September 30, 2021
The topic of repentance is an elementary teaching (foundation principle) of Christ (Hebrews 5:12-13; 6:1-6, I John 1:9). Nonetheless, it has been so distorted and defiled within the Church that many Christians do not have a clear understanding of what His Word tells us about repentance and forgiveness. This topic was the pivotal teaching that introduced the polluted perception of a different kind of hard strict God operating in Genesis through Malachi from a gentle all forgiving Jesus caricature who works in the Greek text of Scripture. The idea of God the Father providing a far more superior sacrifice for sin (Hebrews 8:6) in Jesus Christ has become twisted into meaning His work gave man a garbage dump that we go back to in order to dump more on when our conscience is pricked about committing sin.
Today, may the substance of what was given to us by the sacrifice of our Lord, the Lamb of God, be clearly seen and understood. Father, may our eyes be wiped to see Your Word, Jesus Christ, clearly. May the meaning of forgiveness be restored, and may Your words flow into our hearts. Thank you, in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Introduction — what forgiveness is not
No remission (forgiveness) of sins without repentance
Sins of ignorance do not get a pass
Love does not replace repentance or forgiveness
Turning the other cheek does not mean to forgive
A moment to judge
Praying forgiveness for others
All is not forgiven
Introduction — what forgiveness is
The substance of forgiveness
The power of forgiveness
A brief historical record
Applications of forgiveness
A pause to talk about salvation
Forgives the brethren 70 x 7
Not to be withheld
Fruits of repentance
Forgiveness cultivates love
Forgiveness is the blessedness of man
The living difference
The nature of God’s covering love
Not God’s forgiveness
Introduction — what forgiveness is not
Before we can open the door to understanding forgiveness, we have a dung hill to remove from its entryway. The heavy equipment operators are needed with bulldozers, front end loaders, and dump trucks to do this job. Wickedness within the corrupted pastoral and teaching ministries has been working much trying to defile and misrepresent our Lord’s perfect labours, sufferings, sacrifice, and priesthood. These incorrect teachings and belief structures must be cleared from our hearts and minds before we are able to open and enter the door. We then can be washed by the Holy Spirit’s water to eat a healthy meal at the table with clean hands and faces before Him.
To forgive is considered by many Christians of the Babylonian system as one of the trademarks of being “a good Christian”. Love, gentleness, compassion, and teaching a type of love and mercy that excludes or overrides justice and righteousness is added to the indoctrination, which is not God’s love, forgiveness, or mercy (Psalm 143, James 2:12-13). A new religion is formed from the hearts and thoughts of man’s desires. These teachings espouse and sustain lukewarm believers who are impotent and carnal. Over time they become more and more willing to subdue and disregard the commandments of God (John 14:15—15:14) while participating in and submitting themselves and their children to evil. Sin becomes relative and subjective rather than interpreted by the Word of God. This way of thinking can only be taught, reinforced, taught again, reinforced again, and kept on being taught and reinforced until it over-rides not only Scripture but also goes against common sense, which is one of the most powerful tools that God has given to man for reasoning.
For those who are interested in identifying spirits, these are the Ammonites and Assyrians who enrich the Canaanite spirit’s stronghold in God’s people. The Ammonites, by their strong corrupted teaching ministry, teach and espouse no need for spiritual growth beyond salvation. They stay as spiritual infants. They are also identified with Gomorrah as to their behavior and outcome (Zephaniah 2:8-10). The Assyrians seek only the blessings from God. The Canaanite spirits (the Pharisees) are the corrupt pastoral ministry (The Revelation 2:18-29). In addition, the Jebusite spirits (corrupted apostles) are the overseers to enforce as needed those who do not comply with the carnal “loving” and “unconditional forgiveness” indoctrination. It is important to understand that spirits, powers, principalities, and so on operate in many permutations and/or combinations to externally influence us or are harbored within our hearts. There will be dominance of one or more spirit while other spirits play supporting roles depending on what is received by the desire of men’s hearts. When our focus is on God alone (James 4:7-8) and we are looking to Him to guide us, the identifying of the players may or may not be revealed to us. We go into battle against whom and when God tells us to battle. Knowing about demonic interaction can be useful and necessary at times as we continue to try (prove) the spirits around us (I John 4:1), however it can also bring a prideful head knowledge that produces a vacuum and no good fruit.
The key point to the twisted indoctrinations of forgiveness is that it transitions to mean and operate differently than before salvation. What was straightforward and clear to us by the Holy Spirit about forgiveness when we received Jesus Christ becomes extremely complicated and applied differently after salvation. It has become a departure from common sense that even a child would not stumble on unless they had been exposed to the wicked indoctrination. The appearingly new addendums, exceptions, or variations are used to entangle men’s souls and also whitewash over the very foundation of Christ rather than maturing and seeking the understanding of Scripture by and with Scripture. It is starting in faith and then stopping to live by man’s own precepts and understanding (Isaiah 29:13-16, Colossians 2:20-22). The substance, the application, the purpose of forgiveness has not changed. It does not change before, during, or after salvation.
Unfortunately, but necessary, to begin talking about forgiving and forgiveness a couple of additions to Scripture must be addressed. Many of the false doctrines have been weaved into Scripture by these additions of passages that are not in the early manuscripts, but treated by many protestant denominations and catholicism as the staples to raise perpetually immature believers. And it is not surprising that the most severe and stark additions convey false teachings about forgiveness and what it means to be compassionate towards others. Here we will reiterate the two main additions that are used by many Christians, the clergy, and PBS as a hand to the face to shut people down and put all in their rightful controllable place, which is to condone evil and deny the work of Jesus Christ. The New International Version has been the most proficient and reliable to note these additions.
The first part of Luke 23:34 was not in the earlier manuscripts. This is the “forgive them for they know not what they do” that is used to dismiss the very purpose for Jesus Christ being on the cross in the first place. The falsified words attempt to be forced into the mouth of Jesus at the time of His sacrifice, His perfect sacrifice, which was acceptable unto God. And today, it is used in the same method to force its filthy rag into Christ’s mouth by others quoting it as a way to incorrectly convey that Jesus forgives all rather than Jesus Christ died for all.
The other passage that was also added and perverts Christ’s life and death on earth is John 7:53—8:11. This is the scenario of the woman caught in adultery, depicting Jesus writing in the sand undisclosed words, and then the words that He did not speak: “he who is without sin cast the first stone” that supposedly induced so much shame to the crowd that they disbursed. Both of these additions (Luke 32:34a & John 7:53—8:11) are discussed in greater detail in “What is to fulfill?” and describe why the additions were placed where they were. The added passages in Scripture not only have the purpose to put seeds of incorrect doctrines into the hearts and minds of God’s people, but they also change truth into a lie (Romans 1:25, I John 2:18-24) to camouflage or divert understanding of the meaning or depth of the surrounding passages.
The push to force forgiveness unconditionally is spattered among the King James Version. Mark 11:26 is another verse that was added to Scripture in the KJV that was not in the earlier manuscripts. And below is another verse (Matthew 18:35) that was modified in a subtle way. The first one is a passage in the King James Version followed by the corrected New International Version.
33 Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee? 34 And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him. 35 So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not
every one his brother their trespasses. (Matthew 18:33-35, KJV)
33 Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?’ 34 In anger his master handed him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed. 35 “This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother
or sister from your heart.” (Matthew 18:33-35, NIV)
Take the time to meditate on the above modifications. One reads as a heavy handed threat if we do not forgive; the other reads as the Holy Spirit desired, which is to teach us from where we are to forgive (our heart) and how we are to forgive (as our Father forgives).
Once these additions and modifications are exposed, we can take a deep breath and commence in the integrity, the hallowedness, the character, and in the consistency of God and Jesus Christ as being the same yesterday, today, and forever (Malachi 3:6, Hebrews 13:8-9, James 1:17, The Revelation 1:4-5, to list just a handful). There was no personality change, no change of plans, no sliders thrown by God, nor will there be. The acceptable blood sacrifice for sin (Genesis 4:4, Matthew 26:26-28, Hebrews 12:24, listing just a few), the awareness of our need for forgiveness for our sin, the magnitude of love given towards us by providing a way to enter into an eternal relationship with Him for those who desire it are the same foundational teachings/doctrines of Christ (Hebrews 6:1-6). It has been the same and is the same for all men (Romans 1:20, John 11:49-52, Hebrews 3:14-19). The difference that has occurred with the passing of time and mankind on earth is that God has given perfection to us, which in turn has required us to become accountable for not only manifested sin but also sins that are within our heart (Matthew 5:27-18). This is a good time to read a small passage in Scripture to help describe and remind us how man treats the things of God as He continued to give us more precious things. Jesus is speaking to the people:
9 Then began He to speak to the people this parable; A certain man planted a vineyard, and let it forth to husbandmen, and went into a far country for a long time. 10 And at the season he sent a servant to the husbandmen, that they should give him of the fruit of the vineyard: but the husbandmen beat him, and sent him away empty. 11 And again he sent another servant: and they beat him also, and entreated him shamefully, and sent him away empty. 12 And again he sent a third: and they wounded him also, and cast him out. 13 Then said the lord of the vineyard, What shall I do? I will send my beloved son: it may be they will reverence him when they see him. 14 But when the husbandmen saw him, they reasoned among themselves, saying, This is the heir: come, let us kill him, that the inheritance may be ours. 15 So they cast him out of the vineyard, and killed him. What therefore shall the lord of the vineyard do unto them? 16 He shall come and destroy these husbandmen, and shall give the vineyard to others. And when they heard it, they said, God forbid. (Luke 20:9-16)
Let us no longer have our ears open to the words and actions of those who harbor Jebusite enforcing spirits who participate in killing the heir (Hebrews 6:4-6) and who have hindered the way but chose not to enter themselves (Luke 11:52). Let us be good husbandmen who cherish our eternal inheritance and open our arms to His servants and to Jesus Christ when they come to obtain the fruit of His vineyard that we are caring for.
The following categories of “Not God’s forgiveness” get tangled up with one another, which is part of their strength to keep things tied up in knots. Man’s understanding of God’s mercy, love, long suffering, goodness, grace, forgiveness, and compassion are often used interchangeably by the corrupted ministries so that distinction of those operations become harder to identify. But God is much, and each one of His concepts and characteristics are also distinct and much. Forgiveness has only been modified and violated by man. What forgiveness is has not changed. The operations and applications of when, what, and how to forgive have not changed by God, Jesus Christ, or the Holy Spirit ― no matter if we are unbelievers or newborn believers to full-grown men.
No remission (forgiveness) of sins without repentance
9 The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some men count slackness; but is long suffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. (II Peter 3:9)
Scripture is saturated with the foundational teaching of man needing and seeking repentance. We read that it is the hardened and impenitent (unrepentant) heart that refuses to acknowledge or desire the kindness of God that leads us to repentance (Romans 2:3-6).
3 And thinkest thou this, O man, that judgest them which do such things, and doest the same, that thou shalt escape the judgment of God? 4 Or despisest thou the riches of His goodness [kindness] and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness [kindness] of God leadeth thee to repentance? 5 But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God; 6 Who will render to every man according to his deeds. (Romans 2:3-6)
Let us read what Jesus Christ really did say while He walked on the earth. These words were spoken by Him just prior to His ascension into heaven. He had previously descended in death, and was now resurrected.
44 And He said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the /, concerning me. 45 Then opened He their understanding, that they might understand the Scriptures, 46 And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: 47 And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. 48 And ye are witnesses of these things. (Luke 24:44-48)
And let us hear what the Holy Spirit states through the writings of David in Psalm 32:5, Luke in Luke 5:32 & Acts 2:38, and John in I John 1:9.
5 I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the LORD; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Selah. (Psalm 32:5)
31 And Jesus answering said unto them, They that are whole need not a physician; but they that are sick. 32 I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance. (Luke 5: 31-32)
38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ
for [because of] the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. (Acts 2:38)
9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (I John 1:9)
The concepts relating to Jesus’ labours for the repentance and remission of sins, which John the Baptist also preached and all others in Scripture, have been changed by man to mean that Jesus came to become more tolerant of sin because He came on earth for the sinner (Matthew 9:13, Luke 5:32, I Timothy 1:15, I John 3:5, to list just a few). And that somehow the better covenant that was given to us by the oath of God (Hebrews 7:20-21, 28) equals a more relaxed tolerant atmosphere here on earth about sin. And that the life of John the Baptist and his message, which are the introduction to Jesus Christ as the Saviour who brings baptism of fire, are put in the pile of words that “are for the future” and not for us now.
1 In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea, 2 And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. (Matthew 3:1-2)
11 I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but He that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire: 12 Whose fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly purge His floor, and gather His wheat into the garner; but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire. (Matthew 3:11-12)
The Way to receive forgiveness is offered to all men (the world) by God in the death of Jesus Christ on the cross (John 3:16-18). However, forgiveness unto salvation is not given to all men who reject the way, Jesus Christ, to that forgiveness. There is no remission (forgiveness) of sin without repentance/confession by the sinner (the one who is sinning), which includes all men on earth.
