What is Repentance?

Shepherd of Hermas Mandate 4

2[30]:2 He answered and said unto me, "I," saith he, "preside over repentance, and I give understanding to all who repent. Nay, thinkest thou not," saith he, "that this very act of repentance is understanding? To repent is great understanding," saith he. "For the man that hath sinned understandeth that he hath done evil before AHAYAH, and the deed which he hath done entereth into his heart, and he repenteth, and doeth no more evil, but doeth good lavishly, and humbleth his own soul and putteth it to torture because it sinned. Thou seest then that repentance is great understanding."

2[30]:3 "It is on this account therefore, Sir," say I, "that I enquire everything accurately of thee; first, because I am a sinner; secondly, because I know not what deeds I must do that I may live, for my sins are many and various."

2[30]:4 "Thou shalt live," saith he, "if thou keep my commandments and walk in them and whosoever shall hear these commandments and keep them, shall live unto Alahayim."

3[31]:1 "I will still proceed, Sir," say I, "to ask a further question." "Speak on," saith he. "I have heard, Sir," say I, "from certain teachers, that there is no other repentance, save that which took place when we went down into the water and obtained remission of our former sins."

3[31]:2 He saith to me; "Thou hast well heard; for so it is. For he that hath received remission of sins ought no longer to sin, but to dwell in purity.

3[31]:3 But, since thou enquirest all things accurately, I will declare unto thee this also, so as to give no excuse to those who shall hereafter believe or those who have already believed, on AHAYAH. For they that have already believed, or shall hereafter believe, have not repentance for sins, but have only remission of their former sins.

3[31]:4 To those then that were called before these days AHAYAH has appointed repentance. For AHAYAH, being a discerner of hearts and foreknowing all things, perceived the weakness of men and the manifold wiles of the devil, how that he will be doing some mischief to the servants of Alahayim, and will deal wickedly with them. 3[31]:5 AHAYAH then, being very compassionate, had pity on His handiwork, and appointed this (opportunity of) repentance, and to me was given the authority over this repentance.

3[31]:6 But I say unto you," saith he, "if after this great and holy calling any one, being tempted of the devil, shall commit sin, he hath only one (opportunity of) repentance. But if he sin off-hand and repent, repentance is unprofitable for such a man; for he shall live with difficulty."

 

  • If we continue in sin our repentance is of no worth. This is was understood among the apostles as well. 

Rom 3:31  

Do we then make void the law through faith? Alahayim forbid: yea, we establish the law. 

Rom 6:1  

What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? 
Rom 6:2 

 Alahayim forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? 

Rom 6:15  

What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? Alahayim forbid

 

Shepard of Hermas Mandate 4

3[31]:7 I say unto him, "I was quickened unto life again, when I heard these things from thee so precisely. For I know that, if I shall add no more to my sins, I shall be saved." "Thou shalt be saved," he saith, "thou and all, as many as shall do these things."

Shepherd of Hermas Parable 6

1[61]:1 As I sat in my house, and glorified AHAYAH for all things that I had seen, and was considering concerning the commandments, how that they were beautiful and powerful and gladsome and glorious and able to save a man's soul, I said within myself; "Blessed shall I be, if I walk in these commandments; yea, and whosoever shall walk in them shall be blessed."

1[61]:2 As I spake these things within myself, I see him suddenly seated by me, and saying as follows; "Why art thou of a doubtful mind concerning the commandments, which I commanded thee? They are beautiful. Doubt not at all; but clothe thyself in the faith of AHAYAH, and thou shalt walk in them. For I will strengthen thee in them.

1[61]:3 These commandments are suitable for those who meditate repentance; for if they walk not in them, their repentance is in vain. (we have to put on faith that we may receive help from our holy helper.)

1[61]:4 Ye then that repent, cast away the evil doings of this world which crush you; and, by putting on every excellence of righteousness, ye shall be able to observe these commandments, and to add no more to your sins. If then ye add no further sin at all, ye will depart from your former sins. Walk then in these my commandments, and ye shall live unto Alahayim. These things have [all] been told you from me."

 

Shepherd of Hermas Parable 8

1[67]:1 He showed me a [great] willow, overshadowing plains and mountains, and under the shadow of the willow all have come who are called by the name of AHAYAH.
1[67]:2 And by the willow there stood an angel of AHAYAH, glorious and very tall, having a great sickle, and he was lopping branches from the willow, and giving them to the people that sheltered beneath the willow; and he gave them little rods about a cubit long.
1[67]:3 And after all had taken the rods, the angel laid aside the sickle, and the tree was sound, just as I had seen it.
1[67]:4 Then I marvelled within myself, saying, "How is the tree sound after so many branches have been lopped off?" The shepherd saith to me, "Marvel not that the tree remained sound, after so many branches were lopped off but wait until thou seest all things, and it shall be shown to thee what it is."

2[68]:1 And the angel of AHAYAH commanded crowns to be brought. And crowns were brought, made as it were of palm branches; and he crowned the men that had given up the rods which had the shoots and some fruit, and sent them away into the tower.

