However as I have progressed through the message to the conference (and I am about half-way through) I am convinced I can't withhold the truth of this anymore. It really is the most breath-taking new revelation on a verse I have always mis-understood and feared. So here is Part 1 - and God-willing, Part 2 won't be long!
Rob's text is - Hebrews 6:4-6;
"Wow what a conference it's been. I love the varieties of God and the diversities of God. It is amazing how the religious spirit would love us to just be prophetic people or just teaching people or just apostolic people or just evangelistic people or just one-style or one-way of worshiping people. It is amazing how quickly we fall into personal preferences and we do not like it when our particular preference is manifested. I really believe that all of us are in the situation where none of us are completely comfortable with every style and expression and manifestation of ministry in the kingdom.
It is a very healthy thing to admit you are not comfortable because all of us are being stretched in these days - not to snap - but to understand the multi-faceted rainbow of God's wisdom that is to be expressed to the powers and authorities through the church.
I believe those powers and authorities are not evil ones but they are the angelic hosts glorifying God in what the church is doing on the earth. I really believe God wants us to break out and to different expressions. There is an older generation like me (I hate to admit that!) but we are older and we have particular histories and we like that and make no apology for our history.
I come out of four major moves of God on our planet in my lifetime. Four major moves - and I have learned so much from those four major moves - the good things and the bad things. I hold it all dear and treasure them because there is eternal revelation in those moves of God.
Then there is a younger generation coming through that I am literally wide-eyed with wonder and learning from them almost daily - but weekly and they have whole new insights and have come from a completely different angle than I have come from and I am learning.
It is not accommodating and tolerating them - but we literally have to find grace to celebrate these different expressions otherwise the church becomes stereotyped and we become little clones or puppets of our religious culture and sub-culture and the conditioning of our history. Every day we need to find fresh faith for new discoveries.
I believe exactly what God is calling us to a uniqueness and each of us to really be ourselves and utterly original. Original, unique realities are inside each of us! Many of us don't realise how much uniqueness is in us!
We often take the definition of who we are from other people's perspectives. We let other people define us!
From 30 years ago I had people saying to me; "I am telling you - you are an evangelist". Okay I am an evangelist. Someone else would say to me; "Rob I am telling you - you are a teacher". They would say it to me like they were the final authority! Okay I am a teacher - so I would try and teach. Then they would say; "No Rob - I am telling you - you are a prophet". Oh okay so I would try and prophesy. Then they would say; "No Rob - you are a psalmist when you lead worship". Okay great I'm a psalmist. A few would actually say; "No you are a pastor!". None said I was an administrator! Then some said I was an apostle! So I was living like a religious schizophrenic! Who am I!? I am an administrator of chaos! Then people would say - no you are an artist, a poet.
One day Bill Hamon - a wonderful prophet from the United States of America. He had never met me before and then one day laid his hands on me and said; "I have given you elements of the apostolic, elements of the prophetic, elements of the teacher, elements of the pastor, elements of the apostle, elements of the evangelist, elements of the psalmist". And I said; "Praise God for a word from heaven!". I want to say the same thing over all of you. God has given you diversity and elements in your uniqueness! I am telling you that if you believe you are pigeon-holed to a tight category then in your faith you will stay in that box and think you are being original.
Don't copy and mimic other people! We are called to imitate their faith - not mimic their methods! And there is a big difference.
We are more inside of us and becoming more as unique individuals than we realise. It is never too late to have a happy childhood!
When a chameleon stands on different colours - the chameleon becomes those colours. Paul the apostle says; "I become all things to all men to win some to Christ". Some may say - oh that's a politician, changing his colours to the political agenda of the day. No - hold on. Politicians move in fear to cater to their constituancy. They are so insecure that they want to be voted in again. That is not a chameleon. If you've watched a chameleon he does not change his colours out of fear but to be a successful hunter. He doesn't get eaten by predators like that - he gets close to his prey and out comes the tongue and he takes it out. When he touches a different colour. The colour-change doesn't come from the outside artificially. For within the chameleon is the capacity to become the colour of any colour he is standing on at that present time.
So if you don't know whether you are a poet then stand on a poetic colour. If you don't know whether you are prophetic then stand in a prophetic environment and you may see something inside of you become prophetic. If you don't know whether you are apostolic or not then stand in an apostolic environment Mr-oh-chameleon. Don't shrink your life! It is not an office you are to be unique in! You can be a whole diversity of rainbow things. It is where you express those rainbow things through the uniqueness of your personality that is most important.
What a conference this has been! What clear teaching! I think some of us had to learn that prophets have to sit under teachers for a while and just stop prophesying for a while and stop going up into the heavens and sit and hear truth sequentially unpacked. So what if there isn't any mighty manifestations going on for a while? We should not get bored so quickly with clear revelation of God's Word!
