Sermons on important subjects by Rev. Paul C. Jong
< Exodus 30:17-21 >
"Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying: 'You shall also make a laver of bronze, with its base also of bronze, for washing. You shall put it between the tabernacle of meeting and the altar. And you shall put water in it, for Aaron and his sons shall wash their hands and their feet in water from it. When they go into the tabernacle of meeting, or when they come near the altar to minister, to burn an offering made by fire to the LORD, they shall wash with water, lest they die. So they shall wash their hands and their feet, lest they die. And it shall be a statute forever to them-to him and his descendants throughout their generations.'"
The Laver in the Court of the Tabernacle
Material: Made of bronze, it was always filled with water.
Spiritual meaning: Bronze means the judgment of all the sins of mankind. To bear the condemnation of all the sins of mankind, Jesus took the sins of the world upon Himself by being baptized by John. As such, the meaning of the laver is that we can be washed of all our sins by believing that all these sins of ours were passed onto Jesus with His baptism.
The priests that served in the Tabernacle also washed their hands and feet at the laver before entering the Tabernacle and thereby avoided their death. Bronze refers to the judgment of all sins, and the laver's water refers to the baptism that Jesus received from John and through which He took the sins of the world upon Himself. In other words, the laver tells us that Jesus accepted all sins passed onto Him and bore the condemnation of these sins. The water in the laver means, in the Old Testament, the blue thread of the Tabernacle, and in the New Testament, the baptism that Jesus received from John (Matthew 3:15, 1 Peter 3:21).
So the laver refers to the baptism of Jesus, and it is the place where we confirm our faith in the fact that Jesus bore all our sins, including our actual sins, and washed them away all at once through the baptism that He received from John the Baptist over 2,000 years ago.
There are the righteous in this world who have been born again by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. They are the ones who have received the remission of their sins by believing that all their sins were forgiven by the works of Jesus manifested in the blue, purple, and scarlet thread and the fine woven linen. However, because even the righteous who have received the remission of sin are insufficient in their flesh, they cannot help but sin everyday, and such sins are called actual sins. The place where the righteous who have received their remission of sin comes to solve the problem of their actual sins is none other than this laver. Whenever the righteous commits actual sins, they come to the laver in the court of the Tabernacle and wash their hands and feet, and they can thereby confirm the fact that Jesus has already forgiven all their actual sins also by believing in the written Word of God.
In the Bible, water at times is used to refer to the Word of God also, but the most important meaning of water is the baptism of Jesus. Ephesians 5:26 says, "that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word," and John 15:3 says, "You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you." The laver enables the holy saints who have received the remission of their sins to possess the evidence that the Lord has forgiven all their sins with water no matter how insufficient their flesh might be.
1 Peter 3:21 and 22 state, "There is also an antitype which now saves us-baptism (not the removal of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God), through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, angels and authorities and powers having been made subject to Him." Just before these verses, Peter explains the spiritual meaning of the water of Noah's days. Even though Noah had warned sinners, the souls imprisoned by sin in other words, of the flood that would cleanse away all the filth of the first world, only eight were saved through water. The water of the flood at that time perished all those who had never believed in God's Word. And now, Peter extracts from the incident of flood that Jesus' baptism is the antitype of this water. As such, the laver is the place where we confirm our salvation once again before God both when and after we are saved.
The saints who have been saved from their sins by faith are clothed in God's grace by believing in the water of the laver (the baptism of Jesus), bronze (God's judgment of all sins), and that Jesus has delivered them from their sins. Even if we are so full of weaknesses and shortcomings that we can hardly even recognize ourselves as the righteous, we can surely confirm that we are wholly righteous by recommitting our faith in the baptism of Jesus (the bearing of sins, water) and His bloodshed on the Cross (the condemnation of sins, bronze). Because we believe in the Word of God that has already saved us all from all our sins and the condemnation of these sins, we can always become the righteous who are sinless.
The Word of God in which we believe tells us that Jesus took our sins upon Himself through His baptism received from John, shed His blood on the Cross to bear all the condemnation of sins in our place, and has thereby saved us wholly from our sins. God placed the laver in the court of the Tabernacle so that we would confirm with our faith that we are, no matter what the circumstances might be, the ones who have been saved perfectly from all our sins.
Have You Been Delivered Eternally from All Your Actual Sins?
During the Last Supper, after sharing the Passover bread and drinks with His disciples, Jesus, before dying on the Cross, wanted to wash Peter's and other disciples' feet with water. Because Jesus had already taken all the sins of His disciples through His baptism received from John, He wanted to teach them the truth of the laver. Jesus told them that after being baptized, He, as the Passover Lamb, would pay the wages (death) of sin by being hung on a tree. As such, the twelve disciples of Jesus, though they remained insufficient after believing in Him, never again became sinners.
Likewise, the fact that Jesus washed their feet confirmed them what the Word of truth witnessed-that Jesus has already washed away all their sins of the world. This is how the disciples could always preach to the people of the world that Jesus is the Savior and spread the gospel of the water and the Spirit that He had already fulfilled (Hebrews 10:1-20). The laver thus allows the righteous who have been saved from all their sins by believing in the truth to remember the baptism of Jesus. It also gives them the conviction of salvation that God Himself has delivered them.
The Bible Does Not Record the Size the Laver
While the size of everything else in the Tabernacle is recorded, the size of the laver is not. This shows us the fact that Jesus the Son of God took our sins upon Himself with His baptism is infinitely great. It also tells us that the love of Jesus who has saved us from our sins and condemnation is unlimited. The laver manifests the great love of God that is immeasurable. Human beings are bound to continue to sin as long as they live. But by taking all the sins of the world upon Himself through His baptism received from John, and by being crucified and shedding His blood on the Cross, Jesus has blotted out all our sins forever.
The laver was made by melting the bronze mirrors of the women who served in the Tabernacle (Exodus 38:8). This means that the Word of God shines the light of salvation on sinners and takes away their darkness. We must realize that God has made the laver so that He Himself could wash away our sins. This Word of truth has shone the light on the sins of people hidden in the depth of their hearts, washed away their sins forever, and has given them the remission of sins, and has thereby turned them into the righteous. In other words, the laver plays the role of clearly testifying the truth that Jesus Christ has saved us the sinners wholly with the Word of God.
The Laver Was Also Made of Bronze
Do you know what the significance of the bronze that was used to make the laver is? Bronze refers to none other than the condemnation of sin that we were to face. To be more precise, it tells us that Jesus carried all our sins to the Cross with His baptism and was condemned in our place. It was we who were actually supposed to be condemned for our sins, but through the water of the laver, we can confirm once again that all our sins have been washed away clean. Those who believe in this become the ones who have been judged through their faith, and therefore they no longer face any more judgment.
The laver filled with water is telling us, "Through the blue, purple, and scarlet thread and the fine woven linen, Jesus has already cleansed away your sins and has wholly saved you from your sins. He has made you clean." The laver, in other words, is the proof positive for the righteous who have received the remission of sin that they have been washed of their sins and saved.
The altar of burnt offering means the judgment of sin, while the laver, related to the blue thread among the materials of the Tabernacle, tells us that Jesus took our sins upon Himself with His baptism in the New Testament.
