The New Life Mission

Sermons

Subject 21 : The Gospel According to MARK

[Chapter 16-3] (Mark 16:14-20) Whoever Believes and Is Baptized Will Be Saved

(Mark 16:14-20)
“Later He appeared to the eleven as they sat at the table; and He rebuked their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they did not believe those who had seen Him after He had risen. And He said to them, ‘Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.’ So then, after the Lord had spoken to them, He was received up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God. And they went out and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word through the accompanying signs. Amen.”
 
 
It is written in the Gospel of Mark chapter 16 verse 16, “He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.” We must know the secret of “Why we must believe and be baptized?” written in today’s Scripture reading. And we must think deeply about the Word of the Lord who said, “He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.” I reiterate that we must think carefully why a believer is baptized and why the unbelievers are condemned from God for the price of their sins. And we must know the Truth of the baptism of Jesus.
The section that we just read is the last chapter of the Gospel of Mark and you can see here that Jesus was resurrected in three days after dying on the Cross. And Jesus rebuked the hardness of their heart and for not believing the resurrection of the Lord.
 
 
We Must First Have Faith in the Fact That Jesus Was Resurrected from Death
 
Our Lord was baptized by John the Baptist, died on the Cross, and was resurrected. We believe that the Lord was resurrected. We can have hope for a new life only if we have faith that the Lord was resurrected from the dead. But we cannot even do God’s work if we do not believe that the Lord was resurrected. Therefore, we can lead a faithful spiritual life only if we have a firm conviction that the Lord was resurrected. It is the hope of a new life that although our flesh will die some day, our flesh and souls that died will come alive again and receive eternal life and then dwell in the Kingdom of Heaven eternally. Because we believe that we will also be resurrected, we will never give up our spiritual life no matter what kind of difficulty threatens us or even if we face death.
Therefore, we must have a firm belief in the resurrection of the Lord. If Jesus remained dead after being crucified on the Cross, what hope would we have? If this happened we would be hopeless. He was resurrected in order to bring us back to life again.
There are many famous tombs in this world, and some of these tombs are very large. You probably know how big the tombs of the kings of our country are. You probably have also seen the amazing tomb of Qin, the Chinese Emperor on TV. How much rich and glory this Emperor Qin must have enjoyed when he was alive since his tomb is so splendid and huge! They are still excavating this site, and the reports on new and amazing discoveries are still pouring in. This is the same for the Egyptian Pharaohs. The Pyramids at Giza are so huge that we are dumbfounded when we learn more about them. However, no matter how huge these tombs are, they are already dead. Actually and more precisely, their bodies were buried and enclosed in the huge tombs with a hope of being brought back to life again. However, those people could never come alive again. No matter how great those kings who enjoyed all those riches and glory and power were and how much they achieved when they were alive, they have all disappeared from the memories of all people. They remain as a distant memory that there were such and such kings at one time of human history.
However, our Lord is the one and only Son of God who was resurrected from the dead. It’s because Jesus Christ was the Son of God who came to save humans from their sins. God the Father removed the stone that blocked the entrance of the tomb of His Son and brought His Son back to life again and gave great hope and blessing to those who believe in Him. Jesus was resurrected in order to bring us the believers back to life from death. And so when we believe in the Lord as the Savior, we must have faith in the fact that we have received the remission of our sins by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, but we must also have faith of the resurrection.
 
 
Preach the Gospel of the Water and the Spirit throughout the Entire World
 
Our Lord said, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.” The Lord told His disciples who have received the remission of their sins to go into all the world and preach the gospel to all the people; but the scope of activity of today’s Christians is very narrow. Most ministers think that they are very successful in their ministry, if they just build some nice church buildings, and plant some branch churches. They think that they have followed and perfectly fulfilled the will of the Lord easily and that they are very faithful servants of the Lord only if they have achieved such goals.
However, the Word of God does not state this at all. The Lord said, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.” It is the Lord’s will for us to go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. In order to wholly follow the Lord’s will we must not be content with expanding the regional church, but go into all the world and preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit to every creature. Only then can we dare say that we have followed the Lord’s will faithfully. Put differently, when we preach the gospel, it is greater and more beautiful in God’s eyes for us to preach the gospel to a foreign people who do not believe in Jesus properly than just making our own church grow.
Long ago, even before the famous missionaries like Henry G. Appenzeller or Horace G. Underwood came to Korea in 1885, many unknown missionaries had preached the gospel in our country. They are even greater ministers than the missionaries who are admired by the people today. The missionaries Appenzeller and Underwood are admired very much in our country, but when we look at it closely, they have been lifted up high just within the providence of God because they were not the missionaries who had preached the true gospel of the water and the Spirit. I mean they just did their role to introduce Christianity to this land in God’s profound providence. They were sent to Korea by the Presbyterian and the Methodist churches of the United States. That is why they stepped onto the land in Korea boldly through the Inchon Port.
Who then stepped onto this country first, Underwood or Appenzeller? I am asking this because there is a little story about their arrival. The missionaries got off the ship and came down by the boarding bridge and stepped onto this land, but the Presbyterians and the Methodists argued jokingly about who stepped onto this land first and who is the predecessor and who is the follower.
However, the first thing that the missionaries really did to preach the gospel in this country was of the literature ministry. The British missionaries who were in China at that time did such things mostly. The Bible Societies were doing this type of ministry. Anyway, these unknown missionaries came to China and preached the gospel and translated the Bible into Chinese language first. They also met Korean people in China and translated the Chinese version of the Bible into the Korean language. And so they at first only translated a few pages of the Word of God and brought it into Korea and distributed them, and later on they translated the Gospel of Matthew or the Gospel of John and so on and brought them into Korea and distributed them to Koreans. They translated the Word of God a little at a time and preached the gospel gradually like this and sometime later the United States which was one of the most powerful countries at that time established diplomatic relations with Korea. And the United States eventually sent the missionary Horace N. Allen, a doctor, as a part of the foreign relations policy toward Korea.
After this, many more missionaries came into Korea and Christianity was spread in Korea through this process. Until the late 19th century, Koreans did not know much about Jesus and Christianity was new to them. But they came to know God and Christianity firstly through this literature ministry. Through the literature that came into this country from China and through portions of the Bible, thus Koreans came to know the Lord by hearing these sermons and also reading these Christian books.
Of course, in the beginning only the noble class and the scholars of Korea who studied Chinese classical literature were able to read the Bible and accepted the Word of the Lord. All the noblemen of Korea used to study Confucianism through Chinese letters that the common people could not read or write. But Christian literatures of those days were gradually made of Hangeul, Korean letters, so that every Korean could read and understand the Bible or the Christian books easily. They made it like this so that even uneducated people could read the Bible if they could just read and write Korean characters. That is how Christianity spread and become the dominant religion of Korea. Our Lord commanded the believers to go into all the world and preach the gospel and I believe this is the true will of the Lord.
 
