RSS feed

Download the pdf file

 

“The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in His Name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.”[1]

We know from the record of the Acts of the apostles, as penned by Luke, that repentance and forgiveness of sins were preached in chapter 2 by Peter. However, it is one thing to preach, and another to practise it yourself. For it is written: When they saw Him, they worshipped Him; but some doubted.

Shortly after the Resurrection, when Mary first told them that Jesus had risen from the grave, Mark recorded for us that twice, when Mary told them and when the two from Emmaus told them, the disciples did not believe. Later Jesus appeared to the eleven as they were eating; He rebuked them for their lack of faith and their stubborn refusal to believe those who had seen Him after He had risen.[2]

Unfortunately there is no record that there was repentance for their lack of faith or stubborn refusal to listen, just as there is no record that they repented for not listening to Jesus when He told them to go immediately to Bethsaida, but instead went later to Capernaum. Did they repent, or didn’t they? We do not know by the records. However, we do know to a degree by their subsequent actions.

The problem isn’t that they did not preach the Gospel themselves or work to build up the church, even if initially they thought the church was God’s instrument for glorifying Israel and delivering them from the Roman Empire. The problem is that we failed to see the real purpose of the ministry of Jesus. As much as God so loved the world that Jesus was sent to save the world so that whosoever believes would be saved, the real reason Jesus spent three years with His disciples and with Israel was to reveal to Israel the Father. As I have said before, they had already come to know God Almighty through the preaching of Moses, but they did not come to know the Father.

Jesus said, “All things have been committed to Me by My Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal Him.”[3] As such, listening to Moses will never get you to know about the Father, in fact, no prophet before or after Jesus can help those who listen to them or follow them, come to know God the Father. Indeed, it is not for Christians to come to just know God as “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.”[4]

This confession and declaration of the nature and person of God is not unique to the Hebrews. Indeed, prophets who came from God proclaimed this same message, even after Jesus had left this Earth, for 500 years. Let Moses and those who follow Moses proclaim God to the world. Whereas, if we had listened and obeyed what God commanded the disciples – rather, the apostles – on the Mount of Transfiguration, we would have seen that through Jesus, God was revealing Himself as the Father, for God spoke from the cloud as He did to Moses and said, “This is My Son, whom I love; with Him I am well pleased. Listen to Him!”[5] God made no such commendations of Moses before Israel, for He merely said to Moses, “I am going to come to you in a dense cloud, so that the people will hear Me speaking with you and will always put their trust in you.”[6] However, when God did speak to Moses in front of the people, He made no commendations of Moses at all.

It was three apostles on the Mount of Transfiguration the first time, and it was to be the eleven and the replacement of Judas at the second time, with sundry disciples. The church that is founded on the foundation of the apostles and prophets is to show the world that God Almighty is the Father who has a Son, an only begotten Son, whom He loves. Israel, through the prophets, was to show that God Almighty lives and that He is more powerful than any of the gods of Egypt and all the other nations. When we, the church, fail to listen and do our part, to show the Father who was revealed by Jesus to the world, we have failed. This is our failure, the failure of our religion that carries on with the work of Moses, and preaches God Almighty in the Name of Jesus, rather than repentance and forgiveness of sins in Jesus’ Name, because God is the Father.

When you, as Moses was told to do, reveal God to your listeners as God Almighty, you can only give them a set or rules and regulations that they have to obey to be blessed and would be punished if they disobeyed. That is why every religion that claims to reveal God Almighty to their believers, gives them a set of laws to follow as a people. However, Jesus, in revealing the Father to His listeners, did not give them a set of laws that they had to obey by their own power and might, but gave them the Helper and the power that ensured all who listened to Him would be able to fulfil His words and come to know the Father, as He knows the Father. And since the Helper and the power are both gifts, then there is nothing to boast about before men, for as all know, no one chooses to be born a son of a particular family, but rather, he finds himself being in that family as if by chance and not by his choice. So likewise, no one can come to Jesus unless the Father draws them, for Jesus said, “No one can come to Me unless the Father has enabled him,”[7] as the Jewish disciples left him because they could not stand the teaching of eating His flesh and drinking His blood.

But was the eating of flesh and drinking of blood, human flesh and blood, really so foreign to the Jews? In the time of the kings, whenever Israel sinned and forsook God, they were often placed under siege to the point that women would save their afterbirth to eat, and even ate their own children, as it is recorded: “This woman said to me, ‘Give up your son so we may eat him today and tomorrow we’ll eat my son.’ So we cooked my son and ate him. The next day I said to her, ‘Give up your son so we may eat him,’ but she had hidden him.”[8]

When Jesus said, “Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you,”[9] He was – if you can receive this, receive it – showing us how desperate the battle is for salvation. But more than that, He was showing us the love of the Father for His children that He would sacrifice His Firstborn so that the ones yet unborn would have life, and He was showing us the love and obedience of the Son to the Father, who’d sacrifice Himself to obey the Father so that brothers and sisters not yet born might live. Now compare this to the two women of 2 Kings 6:28-29, both of whom were prepared to kill their own children so that they could have a full stomach for a day, for one said to the other, “Give me your son so we may eat him today and tomorrow we will eat my son.”

