genesis 4:19 Lamech married two women, one named Adah and the other Zillah.

Genesis 4:20 Adah gave birth to Jabal; he was the father of those who live in tents and raise livestock.

Genesis 4:21 His brother’s name was Jubal; he was the father of all who play stringed instruments and pipes.

Genesis 4:22 Zillah also had a son, Tubal-Cain, who forged all kinds of tools out of bronze and iron. Tubal-Cain’s sister was Naamah.

Genesis 4:23 Lamech said to his wives, “Adah and Zillah, listen to me; wives of Lamech, hear my words. I have killed a man for wounding me, a young man for injuring me.

Genesis 4:24 If Cain is avenged seven times, then Lamech seventy-seven times.” (NIV).

Genesis 6:1 When human beings began to increase in number on the earth and daughters were born to them,

Genesis 6:2 the sons of God saw that the daughters of humans were beautiful, and they married any of them they chose.

Genesis 6:3 Then the LORD said, “My Spirit will not contend with humans forever, for they are mortal ; their days will be a hundred and twenty years.”

Genesis 6:4 The Nephilim were on the earth in those days —and also afterward —when the sons of God went to the daughters of humans and had children by them. They were the heroes of old, men of renown.

Genesis 6:5 The LORD saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time.

Genesis 6:6 The LORD regretted that he had made human beings on the earth, and his heart was deeply troubled.

Genesis 6:7 So the LORD said, “I will wipe from the face of the earth the human race I have created —and with them the animals, the birds and the creatures that move along the ground —for I regret that I have made them.”

Genesis 6:8 But Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD.

Genesis 6:9 This is the account of Noah and his family. Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked faithfully with God.

Genesis 6:10 Noah had three sons: Shem, Ham and Japheth.

Genesis 6:11 Now the earth was corrupt in God’s sight and was full of violence.

Genesis 6:12 God saw how corrupt the earth had become, for all the people on earth had corrupted their ways.

Genesis 6:13 So God said to Noah, “I am going to put an end to all people, for the earth is filled with violence because of them. I am surely going to destroy both them and the earth (NIV).

1 Corinthians 3:16 Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst?

1 Corinthians 3:17 If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy that person; for God’s temple is sacred, and you together are that temple (NIV).

The argument some Christians have put forward against the death penalty for murder is that, murder is not the unpardonable sin, and that God still forgives murderers who repent. Therefore, murderers should be imprisoned instead and given the chance to repent. Agreed that God does forgive murder, because it’s not the unpardonable sin. However, divine forgiveness for the sin of murder does not address the issue of murder as a grievous crime against humanity and against the state. Divine forgiveness is to avoid the second death in the lake of fire, which is the wage of unremitted sin. The repentant murderer will escape the second death and inherit eternal life, if he or she places faith in Christ Jesus as Lord and Saviour. Nevertheless, God’s decreed penalty for the crime of murder still remains physical death. The crime still needs to be punished, though the sin may have been forgiven. It’s the function of human governments to punish crime, while God forgives repentant sinners. Even while awaiting execution, the murderer has the chance to make peace with God and thus secure his eternal destiny. One of the purposes of the death penalty is to prevent the murderer from rejoining society after incarceration (as some do on parole), with the possibility of becoming a serial killer. How many murderers released on parole have ended up killing more people thereafter! How many have ended up as serial killers! Any subsequent deaths caused by these murderers could have been prevented if they had been executed after the first murder they committed. And some would-be murderers too could have been deterred by the prompt execution of cold-blooded murderers, following conviction by the highest court of the land.

Also, some argue that a few innocent people have been wrongly executed under the death penalty, only for their innocence to be discovered posthumously. It’s really a tragedy and travesty of justice to punish any innocent person for a crime they didn’t commit, and even more so with the death penalty. The problem in such a case is not the inappropriateness of the death penalty for murder, but a failure of the criminal justice system. Everyone should be presumed innocent until their guilt has been proved beyond all reasonable doubt. Even in the Old Testament, people were only sentenced to death after a thorough judicial examination, and upon the testimony of two or three witnesses taken on oath, with the penalty of death for bearing false witness. If people contrived to bear false witness against an innocent person just to get him or her executed, if the witnesses were found out later to be false, they too would be put to death. Such safeguards were to limit the chances of sentencing an innocent person to death by error. The death penalty for false witnessing was to deter people from bearing false witness that could lead to the execution of an innocent person. Thus, reformation of the criminal justice system is needed to prevent the sentencing of innocent people to death. Sentencing of people to death should only be done when the evidence of guilt is incontrovertible, and when no doubt exists about culpability. If any doubt exists, it’s better to set free a guilty person than to kill an innocent one. That should be the guiding principle of the law.

Deuteronomy 19:1 “The Lord your God will soon destroy the nations whose land he is giving you, and you will displace them and settle in their towns and homes.

Deuteronomy 19:2 Then you must set apart three cities of refuge in the land the Lord your God is giving you to occupy.

Deuteronomy 19:3 Divide the land the Lord your God is giving you into three districts, with one of these cities in each district. Keep the roads to these cities in good repair so that anyone who has killed someone can flee there for safety.

Deuteronomy 19:4 “If someone accidentally kills a neighbor without harboring any previous hatred, the slayer may flee to any of these cities and be safe.

Deuteronomy 19:5 For example, suppose someone goes into the forest with a neighbor to cut wood. And suppose one of them swings an ax and the ax head flies off the handle, killing the other person. In such cases, the slayer could flee to one of the cities of refuge and be safe.

Deuteronomy 19:6 If the distance to the nearest city of refuge was too far, an enraged avenger might be able to chase down and kill the person who caused the death. The slayer would die, even though there was no death sentence and the first death had been an accident.

Deuteronomy 19:7 That is why I am commanding you to set aside three cities of refuge.

Deuteronomy 19:8 “If the Lord your God enlarges your territory, as he solemnly promised your ancestors, and gives you all the land he promised them,

Deuteronomy 19:9 you must designate three additional cities of refuge. (He will give you this land if you obey all the commands I have given you—if you always love the Lord your God and walk in his ways.)

Deuteronomy 19:10 That way you will prevent the death of innocent people in the land the Lord your God is giving you as a special possession, and you will not be held responsible for murder.

Deuteronomy 19:11 “But suppose someone hates a neighbor and deliberately ambushes and murders that neighbor and then escapes to one of the cities of refuge.

Deuteronomy 19:12 In that case, the leaders of the murderer’s hometown must have the murderer brought back from the city of refuge and handed over to the dead person’s avenger to be killed.

Deuteronomy 19:13 Do not feel sorry for that murderer! Purge the guilt of murder from Israel so all may go well with you.

Deuteronomy 19:14 “When you arrive in the land the Lord your God is giving you as a special possession, never steal someone’s land by moving the boundary markers your ancestors set up to mark their property.

Deuteronomy 19:15 “Never convict anyone of a crime on the testimony of just one witness. The facts of the case must be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.

Deuteronomy 19:16 If a malicious witness comes forward and accuses someone of a crime,

Deuteronomy 19:17 then both the accuser and accused must appear before the priests and judges who are on duty before the Lord.

Deuteronomy 19:18 They must be closely questioned, and if the accuser is found to be lying,

Deuteronomy 19:19 the accuser will receive the punishment intended for the accused. In this way, you will cleanse such evil from among you.

Deuteronomy 19:20 Those who hear about it will be afraid to do such an evil thing again.

Deuteronomy 19:21 You must never show pity! Your rule should be life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot (NLT).

In conclusion, the death penalty for murder was instituted by God himself, as part of the everlasting covenant with mankind God made with Noah after the flood. The purpose of the death penalty was to deter the unlawful killing of human beings by both humans and animals. This shows the high premium God places on human life, which was created in his own image. The Noahic covenant of grace was to last for as long as the earth remains, and is still valid today, including the death penalty component for murder. Even the Lord Jesus Christ recognised the legitimacy of capital punishment for murder, by warning his disciples that those who lived by the sword would die by the sword. The apostles Paul and Peter acknowledged the divine authority of governments in wielding the sword for the punishment of evil doers, as agents of God to execute God’s wrath on criminals. Therefore, Christians are admonished to operate within the ambit of the law, in order to avoid the sword of judgement and justice, for he that kills by the sword would be killed by the sword too. Thus, capital punishment for murder is still lawful under the covenant of grace, for it’s part of an everlasting covenant that remains valid for as long as the earth remains. Christians should therefore resist the pressure being put on them to feel it’s anti-life and immoral to support the death penalty, because the Creator of human life, as well as the highest moral Being, instituted the death penalty for murder, and still supports it. The death penalty for murder is not meant to violate the sanctity of human life, but to uphold it, by eliminating those who have no regard for the highest form of life, as well as deterring others who would contemplate the termination of other people’s lives. Thus, supporting the death penalty for murder is simply believing and aligning with God’s word without sentiments. That’s what Christians are called to do.

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Is It Unbiblical For Christians To Obey Public Health Regulations?

(All Bible quotations, except otherwise stated, are from the New Living Translation).

Many conservative Christians are eternally combating public health measures (as well as public health officials) put in place to curtail the spread of deadly communicable diseases within the population. Whether it’s apathy/antipathy towards vaccination, resistance towards lockdown/ isolation/quarantine, or outright disdain for the use of protective gears, the negative reactions of some Christians towards efforts aimed at mitigating the spread of lethal contagious diseases is well documented. These Christians readily point to their faith and autonomy as sufficient reasons to resist public health rules designed for the good of all. What does the Bible say concerning the use of preventive measures to limit the spread of diseases? Are Christians at liberty to demonise and disobey government officials who make laws for the safety of the public? We shall examine the Scriptures to answer these questions.

In the Mosaic law given to Israel on Mount Sinai, Jehovah, in addition to the moral commandments, gave the Jews strict health regulations, aimed at detecting and isolating people with communicable diseases from the rest of the community, especially when the entire nation lived in mobile camps in the wilderness. The priests (who were the sons of Aaron) performed the function of public health physicians to the rest of the nation. They were tasked with the responsibilities of diagnosing infectious diseases, isolating those infected, as well as certifying them fit, after healing, before they could be allowed to join the rest of the camp. Whether it was for diseases like leprosy or other contagious skin infections, God made it clear to his people that adequate measures were to be taken to protect the health of the public. Individuals were to take responsibility for themselves and their neighbours, by promptly presenting themselves to the physician-priests for early diagnosis of suspicious lesions, and by adhering to the strict isolation/quarantine measures put in place to safeguard the health of the public. Also, people with abnormal skin and other body discharges were to take special care to avoid close contact with others, in order not to infect them. Such people with contagious discharges were to take personal hygiene measures seriously (washing of body and clothes and other items contaminated by discharges). People who came in contact with those discharging abnormally were to observe strict personal hygiene also, to decontaminate themselves. Thus, several millennia ago, Jehovah instituted a robust public health programme among the Jews, aimed at mitigating the spread of infectious diseases and preserving the health of his people. This shows that God is not only interested in the spiritual wellbeing of his people, he is also concerned about their physical health, for a sound mind/spirit can only be found in a sound body! The God who preserved Israel miraculously for 40 years in the wilderness also gave them mundane personal and public health laws to keep them physically healthy! And God expected strict compliance with those laws, with severe punishment prescribed for transgressors. It buttresses the fact that obedience to public health regulations is compatible with faith, and that it’s biblical to use medical knowledge to prevent the spread of diseases and to promote health. Science and religion are not mutually exclusive, for Jehovah is the creator of both the spiritual and scientific laws of nature! God gave mankind both the brain/mind to subdue and rule the world, as well as the spirit to connect with him by faith. We can’t be who God wants us to be if we fail to harness all the capabilities God has put in us!

Leviticus 13:1 The Lord said to Moses and Aaron,

Leviticus 13:2 “If some of the people notice a swelling or a rash or a shiny patch on their skin that develops into a contagious skin disease, they must be brought to Aaron the priest or to one of his sons.

Leviticus 13:3 The priest will then examine the affected area of a person’s skin. If the hair in the affected area has turned white and appears to be more than skin-deep, then it is a contagious skin disease, and the priest must pronounce the person ceremonially unclean.

Leviticus 13:4 “But if the affected area of the skin is white but does not appear to be more than skin-deep, and if the hair in the spot has not turned white, the priest will put the infected person in quarantine for seven days.

Leviticus 13:5 On the seventh day the priest will make another examination. If the affected area has not changed or spread on the skin, then the priest will put the person in quarantine for seven more days.

Leviticus 13:6 The priest will examine the skin again on the seventh day. If the affected area has faded and not spread, the priest will pronounce the person ceremonially clean. It was only a temporary rash. So after washing the clothes, the person will be considered free of disease.

Leviticus 13:7 But if the rash continues to spread after this examination and pronouncement by the priest, the infected person must return to be examined again.

Leviticus 13:8 If the priest notices that the rash has spread, then he must pronounce this person ceremonially unclean, for it is a contagious skin disease.

Leviticus 13:9 “Anyone who develops a contagious skin disease must go to the priest for an examination.

Leviticus 13:10 If the priest sees that some hair has turned white and an open sore appears in the affected area,

Leviticus 13:11 it is clearly a contagious skin disease, and the priest must pronounce that person ceremonially unclean. In such cases, the person need not be quarantined for further observation because it is clear that the skin is defiled by the disease.

Leviticus 13:12 “Now suppose the priest discovers after his examination that a rash has broken out all over someone’s skin, covering the body from head to foot.

Leviticus 13:13 In such cases, the priest must examine the infected person to see if the disease covers the entire body. If it does, he will pronounce the person ceremonially clean because the skin has turned completely white.

Leviticus 13:14 But if any open sores appear, the infected person will be pronounced ceremonially unclean.

Leviticus 13:15 The priest must make this pronouncement as soon as he sees an open sore because open sores indicate the presence of a contagious skin disease.

Leviticus 13:16 However, if the open sores heal and turn white like the rest of the skin, the person must return to the priest.

Leviticus 13:17 If, after another examination, the affected areas have indeed turned completely white, then the priest will pronounce the person ceremonially clean.

Leviticus 13:18 “If anyone has had a boil on the skin that has started to heal,

Leviticus 13:19 but a white swelling or a reddish white spot remains in its place, that person must go to the priest to be examined.

Leviticus 13:20 If the priest finds the disease to be more than skin-deep, and if the hair in the affected area has turned white, then the priest must pronounce that person ceremonially unclean. It is a contagious skin disease that has broken out in the boil.

Leviticus 13:21 But if the priest sees that there is no white hair in the affected area, and if it doesn’t appear to be more than skin-deep and has faded, then the priest is to put the person in quarantine for seven days.

Leviticus 13:22 If during that time the affected area spreads on the skin, the priest must pronounce the person ceremonially unclean, because it is a contagious skin disease.

Leviticus 13:23 But if the area grows no larger and does not spread, it is merely the scar from the boil, and the priest will pronounce that person ceremonially clean.

Leviticus 13:24 “If anyone has suffered a burn on the skin and the burned area changes color, becoming either a shiny reddish white or white,

Leviticus 13:25 then the priest must examine it. If the hair in the affected area turns white and the problem appears to be more than skin-deep, a contagious skin disease has broken out in the burn. The priest must then pronounce that person ceremonially unclean, for it is clearly a contagious skin disease.

Leviticus 13:26 But if the priest discovers that there is no white hair in the affected area and the problem appears to be no more than skin-deep and has faded, then the priest is to put the infected person in quarantine for seven days.

