Posted by: forfreedomalone | 30/03/2018

Know your friends and guard your heart

I was asked by a ministerial friend if I had ever checked the mutual friends list of a well known Inclusionist teacher. I hadn’t so I did. I was shocked to see how many mutual friends we had. Quite a number were also in ministry and so I was not at all concerned about them, but quite a few were not. I then checked the pages for several more well know teachers of Inclusionism/Universalism and found the same mutual friends.

Proverbs 4:23a tell us that we must “Guard your heart above all else”, why? Proverbs 4:23b answers that, “because out of it come all the issues of life”; or as the NLT puts it, “for it determines the course of your life”. Every aspect of how you live will be determined by what is in your heart and YOU are responsible for what gets in there.

Friends, do not be buffeted about by the winds of doctrine, do not be lead by the nose as a dog, do not be subject to Cheerleader Christianity. Know the Scripture for yourself, pray for wisdom and understanding as you read and be willing to face what you would rather ignore.

It may offend your human heart that God will not take every human being to heaven and that many will spend eternity in hell, but it offends his divine heart to force the people he loves where they do not want to go. His ways are not our ways.

It may be beyond your understanding that the Cross was the answer to the sin of the world, but we are not called to understand it, we are called to accept it. His ways are NOT our ways.

It may perplex your mind that you need forgiveness for something you, personally, didn’t do, but you are not asked to comprehend, you are asked to believe and repent. HIS ways are not our ways.

His ways are higher and purer and more powerful and efficacious and perfect than our ways. We cannot improve upon the perfection which is the gift of God’s love, grace, forgiveness and mercy; we can only believe.

Check who your friends are, be aware of what they are saying, question before you ‘like’ and above all else guard your heart; allow only the truth of God’s word in and the power of God’s love out; because this will determine the course of your whole life.

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Posted by: forfreedomalone | 29/03/2018

Cheerleader Christianity

Not long after we first came to North America we came across cheerleaders. I did not know then and I do not know now what they are for, but I have surmised over the years that they are ordained to make a huge racket about nothing, when things go quiet and to, thereby, keep people’s emotions heightened and minute attentions spans on something.
 
In Scotland, going to rugby matches, we watched the game and, when things went quiet for an injury or half-time, we talked to other people near us, often strangers and frequently from the opposition. During play our emotions and attention were firmly on the players and the unfolding match; the rest of the time we enjoyed a rest and the fellowship of others. We didn’t need all the hype and pumping up of emotions to keep our interest or to remind us why we were there. Entertainment, if that is what was wanted, was provided by the players themselves.
 
I see a parallel in the church today with, what I call, Cheerleader Christianity. Everyone is a cheerleader, everyone wants to be ‘encouraged’ or buoyed up in their emotions. A ‘good word’ is not one of correction or clarification on scripture but one which makes one ‘feel good’. Services are not designed to teach and build up in the most holy faith those who attend, but to entertain with ear shattering ‘music’ and a message which can be responded to in the instant with, ‘preach it’ or ‘AMEN!’.
 
This kind of ‘Christianity’ is a long way removed from the kind the disciples saw in their days of following Jesus about Judea. Half the time they had no idea what he was talking about, most of the time they were required to mull over his words looking for meaning and on no occasion was there any music whatsoever. Jesus never sought to affect the emotions of his followers, he didn’t shy away from telling the pointed truth, even though he did so in love. He wasn’t interested in being encouraged to ‘preach it’, nor in the ‘amen’s of people. He wanted to lead people closer to the person of the Almighty God; the God who was his father and whom he loved more than life itself.
 
When we or our friends and family are ‘down’ and need ‘encouragement’ they do not need us lifting their spirits with words which make them feel happier, they need sound scriptural teaching which builds up faith, which returns their wobbly feet to the solid rock and strengthens the foundation of truth. We MAY feel better for those words, but we may not. How we feel doesn’t matter, truth matters.
 
If a person can receive words which build their faith and there is an improvement in mood as a result that is a good thing, but aiming straight for the emotions is to miss the desired target. Let us build one another up, bearing one another’s burdens and strengthening one another’s faith with sound words of Scriptural truth. We don’t need cheerleaders filling in the silence, we can rest then in the full and certain knowledge that when the game begins again, we will be no longer spectators but players.
Posted by: forfreedomalone | 29/03/2018

Ishtar or יהוה?

