“It came to pass after these things that the butler and the baker of the king of Egypt offended their lord, the king of Egypt. And Pharaoh was angry with his two officers, the chief butler and the chief baker. So he put them in custody in the house of the captain of the guard, in the prison, the place where Joseph was confined. And the captain of the guard charged Joseph with them, and he served them; so they were in custody for a while. Then the butler and the baker of the king of Egypt, who were confined in the prison, had a dream, both of them, each man’s dream in one night and each man’s dream with its own interpretation. And Joseph came in to them in the morning and looked at them, and saw that they were sad. So he asked Pharaoh’s officers who were with him in the custody of his lord’s house, saying, ‘Why do you look so sad today?’ And they said to him, ‘We each have had a dream, and there is no interpreter of it.’ So Joseph said to them, ‘Do not interpretations belong to God? Tell them to me, please.’ Then the chief butler told his dream to Joseph, and said to him, ‘Behold, in my dream a vine was before me, and in the vine were three branches; it was as though it budded, its blossoms shot forth, and its clusters brought forth ripe grapes. Then Pharaoh’s cup was in my hand; and I took the grapes and pressed them into Pharaoh’s cup, and placed the cup in Pharaoh’s hand.’ And Joseph said to him, ‘This is the interpretation of it: The three branches are three days. Now within three days Pharaoh will lift up your head and restore you to your place, and you will put Pharaoh’s cup in his hand according to the former manner, when you were his butler. But remember me when it is well with you, and please show kindness to me; make mention of me to Pharaoh, and get me out of this house. For indeed I was stolen away from the land of the Hebrews; and also I have done nothing here that they should put me into the dungeon.’ When the chief baker saw that the interpretation was good, he said to Joseph, ‘I also was in my dream, and there were three white baskets on my head. In the uppermost basket were all kinds of baked goods for Pharaoh, and the birds ate them out of the basket on my head.’ So Joseph answered and said, ‘This is the interpretation of it: The three baskets are three days. Within three days Pharaoh will lift off your head from you and hang you on a tree; and the birds will eat your flesh from you.’ Now it came to pass on the third day, which was Pharaoh’s birthday, that he made a feast for all his servants; and he lifted up the head of the chief butler and of the chief baker among his servants. Then he restored the chief butler to his butlership again, and he placed the cup in Pharaoh’s hand. But he hanged the chief baker, as Joseph had interpreted to them. Yet the chief butler did not remember Joseph, but forgot him.”
Today I would like to share with you the genuine Truth of salvation through the account of the chief baker and the chief butler. The first question is, from what kinds of sins of the world and in which way did God save us? And the second question is what kind of people can be saved before God and what kind of people cannot? I am going to speak to you about these questions regarding spiritual salvation.
The Word of God was written by God’s servants as they were moved by the Holy Spirit. Hence, this Word is the Truth that speaks to us about how God has saved all sinners from all their sins through the righteousness of Jesus Christ. Therefore, when we look at this Word through the righteousness of God and the gospel of the water and the Spirit, we can see that the Bible is totally different from the many novels or history books that can easily be obtained in this world. So we do not regard the Word of God as mere human words. Rather, we believe that God is speaking to us through the Word as written by His servants about how to attain this precious new life. The gospel of the water and the Spirit as revealed in the Word of God is without doubt the Truth that grants salvation to every true believer and delivers them from sin.
We have just read the passage of Scripture from Genesis chapter 40, verses 1 through 3. These verses state that the butler and the baker of the king of Egypt had offended their lord, the king of Egypt, and so for their offenses they were kept in custody in the house of the captain of the guard, a prison, the very place where Joseph was confined in. Joseph was confined to this prison because of false charges brought against him for the attempted rape of his master’s wife. These two officers were locked up in the very same prison where Joseph was kept. Now we are going to examine what the Lord wants to teach us through this Scripture passage.
It is written, “The butler and the baker of the king of Egypt offended their lord, the king of Egypt.” These two high-ranking officials were imprisoned because they had offended their king. Like this, all human beings commit sin before God, and no matter how hard they try not to commit sin. There cannot be found one single person who does not commit sin. Thus, from a spiritual perspective, everyone gets confined into a prison of sin. All people living in this world have sins, and for this reason, they are suffering spiritually with much pain all the while being confined in this prison of sin, just like these two officers of the king.
However, most people today are devoted to their own respective religions in the hopes of receiving the cleansing of their sins. By them participating in worldly religions like this will not allow them to be cleansed from their sins. This is because they cannot be cleansed of their sins with their own fleshly efforts or wills. And so, whoever wants to be cleansed of their sins must know and believe in the gospel Truth of the water and the Spirit which is the Word of the remission of sins which God gave to us. The Lord says, “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32).
Truly, these two people, the chief butler and the chief baker, aren’t the only ones who commit sins against God. Rather, every person in the entire world is a servant of sin who cannot but commit sins before God. What kind of sins do we actually commit before God then? Regarding this question we must look into it in detail through the Word of God.
Why do people go on living committing sins? The reality is that although every single person tries hard not to commit sins, they cannot help themselves but continually commit sin. Once born into this world, no human being is free from sin because everyone, regardless of who he or she is, continues to commit sins throughout his or her whole life. People hate to commit sin, but they just commit sins repeatedly. And because of these crimes, they carry on living in much suffering. They go on living in anguish judging themselves to be grave sinners. Thus, we are sinners who cannot but commit numerous crimes before God.