Leviticus 13:27 If at the end of that time the affected area has spread on the skin, the priest must pronounce that person ceremonially unclean, for it is clearly a contagious skin disease.

Leviticus 13:28 But if the affected area has not moved or spread on the skin and has faded, it is simply a scar from the burn. The priest must then pronounce the person ceremonially clean.

Leviticus 13:29 “If anyone, whether a man or woman, has an open sore on the head or chin,

Leviticus 13:30 the priest must examine the infection. If it appears to be more than skin-deep and fine yellow hair is found in the affected area, the priest must pronounce the infected person ceremonially unclean. The infection is a contagious skin disease of the head or chin.

Leviticus 13:31 However, if the priest’s examination reveals that the infection is only skin-deep and there is no black hair in the affected area, then he must put the person in quarantine for seven days.

Leviticus 13:32 If at the end of that time the affected area has not spread and no yellow hair has appeared, and if the infection does not appear to be more than skin-deep,

Leviticus 13:33 the infected person must shave off all hair except the hair on the affected area. Then the priest must put the person in quarantine for another seven days,

Leviticus 13:34 and he will examine the infection again on the seventh day. If it has not spread and appears to be no more than skin-deep, the priest must pronounce that person ceremonially clean. After washing clothes, that person will be clean.

Leviticus 13:35 But if the infection begins to spread after the person is pronounced clean,

Leviticus 13:36 the priest must do another examination. If the infection has spread, he must pronounce the infected person ceremonially unclean, even without checking for yellow hair.

Leviticus 13:37 But if it appears that the infection has stopped spreading and black hair has grown in the affected area, then the infection has healed. The priest will then pronounce the infected person ceremonially clean.

Leviticus 13:38 “If anyone, whether a man or woman, has shiny white patches on the skin,

Leviticus 13:39 the priest must examine the affected area. If the patch is only a pale white, this is a harmless skin rash, and the person is ceremonially clean.

Leviticus 13:40 “If a man loses his hair and his head becomes bald, he is still ceremonially clean.

Leviticus 13:41 And if he loses hair on his forehead, he simply has a bald forehead; he is still clean.

Leviticus 13:42 However, if a reddish white infection appears on the front or the back of his head, this is a contagious skin disease.

Leviticus 13:43 The priest must examine him, and if he finds swelling around the reddish white sore,

Leviticus 13:44 the man is infected with a contagious skin disease and is unclean. The priest must pronounce him ceremonially unclean because of the infection.

Leviticus 13:45 “Those who suffer from any contagious skin disease must tear their clothing and allow their hair to hang loose. Then, as they go from place to place, they must cover their mouth and call out, ‘Unclean! Unclean!’

Leviticus 13:46 As long as the disease lasts, they will be ceremonially unclean and must live in isolation outside the camp.

Leviticus 13:47 “Now suppose an infectious mildew contaminates some woolen or linen clothing,

Leviticus 13:48 some woolen or linen fabric, the hide of an animal, or anything made of leather.

Leviticus 13:49 If the affected area in the clothing, the animal hide, the fabric, or the leather has turned bright green or a reddish color, it is contaminated with an infectious mildew and must be taken to the priest to be examined.

Leviticus 13:50 After examining the affected spot, the priest will put it away for seven days.

Leviticus 13:51 On the seventh day the priest must inspect it again. If the affected area has spread, the material is clearly contaminated by an infectious mildew and is unclean.

Leviticus 13:52 The priest must burn the linen or wool clothing or the piece of leather because it has been contaminated by an infectious mildew. It must be completely destroyed by fire.

Leviticus 13:53 “But if the priest examines it again and the affected spot has not spread in the clothing, the fabric, or the leather,

Leviticus 13:54 the priest will order the contaminated object to be washed and then isolated for seven more days.

Leviticus 13:55 Then the priest must inspect the object again. If he sees that the affected area has not changed appearance after being washed, even if it did not spread, the object is defiled. It must be completely burned up, whether it is contaminated on the inside or outside.

Leviticus 13:56 But if the priest sees that the affected area has faded after being washed, he is to cut the spot from the clothing, the fabric, or the leather.

Leviticus 13:57 If the spot reappears at a later time, however, the mildew is clearly spreading, and the contaminated object must be burned up.

Leviticus 13:58 But if the spot disappears after the object is washed, it must be washed again; then it will be ceremonially clean.

Leviticus 13:59 “These are the instructions for dealing with infectious mildew in woolen or linen clothing or fabric, or in anything made of leather. This is how the priest will determine whether these things are ceremonially clean or unclean.”

Leviticus 15:1 The Lord said to Moses and Aaron,

Leviticus 15:2 “Give these further instructions to the Israelites: Any man who has a genital discharge is ceremonially unclean because of it.

Leviticus 15:3 This defilement applies whether the discharge continues or is stopped up. In either case the man is unclean.

Leviticus 15:4 Any bedding on which he lies and anything on which he sits will be defiled.

Leviticus 15:5 “So if you touch the man’s bedding, you will be required to wash your clothes and bathe in water, and you will remain ceremonially defiled until evening.

Leviticus 15:6 If you sit where the man with the discharge has sat, you will be required to wash your clothes and bathe in water. You will then remain defiled until evening.

Leviticus 15:7 The same instructions apply if you touch the man who has the unclean discharge.

Leviticus 15:8 And if he spits on you, you must undergo the same procedure.

Leviticus 15:9 Any blanket on which the man rides will be defiled.

Leviticus 15:10 If you touch or carry anything that was under him, you will be required to wash your clothes and bathe in water, and you will remain defiled until evening.

Leviticus 15:11 If the man touches you without first rinsing his hands, then you will be required to wash your clothes and bathe in water, and you will remain defiled until evening.

Leviticus 15:12 Any clay pot touched by the man with the discharge must be broken, and every wooden utensil he touches must be rinsed with water.

Leviticus 15:13 “When the man’s discharge heals, he must count off a period of seven days. During that time, he must wash his clothes and bathe in fresh springwater. Then he will be ceremonially clean.

Leviticus 15:14 On the eighth day he must bring two turtledoves or two young pigeons and present himself to the Lord at the entrance of the Tabernacle and give his offerings to the priest.

Leviticus 15:15 The priest will present the offerings there, one for a sin offering and the other for a whole burnt offering. In this way, the priest will make atonement for the man before the Lord for his discharge.

Leviticus 15:16 “Whenever a man has an emission of semen, he must wash his entire body, and he will remain ceremonially defiled until evening.

Leviticus 15:17 Any clothing or leather that comes in contact with the semen must be washed, and it will remain defiled until evening.

Leviticus 15:18 After having sexual intercourse, both the man and the woman must bathe, and they will remain defiled until evening.

Leviticus 15:19 “Whenever a woman has her menstrual period, she will be ceremonially unclean for seven days. If you touch her during that time, you will be defiled until evening.

Leviticus 15:20 Anything on which she lies or sits during that time will be defiled.

Leviticus 15:21 If you touch her bed, you must wash your clothes and bathe in water, and you will remain defiled until evening.

Leviticus 15:22 The same applies if you touch an object on which she sits,

Leviticus 15:23 whether it is her bedding or any piece of furniture.

Leviticus 15:24 If a man has sexual intercourse with her during this time, her menstrual impurity will be transmitted to him. He will remain defiled for seven days, and any bed on which he lies will be defiled.

Leviticus 15:25 “If the menstrual flow of blood continues for many days beyond the normal period, or if she discharges blood unrelated to her menstruation, the woman will be ceremonially unclean as long as the discharge continues.

Leviticus 15:26 Anything on which she lies or sits during that time will be defiled, just as it would be during her normal menstrual period.

Leviticus 15:27 If you touch her bed or anything on which she sits, you will be defiled. You will be required to wash your clothes and bathe in water, and you will remain defiled until evening.

Leviticus 15:28 “When the woman’s menstrual discharge stops, she must count off a period of seven days. After that, she will be ceremonially clean.

Leviticus 15:29 On the eighth day, she must bring two turtledoves or two young pigeons and present them to the priest at the entrance of the Tabernacle.

Leviticus 15:30 The priest will offer one for a sin offering and the other for a whole burnt offering. In this way, the priest will make atonement for her before the Lord for her menstrual discharge.

Leviticus 15:31 “In this way, you will keep the people of Israel separate from things that will defile them, so they will not die as a result of defiling my Tabernacle that is right there among them.

Leviticus 15:32 These are the instructions for dealing with a man who has been defiled by a genital discharge or an emission of semen;

Leviticus 15:33 for dealing with a woman during her monthly menstrual period; for dealing with anyone, man or woman, who has had a bodily discharge of any kind; and for dealing with a man who has had intercourse with a woman during her period.”

Leviticus 15:33 These are the teachings for the woman who becomes unclean from her monthly period, for a man or woman who has a discharge, and for a man who becomes unclean by having sexual relations with a woman who is unclean.

In addition to isolation and quarantine of people with certain infectious diseases, Jehovah also instituted physical and social distancing measures among the Jews, with respect to those with contagious diseases. Lepers were to live outside the camp, and when they walked among the people, they were to observe adequate physical distancing, among other measures. Lepers were not to be touched by others (and were not to touch others too)! Even houses of people with contagious diseases were to be decontaminated where possible, or outrightly destroyed, if decontamination was impossible, just to prevent others from being infected! When Miriam, Moses’s sister and a prophetess, was struck with leprosy, she was quarantined outside the camp, and the entire nation halted its journey in the wilderness for seven days, until she was healed and rejoined the camp. This shows that physical and public health are as important to God as spiritual health. No wonder God warns us against doing things that could destroy our bodies, for our bodies are the temple of God! It is our individual responsibilities to take good care of our bodies and to preserve our health, for God will hold us accountable for destroying our bodies, which are his temple. If we refuse to listen to expert advice and insist rather on living dangerously and recklessly (thinking spirituality would offset or compensate for the negligence of our bodies), we’d be held responsible for destroying our bodies, which are the temple of God.

Leviticus 13:45 “Those who suffer from any contagious skin disease must tear their clothing and allow their hair to hang loose. Then, as they go from place to place, they must cover their mouth and call out, ‘Unclean! Unclean!’

Leviticus 13:46 As long as the disease lasts, they will be ceremonially unclean and must live in isolation outside the camp.

Leviticus 14:33 Then the Lord said to Moses and Aaron,

Leviticus 14:34 “When you arrive in Canaan, the land I am giving you as an inheritance, I may contaminate some of your houses with an infectious mildew.

Leviticus 14:35 The owner of such a house must then go to the priest and say, ‘It looks like my house has some kind of disease.’

Leviticus 14:36 Before the priest examines the house, he must have the house emptied so everything inside will not be pronounced unclean. Then the priest will go in and inspect the house.

Leviticus 14:37 If he finds bright green or reddish streaks on the walls of the house and the contamination appears to go deeper than the wall’s surface,

Leviticus 14:38 he will leave the house and lock it up for seven days.

Leviticus 14:39 On the seventh day the priest must return for another inspection. If the mildew on the walls of the house has spread,

Leviticus 14:40 the priest must order that the stones from those areas be removed. The contaminated material will then be thrown into an area outside the town designated as ceremonially unclean.

Leviticus 14:41 Next the inside walls of the entire house must be scraped thoroughly and the scrapings dumped in the unclean place outside the town.

Leviticus 14:42 Other stones will be brought in to replace the ones that were removed, and the walls will be replastered.

Leviticus 14:43 “But if the mildew reappears after all these things have been done,

Leviticus 14:44 the priest must return and inspect the house again. If he sees that the affected areas have spread, the walls are clearly contaminated with an infectious mildew, and the house is defiled.

Leviticus 14:45 It must be torn down, and all its stones, timbers, and plaster must be carried out of town to the place designated as ceremonially unclean.

Leviticus 14:46 Anyone who enters the house while it is closed will be considered ceremonially unclean until evening.

Leviticus 14:47 All who sleep or eat in the house must wash their clothing.

Leviticus 14:48 “But if the priest returns for his inspection and finds that the affected areas have not reappeared after the fresh plastering, then he will pronounce the house clean because the infectious mildew is clearly gone.

Numbers 12:1 While they were at Hazeroth, Miriam and Aaron criticized Moses because he had married a Cushite woman.

Numbers 12:2 They said, “Has the Lord spoken only through Moses? Hasn’t he spoken through us, too?” But the Lord heard them.

Numbers 12:3 Now Moses was more humble than any other person on earth.

Numbers 12:4 So immediately the Lord called to Moses, Aaron, and Miriam and said, “Go out to the Tabernacle, all three of you!” And the three of them went out.

Numbers 12:5 Then the Lord descended in the pillar of cloud and stood at the entrance of the Tabernacle. “Aaron and Miriam!” he called, and they stepped forward.

Numbers 12:6 And the Lord said to them, “Now listen to me! Even with prophets, I the Lord communicate by visions and dreams.

Numbers 12:7 But that is not how I communicate with my servant Moses. He is entrusted with my entire house.

Numbers 12:8 I speak to him face to face, directly and not in riddles! He sees the Lord as he is. Should you not be afraid to criticize him?”

Numbers 12:9 The Lord was furious with them, and he departed.

Numbers 12:10 As the cloud moved from above the Tabernacle, Miriam suddenly became white as snow with leprosy. When Aaron saw what had happened,

Numbers 12:11 he cried out to Moses, “Oh, my lord! Please don’t punish us for this sin we have so foolishly committed.

Numbers 12:12 Don’t let her be like a stillborn baby, already decayed at birth.”

Numbers 12:13 So Moses cried out to the Lord, “Heal her, O God, I beg you!”

Numbers 12:14 And the Lord said to Moses, “If her father had spit in her face, wouldn’t she have been defiled for seven days? Banish her from the camp for seven days, and after that she may return.”

Numbers 12:15 So Miriam was excluded from the camp for seven days, and the people waited until she was brought back before they traveled again.

1 Corinthians 3:16 Don’t you realize that all of you together are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God lives in you?

1 Corinthians 3:17 God will bring ruin upon anyone who ruins this temple. For God’s temple is holy, and you Christians are that temple.

In the Scriptures, whenever God was about to bring some widespread catastrophic judgement upon a people (in the form of plagues, pestilence, flood, etc), he would warn his people to hide themselves (through lockdown/sheltering) so as to preserve their lives. Before the flood came, God commanded Noah to build an ark and shelter inside with his family. When God was about to bring judgement upon Egypt, he warned his people to remain indoors the night the death angel was to pass through the land. In the book of Isaiah, God forewarned his people to enter their rooms, shut the door and hide for a while, until his wrath was over. Thus, the concept of lockdown/sheltering to avoid judgement started with God. We all know God’s judgements come in the form of plagues, pestilential diseases, famine, wars, etc. To refuse to hide (through sheltering/lockdown) when a plague or a pestilence is ravaging the land is the height of foolishness! To refuse to adopt safety measures to protect ourselves and others, when the mode of transmission of a plague is known, is simply tempting God! That’s accepting the devil’s challenge to deliberately hurl ourselves down from the pinnacle of the temple, while expecting angels to protect us! How many stubborn and rebellious ministers and other believers have died from Covid-19, by disdaining and ridiculing expert public health advice? How many Christians have tempted God, by refusing to protect themselves against the coronavirus pandemic, and have died thereby? Faith and common sense are not supposed to be at variance! Sensible lockdown and other protective measures put in place in the midst of a devastating plague should not be seen as a breach of liberty, but should be embraced as life-saving! Only the living can enjoy liberty! Insisting on absolute freedom, when death is threatening, and ending up in the ICU or the morgue, is simply moronic!

