The New Life Mission

Sermons

Subject 18 : GENESIS

[Chapter 1-12] (Genesis 1:14-19) God Shapes Us into The Stars of the Heavens

(Genesis 1:14-19)
“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.”
 
 
Jesus Christ Our Lord
 
Although we may be powerless and because the Word of God has power, when the Word falls to the ground it bears fruit without fail. Further, because the Word of God is alive, we can see for ourselves that it is the same today and tomorrow, and forever unchanging. Unlike the words of man, God’s Word never changes, for it is ever faithful. When God speaks, He fulfills exactly according to His Words. For the Word of God has power, so when God said, “Let there be light,” there was light, and when He said, “Let there be a greater light and a lesser light,” it was fulfilled just as He had commanded.
This universe may disappear, but the Word of God will never disappear. Because the God-spoken Word is the Truth, we distinguish this “Word” from the words of man by placing it as the most important thing. As God spoke His Word, “Let there be light,” light came into this universe. When God commanded there to be two lights in the universe, it was fulfilled accordingly.
God divided the water above the firmament from the water under it. And God named the firmament the heavens. The sky appears infinite to us. When astronauts travel to outer space and look down from a space station, they all say that the planet earth is amazingly beautiful. Astronomers argue that there are no less than 100 billion heavenly bodies in a given galaxy, and 100 billion galaxies in the universe. We cannot fathom the entire span of the universe in our small minds, but God created it by just saying, “Let it be.”
We need to realize just how powerful the Word of God actually is. Even though we may have no great power, because the Word of God has power, anything can be fulfilled if it is commanded thus, by the Word. When the Word of God commanded the water above the firmament to be “divided” from the water below the firmament, it was fulfilled accordingly.
God’s Word is the everlasting Truth. It is in this Truth that people today still continue to be born, live and die. And with the gospel Truth of the water and the Spirit that God has given to us, He has separated His people from those who are not His, and He has also divided the next world to come into Heaven and hell. It is because of the light created by God that this world is illuminated, and it is through the gospel of the water and the Spirit that everyone’s soul is being saved.
Such works of God have all unfolded in Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and He is our Creator and our Savior. Who is the Master of the whole universe? It is Jesus Christ, the King of kings. Jesus Christ is our Savior and our God. He is our Lord, our Savior, our Shepherd and our God who made us. Jesus Christ dwells in the hearts of those who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit that He has given, and He is also our Shepherd and our holy God. He reigns over the whole universe, and He governs us and leads us.
In Genesis 1:14 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.” Just as this earth sustains its life from the light of the sun, our human souls obtain new life by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit that Jesus Christ has given us. God the Father told us that Jesus Christ is fulfilling all the works in His Providence. Jesus Christ fulfills the signs and seasons, the days and years of this world.
Truly it is in Jesus Christ that our lives and blessings are to be found. We began our lives in Jesus Christ and it will be completed in Him. In other words, my fellow believers we have now become new creatures in Jesus Christ. Just as the earth receives the warmth from the sun, so it is that we the true believers in Jesus Christ who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit find grace and are led by Him.
There also are four seasons in our spiritual lives: spiritual spring, summer, autumn and winter. When we truly encounter the gospel of the water and the Spirit in Jesus Christ, we are then born again in Jesus Christ, and when by faith we feed on the gospel Word of the water and the Spirit, the spiritual Truth, our souls start sprouting real buds of the new life. When our souls meet Jesus Christ through the gospel of the water and the Spirit, then the flourishing summer is really upon us. It is when we live together with the Lord in the Word of God, and in the gospel Truth of the water and the Spirit that we are made whole.
 
