The New Life Mission

Sermons

Subject 24 : Sermons for Those Who Have Become Our COWORKERS

[24-3] (Isaiah 1:21-31) Illuminate the Children of Deception with The Gospel of Light

(Isaiah 1:21-31)
“How the faithful city has become a harlot!
It was full of justice;
Righteousness lodged in it,
But now murderers.
Your silver has become dross,
Your wine mixed with water.
Your princes are rebellious,
And companions of thieves;
Everyone loves bribes,
And follows after rewards.
They do not defend the fatherless,
Nor does the cause of the widow come before them.
Therefore the Lord says,
The LORD of hosts, the Mighty One of Israel,
‘Ah, I will rid Myself of My adversaries,
And take vengeance on My enemies.
I will turn My hand against you,
And thoroughly purge away your dross,
And take away all your alloy.
I will restore your judges as at the first,
And your counselors as at the beginning.
Afterward you shall be called the city of righteousness, the faithful city.’
Zion shall be redeemed with justice,
And her penitents with righteousness.
The destruction of transgressors and of sinners shall be together,
And those who forsake the LORD shall be consumed.
For they shall be ashamed of the terebinth trees
Which you have desired;
And you shall be embarrassed because of the gardens
Which you have chosen.
For you shall be as a terebinth whose leaf fades,
And as a garden that has no water.
The strong shall be as tinder,
And the work of it as a spark;
Both will burn together,
And no one shall quench them.’”
 
 
It’s raining outside. This rain is a sign of spring. I would like to have worship service outside sometime. Flowers are blooming in the southern cities, but the flowers in our city are blooming late because of the cold weather. Next Sunday may be the perfect time to have an outdoor worship service.
We just read from Isaiah 1:21 through to 1:31. These days I often preach from the book of Isaiah. I feel like watching a movie whenever I read the book of Isaiah. Does every movie not have a plot? To me, the work of God unfolded in the nation of Israel seems like a perfect story in a movie.
The Israelites served golden calves they had made. Moreover, they even burned incense and bowed down to these idols that they had carved out from wood. God saw their idolatry and told them that He would take vengeance for their idolatrous acts. “I am not going to sit still after seeing you betray Me. I will take revenge on you. I will avenge Myself for your betrayal to make Myself feel better,” said God.
Like this, Israel was destroyed because of the golden calves King Jeroboam had made. Although gentiles were left alone even as they worshipped idols, God’s people were punished for their idolatry. The only reason God destroyed the Israelites who had worshipped idols was because God’s love was far greater than death. It is written in the Song of Solomon,
“For love is as strong as death,
Jealousy as cruel as the grave;
Its flames are flames of fire,
A most vehement in flame” (Song of Solomon 8:6).
The Lord so loved the Israelites that He decided to take vengeance on them for serving idols that could never make them happy. This is why He decided to purge away the dross in their hearts.
People come back to God during their adversary. We turn to God, who is truly trustworthy and dependable, especially in our afflictions. The Israelites always turned to God whenever they faced severe hardships, and God never failed to help them. Nonetheless, He left the Israelites to be salves of their enemies, to be robbed of their families and all their harvested crops not to mention everything they owned. God did so to restore this people spiritually.
Let’s read Isaiah 1:25-27 with one voice:
“I will turn My hand against you,
And thoroughly purge away your dross,
And take away all your alloy.
I will restore your judges as at the first,
And your counselors as at the beginning.
Afterward you shall be called the city of righteousness, the faithful city.
Zion shall be redeemed with justice
And her penitents with righteousness.”
‘Zion’ here refers to the place where God’s temple was built. In order for the Israelites to have proper faith, they had to first have their sins redeemed by the righteousness of God. Simply put, they had to turn away from all wrongful paths and put their faith in God again. They had to choose the priests only from the house of Aaron; they had to choose the temple servants among the descendents of Levi; they also had to serve Jehovah God as the only true God.
The Israelites had to listen to God’s Law; they had to receive God’s blessing of the remission of sins by offering sacrifices according to the sacrificial system God had set for them. In other words, they could receive blessings only when they accepted the blessing of the remission of sins, which God promised to give according to the just law He had set by the sacrificial system. If they had not believed in God according to the just law He had set by the sacrificial system then they could not have turned away from their idolatry of serving these golden calves and they would still have been under the curse of God.
Because of this, God said that those who are willing to turn to Him and want to be blessed “shall be redeemed with righteousness.” Whoever returns to God will be redeemed by the righteousness of God. The relationship with God will then be restored by the faith in the blessing that God will purge their sins and be their God. There will be no more pillage for the enemies, but only God’s protection and blessings will remain for those who come back to God.
Therefore, there is a warning from God in the book of Isaiah that if the Israelites did not come back to God, that He would judge them and fulfill His will. God made it clear that He would surely fulfill only His will. God said that He would restore the sacrificial system and let only the descendants of Levi carry out their priestly duties. He also said that they would be blessed only when they served God acknowledging Him as the Creator of the whole universe. Otherwise, no one would be blessed. This is the same message for us today.
Today’s Christians also want to receive blessings when they believe in Jesus. Many people wish to be blessed by God. They really do so. However, the problem is that they do not receive God’s blessings while they live a life of faith wishing for blessings. They go without God’s protection in the midst of their dangerous moments; they actually live without God’s help in their needs or sufferings. Why is it like this? It is because they have replaced God with ‘golden calves.’ It is also because they have arbitrarily changed the just and merciful law of sacrificial system just as they wish.
 
