“And again He entered Capernaum after some days, and it was heard that He was in the house. Immediately many gathered together, so that there was no longer room to receive them, not even near the door. And He preached the word to them. Then they came to Him, bringing a paralytic who was carried by four men. And when they could not come near Him because of the crowd, they uncovered the roof where He was. So when they had broken through, they let down the bed on which the paralytic was lying. When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, ‘Son, your sins are forgiven you.’ And some of the scribes were sitting there and reasoning in their hearts, ‘Why does this Man speak blasphemies like this? Who can forgive sins but God alone?’ But immediately, when Jesus perceived in His spirit that they reasoned thus within themselves, He said to them, ‘Why do you reason about these things in your hearts? Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven you,’ or to say, ‘Arise, take up your bed and walk’? But that you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins’—said to the paralytic, ‘I say to you, arise, take up your bed, and go to your house.’ Immediately he arose, took up the bed, and went out in the presence of them all, so that all were amazed and glorified God, saying, ‘We never saw anything like this!’”
Before going into today’s Scripture reading I want to speak about the precious gospel of the water and the Spirit which the Lord gave us for the people who are here for the first time. I welcome you in the name of Jesus Christ, who is the Head of this Church.
In Ephesians chapter 5, it is written, “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish” (Ephesians 5:25-27). It means that the Lord has made us who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit born again and so loved us like this. It means that God so loves, protects, and blesses His Church. It is saying, “You husbands and wives in Christ! Love one another just as Christ so loved the Church.” This is the gist of this passage.
As you can see in this passage, God has given many blessings in body and spirit through God’s Church to you and me who are the members of His Church. I give my deep thanks to God for the fact that God who so loves us has blessed us who attend God’s Church regularly. God loves and takes care of humanity through His Church. It is the same as a loving husband and wife taking care for each another and supporting one another without any wrinkle or spot. So today through this passage from Ephesians we come to realize once again the fact that our God has truly granted all blessings we need in body and spirit so bountifully through His Church. God has blessed you and me who live in His Church so that we can preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit throughout the entire world and has also given us all things we need in body and spirit while we live in this world.
Yes the Lord has made us dwell in God’s Church and made our souls clean without spot or wrinkle. God has made our souls born again and receive the precious blessing of Heaven by washing away our sins once and for all by the clear water of the baptism the Lord received. I wonder how we could have become a member of God’s Church if the Lord had not given us the gospel of the water and the Spirit. You and I who are in the Church are the people who have received the Lord’s caring, love and blessings. How could we not believe in the precious blessing of Heaven in our lives when the Lord takes so much care for us so devotedly with His Word of truth and life? This passage from Ephesians chapter 5 is about the relationship between Jesus Christ and God’s Church, not about the fleshly relationship between a husband and a wife. It means that God has blessed you and me so mush through His Church. We must become the saints who believe in the love and blessing the Lord bestows on us and give thanks for them. Let’s give praise to the Lord again for giving us the gospel of the water and the Spirit and making us able to preach this gospel throughout the entire world.
During the Early Church age, many people, about three thousand people a day, repented and were baptized as a witness of their being born again when the Apostle Peter was preaching. This was the period of the first rain of the Holy Spirit. I believe that such work of blessings will manifest similarly in this era we are now living in. This era is truly the last period, that is, the period of the latter rain. I am saying that this is the era when the gospel of the water and the Spirit manifests fully and the blessings of the Holy Spirit are abundant. The work of the Holy Spirit is referring to the work of the gospel of the water and the Spirit we are preaching now. You and I must always understand this clearly. I am saying that the amazing manifestation of the blessing of God during the Early Church age is recurring exactly the same way now in this era through the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
The books of the gospel of the water and the Spirit we are delivering to many people living in the world are not being sent from us and just vanishing. Many people pass our books around reading them in turns and also come to receive salvation by understanding and believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. So many people who have encountered our books have received the cleaning of sins in their hearts by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit and become the perfect children of the Lord. I cannot but give thanks to God whenever I read the testimonies of salvation sent from all parts of the world. I give thanks to God more and more because God has fulfilled all the things we need in God’s Church that serves the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Are you also grateful to God?
That God uses us all in His righteous work, that is, the work of preaching the gospel of the water and the Spirit now in these end times is a precious blessing which the Lord gave us. Let’s think about this once again. How much blessing has God given us who hold revival meetings, do ministry in God’s Church, and publish books about the gospel of the water and the Spirit until now? Our Lord would not have been pleased or bestowed blessings upon us if the work we do were not the work of serving and preaching the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
Let’s suppose that a certain minister made the members of his ministry offer up a lot of money and built a church building that was over 12,000 square meters. Since he planted the church and made it grow to build such a huge church building, people would praise him as one of the most successful ministers. However, you and I do not think like this. If he had forcibly demanded the members of his church to co-sign for the bank loan to build this huge palatial church building that cost approximately 5 million US dollars, would our God really be happy with his work? Would God bestow blessings upon the saints worshipping in such a place? Just because they brought in 50,000 people to their church and swelled the number of people in their church but did not preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit, is that a successful ministry? No, it is not. From God’s point of view, that is a failed ministry. God is absolutely not pleased with such a ministry.
Actually, we cannot go personally to all the people throughout the entire world because we lack physical strength and means. But we will be able to preach the gospel of God to all of them soon since we have already prepared the printed books and the e-books of the gospel of the water and the Spirit for them. I give thanks for the fact that God has given us such spiritual blessings to help us preach the gospel of the Lord continually like this. More than anything else, I give such deep thanks to God for the fact that we have God’s Church and that we have faithful co-workers who are doing God’s work together beside us.
I can see many new faces today and I earnestly want all of you who are here for the first time to hear the true Word of God and accept the Word truthfully and come to meet the Lord who has come by the water and the Spirit. I sincerely want you to accept by faith the gospel of the water and the Spirit which the Lord gave and receive the remission of your sins and believe it with all of your heart. The only way for you and I who have been born in this end time to achieve a successful life is to meet the gospel of the water and the Spirit through the Word of life and believe in it with our hearts.
