The New Life Mission

Sermons

Subject 22 : The Gospel According to LUKE

[Chapter 24-2] (Luke 24:36-53) Think of the Work of God

(Luke 24:36-53)
“Now as they said these things, Jesus Himself stood in the midst of them, and said to them, ‘Peace to you.’ But they were terrified and frightened, and supposed they had seen a spirit. And He said to them, ‘Why are you troubled? And why do doubts arise in your hearts? Behold My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself. Handle Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see I have.’ When He had said this, He showed them His hands and His feet. But while they still did not believe for joy, and marveled, He said to them, ‘Have you any food here?’ So they gave Him a piece of a broiled fish and some honeycomb. And He took it and ate in their presence. Then He said to them, ‘These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me.’ And He opened their understanding, that they might comprehend the Scriptures. Then He said to them, ‘Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day, and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And you are witnesses of these things. Behold, I send the Promise of My Father upon you; but tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high.’ And He led them out as far as Bethany, and He lifted up His hands and blessed them. Now it came to pass, while He blessed them, that He was parted from them and carried up into heaven. And they worshiped Him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy, and were continually in the temple praising and blessing God. Amen.”
 
 
What Must We Think of?
 
How have you been, brothers and sisters? Easter is drawing near. I am preaching about Easter so early because I think it is beneficial for us to do everything before others. Also, I am preaching the Word from today’s Scripture passage because I think it is more beneficial for us to understand and believe the things the Lord had done when He came to this world and the things that will happen in the future, rather than being sad and fasting for the season of Lent is here.
The Word we have read today is the Word the Lord told the disciples after resurrecting from death. It speaks about the fact that Jesus Christ was resurrected from death on the third day, and that the gospel that made us attain the remission of sins through His name will be preached to all the nations starting from Jerusalem. The Lord witnessed His resurrection while having a meal with the disciples and made them understand the Scripture Word. After that, the Lord spoke the last Word, “Now, I will send you the Holy Spirit as the Father had promised,” and blessed the disciples and went up to the Kingdom of Heaven. Afterwards, the disciples of Jesus went to the Temple and praised God.
We have read such Words today. As we read this Scripture Word today, we must think whether we understand and believe this Scripture passage correctly.
Our Lord came to this world, took all the sins of the humankind by receiving the baptism, carried the sins of the world to the Cross, and was resurrected after dying on the Cross. Then, do you believe that the Lord really resurrected from death? Do you believe this Word exactly as it is? Not only this Word, but do you believe all the things our Lord has done and all the Words He has spoken as they are recorded in the Scriptures? Do you believe all the Words the Lord has spoken sharply like a deadly sword about the things that will happen to the humankind in the future and the things that are essential to us?
I am saying that we must think of such things. I know that we must think about such things like whether we really believe the Scripture Word or whether we just read it, whether we go to Church because we are bored or whether we go to Church because we really believe this Word. There is a great gap between a person who goes to Church believing in the Scripture Word and a person who just goes to Church without believing the Word.
I believe all the Word spoken in the Scriptures. So I also believe that our Lord who has ascended to Heaven will return in the end times. And I also believe that the world will fall into tribulation, that is, natural disasters. Because it is recorded in the Scriptures, I believe all the things that will happen in the end times, such as the world of stars shaking and earthquakes erupting and famine and sickness occurring everywhere in the world. I also believe our Lord came to this world as a human being through the body of Virgin Mary, and I also believe that He received the baptism from John the Baptist at the age of thirty and fulfilled all the righteousness. I also believe the Lord took all the sins of the world to be put to death on the Cross in our place, and I also believe He was resurrected from death to save us. I also believe the Lord ascended to Heaven because all such things are recorded in the Lord’s Word. It is very important to believe the Word like this as we live out our faith because believing in the Word is having faith in God.
 
