Walk in the Light
Right near the very end of the New Testament in the Bible, the Apostle John gives us these vital and precious promises from the Lord:
- God is light and in him is no darkness at all.
- If we walk in the light as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. Hallelujah!
The Apostle John said, “This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and ‘do not practice the truth’. (*Also translated ‘do not the truth’ or ‘the absolute negative’ of the truth). But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin” (1 John 1: 5-7). (*See Strong’s Concordance).
To walk in the light means, that we walk in the light of God’s promises and we walk in the light of His truth . we walk in the light of His understanding and we walk in the light of His love . Jesus said, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved” (John 3:16&17).
Again, Jesus said, “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends” (John 15:13). It is because of this resurrection power at work in our hearts and in our lives that the Apostle Paul was able to say, “For all the promises of God (meaning everything the Bible says we have and everything the Bible says we are in Him, because of His death and resurrection from the cross) in Him (In Christ Jesus, v19) are Yes, and in Him Amen (so be it), to the glory of God through us” (2 Corinthians 1:20).
This means that there is nothing that is unavailable to us in Christ Jesus, our Lord. There is no understanding that He cannot give us (meaning He can give us understanding of all things), there is no power loss (God is all-powerful, but we can live powerless lives if we do not know how to walk in the resurrection power of Christ), there is no misunderstanding, there is no wrong, that through us, He cannot put right (meaning that He is able to put all things right). Through God’s word (the Holy Bible) we know that that we are fully accepted by God through the shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ, which He willingly undertook, on our behalf, by His death on the cross. For without the shedding of blood there could be no sacrifice for sins. “According to the law (of Moses) almost all things are purified with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no remission (*translated, ‘freedom; (figuratively) pardon: —deliverance, forgiveness, liberty, remission’)” (Hebrews 9:22). (*See Strong’s Concordance).
Jesus Christ, Who is the living Word, took our sin upon Himself when He was crucified upon the cross. It is only through the shed blood of Jesus Christ on our behalf that we are able to be cleansed from all sin. Christ took our punishment that we rightly deserved, and the punishment of all mankind. But on the third day He rose again because death was unable to hold Him. When speaking of this same Jesus, Luke the physician said, “Whom God raised up, having loosed the pains of death, because it was not possible that He should be held by it” (Acts 2:24). Even death itself could not hold Jesus bound. By His death and resurrection from the cross, Jesus Christ took total authority over death and hell and all of sin on our behalf, and released us from the curse of the law. The Apostle Paul said, “O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory? The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, Who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 15:55-57).
But the Apostle John also warns us, “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us” (1 John 1:8-10).
This means, that those of us who take God at His word, who believe in our hearts and confess with our mouths that these things are so, can now come to God in confidence, in faith, that as we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
To be released from the curse of the law and the burden of sin we must confess our sins!
The Apostle Paul reminds us, “If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame”” (Romans 10:9-11).
Wrongful Desires Give Birth to Sin
The writer of the book of James tells us that God is neither tempted by evil, nor does God tempt anyone. God Himself is Holy and He calls each one of us to be Holy like Him. James tells us that temptation comes when each one of us is drawn away by our own wrongful desires and enticed, then when desire has conceived it gives birth to sin. Sin in its turn, when full-gown, brings forth death to our spirit. Therefore, if we want to stop sinning, then we need setting free from the wrongful desires within. “Let no one say when he is tempted, ‘I am tempted by God’; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death. Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren” (James 1:13-16).
So, what causes someone to sin with their mouth, or to speak in a wrong spirit against someone else, against their identity or against their ministry? James explains, “But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not BOAST and lie against the truth. This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic. For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there” (James 3:14-16).
Likewise, James also says, “Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members? You ‘lust’ (*set your heart upon or long for something) and do not have. You murder and ‘covet’ (*earnestly desire, envy, or are jealous over something) and cannot obtain. You fight and war. Yet you do not have because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss (with wrong motives), that you may spend it on your pleasures” (James 4:1-3). (*See Strong’s Concordance).
