“‘If you love Me, keep My commandments. And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever—the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you. A little while longer and the world will see Me no more, but you will see Me. Because I live, you will live also. At that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you. He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.’ Judas (not Iscariot) said to Him, ‘Lord, how is it that You will manifest Yourself to us, and not to the world?’ Jesus answered and said to him, ‘If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him. He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine but the Father’s who sent Me. These things I have spoken to you while being present with you. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you. Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. You have heard Me say to you, ‘I am going away and coming back to you.’ If you loved Me, you would rejoice because I said, ‘I am going to the Father,’ for My Father is greater than I. And now I have told you before it comes, that when it does come to pass, you may believe. I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming, and he has nothing in Me. But that the world may know that I love the Father, and as the Father gave Me commandment, so I do. Arise, let us go from here.’”
What It Means to Keep the Lord’s Commandments
This evening I would like to continue on from yesterday and share the Word from John 14:15-31, which the Lord spoke to His disciples on this earth as though He were giving His last will.
In this passage our Lord said, “If you love Me, keep My commandments” (John 14:15). The Lord’s commandments here instruct us to never have any other gods before Him, love God the most and love each other as well. This reminds us of what the Lord said in Exodus 20:3: “You shall have no other gods before Me.” As this passage says, if we really love the Lord, then we should have no other gods but the Lord, and we should become the disciples that love the Lord more than anything else in this world. Whoever loves the Lord truthfully is compelled to preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit all over the world which is entrusted by the Lord, and to labor to save everyone’s soul. This is a natural outcome for those who love the Lord more than anything else in this world, something that comes about even without them wishing for it.
If we really love the Lord, then it’s impossible for us not to keep the Lord’s commandment to love our neighbors. That’s because loving our neighbors as we love ourselves is the very evidence proving that we love the Lord. God’s commandments require us to love God the most, carry out the work He has entrusted to us, and love others as we love ourselves. Whoever loves the Lord truthfully is bound to love others as he loves himself. Although many changes occur when one is saved, the most important change is that whoever is saved comes to love the Lord and serve Him, and preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit the Lord has given.
If anyone does not preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit even if he claims to believe in the Lord and love Him, this person’s faith is flawed. If you love the Lord, then it’s only a matter of course that you should believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit and preach this love of the Truth (2 Thessalonians 2:10). The Lord’s commandment to love God and love our neighbors is forever unchanging, whether before or after we were truly born again by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. The Lord said to not only His disciples but also all the born-again saints that if they would love the Lord, they must keep His commandments. Because you and I love God’s gospel according to His Word, we have wholly become the Lord’s disciples. You can tell whether your love for the Lord is true or not just by looking at how faithfully you believe in and serve the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
What the Lord Said in Today’s Scripture Passage Is Thoroughly Applicable to Us
We can see from today’s Scripture passage that whoever loves the Lord and keeps His commandments completely cannot help but believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, and love this gospel and serve it. Although we are all weak and lacking, (those of us who love the Lord more than anything else in this world), are now able to devote our lives to serving the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
The Lord said in John 14:16-17: “And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever—the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.” When the Lord said this, He knew that He would soon leave the disciples behind on this earth and ascend back to Heaven. He was fully cognizant of what was to come, that He would die on the Cross, rise from the dead, and ascend to Heaven to sit at the right hand of the throne of God the Father. Therefore, what the Lord said here in John chapter 14 is akin to His last will, which He personally left to His disciples before ascending to Heaven.
The Lord said here that He would send the Holy Spirit for the disciples left on this earth and us as well, as it’s written: “He [God the Father] will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever” (John 14:16). As this passage says, Jesus promised to send the Holy Spirit to all His believers to abide with them forever, so that the Holy Spirit would dwell in the hearts of the people of God and they would be helped by Him. And after Jesus ascended to Heaven after His crucifixion and resurrection, on the Day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit descended on the disciples like fire just as Jesus had promised. This is true for us living in this present age as well. To you and me also, the Lord sent the Holy Spirit and fulfilled His promised Word completely.
Regarding the Holy Spirit our Lord said, “The Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him” (John 14:17). But for us, who have received the remission of sins and reached our salvation through the gospel of the water and the Spirit, this Holy Spirit has actually come into our hearts as God’s gift for us. The Lord said here that the Holy Spirit does not descend on everyone in this world, but only on those who have been truly born again. And as we have been born again through the gospel of the water and the Spirit, we can feel even at this very moment that the Holy Spirit is indeed with us and dwells in us forever just as the Lord said.
