“There was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. This man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, ‘Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him.’ Jesus answered and said to him, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.’ Nicodemus said to Him, ‘How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?’ Jesus answered, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.’”
Most Christians are trying their best to be born again. Still, there are many who use the term “being born again” without knowing the meaning behind these words. Although they often hear that they need to be born again because they are sinners, most people do not know the exact meaning of these words. Still they say, “I have been born again since I believe in Jesus,” or “I am sure I was born again when I was praying fervently in the mountain, since I felt the fire inside of me back then.” The problem is that people only rely on their emotions in this matter of Truth. Those people, who claim to have been born again without knowing the Truth of salvation, must be born again only through the Lord-given gospel Truth of the water and the Spirit.
Being born again and being free from all of one’s sins is possible only by having faith in the gospel Word of the water and the Spirit. If we are to be born again, we must believe in God’s Word of Truth. To do so, we must carve the God-given Truth of the water and the Spirit into our hearts by listening to it over and over again. First of all, we must realize that we cannot replace the gospel of the water and the Spirit with miracles and signs that we may experience.
Let’s listen to the Word of God that is given to us. “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God” (John 3:5). This Scripture passage tells us that we must be born again to be free from all our sins by the water and the Spirit. I would like to share with you today what it means to be truly born again by the gospel Truth of the water and the Spirit.
Every Sinner Must Believe in the Gospel of the Water and the Spirit in Order to Enter the Heavenly Kingdom
Most Christians, when they first start believing in the Savior, do not know much about the Word of the water and the Holy Spirit. Instead of being born again by the water and the Spirit, they believe that Christianity is one of the religions in this world. We cannot truly be born again from all our sins by only believing in Jesus as our Savior just as people of the other religions believe in their gods. Therefore, we must realize the gospel Word of the water and the Spirit, which is the Truth that brings us the remission of sin. Whoever recognizes that he is a lowly sinner before God and believes in the gospel of the water and the Spirit can then receive the salvation from all his sins and become born again.
It is wrong to only believe in Jesus as our Savior without the knowledge of the gospel Truth of the water and the Spirit. The Bible tells us about the gospel Truth of the water and the Spirit, which enables every human being to be born again from the sins of the world. We must realize and believe in our hearts the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
However, if Christians believed mistakenly without knowing the gospel Truth of the water and the Spirit, how can we be sure of the salvation from our sins? If we believed in Christianity without the gospel Truth of the water and the Spirit, what would remain in our hearts? Only confusion, despair, and all our sins would remain in our hearts if such were the case. If the gospel Truth of the water and the Spirit is not in your hearts, you would still only have confusion, despair, and sins in your hearts. Although you may believe in Jesus as your Savior, because you have not known the gospel of the water and the Spirit, you would still live as sinners. Although you believe in Jesus, you would be legalistic religionists with sins still remaining in your hearts. Your souls would be saturated with sin in your hearts because you have not truly met Jesus Christ, who came by the gospel Truth of the water and the Spirit. When a person thinks of Christianity as another good worldly religion, he only has confusion and despair in his heart.
These days, although there are many people who have believed in Jesus for a long time, they struggle with the confusion and emptiness in their hearts. Most Christians are living as the grave sinners before God, because they do not know the gospel of the water and the Spirit, which is the Word of God. Because they have fallen into religious confusion, they think that they would be all right even if they still have sins in their hearts. Once they become a religionist, they often masquerade as true believers and then become strict legalists with time. They end up facing their own condemnation, unable to escape from all their sins.
The faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit enables us to escape from all our sins, and we should likewise utilize it to escape from the empty religions of the world. We must become born again by knowing and believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
The Lord Is Telling Us That Only Those Who Believe in the Gospel of the Water and the Spirit Will Be Completely Delivered from All Their Sins
The Lord said, “Unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God” (John 3:5). Here, it is said that the resources that enable us to be born again are “the water and the Spirit.” For a person to receive the salvation from all his sins, he must be born again by his faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. The water refers to the baptism Jesus received from John the Baptist (Matthew 3:15). Whoever believes in Jesus, the One who took all sins of the world by receiving the baptism from John the Baptist and was then crucified on the Cross, will receive the remission of sin, become born again, and have the Holy Spirit in his heart. Put differently, when we accept and believe the Truth of salvation in the Word of God, we receive the remission of all our sins and are made into righteous people.
To be born again means to be born twice. We were born once by flesh from our parents. And to be born again is to be reborn spiritually. Although at first we might have believed in Jesus only religiously, we can be truly born again by receiving the remission of sin and receiving God’s gift of the Holy Spirit through our faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, which is the true salvation.
Let’s Find Evidence of the Gospel of the Water and Spirit in the Old Testament
Let’s examine the gospel of Truth revealed in Leviticus 1 of the Old Testament first. How did the people in the past receive remission of their sins? The Word in Leviticus reveals how God will deliver all humanity in the future. Therefore, we have to examine the gospel of the water and the Spirit in the Word of the Old Testament and believe in it.
Leviticus 1:1-3 says, “Now the Lord called to Moses, and spoke to him from the tabernacle of meeting, saying, ‘Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: ‘When any one of you brings an offering to the Lord, you shall bring your offering of the livestock—of the herd and the flock. If his offering is a burnt sacrifice of the herd, let him offer a male without blemish; he shall offer it of his own free will at the door of the tabernacle of meeting before the Lord.’’”
A title is attached to each of the 66 Books of the Bible according to the main theme of each Book. Genesis is the record of God’s creation of the universe and everything in it as well as the life stories of the fathers of faith such as Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph. Exodus records about how the descendants of Jacob, the Israelites, were delivered from Egypt as well as about the Ten Commandments, the Law of God, and the Tabernacle system. Leviticus explains to us how man and God can be united through the sacrificial system, which shows us in detail God’s method for delivering us humans from all our sins. The name of the book refers to Levi who was the third son of Jacob by Leah and the progenitor of the tribe of Levites. The name “Levi” means “joined to” (Genesis 29:34). So, how to join with God is the consistent theme of the Book of Leviticus.
The Law of God is the collection of His statutes regarding the do’s and don’ts in our lives. There are 613 statutes in the Law. Although God has given His Law to us, we humans lack the power to live according to that Law despite knowing that His Law is right and just. That is because we have inherited original sin from Adam. Because every person has inherited a total of 12 kinds of sins from Adam, every person is unable to conduct righteously due to the inherited sin. Therefore, we were born as beings who cannot help but commit the sins, even when we know it is wrong.
“But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). While all people were destined to be born as sinners and die as sinners, God has set the sacrificial system to His people so that they would be able to receive the remission of sin. God established the sacrificial system and entrusted its administration to the tribe of Levites. In other words, He gave the priesthood only to the tribe of Levites, Aaron and his descendants (Exodus 29:9, Numbers 3:10). Aaron, the first High Priest, was a descendant of Levi.
It is easier to understand how we can be born again, when we examine closely the role of the Levite priests. When we listen carefully to the sacrificial system in the Scriptures, we can understand better how Jesus Christ has given us the blessing of the remission of sins, which is the most important issue in the Bible.