We can enter into the Holy Place only when we open and enter the gate of the court of the Tabernacle, pass by the altar of burnt offering, and then pass by the following laver. Those who can enter into the Tabernacle where God dwells are only those who have clearly gone through the altar of burnt offering and the laver by faith. Only those who have received the remission of sin by believing in the truth of the laver in the outer court of the Tabernacle can enter into the Holy Place.
When someone tries to enter the Holy Place by his/her own strength, fire will come out of the Holy Place and devour this person. Even Aaron's sons were no exception to this, and some of them, in fact, actually died as a result (Leviticus 10:1-2). Those who are ignorant of God's righteous bearing of sins and judgment and ignore this truth will be put to death because of their sins. People who try to enter into the Kingdom of God by believing according to their own thoughts instead of believing in His exceedingly elaborate salvation from sin will most certainly face the judgment of fire for their sins. Because of the inevitable judgment of sin, all that awaits them as a consequence is only hell.
Jesus completed our salvation from sin with the blue, purple, and scarlet thread and the fine woven linen so that we would be able to enter into the Holy Place. It is by believing in this truth that we are wholly saved from all our sins. God had set His plan to save the mankind from sin even before the creation, and let us know His will in detail through the truth of the blue thread (the baptism of Jesus), the scarlet thread (the death of Jesus on the Cross), and the purple thread (God became a man) in the Bible. And according to this plan, He has indeed saved all sinners from their sins and iniquities through the works of Jesus manifested in these blue, purple, and scarlet thread.
1 John 5:4 says, "This is the victory that has overcome the world-our faith," and this is followed by verse 10, which says, "He who believes in the Son of God has the witness in himself." What is this witness of salvation? The gospel of truth that has given us our salvation through the water, the blood, and the Spirit is the witness of our faith in the Son of God (1 John 5:6-8). In other words, only the gospel of the water and the Spirit in which we believe is the evidence that God has washed us of our sins and made us His own people. The only way for us to be saved from all sins, enter into the Holy Place, feed on the bread of life given by God, and live in His grace is to believe in none other than this gospel of the water and the Spirit. By believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit that cleanses away our sins, we must now be saved and live our lives of faith by uniting with God's Church.
It is by the truth of the gospel of the water and the Spirit that we can feed on the Word of God in His Church, be united with it, and live as the righteous whose prayers are heard by God. When we believe in this truth, we can become the righteous who have the faith of the blue, purple, and scarlet thread, and who live clothed in the grace of God before His presence. The life of faith that can be lived only by the people of God comes solely by believing in the water, the blood, and the Spirit. We can be saved from all our sins by believing with our hearts in the baptism of Jesus, His bloodshed and death, and that Jesus is God Himself. The faith that has enabled you to live in God's Church is the faith in the blue, purple, and scarlet thread and the fine woven linen.
Nowadays, many people are saying, "All that we have to do is just believe in Jesus; why bother with all these complexities? Let's not waste our time with useless talks and just believe in whatever way we think is fitting." To such people, we may only seem to be troublemakers in Christianity, but what is absolutely clear is that if one believes in Jesus without having received the remission of sin, he/she must face eternal condemnation. Not believing wholly in the gospel of the water, the blood and the Spirit is a false and flawed faith. It is, in fact, not believing in Jesus as the Savior.
If I, to win the favor of some stranger, were to insist blindly to this stranger, "I believe in you," would this person be convinced, "This guy really must really believe me," and be happy about it? On the contrary, he would probably say, "Do you know me? I don't think I know you." If I say to him again, "But I still believe in you anyway," and look at him with earnest eyes trying to making him feel better, would he then be happy about it? It's far more likely that he will only see me as a sycophant with no backbone, who is just trying to read his mind and curry his favor.
Neither is God pleased by people who just believe in Him blindly. When we say, "I believe in God. I believe in Jesus to be the Savior of sinners," then we must profess our faith in Him after knowing and believing how Jesus has taken care of the iniquities of sinners. If we believe thoughtlessly or blindly, as if we have no character at all, then we can never be saved. We are saved only when we believe by first knowing clearly how Jesus has made our sins disappear. When we say that we believe in someone, we place our true confidence in this person because we know him/her well enough and consider this person to be believable. Placing confidence in someone whom we do not know well can only mean that we are either lying, or we are fools primed for betrayal. As such, when we profess to believe in Jesus, we must know exactly how Jesus has made all our sins disappear. Only then can we not be abandoned by our Lord at the last moment and enter Heaven as the born-again children of God.
The true faith that can lead us to Heaven is the faith in the blue, purple, and scarlet thread. In other words, the real faith is believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit that has saved us through the water (the baptism of Jesus), the blood (the death of Jesus), and the Holy Spirit (Jesus is God). We must know just how great is the grace of our Lord that has saved us, and believe in it, for believing in this truth will lead us to our salvation.
Whether one's faith is whole or not is determined just by whether or not this person knows the truth. You can believe in Jesus as your Savior only when you believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit with your hearts. And this faith in Jesus as our Savior, who has given us the remission of sin through the gospel of the water and the Spirit, is the true faith that has saved us from all our sins.
The Laver Is the Affirmation of Salvation That Has Forgiven Our Sins
The laver was filled by water. It was placed right in front of the Holy Place. The laver is the place where we remind ourselves that we have received the remission of sin, and affirm its reception by faith. It is the affirmation of the fact that God has cleansed away all the sins of believers. Just as the priests serving in the Holy Place washed their hands and feet at the laver whenever they got soiled, those who have received the remission of sin, whenever they sin, also wash away such sins by reminding themselves and affirming once again, through the Word of God, that Jesus also has already blotted out these sins that soiled them and atoned for them as well by being condemned vicariously.
We get defiled because we cannot help but continue to sin as we live in this world. With what should we cleanse away all these sins that defile us then? We wash them away by believing that Jesus Christ, the King of kings, came to this earth over 2,000 years ago in the flesh of a man to save sinners, took their sins upon Himself through His baptism, shed His blood on the Cross, and has thereby forgiven sinners of all their sins. We can receive the remission of sin and wash away our actual sins as well only when we believe in the truth that Jesus took all sins upon Himself by being baptized. We can be cleansed of our actual sins as well, in other words, only when we believe in this truth that God has already washed away all our sins through the blue, purple, and scarlet thread.
We Must Have the Faith That Knows and Believes in the Truth of the Laver
Without faith in the laver, we can never enter into the Holy Place where God dwells. Our deeds cannot always be perfect. Because we have shortcomings, we sin at times. But the salvation that God has given us is perfect nonetheless, for the Word of God is perfect. Because God has washed away our shortcomings with His perfect salvation, we can boldly enter into the Holy Place by faith. Those who do not go through the laver can never enter the Holy Place. We are made eligible to enter into the Holy Place by our faith in the truth that Jesus came to this earth 2,000 years ago and blotted out all the sins of the world with the gospel of the water, the blood and the Spirit prophesied through the blue, purple, and scarlet thread. Without believing that the Lord has already blotted out all our sins and made us sinless, we cannot enter into the Holy Place.
