“When anyone offers a grain offering to the Lord, his offering shall be of fine flour. And he shall pour oil on it, and put frankincense on it. He shall bring it to Aaron’s sons, the priests, one of whom shall take from it his handful of fine flour and oil with all the frankincense. And the priest shall burn it as a memorial on the altar, an offering made by fire, a sweet aroma to the Lord. The rest of the grain offering shall be Aaron’s and his sons’. It is most holy of the offerings to the Lord made by fire. And if you bring as an offering a grain offering baked in the oven, it shall be unleavened cakes of fine flour mixed with oil, or unleavened wafers anointed with oil. But if your offering is a grain offering baked in a pan, it shall be of fine flour, unleavened, mixed with oil. You shall break it in pieces and pour oil on it; it is a grain offering. If your offering is a grain offering baked in a covered pan, it shall be made of fine flour with oil. You shall bring the grain offering that is made of these things to the Lord. And when it is presented to the priest, he shall bring it to the altar. Then the priest shall take from the grain offering a memorial portion, and burn it on the altar. It is an offering made by fire, a sweet aroma to the Lord. And what is left of the grain offering shall be Aaron’s and his sons’. It is most holy of the offerings to the Lord made by fire. No grain offering which you bring to the Lord shall be made with leaven, for you shall burn no leaven nor any honey in any offering to the Lord made by fire. As for the offering of the firstfruits, you shall offer them to the Lord, but they shall not be burned on the altar for a sweet aroma. And every offering of your grain offering you shall season with salt; you shall not allow the salt of the covenant of your God to be lacking from your grain offering. With all your offerings you shall offer salt. If you offer a grain offering of your firstfruits to the Lord, you shall offer for the grain offering of your firstfruits green heads of grain roasted on the fire, grain beaten from full heads. And you shall put oil on it, and lay frankincense on it. It is a grain offering. Then the priest shall burn the memorial portion: part of its beaten grain and part of its oil, with all the frankincense, as an offering made by fire to the Lord.”
What Is a Grain Offering?
Warm greetings to everyone. Today, I would like to share the Word of God with you regarding the grain offering. The grain offering here refers to a bloodless offering made out of finely ground grain, which was offered with other sacrificial offerings. Spiritually speaking, the grain offering can be said to refer to the offering of devotion that we dedicate to God. After burnt offerings, peace offerings, or sin offerings were made to God, these grain offerings were made by grinding the first harvest of the grain and mixing it with frankincense, salt and oil. That’s why they were called grain offerings. The people of Israel had offered this flour to God along with other sacrificial offerings.
The grain offering holds a very important spiritual meaning. It is spiritually more meaningful for the righteous to offer such offerings to God. It implies our bodies and hearts are offered to God by faith, now that we have been saved and become righteous through the righteousness of God. However, God instructed never to add leaven or honey to this grain offering. Let’s all turn to Leviticus 2:11 here: “No grain offering which you bring to the Lord shall be made with leaven, for you shall burn no leaven nor any honey in any offering to the Lord made by fire.” This means that because we have been saved from the sins of the world and become God’s children by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, it is only a matter of course for us to dedicate ourselves to serving the righteousness of the Lord, thanking God for His love. That is why we believe that it is right for us to offer our bodies and hearts for the sake of all those in this world who still do not know the gospel of the water and the Spirit, and are thus unable to become God’s children and perishing. In other words, we are offering our physical bodies to serve the gospel of the Lord, so that this gospel may spread to everyone.
The grain offering described in today’s Scripture reading refers such an offering, which is made when we serve our Lord’s precious gospel. It is for this reason that God commanded not to add any leaven or honey to the grain offering. What then would be the spiritual meaning of leaven and honey? When leaven is added to dough, it makes the dough rise, and adding honey sweetens the bread to make it even tastier. We know this from our everyday life, as we eat bread all the time and use honey quite often for sweetening our food. However, God is telling us, who are living by faith, to eschew or shun such things, spiritually speaking.
