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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Is There A Divinely Decreed Lifespan For Mankind On Earth?

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

Some people have set various lifespans for mankind, based on various interpretations of certain scriptural verses in the old testament. From these verses of scripture in the writings of Moses, some Biblical scholars have put mankind’s lifespan first at 120 years (just before the flood) and later at 70-80 years (during the time of the wandering of the Israelites in the wilderness). Thus, we frequently hear of people who get to 80 years of age being described as having fulfilled the biblical fourscore years and therefore considered mature and fit to die. Any additional years spent on earth beyond 80 years are traditionally considered “bonus years” by this school of thought. Did God actually decree a fixed lifespan for humanity, apart from the fact that every person must certainly die? Was 80 years (or even 120 years) actually set by God as mankind’s maximum limit on earth? We shall examine the Scriptures to answer these questions.

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.”

The scripture above (Genesis 6:3) has been variously interpreted to mean that because of the extreme violence on earth at the time preceding the flood, God became disgusted with mankind and set a lifespan of 120 years for the race. Taken out of context, it might appear to be so, but when we consider the verses of scripture that follow, it will be readily understood that the expression “their days will be a hundred and twenty years” referred to the fact that mankind would have no more than 120 years of grace before God would wipe out the world of wicked men with the flood. God had decreed judgement upon the antediluvian world because of the extreme violence perpetrated by the wickedness of mankind at this period, which had made God to regret his creation of mankind. Despite this judgement, God still gave men space to repent. That’s the one hundred and twenty years spoken of in the verse above, the time of grace remaining for men on earth, before God’s judgement would come to wipe away the race and begin afresh with Noah and his family.

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.

Genesis 6:14 So make yourself an ark of cypress wood; make rooms in it and coat it with pitch inside and out.

Genesis 6:15 This is how you are to build it: The ark is to be three hundred cubits long, fifty cubits wide and thirty cubits high.

Genesis 6:16 Make a roof for it, leaving below the roof an opening one cubit high all around. Put a door in the side of the ark and make lower, middle and upper decks.

Genesis 6:17 I am going to bring floodwaters on the earth to destroy all life under the heavens, every creature that has the breath of life in it. Everything on earth will perish.

Genesis 6:18 But I will establish my covenant with you, and you will enter the ark —you and your sons and your wife and your sons’ wives with you.

Genesis 6:19 You are to bring into the ark two of all living creatures, male and female, to keep them alive with you.

Genesis 6:20 Two of every kind of bird, of every kind of animal and of every kind of creature that moves along the ground will come to you to be kept alive.

Genesis 6:21 You are to take every kind of food that is to be eaten and store it away as food for you and for them.”

Genesis 6:22 Noah did everything just as God commanded him.

To buttress the aforementioned point that the 120 years mentioned in Genesis 6:3 was not man’s new lifespan going forward, we find people who lived well beyond 120 years after the flood. Noah, for instance, lived an additional 350 years after the flood, and died at the age of 950 years (Genesis 9:28-29). Shem, Noah’s son, lived an additional 500 years after the flood, and died at the age of 600 years (Genesis 11:10-11). In the generations after the sons of Noah, we find men living above 400 years (Genesis 11). Ten generations from Noah, Abraham lived for 175 years (Genesis 25:7); Abraham’s son, Isaac, lived for 180 years (Genesis 35:28), while Jacob, Abraham’s grandson, lived for 130 years (Genesis 47:9). These all exceeded 120 years, several generations after the flood, proving that mankind’s lifespan on earth was not set at 120 years.

Another school of thought puts mankind’s lifespan at 70-80 years, and considers those who live beyond 80 years as enjoying “extra time” on earth. This is based on the erroneous interpretation of a verse of scripture in the 90th Psalm penned by Moses, the man of God. In Psalm 90, Moses was lamenting about Israel’s condition in the wilderness, following God’s pronouncement of judgement upon all those who were 20 years and above at the time of leaving Egypt. The entire nation was to roam for 40 years in the wilderness, until all those aged 20 years and above had died, for failing to believe God’s word that he would expel the inhabitants of Canaan and give Israel their land. So, those who were 20 years when they came out of Egypt died at the maximum age of 60 years, after wandering for 40 years in the wilderness, while those aged 40 at the time of the exodus died at the maximum age of 80. Thus, Moses was describing the maximum lifespan of the people under God’s judgement in the wilderness. Majority of them were not getting past 70 years, with only a few strong ones getting to 80 years. That Scripture has nothing to do with mankind’s lifespan in general. Moses himself lived for 120 years (and died with his natural strength still unabated, and could have lived longer, if not for the divine proclamation that he would not enter the promised land, because of his rebellion- Deuteronomy 34:5-7). Joshua, the next leader of the Israelites after Moses, lived for 110 years (Joshua 24:29). Eli, Israel’s high priest and judge during the reign of the Judges, lived for 98 years, dying from an unnatural cause, several generations after the exodus (1 Samuel 4:13-18). So, 70-80 years couldn’t have been the maximum age God set for the whole of mankind at any point in time. Some people in our generation are living well beyond 80 years, further disproving 80 years as man’s decreed maximum age on earth.

