by John Greene
“Covering a transgression searches out love. Repeating a matter separates close friends.” – Proverbs 17:9, direct translation
In the scripture above, the psalmist makes an announcement that the world and all relationships within the world of man commonly ignore to the peril of all. Yet, how many of us do the same to those around us? What man or woman agree on everything? Why should they? Where close friendships are concerned, and most certainly among married disciples, forgiveness and the willingness to forgive is imperative. (James 4:1-8; Titus 3:9-11; Proverbs 20:3, 21:19) A close relationship cannot be like the continual contention of the media or ‘free press’ of the internet, where a matter is continually haggled over. Repeatedly bringing up a matter of contention, an event that should be forgotten, or repeatedly struggling over a lack of complete agreement destroys relationships. (Matthew 5:22; James 1:19-20; Ephesians 4:26-27, 31; Ecclesiastes 7:9; Proverbs 16:32) Why? Acting in this manner stifles intimacy of any kind, much less any kind of agreement. Whole government agencies around the world are built on such foolishness of man. (2 Timothy 2:22-23; Ephesians 4:29; 1 Peter 5:5; Prov. 6:14, 17:14, 17, 22, 20:3, 21:9, 19, 25:13, 27:15-16; “Delusion & the Tightening Noose of the Beast System“; “The Antichrist & the War on Reality“; “A Branch of the Vine through Trust“)
From the greatest in stature to the average man and woman, such a power struggle threatens entire nations and cultures, especially in this day of constant communication. How quickly we call one another barbarians, and worse. We need affection, a little warmth for one another, a little ‘phileo’ love, as the Greek translators put it (‘ahab’ for Hebrew). The strife continues to grow, creating chasms, instead of healing relationships. Disciples of the Messiah that continue in such things are in danger of falling into complete darkness. (John 5:20, 16:27; Revelation 3:19; Hebrews 8:12, 10:17; 1 Peter 2:24; Jeremiah 31:34; Isaiah 43:25, 59:2; “The Truth About Anger“; “The Stronghold of Anger“; “Hindered Prayer in Marriage“; “Are You an Effective Listener? Listening & Your Relationships“; “The Garden of the Marriage Relationship“)
“The one believing into Him is not condemned; but the one not believing has already been condemned, for he has not believed into the name of the only begotten Son of YAHWEH. And this is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness more than the Light, for their works were evil.” – John 3:18-19, HRB
“Then, Peter drew near to him and said, ‘My Master, how many times should I forgive my brother with me who is at fault. Should I forgive him up to seven times?’ Yahshua said to him, ‘I do not say to you, until seven times, but rather until seventy times seventy seven.’” – Matthew 18:20-21, HRB
But Yahshua [Jesus] didn’t stop His guidance on forgiveness and love there. He gave the listener an example through a parable.
“Because of this [in the same way] the Kingdom of Heaven has been compared to a man, a king, who desired to take account with his slaves. And he having begun to reckon, one debtor of ten thousand talents was brought near to him. But he not having any to repay, his master commanded him to be sold, also his wife and children, and all things, as much as he had, even to pay back. Then having fallen down, the slave bowed the knee to him, saying, ‘Master, have patience with me, and I will pay all to you.’ And being filled with pity, the Master of that slave released him and forgave him the loan.
But having gone out, that slave found one of his fellow slaves who owed him a hundred denarii. And seizing him, he choked him, saying, ‘Pay me whatever you owe.’ Then having fallen down at his feet, his fellow slave begged him, saying, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay all to you.’ But he would not, but having gone away, he threw him into prison until he should pay back the amount owed.
But his fellow slaves, seeing the things happening, they were greatly grieved. And having come, they reported to their Master all the things happening. Then having called him near, his Master said to him, ‘Wicked slave! I forgave you all that debt, since you begged me. Ought you not also to have mercy on your fellow slave, as I also had mercy?’ And being angry, his Master delivered him up to the tormentors until he pay back all that debt to him. So also My Heavenly Father will do to you unless each of you from your hearts forgive his brother their offenses.” – Matthew 18:22-35, HRB
This parable actually illustrates our indebtedness to our Heavenly Father, who desires to wipe out all memory of our sins. The parable of Yashua [Jesus] did not speak of love in a way that most would recognize or appreciate. Yet, the respect and decision of love is carefully woven throughout the parable. (“Mind Filters“; “Discernment 101: Learning to be Discerning“; “Renewing Your Mind“; “Incentives of Deception“)
In the time of love’s decision, the willingness to forgive cannot be overstated.
