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September 13, 2021

Ep.1195: Are Curses Real? Curses Series (Part I)

Examining the complexity of curses and whether they are real or not

If you do not have a password, please subscribe to our FREE Premium Content for the Full Edition version of CQ Rewind. The welcome message will contain your password, and a reminder will be sent each week when the CQ Rewind is available online for you to read, print, or download.

View Series

CHAPTERS

[00:16:31]
How does our difficulty coping with uncertainty play into a belief in curses?


[00:31:49]
What role might the science of epigenetics play in generational curses?


[00:47:56]
Are curses real?


Theme Scripture: Ephesians 4:26-27

The history and cultures of our world have brought us to where we are today. Many various cultures have fueled wonderful traditions, solid communities and exemplary progress. But many cultures have also brought us darkness, superstitions and strong desire to harm those they see as enemies. Enter the worldwide phenomena of curses. To quote from Wikipedia, “A curse is any expressed wish that some form of adversity or misfortune will befall or attach to one or more persons, a place, or an object.” We find the existence of curses all through human history and across a multitude of cultures. So, where do curses come from? Are they real? Should we be afraid of being cursed?

Continue Reading

Does God curse people?

As we think about curses and their dark intentions, it may come as a surprise to realize that God was the one to introduce curses to humanity. Now, don’t jump to conclusions here! All the talk about curses today is centered on the idea of purposefully wishing someone to be harmed. God NEVER has or will He ever wish harm on anyone. This might sound like a contradiction. How can God “cursing” someone or something be different in intention than what everyone else thinks? It all comes down to the meaning of the words for “curse” we use now and the words used back in ancient times.

When Adam and Eve sinned, God came before them to proclaim consequences. God “cursed” Satan and also “cursed” the ground, for Adam’s sake. The word for curse in both cases means “to execrate.” Great - what does that mean? Execrate means “to feel or express great loathing for.” A major factor in God pronouncing the consequences for the Garden of Eden sins was Him expressing His deep disdain for the sins committed. These “curses” from God were not wishes for harm to come. They were expressions of the harmful consequences of sinful actions taken.

Am I cursed?

So, what does this mean for the curses we might be afraid of today? Are they real? If we feel we may be cursed, are we under a spell or the power of some mystical force? The short answer to this complex question is no. We believe our perceptions of these circumstances have far greater influence than what might be true. We draw this conclusion because we believe the Bible, science, psychology and biology overwhelmingly support it.

Check out our September 13, 2021 podcast, “Are Curses Real? Curses Series (Part I)” for more. We touch on some historical examples of curses in the world. Then we examine how feeling you are in control or out of control of your future weighs in feelings of being cursed. We look at the Placebo Effect and the Nocebo Effect. And do you know how our character traits affect our acceptance of curses being real? We even visit the genetics of inherited reactions to stimuli. In all of this, we cite specific scriptural guidance to help us cope with our fears. Anxiety over curses is real, but don’t let that anxiety keep you from finding the faith and courage to overcome! In Part II, we specifically deal with the idea of generational curses handed down to us through our ancestors.

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September 27, 2021

Ep.1197: Can Christians Be Cursed and Curse Others? Curses Series (Part III)

Determining what curses are real through a New Testament lens

If you do not have a password, please subscribe to our FREE Premium Content for the Full Edition version of CQ Rewind. The welcome message will contain your password, and a reminder will be sent each week when the CQ Rewind is available online for you to read, print, or download.

View Series

CHAPTERS

[00:13:09]
Did Jesus ever curse anyone? Did he ever teach us to curse anyone?


[00:32:02]
What did the Apostle Paul say about curses?


[00:45:37]
How should Christians deal with curses?


Theme Scripture: Mark 11:21

The word “curse” is overused and under comprehended. Cursing can mean using words that are not acceptable to repeat in public. To curse can mean to call upon a perceived other-worldly power for the purpose of harming someone or something. Cursing can also mean the expression of great disdain and loathing for people or things. In Part II of our 3-part Curses Series, we observed in great detail how to properly understand cursing, especially the curses of God in the Old Testament. Today we dive into curses in the New Testament to find the differences and similarities with the Old Testament. Several people “cursed” in the New Testament, including Jesus. What does it all mean to us here and now? Are curses real today and if so, what should we do?

