The New Life Mission

Sermons

Subject 16 : The Gospel According to JOHN

[Chapter 10-5] (John 10:1-18) Let Us Go Forth by Our Faith in the Word

(John 10:1-18)
“‘Most assuredly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door, but climbs up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice; and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. Yet they will by no means follow a stranger, but will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.’ Jesus used this illustration, but they did not understand the things which He spoke to them. Then Jesus said to them again, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who ever came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep. But a hireling, he who is not the shepherd, one who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees; and the wolf catches the sheep and scatters them. The hireling flees because he is a hireling and does not care about the sheep. I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own. As the Father knows Me, even so I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep. And other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they will hear My voice; and there will be one flock and one shepherd. Therefore My Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again. No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This command I have received from My Father.’”
 
 
Through today’s Scripture passage, the Lord is speaking to us about the sheepfold. Let’s read John 10:1-3 again here: “‘Most assuredly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door, but climbs up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice; and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out” (John 10:1-3).
Using the expression “most assuredly” to underscore His emphasis, the Lord said here that he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door and instead climbs up some other way is a thief and a robber. He then said that he who enters by the door is the real shepherd of the sheep. The Lord has made a door to the sheepfold for us. Having established the way of salvation to deliver us humans from sin, God sees anyone who tries to enter His Kingdom by any way other than this door as a thief and a robber. Only the Lord is the true Shepherd of the sheep and the door of the sheepfold. Jesus Christ alone can say such things to us. Of course, people can also make their own claims since they all have lips, but they cannot speak the truth like the Lord does. The Word of God is not some sort of dogma taught by many religions, nor is it something uttered by ordinary human beings. That’s because it is the Word spoken by God Almighty, the supreme Creator who is omniscient and omnipotent, for whom nothing is impossible, and who is perfect.
The Lord has given us the gospel of the water and the Spirit, and He has told us that only He is our true Shepherd. Anyone who tries to enter the Kingdom of God without this gospel of the water and the Spirit given by Jesus is a thief and a robber. Who can claim to be the Shepherd of the entire human race? No one else but only Jesus Christ can say such a thing and actually has such authority.
Even the words of Confucius, Buddha, and Socrates, the so-called three great sages of this world, do not have this kind of authority. One of the more famous dictums spoken by Socrates is: “Know yourself.” But this dictum is irrelevant to the problem of the soul; instead, it just means that one should realize his own ignorance. Buddha, on the other hand, did mule over mankind’s problem of sin, but he failed to provide any real solution. All that he said is that death is the only way to be freed from one’s sinful self. In the case of Confucius, he spoke of only ordinary ethical lessons, saying, “Keep good manners, be faithful to your country and your friends, and honor your parents.”
Of course, what these people said is not a bad lesson. But none of their teachings can provide a fundamental solution to the issue of mankind’s salvation from sin. Although anyone can talk about moral issues, what we really need is the door to Heaven and the Shepherd of the sheep to lead us there. Jesus has become such a door and Shepherd of the sheep. And He said that by believing in Him, the Shepherd of the sheep, through the gospel of the water and the Spirit, everyone can be saved and enter the Kingdom of Heaven.
 

Is the Lord Really Our Savior?
 
The Lord said that anyone who tries to attain salvation and enter Heaven without going through Jesus Christ is a thief and a robber. Jesus can say such things because He has the power and authority commensurate to His Word. Who is Jesus Christ? He is the One who created the universe and everything in it, and He not only made you and me, but He has also saved us perfectly from all sins through the gospel of the water and the Spirit. What’s more, He did not just give us salvation, but He has also prepared your future and mine and made it possible for us to enter the everlasting and wonderful Kingdom of Heaven. That’s why only Jesus Christ is the true God. This saying is not merely a matter of religious doctrine, but it is derived from true faith. There is no one else but only Jesus Christ who made the universe and all its hosts, and He alone guarantees your future and mine, assures our happiness, and takes care of our present as well.
We can see clearly just how exalted and powerful Jesus is. After all, who in this world could say with such confidence that anyone who doesn’t believe in him is a thief and a robber? Although anyone can claim to be God, no one can show the evidence for this claim. In contrast, Jesus not only said that He was God Himself incarnated in the flesh of man, but He also showed all the evidence of His divinity through the gospel of the water and the Spirit. That’s why He said confidently that anyone who does not go through Him is a thief and a robber. No one else can say that anyone who doesn’t believe in him is a thief and a robber bound to hell. Only God Himself, who is omniscient and omnipotent, can say such things to all of us His creatures. God can say such things because He has the authority, and He says such things because He Himself is the Truth and our salvation. So we can believe that Jesus is almighty, that He is God Himself, and that He is our Savior.
 