The people who have met the gospel of the water and the Spirit and believed in it in this last era are the truly successful people spiritually. No matter how much one knows about the doctrines of Christianity, it is useless. It is the same even if one wears a necklace with a cross on his neck and attends the church services very diligently. This is all futile faith if they believe in the Lord without knowing the truth of the gospel of the water and the Spirit that truly gives them the remission of sins in their hearts.
Christians Who Claim to Have Received Salvation but Have a Fake Salvation
There are many church goers who just profess Christianity as one of the many religions in this world without knowing the gospel of the water and the Spirit which the Lord gave to us. A ‘religion’ is far from the true faith. A religion is something that was made by humans; human beings believe these man-made religions on their own and then throwing them away if they are not satisfied with them. That is what a religion is all about. We can find many such religions in this world.
But what is tantalizing is that most Christians today have such wrong religious faith. Those who face the Lord by these religious faiths instead of the true faith think that they have received salvation. Like the case of an imaginary pregnancy, many Christians today believe that they have received salvation although they actually have not received salvation from God. As you also know well, not only humans, but also animals can have a false pregnancy. Of course, men cannot have a false pregnancy even if they wanted to, but there occasionally are instances when some women have false pregnancy because all women have a natural instinct to have their own children. Amazingly, a woman’s starts to show and has morning sickness when she has a false pregnancy. She also feels nausea and vomiting and her breasts become enlarged as if she is really pregnant. A woman who has a false pregnancy is deceived because she experiences the same phenomena that a woman who is really pregnant experiences. But what is the reality of this. She does not have a baby inside her womb. Although she thinks that she really has a baby and also feels the quickening of the fetus, and experiences all kinds of symptoms that pregnant women experience, she finds that she never had a baby from the outset once she has an ultrasound scan to see if the pregnancy is real or not.
There are many Christians today that have false pregnancy in the matter of salvation. Then how many people do you think believe that they have received salvation although they have not received salvation from God and are just experiencing a false pregnancy of salvation. I personally think that it would be impossible to count because there are so many. In my youth, all the members of my family used to believe in Buddhism before, but I became sick of it and that led me to meet Jesus. But at first I was like a person who had a false pregnancy for 10 years since I first believed in Jesus. I had this kind of faith for 10 years, saying, “Jesus chose me before the foundation of the world and met me when the proper time came. He has shown me the visions, miracles and wonders after He met me. Furthermore, Jesus answers my prayers whenever I pray to Him. Therefore, Jesus really is my Savior.”
At that time I really thought that I have met Jesus of the truth. No matter what people said, even if someone threatened to kill me with a knife, I had strong faith in Jesus as my Savior during those days and I never denied this faith. I was so thankful for the blood the Lord which He shed on the Cross and being sacrificed, suffering pain and receiving judgment for my sins. I was truly overwhelmed with the heart of thanksgiving and shed tears whenever I thought of this blood of the Cross. Therefore, I did not even want to get married. The fleshly marriage seemed so meaningless before the presence of God and therefore, there was no particular reason to get married. I loved and liked Jesus that much more.
But I began to see a big obstacle in my faith. I still had sin in my heart although I had believed in Jesus so fervently for such a long time. I tried to resolve the problem of my sins by being cleansed of sins through my prayers of repentance and also by believing in and depending on the precious blood of Jesus, but I actually still had sins in my heart. At that time, I who had studied theology of Calvinism also knew the doctrines of Christianity professionally. I also believed in the doctrine of sanctification firmly. But contrary to this doctrine, I still had sins. Although I claimed to believe in Jesus and studied theology, I was still a complete sinner.
Immediately after believing in Jesus as my Savior, the joy like a river overflowed in my heart, but the heart that overflowed with joy gradually became dry as 5 years, 6 years and 10 years had passed by. The more time passed the more treacherous a sinner I became and I could see myself becoming like a Pharisee spiritually, offering up a formalistic worship service unconsciously. I must be honest and confess that leading my spiritual life then was very difficult. However, even in the midst of such distress, I absolutely could not deny the fact that Jesus saved me by the Cross. I could not deny the Lord’s salvation, and I just thought that my problem was due to my lacking before the presence of the Lord. Thus, I believed in Jesus more fervently. I offered my prayers of repentance more diligently, fasting at times, and preached the gospel (though it was not the genuine gospel) more diligently, volunteered to do many things more diligently, and served the Lord like this so faithfully.
Dear fellow believers, what do you think happened to me after that? The sins of my heart did not disappear although I believed in the Lord diligently with all my efforts. I had thought that I had received salvation from the Lord with my own imagination throughout that time like a woman having a false pregnancy. I thought, “I would have to be anointed as a pastor when I graduate from this theological seminary and teach the Scriptures to the believers, but what can I do now since I have sins in my heart? How can I teach the Words of the Scriptures to anybody when I am still a sinner before the presence of God? What can I do with my soul?” I knelt down and prayed to the Lord, “Lord, I have to go out into the world to do ministry, but I still have sins in my heart. I believe that you have saved me from my sins and chosen me. However, is it really true that you have appointed me as a servant of God?” I asked this to God. “God, have you really called me as one of your servants? Or have I just called myself arbitrarily as your servant and wanted to go out and do your work?” I prayed like this and asked God sincerely.
Then I remembered the Word of the Book of Psalms that states,
“Unless the LORD builds the house,
They labor in vain who build it;
Unless the LORD guards the city,
The watchman stays awake in vain” (Psalm 127:1). As I was asking and answered it by myself before the Word from the Book of Psalms, I could hear the voice inside me saying, “Aren’t you trying to do the ministry on your own even though God has not appointed you as His servant? Aren’t you doing this according to your own desires? And are you not doing ministry to make a living in the end?”
