RSS feed

Download the pdf file

 

“I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see.”[1]

Forget for one moment that this refers to the Laodicean church, but apply it to yourself as if Jesus was speaking to you, one on one. What would He mean by “your shameful nakedness”? Certainly He was not talking about nudity or a lack of physical clothes, for God walked with Adam and Adam was naked, but God never said to Adam, “Cover your shameful nakedness.” Indeed, if you remember, it was Adam who covered his nakedness.

So, Jesus was not speaking about physical clothing or nudity, but spiritual nakedness. And what nakedness might that be? Now, this is not a verse for the unsaved, pagans, heathens or Satanists, but a rebuke directed by Jesus to His own— a church. Shame comes when there is dishonour, and the only command that demands honour is the fifth commandment. “Honour your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you.”[2] So that the only place of dishonour in the ten commandments of God to Israel, is when they failed to honour their father and mother. Shame comes when the children do not honour their parents, according to the Lord. Shame does not come because of failure; not even from sin sometimes. Shame – dishonour – is specifically linked to the honouring of father and mother, and so in the case of you and I, shameful nakedness is linked to one failure – one sin – the failure to honour the Father.

The Father said to Samuel, “Those who honour Me, I will honour.”[3] Jesus came to honour the Father, saying, “I honour My Father and you dishonour Me.”[4] “He who does not honour the Son does not honour the Father, who sent Him.”[5] If there is anything that we can all do, we who profess to have faith in Jesus, it is to also honour the Father. Indeed, when Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in Me will do what I have been doing. Even greater things than these…”[6] The honouring of the Father by any believer fulfils John 14:12, both for the things He has done and the greater things, for Jesus has seen the Father, He knows the Father and He was at the Father’s side as He is now. So when we, who have not seen the Father much less know Him, except through the words of Jesus, honour the Father or attempt to honour the Father, we have in fact done the greater thing. Jesus said, “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”[7] We have not seen the Father as Jesus does, yet if we honour the Father as Jesus honoured the Father, then we have done a greater thing.

Thus, anyone who calls himself a member of the church, yet does not honour the Father, has clothed himself in shame, and is indeed naked. Daniel spoke of Israel being covered in shame, but in God’s eyes, shame from our point of view is nakedness. Israel’s shame was not because they sinned against God, or forsook God, or rebelled against God, as much as they did not honour God. Yet you may ask, “But isn’t sinning, forsaking or rebelling against God already dishonouring God?” Yes; however, this is one inescapable truth about all who serve God, whether in Israel or in the church. At one point in our lives, we will sin against God, we can forsake God and we can rebel against God. God chose David knowing David would sin against Him. God chose Solomon knowing Solomon would forsake Him. God chose Jeroboam knowing Jeroboam would rebel against Him. These three kings were all chosen by God. They did not make themselves king as some kings do, but each was anointed by a prophet of God with the oil from the horn. Even Jeroboam, for Ahijah was the prophet who delivered this message: “See, I am going to tear the kingdom out of Solomon’s hand and give you ten tribes.”[8]

As such, dishonouring God isn’t just sinning, forsaking and rebelling against God. David sinned, but David repented. The failure of Solomon and Jeroboam to repent was the greatest dishonour to God, for God wants to be known as God who forgives. In fact, His glory and His fame lie in this one truth: God forgives—even sin, wickedness and rebellion. And the refusal to repent and acknowledge sin, wickedness and rebellion is the greatest dishonour we bring to God. The Holy Spirit seeks to help us to honour God by convicting us with regards to righteousness, sin and judgement,[9] so that we might not only repent, but ask for forgiveness. For when we ask for forgiveness, we honour God for the very reason that He is feared. Jesus established the Covenant for the Forgiveness of Sins so that the Father would be honoured, not as God Almighty, but rather as God, All-Forgiving. Thus, when we do not forgive others, we break the Covenant, and that is when we have broken faith with God. It is not that we stopped believing God, no; breaking faith with God is not when a person stops believing in God. Breaking faith with God is when the person breaks the work established by Jesus’ faith—the Covenant for the Forgiveness of Sins. So, whenever we do not forgive, we have broken faith with God, for we have broken the work of Jesus’ faith-fullness. Thus, the shameful nakedness that Jesus spoke of in Revelation 3:18 is the shame that comes on us when we do not honour God and we are naked, as Adam was naked, because we did not allow God to forgive.

A Laodicean Christian is one who is, as Jesus said, “I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of My mouth. You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked.”[10] Often, and correctly so, it is thought this refers to the church that is rich in the worldly sense and is confident of its stand before God because it is so blessed with worldly wealth. However, for you and I, the riches, the wealth, and the sense of self-sufficiency, also applies to spiritual realms, and as such, we must be aware that although we are blessed with the riches of revelations and teachings, with a wealth of spiritual experiences, especially when we are at full power, we may become complacent because we are self-sufficient. If at anytime we fail to honour the Father, not only in obeying Him, nor forsaking Him or rebelling against Him, but when we fail to honour the Father in not allowing Him to forgive those who have sinned and rebelled against Him, we have dishonoured Him. And if we dishonour Him, we are shamefully naked.

