Sermons on important subjects by Rev. Paul C. Jong
Two Tenons for Each
Board of the Tabernacle
< Exodus 26:15-37 >
And for the tabernacle you shall make the boards of acacia wood, standing upright. Ten cubits shall be the length of a board, and a cubit and a half shall be the width of each board. Two tenons shall be in each board for binding one to another. Thus you shall make for all the boards of the tabernacle. And you shall make the boards for the tabernacle, twenty boards for the south side. You shall make forty sockets of silver under the twenty boards: two sockets under each of the boards for its two tenons. And for the second side of the tabernacle, the north side, there shall be twenty boards and their forty sockets of silver: two sockets under each of the boards. For the far side of the tabernacle, westward, you shall make six boards. And you shall also make two boards for the two back corners of the tabernacle. They shall be coupled together at the bottom and they shall be coupled together at the top by one ring. Thus it shall be for both of them. They shall be for the two corners. So there shall be eight boards with their sockets of silversixteen socketstwo sockets under each of the boards. And you shall make bars of acacia wood: five for the boards on one side of the tabernacle, five bars for the boards on the other side of the tabernacle, and five bars for the boards of the side of the tabernacle, for the far side westward. The middle bar shall pass through the midst of the boards from end to end. You shall overlay the boards with gold, make their rings of gold as holders for the bars, and overlay the bars with gold. And you shall raise up the tabernacle according to its pattern which you were shown on the mountain. You shall make a veil woven of blue, purple, and scarlet thread, and fine woven linen. It shall be woven with an artistic design of cherubim. You shall hang it upon the four pillars of acacia wood overlaid with gold. Their hooks shall be gold, upon four sockets of silver. And you shall hang the veil from the clasps. Then you shall bring the ark of the Testimony in there, behind the veil. The veil shall be a divider for you between the holy place and the Most Holy. You shall put the mercy seat upon the ark of the Testimony in the Most Holy. You shall set the table outside the veil, and the lampstand across from the table on the side of the tabernacle toward the south; and you shall put the table on the north side. You shall make a screen for the door of the tabernacle, woven of blue, purple, and scarlet thread, and fine woven linen, made by a weaver. And you shall make for the screen five pillars of acacia wood, and overlay them with gold; their hooks shall be gold, and you shall cast five sockets of bronze for them.
The Tabernacle itself was constructed with 48 boards; twenty boards each for the south and north sides, six boards of the west side, and two boards for the two back corners. Each board measured 4.5 m (15 feet) in length and about 67.5 cm (2.2 feet) in width. For each board to stand upright, there were two silver sockets and two tenons that fitted correctly together. This shows us again that Gods salvation is given only by His grace through faith in Christ.
Salvation by Grace through Faith in Christ
Most Christians know and even recite the famous passage of Ephesians 2:8-9, For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.?/i> But unfortunately, they dont know what His grace exactly is and what kind of faith they should have to be saved. However, the mystery of the two silver sockets and two tenons that fitted correctly together shows us clearly the mystery of Gods salvation.
For us to realize the truth of the two tenons and two silver sockets?placed at the bottom of the boards, we need to first know the basic truth of the gospel. All the doors of the Tabernacle were woven of blue, purple, and scarlet thread and fine woven linen. These four colors show us that for us to be saved from our sins and destruction, the baptism and blood of Jesus were necessary. And they enable us to believe in the truth of Jesus?salvation, free from any doubt. We must have a clear knowledge of the truth that has saved us, manifested in the blue, purple, and scarlet thread and the fine woven linen, and believe in it.
Jesus said, You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free?(John 8:32). As such, we must all receive the perfect remission of our sins by knowing the spiritual truth that is hidden in the four colors manifested in the screen door of the Tabernacle and the veil of the Most Holy. Blue, purple, and scarlet thread and fine woven linen are the materials of the door of the Tabernacle.
In other words, Jesus Christ is our Savior and the King of those who believe, He who has at once saved us from all the sins of the world by being baptized by John and taking upon all our sins onto His own body once for all, and by carrying the sins of the world and shedding His blood on the Cross. That Jesus Christ, who is the King, could have definitively saved us from our sins is because He was baptized and crucified. Therefore, the blue and scarlet threads tell us of the clear and certain truth which cannot be left out for us to be saved from our sins. To take upon our sins, Jesus was baptized by John, and by carrying the sins of the world and shedding His blood on the Cross, He has saved us once for all from all our sins, thus completing His works of salvation.
Here, we must believe that these four points of the blue thread (Jesus?baptism), the scarlet thread (His bloodshed), the purple thread (He is our King), and the fine woven linen (He is the God of the elaborate Word, and has made us righteous) are all the materials used for our salvation. We must realize that if we in spite of this try to be saved from all our sins by believing in only one of these, then such salvation will not be whole. Why? Because at the bottom of each board of the Tabernacle, there were two tenons coming out to be plugged into the silver sockets to support the board.
Silver in the Bible denotes Gods grace, the gift of God. And it is written in Romans 5:1-2, Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.?/i> Our salvation can be granted to us only when our faith meets Gods grace correctly. Just as there were two tenons at the bottom of each board of the Tabernacle, and these tenons were fitted into the silver sockets to support the board, God is telling us that our salvation is completed only when we likewise believe in both the baptism of Jesus and the blood of the Cross.
