The Two Witnesses: Revelation 11:3

This is the first of a series discussing the two witnesses of Revelation chapter 11, and ultimately the reason why Jesus told His disciples to be on the alert and ready for a day and hour of which they know not.

Who or what is a witness?

There are three broad statements we can make about being a witness and having a testimony:

  • All witnesses have participated in some sort of an experience.
  • Witnesses form a testimony during an experience regarding the thing observed.
  • A false witness has a false testimony (a lie).  A false witness tells a lie concerning a matter either by deliberately falsifying information experienced or observed, or by creating a completely false narrative.

An Example of a False Witness

When I was a young Christian, my church leaders would occasionally correct or discipline other church members regarding certain infractions.  In doing so, they would gather two or three people who had no first-hand experience in the original offense, or those who might have knowledge of the offense via rumor or gossip.  The purpose of these individuals attending the discipline meeting was to observe (to be witnesses) under the guise of a biblically sanctioned correction.

This discipline and the attendance of the hand-picked witnesses was incorrectly based on these scriptures:

Thus, those so-called witnesses were indeed witnesses to the correction, but they had no first-hand knowledge of the original offense. In effect, they were there to give credence to the admonishing, agreeing with the elder’s words as witnesses to the proper handling of the offense, assuming that the offense actually took place as charged by the elder.

Biblical Examples of a Witness

A Witness provides Testimony, which is Evidence.

A testimony is “a formal written or spoken statement, especially one given in a court of law.”  In the Bible, the definition is no different.

The first occurrence of “witness” in the Bible is found in Genesis 21:30.  It is Strong’s H5713, and it means to testify, to provide testimony.  This instance specifically refers to the transaction between two people as a testimony of an agreement reached.

Deuteronomy 17:6 speaks of witnesses and provides rules of the condemned: those being put to death.  This scripture provides rules regarding how such a thing should not happen without two or three witnesses’ testimony.  This word for witness is in this passage is Strong’s H5707.  This word speaks more towards the legal sense and the recording sense of the act of providing testimony.

John the Baptist and Faith

John 1:6-8 NASB – The Witness John the Baptist

John the Baptist provides us an example of faith and how faith makes one a witness.

When John was baptizing beyond the Jordan, he was doing so before the public ministry of Jesus had begun, and clearly before the resurrection when His divinity and completion of work was clearly demonstrated.

It is clear to any reader or expositor that John acted in faith while performing his preaching and baptizing ministry. He understood Elijah’s call (Isaiah 40:30) and the role he was fulfilling.  In the end, he even wavered a little in his faith (Luke 7:18-23).

Faith Makes One a Witness

While the text is too long to include here, I will highlight how faith makes one a witness with a testimony.

Faith is evidence; it is a witness.

faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.

Faith is the currency of heaven, by which we are approved.

For by it, the men of old gained approval … and without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.

Faith establishes a testimony.

By faith Abel offered to God a better sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained the testimony that he was righteous

Faith establishes one as a witness.

By faith, Enoch was taken up … for he obtained the witness that before his being taken up, he was pleasing to God.

Summary

The two witnesses of Revelation 11 fall squarely within this decree and declaration of Jesus:

” … you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.”

We now have a better understanding that our walk of faith is our witness giving rise to our testimony in Christ Jesus.  We must therefore un-learn that limited definition of one’s testimony as being defined solely as a enumeration of a salvation experience.  Our testimony is the summation of our entire witness of God’s work in our life.

It is this walk of faith which gives rise to the power described here:

“Now the salvation, and the power, and the kingdom of our God and the authority of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brothers and sisters has been thrown down, the one who accuses them before our God day and night.
And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life even when faced with death.”

Be On The Alert

Matthew 24:42-44 NASB

Therefore be on the alert, for you do not know which day your Lord is coming. But be sure of this, that if the head of the house had known at what time of the night the thief was coming, he would have been on the alert and would not have allowed his house to be broken into. For this reason, you also must be ready; for the Son of Man is coming at an hour when you do not think He will.

