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Hardest Teachings VI

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Of sin, wickedness and rebellion, only one is covered by the Covenant. Since the Covenant that we are beneficiaries of is called the Covenant for the Forgiveness of Sins; then it is timely to review our knowledge and understanding of sin, and what it is.

Sin is when you disobey God, and for a person to disobey God, there must have been a commandment, a law or a decree upon which you can disobey. Thus, if Adam was never commanded to not eat from the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, Adam could not sin, for there was nothing to disobey.

In Exodus 34:2, God, in introducing Himself to Moses, said this: “The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin.”[1] God distinguished two other offences against Him from sin: wickedness and rebellion. Moses in reply, said, “Forgive our wickedness and sin.”[2] So then, what is wickedness and rebellion, for the Father’s Covenant with Jesus does not cover the forgiveness of wickedness and rebellion?

Sin, which is disobedience to commands, laws and decrees, can be committed by anyone, even those who do not belong to God or His Kingdom, in the same way as a tourist can break a law in Australia even though he is not an Australian. As such, sin – the disobedience of God’s commands, laws and decrees – is common to all men and its effects are common to all men. And the Covenant that the Father has with Jesus provides for the forgiveness of sins for all men. However, wickedness and rebellion do not apply to all men.

Wickedness, as defined by God, is this: “I will pronounce My judgements on My people because of their wickedness in forsaking Me, in burning incense to other gods and in worshipping what their hands have made.”[3] “In this also your fathers blasphemed Me by forsaking Me…”[4] And Proverbs 21:10 defined a wicked man as one who craves evil. Thus, wickedness in God’s eyes can only occur among His people, for wickedness is the forsaking of Him, and unless you have known Him or served Him or have been delivered and blessed by Him, you cannot forsake Him. A man who has never had an encounter with God is not wicked, just a sinner, unless he craves evil, that is, one who deliberately chooses evil and seeks to be more evil, taking delight in evil all the time as one craves for one’s desires. Thus, wickedness is and can be more common amongst God’s people than amongst those who are not God’s people. All sin, yes, but few actually crave for evil.

Rebellion is an offence that belongs only to the Lord’s own people, for those who would seek to overturn a kingdom from the outside are known as enemies, but those who seek to overthrow a kingdom from within are known as rebels. God said of Israel, “The people of Israel rebelled against Me in the desert,”[5] that is, they sought to dispose of Moses and set up their own gods and prophet. Now, a rebellion never occurs until those who seek to overthrow the government feel that an opportune time has come and that they are actually powerful enough to succeed. Thus, those who love to sin within the Kingdom when they are weak, are only the wicked who crave to forsake God, that is, ignore Him and worship other gods. When they do so, they are still subservient to a god. However, when those who love to sin and crave evil in the Kingdom feel that they are strong and powerful enough, then and only then will they add to their sin and wickedness, rebellion. That is why Paul wrote to the Thessalonians: “Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come, until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed,”[6] when they were being deceived by those who said the day of the Lord had already come. Thus, until the one who is condemned, who loves to disobey and craves to forsake God, knows that he has grown strong enough and powerful enough to win an open rebellion, the rebellion will not come.

Thus, our mission is twofold to bring ourselves up to full power and strength and yet appear weak, and to permit the condemned one to acquire sufficient power to be able to forge an alliance with Satan so that Satan would hand over his authority to him. The one who is the false prophet will not lead the rebellion and reveal himself until he has power, enough power that is not natural but supernatural to do signs and wonders to deceive, and even to call fire down from Heaven. That is why it is written: “For rebellion is like the sin of divination.”[7] And divination is making God do what you want as Balak tried to do. Thus, a rebel fully fledged is able to make the ruler do what he wants, even abdicate. And who can provide enough power to the rebel that he could even dream that he might succeed, or rather from whom can the false prophet acquire the power to do so except from the Holy Spirit and His elect, for He is the Spirit of Power.

In a way, the false prophet will be a very sophisticated version of Simon the Sorcerer[8] who saw the greater power of the Holy Spirit and tried to buy it with money from Peter. As Peter said to Simon, “I see that you are full of bitterness and captive to sin,”[9] so also the false prophet is a very, very bitter man, and since a bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many,[10] trouble will come through him to defile many. That is why Paul wrote: Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.[11] Paul not only told us what to get rid of, but reminded us how to get rid of it by forgiving each other as in Christ God forgave us, which is another way of saying, “Love each other as I have loved you.”[12]

There is forgiveness for sins under the Covenant God has with Jesus Christ, but there is no provision for the forgiveness of wickedness and rebellion, and although God does forgive wickedness and rebellion as well, they are not covered by the blood of Jesus. Thus, in knowing what we do not forgive as well as what we do forgive, the decree of John 20:23: “If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven,” does not cover wickedness and rebellion.

For those who are disciples, the command from God is clear: “This is My Son, whom I love; with Him I am well pleased. Listen to Him!”[13] Anyone who does not listen to Jesus, yet says he follows Jesus, has sinned. This is what we forgive amongst ourselves: When we have not listened or practised the words of Jesus as we should, we are sinners, that is, we have disobeyed the commands, decrees and laws that we are under.