Some Bible students may have their guns loaded and start quoting verses, like what about what Stephen said as he was being stoned or what about turning the other cheek? ― as though these confirm a teaching of forgiving without repentance or even giving the perception that we can pray for forgiveness for another person and/or peoples. Moses’ and Daniel’s prayers on behalf of the Israelites even get caught in the mix to try to confirm that God tells us to pray for forgiveness and the remission of sins for others. Let us note that there is a difference between praying/interceding/asking God about another’s sins (Job 42:7-9, James 5:14-16, I John 5:16-17) and praying for their forgiveness. We could also throw in love our enemies and love covers sin, as though love can actually disannul the need for repentance by the sinner. The next sections will address these things. And it is to our shame that we had begun in faith and then became so gullible to the lies of the corrupted pastoral/teaching ministries that we are willing to operate in an unnatural way in both the flesh and the spirit. Even before the laws were given to Moses and the Israelites, righteous and evil men alike knew that forgiveness comes after repentance (Genesis 50:15-17, Exodus 9:27; 10:16-17, Job 42:6, to list just a few).
1 Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, 2 Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. 3 And this will we do, if God permit. (Hebrews 6:1-3)
Teachings about Christ, the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to dead works (sin), and faith in God are considered elementary teachings. It took much work in corrupted teaching power to defile and misrepresent God’s “foundation of repentance from dead works” (Hebrews 6:1). It has been transitioned by toddler Christians to mean not laying again the foundation of forgiveness. In other words, they use their own foundational understanding of forgiveness without repentance instead of the foundation of Christ’s foundation. Christ’s foundation leads us to no longer do dead works (sin); man’s foundation of forgiveness teaches man to overlook and work around dead works.
Sins of ignorance do not get a pass
We will start with Stephen, as his words and death are the falsely mimicked passage that were used by the enemies of God to put words into Christ’s mouth while He was dying in prophetic sacrifice for the remission of our sins ― Luke 23:34a was added later and not in the earlier manuscripts. Below are the verses spoken by Stephen given in both the KJV and NIV translations.
59 And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit. 60 And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not [histēmi mē] this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep. (Acts 7:59-60, KJV)
59 While they were stoning him, Stephen prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” 60 Then he fell on his knees and cried out, “Lord, do not hold [histēmi mē] this sin against them.” When he had said this, he fell asleep. (Acts 7:59-60, NIV)
When Stephen cried out, his words were not forgive “aphiēmi” them! He was not dismissing the principle teaching of the foundation of repentance from dead works (Hebrews 6:1). He was not removing the Holy Spirit’s work of convicting man of sin (John 16:8-11) in order to override the need for repentance and remission of “this sin”. He was requesting to the Lord to lay not (histēmi mē), to not make to stand, set, or establish this sin to them. This does not mean that the sin was washed away or forgiven because Stephen requested this sin to not make to stand against them.
So, what was Stephen asking of the Lord? And how is it manifested as an answered request? Let us hear it again knowing that God does not work against or contradict Himself and what Stephen spoke did not request for the Lord to forgive anyone because He had already provided the way for the remission of sin (Matthew 26:28, I John 1:9):
“Lord, lay not this sin to their charge.” (Acts 7:60b)
Sin “hamartia”, which means to miss the mark, has weight to it. And when we sin, the identification of that particular sin is attributed to us. Scripture does not separate the sin from the sinner (I Corinthians 5:10-11; 6:9-11, I Timothy 1:12-13). And when we are made aware of a particular sin before, during, or after salvation that we are no longer ignorant of, knowing it is sin and against God (Psalm 51:4) or we did it in unbelief, we are aware of the weight of that sin. We carry the weight and identification of that sin. When Stephen prayed to not lay this sin to their charge, he was requesting to the Lord to not let stand, set, or establish this sin to them. Stephen was asking for “this sin” to not be established on them, which means that the person or persons who may eventually seek forgiveness of “this sin” are able to move past the weight of the sin. In other words, the person will no longer be identified as being an “idolater”, “persecutor”, “blasphemer” against Jesus Christ, “injurious”, and so on. Stephen asked God that our identification with the sin (that we no longer do) be removed from us. In other words, identification with the sin is now removed, a name change is given to us.
When we read the passage of Acts 6:1—9:31, which is the account of Stephen and followed up with early accounts of Saul (later to be known as Paul), we can know that Stephen’s words were applied not only to Saul’s life but it also states: “do not hold this sin against them.” His prayer was for all men, and it was granted by the Lord for all men because it was in the perfect will of the hallowedness of the Father. It is a reflection and solidifying of how the Lord handles sins of ignorance, and how He has always handled sins of ignorance or errors in understanding for peoples and also the individual (Leviticus 4, Numbers 15:22-26; 27-29, Psalm 19:12, I Timothy 1:13, to list just a few). They are still sin and we and those whom we influence still suffer the consequences of those sins. And even though it is done ignorantly or in unbelief by us, it still is sin because sin unchecked leads to death (James 1:15).
Identity change: “Saul”, which means “desired” or “asked for”, was called out twice by Jesus: “Saul, Saul, why persecuteth thou me?” and is documented in Acts 9:4, Acts 22:7, Acts 26:14. The followers of Christ were afraid of him because of his reputation of being injurious to believers (Acts 8:3-4; 9:1-2; 9:26). It took Barnabas speaking up for him and time to pass for Paul to have his prior identification no longer be a hindrance to operate in the Lord (Acts 9:26-27, Galatians 1:20—2:2). In other words, Stephen’s prayer regarding not establishing the sin against him was answered. He was given a new name “Paul”, which means “small” or “little”. We see that the hosts of heaven, men, and the Lord then addressed him as “Paul” (Acts 19:15; 26:24; 27:23-24). He later, inspired and approved by the Holy Spirit, opened and sometimes closed his letters identifying himself as “Paul” (Romans 1:1, I Corinthians 1:1, 16:21, II Corinthians 10:1, Galatians 1:1, Ephesians 1:1, to list just a handful).
Our names are known in the spirit realm, not just on the earth. It is important what our name is (Proverbs 22:1, Ecclesiastes 7:1). Jesus Christ spoke to Simon that he would be known as Cephas (Peter), which means “a rock” or “a stone” (Matthew 16:16-19, John 1:42). Name changes of people and locations are for the good or the bad (Genesis 17:5,15; 25:30; 26:20; 32:28, Isaiah 9:6, Jeremiah 20:3, to give just a handful of the many examples). They are descriptive of who we are or are not in the Lord. When a name change is needed, it is an identification change from who and what we were to who and what we are now. If we stay in a particular sin, we are known as that sin unless we have repented and have removed ourselves from it. We are a liar if we lie and keep on lying. We are no longer known as a liar when we stop in the cleansing and power of the Lord. Some past sins carry much weight, and it is difficult to move on unless we are free from the past identification of our sinful acts. They can be established onto us. This is why Stephen prayed what he did so that the identification and the weight of that identification do not always stay charged or held to stand to us. We all know what it is like to be around those from our past who identify us with this or that sin, particularly when we were young and did things out of not knowing, or in ignorance. Stephen’s prayer prevents us from being stifled or paralyzed because of guilt, shame, and reminders of those past sins that we did in ignorance or unbelief. It prevents us from being swallowed up with much sorrow (II Corinthians 2:4-11) after we have repented and no longer are doing it. And this often requires a name change in the spirit realm if we are no longer identified as the type of sin that we used to commit.
Paul was able to declare that the sins that he did do are not what he kept on doing. What he was known to be, he is no longer. He and we can say that the past sins are no longer established onto us (I Corinthians 6:7-11, I Corinthians 7-11, Ephesians 5:3, I Timothy 1:12-17). This can only be done after repentance by the sinner, which leads to God’s forgiveness. Barnabas spoke up and stood for Paul (Acts 9:26-28). And Paul also spoke up for Onesimus in the same manner in Philemon verses 15-17. Let us drive this concept home. What is being spoken of in the cited passages and what Stephen spoke to the Lord at the time of his death was for mercy to be applied. It was not a prayer to divert or in lieu of the conviction, repentance, and forgiveness process that is the fundamental doctrine of Christ and the cross for the remission of sin. Let us think about God and His character. He is not interested in laying burdens on us (Acts 15:28-29) and we can be quite torn up about sins that we committed from our past, especially when the awareness of them is fully exposed to us of what we had done. It is in God’s mercy and kindness towards us that He forgets; so also we should forget and not lay to our own charge or another’s sins that have been repented of and have been purged (Philippians 3:13-14).
May we have His wisdom to know how to pray and for whom we pray. For some we pray what Stephen and Paul prayed for, for others we do not:
14 Alexander the coppersmith did me much evil: the Lord reward him according to his works: 15 Of whom be thou ware also; for he hath greatly withstood our words.16 At my first answer no man stood with me, but all men forsook me: I pray God that it may not be laid to their charge. (II Timothy 4:14-16)
We find a similar stoning situation as Stephen’s in II Chronicles 24:15-22 about a prophet named Zechariah, son of the priest Jehoiada. However, Zechariah spoke as he was dying: “The LORD look upon it, and require it” (II Chronicles 24:22). Both the prophet Zechariah and Stephen were speaking by the Spirit of God (II Chronicles 24:20 & Acts 7:55). We will not reason in foolishness [the fool says God is not in it] to declare, “See, one is ‘old testament’ and the other is ‘new testament’.” Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, today, and for ever. It is important to read both of the passages fully and in their context (II Chronicles 24:15-22 & Acts 6—8:2). Both of the passages do not ask to forgive or not forgive. They are both talking about holding (establishing) or not holding the charge, the weight, against those who were stoning them. Both prayers were granted by the Lord. The difference is that those who stoned Zechariah did so with the awareness of what they were doing in order to keep on forsaking the LORD, Jehovah “the existing One”, and worshipping idols (II Chronicles 24:18-20). In other words, they were committing sins that were presumptuous and not out of ignorance.
There has never been a dismissal for the need of a sacrifice of blood for the remission of sin (Hebrews 9:22). Below are some words that Paul spoke by the Holy Spirit regarding the matter:
8 But we know that the law is good, if a man use it lawfully; 9 Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, 10 For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine; 11 According to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which was committed to my trust. 12 And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that He counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry; 13 Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief. 14 And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. 15 This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief. 16 Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all long suffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on Him to life everlasting. 17 Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only
wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen. (I Timothy 1:8-17)
The above passage is not stating that grace or mercy nullifies the need for repentance unto forgiveness. It is stating what it took for Paul to no longer sin and to now produce good fruit unto the Lord. Unfortunately, many Christians have swallowed the indoctrination of the Canaanite pastors (Pharisees) and Girgashite teachers (Sadducees) so fully that when they read a passage like I Timothy given above they see or hear only certain words like “grace” (I Timothy 1:14) and replace it with: “God let that one go, but I didn’t deserve it.” And when they see or hear “mercy” (I Timothy 1:13,16) they think: “I got a major break on that one.” The reasoning does not reflect God or His long suffering, patience, love, grace, mercy, or His righteousness. It is thinking how man desires grace, mercy, and forgiveness to be. And this reasoning is such a fall from grace that it places those who embrace the thinking unable to grow beyond the law where they are wilderness wanderers praying for each other and their sins with the same conclusion of never entering into the rest because of their hardness of heart and unbelief in the Word of God. This is truth: with the implementation of the incorrect use of grace, mercy, and forgiveness, the more sin laden a culture or individual becomes. They have fallen from grace and are confined in the structures of the law and stay enslaved to sin, regardless of whether or not they have received Jesus Christ unto salvation (Hebrews 12:17).
It is good to reread I Timothy 1:8-17 again. Let us hear and see what the Holy Spirit is telling us. Let us push out thoughts and desires about “getting away” with something, or the idea that God is so good and merciful to “let that one slide.” Let us throw these man-made fabricated ideologies aside (Hebrews 12:1) and worship the living God who is just, pure, righteous, and no respecter of persons.
Love does not replace repentance or forgiveness
Man’s understanding of love is often vastly different than what God’s love is. And what is preached by corrupt pastors and teachers is not God’s truth, but has become a lie (Romans 1:25). Love is so distorted that it is now synonymous with believers saying things about taking the high road, “our shoulders are big enough,” and then walking away slumped shouldered as though love has bound them to tolerate what others are doing and continue to do, but “let’s pray for that person’s salvation!” Love is also caught up in the mix to wondrously have the ability to override repentance from dead works (Hebrews 6:1-2). It is often used interchangeably with forgiveness and is talked about as though Love is the big gun that can obliterate and negate everything to do with the structures and foundations of Christ. Verses that state that God is love (I John 4:8; 4:16) and that love is distinguished as greatest to faith and hope (I Corinthians 13:13) are also piped in with the insinuation of God having the ability to overlook our sin if He wants to because He is merciful. And then the idea is transferred onto us that we must also “love” others in a similar fashion.
The topic of God’s love is a big one; this article will be limited to how it is incorrectly related to forgiveness by man’s perverted teachings. God, who is Love (I John 4:8; 4:16), will not forfeit His Ways, His Truth, or His Life in order to appease a person in the temporal, which can result in eternal loss for that person, unless it is that person’s choice and the desire of their heart. In other words, He will not compromise our future inheritance unless we desire it.
Love is not forgiving sin. Love is the motivation for supplying what is needed for the blotting out of sin. It does not override or nullify the sacrifice of a repentant heart (I Samuel 15:22, Psalm 51:16-17, Matthew 9:12-13).
16 For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (John 3:16)
And Love has also been perverted to mean that it has the ability to forgive sin because love has the ability to cover sin and transgressions (Proverbs 10:12; 17:9, I Peter 4:8). This is a good place to take the time to read Romans 4:6-8, Psalm 32, and Psalm 51 in their entirety because in them is spoken of God covering sins. Love is the motivation for forgiveness, it is not forgiveness itself or the act of forgiving.
