We Must Live According to the Desires Of the Holy Spirit
< Genesis 3:8-17 >
“And they heard the sound of the LORD God walking
in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid
themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of
the garden. Then the LORD God called to Adam and said to him, ‘Where
are you?’ So he said, ‘I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was
afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself.’ And He said, ‘Who
told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which
I commanded you that you should not eat?’ Then the man said, ‘The
woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and
I ate.’ And the LORD God said to the woman, ‘What is this you have
done?’ The woman said, ‘The serpent deceived me, and I ate.’ So
the LORD God said to the serpent:
‘Because you have done this,
You are cursed more than all cattle,
And more than every beast of the field;
On your belly you shall go,
And you shall eat dust
All the days of your life.
And I will put enmity
Between you and the woman,
And between your seed and her Seed;
He shall bruise your head,
And you shall bruise His heel.’
To the woman He said:
‘I will greatly multiply your sorrow and your conception;
In pain you shall bring forth children;
Your desire shall be for your husband,
And he shall rule over you.’
Then to Adam He said, ‘Because you have heeded
the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree of which I
commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat of it’:
‘Cursed is the ground for your sake;
In toil you shall eat of it
All the days of your life.’”
When God first made man, He did not make him to stand
against Him from the beginning. God created the beautiful world
that was in good order. However, there was Satan who stood against
God. This Satan, too, was not the Devil from the beginning. He was
originally an angel, but because he lusted after the throne of God
and challenged His authority to become higher than God, he was condemned
and cast out to this earth.
As Satan was driven out by God, he now tried to deceive
mankind, whom God cherished, so that he may turn human beings into
God’s enemies. God therefore rebuked the serpent, the incarnation
of Satan, and cursed it. He said, “And you shall eat dust All the
days of your life.” As a result, Satan came to live feeding on mankind’s
lust of the flesh. Even now, Satan continues to tempt human beings
to sin, and when they do sin, he accuses their conscience and makes
them fall into sorrow and suffering.
Today’s pop music that is driving so many young people
wild is getting too lustful and outrageously overboard. When heavy
metal headbangers shake their heads, the crowd, intoxicated by the
dizzying lights and booming sound, take off their clothes and dance
as one, turning the scene into a furious frenzy. It is reported
that there are even lots of swingers in today’s Western countries.
Sin is overflowing all over the world. The Devil uses such settings
as the Internet to stir up people’s desire to the full extent.
When people get intoxicated by the lust of the flesh
like this, it brings a great satisfaction to Satan. When the lust
of the flesh is aroused in people, and they commit sin according
to their carnal desires instead of doing God’s Work and are obsessed
with something else, we can safely conclude that the Devil is at
work. By inciting madness in people’s hearts, Satan prevents them
from looking for God, making them commit sin and, with this sin,
stand against God’s righteousness. The Devil feeds on people’s lust
of the flesh. He deceives countless people to ultimately make them
God sentenced the serpent: “Because you have done
this. . . On your belly you shall go. And you shall eat dust All
the days of your life.” That the serpent is to eat dust here
means that the Devil is to feed on people’s sins. So Satan works
in this world to prevent people from serving God, to fall into only
the lust of the flesh, and to ultimately go to hell and be destroyed.
Satan tells people not to serve only the righteousness
of God, but to serve the flesh of mankind. The reason why those
who are not born again hate the born-again is because the latter
does not serve the flesh of the former. Of course, even the born-again
cannot live without the things of the flesh. But still, they are
different on one account from those who are not born again, and
it is that they serve God by faith.
As such, when the Devil tries to rule over our hearts
and make us fall into carnal thoughts, we must command him, by our
faith in the righteousness of God, to go away. If we otherwise side
with the Devil, then our faith will perish away. My fellow believers,
to serve the righteousness of God, you must unequivocally defeat
the Devil by faith. It’s because Judas did not stand against Satan
but befriended him that he faced such a disastrous blunder.
Genesis 3:15 says,
“And I will put enmity
Between you and the woman,
And between your seed and her Seed;
He shall bruise your head,
And you shall bruise His heel.”
