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Unleavened Bread Ministries with David Eells

God Grants Repentance

David Eells– 4/7/24


Repentance means to change your mind. God grants repentance and changes minds. 2Ti 2:25  in meekness correcting them that oppose themselves; if peradventure God may give them repentance unto the knowledge of the truth,

Act 5:31  Him did God exalt with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, to give repentance to Israel, and remission of sins. 2Ti 2:25  in meekness correcting them that oppose themselves; if peradventure God may give them repentance unto the knowledge of the truth,

We think we convince people sometimes into knowing the Lord, accepting the Lord, accepting His doctrine, but it really doesn't work that way. The Bible says God grants repentance. A good scripture reference, among others is Pro 21:1 The king's heart is in the hand of Jehovah as the watercourses: He turneth it whithersoever he will. 

God is the only One that the Bible gives credit for being sovereign; the devil has no sovereignty. God works all things after the council of His own will; He doesn't council with us about what He wants to do. A man can receive nothing except it come from heaven, the Bible says. Pro 21:1 says the king's heart is in the hand of the Lord as the watercourses or as the channels, He turneth it whithersoever He will. In other words, God can turn a person's heart any way He wants to turn it; and He did that with us. We didn't choose Him, Jesus said; He chose us. Blessed is the man that thou choosest and cause to approach unto thee,… (Psa 65:4) God draws us to approach Him in any way.  

God has to make the first move. (Joh 6:44) No man can come to me, except the Father that sent me draw him. How does God draw us? He draws us by putting in us the desire to change our mind (repent) and to come to Him. Before approaching Him, we really just wanted to go our own way and do our own thing, but the Lord by His mercy and grace gave us this gift to come and we need it to keep coming. It's such an awesome gift! For instance, the Gentiles didn't come to God for thousands of years. Why did the Gentiles come to God after thousands of years? The Lord chose them. And what did God do when He did choose them? 

Act 11:18 And when they heard these things, they held their peace, and glorified God, saying, Then to the Gentiles also hath God granted repentance unto lifeIt's very important that we understand this; otherwise we'll be trusting in our own works and see an awful lot of failure. There are several reasons for this. God generally just backs up and waits as long as we are doing our works, and when we give up and put our trust in Him, His power is there. 

Repentance has to be granted by God. Otherwise, people would just go their own way; because we are just what we are. It takes God from the outside to put something in us to cause us to be something that we are normally not. God's grace, which is unmerited favor, grants repentance, a change of mind. When we find lack in ourselves, or lack in our ability, or lack in our willpower, or lack in anything, we can go to God and He will take care of it for us. David prayed many prayers asking for help, such as in Psalm 119. David counted on God to turn his heart in the direction he wanted it to go. Here are just a few of those verses… 

Psa 119:10 With my whole heart have I sought thee: Oh let me not wander from thy commandments. 17-18 Deal bountifully with thy servant, that I may live; So will I observe thy word. 18 Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law. 

25-29 My soul cleaveth unto the dust: Quicken (means make alivethou me according to thy word. 26 I declared my ways, and thou answeredst me: Teach me thy statutes. 27 Make me to understand the way of thy precepts: So shall I meditate on thy wondrous works. 28 My soul melteth for heaviness: Strengthen thou me according unto thy word. 29 Remove from me the way of falsehood; and grant me thy law graciously. 

31-37 I cleave unto thy testimonies: O Jehovah, put me not to shame. 32 I will run the way of thy commandments, when thou shalt enlarge my heart. 33 Teach me, O Jehovah, the way of thy statutes; And I shall keep it unto the end. 34 Give me understanding, and I shall keep thy law; Yea, I shall observe it with my whole heart. 35 Make me to go in the path of thy commandments; For therein do I delight. 36 Incline my heart unto thy testimonies, And not to covetousness. 37 Turn away mine eyes from beholding vanity, and quicken me in thy ways. This is all recognizing the sovereignty of God over our minds and asking for favor.

David had faith in the Lord; this included the power and the sovereignty of God to change his mind and his heart and put in him the will he needed.

We're told the Lord works in us to will and to do of His good pleasure (Php 2:13). If our faith is towards the Lord to change us, instead of us picking ourselves up by our own bootstraps, as the world says, we'll have some victory. If not, we are going to fail consistently, because we have faith in ourselves. For example, Peter was sure he would not deny the Lord, but the Lord turned and told him, Before the cock crows you're going to deny me three times. Peter was self-confident; he wasn't God-confident. The Lord told him that Satan has desired to sift him as wheat, but the Lord prayed for him that his faith wouldn't fail him. Peter wasn't operating in faith, he was operating in self-confidence.  

You could see David's faith in the Lord; he had faith in the Lord to draw him, keep him, deliver him from sin, and to put in him a will and desire that belonged there. His faith was in the Lord. David's faith certainly wasn't in himself. Peter's faith was in himself and that's why he fell; he needed to fall. He needed to be a failure so that he would learn that lesson.  

It's amazing how we usually look at people in the Old Testament as having less light than people in the New Testament, because we know that they lived under types and shadows and really didn't know the revelation of those types/shadows that we do now. But David almost lived a New Testament life with the Lord, because he understood the sovereignty of God and depended upon God for His grace to be who he was. The following is a prayer of David concerning the offering of the temple (when they were taking up offerings to build the temple): 

1Ch 29:10-14 Wherefore David blessed Jehovah before all the assembly; and David said, Blessed be thou, O Jehovah, the God of Israel our father, for ever and ever. (11) Thine, O Jehovah, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty(Jesus said, All authority (authority to exercise power) in heaven and earth has been given unto me (Mat 28:18).  If we need power, where do we have to get it? We don't have any power. Jesus Himself said that He was nothing without the Father; He couldn't do anything without the Father. This is certainly true about us. Our power comes from God by grace and in most cases it has to come because of our faith. We believe God has delivered us from sin through Jesus Christ; we believe God has delivered us from the curse through Jesus Christ.  

