Our God is a God of families, a God of generations and His promises are inherited. Therefore our personal responsibility is great! declares Congolese/Rwandese Bishop Claude Djessa in this strong teaching that was presented to the European Zion Temple Movement in their conference in Copenhagen, Denmark recently.
I wanted to bring you to a dimension of considering families and couples at church and nation levels. Though we may not yet all be settled as couples, these teachings are useful to all, therefore you are all welcome. And even if one is not yet part of a couple, he/she is a part of a family at least. A couple forms a family and there is no family that has not started with one couple first. Where there are one man and one woman blessed by God to bring forth children, they become a family. Where there are 2 or 3 or more families, they form together a community. So where there is no family, there is no community either. The family is the basic unit, the foundation. And we also have the Christian family, formed of people coming from couples or families. No one comes straight from heaven or from a tree; we all came from a man and a woman. And where we have communities, we can find a nation. Once people are gathered together, they give themselves an identity. So we have the Danish nation, the Irish and the Congolese nations and so on.
So everything starts from a basic cell in the whole human kind, which is the family. There is no world without a country or a community or a family or a couple. And this reality is a fact according to which God works. God was at the beginning of everything. He loves things that start from the beginning and He will intervene at the source before touching the branches afar. It might be complicated to touch, instruct and communicate things to the world without passing by the basic unit first, i.e. the family. So God is right when He starts with the family.
Exodus 3:6 Moreover He said, “I am the God of your father—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look upon God.
Matthew 1: 17 So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations, from David until the captivity in Babylon are fourteen generations, and from the captivity in Babylon until the Christ are fourteen generations.
The genealogical stories in the Bible might be quite annoying at first, with a list of weird names, that one will pass over as reading the Bible. Then such an understanding will come, that God is a generational God, a God of generations. Coming to Jesus, He was born in a very well determined family, as the Lion of Judah, the Son of David and the Son of Abraham according to the promises. So, one can understand that God honors one’s offspring. God reveals Himself through His Word, what He likes or not, His principles and commends. Therefore, the Lord wants the people to know His word, to get to understand His Law and be in fellowship with Him. You cannot worship God according to your own understanding or likes. Thus, He wants the whole world to know His word. And the best way He uses to touch people is not through the church at such gatherings like this conference but He does it through the family.
Once the children are born, they found the principles by which mum and dad have been living: the principles of the Kingdom, the values of the Word of God, the faith in God. The parents communicate them to their children. So educate your child, teach him the Law and show him the way because he will not go far from that path. And even if he goes astray, because of what he has received, the seed sown in his heart, sooner or later, he will remember what his parents used to tell him (Proverbs22:6). Each community has got a culture, rituals, traditions, which are the very things that differentiate it from another community. These are the things they communicate to their children. And if we have the culture of the Kingdom of God and consider ourselves as citizens of that Kingdom, we will communicate to our own children the values and the principles of God’s Kingdom besides the traditions and culture of our native community. That is the first reason why God is interested in the family. He has got a Law to communicate and He would like to start with and to do this through the family (Genesis 18:19).
Secondly, the Lord is a God of promises. He is faithful to His promises. He gives promises to men and women. And they can be fulfilled through their families from generation to generation. As seen in Exodus 3:6, Moses was asking himself questions about that God of their forefathers, the God he was told about, who yet seemed to have forgotten His people. Maybe Moses has lost his faith in that God. And there was the burning bush, a voice spoke to him commending to remove his shoes and introducing itself in a particular way. The Lord never introduced Himself as the God dwelling on that mountain or the God who has made all the birds in the air and the wild animals in the fields, though He could have since He is indeed all that. But He introduced Himself as a God of families, a God from generation to generation, the God of his fathers. Some people say family first and they are somehow right. Moreover, let us say: “the God of this family first”. We might not come from the same blood lineage that Abraham according to the flesh. Yet, we like to call him the father of faith, Abraham the believer, who was accounted righteous because of his faith. And all of us, Christians from all over the world from every languages, races and nations, by faith, we are children of Abraham. As I like to say “the God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel” and I will add “my God”. Then I fell drawn closer to the promises, closer to this covenant. God loves families and He is looking for an established and stable Christian family. God is seeking the faith and the salvation of not only one individual but a whole family. He is willing to instruct not just one person but whole families. He is called the Lord of hosts and He would like to have legions of families, starting with yours. And one can say:”as for me and my family, we shall serve the Lord”. So they will be as mighty as a big church, because even the church is a family. If families arise in faith, with the promises of Abraham and their personal promised; then get together, they produce a big explosion. In fact, each one of them is like a flame of fire, getting joined by another fire and altogether, this makes an increasing fire. And if each also comes with his promises, joined together, they will produce a mighty rain of blessings. Thus, we shall be blessed as our churches are filled with born-again families.
