How to Care For and Manage God’s Blessings
Sabbath Greetings Everyone,
As we studied last week mankind was commanded to be fruitful and to have dominion over the earth.
God created the earth and everything in it for man’s use and enjoyment. Mankind has truly been blessed by His Creator for giving us life and the very things on earth that are needed to sustain that life.
But blessings are not enough if we do not know how to properly care for what we have received. If we pollute them or squander them or use them for evil purposes, those blessings will be taken away from us and will soon disappear. So how do we care for and manage what God has blessed us with?
A Father’s Gift to His Son
What if you had a son whom you love dearly and you wanted to give him every advantage you could to help him to fulfill his full potential in his life and to ensure that he had the very best of everything in order to do well for himself and his family? In addition, you also desired for him to be a wonderful blessing to those less fortunate around him and to make a positive impact in the world so that others could be blessed as well.
To equip him with the knowledge that he would need, you first send him off to the best schools to learn carpentry, design, engineering, business management, agriculture, horticulture, animal husbandry; and appreciation for fine art and music; and when he graduated you gave him a 500,000 acre parcel as a graduation present!
In giving this piece of property to him you made it clear that you wanted him to use it to develop into a functional community with gardens, vineyards, parks, farmers’ markets, shopping centers, museums, and beautiful municipal buildings.
You instructed him that he would need to build schools for the youth and a university for young adults to help the citizens of the land learn skills to enable them to have successful and productive lives.
To make it an even more enjoyable place to work and live, you advised him to also include a cultural center which would be culturally enriching for the people providing them with beautiful works of art, dance, plays, and uplifting musical concerts.
This gift of land was a prime piece of real estate that had within its borders hills and dells, babbling brooks, pristine lakes and rivers, along with quarries full of ore and precious metals; its soil was very fertile for growing rich crops; and situated throughout the property were all kinds of fruit-bearing trees that brought forth fruit all year long, and hardwood trees of every variety that could be used for lumber to build homes, buildings, and infrastructures.
This land just happened to have on one of its border a long coastline of the ocean; this ocean just teemed with an abundance of all kinds of sea animals including a vast variety of fish that could be marketed for food. In this coastline was a bay, and within the bay was a harbor that made it possible for ships to come and go so as to trade with all the countries of the world.
The father said to his son “I have given you everything you need to enhance this piece of property and make it even more beautiful and productive than it has ever been. Make it fruitful and multiply what you have been given and fill up this land with much goodness and take good care of it; and also take good care of all of the living creatures that abound in it.
But what if instead of taking care of this beautiful piece of real estate, the son ravished it with pollutants, stripped the quarries of all of its precious metals and kept them all for himself which he wasted on exorbitant mansions for himself, lavish vacations and gambling.
Instead of building houses for the people and other functional buildings, he filled the property with casinos, houses of prostitution, and air-polluting, run-down factories.
He refused to execute the concepts and principles of sustained farming and God’s laws of agriculture that he had learned at the school you had sent him to. Then, because of neglect to let the land rest and refusal to administer the agricultural laws that he learned in college, the weeds and pests took over the crops.
To make the crops more productive in spite of the problems, he sprayed harmful chemicals/pesticides from planes all over the plants and trees even though he knew it was endangering the lives and health of the people.
The chemicals were so poisonous they caused the people to come down with cancer and emphysema and other devastating diseases.
The chemicals, along with raw sewage that had not been managed either, washed into the streams, lakes, ocean and caused all the sea animals to wash up dead on the shores and rendered the fishing industry useless for the fish could no longer be eaten.
Instead of addressing the underlying health problems cause by the pesticides and chemicals, he produced dangerous drugs with numerous side effects and made the people pay high prices for them because he told them that the drugs were the only things that would heal them.
Instead of humanely caring for the livestock and animals, he herded them into despicable food factories where the animals were tortured and given growth hormones to produce as much as possible in the shortest amount of time; and they were given other toxic drugs meant to treat infections from being so crowded together in unsanitary conditions.
Soon, the livestock became sick and deformed because of not being cared for properly; but your son sold as much as he could of the tainted milk and the diseased butchered meat to the people for his own profit, not caring if they, too, got sick from consuming these tainted products.
In lieu of building cultural centers that would have educated the people about their history and would had given enjoyment through creative art and inspirational music, he built nightclubs and hired the most perverse music artists to perform their music and plays.
He portrayed these entertainment artists as gifted gods to be looked up to, but whose music was full of filthy lyrics and disharmonious chords; and yet these entertainers were the highest paid people in the land.
While playing for the crowds they would give the most lewd performances imaginable and their personal examples led the people to the depths of depravity, because the people (especially the youth) wanted to be like them.
For his schools and the university, he hired only those who would teach lies and misinform students about the origin of creation and that there was no God; the teachers also convinced their students by twisting facts about God’s ways, that evil was good and that good was evil. These same teachers discredited the value of family by introducing new and perverse concepts of what constituted marriage and family life.
Sound familiar? Welcome to the planet earth as we know it today! and this scenario barely touches the surface of the kinds of abuses of God’s precious gifts given to man that are taking place on earth in this present evil world.
This fictional story reflects exactly what God has done for His children in the beginning when He created man and gave him this beautiful earth to tend and to keep to ensure that all (man and beast) could enjoy its many blessings.
But as we know, not long after Adam and Eve took of the forbidden fruit they blew it by rebelling against God allowing sin to enter the world that brought on the curses which God pronounced on them and their descendants for the next six thousand years.
