The New Life Mission

Sermons

Subject 16 : The Gospel According to JOHN

[Chapter 8-8] (John 8:37-47) People Born of the Devil And Those Born of God

(John 8:37-47)
“‘I know that you are Abraham’s descendants, but you seek to kill me, because my word has no place in you. I speak what I have seen with My Father, and you do what you have seen with your father.’ They answered and said to Him, ‘Abraham is our father.’ Jesus said to them, ‘If you were Abraham’s children, you would do the works of Abraham. But now you seek to kill me, a Man who has told you the truth which I heard from God. Abraham did not do this. You do the deeds of your father.’ Then they said to Him, ‘we were not born of fornication; we have one Father—God.’ Jesus said to them, ‘If God were your Father, you would love me, for I proceeded forth and came from God; nor have I come of myself, but He sent me. Why do you not understand my speech? Because you are not able to listen to my word. You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it. But because I tell the truth, you do not believe me. Which of you convicts me of sin? And if I tell the truth, why do you not believe me? He who is of God hears God’s words; therefore you do not hear, because you are not of God.’”
 
 
Today we read verses 37 through to 47 in the Gospel of John chapter 8. In verses 37 and 38, Jesus said the following to the Jews who did not believe in Jesus: “I know that you are Abraham’s descendants, but you seek to kill me, because my word has no place in you. I speak what I have seen with My Father, and you do what you have seen with your father.” These are truly alarming Words. The Lord told the Jews and to those who do not believe in the fact that Jesus is the Savior, “I know that you are Abraham’s descendants, but you seek to kill me, because my word has no place in you.” What Jesus really meant was, “I say to you that I am born of God the Father, and I was sent by Him. But whose descendants are you actually? I know that you are Abraham’s descendants by the flesh. I know that you are Abraham’s descendants and that you believe in and follow God. But because my word has no place in you, you seek to kill me.”
And for those who have continued to listen to the sermons on the Gospel of John in this series, this would be easy to understand, but for those who have not, let us briefly look at what He has said in todays passage of Scripture. The Lord said to the Jews who believe in Him, “If you abide in my word, you are my disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:31-32). The Lord has saved people from sins and has made them gain freedom over sin and given them everlasting life. But He told that those who do not know Him and this Truth will remain slaves to sin. In other words, the Lord is saying that those who have not yet gained freedom through the Lord will forever be unable to abide in the House of God. He is saying: “Whoever commits sin that is, whoever that does not believe in this gospel is a slave of sin, and a slave will never be allowed to abide in the House of the Master. However those who have been made free through the Truth will gain everlasting freedom and the eternal Kingdom of God. Those who have the Son in them will be made free forever.” He spoke of these things.
 
 
Whose People Are You Really?
 
Today’s passage of Scripture speaks about this important question, “Whose people are you actually?” The Jews were Abraham’s descendants, but were they actually the children of God? Did they wholeheartedly believe in the Word of the Lord who had come as promised in the Old Testament, and did they truly believe in the gospel Word of the water and the Spirit? Although the Lord came to this earth and spoke to the Jews of what He had seen with His Father, most of them did not believe in Him. Those who do not believe in the Word of the Lord are the children of the Devil. They act out only what they have heard from their father the Devil.
If we look at the Word in verse 44 we read these words, “You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it.” The Lord said to the people, “Your father is the Devil. And you are born of the Devil. Because of this, you desire to do the things of your father. The Devil was a murderer from the beginning, and because there is no truth in him, he despises the truth. And when he speaks a lie he speaks from his own resources.” The one who had deceived Adam and Eve was Satan. Satan had tried to make Adam and Eve fall, kill them and tried to make them leave God. And as a result of this tempting, he plunged them into sin, making them die. The Lord was the One who had saved them, but it was Satan who had led them to die.
Who is the father of all those living on this earth, including those who are said to be the descendants of Abram? Who is your father, and who is my father? Where do we come from actually? As I think about questions like these, I become so very thankful. There is a hymn in our hymn book that goes like this, “♩Because I was weak and lacking, ♬I had lived only committing sins,” and even though we lack like so, our Lord has saved us by the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Where do we come from? Where did everyone come from?
Of course, the first man Adam was created by God, but because people were born as descendants of Adam and Eve who had fallen because of Satan’s tempting, everyone is born once as someone who is spiritually controlled by Satan, acting as a slave to the Devil for having been deceived by him. Who would ever think that they are being controlled by the Devil? But from a spiritual perspective, it is very fortunate for those who have made a complete turn around: Receiving the remission of sins by meeting the Lord and realizing, accepting and believing with their hearts the gospel of the God given water and the Spirit; and then becoming a child of God; and then going through changes in their hearts by realizing that the Holy Spirit has come to reside their.
 
