“Therefore the neighbors and those who previously had seen that he was blind said, ‘Is not this he who sat and begged?’ Some said, ‘This is he.’ Others said, ‘He is like him.’ He said, ‘I am he.’ Therefore they said to him, ‘How were your eyes opened?’ He answered and said, ‘A Man called Jesus made clay and anointed my eyes and said to me, ‘Go to the pool of Siloam and wash.’ So I went and washed, and I received sight.’ Then they said to him, ‘Where is He?’ He said, ‘I do not know.’ They brought him who formerly was blind to the Pharisees. Now it was a Sabbath when Jesus made the clay and opened his eyes. Then the Pharisees also asked him again how he had received his sight. He said to them, ‘He put clay on my eyes, and I washed, and I see.’ Therefore some of the Pharisees said, ‘This Man is not from God, because He does not keep the Sabbath.’ Others said, ‘How can a man who is a sinner do such signs?’ And there was a division among them. They said to the blind man again, ‘What do you say about Him because He opened your eyes?’ He said, ‘He is a prophet.’ But the Jews did not believe concerning him, that he had been blind and received his sight, until they called the parents of him who had received his sight. And they asked them, saying, ‘Is this your son, who you say was born blind? How then does he now see?’ His parents answered them and said, ‘We know that this is our son, and that he was born blind; but by what means he now sees we do not know, or who opened his eyes we do not know. He is of age; ask him. He will speak for himself.’ His parents said these things because they feared the Jews, for the Jews had agreed already that if anyone confessed that He was Christ, he would be put out of the synagogue. Therefore his parents said, ‘He is of age; ask him.’ So they again called the man who was blind, and said to him, ‘Give God the glory! We know that this Man is a sinner.’ He answered and said, ‘Whether He is a sinner or not I do not know. One thing I know: that though I was blind, now I see.’ Then they said to him again, ‘What did He do to you? How did He open your eyes?’ He answered them, ‘I told you already, and you did not listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you also want to become His disciples?’ Then they reviled him and said, ‘You are His disciple, but we are Moses’ disciples. We know that God spoke to Moses; as for this fellow, we do not know where He is from.’ The man answered and said to them, ‘Why, this is a marvelous thing, that you do not know where He is from; yet He has opened my eyes! Now we know that God does not hear sinners; but if anyone is a worshiper of God and does His will, He hears him. Since the world began it has been unheard of that anyone opened the eyes of one who was born blind. If this Man were not from God, He could do nothing.’ They answered and said to him, ‘You were completely born in sins, and are you teaching us?’ And they cast him out. Jesus heard that they had cast him out; and when He had found him, He said to him, ‘Do you believe in the Son of God?” He answered and said, ‘Who is He, Lord, that I may believe in Him?’ And Jesus said to him, ‘You have both seen Him and it is He who is talking with you.’ Then he said, ‘Lord, I believe!’ And he worshiped Him. And Jesus said, ‘For judgment I have come into this world, that those who do not see may see, and that those who see may be made blind.’ Then some of the Pharisees who were with Him heard these words, and said to Him, ‘Are we blind also?’ Jesus said to them, ‘If you were blind, you would have no sin; but now you say, ‘We see.’ Therefore your sin remains.’”
All of us are working very hard to the best of our abilities in order to support the gospel ministry. As our brothers and sisters are supporting the gospel ministry with their financial help along with all the servants of God, I hope and pray that they would all prosper. As we continue to work diligently, I believe that the Lord is blessing our ministry, but I am also praying for even more blessings. We’ve made many preparations, because whether we can carry out the work of God successfully or not depends on how well prepared we are. We desire to supply the things that people need, and to thus give them joy and be loved by God. So we want to support the gospel ministry.
We believe that God’s work will prosper, and we know that we must prepare ourselves, ask God for His help, rise up to the challenge, and knock on the door for His help. I believe that the Lord will then sooner or later complete all the work that He has entrusted to us. The Bible says, “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” I am sure that if we believe, the Lord’s work will also succeed. If we work by faith, then everything will go well, but if we don’t have faith, then we will end up giving up our work half way. But I believe that the Lord’s work will succeed for sure.
No matter what, we must live with hope. The gospel should also be preached with hope. Whether we are preaching the gospel to the world or working to raise financial means, we must do both with hope. Everyone should have a dream. Only when one has a dream can the person prepare for the future. Anyone who has no dream is as good as dead. It’s already April, but soon the summer discipleship training camp will come and go, followed by the winter discipleship training camp, and the next year will then be right around the corner. Unless one has a worthy goal, he will end up wasting his time and destroying himself. To spread the gospel of the water and the Spirit, all of us should rise up to the challenge with hope and faith.
