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The Millennium ~ Envisioning the Rest of God ~ Part 9

Lifting the Curse

Sabbath Greetings Brethren, 

For six thousand years mankind has been under a terrible curse and all who have ever lived have been subjected to harsh trials, challenging circumstances, pain, and disappointments. But for most of us reading this article, we were born and raised in the more affluent western nations that have been very much blessed physically. 

Many of us have never known the scourge of famine or living in a war torn country, so the majority of us have not had first hand experience with the trials and tribulation that other nations have had to face. 

This can make it hard, sometimes, to know the full scope of the curse’s effects that most of the world since the time of Adam and Eve have had to endure.

For reference, we go back again to Genesis 3:1-18 where Moses records the sin of Adam and Eve in taking of the forbidden fruit and then the judgments that God pronounced on the woman and then the man.

Genesis 3:16 Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee. 3:17 And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; 3:18 Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; 3:19 In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.

The producing of food for sustenance and eating of it stands for far more than simply nourishing the body; it is only one area of mankind’s daily struggle to survive in a hostile environment, planet earth.

Originally the Garden of Eden was a place where Adam’s work “to tend and to keep” what God had made was fulfilling and probably not overly taxing; and even could have been much fun in tending for the animals and such. 

Instead of being a curse and being uncooperative, the Garden and the ground within it worked with the man to produce for all of his needs, including an abundance of delightful food for himself and his family.

After Adam took of the forbidden fruit, God took away the environment’s proclivity to cooperate with man in producing his food and the things that would come from the ground. From the ground [or the earth] comes many other things we need to sustain us including minerals, ore, trees for wood, stone for mortar and cement, etc., the things that give us the means to gain material wealth.

The Hebrew word for “ground” is adamah (Strong’s #127 ) and means: country, earth, ground, husbandman ry, land. From ‘adam; soil (from its general redness) — country, earth, ground, husband(-man) (-ry), land. (Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance)

After Adam and Eve were thrust from the Garden, mankind would find himself at odds with nature and he would have to struggle very hard to subdue and have dominion over the earth and over the rest of creation such as the animals, bugs, insects, etc.

It would take a lot of effort, sweat, and mental astuteness to bring the elements of the ground and nature under control to cooperate with man and produce for him. We know from history and from our own experience that trying to have control over these things has always been an unending battle and often unsuccessful no matter how much effort we exerted.  

After the curse, the ground would yield its fruit only after much hard toil (“in the sweat of thy face“). Adam would have to force the ground to produce through much hard labor in plowing, planting, watering, cultivating and reaping. He would have to strive with all of his might to harness the curses of the ground to bring them under control.

Not only that, but also various kinds of insects, rabbits, deer, vermin would become pests and would destroy whatever men tried to grow; the wild beasts, such as the wolf and the lion, would become ferocious, and as predators would kill his livestock; they would also stalk him and would try to take even the man’s life on occasion.

To obtain materials for building homes, making cement, crafting tools, and even the making of clothing and other household items; that, too, would also be a hard struggle with many obstacles seeking to hinder man’s work. “Cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life“. (Genesis 3:17)

The land would send its curses not only through the hardness of the ground, but  also through natural calamities like earthquakes, tornadoes, floods, volcano eruptions, landslides, wildfires, erosion, and drought.

Because of the lack of wise management, man would take from the earth and not give back; thus taking the trees from lush forests would render those areas deserts, and stripping the land of its minerals, coal, and ore would ruin vast sections.

As a result of the curse, the weather would refuse to cooperate as well, sending too little rain at times, and at other times too much rain. Tornadoes, hurricanes, cyclones, or hail could devastate the crops and homes and whole villages in a day. Extremes in the weather temperature make life unbearable in many areas of the earth.

This was the new world for Adam and Eve after they sinned and after God drove them from their lovely Garden of Eden. And all of us, too, as descendants of Adam, have had to struggle to survive the harsh conditions of life because we are separated from God because of our sin.

God cursed the ground for Adam and Eve’s sake, and ever since, mankind has been at odds with the elements of nature. The curse of the ground caused the thorns and thistles to spring up hampering man’s efforts to procure food, but it has also had an impact on every other endeavor of mankind in his efforts to obtain all the things he would need for living. 

The work of man’s hands are cursed as well for everything he tries to do involves obstacles and trials and it is only by the sweat of his brow that he can achieve anything in his own efforts, because of the environment he finds himself in.

For the many billions of people who have been born into this world down through history, for most, life has not been pleasant and comfortable at all. In fact most people born into this world have only known extreme pain and tribulation.

Some of you may be living in the more poorer nations and/or there may be some of you who have traveled to areas where food and clean water are scarce or nonexistent; or perhaps there are those who have been part of military deployments to nations that are not so blessed as we have been, and you have witnessed firsthand the unbelievable, deplorable conditions that exist in some areas of the world.

The Curse of Thorns and Thistles

This week we intend to focus in on the aspect of the curse that says that the ground would bring forth “thorns and thistles” and look at the ramifications of what God was pronouncing on Adam and all those who would come after. Later we will look at the promises that God has given regarding the lifting of those curses.

Farmers, gardeners, landscapers and anyone else who has had a garden has had experience with thorns, thistles, and briers. And then there are just weeds, some of which do have thorns/prickers, and some that do not, but they, too, are a huge pain for those who want to grow gardens and grow good plants. All types of weeds (including thorns and thistles) tend to grow in every part of the world without anyone having to intentionally plant them. They take over the ground and nutrients of the beneficial plants and choke them out. Weeds, thorns, thistles, and briers have to be plucked out on a constant basis or they will destroy our crops, flower gardens, and landscaping.

These worthless plants that come from the ground exasperate man’s work by interfering with the growing of productive plants by taking up the space and nutrients that should be going to the good plants. Growers have to be diligent and persistent just to keep weeds at bay and from overtaking the good seeds that they have planted.

Throughout Scripture there are many references to agricultural terms which serve as metaphors of spiritual realities. As we know, God uses object lessons in physical things to teach us spiritual lessons; the fact that a thorn is pointed and sharp and when it comes in contact with our flesh causes pain coincides with what it feels like when we come up against opposing forces, persecution, sicknesses, devastating weather conditions, and even evil spirits which can be like messengers of Satan.