 
The Ruler of Our Lives Is Jesus Christ
 
My fellow believers the history of this whole universe and the entire world is the history of Jesus. The word “history” comes from the words “His story.” The world now records its years based on the day when Jesus Christ came. In other words, historical timeline is expressed in terms of AD and BC, and as it is well known; AD stands for Latin words “Anno Domini,” which means “in the year of our Lord,” and BC stands for “before Christ.” Nothing can be found outside the sovereignty of Jesus Christ. Everything in this universe therefore belongs to Jesus Christ.
Through Jesus Christ, the greater light (Genesis 1:16), God divided the four seasons. When we are born on this earth and meet Jesus Christ, it is our spiritual spring, and when we grow faithfully in Jesus Christ, it is our summer, and when we bear the fruits of everlasting life in Jesus Christ, it is our autumn. And when the autumn harvests are gathered together in Jesus Christ and made to live forever in the barn of Heaven, none other than this is our spiritual winter when everlasting life is obtained.
Jesus Christ the Son of God is the Creator who made us, He is our Shepherd and He is the sovereign Ruler who has dominion over all aspects of our lives. Do you believe in this? You may still be struggling with your own thoughts, but you cannot escape from the love of Jesus Christ. It is when we truly discover ourselves in Jesus Christ, and when we come before His presence that we can realize the real meaning of our lives. It is in Jesus Christ that we can be saved in both body and spirit, blossom the flower of life and bear real fruits.
Sadly, right now, there are far too many people in this world who have no idea why they were born and why they must die. They do not know the real purpose of their lives. Even though many people feel that there is something more to their lives than what they see, taste and feel, they are still living in anguish, for they are unable to be truly born again. However, once they are born again of the gospel Word of the water and the Spirit, they will come to realize clearly why they were born on this earth and where they are heading. And they will also know what they must live for. We should all therefore realize how our God would shape and form us.
Once we meet up with the gospel of the water and the Spirit given by the Lord and are thus born again, our lives will be changed. In my case, before I came to realize the gospel of the water and the Spirit and was truly born again, my whole life was utterly meaningless. During that time my life was completely empty without any true satisfaction, and my thoughts were ravaged by confusion. However, when I was wandering and searching for vanity in my ignorance of the real Truth of salvation, our Lord blessed me to realize the gospel of the water and the Spirit through God’s Word of Truth.
 
 
Even Now, Jesus Christ Is Illuminating This Earth with the Gospel Truth of the Water and the Spirit
 
It is written in Genesis 1:15, “‘Let them be for lights in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth’; and it was so.”
Even today, Jesus Christ is illuminating this earth with the light of salvation. Even at this very moment, our Lord is still shining the light of life without change. But the Bible also says, “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it” (John 1:5). The problem, in other words is that not everyone realizes the Word of Truth, but God still nevertheless shines the light of salvation even at this moment, so that all may realize His Truth, namely the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
Let us turn to Genesis 1:16. “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.”
The moon emits no light of its own; it only reflects the light that comes from the sun back onto this earth. This passage implies that Jesus Christ sheds light on our true selves with the Law, and that He is also illuminating us with His true love. God made the greater light in the heavens to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night, and these lights refer to the gospel of the water and the Spirit and the Law.
Jesus Christ has dominion over the whole world. God has now allowed the gospel of the water and the Spirit to be spread throughout the whole wide world through His Church. Even though it may appear that the righteous who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit are reigned over by this world rather than reigning over it, in the end, they will come to reign over the whole universe. Just as Jesus Christ reigns over the whole universe and everything in it, the true born-again people of God will come to have dominion over everything in this world. Right now, people of this world rely on political solutions to govern the world, but it is to no avail.
The people of this world do not really listen to the Word that we are preaching. That is because false teachers have fully deceived them. Many people refuse to come into the gospel of the water and the Spirit preached by us. But should they hear, believe and come in by faith, they will find true happiness and true satisfaction.
Jesus Christ wants to achieve all these things through us. God wants to reign over the true born-again saints through His servants. God wants to reign over even those who still have not been born again. Do you want God to reign over your lives? If you have been born again, do you now wish that Jesus Christ should now reign over your lives?
We may prefer to live our lives according to our own desires even after being born again, but this is not right. My fellow believers, when the Father reigns over us after being born again, we are actually being loved, not just bound as if we were mere slaves. It is only proper for all of us to have Jesus Christ reign over us. God reigns over those who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. God leads us and blesses us through His servants.
 