James knew mankind too well, saying, “Even so the tongue is a little member and BOASTS great things. See how great a forest a little fire kindles! And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. The tongue is so set among our ‘members’ (*translated ‘a part of the body’) that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of ‘nature’ (*translated ‘genesis’ or ‘generation’); and it is set on fire by ‘hell’ (*translated ‘Gehenna’ or ‘valley of Hinnom’)” (James 3:5&6). (*See Strong’s Concordance). These Scriptures are a direct reference, likening the misuse of our tongues, to those who through the worship of Baal in the Old Testament, sacrificed their children, or the next generation in the fire at the valley of Hinnom. (See Jeremiah 19:5&6 and my previous article, ‘False Prophecy in the Church’). In the same way, when we speak against others, we are effectively cutting off the next generation from being able to enter into God’s presence and to experience the perfect love of God as expressed through the Body of Christ. James continues on to say, “For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and creature of the sea, is tamed and has been tamed by mankind. But no man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our God and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the similitude of God. Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so” (James 3:7-10).
- The words we speak, whether good or evil, will have a direct effect on the next generation.
- Let us choose to make our words good!
Do Not be Bound by Iniquity
When speaking of the boasting of the wicked (See v3), the Psalmist said, “His mouth is full of cursing and deceit (*’craft, deceit(-ful, -fully), false, feigned, guile, subtilly (transparent), treachery’) and fraud (*’including injury in the sense of cutting to pieces’): under his tongue is mischief (*also translated in the Hebrew as, ‘grievance(-vousness), iniquity, labour, mischief, miserable(-sery), pain(-ful), perverseness, sorrow, toil, travail, trouble, wearisome, wickedness) and vanity” (*to exert oneself, usually in vain; to come to naught); strictly nothingness; also trouble, vanity, wickedness; specifically an idol:—affliction, evil, false, idol, iniquity, mischief, mourners(-ing), naught, sorrow, unjust, unrighteous, vain, vanity, wicked’(-ness). (Psalm 10:7, KJV). (*See Strong’s Concordance).
James also, when describing the tongue in the previous New Testament passage in James 3, also described it as ‘a fire’ and ‘a world of iniquity.’ The word ‘Iniquity’ here, is translated ‘adikía’ in the Greek, referring to *(legal) ‘injustice’ (properly, the quality, by implication, the act); morally; ‘wrongfulness’ (of character, life or act): — ‘iniquity’; ‘unjust’; ‘unrighteousness’; ‘wrong’. (*See Strong’s Concordance). The exact same translation of the same word used for iniquity here, is also found in a second passage of the New Testament in Acts Chapter 8. In this chapter, Luke explains that the people of Samaria with one accord had heeded the things of which Philip had spoken to them, and many unclean spirits had come out of those who were possessed and many paralyzed and lame had been healed. This caused great joy to be seen in that city. “Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria and preached Christ to them. And the multitudes with one accord heeded the things spoken by Philip, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did. For unclean spirits, crying with a loud voice, came out of many who were possessed; and many who were paralyzed and lame were healed. And there was great joy in that city” (Acts 8:5-8).
It was in this very same place that the apostles first met a man known as Simon the sorcerer. This Simon had recently converted to Christ, but had previously been involved in magical arts or wizardry. Whilst claiming to be someone great, Simon had astonished the people with his sorceries for a long period of time. But this counterfeit power he had operated in, was no match for the power and the authority that operated through the apostles in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ! “But there was a certain man called Simon, who previously practiced sorcery (*translated ‘magic’ or ‘magical arts’) in the city and astonished (*translated ‘astounded’; ‘amazed’; ‘astonished’; ‘bewitched’) the people of Samaria, claiming that he was someone great, to whom they all gave heed, from the least to the greatest, saying, ‘This man is the great power of God.’ And they heeded him because he had astonished them with his sorceries for a long time. But when they believed Philip as he preached the things concerning the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, both men and women were baptized. Then Simon himself also believed; and when he was baptized he continued with Philip, and was amazed, seeing the miracles and signs which were done” (Acts 8:9-13).
