“‘Most assuredly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door, but climbs up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice; and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. Yet they will by no means follow a stranger, but will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.’ Jesus used this illustration, but they did not understand the things which He spoke to them. Then Jesus said to them again, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who ever came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.’”
I felt as if I was returning to the world of children as I saw the snow piled up outside. I wanted to run around because the whole world became white. My heart also feels as if it became as white as snow. Like the dogs that run around in joy when the snow falls, I feel like hopping around because the sight of the snow falling is so beautiful. This is how I feel although people who have to shovel the piled up snow may feel annoyed. There is one thing that comes to mind when snow falls and the whole world is colored white in snow: it is the fact that our Lord blots out all our sin clean like the snow.
The Discipleship Training Camp will begin tomorrow, Monday, until Friday morning and the weather forecasts say there will be a lot of snow falling tomorrow as well. I hope none of our fellow saints get hurt on their way to the Camp, and I want you to be especially careful not to get into an accident. Let’s pray to God for the safety during the Camp.
The world has changed much. The world has become a place where only the strong can survive. They say the law of the animal world is the ‘survival of the fittest’ and the strong prey upon the weak. The principle of the survival of the fittest that says only the strong survive and the weak become the prey of the strong has now gone beyond the animal world and the time has drawn near when this is realized in the human world as well. The time has come when the strong survive and rule over the weak and the weak become the prey of the strong and submit to the strong.
We live in such a world, but the fortunate thing is that we have met the Lord who is our Shepherd and received salvation at once by believing the gospel of the water and the Spirit that the Lord has given to us. Even if the whole world was destroyed now, we still have the heart of thanksgiving that we have met the Lord of the true salvation through the gospel of the water and the Spirit. We can have true rest in our hearts and have our hearts comforted like the fluffy cotton because we have met the Lord through the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Many worries and concerns that exist in this world always come before us, but we can receive salvation because we have in our hearts the Lord who is bigger than the universe, because the Lord rules over the universe, because our Lord will entrust the blessed and holy work upon us in the days to come, and because we believe in all this.
Do you live in this world with many worries? During those times, just look at the righteousness of the Lord who has become our Shepherd. Now you can become the true people of the Lord by receiving salvation from all sin by believing through the gospel of the water and the Spirit that the Lord has given to you and me. I want you to give thanks to God with this faith. I always have the thanksgiving for the fact that I have become one of God’s people through the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
I know that you have many difficulties living in this world. There are many things that make us feel gloomy when we look at this world. It is true that my heart becomes depressed when I look at this dark world. I hear the sounds of pain from here and there as the period of unlimited competition has arrived in this world. Our hearts ache even more because you and I also live in this world together. Even so, all the depressing, visionless, hopeless, painful, and destructive things have already disappeared from us because our Lord lives. We have already died together with Christ and we have also been resurrected together with Christ.
I want you to know that the new Kingdom will again come upon the born-again by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit when the end of the world truly comes and the heavenly world will unfold from that moment. Therefore, I hope that you will live with the faith of believing the gospel of the water and the Spirit and God’s promises. The righteous have nothing to be concerned about with the worldly matters. We must just be concerned whether or not we are doing all the work of the evangelizing the gospel of the water and the Spirit to the whole world.
Who Are the People That Have Received Blessings from God?
The Lord said in today’s Scripture passage, “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door, but climbs up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice; and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. Yet they will by no means follow a stranger, but will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers (John 10:1-5).”
Our Lord is the doorkeeper of the Kingdom of Heaven and our Shepherd as well. It says therefore the Lord’s sheep recognize the voice of the Lord and follow Him, but do not understand the voice of a stranger and do not follow him and run from him instead.
Do you have the faith that you have met the Lord by believing the gospel of the water and the Spirit and have become the Lord’s sheep by receiving salvation from all the sins of the world? People with such faith have become the blessed people and have received immensely great blessing from God. We know that the people who have received the blessing before the presence of God are the servants of God that keep the Lord’s sheep and preach the Word of the Lord.