The Lord promised to send the Holy Spirit to His disciples who were left behind and to us as well. And according to this promise, He has sent the Holy Spirit into the hearts of all of us who have received the remission of sins by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. There is no question that the Holy Spirit now dwells in us. Although the people of this world do not recognize this Holy Spirit, He clearly exists in the hearts of everyone who believes in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. We have received the remission of sins into our hearts by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, and we can testify at all times with the Word of God and our conscience that the Holy Spirit dwells in us. As the Holy Spirit teaches us, leads us and abides with us, whenever we hear the Word of God, the Spirit enables us to understand the Word, know the will of God, and realize how Satan tries to deceive us.
What about you then? Do you also believe that the Holy Spirit is in your heart? You can realize this if you have truly received the remission of sins into your heart by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. You can realize that you are led by the Holy Spirit to lead your life of faith and serve the Lord under His guidance. The Bible states, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:38). The Lord promised to give the Holy Spirit to whoever receives the remission of sins, and He has fulfilled this promise for all who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
My fellow believers, before bearing the condemnation of the Cross, our Lord clearly said, “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you” (John 14:18). After the Lord ascended to Heaven, the disciples of Jesus faced untold sufferings under heavy persecution and were eventually martyred, but they all ascended to the Kingdom of God. Just as the Lord said in His last will, He did not abandon His disciples, but He said that He would come back to them at the last minute. This promise applies equally to all of us living in this present age. Whenever I read this passage, I think to myself, “Although we are living in this world, the Lord will not leave us here but come back to us. What should we be doing until then? The Lord promised us that when the Great Tribulation is upon us, He would not leave us as orphans but come back to us. What then is it that we should work for until we meet the Lord again?”
Of course, as a human being, I also have fears when I think about the natural disasters that will strike in the end times and the cruel and nefarious things Satan will instigate. However, this fear is soon dissipated because the Lord is with me here in my heart. We cannot allow ourselves to be gripped by such fear, only to run away and hide cowardly until we receive the Lord. The Lord clearly promised us that He would not leave us as orphans but will come back to us. Therefore, if it is our unavoidable destiny to be martyred in the end times, then we ought to believe in this promised Word, diligently serve the Lord’s gospel of the water and the Spirit, finish spreading the gospel all across the world, and then go to the Lord without any shame. The Lord said that He will not abandon us but will come back to take us away without fail.
What then should we do until we meet the Lord of Truth? Should we be solely preoccupied with guarding our own interests until we meet the Lord face to face? Or should we carry out the Lord’s work diligently and meet Him without any shame when He calls us back? You may have many conflicting thoughts, but as far as I am concerned, my sole desire is to serve the Lord united with all our saints and then meet my Savior. Just as the Lord said in John 14:15, “If you love Me, keep My commandments,” as those who love the Lord, you and I must serve the gospel of the water and the Spirit unto death and carry out the Lord’s work until the day we see Him face to face. If you don’t serve the Lord’s gospel even as you say that you love Him, your faith then is most certainly flawed. You must latch onto this that if you really believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, then it is only fitting that you should work diligently for the spreading of the Lord’s gospel.
The Lord Will Come Again Looking for the Righteous on the Last Day
The Lord promised the disciples that He would come back to them on the last day, and He will also come back to us just as He promised. Let’s think about how we ought to receive the Lord at that time. Just after I received the remission of my sins by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, I mulled over the following question deeply: “The Lord will come back to take me away for sure, but what should I have done when I meet Him?” At that time, I resolved myself firmly to carry out the work entrusted to me by the Lord until the day I meet Him. I had decided to keep the Lord’s commandments and spread the gospel of the water and the Spirit all over the world.
According to our new determination we are now working tirelessly to spread the gospel of the water and the Spirit. As the Lord continues to bless us, many people have shown interest in our ministry of spreading the gospel of the water and the Spirit, and we have over 18,000 visitors to our website every day. And furthermore we also have many people requesting our books through the website. We’ve even had some people changing their names or addresses deliberately to order more books than our policy allows, and because this practice is too overwhelming to our limited financial resources, we’ve had to work out a way to weed out such repeat orders, or otherwise we would have run out of funding in no time. Of course, I wish we could send all the books that people request from us without any financial concerns, even if just one person orders a hundred or even 5,000 books. There were many times when I wished we could accommodate every order without imposing any restrictions on the number of books ordered. Although I sincerely wish we could send out as many books as people want and spread the gospel of the water and the Spirit in abundance all across the world, we can’t do this because we still don’t have enough financial resources. But I also believe that our Lord will solve this problem for us.