God gives us a mind and desire to do what is right and a lot of times, that is in the form of repentance.) Back to (11) ..for all that is in the heavens and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O Jehovah, and thou art exalted as head above all. (12) Both riches and honor come of thee, and thou rulest over all; and in thy hand is power and might; and in thy hand it is to make great, and to give strength unto all(We must get our strength from the Father.) (13) Now therefore, our God, we thank thee, and praise thy glorious name. (14) But who am I, and what is my people, that we should be able to offer so willingly after this sort? for all things come of thee, and of thine own have we given thee. 

Did you catch the “willingly” part in verse 14? He gave them this will. Any place we lack we can go to the Father and He will help us; He will give us grace to will His Will. 

Jesus said, he who the Son sets free is free indeed. (Joh 8:36). Do you know how He really sets us free? Do you know what freedom is? Freedom is the ability or lack of restraint from doing anything you want to do. However, when you're walking in the lusts of your flesh you can't do everything you want to do; you can't get away with it and you don't have the ability. You're limited by nature; by physical circumstances; and limited by gravity. You just can't do everything you want to do. But in this process of the Lord working in you to will and to do of His good pleasure, He's able to put His Will in you. If you really want His Will, He can put it in you.  

When God is done with this process (of putting His Will in you), then you get to do what you want to do, because you want to do what He wants to do. And nobody stops God from doing what He wants to do. He works all things after the council of His own Will. Daniel said nobody restrains His hand. You're free because He who the Son sets free is free indeed. So if you really want to be free you have to ask God to put His Will in you. And when you read the Word, you've got to repent, meaning change your mind. If your desire is according to the Word, you're going to have your desires, and they will all be good desires. 

You know why we are not free? It's because there is a war going on in us. Between the outer man and the inner man, they both want their way. Galatians Chapter 5 talks about the flesh lusting against the spirit and the spirit lusting against the flesh; they are at war and are totally contrary one to another. The Bible also says that the outer man is decaying and the inner man is being renewed, while we look not at the things that are seen but at the things that are not seen (2Co 4:16-18). In other words, if we get our eyes set on what the Word says about us, even though we don't see it in the physical, God is working to bring it to pass. And the outer man is going to be dying and the inner man is going to be renewed and free to do his will, which is God’s will.  

God's plan is for the inner man to take over. He's like the Israelite who goes into the promise land and puts to death the Canaanite and takes his house. Well, we are an Israelite's house. This is a process of repenting, of reading His Word and saying, “Okay, Lord, you're right and I'm wrong. I want your thoughts to be my thoughts.” Like Jesus said, “have the faith of God.” We want God's thoughts and faith to be our thoughts and faith. If God's thoughts are your thoughts, then you are free, because nobody restrains God’s Will.  

People restrain God's “wishes” sometimes as in this verse. 2Pe 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some count slackness; but is longsuffering to you-ward, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.  KJV says, “God is not willing that any should perish.” Willing is not in the ancient manuscripts or Numerics. The word here is “wishing” or “intending” in the Numeric. If God were not “willing” for anyone to perish, no one would perish. But He is not “wishing” that any should perish.  

Notice: God “is longsuffering to you-ward. He's talking to Christians, not the world. God wants all of His people to repent and He is not “wishing” that any of His people perish. But if He weren't “willing” for any of them to perish, none would. The fact is, the Church is in a great falling away because the Bible shows this. It's important that we understand that God has granted us repentance; it was a free gift. And it wasn't really necessary that He gave it to us; He could have given it to somebody else. Some refuse because the love the world. 

We should fear the Lord. If you understand the sovereignty of God, you'll fear the Lord. If we repent, it is a gift from God, like faith. We are in God’s kingdom because of His mercy and grace. To the extent we want to progress in His kingdom, we still need His mercy and grace to repent. He wants us to acknowledge His ability in our life in all things. He wants us to seek Him for the desire to do right. 

Look at Rom 2:1 Wherefore thou art without excuse, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest dost practice the same thingsNotice that it mentions the plural, things. He's not saying you're doing the same thing that you are judging this person for. This is very important. 

(2) And we know that the judgment of God is according to truth against them that practice such things. (3) And reckonest thou this, O man, who judgest them that practice such things, and doest the same, that thou shalt escape the judgment of God? (4) Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance? 

This is why we shouldn't judge or be unforgiving. It's because we may not be doing the same thing we are judging someone for, but that's not the way the Law works. You break one part of the Law and you're a lawbreaker. If you're judging somebody else who has broken part of the Law and you consider them not worthy of God's forgiveness because they broke some part of the Law, God's going to judge you the same way. Now we have proof of that in James chapter 2. 

I might also remind you that Paul reminded us in 1Co 5:6, that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump, and, put out the leaven from among you. He was talking about outward moral disobedience or willful disobedience, and he told the church that there should be at least one among them that is spiritual enough to judge between the brethren and people who were in this outward, willful, moral disobedience, and that they should be separated from the church.

Be careful that when you talk about sin, you draw a line between willful disobedience and failure. Because for failure, the blood of Jesus covers it. Rom 7:16-17  But if what I would not, that I do, I consent unto the law that it is good.  17  So now it is no more I that do it, but sin which dwelleth in me.   So if a person wills to do good but fails he gets mercy and the blood covering.    Heb 10:26 But if we sin willfully, after that we receive the knowledge of the truth, there remains no sacrifice for sin, but a certain fearful expectation of judgment which shall devour the adversaries. 

The Lord is saying that if one of His children sins willfully, in other words, they know it is sin and they're going to do it anyway, then they are doing it with their will, then there is judgment and condemnation against that kind of a sin. But as we saw in Rom 7, the Apostle Paul himself was giving us his experience of failing the Lord and not knowing what to do because he wanted to serve the Lord and please the Lord. He was lamenting his inability to serve the Lord, and to be obedient to the Lord, and he was failing. Then he got this revelation in Rom 7:24 who shall deliver me from the body of this death?  He then said, (25) I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. Rom 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus.  He got a revelation of grace that is sorely needed!