Thorns, thistles, weeds are real and they do pose a real threat and hardship in the physical agricultural world and that is part of the curse; but the Bible also uses the term “thorns and thistles” as symbols of other things that inflict pain and torment that make it a challenge to live in this world. Thorns and thistles are terms that depict the many different kinds of pain and affliction that comes our way, including what Satan inflicts upon mankind. (Please see also Job 1 & 2)

There are many natural laws that come into play in causing troubles, but there is also the kind of trouble that Satan engineers in his attempt to thwart God’s plan for mankind. Satan is a destroyer and ever since Adam and Eve, he has been trying to destroy the lives and souls of the sons of Adam, keeping them from fulfilling their potential of becoming the sons of God.

When the original creation of the earth was complete. “God saw that it was good” (Genesis 1:10, 12, 18, 21, 25). But the world changed soon after Adam and Eve took of the forbidden fruit. This pivotal event altered the world and God’s original creation from that day forward; their rebellion allowed sin to enter it which causes a whole array of curses which take away from the original goodness of the earth.

Mankind has lived in a mostly agrarian based society right up until the 1800’s. Throughout the Old and New Testaments God uses familiar terms associated with agriculture to teach important spiritual principles. When God pronounced that the ground would be cursed and that “thorns and thistles” would come from it, He was, of course, speaking in literal terms for we know and have experienced that the ground is cursed with these very things making it a struggle to grow crops and produce our food.

But when we put this verse together with what the Bible has to say about “thorns, thistles, briers, tares” in other places, it becomes apparent that God was speaking of more than just literal weeds with sharp-pointed spines and prickly stems.

 These literal things do indeed cause severe impediments in the growing of crops and production of food, but God often uses the physical things in this world as analogies of deeper spiritual truths so that we can learn from them.

As anyone who has ever been involved in the growing of plants knows, thorns and thistles can be very difficult to deal with, causing extreme difficulty and frustration. They can impede the work of growing productive plants, flowers, and trees; and when trying to root out the thorny weeds, if one is not careful, can cause injury and pain to the flesh. It is a constant battle to be rid of them and if they are not completely removed, they grow back with a vengeance.

As Genesis 3 shows Adam and Eve disobeyed God’s command to not eat of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Thorns and thistles were part of the consequences for their disobedience and rebellion. The first couple went from a condition of relative ease living in the Garden of Eden with all the trees and plants producing their food, to a situation where their lives would become a hard struggle all their lives ending ultimately in death. 

Genesis 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.

Genesis 3:19 In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.

They were cast out of the Garden of Eden and from then on lived in a hostile environment that was full of difficulty and pain.

Genesis 3:23 Therefore the Lord God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken. 2:24 So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.

The thorns and thistles were not present in the Garden but apparently sprang up from the ground that had been cursed for their sin of rebellion. Now, instead of life being pleasurable and uncomplicated, Adam would have to contend with these harsh elements and they would be part of the struggle to produce food to live and to provide for his family all of his days. And this same struggle has been present for these last six thousand years. But this is also symbolic of the other elements in this world that make life hard and a struggle.

Jesus addressed this condition when He stated Satan’s true goals compared to God’s original intention. It becomes obvious that Satan and his demons have the same characteristics that they wield in the lives of men that thorns and thistles have in the agricultural world. Their method of operation is the same for Jesus said:

John 10:10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy…

What Exactly are Thorns and Thistles?

The Hebrew word for “thorn” in Genesis 3:18 is qots (Strong’s # 6975) and means simply: a thorn, thornbush.

The English definition of thorn is: a woody plant bearing sharp impeding processes (as prickles or spines); especially a hawthorn. 2a: a sharp rigid process on a plant; specifically:  a short, indurated, sharp-pointed, and leafless modified branch b: any of various sharp spinose structures on an animal. 3:  something that causes distress or irritation -often used in the phrase “thorn in one’s side”. (The free dictionary)

The English definition of thistle and brier are similar to that of thorns.

Definition of thistle:  Thistle: a wild plant that has sharp points on its leaves and purple, yellow, or white flower; any of various prickly composite plants (especially genera Carduus, Cirsium, and Onopordum) with often showy heads of mostly tubular flowers; also :  any of various other prickly plants. (The free dictionary)

Definition of brier: a plant (as a rose, blackberry, or greenbrier) having a usually woody and thorny or prickly stem; also: a mass or twig of these. (The free dictionary)

There are many Scriptures that show the biblical meaning of “thorn” to be other than a prickly plant or weed. For instance, the Bible in three places in the Old Testament refers to the enemies of Israel as thorns. So in the following passages the “thorns” represent Israel’s enemies (the inhabitants of hostile nations, including the inhabitants of Canaan) which would cause pain and trouble (just as prickly plants would) if they were not completely driven out. God had commanded the Israelites to thrust out the heathen from the Promised Land as the Israelites entered the land.

In these passages God calls the gentile nations who are contrary to the ways of God “thorns” for they are figurative of what thorns and thistles do in seeking to choke out the good plants and to keep them from producing their fruit. Thorns can be a metaphor of those who are under Satan’s influence who cause constant trouble and seek to frustrate and persecute those who want to live for God.

Numbers 33:55 But if ye will not drive out the inhabitants of the land from before you; then it shall come to pass, that those which ye let remain of them shall be pricks in your eyes, and thorns in your sides, and shall vex you in the land wherein ye dwell.

In Joshua 23:13, God warns Israel that because of their idolatry these “thorns” will harass them until they die, which is very similar to the language used in Genesis 3:19.

Joshua 23:13 Know for a certainty that the Lord your God will no more drive out any of these nations from before you; but they shall be snares and traps unto you, and scourges in your sides, and thorns in your eyes, until ye perish from off this good land which the Lord your God hath given you.

Later in Judges 2 Christ commanded Israel to keep themselves separate from the pagan people of the land and to remove their pagan shrines; and if they refused to obey this command He would allow the Gentiles to be “thorns in their side”. These thorns and thistles would have a negative effect upon those within a nation. If they are not rooted up, they will seek to take over and become a snare to God’s people, eventually causing the entire country to go astray.