Matthew 25:13 NASB

Be on the alert then, because you do not know the day nor the hour.

Luke 12:35-39 NASB

Be prepared, and keep your lamps lit. You are also to be like people who are waiting for their master when he returns from the wedding feast, so that they may immediately open the door for him when he comes and knocks. Blessed are those slaves whom the master will find on the alert when he comes; truly I say to you, that he will prepare himself to serve, and have them recline at the table, and he will come up and serve them. Whether he comes in the second watch, or even in the third, and finds them so, blessed are those slaves. “But be sure of this, that if the head of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have allowed his house to be broken into.

Acts 20:29-32 NASB

Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood. I know that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves, men will arise, speaking perverse things to draw away the disciples after them. Therefore, be on the alert, remembering that night and day for a period of three years I did not cease to admonish each one with tears. And now I entrust you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified.

1 Corinthians 16:13 NASB

Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.

1 Peter 5:6-9 NASB

Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, so that He may exalt you at the proper time, 7 having cast all your anxiety on Him, because He cares about you. Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. So resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brothers and sisters who are in the world.

A Brief History of a Brief History of Our Nation in Time

It seemed right to document how I got to where I am today and the unfolding of events I expect to occur shortly in the United States of America.

Today is January 17th, 2021.  My journey up to this point began in the early to mid-summer of 2020.

Psalm 83

For me, it all began with Psalm 83. During my personal prayer and worship time, the Lord directed me to Psalm 83. As I read through the scripture, I began to understand this was my prayer for America, so I changed “Israel” to “America.” Praying through Psalm 83 became routine for me, though not daily.

In this Psalm, there are enumerations of peoples and nations. In the natural, I had no idea which nations or organizations were involved against America, but I knew this Psalm was directed squarely towards them:

God, don’t remain silent! Don’t stay quiet, God, or still; because here are your enemies, causing an uproar; those who hate you are raising their heads, craftily conspiring against your people, consulting together against those you treasure.

They say, “Come, let’s wipe them out as a nation; let the name of Isra’el be remembered no more!” With one mind they plot their schemes; the covenant they have made is against you … who said, “Let’s take possession of God’s meadows for ourselves.”  …

My God, make them like whirling dust, like chaff driven by the wind.  Like fire burning up the forest, like a flame that sets the mountains ablaze, drive them away with your storm, terrify them with your tempest.  Fill their faces with shame, so that they will seek your name, Adonai.  Let them be ashamed and fearful forever; yes, let them perish in disgrace.  Let them know that you alone, whose name is Adonai, are the Most High over all the earth.
(Psalm 83, CJB)

The Harbinger

In 2019, I became aware of a book by Jonathan Cahn, The Harbinger.  Like many people who collect books of all kinds, I grabbed a copy but never finished reading it.  In 2020, I saw a program online where Jonathan Cahn described the book and I learned enough to understand that 2020 was a pivotal year for America.

I came to understand that a leftist administration would usher in the conditions for the perfect curse upon America.  God was allowing things to be put into place that would allow Him to righteously remove His hand of protection from America.

Praying Psalm 83 began to make more sense.

2 Chronicles 2 7:13-14

If I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or if I command the locust to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among My people, and My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

Many other people began to believe the same thing: that if we repent and seek His face, God will forgive us of our sins and heal our land.  As a result, on September 27th, 2020, there was a national day of repentance formally held at the capital.  You can read about that here.  I also believe that COVID was a curse, which fits neatly into this scripture.  I believe it will be eradicated in 2021, but not by any vaccine.

The Prophets: Amos 3:7

Surely the Lord GOD does nothing unless He reveals His secret counsel To His servants the prophets.

