Spiritual Warfare — Do You know What You’re Fighting For?

Published August 31st, 2017 by Dirk Waren

 

Armor of God 2

NOTE: It is recommended that you read Armor & Weaponry of God before this article.

What good is it to know about the armor & arms of God if you don’t know when the enemy is attacking you or someone else? You must understand that the devil & his loser minions aren’t going to manifest as cartoony red characters with cloven hooves and pitch forks. They’re spiritual beings and therefore invisible to the human eye. The way they attack is by trying to put one or more curses on you and those linked to you.

I don’t mean “curse” like in those old horror flicks, e.g. The Curse of the Mummy’s Tomb, but rather in a biblical sense. In this article we’re going to define the five general curses of the Law that the enemy uses to attack believers. We’re also going to look at five other curses which threaten believers’ spiritual blessings, ten curses in all.

Let’s first establish that…

Jesus Christ was Your Substitutionary Curse

Most believers know that Christ suffered substitutionary death for them. In other words, the Messiah died in our place—the innocent for the guilty—that we might have the benefit of eternal life. However, the majority of Christians don’t know that Jesus was their substitutionary curse period. Notice what the Bible says on this point:

Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a pole.”

Galatians 3:13

Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law. ‘Redeem’ means to release from the power of something through purchasing. What was the price for our redemption? The blood of Christ; that is, the very life of the Mighty Lord. In short, Jesus suffered & died for you to be redeemed.

How did Christ redeem us from the curses of the law? The text says “by becoming a curse for us”! In other words, he suffered being cursed so that we don’t have to be cursed. How exactly was he cursed? Paul cites Deuteronomy 21:23 in reference to Christ’s crucifixion: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a pole.” So when the Messiah suffered and died during his last 12 hours he became our substitutionary curse—an innocent human being cursed so that the guilty might be blessed. That’s you & me and all people.

The Five General Curses of the Law

The text specifies that “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law.” What precisely is the curse of the Law? This phrase refers to the five general curses detailed in Deuteronomy 28:15-68: 1. physical ailments, 2. mental maladies, 3. defeat to human enemies, 4. premature death and 5. financial lack. Jesus suffered all these curses in his last hours so that you can be released from the power of them. This is different than saying you won’t be attacked by them, because the enemy will certainly try to oppress you with them.

Observe how the Anointed One suffered each of these curses:

  1. Christ suffered severe physical wounds to purchase health & healing for the believer: “by his wounds you have been healed” (1 Peter 2:24 & Isaiah 53:5). Precisely what kind of wounds did the Messiah suffer? Read on…
  2. Christ suffered extreme mental anguish to redeem us from mental illness. This suffering includes the psychological distress of the various tortures he experienced during his final hours on Earth: Severe scourging that ripped his flesh to pieces, unjust mocking & physical blows, a crown of thorns rammed on his head, his hands & feet literally nailed to a huge stake and the corresponding agony of crucifixion, which is arguably the most painful execution ever conceived and is where we get our term “excruciating.” This form of execution, by the way, was reserved for the worst of criminals, as well as foreign enemies. On top of all this there was the mental anguish of being utterly separated from God wherein the Son cried out to the Father: “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:45-54). Lastly, the phrase “by his wounds you have been healed” refers to both physical and mental healing.
  3. Christ suffered defeat to his human enemies, which heretofore never happened. While Jesus was attacked by people throughout his 3½ years of ministry on Earth, they were never victorious over him. He always eluded them or stumped them, one way or another; in other words, he was always ultimately triumphant. For instance, he refused to allow his opponents to unjustly apprehend and kill him on multiple occasions, as documented in Luke 4:28-30, John 7:30,44, 8:59 and 10:31,39. The only time he submitted his life to the hands of his enemies was when he was arrested in Gethsemane because it was God’s will that he suffer and die for the redemption of humanity. We have to get away from this ludicrous religious idea that the Messiah was some kind of timid doormat when he was anything but (Mark 11:15-18).
  4. Christ suffered premature death by obediently dying at 33 years of age. The Bible promises 70-80 years minimum (Psalm 90:10 & 2 Corinthians 1:20). The only God-approved exception to this promise is if a believer is called to martyrdom for the advancement of the kingdom of God, like Stephen (Acts 7:54-8:4). In such cases, the Spirit will reveal this to the believer and give him/her the grace to handle it, as was the case with Stephen. It should be stressed that even with this exception the believer has the victory, as shown in Philippians 1:21-23.
  5. Christ “became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich” (2 Corinthians 8:9). Christ wasn’t poor during his lifetime on Earth; he was a carpenter who attracted business due to his honesty, diligence and superb craftsmanship (Proverbs 22:29). Nor was he poor during his 3½ years of ministry because his team had a treasury, which Judas regularly stole from without the disciples even detecting it (John 12:6). The Messiah only “became poor” during his last 12 hours when he was arrested, tortured, stripped of his very clothing and literally nailed to a huge stake, i.e. “cross,” not to mention literally forsaken by the Father. This was the depth of poverty—physically, mentally and spiritually.

As you can see, “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us” (Galatians 3:13). He released us from the power of the five general curses by willfully suffering these curses in one form or another in our place. He was our substitutionary curse.

The “Hour When Darkness Reigns”

Those last horrible hours of Christ’s life on Earth were when Satan & his devils were released to assault Him. Notice what they hit him with—all five of the general curses of the Law. Is it any wonder that Jesus referred to this time period as the “hour when darkness reigns” (Luke 22:53)?

What did he mean by that? Simply that it was the window of opportunity for the devil & his evil spirits to freely assault him, as permitted by the Sovereign LORD. And how did they attack him? Through the five general curses of the Law.

When Satan Attacks He Uses One of the Five General Curses

Let’s now observe further scriptural evidence that the kingdom of darkness uses one or more of the five general curses of the Law when they attack a person. We just witnessed the example of Christ, so let’s consider the examples of two righteous men from the Old and the New Testaments respectively, Job and Paul.