 
“You Do the Deeds of the Devil, Your Father”
 
In verses 41 and 42 it is written, “‘you do the deeds of your father.’ Then they said to Him, ‘We were not born of fornication; we have one Father – God.’ Jesus said to them, ‘If God were your Father, you would love me, for I proceeded forth and came from God; nor have I come of myself, but He sent me.’”
It is truly amazing that people who have received the cleansing of their sins by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit and the Holy Spirit has come into their hearts, love God the Father and Jesus Christ. They love the Truth. They love all the brothers and sisters and the Church.
But those who are not like this do the deeds of their father. Their father is the Devil and the deeds of the Devil are about killing people. How does a human being kill another human being? In this world, we have laws, so people cannot go about recklessly harming others. But when we look into the hearts of those who have not received the cleansing of their sins by the gospel Truth of the water and the Spirit, we find this fundamental desire to destroy people. Because they have a heart like this, instead of trying to live in peace with one another, the vile desire of how one could step on and rise above others rises up instinctively. Should they have a mutually beneficial situation, they will treat each other with tremendous kindness, but deep down they do seem to care for one another. But towards those who cannot provide any benefit to them, the evil wishes in their hearts gush out like a spring. And so, no matter how much they desire to do good deeds, they cannot do it. These evil desires spill over on top of those whose understanding differs from theirs, just like a revolting overflowing garbage drum which has fallen over. This is the spiritual state of those whose father is the Devil.
These Jews were not unbelievers; in fact they were Abraham’s descendants, who were holding onto the promise of God. They were people who called upon God and relied on Him in all things. But they refused to believe in Jesus’ Words, who had come down from the Father, but instead they killed Him in the end. Likewise those who know and believe in the Lord after having been completely cleansed of all their sins through the gospel Truth of the water and the Spirit are the righteous and the children of God, but those other Christians inside Christianity who have rejected His Words have their hearts filled with evil and stand against God, even though they say that they believe in Jesus and do what they do. They are those who are ready to do evil at a moments notice. The truth is their whole heart is filled with wickedness. To make matters worse they are not even aware of this.
The Lord said to these so-called believing Jews, “You are of your father the Devil. You desire to do what your father does.” To this they were flabbergasted. The Jews replied in anger that they were not born of the Devil and that their Father was not the Devil but God. But because the Lord knew their hearts well, He rebuked them, saying, “Your father is the Devil. If your father really had been God, you would have loved Me and the Word that I speak. You would have loved the Truth. You would have accepted the Truth. But instead you are trying to kill me. The truth is your father is actually the Devil.”
Born into this world, people die after having lived seemingly similar type of lives, but among them there are special people who have met the gospel of the water and the Spirit and believe in it. There are people who accept the gospel, claiming that the gospel of the water and the Spirit is really true after meeting with the Truth. People who like this accept the gospel of the water and the Spirit are the genuine children of God. But we need to know those who do not accept the gospel of the water and the Spirit into their hearts are really the children of the Devil. Frankly speaking these kinds of people are scary. They will try to harm anyone at any time, always keeping a sharp knife at heart.
The Lord asks them, “To whom are you born to?” In order to let them know ‘to whom they are born to’ the Lord says, “He who is of God hears God’s words; therefore you do not hear, because you are not of God.” When at times we hear the Word of God, evil rises up from within our hearts; and these thoughts stand against the very Word of God. But despite this the born-again believers break off these thoughts and accept the Word of God as it is. Because of this they grow to be the strong and healthy children of God. We are born with sin, and because we were raised in a culture dominated by the Devil, we will continue to live to be against the Word of God and His Truth. That is why we unintentionally do the deeds of the Devil. You must have often experienced something like this.
As we go about spreading the gospel of the water and the Spirit, we will see the following things happen: At first people will listen to the gospel Word of the water and the Spirit. But as we continue in depth entering into the New Testament, explaining the Gospel of Matthew chapter 3, you will experience people dozing off and showing resistance, becoming very angry and breaking out in commotions. There probably was a time when you first heard the gospel of the water and the Spirit, and you too might have experienced hostility toward God and His righteous Word arising up from your heart. Because people have been living for so long under the constant domination of the Devil, they are bound to resist instinctively, when the Word of the Truth of God eventually comes to them. Just as the Jews had the desire to kill Jesus when He spoke to them, people have the very same desire to resist and rise up against the Truth of God. Dear fellow believers, did you ever have a heart like this or not? Surely you must have had experienced this.
