“And it came to pass, when Rachel had borne Joseph, that Jacob said to Laban, ‘Send me away, that I may go to my own place and to my country. Give me my wives and my children for whom I have served you, and let me go; for you know my service which I have done for you.’ And Laban said to him, ‘Please stay, if I have found favor in your eyes, for I have learned by experience that the LORD has blessed me for your sake.’ Then he said, ‘Name me your wages, and I will give it.’ So Jacob said to him, ‘You know how I have served you and how your livestock has been with me. For what you had before I came was little, and it has increased to a great amount; the LORD has blessed you since my coming. And now, when shall I also provide for my own house?’ So he said, ‘What shall I give you?’ And Jacob said, ‘You shall not give me anything. If you will do this thing for me, I will again feed and keep your flocks: Let me pass through all your flock today, removing from there all the speckled and spotted sheep, and all the brown ones among the lambs, and the spotted and speckled among the goats; and these shall be my wages. So my righteousness will answer for me in time to come, when the subject of my wages comes before you: every one that is not speckled and spotted among the goats, and brown among the lambs, will be considered stolen, if it is with me.’ And Laban said, ‘Oh, that it were according to your word!’ So he removed that day the male goats that were speckled and spotted, all the female goats that were speckled and spotted, every one that had some white in it, and all the brown ones among the lambs, and gave them into the hand of his sons. Then he put three days’ journey between himself and Jacob, and Jacob fed the rest of Laban’s flocks. Now Jacob took for himself rods of green poplar and of the almond and chestnut trees, peeled white strips in them, and exposed the white which was in the rods. And the rods which he had peeled, he set before the flocks in the gutters, in the watering troughs where the flocks came to drink, so that they should conceive when they came to drink. So the flocks conceived before the rods, and the flocks brought forth streaked, speckled, and spotted. Then Jacob separated the lambs, and made the flocks face toward the streaked and all the brown in the flock of Laban; but he put his own flocks by themselves and did not put them with Laban’s flock. And it came to pass, whenever the stronger livestock conceived, that Jacob placed the rods before the eyes of the livestock in the gutters, that they might conceive among the rods. But when the flocks were feeble, he did not put them in; so the feebler were Laban’s and the stronger Jacob’s. Thus the man became exceedingly prosperous, and had large flocks, female and male servants, and camels and donkeys.”
It Took Jacob 14 Years to Form His Own Household
A long fourteen years had passed since Jacob started working at the house of Laban, his maternal uncle. During this time Jacob married Leah and Rachel, Laban’s two daughters. And between these two daughters Jacob loved Rachel the more. To marry Rachel, Jacob had to labour for seven long years herding his uncle’s sheep. He worked for seven years diligently day and night feeding and scraping away sheep’s dung and delivering lambs, and at last it happened that he was going to be marrying Rachel. But in the morning following the wedding night, he woke up to find the woman who was beside him was Leah and not Rachel. So Jacob married Leah first because of Laban’s deception. Jacob then protested about this saying, “I worked hard to marry Rachel, but why have you given me Leah?” When Jacob complained how Laban switched the brides on his wedding night, Laban said, “In our country there are no precedents of the younger marrying before her older sister,” and then promised, “So after seven days of celebrating this wedding feast, I will give Rachel to you also, but you will have to labor another seven years for her.” And so Jacob followed those words and worked for another seven years. This time he was able to have Rachel who became his second wife, and so like this, it had taken him fourteen years to form his own household.
When the Korean War broke out in 1950, the communist North invaded South Korea. When South Korea was almost defeated, the U.N. forces landed in Korea and restored its land and pushed them back towards the Chinese-North Korean border. But communist China dispatched millions of soldiers into the battle and the allied forces had to rapidly withdraw from the Northern provinces to the Southern areas. And along with the retreating armies, Koreans living in these Northern provinces could not help but come to the south seeking refuge. They thought they could get back to their home towns once the war had ended. But they could not return, even to this day, because this war ended up in an armistice with a new boundary line quite near the former one. Ever since then these displaced people are unable to return to their homeland despite their yearning. Especially in the region of Gangwon Province, South Korea, there are many displaced people who are yearning to return to their homeland.
In a similar manner, Jacob also left with the hopes of returning to his homeland after having stayed at his maternal uncle’s house for a while. He thought that his older brother’s anger would have subsided in about one or two months, but fourteen years had gone by. Jacob came to his maternal uncle’s house, and only after having worked for fourteen long years was he able to establish his own household. And through his two wives, he was able to beget twelve children. During the Old Testament days, it was a great honor for the parents to have many children.
Likewise a generation ago in our country, the influence of those families who had many siblings was considerable. If someone were to bully one of the brothers of such a big household, all the brothers and sisters of that household would swarm like bees on the offender and would threaten them, saying, “Are you the one who beat up our brother?” Such show of influence was something huge. And so, children from a large family always lived with this triumphant air about themselves.
The Bible says that Jacob’s wife Rachel was truly beautiful and could charm people. But Leah did not have these attributes. This is why Jacob loved Rachel the more. Leah produced four children of her own, but Rachel could not give birth to even one single child. And so Rachel said to Jacob, “Give me a child lest I die!” Being upset by this, Jacob said, “Am I God? Can I withhold the fruit of your womb? Your older sister had children because God granted them to her. So you should also try praying to God.” Rachel was criticized for not having a child, and for this reason, Jacob said, “Only God, the Creator of the heavens and the earth can grant you a baby. So how can you blame me to grant you children?” Like this the Bible says that a woman who is worthy of human love could not produce any child, but instead, a woman who had not received much love from her husband bore him many children.