As covered in previous chapters, God was compelled to allow Satan to attack Job in order to test him and observe if he would forsake the LORD once the devil stripped him of his many blessings. Observe how Job suffered the five general curses of the Law when the devil was released to assault him:

  • Physical ailments: Job was stricken with painful boils from head to toe (Job 2:7).
  • Mental illness: Job was thrust into dire mental anguish after the satanic assaults to the point of craving death and hurling audacious accusations at the Almighty (Job 3, 10:1-3 & 30:31).
  • Human attack and defeat: The neighboring Sabeans and Chaldeans, who up to that point lived peacefully by Job, unjustly attacked and killed almost all his employees and stole his wealth (Job 1:14-15 & 17). Keep in mind that this curse does not refer to simply human attack, but rather human attack and defeat, which is why I also describe it as ‘defeat to human enemies.’
  • Premature death: Job’s ten children and nearly all his employees were killed (Job 1:14-19). Job’s life was not at stake because the LORD wouldn’t permit it (although in the second round God allowed his body to be attacked). So Satan struck down the next “best” thing—Job’s offspring.
  • Financial attack: Job’s great wealth consisted of numerous employees and thousands of sheep, camels, oxen and donkeys; all but four of his workers were killed and all his animals were stolen or destroyed (Job 1:14-17).

Job passed his great test because he turned to God rather than away from Him. He severely vented to God and accused Him of crimes against humanity based on his limited understanding of reality, but he never cursed his Creator or forsook Him.

Venting, by the way, is a healthy practice in which the Bible describes as “casting your cares on the Lord” (Psalm 55:22). We’re instructed to do this because the LORD cares about us and doesn’t want immaterial burdens to weigh us down or limit us, which will inevitably happen if we don’t vent in some manner. To “cast all your anxiety on him” (1 Peter 5:7) means to literally go to the LORD in prayer and hurl your burdens on him. This is what Job did. The burdens you are to hurl on God include unjust offenses and the sense of violation & anger they produce, which can tempt you to become bitter. Why cast your cares on the LORD? Because we can’t handle them. Just as we must remove physical waste from our bodies so we must remove emotional waste. Venting is as vital to our spiritual-mental health as the large intestine is to our physical health—the waste must be removed. No wonder venting is strongly encouraged in the Bible (Psalm 62:8) and we observe example after example of it (Psalm 142:1-3 & Jeremiah 20:7-18).

So Job passed his test and the LORD restored him and blessed him doubly (Job 42:10). Keep in mind that Job was presumably under the covenant of the Patriarchal Age,* which refers to the covenants the LORD made with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (Acts 3:25 & Exodus 6:4-5). The terms of this covenant were obedience to God’s revealed Law at the time, which included circumcision (Genesis 17:1-14,23) and, of course, keeping with repentance, which Job devoutly followed. This explains why God boasted of him as “blameless” (Job 1:8 and 2:3), which is not the same as sinless. The only sinless human being who ever lived was Jesus Christ.

 * See Job 1:5, for instance.

Now let’s consider Paul, who was under the New Covenant wherein the terms are faith working in love (Galatians 5:6):

  • Physical maladies: Paul was stricken with some type of physical ailment according to Galatians 4:13, which provided the opportunity for him to preach the gospel to the Galatians. The word for “illness” in this text could also be translated as “weakness” as it does in Matthew 26:41, which reads: “The spirit is willing but the body is weak.” If it does refer to physical weakness, some theorize that it could apply to Paul after he was stoned and left for dead in the Galatian city of Lystra (Acts 14:8-20). They speculate that Paul would surely need time for his body to fully heal from the abuse, which may be why he referred to the situation as a trial for the Galatian believers (Galatians 4:14). But this seems unlikely since Paul received an immediate healing and walked right back into the city (!), not to mention he left to preach in another city the very next day (!!). Other possibilities include malaria, which was common in the area, or an eye disease in light of Paul’s statement, “If you could have done so, you would have torn out your eyes and given them to me” (verse 15), although this could simply be a figure of speech. Regardless of what Paul’s physical problem was, he resisted the attack in faith & perseverance, received healing and lived over another decade to fulfill God’s apostolic assignment from Jerusalem to Rome and all points between, not to mention write many other important epistles by the Spirit, like Romans and Ephesians, etc.
  • Mental ailments: The apostles went through many hardships as they determined to advance the kingdom of God. Second Corinthians 11 details Paul’s numerous sufferings, including being thrown into prison multiple times, severely flogged five times (typically 39 lashes!), beaten with rods three times, stoned and left for dead, shipwrecked three times, and more. Not to mention all his labor, sleepless nights and the pressure of all the churches he oversaw (verses 23-29). Facing such horrendous attacks, trials and pressures, Paul and the other ministers were understandably assaulted by negative emotions at times, like fear, doubt, frustration, anxiety and wanting to quit. This is why Paul said they were “sorrowful, yet always rejoicing” (2 Corinthians 6:10); he also mentioned “fears within” and being “downcast” (2 Corinthians 7:5-6). But they never allowed such dark emotions to take root in their hearts and derail their faith and mission for God. There’s no evidence of this in Scripture. They withstood in faith & patience and overcame. Take, for example, when Paul was about to be shipwrecked due to a great storm in Acts 27:21-26; instead of caving-in to the fear and despair of the situation—e.g. “We’re all gonna die!!”—he received instruction from the LORD and boldly spoke in faith.
  • Human attack and defeat: Paul was attacked by a man named Alexander the metalworker who caused him “a great deal of harm” (2 Timothy 4:14-15), but Paul overcame and wasn’t defeated or dead. He was able to warn Timothy and believed that the Lord would pay Alexander back for what he had done. Another good example is from Acts 16:22-34 where we observe Paul and Silas being unjustly attacked in Philippi after exorcizing a demon from a slave girl. They were beaten, flogged and thrown in prison. This was a serious attack indeed, but Paul and Silas withstood in faith and perseverance. At midnight they were praying and singing hymns in their gloomy, smelly jail cell (!). They refused to be defeated. They refused to give-in to doubt, frustration and despair. They knew that victory was theirs no matter how bad the situation appeared. The next thing you know there was an earthquake and the cell doors flew open! God clearly responds to such stubborn, fervent faith. Not only did they escape, the jailer and his family were saved and baptized! Paul and Silas even stayed at their house that night and dined.
  • Premature death: Paul healed a crippled man in Lystra, which was a powerful testimony to the people there, but some Jews came and stirred the crowd against him. As noted above, they stoned Paul and dragged him outside the city, supposing him to be dead. But Paul received an incredible healing after the disciples gathered around him and he went right back into the city! The next day he was well enough to leave for another town to preach, which indicates a total healing (Acts 14:8-20). Another example would be when Paul sailed to Rome as a captive in Acts 27. A great storm came and seriously threatened all their lives. Keep in mind that, according to Job 1:16,19, Satan has the ability to utilize nature for his own diabolic purposes. The devil didn’t want Paul to fulfill his divine commission of carrying the gospel to gentile kings; hence, he tried to kill him on the open sea via the storm, but it didn’t work because Paul received divine instruction and stood in faith (verses 21-26). Yet the devil didn’t stop there. No sooner was Paul shipwrecked on the island of Malta then a deadly viper bit him (Acts 28:1-10). The islanders expected the apostle to drop dead at any moment but he withstood in faith—meaning he utilized his “sword of the spirit,” which is the word of God spoken in bold faith—and ended up having a powerful healing revival!
  • Financial lack: Paul pointed out in Philippians 4:12-13 that he knew what it was like to be in need and also to have plenty; he knew what it was like to be hungry and to be well fed. He also testified to his brushes with financial attack in 2 Corinthians 6:10. So we know Paul went through experiences where physical resources were seriously limited. Yet, in the Philippians passage he shared his secret of being content in any situation, whether living in plenty or in want: He said he could do all things through the Lord Jesus Christ who strengthened him. In other words, he stood in faith. He didn’t give-in to worry or despair in times of need and cry, “God has forsaken us—we’re not gonna make it!” Likewise, in the Corinthians passage he admitted to having nothing, but countered it with an expression of faith, “yet possessing everything.” Consequently, he always made it through times of lack with a peaceful contentment. He fully understood that blessings come via faith & patience in our covenant, and faith works in love. Jehovah Jireh always eventually provided and Paul fulfilled his many missionary assignments. Late in his life, when Paul was in custody in Caesarea, Governor Felix frequently went to him hoping Paul would offer him a bribe (Acts 24:26). This indicates that even under house arrest Paul was financially blessed since wealthy politicians don’t try to milk people who are impoverished and have no money.

