“Now the LORD had said to Abram:
‘Get out of your country,
From your family
And from your father’s house,
To a land that I will show you.
I will make you a great nation;
I will bless you And make your name great;
And you shall be a blessing.
I will bless those who bless you,
And I will curse him who curses you;
And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.’
So Abram departed as the LORD had spoken to him, and Lot went with him. And Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran.”
The weather has become quite chilly. It is supposed to reach freezing point by tomorrow morning. Let’s stay warm this winter. As the cold winter approaches, I keep thinking that the time for us to enter Heaven is getting that much closer. I don’t know about you, but I tend to think like this. When the season changes and winter arrives, I tend to think that the time of the Lord’s promise of His eminent return is about to happen. I blame myself for thinking like this because, let's be honest, there is still a lot of work to do. It seems that the change in seasons affects my emotions. When the leaves are green, I feel like working even harder for the Lord and I feel that I must finish these things before going to the Lord. These feelings well up inside my heart. However, when the seasons change, I am happy because the seasonal changes make me think of Heaven and then I can serve God with renewed energy and heart.
There Is a Lot of Work That You and I Must Still Do
This coming Friday, we will edit the first volume of the sermon series on the Gospel of Matthew. Every sermon on the Gospel of Matthew that has been translated and proofread will be arranged into a book to be printed next week. Next up will be a book of sermons on the First Epistle of John. Publishing such books is providing spiritual bread in due time to those who have believed in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. We will continue to provide spiritual bread in due time to people in this world. We cannot keep ourselves from spreading the gospel of the water and the Spirit when we know that it is the Truth.
Religious practitioners within Christianity believe that their sins are being remitted away incrementally by offering prayers of repentance. They say the reason for them believing in this doctrine is because the Bible says this in these two verses: “Forgive us our debts, As we forgive our debtors” (Matthew 6:12) in the Lord’s Prayer and “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us” in 1 John 1:8. They also think that because they believe in Jesus, God will overlook their sin even though it exists in them. There also are some people who know that the gospel of the water and the Spirit is true but do not place their full confidence in it. They remain in a suspended bubble of not having been wholly born again. For this reason I am determined to publish a book of sermons on the First Epistle of John, and so my coworkers and I are hard at work preparing this book. In the process, I am finding it difficult to share this Word from 1 John with our readers because of many fixed perspectives, and entirely different interpretations that have been drawn from this same passage of Scripture which was taught by pastors and others who were never born again by the water and the Spirit. Interpretations from Scripture differs greatly when we apply it to a righteous person, or to a sinner or to anyone who still is in confusion after believing in this true gospel. It is very difficult for someone like me who does not have great literary skills. But as far as the main content is concerned, it must be preached to every soul, and so I am pressing on regardless. When my books of sermons on Matthew and 1 John become available they will help people build stronger faith in God. And these books will also help those who have had contact with the gospel of the water and the Spirit through our literature ministry but do not have complete assurance, have some doubts, and also it challenges them to profess their faith to other people in this world. These sermon books will also assist our workers and servants of God to become bolder in their faith. And therefore, these books will be very helpful to our ministry.
There is a lot that you and I must still do. To proclaim the gospel of the water and the Spirit to the whole world is a calling for those of us who are truly born again. Satan has slandered the gospel of the water and the Spirit causing people not to believe. He has sowed many of his tares all over the world, and it is up to us to remove these tares and to do the work of feeding the souls of lost people with the pure and Holy Word just as it is. There is much work to do. You and I, when we eat something to sustain our bodies for this ministry, we should be eating wholesome foods and not junk food. It is prudent that we consume only vegetables and grains that have not been sprayed with pesticides which have been grown in good soils without pollution, and this also applies to the quality of meat and fish, so we must endeavor to feed ourselves and others with pure and wholesome foods. This is what you and I must do on this earth. I am not working alone here, but we are working together with you the workers of our Churches in Korea and with all our other fellow workers around the world. This is why I don’t think that I am striving all alone in this endeavor. I know that things are hard for you just as they are for me. However, I give thanks to God for giving us this work to do, and I really feel a sense of accomplishment in doing this work.
Those Who Have the Same Faith as Abraham’s Will Be Blessed as Abraham Was
I read a Scripture passage from Genesis chapter 12 to you today. This passage as you well know is an event that deals with how God took Abraham from his home country and told him to go to a land that He showed him. And also, God told Abraham that he would be the source of all blessings, and that in him all the families of the earth would be blessed.