As we cannot enter into the Sanctuary of God without believing in the blue, purple, and scarlet thread, if we do not believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, nor can we enjoy the blessing of going forth to the throne of the grace of God by believing in His Word in His Church, of praying to Him and receiving His grace, and of living with His servants and saints. We can live our lives in God's Church with our fellow believers, hearing and believing in His Word and praying to Him, only when we believe that God has already saved us from all our sins through the blue, purple, and scarlet thread.
The laver is the final confirmation of our salvation from sin. God placed the laver right in front of the Holy Place and filled it with water in order to give the affirmation of faith to those who believe in the gospel of the remission of sin. This laver cleanses the defiled consciences of the righteous who believe.
Let's read 1 John 2:1-2. "My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world." Amen.
If we sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. Jesus washes the defiled hearts of the righteous clean with water. The day before He was crucified, during the Last Supper Jesus gathered His disciples together, poured water into a basin, and started to wash their feet. "When I was baptized, I bore all yours sins, including even the sins that you will commit later, and I will be condemned on the Cross in your place. I took even your future sins upon Myself as well, and I blotted them out. I have become your Savior."
It was to tell this that Jesus washed the disciples' feet during the Last Supper of the Passover. To Peter who refused to have his feet washed by Jesus, He said, "What I am doing you do not understand now, but you will know after this" (John 13:7). Jesus wanted to become the perfect Savior of those who truly believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. For those who believe in the blue, purple, and scarlet thread, Jesus has become their eternal Savior.
The Use of the Laver
The laver was used to wash away all the filthiness of the priests when they worked in the Tabernacle giving offerings to God. It was needed to wash away the grimes that the priests got from killing the sacrificial offering, drawing its blood, and cutting it to pieces to give to God the offering that would atone for the sins of the people of Israel. When the priests got soiled while giving offerings, they had to be washed with water, and the laver was the place where all this filthiness was cleansed away.
Whenever we sin, whether spiritually or in our flesh, and whenever we become defiled by breaking God's commandments, we must wash away all our filthiness with this laver's water. The priests, whenever their bodies touched anything unclean or dirty, had to wash the soiled parts of their bodies with water, whether they wanted to or not.
Like this, whenever all those who believe in God come into contact with something dirty or unclean, the water of the laver is used to wash away all such filthiness. In short, the laver's water was given to be used for washing away filthiness of the born-again. As such, the laver contains God's mercy. The meaning of the laver is not an optional item that we can choose to either believe or not, but it is the necessary item absolutely essential to those who believe in Jesus.
God set the size for all other items in the Tabernacle, specifying how many cubits they should be in height, length and width. But He did not specify the size of the laver. This is a characteristic particular only to the laver. This manifests the endless love that the Messiah has bestowed on us, who commit actual sins everyday. In this love of the Messiah was found His baptism, a form of the laying on of hands that washes away all our sins. As a lot of water had to be used when priests got soiled while performing their duties, the laver must always have been filled by water. So the size of the laver depended on this need. Because the laver was made of bronze, whenever the priests got washed with its water, they came to think of the judgment of sin.
The priests who were serving in the Tabernacle had to wash away all the uncleanness of their hands and their feet with the laver's water. If bronze manifests the judgment of God, then water manifests the washing of sin. Hebrew 10:22 says, "our bodies washed with pure water," and Titus 3:5 says, "the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit." Like these passages, the Word of the New Testaments also tells us much about washing away filthiness with the water of baptism.
If the priests washed away their filthiness accrued in their lives with the water of the laver, we, the born-again Christians of today, can wash away all our actual sins committed in our lives by believing in the baptism of Jesus. The water of the laver of the Old Testament shows us that the Messiah came to this earth and has washed away all the sins of the world with the baptism that He received from John.
Through the Bible, God tells us that not only the sins committed by the people of Israel but the actual sins committed by all the people of the entire human history were all passed onto Jesus with the baptism that He received from John. When Jesus was baptized by John, He said in Matthew 3:15, "Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness." By receiving His baptism, the same form of the laying on of hands, from John, the representative of mankind, Jesus accepted all the sins of mankind onto His own body.
Therefore, by believing in the fact that all our sins were passed onto Jesus the Messiah through His baptism, we can all be washed of all the filthy sins of our hearts. Because we already passed all our sins onto Jesus by believing in this truth, all that we have to do is just believe that the Son of God carried the sins of the world to the Cross, was crucified and shed His blood, became the perfect sacrificial offering for all mankind, and has thereby delivered us from all our sins. Do you believe this in your hearts? Those who truly believe that the Messiah became our own sacrificial offering are eternally saved.
The Problem of Actual Sins Can Also Be Solved by Believing in the Baptism of Jesus
Does the Bible tell us how we can wash away all our actual sins? As the priests washed away their filthinesses with the water of the laver in the Old Testament, in the New Testament, we can receive the remission of our actual sins by believing that Jesus has fulfilled the righteousness of God by taking the sins of the world upon Himself through His baptism received from John. In the end, all sins are washed away by believing in the truth.
When the people of Israel gave the sin offering to God, they brought to the Tabernacle an unblemished sacrificial animal like a sheep or goat, confessed their sins and passed them all onto the offering by putting their hands on its head, and killed this offering of sacrifice that accepted their sins. They then cut its throat and drew its blood, putting the blood on the horns of the altar of burnt offering and pouring the rest on the ground (Leviticus 4). Even a year's worth of their sins were all remitted at once by faith through the sin offering of the Day of Atonement (Leviticus 16). In the end, we receive our remission of sin with the same method as the sin offering of the Old Testament-that is, by believing in the baptism of the Messiah who came to blot out our sins and in the blood of the Cross.
The Old Testaments' laying on of hands is the same as the baptism that Jesus received in the New Testament. Our Messiah took care of and washed away all our sins by being baptized by John and crucified. When it is by the works of the baptism of the Messiah and His blood on the Cross that God has saved us perfectly from all our sins, what more is there for us to do to be forgiven of our sins? What we must remember and believe is that even when we sin daily in our lives because of our weaknesses, all these sins have also been washed away by Jesus Christ who came of the water and the blood. Even though we believe in God, because of our shortcomings, we still fall into our weaknesses and trespasses. But our God, who knows all this, has saved us by sending the Messiah to this earth, making Him take the sins of mankind upon Himself through His baptism, and sacrificing Him.
By placing the altar of burnt offering and the laver in the court of the Tabernacle, God has allowed us to wash away all our actual sins committed daily before we enter into the Sanctuary, the House of God. But this does not mean that we are supposed to wash away our actual sins with the daily prayers of repentance. On the contrary, it is our faith in the baptism of the Messiah and His blood on the Cross that cleanses away all our sins. God has set that when the righteous make mistakes and commit sins and wrongdoings after believing in Jesus, they should be washed of all such sins by believing in the baptism that the Messiah, the Lord of the laver, received.
Many people are prone to regard Jesus' bearing of sins and His being judged for all the sins as the same thing, tying them together blindly into a single bundle. But because we commits actual sins on a daily basis from our weaknesses, the washing of sin and the judgment of sin must be separated into two. The baptism that Jesus received from John and His death on the Cross were to bear all our sins upon Himself, to be judged for these sins, and to save us from them perfectly. In this faith, we can thus receive the judgment of our sins all at once. As such, the problem of our actual sins committed daily must be solved by believing in the baptism of the Messiah. It is by uniting these two components, the baptism and the Cross, that the single, perfect salvation is completed. This is the truth of the perfect remission of sin. Insofar as the solution to the problem of our sins is concerned, we must think of and believe in it by separating Jesus' baptism and the Cross from each other.
