“Then God said, ‘Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs and seasons, and for days and years; and let them be for lights in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth’; and it was so. Then God made two great lights: the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night. He made the stars also. God set them in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth, and to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good. So the evening and the morning were the fourth day.”
Discerning and Sorting out People’s Souls Are the Beginning of God’s Work
What did God do through His servants on the fourth day of the creation of the heavens and the earth? He had them separate His people from the rest. God the Father sent Jesus Christ to this earth in order to save everyone from all sins. God raises His servants to use them as His instrument to blot out people’s sins. It is to save souls that God gives the gospel of the water and the Spirit and raises His servants who would preach this gospel. To this end, God nurtures His servants and molds them properly, and then uses them.
God’s servants must minister with the calling that obligates them to discern the children of light from the children of darkness on this earth, and to preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit to them. When God’s servants labor for His work, they must examine and discern whether or not people have received the remission of sin.
If the calling of the gospel preachers in this world is to preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit, then they should know how to fulfill this work. Therefore, an evangelist’s ministry must first begin from discerning whether the souls before his eyes have been saved from sin or not. If he is incapable of discerning souls, then all his labor would be in vain, and so he must first determine whether or not a certain soul has been saved, and then preach the gospel Word of the water and the Spirit to sinners. After this, he should then nurture these souls and grow their faith. An evangelist also has the responsibility to preach God’s Word of Truth step by step to those who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Only those who heard the gospel of the water and the Spirit from the properly nurtured evangelists can spread this gospel to other souls also.
The first thing that an evangelist should do when he meets people is to determine and let them know whether they are God’s people or not. Although many in this world call themselves evangelists, few really know the gospel of the water and the Spirit. This is why the gospel of the water and the Spirit must be first preached to Christians who profess to believe in Jesus.
We see that some preachers are incapable of discerning whether a soul has been saved or not, for they do not know the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Every preacher must therefore first know the gospel of the water and the Spirit himself. And he himself must become a believer in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. No evangelist should be ambiguous when it comes to discerning the saved from the unsaved.
The spiritually blind cannot discern whether one has been saved or not. A real witness, in other words, should be able to discern whether this soul believes in the gospel of the water and the Spirit or not. When God’s servants fail to spread the gospel, it is because of their lack of the ability to discern people’s souls that they fail at this ministry. A true witness of the gospel should first examine whether people believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, and then sow the gospel seeds of the water and the Spirit. Yet despite this, too many witnesses preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit without first examining the condition of soul properly, and this is what explains so many failures.
As such, the very first thing that an evangelist must do is to spiritually discern whether a soul is a righteous soul or a sinner. And if this soul still does not know that he is a sinner, then the evangelist must teach him that he will be condemned by God for his sins. The witnesses who are upright before God must know how to determine whether people’s souls belong to the light or darkness, and then testify the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Sometimes, when we bear witness, some people do claim to be sinless even though they do not realize the reason why Jesus was baptized.
Representative of such people are those who describe themselves as the so-called Evangelicals. These people blindly claim to have no sin, even though they do not properly know the mystery of the baptism that Jesus received from John—that is, the gospel of Truth of the water and the Spirit. My fellow believers, although they claim, without knowing the gospel of the water and the Spirit, “I am sinless since I believe in Jesus,” this does not mean that there really is no sin in their hearts. When people assert blindly that they have no sin as long as they believe in Jesus as their Savior, even though they do not know the gospel Truth of the water and the Spirit, they are just deceiving themselves. One may profess to believe in Jesus as his Savior, but if there is sin in his heart, then he is still sinful, and so under such a condition, to claim to have no sin is to deceive God and people. Isn’t this the case?
Does every Christian know the gospel of the water and the Spirit? No, not every Christian knows this gospel. There still are far too many Christians who profess to believe in Jesus even as they do not know the gospel of the water and the Spirit. If this is the case, then we should first determine that spiritually speaking, such Christians are still sinners. The so-called Evangelicals are also this type of people. That is why the Evangelicals must also be awakened spiritually.
