If you spend much time at all around a group of believers, there’s one word you’re sure to hear. It’s a good word. A Bible word. A word we toss back and forth in conversation with ease and frequency.
But there’s one problem with it. Scripturally speaking, we don’t fully understand what it means. We have very little idea of the real power and history behind it.
The word I’m talking about is blessing.
Most of us think that word simply refers to something good that God gives us—a gift He bestows. But the blessing of God actually extends far beyond that. It includes not only His gifts, but the creative power behind them. It speaks not only of what we have been given but of who we are and what God has anointed us to do.
If you are a born-again child of God, THE BLESSING encompasses your identity, your capacity and your call.
Such a statement might sound to some like an exaggeration, and it would be if I were using the word blessing like we usually do—to mean an isolated outbreak of God’s goodness in some area of life. But I’m not talking about a blessing like that. I’m talking about THE BLESSING—and that is a far greater thing.
A Dramatic Moment in Divine History To understand the true scope of THE BLESSING, we must trace its origin back through the Bible to the first chapter of Genesis. There, in what I believe was one of the most dramatic moments in divine history, THE BLESSING made its first appearance.
In the six days leading up to it, God had spoken the earth into being. He had said, “Light be!”…and light was. At His command, the sun, moon, stars and sea had all been set in place. Plant, animal and marine life had all been brought forth by God’s Word. Everything had been made ready for His crowning creation: “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth” (Genesis 1:26).
Personally, I believe at that moment a hush fell over the universe as all the angels and heavenly host waited in anticipation to see this God-like being who was about to be created. Their attention was riveted upon this being called man who was to be given authority over the earth. What would this creature be like? What kind of power would he possess? What work would God give him to do?
All those questions were answered in an instant with what happened next.
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth (verses 27-28).
The First Words Adam Ever Heard With those words, God imparted to Adam and Eve—and to all mankind— THE BLESSING. He told them who they were: the lords of the earth created by God in His image as rulers and royalty. He told them what they were supposed to do: replenish (or fill up) the earth, subdue it and bring it into line with the perfect will of God. He also gave them the power to carry out that assignment.
To bless actually means “to empower.” So the first words Adam ever heard, the first sound that ever struck his eardrums was the sound of God’s voice empowering him with the divine, creative ability to reign over the earth and make it a perfect reflection of God’s best and highest will.
How did Adam know what God’s perfect will for the earth was?
All he had to do was look around him. He was living in the Garden of Eden— a place created and ordered by God Himself. That Garden was a perfect demonstration of God’s plan for this planet. It was a prototype of what He wanted the whole thing to be.
Adam’s job was to exercise his God-given authority and expand that Garden until it encompassed the entire earth. That’s what THE BLESSING was for! It provided Adam with the power to carry on the work God began in creation. It equipped him with the divine resources he needed to follow God’s example and, by speaking anointed, faith-filled words, transform the uncultivated parts of this planet into a veritable Garden of Eden.
In other words, THE BLESSING empowered Adam to be a blessing wherever he went. The Garden of Eden was literally inside Adam.
The God Who Never Quits
Of course, we all know that Adam and Eve messed things up. Instead of operating in THE BLESSING they’d been given and becoming a blessing to the whole earth, they disconnected from God through disobedience. They bowed their knee to the devil and gave him access to their God-given authority. When they did, the whole deal was twisted.
THE BLESSING was turned into a curse. Instead of prospering under their oversight, the earth resisted them and became their enemy. Instead of speaking to it and reigning over it as kings, Adam and Eve worked it like slaves, sweating and laboring just to eke out a living. Talk about a long fall! Adam had once had enough power to subdue the entire earth and bless it; after sin entered the picture, he could hardly make a living in his own garden.
Even so, God didn’t give up on His original plan. He never does. There’s no variableness or shadow of change in Him. Once He sets out to do something, He stays with it until it’s done.
So it’s no surprise that just a few chapters later, in Genesis 12, we find Him reestablishing THE BLESSING that Adam threw away. We find Him offering it again to a man who was willing to obey Him and enter into a covenant relationship with Him. We find Him saying to a man named Abram:
Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will show thee: And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed (Genesis 12:1-3).
From Generation to Generation
There’s no question about it. That wasn’t just any blessing God was offering to Abram. It was THE BLESSING—the same one Adam was given, the same divine ability and creative anointing that caused goodness and prosperity to spring forth everywhere Adam went. Once again, as He did in Genesis 1, God was offering to a man the power to bless the whole earth.
Abram responded differently to that blessing than Adam did. He didn’t blow it off. He received it with respect and began to operate in it by faith. He even taught it to his children and passed the blessing along to them.
What was the result? Eden-like conditions began to blossom in Abram’s life. Just as God showed up in the Garden to fellowship with Adam and Eve, God began to visit Abram and talk with him. Their relationship was so strong and close that God referred to Abraham (Abram’s God-given name) as His friend.
Abraham’s physical body began to reflect the conditions of the Garden as well. THE BLESSING so renewed and regenerated him that he and his once-barren wife, Sarah, were able to have a son when she was 90 and he was 100 years old.
