(1 Kings 11:1-13)
“But King Solomon loved many foreign women, as well as the daughter of Pharaoh: women of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Sidonians, and Hittites—from the nations of whom the LORD had said to the children of Israel, ‘You shall not intermarry with them, nor they with you. Surely they will turn away your hearts after their gods.’ Solomon clung to these in love. And he had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines; and his wives turned away his heart. For it was so, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned his heart after other gods; and his heart was not loyal to the LORD his God, as was the heart of his father David. For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, and after Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites. Solomon did evil in the sight of the LORD, and did not fully follow the LORD, as did his father David. Then Solomon built a high place for Chemosh the abomination of Moab, on the hill that is east of Jerusalem, and for Molech the abomination of the people of Ammon. And he did likewise for all his foreign wives, who burned incense and sacrificed to their gods. So the LORD became angry with Solomon, because his heart had turned from the LORD God of Israel, who had appeared to him twice, and had commanded him concerning this thing, that he should not go after other gods; but he did not keep what the LORD had commanded. Therefore the LORD said to Solomon, ‘Because you have done this, and have not kept My covenant and My statutes, which I have commanded you, I will surely tear the kingdom away from you and give it to your servant. Nevertheless I will not do it in your days, for the sake of your father David; I will tear it out of the hand of your son. However I will not tear away the whole kingdom; I will give one tribe to your son for the sake of My servant David, and for the sake of Jerusalem which I have chosen.’”
My dear fellow believers, how are you? It’s good to have you with us today. We went to Cheonan City today and leased a house for one of our ministers to plant our branch church there. It has 2 small bedrooms, a living room at the front and a kitchen at the rear. It is nothing extravagant, but God has given us a house very suitable for this family to live in and serve Him. We had prayed to God to provide us with an affordable and a good solid home, and that is exactly what he gave us. In the near future, we are going to rent a church building and have revival meetings there as well.
One of our church members lives in that area. She is really happy that we are going to plant a church in her neighborhood. And soon, if God permits, we are going to plant a church in Pyeongtaek City as well. Pastor Park, who is in charge of the Busan region, has also decided to open a new church in a nearby city. Like this, these leading pastors will turn their churches over to their assistant pastors and then pioneer new churches in other regions. We will live in a way that pleases God like this.
Much time has passed already so I will quickly share the Word in order to finish in time. This is the time we need even more workers to carry out God’s work. This is why I feel that we also need to spread the gospel in Korea and win even more souls over to our side. I also feel that we need to hold revival meetings every month, and I hope that you will all pray for such things.
Today’s Scripture reading is from 1 Kings 11:1-13. This passage says, “But King Solomon loved many foreign women, as well as the daughter of Pharaoh: women of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Sidonians, and Hittites” (1 Kings 11:1). God had already given the following Word of warning to the descendants of Israel: “You shall not intermarry with them, nor they with you. Surely they will turn away your hearts after their gods.” But despite this warning Solomon clung to the Gentile women and their gods. The Bible says, “And he had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines; and his wives turned away his heart. For it was so, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned his heart after other gods; and his heart was not loyal to the LORD his God, as was the heart of his father David. For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, and after Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites. Solomon did evil in the sight of the LORD, and did not fully follow the LORD, as did his father David. Then Solomon built a high place for Chemosh the abomination of Moab, on the hill that is east of Jerusalem, and for Molech the abomination of the people of Ammon. And he did likewise for all his foreign wives, who burned incense and sacrificed to their gods” (1 Kings 11:3-8).
God Gave the People of Israel to Another Person Because Solomon’s Heart Had Turned Away and Had Left God
Solomon had too many Gentile women. The Gentile princesses that the Bible speaks of are the wives that he brought from other countries. These women were all his wives. And the Bible tells us that these women turned his heart away from God and made him seek after other gods in his old age. Solomon had built many high places for his wives. Solomon had also built many high places for the gods that his wives worshipped. One day he would bow down before a god one of his wives worshipped and the next day he would bow down before another one that another one of his wives worshipped. Solomon had worshipped many Gentile gods in this way.
But Solomon would not have had peace of mind. Moreover, he would have grown weak in his old age. This is how his wives made him worship Gentile gods. What is really beyond my understanding is why Solomon liked Gentile women so much. Solomon took great pleasure in Gentile women even when God had commanded them not to mingle with Gentile women and also told the people of Israel not to worship Gentile gods when they were leaving Egypt. In Deuteronomy, God told His people not to marry the Gentiles when they enter their land. I don’t understand why Solomon had taken a thousand Gentile women as his wives.
I think Solomon intended to avoid war with other countries through these strategic marriages. Solomon had chosen a different path than waging spiritual wars. Solomon had decided to form an alliance with his enemies by marrying the daughters of Gentile kings. Like this, Solomon did things that God hated. I don’t know why he chose Gentile women over the women of his own country.
Anyway, Solomon built so many high places for his wives who he brought in from other countries. He burnt incense for his wives and helped them worship Gentile gods. At first, Solomon would have been incessantly nagged by his wives to build shrines for these gods they worshipped so they would not get wet in the rain. Then, once he built these shrines, he would have had to put a gate on each shrine. After that, he would have had to bring in an idol for each shrine. After that, he would have had to burn incense there. After that, he would have had to appoint a priest for each and every shrine. So he would have had to bring priests in from foreign countries and they would have done all kinds of deeds that God detests. Solomon had slowly allowed Gentile gods in his country one by one, and eventually, his heart turned away from God and left Him.
What Becomes of People Who Commit Evil?
Eventually hearts like this turn away from God. Because Solomon did not stop worshipping Gentile gods even when God warned him, saying, “I will take some of your people and give them to someone else.” How much affluence did Solomon live in? Solomon was extremely well off with the riches that his father earned and accumulated. The Bible says that silver was spent as common as stones during his days (1 Kings 10:27). It means that they were so abundant in material things at that time.
Of the past Korean kings, King Sejong is one of the most respected. He created the Korean unique alphabet called ‘Hangeul’ or ‘Hunmin Chongum.’ It is considered to be one of the most efficient alphabets in the world and has garnered unanimous praise from language experts for its scientific design and excellence. Among all written languages of the world, Hangeul is the only one that was designated as the ‘Memory of the World’ of UNESCO in 1997. Of course, King Sejong also was an admirable character. But what is more important is that his father had established a good foundation upon which he could achieve such good results, and that is how King Sejong was also able to become such a great king.
Like this, if God had given Solomon such riches, honors and power through his father David, he should have used them to worship God and led everyone in his country to revere God. But Solomon did not do these things and used God’s countless blessings to live for himself only. Living just for oneself―this is the first reason why pseudo Christianity was formed.
David Walked by God’s Commandments and Had Strong Faith in God’s Word
David had lived by faith in God throughout his entire life. He waged spiritual wars continuously until he died. God does not permit us to kill people in a fleshly or physical battle. But in the Old Testament Era, people of faith used to fight for God and that’s why David had to fight against God’s enemies. David also had made God’s people revere him and fought for God’s country. After David became Israel’s king and brought his country under a single authority, all the Israelites only worshipped God. David never allowed them to worship other gods other than God during his reign over Israel. David had attained everything through his faith, but Solomon, on the other hand, spent everything David had accumulated only for his flesh. As a result, Solomon’s faith deteriorated and he became the originator of today’s pseudo Christianity.
The word ‘pseudo’ means ‘something that is same on the outside but different on the inside.’ In our world, there are many pseudo reporters, pseudo scholars, and pseudo Christians. There are so many people who understand and believe in Jesus incorrectly. Those who do not know and believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit are people of the wrong faith; they are all pseudo believers. Gad had given many blessings to David, but Solomon inherited them and lived strictly for himself only. Thus pseudo Christians became present on account of Solomon.
Why Was Today’s Pseudo Christianity Formed?
Today’s Christianity has deteriorated to a mere pseudo Christianity because its ministers pursue material gain and prosperity more than God’s righteousness. This means that those who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit today can also become pseudo believers if they only pursue worldly desires. God has given us many spiritual fruits this year as well. However, if we only pursue material prosperity when God has given us spiritual faith, we will also become pseudo Christians. If we take the materials God has given us and desire to only live for ourselves and if our hearts try only to lead a comfortable life in this world, we would be no different than pseudo Christians even if we believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
Dear fellow believers, we have to use our riches which God gave us as weapons and means to spread the gospel of the water and the Spirit everywhere. We have to have this kind of mindset in order to receive many more blessings from God. When we take on the right mindset towards God, many more people will be able to know the righteousness of Jesus who came by the gospel of the water and the Spirit so they can also receive the remission of their sins and gain eternal life. But the problem is that there are still many people like Solomon even in God’s Church.
When we read today’s Scripture reading, we can find something odd about Solomon because he was not someone who did not believe in God. Solomon was someone who actually had believed in God and he even presented a thousand burnt-offerings to God. Because of this, God appeared before Solomon and gave him His blessings. Because Solomon prayed to God not to get rid of his enemies but instead to give him wisdom to correctly lead his people, God appeared in Solomon’s dream and told him that he gave him much more wisdom and many more blessings. It is true that God loved Solomon. But this very same Solomon became the one who was responsible for deteriorating the true faith.
There are many people like this even amongst the Christians today. We have seen on many occasions people who left for the world after serving the gospel of the water and the Spirit along with us. But can they be happier when they leave God? Can they live a life better than the life that serves the gospel of God’s righteousness?
Think about this deeply. If we have to earn money to pay taxes, eat and put gas in our cars, our lives are really hopeless and meaningless. There is no life happier than the one in which one lives for God’s righteousness. Listen, we can get the correct answer if we make a calculation. At the moment, each family of our workers needs at least four thousand dollars each month to get by. They cannot do everything they need to do if they don’t earn four thousand dollars a month, even when their calculations are done to see if they can survive on their own does not add up. But some people leave for the world to live only for themselves. Even amongst the people who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit and even amongst the workers who worked with us in spreading this genuine gospel, there are many people who have left God in this way. When you look carefully at such people, you will see that they are all trying to live for their flesh only. You can see them accumulate money only to satisfy their fleshly desires.
How much money can one hide away for oneself? Would such a person have peace of mind when they hide money away that should be used for God? If someone hides money away like Ananias and Sapphira, like having money that belongs to oneself and money that belongs to God, so how uncomfortable would such a person feel throughout his whole life? Any born-again saint cannot have peace of mind when there are things that belong to him and things that belong to God. The truth is you will have peace of mind if you serve the gospel of the water and the Spirit as Top Priority, but you will not have peace of mind if you are constantly thinking about how to share your money with God. Very soon your mind will end up leaving God. People who believe in God but don’t know how to live in unity with the gospel end up leaving God. These kinds of people only strive to live for their own purposes.
There is one common trait when you look at the hearts of such people; they all live for their flesh. Solomon was living just for himself, for his fleshly desires only. What the people that quit doing God’s work have in common is that they eventually take part in pseudo Christianity and their purpose in life is to live for their flesh only. Their purpose of life does not lie in the spreading of the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Such people who are seeking to fulfill just their fleshly desires like this do not want to work as assistant pastors under any senior pastors. I think it’s because they have this inner desire to be senior pastors and not assistant pastors in order to control the offerings. So they do not want to minister as anything other than senior pastors.
For example, there was a pastor who left God’s Church not so long ago. He was working in our branch church in Daegu. There was an unpleasant event at his church so we took care of the situation for him. I think he could no longer work there. So, I ordered him to go to God’s Church in Incheon to work as an assistant pastor. But, shortly after that, he said he could not work as an assistant pastor there because it was too burdensome. I saw something wrong with his thoughts. I don’t know why he would think this position in the Incheon Church was burdensome when he was doing the very same job of serving God’s gospel previously.
Listen, working as a senior pastor in God’s Church only entails more responsibilities. Would it not be more comfortable to be an assistant pastor and work by consulting with the senior pastor? With all decisions being made, responsibilities follow. In any case, I am sure there are some positive things if you think optimistically and some negative things if you think pessimistically! But, one thing is clear, both senior pastors and assistant pastors should work for God’s righteousness. Is this not right?
That he quit serving the gospel of the water and the Spirit after believing in this genuine gospel in God’s Church means that he wished deeply in his heart to fulfill his fleshly desires through his ministry. What is wrong is that, even when they can live well by serving God’s gospel, they give it up and try to live for themselves only. Like this, pseudo Christians are people who once believed in God but now live only for themselves.
If God has given us abundant prosperity, we need to take these riches to serve the gospel of the water and the Spirit more diligently. Is this right or is it wrong? We have to publish many books on the gospel of the water and the Spirit and send them to those who don’t know this gospel so that many people can have the opportunity to meet this authentic gospel. It is our duty to sow the seed of the gospel of the water and the Spirit, and help people receive the remission of sins regardless of whether this world is hit by adversities and tribulations or anything else. God gives us everything we need to eat and drink in His proper time. God had given Solomon so much so that he could to serve Him, but Solomon used all these blessings just for himself.
Solomon had a thousand wives. Solomon must have taken an official wife from his own people, but I think the other 999 would have been from the Gentiles. Why would God have recorded this event in the Bible? God recorded this in the Bible as a lesson and admonishment for us today. The reason why I am preaching about Solomon again today despite having delivered many sermons on him already is for us all to learn a lesson by ruminating upon the Word of God. Both you and I also can end up like Solomon. So we need to learn a lesson to live in the blessings of God and serve the gospel, living well off and spreading the gospel until the end. Put differently, you and I must live for the gospel. Then, everything will be fine.
Who else but those of us the redeemed who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, can confess Jesus Christ as our Savior? What other purpose do we have other than loving God the most and desiring to do His work the most? Do you want to win the favour from the religious peoples of this world? Do you really want to work together with the peoples of this world? No, we don’t have even the slightest desire to do that.
There was a recent earthquake in the Sichuan region in China where Confucianism originated. Many people who lived there died. How sad for those who were left behind who lost their mothers, fathers or children? I feel truly sorry for them. What would we cope if something like that happened to us? We must take a lesson from what has happened to them and pray to God to protect us, and also sympathize with them and see them as people who we must share the gospel with urgently.
Dear believers, would we, who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, prosper if we live only for ourselves? We wouldn’t. People like this would be able to make a scanty living for themselves, but they certainly would not prosper. They would go out from the presence of the Lord God and then be wandering about here and there until they eventually settle down one place after being exhausted like Cain and his family. Because Cain’s family had to protect themselves, they had to build a castle with high walls of stones. They spent their entire lives building double, triple and quadruple layered walls with big stones and lived within these security walls. Because other clansmen would climb up a side of a mountain and looked down on them, they had to build even higher walls so they were not exposed. These days we have cranes, but they did not have anything like that back then. So stacking all those stones one upon another would have taken them a life time. How hard do you think that would have been?
No matter how hard one tries to live just for oneself, it will never bring any happiness. It is actually very hard. In the past I planned to serve God by selling pots and bowls but He stopped me. But now I serve God’s gospel this way, and it makes me truly happy. Listen, do you think a righteous man can live only for his flesh? The issues of food, clothing and housing will trouble someone like that all his life. Especially the chief earners would have to handle all the issues of food, clothing and housing until they die. These people are carrying the burdens of the issues of food, clothing and housing on their back until they die. All men have the responsibility of supporting their families. In all honesty, neither I nor you have anything to be proud of in front of God. In a fleshly sense, we don’t have anything to be proud of even if we tried.
God says to such people like us, “How much hardship have you suffered to solve your food, clothing and housing issues? I called upon you to do the right thing. So always be grateful and happy, and pray without ceasing. Hey! Are you not grateful to me? Be grateful.” We give our deepest and sincerest thanks to God. Not only me, but all our male and female fellow workers and all our brothers and sisters must give their deepest thanks to God. We are so happy that we don’t have to worry about our food, clothing and housing issues. Looking at us like this, God says, “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” Because we live to spread God’s gospel, all our food, clothing and housing issues have been solved by Him. Our Lord has solved all of our food, clothing and housing issues. Because we are living solely to spread the gospel, the responsibility for our food, clothing and accommodation has been solved. Is this right or wrong? It is right. This is true not only for the pastors but also for our workers and fellow believers.
How Futile Would Our Lives Be If We Lived until Now Worrying about Our Food, Clothing and Housing Issues and Trying to Solve Them?
We humans suffer many hardships to satisfy the necessities of life. We suffer enough with climacteric and menopausal disorders without all those issues. How tiresome would life be if we dedicated our lives to solve these needed issues? Our pastors and workers as well as their wives have also devoted their heyday of youth to spread God’s gospel, and they should be grateful for such lives. If this was not so, they might have been people who lived for themselves only until now. There are some amongst us that are still quite young. How sad would it be if they had to devote their glorious youth to solve the issues of food, clothing and housing? In that sense, we are truly happy people. We have received many blessings even after receiving the remission of sins from God. God has blessed us, we who believe in and serve the gospel of the water and the Spirit. All parents have to work to raise their children and also have the worry about losing their jobs and income. But we don’t have to worry about our food, clothing and housing issues if we live for righteous work in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, this is truly a true blessing that God gives to us, His workers.
How happy and contented are their children when their parents have solved all their necessities of life by living for the righteousness of the Lord? People of this world become bankrupt if they lose their jobs. And it’s not easy to get a new job when you get older. This is why couples develop ill feelings for each other and fight when income is not being generated. A wife does not hate her husband because she wants to, but because such feelings of hatred develop on their own because the husband fails to fulfill his duty as the head of the household. And how much do you think the children would suffer when they see their father hated by their mother? But we don’t need to have these worries.
I say hello to the mother of our brother Sungjin! Tell me, how great do you feel when you see your son Sungjin living in the Church and working for the Lord? For one thing, it’s great because he does not have to live such a tiresome life for himself. I mean it is such a great blessing from God that we can live for the Lord. Those of us who live to spread the gospel of the water and the Spirit are the happy ones. How worthwhile are our lives that aim to serve the gospel? Would you be happy living in a palace eating its finest foods supplied by the world and owning all the riches you can ever dream of? How could you be happy if you are not living to spread the righteousness of God?
God provides us in abundance with the things we need and continues to give us everything else so that we can live for the spreading of the gospel. I believe that God gives us the blessings we need so that we can live for the spreading of His gospel and also be well off in our fleshly lives. Living out my faith until now, I have always believed that I will prosper if I live for God because He will give me all the blessings of the world.
My friends who had attended theological seminary together with me used to tell me this, “Even if everything you say is right, you won’t make it if you don’t go along with the mainstream churches of this world. You will have nothing.” So I replied like this, “Worry about yourselves and not me. You should all believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, receive the remission of all your sins and become real and approved ministers of God! Don’t become fake ministers who work without believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. You are no better than swine if you perform your ministries with the kind of belief you have now. A true minister does not work to survive as a hireling. So, minster with faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, and don’t worry about me.”
One of my friends followed me around for years and pleaded with me saying, “Don’t do that. You will end up on the streets.” I don’t know how he found my phone number but he called me and said the very same thing some years later when I was working to spread the gospel of the water and the Spirit. So I told him, “God said, ‘But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.’ So what do I have to be afraid of? If I live for God, He will cherish and look after me. If I serve God, He will provide for me. I will serve God. And in Him I will flourish.”
My brothers and sisters, I have not wanted for nothing in my mind ever since I decided to live in this way. I still live well to this day. I had a grand meal tonight as well. Depending on my needs, God feeds me, clothes me, shelters me and provides for me so I can spread His gospel. God has also fed and clothed us all so that we can all spread the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Dear believers, is that right or wrong? It’s indeed right.
The wives of the pastors and the evangelists have gone into the kitchen to get the desert as they thought that my sermon had nearly finished. When preaching the Word of God, it is easier for the listeners if a sermon subject is set up and delivered in an introduction, main discourse and conclusion according to the subject, but that’s not the way I preach. But tonight, I would like to conclude the sermon of the night now.
My brothers and sisters let us all prosper in the faith like David who believed in and revered God. This is my conclusion, but what to believe is up to you. The best lectures are those who let the listeners come to a conclusion on their own. That is the most valuable lecture. It’s the same with movies. Are there not many movies where the directors do not draw any conclusions but let the audience make their own judgments? Then the audience must think. What’s going to happen next? Listen, if a movie is incomprehensible and lets one linger, it is hailed as a great movie. Likewise, some books are hard to understand, but they often are favorably commented on as great books.
When you share your personal testimony of salvation, don’t think about being eloquent. Instead, just think and show your conviction that stems from the following question: “Has Jesus taken all my sins away through His baptism in Jordan River or not? Did Jesus die for me and made me God’s own child or did He not?” You only need to think carefully about the very things God has done for us and then speak what you believe in. You can say this backwards, from the start or from the middle. You just need to convey the core of your faith that enables you to be saved from all your sins without being particular about formality. This is how you can sincerely give your personal testimony of salvation before God.
However, to share your testimony of salvation with others is extremely difficult if you try to speak eloquently without thinking of the aforementioned things. With anything, it is difficult to speak based on the subject and title. In fact, it is very difficult to speak eloquently. But, all you need to do is speak of the things God has done in faith. All we need to do is just diligently remember, share and believe in the things that the Lord has done for us.
And we just need to be grateful for the things that the Lord has done for us and follow and believe in the Word of God. We only need to believe in and follow the work the Lord has done for us in gratefulness. The Lord is pleased with us if we believe in the things He has done for us in gratefulness and spread His gospel. In life or death, we must follow the will of God and spread the gospel. This is what He wants us to do. If you look back on the past days while living faithfully like this, you will find yourselves living in prosperity even when you have not planned it.
We just need to get ready to serve the gospel of the water and the Spirit in the ability God gives us and work for this gospel in various ways depending on the times. Then, all other problems will be solved by God. All that we have to do is to spread the gospel of the water and the Spirit. After a while, when we look back on our lives, we will see that we truly are living prosperously. If we live for God and He cherishes us, we know that all things will work together for good to us who love God (Romans 8:28).
God has blessed all of us. There is no one in this world that is as blessed as we are. When you look into the Old Testament, you will see many servants of God, but you won’t see anyone of them who had received as many blessings as we have. There were the Apostles during the Early Church era, but there was no Church that had spread the gospel of the water and the Spirit as much as we are doing now. During the period of the Early Church, the Apostles had spread the gospel to three thousand people for a day. Now, the number of people we are spreading the gospel to is hundreds of times more than that. Each week, over a hundred thousand people visit our website to read our books. Tens of thousands of our books are being distributed freely each month. There has never been a time when the gospel of the water and the Spirit has been spread such as it is now.
I am not boasting of our righteousness but just telling you that it is a great blessing that you and I are involved in the spreading of the gospel of the water and the Spirit like this. Have we not achieved success? There is no other standard by which anyone can attempt to measure our success. God is using us as His instruments, and He is very pleased with the work we are doing in His honor. This is how we have achieved success. We are all so grateful and happy. We will meet Jesus after serving Him a little longer. Jesus will return very soon.
We give thanks to God who has given us all the opportunity to live for Him. And I am very grateful that the spreading of the gospel of the water and the Spirit is taking place so well. But there still is something that worries me. We must pray for the safety of our workers and to keep Korea and the world out of this current economic recession. We must pray to God to protect the world’s economy as we will be prevented to spread the gospel if the global economy collapses.
Most of the people in our country distrust our president. But there is no way our country will prosper if we just sit on one place and blame the president. Even if there are some things he has done wrong, we must all pray for abilities and wisdom to be bestowed on him and his cabinet so that they can lead our nation to a better future. All in all, we all sincerely hope that God will solve all these issues, look over our politicians, defend our country and protect and bless our economy and politics. We sincerely hope that God will bless and protect His Churches and all His servants all over the world both in body and spirit everywhere. I earnestly hope and pray that God allows everything we do to turn out well.