The New Life Mission

Sermons

Subject 23 : The Epistle to the HEBREWS

[Chapter 1-3] (Hebrews 1:1-6) God Has Spoken to Us By His Son In These Last Days

(Hebrews 1:1-6)
“God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds; who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become so much better than the angels, as He has by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they. For to which of the angels did He ever say:
‘You are My Son, Today I have begotten You’?
And again:
‘I will be to Him a Father, And He shall be to Me a Son’?
But when He again brings the firstborn into the world, He says:
‘Let all the angels of God worship Him.’”
 
 
We have just read Hebrews 1:1-6, and we have come know here that God spoke to our forefathers of faith by the prophets at various times and in various ways in time past. Today I would like the share the Word with you on how God the Father has spoken to us by His Son.
Hebrews 1:2 says that God “has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds.” What has God the Father spoken to us by His Son? God says here that He made the worlds through His Son. The plural noun “worlds” here does not just refer to this visible world. God is saying here that He made every realm through His Son, including even the invisible world. This means that God the Father made not only the visible world through His Son, but also the next world to come, the Kingdom of Heaven. God the Father made it clear here that He made both the visible and the invisible worlds through His Son. The Son of God created “all these worlds.” This is indeed true. God the Father sent His Son and He has spoken to us in these last days. We need to first think about just how great the power of Jesus Christ is. And then we need to ponder on how insignificant our existence is compared to Jesus.
 
 
Do You Know Your Powerlessness?
 
Do you know just how powerless you really are? Every human being is completely helpless. No human being can achieve anything on his own. This is even more so when it comes to one’s salvation from sin. There is nothing that man can do on his own for the salvation of his soul. Yet despite this, we humans tend to think that we can do everything by ourselves. But this is a delusion. You and I know very well that we cannot do anything on our own to receive the remission of sins. And only when we realize our helplessness can we completely rely on God’s grace to be saved. So God really wanted to teach us this fact.
It’s said that Napoleon once remarked, “The word ‘impossible’ is not in my dictionary.” But what was the cause of Napoleon’s death? He didn’t die from a serious injury, but he died from a virus infection. Napoleon had been arrogant enough to declare that the word “impossible” was not in his dictionary, but he was infected by a virus and died from high fever, even though the virus was so small that it was not even visible to his eyes. It’s not uncommon for even famous people to fall victim to tiny germs and suffer helplessly till death. When we look at such things, we are once again reminded of the fact that there is indeed nothing that we humans can do on our own.
Just a while ago I received a phone call from Sister Park. In the phone conversation this sister informed me that her brother-in-law was recently killed in a hit-and-run car accident, and she asked me to pray for the perpetrator to be brought to justice. Widowed all of a sudden, her sister went to the police to fill out a victim’s report, but it did not produce any results. The policemen in charge of the case were not helpful at all. Even though her sister had explained to them everything about the accident, including the color of the car involved in the accident and the circumstances of the collision, she did not see any indication that the case would be solved anytime soon. I met one of the detectives, but he was so rude that I felt as though I was dealing with a thug. Nothing can be achieved unless God works. There indeed is nothing that man can do by himself. Sister Park’s brother-in-law was struck by a passing car and killed on the spot while trying to flag down a taxi, as he and his wife were going out for dinner to celebrate his birthday. Once again this story shows us that we are completely powerless on our own.
Think about it again. Is there anything that we are good at? In reality, there is hardly anything that we can do by ourselves. Someone who digests food well does so fundamentally because this person’s stomach is healthy. If you had a problem digesting food as I do, you wouldn’t even be able to eat what you want. There is nothing that we can do on our own.
Furthermore, we humans must realize that there is no one who can save himself from sin. It’s from the moment we realize this that we can put on the God-given grace of salvation. And through God’s providence of salvation, we can encounter the true gospel of salvation.
In contrast, those who think that they can still do something on their own cannot encounter the God of all righteousness either. Even if such self-righteous people encounter the righteousness of God, they cannot recognize just how important it is. It’s the Devil who incites us to rely on our own devices and abilities, saying to us, “You can do anything. Anything is possible for you. You just have to stand up on your own two feet.” Satan says to us that we can do everything and anything if we try hard enough.
But think again whether we can really achieve anything in our own strength. What could we possibly do by ourselves to blot out any of our sins? What could we do but believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit that constitutes the righteousness of God? We really cannot achieve anything by relying on just our own strength.
How old are you now? Some of us here are almost 50 years old, and if it’s really true that we can accomplish anything on our own, shouldn’t we have achieved something by now? If we had been able to do whatever we decided to do, then shouldn’t we have accomplished our dreams to some degree by now? You too have had a dream from your childhood. If you had the power to bring this dream into reality, wouldn’t you have fulfilled it all by now? Assuming that we live for 70 to 80 years, and that we had the power to do whatever we wanted to do, shouldn’t there be something that we have achieved before leaving this world?
That’s not the case, however. What did the wise men of the times past say? Did they not say that even though they had been full of ambition throughout their entire lifetime, they did not accomplish anything in the end? And did they not say that they were also powerless? They said that everyone must realize that there is nothing one can do by himself. It is then even more impossible for anyone to blot out his own sins by himself.
My fellow believers, can you become rich in this world just because you want to become rich? Can you ensure your health just because you want to be healthy? Can you live forever just because you desire to never die but live for eternity? Even the things that we all think we can do cannot be achieved if anything goes even slightly wrong.
We have to recognize this fact. In other words, it is not upright before God for us to think that we can do anything on our own. Therefore, the first thing we must realize is that our remission of sins cannot be obtained through man-made Christian doctrines. In particular, it is all the more impossible for us to blot out our sins with our daily prayers of repentance. That’s why the Bible says here in today’s Scripture passage that God has spoken to us in these last days by His Son. As such, we can receive the remission of sins only by relying on the righteousness of God and through faith. By relying on the man-made doctrines of Christianity, we cannot blot out any of our sins at all. Although we humans think that we can blot out our sins by ourselves, this is actually impossible. Unless we believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit that constitutes the righteousness of God, we are absolutely incapable of blotting out our sins. We must admit to God that we are incapable of doing anything on our own. Recognizing all the more clearly that no human strength of ours whatsoever can ever help us to blot out our sins; we must instead rely on the gospel of the water and the Spirit. We must recognize that we are powerless on our own to blot out our sins.
Those who know and believe in the righteousness of God must admit how utterly helpless they have been all this time. However, everyone is quick to think that he can actually do anything. Although people say that there is nothing they can do by themselves, everyone is fully convinced that they can actually do something. Given the fact that there is nothing on this earth that has ever been achieved on our own, how could any of us do anything about our remission of sins?
 
 
Do We Humans Have Any Trustworthy Abilities at All?
 