 
Is it then of Paramount Importance for Believers in Jesus to Receive Baptism?
 
Is baptism a must for every Christian? We arrive at such a question. The Lord said that a person who has received the remission of sins by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit must be baptized in the name of the Triune God. It is officially stated like this in today’s Scripture reading.
Why did Jesus speak of faith in His baptism and said that a believer must absolutely receive baptism? This is the reason: It is because Jesus took all our sins upon Himself at once through the baptism He received from John the Baptist when He came to give the remission of our sins. Jesus could be crucified on the Cross and shed His blood in our place because He took all our sins through the baptism He received from John the Baptist. Therefore, those who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit which is the righteousness of the Lord should be baptized by this faith.
Jesus’ blood and His death on the Cross are the penalty for our sins and the payment for the wages of these sins. The Cross is the instrument of execution for receiving judgment to pay for the price of those sins with a life; it is not a place to wash our sins away. We should pay the wages of our sins with an atoning life on this instrument of execution. It’s because our Lord had to take all our sins upon Himself at once through the baptism He received from John the Baptist and receive the judgment of our sins in our place according to the just Law that stipulates, “Eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.” Therefore, Jesus received the baptism and died on the Cross. The Cross of Jesus is important like this, but we receive this baptism of faith by absolutely believing that the sins of the world were passed over onto Jesus when Jesus received the baptism from John the Baptist. It’s because Jesus has blotted out all our sins through His baptism. Therefore, the Lord said, “He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.”
Then can someone receive the remission of their sins even without believing that Jesus really took all the sins upon Himself by being baptized by John the Baptist? There are some people who say that one can receive the remission of sins even without believing in Jesus’ baptism. However, the recorded Scripture states that one cannot receive this remission of sins without believing in Jesus’ baptism. In the Scriptures, the Lord clearly says that there is no salvation for anyone who has not been born again by the water and the Spirit.
Why is it so? Whoever believes in the baptism Jesus received from John the Baptist will be saved from all his sins; but he who does not believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit cannot receive the remission of his sins. That a person is condemned by the Lord means that he has sin in his heart. Such people, no matter how famous they are, have sins in their hearts because of their unbelief in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, and therefore they receive judgment as the wages for these sins.
There are famous pastors and ministers in the world like Charles Finney, John Wesley who are the founders of the Methodist Church, or the famous revival evangelist Billy Graham of the United States. They are very famous, are they not? However, they do not believe in nor preach the baptism Jesus received from John the Baptist. They really preach fluently so that anyone can accept positively. All the people, the poor and the rich alike, are impressed when these preachers speak about their philosophy of life. Even the scientists think, “Wow, he really speaks the things that are consistent with these natural principles” when they hear these sermons. These preachers preach the sermons so impressively that their sermons touch the audiences without fail.
However, they remain sinners because they cannot receive the cleansing of their sins if they do not believe in the baptism Jesus received from John the Baptist. No matter how famous one is as a revival preacher or an evangelist, a sinner cannot go to Heaven. It means that he is condemned by God because he does not believe in the baptism of Jesus. Jesus does not approve those who do not believe in His baptism.
This is exactly what it means when Jesus said to His disciples, “He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned” after being resurrected from the dead in three days after dying on the Cross. Here, “to believe” does not mean whether one is a Christian or not, but whether or not one believes that Jesus took all our sins upon Himself at once by the baptism He received from John the Baptist and that He paid all the wages of these sins with the precious blood which He shed on the Cross. You have believed in the blood of the Cross until now. But have you ever heard and believed that the baptism which Jesus received from John the Baptist is also very important? Though you have believed in the blood Jesus which He shed on the Cross, have you believed that the baptism Jesus received from John the Baptist cleansed all your sins away? It means that we cannot receive salvation from our sins if we cannot believe in the baptism that Jesus received to bear all our sins and wash them cleanly away. This is the Truth Jesus spoke personally to His disciples, and the disciples also shared this Truth with their disciples. Because people do not yet believe in the baptism Jesus received they cannot receive this true salvation. When we listen carefully and objectively to the sermons of these preachers who don’t believe in the baptism of Jesus, there is only condemnation of sins that threatens every Christian sinner. When we meet these people who are fond of such sermons, we can see that they still have sins in their heart. These types of sermons come into one’s ears like a sweet melody, but one cannot receive the remission of sins by such sermons because the gospel of the water and the Spirit is not in the heart of such a preacher.
Like this, there is a great difference between a sermon of a born-again preacher who knows and believes in the baptism of Jesus in his heart and a sermon of someone who does not believe. The Holy Spirit dwells in the heart of a person who believes in the baptism Jesus received and His blood of the Cross as his salvation. There is a huge difference between a preacher who has the Holy Spirit in his heart and one who does not. Even if they preach the same sermons with the same Scripture passage, a person who has the Holy Spirit in his heart preaches the gospel of the water and the Spirit and the audience who believe in the baptism of Jesus understands the Truth through such a sermon. The sermon of a born-again preacher is understood by all the born-again audiences.