Psalms 90:1 Lord, you have been our dwelling place throughout all generations.

Psalms 90:2 Before the mountains were born or you brought forth the whole world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God.

Psalms 90:3 You turn people back to dust, saying, “Return to dust, you mortals.”

Psalms 90:4 A thousand years in your sight are like a day that has just gone by, or like a watch in the night.

Psalms 90:5 Yet you sweep people away in the sleep of death — they are like the new grass of the morning:

Psalms 90:6 In the morning it springs up new, but by evening it is dry and withered.

Psalms 90:7 We are consumed by your anger and terrified by your indignation.

Psalms 90:8 You have set our iniquities before you, our secret sins in the light of your presence.

Psalms 90:9 All our days pass away under your wrath; we finish our years with a moan.

Psalms 90:10 Our days may come to seventy years, or eighty, if our strength endures; yet the best of them are but trouble and sorrow, for they quickly pass, and we fly away.

Psalms 90:11 If only we knew the power of your anger! Your wrath is as great as the fear that is your due.

Psalms 90:12 Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.

Psalms 90:13 Relent, LORD! How long will it be? Have compassion on your servants.

Psalms 90:14 Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days.

Psalms 90:15 Make us glad for as many days as you have afflicted us, for as many years as we have seen trouble.

Psalms 90:16 May your deeds be shown to your servants, your splendor to their children.

Psalms 90:17 May the favor of the Lord our God rest on us; establish the work of our hands for us — yes, establish the work of our hands.

Numbers 14:26 The LORD said to Moses and Aaron:

Numbers 14:27 “How long will this wicked community grumble against me? I have heard the complaints of these grumbling Israelites.

Numbers 14:28 So tell them, ’As surely as I live, declares the LORD, I will do to you the very thing I heard you say:

Numbers 14:29 In this wilderness your bodies will fall —every one of you twenty years old or more who was counted in the census and who has grumbled against me.

Numbers 14:30 Not one of you will enter the land I swore with uplifted hand to make your home, except Caleb son of Jephunneh and Joshua son of Nun.

Numbers 14:31 As for your children that you said would be taken as plunder, I will bring them in to enjoy the land you have rejected.

Numbers 14:32 But as for you, your bodies will fall in this wilderness.

Numbers 14:33 Your children will be shepherds here for forty years, suffering for your unfaithfulness, until the last of your bodies lies in the wilderness.

Numbers 14:34 For forty years —one year for each of the forty days you explored the land —you will suffer for your sins and know what it is like to have me against you.’

Numbers 14:35 I, the LORD, have spoken, and I will surely do these things to this whole wicked community, which has banded together against me. They will meet their end in this wilderness; here they will die.”

Numbers 14:36 So the men Moses had sent to explore the land, who returned and made the whole community grumble against him by spreading a bad report about it —

Numbers 14:37 these men who were responsible for spreading the bad report about the land were struck down and died of a plague before the LORD.

Numbers 14:38 Of the men who went to explore the land, only Joshua son of Nun and Caleb son of Jephunneh survived.