I was really distressed. At that time, I did not have any skill useful in the world and the only thing I had studied was theology, and I thought I should quit the ministry of God now to serve God with material things if God did not appoint me as a minister. Even so, I continued the theological studies with a resolve that I had to at least finish what I had been studying, but my soul really became more distressed with the passing of time. The most distressful thing was that I still had sins in my heart. Whenever I tried to pray to the Lord, I was so distressed because of these sins. I suffered more and more in anguish as I sought how these sins inside me could be blotted out completely and become clean like the white snow. I had offered prayers of repentance to the Lord for over five years like this, but my sins were never blotted out completely. The sins of my heart remained exactly as they were although I had prayed, preached the gospel, and done the Lord’s work to get rid of these sins.
Why do I still have sins in my heart when I really believe in Jesus? The sins seemed to be washed away cleanly like white snow when I first believed in Jesus, but why do these filthy sins still remain intact in my heart? I still could not find the answer to this question back then. Thus, I began to have a sincere wish in my heart to quit the ministry and everything else and just wished to become a clean being and serve the Lord with a clean heart regardless of what position I had in some church.
Thus, I prayed earnestly to God for this wish. I read the Word of God again and again with this wish. I actually thought that I understood most of the Scriptures when I first read the Bible. But when I read the Scriptures after 10 years had passed with the heart just wishing for all my sins to be cleansed, I realized that there were so many things that I really had not known. I had clearly read this Word and thanked God, praised and even shed tears, but I understood the meaning of this Word even less than before when I looked at the Word after so much time had passed. So, I prayed to God again: “Lord God, I do not know your Word that is manifested in the Scriptures. I had thought that I knew everything about the Word of God, but I have now become a person who does not know anything. I would only be able to preach by reading a commentary or a book of sermons since I am like this. Of course, I could preach like that. But what kind of sermon would that be? There are some who say that they have received grace after hearing such a sermon. However, the important thing is that I myself must understand the Word of God properly first.”
Dear fellow believers, can you understand the predicament I was in? It was as follows: Before attending theological seminary, I read the Gospel of John chapter 1 verse 29 which states, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” and I understood and believe in it exactly as it was written. However, after attending theological seminary and starting to learn the various Christian doctrines, I interpreted this passage arbitrarily according to the framework of Christian doctrines that I had attained. And as a result of this I interpreted it like this, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the original sin of this world!” It definitely records “the sin of the world,” but I had changed it and read it as “the original sin.” It is all because I had sins in my heart at that time. I started to even read the Scriptures like this at that time since the sins were not blotted out no matter how much I had offered prayers of repentance.
And so at that time, I wanted to understand the Scripture Word again, the Word of life God spoke fundamentally to us, not the Christian doctrines that I had learned at the theological seminary. However, even that was impossible since I had sins in my heart. But the more I read it the more I could not understand it. Finally, I reached the end of the road with nowhere to go, and so I prayed to God desperately: “God, I cannot understand these Scriptures. I do not understand anything. Please open my eyes so that I can understand the Scriptures.” After that, I thought of the Word of God recorded in the Book of Leviticus of the Old Testament. I thought, “God said that the sins of the people were passed over onto the sacrificial offering by laying hands on the sacrificial offering. God said that the sins then would be atoned for once they slaughter the animal, put the blood on the horns of the burnt offering and pour the rest of the blood on the ground. Then where is its counterpart in the New Testament?” And so I started to search the Scriptures for it. I searched the Scriptures with confidence that if God said this in the Old Testament, it would surely have its counterpart about how the sins of the world were atoned for exactly in the New Testament.
However, I could not easily find the Word of evidence that the ritual of laying on of hands in the Old Testament was also fulfilled exactly the same way in the New Testament. I used to interpret the Word of God in the frame of theological doctrines because I had studied theology for a long time. Theologians’ commentaries on the Word came before the Word of God although I wanted to forget the sundry of there interpretations completely and understand only the pure and clean Word of God all by itself.
However, the Lord finally bestowed tremendous awakening upon me after I had tried so hard. The Lord made me understand the gospel of the water and the Spirit through the Word of the New Testament and the Old Testament. Through this Word of Truth, the Lord blotted out all the sins of my heart completely that distressed me until that time. Because the Lord taught me the gospel of the water and the Spirit, I am now able to stand here in this place and preach the perfect Word of God to you. I give thanks to the Lord who gave me such great blessings. I give thanks to the Lord who freed me from the imaginary pregnancy of salvation and gave me the true remission of sins and salvation.
“Son, Your Sins Are Forgiven You”
In today’s Scripture passage, we see an account of four men who went through the logjam of a crowd that gathered near the house where Jesus dwelt and tried to go before the presence of Jesus with single determination to cure a paralytic. When they could not go any further because of so many people, they went up onto the roof of that house where Jesus was and uncovered the roof tiles and let down the paralytic before the presence of Jesus. Jesus then seeing the devoted faith of this paralytic and the people who brought him, said, “Son, your sins are forgiven you.”
Of course, after I believed in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, my faith soaked in this Word exactly as it is written, but I could not understand the meaning of this Word before when I had not known this genuine gospel. Therefore, I prayed over and over again to God at that time to give me the correct understanding of the Word of God. And God who so loved me and had mercy on me finally answered my prayers and met me by the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Before, I was able to understand up to a point of the Word which was recorded in what Book and what chapter and verse in the Old Testament and the New Testament, but I could not really understand what God was really saying in His Word. But soon I began to understand all the Word of God in my heart by faith after accepting the Lord who came by the water and the Spirit properly.
I read the Word in the Gospel of Matthew 3; the Word that the Lord spoke to John the Baptist while receiving the baptism from him, which states, “‘Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.’ Then he allowed Him. When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him” (Matthew 3:15-16). I was awakened while reading this Word, and I thought, “Aha! All the sins were blotted out like that! This is the very Word that fulfilled the prophecies of the Old Testament.” Then, I just sat there for about 30 minutes without any thought. It was like a very tiny hole in the dark night sky and a brilliant light piercing through this tiny hole. I felt some serene ripples spread through my heart like the way a very small stone falling onto the surface of a silent lake and causing ripples and spreading out.
