Some ‘Christians’ use Paul’s “Forgetting the things which are behind…I press on” statement as an excuse to not get right with those they’ve hurt. They think they can press on without getting right….
I know a church leader who did this very thing publicly before the entire congregation, and twenty-some years later he still hasn’t gotten right with many people he hurt. What is he thinking? He certainly misread Paul.
Paul didn’t say he was forgetting to get right with those he hurt in the past, what Jesus said we are supposed to quickly do in Matthew 5. Much of Paul’s “pressing on” was to make sure that he did everything necessary to make sure that he would “be found in Him,” “becoming conformed to His death” that “I may attain….”
Paul was so careful to make sure he was solidly in Christ that he could without hesitation say: “be imitators together of me.” I am “an example” of how to do it. Paul actually fought and won in his struggle with demons (I’ll explain this below).
2 Beware of the dogs, beware of the evil workers, beware of the false circumcision. 3 For we are the circumcision, who worship God in the Spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh; 4 though I myself might have confidence even in the flesh. If any other man thinks that he has confidence in the flesh, I yet more: 5 circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; concerning the law, a Pharisee; 6 concerning zeal, persecuting the assembly; concerning the righteousness which is in the law, found blameless.
7 However, what things were gain to me, these have I counted loss for Christ. 8 Yes most certainly, and I count all things to be loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus, my Lord, for whom I suffered the loss of all things, and count them nothing but refuse, that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own, that which is of the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; 10 that I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, becoming conformed to his death; 11 if by any means I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.
12 Not that I have already obtained, or am already made perfect; but I press on, if it is so that I may take hold of that for which also I was taken hold of by Christ Jesus. 13 Brothers, I don’t regard myself as yet having taken hold, but one thing I do. Forgetting the things which are behind, and stretching forward to the things which are before, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. 15 Let us therefore, as many as are perfect, think this way. If in anything you think otherwise, God will also reveal that to you. 16 Nevertheless, to the extent that we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule. Let us be of the same mind.
17 Brothers, be imitators together of me, and note those who walk this way, even as you have us for an example.
How do we know for sure that Paul got right with everyone he was supposed to, so he had a totally clear conscience? In Acts 23 and 24, Paul tells us specifically: “I also practice always having a conscience void of offense toward God and men.”
Part of Paul’s “pressing on” was to make sure he was right with everyone, “having a conscience void of offense toward God and men.”
Paul, looking steadfastly at the council, said, “Brothers, I have lived before God in all good conscience until this day.”
1 After five days, the high priest, Ananias, came down with certain elders and an orator….
10 When the governor had beckoned to him to speak, Paul answered, “Because I know that you have been a judge of this nation for many years, I cheerfully make my defense, 11 seeing that you can recognize that it is not more than twelve days since I went up to worship at Jerusalem. 12 In the temple they didn’t find me disputing with anyone or stirring up a crowd, either in the synagogues, or in the city. 13 Nor can they prove to you the things of which they now accuse me. 14 But this I confess to you, that after the Way, which they call a sect, so I serve the God of our fathers, believing all things which are according to the law, and which are written in the prophets; 15 having hope toward God, which these also themselves look for, that there will be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust. 16 Herein I also practice always having a conscience void of offense toward God and men.”
Paul’s battle with demons is explained in my Let Us Be ONE prophecy. “He fought and won — not at first.” “They made him obey”:
… Do not let it get in, your pride. Don’t take it. Don’t accept it as your own. It is not from above, but from the father of lies. He remains inside of most who disobey. The demons are thick as muck, all over, festering. There is much confusion, and it is not right. They can get in. Many don’t believe they are filled. It is them, part of their personality. Yes it is, but it is not Me. You are full of them, those yukky things that wreak inside My body, making it unclean. Paul did not have these. He walked tall. They made him obey, for he learned how to live above the fray. He hated disobedience and shunned sin. He still had a spirit of pride that held him back, but it was not from Me, and you know it.
You know you are like him in many ways, hurting, because you haven’t given your all. He overcame. Sin had taken him for a ride. He had hurt many, taking them into prison, putting them in chains—people like you who proclaim the Gospel. He took time to pray and overcame His grief. He was amazing, and is with Me, happy, because he fought and won—not at first. It took time. He needed to be holy. Righteousness came, and he grew until he became great in My thinking, full of Me, pride no longer. He humbled himself, and slowly became obedient until the point of death. He hurt.
Many are in dismay. They think he is great, that no one can be like him, but you will do better. He faltered. You, as a body can do much better. You can be one, you in Me, all under authority, all led by Me, all together, all one, hand in hand, much better than it was. Can you believe it? …
So what are we waiting for. [WordPOWER!] Jesus on reconciliation in Matthew 5: If you remember that your brother has anything against you, reconcile quickly or . . .
Paul can no longer be used as an excuse: “I also practice always having a conscience void of offense toward God and men.” / “Brothers, I have lived before God in all good conscience until this day.”
I’m currently ending my Who-Goes-To-Heaven Scriptures — Narrow is the Way article with this:
That we may have boldness on the day of judgment.
2:28 Now, little children, remain in him, that when he appears, we may have boldness, and not be ashamed before him at his coming.
4:16 We know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and he who remains in love remains in God, and God remains in him. 17 In this[,] love has been made perfect among us, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment, because as he is, even so are we in this world.
Those who won’t get right with those they know they should will not only be in big trouble on Judgment Day, but they can also be standing in the way of the Third Great Awakening from happening. If God came now in His glory how many would get zapped: Mike Bickle: Making a Purity Covenant so the HOLY Spirit can come and we won’t get zapped … to bless His heart — that we may be ONE!
