The Water above the Firmament and the Water below the Firmament
< Genesis 1:6-8 >
�Then God said, �Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.? Thus God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament; and it was so. And God called the firmament Heaven. So the evening and the morning were the second day.?/b>
On the first day of His creation, God did the work of saving souls. In other words, on the first day God made sinners righteous, and He also clearly separated the righteous from the sinners. And on the second day of the creation of the heavens and the earth, God divided the water above the firmament from the water below it. Put differently, this means that God divided His Word from the words of Satan.
The Water above the Firmament and the Water below the Firmament
In the Bible, the spiritual meaning of �water?refers to the �Word of God,?and it also refers to the �baptism?that Jesus received from John, through which He accepted the sins of mankind. On this earth, there are those who spread the Word of God, and then there also are those who spread Satan�s words. That is why God divided all the waters on this earth into the water above the firmament and the water below it. Through the things that God did on the second day of creation, He is saying, �In this world there are those who live by feeding on My Word by faith, and others who live by feeding on the words of Satan and spreading it.?As such, it is imperative for us to know how to discern whether those claiming to preach the Word of God are indeed God�s servants or Satan�s servants.
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights (James 1:17). In contrast, every sort of wickedness comes out of the human heart. Therefore, when the light of the Word of God is shone, the true colors of the sinful are unveiled. The water below the firmament—that is, the words of the earth—refers to the teachings that came out of the human heart. That is why the water above the firmament is separated from the water below it.
The water of this earth is fundamentally different from the water above the firmament. In other words, God is saying that every word that comes out of the human heart is the water below the firmament, while the Word of Truth that He spoke to us is the water above the firmament.
There are false prophets on this earth, but at the same time, there also are God�s servants, the true prophets. False prophets are those who say whatever comes out of their own hearts, without even looking at the Word of God. In the Old Testament�s time also, false prophets had prophesied according to whatever came out of their minds. So spiritually speaking, their teachings are the words of the earth, that is, the words of Satan.
However, it is still possible for Satan�s words to work in people�s hearts. So when we look at those who are used by the Devil, we see them telling sinners to receive the Holy Spirit irrespective of the Word of God, or speaking in tongues, which are really nothing more than just gibberish that comes out of their own minds. When we listen carefully to what they say, we can easily find out that it�s just a voice of the flesh coming out of their own thoughts and emotion. So it�s a complete mess. It�s so filthy that we can hardly continue to listen.
When we listen to what is said at a revival meeting in a prayer retreat, we the born-again can realize in no time whether the preacher with the Bible open is speaking the Word of God now, or just saying whatever is on his own mind. Many such preachers speak in complete irrelevance to the Bible. For instance, while telling the congregation to receive the Holy Spirit, they manipulate the mike to come up with some sort of sound effect, and shout out, �Receive the fire!?Using a vocal band, they stir up the crowd�s emotion and put them in a mass hypnosis. Would the crowd really receive the Holy Spirit in this way?
God says in the Bible, �Receive the remission of your sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit?(Acts 2:38). However, when we listen to the words of the servants of Satan, they claim that one is to receive the remission of his sins separately from receiving the Holy Spirit. They say, �All of you who believe in Jesus are saints. But, from now on, you have to receive the Holy Spirit separately to become whole.?
But must one receive the Holy Spirit yet again after being born again? It is none other than liars?words to say so. Their teachings are not of the Word that is above the firmament, but they are the words that are below the firmament—that is, words that spring forth from the earth. Put differently, they say what God never said, making it up all on their own.
Satan�s words are always like that. When people say anything that is different from the Bible, it�s all Satan�s words. This is the nature of Satan�s words: What Satan says is clearly not the Word of God, but he claims that his words are God�s Word. None other than this is the very nature of the words of Satan. It is about pretending to preach the Word of God, only to deceive people in the end.
Those who preach the Word of God must preach it based on the written Word of the Scriptures. God�s servants are those who preach what the Bible says exactly as it is. In contrast, Satan�s servants say whatever comes out of their own hearts irrespective the Bible, thus leading countless people to destruction. Satan�s words work through those who are not born again. And the words of Satan can work through those whose faith is still immature, even though they believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
How, then, do Satan�s words descend on people? First, I�ve already mentioned that Satan�s words work in those who are not born again. It is those who are not born again that are the best suited to be used by Satan. So Satan stirs up devotion in them, changes their hearts, and makes them work hard, as if they were really laboring for the Truth, when in fact they are serving only lies. Satan makes people believe in the lies of the false teachers as the truth. It is through these people who are not born again that Satan works. He works through them so that rather than following the Truth, they would follow untruth.