God starts separating the sin from you when your will is against the sin. But when your will is for the sin, He judges you. And the Church should know this, but they group all sin in the same category. This is false and dangerous. It's inevitable that you will get judged when it's willful disobedience, because He's a good Father. You should do it with your children, too, if you are a good parent. You wouldn't let them get away with willful disobedience. You hate your child, the Bible says, if you do that.  

So He does not let willful disobedience go by (Heb 10:26); he doesn't want us to either. Well, in the Church it's the same way. The leadership is not supposed to let willful disobedience go by. 1 Corinthians 5 and 6 is a really good example of that. But concerning other things, concerning failures in the Church, of which there are many, because we are dealing with the outer man still, he gives us some advice here: 

Jas 2:8-9 Howbeit if ye fulfill the royal law, according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself, ye do well: (9) but if ye have respect of persons, ye commit sin, being convicted by the law as transgressors. In other words, you've got to love your neighbors just as much as you love yourself. You can't judge him any differently than you would judge yourself. Do you see the point he is getting at here? 

(10) For whosoever shall keep the whole law and yet stumble in one point, he is become guilty of all. (11) For he that said, Do not commit adultery, said also, Do not kill. Now if thou dost not commit adultery, but killest, thou art become a transgressor of the law. (12) So speak ye, and so do, as men that are to be judged by a law of liberty. 

In other words, you want to judge other people the way you want to be judged. Because what measure you measure it out it's going to be measured unto you again, the Bible says. That's why Jesus said be quick to get the board out of your eyes so you can get the mote out of your brother's eye. Well, here's the point. Since you are judging your brother according to the Law, you are going to be judged according to the Law. So he says be careful that you judge according to a law of liberty. You know what the liberty was? Liberty was the jubilee. Liberty was when all servants who were in bondage were set free.  

And we know what Jesus did for us. Because of the blood covering He set us free, and we consider that we accept God's forgiveness. And we accept God's blood covering over our failures until He gets us where He wants us. Well, we've got to be sure that we are saying the same thing and judging the same way for our brother. James says here in Jas 2:13 For judgment is without mercy to him that hath showed no mercy: mercy glorieth against judgment. 

So we have to be careful because we'll bring ourselves under judgment. We'll bring ourselves under the Law, as a matter of fact. So that's why he says in Rom 2:4 Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentanceIn other words, God had mercy upon you, He gave you a gift He didn't have to give you or didn't owe you. He could have given it to anybody. And yet, like Noah’s day only a small percentage of the world gets God's gift of repentance to turn around and goes His way. 

So He could give this to anybody. We should consider ourselves most fortunate to get this gift from God, to change our minds and go His way. And even to the extent that we lack in an area, we can go to God and He will help us; but He won't help us if we judge other people so we need to be careful. 

The Bible says, in 2Co 10:6, and being in readiness to avenge all disobedience, when your obedience shall be made full. Notice that in the scriptures, God used the elders to do this judging. When I mean elders, I'm not talking about people that went to Bible school, I'm talking about people who are grown up in the Lord, who are mature in the Lord. What does it mean to be mature in the Lord? It means for the Lord to be mature in them. The Lord is manifesting in them; there's fruit in their life; they're overcoming sin.

The Lord only gives authority to those who overcome sin. Rev 2:26 And he that overcometh, and he that keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give authority over the nations:  Rev 3:21 He that overcometh, I will give to him to sit down with me in my throne, as I also overcame, and sat down with my Father in his throne. The throne is the place of authority over the people.

God doesn't put people over the church that are in sin; the apostate church does that. In the Bible, He made sure that these were not novices they were laying hands on to ordain as elders, because, He said, novices were going to fall into condemnation of the devil if put in a position of authority, so these people had to be without reproach. And even to the world; (“those from without”), they had to have a clean slate. The church isn't paying attention to this nowadays. When God ordains elders, which are the 5 fold ministers, He does it according to whether they are overcomers or not, according to whether they are grown up in the Lord, not whether they pass their grades in Bible school or not. Because you know that you can pass the grades and answer the questions according to the way that they want to hear it and get your certificate, and that means nothing to God any more than the Pharisees did who were judged. 

Rom 2:5 but after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up for thyself wrath in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God; In other words, for people that judge other people while they themselves are living in sin, there's a day coming down the road where God is going to judge these apostates, so we have to be careful. 

Rom 2:1  Wherefore thou art without excuse, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest dost practice the same things. …   6 who will render to every man according to his works: 7 to them that by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and incorruption, eternal life: 8 but unto them that are factious, and obey not the truth, but obey unrighteousness, shall be wrath and indignation, 9 tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that worketh evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Greek; 10 but glory and honor and peace to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Greek: 

So the goodness of God has led us to repentance. And the goodness of God will continue to do that. The Bible says, By grace have you been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is a gift from God (Eph 2:8). So if we'll exercise faith towards God we'll get all the grace we need to walk with Him. We should know that God's got all the ability to put in us a will to be pleasing unto Him. But we need to acknowledge to Him that it's not our own ability. We need to go to Him for this grace and this ability and He will work it in us. Like we see in the Old Testament, David prayed constantly for God to work this desire in him. 

God deals with people and they sometimes just ignore Him. He even gives them a desire to do His Will and they still turn to their flesh and do their own thing. I was privileged years ago to witness to this young fellow that received the Lord and a week later he was dead. Have you ever heard of these horror stories? Witnessed to so and so and they didn't listen, they went out and that was the end of it. Well, this guy received the Lord one week and was dead the next. He got in an automobile accident and he was gone. But thank God, he knew the Lord. He was walking in the best of his understanding of the Lord when he died.  

