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“The Most High… is kind to the ungrateful and wicked.”[1] In His command to disciples to “love your enemies,”[2] Jesus defined two types of enemies. In Matthew 5, He said, “Love your enemies, (bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you) and pray for those who persecute you, and that the Father in Heaven causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.”[3] But in Luke 6, although the love of enemies is likewise, “those who hate you… curse you… mistreat you,”[4] Jesus spoke of the Father being “kind to the ungrateful and the wicked.”

There are two types of enemies: Those who are outside of the Kingdom who do not believe in Jesus and they are the ones who will resist the message of the Kingdom, and as such, they will oppose openly with persecution, curses and hatred. These are the evil and the unrighteous ones. They are present but they are not as dangerous as the second type of enemy, the ones who are within the Kingdom. These are ones who Jesus said are ungrateful and wicked.

To be ungrateful, you must have received something for which gratitude is demanded. Adam was not an enemy of God, but rather, he was formed by God’s own hands to be His Image. He was a member of God’s household and Kingdom, but Adam was ungrateful to God when Eve was given to him, for there was no word of thanks. When Jesus healed the ten lepers, nine of them were Jews and only one was a foreigner, for Jesus said, “Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?”[5] This meant that the nine who did not give thanks belonged to Israel to whom Jesus was sent. Therefore, the ungrateful tends to be members of the household, not foreigners. Ingratitude can only manifest if what you have asked for has been given to you, freely. These ten all said, “Jesus, Master, have pity on us!”[6] Jesus healed them without demanding a price or condition. They freely received what they asked for, even though their healing was going to cost Jesus dearly, for it was by His stripes that they were healed. Those ten lepers did not have to pay the price of their healing. Jesus paid it for them and gave it to them for free. The disfigurement of leprosy fell on Jesus as it were, as His skin and flesh were ripped away by the flogging.

As I have taught, the wicked are those who are of God’s own people who forsake Him. But, God is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked. So, what happens when God is kind? Paul wrote: God’s kindness leads you toward repentance.[7] As much as God would love to love a sinner to repentance, the truth is that no sinner repents until they are confronted with the fullness of their depravity. No one comes to Jesus in repentance when they are comfortable and assured of their own goodness and righteousness. Not a single one of the Pharisees repented, though some believed. Even Saul (Paul) only repented when he was struck blind. So then, understand what true kindness is, even as you now clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.[8]

Kindness that does not lead to repentance is not true kindness. Kindness that leads to repentance is true kindness, and when you consider the example of Israel that each time they prospered and were blessed, they forsook God, and each time they were harassed by external enemies, they repented. Then, if God were to lead the ungrateful to repentance by being kind to them as well as to the wicked, you can be assured that they will not receive the peace and comfort they crave, but rather they will be faced with problems, and all that by God’s permission that they may repent.

So, the ungrateful and the wicked are not sinners who are coming into the Kingdom for the first time in their lives because of the preaching of the Gospel, but rather, they have come into the Kingdom and have sampled the ways of the Kingdom and have decided that the way of the Kingdom of God is not good enough for them. They are like the Israelites who complained of having no meat to eat, but only the manna, and were pining for the garlic and melons of Egypt. You see, the Kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit,[9] and not a matter of talk but of power.[10]

So not only will you face persecution, curses and hatred from those who are evil and unrighteous who are in the world, but you will be hated, cursed and persecuted by those who are ungrateful and wicked within the Kingdom. The ungrateful are those who, having been blessed by God, do not give thanks. And the wicked are those who may appear to be grateful with their thanksgiving, but in fact, do not have in mind the things of God, and so their thinking leads them away from the plans that God has for Himself. They may be constantly praising God and thanking Him for the answers to their prayers, but in their hearts, it is their agenda that sits on the throne, not God’s agenda. Now, we cannot proceed against the outside until we have brought repentance to the household, and that by God’s kindness.

As for those ten lepers; before they were healed, you could not tell who would be ungrateful. Even Jesus appeared surprised when He asked, “Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine?” It is not that Jesus did not know who would be ungrateful, for He knows all men’s thoughts. But rather, He is teaching us that unless you can read the thoughts of men’s hearts, you will not know who the grateful ones are and who the ungrateful ones are until you give them what they ask for.

Thus, the dispensation of healing and other blessings is to separate the grateful from the ungrateful. Only to the grateful did Jesus say, “Rise and go; your faith has made you well.”[11] The faith of the grateful makes them well and the faith of the ungrateful will make them unwell. All ten had faith to call out to Jesus. One was grateful, and Jesus said his faith made him well. The other nine were ungrateful, but although they were healed of leprosy, which meant they could return to society, their faith would only lead them to even more trouble. It is to say, the rest of their life would lead them to things worse than leprosy. So, do not be surprised that after people have been prayed for, they are ungrateful for the ministry after you have shared what you have received freely as well as what has cost you, and even after they are healed, they are still ungrateful. God is merely using you to dispense His treasures to the needy to separate the grateful from the ungrateful.

And those who are ungrateful will experience their faith making them unwell in the days to come. For their faith in Jesus will also unleash the days of distress that Jesus promised, but for them, the days of distress are truly days of distress that will cause them to regret they ever believed in the first place, so that their hearts will be laid bare. And if we do not watch ourselves, we will join them.

Those who are grateful will, by their faith, keep themselves well in the days of distress ahead, just like Noah was kept well in the ark. Do not forget, Noah also lost his house and his world, but he kept his life to gain the whole world.

As for the wicked, they are not only the ones who forsake God openly, for Peter did not forsake Jesus openly. Rather, he opened his mouth and spoke what was on his mind when he rebuked Jesus, saying, “Never, Lord! This shall never happen to You!”[12] Peter said this in total ignorance, yet Jesus called him, “Satan!” and said, “You are a stumbling block to Me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men.”[13] If Peter was reduced to the status of the evil one by not having the things of God in his mind out of ignorance, then where do those who have received the entire written counsel of God and claim to be preachers of His word, but yet do not have in mind the things of God, stand?