Tomorrow, approximately two thousand and eighteen years ago, the Passover lamb, which had been chosen as perfect from among all the possible lambs and set aside for four days, was killed.This lamb’s blood was not painted on the doorposts of any houses, as this Passover was in commemoration of that first occasion when, by the command of God, the Israelites had set aside a lamb, killed it, painted the blood on the doorposts of their houses and remained inside, eating the lamb and unleaven bread, dressed ready to flee Egypt.

In homes all over the land of Judah and in the homes of Jews who had left that land for countries farther away, the exact same commemoration was taking place. At twilight the lamb was killed and roasted, it was eaten in celebration of the freedom God had brought to the Jewish people who were slaves in the ‘house of bondage’. This night, 2,018 years ago was little different, except for one small way, a difference which more or less went unnoticed……while the people were offering up their lambs, God was offering up his own.

At the moment when the lambs were to be killed, the Lamb of God died on a cross, so that his blood could be painted on the doorposts of the heart. The physical Israelites were saved from bondage to slavery by the physical blood of an animal. Spiritual Israel is saved from bondage to the slavery of sin by the blood of God’s own son. This was the fulfilment of Passover in the spiritual. But Passover is not a stand alone holy day, it is part of a three day, holy day, so Jesus had more to do then just died.

In Luke 11:29 & 30 Jesus spoke to, ” the crowds (who) were thickly gathered together, He began to say, “This is an evil generation. It seeks a sign and no sign will be given to it except the sign of Jonah the prophet. For as Jonah became a sign to the Ninevites, so also the Son of Man will be to this generation”.

He drew a clear parallel between Himself, as the Son of Man and Jonah. What happened to Jonah will happen to Jesus (in a manner of speaking) So what happened to Jonah?
Jonah 1:15- 17 tells us.

“So they picked up Jonah and threw him into the sea, and the sea ceased from its raging. Then the men feared the LORD exceedingly, and offered a sacrifice to the LORD and took vows.
Now the LORD had prepared a great fish to swallow Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.”

The ‘sign of Jonah’ was that Jesus would be in the grave for “three days and three nights”.

Next, Mark 16:9 tells us, “Now when He rose early on the first day of the week, He appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom He had cast seven demons.”

So, when we put our information together we have this picture.
This is the Feast of Passover. The Passover lamb was to be take on the 10th day of Nisan and set aside (this was the day Jesus entered Jerusalem). On the 14th day of Nisan the lamb is to be slaughtered at “twilight” and the blood placed upon the door posts. This was the moment of Jesus Crucifixion. John 16:14 tells us, “Now it was the Preparation Day of the Passover, and about the sixth hour. And he said to the Jews, “Behold your King!””. The lambs were to be killed at the ninth hour and that was when Jesus died.

The church, which has, more or less totally, rejected its Jewish roots, usually teaches that this was the day of preparation for the Sabbath, but it was not, it was the Day of Preparation for Passover. This was the day on which all leaven had to be removed from the house, as instructed in Exodus 12:15. Leaven, as we see from many of the things Jesus said, represents sin.

Passover is the second Feast of the Lord and is, in fact, three Feasts rolled into one. On the 14th you have Passover proper, as soon as it is deemed the change of days, at sundown, (like we would deem midnight) it becomes the Feast of Unleaven Bread, which is a 7 day long feast running until the 21st Nisan. On the 16th Nisan is the Feast of First Fruits, when the first fruit of the wheat harvest was taken to the Temple and offered to God.

So we have Passover, Unleaven Bread and First Fruits on three consecutive days.

Jesus was the Passover lamb, killed at twilight on the 14th. He had to be in the grave before sunset, as that would then be the 15th which was a Holy Day, an extra Shabbat and on which no one could handle the dead. The next day (16th) was Shabbat and early on the morning of the 17th, the first day of the week Mary went to the garden. Jesus was in the grave on the days of the 14th, 15th and 16th and on the nights of the 14th, 15th and 16th; three days and three nights. As Shabbat is Saturday we have, a Crucifixion on Thursday (14th) and Resurrection on Sunday (17th).

If we have the Crucifixion on Friday and the Resurrection on Sunday we COULD have him in the grave for three days but no creative arithmetic could make it three nights.

Today the whole period is referred to as either Passover or Unleaven Bread, but it really contains three separate events all of which had to be fulfilled by the Lamb of God. He had to died as the provider of sanctuary for those who followed God; he had to remove leaven from the lives of those who had been saved from death and he had to rise, as the first fruits from the dead. All of which he did on that Passover around 2, 018 years ago.