Genesis 6:12 God observed all this corruption in the world, and he saw violence and depravity everywhere.

Genesis 6:13 So God said to Noah, “I have decided to destroy all living creatures, for the earth is filled with violence because of them. Yes, I will wipe them all from the face of the earth!

Genesis 6:14 “Make a boat from resinous wood and seal it with tar, inside and out. Then construct decks and stalls throughout its interior.

Genesis 6:15 Make it 450 feet long, 75 feet wide, and 45 feet high.

Genesis 6:16 Construct an opening all the way around the boat, 18 inches below the roof. Then put three decks inside the boat—bottom, middle, and upper—and put a door in the side.

Genesis 6:17 “Look! I am about to cover the earth with a flood that will destroy every living thing. Everything on earth will die!

Genesis 6:18 But I solemnly swear to keep you safe in the boat, with your wife and your sons and their wives.

Genesis 6:19 Bring a pair of every kind of animal—a male and a female—into the boat with you to keep them alive during the flood.

Genesis 6:20 Pairs of each kind of bird and each kind of animal, large and small alike, will come to you to be kept alive.

Genesis 6:21 And remember, take enough food for your family and for all the animals.”

Genesis 6:22 So Noah did everything exactly as God had commanded him.

Hebrews 11:7 It was by faith that Noah built an ark to save his family from the flood. He obeyed God, who warned him about something that had never happened before. By his faith he condemned the rest of the world and was made right in God’s sight.

Exodus 12:21 Then Moses called for the leaders of Israel and said, “Tell each of your families to slaughter the lamb they have set apart for the Passover.

Exodus 12:22 Drain each lamb’s blood into a basin. Then take a cluster of hyssop branches and dip it into the lamb’s blood. Strike the hyssop against the top and sides of the doorframe, staining it with the blood. And remember, no one is allowed to leave the house until morning.

Exodus 12:23 For the Lord will pass through the land and strike down the Egyptians. But when he sees the blood on the top and sides of the doorframe, the Lord will pass over your home. He will not permit the Destroyer to enter and strike down your firstborn.

Isaiah 26:20 My people, go into your rooms
and shut your doors behind you.
Hide in your rooms for a short time
until God’s anger is finished.

Isaiah 26:21 The Lord will leave his place
to punish the people of the world for their sins.
The earth will show the blood of the people who have been killed;
it will not cover the dead any longer (NCV).

Proverbs 22:3 Sensible people foresee trouble and hide from it, but gullible people go ahead and suffer the consequence (GodsWord).

Finally, we’re enjoined in the Scriptures to obey those in authority, as well as the laws they make, not only for fear of sanctions, but because it’s the right thing to do. I know some human laws are in contradiction to the commandments of God, and should be resisted. However, when the laws of the land do not violate God’s commandments, and are actually meant to safeguard the public, to resist them is to resist the ordinances of God. Government officials still remain agents of God appointed to maintain law and order, even if we didn’t vote for them and we don’t like them. When Apostles Paul and Peter wrote to Christians to be subject to those in authority, they weren’t only advocating submission to rulers who were friendly to the Christian faith. They were rather enjoining Christians to submit to wicked and evil pagan rulers who actually hated Christianity and wanted to stamp it out! Yet, the apostles still considered those evil emperors to be ordained of God and to be obeyed. Governments today, however imperfect and evil they may be, still remain ordained of God to maintain law and order. And we should obey them because God said so! To disregard their ordinances (when they’re meant for the public good) is to disregard the ordinances of God! To deliberately demonise, disobey and rebel against government officials (even when we cannot prove they’re going contrary to God’s word) is rank rascality! That’s rebelling against God’s commandment and undermining the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ! That’s what the Bible says!

Romans 13:1 Obey the government, for God is the one who put it there. All governments have been placed in power by God.

Romans 13:2 So those who refuse to obey the laws of the land are refusing to obey God, and punishment will follow.

Romans 13:3 For the authorities do not frighten people who are doing right, but they frighten those who do wrong. So do what they say, and you will get along well.

Romans 13:4 The authorities are sent by God to help you. But if you are doing something wrong, of course you should be afraid, for you will be punished. The authorities are established by God for that very purpose, to punish those who do wrong.

Romans 13:5 So you must obey the government for two reasons: to keep from being punished and to keep a clear conscience.

Romans 13:6 Pay your taxes, too, for these same reasons. For government workers need to be paid so they can keep on doing the work God intended them to do.

Romans 13:7 Give to everyone what you owe them: Pay your taxes and import duties, and give respect and honor to all to whom it is due.

1 Peter 2:13 For the Lord’s sake, accept all authority—the king as head of state,

1 Peter 2:14 and the officials he has appointed. For the king has sent them to punish all who do wrong and to honor those who do right.

1 Peter 2:15 It is God’s will that your good lives should silence those who make foolish accusations against you.

1 Peter 2:16 You are not slaves; you are free. But your freedom is not an excuse to do evil. You are free to live as God’s slaves.

1 Peter 2:17 Show respect for everyone. Love your Christian brothers and sisters. Fear God. Show respect for the king.

In conclusion, Jehovah instituted a robust public health programme for his people several millennia ago, when he brought them out of bondage in the land of Egypt. The priests were given the roles of public health physicians to enforce Jehovah’s strict public health regulations among the people, which were intended to limit the spread of communicable diseases, and to keep God’s camp healthy. Prompt diagnosis of infectious diseases, early isolation and quarantine of infected people, strict personal hygiene, as well as physical and social distancing measures were readily used to mitigate the spread of communicable diseases in the camps of God’s people. Also, we saw God ordering sheltering of his people whenever a catastrophic judgement (flood, plagues, pestilences, war, etc) was about to be unleashed on sinful humanity, in order to preserve the lives of the righteous. Thus, we see from the Scriptures that adherence to public health regulations is not incongruent with faith, for the same God who requires faith for relating with him also instituted mundane public health regulations to keep his people safe from communicable diseases. Christians have a responsibility to preserve and take good care of their bodies, which are the temple of God. To refuse to adhere to life-saving regulations designed to protect and preserve one’s life is to be an accomplice in the destruction of God’s temple! As followers of Jesus Christ, we’re enjoined by the Scriptures to be obedient to government officials, and to obey rules and regulations enacted by them for the public good. To resist government officials (when they’re not violating God’s commandments) is to resist God and his ordinances. It’s tantamount to undermining the Gospel of Jesus Christ. True religion and true science are not mutually exclusive, for both originated from God.

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What Does The Bible Say About Polygamy? How Should The Church Handle Polygamists Within Its Fold?

(All Bible quotations, except otherwise stated, are from the New Century Version).

Anthropologically, polygamy is defined as marriage between one person and two or more spouses simultaneously. It exists in two main forms: polygyny, where one man is married to several women, and polyandry, where one woman is married to several men (Miriam Koktvedgaard Zeitzen, International Encyclopedia of Anthropology). For the purpose of this article, we will consider only polygyny, and will use the term “polygamy” to mean “polygyny”, in line with popular practice. Polyandry will not be considered any further here, because it is anathema to the Judeo-Christian faith.

Orthodox Christianity frowns upon polygamy, and insists on the union of one man and one woman as God’s ideal marriage scenario. A polygamist from a non-Christian culture who gets converted to Christianity is naturally confused on how to handle his multiple wives as a Christian. Some denominations insist such a man should put away all other wives, and retain only the first one (who is considered to be his only legal wife), while others believe the polygamist can still live legitimately with his multiple wives as a Christian, but cannot hold any leadership position in the church. What’s the biblical view on polygamy? How should the church handle polygamists within its fold? We shall attempt to answer these questions through a careful examination of the Scriptures.

The first record of polygamy in the Bible involved Lamech, a seventh-generation descendant of Adam, from the lineage of Cain. Lamech is recorded in the Scriptures to have married two women, Adah and Zillah. It’s instructive to note that the practice of polygamy started early in human history (the seventh generation from the first man Adam). Interestingly, there’s no record in the Scriptures of divine rebuke for Lamech’s act. We saw God’s swift response in the condemnation of murder as a sin when Cain killed Abel. However, we do not see a similar divine reaction when Lamech married a second wife. All we are left with here are conjectures and innuendos with respect to the divine response to polygamy. But we must have a clear divine injunction on this issue before we can draw an unbiased conclusion on the divine will concerning polygamy. We will have to look at other instances in Scriptures to draw any reasonable conclusion on God’s perception of polygamy.

Genesis 4:16 So Cain went away from the Lord and lived in the land of Nod, east of Eden.

Genesis 4:17 He had sexual relations with his wife, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Enoch. At that time Cain was building a city, which he named after his son Enoch.

Genesis 4:18 Enoch had a son named Irad, Irad had a son named Mehujael, Mehujael had a son named Methushael, and Methushael had a son named Lamech.

Genesis 4:19 Lamech married two women, Adah and Zillah.

Next, we see Abraham, God’s friend and father of faith and of many nations, dabbling into some form of polygamy. Encouraged by his wife Sarah (then Sarai), Abraham (then Abram) made a concubine of his house maid Hagar, who conceived by him and gave birth to Ishmael. In the old testament, concubines were secondary wives upon whose heads dowry was never paid, but who agreed to live with a man as his wife and to have sexual relations with him. Nowhere did we see God condemning Abraham’s act of taking Hagar as a concubine. Rather, we see God promising to bless the product of that union, Ishmael, and to make him great. Even when Hagar initially ran away from Abraham’s home following maltreatment by Sarah, the angel of God told her to go back to her home and be subject to her mistress Sarah. Although God eventually told Abraham to cast Hagar and her son out (because they were making a mockery of Isaac the promised son), God did not condemn Abraham’s union with Hagar specifically. Here again, we do not see an outright divine rejection of polygamy or a blunt condemnation of it.

Genesis 16:1 Sarai, Abram’s wife, had no children, but she had a slave girl from Egypt named Hagar.

Genesis 16:2 Sarai said to Abram, “Look, the Lord has not allowed me to have children, so have sexual relations with my slave girl. If she has a child, maybe I can have my own family through her.”
Abram did what Sarai said.

Genesis 16:3 It was after he had lived ten years in Canaan that Sarai gave Hagar to her husband Abram. (Hagar was her slave girl from Egypt.)

Genesis 16:4 Abram had sexual relations with Hagar, and she became pregnant. When Hagar learned she was pregnant, she began to treat her mistress Sarai badly.

Genesis 16:5 Then Sarai said to Abram, “This is your fault. I gave my slave girl to you, and when she became pregnant, she began to treat me badly. Let the Lord decide who is right—you or me.”

Genesis 16:6 But Abram said to Sarai, “You are Hagar’s mistress. Do anything you want to her.” Then Sarai was hard on Hagar, and Hagar ran away.

Genesis 16:7 The angel of the Lord found Hagar beside a spring of water in the desert, by the road to Shur.

Genesis 16:8 The angel said, “Hagar, Sarai’s slave girl, where have you come from? Where are you going?”
Hagar answered, “I am running away from my mistress Sarai.”

Genesis 16:9 The angel of the Lord said to her, “Go home to your mistress and obey her.”

Genesis 16:10 The angel also said, “I will give you so many descendants they cannot be counted.”

Genesis 16:11 The angel added,
“You are now pregnant,
and you will have a son.
You will name him Ishmael,
because the Lord has heard your cries.

Genesis 16:12 Ishmael will be like a wild donkey.
He will be against everyone,
and everyone will be against him.
He will attack all his brothers.”

Genesis 16:13 The slave girl gave a name to the Lord who spoke to her: “You are ‘God who sees me,’” because she said to herself, “Have I really seen God who sees me?”

Genesis 16:14 So the well there, between Kadesh and Bered, was called Beer Lahai Roi.

Genesis 16:15 Hagar gave birth to a son for Abram, and Abram named him Ishmael.

Genesis 16:16 Abram was eighty-six years old when Hagar gave birth to Ishmael.

Genesis 21:8 Isaac grew, and when he became old enough to eat food, Abraham gave a great feast.

Genesis 21:9 But Sarah saw Ishmael making fun of Isaac. (Ishmael was the son of Abraham by Hagar, Sarah’s Egyptian slave.)

Genesis 21:10 So Sarah said to Abraham, “Throw out this slave woman and her son. Her son should not inherit anything; my son Isaac should receive it all.”

Genesis 21:11 This troubled Abraham very much because Ishmael was also his son.

Genesis 21:12 But God said to Abraham, “Don’t be troubled about the boy and the slave woman. Do whatever Sarah tells you. The descendants I promised you will be from Isaac.

Genesis 21:13 I will also make the descendants of Ishmael into a great nation because he is your son, too.”

Genesis 21:14 Early the next morning Abraham took some food and a leather bag full of water. He gave them to Hagar and sent her away. Carrying these things and her son, Hagar went and wandered in the desert of Beersheba.

Genesis 21:15 Later, when all the water was gone from the bag, Hagar put her son under a bush.

Genesis 21:16 Then she went away a short distance and sat down. She thought, “My son will die, and I cannot watch this happen.” She sat there and began to cry.

Genesis 21:17 God heard the boy crying, and God’s angel called to Hagar from heaven. He said, “What is wrong, Hagar? Don’t be afraid! God has heard the boy crying there.

Genesis 21:18 Help him up and take him by the hand. I will make his descendants into a great nation.”

Genesis 21:19 Then God showed Hagar a well of water. So she went to the well and filled her bag with water and gave the boy a drink.

Genesis 21:20 God was with the boy as he grew up. Ishmael lived in the desert and became an archer.

Genesis 21:21 He lived in the Desert of Paran, and his mother found a wife for him in Egypt.

The next instance of polygamy in the Scriptures we’ll consider here involved Abraham’s grandson, Jacob. Jacob set out to marry one woman whom he loved (Rachel), but ended up with four wives! He was deceived into marrying Rachel’s elder sister (because it was against the custom of his in-laws to give out the younger daughter in marriage before the older one), and still ended up marrying Rachel as well. So, although it wasn’t his initial plan, Jacob had two sisters as his wives within seven days! Each of the sisters came into his house with her maid. Now, when both sisters at various times had problems conceiving, like Sarah, they gave out their maids to Jacob to bear children on their behalf. Both maids ended up as Jacob’s concubines or secondary wives. Again, we did not see divine condemnation of the act of polygamy here. No divine displeasure was revealed. God blessed the union of Jacob and his four wives who gave birth to the twelve tribes of Israel.

Genesis 29:15 Then Laban said to Jacob, “You are my relative, but it is not right for you to work for me without pay. What would you like me to pay you?”

Genesis 29:16 Now Laban had two daughters. The older was Leah, and the younger was Rachel.

Genesis 29:17 Leah had weak eyes, but Rachel was very beautiful.

Genesis 29:18 Jacob loved Rachel, so he said to Laban, “Let me marry your younger daughter Rachel. If you will, I will work seven years for you.”

Genesis 29:19 Laban said, “It would be better for her to marry you than someone else, so stay here with me.”

Genesis 29:20 So Jacob worked for Laban seven years so he could marry Rachel. But they seemed like just a few days to him because he loved Rachel very much.

