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Primary II

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Therefore let us… go on to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts [Or useless rituals] that lead to death,   …go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works.

Our brother Paul’s gospel to the Gentiles is summed up by what he wrote to us:  “We who are Jews by birth and not ‘Gentile sinners’ know that a man is not justified by observing the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ.  So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by observing the law, because by observing the law no one will be justified.”

Thus we do not take on the Law of Moses but our Law, which comes from the Father who has testified concerning Jesus, “This is My Son whom I love, with Him I am well pleased.  Listen to Him!”  As such, if we do not listen to Jesus, we have disobeyed the Father, and indeed have disbelieved His testimony.  Anyone who does not believe that Jesus is the Son of God, has not disbelieved Jesus or us, but has disbelieved God the Father.  Therefore, anyone who does not believe Jesus is the Son of God, has rejected God’s testimony about Jesus, and in truth, has called God a liar.  There are many prophets, but only ONE SON.  So we do not go back to having anything to do with dead works, works that give no life and no justification.  Not for us, the practice and observation of the requirements of the Law, which have been fulfilled through Jesus Christ; and if we do not practise them, we do not need to repent of them.

Indeed, any Jew who has obeyed the Lord’s command to drink His blood, has been cut off from his people by the Law itself and as such, can never be a ‘Jew’ again.  We Gentile sinners, who drink the blood of Jesus and eat His flesh by faith as He commanded, are equally unclean; for any person who still maintains and attempts to be justified through any type of law given through the prophets, be it Mosaic, or even other prophetic laws as one may find them; indeed, we should be like the lepers of old, and cry out, ‘unclean, unclean’ as we walk amongst those who are still seeking justification with God by good works through observation of the law given to them by the prophets.

Indeed, no true apostle of Christ would teach the followers and believers of Christ to subject themselves back under any form of prophetic law, for the Law of God to the apostles of Jesus Christ is clear, “This is My Son whom I love, with Him I am well pleased.  Listen to Him!”  Thus anyone claiming to be an apostle yet does not—DOES NOT—insists that all must listen to Jesus, but seeks to lead others after himself or introduces any form of prophetic law, which would contradict what Jesus said, is not an apostle of Jesus Christ.  He may be an apostle of some other person, and since we do not judge another person’s servant, we have no argument with them unless they try to steal the sheep of Jesus Christ.

Let it be clearly understood; we seek not to make converts but merely preach the good news with signs preceding and following the preaching to confirm the message, and those who believe are saved and those who do not believe stand condemned not by us, but by Jesus’ own words.  As such, we have no fight with anyone of the flesh, and we resist no one, but bless those who curse us and pray for those who fervently refuse to believe.  We should not resist them but ensure that they enjoy the fullness of the fruit of their choice so that Jesus’ words are proved true, both for those who believe and those who do not believe.  For what is more important… that God be true or that a person goes to Heaven?  Surely, it must be God be true, and let every man be proved a liar.

And from those believers, we seek to make disciples, understanding firstly that many will desire to be discipled, but there are those who are not worthy and those who will not remain, like those of John 6:66.  The rate of desertion from the ranks is unfortunately high, and as such, do not be disappointed, nor feel condemned or condemn.  For, to all disciples who deny Him, He offers us a second chance, just as He offered it to Peter; and to those who claim to be disciples but are not, He offers correction and a personal visitation, like James the Younger.  He, that is Jesus, would not do less for those who seek to be His disciples, as He did when He visited His enemy Saul of Tarsus personally.  The cost of Discipleship is high, but the benefit of Discipleship is beyond worth, and as such, disciples should be encouraged amongst all believers as a matter of practice; and not to be judged—never to be judged on the basis of success or failure.  For it is the Lord and only the Lord Who has the last word—be it, “Good and faithful servant,” or “I never knew you.  Away from Me, you evildoers.” 

We can be tempted of course to use the power that we have to challenge them, as our brother Paul was when he wrote:  I will find out not only how these arrogant people are talking, but what power they have.  If the Corinthians have become arrogant, as if [Paul] were not coming to them, imagine how arrogant some in the church are now who think Jesus is not coming back.  It is indeed a temptation, and one we need to resist and master, that we may be found trustworthy by the Lord.

Therefore, as dearly beloved, called, chosen and elected, you should continue to practise the words of our Lord Jesus by faith and by increasing knowledge and understanding through success and failure, through acceptance and rejection, and in times of joy and despair, and as such, we need to always encourage one another. 

There is however a second repentance, not from dead works, but from works that lead to death.  The question for you now is which death?  For I do not expect you to be ignorant as others are, but be well versed and acquainted with this truth, that there is death and then there is a second death, which is the Lake of Burning Sulphur.

It is true that [all] man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, but it is not true that all men face the same death and neither is it true that there is only one death.  There is death, and then there is the Lake of Fire, the second death into which Death is cast along with Satan, the False Prophet and the Beast.  Then Death and Hades were thrown into the Lake of Fire.  The Lake of Fire is the second death. 