All the sheep are the Shepherd’s and the Shepherd is the owner of the sheep. That’s why we have the heart of thanksgiving toward God. Those who do not know how to be thankful for the fact that our Lord has become our Shepherd and that we have become the Lord’s sheep are miserable people, but those who know how to be thankful to God are happy people. The people who know that they have become the Lord’s sheep congratulate themselves for this blessing and always live each day with the joy in the hope of going to the Kingdom of God.
The people who believe with the clear understanding that they have become the people of God have received the very special love of God and the grace of salvation among all the people in this world. They are the people who have received immensely great blessing of becoming the Lord’s people by believing the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Is it a small matter that we have become the people of the Lord by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit? Don’t you understand what a great privilege and the blessing of salvation you have received?
What would have happened if we did not become the Lord’s people? What would have happened if we did not become the Lord’s own sheep? I wonder if the hirelings would have eaten us up, had we not truly become the Lord’s sheep by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. There are many livestock and wild animals in the earth; and, even among livestock, some are raised by humans and some are not. Therefore, the sheep inside the sheepfold sometimes are killed by the attack of the wild sheep outside the fence. Like this, we do not know when and who would come out and eat you up or harm you if we did not become the Lord’s people. But the Lord’s people have even greater safety because they are in the Lord and they are always protected in the Lord. That’s why they are not harmed by the wolves and other wild animals. We are the secured and blessed people who live in the Lord’s Kingdom.
Do You Know That There Is the Domain of the Evil Spirit in This World?
To put it in simple terms, it’s asking whether you believe there are evil spirits or not. Devils of the evil spirits are the fallen angel and his followers that dwell in the earth that take control of people’s soul to eventually kill them. We must understand this fact. There are more instances of people being harassed and killed by the evil spirits that we cannot see than the times when we are killed by a visible thing. The people who have not become the people of the Lord because they have not believed in the gospel of the water and the Spirit are headed to the darkness of hell after receiving much pain from the evil spirit that they cannot see. There are so many people in this world that become like that. The people who are used by the evil spirits are driven to do the evil things, see illusions, utter deliriously, and become depressed. And they sometimes commit suicide when the depression becomes severe. The hosts of evil spirits that exist in this world are like the wolves that wander in search of their prey. There are many evil spirits in this world and they look for the soul that could become their prey like the way the howling lion searches for the prey. Anyone who is ensnared by the evil spirits will face death.
No matter how intellectual and perfect one is and how much he possesses, the person will be caught by Satan the Devil and become a slave of Satan if he doesn’t receive the remission of sins and become one of God’s people by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Actually, many people born to this world live under the authority of the evil spirits until they are put to death. Do you know how great a number of people live under Satan’s rule?
Satan the Devil gives much spiritual and physical pain to many people, make them suffer from the mental derangement, and also come into people’s heart and become their master. Therefore, the Devil makes the people suffer and have difficult time in their lives.
That we have received the cleansing of our sins and become the Lord’s people by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit from such dire situation is a great blessing. In other words, that we have become the Lord’s sheep is truly a great blessing. The Lord said, “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep.” The Lord is the doorkeeper of the sheep. That we have become the Lord’s sheep is such a great blessing as we live in this troubled world because the Lord always protects His sheep. We have received a great blessing because the Lord protects us spiritually and physically. The reason why the evil one cannot do anything with us even if he tries to do something terrible to us who are the sheep is because the Lord protects us in body and spirit. We can live a normal life because the Lord protects us and, therefore, we would be harmed if the Lord did not protect us.