11 The mouth of a righteous man is a well of life: but violence covereth [covers over] the mouth of the wicked. 12 Hatred stirreth up strifes: but love covereth all sins. 13 In the lips of him that hath understanding wisdom is found: but a rod is for the back of him that is void of understanding [who lacks judgement]. (Proverbs 10:11-13)
9 He that covereth [concealeth] a transgression seeketh [procureth]love; but he that repeateth a matter separateth very friends. 10 A reproof entereth more into a wise man than an hundred stripes into a fool. (Proverbs 17:9-10)
19 Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him; 20 Let him know, that he which converteth [turn from] the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins. (James 5:19-20)
7 But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer. 8 And above all things have fervent
charity [agapē, love] among yourselves: for charity [agapē, love] shall [will] cover the multitude of sins. 9 Use hospitality one to another without grudging. 10 As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. 11 If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles [very words] of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen. (I Peter 4:7-11)
The above verses teach some ways of implementing love. To cover or hide (“kāsâ” in Hebrew and “kalyptō” in Greek) sin and transgressions (trespasses) means to conceal or cover over with the connotation of hiding from shame. It has nothing, nada, nichts, 無 to do with dismissing or not requiring repentance and forgiveness for sin or transgressions. And it does not mean to overlook sin. These verses are instructions for us to cover the sin of the brethren. In other words, it is similar to what Stephen prayed for. Stephen prayed for the weight of the sin to not be established onto them in the future, while love covering sin is speaking of the actions and attitudes we are to have towards others in the present after the brethren have repented, no longer work in the sin, and have been chastened. It is how to treat people once they have repented, once they have been forgiven, and once they have forsaken the sin or transgression. We are to allow others to move on so that they can then minister with the gifts that they have unto the Lord and to others. We no longer identify them with those sins that were committed because the person has been washed and sanctified (I Corinthians 6:11, Hebrews 10:17, Hebrews 13:12). We, as the Lord, no longer remember those sins against them (Psalm 25:7-11, Isaiah 43:25), but this is only after acknowledgment and repentance. When reading the verses above, they are in the practical context of moving forward in righteousness and they also show what prevents moving forward.
12b They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick. 13 But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance. (Matthew 9:12b-13)
There is none that do righteous, no not one (Psalm 14 & Romans 3:10-12). The above verse is talking about all of us to whom Jesus came and comes to.
16 This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; 17 And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more. 18 Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin. (Hebrews 10:16-18)
Many verses get overlooked when talking about God’s love and our responsibilities to love others. We want to act love out, mercy included, the way we think love is, not what God tells us His love is. God’s love provokes, is the motivation, to obey Him and His ways and also to sacrifice ourselves for another’s growth in the Lord.
3 For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments: and His commandments are not grievous. (I John 5:3)
37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us. 38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, 39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:37-39)
The verse before the Romans 8:37-39 passage is:
36 As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. (Romans 8:36)
17 He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because He said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto Him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep. 18 Verily, verily, I say unto thee, When thou wast young, thou girdedst thyself, and walkedst whither thou wouldest: but when thou shalt be old, thou shalt stretch forth thy hands, and another shall gird thee, and carry thee whither thou wouldest not. 19 This spake He, signifying by what death he should glorify God. And when He had spoken this, He saith unto him, Follow Me. (John 21:17-19)
Let us reread I Peter 4:7-10 with some of its previous verses also given below. The passage gives the stakes to grab onto to climb the mountain that we are to climb. No one here is interested in letting sin slide. Can we hear the immediacy, the urgency of Peter’s voice given to us by the Holy Spirit? He is not saying to sit back and relax, live and let live. He is speaking to those who have broken from the cycle of crucifying Christ anew ― sinning, just to sin the same sins again but still expecting Him to love them more or better (the way they love) after God had already loved them in perfect sacrifice.
3 For the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries: 4 Wherein they think it strange that ye run not with them to the same excess of riot, speaking evil of you: 5 Who shall give account to Him that is ready to judge the quick and the dead. 6 For for this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit. 7 But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer. 8 And above all things have fervent
charity [agapē, love] among yourselves: for charity [agapē, love] shall cover the multitude of sins. 9 Use hospitality one to another without grudging. 10 As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. (I Peter 4:3-10)
It is quite tiresome that God’s people are more interested in looking for “an out” rather than running their own race with Him as our destination. They search for that addendum or that clause that will get them off the hook just like how our judicial system so effectively uses loopholes. When we are constantly looking for the exception for Jesus Christ not meaning what He said or lived, it is a proof that we have closed the door to hearing the conviction and operations of the Holy Spirit. We want a loophole, He gives the loophole (Proverbs 4:19, Malachi 2:8, I Peter 2:8). He gives us the desires of our heart.
To cover sin is to cover the shame of it. Not to cover the shame that comes by the righteous conviction of the Holy Spirit unto repentance. We are ashamed. Our heart is broken. We want nothing more to do with the sin that we were committing because we have become aware of it as not pleasing to God (Luke 15:18).
God’s love not only motivates the giver to sacrifice for another and on another’s behalf, it can also saturate (cover) an environment for healing, and repair after the devastation of sin that works death into a person and place.
Charity [agapē, love] suffereth long, and is kind; charity [agapē, love] envieth not; charity [agapē, love] vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, 5 Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not its own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; 6 Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; 7 Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. (I Corinthians 13:4-7)
It is evil rooted and spirited to conclude that God’s love (or mercy) is lenient about sin when God the Father’s love for the world brought the sacrifice of His Son to be crucified on the cross for the remission of those sins (John 15:13). Love (or mercy) is not synonymous with tolerance of sin; nor is it compassionate to ignore sin, which brings death into our midst (II Timothy 3:1-5, James 1:15).
May the labours of the Lord and others no longer be handled so contritely.
3 For consider Him that endured such contradiction of sinners against Himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds [souls]. 4 Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin. (Hebrews 12:3-4)
May the meaning of God, Love, be restored to mankind, which covers a multitude of sin. Below is an exhortation of how and why the brethren are to apply love that covers sin. It has nothing to do with removing the process of repentance unto forgiveness.
4 For out of much affliction and anguish of heart I wrote unto you with many tears; not that ye should be grieved, but that ye might know the love which I have more abundantly unto you. 5 But if any have caused grief, he hath not grieved me, but in part: that I may not overcharge you all. 6 Sufficient to such a man is this punishment, which was inflicted of many [by the majority]. 7 So that contrariwise ye ought rather to forgive him, and comfort him, lest perhaps such a one should be swallowed up with overmuch sorrow. 8 Wherefore I beseech you that ye would confirm your love toward him. 9 For to this end also did I write, that I might know the proof of you, whether ye be obedient in all things. 10 To whom ye forgive any thing, I forgive also: for if I forgave any thing, to whom I forgave it, for your sakes forgave I it in the person [sight] of Christ; 11 Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices. (II Corinthians 2:4-11)
The person who Paul is referring to had already received his chastening (verse 6 above, Proverbs 3:11-12, Hebrews 12:5-8). The love that covers sin is what all of us need to pick ourselves up, brush ourselves off, and move forward after repentance; otherwise, sins from the past can have a stifling stronghold of guilt and shame over us rather than His love covering us. We can even be swallowed up by the sorrow of what we have done (verse 7). Satan knows this. To cover sin (done by love) means to no longer look at it. It is covered and no longer remembered by God, or us. We can now reread with understanding the action of covering sin and its purpose:
9 He that covereth [concealeth] a transgression seeketh [procureth] love; but he that repeateth a matter separateth very friends. (Proverbs 17:9)
Turning the other cheek does not mean to forgive
The understanding of turning the other cheek has also been bastardized along with “love” and “mercy”. It becomes difficult to comprehend and is muddled by man’s reasoning once we remove the foundation of Jesus Christ’s labours and purpose for dying on the cross. The sacrifice that gave power, strength, sanctification, and justification for us to live as He did while we are on earth has been shifted to God’s people applying what they feel is forgiveness, love, mercy, and grace to situations and others. As described earlier, love does not mean to forgive in autopilot. Love, mercy, and forgiveness is also used incorrectly to dismiss infractions we have encountered at the hands of our brethren, as though God has not clearly given us passages about these things and admonishes us to confront and rebuke them (Matthew 5:23-24; 18:15-17, Luke 17:3-4, I Timothy 5:19-21; Titus 1:13-14; 2:1-15, to list just a handful), all of which require the prerequisite to evaluate (judge) and know the difference between good and evil according to God and not in our own carnal understanding.
Many twist passages that talk about loving our enemies, as though this means once again to tolerate evil or overlook evil. And turning the other cheek when God leads us to do so, after we have previously been smote, does not imply or suggest that we are forgiving the person or the system that smote us initially. We have moved very far from His presence to go that route. We are no longer looking into His face or into His eyes or into His heart (Jeremiah 18:15-17). God does not, nor did Jesus Christ, promote prideful self-righteous martyrdom (Hebrews 12:2).
Below is a verse (Matthew 5:44) that was heavily added to in later manuscripts to match up with Luke 6. The more accurate NIV translation for this passage follows:
43 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. 44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies,
bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; (Matthew 5:43-44, KJV)
44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be
children [sons] of your Father in heaven. He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. (Matthew 5:44-45, NIV)
And below is the similar passages that was not added to in Luke 6.
27 But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you, 28 Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use [mistreat] you. 29 And unto him that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other; and him that taketh away thy cloke forbid not to take thy coat also. 30 Give to every man that asketh of thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again. 31 And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise. 32 For if ye love them which love you, what thank have ye? for sinners also love those that love them. 33 And if ye do good to them which do good to you, what thank have ye? for sinners also do even the same. 34 And if ye lend to them of whom ye hope to receive, what thank have ye? for sinners also lend to sinners, to receive as much again. 35 But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the
children [sons] of the Highest: for He is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil [wicked]. 36 Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful. (Luke 6:27-36, KJV)
Notice that the above Luke passage also talks about turning the other cheek, as does Matthew 5:39 below.
38 Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: 39 But I say unto you, That ye resist not
evil [an evil person]: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. 40 And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloke also. 41 And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain. 42 Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away. (Matthew 5:38-42)
The ability to love (have good will towards) our enemies and to render good for evil is something that cannot be done within ourselves. It requires us to be constrained in Christ’s love “agapē” (II Corinthians 5:14-16). It is a proof to the spirit realm and to man on earth that we are His sons. It does not mean that we are to forgive our enemies because we love them. It is not showing love to forgive without repentance, bypassing God’s way to forgiveness. And the love that is spoken of in all of these passages is not the kind of love that we are to willingly sacrifice ourselves for. In other words, we are constrained in the greatest love “agapē” that is from Jesus Christ to “agapaō” our enemies.
32 For if ye love [agapaō, give good will love] them which love [agapaō] you, what thank have ye? for sinners also love [agapaō] those that love [agapaō] them. (Luke 6:32)
20 They also that render evil for good are mine adversaries; because I follow the thing that good is. (Psalm 38:20)
15 See that none render evil for evil unto any man; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all men. (I Thessalonians 5:15)
The love that many Christians try to implement when they read these passages is using the same love that comes from the hearts of unbelievers, which is temporal and also of the flesh. And it includes the inability to judge right from wrong, good from evil, because in these days the church has declared that judging what is good or evil is considered not loving. This leads to only the compromise of God’s righteousness and then allows evil to quickly move into our hearts, houses, and land.
In addition, we are signifying that we are not loving as “sons of the Highest” (Luke 6:35, given above). Christ’s love “agapē” shields us from evil, which then allows us to love “agapaō” because it reflects off of the great shield of Christ’s love. Our shield remains up, just like how it remained up for Stephen as he saw the glory of God (Acts 7:55) and for all those who have died and still die in and by Christ’s love “agapē” fighting against sin (Hebrews 12:3-4).
There are many reasons why we are to give good rather than evil, and most of them are connected with God’s people, and not the person dishing out the evil to us. We are simply not to be producers of evil.
13 Whoso rewardeth evil for good, evil shall not depart from his house. (Proverbs 17:13)
Are we so far removed from the Lord and His ways that we do not understand that turning the other cheek has nothing to do with forgiving or condoning evil that has harmed us? Quite the opposite happens. It means the unleashing of God’s vengeance in our behalf that glorifies and honours Him.
21 If thine enemy be hungry, give him bread to eat; and if he be thirsty, give him water to drink: 22 For thou shalt heap coals of fire upon his head, and the LORD shall reward thee. (Proverbs 25:21-22)
19 Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. 20 Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. 21 Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good. (Romans 12:17-21)
Wow ― what a major typo! Who is it that was talking like this? Oh yeah, Paul. He really knew nothing about what it felt like to be penetrated (loved, “agapaō”) by the Holy Spirit’s dart as it reflected off of someone (Stephen) operating in Christ’s love “agapē”. Oh, I see now, he is just quoting a bit from the old Hebrew laws and precepts ― we can dismiss it then. Hey! Let’s meditate and claim that mercy triumphs over judgment (James 2:13b). That way we can eliminate everything between Matthew and Hebrews, and let’s just mercy up everything to the point of forgiving everyone and ourselves all things. Yes, this will allow us to eliminate judging/declaring right from wrong. We can be so caring in our flesh about others that we give mercy to whom and for those things that God does not show mercy to. Yeah, if I overlook and forgive things and people whom God tells me to remove myself from ― you know “hate the sin, love the sinner,” that means I have more love and mercy than God does. You know, I have been told that I have an extra caring and tender heart. I really care a lot! I can give them the cart before ever hooking the cart to a team of horses. I will remember their sins no more first, before or if they ever or never confess their sins. Yep, they will learn to just sit in a horseless cart like I do. Man, those people who are moving around in their cart with their horses hitched are so judgmental. Look at them. They seem to be acting like God loves them or something (Luke 7:41-43). They are acting like they are trying to judge me. Hey, I attract all who want to sit in my kind of mercy and I teach others not to hear the Holy Spirit if He speaks bad stuff or tries to convict them. We don’t use words like abomination, that’s mean! And we for sure separate the sin from the sinner. That way a person feels that they aren’t really sinning. We even call it a disease. Yes, I figure that their eternal call and inheritance is worth the sacrifice because we all get along down here so well on earth. Yes, I figure that God will kick in with a major mercy bash soon… Yeah, I know ― it’s like He was just giving us a major mind trip all this time. All we had to do was isolate the last part of James 2:13 (mercy triumphs over judgement) and live by it. Skip the first part because that unfortunately tells us how we are to correctly judge as His sons by the spirit ― it’s pretty misleading if you ask me. Hey! Move over back there, it’s getting a bit crowded, we can barely breathe up here in the front (II Timothy 3:1-9).