For those who have believed in Christ, they have already died, that is, to their sinful nature that they might live again.  As such, it is no small thing that Jesus said, “I am the Resurrection and the Life.  He who believes in Me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in Me will never die.  Do you believe this?” 

All men must die because the wages of sin is death, but not all men need to die, because through Jesus, the power of sin and death has been cancelled.  Unfortunately the truth is, John 11:26 remains unproven because the church is taught to live and die, and to wait in Heaven for the Resurrection.  Indeed, many in the church would consider it lunacy and even blasphemy that is it possible for a believer of Jesus to live and never die, or at best they would dilute the power of these words of Jesus, which can defeat even death, and explain it away as meaning something figurative.  Let me say this… you will never know if Jesus meant it literally and/or figuratively unless you dare believe it first, just as Peter would never have found out whether a man could walk on water unless he stepped out of the boat.

As such, the work that leads to death with the most certainty is the work of unbelief.  Thus, everyone who does not believe in the testimony of Jesus will die and face judgment, but they are not alone for history shows us clearly that everyone who has believed in Jesus has died, although we know that Enoch and Elijah, who believed God, did not die.  So, why is that?  Because the truth is, the sin of unbelief is rampant not only amongst unbelievers, but worse still, it is rampant amongst the so-called believers.  That unbelief is fuelled by ignorance, laziness, arrogance and a very willing Devil who is only too happy to pander to our unbelief with fanciful doctrines and theologies, which are merely rules of men inspired by the accuser of God.  That is the general rule concerning death.

For you however, repentance from acts that lead to death must also be seen in the context of the second death, not the first death.  For Jesus is not only the Alpha but also the Omega, who conquered not only the first death and came back to life, but also conquered the second death, so that it too has no power over those who are among His called, chosen and faithful ones.

As it is written:  Blessed and holy are those who have part in the first resurrection.  The second death has no power over them, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for a thousand years.  Those, for whom the second death has no power over, are those who had been beheaded because of their testimony for Jesus and because of the word of God.  As such, the acts from which we are to repent of are the acts or sins, which lead to the second death as listed by the Father, “the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulphur.  This is the second death.”  And we also know by God’s mercy and grace Jesus then declared, “Outside [the city] are the dogs, those who practice magic arts, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters and everyone who loves and practices falsehood.”  We know that somehow between Revelation 21:8 and Revelation 22:15, something happened so that only “the cowardly, the unbelieving and the vile” remain candidates for the Lake of Burning Sulphur.

These then are the acts that we must repent of that can lead to the final death, which are the acts of cowardice, unbelief and vileness.  Now what are these sins and where do they come from?  Firstly, they do not come from the flesh or the heart, for Jesus said, “For from within, out of men’s hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly.”  Thirteen sins or evils, but cowardice, unbelief and vileness are not among them.  So where do these sins come from if not from our hearts which caused the LORD to be so grieved that He had made man on the earth, and His heart was filled with pain.  So the LORD said, “I will wipe mankind, whom I have created, from the face of the Earth—men and animals, and creatures that move along the ground, and birds of the air—for I am grieved that I have made them”?   

The apostle Peter wrote:  Though you have not seen Him, you love Him; and even though you do not see Him now, you believe in Him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.  You see, the goal of faith (a preview of the next lesson) is not for a big car, house or anything, which the pagans run after, but the salvation of your souls.  Your heart may be full of evil and deceitful beyond understanding and your mind may be waging war against the Law of Sin at work in the members of your flesh, for it is your soul that sins, which leads to death.

For God has said, “For every living soul belongs to Me… the soul who sins is the one who will die.”  Every living soul belongs to God, and those He does not want are disposed of permanently in the Lake of Burning Sulphur, the second death, which is death to souls as the first death is to the flesh.  Except the death of a soul is everlasting, ever ongoing… They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever in the lake of Burning Sulphur, not Hades.  Church, get it right, for your sake!

So what are the sins of the soul that kill a soul, but cowardice, unbelief and vileness?  These three sins represent the exact opposite of the very nature of God’s soul, for the Father is good, the Holy Spirit is full of faith and the Lord Jesus is no coward!  The faith of the Holy Spirit is demonstrated in that He does not speak on His own, but only will tell us what He hears from the Father and Son.  The courage of Jesus is of course demonstrated by His suffering and sacrifice on the cross and if you believe Jesus, it is Jesus Who has testified, “God alone is good.” 

Thus, it is the repentance of these three sins, the acts of cowardice, unbelief and vileness, that we must not lay a foundation again concerning their repentance.  Listen, this is not about repenting constantly of these acts, but Hebrews 6:1 says, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts [Or useless rituals] that lead to death.  As such, we are to move on beyond this, putting to death once and for all the sins of cowardice, unbelief and vileness.