It says the Lord is the Shepherd. When I look at the darkening world and I see Satan the Devil running rampant in this world, and the greater difficulties I face, the more thankful I feel in my heart for the fact that I have become the Lord’s people. I cannot help but be thankful to God as I see the pain and death that we would have exactly received if we did not become the Lord’s people. In these end times, Satan the Devil is trying to kill the people and the cults that are Satan’s servants are running wild trying to heal sickness and cast out demons and causing all kinds of commotion. How great is it that we have become the Lord’s people in such a world where evil people are causing such commotion? What a great blessing we have received? We who have become the Lord’s people among those born to this world are the people who have received immensely great blessing.
The single fact that we have become the Lord’s people while we live in this perilous world is such a great blessing we have received as a gift from God. That we have become the Lord’s people means that God protects us from the evil adversaries and I give thanks to the Lord for this. Just as you try to keep and take care of your things, God keeps and protects those who have become God’s people even while the Satan the Devil is trying to harm all the people in the world including us who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. We receive caring from the Lord as His people and we must believe with the understanding of what a great blessing this is. We must understand that the Lord has become your true Shepherd and the Savior. The people who truly believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit that the Lord has given are the Lord’s people and the Lord saved us from all our sins. And we have received the remission of all the sins of the heart by believing in the righteousness of the Lord and we have faith that we have become the Lord’s own because of that. Therefore, the people who have become the Lord’s people by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit are truly happy ones. They are the people who have received great blessing from God. In spite of everything, such people are the people who have received a great privilege in this world.
The Bible says that becoming His people is a great blessing. You must realize how great it is that the Lord has become our Shepherd! I give deepest thanks that words cannot express for the fact that our Lord has become our Shepherd and protects us. You and I might feel such amazing blessing in our hearts. Those who do not have the Lord as their Shepherd are outside the realm of the God’s special privilege. Do you believe that the Lord has truly become our Shepherd when we believed in the gospel of the water and the Spirit? Do you believe that the Lord has become your Savior?
The Lord came to this world to save you and me. The Lord took over all your sins and mine upon Him by receiving the baptism from John the Baptist. Do you believe that the Lord died on the Cross for the price of all those sins and became the true Savior who still lives until now by being resurrected in three days? Those who truly believe in this Truth are blessed. Those who have been born again through the gospel of the water and the Spirit are the blessed people.
Many people buy lottery tickets called “Lotto” in Korea. It’s not easy to win the first place in the lottery. They use the expression ‘a wondrous reversion of life’ when someone wins the first place in lotto, and many regard winning the lotto as a great fortune. The General Young Choi, the famous Korean general from long ago, said, “Look at a pot of gold as if it was a stone,” and I agree with this saying and, therefore, I don’t buy lotto tickets. But, anyway, the people who win the lotto are blessed people as they say in the world. But we must remember that we have received an even greater blessing than the lottery winners.
There is a lot of sand on the beach. Let’s say that we have been chosen among many people that number as many as the sandstones to receive the special grace of salvation through the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Then, we who believe in this gospel of the water and the Spirit are very fortunate people who have been chosen to receive the blessing and had their ‘wondrous reversion of life.’ This is an amazing blessing that cannot be exchanged for any amount of money.
This gospel of salvation that manifested in our hearts by the gospel of the water and the Spirit becomes anew even with the passing of time. Those who reject the blessing that God gives will receive God’s curse even more and suffer much more pain while living in this world, and they will continue living in that state. But as the time passes, we will come to know even more how great the blessing that we have received is. That’s why God says, “Those who are wise shall shine
Like the brightness of the firmament,
And those who turn many to righteousness
Like the stars forever and ever” (Daniel 12:3). We live an even more righteous life that shines brightly in this world by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Such life is an astonishingly blessed life. Those who turn many to the righteousness will shine like the brightness of the firmament. You and I have received the amazing blessing of becoming the Lord’s lambs and the Lord becoming our Shepherd by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
As the pearl hidden in the mud comes into the world and illuminate brightly in display, the blessing that we have received from God by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit manifest even greater value when the world is in greater trouble. As the pearl illuminates its brilliant color even more brightly in the mud, the righteous shine even more while they preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit among the sinners living in this darkening world. The righteous people have become the being that deliver the Truth of light as the light of salvation.