Peter and John had been sent to join Philip in Samaria after the apostles received word that there were many there who were turning to Christ. They came and prayed for the new believers, that they also would receive the power to be witnesses, through the baptism of the Holy Spirit, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. For, before Jesus had ascended into heaven, He had said to His disciples: “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth” (Acts 1:8). “Now when the apostles who were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them, who, when they had come down, prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit. For as yet He had fallen upon none of them” (Acts 8:14-16). This phrase ‘fallen upon’ is translated ‘epipiptōto’ in the Greek, meaning, *‘to embrace (with affection) or seize (with more or less violence; literally or figuratively): —fall into (on, upon) lie on, press upon’ – (*See Strong’s Concordance). This chapter of Acts continues, “They had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then they laid hands on them, and they RECEIVED the HOLY SPIRIT” (Acts 8:16&17).
But Simon, who sought his own purposes, wrongly thought that he could buy this gift from God and offered the apostles money, saying, “Give me this power also, that anyone on whom I lay hands may receive the Holy Spirit” (Acts 8:19).
Then Peter, seeing that the heart of Simon’s request did not come from God, perceived in his spirit that he had been ‘poisoned by bitterness and bound by iniquity.’ Here he uses the same Greek word for iniquity that James uses for a cursing tongue – indicating ‘an injustice’, ‘a wrongfulness of character’, or ‘unrighteousness’. It is here that the error of Balaam was on display for all concerned. For in the book of Numbers (See Numbers 22-24), the Gentile prophet Balaam, sought the price of injustice by selling his gift for a profit as he attempted but failed to curse (to use sorcery against) the people of Israel (See Numbers Ch 24:1). And it is here, that Simon was asking the apostles to do exactly the same (to sell the gift of God for a profit). Peter’s concern for Simon’s welfare should this course of events in his life continue unabated and a more serious fate befall him, caused the Apostle to sternly rebuke him. Peter called Simon’s sin a wickedness and urged him to repent so that the thoughts of his heart might be forgiven him. “But Peter said to him, ‘Your money perish with you, because you thought that the gift of God could be purchased with money! You have neither part nor portion in this matter, for your heart is not right in the sight of God. Repent therefore of this your wickedness, and pray God if perhaps the thought of your heart may be forgiven you. For I see that you are poisoned by bitterness and bound (*tied to or controlled) by iniquity’” (*’injustice’, ‘wrongfulness of act or character’, ‘unrighteousness’) (Acts 8:20-23). Immediately, upon hearing his rebuke, Simon responded, “Pray to the Lord for me, that none of the things which you have spoken may come upon me” (Acts 8:24). (*See Strong’s Concordance).
Bring the Light of God Right Down Into It
There was a time in my own life where there was an area of my heart that I needed help with, but I did not at that time fully understand it or know how to deal with it. The Lord then gave me a short but very specific dream, telling me, “Bring light into it – bring light right down into it!” The Lord’s instruction to me at that time was exactly correct! I needed to bring the light of His understanding right down into my situation in order to be set free and healed! Many times we have no idea why we behave the way we do, but unless we seek God’s will and His counsel for the direct answers to these questions in the areas of our needs, we may never receive the help that we need. The Lord said through the prophet Jeremiah, “Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. And I will be found of you, saith the Lord: and I will turn away your captivity, and I will gather you from all the nations, and from all the places whither I have driven you, saith the Lord (also speaking figuratively of the places where we have found ourselves bound to captive forces); and I will bring you again into the place whence I caused you to be carried away captive” (Jeremiah 29:12-14,KJV).
- Jesus promises us freedom!
- We need to be sincere about our journey!
- Therefore, learning to hear the voice of God as he speaks to us on a daily basis is vitally important!
On another such occasion when my children were also still very young, God drew my attention to another area of my heart that was still in need of healing. He did this through a feeling. I had just sat down with one of my children in order to read them a story, when a woman passed by me just outside of the periphery of my vision. The very moment that she did so, a strong feeling of resentment suddenly leapt out of my gut (from around the middle of my abdomen area) and towards her in the direction where she had been walking. Yet up until that moment I was not even aware of her having been anywhere near me. Until this event occurred, I had no idea that there was even an area of resentment or unforgiveness in my heart toward her. But rather than feeling dismayed at myself for what I was now experiencing, I became thankful to God that He had shown me that there was an issue of resentment that needed to be resolved. For completely unknown to this woman in the past, and though she had not meant to be in any way hurtful or unkind, she had once made a comment that had touched an area of grief in my heart that was not yet fully resolved. But because the Lord drew my attention to this through what was a strong but momentary feeling, I was then able to repent of my resentment, forgive her immediately and move on! That issue is now fully healed and restored! Praise the Lord!!
