A study of sevens

Study 6: Forgive us

The Life of Our Lord

He did not need to be forgiven for He was without sin. He was the perfect example. Firstly without sin, but note His words:

Luke 23:34 (NIV) Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”

These words involved the cross and we are to follow Him!

Luke 9:23 (NIV) Then he said to them all: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.

The Disciples’ Prayer

Mat 6:12 (NIV) Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.

The call to discipleship is implied in this time of the feast of trumpets. The church is being called to fulfil the priesthood of the believer and each is to take up their individual ministry as called by the Holy Spirit. If the church is to be effective there can be no more ‘special’ priesthood, we are all to do our share. The church is to have leaders, but these are called elders. They must not presume to stand between God and the believer priest by reserving to themselves any ministry of praise,worship,communion or sacrifice.

As believers we are to offer ourselves a living sacrifice, we are each to be able to say ‘the bread which we break’, and each accept the responsibility of extending blessing and absolution to those who have need. To do this the essential basis is to be forgiven, with its corollary ‘as we forgive’

To pray sincerely and effectively, and minister in God’s house there can be no hatred or thoughts of revenge in our hearts.

Mat 5:23-24 (NIV) “Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift.

Mark 11:25-26 (NIV) And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.” 26

The verse that follows sets servants in the church who have the special work of preparing God’s people for ministry. There is no authority here for these chosen servants to be priests OVER God’s people or FOR God’s people.

Eph 4:11-12 (NIV) It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, 12 to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up

The Disciple’s Walk

Discipleship is to allow the Holy Spirit to do in us what Jesus did for us. To have the work of the cross in our lives calls the disciple, to the doing away of self and the pride that so easily besets us.

Prov 29:23 (NIV) A man’s pride brings him low, but a man of lowly spirit gains honor.

Rom 6:5-11 (NIV) If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection. 6 For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin— 7 because anyone who has died has been freed from sin. 8 Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. 9 For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. 10 The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God. 11 In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.

Dead to sin but alive to Christ … a disciple


i … a taught or trained one.

ii. not an imitator but one who identifies himself/herself with the Lord

Mat 10:24 (NIV) “A student is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master.

1 John 4:17 (NIV) In this way, love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment, because in this world we are like him.

Conditions of Discipleship:

i. sets aside all to bear the cross.

Luke 14:25-29 (NIV) Large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and turning to them he said: 26 “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters—yes, even his own life—he cannot be my disciple. 27 And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple. 28

ii. counts the cost.

“Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Will he not first sit down and estimate the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it? 29 For if he lays the foundation and is not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule him,

iii. Doesn’t give up …

John 8:31 (NIV) To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples.

The parable of the Pearl of Great Price

Mat 13:45 (NIV) “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls.

Jesus comes looking for pearls in the kingdom of God. But one is found to be of great price. There are many goodly pearls, (companies of Christians) but one is of great value. (the bride)

Song 6:8-9 (NIV) Sixty queens there may be, and eighty concubines, and virgins beyond number; 9 but my dove, my perfect one, is unique, the only daughter of her mother, the favorite of the one who bore her. The maidens saw her and called her blessed; the queens and concubines praised her.

Consider the pearl:

Found in the sea,(people) an irritation in the closed shell, (of the heart,a conviction of the Spirit) then comes the building of the pearl, layer by layer. (the Spirit deals with us in this way)

Isa 28:10 (NIV) For it is: Do and do, do and do, rule on rule, rule on rule; a little here, a little there.”

Pearls are to cared for and handled wisely. Truth is likened to the pearl also.

Mat 7:6 (NIV) “Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and then turn and tear you to pieces.

There is a principle here to be noted. Be careful with great and beautiful truths when talking to:

a. the pigs i.e. the backslider

2 Pet 2:20-22 (NIV) If they have escaped the corruption of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and are again entangled in it and overcome, they are worse off at the end than they were at the beginning. 21 It would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than have known it and then to turn their backs on the sacred command that was passed on to them. 22 Of them the proverbs are true: “A dog returns to its vomit,” and, “A sow that is washed goes back to her wallowing in the mud.”

b. the dogs. i.e the unclean,the unsaved.

Phil 3:2 (NIV) Watch out for those dogs, those men who do evil, those mutilators of the flesh.Rev 22:15 (NIV) Outside are the dogs, those who practice magic arts, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters and everyone who loves and practices falsehood.

These ones must face the need for repentence not play idly with great truth. We are to grow up into the likeness of the man Christ Jesus … it is a growing from the simple to the complex.

This parable of the pearls makes a pair with the parable of the treasure in the field. The golden lampstand may be used as an analogy of this paired structure. Just as Jesus is hidden in the lampstand so also He is hidden in the parables.

Rev 1:13 (NIV) and among the lampstands was someone “like a son of man,” dressed in a robe reaching down to his feet and with a golden sash around his chest.

Rev 1:20 (NIV) The mystery of the seven stars that you saw in my right hand and of the seven golden lampstands is this: The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands are the seven churches.

Mark 4:13 (NIV) Then Jesus said to them, “Don’t you understand this parable? How then will you understand any parable?

The Church at Philadelphia

(Philadephia = brotherly love)

Rev 3:7 (NIV) “To the angel of the church in Philadelphia write: These are the words of him who is holy and true, who holds the key of David. What he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open.