After the earth was destroyed by the Flood, the same mandate of being fruitful and replenishing the earth was made to Noah and his sons as they were disembarking from the ark.
Genesis 9:1 And God blessed Noah and his sons, and said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth. 9:2 And the fear of you and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth, and upon every fowl of the air, upon all that moveth upon the earth, and upon all the fishes of the sea; into your hand are they delivered…..9:7 And you, be ye fruitful, and multiply; bring forth abundantly in the earth, and multiply therein.
But a few generations after the Flood, the people were still rebelling against their Creator and were still refusing to do as God had commanded: to go and fill the earth and have stewardship over it. Instead, they built a huge city and a tower that was meant to keep them together under one God-defying government. God then had to forcefully scatter them abroad the face of the whole earth to fulfill His will for them.
Genesis 11:4 And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth. 11:5 And the Lord came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded. 11:6 And the Lord said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do. 11:7 Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech. 11:8 So the Lord scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth: and they left off to build the city. 11:9 Therefore is the name of it called Babel; because the Lord did there confound the language of all the earth: and from thence did the Lord scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth.
Instead of spreading out over the face of the earth on their own and building godly communities, the people tried to build their own civilization and their own religious system under Nimrod. But God put a stop to it by confounding their language and dividing them up by scattering them abroad into the four corners of the earth.
God then chose one man Abraham and his descendants to enter into a covenant with and God gave them the opportunity to be a nation set on a hill to be a light for all the other nations. When God called Abraham, He gave him certain promises. After Abraham God passed these promises on to Isaac, and then Jacob.
Genesis 17:4 As for me, behold, my covenant is with thee, and thou shalt be a father of many nations. 17:5 Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name shall be Abraham; for a father of many nations have I made thee. 17:6 And I will make thee exceeding fruitful, and I will make nations of thee, and kings shall come out of thee. 17:7 And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee. 17:8 And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.
We all know the story of Israel and how they repeatedly failed to live in obedience to God and finally were removed off the land and were scattered throughout the world. But to fulfill His promise to Abraham, God said that He would bless the twelve tribes of Israel in the latter days in spite of all their rebellion.
It was to the tribe of Joseph (Jacob’s son chosen to receive the birthright) that most of the blessings would come. The birthright was then passed to Joseph’s two sons: Ephraim and Manasseh, whose descendants would become the United Kingdom (including Canada, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa) and the United States of America.
The English and American peoples are primarily the descendants of the Israelite tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh respectively, the two sons of Joseph. It was by divine favor that these nations would receive the lion’s share of the many birthright blessings of the Covenant God made with Abraham, (then with Abraham’s son Isaac, and then Isaac’s son Jacob) so many years ago.
Genesis 48:3 And Jacob said unto Joseph, God Almighty appeared unto me at Luz in the land of Canaan, and blessed me, 48:4 And said unto me, Behold, I will make thee fruitful, and multiply thee, and I will make of thee a multitude of people; and will give this land to thy seed after thee for an everlasting possession. 48:5 And now thy two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, which were born unto thee in the land of Egypt before I came unto thee into Egypt, are mine; as Reuben and Simeon, they shall be mine.
What are the blessings that would be given to the tribe of Joseph which would become the nations that would consist of the descendants of Ephraim and Manasseh?
Genesis 49:1 And Jacob called unto his sons, and said, Gather yourselves together, that I may tell you that which shall befall you in the last days.
Genesis 49:22 Joseph is a fruitful bough, even a fruitful bough by a well; whose branches run over the wall: 49:23 The archers have sorely grieved him, and shot at him, and hated him: 29:24 But his bow abode in strength, and the arms of his hands were made strong by the hands of the mighty God of Jacob; (from thence is the shepherd, the stone of Israel:) 29:25 Even by the God of thy father, who shall help thee; and by the Almighty, who shall bless thee with blessings of heaven above, blessings of the deep that lieth under, blessings of the breasts, and of the womb: 29:26 The blessings of thy father have prevailed above the blessings of my progenitors unto the utmost bound of the everlasting hills: they shall be on the head of Joseph, and on the crown of the head of him that was separate from his brethren.
Deuteronomy 33:13 And of Joseph he said, Blessed of the Lord be his land, for the precious things of heaven, for the dew, and for the deep that coucheth beneath, 33:14 And for the precious fruits brought forth by the sun, and for the precious things put forth by the moon, 33:15 And for the chief things of the ancient mountains, and for the precious things of the lasting hills, 33:16 And for the precious things of the earth and fulness thereof, and for the good will of him that dwelt in the bush: let the blessing come upon the head of Joseph, and upon the top of the head of him that was separated from his brethren. 33:17 His glory is like the firstling of his bullock, and his horns are like the horns of unicorns: with them he shall push the people together to the ends of the earth: and they are the ten thousands of Ephraim, and they are the thousands of Manasseh.
The bountiful blessings of the tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh were part of the the overall plan that God was working out to save all mankind in the latter days.
Even though it seems that Israel did not deserve to receive all these blessings after so much rebellion against God throughout history (and even the British and American people have never kept all of God’s laws).
God nevertheless kept His promises to the patriarchs and is fulfilling His prophecies that will bring about the ultimate salvation of many peoples after they have learned certain hard lessons.
Because prophecy is dual in nature the blessings and cursings apply to modern day Israel just as it did to the ancient nation of Israel; thus we see the blessings being removed as the Israelitish nations become more and more wicked and as we get closer to the time of Christ’s return.
God allotted the modern day descendants of Israel a certain amount of time of receiving His blessings, but if they continued to refuse to obey God they would eventually lose all the blessings including the abundant resources given to them by their Creator.
