“Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said to the woman, ‘Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?’ And the woman said to the serpent, ‘We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.’’ Then the serpent said to the woman, ‘You will not surely die.’ For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.’ So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings.”
Through today’s Scripture passage, God is telling us that for us to fight and overcome Satan, we must use the weapon of our faith in God’s Word.
The serpent, more cunning than any beast, asked the woman, “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden?’” The woman then answered the serpent by saying, “We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.’”
We’ve read this passage countless times. Here in this passage we can see that it was the weak woman whom Satan first tempted. And we see how the Devil brought down Adam through Eve. However, when the serpent, symbolizing Satan, came to Eve and tempted her, Eve could have overcome him had she responded to his attack by placing her faith in the Word of God. This event, of course, was permitted in God’s providence. Nonetheless, even though the serpent asked such a simple question, Eve failed to believe in the most elementary truth, and as a consequence, she became the fallen forebear of mankind.
We Can Overcome Satan Only If We Have Faith
We must believe in God’s Word. If you have faith in the Word of God, you will be strong and at peace. However, those who have no faith in God’s Word have no rest in their hearts, and their thoughts are all too cluttered, so much so that even when they read the Word of God, they cannot take it by faith, but they keep analyzing it over and over again.
Eve stumbled over such a simple question raised by Satan. When Satan said, “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?” what more did she really have to say? If Eve was someone who really believed in the Word of God, all that she had to do when tempted by Satan was just say, “No, God only told us not to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil in the middle of the garden. He said that we would die for sure if we ate it. Since God said so, that’s the end of the story. So get away from me, Satan.”
When tempted by Satan, however, the woman uttered faithless words, saying instead, “We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.’” Faithless people have so much to say. We see how those without faith say so much nonsense, have all kinds of excuses for their disbelief, and are so full of their own thoughts, all because they do not believe in God’s Word.
My fellow believers, it is my sincerest hope and desire that you and I would really have faith in the Word of God. When we ask Christians about God’s Word, all too often we find out that many of them have no faith at all. Even among those who have met the Lord in the true gospel, there are so many people who stumble along the way so feebly, for they have no faith in the Word of God.
Satan mocks the faithless in times like this. When mocked by the Devil, the faithless end up losing their way and wandering around here and there. However, if we know the Word of God, then we can attain the victory of faith, and we are also made into the people of faith before God. By believing in the Word, we can become the people of faith. What would happen to us, my fellow believers, if we had no faith in the Word of God? Without faith in God’s Word, we would not only be unable to please God, but we would also be defeated by Satan.
My fellow believers, if you feel stifled and suffocating while living in this world, then you should pray to God. Look for what the Word says about prayer, confirm it for yourselves, and believe in it. Faith in God will then spring forth in your hearts, and peace will then come to your hearts. And the carnal thoughts that are in your hearts will begin to disappear.
How can faith in the Word of God find its place in our hearts? This faith is attainable only when you deny your carnal thoughts. This is extremely important. Do you realize that faith in God comes from denying your carnal thoughts? You can believe in God’s Word only if you actually have faith in God; you can receive the remission of your sins by faith only if you know the gospel Truth of the water and the Spirit; and it is when only you believe that you can become God’s children and be blessed for your faith.
In contrast, if you are bound by your carnal thoughts, then you cannot believe in God’s Word either. It is just like what happened to Eve, who could not believe in God’s Word because of her carnal thoughts. So, if you do not lay down your carnal thoughts, you would not only fall into a great temptation, but you would even end up leading others to temptation as well. This happens all because of the lack of any real faith in God and in His Word.
Adam and Eve were driven out of the Garden of Eden precisely because they could not believe in God’s Word. It was because of this single deficiency, the lack of faith in God’s Word, that their fate was thus sealed. If we lose our faith in God’s Word, then we would also lose the right to live in His Kingdom.
My fellow believers, just how important is faith in God’s Word? There is nothing but only faith in the Word of God that enables us to overcome Satan. If one wants to live a spiritual life, then he must have faith in God’s Word. It is when we believe in the Word of God that we become the people of faith.
The Truth is simple, isn’t it? What will happen to us if we believe in God’s Word? We will become the people of faith. We can then please God, as we are made into the people of faith. But what will happen if we do not believe in God’s Word? We will then become faithless people, not even believing in God’s Word, and consequently, we will live all our lives under the curse only to reach our own destruction in the end.