As you munch on your chocolate Easter eggs and decorate your homes with painted eggs and rabbits, remember that it is not Ishtar, the pagan goddess of fertility whom we worship, but יהוה, the Almighty God, the God of Abraham (the father of faith), Isaac and Jacob, the God who saved the Israelites from slavery in Egypt, in the physical and who saves us from the slavery of sin, in the spiritual.

Posted by: forfreedomalone | 23/03/2018

We NEED correction.

Recently I encountered two people who had laughed at behaviour by a. a dog and b. a small child and now felt that they could not tell the dog or the child that they had to stop that behaviour. This reluctance to correct the animal/child was based not upon what was right or wrong, what was good for the animal/child or society in general, but on their feelings about the behaviour and so couldn’t correct it.

The parent told me that the child was just ‘expressing herself’ and it was wrong, stifling and repressive to tell her that what she was doing had to stop. The animal owner didn’t want to correct behaviour she had encouraged as this ‘wasn’t fair’.

What both adults are doing is teaching that there is no separation between ‘behaviour’ and ‘person’. They are teaching that as the behaviour was accepted the first time then the child/dog will be unable to understand that if the behaviour is now rejected they, as a child or dog, are not also being rejected.

This is a modern fallacy which has lead to out of control children, easily offended adults and a politically controlled society. It is deeply rooted in the church as well as society. God is very clear on the subject of the difference between your behaviour and you, we need to be also.

It is an act of love, not control, to say, “No,” and mean it. Without clearly set boundaries of behaviour people and animals cannot feel loved; they simply have no idea where they are safe. Rejecting unacceptable behaviour is not the same thing at all as rejecting people and we need to learn this.

When God says, “No”, to your behaviour he is doing so because he has already said, “Yes” to you. If he never corrected us it would be because he didn’t care about us, not because he wanted us to be free and expressive. We can only be truly free when we know where the lines of safety lie; when we clearly know the difference between ‘behaviour’ and ‘person’.

Posted by: forfreedomalone | 22/01/2018

She’ma

There are eight references to Jesus saying, “Those who have ears to hear, let him hear”. If we accept a Western Jesus we might be a little stuck to explain what he is talking about, but if we accept the Jewish Messiah, we will soon see that he was simply quoting The Scripture.

There are nine references to non-hearing ears and the cause for that in the, so called, Old Testament. Both Moses, in his sermon on the mount and the Prophets explain that the reason for not having ears which hear is not ceruminosis (yes, I’m showing off , that’s excessive ear wax to you) it is a hard, rebellious heart.

Ez 12:2 “Son of man, you dwell in the midst of a rebellious house, which has eyes to see but does not see, and ears to hear but does not hear; for they are a rebellious house.”
Zec 7:11 “But they refused to heed, shrugged their shoulders, and stopped their ears so that they could not hear.” are two examples.

“Hear” in Hebrew is she’ma and The She’ma is a foundational statement to Jews, as well as to many Christians.
“Hear, oh Israel, the LORD is our God, the LORD is one”.

She’ma does not mean, “Open your lugs and let the sound waves in”, it means something closer to “open your heart, to hear, perceive, understand and obey”. There is strongly contained within the word the understanding that obedience to what you have just heard is expected.

When we listen to the word of God with our ears, we will hear sounds which may, or may not, make sense to us. We will rationalise, pick and choose, reason, excuse and accuse and, as one person once told me, “If my heart is so moved, I will then obey”.

When we hear with our hearts we will say, “Yes, Lord. Lead me in your way”.

To the ancient Hebrew the ‘heart’ (that organ in our chests) was the seat of the will, reason and thinking. When we read ‘heart’ in the OT we should really change it, in our minds at least, to ‘mind’ because today we see the ‘mind’ as the place where we carry out those activities. The ‘heart’, to us, is the seat of emotions and emotions do not come into having ears to hear.

To ‘renew your mind’ and to ‘have a change of heart’ is, therefore, the same thing. When we ‘repent’ (change our minds) we are changing our heart, we are receiving a new heart and a new way of thinking all rolled into one. With our new heart we are able to open our ears and hear what the Spirit is saying when he speaks. We can separate the Law of Sin and Death (how our cold, hard, minds interpret things) from the Law of the Spirit of Life (how our soft, circumcised hearts interpret things). We are able to have ears to hear.