The curses will overtake them just as surly as their ancestors came under judgment and were thrust out of their land and taken into captivity because of all their abominations.
We are evidencing this in the process of happening in these end times and as time goes by, we witness the removal of the blessings and or our liberties.
Since prophecy is dual, the following passage is a description of modern day Israel and is warning of what is going to happen; just as it was to the Israelites in Moses’ time if the people refused to be grateful to God for His manifold blessings and then neglect to keep His commandments and statutes.
Deuteronomy 8:6 Therefore thou shalt keep the commandments of the Lord thy God, to walk in his ways, and to fear him. 8:7 For the Lord thy God bringeth thee into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and depths that spring out of valleys and hills; 8:8 A land of wheat, and barley, and vines, and fig trees, and pomegranates; a land of oil olive, and honey; 8:9 A land wherein thou shalt eat bread without scarceness, thou shalt not lack any thing in it; a land whose stones are iron, and out of whose hills thou mayest dig brass. 8:10 When thou hast eaten and art full, then thou shalt bless the Lord thy God for the good land which he hath given thee. 8:11 Beware that thou forget not the Lord thy God, in not keeping his commandments, and his judgments, and his statutes, which I command thee this day: 8:12 Lest when thou hast eaten and art full, and hast built goodly houses, and dwelt therein; 8:13 And when thy herds and thy flocks multiply, and thy silver and thy gold is multiplied, and all that thou hast is multiplied; 8:14 Then thine heart be lifted up, and thou forget the Lord thy God, which brought thee forth out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage; 8:15 Who led thee through that great and terrible wilderness, wherein were fiery serpents, and scorpions, and drought, where there was no water; who brought thee forth water out of the rock of flint; 8:16 Who fed thee in the wilderness with manna, which thy fathers knew not, that he might humble thee, and that he might prove thee, to do thee good at thy latter end; 8:17 And thou say in thine heart, . 8:18 But thou shalt remember the Lord thy God: for it is he that giveth thee power to get weaMy power and the might of mine hand hath gotten me this wealthlth, that he may establish his covenant which he sware unto thy fathers, as it is this day. 8:19 And it shall be, if thou do at all forget the Lord thy God, and walk after other gods, and serve them, and worship them, I testify against you this day that ye shall surely perish. 8:20 As the nations which the Lord destroyeth before your face, so shall ye perish; because ye would not be obedient unto the voice of the Lord your God.
(Also read and study all of Deuteronomy 28 regarding blessings for obedience and cursings for disobedience.)
We have been so blessed, Brethren, especially in the United Kingdom and in North America; and yet like the wicked son in the above illustrative story, the peoples have not appreciated what their Creator has given to them and they have in the past, and are now currently in the process of totally desecrating their lands. The earth is on a path to total destruction if God does not come down soon to save it.
Our Polluted Earth
As we mentioned earlier, blessings are not enough if we do not properly care for what we have been given by abusing our blessings, squandering them and using them for evil. Just like the ancient Isrealites in their day, the modern day Isrealitish people have squandered the wealth and blessings that God has so richly poured out on His people.
In spite of all the blessings God has given to us, our world is dysfunctional and a mess and is becoming more of a mess as time goes by. The nations of modern day Israel (even with all their blessings) along with the rest of the world since the time of Adam, has brought upon all this desecration because of our sins.
The consequence of man’s sin, greed, and covetousness is inefficient, wasteful, poor management of the earth and its resources. We have received so many blessings and yet there is still so much brokenness and poverty in the world because we live contrary to the ways of God.
God in all of His goodness and in His great mercy has bestowed mankind with all the blessings of earth, sea, and sky; and yet in spite of all these blessings we still have extreme poverty throughout the earth and in recent years poverty is growing rapidly even in the Israelitish nations.
It is all because of mankind’s sin and greed which leads to mismanagement of the resources that God provides. Men and women covet for themselves the riches of the earth and take advantage of their leadership positions to plunder those that have been placed under them.
The destruction of the earth results when the heart of man is at rebellion against the ways of God and he stubbornly refuses to properly manage the gifts that God has given.
The consequences of rebellion manifests itself in dysfunction and destruction starting in our homes, in our businesses, in our agricultural practices and in the food industry, in our communities, in our politics, and even in the Ekklesia.
Resources that God intends to be for the proper use of everyone are stolen from the land and are not replenished, but rather left desolate and wasted.
When men and women lead in their own self-interest and it is at the heart and core of their agenda, they will do anything to enrich themselves instead of exercising wise management that would contribute to the well being of those whom they are supposed to lead and care for.
The following passage was directed to ancient Israel but is also addressed to our nations in modern times. God, through Isaiah, brings railing accusation against His people and gives them warning of the punishment that is coming upon them for their evil and corrupt ways.
Isaiah 1:2 Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth: for the Lord hath spoken, I have nourished and brought up children, and they have rebelled against me. 1:3 The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master’s crib: but Israel doth not know, my people doth not consider. 1:4 Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evildoers, children that are corrupters: they have forsaken the Lord, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger, they are gone away backward. 1:5 Why should ye be stricken any more? ye will revolt more and more: the whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint. 1:6 From the sole of the foot even unto the head there is no soundness in it; but wounds, and bruises, and putrifying sores: they have not been closed, neither bound up, neither mollified with ointment. 1:7 Your country is desolate, your cities are burned with fire: your land, strangers devour it in your presence, and it is desolate, as overthrown by strangers. 1:8 And the daughter of Zion is left as a cottage in a vineyard, as a lodge in a garden of cucumbers, as a besieged city. 1:9 Except the Lord of hosts had left unto us a very small remnant, we should have been as Sodom, and we should have been like unto Gomorrah.