For us who live in the New Testiment age, those of us who have received the remission of sins into their hearts by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, God is also telling us not to add leaven or honey when it comes to serving His righteousness. Spiritually speaking, by not adding leaven or honey means, we must not live for or by the teachings or pleasures of the flesh. In other words, God is telling us that when we carry out the work of the Lord, we should not do this for the glory of our own flesh. Put differently, we must do God’s work for His righteousness alone, never to inflate ourselves. That is why God said to make the grain offering to Him with just fine flour, mixed with oil, salt, and frankincense.
I hope you can now understand what this means spiritually. We are serving the gospel of the water and the Spirit because we ourselves truly believe in this gospel. And we offer the grain offering in order to spread this gospel to everyone else. This is because we are those who serve the righteousness of God. Because God loves us and has saved us from all our sins, we are serving this gospel out of a truly thankful heart. The Lord also said not to pray to show off to others. So, we are serving God in obedience to His will solely to carry out His desire only. If someone is instead trying to establish his own ego or fulfill the lust of his own flesh, then this person is not making a spiritually sound grain offering to God. When God said not to add any leaven or honey to the grain offering, He was telling us not to devote ourselves to living a fleshly life. Serving God, in other words, is not something that we can do as though it were a hobby.
We know that we are serving God’s work spiritually like this because God has saved us first and foremost from all our sins through the gospel of the water and the Spirit. What is absolutely indispensable to all of us who believe in the righteousness of God, however, is none other than the spiritual offering of faith. For this, we must endure all other sacrifices to all the offerings that we make to God, including the grain offering. In other words, to make such offerings that are pleasing to the Lord, we must devote our whole body, heart, and minds to everything we do in order to spread the Lord’s gospel of the water and the Spirit. God said that when we offer Him a burnt offering, it is His food. This means that God is happy with us when we the believers in the gospel of the water and the Spirit preach this gospel to people who, because of their sins, garnered God’s enmity, they teach this gospel to them, and reconcile them back with God.
It is in the spreading of His gospel of the water and the Spirit that is God’s food, not our own self-sacrifice. The same is true for our grain offering. It is because God has saved us from all our sins that we are serving Him. Jesus bore all our sins by being baptized by John the Baptist, He was crucified to death while bearing them upon His shoulders, and He rose from the dead again. If anyone who has received the remission of sins is not preaching this gospel by faith, then the person is someone who is not making any grain offering. Such people are spiritually evil people. Indeed, anyone who does not make the grain offering spiritually is someone who is not one with the Lord. Therefore, it is absolutely critical for all of us to be one with the righteousness of the Lord and serve this righteousness. To do so, we must serve the Lord’s righteousness solely out of a thankful heart, rather than trying to establish our own self-righteousness. This is the kind of devotion coming out of a heart that is truly united with the Lord. All of us who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit must now lead a life that is one with the Lord spiritually.
It is only a matter of course that those who have received the remission of sins ought to live out their faith in unity with God, making the grain offering. To live such a life of unity with God, we must sacrifice ourselves as peace offerings, burnt offerings, or sin offerings for the sake of others. All of us who have been made righteous have such a duty to God. After all, how could we let everyone else perish in perdition, happy that we alone are loved by God, we alone have been saved from our sins, and we alone will go to Heaven? Anyone who has such thoughts cannot truthfully be said to be someone who is spreading the righteousness of God. Whoever has received the remission of sins must of course serve the righteousness of God in unity with Him.
In fact, if someone has truly received the remission of sins by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, then he cannot help himself but serve the gospel even without anyone asking for it. Because we are so thankful to God for our salvation, we cannot help but serve this gospel of the water and the Spirit. There are countless number of people who have no idea from where they were born and to where they are going. So many people born on this earth do not know the purpose for which they should be living, and as a result, wander around without any direction until they fall into a worldly religion and are trapped there for the rest of their lives, only to be destroyed in the end. Unable to find the true purpose of life, such people face nothing but disappointment and ultimately see their lives end in vain.
