From the Power of Darkness into the Kingdom of the Son
< Genesis 1:2-5 >
�The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. Then God said, �Let there be light? and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good; and God divided the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. So the evening and the morning were the first day.?/b>
Believe in the Gospel Truth of the Water and the Spirit, Your Confusion
of Mind Will Disappear
If you and I have committed even the smallest of all sins, we must be condemned for this sin and die before God. That is the Law of God. However, to avoid condemning us like this, God sent His only begotten Son Jesus Christ to this earth, and had Him receive baptism from John. So, by passing all the sins of mankind to His Son, and by crucifying Him to the Cross, God had His Son die vicariously for everyone. And God resurrected Him from the dead. All these things were done so that everyone would be saved by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
Jesus said, �I am the way, the truth, and the life? (John 14:6). If this is the case, then the gospel of the water and the Spirit that our Lord spoke must be true.
Do you think that whenever you and I commit sin against God, this sin would be forgiven if we just confess it? Where is it written in the Bible that we are washed from our sins whenever we offer the prayers of confession?
Many people point out 1 John 1:9 as the basis for the doctrine of repentance. Since 1 John 1:9 says, �If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness,?/i> almost all Christians believe that they are washed from their sins whenever they confess them. Such an interpretation, however, is a great fallacy.
The actual meaning of this passage is that although we are constantly sinning at the present, our Lord already blotted out all the sins of this world through the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Why is it that they only know the first clause of 1 John 1:9, and ignore the remaining clauses that follow in the same passage? What does it mean when it says here that God is �faithful and just? When it says here that God is �faithful and just,?it means that over 2,000 years ago, by being baptized by John, Jesus already took away all our sins of the past, the future, and the present, and washed them all away truthfully and faithfully, for He knew that you and I would sin. That is why the Bible says that if we confess our sins, God is faithful and just to forgive us. In other words, while we continue to sin and confess our sins at the present, our Lord already took care of everything in the past, as He took away all our sins and blotted them all out long ago.
Therefore, as we carry on with our lives on this earth as someone who has already been born again by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, whenever we commit sin, we must make the right confession as the following, placing our faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit: �Father, I have committed this sin. I really cannot help but sin. But I believe that You have already blotted out even this sin by being baptized by John the Baptist. All my sins that are committed now, these sins were also blotted out long ago when You were baptized and crucified. You have cleansed away and blotted out all my sins of the world, not just my past sins, but my present and future sins as well, all with the gospel of the water and the Spirit. I can only give You all my thanks, for You have saved me wholly like this, when I had been bound to hell. Lord, please keep the heart of this righteous man, so that I may live as a servant of righteousness, and lead me so that I may not fall into evil.?
For Us to Be Freed from all Our Sins and Confusion, We Must Know the Truth of the Water and the Spirit and Believe in It
For us, Jesus Christ is the true light of salvation. Jesus Christ is the faithful Savior to us, and He has actually blotted out all our sins through His water and blood. When did He blot out our sins? He blotted them out long ago. Some of you, whenever you commit sin now, may still be saying, �I am so sorry, Lord; please forgive this sin of mine.?But you are making such a confession only because you still have not received the perfect remission of your sins. While you are crying out to God with this confession of conscience, the truth of the matter is that the Lord has already blotted out all your sins once for all with the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
If the Lord were to forgive our sins everyday in the present tense, as we give our prayers of repentance, then the Lord would still not be able to sit on the right hand of God. He would have to be baptized everyday and be crucified to death everyday, even as we speak now. If you still believe that your sins are forgiven everyday, then your faith is still mired in spiritual confusion.
Jesus came to this earth as the light of salvation to save us from the quagmire of sin, and He has indeed become our true Savior by coming to us by the gospel of the water and the Spirit. That is why Jesus was baptized by John, carried the sins of the world to the Cross, and was crucified. And He died on the Cross, saying, �It is finished,?and rose from the dead again. Just as Hebrews 10:18 says, by sacrificing His own body as an eternal offering, He has saved us perfectly once for all, so that there would be no more offering for sin. Therefore, I ask all of you to believe in this gospel of the water and the Spirit, and to be freed from all your confusion. It is by knowing and believing in the gospel Truth of the water and the Spirit that we can receive the remission of our sins, become righteous people, and be born again. I admonish you all to now be freed from confusion, and to also deliver countless people from confusion.
The Old Testament Also Declares Mankind to Be Piles of Sin
In Isaiah 59:1-8, God speaks about mankind�s sin, saying that everyone commits sin with his hands, feet, lips and body, and is also constantly planning to commit sin. As it is written:
�Behold, the LORD�s hand is not shortened,
Isaiah 59:1-2 state, �Behold, the LORD�s hand is not shortened, That it cannot save; Nor His ear heavy, That it cannot hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God; And your sins have hidden His face from you, So that He will not hear.?/i>
It says here that the only reason why people cannot commune with God is because of their sins. It is because of our sins that our prayers cannot reach God, and God can neither bless us nor allow us to enter the eternal Kingdom of Heaven. In other words, because our sins are blocking us from God, God cannot help us even as He wants to help us.
God wants to answer the prayers of those who suffer and are oppressed in this world and help them, but because people are sinful, He cannot help them. If there is still sin in your hearts, then no matter how devotedly you might pray, God cannot hear your prayers. That is why God is telling us to receive the remission of our sins by believing in Jesus Christ, who came by the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
Let us now see from the Word what kind of sin you commit throughout your entire lifetime. When it says here in Isaiah 59:3, �For your hands are defiled with blood, And your fingers with iniquity,?it means that we commit sin with our hands. And when it says, �For your hands are defiled with blood, And your fingers with iniquity; Your lips have spoken lies, Your tongue has muttered perversity. No one calls for justice, Nor does any plead for truth,? (Isaiah 59:3-4), it means that we commit all kinds of sin with our lips.
Isaiah 59:4-5 continue to say, �They trust in empty words and speak lies; They conceive evil and bring forth iniquity. They hatch vipers' eggs and weave the spider's web.?/i> This passage shows how we commit idolatry, bowing before objects carved out of rock and wood in complete futility. It also shows just how wicked our hearts are, having murderous desires at the slightest hint of any harm, injury, or insult, which are precisely the kind of heart that hatches vipers?eggs.
Is human nature fundamentally good or evil? Countless philosophers and thinkers in both the East and the West have propounded on their own arguments, some claiming that human nature is good, while others asserting that it is evil.
However, Jesus, the Lord of Truth, described the sinful hearts of human beings as the following in Mark 7:21-23: �For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within and defile a man.?/i> The Word of the Scriptures is the truth.
Everyone is born with sin, and everyone lives his entire lifetime committing sin. There is no other species in this world that is as nefarious as mankind. A while ago, a movie titled �Maruta?/i> was shown in Korea. This movie tells the story of Japanese atrocities committed in China during World War II, when a Japanese military unit conducted numerous experiments on living bodies for chemical and biological weapons. In this movie, the Japanese military performed various experiments on Chinese and Korean people, testing to see how long human life would last under different freezing temperatures, putting living human bodies into a centrifuge to see how long it would take for them to be drained of bodily fluids and die, and injecting them with bubonic plague bacteria to test how long it would take for them to die. Like this, the human heart is nefarious beyond description. We can see just how cruel and atrocious human beings can be under certain circumstances, so evil that they are capable of turning their fellow, living human beings into objects of experiment. All this is the evidence of the fact that everyone has a wicked heart that is completely selfish.
Competition and conflict are two features that we can frequently witness in our human society. There are many cruel people who, after using each other to their own ends, do not flinch to kill the others once the plan is completed. The extremely selfish heart that puts one�s own survival above all, and that is willing to sacrifice others for this end, is a result that ultimately stems from the wickedness of the human heart.
Just how many sins do human beings commit? We commit countless sins with our hands, lips, and acts. This is our reality from which we cannot escape, having been born with sin. In the movie Schindler�s List, Schindler said, �Whenever circumstances allow, the wickedness that is in people�s hearts pour out.?Like this, because human beings were born into this world with such wicked iniquities by nature, they all commit sin as soon as circumstances are ripe to pour out their iniquities.