A Curse Without a Cause Does Not Come
When we speak against another it is often not our intent to curse, but a curse without a cause does not come. The King James Version of the Bible translates it this way, “As the bird by wandering, as the swallow by flying, so the curse causeless shall not come” (Proverbs 26:2, KJV).
This phrase is more aptly (more fittingly or appropriately) translated ‘shall not come’ because it comes from the primitive root word ‘bo’ in the Hebrew; meaning *‘to go or come (in a wide variety of applications):—abide, apply, attain, × be, befall, besiege, bring (forth, in, into, to pass), call, carry, × certainly, (cause, let, thing for) to come (against, in, out, upon, to pass), depart, × doubtless again, eat, employ, (cause to) enter (in, into, -tering, -trance, -try), be fallen, fetch, follow, get, give, go (down, in, to war), grant, have, × indeed, (in-) vade, lead, lift (up), mention, pull in, put, resort, run (down), send, set, × (well) stricken (in age), × surely, take (in), way.’ (*See Strong’s Concordance).
A curse comes because someone is cursing!
So, why do we say the things that we do? We can be wondrously set free from something at times, but go right back in again to the same error if we do not deal with the root cause of the issue. The writer of Proverbs said, “As a dog returns to his own vomit, so a fool repeats his folly” (Proverbs 26:11). The Apostle Peter quoted from this same Scripture when warning against those who follow this same error of Balaam, saying, “While they (speaking of false prophets and false teachers) promise them liberty, they themselves are slaves of corruption; for by whom a person is overcome, by him also he is brought into bondage. For if, after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the latter end is worse for them than the beginning. For it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered to them. But it has happened to them according to the true proverb: “A dog returns to his own vomit,” and, “a sow, having washed, to her wallowing in the mire”” (2 Peter 2: 19-22). For this reason, we all need to walk in a daily conversation with the Lord concerning our tongue. It is too easy to pass judgement on what others are speaking and forget to keep a tight rein on ourselves.
We are responsible for ourselves!
King David knew the importance of his own words. “Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; Keep watch over the door of my lips” (Psalm 141:3). “I will guard my ways, lest I sin with my tongue; I will restrain my mouth with a muzzle, while the wicked are before me” (Psalm 39:1). “Lord, who may abide in Your tabernacle? Who may dwell in Your holy hill? He who walks uprightly, and works righteousness, and speaks the truth in his heart; he who does not backbite with his tongue, nor does evil to his neighbour, nor does he take up a reproach against his friend” (Psalm 15:1-3). “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer” (Psalm 19:14).
The Lord Hears Our Cries
When seeking help from the Lord for an iniquitous heart, King David said, “Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord does not impute iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit. When I kept silent, my bones grew old through my groaning all the day long. For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me; my vitality was turned into the drought of summer. Selah. I acknowledged my sin to You, and my iniquity I have not hidden. I said, ‘I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,’ and You forgave the iniquity of my sin. Selah. For this cause everyone who is godly shall pray to You in a time when You may be found; surely in a flood of great waters they shall not come near him. You are my hiding place; You shall preserve me from trouble; You shall surround me with songs of deliverance. Selah” (Psalm 32:1-7).
In reply to his cry for help, the Lord answered, “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide with My eye. Do not be like the horse or like the mule, which have no understanding, which must be harnessed with bit and bridle, else they will not come near you” (Psalm 32:8&9).
The Lord wants us to have understanding of our own heart’s issues. He wants us to find the healing we need and deserve as His daughters and sons . However, if we never look at our own heart’s issues, the issues of our heart will never be resolved and the cursing of our mouths will continue! When speaking to the Pharisees, Jesus said, “Brood (*translated ‘offspring’, ‘fruit’ or ‘generation’) of vipers! How can you, being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things. But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned” (Matthew 12:34-37).
