“Then God said, ‘Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear’; and it was so. And God called the dry land Earth, and the gathering together of the waters He called Seas. And God saw that it was good. Then God said, ‘Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb that yields seed, and the fruit tree that yields fruit according to its kind, whose seed is in itself, on the earth’; and it was so. And the earth brought forth grass, the herb that yields seed according to its kind, and the tree that yields fruit, whose seed is in itself according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. So the evening and the morning were the third day.”
The message from today’s Scripture passage is that everyone should know his wickedness and bear the fruit of salvation.
Everyone was born with sin from the very moment he was born into this world, and therefore all human beings cannot avoid but commit countless transgressions throughout their lives. God therefore wanted us to realize and know our own wickedness, and to grasp the gospel Truth of the water and the Spirit that He has given us. Now, for us to reach faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit given by Jesus Christ, we must first realize our own wickedness.
The reality is that most people are carrying on with their lives completely oblivious to their wickedness. It is because of our own righteousness that we have left God. We cannot recognize our wicked selves, for we are too self-righteous. If we want to be saved from all our sins, we have to be able to see our own wickedness first, and we must also know the righteousness of God and believe in it.
In other words, for human beings to wash away their evils and sins, they must look toward the gospel Truth of the water and the Spirit and believe in it. Everyone must grasp his hideous self and wickedness, bow before God, ask for His help, and believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit that the Lord has given us. Only then can he be saved. To do so, we must first recognize our evil selves. God’s Word is the Word of Truth that saves us from sin. It is to those who acknowledge God’s Truth that the Lord brings salvation and enables them to bear many fruits of faith.
We must realize the Truth that our Lord spoke on the third day of creation. The Bible twice states that on this third day of God’s creation, “God saw that it was good” (Genesis 1:10, 12). Once, God said that He was pleased to see the dry landing appearing, and the second time, He said that it was good see the herb that yields seed and the tree that yields fruit.
In the Bible, the earth refers to the human heart. As God gathered together the water covering this earth into one place, He saw the dry land being exposed, and He said that this pleased Him. This implies that God’s Word has enabled us to see the many hypocrisies covering our hearts.
Why Is God Pleased to See the Appearance of the Dry Land?
It is because one can be saved only if his basic nature, which is evil, is exposed. Man-made religions are nothing more than systems of hypocrisy. In other words, as human beings have wrapped up their fundamental wickedness with a cover of hypocrisy called religion, they themselves do not realize that they are all evil beings. So, people cannot see their true selves filled with sin, and have fallen into a great delusion, considering themselves virtuous.
That is why unlike human beings, who try to prevent their sins from being exposed, God wants their sins to be revealed. Mankind’s sins cannot be hidden from God. God wants to expose people’s sins and heal them. It is only after mankind’s evils are exposed that God can give the remission of sin to every sinner, and that is why God is pleased to see our sins fully exposed.
People generally want others to see them as good and virtuous. So they pretend to be good all too often, and fooled by their own hypocrisy, most of them are convinced that they really are virtuous. However, the fact of the matter is that there are so many evils hidden in their hearts, and they all need to realize this.
To whom, then, is the God-given salvation fulfilled? There is no doubt that salvation comes to those who know themselves to be complete sinners, and believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit given by the Lord. In other words, only those who admit that they are infallibly bound to hell if they continue in their way can receive the remission of their sins by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. What about you then? Don’t some of you also think that your hearts are virtuous? Could such people be saved from their sins? Or is it only by realizing one’s evil heart and asking the Lord for His grace that one can be saved from his sins? It is not the former, but the latter that can be saved from sin. Unfortunately, however, there aren’t that many people who know and admit the fundamental wickedness of their hearts.
God said, “The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; Who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9). He also said in Mark 7:21-23, “For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within and defile a man.”
The carnal thoughts of mankind can only be evil. By nature, human beings are murderers, adulterers, and debauched beings. They were all fundamentally born as evil beings. It is on those who know themselves to be such sinners that God bestows His grace of salvation. It is precisely through such people that God bears the fruits of the remission of sin, and the fruits of evangelism as well. In other words, God was saying that He would give His blessing of salvation only to those who realize and believe that they are indeed evil sinners who are harboring such sins in their hearts and gushing with these sins throughout their entire lifetime.
