“Now the LORD had said to Abram:
‘Get out of your country,
From your family
And from your father’s house,
To a land that I will show you.
I will make you a great nation;
I will bless you
And make your name great;
And you shall be a blessing.
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.’
So Abram departed as the LORD had spoken to him, and Lot went with him. And Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran.”
Here, there, and everywhere people are receiving the remission of their sins by hearing the gospel that we are preaching. And so, I feel that those of us who are in the Church should have proper hearts before God. That’s why recently I have been preaching on our hearts as often as I can.
God has given and blessed us with so many things. We were lacking in so many things, so we prayed to the Lord and He has met our needs. When we asked for material things He gave us material things, and when we prayed for souls He brought souls into our midst. In this way, God has filled our hearts and our needs. And so, I have been thinking about what we need to be asking for and seeking from God as we live each day. And, since God has filled us with material things in order for our hearts to be blessed by Him and for our precious faith to be passed down to our descendants, we must be the people who proclaim the blessings of God.
The Lineage of True Faith
Beginning in Genesis 11:10 we can find a list of Shem’s descendants. Noah’s three sons were Shem, Ham and Japheth, and out of these three, only Shem received the most blessings from God. We can say this because through the descendants of Shem the lineage of faith continued on and eventually Jesus Christ was born through this lineage.
“This is the genealogy of Shem: Shem was one hundred years old, and begot Arphaxad two years after the flood. After he begot Arphaxad, Shem lived five hundred years, and begot sons and daughters. Arphaxad lived thirty-five years, and begot Salah. After he begot Salah, Arphaxad lived four hundred and three years, and begot sons and daughters. Salah lived thirty years, and begot Eber. After he begot Eber, Salah lived four hundred and three years, and begot sons and daughters.
Eber lived thirty-four years, and begot Peleg. After he begot Peleg, Eber lived four hundred and thirty years, and begot sons and daughters.
Peleg lived thirty years, and begot Reu. After he begot Reu, Peleg lived two hundred and nine years, and begot sons and daughters.
Reu lived thirty-two years, and begot Serug. After he begot Serug, Reu lived two hundred and seven years, and begot sons and daughters.
Serug lived thirty years, and begot Nahor. After he begot Nahor, Serug lived two hundred years, and begot sons and daughters.
Nahor lived twenty-nine years, and begot Terah. After he begot Terah, Nahor lived one hundred and nineteen years, and begot sons and daughters.
Now Terah lived seventy years, and begot Abram, Nahor, and Haran” (Gen. 11:10-26).
Terah was the father of Abraham. And Terah was born from the lineage of Shem. Shem was the son of Noah, and the lineage of Abraham begins from Noah. Terah had his children and lived in Haran. He left Ur of the Chaldeans and lived in Haran for seventy years before he died. After Terah died, God called Abraham and told him, “Get out of your country, From your family And from your father’s house To a land that I will show you.” According to tradition, Terah was a merchant who made and sold idols. And that is why the first thing God did was to call Abraham and tell him to leave his country, his family and his father’s house which served these idols. And Abraham obeyed God as He commanded him and went to the land that He had instructed him to go to.
After Believing in the Gospel of the Water and the Spirit We Also Must Leave Our Country, Our Family and Our Father’s House
God could not have Abraham live in his father’s land because Abraham was to be the source of all blessings, and God planned to establish the nation of Israel and send Jesus through that nation. This is also the first thing that the Lord says to all His born again saints. He tells us to leave our country, our family and our father’s house. After we become truly born again, the first thing that God tells us is to leave our country, our family and our father’s house. Sun Myung Moon, the Korean founder and leader of the world-wide Unification Church, has made many religious communities here and there and coerced and manipulated his followers to live there. Did God create such a community and would He tell us to leave our families to live there? No, not at all! God is telling us to depart from the mindset that we had before we were born again, from the mindset of following after the flesh and simply desiring to prosper in the flesh by being soaked in the ways of the world. Before we were born again, we only looked after our own fleshly desires. But how have we changed since we have been born again by the gospel of the water and the Spirit? After our Lord called us, the first thing that He told us to do was to depart from our former ways of life that we used to follow, which was after the flesh. Ephesians 4:22 tells us to “put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts.” God tells us what we should not do after we have been born again. He tells us, “Don’t stay in your former conduct anymore and make sure you do this. Enter into the true Church, listen to the Word, proclaim the true gospel, attend Bible meetings and go to the land that I command you to go.” He leads us into and onto a new path that we have never been on before. After you are born again, you will soon see how God has been instructing you into a new direction away from your previous old mindsets and habits.
