< Matthew 13:10-23 >
�And the disciples came and said to Him, �Why do You speak to them in parables??He answered and said to them, �Because it has been given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given.For whoever has, to him more will be given, and he will have abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him.Therefore I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand.And in them the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled, which says:�Hearing you will hear and shall not understand, And seeing you will see and not perceive; For the hearts of this people have grown dull. Their ears are hard of hearing,And their eyes they have closed, Lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, Lest they should understand with their hearts and turn, So that I should heal them.?
But blessed are your eyes for they see, and your ears for they hear;for assuredly, I say to you that many prophets and righteous men desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it. Therefore hear the parable of the sower:When anyone hears the word of the kingdom, and does not understand it, then the wicked one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is he who received seed by the wayside.But he who received the seed on stony places, this is he who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy;yet he has no root in himself, but endures only for a while. For when tribulation or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he stumbles.Now he who received seed among the thorns is he who hears the word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful.But he who received seed on the good ground is he who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and produces: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.��
For us to further spread the gospel of the water and the Spirit, we must further fulfill our roles by supporting every ministry for the spreading of the gospel, we must pray more, and we must live by faith even more. If we want to serve the gospel by a hundredfold more than now, then we must exercise our faith by a hundredfold more. We must ask God by faith, and through our prayers we must be prepared to receive God�s blessings. When we serve the Lord with our faith, God will surely work in our lives.
Why Did the Lord Speak to His Disciples in Parables?
In today�s passage, when the disciples came and said to Jesus, �Why do You speak to them in parables??our Lord answered, �It has been given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given.?/i>
In other words, it was given to the disciples of Jesus to know the mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven. But the mysteries of Heaven were not given to those whose hearts were hardened. Put differently, while those whose hearts are hardened may hear the Word of God with their ears, they do not really accept it into their hearts by faith.
Such people with hardened hearts do not try to believe in the Word of God; on the contrary, they place their own thoughts above God�s Word. They do not want to serve God as the King in their hearts, for they themselves want to be their own kings. By �them?in this passage, our Lord was referring to such people with hardened hearts. So when Jesus said, �Because it has been given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given,?the word �you?here refers to those who have truly accepted the Word of God into their hearts and believe in it, and the word �them?refers to those who have not done so. We all need to understand this passage properly before we believe in it.
The Reason Why the Lord Had to Explainthe Mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven in Parables
Jesus had to speak of the mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven in parables, lest those whose hearts are hardened should be able to understand Him and make bad use of the hidden meanings for their benefit. This is why Jesus had to speak in parables. Our Lord did not want those whose evil hearts stand against God to realize the mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven, and it was to prevent such people from entering Heaven that He spoke of them in parables. He made it impossible for the people of hardened hearts to enter the Kingdom of Heaven with such dull hearts. Our Lord�s intention was for the hardened people to turn around from their wickedness and to enter the Kingdom of Heaven by placing their faith in the Word of God. Since the Lord said here that Heaven is not permitted to those whose hearts are hardened, anyone who wants to enter Heaven must repent from his wicked mind and return to the Lord.
It is only in the Bible that we should discover the Truth spoken by the Lord. The Kingdom of Heaven is permitted to only those who revere God first, believe in Him, and follow and obey Him. Our Lord, the King of kings, was speaking to all creations about the gospel mysteries of the water and the Spirit. And He wanted all those who revere Him, who follow and serve Him, to reach the understanding of the gospel Word of the water and the Spirit. He wanted to them to realize, �This is the Word of the remission of sin.?
But this was not the case for those whose hearts are hardened before God. The Lord had permitted confused minds to the hardened people, so that they may not realize the mysteries of entering Heaven. The reason for this is because those whose hearts are hardened know no fear of God, nor do they recognize His majesty. It is because they do not acknowledge God as their Master, but instead try to exalt themselves higher than God. To such people, God has not permitted the understanding of the gospel Truth of the water and the Spirit.
In conclusion, our Lord said in verse 12, �For whoever has, to him more will be given, and he will have abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him.?/i> To those who truly fear God, who know His exaltation, and who follow Him by realizing and believing that He is the Judge and the Savior, God has enabled them to understand His Word even more, and He has given them even more blessings. So to those who are clothed in God�s love, He has not only remitted away their sins more than sufficiently by the gospel power of the water and the Spirit, but He has also blessed them to live for His righteousness.
Our Lord says decisively, �Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him.?/i> He has made it impossible, in other words, for anyone whose heart has no fear of God and is hardened before Him to understand the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Just as God set that all water should flow to a lower elevation, He has set that His Word of the remission of sin should also flow to those whose hearts are lowly through the conduit called �faith.?The Lord has enabled the humble-hearted to receive the blessings of the remission of sin through their faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. In this gospel of the water and the Spirit, He has allowed us to understand what He meant when He said, �For whoever has, to him more will be given, and he will have abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him.?All His parables were spoken according to this intention.
Ruminating on the parable of the sower that Jesus gave in Matthew 13, you and I were able to realize God�s desire and His intention. As such, we now need to examine ourselves to see whether we had not stood against God with hardened hearts. Among those whose hearts are hardened before God, there are the more obstinate ones who do not even repent from their stubbornness to the last. They say, �There is no God! Where is God? Really, is God anywhere at all? Since I had believed in Him so ardently and served Him so much, He should have blessed me; why then hasn�t He blessed me at all??
