This article is written in hopes of helping you objectively determine your current eternal status. I believe that traditional christianity is bearing rotten fruit as it has evolved into a social expression of falsehood. Supposed converts are not being taught the raw truths that matter. Their traditions and practices have taken precedent over the entirety of The Scriptures beginning in Genesis and ending in Revelation. I know. I was one for nearly 30 years. In 2007 I heard HIS Voice calling me to “Come out of her…” (Rev 18:4) May you hear HIS Voice as well!
True Conversion Begins With True Repentance
Mat 3:1-2 And in those days Yohanan (John) the Immerser came proclaiming in the wilderness of Yehudah…and saying, “Repent, for the reign of the heavens has come near!…”
To Repent ; to think differently, followed by actions as proof.
Yohanan came as the forerunner of Messiah calling people to “think differently” about the times, their current status before Yah, their concept of Messiah, etc. He announced that the reign of YAH was closer than they believed. Most are in that same mindset today. Many then (as now) heard his call and experienced immersion. Some become followers. But were they (are they?) truly repentant? Time has a way of revealing such things…
Mat 3:7-10 “And seeing many of the Pharisees and Sadducees (two ranking denominations within Yehudism) coming to his immersion, he said to them, “Brood of adders! Who has warned you to flee from the coming wrath? Bear, therefore, fruits worthy of repentance, and do not think to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as father.’ For I say to you that Elohim is able to raise up children to Abraham from these stones. And the ax is already laid to the root of the trees. Every tree, then, which does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.” (See Mat 7:15-20)
Note: Matthew singles out the Pharisees and Sadducees, whereas Luke includes them in and among “the crowds.”
Repentance ; living in the expression of thinking differently.
Tree ; metaphor used in Scripture for a person, family, nation…(See Psalm 1)
Fruit ; what the plant (in this case;tree) produces.
Like today’s pastors / teachers, some of the religious leaders of that time came to hear him but were unwilling to “think differently” about themselves. These were relying on a fleshly, (Adamic / Abrahamic) heritage, just as today’s religious leaders rely on what “the church fathers taught.” It’s the same problem. There is a false sense of security in identifying with what is acceptable at the time. Yohanan considers them to be as dangerous as poison snakes! Is he alluding to who is inspiring them? (Also see Articles “The Hypocrisy of the Pharisees”)
True Repentance Requires Reversal
As the crowds were being immersed, they asked Yohanan what they must do now?! In Luke, we have a bit more commentary on Yohanan’s answer;
Luke 3:10-11 And the crowds asked him, saying, “What, then, shall we do?” And answering He said to them, “Let him who has two coats share with him who has none, and let him who has food do likewise.”
To think of the needs of others and to be ready to share what you have (without self gratification) can be evidence of the fruit of true repentance and of the presence of HIS Spirit!
Luke 3:12-13 And tax collectors also came to be immersed, and said to him, “Teacher, what shall we do?” And he said to them, “Collect no more than what is appointed for you.”
True repentance can result in the person thinking so differently that they will no longer use their position to better themselves…
Luke 3:14 And soldiers (law enforcement of their time?) also asked him, saying, “And what shall we do?” And he said to them, “Do not intimidate anyone or accuse falsely, and be satisfied with your pay.”
People in law enforcement, the military, or even government experiencing true repentance and thinking differently will no longer use their position to intimidate or accuse falsely for bribes.
The point being, regardless of your vocation, when true repentance has had an affect and you are now thinking differently, there will be obvious changes in the way you conduct yourself. You will not only stop doing wrong, but as you hear HIS Word, you will also do what is pleasing to The Master! You may also need to make restitution!
Restitution; the restoration of something lost or stolen to its proper owner.
Luke 19:1-10 And having entered, He (Yahusha) was passing through Yeriho, and see, a man called Zakkai! And he was a chief tax collector, and he was rich, and he was seeking to see who Yahusha was, but was unable because of the crowd, for he was small in stature. And having run ahead, he climbed up into a sycamore tree to see Him, because He was about to pass by. And as Yahusha came to the place, He looked up and saw him, and said to him, “Zakkai, hurry and come down, for I have to stay at your house today.” And he hurried and came down, and received Him, rejoicing. And seeing it, they all grumbled, saying, “He has gone in to stay with a man who is a sinner.” But Zakkai stood up and said to the Master, “Look, Master, I give half of my possessions to the poor. And if I have taken whatever from anyone by false accusation, I repay fourfold.” And Yahusha said to him, “Today deliverance has come to this house – since he also is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Adam has come to seek and to save what was lost.”
Notice that the expression (fruit) of Zakkai’s life changed! Evidently he was known as a much hated, stingy, lying, thieving chief tax collector! Once that his thinking is different, he realizes his wrong-doing and restores it 4X! This is beyond what was required according to Torah! The Master’s reference to Zakkai being “a son of Abraham” is not in reference to his ancestry or lineage, but because Zakkai is now bearing the fruit of (true repentance), just as Abraham believed and obeyed! (See Genesis 26:5)
True Repentance Is NOT Just Being Sorry
There is a danger in not discerning the differences between true repentance and simply being sorry. Being sorry for one’s sinfulness is part of the expression of true repentance, but all too often it stops short of bearing the continued fruit of true repentance. This is because there has been no real change in the person’s thinking. They still think that they are not completely wrong but will become more compliant in an effort to maintain their status. For example, I once knew a man who was caught in adultery. He stated publicly that he was sorry for being in adultery and asked for forgiveness. He was forgiven, but his idolatry simply found another, more acceptable pursuit; money. He hadn’t truly repented. He simply became more compliant…and certainly more creative. (Colossians 3:5)
2Co 7:10-11 “For sadness according to Elohim works repentance (thinking differently) to deliverance, (salvation) not to be regretted, but the sadness of the world works death.(no real change) For see how you have been saddened according to Elohim – how much it worked out in you eagerness; indeed, clearing of yourselves;(making sure of no more offensiveness) indeed, displeasure;(of being misunderstood) indeed, fear;(of being wrong) indeed, longing;(to be right) indeed, ardor; indeed, righting of wrong! In every way you proved yourselves to be clear in the matter…”
True Repentance Does Not Produce These
Gal 5:19 “And the works of the flesh are well-known, which are these: adultery, whoring, uncleanness, indecency, idolatry, drug sorcery, hatred, quarrels, jealousies, fits of rage, selfish ambitions, dissensions, factions, envy, murders, drunkenness, wild parties, and the like – of which I forewarn you, even as I also said before, that those who practice such as these shall not inherit the reign of Elohim.”
True Repentance Resulting In True Conversion Produces These
Gal 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, trustworthiness, gentleness, self-control.
True Repentance Is Only Experienced By True Children Of Yahwah
Heb 12:5-8 And you have forgotten the appeal which speaks to you as to sons, “My son, do not despise the discipline of Yahwah, nor faint when you are reproved by Him, for whom Yahwah loves, He disciplines, and flogs every son whom He receives. If you endure discipline, Elohim is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom a father does not discipline? But if you are without discipline, of which all have become sharers, then you are illegitimate and not sons.
I pray that you experience chastisement from our Father resulting in true repentance so that you may walk with Messiah in Truth!