“And seeing the multitudes, He went up on a mountain, and when He was seated His disciples came to Him. Then He opened His mouth and taught them, saying:
‘Blessed are the poor in spirit,
For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn,
For they shall be comforted.
Blessed are the meek,
For they shall inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
For they shall be filled.
Blessed are the merciful,
For they shall obtain mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart,
For they shall see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
For they shall be called sons of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake,
For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you. You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men. You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.’”
Last Sunday we had a spiritual fellowship based on chapter 4 of the Gospel of Matthew. Today’s Scripture passage is from Matthew chapter 5, which is also well known as the Beatitudes from the Sermon on the Mount. Our Lord is telling us here what kind of person is the most blessed in this world.
Before I begin preaching on this Scripture passage, I want you to know that the very first thing Jesus did in His public life was to go down to the Jordan River to be baptized by John the Baptist to take away the sins of the entire human race. Shortly after that, He was taken to the wilderness by the Holy Spirit. There he ate nothing for 40 days and went through Satan’s temptations. He was tested in all the physical temptations a person can go through. There He defeated all temptations by faith in God the Father and in His Word. As soon as He found out that John the Baptist had been imprisoned, He went towards Galilee. From then on, He started to preach to the people, saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel” (Mark 1:15). As I just said, the Lord first received the baptism from John the Baptist and then He fasted in the wilderness for 40 days, and then defeated Satan’s temptations by faith in God and His Word. He then only said, “Repent, the Kingdom of God is at hand,” after He left Nazareth and went to Galilee.
Why did the Lord urge the Israelites to repent? That was because He fully understood the history and the current situation of the nation of Israel. The Israelites had replaced God with golden calves for nearly a thousand years. They followed the sinful steps of serving golden calves as Jeroboam did. Even during the days of Jesus under the colonial rule of Roman Empire, many Israelites who had not feared God were still serving idols. Jesus, therefore, urged them to repent of their sins and to return to God to receive the remission of their sins.
As we can see in today’s Scripture reading, Jesus called four disciples first. They were Simon (also known as Peter), Andrew, James, and John. And then He called several other people as His disciples. Jesus took them with Him as He preached, healed the sick and strengthened the weak. This was why more and more people joined the crowd that followed Him.
Up until John the Baptist started to cry out in the wilderness, there had not been any true servant of God. John the Baptist cried out to the Israelites, “Repent, you brood of viper!” And Jesus also cried to the Israelites this same message of repentance. The Israelites had not met any servant of God for four hundred years who cried out such a message of repentance to them. In the meantime, Jesus visited the poor and fed them and healed the sick. Naturally, multitudes of people came to follow Jesus. In other words, the ministry of Jesus began to bloom from then on. The first 29 years of Jesus’ life in human flesh on earth can be seen as preparation period for His public life; and His ministry came to light after Jesus received the baptism from John the Baptist, defeated Satan’s temptations, called His disciples and healed the sick while He was preaching the Word of God.
In today’s Scripture reading, Jesus is teaching a multitude of people on the mount. Through this Scripture passage, let’s now find out what the Lord defines as God’s blessings.
“Blessed Are the Poor in Spirit”
It is written, “Blessed are the poor in spirit,
For theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:3).
What Jesus said here is not only to the Israelites but also for all the people in this world. It is not for our bodies but for the blessing on our hearts. For about one thousand years, the people of Israel were seeking only their physical prosperity after the sinful example of Jeroboam. They were interested only in pleasing their own bodies, becoming wealthy, holding onto power and such like. This is why the Lord declared first that “The poor in spirit are blessed, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.” This was completely opposite to what they had been hearing in the past. How do the poor in spirit become blessed? They will inherit the Kingdom of Heaven. In other words, those who come before God to attain the Kingdom of Heaven should have a poor spirit. God wants the poor in spirit, those who are not content with the things of the world; He does not want worldly people to come before Him, those who come to Him to possess even more fleshly things. However, among today’s Christians, many people come to the Lord with an ulterior motive of becoming even more “blessed” in worldly values such as property, prestige, and power. However, God does not bless such fleshly people; but instead, He blesses those who come to Him to receive spiritual blessings, for their hearts cannot be satisfied with worldly possessions. What would this real blessing for them be? It is the Kingdom of Heaven. God promised the Kingdom of Heaven to those who are poor in spirit. The Kingdom of Heaven is for them.
It is also written in Matthew 5:10,
“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake,
For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
While reading the New Testament, I often realize that some Words in the Scriptures are different from my fixed idea. Matthew 5:10 is an example. What this verse really means is that those who have been persecuted for righteousness’ sake are truly blessed. Those who have been persecuted for the righteousness of God can go to Heaven. The Kingdom of Heaven is for those who have endured being persecution for righteousness’ sake. Blessed are those who have gone through persecution while preaching the righteousness of God. Those who have suffered persecution for the righteousness of God will inherit the Kingdom of God.
To some people, however, this verse can be confusing. “Is the Kingdom of Heaven only for those who have suffered persecution?” The answer is “No!” This verse does not imply that our works will guarantee a one-way ticket to Heaven, but it actually means that the Kingdom of Heaven is for those who preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit, which eradicated all our sins against all persecution.
The Lord does not bless people who just pursue their fleshly desires and live according to their physical lust even after they receive the remission of sins. At this very moment, there are so many people in the world who are waiting to hear the gospel of the water and the Spirit through God’s servants. Sadly, many people have left for the world after they were delivered from all their sins by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit and were given precious duties in the Church of God.