However, no matter how concisely and simply a person who does not have the Holy Spirit in his heart preaches, it is impossible for any audience to be truly born again from it. A Christian sinner can never attain the correct faith that believes in the gospel of the water and the Spirit by listening to sermons of any non-born again preacher because they both are still in a state of not receiving the remission of sins. There is such a huge difference between the power and faith of these two kinds of preachers.
The answer would be clear if we asked a question that goes, “Will we receive judgment for our sins if we do not believe in the baptism Jesus received from John the Baptist as a must to cleanse our sins away?” Those who do not believe in this fact will receive judgment for the wages of their sins. The people who do not believe in the baptism Jesus received also insist that they believe in Jesus, but the thing that the Lord wants to find out in a believer’s heart is whether there is sin there or not, not whether he believes in Jesus or not. Therefore, the Lord looks at a person’s sin and says that he has sin. Put differently, the Lord sees whether or not a person has the faith of believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit and decides and judges whether or not he is a person who shall go to Heaven or not. The Lord examines whether a believer has the faith of believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit now and judges that person. Also, God judges whoever has sins and casts them into the fire in hell. The Lord judges everything righteously and sends or does not send such a person to Heaven based on the criteria of faith whether or not he believes in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. The final decision the Lord brings down is truthful judgment. Though we claim to believe in Jesus, the Lord Judges us based on whether or not we believe in the baptism the Lord received from John the Baptist. And the Lord judges us and decides our eternal destination based on whether or not we have the Holy Spirit in our heart by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. The Lord Judges the people by the criteria of whether they believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit which He fulfilled; if anyone does not believe this Truth, he must be judged and then be cast into hell.
Now you can have a question that goes, “Then what is the relationship between faith that believes in the baptism of Jesus and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in one’s heart?” The answer is that these two concepts have coincidental relationship with each other. Those who believe only in the blood of the Cross alone do not have the Holy Spirit in their hearts because they have sins. On the other hand, those who believe in both the baptism Jesus received from John the Baptist and the blood of the Cross have the Holy Spirit in their hearts because they have received the remission of all their sins by faith. A person who believes in the baptism Jesus received from John the Baptist, that is, a person who believes that Jesus took all the sins of humankind when He was baptized by John the Baptist, has the Holy Spirit in his heart because he has received the remission of his sins in his heart by this faith. Therefore, there is a direct relationship between the indwelling of the Holy Spirit and the faith that believes in the baptism Jesus received from John the Baptist. This is the reason why we must lay much emphasis on this Word about Jesus baptism.
Also a person who does not believe in the baptism of Jesus is a sinner because the Holy Spirit cannot dwell in such a person’s heart. Why? It’s because he still has sin in his heart. The Holy Spirit cannot dwell in the hearts of those who still have sin. Therefore, such a person obviously has sin in his heart when he commits sin, regardless of whether he believes in Jesus as his Savior or not, and regardless of how firmly he believes that Jesus died on the Cross for his sins. Such a person does not admit that he is a sinner destined for hell before the presence of God. Such a person recognizes himself as a minor sinner, but there are not such minor sinners in the presence of God. However such a person tries to wash his sins in vain by offering prayers of repentance. It’s because he does not know that Jesus washed away all his sins by His baptism. It’s because the sins inside a person’s heart cannot be washed away if he does not believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. He cannot be saved from sin no matter how hard He tries to believe in Jesus as his Savior. We can be saved only when our Savior delivers us with His powerful Truth.
There is the 119 Emergency Rescue Unit in Korea. There are such rescue units in the other countries also. For example, Americans call 911 when they are in critical situations. And due to the El Nino phenomenon which has brought rapid and abnormal climate changes all over the world, many people in certain regions of the world are dying because it’s too hot and people in other places are suffering from unusual floods, and people in some other regions have been devastated by terrible storms or hurricanes, destroying everything, including houses and trucks, and tearing them to pieces and killing people and livestock and also sweeping away all kinds of personal belongings, buildings, and material wealth, with gusting winds and strong flood of water. Such things are happening more often these days.
Let’s say that there occurs such a devastating calamity of a flood, and many people are being swept away by this flood. Then the 911 squad shows up on a helicopter and throws down a rope to save those people. Among the drowning people, someone tries to grasp the rope firmly with his hands and tries to hold onto it with all his strength while the rescue unit pulls him up from the helicopter, but the person holding onto the rope cannot endure until the end and eventually falls from the rope. A person who has every confidence in his grasping power tries to be rescued by holding onto the rope with his own strength. He might go up for a while, but he cannot hold on until the end and soon becomes exhausted and in the end he gives up and falls to the ground because the storm is so strong.
However, a person can be rescued if he ties the rope that the rescue unit throws down securely around his armpits and entrusts himself to the rescue team instead of trying to hold on to it with his own strength. When one ties the rope securely around him like this and the rescue unit pulls him up, his body is surely pulled up as the rescue team guides from the helicopter. There is a clear difference between holding onto the rope with one’s own power and tying the rope around one’s body and just entrusting the rescue team to rescue him like this.