Reconciliation prepares the way so we can have full revival, which is actually just real Christianity: Asbury Revival, 1970: “‘Dr. Kinlaw, I am a liar. Now what do I do?’ … Three days later, she came to me radiant, and she said, ‘Dr. Kinlaw, I’m free!’”
Enabling abusive people helps them prolong their agony. Imagine the joy they could have when they’re free, like this woman at Asbury!
On the other hand, helping abusers reconcile is preparing the way for the Kingdom — so fruit remains and we’re all happy — when God is again clearly in our midst!
If we build it He will come!
He’s just waiting in the meantime.
ONE will happen when we reconcile — become right with each other.
And the more God shows up the easier it will be to see our sin, and the less we’ll be concerned about what man thinks when we admit what we’ve done. The fear of God will supersede the fear of man.
The people who hurt people don’t want to lose face, but usually the people see the sin anyway. They’re not really getting away with anything. They might be able to fool some people, but many know — especially the prophetic — and that’s why they don’t like and even James-3 curse those who are gifted by God to know — and love-inspired by God to not give up either.
In Bible school, Frank used to say “You can either fall on the Rock or the Rock will fall on you.” Which do you prefer? Get right with God voluntarily and experience the joy of the Lord and the good fruit that will follow, or stay feeling guilty (condemnation actually – Romans 8:1, including 8:1b) until the tragic consequences finally occur. “It’s a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of an angry God.” Which is what Hebrews 10 says happens to willful sinners.
So why not get right now? The woman at Asbury said it would kill her if she admitted to people that she had lied to them. But then when she did, God filled her with so much joy!!!
And right now, we’re looking at the collapse of America. Do you want to be the one who kept the revival from happening, so God couldn’t show up and help us through the difficult times ahead?
Right now, the church is basically powerless. A main reason is The Achan Factor: The Achan Factor — Because of one man’s disobedience, the entire nation of Israel had to deal with the “Achan Factor” among them before they could come under the umbrella of Almighty God’s blessings once again!
I’m not sure how to end this.
If you’ve hurt people that you know you are supposed to apologize to, please just do the right thing no matter how hard it may seem. Fear God, not man and “go forth and multiply.” Perhaps God is saying that when one starts and experiences the joy and freedom, then many others will also get right with those they’ve hurt.
You can be the catalyst that started the whole thing!!!
Focus on the fruit that will come, and just do it. Many of us have known all along anyway. From many of us you’ll get big smiles, not put downs. We’re in this together. The fear of man is overrated (demon empowered) and the fear of God is tremendously underrated when we’re not close to Him.
We can start the Third Great Awakening! God can and will show up when the Achans, Ananiases and Sapphiras come clean.
The Third Great Awakening just has to start at just one church, and then it will spread like wildfire — people coming from everywhere wondering how we did it!
Jeff Fenske : )
The Didache (70-100 AD): Reconciliation was required to attend early church meetings! “Let no one who is at odds with his fellow come together with you, until they be reconciled, that your sacrifice may not be profaned.”
Asbury Revival, 1970: “‘Dr. Kinlaw, I am a liar. Now what do I do?’ … Three days later, she came to me radiant, and she said, ‘Dr. Kinlaw, I’m free!’”
Leaders Who Have Hurt People But Refuse to Repent
[WordPower!] In Psalm 50 God Warns: “You have done these things, and I kept silent. You thought that I was just like you. … Now consider this…lest I tear you into pieces and there be none to deliver” (Hell?)
The Welsh Revival of 1904-05 by J. Edwin Orr: A Countrywide Asbury-like REVIVAL! The 4 Points: #1 Confess any known sin, and put any wrong done to man right again. #2 Put away any doubtful habit. #3 Obey the Spirit promptly. #4 Confess your faith publicly.
Paul aimed to always please the Lord, knowing that all we do will be “revealed before the judgment seat of Christ; that each one may receive the things in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.”
“No snowflake in an avalanche ever feels responsible”
Wes Hall [IHOP] on William Seymour’s 1909 prophecy of the shekinah glory returning to the church in 100 years: “Let me tell you about the church in the book of Acts. …the fear of God was on the community, and no one dared join them. But they were highly esteemed. Why did no one dare join them?”
The Azusa Street Revival (1906-15): The biggest move of miracles in the history of America — The fire of God’s glory on the roof! “Even the fingernails grew back!” In 1909, Seymour prophesied the next revival will come in about 100 years! We’re due!!!
The R-Word: ‘Reconciliation’ is Required to Worship in Spirit and in Truth — Why is this key to revival a taboo subject?
My Dream of ‘ONE’ Happening at Abbott Loop CC!
[3-minute video] The Hermeneutics of Language: Few still say “You’re welcome.” | The Benchmark of the Psychopathy: The almost organic inability to look back, to recognize error, hurt, disappointment and pain — an inability to appreciate consequence and to take responsibility for actions of one’s past
Clive Boddy: Corporate Psychopaths Rule Over Us — The key thing about psychopaths is they’ve got no conscience. If you caught them lying, they wouldn’t be flustered. They come across as almost better than everybody else, and they can make you feel as if you’ve just met your next best friend. By the time that you realize who they really are…
Are Today’s Pastors Part Sociopath? — “Sociopaths never accept the slightest responsibility for anything that goes wrong, even though they’re responsible for almost everything that goes wrong. You’ll never hear a sincere apology from them.”
Paul’s Elders’ qualifications revisited: What does ‘BLAMELESS’ mean? — Most pastors are biblically disqualified