But despite this, God promises to give the Kingdom of Heaven to those who are poor in spirit and to those who have been persecuted for the righteousness of God. Therefore, we need to understand the will of God from the point of this verse. Whoever believes in the baptism that Jesus received from John the Baptist and His blood of the Cross can receive the remission of sins without fail.
But what will happen if any one continues to seek after worldly desires after he or she receives the remission of sins? God declared that the Kingdom of Heaven is not for such people. The end of the matter is that such people cannot enter the Kingdom of Heaven. The difference between those who have been persecuted for the sake of God’s righteousness and those who have not is like the difference between Heaven and hell. God is the God of justice and He would be the God of injustice if He granted the Kingdom of Heaven equally even to those who love this world.
When people encounter God’s servants like the Apostle Paul, they call them “fools and retards.” Why do they bring these people of faith into ridicule? They make fun of us saying, “Why don’t you live wisely and harmoniously with the world meeting your fleshly desires while you believe in God? Why are you leading such a fanatical life for the sake of Jesus Christ?” The righteous actually sacrifice their physical comforts to serve the gospel. Some righteous people even risk their own lives for the spread of the gospel of the water and the Spirit. When worldly people look at those of us who live out our faith so faithfully, they think something is wrong with us.
However, Jesus Christ said that the poor in spirit are about the blessed because they will inherit the Kingdom of Heaven. And He also said that those who have been persecuted for the righteousness of God will also inherit the Kingdom of Heaven. I totally agree with the Lord. How about you then?
There is a huge difference in the blessings between those who have received the remission of sins by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit and those who have not. Even among those who received the remission of sins by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, the difference in these blessings will be huge, namely, those who have endured persecution for the righteousness of the Lord and those who live just for themselves. The gap will be like that of inheriting the Kingdom of Heaven and failing it.
It would not make any sense if someone went to Heaven after living a selfish life, and never preached the righteousness of the Lord. It will not sound fair to us if they would be treated the same as we who are making so much effort in following the Lord, and being persecuted for the righteousness of God. God differentiates us from such selfish people. Then you may wonder if we can get to Heaven by our own works. However, our works will never be the sufficient condition for Heaven. Rather, it is absolutely proper for us to preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit because we have received the remission of sins by believing in this genuine gospel.
Our co-workers overseas are preaching this gospel along with us. They work together with us to inform people about our website and to distribute our publications. So people visiting our homepage are able to have fellowship with our coworkers in their countries after reading our e-books and printed books. There are various responses after they received our books. Some say they haven’t finished reading; others say they have finished reading, but are in disagreement. Still others acknowledge that the gospel of the water and the Spirit is the Truth, but they still like to keep attending their old churches. We feel very disappointed with such people. How can they say they believe in this genuine gospel but refuse to join us? I can understand that they are weak human beings, but I assure you that there will be an enormous gap between us and them in the end.
We live for the spreading of the gospel of the water and the Spirit in obedience with the will of God, for we believe in God’s righteousness. How will we feel if we found out that there was no difference in the reward from God after we received the remission of all our sins? We will be greatly disappointed with the result because we have been suffering these hardships for the righteousness of God, although we are the same weak human beings as them.
I felt discouraged for a while in the past. I asked myself if I must serve the gospel of the water and the Spirit. I also had fleshly desires in me so there were moments that I felt tempted to compromise with Christian sinners. I wanted to keep in touch with my old classmates from the theological seminary. But the truth be told here my fellow coworkers, I could have not preached the gospel of the water and the Spirit if I had maintained a friendly relationship with them.
Those who do not know the gospel of the water and the Spirit are leading others into destruction unwittingly. Out of a sense of responsibility I endured these hardships to preach the gospel truth of the water and the Spirit to them. My friends say this to me. “Hey, man, you would be better off if you did not preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit. What you preach is 100% correct according to the Bible, but people will hate you for preaching this gospel. We have never learned this as the truth and we have never heard anyone preaching this gospel to us. If you keep insisting to believe in it and preach it, we will have no other choice but to tell you that you are wrong.” I did not want to turn them away, but I could not compromise or make any concessions with them as far as the preaching of the gospel of the water and the Spirit is concerned. This is the single greatest reason I was persecuted by them. As a consequence, I no longer keep in touch with them.
Jesus Said, “Those Who Are Persecuted for Righteousness’ Sake Will Inherit the Kingdom of Heaven”
The Lord told us that the Kingdom of Heaven is for those who are persecuted for the righteousness of God. This is correct. God’s blessing for those who endure persecution for the righteousness of God is the Kingdom of Heaven. Their reward is the Kingdom of God. Such blessing is reserved for those of us, who suffer persecution and who preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
Therefore, you, our coworkers in every country, should not be disappointed with these hardships and trials at all. For if you are discouraged, you have to realize that I and my fellow workers in Korea have already experienced many of these kinds of hardships and disappointments. Before I started the literature ministry, I used to preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit on a one-on-one basis by visiting people house to house, and by talking to Christian leaders. As a result, I gained more enemies. That is when I became so discouraged. I decided then to work through literature ministry because preaching directly to individuals does not bear much fruit. So I collected my sermon tapes for over 10 years. I did this very diligently. When I thought the amount of the sermon tapes is enough, I started the literature ministry with my fellow workers.