A good example from the life of Christ would be when, out of nowhere, tax collectors required Peter and Jesus to pay the annual Temple tax, which amounted to about $500 each (Matthew 17:24-27). Jesus wasn’t taken off guard and, interestingly, didn’t even ask Judas to take the money from their ministry earnings. He had faith that God provides the power to get wealth (Deuteronomy 8:18) and knew precisely where to get the amount they needed by the Spirit. Hence, the LORD provided.

Christ, Job and Paul are our examples. When any of the five general curses of the Law show up in your life it means you are under satanic attack.

When this happens, the first thing you need to do is determine if the assault is a Self-Inflicted Trial (SIT), a Discipline-Intended Trial (DIT) or a Maturity-Intended Trial (MIT). Here’s an explanation of each:

  • SITs are obvious; the result of one’s own folly, like being injured due to reckless driving and the resulting wreck or suffering physically due to a junk food diet. In both cases the person’s travails are not due to some satanic plot, but simply his/her foolish choices. The answer to SITs is learning wisdom.
  • A DIT means the curse is hitting you due to disobedience, whether a sin of commission or a sin of omission. If this is the case, immediately ’fess up and God will dismiss the charge (1 John 1:8-9); then take up your weapons and fight the good fight of faith until the curse departs.
  • An MIT means that the curse is striking you for righteousness’ sake and the LORD is allowing the enemy to assault you in order to test your character and, once your character is proven, turn the negative situation around to your good (Romans 8:28). That’s the genius of MITs: God takes something in which the enemy intends to destroy you with—or, at least, hinder you—and ultimately turns it around to your good, making you “strong, firm and steadfast” “after you have suffered for a little while” (1 Peter 5:8-10). Of course, this is providing you fulfill your role by fighting the good fight of faith and enduring. (Remember: the LORD is your “helper,” not your do-everything-for-you-so-you-don’t-have-to-do-anything-at-all-er). This is precisely what happened with Joseph (Genesis 50:20).

The reason this data is essential is so that you know with certainty when you’re under satanic attack. After all, what good is the armor & arms of God if you can’t even recognize when you’re being assaulted?

This material is also essential so you don’t mistake a satanic attack for “God’s will.” For instance, a genuine Christian woman was diagnosed with life-threatening cancer and concluded that, whether she lived or died from the cancer, it was God’s will. No, it’s Satan’s will to take out fruit-bearing believers prematurely.

The obvious problem with this woman’s type of fatalistic reasoning is that, if you think something’s God’s will, you won’t fight it. You’ll accept it and suffer the consequences. But if you recognize something as a satanic attack you’ll fight it tenaciously.

Needless to say, don’t accept any curse of the Law on the mistaken grounds that it’s “God’s will”! If a curse shows up in your life due to your own folly or rebellion, you’re evidently undergoing an SIT or DIT; simply repent and proceed to fight the good fight of faith. The curse will flee from you as you persevere in faith.

If, however, you’re walking blamelessly before the LORD, keeping with repentance, you’re obviously undergoing an MIT. Don’t embrace the curse as “God’s will.” Tenaciously fight the good fight of faith and don’t give up. The curse will eventually depart and the LORD will turn around the negative situation for your good.

Handing an Unrepentant Believer Over to Satan

Speaking of Discipline-Intended Trials (DITs), this type of trial explains something curious Paul said to the Corinthian believers. It concerned an unrepentant man in their assembly who was having sexual relations with his father’s wife. Paul instructed the church to “hand this man over to Satan” (1 Corinthians 5:5). What did he mean by this? Simply that the man must be excommunicated from the fellowship since he was unwilling to repent of his sin. The hope was that he’d be spurred to repentance whereupon he’d be forgiven and warmly welcomed back. Thankfully, this is precisely what panned out, as revealed in Paul’s subsequent letter (2 Corinthians 2:6-11).

To explain, a dis-fellowshipped believer is removed from the protective covering of the church assembly and placed outside where the “god of this world” is at liberty to have his way with him/her, so to speak. The enemy will thus assault the individual with one or more of the curses of the Law because this is how Satan & evil spirits attack people. They don’t manifest as spooky boogeymen, they attack through one or more of the curses of the Law.

Let me emphasize: the purpose for “handing a person over to Satan” is to win him/her back. Paul’s goal was in line with God’s love, in this case tough love. The hope was that banishment from the church community and suffering one or more of the curses of the Law would humble the man, provoke desperation, and ultimately shock him back to his spiritual senses, at which point he would be warmly welcomed back into the fellowship just like the prodigal son humbly returned to his father (Luke 15:11-32). So handing a person over to Satan is one-and-the-same as handing him/her over to a Discipline-Intended Trial.