Carnal men and women often behave as though they own whatever they become in charge of or whatever they come into possession of, and then set their own rules for how those things are to be managed.
But as we look around us we can see how mismanagement (lack of good stewardship) based on greed and motivated by selfish interest have yielded disastrous results even with all the wealth and abundance that God has placed at our disposal.
The modern day Israelitish nations have been so very blessed by God, we have been given so much in way of resources and wealth today and in spite of that we still have much poverty in the world….but why?
It is because so much of our wealth and resources are taken up to deal with the consequences of our sins and greed that is in this world. In addition, so much is squandered on foolishness or given over to corrupt leaders in government who line their own pockets by taking from the very people whom they are supposed to be stewards of, making them poor.
Below are excerpts from an article on some of the types of pollution there is in the world. These are general facts about the pollution that has taken place in our country and in the world. This is for general information only just to give us an idea of the immensity of the pollution problem and just how poisoned this earth is becoming with no solution in sight.
It can be very disheartening to read a report like this and to realize the scope of pollution that has taken over our land and water, not only with the chemicals and sewage pollutants, but even our excessive noises and bright lights cause pollution and disruption of the ecosystems. There seems to be no hope now, these problems are just too immense….unless we believe in the Word of God that tells us how the world is going to be delivered and cleaned up.
But as believers we know that God is not going to permit the desecration of the planet much longer, and at some point soon He is going to intervene and then He will start the clean up operation. There is hope for humanity and for the planet earth we live on in spite of all the bad news of today.
Pollution Facts & Types of Pollution
By Alina Bradford, Live Science Contributor | March 10, 2015
“Water pollution happens when chemicals or dangerous foreign substances are introduced to water, including chemicals, sewage, pesticides and fertilizers from agricultural runoff, or metals like lead or mercury. According to the EPA, 44 percent of assessed stream miles, 64 percent of lakes and 30 percent of bay and estuarine areas are not clean enough for fishing and swimming. The EPA also states that the most common contaminants in the United States are bacteria, mercury, phosphorus and nitrogen. These come from the most common sources of contaminants, which include agricultural runoff, air deposition, water diversions and channelization of streams.
Water pollution isn’t just a problem for the United States. According to the United Nations, 783 million people do not have access to clean water and around 2.5 billion do not have access to adequate sanitation. Adequate sanitation helps to keep sewage and other contaminants from entering the water supply.
According to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), 80 percent of the pollution in marine environments comes from the land through sources such as runoff. Water pollution can severely affect marine life. For example, sewage causes pathogens to grow, while organic and inorganic compounds in water can change the composition of the precious resource. According to the EPA, low levels of dissolved oxygen in the water are also considered a pollutant. Dissolved oxygen is caused by the decomposition of organic materials, such as sewage introduced into the water.
Warming water can also be harmful. The artificial warming of water is called thermal pollution. It can happen when a factory or power plant that is using water to cool its operations ends up discharging hot water. This makes the water hold less oxygen, which can kill fish and wildlife. The sudden change of temperature in the body of water can also kill fish. According to the University of Georgia, it is estimated that around half of the water withdrawn from water systems in the United States each year is used for cooling electric power plants.
In nearly all cases, 90 percent of this water is returned to its source, where it can raise the water temperature in an area immediately surrounding the water discharge pipe. Depending on water flow, the water temperature quickly returns to ambient temperatures that do not harm fish.” Donn Dears, former president of TSAugust, a not-for-profit corporation focused on energy issues, told Live Science.
Nutrient pollution, also called eutrophication, is another type of water pollution. It is when nutrients, such as nitrogen, are added into bodies of water. The nutrient works like fertilizer and makes algae grow at excessive rates, according to NOAA. The algae blocks light from other plants. The plants die and their decomposition leads to less oxygen in the water. Less oxygen in the water kills aquatic animals.
The air we breathe has a very exact chemical composition; 99 percent of it is made up of nitrogen, oxygen, water vapor and inert gases. Air pollution occurs when things that aren’t normally there are added to the air. A common type of air pollution happens when people release particles into the air from burning fuels. This pollution looks like soot, containing millions of tiny particles, floating in the air.
Another common type of air pollution is dangerous gases, such as sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides and chemical vapors. These can take part in further chemical reactions once they are in the atmosphere, creating acid rain and smog. Other sources of air pollution can come from within buildings, such as secondhand smoke.
Finally, air pollution can take the form of greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide or sulfur dioxide, which are warming the planet through the greenhouse effect. According to the EPA, the greenhouse effect is when gases absorb the infrared radiation that is released from the Earth, preventing the heat from escaping. This is a natural process that keeps our atmosphere warm. If too many gasses are introduced into the atmosphere, though, more heat is trapped and this can make the planet artificially warm, according to Columbia University.
Air pollution kills more than 2 million people each year, according to a study published in the journal Environmental Research Letters. The effects of air pollution on human health can vary widely depending on the pollutant, according to Hugh Sealy, professor and director of the environmental and occupational health track at the Department of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, St. George’s University, St. George’s, Grenada. If the pollutant is highly toxic the effects on health can be widespread and severe. For example, the release of methyl isocyanate gas at Union Carbide plant in Bhopal in 1984 killed over 2,000 people, and over 200,000 suffered respiratory problems. An irritant (e.g. particulates less than 10 micrometers) may cause respiratory illnesses, cardiovascular disease and increases in asthma. “The very young, the old and those with vulnerable immune systems are most at risk from air pollution. The air pollutant may be carcinogenic (e.g. some volatile organic compounds) or biologically active (e.g. some viruses) or radioactive (e.g. radon). Other air pollutants like carbon dioxide have an indirect impact on human health through climate change,” Sealy told Live Science.
