The following was the basis of a devotional, given by Jan,
at Medicalodge, Neosho, MO, on March 25, 2001.
".....and those whom He has pre-destined He also has called; and those whom He has called He has also declared free from guilt; and those whom He has declared free from guilt He has also crowned with glory" (Rom. 8:30, Weymouth).
Last Sunday, we talked about sin and sin consciousness. As surely as day follows night, guilt follows sin. Guilt is a cancer of the body, soul and spirit of man. It erodes away all self esteem; destroys proper bodily functioning; imprisons the soul and immobilizes the spirit. It erodes our faith, corrupts our trust in God and makes us cranky as a porcupine with hemorrhoids. I've written extensively about it before (End Note "A"), but I continue to see people in my personal life and in our Internet ministry plagued by this deplorable condition. I want to run screaming into the night when I hear Christians allowing guilt to rule their lives, when it need not be so. It must not be so, and by God's grace, it will not be so.
We have been counseling a young woman via e-mail for over a year now, and she has come a long way from the place she was when she first asked us for help. Nevertheless, she has fallen back into the pit of despair from whence she came, and worse than that, she is so overcome by the guilt over her actions that she is too paralyzed to even hear from God. The details don't matter and keeping her confidence is the most important thing here. Suffice it to say, she has made a big mistake and now must deal with the consequences, but before she can begin to do that, God has to give her the strength and the grace to get up out of the pigpen of guilt that she has consigned herself to, so that she can come home to the father.
Where in the world does all this guilt come from? Apparently, there seems to be an endless supply stored somewhere in the collective unconscious of the human psyche, and the moment our guard is down, out it comes like a Sherman tank to mow us down and lay us low. The Apostle Paul says that sin and guilt came from the fact that we could not keep the law (Rom. 7: 7-9). In Gal. 3:24, Weymouth translation, he explains, "So that the Law has acted the part of a tutor-slave to lead us to Christ, in order that through faith we may be declared to be free from guilt." He makes it plain that we are freed from guilt by faith, rather than by works, by keeping the law. Guilt is very insidious, creeping in when we drift off, led astray by the world, the church and the devil; and laying us low when we forget that we are seated with Christ in heavenly places (Eph. 2:6). It crushes us when we focus on our faulty flesh, our corruptible corpus, and our soiled soul. Satan leaps right in there, pointing out all our flaws, exaggerating our mistakes, and compounding our actual sins by the worst one of all, the belief that we are beyond God's help. "The accuser of the brethren" (Rev. 12:10), causes us to believe the big lie that the blood of Jesus may have been adequate for the sins of the world, but was totally inadequate for the mess we've made of our lives. Been there, done that. It's a wretched place to visit and a hellish place to live. To their shame, religious leaders of every kind, flavor and nationality have used guilt to bludgeon their followers, because the truth is, guilt is VERY good for business!
I'm going to share some of our correspondence with this reader, whom we love, and with whom we stand on Mount Zion's lofty peaks, claiming victory over the works of darkness that have plagued her.
After not writing for almost a month, she e-mailed us the latest installment of her situation, confessing that guilt for her poor choices had brought her to the brink of suicide. She asked what we knew about "guilt offerings." It took about 24 hours before the Lord gave me an answer to "Marty," not her real name, which I include here along with Lenny's comments to her.
Dear Marty, I was so saddened by your e-mail yesterday, that I had no words of any kind to give you. I woke up in the middle of the night thinking about you and praying for you. Thank God that you did not take your own life!
You asked about guilt offerings. This great computer program we have makes it easy to find the scriptures for you. I am as appalled by the guilt you suffer as I am over the pregnancy and the fact that you let this man back into your life and your bed. Your sin is not about sex. The sin is your belief that God cannot take care of you, and so you think you have to accept this man's abuse in order to survive. Your going back to this corrupt and cruel man reminds me of Jesus' comments: "And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away; it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell" (Matt. 5:30). Jesus was NOT talking about eternal punishment, and neither am I! You have plunged yourself back into hell, right now, for which the devil is beating you bloody with guilt, but never fear, God is still in charge of it and He will deliver you from it as He did before.
Guilt offerings were a really big deal under the Old Covenant, because their sins could not really be expunged, but only rolled forward via the scapegoat. In that yearly ceremony, recorded in Lev. 16, the text says this about it: Vs. 21-22: "And Aaron shall lay both his hands upon the head of the live goat, and confess over him all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions in all their sins, putting them upon the head of the goat, and shall send him away by the hand of a fit man into the wilderness: And the goat shall bear upon him all their iniquities unto a land not inhabited: and he shall let go the goat in the wilderness."