But God is still very much alive and actually exists. And He has come to you through the gospel of the water and the Spirit. So no one should approach God with a hardened heart. Instead, we must cast aside our hardened hearts, believe in the gospel Word of the water and the Spirit, and obey Him with this faith.
Before God, we must realize how our own hearts are, and we must obey His gospel of Truth. God made us be born on this earth as His creations, and He has given us the gospel Word of the water and the Spirit to fulfill His love in us. He approached us with His love for us: When we fell into sin, God saved us from all our sins with the gospel power of the water and the Spirit. By placing our faith in the Word of God, therefore, all of us must take the Truth that makes us God�s children. Only then can be we become God�s children.
We need to remove from our hearts the wicked mind that does not believe in the Word of God. We ourselves need to believe that God is alive, and we need to believe in and acknowledge the gospel of the water and the Spirit that He has given us. If our hearts are hardened, we cannot understand the God-given Word of the remission of sin even if we hear it. We have all the more reason to cast aside our own wickedness and listen to the Word of God lest we should be condemned eternally.
Those whose hearts are hardened before God are bound to lead their souls to destruction, for they cannot understand the gospel of the water and the Spirit before God. Therefore, anyone whose heart is hardened before God must soften it and listen to the Truth of salvation with the ears of his heart. Sometimes, we the born-again may also see our hearts hardened, but no one should have such a hardened heart before God. Our hearts must instead obey God, and we must be capable of having this kind of heart. If our hearts are hardened before God, it is indispensable that we cast aside such hearts. Our Lord has told all of us to set aside our hardened hearts and to listen to Him.
In the Age of the Old Testament Also, God Did Not Tolerate Anyone with a Hardened Heart
Referring to Isaiah 6:9, Jesus said, �And in them the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled, which says: �Hearing you will hear and shall not understand, And seeing you will see and not perceive.��
Let us then turn to Isaiah 6:9-13 here: �And He said, �Go, and tell this people: �Keep on hearing, but do not understand; Keep on seeing, but do not perceive.?�Make the heart of this people dull, And their ears heavy, And shut their eyes; Lest they see with their eyes, And hear with their ears, And understand with their heart, And return and be healed.? Then I said, �Lord, how long??And He answered: �Until the cities are laid waste and without inhabitant, The houses are without a man, The land is utterly desolate, The LORD has removed men far away, And the forsaken places are many in the midst of the land. But yet a tenth will be in it, And will return and be for consuming, As a terebinth tree or as an oak, Whose stump remains when it is cut down. So the holy seed shall be its stump.��
Jehovah was angered and had decided to root out those with hardened hearts. Why did God get angry at the people of Israel? It was because their hearts were hardened before God. Because with their hardened hearts, they had stood against God. The people of Israel were supposed to acknowledge God as the absolutely perfect God, to obey Him and believe in Him, and yet in their heart they had fundamentally stood against God and failed to recognize His Word. This is why God declared destruction upon such people.
God also said, �But yet a tenth will be in it, And will return and be for consuming.?/i> In other words, there was not a single descendant of Adam who revered God and practiced good deeds at that time. However, because God brought them to life by especially manifesting Himself to His servants, speaking to them, and transformed their hearts with His Word, there arose the people of God. He wanted to save the souls of those who knew His will, and who obeyed and believed in Him according to His Word.
This is why the Lord left a stump that would become the holy seed on this earth, when all sinners were supposed to be destroyed, as it is written, �As a terebinth tree or as an oak, Whose stump remains when it is cut down. So the holy seed shall be its stump.?/i>
God the Father laid the foundation of salvation and completed it through Jesus Christ: God the Father made Jesus be born on this earth, take upon the sins of this world once for all by receiving His baptism from John the Baptist, and be crucified and shed His blood on the Cross. In other words, Jesus Christ has become the holy stump on this earth, and God has perfectly saved all those who receive the remission of their sins by knowing this Jesus Christ and placing their faith in Him. God has made it possible for all those who understand and believe in the gospel Word of the water and the Spirit to become the people of the Kingdom of Heaven.
The Holy Seed on This Earth Is Jesus Christ and His People
The holy seed on this earth is Jesus Christ, the Son of God the Father. It is He who came to this earth, blotted out all our sins, and turned His believers into God�s own people. God said here that the Word of power, the Word of the remission of sin that Jesus Christ fulfilled, has now become a stump on this earth, and that through Jesus Christ, the believers have become God�s people, and His Kingdom has been established. As we have been taught by the parable of the sower, we can all become God�s own children when we admit our wickedness and believe in the gospel power of the water and the Spirit.
What is the greatest sin that one can commit against God? It is to live a religious life before God. To worship other gods before God, to believe in just about anything, is a great sin. Living a religious life constitutes a great sin before God.
God commanded us, �You shall have no other gods before Me.?Apart from our own God who created this universe, who could ever be the God of creation? Nothing apart from God is the God of creation. Yet despite this, people believed in and followed in something else other than God, and this constitutes a great sin.
Therefore, the preachers of the true gospel must first teach such idolaters about their own flaws before preaching the gospel of the water and the Spirit to them. They must teach that the One who created the universe is God, that only the Triune God is our Lord and the God who has truly bestowed us with His goodness of salvation, and that nothing else is the God of creation, but all else are only false gods.