My fellow believers, as the Lord promised not to abandon us but to come back and take us away, we should all continue to preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit diligently until the day we meet the Lord. Whenever I think about the Lord return on the last day and taking us into His Kingdom to live there forever, I have nothing but gratitude. So, as those who believe in the Lord and love Him, we believe that it is our inherent duty to keep His commandments deserving of the blessings that He will give us in the future.
As you know, not every love is equal. Depending on what you love the most, you are bound to cherish it more. As those who love the Lord more than anything else in the world, we keep the Lord’s commandments and serve His gospel, and we devote ourselves to this Great Commission. Of course, those who have not been born again find it difficult to understand why we love and follow the Lord alone. But our Lord told us clearly, “If you love Me, keep My commandments” (John 14:15). It is then only a matter of course for all us who believe in the Lord and love Him to keep His commandments in our lives. Because we love the Lord, we are compelled to carry out ever more of His work and preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit even more diligently. This is the solemn duty and responsibility given to every believer.
When will the Lord come to take us away? He will return on the day that we finish spreading the gospel of the water and the Spirit throughout the whole world in obedience to His commandments—that is, on the day the Lord promised to return (Matthew 24:14, 29-31). When this planet earth is struck by unprecedented famines and natural disasters, and the Antichrist appears and the believers are martyred, the Lord will come back to us to take us away. We will then give all our thanks to this Lord returning to take us away, for what He had said to His disciples—“I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you” (John 14:18)—would have been fulfilled for you and me - just as it was fulfilled to the disciples.
Our Lord said in John 14:19, “A little while longer and the world will see Me no more, but you will see Me. Because I live, you will live also.” This passage means that in a short while the Lord would die on the Cross and ascend to Heaven, and although the people of the world would no longer see Jesus Christ after that, His believers would continue to see Him on account of their faith. It is also the Lord’s promise that just as He would rise from the dead, our souls would also be brought back to life thanks to our faith in the Lord’s righteousness, and that He would also resurrect our dead bodies on the last day. These things were actually fulfilled to the disciples of Jesus, and I am absolutely certain that they will be fulfilled to us as well
The Lord said, “At that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you” (John 14:20). Put differently, Jesus Christ is saying here that we will know that He is in God the Father, we are in the Lord, and the Lord is in us. This Word was given not only to the disciples of Jesus but also to all of us who believe in the Lord. Do you then know that the Lord is now alive in our hearts, just as He said here? Indeed, Jesus Christ dwells in God the Father, we dwell in Jesus Christ, and Jesus Christ also dwells in us. The Lord dwells in us as the Holy Spirit, Jesus Christ abides in God the Father, and we abide in the Lord. Like this, we have become one with the Lord thanks to His Word and His love. On account of our faith in the Lord, we have become God’s own children.
The people of this world can never realize such a blessed truth. Even worse, they do not even wish to know it. This is the Lord’s blessing and truth that can be enjoyed and grasped only by those who love the Lord, keep His commandments, and are born again through the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
The Lord says further in John 14:21, “He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.”
What are the Lord’s commandments mentioned here? I’ve mentioned it before, the Scriptures command us not to have any other gods before the true God and love the Lord God Almighty. This God, the Lord of salvation whom we love the most, has blotted out all our sins with the gospel of the water and the Spirit, and because we love Him, we are serving the gospel faithfully in our lives and preaching it to every living soul. Always remembering these commandments of the Lord to love God and love man, all of us must practice them in our everyday lives.
My fellow believers, the Lord said clearly, “He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me.” One of the Lord’s commandments is that we should have no other gods before the Lord, but are you really living by this commandment? By any chance, do you not have other gods before the Lord? If not, do you really love the Lord the most? Indeed, all of us love the Lord the most. It’s because we love the Lord the most that we have been able to follow and serve Him to the extent that we have, despite our many shortcomings. Had we not loved the Lord, we would have loved something else in the world. Put differently, if we had loved the world, we would have never been able to serve the Lord. It’s because we love the Lord and keep His commandments that it was possible for us to become righteous people and carry out the Lord’s work.
Therefore, it makes no sense for anyone to claim to love the Lord and yet fail to carry out His work. If anyone feels burdened by the Lord’s work rather than being delighted by it even while professing loudly to love Him, then it can only mean that this person does not really love the Lord. Just as the Word of the Lord commands us, all of us must have no other gods before Him, realizing beyond any doubt whatsoever that the Lord alone is our true God and true Savior. In other words, we must grasp here that the Lord has blotted out all our sins with the gospel of the water and the Spirit, that He has saved us and made us God’s children and the Lord’s workers, and that sooner or later He will surely give us honor and glory in the next world.