Dear fellow workers know this that you are not the only people who are going through hard times. I, as well as the ministry workers in Korea, am always facing many difficulties. We all are serving the will of God in the midst of hardships. Do you feel lonely? I also felt so very lonely, being exhausted and persecuted. But I don’t feel lonely anymore since you are with me. Nevertheless, worldly people are hostile to me although I have not done anything wrong to them. Even when I have not done anything wrong to them in anyway, they still carry on spreading strange rumors about me. Therefore, you have to remember that your predecessors of faith have endured such persecutions prior to you. Many righteous people are leading a joyous life even under persecution in order to spread the gospel of the water and the Spirit. As I was being persecuted for a long time, I felt it proper for me to be persecuted and I even regarded it as a blessing for a righteous person to go through. With that in mind, I made a firm decision to live for the righteousness of God. All we have to do is to preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit to the entire world by faith. Whoever accepts this genuine gospel will be saved, but whoever refuses to accept this gospel will be responsible for their own sins. Many people who accepted the gospel we have been preaching received their salvation by faith. We believe the Lord is planning for a greater work of salvation. This is why we need to give our heart to God and live by faith in the righteousness of God. This is the fate of the righteous.
Dear fellow workers abroad, no matter where you serve God, do not lose your hearts when preaching the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Our co-workers abroad also have received blessings from God like us. How many people in your household have received the remission of sins? The Bible says that the saved are rare as it is written, “I will take you, one from a city and two from a family, and I will bring you to Zion” (Jeremiah 3:14). However, you will enjoy your glory in the Kingdom of Heaven after you go through persecution. In the meantime, your faith and blessings will become more solid as you suffer through this persecution for God’s righteousness. If you just received the remission of sins by putting your faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, you will also follow the steps of your predecessors of faith. As for you who have not as yet gone through such a process, your faith will grow as you walk on the same path that your predecessors had walked on. The faith of the righteous grows and they become blessed as they suffer persecution. Whether your faith will grow strong or not is not up to you: You can strengthen your faith and maintain your life if you learn bold faith by sharing fellowship with your predecessors. On the contrary, if you don’t go through such a process, you can’t become God’s servant. God’s servants all undergo such a process. You will undergo all kinds of persecution and loneliness. That is why the Lord said that those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake are blessed. You are going to be persecuted for God’s righteousness. You and I have the right to be persecuted for the righteousness of God.
What Did the Lord Say about Those Who Mourn?
It is written in Matthew 5:4, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” What does this verse imply? This verse teaches us what kind of person God comforts.
In this world there are people with great wealth and others with both wealth and power. Does having such social values keep them from perishing? No matter how much they possess, none of them can live a life without any regret for their reality. All men live a regretful life. People regret as they see themselves heading for destruction because of their sins.
God, on the other hand, said that those who mourn because of their sins are blessed. There are people who mourn, “Oh, why have I lived such a wretched life? Oh, I am truly stupid that I committed such sins.” Such people who see and mourn for their iniquities are said to be blessed. God comforts those who grieve over their insufficiencies.
From a spiritual perspective, many people among the believers in Jesus Christ are actually worshiping golden calves. The funny thing is that they are completely oblivious of the fact that they have betrayed God and are avoiding Him. When Christians follow after golden calves, they can only see the worldly blessings but they become spiritually blind to their own basic nature. However, when people are mournful for their sins, they receive great comfort and blessings from God through their faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. When we live out our faith, the basis of our faith should be placed in God, who is the Truth. In other words, we should live out our faith based on the law of God’s righteousness. When we look at ourselves from God’s eyes, is there anything that we can make boast of? Rather, we will find ourselves full of insufficiencies. Can we even count all our weaknesses? We just have sins that must be condemned and cannot be forgiven by ourselves. This is the reason why we feel mournful for our iniquities and insufficiencies. This is why we are so miserable. The Israelites used to pour ash onto themselves repenting and praying for the mercy of God. We, too, need to grieve over our fundamental natures in the presence of God.
Recently in Korea, a famous young actor got into a big street fight with an older man who was in his 70s. This shows that today’s young people do not have any respect for seniors. We are living in a world where elderly people have to keep a low profile. The actor was charged for threatening this old man with a knife. It is understandable for a man to feel like killing someone when he loses his temper. It is because we are born with all kinds of sins in our hearts including a murderous heart as the descendants of Adam. Every human being has such a sinful nature. Where can you find someone without a sinful heart? Even the most decent girl has such a murderous heart when someone drives her crazy. The heart of every human being is like a dirty sinful pond brewing with evil nature. But people try to suppress their sinful natures in order to live a smooth social life.
When I reflect on this actor’s case in a human perspective, I could understand his regretful behavior. Anybody can do such a thing because all humans are the seeds of evil. The old man who sued the young actor might have felt like killing him. He probably was prevented from doing what he really felt like doing because he was weak in physical strength. Nevertheless, if anyone acknowledges his or her sins and mourns over them, God will comfort that person. God’s comfort is the remission of sins. Those who mourn before God blame themselves for their own sinful behaviors and grieve over their sins. Let’s suppose a young man tried to kill someone out of uncontrollable anger. But after that, he can’t forgive himself for such uncontrollable evil behavior. He then mourns for his sin seeing his unrighteous and unjust nature and goes to God and asks Him to save him from all his sins. Such mournful people can be comforted by God.