That is why when someone leads his life of faith under a pastor who is not born again, he ends up turning into a servant of Satan himself. If this pastor does not believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, and has therefore not been born again, then regardless of how he might believe that he is doing well in his own way, ultimately all his ministry is nothing more than Satan�s work. As such, the pastor must first be born again by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit
Satan�s Work Is Manifested Not as Faith in the Truth, But as the Devotion of Man
As a matter of fact, there are many pastors in this world who are doing Satan�s work without even realizing. They are doing so much false work as Satan�s servants. Although their work of Satan can heal illnesses and cast out demons, they bear sinners, for their followers still have sin in their hearts. Their next work of Satan is to turn their congregation into legalistic believers, changing them to strive hard to keep the Law.
Before the Apostle Paul met the Lord on the road to Damascus, he had been utterly devoted to the Law. As the Pharisee among the Pharisees, he was extremely pious. His devotion even extended to persecuting and murdering Christian saints. Before the Apostle Paul was born again, when he was a young man, he even guarded the clothes of the people who stoned God�s servant Stephan to death. He was someone who said, �I�ll watch over your clothes; go ahead and stone him all you want!?In this age also, such devotion is found in the churches and homes where Satan is working. God makes His servants do His work quietly. In contrast, the Devil does His work with all kinds of clamor through his servants, by inciting their lust for glory.
Making people zealous is characteristic of the work of Satan. When we look at people used by Satan, we see how they all labor with only their own zeal. From attending morning prayer meetings for 70 straight days and overnight prayer meetings for 40 days to campaigning to read the entire Bible in a week, there are so many exceptional requirements to their work that it�s a constant struggle keep up with them. Their lives of faith are a continuation of one slogan after another, of striving to do something on their own. But all that we really have to do is just pray to God placing our faith in His righteousness, with our hearts entirely relying on Him and trusting Him. Must we fast for 40 days for God to be pleased? Of course not!
However, because they are not the people who believe in the Truth and follow it, and because they therefore cannot trust in God�s Word, they seek after something special so much. They think that if they are carnally zealous, God would somehow bless them. They try to be so zealous that we the believers in the gospel of the water and the Spirit cannot follow the zeal of such people who are not born again.
Before I knew the gospel of the water and the Spirit, and before I believed in it, I, too, had been zealous beyond description. I used to gather the youths to clean the church inside and out, lead them out to the streets to bear witness, and then gather again in the evening for choir practice. This is how zealous I was before I was born again. Those who are yet to be born again before God are so zealous that it is imperative that we consider their misplaced devotion here.
Just because a Christian is devout, this does not necessarily mean that he is following the will of God. In other words, when we lead our lives of faith, we must first have the proper knowledge of what the gospel Truth of the water and the Spirit is, and what the God-pleasing life is. For us to rely on the Word of God, seek its counsel, and come out to God is to fulfill the will of God. Following the Truth is to march forth trusting in the righteousness of God; it is not something that can achieved by mankind�s devotion.
Genesis 1:2 says, �The Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.?/i> This means that the Spirit of God works with the Word of God. All that there is for us to do is to understand what the Word of God is saying and follow it. God works in our lives when we seek His counsel, trust in Him, and follow Him, but in contrast to this, the devotion is mankind is like a marathon race without the finish line. There is no end to this, no matter how long one might continue with his devotion. It entails a constant exhortation to try just a little bit more and just a little bit harder, but all that results from this is a never-ending struggle to be a devoted believer.
The purpose for mankind�s devotion is also to satisfy one�s own lust. One would fall off a bicycle unless he pedals ceaselessly; just like this, so does the piety of mankind requires one to run endlessly. This zeal tires and torments people so much. Yet Satan still stirs them to be zealous, and ultimately drags them into hell. That is because far too man people follow Satan�s words more zealously than God�s Word.
One�s zeal does not set the person free, but it makes the person weary. God said to us, �You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.?In contrast, Satan says to people, �You just need some rough understanding of God�s Word; what you really need is piety.?Satan�s logic is that if we are utterly pious to God, God would also be moved, just as �sincerity moves Heaven.? As a result, people think, �Though I am a sinner, if I pray to God diligently, God will overlook it.?This very thought is completely fallacious.