If the prophetic movement doesn't anchor itself in clear teaching then this prophetic movement is heading into New Age silliness.
I promise you guys, if we just have teaching, teaching, teaching then we are moving into dryness. We need both. We have had a great Ephesians 4 teacher among us - then Fini and Isi - what can you say? I have known them for 31 years and knew they have gone up levels in the Spirit but I thought I don't know them! They are in something I want! I want more of what they have! That is some of the highest level prophetic ministry and revelation that I have ever in my life been exposed to. The realms of God in this room and are still in this room by the way - was just out of this world. I believe the revelation of last night on giving became so clear to me - Paul speaks about "excelling in the grace of giving".
In this grace movement God has already given us generous hearts. Now we can excel in the grace of giving. Now the sowing and reaping is no longer works. It is not making God respond to us - He has already moved for our prosperity! He has given us seeds and we can sow!
It is interesting that on Andrew Wommack's website - he has all the sowing and reaping teaching there all free to download. Saturate yourself in this thing! What a conference it has been! A super-tsunami didn't destroy Hong Kong. It went somewhere else. I am sorry for Taiwan. A challenging budget has been dealt with by the grace of God. We have gone beyond the budget so we have money for the gospel and lives have been changed already.
I want you to the book of Hebrews please. Hebrews chapter 5. I am going to stand here today as a chameleon and I don't know how this will come out - as a teacher, or as prophetic - but it doesn't really matter!
Jesus said that man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God. "Proceeds" is a present, continuous tense. This book is the word that (past tense) "proceeded" out of the mouth of God. So we are going to read what has already come out of God's mouth thousands of years ago. As we speak the word that has proceeded (in the past) the proceeding Word of God will personally rise up in each of your spirits and the Lord will talk to you - different messages. Different and unique proceeding words will rise up as we listen to the Word that has proceeded.
I want to deal with a scripture that the devil has used to undermine people in the revelation of faith and rob them of their confidence. Many of us know that the Old Covenant was written to strip people of their confidence and their self-righteousness. The New Covenant was written to fill us with confidence in our God and to understand how boldly we can approach Him with full assurance of faith even when we have messed up the most.
Where sin abounds, grace does much more abound and your sin can never supersede the grace of God EVER again! Your sin - your mistakes - can never break or block your fellowship with God - it is open heaven 100% all the time!
So that is a confidence booster - any time you read the perfumed letters of the New Covenant and you get confused or loosing your confidence in God, you are not rightly exegeting the Word of God. You are not rightly interpreting the Word of God. Confident people are creative people! Confident people are initiative people - they move out with initiative. Confident people attract wealth and attract prosperity. They attract the blessing of God!
They get over disappointment and discouragement far quicker than people who are not confident. There are Christians who go through the same disappointments you do but it takes them months, sometimes even years to get to stand before God again and say "Lord I am with this assignment again". Confident people go through excruciating disappointments, abandonments, rejections, horrific tales and within a short time are on their feet and going forward again with holy, naive, virgin-like purity and with a total absence of cynicism and skepticism.
What is the sand in the machinery of the church world? Cynicism and skepticism. Where does it come from? "I was hurt - I was rejected - I was disappointed". Please! Get over that by replacing that with how wonderfully you have been accepted in Christ Jesus! Let your definition of confidence be based on Who is FOR you and not who is against you! For if God be for you - WHO can be against you?!
If you have people who worship the ground you walk on and wash your feet every day - but God is against you, then you are finished! But if 20 million are against you and God is for you - you are guaranteed to fulfill the will of God!
People who lose their confidence cannot stay encouraged, bold and going forward. I lovingly say this. I hate the casualty rate in the church. I hate how many of our brothers and sisters are not going to church anymore and are cynical and skeptical.
I am NOT talking about going to a legalistic church. Friends - I could not go to a legalistic church! Let me make that plain.
But how many are hurt and; "Oh the church is so toxic and life is so hard and it's not fair and God didn't come through for me - what kind of God is He?". There are multiple millions licking their wounds and so full of self-centredness and self-pity that I hate the fact that this has happened.
A lot of this is because the gospel of grace has not been clearly taught and they have lost their confidence in the goodness of God and got hurt and disappointed and rejected and abused and have no where to anchor their hope in. They say; "If man has rejected me and God is angry with me then I don't want anything more to do with Christianity".