How will God comfort someone like him? God’s comfort comes from believing in the salvation from sin that the Lord has completed with the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Such faith can bring great comfort from God. Unfortunately, most people cannot be comforted by God, for they do not mourn for their sins before God. Therefore, anyone looking for God’s comfort should mourn.
The Israelites professed to believe in God but in fact they replaced God with golden calves. It was one of the greatest sins they could commit against God. However, they did not mourn for their sins, but instead were standing against God. Nevertheless, the Lord still came to this earth to save such sinners and give them true salvation. And He preached to them, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted” (Matthew 5:4). This means that only those who mourn for their sins can be comforted by God. Sadly, many Christians today are serving golden calves instead of God, not realizing their sins. This is the reason why they do not receive any comfort from God. Today’s Christians are supposed to mourn for their sins before God, but the reality is very different. Most Christians believe that Jesus shed His blood for sinners, but they still have sins remaining intact in their hearts. They need to look within their hearts and mourn for their sins feeling pity for their sin-sick souls. Those who mourn for their sins are asking for God’s help.
However, most people do not grieve nowadays but instead are boastful of their own righteousness. There are people like the mournful tax collector who stood afar off, would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, “God, be merciful to me a sinner!” (Luke 18:13). They cry to God, “Lord, I cannot fast three days a week like the Pharisees. I cannot bring you a huge offering. I am a hopeless sinner. But please deliver me from all my sins.” Such people will be comforted by God.
On the other hand, those who worship golden calves believe that physical prosperity―such as wealth, peaceful household, successful children, and power―is the only blessing from God. But the truth is the very opposite. True blessing from God is the remission of sins through faith in the righteousness of God. God comforts the saved, saying, “I took away all your sins once and for all through the baptism I had received from John the Baptist and I died for your sins on the Cross to make you sinless.” Like this, we have received the blessing of the remission of sins by believing in the righteousness of Jesus. This is the blessing of comfort we all must receive from God. Only those who receive such blessings of comfort, which is the remission of sins, can enter the Kingdom of Heaven by faith. We can receive the remission of sins by admitting our sins and putting our faith in God’s righteousness. But sadly, most Christians today refuse to do this.
Just as the Israelites served golden calves for a long time, today’s Christians also are worshipping golden calves instead of God. They need to come back to God with a mournful heart, admitting before the presence of God just how weak and sinful they really are. We should understand that many people are still rejecting the gospel of the water and the Spirit. And as a result, they still have sins intact in their hearts; they were sinners before they believed in Jesus, and sins still remain intact in them even now when they believe in Jesus so fervently. They need to realize that they will perish eternally because of their sins. They must become mournful before God and receive God’s comfort. The Law of God states that “the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23). And such people must accept this truth into their hearts. They must recognize that they are such wretched souls and ask for God’s comfort. Then they will receive great comfort from God. Christian sinners who still don’t believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit must have their hearts torn by grief and accept this genuine gospel by faith. That is the only way they can be comforted.
In Korea, we have a mega-church of over half a million members. So many politicians such as presidential candidates and candidates for congress visit that church to get their support by greeting everyone and by giving huge offerings. If we really want to be blessed, we should have our sins washed clean and become God’s children. Then we will possess the Kingdom of Heaven. If we want to lead a righteous life before God, we should mourn for our sins; we should love ourselves enough to take pity on our own souls and grieve over our sins. Only then can we meet the gospel Truth of the water and the Spirit that the Lord gave to us. God comforts such people.
You and I, who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, used to mourn for our sins. That is why the Lord visited us with the gospel of the water and the Spirit and took away all our sins at once. Did you think you were perfect and decent? You might seem perfect in other people’s eyes, but did you not know you were far too insufficient in the presence of God? So, were you not someone who could not but humble yourself? That is right! Those who mourn before God receive the blessing of the remission of sins by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
“Blessed Are the Meek”
It is written in Matthew 5:5,
“Blessed are the meek,
For they shall inherit the earth.”
Who are the meek? Those who are meek before God are people who by faith accept the Word of God in the Bible just as it is. God regards them as meek. Those who accept the Word of God do not live by their own strength, but by having faith in His Word. The meek are those who kneel to God and live by the faith in God’s Word and His righteousness. However, people misunderstand this verse and try to show off their apparent meekness. But this is not the real meekness that God approves. The truly meek people are those who submit their hearts before God’s Word. Such people receive the remission of sins by accepting the gospel of the water and the Spirit and eventually go to the Kingdom of Heaven. They also live a blessed life on earth.
Those whose hearts are meek before the presence of God are the blessed. On the other hand, those who refuse to believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit cannot receive any blessings from God. Some people who heard this genuine gospel say in arrogance, “The gospel of the water and the Spirit is merely your gospel and our gospel is the gospel of the Cross.” I tried to understand why so many Korean Christians are rejecting the gospel of the water and the Spirit while westerners are more accepting. Those who have a western way of thinking are quite individualistic, so they are apt to agree with the Word of God and place their faith in it no matter what other people might think. They believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit exactly as it is written in the Bible. But those who have an oriental way of thinking are apt to base their decisions on what other people might think. For example, they ask themselves, “Which gospel do more people believe as the true gospel, the gospel of the water and the Spirit or the gospel of the Cross?” They then blindly follow the majority like sheep. In other words, Asian people are prone to be influenced by others. They have a tendency to follow the majority. Westerners and Asians have quite different ways of thinking, and people with western way of thinking are apt to be more open to the Word of God.