As the Lord is full of love, He has given us the greatest love and the greatest glory. Because this love cannot be compared to anything else in this world, as those who have experienced this love personally, we cannot help but cherish the Lord’s love and keep His commandments. We are compelled to love the Lord more than anything else. And when we make the Lord’s love our foremost priority, we are able to carry out His work more than any other work of the world. It becomes a great joy for us to devote ourselves to the spreading of the gospel of the water and the Spirit. If you want to find out whether you love the Lord the most or not, then take a look at yourself to see how much work of the Lord you are carrying out in joy, and you will find the answer right away.
“I Will Love Him and Manifest Myself to Him”
My fellow believers, our Lord said that it is those who keep His commandments that love the Lord God. He also said that those who truly love the Lord will be loved by Him in return and experience this love first-hand just as He said, “He who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him” (John 14:21). Indeed, the Father truly loves whoever loves the Lord. The Lord will manifest Himself to him, speak to him, inspire his heart and give him a profound understanding of the Word. He will personally entrust God’s work to him to carry it out. This Word has now been fulfilled in you and me. We are now able to realize from our first-hand experience that God indeed loves us.
Time after time, I can feel that God the Father truly loves me even though I am not particularly gifted. So my heart is always rejoiced and happy. I am sure you that you also feel the same way. Although we are often persecuted and slighted in this world, we follow the Lord even more diligently because our hearts love Him even more. In times of such hardships, the Lord comes looking for us to comfort us and strengthen us, telling us that He loves us. He makes it possible for us to bear witness of His Word even more, and He embraces us in His love. Such love has been shown to us on many occasions and in various ways and forms. So I ask you to open your eyes of faith wide and see the Lord’s love with your own eyes.
We are not alone. In our hearts we have the Holy Spirit the Lord gave us. And thanks to the power of this Holy Spirit, we can keep the Lord’s commandments, love God the most, and carry out His work with passion. Moreover, through this Holy Spirit, we can find true comfort from God whenever we need encouragement or find ourselves struggling with our lives in this world. I admonish you to realize that as those who love the Lord the most, are His precious disciples who can receive such invaluable encouragement that can never be received from the world.
Jesus said in John 14:21, “He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.” This promise has actually been fulfilled to all of us who love the Lord. Like a last will, the Lord spoke this Word of prophecy just before His imminent death. And it has now been fulfilled to you and me who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, and to all those who love the Lord and follow Him. Having saved His loved ones through the gospel of the water and the Spirit, the Lord has entrusted His gospel to us by saying, “You are now sinless, and therefore you can carry out My righteous work. So go ahead and spread My gospel.” The Lord has thus enabled us to realize His Word and made us preach it. Like this, it is through those who love God the most in obedience to the Lord’s commandments that He fulfills His work.
What the Lord said in today’s Scripture passage is like a last will and a prophecy, and it has actually been fulfilled to both Jesus’ disciples and you and me alike. If you had perhaps thought that the Bible was just a collection of good teachings in the past, but now you must believe that every Word of God is for real and that it has been fulfilled in all of us who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. The Word of God does not change not even one jot nor one tittle. It is not only the forever-unchanging truth, but it is also the Word of prophecy that will be fulfilled exactly as it is.
At the time when Jesus said, “He who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him” (John 14:21), Judas (not Iscariot) asked Him, “Lord, how is it that You will manifest Yourself to us, and not to the world?” (John 14:22) The Lord then said, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him” (John 14:23). This means that if we believe in Jesus Christ, who is our Lord God Almighty and our Savior, and believe in and cherish His salvation, the Lord will forever protect us and abide with us for eternity. Therefore, the promise He made here—“My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him” (John 14:23)—will also be completely fulfilled on the last day.
The Lord then continued on to say, “He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine but the Father’s who sent Me” (John 14:24). My fellow believers, whoever loves the Lord truthfully keeps the gospel Word of the water and the Spirit faithfully and preaches this gospel exactly as it is. Because people like this love the Lord, they keep what must be kept, and even though they are lacking, they ensure that their hearts and faith are godly and preach the gospel Word of the water and the Spirit just as it is.
In contrast, how does someone who does not love the Lord behave? As the Lord mentioned above, people like this do not keep His Word. It’s because these people don’t love the Lord that they don’t keep His Word and hate the very idea of serving Him. They simply love the world more than the Lord.