The short answer is no. In fact, there is nothing trustworthy in us. Yet some Christians often think that their faith in God is strong, saying, “I believe in God, and therefore I can do anything in the name of Jesus Christ. I believe in Jesus as my Savior.” So these Christians say that they can do anything by their faith in Jesus. The problem, however, is that when their faith is closely examined, it is found to be a false faith. Such people’s faith is not upright. Even though they themselves believe in Jesus as their Savior, their faith is not proper. Can anyone really be saved from all their sins by believing in Jesus according to their own thoughts?
Of course, this is simply impossible! The Bible says that we are saved from sin by believing in the righteousness of God. Salvation is a blessing received by faith, for God has given us this gift of salvation from above. It is not something that’s achieved by making up and believing in our own savior and salvation by ourselves. We can be saved only by believing in the God-made righteousness. I can say with every confidence that if you believe in Jesus as your Savior according to your own thoughts, then you cannot realize the righteousness of God that truly saves you from all your sins. If God tells us to believe that He has fulfilled our salvation to perfection so that we may believe in the Truth of the perfect salvation accomplished with the righteousness of God, then we should indeed believe so. But if we try to reach our salvation by making it up and believing in it on our own, we can never be saved. All of you must realize this clearly.
Salvation from sin can be attained because the Lord has fulfilled His righteous work completely, and therefore it is by faith that we can be saved now. If Christians instead believe that they have been saved by believing in any man-made doctrine of salvation, then they are fundamentally far removed from the righteousness of God. If we think that our sins are blotted out through such a man-made doctrine of salvation, then we will also think that even those who do not know the righteousness of God can all be saved also. However, the real salvation from our sins is not the salvation spoken of in any Christian doctrines, but it is one that is attained by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit fulfilled with the righteousness of God.
Whether your faith is right or wrong depends on what you have relied on to build your faith. If you have relied on something else other than the righteousness of God, then you faith is all in vain. Of course, you can make every decision based on your own discernment. However, your discernment is not perfect, for it can always go wrong. Today’s Christians have gone astray from the God-given salvation like this because they have put too much confidence in their own thoughts. As such, it is not by believing in some Christian doctrines that we have been saved, but it is because our Lord has saved us from all our sins through the gospel of the water and the Spirit that we have been saved by believing in the Truth. Our salvation was fulfilled by our Lord, who was baptized by John the Baptist in order to save us from all our sins. Because the Lord bore all the sins of this world once and for all through His baptism, because He shed His blood on the Cross, and because He rose up from the dead to complete our salvation, He could become our own Lord of salvation. Like this, because the Lord shouldered all our sins once and for all by being baptized by John the Baptist, we have been washed from all our sins by faith. We can now say that we have been saved from sin by believing in the righteousness of God. Hence, everyone must now realize that no matter how earnestly one believes in Jesus as his Savior, if this person does not know the Word of the water and the Spirit, he cannot be saved from his sins. The gospel of the water and the Spirit is the only gospel that has saved us from all our sins, whereas on our own we could never save ourselves.
Do you think we would go to Heaven if we earnestly believe in one type of religion or another while in this world regardless of what it is? No, that is not the case. Would God be touched by our own blind devotion and say, “You are so devout. Come up to the Kingdom of Heaven”? No, this is not true either. Even though Christians today do not know the gospel of the water and the Spirit, they still believe in Jesus as their Savior, and they also offer prayers of repentance diligently. Would God then be moved by these prayers so much that He would welcome them into Heaven? No, He won’t do that. That’s why I am telling you that there is nothing man can do on his own. No matter how much you may believe in your own thoughts, and no matter how diligently you may offer prayers of repentance, it’s all completely useless, for your sins are not blotted out in this way. Would God welcome you into Heaven even if your heart is sinful? Would God say, “You have diligently offered Me your prayers of repentance. And your acts have been upright. You have prayed so much to reach sanctification, and you have led an upright life of faith. Come to Me then, and enter My Kingdom”?
Such thoughts are completely wrong. They are no different from these human thoughts stemming from the many religions of this world. You must remember what God said in today’s Scripture reading from the Book of Hebrews; you should remember the Word about what God has spoken to us by His Son in these last days. God said here that in these last days He has spoken to us about true salvation and the true Lord only by His Son, and not by anything else. To whom has God spoken? He has spoken to everyone living in the end times.
 
 
Why Did God Speak to Us through His Son Instead of Speaking to Us Directly?
 
This shows that we ourselves are fundamentally incapable of perfecting our salvation, our faith or anything else for that matter. God speaks to us through His Son because we are destined to hell by nature. In other words, because we have already fallen into sin, it is all but guaranteed that we would go to hell. What then could such people like us ever do to receive the remission of sins and go to the Kingdom of Heaven on our own? The answer is nothing! And this is why we can find our perfect salvation only in the righteousness of God that His Son has accomplished.
The Lord said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6). This Son of God alone is the only way for the human race to find salvation and receive the remission of sins. If you want to find the way to the Kingdom of Heaven, you must believe that Jesus is the Son of God and that He has blotted out all your sins once and for all with the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
 
 
The Account of Jesus’ Healing of a Paralytic and Its Implications
 
Let’s turn to Mark 2:1-2 here: “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.”
It says here that Jesus Christ arrived at Capernaum and preached to the people there about the way to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. The “word” here refers to God’s Word regarding the way to the Kingdom of Heaven. Jesus Christ was preaching that He Himself was the Truth of salvation, and He was explaining how and by what we can enter the Kingdom of Heaven—that is, we only can enter Heaven by believing in the righteousness of God.
In Hebrews chapter 1, we see the Bible saying that God has “in these last days spoken to us by His Son,” and in this passage that we just read from the Gospel of Mark, we saw that “Jesus preached the word to them.” The Word that Jesus preached to the people in Mark chapter 2 is the Word of God, which says Jesus Himself had become the way to the Kingdom of Heaven. This is followed by another event, and through this event, God is telling us about the way into the Kingdom of Heaven.
In this incident, four men brought a paralytic to the Lord on a stretcher. When they could not come near Him because of the crowd, they uncovered the roof tiles of the house where Jesus was, and they let down the bed on which the paralytic was lying by ropes through a hole they made. The paralytic here denotes someone who can do nothing on his own. This passage implies that Jesus is the only way to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. The Kingdom of Heaven is entered by only those who confess, “There is nothing I can do by myself for my salvation. It’s even more impossible for me to solve the problem of my sins on my own. I am completely powerless. I can be saved only if God saves me from my sins through the Word of the water and the Spirit, or otherwise I cannot do anything to blot out any of my sins.” The Kingdom of God is reserved for such people. God said that only those who know just their own impotence can enter the Kingdom of Heaven. In other words, only such people who know that they can do nothing by themselves are able to realize the righteousness of God, believe in it, and thus reach salvation. That is why the four men in Mark chapter 2 brought the paralytic to Jesus. What could this paralytic have done on his own to heal himself? If he thought that there was something he could do, it would just have been his own imagination. In fact, he had no power to heal the illness of his sins. The way to the Kingdom of Heaven is found only by believing in the righteousness of God that Jesus Christ has fulfilled.
The Apostle Paul confessed, “I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find” (Romans 7:18). This passage implies that we all are paralytics when it comes to our spiritual condition. But just as the paralytic was healed by encountering Jesus, so we too have discovered the way to the Kingdom of Heaven through the righteousness of the Lord; and we too were able to meet the Lord by faith through the gospel of the water and the Spirit. The Lord is saying through the Bible that we are incapable of doing anything at all. Yet even though we were helpless sinners, the Lord prepared the way to the remission of sins, and we were able to get on this way by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. The Lord is saying here that He has prepared the way to the remission of sins with His own righteousness, all in order to blot out all our sins.
My fellow believers, if there is anyone among you who still thinks before God that there is something he can do, and that he can believe in God according to his own will, then spiritually speaking, such a person still has not admitted his helpless condition as a paralytic. And this person still has not discovered the gospel of the water and the Spirit, which is the way into the Kingdom of Heaven. Those who think that they can blot out their sins even slightly on their own may forever not find the way to the Kingdom of Heaven. Because such people are yet to become spiritual paralytics, and they still think that there is something they can do by themselves for their salvation, they cannot even find the gospel of the water and the Spirit that has forever washed away all their sins. Those who are so self-righteous that they can neither recognize the righteousness of God nor surrender to it are like a crippled man comforting himself by thinking to himself that he is not limping even as he is actually limping.
When we come to Jesus, we must come fully cognizant of our sinful state and by relying on and trusting in the righteousness of God. If we really admit that we are spiritual paralytics, then we should say, “Lord, even though I think I can do something, there is in fact nothing I can do. Lord, please save me from all my sins. I am dying from the disease of sin. I can’t do anything to blot out my sins on my own. Lord, please heal me with Your righteousness.” Only someone who makes such a confession before God can be healed from this disease of sin. “Lord, I am such a depraved sinner that I cannot enter the Kingdom of Heaven. There is nothing I can do to blot out any of my sins but only to believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit.” Like this, those who hold on to the righteousness of the Lord and come into His presence by faith are able to receive the remission of sins by this faith and enter the Kingdom of Heaven. By realizing the gospel of the water and the Spirit through which the Lord has blotted out all the sins of every sinner, we can also realize that our Lord has prepared the way to the Kingdom of Heaven for us.
Think about what the four men did in Mark chapter 2. Does it make any sense to you that these men uncovered the roof of someone else’s home and lowered the paralytic by ropes through this hole? They tore open someone else’s roof for their own purpose, and this is something unimaginable in this age and time. We believe in Jesus as our Savior, but do you realize just how mixed up our faith can be with all kinds of carnal thoughts? When we read a newspaper, our minds are all occupied with the news, and when we read a magazine, our minds are drawn to what’s in the magazine. Fleshly thoughts then keep on carving out a place in our hearts. That is why we must remove such carnal thoughts from our hearts. One is saved only when he sweeps away his own fleshly thoughts and believes in the gospel of the water and the Spirit that speaks of the righteousness of God. Only when you strip away your fleshly thoughts can you say, “Yes, Lord, You are right!” when God tells you that He has prepared the way to the Kingdom of Heaven. If your mind is full of fleshly thoughts, then no matter how much the Word of God is preached to you, salvation cannot come to you because it’s blocked by your own thoughts. In other words, when one is full of fleshly thoughts to think that he can do something on his own to save himself, salvation through the righteousness of God remains beyond his reach.
My fellow believers, if you really want to grasp the way into the Kingdom of Heaven, you must completely strip away all your fleshly thoughts. To do so, you must first realize what the righteousness of God really is, rather than trying to establish your own human righteousness. Compared to the righteousness of God, man’s righteousness is like a dirty rag (Isaiah 64:6). It’s easy for us to think, “I know a few things. I can do something. I am somehow different from the rest. I am someone special.” All such conceited thoughts must be removed. How much do we really know about the righteousness of God? Without understanding and believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, no one can say that he knows anything about the righteousness of God. Job used to think that he knew about God more than anyone else. But Job confessed that only when he encountered an overwhelming hardship did he now see God with his eyes, whom he had only heard of with his ears until then. When Job claimed to know God, he did not really know Him, but when he realized how wretched he was, he finally met Him. In Mark chapter 2, when the four men trying to bring the paralytic to Jesus could not get near Him because of the crowd, they tore open the roof and lowered the paralytic through the hole. Most of the people crowded there were just seeking their own fleshly wishes. This implies that we cannot meet the Lord if our own fleshly thoughts are blocking our way to Him, and therefore we must cast aside all such thoughts and listen closely to the voice of God speaking to us about our salvation through His Son.
If someone believes in God according to his own fleshly thoughts and will rather than listening to the gospel Word of the water and the Spirit, the Word of God that is spoken to him through the Son of God, then the problem gets all the more serious. There were many people gathered around Jesus. So many people had gathered around Jesus that there was no room for any more people to come in. So those who really needed Jesus had to climb up onto the roof of the house where Jesus was preaching about the way to Heaven. However, many of the people gathered there were filled with greed, seeking to gain something material from Jesus. There were even some people who had come to obstruct others from listening to the Word of Jesus. Yet, of all these multitudes, only the paralytic and the four men who carried him found the grace of salvation.
We believe in Jesus as our Savior, but if we believe according to our own thoughts, then even this faith of ours will ultimately be in vain. If you believe in the Savior according to your fleshly thoughts, you will turn into a hypocrite. Faith in the righteousness of God therefore cannot be reached as long as you believe in the Savior Jesus according to your own carnal thoughts. If you continue to believe like this, you will eventually be thrown into so much confusion that you won’t even be sure whether you have been saved from sin or not.
However, if you listen to the gospel Word of the water and the Spirit coming from the Son of God, you will then realize what the righteousness of God is, know what Truth enables you to be born again through the gospel of the water and the Spirit, and eventually put on the grace of God to be born again by receiving the remission of sins. Once you know the gospel of the water and the Spirit and believe in the Word of God, you will realize the way to enter the Kingdom of Heaven by faith. The Bible is speaking this to all of us. When the four men lowered the paralytic on his bed down to our Lord’s presence, Jesus said to him, “Son, your sins are forgiven you.” What Jesus said here, “Son, your sins are forgiven you,” makes clear that Jesus has the power to remit away all our sins.
It’s through the gospel of the water and the Spirit that God has spoken to us about His Word of the remission of sins. The Lord said, “That you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins.” Who has the power to forgive sins? Just as the Bible writes that God has spoken to us by His Son in these last days, it is Jesus Christ who has the power to remit away all our sins. This then means that our salvation is determined depending on exactly how we know and believe in the righteousness of Jesus. Put differently, we receive the remission of sins by faith when Jesus says to us through the gospel of the water and the Spirit, “Son, your sins are forgiven you.”
 