God called Moses, a Levite, to His tabernacle and appointed his brother Aaron as the High Priest, who would transfer all sins to the sacrificial lamb. When anyone of the Israelites, needed to bring the Lord an offering, he was directed to bring an offering of his own livestock—one of the herd and of the flock (Leviticus 1:2). This implies that God had already limited the types of sacrificial offerings that could bear all their sins. If the Israelites were to receive the remission of sin before God, they were required by God to sacrifice a sheep or a goat. And if the sacrifice was part of a burnt offering, it was necessary to bring a male animal without blemish to the front of the Tabernacle.
A burnt offering is a kind of sacrifice offered to God by being burned. Through this offering, the sacrificed animal is killed as a substitute for the person and the sacrifice receives the judgment vicariously that sinner deserved from God.
Then, how were the sinners required to make an offering before God so that God would accept it joyously? Leviticus 1:4 says, “Then he shall put his hand on the head of the burnt offering, and it will be accepted on his behalf to make atonement for him.” We can find the solution in the passage, “Then he shall put his hand on the head of the burnt offering.” We should pay attention specifically to the phrase “to put one’s hands on the head of the burnt offering.” It is written that when a sinner laid his hand on the head of the burnt offering, all his sins were transferred onto the sacrificial animal. Thus, the correct order to perform an offering was to transfer one’s sins by laying one’s hands on the burnt offering before the sacrifice was put to death in offering to God.
“Then he shall put his hand on the head of the burnt offering” (Leviticus 1:4). The first step in receiving one’s remission of sin in the Old Testament is the laying on of hands. The laying of hands is the action applied to the sacrificial person or an animal. The phrase “laying one’s hands on” means that one’s sins are transferred onto the scapegoat. This was the proper method to atone for one’s sin before God established by God Himself.
“Then he shall put his hand on the head of the burnt offering, and it will be accepted on his behalf to make atonement for him” (Leviticus 1:4). Atonement means that sins are extinguished along with the scapegoat. Because that scapegoat has borne all our sins by receiving them with the laying on of hands, we receive the atonement, the termination of all our sins. Atonement means to receive the remission of sins by transferring one’s sins onto a sacrificial lamb through the laying of one’s hands. In this way, the sins of the people are atoned through a sacrificial lamb.
As such, in the Old Testament times, when people committed sins before God, they had to offer a goat, a sheep, a calf, or a dove without blemish. And in order to receive the remission of sin, they had to lay their hands on the scapegoats to transfer their sins onto them before they offered the sacrifices to God. Once their sins were transferred onto the scapegoats, the priests killed the animals and drew their blood and transferred it over the horn of the altar and then poured it onto the ground. This was the sacrificial system, which God had granted the Israelites so that they might receive the remission of sin. Thus, they had to offer sacrifices according to God’s Law by transferring all their sins onto the sacrificial lambs by the means of laying on of hands.
It says in Leviticus 1:5, “He shall kill the bull before the Lord; and the priests, Aaron’s sons, shall bring the blood and sprinkle the blood all around on the altar that is by the door of the tabernacle of meeting.”
Dear fellow believers, there are four horns on the four corner edges of the altar of the burnt offering. After a sinner Israelite confessed his sins and transferred them to the sacrificial animal by laying his hands on its head, the person had to kill the animal and hand over its blood to the priest before he could return home without sins. Now the next stage was up to the priest: Then, the priest had to put the blood of the sacrifice on the four corners of the altar and pour all the remaining blood at the base of the altar to completely atone that person’s sins (Leviticus 4:30). The blood had to be put on the horns of the altar because the horns represent the judgment. Sprinkling the blood on the horns clearly symbolized that the blood of the sacrifice bore the sins of this person in his stead. God accepted the sacrifice and did not condemn the person when He saw the person’s laying of hands and the blood of the sacrificial animal.
Why did the sacrifice have to shed its blood? This is because the life of flesh is in the blood (Leviticus 17:11). Because an Israelite should die by God’s justice when he committed sin, the blood of a sacrifice was sprinkled instead of his own blood. In place of the sinner, a sacrificial animal would be killed after the person’s sins were transferred onto it by the laying of his hands. With the sacrifice’s blood, he could satisfy the Law of God, which says that the wage of sin is death (Romans 6:23). That was why the sacrificial animal shed its blood and died in the sinner’s place after it took all of his sins.
The priests in the Old Testament put the blood of the sacrifice on the horns of the altar of burnt offering. When we examine Jeremiah 17:1 along with Revelation 20:11-15, we can find out that the horn refers to the Book of Deeds. Hence, sprinkling the blood on the horns of the altar is analogous to sprinkling the blood on the Book of Deeds.
All sins people commit in this world are recorded in two different places. One is on the tablet of each person’s heart, and the other is in the Book of Deeds before God. Jeremiah 17:1 says, “The sin of Judah is written with a pen of iron; with the point of a diamond it is engraved on the tablet of their heart, and on the horns of your altars.” Hence, it is not enough that the sins of our own hearts are expunged, but our names and sins inside the Book of Deeds before God must be erased as well. Thus, the laying on of the hands on the sacrifice signifies the transfer of all our sins onto the sacrifice, and the consequent sprinkling of its blood on the horns of the altar represents the judgment for the sins.
The sins of each person were blotted out when that person laid his hands on the sacrifice, shed its blood to death, and offered it to God. The Israelites offered their sacrifices like this by saying, “Please accept the price of death of this animal and wash all my sins away completely.” As such, they could be cleansed of their sins through sacrificial lambs without blemish through the ministries of the priests in the Old Testament. The sacrificial animals had paid the price of death before God in their stead.
“And he shall skin the burnt offering and cut it into its pieces. The sons of Aaron the priest shall put fire on the altar, and lay the wood in order on the fire. Then the priests, Aaron’s sons, shall lay the parts, the head, and the fat in order on the wood that is on the fire upon the altar; but he shall wash its entrails and its legs with water. And the priest shall burn all on the altar as a burnt sacrifice, an offering made by fire, a sweet aroma to the Lord” (Leviticus 1:6-9).
Cutting the sacrifice into pieces and then burning it is called a burnt offering or an offering made by fire, because it is offered through blazing fire. When we humans committed sins before God, we were meant to die shedding our blood just like the sacrifice. Through the burnt offering, God is telling us that we should have received the judgment of being put into the eternal fire. This burnt offering was the just judgment of God. God satisfied two of His laws through the burnt offering: God’s law of justice and His law of love.
Because God is the holy and just One, He grants the remission of sin to the person only when he offers a sacrificial animal instead of himself. Because God is just, He has to judge us for our sins. But because He is the God of love, He does not judge us directly and instead He judges the sacrificial animals for our sake; He accepts the sin offerings by having us transfer all our sins onto them through the law of laying on of hands.
Here is another example of sin offering, which was for the atonement of the sins of the common people: “If anyone of the common people sins unintentionally by doing something against any of the commandments of the Lord in anything which ought not to be done, and is guilty, or if his sins which he has committed comes to his knowledge, then he shall bring as his offering a kid of the goats, a female without blemish, for his sin which he has committed. And he shall lay his hand on the head of the sin offering, and kill the sin offering at the place of the burnt offering. Then the priest shall take some of its blood with his finger, put it on the horns of the altar of burnt offering, and pour all the remaining blood at the base of the altar. He shall remove all its fat, as fat is removed from the sacrifice of the peace offering; and the priest shall burn it on the altar for a sweet aroma to the Lord. So the priest shall make atonement for him, and it shall be forgiven him” (Leviticus 4:27-31).