How many of us fail to truly forgive, negating the sole condition of our Father’s promise to us? Untold numbers of us are condemned to death this very moment, simply because we won’t forgive, refusing to operate in loving-kindness. Instead, many live in their own world of numbness. Clearly, ruin resides in the resentful belief that offense must be nurtured and held onto. In much the same way, offenses in the eyes of the world are endlessly graded, categorized and judged. The modern viewpoint sees all of the past through the same dark lens. As a result of this cynical and jaded thinking, most relationships in this day are built on the same rubbish heap of flawed belief, a toxic poison of angry ‘justice.’ (Matthew 6:12-15; Mark 11:25; Luke 6:37, 17:4; Ephesians 4:32; Colossians 3:13; “Is Your Forgiveness Real?“; “Breakthrough Prayer: Personal Healing“; “Divorce: Modern Family & the Authority of Law“; “Learning to Live Outside of Blind Justice“; “Knowing Where You Stand on YHWH’s Threshing Floor“)
“You who love YHWH, hate evil! He guards the lives of His kind ones, He delivers them out of the hand of the wrong. Light is sown for the righteous, and gladness for the upright in heart. Rejoice in YHWH, you righteous, and give thanks at the remembrance of His Set-apartness.” – Psalm 97:10-12, ISR98
What does love really mean? Paul speaks this profoundly:
Love is patient, is kind, love does not envy, love does not boast, is not puffed up, does not behave indecently, does not seek its own, is not provoked, reckons not the evil, does not rejoice over the unrighteousness, but rejoices in the truth, it covers all, believes all, expects all, endures all.” – 1 Corinthians 13:4-7, ISR98
Is this like the love that you know? Probably not. All of us have grown up with watered-down love, some kind of conditional love, if that. I know that almost of all of the love that I have experienced has been highly conditional. That may well be the case for you, or perhaps you never thought about this. Then again, you may have experienced this kind of love, but missed it entirely because of your mindset or mental filter that colors everything you experience. (John 11:9-10; Acts 26:18; 1 Thessalonians 5:5; Colossians 1:13, 3:2; 1 Corinthians 6:14; Ephesians 5:8, 11; Romans 1:21, 12:1-2; Psalm 34:17-20, 139:12; “Real Love“; “Thinking of Love“; “Is Your Love For Others Cold?“; “Disciple: Love Instead of Conformity“: “Deception: The Plague of Love Detachment“)
You may have never experienced the kind of love that Paul describes, and may have never offered it to anyone else. Agape love, not to be confused with romantic love, is love without condition, love that does not seek after itself. The world parades around romantic love, or more often, lust and its destructive cousins. It is clear for all to see just how long romantic love lasts without agape love, what the world calls brotherly love, a love the world scarcely grasps. When the hormones fade, love isn’t love at all. That isn’t the love that disciples of the Messiah seek. Agape – unconditional love is imperative for a disciple of the Messiah. (Matthew 22:35-38; John 13:34-35, 14:21, 15:13; 1 John 4:8, 18; “Breakthrough Prayer: Love“; “The Meaning of Humility“; “Being Set Apart Makes You Aware of Sin“; “Understanding Sin“; “Giving to Others While Trusting in YHWH for Your Needs“; “Forsaking Bitterness“)
“If I speak with the tongues of men and of messengers, but do not have love, I have become as sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophecy, and know all secrets and all knowledge, and if I have all belief, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am none at all. And if I give out all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I give my body to be burned, but do not have love, I am not profited at all.” – 1 Corinthians 13:1-3, ISR98
You heard that it was said,‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those cursing you, do good to those hating you, and pray for those insulting you and persecuting you, so that you become sons of your Father in the heavens. Because He makes His sun rise on the wicked and on the good, and sends rain on the righteous and on the unrighteous.” – Matthew 5:43-45, ISR98
Yes, most people on earth are not profited at all because we don’t have the kind of love that Father YHWH has, nor do we attempt to imitate that kind of love. (Luke 6:35, Acts 14:16-17) How many people are even able to feel this kind of love?
But the natural man does not receive the matters of the Spirit of Elohim, for they are foolishness to him, and he is unable to know them, because they are spiritually discerned. But he who is spiritual discerns indeed all matters, but he himself is discerned by no one. “ – 1 Corinthians 2:14-15, ISR98
See what love the Father has given us, that we should be called children of Elohim! For this reason the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. Beloved ones, now we are children of Elohim. And it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.” – 1 John 3:1-2, ISR98
Yahshua [Jesus] showed us how agape love works through His ministry to man roughly 2,000 years ago. The real problem is that the kind of love that Paul describes, that Elohim expresses, is only available with the help of the Counselor, the Set Apart Spirit [Dedicated or ‘Holy’ Spirit]. Without Him, your attempt to love unconditionally as Yahshua [Jesus] did is in vain. Isn’t that reason enough for a professing Christian to NEED, to LONG to live in the Set Apart Spirit, to be NEW through the Messiah? (Romans 5:8, 12:9-10, 1 John 4:7-11, 16, 18; Colossians 3:1, 10; Ephesians 4:24; 2 Corinthians 5:17; “Listening to the Holy Spirit“; “How to Receive the Holy Spirit“; “Breaking Strongholds of False Authority“; “Who Is The Stronghold of Your Life?“; “Breaking the Strongholds of Egypt and Canaan in Your Heart“; “Breakthrough Prayer: Strongholds“)
Why are so many unsuccessful?
“For our conflict is not with flesh and blood, but with principalities,and with those in authority, and with the possessors of this dark world, and with the evil spirits that are beneath heaven. Because of this, take up all of the whole armor of YAHWEH that you may be able to resist the evil one, and being prepared you shall prevail.” – Ephesians 6:12-13, HRB
We are fighting a mighty battle that cannot be personally won without the Set Apart Spirit. Each of us needs the armor of Elohim, plus the constant Counsel of the Set Apart Spirit. (“The Armor of Elohim“; “Strongholds & the Armor of YHWH“; “Ya Gotta Have Roots!“; “A Yoke of Slavery or Freedom“; “Wisdom & the Battle of Two Kingdoms“; “Disciple: Wavering Between Two Opinions“)
But when the kindness and the love of Elohim our Savior toward man appeared, He saved us, not by works of righteousness which we have done but according to His compassion, through the washing of rebirth, and renewal by the Set-apart Spirit, which He poured out on us richly through Yahshua Messiah our Savior, that having been declared right by His favor we should become heirs according to the expectation of everlasting life” – Titus 3:4-7, ISR98