 
Those Who Truly Believe in God’s Word Believe That Every Word Will Be Realized Exactly as It Is Written
 
Those who believe in the Word do not fall into really bad things or into their own thinking. Because the Word is the light for us, we come to know how to live and what to live for through the Word, and we also know what the life is. We can live very wisely because, only through the Word, we know even the things that will happen in the future. Therefore, it is very important for us to believe in the Scripture Word. And it is important to think of this Scripture Word, Jesus Christ who appeared in the Word and think of His work.
Our life depends on what we think about. Even in matters of our spiritual life, what we think of is a very important matter. If a Christian just thinks of the present world and thinks only of eating and drinking, then, he is a truly foolish person. A fool always lives joyfully. There is nothing for him to worry about and nothing to be sad about because he lives without thinking. However, we are not fools and we are not animals that do not know how to think. What we think is a very important matter in our spiritual life because we are humans who can reason.
What would happen to us if we just think of the world every day and think of the things going around in the world every day even though we have become people of God after receiving the remission of sins? If we just think of basic needs of food and shelter and think of achieving fleshly goals of present life, and if we think only of the reality we can see with our eyes, then we would someday fall into a trap of Satan. As our Lord spoke of the end times, He said, “Be careful lest you fall into trap due to the cares of the world.” What would happen to us if we just thought of worldly things and lived only with concerns of what to eat and what to drink. We would give up our faith because of all kinds of worries of the world when the world goes through a difficult situation. And we wouldn’t even be able to resolve such matters that bind us and die without receiving help from God. That’s why I am reemphasizing that “What do I think of?” is a very important matter to every Christian.
Christians must definitely believe in God’s Word and think of God’s Word, and only think of Jesus Christ’ returning to the world. And they must think of the mission of preaching the gospel the Lord has entrusted to them until the Day the Lord comes again. A person who is concerned about the problem of saving souls and thinks about such things is a person who has an awakened soul and a person who has precious and wise soul that will not live in spiritual poverty. Such person’s soul becomes plentiful and prosperous because he eats all the Word of God with faith as he believes in the Word of God; he does not fall into the trap from concerns of the world because such soul thinks only of God’s work.
Such people know well what will happen to the world in the future. Therefore, they can go ahead of others even in doing business and all other things they do, and they do not become servants of other people or servants of the world. And, hence, they do not fall into the trap of the concerns about making a living. A person who believes in the Scripture Word like this and thinks of God, a person who thinks of Jesus Christ, a person who thinks with the belief that Jesus Christ is coming soon, is the truly wise person. Such person can live prosperously in this world as well. It means that such people do not have anything to worry about because God gives wisdom to such people. It means that they can live wisely and happily in this world with the Lord’s grace.
However, people who only think, “Though I believe in Jesus, I just believe in Him and I will someday go to Heaven when the Lord comes again. I do not mind anything else,” and people who always think of things of the world even when they come to Church and think only of fleshly goals eventually fall into concerns of the world. How is it when you fall into the concerns of the world? Our hearts are distressed. We can’t see anything. It is natural for a person to lose his mind when he is pushed into a corner and when he faces preposterous things. However, all such concerns of the world disappear when we always think ahead and prepare things faithfully in our present situation. It means we wouldn’t fall into concerns and worries of the world.
Currently, our country is in such a devastating situation because our country has to be under the regulation of IMF. It is somewhat ridiculous if we look at it cynically. Middle class Koreans who were living a good life suddenly became penniless in a moment. They borrowed money from a bank and had run businesses and used credit card and lived well in their own way, but the interest rate increased 10 fold. They got some loan from banks and did business, built homes, and rented the homes, but they lost the homes because of the loan when the interest rate rose too much. They lost companies, workplaces, and homes. Most of them became like that.
There are so many ridiculous things when we look around. There was a big corporation named “Daewoo” in our country, Korea, and that corporation emphasized the global management and established their branches in many places throughout the world including North Korea. However, the corporation went bankrupt in a moment when the banks did not loan money to the corporation. Therefore, so many people who used to work for that corporation have been fired now. It’s the same with KIA Motors. What else could they do but go bankrupt when the banks stopped the flow of capital after loaning money to them continuously. That’s why more people have become unemployed. The impact stretched to the small and mid size companies. Small companies made a living off the subcontracts from big corporations, but it collapsed when the big companies at the top collapsed.
Because there are so many unemployed, the government is causing all kinds of commotion and saying that they will implement some kind of policy to rescue the unemployed and release some funds for the rescue policy. But I just can’t understand it. If the government guaranteed and rescued the corporations and pushed through the tough times, Korean economy would not have collapsed like this. It would be far better if the government tried to rescue the financially weak companies with as little as 1/3 of the money they will spend for the unemployment rescue project. Really, one can become a beggar or become prosperous depending on how he uses the money.
However, I am not very interested in such things. I have totally removed myself from the political concerns. I just live to make people believe in Jesus and receive the remission of sins, but I cannot but feel uneasy about the stupid policies of Korean government. This country would not have come to this point if the government had implemented proper economic policies regardless of how IMF threatened us. There would have not been so many unemployed. I mean such things like normal families losing job and families breaking up would not have happened. They handled this crisis with wrong judgment from the beginning and made all the corporations go bankrupt and now give emergency fund for temporary measure. What is that going to do? People are very thankful that they are helping out now, but such things would not have happened if they thought of things ahead of time and implemented proper policies and supported the companies before this happened. It’s a shame because that’s like fixing the barn after the horses have run off already.
 