However, some people try to hide all the sins they commit throughout their entire lifetime with their religious lives. They try to temporarily cover up their exposed sins with such things as sacrifice, volunteer work, ascetic lifestyle, prayers, and evangelizing efforts. In Korea also, there are many people who have dedicated their entire lifetime in sacrifice, so much so that they are called as living saints. They may heal the sick, share their material possessions with others, provide hospice, and through all these things bring benefits to the carnal lives of the marginalized, but they cannot deliver these people from sin and make them righteous. That is because God does not look at one�s outside appearance, but he looks at the center of his heart. In other words, when God looks at the center of people�s hearts, He sees they are filled with poisonous sins and practice wickedness. God doesn�t need a microscope to see this, for He is the One who made us, and so He knows all about us.
My fellow believers, do you realize just how hardened everyone�s heart is? It is human nature for everyone to despise all those who are weaker than him. When we look at those who are universally recognized by all for their virtues, or when we look at the advanced, highly democratic countries, we can see that their behaviors are actually more violent. In the old days, the great powers used to invade and plunder weak and small countries without hesitation.
For example, when Britain turned Hong Kong into its colony, did it not undermine China with opium? Everyone acts extremely callously for his own benefit. This is the true picture of all human beings.
Human beings are so violent that they are willing to invade another country and take the land as theirs, even if it requires them to kill other human beings. This is who human beings are by nature. The very human race itself is such an evil species. That is why the Bible describes human beings as �a brood of evildoers? (Isaiah 1:4), declaring to be sinners. Isaiah 59:7 also declares, �Their feet run to evil, And they make haste to shed innocent blood; Their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity; Wasting and destruction are in their paths,?and glaringly points out the sinful nature of mankind. Everyone is like this.
Just as Jesus said, what proceeds �from within, out of the heart of men,?is only �evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness.?My fellow believers, count each of these sins with your hands, and ask yourselves whether such wicked things are indeed in your hearts or not. If you are honest to God, then you will admit that your hearts do harbor all these iniquities.
Yet despite this, even though all human beings have such sins in their hearts, they do not know their own sins. To these people, God said, �Darkness was on the face of the deep.?In other words, even though there are all kinds of sin in their hearts, people do not realize who they really are. And countless people are deluded to think that they are not so wicked. For us to receive the remission of our sins, we must first realize our true selves, but the problem is that we do not realize this. If one has no awareness of himself, that he is bound to hell because he is too evil, then such people cannot avoid but turn into mere hypocritical religionists. Many Pharisees failed to receive the grace of salvation precisely because they did not realize their true selves and refused to acknowledge this.
That is why God had to illuminate our hearts with the light of Truth. In other words, we can realize the need to receive the remission of our sins only if God teaches us what kind of sin we have, and what kind of sin we commit. It is for this reason that God wrote about the sins of mankind in the Bible. In fact, while the Bible is the book of salvation that enables us to be saved from sin by believing in this Word, it is, on the other hand, also a mirror that enables us to see ourselves.
In this Word of the Scriptures, Jesus said that from within, out of the human heart, proceed evil thoughts above all. There are evil thoughts in our hearts, in other words. Do you have wicked thoughts or not? Of course you do. Do you have perverted desires or not? Of course you do. Do you have greedy desires to steal or not? Of course you do. Do you have murderous desires or not? Of course you do. Do you have adulterous desire or not? Of course you do. Aren�t your hearts greedy? Of course they are. Aren�t your hearts wicked, deceitful, and lewd? Of course they are. Do you have an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, and foolishness in your hearts? Of course you do. All these sinful desires are firmly lodged in your hearts and in my heart, in the heart of everyone living on this earth, men and women, young and old, and rich and poor alike.
However, not everyone knows that there are such sins in his heart. Before God shines salvation to people with the light of Truth, there is no way for them to even realize themselves. Before we come to know the Word of the Scriptures, we think that we are just slightly flawed. We say, �I�ve never committed any great sin. I�ve never stolen anything from anyone. I really haven�t committed any major transgressions, and I�ve lived quite virtuously.?/p>
However, God says to us, �You are murderers, thieves, adulterous people, of those who have committed such sins as covetousness, wickedness, lewdness, jealousy, discord, pride, and foolishness.? People then say, �When did I commit murder? Whom did I kill? I�ve never actually killed anyone. And how am I so lewd? Those who visit brothels who are lewd, not me. I�ve never been to any such place, and so how can You say that I am lewd? How can You offend me like that??
People not only fail to realize their actual sins, but they are also completely oblivious to who they really are. They do not know where they came from and where they are heading; what they are living for and where they are going; and what the final destination is for those who have received the remission of sin, and for the sinners who have not received it.
It is when one knows the God who has come by the gospel love of the water and the Spirit that he can finally realize his sins clearly. The Bible says that the fear of Jehovah is the foundation of wisdom. In other words, it is someone who truly fears God that can come to know himself, realize where he is heading, know his sins, and even grasp all God�s plans for the entire universe. This actually applies to you and me alike. Even though God said to us humans that we all have evil thoughts, we are deluded to think, �What evil thoughts do I have? I�ve never had any evil thoughts!?
We cannot but admit our sinfulness because the Word of God says so. It is because the Word of God is true that we are forced to admit ourselves as sinful beings before the Word. If one does not admit the authenticity of the Bible, he would not admit that he has such evil things pointed out in Mark 7:21-23. For a closer example, if you meet convicted criminals on death row or imprisoned for life, they will most likely claim that they only made a small mistake forced upon by their circumstances, and that they are not really guilty. So most criminals protest their innocence, claming that they were imprisoned out of sheer bad luck.
Like this, human beings are so utterly ignorant of their own sins. Before we received the remission of our sins, you and I alike were completely oblivious to the fact that we were such an evil seed. As for myself, I had done many crazy things in the past, but I did not realize that there was an insane mind in me. In other words, deep in my heart there were such sins, but my outside appearance did not reflect them. Once in a while, I would make some crazy decision and do something insane, but afterwards I would blame the circumstances, torture myself and agonize over what I did.
And then in my heart I would try to comfort myself. I committed such evil deeds whenever my fundamentally sinful desires sprang up. Yet despite this, even though I actually behaved like this, and even though I beat someone almost to death, I never really thought of myself as a murderer. I thought, �When did I ever stab anyone to death??So since I never literally killed anyone, I constantly justified myself, and I considered myself a decent person.
Before I knew the Word of the Scriptures, I thought of myself to be a decent man, someone who was far removed from �sin.? I, too, was completely ignorant of myself. You probably were like me as well. When I was young, I thought all the teenage girls were angels. And whenever I saw nuns or nurses in white gowns, I thought they were all angels also. However, once I reached puberty, I began to have lewd thoughts whenever I saw attractive women, burning with immoral desires. So I fell into despair, convinced that someone so filthy like me should disappear from the face of the earth. When I passed through puberty and became more mature, I finally realized that people are all hypocrites, and that everyone is pretty much the same. Everyone, in other words, is completely ignorant of himself, wasting away his life in vain.
It is because God saw our hearts?desire to steal that He told us, �You are thieves,?even before we actually stole anything. He is saying, �You are murders, you are arrogant, and you are insane.?As a matter of fact, is there anyone who does not covet another person�s belongings? No, there is none. At issue here is not whether one actually steals something or not, but the fact that because everyone fundamentally has a sinful heart, he would put his desires into action whenever circumstances allow.
When we plant flowers, we don�t plant them right away on the ground, but we first plant the seeds, water them, and have them sprout and then blossom. Likewise, it is because we have seeds of sin in our hearts that we commit sinful deeds. Put differently, in our hearts there are twelve seeds of sin, and so one seed would sprout today and another would sprout tomorrow. Whenever circumstances allow, these twelve seeds continue to sprout, grow, and blossom in our hearts. We put them in action, in other words. That darkness was on the face of the deep means that there are sins hidden deep inside people�s hearts that they themselves are not aware of.
Darkness implies sin. It means there are sins in people�s hearts. That is what God is saying. Can you admit this, my fellow believers? We may not have actually committed such sins with our action, but God still tells us that we have these sins. Do you acknowledge this fact? The reality is that everyone is like this. For example, do you think that Mother Teresa, someone who was counted as a famous saint of this age, was not like this? Although she sought to help others, would her heart have been completely free of any immoral, murderous, adulterous, and covetous desires? If she really was completely free of such sinful desires, then either Jesus must have lied, or Mother Teresa was not a �human being.?However, since even Mother Teresa was all too human, and since the Word of Jesus is the absolute Truth that has not one jot or one tittle that is false, she could never have been so perfect.