Truth be told, there is no divinely set lifespan for mankind. The only certain divine proclamation concerning man’s life on earth is that all men must die someday, for all have sinned and fallen short of God’s glory. Physical death is sure for everyone, because of the fall. However, lifespan is an individualised affair. How long each person will live depends on a lot of factors, including genetic makeup, personal lifestyle, environmental factors, presence of diseases, poverty, ignorance, and one’s relationship with God and his fellowmen. Sin and rebellion can cut short one’s life, as we saw with Israel in the wilderness. Disobedience to parents can equally shave some years off one’s life. Unwise use of the tongue and not being a person of peace can also shorten one’s life. Generally speaking, mankind’s lifespan has been progressively shortening from creation, and a combination of all the aforementioned factors may be responsible to varying degrees. All things being equal, people can live for as long as their bodies can carry them, barring man-made or natural disasters and diseases. Hence, keeping the body healthy by healthy eating habits and healthy lifestyles can enhance longevity, just as destructive lifestyles can bring about premature death. But, even more important than maintaining healthy lifestyles, being at peace with God and dwelling under the covering of the Almighty protects from diseases and natural as well as man-made disasters, and prolongs life on earth.

Deuteronomy 5:32 So be careful to do what the LORD your God has commanded you; do not turn aside to the right or to the left.

Deuteronomy 5:33 Walk in obedience to all that the LORD your God has commanded you, so that you may live and prosper and prolong your days in the land that you will possess.

Ephesians 6:2 “Honor your father and mother” —which is the first commandment with a promise —

Ephesians 6:3 “so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.”

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.

1 Corinthians 11:23 I received a tradition from the Lord, which I also handed on to you: on the night on which he was betrayed, the Lord Jesus took bread.

1 Corinthians 11:24 After giving thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body, which is for you; do this to remember me.”

1 Corinthians 11:25 He did the same thing with the cup, after they had eaten, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Every time you drink it, do this to remember me.”

1 Corinthians 11:26 Every time you eat this bread and drink this cup, you broadcast the death of the Lord until he comes.

1 Corinthians 11:27 This is why those who eat the bread or drink the cup of the Lord inappropriately will be guilty of the Lord’s body and blood.

1 Corinthians 11:28 Each individual should test himself or herself, and eat from the bread and drink from the cup in that way.

1 Corinthians 11:29 Those who eat and drink without correctly understanding the body are eating and drinking their own judgment.

1 Corinthians 11:30 Because of this, many of you are weak and sick, and quite a few have died (CEB).

1 Peter 3:10 For, “Whoever would love life and see good days must keep their tongue from evil and their lips from deceitful speech.

1 Peter 3:11 They must turn from evil and do good; they must seek peace and pursue it.

1 Peter 3:12 For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their prayer, but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”

Exodus 15:26 He said, “If you listen carefully to the LORD your God and do what is right in his eyes, if you pay attention to his commands and keep all his decrees, I will not bring on you any of the diseases I brought on the Egyptians, for I am the LORD, who heals you.”

Psalms 91:1 Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.

Psalms 91:2 I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”

Psalms 91:3 Surely he will save you from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence.

Psalms 91:4 He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.

Psalms 91:5 You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day,

Psalms 91:6 nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday.

Psalms 91:7 A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you.

Psalms 91:8 You will only observe with your eyes and see the punishment of the wicked.

Psalms 91:9 If you say, “The LORD is my refuge,” and you make the Most High your dwelling,

Psalms 91:10 no harm will overtake you, no disaster will come near your tent.

Psalms 91:11 For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways;

Psalms 91:12 they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.

Psalms 91:13 You will tread on the lion and the cobra; you will trample the great lion and the serpent.

Psalms 91:14 “Because he loves me,” says the LORD, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.

Psalms 91:15 He will call on me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him.

Psalms 91:16 With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation.”

In conclusion, from the evidence of Scripture alone, there is no divinely set lifespan for mankind. Though it is appointed unto every man to die because of the fall, the age at death is not universally fixed, and varies from person to person. How long each person lives on earth depends on a number of variables such as genetic makeup, environmental factors, presence of diseases, poverty, lifestyle, and an individual’s relationship with God and his neighbours, amongst others. Obedience to God and God’s words prolongs life on earth, while disobedience and rebellion to him have the opposite effect. Barring natural and man-made disasters, longevity is mostly dependent on individual lifestyle and personal relationship with God and neighbors. That said, even though everyone must die ultimately, there is life after death, and there’s a possibility of living eternally in bliss in the afterlife, if we accept God’s salvation in Christ Jesus. It’s wonderful to aspire to live long on earth, but it’s even more glorious to be able to live eternally in paradise after death. That’s only possible for those who have been redeemed and sanctified from the effect of the fall by the blood of Jesus Christ.

Thanks for visiting the blog. We hope you were blessed by the message. We’d love to have your feedback and comments on this and other articles on the blog. You can also follow us to have new posts sent directly to your inbox. God bless you!