Even though people attend church religiously and say that they believe in the Savior, but if sins remain inside their hearts, their father is actually the Devil and not God. Because the Devil controls their hearts, they will not be able to accept the Word of God when it is preached to them. They put up their guards and wind up fighting against the evil that is inside their hearts even though the Word preached to them is the written Word of the Truth. When asked, “Is the Word of God true?” they will answer, “It is true.” Nevertheless, there is this desire to oppose the Word. And so when they lose the fight against their evil, they go on to reject the gospel and are unable to receive salvation. This is why you must know for certain who is in your heart. Is He God the Father or not.
In the Book of Acts chapter 3 verse 19, there is a passage that says, “Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord,” and in the Book of Acts chapter 2 verse 38, it says, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”
The Holy Spirit resides in the hearts of those who truly believe in the gospel Truth of the water and the Spirit, but those who refuse to accept the gospel of the water and the Spirit, an evil spirit resides in their hearts. Because the Holy Spirit is Holy’ virtuous and full of love l, He cannot possibly reside in hearts filled with sins.
We need to know this that the Devil can reside in every heart that has sins. The Bible clearly says, “When an unclean spirit goes out of a man, he goes through dry places, seeking rest; and finding none, he says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ And when he comes, he finds it swept and put in order. Then he goes and takes with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter and dwell there; and the last state of that man is worse than the first” (Luke 11:24-26). The dry places mentioned here, refers to places where there is no ‘water,’ that is the Word of the gospel Truth of the water and the Spirit. If the heart is filled with the gospel of the water and the Spirit, Satan will not be able to live there. If I were to speak about this subject right now, it would be another whole sermon, but this is all I will say about it and stick to the main message.
Whatever the case, there are sins in people’s hearts, and because of this the Devil will control these hearts who have not willingly accepted the Word of the gospel Truth of the water and the Spirit, even if there are only a few sins in their hearts, and they had offered numerous prayers of repentance. Because of this the Devil resides in their hearts, and they will continuously rise up against the Truth, kill people and do all kinds of evil deeds. Therefore the words, ‘to whom do you belong to;’ is very important. If we are not of God, then we are of the Devil? Does the Holy Spirit reside in our hearts? We must examine our hearts honestly and carefully with the Word of the Truth.
Regardless of whomever, if we were to look honestly into our hearts, we will be able to find out with the Word whether our father is the Devil or God. If people were to truly examine themselves, they would soon find out if they were people who commit evil deeds or people who try to avoid evil. In any case, those who try to benefit others are the ones who have the Holy Spirit.
We read in the Book of Romans, “For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace,” this means that if those who have the Holy Spirit were to become carnally minded, they will also die. If the born-again people should die spiritually, this would be due to the pursued after the flesh. When this happens, they no longer think about benefiting others and including all the people of the world. They will neither think about saving souls nor do the work of the Lord. But rather they will just pursue after their own benefit. Even if someone who has been born again by the gospel of the water and the Spirit falls into a carnal mind, they will not be able to follow the righteousness of God, and instead will be carrying out evil deeds. They will only be pursuing the benefit of their own flesh. People like this cannot become servants of righteousness.
The Lord says that if anyone desires to come after Him, he must first deny himself, take up his cross and follow Him. He tells us clearly that there will be no one who would be able to become a disciple of the Lord, receive blessings in this world as well as in the next, and gain everlasting life, if they have not lost their fathers, mothers and such like on this earth. As for those who are unable to do this and go on unabated living pursuing fleshly greed; they will not be allowed to become the instruments of righteousness. People like this will eventually rise up against God, rise up against the gospel, rise up against the Church, and give up doing work for the lost souls, living out life solely for their own flesh.
 