If, on the other hand, if they preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit to people without first plowing the fields of their hearts, it would be a great mistake. When we preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit to others, we need to first teach them what sins they have in their hearts, and that they are bound to be condemned for their sins and cast into hell. We need to first tell them that they are the seeds of evildoers, and teach them that if they have even the smallest of sin, they will be cast into to hell. Only after then should we preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit to them, because unless they first recognize their wickedness and sinfulness, the gospel cannot be deeply rooted into their hearts.
We also need to teach them that life in this world is completely empty, that the pursuit of worldly pleasures is all in vain, and that everything in this world is meaningless, nothing more a dream in a summer night. We should then testify to them who the living God is, and preach to them how the Son of this God came to this earth, blotted out all our sins once for all through the gospel of the water and the Spirit, through His baptism and bloodshed, and thereby has saved us from all sins. Therefore, when we are preaching the gospel of the water and the Spirit, ignoring these procedures will only result in fruitless labor.
As such, those who preached the gospel of the water and the Spirit without first plowing the sinners?hearts to disclose their sins should admit their own mistakes to God. And those who heard the gospel of the water and the Spirit from such preachers, because they heard the gospel without realizing their own sins, could not become truly good fields. If we fail to plow people�s hearts before we preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit to them, they cannot become God�s true children, but instead become just nominal Christians.
As I said before, the sins in my heart had agonized me before I met the gospel of the water and the Spirit. However, God enlightened me on the mystery of this gospel Truth while I was reading Matthew 3:13-17. At that moment, I realized that Jesus, by being baptized by John, took upon the sins of the world and fulfilled all the righteousness of God. I also realized that the gospel of the water and the Spirit is linked to both the Old and New Testaments. Both the Old and New Testaments testify, in other words, that our Lord took upon our sins of the world by being baptized by John, died on the Cross, rose from the dead, and has thereby saved us from all our sins.
I was so happy to discover this Truth that I could only give thanks to God. At first, because I was so deeply disturbed by Christians who professed to believe in Jesus without knowing the gospel of the water and the Spirit, I only taught them the gist of the right answer. I was so excited that I preached this true gospel directly to everyone I met at first, not plowing his heart beforehand. I made such mistakes for a while.
Of course, to those who wanted to listen carefully to the Word of God and believe in it, I also plowed the fields of their hearts first. However, when I encountered someone with a hardened heart, I immediately preached to him, �This is how Jesus took upon your sins and the sins of the entire mankind in the Jordan River, and by being crucified to death and rising from the dead again, He has saved us from all our sins.?In the end, I only ended up turning such people into wicked religionists before God. As the fields of their hearts had still remained as wayside fields or stony fields, the gospel of the water and the Spirit planted in their hearts became useless as time passed by: Some were devoured by the Devil, and some sprouted but withered away shortly. This was all the result of the fact that they had not deeply understood the power of the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
Everyone Was a Sinner from the Very Beginning.
People�s hearts have been filled with evil things from the very beginning, but it usually take them a long time to reach the clear understanding of their sinful nature. This is a problem for everyone. So it is quite normal for most Christians not to realize that their hearts have been stony fields, but to discover their true selves only later on.
If someone accepts the gospel of the water and the Spirit while he doesn�t recognize his sinfulness to the full extent, his faith is too fragile to stand against the storms of his sin, as the house built on the sand cannot withstand a storm.
As we have carried on with our lives while professing to believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, we, too, have seen our worthless selves being revealed. For some of us, it is hard to admit the sins that we are actually committing, finding it too difficult to bear with this fact. So such people find themselves unable to say without any doubt that they really believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. They ultimately end up turning into religionists, for they do not have the faith that holds onto the gospel Word of the water and the Spirit. Strictly speaking, they are not God�s children and the Holy Spirit does not dwell in them. What would be the result is as clear as daylight. They would eventually leave God�s Church, for they cannot unite with the Word of God in the Holy Spirit.
Through the passages in Matthew 13, our Lord is teaching us how we should preach the gospel, how we should minister, and how we should serve other souls. He is also telling us how we can realize the Truth that enables us to receive the remission of our sins, as well as how we can discover the mysteries of Heaven. To understand all these teachings, we need to first humble our hearts, acknowledge God, admit that He is our Master and the Lord of the entire universe, and believe in His Word. Recognizing God properly is the first step to receive all His blessings.
Our Lord said, �I have nourished and brought up children, And they have rebelled against Me; The ox knows its owner And the donkey its master�s crib; But Israel does not know, My people do not consider? (Isaiah 1:2-3).
It is indeed because of God that we were born in this world, and it is by believing in the gospel Word of the water and the Spirit that we have been born again. But some of us have ended up becoming mere religionists, for they have failed to know God, to realize their sins, and to understand that they are the seeds of evildoers and are bound to hell for their sins. Is there anyone among you who, by any chance, has received the gospel Word without the field of his heart being plowed first? I want all such people to plow the fields of their hearts once again even now, to discover and admit their sinful selves, to truly believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, and to be saved from all their sins. It is my sincerest hope and prayer that by doing so, you would all be saved from all your sins and become God�s people.