All of us had to believe in the reason and the actual substance as to why each board had two tenons protruding.
These two sockets and two tenons of the board are the shadow of the gospel of the water and the Spirit, that in the age of the New Testament Jesus Christ would come, be baptized by John the Baptist, be crucified, shed His blood and die on the Cross, and thereby fulfill our salvation completely.
The grace of the remission of sin, in other words, is bestowed on the hearts of only those who actually believe in their righteous salvation that Jesus fulfilled by being baptized by John and shedding His blood on the Cross to blot out their sins. As such, for us to be saved from our sins, we need the faith that believes in these two works of Jesus. As a matter of fact, everything of the Tabernacle provides a detailed portrait of Jesus who has saved us from our sins. It was not for no reason that the Lord made the Israelites to use two tenons and two silver sockets for each board of the Tabernacle.
We have been saved and delivered from all our sins and all the condemnation of sin entirely through the works of baptism and bloodshed that God has given us. In other words, it is by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit that we have received the right to become Gods children. Our faith that is like pure gold has been built by receiving this gift of God.
Do You Still Not Know Who You Really Are Even as You Believe In Jesus?
Do you consider yourselves as good? Do you think by yourselves that you have a righteous character that cannot tolerate any unrighteousness at all, under any circumstances and in any forms? Do you think that you are somehow righteous before God, just because you keep Gods commandments in your hearts everyday and try to obey and act them out in your lives? All that we are doing is just pretending to be righteous, while we are committing adultery and fornication in privacy.
Nowadays, hundreds of channels are available for viewing from cable or satellite TV. Running for 24 hours a day, these channels carry their own specialty-programs and feed them continuously. Among these channels, the most commercially successful specialty-channels are, above all, adult channels. There are many such adult channels where all kinds of pornographic materials are available for viewing by simply flipping through channels. How about pornographic web sites? Needlessly to say, a flood of pornographic spam-mails are now deluging the world. Everyone deplores the evils of these obscene websites, but when we think of the law of supply and demand,?their success can only mean that countless people actually enjoy such websites in their privacy.
This phenomenon shows us that we human beings are fundamentally corrupted and obscene. The Bible points out the sinful hearts of mankind by referring to fornications, adulteries, and lewdness. God said that these things come out from the hearts of people and defile them, and that they are clearly sins. Are we not, then, all filled with sin? God repeatedly said that the properties intrinsic to us are sinful.
But do we really admit this? How is it? Can we escape from the properties of sin that are intrinsic to us by closing our eyes and covering our ears? We cannot help but commit all kinds of sin with the imaginations of our minds and thoughts. No matter how much we tell ourselves that we have to move away from such sins, and no matter how hard we try to do so, they are all in vain. In fact, our flesh is such that not only can we never become perfect saints who commit no carnal sin, but we actually have affinity to sin with no desire to be distanced from it. The flesh and hearts of mankind are always far removed from the things that are holy, and it is a fact, moreover, that they not only want to be closer to sin, but they want to commit even greater sins.
In the East, many learn the teachings of Confucius from their birth, and so they try very hard to put these teachings into practice. In the West, on the other hand, Catholicism or legalistic Christian churches have dominated its religious landscape, and many Westerners have tried hard to keep the Law of God, thinking that they can be holier and holier as long as they keep trying harder. But no matter what their religious backgrounds may be, when they place themselves before God and are stripped to their true selves, they are all just masses of sin and seeds of evildoer alike.
Human beings are unrighteous, full of blemishes, and masses of sin made of dust and dirt. Even the seemingly good people whose good deeds are done not for recognition but out of their sincere hearts, and who are actually discomforted to receive any praise for their good deeds, cannot escape from the fact that when their fundamental essence is reflected before God, they are masses of sin and seeds of evildoers. Because advocating the righteous of mankind is a great evil before God, people cannot escape from the condemnation of sin unless they recognize their punishment and accept the gospel of the water and the Spirit, the love of God. Before God, the efforts of mankind cannot be translated into any goodness, not even as small as dust, and the will of mankind is only filthy before Him.
In the Bible, human beings are often implied as wood. A log of acacia wood itself cannot be raised as a pillar at the entrance of the Temple of God unless God first overlays them with gold. And without the grace of salvation given by God, people are nothing more than dust that cannot but face the judgment of fire.
However, God removed all our sins and transgressions by having Jesus Christ the Messiah receive baptism and bleed to death, even as we remained only as sinners. Such salvation was prophesied in detail by King David about a thousand years before the Messiah came: As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us. As a father pities his children, so the LORD pities those who fear Him. For He knows our frame; He remembers that we are dust?(Psalm 103:12-14).
Before we knew the righteousness of God, the righteousness of mankind had been our standard of life. I, too, had been like that when I did not know Gods gift of salvation and did not have faith in His Word. In fact, I had no righteousness of my own, but I still thought of myself as decent. So since my childhood, there had been many times when I could not tolerate injustice and got into a fight with even people for whom I was no match. Live a righteous life?had been my motto. Like this, because I had failed to see myself before God, I was full of my own righteousness. So I thought of myself better than others and tried hard to live righteously.
But such a being as myself was no more than a mere mass of sin before the righteousness of God. I was not someone who could keep even one of the Ten Commandments or the 613 laws that God commanded to be kept. The fact that I had the will to keep them was itself an act of unrighteousness that rebelled against the Word of God declaring me to be completely incapable of doing nothing but sin, and that stood against Him. All the righteousness of mankind is only unrighteousness before God.