The gospel of the water and the Spirit that delivers us from sin is the true genuine gospel written in the Bible. There is no other true gospel other than this gospel of the water and the Spirit. This true gospel of the water and the Spirit applies to everyone whether they like it or not. However, just because the gospel of the Cross is already spread all over the world, many people regard this pseudo-gospel as the true gospel. Nonetheless, the God-given true gospel is the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
The Bible approves the gospel of the water and the Spirit. The gospel of the Cross is a man-made, half-baked gospel. Since so many people have been listening to this half a gospel, they hesitate to accept the original gospel of the water and the Spirit. They might say, “Hmm, this is a bit different from what I have learned so far. It sounds like it is more complete than the gospel of the Cross. What should I do now?” Many people worry that they might get into a big trouble if they accept the gospel of the water and the Spirit even if this unheard-of gospel is the true gospel. Because they have never heard this gospel except for the gospel of the Cross, people have a hard time in making a decision whether to believe in it or not. This is the reason why many people are reluctant to believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. I feel very sorry for them.
For this reason, you need to be decisive when you stand at the crossroad of whether or not you should put your faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. You must build up your faith in God on a personal level. We used to be sinners before God. We will continue to commit sins until we die. Therefore, we need to receive the true salvation by accepting the gospel of the water and the Spirit. In this way we can be acknowledged by God as meek people and be saved from all our sins. Fortunately, many Christian leaders all over the world have accepted the gospel of the water and the Spirit and they are preaching it to others. Many people have already accepted this genuine gospel.
“Blessed Are the Merciful”
Those who are merciful to sinners are blessed before God. Those who have already received the remission of sins have the obligation to share this genuine gospel with those whose sins are not remitted yet and who are waiting to perish. We, the righteous, preach this gospel to sinners, knowing that they will perish if they do not accept the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Righteous people have mercy on them because they know how much agony sinners will go through forever. God said that the merciful are blessed. That is why the righteous who are serving the gospel receive blessings from God.
You and I are merciful to those who have not received the remission of sins yet because we have already received the remission of our sins by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Anyone who has not yet received the remission of sins is the object of our mercy. For this reason, we keep telling them to believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. We do this out of pity for them. We don’t know when they will die but we know for sure that they will end up in hell.
Some people say bluntly that they have sin. They then say that they don’t care if they end up in hell. But is this so simple? They should realize that hell is a place of permanent agony. Such people do not know what they are really saying, but hell is the most painful place to be in. God says in the Bible that in hell worms don’t die and fire is unquenchable. Especially sinners who have stood against the righteousness of God will be seasoned with fire (Mark 9:48-49). This is why we have mercy on those who will go to hell due to their sins. When we have mercy on them, our Lord will show His mercy on us.
As a matter of fact, even the righteous are too lacking in many ways. Nevertheless, the Lord has mercy on us and fills us with His righteousness. He does so because we share the gospel Truth with hell-bound sinners out of our merciful hearts. Now that we have already received the remission of our sins and received God’s love, we show mercy to those who have not yet received the remission of sins. This is why we are called the blessed before God.
“Blessed Are the Pure in Heart”
The Lord said,
“Blessed are the pure in heart,
For they shall see God” (Matthew 5:8).
If we want to be pure in heart, we must fear God from the bottom of our hearts. We must fearfully admire God of truth and understand how great He is. We should see God with our hearts’ eyes, not our physical eyes, revere Him, fear Him, love Him, and accept by faith the salvation that Jesus has given to us. This is how we can recognize our insufficiencies and receive the remission of sins. Such individuals can believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, receive the remission of sins through this gospel, and see the holy God with their pure hearts. Our Lord plainly explained this truth to us.
Those who receive the remission of sins by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit are pure in heart. What this verse means by saying, ‘blessed are the pure in heart’ is that people are blessed when they have received the remission of sins by putting down their wicked thoughts and accepting the gospel of the water and the Spirit. When people come before God, they need to have pure hearts. They can receive salvation by faith when they face and believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit with pure hearts. When people come to God with any ulterior motives other than receiving the remission of sins, they will not receive the blessing of becoming pure in heart.
Among today’s Christians many people do not know the gospel of the water and the Spirit and just believe that the blood of the Cross is the only way to salvation. Such people have not received the blessings from God. Their hearts are soiled with sins. What they seek after is golden calves. Faith in golden calves seeks physical well being only. They come to God only to be powerful, wealthy, physically healthy, and physically happy. When they come with such an impure heart, they cannot comprehend the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
Even though many Christians go to worship services, they cannot meet God because of the sins that still remain in their hearts. Besides, their faith in golden calves keeps them from accepting the gospel of the water and the Spirit deeply into their hearts. Since their interest is not in God Himself, they cannot understand the gospel of God, which is the gospel of the water and the Spirit even though they listen to it. There are even designated disturbers who keep people from putting their faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
On the other hand, those who have met God by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit have forsaken these golden calves in their hearts. These people who wish to receive the blessing of having a pure heart come to God admitting their fundamental sinful nature just as it is, ask Him to show mercy on them, and accept the gospel of the water and the Spirit, and ask God for His mercy. They grieve deeply for their sins realizing how insufficient and intolerable they are. God meets with such people, granting them the gospel of the water and the Spirit so that they can receive the true blessing of salvation and true comfort.
“Blessed Are the Peace-makers”
It is also written, “Blessed are the peacemakers,
For they shall be called sons of God” (Matthew 5:9).