The dispensing of forgiveness, love, and mercy are to be dispensed as God does, not how we desire from our own hearts and understanding as captivated weak-willed souls. Otherwise, we are unable to triumph over [rejoiceth against] judgement and have dismissed most all of what Jesus Christ taught and did. We are not loving in knowledge and judgement.
9 And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, 10 so that you may be able to discern [try] what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, 11 filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God. (Philippians 1:9-11, NIV)
There are no fruits of righteousness among those who throw pearls to the swine (those who operate in the corrupt teaching Girgashite spirits) and holy things to the dogs (those who operate in the corrupt pastoral Canaanite spirits). We are merely depleting our own oil lamp to operate in the flesh today. We are removed from grace, which provides for and stirs our expansion and growth in Him, and are wilderness wanderers seeking God’s mercy after we have already received His mercy but throw it away day after day because it is not how we want His mercy to be or mean. Where are those verses again? Yes, the ones that say, if I give mercy, then I will get mercy. If I don’t judge, then I won’t be judged... Have we become so void of thought that so much common sense is removed from us and we do not understand that God is warning us not to judge carnally in our flesh (John 8:15-16) or give mercy carnally, which is corrupt?
A moment to judge: Let us have a reality check on the subject of judging. When a person declares that they do not judge as though they do not judge as an overall and consistent lifestyle, they typically say it within a narrow and focused context of what it is that they are declaring not to judge. Furthermore, it is often about something that God has already weighed in on and judged as an abomination, evil, good, pure, lovely, and so forth. And no matter how hard man tries to change good to evil and evil to good (Isaiah 5:20), God’s judgements stand. We do not have to rejudge. We are to stand in, operate in, and declare those judgements that God has already determined. What a person is saying when they declare, “I do not judge,” they are actually saying, “I do not stand in how God judges” this or that. “That isn’t loving our neighbor as we love ourselves. God is love, He is not a loving God when He tells us something isn’t okay. I know, He will love past those sins like I do. He always takes care of everything in the end.” ― Man’s behaviors and sins are common. They just get more depraved proportionately to how long man tolerates them. Let us look at an important passage in I Corinthians 2:13-16 that tells us clearly why and how we are to judge with the mind of Christ. There has never been a tolerance shift by Jesus Christ on sin. It was Him who more precisely implemented the addressing of the condition of our heart rather than just the external manifestation of sin(s) that the laws addressed (Matthew 5:28).
13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. 14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. 15 But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. 16 For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct Him? But we have the mind of Christ. (I Corinthians 2:13-16)
God’s people are to judge so that we prove what is good and evil. We are to judge, forgive, love, have mercy according to the mind of Christ in His standards and His Word. And as mentioned earlier, Christ went deeper, not shallower, to exposing and confronting our heart, where the roots of manifested sin originates. The law dealt with manifested sins, but Jesus Christ’s commandments and sacrifice are capable of addressing the heart. For those who declare that they do not judge, they are speaking truth. They refuse to think and operate spiritually in this or that matter even though they had started in the spirit when they were saved. They have fallen from grace, and their own mouth testifies against them. God is not mocked. Notice that the spiritual man does not allow himself to be judged in the standards of natural man’s judgements (I Corinthians 2:15). The spiritual man embraces, cherishes, yearns for, runs to, meditates in God’s commandments, laws, statutes, ordinances, precepts, and testimonies (Psalm 119).
5 I speak to your shame. Is it so, that there is not a wise man among you? no, not one that shall be able to judge between his brethren? (I Corinthians 6:5)
28 He that despised Moses' law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: 29 Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith He was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite [insult] unto the Spirit of grace? (Hebrews 10:28-29)
We will be led by the Holy Spirit into situations where we, as the sons (spirits) of the Highest, know that we will be expected to turn the other cheek after we have already been smitten. It often comes in the form of a betrayal after or in addition to having been persecuted falsely. The love that one feels is a stillness. And we are aware of the heavens being opened and watching with no separation from us and the Lord. It is God giving us a Laodicean glory where we go from glory to glory after we have already increased in love “agapē” more and more in the sacrifice that He desires.
Praying forgiveness for others
Praying and interceding for the brethren is encouraged and exemplified often in Scripture (Job 42:8-10, Colossians 1:9-15, Hebrews 13:18, James 5:13-16, to list only a few of numerous examples). We are even told to ask God about some sins that we see our brothers commit (I John 5:16-17). We are also told to pray for those who mistreat us (Luke 6:28). And we can even declare before God the sins and inequities of our people (Ezra 9:5-13). However, there is still no remission of sin without repentance/confession by the sinner or those who are sinning, which includes all men on earth. In Exodus 9:27-34 & 10:16-19 we find even Pharaoh acknowledging his sin against “the LORD your God, and against you” to Moses with Moses then entreating the Lord on Pharaoh's behalf and God removing those particular plagues. These would be examples of the person seeking temporal forgiveness after repentance, which was granted. The dichotomy of Christians knowing that we are to ask forgiveness for our own sins, but do not expect that from others is swallowed down unquestioned as how a real, kind, gentle, and caring Christian is to be. As though it has to do with a more developed, loving, or more enlightened way of thinking that is able to dismiss the foundation of salvation. The distorted teachings and the enforcement of those teachings have permeated into the world systems. And it is a forgiveness that is not God’s forgiveness, but a simple overlooking of sin or transgressions. Most Christians lean into and accept the need for repentance for salvation, but after a person is saved then somehow all of a sudden we are to apply different methods to deal with sin and abuse from others. And even worse, it is embracing a belief system that our prayers and desires have the ability to turn over and modify what God has already put into place. It is applying man’s mercy, which is not God’s mercy.
Moses asked God to forgive the rebellious and disobedient often. God answered Moses with: “Whosoever hath sinned against Me, him will I blot out of My book” (Exodus 32:33). And God did do this. And even though Moses was willing to judge and command others to carry out those judgements among some of them (Exodus 32:25-29, to list just one example of the many), he looked to have the others released from their part. When we ask God to forgive others, without their repentance, the sin never gets blotted out because God is righteous, and the sinful environment is never purged (Psalm 78). When we start praying for God to forgive sin of another person, rather than confronting and warning the person (which is outlined over and over again on how God expects us to do that for both the wicked and the righteous man (Ezekiel 3:17-21; 33:3-16, Matthew 18:15-17, Luke 17:3-4, Galatians 6:1-2, Ephesians 4:28-32, I Thessalonians 5:14, I Timothy 5:20, Titus 3:10-11, James 5:16-20, to list just a very few places)) nothing changes; it cannot when God’s righteousness is removed (Matthew 6:33). Scripture is clear that if we are receiving those, we are held accountable as partakers of, share in, their wicked works (II John verses 9-11).
The following verses below are in Solomon’s prayer during the dedication of the new temple:
33 When thy people Israel be smitten down before the enemy, because they have sinned against thee, and shall turn again to thee, and confess thy name, and pray, and make supplication unto thee in this house: 34 Then hear thou in heaven, and forgive the sin of thy people Israel, and bring them again unto the land which thou gavest unto their fathers. (I Kings 8:33-34)
30 Then hear thou from heaven thy dwelling place, and forgive, and render unto every man according unto all his ways, whose heart thou knowest; (for thou only knowest the hearts of the children of men:) (II Chronicles 6:30)
The often quoted verse below was given to Solomon when God told him where He chose the location for His house of sacrifice (II Chronicles 7:12).
14 If My people, which are called by My name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. (II Chronicles 7:14)
When Daniel (Daniel 9:13-21) prayed for God to forgive and to show mercy (recall that mercy is a pain or impact absorber) while he and the people were in captivity, it was in the context of “confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel” (Daniel 9:20).
16 Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. (James 5:16)
32 And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted,
forgiving [charizomai, to give pardon] one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven [charizomai, to give pardon to] you. (Ephesians 4:32)
When we are admonished to give pardon one to another there is no overlooking or trying to dismiss our own sins or sins of another. It is important to read the verses prior to Ephesians 4:32.
24 And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. 25 Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another. 26 Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: 27 Neither give place to the devil. 28 Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth. 29 Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. 30 And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: 32 And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted,
forgiving [charizomai, to give pardon] one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven [charizomai, to give pardon to] you. (Ephesians 4:24-32)
An oversight in man’s religion of asking God to forgive others, which bypasses the prerequisite for the sinners’ need of repentance, is that it omits the abundant passages in Scripture of God’s servants asking God “not” to forgive others (Jeremiah 18:23). II Chronicles 24:15-22, Nehemiah 4:1-5, Psalm 59:5-13, Psalm 69:27-28, Jeremiah 18:18-23, Luke 9:5, I Corinthians 5:4-7, I Timothy 1:19-20, II Timothy 4:14-15, Titus 3:10-11, and II John 1:10-11 are just a few of them. Are not we very weary at this point (Romans 2:1-11)? Are not we tired of trying to find a loophole to repentance for the remission of sins? Do we not remember Moses? That he and Aaron “believed Me not, to sanctify Me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore ye shall not bring this congregation into the land which I have given them” (Number 20:12).
1 Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. (Galatians 6:1)
1 Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; 2 And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; 3 And did all eat the same spiritual meat; 4 And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ. 5 But with many of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness. 6 Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted. 7 Neither be ye idolaters, as were some of them; as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play. 8 Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand. 9 Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents. 10 Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer. 11 Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come. 12 Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall. (I Corinthians 10:1-12)
Those who fall are those who do those things listed in I Corinthian 10:5-10. When we do not follow Christ’s foundational teachings unto repentance, we are tempting Christ.
21 Yea, every pot in Jerusalem and in Judah shall be holiness unto the LORD of hosts: and all they that sacrifice shall come and take of them, and seethe therein: and in that day there shall be no more the Canaanite in the house of the LORD of hosts. (Zechariah 14:21)
The Canaanite spirit is the corrupt pastoral ministry, which is what has saturated the hearts and entrance doorways of God’s people. It is a spirit that has great hatred for the chastening judgments of God and tries to shelter others from those judgements so that purification and sanctification do not occur. Those who give forgiveness in their own self righteousness become ensnared with and by those they are forgiving. And they forfeit their own growth in the Lord.
8 Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward. 9 Whosoever transgresseth [runs ahead], and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. 10 If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him
God speed [welcome, salute, greet him]: 11 For he that biddeth him God speed [welcomes, salutes, greets him] is partaker of his evil [wicked] deeds. (II John verses 8-11)
When Scripture tells us to forgive as God forgives and forgive so that we are forgiven, it is talking about forgiving as God forgives, not how we want to forgive (Matthew 6:15; 18:21-35, Luke 6:37, II Corinthians 2:10-11). We will be forgiven as we forgive, which is not a good thing when we do not do it according to God’s forgiveness. The same thing also applies to judging in the natural man (carnally), which we are not to do, versus judging in the spirit, which we are to do. We are also not to forgive or ask forgiveness to avoid or prevent chastening for ourselves or others. This is the crux of the matter: the bastardization of forgiveness came about from the refusal of God’s people to be transformed in Christ’s likeness in holiness (Romans 12:1-3). They have preferred being just saved enough, and still enjoy a lifestyle of Canaanite companionship and lasciviousness while opening the doors and greeting them and other spirits to partake in their wicked works (Judges 1—4).
All is not forgiven
30 He that is not with Me is against Me; and he that gathereth not with Me scattereth abroad. 31 Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the
Holy Ghost [spirit] shall not be forgiven unto men. 32 And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world [age], neither in the world [age] to come. 33 Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit. (Matthew 12:30-33)
Similar verses to the above passage are also found in Mark 3:28-30 and Luke 12:10. It was spoken after the Lord healed a man that was possessed by a demon who was blind and dumb. When the Pharisees (corrupt pastors) heard that the man was able to talk and see, they concluded that Jesus had done it by the power of Beelzebub (Matthew 12:24). Jesus spoke about a kingdom, city, or household not being able to stand when it is divided. He then spoke that if He was driving out demons by the Holy Spirit, that the Kingdom of God had come upon them (Matthew 12:28).
Today’s Pharisees proclaim that these passages have to do with someone who refuses the Holy Spirit for salvation. But that is a limited interpretation to keep their followers immature (the Ammonites) and unconcerned about whether they could apply to them. They close their ears and refuse to speak that a person can be saved, yet still operate to uphold Satan’s kingdom. Their fruits are seen in the spirit realm even if their congregation does not see (are blind) and are unable to speak (are dumb). These actions that blaspheme the Holy Ghost will not be forgiven. It was the Pharisees who were the blasphemers against the Spirit of God in Matthew 12:30-33.
