Jun 17, '10 1:21 PM
By Regner Capener
you aren’t aware of it (and I suspect most of you are), the Lord is trying to
get us delivered from our religious boxes, our preconceived notions of how He
operates, and what He would like to do through us.
In previous Coffee
Breaks, I’ve shared with you some of my experiences of being transported in the
realm of the Spirit out of this time-space “continuum” and into eternity on
numerous occasions and seen many things in God – many of which I haven’t been
free to share. Last Friday night I heard Mahesh Chavda
share a personal experience that just lit my fire! Mahesh was speaking at an
Abiding Glory Conference in Knoxville. (His name may not necessarily be a
household word for some of you, but he and his wife, Bonnie, have a regular
television program on TBN.)
Talk about an
out-of-the-box experience! He had been asked to pray for a man who was
experiencing extreme liver failure and was at death’s door. As he began to
pray, the Lord transported him into what appeared to be a bubble. He looked
around and saw the Lord there in the bubble with him. All of a sudden, almost
like a scene out of the movie, “Fantastic Voyage,” the bubble shrank and Mahesh
found himself walking about inside this man’s liver – with the Lord!
It takes no great
imagination for you to understand his shock and amazement at what he was
seeing, but as he and the Lord walked about the liver, healing was taking
place. Just as suddenly as they entered, they transported out and he was back
in the room as his normal self. In that same instant, the man whom he had
prayed for was instantly whole. The liver problems were gone and the man was
released from the hospital in perfect health.
That may sound like
One Step Beyond, or maybe The Twilight Zone to some of you, but, Hey! It’s
about time we stopped restricting how God operates and trying to box Him in
according to our preconceived notions! Call me weird or anything you like, but
I immediately asked the Lord to allow me to begin having those kinds of experiences.
I didn’t realize how
quickly the Lord was going to answer my request. Sunday morning, Steven Shelley
was sharing about an issue that has cropped up with our friend and brother in
the Lord, Neville Johnson. It was the first we’d heard that Neville had been
admitted to the hospital (he lives in Australia) and the doctors discovered
numerous very invasive tumors throughout his body. They quickly put him on the
operating table to remove as many as they could find.
Although the doctors
were hopeful that they had caught them soon enough and felt like the operation
was successful, it left Neville in fairly weakened condition and unable to keep
several speaking engagements. (We are expecting to see him next month in Red
Deer, Alberta at a gathering.)
ministry and teaching have impacted virtually every single person who is part
of our River Worship Center family, we took time to lift him before the Lord
yesterday. While we were praying, I suddenly found myself walking around inside
Neville’s body looking at tumors that had been missed and watching the Lord
heal him. I saw the scars from the operation disappear as the Lord restored
OK! OK! Don’t look at
me in that tone of voice! I haven’t lost it… um… maybe I have lost my mind, but
that’s a good thing. I look forward to losing my mind completely in favor of
having the mind of Christ. (See Philippians 2:5.) Nevertheless, I expect to
hear that Neville has been completely healed and restored, and I’m being bold
enough to share this with you even before I receive a report from him.
Now, if you dare and
you don’t think it’ll be a waste of time (considering what I’ve just shared),
let’s resume with our discussion on the Keys of the Kingdom.
Let’s begin with a Scripture we’ve
already used a couple of times during this study series:
Mark 11:22-26: 22And Jesus answering saith
unto them, Have (echo:
possess, retain, hold
onto, keep) [the] faith in God. 23For
verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto (epo:
declare, decree) this mountain, Be thou
removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt (diakrino:
in his heart, but shall believe (pisteuo:
have faith in, to
entrust fully) that those things which
he saith shall come to pass; he shall have (esomai:
will be) whatsoever he saith.
24Therefore I say unto you, What things soever
ye desire, when ye pray, (proseuchomai: request
or require in the covenant) believe (pisteuo)
that ye receive them,
and ye shall have them. 25And when ye stand praying, forgive (aphiemi: remit, dissolve, cause to cease to exist), if ye have ought against any:
that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses (paraptoma:
side slip, lapse in
judgment, error—intentional or unintentional, sin).
26But if ye do not forgive, neither will your
Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.