It's a deception to think you can come to the Lord when you are ready, often because you are enjoying the life you have now. That’s because no one comes unto the Son except the Father draws him or her. When you are drawn you need to go, because you don't have a guarantee later, you've got a guarantee for now. If He doesn't draw you, you will not go. God does this corporately also. We are coming to a time when He is going to turn away from the Gentiles and turn back to the Jews. So there is a time for people to wait too late.  

Remember the parable of the ten virgins. Five were wise and five were foolish. The Lord came and five weren't ready, so the Lord took the five wise virgins. There's a line drawn in the sand there, and there's a corporate time when we can wait too late. But there are also individual times that a person can wait too late and not do something with the grace God has given them. When God is dealing with you it's because He's going to give you grace to go in His direction, but if you keep turning away from that grace, He'll take it back. He does reprobate some people which means rejected or not standing the test. We all have probably known people like this that have totally turned away from God to follow after the lusts of their own flesh. That's the only thing that pleased them.   

God can do that because the only reason that we have a desire to know the Lord and love His Word is because He put it in us. And to whom much is given, much is expected. If you don't do something with what God gives you, He'll take it back and give it to someone else. (Rev 3:11  I come quickly: hold fast that which thou hast, that no one take thy crown.) There are many people sitting on church pews right now that are in this state. They think that they are justified because they are affiliated with a church and they have a certain revelation and a certain denomination, but they are dead.  

In the Book of Jude it talks about these people who went after the way of Balaam for hire. He said they were without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots. Twice dead means that you must have been born-again. So God can reprobate someone who doesn't do something with the grace that God gives.  

The following is a corporate example of reprobation. Luk 13:22-24 And he went on his way through cities and villages, teaching, and journeying on unto Jerusalem. (23) And one said unto him, Lord, are they few that are saved? And he said unto them, (24) Strive to enter in by the narrow door: for many, I say unto you, shall seek to enter in and shall not be able. 

Have you ever run across people that really wanted to go God's way, but they weren't able? They weren't able to turn away from their sins. You see, the way we come in God's direction is because He grants us repentance. It's not just the desire; it's the repentance. Repentance means to turn around and go the other way, change your mind. God grants repentance or He doesn't grant repentance. A good example is in Heb 12:14 Follow after peace with all men, and the sanctification without which no man shall see the Lord: If you're not walking in holiness (sanctification), you are in danger. Sanctification (holiness) means separated from sin unto God. 15 looking carefully lest there be any man that falleth short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby the many be defiled 

You know, bitterness can destroy a person. If you don't forgive, you are not forgiven. If you are not forgiven, you are not saved. How could you possibly go to heaven if you're not forgiven? Jesus said very plainly that, if you don't forgive, you're not forgiven. Bitterness is unforgiveness; wrath is unforgiveness; anger is unforgiveness. That's why the Lord warns us to separate ourselves from these things. Be sure to forgive. Be sure to cast out any root of bitterness. He says many be defiled; they’re unclean, they are unacceptable. 16 ... lest there be any fornication, or profane person, as Esau, who for one mess of meat sold his own birthright. 

Now Esau was a son of Abraham and he lost his birthright. It seems Esau had bitterness and unforgiveness towards his brother Jacob. But people say they are a son of Abraham and can't possibly be lost. This is a huge error. Esau was a son of Abraham and he was lost. 17 For ye know that even when he afterward desired to inherit the blessing, he was rejected; for he found no place for a change of mind in his father, though he sought it diligently with tears. The word rejected here means reprobated. In other words, he found no place for repentance. “In his father” wasn't in the original, this was someone's theology inserted there. Esau couldn’t repent or change his mind. Judas couldn’t repent though he knew he was wrong.

Have you ever been under bondage to something and you didn't want to be there, but you couldn't change your mind, and you were in bondage to this thing and you didn't like it? Well, Esau couldn't change his mind. Being able to change your mind or being able to repent is a gift from God. And He will grant it to any one of us by faith. Christians have a right to it because we have promises for it, but we have to exercise faith to enter into it.  

Of course, the devil doesn't want us to understand that and know that. God freely has this gift to give us if we'll just exercise faith for it. However, He won't grant repentance to those judging other people, like we just read in Romans. There are other reasons too, such as self-righteousness, like Peter. Peter did not find the grace of God to be bold enough to stand and not deny the Lord. Why did he not find that grace with God? It was because he was self-righteous. He was considering his own ability and not God's ability. Jesus prayed for him that his faith wouldn’t fail him and he found repentance and became a great Apostle.

Some people say you can't overcome sin. You know why they say that? Because they only consider their own ability, they don't consider God's ability. God's ability has been given to us to overcome sin. There's no sin that you can't exercise faith in the Word of God and overcome it. The Bible says, having therefore these promises, let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God. (2Co 7:1) So, we can cleanse ourselves from any defilement of our flesh or evil spirits by faith in these promises. That's God's Word. We've got to believe it. God has all the ability; He has no problem overcoming sin in us, but He wants us to exercise faith for it.  

The Gospel is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believes it. (Rom 1:16) The condition is for us to believe the Good News. We won't bear fruit without agreeing with the Good News. Those who fear the Lord and repent have every right to claim the sacrifice of Jesus for deliverance from the curse. (Gal.3:13) Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us; for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree: (14) that upon the Gentiles might come the blessing of Abraham in Christ Jesus… The entire curse that was due us was put on Jesus. All we have to do is repent and believe.  

Only God gives the gift of faith to believe and repent. We have to go to God; He grants faith and repentance. True understanding of salvation by unmerited grace causes us to fear God. Some do not value the gift of God only to have it taken away and given to ones who do value it. 