So I am going to read this Scripture that the devil has used over and over again. I am going to unpack this in whatever time it takes. It is not because I want to preach long - that's not the issue friends! The issue is that we have to unpack the Scripture today in sequence and in context. I hope this is a coaching lesson on how to read the Bible. Do get Wayne Duncan's book on "A Matter of Life and Death - How to interpret the New Testament so you are not confused". Get that book! If you get any book - get that book! I have sat across the table to leaders who have invited me to come and speak to them about the gospel of grace. I have gone like an innocent lamb to the ambush! You sit there and realise this isn't a question to learn but an interrogation! The only difference is that they haven't stripped me naked and tied my hands behind my back with handcuffs and put a bright light on me and prodded me with electricity!
They ask me a question; "Well what about this?" and half way through answering it, they ask you the next question and take extreme interpretations of what we teach. "If this woman is married to this man and he dies and then she marries another and he dies and she marries again and he dies then who is she married to?".
I would say the next man she marries must be suicidal or stupid!
So Jesus is not going to be interrogated! He answered them and said "We are like the angels and won't have sex in heaven". I'm sorry to say that but we won't and you won't miss it either - I promise you! So I realised that we should not let people besiege us with these questions within questions. Questions are good. The message provokes lots of questions and questions are good. We need to ask and search and get to the truth! But questions within questions that have a demonic agenda to interrogate and confuse are wrong. I am not saying I get confused by them - but they are sitting there with an agenda to go back to their people and say "We are into heresy". There was never an open Bible expositing truth!
So this verse is often thrown out. "What about Hebrews 6:4-6"?! So can we open our Bibles and go from Hebrews chapter 1 and see all that lies before? No - we have been held hostage to a verse instead of accepting and embracing the whole New Covenant and the types and shadows of the Old Covenant.
So we are in a grace revolution that is producing mighty signs and wonders and increased glory. If we are not theologically astute we in serious trouble.
There are already signs of trouble in some places of grace - not in what we are involved in - but they are getting into some stupid things. They are saying things like; "If anyone asks you for sex and you don't give it to them then it means you are not free". That is happening in certain grace movements! Or "I don't need to go to church anymore or read my Bible because I just walk in the Spirit". That is stupid! We need to know the Word of God really well - and Isi de Gersigny has got a part to play in what I am going to teach today. I will tell you why.
Let's go to Hebrews 6 and I will read the verse and we will exposit from chapter 5. Hebrews 6:4;
"For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, and have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, if they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame".
Now when I read that verse my soul just sings with joy because I know what Paul is saying. I really believe Paul wrote the Book of Hebrews because he came and told me the other night! No. The reason I believe it is very likely it is Paul (and we know it is the Holy Spirit) is because none of the other apostles used the brilliant method of comparison that Paul does. In all his letters he always shows the inferiority of the Old Covenant law and the superiority of New Covenant grace. So he always uses that comparison to keep it in your face to make us say; "What was I thinking going back to law?! It's ridiculous! It's weak and useless - Hebrews 7 says!".
We are now going to go to Hebrews 5 and go from verse 1 and I want to ask you at the end of this message - I will ask you the amount of times that Paul said the word "Perfect".
This is all about perfection. God requires perfection and nothing less. That ends any kind of stupid legalistic-based performance religion. God requires 100%, every split second perfection.
So there is the end of all striving - give up before you start! So let's read. How many of you are ready for a feast? Hebrews 5:1;
"For every high priest taken from among men is appointed on behalf of men in things pertaining to God, in order to offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins".
Alright it is very clear right here that what Paul is speaking about is that there is a high priest appointed to represent man to God or matters of God on gifts and sacrifices for sins. The Bible is saying is that God did not judge the individual sins of Israel or the individual lies but appointed a high priest to represent all of them. Obviously if there was a high priest that was perfect and a sacrifice that was perfect then everyone would be perfectly represented and everyone would be perfect continually every second of every minute of every hour of every day of every week of every year forever and ever - perfect. But Israel never had a perfect high priest before Jesus or a perfect sacrifice. So continually wrath and judgement came.
But God was sending up in that type and shadow to show that if there could be a perfect high priest with a perfect sacrifice then all of us could stand before the Father perfect forever in His eyes. Let's look at verse 2;
" ... he can deal gently with the ignorant and misguided, since he himself also is beset with weakness".
Now friends I love the word "gentle" there! This high priest under a harsh system of the law - yet was to deal gently with those who were ignorant and going astray! Now in Hebrews 6 we read that it is impossible to restore those who have fallen away and we are teaching under a superior covenant, that if you fall away far enough (we don't know how far "far" is) but if you fall away far enough then you cannot be restored to the perfect high priest Jesus. Under the Old Covenant with imperfect sacrifices and an imperfect high priest - you could be dealt with gently and lovingly when you were ignorant and go astray.