Even though humans can’t see or smell noise pollution, it still affects the environment. Noise pollution happens when the sound coming from planes, industry or other sources reaches harmful levels. Research has shown direct links between noise and health, including stress-related illnesses, high blood pressure, speech interference and hearing loss. For example, a study by the WHO Noise Environmental Burden on Disease working group found that noise pollution may contribute to hundreds of thousands of deaths per year by increasing the rates of coronary heart disease.
Underwater noise pollution coming from ships has been shown to upset whales’ navigation systems and kill other species that depend on the natural underwater world. Noise also makes wild species communicate louder, which can shorten their lifespan.
Most people can’t imagine living without the modern convenience of electric lights. For the natural world, though, lights have changed the way that days and nights work. Some consequences of light pollution are:
- Some birds sing at unnatural hours in the presence of artificial light.
- Scientists have determined that long artificial days can affect migration schedules, as they allow for longer feeding times.
- Streetlights can confuse newly hatched sea turtles that rely on starlight reflecting off the waves to guide them from the beach to the ocean. They often head in the wrong direction.
- Light pollution, called sky glow, also makes it difficult for astronomers, both professional and amateur, to properly see the stars.
- Plant’s flowering and developmental patterns can be entirely disrupted by artificial light.
- According to a study by the American Geophysical Union, light pollution could also be making smog worse by destroying nitrate radicals that helps the dispersion of smog.”
Turning on so many lights may not be necessary. Research published by International Journal of Science and Research estimates that over-illumination wastes about 2 million barrels of oil per day and lighting is responsible for one-fourth of all energy consumption worldwide.
Other pollution facts:
- Americans generate 30 billion foam cups, 220 million tires, and 1.8 billion disposable diapers every year, according to the Green Schools Alliance.
- According to the WHO, ambient air pollution contributes to 6.7 percent of all deaths worldwide.
- The Mississippi River drains the land of nearly 40 percent of the continental United Sates. It also carries an estimated 1.5 million metric tons of nitrogen pollution into the Gulf of Mexico each year, resulting in a dead zone each summer about the size of New Jersey.
- Pollution in China can change weather patterns in the United States. It takes just five days for the jet stream to carry heavy air pollution from China to the United States, where it stops clouds from producing rain and snow.
- About 7 million premature deaths annually are linked to air pollution, according to WHO. That is one in eight deaths worldwide.
- About 56 percent of the trash in the United States is put in landfills. Half of landfill space consists of paper. Recycling just 1 ton (907.18 kg) of paper can save 3 cubic feet (0.08 cubic meter) of space, according to the EPA.”
(By Alina Bradford, Live Science Contributor)
Imagine all the cost that goes toward trying to deal with the results of polluting the earth and its resources of which are needed for life. But what if we could grow crops God’s way, and if we took care of all the fountains, springs, rivers, lakes and oceans; keeping the waters free of pollutants and chemicals?
What if we could develop technology that used clean energy sources to run our cars and factories that do not produce smog and pollutants that damage our lungs and bodies?
Think of all the money that could be saved and then redirected to fund the building of a brand new clean world where everyone would have enough and there would be no more poverty. These are some of the very projects that we will be dealing with and we will (with God’s help) develop innovative ways of taking care of the earth in the Millennium and keep it in a pristine condition.
Mankind does not have the answers, the earth’s problems and all its pollution are far beyond fixing in spite of all our intelligence and modern day technology. Man (apart from God) lacks the wisdom and power to fix the problems he himself has brought on.
We see the delusional kind of thinking that is evident everywhere: in our news reports, in Presidential addresses to the union, in all of the political candidate speeches, and even by those who are considered to be the religious leaders of the world: they all talk of grandiose ways that they just know would fix our problems if we would just implement the solutions that they come up with.
We think that if we can just pass another law or apply small band-aids to gaping infected wounds that we can solve all our problems and clean up all the pollution.
To think in this way is delusional and that is what is happening; because Israel and mankind have no love of the truth, God sends a powerful delusion so that all the people believe in lies.
2nd Thessalonians 2:10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 2:11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: 2:12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
That is what is happening to our world; we see the insanity that has taken over and we wonder “how long, Oh Lord?” Any leader who says he is going to fix things is lying; he may sincerely believe that he can, but just common sense tells us that no man or group of men have enough wisdom or the power to fix the problems that plague our earth.
Mortal men cannot even connect the dots that it is the sin and greed in the hearts of men that need to be fixed before the pollution and the tainting of the foods we eat can be corrected.
That is where God will start in the clean up project; it is in the hearts of those He will use to clean up the messes when He establishes His millennial kingdom here on earth.
Ezekiel 36:26 A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.
That is how God is going to clean up the polluted planet when He returns. He must start by cleaning up the pollution in our hearts; the spiritual issues will need to be dealt with like selfishness and greed, crime and violence, lying, stealing, and covetousness that will need to be cleaned out of the heart before the pollution of the physical world can take place.
Luke 6:45 A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.
And not only what we speak, but what is in the heart determines what we think, which leads to what we do.
Genesis 6:5 And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.