As I continue with my ministry, I realize even more profoundly just how important it is to have faith in the Word of God. So, I am fully convinced that my life depends on my faith in God’s Word. Without such faith, I am nothing. But when I have faith in the God’s Word, I am so much bolder and so much more blessed. I can only thank God for giving me such faith. Because of my faith in God’s Word, and only because of this one thing, I am blessed by God and I live happily, but without this faith, I can only live a wretched and miserable life.
My fellow believers, even though I have nothing, I still believe in God and His Word. The more I ruminate on the Word of God, the more I believe in it. Whenever my heart begins to drift away from faith, I try to edify my faith in God by praying to Him earnestly. But even though I pray, this does not mean that I somehow feel some supernatural phenomena coming from Heaven, nor is my sensation all tingled with some sort of a mystical presence. What is clear is that when I pray, God will answer me in my times of need—this is what I believe. When I pray, I don’t pray out loud, shouting out on top of my lungs. Since I believe that God hears all my prayers, I quietly ask for His help step by step for my needs.
When I pray to God, what God looks at is whether or not I believe in Him. Therefore, the success and failure of God’s Work is determined depending on our faith. If you really believe in this Word of God and hold onto it in your prayers, then you can find peace, and what you asked for will be eventually answered. In contrast, if you pray without believing in God’s Word, then nothing is ever done, no matter how you might have lost your voice from all that shouting and screaming in your prayers. A prayer without faith will only hurt your throat and tire your lips.
True Faith Is Indispensable to Our Lives
Faith is so important. When we work for the salvation of souls, we don’t always know what to do, because our eyes cannot see everything. Therefore, faith is absolutely essential to our spiritual lives. The Bible says that like Abraham, all the servants of God followed the Word even though they did not know where they were going (Genesis 12:4; Hebrews 11:8). In fact, it’s not because they saw something in their eyes that they followed the Word. Rather, they followed the Word trusting that God would reveal His will and lead them through His Word.
We sometimes go to university campuses to preach the gospel, for we believe that it is God’s will to preach the gospel to today’s young generation. Before preaching the gospel, we first sit down on the lawn and pray: “Dear Father, we are here now. Help us to meet the lost sheep here on this campus. Have compassion for them, and save them. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.”
After thus praying, we then go out to bear witness. With the Bible tucked at our side, we walk around the campus and do a little sightseeing. And when we see young people gathered around, there we meet souls. Young people generally tend to react rather coolly at first. However, because we have the belief that God would lead these souls to us and save them, we still triumph. When we have this faith, then God does in fact lead souls to us. Some students even approach us first and greet us, saying that they are also Christians, even when we are standing idle. We then say to them, “Oh, is that so? Nice to meet you! Are you then a good Christian?” With these words, we begin to engage them in fellowship.
There even was a student who showed a very keen interest in us, saying, “I’ve heard your sermons on tape before.” So I told him a little about the gospel of the water and the Spirit, and he opened his ears to the Truth of the remission of sin. I then invited him to come to God’s Church sometime. So he came to the Church, and listened to the gospel of the water and the Spirit. After sharing God’s Word of Truth, he told me that he had been a Christian for the past five years, and yet he had no joy in his heart. But now, because of this gospel of the water and the Spirit, there was joy in his heart, and he was glad and happy. He was so delighted to be told that God had already blotted all our sins beyond any doubts with the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Even now, he still attends our Church every evening, sharing God’s Word with us.
My fellow believers, none other than this is faith in God’s Word. It is this very faith in God that is so indispensable to our lives just as is water. When we have faith in God, we are completely at peace, but when we do not have faith in God, it’s nothing but an endless struggle. If we have no faith, then we would have to harvest fig leaves and make garments out of them everyday to cover ourselves, a burden that none of us can bear.
What we truly need, in other words, is faith in God. It is far more important to have faith in God’s Word than to know some theory. We must have this faith first of all to know Jesus Christ, believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, and receive the remission of our sins. And after receiving the remission of our sins, we need to have faith in the blessings that are found in God.
Faith is akin to the heart in our spiritual lives. Just as it is the heart that circulates blood, what is absolutely necessary to us is faith in God and in His Word. This faith is so important to us that if only we have it, our lives will be completed in a triumph. My fellow believers, if we believe in God, then this faith will lead us to God’s blessings and victory.
But what would happen if we do not have faith? We will fall down without faith, just as Eve fell when Satan came to her and tempted her. In other words, unless we have faith in God, we will be deceived by a few words of Satan and end up ruining the rest of our lives. That is why Adam and Eve were disgraced and driven out of the Garden of Eden. As a consequence, all their descendents were cursed to be bound under sin.