A witness who believes in the gospel of the water and the Spirit before God knows how to live by faith. If a preacher does not lead the congregation properly through the gospel of the water and the Spirit, then his entire ministry is bound to fail. It is through the witnesses who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit that God divides the light from darkness. It is because we minister believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit that we are able to minister properly. The kind of ministry that is upright before God is one that separates the righteous from sinners, and preaches the gospel of the water and the Spirit, the Truth of salvation.
You should now be able to understand that only the believers in the gospel of the water and the Spirit can fulfill their ministry as true witnesses. That’s because those who have been made righteous before God are those who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit before Him, and because sinners are those who do not believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Ultimately, a preacher must never neglect to divide the righteous from sinners and preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
Like this, when a preacher meets someone, the very first step of his ministry is to discern properly whether or not this person has clearly been born again by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. If we were to go into a battleground and wage war, how could we fight this war if we cannot even distinguish whether someone right before our eyes is our own soldier or an enemy? To be able to attack with the Word of Truth and save him, we must first know clearly that this man before our eyes is a spiritual enemy who still has not received the remission of his sins.
A preacher should know the Truth of salvation when he wages his spiritual battle. When he thus frees a sinner and delivers him from the trap of sin, it is only then that he is a true servant of God. In other words, the real witnesses before God must bring true salvation to sinners through the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
God shows us His plan through the Word of His creation. He specifically did the work of dividing some things at the beginning of His creation: He divided the heavens from the earth; the light from darkness; the water above the firmament from the water on the earth; and the dry land from the sea. Again, on the fourth day of His creation, God placed two lights in the firmament and divided the day from the night.
So when a preacher deals with souls, it is God’s will for him to discern whether these souls have been saved or not. When an evangelist divides souls, he should not divide based on his own carnal standard, but based on the gospel Truth of the water and the Spirit given by Jesus Christ.
It’s a blessing for us to divide the born-again from those who are not born again based on the gospel of the water and the Spirit, the God-given Truth of salvation. God’s Church must fulfill this task of dividing the saved from the unsaved properly. God’s work should begin with this task of division. The Kingdom of God can be built only if the preachers who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit are able to make the spiritual discernment that divides the light from darkness. Such preachers can fulfill God’s ministry as Jesus Christ’s workers. As such, when a preacher is unable to divide the light from darkness, he cannot minister properly.
Among those who have received the remission of their sins, there are many who are so kind-hearted. They say, “When so many people believe in Jesus as their Savior, how can I bring myself to say that they have not been born again?” In particular, the gospel believed by the Evangelicals closely approximates the gospel of the water and the Spirit, but ultimately it is not the perfect gospel, and so they feel rather uneasy to call themselves righteous, for there is still sin in their hearts. In other words, the gospel of the water and the Spirit that we believe is biblically different from their faith.
It’s clearly impossible for the witnesses who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit to understand and tolerate those who are not born again, even if they try to do so. In the end, the righteous are separated from sinners. No matter how hard the real witnesses might try to reach an understanding and collaborate with those working in world-renowned missionary organizations, since these people do not believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, they cannot be approved. Because they do not acknowledge the gospel of the water and the Spirit, they are divided from us eventually.
Ultimately, light and darkness cannot coexist. When you turn on the light at home, darkness recedes away without fail, and when you turn off the light, darkness returns infallibly. It’s impossible for both light and darkness to co-exist in a room. When the light is turned on at home, darkness is gone all at once. So even if we, the believers in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, were to try to work together with today’s Evangelicals for a while for some purpose, we cannot but declare our separation from them in the end.
Some People Also Say, “I Have Received the Remission of My Sins, Am Receiving It Now, and Will I Receive It in the Future”
A while ago, I once met a missionary belonging to a certain international mission organization and had fellowship with him, but the gospel that he believed was completely different from the gospel of the water and the Spirit that I believed.
I told him that the remission of sin came by all at once by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. But he said that this was not the case. This missionary said, “I have received the remission of my sins, am receiving it now, and will receive it in the future as well.” Most Christians understand and believe so. However, if we think about it just a bit more deeply, we can see that it’s contradictory. Such a faith is a product of today’s Christian doctrine of incremental sanctification. Nowadays, Christian leaders throughout the whole world believe in this way, and so what would such leaders preach?