When the priests killed sacrificial animals in the Tabernacle, they were soiled by grimes and splashing blood. We can't even begin to imagine just how filthy they got. The priests had to wash away all this filthiness, but if there had been no water in the laver of the court of the Tabernacle, they would not have been able to do so. No matter if it was the High Priest or a common priest who had been forgiven of a year's worth of sins, without washing away the filthiness on him right away with the water of the laver, this person could not help but live with the filth still on him.
Even if the High Priest had all kind of filth on him, because there was the laver in the court of the Tabernacle, he could always be cleansed. Even if a priest were forgiven of a years' worth of sins entirely, it was still by thus washing away the daily sins that this person was cleansed. God set that the priests who gave offerings to Him had to be thus washed of all their filthiness at the laver. We can then realize why God put the laver in the court of the Tabernacle. We can also know why this laver was placed between the altar of burnt offering and the Sanctuary.
Why Do We Need the Laver?
The truth implied in the laver is revealed in John 13. During the Passover, after having the Last Supper with His disciples, Jesus began to wash their feet, and it came Peter's turn. When Jesus tried to wash his feet, He asked Peter to put out his feet so that He could wash them. However, Peter declined, saying, "I should be washing Your feet; how can You, Lord, wash my feet?"
Peter declined because he thought that it just was not fitting for a teacher to wash his own disciples' feet. "How can I dare to ask my teacher to wash my feet? I can't."
Peter kept declining Jesus' service. What Jesus then spoke to Peter here is of deep import.
"What I am doing you do not understand now, but you will know after this" (John 13:7). This is what Jesus meant: "You cannot understand now why I have to wash your feet. But this will surely be the key to solving the problem of your actual sins. You will commits many actual sins from now on, but I have already taken even your actual sins of the future upon Myself, and because of these sins, I must now shed My blood on the Cross. You must therefore know and believe that I am the Messiah who took care of even your actual sins of the future."
In Peter's mind, it just looked simply unethical for the Messiah to wash his feet, and this is why he declined to be washed. But Jesus told Peter, "You will know after this," and washed his feet.
"Only when I wash your feet can you have relations with Me. You do not understand now why I am washing your feet. But after I am crucified and ascend to the Kingdom of Heaven, you will know why I washed your feet. Because I am your Messiah, I already bore even your future sins with My baptism, and by becoming the sacrificial offering for your sins, I have become your Savior."
As our Lord said, Peter did not understand any of this at the time, but after the resurrection of the Lord, he came to realize it. Truly, this was the event that blotted out even his actual sins.
"Because I cannot but commit actual sins in the world, the Lord washed my feet so that I would believe that Jesus the Messiah took even these actual sins upon Himself with His baptism from John the Baptist! The baptism of the Messiah took care of even these actual sins of the future! Jesus took all these sins upon Himself with His baptism, carried the sins of the world to the Cross, and bore the condemnation of all sins by being crucified! And by rising from the dead again, He has truly and wholly saved us from all our sins!"
Only on a later time, after he even betrayed the Lord three times, did Peter come to realize this and believe in it. This is why he said in 1 Peter 3:21, "There is also an antitype which now saves us-baptism (not the removal of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God), through the resurrection of Jesus Christ." Here, the word 'antitype' means "one that is foreshadowed by or identified with an earlier symbol or type, such as a figure in the New Testament who has a counterpart in the Old Testament." So, the preceding context clearly declares that the baptism of Jesus is the very antitype of the 'water' in the Old Testament.
In the Old Testament, when the sin offering of the Day of Atonement was given to God to receive the remission of a year's worth of sins, the High Priest, representing the people of Israel, had to lay his hands on the sacrificial offering and confess the sins that the Israelites had committed in order to pass their sins onto the offering. This method of the laying on of hands was the same format as the baptism of Jesus. In the Old Testament, the sacrificial offering had to bleed to death because it had accepted the sins of all the Israelites passed onto it. Its throat was cut, and it soon bled all its blood. The priests then skinned it, cut it to pieces, and offered its flesh to God by burning it with fire.
The Messiah, who is the real substance of the sacrificial offering of the Old Testament, came to this earth, accepted our sins through the laying on of hands, bled on the Cross, and died in our place. Today, you and I have therefore wholly received the remission of our sins through the baptism of Jesus Christ and His death on the Cross. And we must wash away our actual sins committed in our everyday lives also by believing that these sins have already been cleansed away by the baptism that our Lord received and the blood that He shed on the Cross. We must know this truth and believes in it. We can be delivered from all our actual sins only when we believed that Jesus took all our sins upon Himself and washed them all away through His baptism. Whenever we commit actual sins, in other words, we must confirm our faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. And by ruminating over the truth that even these actual sins were already blotted out by Jesus with His baptism and the Cross, we cannot lose our salvation at any case, and can restore it at once whenever our hearts are attacked by a sense of guilt.
Because Jesus has already blotted out even the daily sins committed by the righteous who have received the remission of sin in their everyday lives, God permitted the laver to them so that these righteous, whose remission of sin came by the water, the blood and the Spirit, would be washed of their actual sins through their faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
This is why God made the laver by gathering and melting the hand mirrors used by the women who had been serving in the Tabernacle of meeting, for these mirrors provide the reflection of the self. Whenever we commit actual sins and fall into despair because of our weaknesses, we must go to the laver and wash our hands and feet. The laver's role is to remind us that Jesus took the sins of mankind upon Himself all at once when He was baptized by John. It was to teach this truth to the righteous who have received the remission of sin that our Lord made the Israelites make the laver by melting the hand mirrors of these women, fill it with water, and allowed the priests to cleanse away all the filthiness of their hands and feet with this water.
We believe that Jesus is the Son of God, the Creator, and the Savior of mankind. And we must remember that the Messiah came to this earth in the flesh of a man and accepted all our sins passed onto His own body through the baptism that He received from John-that is, whenever we commit actual sins in this world, fall into weaknesses or our weaknesses are revealed, we must remember even more that the Messiah came in the flesh, was baptized and crucified, and thereby has already blotted out all our sins.
If we do not remember this and believe in it, even though we have received the remission of sin, we would yet again be bound by our actual sins and return to our old, sinful selves. As such, we must believe everyday that all our sins committed because of our weaknesses and shortcomings had already been passed onto Jesus through His baptism. Everyday, we must remember, believe again, and affirm that the Messiah took all our sins upon Himself with His baptism received from John and has washed them all away.
There is no one on the face of this earth who can receive the remission of sin by believing in Jesus without believing that He bore the sins of the world by being baptized by John and shed His blood. And even if people have received the remission of sin, there is not a single person who does not commit actual sins. As such, without believing in the baptism of Jesus, everyone would be sinful, and the will of God would never have been fulfilled to everyone. This is why God gave us His Son, had Him be baptized by John, and gave Him up to the Cross to bleed.