What Is This Passage of Scripture Teaching Us?
It teaches us this: Those who possess true faith are worthy to receive more love and blessings from God than those who receive praise because they are attractive in their flesh. In other words, those who do not deserve praise from this world can be loved much more by God because they devote themselves to the righteous work by believing in the righteousness of God. The righteous that do not have anything to boast about from a human point of view look towards the righteousness of God and have faith of believing in God. And so they receive much more love from God. It tells us that the righteous who put their hopes only in God receive much more love from Him. In other words, if we strive for the salvation of souls by faith of believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, then we will be able to bear many more children of faith. It is also teaching us that by having faith of believing in the righteousness of God, we can bear many more fruits of this new life. God is teaching us here what our spiritual lives should be like. Those who regard themselves as being great from a human perspective cannot bear spiritual fruit for they rarely believe in and follow the righteousness of God. This is why God gave more blessings to those who rely on and believe in the righteousness of God than those who rely in their own flesh and pursue it. God is the God of the righteous.
And so Rachel, who had thus far been unable to bear a child, finally bore a son for Jacob, and the child’s name was Joseph. Later on this Joseph became the governor over all the land of Egypt and he would save his whole family. It was none other than Rachel who gave birth to this Joseph. After having given birth to Joseph, Rachel’s spirits rose to the skies and said, “The Lord shall add to me another son” (Genesis 30:24). And so this child was called Joseph, which means in Hebrew “Jehovah has added.”
Jacob Made Arrangements for His Return to His Homeland
Even though Jacob had two wives and many children, but he lacked his own wealth, that is, livestock. Now that he wished to leave his maternal uncle and return to his homeland, he was worried that he did not have any livestock of his own. It took him fourteen years to have two wives, and now, it was necessary for him to have some livestock to go back to his parents. Jacob thought, “I must now labor for my own wealth,” and he brought this issue to his maternal uncle. “Dear uncle, please send me away and allow me to return to my home country.” Although he said this, his maternal uncle Laban’s thoughts were otherwise. He did not want to let Jacob go because he had received many blessings from God thanks to Jacob. The truth is that ever since Jacob entered Laban’s house his sheep increased greatly in number and he was blessed abundantly. So Laban spoke to Jacob, “Clearly, I was able to have much wealth soon after you had arrived here, and I know that God has given me many blessings because of you. Please stay with me a little longer if I have found favor in your eyes. Name me your wages and then I will give it to you.”
When his maternal uncle asked him to name him his wages, Jacob said, “You shall not give me any wage. Now, let us agree on one thing. Give me the speckled and spotted sheep that are born from this moment on. To do so, select all the sheep that are like that now and give them to your sons. Also once done then send them far away from me. And from now on, give me all the sheep that are born with spots on them.” He went on proposing, “Provided that you take all the sheep that aren’t speckled, that don’t have spots, and that don’t have brown patterns among your sheep, please make all those lambs that are speckled and spotted be my wages.”
When Laban heard Jacob’s proposal it sounded quite good, and said, “That is a wonderful idea.” And so, Laban sorted out all the sheep that were speckled and spotted and he put three days’ journey between his sheep and Jacob’s. It was to distance those sheep so that Jacob couldn’t steal any of them. Laban felt extremely satisfied with Jacob’s proposition. According to his calculations, thinking, “There are only white sheep in a greater number. And if a white ram were to mate with another white sheep and produces baby lambs, wouldn’t 99% of them be white lambs which would then become mine as well. The probability of this happening will be 99.9%! What a wonderful proposition my nephew has made. But despite this gracious offer, I still think my nephew is a huge blessing given to me by God.” And so Jacob’s uncle gave his word to Jacob, saying, “It sounds good. Let’s do it just as you say.”
After shaking hands on this promise, Laban gave all the sheep that were either brown or spotted to his sons. And then he separated these sheep from Jacob by a three days’ journey and kept a guard over them. Jacob now had this task: “In terms of this promise, all lambs being born from here on out that are brown or spotted will all be his. But he thought, how am I supposed to make the sheep bear such lambs?” He after much thought came to the conclusion to use chestnut tree stripes by peeling the barks off of chestnut trees and placed it in front of the mating sheep. And so it happened, among those sheep that were mated in front of the debarked chestnut trees, gave birth to lambs that were speckled and spotted.
Sheep have a habit of mating when they drink water. And because Jacob was such a good shepherd he had a good knowledge of sheep’s habits. And so, when it came time to water them, Jacob placed these peeled chestnut tree rods in the watering gutters so that the stronger sheep may look at them as the rams mated with them. As so his plan worked, the stronger sheep conceived lambs after looking at the stripes of the chestnut rods while drinking water by giving birth to spotted lambs. Of course, when Jacob noticed sheep that were feeble for mating purposes, he removed the peeled chestnut tree rods. Only when the stronger and healthier sheep mated, Jacob would let them see the peeled chestnut tree rods. Like this, the strong and healthy sheep bore lambs that were speckled and spotted. As time passed many more speckled lambs would become Jacob’s property, and in addition to this, they were strong and robust as well. But the sheep belonging to Jacob’s uncle, that is, those sheep that did not have spots were weak from birth, and they went on to bear feeble lambs. Like this, all those sheep that were full of life and strong were Jacob’s sheep. And all the feeble white sheep were Laban’s. Furthermore, Jacob separated them into two groups, and had the speckled and brown sheep feed on better grass, while having Laban’s sheep feed on sickly grass. Not satisfied with just that, Jacob mated brown colored sheep with Laban’s sheep, and from there, he drew out spotted lambs, making them his. Jacob, who had proposed something cunning like this became a wealthy man.