 
For the First 10 Years of Believing in Jesus, I Was a Person of the Devil
 
During that time there were sins inside my heart, and I believed that if I were to offer prayers of repentance, my sins would go away. However, even after having met the Lord by the Word of the Truth, the evil still continuously rose up from deep inside of my heart. How could I make a living? Even though the Lord told us not to think about what we will eat, drink or to wear, my thoughts were always on these things. Even for those who have been born again, they will become unable to discern spiritual thoughts from fleshly thoughts, if they don’t follow after the Lord wholeheartedly by faith, denying themselves for the salvation of others, and lose worldly things in order to follow the Lord, will be in the end captured by the lusts of their flesh.
And so like this, I constantly fought with myself. It did not go well at first. Thus, despite my lacking, I learned and found out about things such as the importance of the Church, the importance of co-workers in the ministry, what kind of place the Church should be like, what sort of gathering the Holy Spirit performs His work in, how should one train up workers and how to lead them; whilst I was undergoing special training living in a spiritual desert sort of place with the Lord, and because of all this, I came to be what I am today.
What the Lord is telling us today is not about the state of the born-again people who have become the children of God by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. He is speaking about those who are still in an evil state prior to having faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. He is saying to them, “Even though you who still do not believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, and say that you believe in God, but who do you actually belong to? Are you of the Devil? Or are you of God? If you are truly of God, why can you not accept what I am telling to you and understand it? Because you are of your father the Devil, and because you still have not received salvation, the situation really is that you are unable to accept it? This is why the words, ‘to whom do you belong to’ is so important. All those who are of the Devil must quickly turn around and repent, if you do this you then should believe in me as the Savior, and also believe in the gospel Truth of the water and the Spirit that I came to fulfill. And then you must become children of God by being cleansed of all your sins. If you do not do this and continue with your stubbornness’, following after your father the Devil and chasing after the lusts of your own flesh, and everything related to it, you will be destroyed and in the end will die. You will be destroyed in body and in spirit and will surely perish.”
We say that we believe in and follow the Lord, but from a personal perspective, we don’t do that much work. Just like the hymnal lyric, “The work that I do is so very small,” truly, what we do in service of the Lord is so very small. But despite that, the truth is that we are of the Lord, and not of the Devil. For this reason we do the work of the Lord despite our lacking. When we do the work of the gospel by uniting ourselves with the Church, the Lord will work in it and allow it to increase thousands and tens of thousands of times greater than the efforts we make. This is why we thank God.
I have a heart like this: I give thanks for the fact that through today’s Scripture reading, the Lord has allowed us to understand what He means to say in these words and to become people who are of God, despite our physical inadequacies. If we were not of God, we will go on living fleetingly and the remaining years of our life will also pass by like this. And eventually having been deceived by the Devil, we will also be included in the cursing when the Devil receives his judgment from God. We who had been included in all such curses have become children of God, have the Holy Spirit in our hearts, do the work entrusted to us in the church of God, and serve the Lord by being cleansed of sins, and by being born again through the Word of the Truth.
The Lord said that He will in His time come again to take us away; and because of this assurance of the Kingdom of the Lord, I am mindful whether we go to the Lord first or the Lord comes to us first, I nevertheless give thanks by faith. I am truly thankful. There is nothing else to say in any eloquent way. I am thankful for the fact that the Lord has met us and cleansed us completely with the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Also, I give thanks for the fact that He has allowed us to call God, “Abba Father,” by Him pouring the Holy Spirit in our hearts, instead of just leaving us alone after having saved us, we will therefore be able to go on living forever as those who are of God. I am also thankful that God has given us the grace to go on pursuing the desires of the spirit instead of the lusts of the flesh.
As I conclude today’s sermon, I have something to say to those who already believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit: You should not chase after the thoughts of the flesh. Even though fleshly thoughts rise up repeatedly and suddenly and even though you may often follow after them, you should not set your goal and purpose solely on them. What I mean is, if you have truly been born again, do not believe, follow or pursue your thoughts. If you do follow your fleshly thoughts, you will be destroyed in the end; you will for sure be severed from the Church; and for this you will die. Even though a large number of people have been born again by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit like us, all those who pursued after their fleshly thoughts had in the end died. Those who pursue only their own prosperity and well-being will never be well off in flesh, and they will suffer destruction in spirit.
Inside God’s Church, that is, inside the Kingdom of God, three types of people can coexist: Firstly, there are the righteous who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Secondly, there are the hidden sinners who do not believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. And thirdly, there are those who try to serve only their own flesh, following the lusts of the flesh instead of serving God, despite having received salvation by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. The Bible calls the third type, the ungodly.
In the first Psalm, all three types of people appear.
“Blessed is the man
Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly,
Nor stands in the path of sinners,
Nor sits in the seat of the scornful;
But his delight is in the law of the LORD,
And in His law he meditates day and night.”
And, it is said,
“Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment,
Nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.
For the LORD knows the way of the righteous,
But the way of the ungodly shall perish.”
What did God say here? What does the Bible say? The Bible speaks to us with absolute accuracy. This Bible that we have right now is the Korean Revised Version, and it was translated in 1962 from the Chinese edition of the King James Version. This version of the Bible has been extremely well translated. Many people and organizations have translated the Bible, and then sold it. When they do this they make unspeakable amounts of money. And so many new versions of the Bible continue to fill bookshelves. Recently, even here in Korea, there is a movement who wants to change the Bible to a sectarian level. When that happens, only a few selected people will be able to sleep on a bed of money. For this reason they go on doing stealthy foundation work, but no matter how hard they try, they cannot make a version that is as great as this Korean Revised Version.
This Bible translation was extremely well done. Take a look at the Book of Genesis chapter 1 verse 1 and 2: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.” See how close it is to the Scriptures in its original languages and how implicative it is? The reason why this Korean translation of the Bible was so well done is that it is a translation from a Bible version written in Chinese characters, which are ideographs. Those who are not familiar with Chinese characters may not understand it very well. Nevertheless, the Korean Revised Version of the Bible that we use is a Bible version that truly stands out well in comparison with the Bible in its original languages.
 