If Eve had believed in God, she would have never fallen. It’s because she did not believe that she fell. Had Adam and Eve really believed in God, there would have been absolutely no reason for them to fall. From where did sin begin? It’s because Adam and Eve did not believe in God’s Word that sin was introduced to mankind. Even before Adam and Eve actually ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, they had already stopped believing in God. It was from there that mankind’s sins began.
The sins of mankind began from the moment Adam and Eve did not believe in God’s Word, not after they ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. By the time they did not believe in God’s Word, they had already sinned against God. Likewise, whether or not we can receive the remission of our sins, and whether we are blessed or not, all depend firstly on whether or not we have faith in God and in His Word.
Indeed, mankind’s sins began from the moment human beings did not believe in God’s Word. In contrast, God’s blessings on us begin when we believe in His Word. You must take to your hearts that it is from faith in God’s Word that His blessings begin. You should realize that your blessings and curses all depend on your faith that’s in your hearts. The success and failure of our lives of faith depend on whether we believe in God’s Word or not. We will be blessed if we believe in God’s Word, but we will be cursed if we do not believe. Could there be any simpler and more elegant truth than this?
My beloved saints, true faith comes when you deny your carnal thoughts. Let’s consider mankind’s sins here. Both you and I have flesh. What does this flesh think about? It thinks about carnal lusts. Carnal desires arise endlessly in the flesh of man. Sometimes it reminds us of our mistakes and blemishes. Because everyone has flesh, it’s inevitable that carnal thoughts would arise in everyone.
However, what does the Word of God say about this issue? Put differently, how can we be freed from the sins we commit in this flesh of ours? The way to be freed from sin begins from confirming the remission of our sins that is revealed in the Word of God. God says, “He adds, ‘Their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.’ Now where there is remission of these, there is no longer an offering for sin” (Hebrews 10:17-18). Like this, only when we confirm the remission of our sins with the Word of God can we then be freed from our sins.
It Is Also by Faith That We Can Be Freed from Sin
It is from knowing the Word of God that our lives are freed from sin. In other words, the faith of the remission of sin begins from denying one’s carnal thoughts, knowing the Word of God, and believing in it.
Mankind’s sins do not actually disappear just by giving many prayers of repentance. The Bible says in Acts 3:19, “Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out,” but this passage does not mean that one should give prayers of repentance, but it means that those who are not born again should turn around from their wrong ways along which they have left God.
To whom did Jesus say to turn around and repent? It is to sinners that He said to turn around from the sinful ways of their carnal thoughts. Where then should they return to? They should return to Jesus Christ. What is the way to return to Jesus Christ then? It is to believe in the Word of God, that Jesus Christ came to this earth in the flesh of man, and blotted out all the sins of mankind once for all with the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
In this age and time, we must live by faith, confirming the washing of our sins with the Word of God. If we return to Jesus Christ, we can be made sinless. By admitting our sins and believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, all of us can be freed from all the sins of the world.
I said that your sins will never disappear just by giving prayers of repentance. The Bible speaks about repentance countless times, but we must first realize what the proper repentance is all about. Repentance means turning around from the wrong way and returning to the right path. The proper repentance is for sinners to turn their hearts to God to be made sinless.
Therefore, to just give prayers of repentance everyday, without even being made sinless, is something that is done only by those who do not believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Because these people do not know the Word of God, and instead they are beholden to what they know by instinct (Jude 1:10), they just keep giving prayers of repentance time after time, only to be destroyed in the end.
Through what does Satan work? He works on us humans through our carnal thoughts. It’s because Satan works through man’s carnal thoughts that the Bible says that to be carnally minded is death. It’s none other than Satan who tries time after time to make us think carnally, and to obstruct us from holding onto the Word of Truth.
Those of us who have received the remission of our sins by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit must also remember this clearly. After all, don’t we remember the weaknesses and carnal mistakes that we have had even after receiving the remission of our sins? Of course we do! Anyone who doesn’t remember this can only be dim-witted. That various carnal thoughts arise in you is the evidence of the fact that you are alive, and that your brain is fully functional.
Although we still remember our flaws even after receiving the remission of our sins, if we confirm once again with the gospel of the water and the Spirit how the Word of God says our sins were washed away, then we can easily be freed from this burden. On the other hand, however, if we are still seized by our own thoughts even after receiving the remission of our sins, then we will only turn into Satan’s toys. While carnal thoughts will continue to arise in your heads and hearts, if you are seized by these thoughts, you will be destroyed.