When he made this promise, his uncle Laban thought that it would be his victory. But soon the number of his flock became very small, while the number of Jacob’s sheep grew greatly. Sheep continued to bear offspring, but only those that were speckled and spotted were being born. Because Laban had promised that all speckled and spotted lambs born among the flock of sheep were Jacob’s, he had nothing more to say but to give them all to Jacob. A certain lamb would look as though its entire body was white without any spots, but upon a close inspection, there would be a small spot on its heel. Some sheep were born entirely white but had a small spot on the bridge of its nose, and this became Jacobs as well. This one was Jacob’s, and that one was also Jacobs. In this way, Jacob became a rich man.
Spiritually Speaking, We Also Are Today’s Jacobs Who Carry Out Special Kind of Stock Farming
Dear fellow believers, we the genuine believers are also preaching this special gospel of the water and the Spirit like Jacob. Just like a Jacob, a special stock farmer, we are carrying out a really special kind of stock farming rather than doing ordinary stock farming. What kind of gospel are we preaching now? You and I are preaching the gospel of the water and the Spirit. We do not preach the same gospel that the ordinary Christians are preaching. Ordinary Christians preach only one part of the atonement for sins, that is, the blood on the Cross. And they preach, “If you just believe in Jesus, you will go to Heaven. If you believe in Jesus by following these three easy steps, then you will receive salvation.” They do it like this, but we do not.
We say according to the Bible, if a person believes in Jesus, and if that person still has sins, then that person is still a sinner. Therefore, we must preach the righteousness of God by saying, “You must believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit that contains both the baptism of Jesus and His blood of the Cross, rather than a gospel that has only one part of the atonement for sins, that is, the blood of the Cross.” Just as Jacob carried out special stock farming with the peeled chestnut tree branches, so do we also deliver the special gospel to the people of everywhere. We do this special ministry by clearly saying, “Jesus saved you from all the sins of the world once and for all by the gospel of the water and the Spirit,” and we do not follow the examples of those who only preach the Cross as the only thing that atoned for our sins. When chestnut tree bark is stripped away, the rod shows its true whiteness. In other words, the true whiteness of a chestnut tree branch is hidden behind its bark. In like fashion, when we preach the true gospel to sinners, we first teach them the gist of the Truth, that is, the gospel of the water and the Spirit which contains the baptism that Jesus received from John the Baptist and His shed blood of the Cross. We must deliver the gospel of the water and the Spirit that the Lord gave us just as it is written. In this day and age, those who preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit to sinners are the special ones who are carrying out this special ministry before the presence of God. Right now, these workers are spreading the gospel of the water and the Spirit to many people. And by making them know about the righteousness of God clearly, these workers of God have them receive the remission of all their sins by faith. Without fail we must reveal the righteousness of God to people with the gospel of the water and the Spirit so that they can become God’s people. We must tell them that those who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit will surely belong to God. God is telling us that those who carry out this kind of special ministry and such righteous work are spiritually the Jacobs.
This Jacob labored long and hard to attain his own sheep, but he did not place the peeled chestnut tree branches in front of just any sheep. Only in front of healthy sheep did he place the peeled branches of chestnut and waited for them to mate. If Jacob’s sheep-farming was worthwhile, we should also be performing such a special ministry before God. When we preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit that contains the righteousness of God, we should also be careful about these aspects. We must not deliver the gospel of the water and the Spirit to those who are spiritually arrogant before God. Rather, only when we see that they are truly the lost sheep of God and that they are the poor in heart who would receive the remission of sins, we should then deliver the gospel of the water and the Spirit to them. We should preach to them like this: “In order to save you from all the sins of the world once and for all, our Lord Jesus took on all your sins once and for all through the baptism He had received from John the Baptist. This baptism is the same as the laying on of hands on the head of sacrificial lamb in the Old Testament. And then, He vicariously bore the judgment for all your sins by shedding His blood on the Cross.” If they turn and truly believe in this true gospel, then we confirm by saying to them, “Now that the Lord has saved you by this gospel of the water and the Spirit, you are perfectly saved from the sins of the world by faith.” We should be preaching to them that the Lord has now made them the righteous by having them listen to and believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. We should preach this genuine gospel in this way so that sinners may become righteous people by genuinely being saved from all their sins by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
When we preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit we must do special ministry just like Jacob did as is written in today’s passage of Scripture. We the preachers of the true gospel must never convey the gospel of God’s righteousness haphazardly or too easily to those who despise the Word of God lest it should get ignored. It is because they are the spiritual swine that stomp on and defile this precious pearl. Truly, there are innumerable souls in this world, but a preacher’s wisdom lies in spreading the gospel of the water and the Spirit only to those who really need it. Only then can pure lambs be saved from their sins by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. You and I must spare no pains in carrying out this ministry without fail. However, God’s compassion falls upon arrogant people as well. Even now the gospel of the water and the Spirit is being preached to you. Your salvation lies in whether or not you truly believe in it. It is totally up to you.