This is completely opposite to the teachings of the world. From our parents and through the educational system, we were taught to consider ourselves as essentially good. There is a prominent theory called “Labeling Theory” that is widespread in the field of juvenile education. This theory insists that if a child were labeled “a liar” by his parents or teachers, the child would become a liar, and that if a child were labeled as “a good boy,” then he would likely grow up to be a man of good character. But, this theory explains only the phenomenon of hypocritical human behaviors, and cannot deal with the fundamental nature of human beings.
Religion is no different; all religions propound on the goodness of mankind and its righteousness. The evilest people in this world are those who hide their evils with false virtues (hypocrisy). Those who believe in Christianity merely as a religion are also such people. Because they do not know their fundamental selves, they do not accept God’s gospel that would save them from all their sins—indeed, far from accepting this true gospel, they are actually preaching false gospels that only emphasize mankind’s own righteous deeds.
As such, God’s worst enemies in this world, who stand against Him the most, are none other than these Christians who have not been born again. They argue, “But still, doesn’t mankind have at least one or two virtues?” The Scripture Word of the Truth, however, declares that mankind has absolutely nothing virtuous (Romans 3:10-12). We must therefore first recognize our true selves, realizing how our hearts are filled with so many carnal thoughts.
The Bible writes that when the third day of the creation of the heavens and the earth began, this earth had been covered with water. This water here refers to the water that was below the firmament. Sometimes, even the water below the firmament may look clear. However, the ground at its bottom, hidden by the water, is in fact very filthy. Only when the filthy bottom is exposed can God cleanse this ground, and that is why He said on the third day, “Let the dry land appear.” This implies that as mankind’s basic nature is fundamentally evil, God wants us to recognize and admit our transgressions.
Jesus Christ came to call all sinners and save them from every sin. Our Lord said, “I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance” (Luke 5:32). God said that evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, lewdness, foolishness, pride, and so on, are all inherent to mankind, that we humans all have such filthy hearts. God cannot bear any fruit through someone who doesn’t fully reveal his sinfulness before the Word of God. But if one knows that he has no merit whatsoever on his own, and that he is nothing more than a sinful being, then he can meet Jesus Christ and be born again.
To Whom Has the God-given Salvation Come?
The salvation of the God-given remission of sin comes only to those who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. It is by believing in what Jesus Christ has done for sinners like us that we are saved through grace (Ephesians 2:8).
The Bible writes that as “the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually” (Genesis 6:5), He decided to judge this earth. And God’s judgment did in fact come to this earth, whereby all sinners were destroyed, except for Noah’s family of eight who were saved.
Noah was saved because he found God’s grace, as it is written, “But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD. This is the genealogy of Noah. Noah was a just man, perfect in his generations. Noah walked with God” (Genesis 6:8-9). The word “grace” is synonymous to gift. Noah, too, was a sinner, for he was as weak and insufficient as anyone else, but he was still spared from the judgment and saved. How was this possible? It was possible precisely because Noah and his family found the grace of the remission of sin from God, and were made righteous. In other words, it was by believing in the God’s grace of salvation that Noah became a righteous man.
God saved Noah by clothing him in His grace. Just like Noah, God has also given us the same grace. Even though our very thoughts and acts are both evil, God has blessed us to become His own people. After making this earth uncovered and dry, God blessed it to bring forth the herb that yields seed and the fruit tree that yields fruit according to its kind. It is when the dry land appears that the earth begins to bear fruit before God.
In other words, human beings are born again from their sins by first admitting that they are sinners bound to hell, and second, by believing in Jesus Christ, who came by the Truth of the water and the Spirit and has saved sinners from sin. If we realize our sinful state, and take off the mask of hypocrisy covering our hearts, we, too, can receive the remission of our sins and bear every good fruit, all by accepting the Word of God and believing in it.
