Unless You Release others You won't be Released
"Forgive, and you will be forgiven" (Luke 6:37 NIV).
Today I want to focus on the all-important subject of forgiveness (including repentance). My trigger for this was something that I came across via the Internet, a joint interview (back in January 2013) between Todd Bentley and the Founders of the God Channel, Rory and Wendy Alec. It was totally unpredictable that I would be moved by such an interview, because I had previously been quite indifferent. However to my surprise it stirred something in me, regardless of any prior misgivings about the Lakeland revival and its controversy.
All of us as believers should be interested in what God is doing in the earth today, how He is doing it and who He is doing it through. On a personal level, I am willing to lay down any preconceived notions about anything, especially if I can see God moving. Regardless of what has gone before. I refuse to be trapped by my comfort zone, which keeps me from seeing or hearing God. If any leader/believer is more loyal to his comfort zone, than to God, he/she will always feel on the outside looking in.
I learnt early on in my ministry that controversy was the rule rather than the exception. I accepted this once I realised that Jesus' ministry was never free of controversy - then or now. The loss of reputation is not rare to the ministry nor is being misunderstood or misrepresented, it comes with the territory.
However there is a spiritual law that cannot be revoked anymore than gravity and that is the law of forgiveness. Scripture is absolute when it comes to forgiveness. IF we forgive, THEN we are forgiven. It's that simple but no one said it was easy! Nonetheless, forgiveness can be likened to a spiritual key that unlocks spiritual doors and opportunities! "He who opens and no one shuts, and shuts and no one opens" (Revelation 3:7 NKJV). Or as one other translation puts it: "The One who possesses the key of David, which opens the possibilities so that no one can shut them. The One who closes all options so that no one can open."
When we forgive, a RELEASE takes place that can catapult us into our future and our destiny. But vice versa is also true. All of us remain in bondage when we refuse to forgive. We self injure and self-destruct when we choose not to forgive.
After Lakeland, most folks could not hear of Todd Bentley anymore, his tattoos or anything else for that matter! Putting such things aside, I found myself being moved by the Spirit after seeing Todd, Rory and Wendy openly discuss, repent and forgive one another before the entire Body of Christ during that interview. The "conviction" that I was left with was that God was definitely in that interview and was doing something new with them all, including the God TV.
Such repentance will affect a lot of people globally and usher in a new revival. Today Todd Bentley is being used in revival once again, this time in Pretoria South Africa and God is certainly moving, plus Todd has added maturity and wisdom these days.
In the same way we too can experience a personal revival in all that God has promised for us, as words that have brought curses are broken. We must never underestimate the significance of forgiveness. There is a release of power when forgiveness takes place, both corporately and individually.
On the other hand precious people all over the world, remain in bondage today, because of the words of their own mouths, spoken negatively over themselves or others. The truth is they will never experience personal revival, all the while they are not willing to forgive.
THE GOLDEN RULE
In his book "The Secret Kingdom" Pat Robertson wrote about the Law of Reciprocity:
One simple declaration by Jesus revealed a law that will change the world: "Give, and it will be given to you." Eight words, they form a spiritual principle that touches every relationships, every condition of man, whether spiritual or physical. They are pivotal in any hope we have... Jesus expanded the universality of this theme throughout His ministry, varying subject matter and application. His point was so encompassing that it demanded many illustrations. In the discourse from which we get the eight words, we find this expansion: "just as you want people to treat you, treat them in the same way." And from that, of course, came what the world describes as the GOLDEN RULE: "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."
Jesus went on, putting a frame around the eight key words in this manner:
Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. And do not pass judgement and you shall not be judged: and you will be pardoned. Give, and it will be given to you; good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, they will pour into your lap, For whatever measure you deal out to others, it will be dealt to you in return.
By putting this together with the world's greatest teaching on love, repeated from the Old Testament by Jesus as the heart of God's will, we establish the perfect "law" for conduct: "YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOUR AS YOURSELF."
THE ANOINTING FLOWS DOWN NOT UP!
It has been 5 years since Lakeland collapsed and a genuine RESTORATION process began. Yet this public show of humility was a good example to set before the Body. Leaders are obligated to lead by example and from personal experience I can verify just how effective such a time of open repentance and forgiveness can help to lift spiritual blockades that develop over time - due to sin, division, hurts, burn-out, wrong heart motives and more.
God can't move in any place where there is sin in the camp (where there is no repentance) or unforgiveness at the helm. "Precious OIL POURED ON THE HEAD RUNNING DOWN on the beard, RUNNING DOWN on Aaron's beard, DOWN on the collar of his robe" (Psalm 133:2 NIV).
NOTICE HOW THE ANOINTING RUNS "DOWN" NO UP! The same is true for the Church. The anointing is first poured on the HEAD. This denotes Christ, but also leadership, then to the rest of the Body. So if the leadership do not have their acts together, so that the anointing can flow, this will cut off the flow for the rest of the Body. In vice versa if those in leadership are right with God, then everyone else benefits from the anointing that flows down. It can never be the lay people's fault that the anointing is not flowing as it should. The responsibility rests with leadership. NEEDLESS TO SAY, WHEN LEADERS ARE RESTORED, IT'S IN THE BEST INTEREST OF EVERYONE! WE MUST NEVER RESIST RESTORATION.