The woman here refers to mankind. Mankind and the
Devil are enemies to each other. But before God cursed the serpent,
both mankind and Satan had been fellow creatures, not enemies. The
serpent’s friends are those who follow only their flesh.
Therefore, those who have been born again by believing
in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, and those who are not
born again and follow only their flesh, are enemies. An enemy is
not someone particularly special. If one takes God’s enemy as his
friend, then he would himself become God’s enemy. And once he becomes
God’s enemy, he would then now become an enemy of the righteous
as well. That is why we must never fail to take Satan as our enemy.
Those who drift away from the will of God will become His enemies
in the end. In short, such people will deliver their brethren to
The phrase “her Seed” here refers to Jesus Christ.
Jesus Christ came as the Seed of the woman, the Savior; took upon
all the sins of the world through His baptism; died on the Cross
while shouldering these sins; and rose from the dead again in three
days. In doing so, He has blotted out all the sins that the Devil
had planted in mankind. That “He shall bruise your head” means that
Jesus would eradicate sin and death, over which Satan has authority.
In other words, it means that Christ would blot out mankind’s sins.
Today’s Scripture passage from chapter three of Genesis
is a prophesy foretelling that Jesus Christ would overcome Satan
by being baptized, crucified to death, and rising from the dead
again. So this part is called as the original gospel.
Jesus Christ has completely demolished all the sins
and evil wiles that Satan planted in mankind. Jesus was crucified
by the Devil. However, as Jesus had been baptized by John according
to the will of God the Father, and as He died and rose from the
dead again, He overcame Satan.
God said to Satan, “And you shall eat dust All the
days of your life.” Those who live only for their flesh are not
born-again people. Even if one were to establish God’s Church, if
he serves God for his own flesh, then he is a servant of Satan.
Such people amass a fortune only to build bigger church buildings,
and they pretend to serve evangelical ministries without actually
investing in the gospel. These people are all God’s enemies. They
are stingy when it comes to God’s work, but they spend generously
for themselves—to be exact, they are Satan’s servants feeding
on the lust of their flesh.
Satan packages pop stars into commercial products,
thus ensuring that today’s youth would be drawn to their physical
appeals and their fads. Especially, by making young people adore
pop stars blindly, Satan makes them drift away from God. The Devil
makes people’s hearts fall into such lusts of the flesh. Whenever
we see such things, we must deal with them by faith, knowing that
they are the Devil’s tricks.
Pop stars do not amount to much, other than being
a feast to the eye. Recently, an actress in Korea shot nude pictures
on the theme of “comfort women”—these are women who were forced
into sexual slavery by the Japanese military before and during the
Second World War—and she was roundly condemned on ethical
grounds and sued by the victims’ group. Like everyone else, I, too,
like to look at nude photos. Such pictures are easily available
everywhere, from billboards to the Internet. But they mean nothing.
That some people make money by taking nude photos itself is not
a big problem, but the real problem is that this generation is heading
in a direction that fuels only the lust of the flesh.
Our essential needs must be met, and God provides
us with them in due time. So rather than being enslaved to the body
and material needs, all that we have to do is renew our hearts and
run for the Lord. God will then provide for our physical needs,
and meet our spiritual needs as well. To those who follow His will,
the Lord will bring prosperity in both body and spirit.
Plastic surgery has become the rage of the time. Among
those who have received the remission of sin, is there anyone who
has lost his sense to think, “If circumstances allow, I’d like to
change my face as well”? It’s not because our circumstances do not
allow us that we can’t have plastic surgery, but it is because they
bring no benefit that we choose not to have it.
To all those young men in the Lord, do not be fooled
by the outside appearance of women. It’s all nothing more than a
makeup. Depending on what cosmetics are used and how they are put
on the skin, different optical illusions are created. If you marry
someone just for physical attraction, you will not only be disappointed,
but you will die spiritually as well.