I am sure that if we continue to carry out what we can do and ask for God’s help, He will bless us and make us prosper. Sooner or later, we will cover the entire world with the gospel of the water and the Spirit and make it known to everyone. We work with a dream that all the 65 billion people on the planet will come across the gospel of the water and the Spirit. As long as we ready ourselves and seek God’s help, I am sure that this dream will come true in little time. My mind is also busy thinking about how we can preach the gospel all over the world. To spread the gospel successfully, we also need to succeed in our businesses; if we instead go about carelessly, it will be more difficult to preach the gospel. So it’s my belief that we all need to work more diligently.
When the Prophet Nehemiah was rebuilding the city of Jerusalem, there were many detractors around him. So he prayed to God, and God instructed him to guard every construction site of the city with armed forces and to equip every worker with a sword or a spear. God helped the people of Israel to rebuild Jerusalem in this way. None other than this is how God’s work is achieved. It’s not wrong for God’s servants to try hard to make money in order to support the gospel ministry. On the contrary, just praying while remaining idle is wrong. Rather than blindly and rashly jumping into the mission field abroad as missionaries expecting that God would take care of us, it is far better for us to do what is feasible for us. All our forefathers of faith also followed God while raising cattle or tilting the ground.
It is totally biblical and normal for us to serve the gospel of the water and the Spirit while running businesses and working like this. This is much better than what’s happening in ordinary churches, where pastors and evangelists sit around doing nothing more than just preaching a few times a week, visiting the homes of the believers, and collecting offerings from them. Even if these people were to work to death, all that they can achieve in a hundred years is just building a church building.
I’ve heard that some Evangelicals ridicule our mission strategy. If the servants of God were not to work and stay idle, trying to evangelize with your offerings, then nothing will be accomplished. I will just tell you to keep making donations. But in this way, it’s simply impossible to publish our books and distribute them throughout the whole world. If we want to prosper and help others as well, then we must work. Haven’t you read in the Bible how the Apostle Paul served the gospel himself? He also had a job to make money for his living and ministry, and we call his ministry “tent-making mission” (Acts 18:3). We must work by faith. Let us then prepare for our work by faith to see how much God would bless us this summer.
Why Is It Wrong for the Blind Man to Open His Eyes on the Sabbath Day?
We just read John 9:8-41 for today’s Scripture passage. It was on the Sabbath Day that the blind man opened his eyes. That his eyes were opened on the Sabbath became an issue. People took the blind man to the Pharisees, and they asked him, “How were your eyes opened?” The blind man then said, “Jesus put some clay on my eyes and told me to go to the pool of Siloam and wash there. So I did as I was told, and my eyes were opened.” In the Pharisees’ eyes, Jesus was clearly a sinner for having healed the sick on the Sabbath. So arguing that it was impossible for a sinner to perform a miracle, they accused Jesus of wrongdoing and tainted him as a heretic.
John 9:35 says, “Jesus heard that they had cast him out; and when He had found him, He said to him, ‘Do you believe in the Son of God?’” The Son of God here refers to Jesus Himself. The man then asked the Lord who the Son of God was, and when the Lord told him it was He, the man said that he believed in Him. By believing in Jesus and the gospel of the water and the Spirit, we have received the remission of sins and opened our spiritual eyes. For us to live out our faith also, we need to be ready to answer the following important questions: “Do you believe in the Son of Man? Do you believe in the Son of God? Do you believe in Jesus Christ the Son of God as your Savior?”
Jesus is the Son of God the Father. This fact is extremely important. To God the Father, Jesus is His Son, and to us, Jesus is God Himself. That’s why when Jesus asked the man if he believed that Jesus was the Son of God, he said he did, and by his faith he was spiritually saved. Whoever believes in the Son of God can be saved, but whoever does not believe cannot be saved. The implication here in this question—“Do you believe in the Son of God?”—is whether we believe not only that Jesus is the Son of God, but also God Himself. In other words, the question is whether we believe that Jesus is God Himself who healed the sick, performed miracles, and remitted away people’s sins. Jesus is the Son of God, the true God and our Savior, and it is only if we believe in this that our faith is made pure and perfect.
If you just recognize and believe in Jesus only as the Son of God, rather than believing that He is also the very God who created the universe, then your beliefs would constitute only a religion of your own making. When human beings give birth, they give birth to human beings. Likewise, God the Father bore Jesus Christ as His Son. Just as God the Father is divine, so is His Son divine. And this only begotten Son of God made the universe and everything in it, including you and me. This is an extremely important knowledge.