I thought, “Ah! This is true. Jesus took all our sins upon Himself by receiving the baptism from John the Baptist. He was able to carry all the sins of the world to the Cross and die on the Cross because of this baptism. He became the Savior for us all by being resurrected from dead after dying on the Cross. Laying hands on the sacrificial offering and passing the sins of the people over onto the offering and taking the blood of the animal and putting it on the horns of the altar of the burnt offering and the Ark in the Old Testament were the very prophecies about this baptism of the Lord. Jesus received the baptism from John the Baptist, the representative of humanity, in the New Testament just like the Old Testament ritual of the laying on of hands.” As I gained this understanding, I was able to meet the Lord properly. After meeting the Lord who came by the gospel of the water and the Spirit, I finally received the remission of my sins that I so desired.
Then the questions of my heart which were tangled up like spaghetti inside my heart became untangled and I began to understand all the Word starting from the Book of Genesis right through to the Book of Revelation. The bright light of salvation came into my heart that had been so dark and gloomy until then. A very fine light penetrated into my heart, not a huge light like a nuclear explosion. It is the kind of soft light that slips out from the room after the lights have been turned off in the living room. Such a light illuminated in my heart. This light was speaking to me like this: “The atonement of sins spoken about in the Old Testament was fulfilled in the New Testament like this by Jesus receiving the baptism from John the Baptist. The Lord saved me by the gospel of the water and the Spirit. The Lord also has saved everyone from their sins perfectly.”
I was able to see my former self correctly only after meeting the Lord properly through the gospel of the water and the Spirit. I could realize that I who had not known the gospel of the water and the Spirit had an imaginary pregnancy concerning salvation. However, when I looked around, I saw that there were so many people who had an imaginary pregnancy with regards to salvation just like I did. There were so many Christians who had not really received salvation although they professed to believe in Jesus. After receiving the remission of my sins by the gospel of the water and the Spirit, I began to worry about the souls of people who had wrong faith about Jesus.
The idea that one must receive the cleansing of personal sins that he commits every day although he has received the remission of original sin is an imaginary pregnancy. Most Christians claim that they have received salvation, and that they will go to Heaven, and that they are the people of God, and that they can call God the Father although they still have sins. This is none other than imaginary pregnancy. They believe that they have received salvation although they have not in reality received the true salvation. They can receive the truly genuine and eternal salvation if they know and believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit which the Lord gave us, and it was so frustrating for me to see that they still did not know this.
And so I decided to search through Christian literatures in order to begin the work of preaching the gospel of the water and the Spirit to people who have not received the remission of their sins. I wanted to find the answer to such questions like, “How do we become born again by the gospel of the water and the Spirit? How do the theologians understand the gospel of the water and the Spirit? And what do they say about it?” Soon I began to set aside many commentaries, sermon books, and dissertations written by theologians. I felt that they had claimed to believe in Jesus until now with such incorrect and absurd things. I came to realize that so many theologians have never known the gospel of the water and the Spirit at all although they can witness the salvation reliably if they believe in this genuine gospel as it was written. I was so frustrated, but I decided to search through more Christian literature since I did not have at this time strong confidence in this gospel because my knowledge was lacking. So I decided to read many books about the famous people of this world.
It seemed my thoughts were correct. I went all the way back to the period of the religious reformation to search for what those religious reformers had said at that time, but there was no mention of the gospel of the water and the Spirit anywhere in their theological books, their sermon books, their commentaries and any other writings. This was true although God spoke clearly of the gospel of the water and the Spirit in the Scriptures, although Jesus and the Apostles of the Early Church age believed in the gospel of the water and the Spirit and preached the baptism of Jesus along with His blood of the Cross.
How can there not be anyone who knows this gospel of the water and the Spirit the Lord had clearly spoken about in the Scriptures? How can that be possible? Although I was very happy that I met the Lord perfectly through the Scripture, the pressure from this ironical situation was immense. But despite this my faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit was absolute. The sins that were inside my heart were blotted out cleanly like white snow while reading the Gospel of Matthew chapter 3. Everyone must be born again by this Word of God, that is, by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit in their hearts, just as the Apostle Peter said that a person is born again by the eternal Word of God, not by gold or silver. The only way for all of humanity living in this world can be born again is by believing in this gospel of the water and the Spirit which the Lord gave us. I am saying that a person is born again by faith of believing in the living Word of God, not by speaking in tongues while praying or by offering up all material wealth he has to God. The result is the same no matter how fervently one has believed in Jesus and no matter how he has believed tearfully in the blood of the Cross. One cannot receive salvation or be born again if he has sin in his heart no matter what means and methods he uses.
Ask today’s Christians who say that they do not have sin in their hearts. When we ask them, “How do you believe in Jesus as your Savior? Tell me what you believe in,” they will never say that they have been born again by the gospel of the water and the Spirit as stated in the Old and the New Testament. Because of this they have not really been born again. They are just leading a religious life in a Christian church. They are merely sinners who misunderstand and imagine that they have received salvation, like a woman experiencing a false pregnancy.
Such people are fine when they are among many Christian sinners, but they can see their true nature when they fall into a situation of being all alone and look into their hearts. They doubt their faith like this by thinking, “Have I really entered into Christ? Or, am I still outside of Christ?” And they eventually come to know that they are left all alone in a wilderness without being united with Christ and that they are just merely holding onto Christ. A person can be conscious of his self if he is an honest person in front of God.
There are so many Christians who do not have the confidence that they will go to the Kingdom of Heaven because they still have sins in their hearts. They still have sins in their hearts because they do not know the gospel of the water and the Spirit which the Lord fulfilled. No matter how fervently a Christian believes in the Lord, the sins of the heart cannot be blotted out if that person does not know the gospel of the water and the Spirit, and as a result such Christian sinners cannot enter through the door of the Kingdom of Heaven. Some of them may claim that they have been born again, but they cannot say clearly how they have been born again because they do not know the gospel of the water and the Spirit. They just say that they have been born again unconsciously while they have believed devotedly like all the false Christian teachers say. But this is not being truly born again.