Man’s heart needs to be changed and one of the first tasks in the Millennium will be to educate the people of the world and redirect their thinking to the keeping of the laws and precepts of God rather than the worldly way that is based on greed and the lust of the flesh.
Christ will open the minds and hearts of the people and He will cause the way of truth to light up their understanding and then their entire way of thinking will change to reflect the mind of God rather than the mind of Satan.
Looking Ahead into the Future Millennial Kingdom of God
When Jesus Christ comes back to establish His righteous rule on earth, the nations will fight against Him at first. But with His Divine All-Mighty Power He is going to bring about the conditions that mankind so desperately wants but has been seeking to bring about for six thousand years in their own ways.
The news reports will no longer bring despair and depression but will be of positive things that are happening around the world to bring about real peace and restoration.
The land will be freed from pollution once again, sicknesses will be healed, lands that have been infested with malaria carrying mosquitoes and wild ferocious beasts will be recovered and will become productive and useful for mankind once again. For nothing will be allowed to harm or destroy, which means that all the animals will become tame and the insects will become non-biting and non-stinging.
Lands will no longer be ravaged by war anymore and therefore the planting and growing of crops will flourish and become abundant.
There will be no more noxious chemicals, dangerous drugs, medical hospitals nor psychiatric wards; vaccines will be a thing of the past and babies will be completely safe in the womb (no more abortion). These are the things that we can look forward to as the world becomes safe, productive, wholesome and clean once again.
Our leaders, judges, and news commentators may have many proposals on how to do away with the problems of the world, but they are totally clueless as to what causes them. The candidates running for office make vague promises that they can initiate wonderful changes that will cure the nations woes; but not one of them calls for repentance and returning to the ways of God.
They cannot identify sinful human nature as being the cause of crime, wars, theft, corruption, murder, family problems, and perversion of every kind and the polluting of the earth.
None of our leaders or politicians realize and understand that only righteousness, (living by every Word of God) can exalt a nation and make it totally functional.
Proverbs 14:34 Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people.
As the people of God who do know what is the cause of all our problems, we just want to shake them and make it known to them so that they can begin to address the underlying cause of our problems and then proceed from there. But they are all blind and it will take a divine miracle to bring the people to see the need to repent rather than institute their own programs and their own ideas on how we can solve the troubles of this nation and this earth.
And that is where the changing of the hearts will come into play. Jesus Christ is the only one who can make this happen by His Divine Power. He is coming back to earth to rule in equity and justice and He is going to rule the world with a rod of iron to make the nations conform to His laws and statues rather than ruling by man’s standards.
Romans 8:7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.
But in the Millennium, Christ is going to change that and make the heart malleable to His ways and then the people will come to know true happiness and blessings.
Christ will set up His headquarters at Jerusalem and He will rule from there and the teaching of His law will go forth and will fill up the whole earth. His ways will be taught; the ways that lead to peace and prosperity and ways that will make the earth flourish rather than living by the way that leads to disease and pollution.
Isaiah 2:1 The word that Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem. 2:2 And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. 2:3 And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. 2:4 And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. 2:5 O house of Jacob, come ye, and let us walk in the light of the Lord.
Psalm 36:7 How excellent is thy lovingkindness, O God! therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of thy wings. 36:8 They shall be abundantly satisfied with the fatness of thy house; and thou shalt make them drink of the river of thy pleasures. 36:9 For with thee is the fountain of life: in thy light shall we see light.
When men’s hearts are cleaned up then God can begin to heal the land and the seas. The six thousand years of the history of man has shown us that if the land is cleaned up without cleaning up the minds and hearts of men first, that they will only continue to pollute and mismanage until all is destroyed; just as Satan does. Satan’s name means the “Destroyer” and the men under his rule tend to destroy everything that they get their hands on just as he does.
The teaching of spiritual truth, of the everlasting true gospel, and the pouring out of God’s Holy Spirit will bring about the spiritual conversion of the world. When that happens the whole world will blossom as a rose and all of creation will rejoice!.
Psalm 132:14 This is my rest for ever: here will I dwell; for I have desired it. 132:15 I will abundantly bless her provision: I will satisfy her poor with bread. 132:16 I will also clothe her priests with salvation: and her saints shall shout aloud for joy.
Ezekiel 35:1 The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them; and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose. 35:2 It shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice even with joy and singing: the glory of Lebanon shall be given unto it, the excellency of Carmel and Sharon, they shall see the glory of the Lord, and the excellency of our God. 35:3 Strengthen ye the weak hands, and confirm the feeble knees. 35:4 Say to them that are of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not: behold, your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompence; he will come and save you. 35:5 Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. 35:6 Then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing: for in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert. 35:7 And the parched ground shall become a pool, and the thirsty land springs of water: in the habitation of dragons, where each lay, shall be grass with reeds and rushes.
Under Christ’s rule, the land will be healed of all its pollution and food will no longer be full of poisons, instead it will be delightfully delicious and full of nutrients. All fruits and vegetables will become like the food that the spies brought back from the land of Canaan.
Numbers 13:23 And they came unto the brook of Eshcol, and cut down from thence a branch with one cluster of grapes, and they bare it between two upon a staff; and they brought of the pomegranates, and of the figs. 13:24 The place was called the brook Eshcol, because of the cluster of grapes which the children of Israel cut down from thence. 13:25 And they returned from searching of the land after forty days. 13:26 And they went and came to Moses, and to Aaron, and to all the congregation of the children of Israel, unto the wilderness of Paran, to Kadesh; and brought back word unto them, and unto all the congregation, and shewed them the fruit of the land. 13:27 And they told him, and said, We came unto the land whither thou sentest us, and surely it floweth with milk and honey; and this is the fruit of it.