The only true repentance is a change of heart. The only true listening is when we are ready to obey. The only true discipleship is one which comes from a circumcised heart, open to God, ready to hear, trust and obey its Master. Wooden rule keeping, “I’m sorry” (but I’ll do it again tomorrow anyway), “There is no law any more” or “When my heart is so moved I’ll obey” type thinking is rebellion and hard-hearted. To hear a rebuke or a word of correction as coming from an angry God is to seek to justify our rebellion.

Open your heart to the loving correction of a loving God who, because he loves you wants the best for you and will not leave you to go on your own way. Hear, she’ma, his loving word. Trust him, obey him, surrender your will, your ideas and your entire life to him, because when you do he will be able to fulfil what he promised to the Children of Israel, in Deut 6, “…that it may be well with you and that you may multiply greatly, as the LORD, God of your fathers, has promised you (in) a land flowing with milk and honey.”

Posted by: forfreedomalone | 24/11/2017

Assumption

Earlier today some friends and I were discussing the last date for Christmas posting in the UK and Canada. This lead to one friend saying that Amazon’s last ordering date was 24th Dec 23:59, but they were being facetious, obviously.
 
It was some hours later that the Lord drew my attention back to that conversation and he asked me “Where they being facetious?”. Now, I know from long experience when the Lord asks such a question he is not looking to me to straighten out his confusion on a matter. So I considered it for a bit and then replied, “No, they weren’t. They were, perhaps, being pedantic, but they weren’t being facetious. They never said they could deliver something ordered by that point, they just said you could ORDER it before Christmas, IF you got your order in before 23:59 on the 24th”.
 
The problem was, my friend assumed and I just followed his lead.
 
This is what we often do as Christians. We assume we know what something means, because we fit it into our current understanding and then others follow us, or we follow someone else who has assumed.
 
An example.
John 12:12 & 13
“The next day a great multitude that had come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, took branches of palm trees and went out to meet Him, and cried out:
“Hosanna!
‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD!’
The King of Israel!””
 
We think that because there was much waving of palm branches and ‘blessing’ of the King of Israel, that the term “Hosanna” means something along the lines of a word of praise and jubilation. We see these people as receiving Jesus as their Lord and Saviour, but we would be wrong.
 
“Hosanna”, in Christianity is a shortened version of the Hebrew “hoshana-hosana” means “help, or save us, I pray” and, in the modern vernacular would, perhaps, be rendered, “For God’s sake DO something, SAVE us, we are perishing and we need you to rescue us”. This was not a term of adoration, but of pleading.
 
The people who are gathered as Jesus entered Jerusalem were not hailing him as the Son of God, they were begging him, IF he was the Messiah, to get to work on their behalf and get them our from under the Roman rule; the rule of the evil ones.
 
Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem was five days before the Feast of Passover, yet this act of waving palm branches and shouting “hoshana-hosana” belonged at Sukkot, a Feast which would not occur for many months. Sukkot was the Feast of Booths or Tabernacles. It is also called, in Exodus 34, “The Feast of In-gathering at the year’s end”. This was all prophetic.
 
The seventh day of Sukkot is known as Hoshana Rabbah, or the Great Supplication. It is the last of the Days of Judgement which began at Rosh Hashana; this is the day on which the judgement of God against a person is delivered for the coming year. It is the last change a person has to plead for help and salvation.
 
As Jesus enters Jerusalem to become the Passover Lamb and the Yom Kippur goat, the people are calling out to him to also be the one who will save them. He is the booth in which we are to dwell, he is our Tabernacle and we are his. The great prayer of supplication was offered to him to save his people on the Day of Judgement.
 
There is so much symbolism going on just a few verses of the Book of John which are totally missed if we assume we know what it means or follow one who has so assumed.
 
The great crying out for salvation was pointing to the end of time when many will cry out to be saved, as had the masses on the day when the rains came, “in the days of Noah”, but who were lost because they had left it too late. Don’t leave it till the last day, seek him now, while he can still be found. He entered Jerusalem as the atoning one, yet they were looking for something else. Don’t, while looking for salvation, release, peace, love, joy, freedom, overlook it when it is right in front of you. Just because the one who can save was humble don’t mean he wasn’t the Messiah. They assumed too and missed what was right in front of their faces.
 