Those who preach God�s gospel should never forget the fact that when they are preaching the gospel of the water and the Spirit, they should first plow the field of the sinful heart, and then preach the gospel of Heaven. Why? Because the Lord Himself told us here that there are wayside, stony, and thorny fields in the fields of human hearts. We should all realize that it is never too late for us to preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit after we first explain the Word of God sufficiently to people. We should sow the seed of the true gospel after they thus come to realize and admit their sins, humble their hearts before God, and acknowledge that they are piles of sin bound to hell. Only when we first plow their hearts and preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit can they really become God�s people by believing in this true gospel.
It is only when we teach sinners with the Word of Truth that they are in fact sinners destined to hell, and when they, too, come to believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit through the Word of God, that they can finally believe in Jesus properly. Just as a farmer plows his fields, turns over the soil, tills the earth, sows his seeds, and then waters the field, we the spiritual farmers must also preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit in this way.
At first, we did not know how to farm properly, for we had preached the gospel of the water and the Spirit right away, without turning over the fields of people�s hearts. As a result, among those of us who heard the gospel of the water and the Spirit without having the fields of their hearts properly plowed first, not a few have gone astray along the way; some have left the Church, and others have stood up against it. All these unfortunate results are due to our mistakes of not first plowing and turning over the fields of their hearts properly.
I repent before God from all such mistakes. My coworkers also repent from their mistakes. Since I myself have made these mistakes, how much more would my coworkers have made the same mistakes? At first, we all preached the gist of the gospel too easily, taking it too lightly because we intended to give the correct answer first, and to teach them in detail down the road. So in a way, it was just a foretaste edition of the true gospel, but hearing this, many of them came to believe that this is their salvation. But this is not the real salvation from sin.
Such people should first have admitted their sinfulness as the Prophet Isaiah had professed when he had seen the majesty and glory of God: �Woe is me, for I am undone! Because I am a man of unclean lips, And I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; For my eyes have seen the King, The LORD of hosts?(Isaiah 6:5). True salvation is given only when one first admits to God that he is a sinner who is inevitably bound to hell for his sins, and then believes in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. When we come to have such concrete faith, we become so thankful that the Lord came to us and cleansed away our sins with the gospel of the water and the Spirit. We could not avoid but be judged by God and cast into hell, but by admitting to God that we were sinners and believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, we have received the remission of our sins.
This is why I want all of you to also cast aside your hardened hearts and believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. If your hearts are hardened, you will surely die before God. Are your hearts hardened, or are they pure before God? They must be pure before the Word of God. How pure must your hearts be? They must be very pure, not just slightly pure. Since the Word of God says that sinners cannot avoid but be cast into hell, we must believe that everything will be fulfilled exactly according to this Word. Therefore, all of us must believe with a pure heart that through the gospel power of the water and the Spirit, our Lord has saved us from all our sins, when we were all bound to hell and incapable of reaching our own salvation through our own tears, efforts, and labor.
The Lord said, �It has been given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven.?/i> To whom has it been permitted to know the Word of God about His Kingdom? The Lord said that it is permitted to those whose hearts are pure. Only those who have truly pure hearts can accept the Word of God just as it is written, and only they can receive the remission of their sins by the power of this gospel. In contrast, those whose hearts are impure and hardened cannot possess the gospel, the very mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven.
As we hear the gospel of the water and the Spirit, and as we have led our lives of faith until now, have our hearts been pure or not? We need to think about this carefully. Contemplate upon yourselves to examine if you are pure or not, and if you find that you had failed to be pure, then cast aside your own stubbornness and place your pure faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
I am not speaking here about whether your acts are insufficient or not. What I am admonishing you is to ask yourselves whether your hearts that believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit are really pure or not, and to examine whether your hearts are hardened or not. If you discover that your hearts are indeed hardened, then you must repent and turn around. We should not just beg God for His forgiveness, but we must all return to God by placing our faith in the gospel Word of the water and the Spirit.
We must admit our mistaken beliefs of the past, recognize our misplaced hearts, humble our hearts before the gospel of the water and the Spirit, and believe in this gospel. If we find it hard to humble our hearts, then we should at least humble our carnal bodies. Only then will God see the center of your hearts and give you the remission of your sins. It is my sincerest hope and desire that all of you, through your faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, would receive the remission of your sins and live as the people of God, and when the Lord returns, to meet Him and live forever with all His blessings.
Your may have met the wrong kind of gospel witnesses, and as a result, your faith may actually be on a wrong footing. While there is no doubt that mistakes were made by such insufficient witnesses, fundamentally speaking, however, isn�t it really your hearts that are wrong? What is God rebuking us for? He is rebuking us for the fact that our hearts are not pure. It is absolutely essential for you to cast aside the stubbornness of your hearts and believe in the Word of God purely, for you can no blessing from God if your hearts are hardened.
In This Age and Time, It Is a Blessing for Us to Hear and See the
Gospel of the Water and the Spirit, and to Believe in It with Our Hearts
Our Lord said in Matthew 13:16-17, �But blessed are your eyes for they see, and your ears for they hear;for assuredly, I say to you that many prophets and righteous men desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.?/i>
Indeed, our Lord came to this earth over 2,000 years ago, and He really began to spread His Word of the remission of sin and of the Kingdom of God when He turned 30. When our Lord spoke about the remission of sin, He told people about the Kingdom of God by explaining the Word of the Old Testament, and He also taught them how they could be remitted from their sins and be blessed. Those who actually saw Him with their own eyes and heard directly from Him at that time were indeed blessed. From the foundation of the world, hardly any prophets or believers in the Old Testament actually heard what God Himself said about the Kingdom of Heaven when He came to this earth in the flesh of man and revealed Himself.