Beginning in the early fall of 2020, I stumbled upon a number of different Christians who were speaking similar words, relating around topics of bracing ourselves, repentance of the Church, and preparing for an eventual virtual tsunami (not a literal tsunami).  Later in the fall, my wife had a dream that coalesced precisely into words we would soon hear from these other people.  The Holy Spirit was bearing witness to us that these things being spoken were coming to pass.

“Things are Going to Get Messy”

During the winter of 2020, God spoke a clear word to me: “things are going to get messy.”  I understood that something in America was going to be hard, and very bitter to observe and endure.  In late December, we received the word that judgment was coming, but with mercy and grace; but there would be times of hardship, and bitterness.

Summary

We braced ourselves in God, we prepared ourselves for hardship, and we continued to pray for our nation and our President.  As I’m posting this Sunday evening on January 17, 2021, I’m expecting things will change in America drastically in the next week.


[EDIT 21-JAN-2021]

I did not believe at the time I wrote this that a leftist administration would be installed – I got that one wrong.  But what I don’t have wrong is this: it will not stand.  God is FOR America; He is cleansing His church, and He is cleansing this nation.


I believe that God has prepared America with two possible paths.  One path leads to a curse, the other path leads to a blessing.  This blessing will not come without sorrow, bitterness, and hardship.  But we will recover our Republic.  As a result, the world will enter a time of “peace and safety,” until the final days are thrust upon us.

For you yourselves know full well that the day of the Lord will come just like a thief in the night. While they are saying, “Peace and safety!” then destruction will come upon them suddenly like labor pains upon a woman with child, and they will not escape.
(1 Thes. 5:2-3)

Deception vs. Rebellion: You won’t get a Pass

If you’re like me, you grew up in circles where we learned that poor Eve, because of some inherent weakness, was deceived by the Serpent, but Adam, on the other hand, deserved the greater condemnation because he made a choice to rebel against God.  In this theology, Eve was judged because she did not fall back to, or rely upon, the truth she knew: that which God had previously spoken.  Hence, the words of the Serpent, “hath God said…”

In reality, deception – or the act of being deceived – is no better than choosing to be rebellious.  And relying upon what you know is just as dangerous. In rebellion, we know and understand both sides of the picture: we can see the lie masquerading as truth, but we choose to align ourselves with the lie.

We might argue in favor of the deceived, that the problem is that they don’t know they’re being deceived. How, then, can that be as bad as knowing the truth but choosing the lie?

This is what the Lord says: Stand by the ways and see and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is, and walk in it; then you will find a resting place for your souls.

But they said, ‘We will not walk in it.’
And I set watchmen over you, saying ‘Listen to the sound of the trumpet!

But they said, ‘We will not listen.’
(Jer. 6:16-17)

The problem of deception is that we choose to be deceived through our failure of action, and consequently, through our action of self-exaltation.

When deceived, we act out of a place where we have chosen not to test the spirits; instead, we rely upon our intellect and wisdom. But perhaps we might argue, “I’ve read the word of God, I know what to do!”  So, then, oh knower of the Bible, what shall you do with the fool?

Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like unto him.
Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own conceit.
(Prov. 26:4-5)

So then, the question becomes, “do we answer the fool according to his folly, or not?” Without spiritual discernment, it is impossible:

To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues …
(2 Cor. 12:10)

The Solution: Test the Spirits

To avoid deception, we must test the spirit of everything; it’s really that simple:

Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God
(1 John 4:1)

Therefore, deception is as wrong as rebellion because, like rebellion, deception uses self’s power over God’s mercies and grace.  In deception, we elevate our intellect and abilities to know good from bad, right from wrong, above and beyond God’s fresh revelation and wisdom.  This does not mean we ignore the word of God; it simply means we understand His ideas, but we take the time to double-check our actions.  We live and walk through life using His word, in conjunction with His spiritual discernment to judge and course-correct:

Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, and spend a year there and engage in business and make a profit.” Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. For you are just a vapor that appears for a little while, and then vanishes away. Instead, you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and also do this or that.” But as it is, you boast in your arrogance; all such boasting is evil. So for one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, for him it is sin.
(James 4:13-17)

That is why we will not be excused, just as Eve was not excused, from the sin of deception.