If we believe in Jesus Christ as our Messiah, we must believe that all our sins were passed onto Him through His baptism received from John, and that He bore all our condemnation by carrying the sins of the world to the Cross, being crucified, and shedding His blood. We receive our remission of sin by believing in the baptism of Jesus and His blood. All our sins have been blotted out by believing in this truth. We have reached righteousness by believing in the love of God with our hearts. Our hearts are now sinless, clean and spotless. But there are still shortcomings in our flesh. This is why we have to remember the baptism of Jesus everyday and remind ourselves of this faith always. Whenever our shortcomings and weaknesses are revealed, whenever evil thoughts rise up and we are defiled, and whenever our acts go astray, our Lord is pleased only when we remember that Jesus took all these sins upon Himself with His baptism received from John and cleanse our hearts by believing in this truth once again.
Whenever we commit sin, we must first admit our sins before God. We must then believe once again that all these sins were already passed onto Jesus through His baptism. We who have been cleansed by the work of Jesus' baptism must cleanse away our actual sins everyday by believing in this work. This is why we absolutely must remember and believe in the fact that we can wash away all our sins through the baptism of Jesus Christ.
We have now examined why God placed the laver between the altar of burnt offering and the Tabernacle. God placed the laver between the altar of burnt offering and the Tabernacle so that when we go before Him, we would go with clean bodies and hearts. Even after we became the righteous who have received the perfect remission of sin through the baptism of Jesus and the Cross, our hearts are still prone to be defiled whenever we sin, whether willingly or unwillingly. This is why we must cleanse away this filthiness at the laver when we pass the altar of burnt offering and go before God. Because we cannot go before God if we have even the smallest of all filthiness, God placed the laver between the altar of burnt offering and the Tabernacle so that we may be able to enter into the presence of God in cleanness, having washed ourselves with the water of the laver.
What Kind of Conscience Is a Good Conscience before God?
1 Peter 3:21 also defines Jesus' baptism to be "the answer of a good conscience toward God." Here, 'a good conscience' is the one that believes that Jesus washed away all the sins of mankind, including all actual sins committed daily, with the baptism that He received from John at the Jordan River. To take our sins upon Himself, our Lord was baptized by John and thereby accepted our sins onto His own body. Because Jesus bore all our sins on His body, He had to die on the Cross. If we ignore and do not believe in what He did, then our consciences can only be evil. This is why we must believe in His baptism. We must have good consciences before God. Though in our flesh we may not be able to live perfectly 100 percent, at least in our consciences, we can and must have good consciences before the sight of God.
About half a century ago, when Korea lost everything in the ruins of the Korean War, a flood of foreign aids came into the country to relieve its plight. Even though orphanages were to receive such aids first, instead of being so, some unscrupulous people diverted them into their own pockets and built their own wealth. They had no conscience. When foreign countries gave powdered milk, flour, blankets, shoes, clothes, and other aid supplies, the supporters sent them so that the naked and hungry people in dire needs would be clothed and fed properly; they could hardly imagine that some evil public officials and swindlers would divert these aid goods.
People with good consciences would have distributed them fairly among the poor. Those who, instead of turning the foreign aids into an opportunity to build their wealth, distributed them fairly among the poor dying of hunger would have had nothing to be ashamed of before God, for they would have lived with good conscience. But those who did not do so would have been accused of being thieves by their own consciences. Of course, these thieves could still be washed of all their sins if they turn around and believe in the baptism of Jesus even now.
To take our sins upon Himself and to blot out all our actual sins, Jesus came to this earth and was baptized. Having thus been baptized by John, Jesus washed away our sins all at once. I would like to rebuke the unbelievers in His baptism, saying, "What, then, makes you to be so proud as not to believe in His baptism? With what confidence do you not believe? Are you good enough to enter the Kingdom without the faith in His baptism?"
If we truly want to be the people of good consciences, we must wash away all our actual sins with the baptism that Jesus received from John. To do so, we must believe in our hearts that Jesus took upon Himself all the sins that we commit in our entire lifespan and has washed them all away. This is why Jesus our Messiah was baptized by John before going to the Cross.
Jesus said to the woman who was caught in adultery, "I do not condemn you, either. I do not judge you, either." Why? Because Jesus had already taken this woman's sin of adultery upon Himself also, and because Jesus Himself would bear the condemnation of this sin also. He said, "I am the One who would be condemned for your sins. But be washed of all your sins by believing in My baptism. Therefore, be saved from all your sins by believing in Me. Be saved from all the condemnation of sin also by faith, and be washed of all your sins. Be cleansed of the sins of your conscience and drink the water from Me that lets you never thirst again."
Today, you and I believe that Jesus is the One who has saved us from our sins. Do you truly believe that Jesus indeed took our sins upon Himself with His baptism and washed them all away? Our Lord cleansed away our sins by being baptized. We can now go to God in good conscience. Why? Because our Lord took all our sins upon Himself and washed them all away by being baptized, carried these sins to the Cross, was condemned in our place by being crucified, and rose from the dead again. A long time ago, Jesus came to this earth, and through His 33 years of life, He took all our sins upon Himself and washed them all away with His baptism.
By taking even our actual sins all upon Himself and washing them away, our Lord has enabled us to go to God and become the righteous, and to be judged of all our sins through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. It is by believing in this Lord, in other words, that we can call God as our Father and go before His presence. As such, those who believe in Jesus' works of the water, the blood and the Spirit are the ones who have good consciences. On the contrary, it surely is the evil conscience that does not believe in the Lord's righteous acts, His baptism and crucifixion.
Nowadays, Many People Do Not Take the Word of God Seriously Because of Their Superstitious Faith
Many liars, discarding the Word of God as if it were merely an ornament, only preach that we should also do good over our faith in God to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. And when it comes to salvation, they only speak of the blood of the Cross, and mistakenly think that they have to climb up some mountain to pray or fast in order to then meet God through their experience of the flesh. Although nothing could be more wrong than this faith, they are absolutely certain of it. They say, "I was tormented by my sins, and so I stayed up all night praying, 'God, I have sinned. I believe in You, Lord.' On that day, I was still tormented in the evening, but after I stayed up all night praying, when the dawn came, suddenly I felt as if a bundle of fire had been thrust upon me, and, right at that time, my mind was all cleared-all the sins of my heart were washed away white as snow. So it was at this time that I was born again. Halleluiah!"
Such thoughts are only man-made, ignorant and foolish thoughts that turn the Word God useless. You must remember that God will punish, by many folds, those who say such mystical non-sense and thereby deceive people and lead others to the fire of hell.
"My ears hurt so much. But I believed in what the Lord said, that we would be healed if we believe, and so I withstood my pain saying, 'Lord, I believe!' When I believed like this, then the pain was all gone!"
"I had a gastric ulcer, so every time I ate something, I got a terrible stomachache. So before I ate, I prayed, 'Lord, I am hurting here, but You said that You would hear whatever we pray for with faith. I still believe in Your Word.' Sure enough, I had no problem digesting!"
What are all these? These are the cases where people did not meet the Lord through the Word. These cases demonstrate the falseness of their faith that does not believe by the Word. These are not the answers to their prayers received through the Word, but just their mystical faith. They believe in God not by the Word, but in their mistaken confusion based on their own emotions and experiences. What is so regrettable and saddening is that there are so many such mystics among today's Christians.