You and I are serving the gospel together. When we look at our footprints and the works that God has done through us, and as I work together with you and as I take a look at what God has done among our fellow workers around the world, I am convinced that the Words and promises that God spoke to Abraham are for us as well. I can see how God is faithfully operating things. I believe this more and more as time passes. God makes us proclaim the gospel through literature ministry to the whole world, and He makes it so that we unite with one another in supporting this ministry. When I see how God has allowed both our male and female servants to do this work, I am always full of thanksgiving.
A long time ago, when I first preached a sermon in a certain meeting, I spoke on the topic of “What Kind of Faith Did Abraham Have?” I said that Abraham’s faith was a faith that made him the source of all blessings. God told Abraham, “I will bless those who bless you, And I will curse him who curses you; And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed” (Genesis 12:3) and this promise was actually fulfilled. What kind of faith did Abraham have? He had a faith that trusted in God’s Word 100%. He had a faith that was led by the Word of God.
Even in this present age and time, God has given you and me the same blessings that He gave Abraham. He has given us this blessed faith and He is fulfilling the promises of His blessings. God is also blessing those who believe in the gospel that we are preaching and He curses those who oppose us. God blesses those who bless us. And so, God has allowed us to preach this gospel to the whole world. When God looks at us whether to Abraham or anyone of us, we are all the same in His sight. And from a human standpoint, there probably is nothing for us to boast about. However, God has specially chosen those of us who have nothing to boast about in the flesh to be God’s people. This Abraham was the direct descendant of Noah and Shem, and they were people who knew, believed in and followed God. Abraham came from these ancestors and was the son of Terah. Abraham in turn passed down the faith of his ancestors Noah and Shem. And so because of this, God blessed the whole world through Abraham. God wanted to invite many to Heaven so He gave blessings and promises, and He entrusted you and me with the work that brings such blessings to people.
There is truly a lot that you and I can be thankful to God for. Is there anybody born into this world who has received as much blessings from God as we have? How many people do you think there are in this world who were called by God to do His righteous work, have been guaranteed against any danger or harm on this earth; guaranteed Heaven by Him and are entrusted with this worthwhile work that makes many people return to the path of righteousness. God meets with us, allows us to do His righteous works and through everything we do He provides salvation to lost souls through us. When we think of these spiritual things, we are truly thankful. We are truly thankful for the fact that God has given us these infinite blessings, and because of that, we grow more loyal to Him. There is nothing that we can complain to God about. We cannot help but pray without ceasing and give thanks to God in all things.
Since being born on this earth, whether I desired it or not, I came into contact with diverse religions including Confucianism and Buddhism. And then later I started to believe in Christianity and finally discovered the Truth of the gospel of the water and the Spirit in God’s Word. And since then I have continued to serve and proclaim this Truth of salvation. The Lord delivered me from the religions of this world. The Lord also saved me from the many pseudo-evangelicals and allowed me to serve God’s true Gospel of the water and the Spirit. God saves many people in this world through us, and He truly blesses everything that we desire to do. God also has given us many fellow workers. When I see these fellow workers and many saints, I find myself praising God. When I think of how God has given me an enormously large family in faith, my heart glows with joy. There is no one as rich as me. And, there is nobody as rich as all of you also.
God said that those who hunger and thirst for righteousness would be filled; and I really desired to do a righteous work. And now I am able to do this righteous work to the extent that my heart desires. It has come to the point where I can’t do more because I get worn out. I am so thankful that I am able to do so much righteous work. Even if you are to lose a lot of things after meeting the Lord, you still will be thankful to God. This is because in reality we have gained so much more than what we have lost. Is this true or not? It’s true. We have gained much more than what we have lost.
Where Are We Going after Being Called by God?
God has allowed us to believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit and has allowed us to go to Heaven. As a new dawn surely starts after the darkness is over, after we have led our lives faithfully on this earth we will go to Heaven. Isn’t this a great Truth? We have somewhere to go to. And we who are following the Lord after having met the gospel of the water and the Spirit, thanks to Him, have gained a lot more things than we have lost. Is everything we now have not from God? Your life and mine, and your possessions and mine are all God’s. We do not have any personal wealth or possessions.
Dear fellow believers, do you by chance think that I might have some possessions of my own? I don’t have any personal possessions. Spiritually, I am just a steward. There is nothing that I own other than my faith. I am a steward that is satisfied with three meals a day and a place to sleep with a roof over my head. I don’t feel as if a certain building needs to be in my name or a certain thing needs to be mine.