What are the acts of cowardice, unbelief and vileness for an elect?

1.          Cowardice for a chosen, is the fear of martyrdom; the fear of being beheaded for the sake of the gospel and the Lord, which qualifies those who were beheaded to return.  However, cowardice from the point of the elect of the Holy Spirit is the fear of remaining alive; not the fear of death.  For, indeed, the days of distress that the Lord has warned us of are unlike anything since the creation of this world.  Indeed, you and I, indeed I, have been tempted to die and never to return many times already. The apostle Paul, the first of the elect of the Lord, the Holy Spirit, wrote:  for to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.  What he called fruitful labour included floggings, imprisonment, hunger, cold, shipwreck and much suffering of heart, mind and soul as well.  It will require the best of courage for you and I to choose to remain, knowing that for us to die is gain.  Cowardice is not just denying Christ at your trial of faith, but denying the Holy Spirit at the testing of your knowledge of His will.  For the Holy Spirit needs you and I to be present, left behind if you like, if that which the Father imagined for Jesus’ arrival is to manifest in full.  Repent of cowardice, forgive one another of cowardice, yes, but not of ordinary cowardice, but of extra-ordinary, unearthly cowardice… for it is the cowardice of not remaining alive on earth through these days of distress that are unequalled since the creation of the world.  Indeed, if we, who know and understand, can become cowardly in these days, then like Sodom was justified by Capernaum’s unbelief, so the cowardly who do not know or understand God can be justified.

2.          Unbelief – It should be obvious that your sin of unbelief is no sin of ordinary unbelief, but of extra-ordinary unbelief, for to you are being revealed the secrets of the Kingdoms of Heaven and of God, and the very secret of the Kingdom of God itself.  Your sin of unbelief is not the sin of those who do not believe the gospel, or those in the church who do not believe all that Jesus has said and done but are selective in their faith…  No, our sin of unbelief is unbelief of the Holy Spirit after you and I have been brought to a place where we know Him.  It is not blasphemy of the Holy Spirit, but unbelief of the Holy Spirit.  For who has seen the Holy Spirit or felt His presence with such constant regularity as you have?  Tell me who?  To whom was the command “Listen to Him!” restored by the Holy Spirit, but you?  Have you heard of another group that has had this precise command restored?  I know of none unfortunately; and if there are, does that excuse you in anyway?  For the command was not restored to you by a book or a TV show or by a preacher you do not know, but restored right here in our midst and we are the witnesses of it.  As such, unbelief of the Holy Spirit… not believing Him… that He would leave a group to take care of the world when He is taken out of the way, is a sin for you and I.  And indeed, if you are the elect, does it surprise you that you are walking more and more by faith in the Holy Spirit that it is as if you are always in the thick darkness wherein God dwells?

3.          Vileness – is no ordinary vileness for you and me.  It exceeds even what the Israelites did when they sacrificed their children to Molech.  The vilest of all creatures in God’s eyes are the False Prophet, the Beast, Death and Satan, who are the four who are condemned to the second death.  Jesus never called any of His apostles the False Prophet, the Beast or Death, but He did call one of them, “Satan” when He said to Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan!  You do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men.”  When we believe, do and have in mind the things of men and not of God, we are in danger of vileness.  Indeed, God said, “For they have forsaken Me and made this a place of foreign gods; they have burned sacrifices in it to gods that neither they nor their fathers nor the kings of Judah ever knew, and they have filled this place with the blood of the innocent.  They have built the high places of Baal to burn their sons in the fire as offerings to Baal—something I did not command or mention, nor did it enter My mind.” You see, God appointed a lying spirit to deceive Ahab and lead him to his death, Isaiah to go stripped naked, Ezekiel to cook with dung and Hosea to take a prostitute for a wife.  Phinehas ran a man and a woman through with a spear…  Are they not or were they not acts of dogs as listed in Revelation 22:15?  But to sacrifice sons and daughters to Baal, God never even imagined it. Whatever God has not imagined or had in mind to do is vileness, and the foremost of vileness is blasphemy of the Holy Spirit, who is the Spirit of Truth. Vileness, as an elect, is repented of when you not only repent but avoid blasphemy of the Holy Spirit by always, always seeking to work for His honour, for Jesus said, “But he who works for the honour of the One who sent him is a man of truth; there is nothing false about him.” So, anyone who seeks to work for the honour of the Holy Spirit is a man of the Spirit of Truth; there is nothing false about him and nothing vile either, for such a person will do what is good in God’s eyes and mind… and not man’s.

Again, if we, who know, have to plead guilty and beg forgiveness of the sins of vileness and unbelief, then those who do not know or understand are justified like Sodom is justified by Capernaum at the Day of Judgement.  Then we have laid a firm foundation from which true faith in God can proceed and indeed, even the cowardly, unbelieving and vile can be forgiven. 




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