“You ran well. Who hindered you from obeying the truth? This persuasion does not come from Him who calls you. A little leaven leavens the whole lump. I have confidence in you, in the Lord, that you will have no other mind ; but he who troubles you shall bear his judgment, whoever he is. And I, brethren, if I still preach circumcision, why do I still suffer persecution? Then the offense of the cross has ceased. I could wish that those who trouble you would even cut themselves off! For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ But if you bite and devour one another, beware lest you be consumed by one another! I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.”
There are so many Christians in this age who still have not been remitted from their sins, as they have not found the gospel of the remission of sin that has come by the gospel of the water and the Spirit, and they remain seized by fallacious Christian doctrines. So, through this Book of Galatians, I would like to admonish them for they are facing spiritual destruction because of the doctrine of prayers of repentance that they have been adhering to. I feel that unless I take this opportunity to make this point clear, there will be no other opportunity to correct their mistaken faith.
The saints at the churches of Galatia suffered a tremendous harm because of the circumcisionists. Many Galatian saints abandoned the perfect gospel of salvation that Paul had preached to them, turned to a different gospel, and were falling into destruction as a result. That was why the Apostle Paul wrote his earnest letter of rebuke and admonishment to the churches of Galatia. Now in this age also, some Christians are trying to undermine God’s gospel, much like the circumcisionists who had thrown the churches of Galatia into confusion. Today, these people are none other than those who try to wash away their sins by believing in the doctrine of repentance.
Today’s Christian leaders are killing the souls that should not die, and keeping alive those that should not live (Ezekiel 13:19). In other words, countless Christian souls that should not face spiritual death are needlessly perishing away because of a fallacious doctrine called the doctrine of prayers of repentance. Just how wrong is their faith, since they believe that their sins are washed away through their own prayers of repentance? Yet they are living without even realizing how wrong the doctrine of prayers of repentance is. Today, those who believe in such a mistaken doctrine have no interest in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, and instead, they rely only on some groundless Christian doctrines. This, too, is also because they do not even realize that the remission of sin is received through the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
As such, we must preach to everyone the gospel of the water and the Spirit revealed in the Scriptures. In doing so, we can make those who offer prayers of repentance realize just how wrong their faith is. That’s because people can come into the blessing of the gospel Truth of the water and the Spirit only if we teach them the Truth. It’s also because if we fail to testify of the true gospel properly based on the Word of God, and instead just keep criticizing Christian doctrines, then people will not pay attention to our arguments. They will simply say, “Well, that’s just your own thought.” This is why we must testify in detail, based on the Word of the Scriptures, as to exactly why the doctrine of prayers of repentance is wrong. Only then will they turn away from their mistaken faith, and be saved by believing in the gospel of Truth.
Since almost every Christian now misconceives that the remission of sin is received by offering prayers of repentance, I will take this opportunity to testify of the gospel of the water and the Spirit very clearly beyond leaving any doubt. These Christians must realize how useless their faith is. We the believers in the gospel of the water and the Spirit are able to discern false beliefs, and we can pinpoint their errors based on the Word. Based on the Bible, we can explain exactly why the faith of the physical circumcisionists is false.
This year, it’s said in Korea that the water temperature in the East Sea (also known as the Sea of Japan) is about 5 degrees higher than on the average. The rise in the water temperature by just one degree is said to be on a similar scale to a 10-degree rise in the ground temperature. Little by little, this world is inching toward its end. Let me remind you that the more troubled the world becomes, the faster and the more we must preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit throughout the whole wide world.
At the same time, however, I have some concerns as well, worried that the difficult political and economic conditions in Korea would present an obstacle for us to spread the gospel of the water and the Spirit. So I ask God for His help, praying, “Lord, please help us to preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit everywhere around the world as soon as possible.” I ask you to also pray hard for the spreading of the gospel. I request your prayers for God’s Church first of all, for His workers, for the gospel to be proclaimed on this earth, and for the servants of God to be united into one heart and triumph by faith.