 
The Lord Is Our Guide
 
Secondly, the Lord is speaking about the doorkeeper. He said that the doorkeeper opens the door for the shepherd, and the sheep hear his voice. When the shepherd, having come into the sheepfold, calls on his sheep, the sheep recognize his voice and follow him. In contrast, if someone else tries to mimic the voice of the shepherd to lead the flock, then far from following him, the sheep would actually run away as they won’t recognize the pretender’s voice. Here Jesus is not literally teaching us how to raise a flock of sheep, but He is speaking of the gospel of the water and the Spirit through a parable.
Do you understand what Jesus is saying here? He said, “Most assuredly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who ever came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them” (John 10:7-8). This means that our Lord is the door, the doorkeeper, and the Shepherd of the sheep as well. That is so true! Since the Lord is our Savior, everyone who ever came before Him is a thief and a robber. That’s why the Lord’s sheep did not hear anyone else’s voice and run away.
Even though you and I are weak and insufficient, we can still praise God aloud from the top of our lungs, and that’s because we have been empowered by the Lord. It’s because the Lord has saved us by His almighty power that we the saved are able to praise Him for His omnipotence. You and I praise the Lord not out of our own strength, but by the new spiritual power attained from the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
Jesus said that the sheep know their shepherd. People nowadays believe in many things. After all, just how many religions are there in this world? But can any of these religions really bring absolute salvation to mankind, preach only the exact Truth, lead people to the way of the perfect gospel, and protect their souls with any guarantee? No, none of them can do this. Only Jesus Christ can guide mankind perfectly to the true way of salvation. No one else can make such a claim, nor actually deliver on such a promise.
The Lord calls each sheep by name, and He walks in front of the flock to lead them. The sheep then follow Him, for they know His voice. The sheep do not follow anyone else. Only the Almighty God is your Savior and mine, and our Shepherd. Even though there are over 6 billion people living on this planet, the Lord knows everything about each and every one of them. He knows each of their names, understands each of their hearts, and also knows how they each have led their lives. He knows them all because He created them.
In particular, the Lord knows you and me, the believers in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, even better. That’s because He has led us. He has saved a few in the east, a few in the west, a few from this tribe, and a few from that tribe. In fact, you and I have different family names, different households, different countries, and different skin colors. Yet despite this, God has saved us from every corner of the world and made us His children transcending race, gender, and age. And He also says that He will save even more people who still have not come into His sheepfold. We know very well that the Lord can achieve this because He is almighty. Because He is omnipotent, He can take care of our every need and give us His guarantee.
No sheep can take care of itself. Without a shepherd, it cannot move even a step. Like such a sheep, we can be led to the right way of salvation only if we have Jesus Christ at our side, because He is our good Shepherd and God Himself. That’s why the Lord said that He is the good Shepherd for His sheep. A good shepherd lays down even his own life to protect the flock. So did our Lord lay down His life to deliver us from sin, and He was also resurrected back to life. Only Jesus Christ has the power to rise from the dead again. Throughout His public life, Jesus had prophesied on several occasions that He would die and rise from the dead again, and He personally demonstrated the truthfulness of this prophecy. He called Himself a good Shepherd; He said that a good shepherd would forsake his life for the sake of the flock; and He actually demonstrated all this with His own body. The Lord could say such things to us precisely because only He is the true Messiah and the Son of God.
Our Lord is the same as God the Father. He is the Creator who made the entire universe and all its hosts; the Judge who will judge the believers and nonbelievers alike; and the only Savior who can grant all the happiness and blessings of the future. He is the Almighty God who can take care of all who believe in Him. Even though there are many religions in this world, nothing and no one can take care of not only our flesh but also our souls like Jesus does.
If Jesus, like a mere creature, had made all these promises only in words without actually having the power to deliver on them, then He would not be the Savior. That’s because someone who is powerless can never be the Savior, nor guarantee happiness to his followers. Anyone can do anything with his words or in his plans, but if he doesn’t have the real power, then it’s all nothing but empty words. In contrast, the Lord is in fact omniscient and omnipotent, and He is also perfect. That’s why He was able to become our Savior. This Jesus Christ we believe in cannot be compared to any creatures under the heavens. He is the omniscient and omnipotent God who cannot be compared to any idols on this earth.