From Israel’s record of history that is exactly what happened to them, for they refused to do as God commanded by completely ridding the land of their enemies and instead embraced their false gods and practices.

Judges 2:2 And ye shall make no league with the inhabitants of this land; ye shall throw down their altars: but ye have not obeyed my voice: why have ye done this? 2:3 Wherefore I also said, I will not drive them out from before you; but they shall be as thorns in your sides, and their gods shall be a snare unto you. 2:4 And it came to pass, when the angel of the Lord spake these words unto all the children of Israel, that the people lifted up their voice, and wept.

Briers and thorns are a picture of the judgment (for sin) that would come upon the land of Israel in ancient times, but this is a judgment pronounced upon modern day Israel as well and with all that is happening we see God’s judgment at the door.

Isaiah 5:1 Now will I sing to my well beloved a song of my beloved touching his vineyard. My well beloved hath a vineyard in a very fruitful hill: 5:2 And he fenced it, and gathered out the stones thereof, and planted it with the choicest vine, and built a tower in the midst of it, and also made a wine press therein: and he looked that it should bring forth grapes, and it brought forth wild grapes. 5:3 And now, O inhabitants of Jerusalem, and men of Judah, judge, I pray you, betwixt me and my vineyard. 5:4 What could have been done more to my vineyard, that I have not done in it? wherefore, when I looked that it should bring forth grapes, brought it forth wild grapes? 5:5 And now go to; I will tell you what I will do to my vineyard: I will take away the hedge thereof, and it shall be eaten up; and break down the wall thereof, and it shall be trodden down: 5:6 And I will lay it waste: it shall not be pruned, nor digged; but there shall come up briers and thorns: I will also command the clouds that they rain no rain upon it. 5:7 For the vineyard of the Lord of hosts is the house of Israel, and the men of Judah his pleasant plant: and he looked for judgment, but behold oppression; for righteousness, but behold a cry.

In Micah the prophet states in regard to the conditions that he sees around him,   that the faithful man has perished from the earth, and there is no one upright among men any more. They all lie in wait for blood (both literally and metaphorically) and here Micah calls them “briers” and “thorn hedges”.

Micah 7:2 The good man is perished out of the earth: and there is none upright among men: they all lie in wait for blood; they hunt every man his brother with a net. 7:3 That they may do evil with both hands earnestly, the prince asketh, and the judge asketh for a reward; and the great man, he uttereth his mischievous desire: so they wrap it up. 7:4 The best of them is as a brier: the most upright is sharper than a thorn hedge: the day of thy watchmen and thy visitation cometh; now shall be their perplexity [their punishment and confusion].

David understood that the “sons of Belial”, were those who serve as Satan’s agents (whither they be human beings or demonic spirits) and compared them to painful sharp thorns. 

He understood that those who were his enemies were under the influence and/or power of the unseen forces of darkness and were working on their behalf. Thorns and demonic forces have similar characteristics for they love to inflict pain and harassment and both work at squelching out anything or anyone that is good. 

David had many enemies that caused him a lot of trouble and were like thorns and thistles to him, always working against him and against the best interests of the kingdom.

2nd Samuel 23:5 Although my house be not so with God; yet he hath made with me an everlasting covenant, ordered in all things, and sure: for this is all my salvation, and all my desire, although he make it not to grow. 23:6 But the sons of Belial shall be all of them as thorns thrust away, because they cannot be taken with hands:

But he also understood their ultimate end, for just as thorns must be plucked up and burned in the fire, so, too, it will be for all the workers of iniquity. God is going to destroy all who are wicked and refuse to repent in the lake of fire. (Revelation 20:7-15, Malachi 4:1)

2nd Samuel 23:7 But the man that shall touch them must be fenced with iron and the staff of a spear; and they shall be utterly burned with fire in the same place.

In essence, David implies that the wicked are very tenacious in causing trouble and must be pulled up like thorn bushes, but they cannot be dug up by hand because of their spikes so they must be rooted out with a sharp spear and then burned on the spot. He is indicating that it takes a lot of hard work and struggle to get rid of the wicked forces of evil (just as thorns) and that they must be dealt with forcefully and thoroughly and even destroyed; or they will keep coming back and will continue to cause trouble.

This passage shows that David understood that Satan and his followers (spirits, or humans under their power) are the real “thorns” that the descendants of Adam have to deal with even though they are invisible and work behind the scenes.

Ephesians 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against  principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

The apostle Paul used the term “thorn” in describing a painful situation that he was going through in which he asked God to remove three times.

2nd Corinthians 12:7 And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. 12:8 For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. 12:9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

The Greek word for “thorn” in this verse is skolops (Strong’s #4647) and means the same as the Hebrew word that is translated as “thorn”: anything pointed, spec. a stake, thorn. (Strong’s Concordance)

Whether the thorn in the flesh for Paul was a physical affliction or an actual demon harassing him, it is not clear. Paul referred to this thing as “the messenger of Satan to buffet me” so we know that whatever trouble he was experiencing it had something to do with Satan’s direct involvement.

This situation shows that even God’s people are not totally immune from the curses imposed on Adam and Eve but God sometimes allows them to hone and perfect His children just as He did with Job and with His other servants that we read about in the Bible. Even God’s own Son had to endure hardships, persecutions, false accusations, thirst, hunger, tiredness, harassment from the religious leaders, and forty days of testing in the wilderness by His arch enemy, Satan himself; and then finally the beating, scourging, and crucifixion that were very much an excruciating “thorn in the flesh”.

It was Paul who taught the Ephesians about how we are actually wrestling against the forces of darkness even though it may appear that we are up against flesh and blood (humans). So he also understood this important truth as he described his situation as a “thorn in the flesh” just as the writers did in the Old Testament when warning about those who oppress and persecute God’s people, calling these oppressors thorns in the flesh or in the side. Paul used similar language in Hebrews 6:7-8 as David did in 2nd Samuel 23:5 to describe the fate that awaits all who are in opposition to God, comparing them to thorns and briers.