And so we recently held revival meetings in all our Churches in turn with the title of, “Let’s Obtain the Certification to Receive Heavenly Blessings.” There were so many people who had this wrong faith that we had to hold revival meetings with such a title. To obtain this certification means to have the correct faith, that is, to pass the test of faith, and to receive the remission of sins. Even now, Christian sinners must read this Word and profess their faith with the correct understanding of the method of being born again since God has given this gospel Word of the water and the Spirit to all humanity. The Lord will then hear their confession of faith and decide their success or failure. One will have passed this test if the Lord says he has passed, but he has failed if the Lord says that he has failed no matter how great he is.
If you still have sin in your heart, you must obtain the certification of salvation that frees you from all your sins by the name of the Lord. You would not be approved to go to the Kingdom of God if you cannot obtain this certification of receiving salvation from your sins even while believing in Jesus in this world. If we cannot receive salvation in this world, we cannot receive it in the Kingdom of Heaven as well. This is the absolute truth.
You must listen carefully to the Word about the gospel of the water and the Spirit which the Lord gave if you want to obtain the certification of salvation that gives the remission of all your sins. You can receive salvation by this one thing; so you must pay careful attention of the Word of the truth, which is the gospel of the water and the Spirit, and confirm it in your heart. However, no matter how much money you offer up to a church that will turn out to be a useless waste of money if you does not care for the gospel of the water and the Spirit and just ignores it. Any faith that believes without knowing the gospel of the water and the Spirit is a useless faith.
We do not want to accept such donations. Do not bring a cash envelope and leave it on the pulpit of our church while we are holding a revival meeting that preaches the gospel of the water and the Spirit. You are not coming to this meeting to offer up money. The pastor who ministers here does not like to receive money. But you can be sure that false ministers will eventually speak about money continually. Their theory is like this: “You can receive blessings in body and spirit if you believe in Jesus. You must listen to the teachings of the church faithfully and offer up much money if you want to receive blessings from this God.” Thus, they like believers who offer up much money. They do ignore people who do not offer up money at their revival meetings. They ridicule such people in their heart, thinking, “How can you come without anything in your hand before God when you want to receive fleshly blessings from God?” You can imagine how much they like money since certain ministers know how much is in a cash envelope just by feeling the outside of the envelope like an expert banker.
I was watching a Christian TV program a while ago, and a minister that looked like a lay revival preacher was preaching about a thousand burnt offerings of Solomon. During that broadcast, so many people came with a cash envelope to offer up a thousand burnt offerings to God like Solomon. The preacher said, “The people of the Old Testament brought and offered up a goat or sheep to God. You should offer up cash that amounts to that also in this era just like them, but there are some people who want to receive the blessings from God by just offering a one thousand Won (equivalent to one US dollar) bill.” And he randomly picked up one of so many envelopes piled up in front of him and took out the money inside it and it really had only a one thousand Won bill.
My face burned red as I watched this preacher on the TV screen. As one of the preachers like him, I was so shameful. What dire situation that person who offered up only one thousand Won must be in to offer up that amount of money? The contributor of that thousand Won could be a grandmother. Let’s suppose that she saved the allowances she occasionally received from her children and gave one thousand Won here and there to her grandchildren whenever they came to see her and that she only had one thousand Won left. If she offered up all the money left in her purse to God, then that money is more precious than one hundred thousand US dollars.
He said, “It is wrong to want to see the manifestation of God and expect to receive the blessings from Him when you offer up one thousand Won as a part of the thousand burnt offerings.” I want to say this to that preacher: “What kind of preacher are you? There are many homeless people in this world. There are many people who worry about today’s lunch and dinner right now! Please, do not measure faith with money.”
Since I am on this topic, let me go on further. Do you think God was really happy because Solomon offered up these thousand burnt offerings? Is God crazy about receiving offerings? No, He is not. Then, why is the preacher speaking about the thousand burnt offerings now in this era and forcing people to offer up money when God does not even like it? One does not truly receive salvation just because he offers up valuable offerings to the Lord or even offer up a thousand burnt offerings.
Many Christian sinners who have imaginary pregnancies with their own thoughts because of not knowing the truth of salvation believe as follows: “I have received salvation from my sins because God has predestined me to do so. I will nevertheless go to the Kingdom of Heaven. I am a person of God. God is my Shepherd and I believe God will protect me, lead me, and will continue to do so in the future just as He has led me and protected me until now.” But they cannot but feel lonely when they are left alone. They are lonely because the Lord does not dwell with them who just believe according to their own thoughts without faith that understands this genuine gospel of the water and the Spirit correctly. Although they sing, “I am not lonely while living in this world, because of Jesus who dwells in my heart,” and they say with their mouths that they are not lonely, but the reality is that they are really lonely because they do not have Jesus Christ and only have sins. Such Christians must hear the gospel of the water and the Spirit the Lord has spoken and also believe in it. If they should do this then all their sins will disappear once and for all by this gospel and they will receive the genuine salvation from the Lord and the true rest coming into their hearts. Dear fellow believers, do you understand me?
I think I have dwelled in the introduction a little too long today. From this point on, I will focus on today’s Scripture passage.
The Word the Lord Spoke to the Paralytic
As I said briefly a moment ago, today’s Scripture passage describes an account of people who brought a paralytic to Jesus with only faith in the Lord even under such a difficult situation. Jesus saw their devoted faith and told the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven you.”
But the Pharisees who were always around Jesus criticized Him, saying, “Why does this Man speak blasphemies like this? Who can forgive sins but God alone?” The Pharisees at the time were the religious people who believed in Jehovah God as their God. From the Old Testament perspective, they were the people who believed in God very faithfully. However, not only did they acknowledge Jesus as the Son of God, but also did not show favor to any part of His ministry. Thus, they appeared wherever Jesus was ministering and interfered and persecuted Jesus.