Meet the people who have not been born again. Does your life truly shine in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, or not? That you are not same as those people will be revealed clearly. The righteous really experience that the light in them shines more brightly while they live in this gloomy world. You are happy because you always live in God’s Church and share fellowship among the fellow born-again believers. And you should be even more thankful because you are doing God’s work. Doesn’t the light of the gospel of the water and the Spirit that you have seem to illuminate even more? The gospel of salvation that you have is much greater light than you can imagine. Soon, the people in the world will know how brightly we shine as you work in the world that does not know how to be born again.
It is truly a blessing that we have become the Lord’s sheep by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. The answer to the question “Whose sheep are we?” determines our fate, and all our conditions become guaranteed by the Lord because we are His sheep.
You would have been eaten up at once by the evil ones if you belonged to them. But you do not get eaten up and you instead grow well with proper care when you belong to the truly good One, Jesus Christ. The Good Shepherd knows His sheep and nurtures them properly and makes them receive even more bountiful life. Therefore the good Shepherd of this world will care for his sheep by doing his best and the Good Shepherd of the Kingdom of Heaven takes the born-again people as His own sheep and cares for them eternally and makes them live happily forever. We should know that the matter of ‘whose sheep do we become’ is really important.
You and I must believe that the Lord is our Shepherd and we must live with such faith in this world. Such faith results in great things. You will not be afraid of anything while living in this world if you have this faith. Whenever fear creeps into your heart, you must reconfirm the faith that the Lord is your Shepherd and make the faith firm that you are His sheep. You can overcome any problem if you have such faith. We can live in this world with His love, His blessings, and His grace.
Therefore, we must first have the faith that we are His sheep. Who do you belong to? You are now Jesus Christ’s. Who is Jesus Christ? He is the one and the only Savior. He is the Lord and the eternally Good Shepherd who saved us from sin through the gospel of the water and the Spirit; He created the universe, rules and controls the eternal world. It means that we belong to such Lord. We can listen to the Lord’s voice and follow the Lord from the moment that we understand the fact that we belong to the Lord and attain the faith in Him. We can follow the Lord with the faith of believing in the Lord.
We have lived with our own strength until now. Until now we have lived with our own fleshly means and methods and lived according to the direction we thought was right. But now we can listen to His voice and follow Him according to His directions after attaining the faith as His own. It is written that the sheep understand His voice. And the special characteristic of those who recognize the Shepherd is that they do not respond to the voice of others. But those who are not the Lord’s sheep run away and do not follow after Him because they cannot recognize the Lord’s voice.
We follow the Lord wherever He leads us as we realize that the Lord is our Shepherd and our Savior. Why? It’s because we have the faith in us that we are His. A shepherd buys and sells sheep according to his need in this world, but the sheep in the Kingdom of God belong to the Shepherd eternally. The Shepherd is one with the sheep though He is also the owner of the sheep. We become one with Him when we believe in the fact that we are His. I don’t want you to forget the fact that you are His own if you have received the remission of sins by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. You belonged to the world and your family in the past, but you become His own after being born again through the water and the Spirit. You and I become His and live as His sheep and leave this world as His own.
All the Word you read today is talking about this. People who know that they are His sheep are very happy people and they are people who can follow His voice. And you will never be destroyed if you follow His voice. Instead, you will experience the new and wonderful world that you have never experienced before.
Do you believe in the Word of God that I have shared with you now? I also live with the belief that I am called to belong to Christ. I do not care much about what people say. What do the people of the world have to do with me? I am the Lord’s own and therefore I don’t have to be swayed by them. The Lord is my Shepherd. How can they match up against the Lord? I live with such faith and I know that you also must live with such faith.