You and I Who Believe in the Gospel of the Water and the Spirit Are the Special Workers of God
All those who truly believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit are the workers of God who are doing special ministry, just like Jacob did. Laban, Jacob’s uncle, carried out stock farming by letting spotted sheep be mixed together with those sheep that did not have any spots. But in contrast, Jacob performed a special task so that he may obtain sheep of his own. Thus, all of Jacob’s sheep were either speckled or spotted. The spiritual ministry that you and I carry out is like that. Our current ministry that preaches the gospel of the water and the Spirit to people all over the world is a spiritual work. Likewise, the workers of God must carry out His work by knowing the righteousness of God and by having faith of believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. People who have been saved from all their sins by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit can be called “the lambs of God.”
Indeed, the children of God are those who have become the righteous by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Our Lord has blotted out all the sins of this world once and for all by the gospel of the water and the Spirit. And everyone will become cleansed from all their sins inside their hearts if they genuinely believe in this heavenly gospel. For this reason spiritual preachers do not deliver the gospel by them saying, “If you believe in Jesus, you will be saved and go to Heaven.” Rather they witness to the people first about the sins for which they should be judged of by God. In other words, true preachers make people acknowledge their sins first so that they first acknowledge themselves that they are indeed grave sinners. And then they preach to these sinners that our Lord made them to be born again from their sins by preaching to them about the gospel of the water and the Spirit. They preach that our Lord has blotted out all the sins of the world by the baptism He received from John the Baptist and the blood He shed on the Cross.
Actually, our Lord has allowed you and me who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit to be saved from all the sins of the world once and for all. Our Lord has saved you and me from the sins of the world and has made us very precious people of God who are spiritually spotted and speckled. Yes, this is true. The Lord has made those of us who believe in this true gospel of the water and the Spirit the very people of God who are without sin. Now God acknowledges all those of us who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, saying, “I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob. I am not the God of the dead, but the God of the living.”
God has thus become our God. How did we come to know this very righteousness of God? How did we meet this very God? Through this Truth of salvation that is written in the Word of God, we were able to meet God and received our salvation. And by having faith wholeheartedly in the gospel of the water and the Spirit as is written in the Word of God, we have become the workers of His righteousness.
Who is the God of righteousness? How do we get to meet this God of righteousness? Furthermore, how do we believe in this very God of righteousness? And in the future, how do we continue to believe in Him and follow after Him? And how can we truly live out our faith? God who is fundamentally holy shows us all these things through His Holy Word. I am saying that the very God who created this world with His Word is showing all these things to you and me through His written Word even now. And so, through faith of believing in the Word of God of righteousness as written in the Scriptures we get to meet the gospel of the water and the Spirit that saves us from all our sins, and we also are able to believe in the God of the Truth.
Yes, this is true. We have come to meet the God of salvation by believing in the Word of the righteousness of God, and we have become the perfect people of God by having received the genuine remission of sins by knowing and believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit which is the righteousness of Jesus Christ. Now, all of us who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit are the very people of God.
Through what kind of faith have we become the special ones, the righteous ones? What does it mean that we have special faith? Why are we the ones who have special faith? Why are we the very people of God? It is because we believe in the Word of God which states that one can enter the Kingdom of God and become one of His people only when we have been born again by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. This is biblically correct because our Lord even said that He saved us from all sins not only by the blood and not only by the water, but by the water, the blood, and the Spirit (1 John 5:6-8). In order for us to be saved from all the sins of the world, we had to believe in the very Word in which our Lord said, “It is finished!” after atoning for all our sins by coming to this earth, being baptized from John the Baptist, and shedding His blood to death on the Cross. Exactly according to the Word as written in the Old Testament, Jesus Christ has completely fulfilled our salvation by taking the sins of this world once and for all onto His body through His baptism, shedding blood on the Cross, and vicariously dying for our sins. Now, through our faith in this holy Word as written by God we have come to receive the remission of sins and have become the very people of God.
God Is the God Who Speaks
We who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit are special sheep in God’s sight. Spiritually, we are sheep, special sheep that have spots and speckles. From a spiritual perspective, you and I are the sheep of God, and rather than being common sheep, we are the distinguished sheep of God. Just like the spotted and speckled sheep only could become Jacob’s rather than Laban’s, we have become the children of God spiritually by believing in the Word of the righteousness of God.
In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. At that very moment of the creation of this universe, there already was the Word of God. The first passage of the Gospel of John states, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (John 1:1). It is telling us that the Word existed even in the beginning and that God created this universe with this Word. He said, “Let there be light! Let there be the sun! Let there be the moon! Let there be the stars! Let the earth bring forth the fruit tree that yields seeds! Let there be fish and all creeping creatures that crawl on the ground!” Because He had said let there be things according to their kinds, everything came into existence, and He made it so. As the Bible states, “The Word was with God, and the Word was God” when God was making this universe, the Triune God—God the Father, His Son Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit—co-exited and worked together in union.