Every man and woman must know the gospel of the water and the Spirit, the Word of Truth. What then is this gospel of the water and the Spirit? The truth says, that when we were deceived by Satan out of our weakness and consequently fell into destruction, God Himself who created us, sent the Savior to this earth and saved us. Indeed, God sent His Son to this earth to deliver us from the sins of this world and destruction, making us His children, and let us live forever. Accordingly, Jesus Christ the Son of God came to this earth, and through the gospel of the water and the Spirit, He has saved us perfectly from the sins of the world and judgment. God let us be born on this earth so that He would save us like this, and if we do not realize this will of God, our lives will be all in vain no matter how long we might live and how many riches we might enjoy.
I cannot emphasize enough just how indispensable it is for all of us to know the righteousness of the Lord and believe in it. Look back and think about what has happened to us since we found the Lord’s righteousness. God allowed us to be born on this earth so that He Himself could blot out all our sins, and to make it known to us that He has enabled us to enter and live forever in His Kingdom, that He loves us, and that He has made us His own very special children. And to this very day, God has led us in many places and in many ways.
No religion in this world can answer the question, “Why was I born on this earth?” What does Buddhism say? Arguing for reincarnation, it claims that if you are virtuous in this present life, you will be born as a higher being in the next life hereafter, while if you do evil things in this life, you will be born as a lowly being in your next life. The Word of God says in Ecclesiastes 1:2 “Vanity of vanities, all is vanity.” So what is our Lord saying to us here then? He says, “For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things” (Romans 11:36). God is saying that the whole universe and all things in it have come to exist because of Jesus Christ who has saved us from the sins of the world. Why were human beings born on this earth? The Lord said that He made us human beings so that we would live with Him. However, man fell into Satan’s temptation and sinned against God. God Almighty Himself then came to this earth incarnated in the flesh of man, was baptized by John the Baptist, died on the Cross, rose from the dead again, and thereby fulfilled the gospel of the water and the Spirit; and in doing so, God has saved once and for all those of us who believe in this gospel from all the sins of the world.
God has, through these works, made us, who were all sinners, His own sinless children. Indeed, this had been God’s plan all along for us, who were created in the likeness of His image. In other words, God let all of us be born on this earth and saved us through the gospel of the water and the Spirit so that we would live forever as God’s own children and enjoy the same glory as God. If you know this plan of God and this Truth of salvation, you have truly been blessed. Regardless of how many years you have lived thus far, whether 10, 30, or 70 years, you must all realize that making this gospel Truth of the water and the Spirit known to you is the very purpose for which God created you. I am so thankful to you all for listening to and receiving the remission of sins by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, and I hope and pray that you will lead into Jesus Christ not only your very own family members who have not received the remission of sins yet, but everyone else throughout the whole world.
It is by spreading the gospel that the believers in the gospel of the water and the Spirit can make an offering of righteousness to God. Although we may have lived for our own flesh until now, from this moment on, for the sake of mankind who were created in the likeness of the image of God, we must minister the peace offering between them and God, and do so continuously.
What Is the Reason for Us to Live Like This?
It is because we have received the remission of our sins thanks to the righteousness of Jesus Christ. It is because Jesus Christ came to this earth, accepted all our sins once and for all by being baptized by John the Baptist, the representative of mankind, shed His blood on the Cross, rose from the dead again, and has thereby saved us once and for all. By believing in this Truth that has come by the gospel of the water and the Spirit with our hearts, we have received the remission of sins. And by receiving the remission of sins into our hearts by faith like this, we have become God’s own children. What should we be doing from now on? We must minister such offerings of righteousness to others.
In other words, we must preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit to other souls so that they would also believe in it. Are you however thinking, “How can I do God’s work effectively when I am already so busy with my own life?” It might be agreed that while it would be rather difficult for you to carry out God’s work due to your circumstances, God’s Church exists on this earth, and in this Church you will find God’s servants. There are many ways in which you can take part in God’s work, you can make regular financial contributions, you can pray for it, or you can offer your time. God’s work is not difficult. If you believe in the righteousness of God and obey His will, then you are someone who can carry out God’s work in anyway possible.