This omniscient and omnipotent God has saved us through the water and the Spirit. I am so thankful to Him for thus saving us from sin. I am also thankful that the Lord is able to guarantee our future just as it’s written in the Book of Revelation. He will render His terrifying judgment on all those who stood against Him. As slaves to sin, we had once also stood against the Lord with our sins. But despite this, the Lord loved us so much that He gave us the gospel of the water and the Spirit, and He delivered us from sin and destruction. That is why it is so worthwhile for us to always praise the Lord out loud.
The Lord has the power to guarantee our eternal future, and He is the only true God who has saved you and me. Therefore, it is only proper for us to take Him as our Shepherd and follow Him. We believe that He is our Shepherd. It’s because Jesus is our Savior and our God that we are always thankful for His glory, His power, His love, and His mercy. Today also, we have gathered like this to thank the Lord. It’s all because we have put on His grace that we are able to live happily and comfortably. It’s all thanks to the gospel of the water and the Spirit, which we could never have obtained without Him. Do you then believe that our Lord is indeed God Almighty to all of us?
There is no reason for us to fear the future. That’s because the Lord our Shepherd guarantees your future and mine. However, as far as those who don’t believe in the Lord’s righteousness are concerned, He will render His terrifying judgment on them. Such people should indeed fear God. You must realize here that although the Lord is the Shepherd for those who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, for those who don’t, He is the stern Judge.
The Lord says that He will cast out all those who don’t believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit into the fire of hell and make them suffer forever. It will be so hot that the Bible describes it as the place where everyone will be seasoned with fire (Mark 9:49). And it also says that once entered, no one can ever escape from it. Those who are cast into hell will tremble before the wrath of God, and they will gnash their teeth and wail over having rejected the gospel of the water and the Spirit while they were still alive.
While writing my commentaries on the Book of Revelation, I thanked God once again for the fact that I was saved from sin by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. I was overwhelmed with gratitude just to think about how the Lord completely blotted out all the sins of my conscience and soul with the water and the blood. The fact that I was saved by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit was enough to make me thankful beyond all words, but even more gratefully, the Lord also gave the Holy Spirit into my heart, made me one of God’s people and His servant, and gave me the Kingdom of Heaven as well. And even now I am still thankful. I am so grateful that I cannot help but praise His omnipotence. I want to thank Him again and again for His almighty power. Because it’s the omniscient and omnipotent Lord who has enabled us to be born again and protected us, we can find all the more peace in our hearts.
If the Lord had been weak and powerless like us, then like Buddha, He would have just told us to reach Nirvana on our own and save ourselves by practicing asceticism. He would have said, “Just practice asceticism on your own. It would be good if you reach Nirvana and become divine in that way.” If the Lord were such a powerless Being, then we would always have been gripped by anxiety over our sins. However, the Lord who has saved you and me is perfect, and there is nothing He cannot do. He has the power to do everything and anything. That’s why our hearts are at peace, and why we are able to thank God always for enabling us to believe in Him.
Since receiving salvation by believing in the righteousness of God, we have been gathering together every day to worship Him. It’s true that we are quite fatigued from working at our jobs and serving the gospel at the same time. But as tired as we are, the gospel work will prosper by that much. Just as a grain of wheat must sacrifice itself and die to bear many fruits, if we forsake and sacrifice ourselves, the work of the Lord will flourish even more. The Lord wants to fulfill His will through God’s Church. Through the gospel that manifests His perfect love and His work of salvation, we will save all the lost sheep still wandering outside the sheepfold, all these pitiful sheep that still have not come across the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
Our hearts are grateful to the Lord for His omnipotence. There may be some worries in both your heart and mine, and when we look at our circumstances, we may sometimes be discouraged, but if we trust in the Lord’s omnipotence and believe that He will perfect you and me and give us His perfect blessings, then we can still find peace of mind by trusting in His power. It’s with this disposition that we should live the rest of our lives for the gospel work, and then meet our Lord face to face. Do you understand this? It’s not so hard. We can do this step by step. I know very well just how busy you are. All of us are busy trying to carry out the gospel work, but I believe that we can renew our strength by faith daily.