Just how many massacres were committed in the history of Christianity, with countless people murdered just for opposing the proclaimed religious orthodoxy of the day? Christians slaughtered innumerable people during the Medieval Age. Why did this happen? It is because they had murderous desires in their hearts that they killed so many people so recklessly for resisting their religious authority.
In fact, the domain of all religions is unclean. The legalistic life of every religionist, which is not of a born-again saint, is like foul and rotting fish. Like this, even within Christianity, if someone is not born again of water and the Spirit, then God will say clearly, even if this person has shown true devotion to others, �You are a pile of sin and a sinner. So unless you believe in Jesus Christ, accept the light, and receive the remission of your sins, you will be cast into hell. Regardless of whether you are a pastor, an elder, or a deacon, unless you are born again of water and the Spirit, you will be thrown into hell.?
One must therefore surrender to the Word of God. Yet despite this, those who are ignorant of the gospel Truth of the water and the Spirit are walking on a wrong path. In other words, they are trying to be washed from their sins and reach Heaven through their own religious lives, by trying to reach transcendence with their own acts and discipline their bodies. However, to those who do not know their sinful selves, the Lord is saying, �The way of peace they have not known, And there is no justice in their ways; They have made themselves crooked paths; Whoever takes that way shall not know peace?(Isaiah 59:8).
The Bible makes it clear, saying, �There is a way that seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death?(Proverbs 16:25). Many people believe, �If I live virtuously, then I should be able to enter Heaven,?and so they live their religious lives according to their own vague thoughts. However, God says that such people will all perish without exception. No matter how convinced these people might be by their own thoughts, believing that they would all go to Heaven some day if they are good to others and diligent with their acts, their end will be nothing else but their own destruction. Yet they think like this precisely because they do not know the way of peace. Their fallacy stems from their ignorance of this God-given blessing that enables them to be born again of water and the Spirit.
As the Legalists Do Not Know the Way of Peace, They Are Leading People to Confusion
Many Christians today have paintings of Jesus and the Cross put up in their living rooms, but they think that they would all go to Heaven if they just believe in Jesus in whatever way they see fit. However, such people believe in Jesus without knowing the way of peace. To go to Heaven, anyone whose heart has sin before God must first receive the remission of sin without fail.
When our Lord said, �The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep,?He was saying that people do not realize their own sins, even though they have so many. However, through the passage in Mark 7:21 and on, we came to realize that we harbor twelve sins in our hearts, and that we are all bound to put these sins into action and continue to commit them throughout our entire lifetime.
Each and every one of us cannot help but sin with our flesh. We really have no choice in this matter. No matter how good and virtuous one might be, this person still commits sin, for there is sin in his heart indeed.
We all commit sin before God. Even if you have not committed sin with your acts, or according to your own standard, you are still sinning with your hearts constantly. I am not saying here that you have committed a particular sin with a certain act or deed, but what I am saying is that by nature, you and I alike have such sins harbored in our hearts, and whenever circumstances are right, we all commit them with our thoughts, words, and acts. Through the written Word of God, we have now come to realize just how great sinners we all are. When the Bible says, �Darkness was on the face of the deep,?this implies that from the day we were born to the day we die, we have committed and will continue to commit such sins until we stand before God. My fellow believers, do you acknowledge this Word with your hearts?
Let us now turn to John 8:1-11.
�But Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. Now early in the morning He came again into the temple, and all the people came to Him; and He sat down and taught them. Then the scribes and Pharisees brought to Him a woman caught in adultery. And when they had set her in the midst, they said to Him, �Teacher, this woman was caught in adultery, in the very act. Now Moses, in the law, commanded us that such should be stoned. But what do You say??This they said, testing Him, that they might have something of which to accuse Him. But Jesus stooped down and wrote on the ground with His finger, as though He did not hear. So when they continued asking Him, He raised Himself up and said to them, �He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.?And again He stooped down and wrote on the ground. Then those who heard it, being convicted by their conscience, went out one by one, beginning with the oldest even to the last. And Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. When Jesus had raised Himself up and saw no one but the woman, He said to her, �Woman, where are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you??She said, �No one, Lord.?And Jesus said to her, �Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.��
Here in John 8:11, Jesus said to the woman who was caught in adultery right on the spot, �Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.?/i> This woman here was caught for committing adultery with a man. This transgression broke one of the Ten Commandments, and the Law required that such a person should be stoned to death if there were just witnesses. Then, how could the Lord say to the woman, caught in the very act of her sin, �Neither do I condemn you?
This woman had been caught by the Pharisees and scribes. The scribes were officials of the court. In other words, they were government officials. The Pharisees, on the other hand, were the religious leaders of the time, and they were teachers of the Law. Since the woman broke the Law, believed by both these two groups of people, there was no way for her to escape from her condemnation but die. Having caught the woman in adultery in the very act, they dragged her like a dog and dumped her at the feet of Jesus. At that time, the scribes and Pharisees were trying to provoke Jesus, who was a thorn in their eyes, so that they could kill Him along with the woman.
They pressed Jesus, saying, �Moses?Law commands us to stone to death such a woman who is caught in adultery, but what will You do with this woman??They were trying to test Jesus with the Law, since He had constantly propounded on love. At that time, Jesus first began to write on the ground with His finger, and then said to them, �He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.?
Now, the woman was someone who could not avoid but be executed according to the Law at the time. However, the Bible writes that when Jesus told them that those who are without sin should stone her, hearing this, the crowd, �being convicted by their conscience, went out one by one, beginning with the oldest even to the last.?So, many people who had condemned the woman fled at a single utterance of Jesus. Everyone is like this before God.
Now the Righteousness of God Apart from the Law Is Revealed
My fellow believers, who in this world can ever keep the Law to perfection? The Law refers to the entirety of the 613 commandments that God gave to the people of Israel, setting out what they should and should not do. Broadly speaking, the Law has ten major commandments, as well as other commandments that must be kept in everyday life. What we must realize here clearly, however, is that there cannot be anyone on this earth who can keep all the Law of God. According to the statutes of the Law of God, Jesus had to kill both the adulterous woman and her accusers alike, but when viewed from the law of love, He had to save the woman. Of course, Jesus spoke like the true Savior that He was, and with His Word saved the woman and drove away her accusers. When they heard Jesus saying to them, �He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first,?they were all convicted of their conscience, from the old to the young, and they all departed from there.
When we stand before the Law of God, who among us can really stand with our heads high without any shame? God knows perfectly well that we are incapable of keeping all the Law. That is precisely why He made His Law and gave it to us, so that He may save us. Jesus said to the woman, �Neither do I condemn you.?By this, He meant, �Neither can I say that you have sin.?He said, �I do not judge you, either. Stand up, woman; go and do not commit such a sin again.?
How could our Lord say this? Given the fact that the woman was clearly caught in adultery right on the spot, and she actually sinned, does this then mean that her sin was covered up unconditionally out of love? As we know, God is not such an unjust God. How, then, could Jesus say that?
That is because Jesus had already accepted all the sins of mankind once for all, including this woman�s sin, through the baptism that He received in the Jordan River from John the Baptist, the representative of mankind. Because our Lord, by being baptized by John in the Jordan River, had taken upon not only this woman�s sin, but also all our sins and all the sins that people committed in the past and will ever commit in the future, He could say to the woman that she was without sin. In other words, it is because Jesus had already taken upon the sins of the world by being baptized that the Lord could say to the woman that He did not �condemn?her.
Exactly how, then, did Jesus take upon this woman�s sin? To answer, let us turn to Matthew 3:13-17.
�Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan to be baptized by him. And John tried to prevent Him, saying, �I need to be baptized by You, and are You coming to me??But Jesus answered and said to him, �Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.?Then he allowed Him. When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him. And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, �This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.��
Here, we see Jesus being baptized by a man named John. But at first, John the Baptist refused to baptize Jesus. He was saying, �No way! How can I baptize You, the Son of God, when I should be baptized by You??