Hebrews 6:7 For the earth which drinketh in the rain that cometh oft upon it, and bringeth forth herbs meet for them by whom it is dressed, receiveth blessing from God: 6:8 But that which beareth thorns and briers is rejected, and is nigh unto cursing; whose end is to be burned.

In the book of Proverbs, God warns His children that thorns are something to guard against and in this verse He is speaking spiritually. We must do our part to stay away from the wicked as much as we can and from letting then lead us astray.

Proverbs 22:5 Thorns and snares are in the way of the froward: he that doth keep his soul shall be far from them.

Paul too gives us stern advice to stay away from those who do the works of Satan and gives reasons why.

2nd Corinthians 6:14 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? 6:15 And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? 6:16 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 6:17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you. 6:18 And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.

What Do Weeds Do?

The Bible has much to say about weeds as well as thorns and thistles. What are the deeds of weeds? Weeds choke, entangle and steal from the beneficial fruit-bearing and/or flowering plants that we want to grow.

One such weed is a flowering vine called Kudzu and that grows in the southeastern United States. At first it was considered “groundcover” which was brought to this country from Japan earlier last century to be used as cattle feed and/or for erosion control. But once it was here in the states it quickly took over and became a huge problem. Kudzu is a fast growing vine-like plant. Once it was introduced to this nation, birds helped to spread it over the southern part of the country, or wherever else conditions were right, by transporting its seeds. 

How many times do we hear of how man tries to remedy a situation by introducing a whole new problem by bringing in species that are not native to the area. The introduced species then take over the area causing a much worse situation than the original problem.

Once the seeds of weed plants germinate, they then grow very rapidly. Many weeds send out long runners that entwine themselves around anything that comes within their path. When it is hot and all the other plants are wilting, the sturdy weeds can thrive in even drought and adverse conditions. Their vines and shoots grow to cover vast areas quite quickly and usually where they are not wanted.

Thus weeds and thorns crowd out the good plants and hinder their fruit from maturing. By taking up space in the soil around the good plants they prevent their fruit from ripening or they can possibly choke out good plants entirely and kill them off. 

We see so many spiritual parallels when it comes to mankind (and even true Christians) and how “weeds” can hinder their growth and even destroy them if they are not vigilant in recognizing these weeds and then rooting them out of their lives.

What do weeds have to do with us and the curse that was placed on Adam? Weeds are metaphoric for things that can take over our lives and prevent us from growing and producing spiritual fruit.

For most of man’s history thorns and weeds have the ability to take mankind’s focus off the more important aspects of this life such as seeking God and His righteousness. (Matthew 6:25-34)

For most of the people of the world life has been (and still is in many of the nations) mostly a matter of surviving and dealing with the problems of thorns (trials and tribulation). Satan keeps them occupied with struggling to make a living and to provide for their families. 

They have never had the privilege of being taught about the higher meaning of life and the truth of the Bible. Many people throughout history have never even owned a Bible. For most of the poorer people of the third world nations, just eking out a living and trying to keep themselves and their families alive takes up every minute of their day.

Why does God allow for some in the world, (in fact most) to be so disadvantaged; and others (like those of us in the richer western countries) to have every advantage available to learn about Him and to have plenty of opportunities to live for Him by not being completely overwhelmed with the thorns of life?

It is true that we who live in the richer nations still have our own kinds of thorns to overcome even in the prosperous areas of the world (I am not trying to diminish that we, too, do suffer), but not so much as the people who do not even have access to food and clean water, or who are constantly under the threat of war, terrorism, and ethnic cleansing.

The answer lies in the fact that God knows everything and He is allowing what seems to those who do not know His plan, to be injustices and unfairness. But God is calling only a few at this time to be His assistants and priests; much as Christ worked with only a handful of disciples when He was here on earth as a man.

The ones He trains are then supposed to go forth into the world and help others to come to know Him and help them to learn the Way that leads to blessings and how to live that leads to eternal life. 

God is allowing the suffering in the world, even the worse atrocities imaginable, for a divine purpose. All of these people are going to be raised back up in God’s timing for them and then they will have all the good things in life that they never had in this life. At that time they will be given the everlasting Gospel and the gift of the Holy Spirit, which will allow them to finally understand the spiritual things of God and what life is all about.

How Thorns, Thistles, and Weeds Hinder Believers

There are layers and layers of lessons both literal and metaphorical in these verse we find in Genesis.

For those whom are the called-out at this time, there are some very profound and eye-opening spiritual lessons we can learn from the thorns, weeds, tares, and thistles. They can crowd out our time with God and the drinking in of His Word and meditating on His ways; they can over-take our thoughts of God making us drift from living for Him; and they can even stop us from entering the Kingdom of God if we let them.

In Matthew 13 Jesus gives us the Parable of the Sower and the Seed in which the sower throws his seed on four types of ground. In verses 7 and 22 the seed fell among thorns.

Matthew 13:7 And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprung up, and choked them:

Matthew 13:22 He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful.  13:23 But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.

Thorns are nothing more than prickly weeds. In the Bible, seventeen different Hebrew and Greek words are used to describe weeds, though they are often translated as “thorns,” “thistles,” “briers”.  Even “tares”, although they resemble wheat in many ways, can be considered weeds for they try to take over the wheat’s space and nutrients but they are worthless plants andgood for nothing.

Matthew 13:24 Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field: 13:25 But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way. 13:26 But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also. 13:27 So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares?

13:28 He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up? 13:29 But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them. 13:30 Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.

The Greek word for “tare” is zizanion (Strong’s #2215) and means: spurious wheat, darnel; a plant that grows in Palestine which resembles wheat in many ways but is worthless. (Strong’s Concordance)

HELPS Word-studies: 2215 zizánion (plural, tares/zizania) – a tare (darnel); (figuratively) a pseudo-believer (false Christian); a fruitless person living without faith from God and therefore is “all show and no go!”