When I was a kid, toys were hard to come by. Most of the few toys that I had were old and used, and it was rare for me to get a brand new toy. On the rare occasion when my parents bought me a new toy, I got so excited that I played with it all day long, and time just flew by. But it didn’t take long before the new toy got old and lost its novelty, and what had excited me so much no longer interested me. The same is true when it comes to loving the world. There are many things in the world that attract us; just a new toy attracts a child. But once you meet the Lord and come to love Him truthfully, you will realize that such things are in fact insignificant.
It does not matter if you have the latest gadgets, a beautiful house, or a gorgeous spouse; once you realize the love of the Lord and believe in it, all such things of the world will look trivial. The Lord is the only honorable One in this world who deserves our utmost love. Because no one is more powerful or beautiful than the Lord, those who have met Him and love Him cannot help themselves but see everything else as inconsequential. The very moment you are born again of water and the Spirit and truly fall in love with the Lord, all the greed that you had for the world will fade away like falling leaves. Of course, this truth is not something that is realized over night. But the more time goes by, and the more you love the Lord, it will be distinctly engraved in your heart.
The Lord said repeatedly here: “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word”; “He who does not love me does not keep My words”; and “He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me.” My fellow believers, all who believe in the Lord love Him. They can’t help themselves but love Him. Even if they are drawn to the world for a short while, when they read and hear the Word of the Lord and share fellowship with Him, they are compelled to love the Lord again. Without even realizing it themselves, they are bound to be completely smitten with the Lord and fall into His love. Such people’s eyes no longer see the things of the world. They come to love the Lord even more, follow and exalt Him even more, glorify and serve Him even more, and sacrifice themselves even more for Him.
In contrast, those who don’t love the Lord, or don’t realize that the Lord has saved them from sin out of His love for them, can never love Him even if they wanted to. Because they like whatever catches their eyes immediately and love the pleasures offered by the world, it’s simply impossible for them to love the Lord. You must grasp here clearly that such problems are bound to arise if you don’t love God the Almighty Lord. Even the born-again can fall into the world when they do not keep the Lord’s commandments.
It’s in our human nature to worship idols unless we love the Lord the most, and that is why the Lord said, “You shall have no other gods before Me” (Exodus 20:3). If any of you are in this situation, you must repent regardless of whether you are a believer or not. Is there anything that’s more majestic and lovely than God? When you think about it objectively, the Lord is always far more wonderful than anything else. The Lord loves you and has glorified you, and He has made your life worthwhile. So I admonish you all to realize that as the people of faith, it is incumbent on us to love the Lord and follow His righteousness.
Think about the End of Your Life and Live Today by Believing in the Righteousness of God
Where will everyone who loves this world instead of the Lord go in the end? The Bible says that ‘the wages of sin is death’. This means that whoever has sin must be put to death and face eternal destruction. Those who love this world more than the Lord may enjoy pleasure for a short while, but they are all inexorably destined to be cursed forever. Would you really be happy if your life and soul were ultimately destroyed and thrown into hell forever despite believing in Jesus? For a Christian, nothing would be more tragic than this. The Lord said, “But she who lives in pleasure is dead while she lives” (1 Timothy 5:6). You must realize here that the truly happy people are those who can foresee the end of their future, love the Lord, and thank Him for His salvation.
For those of you who have as yet not been born again, must without fail encounter the righteousness of the Lord as soon as possible while you are still alive, before the end of your life is upon you. You must look into your future and examine yourself to see whether there is sin in your heart or not, and whether you really love the Lord or not. In other words, you have to know who you really are. Above all, you must believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit with all of your heart and be completely saved by confessing, “Lord, I am nothing but a wretched man doomed to hell for my sins. Have mercy on me and save me, Lord!” Like this, you must make up your mind clearly before God. It’s people like this who are the happiest.
It doesn’t matter how prosperous we are on this earth if the end of our lives is miserable. Regardless of how prosperous we are today, if we discover when we stand before God that our final destination is a place of mourning and destruction, then our tragedy is inevitable. In contrast, if the Lord comes to us to take us away to live with Him forever, then even if we are sad today, we will be happy in the end.