What can really be achieved just because we pray to God zealously? We must not emphasize only our own devotion. That is Satanic. Rather than living according to our own zeal, we must realize God�s will and live according to this will of God.
However, the servants of Satan try to incite us to be zealous for the work of the earth. Next to extolling us to devotion, they try to turn us completely ignorant, leading us to hell as know-nothings. That is why God said in 2 Timothy 3:6-7, ?/i>For of this sort are those who creep into households and make captives of gullible women loaded down with sins, led away by various lusts, always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.?/i>
In other words, Satan tries to trip people into ignorance. He tries to confuse them. God says that Satan brings ignorance to people so that they may remain completely oblivious, making them learn constantly and yet never be able to come to the knowledge of the Truth. Satan makes them fall into ignorance and stubbornness, and these ignorance and stubbornness prevent them from reaching the knowledge of the Truth. It�s Satan�s strategy to make people ignorant.
Many Christians are also very zealous when it comes to bearing witness, preaching to others to believe in Jesus. Satan�s servants are quite diligent with their proselytizing efforts, for their zeal is great, and they lure those who seem weak. In other words, Satan claims that people would prosper if they believe in Jesus, be healed from their illnesses, or succeed in their businesses, and by making such claims, Satan stirs up their desires and lures them according to his strategy. This is nothing more than a result of ignorance. That is why the Word of God says that the zeal of the ignorant can never reach the Truth. It says that even though those who stand against God�s righteousness are always learning, they cannot reach the knowledge of the Truth. Put differently, the ignorant who have not been born again can never reach the Truth, no matter how much they might learn from the servants of Satan. They may teach others everyday, but their followers still remain as sinners even after their teachings are over, just as they had been sinners when they first began to be taught.
The Lord said in John 8:32, �You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.?/i> So God is telling us to know the Truth. Like this, while the Lord tells us to know the Truth, in contrast, Satan tells us to be zealous.
What is God�s righteousness? It�s the Truth. What is the real Truth? The real Truth is the gospel Truth of the water and the Spirit that saves people�s lives. As such, when one knows the gospel of the water and the Spirit, he can receive everlasting life. Satan, in contrast, prevents people from reaching everlasting life by making them fall into ignorance. He tries to lock them in as sinners until the very end, so that they may be punished forever. That is why Satan�s servants continue to spread the words of ignorance, to prevent people from reaching the knowledge of the righteousness of God.
Satanic faith is this: �Having a form of godliness but denying its power?(2 Timothy 3:5). The power of godliness refers to the gospel of power through which one is made righteous by believing in the righteousness of God. So, Satan makes people believe not in the righteousness of God but in their own righteousness, all the while pretending to believe in God�s righteousness. While Satan�s people may mimic as if they believe in the righteousness of God, they cannot receive the real power of godliness by faith. The Devil tries to prevent us from knowing the Truth that God has blotted out our sins. He tries to thwart us from realizing that we have now become completely sinless. All that Satan does is just make people put on only the outside appearance of godliness, of believing in Jesus. That is what Satan does, making people believe in Jesus without a clear purpose and preventing them from receiving the remission of their sins.
In other words, Satan stirs up people to be zealous, making it impossible for them to reach the Truth, and by doing so, he leads countless Christians into ignorance to die in their own weaknesses in the end. This is Satan�s work, making sure that people would still retain all their sins in their hearts even though they believe in Jesus. What is so tragic is that such teachings of Satan are so rampant in today�s Christianity.
We Must Separate the Truth from Falsehood according to the Word of God
What God did on the second day of creation was to divide according to His Word. God commanded the water above the firmament to be divided from the water below the firmament; whatever God says is fulfilled accordingly. Here then, let us think about what it is to divide according to the Word of God.
God separates His Word from Satan�s words. With what criterion does God divide the Truth from falsehood? As God said in Genesis 1:2, �The Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters,?/i> He is always working with His Word. Therefore, He is able to divide the born-again from those who are not born again with His Word.
When we reflect a certain teaching on the Word of God, and we see that it is not right according to the Word, then we can conclude that it is Satan�s words. In other words, because it is God�s Word of righteousness that we hear, believe, and keep in our hearts, when we reflect what people say to us upon the God-given Word, if it�s not right, then we can judge it to be Satan�s words. On the other hand, if it�s right as reflected on the Word of God, then it is the Word of Truth manifesting God�s righteousness.