Before we were born again, all that we thought about was how our flesh could be successful and prosper. Let me tell you of my situation again, even though you have heard this many times. The first thing that I thought of after being born again was “how I could serve this gospel on earth while having a comfortable life.” My purpose was to serve the gospel of course, but more than that I desired to have a stable lifestyle. And so, my mind was full of mixed thoughts of how I could serve the Lord on this earth in a way that was comfortable for my flesh. And so, in order to gain some stability in life, I pursued that first. However, the Lord told me to get rid of that mindset. This was because if I continued on in that state of my previous old thoughts and mindset, I could not enter into the new world that the Lord would lead me into and I could neither receive the new blessings from the Lord. And so, the Lord told me to cast away my old thoughts and to enter into the new world that He was instructing me to enter into.
Terah also begot Nahor and Haran along with Abraham, but God chose Abraham out of these three brothers and had him leave his home country and his father’s house. This was to give Abraham great blessings and to make him the ancestor and founder of one nation. Now, Abraham had to embrace the Lord who had blotted out all his sins, instead of living according to his own desires as he did while living in his father’s house. This is what the Lord desired. Instead of being intent on what the flesh desired as to its eating to survive and thinking only about the material things of this world, he was to depart from this materialistic mindset and was to embrace Jesus Christ, His Word and the gospel wholly by which Jesus Christ took the sins of the world away. This was not only applicable to Abraham, but all of us who are born again by the gospel of the water and the Spirit should have this same heart in us. The Lord is saying that although we cannot live this life without material things, we should not pour out our heart only towards material things but should rather follow in the footsteps of our Lord. Dear fellow believers, do you believe this? The Lord, who loves us so much, tells us, “Get out of your country from your family and from your father’s house, and depart from your fleshly desires,” so that we may live out our faith by proclaiming to others the gospel Truth which removed the sins of the world from within our hearts. So now, we must have this gospel Truth within our hearts and press on in our spiritual journey.
When Will the True Faith Arise in Our Hearts?
God said that Abraham would be the source of all blessings. The source of all blessings is Jesus Christ. However, on the other hand, God told Abraham that he would become the source of all blessings. God told Abraham to become the source of all blessings and He promised that, “I will bless those who bless you, And I will curse him who curses you.” Fundamentally, Jesus Christ is the source of all blessings, but as Abraham also became a source of all blessings, so you and I can be another source of all blessings. How can we become a source of all blessings?
If we wish to become the source of all blessings, we must also have Jesus Christ in our hearts. We should not seek after material prosperity or for physical things of this fleshly world in our hearts, but when we have Jesus Christ in our hearts we can be the source of all blessings. When we embrace Jesus Christ in our hearts people will return to the proper true path by receiving the remission of their sins. When we have a proper heart like this, we can see others receive the remission of sins. Just like the Scripture that says, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain” (John 12:24), when we sacrifice ourselves, and embrace the Word of Truth and the gospel of Jesus Christ which removed the sins of the world within our hearts then Jesus Christ will be proclaimed to many people through us. Multitudes of people will then receive the remission of sins through us. We will be a channel of blessing so that many people will receive the blessing of having their sins remitted before God.
But what will happen if the hearts of those who are born again go wrong? What if the hearts of believers are filled with materialism instead? When the born-again saints embrace wrong thoughts in their hearts the effect is truly great. As the Bible explains, “A little leaven leavens the whole lump” (Galatians 5:9), so will the multitudes of people they are preaching to fall into destruction when we the born-again simply seek after fleshly desires. Not only will we not be the source of all blessings, but a distorted gospel will be spread through us. When we embrace in our hearts only the material greed that can be attained from this visible world and we regard this world as being more precious than God, then we will be proclaiming a false gospel without us even knowing it.
A long time ago, there were a lot of forefathers in the faith. Besides Abraham, Noah and the other men of faith who appeared in the Bible, there were many people of faith, but we can see that the true faith in their hearts was cut off in their generation. Why did this happen? This was because they were embracing something other than the Word of God that their spiritual teachers had taught them. They did not embrace Jesus Christ in their hearts, but instead they embraced the things of the flesh and the world. They lived their lives with the purpose of obtaining the things of this world and so they were eventually cut off from the path of faith.