This generation, which has lost God and His Law amid a flood of lewdness and corruption, has also lost any sense of guilt. However, we have to recognize that we human beings cannot but sin everyday and therefore we are doomed to go to hell without exception.
We Had Been Unrighteous and Filled with Sin, But the Lord Has Now Made Us His Own People by Saving Us from Our Sins with the Gospel of the Water and the Spirit
We were all unrighteous, but through the gift of salvation, the Lord has saved such beings as us from all our sins. Each board of the Holy Place, measuring 4.5 m (15 feet) in height and 67.5 cm (2.2 feet) in width, were made of acacia wood overlaid with gold and raised as the walls of the Holy Place. Under each board, two silver sockets were placed to sustain the board. The silver sockets here manifest that God has saved you and me entirely on His own.
The truth that God has saved us from sin is His love, in that Jesus Christ came to this earth and was baptized to take upon our sins, bore the condemnation of our sins by dying on the Cross, has thereby saved us from all the sins of the world and all condemnation. By believing in the gift of salvation He has given us, we have been born again. This gift of salvation that the Lord has given us is incorruptible like gold, and so it is forever unchanging.
The salvation that the Lord has given us is made of the baptism and blood of Jesus, and it has entirely and cleanly blotted out all our sins. It is because the Lord has saved us from all our sins that you and I could have been wholly delivered from all the sins that we commit with our minds, with our thoughts, and with our actual deeds. By believing in the gift of salvation that God has given us in our hearts, we have become His precious saints. Through the two sockets that sustained each board of the Tabernacle, God is telling us of the salvation of the water and the Spirit. God is telling us that it is 100 percent His grace and gift that we have become His children.
If we take out our faith in the baptism and blood of Jesus from us, then there is nothing remaining in us. We had all been such beings that were bound to be condemned for sin. We had been mere mortals who were bound to tremble before our certain death in accordance to the law of God declaring the wages of sin to be death, who were to realize and morn over the righteous judgment of fire awaiting us. This is why we are nothing if we leave out our faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
Living in an age that is permeated by sin now, we must never forget that our fate had been that of waiting only for the judgment of fire. We were such mortal beings. However, Gods grace has been bestowed on us entirely because He has given us the salvation of the water and the Spirit. The Messiah came to this earth, was baptized by John, shed His blood and died on the Cross, rose from the dead again, and has thereby saved us from all our sins, all our unrighteousness, and all our condemnation. By believing in this perfect gospel of the water and the blood, we have now been saved from all sins, and we can only thank God with our faith.
Though we are insufficient in the flesh, our workers, ministers, and I are preaching this gospel of the water and the Spirit throughout the whole world. Though this age is such a corrupt one, because we believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, we have been able to serve the Lord purely, free of any wickedness. That we have come to have this mind is not because of our own power, but because the Lord has given us holiness by clothing us in His grace of salvation.
It is because the Lord has saved us perfectly from sin and condemnation that we have been clothed in the power of this salvation, and it is entirely because of this that we have been able to serve the Lord purely. Because the Lord has saved us from all our sins with the water and the Spirit, I believe that we can serve Him in spite of our insufficiencies, no longer bound by our sins, shortcomings, and condemnation.
That I Am What I Am Is Absolutely by the Grace of God
Truly, these are all impossible things to do had it not been for the grace of our Lord. Spreading the gospel of the water and the Spirit throughout the whole world and serving this gospel purely would not have been possible at all if it had not been for the grace of the Lord. It is 100 percent by the grace of salvation God has given us that you and I are able to live our lives defending and serving the gospel.
We have become the pillars of the Temple of God (Revelation 3:12) and the people of His Kingdom by faith. Because the Lord has given us faith like gold, we now live in the House of God. In this age when the world is flooded by and drowning in sin, in an era when most people are forgetting or even blaspheming God, we have been washed with clear water and become clean, and we have been able to drink clear water and serve the Lord purelywords cannot express just how profoundly grateful I am for this blessing.
This is indeed how our faith is. How could we have become righteous? How have we been able to call ourselves righteous when there is no goodness in us. How could such sinful beings as you and I become sinless? Could you have become sinless and righteous by the righteousness of your flesh? The thoughts of the flesh, your own efforts, and your own deedscould any of these turn you into sinless, righteous ones? Could you have become righteous but by faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit? Could you have become righteous but by your faith in Gods salvation manifested in the blue, purple, and scarlet thread and the fine woven linen? Could you have become righteous without believing in your salvation through the gospel of the water and the Spirit fulfilled by the Messiah and revealed in the Word of God? You could never have become so! By believing in only the scarlet thread, we can never become righteous.
Because Jesus Christ, our Savior and Messiah, shouldered all the sins of the world, including all the sins of our entire lifetime, through the baptism that He received from John to blot out all our sins on our behalf, we have become righteous by faith. Just as the sacrificial offering of the Old Testament bore sin when sinners or the High Priest put their hands on its head, in the New Testaments time, Jesus accepted all the sins of the world passed onto Him by being baptized by John. Jesus actually took upon all our sins through His baptism (Matthew 3:15) And He was testified by John as the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world?(John 1:29).