As the Lord said, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1), we must think carefully about our own faith. The Lord also said that if one builds a tower without first calculating its cost, and is unable to finish it, he would be mocked (Luke 14:28-30). We ought to meditate deeply on this Word. Even when we build a house, we come up with a budget to plan ahead carefully, and so how could we lead our lives of faith without considering the final end of our lives? In another parable the Lord said that if a king with 10,000 men cannot defeat another king with 20,000 men, he should ask for terms of peace and end hostilities right away (Luke 14:31-32). Like this, for your life to have a happy end, you must meet the Lord and believe in Him as soon as possible. And you must hold onto the gospel of the water and the Spirit He has given you.
How long will we live even if we were to live a long time? Time goes by relentlessly like a river, and our lives are finite. In Korea, most men feel that time doesn’t go by fast enough until they are 20, but once they are drafted into the military; they realize that they need to take life more seriously and make something out of their lives. But from then on they get so busy with their everyday lives and time flies by so fast that this realization is soon forgotten. By the time they get married, they are already in their 30s, and by the time they have children and put them in school, they are in their 40s and looking into the 50s. When you get older, every passing year makes a huge difference. Getting just a year older makes you feel like you’ve aged a decade. When you reach a certain age, you feel every part of your body declining rapidly, your thoughts change completely, and you come to accept the reality of death.
The same is true for me as well. It seems like only yesterday that I was a teenager, but now I’m already in my mid-50s. My eyesight has deteriorated so much that I can’t even read without my glasses. When I was playing soccer with my coworkers today, I had a hard time trying to see where the ball was. Even when I had the ball in my possession, I kept fumbling so that someone else could not steal it from me. So I got upset momentarily, but I realized that I had grown old with passing time. Like this, everyone is an ephemeral being. We have seniors here, and while right now our younger brothers and sisters’ show them respect, but soon it will be their turn to be shown respect. The clock ticks for everyone, you and me alike and no one can stop it. Every passing moment means that we are all just getting that much older.
Because life is short and momentary like this, you must manage your life well. You must know where your life is going, and what its end will be. And you must turn around as soon as possible and come to believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit and love the Lord. You must turn yourself into someone perfect who keeps the Lord’s commandments. For all Christian believers, it is a fitting commandment that they should have no other gods before the Lord. The Lord is the only One in this world who is worthy of your love, and He alone is almighty and wonderful. So you must realize here that He is your Savior who truly loves you and has delivered you from all sins. You must make up your mind immediately and believe in this Lord as soon as possible. And you must realize that if you instead take your time and enjoy fleeting pleasure without thinking about its full consequences, you could be destroyed at any time.
Of course, you can enjoy life’s pleasures even as you believe in the Lord. But you are going astray if you seek after only the pleasures of life without faith in the Lord. Although we do not know the exact day and hour when the Lord will come back to take us away, He clearly promised not to leave us as orphans but come back for us.
In reality, we are in fact like orphans in this world. Because this chaotic and desolate world is not our eternal home, we are no different from orphans. However, the Lord will never leave us here alone. Therefore, we ought to live every day by faith, reminding ourselves that the Lord will indeed come back to us on the last day and take us away in His arms.
We Have the Helper, the Holy Spirit
Our Lord said in John 14:25-27: “These things I have spoken to you while being present with you. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you. Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”
The Lord gave us a promise in this passage, “The Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you” (John 14:26). This Word of the Lord has been actually fulfilled in us. The Holy Spirit sent by the Lord reminds us of His every Word. Whether we are out in the world working or traveling, not to mention when we are worshipping the Lord like this, the Holy Spirit reminds us of everything the Lord said.
We hold worship services several times a week—Wednesdays, Fridays, and twice on Sundays, in the morning and the evening. And on Thursdays and Saturdays each department holds a separate meeting as well. Such gatherings of ours are not simple gatherings. Through these meetings you and I come to stand before the Lord, and when we stand in His presence, we come to turn our hearts around from straying. Whenever we are gathered before God, through His servants God speaks to our hearts, gives us understanding, guides us and holds us steadfast. Such blessings are felt far more concretely during the hour of worship than any other time, and that is why it is so important for the born-again to gather together in the Church.
Therefore, it is wrong to miss Church meetings too often or attend reluctantly and think, “I’m so tired of this sermon; it’s so predictable.” Just as the Lord said, “What you hear is what the Father said,” whenever your Church leaders speak to you, listen to it closely and take it to your heart, realizing that whatever they are saying, God is speaking to you through them. Of course, these words are spoken to you through your Church leaders by the work of the Holy Spirit, but they are ultimately spoken to you by God the Father through the hearts and thoughts of your Church leaders, and that is why you must listen to them closely. You should realize here that it is through these hours and gatherings of worship, when we hear the Word of God that our faith grows evermore.