The scapegoat was a type and shadow of the Christ, God's Passover Lamb (I Cor. 5:7), who took the sins of the world and the guilt for those sins upon Himself.
I'll include a couple of verses here to show that when Christ took the sin, He also took the guilt. These are from the Weymouth Translation:
Rom 4:5, "whereas in the case of a man who pleads no actions of his own, but simply believes in Him who declares the ungodly free from guilt, his faith is placed to his credit as righteousness." If the ungodly are declared free from guilt, how much more then are we free who profess Christ?
Rom. 5:9, "If therefore we have now been pronounced free from guilt through His blood, much more shall we be delivered from God's anger through Him." Since we have been pronounced FREE from GUILT, then why do some continue to live as though they were not free? I have to tell you that this makes me crazy, big time!
The King James uses the word, "trespass offering," rather than "guilt offering." This offering was very important under the law. You can read about it in these passages: Lev. 5: 6; 15-16; 18-19. It was given as a way for the sinner to reestablish a right relationship with God, though it could not cleanse his conscience on a permanent basis, because, the Hebrew writer says, "....it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins" (Heb. 10:4).
Under the Old Covenant, there was no long term release from guilt. So, while we joke about "Jewish mothers" laying guilt on their children, it was not funny, not funny at all. Paul said, "I do not nullify the grace of God; for if acquittal from guilt is obtainable through the Law, then Christ has died in vain" (Gal. 2:21, Wey). This, of course, also proves that acquittal from guilt is obtainable through Christ and Him crucified.
The law of Moses provided that sins could be rolled forward a year at a time, waiting for the Messiah to come, but they were never completely erased, until Christ took upon Himself the sins of the whole world (I Jn. 2:2), at the cross. At that time, all the sins of the entire world, past, present and future were blotted out, nailed to the cross, remembered no more (Col. 2:13-15). This included the guilt for those sins as well.
Guilt is a wasting disease, which eats holes in your soul, robs you of joy, takes away your peace, and causes you to do very self-destructive things, like allowing this man back into your life when God took such pains to get him out of it. Wrap all your guilts up in a cloth and tie them up with a string. Lay them at the foot of the cross and leave them there.
No one can function with the kind of guilt you are carrying. Give it up. God will help you to do it, but you must make the choice to let Him. Get up out of that pigpen you find yourself in (Lk. 15:15-16), and go home to the Father who is waiting for you with outstretched arms, a ring, a robe, and a crown (End Note "B"). He will give you the strength to do it, but you must make the choice. Listen to God and LIVE, or die by Satan's lies. Put like that, it's painfully clear what your choice has to be. Love, Jan
PS. Lenny wants me to add here that unless you deal with this guilt, one or more of your children will end up carrying it. It goes to the third and fourth generation, remember (Ex. 20:5; 34:7; Num. 14:18; Deut. 5:9). So, we're hoping that if you need a little help making the choice to ditch the guilt, you will do it for your children's sake, even if you cannot do it for yourself.
"Thanks for the reply, I feel I'm grasping at straws here, desperately trying to save a sinking ship so to speak, so indulge me for a minute. I understand in part what you are saying, I just don't understand how I am supposed to do it...get rid of the guilt and the horrible feelings I have. You said yourself that unless I was raped it was my own doing, so how am I NOT to feel completely responsible and guilty? Its kind of confusing to look into my mind isn't it?"
Your mind is confused right now, but your spirit has been renewed and born again and it is clear and free. You will never figure this out in your mind, so it is useless to allow your thoughts to torment you. You see, this man (who controls you by laying guilt on you) is just an external voice telling you what your mind was always telling you, that you are bad, responsible for everything (how convenient for him and how self serving for him to tell you that), and ALL OF IT IS A LIE! God is the ultimate source of everything, since Paul says HE IS THE ONE "who consigned all men to disobedience" (Rom. 11:32). Go look it up. Why would He do such a thing? "So He can have mercy upon all!" That, my dear, does include you and me and all the rest of us who have sinned and fallen far short of the glory of God in our lives.
Lenny and I took a walk just now, and on the way back, I was saying to him that your entire family has a wonderful scapegoat in this man. He is, without doubt, a stupid, cruel and manipulative man, but he doesn't get all the blame for what's wrong here. However, as long as everyone points the finger at him, they don't have to deal with themselves. This little "scapegoat" drama is lived out in many families constantly, which is where "the black sheep" stigma came from. As with everything else, Jesus had the answer for the family tendency to blame everything on one person and take no responsibility in the matter themselves.: "Why do you see the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, 'Brother, let me take out the speck that is in your eye,' when you yourself do not see the log that is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take out the speck that is in your brother's eye" (Luke 6:41-42, RSV).