Everyone is born with innate sin that is inherited from Adam. Our inner persons are full of sins. We are a pile of sins, such as evil thoughts, adultery, fornication, murder, theft, jealousy, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, and foolishness (Mark 7:21-22).
How can a person who has committed sins come to realize he is guilty? He can recognize his sin by shedding the light of the Law on his heart. It is written, “Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin” (Romans 3:20). We come to realize our own sins through the Law of God. If it weren’t for God’s instructions of do’s and don’ts in the Law, we would not know that we have committed sin even after committing it. Hence, God made us realize our sinfulness first in order for us to seek His salvation.
How Do We Come to Realize Our Own Sins?
We realize what sin is through the Law of God. We know whether we have done right or wrong to God by reflecting upon our deeds and the written Word of God, which states the Do’s and Don’ts established by God. Whether one has committed sin or not is not determined by one’s own conscience but rather by the Word of God. Through the Law of God established in the Word of God, we come to realize our own sins.
In the passage above from Leviticus 4:27-31, the Word discusses unintentional sin. We often commit sins unintentionally rather than intentionally because we were born as sinners. Unintentional sins includes those sins we have committed without knowing, those we have committed because of our own weaknesses, and those we have committed because of our deficiencies or mistakes. We call sins that we commit out of our weaknesses unintentional sins. We cannot help but commit unintentional sins because we are sinful by nature. A human being cannot be perfect. People in ancient times were as weak as we are now. They also committed sins unintentionally everyday by disobeying any of the commandments of the Lord.
We are meant to be put to death because of our trespasses and sins (Ephesians 2:1). The sin and guilt of a person is distinguished as follows. We call the innate evil in our hearts and thoughts “sin,” and we call our wrongdoings “trespasses,” that have been put into action because of our innate evilness. If someone committed sins unintentionally and recognized his sins, he then was required to bring a female goat without blemish as his offering for his sin that he had committed. “And he shall lay his hand on the head of the sin offering, and kill the sin offering at the place of the burnt offering” (Leviticus 4:29).
In order for the Israelites to receive the remission of sin, they first had to realize that they were indeed sinners. Regardless of how desperately God wanted to grant them the remission of sin, it would be impossible for God to grant the remission of sin to those who didn’t recognize their sins. Thus, the Israelites had to know which of God’s commandments they had broken and also understand what the rightful judgment for their sins was. Then, they needed to offer burnt offerings to God to receive the remission of sin.
Everyone who has not yet received the remission of sin still has sin within him or her. Each and every one of the Israelites, who had sins in his heart, had to first bring a female goat and transfer his sins onto it by laying his hands on its head. And then the person had to offer its blood by cutting its throat. This was the proper way for them to receive the remission of sin. Of course, the sacrifice could be a goat, a bull, or a lamb. The condition of the sacrificial animal was that it had to be without blemish.
If the sacrifice limped, was scarred on its body, or has a diseased coating on its eyes, God would not accept that sacrifice. For a sacrifice to be an acceptable sacrifice, the animal had to be clean and without blemish. Clean animals are those that have cloven hooves and chew the cud (Leviticus 11:3). Therefore, among clean animals such as the lamb, the goat, and the calf, only those that were without blemish could be offered as proper sacrifices to God. Then, who in the world is without blemish? The only answer is Jesus Christ.
All sins of people could be transferred by the process of the laying on of hands. This was God’s promise written in His Word. “Or if his sin which he has committed comes to his knowledge, then he shall bring as his offering a kid of the goats, a female without blemish, for his sin which he has committed. And he shall lay his hand on the head of the sin offering, and kill the sin offering at the place of the burnt offering” (Leviticus 4:28-29).
God told the Israelites that they had to lay their hands on the head of the sacrifice, which would then bear the sins in their stead, and become a sacrifice for them. The laying on of hands in the Old Testament was the means by which sins were transferred. All sins were transferred to another party, the sacrificial animal, by the laying on of hands. Put differently, every sinner had to transfer his sins by this laying on of hands. Before the sacrificial lamb or goat was to be killed, it first had to take the sins of the sinner by the laying on of hands. Only when the animal received the sin from the hands of the sinner and then was killed, could the sinner receive the remission for his sin. A person in those days could receive the remission of sin when he first transferred his sins to a sacrifice by laying his hands on it and then offering it to God with a heart acknowledging his sinfulness saying, “I am a sinner who should die bleeding like this sacrifice because of my sins.”
Wherein does the life of flesh lie? It lies in the blood (Leviticus 17:11). In the blood of a person is his life. The life of all flesh is in the blood. Regardless of how healthy one’s heart is, if blood is not provided to it to be pumped, that person will surely die. Then, why did God tell the Israelites to put the blood on the horns, when they were offering the sacrifices to God? It was to let them know that “This animal has died in the place of the sinner” after the blood was put on the horns.
The laying on of hands was the method by which all sins of a person were transferred. God has taught humanity His way of transferring all their sins. That method is the laying on of hands from the Old Testament and the baptism of Jesus in the New Testament. Hence, God delivered the sinner completely after seeing the blood of his sacrifice, proclaiming, “Yes! You no longer have any sin. You do not have to die now, for all your sins were transferred by the laying on of your hands.” The laying on of hands and the shedding of blood simultaneously fulfills the love of God as well as His righteous judgment.
When God created us humans, He created us out of dust. For the remission of all our sins, both God’s Book of Judgment as well as the tablet of each one’s heart must be covered with blood. Complete remission of sin is possible only when both of them are covered with the blood. That is, for the remission of sin, all recorded sins must be blotted out before God as well as in our hearts. Dear fellow believers, do you accept the Word of God?
The last process of the sin offering is described in the following passage, “He shall remove all its fat, as fat is removed from the sacrifice of the peace offering; and the priest shall burn it on the altar for a sweet aroma to the Lord” (Leviticus 4:31). This says that all of the filthy parts of the sacrifice, such as the excrement, must be thrown away, and the separated fat from the animal had to be burned together with the rest of the sacrifice on the fire of the altar. This fat in the Bible refers in fact to the Holy Spirit.
Hence, in order for the Israelites to receive the remission of sin, they had to make offerings exactly as God had commanded to them. The sacrifice must be a clean animal without any blemish. Only when they followed God’s rules for sin offerings exactly could they receive the remission of sin before God. If they had been filled with excessive passion so they thought it best to offer a big animal such as an elephant, they would have failed to receive the remission of sin. God has specifically ordered to bring a clean animal such as a lamb, a goat, or a calf. All three of these have cloven hooves and chew the cud. God is pleased with the righteous who ruminate over the Word of God and set themselves apart from the world.
The ultimate sacrifice to God without blemish is Jesus Christ, who was perfect without sin. The people in the Old Testament times received the remission of sin by bringing a lamb or a goat without blemish, by laying their hands on it to transfer their sins, and by the priest making an offering to God. This applies to the New Testament as well. Jesus received the baptism from John the Baptist, who transferred all our sins onto Jesus. Jesus finally delivered us by receiving the judgments for all our sins when He died on the Cross.