Why Do We Commit Sins?
We must meditate deeply on our true nature to find the answer to this question. “Why do we commit sins before God?” If we don’t understand the answer to this question clearly and definitively, we will go through great trials and errors throughout our life in chaos. Are we truly beings who cannot but commit sins throughout our lives? How have we become those who cannot but commit sins before God? Why did the great sages of the world tell us to know ourselves?
We should have a very good understanding of ourselves. We must know precisely what God has said about our fundamental natures. Only then will we be able to properly recognize and believe in Jesus Christ, the Savior, who came by the water and the blood. Also, we should try to find out exactly how the Lord saved you and me from the sins of the world and exactly how He took away all our sins.
We can then live as the children of God by believing in the righteousness of God. But if we don’t clearly understand that we are fundamentally sinners, then we will face many problems and chaos. Believing in Jesus as the Savior without being aware of what kind of sinners we really are is akin to someone trying to take any kind of medicine randomly without knowing what kind of sickness he is suffering from. Therefore, if you want to receive the remission of sins from God you must first know the reality of your sickness of sin properly. And you have to correctly seek out and visit a physician who can treat that sickness of sin. Should this not be so? You and I should properly know about our basic nature regarding what kind of existence we are before God. Everyone should then believe in and accept the righteousness of Jesus knowing properly what a grave sinner he or she really is.
The Spiritual State of the Whole of Humankind
I will show you our spiritual condition as we read the Book of Isaiah chapter 59, from verse 1 through to verse 8.
“Behold, the LORD’s hand is not shortened,
That it cannot save;
Nor His ear heavy,
That it cannot hear.
But your iniquities have separated you from your God;
And your sins have hidden His face from you,
So that He will not hear.
For your hands are defiled with blood,
And your fingers with iniquity;
Your lips have spoken lies,
Your tongue has muttered perversity.
No one calls for justice,
Nor does any plead for truth.
They trust in empty words and speak lies;
They conceive evil and bring forth iniquity.
They hatch vipers’ eggs and weave the spider’s web;
He who eats of their eggs dies,
And from that which is crushed a viper breaks out.
Their webs will not become garments,
Nor will they cover themselves with their works;
Their works are works of iniquity,
And the act of violence is in their hands.
Their feet run to evil,
And they make haste to shed innocent blood;
Their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity;
Wasting and destruction are in their paths.
The way of peace they have not known,
And there is no justice in their ways;
They have made themselves crooked paths;
Whoever takes that way shall not know peace” (Isaiah 59:1-8).
This passage of Scripture speaks to us about the spiritual state of all humans. We must understand that when God tries to save us, He cannot help us because our iniquities have blocked us from Him; not because His hand is shortened or because His ear is too heavy that He cannot hear our prayers. Surely, we are beings that always worship idols and commit sin with our hands, hearts, lips and tongues; we also devise perverse and wicked plans in our hearts, and commit crimes by putting them into action. Thus, we must realize that we have become sinners killing numerous people with out hearts, thoughts, or even with our acts. Almost all people living on this earth carry on living in agony just because of other humans. There are those who think that this earth would be a Utopia if there were no human beings. All the other creatures go on with their lives beautifully and naturally on this planet Earth. However, human beings whose hearts possess wicked sins go on living killing each other and inflicting evil upon each other. This is why the bible says,
“They hatch vipers’ eggs and weave the spider’s web;
He who eats of their eggs dies,
And from that which is crushed a viper breaks out” (Isaiah 59:5).
Does this then mean that human beings are indeed such creatures?
Yes, it is just like that. Without the righteousness of God, we cannot escape from the sin of the world no matter how many virtuous deeds we have done. Hence, we are beings who are quick in committing sins. Human thoughts themselves are thoughts of iniquities; humans do not know the way of peace and are not just; and they have made crooked paths on their own and by themselves. People like this are completely ruining their lives because even though the path to salvation from all sins has been set by God, human beings do not know that path. The reality is that there are many people who are in such a wretched situation.
What kind of beings are we humans in the eyes of God? Are humans fundamentally a brood of evildoers, or are they fundamentally good? We must have a proper understanding of this. We humans are beings that fundamentally do evil. This is the basic nature that you and I have from our birth. Actually, we humans not only give off the scent of evil but also carry them out. Furthermore, we not only do evil by chance but we commit sins by planning to do such evil. Also, because all humans are born blind spiritually, they do not know the path of peace; they do not know whether to receive the remission of their sins from God because of their spiritual blindness. They wander around amid chaos because they are unable to find the path that leads to the cleansing of sins on their own. Also, they are totally unaware that they are in fact defying the righteousness of God and standing against the grace of God. Such spiritual blindness is prevalent in everyone living on this earth. So, the Bible is telling us from the beginning that we humans are those living amid formlessness, void and darkness (Genesis 1:2). Jesus speaks to us about this truth in the Gospel of Mark chapter 7, verses 20 through to 23. He knew that all of mankind is merely a lump of iniquities. And for this reason He spoke these truths in Isaiah chapter 59.