  • (the tower is the Church)

2[68]:2 And the others also he sent into the tower, even those who had given up the rods green and with shoots, but the shoots were without fruit; and he set a seal upon them.

2[68]:3 And all they that went into the tower had the same raiment, white as snow.

2[68]:4 And those that had given up their rods green as they received them, he sent away, giving them a [white] robe, and seals.

2[68]:5 After the angel had finished these things, he saith to the shepherd; "I go away; but these thou shalt send away to (their places within) the walls, according as each deserveth to dwell; but examine their rods carefully), and so send them away. But be careful in examining them. Take heed lest any escape thee," saith he. "Still if any escape thee, I will test them at the altar." When he had thus spoken to the shepherd, he departed.

2[68]:6 And, after the angel had departed, the shepherd saith to me; "Let us take the rods of all and plant them, to see whether any of them shall be able to live." I say unto him, "Sir, these withered things, how can they live?"

2[68]:7 He answered and said unto me; "This tree is a willow, and this class of trees clingeth to life. If then the rods shall be planted and get a little moisture, many of them will live. And afterwards let us try to pour some water also over them. If any of them shall be able to live, I will rejoice with it; but if it live not, I at least shall not be found neglectful."

2[68]:8 So the shepherd bade me call them, just as each one of them was stationed. And they came row after row, and they delivered up the rods to the shepherd. And the shepherd took the rods, and planted them in rows, and after he had planted them, he poured much water over them, so that the rods could not be seen for the water.

2[68]:9 And after he had watered the rods, he saith to me; "Let us go now. and after days let us return and inspect all the rods; for He Who created this tree willeth that all those who have received rods from this tree should live. And I myself hope that these little rods, after they have got moisture and been watered, will live the greater part of them."

3[69]:1 I say to him; "Sir, inform me what this tree is. For I am perplexed herewith, because, though so many branches were cut off, the tree is sound, and nothing appears to have been cut from it; I am therefore perplexed thereat."

3[69]:2 "Listen," saith he; "this great tree which overshadows plains and mountains and all the earth is the law of Alahayim which was given to the whole world; and this law is the Son of Alahayim preached unto the ends of the earth. But the people that are under the shadow are they that have heard the preaching, and believed on Him;

3[69]:3 but the great and glorious angel is Michael, who hath the power over this people and is their captain. For this is he that putteth the law into the hearts of the believers; therefore he himself inspecteth them to whom he gave it, to see whether they have observed it.

3[69]:4 But thou seest the rods of every one; for the rods are the law. Thou seest these many rods rendered useless, and thou shalt notice all those that have not observed the law, and shalt see the abode of each severally."

3[69]:5 I say unto him; "Sir, wherefore did he send away some into the tower, and leave others for thee?" "As many," saith he, "as transgressed the law which they received from him, these he left under my authority for repentance; but as many as already satisfied the law and have observed it, these he has under his own authority."

3[69]:6 "Who then, Sir," say I, "are they that have been crowned and go into the tower?" ["As many," saith he, "as wrestled with the devil and overcame him in their wrestling, are crowned:] these are they that suffered for the law.

3[69]:7 But the others, who likewise gave up their rods green and with shoots, though not with fruit, are they that were persecuted for the law, but did not suffer nor yet deny their law.

3[69]:8 But they that gave them up green just as they received them, are sober and righteous men, who walked altogether in a pure heart and have kept the commandments of AHAYAH. But all else thou shalt know, when I have examined these rods that have been planted and watered."

4[70]:1 And after a few days we came to the place, and the shepherd sat down in the place of the angel, while I stood by him. And he saith to me; "Gird thyself with a garment of raw flax, and minister to me." So I girded myself with a clean garment of raw flax made of coarse material.

4[70]:2 And when he saw me girded and ready to minister to him "Call," saith he, "the men whose rods have been planted, according to the rank as each presented their rods." And I went away to the plain, and called them all; and they stood all of them according to their ranks.

4[70]:3 He saith to them; "Let each man pluck out his own rod, and bring it to me." Those gave them up first, who had the withered and chipped rods, and they were found accordingly withered and chipped. He ordered them to stand apart.

4[70]:4 Then those gave them up, who had the withered but not chipped; and some of them gave up the rods green, and others withered and chipped as by grubs. Those then that gave them up green he ordered to stand apart; but those that gave them up withered and chipped he ordered to stand with the first.

4[70]:5 Then those gave them up who had the half-withered and with cracks; and many of them gave them up green and without cracks; and some gave them up green and with shoots, and fruits on the shoots, such as those had who went into the tower crowned; and some gave them up withered and eaten, and some withered and uneaten, and some such as they were, half-withered and with cracks. He ordered them to stand each one apart, some in their proper ranks, and others apart.

5[71]:1 Then those gave them up who had their rods green, but with cracks. These all gave them up green, and stood in their own company. And the shepherd rejoiced over these, because they all were changed and had put away their cracks.