God Motivates People through the Attraction of Blessings

The blessings of the Law are naturally the opposite of the curses of the Law; they are:

  • Physical health.
  • Mental health (e.g. peace of mind, faith, hope, love, etc.).
  • Victory over human enemies and their unjust attacks.
  • Long life.
  • Financial provision.

Every sane person on Earth wants these five general blessings operating in his or her life. They’re intrinsic to our spiritual/mental DNA. After all, no one wants sickness & disease, mental illness, defeat to enemies, premature death or poverty—no one! If someone says otherwise they’re either a liar, a fool or cracked.

Is it any wonder, therefore, that the LORD used these blessings to motivate Israel to obey His Laws? Read Deuteronomy 28. It’s a long chapter, but it establishes “the terms of the covenant” that God had with the Israelites (Deuteronomy 29:1,9). In modern lingo ‘covenant’ means agreement or contract. Every contract has terms. If you hire a company to provide a new roof for your abode the terms are x amount of money for a new leak-proof roof. The LORD’s terms for the covenant (contract, agreement) that He had with the Israelites were: Blessings for obedience to the Law and curses for disobedience. In short, God used humanity’s natural attraction to the five general blessings and our aversion to the five general curses to inspire compliance and discourage transgression.

Yet the entire Old Testament is testimony to the fact that the Israelites couldn’t comply with these terms. Why? Because something was seriously wrong with their “spiritual DNA.” The condition of spiritual death—which is the state of being dead to God—and their sinful natures rendered them incapable of fulfilling the simple terms of their covenant.

For Israel—and people in general—to fulfill such terms they would have to have a spiritual regeneration whereby they acquire a new spiritual nature that’s united with God and, even more, indwelt, empowered and guided by the Holy Spirit. The attainment of eternal life is an awesome “fringe benefit.” This is what the New Covenant is all about and explains why…

The New Covenant is Superior to the Old Covenant

The New Covenant that believers have with God is superior to the Old Testament that the Israelites had. Notice what the Bible blatantly says on this point:

But in fact the ministry Jesus has received is as superior to theirs as the covenant of which he is mediator is superior to the old one, since the new covenant is established on better promises.

For if there had been nothing wrong with that first covenant, no place would have been sought for another.

Hebrews 8:6-7

For the New Covenant to be superior to the Old Covenant it would have to contain all the benefits of the Old Covenant plus more. For instance, if I buy a new car that’s superior to my old one it would have to have everything the old one had plus be new and likely have additional benefits, otherwise it wouldn’t be superior. If the Old Testament promised the five blessings of the Law under the condition of obedience how could the New Testament be superior if it doesn’t, at least, provide these blessings?

The New Covenant does provide them because the New Testament expressly assures us that “For no matter how many promises God has made, they are ‘Yes’ in Christ” (2 Corinthians 1:20). “In Christ” is a covenant phrase, meaning in covenant (in contract) with God through spiritual regeneration via the gospel of Christ. No matter how many promises God made in the Old Testament they are ‘Yes’ to those in covenant with God through Yeshua. In other words, a believer can claim any of the general blessings provided in the Old Covenant by faith.

For further proof, notice how the New Testament promises the five general blessings to believers:

  1. Physical health/healing: 1 Peter 2:24 and 3 John 1:2
  2. Mental wellness: John 14:27, Philippians 4:6-9 and 3 John 1:2
  3. Victory over unjust human attack: 2 Timothy 4:17-18 & Luke 18:1-8
  4. Long life (with the exception of cases where God calls the believer to martyrdom for the advancement of His Kingdom): 1 Peter 3:9-12 *
  5. Financial blessing: Mark 10:30, 2 Corinthians 8:9 & 9:11 and Philippians 4:19

* The Old Testament was more concerned with long life on this Earth (Deuteronomy 5:33, Psalm 91:16 & Proverbs 10:27) whereas the New Testament is more concerned with acquiring eternal life period (John 3:36, 11:26 & 1 John 5:11-12). Nevertheless, with the exception of Holy Spirit-directed martyrdom for the advancement of God’s Kingdom, the New Testament promises long life with conditions.

While these blessings are promised to New Testament believers, the terms of our Covenant are different than the Old Covenant. The terms are not obedience to the Old Testament Law because 1. the dietary and ceremonial laws were fulfilled in Christ and are not applicable to New Testament believers (Colossians 2:16-17); and 2. the moral laws—also fulfilled by Christ—are fulfilled in our lives by simply living according to our new nature, “created to be like God in true righteousness,” with the help of the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 4:22-24). The terms of the New Covenant are faith working in love (Galatians 5:6), which the Amplified Bible reads as faith being activated by love. As such, anyone who fulfills the first and second greatest commands of the Law automatically fulfills all of the moral law (Matthew 22:36-40 & Romans 13:8-10). These two simple commands have three applications: LOVE GOD and LOVE PEOPLE as you LOVE YOURSELF.

Do you want these five general blessings supernaturally operating in your life on a regular basis? Of course you do. They manifest through faith working in love—love for God and love for people as you love yourself.

Yet you must understand that the kingdom of darkness is going to attack you through the five general curses of the Law, just as the enemy did with Job, Jesus and Paul, which is why it’s necessary to learn how to “fight the good fight of faith” (1 Timothy 6:12). If there’s a fight to faith that means there are enemies to faith. You must know your enemy and how assaults from your enemy will manifest in order to be victorious in your fight. That’s one of the purposes of this book and this chapter specifically.

So you operate in the five blessings of the Law simply by walking in faith, which includes “fighting the good fight of faith.” And faith is activated by love—loving God and loving people as you love yourself—which includes tough love when appropriate.

There are some things you need to keep in mind, however; let’s start with…

Spiritual Laws Work in Conjunction with Natural Laws

Spiritual laws work in union with natural laws not in exemption from them. For instance, faith being activated by love is a spiritual law that works in conjunction with common sense principles. Consider these examples:

  • The Bible promises physical health/healing, but if you consume unhealthy food on a regular basis, allow yourself to become obese or develop the habit of smoking, you’ll naturally imperil your health.
  • The Bible promises peace of mind, but this blessing will elude you if you choose to use your mind to dwell on negative, sinful things.
  • The Bible promises deliverance from unjust attacks by enemies, but if you’re an arrogant, contentious person who never prays for your enemies I wouldn’t bank on it.
  • The Bible promises long life but if you choose to be a careless daredevil or obstinate chain-smoker your life could be cut short.
  • The Bible promises financial provision within the framework of your calling, season and environmental context, but if you’re lazy (2 Thessalonians 3:10), stingy (2 Corinthians 9:6) or stubbornly unrepentant (Proverbs 28:13) don’t count on it.