Genesis 29:21 After seven years Jacob said to Laban, “Give me Rachel so that I may marry her. The time I promised to work for you is over.”

Genesis 29:22 So Laban gave a feast for all the people there.

Genesis 29:23 That evening he brought his daughter Leah to Jacob, and they had sexual relations.

Genesis 29:24 (Laban gave his slave girl Zilpah to his daughter to be her servant.)

Genesis 29:25 In the morning when Jacob saw that he had had sexual relations with Leah, he said to Laban, “What have you done to me? I worked hard for you so that I could marry Rachel! Why did you trick me?”

Genesis 29:26 Laban said, “In our country we do not allow the younger daughter to marry before the older daughter.

Genesis 29:27 But complete the full week of the marriage ceremony with Leah, and I will give you Rachel to marry also. But you must serve me another seven years.”

Genesis 29:28 So Jacob did this, and when he had completed the week with Leah, Laban gave him his daughter Rachel as a wife.

Genesis 29:29 (Laban gave his slave girl Bilhah to his daughter Rachel to be her servant.)

Genesis 29:30 So Jacob had sexual relations with Rachel also, and Jacob loved Rachel more than Leah. Jacob worked for Laban for another seven years.

Genesis 30:1 When Rachel saw that she was not having children for Jacob, she envied her sister Leah. She said to Jacob, “Give me children, or I’ll die!”

Genesis 30:2 Jacob became angry with her and said, “Can I do what only God can do? He is the one who has kept you from having children.”

Genesis 30:3 Then Rachel said, “Here is my slave girl Bilhah. Have sexual relations with her so she can give birth to a child for me. Then I can have my own family through her.”

Genesis 30:4 So Rachel gave Bilhah, her slave girl, to Jacob as a wife, and he had sexual relations with her.

Genesis 30:5 She became pregnant and gave Jacob a son.

Genesis 30:6 Rachel said, “God has judged me innocent. He has listened to my prayer and has given me a son,” so she named him Dan.

Genesis 30:7 Bilhah became pregnant again and gave Jacob a second son.

Genesis 30:8 Rachel said, “I have struggled hard with my sister, and I have won.” So she named that son Naphtali.

Genesis 30:9 Leah saw that she had stopped having children, so she gave her slave girl Zilpah to Jacob as a wife.

Genesis 30:10 When Zilpah had a son,

Genesis 30:11 Leah said, “I am lucky,” so she named him Gad.

Genesis 30:12 Zilpah gave birth to another son,

Genesis 30:13 and Leah said, “I am very happy! Now women will call me happy,” so she named him Asher.

It wasn’t until the time of Moses that God made plain his mind concerning polygamy. In the Mosaic covenant, polygamy was accepted as normal, with laws laid out to regulate the practice. In the law, it was alright for a man to marry more than one woman, but the rights of the wives (especially the first one) were to be dutifully protected. Even if the first wife was not her husband’s favourite or was no longer loved, if she gave birth to the man’s first son, her son retained the rights of firstborn, and provisions for her upkeep must not be diminished under any circumstances. Thus, polygamy received divine acceptance and approval under the law, and any question or doubt about its legitimacy was finally put to rest among the Jews. Any man who wanted and had the means could marry as many women as he wished. However, the wives (especially the first one who was at greatest risk of neglect) must be properly taken care of, and each wife was to be treated justly and fairly. We even see some Levites (who worked as assistants to the priests and taught the people the law) having polygamous families. Elkanah, Samuel’s father, who was a Levite (1 Chronicles 6), had two wives, Hannah and Peninnah. Hannah, Samuel’s mother, was the first wife, and though barren for a long time, never lost her husband’s love, though Peninnah the second wife had children before her. Also, under the law, if a married man died without having offsprings, his brother or next of kin (even though married) was to marry his widow and raise up kids for his late brother, to preserve the dead man’s name in Israel. This law obviously promoted polygamy as a means of perpetuating a family’s lineage.

Deuteronomy 21:15 A man might have two wives, one he loves and one he doesn’t. Both wives might have sons by him. If the older son belongs to the wife he does not love,

Deuteronomy 21:16 when that man wills his property to his sons he must not give the son of the wife he loves what belongs to the older son, the son of the wife he does not love.

Deuteronomy 21:17 He must agree to give the older son two shares of everything he owns, even though the older son is from the wife he does not love. That son was the first to prove his father could have children, so he has the rights that belong to the older son.

Deuteronomy 25:5 If two brothers are living together, and one of them dies without having a son, his widow must not marry someone outside her husband’s family. Her husband’s brother must marry her, which is his duty to her as a brother-in-law.

Deuteronomy 25:6 The first son she has counts as the son of the dead brother so that his name will not be forgotten in Israel.

Deuteronomy 25:7 But if a man does not want to marry his brother’s widow, she should go to the elders at the town gate. She should say, “My brother-in-law will not carry on his brother’s name in Israel. He refuses to do his duty for me.”

Deuteronomy 25:8 Then the elders of the town must call for the man and talk to him. But if he is stubborn and says, “I don’t want to marry her,”

Deuteronomy 25:9 the woman must go up to him in front of the leaders. She must take off one of his sandals and spit in his face and say, “This is for the man who won’t continue his brother’s family!”

Deuteronomy 25:10 Then that man’s family shall be known in Israel as the Family of the Unsandaled.

Exodus 21:7 “And if a man sells his daughter to be a female slave, she shall not go out as the male slaves do.

Exodus 21:8 If she does not please her master, who has betrothed her to himself, then he shall let her be redeemed. He shall have no right to sell her to a foreign people, since he has dealt deceitfully with her.

Exodus 21:9 And if he has betrothed her to his son, he shall deal with her according to the custom of daughters.

Exodus 21:10 If he takes another wife, he shall not diminish her food, her clothing, and her marriage rights.

Exodus 21:11 And if he does not do these three for her, then she shall go out free, without paying money (NKJV).

1 Samuel 1:1 There was a man named Elkanah son of Jeroham from Ramathaim in the mountains of Ephraim. Elkanah was from the family of Zuph. (Jeroham was Elihu’s son. Elihu was Tohu’s son, and Tohu was the son of Zuph from the family group of Ephraim.)

1 Samuel 1:2 Elkanah had two wives named Hannah and Peninnah. Peninnah had children, but Hannah had none.

1 Samuel 1:3 Every year Elkanah left his town of Ramah and went up to Shiloh to worship the Lord All-Powerful and to offer sacrifices to him. Shiloh was where Hophni and Phinehas, the sons of Eli, served as priests of the Lord.

1 Samuel 1:4 When Elkanah offered sacrifices, he always gave a share of the meat to his wife Peninnah and to her sons and daughters.

1 Samuel 1:5 But Elkanah always gave a special share of the meat to Hannah, because he loved Hannah and because the Lord had kept her from having children.

1 Samuel 1:6 Peninnah would tease Hannah and upset her, because the Lord had made her unable to have children.

With divine approval given to polygamy in the Mosaic Law, it became commonplace to see men of God and prophets like David (someone affectionately described as “a man after God’s heart”) marrying several women. When David sinned by committing adultery with a married woman when he was king of Israel, God rebuked him strongly, and even told him that if he had wanted more wives, he (God) would have given him, hence God’s anger at his taking another man’s wife. Solomon, David’s son through Bathsheba (David’s tenth wife perhaps, and formerly wife of Uriah), ended up as God’s favourite for the throne of Israel (after the reign of David), as well as Christ’s progeny (Matthew 1). Solomon became the greatest polygamist ever recorded in the Scriptures (and perhaps in history too!): he had 700 wives and 300 concubines (1 Kings 11:3)! Yet, Solomon was the wisest man that lived among men in his time, having received a special gift of wisdom from God (1 Kings 4:29-34). Polygamy was obviously nothing to worry about with the patriarchs!

The Acts 13:21 Then the people asked for a king, and he gave them Saul son of Kish, of the tribe of Benjamin, who ruled forty years.

The Acts 13:22 After removing Saul, he made David their king. God testified concerning him: ’I have found David son of Jesse, a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do.’ (NIV).

2 Samuel 3:1 There was a long war between the people who supported Saul’s family and those who supported David’s family. The supporters of David’s family became stronger and stronger, but the supporters of Saul’s family became weaker and weaker.

2 Samuel 3:2 Sons were born to David at Hebron. The first was Amnon, whose mother was Ahinoam from Jezreel.

2 Samuel 3:3 The second son was Kileab, whose mother was Abigail, the widow of Nabal from Carmel. The third son was Absalom, whose mother was Maacah daughter of Talmai, the king of Geshur.

2 Samuel 3:4 The fourth son was Adonijah, whose mother was Haggith. The fifth son was Shephatiah, whose mother was Abital.

2 Samuel 3:5 The sixth son was Ithream, whose mother was Eglah, David’s wife. These sons were born to David at Hebron.

2 Samuel 5:9 David then took up residence in the fortress and called it the City of David. He built up the area around it, from the terraces inward.

2 Samuel 5:10 And he became more and more powerful, because the LORD God Almighty was with him.

2 Samuel 5:11 Now Hiram king of Tyre sent envoys to David, along with cedar logs and carpenters and stonemasons, and they built a palace for David.

2 Samuel 5:12 Then David knew that the LORD had established him as king over Israel and had exalted his kingdom for the sake of his people Israel.

2 Samuel 5:13 After he left Hebron, David took more concubines and wives in Jerusalem, and more sons and daughters were born to him.

2 Samuel 5:14 These are the names of the children born to him there: Shammua, Shobab, Nathan, Solomon,

2 Samuel 5:15 Ibhar, Elishua, Nepheg, Japhia,
2 Samuel 5:16 Elishama, Eliada and Eliphelet (NIV).

2 Samuel 12:1 The Lord sent Nathan to David. When he came to David, he said, “There were two men in a city. One was rich, but the other was poor.

2 Samuel 12:2 The rich man had many sheep and cattle.

2 Samuel 12:3 But the poor man had nothing except one little female lamb he had bought. The poor man fed the lamb, and it grew up with him and his children. It shared his food and drank from his cup and slept in his arms. The lamb was like a daughter to him.

2 Samuel 12:4 “Then a traveler stopped to visit the rich man. The rich man wanted to feed the traveler, but he didn’t want to take one of his own sheep or cattle. Instead, he took the lamb from the poor man and cooked it for his visitor.”

2 Samuel 12:5 David became very angry at the rich man. He said to Nathan, “As surely as the Lord lives, the man who did this should die!

2 Samuel 12:6 He must pay for the lamb four times for doing such a thing. He had no mercy!”

2 Samuel 12:7 Then Nathan said to David, “You are the man! This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘I appointed you king of Israel and saved you from Saul.

2 Samuel 12:8 I gave you his kingdom and his wives. And I made you king of Israel and Judah. And if that had not been enough, I would have given you even more.

2 Samuel 12:9 So why did you ignore the Lord’s command? Why did you do what he says is wrong? You killed Uriah the Hittite with the sword of the Ammonites and took his wife to be your wife!

2 Samuel 12:10 Now there will always be people in your family who will die by a sword, because you did not respect me; you took the wife of Uriah the Hittite for yourself!’

2 Samuel 12:11 “This is what the Lord says: ‘I am bringing trouble to you from your own family. While you watch, I will take your wives from you and give them to someone who is very close to you. He will have sexual relations with your wives, and everyone will know it.

2 Samuel 12:12 You had sexual relations with Bathsheba in secret, but I will do this so all the people of Israel can see it.’”

2 Samuel 12:13 Then David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.”
Nathan answered, “The Lord has taken away your sin. You will not die.

2 Samuel 12:14 But what you did caused the Lord’s enemies to lose all respect for him. For this reason the son who was born to you will die.”

2 Samuel 12:15 Then Nathan went home. And the Lord caused the son of David and Bathsheba, Uriah’s widow, to be very sick.

2 Samuel 12:16 David prayed to God for the baby. David fasted and went into his house and stayed there, lying on the ground all night.

2 Samuel 12:17 The elders of David’s family came to him and tried to pull him up from the ground, but he refused to get up or to eat food with them.

2 Samuel 12:18 On the seventh day the baby died. David’s servants were afraid to tell him that the baby was dead. They said, “Look, we tried to talk to David while the baby was alive, but he refused to listen to us. If we tell him the baby is dead, he may do something awful.”

2 Samuel 12:19 When David saw his servants whispering, he knew that the baby was dead. So he asked them, “Is the baby dead?”
They answered, “Yes, he is dead.”

2 Samuel 12:20 Then David got up from the floor, washed himself, put lotions on, and changed his clothes. Then he went into the Lord’s house to worship. After that, he went home and asked for something to eat. His servants gave him some food, and he ate.

2 Samuel 12:21 David’s servants said to him, “Why are you doing this? When the baby was still alive, you fasted and you cried. Now that the baby is dead, you get up and eat food.”

2 Samuel 12:22 David said, “While the baby was still alive, I fasted, and I cried. I thought, ‘Who knows? Maybe the Lord will feel sorry for me and let the baby live.’

2 Samuel 12:23 But now that the baby is dead, why should I fast? I can’t bring him back to life. Someday I will go to him, but he cannot come back to me.”

2 Samuel 12:24 Then David comforted Bathsheba his wife. He slept with her and had sexual relations with her. She became pregnant again and had another son, whom David named Solomon. The Lord loved Solomon.

2 Samuel 12:25 The Lord sent word through Nathan the prophet to name the baby Jedidiah, because the Lord loved the child.

The Lord Jesus Christ did not touch on the issue of polygamy when he came on the scene (there’s no record of that in the Gospels), because it was already a settled law in the Mosaic covenant, with no controversies surrounding it among the Jews, for they had accepted polygamy as divinely approved for whoever wanted to practice it. Like Jesus told us, he didn’t come to destroy the Mosaic law, but to fulfill it. Jesus was born as a Jew under the law, and lived and fulfilled the law in his lifetime. He even warned the Jews (to whom he exclusively ministered) against breaking the least precepts of the law and teaching men to do so, for such a person would be considered the least in the kingdom of heaven. Thus, in his lifetime and earthly ministry, Jesus taught and upheld the law. The law was only abolished after Christ’s death on the cross, after he had paid the ransom to deliver mankind from the curse of sin and death, and from the wrath of the law. But, while he lived, he taught and upheld the law. So, Jesus didn’t challenge polygamy as prescribed in the Mosaic law. The only issue he dealt with in relation to marriage that was recorded in the Gospels was the issue of divorce, not polygamy. When asked if a man could divorce his wife for any reason, in order to marry another woman, Jesus tried to make the people understand that God intended for marriage to be a lifelong union that should only be dissolved by the death of a partner. He was against divorce for frivolous reasons, as the Jews in his time were doing. Jesus was emphatic about the fact that except for sexual immorality, a monogamous man who divorced his wife to marry another woman was still legally bound to his first wife in the sight of God. Therefore, any new sexual relationship contracted by such a man was adulterous. But, what if a polygamous-inclined Jew, rather than divorce his wife, decided to take another woman as second wife? Would Jesus, as a Jew under the law, have considered that new marriage adulterous? Certainly not! Under the law, a Jewish man could choose to be monogamous or polygamous. If a monogamous man decided to divorce his wife for frivolous reasons (in order to marry another woman), that divorce was not acceptable before God. And because the marital bond still existed between such a mischievous man and his wife (in the sight of God), any other marriage contracted by him would be unlawful and adulterous. That’s what Jesus tried to explain to the people. The question he was asked wasn’t about the legality of polygamy among the Jews (which was a settled law) and so, his response should not be seen as a repudiation and an outlawing of polygamy among the Jews to whom he ministered.

