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   It could be said, “It is saintly to forgive.” Indeed, living “saintly” and “sanely” in this world depends on being able to forgive and forget wrongs. Some of those wrongs, however, are not soon forgotten.
  Just ask someone who has been abused as a child by a relative or ask the one who suffered a loss of a loved one because of the murderous action of another person. Not even a lifetime can fully erase some wrongs, but there is hope.
  It is a hope of a future without wrongs. It is hope beyond sorrow. It’s a hope assured to come in the Kingdom of Yahweh. And Elohim shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. … For, behold, I (will) create (a) new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind, Revelation 21:4; Isaiah 65:17. (The King James Version 1900 used throughout unless otherwise noted.)
  The question is, will we be able to forgive so that we ourselves can receive forgiveness and enter that kingdom? For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses, Matthew 6:14-15.
  The seriousness of our calling and how we are to treat our fellow man will impact the final outcome of whom we become.

7 X 70 = Continuously
   Yahshua taught that we need to be ready to forgive one another. Time and time again, if need be. Then came Peter to Him, and said, “Master, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times?” Yahshua saith unto him, “I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven,” Matthew 18:21-22.
  After answering Peter’s question, He gave this parable as an example of the seriousness of forgiveness and its importance in our lives:
  Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened unto a certain king, which would take account of his servants. And when he had begun to reckon, one was brought unto him, which owed him ten thousand talents. But forasmuch as he had not to pay, his master commanded him to be sold, and his wife, and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made. The servant therefore fell down, and worshipped him, saying, “Master, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.” Then the master of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt (see Matt. 6:12). But the same servant went out, and found one of his fellowservants, which owed him an hundred pence: and he laid hands on him, and took him by the throat, saying, “Pay me that thou owest.” And his fellowservant fell down at his feet, and besought him, saying, “Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.” And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay the debt. So when his fellowservants saw what was done, they were very sorry, and came and told unto their master all that was done. Then his master, after that he had called him, said unto him, “O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me: shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee?” And his master was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him. So likewise shall My heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses, Matthew 18:23-35.
  The lesson is clear, and we need to understand that the outcome can be very bad for us if we don’t hear and heed the lesson in our own lives. Though Yahshua didn’t say it this time, He would sometimes say, “Let those who have ears, hear.”
  It would be appropriate to remember that He is wanting us to listen, no matter what the subject, but this in particular is very important. It means salvation for the one who heeds its call.
  Notice, He said forgive “from your heart,” that is to say, be sincere about it and don’t just say you are and then walk off in a huff. We need to see the importance and understand that we ourselves are in debt to Yahweh through Yahshua, who provides forgiveness to those of us who have been immersed into His saving Name. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from Elohim, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify Elohim in your body, 1 Corinthians 6:19-20, NASB.
  We need to be standing ready to forgive as our High Priest does (Heb. 4:15-16). After all, are we not to eventually be a kingdom of priests ourselves? (Rev. 1:6, 5:10).