What does ‘peace-makers’ mean? ‘Peace-making between God and man’ means to preach to people the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Therefore, ‘peace-makers’ make peace between God and people. The righteous are the peace-makers who make sinners offer peace offerings and burnt offerings to God. It is written that they shall be called the sons of God.
“Blessed Are Those Who Are Persecuted for Righteousness’ Sake”
“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake,
For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you” (Matthew 5:10-12).
Even now, we are being persecuted because we are preaching the gospel of the water and the Spirit. But the Lord encourages us by saying, “Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”
In reality, those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake are the ones who are blessed by God. Persecution is another type of God’s blessing that He bestows on the righteous. God’s real blessings are not physical blessings. Although most people consider physical prosperity―such as, becoming rich, powerful, or healthy―as God’s blessings, but this is not true. God’s blessing comes when we lead a life that pleases Him. This is why God blesses those who are persecuted for the right thing, who work for the righteous cause, who endure hardships for the righteous work.” God called them the blessed. He also said that their reward in Heaven is great. As it is written in Matthew 5:5, “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth,” those who are persecuted for the righteousness of God are blessed. When they accept the Word of God and obey it with a meek heart, God will grant them not only heavenly blessings but also earthly blessings. Such people are the blessed, for they trust in and obey God’s Word.
Our forefathers of faith, such as Abraham, Isaac and Jacob are said to be blessed. When we look at their lives, they were blessed both in body and in spirit. In other words, they were rich both in spirit and in body. Job was said to be the richest in the Orient. As for Abraham, he was strong in his faith and wealthy in possessions. He was the wealthiest man in his time. So was his son, Isaac. They both accepted God’s Word and obeyed God, by which they became so prosperous. God gave many blessings to such faithful children.
In the same manner, God regards those who are persecuted for the spread of the gospel as the blessed. When we are persecuted while preaching the gospel, we receive blessings from God. For this reason, we endure all these persecution and hardships as we preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
For an example, let me tell you about what happened to me. When I was preaching the gospel of the water and the Spirit, a group of people spoke ill of me and persecuted me. They were spreading a wicked rumor that I was such an evil man. I was deeply hurt when I heard such a slanderous comment. At that moment, I thought to myself, “I may be a wretched sinner before God, but I am not so bad compared to all of you. How can you treat me like this?” And I calmed myself down and said to myself, “Who is more righteous before God? I am perfectly righteous before God.” After all, such persecution brought me blessings.
Now we have many coworkers all over the world. They are working with us in preaching the gospel. They were all overjoyed when they accepted the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Ever since then, they have been preaching the gospel with us. But after a while what happened to them? Persecution started. People shunned them, saying, “You used to be normal, but now you are abnormal. It seems like you have fallen prey to a cult. Don’t come bother us anymore. Don’t tell us about that weird gospel.” They revile our coworkers and speak ill of them, this is why they are suffering hardships. When I hear of such sad episodes, I am worried that our coworkers would feel despair.
However, we should realize that it is natural for us, we who have received the remission of sins, to hear such evil things from those who are not born again. Those who have not received the remission of sins have evil thoughts all the time, and as slaves to the Devil they will always slander the righteous. Because their hearts are always seething with evil, they enjoy doing such evil things. So we should realize that it is natural for them to persecute the righteous.
The Lord said, “Every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit” (Matthew 7:17). Good trees always bear good fruit. Bad trees always bear bad fruit. What is the reason for this? It is because the seeds are different. As the Lord said in Matthew 5:13-16, we are the salt and the light of this world. The Lord said that we are the indispensible beings to this world. Food does not taste good when we don’t put any salt in it. All life forms will die if there is no sunlight, no matter how beautiful this world is. In the same way, this world will perish without the gospel word of the water and the Spirit.
According to marine biologists, there are some kinds of deep-sea fish that live as deep as 2000 or 3000 meters below sea level. The interesting thing is that they give off light on their own. They, too, are enabled by God to live in such a dark place. What if there was no sunlight that God gave? Everything on earth, including human beings, will die. Some animals such as bats try to avoid this God-given light, but darkness is not good for anything.
The Lord tells us, “You are the salt of the earth.” He also says to us, “You are the light of the world.” In other words, we are indispensible beings in this world. Especially for those of us who believe the gospel of the water and the Spirit we are indeed so very indispensible to this world. Our coworkers in Korea and all over the world are all absolutely essential to this world. Nonetheless, we will be useless if we don’t do the work of illuminating the light of salvation to this world. So, the Lord said, “If the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men” (Matthew 5:13). If we don’t play the entrusted role as salt, we are no longer useful.
Then who is essential to this world? It is none other than us who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. In our hearts is where the Spirit of the Lord lives. The Holy Spirit dwells in our hearts. He abides in every heart of those who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Therefore, we, who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, are the light of the world. Hence, whoever meets us will see the light of salvation and whoever receives this light will turn into the people of God. They will attain new life from God as the citizens of God’s Kingdom.