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 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!

Thanks for visiting the blog. We hope you were blessed by the message. We’d love to have your feedback to this and other articles on the blog. You can also follow us to have new posts sent directly to your inbox. God bless you!

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 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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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 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 are 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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Did Jesus Make Use Of His Divinity While On Earth?

(Unless otherwise stated, all Bible quotations are from the American King James Version).

Let me start by stating unequivocally that Jesus Christ is both the Son of the living God and God too. He has been both from eternity past, and will remain both for all eternity. At his incarnation to become mankind’s Saviour and Redeemer, Jesus added humanity to his divinity, and became God-Man in this dual nature, being fully God and fully Man. Confusion lingers among most Christians as to which aspect of Jesus’ dual nature was operational while he was here on earth. Did he operate fully as God, fully as Man or partly as God and partly as Man? Were the miracles Jesus did the result of his divinity, or because he was an anointed Servant of God (a Man )? We shall examine the Scriptures to answer these questions.

Peter stated clearly, in the Book of Acts, that Jesus performed the wonders and miracles he did as a Man anointed by God, and not as God, though he is God. It was his humanity that was anointed by the Holy Spirit, enabling him thereby to go about doing good and healing all that were oppressed by the Devil, because God was with him (in the anointing), not because he was God. His work was extraordinary, and his achievements, as the model Servant of God, were unrivaled and unparalleled, because the anointing upon him was without measure. Jesus had the Holy Spirit without measure, unlike other servants of God before and after him, who all had only a measure of the Holy Spirit. Jesus also excelled above all because of his sinless nature, unmatched consecration and total submission to the Father’s will. But, the point remains that he performed on earth as a Man anointed by God, not as the God that he also is. Jesus equally made it clear that, while on earth, he could do nothing by himself, except what the Father showed him. He only did what he was instructed to do by the Father, and only performed miracles the Father wanted him to perform. He only spoke the Father’s words and only did the Father’s will. He was Jehovah’s perfect Servant who only carried out Jehovah’s orders. As the Father’s true and faithful witness, Jesus only spoke what he heard from the Father, and not his own words.

The Acts 10:38 How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.

John 3:34 For he whom God has sent speaks the words of God: for God gives not the Spirit by measure to him.

John 3:35 The Father loves the Son, and has given all things into his hand.

John 3:36 He that believes on the Son has everlasting life: and he that believes not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God stays on him.

John 5:19 Then answered Jesus and said to them, Truly, truly, I say to you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he sees the Father do: for what things soever he does, these also does the Son likewise.

John 5:20 For the Father loves the Son, and shows him all things that himself does: and he will show him greater works than these, that you may marvel.

John 5:21 For as the Father raises up the dead, and vivifies them; even so the Son vivifies whom he will.

John 5:22 For the Father judges no man, but has committed all judgment to the Son:

John 5:23 That all men should honor the Son, even as they honor the Father. He that honors not the Son honors not the Father which has sent him.

John 5:26 For as the Father has life in himself; so has he given to the Son to have life in himself;

John 5:27 And has given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man.

John 5:30 I can of my own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not my own will, but the will of the Father which has sent me.

Matthew 12:15 But when Jesus knew it, he withdrew himself from there: and great multitudes followed him, and he healed them all;

Matthew 12:16 And charged them that they should not make him known:

Matthew 12:17 That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying,

Matthew 12:18 Behold my servant, whom I have chosen; my beloved, in whom my soul is well pleased: I will put my spirit on him, and he shall show judgment to the Gentiles.

Matthew 12:19 He shall not strive, nor cry; neither shall any man hear his voice in the streets.

Matthew 12:20 A bruised reed shall he not break, and smoking flax shall he not quench, till he send forth judgment to victory.

Matthew 12:21 And in his name shall the Gentiles trust.