When Jesus walked on this earth, the people of Israel actually met Him, saw Him with their eyes, and heard what He said about God and His Kingdom. Such people were tremendously blessed, and yet even among those who heard the Word directly from this Jesus, there were still many who did not believe in Him. In that age and time also, in other words, there were many people who, by hardening their hearts, stood against Jesus and did not believe in Him. Among the four different fields of the human heart, theirs were of the three bad fields that should have been plowed.
We Can Hear God�s Word of Truth from Jesus?Disciples
Who Believed in the Gospel of the Water and the Spirit
In this age and time, you, too, can also hear the gospel of the water and the Spirit from those who have become the true disciples of Jesus. In fact, those of you who have met the servants of God spreading the gospel Word of the water and the Spirit and heard from them this gospel are the truly blessed ones. No one is more blessed than those who know Jesus and believe in Him properly. However, even if one meets Jesus, if he hardens his heart and does not believe in what He said, and therefore fails to receive the remission of his sins, he is no different from the most wretched.
Now in this age, the truly blessed are precisely those who know the gospel of the water and the Spirit and believe in it accurately. Yet among those who have met the preachers spreading the power of this gospel Truth, there are those who were unable to receive the remission of their sins because of their failure to believe in the Word of God. They are the ones whose hearts are truly hardened. All such people must repent from their stubbornness and believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, for their hardened hearts will only lead them to hell.
My fellow believers, are the words of the servants of God spreading the gospel power of the water and the Spirit merely the words of man, or are they the Word of God? They are the Word of God. It is not easy for you to meet the preachers of the gospel Truth of the water and the Spirit anywhere. They are simply not found among the religionists of this world. No matter how someone may be the most famous pastor of this age, and no matter how he may exercise the power of God, no one else but the true preachers of God can preach the gospel Word of the water and the Spirit.
You are the blessed, for you can hear the gospel of the water and the Spirit in this age and time through our Christian books series. The Word of the true gospel is given to you for free, as it is written in Romans 10:8-9, �But what does it say? �The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart?(that is, the word of faith which we preach): that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.?
Yet there still are people who, because their hearts are hardened, do not believe in the gospel Word of the water and the Spirit even as they hear the Word of God. These people are truly misguided. Why? Because they cannot realize the Truth of salvation, for as their hearts are hardened, they cannot hear even as they hear, nor can they see even as they see with their eyes. They are therefore bound to be destroyed for their sins even in the midst of such blessed opportunities.
Now, you can hear the Word of the gospel power of the water and the Spirit in God�s Church and through our ministries. You can now hear the Word of the water and the Spirit that holds the mysteries of the very faith that enables you to enter the Kingdom of God. It is by hearing and believing in this gospel of the water and the Spirit with all your hearts that you can go to Heaven. Unless you hear this gospel Word of the water and the Spirit, you cannot enter Heaven no matter how much you yearn to do so.
Where else but only in God�s Church could you hear the gospel Word of the water and the Spirit? Throughout the entire world, it is only the believers in the gospel of the water and the Spirit who can spread this gospel. Where else, then, could you ever hear this gospel, unless you first meet such servants of God? We are not boasting of ourselves, but I am only saying that there actually is no one else who preaches this true gospel except us. No matter how hard we look, there simply is no one else who is preaching this gospel Truth. We have heard many people confessing to us with their own words that they could not find this Truth, no matter how much they had continuously searched for it throughout the whole of Christianity.
Now, throughout this world also, there have arisen multitudes of the born-again who have seen, heard, and come to believe in this gospel Word of the water and the Spirit through our literature, both in hard copies and e-books. If you are one of them, you, too, must truthfully believe in this gospel Truth of the water and the Spirit with all your sincere heart. You must indeed listen to us and believe in the Word of God in humility. Only then can you at last realize the mysterious Word of Truth that enables you to enter the Kingdom of Heaven.
Christianity is the gathering of those who follow Jesus Christ. Today, many people claim to follow Jesus and to want to become His disciples, but they need to recognize that they now actually believe in only one of the many religions of the world. They do not know and believe in Jesus properly, nor are they obeying and following Him. They only think to themselves that they are obeying Jesus, when in fact they are not following the real Jesus but only the elusions of their own making. If they do not like what the Word says, they even alter the Word of Jesus for their own taste to fit their own beliefs.
Most of them really have the image of a handsome Jesus. Did He really have the face of a good-looking man, when the Bible in fact says, �He has no form or comeliness? (Isaiah 53:2) They believe all on their own, revising even the essence of Jesus, as well as His Word. It is because this is what they are doing that I can summarily describe their hearts in a word as stubborn hearts.
But whatever God said in the Bible is entirely infallible, if He indeed said so. All we have to do before His Word is kneel before it, and obey and believe in it with a yes. Even if you find it hard to lower your hearts before God�s Word, you must still force yourselves to humble both your bodies and hearts before God and acknowledge that He is right. If your hearts are not pure, you must repent. �Only then can you accept His Word, and become God�s people and workers.
