(2 Kings 5:1-27)
“Now Naaman, commander of the army of the king of Syria, was a great and honorable man in the eyes of his master, because by him the LORD had given victory to Syria. He was also a mighty man of valor, but a leper. And the Syrians had gone out on raids, and had brought back captive a young girl from the land of Israel. She waited on Naaman’s wife. Then she said to her mistress, ‘If only my master were with the prophet who is in Samaria! For he would heal him of his leprosy.’ And Naaman went in and told his master, saying, ‘Thus and thus said the girl who is from the land of Israel.’ Then the king of Syria said, ‘Go now, and I will send a letter to the king of Israel.’ So he departed and took with him ten talents of silver, six thousand shekels of gold, and ten changes of clothing. Then he brought the letter to the king of Israel, which said, Now be advised, when this letter comes to you, that I have sent Naaman my servant to you, that you may heal him of his leprosy. And it happened, when the king of Israel read the letter, that he tore his clothes and said, ‘Am I God, to kill and make alive, that this man sends a man to me to heal him of his leprosy? Therefore please consider, and see how he seeks a quarrel with me.’ So it was, when Elisha the man of God heard that the king of Israel had torn his clothes, that he sent to the king, saying, ‘Why have you torn your clothes? Please let him come to me, and he shall know that there is a prophet in Israel.’ Then Naaman went with his horses and chariot, and he stood at the door of Elisha’s house. And Elisha sent a messenger to him, saying, ‘Go and wash in the Jordan seven times, and your flesh shall be restored to you, and you shall be clean.’ But Naaman became furious, and went away and said, ‘Indeed, I said to myself, ‘He will surely come out to me, and stand and call on the name of the LORD his God, and wave his hand over the place, and heal the leprosy.’ Are not the Abanah and the Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? Could I not wash in them and be clean?’ So he turned and went away in a rage. And his servants came near and spoke to him, and said, ‘My father, if the prophet had told you to do something great, would you not have done it? How much more then, when he says to you, ‘Wash, and be clean’?’ So he went down and dipped seven times in the Jordan, according to the saying of the man of God; and his flesh was restored like the flesh of a little child, and he was clean. And he returned to the man of God, he and all his aides, and came and stood before him; and he said, ‘Indeed, now I know that there is no God in all the earth, except in Israel; now therefore, please take a gift from your servant.’ But he said, ‘As the LORD lives, before whom I stand, I will receive nothing.’ And he urged him to take it, but he refused. So Naaman said, ‘Then, if not, please let your servant be given two mule-loads of earth; for your servant will no longer offer either burnt offering or sacrifice to other gods, but to the LORD. Yet in this thing may the LORD pardon your servant: when my master goes into the temple of Rimmon to worship there, and he leans on my hand, and I bow down in the temple of Rimmon—when I bow down in the temple of Rimmon, may the LORD please pardon your servant in this thing.’ Then he said to him, ‘Go in peace.’ So he departed from him a short distance. But Gehazi, the servant of Elisha the man of God, said, ‘Look, my master has spared Naaman this Syrian, while not receiving from his hands what he brought; but as the LORD lives, I will run after him and take something from him.’ So Gehazi pursued Naaman. When Naaman saw him running after him, he got down from the chariot to meet him, and said, ‘Is all well?’ And he said, ‘All is well. My master has sent me, saying, ‘Indeed, just now two young men of the sons of the prophets have come to me from the mountains of Ephraim. Please give them a talent of silver and two changes of garments.’’ So Naaman said, ‘Please, take two talents.’ And he urged him, and bound two talents of silver in two bags, with two changes of garments, and handed them to two of his servants; and they carried them on ahead of him. When he came to the citadel, he took them from their hand, and stored them away in the house; then he let the men go, and they departed. Now he went in and stood before his master. Elisha said to him, ‘Where did you go, Gehazi?’ And he said, ‘Your servant did not go anywhere.’ Then he said to him, ‘Did not my heart go with you when the man turned back from his chariot to meet you? Is it time to receive money and to receive clothing, olive groves and vineyards, sheep and oxen, male and female servants? Therefore the leprosy of Naaman shall cling to you and your descendants forever.’ And he went out from his presence leprous, as white as snow.”