 
It’s the Same for You and I Who Believe in Jesus Christ
 
I mean that we cannot become wise people if we consider God’s Word as the teachings of one religion, do not believe in the Word of Truth, and just think of it as human words. It means that we cannot receive wisdom if we do not really believe and follow God’s Word. The Bible is really a great treasure house of amazing wisdom. The Bible is the storage of the Truth, storage of life, storage of salvation, and the storage of blessing. God made it so everyone can look at His Word through the Bible.
Even so, many people do not believe in such Word of Truth although they read it. I want to say this to people who believe in Jesus: “You must first believe in this Word and then think of Jesus Christ.” Such difference in thinking decides the path of human life. Do you know why such things like falling into deep concerns, falling into worries, going bankrupt, going hungry, and living pitifully happen to people even though they clearly believe in Jesus? That’s because such people did not think of the work of Jesus Christ. The consequence is not good because they did not believe in God’s Word, because they did not think of God’s work.
However, when we believe in God’s Word and think of God, we can know exactly what’s going to happen in the world clearly as if we can know what will happen tomorrow by reading a newspaper that describes exactly the affairs of tomorrow. I want to tell you that your heart becomes wider, your spiritual eyes become open, ways to make money open, and gain the wisdom to go through all the difficulties if you think of the work of Jesus Christ first.
 
 
Do You, by Any Chance, Have Sin in Your Heart?
 