The last part of the passage about the conclusion of the sin offering of common people states that, “So the priest shall make atonement for him concerning his sin, and it shall be forgiven him” (Leviticus 4:26).
Let us reexamine the whole process of the burnt offering for the common people. What the common people had to do was to lay their hands on the sacrificial offering in order to transfer all their sin onto it, and then the throat of the sacrifice was cut to draw its blood. This was the whole task each individual sinner had to perform by himself. By doing this, they confessed that they were sinners who should have died like the animal sacrifices as God’s judgment.
The rest of the job belonged to the priests, who acted on behalf of the people. The various jobs of the priest were to put the blood on the horns of the altar, to pour the remaining blood on the ground, to separate the fat, and to cut the flesh into pieces so that they could be burned on the altar. And on the Day of Atonement, the High Priest had to lay his hands on the scapegoats as the representative of his people, cut its throat, draw its blood, and sprinkle the blood inside the Most Holy.
Hence, the Israelites would not have been able to receive the remission of sin, if it had not been for the High Priests. On the Day of Atonement, all the priests had to leave the Tabernacle. The High Priest represented all the people and he had to minister the entire sacrifice ritual for the remission of yearly sins of the Israelites (Leviticus 16). The High Priest delivered them from God’s judgment by transferring their yearly sins by laying his hands on the sacrifice on their behalf. As such, we can find that the laying on of hands was the only proper action to transfer the sins of Israelites onto sacrifices in both cases: the sacrifice for the remission of daily sins of the common people and the sacrifice for the remission of yearly sins of all Israelites on the Day of Atonement.
In the Old Testament times, the priests performed the job of blotting out all the sins of the Israelites. Not just anyone could perform the tasks of putting the blood on the horns, pouring the rest of the blood on the ground, and burning the sacrifice before God after it had been cut into pieces. Saul, the first king of Israel, tried to do the task of a priest himself (1 Samuel 13:9), and that was a grave sin before God. No one except a priest could offer a sacrifice before God. Who had God chosen as His priests? He chose Aaron and his descendants.
Therefore, only a descendant of Aaron could become a High Priest. Not anyone could become a priest before God. God had appointed only the tribe of Levites, to become priests. A priest necessarily had to be a Levite. Was it acceptable if a person from Judah came and said, “I will make the offering to God since I am the king”? That kind of person would receive the curse of leprosy from God. God had created and established the rules for the sacrificial system, and the task of priest was appointed to the tribe of Levites only. God had determined that only a descendant of Aaron from the tribe of Levites could become a High Priest. That is to say that God had already determined on His own terms the sacrificial system of offering to Him. The Israelites of the Old Testament times received the remission of sin by transferring their sins through the laying on of hands and by atoning for them with the blood of the sacrifice.
We Must Know God’s Law of Salvation and Our Own Weaknesses
We also have to offer the sacrifice according to the sacrificial system God had established to receive our remission of sin because we cannot help but sin everyday due to our weaknesses. Because we know in our conscience that we have sins in our hearts and that we have not lived according to the Law of God, we must make an offering by the gospel Truth of the water and the Spirit.
In the Old Testament times, people had to make an offering by choosing a goat or a lamb without blemish. When the Old Testament people brought a lamb before God to make an offering because they had sinned, that lamb followed its master obediently without knowing its fate. The Israelites did not raise the lamb, the goat, and the calf for food but to receive the remission of sin through them. Hence, they raised a lot of young animals without blemish.
Remission of a Day’s Worth of Sin in the Old Testament
In the Old Testament, Israelites could give offerings for the remission of a day’s worth of sin. When the people of the Old Testament times committed a sin against God, each one of them had to bring a sacrifice without blemish before God daily, transferring his sins by laying his hands on its head, and then cutting its throat to draw blood, which in turn was handed to the priests. The priests would then put the blood on the horns of the altar and pour the rest on the ground. Also, they would cut the sacrifice into pieces, separating its fat, and offer it on the fire of the altar before God. The people of the Old Testament times had to bring a sacrifice before God and offer it to God whenever they sinned. Also, since they had to bring a sacrifice every time they committed a sin, those who had a bad conscience or could not live according to the Word of God had to offer a lot of calves, goats, and lambs. Still, the number of animals would not come close to the amount of sins a person committed.
How much sin do people commit while they are alive in this world? Since the Israelites could not but always commit sins, the number of sacrificial animals they had would decrease as time passed by. Thus, God knew that it was too difficult for the Israelites to receive the remission of their daily sins, so He granted them a sacrifice for the remission of their year’s worth of sins. If people realized that they could not continue to offer sacrifices daily for the sins they commit, they would become hopeless and give up in the end. People are fundamentally such weak beings. People could go to their limits to do what is in their ability. But if they fail, they are disappointed and say, “Be as it may be.” If people have no way of completing a construction while it is still only halfway through, many would declare bankruptcy and fall into self-despair.
Dear fellow believers, although we try to live according to the Law of God while offering prayers of repentance everyday, we end up abandoning our faith in Jesus since we can never be cleansed of our sins. Such people fall into a habit of despair and live hopelessly for the rest of their lives. Regardless of how well a person believes in God or how much a person repents, one cannot blot out all one’s sins with such actions. Or even if he makes an offering according to the sacrificial system God had established, it is useless. When people have no money or material goods, they are unable to make an offering. Sometimes, people cannot make an offering because of their laziness. Because people have their dignity, it is not easy for people to go to the Tabernacle daily to make an offering.
There is another instance when sinners are unable to make an offering. This is when they have no recollection of their sins so they do not think to offer their sacrifices. A person should make an offering to God, if he has committed a sin against God. However, he cannot do so if he forgets immediately after he has committed a sin. It doesn’t take much time for a person to commit another sin, even though he may be wondering, “When did I commit a sin?” For some people, it takes an hour. For others, it takes mere minutes. Once a person commits a new sin, he forgets his previous sins and it becomes hard to recall all of them accurately. Hence, it is a lie when a person says that he always offers the prayers of repentance appropriately. How could a person offer the prayers of repentance well when he forgets his sins so easily?
I was told that a fish has the short-term memory of three seconds. Tic tac, tic tac, tic tac. And its previous memories are all gone. For instance, let’s say a fish takes a bite of bait a fisherman has put on a hook and gets stuck. The fish shakes and loosens the hook at the edge of its mouth, escapes and falls back into the water. The fish is in pain and says, “Wow, it hurts. I almost died. It hurts. Whew, I barely survived.” Three seconds after thinking this, the fish swims toward another bait that is put into the water, although its mouth still hurts and it almost died an instant before.
“Wow, this one looks really delicious. It is strange. I’m not sure I have seen this one before.” Hence, the fish goes to the bait and pokes it a few times with its mouth. “Wow, it really looks delicious.” How delicious would this worm look to the fish while it was moving around the hook? To the fish, the worm appears to be saying, “Please eat me.” “Oh, it’s so cute. Where should I begin eating it? Should I start from its head, or should I eat the whole body all at once? It’s so cute and tasty looking.” After stroking it a few times, the fish takes the whole worm in its mouth. When it realizes what just happened, the fishing hook has gone deep into its throat this time. When it is still in pain, it is brought up above the water. The same person holds it in his hands, but the fish does not recognize him.