Having received His baptism, Jesus lived the next three years of His life for our salvation, ending all our sins and condemnation by going to the Cross and giving up His own body to God, as a silent sheep before its shearers, and has given us new life.
It is because Jesus Christ took upon our sins through the baptism that He received from John that He gave Himself up quietly and was nailed on both His hands and feet when He was crucified by Roman soldiers. Hung on the Cross, Jesus shed all the blood that was in His body. And He put the final period to our salvation, saying, It is finished?John 19:30).
Having thus died, He rose again from the dead in three days, ascended to the Kingdom of Heaven, and has become our Savior by giving us eternal life. By shouldering the sins of the world through the baptism that He received from John the Baptist, and by His Cross, resurrection, and ascension, Jesus has become our perfect Savior. So, the Bible declares, Now where there is remission of these, there is no longer an offering for sin?(Hebrews 10:18).
Faith in Only the Blood of the Cross and the Doctrine of Incremental Sanctification Has Never Saved You Wholly from Your Sins
Christians should know that they cannot be saved perfectly from their sins by believing only in Jesus?blood of the Cross. Because people sin everyday with their eyes and acts, they cannot blot out their sins just by believing in the blood of the Cross alone. One of the most pervasive iniquities committed in peoples lives nowadays is sexual immorality. As a culture of explicit and obscene sexuality pervades the world, this sin is ingrained in our flesh. The Bible commands not to commit adultery, but todays reality is that because of the circumstances that surround them, many people end up committing this sin even as they do not want to.
God declares that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart (Matthew 5:28), and yet what our eyes see everyday is all obscene. So people are committing such lewd sins every minute and every second. When this is the case, how can they be sanctified by giving their prayers of repentance and enter the Kingdom of God? How can they become righteous? Do their hearts become righteous when they discipline themselves for a long time and somehow get sanctified when they get old? Do their character become meeker? Do they become more patient? Of course not! What happens is the exact opposite.
Among the prevailing Christian doctrines is the doctrine of incremental sanctification.?This doctrine holds that when Christians believe in the death of Jesus on the Cross for a long time, give prayers of repentance daily, and serve the Lord daily, then they gradually become holy and good-tempered. It claims that the more time goes by since we began to believe in Jesus, the more we are made into someone who has nothing to do with sin and whose deeds are virtuous, and that by the time death approaches us, we would have become completely sanctified and therefore completely sinless.
And it also teaches that because we would have given our prayers of repentance all the time, we would have been washed of our sins everyday, as our clothes are washed, and therefore when we die in the end, we would go to God as someone who has become perfectly righteous. There are many who believe like this. But this is only a hypothetical speculation conjured up by man-made thoughts.
Romans 5:19 says, For as by one mans disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Mans obedience many will be made righteous.?/i> The passage tells us that all of us are made sinless by one Mans obedience. What you and I could not do, Jesus Christ achieved when He personally came to this earth. Knowing well that you and I could not free ourselves from sin, Jesus remitted our sins on our half, something that neither you nor I could ever do. By coming to this earth, receiving baptism, being crucified, and rising from the dead again, He has saved you and me and cleansed us from all our sins once for all.
That Jesus Christ could give salvation to His people by the remission of their sins was because He obeyed the will of God. Obeying Gods will as the Messiah, Jesus Christ has bestowed on us the grace of salvation through His baptism, Cross, and resurrection. By thus giving us the gift of salvation, Jesus fulfilled the remission of sin perfectly. And now, by faith, we have been clothed in the grace of this salvation, for the Lord has fulfilled our salvation from sin, which could never have been achieved by our own endeavors.
However, most Christians do not believe in the baptism that Jesus received, but instead believe only in the blood that He shed on the Cross and try to become sanctified through their own deeds. In other words, even as Jesus took upon all the sins of mankind when He was baptized by John, people still do not believe in this truth. Chapter 3 of Matthew tells us that the first thing that Jesus did in His public life was receiving baptism from John. This is the truth attested by all the four gospel-writers.
Jesus took upon our sins by being baptized by John the Baptist, the representative of mankind and the greatest of all who were born of women, and yet there are so many people who ignore this fact and do not believe in it. Such people believe in Jesus without believing in His baptism, and fervently praise only the precious blood of the Cross that He shed. Pained by the death of Jesus on the Cross, they rouse up their emotions, make all kinds of rackets in their praise, shouting out, ?#9835;Theres wonderful power in the blood. ♪There is power, wonder-working power in the precious blood of the Lamb!♫?They try to go to God, in other words, fueled by their own emotions, vigor and strength. But you must realize that the more they do so, the more hypocritical they become, pretending to be holy but actually accumulating sins in their hearts in secrecy.
How Could We Believe in Jesus as Our Savior without Even Knowing the Gospel of the Water and the Spirit?
When we hear people talking about the Tabernacle, we often see that they dont even the slightest clue as to what they are really talking about. When it comes to believing in the Tabernacle, how can we just believe in whatever way we deem convenient and fitting? Because the salvation from sin that the Lord has fulfilled is so elaborate, God has enabled us to realize how elaborately and how concretely our salvation has been fulfilled.
Through the Tabernacle, He has also made us realize that the Lord has saved us with the blue and purple threads, the water and the blood. We come to realize that to blot out our sins, the Lord came not only by water, but by water and blood?(1 John 5:6). The water, the blood, and the Spirit in which we believe are one. It is by coming as a man, being baptized by John the Baptist, dying, and rising from the dead again that God has saved us.