Even the sins in your heart are resolved simply when you just read the Scripture Word and believe in it. You don’t need to weep and lament. Basically, people who are ignorant weep and people who are weak weep. God gave His Word through the Scriptures and gave us two medicines to heal the disease of sin and the two medicines are called the New Testament and the Old Testament. There is no one in the entire world that does not have his sins blotted out after taking these two medicines. I mean that there is not even a single person who has not been born again after reading the Word. Everyone becomes born again. Everything is achieved if a person just takes these two medicines.
A human has a soul and a soul has sins. The Lord gave us these two medicines so that we can receive the remission of these sins. He gave us the Scriptures. It is the clear and explicit grace of God. Do you want to receive the Holy Spirit? The Scriptures have everything about how one can receive the Holy Spirit. Does God give us the Holy Spirit ignorantly by saying, “Take it” and asking our reply that says, “Lord, come”? Only the 19th century medicine peddler on the street does things like that. God is the God of Truth.
He is the God of life. He is the God of knowledge. God teaches us all things very clearly through His Word. God has told us everything we need. Everything is resolved if we just believe in this Word. Therefore, God says that He is “The God of Word.” What did Jesus Christ who is God give us when He left this world and ascended up to the right hand of the throne of God the Father? He made the disciples record this Bible and left His Word to you and me through the Bible. This Bible is the most precious gift God has ever given to us. He took everything else up, but He left only this for us. Therefore, read and believe in this Word of Jesus Christ. Believe it and think about it. I think about it. I ponder on this Word even more because I am a pastor.
I believe clearly that the Lord is coming again to this world. And I think about it. However, I do not believe it when some says specifically what year, what month, what day, what time he is coming. Only shamans and people who are possessed by demons believe such things. We must never be misled by such things. Jesus Christ is coming when He wants to come. Do you understand that?
Would you be alive if God told you exactly what year, what month, what day, and what time he is coming? God is full of wisdom. What would the people who will not be lifted up do if God told us exactly what year, what month, what day, what time He is coming? They could kill all the people who are to be lifted up since they are not going to be lifted up. Therefore, how could the Lord say exactly what time the rapture will be realized?
Would God work like that? Would God let His children suffer tribulation like that? He would never work like that. God will come when He wants to come. When sin is prevalent in the world and the gospel is preached throughout the world, when the people who shall believe in God all believe and there is no one who does not believe because he does not know the gospel, that’s when the Lord will come. God is the just God. Therefore, He will come, saying, “You will have no shame when I go to you now because I have sent my servants and workers to you and taught you everything. Those who do not believe with their hearts will be cast away and those who believe will live eternally with Me in Heaven.”
Hence, let’s think about this. I mean let’s think about preaching the Lord’s gospel throughout the entire world. These days, we are translating our books into Spanish, French, and German language. We are preparing the cover arts of those translations. I am sure many people in Europe will believe in the righteousness of Jesus once this book is completed and distributed in Europe. Actually, Germans generally do not believe in Jesus these days. Rather, I was told that Buddhism is prospering in Germany now. Therefore, Germans these days do not know Jesus and the Truth of the Bible well.
Long ago in Germany, a person named Martin Luther cried out, “The just shall live by faith,” and started the religious reformation calling people to return to the Bible. That’s how Germans believed in Jesus, but they believed in Jesus with wrong motive from the outset. They doubted the Bible from the beginning. I want to talk about this for a moment.
At the time, Europeans had been oppressed by the Roman Popes. The Catholic Church disgraced the Lord by even telling people that they will go to Heaven if they buy indulgences. People needed some way out from the oppression of the Pope, but there wasn’t a way out. At that time, Luther appeared and opposed the sale of indulgences and he wrote and posted the Ninety-five Thesis that urged the reformation of the church. So Luther posted the 95 Theses on the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany, October 31, 1517. In this Thesis, he said, “That you go to Heaven when you buy the indulgences is a lie. The Papal Court must not do such things.” Seeing this, people said that he was a courageous person.
The Catholic Church tried to kill Luther. At the time, Luther was a priest and a professor at a theological seminary. The Papal Court tried to kill such a clergyman, Luther. However, most of the noblemen in the Western countries at the time thought, “Let’s put Luther out in the forefront and try to escape the oppressing hand of the Roman Pope.” The Catholic Church dominated the entire Europe at the time, and even a marriage between man and woman of every royal family in Europe was possible only with the permission of the Papal Court. It was the same with divorce. Didn’t the King Henry VIII of England found the Anglican Church because the Papal Court did not give permission for Henry’s plea to divorce? In any case, the Catholic Church wanted to catch Luther and have inquisition and kill him, but the noblemen of Germany hid him so that he wouldn’t be killed. They hid him and let him translate the Bible in German language even though the Catholic Church did not allow translating the Bible into any language other than Latin at all. At the time the printing technique was advanced so that they could print the translated Bible. Then, they distributed the Bible to people. Some other reformists then tried to translate the Bible into their native languages. Many people came to read the Bible in their languages and realized how wrong the faith of the Middle Age was. Hence, people revolted and they were eventually freed from the hands of the Roman Pope.
 
 
What Happened to the People Who Believe in Jesus with Such Objective?
 