The Gospel Truth of the Water and the Spirit Revealed in Matthew 13:18-23
Our Lord Himself interpreted the parable of the sower in Matthew 13:18-23 by saying, �Therefore hear the parable of the sower?Matthew 13:18). He explained to us by drawing an analogous parallel to something else that we are familiar with, so that we may understand His Word on the mystery of Heaven and grasp it more easily.
In Matthew 13:19, Jesus said, �When anyone hears the word of the kingdom, and does not understand it, then the wicked one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is he who received seed by the wayside.?
Not just anyone, in other words, can understand the Word of Heaven. When one hears the Word of salvation that explains the Kingdom of God and yet does not understand it, the wicked one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. To understand His Word properly, we need to realize first that we are sinners who have worshipped idols before God. From the day we were born, we have fundamentally failed to know God, to honor Him and to serve Him. This failure to know and believe in God as God is the sin of idolatry, which is the greatest sin before God. This is who we were. We need to recognize just how flawed and how truly stubborn we are.
Because Adam and Eve, the first father and mother of mankind, sinned against God, they passed on the twelve sources of sin to all of us as our inheritance. And as a result, from our very birth we have been removed from God and turned into the accursed people who left Him. We were such seeds with hardened hearts that could not be saved from all our sins, but instead stand against God and disobey Him, and therefore destined to be accursed in the end, unless Jesus Christ saved us first. We must therefore admit here that we were the seeds of sin who could avoid but be cast into hell for our disobedience, and that we were terrible piles of sin who had been bound to live while bearing such fruits of sin and standing against God throughout our entire lifetime. We must realize our fundamental, true selves. If we fail to do so, everything will be snatched away from us.
Ephesians 2: 1-3 says, �And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.?/i>
God is telling us here, �You are the seeds of evildoer who worship other gods before Me. You are basically the seeds of evildoer who have fundamentally stood up against Me, having sided with Satan the Devil, the prince of the power of the air.?When God says this to us, we must admit to Him, �We have indeed done so. While we did not do so intentionally, we still were ruled by the Devil and did not even know God.?
We were so wrong, our forefathers were also wrong, and so will our descendants be. This flaw is the sin that makes it inevitable for us to be cast into hell. We indeed were such terrible sinners who, had our Lord not remitted away this sin with the water and the Spirit, simply could not receive the remission of our sins.
This is why we must first realize our fundamental existence. We shouldn�t just hear the Word, but we must reach a clear understanding of it. We must truly realize how we are the seeds of sin and of evildoer; how we really are incapable of keeping the Law and doing good deeds before God, but only of committing evil deeds; and how we cannot be saved from our sins but only through Jesus Christ. We must recognize that we had been bound to follow only our flesh, to seek only after the fame, wealth, and glory of this world, and to be cast into the everlasting fire and perish forever. And after realizing the wickedness of our hearts, we must humble our hearts, and accept into our hearts with thankfulness that the Lord has blotted out all our sins.
The Lord said to us, �You are the seeds of evildoers. Your sins cannot be washed away, not even with soap.?This is why when Jesus Christ the Son of God came to this earth, He was baptized by John the Baptist, saying, �For thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.?/i> And when He came out of the water, God Himself testified, �This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.?/i>
When Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist, He took upon all our sins. Our Lord told us that He came to this earth to save you and me who had been bound to hell for our sins, and that He took upon all the sins of mankind once for all by being baptized by John the Baptist, the representative of mankind. �Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness?(Matthew 3:15). This is what Jesus said when He was baptized. Jesus bore all our sins by being baptized. Do you believe now that all your sins were passed onto Jesus Christ?
Is there anyone whose heart is overwhelmed by a sense of guilt, thinking, �It�s true that I believe in this gospel. But even though I believe in the Word, I have committed so many grave sins, and am going so astray before God even now. So I can�t dare to say that I am sinless?
My fellow believers, because there is no sin that our Lord did not take away from us, it is only right that all our wrongdoings, no matter how grave they are, were indeed passed onto Him. Our Lord said, �For thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness,?and then He was baptized by John the Baptist. At that very moment, all your sins, no matter what kind of sin you might have committed, and no matter how grave they might be, were all passed onto the Lord. If you have indeed admitted your sinful nature to the full extent, and cast aside your hardened hearts before the Lord, then you now have to acknowledge the gospel Truth. You must acknowledge that Jesus is the Son of God, God Himself, and our Savior, and that the Lord took upon all your sins, no matter how insufficient you might be, and what kind of sin you might have committed. Our Lord took them all away. Do you acknowledge this now?
Mankind is always insufficient. You must never forget that when you point your finger at someone, all other fingers are actually pointed at you. Everyone sins. You and I alike, we all commit sin. Do you think you could throw a stone at the adulterous woman, when our Lord said, �He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first?(John 8:7). You surely don�t. You and I are committing the same sins that everyone else commits.
But by being baptized by John, Jesus took upon all the sins of this world and accepted them all onto Himself. All your and my sins were passed onto this Jesus when He was baptized by John the Baptist. Do you acknowledge this? Do you admit that had Jesus not taken upon our sins through His baptism, you and I would be 100% bound to hell for our sins?