Through the Tabernacle, we have been able to discover and believe in this detailed portrait of salvation. By studying the two tenons and two silver sockets of each board, we have come to realize the method by which Jesus has saved us from our sins. And we have thus found the truth that we must surely believe in the ministries of Jesus manifested in the blue, purple, and scarlet thread.
Apart from the Bible, nowhere else can this salvation find its origin. We need the gift of salvation that is made of these two elements of baptism and the Cross. Those who believe in this truth can then become the ones who are born of God. By delivering us from our sins with the water and the Spirit, God has fulfilled our salvation perfectly.
Two tenons, in other words, were made under each board and plugged into two silver sockets. This truth is absolutely necessary and tremendously important for us and our remission of sin. Most critically, we must believe in our salvation that God has completed for us, for if we do not believe in the truth of the blue, purple, and scarlet thread, we can never be saved.
As each board of the Holy Tabernacle needed two silver sockets to stand upright, when it comes to believing in Jesus Christ, two truths of His grace are absolutely necessary. What are they? They are that Jesus took upon our sins by being baptized, and that He bore all the condemnation and curses of our sins by carrying them to the Cross and being crucified. Whoever is made righteous can be made so only when he/she wholly believes in these two graces of perfect salvation. Our faith in both the baptism of Jesus and the blood of the Cross, the two pivots of His gift of salvation, makes us stand firmly in the House of God. As the two tenons were put into the two silver sockets, each board could stand upright.
Like this, it is by our correct faith that believes in the two pivots of His salvation that we are made His truly blameless people. By believing in the gospel of the water and the blood given by Jesus, we receive faith like gold that is forever unchanging. By believing in this gospel of the water and the Spirit manifested in the blue, purple, and scarlet thread and the fine woven linen, we become the saints who have received the salvation of the perfect remission of sin.
Theology Until Now and the Age of the Gospel of the Water and the Spirit
Excluding the Early Church period, since the Edict of Milan in 313 A.D., Christianity, including todays Christianity, has been spreading the gospel of the Cross that leaves out Jesus?baptism. From the Early Church period to 313 A.D., which legalized Christianity as the new Roman religion, Christianity had preached the gospel of the water and the Spirit, but afterward the Roman Catholic Church came to dominate the religious scene. Then from the early 14th century, a culture that centered everything on man-made thoughts and called for the restoration of humanity began to emerge, first in some prosperous city-states of northern Italy. This was Renaissance.
By the 16th century, the undercurrent of this culture that began in Italy started to spread throughout the western world, and scholars who studied humanistic, man-made philosophy began to study theology. Interpreting the Bible with their own heads, they began to build Christian doctrines. But because they did not know the truth, they could not understand the Bible soundly and wholly. So what they could not understand with their heads, they overcame by incorporating their secular knowledge and thoughts, thus producing their own Christian doctrines.
As a result, a multitude of Christian doctrines and theologies arose in Christian history: Lutheranism, Calvinism, Arminianism, New Theology, Conservatism, Rationalism, Critical Theology, Mystical Theology, Liberation Theology, Feminist Theology, Black Theology, and even Atheistic Theology, etc.
The history of Christianity may seem very long, but it actually is not that long. For 300 years since the Early Church period, people could learn about the Bible, but this was soon followed by the Medieval Age, the dark age of Christianity. During this era, for laymen reading the Bible itself was a crime punishable to death by beheading. It was not until the 1700s when the wind of theology began to blow, and then Christianity seemed to blossom in the 1800s and 1900s as its theologies grew vibrant and active, but now, many people have fallen into mystical doctrines, believing in God based on their own personal experiences. But despite its theological diversities, all the branch streams of Christianity have one common denominator of faith, that is, believing in only the blood of Jesus.
But is this the truth? When you believed in this way, did your sins actually disappear? You sin everyday. You sin everyday with your hearts, thoughts, acts, and shortcomings. Can you then be remitted of these sins just by believing only in the blood that Jesus shed on the Cross? That Jesus shouldered our sins by being baptized and died on the Cross is the biblical truth. Yet there are so many people who say that their sins have been remitted by believing only in the blood of the Cross and giving their prayers of repentance everyday. Were the sins of your hearts and consciences cleansed away by giving such prayers repentance? This is impossible.
If you are Christians, then you must now know and believe in the salvation of this truth, that Jesus Christ came to this earth and took upon our sins of the world by being baptized by John. In spite of this, do you yet ignore this truth, not even trying to know it, nor to believe in it? If so, you are committing the sin of mocking Jesus, of lowering and despising His name, and you cannot say that you truly believe in Jesus as your Savior. By leaving out Jesus?baptism from this salvation fulfilled by Jesus Christ and believing in Him in whatever way that you want, you can never be clothed in the grace of salvation.
Yet many Christians do not believe in the truth as it is, that Jesus has blotted out our sins, but instead follow their own thoughts and believe in whatever twisted truths they want to believe. Nowadays, their hearts have been hardened more and more by their mistaken doctrinal faith, believing that their sins can be blotted out just by believing in the blood of the Cross alone.