Like this, if all the sins in our heart have been washed away cleanly by faith of believing in the baptism Jesus received from John the Baptist, then we are the people who have received salvation from sin sufficiently. However, some people have not been delivered from their sins because they have not believed in the baptism Jesus received from John the Baptist although they claim to have believed in Jesus. There is such a great difference in the level of faith between those who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit and those who don’t. Why is this so? It is because they believe both in the baptism of Jesus and the blood of the Cross, linking them as the one and only Truth of salvation, and the others not. It’s because one goes to Heaven or to hell depending on whether or not the person believes that Jesus took all the sins of humankind once and for all by receiving the baptism from John the Baptist and shed blood on the Cross. This is the reason why the Lord said to the disciples and us after being resurrected from the dead, “He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.” Do you now understand the implication of this Word?
Dear fellow believers, we must believe in the contents of the gospel of the water and the Spirit which the Lord has told us about. We must believe so simply that we might even seem foolish. We must believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit as the Truth of salvation so much that we might even seem stupid. It’s because the Word of the gospel of the water and the Spirit is the very Truth of salvation. Our Lord knew that His baptism is a must for our salvation and therefore told us that we must absolutely believe in it like this. If this were not the Truth, He might say this to us, “Whoever just believes in Me somehow will receive salvation; and one who does not believe will be condemned,” rather than “He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.” The resurrected Jesus meant by this command that the baptism Jesus received from John the Baptist and the blood of the Cross must absolutely be included in our faith of believing in Jesus as our Savior. The Lord puts in this conditional clause―“He who believes and is baptized”―to make us keep in mind that the baptism Jesus received from John the Baptist has washed away all our sins. We must also be cleansed of all our sins by believing that Jesus Christ took all our sins through the baptism He received from John the Baptist. We now do not have sins in our hearts because we have believed like this. Otherwise, we must remain as sinners eternally by just believing in the blood on the Cross alone without the baptism of Jesus.
I also believed only in the Cross of Jesus and His blood before since I first received Jesus into my heart as my Savior. I thought I was living a spiritual life faithfully even though I had believed just in the blood of Jesus. I had seen visions of the Lord and also performed wondrous works and I was able to do some extraordinary things. However, one thing was clear to me and this was that I still had sin in my heart. At that time, I remained a sinner always because of the sins which were still intact in my heart. However, the difference between my faith at that time and my faith now of believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit is so great that it is like the difference between the heavens and the earth. Before, I had believed only in the blood of Jesus on the Cross as the sole basis of my salvation. I had believed that Jesus is my Savior, the Almighty God, the Savior of humankind, and the Creator of this universe; I had believed in the Lord who died on the Cross for our sins in order to give us humans the remission of all the sins of humankind. Actually, I had believed in Jesus as the Savior at that time in the same way as I do now.
However, the sins I had committed were not atoned for at all and still remained in my heart when I just believed in only the precious blood Jesus shed on the Cross, and it seemed like those sins were washed away whenever I offered up the prayers of repentance, but anyway the sins that were recorded in my heart remained in my heart in the end. At that time not one day passed for me to be absolutely free from my sins. Even if I believed in Jesus faithfully in the morning, I was ensnared by sin as a sinner in my heart when I did something wrong in the afternoon, and I could not be freed from my sins for even a moment although I offered my prayers of repentance every day. Looking back now, I did not even know that I was going to hell for I did not actually realize that I had sins in my heart at that time. I considered myself just a minor sinner back then. But after realizing what the Law is, that is, after knowing how strict the Word and the Law of God are, I came to know these grave sins I had and realized that these sins that I committed still remained intact inside my heart without being completely redeemed no matter how ardently I offered these prayers of repentance every day.
I had been tormented severely by the sins intact in my heart during my first ten years of my Christian life. However, a great spiritual transformation happened to me. Out of His mercy, God met me with the gospel of the baptism of Jesus and His blood of the Cross, and I grasped it as my salvation. One of those changes is that the sins in my heart disappeared perfectly and also that I have the Holy Spirit in my heart while I did not have the Holy Spirit in my heart before. The most joyful thing is that all my sins have been washed away clearly and absolutely by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Although I am such an insufficient person who is always prone to commit sin and although I have so many shortcomings, I am a purely righteous person without any sin because the Lord has already blotted all my sins away and given me the remission of sins perfectly only if I do not deny the baptism of Jesus Christ and the blood of the Cross and only if I believe in this Word in my heart and have a thankful heart instead of denying this Word.
The difference of whether or not I receive the Holy Spirit depends on whether or not I believe in the Word of the baptism of Jesus and the Word of the blood of the Cross. Therefore, you and I must really think about this carefully once again and ask yourself whether or not you have really been born again. A person who does not believe in the baptism of Jesus must ask himself whether or not he really is evil in the Lord’s eyes and will receive judgment due to his sins.
 