The True Gospel of the Water and the Spirit That Must Be Testified to Even Now
Let us turn to Galatians 5:7-9, “You ran well. Who hindered you from obeying the truth? This persuasion does not come from Him who calls you. A little leaven leavens the whole lump.”
Who are the people whom the Apostle Paul called “you” here? It is to the whole congregation of the Galatian churches, to their every soul, that the Apostle Paul called “you.” In other words, Paul was addressing here both the advocates of physical circumcision and the saints who believed properly. The Apostle Paul stated clearly that the teachings of the advocates of physical circumcision constituted a mistaken Christian doctrine that deviated from the will of God. He was saying that these people advocated physical circumcision in the Galatian churches not out of the will of God, but to pursue their vain lust for glory. That’s why Paul called the circumcisionists’ teachings as leaven, saying, “A little leaven leavens the whole lump” (Galatians 5:9).
The Apostle Paul made it clear that the circumcisionists had to be removed from God’s Church, and instead of circumcision, the gospel of the water and the Spirit must be preached always. Yet the circumcisionists were so foolish that they kept insisting that men had to be physically circumcised to become God’s people, trying to Judaize God’s Church. As they stirred up confusion in God’s Church with their foolish claims, the Apostle Paul said to them forcefully, “If you advocate physical circumcision and preach it to others like this, you will perish in both body and spirit. You will be cursed by God. So stop adhering to physical circumcision, and do not preach such a useless doctrine anymore.”
Just as the Apostle Paul did, we must also defeat the doctrine of prayers of repentance that is corrupting Christianity all over the world in this present age. Paul is pointing out that legalistic faith is the spiritual leaven that leads every believer to death. This means that we must vanquish the fallacious belief that people are remitted from their sins through their own prayers of repentance. It also means that in God’s Church, only the gospel of the water and the Spirit should now be preached, and that no other Christian doctrine should be developed or sneaked in. We shouldn’t tolerate the doctrine of prayers of repentance or any other doctrines that stand against the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Some people claim falsely, “While I was praying, God appeared in my prayer and gave His Word to me personally.” In God’s Church, such mystical faith should not be espoused, nor should anyone spread Charismatic beliefs, claiming falsely to exercise supernatural power.
We must believe in Jesus Christ as our Savior, who has called us with the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Jesus Christ has delivered us from all our sins once and for all through the gospel of the water and the Spirit, and every true believer in this gospel has been saved from all his sins by His grace. God has made the believers in this true gospel preach it all over the world. Now that we believe in the gospel Truth of the water and the Spirit, and we have been saved from all our sins, we must defend our faith in this true gospel in our lives.
We need to realize that it is in the gospel of the water and the Spirit that we’ve come to praise the Lord and serve Him. We must believe in this gospel Truth, and we must live by an ever-growing faith, for only then can we glorify God. We have to defend our souls by placing our faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. We must realize that God’s Church is the Church that preaches only this genuine gospel. Therefore, in God’s Church, we should never tolerate anyone who spreads false leaven. Now, no other teaching but the gospel of the water and the Spirit should come into God’s Church, nor should any such teachings ever be followed.
We Must Beware of Spiritual Leaven Entering God’s Church
Leaven is characterized by its propensity to swell.
To free the people of Israel from the slavery of Egypt, God had enabled them to cross the Red Sea, and to save them from the future plague, He had established the Passover Feast for them. The Feast of Passover was to be followed by a week of the Feast of Unleavened Bread. So, the people of Israel had to keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread for seven days in the wilderness after escaping from Egypt. God had told the people of Israel to throw away leaven from their dwellings during the seven days of the Feast of Unleavened Bread established by Him. This leaven here is equivalent to today’s evil doctrines that lead Christians to spiritual corruption. That is why God wanted the people of Israel to eat plain, unleavened bread.