But the answer of salvation planned by God is as the following: We can receive the everlasting remission of sin by believing in Jesus?baptism, His death on the Cross, and His resurrection. Yet there have risen a countless number of people who believe in Jesus by taking out His baptism from this truth of salvation, misunderstanding and misbelieving the following equation to be an immutable law: Jesus (the Cross and His resurrection) + prayers of repentance + virtuous deeds = salvation received through incremental sanctification.?Those who believe in this way are only saying with their lips that they have received their remission of sin. However, the truth is that their hearts are actually filled with heaps of sins that still remain unsolved.
Do you still have sin in your hearts? If you have sin in your hearts even as you now believe in Jesus, then clearly, there is a serious problem with your faith. It is because you believe in Jesus merely as a matter of religion that your consciences are not clean and you have sin. However, the very fact that you can realize you still have sin remaining in your hearts is extremely fortunate in itself. Why? Because those who truly realize that they have sin will recognize that they cannot avoid but be bound to hell for this sin, and when they do so they can finally become the poor in spirit and thereby be able to hear the Word of true salvation.
If you want to receive the remission of sin from God, then your hearts must be prepared. Those whose hearts are ready before God admit, God, I want to receive the remission of sin. I have believed in Jesus for a long time, but I still have sin. Because the wages of sin is death, I cannot but be cast into hell.?Like this, they recognize themselves as wholly sinful before God. Those who recognize the Word of God, those who believe that the Word of God is surely fulfilled exactly as it saysnone other than these are the ones whose hearts are ready.
God meets such souls without exception. Such people hear His Word, see the Word with their own eyes and confirm it, and from doing so they come to realize, Ah, I had believed mistakenly. And a countless number of people are believing mistakenly now.?And by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, regardless of what others might say, they then receive their remission of sin.
Those Who Have Been Saved from All Their Sins Must Defend Their Faith by Believing in the Gospel of the Water and the Spirit
However, this world is full of countless evil doctrines that can unsettle and defile even the hearts of the born-again. The Lord Jesus warned us, Take heed, beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the leaven of Herod?(Mark 8:15). But we cannot even count just how many such leavened teachings there are, defiling peoples heart just by hearing only once. We must realize just how this world is waving in sexual immorality.
We who believe must know exactly in what kind of age we are now living and defend our faith. Yet even as we live in such a sinful world, in our hearts is the unassailable truth that the Lord has delivered us from sin. The Word of testimony that bears witness to our unchanging salvation is the gospel of the water and the Spirit. We must have faith in the truth that is neither shaken by the world nor dragged by it.
Everything from this world is not the truth. God told us that the righteous overcome the world. It is by their faith in the gospel of the unchanging truth that the righteous overcome the Devil and triumph over the world. Though we are insufficient, our hearts, our thoughts, and our bodies are still in the House of God and are standing firmly on the gospel of salvation with faith. We are standing steadfastly on the gospel of the water and the blood with which the Lord has saved us.
Because of this, we are so thankful to God. No matter how sin abounds in this world, at least we the righteous truly have spotless consciences and faith that shine like gold in our hearts. We the righteous will all live a life that overcomes the world by this faith. Until the day of the Lords return, and even as we are in His Kingdom, all of us will praise this faith. We will forever praise the Lord who has saved us and praise our God who has given us this faith.
As this truthful faith that we have with us before God is raised on the rock, it is not shaken under any circumstances. As such, no matter what happens to us as we live on this earth until the day we stand before the Lord, we will defend our hearts by faith. Even if everything in this world is destroyed, even if this world is drowning in sin, and even if this world becomes worse than Sodom and Gomorrah of the old, we will not follow this world, but we will believe in God chastely, we will pursue His righteousness, and we will continue to do the works that spread these two graces (the baptism of Jesus and His death on the Cross) of salvation, the true graces of God.
Those Who Pretend to Believe in the True Gospel
Some people, even as they do not actually believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, still pretend to believe in the truth of the blue, purple, and scarlet thread. But we can see that such people have sin in their hearts from not believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit sincerely. They are like the one who lost the iron ax head, which he had borrowed from his neighbor, into the water (2 Kings 6:5).
In a similar manner, it is possible, as needs arise, for some people to make use of the gospel of the water and the Spirit for a short while. But without believing that this gospel of the water and the Spirit is the truth, they are unable to speak with the true faith when preaching or having fellowship. And those without faith in the truth tragically end up renouncing their life of faith in midway. But the truth of the gospel of the water and the Spirit does not change, and this is why they must believe in this gospel of the water and the Spirit.
But quoting Hebrew 7:12, which says, For the priesthood being changed, of necessity there is also a change of the law,?/i> some people claim, The Law has also changed. So the salvation that Jesus fulfilled was not really fulfilled according to the same method in the Old Testament. Jesus Christ came and has saved us just by dying on the Cross, a modified method.?Some others claim, It seems likely that it was when Jesus died on the Cross when God passed our sins onto His Son.?
But such claims are all flawed and groundless. We can easily refute their claims by asking, Does this then mean that God just crucified Jesus who was sinless and only then passed the sins of the world onto Him??When we believe in the Word of God, we must believe as it is, not by insisting on our own thoughts. Even if we happen to have our own contentions, if the Bible tells us that these contentions are wrong, then we have to break off our own righteousness and believe in the Word of God.