Jesus is making it abundantly clear
that we can move mountains, perform stupendous miracles, demonstrate unlimited
faith — as long as we forgive all those who have sinned against us,
committed offenses toward us or wronged us in any way — no matter how great or
You see the connection, don’t you?
Unlimited power and resources from the Kingdom are available to us so long as
there is no unforgiveness of any kind residing in our
hearts and minds. Remember our first discussion on the Keys of the Kingdom, and
where that discussion began?
Access to the Keys begins with a
revelation of Jesus Christ. With that revelation first in place, Jesus then
says to the disciples, “And
I will give you the
authority and power to lock and unlock Heaven so what whatever you
bind, restrict or stop on earth shall be, having been already bound, restricted
or stopped in Heaven.
“And whatever you break up, loose, dissolve or put off on earth
shall be, having already been broken up, loosed, dissolved or put off in
Again, the key phrase here is, “I WILL
GIVE you the authority and power. It hadn’t yet been given because the Holy
Spirit had not yet been released. As a foretaste — a sample — of what was to
come with that release of the Spirit, John records the following when Jesus
rose from the dead and appeared to His disciples.
REMISSION AND RETENTION
John 20:21-23: 21Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto
you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you. 22And when he
had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto
them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost: 23Whose soever
sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever
sins ye retain, they are retained.
Get it? The very first exercise of the
power of God for those who receive the Holy Spirit is to remit sin — to
eradicate it in a person’s life such that it never existed.
The second exercise of the power of God
is to “krateo”
someone’s sins. There are several ways in which we can apply this: Most of our
English translations translate “krateo” to “retain.” However, this word comes
from it root, “kratos,” which means: to rule over, to seize by force, to use strength to
take hold of. Let me take a momentary side-trip in the Greek to give you an
example of this word in a sense you are more familiar with.
Ephesians 6:12: For we wrestle not
against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against
the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness
in high places.
This phrase “rulers of the darkness of
this world” should be better rendered, “world rulers of darkness,” and is
translated from the Greek word, kosmokrator, which is a conjunction of “kosmos” (the
world [as an orderly and decorated version of what otherwise exists
universally]) and “krateo”
(to rule over).
The Message Translation of John 20:23
expresses this rather uniquely.
John 20:22-23 (Message
Translation: Then he took a deep breath and breathed into them. “Receive the
Holy Spirit,” He said. “If you forgive someone’s sins, they’re gone for good. If
you don’t forgive sins, what are you going to do with them?”
The concept of “retaining
sins,” therefore, is to take control of them in one’s life. I don’t want to
take this concept farther than what the Word allows us, but we see an example
of this where Paul is writing to the Corinthians concerning a man who has been
found to be in an ongoing incestuous relationship (porneia) from
which he will not depart.
THE PURPOSE OF RETENTION
I Corinthians 5:3-5:
3For I verily, as absent in body, but present
in spirit, have judged already, as though I were present, concerning him that
hath so done this deed, 4In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when
ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus
Christ, 5To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of
the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.
Are you seeing this? Paul is
“retaining” this man’s sins because of his persistence and refusal to repent.
He has exercised authority over those sins so that the man is given over to
Satan “for the destruction of the flesh” so that this man’s spirit and soul may
What is God’s intention here?
Salvation! Here’s a man who is an active member of the Ekklesia
in Corinth. Corinth — as a city — was as corrupt and sinful as any city could
get. The sins of Sodom and Gomorrah filled Corinth. In this Ekklesia,
we have a man who, though he has accepted Jesus Christ as His Savior, still has
the contamination of his soul and his flesh with the sins of sexual perversion.
Since God’s purpose is the redemption
of His “purchased possession” (see
Ephesians 1:14) if a person has genuinely made a commitment to walk with Jesus
Christ, but doesn’t — for whatever reason — shake the sins of the flesh, it
then becomes the responsibility of believers (who are intimately acquainted
with the person in bondage) to “retain,” take possession and rule over their
sins in such a way as to ensure their final salvation.