You have carnal thoughts, but at the same time, you also have faith in the Word of God. Which of the two should we believe—our own thoughts or the Word of God? Complete blessings come not when we believe in mankind’s thoughts, but when we believe in God’s Word. For those of us who have been born again through the gospel of the water and the Spirit, it is when we read the Word of God that we are led by the Holy Spirit. Thus, the Bible says, “For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God” (Romans 8:13-14).
The wise believe in God’s Word. When we read the Word of God, we can believe beyond any doubts that all our sins have indeed been blotted out, but in spite of this, we still see carnal thoughts continuing to arise. Even after receiving the remission of our sins, we still lust after sin time after time. My fellow believers, although you have received the remission of your sins, your flesh is still alive, and that is why your minds still continue to be beset by carnal lusts.
It’s precisely because such thoughts come to your minds that you can actually realize who you really are, and that you cannot live even a moment without believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. In other words, it is because our flesh is so insufficient that we need the Savior Jesus Christ, who came by the gospel of the water and the Spirit, and the Word of salvation is so indispensable to us. How, then, did Jesus Christ blot out our sins? This is all written in the very Word of the Scriptures.
When Jesus was tempted by Satan, He said to him, “Away with you, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the LORD your God, and Him only you shall serve’” (Matthew 4:10). Why did Jesus say this to defeat Satan? It’s because Jesus also did the Father’s work by believing in the Word, not according to His own thoughts. Since Jesus also had flesh, after fasting for 40 days, carnal thoughts yearning for food might come to His mind as well. Knowing this, the Devil appealed to the weak flesh of Jesus, saying, “If you are the Son of God, turn these stones into bread and eat them.” But Jesus Christ invoked the Word of God and said to Satan, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’” Like this, when it comes to our lives of faith also, it is the Word of God that protects our faith and leads us to faith.
My fellow believers, even as we carry on with our lives of faith, we are still inundated with so many man-made thoughts. However, when we read the Word of God, spiritual thoughts come to our minds also. The key issue here is where our hearts lean toward when these two thoughts arise, whether it is toward carnal thoughts or spiritual thoughts.
I have told you already that faith comes from denying your carnal thoughts. The Bible says that those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit; and that to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. To be spiritually minded is to contemplate on the Word of God, who is Spirit, and to know the meaning of this Word and believe accordingly. Denying your own thoughts is the first step to faith. It is from then on that your faith takes its first stride.
Countless people now ministering in Christian communities do not even understand the Word of God, yet they all still claim to believe in it. Church leaders would stand on the pulpit and shout out, “Receive the fire!” and the congregation would go all crazy, screaming, “Come, the Holy Spirit, come, come!” But do we go to church just to satisfy our emotional needs? No, we go to church to hear the Word of God. If you happen to be at a church where the Word of God is nowhere to be heard but only rituals abound, then this church is not God’s Church.
Now in this age, countless people purport to preach the Word. Yet despite this, the water of life is drying out. Shouldn’t God’s Church be a place where God’s Word is preached? And shouldn’t God’s servants want to preach God’s Word, and spread the gospel of the water and the Spirit, the real Word of God? If a preacher has the Word of God open, shouldn’t he talk about this Word of God, rather than boasting himself? God’s servants must preach God’s Word, and believers in God must at least yearn to hear His Word and know what God is saying.
Did you come to your church to learn about literature? To learn about philosophy? Or to learn about ethics? Do philosophers come to church to listen to philosophical discussions, as if they knew less about the subject than pastors? If it’s such secular matters that we would like to learn, it would be far more accurate and sounder to learn from the experts. As far as preachers are concerned, however, we need to examine carefully whether they are spreading the righteousness of God or their own righteousness.
My fellow believers, why do you attend church? Do you not go to church to learn about God’s Word? People look for church because they want to listen to what God is saying, as opposed to what our philosophy is and what our values and ethics are. It is by hearing the Word of God in His Church that people receive the remission of their sins. And when the Holy Spirit comes into their hearts after receiving the remission of their sins, they believe in God and follow Him.
When I preach the Word, I don’t think about whether people would attend our church or go elsewhere after hearing my sermons. This has no bearing whatsoever on how I give my sermons. However, I do know that certain souls would believe when they hear the gospel of the water and the Spirit, while others, if not taken care of, would invariably go elsewhere even after hearing this true gospel. It is indeed a sheer evil to accept anyone as a member of the Church just to increase the number of the congregation. The saints might be few and far between, but this is not what is important. What matters is that they have faith; without faith, they are completely useless. That is why, regardless of whom I come across, I always preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit. And as the gospel is preached, all who believe in it do receive the remission of their sins.