If we consider ourselves able, like Peter did, then we are going to fall and we won't find grace from God. Peter didn't find it and he fell. He found it later through his stumbling. He obviously got the revelation and he got the Holy Spirit in Acts chapter 2 and he stood up and was used to convert thousands of people. He was very bold then to everybody. So anything we need we can go to God to get it because it's all been provided through Jesus Christ. It's all been provided. Just remember, when you need it go to God.  

Also remember, He said many will seek to enter in and they won't be able. Let’s start here in Luk 13:1-2 Now there were some present at that very season who told him of the Galileans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. 2 And he answered and said unto them, Think ye that these Galileans were sinners above all the Galileans, because they have suffered these things? 3 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all in like manner perishObviously, these people weren't suspecting that they were sinners.

Well, I would imagine today many Christians would say, “Oh, look at those sinners. Look what God did to them.” And just like these people were, they were expecting that the ones that God made an example of were not necessarily an example, but they were the sinners. And it's easy to look around and point the finger over there and say, “That's what sin is.” But sin is relative, isn't it? Jas 4:17  To him therefore that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.   And in people's minds its relative. And they always like to pick somebody they think less of, and point them out, to make them feel better about themselves. Mat 7:5  Thou hypocrite, cast out first the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye.   But our relativity is to Jesus Christ in His Word. It has nothing to do with comparing ourselves to others.

They were probably justifying themselves like a lot of people do today. They can't receive any kind of correction. Of course, the Bible says a fool hates correction, but there are a lot of fools. And 3 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all in like manner perish4 Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and killed them, think ye that they were offenders above all the men that dwell in Jerusalem? 5 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. Notice, it sounded like He was saying if you repented, you wouldn't perish. I'm sure some didn't get that out of it, but it's pretty clear, isn't it? If a person repents; “righteousness delivers from death.”  

And of course, repentance is coming into agreement with the Word of God. It's not coming into agreement with your church or religion, or feeling good, because you belong to any certain group. Repentance is coming into agreement with the Word of God. (Amo 3:3) How can two walk together except they be agreed? The Lord wants us to agree with the Word. 

Anyway, He went on to say in Luk 13:6 And he spake this parable; (And who is he speaking to? The same people, right?) A certain man had a fig tree (What's the fig tree represent? God's people. So He was talking to God's people among them.) a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came seeking fruit thereon, and found none. 7 And he said unto the vinedresser, Behold, these three years I come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and find none: cut it down; (This is the Father commanding to cut down this fruitless tree and the vine dresser is Jesus.) why doth it also cumber the ground? 8 And he answering saith unto him, Lord, let it alone this year also, till I shall dig about it, and dung it: 9 and if it bear fruit thenceforth, well; but if not, thou shalt cut it down. 

I'm sure you know a lot of people out there getting dunged and it doesn't bring any fruit of the life of Christ. So if this doesn’t bring any repentance or any fruit it's going to be cut down according to Jesus. Of course they say that couldn’t be me for I have gifts of the Spirit and I do this or that… We know it’s not gifts or works that insure we are in the Kingdom but the fruit of the Spirit.

Those who are lukewarm in their holiness are being spewed out of the mouth of the body of Christ, because that's what the threat is. Spewed out of the body of Christ. Well, he goes down in verse 23 And one said unto him, Lord, are they few that are saved? Well, the Lord said, many are called but few are chosen. Meaning among those that we call Christians, many are called. He didn’t say “all are called” because he doesn't call all, the Bible says. “He saved us and called us”, so all “they that are called are saved”. But if they don't walk by faith, they don't bear fruit. It is the elect “eklectos” or chosen that will ultimately bear fruit and be saved as in the parable of the sower. The fruit is chosen and the plant is plowed under.   

24 Strive to enter in by the narrow door: for many, I say unto you, shall seek to enter in, (Who is it that seeking to enter in? It’s not the lost people. These are people seeking to enter in through the door of the Kingdom.) and shall not be ableHe said, strive to enter in by the narrow door, and this was spoken to God's people. He says, strive to enter in. What kind of striving do we need to do? The Bible tells us to strive against sin and we strive to walk by faith to enable us to “walk as Jesus walked”. We have to do warfare against the enemy, to walk by faith so that we may receive the power from God to be well pleasing unto Him. We cannot be satisfied like the Laodicean Church. They were satisfied. 

Again Luk 13:24-27 Strive to enter in by the narrow door: for many, I say unto you, shall seek to enter in, and shall not be able(We think that if we seek something, we will just automatically have it, but that's not so. There is a time of reprobation when the fruit is not there. In this text it's very clear that God closed the door with the elect inside and the fruitless outside.) 25 When once the master of the house is risen up and hath shut to the door, and ye begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, open to us; and he shall answer and say to you, I know you not whence ye are; 26 then shall ye begin to say, We did eat and drink in thy presence, and thou didst teach in our streets; 27 and he shall say, I tell you, I know not whence ye are; depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity.  

Obviously there was no repentance, not enough fruit to keep them from being workers of iniquity. Now, many people believe everything that they do is covered by the blood. They can do whatever they want. And in the end, they'll not be found in the Kingdom. They're lukewarm, they don't walk under the King and therefore are not in the Kingdom. He said He doesn’t know them. They haven’t received His seed. 

We must gracefully correct them as in 2Ti 2:25 in meekness correcting them that oppose themselves; if peradventure God may give them repentance unto the knowledge of the truthSee, when we try to correct people, we try to bring them in-line with God's Word; the only hope is that God will grant them repentance unto the knowledge of the truth. Convincing won't really work; they'll just as easily convinced out of it. But, if God gives them the grace to repent and believe the truth, then that's the only way we are going to be successful. That's why we need to go to God first. If we think we can do it we're going to meet with much failure. We need to ask God to move in this person's heart; we need to ask God to grant this person repentance; we need to ask God to put the fear of God in them. We've got to start with God. If we don't start with God, He's rather insulted. Because obviously you think you can do it yourself. That's not the way people get grace from God. 