The oceans will be healed and the fish in all the lakes, streams and seas will come back; there will be no more toxic chemicals in the environment and there will be wise solutions to problems like waste disposal.
Isaiah 60:5 Then thou shalt see, and flow together, and thine heart shall fear, and be enlarged; because the abundance of the sea shall be converted unto thee, the forces of the Gentiles shall come unto thee.
Ezekiel 47:7 Now when I had returned, behold, at the bank of the river were very many trees on the one side and on the other. 47:8 Then said he unto me, These waters issue out toward the east country, and go down into the desert, and go into the sea: which being brought forth into the sea, the waters shall be healed. 47:9 And it shall come to pass, that every thing that liveth, which moveth, whithersoever the rivers shall come, shall live: and there shall be a very great multitude of fish, because these waters shall come thither: for they shall be healed; and every thing shall live whither the river cometh. 47:10 And it shall come to pass, that the fishers shall stand upon it from Engedi even unto Eneglaim; they shall be a place to spread forth nets; their fish shall be according to their kinds, as the fish of the great sea, exceeding many. 47:11 But the miry places thereof and the marishes thereof shall not be healed; they shall be given to salt. 47:12 And by the river upon the bank thereof, on this side and on that side, shall grow all trees for meat, whose leaf shall not fade, neither shall the fruit thereof be consumed: it shall bring forth new fruit according to his months, because their waters they issued out of the sanctuary: and the fruit thereof shall be for meat, and the leaf thereof for medicine.
Revelation 22:1 And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. 22:2 In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.
2nd Chronicles 7:13 If I shut up heaven that there be no rain, or if I command the locusts to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among my people; 7:14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.
The chemicals, pesticides, GMO’s, contaminates, junk food, that cause diseases like diabetes, heart disease, malaria and cancer will be no more; all sickness will be stopped in its tracks.
The people will be trained in applying the essentials for good health and how to avoid the CAUSE of sickness, disease, infirmities; preventing them from taking hold in the first place.
Deuteronomy 7:15 And the Lord will take away from thee all sickness, and will put none of the evil diseases of Egypt, which thou knowest, upon thee; but will lay them upon all them that hate thee.
Not only will there be vibrant health in the human body, but they will be taught how to live in balance and how to keep the mind healthy and sound.
2nd Timothy 1:7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
Huge areas of land that are unusable today due to biting flies, mosquitoes and insect borne diseases, drought etc., will be healed and the insects driven off and will be make available for agricultural and other productive uses. Nothing will be allowed to hurt or cause disease anymore. The whole world is going to lie in peace and the deserts will become like the land of Eden.
Isaiah 11:6 The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. 11:7 And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. 11:8 And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice’ den. 11:9 They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.
Psalm 92:12 The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree: he shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon. 92:13 Those that be planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of our God. 92:14 They shall still bring forth fruit in old age; they shall be fat and flourishing; 92:15 To shew that the Lord is upright: he is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in him.
Isaiah 45:8 Drop down, ye heavens, from above, and let the skies pour down righteousness: let the earth open, and let them bring forth salvation, and let righteousness spring up together; I the Lord have created it.
Genesis 1:28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth. 1:29 And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat. 1:30 And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so.
Stewards of God
As we studied last week, the Bible declares that God created the heavens and the earth and everything that is in it. So in reality everything belongs to Him.
Psalm 24:1 The earth is the Lord’s, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein. 24:2 For he hath founded it upon the seas, and established it upon the floods.
In our conversation we do not use the term “stewardship” that much and more, but rather we hear about “management” constantly in conjunction with the home, finances, community affairs, polities, and business.
Everything belongs to God, but to be a good steward means that people must manage their home in such a way as to make it functional, healthy, clean, along with the proper management of their money that will ensure that bills get paid, the family is well taken care of, there is no wastefulness or excessive debt accrued, and they incorporate wise planning to ensure that there will be financial stability (barring unforeseen situations) in the present and in the future.
Likewise, a business manager oversees the use of the company’s resources including its money, equipment, and employees in order to profitably provide a service or product that is in alignment with the company’s purpose and values: that is stewardship and we call that “good management”.
In the Millennial Kingdom, God’s priests and kings will have learned in this life that the Father and His Son are the rightful owners of all the resources we have been given, and these things only on loan to us to manage; including our homes, our finances, our personal possessions, our children and our families.
That means we are to manage God’s property according to His standards and to accomplish His will according to what He tells us. That is what godly stewardship entails and that is the kind of stewardship that will take over the world beginning at Jerusalem when Christ returns.
And the Bible clearly states that man was created to be in the very image of God and is given the task and responsibility of managing God’s property, which entails the whole earth.
Genesis 1:28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.
Genesis 2:15 And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.
To be created in God’s image means that we must work as God works and manage things as He manages; we have been given the opportunity to be partners with Him in maintaining His vast and magnificent creation.
We were created to be His managers with the mandate to creatively and responsibly oversee the resources around us in order to produce for the highest good and to further God’s purpose for all the people of the world.
We are each given specific gifts by God, and when all are managing and using their gifts properly, each will be doing his or her part to work collectedly together to make sure that God’s creation is taken care of and even improved upon for the good of the creation and for the good of mankind.
In this way everyone (including all of God’s other creatures) are provided for and there would be no lack or poverty anywhere on earth.