Soften your gaze and see, right in front of you, the beautiful Jewish Messiah; the answer to all you need or desire, the gateway to freedom and peace, the bringer of great joy, humble and utterly unassuming.
Posted by: forfreedomalone | 05/11/2017

Progressive Revelation.

Often, when I am teaching about Progressive Revelation I will use the story of the Prodigal Son as an example.
Most Christians will know the story, in Luke 15, about the young man who asks for his inheritance, while he is still young enough to enjoy it. He then squanders everything and ends at, what would be for any good Jewish boy, the bottom of bottom, working as a swineherd. Waking up to this reality he decides that if he goes home to his father he may, perhaps, obtain a job as a servant in the household. When he finally arrives back home his father throws a party and welcomes the young man back as his precious son.

This story has, at least, three levels of revelation into the nature and character of God, and our relationship to him, but it is usual for only one to be explored.

1. The son represents the person who has rebelled against God and the father represents God himself, who will welcome any repentant sinner back to himself.
There is nothing wrong with this. This is totally true and the first level of understanding.

2. In the second level we look at the son and see that, when he was at home with his father, he was never really a son at all. He was a son by birth, he was born into that position, but it was never a position he embraced in his heart. His heart was rebellious and far from his father’s love. The young man needed the experience of being at rock bottom to ‘repent’, to change his mind and heart toward his father and to become a true son. A son who loved and served his father from the understanding of one whose heart has been touched to the depths of its being by the love of a father.
This can be looked at as, again, a believer understanding that there is more to being a son of God than just accepting God’s existence, or Jesus sacrifice on our behalf. It is complete surrendering of the heart to God.
It can also be looked at as the story of the legalist who follows rules, rites and rituals, but is never a true son of the heart.
The descendants of Abraham were given the rite of circumcision of the flesh as a sign of the covenant God made with them through Abraham, but later, in Deuteronomy 10:16 he tells those same people to circumcise their hearts. Paul, in Romans 2:9 tells us that one is not a Jew because one is outwardly circumcised, but because one’s heart has been opened to God by the circumcising away the hardness towards him. This is the making of a true son.

3. In the third level we can see that there are two sons one who was born into the household and remains there out of duty to his father. He is a good son, but he is not a true son of the heart, as is made evident when his brother returns and he angry about the way he is received. In this level we see the two sons are representing the Jews and the Gentiles. Gentile is the Greek version of the Hebrew “goyim”, ‘nations’. The boy who has remained with his father (the Jewish people) is angry that the other son (the goyim, the people of the nations) is welcomed into the family. He wants the younger son to be made to earn his place, but the father does not see things that way. He loves both his sons equally and rejoices over the younger son’s return.
N.B. the younger son RETURNS, he is not a new born son, he is a younger son who RETURNS.

Around 721 BC the 10 tribes, who lived in the northern part of the country and were, collectively, called Israel were taken into captivity after their defeat by the Assyrians. We don’t hear anything of them again. In the south the two tribes of Benjamin and Judah, collectively called Judah, continue and become the people we call ‘Jews’ today. A ‘Jew’ is, technically a descendant of Judah. But what of the others?
It is my belief that they are the ‘goyim’, the nations who will return to God. We, who believe, are RETURNING to God, not discovering someone we never knew about. Our father who has grieved over our loss is now overjoyed at our return.

As you read through this you see that there are layers of meaning in this story and we have only scratched the surface, this is how it is with God. There is on end to the depth of his character, his love, his mercy, his justice, his compassion. Do not stop at what is obvious when you look into a matter concerning the Lord, you will leave with only a fraction of what you could have had, had you dug a little deeper.

Posted by: forfreedomalone | 08/09/2017

The response of love.

The love of God knows no bounds. The love of God is not exclusive; for some, but not for others. The love of God is steadfast and sure. The love of God will surround us and keep us safe.
 
There is only one thing which can nullify the love of God for us and that is us. If we set our wills to live in opposition to him we will find ourselves in circumstances which are not where he, in his love, would have us.
 
We cannot say “There is no target anymore” and believe we will grow and prosper in his love. We cannot say “well, that would be sin for me, but my brother has to decided for himself” and believe we are walking in God’s love. We cannot live a lifestyle of sin, say we belong to Christ and expect to see the blessings of God flow into our lives. It won’t happen.
 
In Deuteronomy 26:17 we are told that Moses reminded the people that they had “declared today that the Lord is your God and that you will walk in his ways and keep his statutes and commandments and his rules and will obey his voice”.
The people had agreed that there would be total compliance with all that God had ordained.
 