The righteous men should prize not the outside appearance
of women, but the beauty that emanates from their inside. That’s
why the Bible says, “Do not lust after her beauty in your heart,
nor let her allure you with her eyelids” (Proverbs 6:25). When
I was young, I, too, was once fooled by such optical illusions.
The actual purpose of cosmetics is to prevent the
skin from the elements. But with passing time, women came to put
on makeup to appear sensual. Women’s appearance has changed considerable
today. Perhaps it’s because I am from a small town, but when I go
to a big city, every woman looks so pretty that I can hardly see
anyone ugly, no doubt an optical illusion. Women in a big city look
all alike, and their hairstyles and clothing fashion look all the
same. Their faces are all white, as if they had bleached themselves.
But when I look closer, they all have makeup.
Cosmetics have advanced so much that depending on
what women put on, they look completely different. Perhaps that’s
why women invest so much money into such things. I am not talking
about who is good-looking and who is ugly here. My point is that
the people of the world adorn their flesh too much. This world invests
too much on shaping the body. Compared to them, our sisters hardly
put on any makeup at all.
I, too, know very well that if I wanted to get rid
of my potbelly, all that I have to do is just check myself in a
hospital for a couple of days. With liposuction, I’ll be thin again
in no time. But it’s said that liposuction does not guarantee that
one wouldn’t get fat again, and so he would have to watch his diet.
Nowadays, however, I need to manage my waist lest it should go over
38 inches. I do try to be careful with my diet to stay healthy and
avoid obesity. If I lose my health, it will have a detrimental impact
on God’s work.
God said, “You shall eat dust all the days of your
life.” This means that the Devil feeds on people’s carnal lust.
Demons incite the human heart to sin, and they feed on this sin.
What happens when people commit sin? They end up leaving God behind,
to ultimately challenge His authority. So it is true that the Devil
feeds on sin.
However, our Lord has wiped out the sin and destruction
that the Devil had planted in us humans—all by coming to this
earth, taking upon the sins of the world through His baptism, carrying
them to the Cross, being crucified and shedding His blood, dying
on the Cross, and rising from the dead again.
There are still many people who, deceived by Satan,
continue to serve only their own flesh. Such people are found even
among the born-again. They follow the Devil, not treating him as
their enemy. We must boldly defeat the power of darkness. Even our
own families can turn into enemies. When the times of tribulation
come, these enemies will betray us and hand us over to our execution.
That is why we must never again befriend those whom God has declared
to be His enemies. We must clearly distinguish our enemies from
the people of God.
God greatly increased the suffering of conception
to women and made them labor in pain to give birth. I have told
you that ‘woman’ here refers God’s Church, while ‘man’ implies Jesus
Christ (Romans 5:14). Then this means that the saints have to suffer
much to save sinners from hell. Just as a woman can give birth to
her child only if she goes through birth pangs, so can we give birth
to the spiritual children of faith only if we go through spiritual
labor. For us to give birth to spiritual children, we must go through
the labor of faith. Without the labor of faith, we cannot bear spiritual
children. For that reason, we must sacrifice ourselves to serve
the Lord, and we must invest more faith into following God by trusting
in the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
Even from now on, our hearts must cherish the gospel
of the water and the Spirit. Only when we have such hearts can we
conceive spiritual children and give birth to them in labor. It
is not by doing nothing that all of us are made into people of faith.
God said, “Your desire shall be for your husband,
and he shall rule over you.” The husband here does not just
refer to a husband of the flesh. The Bible should be looked at spiritually.
We must be ruled by our Lord, who is our Husband. We must be ruled
by God for His righteousness. Between the world and the Lord, we
must follow the Lord and be ruled by Him. In the Church, too, some
must rule while others must follow. It is by God that we must be
ruled. We cannot carry on with our lives of faith unless we are
ruled through God’s Church, through our brothers and sisters of
faith, and though God’s work.
God rules us through His Church, and we are trained
with the spiritual discipline of faith in God’s Church through His
work. When our carnal minds are broken, we are trained spiritually.