There was a time when we were leasing a church building for the Busan Church. A missionary working in Russia took part in our ministry, and because of him, instead of living in the sprawling area of Busan; we leased a building on the outskirts of this city. Because that missionary Kim had a house near this building, we leased it so that he would be able to come to church more conveniently. The Church of God takes great care of new saints. But sadly, all this man ever did was to lie to us and then he ran away. He would say things that were not beneficial to God’s work at all and he would keep lying, and so I rebuked him very strongly. I said to him, “The Church helped you out when you were in despair and preached the gospel to you, so is it not your spiritual father? Then shouldn’t you be led by the Church and work together with it with one spirit in unity?” I exhorted him with good words, but I also strongly rebuked him because I knew that he was scheming to con and trick us in his heart. Then all of a sudden, he informed us that he received a call from Russia and that he would no longer be able to work together with us.
You need to know what type of person he really was. For example, the gas gauge showed us that there was no gas in his rickety car. But he ignored this and just kept on driving. At last the engine of the car stalled out on an uphill road, and he had the audacity to ask us to push the car to the gas station. Would it not be possible that an accident is just waiting to happen? That incident describes who this person was like.
Those missionary sisters in Russia, who had been working with him for years, were the same type of people. We came to know them through this false missionary, but despite this, the Church of God was so good to them. Although they did not hold down jobs, we provided for them with about the same amount of money as if they were working with jobs in order that they could live by only doing gospel work. But these sisters never sent us a monthly report on their missionary activities. We stipulated clearly, “Please make a regular report on your missionary activities every month. This is your basic duty. But they were not providing these reports?” No matter how much we asked them over the phone they would not oblige. They were excellent in making requests, but when asked to reciprocate by sending in their monthly missionary activity reports, they failed to do this. They would beg, “Please buy us a computer, please lease a warehouse for the storage of the books and please get us a church building.” Because there were not many believers in their meeting, it would have been good enough to have worship services in just one of the large rooms of one of the members’ home. But they insisted on getting a large building. We could see that they could store several thousand of books in one of their houses with ease, but instead they insisted that they must have a large warehouse. Although they were not working, they wanted things that would make them look good. And so I decided to restrain them a little bit, but still supported them. Do you know what happened then? They soon quit our ministry after taking our money.
I gave them money for the translation and told them to translate our first book into Russian. They handed in a Russian translation of our first book, but it was a total disaster. They brought the translated material with them when they came to Korea to participate in our Discipleship Training Camp, and a few of our staff workers who were in charge of the literature got together for a final check. They checked page by page, and discovered that two-thirds were missing. But when approached they insisted that they had done a good job from their standpoint. And so, I told them that I could help them in doing God’s work, but it was not right for them to say that they had finished it when they really had not. I told them that this project was not ours but was God’s work; therefore it needed to be finished correctly and faithfully. We proofread it ourselves and there was no way that what they gave us could ever be published as a book. So we decided, “We are going to forget the money that was paid, and would throw that unfaithful translation away and do this whole translation again. We will not have it done in Russia anymore, but we will find someone in Korea and have them translate it. And so, we redid it just as we planned.
But when we went to see them off, an older co-worker said that she was a bit disappointed by what had happened. But can we truthfully to say that it’s okay or that they did a good job when two-thirds of the translation was not done? I can overlook something when someone does something wrong because of their lack of ability. But this was God’s work after all, so I could not overlook their unfaithfulness. We did not ask for the money back and we did not treat them badly?
Now we have a new coworker in Russia. He is not able to do a lot of work, but he unites with us with his whole heart and he is obedient. He does a good job. This is a real worker and a good worker. When asked to make a report, he does so and he sends all the receipts to us along with what kind of work he did. A born again person is like that. However, any non-born again people, that is, anyone who does not believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit asks only for money when they are asked to do something for the Lord. But, to the man or woman who is truly born again, God’s work comes first. And, after that, if needed, money can be either received or paid.
The reason I am mentioning this case is because I want you to know that those of us who are working together are truly greatly blessed as the Lord God said that He blessed those who blessed Abraham and cursed those who cursed him. We are now doing world missions through our literature ministry. That is why you and I are pulling our strengths and resources together and co-operating to concentrate on our literature ministry. My message today is for those of us who are doing this work. We are people who have truly been blessed with the same blessings that Abraham had received. As God blessed Abraham and gave him all the promises, and through him God accomplished His work; today God is continuing to do His work through you and me. God has called you and me to do His work, and He continues to do His work through us.
In order to do the work of proclaiming the gospel to the whole world, all of us, the male and female saints of God, must be united together in order to concentrate on this work. When we translate our books into each language of the world and place them on our homepage, the whole world will have access to it. When the sermon books on the Gospel of Matthew and the First Epistle of John are published, those who are confused about their faith will gain a clearer and sturdier faith. For example, when the non-born again are faced with the passage in 1 John that says, “If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us” (1 John 1:10), they are prone to think that they themselves are not without sin because they continue to commit sins. But they can now have the correct interpretation of this passage through our new publication.