[Right here a Bible student may pipe in, “Paul said he had been a blasphemer in I Timothy 1:13.” Yes, he did. He was a blasphemer of the Son of man (Acts 26:14-15), not the Holy Spirit. He blasphemed against Jesus Christ and other Sons of man like Stephen.]
The above passage is connected with a previous passage spoken by Jesus in Scripture given in Matthew 5:21-22.
21 Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not
kill [murder]; and whosoever shall kill [murder] shall be in danger of the judgment: 22 But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger [liable, subject] of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca [worthless], shall be in danger [liable, subject to] of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger [liable, subject to] of hell [Gehenna] fire. 23 Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; 24 Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift. (Matthew 5:21-24)
Those who call others foolish or without wisdom are subject to the fire of Gehenna. Gehenna is where eternal calls perish in fire (Matthew 5:29-30, Matthew 10:28, James 3:6). It is different than Sheol. These are those who look at the things of God and those operating by the Spirit of God as foolish. This is why the passage begins with the Lord talking about murder. There is a progression of anger in the heart, followed by calling them worthless because a contempt settles in, and then calling them foolish because they do not make sense to the natural mind. This is how the martyrs of our Lord Jesus Christ are killed: first in the heart with anger, then with incorrect judgement of their value, and then with the actions of declaring them and their words are not of God. Sometimes this progression does not go through all three steps but occurs with the first one, the first one and the second, or all three.
Below are more passages that foil the “all can be forgiven” chant.
4 For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, 5 And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, 6 If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame. 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: 8 But that which beareth thorns and briers is rejected, and is nigh unto cursing; whose end is to be burned. (Hebrews 6:4-8)
14 Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord: 15 Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled; 16 Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright. 17 For ye know how that afterward, when he would have [wanted to] inherited the blessing, he was rejected: for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears. (Hebrews 12:14-17)
20 For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. 21 For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them. 22 But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire. (II Peter 2:20-22)
The above passages and those that are similar to it in Scripture (Hebrews 10:26-30, I John 5:16, to give just a couple) are often dismissed. Pharisees say things like, “The person never really repented in the first place then.” However, these verses are clear to us. We will not use another verse or passage to dismiss them. Scripture does not fight against itself. It is the disobedient who stumble on His Word, Jesus Christ (Jeremiah 18:15, Malachi 2:8-9, I Peter 2:8). The passages are talking about losing eternal inheritance. Is salvation into heaven lost? No. However, they have lost their inheritance in the Kingdom of God (I Samuel 15:22-23, Matthew 21:42-45, Matthew 25:27-30, Galatians 5:18-21, to list just a few and a contrasting passage: II Thessalonians 1:3-5). This is a great disappointment for those who believe that there will be a sudden leveling in heaven and that God will eventually forgive us when we all get together because He is so patient. This is not so. It is not spoken of in Scripture. God is patient, but not according to man’s view of what He is patient about. What is described above are those who have fallen from grace. Not the grace that many speak of about getting and staying in the blessings of God. It is falling from grace, falling away from the things that He has wrought in us spiritually by grace. We are accountable to God for our actions and our prophetic words, whether we are saved or not. There is not a ticket that we have in our hand that says, “Saved, therefore allowed to bring Christ to an open shame and it will be overlooked by God” (Hebrews 6:4-6).
8 Nay, ye do wrong, and defraud, and that your brethren. 9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the Kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, 10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God. (I Corinthians 6:8-11)
A person can be saved and still work in Satan’s army. It will be at a cost and loss of spiritual inheritance. And when we knowingly and willingly operate in sin that God has already proclaimed as unrighteous, there is no forgiveness (Hebrews 10:26; 12:15-17). The person’s conscience is seared having no interest in putting on the new man (Ephesians 4:12-24). The above list are spiritual sins against God (Genesis 39:7-9).
4 Against Thee, Thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in Thy sight: that Thou mightest be justified when Thou speakest, and be clear when Thou judgest. (Psalm 51:4)
When we know that our sins are against God and live in that awareness, it deepens our desire to repent and turn away from them. We are willing to take on the responsibility for what we have done or are doing according to His Word. We no longer look at sin as specific instances of something to get rid of because it was bad to do; we want it removed from our lives altogether because it is against God. Christians have been saturated in man’s doctrines expecting the Lord to be a happy diaper changer, as though our sins are congruent to natural and normal human defecation. These teachings perpetuate falling from grace with our thinking dulled and embracing much evil into our midst.
There is no ability to see with our spirit in fullness (I Corinthians 2:14) or to understand how wonderful and what great things the Lord has given to us when we harbor the types of distortions given in these sections of “Not God’s forgiveness”. We promote our kind of compassion that is capricious, vague, and willing to forgive without repentance. It becomes living life in a tumble weed that never stops in our mind that recycles verses that are taken out of context and denying full portions of His Word. These are those who are given over to stumble on the Word of God, Jesus Christ the Lord, because of their hardness of heart, which is ironic because they view themselves as extra kind, extra caring, extra gentle, and extra loving ― beyond God, which gave the way for us to be cleansed of our sins.
28 This is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. (Matthew 26:28, NIV)
Introduction — what forgiveness is
It is void of common sense that once we have tasted the goodness of the Lord’s salvation by grace through faith that we then decide to get off of the same path, which is living in faith and in His grace. We revert to wanting heaven in the future, but living in the flesh now. Many no longer desire to be shaped by His hand in faith into righteousness once we have known Him (Romans 12:1-2, Galatians 1:6-9; 5:1-5). When we are shaped by His hand, we really are expected to grow up, produce good fruits, and leave off things that disrupt our labours in Him, like sin (Romans 3:31, Hebrews 12:1-8, II Peter 3:14-18). And as we grow in the Lord, the need and application of God’s forgiveness is desired even more by us because more debts, transgressions, and sins will be exposed to us that we were previously unaware of (I John 1:8). If we dump or modify God’s steadfast Way in how to deal with our debts, transgressions, and sins, we have no place for forgiveness, no matter how sorrowful we are (Hebrews 12:15-17). This is selling our birthright because we have become fornicators, which choose to live in the flesh or even in sin after tasting salvation. We have fallen from grace. Have we lost our salvation? of course not (John 10:27-30, Romans 8:38-39). What this means is that our eternal call, our birthright, is lost. God is not mocked.
14 Afterward Jesus findeth him in the temple, and said unto him, Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee. (John 5:14)
These things are tragic and talked about and exemplified often in Scripture. They are so commonly dismissed that even the fear of God is not desired in us, which is the beginning of wisdom. God’s people have now resorted to defending their good standing in the Lord unto salvation, because they are His. But when it comes to growing, there is a refusal to keep on growing or expanding in His ways. They are tightfisted while declaring: God is love, I am fine, He loves me, He will overlook all of those things, I am weak, He is strong, I can trample Him underfoot as much as I want to. Reaping what is sown (Galatians 6:7-9) only applies to people who aren’t saved ― I am pretty sure it really doesn’t apply to anyone who claims the mercy card. Hey, I’ve never supported abortion! Are you sure you aren’t talking about Old Testament stuff that we don’t have to listen to? I know, Peter was so off, didn’t he realize that he is making us feel insecure about our salvation and where we stand with God? I will never lose my salvation! That’s all I need to know, ever.
19 While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage. 20 For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. 21 For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them. 22 But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire. (II Peter 2:19-22)
The above passage is referring to the Canaanite spirits (corrupted pastoral ministries) and the Girgashite spirits (the corrupted teaching ministries). It explains what happens and what we look like when we leave off from the foundational principles of Jesus Christ.
16 As also in all his [Paul’s] epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction. 17 Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness. 18 But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To Him be glory both now and for ever. Amen. (II Peter 3:16-18)
Peter, who wrote his letters by the Holy Spirit after the ascension of Jesus Christ just as Paul did, is not talking about the loss of our salvation to escape eternal hell. He is talking about losing our eternal call where all is taken from us because we were poor stewards of what He gave to us (Matthew 25:14-30, Hebrews 10:26-29). It is a place that is in the outskirts of heaven where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. It is for those who knew God and then later declared Him as not enough.
Let us stop the semantic contortions and living as though God is not straight with us or think as though we do not have the Holy Spirit who is given to us. Let us stop acting and thinking that God is able to bring us to salvation, but He cannot bring us into maturity. And let us stop isolating verses out of context and parts of verses so that they read better to our flesh. There has not been a change in the need for repentance/confessing for forgiveness of sin, trespasses, and debts. And let us stop searching for loopholes rather than confronting sin, transgressions/trespasses, and debts ― whether we have eternal security or not.
We can now fly this coop of constant rebuttals and strife that go nowhere and bring no edification to us because wickedness and self-righteousness in man has shifted God’s forgiveness off of the foundation of Jesus Christ. Let us step into the light of God. We are not looking for an out. We seek Him and His ways only. We seek God’s perspective because His perspective is the only way to look at things.
7 But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin. (I John 1:7)
As a strong follow-up, we are not to get ourselves all uptight about sin or to keep ourselves in a state of high anxiety about sin (I Corinthians 4:2-4). It is the Lord by the Holy Spirit who can and does expose all to us when we are submitted to Him (Philippians 3:14-16). Remember that His yoke is easy and His burden is light (Matthew 11:28-30). He is consistent. And it is very difficult to walk alongside the Lord when we also hang onto sins, transgressions, and debts. It is us who make it difficult, not Him. We are admonished to forgive as our Father forgives (Matthew 18:35). Let us learn or relearn what, when, and how He forgives.
We will refresh ourselves with a beautiful passage of Scripture. It is the pool of the freshest water known to man and is the principle foundation of Jesus Christ. May it touch our hearts anew and straighten our thinking paths.
23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; 24 Being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in [that came by] Christ Jesus: 25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in His blood, to declare His righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; 26 To declare, I say, at this time His righteousness: that He might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus. (Romans 3:23-26)
The remaining sections of this article will be just the beginning of exploring and reminding us what God’s forgiveness is. And it is the same forgiveness that we are to operate in as He does (Mark 11:25 [recall from above that Mark 11:26 was an added verse and not in the earlier manuscripts], II Corinthians 2:10). It is spiritually understood, not carnally. In other words, the majority of the sections above have been speaking in the flesh because those who have held onto and operate in forgiveness as described above are operating in the flesh. They have fallen from living in grace because they have forfeited and defiled the path of God’s grace.
The substance of forgiveness
As with all things that our Father provides to us, He is much more perfect, loving, and giving of good ways and gifts than we can understand or comprehend. God’s forgiveness in His Love and Mercy and the implementation of His forgiveness is precious and holy (Leviticus 23:37, Romans 12:1). It is beautiful, consistent, adequate, expansive, and straightforward. It is exactly as He tells us it is. And once we know how He applies forgiveness, we can also do the same in a righteous and hallowed manner.
Forgiveness is an actual substance. It can be thought of as a product, a consequence, a commodity given as a result from blood sacrifice. Forgiveness is just one of the commodities that are made available to man by the labours and sacrificial blood sacrifice. God’s forgiveness has form and is not void of content (Genesis 1:2). And God made the way for the remission (forgiveness) of sins in blood sacrifice (Leviticus 17:11, Matthew 26:28, Romans 5:8-9, Ephesians 1:7-9, Colossians 1:12-14, Hebrews 9:22), which is provided by God as the single and only way to apply forgiveness in righteousness. We do not serve or worship the blood or the life giving contents of the blood (Leviticus 17:11); however, we acknowledge the blood as the sacrament of Christ’s covenant for the remission of sins (Matthew 26:28, Mark 14:24, I Corinthians 11:25, Hebrews 9:13-14). It is Holy. God has always given the provision for sacrifice (Genesis 22:1-14). The provision of His Son, Jesus Christ, was blood sacrifice in perfection and has the ability to cleanse even the heavens (Colossians 1:19-20, Hebrews 9:23-24). We do not play games with ourselves or lie and say that we are without sin after salvation because we are still in the purification process (I John 1:8-10; 3:1-10). We know we have not arrived to perfection. We still go to the High Priest when we are convicted by the Holy Spirit when we have sinned, commit trespasses, or have debts.
God’s forgiveness in the spirit looks very different than man’s forgiveness that operates in the flesh (carnally). Man’s forgiveness is without form. It is free floating, uncontained, and is utilized by carnal men and evil spirits who want to utilize its power. When man uses forgiveness without the context of how and when it is to be used, it is like using any other gift, ministry, or operation outside of the context that it was created for. Scripture often uses sexuality and workings of sexuality to explain spiritual behaviors that are not acceptable to God. It is easier for man to understand the dynamics of spiritual misbehavior when it is likened to something very tangible like reproduction and sexuality. The using of forgiveness without form and outside of its created and provided for context is spiritual fornication. It is no different than saying: “I want to have sex (forgiveness) when and how I want to have it and with whom I want to give it to. It should be freely given by me at all times because I am a Christian, and it shows how much I love others.” However, it is defiling what is holy, and it is not forgiving as our Father forgives us.
As mentioned earlier, a good and accurate way to understand forgiveness is to look at it as a commodity. It is a priceless and holy commodity that contains both temporal and eternal value within it. It is to be used as all commodities are to be used in the Lord, which is when and how the Lord uses it. We are to be good stewards of forgiveness. And we have free will in how to use it. So let us see how it looks in the spirit realm when forgiveness operates correctly and also how it looks when it is defiled.