If you acknowledge the Word that Jesus spoke, then this means that your hearts are not hardened. But if you acknowledge this only with your thoughts and do not recognize it with your hearts, then this can only mean that your hearts are indeed stubborn. To refuse to accept the Word of God into the heart is the worst sin committed out of a hardened heart, whereas he who acknowledges it with all his heart is one whose heart is humble. You and I must therefore acknowledge the Word with our hearts.
When our Lord baptized, the gates of Heaven were opened, and God the Father said, �He who was baptized just now is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.?God the Father is saying, �My Son took upon all your sins by being baptized by John the Baptist, the representative of mankind. My own Son thus became the propitiation for your sins. As the heavenly High Priest, He accepted all your sins onto His own body by being baptized, and by sacrificing this body of My own Son, I have washed away all your sins. This is how I have saved you from all your sins.?You and I must acknowledge this Word with our hearts. Only when we acknowledge this with all our hearts does it mean that our hearts are not hardened.
My fellow believers, do you acknowledge the Word of God sincerely with your pure hearts? You must never harden your hearts before God. To have your heart hardened before God is for you to be truly wicked. To stand against God and disobey God�s Word with your hearts is a thousand times more wicked than to offend His Word with your flesh. Standing against God with your acts is also evil, of course, but to do so with your hearts is truly evil.
When you do this in your hearts, God know it all. But if you think that God does not know it, and you shamelessly and brazenly reject His Word with your hardened hearts, you are committing the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, a sin that is unforgivable before God. What is this blasphemy against the Holy Spirit? Not believing in the gospel Truth is the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit consulted with one another and planned to blot out all the sins of us mankind, have fulfilled this according to the plan, and guarantee it to us. In short, the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is the sin of not believing that the Lord has blotted all our sins with the gospel power of the water and the Spirit and made us God�s own children. A heart that does not believe that the Lord has saved us who had been bound to hell from all our sins, and that He has thereby made us God�s people, is a heart that blasphemies the Holy Spirit.
Some people insist that to prevent people from speaking in tongues and laying their hands on someone else�s head to say healing prayers is a blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. But this is absolutely nonsense. It is those who stand against the gospel of the water and the Sprit that are committing the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. All other sins can be forgiven, but anyone who rejects the gospel power of the water and the Spirit and does not believe in it cannot be forgiven from this sin. Therefore, the Apostle John also defined this sin as �the sin leading to death?(1 John 5: 16).
In the gospel power of the water and the Spirit is found the Truth of salvation, through which God has saved us. That God has saved us from all our sins presupposes that we had fallen into sin and could not therefore avoid but be bound to hell. This is why God had pity on us and has saved us with the gospel power of the water and the Spirit. It is by believing in this Truth, that Jesus Christ has saved us by coming to this earth, being baptized, dying on the Cross, and rising from the dead again, that you and I can become God�s children and be freed from the evil schemes of Satan. It is by putting on the gospel power of the water and the Spirit that we can be removed from our old places where we had fundamentally stood against God and saddened Him, and receive our salvation from God. Therefore, far from hardening our hearts, you and I need to humble them. This is what our Lord is telling us here.
Your hearts might still be like thorny fields, which are full of the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches, or like stony fields that still have many unrevealed sins. You also had lived religious lives, worshipped other gods before God, committed idolatry, and stood against God. In other words, your hearts might have been like a wayside field.?When your unrevealed sins are manifested through your acts, all that you have to do is just admit that this is who you really are. Yet in spite of this there are so many terrible sins in your hearts that you find it difficult to admit them. But through the gospel of the water and the Spirit, the Lord has still saved us. Do you believe this with your hearts?
This is to humble your hearts. The humble faith that is blessed by God is the faith that makes you His children, and it is the heart that has been saved from sin. With this faith, you must plow the field of your hardened, tough, and stubborn hearts. And you must accept what God has done for you into your hearts with a yes. This is the humble faith. This is the good field.
There have been not a few believers who have left God�s Church and this blessed gospel by seeking the deceitfulness of the riches, fame, power, and their own lusts, even as they had once believed in the gospel of the water and the Spirit.?But even so, our Lord has blotted out even the sins of such people. In fact, with the water and the Spirit, the Lord has blotted out all the sins of everyone, of all those who left the Church to pursue their sexual lusts or carnal pleasure, or because they did not find the Church to their liking. Yet these people decide on their own, �Because of what I did, I am forever separated from God,?and they cut themselves off from Him. None other this constitutes the greatest sin before God. Because this constitutes the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, such people will ultimately reach their own destruction.
Are there still stones in the fields of our hearts? Are there sins that are yet to be revealed? We know all about sin, but only superficially. �Oh, so this is what God is saying,?we think to ourselves. But this is all we know, and there still remains much that we do not realize, since such sins as murder, adultery, jealousy, fighting, thievery, and sexual immorality have not been actually carried out but only entertained in our wicked thoughts. Do you not have much that your hearts desire to do? Of course there is. Will you not then actually carry out these things sooner or later? You will. Does this then mean that you can do them freely? No.
Human beings are not that special. Everyone is insufficient. But the Lord has saved us from all our sins. To believe this is faith.