 

 

Spirtual Maturity

For everyone who partakes only of milk is not accustomed to the word of righteousness, for he is an infant. But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil (Heb. 5:13-14)

If you’re like me, you may have learned something other than what is called “spiritual discernment” by the Bible.A doctrine that teaches spiritual discernment was given only to the first-century believers, or perhaps to those a bit later, for the purpose of discerning the writings inspired by God, as opposed to those things that were not inspired by God.Essentially, what these people are saying is that nobody today can pick up a Bible and discern that it is God-breathed, that the only way we know we have God’s word is through tradition.

But enough of that rabbit hole.  Let’s just cut to the chase:

Spiritual maturity is not related
to 
how long you have been a Christian.  

Spiritual maturity is not related
to how much scripture you have learned for
the purpose of applying it to life at just the right time. 

Spiritual maturity is having your senses trained to
discern between good and evil.

The Days of Noah Today

And just as it happened in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man: they were eating, they were drinking, they were marrying, they were being given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. 

It was the same as happened in the days of Lot: they were eating, they were drinking, they were buying, they were selling, they were planting, they were building;  but on the day that Lot went out from Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all. 

It will be just the same on the day that the Son of Man is revealed.

 The days of Noah, and the activities people performed, don\’t have anything to do with the event Christians call the rapture. Rather, it has everything to do with the sudden destruction that comes upon them (Luke 17:26-37).

The point of the allegory is about these three things:

  1. The signs of the times and what they point towards (sudden destruction);
  2. The failure of people to recognize those signs; and
  3. A failure to prepare one\’s self into the position of protection.
    • e.g., blood on the doorposts and staying inside (Egypt & plagues);
    • Being in the Ark, not swimming in the flood;
    • Leaving Soddom towards safety; etc.
    • All of which happened during judgment, all of which are examples of God protecting His own during an outpouring of judgment.  

Of the 10 virgins waiting for the bridegroom, all were eagerly waiting – they understood something about the signs presented – but only 5 were prepared.


Of the three slaves who received talents, only two were rewarded; the third was thrown into outer darkness where he wept bitterly (Luke 25:29) While the parables certainly have a message of warning for readiness towards eternal life, we must remember that the conversation started in Matthew 24 doesn\’t end until the last verse of Matthew 25, and there are dual meanings found in the parables of Matthew 25.

Looking Backwards, or Looking Forwards?

It is one thing to have a backward view of one\’s life, suggesting to oneself that you\’ve done your best, and you\’re ready to meet the Lord – just as you are.

It is quite another thing to think that perhaps the Lord returns only once, at the 7th trumpet sounding (as seen in Revelation), and now one must be prepared to live life, during the tribulation, in a level of faith and preparedness not experienced up to this point in one\’s life: testifying, ministering and relying upon God for food, shelter, and necessities while the Beast makes war with the Saints.

A Great Delusion

In the year 2020, we\’ve watched practicing physicians lose their jobs (at worst) or be censored (at best) for discussing and reporting on their success in treating COVID-19 with innovative treatments.  In my opinion, the virus anti-remedy rhetoric was the cusp, the fringe of the arriving great delusion;

And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:  that they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

For the time {has} come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they {have accumulated} for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths.

Soon, the 2020 election will occur.  Regardless of who wins, there is likely to be turmoil.  The cheaters will be attacked, or the racists will be cleansed.  In either case, it will look much the same.  

Soon thereafter, the persecution will begin, when sound biblical doctrine will be outlawed, or in the least, punished.  Pastors will be censored from preaching about sin, the kind that so easily offends many people.