The fifth commandment is repeatedly mentioned in the Gospels (5 times).[11] In fact, when Jesus said to the Pharisees, “You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to the traditions of men,”[12] the only command He mentioned they did let go of was, “Honour your father and your mother.”[13] Thus, dishonour in Jesus’ eyes, and therefore, shame in His eyes, is when we dishonour our Father. And who is the Father of all disciples? Is it not God the Father, for when Jesus taught the disciples to pray, He taught us to pray this way: “Our Father in Heaven,”[14] and, “Father, hallowed be Your Name.”[15]

Look at the way the Lord honoured His Father… even though He was naked except for a loin cloth upon the cross, so naked that His skin was stripped away and His raw flesh was hanging out, so clothed in shame was our Lord, as it were, for He was hanging on a tree, which was a fate of all who are cursed.[16] But was He naked? Was He clothed in shame? Not at all; for He was there to honour His Father, not just to obey the Father.

See the words used by Jesus in these three cries from the cross:

· “Father, forgive them for they do not know what they are doing.”[17]

· “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”[18]

· “Father, into Your hands I commit My spirit!”[19]

He gave the privilege of forgiving those who crucified Him to God. Instead of saying, “I forgive them, Father, for they do not know what they are doing,” He said, “Father, forgive them…” Jesus gave the joy and the pleasure, no, the honour and the glory of the first use of the Covenant for the Forgiveness of Sins to His Father, even though it was Jesus who was sinned against, not the Father.

And when He was forsaken, Jesus did not dishonour the Father by saying, “My Father, My Father, why have You forsaken Me?” But rather, He said, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” God may forsake you, but the Father will never forsake you. That is the glory and the honour of the Father. This is where the Father seeks His glory. Remember Jesus said, “I honour My Father and you dishonour Me. I am not seeking glory for Myself; but there is One who seeks it, and He is the Judge.”[20] The glory God is seeking for Himself is the glory of the Father who NEVER, never, ever forsakes His children. And as such, the Father is always at work, at work in bringing all to repentance and none to perish. But as God, even Jesus experienced the forsaking of Himself as One who obeyed God, yet was forsaken, but refused to say, “My Father, My Father, why have You forsaken Me?”

And finally, when Jesus was to make a final commitment of all that He had as a last effort, He said, Father, into Your hands I commit My spirit!” He did not commit His spirit to God, but He committed His spirit to the Father.

Thus, you will see the difference “between those who serve God and those who do not.”[21] And amongst those who serve God, you will learn the difference between those who honour God and those who do not honour God. For many serve God wholeheartedly, and they are good servants, but it is the servants who honour God who are sons, for Jesus the Son came as the Servant of God to honour the Father. Those who serve God, serve God; but those who honour God serve Him as a son serves his Father, not for wages, not for reward, nor for inheritance, but for the fame and face of the Father. The term ‘face’ is foreign to westerners, but to easterners fame and face are the same. Honour and face carry the same meaning; for the face of a man, the face of a person, exudes his inner joy and wellbeing, as to whether he is enjoying honour or shame. Have you ever seen a shamed person’s face shine with pleasure and joy? Is it not the face of those who are being honoured that shines with a smile and joy?

As such, to be as hot for the Lord as you can be is not to serve God with all your heart, soul, might and mind, but to serve the Father with all your heart, soul, might and mind. It is when a person is found serving God as he would serve his father, that Jesus is truly honoured. For Jesus said, “No one comes to the Father except through Me.”[22] Thus, anyone who believes in Jesus and says that they listen to Him, has not really listened unless they themselves have come to the place where God is not only God, but God is their Father. It is these believers and disciples who come to God as God the Father, who have truly honoured Jesus. Jesus came to show us the Father. He did not come to show us God; Moses did that. God showed Himself as God Almighty, compassionate, gracious, slow to anger and forgiving to Moses and through Moses. But through Jesus, God revealed the Father. For, as much as the commands of God to Israel reveal the nature of God, the commands of Jesus – the Laws of Jesus – reveal the nature and heart of God the Father.

God, the loving, forgiving, gracious Father, who never forsook His Son and into whose hands, any son can commit his spirit, is what the Laws of Christ would reveal. All the teachings of Christ are not about revealing who Jesus is, as much as revealing who the Father is. “Anyone who has seen Me has seen the Father,”[23] for, “Whatever the Father does, the Son also does.”[24] And, “Everything that I learned from My Father I have made known to you.”[25]

So, what did we miss out on that morning? What did we miss out on those forty days up that mountain with Jesus? Just as the seventy elders went up the mountain and beheld God from a distance in Exodus, that morning, those forty days, had we, the disciples, remembered what we had seen, believed what we heard and obeyed what we were told, we would have beheld the Father Himself in all His glory, and seen Him as Jesus saw Him.