“Many thorny plants, nettles, briers, thistles, brambles and thistles are considered to be weeds. These are usually the first invaders of broken-up or abandoned (fallow) soil. We know the reason for this is because many of these plants are the product of cursed ground (Genesis 3). Weeds have the ability to grow in harsh conditions and have abundant seeds with well-engineered dispersal mechanisms for populating open areas. Weeds will steal the essential nutrients from the soil the intended crop requires. By definition, weeds overgrow or choke out more desirable plants.” (Definition from internet)

Jesus explains in Matthew 13:22 that the seed that fell among thorns was the person who heard the truth, but the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choked the Word, rendering this person unfruitful. The cares of the world and deceitfulness of riches act as weeds and thorns do.

The spiritual ramifications of the thorns and thistles mentioned in Genesis 3 are evident. These kinds of plants have some common identifying traits. They are very aggressive as they grow faster than useful plants, they produce many seeds which are then spread and they reproduce at an amazing rate. 

A single plant of common ragweed can produce over 3000 seeds. Other kinds of weeds can produce over 120,000 seeds by one single plant. Their seeds can lie dormant for many years and then when conditions are just right, they are sill able to take root and germinate.

They steal, by robbing the moisture and nutrients from the fruit-bearing plants. Since they grow rapidly, much faster then the good plants, they eventually will steal even the sunlight by towering over the plants we are trying to grow, including the tender young shoots of the good plants stealing their space, moisture, and nutrients as well.

Anyone who works with plants can attest to the fact that it is impossible to eliminate weeds altogether,

Weeds are very study plants, it is not that easy to get rid of them, just as it is impossible to live in this world without being subjected to the effects of the weeds (thorns and thistles) of this world.

We, as true followers of Christ, must be vigilant to spot them and do what we can to eliminate those things that would otherwise snuff out our relationship with God. 

We do this by abiding in Christ (John 15:1-6 ), with heart-felt prayer, regular study of His Word, and rooting out sin and sinful attitudes out of our lives as soon as we recognize them. 

Just as a farmer who has to watch his crops for the over-growth of weeds, thorns and briers; the world and the cares of it are everywhere, and as we know, we cannot totally eradicate its influences. God’s people need to stay awake to the infiltration of the entanglements that are of the world and of Satan and then remove them as fast as possible before they grow and take root.

You Shall Know Them by Their Fruits

False prophets and religious leaders are also compared to thistles and thorns because they, too, are being influenced by Satan and his demons and are compared to piercing arrows or fiery darts. We must recognize them as such and avoid them as if they did have sharp thorns that can pierce and wound us, for they will influence us with their false teachings leading us to pain, and eventually to our spiritual death if we allow them to lead us astray. 

If you recognize that your minister or the organization that you associate with is teaching false doctrine and leading you away from God, my advice is to run from them and avoid them just as you would a prickly sharp thorn-bush!

Matthew 7:15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.  7:16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?

2nd Corinthians 11:13 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. 11:14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.  11:15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.

Just as God told the prophet Ezekiel, we need to be brave in the face of those who oppose God or those who want to mislead us, “And thou, son of man, be not afraid of them, neither be afraid of their words, though briers and thorns be with thee, and thou dost dwell among scorpions: be not afraid of their words, nor be dismayed at their looks, though they be a rebellious house” (Ezekiel 2:6).

We must manage the thorns, thistles, weeds before they can manage us. Weeds are growth inhibiting and even destructive, and they must be pulled out by the roots before they become firmly entrenched in our lives. 

They are part of the curse placed on man for his sin at the very beginning, but God in His faithfulness knew that they would serve a higher purpose in the long run. For one thing they are a constant reminder of the judgment that God placed on man as a result of sin.

If our “ground” is being invaded by irritating weeds or painful thorns, we must seek to change the soil condition and allow only the things of God to fill up our gardens.

In Hosea 10:12 the prophet admonishes us to: “Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground for it is time to seek the Lord, till he come and rain righteousness upon you.”

A fundamental truth is that there must be opposition in all things for growth to take place. We may see these curses as impediments to growth, but in actuality, they further our growth in ways we may not see at the time we are dealing with them… IF we overcome them. Without opposition there can be no growth. Thorns, thistles, weeds are opposition just like weights that athletes use to grow muscle. Christ is working with those whom His Father has called to make them into strong spiritual athletes.

As true followers of Christ we have been given knowledge of these truths and we must work to overcome the thorns, thistles, and weeds in this life if we want to be used by God to help others. There are so many places in the Bible where God tells us to “Be Strong”.

Other Kinds of Thorns and Thistles that Plague Mankind

Thorns and thistles take on even more of an ominous meaning when we see all the many ways they are manifested for there are very many things in this life that are like a sharp piercing thorn that can wound men deeply; and they are like weeds that steal away any kind of blessing. There are very many plagues that inflict pain and bring on a tremendous amount of suffering on mankind.

Most of the poor countries of the world are afflicted with curses that cause much suffering, miserable living conditions, and death. These people have never known abundance and the simple comforts of life that we in the western countries have come to expect, for their whole lives are taken up with just trying to deal with the never-ending lack of the bare essentials, and with severe trials and suffering.

Think of the toll that crop-consuming insects, molds, disease, rot and vermin take on the ability to have enough food and to make a living. Water can be a scarcity and for many billions in the world (now and in the past) the only water available is filthy and unfit to drink, but its either drink the water or die of thirst.

And then there are man attacking insects like blow flies, biting flies, mosquitoes which can cause malaria, and parasites. This does not even include the horrors of some nations that are undergoing war, persecution, terrorism, rape, human trafficking, the suppression of women, adverse weather conditions, etc. etc.

We do not even like to think about these things that are happening out there in far away places, but for many in third world countries these are the common everyday things that they have to contend with and there are no solutions in sight; and in their minds there is no hope for things to ever get better.

These things, too, are part of the curse (the thorns and thistles) that was imposed on Adam and his descendants for six thousand years and result from allowing ourselves to follow Satan and his minions rather than trusting and obeying our Creator. When Adam and Eve sinned they removed the hedge of protection from Satan and his demons and that opened the floodgates allowing them to work at afflicting mankind with all their barbs and fiery darts, both spiritually and physical.

Below are some stats that can help us to wrap our minds on the scope of suffering that is in the world by the many types of things that could also be considered “thorns and thistles” that inflict pain, suffering and death. 