You see? Spiritual laws and parallel natural laws work in conjunction. It’s a matter of simple wisdom.

You probably know unbelievers who operate in some of the five general blessings of the Law simply by observing the corresponding natural laws. For instance, someone could be a staunch atheist and yet prosper financially because he or she is diligent and rises to levels of authority in his/her occupation (Proverbs 12:24). Yet, without the Lord’s guiding hand, there can be a price to such “success,” like the loss of one’s marriage or mental/physical breakdown. For those in covenant with God, however, “The blessing of the Lord makes one rich, And He adds no sorrow with it” (Proverbs 10:22 NKJV).

Financial Blessing is determined by Season, Calling & Environmental Context

Financial provision is the blessing that tends to upset some Christians, as if they want to fight for their right to be impoverished. While there have been problems with dubious ministers who essentially make Christianity out to be a get-rich-quick scheme or have used the gospel as a means to get rich (1 Timothy 6:9), we shouldn’t throw out God’s conditional promises of financial blessing with the proverbial bathwater. Disregarding the false teachings of greed-loving “ministers,” the problem some believers have with the concept of financial blessing begins with an erroneous image of what it means to be financially blessed of God in a fallen world. Moreover, their criticisms do not take into account issues like the season the believer’s in, divine purpose or environmental context. Let’s look at these:

An erroneous image of financial blessing in a fallen world

Someone wrote to rebuke me in response to one of our teaching videos where he mistook my references to “the good life.” He evidently envisioned it to mean living like Hugh Hefner, as if true prosperity is all about owning a huge mansion and sipping cocktails while lounging at an in-ground pool with myriad half-naked women prancing around, etc. (I’m not saying, by the way, that a believer can’t own a mansion or have an in-ground pool). For one thing, this is a decidedly worldly image of “prosperity.” Secondly, the video itself defined the “good life” as being hooked up with God’s will and fulfilling the objectives He gives you, whatever they may be, which includes having the resources to carry out these objectives. An objective or purpose like this could be any number of things, including moving to a third-world country and being a missionary. God’s objectives — His courses — for each believer are exciting and good because they’re in line with your Creator’s will who knows you inside out and therefore how you’re “wired.” Living in accordance with the LORD’s purposes is “the good life,” regardless of what that purpose is. There will be hardships and persecutions, of course, but God knows what you can handle and can’t handle and will provide the grace to get through as you wisely fight the good fight of faith.

The Season You’re In

You might be in God’s perfect will and yet the season you’re in will determine your prosperity to an extent. For instance, prosperity at 18 years-of-age is different than prosperity at 50. Consider the example of Joseph, who was a type of Christ: He was unjustly sold into slavery by his jealous brothers when he was 17 and became a slave, and then a prisoner, before eventually living in the palaces of Egypt many years later as second-in-command of the nation. This journey entailed about 13 years. When he was a slave in Potiphar’s house the LORD blessed Joseph and he prospered in that context, but he was still a slave (Genesis 39:2-6). Obviously, there are limitations to how much you can prosper as a slave. Likewise Joseph prospered while an inmate in prison, but he was still a prisoner (39:21-23). You see? The season you are in determines the extent of your prosperity.

Your Divine Purpose

Your God-given calling will also determine the scope of your prosperity. This is similar to the previous one: Joseph was called to be a slave for a season, and then a prisoner, before becoming second-in-command of Egypt. He prospered as a slave and prisoner, but it certainly limited his prosperity. Why would God possibly call Joseph to be a slave and prisoner for so many years? Because Joseph was being groomed to be second-in-command of one of the most powerful nations on Earth at the time. The way up is down. People are more apt to be quality leaders if they have personally experienced humiliating circumstances, unjust suffering and corrupt non-leadership.

Your Environmental Context

A brother-in-the-Lord I know came from the more modest sections of Youngstown, Ohio, and as he became increasingly successful his fiancé wanted him to move to a better area before marrying. Yet he insisted that he was called to stay in that community to reach the people there. The LORD heavily put them on his heart. Whether he knew it or not, this corresponded to Paul’s exhortation to the Corinthian believers: Generally speaking, they should remain in the situation they were in when they were called in order to reach the people thereof, as directed by the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 7:17-24). After all, who better to reach a group of people than those from that community and culture? This was a general instruction and not an ironclad law. Obviously if a person is led of the Spirit to move outside of such a context then that’s what he or she should do. The brother who felt led to stay in a modest area of Youngstown would indeed prosper there, but it would be a different expression of prosperity than if he were called to, say, Hollywood or the jungles of the Amazon. What if your environmental context is a communistic country where the ruling elite ensure that everyone stays at an equally modest level (except for them, of course)? (What hypocrisy, by the way).

Obviously, there’s some overlap between the season you’re in, your divine calling and your geographical setting.

In any case, when you grasp these things, it helps set you free of envy and facilitates contentment in your God-given assignment.

What is “Prosperity” Anyway?

This all brings us to the definition of prosperity. What exactly is prosperity for the believer? It’s having enough resources for your needs and righteous desires in order to fulfill your God-given calling, which depends on the season you’re in, your specific assignment and the environment to which you’re called. Righteous desires are, of course, not the same as unrighteous desires, like greed, hedonism and pomposity.

People who lust after material things for the purpose of being greater than so-and-so (the proverbial Jones) and looking down on others are walking in eye-rolling carnality. Yet there’s nothing wrong with having a spirit-of-excellence and wanting what you have to reflect the glory of God. I Praise the LORD for my neighbors who maintain a great home & yard rather than let things get rundown.

Nor is merely being rich evil, as Abraham, Job, Solomon and David were (or became) quite wealthy. When Paul instructed the young pastor Timothy on rich people in the congregation he didn’t tell Timothy to rebuke them for being wealthy, he simply exhorted Timothy to tell them not to be arrogant, but to put their hope in God rather than their riches and “to be rich in good deeds and to be generous and willing to share” (1 Timothy 6:17-18). Why did Timothy have to tell them not to be arrogant? Because the attainment of material wealth tends to feed the fleshly ego and tempts people to look down on those with less. This is a form of greed, which Christ blatantly condemned (Luke 12:15); so is putting on airs to impress others. Needless to say, if you’re wealthy don’t let it go to your head. Instead, develop the spirit of a giver; giving is the antidote to greed (Romans 12:8). Yet don’t become arrogant of your giving and look down on those you presume don’t give as much and condemn them as not truly saved or what have you.