We are one with the Lord. The Lord saved us by giving us His life and we have received salvation by believing in this Truth. We are one with the Lord just like the child born from a mother’s womb is one with the mother because the baby is her other self. Everything will turn out great only if we have believed that we have become Christ’s own by becoming born again through the water and the Spirit. It is all because we have indeed become His own. But it’s impossible for a person who has not become His own to be one with Christ: they cannot be led by the Lord; and they instead run away when the Lord tries to lead them.
It is written that the Lord is the doorkeeper. The Lord is the doorkeeper of the Kingdom of Heaven. And the Lord is the gatekeeper of this Church. You and I can enter the Kingdom of God only through the Lord. We become the plundering wolves when we do not go into the Kingdom of God through the Lord. We are robbers, thieves, and evildoers deserving of death if we do not go into the Kingdom of God through the faith of believing the fact that the Lord has become our Savior by coming to this world and receiving the baptism, dying on the Cross and being resurrected from the death. And such people cannot enter the Kingdom of God and live there.
We must have the faith that the Lord is the doorkeeper of the Kingdom of Heaven. The Lord is not just any shepherd of the sheep, but He is the good and gracious Shepherd. He said those who do not enter through the door are the plundering wolves and the hirelings that kill the sheep, steal from the sheep, and destroy the sheep. If a thief comes into your home with a sword, what is he going to do? He is going to kill and plunder you of your possessions.
You cannot follow the Lord unless you are His sheep. It is difficult to follow Him if you don’t understand the fact that you are His. Only those who have been born again by the Lord can recognize and follow the voice of the Lord who is the Shepherd; but those who have the separated mind from the Lord, that is, those who do not commit themselves to the Lord do not know the Lord’s voice for they belong to another one. Those who are not God’s people cannot follow God. And they cannot receive the blessing, either. Only those who have clearly been born again through the Lord can become His own and receive His caring and blessing.
I want you and me to live with such faith. Such faith is a great faith. This is a realistic point that decides whether or not you will be led by the Lord and be blessed by receiving salvation in this world. Do you have the faith that assures that you have become Christ’s own? Have the faith that you have become Jesus Christ’s own.
If you really have become the Lord’s own, would the Lord care for you or would He not? The Lord loves you and cares for you. And would the Lord protect you, or would He not protect you? The Lord protects you. But the Lord cannot protect you even if the Devil tried to kill you if you are not the Lord’s own. Satan the Devil will then steal all that you have through the people who have not been born again. And he will destroy you. The Devil definitely does not leave you alone if you have not become the Lord’s own. But you can be protected if you have become the Lord’s own, because the Lord protects you from then on.
That we have been born again through the gospel of the water and the Spirit is such a great blessing. The Lord said again in the Gospel of John chapter 10, “To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice; and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. Yet they will by no means follow a stranger, but will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers” (John 10:3-5). All these Words in the Scriptures speak about the great consequence that resulted from whether or not we have received salvation by believing the gospel of the water and the Spirit, now that the Lord has saved us perfectly.
I want you be confirmed in that faith if you have truly received salvation through the gospel of the water and the Spirit. If you have such faith, I don’t want you to think, “Oh, well. I can’t see much difference between receiving salvation and not receiving it,” and consider it lightly. If you think so, you can be ensnared and taken away by Satan the Devil. You must learn about the faith and cultivate the foundation with clarity and certainty based on the definite Word in our spiritual walk.
I wanted to talk about this at this time. Those who believe in the Truth that the Lord came to this world and saved us through the water and the Spirit have become His own and they live in His caring and guidance. I want you to have faith that those who know this and have become His own people receive the blessing if they believe in Him and follow His voice and that the Lord cares for His people no matter how arduous this world becomes. And I want you to follow the Lord to the end.
I want to tell you that you need to follow the Lord with the faith that is built on the rock. For example, let’s say there was a person who had a diamond but doubts everyday whether it is a genuine jewelry or not. Then someone can steal it in a split second while he is throwing it on the ground and picking it up again to check if it’s real. I don’t want you to become people who cannot keep the faith because you don’t know how precious the gospel of the water and the Spirit is. The meaning of the life also disappears the moment you lose the Truth.
