Maranatha Pearls - February, 2008

Maranatha Pearls
Volume #2February, 2008
2 Timothy 2:15

Welcome to a new month with Pearls! I pray that this publication will continue to edify each one that reads these words, and I pray that this glorifies our dear Head and Lord Jesus Christ. The topic for this month is true and false repentance.

Before we begin our study, I would remind you to keep Virginia Robinson, William Hughes, Ruthie Wilson, and any one else that may be ill in your prayers. I pray that all those who attended the winter conference were blessed. I must apologize for the cruel politics which I am under. My only solace is that I know that God is in control. I truly long for the day that I can attend a conference and meet many of my dear brothers and sisters in Christ. I so wish that I could attend the conferences and be with my brethren, but apparently for now the Lord wants me to learn computers and continue working in this way for the edification of the brethren and for His glory.

Next months newsletter will center on Body truth dealing specifically with the exaltation of our Lord in this current dispensation.


3 Greek words are translated repent in our K.J.V. Bibles. Knowing these words in this study is actually irrelevant, for context controls the meaning of a word, and in this study that is enough.

Judas is said to have repented, "Then Judas, which had betrayed him, when he saw that he was condemned, repented himself, and brought again the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders" (MATT 27:3). This is a case where context will be our guide. The key to understanding this verse lies in the words, "When he saw that he was condemned." After Judas saw impending judgment, then and only then, did he decide to repent. Judas felt bad because he was in trouble, just like so many today who go to church, and hear a sermon that makes them feel guilty, and then respond to a preacher's plea to come forward to the altar. They have prayed a special prayer by reciting the words a preacher has led them to pray and are encouraged that they are now are saved by the grace of a God they probably do not know. Those that adhere to the right doctrine of eternal salvation are urged to understand that they cannot lose their salvation. I have met many of these, and a hurdle arises when the truth is proclaimed to them seeing they are convinced they are already saved. It takes great patience to help them see the truth, and a lot of prayer that the Holy Spirit may open their blind eyes.

False repentance does not produce the good fruit that true repentance produces. A modification in behavior may take place, such as, to quit or stop drinking. These are merely restraints placed upon harmful habits that in no way are to be considered true repentance.

The Pharisees led a type of life style which on the outside seemed to be of men living a life of true repentance. But God sees the heart (1 SAM 16:7), and knows the true state of each and every heart. "Woe unto you, Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess" (MATT 23:25).

Too many "Christians" actually believe that in cleaning up the outward appearance it makes them the elect of God. This stems from the errors preached in pulpits and what is called easy believism. I thank God often for the Body of believers of the Maranatha Fellowship, for we hold dear the truth, and in close intimacy with each other.

True repentance is not just a change from self government to God glorifying governing, but as Dusty taught we must abhor our selves. "I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee. Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes" (JOB 42:5,6). The key is in the term abhor. We must hate our self as a sinner and come crawling to the throne of grace to which our most gracious Lord draws us against our natural born desires.

True repentance bears witness to itself by bearing the fruit of the Holy Ghost. "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law" (GAL 5:22,23). These are not hidden virtues, but rather works that are obvious to all. If these are absent then we must question ourselves. "Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?" (2 COR 13:5; PS 26:2).

I would like to ask all of you in the fellowship to send contributions for each issue of Pearls. This is intended to be a united effort of all the fellowship. I thank you in advance for your participation.

From Ken on repentance:

"The meaning of repentance is varied throughout the Scriptures. If we view the word as the same in every occurrence we confuse its meaning. It covers several aspects of human feelings. (1) To mourn. (2) To grieve. (3) To regret. (4) To be comforted. The word "regret" conveys the primary element of repentance as it refers to man. Webster defines it:" In theology, the pain, regret, or affliction which a person feels on account of his past conduct because it exposes him to punishment." As we will see this does not explain all Biblical definitions.

A. The word "repent" as it pertains to God.

In the O.T. God is said to repent. The primary references are: GEN. 6:6; EX. 32:14; 1 SAM. 15:35; 2 SAM. 24:16. The word used means "to sigh". Some teach that this means God changed His mind, but this denies His eternality, His immutability, and His omniscience. The Word of God is the Eternal Word and is forever settled in heaven (PS 119:89). Thus all things stand present to the thought of God, and nothing is changed in His mind, therefore all things come to pass just as they were ordained by God to happen. There is nothing in the word "repent" that suggests a change in the mind of God. It is that the object (man) has changed. The flood was already ordained to come and purge the earth.