St. Matthew 5:17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.

St. Matthew 5:18 For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.

St. Matthew 5:19 Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven (NIV).

Matthew 19:3 Some Pharisees came to Jesus and tried to trick him. They asked, “Is it right for a man to divorce his wife for any reason he chooses?”

Matthew 19:4 Jesus answered, “Surely you have read in the Scriptures: When God made the world, ‘he made them male and female.’

Matthew 19:5 And God said, ‘So a man will leave his father and mother and be united with his wife, and the two will become one body.’

Matthew 19:6 So there are not two, but one. God has joined the two together, so no one should separate them.”

Matthew 19:7 The Pharisees asked, “Why then did Moses give a command for a man to divorce his wife by giving her divorce papers?”

Matthew 19:8 Jesus answered, “Moses allowed you to divorce your wives because you refused to accept God’s teaching, but divorce was not allowed in the beginning.

Matthew 19:9 I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman is guilty of adultery. The only reason for a man to divorce his wife is if his wife has sexual relations with another man.”

Some have argued that because Jesus made reference to Adam and Eve at the beginning, therefore he was holding out monogamy as God’s ideal, since at the beginning it was one man and one woman that were involved in marriage. Such people also maintain that it’s two people that are said to become one, not three or four or more. They’re certainly right about monogamy being God’s ideal marriage scenario. However, the issue of two people becoming one in marriage is not just achieved in monogamy only. In fact, any two people who have sexual relations are said to become one. Thus, even having sex with a prostitute is becoming one body with her! The “two becoming one” is in the context of sexual union, as the apostle Paul made us to understand. Thus, a polygamous man becomes one with each of his wives in sexual union. Adam obviously had no choice than to be monogamous, because there was only one woman created for him. That, no doubt, is God’s ideal marriage relationship. However, polygamy was adopted by some men when more women became available, and God ended up accepting it as another marriage option, although it was not his ideal option. Despite polygamy not being his ideal option for man, God allowed polygamy to operate under his permissive will, and equally blessed polygamous unions involving his people.

1 Corinthians 6:15 Surely you know that your bodies are parts of Christ himself. So I must never take the parts of Christ and join them to a prostitute!

1 Corinthians 6:16 It is written in the Scriptures, “The two will become one body.” So you should know that anyone who joins with a prostitute becomes one body with the prostitute.

1 Corinthians 6:17 But the one who joins with the Lord is one spirit with the Lord.

1 Corinthians 6:18 So run away from sexual sin. Every other sin people do is outside their bodies, but those who sin sexually sin against their own bodies.

1 Corinthians 6:19 You should know that your body is a temple for the Holy Spirit who is in you. You have received the Holy Spirit from God. So you do not belong to yourselves,

1 Corinthians 6:20 because you were bought by God for a price. So honor God with your bodies.

The issue of polygamy was conspicuously missing in the apostolic writings. No apostle mentioned polygamy as a sin, even as they all outlined the new covenant and what constitutes sin for new testament believers, following the abolition of the Mosaic law. From the rule of scripture, whatever is not expressly forbidden by divine law is not sin, for sin is transgression of the law (1John 3:7). Where there is no law, there is no sin (Romans 4:5). You cannot violate a nonexistent law! The only instance polygamy was mentioned in the apostolic epistles was in relation to the appointment of elders and deacons in the church. In both his pastoral letters to Timothy and Titus, Paul insisted that only men who were husbands of one wife should be appointed to leadership positions in the church. Thus, the apostle recommended that polygamists be excluded from the positions of elders/bishops and deacons in the church. Apart from that, nothing again was mentioned by the apostles in relation to polygamy or polygamists in the church.

1 Timothy 3:1 This is a faithful saying: If a man desires the position of a bishop, he desires a good work.

1 Timothy 3:2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, temperate, sober-minded, of good behavior, hospitable, able to teach;

1 Timothy 3:3 not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money, but gentle, not quarrelsome, not covetous;

1 Timothy 3:4 one who rules his own house well, having his children in submission with all reverence

1 Timothy 3:5 (for if a man does not know how to rule his own house, how will he take care of the church of God?);

1 Timothy 3:6 not a novice, lest being puffed up with pride he fall into the same condemnation as the devil.

1 Timothy 3:7 Moreover he must have a good testimony among those who are outside, lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.

1 Timothy 3:8 Likewise deacons must be reverent, not double-tongued, not given to much wine, not greedy for money,

1 Timothy 3:9 holding the mystery of the faith with a pure conscience.

1 Timothy 3:10 But let these also first be tested; then let them serve as deacons, being found blameless.

1 Timothy 3:11 Likewise, their wives must be reverent, not slanderers, temperate, faithful in all things.

1 Timothy 3:12 Let deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well.

1 Timothy 3:13 For those who have served well as deacons obtain for themselves a good standing and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus (NKJV).

Titus 1:5 For this reason I left you in Crete, that you should set in order the things that are lacking, and appoint elders in every city as I commanded you—

Titus 1:6 if a man is blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of dissipation or insubordination.

Titus 1:7 For a bishop must be blameless, as a steward of God, not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money,

Titus 1:8 but hospitable, a lover of what is good, sober-minded, just, holy, self-controlled,

Titus 1:9 holding fast the faithful word as he has been taught, that he may be able, by sound doctrine, both to exhort and convict those who contradict (NKJV).

Paul’s reason for excluding polygamists from leadership positions in the church may have more to do with their unavailability to perform the role well, by virtue of the distractions from multiplied domestic responsibilities, than by the fact that polygamy inherently disqualifies from service because of divine displeasure towards it! Paul was already concerned that a married man would have less time for the Lord than an unmarried man, because of the demand on the married man’s time by his wife, whom he has to please. How much more then would such domestic demands be on the time of a polygamist, by virtue of his numerous wives! Thus, from Paul’s line of reasoning, a polygamist would have insufficient time for the very demanding work of ministering to the Lord and his flock. It’s understandable then that Paul would exclude such a man from overseeing the church. This exclusion would not be on the grounds that polygamy was unacceptable to God (and its practitioners therefore needed to be ostracised or shamed, by denying them honourable positions in the church); rather, it would be on the grounds of the polygamist not having the time for the job, by virtue of the cares of multiple wives! That would make sense even to the polygamist! No thorough-bred Jew like Paul, who was versed in the law, would ever disparage polygamy or view it as inherently sinful. Paul would never condemn a practice that God himself approved and legitimised in the law. No wonder he did not speak ill of polygamy anywhere in his writings, though he viewed marriage in general as a distraction from serving the Lord, and wished everyone would remain single and celibate like himself.

1 Corinthians 7:8 Now for those who are not married and for the widows I say this: It is good for them to stay unmarried as I am.

1 Corinthians 7:9 But if they cannot control themselves, they should marry. It is better to marry than to burn with sexual desire.

1 Corinthians 7:25 Now I write about people who are not married. I have no command from the Lord about this; I give my opinion. But I can be trusted, because the Lord has shown me mercy.

1 Corinthians 7:26 The present time is a time of trouble, so I think it is good for you to stay the way you are.

1 Corinthians 7:27 If you have a wife, do not try to become free from her. If you are not married, do not try to find a wife.

1 Corinthians 7:28 But if you decide to marry, you have not sinned. And if a girl who has never married decides to marry, she has not sinned. But those who marry will have trouble in this life, and I want you to be free from trouble.

1 Corinthians 7:29 Brothers and sisters, this is what I mean: We do not have much time left. So starting now, those who have wives should live as if they had no wives.

1 Corinthians 7:30 Those who are crying should live as if they were not crying. Those who are happy should live as if they were not happy. Those who buy things should live as if they own nothing.

1 Corinthians 7:31 Those who use the things of the world should live as if they were not using them, because this world in its present form will soon be gone.

1 Corinthians 7:32 I want you to be free from worry. A man who is not married is busy with the Lord’s work, trying to please the Lord.

1 Corinthians 7:33 But a man who is married is busy with things of the world, trying to please his wife.

1 Corinthians 7:34 He must think about two things—pleasing his wife and pleasing the Lord. A woman who is not married or a girl who has never married is busy with the Lord’s work. She wants to be holy in body and spirit. But a married woman is busy with things of the world, as to how she can please her husband.

1 Corinthians 7:35 I am saying this to help you, not to limit you. But I want you to live in the right way, to give yourselves fully to the Lord without concern for other things.

Should polygamists who embrace Christianity be made to put away all wives, less the first one, as some insist? Must polygamists break up their families and convert to monogamy before they’re accepted by the church? Paul does not appear to think so. The apostle was emphatic about the fact that people should continue in the marital states they were in before they came to Christ (provided those marital states did not violate any clear Scriptural injunctions). He advised those who were married before getting to know the Lord not to seek for divorce on becoming Christians, but to continue with their various spouses, even if those spouses were not Christians. That applies to polygamists too. Polygamists coming to the Lord should not seek to put away their wives, nor should they be required to do so, but should continue living together as they were before they became Christians. That makes perfect sense! Polygamy may not be God’s ideal scenario in marriage, but neither is it a sin! It wasn’t God’s original and perfect will, but God approved of it after men began practicing it, and it thus became his permissive will. If God has accepted polygamy, who are we to reject polygamists and ostracise them? May we be careful not to appear more holy and righteous than our Maker. What God has sanctified, let no man call impure!

1 Corinthians 7:10 Now I give this command for the married people. (The command is not from me; it is from the Lord.) A wife should not leave her husband.

1 Corinthians 7:11 But if she does leave, she must not marry again, or she should make up with her husband. Also the husband should not divorce his wife.

1 Corinthians 7:13 And if a Christian woman has a husband who is not a believer, and he is happy to live with her, she must not divorce him.

1 Corinthians 7:14 The husband who is not a believer is made holy through his believing wife. And the wife who is not a believer is made holy through her believing husband. If this were not true, your children would not be clean, but now your children are holy.

1 Corinthians 7:15 But if those who are not believers decide to leave, let them leave. When this happens, the Christian man or woman is free. But God called us to live in peace.

1 Corinthians 7:16 Wife, you don’t know; maybe you will save your husband. And husband, you don’t know; maybe you will save your wife.

1 Corinthians 7:17 But in any case each one of you should continue to live the way God has given you to live—the way you were when God called you. This is a rule I make in all the churches.

1 Corinthians 7:18 If a man was already circumcised when he was called, he should not undo his circumcision. If a man was without circumcision when he was called, he should not be circumcised.

1 Corinthians 7:19 It is not important if a man is circumcised or not. The important thing is obeying God’s commands.

1 Corinthians 7:20 Each one of you should stay the way you were when God called you.

1 Corinthians 7:21 If you were a slave when God called you, do not let that bother you. But if you can be free, then make good use of your freedom.

1 Corinthians 7:22 Those who were slaves when the Lord called them are free persons who belong to the Lord. In the same way, those who were free when they were called are now Christ’s slaves.

1 Corinthians 7:23 You all were bought at a great price, so do not become slaves of people.

1 Corinthians 7:24 Brothers and sisters, each of you should stay as you were when you were called, and stay there with God.

In conclusion, polygamy, the marriage of one man to multiple women at the same time, made its entry into the human race about seven generations from the first couple, Adam and Eve. That original monogamous marriage arrangement was obviously God’s ideal for humankind- one man married to one woman. However, polygamy crept into the human race very early, with notable prophets and men of God like Abraham, Jacob, David and Solomon all indulging in it. Initially, there was divine silence about polygamy, with God’s mind about the issue not clearly and definitely known. However, from the time of Moses, God spoke loud and clear, in giving approval to polygamy and in legitimising it. God even specifically encouraged polygamy in the Mosaic law, by commanding married men to marry the widows of their brothers who died without having offsprings, in order to raise up children for their late brothers and perpetuate their brothers’ lineage. When the Lord Jesus Christ came on the scene, he didn’t talk about the issue of polygamy, because it was already a settled law among the Jews, with no controversies surrounding it. Jesus lived under the Mosaic law and taught and upheld its precepts in his lifetime and earthly ministry. He even preached against violating any precepts of the law, for that would diminish a Jew’s standing in the kingdom of heaven. It was not until after Christ’s death that the Mosaic law was abolished, after Jesus had fulfilled it and paid mankind’s ransom from the power of sin and death, and from the jurisdiction of the law. So, Jesus didn’t challenge the settled law of polygamy among the Jews while he lived and ministered to them. The only area concerning marriage that Jesus dealt with was the issue of frivolous divorce by monogamous Jews, in order to marry a new woman. Jesus considered that unacceptable and adulterous. However, a polygamous-inclined Jew deciding to marry another wife in addition to the one(s) he already had couldn’t have been condemned by Jesus, for that was approved by the Mosaic law, which Jesus upheld in his lifetime. Also, it’s not only in monogamy that two people become one. That can also happen in polygamy, and in any sexual relationship for that matter, including relationships with prostitutes, for the concept of “two becoming one” refers to sexual intercourse between two people, as Paul explained. Thus, a polygamist becomes one with each of his wives when he has sexual relations with them. The apostle Paul taught that people should remain in the marital states they were in before coming to Christ (assuming those marriages did not violate any Scriptural precepts, like homosexual marriages which are forbidden in the Scriptures), and should not seek to be divorced from their spouses just because they have become Christians. That applies to polygamists too. The only restriction the apostle Paul placed on polygamists in the church was that they shouldn’t be appointed as bishops/elders and deacons in the church, probably because they wouldn’t have the time to do the job well, because of domestic distractions. Other than that, polygamists are free to participate in all church activities, as they’re approved of God. Polygamy may not be God’s ideal marriage arrangement, and it may not be God’s perfect will for man, but God did approve of polygamy and permitted it, thus legitimising it. Therefore, let no man sanctimoniously reject what God has approved and thus make himself to appear holier than his Creator and more just than his Maker. Polygamy is not a sin!

The Acts 10:15 The voice spoke to him a second time, “Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.” (NIV).

Job 4:17 ’Can a mortal be more righteous than God? Can even a strong man be more pure than his Maker? (NIV).

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An Exposition On The Book Of Life

(All Bible quotations, except otherwise stated, are from the New International Version).

The book of life is known by most Christians to contain the names of saved people. The generality of Christians actually believe that names of people are written in the book of life after they become saved. Such people believe God is currently compiling names of people as they repent and get converted. Others believe that once a name is written in the book of life it can’t be removed again. What does the Bible teach about the book of life? What does the book of life contain? When was it written or compiled? Can names be removed from the book of life? What is the fate of those whose names are not written in the book of life? These are the questions this article seeks to answer, through a careful examination of the Scriptures.

The book of life, the Lamb’s book of life, the book of the living, or simply God’s book, as it’s variously called, is a divine record of all those who at one time experienced salvation through a faith relationship with God. It’s a divine register of all righteous people of all ages. Contrary to most people’s belief, the book of life is not something that’s currently being compiled by God, as people get saved. Most denominations believe that people’s names are being written down in the book of life as they give their life to Christ. That’s not what the Bible teaches. From the Scriptures, we learn that the book of life was compiled and written before the foundation of the world. Yes, before the creation of the world! God is not currently compiling a list of those who are being saved. Because God is omniscient, he knows from the beginning all those who would be saved, even before they were born, and had their names written down in his book of the saved, even before creation. We’re told in the Scriptures that those God foreknew would be saved, them he predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son. So, by God’s foreknowledge of who would be saved, the book of life was written before the foundation of the world. God chose his people before the foundation of the world, based on his foreknowledge of those who would believe and receive his Word. Known unto God are all his works from the beginning! God foreordained each person’s destiny based on his foreknowledge of their attitude towards his Word and their relationship with him.