Following this interview anyhow, I found myself for the rest of that day (with the leading of the Holy Spirit) pouring over hours of research. Going through old and new footage, listening to more interviews and much more; praying, thinking and contemplating my previous stance, and seeking God. I concluded with a renewed sense of humility towards all that the Holy Spirit is doing in the earth today, particularly through the prophetic and apostolic moves. I am fully convinced that such a mood of repentance and forgiveness is necessary and relevant right now for the entire Body of Christ.
So much RESTORATION is needed, in so many different quarters, right across the board. We simply won't get by without it, corporately or individually. And for such leaders to openly repent, globally, not only in front of select viewers but the entire Body of Christ, was a very healthy new beginning and makes way for the Latter Rain. In other words, THE BEST IS YET TO COME! And this is not limited to what the God Channel or Todd Bentley are doing, but all about what God is doing. It just so happens that God, is using them to reach millions of souls for Christ and this end time harvest needs its labourers. The destroyer comes, but God rebukes the devourer and restoration takes place. Only the Body must not turn against the head (leadership) and refuse restoration. This would be detrimental.
The adversary capitalizes on our ignorance, which is why so many of GOD'S PEOPLE perish for the lack of knowledge. "MY PEOPLE are DESTROYED for lack of knowledge" (Hosea 4:6 KJV). What is the knowledge they lack? It is the knowledge of God Himself! (His person, His agenda - what He is doing in the earth and how He is doing it).
MY PEOPLE ARE BEING DESTROYED BECAUSE THEY DON'T KNOW ME. SINCE YOU PRIESTS REFUSE TO KNOW ME, I refuse to recognize you as my priests. Since you have forgotten the laws of your God, I will forget to bless your children (Hosea 4:6 NLT).
RESTORATION RELEASES NEW HOPE
I also came away with a renewed respect for Rory and Wendy Alec. I am not so much interested in the opinions of others, as I am with God's WILL on this subject! HIS WILL IS ALWAYS ONE OF "RESTORATION." We must never lose sight of the fact that the working of the Holy Spirit includes the ministry of RECONCILIATION AND RESTORATION. In fact in many ways this is the lifeblood of the Body of Christ, without it, we cannot corporately move forwards in any real or sustainable way, regardless of what has gone-on before - we are all the wiser for it!
Benny Hinn recently reunited with his ex-wife. Lots of "debate and chatter" flies around such events. Whether approval or disapproval, judgmental or critical - and it spreads right across the global Internet like a contagious-virus! Even still, I am utterly convinced that people still want to see the power of restoration in demonstration, despite their doubts. It gives them hope in their own situations. Most people would be willing for the time it takes for restoration to be fully effected, so long as restoration takes place and restoration takes TIME. But during such TIME God can do many mighty things!
I have learnt and re-learnt in my own ministry, that when nothing seems to be happening, often that's when most is happening! Like Hosea 4 told us, we must KNOW our God. We must know how His Holy Spirit is on the job 24/7 and technically there is never a time when God is not working, moving, hovering, brooding, fixing, answering... but it is only as we trust Him that RESTORATION can take place and His perfect will fulfilled in our lives, (see Psalm 125:1; Isa 40:31; Jer 17:7-8; Pro 28:25). The only people who qualify for all the promises of the bible are those who actively TRUST God everyday of their lives. WE ONLY QUALIFY IF WE HAVE A LIVING TRUST IN GOD.
I WILL SAY OF THE LORD, HE IS MY REFUGE AND MY FORTRESS, MY GOD; ON HIM I LEAN AND RELY, AND IN HIM I [CONFIDENTLY] TRUST! (Psalm 91:2 AMP)
MY REFUGE, AND MY BULWARK, MY GOD, I TRUST IN HIM (Psalm 91:2 YLT).
The message of restoration is all powerful because it totally rebuffs hopelessness, which is very important since hopelessness can cause heart-sickness; "Hope deferred makes the heart sick" (Proverbs 13:12 KJV). RESTORATION SENDS OUT THE UNMISTAKABLE MESSAGE THAT GOD IS BIGGER THAN ALL THE CIRCUMSTANCES, THE OPINIONS OF MEN, EVERY SPIRITUAL OPPOSITION AND HOPELESSNESS. A message worth preaching! We MUST therefore be willing to see people properly restored, (with accountability and with much wisdom). The following scripture reveals the exact attitude that God wants us to have towards RESTORATION:
Brethren, if any person is overtaken in misconduct or sin of any sort, you who are spiritual [who are responsive to and controlled by the Spirit] should set him right and RESTORE AND REINSTATE HIM, without any sense of superiority and WITH ALL GENTLENESS, keeping an attentive eye on yourself, lest you should be tempted also (Galatians 6:1 AMP).
PRAYER FOR THE DAY
Father thank You that I can walk in forgiveness today. That I have the power to choose and I choose to treat others the same way I would want them to treat me. Through Christ I have freely received and I choose to freely give. Father help me by Your Spirit this day, to walk in unbroken forgiveness, in Jesus mighty name. Amen.
CONFESSION OF THE DAY
The law of reciprocity exists just like gravity. As I measure out to others, it's measured back to me. Mercy was given to me and is mine to give. I do that today in Jesus name.