  • (the angels rejoice when one sinner is converted Luke 15:10)

5[71]:2 And those gave them up likewise who had the one half green and the other half withered. The rods of some were found entirely green, of some half-withered, of some withered and eaten, and of some green and with shoots. These were all sent away each to his company.

5[71]:3 Then those gave them up who had two parts green and the third withered; many of them gave them up green, and many half-withered, and others withered and eaten. These all stood in their own company.

5[71]:4 Then those gave them up who had two parts withered and the third part green. Many of them gave them up half-withered, but some withered and eaten, others halfwithered and with cracks, and a few green. These all stood in their own company.

5[71]:5 Then those gave them up who had their rods green, but a very small part [withered] and with cracks. Of these some gave them up green, and others green and with shoots. These also went away to their own company.

5[71]:6 Then those gave them up who had a very small part green and the other parts withered. The rods of these were found for the most part green and with shoots and fruit on the shoots, and others altogether green. At these rods the shepherd rejoiced very [greatly], because they were found so. And these went away each to his own company.

6[72]:1 After [the shepherd] had examined the rods of all, he saith to me, "I told thee that this tree clingeth to life. Seest thou," saith he, "how many repented and were saved?" "I see, Sir," say I. "It is," saith he, that thou mayest see the abundant compassion of AHAYAH, how great and glorious it is, and He hath given (His) Spirit to those that are worthy of repentance."

6[72]:2 "Wherefore then, Sir," say I, "did they not all repent?" "To those, whose heart
He saw about to become pure and to serve Him with all the heart, to them He gave repentance;
but those whose craftiness and wickedness He saw, who intend to repent in hypocrisy, to them He gave not repentance, lest haply they should again profane His name." 

9[75]:4 But others of them were doubtful-minded, not hoping to be saved by reason of the deeds that they had done; and others were double-minded and made divisions among themselves. For these then that were double-minded by reason of their doings there is still repentance; but their repentance ought to be speedy, that their dwelling may be within the tower; but for those who repent not, but continue in their pleasures, death is nigh.

10[76]:1 "But they that gave up their rods green, yet with the extreme ends withered and with cracks; these were found at all times good and faithful and glorious in the sight of Alahayim, but they sinned to a very slight degree by reason of little desires and because they had somewhat against one another. But, when they heard my words, the greater part quickly repented, and their dwelling was assigned within the tower. (we have to be perfect, even slight errors can take away our hope to enter the Church. We see here how one can be good and faithful, yet still lack to enter the kingdom, so we have to be on guard for perfection.)

10[76]:2 But some of them were double-minded, and some being double-minded made a greater dissension. In these then there is still a hope of repentance, because they were found always good; and hardly shall one of them die.

10[76]:3 But they that gave up their rods withered, yet with a very small part green, these are they that believed, but practiced the works of lawlessness. Still they never separated from Alahayim, but bore the Name gladly, and gladly received into their houses the servants of Alahayim. So hearing of this repentance they repented without wavering, and they practice all excellence and righteousness.

10[76]:4 And some of them even suffer persecution willingly, knowing the deeds that they did. All these then shall have their dwelling within the tower."

11[77]:1 And after he had completed the interpretations of all the rods, he saith unto me; "Go, and tell all men to repent, and they shall live unto Alahayim; for AHAYAH in His compassion sent me to give repentance to all, though some of them do not deserve it for their deeds; but being long-suffering AHAYAH willeth them that were called through His Son to be saved."

 

Shepherd of Hermas Parable 9

32[109]:5 "Certainly," I said, "all those, whomsoever He shall find continuing to bear malice, He will punish." "Trample not," said he, "upon His mercy, but rather glorify Him, because He is so long-suffering with your sins, and is not like unto you. Practice then repentance which is expedient for you.

  • (One really has to consider in one's heart, is it really worth it to continue not forgiving someone from the heart after all that has been done for us? Are we justified to be bitter, angry, or malicious when the Father Ahayah has been so compassionate upon us?..This calling to repentance is sincere, we have to let go of the past and press toward the mark of Meshiyacha who forgave us, that we may have an example of how we ought to forgive {Col 3:13})

33[110]:1 "All these things which are written above I, the shepherd, the angel of repentance, have declared and spoken to the servants of Alahayim. If then ye shall believe and hear my words, and walk in them, and amend your ways, ye shall be able to live. But if ye continue in wickedness and in bearing malice, no one of this kind shall live unto Alahayim. All things which were to be spoken by me have (now) been spoken to you."

33[110]:2 The shepherd said to me, "Hast thou asked me all thy questions?" And I said, "Yes, Sir." "Why then hast thou not enquired of me concerning the shape of the stones placed in the building, in that we filled up their shapes?" And I said, "I forgot, Sir."

33[110]:3 "Listen now," said he, "concerning them. These are they that have heard my commandments now, and have practiced repentance with their whole heart. So when AHAYAH saw that their repentance was good and pure, and that they could continue therein, he ordered their former sins to be blotted out. These shapes then were their former sins, and they have been chiseled away that they might not appear."

Hebrews 10:26

For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins.