“But, beloved, we are confident of better things concerning you, yes, things that accompany salvation, though we speak in this manner. For God is not unjust to forget your work and labor of love which you have shown towards His name, in that you have ministered to the saints, and do minister. And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end, that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.”
Through today’s Scripture passage we can see God’s servant admonishing us to inherit the promises of God through patience. We believe in the righteousness of Jesus Christ, and He loves us and is serving us. Whenever we profess to believe in Jesus Christ as our Savior, we are professing to believe that the Lord was born on this earth to save us; that He is our High Priest; that He bore all our sins by being baptized by John the Baptist; that He died on the Cross in our place; that He arose from the dead; that He ascended to Heaven; and that all these things were done by Christ out of love to serve us.
Therefore, when we believe in Jesus Christ as our Savior and the righteousness of God, we believe that He is serving us. We also believe that our Lord came to this earth in order to save His people from all their sins. More concretely, we believe that when Jesus Christ turned 30 years old, He was baptized by John the Baptist in order to bear all our sins. And just as it’s absolutely important for us to believe that Jesus bore all our sins once and for all through the baptism He received from John the Baptist, it’s also absolutely imperative for us to believe in the blood Christ shed on the Cross. Moreover, not only do we believe that our Lord bore all our sins by being baptized and was condemned for them once and for all by shedding His blood on the Cross, but we also believe that He rose from this dead again to become our Savior, ascended to Heaven, and will indeed return. These are the truths that all of us must believe in when we profess to believe in Jesus Christ, realizing that He is serving us because He loves us.
When We Profess to Believe in Jesus Christ as Our Savior, We Must Know and Preach the Gospel of the Water and the Spirit
When we profess to believe in Jesus as our Savior, we must know what the gospel of the water and the Spirit is and believe in this gospel, for only then can we preach the true gospel properly. It is absolutely indispensable for all of us to have a clear understanding of exactly how Jesus Christ bore all our sins and saved us, why He was baptized by John the Baptist, and why He had to die on the Cross. Anyone who wants to believe in the righteousness of Jesus must realize and believe in this Truth of salvation from the beginning. Through the gospel of the water and the Spirit, in other words, one must understand why Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist, why He was crucified to death, why He rose up from the dead, why He ascended to Heaven, why He will come again, and why He has given us the Kingdom of Heaven. In short, when we profess to believe in Jesus as our Savior, we must first build a sturdy foundation of faith. From the very beginning, God told us to learn about the gospel Truth of the water and the Spirit properly, understand it clearly, and believe in it wholeheartedly. You should therefore realize here that whoever does not believe in this gospel of the water and the Spirit even after hearing it will be cursed, and whoever betrays the Truth even after believing in it will never be able to repent again.
When Jesus Christ came to this earth, He was baptized by John the Baptist at the age of 30, and at the age of 33, He was crucified to death and was resurrected from the dead in three days. At that time, Israel was a tributary state of the Roman Empire. Having already been subjugated by the Roman Empire, Israel was completely destroyed by General Titus around 70 AD in a punitive expedition. The Roman Empire then scattered the Jews around as punishment for their continual rebellion against its rule. The Temple of Herod in Israel was completely ransacked and demolished on 70 AD as a result. The Romans laid the Temple to ruins, removing even the stones that were buried deep under the ground, and they sold the people of Israel as slaves, thus scattering them all across the then known world. So, from 70 AD on until the founding of the modern state of Israel, the Jewish people had no country to call their very own. It’s only after the Jews came together and launched a concerted campaign to establish their own state that they recovered their land with the founding of Israel in 1948. So it’s been about six decades since the Jewish state was restored, but even now, the Israelis are still struggling with the Palestinians over this land.
How would the writer of Hebrews feel if he were to look at his fellow Jews now? Even though the gospel of the water and the Spirit had begun in Israel, and it is in Israel where the twelve Apostles preached this gospel from the very beginning, there is hardly any Jew who believes in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Having been scattered all over the world since 70 AD, the Jewish people have been lost for so long that they no longer have faith in the true gospel of salvation. As a servant of God, the writer of Hebrews saw this tragedy was about to unfold, and so you can imagine just how sad he must have been. That is why the writer of Hebrews once again spoke of the gospel of the water and the Spirit in this Epistle to the Hebrews, testifying to them repeatedly about the divine attributes of Jesus Christ and His greatness.