Exodus 20: 1-6 And God spoke all these words, saying: “I am the Lord Your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. You shall have no other gods before Me. You shall not make for yourself a carved image—any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments [...].
“I am the Lord Your God” is a statement that does not change. The Lord is your God and my God. He wants to be the only One who is worshipped and He hates idolatry. He loves to have the first place in our life and indeed He is worthy of that. Here is an important warning: “You shall not make for yourself a carved image”. In another words: “You will neither mixed me up nor even comparing Me with other things, otherwise, You will entice My jealousy”. Why? Because God loves you. This one may understand easily. Indeed, if one really loves his/her spouse, how would he/she want to share him/her with someone else? This one reason why one may also hardly caution some behaviors the Western world has tolerated. For instance, the “swingers”, who swing /exchange once in while their partner with other couples in the name of love (swinging or partner swapping). But real loves implies jealousy, so do these people really love each other? Well, God is not a “swinger”. So He does not want us to mix Him up with some other things. If we do, we will surely arouse His anger and He will punish not only the concerned people but also the 4 following generations. Hereditary is an issue concerning the family and so are the generational bondages from witchcraft, curses, idolatry… Some people go through battles and hardships because of generational issues, even if they may not have committed the same sins as they ancestors. In fact, a person may invite demons in his life and his family, as he sought after something. “I am a God who punishes the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me”. Demons follow keenly the blood lineage and keep an eye on the people involved. A person may move from Europe to Africa, from Africa to the North Pole, from Asia to the USA, demons do not need visa (actually they do not have any citizenship) nor are they limited by any language or territory or boundaries. They are not impressed by the social level or the number of degrees one may holds. So, people have to be very careful about what they do because this has an influence on themselves, their family and children.
This was the negative side of the story. However, we are in another covenant, where these old things can be abolished. “I am a God who shows mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments”. Some places and countries are surviving because of the forefathers who have honored the Lord in the past. Even animals are wiser than human beings nowadays. A dog is still able to set a difference between a fellow male and female dog. As idolatry, sorcery, witchcraft and all kind of occult movements continue to spread; the fire of judgment should have fallen down on this generation. Nevertheless, because of the millenary mercy of God, His grace is still overflowing and covering the offences of many. Let us praise the Lord for His promises and goodness! Halleluiah!
“I am the Lord your God, I will bless you, and not only you but also your children and the children of your children and the children of the children of your children and so on, up to a thousand generations”.
Our God is a God of families, a God of generations and His promises are inherited. Therefore our personal responsibility is great. There are a lot of things that we do not only for ourselves but also for our children. We buy houses; we make some savings and investment, knowing that we will leave them to our children as inheritance because we love them. So let us bring blessing into our families and communities that are not just material things but also spiritual treasures. If you really love your children, prepare their future and leave them some promises. Attach yourself to God, fear Him, do what is right in His sight, lay down a good seed, live peacefully with others, be humble, sanctify yourself and serve God. As you do so, the grace of God will abound in your life, making a way for His promises. And where the promises of God are established, they are not limited above your head alone but they will come down unto your offspring. Leave them with a legacy of money indeed but also leave them with Jesus Christ, the anointing of the Holy Spirit and a stock of prayer. Many will benefit from your legacy while you were sowing like a responsible parent, as whoever sows little will reap little. Some children are looked down on to; people might even try to get revenge from them. Yet they have done nothing wrong, they just happen to be the son or daughter of so and so. Why? Because people see the image of the parents through them. So, let us be good parents.
Parents should not be ashamed to speak bout Christ to their children. Besides helping them for their homework, parents could assist them in reading the Bible. Besides telling them about their traditional proverbs, they should teach them the word of God. Instead of telling them about the people you have wronged them in the past, they should share with them about salvation and love for all the people. Let us learn to spread and communicate the Spirit of grace around us, in our families, in our neighborhood, in our place of work and in our society.
God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, your God but also the God of your children.
Bio: Bishop Claude Djessa is a member of the apostolic founding team of the Zion Temple Movement, based in Kigali, Rwanda, serving under ICA member, Apostle Paul Gitwaza. Bishop Claude is a native of Congo, but lives in Kigali with his wife and two children, and spends much time in Europe, serving churches in Belgium, France, UK, Denmark, Sweden and beyond.