The God who has saved you and me is an omniscient and omnipotent God. Christ is this omniscient and omnipotent God, and He is also our Savior. He is the only One who has the power to guarantee our eternal future and bring happiness to us. I ask you all to believe in this. Let us all live by faith in this truth.
Since you and I have been saved and become God’s children, we should all trust in Jesus Christ and praise Him. Sometimes, we may feel that this is not such a big issue. When we judge based on our own fleshly thoughts, faith is hard to come by, but if we follow God by trusting in His Word, then even when we lose heart and lose strength as a result, we can still stand up again. That’s why Isaiah 40:31 says,
“But those who wait on the LORD 
Shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up with wings like eagles,
They shall run and not be weary,
They shall walk and not faint.” If we really live waiting on God like this passage, then we will receive new strength and soar with wings like eagles.
Although there are many religions in the world, they are just quarreling with each other claiming to be better than the rest, and there is no true gospel of salvation. In such religions, there is no gospel of the water and the Spirit, and therefore no one can be born again nor can any heart find any comfort no matter how devotedly people may practice their religions. It is when our souls are truly born again through the gospel of the water and the Spirit that the Lord gives the Holy Spirit into our hearts, and thanks to this Holy Spirit and this gospel, we are able to comfort each other and encourage one another. Without the gospel of the water and the Spirit, it’s also impossible to find any new strength to soar with wings like eagles.
Are you still unable to believe that Jesus Christ is God Almighty, your absolute Savior, and your Shepherd for both your body and soul? Are you still rejecting the gospel of the water and the Spirit from your heart, thinking that it is not the true gospel? If this is true, then you will have no choice but to live according to the prevailing current of the world. You will not find any comfort or strength. However, if you know the Truth and accept the gospel of the water and the Spirit trusting in God, then you can avoid falling into a useless religion and come to have true faith.
I am truly thankful to the Lord for giving us the gospel of the water and the Spirit and making us believe in this Word. I am also thankful that because of my faith in this gospel, I no longer worry about any uncertain future. If God were imperfect, then I would have been worried no matter how often I heard the Word, but because God is omniscient and omnipotent, I have absolutely no worry at all. If God were powerless despite having a good heart, then this would also have made me anxious, but because the Lord has not only saved me from sin but He is fundamentally the omniscient and omnipotent God, I am never anxious. He made the world. He is the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end, and all things were made by Him. As I was writing my commentaries on the Book of Revelation, I became even more grateful to the Lord for the fact that everything was planned in Jesus Christ, and this plan is completed in Jesus Christ.
Let us all have faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit and live by this faith. Although it’s true that I’ve been very busy training our ministry workers, I feel indescribable joy whenever I stand here and preach. While training our ministry workers, I tested them to see whether or not they have received the true faith and the gospel-loving heart from God, and they all passed the test. It was such a joy for me to lead them by faith and see them standing firmly by faith.
There is a lot of work that we still need do. As our books are continually uploaded as e-books on our website, many more readers from all over the world will download and read them. Then the veritable wind of revival will stir up throughout Christian communities all over the world. People will be amazed to see us preaching the gospel of the water and the Spirit so boldly, and they will be even more amazed to see that everything we say is proven by the Bible.
The gospel of the water and the Spirit that we are spreading is the only breakthrough that can revive today’s corrupted Christianity. Although everyone actually admits that Jesus Christ is the Truth and that there is something profoundly wrong with today’s Christian doctrines, few have found any means to change this. However, as the gospel of the water and the Spirit is now providing the exact diagnosis of Christianity today and clearly pointing out the breakthrough that must be made, many people are amazed by this, saying to themselves, “I didn’t know there was such an amazing thing!” In the days to come, countless more people will not only be amazed, but they will also come to have the same faith as ours.