 
Can a Person Receive Salvation from Sin without Believing in Jesus’ Baptism?
 
You must ask yourself whether you can receive the remission of sins in your heart and the Holy Spirit even if you do not believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. And you must answer this question based on your faith.
The Scriptures state that the very righteousness of God is the Word of Truth that leads us to salvation. What is this Truth of salvation? All the Words of God that came by the gospel of the water and the Spirit constitute the Truth. You can understand this if you think of the mathematical formulas that can solve every required problem without fail. Likewise, the Word of the remission of sins is the perfectly correct truth and formula that can be applied to any part of the Scripture. It is the truth of salvation absolutely without anything wrong or inconsistent. God told us to preach the gospel throughout the entire world, and when we really preach the gospel by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit; whoever comes to believe in this gospel will receive salvation. We must therefore preach this Word of grace throughout the entire world.
In the Scriptures, there is a story of the ten virgins who waited for the Lord; the wise five virgins among them were waiting the Lord with correct faith and the five foolish virgins were not. This is really a foolish behavior. Most Christians still think that they can surely go to Heaven because they have believed in Jesus ardently even though they still have sin in their hearts, but this is merely a doctrinal formula that humans have weaved, and not a God-given formula of Truth. Even if someone believes in Jesus, he is a sinner if he still has sin. And someone who still has sins remaining in his heart has nothing to do with believing in Jesus. If one claims to believe in Jesus while he still has sins remaining in his heart, he is insulting Jesus. It would have actually been better if such a person did not believe in Jesus in such way because he might have an opportunity to believe in Him correctly. To put it a little more extremely, it would have been better if such a person was not born at all. In the Scriptures, there is the parable of talents: A master, who had given adequate talents to each of his servants according to their own abilities, returned from his journey and came to settle accounts with them. So he who had received five talents brought the principal plus five other talents, and the other one who had received two talents also brought two other talents. But, one of the servants who received only one talent hid it under the ground and brought only that money back, and what did the master say to him? The master rebuked this servant and punished him, saying, “You are a wicked and lazy servant. It would have been better if I had given it to someone else. Take the talent from him, and give it to him who has ten talents.”
You must understand the Scriptures correctly when you believe and follow Jesus and you must never deviate from the Word when you lead your spiritual life as God’s children. It is useless to claim that you believe in the Lord apart from the Scripture Word.
Everyone throughout the entire world will read our first book titled, “Have You Truly Been Born Again of Water and the Spirit?” and realize “This is great! This is how I receive the remission of my sins!” However, if there is anything that they cannot understand perfectly from our first volume, I admonish them to peruse our second volume. They can at least realize that their faith is a fake one if they contemplate deeply why the Lord said this while reading the second volume of our Christian books. And they will realize that there really are many false teachings and doctrines in Christian theology in this world today. So many people throughout the entire world will visit our website and get in touch with our Church in order to resolve their many religious questions.
Whoever has read one of our books will not just say such things like, “You can receive salvation if you just somehow believe in Jesus.” Up until now many Christians say such things. Why would we the born-again have to walk this narrow path, the difficult and arduous path, if we believed in Jesus in such a blind way and preached a Jesus like this? Why would we have to go through such hardship like this? I am not saying that we are correct just because we are walking this narrow path. Rather, I am saying that we must believe and follow like this because the gospel of the water and the Spirit is the only Truth of salvation since the Scriptures consistently speak of it as true.
I want to send many of our books to the United States and too many European countries as well, especially to Germany where the higher criticism has been so rampant in the field of theology. No matter how much Christians study theology; they cannot receive salvation from sins because they cannot be cleansed of their sins if they do not have faith of believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. As they have believed in vain although they claim to believe in Jesus, they can finally receive salvation from sin perfectly and therefore receive the Holy Spirit as a gift and be acknowledged as the children of God only if they absolutely believe in the baptism of Jesus and His atoning blood of the Cross. The work of the Holy Spirit manifests to such saints. Only such people can preach this gospel of the water and the Spirit throughout the entire world.
 