They thought, “There is the Gospel of Matthew, the Gospel of Mark, the Gospel of Luke, and the Gospel of John. Why are there so many Gospels? One is enough. Why are there four? Definitely, one person wrote the gospel and the others copied them. They probably copied and rewrote it adding something to it. And then, someone else rewrote the copied version.” They began to have doubts about the Bible like that and began to compare the Four Gospels with one another. That is generally called ‘Higher Criticism.’ They compared the Four Gospels and came to conclusion, “The Gospel of Mark is the original and the rest of the Gospel Books are all copies.” Therefore, they ignored the other three Gospel Books completely, believing only the Gospel of Mark as the original one.
And then what did they do? They doubted, “The Pentateuch? Until what age did Moses live? When we examine the Pentateuch historically, it’s clear that Joshua wrote the Pentateuch. Why is Moses mentioned in the Book of Joshua when Moses died in the Book of Deuteronomy? And why does Moses appear in the book as if he was alive? His name should have been eliminated from then on if he had died then.” They began to dissect the Bible again like that with the presumption that the Pentateuch was not written by Moses. It means that they dissected the Bible like the way people dissect the stomach and take out the intestine when they perform an autopsy. But, what happened? Everything looks red when one looks at it with red sunglasses. And everything looks blue when one looks at it with blue glasses. It means that they did not know and believe the Bible as it is. They distrusted the Bible because they had a bitter experience of the Catholic Church. Therefore, many people in the European countries came to think they couldn’t believe the Bible. And such trend has even spread to the United States now. In the United States, white people do not generally believe in God now. Black people are more likely to keep the faith. Actually, it’s hard to believe faithfully even if one wants to now because there aren’t many people who preach the Word as it is. How could people know the Word properly when this person says this and that person says another thing?
We are now attempting to witness the gospel to people in such European countries like England, France, Germany, Netherlands, and Spain. The books are sold in the largest book shopping mall called Amazon.com in the United States. The books are translated into some European languages. We will be done with the work if we just finish the final editing and make the cover arts and give them to the print shop for printing. To tell you the truth, none of us read and speak French or Spanish. Pastor Roh speaks German a little because he majored in it. A certain brother brought a sample binding of one of the translations. I heard that it was in Spanish. Therefore, I told the brothers, “Do you know what language this is? This is Spanish. Do you get it? I really do not know it much, but it’s Spanish because that’s what they told me.” However, a certain brother came moments later and told me, “This is French, not Spanish.” If we were to name three most powerful countries in Europe, they would be Germany, France, and the United Kingdom. Spain was also a powerful country a few centuries ago. The gospel is now going into these countries again now.
Short while ago, I received a phone call from Pastor Jaesuk Kim in New York, USA. He said that he had sent fifteen boxes of books to the truth seekers in the States during that week. He said that he had to go to another post office to send them all because they were embarrassed to send all the boxes at the first post office as the female clerk at the post office was perturbed because the boxes were too heavy. There are 24 to 30 books in each box. It’s not a small portion.
The people in the Untied States and Europe reject it when they read the book for the first time. Then, after a short time, they say, “I also want to witness this holy news. We also recognize the Word recorded in the book. I have never seen such Truth.” Like this, the gospel is entering everywhere throughout the entire world. We must think of such things.