The core question raised in the Gospel of John is this: “Do you believe in the Son of Man? Do you believe that Jesus is the Son of God the Father, and that He is also God Himself and your Savior?” The overall theme of the Gospel of John is that Jesus is the very God who made the universe. In other words, it is Jesus who created the heavens and the earth and made us, just as it is written, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. God said, ‘Let there be light’; and there was light.” Jesus Christ is the Creator who made you and me, and He is the Savior who has saved us from sin. Jesus Christ is the Savior who has delivered us from sin to make us God’s children, and He is also the Judge. It’s absolutely critical to understand this Jesus properly and believe in Him properly.
As the blind man opened his eyes on the Sabbath, people took him to the Pharisees. The Pharisees then accused Jesus of being a sinner, saying, “Since He opened the eyes of this blind man on the Sabbath, He must be a sinner.” And they said that although they knew that God had sent Moses, they didn’t know who Jesus Christ was. Simply put, they didn’t believe in Jesus. Because they did not believe that Jesus was the Creator of man and our Savior, and that He was God Himself, they made an issue out of what Jesus did and stood against Him.
Today also, there are many people who are like these Pharisees. Even among Christians, there are plenty of people who don’t even realize that Jesus is God Himself and the Creator. We celebrated Easter Sunday just recently. A certain church in our city put up a banner saying, “Rejoice! Let Us Dance in Joy!” However, did the members of this church really believe that Jesus was resurrected? The sad reality is that most Christians do not believe that Jesus was resurrected literally. Although many Christians profess to believe that Jesus Christ was resurrected back to life, they take this only figuratively and don’t believe that He actually rose from the dead again. Because they don’t really believe that Jesus is God Himself, they can’t quite bring themselves to believe unwaveringly that Jesus rose from the dead again literally.
The Bible says, “All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.” It also says, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. God said, ‘Let there be light’; and there was light.” The One who said these things is none other than Jesus Christ who came to save us. It is through the written Word that we are able to know who Jesus is, and it is by believing in this Word that we are able to realize and believe that Jesus is indeed our God, our Creator, and our Savior. No one comes to know and believe in Jesus by his natural human instincts. Anyone who doesn’t believe in who Jesus is by believing in this Word is someone who doesn’t actually believe that Jesus is God Himself. This is an extremely important issue.
Although many people today profess to believe in Jesus, in reality, there are more Christians who don’t actually believe that Jesus is God. Some religious groups do not believe that Jesus is God Himself and the Creator. They argue that only Jehovah is God, and that Jesus is merely one of His creatures, just like you and me and all the angels. So because they think like that, even when we tell them that Jesus has saved all humankind through the gospel of the water and the Spirit, they say that it’s completely irrelevant to them.
If Jesus were not God, we could not have been saved from sin. He created us and made the universe and all its hosts. And when we fell into sin and destruction deceived by Satan, He came in the flesh of man to save us His creatures from sin. Jesus, God Incarnate, bore our sins on His body by being baptized, was crucified to shed His blood to death, rose from the dead again, and has thereby saved us. It’s all thanks to His righteous act that we were saved from sin. We have reached our salvation all because the Lord our Maker came to this earth, took our sins upon His body, bore our condemnation, and has thereby saved all of us from sin. It’s because He is God Himself that we were saved; if He were just a creature rather than God Himself, then He could not have saved us. Like this, faith in the divinity of Christ is absolutely indispensable to us. For Jesus to be our Savior, He must be God Himself and our Creator. Only then could He save us from sin, and only then is our salvation made perfect.
Anyone born of a human being is another human being; no human being can give birth to a dog. Some people may act like a dog though born as human beings, but no one gives birth to a dog. So, if Jesus Christ is the only begotten Son of God the Father, then Jesus is also divine. We must believe without any doubt that just as Jesus’ Father is divine, so is Jesus also divine.
It’s Foolish to Believe in God According to Our Fleshly Thoughts
Some people think in their fleshly minds that if Jesus had a Father, then He must also have a mother. For example, Catholics think that if Jesus is the Son of God, then God must have a wife, and they call Mary the Queen of Heaven. Since Mary is Jesus’ mother, they pray to her, saying, “Hail, holy Queen, Mother of Mercy! Our life, our sweetness, and our hope!” What nonsense this is! Jesus is the Son of God and our Creator. If He is your Creator and mine, then He is the Creator of the universe and all its hosts. That’s why He is God. If someone claims to be divine even without having created the universe and all things in it, he is a fraud. So religion is different from faith.