The memory of a fish does not last three seconds. Hence, even if it falls back into the water a third time, if you put another bait on the hook and quickly drop it into the same point, the same fish will bite it again. Although humans have better memories than these fish, because of their hypocrisy and forgetfulness and because they have committed so many sins, they forget the sins they have committed only moments ago. Since we commit so many sins, it becomes impossible to remember them all. If people break the Word of God so many times, they tend to only remember those sins that are the biggest. They edit episodes of their own sins and remember only the few very big ones.
Thus, it was impossible to grant meaningful remission of sin by offering sacrifice for their daily sins in the system that God had established for the people of Israel. Because it was impossible to fulfill God’s law of justice and His law of love by the daily offerings, God granted Israelites another sacrifice that could atone their sins for one year at once. This shows the love of God He granted us with His grace, because He knew our weaknesses. God granted people His grace of remission of a year’s worth of sins at once.
The Shadow of the Eternal Remission of Sin and Its Reality
It said in Leviticus 16:29, “This shall be a statute forever for you.” This statute refers to the rules God has established about how to offer the sacrifice of the Day of Atonement. As it said in Leviticus 16:29-31, “This shall be a statute forever for you: In the seventh month, on the tenth day of the month, you shall afflict your souls, and do no work at all, whether a native of your own country or a stranger who dwells among you. For on that day the priest shall make atonement for you, to cleanse you, that you may be clean from all your sins before the Lord. It is a Sabbath of solemn rest for you, and you shall afflict your souls. It is a statute forever.”
Here, “you” refers to the entire Israelites. The Israelites gained great comfort in their hearts on the tenth day of the seventh month of each year, when all one-year’s worth of their sins were blotted out. When the High Priest made an offering on behalf of the entire people of Israel, they received the remission of sin for the entire year. Hence, they gained great comfort in their hearts. The Israelites in the Old Testament times received the remission of sin in such a manner. It is similar to the way the spiritual Israelites of nowadays receive the remission of sin by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
The Sacrifice for the Remission of a Year’s Worth of Sins
Let’s look at how the people of the Old Testament times offered the sacrifice for the remission of a year’s worth of their sins. This sacrificial system of the Day of Atonement is written in Leviticus chapter 16. God is holy. Because God is holy, the High Priest who administers the offering on that day must receive his remission of sin before he can make the offering on behalf of the entire Israelites. Any person who is unholy cannot go before God. Hence, the High Priest had to receive the remission of sin first.
If we look at Leviticus 16:6, it says, “Aaron shall offer the bull as a sin offering, which is for himself, and made atonement for himself and for his house.” Aaron had to offer a male calf for his own sin offering. Before God, he had to first lay his hands on the head of the calf according to the sacrificial system. Then, in order to receive the remission of sin, he had to cut the throat of the sacrifice, draw its blood, put the blood on the horns of the altar, and then pour the rest of it on the ground. Then, the sacrifice was cut into pieces and burned before God. The death of the sacrifice was a symbol that Aaron should die as a sinner in the same manner. God accepted the death of the sacrifice in his stead and granted him the remission of sin. God had forgiven him for all his sins. God had delivered him from all his sins.
Aaron the High Priest offered a male calf first for himself and his household. On the tenth day of the seventh month, ordinary priests could not go into the Most Holy. Aaron alone ministered the sacrifices on that day.
Then, Aaron offered two goats for his people’s sake. Leviticus 16:7-9 says, “He shall take the two goats and present them before the Lord at the door of the tabernacle of meeting. Then Aaron shall cast lots for the two goats: one lot for the Lord and the other lot for the scapegoat. And Aaron shall bring the goat on which the Lord’s lot fell, and offer it as a sin offering.”
On the tenth day of the seventh month, Aaron and his household first received the remission of sin, and then he took two goats for the remission of a year’s worth of sins of his people. Two goats were needed. Aaron had to cast lots for the two goats: one lot for the Lord and the other lot for the scapegoat.
For the one offered to God, the High Priest, as the representative of all Israelites, had to lay his hand on the head of the first goat to transfer all their sins onto it so that the people of Israel would become without sin before God. Next, he drew the blood of the sacrifice and took it before the Ark of the Covenant inside the Most Holy, sprinkling its blood seven times so that the year’s worth of sins of all Israelites would be blotted out. Instead of the people of Israel dying in front of God, a goat, on which Aaron had transferred their sins, vicariously received the just judgments for their sins. In this way, the High Priest administered the offering of the Day of Atonement on behalf of the people of Israel.
We have to remind ourselves that a sacrifice as well as a High Priest was necessary in order for the Israelites to receive the remission of a year’s worth of sin. These two conditions were absolutely necessary. They also had to follow the sacrificial system established by God. If the sacrifice had blemishes, then all ceremony would have been in vain. The sacrifice had to be without blemish, the High Priest had to lay his hands on the sacrifice, and its blood had to be sprinkled after it was killed. This was the task of the High Priest. Hence, if it had not been for the High Priest, each one of the Israelites would not have been able to receive the remission of sin. Through the High Priest, the Israelites received the remission of a year’s worth of their sins. This is the mystery of our Lord. This was the plan of our Lord. So the Bible says,
“For unto us a Child is born,
Unto us a Son is given;
And the government will be upon His shoulder.
And His name will be called
Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6).
Aaron received the duty as the first High Priest. Moses the servant of God was appointed as the administrator of the Law, the one who would receive and deliver the Law to the people and declare the Word of God to the people. On the other hand, Aaron was appointed as the High Priest among many priests. Aaron also received from God the duty of making an offering on the tenth day of the seventh month. The authority of the High Priest Aaron came from God.
On the tenth day of the seventh month, lots were cast for two goats. One would be offered to God and the other would be the scapegoat. On that day, all sins of the Israelites were transferred onto these two goats by Aaron’s laying on of hands. Through the laying on of hands by the High Priest Aaron, the representative of the Israelites, God has established that all the sins of Israel in that year would be transferred onto the sacrifices.
We must first know the procedure of the offering on the Day of Atonement. Two goats were brought to be offered: One of them was offered before God. The other was offered outside the Tabernacle so that the people could see the High Priest transferring all the people’s sins by the laying of his hands on the goat. Then the people could gain assurance of the remission of sin.
The first goat was offered as follows: Aaron first laid his own hands on it to transfer the sins of the Israelites before God. Then, its blood was drawn by cutting its throat, and was sprinkled seven times on the mercy seat and before the mercy seat inside the Most Holy. The blood was sprinkled seven times on the Mercy Seat on the east side. Aaron might have said in his heart, “God! This goat, on which all sins of the Israelites were transferred, died on the behalf of the Israelites.”
The number 7 implies perfectness or completion as it is used in the Book of Revelation. In the Bible 5 is a number designating grace. 6 is the number that implies humanity. 4 always refers to trials and hardships. The number 2 is related to the witness. Such meanings are implied within these numbers in the Bible.