26 and they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him unto his will. We have to go to God. Remember, just as God put in you a desire and a will to serve Him and run after Him, He can do it for the people you are praying for. God uses substance to make everything out of, doesn't He? In Hebrews chapter 11, faith is the “substance” of the things hoped for.  

So we go to God by faith that He will put in this person's heart His gift of repentance and His desires. We can believe for our loved ones, we can believe for our children, because we have promises for all these things. We can pray to God. Jesus said, “All things whatsoever you pray and ask for believe you have received them and you shall have them.”  God will use our faith to put His desire in that person's heart to draw them unto Jesus. And they will recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him “unto the will of him” (Numeric).  

The devil doesn't have a free-will. He's bound in sin and shapen in iniquity, too, but if the devil's got somebody, that's God’s Will too. God is the only one that can, “will them” out from under the dominion of the devil. For example, the apostle Paul turned a Christian over to the devil in 1 Corinthians 5 because he was living in sin. It was the will of God that they turn this Christian “over to the devil for the destruction of his flesh so that his spirit would be saved in the day of the Lord.” For that Christian to be under the hand, or dominion of the devil was the Will of God so he would repent, because the devil is not nice to Christians and he'll make you wish you were back under the blood, where it is safe. The Lord is intent on turning us around when we go into sin

Ever see people that go to the altar, time and time again? They are continually and constantly crying out to the Lord, but they're never getting any deliverance. Well, it's because it takes faith to receive grace from God. Many people are being put under condemnation and they don't understand that condemnation is not the way to be an overcomer; faith is. If you stay under condemnation you will not have faith. Faith is the victory that overcomes the world, the Bible says. 

Paul says, 2Co 7:9-10 I now rejoice, not that ye were made sorry, but that ye were made sorry unto repentancefor ye were made sorry after a godly sort, that ye might suffer loss by us in nothing. For godly sorrow worketh repentance unto salvation, a repentance which bringeth no regret; but the sorrow of the world worketh death. 

The sorrow of the world doesn't work repentance. Godly sorrow makes you change your mind and go the other way. Sorrow of the world just works regret, meaning they go right back to sinning. We can be sorry, but it has to end up in faith, because faith is the only thing that gives us grace from God. Many people want to overcome their sin, but the only thing that they can see before their eyes is failures and they have condemnation and rejection. But when they change their mind and desire to go God's way they have got to have faith, they need faith in their heart.  

Without faith it is impossible to be well-pleasing unto God; without faith it's impossible to receive of His grace. So what you have to do with a person like that is you got to put faith in their heart; you've got to tell them that the Lord delivered (past tense) them from this sin and that the Lord will give them a desire to do what He wants them to do, but they need to get rid of their condemnation. 

Rom 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus. Note that it does not say “who walk not after the flesh” in the original. The KJV says that, but it's not in the ancient manuscripts or numeric pattern, because who needs this verse if you're not walking after the flesh to begin with? It doesn't make any sense; it was added in there. There is therefore now no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus while they are still in their sin, desiring to be delivered of it like Paul was. In Romans chapter 7, Paul was failing God miserably and he hated it, he wanted to serve God; then he got this revelation in Rom 8:1.  

Why did he get this revelation? Because the only way you can get out of the sin is to get rid of condemnation and get faith, else you're not going to have the victory that overcomes the world. We want a godly sorrow that works repentance, not just the sorrow of the world. The world is sorry because they got caught, or because they’re having troubles. We've got to be sorry that we are going the wrong way; we've got to be sorry that we are displeasing God; we've got to be sorry enough to turn around and go the other way.  Then we know we have received grace from God.

Joh 3:27 …A man can receive nothing, except it have been given him from heaven. That really does not fit with what we have been taught. Most of God’s people are absorbed in the teaching that some things are of God, and some things are not. This doctrine has been passed down through the traditions of men. We need to see God as being on the throne, always ruling over the devil as in Job 1. The circumstances in our lives motivate us to fear, respect, and to have faith in Him. We learn nothing when we blame the devil or people.  

For instance, in James 5:16 the Lord says, “Confess therefore your sins one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed.” It is common and convenient to blame the devil instead of seeing sickness as a chastening from God for our sins. Some go their whole lives and die in their sicknesses, never repenting, because they never saw a reason to since they were just being persecuted by a bad devil.  

Gal 6:7 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. In other words, we receive from God according to our actions. He will render to every man according to his works. We also make our own future. Through repentance and faith the sins of our former life are forgiven and washed away, but if we continue in those sins, then we will reap what we have sown. Now that makes us respect and fear God.

God has ordained the entire curse system to come against those who transgress. Whether God is using the devil, his demons, wicked people around you, sickness, or any other part of the curse, He is doing it to bring us to repentance and fruit. God will administer His gifts of healing, deliverance, and provision to the ones who are in line for God’s blessings through repentance, faith, and justification. 

The Lord brings spirits against us to chasten us and to cause us to repent, then after we overcome, He has total ability to make our enemies to be at peace with us. Pro 16:7 When a man’s ways please the Lord, He maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him. Jesus showed us that enemies are for the crucifixion of our flesh. Even if we are walking in what we know the flesh resists us and must die. We see here that God has total control over our enemies and He can put peace in their heart toward us when we overcome the flesh. We should remember this when we are tempted to take care of our enemies ourselves in retaliation.  

So we see, God uses our enemies when our flesh nature is still alive. God created our enemies just for that purpose. Pro 16:4 The Lord hath made everything for its own end (Some manuscripts say: for His own purpose.): Yea, even the wicked for the day of evil. We see God’s sovereign hand in all of this. God can send the wicked to us, for a day of evil, because some of our ways do not please the Lord. When we overcome, God can give us total peace in the midst of our enemies. Whether they are wicked men or demon spirits, it does not make any difference. 