God Abhors Hypocrites
Those who pretend to be virtuous before God do not know the Truth of being born again of water and the Spirit. The religionists who hide their evils behind their good-natured smiles are typical hypocrites. Why are they so hypocritical constantly? It’s because they want to hide the fact that they themselves are sinners bound to hell. Neither hearing the Word of God nor heeding to the voice of their own conscience, they pretend to be righteous people even though they are sinners. They don’t admit the fact that they will be cast into hell for their sins, nor do they have any desire to receive the remission of their sins. That is why they snub the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
There are too many people in this world deluded into believing that they are really good people. Those who are under this illusion to think of themselves as virtuous before God—that is, those who do not admit to God that they are evil sinners—are all hypocrites. Those who boast their hypocrisy and seek after works-oriented faith are hypocrites who do not follow the Truth of being born again, which is what really pleases the Lord, but only their own rightfulness. God abhors the hypocrisy of mankind—that is, He abhors false virtues.
So you should realize here that the false goodness of mankind is a mortal sin that stands against the true goodness of God and leads one to hell. For evil human beings to try to cover their whole wickedness with their hypocrisy is like covering their own eyes to see no evil. When you tip a bottle of soy sauce, what pours out is soy sauce. Clear water is not poured out of a bottle filled with soy sauce. Likewise, when mankind itself is filthy and obscene, how could any goodness come out of it?
Therefore, human beings must first confess their wickedness to God, believe in the Bible, which is the Word of God, and thereby be wholly remitted from all their sins as white as snow. And once they receive the remission of their sins and are made righteous, they should no longer follow the hypocrisy of mankind, but they must follow only the Word of God by faith. We can cast aside every hypocrisy of mankind and come to follow only the gospel of the real Truth that clothes us with the righteousness of God only when we admit that we are bound to commit sin until the day we die.
My fellow believers, even those who have been saved from all their sins by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit must recognize that as far as their flesh is concerned, they are still evil and filthy. It is through those who admit their evil selves by believing in God’s Word of Truth that God reveals His glory and bears the fruit of righteousness. In contrast, the sinners who do not believe in God’s Word exactly as it is do not bear any righteous fruit of the true goodness of God. That we are compelled to recognize ourselves as obscene, filthy, and sordid beings is not because we have actually committed all such transgressions with our acts. Rather, it is because we believe in God’s Word that when we reflect ourselves upon this Word, we are compelled to admit ourselves as wicked human beings.
The righteousness of God is held in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. All of us are evil human beings by nature, but because we accepted the gospel of salvation, the gospel of the remission of sin, we were saved and are now living our lives as righteous people. That is how the saved come to cast aside their hypocrisy and preach the righteousness of Jesus Christ, for only this righteousness of Jesus Christ now lives in them. Having received the remission of our sins, it is when we admit that we are still evil that from then on, we are made into the instruments of righteousness used for God’s righteous works.
God places no expectations on the hypocrisy of mankind. Hypocrisy is nothing more than a fraud. So no expectations can ever be placed. Religion, too, is a pile of hypocrisy, and so God has no expectations for it.
Hypocrisy leads to self-destruction. Hypocrisy is a sin. It is the obstacle that blocks God’s blessings. It is a curse. Hypocrisy is the way to be cursed by God. If anyone wants to receive God’s blessings, he must steer clear from hypocrisy. Hypocrisy must be cast aside, for it destroys one’s own soul. True goodness is to believe in God and acknowledge oneself.
God does not place His expectations on hypocrites. He places His expectations on those who believe in His Word. God’s Church also does not place any expectations on the hypocrisy of mankind. We place no expectations on another human being, no matter who this might be. That’s because the flesh of mankind is filled with hypocrisy. Since everyone’s flesh is the same, it is an illusion to think, “I’m not like that man; I’m different from everyone else.” Each and every human being is the same pile of sin, but the Lord revealed the righteousness of God to us by becoming the Savior of sinners. He has made it fully exposed that before the Word of God, no one has any righteousness at all.
Do not deceive yourselves. Do not be fooled by your own hypocrisy. No one should give high marks to himself. God Himself said that mankind is a brood of evildoers, and that the human heart is more corrupt than anything else.