Put differently, whatever teachings the righteous may come across, they can divide them into the Word above the firmament and the word below it. The teachings that come out preachers?lips are either God�s Word or Satan�s words. If these teachings are not congruent to God�s Word of righteousness, then we must ignore such teachings, no matter how systematic and finesse they might be, and no matter how famous and authoritative the one giving these teachings might be. Words that do not contain the righteousness of God must be defined as Satan�s words, not God�s Word, and we must move away from them, even if they are preached as God�s Word by a respectable denomination.
When we divide a certain teaching into the Word above the firmament and the word below it, the standard for this is God�s Word of righteousness. When the people of this world hears someone speaking, they do not listen based on the measuring rod of the Word of God, but they judge looking only at his background, such as his power, wealth, fame, or education. However, based on this kind of standard, it is not possible to separate the Word above the firmament from the word below it—that is, the Word of God from the words of Satan. When we hear someone�s words, if we open the Bible, which is the Word of God, and listen based on this Word, we can surely distinguish Satan�s words from God�s Word.
As such, we should cast aside the standard of the world, and based on the Word of God—that is, the Bible—we should separate the Word above the firmament from the word below it. You, too, should free yourselves from confusion through the Word of Truth.
Fallacious Doctrines Made by Satan
Some people claim that one is wholly saved only if he reaches sanctification after believing in Jesus. In Christianity, such a claim is known as the Doctrine of Incremental Sanctification. In fact, along with the Doctrine of Justification, this teaching is one of the orthodox teachings officially sanctioned by the so-called mainstream Christianity. However, this teaching did not come out of the biblically sound Word of Truth.
The arguments put forth by those who assert such a groundless doctrine is as the following. First of all, they, too, invoke the Word: �And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified?(Romans 8:28-30). Based on this passage, people make up and speak of the Doctrine of Sanctification as the �seven steps to spiritual maturity.?Referring to verse 29 in the above passage— �For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren?#8212;they argue that as Christians get older, they are sanctified in the flesh as they gradually become more and more like Jesus.
However, that is not what this passage means. When the Bible says that God made us be conformed to the image of His Son, this does not mean that we must conform to the Lord�s outside appearance. God predestined us beforehand and called us in order to give the gospel Word of the water and the Spirit into our hearts and make us believe in it, so that we may conform to the image of the Son of God by faith all at once.
Right now, the Holy Spirit of God dwells in the hearts of all those who have received the remission of their sins by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. It is in the hearts of the righteous where the Holy Spirit abides. Therefore, it is those whose hearts are dwelt by the Holy Spirit that conform to the image of the Son of God. God predestined us like this and called us to Jesus Christ, so that we may receive the remission of our sins once for all.
As such, those who have received the remission of their sins by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, and who are dwelt by the Holy Spirit, are God�s children, and those who do not have the Holy Spirit are not God�s children. Yet despite this, many people have misinterpreted the passage from Romans 9:28-30, and as a consequence, they came to believe and argue that one must be sanctified to holiness after believing in Jesus in order to be saved completely. The doctrine of sanctification leads people by focusing on their carnal attributes, claiming that we must be as humble and meek as Jesus. So citing the passage from Romans, those who are not born again propound on the seven steps of sanctification.
Romans 8:30 says, �Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.?Based on this passage, some people also assert the doctrine of predestination. However, the real meaning of this passage is completely different from the doctrine of predestination, which is no more than a man-made claim. That God called those whom He predestined means that God elected the entire mankind in Jesus Christ. When Adam sinned, God clothed him with the skin of a sacrificial animal; likewise, God decided to enable us to be completely remitted from all our sins through Jesus Christ, the descendant of the woman and our sacrificial offering. Therefore, the phrase �whom He predestined?refers to Jesus and sinners, Adam�s descendants—that is, to all who would come to receive the remission of their sins by believing in Christ.
As such, when the Bible says here, �Whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified,?it means that our God predestined all the sinners of this world to be called in Christ and receive the remission of their sins in Jesus. And God calls those who have received the remission of their sins as the righteous, and He made them His own children clothed in all the glory of Christ. All of this is contained in God�s plan to make sinners His children. This is God�s law.
When the Bible says, �Whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified,?it means that God has called us humans and completely blotted out our sins through Jesus. He has made us completely righteous. And whom He called, He has also sanctified. Do you now understand this? All this happened simultaneously and once for all.