How many see something wrong with that picture right there? Hebrews 4 says we have a High Priest who is touched and sympathises with our weaknesses. He was tempted in all points of sin yet never gave into sin. He is perfect and without sin! He doesn't act gently towards us because He is weak like the Old Covenant high priests. He acts gently towards us because we are weak and He is gracious and compassionate. Now we are going to read that Jesus while He walked this earth had two identities and we are going to see what those two identities are. This is a revelation to prepare you for Hebrews 6 because the Bible is written in sequence to prepare you for what's coming. Alright - verse three. This is why he has to offer sacrifices;
" ... and because of it he is obligated to offer sacrifices for sins, as for the people, so also for himself. And no one takes the honor to himself, but receives it when he is called by God, even as Aaron was. So also Christ did not glorify Himself so as to become a high priest, but He who said to Him, "YOU ARE MY SON, TODAY I HAVE BEGOTTEN YOU" (Identity Number 1); just as He says also in another passage, "YOU ARE A PRIEST FOREVER ACCORDING TO THE ORDER OF MELCHIZEDEK."
Now you can read casually over those verses and miss the vital, pivotal point. Jesus was operating in two identities - as Son and as High Priest. Got that? Alright let's go to the next verse - verse seven;
"In the days of His flesh, He offered up both prayers and supplications with loud crying and tears to the One able to save Him from death, and He was heard because of His piety. Although He was a Son, He learned obedience from the things which He suffered. And having been made perfect, He became to all those who obey Him the source of eternal salvation".
I remember reading this years ago when I was under a mixture of law and grace and going; "God! How can Jesus be MADE perfect by what He suffered? Wasn't He perfect all the time?". Well of course in His identity as a Son He was born perfect. A virgin birth and He lived perfect without sin. He was totally perfect all the time so why did He need to be perfected and how was He perfected? He needed to be perfected as our great High Priest. And how did He get perfected as our great High Priest? By taking our sins. The perfect Son without sin became the perfect offering of the perfect High Priest.
In His suffering at the Cross He became our perfect High Priest and perfect sacrifice! Now it says; "To all those who obey Him". So some Christians go; "Oh there we go!".
If you are looking at the New Testament through those lenses of performance then you read it into everything. That word; "Obey" is used all over the New Testament simultaneously or in the same way as "faith".
In Galatians 5:7, Paul says; "Who cut in on you? Who's agitating you that you do not obey the truth?". They were trying to get the Galatians to obey the law. Paul says if you are trying to obey the law then you are not obeying the truth of the Gospel! What is the truth of the Gospel? To obey "I have it all now by faith and I am the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus!". You need to know what these things mean so that any time you open the New Testament you are never afraid and go; "Oh no that contradicts everything!". I have seen people go to Glory conferences and I am a chameleon that steps on the prophetic and I become prophetic and can see in people's hearts they are running around the building harder than anyone else and jumping higher and are experiencing God's Presence but you can see they are so insecure because someone hasn't taught them clear enough by opening the Word of God in sequence!
Yes you can throw out a word of revelation here or there and something strikes their spirits and they go; "Wow I can see that!" but they need to see it more and more in the context of the whole picture of the New Testament! Then we can run around the building and jump over walls and scream and laugh and the power of God manifests and we become secure!
We don't need those manifestations to be secure - we walk in those manifestations because we ARE secure.
So He became our source of eternal salvation by suffering on the Cross - He was perfected as our High Priest by perfectly eradicating all sin and judgement and wrath. If you look at Hebrews chapter 10 quickly and reading from v1-4;
"For the Law, since it has only a shadow of the good things to come and not the very form of things, can never, by the same sacrifices which they offer continually year by year, make perfect those who draw near. Otherwise, would they not have ceased to be offered, because the worshipers, having once been cleansed, would no longer have had consciousness of sins? But in those sacrifices there is a reminder of sins year by year. For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins".
"Every priest stands daily ministering and offering time after time the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins but He, having offered one sacrifice for sins for all time, SAT DOWN AT THE RIGHT HAND OF GOD, waiting from that time onward UNTIL HIS ENEMIES BE MADE A FOOTSTOOL FOR HIS FEET.
(v14) "For by one offering He has perfected for all time (perfected forever, forever!) those who are sanctified".
(v17) - "AND THEIR SINS AND THEIR LAWLESS DEEDS I WILL REMEMBER NO MORE." (v18) - "Now where there is forgiveness of these things, there is no longer any offering for sin".
Very, very important - the perfect High Priest offered the perfect sacrifice to END all sacrifices! So it is impossible to have any more sacrifices if you fall away - you don't need them! Let's move now back to Hebrews 5 and the next verse (v10);
" ... being designated by God as a high priest according to the order of Melchizedek".
A totally indestructible line - that is the power of his High Priesthood.
(v11) "Concerning him we have much to say, and it is hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing".