 
The Born-Again Are Led by God and God Reigns over Them
 
Here is an example, a brother in our church used to work in a billiard hall which was even busier during our evenings worship services, and did not close on Sundays either. So, a servant of God said to him, “You should not stay at that place. Quit your job, and find another one which will allow you to lead your life of faith.” Obeying this recommendation, he quit his job at the billiard hall and found another job that made it possible for him to attend all worship services. None other than this is God’s guidance. God reigns over all our lives. This very domain of God is what leads us and takes care of us.
God made the greater light to rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night. God is actually leading us with these two lights. He leads the born-again with the greater light, that is, with the gospel of the water and the Spirit, and He also reigns over everyone through the Law, which is the lesser light. Although we may think that no one has dominion over us, we need to realize that it is only proper for us to be ruled by God.
My fellow believers, it is only right for us to be ruled by God. I myself too should be ruled by God, and of course God should reign over all of us. Once we believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, it is only proper for us to be ruled by our God, to follow Him and live in Him, rather than living in whatever way we desire. Our brothers and sisters all live in Jesus Christ and are ruled by the Church, no matter what anyone might say. This is the very life that is set for us in Jesus Christ. It is God’s will toward us, and it is the way that God has set His rules for us. Do you now realize this?
Only He is the way and the Truth. It is in Him, in Jesus Christ that every truth is found. Our all is included in His plan, that is, in the plan of Jesus Christ. Because we were born on this earth, we must live in Him, and all our ways are set in Him. In other words, it is not that each of us has a plan of our own, but it is in Jesus Christ that our plans and our very being are to be found. We cannot escape from the reign of Jesus Christ. Rather, we should not try to do so because true love and true happiness can only be attained when we abide in Christ. Indeed, we should be governed by Him, enjoy happiness in Him, find our worth in Him, and live a righteous life in Him. The Bible says that it is when Christ reigns over us that He rules over the day and the night through us.
God made us to reign over all the people in this world. In other words, God makes us reign over everyone, both the born-again and those who still have not been born again. God says that He will raise us as His workers and servants so that we may reign over them and guide them to the right path. Do you realize this? God really has an amazing and great plan for us.
 
 
God Made the Stars in the Sky
 
Let us now turn to Genesis 1:16-19. “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.”
God made all the stars in the heavens. God placed them in the firmament of the heavens to illuminate the earth, to rule over the day and the night, and to divide the light from the darkness. These stars refer to God’s servants in the Bible. Through this passage of Scripture, we need to realize that the servants raised up by God are illuminating the earth with the light of Heaven. We must remember that it is the servants of God, the stars, who shine the true light.
And we should also realize that it is these very servants of God who divide the saved from the unsaved. Today, some pastors teach, “How can anyone distinguish the saved from the unsaved? This is something that only God knows and whether one is saved or not is entirely up to God’s discretion.” However, they would not be able to say this if they knew the role that God entrusted to the stars of heaven He made.
God made the stars, and He placed them in the firmament to shed light on the earth. Our God made these stars, and placed them in the firmament to illuminate this earth to rule over the day and the night. In other words, He did everything through the stars. I told you that while God divided the day from the night through the light, He also reigned over the day and the night with the light. Then He made the stars, and placed them in the firmament to illuminate this earth.
How is God’s ‘light of Truth’ really manifested on this earth? The light of Truth is manifested through God’s servants who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. How is the will of God revealed on this earth? God’s will is revealed through His Word coming out of the mouths of His servants who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Do you believe this, my fellow believers?
After making the stars in the sky, God placed them in the firmament to illuminate the earth. That God made the stars means that He works through His servants. If there were no servants of God on this earth, the will of God could not be preached, and no one would then be able to be saved. That’s because God works through His servants. It is through His servants that God reveals His will, fulfills it and completes it.
It’s not for no reason that there are stars in the world. Every star in this world is fulfilling its role. The light came into existence because God said ‘let it be’, and the stars also came to exist because God made them. In the Bible, these stars refer to us, that is, those who have been called as the Lord’s workers. We must remember the significance of the fact that He especially made the stars in the sky.
 