If you are truly happy when hearing God’s Word of righteousness, I urge you to think about the souls of others, including your own soul. Think again about just how much you had struggled before you met Jesus Christ, who came by the water and the Spirit. Before I found the righteousness of the Lord, I had absolutely no hope, nor did I have any joy. There was nothing in this world that was worth doing, I had no ability either; and my heart never satisfied even when I tried the work of the world. And I also did not know why I was born in this world nor why I had to live. I thought to myself, “Everyone’s life is purposeless. Once born, everyone gets old, falls ill, and dies. What’s the point of living then? My grandfather passed away and is now in that grave. Will I not also end up in that grave in time? Is this what my life is all about then? If it is, then my life means nothing. Why do people say, that man is the greatest of all creation? I feel I’m so worthless. In time, everyone will end up in a grave. Young and old, men and women alike, everyone will die at one point. What is the meaning of life then? Isn’t life totally meaningless?” I was full of such confusing thoughts.
So, trying to find out the meaning of life, I tried Buddhism at one time, and then I tried Christianity also. However, ten long years went by since I first began believing in Jesus, and, before I came to realize the precious gospel Truth of the water and the Spirit through the Word of God. It was entirely through the Word of God that I came to know the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Once I believed in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, all my sins disappeared from my heart, and from that moment onwards there was no need for me to offer anymore prayers of repentance. At first this all seemed rather dull to me. I had no worries about making a living either, as just a little effort was needed to make my ends meet. There wasn’t much else to do. Because everyone is born blind, they do not know what it is that they should be doing in their lives. This was true for me as well. However, once I found the gospel of the water and the Spirit, the gospel of the remission of sins, and received the remission of sins, I reached a clear understanding of what I should be doing in my life.
From then on, I thought to myself, “While it’s not easy to make a living, all my basic needs can be met if I just put in a little effort into it. So it’s not such a big deal. I want to spread the gospel of the water and the Spirit from now on. Now that my heart’s sins have disappeared, I want to preach this gospel of the water and the Spirit to everyone who does not know it.” So, from that moment, whenever I met anyone, my mouth opened on its own and I came to preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit at every available chance. When I told people about the gospel of the water and the Spirit, most of them were skeptical at first, but soon I saw many of them rejoicing for having come to know this gospel.
I could not stay still without preaching the gospel of the water and the Spirit. So, as I preached the gospel of the water and the Spirit, I had to also nurture the new believers, and as I began nurturing them, I had to find new things to support the gospel ministry. I had resolved within myself to serve God and other souls. Those who believed in the gospel of the water and the Spirit before you are working for the righteousness of God alone day and night, all to save you from your sins. Is there any pastor here who is living just for himself? Even when travelling, don’t all our pastors who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit ride with the congregation in a church vehicle? Is there any pastor here who bought his own luxurious car yet and said proudly, “This is my car, so no one else can use it”? No, there isn’t!
Although I myself am a pastor, when I see our workers faithfully spreading the righteousness of God, men and women alike, I have nothing but respect for them. How could they be doing what they are doing if they were living just for themselves? See them for yourselves. Are they not carrying out God’s work relentlessly, day and night? Are they not serving God and His gospel of righteousness faithfully like this? At the least, when it comes to those who know and believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, there is no one who is working for one’s own flesh. I have so much respect for them.
Making this grain offering to God is the natural duty for all who know and believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Right now, it is you and I who are making the grain offering for God and for the people. In other words, we are ministering the offering of righteousness before God for the sake of all those who, still not knowing the gospel of the water and the Spirit, have not received the remission of sins. Just as the actual priests carried out this work during the age of the Old Testament, we now in the age of the New Testament are doing likewise, (all those we believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit), are ministering these offerings for those who still do not know God’s love and the gospel of righteousness.