That God told us to eat pure, unleavened bread means that He wanted to give us the pure gospel Word of the water and the Spirit, so that we would receive eternal life into our hearts. Therefore, those who still believe in the doctrine of prayers of repentance must now cast aside this faith and instead believe in the true gospel and reach their salvation. To make this possible, we ourselves should also believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit wholeheartedly as it is, and preach it to sinners exactly as it is, since we have received the remission of our sins by believing in this genuine gospel.
While leavened bread may look tasty for a while, it cannot be preserved for long, as it gets spoiled quickly to become inedible. Leavened bread signifies spiritually corrupt teachings. If someone in God’s Church believes in the doctrine of prayers of repentance instead of the gospel of the water and the Spirit, such people’s faith will be easily corrupted. Also, if some people think that the power to drive out demons is better than the faith of believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, the gospel of God, then with such beliefs, they are following no more than miracles and signs coming from Satan himself. The gospel of the water and the Spirit we have is the gospel of power that gives eternal life to its believers. That is why God told us to defend our faith placed in the Word of God wholeheartedly, and keep our faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit: “Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth” (1 Corinthians 5:8).
However, just as the circumcisionists had multiplied greatly in the Early Church era, nowadays, there also are so many people who believe in false teachings. That’s why now in this age, it’s so indispensable for us to have faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, to defend it, and to live our proper lives of faith as God’s servants.
It is written in Galatians 5:10-12: “I have confidence in you, in the Lord, that you will have no other mind; but he who troubles you shall bear his judgment, whoever he is. And I, brethren, if I still preach circumcision, why do I still suffer persecution? Then the offense of the cross has ceased. I could wish that those who trouble you would even cut themselves off!”
The Apostle Paul said here, “I have confidence in you, in the Lord, that you will have no other mind.” Paul also said that God would judge the advocates of physical circumcision. He continued on to say, “If I still preach circumcision, why do I still suffer persecution? Then the offense of the cross has ceased” (Galatians 5:11). In other words, Paul was pointing out that the faith of the advocates of physical circumcision was completely mistaken.
Paul told the Galatian saints to cast aside fallacious teachings by themselves. In other words, he admonished the circumcisionists to throw away their mistaken faith not because of someone else’s criticism, but out of their own volition, for such a faith did not come from God, but was of their own making. This was not just Paul’s order, but God’s order.
The Apostle Paul was a true servant God who believed in the gospel of the water and the Spirit and had been greatly persecuted to preach this faith. To defend this faith, he had endured tremendous sufferings nearing death for his witnessing. The Apostle Paul also had endured some kind of chronic physical pain to defend the gospel of the water and the Spirit. That is why Paul rebuked the circumcisionists, saying that they were advocating physical circumcision only to avoid being persecuted with Christ.
What kind of faith was the Apostle Paul’s faith? He confessed his faith with the following words: “For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ” (Galatians 3:27). These are Paul’s words of true confession, proclaiming that his faith was wholly placed in Jesus Christ, who came to this earth by the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Paul believed wholeheartedly that when the Lord came to this world and was baptized by John the Baptist, He took upon Himself all the sins of this world once and for all. And he also believed that the Lord, after taking upon the sins of this world through His baptism, carried them to the Cross, was crucified, and shed His blood.
The Apostle Paul was a servant of God whose faith was completely placed in the fact that by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, he had passed all his sins to Jesus Christ, died with Him, and was resurrected with Him. And these words of Paul admonish us to have the same faith. Paul said that those who now believe wholeheartedly in the gospel of the water and the Spirit are those who have received everlasting life by believing that they had already died with Christ and were resurrected with Him. Having given us the gospel of the water and the Spirit, our Lord was telling us to lead our lives of faith by trusting in this perfect gospel of Truth.
However, there were some people who did not believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit as the real Truth, and instead were causing trouble in God’s Church with their fallacious teachings of physical circumcision. Paul said to such people that he wanted them to cast away their mistaken beliefs by themselves. Indeed, those whose faith has gone astray from God must throw away their corrupted faith by themselves. If they themselves don’t realize their mistaken faith and cast it aside, who else could throw it away on their behalf? We have to grasp clearly that all other teachings apart from the gospel of the water and the Spirit are teachings that we ourselves should throw away.