Continue Reading

Jesus cursed!

The idea that Jesus “cursed” people or things can be a disturbing one.  To understand what is meant by this, it is important to focus on the usual areas of concern, definitions and context.  The Jesus uses when he talks about curses is a convincing one. It means to “execrate” (to have great loathing for) by analogy, to doom. It comes from two Greek words that include a sense of calling down harm upon someone or something. In the pagan Greek and Roman culture of Jesus’ day, this word would carry a sense of gods and magic being involved. In Jesus’ case, it had everything to do with God’s will and God’s judgments.

What about that fig tree?

The day after Palm Sunday when Jesus rode triumphantly into Jerusalem, he saw a fig tree and proclaimed it to become fruitless from that day forward. The following morning the tree was withered. Jesus, by the power of God’s spirit, “cursed” this tree to dramatically show that Israel (symbolically represented by the fig tree) would lose their favor with God, as they would reject and crucify Jesus. There are several other times Jesus uses this specific Greek word for curse.

The Apostle Paul also wrote several times about curses. He referenced Israel and the “curse of the Law,” as well as referencing curses regarding Christians who misrepresent or walk away from the gospel. What did he mean? Check out our September 27, 2021 podcast, “Can Christians be Cursed and Curse Others?” Curses Series (Part III) for more. We carefully categorize which words for curse mean what so that we can understand the messages behind them.

Also, we get practical for today’s world. Directly confronting the idea of curses existing today, we lay out what that means for Christians. This is tougher than you might think, because there are many scary and erroneous views that have influence in Christian culture. Can Christians be cursed?  Do Christians have the authority to curse others? These important questions can only be answered by comprehensively understanding what the Scriptures really teach. Join us as we uncover the Bible’s truth on curses in the New Testament and what we as Christians need to know and do today!

 

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September 13, 2021

Ep.1195: Are Curses Real? Curses Series (Part I)

Examining the complexity of curses and whether they are real or not

If you do not have a password, please subscribe to our FREE Premium Content for the Full Edition version of CQ Rewind. The welcome message will contain your password, and a reminder will be sent each week when the CQ Rewind is available online for you to read, print, or download.

View Series

CHAPTERS

[00:16:31]
How does our difficulty coping with uncertainty play into a belief in curses?


[00:31:49]
What role might the science of epigenetics play in generational curses?


[00:47:56]
Are curses real?


Theme Scripture: Ephesians 4:26-27

The history and cultures of our world have brought us to where we are today. Many various cultures have fueled wonderful traditions, solid communities and exemplary progress. But many cultures have also brought us darkness, superstitions and strong desire to harm those they see as enemies. Enter the worldwide phenomena of curses. To quote from Wikipedia, “A curse is any expressed wish that some form of adversity or misfortune will befall or attach to one or more persons, a place, or an object.” We find the existence of curses all through human history and across a multitude of cultures. So, where do curses come from? Are they real? Should we be afraid of being cursed?

Continue Reading

Does God curse people?

As we think about curses and their dark intentions, it may come as a surprise to realize that God was the one to introduce curses to humanity. Now, don’t jump to conclusions here! All the talk about curses today is centered on the idea of purposefully wishing someone to be harmed. God NEVER has or will He ever wish harm on anyone. This might sound like a contradiction. How can God “cursing” someone or something be different in intention than what everyone else thinks? It all comes down to the meaning of the words for “curse” we use now and the words used back in ancient times.

When Adam and Eve sinned, God came before them to proclaim consequences. God “cursed” Satan and also “cursed” the ground, for Adam’s sake. The word for curse in both cases means “to execrate.” Great - what does that mean? Execrate means “to feel or express great loathing for.” A major factor in God pronouncing the consequences for the Garden of Eden sins was Him expressing His deep disdain for the sins committed. These “curses” from God were not wishes for harm to come. They were expressions of the harmful consequences of sinful actions taken.