Now what has Paul got "much to say" on? He has got much to say about how glorious our High Priest is! He has got much to say about how perfect you are forever! He has got much to say that your sins and lawless acts - God will not remember anymore! He has got much to say that we can draw near with full assurance of faith in confidence and not feel shame or guilt when you have messed up! He has got much to say about this - but he says; "You guys can't receive this because you are dull!". You are slow of learning! He will tell us why they are slow of learning. They are not stupid people or low IQ. The Book of Hebrews was written to Hebrews - very clever people!
It was not written to Gentiles who had never been under the law. It was written to people that had either heard the message of grace and the message of truth but continued to take the blood of bulls and goats and insult the blood of Jesus by the Spirit of grace.
Their sin was to make the blood of bulls and of goats and the law system superior to the blood of Jesus.
That's Hebrews 10. If you continue in sin there is no sacrifice left for sin but only wrath and judgement. You have insulted the Spirit of grace and have trampled the sacrifice of Jesus under foot. Those who are Hebrews who have heard the truth but have not been born again. So their sin is not generic sin but a specific sin of unbelief in the goodness of God and choosing the blood of bulls and goats above the blood of Jesus. THAT is insulting the Spirit of grace! All they have to do is stop their continual sin of unbelief and say "Lord I believe the gospel!" - they will be born again and no more wrath - ever again!
In this chapter he is talking to believers who are in Christ and are Jewish people but are still confused with the mixture. The temple is still there and the law and blood sacrifices. They are confused. Paul is saying to them; "You are still in the milk of the Word".
I want to say something to you that a lot of people teach and we are going to depart from the traditional teachings and the traditional position in a moment. It is as great a rip away from the traditional position as Martin Luther's rip away from justification by works. How many know that the reformation is not over yet?
Truth is being continued! We are not making up a new truth or making up a new gospel! We are finding the real gospel!
Will the real gospel please stand up - because the nations need it!
An inadequate or false gospel is no gospel at all and it can deceive millions!
You can hear an inadequate gospel and be born again but you will live like you are in hell (on your way to heaven). Millions are saved by an inadequate gospel but they need to hear the fullness of this wonderful truth in context so their salvation can be a manifest experience to them.
The milk of the Word that they are in - is not the basics of New Covenant truth. I will show in a minute that the laying on of hands, faith towards God, baptism - is not New Covenant. He is talking about Old Covenant bondage that hinders you, makes you dull of learning, slow to learn, keeps a veil over your heads. He will show them that the milk is the preaching and teaching of the Law and the legal system.
He is about to say that the most difficult thing to reveal grace to is people who are living on diluted milk. When you dilute the law, you make people dull of hearing to grace. If you dilute the law then people get deceived into thinking that "I am okay" and pretty much keeping the law! But when you give them true milk - which is the trueness of the law then they will see that Jesus put the law into steroids! When people tell me that Jesus was a grace teacher before the Cross - I think; "You need your head examining!". Jesus preached the full-cream milk straight out of the udder of death and straight out of the udder of condemnation!
The New Covenant cannot start before the blood of the covenant has been spilt.
People are calling the New Covenant, the "four gospels". But the blood hasn't been spilt yet! How many covenants in the Bible (and there are seven) started before blood was spilt? Not one. Now we have people saying that the most important covenant started after John the Baptist. Come on now friends! The law and the prophets were all pressing in and prophesying before John - what were they prophesying about? Romans 3:21; "The Law and the prophets testify to a righteousness that is by faith apart from the law". They were testifying to the King who would come and bring this New Covenant - so the King had come in Luke 11 and had come as the fulfillment of the Law and the Prophets. But He had yet to go to the Cross and die and cut the covenant. He had yet to be perfected as our High Priest and you cannot have a New Covenant until the High Priest has been perfected!
In the Gospels He was the perfect Son but He was not yet the perfect High Priest. We have people demanding the Gospels are part of the New Covenant but the Son has not yet been perfected as High Priest. He was always the perfect Son in the gospels but He was not yet perfected as the High Priest.
Without a perfect High Priest, you are not perfect before God. God doesn't look at your individual sins - He looks at the one who represents you!
The Word of God is clear! Jesus did preach grace to humble people and Abraham's wonderful covenant. We have someone better than Abraham. But if you think reading the gospels will give you grace to feel safe then I don't know which gospels you are reading! I feel like by the time Jesus has finished I am on my way to hell! If the four gospels is the New Covenant then no one is going to heaven!
You shall be judged by every idle word you speak. How many of you speak idle words? You will be judged by those when you get to heaven. If that is the Gospel and New Covenant. If you look at a man or woman with lust in your heart then you are guilty of adultery. Some of you could have done that today - that is a death sentence right there. If you hate someone without cause then you have committed murder. That is a death sentence.