I hate to study and talk about these things, but studying about them helps me to see the intense all-encompassing need for God’s kingdom to come soon… for the suffering on this planet is so very great.  The people in the poor third world countries have had to endure so very much hardship compared to those of us who have lived in relative peace and plenty all of our lives; so it is sometimes hard for us to imagine the kind of suffering that is going on in other places of the world.

Arthropod Bites and Stings (From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

Millions of insects roam the earth with nearly 1 million named extant species. Their roles on earth are pivotal to the survival of plant and animal alike and include predators, prey, decomposers, pollinators.

Arthropoda, which includes the insects, arachnids, myriapods, and crustaceans. Arthropods are characterized by their jointed limbs and cuticle made of chitin, often mineralised with calcium carbonate. The arthropod body plan consists of segments, each with a pair of appendages. The rigid cuticle inhibits growth, so arthropods replace it periodically by moulting. They have over a million described species, making up more than 80% of all described living animal species, some of which, unlike most animals, are very successful in dry environments.

Many species of arthropods (insects, arachnids and others) regularly or occasionally bite or sting human beings. Insect saliva contains anticoagulants and enzymes that cause local irritation and allergic reactions.

[1] Insect venoms can be delivered by their stingers, which often are modified ovipositors, or by their mouthparts. Insect, spider and scorpion venom can cause serious injury or death. 

Dipterans account for the majority of insect bites, while Hymenopterans account for the majority of stings. Among arachnidsspider bites are the most common. Arthropods bite or sting humans for a number of reasons including feeding or defense. Arthropods are major vectors of human disease, with the pathogens typically transmitted by bites.

Mosquitoes are small, midge-like flies which constitute the family Culicidae. Females of most species are ectoparasites, whose tube-like mouthparts (called a proboscis) pierce the hosts’ skin to consume blood. The word “mosquito” (formed by mosca and diminutive ito) is Spanish for “little fly”.

[2] Thousands of species feed on the blood of various kinds of hosts, mainly vertebrates, including mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and even some kinds of fish. Some mosquitoes also attack invertebrates, mainly arthropods. Though the loss of blood is seldom of any importance to the victim, the saliva of the mosquito often causes an irritating rash that is a serious nuisance. Much more serious though, are the roles of many species of mosquitoes as vectors of diseases. In passing from host to host, some transmit extremely harmful infections such as malaria, yellow fever, Chikungunya, West Nile virus, dengue fever, filariasis, Zika virus and other arboviruses, rendering it the deadliest animal family in the world.

True Bugs

The true bugs belong to the order Hemiptera. Members of this order have piercing mouthparts which allow them to suck the sap and juices out of their preferred host plants. Stink bugs are members of this order and can be severe pests of many crops, especially soybeans. Other members of Hemiptera include aphids, leafhoppers, cicadas and whiteflies. Aphids are tiny insects that commonly become pests of ornamentals and home vegetable crops, among others.

Maggots

The order Diptera contains the flies. Most flies aren’t pests of agricultural crops, but are more likely pests to humans and other animals. The larvae of many fly species feed on decomposing matter including dead animals or decaying plant material. A few species can become agricultural pests, however, including root maggot flies which feed on seeds and roots.

Grasshoppers

Grasshoppers and crickets are closely related. The short-horned grasshoppers in the family Acrididae are among the most detrimental. They prefer to feed on grains including alfalfa, soybean, tobacco, corn and clover. Crickets often inhabit fields and can become nuisances when their numbers reach too high.

Blow Fly

Many of a large family of flies known for the habit of the larvae, or immature flies of, infesting animal carcasses. They are found worldwide, occurring nearly every place inhabited by people. Blow flies are slightly larger than true house flies, and the bodies of many are metallic blue or green in color. Worldwide, there are about 1200 species of blow flies, and in North America there are 80.

In many areas such as the American Southwest, blow flies are the most common type of flies found in and around houses and other human habitations. Blow flies range in length from 7 to 16 mm (0.28 to 0.63 in); they have robust bodies and wide heads. The name blow fly comes from the bloated condition of the rotting animal carcasses that their larvae, known as maggots, infest. The most frequent species found under these conditions is the common blow fly. Adult blow flies feed primarily on flower nectar, plant sap, and other sugary materials.

The female blow fly typically lays her eggs on the body of a recently killed animal. The eggs hatch quickly and the maggots then feed on the decaying tissues. In warm weather, some species can complete their larval growth within a week. They then burrow into the soil and pupate, to emerge later as adult flies. Blow flies play an essential role in nature by decomposing dead tissue. The cluster fly species of blow fly is an exception: its larvae prey on earthworms.

Blow fly maggots are important in forensic analysis in cases of homicide and other human deaths. Because the maggots grow at constant rates, their size and stage of development can provide clues to the time and conditions of death. Blow flies have played a role in medicine: species such as the green bottle fly and the black blow fly were once commonly used to clean open wounds in humans because the maggots tend to feed only on decayed tissue.

Some blow fly species, such as the screwworm fly, lay their eggs on living animals. The maggots then feed on the animal’s healthy tissue. Because blow flies routinely move between dead animals or dung and human habitats, they may transmit disease organisms to people, including the bacteria that cause dysentery, typhus, and cholera.

Scientific classification: Blow flies comprise the family Calliphoridae in the insect order Diptera, the true flies. They are related to botflies and flesh flies, the larvae of which also live in dead or live animal tissues and dung. The common blow fly is Eucalliphora lilea; the cluster fly is Pollenia rudis; the green bottle fly is Phaenicia sericata; the black blow fly is Phormia regina; and the screwworm fly is Cochliomyia hominivorax.

Diseases-Ignored Global Killers

(By: Anup Shah) (This Page Last Updated Saturday, October 02, 2010)

Many people, most of them in tropical countries of the Third World, die of preventable, curable diseases…. Malaria, tuberculosis, acute lower-respiratory infections-in 1998, these claimed 6.1 million lives. People died because the drugs to treat those illnesses are nonexistent or are no longer effective. They died because it doesn’t pay to keep them alive.

A Larger Killer Than Conflicts, Worldwide

Consider the following:

    1. One billion people lack access to health care systems

    2. Over 8 million children under the age of 5 die from malnutrition and mostly preventable diseases, each year

    3. In 2002, almost 11 million people died of infectious diseases alone … far more than the number killed in the natural or man-made catastrophes that make headlines. (These are the latest figures presented by the World Health Organization.)

