The Unforgiving Spirit
“Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” Without Love, forgiveness does not hold; love ‘glues’ the godly virtues together in perfect unity (Colossians 3:13-14).
This is the message for this week from the Lord: unforgiveness. There are some Christian brethren reading here who are walking in unforgiveness. If that is you, repent and ask the Lord for the deliverance from this evil attitude. You may say, “This is easier said than done!” Well, we will share some moments of forgiveness that we have experienced in our ministry, corporately and as individuals. However, before we present our message, the Lord has provided a vision to share with some of you.
I mean “some of you” because some brethren have a teachable humble spirit, while others do not act in humility and obedience. In last week’s article, we put up a brief note to our readers encouraging them not to despise the teaching the Lord gives through this ministry. This week the Lord Himself has revealed in a Vision parable the attitude of some brethren with regards to these teachings. I therefore beseech you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to read and judge through the Holy Spirit this prophetic vision. Below is what the Lord showed and told Charis on Monday morning (February 25, 2013).
Vision of Rebellious and Picky Christians
“In a vision from the Lord given to me on the above date, I saw two young women sitting in a house and an elderly woman visited them and said, ‘You must come to church on Sunday, we are having Holy Communion.’ The two young women replied and said ‘we will come to church on Sunday’, and then in the vision it became Sunday, and then these two young women went to church and had Holy Communion. As soon after they had Holy Communion, the pastor started preaching saying: “When you are a Christian you don’t do wrong things and show others that you are rebellious, and when you are in the company of people you pretend to be a Christian and when you are alone you do wicked things” (Although these words were uttered by the pastor, this is what the Lord is telling us). However, these two young women did not pay attention to the pastor and take note of the message because they were on their cell phones. The Lord revealed to me that these young women would only go to church if they hear that there would be communion. Then I heard the Lord’s voice saying: “They do not accept the teachings; they only want communion”. With that, the Lord gave Charis the interpretation that there are a group of rebellious Christians who only love reading visions but reject the teachings that are meant to help them prepare for His soon coming!
If that is you, my brother or sister, change your attitude because this is not being submissive to God’s Word and so to Christ. We, as a family and ministry, are sent to you to convey the Lord’s message in a spirit of love. This is our commission: to share God’s love with you through His Word, and He will judge the rebellious.
Forgiving From the Heart
Forgiveness is simply forgetting a mistake someone committed against us, and releasing that person from the offence without seeking retribution. While it is true that we seldom forget bad experiences, we can choose to consciously overlook some mistakes. This we do to experience greater inner peace. I confess the truth here: if we harbour a grudge against someone, we are deprived of peace. If we disobey the continuous conviction of the Holy Spirit, we grieve Him and our mood changes within (Ephesians 4:30). Yes, we experience an uneasy or restless feeling when coming in contact with the person we failed to forgive. The opposite of forgiveness is hatred (1 John 4:20). The entire Christian experience is based on forgiveness and it is rooted in love as our preceding verse declares. Yet some Christians live in unforgiveness! I know many born-again Christians who live in hostility with one another. This is the modern trend; people think just avoiding someone is forgiveness. You are mistaken my brethren! The Lord says, “If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over” (Matthew 18:15 NIV). We should go and ask our brothers for forgiveness if we have offended them, and if they have not offended us in revenge we owe that to them; but if we both offended one another, then we both need to apologise to each other and ask for forgiveness. This was a gesture we recently experienced in our ministry. I will relate this shortly.
The parable of the unmerciful servant (Matthew 18:21-35) portrays how we ought not to act against others. This parable is a classic example of how people are treating each other today, unmercifully! The Lord, who is our Merciful Father, says we must forgive from the heart, embracing His Goodness and faith to overcome our weakness. If we all possessed perfection there would be no mistakes, thus no need for forgiveness. This perfect world however does not exist in our society, so our continuous need for forgiveness is unabated and so sin and mistakes follow us (Romans 3:10; 3:23). Our entire make up is sinful and we need humility to submit to one another, not pride to pretend we are better. As it is, our boasting is nothing but a mask. So then, we have a JUDGE who is perfect and who executes justice among man (Luke 18:8). What I am trying to say is this, WE MUST NOT SHUT THE DOOR OF OUR HEART’S TO OTHERS IN UNFORGIVENESS; WE ARE IN NEED OF FORGIVENESS OURSELVES BECAUSE OF OUR HABITUAL INCLINATION TO WRONG DOING. God is the JUDGE and He tells us to “FORGIVE” (John 8:7) and we should do so, otherwise the Father will not also forgive our sins (Matthew 6:15).