Then how can we have a heart that becomes the source of all blessings? If we cast away the things of the flesh from our hearts and embrace the Word of our Lord in our hearts, then we can become the source of all blessings. A heart that has become the source of all blessings is a heart that embraces the Word of Jesus Christ which has blotted out all our sins. Dear fellow believers, I am sure that you have received the remission of your sins. Do you then often ruminate on the fact that Jesus Christ has blotted out all of your sins? Do you live within that beautiful spiritual world ruminating on and embracing the grace of the gospel? Or, do the things of this world or the things of the flesh often enter your heart, occupying your heart and thoughts instead of the gospel of Truth, and do you follow after such things? Do worldly fame, the pleasures, and the riches of this world have ownership over your heart? After you have received the remission of sins, the temptations of the flesh draw nearer to you. And the moment you fall into such temptations, you will fall away from the source of all blessings.
In the Book of Haggai in the Old Testament, our Lord says, “The silver is Mine, and the gold is Mine” (Haggai 2:8). This is because all of creation under Heaven is the Lord’s. And so, if we were to need anything, our Lord would give us everything that is on this earth. Among the people of faith who embraced Jesus Christ, is there anyone who eked out a scanty livelihood? No. Those who embraced Jesus Christ in their hearts were faithful and diligent, and God blessed the work that they did. And so there was no way that they could live in poverty. However, those who did not embrace Jesus Christ in their hearts, but rather distanced themselves from Him and embraced the world in their hearts experienced miserable endings to their lives. We can find many instances of these terrible endings in the Bible wherever we look.
For example when looking at Abraham’s nephew Lot we see this tragedy. Because of his many possessions he could no longer live together with Abraham, and so Lot left Abraham and headed for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah. The reason was that when he lifted his eyes and saw all the luscious green plains of the land below, it looked plentiful and beautiful as the Garden of Eden. But he came to complete ruin later on. He lost everything that he owned and barely saved his own life. And his wife, by her looking back because of her longing for Sodom and Gomorrah, became a pillar of salt on the spot. This all happened because of the greed of the flesh.
On the other hand, Abraham followed faithfully after the Word of the Lord God. The result of this was that he received all of God’s blessings, was called a friend of God and became the source of all blessings to his descendants. If we have the Word of Truth that Jesus Christ blotted out all our sins in our hearts as Abraham did, then our hearts will be lead into an unfathomably beautiful world and we will receive the blessings that comes from the Lord. This is because the Lord abides in our hearts, speaks to us and leads our hearts. Therefore, we can keep watch over everything that our flesh does and receive the grace of God.
What Must Prosper First?
Dear beloved saints, what must prosper first in our lives? It is written, “Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers” (3 John 1:2). Should the faith within our hearts be put in order, or must our flesh be doing well? If anyone has an upright heart before God, embraces the gospel of Jesus Christ in his heart, cherishes this gospel of the water and the Spirit, and always remembers in his heart the fact that the Lord has blotted out all his sins, then this person is someone with a heart of beautiful faith. We do not become a person of faith because of something that we do or have accomplished, but by embracing in our hearts the truth that Jesus Christ blotted out all our sins; then we will become the source of all blessings thanks to our Lord. And so the Lord said that if we embrace Jesus Christ, then He will glorify us (Proverbs 4:8). And so, the hearts of the born again must prosper first. If the hearts of the saints go astray, they will indeed become like Lot.
How difficult must it have been for Abraham to get out of his country from his family and from his father’s house after living there for so long? But by choosing the difficult path of obedience towards God, Abraham became the father of faith and became the source of all blessings. And so, we too must not follow after the things that benefit only our flesh but must follow the way where our hearts prosper.
Dear fellow believers, haven’t you received the remission of all your sins yet? Jesus Christ has removed all your sins once and for all by being baptized by John the Baptist. Embrace Jesus Christ in your hearts! It is good and beneficial for our hearts to run and play in His beautiful spiritual world. Instead of hearts running and playing in the physical world; it is good for our hearts to “run and play” within the realm of this gospel Truth instead. And our souls prosper when we strive with all our might to proclaim this beautiful gospel that the Lord blotted out the sins of the world to people who do not know this gospel of Truth. When our hearts abide in this Truth, and when we embrace God’s Word in our hearts, and also when we embrace the Lord in our hearts, we will become a source of all blessings. What God requires of us first and foremost, as He did to Abraham, is for us to get out of our country, from our family and from our father’s houses. He told us to cast away our fleshly thoughts and to press on towards what is beneficial for our hearts. Therefore, we Christians must cast away the thoughts of the flesh, this is so important. We must then embrace Christ in our souls and must first do what is good for our souls, and then press on towards it. Our Lord is speaking to us regarding these things.