Thus, if we look in the Bible, the number 4 appears wherever there is trials or hardship. 40 days prayer in the wilderness, 40-day fasting prayer, and 40 years in the wilderness are such examples. When talking of grace, the number 5 is necessarily applied. There were five porches by a pool called Bethesda, where Jesus healed a certain man who had an infirmity thirty-eight years (John 5:1-5).
The number 2 applies to witnesses. In order to receive the remission of sin before God, God had to accept the evidence of the people’s offering, and also people needed to have in their hearts the assurance of their remission of sin before God. That is why two goats were needed on the Day of Atonement. One of the goats was taken before God and the other was taken outside the court of the Tabernacle so that the people could see Aaron’s hands on the goat. Only if the High Priest, whom God had appointed, laid his hands on the goat in front of all the people on the tenth day of the seventh month would people accept that all their sins for that year were transferred onto the scapegoat. Thus, God prepared two goats for the offering.
One of the two goats was offered to God inside the Tabernacle. Aaron would say with his hands on the goat’s head, “God! The people of Israel have gone against every statute of the Law that You have taught us. They have committed murder, adultery, and theft. They were jealous of one another and fought one another. They worshipped other gods, did not keep the Sabbath, and called Your Name in vain.” As he lifted the hands that were laid on the goat, all sins were transferred immediately.
All sins of the Israelites were transferred onto the sacrificial animal by the laying of the High Priest’s hands on its head. Then the High Priest cut the throat of the goat. He did so because the wage of sin is death. What did he do after they drew its blood by cutting the throat of the goat? The High Priest would then take its blood inside the Most Holy, where God resided. He would lift the curtains and enter the Most Holy and sprinkle the blood seven times on and before the east side of the Ark of the Covenant.
If the High Priest had forgotten to take the blood in there with him, he would have died. The reason why he would die if he did not take the blood or burning incense with him was because a person can approach God only after passing his sins onto a sacrifice for their judgments. Whoever desires to go before God must receive his judgments first. Otherwise, there is no way to approach the most holy God. Hence, even the High Priest had to take the blood of the sacrifice, which already received the judgments for his sins, as a sign of having been judged already and approach God with faith in the blood in order to live.
Now, one of the two goats was offered to God as a sacrifice. Let’s look at Leviticus 16:18-20. “And he shall go out to the altar that is before the Lord, and make atonement for it, and shall take some of the blood of the bull and some of the blood of the goat, and put it on the horns of the altar all around. Then he shall sprinkle some of the blood on it with his finger seven times, cleanse it, and consecrate it from the uncleanness of the children of Israel. And when he has made an end of atoning for the Holy Place, the tabernacle of meeting, and the altar, he shall bring the live goat.”
Aaron offered a perfect sacrifice to God with the first goat. Then, he had to bring the other live goat. What would happen to this goat? Let’s look at the next few verses.
“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 sent 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” (Leviticus 16:21-22).
Dear fellow believers, we humans need to receive the remission of sin on two different levels. First, we need to receive the remission of sin from God. Second, we need to receive the remission of the sin in our hearts. In other words, with the blood of the first sacrifice, the Israelites needed to receive the remission of sin by covering their sins recorded in the Book of Judgment in the Heavenly Kingdom. When God saw that blood, He granted them the remission of sin, by saying, “The people of Israel have received the judgments for all their sins. They have received the remission of sin. They have received the atonement for their sins. This sacrifice has died in their place after all their sins were transferred onto it.” We must first receive this remission of sin before God.
If we look at the Lord’s Prayer, it says, “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name, Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:9-10). What is God’s will in the phrase above, “Your will be done on earth as it is in Heaven”? It means the salvation through the gospel of the water and the Spirit. God really wants us to receive the remission of sins by believing that Jesus has taken all the sins we have committed and will commit in this world.
Let’s visit Leviticus 16:20-21 again. “And when he has made an end of atoning for the Holy Place, the tabernacle of meeting, and the altar, he shall bring the live goat. Aaron shall lay both his hands on the head of the living 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.”
Now, the sins recorded in Heaven were blotted out with the first goat, then, how did Aaron blot out the sins present in the hearts of the Israelites? God prepared another goat to be shown in front of the people, on which Aaron the High Priest laid his hands. Aaron laid his hands on the head of this second goat and prayed, “God! I transfer the sins of the Israelites. They have committed the sins of murder, adultery, theft, jealousy, and confrontation. They have served other gods, called Your name in vain, gave false testimony, did not keep the Sabbath holy, and offended each and every commandment of Your Law. All these sins I transfer onto this goat.” On behalf of the Israelites, the High Priest laid his hands on the goat to transfer all their yearly sins onto its head. Then, the goat was sent away into the wilderness by the hand of a suitable man. The scapegoat bore all sins of the Israelites and wandered around the vast wilderness, where it died still bearing the sins of all the Israelites.
By accepting that by this method all the sins of the Israelites were transferred once for all to the scapegoat, they knew in their hearts that they had received the remission of sin and the assurance of their salvation. The scapegoat on which all of their sins were transferred wandered deep into the wilderness. The Palestine area is a vast desert. The place the Israelites offered their first sacrifices according to the Tabernacle system was the wilderness of Sinai. There was not even a single leaf or grass growing in this area. The goat that was abandoned there eventually died there. Because the scapegoat died bearing the sins of the Israelites in their place, the Israelites received the remission of sin in their hearts after seeing with their own eyes how Aaron had made an offering for them on the tenth day of the seventh month. This also tells us the process by which we can receive our remission of sin.
The remission of sin for people has to be done in two different places. The sins under the names of the people in the Book of Judgment in the Kingdom of God as well as the sins in our hearts must be erased. These two parts equal the true remission of sin. Dear fellow believers, God has blotted out all our sins completely. God’s will has been completed in Heaven. What we have to do now is to receive the complete remission of sin in our souls by accepting that all our sins were already transferred onto the sacrificial offering. Accepting in our hearts this gospel Truth is what we need to do.
Hebrew 10:1 says, “For the law, having a shadow of the good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with these same sacrifices, which they offer continually year by year, make those who approach perfect.” It says that the sacrifice of the Day of Atonement of the Old Testament times was a shadow of the good things to come, that is, the eternal redemption fulfilled by Jesus Christ, our Savior.
Now, let’s look out how Jesus has fulfilled the remission of all our sins in the New Testament.
First of all, we have to know that Jesus Christ is the Son of God who came to this earth to deliver all humans. Matthew 1:21-25 states, “‘And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.’ So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying: ‘Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,’ which is translated, ‘God with us.’ Then Joseph, being aroused from sleep, did as the angel of the Lord commanded him and took to him his wife, and did not know her till she had brought forth her firstborn Son. And he called His name Jesus.”
Our Lord Jesus came to this world as the God Immanuel as prophesized in the Old Testament. The Hebrew word ‘Immanuel’ means ‘God with us.’ He came to this world to be with us. And His name was called Jesus. The name ‘Jesus’ means ‘the Savior.’ Our Lord came in the lowly flesh of man in spite of His perfect divinity to become our Savior in this world. He delivered us from all our sins by blotting out all our sins for us, His people, who were created in His image.