A Personal Message of Grace
One day fairly recently, while seated in a place of grace, I was sitting by the altar, worshipping the Lord at the front of the church. As I sat there and began to worship, the rest of the congregation remained standing in their place. It was then, that in my mind’s eye I saw a vision begin to unfold. I saw God come in the form of a man and walk down the aisle nearest to me towards the front of the church. He then stopped and stood directly in front of my pastor who was also standing worshipping the Lord at the front of the church. As the congregation sang, what happened next took me quite by surprise. For at that very moment, as my pastor stood in his place, the Lord threw His arms around him in a most powerful and loving embrace. Whilst standing with His arms around about him in this enormous embrace, the Lord then began to loudly proclaim, saying, “My son, My son, My son”, as my pastor stood enveloped in the warmth of His embrace. That simple vision that the Lord gave me at that time, has made such an impact upon my life, that since that day, I have never been able to shake that picture from my mind. The capacity with which God has to love each one of us as individuals in that exact same way is immense. This is the great power of God’s love and His embrace. From our first cry until our last breath, our Heavenly Father always sees us this way. For those who receive Him and believe in His name, He gives the right to be called His daughters and sons. “But as many as received Him, to them gave He POWER to become the sons (and daughters) of God, even to them that believe on His name” (John 1:12, KJV). The word ‘Power’ in this verse is translated ‘exousía’, meaning, *‘privilege, i.e. (subjectively) force, capacity, competency, freedom, or (objectively) mastery (concretely, magistrate, superhuman, potentate, token of control), delegated influence:—authority, jurisdiction, liberty, power, right, strength’. (*See Strong’s Concordance). In this vision I received from the Lord, the Lord was immediate in His embrace. He did not have to stop and think about it; He was immediate in His embrace. not once does God ever stop loving us or disown us, not even for one second. But He continues to hold each one of us continually, in His compassionate and loving embrace. This is the power of the resurrected Christ as He continues to work on our behalf, in our lives and in our hearts.
Speak Words That Bring Healing
It is always far better to speak out of a place of healing than it is to speak out of a place of hurt. When we experience feelings of jealousy, suicide, fear, anxiety, resentment, arrogance, pride, bitterness, anger and grief etc. they need to be dealt with, especially if they are recurring on a regular basis. It is never God’s desire or will that anyone should continue to live this way. Whenever we find ourselves saying something that we know is not right, including saying the right thing in the wrong way, or from an impure motive, or to hurt someone else; or when we begin to experience a negative reaction, emotional feeling, or hardness of heart towards another (sometimes we can actually ‘feel’ our heart hardening toward someone else); we need to take courage and as soon as practically possible, go to God and ask Him, “What is this all about really?” “Why am I doing this?” “Why do I feel this way?” “Where does this reaction truly come from?” Many times, it is because a current day situation has invoked a feeling of shame, blame, guilt, or a sense of unworthiness from the past. Whatever the lie from the enemy or the message that is being conveyed, the enemy (Satan) intends for us to feel this way, but God, and usually the other person or people do not. God wants all of us to feel loved, wanted, welcomed and embraced.
God Makes All Things Beautiful in His Time
When speaking of the Lord’s purposes and His timing, king Solomon said, “I have seen the God-given task with which the sons of men are to be occupied. He (The Lord God of Israel) has made everything beautiful in its time. Also He has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end” (Ecclesiastes 3:10&11). Much of life remains a mystery, in that, “no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end.” His works are works of completion from beginning to end, yet His complete work in its entirety is often a mystery too great for our human minds to understand. Our understanding comes in the process of healing, as God speaks to each one of us personally. God is so good at very gently, lovingly and patiently, speaking into our hearts the exact truths that we need to hear from Him at exactly the right time. All we need to do is to ask Him! God is light and in Him is no darkness. When you speak into the darkness that which is in the light, it becomes light around you. If you find yourself in a dark place, speak out that which is in the light. Speak what is of Him. Speak of His truth, speak of His mercy, speak of His grace, speak of His love. When the enemy tells you that you are rejected, speak out that you are not just special, but fully accepted in Christ. When the enemy tells you that you are unworthy, speak out that your life was worth the shedding of Christ’s blood on your behalf. The enemy is defeated every time we stand on the truth of God’s word. And as we begin to stand more and more on the truth of His word, our feet begin to walk in His paths. We no longer feel the need to fight for what we believe is rightfully ours because in Christ we already have everything that we need. Feelings of shame disappear, our heads are held high and a sparkle of His acceptance, His approval, His provision and His love appears in our eyes. That then, becomes our very identity (or the thing that we identify ourselves with) that we begin to transmit to those around about us in our lives. We are loved! We are loved! We are loved! Oh Lord Jesus our merciful Saviour, we are greatly loved! There is nothing in all creation that can separate us from God’s love (See Romans 8:38&39). We protect ourselves best when we are at peace with ourselves, with who we are in Christ and with what He has called us to do. When we know and understand by revelation those two things, life becomes a whole lot simpler and easier.