Am I cursed?

So, what does this mean for the curses we might be afraid of today? Are they real? If we feel we may be cursed, are we under a spell or the power of some mystical force? The short answer to this complex question is no. We believe our perceptions of these circumstances have far greater influence than what might be true. We draw this conclusion because we believe the Bible, science, psychology and biology overwhelmingly support it.

Check out our September 13, 2021 podcast, “Are Curses Real? Curses Series (Part I)” for more. We touch on some historical examples of curses in the world. Then we examine how feeling you are in control or out of control of your future weighs in feelings of being cursed. We look at the Placebo Effect and the Nocebo Effect. And do you know how our character traits affect our acceptance of curses being real? We even visit the genetics of inherited reactions to stimuli. In all of this, we cite specific scriptural guidance to help us cope with our fears. Anxiety over curses is real, but don’t let that anxiety keep you from finding the faith and courage to overcome! In Part II, we specifically deal with the idea of generational curses handed down to us through our ancestors.

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July 26, 2021

Ep.1188: Do We Have the Purpose of the Holy Spirit Backwards?

Distinguishing God's power from our own desires in our daily life

If you do not have a password, please subscribe to our FREE Premium Content for the Full Edition version of CQ Rewind. The welcome message will contain your password, and a reminder will be sent each week when the CQ Rewind is available online for you to read, print, or download.

CHAPTERS

[00:14:51]
What was unique about how Jesus and the 12 apostles were able to use the holy spirit?


[00:31:31]
Can we ever decree and declare what we want to happen using the power of the holy spirit?


[00:49:32]
In what ways are we authorized to use the holy spirit?


Theme Scripture: Galatians 5:16

The call of Christianity is unique. It is a call to sacrifice and humility, a call to the subduing of one’s own will in favor of God’s will. While there are many noble purposes in this world and many humble and dedicated people, a Christian is called to the ultimate purpose of eventually reconciling the world back to God. Even more unique than that, Christians are called to become a "new creation," based on the indwelling of the holy spirit. This is a grace-based privilege and something we need to have a clear understanding of, as well as the deepest respect for. Why does God’s holy spirit dwell within His chosen ones? What does it do for us, and more importantly, what doesn’t it do for us?

Continue Reading

God’s spirit is of paramount importance in Scripture and is revealed in the Bible’s second verse as the power that drove creation.

As we progress through the Bible, two things become clear:

  1. God's power appears often
  2. The way it functions definitely changes as the Bible and God’s plan progress.

This is an important factor in determining how the holy spirit works now in our day.

Trace how God's power functions in human beings -
How has it changed over time?

God’s spirit is directly spoken about in relation to people once in Genesis and once in Exodus.  The first is Joseph when Pharaoh - of all people - remarks that God’s spirit must be in him. Joseph had just miraculously interpreted a forgotten dream of Pharaoh’s. In Exodus, a craftsman named Bezalel is plainly proclaimed by God to have His spirit. God’s purpose in this was for Bezalel to craft furniture artwork and embroidery for the Tabernacle. These two examples give us a good insight into how God’s spirit affected humans in the early days. God’s power was essentially loaned to those who needed to do very specific things for Him.

Once Jesus comes on the scene, the role of God’s power working in humanity changes dramatically. The fact that the spirit rested upon Jesus in the form of a dove just scratches the surface regarding the spirit’s role. Jesus was filled with the spirit. He taught, he reasoned, he healed and he raised people from the dead because the power of God dwelt within him.

Interestingly, the apostles also had similar experiences as a result of the spirit dwelling in them. Does this mean we should be having the same experiences? Check out our July 26, 2021 podcast, “Do We Have the Purpose of the Holy Spirit Backwards?” for more. We follow the patterns laid out by the Scriptures to show us what God expects of us in these End Times. We also observe what the Bible reveals we should expect from God’s spirit. The fascinating thing is, the biblical answers may be surprising. Join us and see!

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October 12, 2020

Ep.1147: Do I Have Other Gods and Idols in My Life?