Come on! Cut your hands off - pluck your eyes out man! Better to enter heaven with no hands than to enter hell with two hands and two eyes! Is that good news?! If we really believe that is the New Covenant then we would have the whole church with both their eyes plucked out and both hands cut off and a whole lot of other things cut off as well!
In Adelaide, Australia a man literally went down to the beach from a seriously legalistic church and stabbed his eyes out. I know a man in the USA whose son of 18 was living under preachers preaching the law and saying the four gospels is the New Covenant, and he went to bed. His parents came the next morning and his sheets were full of blood - he had cut his penis off. Young men driven with hormones are sexually aware - it is not their fault it is testosterone! It is wasted not to deal with our sexuality in the grace of God. But I tell you - if I was a high powered New York lawyer I would sue some of the preaching from pulpits - it is criminal.
But I wouldn't do it because I've done it too in the past. I would also be going to jail with all the rest. We did it with good intention thinking we were being zealous for God but we were being dangerous. We need to know the Word clearly. People say; "Ooh the Beatitudes - they are so beautiful!". Read them again and see if that is the standard to win salvation then you are finished! I don't know a person on the planet who are living in all the fullness of the Beatitudes! "Blessed are you if you do this". What is He saying? "If you are not doing this - then cursed are you". He proves it right at the end of the Beatitudes in Matthew 5:20; "Woe to all of you if your righteousness does not exceed that of the Pharisees and Sadducees - you will not see the Kingdom of heaven!". These guys were the fanatics after the law - and He is saying that you have got to exceed it to get to heaven!
The reason why so many people are dull of hearing and slow to learn is because they have diluted the milk of the law. They are on basic principles going over and over them again and not moving onto the solid food of the gift of righteousness in Christ Jesus.
I said something at our first Glory and Grace Conference in 2007 and it freaked a few people out - I said the law is a composite unity. The whole law is indivisible. It is interconnected and a composite unity. James 2:10 says that if you keep some of the law but fail in any part of the law you are guilty of breaking all the law. "Perfect". Unless you have a perfect High Priest then you are finished!
Please hear this lovingly - the whole fundamental right wing part of the church (who Isi de Gersigny says she loves) do not know what they are doing. Jesus was put on the Cross by right wing fundamental church-goers. I did not know what I was doing when I was preaching law and grace! Yet He gave me grace.
Let's be careful when we judge - we are not to be grace Pharisees! "You preach any little bit of the law and I'm leaving this church!". Something is wrong with that picture if you are a grace person because then you must leave every single church on the planet! No one is preaching perfect grace yet!
We have paranoia in parts of the grace movement. Any lines in the song with law or control on - and they won't sing them! I think; "Come on man - become all things to all men to win some for Christ". Become a chameleon to hunt your enemy down. Become a chameleon to get the lost saved, make adjustments and be flexible - the whole church is in process towards fullness! I think that when we react to our past - we are holding our future hostage to our past. We are trying to chain our future to bad experiences in the past. People in congregations are trying to hold their leaders hostage because they have been abused in their past but some of the leaders have been abused in their past! Everyone is on a journey together and anything that sounds or smells like control gets reacted against! Leaders cannot abdicate leadership because they were appointed leaders and they are called leaders in the New Testament. It says those leaders who rule well are worthy of a double portion. The context was finances and honour. There is a governing well and a ruling well. When you have good leadership then you have holy chaos!
Leaders are to empower the holy priesthood - but they are to lead. Not to lead with a political spirit but to lead with control.
To see this grace movement accelerate forward we have got to break this spirit of paranoia and hurt in the past. After 2 or 3 years of being under grace, and we are easily offended or discouraged then grace hasn't worked in your heart. Just be honest! Say; "I need more grace in that area".
What Paul is saying is that by now - you need to have moved onto New Covenant freedom. You have heard it. You live in it. Don't go round these Old Covenant elemental teaching anymore. Move on to the understanding of the New Covenant and the gift of righteousness.
It says; "You have had so much milk but you need more milk" - what is he saying there? He is not saying going go back to the elemental teachings of the New Covenant! He is saying get the milk as full cream milk - let's dump the full cream milk of the law on you so much that you can see God demands a standard of perfection from you and your High Priest and if it is not there - then you had better leave the milk and go over to the New Covenant and righteousness as a gift!
Look at verse 12. "Though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary teaching of God's Word all over again. You need milk! Not solid food". In other words - let's put the law on you so intently that eventually you will go; "Oh my God - give me the fullness of the New Covenant and the solid food".
(v13); "Anyone who lives on the Law being still an infant is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness".
(v14); "But solid food is for the mature who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil". If you have been under law for long enough - you have trained yourself to distinguish between good and evil. What was the tree that Adam was commanded not to eat from? The tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Paul is saying if you have been under milk and are still dull of hearing on the gift of righteousness - then you need more milk! To really show you how perfect God requires you to be and the law requires you - when you see that, then you can move away from the law of the knowledge of good and evil and move into the training of the gift of righteousness.