The Bible says we can go boldly before the throne of grace to receive help. Well, if you're going boldly, you're going with faith, aren't you? We need grace and we have to get it from God. If we go by faith, we are going to receive the grace we need. The devil is really diligent in trying to turn us away and cause us to look at our past, look at our failures. If he can do that, you're just going to feel condemnation all the time. But the Bible says in  (Php 3:13-14)…forgetting those things that are behind let us press forward to the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. We've got to forget what's back there. We've got to look ahead “reckoning ourselves to be dead unto sin.”. We've got to forget all our failures and see what the Bible says about us and hold fast to itHeb 10:23  let us hold fast the confession of our hope that it waver not; for he is faithful that promised. 

So let’s look here in Jer 31:18 I have surely heard Ephraim bemoaning himself thus, Thou hast chastised me, and I was chastised, as a calf unaccustomed to the yoke: turn thou me, and I shall be turned; for thou art Jehovah my God. 19 Surely after that I was turned, I repented; and after that I was instructedI smote upon my thigh: I was ashamed, yea, even confounded, because I did bear the reproach of my youth. Notice the words “turn thou me.” The power comes from God. Notice: If He turns us we’ll be turned. And after we are turned, we'll repent, and do it His way. And this repentance causes Ephraim to smite himself upon his thigh. This is grief; grief for going against God. 

It's awesome how you can pray for people and God can even put the fear of the Lord in them. Think about Paul on the Damascus Road; God can save anybody He wants to save. What makes Him want to save somebody? Faith. We exercise our faith that He gives us. Now, who would be in Paul's shoes there on the road and they wouldn't say, “Yes, Lord?” God has the ability and He has the circumstances in His hand. We can be confident in the Lord.  

There are promises in the Bible for our children; our children won't be in bondage to foreign dominion (Deuteronomy 28). That was part of the curse that our children would be in bondage to the enemy. So Jesus bore the curse. Even when they think they want to go the other way, God is able to put in them the desire to turn and go towards Him, like Ephraim did, or ourselves, for failing God.  

It's the same way for us; “Lord, please change my heart. I invite you to change my heart and put in it Your desires to go Your way. Please put it in me, Lord, to do Your will and I'll serve You. We say with the Shulamite in Song of Solomon, “Draw me, and we will run after You”. God is pleased when we recognize that He is the only One with the power and the authority to give us abilities to do what He wants. Self-righteousness is a filthy rag before God. Our faith in our own ability will fail, like Peter. God sees to it; He makes sure you fail when you're self-confident for self is the enemy. 

Now when we confess our sins and our failures to God, we are cleansed of them. 1Jn 1:9 ASV  If we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Then we can have faith and the devil can’t condemn us. But is there a right place for condemnation? Yeah, sure there is. If a person is in willful disobedience, there's the right place for condemnation. If a person desires to serve God, that's when they need to get rid of their condemnation. When do we confess God's salvation and when do we confess our sins? Think about it. You confess your sins when you are repenting of it then you turn away from it. Then you confess Jesus and His gift of righteousness. You don't look back anymore.  

Some people just look at the sin over and over and over, but you'll never overcome it that way. You've got to say what the Bible says about you. You look at the sin one time, you confess it to God and then you forget about it. He will “cleanse you from all unrighteousness”. Do you believe that? You can't have it unless you believe it. 

What is unrighteousness? It's the thing that makes you sin in the first place. If He takes that out of you, are you going to sin? No. That's God's promise, and He means it too. So what we do is kind of like when the Israelites were in the wilderness and were murmuring against God, they were speaking unbelief against the Lord, and God sent the fiery serpents to bite them. Many of the Israelites were dying from these fiery serpents and the Lord gave to Moses the remedy that Moses was to put this brazen serpent on a pole, and everybody that got their eyes on this serpent on the pole and off the curse would be delivered or healed of the snake bite.  

We know that Jesus was that serpent on the pole, because He became sin for us (2Co 5:21). That's why He was likened unto a serpent. But if you get your eyes on Jesus, and get your eyes off the snake bite, you get healed of the snake bite. If you get your eyes on the snake bite and off of Jesus, you get nothing except more of the same curse. If thine eye be single thy whole body shall be full of light. 

Some very well-meaning but ignorant preachers like to get your eyes on your sin and keep them there all the time. With this approach, you could never overcome anything because you're always crying about your sin. The Lord doesn't want us to continue to cry about our sin, He wants us to reckon ourselves dead unto sin but alive unto God as in Rom 6. This is God's way of delivering us from sin. The Gospel is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believes it (Rom 1:16). The Gospel is the Good News! The Good News is that Jesus took your sins away.  

The Bible says let your speech always be seasoned with grace. If it's law and condemnation all the time then you're continually going to be looking inward instead of upward and you're going to be continually failing. Because you've got your eyes on yourself and the problem, you don't have your eyes on the serpent on the pole, Jesus. This is why He tells us we're dead to sin.  

Romans chapter 6 is the story of you being united with the death of Christ through baptism, so that when you come up out of the water you're dead and Jesus lives. That's our faith. That's why we get baptized. We get baptized so we are united with His death, burial and resurrection. In other words, when I came up out of that water, Dave was dead and Jesus lives. He lives in me. That's what Paul said. It's no more I that live; it's Christ that lives in me (Gal 2:20). 

Rom 6:11 Even so reckon ye also yourselves to be dead unto sin, but alive unto God in Christ Jesus. In other words, stop looking at the sin. Jesus is bigger. He took care of it. 12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey the lusts thereof: Why does he say that? Notice that verses 11 and 12 go together. If you do verse 11, then you get verse 12. He's telling you this is the way to not let sin rule over you. Reckon yourself to be dead unto sin, but alive unto God. This is the Gospel, the Good News. Jesus took care of sin. He already overcame the world. It's finished. He's taken away our sins. He was the Lamb of God that took (past tense) away the sins of the world. We are delivered. And he goes on in this chapter to tell us that we were made free from sin, in verse 22 But now being made free from sin and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto sanctification, and the end eternal life. 