The Father’s love for His children, God the Father’s love for His children, exceeds the love that even a mother has for her child. Do not feel insulted women, this is not a slur against mothers, but rather to show you how much higher, greater and deeper is God’s love for His children as a Father, and how much Jesus’ love is for His brothers and sisters. And although we do not physically eat His flesh, the sacrifice was very, very physical. Christ died for us to save the world and to reveal the Father to those whom the Father has chosen for Him as brothers, sisters and mothers.

So, there is no boasting as to who are brothers, sisters and mothers of Christ. For it is God who draws them, but yet, it is also God who searches the hearts of men, who without knowing God the Father, would honour their father and mother in the land God has given them, men and women who honour their father’s faith, values and traditions. But regarding religious men who are keen to break the word of God so that they may appear holy and righteous, and who do not understand what honouring your father and mother means to God, Jesus said this: “And why do you break the command of God for the sake of your tradition? For God said, ‘Honour your father and mother’ and ‘Anyone who curses his father or mother must be put to death.’ But you say that if a man says to his father or mother, ‘Whatever help you might otherwise have received from me is a gift devoted to God,’ he is not to ‘honour his father’ with it. Thus you nullify the word of God for the sake of your tradition. You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you: ‘These people honour Me with their lips, but their hearts are far from Me. They worship Me in vain; their teachings are but rules taught by men.’”[10]

But the church, the disciples and the apostles, who did not remember what they saw and heard, believe what they were told, and do what they were commanded, cannot reveal the Father in His glory. For prophets reveal the will of God Almighty to the people, but it is the apostles who reveal the Father. Apostles are chosen by God for Jesus, and to them, Jesus made known the Father, as He knows the Father, for Jesus said to the eleven, “I am the Way and the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. If you really knew Me, you would know My Father as well. From now on, you do know Him and have seen Him.”[11] And the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Sonship,[12] in His work of reminding us of the things that Jesus has said,[13] seeks above all else to make known to us the knowledge of the Father that belongs to Jesus, as Jesus said, “He will bring glory to Me by taking from what is Mine and making it known to you.”[14]

This is why Jesus is not the prophet, but rather, as it is written: Therefore, holy brothers, who share in the Heavenly calling, fix your thought on Jesus, the Apostle and High Priest whom we confess. He was faithful to the One who appointed Him, just as Moses was faithful in all God’s house. Jesus has been found worthy of greater honour than Moses, just as the builder of a house has greater honour than the house itself. Moses was faithful as a servant in all God’s house, testifying to what would be said in the future. But Christ is faithful as a Son over God’s house.[15] That is the stark difference between Moses and Jesus. Moses the prophet, the greatest of all prophets before and after him, is a servant, a faithful servant. But Jesus is more than a servant, He is the Son.

So, the church that only reveals God Almighty to the world has dishonoured Christ, but honoured Moses. For the Jews, honouring Moses was easier than honouring Christ because they had seen God speak to Moses from a dense cloud. However, when Peter, James and John forgot, yes, forgot, that resurrection morning to tell the others what they had seen on the Mount of Transfiguration,[16] it made it hard for them to believe in Jesus more than they could Moses. And because all the disciples had (after they missed what was planned originally) was their message, testimony and miracles, the Jews in Jerusalem were unconvinced, and even as they confessed Christ, they remained zealous for the Law of Moses. They were more zealous for the work of a servant than they were for the work of the Son.

The voice from the cloud, the transfiguration of Jesus, was to show those three disciples how much greater Jesus is, for although God spoke to Moses from a dense cloud, Moses was not transfigured. Although angels spoke to Abraham, Jacob, and Elijah, as well as Zechariah, none of them were transfigured before men. Jesus alone was.

Because we were distracted from our main message, as disciples and apostles of Christ, to show the world the Father whom Jesus showed us, but preached God Almighty as Moses preached with Jesus tagged on as a sin offering, the Holy Spirit could not and would not continue to do miracles amongst us. And since we refused to be witnesses of Christ as He intended, that He is the Son who came to show us the Father, the Holy Spirit stopped testifying with us and the power was withdrawn. Indeed, even when the eleven did have the power, they never really fulfilled what Jesus said in John 14:12: “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, because I am going to the Father.”