There is one other application to the
concept of “retaining” and that relates to the individual who refuses to accept
the repentance of another brother or sister who seeks reconciliation. The
person who refuses reconciliation and rejects the repentance of another brother
or sister becomes guilty themselves of unforgiveness.
They “retain” that sin, holding onto it, and as a result do not receive forgiveness
from the Lord.
Jesus made it perfectly clear that “if ye do not forgive,
neither will your Father which is in Heaven forgive your trespasses.”
If we are not forgiven, then we have no
redemption because we have effectively rejected Jesus’ death on the Cross and
nullified for ourselves His ultimate sacrifice. Forgiveness — Remission and
Erasure — of sin is, therefore, of critical importance to God’s plan, and He
has made it of paramount importance for us as believers. As a matter of fact,
we are commanded to provide forgiveness for brothers and sisters we see falling
A NEW DIMENSION TO
Consider, therefore, what John writes
in his first general letter to the Body of Christ. Look at the context of this
I John 5:13-17: 13These things have I written unto you that
believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal
life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God. 14And
this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according
to his will, he heareth us: 15And if we
know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions
that we desired of him. 16If 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. 17All unrighteousness is sin: and there is a sin not unto death.
How many times have you heard verses 14
and 15 quoted to substantiate and validate our requests — in faith, of course —
to the Lord? OK, how many times have you considered the will (thelema: desire, pleasure, inclination) of
Peter tells us the following:
II Peter 3:9: The Lord is not slack
concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to
us-ward, not willing (boulomai:
to be disposed
towards, desiring, leaning towards, intending) that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
It is probably fair to say that many
believers — large percentages — are far more focused on what they get out of
their relationship with Jesus Christ than what He gets. When they read these
scriptures, their first thought is “OK, Good! I’ll just claim this for
myself. After all I’m praying according to the will of God.”
That’s fine, and there is a valid truth
there, but look again at the context.
“If we ask anything
according to His heart’s desire, He hears us. If we know that He hears us, then
we know that we have the petition that we ask.”
All good so far.
But here’s the kicker! It is within
the framework of asking according to His will that He gives this command:
“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.”
This is not a suggestion: this is a
command! This is a specifically commanded use of the Keys of the Kingdom. This
is the authority to overcome the power of the Enemy and set people free!
THE KEYS OF THE KINGDOM
ARE GIVEN US TO FREE GOD'S PEOPLE
The Keys of the Kingdom are given to us
to ensure that the body of Christ grows up into Him. When we see a brother or
sister fail in some way or another, and that failure is not a deliberate act of
rejecting the Lord Jesus Christ, we are instructed — no, COMMANDED — to ask
Father (within the framework of His covenant with us) to forgive them.
Here’s the best part! They are
forgiven! The sin is remitted, erased, wiped out of existence. They are set
free of the penalty and consequences of that sin. They can continue to receive
revelation by the Holy Spirit.
Natural, unregenerate human reaction
rebels against this. Why should they get away with that? Why should I
forgive them? They deserve the consequences!
You’ve all heard it said that the
“church” is the only army that kills its wounded. That’s not the way it is
supposed to be. Here’s how Paul put it when writing to the Galatians:
Galatians 6:1-2: 1Brethren,
if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual (pneumatikos: non-carnal, operating in the dimension of the spirit,
supernatural) restore such an one in a spirit of
meekness, considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. 2Bear ye
one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.
Let’s not forget. The Keys of the
Kingdom are given to those whom the Lord can trust. This is not about us: this
is about Jesus receiving His inheritance in His people! Religion makes people judgmental.
We judge one another — whether consciously or unconsciously — and frequently
make wrong assessments of one another based on our own personal faults and
The Keys of the Kingdom are given to
those who first have the revelation of Jesus Christ, His calling in us, His
inheritance in us, and what are the riches of the Glory of His inheritance.
Next, the Keys are given so that Jesus Christ can have a body — a family of
believers — who are a praise to Him in the earth.
Our life, our walk, the way we behave
towards one another are all designed to show the world something so spectacular
that they can and will say, Praise God!
our next Coffee Break we’ll continue this look at true forgiveness – remission
– and how both we AND the Lord benefit by our obedience to this command.
Sunnyside, Washington 98944
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