The more time goes by, the more grateful and precious is the fact that the Lord has saved us with the gospel of the water and the Spirit. When we believed according to our own thoughts, there were times when our life of faith was at risk and we almost fell apart from the Church. But just as two tenons held up each board of the Tabernacle by being put into two silver sockets, our faith in the truth of Jesus, that He took upon our sins by being baptized and shed His blood, holds us steadfastly. By being baptized by John and bearing our condemnation by being crucified and shedding His blood, our Lord has saved us from all our sins. As such, our faith will not waver forever.
Proverbs 25:4 says, Take away the dross from silver, And it will go to the silversmith for jewelry.?/i> Like this passage, even as many vile, evil, and corrupted things emerge in our thoughts of the flesh, with His baptism and blood, Jesus has purified us of these filthy things, of the sins of mankind, and has made us the workers of the righteousness of God. The Lord has purified us of the sins of the world. By being baptized by John and thereby accepting all our sins once for all, and by being crucified and shedding His blood and thereby bearing all the condemnation of our sins, Jesus has cleanly saved us from the sins of the world.
As such, those who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit are guaranteed of their everlasting salvation. Our acts may seem worrisome for at times, but the gospel of the water and the Spirit holds our faith steadfastly, just as silver sockets sustained each board by grabbing its two tenons.
The Everlasting Grace of Salvation That Holds Us
Now, let us turn our attention to the bars that held the boards of the Tabernacle together. Exodus 26:26-27 says, And you shall make bars of acacia wood: five for the boards on one side of the tabernacle, five bars for the boards on the other side of the tabernacle, and five bars for the boards of the side of the tabernacle, for the far side westward.?/i> The overall shape of the Tabernacle was rectangular. Pillars were placed at the door of the Tabernacle and for the veil of the Most Holy, and the rest was made of boards. These boards were wrapped around with five bars.
To hold these bars, five gold rings were placed on each board, and the bars themselves, made of acacia wood, were also overlaid with gold. The five bars were placed on the boards on all three sides of the Tabernacle, north, south, and west. As the boards were held by these bars passing through the rings of gold, they remained fixed. So supported at their bottom by silver sockets, and held together at their sides by five bars, the boards stood firm and fixed.
And as the 48 boards were wrapped around by five bars and supported one another, the people of God are also tied together with God with the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Gods Church is the place where those who have received the gift of the salvation of the water and the Spirit gather together and live their lives of faith. Jesus told Peter that He would build His Church on the rock (Matthew 16:18-19). As such, the place where the Kingdom of God is formed by the gathering of those who have received the remission of sin is Gods Church. God is showing us that He has saved us wholly from the sins of the world with the works of Jesus manifested in the blue, purple, and scarlet thread.
Exodus 26:28 says, The middle bar shall pass through the midst of the boards from end to end.? This middle bar was made long enough to bind all the boards of one side all at once. What, then, is the meaning of this middle bar passing through the midst of the boards from end to end? It means that the righteous unite with each other, and that their faith commune with each other. In other words, by believing in salvation fulfilled through the gospel of the water and the Spirit given by the Lord, they can commune with one another in faith. The righteous meet eye to eye by their faith. This is why when we meet our fellow saints or ministers and have fellowship with them, we can actually feel this communion of hearts.
One Faith, One Baptism, and One God
Lets turn to Ephesians 4:3-7: Endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ's gift.?/i> The Apostle Paul told us to endeavor to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. Jesus?baptism and the Crosswhen we receive the gift of salvation made of these two, then peace comes into our hearts. When we receive the remission of sin into our hearts, then we become one family in Christ. We become, in short, one body.
One Lord.?/i> Jesus Christ who has saved us is one. One faith.?/i> What do you believe in? You believe in the salvation of the water and blood of Jesus and of the Spirit, manifested in the blue, purple, and scarlet thread and the fine woven linen. One baptism.?The Apostle Paul emphasized Jesus?baptism once again. He did not refer to the Cross here, but rather he stressed the baptism of Jesus that cleansed all believers unconditionally. For us to believe in His baptism is being baptized into Christ and thus having put on Christ (Galatians 3:27). One God.?/i> God is one. This God has saved us by sending His own Son.
All these things refer to one faith in the water, the blood, and the Spirit (1 John 5:8). It is when we have faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit that our hearts can commune with one another. Those who have received the remission of sin can meet each other eye to eye. There may be a few times when they cannot understand each other completely. But as the middle bar passed through the midst of the boards from end to end, if they have really received the remission of sin in the center of their heart, then they can all commune with one another. This brother has also been saved from sin, but his flesh is weak and there are many carnal remnants in his heart. Like everyone else, he, too, a seed of evildoers, but the Lord has still remitted his sin with the gospel of the water and the Spirit.?Like this, they come to understand one another and praise the Lord.
No matter how insufficient people may be, if they receive the remission of sin and stay in the Church, then their faces will light up, their thoughts will light up, their hearts will light up also, and they will be able to commune with one another. The righteous can see each another eye to eye. What makes this possible? Faith makes it possible. They see each other eye to eye not because of any other condition but because of faith. What, then, explains our inability to commune with some others? We cannot share our hearts with those who are not in Christ, because they do not, in their hearts, believe in the truth, in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Those who do not believe in this gospel of the water and the Spirit cannot commune with us at all.