Romans 1:16, 17; "I am not ashamed of the gospel for it is the power of God unto salvation - for in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed that is by faith from first to last". The gospel reveals a faith that is not by law or effort but from God that is revealed by revelation from first to last.
This revelation doesn't get you into the kingdom and then you have to go back under the law to stay in the kingdom. This is from first to last - just as you receive Christ, so walk in Him (Colossians 2:6).
Romans 3 - that there may be a righteousness that is apart from the law that is by faith.
Same with Romans 5 - which says where there is no law, sin is not credited to you. Romans 4 and 5 both say where there is NO law - God is not counting sin against you! Where there is no law - God is not imputing sin against you! Colossians 2:14; "God cancelled the law at the Cross" so from the time you came into Christ, God is not counting sin against you. Romans 4:8 says; "Blessed is the man who the Lord will not count sin against him!".
Romans 5:19 says God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself NOT counting men's sin against them. God made Him who knew no sin to be sin so that in Him we might be made the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus! These things are simple to us but if you are under a mixture of law and grace - then you are dull of hearing and struggling to teach these things. What you need is more cream milk to totally devastate all hope in that old system!
How did Jesus become our sin? Did He have to sin to become our sin? No! He was made our sin. Our sin was given to Him as a free gift from the Father. How were we made righteous? By doing righteous things? No! Our righteousness is a free gift from the Father. Romans 5:17; "We reign in life by receiving the free gift of righteousness". This teaching in righteousness is not self-righteousness - it is the GIFT of righteousness. It is not unrighteous behaviour vs righteous behavior. The teaching in righteousness is the gift of righteousness vs self-righteousness that comes from the milk.
Romans 10:4 says; "Christ is the end of the law so there may be a righteousness for all who believe".
We are now breaking all records - this could be the longest I've preached.
Those who are dull on a mixture of law and grace need to hear the law on steroids so they will RUN for the perfection of the great High Priest.
Now we are heading into Hebrews 6 - we have been sailing and we are now heading into Hebrews 6. This is how we need to read our Bibles - in context! Hebrews 6. By the way I have no problem in God speaking to our hearts and saying; "Turn to ...". He has done it many times - saying for example, turn to Hebrews chapter 3. While I've been praying I have turned there and He has spoken to my heart. But we do need to read the Bible in context so we can all be teachers. We are all called to be chameleons.
Hebrews 6:1; "Therefore let us leave the elementary teachings about Christ" (the law on steroids), let us press on to maturity". I want to tell you - the day you were born again you were fully mature. You are the full righteousness of God with no room for improvement. The Gospel produces fully mature sons of God - the instant you are born again. "Not laying again". There are people laying again and again - and he says; "Stop. Blast it out of the way - it's obsolete and redundant". "Repentance from acts that lead to dead works and faith in God ... resurrection ... ".
Now five years ago I believed that he was talking about foundational works in the New Covenant. Over the last period of time by God downloading revelation of understanding and illumination - I realised he is not talking about the foundational teaching of the New Covenant after the Cross - but the elemental milk teaching that make people dull!
He is teaching about the teachings that make people still need to be taught over and over again. Without being unkind if you look at congregations across the planet, you will see people in Christ for 10 and 20 years who are sulking brats who are easily offended, jealous, envious - why? We think Hebrews 6:1-2 are talking about foundational teachings of the New Covenant - basic milk teaching.
But "faith in God" - surely that's teaching of the New Covenant? No! Faith in God under the Old Covenant is totally different to faith under the New Covenant!
So about five days ago I was wrestling in prayer going; "Dear God - I'm not getting up at a conference with a major departure from the traditions of the church!". Then I heard God say; "Well son - you've done it before - you did it a few years ago! You started saying things and thought you were a lone voice and you hadn't heard Joseph Prince or a whole load of other grace teachers!". I had to come to Hong Kong, walk the streets, read my Bible and I just knew something was on my life. On the runway sitting in Adelaide in the airport about to come and live in Hong Kong - and God said;
"Son you have been preaching a mixture of law and grace and a mixture of faith and works, flesh and Spirit, Old and New and Ishmael and Isaac, Saul and Paul - a mixture! From now on I want you to preach a pure stream of New Covenant grace; faith, Spirit, anointing and life!".
I didn't know what He meant! He began to reveal things and I began preaching things. Some were delighted and some were not that delighted! So He said; "You have been here before son - step out on the water!".