 
We Cannot Receive the Remission of Sins Unconditionally Just Because We Believe in Jesus as Our Savior
 
When Jesus says to us, “Son, your sins are forgiven you,” the remission of sins is received by faith only if we know through what gospel Jesus is speaking to us. The Lord speaks of this in Matthew chapter 7 as well, where He said, “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven” (Matthew 7:21). What is the will of My Father in Heaven then? It is that everyone who sees what the Son has done and believes in Him may have everlasting life. Although many Christians think that they will enter Heaven unconditionally if they just believe in Jesus as their Savior, in reality, salvation is reached only when one believes in the righteousness of Jesus. When we come to Jesus, in other words, we can receive the remission of sins by faith only if Jesus says through the gospel of the water and the Spirit, “Sons, your sins are forgiven you.”
When the people heard Jesus saying that the paralytic’s sins were forgiven, some of the scribes there thought, “Who is this Man to say such things? It’s blasphemy! Who can say such things but God alone?” But knowing what was going on in their minds, Jesus said to them, “Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven you,’ or to say, ‘Arise, take up your bed and walk’?” Jesus wanted to let the scribes know that the Son of Man had power on earth to forgive sins. The Lord then said to the paralytic, “I say to you, arise, take up your bed, and go to your house” (Mark 2:11). The Bible continues on to say, “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!’” (Mark 2:12).
What did Jesus say to the scribes here? He said to them, “Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven you,’ or to say, ‘Arise, take up your bed and walk’?” The people at that time and today’s Christians alike would have wanted Jesus to heal the paralytic completely. But an even greater power than this is the power to blot out sins in our hearts completely.
Jesus had said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven you.” This is something that the people at that time could not even expect to hear from Jesus. In their fleshly thoughts, it was an unimaginably amazing miracle that Jesus could remit away one’s sins only by His Word. They were astounded because they had not heard such things before. So they began to criticize Jesus, saying, “What did He say? Did He just say, ‘Son, your sins are forgiven you’? It’s blasphemy! Who can forgive sins but God alone?” Jesus knew this, and so He said to them that He was the very Son of God, who had come to this earth incarnated in the flesh of man, and therefore He had the power to blot out the entire sins of the human race on this earth once and for all, and that He Himself had done this.
Jesus has blotted out all our sins out of His mercy for us. It’s Jesus who had this power to eradicate sins. Jesus has the true gospel Word of the water and the Spirit. Through Jesus His Son, God the Father has remitted away all the sins of everyone living on this earth today. This tells us that Jesus Christ had the power to fulfill the righteousness of God, as He said, “That you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins.”
Who alone has the power to remit away people’s sins? Who has this power? Across the entire universe, no one has this power but Jesus. This means that you are not remitted from your sins if you just believe in Jesus as your Savior blindly; but you can receive the remission of your sins when you believe in Jesus Christ properly, and in the Son of God who has fulfilled the righteousness of God. God the Father could blot out all our sins by fulfilling His righteousness through His Son. Therefore, our Interceder is none other than the Son of God—that is, Jesus Christ who came to this earth as the Savior incarnated in the flesh in order to fulfill the righteousness of God. Only the righteous work fulfilled by Him could blot out all our sins. That is why the Bible says that God has spoken to us by His Son in these last days.
We humans do not have the power to remit away our own sins. It’s only because we know and believe in the righteousness of the Lord that we have been saved from sin. The righteousness of Jesus is the remission of sins manifested in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Salvation comes only to those who believe that the righteousness of Jesus alone has the power to remit away their sins, and that Jesus is the Son of God and God Himself.
 