The meaning of to "sigh" would signify grieving, and God's repenting (from our human standpoint) is explained by noting in each context that God did not change His mind, but rather changed the course of His providential dealings. It was what God already knew and planned in eternity, but is stated in this way for mans understanding. Study the four references above and this will be seen. God created man in His image and after His likeness in purity and holiness. Man sinned and became very evil, and so evil, that it is recorded, "that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually" (GEN 6:5). Then God "sighed" that He had made man on the earth, and it grieved Him at His heart (6:6), and then occurs the change in Gods providential dealings (6:7), but not a change of His mind.

In the N.T. we read "For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance" (ROM 11:29). The meaning of repentance in this verse is that God does not change His purpose and take back the gifts He has given. These gifts are absolutely irrevocable, i.e. they cannot be reversed.

B. The word "repent" as it pertains to Israel and the kingdom.

In the N.T. the word is defined: (1) To think differently. (2) To change one's mind and purpose. (3) Especially to change one's mind towards sin the cause of which effects the whole life and not just a single act. (4) To regret. Repent and repentance in the N.T. are closely allied to Israel concerning their Messiah. It is in the Gospels and Acts that the word most frequently occurs.

The first occurrence is from the preaching of John the Baptist to those of Judaea (MAT 3:2). His message was that the kingdom of Heaven was at hand because the King, the long awaited Messiah, was here. Israel had rejected God in the O.T., and now that the Son of God was here, repentance was necessary for sin conflicts with the government of God. John's baptism of repentance (MAT 3:11), was for the washing away of the sin of rejecting God, i.e. Expressing sorrow or regret for something past, and confessing it by water baptism.

The same is seen in Peter's preaching on the day of Pentecost (ACT 2:38). After Israel had been charged with crucifying their Messiah, Peter said to repent, i.e. agree with his charge of crucifying Christ, regret the act, be sorrowful for it, and be baptized in water confessing His name (ROM 10:9). This was the message all through out the book of acts (ACT 2:38; 3:19; 17:30; 26:20; ROM 2:4).

C. The word "repent" as it pertains to the Gentiles.

Repentance is a divine gift for unless God grants it, it cannot be entered into by man. Esau sought it, but was denied (HEB 12:17).

We first see it in connection with Peter's going to the house of Cornelius (ACT 10,11). "When they heard these things, they held their peace, and glorified God, saying, Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life" (ACT 11:18). i.e. The nations were to become a part of the kingdom of heaven. God commandeth all men everywhere to repent (ACT 17:30). Paul preached this in his early ministry which is in keeping with the message of the kingdom of heaven (ACT 20:21: 26:20). The Athenians were to repent, change their mind, think over again their false conduct, that had issued in false character. They were to re-think what Paul said about the resurrection of Christ. Think again in the light that God will judge the world in righteousness by that Man whom He hath ordained.

D. The word "repent" is not primarily a Pauline word.

The only reference to the word "repent" in the post-acts epistles of Paul is 2 Tim. 2:25. The context is that of deliverance from the bondage of error and is connected with repentance unto the acknowledging of the truth. Again we must note that that God must grant this repentance if they are to recover themselves from the snare of the devil.

E. There is a false or legal repentance which is not true repentance.

False or legal repentance is repentance which proceeds from the fear of punishment because of the penalties involved. It may exist without a change of life because the heart is not dealt with. There is no regret, remorse, self-condemnation, self-loathing, or outward change in the manner of living. Sorrow itself is not repentance, although true repentance involves sorrow. Peter truly repented, i.e. he wept bitterly, but the repentance of Judas, while he was remorseful, had no broken heartedness with it (Matt 27:3).

Reformation is not repentance, but is often confused with it. It is not until one is made a new creature in Christ that he can have true or Godly sorrow. Without the mind of Christ there is no conviction because no man can convict himself. His conscience may be stirred concerning right and wrong, but the conviction of the Holy Spirit through the Word of God is needful for true conviction and repentance.

F. All true repentance comes after salvation.

True repentance is a work of grace. A sinner that is dead in sin cannot save himself, neither can he repent himself. True repentance is not the third step on the back of a tract, nor is it to be understood in the light of Reformed Theology as a pre-salvation experience. A sinner cannot regret his past or be sorrowful for his condition until he is awakened. Until then he cannot know that he has sinned against God, and repent. Once awakened he regrets his sinfulness, he agrees with the fact, and casts himself on the mercy of God. True repentance is agreeing with God, thinking as God thinks, the relinquishing of any practice that has offended God , and God has convicted him of, ceasing to act or continue practicing that sin, and to obey the truth. It involves sorrow and remorse through a waking up of the conscience by God whereby sin becomes exceedingly sinful. Repentance is not only to forsake sin, but to change what we think about sin. If true repentance has been granted sin will be dealt with, and we will want to get rid of it. Real repentance wants deliverance from sin.