To those who have received the remission of their sins, I ask them to attend church faithfully. I admonish all the born-again to come to God’s Church, for those who have been born again by hearing and believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit must be with their fellow born-again saints. To those who do not believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, on the other hand, there is no need to insist that they should attend only our church. Instead of just telling them to come to our church, I first tell them that they must be born again through the gospel of the water and the Spirit. And then based on the Word of God, I will tell them what God’s Church is all about and what kind of faith is the right faith.
Since God’s servants are entrusted to preach His Word, we cannot, as God’s servants, fail to spread His Word. Only when we faithfully preach the Word of God can we turn those who do not know God and the gospel of the water and the Spirit back to God, and make it possible for them to receive the remission of sin into their hearts.
When we think about the sins of our flesh, we see that all human beings, regardless of whether some of them have received the remission of sin or not, are the same brood of evildoers alike. So all human beings commit sin just like everyone else, but why is it that only those who have not received the remission of sin suffer because of sin? It’s because their sins are written in the tablets of their hearts, and they keep thinking about these sins all the time, that they are tormented by their sins. Where there are such sins, there are suffering, judgment, and curses. As they continue on with their lives, they are constantly reminded of their sins, and their hearts then get worried so sick that their bones are dried up.
Life is not worth living if one has sin. He may eat, but there is no taste; he may play, but there is no fun; he may work, but there is no reward. Life is completely devoid of any joy at all. For those who truly fear God, if they have sin, what is beautiful does not seem beautiful in their eyes. Sin kills the sinner. Sin is the poison of death.
That is why Satan bounds human beings all tangled up in sin. He keeps inciting them to commit sin, and once they fall into sin, he then accuses them of sin. The Devil charges them, saying, “You’ve sinned, right? Sure you have!” This is what the Devil does. Haven’t you experienced this before?
According to the Word of God, it is by denying our thoughts, and by affirming and believing in God’s Word, that our spirits are freed from our sins. This is the first step to enter into faith, and the secret to a life that walks with the Lord. The Bible says Abraham followed the Word of God. Although those who have received the remission of their sins still make mistakes, there is a way for them to be freed from their faults. When they deny their carnal thoughts, and when they once again contemplate on what the Word of God actually says, they can be freed from their carnal minds and their sufferings.
The Bible declares, “Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies” (Romans 8:33). When the Word of God says that all our sins have been blotted out with the gospel of the water and the Spirit, who can ever condemn us? Isn’t this so patently true? None other than this was the very faith of the Apostle Paul. And this faith is absolutely indispensable to all of us as well.
Now that we have received the remission of our sins, does this then mean that we no longer need the Word? No! On the contrary, we need this Word all the time, precisely because it is through the Word of God that we have received the remission of our sins, and it is indeed according to this Word of God that we walk. God’s Word is the Word of life and the bread of life.
Even though our carnal minds keep uncovering our flaws, God told us that He does not remember our sins and our faults. My fellow believers, do you believe in this Word, that God does not remember our sins and our faults? If you believe in this, then do you still have your sins, or have they all disappeared? They have all disappeared! This, my fellow believers, is something truly amazing. When a certain truth comes into the realm of the mind, this truth becomes light in no time and our hearts are instantly illuminated. The realm of the mind is so amazing.
The heart is not seen by our eyes, but it is far more intricate than this body that is actually seen by the eye. It is something truly marvelous. Our hearts are so delicate that if we embrace something wrong in our hearts, we feel excruciating pain. Heartache is far more painful than a bodily wound. Nonetheless, our hearts are restored when we hold onto the Word of God, saying, “Satan is trying to deceive me again. He fooled Adam and Eve before, and now he is trying to fool me also. You, Devil! What nerve you’ve got! Go away, Satan!”
What is the gospel of Truth? It’s ‘euaggelion’ or the good news. The Greek word for “gospel” is “euaggelion,” and it was said to have the “dunamis” of God—the Greek word “dunamis” here means strength, power or ability, from which we get the word “dynamite” (Romans 1:16). Indeed, the gospel of the water and the Spirit can eradicate all our sins from the tablets of our hearts in a single swoop. No sin can ever exist before the gospel of the water and the Spirit, no matter how deeply it may be hidden in our hearts. If you believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, then all your sins will be washed away once for all, whether they are hidden behind rocks, under the ground, or in the forest of your hearts.