Such Pharisees criticized Jesus who forgave the sins of the paralytic here and said, “Why does this Man blaspheme against God like this? Who can forgive sins but God alone?” They thought Jesus who forgave the sins of a person as if He was God was arrogant since they did not know that Jesus was actually God. The Pharisees who had such thoughts murmured amongst themselves. They exchanged sarcastic words criticizing Jesus, saying, “He is so ridiculous, isn’t He? He says that He is God.” “I heard something very shocking today. I heard Jesus say something only God can say. He said to a paralytic, ‘Son, your sins are forgiven you.’”
And Jesus, knowing the thoughts of the Pharisees who were talking amongst themselves said, “Why do you reason about these things in your hearts? Are you talking amongst yourselves because you are unhappy that I said, ‘Son, your sins are forgiven you’?” And Jesus told them, “Why do you reason about these things in your hearts? Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven you,’ or to say, ‘Arise, take up your bed and walk’?” Of course, they could not readily answer this question, or did not have the power to say, “Son, your sins are forgiven you” or say, “Arise, take up your bed and walk.” It is the same for anyone. Anyone can glibly spill out those words, but no one can truly say this if such power does not manifest itself. Because we humans neither have the power to forgive someone’s sins nor the power to make a paralytic walk, we cannot say these two things.
Our Lord knew well that these Pharisees who gathered around them could not do these two things at all. And so Jesus said, “You cannot do this. However, I am doing this to make you know that the Son of Man has the power to forgive sins in this world.” Through this account, the Lord is saying that He is making us know that He who put on human flesh by being born to a woman is the true God. Therefore He has the power to forgive the sins of all people of the world. It is written, “‘But that you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins’—He said to the paralytic, ‘I say to you, arise, take up your bed, and go to your house.’” When Jesus said this, the paralytic immediately got up and walked out. Many people who gathered around Jesus at that time witnessed this scene and were amazed and gave glory to God, saying, “We never saw anything like this before!”
How Much Do You Know About Jesus as the Savior?
I have something to ask you. We claim to know Jesus and believe in Him, but how correctly do you know this Jesus? How does your heart understand Jesus? Do you know and believe that Jesus is God who created this universe? I am asking whether you know that Jesus Christ who came to this world as our Savior is actually God who created the universe and all things in it. He created the universe just by saying, “Let there be…Let there be,” as it is written in the Book of Genesis chapter 1 to 2. Jesus is the Creator. Jesus is the only begotten Son of God the Father, but at the same time, He is also God who created the universe and all things in it.
You and I must know properly that this Jesus Christ is God. If someone just believes in Jesus only as the Son of God although he says he believes in Jesus as the Savior but considers Him to be inferior to God the Father in power, then he has a misunderstanding of Jesus. The question, “How do we understand and believe in Jesus?” is a very important matter. We cannot have correct faith if we do not understand the Person of Jesus correctly. Even after believing in Jesus, it is difficult for one to believe in the Word of Jesus and follow Him if that person cannot properly understand that Jesus is actually God.
Jesus Himself is clearly the Son to God the Father, but He is the Absolute God to all of us. He is the Savior who saved us from all our sins by the gospel of the water and the Spirit and also the Shepherd who leads you and me to the righteous path. He is clearly the Judge of Heaven and the omnipotent Absolute God. Therefore, the Lord said in today’s Scripture passage, “But that you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins.” The Lord wanted us to realize that He had the power to forgive the sins of the people in this world and that He is God who practices such power.
Our Lord blotted out all our sins by this gospel Truth of the water and the Spirit. And he was resurrected from death and became our true Savior. Jesus is the Lord who will come again in the future in the end times and lead us to the Kingdom of Heaven, and He is the Judge of Heaven who will judge all unbelievers. People can know all these things when they meet the Lord perfectly through the Word of God. This is precisely the proper and correct knowledge of Jesus.
How did Jesus blot out the sins of humankind? How did He blot out all our sins? Has He given the remission of our sins only by shedding His blood on the Cross? Do you happen to understand it like this? Then, what did the Lord mean when He said in the Gospel of John chapter 3 that a person cannot even see or enter the Kingdom of Heaven or even meet the Father if he has not been born of water and the Spirit? Jesus said clearly that one must be born again by the water and the Spirit in order to enter the Kingdom of Heaven and see God. He was saying that a person for sure cannot enter the Kingdom of God or even see God if he is not born of water and the Spirit. The only way for us to be born again and become the perfect children of God is to believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. For this, we must first know clearly what kind of Person Jesus is. We can understand correctly the ministry of salvation we have received from the Lord only if we understand with our hearts how Jesus who is God came to this world and saved us through the truth of the gospel of the water and the Spirit and how He made us to be born again.
But how do people these days understand this Jesus? Although they believe in Jesus as their perfect Savior, they put a gap between Jesus and God the Father in the matter of the Devine power. They differentiate God the Father and Jesus. However, these two Persons are both the same God. Although the Pharisees that appear in today’s Scripture passage criticized Jesus for saying something only God can say, Jesus actually is God who can say to you and me, “Son, your sins are forgiven you.” It is because He is actually God. It is because the Lord came to this world and took all our sins upon Himself exactly as it was written in the Old Testament, took those sins and was crucified to death on the Cross, and saved us perfectly by being resurrected from the dead.
Have you ever passed all your sins over onto Jesus by faith? I have no doubt that you believe in the blood of the Cross. But the question is whether or not you have ever passed all your sins over onto Jesus Christ through the Word. Although you clearly believe that Jesus carried the sins of the world, was crucified and died by shedding all His blood, was resurrected from the dead, and ascended to Heaven, you will still have the sins of this world in your hearts fundamentally if you just believe in the blood of the Cross that Jesus shed to receive the judgment in our place. We must therefore believe, along with this Cross, that Jesus came to this world and took all our sins that were inside our hearts upon His body by His baptism. The sins of your heart are completely blotted out only when you understand and believe in this clearly.