Practicing Priestly Duties
   We wouldn’t normally think of Solomon as a priest or doing priestly things, but he and others (e.g., Daniel 9:3-19; Ezra 9:5-15) are, at times, examples of practicing priestly duties such as beseeching Yahweh on behalf of the people.
  Solomon prayed to Yahweh on behalf of the people while dedicating the temple. He basically asked again and again, “If the people pray and confess, then forgive them.”
  Before reading further, open your Bible to 1 Kings 8:30-9:9 and read the account and see how he pleads to Yahweh specifically for the people throughout the prayer.
  What was Yahweh’s response? We read in 2 Chronicles 7:12-14, And Yahweh appeared to Solomon by night, and said unto him, “I have heard thy prayer, and have chosen this place to Myself for an house of sacrifice. If I shut up heaven that there be no rain, or if I command the locusts to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among My people; if My people, which are called by My Name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.
  It’s interesting to see how Yahweh answered. It’s obvious that if people sinned that there would be punishment. Punishment so that they’ll stop sinning and repent. It may be that the house of Judah will hear all the evil which I purpose to do unto them; that they may return every man from his evil way; that I may forgive their iniquity and their sin, Jeremiah 36:3. But the people didn’t always stop, as they should have. The warnings, nor the actual punishment, woke them up. Chapter 4 of Amos is a good example of their neglect to hear and act upon what Yahweh was telling them:
  Listen to me, you fat cows of Samaria, you women who oppress the poor and crush the needy and who are always asking your husbands for another drink! The Sovereign Yahweh has sworn this by his holiness: “The time will come when you will be led away with hooks in your noses. Every last one of you will be dragged away like a fish on a hook! You will leave by going straight through the breaks in the wall; you will be thrown from your fortresses.” I, Yahweh, have spoken! “Go ahead and offer your sacrifices to the idols at Bethel and Gilgal. Keep on disobeying ‒ your sins are mounting up! Offer sacrifices each morning and bring your tithes every three days! Present your bread made with yeast as an offering of thanksgiving [this was against His law (Lev. 2:11)]. Then give your extra voluntary offerings so you can brag about it everywhere! This is the kind of thing you Israelites love to do,” says the Sovereign Yahweh. “I brought hunger to every city and famine to every town. But still you wouldn’t return to Me,” says Yahweh. “I kept the rain from falling when you needed it the most, ruining all your crops. I sent rain on one town but withheld it from another. Rain fell on one field, while another field withered away. People staggered from one town to another for a drink of water, but there was never enough. But still you wouldn’t return to Me,” says Yahweh. “I struck your farms and vineyards with blight and mildew. Locusts devoured all your fig and olive trees. But still you wouldn’t return to Me,” says Yahweh. “I sent plagues against you like the plagues I sent against Egypt long ago. I killed your young men in war and slaughtered all your horses. The stench of death filled the air! But still you wouldn’t return to Me,” says Yahweh. “I destroyed some of your cities, as I destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah. Those of you who survived were like half-burned sticks snatched from a fire. But still you wouldn’t return to Me,” says Yahweh. “Therefore, I will bring upon you all these further disasters I have announced. Prepare to meet your Elohim as He comes in judgment, you people of Israel!” For Yahweh is the One who shaped the mountains, stirs up the winds, and reveals His every thought. He turns the light of dawn into darkness and treads the mountains under His feet. Yahweh El Shaddai is His Name! Amos 4:1-13, NLT.
  Yahweh was seeking repentance from the people. He wanted them to turn back to Him and disciplined them so that they would. A loving father will do the same for his children (Prov. 13:24; Heb. 12:5-8). Sometimes, though, the children go too far.

Yahweh is Not Mocked!
   Joshua put it plainly before the people so they might fear and obey. And Joshua said unto the people, “Ye cannot serve Yahweh: for He is an holy Elohim; He is a jealous Elohim; He will not forgive your transgressions nor your sins. If ye forsake Yahweh, and serve strange elohim, then He will turn and do you hurt, and consume you, after that He hath done you good.” And the people said unto Joshua, “Nay; but we will serve Yahweh,” Joshua 24:19-21.
  Joshua told the people that if they forsake Yahweh, that He will forsake them. It’s a warning we find in both the Old and New Testaments:
  And the Spirit of Elohim came upon Azariah the son of Oded: and he went out to meet Asa, and said unto him, “Hear ye me, Asa, and all Judah and Benjamin; Yahweh is with you, while ye be with Him; and if ye seek Him, He will be found of you; but if ye forsake Him, He will forsake you.” … For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries. He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of Elohim, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace? For we know Him that hath said, “Vengeance belongeth unto Me, I will recompense,” saith Yahweh. And again, Yahweh shall judge his people. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living Elohim, 2 Chronicles 15:2; Hebrews 10:26-31.
  We are actually to remove sinners from our midst who are unrepentant, that they might repent and not corrupt the rest of the members:
  I wrote unto you in an epistle not to [keep] company with fornicators: Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world. But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat. For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? do not ye judge them that are within? But them that are without Elohim judgeth. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person, 1 Cor. 5:9-13.
  John says, in 1 John 5:16, If any man see his brother sin a sin which is not unto death, he shall ask, and he shall give him life for them that sin not unto death. There is a sin unto death: I do not say that he shall pray for it.
  Some walk away from the truth by putting the Bible up on the shelf and saying, “no more.” Others just willfully and arrogantly despise their calling and only care for themselves. They are, as Jude puts it, “clouds without water,” in other words, without the Spirit of Yahweh. Their end will be destruction:
  For many walk, of whom I often told you, and now tell you even weeping, that they are enemies of the stake of Messiah, whose end is destruction, whose elohim is their appetite, and whose glory is in their shame, who set their minds on earthly things, Philippians 3:18-19, NASB.
  The Word is true; what you sow is what you’ll reap (Gal. 6:7-8). It’s something we need to keep in mind and not walk away from His Truth that He sets before us. It’s important to live according to His Way and not our own. To do otherwise is spiritual suicide.