Do you know just how powerful the gospel of the water and the Spirit is? Have you seen the true gospel power of the water and the Spirit? My fellow believers, it is the gospel of the water and the Spirit that has the real power. With this gospel of power, then, let us defeat all those who deceive and defraud countless souls with their lies just to gather more people into their fold.
How Amazing the Gospel of the Water and the Spirit Is!
I cannot help but talk about just how blessed the gospel of the water and the Spirit is. From time to time, we are reminded of our sins and our hearts suffer as a result, but Jesus Christ said, “Their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.” Whenever we are reminded of our flaws and our carnal faults, we should ruminate on what our Lord said here, that He would never again raise the issue of our sins and our lawless deeds. Do you believe in this, my fellow believers?
God is saying, “Didn’t I pass all the sins of your flesh onto My Son, and didn’t My Son die on the Cross for you? Weren’t all your sins passed onto the body of My sinless Son? Must My Son die again? Isn’t it enough that He already died once like this? Never again should you say that you have sin. I will strike down anyone who challenges Me again on this issue.” What is most abominable before God is to pray to once again blot out the sins that Jesus has already blotted out.
Yet despite this, countless Christians still kneel before the Cross and pray like this: “Lord, I’ve sinned again today. I sinned yesterday too. Lord, please forgive my sins and wash them away.” None other than this is the fallacy of prayers of repentance. But sitting on His throne, God would only say to them, “Are you suggesting that I failed to blot out all your sins with the gospel of the water and the Spirit by sending My Son? It’s because you do not believe in this gospel of the water and the Spirit that your sins remain still intact.”
Even so, when Christians come to church, they still pray, “Lord, please forgive me. I’ve sinned this much. I’ll never sin again.” Does our Lord then say, “Sure, I’ll wait and see, since I am so full of mercy and grace. I’ll wait for you just a bit more”? Surely not! Yet in spite of this, they still come the next day only to give the same prayers of repentance again, begging, “Lord, please forgive my sins!” These people do not know the gospel power of the water and the Spirit. Without the gospel of the water and the Spirit, there is absolutely no way for them to receive the remission of their sins.
My fellow believers, the greatest heartache for God is when He sees human beings praying to Him to blot out their sins, for they do not believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit given by Jesus Christ, and therefore their sins still remain intact. To affirm from the Word of God that Jesus Christ blotted out all the sins of mankind once and for all by being baptized and shedding His blood when He came to this earth over 2,000 years ago, to believe in this with the heart, and to thereby receive the remission of sin—this is the way to the Kingdom of Heaven. Yet despite this, countless Christians still continue to ignore this true way of salvation, and even now, they still keep saying, “Father, this wicked sinner is praying in the name of Jesus Christ, and I ask You and beg You, please forgive my sins.”
To this, the Book of Isaiah says,
“When you come to appear before Me,
Who has required this from your hand,
To trample My courts?
Bring no more futile sacrifices;
Incense is an abomination to Me.
The New Moons, the Sabbaths, and the calling of assemblies—
I cannot endure iniquity and the sacred meeting” (Isaiah 1:12-13).
In other words, it is intolerable to God to watch people who have not even received the remission of their sins to gather together and say to Him, “Our God, who is holy, merciful, omnipotent and omnipresent, please save these wicked sinners.”
If I were God, I would have just slapped their faces. If I had saved my creatures by sacrificing my son, and yet these creatures came to me and said, “I am a sinner,” I would at first say to them, “You don’t know any better, and so I understand why you’re saying this. So go to church today, meet the brothers and sisters who have heard the gospel, and listen to the gospel of the water and the Spirit.” But if they still insisted, “I declare myself a sinner before God and before man,” then I would have just trampled on them mercilessly. God, however, still endures and patiently waits for even such people.
When God says that He has blotted out all sins, then He has indeed eradicated all sins. Where is the need to insist on our own thoughts, saying, “How could I be sinless, when I am constantly reminded of my sins? How could I have no sin, when I keep committing one sin after another?” What is most abominable before God is to ignore what He has already finished and keep asking Him everyday to forgive our sins. Knowing beforehand that you would commit sin, Jesus remitted away all the sins of the world with the gospel of the water and the Spirit. So all that you need to do now is just know so and believe accordingly with thanksgiving. It is completely impertinent for you to instead say that this is not plausible, or that you find it hard to believe.
My fellow believers, you may be able to recite the Word of God verse by verse, but this does not mean that your faith is sound. What you must know is the real meaning hidden in the Word of God. In other words, you have to understand what this Word of God means.