However, we can see Jesus commanding John, saying, �Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.?/i> By this, Jesus was saying that to blot out everyone�s sins, it was fitting for Him to be baptized. So Jesus was baptized by John. John the Baptist baptized Jesus, putting his hands on His head, submerging Him in the water, and then raising Him up out of the water. And once Jesus received this baptism, the gates of Heaven were opened up, and God the Father said, �This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.?/p>
The phrase �all righteousness?means that Jesus would take upon all the sins of the world, so that He may make everyone sinless and take all to Heaven. What, then, did Jesus have to do to fulfill this righteous work that would make us sinless? He had to be baptized by John. The baptism that Jesus received from John means �to be washed, to be buried, to be passed on, or to be transferred.? So because Jesus took upon all the sins of this world once for all through the baptism He received from John, He could carry them to the Cross, be crucified to death, and rise from the dead again.
Jesus is the Son of God. He is the Creator who made the whole universe and everything in it. He is the Savior who has saved you and me from our sins. This Jesus met a woman who was caught in adultery on the spot. However, Jesus had already taken upon this woman�s sin beforehand like this, for He already knew that she would commit sin while living in the world, that she would commit adultery.
Jesus?Everlasting Sacrifice Revealed in Leviticus
Chapter 16 in Leviticus spells out regulations on the �Day of Atonement?when Aaron helped the people of Israel to be remitted from their yearly sins.
It is written n Leviticus 16:21-22, �Aaron shall lay both his hands on the head of the live goat, confess over it all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions, concerning all their sins, putting them on the head of the goat, and shall send it away into the wilderness by the hand of a suitable man. The goat shall bear on itself all their iniquities to an uninhabited land; and he shall release the goat in the wilderness.?/i>
Aaron the High Priest is mentioned here in the passage. Of all the priests offering sacrifices to God in the Tabernacle on behalf of the people of Israel, he was the most senior priest. On the 10th day of the seventh month, this representative priest brought two goats for the people of Israel, cast the lots, took the goat that was first selected into the Tabernacle, and passed all the sins of the Israelites by laying his hands on its head.
Then, he listed all the sins of Israelites, saying, �God! The people of Israel have committed every sin. They have murdered, committed adultery, stolen, worshiped idols, bore false testimony, coveted, and blasphemed.?And when he took off his hands that he had put on the goat in his prayer, these sins were all passed onto the goat. The laying on of hands means, spiritually speaking, �to be passed on.?And it also means �to bury.?/p>
Aaron cut this goat�s throat, drew its blood, and sprinkled this blood, thereby performing the ritual that cleansed the mercy seat, the Tabernacle, and the altar of burnt offering. As Aaron gave such a sacrifice in the Tabernacle, the House of God, God washed away His people�s sins, seeing the sacrificial animal, the passing of sins through the laying of hands on this animal, and its blood of vicarious condemnation. In short, this was God�s just method of salvation.
Jesus Fulfilled All the Righteousness of God
God cannot just tolerate anyone�s sins. Just as the Bible says, �The wages of sin is death?(Romans 6:23), sin must be condemned to death without fail. That is God�s justice. However, God is also the God of love, and so to meet the two conditions of His love and His justice, He made the people of Israel pass all their sins to an unblemished sacrificial animal, such as a goat or a sheep, by laying their hands on its head. When the people of Israel killed this animal in their place, put its blood on the horns of the altar of burnt offering, and sprinkled it on the mercy seat, redemption was achieved justly as God saw the blood of this animal-that is, it was proper before God�s just law of salvation-and that is why God bestowed the remission of sin to them. It was because God loved mankind that He gave it such a just sacrificial system of salvation.
Aaron then took the remaining goat before his people and laid his hands on its head. As Leviticus 16:21 says, �Aaron shall lay both his hands on the head of the live goat, confess over it all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions, concerning all their sins,?Aaron put his hands on the goat�s head and confessed all the sins that the people of Israel had committed over a year. And after taking his hands off, Aaron entrusted the live goat to another man, who then led it far, far into the Palestine wilderness and released it there. Then this goat, shouldering all the sins of the people of Israel, wandered around in the waterless and grassless desert, and ultimately died of thirst under the scorching sun.
This was the sacrifice that was given on the �Day of Atonement,?which blotted out a year�s worth of sins of the people of Israel. Through this sacrificial animal and offering, God was planning to save the entire mankind from all its sins in the future, who is in the likeness of the image of God. That is why He had this passage written.
The people of Israel offered the same sacrifice every year according to this Word. When the High Priest died, his son succeeded him once reaching 30, and this sacrifice was offered repeatedly. However, such a sacrifice was only a shadow of the good thing to come. The very fact that the people of Israel had to repeatedly offer the same sacrifice every year is the evidence of the fact that through such a sacrifice, they could not receive the complete remission of their sins once for all (Hebrews 10:1-4).
That is why God had prophesied 700 years ago that His only begotten Son Jesus would be conceived in the body of a virgin and be incarnated in the flesh of man. And exactly according to this prophesied promise, God sent Jesus Christ and John the Baptist to this earth and made them fulfill all righteousness. Now, as revealed in the Old Testament, to give �one sacrifice for sins forever,? the Son of God Himself was born unto this earth incarnated in the flesh.
Like this, Jesus came as the One who will save His people from their sins, and when He turned 30, He accepted all sins by being baptized by John, the representative of mankind. It was �to fulfill all righteousness?(Matthew 3:15) that Jesus was baptized by John. It is I who should die, be condemned by God and cast into hell, but because God loved me, He sent His Son to this earth; passed all my sins to Him through John, the representative of mankind, through this laying on of hands, baptism; condemned His Son by crucifying Him; and has thereby saved you and me.
So our Lord thus fulfilled all the righteousness of God, that is, by the method of receiving the laying on of hands. It was to make everyone sinless that Jesus was baptized and crucified. The word baptism also means �to be washed, to be passed on, to be buried,?and it tells us that God has saved us from the sins of the world in this way, through the most appropriate and fitting way. So according to what God had promised to us mankind here in the Old Testament, and according to the rule established by God that sin would be passed on with the laying on of hands, our Lord accepted all our sins by being baptized.
Therefore, it is by believing in this fact that we have received the remission of our sins. As Jesus the Lamb of God came to this earth, as He accepted all our sins, all the sins of the world of the past, present and future, and as He was crucified to death, through all these things He has saved us. And now, whoever believes in the gospel Word of the water and the Spirit, men or women, servants or the free, Jews or Gentiles alike, can receive the remission of sin without discrimination.
My fellow believers, it is because our Lord had done this work on this earth that He said to the adulterous woman caught in the very act, �Woman, neither do I condemn you.?In other words, He was saying, �Neither can I say that you have sin, nor can I judge you. Because I accepted all your sins through My baptism, I must die in your place, I must be put to shame in your place, and I must bear all punishments in your place. I must suffer like this because your sins committed in this world were already all passed onto Me and it is I who now have them.?
That is why our Lord said in John 8:12, �I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.?/i> Those who believe in and follow the gospel Word of the water and the Spirit will become the light of life. It is written in Genesis 1:2, �The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep.?/i> This means that there is sin deep in us. Nonetheless, the Lord has given us salvation by being baptized, shedding His blood on the Cross, and thereby bearing all the condemnation of sin and paying off all its wages.
My fellow believers, because of profound iniquities of darkness, we could not realize our own sins, we were all bound to die, we had no choice but to be cast into hell, and even if we knew our sins, we were incapable of getting these sins solved. However, thanks to Jesus Christ, such people like us have now become light, transformed from darkness. Someone who could not avoid but die for his sins has now become a righteous man. This was impossible through our own efforts, no matter how hard we tried, but by believing in our Lord, we could become righteous people. We were indeed all sinners, but the Lord came to this earth and has saved you and me. Therefore, Jesus also said to this adulterous woman in John 8, �Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.?And He also said, �He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.?/i> My fellow believers, sinners have now become righteous, and the condemned have now received everlasting life.
Do you want to believe in this Jesus? Do you believe in this Jesus as your Savior? It is because Jesus took care of our sins concretely and saved us all that our Lord said, �Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest? (Matthew 11:28).