Today’s Scripture passage comes from 2 Kings 5:1-27. Based on this passage, I would like to testify the truth about heresy. The passage from 2 Kings 5:1-27 is the Word of Truth recording the events that happened during the process in which General Naaman, a leper, was healed from his disease.
The Bible writes, “Now Naaman, commander of the army of the king of Syria, was a great and honorable man in the eyes of his master, because by him the LORD had given victory to Syria. He was also a mighty man of valor, but a leper.” General Naaman was the most important hero who had saved his nation from a crisis. So even though he did not hold the nominal title of king, he was actually treated like one. Naaman had everything he wanted, but he had come down with leprosy. Leprosy was one of the incurable diseases of that time, and so the fact that Naaman was infected with leprosy meant his imminent death. Naaman was therefore facing the greatest challenge in his life.
Spiritually speaking, this leprosy refers to mankind’s sins. Just as death is unavoidable to a leper, anyone who has sin must suffer the second death—that is, the everlasting punishment of hell. As such, the problem of sin is the greatest problem for everyone, while receiving the remission of sin is the greatest blessing. Therefore, the very first problem that everyone must solve is the problem of his sins. Someone who has solved the problem of his sins is someone who has truly succeeded in his life, and such a life is the most successful life.
Since General Naaman was a leper, he thought that he would be happy if only he could heal this disease. In the Bible, leprosy refers to the sins of mankind, and it says that the wages of sin is death. It is written, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23). God made it clear here that the wages of sin is death. That’s why, if one solves the problem of his sins, he is someone who has solved the problem of death. He is therefore a truly successful person. What more can anyone wish for, if he has solved the problem of his death? There is nothing more to wish for, but only to live the rest of his life to spread the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
So, to be healed from his illness, Naaman went to Israel looking for Elisha. He went to the king of Israel with a personal letter written by the king of Syria. In this letter that Naaman brought with him, the king of Syria wrote, “I am sending the commander of my army. There is a man named Elisha in your country who can heal Naaman’s illness, and so I ask you to be personally responsible for healing him.” Having read the letter from the king of Syria, the king of Israel tore his cloths and said, “Am I God? How can I heal this disease when I am not God? Isn’t the Syrian king just trying to pick a fight with me? Isn’t he looking for an excuse to invade us? So the commander of his army came down with leprosy, but what does this have anything to do with me? If I was asked to do some other favor, then perhaps I could do this, but how can I heal leprosy that’s feared by everyone?” The king of Israel was completely exasperated at the Syrian king’s demand. That’s why he vented his anger by tearing his cloths before his court.
So the palace was thrown into a commotion, as the king was livid with anger. The man in question was the commander of the Syrian army. He was not to be toyed with. If this issue was not resolved successfully, war could break out again. There was no one who could solve this problem, except the Lord God. Neither the king of Israel nor any leader of the pagan religions could solve this problem. But God solved this problem through His servant Elisha. Here again, we can discover the amazing power of God who worked through the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Today, I would like to bear witness of true faith and address the following questions: “Who are the real servants of God in Christianity? Who are its orthodox believers, and who are liars?”
Send Naaman to Elisha
It’s written, “So it was, when Elisha the man of God heard that the king of Israel had torn his clothes, that he sent to the king, saying, ‘Why have you torn your clothes? Please let him come to me, and he shall know that there is a prophet in Israel.’” As the arrival of Naaman threw the court into a commotion and triggered unrest among the people as well, Elisha told the king to send Naaman to him, saying, “He shall know that there is a prophet in Israel.”
Elisha told the king of Israel to send General Naaman to him. So hearing these words, the king sent General Naaman to Elisha. Since Naaman was the commander of the army, he probably rode a spectacular chariot. He would have been surrounded by guards upon arriving at Elisha’s house with a pompous ceremony. But Elisha sent his servant to Naaman and told him to say the following: “Wash your body in the Jordan River seven times. You will then be healed.” So Elisha’s servant went to Naaman and told him as instructed, saying, “Elisha the servant of God said, ‘Go to the Jordan River and wash yourself seven times. You will then be healed from your leprosy.’” As Elisha’s prescription was simply incomprehensible to General Naaman’s mind, he was enraged by this and sought to return to his country.