We humans are troubled by the memory of our sins. What delivers us from this suffering is none other than the Word of God, and what saves us from all our sins is faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, which is God’s Word. We should remember that it is faith that makes us triumph.
The same principle also applies when it comes to getting our prayers answered. It is by faith that we get our prayers answered by the Lord. God is your Father, right? And Jesus Christ is our Head, and we are members of His body, right? Wouldn’t the parents provide for their children’s needs, and wouldn’t the head provide for what its body needs?
We should think about faith in connection to God the Father and learn about it properly; and to learn about faith, we must listen to the Word of God. And what is in the leaders’ minds must be transmitted and received into our hearts through faith. It is then that we learn about faith. It’s all in vain to say just by oneself, “I believe; yes, I believe!”
My fellow believers, what is it that detracts you from your conviction that you have received the remission of sin? It is your own thoughts that obstruct your faith. Do you believe in the written Word of God? Do you believe in what the Word says, that Jesus has saved you from the sins of the world through the gospel of the water and the Spirit?
Some people, even when they hear the Word saying, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29), still think, “Jesus only took away original sin, not my personal sins.” None other than this is to be carnally minded. They say, “Think about it. How could Jesus have taken away all my sins, when I still continue to sin now? Isn’t this a bit too strange? I just can’t understand it with my head. Oh, so Jesus took away my original sin, but I have to repent from my personal sins everyday. So this is how I receive the remission of my sins. I see it now.”
Like this, people try to interpret the everlasting Word of God by fitting it into their own carnal thoughts, and that is precisely why they keep making one mistake after another. My fellow believers, did Jesus really take away only original sin, but not personal sins? So do people receive the remission of their sins by giving prayers of repentance everyday?
The Bible says, “To be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace” (Romans 8:6). We must believe in God’s Word exactly according to how it is written, not by mixing it up with our own thoughts. If the Bible says that Jesus took away all the sins of the world, then Jesus did indeed take them all away. If the Bible says that all our sins were passed onto Jesus, then they were all passed onto Jesus. And if the Bible says that Jesus Christ rose from the dead again, then He did really rise from the dead again. The average I.Q. of mankind is barely three-digit. When human beings make a fuss and raise objections to God’s Word with this limited level of intelligence, He who is in Heaven can only laugh.
Jesus is the Lamb of God who took away the sins of the world. Jesus Himself said that it was fitting for Him to fulfill all righteousness through the gospel of the water and the Spirit, and He actually fulfilled it all. The Bible says, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23). We shouldn’t guess about the meaning of the Word of God, nor should we understand this Word by adding to it or subtracting from it, but we should look at its biblical meaning, seeking to find out what God intended when He said His Word.
We can truly comprehend and believe in God’s Word only if we understand the Bible through the gospel of the water and the Spirit. The Bible is believed only if we understand it according to God’s Word. We are now looking at chapter three of Genesis, and this chapter is also understood only if we know the whole picture of the Bible. Anyone who preaches about today’s Scripture passage without knowing the whole Bible is completely mistaken. Such preachers would no doubt tell their congregation to receive the remission of their sins by giving prayers of repentance everyday, claiming that incremental sanctification is the only way to salvation, and that there are different levels of faith according to their sanctification. But such teachings have come out of their carnal minds.
Satan continued to whisper deceptive words to Eve. As a result, Eve fell into the Devil’s trap. That’s because Eve did not have faith in God’s Word. Eve had no conviction precisely because she did not know the Word of God exactly; what’s more, she even added her own thoughts to the Word. That is why she was hooked by Satan.
Showing the tree of the knowledge of good and evil to Eve, Satan said to her, “If you eat from this tree, your eyes will be opened, and you will become like God.” So tempted by Satan, Eve took and ate the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, but what happened next? Did she really become like God? No, of course not. Did the deeds of Adam and Eve then make them holier? No, they did not become any holier. On the contrary, they became far worse off after eating the forbidden fruit. When human beings’ own efforts are added to what God has done, it only ruins God’s work completely.
God said that He made man on the sixth day and rested on the seventh day. God also said that He blessed the seventh day and sanctified it. By blotting all our sins and blessing us, God has given us rest.
Why did God make man on the last day after making everything else, instead of making man first and then everything else? Since man is so full of his own thoughts and his intelligence is so low, had God made him on the first day, he might have interfered with God’s work from the second day and on. If God were to listen to every meddlesome word of man, He would not have been able to create the heavens and the earth. This is why God made man on the very last day of creation.