God’s Word tells us that King Herod commanded his soldiers to kill all the children under the age of two in the vicinity of Bethlehem. What does that say? It says that Satan the Devil can slaughter the spiritually young believers while their faith is still wavering when it’s been less than two years since they received the remission of sins. You are doing fine because you gather together in the Church and partake in every worship service and actually listen to the Word spoken from the Scriptures; but otherwise Satan the Devil would take you away. If this were not the God’s Church, what would they say to you? They would tell you to bring money. If you say that you don’t have money, they would tell you to bring the installment savings account. There are so many churches that have built 10 million dollar church buildings with such coercive donations. But the righteous shepherds never spend up 10 million dollars for a church building. He may spend 10 million dollars for the salvation of even one person’s soul, but he would never put that much money up for a building.
It says that the thief comes to take away your belongings and to kill, and the good Shepherd comes to make the sheep attain life and make the sheep enjoy a more bountiful life. We must follow with correct understanding of what the true Church is like and what the truly good Shepherd is like. There is no other good Shepherd except Jesus Christ. Everyone except those who follow Him and believe in His Word is a thief and a swindler.
There are so many hirelings who only demand money from their congregation without shame in these difficult times. Wouldn’t the hired workers groom themselves and come with a polished look when they try to swindle? They grease their hair, wear brand new shirts and suit, wear slick shoes that even a fly would slide down, and drive a luxurious car that costs nearly 100,000 dollars, but pretend to be so humble. When such swindlers meet a new believer, they say in a pious voice, “I wish the blessing of God for you.” At first they are like that. But soon they say, “Bring your money. You don’t have money? You have a job. Open the installment savings account and bring the account to me, and you make the installment every month.” They are too much like robberies. Do you think this is a gross exaggeration? No, it is the reality of most churches in Korea. They seem like they are competing with each other in constructing mammoth church buildings. That’s why all the believers are in debt. This is true. Some of you who still don’t believe this, would you believe it after you have been exploited thoroughly? There really are so many outlandishly deceitful shepherds in this world. The blind sheep are prone to follow the false shepherd and be robbed because the sheep do not know the voice of their real Master.
Where in the world is another good shepherd like the Lord? Who else but the Lord would come to this world clothed in human flesh? Who else but the Lord would come and take all the sins you and I commit upon Himself by receiving the baptism from John the Baptist? Is there anyone else who would carry the sins of the world and die on the Cross for us? Is there anyone who could be resurrected after dying for us? Who else but the Lord would do this?
The Lord is the most righteous Shepherd because only the Lord did this work. It says that the sheep follow Him because they know His voice. Those who have been born again by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit have become the Lord’s sheep, and the Lord who is the righteous Shepherd feeds the sheep and pours down the grace, blessing, and the glory. What a great blessing it is! You believe the Lord and God the Father when we believe the gospel of the water and the Spirit and follow the Lord. Believing the Lord is the proper door to the path of blessing. I want you and me to believe the Lord who is the true door to Heaven and the true way to salvation; I want you to believe in the righteous Shepherd and be born again through the water and the Spirit and become the blessed sheep that are led by the Lord.
Just as the snow comes down and covers the whole world in white, the Lord blotted out all our sins clean. The Lord came to the Jordan River, took all the sins of the world upon Himself by receiving the baptism, received the judgment on the Cross, shed His blood and died in our place, and was resurrected from death in three days, and thus became our Savior. I am so thankful when I think of the fact that the Lord made us His people who are without sin, perfect, and cleaner and whiter than the cleanest snow. I am so thankful when I think of the fact that we have become the Lord’s people and I want us to follow His voice and preach His will all over the world. I have true thankfulness to Him in my heart.
Let us all follow the Lord with such faith in this life.