The Lord said, “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32). Your faith is like an imaginary pregnancy if you do not understand this truth that your sins were passed over onto Jesus Christ by the baptism the Lord received. I mean that you think you have received salvation although you have not received salvation like a woman who mistakenly thinking that she is pregnant although she is not. No matter how much you believe, thinking, “I absolutely believe in the Lord. I believe in the Lord who carried all the sins of the world, was crucified to death on the Cross, and saved us by being resurrected from dead. Jesus is the Son of God and God who created us,” it is merely an imaginary pregnancy if you do not understand the gospel Truth of the water and the Spirit completely. No matter how ardently you believe in Jesus, the sins of your heart are not blotted out if you believe like this. Even if you believe with your brain and also believe with your heart, the sins of your heart remain intact exactly as they were recorded when you look at yourself.
God has recorded the sins of a person in two places as it is written,
“The sin of Judah is written with a pen of iron;
with the point of a diamond it is engraved
on the tablet of their heart,
And on the horns of your altars” (Jeremiah 17:1).
The first place that God has recorded our sins is on the tablets of our heart. A person who just thinks on his own that he has a sin is not a sinner. A person who has sins that God has really recorded in his heart is the real sinner. A person who acknowledges the sins that God has pointed out as sins is the true sinner. God has recorded our sins on the tablet of our heart like this, and He also has recorded our sins in His Book of Judgment. God has recorded all the sins of sinners in the book of judgment in order to judge those who do not believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit in the end times.
Because God has recorded all our sins in two places, our Lord had to blot out all sins recorded in both places completely by coming to this world. Firstly, how did He blot out the sins recorded on the tablets of our hearts? The Lord passed the sins in our heart over onto Himself by receiving the baptism and then blotted them out cleanly. The Lord made us ‘righteous people’ without any sin by carrying those sins to the Cross and being crucified and shedding blood and dying for them. However, the Lord had to blot out our sins also in the Book of Judgment that has the name of the people that must receive judgment due to their sins. And He indeed completed this righteous work through His baptism and His death on the Cross. He thus has saved us perfectly from all our sins that have been recorded in two places.
A person for sure has not met the Lord if he still has sins in his heart even though the merciful Lord has blotted out all the sins of the world like this. No matter how firmly he believes that Jesus is his Savior, he is merely a person who has an imaginary pregnancy. Such a person for sure cannot become one body with Christ. Such a person is not a citizen of God’s Kingdom or is in a same boat with God. He has nothing to do with God.
I remind you that your faith is like an imaginary pregnancy if you do not know the Divinity of Jesus correctly like the Pharisees of that time and also cannot believe that Jesus has come into this world by the gospel of the water and the Spirit and blotted out all your sins cleanly even though you think you do recognize Jesus correctly. You must know first that you are like that paralytic that appeared in today’s Scripture passage in order to really understand and believe in this gospel of the water and the Spirit.
As you also know, a paralytic cannot do anything by himself. We are like this paralytic. You and I also cannot do anything by ourselves to blot out any of our sins. Paralysis is a sickness that comes from damage to the brain. The left side of the body becomes paralyzed when the right part of the brain is disordered, and right side of the body becomes paralyzed when the left part of the brain is disordered, and the whole body becomes paralyzed when the both sides of the brain are damaged. One cannot even pick up food and eat properly and cannot even speak clearly when he is afflicted with paralysis. The most special characteristic of paralysis is that one cannot put his thoughts into action although he can think without a problem.
Then, how are we? We know well that we should not commit sins. We can think clearly what God likes and what He dislikes. We continue to commit sins with our actions although we think properly. Contrary to our wishes, we do the things God does not like, and these constitute our sins. Thus, sins pile up in our heart.
Although most Christians today think that they receive the cleansing of sins by offering the prayers of repentance, they cannot receive the remission of sins as easily as they think in reality, just like the way a paralytic can think but cannot move according to his thoughts properly. Sins are not washed away no matter how much you offer up prayers of repentance. They are absolutely not blotted out. Hence, in order to receive salvation from sins, you must absolutely know first that you are a person who desperately needs to receive salvation from the Lord. You must know that you are a being that has not received salvation yet.
A person who thinks that he is not a spiritual paralytic and thinks that he can do something to receive salvation absolutely cannot receive salvation from God. In today’s Scripture passage, only the paralytic who was brought to Jesus by four men received the remission of his sins, although many paralytics came to Jesus. The Lord looks at our faith and gives the remission of sins just as the Lord saw their devoted faith and saved this paralytic. A person absolutely cannot receive salvation if he thinks, “I can do something. I can definitely receive the cleansing of my sins if I offer prayers of repentance diligently. I was not able to go for a mountain prayer until now because I was so busy. I had fasted and prayed for three days and for a further seven days, but I could not receive the cleansing of my sins because I did not finish my planned fasting for 15 days. My sins would have been washed away if I had fasted for 15 days. I think God has not washed my sins away because I have not prayed properly. God has washed away some sins, but certain sins still remain intact. Wouldn’t God be impressed and give me the remission of all my sins if I fasted and prayed for 40 days?”
Such a person is not a spiritual paralytic. He is a person destined for hell. We must know that we are spiritual paralytic’s destined for hell. We must acknowledge that there isn’t anything we can do on our own to receive salvation. We can finally receive salvation only when we acknowledge this fact and go before the presence of God by faith.
The most terrible saying in Christianity today is “I can do anything.” Some time ago, a certain pastor said, “Do you say, ‘Can we do it?’ What are you talking about? We can do anything. The Lord said, ‘If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.’”