Yahweh Is Merciful
   Like the prodigal son (Luke 15:11-16), we are told that if we repent, there can be forgiveness and reconciliation. For thou, Yahweh, art good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon Thee, Psalms 86:5.
  Yahweh is sometimes made out to be a spiteful and vengeful Creator of the Old Testament, but we have to understand that His lovingkindness has been extended throughout all ages.
  Some very insightful passages get into Yahweh’s thought processes regarding how He looks upon mankind.
He truly loves us but hates the sin and won’t tolerate it forever. Read the following with an open mind and heart and know that Yahweh is not spiteful but rather very loving, forgiving, and full of mercy:
  The one who sins is the one who dies. The child will not be punished for the parent’s sins, and the parent will not be punished for the child’s sins. Righteous people will be rewarded for their own goodness, and wicked people will be punished for their own wickedness. But if wicked people turn away from all their sins and begin to obey my laws and do what is just and right, they will surely live and not die. All their past sins will be forgotten, and they will live because of the righteous things they have done. “Do you think, asks the Sovereign Yahweh, that I like to see wicked people die? Of course not! I only want them to turn from their wicked ways and live. However, if righteous people turn to sinful ways and start acting like other sinners, should they be allowed to live? No, of course not! All their previous goodness will be forgotten, and they will die for their sins. “Yet you say, ‘Yahweh isn’t being just!’ Listen to me, O people of Israel. Am I the one who is unjust, or is it you? When righteous people turn from being good and start doing sinful things, they will die for it. Yes, they will die because of their sinful deeds. And if wicked people turn away from their wickedness, obey the law, and do what is just and right, they will save their lives. They will live, because after thinking it over, they decided to turn from their sins. Such people will not die. And yet the people of Israel keep saying, ‘Yahweh is unjust!’ O people of Israel, it is you who are unjust, not I. ‘Therefore, I will judge each of you, O people of Israel, according to your actions,’ says the Sovereign Yahweh. ‘Turn from your sins! Don’t let them destroy you! Put all your rebellion behind you, and get for yourselves a new heart and a new spirit. For why should you die, O people of Israel? I don’t want you to die, says the Sovereign Yahweh. Turn back and live!’” Ezekiel 18:20-32, NLT.
  Yahweh is a firm but loving Father. We are the ones who need to humble ourselves before Him, not the other way around.

Overlooking Ignorance
   Yahweh calls us to walk on higher ground and says that He used to wink at certain wrongdoings, especially of wrong worship, but now calls us to repent and turn from such ways (Acts 17:29-30). Paul elaborates on why:
  And now, brethren, I know that you acted in ignorance, just as your rulers did also. But the things which Elohim announced beforehand by the mouth of all the prophets, that “His Messiah should suffer,” He has thus fulfilled. “Repent therefore and return, that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Master; and that He may send Yahshua, the Messiah appointed for you, whom heaven must receive until the period of restoration of all things about which Elohim spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets from ancient time,” Acts 3:17-21, NASB.
  Today, we need to turn the other cheek, so to speak, at certain actions of others. We need to understand that some don’t know what they’re doing. We need to stand ready to forgive them, and even those who readily repent for actions that they should have known were wrong.
  As an example, Jonah was upset that Nineveh was forgiven by Yahweh. Jonah must have harbored resentment toward them as it was the capital of Assyria, and they were a terrible force at odds with Israel. Assyria was known for its cruelty and its unmerciful ways in war. Certainly, Jonah had his reasons, but Yahweh showed him something that we also need to understand, and that is, sometimes people just don’t know what they’re doing.
  Yahweh asked Jonah, And should not I spare Nineveh, that great city, wherein are more than sixscore thousand persons that cannot discern between their right hand and their left hand; and also much cattle? Jonah 4:11.
  Those in Nineveh weren’t the brightest people around for Yahweh to have said, “they cannot discern between their right hand and their left hand.” In other words, they didn’t really “get it,” just as many don’t today.
  The Apostle Paul asked that even those who were with him and yet deserted him be forgiven:
  At my first defense no one supported me, but all deserted me; may it not be counted against them, 2 Timothy 4:16, NASB.
  This also happened to Yahshua. The disciples deserted Him when trouble came (Matt. 26:31).
  Yahshua, the Messiah, had mercy for the people of His day. He knew they didn’t know what they were doing. Then said Yahshua, “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.” And they parted his raiment, and cast lots, Luke 23:34. Remember, these are they that put Him to death. We all have, so not one of us is guiltless for His shed blood. But, by His blood, we can have forgiveness.