Jesus Christ has resurrected, and He will come to this world again at sometime in the future. The Advent of the Lord is nearing. We must think of that. What does it mean by the Lord’s coming again? That will be the end of the world. When the Lord comes again, it will be like a bride starting a new home with the groom. Eternal happiness will be with us from that moment. We must think of that and also know that.
We must believe this Bible exactly as it is. What would be the worth of believing in Jesus if we did not believe in this Word? Try telling people to believe in Jesus and give offering of thanksgiving, tithe faithfully, volunteer for service, and do not sin. If you tell them not to sin, they would respond, “What about you?” It just doesn’t make sense. What human being in the world does not sin? God has established His Church in the world so that we could preach the gospel to the sinners when they come to the Church and make them understand how Jesus blotted out all their sins. That’s why we have the pulpit in the Church. Put it simply, this pulpit is the Ark in the Old Testament. It means this is the place where God bestows His mercy. The Israelites transferred over their sins through the High Priest; he laid his hands on the sacrifice and cut the throat of the sacrifice, took the blood, and sprinkled its blood seven times over the Mercy Seat where the angels on both side covered the Ark with their wings. Then, seeing the blood, God declared that their sins were cleansed.
However, how are the churches today? Whenever people come to the church, they just say, “Offer money. Donate your money. Do not sin. Live an upright life.” Then, how would people who hear that think? They think, “What about you? You should be faithful first before the presence of God. We are all same human beings. Do you offer up money? Do you live an upright life?” In fact, many clergymen in Korea receive more than ten thousand dollars each month. Fifteen thousand dollars as a monthly salary is common. On top of that, they receive educational support fund and other things.
They go around in an expensive cars arrogantly and they always sit at the most prestigious seat at the table whenever they were invited to somewhere, and people just cough up white envelopes when they just pray a few words like “Holy and merciful Lord God! Bless this family, bra-bra-bra.” They are saying, “Let there be blessing!” but when people do not bring him money, they say, “Let there be curse!” If you are a person who can reason, you must open your eyes wide and think whether the church you are attending is the church that really follows the Lord according to His Word, the Word of the Scriptures. Is the church a place that just asks for money?
The word ‘church’ is “ecclesia” in Greek, which means “to call out of.” It means, therefore, the gathering of people who had been liberated from a life of a servant and a life of bondage as a slave. Church is the place that rescues people like that and gives them freedom, gives them joy, gives them the remission of sins and new life, and gives them blessings. That is the original meaning of the Church. However, they just tell people to offer up money when people go to church. They misuse the Word from the Scriptures that tells them not to come before the presence of God empty handed.
Of course, God said, “They shall not appear before the LORD empty-handed” (Deuteronomy 16:16). But this means that God earnestly wanted to give the Israelites the remission of sins. Before Jesus Christ came, the people of the Old Testament era received the remission of sins everyday through the laying on of hands on the sacrificial offering. They had to receive the remission of sins like that long time ago. So they were required to bring sacrificial animals. However, all the Law of the Old Testament was nullified by the New Testament when Jesus came to this world and took all the sins of the world at once by receiving the baptism. Our Lord died on the Cross at once, resurrected from death at once, and ascended to Heaven at once.
 