The Bible says, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (John 1:1). “The Word” here refers to none other than our Lord Jesus Christ. Our Lord who came down to this earth in the flesh and saved us from all our sins had originally created this entire universe through His Word as He was dwelling together with God of Father even before the creation of this universe. Therefore, this Word written here is none other than the Word spoken by God, and this very God, who spoke this Word came down to this earth as Jesus Christ. Our God is the God of the Word! We by believing in this Word spoken by God and as recorded by His servants down through the ages have come to know this gospel of the water and the Spirit. Furthermore, by believing in it, we have been saved from all our sins once and for all.
How do we meet and believe in this God who created the universe and everything in it? And also after having received the remission of sins, how can we lead a life of faith obeying the righteousness of God? We can meet God and believe in Him by believing in this Word as spoken by Him. It is because Jesus Christ created this universe with His Word, because He continues to give us humans the salvation from all our sins by the Word of the water and the Spirit, and because He is together with us even now through His Word. Therefore, I give thanks to Jesus Christ. Even though we have not seen God who created the heavens and the earth with our own eyes, we were able to become the very children of God through Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God the Father, who came to save us and through having met this very God by believing in the gospel Word of the water and the Spirit. The Word of God that created the heavens and the earth became flesh and dwelt among us and saved you and me once and for all by the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Yes, this is true. Jesus Christ, the Son of God, was fundamentally the Word. This Word was with God and this Word was God. God existed even before eternity, and He will exist for all eternity. For this reason, God spoke the Word, and because He was God, He created all things of the universe with His Word. And He had His servants record all the work that He had spoken of and had realized. Through this written Word we are now able to see and believe in Him. We can meet Him through and by having faith in His Word. This very Word that was with God is what you and I believe in today. This is how God of the Word has met with you and me even today by the water and the Spirit.
Truly, we have been saved by believing in God of this righteousness that is fulfilled by the gospel of the water and the Spirit. We have been saved from all our sins and also have become God’s distinguished people by believing in the Truth that Jesus Christ has saved us by the water and the blood. Dear fellow believers, by faith of believing in the written Word of God, we can now enjoy new and everlasting life before God. Even though we cannot see God with our physical eyes, we have met with the God of righteousness and go on living with Him through faith of believing in this Word as spoken by Him. As we were living in this world we have met Jesus Christ who came by the water and the blood through this Word of God. Because Jesus Christ came down to this earth in human flesh and saved us from all our sins by the water and the blood, we have been saved from all our sins by having faith in the righteousness of God. Also, we all have become the blessed disciples of Jesus Christ by believing in and following after the righteousness of God.
Now we must carry out this spiritual work of special stock farming just like Jacob as the true disciples of Jesus Christ. So from now on out what will you and I do in the future? We have to spiritually peel off the bark of the chestnut tree and place these peeled rods in front of those who are worthy to believe in the righteousness of God. We have to preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit, which is the definite gospel of God wisely to such people. When they believe in it wholly, they will be born again, become the people of God, and become the disciples of Jesus Christ who will also spread this gospel along with us.
From now on, as we live out our remaining lives, we must continue doing this distinguished work of God. We must preach God’s gospel Word of the water and the Spirit to people even more so that they may receive the true and specific salvation. This perfect salvation is different from the ordinary and futile salvation that Christian sinners are preaching today, just like the speckled and spotted sheep are clearly distinguished from the all-white sheep. Yes, this is true. You and I must present this gospel of the water and the Spirit as written in the Word of God to every sinner. As long as they believe in Jesus Christ through our persistent presenting of this gospel, they too will give birth to children of God who will surely be speckled and spotted when they in turn spiritually bear children of faith. For this to become a reality in our lives we should learn to deny our own thoughts first and then become such specific disciples of Jesus Christ by faith. I am saying that we must first receive the remission of sins by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit and then preach this genuine gospel to other people. God is teaching us today to carry out the work by becoming disciples of Jesus Christ by showing us the gospel of the water and the Spirit which is like the peeled chestnut tree.
Dear fellow believers, we who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit are the very people of God. Also, we are God’s possession. Just as all those speckled sheep became Jacob’s assets and his possession, we who have been born again by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit are God’s people and His possession. And for those who have become the very people of God, they must surely live out their lives having faith in this Word spoken by God.
Truly, this world right now is in a very bad state. Many signs of the pending end of the world are appearing everywhere. The world economic conditions also look gloomy. Many hardships have fallen here and there, and people all over the world have many worries and troubles. How then can we go on living in this harsh world? We can go through this only by the faith of believing in the righteousness of God and His redemption. We must go on living by having faith in the Word of God that we will have eternal life for sure. God has saved us from all our sins by the gospel of the water and the Spirit, and we go on living having faith in this Word. Every single day we must confirm the fact that we have already been saved from the judgment for all our sins.
Also, if there are things that worry us, trouble us, and make us uneasy, we must tell these things to God by praying to Him. The Bible thus exhorts us, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7). By believing in this answering God, we must pray to Him and go on living having entrusted ourselves to Him. The life that we actually lead from now on after having received salvation by the remission of sins through this Word of God must also be led entirely by believing in the written Word of God. When we do this we can perfectly live out our faith in this world. We can become the faithful shepherds who can together with the Lord as His disciples, raise many sheep and make the flock continue to bear speckled lambs as they breed.