I will apply the same notion to the coming publication on the Gospel of Matthew. The Lord’s Prayer in Matthew teaches us about our proper posture and faith when we offer prayers to God. In publishing this book, I am intending to give our readers the correct interpretation and understanding on Scripture passages from Matthew such as, “Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors.” Through our literature, people around the world can come to understand many things that they are not sure about and so this is a very good thing. And we feel good about publishing these books. We feel good and worthwhile because of these spiritual benefits. We do not of course take pride in having published many books. Our hearts are rather joyful when thinking of the work that will be done through these books that are being published. When I write a book, I try to make an effort so that its content and message offer great comfort to some and to others exhibit clarity in understanding the Truth. Although it can be rough around the edges, my heart is like this when I prepare any sermon book. This is very important, that is why I make this effort.
When we preach the Truth to people through our literature, they are set free by the Truth, give thanks to God, are called like Abraham was, become the source of blessings as Abraham was and do the work of God as Abraham did. It is very worthwhile and meaningful to have many people return to God. We are involved in doing the work of returning all of mankind back to God and we are to shine forth like the sun before others. The blessings that God poured out on Abraham have been bestowed upon you and me as well. You and I are continuing to do the work that Abraham did. Abraham believed in God’s Word and obeyed it. Because of that, God was pleased by what he did and His will was fulfilled. You and I are doing the very same thing. We are indeed following in Abraham’s footsteps.
Although our bodies are a bit tired, our hearts are still full of joy. I am happy and so are you. Our flesh may be exhausted in serving the gospel, but spiritually we are happy people. Isn’t this true? Our bodies may get tired. But, if we were to use our physical bodies for something else, would we feel this good inside? We feel good inside for we are doing this meaningful work. Whether we eat or drink, we are doing everything for the glory of God and so we feel this worth or value in our hearts. Whatever we do, it is to deliver others from sin, so we have joy in our lives. You and I are doing the work of giving life to others. This is why our bodies are tired, but despite this we are full of joy. Our bodies keep asking to do what the flesh desires, but since we cannot do this, our bodies get worn out. Nevertheless, we continually give thanks in sincerity to God in our spirits.
Because of the seasonal changes, I have this feeling that God’s Kingdom is closer now than we think. I feel that we are closer to the time when we will appear before God. I am not saying that we will pass away and go to be with the Lord soon, but I am simply saying that because of the change in seasons I am reminded of how we will be going to God when we are done with our tasks here on earth. These thoughts fill my mind. And so, although it is difficult and hard, I put together a sermon book on the First Epistle of John, had it translated, edited and published. When we distribute our books to people, those who already know the gospel will grow in the faith, and even among those who were righteous, there were a lot that were seized by Satan and were shaken, but they will be freed from his oppression. I am so happy for that, and spiritually I am singing for joy. Are you also pleased with all of this?
Let’s say I was doing something worthless instead of this. How difficult would it be for all of you if I only thought of building a large chapel or thought of making a lot of money by running a business? Since you heard this gospel, you would not be able to go anywhere else or to another church. You would be in a dilemma if I am intending to achieve some fleshly goals. But dear fellow believers, the work that we are doing right now is good for both you and me. I personally don’t do anything that is not worthwhile. I don’t do any type of work for my personal benefit. I am going to serve the gospel until I breathe my last breath, and when the Lord calls me home, I will go before Him immediately. I have no longings or ties to this earth. I know that it is the same with you. Do you think it’s a great deal that you are younger than I am? You and I are almost in a similar situation. The reason is that the Lord’s return is imminent. And that’s why I’m not envious of you at all.
Whatever situation I am in, all I think about is how to serve the gospel of the water and the Spirit more effectively. Everyday all that I think about is our literature ministry, electronic books and paper books, the preaching of the gospel, our domestic and overseas co-workers and the fund raising work. That’s the same for you too, right? Whatever I do, I’m going to do something that is profitable or advantageous for the proclamation of the gospel of the water and the Spirit until the day I die.
You and I are the light of the world. You and I, as God’s living grain of wheat, must be helpful to others, must assist people to get to Heaven and we must edify others rather than ourselves. God said that unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain. God has commanded you and me to be the light of this world, and He has made us to be His grain of wheat for the gospel. I give thanks to God for this. You and I are such people of God. And so we are a blessed people.
The reason why Abraham appears in the Bible and is remembered until now is because he truly trusted in and obeyed God’s Word and thus became the forefather of faith. For people who come after him, the Bible tells them to be blessed as Abraham was by believing in the Word of God just as it is. And, we have by faith become recipients of such blessings. I have shared with you from God’s Word on how He has blessed us spiritually. I thank God for this.