Brothers and sister, what exactly is Gods Church? It is the gathering of those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints (1 Corinthians 1:2). It is the congregation of those who believe in the truth that Jesus Christ has washed away their sins by being baptized, that He has saved them by shouldering these sins and bearing all their condemnation on the Cross, and that He rose from the dead again and has become their own Savior. Gods Church is none other than this gathering of those who have become one by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
It is because this faith is in both my heart and your hearts that we can see each other eye to eye when we are in His Church. Just as God does not look at our outside appearances but at the center of our hearts when He sees us, we who have received the remission of sin do not look at outside appearances either, but we have fellowship by looking at the center of each others faith. Does this person really believe in the truth in the heart?this is what we look for. No matter what difference there may be in his/her personality, this does not matter at all as long as he/she believes in oneLord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all.?/i>
Because we believe, we have become the pillars and boards of the Tabernacle, and because we believe, we have become the family of God. Do you believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit? It is because we believe that we are spreading the light of salvation throughout the whole world, just as pure gold (faith) shines in the House of God. We can share our hearts with those who have only recently received the remission of sin, for the Holy Spirit dwells in their hearts also. If only we have received the remission of sin, then we can all commune with each other, but if we have not received the remission of sin, then we cannot commune with one another. Sinners who discriminate people based on outside appearances treat each other differently based on such superficial aspects as looks, wealth, or fame, but we the righteous just do not do this in our hearts. There is no discrimination for the righteous.
When people first receive the remission of sin, I often ask them, Have you really received the remission of sin? Do you still have sin, or have all your sins disappeared? By the way, you must have a lot of questions about the Bible, dont you? Ask them in time as you go along with your life of faith. Also, your shortcomings will be revealed and you will probably make some mistakes along the way. But the leaders and those who have gone before you in the Church will help you, so that everything will turn out just fine.?
Brothers and sisters, we the righteous need the Church. The Tabernacle also means Gods Church. Those who do not believe in the water and the blood cannot come into Gods Church and dwell in it. Those who do not believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit manifested in the blue, purple, and scarlet thread cannot come into and dwell in His Church. Only those who believe in the truth can dwell in the Church, become Gods people and His workers, and see the glory of God also. It is not only by blood or some qualification of their flesh that people can become Gods children. No matter how authoritative some pastors might be, if they do not believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, then they are not Gods children.
Jesus Who Came by Water and Blood Has Saved Us Perfectly
What the Lord did when He came to this earth can be summarized by His birth, baptism, bloodshed, and resurrection. All these are His ministries of the remission of sin. Jesus has fulfilled His mission with His ministries of the blue, purple, and scarlet thread. The blue, purple, and scarlet thread manifested in the Tabernacle were for our own salvation from sin. Gods salvation is so elaborate that we should not believe in Him in our own way. We have to believe in His salvation as it is.
Our faith should correctly accord with the two truths of His salvation: His baptism and His blood on the Cross. Thats why the two tenons were correctly fit to the holes of the two silver sockets. We cannot regard the truth that Jesus has given us as just one of the knowledge of the world and believe it only as such. You and I are the ones who have been saved from sin before God by believing in Jesus?works of salvation manifested in the two silver sockets.
The Tabernacle tells us of Jesus? detailed method of salvation, and this salvation has actually been fulfilled for us already. Believe in the two gifts of salvation that God has given you. Gold that used in the Tabernacle implies faith. If you believe in the truth as it is, then salvation and the glory of the Lord can become yours, but not if you do not believe. Do you want to live inside the Tabernacle by faith, clothed in Gods glory and protected by Him, or do you want be cursed forever by continuing to not believe? If you believe only in the blood of the Cross, then you cannot be saved. You must believe that the blood of the Cross and baptism are one. The gift of the Lord is made of these two.
The Spirit of God dwells in our hearts only when we believe in both of these two elements (Jesus?baptism and bloodshed). The Holy Spirit never dwells in the hearts of those who do not believe in them. If you confess your faith only with your lips but do not believe in your hearts, and if your knowledge is no more than a mere intellectual exercise, then you can never be saved. To be saved, you must first draw a clear line of demarcation setting the boundaries of your salvation: Until now, I had not been saved. The salvation that I had believed in was not the real one. But by believing in Jesus who came by the water and the blood, I have now been saved.?People can become righteous only when they first become sinners at least once. They must admit that as the unsaved, they are bound to be condemned for their sins, and then become the perfectly saved ones by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
With the blue and purple thread, the baptism and blood of Jesus, we must receive our perfect salvation. With His baptism and blood, the Lord has given us the gift of perfect salvation. To prevent us from believing based on our own thoughts, the Lord revealed this salvation in detail through the Tabernacle also. Because this salvation is so precious and perfect, it is worthy for everyone to believe. Do not believe in just a single aspect of His salvation, the blood of the Cross, but believe in both the baptism and blood of Jesus all at once! If there is anyone among us who has not been saved yet, then it is my sincere hope that he/she would be saved by believing, even now, in this truth.
Is there anyone like this among us? There is always the possibility. But my hope is that this possibility will never be realized to any of us. No matter what happens, I cannot belong to a crowd of the unsaved. We are the ones who have been saved perfectly by believing in these two things (blue and scarlet thread)that is, in the baptism and blood of Jesus. I thank God for these two gifts of salvation through which the Lord has saved me. Because God has fulfilled my salvation perfectly, I have already been freed from curses and judgment also.
I give all my thanks to our Lord who has saved us from the sins of the world. Hallelujah!