For the entire Christian world that’s trapped in despondent doctrines, its only breakthrough is the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Even though there are many misbelievers, because the gospel of the water and the Spirit is the Truth, if they believe in this Truth and follow it, then there will be even more people being born again all across the globe. This will come true without fail, for the Lord Jesus said, “And other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they will hear My voice; and there will be one flock and one shepherd” (John 10:16). It is then our duty to work even more diligently to bring this work into reality.
Have you read the email sent by a man in the US who got a master’s degree in theology? This man, who had finished graduate studies, was incarcerated for some crime, and while in the prison he read one of our books and received the remission of sins. And this man, now that he has become our brother, is the leader of a Bible study group in the prison. A man who had learned only about Christian doctrines irrelevant to the true gospel is now gathering convicted criminals and preaching about the true gospel and sin, about the work of John the Baptist and the baptism Jesus received. He is explaining in detail how all the sins of the world were passed onto Jesus, and how they were all remitted away.
The first English volume of our books is a very good guide for Bible study, as it explains the gospel of the water and the Spirit in concrete detail. American prisons are often visited by “feeding pastors.” They are called “feeding pastors” because they bring a lot of good food to share and go home after just saying, “Let’s live virtuously. When you are released from the prison, try to be a good person. Amen.” These people are clearly different from our American brother in prison who is sharing the gospel of the water and the Spirit with his fellow inmates. Although he is a prison inmate, his heart has been freed from sin, and he is able to explain clearly to the other inmates why they and he alike couldn’t help but commit crimes and find themselves in the prison.
Among the inmates, there must be some people with a long criminal record. Our brother is preaching the gospel of the water and the Spirit to such hardened criminals, saying to them, “Why do you commit crime again the moment you step out of the prison? The reason why you keep committing crime like this time after time is because sin is fundamentally in your nature. But, although you were born as someone who can’t help but commit sin, the Lord has blotted out all your sins with the gospel of the water and the Spirit.” Wouldn’t all those who hear this gospel Word then be shocked? And many of them will believe in the gospel, receive the remission of sins, and live in joy. When they are thus released from the prison as born-again people, they will never commit any crime again or return to the prison.
My fellow believers, my heart is overwhelmed with joy that we now have a coworker in a US prison. I can easily imagine how amazed this brother must have been the moment he grasped the Word. When I read his letters, I can fully understand what’s in his heart. As well, there are many coworkers throughout the whole world who are translating and revising our books, and whenever I read their letters, I can feel just how rejoiced the Holy Spirit in our hearts is. We have added another coworker ministering in the prison; among our translators, there are pastors as well; and many people all over the world are being born again by believing in the gospel of water and the blood that you and I believe in. It’s such a joyful thing!
The gospel of the water and the Spirit, which is based on the Word of the Scriptures, has no flaw whatsoever to be presented to anyone and everyone throughout the whole world. You and I spread only the Word of God because we have already understood the gospel of the water and the Spirit, and we believe in Jesus Christ and preach what He has done for us. This Word that we are spreading is completely flawless and perfect no matter where it is told. That’s because God has given it. And that’s why people all over the world are receiving the remission of sins. We can hear voices from every corner of the world praising God. When our hymn book is translated into every language and shared by all, we will all be singing the same praises, and I am sure that this, too, will be very inspiring for all of us.
My fellow believers, I am someone who just loves to preach the Word. I can’t imagine living without preaching the Word. As the Word of God fills me to fullness, there is abundant bread to share with the whole wide world. It pains me not to share the Word of God and feed it to people all over the world.
So let us train our ministry workers and live diligently by faith. I am not admonishing that we should just work diligently without trusting in God Almighty, but that we should live by trusting in the Almighty God who has saved us and be faithful to Him. Our hearts will then be rejoiced. Do you grasp this? Because of our shortcomings, our work cannot be carried out completely if we just rely on ourselves, and so in our hearts, let us put all our trust in God.
I am so happy that you and I have been saved. I am so thankful to the Lord that He has saved us perfectly despite our insufficiencies, and I also praise Him for his perfection. Does your heart have such a desire to praise the righteousness of God? Whenever I think of the Lord’s salvation, my heart overflows with gratitude to the Lord, and I cannot help but praise His righteousness. I give all my thanks to the Lord.