The Lord is holding us steadfastly not only during such hours of worship but also when we are out in the world, for He has sent us the “Helper,” the Holy Spirit who assists us. Those who have received the remission of sins through the gospel of the water and the Spirit have the Hoy Spirit inside them, and this Holy Spirit helps them understand the love of the Lord and His righteousness, and continuously brings them to remembrance. The Holy Spirit gives us faith, guides us and holds us steadfast. This Helper is the Lord’s gift that only the born-again can know and feel. This alone is enough for us to clearly discern the difference between those who have become God’s children and those who have not.
The Lord Has Left Peace with Us
The Lord said in John 14:27: “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” Before we were born again, we had all tried to find peace on our own. We used to sing hymns without really understanding their meaning. A good example is the following hymn, “Far Away in the Depths of My Spirit,” whose refrain goes:
“Peace, peace, wonderful peace,
Coming down from the Father above!
Sweep over my spirit forever, I pray
In fathomless billows of love!”
When we sang this hymn, we might have felt at peace for a while. But it was all a false peace given by the world.
The Lord said that He has personally left His peace with us, and that the peace He has given us is not like the one offered by the world. And just as He said, the Lord has given us the salvation of the remission of sins through the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Through the gospel, the Word of Truth, His almighty power and His perfect protection, the Lord has given us true peace. This peace given by the Lord is indeed different from the peace given by the world; in contrast to the worldly peace, which one must strive to attain on his own, the God-given peace can be received just by faith.
What is the nature of the peace the Lord has given us then? It is one that comes from the complete remission of all our sins; and it is one that cannot be taken away from us, for the Lord has bestowed it on us forever by blotting out all our sins. The Lord, God Almighty, has made us His own children to perfection. He has thus given us eternal peace by assuring us, “You need not fear anymore. You are God’s perfect children. I will be with you until the end of the world. Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. I will guarantee your life.” He has left peace with us.
Although we have become God’s children and our sins have disappeared, and we also have the Lord’s promise, we sometimes get too selfish that we get into trouble. From time to time, we look for excitement and find ourselves drawn to the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, thinking to ourselves, “Why am I so bored? Why is life so dull? How can I make my life more exciting?” But all that is in vain. Because the Lord has already given us peace, we only have to receive and enjoy it by faith. Since the Lord has blotted out all our sins, all that we have to do is just abide in that peace giving thanks to the Lord and thinking of His grace.
Moreover, now it’s no longer necessary to offer any prayers of repentance to make empty promises to keep the Lord’s commandments and live an upright life before Him. Before we were born again, we might have felt some sense of accomplishment from offering prayers of repentance, but there is no need for this anymore, as God is now telling us to just listen to and believe in His Word, rather than offering useless prayers of repentance. Like this, the Lord has given us true peace. And since we have received such genuine peace, it is only a matter of course that we should share it with everyone else.
My fellow believers, you need to think about how you should live before God. The Lord said, “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you” (John 14:27). Have you really experienced this peace given by the Lord? Are you experiencing it even now? Whoever has received the true remission of sins from God by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit has unwavering peace in his heart.
If one has no peace, it’s because his sins still remain intact in his heart. By nature, man is a fragile being, always tormented by and suffering from his sins. These sins are a heavy burden and a serious problem for everyone. Only when this problem of sin is resolved does peace come; unless one takes care of this problem, peace will never come to him. Those who still have not received the remission of sins are bound to have many unresolved problems in their hearts. Even though they spend their entire lifetime trying to solve them, all their efforts end up in vain.
But we should be different? The Lord has already solved away the problem of all our sins, both our past and our future sins, and He has given us true peace. What a wonderful blessing this is?
It is none other than the believers in the gospel of the water and the Spirit who have received the peace given by the Lord. As those who have received this blessed peace from the Lord, there is only one thing that we should be concerned while living on this earth, and it is the question of how we can preach the gospel to even more people. Lately, we’ve been thinking very hard about how we could preach the gospel to the visually disabled. As a step toward this, we recently uploaded an audio sermon delivered by Rev. Dong-il Kim ministering in Yenbien, China, specifically designed for the visually disabled. About 40 visually disabled people downloaded this sermon.