Practically applying the first two Commandments to Christians today

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CHAPTERS

[00:15:00]
If I believe in God and go to church, is that enough?


[00:30:50]
Idols were a big thing in the Old Testament, but how does this apply to me?


[00:47:32]
If having other gods and worshipping idols IS a problem today, how can we get rid of them?


Theme Scripture: Exodus 20:3-5

When God gave the Ten Commandments to Moses, He set a standard that would influence the world for ages to come.  Those ten statements of direction summed up all of what humanity would need to live godly and productive lives. The first two of those Commandments were to have no other gods before God himself and to not create and worship idols. While we know what these things meant for ancient Israel, what do they mean for us? Are we, as Christians, bound by those Commandments? If so, how? What does having other gods look like in the 21st century? And what about idols? Back in those days, people chiseled them out of wood or stone. We don’t do that anymore, so how would making and worshipping idols fit into or day?

Continue Reading

Why did God make the First Commandment about Him? It is not a sign of arrogance, but it is a sign of authority. After all, God is THE Creator and therefore worthy of ALL praise and honor. His worthiness reminds us of our need to give Him our unbroken allegiance. “Having no other gods before Me” is the unquestioned basis for the other nine Commandments.  Without this singular focus on our Creator, Christians cannot possibly build a balanced, integrity-driven personal and spiritual life.

Having said all this, having other gods before God is deceptively easy. This can happen in a very imperceptible way because it has to do with what we worship in our hearts. It is a simple and natural thing to prop up loyalty and allegiance to many things in ways no one ever sees.  Other gods can take the form of people or power. They can also be things like success, ego and social position. Adopting another god to occupy the Father’s rightful place in our hearts undermines God’s sacred and rightful ascendency. This can only lead to compromised thinking and behavior.

So, what about the Second Commandment that tells us not to make and worship idols? What is the difference here? Violating this is the outward manifestation of having already violated the First Commandment. You will only make an idol to something that you already have put in a place of honor. Idols in today’s world are vastly different than idols of ancient times.  While we don’t carve them out of wood or stone, we certainly and easily collect them in the form of possessions, pictures and symbols.

Check out our October 12, 2020 podcast, “Do I Have Other Gods and Idols in My Life?” for more. We clearly define what having other gods and idols looks like today. We then walk through a profound scriptural reasoning from the book of 2 Peter that reveals a process for keeping our allegiance to God intact and vital. Everything about our world today draws our loyalty away from its rightful owner, and we really have to fight this trend. The battle is winnable if you know how. Join us for a winning strategy! Study the rest of the Commandments with us to see how they are still valid for Christians today.

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August 17, 2020

Ep.1139: Thou Shalt Not Covet – Is It Wrong to Want?

Building a foundation for our desires to be godly and appropriate

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CHAPTERS

[00:13:59]
If coveting is a form of idolatry, how can I reframe my thinking?


[00:34:22]
What's wrong with wanting what others have?


[00:57:12]
How does coveting ruin contentment?


Theme Scripture: Ephesians 5:5

When God gave the Ten Commandments to Moses, they were in a specific order. Did you ever wonder why the last Commandment was to not covet? To covet in its most basic sense is “to have a strong desire for” something. What was there about the human propensity to want that God saw fit to leave it as the final thing to remember? Because wanting spiritually good things is good, we must assume that all coveting can’t be bad.

Continue Reading

The key here is figuring out where to draw the line. Are there degrees of goodness or evil attached to what and how we covet? Fortunately, the Bible provides us with ample evidence so we can not only perceive where the line is, but we can also learn how to stay away from it.

In Genesis, when God created the Garden of Eden, it says every tree was “pleasing” to the eye. The word for “covet” in the tenth commandment is the very same word as “pleasing” in Genesis. This means God built humanity to possess this characteristic of desire, so it's natural and healthy to have it. The problem with coveting or delighting in something is not the fact that we do it; rather, it is the object of that emotion.