Guilt Can Be Erased
   If we recognize and confess our sins, what is the result? The Apostle John says, If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness, 1 John 1:9.
  Many will stop there and think that is all there is to it. Understand that confessing one’s sins is only the beginning.
  And hereby we do know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He that saith, I know Him, and keepeth not His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth His Word, in him verily is the love of Elohim perfected: hereby know we that we are in Him, 1 John 2:3-5.
  What does keeping His Word mean? What did Yahshua Himself say?
  Not every one that saith unto Me, “Master, Master,” shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of My Father which is in heaven. … For whosoever shall do the will of My Father which is in heaven, the same is My brother, and sister, and mother, Matthew 7:21, 12:50.
  Repentance and forsaking an old life of living contrary to Yahweh’s words of life is a lifelong commitment. One in which there is to be no turning back.
  Cleansing our conscience of all past sins (1 John 3:4) happens when one is immersed in water and into Yahshua’s Name.

The Savior’s Name
   Yahshua’s Name holds the Father’s Name within it. Yahshua means “Yahweh is Salvation.” It is a Hebrew Name and the one given from heaven. Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other Name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved, Acts 4:12.
  The Messiah was a Jew and not a Greek. We do not make Him out to be a Greek by calling Him “Christ.” The Greek language was only able to bring forth a very poor and misrepresented pronunciation of His actual Name, which was corrupted even more with further translation. Hence, what should have been transliterated, as names are, when spoken in a different language, was not properly done with the Savior’s Name.
  Many have been baptized in the form of John’s baptism, a baptism of repentance. Once a clear understanding comes, one must be obedient and act accordingly. Read the following account and see how Paul addressed a similar issue in his day. Note his recommendation and also the people’s response:
  And he said unto them, “Unto what then were ye baptized?” And they said, “Unto John’s baptism.” Then said Paul, “John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on Him which should come after him, that is, on Messiah Yahshua.” When they heard this, they were baptized in the Name of the Master Yahshua, Acts 19:3-5.
  A person needs to be washed in His blood (Rev. 1:5) and through His Name for forgiveness and remission of sins:
  But these are written, that ye might believe that Yahshua is the Messiah, the Son of Elohim; and that believing ye might have life through His Name, John 20:31.

There Is Still Time
   There is much more that can be said but suffice it to say, forgiveness is through Yahshua the Messiah. Those immersed in His saving Name are now, more than ever, prepared to stand ready to forgive others as they now have a Spirit within them that can overcome the world. They also now have hope for the coming Kingdom of Yahweh.
  These things I have spoken unto you, that in Me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world, John 16:33.
  Yahweh’s people, who have been forgiven and continue to grow and overcome, will have the opportunity to see Yahshua as He is in the coming Kingdom. The call is going out, and the time is growing short, but forgiveness is still available. It is, in fact, within your reach if only you will believe.
  And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of Elohim and of the Lamb shall be in it; and His servants shall serve Him: And they shall see His face; and His Name shall be in their foreheads. … And the Spirit and the bride say, “Come.” And let him that heareth say, “Come.” And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely, Revelation 22:3-4, 17.
  Yahshua is standing ready to forgive, and He is faithful as the High Priest in heaven, a Mediator between Yahweh and the brethren.

-Elder David Brett

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