For what is foremost in the mind of God? It is that the good news be preached: Repentance and forgiveness in His Name so that all may repent and receive forgiveness and not perish through the Name of Jesus and that through the disciples, the power would flow as a testimony, with the sick being healed and demons driven out. A process that would renew itself and be perpetuated until Jesus arrived, so that Jesus would arrive to the praises and cheers of a world grateful for His Holy Spirit and His church to the glory of God.

Is this what has happened? No, the power was lost except for a few. Although the church suffered persecution and martyrs bravely held onto the truth, the loss of the power meant that the church did not make disciples, but they made martyrs. You might say, “But Jesus said, ‘Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of Me.’[14] Yes, many would die as Jesus promised, but we forget Jesus gave us the power to raise the dead as He did. The loss of the power meant that the martyrs stayed dead. Paul raised the one who fell asleep during his preaching, and despite being stoned and flogged, Paul himself remained alive. He was put to death many times, but he lived. So too, tradition speaks of John the Beloved.

This power was not meant to be kept only to the apostles, for Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in Me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these…”[15] If the church retained the power, would not the mouths of lions in the arena have been shut? You might say, “But God didn’t shut their mouths as He did for Daniel.” Except that you forget Jesus said, “And they will do greater things than these.” The Lord did not raise up the church so that there would be a multitude of people asking God to do things for them, but He raised up the church so that there would be a multitude of people doing things for God, using God’s methods, not men’s.

But, from the beginning we forsook the Lord’s agenda and turned to our agendas, such as, restoring the Kingdom to Israel, keeping the Jews happy, holding onto the traditions of Moses, and so the pattern repeated itself. The Name of the Lord was used to restore the earthly kingdom we pledged allegiance to, beginning with Constantine who sought God’s help to win the civil war of Rome to all the European nations who used the Lord’s Name to justify their empires. At least Attila the Hun did not use the preaching of the Gospel to hide his blood lust and greed. And the religion was about keeping the important people happy and holding onto traditions.

So what was exported with the Gospel were also the political, imperial and social agendas of the individuals of the nations who claimed themselves to be Christians. Instead of miraculous powers that healed the sick, drove out demons, caused the blind to see, and fed the hungry, what came with the Gospel was men’s power to maim, kill, make ill, steal, enslave, and destroy, worse than any demon. All this was justified so that the mother church would be glorified. And all the while, the wicked was giving thanks to God with loud voices in their palaces of worship as they prepared themselves to be handsomely received by Christ when they died. Few were able to withstand this headlong rush into the wickedness of self-glorification. Those who saw through it could only suffer those days, for the power was gone from the people.

The Holy Spirit did what He could, but He was constrained, for Jesus did not send Him to do the miracles or the healings unless His Gospel was preached, but rather, He was sent to give us the power to testify. The Lord would testify, and He does, but the plan of the Lord for His church was lost.

Just as the Jews of John 8 could not face the truth about themselves, so, many who are Christians cannot face the truth about the church. And it is this: The church is responsible for the mess we are in now.

When Jesus said, “Nations will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places, and famines,”[16] He was showing the disciples the opportunity afforded for the church to testify about Him with the power they would receive and keep.

Jesus did not unleash the wars, earthquakes and famines to torment the world without leaving behind the power for the church to take care of these problems. Nations were warring, and earthquakes and famines were already happening before Jesus said these words, so Jesus did not unleash these things. Men and sin did. But what Jesus did was to set up the church with the power to save the world and all who lived in it from them. But what have we done?

So then, do not blame the atheists and those who do not believe in Jesus, but we should look at ourselves and repent. It is time for the church to repent to God and apologise to the world, for we did not keep to God’s agenda but replaced it with our own agenda. We were ungrateful for what we were given – God’s agenda – and we were wicked, we forsook His agenda.

So, you will know the difference between the grateful and the ungrateful, the wicked and those who do not forsake God in the days to come, as by His kindness, God leads them to repentance His way.

Since, those who called themselves Christians did not see it fit to seek and keep God’s power for the healing of the sick and to supply food to this world, to deliver them from days of distress, so then the Lord will add to them what they have given out—distress upon distress. And so He is raising up witnesses. But this time, they will not be witnesses who heal the sick, drive out demons and raise the dead or change water to good wine, but they will be witnesses who shut up the sky so that it will not rain during the time they are prophesying; and they have power to turn the waters into blood and to strike the Earth with every kind of plague as often as they want.[17] For God is about to bring the great prostitute to judgement and pay her back double, and in His kindness to the ungrateful and the wicked, He will “Pay her back double for what she has done.”[18]

So, the truth that we now know because we have held onto His teachings,[19] the truth that sets us free, is that it is our fault that the days of distress are being unleashed, but in His kindness, God has restored to us the power to live through it and to help all who are grateful and not wicked to live through it too, so that by the time He arrives, only the meek will be left to greet Him. [20] Amen


 

[1] Luke 6:36

[2] Luke 6:35; Matthew 5:44

[3] Matthew 5:44-45

[4] Luke 6:27-28

[5] Luke 17:17-18

[6] Luke 17:13

[7] Romans 2:4

[8] Colossians 3:12

[9] Romans 14:17

[10] 1 Corinthians 4:20

[11] Luke 17:19

[12] Matthew 16:22

[13] Matthew 16:23

[14] Matthew 24:9

[15] John 14:12

[16] Mark 13:8

[17] Revelation 11:6

[18] Revelation 18:6

[19] John 8:31

[20] Matthew 5:5

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