The Lord Said, “What Comes Out of a Man, That Defiles a Man”
Mark 7:20-23 says, “What comes out of a man, that defiles a man. For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within and defile a man.” Our Lord said that the very thing that comes out of someone will defile that person. It isn’t the junk food that enters and defiles a person, but rather, it is this sin in someone’s heart that comes out and defiles that person. The Lord says that humans commit all kinds of sins because of the evil and filthiness which lies inside their hearts.
The Lord speaks about this in Mark 7:21-23, “For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within and defile a man,” and this is teaching us that all these twelve kinds of sins are flowing out from within everyone’s heart. If this be true then what kind of brood are we human beings? Human beings are fundamentally a brood of evildoers. It is because all people are born with these following twelve types of sins inherited from their parents since birth: adultery, fornication, murder, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride and foolishness.
It is likened to the Word in the Book of Isaiah, which says,
“For your hands are defiled with blood,
And your fingers with iniquity;
Your lips have spoken lies,
Your tongue has muttered perversity.
No one calls for justice,
Nor does any plead for truth.
They trust in empty words and speak lies;
They conceive evil and bring forth iniquity.
They hatch vipers’ eggs and weave the spider’s web;
He who eats of their eggs dies,
And from that which is crushed a viper breaks out.
Their webs will not become garments,
Nor will they cover themselves with their works;
Their works are works of iniquity,
And the act of violence is in their hands” (Isaiah 59:3-6).
The Bible is telling us that the sins inside people hearts will kill other people. It is telling us that such people will inflict harm and do evil onto others. What kind or brood are all people then? What is a human being really? The Scriptures say that we humans commit various kinds of sins throughout our entire lifetime because we are the brood of evildoers who, in essence, were born with such evil desires. Therefore, even if we don’t want to commit sins, we cannot but commit such sins repeatedly throughout our entire lifetime until we die.
A famous Korean lyric poet named Dongju Yun (1917-1945) sang in his poem titled “Prologue” as follows:
“Let me have no shame
Under the heaven
Till I die.
Even winds among the foliage
Pained my heart.”
He really tried to avoid what troubled his conscience. Though not common, there are people like this poet. However, such a life would only be an impossible wish, but the reality is that one cannot live like that. Because all humans are born with the sins inherited from their parents, they cannot but go on living repeatedly committing these twelve sins, unless they have been cleansed from all their sins by believing in the Lord-given gospel of the water and the Spirit. This is the current situation of every human being. Therefore, humans have to know themselves properly. Before believing in Jesus, one must know oneself first.
The Bible says that the chief butler and the chief baker were imprisoned because they had offended their lord, Pharaoh the king of Egypt. How did we become sinners? We were born with these twelve kinds of sins, and for this reason, we have become people who go on repeatedly committing sins throughout our entire lifetime. We must first realize this and acknowledge this on our own that we are wretched beings that commit sins ceaselessly against God. We must understand the more we try not to commit sins, without being aware of what kind of beings we really are, the more sins will fully and automatically pour out of us as time passes by.
The Bible says that people are born on this earth with a lewd heart. It also says that people have evil thoughts. Let’s consider this for a moment. Let us say that you try not to do lewd acts despite having lewd hearts. Let’s say you walk pass some theater showing a gaudy signboard. Then, would your heart not yearn to steal a glance at that gaudy picture? As you pass by, you may hide your face by turning away after a glance at it and say, “Oh, my goodness!” However, even if you say this in surprise, because you in essence have a lewd heart, you go crazy to not take a peek at that signboard. For morality’s sake, you may not take time to read such a signboard in public, but if you are all alone, you will most likely try to see it in one way or another. It is because we humans have a lewd heart, and for this reason, we do lewd acts. The Bible clearly says we humans have evil thoughts, regardless of who we are. We do evil because we have evil thoughts. And for this reason alone, we are imprisoned by sin and suffering much pain. Because of these sins inside our hearts, we are sinners before God.
Our Sins Are Written in Two Places
When people commit sins, they are written in the heart first and then on the Books of Judgment. Jeremiah 17:1 says,
“The sin of Judah is written with a pen of iron;
With the point of a diamond it is engraved
On the tablet of their heart,
And on the horns of your altars.”
Whenever anyone commits a sin, God writes it on the tablet of that person’s heart like this: “You have committed such and such sins on such and such a day.” People are such a filthy brood of evildoers from birth, and so many sins are written on the tablets of their hearts. And even though man is created in the image of God, they commit these sins because they have inherited them. Furthermore, they sin repeatedly forgetting the fact that they have even committed such sins. It is because they are that kind of seed of evildoers fundamentally.
Untrained dogs eat their own feces. They don’t think that their excrements are dirty. Likewise, humans are born with lumps of sin, so they think that their sinful desires are good, or at least think it is just instinct. They never think that sins are dirty. But God writes them on the tablets of their hearts. This is why the Bible says that the sin of Judah is written with a pen of iron, with the point of a diamond, on the tablets of these hearts and on the horns of altars. As is written in the above passage, sins are written in two places. Firstly, they are written on the tablets of our own hearts, and secondly, they are written in Book of Judgment before God.
What Is the Role of the Law?
God gave us the Law. Because we don’t know what sin is, God gave us His Law and had us realize through this Law what sin is. “You shall have no other gods before Me. You shall not make for yourselves a carved image. You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain. Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Honor your father and your mother. You shall not murder. You shall not commit adultery. You shall not steal. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor. You shall not covet your neighbor’s house.” These are the Ten Commandments. There are 613 statutes of do’s and don’ts in the Law in total, but God chose exactly 10 representative statutes among them and set them apart as the Ten Commandments. The upper 4 statutes of the Ten Commandments are the clauses that we must keep in relation to God and the other 6 statutes are the laws that we humans must keep in relation to each other.
Then why did God give us this Law? He gave us the Law in order for us to realize our sinful state. When we stand in front of the mirror of each statute of the Law in turn and reflect ourselves against it, we will find out what kind of sins we have committed. Like this, Romans 3:19-20 says, “Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin.” By God giving us the Law, He had us realize and know what sin is and what kind of sinners we really are. He told us, “You shall not murder,” because we are beings that commit murder at every chance. We are beings that even commit murder in God’s name, and this means that we are sentenced as the guilty. Because we are thus sentenced guilty by the Law, we become sinners before God. And so, we are full blown sinners. We might think there is a difference between those who commit many sins and those who commit only a few sins. But whether we commit many sins or few sins, we are all equal sinners in the eyes of God, for sin is sin to God.
People Do Not Know Their Sins Properly
The fact that we humans cannot but commit sin is not something we can debate about. It is a very serious matter but sadly, those who have committed many sins are unaware of their sins. When we visit a prison and speak with some condemned criminals, what do they keep lamenting about? “I didn’t particularly commit a crime. Yet, I was condemned to death.” Some of them might reply, “Actually, you have committed a lot of sins, but you were swaggering along the street because you have been lucky. But I have been extremely unlucky; I was caught when I committed a single crime and was sentenced to death by this worldly law. Actually, I feel I don’t deserve this. Like other people, I did not actually commit such a heinous crime that deserves the death penalty, but why is it that only I have to receive this death penalty?” Then if you should ask him just exactly what he had done to warrant this death sentence, he would reply, “Someone came to my house, and I became so angry while having an argument with him that I poured gasoline over him and lit him on fire. For that single act, I received a death penalty.” He would then reason something like this: “How about you? Are you clean? Have you never committed a sin like that? Hasn’t the desire to kill others arisen in you at all? I did it accidentally, but I really didn’t have the intention to kill him. Didn’t you also commit many sins? But you are a free man in the world, but I am a condemned man confined to this cell, unable to see the sun very well. I was fallen into this sad plight because I was unfortunate.” This conversation shows us that most people are serious about their sins.
Why doesn’t this criminal know his sins? It is because he has never stood before the Law, especially before the statute that declares, “You shall not murder.” If we compare one person to another, each one is the same. Is there any one special? Is it true that Confucius was someone who did not commit sins, and is it true that world renowned clergymen and religious people do not commit any sins? The truth is that they all commit sins. The only difference is whether or not they have exposed their sinful acts that violate the law transparently.
Truly, we are born with sins from birth and go on living committing these sins, and therefore, we are criminals. Before God and before people and even before the laws of this world, we are grave criminals. In this secular world only those who have been arrested and convicted for their crimes receive punishment. But the Law of God judges not only one’s acts but also the evil thoughts and intent of one’s heart. Therefore, because we are born with sins, we become imprisoned by sins, and thus, they remain inside our hearts.
Only Those Who Acknowledge Their Sins Can Find the Way of Salvation
God speaks to us saying, “You have committed such and such sin on such and such day,” by writing our sins on the tablets of our consciences. He does so by shedding the just light of the Law as well as the light of conscience on our acts and thoughts. Our conscience works as another standard for judging good or evil. And so, even those who do not know the Law display anguish of the soul for their consciences works as God’s law. People who disregard even the law of conscience do not know their fundamental natures and simply go on with their lives as they please. But those who are at least conscious of this law fear God and listen to His Word. All we have to do is to tell these kinds of people about the Law. Reflecting one’s self before the Word of the Law that says, “You shall have no other gods before Me,” then that person will realize just how many gods he or she had put forth, and reflecting one’s past before the Word of the Law that says, “You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain,” then that person will realize just how lowly he or she had underestimated God. There are also many hopeless idiots around who state that everything good is because of their own merits but every bad that happens is because of God.
You must thus realize and be able to confess: “I am a sinner before God. And I am carrying out these awful acts repeatedly? Now I know that I cannot but commit sin until I die because I was born with sin.” Only when you do this will you be qualified to seek Jesus Christ and ask for His help. And when you realize exactly how Jesus Christ has saved you, it will be engraved into your hearts, and you will be saved by faith. When you realize what your fundamental nature really is like and how the Lord has saved you, you will be saved and become God’s child, and when you truly and utterly believe in Him. You will then be able to confess, “Wow! The Lord has come to this world in this way and has accomplished all these righteous works for my salvation”.
By transparently and honestly admitting all our sins that we have actually committed so far as well as the sins we have just harbored in our hearts and then by believing in this Jesus-given gospel of the water and the Spirit, we can be cleansed from all our sins and become as white as snow and become His people. When this happens to us, the Holy Spirit living inside our hearts will bring this change in us. As the Holy Spirit takes up residence in our hearts, our hearts starts experiencing newness, and we soon come to like what we had hated in the past and come to hate what we had liked in the past. Everything will change because our hearts have fundamentally been changed, and this does not come about on our own volition. And so, we will truly become the people who are exceedingly blessed before God.
Therefore, if you want to receive the remission of sins you must first realize that you are a wretched person born with these twelve kinds of sins as appearing in Mark 7:21-22 that says, “For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness.” You must realize before everything else that you cannot but commit sins continually because you fundamentally possess such a sinful heart. Trying not to commit sins may be laudable, but it is more laudable for you to accept the truth that you are someone who cannot but continue to commit sins because you have inherited these sins from your parents despite your efforts to not commit sins.
You Must Know the Cause of the Sickness of Sin First to Be Healed of It
You must know it. Your sin sick heart cannot be healed unless you know the cause of the sickness of sin. If you don’t know why you continue to commit sins, you can never receive the remission of sins even if you are actually facing the Lord right now. If you do not face this reality, there will be no way for you to meet the Lord. This is why the Lord tells us, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick.” Put differently, Jesus is the One who heals the sickness of our sin, so you must first become the sick to be in need of this Jesus. As for those who are not sin-sick and who should meet Jesus, they will only acknowledge Him on the level of “Oh, Jesus is truly abundant in love. He is great.” This is just holding Him in reverence with the lips.
Therefore, you must realize that you are the ones who must actually go to hell because of these sins that are in your heart. The Bible says, “The wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23), you surely will be judged by God and go to hell unless you are cleansed from all your sins perfectly. The Bible says that if someone has even the slightest amount of sin, they will go to hell. As these many are sentenced to be cast into hell because of having sins in their hearts, isn’t it ridiculous to see them still professing fervently that Jesus is their Lord, saying, “Wow! God is great. I love You. You are truly worthy of respect”? If you are still professing, “Because I favor You I will believe in You Jesus,” would this kind of faith make your sins go away? They will never go away. You must first find out what kind of sickness you have contracted.
Years ago I went to see a doctor because of a serious irritation in my throat. At our General Hospital you must know for certain what part of your body is sick and receive guidance to know which department you should go to. So I followed the instruction given by a clerk at the information desk. Then I was allowed to meet someone who was in charge of the family medicine department.
The physician asked me, “What caused you to come here?”
I answered, “I have some holes in my tongue. And my throat hurts badly.”
“Please open your mouth.”
“Ah-h-h.” He then told me,
“Go to the electrocardiogram lab and have an electrocardiogram.”
So I did this after waiting for hours, and then returned to the same doctor. He then said, “Come back here next Friday then I will tell you the results.” When I returned at this appointment this doctor told me to take some sort of an x-ray.” And so I was x-rayed. After that I paid some fee and returned home. On the third visit, this doctor again told me that I have to take some other sort of a test. I wanted to receive an immediate treatment for my aching throat, but instead of healing me, this so-called doctor was only prescribing more tests. My throat continued to hurt, and my money was flowing out of my pocket. And so I became angry with this hospital. I came to the conclusion that this hospital was not concerned about its patients but only about its income. So I went to another hospital in Seoul, and my sore throat was sorted after receiving treatment from a medical specialist.
If you want to have your disease treated, you have to know exactly where you are hurting and go to a designated medical specialist who will diagnose your illness properly. And when your sickness is properly diagnosed, you will then receive the treatment as well. Only when you do this, can you be healed of your sickness and return to health and happiness. In the same way, you cannot be healed of the sickness of your sin by going to just any church just because you think they are right. You have to examine whether or not your sin-sick heart has indeed been healed completely after a long treatment from that church you are attending. Only then will you receive the right answer to your question of whether or not “This church is the proper place for my sickness of sin to be treated?”
Actually, we were born with sins from our births, and we are sinners who commit sins throughout our lives. Even if we have not committed any crime at all, we are still sinners. Even if we did not commit murder and even if we have never stolen anything, we are sinners because we have a sinful heart before God. The Bible says that God looks at the center of our hearts. Because of this, we are indeed wretched sinners. As you reflect on your own hearts before the Word of God, you must first examine these following things: “Am I a sinner or not; am I able to abide by the Law? Do I have sins written inside my heart right now? And, do I acknowledge the Word of God?” If you are diagnosed that “You are indeed a sinner. You will go to hell according to the Law of God,” you then qualified to meet Jesus Christ.
However, if you have not reached this conclusion that you are a grave sinner who deserves hell, then you will never try to seek Jesus Christ, and if you should meet Him, you would regard Him as nothing more than a mere ethical teacher. If someone does not recognize themselves as a grave sinner then they have no need of Jesus. If someone is not heading for hell, then that person has no need of a Savior. Just as someone who is not drowning does not need any help from a rescuer, one has to have at least a tiny bit of sin to yearn for the Savior Jesus Christ. What I am saying is that if we have even just a tiny bit of sin, we will suffer destruction. If we have sins we will surely perish. Therefore, we must realize this truth fully and yearn for the Savior. And by realizing how that Savior has saved us we can really be saved. Only a patient needs a physician.
Today’s Christians Are Leading a Life of Faith under a Deep Chaos
Most Christians as well as many religious people have these thoughts: “Whatever religion I may profess, I will be faithful to it, so I only ask God to grant me cash but never promissory notes. I want You to grant me blessings by recognizing all my virtuous deeds.” They are bargaining with God, saying, “God, remember me because I am prepared to serve You well.” Like this, most Christians today have fallen into absolute chaos.
Genesis 1:2 says, “The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the fact of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.” It says here, “the earth was without form” meaning, the hearts of people are in absolute chaos. It is telling us that these sinful human beings are trying to serve God well, but will they be blessed by Him? If they do not get hit, it would be fortunate, but as they continue to do this, they will be cursed at once. And so, despite having tried to serve Jesus well and to believe in Him steadily, many people commit suicide because of the agony of their sins. Many Christians are being admitted to mental hospitals these days. Why is it so? Although they want to believe in and follow Jesus Christ wholeheartedly, they cannot do this due to the sins that remain intact in their hearts, and on top of this, they have not received the remission of sins yet, and are thus in agony.
I knew an elderly Christian who was a real gentleman. He had neat features from head to toe. Truly, no single fault could be found in him with respect to his external appearance. But one day, he went up a mountain, poured gasoline all over his body, lit it and died in the fire. In his will he wrote, “I am a believer in Jesus, but my sins do not depart from my heart. These sins are so disgusting that I cannot but take an extreme measure against them all. So now, as my last act, I pour gasoline over my body and burn it up. To cleanse all these sins that are inside my heart before I die, I burn this body on my own violation.”
He was a faithful Christian and was respected by all the believers in his church, but he did such a tragic and ridiculous act because of the disgusting sins that were inside his heart. Would the sins inside your conscience disappear if you were to try to burn them away along with your body? No, absolutely not!
Why then did he agonize like this? First of all, he did not know what kind of a sinner he really was. Put differently, he tried to believe in Jesus as the Savior favorably on his own. Most Christians are prone to know and believe in Jesus in a common sense approach as the One who was hung on the Cross. Jesus is the God of love; He is the Son of God; He is the All Mighty; and He is our Savior. So, they believe that He had died vicariously on the Cross for their sakes and that He has saved them from sins. And so, most people go to church and tend to think that they have met Jesus on their own even though they have sins intact in their hearts. They say, “Dear Lord Jesus. Nice to meet You. I love You so much. I have heard so much about You.” And so, they go on thinking about only Jesus on the Cross and love Him. But this is a great misunderstand that most Christians have. Nevertheless, they still try to serve the Lord and love Him much more. But the reality is they cannot be qualified to be saved if they attempt to lead such a decent life. Rather, they have to first realize that they are beings who must first receive the remission of sins by this very Jesus. If they are not cleansed from all their sins then they will be doomed to hell without a doubt.
You Must First Know Your Fundamental Nature Accurately
We must know that once we are born into this world, we are all born as a brood of evildoers, and we are beings that must be destroyed without question. And our end is only hell. Once we are born we are all born as sinners, as the descendants of Adam. And so in the Old Testament David confessed, “Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin my mother conceived me” (Psalm 51:5). He is telling us that in sin his mother and father conceived him and that he was brought forth in iniquity. It means that human beings are fundamentally born in sin and evil and that they therefore commit sin.
David committed adultery for having taken Uriah’s wife Bathsheba. He was casually walking on the roof of the king’s house one day, and he happened to see a naked woman named Bathsheba taking a bath. I told you that there is a lewd heart inside people hearts. I told you that there is also a covetous heart also. This covetous heart said, “Hey, David. Do you not covet her? You like Bathsheba, don’t you? If you like her then take her.” And then the thieving heart arose and said, “Steal her David. You are a king after all, and you have the power to do so. Try it. Try it.” But being ashamed of his conscience, David suddenly shut his eyes and shook his head, saying, “I can’t do it! I can’t!” Then this coveting desire said to David again, “What do you mean you can’t? I am your ardent supporter. Your heart desires her. Do as your heart wants.” David said, “Well then, shall I take a look at just her face once?”
So David ordered his guardsmen to bring Bathsheba to him. When he saw her face more closely, he felt so elated. A desire to take her arose in his heart. As twelve kinds of sins arose all at once in his heart, David started to commit sins. And to hide them, he then went so far as taking the life of Uriah, the husband of this woman Bathsheba. A murdering desire arose within David’s heart and it said to him, “Hey, aren’t you ashamed of your adultery? Hide that sin. You can do that so deceptively.” But his conscience told him, “No, you mustn’t. You are a believer in God. How could you even try to do this thing?” His conscience battled with this iniquitous heart. Nevertheless, what was more powerful than his conscience? It was his sinful nature that he had from birth. This murdering desire told David, “Hey, it’s only natural. What are you going to do if you don’t? If they are detected, you will lose your throne. Do you want that?” And so, David sent his subordinate Uriah right into the frontline. He had indirectly carried out murder. Afterwards, he consoled himself by thinking, “It’s okay because I didn’t kill him myself.”
But one day Nathan the Prophet came and rebuked David by pointing out his sin indirectly. Nathan the Prophet tried to make David acknowledge his sin through a parable like this: “There were two men in one city, one rich and the other poor. The rich man had exceedingly many flocks and herds. But the poor man had nothing, except one little ewe lamb which he had bought and nourished; and it grew up together with him and with his children. It ate of his own food and drank from his own cup and lay in his bosom; and it was like a daughter to him. And a traveler came to the rich man, who refused to take from his own flock and from his own herd to prepare one for the wayfaring man who had come to him; but he took the poor man’s lamb and prepared it for the man who had come to him” (2 Samuel 12:1-4).