With those things in mind…

I would encourage you to re-think the words of Jesus.  In Matthew 24, where He outlines the end of the age, He is not talking about a secret rapture – \”the coming of the Son of Man\” – He is explaining an aspect of the great delusion.  That being, everyone one is marching forward with their lives, doing their own things, not perceiving the signs of the time in which they are living:

For the coming of the Son of Man will be just like the days of Noah.  For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and they did not understand until the flood came and took them all away; so will the coming of the Son of Man be.

While I would love to believe that the pre-tribulation rapture adherents are correct, I can find no indication that the rapture – secret or not – is ever referred to as \”the end:\”

But the one who endures to the end, he will be saved

It is time to find your courage.

Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Savior. The Lord God is my strength, and He has made my feet like hinds’ feet, and makes me walk on my high places.

Healing Emotional Wounds

Big Knife Outline Free Stock Photo - Public Domain Pictures

Do you remember a time when you were hurt emotionally, very badly?  Does it continue to haunt and hurt today when you recall it from memory?

Can your spouse easily recount the times you’ve hurt them, with excruciating detail?

If you can answer in the affirmative to these questions (and honestly, who among us can’t) then you or your spouse most likely have emotional wounds.

We all carry emotional baggage or what I’m calling emotional wounds.

We have blindly accepted that emotional hurts make us who we are, or that there’s no real cure for them other than time, or perhaps we all just need to learn how to bear our burdens or let go of the past.

We have a Healer

We have a healer, and His name is Jesus. The process I’ve outlined below is essentially a conversation with God. It consists of the following major points:

  • Identification of an emotional wound;
  • If necessary, confession of sin surrounding that wound;
  • Confessing that you want the wound removed
    • This is a particularly important point.  You cannot be double-minded in this regard.
    • You either desired to be healed of a thing, or you want the pain it brings.  It\’s your choice.
  • Asking for the wound to be removed and healed.
  • Accepting the healing.
  • Identification of new emotional wounds
    • God created our psyche to wrap wounds in protective layers, like an onion.  You’ll find that after one emotional wound is healed, another may replace it.
    • You’ll know you’re finished when you are at peace with the incident that caused the wound.

The Emotional Healing Process

Speak these things aloud.

Recall that whenever Jesus performed healing, He spoke aloud against infirmity.  When God created the universe, He spoke it into existence.  I don’t know exactly why speaking these things helps, but it does.

Have faith in God.  Amen, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it shall be done for him

Mark 11:22-23
  1. Identify a painful emotion associated with a particular event.
    •  If the emotion is sinful, ask God to forgive you and receive His forgiveness.  It is good to remind yourself of forgiveness principles, such as 1 John 1:9
    • Say that you believe His blood has taken away the penalty and consequences of your sin.
    •  If it is not sinful, go to the next step.
  2. Tell Jesus you want the emotion removed from your soul.
  3. Ask Jesus to heal the wound in your soul caused by the emotion.
  4. Tell Jesus you receive His healing.
    • If the emotion is there because you may have believed a lie about that situation, ask Jesus to show you the truth about the situation.
  5. An optional step is to ask Jesus to give you something positive to replace the negative emotion that He is removing.
    • If you ask Him to take away sadness, you might ask Him to give you joy.
    • If you ask Him to take away anger, you might ask Him to give you peace.
  6. Rest for a moment, ask for His presence to come and rest in Him.
  7. Recall the situation that caused the painful emotion.
    • If there is a new negative emotion, begin again at Step 1.

When I was very young, I was molested/assaulted by an older man.  After my memory of the event resurfaced, my emotional healing process progressed something like this:

  • Jesus, I feel anger towards that person.  I don’t want to feel this anger anymore.  Please take this anger from me, and heal the wound in my soul; I receive your healing.  Please give me peace in place of this anger.

Once I was done with this process, I paused for a moment and then recalled the event.  I observed that I then felt a different emotion and went through the process again.  After several iterations (I don’t remember how many, or the emotions other than anger), I was completely healed of assault against me.  It\’s now like a distant memory to me, as if it were something written about me, not something that happened to me.