 
Let’s Take a Look at What Is Wrong in Today’s Christianity
 
The people of Israel broke the Law that God had established. Several sins had led the Israelites to destruction, and one of them was changing the sacrificial law in which God had appointed Aaron and his descendants as priests and made them serve the duties of offering sacrifices in the Tabernacle. God designated only the Levites to serve in the Tabernacle, but the Israelites ignored this law of the sacrificial system. King Jeroboam appointed anyone but the designated descendants of Levi to serve as priests. He let non-Levites offer sacrifices in the Tabernacle.
In like manner, today’s church leaders appoint anyone as ministry workers regardless of whether or not they has been born again by the gospel of the water and the Spirit. They believe that anyone with the title of pastor from any so-called orthodox denomination can preach the Word of God. They put someone who is not spiritually ordained by God in the position as priest; like this, they are following the sinful steps of Jeroboam. The problem is that today’s Christians believe that graduating from a theological seminary automatically qualifies someone to be a pastor. How can they become the priests of God when He has never anointed them as priests? This seems very absurd. Even though they harbor sins and do not have the knowledge of or faith in the righteousness of God, they believe they are serving the holy God.
Today’s Christian communities are committing the same sin Jeroboam committed. In order for them to return to God, they need to restore the just law of God. They need to offer the sacrifice of righteousness according to the implication of the sacrificial system by restoring the just law of salvation, the gospel of the water and the Spirit. That is, Christians must know and believe in the righteousness of Jesus Christ. They should understand and put their faith in the fact that Jesus has saved all humans by taking away all their sins through His baptism which He received from John the Baptist, by dying on the Cross, and by rising again from the dead. This is akin to the truth in the Old Testament that the sins of the Israelites were remitted by the laying on of their hands on sacrificial animals and drawing their blood. That is the gospel of the water and the Spirit that the Son of God has fulfilled to save the human race from its sins, and therefore we should know and believe in this genuine gospel. It makes no sense at all to believe in Jesus as your Savior without knowing this gospel of the water and the Spirit.
Although King Jeroboam broke all the sacrificial system rules and regulations in appointing undesignated priests and offering sacrifices, we should rather be straightening up the law of salvation of God. First of all, professors in theological seminaries should believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit to begin with. Then they need to teach this gospel, namely, the Truth of the water and the Spirit to their seminary students, and these students will do the same to all their congregations later on. Because they are not doing this, Christianity is going downhill. That is another cause for today’s rapid increase in anti-Christian sentiments. Today’s Christianity has lost its influence over the world because its ministers are acting as ‘good Shepherds’ without having their sins remitted. In the last congressional election in Korea, the newly established Christian party tried very hard to win some seats in the National Assembly, but to no avail not one candidate was elected. Why do you think Korean people did not vote for Christian politicians? They all know well that Christians are not trustworthy.
Today’s Christianity has to return back to the gospel of the water and the Spirit and believe in it. Whoever is willing to accept Jesus Christ as the Savior must return to God by believing in Him according to the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Only then can they return to God and receive the blessings from the God of truth. Otherwise, they will perish in both body and in spirit. Hence, there shouldn’t be any servants of God who preach any other gospels than the gospel of the water and the Spirit. They are all wrong about their faith since they do not know the gospel of the water and the Spirit. They do not have the power to teach their congregations to live for the righteousness of God. Even those who believe Jesus as their Savior still need to understand and believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. They completely misunderstand the gospel of the water and the Spirit. It seems that no one can become a professor at a seminary or a pastor or an evangelist unless they have no idea about the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
There is a saying in Korea, “If marine is for anyone, I won’t be a marine.” This saying actually makes the Korean marines proud. In a similar vein, if anyone can be a true believer, a true professor, a true pastor or a true preacher, we don’t want to be Christians. Today’s Christianity has become useless just like any other religions of this world. If we view today’s Christianity in the light of God’s Word, it is not the genuine Christianity anymore. Today’s Christians are not the true followers of Christ. They are not true Christians although they admit to each other that they are genuine Christians. True Christians believe wholeheartedly in the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
Do you claim to have sins in your heart even though you are a pastor or a seminary professor, or a doctor in divinity? Do you believe that there is no one who does not have any sin? Do you say everyone has sins? If so, then you are not a true Christian.