What we need to do is to willingly receive persecution for the righteousness of the Lord. Those who are persecuted for the sake of God’s righteousness are the blessed. God said that those who are persecuted for the righteous work are blessed; and we all need to pay special attention to this teaching. “Are we actually such people who live under persecution for the righteousness of God? Or are we those who still serve golden calves after receiving the remission of sins?” We should really ask ourselves this question. Remember, salt that lost its flavor is good for nothing. Salt won’t be used for any other seasoning. Salt gives salty flavor just as it is. Salt keeps food from going bad. Salt itself gives taste. When we want to live as the salt and the light of the world, we need to present the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
Some of you might say, “I am too weak-hearted to preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit.” Then you need to join in with the literature ministry along with God’s servants. As long as you are willing to serve God in any form, you can be the salt of this world. Who can play the role of the light successfully on his or her own strength? There is no one. No one can lead a perfect life by himself. This is why God allowed the Church of God to us the righteous. God granted us His Church, and teaches His will through His servants in the Church. The servants of God set goals in unison with the Church of God and run towards the will of God. Their goal is to preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit to the whole world; and God is pleased with. When we run in unison with the Church of God for the spreading of the gospel, we are fulfilling our mission in the presence of God. Whether you take part in the literature ministry or in individual evangelism, it is okay so long as you work in union with the Church of God. Then you will be the salt and the light of the world.
Since the Lord has made us the salt and the light of the world, all we need to do is to share the gospel of the water and the Spirit as God commanded us. It is okay that we just obey His command. When we obey, we will receive blessings. God has commanded that we should keep doing the right thing even after we receive the remission of sins. What will happen to us if we the born-again do not live for the righteousness of the Lord? Our salvation will be canceled, and we will be cast out into outer darkness, that is, hell. Is this really so? Yes, even though we have been saved by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, God will surely do this even to these unfaithful servants. Please read the following Bible verses that support this truth: “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a dragnet that was cast into the sea and gathered some of every kind, which, when it was full, they drew to shore; and they sat down and gathered the good into vessels, but threw the bad away. So it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come forth, separate the wicked from among the just, and cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth” (Matthew 13:47-50).
Our mission workers as well as our brothers and sisters are working hard for the spreading of this gospel. Therefore, we are the light of the world. What does the Lord want from us? He wants us to preach the gospel to the whole wide world. How can we do this? We can give out our publications both as printed books and e-books. We just need to publish Christian books that contain the gospel of the water and the Spirit and distribute them to the people all over the world. What they need to do is just accept the gospel and receive the remission of their sins. Those who don’t accept the gospel will perish. When we preach the gospel of the Water and the Spirit, we can observe two incompatible responses from listeners: Some listeners may willingly accept the gospel of the water and the Spirit, while others don’t. What should we do then? We just do our best in our mission. People who refuse to accept the gospel of the water and the Spirit are kicking God’s blessing away. Some of them may persecute you severely. Then, you and I will be persecuted for the preaching the gospel of the water and the Spirit for God’s righteousness’ sake.
How Do Our Overseas Coworkers Join Our Literature Ministry?
I wish to publish books containing the gospel of the water and the Spirit and share them with people all over the world. Even if we encounter any persecution or disappointments, God will be our help. All we have to do is to deliver our books that contain the genuine gospel to the people around the world. This may sound simple, but it is not so easy in reality. However, we can do it with the help of God. God says that we should expect great things from Him. Whether they believe what is in our books is up to the readers. We can only pray to God to give them understanding of the gospel of the water and the Spirit. We can’t do anything about whether they accept it or not. Our job is to illuminate the Truth of salvation to them.
The end time the Lord told us about is close at hand. The Lord warned us that the world would end shortly. Therefore, we need to witness and preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit to everyone of this world. I preach the will of God not only to you the workers in Korea but also to our overseas coworkers. This is how I discipline them. Our overseas coworkers are going through a difficult time right now. Now, they are in need of other coworkers in serving the gospel of the water and the Spirit although they were overjoyed when they first accepted the gospel and received the remission of sins. They also need a spiritual leader who will guide them. This is why I am telling you this.
The Light We Illuminate Is the Gospel of the Water and the Spirit
The main point of the gospel of the water and the Spirit is that the Lord saved us by taking away all our sins through the baptism He received from John the Baptist. The Lord then became our Savior by carrying all our sins to the Cross, dying on it by being crucified, and rising again from the dead. We just need to explain this genuine gospel like this to all the people around the world. We need to present the apparent Truth, which is the gospel of the water and the Spirit. We can present them with the gospel of the water and the Spirit either by our books that contains this gospel or by our words. This is the good work for God. There is not anything good other than this before God. We cannot do anymore righteous work than this.
The Lord teaches us what the eight blessings are all about. He teaches the secret to us the domestic workers as well as to our overseas co-workers. It is okay if we, both of us, live by faith. I want you all to agree with me that it is the best for all of us to serve the righteousness of God through literature ministry. Don’t you agree with me? Is the literature ministry not the most decent of all? Is our literature ministry not bringing people to receive the remission of sins? Nonetheless, there are numerous people who still need to hear and accept the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
Our ministry workers often say. “Isn’t it better to present only the key points of the gospel of the water and the Spirit?” It may sound appropriate to deliver the gospel in easy terms for lay people to understand. However, the preacher of the gospel of the water and the Spirit should preach the gospel repeatedly from different angles because everyone has different situations and conditions. The gospel of the water and the Spirit is plain to understand. When people hear our witness of the gospel, they say, “Oh, this is what the gospel of the water and the Spirit is all about! There have been people who shared such a gospel!” Although repeated messages may irritate people, we should deliver the same message repeatedly until the gospel of the water and the Spirit takes root in them. In all our books, we need to testify repeatedly what this true salvation is and what the gospel of the water and the Spirit is so that our readers can put their faith in the gospel before they finish reading the very book in their hands.
