< Matthew 2:1-12 >
�But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
Are not the least among the rulers of Judah;
For out of you shall come a Ruler
Who will shepherd My people Israel.��
Then Herod, when he had secretly called the wise men, determined from them what time the star appeared.And he sent them to Bethlehem and said, �Go and search carefully for the young Child, and when you have found Him, bring back word to me, that I may come and worship Him also.? When they heard the king, they departed; and behold, the star which they had seen in the East went before them, till it came and stood over where the young Child was.When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceedingly great joy.And when they had come into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother, and fell down and worshiped Him. And when they had opened their treasures, they presented gifts to Him: gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Then, being divinely warned in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed for their own country another way.?/b>
There are many people living in this world. Among these people, many think of Jesus as their Lord only in theory. In America, Asia, and Europe, many people in the world want to receive salvation from their sins by believing in Jesus Christ. As it is in Matthew chapter 2, we should not become confused like the wise men who were traveling to meet the baby Jesus, guided by the stars, but fell into confusion when they stopped by at Jerusalem. Even today, there are people who try hard to meet Jesus to receive salvation, but never meet the Savior. The reason is that they want to meet Jesus according to their own fixed ideas.
Christians all over the world have to truly meet Jesus who came by the water and the Spirit and be saved from their sins to become the people of God. However, in reality, this is not how it is. The reason that it is not so is because these people do not follow the Word of God, but rather follow their own fixed ideas. The faith of many people in the world today is in a state of confusion. Many people in the world do not meet the King of kings with no difficulty because of their fixed idea that the �King will be born in Jerusalem.?
However, He had to come to this world as a lowly human to save lowly sinners. Therefore, it is natural that people do not receive salvation when they try to meet Jesus and be saved from their sins by their fixed ideas. Even now, many people think and fall into the misunderstanding that �it will be easy to meet Jesus Christ if I go to that big church, and if I go to that big church to hear the sermon, I would hear the correct Word of God? But it is not a matter of whether you hear it at a big church or a small church when you hear the Truth of the Word of God. When people preach according to their own fixed ideas, it prevents sinners from hearing the true Gospel and being saved from their sins and receiving the Holy Spirit.
Yesterday was Christmas Eve, and today is Christmas. When we think back on the sermons of Christmas these past two days, it makes my heart break that even now there are many Christians who have not truly met Jesus Christ even though they believe in Him. Also, this reminds us once again of the truth that one cannot meet the Lord according to his own fixed ideas.
During Christmas, some churches make a life-size figure of the baby Jesus that is wrapped in swaddling clothes and lay it in the manger. Also, some churches are only interested in the special tithing on the day that the baby Jesus was born. Some churches do good through charity with an intention to help the poor. However, the reason that the baby Jesus was born was to save all of mankind from all of its sins of the heart and make them the people of God.
The Bible tells us that the wise men faced many difficulties because they followed their own fixed ideas. And this caused many little children to die. Although where Jesus Christ was to be born was in the area of Bethlehem as was prophesied by the prophets, they thought that He would be born in Jerusalem because of their own fixed ideas, and the result was chaos and the deaths of many little children. Even now, because many people believe in Jesus Christ as their Savior according to their own fixed ideas of the flesh, they cannot meet Jesus Christ who came by the water and the Spirit. People need to know that they cannot meet Jesus Christ properly, who is the King of the Truth, because of their fixed ideas.
Many Christians today are prone to think that they can be healed from their diseases or become rich when they believe in Jesus. But this is merely their fixed idea. When a person believes in Jesus with the carnal motives, he cannot receive his salvation or the Holy Spirit. People do not receive the Holy Spirit because they believe in Jesus as the Savior according to their own fixed ideas.
Many people feel satisfied when worshiping in a large church, listening to pipe organs and a huge four-part choir. However, we must agree that the belief that we would meet God if we just worship Him in a big church is a false belief that comes from our useless and worldly ideas. Therefore, we must acknowledge that we cannot meet Jesus Christ, who brought the gospel of the water and the Spirit, according to human ideas. What is truly lamentable is that throughout the world, people rejoice in the birth of Jesus Christ only with worldly pleasure without knowing the Gospel of the water and the Spirit.