Dear fellow believers, we who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit are the ones who have been especially distinguished. The God of righteousness is our God. He is your Shepherd and mine, and He is your God and mine. Thus, people who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, that is, those who have received salvation from God are those who have been especially distinguished. It is a fact that we are very special people. We have become the special ones, almost one in ten thousand. God made it happen that we could find this gospel of the water and the Spirit by clothing us with His special grace. He allowed us to meet Jesus Christ who came by the water and the Spirit. Through the written Word of God, He made us meet Jesus Christ the true God and allowed us to be saved from all our sins by believing in Him. Please bear this in your minds: No matter what kind of situation we are in, we must never forget that we are the very special children of God.
We go on living not because of some other powers but because of having faith in the Word of the righteousness of God. We must therefore believe in the Word of God unwaveringly. We go on living not by some ability or power. Actually, we go on living by believing in the written Word of God. What is more, we will be able to go on living in the future only by believing in His Word. If we do not believe in this Word properly, which is God Himself after being saved; we will be doomed as spiritual bastards who have lost their parents.
We Must Carry Out the Distinct Ministry of Spiritual Stock Farming
Even after having been saved from the sins of the world, we must live out our lives through faith of believing in Jesus Christ, the Son of God who came by the water and the Spirit. I am saying that even when we live out our lives in this world as the born-again, we must have unwavering faith in the Word of God. We are now living as these especially distinct people. Because we have received salvation by the Word of God of righteousness, we are clearly different from the other people of this world. Just as Jacob and Laban differed from each other in their method of stock farming, we must also lead a life that is different from that of the Christian sinners. You and I are carrying out the work of God where we guide sheep to bear speckled lambs. Actually, we may just be ordinary people lacking in all kinds of abilities, but we live out lives through our faith of believing in the Word of God. We are living out a special life as we carry out the work of saving souls after being saved by the gospel of the water and the Spirit. We must go on living by faith of believing in the fact that God will fulfill everything for us in accordance with what He has promised in His written Word.
I said that Jacob and Laban differed in their way of stock farming. What then does God mean by Jacob’s ministry? This means that God has made you and me the workers of the righteousness of God, and that this very God who is the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob has become God for you and me, we who have been saved by the water and the Spirit. I too definitely believe this. I believe that the very God who protected and guarded Jacob wherever he went and bestowed His grace upon him will become the God for you and me who have been born again by the water and the Spirit and then guard you and me without fail, just as He had guarded Jacob.
We must go on living possessing the faith of believing in the righteousness of God. Now is the time when we must go on living, possessing even stronger faith of believing in the righteousness of God than ever before. We are facing this terrible and sinful age where we can no longer go on living normally in human terms. What we the born-again can do in this wicked age is to believe wholeheartedly that this written Word is God Himself. By listening to this Word of God, relying on it, and believing in it, we must go on living receiving answers as they are written in this Word. You and I must do this because we are the distinguished people of God. In these end times, what must we do? What kind of work can we do? Needless to ask, we must carry out the very work of bearing distinguished lambs that have speckles and spots. This is precisely the work that the children of God must do in His Church.
And afterwards, when the righteous people suffer through the tribulation and experience many hardships, we will be residing here in this place of refuge prepared by God. I want you to know that God is preparing this place, that is, our Discipleship Training Center, in order to have us live here during this time of tribulation. The masters of this center are none other than you. There will be no special master besides us. When the world becomes difficult, we will gather here and go through the tribulation under the grace of God.
Dear fellow believers, we actually have so many different works to do. First of all, in order for sheep to conceive brown or spotted lambs, we must place the peeled chestnut tree branches in front them, and by doing so we must make them bear special lambs. And we must raise those lambs well. When we go to the hospitals, we must show people the gospel of the water and the Spirit which is the peeled chestnut trees from a spiritual perspective; when we go to the correctional facilities, we must show it to them also; when we are on the road or in the malls, we must show it to people; when we go to any campus, we must show it to students; when we are at our own homes, we must show it to our family members; when we go to Japan or to Russia, we must show it people there. Instead of making people fall into a delusion of salvation by delivering them a plain gospel that cannot save anyone, we must make them reach their salvation by clearly believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. At any rate, there still are so many people in this world who we must show the gospel of the water and the Spirit to. Let us show it to all the people, and let us gather together and live with God. In this world, we have so many places where we must show this gospel of the water and the Spirit, and this is why we have gathered here together only twice a year thus far. When we finish spreading this gospel of the water and the Spirit all throughout the world, we will gather here together and live all together.
There still are so many places where we must peal the barks off of the chestnut trees and show the reality of its whiteness. We must visit all places throughout the Five Oceans and the Six Continents, and spread this gospel of the water and the Spirit everywhere. Up until now, from a spiritual perspective, Christians have simply been showing just any kind of tree instead of the peeled chestnut tree and telling people, saying, “Just believe.” And so, even though it wasn’t the peeled chestnut tree, people believed as they were simply told to believe. “Just believe in Jesus anyhow, and you will be saved.” This type of preaching is propagating “Easy Believism,” and despite their faith in Jesus, they can never become the people of God. This is the time for us the redeemed to peel off the bark from the chestnut tree and to show the white peeled rods to the people. We must clearly show the gospel of the water and the Spirit which is hidden inside the righteousness of God to sinners. We must accurately show them that Jesus has saved them by the water and the blood by correctly pointing out their sins inside their hearts and how wicked human flesh is and by fully exposing the sins inside them. Only by doing this step by step will they obtain true salvation.