Apart from Jesus, is there any other god on this earth that promises salvation to those who believe in him? Buddha basically left everyone to his own device. So did Confucius and Mencius, only extolling us to live virtuously and ethically. Where can you find anyone who had so much compassion for you and me, who were all bound to hell, that he laid down his own life for us? However, Jesus forsook His throne of Heaven for you and me, came down to this earth, accepted and took upon all our sins by being baptized, and paid off the wages of our sins with His own life. There is no one else but only Jesus who has saved us. So this Jesus is our Savior. That is why the Lord said what He said to the adulterous woman.
We Must Take the Faith That Enables Us to Receive the Remission of All Our Sins from God
It is written in Romans 8:1-2, �There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.?/i>
Here, the Apostle Paul is saying that as Jesus took away all the sins of the world by being baptized and dying on the Cross, the Lord has made us sinless. My fellow believers, don�t we all commit sin in this world? Of course we do. However, in John 1:29, when John the Baptist saw the Lord the day after baptizing Him, John declared Him to be �the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.?This means that Jesus shouldered all the sins that we ever committed, that we are committing now, and that will ever be committed. He accepted them all when He was baptized, took them to the Cross, and was already condemned for them.
That is why the Apostle Paul proclaimed that there is no condemnation to those who are in Jesus. In other words, those who truly believe in the baptism of Jesus and His blood on the Cross, those who really believe in Jesus as their Savior, cannot have any sin. This means it is impossible for them to be sinners. Because of the sins we commit, we cannot avoid but become sinners and be cast into hell, but if you believe in this Jesus as your Savior, who has blotted out all the sins of the world by coming to this earth, being baptized, and dying on the Cross, if you really believe with all your hearts, then the Bible says that there is no longer any condemnation to you. This passage is a blessed declaration, proclaiming, �You can never say that you have sin.?/p>
Yet despite this, my fellow believers, there are many people who say that they are sinful even as they believe in Jesus. When praying on behalf of the congregation, many Christians say, �Thank You, our holy Father. We have committed many sins in the past week. Please wash away our sins.?And how do they end their prayer? They say, �This unworthy sinner prays in the name of the Jesus Christ.?
How can a sinner pray to God? If a sinner proceeds to God, he will die immediately. It is written in the Bible that God does not hear the prayers of a sinner. Sinners are to be condemned by God. When Jesus came to this earth to blot out our sins, and when He shouldered and took away all the sins of the world by being baptized and condemned on the Cross, how can there be any sin left in this world? No matter how insufficient we might be, Jesus has blotted out our sins sufficiently, amply, and abundantly, and so what sin could you possibly have?
For example, let�s say here that you have a tab running in a store. If your father already paid off your tab by an amount that is millions and billions of times greater than the actual amount you owe, then no matter how large a tab you might run afterwards, you still wouldn�t owe any money. None other than this is salvation.
�There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus?(Romans 8:1). Among those who believe in Jesus properly, there is absolutely no sinner. Everyone is righteous. Why? Because �the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death?(Romans 8:2). According to the Law, we have no choice but to be cast into hell, but what about the law of the Spirit of life, this law of love that saves us? To save sinners, the Lord came to this earth, accepted our sins, the sins of the world, by being baptized, was crucified and died in our place, rose from the dead again to bring us back to life, and has thereby become our true Savior.
�The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death?(Romans 8:2). God, Jesus, has set you and me, His believers, free from the law of sin and death. The people of Korea were under the Japanese rule during World War II, but once the day of liberation came on August 15, 1945, Korea was no longer a Japanese colony. Just like this, we are no longer sinners. If you really believe in Jesus as your Savior, then you are not sinners. If there are those who describe themselves as sinners even though they believe in Jesus, it is because they have been deceived by liars and believe in a false gospel.
Romans 8:3 states, �For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh?(Romans 8:3). Our flesh is too weak for us to keep the Law. Can we obey the Law? The Law commands us not to have any other gods, not to murder, not to commit adultery, not to steal, and not to bear false witness, but are you confident that you will not murder? Are you confident that you will not steal? Are you confident that you will not bear false witness? At the slightest hint of loss, you will lie and commit perjury.
Are you capable of not committing adultery? Jesus said, �You have heard that it was said to those of old, �You shall not commit adultery.?But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart? (Matthew 5:27-28). Given this, can you really keep the statute of the Law commanding you not to commit adultery? Can you keep all the Law? Of course not. We violate every statute of the Law. How do we violate it?
Setting the Law aside, can we keep even social norms? Do we keep all the traffic laws? When we are so busy, how can we use a crosswalk or an overpass? We jaywalk when others are not watching us. Anyone who thus breaks the law even just once is someone who has failed to keep the laws and rules of a society.
My fellow believers, when human beings are incapable of keeping their own man-made law on this earth, how could they keep the Law of God? If we break even just a single statute of the Law of God, then we are guilty of all, and God will invalidate our whole endeavor. As the Bible says, �For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all. For He who said, �Do not commit adultery,?also said, �Do not murder.? Now if you do not commit adultery, but you do murder, you have become a transgressor of the law?(James 2:10-11). So there is no one among us who has kept the Law to perfection before God. Therefore, all of us are bound to hell.
My fellow believers, as our flesh is weak, it is impossible for us to keep the Law. Though our hearts desire to keep the Law, our flesh is too weak to do so. So what did God do? He said in Romans 8:3-4, �For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh, that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.?/i>
Our flesh is too weak for us to keep the Law, but God fulfilled this requirement of the Law. According to the Law, anyone with sin had to die, but as the Son of God came to this earth, accepted all our sins by being baptized, and was condemned and died in our place, He met the requirement demanded by the Law. He fulfilled all the requirements of the Law and completed salvation.
Jesus satisfied the Law. By fulfilling the requirement of the Law declaring the wages of sin to be death with His baptism and bloodshed, Jesus has saved those who believe in Him as their Savior. When it says here that God the Father sent �His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh,?it means that to save us bound to hell, God passed our sins to Jesus and placed on them on His body. Do you understand this? None other than this is the mystery of the baptism of Jesus.
It is written, �That the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace?(Romans 8:4-6).
My fellow believers, when considered only in carnal terms, how could we say that we have no sin, when in fact we continue to sin everyday in this world? Though we believe in Jesus, how could we say that we are sinless? However, those who live according to the Spirit refer to those who believe that God has saved us perfectly through the water and the blood.
If we believe in the Word of God with our hearts, if we really believe in the written Word, how could we then say that we have sin? There is no question that Jesus has blotted out all our sins; the Bible clearly records that He has done so; and God wrote the Scriptures as its proof in such a thick volume, preserved the Bible for thousands of years without change, and gave it to us just as it has always been. So given all this, how could we say, if we really believe in this Word, that we still have sin? At issue here is this: Should we believe in our own carnal thoughts, or should we believe in the Spirit, that is, in the Word of God? We must decide whether we would believe according to the written Word of God, or according to our own thoughts and emotions.
For those who believe in their own emotions, rather than believing in the written Word of God, their faith is all in vain. We must believe in God according to His Word. We must know and believe in Jesus as our Savior according to the written Word. Our Lord is the God of covenant who promised us and fulfilled His promises. Our Lord is a God who keeps all His promises exactly according to His Word. To reiterate, in the Old Testament, God passed the sins of the people of Israel to their sacrificial animal through the High Priest as he laid his hands its head, made them cut the animal�s throat, draw its blood and put in on the horns of the altar of burnt offering, and in doing so He enabled those who believed in this sacrifice of atonement to be saved.
In the New Testament, on the other hand, our Lord came to this earth over 2,000 years ago just as God had promised in the Old Testament, was baptized by John the Baptist, the representative of mankind, as a method of the laying on of hands, accepted all the sins of mankind, carried them to the Cross, died in our place, rose from the dead again, and has thereby saved us all. It is through this written Word that you and I know how our Lord has saved us, and it is by believing in this that we are saved. Those who believe so are �those who live according to the Spirit.?Only when we know the gospel Truth of the water and the Spirit can we believe with our hearts, and only when we believe can we confess with our lips that we believe.
Let us turn to Leviticus 17:15-16.