 
The Righteousness of God Spoken of at the Beginning of All the Four Gospels
 
Because Jesus has blotted out all our sins with the gospel of the water and the Spirit, those of us who believe in the righteousness of God cannot have any sin. If however, we believe in Jesus Christ blindly as our Savior without realizing that He came by the gospel of the water and the Spirit, then our sins will never disappear. True salvation comes only when one knows that the Lord has blotted out all his sins and accept this Truth by faith.
Having come to this earth, the Son of God Himself has spoken to us first about the gospel of the water and the Spirit. As those who have been born again before others, we are on this earth to preach this Word of God. Having come to this earth incarnated in the flesh, Jesus accepted our sins through the baptism He received from John the Baptist.
Let’s turn to Matthew here. The Gospel of Matthew is usually called “the Gospel of the King.” The Lord Jesus is the King of kings, and He is also the Savior who has fulfilled the righteousness of God. The Gospel of Matthew records in detail how the King of kings came to this earth incarnated in the flesh of man, and how He bore and blotted out all our sins.
The Gospel of Luke is called “the Gospel of the bull,” while the Gospel of John is called “the Gospel of the eagle.” Although the Four Gospel Books may seem to record the same things about Jesus, in fact, each Gospel was written with a different viewpoint. In various ways and forms, the Scriptures reveal the Truth in detail, explaining how Jesus Christ fulfilled the righteousness of God when He came to this earth, and how He blotted out all our sins. Among them, the Gospel of Matthew explains in detail how Jesus Christ the King came to this earth incarnated in the flesh of man, and how He bore the sins of the human race, and how He blotted them all out. Its explanation is focused on how the King of kings took upon the sins of His people and blotted them all out.
It’s written in Matthew 1:21-23: “‘And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins.’ So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying: ‘Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,’ which is translated, ‘God with us.’” The Son of God had come to this earth incarnated in the flesh and become a Man among us. The purpose for which the Lord came to this earth in the flesh of man is clearly manifested in the above passage—it is to “save His people from their sins.”
It’s written elsewhere in Matthew 3:13, “Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan to be baptized by him.” As it’s said here, Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist on this earth. Until He reached 30, Jesus had in fact led a private life. But He began His public ministry at the age of 30 in order to blot out the sins of all mankind. This is indicated by the passage here saying that Jesus came to the Jordan River from Galilee and sought to be baptized by John. What we have to grasp here is that Jesus went to John the Baptist at the Jordan River and He was baptized by him to fulfill the righteousness of God.
Why Jesus sought to be baptized by John the Baptist is explained in Matthew 3:13-17. When Jesus tried to be baptized by John the Baptist, John prevented Him at first. It’s written, “And John tried to prevent Him, saying, ‘I need to be baptized by You, and are You coming to me?’ But Jesus answered and said to him, ‘Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.’ Then he allowed Him” (Matthew 3:14-15).
This passage that describes Jesus’ baptism is directly related to today’s Scripture passage from Hebrews chapter 1, where it says that God “has in these last days spoken to us by His Son.” In other words, the Bible is saying here that the Son of God had to come to this earth as the Son of Man incarnated in the flesh of man, appear before John the Baptist, and be baptized by him on this earth in order to save His people from all their sins. And the baptism that Jesus received from John the Baptist tells us that Jesus completely bore all our sins, all the sins of the world until its last day. This is the very Truth that God has spoken to us by His Son.
Jesus Christ volunteered Himself to be baptized by John the Baptist. Yet since Jesus had never committed any sin nor had sin ever, there was no need for Him to be baptized by John the Baptist for His own sake. Jesus is the Son of God who has never ever committed any sin, and He is also the Savior who created all things. Not even once had He ever committed sin before God the Father or any human being in this world. Unlike us, He has never sinned even unconsciously. So there was no need for Him to be baptized by John the Baptist to wash away His sins, since He had no sin at all. Yet despite this, Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist to fulfill the righteousness of God.
Here, we need to understand the background to the appearance of John the Baptist and his ministry. The reason why he baptized Jesus with water is because he was obeying Jesus’ commandment in order to fulfill the righteousness of God. This was the will of God the Father. John the Baptist was the last prophet of the age of the Old Testament sent by God and he was also a servant of God. For about 400 years before Jesus was born on this earth, God had not sent any prophets to the people of Israel—that is, He had not sent any of His servants. This period during which there was no servant of God is called “the Intermediate Age” between the Old and New Testaments. By the time of Malachi, God’s priests had already been so completely corrupted that they didn’t even offer Him any proper sacrifices. They did not even observe the basic requirements of sacrificial rituals. Even worse, they openly worshipped other gods before Jehovah.
It was in such a time that God sent John the Baptist to this earth. Appearing before the people of Israel, John the Baptist began to shout out to them in the wilderness, “Repent, you brood of vipers! Unless you repent, God will surely cut you down and throw you into the fire, just as the ax is laid to the root of the trees. Do not say just with your lips that you believe in God, but abandon your idolatry, turn around your acts, return to God, and believe in Him sincerely. The Lord God is your God.” Hearing this voice, the people of Israel began to repent and return to God. God’s chosen people finally began to turn their hearts around after a long time of idolatry, saying, “A servant of God has appeared! What should we do about our sins?” So they came to John the Baptist to be baptized with this desire to do something about their sins. The Gospel of Mark says that the people were baptized as a symbol of repentance. What happened eventually? Countless Israelites turned their hearts around to God.
God says that this John the Baptist is the Elijah whom He had promised to send in the Old Testament. In the days of Elijah, the people of Israel were worshipping Baal and Asherah, but Elijah had turned them around by preaching the will of God to them. Likewise, having come with the spirit of Elijah, John the Baptist also shouted out to the people of Israel who were then worshipping gentile idols to turn around back to God. And the Israelites were baptized by John the Baptist with water as a sign to indicate their pledge for turning around from sin, repenting, and returning to God.
Jesus was also baptized by John the Baptist on this earth. And by being baptized by John the Baptist, Jesus fulfilled the work of salvation that God had promised through all His servants, thus fulfilling all the righteousness of God. By thus receiving baptism from John the Baptist, in other words, the Lord fulfilled God’s promise to mankind to bear all the sins of the world once for all and blot them all out. Jesus did this because His people could be released from their sins only if He was baptized by John the Baptist and thus bear all their sins. That is why Jesus willingly sought to be baptized by John the Baptist.
Like this, the baptism of Jesus is so crucial for all of us to receive the remission of sins. Today, however, there are too many Christians who don’t believe that Jesus has fulfilled the righteousness of God by being baptized by John the Baptist. They say that all that matters is that they believe in Jesus as their Savior, and that there is no need for anyone to have such detailed knowledge. However, for such Christians who have not been born again, their faith is such that even when they believe in Jesus, their sins continue to be piled up in their hearts whenever their acts fall even slightly short of perfection. Nowadays, even among those professing to believe in Jesus ardently as their Savior, we see too many people whose salvation is shaken whenever they realize the shortcomings of their acts.
But we must grasp here that when we hear the voice of God spoken to us by His Son, we can realize the righteousness of Jesus, be sanctified by faith, and become completely sinless just as Jesus is completely flawless. You must also recognize that it is absolutely impossible for you to become sinless just by believing in Jesus in whatever way you want. Unless you know the righteousness of God and believe in it, you cannot become a sinless person no matter how hard you try. You must first know clearly, through the righteousness of God, how the Son of God bore the sins of His people and blotted them out when He came to this earth incarnated in the flesh of man. Only then can you be truly released from your sins by faith. It is by understanding the baptism of Jesus and the shedding of His blood on the Cross that one can have the true faith that saves him. The problem however is that too many Christians nowadays are ignoring this Truth.
The saints of the Early Church era did not ignore the baptism that Jesus received from John the Baptist. Take a look at Paul’s Epistles. Take a look at 1 and 2 Peter, and 1, 2, 3 John as well. See for yourself if the Apostles had ever dismissed the baptism that Jesus received from John the Baptist. In fact, it’s not just the Apostles who did not ignore the baptism of Jesus. From the Apostolic period to the age of the Church Fathers, no Christian ever ignored the righteousness of Jesus. Far from it, the Early Church commemorated January 6th as “the Day of Jesus’ Baptism.” This festive day had been commemorated on a large scale in the Early Church up until the 5th century, while Christmas was not celebrated until mid-4th century. However, from then on Satan began to corrupt the faith of Christians, leading them to believe in Jesus while leaving out the most important element of the gospel of salvation. And the Devil told them, “Believe in Jesus as your Savior to your hearts’ content. It’s good to believe in Jesus with devotion and zeal. Lead a pious life of faith to reach sanctification. And pray a lot. But from the gospel that has fulfilled the righteousness of God; you should take out the Truth of the baptism that Jesus received from John the Baptist.”
Even today, the Devil is saying the same thing. Like a drug addict, today’s Christians who are ignorant of the gospel of the water and the Spirit fall into spiritual narcissism from the moment they believe in Jesus. Even as they profess to believe in Jesus, they have no life, and even as they claim to have been saved, their sins still remain intact in their hearts. Their faith is devoid of sparkle, one that is just lukewarm. Although these Christians do believe in Jesus, theirs is a blind faith, saying, “I have no idea about the righteousness of God. I just believe unconditionally. But I’ll still go to Heaven. You should also believe in Jesus unconditionally.”
Put differently, although salvation has come through the gospel of the water and the Spirit that God has spoken to us in these last days by His Son; Satan has removed the Truth of Jesus’ baptism from the gospel. As a result, almost all the churches on this earth have no idea exactly how the righteousness of God has been fulfilled, even though they all profess to believe in Jesus as their Savior. Once this is removed from Christianity, Christianity is rendered completely powerless. It cannot have the spiritual strength to stand against Satan.