We Must Devote Ourselves to Propagate the Gospel of the Water and the Spirit during the End Times
During these end times we must carry out this special ministry of spiritual stock farming like Jacob. I am referring to a very special form of stock farming. All the spotted, speckled, and brown lambs became Jacob’s. It means that any kind of sheep which did not have spots or speckled wasn’t Jacob’s. Not all sheep are the sheep of God. Only the special ones are regarded as God’s sheep. We must carry out the very work of having people be born again as the sheep of God. We must show the peeled rods to many countries. And we must spread this gospel of the water and the Spirit fully throughout the entire world. To preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit to all the peoples of the world is precisely the work of peeling off the bark of chestnut trees and showing the white prods to them. We must concentrate our efforts on this work. When we have completely finished this task, our Lord will appear a second time on this earth to take away those of us who eagerly are waiting for Him having been apart from sin (Hebrews 9:28). There still are many more works for us to do. And this is why I think that God is especially protecting Korea where the Headquarters of God’s ministry is located.
I am sure that even in foreign countries where our co-workers are carrying out gospel preaching ministries; many people will come to believe in this genuine gospel of the water and the Spirit. Regardless of what happens, we must preach this gospel of the water and the Spirit. We must peel off the bark from the chestnut branches and show the whitened rods to every sinner. Put differently, we must preach the secret of the genuine gospel of the water and the Spirit—that the Lord Jesus has blotted out all the sins of the world with the very baptism He received from John the Baptist and the blood He had shed on the Cross—to all the people of the world. I have every confidence that the Lord will be with us as we propagate this gospel of the water and the Spirit. It is said that when this gospel of the water and the Spirit is spread to the end of the world, this world will come to an end, and our Lord will come to us once again. That Day will surely come about just as this gospel is spread and preached throughout the entire world.
Actually, there are still many countries where this gospel has not entered yet. Some Christian theologians say that the gospel of God has already spread throughout the entire world, but the truth is that this genuine gospel of the water and the Spirit, which is as special as the peeled branches of chestnut tree, has not yet been spread to the ends of the world. Dear fellow believers, among all those throughout the world, there are many people who have not even heard of the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Up until now, they thought that all gospels are the same. In other words, people have thought that as long as they just believe in Jesus as the Savior unconditionally, they can be called as the saved Christians. But what is the truth like? To have such an askew belief is not belief in the righteousness of Jesus, but rather it is to believe in lies.
God Blesses Those of Us Who Are Spreading the Gospel of the Water and the Spirit All Over the World
God promised that He will become the God of Jacob. This very God blessed Jacob. He said, “I will be your God, and wherever you go, I will go with you. Surely, the smell of My son is like the smell of a field which I have blessed. I will curse those who curse you, and I will bless those who bless you.” Yes, this is correct. God is the God of Jacob. Also, this very God is God to all of those who have been born again by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. God can never be someone who just unconditionally becomes God to anyone who claims to believe in Jesus anyhow. Jesus becomes God only to those who believe in this special gospel of the water and the Spirit just like Jacob counted only the special sheep, namely, the speckled, spotted or brown sheep—as his sheep. God wishes for those of us who have been born again to spread this gospel, that is, to carry out this special form of stock farming throughout the world. God blesses the righteous who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Why do you think He does this? It is because we are also the people of God, like Jacob. No matter how lacking we may be, God blesses us because we have become these very distinguished sheep of God that have speckles and spots. Despite our lacking, God will surely grant His blessing upon the work that we are doing. Just as Jacob became very rich as is written in today’s passage of Scripture, so I have every confidence that God will work for us and help us from behind so that there will be much progress and fruit in our gospel preaching ministry.
For this reason, we must spread the gospel of the water and the Spirit all over the world. We must carry out this task by faith. We must preach this gospel by faith, and we must work by faith and go on living by faith. Amid all those fields, the very thing where we must use our faith the most is none other than in the gospel spreading ministry. Also, we must use our faith the most in the field of supporting this gospel spreading ministry, that is, in the field of running our businesses well to support the mission fund. Even in all the aspects of your life, you must use and exercise your faith.
“Be anxious for nothing, but by prayer and supplication, let your requests be made known to God; and God, who surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7). This is the Word from God. If these words are the very Words of God, then I believe that God will surely guard our minds and hearts according to this Word. I believe that God will help us and resolve the problems which we are anxious about and that God will guard us in our every step. We have the faith that God, who surpasses all understanding, will hear all the anxieties of our minds and hearts and help us fully with His omnipotent power in all our many problems. It is because this Word is none other than God Himself. It is also because this very God is the God who will fulfill all His promises as they are written in the Scriptures. We believe that God will surely work for us, as long as we trust that God will faithfully render His help upon us who rely on Him by faith.
When we get back to your respective churches after this summer discipleship training camp and return home, we must continue to spread the gospel of the water and the Spirit as we have done before. There still are so many places that wait for our hands. Therefore, we must always pray to God that He will be with us in this gospel spreading ministry.