Philippians 4:3 And I urge you also, true companion, help these women who labored with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the Book of Life (NKJV).

Revelation 17:8 The beast, which you saw, once was, now is not, and yet will come up out of the Abyss and go to its destruction. The inhabitants of the earth whose names have not been written in the book of life from the creation of the world will be astonished when they see the beast, because it once was, now is not, and yet will come.

Exodus 32:31 So Moses went back to the LORD and said, “Oh, what a great sin these people have committed! They have made themselves gods of gold.

Exodus 32:32 But now, please forgive their sin —but if not, then blot me out of the book you have written.”

Daniel 12:1 “At that time Michael, the great prince who protects your people, will arise. There will be a time of distress such as has not happened from the beginning of nations until then. But at that time your people —everyone whose name is found written in the book —will be delivered.

Romans 8:28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

Romans 8:29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.

Romans 8:30 And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.

Ephesians 1:3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.

Ephesians 1:4 For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love

Ephesians 1:5 he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will —

Ephesians 1:6 to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.

1 Peter 1:1 Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To God’s elect, exiles scattered throughout the provinces of Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia,

1 Peter 1:2 who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to be obedient to Jesus Christ and sprinkled with his blood: Grace and peace be yours in abundance.

Romans 9:10 Not only that, but Rebekah’s children were conceived at the same time by our father Isaac.

Romans 9:11 Yet, before the twins were born or had done anything good or bad —in order that God’s purpose in election might stand:

Romans 9:12 not by works but by him who calls —she was told, “The older will serve the younger.”

Romans 9:13 Just as it is written: “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.”

Jeremiah 1:4 The word of the LORD came to me, saying,

Jeremiah 1:5 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”

Psalms 139:14 I will praise you; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are your works; and that my soul knows right well.

Psalms 139:15 My substance was not hid from you, when I was made in secret, and curiously worked in the lowest parts of the earth.

Psalms 139:16 Your eyes did see my substance, yet being imperfect; and in your book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them (AKJV).

Isaiah 46:9 Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me,

Isaiah 46:10 Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure (AKJV).

The Acts 15:18 Known to God are all his works from the beginning of the world (AKJV).

Thus, by divine foreknowledge, all those who would experience salvation were known by God before they ever came into existence, and their names were put down in the divine record of the living before a speck of dust was created. But, some people may experience salvation and walk with God for a while, and later backslide and reject the saving truth and the Lord they once embraced, to their own damnation. What happens to such people? Were their names ever in the book of life to begin with? The Scriptures actually make it clear that all those who would ever believe God and experience salvation, however briefly, had their names written in the book of life before the foundation of the world. Those who believed and later turned away from the truth and backslid, without coming back again to the faith, will have their names removed from the book of life. God is not presently inserting new names in the book of life (all names in it were written before the foundation of the world), but he is presently removing from the book of life names of believers who do not remain faithful to the end. Anyone who does not believe to the end will lose their salvation, and their names will be removed from the book of life as a result. Also, believers who deliberately and maliciously distort the word of God for personal gains (by removing from it or adding to it) will have their names removed from the book of life. Only those who believe and overcome to the end will have their names retained in the book of life.

Exodus 32:31 So Moses went back to the LORD and said, “Oh, what a great sin these people have committed! They have made themselves gods of gold.

Exodus 32:32 But now, please forgive their sin —but if not, then blot me out of the book you have written.”

Exodus 32:33 The LORD replied to Moses, “Whoever has sinned against me I will blot out of my book.

Exodus 32:34 Now go, lead the people to the place I spoke of, and my angel will go before you. However, when the time comes for me to punish, I will punish them for their sin.”

Psalms 69:21 They put gall in my food and gave me vinegar for my thirst.

Psalms 69:22 May the table set before them become a snare; may it become retribution and a trap.

Psalms 69:23 May their eyes be darkened so they cannot see, and their backs be bent forever.

Psalms 69:24 Pour out your wrath on them; let your fierce anger overtake them.

Psalms 69:25 May their place be deserted; let there be no one to dwell in their tents.

Psalms 69:26 For they persecute those you wound and talk about the pain of those you hurt.

Psalms 69:27 Charge them with crime upon crime; do not let them share in your salvation.

Psalms 69:28 May they be blotted out of the book of life and not be listed with the righteous.

Revelation 3:3 Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; hold it fast, and repent. But if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what time I will come to you.

Revelation 3:4 Yet you have a few people in Sardis who have not soiled their clothes. They will walk with me, dressed in white, for they are worthy.

Revelation 3:5 The one who is victorious will, like them, be dressed in white. I will never blot out the name of that person from the book of life, but will acknowledge that name before my Father and his angels.

Revelation 22:18 For I testify to every man that hears the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add to these things, God shall add to him the plagues that are written in this book:

Revelation 22:19 And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book (AKJV).

What are the consequences of not having one’s name in the book of life, or of having one’s name removed from the book of life? Well, the Scriptures are clear about the fact that the eternal destiny of every soul is dependent on whether or not the person’s name is in the book of life at the end of the person’s life on earth. Those whose names are in the book of life (and remain there till the end) will not stand in judgement before God for sin, having escaped death and eternal damnation by their faith in Christ and steadfast belief in him. They will go straight to paradise at death, to await the resurrection of their bodies. Those whose names are not in the book of life (or were removed from it) will freely worship the beast (after the rapture) and be eternally damned. At death, all whose names are not in the book of life will go to hell, to await the second resurrection, when they will stand in judgement before God for their sins. At the final judgement, the book of life will be opened to see if the names of those standing in judgement are in it. All whose names are not in the book of life will be cast into the lake of fire, which is the second death. Thus, the fate of all whose names are not in the book of life is eternal destruction in the lake of fire.

St. John 5:24 “Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life.

St. John 5:25 Very truly I tell you, a time is coming and has now come when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and those who hear will live.

St. John 5:26 For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself.

St. John 5:27 And he has given him authority to judge because he is the Son of Man.

St. John 5:28 “Do not be amazed at this, for a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice

St. John 5:29 and come out —those who have done what is good will rise to live, and those who have done what is evil will rise to be condemned.

St. John 3:14 Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up,

St. John 3:15 that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him.”

St. John 3:16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

St. John 3:17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.

St. John 3:18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.

Revelation 13:8 All inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast —all whose names have not been written in the Lamb’s book of life, the Lamb who was slain from the creation of the world.

Revelation 17:8 The beast, which you saw, once was, now is not, and yet will come up out of the Abyss and go to its destruction. The inhabitants of the earth whose names have not been written in the book of life from the creation of the world will be astonished when they see the beast, because it once was, now is not, and yet will come.

Revelation 20:12 And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books.

Revelation 20:13 The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what they had done.

Revelation 20:14 Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death.

Revelation 20:15 Anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire.

Revelation 21:9 Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls filled with the seven last plagues came to me and talked with me, saying, “Come, I will show you the bride, the Lamb’s wife.”

Revelation 21:10 And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God,

Revelation 21:11 having the glory of God. Her light was like a most precious stone, like a jasper stone, clear as crystal.

Revelation 21:12 Also she had a great and high wall with twelve gates, and twelve angels at the gates, and names written on them, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel:

Revelation 21:13 three gates on the east, three gates on the north, three gates on the south, and three gates on the west.

Revelation 21:14 Now the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.

Revelation 21:22 But I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple.

Revelation 21:23 The city had no need of the sun or of the moon to shine in it, for the glory of God illuminated it. The Lamb is its light.

Revelation 21:24 And the nations of those who are saved shall walk in its light, and the kings of the earth bring their glory and honor into it.

Revelation 21:25 Its gates shall not be shut at all by day (there shall be no night there).

Revelation 21:26 And they shall bring the glory and the honor of the nations into it.

Revelation 21:27 But there shall by no means enter it anything that defiles, or causes an abomination or a lie, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life (NKJV).

In conclusion, the book of life is a divine record of all those who had a faith relationship with God and thus experienced salvation at some point in their life. It is a divine register of the righteous of all ages. The book of life was written by God before the foundation of the world, based on God’s foreknowledge of those who would believe his Word and be saved, even before they were born. Thus, God is not currently writing down people’s names in his book as they repent and get converted. Even though names were written in the book of life before the foundation of the world, some people will have their names removed from the book of life in their lifetime. These are those who were once saved, but did not keep their faith in God to the end. Among believers, whoever doesn’t overcome till the end will have their names removed from he book of life. Those whose names remain in the book of life till the end will not appear before God for judgement for sins, having escaped the wrath of God, and being possessors of eternal life. These blessed souls will go to paradise at death, to await the resurrection of their bodies. Those whose names are not in the book of life will go to hell at death, and will come up in the second resurrection, to appear before God in judgement. Because their names are not in the book of life, they will be cast into the lake of fire, which is the second death. No wonder the Lord Jesus enjoined his disciples to rejoice, not because demons are subject to them, but because their names are written in heaven (in the book of life), for that is the guarantee of eternal life and eternal bliss.

St. Luke 10:17 The seventy-two returned with joy and said, “Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name.”

St. Luke 10:18 He replied, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.

St. Luke 10:19 I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you.

St. Luke 10:20 However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”

Examining The Scriptures To Understand The Purpose Of The Mosaic Law

(All Bible quotations, except otherwise stated, are from the New King James Version).

When God made the covenant of law with Israel on Mount Sinai, he didn’t intend for it to be everlasting. This is because the covenant of grace which God made with Abraham some four centuries before was an everlasting covenant that could not be annulled. The Mosaic covenant, which temporarily suspended the covenant of grace God made previously with Abraham, was intended to be only a stopgap measure. The law was to be a regulator of God’s people until such a time when the Seed of Abraham (Jesus Christ) would come to effect the Abrahamic covenant. But the law had its purpose, which it fulfilled during the time that it was in force. What was the purpose of the law? Why was the law given in the first place? Understanding the purpose of the law is extremely important for God’s people, so that we don’t go back to keeping a law that has served its purpose and is no longer relevant! This article intends to deal with the purpose of the Mosaic law and why it had to be abolished after serving its purpose.

The Mosaic covenant of law that God made with Israel on Mount Sinai temporarily suspended the covenant of faith and grace God had earlier made with Abraham, the father of many nations. The covenant of law did not abolish or annul the covenant of grace, but was to serve certain purposes, until the coming of Christ, who was the promised Seed of Abraham that was to fulfil the Abrahamic covenant. One of the purposes of the law was to make sin exceedingly sinful. Sin was already in the world before the law, but sin is not counted when there is no law, as sin is transgression of the law. If there is no law to transgress, then there is no sin. Although God was not pleased with the practices of mankind before the law, he couldn’t input sin upon humanity in the absence of the law. The law thus served to bring out the sinfulness of mankind’s practices, and to make the wrath of God justified and manifest to all, with respect to sin. It was through the law that we had knowledge of sin and became aware of our sinful nature, though humanity had been living in sin before the law came. The law thus came to convict us of sin and shut all mouths before God, as it proved that all have sinned and fallen short of God’s glory.

Galatians 3:15 Brethren, I speak in the manner of men: Though it is only a man’s covenant, yet if it is confirmed, no one annuls or adds to it.

Galatians 3:16 Now to Abraham and his Seed were the promises made. He does not say, “And to seeds,” as of many, but as of one, “And to your Seed,” who is Christ.

Galatians 3:17 And this I say, that the law, which was four hundred and thirty years later, cannot annul the covenant that was confirmed before by God in Christ, that it should make the promise of no effect.

Galatians 3:18 For if the inheritance is of the law, it is no longer of promise; but God gave it to Abraham by promise.

Romans 5:12 Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned—

Romans 5:13 (For until the law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law.

Romans 5:14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those who had not sinned according to the likeness of the transgression of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come.

Romans 5:20 Moreover the law entered that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more,

Romans 5:21 so that as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Romans 7:7 What shall we say then? Is the law sin? Certainly not! On the contrary, I would not have known sin except through the law. For I would not have known covetousness unless the law had said, “You shall not covet.”

Romans 7:8 But sin, taking opportunity by the commandment, produced in me all manner of evil desire. For apart from the law sin was dead.

Romans 7:9 I was alive once without the law, but when the commandment came, sin revived and I died.

Romans 7:10 And the commandment, which was to bring life, I found to bring death.

Romans 7:11 For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it killed me.

Romans 7:12 Therefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy and just and good.

Romans 7:13 Has then what is good become death to me? Certainly not! But sin, that it might appear sin, was producing death in me through what is good, so that sin through the commandment might become exceedingly sinful.

Romans 7:14 For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am carnal, sold under sin.

Romans 7:15 For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do.

Romans 7:16 If, then, I do what I will not to do, I agree with the law that it is good.

Romans 7:17 But now, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me.

Romans 7:18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find.

Romans 7:19 For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice.

Romans 7:20 Now if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me.

Romans 7:21 I find then a law, that evil is present with me, the one who wills to do good.

Romans 7:22 For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man.

Romans 7:23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.

Romans 3:19 Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.

Romans 3:20 Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin.

1 John 3:4 Whoever commits sin transgresses also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law (AKJV).

Romans 4:14 For if those who are of the law are heirs, faith is made void and the promise made of no effect,

Romans 4:15 because the law brings about wrath; for where there is no law there is no transgression.

Secondly, the law was to act as our tutor to bring us to Christ. It was to perform this function the same way guardians and stewards train underage children to bring them to maturity. Guardians and stewards are only appointed for underage children, to help train them to become responsible adults and worthy sons and daughters. During this period of tutelage, the children are subject to servants, who instruct and discipline them. The guardians and stewards, who would themselves be subject to the children when they come to maturity and begin to rule over the house, have the power to chastise and discipline erring underage children, according to the authority given to them by the parents. This power to train, teach and discipline children continues until the children come of age. Then the guardians and stewards cease to have authority over the children, and become subject to them, having served their purpose. The same way, when God’s people were still spiritually immature, the law was appointed to train them in righteousness, and to prepare them for sonship and dominion. Having attained spiritual maturity with the coming of Christ, God’s people are no longer under the tutelage of the law. We’re no longer subject to the law. To continue to subject ourselves to the law even after the grace of God has appeared in Christ Jesus is to refuse to accept our dominion and sonship. It’s tantamount to choosing to remain servants rather than becoming sons and heirs. That’s choosing slavery over liberty and beggarliness over dominion and authority. It simply means we choose to be servants in the house of our Father! How pathetic!

Galatians 3:19 What purpose then does the law serve? It was added because of transgressions, till the Seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was appointed through angels by the hand of a mediator.

Galatians 3:20 Now a mediator does not mediate for one only, but God is one.

Galatians 3:21 Is the law then against the promises of God? Certainly not! For if there had been a law given which could have given life, truly righteousness would have been by the law.

Galatians 3:22 But the Scripture has confined all under sin, that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe.

Galatians 3:23 But before faith came, we were kept under guard by the law, kept for the faith which would afterward be revealed.

Galatians 3:24 Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith.

Galatians 3:25 But after faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor.