So Naaman turned around in anger and ordered his servants to return to Syria, saying, “Elisha didn’t even come here and say this to me in person, but he just sent his servant to tell me that I should wash myself in the Jordan River. How rude he is! Does he not know who I am, that he would dare to mock me like this? Does he think that I’ve come all the way here because there isn’t any river in my own country that’s better than this Jordan River? Turn around and head back to Syria. I have been made a fool of by these Israelites.” Then one of Naaman’s servants said to him, “My father, if the prophet had told you to do something harder than this, would you not have done it? Since he said that you would be healed if you just wash yourself in the Jordan River seven times, why don’t you give it a try? If you are not healed, then we can return to Syria and do whatever it takes to punish the Israelites for this offense, even if it means war. So please calm down for now and let’s go to the Jordan River. Dip yourself seven times there, and see what happens.”
As General Naaman considered this, he saw that what his servant was saying was quite reasonable. So Naaman turned around, thinking to himself, “I’ve come all the way here to Israel from Syria, and now everyone in Israel knows that I am a leper. There is no place to retreat anymore. I have to be healed here.” News had already spread throughout Israel that General Naaman from Syria was a leper. He must have been utterly embarrassed by this, as he was the commander of the Syrian army, and yet the Israelites now all knew that he was a leper.
Prior to this event, the people of Israel did not know that General Naaman was a leper. Only his wife, his king, and a handful of his close acquaintances knew that he was a leper, and he had tried all he could to hide it from everyone else. But a young girl, taken captive from Israel, had said to Naaman that he would surely be healed from leprosy if he went to the Prophet Elisha in Israel, and so out of his desperation, Naaman could not help but believe in this girl’s words. That’s the whole reason why he had come to Israel with a personal letter written by the king of Syria. So if Naaman returned to Syria without being healed, it would have been highly embarrassing for him. He therefore decided to give it a try and do as told by Elisha, since he was already in Israel.
So he went to the Jordan River, and dipped his body in the river seven times. At that very moment, General Naaman’s flesh was restored and became clean. The Bible says, “So he went down and dipped seven times in the Jordan, according to the saying of the man of God; and his flesh was restored like the flesh of a little child, and he was clean.” General Naaman was healed from leprosy. As he was now healed from his leprosy, all the problems of his life were solved. Leprosy—that is, the problem of death—had been General Naaman’s greatest unresolved issue in life, but this issue was now resolved. The spiritual implication here is that Naaman was not only healed from his physical illnesses, but he also received the remission of sin.
He Shall Know That There Is a Prophet in Israel
In which river in Israel did General Naaman dip himself seven times to be completely healed from his leprosy? It was the Jordan River. The Bible says that when Naaman dipped himself in the Jordan River seven times, his flesh was restored clean like that of a little child.
What I would like to point out to you here is that when the servants of God preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit, they preach the event of the Jordan River without fail. The Jordan River held very important significance in the Old Testament also. When the people of Israel sought to enter into the land of Canaan, which was the land of promise that they had been seeking, they had to go across the Jordan River. After their exodus from Egypt, when the Israelites were to cross the Jordan River, the priests carrying the Ark of the Covenant stepped into the river before the people, and as the river stopped flowing and dried up, the Israelites were able to cross the Jordan safely (Joshua 3:5-17).
This event prophesies how Jesus would come to this earth and solve the problem of sin for the entire human race by being baptized by John the Baptist in the Jordan River. By going to the Jordan River and receiving His baptism from John the Baptist, Jesus Christ bore all the sins of this world on His body. He was then crucified to death and arose from the dead again, thus giving the true remission of sin to all the souls that believe in Him. As such, today’s Scripture passage provides the exact answer to the following questions: “Where can those who believe in Jesus be washed from their sins? And who are God’s approved servants?”
In today’s Scripture passage, a servant of God called Elisha led Naaman to the Jordan River to be healed. This implies that God’s true servants in Christianity these days are those who are preaching the gospel of the water and the Spirit. And Christians receive the remission of sin when they believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, whose core is centered on the event at the Jordan River. When Jesus Christ was baptized, by John the Baptist in the Jordan River, all the sins of mankind were entirely passed onto Him without exception. Jesus accepted mankind’s sins in the Jordan River through John the Baptist, carried them all to the Cross, shed His blood to unto His death, arose from the dead again, and has thereby become our true Savior. He has solved away the problem of sin for us humans. In short, the Lord has given us the remission of sin and eternal life.