So is our salvation like this. The Bible says, “Just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved” (Ephesians 1:4-6). Before the foundation of the world, before God even made us, He knew that we would fall and be born as sinners, and so in His plan, Jesus Christ blotted out all our sins once for all, thus making us holy and turning us into God’s own people.
It’s after God completely fulfilled our salvation that He told us to believe; He did not just leave the problem of our sins unsolved, and then say, “I should probably consult with you over this problem. What do you think about this?” Had God asked such a question to human beings, and had God taken all their words into consideration, then our planet would have turned into a garbage dump. The realm of faith is not of a democracy. It may seem as if a church would prosper if it were to take everyone’s words into account, but true faith would disappear from the church sooner or later.
I love the Truth of Jesus Christ so much. Why? Because it is the only Truth of salvation in this world. God said of Himself, “I am Jehovah.” The name Jehovah means “He who exists by Himself.” Before Him, we have nothing more to say. He is the Creator who exists by Himself, and we are all His creatures. Absolutely no one can say anything to God. The name Jesus means the Savior. Jesus is God Himself, but He came to this earth incarnated in the flesh of man to save us humans. It’s because He is God Himself that this salvation has been made possible, and whoever believes in it will receive the true remission of his sins and become God’s own child.
Nonetheless, Satan still continues to try to deceive us. He whispers to us, as he had whispered to Eve before, “In the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” Yet it is not by doing something on our own with our deeds of the flesh that our eyes are opened, but it is by believing in God’s Word that our eyes are opened, we receive the remission of our sins, and we know the Truth. It is by believing in His Word that we can reach unshakable faith.
My fellow believers, to believe in God’s Word is what faith is all about. It is this faith in the Word of God that makes us stand upright before God. It is by knowing the Word of God, affirming it, and believing in it that we are freed from Satan’s deceptions. Someone said that knowledge is power. The knowledge of the Word of God is the greatest power.
How does Satan deceive us? He tempts us to go astray from our faith in the Word of God, and then he encourages us to feel as if we must do something on our own. Telling us to do something, Satan lied to us, claiming that our eyes would then be opened more, we would become like God, and we would be better off than now. Like this, Satan made us fall and be accursed. This is what the passage from Genesis 3:1-7 describes.
My fellow believers, there is absolutely nothing that human beings can do on their own to receive God’s blessings and keep them. Before God, there is nothing to do but only believe. Once one believes in the Word, he will have the strength to walk by this Word. We must have the proper knowledge of how faith finds its place in our hearts. Once we know and believe in the Word of God, this Word comes into our hearts, transforms our minds, and finds its place in us. Our deeds then also proceed from the living Word of God that dwells in us.
You should never be ahead of God, planning on your own and saying to yourselves, “Let’s live like this.” Instead, read the Bible first from the beginning to the end. And if you still can’t understand, then learn. If anyone insists to us that we should do something spiritual with our own strength, then he is speaking the Devil’s words.
We are holding a revival meeting now. My fellow believers, let us pray for this meeting. Let us ask God to oversee this meeting. Let us pray to God to send us souls that would receive the remission of their sins. Since this is the work that God Himself does, we pray to Him to pity these souls and to have mercy on them.
When God sends souls to us, we have fellowship with them in His Word with the brotherly love. Rather than just speaking to them one-sidedly, we preach God’s Word to them with all due respect. We ask them if they would like to hear what this Word means, and if they say they would like to hear, then we explain God’s Word to them step by step. When you preach the gospel Word of the water and the Spirit with faith, the souls who listen to it will receive the remission of their sins. When you believe in God, His work will arise. It’s so simple.
My fellow believers, no matter how we might try every carnal means in our disposal to achieve something spiritual, as human beings, there is nothing spiritual we can accomplish by our own strength. Satan’s strategy is to deceive us into busying ourselves. It’s the Devil’s strategy to make us all disoriented and confused, so that we would find ourselves in a great predicament. What we should do is keep our guards up, read and believe in the Word, and unite with God’s Church.
Even now, so many people are still walking on the broad way of destruction. Although many claim to believe in Jesus as their Savior, they do not know the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Do Christians really know all about the gospel Truth of the water and the Spirit? Have they truly been made sinless? The answer is no. Only the born-again who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit have no sin.
Everyone in this world must come to God’s Church and hear the Word to become sinless. When we hold revival meetings like this one, where people can receive the remission of their sins, they should come to us and listen to the Word, but, regrettably, so many souls are instead walking on the broad way of destruction now. I pray to God to have mercy on such souls.