So, you ask, what to do about the guilt? OK. Here's the truth, the hard cold facts. You messed up big time. So what? Is anything too hard for God to fix? Is anything impossible with God? Not according to Gabriel the angel who told Mary she would be impregnated from on high and birth the son of God (Lk. 1:37). Like Mary, we also birth the Son of God, who is being formed within us (Gal. 4:19), as we are conformed to the image and likeness of Christ.
It really makes it so much easier to take all the blame on yourself because Jesus paid the price for the sin and the guilt. Take all the blame and accept all the responsibility and then, oh glory to God, give it to him! I'm sure you have repented in bitter tears, have grieved your sin and your blunder. Now, leave it at the cross and walk on. For you to continue to wallow in guilt and self recriminations is for you to say, in effect, "My sin is too big for God to handle. The scriptures are lying; God is lying. My sins were not forgiven on Calvary. The blood of Jesus did me no good at all." The devil is whispering in your ear telling you that this is true. Who do you believe? The voices in your own mind or what the Bible says?
Did you ever read the Dr. Seuss book, "The Cat in the Hat" to your kids? At one point, after the cat has trashed the house, the fish says, "And this mess is so big and so tall, we can not pick it up. There is no way at all." This is what you are saying to God when you wallow in guilt and/or allow this man to lay it on you.
Your sin is NOT too big for God. He has already forgiven you. The only thing I can give you now is truth, and I'm trying to do that to the best of my ability, though I'm sure it sounds very hard. God brought me through some terrible times, and He will bring you through as well, but you have got to make a choice. You have got to repent (change your mind) about who you are. Are you going to chose Marty, the messed up one, or Marty, the daughter of the Most High? You can't have both. So choose, dear one, and God will honor your choice, whatever it is. If you chose Marty, the guilty one, He will just give you more time in the wilderness, another lap around Mount Sinai, which I doubt you want.
To chose guilt over the word of God is death. It takes a little longer to put your body into the grave, but it is a poison that will surely kill you, and then your poor children will have to bear the burden of your choices without your spiritual wisdom born of pain to help them through it.
I realize that you are trying to figure out how you will cope with another child right now, but leave that one for tomorrow. If you don't deal with your guilt today, right now, you are worthless to all your children and to yourself as well.
We gave you a lot of advice about this man before, but he's not the problem now. Your own guilt is the problem. Own it, repent of it, give it to God and walk on. It's hard, but it can be done. If it were not possible, I would be in a rubber room right now and not writing to you.
The next time the devil invites you to take a guilt trip with him, just say, "NO!" I love you, Jan.
In his time of meditation, Lenny got this for Marty:
What you need to see is that you are not this physical dwelling, this body made from the soil of the earth. This is not you. It is the house that you are dwelling in that's making all these mistakes. You are spirit. In Gen. 1:26, it clearly says that God made you in the image and likeness of Himself and God is a Spirit (Jn. 4:24). In the 2nd Chapter, 5th verse, it says, "And there was no man to till the soil." God had not yet made any human beings. In the 7th verse, God said that He made Adam. Adam is your physical dwelling, your house that you are living in, but it is not you. You are a spirit, and you as a spirit dwell with God. Now, if your house makes mistakes, Paul clearly says that this is not your true identity because you are righteous before God (Eph. 1:4). You are seated with Christ in heavenly places (Eph. 2:6).
Talk to God about this and have Him reveal Himself to you and have Him reveal to you who you really are. This will help you out of all this guilt. Your house, your earthly tent is guilty, but you yourself have been declared not guilty and your guilty house has been redeemed by Christ so that there truly is no guilt whatsoever. "If therefore we have now been pronounced free from guilt through His blood, much more shall we be delivered from God's anger through Him" (Rom. 5:9, Weymouth). In Heb. 4:12, it says that the word of God is sharper than any two edged sword, separating soul and spirit. Can you see? It is separating your living house, your natural house from your spirit. It goes as deep as cutting asunder joints and marrow. It goes into the physical being and reveals that this physical being is not you.
I Cor. 15:45, says that "Adam was made a living soul;" Christ the second Adam was made "a life giving spirit." You are a life giving spirit as well, because Christ dwells in you (Gal. 2:20). Yes, you are dwelling in Adam; you are dwelling in a soul, but let the word of God, which is sharper than any two edged sword, separate the soul and spirit so that you can see the difference (Heb. 4:12). Then the guilt disappears. There will be no more war in your body any more between your soul and spirit. This has happened to me. And now, yes I have arthritic pains all the time, but I say to my soul, "Be comforted. I'm helping you as much as I can with medication and x-rays to make sure that you are OK. We're not going to forsake you." The soulish part of you is very anxious; it carries on, feels depressed, and feels afraid; it is frustrated because of the situation you are living in, but that is not your spirit. That is your soul. Comfort your soul. Let your spirit comfort your soul, but you have to first see who you really are.