Jesus has saved us once and for all by taking all our sins onto His own body through the baptism He received from John the Baptist, died on the Cross for our sins and was resurrected from the dead again. This is why we can put our faith in the righteousness of Jesus and follow Him. It is possible for us to know and believe in and follow Jesus only when we have the righteousness of Jesus in our hearts. Therefore, it is a must to accept the righteousness of God into your heart! Can you become a true Christian without accepting the righteousness of God? No way! This is not only for the Israelites in the Old and New Testament, but also for today’s Christians. Then what should we do? We must preach to people the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
Most Christians are prone to think that their denominations are orthodox because they have lots of believers in their denominations, but that is absolutely absurd. Those who have not been born again of the water and the Spirit are fake Christians. They are all pseudo Christians. Then what can we do for them? Won’t they need us to teach them about the righteousness of God so that they could understand it properly?
Who has ever preached the gospel of the water and the Spirit since the Religious Reformation? It is the Bible itself that has been preaching the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Then who handed this gospel of the water and the Spirit down to us in print form? They were the righteous people who had been born again by the water and the Spirit previously.
Now we are preaching this exact gospel of the water and the Spirit all over the world. We also share this genuine gospel through literature ministry. Those who preach the blood on the Cross alone think of themselves as orthodox believers because there has not been anyone but us who preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit in its purest form. It is a pity that today’s Christians only believe in the blood on the Cross alone for their salvation, not knowing the gospel of the water and the Spirit. However, their sins won’t go away just no matter how fervently they have believed in the blood on the Cross alone. They should, therefore, know and believe that Jesus was crucified because He had been baptized by John the Baptist.
There is a Korean idiom that goes, “Just as a serpent is crawling over a fence.” It refers to a situation when someone deals with something equivocally and unclearly. Just like this idiom, many Christians, not knowing the gospel of the water and the Spirit, ambiguously assume that they were born again. Therefore, we need to preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit to such nominal Christians. If we don’t preach, how can they know the gospel of the water and the Spirit? We should, therefore, preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit to today’s nominal Christians and tell them they have been deceived by serving the golden calves. We need to teach them that today’s Christians are serving the golden calves by placing their faith on false doctrines. We need to tell them that this idolatrous faith in the golden calves was handed down to them, and they have, without knowing it, fallen into destruction because of this idolatry. Who can tell them this truth? You and I, we who have the gospel of the water and the Spirit can.
The whole Christian community in this world is now serving a half-gospel and the golden calves. What would be more exciting than hearing their profession of the gospel of the water and the Spirit and their confession about how they were wrong in their faith and in the golden calves? If there are many people who preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit, we can take a break more often while preaching this gospel. The fact is that if we don’t preach this gospel of the water and the Spirit, there won’t be anybody to replace us. We seem to be the only people who are doing this precious work today. Fortunately, we are not alone now. Our co-workers in our country and abroad have been preaching this gospel diligently as well. We still need to pool our strengths to keep on sharing the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
God might have felt so frustrated when He saw the Israelites serving these golden calves. Even we feel that way when we look at today’s Christians serving golden calves. Those who serve golden calves are actually cursing their congregations by binding them with the Law of God. Their congregation, who are deprived of the gospel of the water and the Spirit, are suppressed in their hearts and bodies. They have neither received the remission of their sins nor do they know about the righteousness of God. Put differently, they do not know the gospel of the water and the Spirit by which God saved us humans from all our sins. This describes the state of the hearts in every Christian today. This is why we are preaching the gospel of the water and the Spirit to them. But if we don’t preach the gospel, can we be regarded as true and faithful saints who are leading a proper life of faith? If we don’t preach this gospel, we are not living out our faith.
I am telling you that Christianity has already been ruined. The problem is that Christians still think that they are increasing in number. They do not realize that they have been serving golden calves. Those who serve golden calves deprive their fellow Christians and make us work harder in preaching this true gospel. We are not working to make our names known to people. Is this not true? We are preaching the gospel of the water and the Spirit because we cannot help but do so. If we try to brag about ourselves, will we still be able to stay here? Those who try to impress others don’t have anything impressive in real life. On the other hand, those who are filled with great virtues never try to show themselves off. Even if they don’t try, their greatness will show. Only those who don’t have anything virtuous in them try to impress others; otherwise no one turns his or her eyes on them.
 