From God�s point of view, this required an elaborate plan and long-term implementation, but when we apply ourselves to what Jesus Christ had done for us, we have received all those blessings instantly: God called us sinners. And as God called us, Jesus Christ blotted out all our sins. Once we received the remission of our sins, we were made righteous, and as we were made righteous, we became God�s children. That is how we became glorified. That we have been glorified means that as God has given the Holy Spirit, His image, into our hearts, sinners have now become none other than God�s children. To become God�s children is the very glory.
All of this happened in an instance. Since it happened all at once, to claim that one�s salvation is reached through the seven steps of sanctification is to utter Satan�s words. The adherents of this doctrine insist that if one believes in Jesus and walks diligently on the path toward sanctification while in this world, he would all of a sudden be transformed and become holy like God at his death. This notion is no more than man�s own thoughts and Satan�s words. The words of Satan bring nothing more than confusion and make people ignorant.
God called us with a plan in Jesus Christ, and those who answered this call of God, He made them righteous once for all and sanctified them all at once through the gospel of the water and the Sprit. God has glorified us, so that we may become His children by believing in His righteousness. None other than this is the work of salvation and sanctification fulfilled by God once for all. Therefore, it is not by their own efforts that human beings are made holy.
My fellow believers, after receiving the remission sin, do people actually become holier if they try? No, they are not made any holier. While our hearts have already been made holy by the righteousness of God, our flesh remains insufficient until we die. That is why the Apostle Peter said that just because we have obtained the affirmation of salvation by believing in the baptism of Jesus, this does not mean that the filthiness of our flesh has disappeared, but that we have come to put on the righteousness of God by faith and follow His will from now on (1 Peter 3:21).
Therefore, it is only by our faith in the righteousness of God that we are to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. As we trust in God and follow Him, it is because we have the Holy Spirit in our hearts that we can carry on with our lives. It is just by following the Truth that our hearts are transformed. And we can follow the Truth only by believing in the salvation completed by God. We cannot change ourselves through our own carnal efforts.
It is because Jesus Christ, God Himself, has already sanctified and glorified us that this has happened to us, by believing in all this. As such, those who are not God�s children, who are not born again, have been set apart from us the born-again, and therefore we are now living a life that is different from theirs. Those who are yet to be born again speak of the seven steps of sanctification and claim that someday they would be like Jesus. So they put up with any hardship and endure. They can endure all they want, but the fact of the matter is that one is not made holy by believing in Jesus and then being refined for a long, long time to come. Since there is a limit to mankind�s patience, far from being sanctified, they eventually run out of patience and explode, turning even more stubborn and selfish in the end. The notion that one is sanctified in the flesh is nothing more than man�s own fallacious thought.
Therefore, when we reflect on the doctrine of incremental sanctification based on the Word of Truth, it is revealed exactly as Satan�s teaching. The longer one believes in Jesus without being born again, the more is he hardened by his own stubbornness and hypocrisy. Such people may seem to be standing upright outwardly, but their hearts become utterly filthy. Even though their conscience, having failed to be born again, is always running toward sin, they still have to pretend otherwise. So how much more wicked is this? They are like a tomb, whitewashed with hypocrisy to look good only outwardly, but inside, darkness is on the face of the depth, and they are drowning in sin and rotting away. Given this, their deeds of misleading and deceiving so many people are that much filthier and more wicked. That is why Jesus Himself rebuked such people calling them as whitewashed tombs.
All That Satan Ever Said Is a Lie, and the More We Follow Such Words, the More We Realize That We Have Been Deceived
Those who profess to believe in Jesus as their Savior with a fallacious faith have only a form of godliness; they have no power of faith, just as the Bible rebukes them for �having a form of godliness but denying its power?/i> (2 Timothy 3:5). Sinners are not capable of being truly godly. All that they have is an outside appearance of the life of faith. They kneel down when they worship, and they put their hands together when they pray. They are good at such things. They also invoke holiness with their lips time after time, but their hearts are actually filled with greed and avarice, led by all kinds of lust. Seeing this, the Lord says of them, �Having a form of godliness but denying its power.?/i>
For those who have not been born again, their hearts do not follow God, but the world. They try to be approved by the world and increase their worldly possession, and as a result, their hearts have been completely defiled. In other words, their latter days are filthier than when they first believed in Jesus. Our Lord makes it clear that for all those who profess to believe in God and yet have not been born again wholly, their end is filthier than their beginning. And the Lord says that their end will be even more wretched. So Satan�s words are clearly discerned when reflected on the Word.