�And every person who eats what died naturally or what was torn by beasts, whether he is a native of your own country or a stranger, he shall both wash his clothes and bathe in water, and be unclean until evening. Then he shall be clean. But if he does not wash them or bathe his body, then he shall bear his guilt.?/i> In the Old Testament, the people of Israel received the remission of their sins on the Day of Atonement when they saw and believed in what the High Priest was doing-that is, the High Priest enabled the Israelites to be washed from their sins by laying his hands on the sacrifice and passing their sins to it, thus offering the sacrifice on their behalf. However, if any Israelite touched something unclean, like a carcass, then he had to wash his clothes and bathe his body with water. The Bible said that if he did not wash or bathe his body with water, he would bear guilt. This �water?is extremely important. Even after one receives the remission of his sins, it is still indispensable to continue to maintain his faith in the baptism of Jesus.
Water�s Function to Wash
One of water�s functions is that it washes away uncleanness. And water also gives life to mankind. Although we believe in the remission of our sins, do we not still commit sin again on this earth? Of course we do. However, even these sins are included in the sins of the world. The Lord has blotted them out also. Nonetheless, whenever we commit sin, our conscience is hurt and tormented. What, then, should we do with these sins? Should we believe in Jesus again? No, what we must do is to instead confirm in our hearts once again that these sins were also passed onto Jesus when He was baptized, and believe with our hearts that our Lord took all our sins away like this precisely because He already knew that we would commit sin again. In other words, we need to ruminate on the gospel of salvation once again in our minds. It is then that we can be freed from all the sins that we commit out of our weaknesses. It is then that we are washed completely. And it is then that we are wholly saved and made perfectly righteous.
The Apostle Paul says that through the law of the Spirit of life-that is, through the gospel of the water and the Spirit-Christ Jesus has saved us, who had been moaning under the law of sin and death, and made us dwell in Him. The Apostle John also states clearly in 1 John 5:3-8 that Jesus has perfectly freed us from sin by coming by the water and the blood. He furthermore says that �the water, the blood, and the Spirit?bear witness of the fact that Jesus has wholly saved us from sin. What does the Holy Spirit testify? He testifies that Jesus is God. It bears witness of the fact that Jesus is the God who created this universe, and that to save us human beings from our sins, He was born unto this earth through the body of a virgin in the image of man. What do the water and the blood testify? They testify that our Lord, the God of salvation, came in this way as a man, took upon all the sins of the world, all the sins of mankind, and all our sins by being baptized at the age of 30, carried these sins to the Cross and died on it.
Therefore, anyone who says that he believes only in Jesus?blood on the Cross has a completely useless faith, regardless of how long he might have believed in Jesus. Those who believe in this way also describe themselves as sinners, since they end up committing sin again tomorrow. But why do they think like this? It is because they do not realize that Jesus accepted all their sins when He was baptized, and this is why they continue to live as sinners all the time even though they believe in Jesus. Their conscience does not allow them to say that they are sinless.
But for you and me, when Jesus was baptized, all our sins were passed onto Him. Throughout our entire lifetime, we cannot help but commit sin, whose darkness is on the face of the deep, and our hearts are indeed filthy beyond description, but Jesus took upon all our sins through His baptism, went to the Cross, was crucified and condemned, shed His blood to death, rose from the dead again, and has thereby saved us perfectly from all our sins. The Lord is alive even now, and He is the God who bestows salvation freely on whoever believes in this Word of salvation. What about you then? Do you also believe? If you believe with your hearts, God the Holy Spirit will know your hearts and seal you as the saved.
Jesus is the God who brings salvation to us. It is by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit that we become God�s children. Do you have sin or not? You no longer have any sin. That�s because all your sins were passed onto the Lord. Does this then mean that we should commit sin freely? Of course not! We commit sin when we do not do what is right; it is not something that is committed just because we are told by someone to commit it, nor is it something that we can avoid just because someone extols us not to. All human beings are bound to commit sin until the day they die, for they are all insufficient. It is to save us from these sins that our Lord came to this earth, and has indeed saved us wholly. All that we have to do is just believe in this. It is with the heart that one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
Let us once again turn to Genesis 1:2-5. �The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. Then God said, �Let there be light? and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good; and God divided the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. So the evening and the morning were the first day.?/i>
God commanded to let there be light in a pitch-dark world filled with darkness. This implies that the Son of God was sent to this earth. And it implies that God made His Son take upon all our sins by being baptized, and by making His Son die on the Cross, God has saved us all from our sins.
What is it that God did on the first day? He shed light on people�s hearts, which were without form and void, and where darkness was on the face of the deep, and in doing so He made all darkness and emptiness disappear and brought true satisfaction, true order, true light, and true life. Jesus is the light of salvation for this world. Jesus is the Savior of sinners. Jesus is the Lord of life to us. To all those who believe in this gospel of the water and the Spirit, to all those who believe that Jesus is our Savior and has saved us through His water and blood, Jesus has become the light of salvation. My fellow believers, the only true light in this world is the Lord Jesus Christ. It is this light that God saw and said it was good.
The Bible says that God divided the light from the darkness. He separated the two and called the light day, and the darkness was called night. There are two sorts of people in this world: The sons of the light and the children of the darkness (1 Thessalonians 5:5). The sons of the light are those who profess their faith, saying, �Before I knew Jesus Christ, I was indeed a pile of sin, where darkness was on the face of the deep, and my mind was confused. I was empty. I had no satisfaction. I had no choice but to be cast into hell. However, You have taught this Word to me through Your servants and Your Church. You have saved me perfectly. I believe in You, Lord!?To those who believed like this and received Him as their true Savior, God has named them �the sons of day?and given the right to become His children.
�You were once the Devil�s children, but you are no longer the children of the darkness, but you are the children of the light. You are My children.?This is what is implied when God divided the light from the darkness. That is why the Apostle Paul declared to those who were born again by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, �You were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord?(Ephesians 5:8).
All those who believe in this Word of the water and the Spirit, in the blessed Word of salvation, are God�s children and His people. However, those who do not believe according to this Word are the children of the darkness, of night, and of the Devil. Although there are countless people in this world, depending on whether they believe in this or not, some become God�s people while others become the Devil�s people, and some go to Heaven while others are cast into hell. Like this, God has established the law of faith. He has made salvation reached only by faith. It is by believing with the heart that one is made righteous. It is by faith that we become God�s true people.
God has divided the light from the darkness clearly, separating those who are His people from those who are not. And He has prevented sinners from standing in the congregation of the righteous (Psalms 1:5). If someone became a pastor after studying very hard in a postgraduate course of a famous theological seminary but does not know the Truth and therefore still has sin in his heart, then he cannot preach this Word of Truth. He can only tell you, �Let us live virtuously.?If a blind man leads another blind man, both are bound to fall off a cliff and die (Matthew 15:14).
If someone who still remains a sinner were to teach you, you would never be freed from sin either. If you have sin, you will all be cast into hell, even if you believe in Jesus. Why is it that Christians and non-Christians alike are all bound to hell then? It is because today�s churches have all turned into businesses. Too many pastors behave exactly like canvassing peddlers. To the souls that are gathered in order to go to Heaven, these liars claim that they are asking for their blessings, but they are actually only exploiting them for money.
Who in this world would not want live virtuously? Yet because human beings cannot avoid but live their lives committing sin, they are bound to go to hell for their sins. They cannot but live miserable lives. That is why we must preach this gospel of salvation to such people, proclaiming that Jesus Christ has saved us through His water and blood. This is the true calling given to God�s Church. We are the ones who believe in Jesus Christ as our Savior.
What Is the Biblical Repentance?
Acts 3:19 says, �Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord.?/i> This passage means, �Whoever repents properly and believes in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, the Lord will make him sinless.?In other words, it is telling us to receive our salvation by faith, for our Lord has blotted out our sins.
When we admit our fundamental weaknesses, saying, �We are only human; we cannot avoid but commit sin before God until the day we die,?and when we believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit given by the Lord and return to God-none other than this is true repentance. If we come into the gospel of the water and the Spirit, the gospel with which the Lord has blotted out all our sins, and if we receive the remission of our sins by faith, then the Lord will give us times of refreshing. The true repentance that is made before God is to turn around from one�s evil way and say, �Lord, what You said is right.?/p>
However, what is the dominant understanding for most people when they consider true repentance made to God? Instead of repenting, turning around, and receiving the remission of their sins once for all, most people regard prayers of repentance to be synonymous with repentance itself. So they offer prayers of repentance whenever they commit sin again, saying, �Lord, I�ve done wrong. Please forgive me.?