Lastly, it’s not money that’s the root of all evil, but rather the love of money (1 Timothy 6:10). It’s fine to have money; it’s just not fine for money to have you.

Objections to the Blessing of Health/Healing

It’s astonishing, but there are genuine Christians who sincerely love the LORD who will fight tooth & nail for the right to be sick & diseased and prematurely perish. Yet a third of Jesus’ earthly ministry was focused on physical health/healing:

Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people.

                                   Matthew 4:23

Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness.                                                  

Matthew 9:35

Christ’s ministry was threefold: 1. He taught the Word of God, 2. He evangelized by preaching the Good News and 3. He healed people of every disease and sickness. So His ministry consisted of teaching, preaching & healing. (Memorize that: teaching, preaching & healing; teaching, preaching & healing; teaching, preaching & healing).

One of the things he taught was that health/healing is a God-given right in covenant with the LORD. This explains how people whom Yeshua healed had the faith to be healed in reaction to his teaching & preaching (whether they heard the Word directly or indirectly):

Jesus turned and saw her. “Take heart, daughter,” he said, “your faith has healed you.” And the woman was healed at that moment.

Matthew 9:22

 “Go,” said Jesus, “your faith has healed you.” Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus along the road.

Mark10:52

 Then he said to him, “Rise and go; your faith has made you well.”

Luke 17:19

These verses are from three different occasions taken from three different Gospel accounts. Christ regularly taught and preached the truth of health/healing and thus these people had the faith to receive healing, each from three different physical maladies—a bleeding problem, blindness, and a skin disease. Jesus was the conduit of God’s power, but it was their faith that made them well. Everything in our covenant is by faith & perseverance, including salvation (Hebrews 6:12). *

* Faith that gives up isn’t true faith, only faith that perseveres (Colossians 1:22-23 & 1 Corinthians 15:2).

By “conduit” I mean the channel through which God’s power flows to an individual, or an article that inspires faith, or both. This could be a person, like Jesus or Paul (Acts 20:7-12), or a thing, like Peter’s shadow (Acts 5:15-16), a handkerchief (Acts 19:11–12) or anointing oil (James 5:14-15). The LORD uses conduits like these because people obviously need them to inspire faith and it’s their faith that ushers in healing via God’s power. So it’s not the conduit that heals the individual, but the power of God, which is appropriated through the believer’s faith. But you actually don’t need a conduit to receive a healing or any miracle; you can receive directly from the LORD, as Jesus said: “Whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours” (Mark 11:24). Of course, it takes spiritual growth to receive directly from God like this, which is one of the reasons Fountain of Life focuses on cultivating spiritual maturity (Ephesians 4:11-13).

“But Paul left a man sick in Miletus,” someone might point out, based on 2 Timothy 4:20. Obviously this man didn’t have the faith to receive healing at the time, despite Paul’s teaching & preaching, which shows that the conduit itself doesn’t heal. However, if the man kept drawing near to God and feeding on the message of faith & healing he would eventually have the faith to receive healing. We don’t know if this ever happened because the Bible doesn’t say.

If you want health/healing you’re going to have to fight the good fight of faith for this God-given right in Christ. This is regardless of whether or not the problem is the result of simple wear & tear on your body, including age, or if it’s demonic in nature (Luke 13:11,16). Only a fool would fight for the right to be sick & diseased and die prematurely.

Don’t be Like Job’s “Friends”!

None of this means, by the way, that we should negatively judge believers who are suffering some physical malady or any other curse, like Job’s “friends” did with him (1 Corinthians 4:5). Rather, we should do our part to help hurting believers receive their healing or blessing, which may include walking in tough love by correcting a sin issue that, on some occasions, opened the door to the enemy (which would be a DIT—a Discipline-Intended Trial). For instance, Jesus saved an adulterous woman from the curse of premature death, yet he also corrected her sinful behavior which opened the door to this curse in the first place (John 8:1-11). True love corrects when appropriate, but don’t presumptuously judge & condemn, like Job’s “friends.”

Many physical and mental maladies are passed down in one’s family from generation to generation. The people suffering these ailments didn’t do anything to incur it. But, if they want to walk free, they’re going to have to learn to fight the good fight of faith; and fight it tooth & nail because the enemy is going to do everything in their power to keep a person bound up so as to not be a threat to their kingdom. This is why I’m sharing the material in this article and the linking one.

The Five Main Blessings of Your Covenant

Now that you understand the five general curses of the Law and the corresponding five blessings of the law, let’s examine the five main spiritual blessings that are yours through Christ being your substitutionary curse:

    1. The apprehension of eternal life (John 3:16 & 2 Timothy 1:10). The Son of God suffered the wages of sin—death—so that you might have eternal life (Romans 6:23).
    2. Reconciliation with God wherein you can have a relationship with your Creator (2 Corinthians 5:18-20). ‘Reconciliation’ means to turn from enmity to friendship. Christ suffered separation from God on the cross so that you can be united with your Creator and have intimate fellowship (Matthew 27:46).
    3. Spiritual regeneration where you’re born righteous in your spirit (Ephesians 4:24). Jesus Christ never sinned when he was on Earth, but he suffered the curse of being “made sin” on the cross so that you “might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21). ‘Become’ is translated from the Greek word ginomai (GHIN-oh-may), which means to “come into being, to be born.” This means that your spirit was made pure and in-right-standing with God when you came to Christ. And explains why God sees you as holy—because you are holy, spiritually speaking (Colossians 1:22).
    4. Freedom from bondage to sin. This blessing is a natural outflow of the previous one: Since Christ suffered being made sin on your behalf so that you can be born righteous & holy in Christ, you can walk free of bondage to the flesh simply by learning to live out of your new nature. The Bible calls this walking in the spirit (Galatians 5:16-17) or “participating in the divine nature” (2 Peter 1:4). Humbly “keeping with repentance” is a strategic key to maintaining this blessing (Matthew/Luke 3:8 & 1 John 1:8-9).
    5. A meaningful life with God-given purpose. When Christ was forsaken by the Father on the cross he suffered the utter meaninglessness of life for the first time in his life so that you can have a meaningful life of Divine-purpose (Matthew 27:46).