Like this, pushing aside the Word of God and believing in Jesus blindly based on their emotions or experiences only amount to a superstitious faith. People who claim to believe in Jesus even as they do not believe by the Word need to examine themselves to see whether they are possessed by demons or not. "I met Jesus while praying. Jesus appeared in my dream. I prayed ardently and my illness was healed." Anyone with a half-intact mouth can make such claims, but what is clear is that this is not the faith given by God, but it is the false faith give by Satan.
Through the blue, purple, and scarlet thread and the fine woven linen, our Lord has revealed Himself to us. Does our Lord reveal Himself to us in new and different ways in today's era? Does He really appear before us in an illusion or a dream? He is dragging huge chains at His feet, bleeding all over, has a crown of thorns on His head, and says, "You see, this is how I suffered so much for you. Now, what will you do for Me?"-is this how our Lord reveals Himself to us? This is all nonsense!
Yet there are still people who, after supposedly having this kind of a dream, make a vow before God, "Lord, I will become Your servant and serve You with all my heart for the rest of my life. I will build a prayer house here. I will build a church here. I will carry my cross on my back for the rest of my life and testify You throughout the whole nation and the entire world."
In fact, we can easily come across such devotional preachers in the streets or public places. With no exception, they are all mystics who say that they decided to live like this after seeing Jesus in their dreams or hearing the voice of the Lord while praying. But the Lord reveals Himself only through His Word; He does not speak to us in a dream or while we are praying, especially in this era when all His Word has been given to mankind completely. Dreams just come from the complicated realm of human sub-consciousness. These people have this kind of a dream because they have all kinds of imaginations about Jesus in their unrequited love and just think too much.
When your mind dwells deeply on some matter before drifting to sleep, you are likely to see yourself grappling over this issue in your dream also. Like this, dreams are made of your sub-consciousness. This is why if we think too much, we get all kinds of weird dreams. They all have nothing to do with faith, but they are merely a reflection of the physical changes or sub-consciousness.
This is why if people think a lot about Jesus bleeding on the Cross, in their dream He appears with a crown of thorns on His head. In itself, there is nothing wrong with such a dream. But to take this dream too seriously is a grave mistake. What if Jesus appears before them, bleeding all over, and actually says, "What will you do for Me? You shall live the rest of your life for Me as an ascetic. For Me, You shall not have any possession"? There are foolish people who actually give up all their possessions so that they can live like this. Is there anyone who was terrified because of a dream, who took it seriously, or whose life was changed because of it? None other than this is mysticism.
God meets us through the Word. He is not someone whom we can meet in a dream or a vision in our prayer. The Word of God is written in the Old and New Testaments, and it is when we hear this Word preached to us and accept it into our hearts that our spirits can meet Him through the Word. It is, in other words, through the Word and only through the Word that your spirits can meet God.
It is from the Word that we came to know that Jesus took all our sins upon Himself with His baptism; it is by hearing this Word that we have come to believe in our hearts. The answer to the question of why Jesus had to die on the Cross is also found in the Word. It is because Jesus took our sins upon Himself by being baptized that He died on the Cross and has saved us. By the Word, we come to know God, and by the Word, we come to believe in Him. That Jesus Christ is God is also known and believed by us only through the Word.
How Could We Have Come to Believe in God? Were It Not for the Written Word of God?
If there were no Word of God, how could we have come to meet and believe in Jesus, who has made all our sins disappear? If there were no Word of God, our faith would be nothing. "This is what I think"-we may speak out our thoughts, but this is not the truth, and when our hearts are filled with what is not true, then the real truth cannot enter into our hearts. The right thing to say is not, "This is what I think," but it is, "This is what the Bible says." When we read the Bible, the truth spoken by God comes into our hearts and corrects the errors of our previous thoughts.
What is your faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit made of? Is it made of your own thoughts? Or did you become the born-again by coming to know and believe in it from hearing the Word? It is through the Word that we have come to believe in and meet God in our hearts. This is why the gate of the court of the Tabernacle was woven of the blue, purple, and scarlet thread and the fine woven linen.
The water held in the laver means the baptism through which Jesus Christ took all our sins upon Himself. "Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness" (Matthew 3:15). Through the Word of God, we came to know the baptism with which Jesus took the sins of the world upon Himself. Because it is from the Word that we came to know the baptism of Jesus who took upon all the sins that you and I commit throughout our entire lives, this Word has made us have the faith of baptism in our hearts. It is through the Word that we come to find out the truth manifested in the laver.
From the Word of God, we can find out that the laver was made of bronze. In the Bible, bronze means judgment. As such, the meaning of the bronze laver is that when we look at ourselves before the Law, which plays the role of a mirror that reflects ourselves, we are all bound to be condemned. This is why the laver was made of the mirrors of the women serving at the Tabernacle. The Lord has save us, who could not avoid but be condemned because of our sins, by coming to this earth, being baptized, and dying on the Cross. Through the written Word of God, we came to know that it was because Jesus was baptized that He took all our sins upon Himself, went to the Cross, and bore the condemnation of sin. And it is by accepting into our hearts and believing in this truth that we have been saved. What about you? How have you been saved?
In a certain denomination that follows mysticism, they claim that its members must know the exact date of their salvation, on which month and day they were saved. And a pastor in this denomination is said to have testified before many believers that he believed in Jesus and was saved when he climbed up some mountain to pray and realized that he was nothing. He claimed very proudly that he had never forgotten the exact date and time of his being born again. This certainly has nothing to do with the fine woven linen, but is only emotional. This pastor's faith has nothing to do with the blue, purple, and scarlet thread and the fine woven linen. The salvation taught by this denomination has nothing to do with the true salvation made of the Word of God, but it is only of their own making.
It's actually possible to hypnotize oneself. If people keep insisting that they are sinless, and think like this over and over again, then they end up being hypnotized by themselves and become sinless on their own. If they keep chanting this spell to themselves, then they may actually feel as if they really became sinless, but such feelings can never last long. So, in no time, they have to hypnotize themselves again, chanting, "I'm sinless. I'm sinless." How self-centered, untrue, ignorant, and superstitious faith this is!
The fine woven linen means God's Word of the Old and New Testaments. That the gates of the court of the Tabernacle, of the Holy Place, and of the Most Holy were all woven of the blue, purple, and scarlet thread and the fine woven linen tells us that Jesus has become the door of our salvation and our Savior exactly as written in the Old and New Testaments. I therefore truly thank God, for how certain is this salvation that God has spoken to us!
This is why when I pray, I do not try to appeal to emotions or put on a show. I just pray by leaving everything to God and trusting in Him. "Father, please help us. Make us preach the gospel through the whole world. Protect and keep all my fellow ministers and saints. Give us the workers who can serve the gospel, allow this gospel to be spread, and make the believers realize and believe in Your Word." This is all I say when I pray; I do not pray trying to stir up my emotions and crying, and none of this mumbo-jumbo is any part of my prayers.
Some people, when they just can't rouse their emotions no matter how hard they try, even think of their long dead fathers and mothers to ilk out tears and to feign their prayers to be taken seriously by others. Such invented prayers are like a bunch of garbage that would make God vomit. People also stir up their emotions by thinking of Jesus' crucifixion and keep shouting out blindly, "I believe in You, Lord!"
