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RobertW
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Joined: 2004/2/12
Posts: 4636
Independence, Missouri

 The Message of Repentance

I have been observing over the last couple years that the message of repentance is going out in many cases, but there is no real consistency as to what folk should be repenting of. One preacher says one thing and another says another. Sometimes the messages are in opposition. My question is, when we talk about repenting what is a list of some specific things that should be repented of? First:


1) What is the Church and America (or your Country) to be commended for?
2) What is the "I have somewhat against thee?"
3) What then is the corrective action?
4) What are the rewards for obedience?
5) What are the judgments for hardening the hearts?

Any thoughts or 'revelation' you would care to share? Surely God has a word for each individual church as He did the 7 churches.




_________________
Robert Wurtz II

 2005/4/8 13:16Profile









 Re: The Message of Repentance

Dear Robert,
I want to put my response in "Prayer neglected", not because I want to ignore what you asked, but I've been burning to testify on what the Lord has been saying to me, regarding revival and pentinence.

love, Neil

 2005/4/8 14:14
RobertW
Member



Joined: 2004/2/12
Posts: 4636
Independence, Missouri

 Re: The Message of Repentance

Quote:
1) What is the Church and America (or your Country) to be commended for?



How many repentance messages directed inside churches contain words of commendation? Can a message come from the Holy Ghost that leaves out the things that congregation or individual is doing right? I am wondering even now if this will be one of the litmus tests we can apply to know whether the message is genuinely from God or from man. From anger or from anointing.

Any thoughts?


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Robert Wurtz II

 2005/4/9 21:30Profile
Compton
Member



Joined: 2005/2/24
Posts: 2732


 Re:Clarity and consistency

Robert,

I agree with your investigation here. I hope this post captures at least some of the concern and objective you have in mind. I sincerely apologize if I am "talking to the choir" here an am looking forward to seeing how this discussion develops.

------------------------------------------------

As the father and spiritual head of my family I must at times play the role of prophet in my household. When I discipline my children I am repsonsible for two things: clarity and consistency. If I fail in either of those two areas my children can't be blamed completely for falling short of my expectations. Unstable parents confuse and ultimatley defeat the spirit of the children.

Consider: John the Baptist preached immediate repentance while many of todays prophets' preach some nebulous idea of utter holiness without offering any terms of satisfaction. I hear too many relentlessly crying "You brood of vipers!" without answering the children's question "What should we do then?"

Again, in the Jerusalem council James gave clear simple intructions to the local gentiles. He did not rant and rave about a repentance that never ends. Acts 15:20 says that gentile Christians were to refrain from things polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, and from certain types of non-kosher meats.

And still again, while Paul would be quick to rebuke over specific issues but he was just as eager to commend. (Prophets take note...) He commended the Colossian Christians for their order, the Thessalonians for their works, those at Philppi for following his instructions, and even those notorious Corinthians for holding fast to traditions he gave to them.

This issue is important to me. How much repentance can be preached to those who have repented? Is this the gospel Paul preached...salvation at the end of a bottomless pit of repentance?

Several members of our church, including my wife and I, have been spending the past few saturday nights talking with a local chapter of the Christian Motorcycle Association in preparation for a Saturdaynight outreach to the unsaved community in Lancaster Ohio. As I look around the room at us guys and gals I noticed two things. One, these were radically saved Christians and two, they wouldn't be accepted in most of the holiness churches I know of. (Afterall some of us have tattoos...)Thankfully we are staying outside of those churches to seek the lost. What type of gospel should we preach to those whose sins have left them wounded and wary, lying in a ditch as if robbed by the devil? Shall we make them twice the sons of hell just to satisfy our religous traditions?

How can we lead people to the cross and then cause them to doubt the blood? The atonement that we preach to new converts has a limited 90 day warranty. So many Christians wonder how they have lost their first love, the joy of their salvation. When they first believed and turned to Jesus, their eyes were brimming from a childs' faith...within a few years those same eyes have become hard and unforgiving because they could not move beyond works of repentance into works of grace. Spiritual maturization is commendable but we shouldn't saddle our fickle and unstable opinions onto each others backs in the name of the Lord!

Permit me to be honest; I observe that many prophets seem to congradulate each other in pointing out only the bad. Yet, it is a simple thing to understand that when raising children you must point out the good so that they can compass themselves to obey. How is it that many of our prophets don't even have the heart of most unsaved parents? Perhaps there really is no good in the family of God to report!