Only when we are spiritually trained can all our spiritual relationships
be healthy. I am not speaking of a marriage of the flesh here, but
I am saying that Jesus is our Bridegroom, and we can keep our marriage
to Him only when we obey His rule. Those who dislike this will have
trouble in their spiritual marriage, and they will be abandoned
by the Lord. Those who get divorced from the Lord cannot follow
Him, nor can they give birth to a child of the Lord.
Between a husband and a wife, if the husband is too
weak, the wife must take the lead, and when the wife is too weak,
then the husband must take the lead. Anyone who faithfully serves
and follows the Lord spiritually is ruled and led by the Lord. If
one does not accept this guidance, then his relationship with God
will be cut off. If we have faults, we must admit them to the Lord,
and though we are insufficient, we must set our minds to follow
and obey the Lord. If we otherwise continue to insist on our own
views and righteousness, it will be all over for us. God rules you
through the Church, through the preceding ministers or the preceding
brothers and sisters. Do you believe this? This is how God rules.
None of us want to be ruled by others in human affairs, but when
it comes to the works of God, we can obey the order God has established
in His Church. We can do this by placing our faith in the righteousness
Because Adam listened to his wife and ate the forbidden
fruit, he lost God’s blessings, and God told him that he would have
to toil all his life to eat of it. Only when we toil to death can
we obtain spiritual fruits and receive God’s blessings. We must
also serve the Lord to death to be blessed by God. Without serving
God, we cannot be blessed. Without serving God, we cannot learn
about faith. It is when we serve the Lord that we come to realize
the will of God and our hearts are changed. One must toil all his
life to eat of it.
Once we begin to serve only the Lord, we come to realize,
“So that’s why God made me do this and led me like this.” In theory,
it may seem impossible to understand at first, but once we deny
ourselves and obey God, we can realize that God did what He did
because it was necessary for us. That is how we come to learn about
faith, have faith, live by faith, and see the realm of faith. We’ll
appreciate this once we obey God.
We can eat only if we labor all our lives. Only when
we serve the gospel until the day we die can we obtain spiritual
fruits and eat them. Without labor, there can be no fruit. One reaps
what he sows. If we sow by faith, then we will reap by faith, but
if we sow for our own flesh, then we will reap only fleshly things.
Therefore we must sow spiritual seed by faith.
When we work in the spiritual realm after being born
again, it may seem at first that there isn’t much to do, but once
we live by faith, there is so much to do that there is never enough
time. What would we possibly gain if we do not labor for the Lord?
Recently, the preceding workers of our mission organization got
together and discussed our future work. Each department reported
its work, and then decisions were made after careful consultation.
“Let’s do this. This is the best way. In this way, we can spread
the gospel effectively without incurring too much cost. We should
first publish our books methodically, print translated versions
as well and ship them through the post office, raise many coworkers
overseas, and get their assistance to distribute our books.”
The money that we make with our labor, we should offer
it to God, and we should use this money for the Lord. Since God
determined that we must toil all our lives to eat of it, nothing
is gained without labor. Good food can be had only with labor, and
crops can be harvested only if they are grown—there is nothing
that is done on its own.
The Bible is the Truth. If we want to obtain spiritual
fruits, we must serve the gospel. Only then can we gain spiritual
produce. Therefore, we must serve the gospel, follow the Lord, call
our enemies as enemies, and cut them off from our hearts, saying,
“Let’s never see each other again.”
The Apostle Paul said, “Therefore, whether you
eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God” (1
Corinthians 10:31). The forebears of faith all lived for God.
And the forebears of faith knew how to deal with poverty and prosperity
alike, as Paul said, “I know how to be abased, and I know how
to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be
full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need” (Philippians
4:12). As they believed in the Truth, in their actual lives
they all followed God by faith.
I give all my thanks to God. Satan had planted sin
in our hearts, but Jesus blotted out all the sins of the world by
being baptized and dying on the Cross. By faith, we have been renewed
and made to follow the Lord. At the same time, however, God has
also made us labor for His righteousness and His Kingdom. He put
enmity between Satan and us.
We must live by believing in God, by trusting in His
Word. Once again, I give all my thanks to God.