I myself have met many Evangelicals claiming to have no sin. But they said that our sins did not pass onto Jesus through the baptism He received from John the Baptist. So I said to them, “Then show me the proof that it’s not true, that the sins of the world did not pass onto Jesus through the baptism He received from John. I will prove to you with the Word of God that our sins were indeed passed onto Jesus through His baptism.” They all went away without saying a word. In the end, unless those who cross paths with us submit themselves to the gospel of the water and the Spirit, they will all be separated from us without exception.
So the Evangelicals only believed themselves to be sinless, and they did not believe in the Truth of the baptism Jesus received from John. Clearly, then, they were sinners before God. For a while I tried to be graceful and amicable to them, but I saw how they refused to believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit to the end, and not only this, but they even stood against us. They disliked us because we shined the light of Truth believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
My fellow believers, you must grasp that the laying of hands on the head of the sacrificial animal in the Old Testament is the same as the baptism that Jesus received in the age of the New Testament, and you must believe in this. In short, you must understand the gospel of the water and the Spirit and believe in it with your hearts. It is not just through the blood of Jesus alone that you can receive the remission of your sins. The remission of your sins is obtained through the baptism of Jesus and His blood on the Cross, through these two spiritual truths.
In the Old Testament’s time also, there was circumcision and the blood of the Passover lamb (Exodus 12:3-7, 43-49).
Likewise, in the New Testament, there was the baptism of Jesus Christ and His blood on the Cross. 1 John 5:6-8 says that Jesus did not come just by the water, but by the water, the blood, and the Spirit. The Holy Spirit testifies that Jesus is God, and the water and the blood testify of the baptism of Jesus and His Cross. The Bible bears witness that it is through the gospel of the water and the Spirit that our salvation has been achieved. As Jesus Christ came to this earth incarnated in the flesh, He took upon our sins through His baptism just as He had promised with His Word. In the New Testament, the washing away of sin bears witness of the baptism that Jesus received. The precious blood that Jesus shed tells us that Jesus Christ bore the condemnation of sin when He came to this earth incarnated in the flesh.
Jesus’ baptism had been promised in the sacrificial system of the Old Testament. This baptism that Jesus received was not a sudden, accidental event, but it was fulfilled according to the promise of God that had been revealed from the days of the Old Testament. No one can provide any evidence showing that the baptism Jesus Christ received from John the Baptist is not the proof of salvation. So it’s only a matter of course for us to be divided from them. It’s because our faith is different from theirs that we are distinguished from them. In other words, we have been separated from them because we have now become light, as God has given us the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
How does the night fall on this planet earth? Night falls when the sun is located on the other side of the planet, does it not? When the day breaks, it’s also because of the sun. So what determines day and night? It is totally up to the light of the sun. My fellow believers, although we believe in Jesus, it is not by our own will that we seek to be divided from those who are not born again, but it is Jesus Christ who has divided us from them. It’s obviously very hard to bear when good human relationships are broken apart because of the Truth. However, before the Word of God, what must be divided must be divided clearly.
When children play hopscotch, they draw lines on the ground. After playing for a while, the lines tend to get smudged. Then the children will draw the lines again to make them clearer. They repeat this throughout the game, drawing the lines again as they fade.
Likewise, after we believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, we must also draw the dividing line again and again. Even after receiving the remission of our sins by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, we still have to draw the dividing line time after time. Otherwise we are bound to get all confused. For quite a few people, it takes several years to just draw the line of salvation ascertaining that they have received the remission of their sins by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
What about you? After receiving the remission of your sins, how many years did it take you to draw the line just once? It is those who have drawn this line of salvation clearly that are really able to do God’s work. It is through these people who can do this work that allows the spreading of the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
We Must Draw the Line of Salvation Time after Time by Believing in the Gospel of the Water and the Spirit
When we have Jesus Christ dwelling in us and we shine His light, the day is divided from the night through Jesus Christ. In other words, those who have accepted the gospel of the water and the Spirit into their hearts are distinguished as the righteous from those who have refused to accept it, who still remain as sinners. God and His servants make this division. That is why we, who are God’s servants, must be able to make the division clearly. Do you now understand this? We cannot take on a charitable attitude of tolerance, as if we were good-hearted neighbors next door, not caring how one believes. We must draw the line of demarcation between the saved and the unsaved, no matter what the other people say about us. This boundary of salvation must not be moved. God said, “Remove not the ancient landmark, which thy fathers have set.” (Proverbs 22:28), but when we look at the history of Christianity, the landmark has already been removed and the boundary has disappeared.