When Nathan the Prophet told this story, David was greatly angry and said, “As the Lord lives, the man who has done this shall surely die! And he shall restore fourfold for the lamb, because he did this thing and because he had no pity.” Then Nathan declared, “You are the man!” David had actually caused all this because there was lust rising up from within his heart. Because of that lewd scene of a naked woman taking a bath, an adulterous heart, a murdering desire, and a deceptive heart arose in David’s heart, and in order to serve these desires, he took Bathsheba and killed Uriah. He had killed Uriah so that he may serve iniquity, a guest to his heart.
Hence, what David had confessed about his true self to God was this: “I have sinned against the Lord. I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin I was conceived. I am a man whose fundamental nature is originally from the bloodline of evildoers.” It shows us here that David had acknowledged his sinful nature before God’s Word. And for this reason, God cherished David. God granted mercy upon him because he had acknowledged his basic nature before Him, not because he had lived more decently than any other or had not committed any sin.
Therefore, if you want to meet God, you must first know what kind of being you truly are. When you honestly look back on your heart, if you find that there are sins written on the tablet of your heart, that there still are sins which have not been cleansed away yet, or that you still do not know the gospel of the water and the Spirit, then you must realize that you are someone who will receive the judgment for your sins. It does not matter if it has been 50 years, 30 years, 3 years, or 3 months since you first believed in Jesus. The fact that you have believed Jesus for a long time does not mean that you will surely be acknowledged by God.
Today You Must Be Born Again by Believing in the Gospel of the Water and the Spirit
In John chapter 3 we read of Jesus meeting Nicodemus. Nicodemus also admired Jesus Christ and tried to be acknowledged by Him, but he could not receive any praise from Him. Rather in John 3:3-5, Jesus said that one must be born again by the water and the Spirit to enter the Kingdom of God. Nicodemus was one of Israel’s national leaders, and he was a Pharisee and a leader of Judaism. But because he did not know how to be born again, he came to see Jesus at the dead of night. To such a man Jesus said, “You must be born again by the water and the Spirit to enter the Kingdom of God or to see it.” Nicodemus then in perplex replied, “Must I enter a second time into my mother’s womb to be born?” Jesus then answered him, “Are you not the teacher of Israel, and do you not know these things?”
Our Lord then taught him a great lesson about salvation, saying, “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:14-16).
Later on this Nicodemus understood these Words Jesus had spoken to him, he found out who this Jesus really was, realized that he was a grave sinner, and eventually came to have faith in this Jesus. He found out how the Lord had saved him, someone who had no choice but to go to hell. He eventually reached his salvation that was given by the gospel of the water and the Spirit. So he became one of the two men who took care of the dead body of Jesus while risking his life along with Joseph of Arimathea (John 19:38-39).
We must accurately understand what kind of beings we really are. We are referred to as the brood of evildoers because we were born with sinful hearts that cannot but commit sins. It is because we were born with sinful hearts, we commit these sins because we were born with such a sinful heart. But if we were born with a holy heart or with the Holy Spirit inside our hearts then we would have been carrying out the deeds of the Holy Spirit.
The Book of Galatians chapter 5 speaks about two kinds of desires, namely, the lusts of the flesh and the desires of the Spirit. The born-again have both desires; the lusts of the flesh and the desires of the Holy Spirit. But for those who have not been born again by not knowing about the gospel of the water and the Spirit, will only have the lusts of the flesh and be deprived of the desires of the Holy Spirit. Hearts of the non-born again are filled with the desires to show themselves off, are highly manipulative, make themselves exalted, and make themselves appear virtuous to others. They try to hide themselves with abounding lies.
Then who are we before God? If we do not know the gospel of the water and the Spirit accurately and believe in it, then we are still sinners. Inside the hearts of those who do not believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit are just sins. If some people find that they do not know their sins after having looked into their hearts even before the Word of God, then it means that they are unable to understand the way of salvation, even though they can become high and noble people. It is as if they become like the beasts that perish (Psalm 49:12). We can even say that they are not human beings. They are of course human beings, but what I am saying is that such human beings who do not acknowledge God are like the beasts that deserve destruction.
Therefore, we must know ourselves in all frankness; otherwise we cannot meet Jesus Christ who came down to this earth by the gospel Truth of the water and the Spirit, no matter how long we may have believed in this Lord Jesus fervently.
We Must Distance Ourselves from Believing in the Savior Jesus in a Religious Way
Many Christians say, “Jesus! I love You,” but even if they do this, it is of no use. In worshipping Jesus, many Christian sinners offer various musical instruments, mount up piles of monetary donation envelopes, and pledge allegiance to God with their lives. But because their hearts have not received the remission of sins, all their efforts will be in vain. And so, almost all those who have believed in Jesus for a long time are sinners. It is because they are trapped in a religious faith which can never bring salvation to them.
I also was one of them. But after having believed in Jesus for ten years, I was able to graduate from such an askew religious faith. You who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit now are very fortunate. It is really a miracle for you to have met this genuine gospel.
Although these Christian sinners also want to live virtuously, know the Word of God well and obey it, but for some reason they carry on living only committing sins. Of course, a crime is something that we should not commit but it always attracts our hearts to try it. But these religious practitioners cannot but continue to commit sins against God despite even though they try very hard not to do so. Therefore, they should remember that they must be changed fundamentally in their core heart. This is why Jesus said that everyone must be born again. He is telling us that we must be born twice. You must also be born again by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Once you are truly born again, your lives will change.