But does this really mean that such people's faith is strong? If you think about your sins and try to stir up your emotions, saying, "Lord, I've sinned. Help me live righteously," then it actually is quite possible to rouse yourselves emotionally. Because having such an emotional experience and a good crying session can vent out a lot of stress, many people, feeling refreshed, think this is what faith is all about. Though their lives are full of troubles, such emotional experiences at least make them feel better for a while, and so they continue their religious lives in this way.
You Must Believe that the Lord Has Come to Us through the Blue, Purple, and Scarlet Thread and the Fine Woven Linen
Our Lord came to us through the Word. You should therefore not wait upon your senses, but you must listen to what the Word of God says to you. What is important is whether or not you believe in this Word of God in your hearts. When you pray, do not try to concentrate on your emotions. Rather, you should control them down to an appropriate level. Why? Because there are many liars in this world who will approach those who like to be emotionally roused and inspired to take advantage of their emotional holes. Because people so often lose the intellectual parts by pursuing their feelings, when revival meetings are held under the banner of "Great Spiritual Revival," more often than not, the aim is only to stir up the participants' emotions.
However, now that I have been born again, I cannot hold such a revival even if I were to try, for preaching the Word of God is not inciting people's emotions like these great spiritual revival meetings of the world. Because I have been born again of the Word of truth, I have long bid my farewell to my emotional aspect that used to intrude into my spiritual life.
We, the righteous who hear the Word of God, use our intellect, and believe in our hearts, never like to be emotionally stirred. We believe in the truth by quickly realizing whether or not someone speaks of the Word of God to us as it is, and by quickly discerning whether or not this person is speaking to us by truly believing in it. Because we who know and believe in the truth of the blue, purple, and scarlet thread and the fine woven linen have the Holy Spirit in our hearts, we all realize that emotional incitement is far from the truth, and we accept only the real truth into our hearts.
Jesus came to us by the blue, purple, and scarlet thread and the fine woven linen. How marvelous is this truth? How wonderful is the love of our Lord that has saved you? Through the four-fold works of Jesus written in God's Word, we all have come to believe that Jesus took all your sins upon Himself with His baptism, died on the Cross, and has thereby saved you with His fulfillment of all righteousness.
Do you believe this truth in your hearts? Those who preach the gospel must spread it within the fine woven linen, that is, God's Word of the Old and New Testaments, and its content must be the blue, purple, and scarlet thread. And those who hear it must accept it into their hearts and believe in it wholeheartedly.
The Water of the Laver Washes away Our Sins
Through His baptism, Jesus took upon all our sins on Himself and washed them all away. The baptism of Jesus refers to the water of the laver; it has cleansed us, who were all bound to hell because of sins, and enabled us to stand before God. Because Jesus accepted all our sins onto Himself through His baptism, He could go to the Cross and wash them away by being crucified to death. Both the baptism of Jesus and the Cross testify that Jesus bore the condemnation of all our sins. Through the baptism and the Cross, Jesus fulfilled all our salvation.
Giving the prayers of repentance can never cleanse us of our sins. It is because Jesus already took our sins upon with His baptism that our sins have been all washed away. It is by hearing this Word and believing in what Jesus has done for us that we can be freed from the condemnation of all our sins. Thanks to the condemnation that Jesus had borne, we have already borne all our condemnation of sin through our faith in His baptism. Truly, we have been saved by faith. In a way, salvation is utterly simple. If we believe in the gift and love of salvation, we can be saved, but if we do not believe, then we cannot be saved.
Apart from the Salvation Fulfilled by God, There Is Nothing That We Can Do to Be Saved
We cannot do anything at all for our salvation, were it not for God. As our Lord decided to save us in this way even before the creation and fulfilled our salvation, everything depends on how God decides. God the Father decided to save us through His Son and the Holy Spirit, and when the determined time came, He sent His only begotten Son Jesus to this earth. When Jesus turned 30 and the time came for Him to fulfill these works of salvation, the Father then made Christ be baptized and die on the Cross, resurrected Him, and has thereby saved us. We are saved by learning and knowing what the Lord has done for us from the Word of the Old and New Testaments, and by believing in it in our hearts. Being saved by believing in our hearts is none other than accepting faith into our hearts.
Do you believe that this Word of the Bible is the Word of God? None other than this Bible is God Himself who has existed since the beginning, and His Word. Through the Word of the Old and New Testaments, the Word of God, we can know and meet God. And through the Word of the Old and New Testament, we can realize and believe that he has saved us through the blue, purple, and scarlet thread and the fine woven linen. Also, because those who actually believe in this truth are saved, they can testify that this Word has power for sure. We should not judge and measure the Word of God with our own narrow thoughts, but we must rather realize from it how exactly God has saved us.
From the Old and New Testament, I hope and pray that you would all now hear and believe in the Word of the blue (Jesus' baptism), purple (Jesus is King of kings), and scarlet thread (the Cross), and the fine woven linen (God's Word of the Old and New Testament). If you put aside the Word of God and judge His Word with your own measuring rod for the rest of your life, you will never be saved.
If you recognize yourself that you do not know the Word of God well, then you must listen carefully to what the predecessors of faith say. Whether they are pastors, workers, or laymen, when you listen to the Word of God preached by them, and when what they are preaching is indeed right before God, all that you have to do is recognize that it is right and believe it in your hearts.
Those who spread the Word do not spread it because it is so easy, but they do so because what they are spreading is right before God. This is why they preach the right knowledge before God-that is, the gospel of the water and the Spirit, the truth of the blue, purple, and scarlet thread and the fine woven linen. Regardless of from whom we hear it, if it is the true Word of God, then there is nothing else that we can do but accept it with a yes, for there is not a single jot nor a tittle that is wrong with God's Word.
We must believe in the Word of God. What is 'believing'? It is to accept. It is to trust. In other words, because our Lord was baptized for us, we entrust all our infirmities to Him and rely on Him. "Did the Lord really save me by doing this? I trust and believe in You." Believing like this is the true faith.
Among the theologians of this world, it is very hard to find anyone who knows and believes correctly. Even before reaching the laver, they are stuck at the gate of the court of the Tabernacle, unable to even enter into the court. When they give sermons on the Tabernacle, they make a conscientious effort to shrewdly skirt the gate of its court, and when they publish books on the Tabernacle, they insert illustrations that leave out the huge gate that took up over 9 m of the court's fence.
Occasionally, there are some who boldly preach about the gate of the court of the Tabernacle, but because they do not know the fundamental substance of the blue thread, they only say, "blue is the color of the sky." So they claim that the blue thread is the color of the sky that manifests that Jesus is God Himself, and that the scarlet thread refers to the blood that Jesus shed on the Cross while on this earth, thereby skirting over, very shrewdly, the truth of the gate of the court of the Tabernacle. What about purple? Purple tells us that Jesus is the King of king and God Himself. The divinity of Jesus is already held in the purple thread perfectly, so that there is no need to reiterate the truth with another color of thread.