What a nonsense this is! As we have already seen in Mark 7:21-23, God said that out of people�s hearts proceed twelve sins, such as evil thoughts, murder, adultery, thefts, jealousy, quarreling, fornication, and so forth. Therefore, true repentance is to admit ourselves, saying, �I am someone who can�t help but sin until the day I die, until my flesh lasts. And I do indeed commit sin to my very end. So I am bound to hell? turn around from the fallacious beliefs held so far; and believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, the gospel with which the Lord has blotted out, once for all, each and every sin that is committed in our entire lifetime. The true repentance that the Bible speaks of is to turn around from our fallacious beliefs to the faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit in order to return to God.
However, virtually all Christians do not really dwell in the Truth, but far from it, they are actually dying in confusion. Their usual understanding of repentance is such that once they sin, they think they should realize their sin, and just resolve themselves, �I�ve done wrong. I will never sin again.?This is what they think repentance is all about. That is because they have been taught like this by their pastors who still do not know the gospel of the water and the Spirit. When pastors say, �Wash away your personal sins that you commit everyday by giving prayers of repentance everyday,? this sounds quite plausible to our ears.
However, what does the Bible say? It says, �Without shedding of blood there is no remission?(Hebrews 9:22). It also states, �The wages of sin is death?(Romans 6:23). Three years before our Lord died on the Cross, He was baptized by John the Baptist, and by being crucified, He blotted out all the sins of this world.
If you consider this personally, assuming that you would live for 70 years, this means that our Lord, through His baptism, took upon each and every sin that you have ever committed and will ever commit into your old age, from the sins committed with the flesh to the sins committed with the heart, from the sins you commit in your thoughts to the sins you commit out of your weaknesses, and from the sins you commit knowingly to the sins you commit unknowingly. Our Lord carried all these sins of the world to the Cross, shed His blood and was condemned for them in your place, rose from the dead again, and has thereby become the Savior of all who believe. The Lord is commanding all of us to believe in this Truth that has come by the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
The Notion That One Can Be Sanctified by Offering Prayers of Repentance Everyday Is a Groundless Claim
The Lord said, �You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free?(John 8:32). Our Lord told us to believe in the Truth. Jesus bore the sins of this world through the baptism He received from John, died on the Cross, rose from the dead again, and ascended to the Kingdom of Heaven. If you believe in this Jesus Christ as your Savior, then you will be saved from all your sins and destruction. Since the Lord bore all the sins of this world and took them all away through His baptism, if we believe in this Truth, then we can all stand in the light.
However, some people came up with a wicked doctrine out of their confusion, claiming, �Our original sin was forgiven, but our personal sins are sanctified by giving prayers of repentance everyday.?So some pastors define and teach repentance based on human morals, not according to what the Bible actually says, and while this may sound good to the ears of those who are not born again, anyone who says so is a servant of the Devil.
In short, the notion that we must reach sanctification is a complete non-sense. When it is in our human nature to become weaker, more obstinate, and more hardened as we get older, how could we ever be sanctified? Pastors who do not believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit are lying to their congregation, not teaching the gospel Truth of the water and the Spirit. And they encourage the congregation to practice a work-based faith, and demand their followers to serve them. Far from setting their congregation free, they seek to bind them with the work of the Law.
What we must grasp is the Truth that Jesus, God Himself, came to this earth incarnated in the flesh, and has washed away all our sins of mankind by being baptized and shedding His blood on the Cross. It is this baptism of Jesus, and His bloodshed and death on the Cross, that have washed away our sins and the condemnation of sin that awaited us. It is because this Jesus has saved us from our sins and judgment for us that we could be saved by placing our faith in this Truth. And through those who have accepted this Truth as the light of salvation, God has made it possible for other souls to attain their true salvation and to preach it throughout the whole world.
That all of us can now become God�s children, that everyone can now become God�s child, is because God has completed the gospel of the water and the Spirit for us. Just as God made this universe, the domain that we see with our eyes, and the heavens and the earth, God Himself has also accomplished the salvation given to sinners through the gospel of the water and the Spirit. What a wonderful news is this? How could we ever thank God enough, that we were able to become the light of the world? When we really think about how we were born on this earth and yet could become Heaven�s people, it is so amazing and so thankful.
Our salvation from sin did not spring forth naturally, but it was made possible because God made us be born again and turned us into His own people. This Truth of salvation, the gospel of the water and the Spirit, is such a great and marvelous truth. Nothing in this world can be more marvelous than this gospel.
How could you have become the people of Heaven? God planned mankind�s future and made them become His people. We are only amazed and thankful for this. If human beings were to plan the creation of the universe, could they have achieved it? It is simply impossible for us humans to achieve this, but from the very moment that God created the universe, even before any human being was born on this earth, He made everything for the purpose of making mankind be born again from sin.
What a wonderful plan is this? As for myself, I can only thank the Lord for allowing me to spread this gospel and to serve Him. There really is nothing new on this earth, and to live for anything else but this gospel is only tiring itself. However, when we think about what is truly good on this earth, it is the fact that our God has made us His people. This is the most refreshing news that we are happy to hear everyday, that blesses us every time we think about it, and that remains perfect even as we think about it everyday.
What Is the Most Precious Gift That God Has Given Us?
There is no other news better than the gospel of the water and the Spirit that God has given us. Just this afternoon, I went out to evangelize with our brothers. What better news is there for sinners than to spread the gospel of the water and the Spirit to them? What greater and better gift is there for sinners than this gift, that God has saved them from sin? Would giving a box of fruit juice to the patients in a hospital compare to the gospel Word of the water and the Spirit that we are preaching? Is there anything that is greater than the fact that God has saved us from the sins of the world? There is nothing on this earth that is greater for us mankind than the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
In the very beginning, God created us as well as the heavens and the earth. God made us be born again on this earth to turn us into His own people of Heaven, and Jesus Christ gave us the gospel of the water and the Spirit, made us believe in it and be born again, and indeed turned us into God�s people. What greater blessing is there in the world than this? Every time we think about this Truth, it is refreshing and joyful.
There is nothing that is more blessed or more comforting than the gospel of the water and the Spirit. When we think about the salvation of mankind and the grace of God, there really isn�t anything that we humans can do, but all that we have to do is just give thanks and glory to God. All that we human beings have to do is just enjoy the blessed grace that God has given us by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
The salvation given by God is so blessed, so wonderful, so great, and so majestic. So there is nothing else that we can do but only thank God by believing in this Truth, give glory to Him and praise Him, for this Truth can never be denied or challenged. The more time goes by since our salvation, the more we realize just how precious this God-given gospel is. The more we preach the gospel, the more we experience firsthand just how wonderful and precious this salvation is. We come to believe that there is no greater blessing from God than this. The fact that people are freed from confusion, void, and darkness has been made possible through the shining gospel of salvation that God has given us.
The Emptiness of the Heart That Could Never Be Filled with the Things of This World
Were it not for the light of salvation, we could never escape from our sins. How could sinners, whose thoughts are completely confused, ever untangle the knot of their tangled sins? How could the fallen mankind ever turn around by itself? It�s simply impossible. How could human beings, who were born as sinners from the very moment they were born on this earth, ever be born again by themselves as the righteous? This task is humanly impossible. Only by believing in the true light of salvation that the Lord has given us is this made possible.
When human beings are fundamentally insatiable, how could they find satisfaction through their own efforts? Where could sinners attain satisfaction? Would wealth satisfy them? No amount of wealth can bring satisfaction. Would you really be happy if you were rich? Would your empty hearts be filled with all that money? I�ve never had been a rich man, but even if I were, it would not fill my empty heart. No money can fill a heart that is completely void. There can be no satisfaction.
How can we fill our hearts with satisfaction? It�s impossible. With what can we be filled? What can fill us to feel satisfied? With money? Or sex and pleasure? Computer games? Exciting hobbies? Soccer?