Dear fellow believers, take a look at me. Long ago even as I was committing so many sins, I did not realize that I was such a grave sinner. I tried to rationalize myself by thinking, “This isn’t my fault. The environment turned me into someone like this, and that is why I sinned. I just wanted to pass by the movie theater, but my friend asked me to go in with them. So I couldn’t help it.” At the time when I was studying theology, I would walk past a movie theater and think, “The pictures on that signpost is too gaudy. Oh no, I must not look at it. It is too gaudy. But what am I doing now? My eyes are not under my control. Well if I am going to be like this then let me just take a look at that teaser photos of that movie.” I would go over there and take a look at them to see who the main character was. I would see the title and the photos, so I would roughly find out what kind of a story that movie would be. I am not saying that seeing some photos of a movie was a great sin, but rather, the problem was that the movie had captured my heart more tightly than Jesus. As for some people, things other than movies grasp their hearts. And so, they fall into them. Put differently, they are serving their own lusts.
When autumn arrives, ginkgo tree leaves turn yellow and begin to fall. When leaves continue to fall one by one, a street cleaner sweeps them away. But a little later, the leaves fall again one by one and continue to fall. Even though the cleaner sweeps them away everyday, the street does not stay clean. However, when winter finally arrives, all the leaves on ginkgo trees fall off and they stand naked.
I am telling you that unless you believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit where all the sins inside your hearts are perfectly swept away, you will continue to commit sins. However, once you meet Jesus and start serving the gospel of the water and the Spirit, you will no longer be like that. When the Lord becomes your Master, you are no longer like that because not even one single sin of the heart remains in you. They have all gone. I am not saying that you will become someone who does not sin anymore. Of course, you surely will commit sin even after you are born again by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. I am saying that once you are born again, the Holy Spirit dwells in you and the newness of heart comes to your mind. Once you meet the righteousness of the Lord, your heart will change. And after that, whether or not you do something depends on your own will.
Up to this point, by focusing on the part about “the imprisonment of the chief butler and the chief baker,” I spoke to you about how we humans became sinners and why we cannot but commit sins. Actually, I would like to speak about another topic from the same this Scripture passage, but if I try to do this now, problems will arise. So I wish to narrow down my sermon to only one subject this time.
In order for a patient to gain a complete recovery the physician must make an accurate diagnosis and prescribe the correct medicine and the patient must acknowledge this and trust it. Only if the patient follows this, will he be healed. Even if the physician makes an accurate diagnoses and remedy, but if the patient does not believe in that physician, that patient will not obey the prescription as it is written. The patient will take the medicine haphazardly and then chuck it away into a garbage can. When this happens such a patient will not gain a complete recovery. And so, spreading this gospel face to face is not easy. Hence, you cannot imagine how good it is to spread the gospel by this literature ministry. We prefer literature ministry for this method rarely hurts our readers’ pride when compared doing it the other way. All they have to do is just read our books and meditate on whether the teachings of our books are right or not. Those who are fair-minded will all be saved once they read our books seriously. The Bible says, “These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so” (Acts 17:11). Still, attentive and responsive attitudes are mostly required.
The Plan of Salvation of the Entire Hell-bound People Is Achieved by the Gospel of the Water and the Spirit
What is the fate of us human beings? We are beings heading for hell. Because we are born into this world with sins, we are beings who are heading for hell due to these sins. In this sermon, I preached to you about this very fact. Regardless of who you are, if you have sin, you will not be able to avoid God’s righteous judgment for sins. Once a sinner receives that righteous judgment, then that sinner will surely fall into the lake of fire that will never be quenched. Therefore, from this truth, one can neither add nor take anything away. If you are a person who acknowledges the Word of God; if you are a person who acknowledges what is inside your conscience; if you are a person who acknowledges the very will of God, the very Word, and the very Law of God, and if you believe in God who exists forever although He cannot be seen with your naked eyes—then the very first thing you must do is to acknowledge the fact that you are a sinner heading for hell and then believe in the Lord.
If you have received a diagnosis that you are heading for hell because of your sins, wouldn’t God have a plan for your salvation? Because God loves you, He set up a plan. Salvation is something that God only does and not just any plan. In my next sermon I will specifically talk to you about how God has set up the plan of our salvation.
I am telling this to you because I met the Lord and the gospel of the water and the Spirit prior to you, not because I am more excellent than you. I am the same as you. I am a human being just like you, but the Lord was gracious enough to meet me first. So, I came to meet the Word of the Truth of the water and the Spirit first. Thus, through this gospel Word, my sins were cleansed away completely. What is unbelievable is that all my sins were actually swept away clean once and for all just as I came to know the Word of the Truth, not because I had spoken in tongues, offered mountain-top prayers, or offered prayers of repentance etc. When I heard this gospel Word, I believed in this Word, and all my sins were gone. Thus, I was able to receive my salvation. Hence, even though I am still lacking, I have been able to stand before you like this and preach the Word to you so far.
I give thanks to God. As I finish this sermon, I hope you all will know the truth that people who have sins in their heart and are destined to receive the punishment from God. And I want you to accurately know and believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit after acknowledging your sinful natures. If you do this, you will surely be cleansed of all your sins once and for all.