Job was a righteous man, but said, "I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee. Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes" (JOB 42:5,6). It results in a change of purpose which is followed by a manifestation in the outward actions,"... and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God" (1 THESS. 1:9). Paul provides us an example in himself. He was on the road to Damascus and was met by the risen Christ. He had an inward change and went to Damascus with a different mind and purpose, and his outward action also changed as a result.

G. Is repentance to us today in this age of grace, and did it diminish in Paul's epistles?

It is in a sense if we consider it the renewing of the mind. "Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ"(1 COR 2:16). This gives us the ability to discern spiritual truth and begin to think as God thinks. We are to let this mind be in us and be the guiding principle in our life. "The renewing of our mind," and the command to "... be renewed in the spirit of your mind," is the work of repenting.

As members of the body of Christ, and members of the one new man of which Christ is Head, Christ is our repentance. We have His mind and He is made unto us wisdom. We are given a whole new perspective of life in Him and we are to think and walk worthy of this calling, position, and privilege.

Paul did not tell the jailor at Philippi to repent, but to believe. This is the message we teach today. Believe that Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose again the third day according to the Scriptures. Believe that Christ was the God sent substitute for you, and believing brings you into conformity to the Divine Mind, the Word of God. The Holy Spirit enables us with a renewed mind to agree with Divine Revelation and repentance follows. We do not read "without repentance no man shall see the Lord," but we do read "without holiness no man shall see the Lord"(HEB 12:14). Holiness is a desire of the new creature in Christ and the Holy Spirit sanctifying us through the Word. As our mind is renewed ,i.e. the mind of Christ being perfected in us, we experience repentance. The evidence of true repentance is doing the will of God from the heart (EPH 6:6,7).

The following is from a member of the body of Christ, and it is so edifying that I must share it with all the brethren.


There is a true and a false repentance,

But which one does my heart own?
Does it weep over my sin against Christ,
He who intercedes for me at the throne?

When Nathan the prophet of old,
Declared to David, "Thou art the man".;
He said, "I have sinned against the LORD".
For he disobeyed and despised His command.

King David well understood this,
"Against thee, and thee only have I sinned".
"Behold I was shapen in iniquity,
and in sin did my mother conceive me".

Thus he cried to his God for mercy,
To remember his sin no more;
The cry of a broken and contrite heart,
The joy of his salvation restored.

He longed to be cleansed from his guilt and sin,
For he'd broken his dear Lord's heart;
He acknowledged the evil that was hidden within,
That God would once again His mercy impart to him.

"Create in me a clean heart, O God;
And renew a right spirit within me".
Prove my heart with true repentance I pray,
That I may live only for Thee day after day.

This true repentance will enable His own,
To turn away from the sin they've known;
For those who truly belong to Him,
Seek His strength to escape from the power of sin.
Is it the same with us today,
Will we continue in sin or from it turn away?

May God continually grant us His strength,
To have victory over our sin;
For our gracious Father's promise is this,
Sin shall no longer over you reign.

The law of sin and death we are no longer under,
For the bars and bands that held us fast;
His mercy hath broken asunder,
We are under the awesome power of His grace;
Jesus Christ will keep us from falling,
Through the protection of His loving embrace.

So whenever we're tempted,
To go the wrong way,
Forgetting to whom we belong,
Is when we go astray;

Let us meditate upon this thought,
For in Him our faith is stayed;
Consider the great sacrifice for us that He hath made,
The condemnation of all our sins upon our Lord was laid;
The terrible wrath of an Almighty God,
He suffered and willingly paid.
For us it was His unconditional and abounding love;
That pleased God our Heavenly Father above.

What more could we want than to please Him,
While upon this earth we live;
For He is worthy of far greater glory and praise,
Than all we can possibly give!

Lord, teach us to trust Thee with child-like faith,
For to Whom else can we go?
The heart of the truly repentant,
Will in Thy blessed grace grow!

The scripture to memorize this month is: "For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ" (1 COR 2:16). From the notes that follow it seems to me all who attended the winter conference were edified. I know that when the truth is being proclaimed our Head the Lord Jesus Christ is glorified. It was for this reason that our Lord came into the world. "To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth..." (JN 18:37).