Coveting is a sin of the heart

It develops on the inside where others cannot necessarily see it. Biblical history tells us Satan was the original coveter. He is prophetically spoken of in Isaiah as having his mind and heart set on raising himself up to the level of God. He focused on his throne being in the place of God’s throne.  Satan, then known as Lucifer, desired something that was not and could not be his. He wanted God’s power and place taken from God and reserved for himself. This is the kind of coveting the tenth commandment warns us about.

Israel’s tenth commandment focused on not coveting several things specifically relating to our neighbor. This focus reinforces two important points:

  1.  It confirms that all desire to want or delight in things is not evil, as “coveting” is not categorically condemned.
  2. It tells us just how bad it is to want your neighbor’s house, or spouse or life. The difference here is important. It reveals how a healthy desire for something can become dangerous when that desire has jealousy and obsession attached to it.

In the New Testament, being covetous is always and alarmingly associated with the worst kinds of sins. So, how do we put all this together? Check out our August 17, 2020 podcast, “Thou Shalt Not Covet – Is it Wrong to Want?” for more.  We break down the details of what the 10th Commandment warns against. We pinpoint the pattern that always exists when we inappropriately covet and uncover scriptural remedies.  Coveting, having a desire, can be really detrimental. But it can also be a powerful motivator for good.  Learn the difference so you can live the difference! Study the rest of the Commandments with us to see how they are still valid for Christians today.

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June 15, 2020

Ep.1130: How Can I Fight for God’s Purposes Like King David? Warriors of God Series

The process of godly works overcoming our sinful mistakes

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CHAPTERS

[00:13:38]
What steps can we take to avoid temptation?


[00:31:07]
How does David teach us to take care of holy things?


[00:45:12]
How can we prevent getting careless with what God considers holy?


[01:03:31]
How do we react when God doesn't let us do what we want?


Theme Scripture: 1 Chronicles 17:16

David was a hero and anointed to become the king of Israel.  Long before he assumed the throne, he defeated Goliath in battle, contributed to the sovereignty and protection of Israel and faithfully served under King Saul.  All this happened before he was 25 years old.  Though he became a fugitive when King Saul turned on him, he never betrayed the king or God.  Many years later when he finally became king, he was a mighty and God-focused leader.

Continue Reading

This almost sounds like a happily ever after story, but it is not.  David committed some horrible sins along the way that created havoc and cost lives.  His sins are some of the most well-known in all of Scripture!  With so many bad choices, how did David maintain a godly perspective?  How did he continually fight for God’s purposes?  What can we learn from the rollercoaster of David’s life to enhance our attempts to be warriors for God?

David’s faith, courage and fidelity to God had been seriously tested in the many years from the slaying of Goliath to his crowning as king.  The lessons he learned along the way were significant in number and scope.  Once David was king, he led and protected the people of Israel convincingly.  This shepherd/poet turned hero, turned warrior, turned exile, turned king showed his loyalty to God and love for the people at every step.  Things could not have seemed to be any better for Israel and especially for David himself.

Bathsheba

It was then that the subtle trap of power and complacency was sprung.  We all know of the story of David’s sins with Bathsheba.  It's common knowledge how David fell prey to his own desire.  That desire so hideously warped his conscience and loyalty to God.  His fall was epic, and his crawl back to God’s grace and favor was inspiring.

The Ark of the Covenant

We often lose sight of the many other experiences that David had as king.  This is unfortunate, as we can't define a man by a few short periods of his life or one landmark experience.  David’s legacy must include his incredible journey to bring the Ark of the Covenant back to Israel.  The Ark represented the presence of God.  As such, needed to be properly restored to its sacred position. This account again reveals David’s profound love for God as well as the mistakes he made in showing that love.

David’s experiences overflow with life-changing lessons.  One of the most spectacular and yet unsung stories of his life was how he uniquely served God near its end. Check out our June 15, 2020 podcast, “How Can I Fight for God’s Purposes Like King David?” for more.  We uncover some amazing details of all these accounts and see their hidden lessons.  Putting this all together, especially with David’s godly end-of-life devotion, really shows us why he was called "a man after God’s own heart."  Listen in and get to know David like you never have before!

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