    4. AIDS/HIV has spread rapidly. UNAIDS estimates for 2008 that there were roughly:33.4 million living with HIV

      • 2.7 million new infections of HIV

      • 2 million deaths from AIDS

    5. Tuberculosis kills 1.3 million people each year, with 9.4 million new cases a year, as the World Health Organization (WHO) points out. In addition,

      • Someone in the world is newly infected with TB bacilli every second.

      • Overall, one-third of the world’s population is currently infected with the TB bacillus.

      • 5-10% of people who are infected with TB bacilli (but who are not infected with HIV) become sick or infectious at some time during their life.

      • 6… TB is a leading cause of death among people who are HIV-positive. It accounts for about 13% of AIDS deaths worldwide. In Africa, HIV is the single most important factor determining the increased incidence of TB in the past 10 years.

Tuberculosis, World Health Organization, Fact Sheet No 104, March 2010 

Personalizing the World Health Crisis

 (By: Economic costs of malaria, World Health Organization, accessed October 2, 2010)

Consider The Impacts of Malaria:

      • Malaria causes some 243 million acute illnesses and 863,000 deaths, annually.

      • 2000 children per day in Africa die from malaria, almost one every 45 seconds.

      • Malaria is both a disease of poverty and a cause of poverty, as the WHO also notes.

164,000 people, mostly children under 5, died from measles in 2008 (the latest years for which figures are available, at time of writing) even though effective immunization, which includes vaccine and safe injection equipment, costs less than 1 US dollars and has been available for more than 40 years.

An estimated 600,000 people die from typhoid each year

The World Health Organization’s explanation of the indirect costs of malaria are also applicable to most of the other diseases:

Malaria has significant measurable direct and indirect costs, and has recently been shown to be a major constraint to economic development.

… Annual economic growth in countries with high malaria transmission has historically been lower than in countries without malaria. Economists believe that malaria is responsible for a “growth penalty” of up to 1.3% per year in some African countries.

… The indirect costs of malaria include lost productivity or income associated with illness or death.

… Malaria has a greater impact on Africa’s human resources than simple lost earnings.

Although difficult to express in dollar terms, another indirect cost of malaria is the human pain and suffering caused by the disease. Malaria also hampers children’s schooling and social development through both absenteeism and permanent neurological and other damage associated with severe episodes of the disease.

The simple presence of malaria in a community or country also hampers individual and national prosperity due to its influence on social and economic decisions. The risk of contracting malaria in endemic areas can deter investment, both internal and external and affect individual and household decision making in many ways that have a negative impact on economic productivity and growth.

End of Stat Quotes

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The Curses are Lifted and the Sting of Sin is Removed

BUT THERE IS GOING TO BE A SOLUTION to all of these thorns and thistles; the curses are going to be lifted, for God says in Isaiah that nothing is going to be able to hurt and inflict pain anymore; even the wild carnivorous animals will become tame and will eat straw like the plant-eating animals.

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.

In conclusion, the thorns and thistles that came up after Adam and Eve took of the forbidden fruit, represent (figuratively speaking) the negative influence of the serpent (Satan) and his seed who make it their job to disrupt the relationship between the only true God and mankind by placing as many painful trials as they can think of to make life miserable for humanity.

Through the thorns and thistles they attempt to break the will of men (including true Christian’s) and to make it impossible to reach their full potential that God had originally planned for them. But the story is not over yet and we know that Christ has already obtained the victory over Satan; and Christ is going to help His people to obtain the final victory over Satan’s will and rule as well (1st Corinthians 15)

We, who are being called at this time and have been given God’s promises, can be thankful that this influence will be dealt with and put away by Christ upon His return to rule this planet and establish His kingdom worldwide.

The effects of what Christ is going to do on earth will be very positive and God describes the end result in symbolic language showing that the “thorns and thistles” will no longer have any ability to cause harm…. just as the above quoted Scriptures in Isaiah wonderfully picture.

And in the last chapter of Revelation we are told that God is going to lift the curse and that the Tree of Life is going to bear leaves that will be for the healing of the nations! 

The earth will be cleared of all the curses including all of the thorns that mankind has had to deal with these past six thousand years; and the ground will become cooperative once again.

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. 

22:3 And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him:

In Isaiah 27 Christ is seen as a man of war that will deal with the armies of Satan and all those who follow him and banish them from the earth. The Millennium will begin and Israel will blossom and bud with no more weeds and briers to stunt the people’s growth.

Isaiah 27:1 In that day the Lord with his sore and great and strong sword shall punish leviathan the piercing serpent, even leviathan that crooked serpent; and he shall slay the dragon that is in the sea. 27:2 In that day sing ye unto her, A vineyard of red wine. 27:3 I the Lord do keep it; I will water it every moment: lest any hurt it, I will keep it night and day. 27:4 Fury is not in me: who would set the briers and thorns against me in battle? I would go through them, I would burn them together. 27:5 Or let him take hold of my strength, that he may make peace with me; and he shall make peace with me. 27:6 He shall cause them that come of Jacob to take root: Israel shall blossom and bud, and fill the face of the world with fruit.

In Romans, Paul speaks about the suffering that the whole earth is under at this time. He uses the metaphor that creation is sighing and crying because of the bondage to corruption it is under…but at the same time it has much hope, for it knows that the creation is going to be delivered and that the restoration will begin when Christ returns and removes the curse.

Paul says here that God pronounced the curse on the ground and creation “in hope” of “the revealing of the sons of God,” which would release it “from the bondage of corruption.”

Romans 8:18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. 8:19 For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God. 8:20 For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope, 8:21 Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. 8:22 For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. 8:23 And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body. 8:24 For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? 8:25 But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.

For Adam’s Sake

God in His perfect wisdom is in the process of making a way for each and every person at some point, (some now in this life, and some later in the Millennium and beyond) to be given the chance to be forgiven through Christ’s atonement, to embrace God’s way of life, and then to go on to become a member of God’s spiritual family. He allows the thorns, thistles, weeds, and briers as a means to teach profound lessons that will insure that mankind will never want to go back to living under Satan’s rule again, or in rebellion to God’s perfect righteousness. He told Adam that He cursed the ground “for thy sake”.