Let’s look at Matthew 3:13-17 to see what our Lord has done after coming to this world. “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’” (Matthew 3:13-17).
The word “Then” signifies the time when Jesus would fulfill all righteousness by coming as the heavenly High Priest. Why did Jesus Christ receive the baptism at the Jordan River? Our Lord came to this world to pay off all wages of sins in the world. That is why Jesus came to this world and received the baptism from John the Baptist. Jordan River is the river of death. The river runs rapidly toward the Dead Sea. Thus at the Jordan River, Jesus received the baptism from John the Baptist.
Then, John the Baptist said, “I need to be baptized by You, and are You coming to me?” (Matthew 3:14) Jesus responded, by saying, “Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness” (Matthew 3:15). Thus, the two High Priests came together and fulfilled all righteousness.
John the Baptist is the greatest among those born of a woman, as it is written in Matthew 11:11. Jesus, the representative of Heaven, was about to receive the baptism from John the Baptist, the representative all mankind. Jesus said, “You should baptize Me.” Then, John asked back, “How could I dare baptize You?”
Jesus said to him in a stern attitude, “Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness. It is right for us to fulfill all righteousness in this way. I mean, it is right for you to baptize Me, as it is right for Me to fulfill all righteousness by receiving the baptism” (Matthew 3:13-17).
The word ‘baptism’ means to wash away. Therefore, all our sins were washed away completely when Jesus received the baptism from John the Baptist. Just as all the sins of the people of Israel were washed away from their hearts by the laying on of Aaron’s hands on the scapegoat in the Old Testament.
Matthew 3:15 says that Jesus was baptized “to fulfill all righteousness.” What then is this righteousness? It is said that the righteousness of God is revealed in the gospel and it leads us from faith to faith (Romans 1:17). The righteousness of God could mean the justice of God. The rightful deed God granted us humans was His blotting out all our sins through His Son. This was the very baptism Jesus received.
How can we humans receive the righteousness from God? We can receive the righteousness of God by believing that all our sins have been transferred onto Jesus when He received the baptism from John the Baptist by means of laying on of hands. Baptism has the same meaning as the laying on of hands in the Old Testament. The righteousness of God is for us to become His children as well as to become the righteous. We receive our salvation from all sins by believing and accepting in our hearts that Jesus Christ took all our sins when He received the baptism from John the Baptist. This is the righteousness we receive from God.
“‘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” (Matthew 3:15-16).
When Jesus received the baptism, the Heavens were opened up and the Holy Spirit of God descended like a dove and a sound echoed from Heaven. “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” (Matthew 3:17). Who just received the baptism? He was Jesus Christ the Son of God. He was simultaneously the Son of God as well as the God who created us. “This is My Son, in whom I am well pleased.” God was well pleased with Jesus. God the Father had all our sins transferred onto Jesus, the Son of God. The Son of God obediently bore all our sins vicariously according to the will of the Father so that we may become the children of God.
The word “baptism” has the meaning of “to cleanse, to immerse, and to transfer.” We use the word baptism to also imply the immersion. We can receive the remission of sin by accepting the salvation, which was possible because all our sins were transferred onto Jesus when He received the baptism.
Also, we believe that all our sins, which were recorded in the Book of Judgment in the Kingdom of Heaven, were washed away by Jesus’ sacrifice on the Cross. All our sins that were recorded on the tablets of our hearts were also washed away completely when Jesus received the baptism. God’s will was fulfilled on earth as it has been done in Heaven (Matthew 6:10). Both of these acts were fulfilled.
Dear fellow believers, this Word is the pairing of the Old Testament and the New Testament. Where the two merge together is the baptism that Jesus received. People ask how could their sins be transferred when Jesus was baptized, but, my dear fellow believers, the word “baptism” also means ‘to pass over,’ because it is administered by the action of “laying on of hands.” Baptism also has the meanings of “immersion” and “burial.” If Jesus was to be buried, He had to first bear all our sins. Jesus could die vicariously for us only after all sins of the world were transferred onto Jesus. That is why Jesus received the baptism. At that moment, all our sins were transferred onto Jesus. Thus, the Bible defines His baptism as the fulfillment of all righteousness.
Furthermore, the baptism of Jesus is analogous to the transference of one year’s worth of sins of the Israelites in the Old Testament. Jesus received the baptism for our sake. The word “baptism” has the meanings of “to wash away, to bury, and to transfer.” If we look it up in the theological dictionary, it has even more meanings. Dear fellow believers, all our sins were transferred onto Jesus when He received the baptism. The sins of those who accept that all our sins were transferred onto Jesus by His baptism can be washed away all at once.
Dear fellow believers, I urge you to accept this Truth into your hearts. If you do not accept this Truth into your hearts, you will not be able to receive the remission of sin. If there is any other way by which all our sins are transferred other than the baptism of Jesus, try to receive your salvation by believing in that. However, in reality there is no other way. I admonish you to become children of God by receiving the salvation by accepting and believing the gospel of the baptism of Jesus.
My beloved fellow believers, this is the gospel of the water and the Spirit, which God has spoken to us. This is the Word of Truth. Believing in this is the core of the true faith. By the baptism our Lord received at the Jordan River, all our sins in our hearts were washed away completely. By the death of our Lord on the Cross, all the sins of the world that were recorded in the Book of Deeds in the Kingdom of Heaven were washed away completely. All sins we have committed in this world as well as the sins that the future generation will commit were completely washed away. By believing in Jesus, the Deliverer of our salvation, we have been rescued from all our sins. He has blotted out all our sins through His baptism (the laying on of hands), His blood of the Cross (judgment), and His death and resurrection.
Now, is there still any sin in your hearts? There is none. Are you still a sinner? No, you’re not. You have become one of the righteous.
John 1:29 says, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” The very next day after Jesus had received the baptism, John the Baptist testified, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29) The fact that Jesus took and bore all sins of the world is the Truth.
Here are some diagrams for your understanding:
Jesus took all the sins of the world by receiving the baptism at the Jordan River. “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29) He finished everything on the Cross by saying, “It is finished!” (John 19:30)
The sins, which you have committed from the moment you stepped out of your mother’s womb to when you were 10 years old, are the sins of the world. Do you accept the truth that all those sins were transferred unto Jesus when He received the baptism? Did those sins transfer to Jesus? Yes.
You have also committed many sins in your teens, from 11 to 19 years of age. Were these sins transferred onto the head of Jesus as well? Yes. The same is true for the sins you have committed in your twenties. Were all the sins you committed so far transferred onto the head of Jesus as well?
The sins you might commit in the future are also included in the sins of the world. Were those sins transferred onto Jesus as well? Yes, they were transferred. Dear fellow believers, do you believe that Jesus truly took all sins of the world by receiving the baptism? Yes, we believe. And do you believe that Jesus took care of all of the sins of the world and fulfilled all righteousness? Yes, we believe. With His baptism and bloodshed on the Cross, Jesus took care of all sins of the world and even all the sins that will be committed until the end of the world. Jesus fulfilled all of God’s righteousness by taking the sins of the world through His baptism and by receiving the judgments for those sins on the Cross.