God has clearly spoken to us of His righteousness by His Son, and we must know this righteousness of God and believe in it unwaveringly. Whoever realizes the God-spoken righteousness through the gospel of the water and the Spirit will be saved from all sins. It’s not about believing in some doctrines of our own making, but it is about attaining the exact understanding of the way of salvation prepared by Jesus. And it is when this understanding is reached that you can receive true salvation. The Lord will then be on your side. Even when countless people are drowning in sin bound by their iniquities, as someone who believes in the righteousness of God, you will lead a dynamic life of faith, save those around you who are being deceived by Satan, deliver them from all their sins, and lead them to the Lord. That is why we must understand what God has spoken to us in these last days by His Son. It is to enable us to grasp this that the Son of God came to this earth. It was not just because Jesus Christ was humble that He was baptized by John the Baptist on this earth.
What Jesus has done on this earth can be summarized into four points. The first point is that the King of kings came to this earth as the Son of Man incarnated in the flesh of man—that is, God Himself came as a man. The second point is that Jesus bore His people’s sins once and for all by being baptized by John the Baptist. By personally receiving baptism from John the Baptist, the King Himself bore all the countless sins of His people on His body once and for all. The third point is that after bearing all the sins of His people, Jesus died in their place for their sins. And lastly, the fourth point is that Jesus the Son of God, having suffered death to save His people perfectly, rose up from the dead after He was laid in state in a cave-tomb. All these righteous works were done by the Lord Jesus to enable us to come into the Kingdom of Heaven and live there forever. In other words, the Lord has saved us by being baptized to bear all our sins, shedding His blood to death, and rising from the dead in three days. Jesus indeed rose up from the dead. Therefore, whoever understands and believes completely in what the King has done for His people will be saved from sin. It’s because today’s Christianity does not know this Truth that it has lost its power.
In these last days, God has guaranteed His righteousness to us through the gospel of the water and the Spirit. He is our Judge and our personal Savior. Moreover, God the Father has sent to this earth the Holy Spirit, who is equal with Him, to make it possible for all who know and believe in what Jesus has done for them to be saved from all their sins. It’s through His Son that God the Father brings salvation to us in these last days. In other words, if we believe in the righteousness of God that Jesus has spoken to His people, the Holy Spirit will guarantee our salvation. In this way, God has saved us perfectly through the gospel of the water and the Spirit. So God the Father planned our salvation through Jesus Christ; Jesus Christ the Son of God fulfilled our salvation once and for all by being baptized by John the Baptist to bear our sins and shedding His blood to be condemned in our place; and the Holy Spirit is guaranteeing all these things to us.
This shows us that God the Father, the Son, and the Spirit are the same one God and Savior to us. This in turn implies that Jesus Christ did not fulfill our salvation by Himself alone, but God the Father had planned our salvation in His Son, and the Father has spoken it to us by His Son in these last days. God the Father is saying to us that He has saved us through His Son out of His love for us. And to those of us who believe in the righteousness of God, the Holy Spirit guarantees the work of salvation achieved by the Son of God, the true Savior. That’s why the Bible says that the Holy Spirit has sealed us with the seal of assurance to guarantee our salvation as the believers in the righteousness of God. With this seal He is saying to us, “You are right. Your faith is right. There is nothing else you have to do to reach your salvation but just believe that the Son of God was baptized and shed His blood for your salvation. It’s Jesus who has saved you. Do you believe in this? Hallelujah! As you now believe in the righteousness of God, God the Father recognizes you as His own people.”
It’s because the Holy Spirit has sealed us like this that we no longer belong to sin anymore. This means that God the Father has made us completely His people through His Son, so that we would never go to hell. This, my fellow believers, is precisely what God has spoken to us by His Son in these last days.
This also explains why the so-called “Christian” faith that’s devoid of the baptism of Jesus Christ that constitutes His righteousness has no substance, like a dumpling without stuffing. Does a dumpling without anything inside taste good? No, of course not! Without the stuffing, it’s nothing but a ball of flour. You will spit it out as soon as you take a bite. In contrast, our faith has the real substance. We have the assurance of this salvation because our faith in God’s righteousness is witnessed by the baptism Jesus Christ received from John the Baptist and the blood He shed on the Cross. Remember what Jesus said to John the Baptist when He sought to be baptized: “Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness” (Matthew 3:15). As it’s shown clearly here, Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist in order to bear all the sins of the human race once and for all through His baptism, and thus fulfill the righteousness of God.
God had raised John the Baptist as the representative of mankind, and in the Old Testament’s Book of Malachi, He had promised to send Elijah in the last days. Jesus Himself then testified that John the Baptist was the greatest of those born of women and the very Elijah to come (Mark 11:11-14). In the days of the Old Testament, the people of Israel received the remission of sins through the High Priest, as he passed all their yearly sins to the scapegoat by laying his hands on its head. How did Jesus then blot out His people’s sins? Having come as the Lamb of God, the High Priest of Heaven according to the order of Melchizedek accepted all the sins of mankind once and for all by being baptized, shed His blood to death, and rose up from the dead.
When Jesus Christ came to this earth, the Lord sent John the Baptist to this earth six months prior to Him. And He waited until John the Baptist turned 30 years old, as this was the age when John the Baptist could fulfill his duties as the last High Priest. John the Baptist now had all the qualifications to baptize Jesus as the High Priest of the entire human race. When we turn to the Old Testament, we see that the High Priest became fully qualified to carry out his duties at the age of 30. Now that John the Baptist was eligible to be the High Priest, he could represent the people of Israel, and he was also qualified to represent everyone throughout the whole world. This is why he could pass the sins of the world to Jesus’ head.
John the Baptist did this by baptizing Jesus. This was the will of Jesus, as the Bible writes, “Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan to be baptized by him” (Matthew 3:13). Put differently, it was God’s will for John the Baptist to baptize Jesus. And it was to blot out the sins of mankind that the King of kings was baptized by John the Baptist.
What happened after Jesus was baptized then? It’s written, “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. And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, ‘This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased’” (Matthew 3:16-17). God the Father Himself is bearing the witness of the fulfillment of His righteousness here. What He said here, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased,” is the very testimony. In other words, God is saying here, “Jesus, who has now been baptized by John the Baptist, is My Son. My Son is your King. He is your Creator. He has fulfilled My righteousness by being baptized and thus bearing your sins once and for all.” The very God who “has in these last days spoken to us by His Son” is personally testifying to us here, “My Son was baptized by John the Baptist for no other reason than to save you from the sins of the world. Through this baptism My Son has now taken upon all the sins of each and every human being who was created by Me. I am therefore well pleased in Him. It is My will for every human being to be washed from sin. Even though Jesus is My Son, He received His baptism in obedience to free all the human beings created in the likeness of My image from the sins of the world, even though He knew that He would be put to death as a result.” This is why God the Father bore witness of Jesus by saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” God the Father Himself opened the heavens and said this.
My fellow believers, God the Father was very pleased that Jesus Christ bore the sins of mankind once and for all by being baptized by John the Baptist. The Father is saying to us here that this had to be done without fail in order for His Son to fulfill the righteousness of God. This is not a self-righteous claim made by some denomination. It is the Word of God spoken to us in these last days by His Son. We must never ignore this Word of God. Regardless of what God has spoken to us in these last days by His Son, if this Word has paved the way for us to go to Heaven and receive the remission of sins, should we not all believe in this Word exactly as it is? The Son of God has perfectly paved the way for us to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Once we realize that God has prepared this way, and then embark on this road with hallelujah’s, and believe in the righteousness of God, we will receive the complete remission of sins and enter the Kingdom of Heaven as well. We will wholly become Jesus Christ’s very own people and God’s servants.
Even though God has paved the way for us to attain the washing away of our sins, many people still demand something else, asking, “Isn’t there another way?” Too many Christians think, “So long as I believe in Jesus somehow, I will go to Heaven even if I believe according to my own thoughts. Will I not be able to go to Heaven just because I don’t know the gospel of the water and the Spirit?”
However, Jesus Himself said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6). What will God say to such Christians then? He will say, “I have paved the way of salvation for you to receive the remission of sins. Will I then tolerate you if you think your faith is so good that you say arrogantly, ‘I will go to Heaven even if I believe in God according to my own way, without having faith in the righteousness of God’? You are wrong! If you believe like this, then you will never be saved no matter how much you claim to believe in Me! So, instead of believing in Me blindly like this, you must believe in the gospel Truth of the water and the Spirit that I have fulfilled for you. I bore not only all your sins but also all the sins of the world once and for all. Yet do you still find it hard to accept the fact that I was baptized by John the Baptist to blot out all yours sins, and that I shouldered them all once and for all?”
What about you then? Can you accept the gospel of the water and the Spirit as your salvation? My fellow believers, if you really believe that salvation is reached by trusting in the righteousness of Jesus, then you should be able to accept what Jesus has done for you by faith. You should be able to say, “The gospel of the water and the Spirit alone is the Truth of salvation.”
Everyone is quite insistent when it comes to matters of faith. I too am very vocal about my faith, for I believe in the righteousness of God. So whenever I preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit, I see people complaining that I am too eccentric. Some people say that I am too adamant. But I say to such people that it’s they who are being stubborn. Of course, they never agree with me when they hear this. So when people are too adamant about their own views, I avoid further discussions and just say to them, “Well, if that’s how you believe, then believe all you want until the end.” What God has spoken to us by His son in these days is His plan. He is telling us to spread the gospel of the water and the Spirit and advocate it forcefully. We may take everything else lightly, but let us never forget that we must believe in and preach this gospel—that Jesus came to this earth, was baptized by John the Baptist, shed His blood to death on the Cross, and rose up from the dead.