In the spirit, our heart looks like a room that is set up like a tall study library. It contains shelves of books and shelves of bottles with substances in them. Some hearts have full shelves, some have bare shelves, and some have cluttered shelves. In other words, our heart has in it what we have put in it or received in it. The books are what we have taken in and stored of our thoughts and understanding and what we have filled our mind with. Books are sometimes opened or can be constantly opened to refer to in our heart’s mind when we are judging and thinking in our life. Yes, man is in a constant state of judging. We even judge to be neutral on certain subjects that enter our heart’s mind. Thoughts are accounted for and seen (Psalm 139:23-24, Matthew 6:21, Hebrews 4:12-16). The many bottles contain substances that we can utilize because we are created in the image of God. The bottles can be of things that God has given to us and also of things that we have worked in ourselves or received from other spirit beings. There are many things that occur in the heart, but this post will be confined to speaking about the substance of forgiveness.
Recall from the “Pennsylvania” post that the heart is where the soul and the spirit merge. We are instructed to forgive from our hearts (Matthew 18:35). So, the act of forgiveness involves both our spirit and our soul. We are to forgive as our Father forgives us. Forgiveness is in a bottle. It is shelved with its cap on at one of the higher shelves where things are not often taken down from. We live and operate in our heart. The heart room has a table and a chair where we can sit down. It is much like a court room of sorts; however, for the operation of forgiveness to take place the forgiver and the one seeking forgiveness are best sitting across from one another. When a person comes to us and asks for our forgiveness, that person has humbled themselves in order to sit across from us at the table that is in our heart. It is at that point, and only at that point, where we then take the bottle down from the shelf. The bottle has not been opened. The substance of forgiveness has not been defiled, diluted, or modified. It is in its pure state and supplied for us because of the labours of our Lord Jesus Christ. We take it down from the shelf when the prerequisite of repentance is offered. We open the bottle, give them forgiveness in holiness, cap the bottle, and put the bottle back on its shelf. The substance, the liquid, that can be taken in by the other person’s heart, is fully granted to them. This is a work of the priesthood that our heart and actions are functioning in. It is the application of the substance of forgiveness.
When forgiveness is given from our heart in an ungodly and carnal manner, the bottle is in a perpetually opened state. The substance is released in our heart’s room by diffusion and some even put a wick in the bottle and light it. Either way, the substance of forgiveness becomes without form. It also becomes intermingled with the uncleanness of our own thoughts by the open books that we read and quote from. In other words, books are open and dispersed in our heart that remind us of the indoctrination of what corrupt men have taught to us that we have embraced about how a good Christian is to forgive. The contained pure spiritual liquid form becomes an intermingled defiled vapor that has been chosen to transfuse or burn as incense in our heart’s room. In short, our heart becomes a red (vermilion) light district and we are identified as willing to give holy things to the dogs in the spirit realm. We are willing to give the power of forgiveness out in a vaporized perverted defiled form. There is no appointment needed, no sitting across a table. All walk-ins are welcome to breathe in the forgiveness fumes and incense that we have made available from our heart. And when there is a particular person or peoples of interest that we want to give our forgiveness to, we light a wick in the bottle to produce a light, which burns vermilion (Ezekiel 23:11-21) that mimics the Holy Spirit’s igniting of Sardis’s candlestick that burns red, yellow, and orange.
To sum up, when we forgive or ask for God to forgive sin without a person’s or people’s repentance, we are defiling His holy provision of sacrifice for sin or asking God to defile His holy provision of sacrifice for sin. In other words, we defile the substance worked by Jesus Christ’s Priesthood (I Samuel 2:12-17; 22-30, Hebrews 7:24-28).
The power of forgiveness
Forgiveness has power. The desire to either nullify (kill), utilize (steal), and defile (destroy) its power has been a constant by those who are the enemies of God. It is no mistake that forgiveness and the ambiguity that man has taught about forgiveness has been targeted to remove God’s people from working in its God ordained application. The indoctrination has brought Christians falling into categories of either presenting forgiveness to everyone all of the time and/or claiming and reminding themselves often that their sins were forgiven past, present, future when they accepted Jesus Christ as Saviour. This is the mind-set that Satan wants Christians to be in because it sustains the perversions and omissions that the corrupt teaching ministry has accomplished. It has permeated within the church and outside of the church. Let us realize that the enemies of God are very interested in the power of forgiveness and desire man to defile that power or at the minimum utilize it differently after they received salvation from eternal hell. It is interesting that grace, which is a Holy Spirit spiritual vapor working all around us and within us, is how many Christians view forgiveness is to operate. However, forgiveness is a contained substance and is to be dispensed as God does and leads. In other words, it stays in its form so that its substance is preserved to labour in the specific person, couple, family, or peoples that repented of the sin(s) or transgression(s) that they are repenting about.
Because the substance of forgiveness is a product of blood sacrifice, there is power in it. It is a product, commodity, that brings us from death into Life and to grow more in His life. Satan and all of the hosts of heaven and on the earth are aware of this. The act of seeking forgiveness is a turning to God, turning to receive life and to have life more abundantly in Him (John 10:10). Forgiveness is part of cleansing us from all unrighteousness. It changes what was to something that is new, including our heart (Ezekiel 18:31). It will give eternal results, and it is a working of miracles. The power to do this is immense. And when it is used corruptly, it also produces results.
A brief historical record: A way to start understanding the power of forgiveness is to talk about when it is used incorrectly. The following is a brief and narrow history of how forgiveness operates for evil rather than how it was given and intended by God to give life.
Prior to WWII and thereafter, many Oprah types were rising up along with the more “relaxed” educational and religious institutions. Whitewashing and questioning if evil even existed were endorsed as the commandments were removed from public display. The rhetoric was pumped into our minds that if we just understood one another and walked in their shoes we could embrace everyone because that is what loving others is all about. The idea of “sin” became very easy to shove out the door as it was chalked up to being just a misunderstanding of another person’s “worldview”. Connecting to God or a higher power minus Jesus Christ became popularized. This is not what Scripture teaches us, but it was swallowed down and made life appear to be richer by suggesting a lot more options on how to think, believe, and live. In addition, talking about getting one’s power back or not giving your power away to another person was presented. It insinuated that once a person did not give their power away or got their power back that they could then start or continue to be all that they can be. [This was just a modification of wiping the dust from our feet and having our peace restored back to us after we had been rejected from a place that rejected us for declaring the message of the Lord. But the God part was left out (Matthew 10:5-15, Luke 10:10-11).] Teaching people to forgive others who harmed them to get their power back was taught. It was treated as an extra special wisdom that represented a higher level, more loving, developed people. The talking points came at a time when religious congregations were looking to be more appealing with fresh, upbeat, and positive messages because of the lack of substance offered to them from the pulpit (Jeremiah 50:6-8, Ezekiel 34:1-10). In short, congregations were losing their sheep. Dabbling in spiritual gifts, seeking the power of the gifts, and predominantly women flocking to institutionalized education to “find themselves” or their passion offered options for those who knew life had to be more than just what was spoken from the pulpits. The grace and blessing seekers (Assyrians) were on the rise while the idea of judging was on the decline and judged as unChristian, outdated, and not loving. Spiritual fornication was accepted with little opposition as physical fornication was manifesting what the heart’s of God’s people had already embraced. Monogamy to God and His ways were not interesting or fulfilling enough. The people got restless and wanted spiritual, emotional, or mental stimulation. Being a lover of their own selves, which is working in the perverted pastoral ministry (II Timothy 3:1-5) had taken over. The degradation continued to smoothly pervert or omit the ministries (Ephesians 4:11-12) and also carnally use spiritual gifts. This cycle of turning away from the Lord is nothing new among God’s people. A quick overview reading of Judges, I & II Samuel, I & II Kings, I & II Chronicles, and Galatians exemplifies this.
The above is an example of how instruction manuals, leaflets, and books for teaching the misuse of forgiveness creeped into the hearts of man in these modern more enlightened days. The red lights were turned on, and defiled incense permeated not only in many hearts but also across the land.
When God or we apply forgiveness in His holiness and in His name, which is always after repentance, the substance of forgiveness is given specifically and directly to the person who repented. They have the forgiveness for the sin. The situation is not “over now” and forgotten. Forgiveness brings us the spiritual birth of salvation when we confess Jesus Christ is Lord ― “Ye must be born again” (John 3:7; 3:16). We no longer have a future of eternal death, but of eternal life. But it does not end there because we are living with an eternal God. The repentance and obtaining forgiveness process still remains intact to continue on in sanctification and justification because the substance of forgiveness also brings a healing process and a purging process. In other words, we go more into abundant life (John 10:10). Our salvation is intact, we have been born again. However, we also still have our free will intact to stay on the same path and allow ourselves to be transformed by the renewing of our minds (Romans 12:1-2); or we choose to live in a state of carnality; or we choose to live as carnal Christians who espouse modifying and redefining God’s ways while enjoying the assurance of eternity in heaven. In other words, to be lukewarm believers who have experienced God’s Laodicean glory for salvation but have no desire of more of Him, His ways, or His life that Jesus came to give to us more abundantly of.
Once we are responding to the Holy Spirit’s conviction of sin and keep on hearing His convictions as we grow in the Lord, we still go to God for forgiveness. We may also find the need to seek forgiveness from others. The process is still the same. We go to the table, the court, of God’s heart and repent and ask for forgiveness for this or that sin or sins. We are identifying ourselves as turned away from and no longer want to do that or those sins. The concentrated spiritual liquid form of forgiveness is specifically granted to us about and for what we repented of. It will be given at the strength level required to do the work of healing us, giving us an even greater disdain for the sin when we are tried in the future, and also give us the power to reject it. This process requires faith, which we also needed when we sought salvation. It is the same process. We, by faith, are repenting and asking for forgiveness that can also deliver us from the sin or the transgression. Just as when we repented for the remission of sin unto salvation, we did so in faith that we would also be delivered from eternal hell. God took responsibility for making the way to eternal salvation, and He also takes responsibility for giving us a way in His power to free us from sin. Sometimes the process of asking for forgiveness is repeated, and this is fine and will be discussed below.
Repentance and asking for forgiveness is available to all men, no matter if a person is a believer in Jesus Christ or not. And forgiveness is granted to the degree that the repentance is offered. In other words, if we are seeking forgiveness to smooth things over in our conscience or to make peace for the moment that is the level of forgiveness that we are granted. Pharaoh confessed and acknowledged his sin against God and he was granted the release, forgiveness, removal of the two plagues that motivated him to seek forgiveness for. His heart was only interested in temporary forgiveness, and it was granted to him. Likewise, when we come to God for the remission of sins, God knows our heart and will grant forgiveness accordingly. When we are pliable to God pruning and shaping us, we will be going to the table for the substance of forgiveness to complete that work in us. Our part is acknowledging and repenting what needs to be gone or what we are sorry for. God then supplies the forgiveness substance power to operate in us to have it fully purged and cleansed from us. Repentance and forgiveness work together with the same goal.
Let us go further to see how forgiveness operates and looks in the spirit realm when it is defiled. When man operates in the manner of dispersing forgiveness in their own will, they are operating predominantly as the verb ʿānan, which is sometimes translated as observer of times, practicing witchcraft, soothsayer, or others. Those who ʿānan use the teaching ministry to gather or bring as a cloud, to cover over, to cloud over. It is working the opposite and the inverse of the Holy Spirit’s gift that is the working of miracles. Miracles are a gift of expanding productivity by power, and miracles are worked by the teaching ministry with the apostolic ministry imparting into it. Any working of miracles requires the Lord’s teaching ministry. For example, the beginning of Jesus’ miracles was when water was turned to wine (John 2:6-11). It required a process to be done in the correct order and with instruction. And just as our salvation is a miracle, it required a specific and clear-cut Jesus Christ Way, Truth, and Life. To simplify, when we have practiced and practiced our time tables, we then have the expansive power to use multiplication. The power, miracle power, of multiplication can be manifested to then operate and expand further. Christians often confuse God’s miracles with God’s creation. Creation was/is done in the thoughts of God as the substance of nothing into something, miracles use what is already at God’s or man’s access to become something that results in expansive power. This is often done by trial and error in man. For instance, the automobile was manifested because of men working in the teaching ministry of working miracles. The miracle of the automobile was not a beginning, but was an expansion of the workings of engines and moving parts. And the automobile was not an end, but expanded to more advanced and modified engines. This is all possible by the Holy Spirit’s teaching ministry’s gift of working miracles.
When God dispenses forgiveness to a person who has come to Him in repentance, the working of miracles for that matter is given to them. We are given the ability to live in Life rather than to be bound by the sin or sins that lead to death and encumber us. The method, the statute, of the substance and the use of forgiveness is followed. When we are given the forgiveness substance, it has the power of forgiveness to work within us and our entire being as it flows within our blood. It does its work methodically and intelligently within our entire being. We will even become more teachable as our mind and body are taught by the forgiveness, which will produce miracles of release from sins and also cleansing from unrighteousness. We become transformed by the renewing of our mind. Now a person may think: “Hey, this is automatic, pastor So and So told me so. God instantaneously makes me righteous and ready to go.” Let us stop once again the bypassing of common sense and Scripture. Unless we are an Ammonite, who desires no growth, we are all in a maturation process before, during, and after salvation (Philippians 3:12). There is no stagnation on earth or in man. We are either growing and expanding in Him, or growing and expanding in death. And if something appears stagnate, it is actually operating in death that is expanding at a deeper spiritual level that breeds vexation because it is a burying in the ground what God has given for us to work in (Matthew 13:12; 25:29-30, Luke 8:9-18; 19:20-27). God is not mocked.