 
Christians Must Abandon the Idolatry of Serving Golden Calves
 
When King Jeroboam took ten tribes among all the Israelites and became their king, he used golden calves to maintain his throne. Just to keep his kingship, he replaced God with golden calves and changed the very sacrificial system itself. Today, pastors also make their congregations serve golden calves of their own making to keep their positions intact. They still make their congregation bring offerings to them not knowing the gospel of the water and the Spirit. It is because they need to make these golden calves to satisfy their material greed. They teach their congregations with false doctrines because they can by doing this keep compelling their congregations to serve golden calves well only when they are strictly bound by the Law.
Has not the Lord removed our sins with the gospel of the water and the Spirit once and for all? Yes, He has. Where and when? Did He not take away all our sins with the gospel of the water and the Spirit? Did He not say in John 19:30, “It is finished!” when He came to this earth 2000 years ago? Did John the Baptist not cry out pointing out Jesus, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!”? Did the Bible not say that Jesus took all the sins of the world away by being baptized by John the Baptist?
Just as the scapegoat in the Old Testament, the Lord came to this earth in human flesh to offer Himself as an unblemished sacrifice by carrying all the sins of the human race through His baptism. Jesus Christ is the very Son of God. Did God not promise to send His own Son as the propitiation for the sins of this world? Is Jesus not the promised Savior to come?
If this is all true, how can someone who believes in the righteousness of Jesus harbor sins in his or her heart? Are they not today’s idolaters of the golden calves who are deceiving their congregations just to exploit even more money from their congregations? People should not be plundered by such Christian leaders anymore.
 
 
How Can People Live at Ease Knowing That the World Will Perish Soon?
 