 
People Think of Themselves as Being Virtuous
 
Naturally, people are a brood of evildoers. Something that is filthier than a disgusting slop pail is compared to that of a human heart. In essence, the human heart is something extremely filthy,
“The heart is deceitful above all things,
And desperately wicked;
Who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9)
But the Lord came to us ‘the filthy’ and completely cleaned out these filthy and ugly sins with the gospel of the water and the Spirit. He came to this earth, took on our sins once and for all by receiving the baptism from John the Baptist, vicariously received the judgment at the Cross on our behalf, resurrected from the dead, and thereby saved us. Like this the Lord became our Savior all of His own volition. And by our acceptance and faith in the Word of God we became children of God, and the Holy Spirit came to reside in our hearts. We have to call the Holy God, our Abba Father, for we have become children of God after having received the remission of sins and having received the Holy Spirit as a free gift. Now we are no longer those who are ‘the filthy’. We are the clean the pure. We are those who are the honorable. We are the dignified workers. We have become people like this.
Although having been born again, we must not chase after the desires of the flesh, but if we do this then we not be able to avoid our own destruction. As for you all, I hope you don’t forget the fact that fleshly thoughts leads to death. The Bible says, “The gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23). There are spiritual thoughts and then there are fleshly thoughts. There are the truly born-again, and then there are those who have not yet been born again. As for the gospel, there is a nominal gospel and then there is the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
But when the Truth comes, everything will be separated. This is why in chapter 1 of the Book of Genesis talks about separation: On the first day light and darkness got separated. On the second day, the waters above the firmament and the waters below the firmament got separated. On the third day, God said, “Let the dry land appear,” the dry land and the waters got separated. On the fourth day, as well as the fifth day was like that. Even up to this time, God is doing the work of separating the children of God from the children of the Devil.
I am so very thankful to God for having made us His children, and I hope that everyone will be receiving the salvation from their sins. My earnest desire is that everyone in this world would escape from being a slave of the Devil.