- We are at peace with ourselves when our hearts are walking in obedience to Christ!
- When we deal with the heart issues, the words will take care of themselves!
Power to Forgive the Past
Often all that is required for healing to come into a present-day situation, is for us to forgive and release any others (even if those people are no longer living) for any pain that may have been caused in the past. It then releases us from the pain of our present-day circumstances as well. For those who may think that they are unable to forgive, they need to understand what the Lord Jesus Christ has already done on our behalf. Before He ascended back into heaven Jesus said to His disciples, “Peace to you! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you. And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive (*also translated ‘remit’, meaning to ‘let go’) the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained’” (John 20:21-23). (*See Strong’s Concordance).
- There is power in the remission or the letting go of another’s sins!
- We have been given great power to forgive both the present and the past!
Jesus came to earth with a Gospel message of power, love, forgiveness and reconciliation through the cross. At the very moment of His crucifixion, Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do” (Luke 23:34). Christ Himself gave us this exact same power to forgive! – Even that which we may think we cannot forgive. This is what we are called to do, but we cannot do it by ourselves. It is only through the Spirit of revelation and the Spirit of adoption as His daughters and sons and by the power of the Holy Spirit, that we have been given ability far above our own natural ability to forgive both the present and the past. This is part of the resurrection power of Christ at work on our behalf, in our lives, through our lives, and in our hearts. This enabling from God to forgive is a gift from the Lord in order to set both ourselves and the other party free, to be healed and restored.
It is a grace to be able to forgive!
A Final Warning from Obadiah
Amos, Obadiah and Micah were only three of the minor prophets who foretold of the coming of the day of the Lord. This concerns the judgment seat of Christ! In the Old Testament of the Bible, there were twelve minor prophets, just as in the New Testament there were 12 original apostles. For the apostle is nothing without the prophet who stands beside him (or her). Christ Himself instituted this! The Apostle Paul said, “You are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, in Whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, in Whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the spirit” (Ephesians 2:19-22).
The prophet Amos confirmed this, saying, “Surely the Lord God does nothing, unless He reveals His secret to His servants the prophets” (Amos 3:7).
Regarding our need to forgive, the prophet Obadiah also made a statement that should never be forgotten. The Lord was so grieved by the hardness of the house of Esau’s heart towards the house of Jacob (Esau, having refused to come to Israel’s aid), that it was cut off from the land of the living. God’s judgement on Esau came swiftly and quickly. Obadiah prophesied, “’The house of Jacob shall be a fire, and the house of Joseph a flame; but the house of Esau shall be stubble; They shall kindle them and devour them, and no survivor shall remain of the house of Esau,’ for the Lord has spoken” (Obadiah 1:18).
But the kingdom would be the Lord’s!
“Then saviours shall come to Mount Zion to judge the mountains of Esau, and the kingdom shall be the Lord’s”.(Obadiah 1:21)
Likewise, the prophet Micah warned the house of Jacob regarding their sins which they still needed to put right, “You who are named the house of Jacob: Is the Spirit of the Lord restricted? Are these His doings? Do not My words do good to him who walks uprightly?” (Micah 2:7).
- This is significant to the second coming of Christ!
- This is the day of the Lord’s salvation!
- We set our hearts at peace in God’s presence when we make the choice to forgive.
- We release our children and the next generation when we choose to move on from the hurts of the past.
When the prophet Isaiah foretold of Jesus Christ, the coming Messiah, he said, “He is despised and rejected by men, a Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him. Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed” (Isaiah 53:3-5).
- The punishment that Christ bore on the cross on our behalf has brought us peace.
- Jesus bore all these things on our behalf so that we would not have to carry them.
- No matter what comes, we must choose to forgive and to continue to forgive.
- This was Christ’s completed work on our behalf!
- This is the great exchange at work in our lives and in our hearts – amen!