By what do we confirm the boundary of salvation? It is determined by whether or not one believes in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. However, since the Edict of Milan issued in 313 AD, the nationalized and secularized Christianity set a statute, “Whoever sets a foot inside the church to believe in Jesus shall be baptized,” and removed the landmark that God had established for the forefathers of faith. Because of this, the history of Christianity from then on moved in a direction that had nothing to do with God’s will and Truth, and today’s Christianity has ended up standing against God in His name.
Had the people of those days set the boundary of salvation clearly with the gospel of Truth and kept it, today’s Christians would all be found inside the perfect Truth. How wonderful would this have been then? However, Emperor Constantine sought to use Christianity to grab power and stabilize his rule, and so he abolished the dividing authority of the church and made it accept anyone no matter what he believed.
My fellow believers, if we do not make the division, we are bound to get corrupted. As the Truth gets diluted gradually, in the end, nothing can be done to prevent its corruption. That is why you must draw a clear line in your hearts, and you must also draw this line for others as well. Having received the remission of our sins by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, we the servants of God have drawn this line of salvation everyday.
As I went through my past sermons to organize and edit them into a book, I found out that there was not a sermon that did not discuss the baptism of Jesus Christ and His blood. One element common to all my sermons is that they all discuss Jesus Christ’s baptism and blood. Yet despite this, even though I drew the line of salvation repeatedly with the baptism of Jesus Christ, some people still did not draw the line of salvation clearly, and so occasionally, there were some who left God’s Church. Even though I drew the line of salvation so many times in God’s Church, some people still did not believe in the baptism of Jesus Christ with their hearts.
Such people, in their own thoughts, do not believe that the baptism Jesus Christ received from John the Baptist is a necessary component to their salvation, despite the fact that their leaders have clearly drawn the line of salvation with the gospel of the water and the Spirit, and despite the fact that this line has been drawn based on the Word of God. These people say, “How can such a tiny mission organization be right in everything? Even churches with a long history do not teach such doctrines. And there are so many great Christians in mainstream churches; how can all these people not be saved?” Not only this, but I have seen them actually stand against the gospel. They cannot distinguish what is the real Truth. It’s because they do not believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit that they cannot discern the spirit from the flesh.
After hearing the gospel of Truth, many people say, “I don’t think that one is saved only if he believes in the water and the blood. I believe that one is saved even if he believes in just the blood of Jesus.” This is because many Christian denominations have misunderstood and misbelieved all this time that salvation can be reached just by believing in the blood of the Cross. That is why we must keep the line of salvation that God has drawn in our hearts through His servants, and whenever it begins to fade away, we must draw it again and again.
However, whenever your flesh is too weak or your hearts are misplaced by any chance, and you commit sin as a result, you must realize that your sins were passed onto Jesus Christ, placing your faith in the baptism that He received. When were all these sins passed onto Jesus Christ? Weren’t they passed on when Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist in the Jordan River? Were it not for the baptism Jesus received from John the Baptist, the sins of this world could not have been blotted out. It is through this baptism Jesus Christ received from John the Baptist that all our sins are blotted out and all God’s righteousness is fulfilled. If there were no baptism of Jesus Christ, there would be no other way for Jesus Christ to take away the sins of the world, no matter how ardently He might have desired this. We must draw this line of salvation clearly with the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
My fellow believers, the name ‘Christ’ means “the anointed One” (John 1:14, Daniel 9:25). In the Old Testament, it was kings, priests, and prophets who were anointed. Jesus Christ is our Savior, the High Priest who has blotted out our sins, and the Prophet who teaches us the real Truth. To take out even one of these three is to defy God.