In his letter to the Christians at Philippi, Paul explained how Jesus kept his divinity aside and operated entirely as a man, during his incarnation on earth. Though fully God, Jesus did not invoke his divinity while on earth as Messiah. Other than accepting worship and forgiving sins (which were marks of Christ’s divinity), every other thing he did was as a Man anointed by God. He didn’t strive to display his divinity here. Though he was and is and will remain God, while in human flesh, he humbled himself and accepted his position in redemption as Jehovah’s Servant. If Jesus had resisted and defeated Satan as God, then it would be unfair for God to expect us to resist and defeat Satan as mere men. If Jesus had remained sinless and undefiled as God, it would be unfair for God to expect humans to strive to be sinless and undefiled in their humanity. If Jesus had acted in anyway as God while on earth, it would be unfair for God to expect mortals to act in that way also. But, Jesus made sure to deny men such an excuse before God, by keeping his divinity aside, within himself, and by acting entirely in his humanity, while he walked on planet earth. He resisted the Devil as an anointed Man; he raised the dead as an anointed Man; he calmed the raging storm and walked upon the sea as an anointed Man; he multiplied bread and fish to feed thousands as an anointed Man; he healed the sick as an anointed Man; he preached the gospel as an anointed Man. Other anointed men of God before Jesus, like Moses, Joshua, Elijah, Elisha, Isaiah, Daniel, etc, had also performed wonderful miracles, turned water to blood, parted seas for people to pass through as dry land, raised the dead, multiplied a little meal to feed many people, caused an axe to float on water, healed leprosy and other illnesses too. Even Peter, by the command of Jesus, walked upon the sea also. Peter didn’t walk on the sea because he was God, but because he was anointed by God to do so! The apostles of the Lord too performed almost all the miracles Jesus did. They healed the sick, cleansed lepers, cast out evil spirits, raised the dead, etc. The apostles didn’t do all these because they were God, but because they were anointed men of God. Jesus himself had promised them that they would do greater works than he had done, by virtue of the Holy Spirit that would come upon them after his resurrection and ascension to heaven. Thus, it was the anointing of the Holy Spirit that did the works in Jesus’ ministry, not his divinity!

Philippians 2:5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:

Philippians 2:6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:

Philippians 2:7 But made himself of no reputation, and took on him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:

Philippians 2:8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient to death, even the death of the cross.

Philippians 2:9 Why God also has highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:

Philippians 2:10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;

Philippians 2:11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

John 14:12 Truly, truly, I say to you, He that believes on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go to my Father.

Hebrews 2:3 How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed to us by them that heard him;

Hebrews 2:4 God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will?

It’s therefore very clear then that Jesus acted entirely as a Man while among men, not making use of his divinity, save in the instances of forgiving the sins of people and accepting their worship. Every other thing he did was as an anointed Man who had the Holy Spirit without measure. He came to show his people the example of how to live a godly life on earth. To be a merciful and faithful High Priest, he needed to be tempted as a man and to pass through the fullness of manhood and face the Devil and his temptations as a man, so he can empathise with men when they pass through similar conditions. Calling upon his Godhead to navigate through life on earth would have undermined his ability to relate with men as brethren. He had to be like his brethren in all things! He had to feel pain, suffering, hunger, thirst, temptations, depression, exhaustion, tiredness, etc, as a man. That’s the only way he could sincerely relate to us and connect with us. That’s the only way he could have become one of us. His divinity would have stood in the way of appreciating our humanity, if he had not kept it aside within him, while sojourning here on earth. Jesus lived entirely as a Man among men, when he walked upon the earth!

Hebrews 2:6 But one in a certain place testified, saying, What is man, that you are mindful of him? or the son of man that you visit him?

Hebrews 2:7 You made him a little lower than the angels; you crowned him with glory and honor, and did set him over the works of your hands:

Hebrews 2:8 You have put all things in subjection under his feet. For in that he put all in subjection under him, he left nothing that is not put under him. But now we see not yet all things put under him.

Hebrews 2:9 But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honor; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.

Hebrews 2:10 For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.

Hebrews 2:11 For both he that sanctifies and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brothers,

Hebrews 2:12 Saying, I will declare your name to my brothers, in the middle of the church will I sing praise to you.

Hebrews 2:13 And again, I will put my trust in him. And again, Behold I and the children which God has given me.

Hebrews 2:14 For as much then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;

Hebrews 2:15 And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.

Hebrews 2:16 For truly he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham.

Hebrews 2:17 Why in all things it behooved him to be made like to his brothers, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.

Hebrews 2:18 For in that he himself has suffered being tempted, he is able to succor them that are tempted.

Hebrews 5:1 For every high priest taken from among men is ordained for men in things pertaining to God, that he may offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins:

Hebrews 5:2 Who can have compassion on the ignorant, and on them that are out of the way; for that he himself also is compassed with infirmity.