During These End Times, We Must Devote Ourselves Even More to the Spreading of the Gospel, Rather Than to Our Personal Glory
Truly, we must go on living during this end times by concentrating our hearts on the spreading of the gospel of the water and the Spirit. We must never place our hearts on seeking our personal glory. If God says that the end is approaching for this world, then we must believe that the end of the world is really just around the corner. Even though we have not examined all the scientific evidence of the immanent destruction of the world, we are able to know that this world will soon perish. Even though the age of sorrows when famines and earthquakes become rampant and it has not yet reached its peak and the day of world destruction has not been fully realized, we believe that this world will surely be destroy in a short while. Genuine faith will allow us to see the fulfillment of every Word with our eyes. Therefore, before this world is finally destroyed, we must deliver this gospel to all the people throughout the world.
Dear fellow believers, do not be concerned with your worries regarding, “What shall we eat?” or “What shall we drink?” or “What shall we wear?” If you are too worried about such things, then pray to God. Pray like this: “Dear God, please give us our daily bread, give us daily necessaries, guard us, and bless us.” Then believe that God has heard your prayers for He knows that you need all these things and He cherishes you more than the birds of the air that He feeds sufficiently everyday. And then throw away your worries about such things, such as eating and drinking and work first for the Kingdom of God as much as you can.
You must pray much more for the work of spreading the Lord’s gospel and concentrate much more effort on it. It is because when the end arrives what you have heaped up in this world will all crumble down. There will be only one thing that will not crumble down even in such a total mess, and that is none other than the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Because only the people of God who have received the remission of sins through the spreading of the gospel will be raised before God and enter the Kingdom of God even amid such a total destruction of the world, we must concentrate all our efforts on this precious work. I do not want to say anymore that the end of this world has come closer to us. It is because I have already talked about it all a few years ago. If I were to preach on that subject again, it would only be padding to my sermon. Right now it is raining, and who would deny that it is raining? It is more meaningful to be able to predict that the rain will come at a certain time tomorrow when the rain clouds still have not arrived. If the weatherman were to say that it is raining when it is in fact raining, would that mean that he is doing his work properly? No, it would not. That cannot be a prediction but only to state a fact.
Dear fellow believers, this world will soon be completely destroyed. So before this world is destroyed, we must spread the gospel of the water and the Spirit to all the people of this world. Dear fellow believers, do you follow me? It will be realized just like the Words as spoken by God. And so, do not think that these things will not turn out that way. If you go on thinking that it will never happen, then that day will come about in an instant. We must prepare for the end times, wisely look ahead into the future, and live the present well by having perfect faith. We must become the servants of God who wait patiently for the Lord’s return, professing, “Oh, Lord Jesus, please come quickly” after having completed all the tasks that were assigned to us before the second coming of the Lord. We should not just be eating, drinking, boasting, and enjoying life until that Day dawns. If this happens we will only then wake up making haste by washing our faces and getting dressed when the Bridegroom has already arrived.
Dear fellow believers, let us together carry out this task of spreading the gospel of the water and the Spirit all over the world. In this present day and age when the world is darkening and perishing away, what must we do? Should we fret over our lives as if we would live tens of thousands of years when this world is becoming pitch dark right now? What did a famous Korean poet named Sat Gat Kim say in one of his satirical poems? He sang,
“Why do you lead a life
That spans less than a hundred years
With worries that weigh a thousand years?”
If you still have sin in your heart, you should do away with all such anguishes. First of all, you would rather be worried about the problem of the sins that are inside your hearts. Believe me there isn’t much time left. We must unite together becoming one heart in spreading this gospel of the water and the Spirit all over the world. We must do this with a united heart. When things are hard enough even if we were to gather together our strengths into one direction, we must unite our wills as one because nothing will come about in the end if our hearts are divided into many segments. We must do God’s work by uniting our hearts as one without fail.
We must have a dream. We must have faith. We must offer our hearts to God. We must believe in the Word of God, and believe in this gospel of the water and the Spirit which is as special as the peeled branch of the chestnut tree, with all of our hearts. Also, we must believe that the end will come upon this earth the day when this gospel is spread throughout the world completely. Our Lord said that He will come in His due time, but before the Lord comes, we must faithfully spread this gospel of the water and the Spirit throughout the world. And each one of us must believe in it individually. What if you suddenly face death when you do not believe in this genuine gospel? You cannot but to go to hell. So believe in it now, this very moment. Share your hearts with the people of faith in God’s Church. Believe in this true gospel with all your hearts. Dear brothers and sisters, encourage your family members to believe in it with their hearts also. Whether they cannot quit smoking or liquor does not matter at all before God. If they just believe in the work that our Lord has done, they also will surely be saved from all their sins. After that God will deal with these issues.
Today, God wants to entrust us with this special work of stock farming that Jacob had once carried out as is written in today’s passage of Scripture. I have every confidence that God will call forth His children all over the world through us and that by doing so, He will fulfill His will.
Lastly, I have a heart of asking God for help by faith. I ask God to help us when we spread the gospel by believing in the righteousness of God. Also, I have the heart of wishing that God will provide us with many workers. Furthermore, I desire that God will give us sufficient funds for the spreading of the gospel of the water and the Spirit. I hope and pray that many brothers and sisters who are supporting the gospel would arise in Korea and in every country.
So let us all once again pray to God. Let us pray like this: “Please allow us to spread this gospel of peeled chestnut tree throughout the whole world. Bless this ministry and allow us many workers who will support this ministry.” I believe that God will fully realize such desires of our hearts.