 
The Authority of the People Who Have Received the Remission of Sins
 
Now, let’s look at the Word of the Gospel of Mark chapter 16 starting from verse 17, “And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”
What is written here? It is written, “And these signs will follow those who believe.” And it continues, “In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.” Interpreting this passage in a fleshly perspective, most Christians think that those who have received the Holy Spirit have the power to perform such wondrous deeds. Thus, they try to judge and test their faith based on the wondrous works that manifest outwardly. You also might actually think like this.
However, look at this passage carefully. It states that such signs will follow those who believe and that they will cast out demons in His name and speak with new tongues; and they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them. The Lord was speaking of these things in a spiritual sense. Such power will only manifest to the true believers.
Let’s look at this again. It is written, “In My name they will cast out demons.” This means that those who truly believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit really have such true authority. We have shared such authority with Jesus Christ, as it is written, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth” (Matthew 28:18). Firstly, we can really cast out demons if we can say confidently, “I command you Satan in the name of Jesus Christ! Depart from me, Satan the Devil!”
Secondly, the Lord said that he who believes will speak with new tongues. Dear fellow believers, we who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit speak the language of the Kingdom of Heaven. It is a heavenly language, but it is not like these strange tongues which do not make any sense. Rather, it is really a new tongue, that is, the spiritual language of the Kingdom of Heaven. This precisely is this new tongue. Though we are preaching the true message in the same language as before, it becomes a new language to those who hear it. When we preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit, the people who hear the gospel say, “This is the first time I have ever heard of this gospel. This is something new.” This is true. We are speaking of the Word of God that is from Heaven. A person who has been born again by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit speak the words that belong to Heaven, and all the words he speaks are true. They are not the words of this world. A person who believes speaks the words of God and the words of the gospel of Heaven; and even if he speaks in the same Korean language for that matter, he is speaking with new tongues, the language of the Kingdom of Heaven.
Thirdly, the Lord said, “They will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them.” What would happen if all of you actually did such a thing? Yes, you would have to go to the hospital immediately. There are many people who ended up being hospitalized after testing their faith foolishly like this. There have been many ridiculous episodes regarding this Scripture passage. Certain revival preachers once said in some revival meetings that a believer will not be harmed even if he takes up serpents and drinks anything deadly. Now, some people living in the countryside went to these meetings and heard such absurd teachings. They heard that the people who believe will not be harmed even if they take up serpents and drink anything deadly. Hence, when such men and women saw a serpent while walking along the ridges of their farm, they wanted to test their faith and touched the serpent with their hands. Usually, an average snake tries to run away slowly when a person approaches it suddenly, but such poisonous snakes do not run away easily and they have deadly poison. Some people try testing their faith like this and then pick up a snake and say, “The Lord said that we will take up serpents and if we drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt us, and I really believe in the Word of the Lord.”
“Then, do you believe in this Word?”
“Yes, I do.”
“Then, go ahead and pick it up.”
Hence, he lays the Bible down on the ground and goes near the poisonous snake and grabs the tail, praying, “I believe. I believe, Lord.” Then, he thinks about it for a moment and realizes he cannot say to the serpent, “Satan, depart from me” since this snake is not really Satan and it’s also kind of awkward to say, “Serpent, depart from me.” But, he nevertheless grabs the snake all at once thinking that the serpent will not bite him since he believes in the Lord. Then, he thinks, “I will never be harmed. I will absolutely not die. Let me show my faith. I will show to my neighbors that I really believe in Jesus” and tries to go down to the village with the serpent in his hand. But his arm starts to swell up because it was bitten by the snake. And he thinks, “Oh, what is going on? I feel the chill coming over me. It is getting cold. I don’t know what is going on” and heads toward home. But, what do you think happened to that person in the end? He died as soon as he arrived at home.
You would think there isn’t anyone like this. The truth is there were many people like this. And there are people who misinterpret this Word of the Lord that says, “And if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them,” and they actually drank dioxin, a deadly chemical. This really happened in Korea long ago. People read this Word superficially and interpret it wrongly and thought simply that those who believe in Jesus will not die and will not be harmed even if they drink anything deadly. People did such things thinking they really believed in the Lord faithfully. They are the people who do not believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Those who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit do not do such ridiculous things. But such things happened commonly long ago in the Christian community.
What can be dangerous to someone who does not know it to be dangerous? The Lord said, “And if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them.” For a long time, people always had in their homes potassium cyanide with which women used to wash clothes. You know this potassium cyanide, don’t you? It is a kind of lye that was used to remove stain or something on trousers when it did not come off easily, but it is a deadly poison. But some Korean Christians drank this poison, saying that they strongly believe in the Word of God.
In some ways, Koreans are really naïve in their hearts. It really could have turned out terribly if I had heard and understood this Word wrongly long time ago in my childhood. The Scriptures say that I will not die even if I drink anything deadly. Then, would I or would I not die if I drank a poisonous thing like agricultural chemicals? I might have just said “I believe” and drank it all, thinking that I will not die. I would be foaming from my mouth, but say, “I will not die.” Then, in the end, I would be screaming, “Oh, no. Please help me! I am dying!” What do you think would happen? I would die because I drank too much poison. Such things really happened so many times.
This Scripture passage was not spoken to those who do not believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. This Word was spoken spiritually to the born again who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Some preachers paste poison on their words. Their words seem like a plausible message when they say, “As long as one just believes in Jesus, he has received the remission of sins even if he believes like this or like that. Look at the ancestors of faith. Did Abraham not receive salvation simply by faith?”