The truth of the blue thread is that Jesus came to this earth and took all the sins of mankind on Himself all at once by being baptized by John. But the theologians of this world, because they do not recognize this baptism of Jesus, can neither know it, nor preach it, but only utter their nonsense. Those who are not born again by not believing in Jesus who came by the blue, purple, and scarlet thread and the fine woven linen do not know that Jesus took all sins upon Himself through baptism and bore their condemnation. As such, they have become spiritually blinded and unable to solve the Word, and therefore they have religionized the Word of God by interpreting it arbitrarily based on their own thoughts. They teach, "Believe in Jesus. You'll then be saved. And be good and meek from now on." They have turned faith in Jesus Christ into a mere religion that only emphasizes their virtuous deeds.
Because people know that they cannot be good no matter how hard they try, they are easily deceived by such words that invoke the will of mankind to try to be good. Religions follow the same old pattern, "If you try, you can do," or "Try your best to become holy." The common theme running across all religions is that they rate the decent thoughts, efforts, and will of mankind very highly. What about, for example, Buddhism? Buddhism emphasizes the endless efforts and will of mankind and teaches its followers to try to become holy by themselves, saying, "Do not kill; seek the truth and be good." In certain ways, its teachings are quite similar to Christian doctrines. The reason why Christianity and Buddhism appear so closely related despite being at the opposite end of each other is because they are both mere religions.
Religion and faith are completely different from each other. The true faith is to recognize and accept into our hearts the gift that our Lord, who has saved us solely through the righteousness of God, has given us. Faith is receiving the remission of sin by believing in our hearts that the Lord came to this earth and was baptized to take our sins upon Himself, and that He bore all the condemnation of our sins by being crucified. Believing that the Lord has delivered us from all our sins and condemnation by saving us through the water and the Spirit is faith. Do you believe? We must truly believe in our hearts.
God Has Already Saved You and Me from All Our Sins
As such, all that we have to do is just believe this in our hearts and accept it. This is what the truly obedient children of God have to do before Him, and everything else is not that important. Because God has loved you, He sent His only begotten Son to this earth, made Him take your sins upon Himself by having Him be baptized, had Him crucified and bleed, and put Him to death by condemning Him, resurrected Him, and has thereby saved you from all your sins.
Then, if you do not believe in this truth, how would God feel? Even now, if you want to become His obedient sons and daughters who can please His heart, then you must believe that God has, through His Son, blotted out all your sins and saved you from them. If you believe in your hearts and in thankfulness, you must then confess with your mouths. Do you also want to believe in Him, but it seems to be too difficult for you to believe in your heart? Then, try to confess your faith with your mouth clearly. When you thus confess that you believe, then faith will be planted and grow little by little. Faith belongs to those who take it bravely.
Let's assume for a moment that I have a real diamond ring. Let's further assume that I would give it to you, but one of you refuse to accept it saying that he/she cannot believe that the ring is made of real diamond. Although the ring is a real diamond ring, because this person did not believe, it is not diamond for him/her, and so he/she has now lost the chance to get a real diamond ring.
Faith is like this. If an authoritative gemologist proved to people with his/her written statement that the ring is made of real diamond, they would come to believe so. God has told us in detail through His written Word that the salvation He has given us is true. And those who believe in His salvation because His Word testifies so are the people of faith. "It's hard for me to believe that it's actually true, but since You who are the Absolute One say that it's true, I believe so." When people thus believe, they can then become the people of faith, and the most precious gift becomes theirs as promised.
On the other hand, there is also a different kind of faith. Let's assume that a swindler imitated a diamond ring, and that someone bought it intoxicated by its brilliant colors, convinced that it was a genuine one. This person is totally convinced that he/she made a wise choice, but in fact, he/she has been cheated. When people believe in false witnesses who claim that the ring is made of diamond when it is not, then this fake diamond is the same as the real diamond for these people, for they believe blindly that the ring is made of diamond. But what they have, of course, is only a fake. Likewise, there are people who have false faith. Even though they are convinced of their faith, it is false, groundless and mystical, for it did not come from God's Word.
God said, "Do not worship other gods but Me." The Word of God is God Himself, and the Word tells us that unless we are born of water and the Spirit, we cannot see the Kingdom of God (John 3:5). God is telling us that without first going through the gate of the court of the Tabernacle woven of the blue, purple, and scarlet thread and the fine woven linen, we cannot enter into the Tabernacle's court, and that those who do not first wash their hands and feet clean in the laver cannot enter into the Tabernacle. As only this Word is the truth, anything other than this is all a fake.
Only faith in the truth is the real faith, and faith in anything else is all fake. No matter how ardently people might have believed, what is not the Word of God is not the Word of God to the very end. When Jesus tells you that He has made all your sins disappear with His baptism and the blood of the Cross, all that you have to do is just believe. Since the One who says that He has done so is God, this faith in His Word is real. If our Lord has not really done this, then this is His wrongdoing, and your faith itself is not wrong. On the other hand, if the Lord has definitely done so, and yet you did not believe and therefore was not saved, then this is clearly all your own responsibility. This is why what we have to do is believe. We must believe what God speaks to us through His Church. Do you believe?
What is the Word spoken through the Church? It is the Word of Jesus Christ who came to us by the blue, purple, and scarlet thread and the fine woven linen. The Church spreads all the Word of God, that Jesus took our sins upon Himself by being baptized, that Jesus is God Himself, and that He bore the condemnation of all our sins on the Cross. Faith in this truth, that Jesus has thus saved us, is the faith of real diamond guaranteed by God.
When we first know the will of God and the spiritual meanings manifested in the Tabernacle and then speak of them, it is this simple. But if we were to pursue, unable to know them, only superficial knowledge about the external format of the Tabernacle, the original Hebrew word for it, or the historical background to it, then we will not benefit at all but only end up with a headache.
Believe in the baptism of Jesus. Jesus received the baptism that cleanses away all the dark, filthy sins that are even in our hearts. Baptism means to wash away sin, to pass on, to bury, to transfer, and to cover. It is because Jesus received such baptism that He took all your sins upon Himself. Those who do not believe in this now will all be put to death and cast out to hell. "You shall also make a laver of bronze, with its base also of bronze, for washing... So they shall wash their hands and their feet, lest they die. And it shall be a statute forever to them-to him and his descendants throughout their generations" (Exodus 30:18, 21). Not to believe is to be cursed. Not to believe is to be cast out to hell. If you do not believe, the curse of Jehovah and destruction will descend upon you, and you will be thrown into the eternal fire.
"So they shall wash their hands and their feet, lest they die." God said this to the High Priest, saying that it is an eternal law that he and his descendants throughout their generations must abide by. Anyone who wants to believe in Jesus as his/her Savior must believe in His baptism and the blood of the Cross. Faith belongs to those who take it bravely. Salvation becomes yours when you accept it into your hearts by believing. Truth can be beneficial to us only when we believe in it. We must believe in what God has told us. There is no obstacle to a heart that is greater than disbelief.
If you do not believe in the truth of salvation that has blotted out your sins with the baptism of Jesus and His blood of the Cross, you will be greatly harmed. Do you believe? We must give our thanks to God for saving us from our sins and condemnation through the laver.
The remaining part of the Tabernacle will be discussed in sequels to this book. I hope you all have the privilege of becoming God's children through the messages in these books.