Then in Chapter 27 we are told that God ordained that when the people arrived in the Promised Land they were to set up pillars, plaster them and write all the words of all the law on them, as an eternal reminder to them of that to which they had agreed. Entering the Promised Land was not a time of forgetting the law of God. As the Promised Land was a type of the rest of the believer, there is no place for a believer to forget his law either.
 
This having been understood God starts to list the curses which will befall them if they break the Ten Commandments. Just reading the first list of curses one can see that they are linked to the Commandments.
v. 15…1 & 2
v. 16…5
v. 17…8,9 & 10
and so on.
 
Chapter 28 v. 1 says, “If you faithfully obey the voice of the Lord your God, being careful to do all his commandments that I command you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth and all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, if you obey the voice of the Lord your God”, followed by a list of blessings which come from keeping God’s laws.
 
If we believe that all the curses were poured out on Jesus, on the Cross, instead of on us, then we believe we are free from the consequences of breaking God’s laws. But we then assume that because we are free from the consequences of breaking the law and will not be cursed, somehow we are also free from being required to keep the laws in order to be blessed.
 
God’s abundant blessings are linked to living a life governed by God’s morality, laid out for us in his laws. We are not achieving righteousness or holiness by such living, we are not ‘buying’ his blessings’, we are honouring the one who asked us to live as he lives. We will not lose our salvation nor the label of ‘righteous’ given to us by God, but we will find life harder than it need be and the blessings will not flow towards us.
 
Every rule God set down was an act of love. Every law enshrines love, but fear causes people to see them as enshrining control. Considered again why God would say Do not Steal. What effects would stealing have on your soul, the one from whom you steal, the community in which you live, your relationship with God? God loves us more than life itself, but that love is not permissive, it is protective and he protects us with a few rules for living which, when looked into carefully are all laws of love. He doesn’t give us the freedom to decide for ourselves what would be loving, he tells us. We don’t get to decide morality from the fruit from which our fathers ate, but from the fruit of the tree of life. There is nothing to fear in respecting and obeying the commands of God. They are love made plain.
 
If you fear becoming a legalist by keeping God’s commandments there is already something wrong with your relationship with God. Why would obeying the commands of someone who loves you cause you to fear that you would then be ‘buying’ their love? We keep the commandments because we know how loved we are, if you cannot keep them for fear of being a legalist, you do not know how loved you are and without knowing the love of God, you cannot love him, which is what keeping his law is all about.
Posted by: forfreedomalone | 06/09/2017

Why is the world such a dark place?

As we hear of wars, rumours of wars, natural disasters and civil order break down, people are saying “What has happened to the world? It is such a dark place nowadays”.
 
There are more ‘explanations’ that you could shake a stick at but there is one explanation and one only.
 
The Church has failed to be a light in the darkness and, as a result, the darkness has got darker. The brilliance of the light which Christ shone in the world has dwindled to the flicker of a dying candle.
 
What was the ‘light’?
It was the light of the righteousness of God. It was holiness personified.
 
As the church has more and more associated ‘works’ with self righteousness and taught that we ARE righteous when we come to Christ, the Church has sat back in true, smug, self-satisfied self-righteousness and said “We ARE righteous because we believe. We can never lose that righteousness. We are perfect” and watched the world go to hell.
 
The word, most commonly, translated as “justified” in the Greek, means “declared righteous”. If Tom, Dick and Harry, declare Jenny to be ‘one of the boys’, she does not BECOME a boy, she is just treated as one. Having been declared ‘one of the boys’ Jenny now gets to join in their games, play with their toys and show other girls what fun can be had as ‘one of the boys’.
She is not a boy, but she will also not remain ‘one of the boys’ if she does not join in.
 
The Church has concluded it is righteous, perfect, holy and just, so nothing is now required of it. Holy living, working out their salvation, obeying God’s commands, are all passé, for another age, not for the enlightened. Oh really!?
 
Jesus said that he did not come to do away with God’s law, but he came to establish it, as the rule of law in the world. This was the law which was to be the force of law which stood as the guide for all humanity. We were to take this torch and shine it in the darkness of the sinful world, the world where man made the rules, man decided morality and man was lord. We, the Church, were to live to a much higher standard. We were to continue what he began, the establishment of God’s Kingdom on Earth. A Kingdom will fall with no law, not justice system. God’s justice system has been treated with contempt by his Church for so long that his Kingdom is teetering on earth.
 