We also had a pastor send us an email after reading our book on the Tabernacle. I’m not sure if he is visually disabled or not, but he is a Baptist pastor, and in the email he confided just how happy he was now that he received the remission of sins by understanding and believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. While reading his email, I thought to myself, “I knew this would happen for sure! The Lord has already left His peace with us, and this pastor is enjoying it now. I was also so happy and joyful to have the Lord’s peace, and I’ve been at peace ever since. If there is one concern in my heart, it is how I can spread the gospel of the water and the Spirit all over the world as soon as possible.” Although our current endeavor to spread the gospel is at its initial stage, I am convinced that it won’t be long before we preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit to each and every one throughout the whole world. There is nothing in this world that we can’t accomplish so long as God works through us.
Through the Gospel of the Water and the Spirit, God Has Given Us the Indescribable Peace of Heaven
The Lord said in today’s Scripture passage, “I am leaving here. The Devil is coming. But even as I leave, I will be with you.” This promise the Lord made to His disciples was completely fulfilled, and everything the Lord promised to you and me was also wholly fulfilled. Through the gospel of the water and the Spirit, God has indeed given us the indescribable peace of Heaven.
Have you received this peace? Do you still continue to enjoy this peace? Whoever believes in the gospel of the water and the Spirit has this peace; but whoever does not believe in this gospel has no peace. Only those who have been born again through the gospel of the water and the Spirit can enjoy the true peace of the Lord.
I consider it a miracle that I came across this gospel and believed in it. I met the Lord for the first time while reading Matthew 3:13-17, and the gospel of the water and the Spirit revealed in this passage was so precious that I couldn’t help but treasure it. Some people might say that I am making a big fuss out of elementary things, but I want to say to them, “Where can you reach this understanding? Is there any philosophical school that teaches this Truth? Can you come to understand it just by praying hard? Do you think you can learn it if you sell everything you own and offer it to God? Where in this world is this Truth taught?”
I’m sure that no one takes the life of his own body lightly. That is how precious and dear everyone’s life is. Is it then insignificant that Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist, died on the Cross, and rose from the dead? God Almighty was baptized and gave up His own life on the Cross to save you and me from all our sins, and yet is this somehow so trivial? No, of course not! The Lord has given us the remission of all our sins through the gospel of the water and the Spirit. In this salvation are all the gifts of God, all His blessings, and all the treasure of the Kingdom of Heaven. I am absolutely certain that there is nothing more precious than this.
Given this, all of us ought to testify not only on this earth but also when we go to the Kingdom of Heaven that the Lord has saved us and glorified us by coming to this earth. We should make new songs and praise the Lord, testifying that what has enabled us to abide in the Kingdom of God is the gospel Truth of the water and the Spirit, and that we have become righteous people, all thanks to this Truth. We should be able to say even to the angels, “Listen, do you know how I became your master today? I actually was a lesser creature than you. Though I had honor as a human being, I used to live in the mud and manure. But our God has made me perfect like this. You don’t even have such an opportunity. That’s how much God loves me!”
The Lord clearly said, “My peace I give to you.” Words cannot express just how joyful we are that we found such a powerful, wonderful and perfect gospel Truth of the water and the Spirit and were truly born again. Through the Lord’s gospel, we’ve come to know this Truth that makes it possible for us to receive all the treasures and blessings of Heaven. We must believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit and preach it all the time. This gospel of the water and the Spirit that you believe in is the one and only perfect Truth of salvation that cannot be found anywhere else in the world. You cannot find this Truth of salvation from any religionist in this entire world. Only from the believers in the gospel of the water and the Spirit can you listen to this gospel of Truth and receive true peace by faith. You have attained genuine peace by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. We should always be thankful for this in our lives.
Of course, I know that even now some of you are unsettling the peace given by the Lord with your own fleshly thoughts. However, this gives you all the more reason to follow the Lord and keep this peace He has given you. In other words, we ought to think about what it is that the Lord has entrusted us, and how we should live to lead an upright life before God. Above all, we must believe in the Lord’s Word that He would not abandon us as orphans but come back to take us away and live with us forever. By this faith we should look at everything that’s awaiting us and carry out God’s work in our lives. We should pray for the gospel, exercise our faith for the gospel, and love the Lord more than anyone or anything else.
The Lord said that those who keep His commandments are the truly blessed. It’s those who love God, and love others as they love themselves, that are truly God’s own children. You must realize here whoever keeps the Lord’s commandment is someone who truly loves the Lord, and whoever does not keep the Lord’s commandments is someone who does not love the Lord.
The Lord Almighty God has saved you and me through the gospel of the water and the Spirit, and He has given us true peace. He has given us the everlasting remission of sins, adopted us as His own children, made us His righteous workers, and given us indescribable blessings. God has done so much for us that we simply do not know how we can ever thank Him enough. But even so, I give all my thanks to God!