However, Abraham was not justified just by having blind faith. He believed in the Word of God. God also spoke to Abraham, the ancestor of faith, about the baptism we believe in. Do you know what the Lord said to Abraham, “You and your descendants must absolutely be circumcised”? God said, “Circumcision is a sign that you have become My people.” This sign means the proof of God. Circumcision is a ritual to cut off the foreskins of the Israelites, and this implies God’s promise of cutting off the sins from believers’ hearts when they believe in the baptism of Jesus. Here, we can see that our God had also spoken to Abraham about this baptism of Jesus in a spiritual sense.
Some people say, “Anyone can receive his salvation if he truly believes in Jesus anyway. Such a person does not have sin. He does not have sin even if he feels that he has sin.” Why is this so? They think like this because they have believed in Jesus blindly up until now. They think, “If you have sin in your hearts, it’s because you are imperfect. It’s because you do not believe perfectly. Even now, close your eyes and think perfectly and believe perfectly. Bite your teeth and have firm conviction to believe firmly. You will not have sin if you really believe like this.”
From one aspect, it seems plausible. However, these sins do not disappear no matter how one believes unto death by himself if he does not believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. There is no way he can become sinless. This Word that someone will not be harmed even if he drinks anything deadly cannot be applied to those who do not believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, but it can instead be applied to those who have received the remission of sins by believing in this true gospel. The righteous can intoxicate themselves and come alive even if they hear the lies of any false teacher. Therefore, their souls become perfect instead of being harmed. This is the reason why the Lord said, “And if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them.”
There is one more authority given to those who believe. The Lord said, “They will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”
This passage means that we really have received such power by believing in Jesus Christ and God the Father. And it also means that we must use this power if it is appropriate to witness the amazing power of the Lord. While doing the work of God, you will often face such a situation when you need to use the power of healing. You then must use this power if it is necessary. However, you must not use this power to cast out demons or just utter “Shalalalalah” every day, saying that you are speaking with new tongues, or do such things like testing your faith every day by being bitten by poisonous snakes and then getting well and boast and say that you have great faith, or visit sick people every day and lay hands on them and pray for them. All the power and authority mentioned here are given to us who have received the remission of sins for the preaching of the gospel while living in this world. The Lord has given to us such abilities to lead the ministry well and manifest the Lord’s gospel to the full. Dear fellow believers, we must live by faith with such an orientation.
It is written, “And they went out and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word through the accompanying signs.”
Dear fellow believers, our main responsibility is to preach the Word of God. And if it is necessary while preaching the Word of the gospel of the water and the Spirit, we do cast out demons from the demon-possessed first and then feed them on the Word of God by preaching it. The Scriptures state that such works really manifested itself when the disciples were preaching the Word of the gospel. It states that the Lord gave them amazing power. We indeed speak this new language of the Kingdom of Heaven. Nevertheless, we must save souls throughout the world, defeat evil spirits, and expand the Kingdom of the Lord by preaching this genuine gospel, and we must do such work with faith that the Lord is with us when we are doing these righteous works.
Dear fellow believers, do you believe that Jesus Christ came to this world and cleansed all our sins away through His baptism and saved us by dying on the Cross? Then, do you believe that you can receive salvation without believing in the baptism of Jesus? This true gospel is not the doctrine of our congregation. We are the denomination of Jesus. It means that we must believe exactly as Jesus said.
The Lord said, “I came to send fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled!” (Luke 12:49) It would be great if the fire was burning briskly, but the Lord is very frustrated because it is not burning well. Even from my point of view, I am also frustrated. So many people in this world, both Christians and non-Christians, do not believe correctly and instead just believe whatever they want to believe, without the gospel of this baptism of Jesus and His blood of the Cross that saved us sufficiently. They believe lots of absurd doctrines blindly with a closed Bible. There are no words to describe how frustrated I am about this.
What must we do in such circumstances? I am sure that we must preach this gospel of the water and the Spirit orderly and scrupulously. Instead of thinking that the gospel of the water and the Spirit has been preached throughout the entire world greatly, we must keep our mind that we have just taken the first steps and that we will truly start preaching the gospel from now on. We have really just started. There are so many things we must do. We must preach the true and perfect gospel to both Christians and non-Christians, and there will come a time when we have to use the power God has given to us when a critical era dawns upon us. Right now, Satan is causing all kinds of commotion so much so that it would be confusing and strange if we manifested such power recklessly right now. We must never fall into such a trap of showing-off ministry that makes us arrogant. Instead, we must steadily preach the gospel throughout the entire world this year and for the upcoming years as long as the Lord allows us.
It states that the Lord worked with them when the disciples went everywhere preaching the gospel. The Lord witnessed His Word to be true by showing accompanying signs. I believe God will do such things in this era. Even in the United States, our ministry workers have gone there preaching the gospel. When I go abroad, I always long back for Korea and I think Korea is the most wonderful country. No matter how nice a foreign country is, there is no place like your own homeland. We go out to a foreign country with the sense of calling to preach the gospel, not because we like any foreign country more. No matter how great it seems, it is not as great as we think. Even if the environment there is so wonderful, those servants working in the United States still long for the servants of God working in the Church in Korea. This is the same even though there are many souls that we must preach the gospel to. Realistically, in order for the seeds that we have sowed there to grow, there still are many problems to be resolved and also we must help one another and depend on one another for the Church there to expand and grow powerfully. Otherwise, it cannot grow as fast as we expect it when we leave it alone.
It really can be lonely and difficult when ministers go overseas. Therefore, it is a normal human mindset for them to desire to assimilate with the people there and live like those people if possible. However, our missionaries cannot become like them if they do not believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit or if they just believe similarly. Anyway, the only thing our missionaries can do is to keep their faith and really sow the seed scrupulously with faith as the Lord instructs in the Scriptures although it might seem a slow process. Then the fruit of the gospel will ripen throughout the entire world very quickly. The expansion of the gospel has ground to a snail’s pace because people have started the gospel ministry too quickly, just told anyone to believe in Jesus blindly so that they can go to Heaven, and built church buildings hurriedly, and then gathered and sent out workers hurriedly.