When forgiveness is given to us according to God’s statutes, which are righteous and hallowed, it is preserved and will bring life’s power operational in us that conquers sin that leads to death. And because forgiveness is living and is not dead, it is working by the Holy Spirit intelligently according to the desires of our heart. In other words, if we are seeking only to escape from eternal hell (I Peter 4:17-19), we receive that amount of Life that we desire. God does not crucify the Son of God anew or put Him to open shame (Hebrews 6:6). He does not take away man’s freewill.
We likewise are to be good stewards of forgiveness and forgive as God forgives us. When forgiveness is poured out to the person, couple, family, or peoples (nations) who have repented, the substance goes directly to and within the person or peoples where it is loosed to work freely by the Holy Spirit’s gift of working miracles. Nothing is put into the atmosphere because forgiveness is to stay undefiled from God’s heart to our heart or from our heart to another’s heart who has asked for forgiveness after repentance. The heart then becomes washed in forgiveness power, then gets pumped throughout the entire body. It teaches the body and the mind to work differently than before in that subject matter that is being forgiven (a workings of miracles). We are made into a new creature and the manifestation of that forgiveness is seen through the actions (fruits) of the forgiven person or peoples. In other words, the person acts and operates in a transformed way from when they did before, which requires forgiveness’s working of miracles mixed with faith.
Once forgiveness is defiled by man, it operates in the opposite inverse manner as it was intended. When spiritual gifts are defiled, denying the Lordship of the Spirit of the gifts, they are manifested in the opposite and inverse of their godly intentions. In the case of working miracles, a person who brings in its power of righteous productivity to produce much within the forgiven person, they instead ʿānan to bring a productive destruction to the many. The power of forgiveness is dispersed in the atmosphere and instead of working miracles for expansive transformation and purification within the person who honoured the statutes of how and when God forgives, it brings expansive productivity for destruction to the environment. To simplify this, the workings of miracles given to us in forgiveness after repentance is the way we are transformed in the flesh and also eternally. If we continue in the same Way, we continue being purified and transformed in His righteousness with the ability to produce good and godly fruit. When we choose to forgive others without their repentance and have our forgiveness available to others by vapor transfusion, it operates in a cloud that covers. It works to hide evilness, sin, corruption, which then sustains its existence in the earth. It strengthens and expands evilness around us, and we also become increasingly tolerant of it because we also become acclimated to the smell and workings of defiled forgiveness. It acts to separate the sin from the sinner externally without repentance. The results will be in the temporal in order to “move on” in its power for oneself who was wronged; however, those specific sins will be that much more embraced and saturated into the culture.
The above can be further simplified. When we selfishly distribute forgiveness minus God’s parameters (fornicate), we are actually dispensing unto ourselves and others the modified vapor temporal form of its power. There is a payoff in a temporal form to move on from the pain and/or harm that was inflicted onto us by another person. It will feel good, self-righteous (in a very humble way of course), and we can even be raised up and thought of as an exceptionally loving and kind person for doing so. Concisely, a person will be rewarded in the flesh for fornicating in God’s forgiveness. And they are able to move on in the temporal for themselves and be considered a good example to other Christians. This is perverting, doing the opposite, of what God’s forgiveness is because we are not to offer forgiveness without repentance, otherwise the person who is seeking forgiveness is not receiving the liquid form from us in its purifying life state.
[Note: The pain and harm is real when we have been wronged or violated in any way by another person. It is to God whom we seek comfort and healing, not the giving out of forgiveness to release the pain from ourselves to be able to move on. The substance that we get from God that brings healing and comfort also contains the strength in it to not compromise the labours of Christ anew. It will also bring us into further maturity in the Lord. The healing process may be slower and more difficult, but it will bring good fruit unto righteousness and not death for ourselves and also the environment around us. The picture is to stay chaste in the Lord, even when we have been severely wronged by another. This is pleasing to the Lord and can only be done in His strength and in His love that constrains us.]
The person who gives out forgiveness prematurely and in the wrong form releases that behavior as finished in their eyes. It is reinforced into the environment that repentance is not needed for that action. The action (sin, transgression, debt) is not dealt with at the spiritual level and becomes exacerbated because more and more are taught that the sin is not accountable to God and does not need to be dealt with the way God does. Instead of holding the person accountable in the strength, mercy, and love of God until or if they do seek forgiveness, the substance of unconditional forgiveness permeates into the environment and has the power to keep on teaching forgiveness in the flesh. The power is used to produce and bring in a covering cloud of great (miracle level, ʿānan) destruction. This is how a culture or nation can appear to quickly topple over because a slow long-term methodical teaching was implemented thoroughly enough and long enough to cover, cloud over, bring, the embracing of forgiving evil in a way to make it produce those fruits abundantly while being accepted and forgiven to our own destruction. Every time a person decides, judges, to dispense forgiveness incorrectly as a natural man, they are ʿānan giving a defiled incense offering unto Satan and the evil hosts in the atmosphere that supplies power to secure the expansion of that evil.
The modern day Christian has easily dismissed God’s requirement of repentance in the name of their fashioned gods named love and mercy. The hosts of heaven working in Satan’s army never have.
Applications of forgiveness
As we push away man’s doctrines to clear the pathway by the Holy Spirit’s cleansing water that is worked by the Word of God, we can begin opening the door to God’s Ways. We are done with circular reasoning by man that is removed from God’s path. God’s ways are consistent. It is the carnal man who decides to turn from the way when they perceive inconsistencies or exceptions to God’s foundation. When we are in the path of God we move forward. We are willing to cut off from ourselves anything (Matthew 18:7-9) that prevents us from staying on that path. We are willing to keep our mind as the mind of Christ, spiritually thinking, and not as the natural man (I Corinthians 2:14). God does not change. May we begin to see some of the priceless qualities of God’s forgiveness in the following sections.
Forgiveness is not a means to an end like salvation or having our conscience cleared when we feel bad about something we have done. That is how the corrupt pastoral and teaching ministries teach their followers. It is the end of the past and continuing on in the Lord. It is a continuation of sanctification and justification (John 17:17, I Corinthians 1:30-31; 6:11-12, I Thessalonians 5:23-24, listing just a few) that follows spiritual birth and brings us into full growth (perfection, completeness, maturity).
A pause to talk about salvation: Some of us may not have a memory of a specific date and time when we accepted Jesus Christ as our Saviour. And in many ways that reveals the process of how the Holy Spirit worked by grace to prepare us to receive Him. We may have initially believed on the Lord Jesus Christ (John 3:16) and then later realized that we have sin or are sinners and need forgiveness from sin that separates us from God. Some of us might have had the connection of believing that Jesus Christ was God and repenting of our sins at the same moment in time. And sometimes we are convicted as being a sinner and ask God for forgiveness first, but in the midst of it became aware that Jesus Christ’s death on the cross was how we were able to do that, and then believing in Him as God. It is similar to physical birth. Most are born via the birth canal, which provides for that recognized and recorded date that we give when anyone asks for our date of birth. However, some are breach, some are premature, some are cesarean section births, some are over-due, some are induced births, and some are leap year babies. This does not suggest in any way, shape, or form that there is another way to God other than Jesus Christ the Lord, who is One with God. But what it is saying is that the moment of our spiritual birth may not be remembered by some of us in a tidy and clear-cut fashion as others. For those who may feel this way, let your heart and mind be at peace. If you need reassurance of your salvation, God will give that. A simple prayer of, “Father, I would like to know without a doubt that I am saved.” He will answer this. You cannot be unborn physically or spiritually. And just as we do not remember the day we are physically born, there were others who knew; and likewise the hosts of heaven and our Father know when we are spiritually born.
The point of talking about salvation in the above paragraph is that repentance unto forgiveness, whether it be for salvation or for a sin that we cannot seem to kick, is not always a time and place event of when something was actually forgiven. It operates with faith based upon what His Word has told us. We may not be aware of when we have been cleansed, purified from, or actually conquered the specific sins that we are seeking forgiveness for. Sometimes it is very much known by us. Sometimes it is more veiled and we do not realize something has fully happened until time has passed to reveal itself as more of a contrast between what we used to do and think to what we now do and think.
When we have submitted to salvation, it prompts us to reach further. We are prompted to baptism, to read more, pray more, fellowship more with our Lord. And the process of being aware of something that we need to discard, whether it be an incorrect thinking, attitude, or behavior, transitions into repentance of those things and seeking forgiveness. We want cleansing from them and their effects on us and those around us. And it often includes chastening. When we ask forgiveness, this does not eliminate chastening, but it brings pruning (Matthew 18:8-9). Some of us want the chastening carried out as quickly as possible, some want it a bit more lengthened out.
10 And David's heart smote him after that he had numbered the people. And David said unto the LORD, I have sinned greatly in that I have done: and now, I beseech thee, O LORD, take away the iniquity of thy servant; for I have done very foolishly. 11 For when David was up in the morning, the word of the LORD came unto the prophet Gad, David's seer, saying, 12 Go and say unto David, Thus saith the LORD, I offer thee three things; choose thee one of them, that I may do it unto thee. 13 So Gad came to David, and told him, and said unto him, Shall seven years of famine come unto thee in thy land? or wilt thou flee three months before thine enemies, while they pursue thee? or that there be three days' pestilence in thy land? now advise, and see what answer I shall return to him that sent me. 14 And David said unto Gad, I am in a great strait: let us fall now into the hand of the LORD; for His mercies are great: and let me not fall into the hand of man. 15 So the LORD sent a pestilence upon Israel from the morning even to the time appointed: and there died of the people from Dan even to Beersheba seventy thousand men. (II Samuel 24:10-15)
Notice the order of events: David was convicted in his heart about the sin, David acknowledged (repented) and sought forgiveness from the Lord, and the chastening followed. And then wow! Another major typo. David spoke of God’s mercy. God’s mercy does not avoid the judgement, but it can buffer it (rejoice against it). Mercy is a pain absorber, it does not negate the judgement. Notice also that David did not bring up God’s mercy during the repentance and forgiveness process. God’s mercy is acknowledged and spoken about after “the wicked forsake his way and the unrighteous man his thoughts” (Isaiah 55:6-7). God was not merciful to forgive because forgiveness is not dependent on mercy, nor is forgiveness an attribute of God’s mercy. It is a man created understanding of mercy that distorts God’s mercy. No, forgiveness is made available to us because of Christ’s sacrifice. Furthermore, God’s mercy is always connected with His truth (Genesis 24:27, Psalm 25:10; 61:7; 85:10; 89:14, Hosea 4:1, II John verse 3, to list just a few). It is good to read the entire passage of II Samuel 24 to see God’s mercy in action.
Sometimes the Lord’s chastening occurs first and will lead to repentance (II Corinthians 7:10). Sometimes chastening does not occur at all because the person or peoples have turned away from any further growth (Psalm 78:8-11, Jeremiah 8:6, Hebrews 12:5-11). And sometimes the Lord sends others to confront a man or peoples (II Samuel 12:1-23; 24:3, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Zephaniah, John the baptist, John the apostle, and Scripture’s prophets to list just a very few) that may or may not lead to repentance depending on the person’s or nation’s hardness of heart.
3 It may be that the house of Judah will hear all the evil which I purpose to do unto them; that they may return every man from his evil way; that I may forgive their iniquity and their sin. (Jeremiah 36:3)
10 For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death. (II Corinthians 7:10)
Forgives the brethren 70 X 7: We are told to forgive our brothers 70 X 7 (Matthew 18:21-22, Luke 17:3-4).
21 Then came Peter to Him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? 22 Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven. (Matthew 18:21-22)
The verses right away reveal to us that the implementation of repentance and forgiveness is not a one time thing for God’s people. And when we are walking with the Lord, we become more and more aware of His ways and His desires for us. We do not adhere to what man tells us what is right or wrong, we adhere to what the Holy Spirit and Jesus Christ (the Word) tell us. As we grow and expand in the Lord we often are aware of further attitudes and actions that need eliminated or pruned.
When we end up in situations where we are repeat offenders and repent over and over again, this can be wearisome for all parties involved. But sometimes to conquer embedded sins and familial iniquities it requires an unfolding and discovering. The first repentance and forgiveness will start the work, and sometimes it takes many applications of repentance and forgiveness along with prayer until we no longer do or participate in what we know is unpleasing to God. When we find ourselves in this situation, we are to seek God and submit ourselves for Him to fully deal with the sin in the manner that He wants to. We ask for disdain for the same things God disdains. God is aware of our motives and the desires of our heart. He knows when we repent if we are asking for a temporary friction removal in our circumstances or if we are seeking to have the sin fully removed from us. And as discussed earlier in this article, even evil men can repent to God to receive forgiveness according to the desires of their heart.
The Lord spoke in Matthew 18:21-22, given above, and Luke 17:3-4 that the believer is to forgive their fellow believers 70 X 7. To forgive 70 X 7 does not mean to disregard a person’s sins or deliver a person 70 X 7. Are we admonished to deliver others (Proverbs 24:11-12, II Timothy 2:25-26)? Yes, but we do not deliver to deliver again (Proverbs 19:19). And this is why it is so important to forgive as God forgives, not how the corrupt pastors of Babylon teach. Forgiving is not delivering a person. It does not mean to stay in an ungodly or abusive relationship. It does not mean that we cannot or should not sever from people who harm us. We are not called to endlessly strive with another person, and sometimes it is necessary to withdraw from a fellow believer. Forgiveness is still made available to the person, but that does not mean we are to share proximity in an ungodly ongoing situation. Sometimes relationships cannot be repaired or retrieved despite forgiveness being applied because forgiveness does not mean accepting wickedness and keep on accepting it until a brother may or may not kick it out from their life. Practical knowledge of these types of things can be found in Proverbs and James. It is helpful for believers to go back to ground themselves periodically in reading and absorbing the righteousness that is saturated in Proverbs and James so that we do not become tempted to love or forgive carnally.