Galatians 4:1 Now I say that the heir, as long as he is a child, does not differ at all from a slave, though he is master of all,

Galatians 4:2 but is under guardians and stewards until the time appointed by the father.

Galatians 4:3 Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world.

Galatians 4:4 But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law,

Galatians 4:5 to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.

Galatians 4:6 And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!”

Galatians 4:7 Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.

Thirdly, the law was to foreshadow the covenant of grace that was to be made manifest later by Christ. It was meant to be a type and shadow of the heavenly blessings, and to give mankind some glimpses of the good things God has in store for his people. Being a shadow and a type, the law could only partially and dimly reflect the anticipated glory of the grace which it foreshadowed. Because it was only a shadow and not an exact image nor the very substance of the heavenly things themselves, the law could not perfect God’s people, nor could it sanctify them completely and make them righteous. Only the substance and the antetype of what the law foreshadowed (Christ) could bring about perfection and complete sanctification of God’s people, because he offered his sinless blood to completely redeem his people, unlike the law that relied only on the blood of sacrificial animals that could only sanctify to the purifying of the flesh. Now that the substance has come, we should not subject ourselves any longer to the beggarly elements of the law! The law has served its typological purpose and is no longer needed, now that the antetype and substance has appeared.

Hebrews 10:1 For the law, having a shadow of the good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with these same sacrifices, which they offer continually year by year, make those who approach perfect.

Hebrews 10:2 For then would they not have ceased to be offered? For the worshipers, once purified, would have had no more consciousness of sins.

Hebrews 10:3 But in those sacrifices there is a reminder of sins every year.

Hebrews 10:4 For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins.

Hebrews 10:5 Therefore, when He came into the world, He said:
“Sacrifice and offering You did not desire,
But a body You have prepared for Me.

Hebrews 10:6 In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin
You had no pleasure.

Hebrews 10:7 Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come—
In the volume of the book it is written of Me—
To do Your will, O God.’”

Hebrews 10:8 Previously saying, “Sacrifice and offering, burnt offerings, and offerings for sin You did not desire, nor had pleasure in them” (which are offered according to the law),

Hebrews 10:9 then He said, “Behold, I have come to do Your will, O God.” He takes away the first that He may establish the second.

Hebrews 10:10 By that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

Hebrews 10:11 And every priest stands ministering daily and offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins.

Hebrews 10:12 But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God,

Hebrews 10:13 from that time waiting till His enemies are made His footstool.

Hebrews 10:14 For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified.

Hebrews 10:15 But the Holy Spirit also witnesses to us; for after He had said before,

Hebrews 10:16 “This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws into their hearts, and in their minds I will write them,”

Hebrews 10:17 then He adds, “Their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.”

Hebrews 10:18 Now where there is remission of these, there is no longer an offering for sin.

Colossians 2:6 As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him,

Colossians 2:7 rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving.

Colossians 2:8 Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ.

Colossians 2:9 For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily;

Colossians 2:10 and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power.

Colossians 2:11 In Him you were also circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the sins of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ,

Colossians 2:12 buried with Him in baptism, in which you also were raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead.

Colossians 2:13 And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses,

Colossians 2:14 having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.

Colossians 2:15 Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it.

Colossians 2:16 So let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or sabbaths,

Colossians 2:17 which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ.

Colossians 2:18 Let no one cheat you of your reward, taking delight in false humility and worship of angels, intruding into those things which he has not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind,

Colossians 2:19 and not holding fast to the Head, from whom all the body, nourished and knit together by joints and ligaments, grows with the increase that is from God.

Colossians 2:20 Therefore, if you died with Christ from the basic principles of the world, why, as though living in the world, do you subject yourselves to regulations—

Colossians 2:21 “Do not touch, do not taste, do not handle,”

Colossians 2:22 which all concern things which perish with the using—according to the commandments and doctrines of men?

Colossians 2:23 These things indeed have an appearance of wisdom in self-imposed religion, false humility, and neglect of the body, but are of no value against the indulgence of the flesh.

Galatians 4:8 But then, indeed, when you did not know God, you served those which by nature are not gods.

Galatians 4:9 But now after you have known God, or rather are known by God, how is it that you turn again to the weak and beggarly elements, to which you desire again to be in bondage?

Galatians 4:10 You observe days and months and seasons and years.

Galatians 4:11 I am afraid for you, lest I have labored for you in vain.

Finally, the law is for the lawless and sinners, to convict them of sins. The purpose of the law is to bring men’s sins to light, and show us how God abhors and detests sin. The law is used to convict sinners, and show them their guilt before God. When sinners come to the knowledge of their sins through the knowledge of the law, their guilt is made manifest to them, and all mouths are therefore shut before God. With the law as a reminder of our sinfulness, no man can boast of righteousness before God, for all have sinned and fallen short of God’s glory. By making us feel our guilt and see our unworthiness, the law makes us appreciate the grace of God that came through Jesus Christ. Though we deserve to die by our guilty plea under the judgement of the law, the grace of God in Christ Jesus has provided us with a way of escape. Christ took our guilty position on the cross at Calvary, so that we could live instead of dying the death we deserve for our sins. Christ died for our sins, so that we would escape the second death in the lake of fire! What love! What grace! And what a great exchange that took place at Calvary, that condemned sinners and enemies of God would be spared of the death that they deserve, because a sinless substitute accepted to die in their place! We escaped the wrath of the law only because its full weight fell upon the only begotten son of God instead! Hallelujah to the Lamb of God, who took upon himself the sins of sinful mankind and redeemed them thereby!

1 Timothy 1:3 As I urged you when I went into Macedonia—remain in Ephesus that you may charge some that they teach no other doctrine,

1 Timothy 1:4 nor give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which cause disputes rather than godly edification which is in faith.

1 Timothy 1:5 Now the purpose of the commandment is love from a pure heart, from a good conscience, and from sincere faith,

1 Timothy 1:6 from which some, having strayed, have turned aside to idle talk,

1 Timothy 1:7 desiring to be teachers of the law, understanding neither what they say nor the things which they affirm.

1 Timothy 1:8 But we know that the law is good if one uses it lawfully,

1 Timothy 1:9 knowing this: that the law is not made for a righteous person, but for the lawless and insubordinate, for the ungodly and for sinners, for the unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers,

1 Timothy 1:10 for fornicators, for sodomites, for kidnappers, for liars, for perjurers, and if there is any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine,

1 Timothy 1:11 according to the glorious gospel of the blessed God which was committed to my trust.

Romans 3:9 What then? Are we better than they? Not at all. For we have previously charged both Jews and Greeks that they are all under sin.

Romans 3:10 As it is written:
“There is none righteous, no, not one;

Romans 3:11 There is none who understands;
There is none who seeks after God.

Romans 3:12 They have all turned aside;
They have together become unprofitable;
There is none who does good, no, not one.”

Romans 3:13 “Their throat is an open tomb;
With their tongues they have practiced deceit”;
“The poison of asps is under their lips”;

Romans 3:14 “Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness.”

Romans 3:15 “Their feet are swift to shed blood;

Romans 3:16 Destruction and misery are in their ways;

Romans 3:17 And the way of peace they have not known.”

Romans 3:18 “There is no fear of God before their eyes.”

Romans 3:19 Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.

Romans 3:20 Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin.

Romans 3:21 But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets,

Romans 3:22 even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference;

Romans 3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

Romans 3:24 being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,

Romans 3:25 whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed,

Romans 3:26 to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.

In conclusion, the law was introduced about 430 years after God had made a covenant of faith with Abraham, by which all mankind was to be blessed through the Seed of Abraham (Jesus Christ). The introduction of the law was not to annul God’s covenant with Abraham, but was to serve as a regulator of God’s people until the appearance of Abraham’s promised Seed. During this interim period, the law was to fulfil certain purposes, which included making men aware of sin, convicting men of sin, acting as guardian to God’s people until the coming of the promised Seed of Abraham, and foreshadowing and typing God’s blessings and heavenly realities. Now that the promised Seed of Abraham (Jesus Christ) has come, the law is no longer needed, having fulfilled its purpose. The substance of God’s blessings having appeared to mankind, we don’t need the shadow of the law anymore. Having come to spiritual maturity through the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, we do not need the guardianship of the law anymore. The promised seed of Abraham has appeared to fulfil the Abrahamic covenant of grace and extend God’s blessings to all mankind. He has delivered us from the bondage of the law and has translated us into the glorious liberty of the sons of God. May we then stand fast in the liberty by which Christ has set us free and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage of the law. To go back to observing any part of the law is to fall from grace, as that makes us a debtor to the whole law.

Galatians 5:1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.

Galatians 5:2 Indeed I, Paul, say to you that if you become circumcised, Christ will profit you nothing.

Galatians 5:3 And I testify again to every man who becomes circumcised that he is a debtor to keep the whole law.

Galatians 5:4 You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace.

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The Letter Kills, But The Spirit Gives Life: The Contrast Between The Old And The New Covenant

(All Bible quotations, except otherwise stated, are from the New King James Version).

2 Corinthians 3:5 Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God,

2 Corinthians 3:6 who also made us sufficient as ministers of the new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.

Oftentimes, we hear Christians quoting the phrase “the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life” (as recorded in Paul’s letter to the Corinthians) to prove the point that the written word, without the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, kills spiritually, instead of edifying. In as much as the inspiration of the Holy Spirit quickens and refreshes, that phrase does not refer to the fact that the written word devoid of revelation brings death! Far from it, Paul, in his second letter to the Corinthians, was not comparing the written word with the revealed word. What Paul was highlighting here instead was the difference between the law and grace. Paul used the word ‘letter‘ as an Hebriasm for the Law of Moses, while he used the ‘Spirit‘ to refer to the ministry of grace in Christ Jesus. Thus, Paul was contrasting the law with grace, and the ministry of Moses with the ministry of Jesus Christ! The Apostle to the Gentiles was drawing a contrast between the old covenant and the new covenant here. This point is too easily missed by a lot of Christians, and we will do well to read the entirety of the third chapter of 2 Corinthians to understand the true meaning of the phrase: “the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life”.

2 Corinthians 3:1 Do we begin again to commend ourselves? Or do we need, as some others, epistles of commendation to you or letters of commendation from you?

2 Corinthians 3:2 You are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read by all men;

2 Corinthians 3:3 clearly you are an epistle of Christ, ministered by us, written not with ink but by the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of flesh, that is, of the heart.

2 Corinthians 3:4 And we have such trust through Christ toward God.

2 Corinthians 3:5 Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God,

2 Corinthians 3:6 who also made us sufficient as ministers of the new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.

Romans 7:5 For when we were in the flesh, the sinful passions which were aroused by the law were at work in our members to bear fruit to death.

Romans 7:6 But now we have been delivered from the law, having died to what we were held by, so that we should serve in the newness of the Spirit and not in the oldness of the letter.

In his comparison of the ministry of the law with the ministry of grace, Paul described the Mosaic law as letters written upon tablets of stone, while the believer in Christ is a living epistle, with God’s word written in his heart by the Holy Spirit. That’s a direct contrast between the old and the new covenant. The reason the old covenant wasn’t effective was that the law was written on tablets of stone and not in the hearts of the people. In contrast, in the new covenant, the Holy Spirit engraves his words in the hearts of believers, making it unnecessary for each to teach his neighbour to know God, for all with his Spirit in their hearts (sons and daughters of God) know him, from the least to the greatest. No one needs to teach his neighbour to fear God in the new covenant, for the Spirit within each teaches us the fear of God from within.

Hebrews 8:7 For if that first covenant had been faultless, then no place would have been sought for a second.

Hebrews 8:8 Because finding fault with them, He says: “Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah—

Hebrews 8:9 not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they did not continue in My covenant, and I disregarded them, says the Lord.

Hebrews 8:10 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws in their mind and write them on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.

Hebrews 8:11 None of them shall teach his neighbor, and none his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them.

Hebrews 8:12 For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.”

Hebrews 8:13 In that He says, “A new covenant,” He has made the first obsolete. Now what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.

The ‘letter kills’ simply means the law of Moses kills! The law was not designed to provide eternal life for people because the law doesn’t contain life in itself! The law only brings wrath, not life. By the knowledge of the law is sin and death, not life. The law does not make righteous, but only makes us realise how unrighteous we are. It makes us aware of sin and makes sin exceedingly sinful. The law is for the unrighteous and sinners, to convict and imprison them for their sins. The law came through Moses to condemn all mankind and shut all mouths before God, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ, to set men free from the bondage and wrath of the law. Death came through the law, for the law revives sinfulness in people and kills them with their knowledge of sin. The law makes us wretched with our knowledge of sin. Truly, the letter (the law) kills!

Romans 4:13 For the promise that he would be the heir of the world was not to Abraham or to his seed through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.

Romans 4:14 For if those who are of the law are heirs, faith is made void and the promise made of no effect,

Romans 4:15 because the law brings about wrath; for where there is no law there is no transgression.

Romans 3:19 Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.

Romans 3:20 Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin.

Romans 7:7 What shall we say then? Is the law sin? Certainly not! On the contrary, I would not have known sin except through the law. For I would not have known covetousness unless the law had said, “You shall not covet.”

Romans 7:8 But sin, taking opportunity by the commandment, produced in me all manner of evil desire. For apart from the law sin was dead.

Romans 7:9 I was alive once without the law, but when the commandment came, sin revived and I died.

Romans 7:10 And the commandment, which was to bring life, I found to bring death.

Romans 7:11 For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it killed me.

Romans 7:12 Therefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy and just and good.

Romans 7:13 Has then what is good become death to me? Certainly not! But sin, that it might appear sin, was producing death in me through what is good, so that sin through the commandment might become exceedingly sinful.

Romans 7:14 For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am carnal, sold under sin.

Romans 7:15 For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do.

Romans 7:16 If, then, I do what I will not to do, I agree with the law that it is good.

Romans 7:17 But now, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me.

Romans 7:18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find.

Romans 7:19 For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice.

Romans 7:20 Now if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me.

Romans 7:21 I find then a law, that evil is present with me, the one who wills to do good.

Romans 7:22 For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man.

Romans 7:23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.

Romans 7:24 O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?

Romans 7:25 I thank God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!
So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin.

Galatians 2:21 I do not set aside the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died in vain.”

1 Timothy 1:8 But we know that the law is good if one uses it lawfully,

1 Timothy 1:9 knowing this: that the law is not made for a righteous person, but for the lawless and insubordinate, for the ungodly and for sinners, for the unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers,

1 Timothy 1:10 for fornicators, for sodomites, for kidnappers, for liars, for perjurers, and if there is any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine,

1 Timothy 1:11 according to the glorious gospel of the blessed God which was committed to my trust.

Galatians 3:19 What purpose then does the law serve? It was added because of transgressions, till the Seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was appointed through angels by the hand of a mediator.

Galatians 3:20 Now a mediator does not mediate for one only, but God is one.

Galatians 3:21 Is the law then against the promises of God? Certainly not! For if there had been a law given which could have given life, truly righteousness would have been by the law.

Galatians 3:22 But the Scripture has confined all under sin, that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe.

Galatians 3:23 But before faith came, we were kept under guard by the law, kept for the faith which would afterward be revealed.

Galatians 3:24 Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith.

Galatians 3:25 But after faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor.

John 1:17 For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.