The Blessing of a Meaningful Life with God-Given Purpose

Allow me to elaborate on that last blessing: The LORD provided for us an entire book in His Word to illustrate the curse of the meaninglessness of life. I’m talking about the book of Ecclesiastes, which isn’t a long book so I encourage you to check it out if you’re not familiar with it. Ecclesiastes happened to be the favorite book of an unbeliever I met who regularly read the Bible. Actually, this wasn’t surprising because Ecclesiastes is the one book in Scripture that focuses on the human perspective “under the sun,” a phrase repeatedly used in its twelve chapters.

This “under the sun” perspective refers to the mundane viewpoint, which is limited to the outlook perceived through the five physical senses. It’s a viewpoint of life without the benefit of the divine, eternal perspective, which explains why Solomon—the writer—constantly laments the meaningless of life in Ecclesiastes. I’ve experienced this curse even after becoming a believer, yet only when I allowed myself to become distant from God for one reason or another, whether falling into sin or spiritual apathy. The good news is that Christ suffered this curse of mundane futility so that you can have the blessing of a purposeful life with God-given drive! *

* For a biblical 3-point plan on how to discern God’s will for your life and fulfill His purposes see my teaching How to Obtain Your Desires and the corresponding video. Or check out Chapter 6 of my book The Four Stages of Spiritual Growth.

This blessing, along with knowing the LORD—that is, having an actual relationship with your Creator—will become the driving force in your life as you mature in Christ. Why is this important? Because these two blessings will enable you to endure the discomfort of the enemy’s increasing attacks as you mature and increasingly engage in spiritual warfare (as they say: “Higher levels, bigger devils”). For instance, how was Paul possibly able to face the incredible satanic attacks on his life and endure? (See 2 Corinthians 11:23-29). Because his main goal in life was not mundane peace, prosperity, pleasure and the avoidance of pain, but rather pleasing God through fulfilling the works He called him to fulfill. Doing so produces far greater peace, riches and joy because they’re spiritual in nature.

I should add that the LORD and His will should be our first priority, but not our only priority (Matthew 6:33).

Reflect on these things and the Spirit will give you insight.

The Enemy WILL Attack these God-Given Blessings

Just as the kingdom of darkness will try to stop the five blessings of the Law manifesting in your life by trying to put one or more of the five curses of the Law on you, evil spirits will attack these five spiritual blessings, whether in your life or in the lives of those for whom you’re interceding:

  1. The enemy will attack your eternal salvation (I’ll show you how in a moment, don’t freak out).
  2. The enemy will attack your relationship with God.
  3. The enemy will try to prevent you from living out of your new nature, which is righteous, and get you back into the flesh.
  4. The enemy will try to get you stuck in life-dominating sin bondage.
  5. The enemy will try to prevent you from fulfilling your God-given purpose(s).

Let me elaborate on each of these:

The enemy will attack your eternal salvation

The Bible certainly teaches that your salvation is secure (John 10:28-29), yet it’s obviously contingent on continuing in faith (Colossians 1:22-23 & 1 Corinthians 15:2). Numerous passages clearly show that Christians can abort their salvation if they choose to neglect their faith (e.g. Hebrews 6:4-9, 2 Peter 2:20-21, 2 Timothy 2:11-13 and Titus 1:16). This is just common sense; after all, if it takes faith to be saved it naturally follows that people cannot be saved if they come to a point where they no longer believe. So the Bible supports the doctrine of eternal security, but not the doctrine of unconditional eternal security.

Since it takes faith to be saved (Ephesians 2:8) and salvation is secure as one continues in faith, the only way the enemy can successfully attack a believer’s salvation is by deceiving him/her with doctrines of demons in an effort to get them to come to the point where they no longer believe. This is done through corrupt noémas—erroneous indoctrination (explained in full in Chapter 17 & 18 of my book ANGELS) (you can read a web-version here). Let me give you a recent example: A man I know, who was an evangelizing Christian for 25 years, foolishly read a book which championed atheism and he eventually publicly confessed that he no longer believed (!) and even encouraged people to read the book (!!). How did the enemy rob this man of his eternal salvation? Through false teachings that corrupted his mindset and therefore ripped off his faith.

Of course, this man’s relationship with God must have been pretty feeble and his theology shallow for a mere atheistic book to derail his faith, but this just goes to show the importance of two pieces of the Armor of God—the gospel of peace shoes and the belt of truth, as covered last chapter. Without these vital pieces of armor the devil can rob you wholesale!

The enemy will attack your relationship with God

Did you notice that when the devil attacked Job his stated goal was to get him to curse the Almighty to His face? Make no mistake, the enemy’s primary objective is to break the believer’s relationship with God, with the first order of business being to break the fellowship. In short, evil spirits are obsessed with destroying your communion with the LORD.

The enemy will try to prevent you from living out of your new nature, which is righteous, and get you back into the flesh

Since any believer who learns to walk according to their new righteous nature will produce the fruit of the spirit—the very character traits of God—he or she naturally becomes a threat to the kingdom of darkness. As such, evil spirits will seek to keep believers from living according to their new nature, i.e. walking in the spirit.

The enemy will try to get you into the bondage of life-dominating sin

Since sin breaks fellowship with God and hinders believers from participating in the divine nature, the kingdom of darkness will do everything in their power to get believers in bondage to a particular sin wherein it becomes life-dominating. Some obvious examples include alcoholism, pharmakeia (drug-oriented sins), porn bondage, greed, fornication, homosexuality and pathological lying (1 Corinthians 6:9-11). When a person is captive to a particular sin—living it as a lifestyle—he or she is no threat to the devil’s kingdom; in fact, s/he inadvertently supports it.

The enemy will try to prevent you from fulfilling your God-given purpose(s)

Since any fulfillment of a God-given assignment is a direct threat to the kingdom of darkness, evil spirits will do everything they can to prevent believers from fulfilling their divine calling in whatever season they’re in, however big or small.

Master the Ten Curses and Contrasting Blessings

Altogether there are ten curses and ten contrasting blessings—five curses of the Law and five spiritual curses; five blessings of the Law and five spiritual blessings.

  • The five curses of the Law and the five blessings of the Law have to do with mundane things corresponding to your life on Earth.
  • The five spiritual curses and the five spiritual blessings have to do with God, eternity and the things of the spirit (which, of course, affect your life on Earth).