 
However, the False Ministers Just Tell Their Congregation to Offer Money
 
I want to say this to you, and not only you, but to all the Christian believers throughout the entire world. I want to tell you that you should never offer up money if your church does not serve the gospel of water and the Spirit and does not do the upright work of the Lord and they just uses millions of dollars to construct high church buildings with red bricks. Why does church need so much money? God is not greedy for material things. Then, to whom does all that money go? Why do they pile up the envelope on the pulpit and call out the names, announcing, “Thanksgiving offering by so and so deacon, tithing by so and so deacon, thanks giving for store opening by so and so sister?” Churches just need to place an offering box over there at the entrance and people could just offer up money anonymously if their hearts desire. God does not really have much interest in the material things essentially. But why do they keep telling people to offer up money? Why do they tell them to donate for building a church? Why do they tell their congregation to offer up money while they preach that the end of the world has come and that IMF has come? Businesses of the people in the church are going bankrupt and they are dying, but the church builds a church building that costs millions, tens of millions of dollars. It would be somewhat understandable if they had accumulated a lot of money. They even make their believers get a loan to build a church even though they do not have money. They take out a loan even if the members of the church have to cosign for one another. They take all that money to the church even though they don’t want to. That is such a foolish thing. That is no different from the way the Popes used to exploit people in Europe long ago.
I feel so sorry to such believers, and feel so absurd on the other hand. They don’t seem like fools when I see that the way they live in the world, but I don’t know why they are so naive to the swindling in the name of Jesus Christ. Rather, the pastors are the ones who are really evil. I don’t know if the people in the city of Chuncheon are naive or what, but it’s a city that has much swindling going on. It is really an absurd town. People of Chuncheon seem very slick, but they are actually very ignorant. Why do they offer up so much money? This church builds a church building that costs 4 million dollars and another church builds a church building that costs 10 million dollars, and so on. Among pastors who have started church planting about the same time as I did, there are many pastors who have built a church bigger than 1,000 square meters (1,200 square yards) within three years. Therefore, I told those pastors, “You have much ability. You have much ability in flaunting money. I really admire you. I would like to do it too, but I can’t do it because it’s so filthy. You take all the money from the old ladies and take all the money from the people who have become bankrupt. You are swindlers.”
Hence, why would they like me? They dislike me so much that they turn their cars around and go the other way when they see me coming. That’s true. Really, there are some occasions when they avoid me because they do not want to see me. They must have something they are ashamed of when they see me. They must be like that because I always say the right thing when they meet me. Then, am I clean? If I am even remotely clean, then, it is because of Jesus, not because I have good character or personality.
We must think about this. We must think of believing in the Word of God and think that everything will be fulfilled according to the Word. And we must look ahead and do appropriate businesses as we live in this world. We are now doing very appropriate work in this decaying world. There is no one else who does the same work that we do. We print the books of Truth and preach the gospel throughout the entire world, don’t we? When we distribute one book, a person reads the book and becomes born again. What better work is there than this? This work of helping a person’s soul receive the remission of sins is more precious and grateful than a business of making millions of dollars. If we are going to do business, we must do this sort of business. We must rescue one soul that is more precious than the whole world. And when believers give offering to the Church, that offering should be used for meaningful work like this.
We see Jesus Christ being resurrected in today’s Scripture passage. And He appeared in the center of the place where the disciples were gathered. “Jesus Himself stood in the midst of them, and said to them, ‘Peace to you.’” Disciples were happy, but they could not believe it because it was such an amazing thing. Then, Jesus asked, “Have you any food here?” The disciples had a piece of broiled fish at the time. By having the fish, Jesus proved before the disciples that He had resurrected. A ghost does not have bones or flesh, but resurrected Jesus had bones and flesh because He was resurrected with a transformed body itself. He came alive perfectly. He had bones and flesh. The disciple Thomas finally believed the resurrection of Jesus only after sticking his fingers inside the side of Jesus. Resurrected Jesus had food. However, it does not say whether Jesus went to the restroom.
Jesus who was resurrected like that said, “I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.” What does this mean? Literally, it means that there are grapes in the Kingdom of Heaven. If we get into it deeper, it also means that Heaven is reality and everything promised is reality just as the resurrection of Jesus is reality.
Before our Lord died on the Cross, at the time of communal meal at the Passover, our Lord had already taken the bread and said, “This is My body.” Jesus came to this world and took all our sins upon His body. He took all the sins of the world upon Himself. Then, He carried the sins of the world and was nailed to the Cross. Jesus’ Word, “This is My body,” confirmed this fact once again.
Furthermore, Jesus also took a cup of wine and said, “This is My blood.” Jesus gave the wine to the disciples and said, “This is the blood I shed for you. This is the blood that I shed to give the remission of sins for you. And I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.” He said this and was nailed to death on the Cross. ‘
It says, “There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body” (1 Corinthians 15:44). All the things that exist in the land also exist in the sea. As there are leopards on the land, there are sea leopards in the sea. As there are snakes on the land, there are sea snakes. As such, all the good things in the land are in the Kingdom of God as well. They definitely exist as a reality even though we cannot see them now. So Jesus said this to the disciples.
He said that He had resurrected to make the baptism of repentance that would give remission of sins in the name of Jesus be preached to all the nations of the world, starting from Jerusalem. Jesus was resurrected. Why did Jesus come to this world, be baptized, die on the Cross, and was resurrected from the dead? Why was Jesus resurrected from death? The Lord says clearly that He was resurrected from death to fulfill all the promises that were prophesized in the Scriptures.
 
 
Do You Know through What Faith the Holy Spirit Comes in You?
 