What then should our tasks be towards ourselves and before God and man? We must sacrifice ourselves. The grain offering was made out of fine flour mixed with oil, and this was sprinkled on the altar of burnt offering along with salt and frankincense. As the flour mixed with salt, frankincense, and oil was burnt on the altar of burnt offering, it emitted a sweet aroma and also produced smoke. This implies that wherever the gospel of the water and the Spirit is preached, such grain offerings are made. In other words, it is our actual workers who are serving the gospel of the water and the Spirit and supporting the gospel ministry that must carry out this work. For instance, when it snows while we are holding a Discipleship Training Camp, there are some people who scatter sand on the road. They do this voluntarily to serve others, not for themselves. The same goes for us. All of us must make the grain offering to God for other people’s souls.
Our Lord said, “Unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain” (John 12:24). If we live just for ourselves even after believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit and receiving the remission of sins, then there would be no reason for us to help others or be helped by them. If a grain of wheat falls onto the ground, it will produce many more grains, if it on the other hand is not buried in the ground, it will remain alone. What will then happen to us? We would remain singled out wicked souls, even after receiving the remission of sins.
If you believe in the gospel Word of the water and the Spirit, and if you believe that the Lord took away all your sins by being baptized in the Jordan River, then the Holy Spirit is bound to dwell in your heart. God is the God of justice, the God of mercy, and the God of truth. He is a good God who is benevolent to mankind, blesses them, and saves them from their sins. Therefore, because this benevolent God dwells in the hearts of all of us who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, we are also capable of doing good to others. As a result, those whose hearts are indwelt by the Holy Spirit cannot help but do God’s work of righteousness. For this reason, if you have really received the remission of sins by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, then you cannot live just for your own flesh.
If you are otherwise living for you own flesh, then you are facing a huge problem, as it indicates that you still have not been born again properly yet. We may say that such people do not truly know the righteousness of God and His love. It is not we who loved God first, but it is God who loved us first. Given the fact that such people like us have received the remission of sins once and for all by faith, how could we not do everything we can to support this precious gospel ministry? How could we not minister the grain offering to God spiritually? How could we not sacrifice ourselves so that everyone else may also be saved from sin?
Imagine for a minute that I told you, “Don’t do anything to serve the gospel of the water and the Spirit. From now on, do absolutely nothing to lead others to receive the remission of sins.” Would you be able to obey my instruction? No, you wouldn’t. What would you do if you were prevented from spreading the gospel of the water and the Spirit? Wouldn’t you say, “Give me liberty or give me death’? “If you are trying to stop me from spreading the gospel, you might as well take away my life! So many people are in so much pain and struggling with their sins. They do not even know why they were born. You might as well kill me if you want me to stop preaching to such wretched people the beautiful gospel of the water and the Spirit.” So don’t try to stop me!” Isn’t this what you would say? Of course you would say these things.
If we were prohibited from serving the gospel of the water and the Spirit and supporting its ministry, I would be praying like this: “Lord, I’ve lived long enough, so please take me away soon. If I can’t do such a wonderful and good work now, and if I can’t carry out Your righteous work, I will just end up wasting the rest of my life eating and sleeping. What’s the point of living like this? So please take me away right away.” That’s how I would pray. Unless we preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit, what hope do we have in this world? I am sure you feel the same. We have no desire to remain on this earth any longer if we can’t do God’s work.
On the other hand, although countless people have heard and believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, there are those who truly want to remain on this earth to support the gospel ministry. What does the Bible say? It’s written that even though Jesus healed ten lepers, there was only one leper who returned and thanked the Lord for healing him. A myriad number of people have heard the gospel. In Korea also, many people have heard the gospel. However, caught up in an empty shell of religion, they are still drawn to these mega-churches, and they think that it’s ok for their hearts to remain sinful even as they believe in Jesus. Because they believe in the Lord only as a matter of religion, they forsake Him when they feel bad and they look for Him again when they feel better.