All the Servants of God in the Days of Both the Old and the New Testaments always Believed in the Salvation That Was Reached through Sacrificial Offerings
All the servants of God in the New Testament believed in the baptism that Jesus received from John the Baptist, His death on the Cross, His resurrection, His ascension, and His return. They believed that Jesus had come to this earth as their Savior incarnated in the flesh of man, that He was God Himself, and that His baptism and blood were the definitive antitype of salvation. So the writer of the Epistle to the Hebrews reminded the saints of his days to endure in patience and practice righteousness, for Jesus is the Judge who would return to this world.
It’s written in Hebrews 6:10, “For God is not unjust to forget your work and labor of love which you have shown toward His name, in that you have ministered to the saints, and do minister.” We can serve our fellow saints as well as the lost souls thanks to the love and service of the Lord toward us. Put differently, we can serve the righteousness of God because He served us first by sacrificing Himself without any hesitation. Everything the Lord has done for us, from coming to this earth to save us from all the sins of the world to bearing all these sins once and for all through the baptism He received from John the Baptist, dying on the Cross, and rising up from the dead, was done to serve us.
We should never forget the work of salvation that Jesus has done for us to save us through the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Each and every one of us ought to meditate on this righteous salvation that Jesus has fulfilled for us through the gospel of the water and the Spirit and believe in it.
Think about Jesus’ fulfillment of the righteousness of God. From whom did Jesus received His baptism? He received it from John the Baptist. Why was Jesus then baptized by John the Baptist when He was God Himself and completely sinless? It was to blot out your sins and mine. Out of God’s love for us, Jesus had come to this world to blot out all its sins. In other words, Jesus had to be baptized once by John the Baptist because He was the Lamb of sacrifice who had come to bear all the sins of this world once and for all by being baptized by John the Baptist and to blot them all out. That is why, when Jesus told John the Baptist to baptize Him, He said to him, “Permit it so be now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness” (Matthew 3:15). The baptism that Jesus received from John the Baptist was to take upon all our sins once and for all. The problem, however, is that too many Christians are still ignorant of this amazing fact, and they think and believe mistakenly that Jesus was baptized just to humble Himself and show His humility.
If the truth of the baptism that Jesus received from John the Baptist were just a sectarian doctrine of some Christian denomination, then this truth about Jesus’ baptism would have no power. But this Word is the indispensable element that constitutes the gospel Truth of the water and the Spirit planned by God the Father Himself, and therefore all who believe in this gospel can witness with their own eyes all their sins being blotted out. And for those of us who already believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, every time we preach this gospel, we can renew our strength in our everyday lives thanks to the Holy Spirit. If the gospel of the water and the Spirit were not true, then it would have been impossible for our lips to say that we were sinless. And if we did not experience such wonderful power of the gospel of the water and the Spirit, then we could never have preached it either.
How Can Anyone Say That Jesus Was Baptized by John the Baptist in Vain?
Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist to take upon all our sins, for all of us constantly grapple with countless carnal shortcomings as we carry on with our lives in this world. In other words, we leave a trail of sin in every step of our lives. That is why the Lord bore all our sins, and if it were not for Jesus’ baptism, we would have had no way out from the eternal curse of hell. So how could we ever forget about the baptism that Jesus Christ received for us? What could deliver us from all the sins that we commit every hour of everyday? Was it not the grace of Jesus Christ manifested through the baptism He received from the John the Baptist and the blood He shed on the Cross for us? Given the fact that the Lord has saved us from all our sins like this and blotted them all out once and for all, how could we not preach this amazing grace? Indeed, it’s like this because we cannot help but preach God’s grace that we are testifying the gospel of the water and the Spirit to everyone all over the world. We the believers in the gospel of the water and the Spirit cannot help but ruminate on this gospel and preach it all the time.
The more we meditate on God’s Word of the water and the Spirit, the more grateful we are to the Lord and the greater the grace of salvation becomes. The more we meditate on the gospel of the water and the Spirit by faith, the more we are immersed in God’s love. In the Old Testament, animals were distinguished into clean and unclean animals, and such livestock as bulls, lambs, and goats were specified by God as clean animals. God considers them clean because these animals have cloven hooves and chew the cud. As a cow has four stomachs, when it eats food, it chews the cud. In other words, clean animals regurgitate what has been swallowed into the first stomach, and then regurgitate the semi-digested cud and chew on it again. Cows and sheep were considered clean animals because they could chew the cud like this.
In a similar vein, we can also meditate on the gospel of the water and the Spirit time after time, for we believe in the righteousness of God, and therefore we ought to indeed meditate over this gospel and preach it as often as possible. It is only right for us to ruminate on the Word of God at every chance we get.