There is no gender in the Kingdom of Heaven, and so there is no distinction between men and women. Jesus was once asked by someone who was curious about the first resurrection: “Lord, we are curious about the first resurrection. In our Jewish tradition, if the older brother passes away and leaves his wife behind as a widow, then she must live with her bother-in-law. But let’s say that the first brother-in-law died, and so the widow lived with her second brother-in-law. When the second brother-in-law also died, she lived with the third brother-in-law. Let’s say that this family had eight brothers, and that as they all died, the woman ended up living with all eight brothers before passing away. Then whose wife would this woman be when the first resurrection occurs on the last day?” Jesus then said to him, “You have misunderstood. When the Kingdom comes, every righteous person will go through the first resurrection, but in that Kingdom there will be neither men nor women, just as angels have no gender.”
As Jesus opened the eyes of the blind man, he was cast out by the Pharisees. Jesus then sought him out and met with him. And He said to him, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” The man then said, “Who is He, Lord, that I may believe in Him?” Believing that Jesus is God Himself, all of us must trust that Jesus is the Creator and our Savior, and we must also lead our lives of faith trusting that He has blotted out all our sins with the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
The Pharisees persecuted Jesus and stood against Him precisely because they didn’t recognize who He was. They would have never done so if they had known who Jesus was. In this present world as well, if people would really grasp who Jesus is, they would all believe in Him. For those who know and believe that Jesus is God Himself, when we tell them that Jesus has blotted out all our sins with the gospel of the water and the Spirit, they would receive the remission of sins by believing in this Truth. The most important faith is to believe that Jesus is God, our Creator, and our Savior. It is from this rock-solid belief in the divinity of Jesus that all faith begins.
Without this belief, your faith is nothing. If Jesus were not divine, then the fact that He has saved us through the gospel of the water and the Spirit would also be nothing more than a hypothetical notion and a complete illusion. Even if some religious leader took upon your sins and died in your place, it would still be completely useless. This leader is still just a sinner before God like everyone else, and so no sinner can save another sinner.
Jesus Christ, in contrast, is righteous and holy. He is not a sinner. He became man for a short while only to save us from sin. It’s to save us that He became man temporarily and bore our sins on His body. It’s not into His heart that Jesus accepted all our sins, but He bore them on His body. As Jesus took upon our sins on His body by receiving His baptism, died on the Cross, and rose from the dead again, He could become our everlasting Savior completely and perfectly. If our sins were passed onto Jesus’ heart, and Jesus also had sin in His heart, then our salvation could never have been made perfect. No sinner can save another sinner. Because a sinner must be condemned without fail, God rendered His judgment on Jesus by crucifying His body. He allowed Jesus’ body to reach death once, and then He resurrected Him again. Like this, God passed our sins to Jesus’ body, not to His soul.
As we live out our faith, the very first faith that all of us must have is that Jesus is our God. This faith, that Jesus is our Creator and our Savior, is absolutely indispensable for all of us to have. It’s written in the Gospel of John, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (John 1:1). Where it says, “In the beginning was the Word,” it means that when the universe was first created, there was the Word of God saying, “Let there be light.” And where it says, “The Word was with God,” the Word here refers to Jesus Christ. Since it’s Jesus our God and our Creator who spoke this Word, this means that He has existed from the beginning. It’s also written, “The Word was God.” That’s why we say that Jesus is the “God of the Word.” In other words, it is with His Word that Jesus created the universe, and it is with His Word that He worked.
John 1:2-3 says, “He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.” The pronoun “He” here refers to Jesus Christ. It refers to the one and only Jesus Christ. It’s Jesus who spoke the Word in Genesis chapter one that created the universe. So referring to Jesus, the Gospel of John continues on to say: “All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men” (John 1:3-4); “He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name” (John 1:10-12); and, “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14).
Thus the Bible makes it clear that the Word that created the universe came to us incarnated in the flesh of man, full of grace and truth. In short, Christ is indeed God Himself; He has fulfilled everything according to His Word; He has brought true salvation to us; He is the real Creator who made the universe; and He is the Savior who has delivered His people from all their sins. The world was made through Him.
The Gospel of John was written by the Apostle John. It tells us clearly that Jesus is the One who made this world. He not only made the world, but He also came to this earth to save us from sin, and He has indeed saved us according to His will. It’s Jesus Christ who gives life to the universe and all things in it, and it’s also Jesus Christ who, even though you and I were destined to be condemned for our sins, has given us new life. Those of us who believe that Jesus is our Creator and Savior can also believe that He has saved us from sin through the gospel of the water and the Spirit, but those who don’t believe in this are not real believers no matter what else they might believe in. We believe that Jesus is God Himself, and we believe in the God-spoken gospel of the water and the Spirit.
I trust that you also believe like this. I give all my thanks to God.