This chapter was devoted to detailing these ten curses and ten blessings so that you’ll readily recognize when you’re under demonic attack and hence fight the good fight of faith accordingly. After all, how can you conduct spiritual warfare if you’re not even aware you’re being attacked? This goes for people you’re interceding for as well.

You Must Fight the Good Fight of Faith for Your Rights!

The five blessings of the Law and the five spiritual blessings are yours in Christ. In other words, these ten blessings are yours by right in covenant (contract) with God through Christ. Remember, you are a co-heir in Christ through spiritual regeneration wherein you’re born of the Messiah’s seed, that is, the Anointed One’s spiritual sperm (Romans 8:17 & 1 John 3:9).

Here, again, are the ten blessings:

The Five Blessings of the Law

  1. Physical health/healing.
  2. Mental health.
  3. Victory over unjust human attack.
  4. Long life till you’re satisfied (minimum 70-80 years).
  5. Financial provision/blessing (not a get-rich-quick scheme).

The Five Spiritual Blessings

  1. Eternal life.
  2. Reconciliation and relationship with the LORD.
  3. Spiritual regeneration wherein you’re spiritually born righteous and can live by this new nature.
  4. Freedom from bondage to sin via walking in the spirit.
  5. Meaningful life with God-given purpose.

These ten blessings are your rights (‘10’ is incidentally the number of completion in the Bible). But they are attained and maintained through faith & perseverance. This includes your eternal salvation, as explained above. Like I said earlier, faith that gives-up is not true faith. That’s why faith and perseverance/patience/endurance are often spoken of in the same breath in the New Testament (e.g. Hebrews 6:12).

These ten blessings are your earthly “Promised Land.” To explain, the Israelites were promised the land of Canaan and victory over the inhabitants thereof, which were their enemies; yet they still had to get their swords out and take the land. Similarly, these ten blessings are promised to you, the believer, but you must put your armor on, get your weapons out and fight the fight of faith in order to walk in them. Unlike with the Israelites, however, your enemies aren’t flesh and blood (Ephesians 6:12). Your enemies are spiritual in nature and their attacks manifest through one (or more) of the ten curses above, which explains why it requires spiritual armor and spiritual weapons to overcome them.

I’ve heard Christians speak of the Promised Land as if it were a type of eternal life in the new Heavens and new Earth (typically referred to as “Heaven”). This is true as far as our eternal Promised Land is concerned. Even the Old Testament saints looked forward to the eternal Promised Land (Hebrews 11:10,16). Yet, just as they had an earthly Promised Land, so New Covenant believers have an earthly Promised Land, although it’s not a piece of real estate. It’s walking in the ten promised blessings above. This includes fulfilling whatever mission or dream the Lord gives you. In other words, the Hebrews’ Promised Land is a type of your inheritance during your temporal life on this Earth.

The Hebrew’s earthly Promised Land was Canaan where there were enemy nations that they had to conquer in order to obtain their Promised Land. Just as they had to put their armor on and take up their weapons in order to inhabit their Promised Land, we believers have to put on our armor and take up our weapons to inhabit ours.

Needless to say, get your armor on & your weapons out and fight the good fight of faith—conquer your Promised Land!

‘What about Hebrews 11:39?’

Before closing this article we need to clear up an objection based on this passage:

These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised,                                                     

Hebrews 11:39

To properly interpret this passage both the hermeneutical laws Context is King and Scripture interprets Scripture must be applied. First, who is the subject of the text? Second, what specific promise(s) didn’t they receive while on Earth? As far as the first goes, the writer is contextually referring to various Old Testament saints who, albeit flawed individuals, were commended for their faith as they endured great challenges and persecutions.

As far as the promise(s) they didn’t receive on Earth goes, the context shows that it’s referring to their eternal Promised Land:

By faith he [Abraham] made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. 10 For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God.                       

Hebrews 11:9-10

 All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance, admitting that they were foreigners and strangers on earth. 14 People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own. 15 If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. 16 Instead, they were longing for a better country—a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.

Hebrews 11:13-16

So the promise they didn’t receive while on Earth is the new Jerusalem and, by extension, the new Heavens (Universe) and new Earth (2 Peter 3:13). The new Jerusalem is currently in Heaven but will “come down out of heaven from God” to rest on the new Earth in the eternal age to come (Revelation 3:12 & 21:2,10).

New Covenant believers are also looking forward to this promise and, like the Hebrews, will not receive it as long as we’re on this Earth:

For here we do not have an enduring city, but we are looking for the city that is to come.

Hebrews 13:14

Someone might understandably point out that verse 13 (of Hebrews 11, above) infers more than one promise, as it says: “They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance.” Answer: While the “promise” the Old Testament saints didn’t receive on Earth mainly concerns the new Jerusalem and, by extension, the new Heavens and new Earth, it also naturally includes the foundational promises on which these future blessings are based: 1. the promised prophet, Jesus Christ (Deuteronomy 18:15), and 2. the New Covenant established through his death and resurrection (Jeremiah 31:31,33). Every Old Testament saint listed in the Hall of Faith Chapter of Hebrews 11 died before these promises came to pass.

Of course New Covenant believers have received these two promises, otherwise we wouldn’t be New Covenant believers; and this ties into something noted in verse 40:

These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised, 40 since God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect.                                                    

Hebrews 11:39-40

This distinguishes the Old Testament saint from the New Testament saint. The spirits of New Covenant believers were “made perfect” through spiritual regeneration when they accepted the gospel of Christ (Hebrews 10:14, 12:23 & Ephesians 4:24). Yet deceased Old Testament saints won’t receive this promise until their resurrection. At that time “together with us” they will “be made perfect.”

Lastly, twice previously in the book of Hebrews believers are encouraged to walk in faith & patience to inherit their promised blessings (Hebrews 6:12 & 10:36) so Hebrews 11:39 cannot be interpreted to discourage this. Not to mention, we have the entire rest of the New Testament. Scripture interprets Scripture.


Related Topics:

Armor & Weaponry of God

Once Saved Always Saved?

Spiritual Development — The Four Stages

Spiritual Growth is Like Climbing a Mountain

Spirituality — How to be Spirit-Controlled Rather than Flesh-Ruled


Angels amazon pic

This article was edited from Chapter 20 of Dirk’s book ANGELS, available here for just over $12 (345 pages); or, if you prefer, you can get the eBook version here for only $2.99. Both links allow you to “Look inside” the book.


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