Natural disasters are threatening the Earth in an unprecedented way and everything will be destroyed in the end. According to scientists, the ice in the Polar Regions is melting and when all the ice is gone, the sea level will rise to about 6 meters higher than the present sea level. I always liked to know the answer. I have thought about it but still curious about it. Most people also question whether this is true or not. When that happens, how many countries and Islands will simply vanish under the sea? Almost all the land of Manhattan in New York will be under water. How about a country like the Netherlands, where most of its land is lower than sea level? The whole country will buried under water and almost all coastal cities including Sock-cho City in Korea will disappear. When the city is flooded, people have to seek refuge at high places like Mt. Sorak. People will survive only when they find high places to stand on. Busan and other cities on the coastal line will also disappear. Even more enormous natural disasters are waiting to happen. Rains, tidal waves, tornadoes, earthquakes, tsunamis and epidemics will most certainly come.
The whole world is being disturbed by bird flu. The world is getting nearer to its destruction. The world is in great need. One third of the world population will starve to death; is this not a sign for imminent destruction? But despite all this, people don’t care and live at ease. After thinking about the answer for a while, I came to a conclusion. People can live at ease even under such dire situations by the comforting functions of their hormones. I mean the hormones in our bodies. Women have female hormones while men have male hormones. Young people produce more hormones than older people. Hormones are produced mainly for pleasure. People act and move according to their functions and the amount of hormones they have. People’s main interest is concentrated on their pleasure. In other words, people live by their instincts. This is how people are able to live with a mindset, “I will plant an apple tree even if the world ends tomorrow.” By the work of hormones, people think that they will enjoy their life till their very last breath. In the meantime, the world is falling apart into complete ruin.
When we study the old civilizations, they had peaks and falls. Why do you think human civilization has the same cycle of a beginning and an end? It is all because of the functions of hormones. In Psalm 49:20, it is written,
“A man is in honor, yet does not understand,
Is like the beasts that perish.”
When people live by their physical instincts, not thinking about the remission of sins, the righteousness of God or death or life after death, they are no better than a beast that perishes.
Did Jesus not teach us these same things? He said that the day of destruction of the world will be like the days of Noah; until the day of destruction, people will eat, drink, marry, and be given in marriage. Their destruction will suddenly come upon them even while they are living by their instincts that are incited by hormones, not seeking the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
There are many people who are dying of diseases. And at the same time there are many who yearn to have new life by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. This is another reason why we are preaching the gospel of the water and the Spirit all over the world. God called us out of the world to spread the gospel of the water and the Spirit. I heard that Deaconess Kim’s mother is here in Chuncheon. When she was ill, Deaconess Kim took her to a hospital for treatment. She recently accepted the gospel when her daughter preached it continuously in love to her. She is now in a nearby hospital. So, please go visit her and pray and sing hymns for her.
People think of their future when they come close to their deaths; they think of place to live after they die. Christians have been deceived by an idolatrous faith. Nevertheless, many people want to receive the remission of sins by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. However, they cannot flee from these idolatrous faiths because they have been deceived due to their addiction to lusts. Christians cannot be delivered from their sins because too many idol worshippers have been deceiving them. Like this, people have been interrupted by false teachers and they need to learn the gospel of the water and the Spirit from the very beginning. People have learned wrong. This is why they are perishing. So it is imperative for us to preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit to them.
We should preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit to all the peoples of this world and teach them the correct knowledge of the gospel. Just how many people are dying spiritually? How many are dying both physically and spiritually? The world will end soon. Scientists claim that the world will soon face destruction. Do you believe them? Is modern science a fiction? No, it isn’t. Although it tells the truth, but politicians keep scientists from telling the truth. Politicians pressure scientists to be silent in order to maintain their political power; otherwise, they face difficulties to maintain the status quo. You might know that the former US presidential candidate Al Gore has become an environmentalist and goes around the world lecturing and witnessing about the signs of the imminent end of this world. He is not a liar. Science is not based on lies. Science is about experimenting and proving theories based on facts, so we cannot ignore even science.