I said; "Lord - give me a sign! Confirm this to me! I need a sign - help me!". The next day I phoned Fini and Isi to check the schedule and Fini wasn't at home. Isi was and we had a great chat and she said; "Look I am just preparing a basic foundational course for believers and people with no understanding and I went to Hebrews 6:1 to go through foundation teaching. I was starting to prepare and God spoke to me and said; "These are NOT New Covenant elemental truths! These are Old Covenant elemental truths!". I kissed Isi through the phone and said; "YES!".
So I knew - I am going to preach this at Glory and Grace. I kept thinking; "Maybe I shouldn't - maybe I shouldn't". I am so enjoying sitting here and hearing the others preach.
1. Repentance from Dead Works.
So I am going to show you - repentance that leads to death, or repentance from dead works. Repentance from dead ceremonies, or repentance from dead works - is doing things to earn God's favour. Doing things over and over again to get God to love you. The question under the law - was; "Lord - am I pleasing enough to you?". The question under our High Priest who represents us is; "Father - is Jesus pleasing enough to you?". The answer is obviously; "Yes!". Then we are okay - because we are in Him! Repentance from dead works is literally trying to do good things to get a result of God liking and loving you. We are not to be living our lives constantly in repentance; "Oh I did that; I am sorry". We are not to live in this constant state; "I did this; I did that; I am so sorry!". That is Old Covenant.
2. Faith in God.
What about faith in God? I want to say to you right now that faith in God of the Old Covenant is utterly different to the faith in God in the New Covenant. Let's quickly go to Hebrews chapter 11.
Hebrews 11 is about the great men and women of faith under the Old Covenant. They were great men and women of faith and did great things with their faith.
Let's look at verse 39;
"These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised, since God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect".
There's that word again - perfect. So all these great men and women of faith did not receive what was promised. They had faith to do all kinds of things but their faith could not receive what was promised. What does God require? Perfection. Their faith could not receive perfection. Only through us - the New Covenant people together with us, can they be perfected. The next chapter goes on and says that we have this great cloud of witnesses around us. So we think; "Oh my God - these great men and women of faith looking at us and saying 'Where's your faith?!". We feel so inferior because we do not exegete the Scripture properly. They are not looking at us saying "Where's your faith?!". They are looking at us saying; "Wow! Look at the New Covenant faith! They are PERFECT!". They are looking from the realm of the glory and waiting for us so they can have their status and receive the promise that we have already received!
There is no place for arrogance. We don't need to lay that Old Covenant foundation of faith again because that will keep people dull and slow to learn. Then he goes on and speaks of the great cloud of witnesses and says;
"Let's throw off every weight and every hindrance".
I have heard a thousand speculations about what it is that hinders us. Habits. Sin. That weight - we must get rid! No! Read the Bible in context! He has spent 10 chapters talking about how useless and what a hindrance the LAW and religious system is! He is saying that they couldn't obtain it through that system! You have got something better - now obtain perfection in Christ Jesus and throw off what THEY had and what hindered them and don't carry on your back the weight that couldn't get these people of faith to where you have got in Christ Jesus in the New Covenant!
Crazy! We take these Scriptures out of context and talk of habits that I have. It is hindering me! Friends!
That is NOT what is hindering you! It is that very condemnation of the Law that is hindering you! We are not encouraging sin but when you are hindered - then you probably will sin a whole lot more!
Then he says; "And the sin that so easily entangles". What is this sin? He has just given a whole book on faith. "They did not enter because of faith". What is this sin? It is not generic sin but specific sin - it is the sin of unbelief in the goodness of God and in the goodness of our high priest.
Then he is going to say; "Listen stop trying to have faith - put all that blooming Old stuff and weights and laws and put it all off and run with patience". Not looking to have faith or trying to have faith! But looking to Jesus the author and perfecter of faith! The NIV says; "Our" faith but it is not in the Greek. "To Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith". So we have a high priest who authors our faith. You didn't author your faith. Your High Priest - HE is the originator and the perfecter! You need perfect faith to be perfectly saved!
Some say; "Am I really saved - I don't know if I have enough faith!?".
No - there is someone called your High Priest that represents you on all matters relating to God and He has perfect faith and is the author and perfecter of faith and so because of Him you have perfect faith before a perfect God and you are perfect in your High Priest!
I want to say a few things about this.
Old Covenant faith is me trying to please God. New Covenant faith is something God gives to me and something that Jesus has on my behalf. Jesus has faith for you. And Jesus has faith IN you.
Did you know that our New Covenant High Priest is better than the Old Covenant priest that failed? He dealt gently with those who are ignorant and went astray - this perfect High Priest is touched with the feelings of our infirmities and He sympathises with you. He has faith for you - but listen to me. He has faith IN you.
I want to say something life-changing here. Your life is not primarily or essentially changed by who you believe in. Your life is essentially changed by Who believes in you.