Jesus prayed, “Father, I want those You have given Me to be with Me where I am, and to see My glory, the glory You have given Me because You loved Me before the creation of the world.”[26] The glory that Jesus has is the glory of a Son who has a Father who never forsakes Him, the glory of having a Father like God the Father, and that same glory He wants us to see. And the glory that the Father gave Jesus is the glory of the Father who never forsakes His Son. This is the glory that was given to us in John 17:22-23 when Jesus said, “I have given them the glory that You gave Me.”

It is when you and I, all, see God for the Father He is and choose to serve and glorify Him like Jesus glorified the Father that oneness is made inseparably perfect. On that mountain, we would have beheld the glory of the Son who has a Father who never forsakes Him, a Father into whose hands He could commit all things, even His spirit. We disciples would not have walked down that mountain as a church or as a nation, but as a family. Sons and daughters of a Father who would never forsake them, and as sons and daughters who know they have a Father who loves them and never forsakes them, and had loved them, even before He created us. The complete Good News would not have been, “For God so loved the world…” but rather, “For God, who is our Father, so loved the world…” from our witness and our testimony.

It is when we do not honour the Father – when we do not honour God as God the Father – that we are exposed and shamefully naked. If our knowledge of God is only that of God as God Almighty, then we are saying that Jesus lied, and we have not come to the Father through Him, but He is merely another man trying to show us the way to God.

However, if our knowledge of God is of God the Father, the Father who deserves all love and honour from His children because He is the good Father, then we have testified that we have come to the Father through Jesus, and Jesus has not lied. It is no wonder that Jesus commanded us to call no one else, “Father” except God, and that we only have one Father. “And do not call anyone on Earth ‘father,’ for you have one Father, and He is in Heaven. Nor are you to be called ‘teacher,’ for you have one Teacher, the Christ.”[27]

So then, no one can show us the Father except Jesus, and when we can show that God is the good Father, the only good Father, not the good God, then we have honoured Jesus, and in honouring Jesus, we will be honoured, for Jesus said, “My Father will honour the one who serves Me.”[28] Then how much more will He honour the one who honours Jesus and show the world that indeed, Jesus has revealed the Father to him or her.

Thus, the gold that Jesus has counselled us to buy from Him is the knowledge, the precious knowledge that He alone has of God who is His Father, the Father who forgives. That is why He is to be feared, and the Father who never forsakes us, and the Father we can commit our entire being to.

But those who trust in their riches, wealth and self-sufficiency are those whose only knowledge about God is God who is God Almighty, who gives them the power and ability to create, acquire and produce wealth so that they may be rich and self-sufficient – the God who blesses, the God who answers prayer, the God who punishes and judges, the God who created.

But the Father— they never knew. And in only knowing of God Almighty, even though they professed Jesus, they brought shame to themselves, for they made Christ out to be a liar.

So they were blind without seeing it;

Naked without knowing it;

Pitiful for they were fatherless;

Wretched as orphans;

And poor— for they had no inheritance.

What we need to recover is to see the glory of the Son, the glory He had before the world was created, the glory of the Son who has a Father who loves Him and never forsakes Him. Then will we wipe the shame away from us and cover our nakedness—for we will find that we do have a Father who is in Heaven; hallowed be His Name, and bring His Kingdom come. Amen


 

[1] Revelation 3:18

[2] Exodus 20:12

[3] 1 Samuel 2:30

[4] John 8:49

[5] John 5:23

[6] John 14:12

[7] John 20:29

[8] 1 Kings 11:31

[9] John 16:8

[10] Revelation 3:15-17

[11] Matthew 14:4; 19:19; Mark 7:10; 14:19; Luke 18:20

[12] Mark 7:8

[13] Mark 7:10

[14] Matthew 6:9

[15] Luke 11:2

[16] Deuteronomy 21:22-23

[17] Luke 23:34

[18] Matthew 27:46; Mark 15:34

[19] Luke 23:46

[20] John 8:49-50

[21] Malachi 3:18

[22] John 14:6

[23] John 14:9

[24] John 5:19

[25] John 15:15

[26] John 17:24

[27] Matthew 23:9-10

[28] John 12:26

|


Notice: Use of undefined constant user_level - assumed 'user_level' in /home/holyspiritsworks/public_html/wordpress/wp-content/plugins/ultimate_ga.php on line 524

Notice: Use of undefined constant user_level - assumed 'user_level' in /home/holyspiritsworks/public_html/wordpress/wp-content/plugins/ultimate_ga.php on line 524