It’s been about 2,000 years since Jesus Christ was born on this earth. About 2,000 years ago, having come to this earth, Jesus Christ bore all our sins and blotted them out. As you all know very well, almost all countries in the world use a dating system based on the dominical year. This year is 1993 AD. “AD” here is the abbreviation of “Anno Domini” in Latin, which means “in the year of our Lord.” So this year marks the 1,993th year since Jesus Christ was born on this earth.
Jesus began His public work of salvation on this earth at the age of 30. Very little is written about His private life before He turned 30. There is some record of His childhood visits to the Temple of Jerusalem, but other than this, there is hardly any record. The only things recorded about Jesus’ first 29 years are His birth, His circumcision as a Baby, and His visit to the Temple as a Child.
However, when Jesus turned 30, He went to the Jordan River to be baptized by John the Baptist. And there He received from John the baptism to fulfill the righteousness of God. So 30 AD is when Jesus began His public ministry. And from then on, Jesus continued to proclaim, “I have taken up your sins.” He was then crucified to death at the age of 33, but He rose up from the dead in three days after being laid in a cave-tomb. And He ascended to Heaven to sit at the right hand of God the Father.
Even though Jesus ascended to Heaven, He left His twelve Apostles and many other disciples on this earth. The disciples of Jesus Christ now knew clearly that He was their Savior. They understood fully and believed wholeheartedly that Jesus had borne all the sins of mankind by being baptized and blotted them out completely by being crucified. That is why Peter said that we have “been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever” (1 Peter 1:23); and he also testified, “There is also an antitype which now saves us—baptism” (1 Peter 1:23). By leaving such messages in his Epistles, the Apostle Peter made it clear to the saints that the baptism of Jesus is the antitype of their salvation. Peter had walked with Jesus for three years as one of His disciples, from 30 to 33 AD. His Epistles, 1 and 2 Peter, are said to have been written around 40 AD.
It’s written in 1 Peter 3:21, “There is also an antitype which now saves us—baptism (not the removal of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God), through the resurrection of Jesus Christ.” Peter is saying something very important here. It shows that Peter understood the significance of the baptism of Jesus and believed in it correctly. When he said, “There is also an antitype which now saves us—baptism,” Peter was saying that because Jesus bore all the sins of mankind by being baptized by John the Baptist, all our sins have been eradicated. This was not said by someone unimportant, but by none other than Peter himself, who had walked with Jesus all the way from the very beginning of His pubic ministry to His ascension. And this Peter also said that we have “been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever” (1 Peter 1:23). Put differently, Peter is saying here, “Our salvation has come by the Word of God. In congruence to the sacrificial requirements of the Old Testament, Jesus has blotted out all our sins once and for all with His baptism and His blood on the Cross in the New Testament. Peter is making clear here that we have been saved by believing that Jesus came to this earth incarnated in the flesh of man, was baptized, and shed His blood to death for us.
Is the gospel testified by the Apostles accurate then? Is the baptism of Jesus a must for us to be saved from all our sins? As it is written that God has spoken to us about His salvation in various ways and at various times, we can also explain this Truth through the account of Noah’s ark. In the days when Noah was building the ark, God had said that He would judge this world with water. But Noah’s eight family members were the only ones who believed in God’s Word. And because they believed in the Word of God, they were delivered from His judgment.
Just like this, right now Jesus Christ is saying that in order to deliver His people, He has fulfilled their salvation through the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Jesus is saying that having come to this earth, He has blotted out all the sins of mankind by being baptized to bear them all, and He has fulfilled the righteous work of God. Can we then say, against this Word of God, that this teaching is just a dogmatic doctrine of some denomination? No, of course not!
The gospel of the water and the Spirit is the Truth. We need to examine carefully what the Bible says about John the Baptist. We should scrutinize what the Bible says about the gospel of the water and the Spirit in both Testaments, realize that this gospel is the real Truth of salvation, and then believe in this Truth unwaveringly. What is the correct faith then? What should we believe? Should we believe in some denomination’s doctrines, or in the gospel of the water and the Spirit written in the Bible? Some of you probably feel in conflict between these two types of faith. In times like this, we must place more weight on the Word of God spoken to us by His Son in these last days. In other words, our judgment must be based on the Word of God written in the Bible and the gospel believed by God’s servants.
Yet despite this, if someone still says, “Salvation is reached only through the blood of the Cross,” then don’t bother wasting your time with such stubborn people. Whenever anyone keeps insisting only on the blood of the Cross to me, I just ignore him. I say to such people, “Alright then; believe all you want in the blood of the Cross alone. But know that God speaks of the gospel of the water and the Spirit in the Bible, and that it’s all in vain to believe in God without this gospel. Be as pious as you want and preach as much as you want, but you are just wasting your time.” The words of man, which are not of the Truth, have no spiritual power. If a preacher preaches anything other than the Word of God, then it’s all in vain. Those who preach the gospel of the Cross alone shout out passionately, “Repent! Receive the forgiveness of sins every day! Praise the Lord God!” But what could they possibly achieve by shouting out such a gospel, when it is devoid of the baptism that Jesus received from John the Baptist?
No matter how often such misguided Christians preach to people to believe in Jesus, it is completely useless. Too many people believe in Jesus just to seek their own carnal prosperity, thinking, “I will prosper always if I believe in Jesus. God will bless me to be successful and prosperous.” These carnal Christians clap their hands in worship services while singing hymns at the top of their voice, give tithes, keep the Lord’s Day, and serve Jesus devoutly. But all of these things are done to ensure their own fleshly prosperity, thinking that they would not be cursed and instead go to Heaven if they just believe in Jesus. But such faith is completely powerless. In fact, this kind of faith is exactly what Satan wants to spread to everyone in this world. My fellow believers, God has spoken to us in these last days by His Son. Should we then ignore this testimony of salvation and disregard what God the Father is saying to us here, that He has saved us through His Son and the gospel of the water and the Spirit? No, of course not!
Will you ignore the Word of the Holy Spirit saying to you that God has saved you through the gospel of the water and the Spirit? Will you pay no heed to the gospel of the water and the Spirit testified by the very disciples of Jesus Christ? Do you believe in Jesus better than these disciples of Jesus who believed in the gospel of the water and the Spirit? The disciples had lived with Jesus for three years in the flesh, and they had heard His voice in person. Yet do you still think that your faith is somehow better than theirs?
No one in this present age is better than the disciples of Jesus, no matter how smart and gifted they may be. Peter, John, and James had been with Jesus in the mountain of transfiguration. They witnessed with their own naked eyes how Jesus was transfigured suddenly. Their eyes had seen that Jesus was indeed the Son of God. That is why Peter confessed to the Lord, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” The disciples saw Jesus in person and touched Him with their hands. So the Apostle John said that God is the Light. He testified, “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, concerning the Word of life” (1 John 1:1). John also said, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God . . . And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:1; 14).
The disciples were always testifying, “Jesus Christ has blotted out all our sins once and for all with His baptism and His blood on the Cross. God is full of mercy, grace, and truth, and He has given us the blessing of the remission of sins.” Whenever Jesus’ disciples preached the Word, they always preached the gospel Word of the water and the Spirit. They bore witness of the gospel of the water and the Spirit, and they testified Jesus Christ.
Yet despite this, today’s Christians have degenerated into sectarianism and are fighting each other and arguing over whose denomination is right. Many of them say, “One can be saved just by believing in the blood of the Cross alone, instead of the gospel of the water and the Spirit.” But will you really be saved from all your sins even if you ignore the gospel of the water and the Spirit and just believe in the blood of the Cross? In your human thoughts you may think that it’s okay to believe in just any gospel, but in reality, there is nothing you can gain unless you believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Salvation is within reach only because Jesus Christ came to this earth and saved mankind to perfection through the gospel of the water and the Spirit. It’s because God has blotted out all our sins with the gospel of the water and the Spirit that we the true believers are now sinless; had Jesus Christ not blotted out all our sins with the gospel of the water and the Spirit, we would still be under sin.
No matter how much compassion God has for us, and no matter how strong our faith is, unless we believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, there is no way for us to be saved from our sins. Any faith that’s not placed in the gospel of the water and the Spirit is all in vain. Even if we believe ardently in Jesus’ blood on the Cross and glorify Him, what use is it if we don’t know the gospel of the water and the Spirit? Unless we know this true gospel, our hearts can never have the conviction of salvation and the assurance of eternal life.
Where then can we find the strength to preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit? This strength is found in our unwavering faith in this gospel. When Jesus Christ Himself has spoken to us in these last days as the Son of God, telling us that He has blotted out all the sins of mankind with the gospel of the water and the Spirit, we must believe Him. If you otherwise reject the gospel of the water and the Spirit, the Devil will lay siege onto you. However, if you believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit and are saved from sin, Satan will no longer be able to deceive you. He will wail in frustration instead. That is why the Devil says adamantly to Christians, “Believe in Jesus as your Savior blindly. Just ignore His baptism, and go to Heaven through your own devotion.” And Satan stirs up such misguided believers, turns them all emotional, and makes them do all kinds of absurd things.
What has God, who spoke to our forefathers of faith in time past at various times and in various ways, spoken to us by His Son in these last days? The Bible says clearly here that God has spoken to us about His perfect salvation by His Son. This means that our faith as Christians is completely futile unless it is placed in the baptism Jesus received from John the Baptist and the blood He shed on the Cross, which together constitutes the righteousness of God. In other words, God has spoken to us about His salvation by His Son so that we would be saved by believing in the righteous work of salvation that Christ has fulfilled once and for all.
 