Dear beloved saints, do you earnestly desire to prosper in your souls? Or do you wish for your flesh to prosper even though your souls are perishing? Do you think you’ve made it if your flesh is brightly adorned and you have amassed honor and wealth beyond your wildest dreams, even if your heart is like a sewer pit and there is a rotten smell coming from it? Or do you desire to first of all to have a beautiful heart within the realm of God and also prosper in the earthly realm thanks to God? In regards to this, the Apostle John said, “I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers” (3 John 1:2). The prosperity of one’s soul is top priority before one prospers in all things. What the Apostle John valued above all things was for our hearts to be right before God, to embrace the truth of Jesus Christ and to follow Him. Then, the other areas in our lives will prosper as well. Dear fellow believers, you must prioritize things in your hearts. We must clearly know and decide what must come first and what must be taken care of first.
Abraham entered the land of Canaan as God had commanded him. But when a famine came, without asking God first, he decided on his own accord to go to the land of Egypt. And because he was afraid that the people of Egypt would harass him because of the beauty of his wife Sarah, he lied by saying his wife was his sister. In the land of Egypt, the king of Egypt and his advisors saw Abraham’s wife and were struck with her beauty. They asked who she was and when Abraham replied that she was his sister, Pharaoh’s servants took Sarah to Pharaoh. But God did not allow the king of Egypt to lay his hands on her at all. Let’s take a look at Genesis 12:17: “But the LORD plagued Pharaoh and his house with great plagues because of Sarai, Abram’s wife.” After Sarah entered the court, great plagues struck the household of the king of Egypt. The startled king upon finding out that Sarah was the wife of Abraham sent him away from the court, saying “What is this you have done to me? Take her and go your way.” And, the king did not send him away empty handed but also gave him sufficient amount of possessions when he sent Abraham away. Clearly, Abraham had done something wrong, but instead he became a rich person because of his lie. Abraham is probably the only person who “sold” his wife but became rich because of that shameful act. Who else on this earth made a fortune by selling his own wife? Only Abraham and Isaac did. Like father like son—Isaac did the very same thing later on as well.
The Bible often refers to the church as a wife. And so, Abraham lying that his wife was his sister and receiving wealth implies that a born again saint hiding the fact that he or she is attending God’s Church because of the fear of persecution and because of the ulterior motive to gain profit from the world. However, we the born again saints must know that we have actually gained many things because of the Church and that our lives can be protected by it also. Some of us who desire to do well spiritually may sometimes find that things turn out bad in the flesh because of their attending God’s Church. Some of them may say that this Church is not their church when they hear others say our Church is a heretical one. Some may say that the Word of God preached in this Church is correct, but that it seems to be somewhat heretical and so they do not continue to attend it anymore. But, you must know that whoever has truly received the remission of sins gains many things and is protected in this Church of God.
Dear beloved saints, first of all, our hearts must prosper before God. Your hearts and my heart must be doing well before God. If we prosper in our flesh but not in our hearts, then everything is wrong. So, the very first thing that we must sincerely consider after becoming born again is to have a proper heart before God. Our hearts must spiritually draw nearer to God, our hearts must be thankful to Jesus Christ for blotting out all our sins and we must work hard to spread the gospel always abiding within this beautiful spiritual world. And when we are praying for these spiritual desires and press forward by embracing and keeping in our hearts this Word of Truth of Jesus Christ which has blotted out all our sins, our souls will prosper and God will bless our hearts.
Dear beloved saints, if there is one most important thing that I want to request of you, it is this: You must keep watch over your hearts. I am saying that you must embrace and keep in your hearts the fact that Jesus Christ has blotted out all your sins. And, wherever you go, ponder and ruminate on the Truth of how Jesus Christ blotted out all your sins, be thankful of and share this gospel with other people around you. To who and how you are to preach this will be revealed by the Holy Spirit who is in your hearts. This is what the Holy Spirit does. And so, we must not strive to do other things. After being born again, the rest of our lives are a gift or a bonus. Just as when we buy something there is something extra given as a promotion, the life that we live after being born again is “a bonus,” so to speak.
