Offenses and Forgiveness by Efraiym Bridges Part 1 – Teaching Review

Shalom Saints,

In the fall of 1997, Floyd, Sage and I moved to Dundee, Michigan. Sage was a gray long-haired cat that we both had become attached to over the past two years. However, after a month there, we missed seeing Sage. He would be missing for a few days then a week at a time. I thought he had tried to go back to Ann Arbor or to whomever had cared for him after the park fiasco. (That’s another story!)

My home office was on the second floor and had a window that faced our neighbor, Keri's house across the field. I happened to be working around 6 AM one morning when I saw her open her back door and out poured a ton of cats and small dogs. AND THERE WAS SAGE!!

I couldn't believe it. Here I was wondering and anxious about my lost cat and she had him! When I went over to get Sage, she said she didn't know he was my cat, but he was her favorite and he was the one that slept in the water bed with her. I was dumb-founded. She asked to share the cat. I said,

“Sage is my cat. Please do not let him in your house.”

I could tell my pleading was falling on deaf ears.

I returned home and simmered until Floyd arrived home from work. When I told him the scenario, he looked at me with soft eyes and said,

“Sharon, I'm so sorry you have lost your cat. We just can't compete with a water bed.”

True. I knew we couldn't compete. However, I wasn't willing to just give up. Sage showed up several days later with a haircut. I stormed over to her house. She explained she had taken him to the Vet and a groomer. I told her not to take my cat to the Vet. She again asked to share Sage. I refused.

Then came the last nail in the coffin.

One evening, Floyd and I came home after dark and Sage was sitting by the side door on the cement walkway. I greeted him with joy. He was professionally groomed and looking very proud of himself. He let me rub his head. However, he had a haughty attitude that said,

“I just came over to show you how I am being treated. Doesn't my coat look marvelous, and Please Do Not Muss Me Up.”

I thought, “Now isn't he pompous after all I've done for him when he was a kitten and out on the road with no home!”

But my love for him softened my heart and I opened the door wide for him to come in.

DO YOU KNOW, HE WOULDN'T COME IN!!!!

At that point, I knew all was lost.

I fumed for weeks, there was anguish in my heart, not so much for losing Sage, but that she had lured him away and there was nothing I could do to get him back.

Floyd during this time had just cut his emotional losses and had moved on.

The anger nearly consumed me. I said to myself that forgave Keri, but I still had anger. I finally listened to the spirit talking to me. I had to do more than say I forgave her, I had to give her Sage.

I called her and gave her Sage as a gift. I immediately felt a great sense of relief.

Romans 8:35-39 starts off saying “Who shall separate us from the love of the Messiah? Shall pressure, or distress, or persecution, or...”. The verses end with “For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor...any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Messiah Yeshua our Master.”

I learned that those verses aren't just talking about being attacked by physical and spiritual enemies, but refer to the things we hold dear (Sage) that stand in the way of releasing anger/pain, forgiving, or obeying His commands.

I learned a great lesson in forgiveness. We are commanded to forgive even when the other person is at fault and they do nothing to repair the breach. Forgiveness is between me and God, not me and the other person. It is a command to forgive and it is not based on the condition that the other person does something to help you forgive them.

Last week Arthur felt in his spirit that someone had a word for us. Listen as Efraiym imparts to us what Yehovah imparted to him.

Summary of the Teaching

Efraiym’s prayer and preamble encouraged us to release our hearts from anything that was not of Elohim and that He would give us clarity in any areas where there was opaqueness. Such an eloquent beginning to a powerful message!

Efraiym’s introduction was the Sword’s Edge. He explained it as chopping away the dead religious spirit that causes us to see the scriptures from a worldly view and not see it as alive, quick, powerful and sharper than a two-edged sword.

Scripture tells believers to forgive and not seek revenge or harbor bitterness as the world does. Efraiym shared a keen revelation that unbelievers and worldly people are not operating on Kingdom principles, but we sometimes expect worldly people to not offend us and when they do, to ask for our forgiveness. We have to learn to not be easily offended because offenses will come.

When we have done wrong, we need to heal or minister to that thing we have broken. Listen to Efraiym share a personal experience when he was the offender.

Did you know that all offenses are not evil or wicked? Some offenses are good for your spiritual health. Efraiym clearly explains the difference between righteous and unrighteous offences.

Efraiym shared so many life lessons!  Here are some of the highlights of this “must see” teaching:

  • We are in a most dangerous place when we cater to our desires and believe that Yehovah puts a stamp of approval on it. When we strive to be kind to ourselves, we are ministering to our flesh.
  • Do not “take matters into your own hands!” Elohim is able to deal with our enemies.  Forgive them and believe that Yehovah will do what He said He would do to our offenders.
  • Forgiveness is often desired and rarely offered.
  • Wisdom must be used with forgiveness. We need to train ourselves in the word, so that when an offending situation happens, we know what to say and do.
  • Forgiveness means to release and let it go. When we do not let it go, we maintain a spiritual attachment to the offense.  This attachment often turns into bitterness and anger which may be released on persons that have not even offended us.
  • When we refuse to forgive others, we are considered wicked servants.

The culmination of Part 1 of this teaching is Efraiym’s prayer for each of us. 

  • Abba El bless those that have been used to humble my flesh towards You!
  • Grant me godly sorrow (2 Corinthians 7:9) that I might repent from holding hidden grudges and feeling sorry for myself.
  • I freely give room for your wrath and/or mercy towards those who have hurt me, You decide.
  • Help me to know when to escape and when to stay.
  • Teach me to examine myself first and not the one that seems to be pressuring me.
  • Give me the courage to believe You are just.
  • Deliver me from any and all tormentors!

Amein!

Buzz on the Teaching
There was a lot of sharing and counseling happening after this teaching!  I personally was part of a conversation about how to forgive a sibling who has been a tormentor since their childhood.  This Sister Saint was asking for practical ways to release the anger and hurt that she has been harboring.

Another Sister Saint yelled across the room to Efraiym that her life had been changed by his messages.

I had a conversation with Efraiym.  We were sharing how the Saints were asking for him to have another teaching on how to walk daily in forgiveness and how to forgive when you are hurting.  I said that we can unnecessarily wallow in hurt by not forgiving and then went on to tell how I was abused by my deceased former husband.  I had dreams of him tormenting me.  My ignorant way of trying to deal with those dreams was to try to kill him in my dreams.  The look on Efraiym’s face was priceless! 

I then shared my part of an earlier conversation.  “I think that one of the main reasons that we hold on to unforgiveness is that we believe that once we have forgiven the offender, they will have gotten off “scot-free!”  Efraiym agreed.  I went on to say that the matter of forgiveness is really between me and Yehovah, not me and the offender.  Forgiveness is Elohim’s commandment.

Efraiym is looking forward to bringing Part 2 to the Saints next week!

Until next time… Blessings to You and Yours,
Sharon

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