My History into this Process 

I should also mention that before I learned this emotional healing process, I had thoroughly made use of Neil Anderson’s Victory Over Darkness and Bondage Breaker.  My opinion is that his books will help you immensely, but they don’t always result in helping you heal the resulting wounds.

Thereafter, I developed a process not as involved as above, which worked seeming well enough.  I then found Praying Medic’s work Emotional Healing in Three Easy Steps and have continued to use it ever since.

Fueling the Weapons of Darkness

If you hate President Trump, if you hate the Democrats or the Republicans, you are part of the problem.  

If you are afraid of the SARS-Cov-2 virus and you are not relying upon God to save you, your family, and others – then you are part of the problem.

Covenants Fulfilled: To Believe or Not to Believe

“The Osteen version of the prosperity gospel traces its roots back to the 19th-century spiritual movement known as New Thought or Higher Thought. As the Encyclopedia Britannica explains, New Thought advocates believed in the “immanence of God, the divine nature of man, the immediate availability of God’s power to man, the spiritual character of the universe, and the fact that sin, human disorders, and human disease are basically matters of incorrect thinking. Moreover, according to New Thought, man can live in oneness with God in love, truth, peace, health, and plenty.””


In actuality, the truth is somewhere in the middle. When Jesus said His purpose was to fulfill the law, He wasn\’t making reference to His perfection in keeping all of the laws (although He did).

He was referring to the Covenants of God – things that God does not break. The \”New Covenant\” is not so much as much \”new\” as it is a fresh, new thing being done in the context of existing covenants.

In other words, the fulfillment Jesus spoke of is better understood in the view of a husband and wife daily fulfilling their marriage covenant. That covenant is not broken until one of them dies, or there is a divorce, but outside of those two events, the marriage covenant is continually fulfilled and refreshed anew every day.

The entirety of Jesus\’s life, death, and resurrection are a fulfillment of all the Covenants the Lord has made with us because God keeps His word, He doesn\’t change His mind, and He doesn\’t break His promises or covenants: which means, they\’re still in effect.

So when you read Deuteronomy 28, remember that the blessings described are a Covenant still in effect today, fulfilled by Jesus. Your job is to understand how to position yourself within those blessings.

This not the prosperity gospel nor is is a form of the prosperity gospel, but it is a truth that many Christians refuse to position themselves within, opting rather for a form of legalism that includes paying for their sins through sickness and strife, continual condemnation of self and others, and self-flagellation – to name a few.

Deuteronomy 28

“Now it shall be, if you diligently obey the Lord your God, being careful to do all His commandments which I command you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth. All these blessings will come upon you and overtake you if you obey the Lord your God: 

– “Blessed shall you be in the city, and blessed shall you be in the [c]country.
– “Blessed shall be the offspring of your body and the produce of your ground and the offspring of your beasts, the increase of your herd and the young of your flock.
– “Blessed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl.
– “Blessed shall you be when you come in, and blessed shall you be when you go out.
– “The Lord shall cause your enemies who rise up against you to be defeated before you; they will come out against you one way and will flee before you seven ways. The Lord will command the blessing upon you in your barns and in all that you put your hand to, and He will bless you in the land which the Lord your God gives you. The Lord will establish you as a holy people to Himself, as He swore to you, if you keep the commandments of the Lord your God and walk in His ways. So all the peoples of the earth will see that you are called by the name of the Lord, and they will be afraid of you. The Lord will make you abound in prosperity, in the offspring of your body and in the offspring of your beast and in the produce of your ground, in the land which the Lord swore to your fathers to give you. The Lord will open for you His good storehouse, the heavens, to give rain to your land in its season and to bless all the work of your hand; and you shall lend to many nations, but you shall not borrow. The Lord will make you the head and not the tail, and you only will be above, and you will not be underneath, if you listen to the commandments of the Lord your God, which I charge you today, to observe them carefully, and do not turn aside from any of the words which I command you today, to the right or to the left, to go after other gods to serve them.