While living on this earth, we do not have to worry about what to eat or drink. God told us not to worry about such things and that He would provide for such things (Matthew 6:31-33). Even the grass on the pathways or the sparrows in the sky, God takes care of. How much more will God take care of those of us who are truly born again in the Lord? In the past, we were filled with thoughts of eating and drinking, but now we have embraced the gospel in our hearts and we are now striving to do the work of proclaiming the gospel. And, whatever things we do on this earth, we must press on by embracing Jesus Christ in our hearts. When we do this, God will be involved in all of our affairs and He will give us His grace in our lives. We must know and must believe the fact that God is concerned with and gives His grace in even the slightest and minutest of things in our lives that we are not even aware of. When our hearts are set upright and when our hearts run pressing on towards the gospel, the Lord will then bless all of our ways and He will protect us. However, if our hearts are set wrongly and we follow the world and its fame and wealth instead, how then can Jesus Christ assist our lives and how can He pour out His love upon us? When God looks upon us and sees that we have embraced Jesus Christ in our hearts 100%, and that we are pressing on for the sake of the gospel, then He will bless us in all things. This is because He has definitely promised that He would do this. I ask that you believe this.
Dear beloved saints, first of all, our hearts must prosper before God. After receiving the remission of sins, the first thing that we must do and the thing that we must give attention to is this. Concerning our hearts’ prosperity, if we pray to God to help us in other areas, then things work out wonderfully. This is because God brings everything to pass. However, if our hearts are set wrong, everything will fail. God is speaking to us through Abraham in order to awaken us to this fact. Such a profound intention of the Lord is contained in this Scripture passage, “Get out of your country From your family And from your father’s house.”
Abraham’s father is said to be a person who made idols out of stone or wood and sold them. God clearly said not to serve idols, but Terah made and served idols and tried to obtain material wealth through them instead. To stay in such a land of idolatry would not profit Abraham in anyway. God wanted to bless Abraham and so He commanded him to leave his father’s house. If our hearts are filled with just material desires, then we cannot learn the spiritual world of God and the world of blessing within His gospel. That’s why the Lord also tells those of us the born again, to get out of our country, from our family and from our father’s house. God is not telling us to physically leave the house that we have lived in and to move somewhere far away, but He is telling us to cast away our previous hearts of having fleshly desires for the world and for its material goods. We are of course presently living in this material world, that is, within a physical realm. But, we must embrace God in our hearts and must follow after Him in fellowship with Him in it. Only in this way will we can be led to the new world that the Lord provides and we can wholly receive the grace that God gives.
God Gives Blessings to Those Whose Hearts Are Proper before Him
We are living in this world, but we must not follow after material things only. Why did God command Abraham, “Get out of your country, from your family and from your father’s house to a land that I will show you?” This was to bless Abraham as He said,
“I will make you a great nation;
I will bless you
And make your name great;
And you shall be a blessing.”
But, this does not apply to Abraham alone. Whoever has been born again through the gospel of the water and the Spirit by accepting God’s Word with faith also will take ownership of these blessings. The person who embraces Jesus Christ in his or her heart and presses forward like this by faith will be known across the whole wide world. His or her name will be well known; they will be rich and will be the source of all blessings. Also, anyone who happens to meet them will be blessed. When you depart from the things of the flesh, embrace Jesus Christ who blotted out all your sins, give thanks in the gospel and proclaim the gospel with incessant prayers, then the Lord will give you the same blessings that He had given to Abraham.
In this world there are many who are openly saying that our Church is proper and good. We did not do anything on purpose; we have just been preaching the gospel and embracing the Lord in our hearts, but the Lord has made our Church great. Not just anyone can have their name become well known. This is only possible for those who have embraced the Lord in their hearts 100%. These types of people will be known as “a perfect and just person in this generation” just like Noah was (Genesis 6:9). Our Lord has allowed us to be great and to be the source of all blessings. In this way, when we embrace the fact that Jesus Christ has blotted out all our sins and draw near to the Lord by believing in this fact and when we proclaim this gospel, many people will receive blessings through us. And we will be the source of all blessings as Abraham was.
Therefore, our hearts must prosper first. We must always embrace Jesus Christ who blotted out all our sins from our hearts. We must strive to preach this gospel which saved us and pray for this gospel. This is the way our heart can prosper and the way to receive blessings from God. It is the way we can receive all the blessings that Abraham received as well. I ask that you come to know this truth and seize it as your own by faith and live out your whole life as Abraham did. I hope and pray that the blessings that were given to Abraham be also poured out upon you as well!