The translators and some commentators of the Bible imply that “for thy sake” indicates “because of you” or “on your account” attempting to show that the ground was cursed because of Adam’s sin. We know that indeed the curses were a result of Adam and Eve’s sin of rebellion. But there is within the layers a subtle reference to the idea that the curse of the ground was also for man’s benefit, advantage and/or ultimately for his good. We see this when we come to know the plan and purpose of God and from other verses we find throughout the Bible. We find this principle in Deuteronomy 8 and in Romans 8.

Deuteronomy 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;

Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

But because of man’s sins the ground is cursed and mankind is cut off from God during the six thousand years of man. Most men throughout history are not called at this time, and are not given the gift of the Holy Spirit. But we also know that God is good and only does what is good and holy and He has provided a way of escape. That, too, was addressed in the verses mingled in with the curses that were pronounced upon Satan and his seed.

Genesis 3:15 And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.

We went through this subject in previous articles so I will not elaborate on this verse too much here. But as with all acts of God, who is the very essence of love, kindness, mercy, and goodness, the curse on Adam would do mankind “good in the end” just as Moses explains to the children of Israel when they were going through the wilderness just before they entered the Promised Land.

Although all of humanity has to endure the various manifestations of the curse placed upon the earth to one degree or another, God allows mankind to go through these things for their own benefit. The curse was meant to serve as a valuable lesson: That humanity would learn through suffering what it is like when we live in rebellion against God. As a result, when all is said and done, we will have come to know what the consequences of sin entails and will never, ever, desire to turn back once we have tasted what life can be like when we trust and obey God and live completely for Him.

So thus we see that God in all of His brilliant wisdom designed the curse on Adam to heighten man’s chance to become a son or daughter in His family for all of eternity!

Revelation 21:3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. 21:4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. 21:5 And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful. 21:6 And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely. 21:7 He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.

As parents we hate to see our children encounter hardships and suffering, and we can be sure that God would rather have done it another way to bring sons and daughters into His kingdom rather than to see them go through the horrendous trials and tribulations of living in this present evil world.

If Adam and Eve would have only obeyed God, they could have been taught all His Laws and His way of living through instruction and guidance; but since they chose to disobey at the very beginning, God knew that all mankind would follow in their footsteps. He then designed Adam’s curse (and Eve’s too) to reach the same end by a different route by means of hard toil, struggle, pain, deprivation and eventual death! But through the death of the One who placed the curses on mankind in the first place, who was even willing to endure the curse of the cross and scourging and being separated from His Father; Christ makes it possible for humanity to return once again to the Garden of Eden, only this time it will be even better than the Garden of Eden.

Revelation 21:5 And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.

Can we even fathom the love that God the Father and His Son have for us who are like mere ants on this earth; and yet They have a great plan and purpose that they are working out here on this tired, polluted, corrupt planet earth for the men and women who live and die here.

All my life I have heard from those who see the evils in the world and have no clue of what is going on, say: “Well, if God is so good and so loving why does He allow so much suffering in the world!” 

Many times this was said to discourage me from seeking after God and from wanting live according to His truth. I am sure all of you reading this have heard this argument from time to time. 

If they only knew the depths that the Father and His Son Jesus Christ have gone through to ensure that there will be a way out of the curses that were placed on mankind in the Garden of Eden so many years ago. The good news is that someday they will know, and it could very well be that God will use you and me to teach them of God’s great love for them and the Wonderful Plan that He has in store for all those who repent and then embrace His goodness and way of life.

Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.

Jeremiah 31:31 Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: 31:32 Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the Lord: 31:33 But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.

Until Christ returns there is not much any man can do to fix the overwhelming problems of the world, even, we, ourselves, are suffering and undergoing the outward perishing of man. We can help people in our midst as we have opportunity but nothing we can do will remove the curses off of our fellow human beings. But there is one thing we can do and that is to pray daily for God’s Kingdom to come and then do what we can to get ready for it…. and preach the Gospel to suffering humanity!

Romans 8:26 Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. 8:27 And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.

It is hard to just wait and hope sometimes, but patience will have its perfect work, for God knows what is best for mankind and that even the “thorns and thistles” are going to work out for the good in God’s own time for those who finally turn to Him and repent of following after the evil ruler of this present world.

Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

God’s Word and His promise of the coming Millennium can give us the hope and patience we need to endure until the end.

Psalm 119:49 Remember the word unto thy servant, upon which thou hast caused me to hope. 19:50 This is my comfort in my affliction: for thy word hath quickened me.

The many billions of people who have known nothing but pain, starvation, war, disease and biting, stinging insects are going to come up in a wonderful brand new world with no more curse in it. Many others will be survivors who will live into the Millennium and for them they, too, will be part of the healing of the nations.

For most of the people who have ever lived, it will be in the millennial kingdom and beyond that they finally find relief from their suffering and the stinging pain of thorns. And what a fantastic world it will be, when all the curses are lifted and they can spend their lives learning about God and all of His ways. Their lives will no longer be taken up with just dealing with the horrible things that they had to endure during the six thousand years of man’s rule under Satan’s influence.

1st Corinthians 15:47 The first man is of the earth, earthy; the second man is the Lord from heaven. 15:48 As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly. 15:49 And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly. 15:50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption. 15:51 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 15:52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 15:53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. 15:54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. 15:55 O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? 15:56 The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. 15:57 But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 15:58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.

The Bible speaks of the curses of thorns and thistles, but it also bears witness that these curses will cease some day when Satan and his demons are put away at the beginning of the Millennium and then finally destroyed just before the Main Fall Harvest. 

Beginning with the Millennium the people will finally be free from the curses and will come to know all the blessings that God had intended for them all along and they will enter into The “Rest” of God; only then will we have total rest from Satan and his rule over us. 

Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.”

Revelation 22:4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.

Psalm 132:14 This is my rest for ever: here will I dwell; for I have desired it.

Have a wonderful Sabbath everyone,

Constance

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