Because the gospel of the water and the Spirit is the definitive Truth that has washed away all the sins of the world, we can preach it to people time after time. Even if we were to preach this true gospel of the water and the Spirit for tens of thousands of times, it still wouldn’t be too much. On the contrary, to preach anything other than the gospel of the water and the Spirit even just once is absolutely to be corrupted. People are not tired of listening to the pure, unleavened gospel Word of the water and the Spirit. However, those who do not believe in the gospel Truth of the water and the Spirit with their hearts get tired of listening to this gospel repeatedly. They seek to hang onto their superstitious, mistaken faith even more tightly, while rejecting the gospel of the water and the Spirit. However, their faith and their knowledge are actually nothing more than evil leaven before God.
That is why I urge you all to know exactly what the biblical Truth stands for and means, and to believe innocently in the gospel of the water and the Spirit with your hearts. To awaken us to the gospel of the water and the Spirit, God had permitted many incidents in the Old Testament’s times. Actually, physical circumcision was also a shadow of the gospel of the water and the Spirit. When we teach those who are confused by the physical circumcisionists, we have to teach them that the law of circumcision was aimed toward letting them know the circumcision of the heart, that is, the remission of sin (Romans 2:29). Therefore, we must realize that adhering to physical circumcision legalistically has nothing to do with Jesus Christ. If the gospel preached by today’s Christians is different from the gospel of the water and the Spirit, they must realize that they have nothing to do with Jesus Christ. Now, herein also lies the reason why we must believe in and preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit. We must remember the Word of Truth preached by Paul.
The Desires of the Holy Spirit That the Apostle Paul Spoke Of
Now, the Apostle Paul spoke about the desires of the flesh and those of the Spirit. And then he concluded, “Those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another” (Galatians 5:24-26).
Now, you and I must live according to the desires of the Holy Spirit for the rest of our lives. We must crucify the basic passions and desires of our flesh. If you and I really believe in Jesus Christ, then we should crucify each and every desire and lust of the flesh with Jesus Christ, and we must then be resurrected with Him. Only then can we describe ourselves as the true servants of Christ.
If, on the other hand, your hearts are still filled with worldly lusts, and if you are still following your own desires, then you must realize that you do not really believe in Jesus Christ wholeheartedly, nor are you following Him. Just as many Christians faced spiritual destruction in the days of the Apostle Paul because of the circumcisionists, in this age also, some people still follow the lusts of their flesh even after believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. In the end, they will bear the brunt of God’s terrifying punishment because they are hindering the spread of the gospel.
Those who don’t cast aside the lust of their flesh even after being born again by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit are the same as the advocates of physical circumcision. What is common to both of them is that they work to ruin God’s Church and obstruct the gospel of the water and the Spirit from being proclaimed. In fact, they are actually God’s enemies.
The Apostle Paul confessed his faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit repeatedly: “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me” (Galatians 2:20). “For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ” (Galatians 3:27). “Those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires” (Galatians 5:24).
Paul continued to state that he was crucified to death with Christ and resurrected with Him, all through his faith in the gospel. Why did he do this? That’s because you and I need to reaffirm our faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, for even after receiving the remission of our sins by believing in this genuine gospel, we are still bound by our insufficient flesh. Although our flesh is still insufficient, we have already received the remission of our sins by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
However, if we were to continue to follow the desires of the flesh even after being born again, it would be the same as following our old master. You need to grasp that if we the born-again follow our flesh, it is akin to saying that we no longer have anything to do with the Lord, after we have been saved from all our sins by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. This is the same as serving the old master Pharaoh.
Some of you may have two kings in your hearts. One may be God, and the other king may be your own selves—that is, the lust of the flesh. Before we were born again, our own desires had reigned over us as our king, but once we were born again, it is God who is our king. If, in spite of this, you were to follow your flesh even after being born again, then you will turn into God’s enemies in the end. This is the point that I’d like to make clear to you today.