Hebrews 5:3 And by reason hereof he ought, as for the people, so also for himself, to offer for sins.

Hebrews 5:4 And no man takes this honor to himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron.

Hebrews 5:5 So also Christ glorified not himself to be made an high priest; but he that said to him, You are my Son, to day have I begotten you.

Hebrews 5:6 As he said also in another place, You are a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.

Hebrews 5:7 Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears to him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared;

Hebrews 5:8 Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered;

Hebrews 5:9 And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation to all them that obey him;

Hebrews 5:10 Called of God an high priest after the order of Melchisedec.

The implications of Christ walking entirely as a man, while on earth, are profound. First, it makes his example of godly living a realistic target that other anointed men in him can aspire to achieve. We can truly follow in his footsteps, if we abide in him and are filled with his Spirit. Second, as our High Priest before the Father in heaven, Jesus can be expected to be merciful when interceding for us and forgiving our iniquities, since he has passed this way before as a Man, and has experienced first hand, as a man, what we’re passing through. He is thus able to empathise with us, and to give succour when we need it, seeing he himself needed succour at some point in time in his travails at Gethsemane, and was strengthened by an angel. When we ask for help in times of needs, he will readily understand. Third, having walked on planet earth in our shoes, Jesus understands exactly the limits of our humanity, as well as the temptations we’re able to endure. He will therefore not allow any temptation to come our way that’s beyond our capacity to resist. He will make a way of escape for every temptation that’s beyond us. Fourth, he walked the earth with the same resources we have at our disposal, and overcame, so he can help us to overcome also. He knows exactly what we need to succeed, and he’ll make that available to us, being a merciful High Priest. In expecting us to follow in his footsteps, the Lord is only asking us to do what he has done in our shoes. It’s like the boss in a company who worked in every department in that company, before becoming the Director. He can be counted upon to understand the challenges of every department, and what’s needed to succeed at every level. But, he also can’t be fooled, because he has been there! He can empathise with our genuine challenges, but he can’t be deceived by our inability to effectively use the resources at our disposal (the same resources he had at his disposal) to achieve the success he achieved in that position. That’s the genius of God in leading men. He first became a Man, and lived among men like a Man, and overcame, so no man can excuse his failure, when given the same resources the Lord had on earth as a Man. Talk about leadership by example! Oh, the wisdom of God! Hallelujah!

Hebrews 4:14 Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.

Hebrews 4:15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.

Hebrews 4:16 Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

1 Corinthians 10:13 There has no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that you are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that you may be able to bear it.

1 Peter 2:21 For even hereunto were you called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow his steps:

1 Peter 2:22 Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth:

1 Peter 2:23 Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judges righteously:

1 Peter 2:24 Who his own self bore our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live to righteousness: by whose stripes you were healed.

1 Peter 2:25 For you were as sheep going astray; but are now returned to the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.

John 15:4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can you, except you abide in me.

John 15:5 I am the vine, you are the branches: He that stays in me, and I in him, the same brings forth much fruit: for without me you can do nothing.

Philippians 2:5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:

Philippians 2:6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:

Philippians 2:7 But made himself of no reputation, and took on him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:

Philippians 2:8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient to death, even the death of the cross.

In conclusion, Jesus Christ had a dual nature while on earth, being both fully God and fully Man. However, in his sojourn here on earth, he kept aside his divinity within himself, and  operated fully as a Man. The works and the miracles he performed were as a  Man anointed with the Holy Spirit and his power. Jesus went about doing good and healing all that were oppressed of the Devil by virtue of the anointing upon him, not because of his divinity. He resisted the Devil as an anointed man, he  overcame the temptations of the world as a Man and he felt the full range of passions and emotions that every man feels. He truly identified with mankind completely in his incarnation. By this, he became an empathetic High Priest for mankind, after his death and resurrection, seeing he can relate completely with what we’re passing through on earth, having experienced the same while on earth. He can therefore readily give us help in times of need, having a perfect understanding of what we pass through, in our struggles with Satan, the flesh and the world. Above all, he lived fully as a man to lay down for us the example to follow in serving God in the flesh. With his help and support, and while abiding in him, every Christian can expect to be victorious in our spiritual warfare, because Jesus was here and saw it all and overcame all. We’re following a Lord and Master with a perfect experience of what we’re passing through, so we have no cause to worry! Jesus knows and understands everything we’re passing through, because he experienced them himself first hand!

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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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