When we visit college campuses, we often see young students singing and worshiping God with guitars. The scene of worshiping God is beautiful. However, the more you listen to their praises, the more you can feel the thirst in their souls. You can feel that their souls are desperately thirsty because, although they are praising God with their lips, they have not been successful in meeting the God of real Truth even if they have eagerly wanted to. However, their wish to meet the Lord without the Gospel of the water and the Spirit is nothing more than a wish. Though they say they believe in God, they are seeking God as sinners since they have not found the Gospel of the water and the Spirit. This means that sinners who are not born again today in Christian churches are singing songs full of thirst for meeting God.
However, people who believe in the Gospel of the water and the Spirit give worship that is full of thanksgiving since they have met the Lord who has blotted out all their sins and saved them. The righteous offer worship of thanksgiving for the salvation they received from God. But sinners cannot offer worship of thanksgiving since they try to worship God without the knowledge of the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Sinners cannot meet Jesus Christ the Savior, because they try to meet Him without the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
When we look at the current status of Christian churches, we cannot help but agree with the reproaches by the world that Christian churches today are run like worldly companies. This means that the churches are not doing their essential duties. Today, the goal of Christian churches is budgeting for their annual finances and meeting their annual budget through Christmas tithing and Thanksgiving tithing.
We must emphasize the spread of the gospel of the water and the Spirit since the church of God has the responsibility of giving true life to the world. But, as a matter of fact, most churches have been criticized by many since their goal is just pursuing worldly values. Also, they are killing souls that should not die with false gospels (Ezekiel 13:19). However, the problem is that the leaders of Christian churches do not realize the seriousness of the spiritual corruption in their churches.
My fellow Christians, what happened when the wise men gave up on following the star and adopted their own thoughts? There was much confusion. The wise men failed to meet Jesus on their way at first because they followed their own thoughts, but later they turned around their thoughts and looked for Jesus based on the Word of God, and finally met Jesus the Savior properly.
In the Bible, the wise men were able to meet the baby Jesus properly because they asked the scribes and the priests, and followed the prophecies that were written in the Bible and went to Bethlehem. The reason that the wise men were able to meet Him was because they followed the words of God that were written. This is the same as meeting the true Savior spiritually by knowing the gospel of the water and the Spirit and believing it. The wise men could not meet Jesus no matter how hard they tried when they were ignoring the written prophecies of God. We all can be forgiven of all our sins and offer true faith to Jesus only when we hold onto the words of God that are recorded and believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. The wise men could present the faith of three gifts.
We should know that everyone who is born again has the Word of faith that believes the gospel of the water and the Spirit from God. We all must know that we can meet Jesus exactly when we accept God�s gospel of the water and the Spirit in our hearts. We all became the true priest in spirit, who can receive Jesus in our hearts and pray to the Savior by the faith that believes the written Word of God. We were able to truly meet Jesus, worship Him, and receive His guidance by the everlasting gospel of the water and the Spirit. The incident of the wise men being able to meet Jesus teaches us that it was possible because of the faith that believed the written Word of the prophecies.
What is written in Matthew 2:6 is the fulfillment of the prophecy that is written in the Old Testament in Micah 5:2: �But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are little among the thousands of Judah, Yet out of you shall come forth to Me the One to be Ruler in Israel, Whose goings forth are from of old, from everlasting.?God had promised through the prophet Micah that Jesus Christ, who is the King of kings, would be born in Bethlehem.
Bethlehem means �house of bread,?and it was a tiny country town in Israel. This town was the hometown of David. As God had promised Judah, who was one of the twelve sons of Jacob in the book of Genesis that �the throne will continue by the descendants of you, Judah? it is as He had prophesied. Therefore, as in the prophecy that God had given to Judah, our Lord was born in Bethlehem. Our Lord was truly born in this world in a human body as the King of kings. So, as God has promised and prophesied through the prophets and as it was written, our Lord was born in a small town called Bethlehem.
Our Lord shows us how He works through His written Word. Our Lord talks to us in Truth, and accomplishes His words as He has spoken. Therefore, when we believe in and follow God, it is often necessary to deny our own thoughts. Since it is possible to think wrong with our own thoughts as we follow the Lord, we must constantly deny our own thoughts and follow with the faith that believes the written Word of God.