However, God’s power is so overwhelming that even through such wicked human beings, He still bears the fruit of His righteousness. What has saved us from our sins through the Truth is the very goodness of God and His righteousness. This is the power of God. Isn’t it marvelous? The gospel of salvation is the sole Truth that only God has. For us to bear the fruit of Truth, we must realize that we had been complete sinners and complete hypocrites, and we must believe accordingly.
Do You Admit All the Sins Exposed in You?
Even for those who have been born again by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, the very first phenomenon to unfold is that the wickedness of their flesh is exposed more and more. In other words, their wicked selves are more exposed than even before.
The same thing happened to me as well. I hardly had any quarrels with my wife before, but once I received the remission of my sins, I actually became more prone to quarrel with my wife, and my words became even ruder, as if I had forgotten all about my proper education. So after receiving the remission of my sins, I sometimes wondered to myself, “Why am I like this? Does this mean that perhaps I was not remitted from all my sins? How could I do this?”
God’s Word of Truth makes it clear beyond any doubts that we are indeed evil beings wrapped up in hypocrisy, but because we do not acknowledge the Word of God with our hearts, He makes the dry land appear in our lives. If we do not recognize the written Word of God—that is, the real Truth of goodness—then God’s Word must fight and overcome us, and so God exposes all the evils of mankind through our circumstances. That is why even the born-again are tormented by their evils.
But once they admit such evil selves and trust in God’s Word of Truth, they can bear the fruit of the remission of sin. On our own, we did not know that there were such evils in us, but the Lord exposed our wickedness so that we could not but see and recognize these evils. Having done this, the Lord then saved us through the Word of the water and the Spirit. Therefore, the more our evils are exposed, the more we should thank the Lord.
As such, everyone should acknowledge God’s Word of Truth as soon as possible, thus turning themselves in to God as a brood of evildoers filled with hypocrisy, and be born again by believing in the gospel of the water and the blood given by Jesus Christ. If you really want take pride in the gospel and live in the midst of the light with this gospel and with God, then you must wholly believe in His Word of Truth.
Those whose lives are deceived by their own hypocrisy do not know the Truth that the Word of God teaches, and so their lives turn only more hypocritical. As they find themselves incapable of really living virtuously no matter how hard they try, they even end up giving up their lives of faith. Deceived by their hypocrisy, in other words, they are unable to lead their lives of faith until the end. Through the Word of Truth, they should have realized what kind of people they are, and they should have cast aside their hypocrisy. Human beings can be saved only if they know their wickedness, and their evils are exposed.
What about you then? Do you admit that you are evil? Do you recognize that mankind is wholly wicked, for 100%? As for myself, I admit wholeheartedly that I was indeed a complete sinner, just as shown in the Word of God. And I believe so. It’s because I have nothing to boast, and because no human being has any goodness at all, that Jesus Christ came to this earth, was baptized, and shed His blood, all to take away the sins of evil mankind, each and every sin of the world. All of us have been saved by believing in Jesus Christ our Savior, that is, by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
The Holy Spirit bears witness that only the Word of God is the good Truth indeed. And by believing in this Truth, mankind has now been remitted from its sins and become an instrument of righteousness. Had it not been for God, and had it not been for Jesus Christ’s Word of Truth that is indeed virtuous, mankind could not have but lived in an unbearable stench, completely corrupted by its hypocrisy. Now, everyone in this world should believe in the Word of salvation, that Jesus Christ has saved us through the baptism He received, the blood He shed on the Cross, and the Holy Spirit, and reach unto his salvation.
I admonish you all to admit your evils, trust in God’s Word of Truth, and believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, so that you may be saved from all your sins of hypocrisy and live as righteous people. And once you become righteous, I ask you all to live the rest of your lives as the instruments of the righteousness of God, acknowledging His Word of Truth and believing in His righteousness.
The true salvation given by God comes to those who admit their hypocrisy and cast it aside, and it is to such people who admit their true selves that God has brought this salvation. I give all my thanks to our God. Amen!