We must not do the work of God hurriedly like this. When we preach the gospel of the Lord, we must do it precisely and we must not just pass over some things that are not important. We must always pray for the overseas mission and support this ministry by faith. From the viewpoint of the peoples of this world, it might seem that we have done something great. However, from God’s viewpoint, we have not done anything great. Instead, we have just started taking the first few steps. We have not done anything meaningful yet. We have worked very hard, but there isn’t any considerable result yet.
The world is wide, and there are plenty of spiritual works to do. But the important thing in this world is whether or not we believe, whether or not we follow the Truth of God, and whether we follow the world or the Lord? There can only one be one or the other. There is nothing in the middle we can choose. This is such an era. All the peoples of this world will really be divided like the way the good fish is separated from the bad depending on whether they put their hope in this world or in God; or whether or not they have received salvation; or whether or not they have been born again by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit; or whether or not they have received the remission of their sins by believing in the righteousness of God and become the righteous people; and whether or not they will go to Heaven no matter when the Lord returns to this world. From now on, the entire world will become like this.
There isn’t any hope anymore. Biotechnology has become so advanced and the end has finally shown itself. Leading scientists say that about 97% of human genes have been found to complete the map of the human genome. They say about 97%, but that is like close to 100%. Some scientists have succeeded in cloning monkeys. If they can clone a monkey like this, then cloning a human would not be difficult at all. It is not impossible. Though they have done research with animals, but not with human bodies, they can as a consequence of this expect great achievements because they have already achieved so much already in the field of cloning technology.
This is true. This era now has become so critical and the judgment of God has come that much closer. Not far from now, such things spoken in the Scriptures―like requiring people to receive the 666 mark, the manifestation of the servant of Satan, controlling the purchasing and selling of goods, believers being persecuted or suffering tribulations and calamities, the world becoming chaotic, and the dictator of the world appearing after this―will really happen one by one as it is written in the Book of Revelation. Such signs will appear within a frame of a very short time span.
We are therefore the last runners of the gospel preaching race. We have taken the baton as the last runners. If our great forefathers of faith like the Apostle Peter, Paul, or John, and the other disciples of Jesus took the baton as the first runners, the people who heard the gospel from the Apostles were the second runners. We call them “the Apostolic Fathers.” They also handed over the baton of the true gospel to the next runners, and we call these third runners “the Church Fathers.” However, among these Church Fathers, there were many who broke the baton in half as soon as they received it. Origen, who translated the Scriptures, was one of them. They were the rotten leaders who had not done their work responsibly. Then, a decisive and historic event took place in 313 AD. That is, the Edict of Milan, and from then on the Middle Age was ushered in. And the incorrect gospel was then handed down until now.
But God has resumed the race of the true gospel at these last times. He has entrusted us with the preaching of the gospel of the water and the Spirit. So now we have taken the last baton. Therefore, we are the last runners who are preaching this genuine gospel throughout the world.
The work of the gospel will be manifested more in the last days than it has accumulated until now. The gospel will be preached to more people in the last days than it has been preached until now, and more people will receive salvation in these last days than the number of souls that have received salvation so far, and this is why we really have so much work to do. You must know this. Therefore, we must preach the gospel diligently to the peoples of this world systematically while it is still possible. Though the seed of this true gospel does not willingly sprout forth in every country, it will soon bud out eventually if we fertilize the land and till the land and work hard like this. I believe that many people of this world will come to have faith through us and the work of the Holy Spirit will manifest powerfully and the faith of the people will become strong and all things will be fulfilled according to the Word. Therefore, we must preach the gospel in this time with such sense of calling and faith.
People of this world are prone to boast of themselves comparing themselves with each other. The world is not greater than the gospel of Jesus. What is more precious is the love and salvation Jesus has given to us? No matter how wonderful a certain person speaks and no matter how much power he has, Jesus is the only Lord, who has fulfilled the greatest achievement for mankind. No one in the world can fulfill such a great achievement for all of humankind. We must fulfill the mission God has given us now steadily with faith with far-sighted eyes. The world is wide, but it also can be very narrow when we continue doing our work steadily. We might be doing the gospel work slowly at first, but we can become very busy once it gathers up speed.
Otherwise, if we rush into the work of preaching the gospel throughout the entire world without any preparation or try to preach the gospel to suit the taste of all the peoples of the world, then we will definitely fail. We have a positive aspect that no others have. We are bold enough to defeat anyone who stands against us because we believe in this Word. We must have boldness, saying, “Are you being sarcastic? Well, let’s go head to head if you do not agree with us. Point out what is wrong and challenge them. Let’s see what the Truth really is with the Bible wide open.”
Well, by the way, one of our missionary families will go to the United States soon, and when they open a distribution center there, we will ship our bulk books to them and distribute the books throughout that huge country, as well as all over the world. There are some advantages of doing this because postage is cheaper than shipping from here in Korea, and therefore we can preach the Word of life even more effectively like this. And we can also distribute the books to other countries from the United States at a much cheaper postage. It is very expensive to send books abroad from our country. But there are many advantages if we send them directly from the United States.
We must do this work faithfully and diligently also this year. We will work on the gospel by farming this year and settle the account with the Lord at the end of the year and give thanks to God for using us in this precious task. And then we will pray for the things that we have to do the following year. Let’s plan this year as the year of sharing much and sowing much. And we will do a little more next year and also work about two more years diligently like this; the Lord will allow us to begin harvesting as well as to sow continually. Do you believe this? We must preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit in our own way according to the Word of God, instead of following the ways of the people of the world. Amen!