Those who still have sin in their hearts even as they believe in Jesus have actually believed in the words of Satan. When a Christian can no longer follow the Word of God sincerely, even as he professes to believe in Jesus, it�s because all this time he has believed in Satan�s words. If one truly believes in the Word of Jesus Christ, then it is impossible for him not to follow Jesus. We follow the Lord, knowing that His Word is infallible. Of course, it�s still hard even for us, but we have no choice but to follow, and when we thus follow the Lord�s Word, our hearts are strengthened and rejoiced.
In contrast, when one follows Satan�s words, the more he follows, the more confused he becomes and the filthier his conscience turns. Such people claim to follow the Lord with their words, but they establish their own doctrines even more zealously, which are nothing more than Satan�s words, and as the doctrines are hardened, their followers?hearts become even filthier. Even so, they still pretend to live a virtuous life in deeds. And they deceive even themselves, claiming that as long as their deeds are virtuous, they are not filthy, even though there are all kinds of filth in their hearts.
The Righteousness of God Is Revealed through the Believers in the Gospel of the Water and the Spirit
In contrast, when the truly born-again Christians? hearts are misplaced, the Holy Spirit convicts their hearts long before. There are times when even our hearts as the born-again go astray, and if we do not turn our hearts around, the Holy Spirit in us gets uncomfortable. So our hearts are not at ease. Our hearts react adversely. Then in no time, our hearts are tormented already. It�s because our hearts get tormented that we cannot commit evil deeds so easily. When the born-again embark on a path, they can continue on this path freely only if their hearts are at peace. In other words, precisely because the Holy Spirit in us convicts our hearts, we cannot continue on a mistaken path, for our hearts feel uncomfortable and unhappy. This is what happens to the born-again.
In contrast, those who have not received the remission of their sins, and whose hearts are therefore not dwelt by the Holy Spirit, continue to follow Satan�s words. That�s because those who go forth by trusting in Satan�s words wholeheartedly must move according to how their hearts are led by greed, and as such, the Word of God cannot control them. Since the Christians who have not been born again are now drinking the water below the firmament, which is Satan�s words, in reality, they are not any different from the people of the world who do not believe in Jesus. That is why it�s next to impossible discern today�s Christians from non-Christians.
Those who believe in Satan�s words live according to the lust of the world. Those who follow Satan�s words are not any different from the people of the world. On the contrary, they may very well be even filthier than the people of the world. Since those who believe in Jesus without being born again believe in Satan�s words, they bear no spiritual fruit. They themselves remain as sinners, and there is no one who has received the remission of sin through them. The very people to whom they had preached the gospel still remain as sinners. That is why for those who actually believe in the words of mankind and follow the words of Satan, even as they profess to believe in Jesus, there is no fruit that pleases God. Through the Word, such people must all realize without fail that they had followed Satan�s words all this time.
If you really believe that the Bible is the Word of God, then you, too, should examine your faith with God�s Word. Are you following the Word of God? Anyone who does not follow the Bible is now following Satan. His teacher has been deceived by Satan, as he himself has also been deceived. Before the Word of God, he cannot hide this fact.
If one now realizes that he had followed Satan�s words, then this person can now be freed from it. If one realizes that he had not followed the Truth, then he must first leave the false gathering that spreads Satan�s teachings. Such people, when they no longer attend false church, can return to the righteousness of God in no time.
One must know the Word of God without fail and follow it with a clear understanding. For those who remain oblivious to the fact that they are feeding on Satan�s words and continue to attend a church that has not been born again, only destruction awaits them. God has clearly divided the water above the firmament from the water below it. As such, if those people continue to follow Satan�s words and drink only the water below the firmament, they will undoubtedly be separately by God. Therefore, when they do not return to God, and instead continue to drink the water below the firmament until the end, to be ultimately destroyed, it�s not God�s fault.
Considering this, if a Christian has no fruit of the Holy Spirit to show despite having believed in God for a long time, then he should realize that he had believed in Satan�s words, and seek after and look for the Word of God. God will meet him when he looks for Him. However, Satan�s church that is not born again continues to bestow him with a high position in the church, binding him tightly so that he may not go anywhere else. At some churches, pastors even hand out deaconship and eldership to those who have not only failed to be born again, but have not even attended the church that faithfully. So they over-issue church offices like this and hand out deaconship and eldership to their congregation, all in an attempt to satisfy their hearts with honor, since there is no change, nor happiness, nor any satisfaction to their congregation despite their guidance. When the pastors who are incapable of spiritually leading the saints correctly see their unsatisfied congregation, they invariably bestow their followers with honor, for they cannot satisfy them spiritually. So, if someone wants to bestow you with a church office even though your faith has not been properly established, you should realize that he is a false shepherd.