 
God’s Servants Are Being Made by God Himself
 
You should all realize that God’s servants are actually made by God Himself. God intervenes in the lives of His servants and leads them closely. God speaks to His servants in detail, and He continues to shape them into His useful instruments.
There is a huge difference between what is made by God and what is not made by God. To give an example, when a Christian asks a pastor who has still not been born again of the gospel of the water and the Spirit, “Tell me how I should live,” this pastor would lay his hands on the persons head, pray in tongues for a while, and then prophesy falsely, “You will become God’s precious servant.” Such false prophets say, “From the day you were born, you were already born as a servant of God. I saw a vision while praying, and in it I saw a flock of sheep in a green pasture, and you were the shepherd leading the flock.” A certain sister once told me that she heard this from a pastor before she was saved. So she always thought in her mind that she was born as a servant of God. There are many people who say so. My fellow believers, people who prophesy like this are not God’s servants. We do not become God’s servants just because someone prophesies like this.
How, then does God shape or mold us into His servants? God first makes us to be truly born again by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, and then He shapes us into His servants through those in the Church who have become servants before us. God makes us obey Him and submit to Him, and He also makes us cast aside our flawed thoughts. God then continually leads us in the way of righteousness.
God molds us into the workers of righteousness with His Truth. It’s truly marvelous to look at how God molds us into His workers. In His loving care we are raised firmly with the Truth, our faith and our purpose for life are also established, and then we are made to obey the Word of Truth. When we witness how every servant is used by God, and when we see the lives of the people of faith that appear in the Bible, we can realize God’s providence and guidance for His servants.
God’s servants were not born as His servants from the beginning. At the beginning they were saved and were made saints by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. The first condition to become God’s servant is to believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit and then be truly born again. It is only after we are all born again by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit that we are made into God’s servants. And it is through those who have become servants beforehand that God leads the born-again into His Church. Through His Word and in His plans, God makes each and every one of them into His servant.
God’s Word is so very elaborate. By panel beating with His elaborate Word, He shapes the born-again into His servants. Our Lord closely intervenes in our individual lives, shaping us into God’s servants. God’s work is so amazing. Even the born-again stumble, but each time they get back up on their feet in the Lord. When after a time they look at themselves closely they testify, “Oh, so this is how God has shaped me.” So this is how God molds the born-again into His servants. Through various events and episodes, God molds them into His servants and establishes them firmly in His Word.
As long as we abide in God’s Word by faith, He will surely make us into His servants. A blacksmith first puts a lump of metal into a forge to heat it, and then hammers it to mold it into an instrument or tool of his desire. Likewise, God also refines us to make good vessels out of us. The blacksmith hammers the heated lump of metal into whatever instrument he desires, whether it is a sickle, a hoe or a knife.
Like this, our God is also shaping us who abide in His Word and according to His wishes. God desires to make His servants out of the born-again saints who truly believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, and even at this very moment, He is continually molding them into His servants. If we fail to realize this truth and should we end up departing from the arms of our God, then the will of God toward us will be all over.
My fellow believers, we should quietly accept what God is doing in our lives. If God hammers us, then we must be hammered, whatever He does, we must be made according to His will. We will then begin to see how we are made according to God’s desire. Even though we may be completely useless in this world, the great power of God toward us will ultimately make us into His servants.
Someone who has a high status in the world may be the lowest person in the Church. Out of those who are in this Church, God infallibly makes the vessels of His desire. In other words, it is God’s great power that turns those who are in His Church into His servants. That is why God has called us and made us shine His light of Truth. In other words, God has made us as the stars that adorn the night sky beautifully and give radiant light to this earth.
Remember that God is shaping you and me according to His desire. With a plan for all of us, God infallibly shapes us according to His wishes. God is molding us into His servants as He desires. Do you believe this, my fellow believers? God did not just call us accidentally. Rather, God made us and works in our lives exactly according to His plan.
While we are being made into the stars in the sky, we also face hardships. You probably do not want your ego to be broken in this process. But we have to be patient and obedient while God breaks down our own righteousness. God does not make us according to our wishes, but He makes us according to His wishes. That’s because our very being is not fitting for His use. God makes us into vessels that are suitable and fit for His use. That is His will.
God is really the omnipotent One. He shapes us in detail, for He is almighty. Can you see with your eyes how God is molding you into the people of faith so very elaborately? So when we examine our lives carefully, we can see how God shapes us into the servants that He desires. God shapes us by hammering us, and He does an excellent job. If we are too stiff-necked, then He breaks us down to be humble. But if we become too timid, He makes us solid and sturdy.
Do you think that anyone can become a servant of God just by graduating from a seminary? It is not by graduating from a seminary that one becomes a servant of God. It is when one is actually led by the Word in God’s Church and really lives his life to serve the gospel that he becomes His servant. Just as the disciples of Jesus Christ were actually shaped into God’s servants while following Jesus Christ, those who serve the gospel in God’s Church under His servants are molded into God’s workers. You should pay particular attention to the fact that one does not become a servant of God just by graduating from a seminary.
How long does God shape us then? He shapes us until we are made into His servants, and until He is satisfied. He entrusts us to His Church and molds us until we are made into what God desires. It is when God really shapes us into His servants that we can properly fulfill our role as His servants. One becomes a true servant of God only if God has made him so.