But even the law (the letter) that kills had some glory in it, as reflected by the shining glow on Moses’s face, who represents the law. However, the glory of the law had to be veiled, because it was a fading glory, one that was passing away and wasn’t meant to be permanent. Moses covered his face when he came down from the mountain with the shining glory on his face because he didn’t want the people to behold the blinding glory of the law that could not transform the people, but only kill them. That transient, fading glory represents the transient nature of the law. The law was only intended to be a stopgap measure in the first place. It was to be operational only until the coming of the grace of God in Christ Jesus. Now that grace has come, the law is to be done away with. Now that the Spirit has come, the letter (the law) is to be discarded. As long as people remain under the law, the veil on Moses’s face remains in their hearts, to prevent them from accessing life. The veil of the law (the letter) is taken away when people turn to Christ for salvation. In Christ Jesus, there is liberty which was lacking in the law. In Christ Jesus, with an unveiled face, we behold the true and unfading glory of God, and are transformed from glory unto glory, by the Spirit of the Lord! Hallelujah!

2 Corinthians 3:7 But if the ministry of death, written and engraved on stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not look steadily at the face of Moses because of the glory of his countenance, which glory was passing away,

2 Corinthians 3:8 how will the ministry of the Spirit not be more glorious?

2 Corinthians 3:9 For if the ministry of condemnation had glory, the ministry of righteousness exceeds much more in glory.

2 Corinthians 3:10 For even what was made glorious had no glory in this respect, because of the glory that excels.

2 Corinthians 3:11 For if what is passing away was glorious, what remains is much more glorious.

2 Corinthians 3:12 Therefore, since we have such hope, we use great boldness of speech—

2 Corinthians 3:13 unlike Moses, who put a veil over his face so that the children of Israel could not look steadily at the end of what was passing away.

2 Corinthians 3:14 But their minds were blinded. For until this day the same veil remains unlifted in the reading of the Old Testament, because the veil is taken away in Christ.

2 Corinthians 3:15 But even to this day, when Moses is read, a veil lies on their heart.

2 Corinthians 3:16 Nevertheless when one turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away.

2 Corinthians 3:17 Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.

2 Corinthians 3:18 But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.

In conclusion, “the letter kills” refers to the deadly nature of the Mosaic law, while “the Spirit gives life” refers to the life-giving nature of the gospel of grace. Paul used the above expression to highlight the contrast between the law and grace, showing why we must not go back to the bondage of the law, now that the grace of God has appeared in Christ Jesus. To seek to be justified or made righteous by the keeping of the law is to seek death over life and bondage over liberty. The law blinds and covers men’s hearts with a veil, preventing them from beholding the glory of God. That blinding veil over the heart is removed when one comes to Christ Jesus, where the believer receives grace to grow from glory to glory, even as we behold the glory of the Lord. Let us then flee from the death of the law (the letter), and embrace the life of the Spirit!

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How Do We Determine The Parts Of The Old Testament That Are Still Relevant And To Be Observed? Rightly Dividing The Word Of Truth!

(All Bible quotations, except otherwise stated, are from the New King James Version).

The Bible contains two divisions basically- the old and the new testaments. The old testament contains the history of creation, the fall of mankind, the destruction of the antediluvian world, mankind’s second beginning with Noah, the call of Abraham and God’s covenant and dealings with Israel, Jehovah’s chosen nation. The old testament ends with the first advent of Christ, with his death and resurrection establishing a new covenant with mankind that was sealed with his blood which was shed at Calvary. Some portion of the old covenant with Israel made their way into the new covenant, while the rest of the Mosaic covenant was repudiated by Christ’s death. How do we determine the portions of the old covenant that are contained in the new, and that are still relevant for observance? How do we know the portions of the Mosaic covenant that are still in force? This article seeks to answer these questions through a careful examination of the scriptures.

A covenant is an agreement sworn on oath between two parties for mutual benefits, and is usually ratified by the shedding of blood. A biblical covenant is a relational agreement between God and men, whereby God agrees to be the God, defender and benefactor of a group of people who willingly submit to his government and rule, and agree to worship and serve him only. The terms of a covenant are usually well spelt out by God, with penalties for violations made very clear, as well as the conditions for blessings. God has made several covenants with mankind, either as a group or individually. In the old testament, God made covenants with mankind through Adam and Noah, then another covenant with Abraham and his descendants, and finally, the Mosaic covenant with the nation of Israel (Abraham’s descendants) on Mount Sinai. It’s that covenant with Israel on Mount Sinai that’s called the old covenant or old testament. It’s that covenant with Israel that was abolished by the death of Christ on Calvary, with a new covenant instituted in its place. In the new covenant that God made with mankind on Calvary (the terms and conditions of which are to be found in the Acts of the Apostles and the Apostolic epistles), certain aspects of the old covenant were absorbed into the new one. It’s like a man revising his will or testament, or a country amending its constitution or adopting a new one. Some portions of the old will or the old constitution will of necessity find their way into the new document. How do we know which parts of the old will/testament or old constitution that made it into the new one? The answer is simple- we must look at the new document to know which parts of the old document were adopted into the new. Even if we discover similarities between the two documents, in law, we must quote the new document, not the old one, for the old document has no validity in law.

Hebrews 8:6 But now He has obtained a more excellent ministry, inasmuch as He is also Mediator of a better covenant, which was established on better promises.

Hebrews 8:7 For if that first covenant had been faultless, then no place would have been sought for a second.

Hebrews 8:8 Because finding fault with them, He says: “Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah—

Hebrews 8:9 not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they did not continue in My covenant, and I disregarded them, says the Lord.

Hebrews 8:10 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws in their mind and write them on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.

Hebrews 8:11 None of them shall teach his neighbor, and none his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them.

Hebrews 8:12 For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.”

Hebrews 8:13 In that He says, “A new covenant,” He has made the first obsolete. Now what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.

Galatians 4:21 Tell me, you who desire to be under the law, do you not hear the law?

Galatians 4:22 For it is written that Abraham had two sons: the one by a bondwoman, the other by a freewoman.

Galatians 4:23 But he who was of the bondwoman was born according to the flesh, and he of the freewoman through promise,

Galatians 4:24 which things are symbolic. For these are the two covenants: the one from Mount Sinai which gives birth to bondage, which is Hagar—

Galatians 4:25 for this Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia, and corresponds to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children—

Galatians 4:26 but the Jerusalem above is free, which is the mother of us all.

Galatians 4:27 For it is written:
“Rejoice, O barren,
You who do not bear!
Break forth and shout,
You who are not in labor!
For the desolate has many more children
Than she who has a husband.”

Galatians 4:28 Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are children of promise.

Galatians 4:29 But, as he who was born according to the flesh then persecuted him who was born according to the Spirit, even so it is now.

Galatians 4:30 Nevertheless what does the Scripture say? “Cast out the bondwoman and her son, for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman.”

Galatians 4:31 So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman but of the free.

Despite these glaring facts about the obsolete nature of the old testament, some Christians still run to it to make doctrines for God’s people, or to judge other Christians’ conduct and lifestyle, using it as a yardstick for righteousness. We see Christians hastily flipping to the old testament to prove why we must still pay tithes and first-fruits offerings, or why women should not wear garments that pertain to men (or vice versa). Such people willingly place themselves back under the bondage of the expired and now abolished old testament, in their misguided zeal for God and righteousness. Let it be stated here clearly and unambiguously: the old testament is old, obsolete, expired and has been abolished! Christians are no longer under its jurisdiction. The old testament is no longer binding on Christians! We have been delivered from the curse and bondage of the old covenant! Therefore, no Christian should be judged by the terms and conditions of the old testament. Just as no judge will refer to an old version of a country’s constitution to pass judgement in a case, and no lawyer will refer to an older version of a will to administer a dead man’s estate, no one under the new testament should refer to the terms and conditions of the old testament for conduct, order and doctrine! The old testament is no longer legally binding on God’s people, simply because it’s been abolished! Christians are dead to the Mosaic Law and are not under it or subject to it!

Romans 7:1 Or do you not know, brethren (for I speak to those who know the law), that the law has dominion over a man as long as he lives?

Romans 7:2 For the woman who has a husband is bound by the law to her husband as long as he lives. But if the husband dies, she is released from the law of her husband.

Romans 7:3 So then if, while her husband lives, she marries another man, she will be called an adulteress; but if her husband dies, she is free from that law, so that she is no adulteress, though she has married another man.

Romans 7:4 Therefore, my brethren, you also have become dead to the law through the body of Christ, that you may be married to another—to Him who was raised from the dead, that we should bear fruit to God.

Romans 7:5 For when we were in the flesh, the sinful passions which were aroused by the law were at work in our members to bear fruit to death.

Romans 7:6 But now we have been delivered from the law, having died to what we were held by, so that we should serve in the newness of the Spirit and not in the oldness of the letter.

Galatians 5:1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.

Galatians 5:2 Indeed I, Paul, say to you that if you become circumcised, Christ will profit you nothing.

Galatians 5:3 And I testify again to every man who becomes circumcised that he is a debtor to keep the whole law.

Galatians 5:4 You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace.

Galatians 5:5 For we through the Spirit eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness by faith.

Galatians 5:6 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but faith working through love.

Galatians 5:7 You ran well. Who hindered you from obeying the truth?

Galatians 5:8 This persuasion does not come from Him who calls you.

Galatians 5:9 A little leaven leavens the whole lump.

Galatians 5:10 I have confidence in you, in the Lord, that you will have no other mind; but he who troubles you shall bear his judgment, whoever he is.

Galatians 5:11 And I, brethren, if I still preach circumcision, why do I still suffer persecution? Then the offense of the cross has ceased.

Galatians 5:12 I could wish that those who trouble you would even cut themselves off!

Galatians 5:13 For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.

Galatians 5:14 For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

Galatians 5:15 But if you bite and devour one another, beware lest you be consumed by one another!

Galatians 5:16 I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.

Galatians 5:17 For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish.

Galatians 5:18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.

Galatians 3:10 For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse; for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who does not continue in all things which are written in the book of the law, to do them.”

Galatians 3:11 But that no one is justified by the law in the sight of God is evident, for “the just shall live by faith.”

Galatians 3:12 Yet the law is not of faith, but “the man who does them shall live by them.”

Galatians 3:13 Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”),

Galatians 3:14 that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.

Galatians 3:24 Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith.

Galatians 3:25 But after faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor.

Galatians 3:26 For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.

Thus, to judge a Christian, or to make rules to guide Christian conduct, or to find out God’s mind concerning anything now, we must go to the new testament, not the old one. We must look at the writings of the original Apostles of the Lord, who are the foundation of the Christian faith. Judaism and Christianity share some things in common (including a common God and a common Saviour/Messiah), but the foundation of Christianity is not Moses and his laws, but Christ’s Apostles and their teachings, with Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone. The original Apostles received direct revelations from the Lord to write the new testament. The Lord specially taught them the terms and conditions of the new testament which they wrote down for all to take heed and observe strictly, without additions or subtractions. Some things were carried over into the new testament from the old. There’s no doubt about that. However, whatever was carried over must be demonstrated in the new. Anything in the old testament we do not find in the new testament simply did not make it into the new testament. It means such a thing is no longer relevant or binding on God’s people! Whatever is not included in the new testament is something not to be worried about! It’s not important anymore! Thus, we’re not at liberty to pick and choose portions of the old testament we want to keep or not keep. We’re not at liberty to adopt and observe some portions of the old testament and jettison other parts as we wish. It’s only the parts of the old testament the original Apostles of the Lord included in their writings that are the portions of the old testament still to be observed. Those portions of the old testament not included in the Apostolic epistles are to be disregarded, as they no longer constitute law for God’s people. Doing anything that’s not expressly forbidden in the new testament is not a sin, for sin is a transgression of an extant biblical law. Once no new testament injunction is violated, no sin has been committed, even if such an injunction was contained in the old testament. That’s the point we must be clear about as Christians: violating any portion of the old covenant not contained in the new covenant is not a sin for a Christian, for sin now is a transgression of the terms of the new covenant, not those of the old and expired one.

Matthew 28:16 Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, to the mountain which Jesus had appointed for them.

Matthew 28:17 When they saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some doubted.

Matthew 28:18 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.

Matthew 28:19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,

Matthew 28:20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.

The Acts 1:1 The former account I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach,

The Acts 1:2 until the day in which He was taken up, after He through the Holy Spirit had given commandments to the apostles whom He had chosen,

The Acts 1:3 to whom He also presented Himself alive after His suffering by many infallible proofs, being seen by them during forty days and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God.

Ephesians 2:19 Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God,

Ephesians 2:20 having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone,

Ephesians 2:21 in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord,

Ephesians 2:22 in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.

Ephesians 3:1 For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for you Gentiles—

Ephesians 3:2 if indeed you have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which was given to me for you,

Ephesians 3:3 how that by revelation He made known to me the mystery (as I have briefly written already,

Ephesians 3:4 by which, when you read, you may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ),

Ephesians 3:5 which in other ages was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to His holy apostles and prophets:

Ephesians 3:6 that the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, of the same body, and partakers of His promise in Christ through the gospel,

Ephesians 3:7 of which I became a minister according to the gift of the grace of God given to me by the effective working of His power.

Ephesians 3:8 To me, who am less than the least of all the saints, this grace was given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ,

Ephesians 3:9 and to make all see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the ages has been hidden in God who created all things through Jesus Christ;

Ephesians 3:10 to the intent that now the manifold wisdom of God might be made known by the church to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places,

Ephesians 3:11 according to the eternal purpose which He accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord,

Ephesians 3:12 in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through faith in Him.

Galatians 1:6 I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel,

Galatians 1:7 which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ.

Galatians 1:8 But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed.

Galatians 1:9 As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed.

Galatians 1:10 For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ.

Galatians 1:11 But I make known to you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man.

Galatians 1:12 For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but it came through the revelation of Jesus Christ.

1 Corinthians 3:10 According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation, and another builds on it. But let each one take heed how he builds on it.

1 Corinthians 3:11 For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.

1 John 3:4 Whoever commits sin transgresses also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law (AKJV).

Romans 4:15 because the law brings about wrath; for where there is no law there is no transgression.

Romans 5:13 (For until the law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law.

In conclusion, the old covenant God made with the nation of Israel on Mount Sinai was abolished after the death of Christ. God thereafter made a new covenant with mankind at Calvary, to correct the deficiencies of the old covenant. Believers in Christ are thus no longer under the old covenant which is now obsolete and has been abolished. Though the old covenant has been abolished, some parts of it made their way into the new covenant. To know those parts of the old covenant that were absorbed into the new covenant and are thus still to be observed, we must rely on the Apostolic writings, wherein are contained the terms and conditions of the new covenant. It’s only those portions of the old testament that the original Apostles of the Lord adopted into the new testament that Christians are to observe and uphold. Any portion of the old testament not found in the new is to be considered obsolete and no longer law for God’s people. We are thus not at liberty to pick and choose which portions of the old testament to keep and which portions to discard. We’re not to go to the old testament to make rules for God’s people, or judge people’s conduct and lifestyle by injunctions of the old testament, as Christians are no longer under the Mosaic Law. Violation of any portions of the old testament not contained in the new no longer constitutes sin, for sin is the transgression of an extant law. You cannot violate a law that’s no longer in existence. To go back to the old testament that the Lord Jesus Christ has delivered us from is to return to the bondage and curse of the Law! It’s tantamount to falling from grace! May God deliver us from this widespread corruption of the gospel of grace which the original Apostles of the Lord contended against so earnestly! Amen!

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