When the born-again Church establishes its offices, it does so based on whether the saints have faith in the righteousness of God and the gift of service, not on any other standards. The born-again Church does not assign a church office to anyone just because he has been attending church for a long time, or to please him. Rather, God�s Church entrusts this person with a church office only if this person believes in the righteousness of God, and only when he is able to serve Him.
However, those who are not born again are ruled by the words of Satan, and therefore they try to satisfy people by offering them church positions. So, if some pastor wants to post you to a certain position in his church and give you honor, even though there is sin in your hearts now, and therefore you are powerless and there is nothing you can do, then you should realize that Satan is deceiving you. You must realize clearly that this pastor is not a servant of God, and you must depart from such people. Only then can you yourselves be saved. None other than this is to divide the water above the firmament from the water below it. This must be clearly distinguished.
What Did God Do on the Second Day of His Creation?
On the second day, God divided the water above the firmament from the water below it. Accordingly, we, too, must discern the words of Satan from the Word of God. How do we divide them? We divide the water above the firmament from the water below it based on the Word of God.
We have to realize clearly whether or not we are now drinking the water below the firmament and our lives are controlled by the Devil. If you still have not become righteous even as you sincerely believe in Jesus, then it can only mean that you are living drinking the water below the firmament, that is, the water of the earth. You have to realize that those who have become righteous without sin by believing in Jesus, and are living according to the Word, are those who live drinking the water above the firmament. The two must thus be separated clearly.
If one still remains as a sinner even after believing in Jesus for half a century, then this can only mean that he had believed in the Devil�s words all this time. In contrast, those who know the gospel of the water and the Spirit properly, and who have received the complete remission of their sins by accepting the light of the Word, are the very people led by God. Such people are God�s children on their way to the Kingdom of Heaven. Christians must discern clearly whether they are sinners or righteous, whether they are bound to hell or to Heaven, and whether they are God�s children or the Devil�s children. When we examine ourselves based on the Word, if we are righteous without sin, then we will enter Heaven as God�s children, but if we have sin, then we will be cast into hell as Satan�s servants. Like this, God divides us. God has done so clearly. God did not fail to do this. Yet even though God has clearly distinguished us and let us know it, some of us are still deceiving our own conscience.
When one looks at his conscience, he is clearly either a sinner or a righteous person. Whether we have heard the gospel and been born again or not, whether we are saints or merely religious practitioners, whether our hearts have sin or not, and whether we clearly have the fruits of the Holy Spirit or not—all of us are either sinners or righteous people. We must determine ourselves clearly whether or not we are deceiving our own hearts, and we must discern ourselves whether we belong to God�s Church or to the Devil and the world. Anyone who hears the Word of God can know himself clearly, and so those who still deceive themselves with the words of Satan, abide in the water below the firmament, and drink this water deserve to be destroyed by God.
A Sinner Must Confess Himself as a Grave Sinner before the Truth
We must realize that God has clearly divided the light from darkness, and the water above the firmament from the water below it. Do you realize that even though God has divided so, people continue to perish away by deceiving their own conscience? People cannot blame God for casting them into hell. That�s because if their conscience were to honestly recognize their hearts?sins, and they were to really look for God and search for the Truth earnestly, then God would indeed enable such people to find the Truth.
The light is there in this world now. We clearly have the Word of Truth. Anyone who learns this Word correctly, sees it, listens to it, and is convinced of its truthfulness, can all be born again. Even the water below the firmament can be transformed into the water above the firmament. Just as the water in the sea rises up to the air as vapor and comes down again as water, the water below can also rise up to the water above. Even though this is possible, people still deceive themselves, and that is why they are bound to hell and suffer needlessly. One must turn himself in to God and find the light. None other than this is confession.
The Lord will surely meet those who come before God, saying, �God, I am a sinner who drinks the water below the firmament. Lord, please save me.?Those who still have sin in their hearts should come before the servants of God, before His born-again Church, listen to the Word and receive the remission of their sins.
God has clearly divided the Truth from falsehood in people�s hearts. Sinners who drank the water below the firmament must never forget this, they must come into the born-again gathering without fail, and they must be thus transformed without fail. Even though God has made this division, if one still deceives his own conscience with Satan�s teaching that claims, �If you believe in Jesus, God will consider you righteous even if you still have sin,? and is consequently cast into hell, then you have to realize that this is entirely his own fault.