From Brother Lonnie:

The trip to Panama City for the winter conference was very rewarding to us. We were all greeted with the warm sweet love that only people of like precious faith can have. That is something we never experienced in the assemblies that we previously attended. During the conference , it was as if the world was forgotten about for a few days, and I thank God for being able to attend. In the Proverbs, we hear a great deal about instruction, and I feel that we received some wonderful instruction. Knowledge and wisdom are spoken of in the Proverbs and I believe we all gathered some of that as well. I will end with prayer for all of you, "May each of you have a peaceful day in our Saviour's name, our Lord Jesus Christ."

Lonnie and Barbara

From Dale:

Wow, it seems hard to believe that the conference was nearly a month ago already, and yet only four short months until our summer conference ! I feel that I speak for every one that was there, that we wish it would have lasted much, much longer than it did. It was so good to see those of like minded faith and especially good to see some that we have not seen in a while. Also, there were some that were sorely missed as well. The time together was spent around God's Word, with much good discussion and all done in the spirit of love. I believe our Lord and Saviour's name was magnified through each of the teachers as well as each of the attendees. These days are evil and we must redeem the time. I feel that the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ would have said of those few days during the conference "My loved ones redeemed their time well". Please do not forget to bathe one another in prayer. Think carefully before you pray, "be not rash with your mouth".

By His grace

From Ken:

Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised, His greatness is unsearchable. We cannot fathom the unsearchable riches that are graciously given us in Christ Jesus. The recent winter conference was very edifying to me as the studies were presented. I believe each teacher endeavored to edify and build up the Body of Jesus Christ. Personally much truth was gleaned from the studies and the Lord Jesus Christ became more precious to me as He was exalted in our midst.

One truth presented was the need for an active faith. We must live in realization of our position and believe God's promises. We are saved by grace through Paul's Gospel of grace, the indwelling Spirit sanctifies us through the truth and enables us to claim the promises of God. God has indebted Himself to fulfill His promises, yet if unclaimed , avail us nothing.

Following is my itinerary for the spring meetings, and for which I covet your prayers for traveling mercies and strength to edify the saints.

March 6-9 Ramseur, N.C.
March 26-28 Vanleer, Tn
March 29-31 Picayune, Ms
April 1-4 Daphne, Al
April 4-6 Panama City, Fl
April 7,8 Live Oak, Fl
April 9, Jacksonville, Fl
May 2-4 Mini-conference, Jonesville, Mi

From Al Naas:

Throughout the Bible God only revealed His secrets to those whom He chose to hear them and to understand them. In the O.T. He revealed His secrets to His prophets by visions and understanding the mysteries of the kingdom. The risen Lord revealed to the apostle Paul the mysteries that distinguished the church from Israel. I believe that only the chosen members of the church will be able to understand and believe these mysteries. Because of faithful men such as Paul and R.E.(Dusty)Rhoades we have been given to not only see the mysteries, but to understand them in faith. As Ken and David and Dale presented at the winter conference there are enemies and conflicts in our path to the truth. But when you have the Word of truth to rightly divide (R/D), and when you understand progressive revelation, neither satan or any one else can deceive you. It is my prayer that our studies and conference messages glorify the Lord in truth and edify the church, which is His Body. We should be ever thankful to the Lord for this gift and all the other gifts that he has blessed us with.

By His Grace,
Al Naas

From David Doyle:

I'd like to share with you some thoughts concerning the believer and the whole armor of God, found in Ephesians 6:10-17. It is important to understand that Paul has told us in Ephesians 4:24 to put on the new man, and this is the basis for understanding the whole armor of God. We are the new man, which is made complete through the identification of the believer with the death, burial, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. (EPH.5:29-32)

How is it that we as believers come to possess the whole armor of God?(EPH 4:13; COL. 2:9-10;4:12) As believers we have come to this standing of perfection through identification with Christ. He is our breastplate of righteousness. (ISA. 11:5; EPH 6:14). Salvation is ours, as is truth of the revealed Word, because Christ is who He is! (EPH 6:17).

The responsibility of the believer in putting on the whole armor of God is to grasp it by active faith (EPH 6:16). We are told to take the shield of faith; this is an action word! We are to believe, and settle within our own minds, that we are clad with Christ Himself through identification with the death, burial, and resurrection. The complete or finished work of Christ! Faith is all that has been given to us to be completely clad in the whole armor of God. Christ is the whole armor of God, and can only be worn by those who have seen themselves, through faith, to be the whole or complete new man, created in Christ Jesus.

The dates for the summer conference are June 24-27. It will be in Lansing, MI., at the Quality Inn and Suites. There are 15 rooms reserved, 8 double, and 7 kings. Reservations need to be made before June 1st. The number to call is: 1-800-456-6431 or 517-886-0600. The rate is the same as last year, $ 69.00 + tax. Make your plans now to attend and we will enjoy the fellowship together.