That should give you cause to rejoice! We're free! We've got to be so confident in that because it's the Gospel that we keep our eyes on Jesus and He gives us power, if we believe it. If we don't believe it and we are continually looking at ourselves in sin, then we're going to get no power. Because the Lord doesn't want us looking at ourselves, He wants us looking at Him. Look at the promise and reckon it to be done. He said, “Reckon yourself to be dead unto sin, but alive unto God.”  I am dead to sin; sin no more has power over me. If you believe that sin has power over you, then it has power over you. If you believe that it does not have power over you, because of what Jesus did, then it has no power over you. 

And God will continue to do a good work in you because He's got faith coming out of you and you are speaking it. Gal 2:20…It's no more I that live, it is Christ living in me… Agree with the Word of God. I don't live, Jesus lives. David died. He died with Christ about 2000 years ago. I was spiritually united with Him at the time of my baptism. 

Jesus took away every sin and put it on His cross. All we have to do is believe the Gospel and He is able to do it. Do you know that He's not able to do it unless you believe the Gospel? He's not able to deliver you from sin unless you believe the Gospel. Remember that Jesus went to His own hometown and He was not able to do many mighty works because of their unbelief (Mat 13:53-57). He was not able. And He's not able to deliver from sin with unbelief either. We have to give Him the substance of the thing hoped for (Heb 11:1-2).  

Now concerning forgiving others, the correct confession is: I can forgive because of what Jesus did for me. I am dead to sin and alive unto God. Our confession has to be in line with the Word as in Rom 10:10 ... for with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. We need to agree with the Word and speak it. 

Most of the worldly church is living in the Old Testament. Because they consider the only thing Jesus came for was to bring forgiveness of sins, which the blood of bulls and goats already brought; but the Bible says it couldn't take away sin, so God brought another Covenant, by the blood of Jesus, in order to take away sin. They don't understand that this Covenant came to take away the very nature of sin, so what do they do? They want to go back and live under the Old Covenant where they just have forgiveness of sin. Forgiveness is good, we've got that, but we also have something much greater than that. 

The Bible says that God rejected that first covenant because it could not perfect. Why did He bring the New Covenant? Because what happened at the cross through Jesus Christ is that Jesus took away sin; took away the very nature of evil. He took it out of us. He nailed it on the cross. He gave us His life. See, these people are confessing something that's not New Testament. We need to confess what the Bible says about us and what the Lord did for us. Most people aren't entering into this because they are not agreeing with the New Testament.  

Gal 3:13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us; for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree: 

1Pe 2:24 who his own self bare our sins in his body upon the tree, that we, having died unto sins, might live unto righteousness; by whose stripes ye were healed. 

Heb 10:1-2 For the law having a shadow of the good things to come, not the very image of the things, can never with the same sacrifices year by year, which they offer continually, make perfect them that draw nigh. (2) Else would they not have ceased to be offered? because the worshippers, having been once cleansed, would have had no more consciousness of sins. 

God fulfills this Hebrews 10:1-2 in the New Testament. Why did He reject the Old Covenant? Because it couldn't make perfect them that draw nigh. Heb 10:14 For by one offering he hath perfected forever them that are sanctified. It is finishedRepent and Believe

Does God ever change His mind; does He repent? How can God change His mind when He knows and speaks the end in the beginning? Isa 46:10 Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things that are not [yet] done; saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure. If He sees all from the beginning, why would He ever need to change His mind? God will not change what is written in His Word. Psa 119:89 For ever, O Lord, Thy word is settled in heaven. His Word is likened unto a rock, immovable and unchangeable. However, God can change or delay what He speaks to you personally as a warning through prophets, dreams, visions, or His Spirit. When the Word ultimately comes to pass, it will be fulfilled as the Bible says it will.  

God gave us an example of this in the book of Jonah. Jonah cried and said, Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown (Jon 3:4). God told Jonah to preach unto it the preaching that I bid thee (Jon 3:2), so he did. He was not a false prophet. God spared Nineveh, the capital of Assyria, because they repented. This angered Jonah because Assyria was the mortal enemy of Israel and the prophets had already been prophesying that Assyria would conquer rebellious Israel. He wanted them to be destroyed for what he perceived was Israel’s sake. Jonah knew that if he preached to Nineveh and they repented, God would not destroy them, so he fled.  

Jon 4:1 But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he was angry. 2 And he prayed unto the Lord, and said, I pray thee, O Lord, was not this my saying, when I was yet in my country? Therefore I hasted to flee unto Tarshish; for I knew that thou art a gracious God, and merciful, slow to anger, and abundant in lovingkindness, and repentest thee of the evil. God spared Nineveh around 752 B.C. so that Assyria could conquer the northern ten tribes of Israel around 720 B.C. and then Judah around 701 B.C. Nineveh ultimately did fall around 612 B.C. God knew before He threatened Nineveh that He was going to spare them for the purpose of using them to chasten Israel.  

From Nineveh’s perspective, they changed God’s mind by repenting, but from God’s perspective, He changed Nineveh’s mind and fulfilled His plan from the beginning for them, which was to chasten Israel! Jonah’s Hebrew word for “repentest” here is nacham meaning “to sigh” and by implication “to be sorry.” In itself, nacham does not admit evil doing, or even a change of mind, only sorrow. As Father, God must do many things that He sorrows over. When the Scriptures speak of God repenting, it is for our perspective because it appears to us that He changed His mind and did not do what He threatened. As a parent five times over, I have done this many times. The difference between God and us is, He plans and sees the delays and repentances from the beginning. Num 23:19 God is not a man, that he should lie, Neither the son of man, that he should repent. 1Sa 15:29 And also the Strength of Israel will not lie nor repent; for he is not a man, that he should repent. 

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