Through His servants, God has revealed His will to this earth. And He has made His servants rule over the day and the night. God separates the light from the darkness, and He entrusts His servants with the task to rule over what is spiritual and what is not spiritual.
What is really spiritual? What is for God? What pleases the flesh, and what pleases God? What is for the gospel, what is for souls, and what is it to live according to the Word of Truth? God’s servants lead people spiritually by distinguishing what is spiritual from what is carnal. It is none other than God’s servants who lead people to the righteous way so that they may live a spiritual life serving God and His gospel. That is what His servants must do.
Right now, in our Church, the righteous have gathered together like this. You yourselves actually do not have what is spiritual. On the contrary, we only have carnal things. However, if you are refined by the Word of God and your eyes are opened to the spiritual domain, then you too will be able to have everything that God has permitted and live a spiritual life. God leads us so that we may become His instruments of righteousness.
Before, we were completely useless beings that could not do anything beneficial in this world. When we made money in the world, all that we could spend it on was just to eat and drink. However, God has placed people like us in His Church, and in this Church, He has nurtured us to do His work, making us serve the Lord and to follow Him. That is what God does. He makes us live a spiritual life, live for Him and live for what is right.
When you become shepherds, you become leaders who guide the flock to the right place, to the good way. When the shepherd leads the flock to the right path, those who disobey this guidance, it will be the same as disobeying God. We must realize why God made the stars and how He reigns over spiritual lives. And I ask you all also to remember that God is shaping each and every one of us into His servants.
Although there is only one sun and one moon, there are countless stars. We must remember that God is making all His saints into His servants. This is the Word of God spoken to all His people. God made the stars. Even at this very moment, God is making us into His servants. God makes His servants shine the light in the firmament of the heavens. It is these stars that enable many to return to the right place.
The role of the stars is to clearly distinguish what is spiritual and what is carnal. The servants of God thus separate the light from the darkness. Through His servants, God divides those who have received the remission of their sins from those who have not. God also divides what is right from what is wrong.
You might then ask, “How do God’s servants who have received the remission of their sins know who has been remitted from their sins and who have not? How do they distinguish those who are born again from those who are not, and lead them properly?” My fellow believers, it is by receiving the God-given power that His servants can discern such things and lead souls properly.
Those who are not born again cannot lead people’s souls properly. So, no matter how many thousands of believers they might have under them, they are all sinners. I once witnessed a Christian sitting on a rock as the morning sun rose, and looking toward the rising sun; he called on the name of the Lord and prayed in tongues. While he invoked the name of the Lord, he was actually worshipping the sun. If his pastor witnessed this and did nothing, only saying, “It’s okay, since he has many different gifts,” then could this pastor really be approved as a true servant of God?
My fellow believers, the real stars must be able to clearly discern spirit from flesh, and good from evil. If a believer worships the sun or follows something else and embarks on a dark road, then the real stars must shine on him to let him know his darkness and lead him to the light so that he could turn around to lead a spiritual life for God. This is what the real servants of God must do, but the sinful pastors cannot discern this and leave them alone, for they are not the real servants of God. Many still remain as sinners even as they believe in Jesus, and God’s servants should never leave them to their own devices.
One of my acquaintances was tormented by sin so much that he committed suicide by setting himself on fire. I can never forget him. He was actually a Christian and attended a certain church. Why then did he climb up a mountain peak and set himself on fire, even though he believed in Jesus? He was agonizing so much over his sins that were inside him that he ended up committing self-immolation trying by this method to eradicate his sins. No matter how he offered up his prayers of repentance, none of his sins disappeared, and so he sought to cleanse himself by burning himself instead. Because he did not know the Word of God, he fell into the trap of legalistic faith trying to approach God with his own good deeds, and as he found himself incapable of doing good deeds, he climbed up a mountain, and doused himself with petrol.
If nothing else, at least his earnest desire to believe in Jesus properly might be quite respectable. However, even though he tried to live purely and was very careful with his words, his sins were not blotted out but still remained, and thus his conscience could not bear this any longer and he ended up killing himself. My fellow believers, if there were similar people amongst us today, we would have testified the gospel of the water and the Spirit that is in our hearts with the Word of God to them, and we would have made them completely sinless.
It is written, “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” (Genesis 1:16-18).
The stars rule over darkness along with the lesser light. God’s Church and His servants divide the born-again from those who are not. After this, they then teach them what is really right, and what is evil. It is none other than these leaders of faith who teach darkness as darkness and lead people into the light. It is for this work that God made the stars. And God’s servants faithfully carry out this work.
My fellow believers, we should all clearly realize that God made the stars on this fourth day, and believe in the truth implicated in this creation. And we must also realize that God is now turning you and me into the stars of the heavens.
As the impurities of your hearts have been removed by the Word of God, your hearts have found peace, and as a result, your faces have also lightened up. God is now making us His servants. He is making us new.
God is shaping those who are born again of water and the Spirit into His servants. He has already begun to do so. Once God draws people into His fold, He makes them be truly born again. After this, He does not just leave the born-again alone, but He nurtures them and leads them to the right way. I admonish all of you to clearly remember that God is shaping and forming us continuously.