Do you still have sin or not? Now, there is no longer any sin in this world. If you believe in the Word of God and the Truth that Jesus blotted out all sins of the world by His baptism and blood, then you have no sin. That is salvation. That is God’s gift of salvation. This is the gospel of the water and the Spirit, the very foundation of our faith. These are all the works of atonement that our Lord did to deliver us from all our sins through His baptism.
Dear fellow believers, do you now believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit? To look to Jesus and to accept the gospel of the water and the Spirit is to believe in the Word of Truth. This is the Word of being born again. Only when we accept this Word can we become born again. Dear fellow believers, do you want to be born again by the water and the Spirit? If so, believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. This is true faith and true spiritual life. Someone said, “The fake Jesus takes over the religious systems of the world.” Christianity as a religion is to believe in such a fake Jesus who has been created by so-called religious figures according to their own thoughts. That’s why most Christians today arbitrarily claim to have been saved even though they still have sin in their hearts and actually are outside of Christ. However, true faith is believing that Jesus has delivered me out of His love for me and according to His promise, and that He has completed the salvation on only His own accord. His salvation is nothing to do with our own deeds.
God blotted out all sins of the Israelites in the Old Testament times by the laying on of the hands of the High Priest on the sacrificial lamb. In the New Testament, Jesus took all of our sins by receiving the baptism from the High Priest John the Baptist. We, who live in the New Testament times, must accept and believe in the baptism of Jesus, which has made us sinless. Since there would be no transference of sins or consequent bloodshed without the baptism of Jesus, there can be no remission of sin without the baptism of Jesus. Jesus has wholly delivered us by taking all our sins with His baptism and by receiving the judgments for all our sins through His blood shed on the Cross. Therefore, we the believers of the gospel of the water and the Spirit will not receive the judgments for our sins.
We must believe that Jesus wholly took all sins of the world when He received the baptism and that He vicariously received the whole judgments for our sins on the Cross. We must accept into our hearts the gospel of the water and the Spirit, which Jesus prepared for us so that we could receive the salvation out of His love for us. We can avoid all judgments for our sins by accepting the Truth that our Lord has redeemed us completely in order to deliver us from all our sins and therefore all judgments. Sinners can now be made into the righteous by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit in their hearts and confessing with their lips, “Lord, I believe in You. Although I have no merit, I believe in Your baptism, death, and resurrection.” We receive our salvation when we gratefully accept the works of our Lord in our faith, looking up to Him. True faith is to believe in Him and to accept His righteous acts like this. This is the Word of being born again.
“And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32). Don’t we need to have some essential knowledge to carry out a certain important duty such as the mayor of a city? Don’t we need to know the Truth to receive our salvation? We will truly receive our salvation only if we have the biblical evidence that Jesus became our personal Lord and Savior by the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
The Truth shall make you free (John 8:32). Dear fellow believers, have you received the freedom? Do you accept this Truth? Do you believe this? Are you and I religionists or people living genuine spiritual lives? We are people who live spiritual lives in the faith in our Lord. Still, there are still many religionists in this world.
Those who have genuine faith in Jesus Christ have no sin. However, religionists cannot help but remain as sinners because of their deficiencies even though they believe in the same Jesus as us. You and I truly have no sin in our hearts. Truly, there is no sin in our hearts. However, the faith of the religionists is wrong because they believe that they have no sin if they are good in their religious lives, but they still have sin they nonetheless commit regardless of their faith in Jesus.
Hence, they say that they have to wash their sins by prayers of repentance whenever they sin. But, in actuality, such prayers of repentance cannot replace the gospel of the water and the Spirit, which has blotted out all sins for our lifetime. No doctrine of the worldly religions can substitute for the true gospel of the water and the Spirit, which has blotted out all sins of those who accept—even sins not yet committed. The prayers of repentance cannot replace Jesus, who washed away all our sins with His baptism and His blood on the Cross. We cannot cleanse even a single sin in our hearts by our prayers of repentance alone.
God’s gift of salvation is not given to us according to our deeds. The gift we have received is our salvation through the gospel of the water and the Spirit when we believed in Him. This is the spiritual life, the true faith, and true salvation. Believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit is being born again. Dear fellow believers, this is the Truth of being born again of water and the Spirit, which our Lord has told Nicodemus (John 3:5). Believing in two events from the Bible, Jesus’ baptism and His death on the Cross, is the very salvation and the only way of being born again.
Dear fellow believers, how were you washed from all your sins and made born again? You have received your salvation from all the sins of the world and all your personal sins, because you believed in the baptism Jesus received from John the Baptist and His blood on the Cross. Am I not right? If we truly have received the whole remission of sin by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, we must give thanks to God by our faith in the baptism and blood of Jesus.
Those who lead the true spiritual life believe in the very gospel Truth of the water and the Spirit and truly witness that gospel to others. All the righteous are the born again who have the biblical evidence of God’s salvation in them. Even if a person leads a spiritual life, unless that person has the three beliefs in the Holy Spirit, the water, and the blood, he is not yet born again. We receive our eternal salvation by believing in the baptism, by which our Lord took all our sins Himself, and the blood on the Cross.
Who is the very Person that has done these righteous acts? He is Jesus Christ who is not a mere human being but God. Can you dig it? Those, who believe in the Lord who fulfilled the gospel of the water and the Spirit, are the born again. If you believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, you do not just believe in any religion. Just as our Lord cleansed commander Naaman’s leprosy completely when he dipped his body in the Jordan River seven times, we believe that our Lord cleansed us of all our sins. People receive the whole remission of sin by believing in Jesus’ baptism and His blood on the Cross.
Dear fellow believers, I was born again when I believed in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Hence, I no longer live a religious life but a life of spiritual faith. I believe that God has blotted out all my sins and became my Savior, my Shepherd, and my true God because He loved me. Because we did not love God first but God loved us first by grace, God delivered us from all our sins by the gospel of the water and the Spirit. I have received my salvation from all my sins and the eternal life by believing in this.
My beloved fellow believers, do you also have the assurance of your eternal life? The baptism Jesus Christ received washed away all our sins and blotted them out.
Have you not been born again yet? Do not be afraid of those who have not been born again. All that you have to do is just believe in God, who will make you born again by the water and the Spirit. Look at the Truth of the water and the Spirit and believe in the Truth by which God delivered us from all our sins. And give thanks to God. Then, you will receive the eternal life and the everlasting blessings.
The Word in John 1:12-13 says, “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.”
And The Word in Hebrews 10:9-18 says, “Then He said, ‘Behold, I have come to do Your will, O God.’ He takes away the first that He may establish the second. By that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. And every priest stands ministering daily and offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God, from that time waiting till His enemies are made His footstool. For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified. But the Holy Spirit also witnesses to us; for after He had said before, ‘This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws into their hearts, and in their minds I will write them,’ then He adds, ‘Their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.’ Now where there is remission of these, there is no longer an offering for sin.”
Matthew 3:15 states, “For thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” A person is born again when he believes in the baptism Jesus received. Jesus has delivered all people completely by receiving the baptism to take all the sins of all humanity. Jesus has received all judgments for all our sins by being crucified on the Cross, where He shed His precious blood. This is the gospel of the water and the Spirit, which makes us born again. The faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit is the true faith and the Truth of being born again.