We have to grasp what it means when the Bible says that God divided the water above the firmament from the water below it on the second day. God has divided all teachings into His Word and Satan�s words, and now, depending on whose words we believe in, our blessings and curses are determined. What one drinks determines his happiness and unhappiness.
God has divided the water above the firmament from the water below it. Indeed, we can either drink the water above the firmament, or the water below it. The right to choose which water to drink is entirely ours. It depends on people�s choice. Those who prefer the water below the firmament would drink this water, and as a result, they will perish away and be destroyed. In contrast, those who want to drink the water above the firmament will drink this water and be born again, thus obtaining everlasting life. Everything will unfold exactly according to one�s choice.
Whether one would go to Heaven or hell also depends on his choice. Jesus Christ has already prepared Heaven, as He has made hell as well. Jesus Christ has done everything so that everyone would be able to become righteous. All that remains is one�s own choice: If one likes to remain as a sinner, then he would believe in Satan�s words and remain as a sinner, but if he wants to become righteous, then he would believe in God�s Word and be made righteous. In other words, Heaven and hell depend on one�s own judgment and choice. It is on his own choice that heaven and hell rest.
God has already prepared everything. The only issue remaining is the question of which choice we would make. If we want to go to Heaven, then all that we have to do is just choose God�s Word, drink the water above the firmament, and follow the servants of Jesus; if, on the other hand, we want to go to hell, then we should just choose Satan�s words, drink the water below the firmament, and follow the servants of Satan trusting in their words. Without fail, everything will be fulfilled before God exactly according to how we believe.
Sitting on the throne of judgment on the last day, God will say to sinners, �I told you from the beginning that I had divided the water above the firmament from the water below it. Yet by following Satan�s words, you chose on your own to believe in lies and to go to hell, and so it shall be so accordingly. It�s only fitting that according to your faith, you should go to where Satan is living.?Then those bound to hell will have nothing to say. They may have tongues, but they can�t say a word.
God has clearly given us the gospel of the water and the Spirit freely, the Word that enables us to be born again, the Truth, salvation, everlasting life, and all the other heavenly blessings. After giving us all these things, God gave us the option to take His blessings or His curses. God has separated His true Word from false teachings. Just as God divided the day from the night on this planet, so did God divide all its water into the water above the firmament and the water below it. By making this division for all human beings who are to enter into the domain of everlasting life after living on this earth, God has made them determine their own fate.
God did not divide the day from the night for no reason. He did so because He wanted to show us the bright domain of light and the domain of sheer darkness. In other words, God has clearly divided the domain of the righteous from the domain of sinners. He has made this division so that those who want to go to hell only have to believe in darkness, and those who want to go to Heaven only have to believe in the light. What God has divided, no human can change. No matter how capable mankind may be, it cannot change the day into the night, and the night into the day. Likewise, no one can change what God has done.
One who has an honest conscience believes wholly in what God has divided as it is. It is by looking at the light and accepting it, by accepting the water above the firmament, the Word of God that descends from above, that we have received eternal life.
The water of the earth—that is, the teachings of Satan—extols us to strive for virtuous human deeds. This water that is below the firmament teaches us to become righteous and be saved through our own carnal efforts. None other than this is Satan�s words. If anyone teaches you that one is made righteous and saved through his own efforts, by living a godly life and being sanctified, remember that this is the very words of Satan. The Word of God says that we are made righteous by believing with our hearts in what God has all fulfilled, and accepting His Word into our hearts. To be made righteous has nothing do with one�s own deeds, but it is achieved only by believing in the Word of God that descends from above. It is by believing in the Word above the firmament, in God�s Word of Truth, in His perfect Word that needs not be supplemented by any human deeds whatsoever, that we are to receive the remission of our sins, become righteous, and obtain everlasting life.
My fellow believers, God�s Word comes down from above, infallibly bears fruit on this earth, and rises up above again. If you believe in God�s Word, happiness will come to you, but if you drink the water below the firmament, you will be accursed. God does not want you to suffer and be accursed. That is why God has given us His Word, thus dividing the water above the firmament from the water below it. One who has tasted the water above the firmament can never drink the water below the firmament again.
Those who have only drunk the water below the firmament to this day should now return to the Word of God. Those who have tasted only the water below the firmament must look for the water that is above the firmament, and they must now return to the Word of the righteousness of God, to true faith.