With the gospel of the water and the Spirit, our Lord has truly blotted out all our sins once and for all, and He has blessed us forever. And the Bible says that the Lord never ceases to serve us out of His love. Even now, He answers us when we pray in the name of Jesus Christ. Our God always answers our prayers and helps us all the time. Even at this very moment Jesus Christ is serving us, protecting us and guiding us. How wonderful is this? The Lord is serving us even at this very moment. Even though it may seem as though we are serving the righteousness of the Lord, it is in fact our Lord who is serving us. The Lord is taking good care of us with the Word of God, and He is guarding us lest our faith goes astray. He is nourishing us with the gospel of the water and the Spirit that constitutes the bread of life for our spirits, and He is empowering us to carry out His work. Whenever we pray to Him for any needs, the Lord answers our prayer and protects us. He guards over us so that the wicked Devil would not rule over us. Therefore, we should never forget the grace of the Lord.
It is out of His love for us that the Lord has blotted out all our sins with the water and the Spirit, saved us from all the sins of the world, and blessed us to live by faith. The Lord is always with us, guiding us to green pastures to graze and rest in God’s Church, and we should never forget this until the day the Lord returns. There are some people who forget all about the grace of the Lord, and such people end up falling away from God’s grace and departing from His Church. These people go out into the world and try to live on by their own means because they do not know that the Lord is serving them, helping them, and taking care of them. If you turn yourself into such a person, then you will surely be ruined both in body and in spirit. You will live a wretched life, barely making a living and wasting away your life in drunkenness and indolence. It is because we are in God’s Church that we are diligent for the righteous cause; if we were not abiding in God’s Church, then we would just do fleshly things until the day we die. Every hour and every minute would be wasted on completely indolent, wicked, and useless things. So let us never forget the fact that it is the Lord who is serving us, and that it is not we who first serve the Lord.
We Ought to Hope for the Kingdom of Heaven in Our Lives
It’s written in Hebrews 6:11-12, “And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end, that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.”
All the servants of God and our predecessors of faith put their first hope in the Kingdom of Heaven as an example to be imitated. When people think about paradise, they often think of a beautiful beach in a warm tropical island, such as Hawaii or the Caribbean. When people see TV ads showing a couple relaxing on a hammock under a palm tree, they wish they could go there. And many of them do take such vacations. When our bodies are so comfortable that we are completely satisfied and lack nothing, we often say that this is paradise on earth. Our Lord promised to give us such a paradise when the Millennial Kingdom of God is established. This paradise is the Kingdom of Christ. It is a Kingdom that God will grant to only those who have lived and labored for the Lord. The Kingdom of Heaven is given only to those who believe in and serve the righteousness of the Lord.
Therefore, it is absolutely important for all of us to realize clearly here that our predecessors of faith were never sluggish to serve the Lord on this earth, but they were all full of hope for the Millennial Kingdom and devoted all their lives to serving the gospel of the water and the Spirit. These forefathers of faith led a life of example to be emulated by all of us following in their footsteps, showing us how we ought to live as their descendants of faith. What did our predecessors of faith believe in? They all believed in the coming Millennial Kingdom. They also believe that when the Lord returns to this earth, their bodies will be suddenly transformed into new bodies. And they had the unwavering belief that after reigning over the Millennial Kingdom for a thousand years, they will then enter the everlasting Kingdom of God and live with Him forever, enjoying the same privilege as Him. It is extremely important for all of us to realize this clearly. The predecessors of faith are invariably diligent in their devotion to the gospel work. They work tirelessly for the gospel of the water and the Spirit. They have devoted all their lives to the spreading of the gospel, and they are serving this true gospel faithfully.
Even though our church leaders and predecessors of faith may sometimes seem as though they are not working that hard, it’s absolutely not the case that they are somehow neglecting God’s work. For example, I had a lot of things to do before coming here to give this Bible lecture to you. From the moment I woke up this morning, I have been very busy with all kinds of works, from going over the daily mission report to deciding some urgent matters. Yet when our saint’s look at their church leaders, it may seem as though all that they do is just talk, but in fact, they are indeed busier serving the gospel. All our ministers are working very hard. For whom are they working so hard then? They are laboring for those who still have not received the remission of sins. They are working for the sake of the gospel, to build the Kingdom of God.
We should never forget that God has given us the gospel of the water and the Spirit. And when we profess to believe in this gospel, we ought to believe in this gospel unwaveringly with a clear understanding. We must discern what the will of God really is, accept it into our hearts, and tirelessly run towards our goal by faith.