Robert, let me address your first question by trying to commend the American church, carnal as she is. I am sure many others could do a better job of it. In my opinion, the American church is the last great opposition against complete and total surrender to such darkness' as abortion, homosexuality, and even evolution. Certainly I don't mistake morals for salvation but without God's law, how will the lost sheep know they are lost? I also realize there are many others churches around the world that stand strong for moral righteousness, but I feel that the influence of this country places the American church at the forefront of these particular battles. We should cover ourselves in spiritual armor for these battles.

Additionaly, I am grateful for the preaching, teaching, and evangelism that is generated from the American church. In large part we withstood the plague of higer criticism from Europe. Yes the ratio of American evangelism and missionary efforts compared to the world are not as lopsided as they used to be...what did we expect? Praise the Lord that the church worldwide is multiplying. We are promised that the Church will be from every tribe, tongue, and nation! And while the American church should repent from many desperate sins, let's hold fast to the good that's remains.

Yes we have plenty of dead religion but let's not miss the forest for the trees. In a small forest there are few dead trees but in Yellowstone National Park there are many more dead and dying hollowed out trunks. Of course not all the trees are mighty oaks and that upsets us...we have no patience for the weaker trees in our forest. We want Jesus to take his ax to every sapling that cannot withstand the wind without our shelter. We prophecy every tree that is eaten out by ants is to be cut down when that tree could be healed by cutting off only a branch.

To those dear brothers who feel called as prophets, here is a gentle word. Paul said, if we must preach the law then preach the whole law including the promise. Likewise, if you feel called to tell the truth, then tell all of it, including the hope. Otherwise, we might conclude it's not Jesus' axe that you've come to grind.

MC


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Mike Compton

 2005/4/10 2:55Profile
philologos
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Joined: 2003/7/18
Posts: 6566
Reading, UK

 Re: The Message of Repentance

Quote:
Any thoughts or 'revelation' you would care to share? Surely God has a word for each individual church as He did the 7 churches.


Robert
I feel this is such an important issue. Whenever I hear somone say what the Lord is saying to the church is... I switch off. For the very reasons you have mentioned here. The Lord was saying something different to every assembly. I don't believe he ever speaks to the church 'universal' in the way that some say he does. I don't believe He has a franchise system for every assembly.

If I may apply it, I don't believe there is any such thing as 'the church in America" nor the church in the UK, nor the "church of the 21st century". There is One Church which is heaven and earth at the same time. I am part of it and so is Paul. There is nothing He could say to this church.

That leaves local assemblies. and God may well have a current word for these, but I think the expectation that God will speak to the "church in Europe" or the "church in America" is really a fundamental misunderstanding of the nature of the Church and of the churches.

It also leaves individuals... let [u]him that hath an ear to hear[/u] hear what the Spirit says to the churches...


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Ron Bailey

 2005/4/10 11:58Profile
Heavenlyman
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Joined: 2005/3/29
Posts: 51
Australia

 Re: The Message of Repentance

[size=xx-small]If I may apply it, I don't believe there is any such thing as 'the church in America" nor the church in the UK, nor the "church of the 21st century". There is One Church which is heaven and earth at the same time. I am part of it and so is Paul. There is nothing He could say to this church[/size]

Philologos,

May dear friend in Christ, it doesn't matter how the Holy Spirit spoke to the churches in individual ways, what ever we believe and think of the Holy Spirit speak to the churches, it may the same massage or not but still related to the selfish work of the assembly, nothing but to glorify their self. I believe the Holy Spirit speak to the individuals according to their work that does not glorify God, and convict them to that, even to the church congregation itself if they do hear.

let him that hath an ear to hear, hear what the Spirit says to the churches.

It's the stuborness-(spell check), of our heart stop us from hearing the Holy Spirit and lack of descernment, of the Soul and Spirit.

 2005/4/10 12:27Profile
philologos
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Joined: 2003/7/18
Posts: 6566
Reading, UK

 Re:

Quote:
May dear friend in Christ, it doesn't matter how the Holy Spirit spoke to the churches in individual ways, what ever we believe and think of the Holy Spirit speak to the churches, it may the same massage or not but still related to the selfish work of the assembly, nothing but to glorify their self. I believe the Holy Spirit speak to the individuals according to their work that does not glorify God, and convict them to that, even to the church congregation itself if they do hear.



I'm sorry but I am having difficulties with your English here. I don't understand what you mean by this.