When we preach, “Jesus Christ is our Savior. He has saved us through His baptism and blood,” some people say, “That’s just the basics of faith, nothing so profound. Instead of such elementary knowledge, teach us something more spiritual.”
However, such people must realize that they are actually standing against God and undermining the Church, the Body of Jesus Christ. Of course, it’s important to know God more deeply. However, this is possible only when we are growing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. It is only in the gospel of the water and the Spirit that we can fulfill our role as prophets and learn more about God’s Truth. Because God has met us through this gospel of the water and the Spirit, and because God has now become our God, through this gospel, He will also teach us about the things that will come to pass.
What Must We Do First to Win Our Spiritual Battle?
In today’s Scripture passage, God said, “Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs and seasons, and for days and years.” Put differently, God is saying that He would clearly divide the righteous from sinners through Jesus Christ. This point is indispensable.
Let’s assume here that war broke out. When the enemy troops are far away, we shoot them with rifles, but once they get too close for our rifles to be of much use, we get into hand-to-hand combat. We put on the bayonet and charge into the enemy troops, stabbing them with the bayonet and knocking them out with the rifle, singularly focused to win the battle no matter what.
But what if the enemy troops wore uniforms that were similar to ours? How would we then be able to distinguish them from our own troops? How can we stab anyone, when we are not even sure if he is an enemy or our own man? We can’t do this. That is why our uniforms must be clearly distinguishable from the enemy troops. In a battleground, soldiers look at the uniform, and if it’s different, then they lunge with the bayonet, no questions asked. They don’t even bother to look at the rank, and they just stab if the uniform is different. At this time, if our own soldier is wearing the enemy’s uniform, then we would end up stabbing our own man. In other words, our spiritual war must be waged under the clear condition where God has divided people into the saved and the unsaved.
The Word of Jesus Christ is the only Truth. His Word is the light and Truth for this earth. Human thoughts or words are not the Truth. What does the Truth say to us? It said to let there be light in the firmament to divide the day from the night. It commanded the day to be divided from the night; it is only proper for those who have received the remission of their sins to be divided from those who have not. Just as there are day and night in this world, God commanded us to clearly divide all these people into those who have received the remission of their sins and those who have not. If we really are Jesus Christ’s disciples, in other words, God is commanding us to do this work of God that divides. Do you now understand this?
One more thing that we should realize is that Jesus Christ is the Master of history; the history of this world will be brought to its conclusion by Him. God said, “Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs and seasons, and for days and years.” No matter how far this world’s scientific progress might advance and how the conceited human race might challenge God, this world will clearly be brought to its end by Jesus who created the heavens and the earth. This is the God-spoken Truth.
By whom are the beginning and the end of everything, signs and seasons, days and years, and everything of this world fulfilled? It is by Jesus Christ that everything begins, unfolds, and ends. When Jesus Christ comes back to this earth as the returning Lord, this world will end.
When the Lord first came to this earth, He blotted all our sins and then ascended to Heaven. But He will come back again in the near future. When He returns, it will mark the end of the first world and the beginning of the second world. Do you understand this? At that time, the Millennial Kingdom will be established. Who rules over the beginning and the end of all history? Who has the authority to rule over all this? Jesus Christ has this authority. That is what the Word of God is clearly saying.
This world may change, but the Word of Jesus Christ is unchanging. No Word that Jesus Christ spoke to us has ever disappeared, but it is all being fulfilled. God is saying, “Till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled” (Matthew 5:18). Put differently, God fulfills everything with His spoken Word. He accomplishes its every jot and every tittle.
My fellow believers, everyone must believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit before he returns back to dust. As we were all made from a handful of dust, so shall we all return to dust. That’s because when God made us, He made us with a handful of dust and His Word. The forever-unchanging Truth never disappears. No matter how far science might progress, no matter how carefully we might watch over our diet, and no matter how science might produce new, ground-breaking medicines, when we die, we are still no more than a handful of dust.
We cannot change what God has done, from the beginning to the end. We must believe in the fact that the Lord has saved us through the gospel of the water and the Spirit. And His witnesses must know what they are supposed to do on this earth, and they must fulfill this task by faith. Amen!