However, this Word is possible only for the people who have been born again perfectly by the gospel of the water and the Spirit. What can those who have not been approved as the people of God because they still have sins in their hearts really do? Can they wash their sins away by themselves? Can their sins be blotted away just because they pray for repentance diligently? Most long-term Christians know well that their sins are not blotted out by their own struggles. Even if a person did receive the cleansing of his sins momentarily through the prayers of repentance and also believed that he has received the grace of remission of sins from the Lord with tears, those sins crawl up again when he is going to pray again the next day. And those sins tell him, “You think that you have received the remission of sins, but that is your own imagination. But we are still inside your heart.” No matter what one does, sins still remain inside a person who has not received the remission of sins completely through the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
Dear fellow believers, we do not even need to give ourselves a headache by speaking about it so philosophically. We just have to understand our true nature and profess the gospel of the water and the Spirit exactly as it is written in the Scriptures. We must acknowledge truthfully, “I am like a paralytic. I cannot do anything on my own. I just believe in the Word that records how the Lord has blotted out all my sins. I do not have sin if the Lord has blotted out all my sins and I have sin if the Lord has not blotted out any of my sins.”
Nevertheless, many people who claim to believe in the Lord these days do not acknowledge they are spiritual paralytics. They still think that they can cleanse away their sins by offering prayers of repentance on their own and also by holding fast onto the doctrine of sanctification desperately. Jesus came to this world and saved many sick people. The Lord fed multitudes of people by performing the miracle of five loaves of bread and two fish, cast out demons, and healed so many sick people. And as a result, many people followed Him. But amongst so many people, the Lord approved only those people who brought the paralytic to Him by faith. At that time, many people gathered around Jesus that one could not take even one step forward or backwards, but there were not many amongst them who had true faith. There are many people who believe in Jesus like this, but there are even more false prophets and swindlers who tell their followers to receive the remission of sins through their own efforts although they themselves still have sins in their hearts.
The notion that one can achieve sanctification by Christian doctrines is merely a hypothesis. In the Old Testament God said, He would wash away all our sins like white snow once and for all (Isaiah 1:18), and He also repeated this in the New Testament, “Now where there is remission of these, there is no longer an offering for sin” (Hebrews 10:18). Our Lord came to this world and blotted out all our sins through the 33 years of His life by taking our sins upon Himself perfectly and receiving even the judgment of those sins perfectly. And this is recorded clearly in the Word of God. You and I must confirm this Truth in our hearts more than anything else.
But many Christian believers still do not know this Truth. You and I are therefore preaching this Truth to many people throughout the entire world right now. What is the response of these people who have encountered our gospel? Do we or do we not receive confirmations that many people of this world, even famous ministers and missionaries, have now come to know the Truth and received the remission of their sins after reading our books of the gospel of the water and the Spirit? We really hear such replies very frequently. As you know, there are many accounts of ministers sending us letters of thanks in appreciation that they have finally come to know the gospel of the water and the Spirit and have become people completely without sins after ministering for 20, 30 years. Have we told them to write us such letters? No, we have not. We do not even have time to do such things for that is not even possible.
Everywhere we go in the world, not only in Korea, the Christian community is always very stubborn and very conservative. They are afraid of change and reformation. These days, many Christian leaders insist, “Christianity must reform itself. Christianity, which should be the light of the world, is now becoming darkness in this world. Therefore, there must be a religious reformation.” But actually, let’s say someone tries to put reformation into action. As long as they do not know the gospel of the water and the Spirit, they would point their fingers at the reformer and criticize him whenever they find even a small mistake from him, saying, “He does such a thing although he insists the necessity of church reform.”
The Lord said in the Scriptures, “You are the light of the world.” The Lord is the true Light to us – the truly born again. We can also become the light of the world only if we meet this true Light properly by the gospel of the water and the Spirit and only if we preach this Light to other people. We must keep on preaching this gospel at the head just as we have done until now. It is not wrong to go to orphanages and give food or go to the nursing home and do laundry and wash the bodies of grandmothers or grandfathers, but we cannot become the light of the world by doing this.
Let us suppose that you died in a car accident while in the state of not having the sins of your heart resolved. Would you be able to go to Heaven? You would go to Heaven only if you did not have sin, but you could not but go to hell because you have not resolved your sins. Would your sins be blotted away if you offered prayers of repentance desperately in the moment of death? You would think, “I cannot receive the remission of sins now even if I offer prayers of repentance so much, but it will happen when I am about to die. I probably could go to Heaven just by offering prayers of repentance since I could not commit sin after I die.” But this is mistaken imagination like having an imaginary pregnancy.
Dear fellow believers, you must prepare for your own salvation. You must prepare the lamp. Not only the lamp, but you must also prepare the oil to light that lamp. A person who goes to a church without preparing his salvation is like the foolish virgins that appear in the Scriptures. Such a person cannot greet the Lord when the Lord comes and he cannot enter the Kingdom of the Lord when he stands before the presence of God. One does not have to look far to find such a person. Such a person knows this most clearly. Although such a person cannot dare say that he is going to hell, he doubts, “Could I really go to the Kingdom of the Lord?” He is not confident. A person who does not have confidence in faith like that has about 99.999% probability of going to hell.
I am confident that I can go to the Kingdom of the Lord at any time although I am so lacking. I am therefore thankful to God. I tried so hard to meet the Lord, and He came after me and saved me personally. The Lord came and met me by this Word, the gospel of the water and the Spirit. This Lord has already met you as well. We absolutely cannot be separated from the Lord because we have met the Lord by the Word of life. The Scriptures state that this Word will remain forever even though the heavens and earth vanish. You and I can always say boldly that we do not have any sin in our hearts.
We have received our salvation from the Lord through the Word of life like this, but there are so many who are not like this yet. There are too many false ministers who are leading their congregations with wrong faith. We can recognize this immediately if we just read one of their books or hear their sermon just once. We can conclude immediately that they are telling the believers to offer up more money and to live virtuously ethically and morally. When we examine it closely, we can see that the Buddhists live more ethically than the Christians. They live more virtuously than the Christians. However, don’t false Christians say that they go to the Kingdom of Heaven because they believe in Jesus although they commit even more serious sins than the Buddhists ever commit? This is an imaginary pregnancy. They are imagining falsely on their own that they have received salvation.
You and I who are gathered here must preach this Word to people who have this wrong faith. We must preach to them the gospel of the water and the Spirit, which is life, and tell them what the genuine salvation is and what the genuine remission of sins actually is.