The Holy Spirit comes immediately in the heart of a person when he believes the gospel of the water and the Spirit Jesus gives and when we know and believe that Jesus has blotted out all our sins with that gospel. That’s why Jesus said in verse 49 here, “Behold, I send the Promise of My Father upon you; but tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high.” So the disciples of Jesus stayed in Jerusalem. They stayed in Jerusalem and the Holy Spirit manifested in them during the first Pentecost. It means that the Holy Spirit entered the hearts of the saints and began working in them after 50 days had passed after Jesus dying on the Cross and resurrecting from death. The Holy Spirit, therefore, does not manifest in the hearts of the people who do not believe in Jesus Christ, in the hearts of the people who do not know and believe the Truth that Jesus blotted out all their sins, and in the hearts of the people who still have sin in their hearts even though they profess to believe in Jesus Christ. However, people who know and believe in their hearts the fact that Jesus has blotted out all their sins, the people who understand the Truth like that and confirm the faith in their hearts and believe like that can receive the Holy Spirit through Jesus Christ. It means that Jesus Christ ascends to Heaven and really sends to such people the Holy Spirit that the Father had promised to send. The Lord pours the Holy Spirit to the hearts of those people who have received the remission of sins by believing in Jesus.
Therefore, all the people who say that they have received the Holy Spirit today even though they have sin in their hearts are people who are demon possessed. People who speak in tongues even though sin remains in their hearts are doing so through the work of the demons. When we look at it like that, there are so many demon-possessed people in the church today. When there is sin in the heart of the people even though they profess Jesus, the demon goes into such people’s hearts and make them speak in tongues, make them see visions, make them prophecy, and do all such things whether they return glory to Jesus or not. However, the problem is that there aren’t many people who can inform them of this fallacy through the Word. People offer up all kinds of money thinking they have received the Holy Spirit even though they are actually speaking in tongues because they are demon possessed.
It becomes uncontrollable once a person is demon possessed. What kind of things happened in Korea? A certain daughter-in-law received the so-called gift of tongues while praying in a mountain somewhere. She thought that she had received the Holy Spirit, but the mother-in-law said that it was of a demon. They disputed like that and the daughter-in-law eventually became so upset that she hit the mother-in-law with a wooden roller. It was a work of the demon.
A couple of years ago, the wife of a Korean missionary to Bangladesh was killed in the United State while she was exorcised by some well-known exorcists. They trampled her when her husband went to the restroom for a while. A broken rib pierced her lung, and too much bleeding was the cause of her death. As far as I know, the exorcists (they were all Christians) and her husband were all convicted with second-degree murder. It also was a work of the demon. Such things are common. Who commanded all such things? The demon commands all such things.
I have said many things to you, but they can all be summarized with one point—“We must believe in the Scripture Word.” We must all know and believe the Word of the Scriptures. How well do Christians today know the Scripture Word? They would not know anything the moment they close the Book. Rather, they would not know the Word even if they opened the Scriptures. They just know a little from the commentaries. Pastors cannot preach well with just the Scriptures. They open up the commentaries and preach as if they are taking notes. They say, “Well, I will preach about this today,” and then look at the notes or commentaries when they do not know how to continue the sermon. What would happen if lights went out or the memo paper flipped over because of the wind from the fan? They would not be able to preach if they did not pick that paper up.
Do you know what I say about that? I say it is trickery. The Apostles and the servants of God long ago had the Word in their hearts and the Holy Spirit in their hearts, and therefore they believed in the Word and the Holy Spirit. Therefore, they could preach with just the Bible itself.
What are you thinking of now? Do you just think of what to eat and what to drink in this world even after believing in Jesus? Of course, such matters are natural things that people think about as human beings. However, it is a big problem if that’s the only think you think about. We must not only think about what to eat, what to drink, and what you need to live. We must think a lot about the spiritual things. If the Word of Jesus says something, we must obey the Word and believe it. And we must think whether the Word will be fulfilled exactly as it says. It means that we must prepare for the future circumstance.
We must think of God’s Word. When we receive wisdom from the Word, the scope of our thinking expands and we can live well in this world too. Even if we have lost everything because of the crisis of IMF regulation, we should not follow the current of the world. There are many people who commit suicide because their life is very difficult now, but they must not do such a thing. Money, the material things of the world, comes and goes. We just have to be composed, think of God’s Word, and work diligently. You must not just fall into looking back at the old days when you used to ride around in a nice car and go fishing every weekend. Rather, you must start thinking right and work hard now. Long ago, a popular singer named Nam Jin sang a song that goes, “There is a person before money, not money before a person.” Whether you are male or female, you must have bigger heart. You must not just depend on money. When you don’t have money, just go out and work as a worthy human being. If you have money, then use it for other people too. I mean that your happiness must not depend on whether you have money or not. Some people believe in God thinking as if God is money. Think about God in ordinary moments. Then, your faith can never go bankrupt.
Today, I have spoken to you who believe in Jesus to think about God and to think of the gospel as you live in this world. Do you understand this? Can you say “Amen” in your heart? You can think about many things, but always think about God’s work, not just about the world. Halleluiah!