To admit that what we have belongs to God does not make us any less, rather we as a part of God’s family have been given responsibilities in assisting Him in His creative and redemptive work. If we belong to Christ, then we, too, will be about the family business ensuring that the world and the people on it are well taken care of.
This perspective actually gives us security and assurance knowing that God is very much invested in His creation and has a plan. God is planning and building a kingdom, and, for now, He is building a team of workers to assist Him.
The called-out have been offered on-the-job training positions to be a part of His management team in assisting Him in replenishing and restoring the earth to a glory it has never known before.
God has a kingdom to build, and we can be a part of His labor team in accomplishing that plan if we are faithful to Him in what may seem to be the little things, and yet being good stewards in those things is what helps us to qualify to be stewards in the bigger things when the time comes for our assignments in God’s kingdom.
God’s children are called to be God’s stewards, entrusted by Him with time, gifts, opportunities, skills, and possessions, along with all of the earth’s resources. We are responsible to God for their proper use, to be used to enhance and improve, not to plunder and destroy them.
And we acknowledge God’s ownership by faithful service to Him and our fellow man by taking care of the things that God has created and even in enhancing and improving on those things.
God has invested in us and we are to grow and advance the things that He entrusts us with, just as the parable of the talents demonstrates for us in Matthew 25.
Matthew 25:14For the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods.
25:15 And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey. 25:16 Then he that had received the five talents went and traded with the same, and made them other five talents. 25:17 And likewise he that had received two, he also gained other two. 25:18 But he that had received one went and digged in the earth, and hid his lord’s money. 25:19 After a long time the lord of those servants cometh, and reckoneth with them. 25:20 And so he that had received five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents: behold, I have gained beside them five talents more. 25:21 His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord. 25:22 He also that had received two talents came and said, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me two talents: behold, I have gained two other talents beside them. 25:23 His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.
To be God’s managers is a privilege given to us by our Lord to train us in nurturing and to gain victory over selfishness and covetousness. A true man or woman of God rejoices in their stewardship when it brings blessings to others as a result of their faithfulness. He or she learns that that is their chief joy in life, just as it is God’s joy to give to His children.
Luke 12:32 Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.
God Has a Plan – Worked out Before the Foundation of the World
The Father and the Son are working out their plan on earth even as we read of horrible things happening in the world at this present time. They skillfully and brilliantly have worked out every detail like Master Builders in designing every move and every event that will accomplish their purpose for humanity.
At this time it may appear that things are out of control, but they are not. Everything is heading in the direction of Christ coming down to take over the world and usher in a peaceful government that will provide for every man, woman, and child; and even the beasts will live at peace.
As we mentioned earlier, God chose Abraham and his descendants to bless by calling Abraham to come out of Babylon and begin a life-long journey of walking with God. God promised that Abraham’s descendants would inherit the earth starting with the Promised Land, and that all nations of the earth would be blessed by his seed.
Although there were a few others like Abel, Seth, Enoch, Noah, etc., who were righteous and God worked with them as well; God began to primarily work with Abraham and his family and to train them as a whole nation to administer His perfect government on earth.
Most of the people of Israel failed to carry out God’s commission, but now God is working with the spiritual children of Abraham training them for the future Kingdom of God that will last throughout eternity.
God choose Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph and later David (and many others) to be trained during their lifetimes for stewardship positions. They went through many difficult trials that were meant to fit and qualify them for top leadership positions in God’s kingdom. God is still presently working with and training individuals (the Ekklesia) who are qualifying to work alongside the ones that God trained in the past.
All those whom God calls and places in His training program are men and women that first have a submissive attitude in wanting to do the will of God from the heart. God said of David that he was a man after His own heart and that quality must be in all those whom God calls to be His priests and rulers in His kingdom.
As we see in the life of David, that is the most important quality for without being submissive to the will of God, He cannot use that person such as Saul who was anointed to be king but failed in his calling because of a rebellious heart.
The called-out are also in training to be capable of working in harmony with their co-workers who are also submissive to God’s will. Not much can be accomplished if individuals of a team refuse to work together to accomplish God’s goals here on earth now and most importantly in the Millennium.
There must be no backbiting, strife, or contention in those whom God will be using as His teachers and priests, and they must be trusted to never be disloyal to God as Satan was.
All those whom God is training for positions in His kingdom must be in total agreement: that only God’s ways work and that it is only through holiness, righteousness and the power of God that the earth can become holy, functional, and beautiful again.
God must be able to thoroughly trust those whom He entrusts with the business of restoring the earth to Eden-like conditions and to govern the physical people of the world.
Finally, the world will have godly leaders that will administer the rules and laws of God which is the only way the world can have perfect government that will bring about lasting goodness on this earth and upon its inhabitants.
It can be very despairing to read and see all the horrible things that are taking place on this earth in our times; people killing and harming each other and even exploiting and harming little children; and to hear of the destruction of nature and pollution of the land and waters is very disheartening at times for me….as I am sure it is for you too.
The good news is that this polluting of the earth is not going to last forever and God has a plan in place to take care of all the filth and mess that mankind has made over the last six thousand years.
Christ and all of His saints are coming back to reclaim the earth and make it clean and beautiful once again.
Revelation 22:20 He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.
Hebrews 10:37 For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry.
Habakkuk 2:3 For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.
Psalm 132:14 This is my rest for ever: here will I dwell; for I have desired it. 132:15 I will abundantly bless her provision: I will satisfy her poor with bread. 132:16 I will also clothe her priests with salvation: and her saints shall shout aloud for joy.
Have a wonderful Sabbath everyone,