Try to see that Jesus is the pattern son. He is our example. The way He traveled, we have traveled. He came from the eternal, the spiritual, entered into the physical world, the world of woe, for training (Phil. 2:6-8). He learned obedience from the things that He suffered, and after He suffered, He became the captain of our salvation (Heb. 5:8-9). Do you see the pattern there? We have to travel the same route as He did. We have to be trained just like Jesus was trained, for God trains and chastens His sons (Heb. 12:6-11). Yes, He died for our sins. He died to open our eyes and He rose again into the eternal so that we would see that He was our example. He was our pattern and we have to follow that same pattern. We are now free spiritually (Jn. 8:36); we are seated in heavenly places with Him. He gave us that freely. You cannot travel any other route than He did. We all have to travel the same route. We were crucified with Christ (Gal. 2:20). Our flesh was crucified; our Adamic nature was crucified just like He was crucified. We rose again on the third day with Christ and we became spiritual beings (Rom. 6:4).
He was a spirit after He rose again. He could be at any place at any time. That was proven in the Bible. He walked through the walls to be with the Apostles who were in an upper room, the doors being shut (Jn. 20:26). Do you see? We are spiritual in the same way, though our bodies are not yet glorified as His was. Still, we cannot look at ourselves as merely physical beings anymore. The Old Testament Law and all the rituals that they had, were for our physical being, because the Law was for the physical, to control the natural. All that was a shadow of things to come (Heb. 10:1). The Bible clearly says so. We are not that shadow. We are the spirit, the real thing that has come because Jesus paid the price. Our natural part, our soulish part, all the organized religion, all the parts that took place in the Old Testament in the temple and in the tabernacle, all are all a shadow of things to come, not the real thing. God shined down on those Old Testament symbols and that caused a shadow, but we are the light of the world, Jesus said so. "You are the light of the world" (Matt. 5:14), and you are just like God. "There is no shadow of turning in God" (James 1:17). Why? Because light proceeds out from God, therefore, there is no shadow in God. Light proceeds out of you and you are the light of the world. You are not a shadow anymore.
All this suffering happened to Jesus. He learned obedience through what He suffered and that's what's happening to you. God is trying to show you, to help you see that there has been a separation of soul and spirit in your life. Now I'm not saying that you can conjure up anything to cause this to happen. God is going to have to open your eyes. Just yield to Him. Rest in Him and He will open your eyes. He will give you revelation so that you will see that this is true. There is nothing you can do to cause it to happen.
The thing you need to see is that you are a spirit, made in the image and likeness of God. You came forth out of God. He is your Father (Jn. 20:17). He is the one who has begotten you and He is the one who will bring you through to perfection.
"Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy; To the only wise God our Savior, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen" (Jude 24-25). Lenny Antonsson
We offer this writing on guilt as an encouragement, in the hopes that all of us will be empowered by the Spirit, to leave behind our sin consciousness, our feelings of "Oh what a worm am I," and move on to the place where we see ourselves seated in the heavenly places with Christ (Eph. 2:6), born of His Spirit and restored to full fellowship with the Father. The Weymouth translation of Heb. 10:10, is gloriously clear on this subject: "It is through that divine will that we have been set free from sin, through the offering of Jesus Christ as our sacrifice once for all," Verse 19 adds, "Since then, brethren, we have free access to the Holy place through the blood of Jesus," and because this is true, the Hebrew writer concludes in this passage, "and since we have a great Priest who has authority over the house of God, let us draw near with sincerity and unfaltering faith, having had our hearts sprinkled, once for all, from consciences oppressed with sin, and our bodies bathed in pure water. Let us hold firmly to an unflinching avowal of our hope, for He is faithful who gave us the promises" (Vs. 21-23). Leaving our guilt behind, "Let us therefore draw near with boldness unto the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy, and may find grace to help us in time of need" (Heb. 4:16, ASV).
May the Lord quicken to our hearts and minds and spirits exactly what Jesus did for us all. In His name we ask it, Amen.
Jan and Lenny Antonsson
Jan and Lenny Antonsson
17178 Highway 59, Neosho MO 64850 (Snail Mail)
End Note "A": "Guilt Trips and Shame Games" by Jan
End Note "B": "The Robe, The Ring, and The Crown," by Jan
The Glory Road
We always enjoy hearing from you!
This page was uploaded to the web on 3/20/01
by Jan Antonsson, Webmeister
and last edited on10/14/08.