 
The Gospel of the Water and the Spirit Written in the Four Gospels
 
The most important message in the Bible is the gospel of the water and the Spirit. To see this, let’s now turn to the beginning of the Gospel of Mark: “The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. As it is written in the Prophets: ‘Behold, I send My messenger before Your face, Who will prepare Your way before You.’ ‘The voice of one crying in the wilderness: “Prepare the way of the LORD; Make His paths straight.”’ John came baptizing in the wilderness and preaching a baptism of repentance for the remission of sins. Then all the land of Judea, and those from Jerusalem, went out to him and were all baptized by him in the Jordan River, confessing their sins” (Mark 1:1-4).
As you can see here, the very first thing that the Lord God mentioned in the Gospel of Mark is the ministry of John the Baptist. This is true in all the other Gospels as well, Matthew, Luke, and John alike. Again I stress this point: John the Baptist’s ministry is the first thing God and the gospel writers mentioned in all the Four Gospels. Why then does the Bible put such an emphasis on the ministry of John the Baptist? Today’s Christians do not assign much importance to John the Baptist’s ministry. But it is no exaggeration to say that ministry of John the Baptist is exemplary to all the servants of God.
The Bible calls John the Baptist “the voice of one crying in the wilderness.” We should realize here that John the Baptist was the representative of mankind and the last High Priest. He was the Old Testament’s last priest and last prophet. That is why he carried out his priestly duties as the last High Priest on this earth. The High Priest in Heaven, on the other hand, is none other than Jesus.
 
 
John the Baptist’s Ministry Shown in the Gospel of Luke
 
The ministry of John the Baptist is explained in the Gospel of Luke as well. To see this, let’s turn to Luke chapter 1.
“Inasmuch as many have taken in hand to set in order a narrative of those things which have been fulfilled among us, just as those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word delivered them to us, it seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write to you an orderly account, most excellent Theophilus, that you may know the certainty of those things in which you were instructed. There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the division of Abijah. His wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth. And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless. But they had no child, because Elizabeth was barren, and they were both well advanced in years. So it was, that while he was serving as priest before God in the order of his division, according to the custom of the priesthood, his lot fell to burn incense when he went into the temple of the Lord. And the whole multitude of the people was praying outside at the hour of incense. Then an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing on the right side of the altar of incense. And when Zacharias saw him, he was troubled, and fear fell upon him. But the angel said to him, ‘Do not be afraid, Zacharias, for your prayer is heard; and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John. And you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth. For he will be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink. He will also be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother’s womb. And he will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God. He will also go before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, “to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children,” and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready a people prepared for the Lord’” (Luke 1:1-17).
Now then, who is mentioned first here once again? The birth of John the Baptist and his ministry are mentioned here first. In verse 2 here, Luke points out “those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word.” This tells us that there were many who had undertaken to write an account of what Jesus had done on this earth as told to them by His servants. Luke, having investigated everything from the beginning, saw it pertinent to write an orderly account to Theophilus, a high-ranking official to whom the letter was addressed. In other words, Luke had witnessed Jesus’ ministry from the beginning to the end and is now explaining Jesus Christ in detail from the very beginning to a certain, high-ranked official, so that this official may know who Jesus Christ was. The crucial thing to note here is that even as Luke is giving an account of Jesus Christ from the beginning, he is speaking of the birth of John the Baptist and his ministry here prior to those of Jesus. This once again indicates the importance of John the Baptist and his ministry.
 