Although It Is Very Hard to Build a House on the Rock, Once It Is Built, It Is Extremely Sturdy
Our faith must be like a house built on the rock. Rather than just believing in Jesus blindly without any understanding, we ought to know why we must believe in Jesus and how our Lord has become our Savior, and preach this step by step. It is when we thus expand our understanding correctly one by one that we accumulate the knowledge of the genuine gospel, and it’s when we believe in this way that we can have the right faith. Only then is the foundation of faith laid down properly in our hearts so that we would neither be deceived nor fail. Some people don’t believe in the Truth of salvation even though they have heard it, and these people will all be destroyed. In contrast, those who know and believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit are full of hope for the Kingdom of Heaven, and they will all enjoy great glory.
The time of the Lord’s return is imminent now. The Lord’s return is very close. There have been some radical climate changes across the whole wide world. Although our country, South Korea, has enjoyed a relatively good climate, this is changing rapidly. For instance, flash floods have become a common occurrence here in Korea. Precipitation no longer follows its usual predictable pattern, and instead torrential and focused rain has almost become the norm. Such unusual changes are evident all over the world. Even more troubling is the rapid meltdown of polar icecaps resulting from global warming. The massive ice sheets that had covered the North Pole and the Antarctica for tens of thousands of years are melting away. It is said that the sea level in some countries has as a consequence risen by no less than 60 centimeters, threatening to submerge many coastlines. This was in fact predicted by scientists long ago. Scientists have warned that if nothing was done to prevent global warming and the meltdown of the polar icecaps, the sea level would rise dramatically to inundate much of the landmass. And this is actually happening right now. The only difference is that whereas global warming had been a hypothetical notion in the past, now it is a reality.
Consider what would happen if the sea level were to rise by 60 centimeters. Everywhere along the coastlines whose elevation is less than 60 centimeters would be submerged under the sea water. This land erosion would be large enough to alter land maps, change the shape of the coastlines, and even lead to the disappearance of many beaches that are now being enjoyed as a playground. This would be disastrous for many people. Imagine that you built a nice house by the sea but the sea level suddenly rose by a meter that flooded your home. Would you not be devastated? This is not just empty words when I say that the end of the world is coming, but we are actually witnessing it with our own naked eyes.
The gospel of the water and the Spirit is now being preached all over the world successfully, and the pace is picking up even more. Now is the time to yearn for the Millennial Kingdom. Without this hope, we cannot serve the Lord diligently. If we had no hope for the Millennial Kingdom, or if God were not to give us this Kingdom, what would we do to sustain our lives of faith? If this were true, then nothing would set us apart from any unbelievers, other than the fact that we have no sin. All of us have flesh just as every unbeliever has flesh, and all of us must eat to survive just like everyone else. In our flesh, we are no different from anyone else.
However, because we have God’s promises, there are two things that set us apart from everyone else. One is that we have no sin in our hearts, and the other is that God will give us the Millennial Kingdom to enter it and to live there. In contrast, no unbeliever can enter this Kingdom. Every unbeliever will be cast into hell instead. The difference that sets us the believers apart from every unbeliever is that great. If the only thing that sets us apart is that we have received the remission of sins, but we have no Millennial Kingdom waiting for us, then we would have little to look forward to.
All the Apostles and God’s servants in the Bible hoped for the Millennial Kingdom. Like these predecessors of faith, you also must hope for the Millennial Kingdom and put your faith in it. What awaits us is so wonderful that it is far better than even the most wonderful place that you have ever been to on this earth. All of us must realize here that God has prepared for us a Kingdom that’s beyond our wildest imagination, and He is waiting for us. And we must believe in this without a trace of doubt. It is absolutely imperative for all of us to have such hope and such faith.
When misguided Christians speak of the Epistle to the Hebrews, they usually speak of just the blood of the Cross, but the truly born-again can see the writer of the Epistle to the Hebrews continuing to speak about the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Every passage in the whole Bible was written by those inspired by the Holy Spirit, and that’s precisely why we believe in the Bible. And those who were inspired by the Holy Spirit like this were none other than those who believed in the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
We believe in the baptism of Jesus, His death on the Cross, and His resurrection, and while these obviously constitute the Truth of salvation, in this present age they still remain a mystery to most people. Most Christians today believe only in the blood of the Cross alone because that’s what they have heard, been preached, and been taught to believe by mainstream Christianity. So, even though every Christian has faith, most Christians’ faith is completely misplaced, for they believe in Jesus while leaving out His baptism. Of course, practically every Christian professes to believe in the Lord’s incarnation, His death on the Cross, His resurrection, and His return, but most Christians have no idea that the Lord took away all their sins by being baptized, and therefore they cannot enter the Millennial Kingdom prepared by the Lord.
We should never allow this to happen to us. All of us ought to believe that the Lord is God Himself who has served us through the water, the blood, and the Spirit, and that He will give us the Millennial Kingdom. I ask each and every one of you to believe in this Truth.