We all know we are going to die someday. We can all see the world is also ending. So how should we prepare for the world’s end? We should preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit even more diligently. Until when should we keep preaching the gospel of the water and the Spirit? We should do so until the day our Lord returns.
We are looking at the nearing destruction of the world. You and I belong to this world, which is going to perish. What should we the believers of the gospel of the water and the Spirit do when this destruction spreads over all the peoples of this world? We must just continue preaching the gospel to them even as we also suffer in these hardships. Does it seem right for them to perish while they are living a life departing from God? We have the responsibility to save sinners; we have the responsibility to fulfill our duties and to shine the light of truth on the peoples of this world by leading a life of faith in the righteousness of God. Until the day when the anti-Christ comes onto the scene, we should endure this dire situation and preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit. You and I must share the gospel of the water and the Spirit with our families, with the people in our country and all the peoples around the world.
We have no other mission as we live in this time: Preaching the gospel of the water and the Spirit is our sole task. Preaching is easier now when everything seems to be fine. However, the time will soon come when preaching will no more be an easy job. The food crisis has started and in a few years time it will be threatening the whole world.
How should we live in this last time? What are you even thinking? We should preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit! Every servant of God should never pick up the habit of being lazy but should rather stay alert. Do you understand me? The time has come for us to stay wide awake. As time goes by, we should be even more watchful. For its sake, we must pay attention to current affairs, watch news on TV carefully, think about what to do, and pray for the expansion of world mission. We should no longer pray habitually, but pray by faith having spiritual eyes that have an insight into the future.
We should put more efforts into publishing electronic books as we hear the news about the imminent end of this world. This is why I told Sister Jinsook to go to Incheon Church and learn how to upload electronic books on the Internet. We must put more e-books on our homepage. As a matter of fact, many of our books are being translated while e-books are not being published as fast as the translation. We should have more sermons translated in English. We must preach the gospel while we can. Once the ends of the days come, we won’t be able to do anything anymore. It will be too late to preach the gospel. Now is the only remaining time to preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit. The time will come when we will not be able to serve the gospel. We have to work even harder although we have been working hard in preaching the gospel. Even though I put Sister Jinsook in the work of publishing e-books, I will add more workers for the work if this ministry makes little progress.
How comfortable is it to live in this prosperous world? It looks easier to do the work of God a little as we work for our own benefit. Who doesn’t disagree on this? However, we must do the work of God as our top priority, for God has appointed us as His servants. You cannot pretend to be ignorant by thinking this is not the end times. By understanding the present age well, we can and must keep doing God’s work. In order to preach the gospel to those who are dying spiritually, we should wake up our hearts and stay alert, not falling into the habit of being idle. We should not do God’s work lukewarmly out of a force of habit. Let’s save Christians and all the people around the world wholeheartedly.
Let’s pray together. Let’s pray to God to help us save the whole world. Let’s pray to God to give us the strength and faith to preach the gospel all over the world. We will have a short time for prayer. Let’s pray, “Oh, Lord, please save our family members. Please help us to preach this gospel to our family. Please save their souls as well as their bodies. Please save other souls and their bodies in this world.”
“Oh, Lord! Thank you so much for your grace. We pray You will remember all the lost souls in this world and save their souls. We want You to remember them, save them and bless them as You please. We earnestly hope and pray that You will show mercy on them. Lord, please work among us. Protect us all Your servants, hold us tight and guide us. Work through us, Lord! God our Father, please give us good chances to preach the gospel to our family members and save all their souls. Please bestow strong faith onto our brothers and sisters first, let us deliver Your righteousness by believing in it, and let us be filled with the Holy Spirit so that we may preach Your righteousness wisely. Give us the fullness of faith. Keep us healthy. Please take pity on every sinner of this world. Please have compassion on all the nominal Christians and deliver them. Please open up a pathway for us to preach the gospel to them. Increase the number of souls who will come back to You. Protect us from our enemies and keep us safe. Bless our work and our businesses for Your glory. Lead our way, Lord! We give thanks to You and ask You to answer all these supplications in the precious name of Jesus Christ. Amen.”