Most people hate to hear what they already know. But people cannot comprehend what is really important just by hearing it once, so we need to keep telling the same message over and over again. We should preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit from diverse viewpoints. Only then can listeners understand and accept the gospel both in their heads and in their hearts. Otherwise, the gospel of the water and the Spirit cannot take root in their hearts.
We can understand a certain book if we just read it only once or twice, no matter what kind of book it is. When people start to read a book, they want to finish reading that book. They may keep on reading out of curiosity. However, when people read our books that explain the gospel of the water and the Spirit in diverse perspectives, they feel that their hearts are altered. “Wow, my sins are gone from my heart!” When sins are eradicated from hearts, people feel refreshed. Receiving the remission of sins refreshes our hearts. Do you agree with me? Yes, it really refreshes our hearts. When the sins in your heart are eradicated, you will feel so relieved. Acts 3:19 says, “Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord.” There used to be so many weaknesses in our lives, and as a result, we feel agony and sorrow as we suffer the heavy burden of sin. So, how refreshing we may feel when we know that all our sins were transferred over to Jesus by His baptism and paid it off with His blood on the Cross! It really refreshes our minds knowing that the Lord had borne all the condemnation for our sins; this makes us feel even more relieved. The very moment we profess our faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, we receive the remission of sins. This makes us start a new way of life. From then on we become impervious to persecution for the sake of the righteousness. We should be such blessed people who willingly go through persecution for the righteousness of God. We have such a conviction in our heart.
The Apostle Paul said, “I Bear in My Body the Marks of the Lord Jesus”
The apostle Paul said that he had marks of the Lord Jesus in his body (Galatians 6:17). Put differently, he had scars and wounds that he had received from his persecutors. Blessed are those who endure persecution for the sake of God’s righteousness as the Apostle Paul did. In other words, those who have avoided persecution cannot be blessed at all. Therefore, those who live for the righteousness of the Lord are blessed. For this reason, the Lord said that blessed are the poor in spirit; blessed are those who mourn; blessed are the meek; blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness; blessed are the merciful; blessed are the pure in heart; blessed are the peacemakers; and blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake.
We actually need to accept the gospel of the water and the Spirit, and serve this genuine gospel in union with God’s Church even though we are lacking in many respects. This is the way to be blessed by God. As long as we follow after the righteousness of the Lord, we will not go bankrupt in spirit or in flesh.
In the past, I encountered hardship while I was preaching the gospel of the Lord. At that time in my heart, I had faith in the righteousness of God. I firmly believed, “I am a servant of God. No matter what other people said, I am God’s servant. I won’t ever live in poverty for I am living for the righteousness of God.” I also convinced myself, “I will not yield to persecution while serving the gospel of the water and the Spirit. My coworkers and I will overcome all kinds of persecution by faith.” I had such a conviction because Abraham also overcame by faith so many hardships that came along with God’s blessings.
Our coworkers who are living for the Lord and are united with the righteousness of God amid persecution can never be miserable. In today’s Scripture passage, the Lord spoke to the Israelites that they should not worship ‘golden calves,’ but that they should become poor in spirit, seek the righteousness of God, and mourn for their sins because they had been worshipping golden calves for a very long time. We should not be generous with ourselves, but we must realize how sinful and lacking we are. And we must then fill such insufficiency with the knowledge of and faith in the righteousness of God. We need to trust in and accept every written Word of God absolutely. We should rejoice in doing the righteous work of God.
First of all, we should have pure hearts before God. We should not have wicked hearts. We also need to reconcile sinners with God. We need to be preachers of the gospel of the water and the Spirit. We must endure persecution for the righteousness of God. We should be givers instead of receivers as the Lord Jesus said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35). Only then will we become blessed. We will be blessed here on earth as well as in the next world. Therefore, we should become the distributors of God’s blessings. The Lord has made you and me such blessed ones as He had made covenant with Abraham, saying,
“I will bless those who bless you,
And I will curse him who curses you;
And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed” (Genesis 12:3). The source of blessing is the Lord Himself, but He promised to save countless people through us. God intends to bless everyone in this world through us.
I hope and pray that you will become blessed people before God. God has already given us so many blessings through faith. God moulds us into a source for blessings. Now, the Lord asks us this question: “What have you done for Me? What did you do after you received the remission of your sins by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit? Have you suffered persecution for Me?” If we say “Yes” to the Lord, He will say, “I will bless you.”
We must become those who have suffered persecution for the righteousness of God. Do we have the marks that we have lived for the Lord? Our coworkers working at home and abroad should all have these marks that prove that we have lived for the righteousness of the Lord. Having such marks themselves is a blessing to us. The marks showing that we have lived for the righteousness of the Lord will lead us to the knowledge of the true faith, make us use this true faith, and enables us to solve many problems that come with persecution. I earnestly hope and pray that all our domestic and overseas coworkers will receive and enjoy all the eight blessings that God has given us. I pray that no one among us will live a faithless and shameful life.
The Lord always wants to give us opportunity to serve the gospel of the water and the Spirit. I wish you will take these opportunities from God and live by faith until you meet the Lord. I pray to God that He may give faith and strengthen all our coworkers at home and abroad so that we may not lose heart but rather serve the gospel of the water and the Spirit well. I hope all of us will be beneficiaries of the Beatitudes. The Lord helps all of us to prosper. I pray to the Lord that He will bestow His eight blessings upon all our coworkers at home and abroad.
Hallelujah! Praise the Lord!