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The Seventh (The Power of Words)

Hey! I hope things are going well with everyone! Looking back on the newsletters, I thought I had discussed the power of the spoken word in The First email when I talked about God creating the universe. I neglected to do that, so that's what this email is all about. Not just God's spoken word when he created the universe, but our spoken word and the power that it has.

In The First email, I talked about the Bible being written exactly the way God intended it. Each word specifically chosen by Him for a purpose (2 Timothy 3:16). We also know that scripture is timeless. What I mean by that is unless there is scripture that cancels what previous scripture says (and I can't think of any circumstances like that off the top of my head) it's as true today as it was when it was written. There's plenty of examples of prophecy in the Old Testament that came true in the New Testament, and God has never said "oh that stuff isn't true anymore now that it's 2020." This is an important thing to remember because there's a lot of things in the Bible that are dismissed because people say things like, "well, based on what we know now, that can't be true. Those things are just superstitions." Well, I'm pretty sure God didn't tell people to put superstitions in the Bible as a way to show obedience. He also didn't use superstitions to warn of punishments or judgments that people would receive if they failed to follow his commandments.

Have you ever heard of blessings and curses? There's over 600 places where the word blessing or curse is written in the Bible. There was a whole "ceremony" put on by the Israelites where they pronounced blessings and curses over each other for either following or disobeying God, respectively. People throw around words today like they're just words, but real help or damage can be done with words because they hold weight in the supernatural realm. God created the universe, both natural and supernatural, according to a certain set of rules. Among those rules is the operation of blessings and curses.

As I said, the Israelites blessed and cursed each other from Mount Gerizim and Mount Ebal during a "ceremony" recorded in Deuteronomy 27:11-26. Deuteronomy 28 is a whole chapter dedicated to blessings and curses. Blessings and curses are also talked about in the New Testament. James 3:9,10 talks about how we bless God and curse men, which are made in the image of God. That blessings and cursings both come from our mouths and we shouldn't curse people. There are many other places that talk about blessings and curses, but the key to understand is that our actions can cause blessings and curses on us, according to God's Word and what He has said would come upon us if we follow or disobey Him, and we can also specifically bless or curse people and things.

Yes, we can curse things as well. Remember when Jesus was walking down the road with His disciples and was hungry? They came upon a fig tree and He found no fruit on it. He cursed it saying, "May no one ever eat fruit from you again." When they came back down that road that tree had withered from the roots (Mark 11:12-25). One important thing to take away from this is that Jesus never said, "I curse you," when He cursed the tree. Yet, Peter said He had cursed the tree (Mark 11:21). We don't have to say the word "curse" to curse, and likewise we don't have to say the word "bless" to bless, something or someone. Furthermore, blessings and curses operate until they are counteracted with their opposites, either with our actions or a spoken word.

Another important point is that we can bless or curse ourselves as well. The biggest example of this is when the Israelites responded to Pilate during Jesus' trial saying, "his blood be on us and our children" (Matthew 27:20-26). The result of this self-imposed curse was the destruction of Jerusalem and the enslavement of the Jewish people. Ever said, "I'm sick and tired of...."? It's a common phrase people use idly, and no one would think twice if they said it. They also likely wouldn't associate a subsequent sickness or unexplainable tiredness with the fact that they spoke those words. But that is as much a curse as saying, "I curse myself to be sick and tired."

I'd like to close by reminding everyone that whether or not we "didn't really mean it," or think "it's just a phrase," Jesus warned us in Matthew 12:36-37 that we will be held accountable for every idle word we speak, and that we will be justified and/or condemned for the words we speak. A lot of times curses are spoken without realizing the effect of the words, or spoken in a moment of intense emotion (usually anger). So take a moment to think about things and the effect they will have before speaking them aloud.

If you want a more in depth discussion of blessings and curses, I highly recommend "Blessing or Curse You Can Choose," by Derek Prince. It goes into all the things that can cause curses and how we can free ourselves from generational curses. Have a blessed Sabbath!

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