Jesus said that the mysteries of Heaven have been given to us. What, then, are the mysteries of Heaven? It is the Word about the gospel power of the water and the Spirit. Some people may be reminded of some illusions of Heaven by the phrase �the mysteries of Heaven.?A while ago, a mystical false prophet, who insisted that he had been to Heaven, testified to Korean Christians that the angels in Heaven had been busy to prepare many apartment buildings for the saints to come.?Subsequent to this false prophet there arose other similar witnesses in Korea who claimed to have visited Heaven. But by �the mysteries of Heaven,?our Lord did not mean such deluded illusions.
Jesus taught us the mysteries of Heaven, the gospel of the water and the Spirit, so that we would testify that the Lord has saved us from all our sins, even though we are insufficient. That�s why I testify to you now that the Lord has become our everlasting Savior, and that to save us from all our sins, He was baptized, died on the Cross, rose from the dead again, and lives even now. Do you believe in the power of the gospel? If you believe, then you are safe.
The kind of faith that is approved by God is of the heart. If you try very hard to believe some truth in His Word even though you can never acknowledge it, this in itself cannot constitute your faith. Faith is a concept that belongs to grace. If we try hard to have faith in God�s Truth, our efforts on their own cannot be of His grace, for the Lord said; �Now to him who works, the wages are not counted as grace but as debt. But to him who does not work but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness?(Romans 4:4-5).
Trying hard to believe with one�s own will is in itself a work. Just accepting God�s Word with your pure hearts is faith. When the Lord says that He took upon all our sins by being baptized in the Jordan River, and that because of this all our sins were passed onto Jesus Christ, to acknowledge this Word is faith. To just acknowledge the Word of God is the heart of the blessed one who is poor in spirit. He who has a heart of fearing God needs not to try hard to believe in His Word.?
Just saying, �I�ll believe. I�ll try hard to believe Your Word,?only indicates that our hearts are hardened. When the Word comes upon us, we must say yes to it and believe in it. There cannot be �no?before the Word of God. Can there be anything in the Word of God that can be denied? Of course not! We must acknowledge that the Lord has saved us from our sins with the gospel power of the water and the Spirit. Therefore, to say only reluctantly, �I�ll try to believe,?is not right.
The Lord said that �he who received seed on the good ground is he who hears the Word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and produces; some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.?He said that those who understand the Word bear fruit. You and I must also understand.
In Korea, there is a weird sect called �I�ve-got-it Sect.?Its members try very hard on their own to convince themselves of their own remission of sin, for they do not know the whole Truth of the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Because of their ignorance of the gospel Truth, they cannot but try to explain the remission of their sins by applying all kinds of allegories and metaphors. And when they happen to reach an understanding of such teachings by chance, they proclaim to be born again by such an understanding. Now, they regard us as a heretic. Why? Because they have found that their gospel is different from the gospel we are preaching.
Does this then mean that they understood the Word properly, or does this mean that they misunderstood it? They only claimed to understand when their understanding was of something worthless. It is as if they were joyously claiming to have discovered a goldmine, when in fact they were rolling only in their own filth. All knowledge, apart from the Word of Truth on the gospel power of the water and the Spirit, is no more than waste. If anyone does not understand this hidden Truth of the water and the Spirit even as he reads the Bible, all his understanding is 100% in vain.
Jesus said that he who understands the Word bears fruit by a hundredfold, sixty and thirty. Those who do not understand the Word cannot bear fruit. What about you then? Can you understand the Word? Do you now realize clearly in your hearts and profess as follows? �Ah, I had indeed been bound to hell, and yet the Lord has saved me with the power of the water and the Spirit and has become my Savior. The Lord has thereby become my Master, and the God of my salvation. I can now believe that He will take me to the Kingdom of Heaven. My faith may not be great, but I now have faith, even if it is as small as a mustard seed.?Do you at least realize that you have now become God�s people? If yes, then you are all right. You are now to hear the Word and continue to grow.
Those who do not understand the Word even as they hear it are hardened in their hearts. You must understand the Word of the gospel as soon as you hear it, and whenever your insufficiencies are revealed in your lives, you must realize how the gospel power of the water and the Spirit that has saved people like you is such an amazing Truth. �Ah, I am this much insufficient, and yet the Lord has saved me like this. Hallelujah! Thank You, Lord!?
This is how you can no longer be bound by your sins, follow the Lord, and serve Him with your renewed and cleansed hearts. Those who have reached this true understanding are the truly blessed ones and the citizens of God�s Kingdom.
God has given us all the Truth so that you may understand it. Anyone can now understand this Truth, if only he would not harden his heart. If we cast aside the wickedness of our hearts and humble them, we can all reach this understanding. If you have no such realization right now, then cast aside the wickedness of your hearts and keep on hearing His Word through the servants of God. The understanding of the Word will then come into your hearts someday. When this realization is upon you, the Word will become your faith in the Truth that abides forever, never to disappear.
What you realize on your own is not the true understanding. Understanding what God�s Church is teaching you with the gospel of the water and the Spirit is the only proper understanding.
I thank the Lord for giving us this Word on the mysteries of Heaven, and for allowing us to know these mysteries with pure hearts.
It is my hope and prayer that all those who still do not know the mysteries of Heaven would cast aside the stubbornness of their hearts, humble them instead, and pray to God to give them the understanding of this Truth.