So the dead were raised, the sick and crippled healed, and demons were driven out; but no food was multiplied—no food was multiplied. In Acts 6, it was over the distribution of food that they chose the seven – food that had been purchased by monies donated.[17] All very good, yes, but not marvellous. Had the distribution of food in Acts 6 been the result of multiplication of food, I’d doubt that the Grecian Jews would have complained so loudly, so that the seven were appointed, including Nicolas from Antioch, a convert to Judaism.[18] As Jesus said, “Do you still not understand?”[19] when He was talking to the disciples regarding their concern about food.

Not until, not unless, we repent – and forgive – of our ignorance of the Father, even though Jesus has come and has shown us the Father clearly, will we be entrusted with the power to witness for Him as we desire. For the Holy Spirit is not raising up prophets with power to call fire down from Heaven, as prophets can only reveal God Almighty, but raising up apostles who are themselves… sons. In Paul’s days, there were many apostles, even what Paul called, ‘super apostles’.[20] They would truly be super apostles if they were able to reveal the Father as well as Jesus did.

Thus, your discipleship, and for some of you, your apostleship, is not a matter of eating, drinking or talking, nor about joy and peace, not even of fellowship with the Holy Spirit and of power. It is not a matter of revealing the Kingdom of God only, but rather, it is about revealing the Father whom Jesus revealed to us. This is what the Holy Spirit is waiting for; not super apostles or powerful prophets or anointed evangelists, but sons and daughters of God who are brothers and sisters of Christ, who are jealous for the reputation of the Father, not just their God and the reputation of the Brother who is just their Messiah or the Christ. If you and I can become, and raise up others who are willing to be sons and daughters of God, brothers and sisters of Jesus who would reveal the Father as revealed by Jesus, then the Holy Spirit will entrust over to us the power He has to shorten these days, and the Lord can arrive.

Thus, the repentance and forgiveness we must preach in His Name is not the repentance and forgiveness preached by any other name. For many will come in His Name, saying, “I am He,”[21] as Jesus warned us of false christs,[22] and if there are false christs, there should be no surprise that there are false apostles and false prophets. Any christ, that is messiah, apostle or prophet, can preach and reveal God Almighty whom they claim has sent them, but only Jesus Christ can reveal the Father. And only His apostles and prophets know that they are to also reveal the Father, so that the repentance and forgiveness they preach and practise is the repentance of a prodigal son receiving the forgiveness of a loving Father, no, not just a loving Father, but a Father who is Love.

For John revealed to us, ‘God is Love,’ but Jesus revealed to us His Father is Love. So, let us finish the work, acknowledge our shortcomings and failings openly, cast aside everything, every tradition, every theology and doctrine that does not reveal the Father. Leave the revelation of God Almighty to those who are servants who hold on to the teachings of Moses, even if they have plagiarised them and adulterated them like the Judeaizers. Make every effort to enter through the Narrow Door to come into the sanctuary of our Father where He sits, watching, waiting, hoping and praying that His sons and daughters will all come to know Him, to understand Him and to love Him as Jesus does.

So, if we are to preach repentance and forgiveness in His Name, amen. Let us preach it as ones preaching to brothers and sisters who have sinned against their Father. If we are to preach it, then we are to practise, practise repentance and forgiveness of sins, as ones who are repenting to a Father who loves us and who is worthy to be loved, and forgiving one another as brothers and sisters who are sons and daughters of a loving Father. If we rebuke, we rebuke because the Father loves the one who is being rebuked. If we discipline, we discipline because the Father loves the one who is being disciplined. And if we ever presume to strike, remember, we are striking the son or daughter as one loved by the Father. So let love restrain us, love of the Father. Yet let zeal for our Father’s house also consume us so that we are not slow in taking to the whip to clear thieves out of our Father’s house and dogs away from our Brother’s work.

For the Lord Himself was transfigured on the Mountain. His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became as white as the light.[23] Then did the voice from the dense cloud come and say, “This is My Son, whom I love; with Him I am well pleased. Listen to Him!”

Let us prepare for our day of transfiguration, that we too may be more than good and faithful servants, but well pleasing sons and daughters. For the creation waits in eager expectation for sons of God to be revealed.[24] Repent and forgive, for you have a Father who is in Heaven, hallowed be His Name. AMEN


 

[1] Luke 24:46

[2] Mark 16:11-14

[3] Matthew 11:27

[4] Exodus 34:6-7

[5] Matthew 17:5

[6] Exodus 19:9

[7] John 6:65

[8] 2 Kings 6:28-29

[9] John 6:53

[10] Matthew 15:3-9

[11] John 14:6-7

[12] Romans 8:15

[13] John 14:26

[14] John 16:14

[15] Hebrews 3:1-3, 5-6

[16] Matthew 17:9; Mark 9:9

[17] Acts 4:34-35

[18] Acts 6:1-5

[19] Matthew 16:9; Mark 8:21

[20] 2 Corinthians 11:5; 12:11

[21] Mark 13:6; Luke 21:8

[22] Matthew 24:24; Mark 13:22

[23] Matthew 17:2

[24] Romans 8:19

|


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