The rest of the world is under God’s Laws, but we are under Jesus’ Laws. The world sins against God’s Law and we sin against Jesus’ Law, that is the difference, and we have the authority to forgive sins that are committed under both systems of Law. For the words of Jesus are superior to the Law, for “until Heaven and Earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished,”[14] but not a word of Jesus will pass away even when Heaven and Earth disappear.[15] Thus, if you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven, means that that anyone can be from within or outside of the Kingdom of Jesus.

However, the wicked amongst us are those who forsake Jesus, that is, they no longer care for His welfare. They may be using the words of Jesus and even practising them, but the welfare of Jesus does not come before their own welfare. So they do what they do in order to ensure that they are blessed and that, when they die, Jesus will be waiting for them in Heaven. Those who have the welfare of Jesus in mind will fight to stay alive to keep preparing this Earth for His arrival, rather than preparing Heaven for their retirement.

Thus, you will see clearly the distinguishing between the holy and the unholy, the wicked and the righteous. We are to warn the wicked only, not forgive them. They have to turn from their own sins, for God said, “But if you do warn the wicked man and he does not turn from his wickedness or his evil ways, he will die for his sin; but you will have saved yourself. …and you do not warn him or speak out to dissuade him from his evil ways in order to save his life, that wicked man will die for his sin, and I will hold you accountable for his blood.”[16] And again God said, “But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet to warn the people and the sword comes and takes the life of one of them, that man will be taken away because of his sin, but I will hold the watchman accountable for his blood.”[17]

Thus we must preach and practise repentance both to those who are not yet in the Kingdom and those who are in the Kingdom. The lack of repentance means each dies for his or her own sins. And because we have not preached and practised forgiveness, we have sinned and forsaken the Covenant. So, many die even though because of their faith, they will live again. (John 11:25)

For you and me, we must openly preach repentance to those who sin under Moses’ Law and to those who sin under Jesus’ Law. For the Jews and Gentiles, we say, “Repent and believe in Jesus,” and to the Christians we say, “Repent and listen to Jesus;” and as we preach, we forgive. In this way, we do not sin against or forsake the Covenant for the Forgiveness of Sins, and then we might see one and ones amongst us who are those who live and believe in Jesus and never die.[18]

But as for the rebels, there is no forgiveness. God did not forgive Korah for his rebellion but opened the Earth to swallow him and his family alive.[19] So likewise, there is no forgiveness for the false prophet who will lead the rebellion, but he, like Korah, will be thrown alive into his fate.

Thus, as much as we forgive sins as we preach repentance, we must also learn to distinguish the wicked from the rebellious. The rebellious one, unlike the wicked, not only does not have Jesus’ welfare in mind, but he will usurp Jesus’ position, thus declaring himself to be ‘God’, and lead the armies of the Earth with the beast to fight Jesus on His arrival, so as to prevent Jesus taking up His throne. This he will seek to do by destroying the Mount of Olives so that Scripture might be broken. He, however, will not know which is the true Mount of Olives until the elect stand on it to protect it. So fear not, no one knows the true Mount of Olives except the Holy Spirit and those He makes it known to.

Thus, having now a better understanding of what sin is, and what wickedness and rebellion are, you can focus on the practice of forgiveness so that you might be able to see the power that is hidden in the Covenant, the power of forgiveness, and why the psalmist wrote: But with You there is forgiveness; therefore You are feared.[20]

For the wages of sin is death;[21] the sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the Law (of Moses).[22] So, the Covenant for the Forgiveness of Sins, which can only be entered into and sealed by the drinking of His blood, annuls the Law by cutting us off from God by the Law so that sin has no power over us through the Law. And once sin has no power, then death has lost its sting as Paul wrote: Where, O Death, is your sting?[23] A sting with no venom, no wages, is no sting, just a prick.

By forgiving sins, we do not receive the wages of sin, and sin has no power because the Law is fulfilled by He who commanded us to drink His blood. We are already cut off, because by the drinking of His blood, we are dead to the Law according to the Law. So the power of sin has no effect on us anymore… unless we give it new power and sin afresh against the Law of Jesus by not obeying the command to listen and to practise, to hold, and to keep His word.

When we forgive a sin we not only forgive the sin, but we deactivate its power and its effect, and death is prevented. Thus, the forgiveness of sins, like the forgiveness of a debt, allows a person to start afresh with what he has, and the process of death has stopped dragging him down, and when you stop dying, you can start living.

Practise what you preach and preach repentance and forgiveness in His Name. Amen


 

[1] Exodus 34:6-7

[2] Exodus 34:8

[3] Jeremiah 1:16

[4] Ezekiel 20:27

[5] Ezekiel 20:13

[6] 2 Thessalonians 2:3

[7] 1 Samuel 15:23

[8] Acts 8:9

[9] Acts 8:23

[10] Hebrews 12:15

[11] Ephesians 4:31-32

[12] John 15:12

[13] Matthew 17:5 (Mark 9:7; Luke 9:35)

[14] Matthew 5:18

[15] Luke 21:33

[16] Ezekiel 3:19,18

[17] Ezekiel 33:6

[18] John 11:26

[19] Numbers 16

[20] Psalm 130:4

[21] Romans 6:23

[22] 1 Corinthians 15:56

[23] 1 Corinthians 15:55

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