This sport soccer is a great game, of course. The pleasure of winning in a game is a great sensation. When our workers get together, we often play soccer ourselves. It�s a thrilling sensation to dribble around your opponents and shoot to score, and see the ball flying into the net even though your opponents tried everything possible to stop you. This pleasure that comes from winning a soccer game is sensational. One of the greatest pleasures that people feel is the pleasure of winning in sports. Just watching a game is thrilling enough for us, and if our team scores a point, we get all excited and go insane in joy. Some baseball fans love their game so much that they spend half their lifetime in a ballpark.
However, even all these things cannot really fill people�s empty hearts. If a man makes the woman he loves happy, would she be satisfied? No, there is no real satisfaction in this. If he thinks, �I will do everything that the woman I love wants, even if it takes my life,?and if he indeed does everything for her, would she then be satisfied? If he devotes his whole life to his partner, would his partner really be satisfied, would the emptiness in her heart disappear, and would she live filled with happiness and joy for the rest of her life? No, no matter how much he might cherish her, she cannot live always happy. Human beings constantly demand greater satisfaction.
In the history of Israel, King Solomon lived the most opulent and extravagant life. He had countless queens and concubines, and his place and wealth were magnificent. However, nothing on this earth could fill his empty heart. That is why he lamented in Ecclesiastes, �Vanity of vanities, all is vanity. All is vanity and grasping for the wind.?In other words, even if one is respected and revered by everyone else, there still is no satisfaction. That is why God described such a heart as �broken cisterns that can hold no water? (Jeremiah 2:13).
Why do some people do drugs? They turn to drugs because they cannot fill their empty hearts. No matter how they might have everything there is to have in this world, they still cannot find satisfaction. Their hearts are hollow. There is nothing in their hearts. Human beings cannot fill their void hearts with anything in this world. No one else can find satisfaction apart from those who have accepted the Truth that God has saved us, that He has made us be born again, that He has turned us into His people, and that He has made us righteous. Until one is born again and receives Jesus Christ into his heart, he can never fill the emptiness of his heart.
A void heart can be satisfied only when it is filled with this Jesus given by God. God has driven away our sins that had made our hearts formless and void, and that had darkness on the face of the deep, and in their place He has given us the gift of Truth to fill our hearts abundantly. He has saved us by bestowing this gift on us in abundance. The born-again have satisfaction and true joy in their hearts. Only the satisfaction of the soul is the real satisfaction of the heart. In contrast, however, there can never be any satisfaction in the hearts of those who are not born again.
The Satisfied Faith of Those Who Have Been Born Again by Believing in the Gospel of the Water and the Spirit
We can find true satisfaction only if we are born again by believing in the Truth of the water and the Spirit given by Jesus Christ, the true light. We must believe in this salvation, that Jesus Christ has made us be born again of water and the Spirit. Without this Jesus Christ, we can never solve all the problems of the sins of our souls, the emptiness of our hearts, and our thoughts of confusion. It is Jesus who can solve all these things. There is no one else who can make us happy apart from Jesus. It is Jesus who gives us true satisfaction.
We may do this and that, and we may also become rich, but there is still no satisfaction. True satisfaction is nowhere to be found. It is when we serve the Lord that we can finally find satisfaction, it is when we do God�s work that there is satisfaction, and it is when we believe in Jesus and are born again that we are satisfied. In short, it is when we walk with Him that there is satisfaction.
God said, �Darkness was on the face of the deep,? implying that there is sin deep in the hearts of people. Do people know all their sins? No, they don�t realize their sins. Even though they are born with sin, they are oblivious to their own sins. What about you then? When did you realize your sins? Did you realize who you really were when you heard the gospel? When the light was shone? Or did you know this before then? Before you believed in Jesus, you probably considered yourselves to have committed few sins. When the Bible says that darkness was on the face of the deep, this means that there is no one who has a clear understanding of his sins.
However, even if one does not know Jesus, once he repeatedly commits appalling sins in this world, he then comes to be at least slightly aware of himself, realizing, �Oh, so this is who I am.?Nonetheless, no sooner does he reach this self-awareness when he reverts back to his confusion, thinking, �No, I can actually live virtuously. It�s because of what others have done to me that I�ve done so.?It�s because people�s thoughts and hearts are fundamentally confused that they think like this. Unless one meets Jesus, he cannot exactly realize that there is sin in him. Unless he is born again, he cannot know this for sure. Until he encounters the true light, there is no way to know.
That darkness was on the face of the deep means that human beings do not know what kind of a sinner they are. They do not realize that none other than they themselves are sinners and that they are bound to hell. Human beings are incapable of knowing their own sins. They can never know until the light of Truth is shone. Everyone thinks that he is virtuous. People think they are practically equivalent to angels. Before I received the remission of sin, I, too, considered myself good.
When I was a child, I was known in the neighborhood as a good kid. My neighbors used to comment how I was so courteous and friendly, never getting into trouble and always behaving nicely. Just a polite greeting to the elderly can go a long way to earn favorable points. If a kid greets the elderly courteously, he earns 90 points; if he picks up garbage, carries some luggage for them, and helps out in the neighborhood, then he is a perfect kid, scoring 100. I used to be such a child back then. I never heard anyone saying that I was a bad kid.
However, as I grew older, I did so many bad things that I can�t even remember them all. I used to bully other kids, and I constantly got into a fight in school. If I wasn�t fighting, then I made sure that the other kids were fighting. I did this just because I was bored. So having started a fight, I would gather around spectators and watch. I would say to my friends, �You should each bring something to munch. There is a good show going on today. You should come. So and so are going to fight each other.?My friends would then all gather together, leaving everything aside, homework and all.
At any rate, I did many bad things, including provoking a gang fight like this. When I think about it now, I was constantly doing many mischievous things. However, even though there was nothing in me that was commendable, my neighbors all commended me as a good person. I myself thought that I was a good person. I always had a high self-esteem, thinking, �Is there anyone who is as good as me??I really thought that I was the most virtuous person.
I thought, �Sure, I sometimes fight with my friends, but so what? This is just a routine for every adolescent. It�s what kids do. How is this a sin? Bleeding noses and foreheads are just part of growing up.?Although none other than this is murder, jealousy, theft, foolishness, and evil thoughts that constitute sin, I thought it was all okay back then. Since I didn�t know the Law, I didn�t know sin, nor did I realize it.
In other words, before one receives the light of Truth, he is incapable of knowing sin. How can people know sin then?
There was a famous Buddhist monk named Seongcheol in Korea. This monk confessed that he realized he was a sinner only when he was nearing his death. To reach a spiritual awakening, he had cut himself off from the outside world and disciplined his mind for ten years, not even lying down once but always seated and constantly staring at the wall. The result of all this effort was the realization that he had deceived countless people.
When people outside saw how the monk had isolated himself from the rest of the world in a tiny temple and lived like this for ten years, they all exclaimed in admiration, saying, �Wow! He is a living Buddha! There is no one else like him in this world. He is the living Buddha of this age.?Seongcheol heard this for ten long years. However, the monk himself admitted, �I am not a living Buddha. I�ve lusted after so many women, and I�ve committed all kinds of filthy acts in my thoughts. While I may seem to have not lied down, I actually did lie down, and while I may not seemed to have eaten, I actually did eat.?He was like this in his heart. So nearing his death, he left a poem of his last words, which states, �I would fall into the bottomless pit of hell, for I have deceived so many people for my whole life.?However, when his followers heard this, they praised him even more, saying, �What a great monk he is! He is so humble that he lowered himself like this.?/p>
It is written, �Darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters? (Genesis 1:2). No one knows his sins before he hears the Word.
However, the Bible also says, �God said, �Let there be light? and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good.?/i> In other words, it is by knowing Jesus Christ, by hearing the Word of the water and the Spirit, and through the God-given light that we were able to know our true selves correctly, and came to realize that we had great sins in our hearts, and that we were terrible sinners bound to hell before God. That is how we could become light and God�s people. Truly, this is the grace of God. What greater gift is there than this?
What greater event is there than this event? What is more significant than this event when God made human beings His own people and His own children? God sent His own Son to this earth incarnated in the flesh of man, and made Him receive baptism, atone for all our sins, wash them all away, shoulder the sins of the world and carry them to the Cross, and bear the condemnation of our sins in our place. There is no greater creation than this creation that made us righteous.
I give all my thanks to God for giving us such a great gift.