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Ron Bailey

 2005/4/10 13:25Profile
Heavenlyman
Member



Joined: 2005/3/29
Posts: 51
Australia

 Re:

Basically people that supposed to be walking with Christ are to deaf to hear the Holy spirit massage. Lack of understanding people perish.

 2005/4/10 18:47Profile
Rahman
Member



Joined: 2004/3/24
Posts: 1374


 Re: Outward Religion Instead of Inward Relationship ...




Brother Robert,

When i first opened your thread i read it, and the first thought that hit my mind was "there's pro-active repentance and there's re-active repentance, we're past the former and the latter will define itself" ... Then i closed it with no intention of posting, but Holy Spirit said answer so here goes ...

i'm speaking from an American point of view because that's where i am and that's who Holy Spirit talks to me about ...

First off if any of us are attempting to tailor a "repentance" message around consistency amongst preachers we're doomed from the get go for the Bible has already informed us that there are tares amongst the wheat, wolves amongst the sheep, true Gospel vs. false, etc ... A "repentance" message can only be inspired of Holy Spirit via the Word (what it expilcitly says about repentance) and if any preacher can't find the consistency of message regarding repentance in the Word of God then he must be led by a different spirit than the Spirit that inspired it... The entire OT is about the how, why, consequences of not, and rewards for repentance, and if any preacher today in America nailed us with repentance messages on our "materialism", "sex", and "amusement" addictions alone for the next year non-stop it wouldn't be enough (my opinion) to get the majority of the American Church/saints detoxed from the terrible habits we now have ...

Let's just single out a constant repentance message on our "high place of materialism" alone ... Think about it, America is 8 trillion dollars in debt ... The average citizen is leveraged completely out in equity loans on over inflated home values, and up to their eyeballs in all other kinds of debt from SUV's we can't afford to custom cell phone rings we don't need ... The Stock Market has become a joke where unethical brokers/advisors sheer the average individual and fund investors who put the trust of their futures in this man made institution of astronomical IOU's ... Same with 401 K's, Social Security, Pension Plans, the US Government, the Fed, the fiat dollar, or anything else folk persue/trust as their security more than they persue/trust God ... Now think about that at least 56% of the American public claim Christ as Savior but a huge percentage of these folk are numbered amongst the leveraged out at whatever socio-economic level they might be on ... Is this scriptural? ... Did God put us in this mess? ... And if it wasn't God then who did? ... As plain old common folk, let alone as a mega church or state and federal government, how did we become convinced that it was a blessing from God that we could attain all this alledged "prosperity" OWING thru the nose! ... According to Deut.28 that's certainly not God's way! ... It's all a lie, and we're living that lie, and who's the father of all lies? ...


Then you asked;

"My question is, when we talk about repenting what is a list of some specific things that should be repented of? First:"


My answer, "First - our daring even to fix our brains/mouths to even formulate such a question ... This to me is the kind of question that just reeks of how far away from the voice of Holy Spirit we've gotten ... Repentance is not a list ... 1Cor.6: 9-11 states ...

Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.

Notice how God just runs off a number of sins (and certainly not all) not in any particular order? ... But what does satan do, he causes us to list them in an order ... Hmmmmm God, covetiousness certainly can't be as bad as actually stealing, etc ... But God lumps them all togeteher as SIN!!! ... We are admonished to present ourselves a living sacrifice to God, which is our RESONABLE service ... So repentance individually is but ones "reasonable" reaction to the conviction of The Holy Spirit to whatever one has done that's quenched or grieved Him ... Collectively it's the only "reasonable" reaction of any under shepherd who hears/sees what Holy Ghost tells/shows him is the sin(s) that are so easily besetting his congregation, and by God he's supposed to tell them!!! ... That's why Christ wrote to the "angel/overseer" of the 7 churches in Revelation ... That's why in my own experience Christ sent me directly to my pastor ... Lists have a tendency to make sin less grevious to us the further down the list it's listed, but it ALL grieves God, so that while one may not be a fornicator or adulterer any more, or one has cleaned up ones debt, or have dismissed porn from ones life, does not excuse one from holding malice against ones fellow man/saint, telling a small lie, cursing the driver that cut one off, or a fleeting wicked lust filled thought ...

God is balance, also obvious from His dealings with the 7 churches of the Revelation ... But today instead of following Christ lead, far to many pastors seek (for financial reasons) to keep the message of Christ to the complimentary side at the deadly elimination of His last phrase messages to "repent" ... or else! ... Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God, and how can we hear without a "preacher" of the Word of God be it first unto salvation, second unto all the fringe benefits attainment of salvation has for the convert, and third subsequent "how to" messages of gaining and maintaining our fuller walk with the Lord, of which the awareness of our need of continual "self check" repentance is most crucial ... To me "pastors" have the heaviest responsibility of the five-fold ministry for when their ears/eyes become deaf/blind to Holy Spirit's leadership, chances are their gonna harm a whole lot of our good Lord's flock and Christ don't take to kindly to that! ... PRAY FOR OUR PASTORS!


As to your numbered questions let me preface by stating that out of all the hundreds of thousands of churches in the U.S. i'm sure they are a mixed bag representation of every type of the 7 churches mentioned in Rev. 2 & 3, and then some with dibs and dabs mixed from each other ... i think these representative churches were placed in scripture as God's way of pretty much indicating to us where all things that displease Him in His Bride stem from ...

But in order to grasp what i'm about to extend next we've first got to look at the American Church as a single entity within the entire global Church ... You know how God often times (especially in the OT) viewed a group, or entire nation under the same individual scrutiny as He would a single person ... As say with how God often times viewed His nation of Israel as an single entity of apostacy even tho there were a remnant of true believers existent therein, or His complimenting/judging the 7 churches in the Revelation as single entities when we know they were made up of individual members some on fire for God, others not (like the inner and outer church we experience in many congregations today) ... So with this in mind i think Christ Himself has done the best job in Rev. 2 & 3 of answering your questions #'s ...

2) What is the "I have somewhat against thee?"
3) What then is the corrective action?
4) What are the rewards for obedience?


Now as to your question #;

1) What is the Church and America (or your Country) to be commended for?


Personally, at present, as a collective (not individually) American church, i don't see to much to be commended for ... i think the soul/spirit of America the nation, mainly because of the American Christianity (we are supposed to be the salt and light), is but a reflection of how the majority of we American saints are, and to me thats double-minded, or as i've come to call it: "schizophrenic" ...

- We want to be right and wrong at the same time, or at least wanting to tailor right and wrong situationally and not absolutely ...

- We want our cake and eat it too! ...

- We want to have it both ways! ...

- We want to pursue God, but pursue mammon and amusement equally, which of course never can happen because God will lose out every time ...

And so we've encouraged false prophets to pop up like weeds to tickle our ears with their heretical hitching of "the Messianic theme to the American dream" and now we've got such a strange new gospel gone forth that only God Himself can tear down those false walls and false wall builders ... But i digress ...

i think the terrible "schizo" thing that has happened to the American saint/church/nation is that we think we're still speaking to and serving Christ (as in yester year) like as unto the Church at Philadelphia ... Case in point the self righteous indignation shown in America after 9/11 where so many of our politicians proclaimed America still a moral and ethical nation ... While in fact Christ is speaking unto us like as unto the Church of Laodicea, and we can't even hear Him knocking because we've got our earphones on blasting the new gospel ... And from a spiritual sight perspective our own self righteous blinders eliminates from view the materialistic/pleasure persuing idolotry we've all to a greater or lesser degree set up in unison to our pure worship of our Lord ... We've completely lost sight of just how jealous our God is, and equally just how dangerous it is to provoke Him (still) to such jealousy ... So we continue to fool ourselves into thinking that God's open door is still before us (which we'll soon find is now very shut once we smack into it), that we still have a little strength (when actually were now lying in a sick bed of spiritual affliction), that we're in fact still keeping His Word (just because 56% of us still claim Christ), and that most certainly we don't deny His name (even tho now one can barely hear it without it being mentioned in the same breath as health, wealth and seed) ... Case in point the most recent (embarassing to me) TBN Praise-athon ... What is a Praise-athon? ... What is it patterned after? ... Is it's purpose to praise Christ or raise money? ... If it's the latter then shouldn't it be called a Raise-athon? ... But i digress again ...

Laodicea wasn't commended but counseled, then warned ... Why? ... Because it couldn't see it's own sin anymore ... Now that's scary!


Reinserting anew your question regarding the listing of sin i think the two things that killed Laodicea were that she felt secured in her wealth (surely that was a "pleased" sign from God), and that she probably had a "list" of the big sins that she didn't do (well at least hid well), and everything else was allowable and therefore could justify her conclusion, "I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing" ... How can anyone convince pastors and saints with such a mindset that we're in need of deep repentance? ... Scripture shows that actual judgment always does what the prophets couldn't, and that's lower a "rebellious house" on our faces weeping in re-active repentance before God ... When i was a boy and my Dad would say to me, "Son don't do that or I'm gonna have to whip you", i was never more sorrowful, pled more mercy, and was more repentant to him as when i was in the midst of recieving that whipping ... God's way more patient than my Dad ever was ...

- thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:

- I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. Behold, I stand at the door, and knock (Church stop doing that!): if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me (You won't get a whipping).

But eventually we force our most loving, patient God to perfomance of His terrible grace;

- As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent (Right now! ... Be pro-active, before the woodshed experience!) ...

But we've not done so, and we're not going to this side of calamity ... So it's the woodshed for us brother Robert ...


As to question #;
5) What are the judgments for hardening the hearts?


Answer: "I rebuke and chasten" ...

But praise God He does it because He loves us ... i find it of good reason that Holy Spirit showed me via the history of Revival in America that the one we should have been enthralled in around the 1950's fizzled because it just couldn't compete with our economic boom time of that period ... For me i don't have to be Sherlock Holmes to deduce that this soon period of economic desperation should have a most desirable effect towards Revival, while weeding out all those that need to be weeded out to boot! ... Seems elementary ... i think the closing of the door of American nation/Church material prosperity will open up such a new door of American Church spiritual prosperity, and after all truth be told the latter is the only prosperity that really counts! ... Christ said ...

"Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal" ... Matt. 6:19,20

In the case of the American Church i think again we've already blown pro-active repentance ... i think in the spiritual realm the paradigm has already shifted to re-active repentance ... To me what has become so wrong with us as a collective church is that we no longer have "ears to hear" the Holy Spirit, we think for the most part we're just not that bad, so therefore "repentance' is the furthest thing from our mind, especially so from the pulpit ... We're full of the world, and sin, most oblivious to it and few to well aware ... But none of the faithful remnant need despair for God has His own way in store of bringing hearing to our "collective" clogged ears, sight to our blinded eyes, and bowing to our knees ... We just haven't met that date in time yet, but in my spirit i sense it's presence breathing down our neck ...

So in the meanwhile thanks to that word ...

"The Terrain has Changed"
http://www.sermonindex.net/modules/newbb/viewtopic.php?topic_id=5157&forum=35

...i've ceased my weariness and am looking forward with renewed strength of anticipatory service to our Lord Jesus Christ in the "perfecting" of His saints thru the coming adjustment toward the American Church's REVIVAL! ... Amen


The following sermon gives a indication of how "The American Curch" is viewed ...

ITCHING EARS (2Tim.4: 1-4)
(45 min. - abruptly cuts off but a good sermon)
http://www.fireonthealtar.com/apostolic/brown/Itching%20Ears.mp3



 2005/4/11 10:27Profile
InTheLight
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Joined: 2003/7/31
Posts: 2737
Phoenix, Arizona USA

 Re:

Quote:
How many repentance messages directed inside churches contain words of commendation? Can a message come from the Holy Ghost that leaves out the things that congregation or individual is doing right? I am wondering even now if this will be one of the litmus tests we can apply to know whether the message is genuinely from God or from man. From anger or from anointing. Any thoughts?



I'm not sure this would be the best litmus test because in the messages to the 7 churches I believe there wasn't much commendation for Sardis or Laodicea.

I think perhaps the best litmus test would be to ask if what was presented was the ultimate standard of Jesus Christ representing man as God intended him to be, and as he will be through grace, in Jesus Christ.

Before the messages to the churches Jesus is seen as walking among them with a "garment down to the foot" (Rev 1:13). I believe this is a picture of judges robes. He is also wearing a gold girdle around his chest. The chest pictures affection and gold pictures the divine nature. To the churches, with all their problems, He comes in the strength of God's love and affection to recover and restore.It is in love that he brings the rebukes.
"As many as I love, I rebuke" (Rev 3:19).

I know this well from the times when I have to discipline my own children, they sometimes need a spanking but when that happens I regret it as much as they do.

I think we can learn from that and consider when we judge the churches for all the faults we see, we should search our hearts to see if it is redeeming love that motivates us.

One thing that seems to be apparent in the message of repentance to the 7 churches is that where there is a spiritual decline, God's restoration method is a fresh presenting and unveiling of Jesus in His true character. Before presenting the negatives of judgment, God presents(or re-presents) the positive standard of Jesus Christ.
People will only see the wrong if the right is set in front of them, those who would present a message a repentance must remember this.

In Christ,

Ron




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Ron Halverson

 2005/4/11 18:34Profile





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