God may love us, indeed he loves us more than life itself, but we have shamefully let him down by grabbing the goodies and running. We have rejoiced in the salvation he has freely given us and then told him where to shove his morality and justice. We have rejoiced in how much HE loves US, but then we treat our siblings like dirt. We will not correct, or hold to account, in love, those who are going astray because we are afraid of ‘judging’, of being hypocrites; we show no love for the children of God from totally self serving agendas. We declare that his wrath was poured out on the Cross and ignore the warning that we are storing up wrath for ourselves for the Day of Wrath, yet to come.
 
Romans Chapter 2 explains this very well. This chapter is NOT being written to unbelievers but to believers. The word ‘sinned’ in this chapter is a verb. That means, that it is a ‘doing’ word, not a state of being. Paul is telling them, in no uncertain terms, that they, even though they claim to be Christ’s, are still sinning, from a “hard and impenitent heart”, for it is “not the hearers of the law are just in the sight of God, but the doers of the law (who) will be justified”.
 
This is the Jewish month of Elul. It is a month of repentance and preparation for the arrival of Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur. The New Year and the Day of Atonement. It is their tradition that this was the month when Moses spent time preparing the second set of tablets to receive the second writing of the law. (The first set were given to him by God but the second set had to be provided by Moses). Moses’ heart was heavy as, when he came down with the first set, he was faced with the idolatry of the people in the shape of a golden calf. Now he has to go back and face God. As their representative before God Moses is humiliated, shameful and sorrowful.
 
God will never turn away a repentant heart, but he will not receive one which is pride filled and self righteous. We are in the latter days of the latter days, we are a Church filled with pride and self seeking. We want to receive from God yet we are very reluctant to give to him. He will not reward such attitudes.
This is a the day of repentance before the day of wrath.
 
Can we in all conscience say we have lived lives which drew the lost to the light? There may have been one small moth now and again, but has there been a swarm? There was with Jesus, there should be with us.
 
We need to examine our hearts today, repent of the sin we have returned to, of our contempt for the law of God. We need to return so that we may walk in the love which God has had for all people since the beginning of time. The time is short to let go of our self serving lifestyle and to adopt one of God serving, but it is not yet too late……
Posted by: forfreedomalone | 02/09/2017

The Four ‘R’s

Have you ever wondered why it is that some apologies seem to fix the hurt and others do not? How, sometimes, a person can say “I am sorry” and it just doesn’t heal the wound you experienced?
Apologies come in two ‘types’. There is the Apology of Regret, which the first type.
The Apology of Regret says “I am sorry you were hurt by what I did or said”. It may be genuinely offered and be a true expression of regret at hurting another person, but it doesn’t do the job of healing the wound inflicted by the offense.
Then there is the Apology of Repentance.
The Apology of Repentance says “I am sorry you were hurt by what I did or said, I understand why that was and I intend never to do or say that again”. This is the apology of intent, or turning, of changing the mind. This is the apology of healing.
So what is the difference?
The third and fourth ‘R’s; Recognition and Responsibility.
Without taking responsibility for what was said or done the Apology of Repentance cannot be issued because you always have a justification or excuse for why you did or said what caused the hurt. You are, in fact, laying the responsibility for the hurt at the feet of the other person. Without taking responsibility for our own words and actions we can never, truly, repent. How can you move to change what does not need changing?
The person who has been hurt needs to send away the offense caused to them, to prevent festering and further, one could say, ‘self inflicted’ suffering. If we hold on to something which is a foreign body, we are agreeing to it infecting us, filling us with toxins and causing us to become, possibly deathly, ill. This is no longer the responsibility of the ‘wounder’, but of the ‘wounded’.
But if healing is to take place between the two parties an Apology of Repentance is essential. The wound will not heal without it and the offense will be repeated over and over again until the relationship is so damaged it cannot be repaired.

This applies to on going relationships. Those who ‘wound and run’; or have died; have severed the relationship already and there is no relationship or heal. The pain you continue to feel, without the Apology of Repentance, is, in fact, the pain of a wounded relationship, a relationship in which a part of you is deeply invested.

If you find you have been wounded, sent the offense away as quickly as you can. This is loving yourself.
If you have wounded, recognise, take responsibility and repent as quickly as you can. This is loving others.

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