The wise men, guided by the star again, finally arrived in Bethlehem and met the baby Jesus. If we wish everyone in the world to meet Jesus, we must spread the written Word of God. We can meet Jesus only when we believe and follow the written Word of God. We cannot possibly know and meet Jesus as the Savior by our own ideas apart from the written Word of God.
When we believe and follow the written Word of God, we come to know that Jesus was born for us, was baptized by John to take on the sins of mankind, took on all the sins of the world, bled and died on the Cross, was resurrected and accomplished the salvation for us when He rose again. This is the only way we can meet Jesus, the King of kings. This is why we must believe in Jesus through the written Word of God and the gospel of the water and the Spirit in order to meet Jesus the Savior. We must remember that we cannot possibly meet Jesus, the Savior, unless it is by the written Word of God.
All the three gifts, gold, frankincense and myrrh, were valuable. Myrrh symbolizes the unchanging Word of God, and if we do not have the Word of God, the Truth, we cannot believe in Jesus or receive the gospel of the water and the Spirit. If the wise men gave only two gifts of gold and frankincense, they would be nothing more than religious men. Such would be a wrong faith that came from human thoughts, and not the correct faith in God�s eyes. We must consider that we also have to give the three gifts to the Lord. If we want to meet Jesus, we must first receive the gospel of the water and the Spirit, receive the remission of sins, and follow Him only by faith.
When the wise men found Jesus in Bethlehem after following the written Word, the baby Jesus was lying in a manger. Only then could they bow before the baby Jesus, present their gifts, and confess their faith. As Peter confessed, �You are the Christ, the Son of the living God? they could give such a confession. If the wise men did not depend on the written Word, but on their own thoughts, and went around the vicinity of Jerusalem looking for Jesus, they could not have met the Lord. However, when they went to the place that was written about, the baby Jesus was there. Likewise, in these days, anyone who truly wants to be born again needs to follow the written Word of God and be born again by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
Regardless of who it is, one needs to believe in the written Word of God as it is to meet the baby Jesus today. And we must get rid of the kind of faith that believes in our own thoughts, but need to return to the Savior by believing in Jesus who saved us from all our sins through the written Word, and the gospel of the water and the Spirit. All the Christians in the world must know this gospel of the water and the Spirit and return to God. That is how we meet Jesus, the Savior. That is how we can be born again, receive salvation and become the people of God. We must return to the Word and meet the Lord. That is the only way we offer our sound faith to God and are approved.
People in the world who have not yet met Jesus Christ must return to God by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. We must return to the Word of God and meet Jesus Christ in Truth. When we believe and follow the written Word of God as it is, we become believers of a sound faith. As a matter of fact, all the people in the world should come back to the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Rather than seeking after so-called orthodox denominations or big church buildings, we must receive the gospel of the water and the Spirit through the written Word of God as we humble ourselves.
Even though the whole world knows that Jesus had come, the majority of people have not yet met Jesus Christ as their Savior. These people still look for the Lord in a worldly palace. However, they must go to Bethlehem. When they go to a small country town of Bethlehem, there they can meet Jesus. They cannot meet Him anywhere else. The baby Jesus is absolutely not in a palace. Fellow Christians, do you understand? The baby Jesus absolutely does not live with King Herod. We must go to Bethlehem to meet Jesus. This means that we must come to the house of bread, in other words, the church where the Word of God dwells, to meet Jesus. We must go to the church of God to have bread, food, water and servants. Therefore, today�s Bethlehem means the church of the born-again.
All of mankind can clearly be saved from all their sins only by their faith in God�s salvation that is from the Truth of the gospel of the water and the Spirit. However, many people are still wandering in confusion, trying to meet Jesus with their own ideas just as the wise men did. Some people search for Him for 50 years, and some other people still search after 70 years.
We have the obligation to drag out those who have not met the baby Jesus, the Savior, and deliver the gospel of the water and the Spirit to them so that they also can meet Jesus, the Savior. We must open our eyes of faith wider and see more broadly. We are the priests who must pass on the gospel of the water and the Spirit to everyone in all quarters in the world.