In contrast, we are working to spread the gospel of the water and the Spirit to well over 6 billion people living throughout the whole world. We are serving the Lord and other souls. We are therefore the truly blessed ones in God’s sight, and we are doing something that is truly benevolent. In Korea, there actually are very few people who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. But, do you know that we have received over 3,000 testimonies of salvation from around the world? Indeed, countless people all over the world are receiving the remission of sins from hearing the gospel preached by us. We ought to be very thankful to God that we are offering ourselves to Him like this. In my sermon today, I explained to you that we must minister peace offerings, and at this evening hour, I would like to emphasize that we must also minister grain offerings by sacrificing ourselves. Those who have received the remission of sins into their hearts must now minister offerings to God often for the sake of other souls. They must do this always. They must serve the Lord’s gospel by sacrificing themselves for others.
While we don’t speak about it much, just how many sacrifices have we made to serve the gospel of the water and the Spirit? An astounding number of people are sacrificing themselves to support the gospel ministry. But, this is only a matter of course. And how do these people behave while sacrificing themselves? Is there anyone who brags about themselves? While it is ok for us to find it hard to serve the gospel, it is not ok to exaggerate this hardship and demand something back in return. This angers me much. Because grain offerings, peace offerings, and sin offerings are ministered through self-sacrifice for the sake of others, it is only natural for us to find it hard and toilsome. Isn’t this so? Don’t you think that this is expected? It is only a matter of course that we would find it hard.
However, even if my whole body is ruined, I would be so thankful if only others can receive the remission of sins from hearing this gospel and enter the Kingdom of Heaven. “I would thank the Lord and say to Him gladly, “Lord, even though my effort has been so little and my sacrifice has been so insignificant, You have made it possible to harvest so many fruits. Hallelujah! Thank You, Lord! Despite the fact that I have done so little, You have saved so many people and given them Your glory by making Your love known to them. I am so amazed and thankful that I can’t help but give all glory to You.” Even if I have to labor until the moment I take my last breath, if more people come to receive the remission of sins from this labor, then I am more than satisfied. I am sure you feel the same way.
As you have received the remission of sins and your faith grows, from now on you ought to live for others rather than just yourself. Of course, those who have received the remission of sins only recently should focus on following their predecessors of faith and growing and learning from this. That is the appropriate thing to do. Just how happy and overjoyed are we to serve the Lord’s gospel? I am so happy that words cannot describe it. I trust that you are also happy. Although it’s true that serving the Lord is hard on us, at least our hearts are happy. Because of this small labor of ours, everyone throughout the whole world can now be saved. This shows us that God is indeed doing such a great work and blessing us with such a great reward.
I give all thanks to God. Today, at this very hour, I have the following words of admonishment for everyone listening. Let us all serve the gospel faithfully, and let us all support the gospel ministry diligently. It is very wrong for any of us here to slack off and try to avoid God’s work when everyone else is working so hard to serve the Lord, saying, “That’s it! I can’t do it anymore. You can intervene with me up to this point, but no more!” Did the Lord ever say anything like this to us? No, of course not! If the Lord were to say to us, “I will take away the sins that you have committed up to now, but you are responsible for the sins that you commit from now on. You should be thankful that I am even taking away the sins that you’ve already committed,” then we would all end up in hell. However, the Lord is so full of love that He did not this to us.
When He came to this earth, He blotted out all our past, present, and future sins once and for all. Through His 33 years of life on this earth, He has saved us perfectly by being baptized, shedding His blood on the Cross, and rising from the dead again. That is what the Lord has done for us. Therefore, it is only a matter of course that we should sacrifice ourselves to spread the gospel of the water and the Spirit. This is the work that God has entrusted to you and me. It is the task that God has entrusted to us until the day the Lord returns.
I hope and pray that God will bless our lives in both body and spirit. I ask God to protect each and every one of us here and abroad, and to bless them all. If we let ourselves be the Lord’s hands, feet, and lips, and spread His Word just as much as He loves the souls, then the Lord will protect us with even more blessings, so that He may use us as even more precious instruments. In other words, if you and I carry out the work of the gospel, the Lord will give us all His blessings in body, spirit, faith, even in our circumstances. It’s because the Lord has blessed us so abundantly that we have made it so far. I ask and pray to our God to bless you all, and I give all my thanks to Him!