The great material abundance that marked the Garden of Eden began to manifest in Abraham’s life too. He became very rich in cattle, silver and gold. Everywhere he went, he prospered financially.
Because of THE BLESSING, Abraham and the members of his household learned how to do things they couldn’t do before. Without any formal military training, for example, Abraham’s servants became expert warriors. They fought so effectively that when a coalition of foreign armies attacked, Abraham whipped the whole bunch with just 318 of his servants. Then he freed all the captives and walked away with all the spoil.
Those are the kinds of results THE BLESSING produced again and again in Abraham’s life. They didn’t stop with him, either. They continued in the lives of his descendants because God had specifically said, “I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee” (Genesis 17:7).
Because of that promise, THE BLESSING can be traced down through generations in the pages of the Bible. We can see it in the life of Abraham’s grandson Jacob as he prospered and increased against all odds. Even when people intentionally cheated him in business, Jacob just kept getting richer. His household eventually grew so big the region he lived in couldn’t contain it.
Jacob’s son Joseph experienced the same kind of success in the face of even greater obstacles. When his brothers sold him into slavery, for example, THE BLESSING empowered him to become the overseer of his owner’s entire estate. Later, when a loose woman’s lies landed him in prison, THE BLESSING promoted him until he was in charge of the whole place. Finally, when the prison couldn’t hold him anymore, THE BLESSING brought him to the palace where he ended up as Pharaoh’s right-hand man and prime minister over the entire land of Egypt.
Who Is Abraham’s Seed?
After Joseph died, the revelation of THE BLESS began to dim and Abraham’s descendants slipped into 400 years of Egyptian slavery. But God—who never quits—raised up a man named Moses, breathed fresh life into that revelation and taught an entire nation of Israelites to walk once again in The Blessing of Abraham.
That Blessing was what split the Red Sea for them. It was what guided them and kept them for 40 years in the wilderness. It was THE BLESSING that demolished the walls of Jericho and launched the Israelites into the Promised Land. It was THE BLESSING that gave Samson the strength to single-handedly slay a thousand Philistines, and gave David the guts and grace to kill Goliath. It was THE BLESSING on Daniel that kept the lions’ mouths shut when he was in their den.
All those people enjoyed the benefits of THE BLESSING because of what God said to Abraham. They all experienced some of its effects because He had promised to give THE BLESSING not only to Abraham himself but to his seed.
“That’s all great, Brother Copeland,” you might say, “but I’m not Jewish. So what does it have to do with me?”
If you’re a believer, it has everything to do with you because the New Testament says that when God gave THE BLESSING to Abraham and his seed, “He [God] saith not, and to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ” (Galatians 3:16).
In other words, when God spoke to Abraham and his Seed, He was speaking directly to Jesus. He was giving to Jesus (through Abraham) THE BLESSING that was originally bestowed on Adam.
That’s why Jesus is called “the last Adam” (I Corinthians 15:45). He was the true inheritor of that Blessing. His whole earthly ministry was a demonstration of it. Everywhere He went, He brought blessing. That’s why, when sick people came to Him, He healed them. He was carrying out the mission Adam had been given. He was releasing the power of THE BLESSING within Him to expand God’s kingdom and reproduce God’s perfect will as it was first manifest in the Garden of Eden.
There wasn’t any sickness in the Garden of Eden, so healing is part of THE BLESSING and Jesus healed at every opportunity. There wasn’t any poverty or hunger in the Garden, so prosperity is part of THE BLESSING. Therefore He multiplied loaves and fish to feed the hungry crowds who came to hear Him. There was no harmful weather in the Garden, so when a storm threatened destruction, He spoke to it and calmed it down. That was THE BLESSING in action.
It’s Our Inheritance
But Jesus didn’t stop there. After demonstrating the power of THE BLESSING in His own life, He went to the cross and paid the price for the sin of all mankind. He defeated the curse, rose again and took THE BLESSING back so that you and I could inherit it. As Galatians 3 says:
Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree: that the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith…. And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise (verses 13-14, 29).
Do you realize what that passage is saying? It’s telling us that through Jesus, you and I have become heirs—not just of a blessing, not just of some blessings, or even many blessings. We’ve inherited THE BLESSING! We’ve been given the power of God to create, to make available, and to overcome anything necessary to bring into manifestation the conditions in the Garden of Eden not only in our own lives but in the lives of others.
That’s our inheritance! We are heirs to everything God did in that Garden. Our job now is to help expand it and do our part to fill the earth with its blessing. That was God’s will for the first Adam and today His will is back in place through Jesus, the last Adam.
Some people say we need to get our minds off THE BLESSING and back on Jesus. But the truth is, you can’t separate Jesus from THE BLESSING. It’s what He came to restore. It’s what He walked in and made available to others when He ministered on the earth…and it’s what He has called us, as His disciples, to walk in and make available to others in His Name.
Today, I believe the angels are once again waiting with anticipation, watching this new-creation race of reborn men who have been given authority over the earth in the Name of Jesus. They’re waiting to respond to our command as we go into all the world, doing the works of Jesus, and telling everyone who will listen that He has paid the price for us all to inherit THE BLESSING. –Ken Copeland