 
The Gospel of the Water and the Spirit Testified in the Gospel of John
 
What does the Gospel of John then say about the ministry of Jesus and the ministry of John the Baptist? Let’s all find out some relevant passages from its beginning:
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it. There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. This man came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all through him might believe” (John 1:1-7).
Now, it’s said here that “there was a man sent from God, whose name was John.” To whom does this man refer? This man refers to none other than John the Baptist. The Bible says that this man was not the Light himself, but he was sent by God to bear witness of that Light, and his name was John the Baptist. It’s written clearly here that John the Baptist “came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all through him might believe.”
When we believe in Jesus’ blood on the Cross, we must believe based on the fact that John the Baptist had passed the sins of the world onto Jesus by baptizing Him. When we believe in Jesus as our Savior, in other words, we must believe according to the Word of the Scriptures. In the Old Testament, God had saved sinners through the sacrificial offering of atonement, and just as foreshadowed by this sacrificial system, Jesus Christ came to this earth in the age of the New Testament and fulfilled all the promises of salvation prophesied by God’s servants. That is what Jesus Christ has done for us; and none other than He is the Son of God.
We must believe in Jesus Christ according to His Word. We must believe in the very God who has spoken to us in these last days by His Son. You should never ignore God’s Word. The Word of God does not belong exclusively to any one particular denomination. If I’m asked to explain why so many Christians today are so spiritually lethargic, I can answer with every confidence that it’s because they believe in Jesus without believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit which is manifested in the Word of God. Put differently, countless people are unable to have their names written in God’s Book of Life precisely because they are ignoring the gospel of the water and the Spirit revealed in the Scriptures.
Now then, let’s shift gears here and turn to Book of Revelation:
“And the Spirit and the bride say, ‘Come!’ And let him who hears say, ‘Come!’ And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely. For I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book; and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the Book of Life, from the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book. He who testifies to these things says, ‘Surely I am coming quickly.’ Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus! The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen” (Revelation 22:17-21).
Where it says here, “The Spirit and the bride say,” the Spirit refers to God and the bride to the saints of His Church. It’s written, “And the Spirit and the bride say, ‘Come!’ Let him who hears say, ‘Come!’ And let him who thirst come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely.” If you listen to the gospel of the water and the Spirit with your ears and accept it into your heart just as it is, you will attain the salvation promised by the Lord. Whoever believes in the gospel of the water and the Spirit will receive the water of life, obtain eternal life, and become God’s child and His bride. Such people will all be made righteous right away. Everyone who believes in the gospel of the water and the Spirit will be saved by grace.
It’s also written in the Book of Revelation 22:18, “I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book.” This is such an important point that John waited until the end to make it. Having written all the Scriptures to perfection, God is asking us to keep this admonishment in mind. Insofar as our faith is concerned, we should never add to the Word of God or subtract anything from it, just as the Bible warns us, “If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book.” This means that if we believe in Jesus while leaving out the Truth of salvation as prophesied in the Old Testament and fulfilled in the New Testament—that Jesus has saved us from the sins of the world through the gospel of the water and the Spirit—then God will also remove us from the Book of Life. If we believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, on the other hand, we will go to Heaven to see God face to face. However, if we otherwise don’t believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, God will delete our names from the Book of Life.
This gospel of the water and the Spirit is not just a doctrine made up by some denomination. As I mentioned before, the gospel of the water and the Spirit had worked from 30 to 100 AD. In those days the gospel of God could not be preached without the gospel of the water and the Spirit. From then on Christianity entered the era of the Church Fathers, and from this era—to be more exact, from the issuance of the Edict of Milan in 313 AD—the gospel of the water and the Spirit was completely eclipsed. For all these years until now, the gospel of the water and the Spirit could not be preached. This means that Christianity had not preached the gospel of the water and the Spirit for about 1,700 years.
The thousand years of the Medieval Age is not the only Dark Age. Even now, we are living in a spiritually dark age. If the Medieval Age was the Dark Age, the present age is an even darker age. During the Medieval Age the Catholic Pope had more authority than the Word of God, and now in this present age, Christian doctrines have more authority than the gospel of the water and the Spirit. That’s why I’m saying that the present age is a spiritually dark age, where denominational dogmas exercise more authority than even the Bible.
As mentioned, the gospel of the water and the Spirit had not been preached for about 1,700 years. But this does not mean that there actually was no one preaching the gospel of the water and the Spirit. There were a few witnesses, though extremely small in number, who had continued to preach this gospel of the water and the Spirit. However, the true gospel could not blossom because even when it was preached, it was ignored by people, saying, “Does this then mean that only this gospel is the real gospel? Is the gospel of the Cross that we believe in a false gospel then? That’s ridiculous!” Such a trend has continued on down to the present age.
Do you believe that the Bible you have is the Word of God? If you believe in Jesus as your Savior, then you must also believe in the written Word of God exactly as it is, neither adding anything to it nor subtracting any Word from it. True salvation will come to you only when you believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit as it is written in the Word of God. Otherwise your faith will be all in vain. You will then be judged by the Lord on the last day, and He will say to you, “I do not know you at all. You shall be thrown into hell!”
My fellow believers, The Word of God will be fulfilled without fail. If anyone still has sin even after believing in Jesus as his Savior, he will be cursed forever, for he does not believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Such people will be cast into hell because they do not believe in the Word of God spoken to us in these last days by His Son. Anyone who has sin in his heart even as he believes in Jesus is someone who does not believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Even those who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit must be careful when it comes to the Word of God. If any of them adds anything to the written Word of God, he will be judged, and if anyone takes away anything from the written Word, he will be forsaken by God as well, just as God said, “I will remove you from the Book of Life.”
Do you carry the Bible with you, where the Word of God is written? Is Matthew chapter 3 somehow not the Word of God? Is Matthew chapter 1 not part of God’s Word? What about Matthew chapter 28? How about the Gospel of John? Is it not the Word of God? Are just some parts of the Bible God’s Word, while others are not? Do you find only certain parts of the Scriptures understandable but not others? This, my fellow believers, is all because you are ignoring God’s Word and you regard the words of man more authoritative than the Word of God.
We must base the authority of our faith on the written Word of God. A preacher is authoritative like this only when he preaches just God’s Word. The true servants of God preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit written in the Word of God, rather than saying their own things and preaching about their own denominational doctrines. Those who do not preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit and the Word of God are not God’s servants. God’s true servants are those who preach the Word of God that His Son has spoken to us in these last days.
What about you then? Do you believe in the Word that God has spoken to us in these last days by His Son? Because the Son of God has blotted out all our sins with the gospel of the water and the Spirit, we can all receive the remission of sins by faith. Only those who believe in Jesus Christ, in this Son of God who came to us by the gospel of the water and the Spirit, have eternal life; and only they have become God’s own children and brides, and only they are ready to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. How has the Son of God blotted out all our sins? To know and believe in this is the wisdom of our faith. In the Old Testament, the High Priest made it possible for his people to receive the remission of their yearly sins on the Day of Atonement by laying his hands on the scapegoat. And in the New Testament, even though it may seem as though the remission of sins can be received on a daily basis if we repent everyday, in reality, God who has spoken to us in these last days by His Son, is saying to us that He had passed all the sins of this world onto Jesus’ head by His baptism through John the Baptist.
My fellow believers, when it comes to believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, we must understand and believe in it exactly as it is written in the Bible. We must believe in Jesus Christ who came by the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Do you believe in this gospel of the water and the Spirit that God has spoken to us by His Son? If you want to ignore the gospel of the water and the Spirit, then feel free to do so. But remember this: If you believe in Jesus while ignoring the gospel of the water and the Spirit, you will come to have a false faith.
What do you say when you preach the gospel? Do you just say blindly, “Believe in Jesus! You will be blessed if you believe in Jesus anyhow”? Or alternatively, do you try to instill fear in people’s hearts, saying, “You will go to hell if you don’t believe in Jesus. Believe while you can. The Lord Jesus has blotted out your sins by being crucified and shedding His blood for you. Believe in Jesus”? Those who say such things are not God’s servants.
The true servants of God say instead, “God has blotted out all your sins with the gospel of the water and the Spirit. It’s all up to you now. Believe in Him if you want to be saved, but don’t believe if you don’t want to.” Such gospel preachers are God’s true servants. They do not mince their words because they are God’s servants, not the servants of man always worried about what others might think of them.
Today’s churches are preaching the gospel as though they were running a corporate marketing strategy. They mobilize the entire church membership to draw more people into the fold, but is it really evangelizing when every new attendee is given an umbrella as a reward? No, it is not! A certain doctor of ministry studied how to increase church membership and published his research findings, and the gist of his argument was this: “The foremost priority is to draw in more people into the church by any means possible. Everything else is secondary; all that matters is that people are drawn in the church regardless of the method.” So each church tries to draw in as many people as possible no matter what they believe, even running lotteries to make church membership more attractive. These churches say, “So long as you believe in Jesus, you will go to Heaven even if you don’t know the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Anyone who believes in Jesus shall all enter Heaven because it’s written, ‘Whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved’ (Romans 10:13). So it’s not that difficult to believe in Jesus. Don’t be so troublesome to insist on the Bible so much. Instead, just say that everyone is blessed if he just believes in Jesus. All that you have to do is just believe in Jesus as your Savior.” Today’s mainstream churches teach that the moment one believes in Jesus as his Savior, he is remitted from all his past sins, original and personal alike, and that the daily sins that are committed from then on are washed away by offering prayers of repentance. They insist that by doing so, one can be completely sanctified to enter Heaven at last.
However, if you believe like this, you will end up having a useless faith. In contrast, if you listen to the Word of God through those who really believe in Jesus as their Savior—that is, through the servants of God who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit—you will receive the remission of sins and make Heaven yours. And if you really believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, then you also can preach the Word of God boldly with God’s authority as the following: “You will go to hell unless you believe in this genuine gospel. If you realize who I am, you would listen to the Word that I am preaching to you and you would be saved. I am preaching the gospel of the water and the Spirit, and you wouldn’t treat me so coldly like this if you know who I am.”
Take a look at what the Book of Hebrew says. It’s said here that God has spoken to us in these last days by His Son. God created the entire universe through His Son, and it is also by His Son that God has spoken the gospel of the water and the Spirit to us. The Kingdom of God is actualized in our hearts when we believe in the Son of God who has come by the gospel of the water and the Spirit, but when we do not believe in this Son of God, hell descends upon us instead.
For those of you who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, God has appointed you as His heirs. If you are God’s heir, then you will go to Heaven and live there in glory. Do you have another world waiting for you? Even though it may seem as though all Christians believe in Jesus as their Savior in the same way, in God’s eyes, they are distinguished into those bound to Heaven and those bound to hell. God is speaking the gospel of the water and the Spirit to us by His Son, and you should remember clearly here that you will go to Heaven only if you believe in this genuine gospel. If you otherwise disregard this gospel, then you will go to hell, for you will not be able to receive the remission of your sins. Whether you are welcomed into Heaven or cast into hell is absolutely up to Jesus, for He is the Judge and the Ruler of all dominions, including the next world to come.
My fellow Christians, today, we have together ruminated on what God has spoken to us by His Son. Who do you think and believe Jesus Christ is? Do you really accept the gospel of the water and the Spirit into your heart? Is there any chance that you could be delivered from sin through something else other than the gospel of the water and the Spirit? No, it’s impossible! If the gospel of the water and the Spirit is the Word of God, then you must acknowledge it with your heart. If you really want to believe in Jesus as your Savior, you must believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit right now. Some of you have been Christians for a long time, and while there are some things that you should continue to believe, you had not known the gospel of the water and the Spirit all these years. But now that you know it, you will be saved if you just believe in it with your heart.
If you accept the gospel of the water and the Spirit into your heart, your salvation will be made perfect. Why do some people then accept this gospel while others don’t? Why do so many Christians today find it so hard to accept that Jesus bore the sins of the world through His baptism, even as they have no trouble accepting that Jesus was crucified for them? Isn’t it because Jesus had accepted all our sins through His baptism that He was crucified to shed His blood to death, and isn’t it because the Lord rose from the dead that we the believers were cleansed to reach our salvation?
Everything has a cause and an effect. Jesus shed His blood as a result of His baptism, through which He had borne all the sins of the world, and it is as a consequence of this act of mercy that the Lord died on the Cross for us. So you must be saved by believing in this gospel Word of the water and the Spirit, the unmistakable Word of God. If there were no process through which Jesus bore all our sins by being baptized by John the Baptist, how could our sins ever been blotted out? How could the Lord shed His blood on the Cross if He had not shouldered all our sins in the first place through His baptism? It’s because there was a cause, because Jesus bore all our sins by being baptized by John the Baptist, that He shed His blood on the Cross for us.
God the Father has spoken to us today through His Son, and I give all my thanks to Him. Hallelujah!