He who holds the key of David. David the King gave the kingdom of Israel to whosoever he chose. He chose his own successor. The keys of the kingdom of heaven are held by Jesus Christ and He gives them to whomsoever He wills. Mtt`16:19. The Spirit filled church is His successor.

This church had set before them an open door. Paul also mentions a door.

Col 4:3 (NIV) And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains.

To the true disciple this is the door that is open before all who are faithful.

John 21:16-17 (NIV) Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you truly love me?” He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.” 17 The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my sheep.

This little story illustrates two kinds of love that are found in the Scriptures. The Philadelphia church were renowned for their love (phileo = kindness,brotherly love) but there is another as the story of Jesus and Peter illustrates.

V15 Jesus says to Peter ‘do you love me?’ (here the word love is ‘agape’ a very special kind of love relationship.)

Peter replies.. ‘You know I love you’ ( here the word love is ‘phileo’ or brotherly love.)

v16. Jesus asks again. ‘do you truly love me? (again the word is ‘agape’)

Peter again replies ‘you know I love (phileo) you.

v17 Jesus asks again. ‘do you love (phileo) me?’ There is a change in the question for this is brotherly love not agape which is the highest form of spiritual love.

John 13:34 (NIV) “A new command I give you: Love (agape) one another. As I have loved (agape) you, so you must love (agape) one another.

In the church in Philadephia the love operating in the church was ‘phileo’ brotherly love, kindness … it was commented that they had a little strength. The church was in the beginning stages of a love relationship but Jesus wants us to go on into a deeper experience. So it is in His final remarks to Peter He says, ‘ follow me! ‘

John 21:19 (NIV) Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. Then he said to him, “Follow me!”

The Overcomer’s Condition

Rev 3:8 (NIV) I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name.

The overcomer in this church had entered into an understanding of their authority in God and the import of the name of the Lord in all its fullness. Jesus said to them,’let no man take your crown’ They were aware by faith that they were seated in heavenly places and had authority.

Eph 2:6 (NIV) And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus,

i. they were loved by the Lord. V9

ii. they had a little strength.

iii. they did not deny His name.

iv. they kept His Word.

The Overcomer’s Reward

Rev 3:12 (NIV) Him who overcomes I will make a pillar in the temple of my God. Never again will he leave it. I will write on him the name of my God and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which is coming down out of heaven from my God; and I will also write on him my new name.

i. Pillars in the temple:

In the natural world the pillars in a house hold up the roof structure. In most early architecture pillars were also sited to flank the entrance of the building or were erected to line the approach to the temple. Pillar ministries in the church suggest similar ideas.


Upholding the covering.

Exod 26:14 tells of the covering over the tabernacle of Moses. This covering was a type of the triune Godhead. This is upheld by the pillar ministry.

James, Peter & John.

Gal 2:9 (NIV) James, Peter and John, those reputed to be pillars, gave me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship when they recognized the grace given to me. They agreed that we should go to the Gentiles, and they to the Jews.

Two Pillars.

1 Ki 7:21 (NIV) He erected the pillars at the portico of the temple. The pillar to the south he named Jakin and the one to the north Boaz.

These two were erected at the entrance to King Solomon’s temple. They were symbols.

Jachin = He shall establish

Boaz = In it is strength.

A number of possible interpretations have been suggested. “pillar” scriptures follow.

i. As a memorial:

.” Gen 35:20 (NIV) Over her tomb Jacob set up a pillar, and to this day that pillar marks Rachel’s tomb.

2 Sam 18:18 (NIV) … Absalom had taken a pillar and erected it in the King’s Valley as a monument to himself, for he thought, “I have no son to carry on the memory of my name

ii. As the overcomer.

Rev 3:12 (NIV) Him who overcomes I will make a pillar in the temple of my God.

iii. As Guardians/witnesses.

Gen 31:52 (NIV) This heap is a witness, and this pillar is a witness,

iv. As fire and cloud.

Exo 13:21 (NIV) By day the LORD went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to guide them on their way and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light,

The names are to be given to the overcomer. The name of my God,the name of the ciy,my new name. The important thing about a name is that it involves the nature. In the last days we will have to accept one name (nature) or the other. Babylon or Zion, The Lord Jesus Christ or the name of the beast, the name Jehovah or the name Satan.

Church History

From 1750AD to AD1900 was a period which saw the falling away of the old monarchies and the rise of industry in the industrial revolution. The industrial and social changes and the problems that resulted made necessary profound changes in the mission of the church. It was a time that brought forth devoted disciples who moved by brotherly love for the lost inspired great moves of God to save the downtrodden of those days.

There were many goodly pearls in this era. The great evangelical revival gave rise to such churches as Methodist, Wesleyian,Salvation Army,Baptist and many others. They all began with much promise that here at last were men who would listen to and heed the daily leading of the Holy Spirit. The concept of ‘phileo’ love was amply demonstrated but this became fixed and many failed to move on in present truth. The present day Salvation Army is an example of this happening. A great and worthy group but they are fixed in the Philadelphian pattern.

Great revivals and missionary work were a feature of this time, the idea of the brotherhood of man a strongly developed doctrine. (this is only a good idea if men also acknowledge the fatherhood of God.)

This was a wonderful time for the church but as always the ideas of man brought into being another problem of the present day church. The idea of denominations proliferated and set the stage for the Laodecian era.

Yet within this and growing up out of it the pearl of great price continued to give joy to the Master.

The Day of Atonement

The people being made at one with God.