Unforgiveness Can Land You in Hell
A while ago, the Lord showed my daughter, Charis, a vision of a sister who was going to Hell for hatred. This sister had unforgiveness towards a brother who had offended her. In the vision, this sister's age was revealed and the things she did, including the sin of unforgiveness, were highlighted. The Lord sent this as a warning: “My daughter [X] will be cast into the lake of fire.” Charis then saw a huge angel picking the sister up as if she was nothing and the next moment she (Charis) saw her in the lake of fire. This lady was on the way to hell as a result of a GRUDGE.
People, the Lord loves us so much, and He expects his children to walk in love. Why compromise your salvation by harbouring revenge against your unsuspecting brother?
Experiences of Forgiveness and Reconciliation
Kindly allow me to mention this; the vice of selfishness and self-importance is always present to exalt itself in exercising a likeable or an authoritative influence over others. When we act selfishly, we extort justice and we behave unrighteous, which is ungodly. In our everyday dealing with people we express in various ways to others how important we are and psychologically, we impress it upon others to value us that way. This is foolishness because we create expectations which we know we fall short of. Don’t pretend to undervalue yourself because it is God who will exalt you (James 4:6). Christ knew His Godly status yet He humbled Himself for our benefit (John 17:5). Let us remain humble so that we have no trouble living with and among others.
As a brief testimony, we were on a witnessing assignment and a sharp disagreement ensued about a route we should take. This resulted in negative feelings among the brethren, although no hurtful words were used, but prideful attitudes became apparent which led to grudges. We still continued to fellowship together as the Lord commanded, but the love amongst us was cold. We avoided one another and since we are such a small group we felt very uncomfortable. In the meantime, the Lord knew everything and planned a reconciliation service. To everybody’s surprise the Lord Jesus said through Charis: “Your father must not preach tonight”, and with this He gave Charis a vision on the kind of service we should have. He showed her in a vision that I opened in prayer and thereafter we all participated in some discussion, but she could not hear what we were saying and His voice echoed, “They must confess their wrongs to each other” (James 5:16). We obeyed unmasked ourselves in humility and we made peace. This has since become the practice of our ministry and relationship with each other. In the assembly of everybody we make things right. We hide nothing!
Also, the Lord knows every heart and He told many of us to rid ourselves from grudges and unforgiveness. This is a lesson the church teaches and knows, how the Lord forgave His offenders for what they did to Him (Luke 23:34). He forgave the world; but we often fail to forgive one or two people! Our salvation started by asking for forgiveness from our Heavenly Father; shall we not continue to forgive those who sinned against us?
In another instance, my wife and I were once attacked by an unknown man. I was in serious pain with peptic ulcer due to my then drinking habit. As we walked, suddenly a man coming in our direction had other plans. As we were about to pass him, by mere instinct I saw him taking out a knife from his pocket and I pushed him aside and I commanded my wife to “RUNNNNNNN!” He charged at me with the knife, but I eluded him. I taunted him so as to distract his attention from my wife as I moved backwards. I then turned around and ran with all I had, and when he realized that he could not catch me he went after my wife. I wisely ran to the nearest police station and we chased after him. He got arrested, and to cut a long story short, none of us got stabbed. My wife and I discussed the matter and we decided to abandon the court case against him, going against the advice of the detective handling the case who petitioned us not to throw the case out. We were adamant to forget this experience and move on in love. I was advised to write a letter to the magistrate officiating on this case and in this letter we expressed forgiveness to him and that we prayed and hoped he would reform his wrong ways as compensation. We seized that as an opportunity to witness to him, the magistrate and the police officer through his wrong doing. That was the power of forgiveness!
Brethren, walk in Christ’s love and forgiving others will not be a struggle. I have also been a victim of abuse and being wronged, but through prayer I fought unforgiveness. I once forced myself not to hate a young man who hurt my four fingers and almost cost me the use of my right hand. I now give the glory to the Lord Christ Jesus for giving me the victory and the grace to easily forgive others!
In conclusion, here are some questions for you to ponder (and hopefully respond to in repentance):
- Are you walking in unforgiveness?
- Have you been holding a grudge against someone and not willing to let go and forgive?
- Are you compromising your salvation by harbouring revenge against your unsuspecting brother?
- Are you a rebellious Christian who only loves reading visions but you reject the teachings that are meant to help you prepare for Jesus’ soon coming?
- Are you willing to forgive others today and ask the Lord to forgive you too?
Blessed peace in forgiving love,