Is not to be withheld: Most of us have been in situations where we have repented of something just to have the other person withhold forgiveness. This can be a withholding of forgiveness for debts, transgressions, or sins that we have acknowledged and repented of. It is a refusal and a brush off of our action of repentance by the person we are obligated to seek forgiveness from. Their back is turned to us when we go to their heart. Sometimes it will be in their tone or voice inflection even though their words may say the correct thing, but we know in our own heart that they refused to hear and take into their heart our repentance. They then withhold dispensing forgiveness and it is a quenching of the Holy Spirit on their part that then grieves the Holy Spirit in our heart. They refuse to allow the repentant person the ability to receive of the substance that sets both parties on equal ground to one another. And it is a proof that the person does not operate as God (Love) does. This is what Scripture is talking about in Matthew 6:12-15, Matthew 18:35, Mark 11:25, Luke 6:37, and James 2:13 ― that with the same measure of forgiveness that we forgive will be how our Father forgives us.
35 “This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother
or sister from your heart.” (Matthew 18:35, NIV)
The above verse was given at the end of a passage that was talking about unpaid debts. And it is with debts that we learn how to forgive in small things that then exercise us for operating in more serious infractions. These situations are given to us in our lives as a trying (proving) of our hearts (Psalm 26:2, Jeremiah 17:10, I Corinthians 3:13) by the Lord because it is revealing our heart in how we operate when another person is humbled before us and asks us of something that is within our power to do or give (Proverbs 3:27, James 4:17). It has nothing to do with forgiving someone without their repentance so that we are forgiven in the same manner. The hallowedness of forgiveness and the operation of forgiveness is withheld and the person shows themselves unwilling to operate in a righteous priesthood.
10 I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings. (Jeremiah 17:10)
The person who operates by withholding forgiveness, which withholds the power of forgiveness to whom it was due, is sinning against God (Psalm 51:4)
27 Withhold not good from them to whom it is due, when it is in the power of thine hand to do it. (Proverbs 3:27)
17 Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin. (James 4:17)
Let us read Matthew 18:21-35 to see the context of how we are to forgive as our Father forgives us.
21 Then came Peter to Him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? 22 Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven. 23 Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened unto a certain king, which would take account of his servants. 24 And when he had begun to reckon, one was brought unto him, which owed him ten thousand talents. 25 But forasmuch as he had not to pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife, and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made. 26 The servant therefore fell down, and
worshipped [besought] him, saying, Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. 27 Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt. 28 But the same servant went out, and found one of his fellowservants, which owed him an hundred pence: and he laid hands on him, and took him by the throat, saying, Pay me that thou owest. 29 And his fellowservant fell down at his feet, and besought him, saying, Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. 30 And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay the debt. 31 So when his fellowservants saw what was done, they were very sorry, and came and told unto their lord all that was done. 32 Then his lord, after that he had called him, said unto him, O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me: 33 Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee? 34 And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him. 35 So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses. (Matthew 18:21-35)
There is punishment for those who refuse to forgive as they are by God. We know the will of God because we have experienced it for ourselves from Him. Note that the above is speaking of the kingdom of heaven. We, as believers, are operating in the kingdom of heaven. Our activity is seen in the kingdom of heaven and it is happening now, not in some future date.
Fruits of repentance
7 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? 8 Bring forth therefore fruits meet for [in keeping with] repentance: 9 And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham. 10 And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. 11 I indeed baptize you with [in] water unto repentance: but He that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire. 12 Whose fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly purge His floor, and gather His wheat into the garner; but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire. (Matthew 3:7-12)
The above is occurring now, not in the future. Notice that it is the corrupt pastors (Pharisees) and teachers (Sadducees) that John calls out. A similar passage is found in Luke 3, also spoken by John, the cousin of Jesus Christ.
8 Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. And do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham. 9 The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.” (Luke 3:8-9, NIV)
John’s Holy Spirit inspired words stirred those who were listening. In the Luke account, the people spoke out one by one asking what they were to do. They were asking what the fruits of repentance were.
10 And the people asked him, saying, What shall we do then? 11 He answereth and saith unto them, He that hath two coats, let him impart to him that hath none; and he that hath meat, let him do likewise. 12 Then came also publicans to be baptized, and said unto him, Master, what shall we do? 13 And he said unto them, Exact no more than that which is appointed you. 14 And the soldiers likewise demanded of him, saying, And what shall we do? And he said unto them, Do violence to no man, neither accuse any falsely; and be content with your wages. 15 And as the people were in expectation, and all men mused in their hearts of John, whether he were the Christ, or not. (Luke 3:10-15)
When we have been forgiven, it is not just a forgiveness from our sins to escape eternity in Sheol (hell). It is forgiveness that will produce fruits, the fruits of repentance. God never intended for us to stop in our growth and expectations of Him working in us. We do not say, “But I have Abraham. But I have Jesus!” We are to be producers, not just receivers. Paul reiterates the same to King Agrippa:
19 “So then, King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the vision from heaven. 20 First to those in Damascus, then to those in Jerusalem and in all Judea, and then to the Gentiles, I preached that they should repent and turn to God and demonstrate their repentance by their deeds. (Acts 26:19-20, NIV)
Once we repent and turn to God, we will demonstrate that repentance by our works. Repentance does not seek forgiveness for the sake of forgiveness, although that is important; it seeks to be cleansed from unrighteousness in order to bring forth good fruit. Good fruit produces temporal and eternal profit to those who eat it.
Notice that God’s Word speaks about fruits of repentance. It does not say fruits of forgiveness. Repentance requires a humbling before God that allows Him to shape us into His likeness. It prepares us for greater labours. When we distribute forgiveness in man’s defiled way, we become a hindrance to that person’s development, production, and demonstration of their own fruits of repentance.
Forgiveness cultivates love
“Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners” (I Timothy 1:15, Luke 15:7-10). Some men’s sins are open for all to see while they are alive, and some are concealed until later (I Timothy 5:24-25). But all is seen by God. Let us read a beautiful passage of Scripture.
36 And one of the Pharisees desired Him that He would eat with him. And He went into the Pharisee's house, and sat down to meat. 37 And, behold, a woman in the city, which was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at meat in the Pharisee's house, brought an alabaster box of ointment, 38 And stood at His feet behind him weeping, and began to wash His feet with tears, and did wipe them with the hairs of her head, and kissed His feet, and anointed them with the ointment. 39 Now when the Pharisee which had bidden Him saw it, he spake within himself, saying, This man, if He were a prophet, would have known who and what manner of woman this is that toucheth Him: for she is a sinner. 40 And Jesus answering said unto him, Simon, I have somewhat to say unto thee. And he saith, Master, say on. 41 There was a certain creditor which had two debtors: the one owed five hundred pence, and the other fifty. 42 And when they had nothing to pay, he frankly [freely] forgave them both. Tell me therefore, which of them will love him most? 43 Simon answered and said, I suppose that he, to whom he forgave most. And He said unto him, Thou hast rightly judged. (Luke 7:36-43)
Notice that both of the debtors were forgiven. However, one grew in deeper fellowship and love for the creditor. The known sinner was willing to go where Jesus was and to honour His coming prophetic death and burial. She was described by Jesus as working “a good work upon Me” (Matthew 26:10, Mark 14:6).
47 Wherefore I say unto thee, her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little. (Luke 7:47)
19 We love because He first loved us. (I John 4:19, NIV)
The more we have been forgiven, the more we love Him. The more we are forgiven and love Him, the more we see Him and ourselves at a greater depth. It is God who loves us first. He is the initiator and the source of love. And when we are convicted by the Holy Spirit of debts, trespasses, or sins that lead us to repent and turn to Him, our love for Him expands because of the forgiveness that He gives to us. Our love then becomes more akin to what His love does. And we want to minister to Him rather than expecting Him to always minister to us. The fellowship of our relationship with Him matures.
Forgiveness is the blessedness of man
6 Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works, 7 Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. 8 Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin. (Romans 4:6-8)
Psalm 32:1-2 is what the above passage is quoting. When our iniquities are forgiven and our sins are covered, it is the blessedness of the man to whom God gives righteousness to without works. This does not dismiss the need of repentance as seen below in verse 5 of Psalm 32.
1 Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. 2 Blessed is the man unto whom the LORD imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile. 3 When I kept silence, my bones waxed old through my roaring all the day long. 4 For day and night thy hand was heavy upon me: my moisture is turned into the drought of summer. Selah. 5 I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the LORD; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Selah. 6 For this shall every one that is godly pray unto thee in a time when thou mayest be found: surely in the floods of great waters they shall not come nigh unto him. (Psalm 32:1-6)
A similar passage was spoken by Peter in Acts 3:19-26. We are blessed when we are forgiven.
26 Unto you first God, having raised up his Son Jesus, sent Him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities. (Acts 3:26)
It is good to read the above verse spoken by Peter again. Do we think of the above kind of discourse when someone wishes us a “blessed day” or declares, “I am very blessed”? The milk is preferred above the meat. The verse is not just talking about repentance and forgiveness unto salvation, it is talking about turning away from our iniquities. And the Word calls it the blessedness of man.
The living difference
16 This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; 17 And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more. 18 Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin. 19 Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, 20 By a new and living way, which He hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, His flesh; 21 And having an high priest over the house of God; 22 Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for He is faithful that promised;) 24 And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works. (Hebrews 10:16-24)
Early in this article in “Introduction — what forgiveness is not”, it was stated that the difference that has occurred regarding blood sacrifice for the remittance of sin was that God has given us perfection, which in turn has required us to become accountable for not only manifested sin but also sins that are within our heart (Matthew 5:27-28). Do our hearts and minds understand a bit more why forgiveness must be honoured and stay undefiled and worked in God’s love and good works? Or are we still reading passages like the one above, Hebrews 10:16-24, to build our confidence and faith in what we can do or not do in the House of God?
20 By a new and living way, which He hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, His flesh. (Hebrews 10:20).
The new way is living. The sacrifice is alive. This is not just speaking that Jesus Christ was dead and now is alive. It is speaking that the way to Him is alive. The power of His sacrifice is alive. And not only is it alive in the temporaral today, but it is alive in the eternal.
The living way provokes us to God’s love and God’s good works.
We have just begun highlighting the characteristics of God’s forgiveness. May our hearts and minds have His Word opened in them (Psalm 119:11, Hebrews 10:16). May what we do not understand clearly be interpreted by His Word and the Holy Spirit so that we do understand. Amen.
The nature of God’s covering love
Do you ever have shameful memories of past transgressions or sins that do not seem to ever go away even though you have repented of them and no longer do them? Maybe they are things that were done in your youth or more recently when you were younger spiritually. We may believe the verse below about God giving us the ability to forget the shame of our youth (Isaiah 54:4), but think God is referring more to life in eternity after we have physically died rather than for today because the shame of some sins keep coming up.
4 “Do not be afraid; you will not be put to shame. Do not fear disgrace; you will not be humiliated. You will forget the shame of your youth and remember no more the reproach of your widowhood. (Isaiah 54:4, NIV)
Sometimes the recollection of those past things can happen because we are still in the chastening process about those particular things. Maybe we need to talk with a brother we have hurt (Matthew 5:23-24). And sometimes the past is recalled to us when we are given a more mature reflection and awareness of what we had done. This does not make us more accountable for our past after we have repented and have been forgiven, but it is a refining of our understanding of what we had done to help us in our todays and tomorrows. But sometimes the past things are recalled to our heart or to our mind without cause other than the enemy seeking to remind us of those things to re-live the shame of them. The recalling to us can be done by people who do not operate in God’s covering love towards us with unclean spirits or they can come directly to us from unclean spirits whom God has allowed access to us or we harbor in our heart. There are a handful of spirits and combinations of spirits that can do this. In these situations we do not go to battle with the demons or the people who enjoy recalling our past shame to us, we simply withdraw from them (James 4:6-8). These people and unclean spirits operate as we are going about our daily life. They are able to interject digs, darts, or razor cuts to the heart, or give blows to the gut in the midst of everyday conversations and activities. When we are alone the spiritual attacks act as a reviving (quickening) of the past shame without even needing a connection to what we are thinking or doing at the time.
It is natural for us when we have our past recalled to us in this way to go back and ask for forgiveness again because the shame and guilt of it is so strong. The shame feels as fresh as it did when we initially repented because the spirit(s) is (are) refreshing us with the shame. We may even ask God if more needs to be dealt with about the matter. But if there is nothing other than the shell of shame that is being recalled to us, then it is a matter of not having God’s covering love regarding those sins or transgressions.
When we have repented of those things, no longer do or entertain them, and have assurance from the Holy Spirit that we have been forgiven, God’s covering love is available to us. Pray: Father, I know that you have forgiven me, I ask for your covering love ― about this or that thing that is being brought up to you. Thank you Father, In Jesus’ name. Amen.
The prayer will be answered. This does not mean our memory is fully erased, but it will be muted and the shame will no longer be there.