When spiritual liars preach the gospel, they only preach about the event of the Cross. In contrast, God’s servants preach about faith in both the baptism Jesus received from John the Baptist in the Jordan River and the blood He shed on the Cross, without leaving out any of them, and they proclaim that Jesus has saved everyone from all sins through these two ministries. The true servants of God are those who preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit to all sinners and thereby solve the problem of their sins for them. Now it is clear that only the righteous who have faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit are qualified to be the real servants of God.
Unlike them, liars try to solve people’s problem of sin by preaching only about the crucified Jesus, leaving out the baptism He received from John the Baptist in the Jordan River. That is why so many people are unable to solve the problem of their hearts’ sins. So it is such people who have crept into today’s Christian communities. Today, I would like share the Word of God on this issue.
Even Today, There Are So Many Heretics in Christianity!
Who exactly are heretics in today’s Christianity? It’s absolutely indispensable for us to know the right answer to this question according to how it is written in the Word of God. And we must also realize properly what kind of faith is orthodox. Those in Christianity, today, who follow the sins of Jeroboam, even as they profess to believe in Jesus, are heretics. Among the Christian ministers in this age and time, there are many who are ministering just like Jeroboam had worshiped golden calves. Many of the so-called “leaders” in today’s Christianity—that is, elders, pastors, and theologians—actually follow the way of Jeroboam. These people do not know who heretics in Christian communities are.
This truth is spoken in 2 Kings chapter 12 from the Old Testament, which shows that Christians who follow the sins of Jeroboam are not orthodox believers, but heretics. Actually, heretics have originated from those in Israel who claimed to believe in Jehovah God faithfully. In other words, heretics stemmed from Judaism. We have to grasp that, in this age of the New Testament, also, it is from within Christianity that heretics have emerged. Just as many people in the age of the Old Testament had reached their own destruction by following the sins of Jeroboam, so are most Christians today following the example of the sin of Jeroboam.
What were Jeroboam’s sins? Even though God had established that only the descendants of Levi could become priests, Jeroboam made priests from every class of people, rather than Levi’s descendants “After this event Jeroboam did not turn from his evil way, but again he made priests from every class of people for the high places; whoever wished, he consecrated him, and he became one of the priests of the high places” (1 Kings 13:33). If any of the common people wanted to be a priest, then Jeroboam just appointed him to the priesthood all on his own. What else can this be but heresy? The Israelites now saw no need neither for Jehovah God nor His Law, nor the priests established by Him, or the sacrificial system of justice and mercy that had enabled them to be washed from sin.
In the Old Testament, there is a law of salvation that God established in order to enable people to be washed from sin—that is, a sacrificial system—and this sacrificial system requires that for anyone to be remitted from his sins by God, he had to offer righteous faith to Him without fail. God said that for a man to be washed from his sin there must be a sacrificial animal to accept his sins and die in his place. And there had to be a priest who offered this sacrifice on his behalf. If anyone committed sin by breaking any of God’s commandments, he had to bring an unblemished animal to the Tabernacle, pass his sins onto it by laying his hands on the head of this sacrificial animal, kill the animal, draw its blood, and give this blood to the priest. The priest then took this blood, put some of it on the horns of the altar of burnt offering, poured the rest on the ground, cut the flesh into pieces, placed them on the altar of burnt offering, and offered them by burning. That is how a sinner was enabled to receive the remission of sin. This was the truth that solved mankind’s problem of sin and death.
Like this, God had established the law of salvation that enabled people to be washed from sin, but King Jeroboam corrupted this God-established sacrificial system by appointing ordinary people to the priesthood. Out of his own greed, he ended up completely defiling and undermining the law of salvation established by God, the plan of salvation made by God.
In today’s Christian communities also, just about anyone is appointed to the priesthood. They are ordaining into ministry someone who doesn’t even know neither the law of God, nor His Word, and who neither knows nor believes in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Today’s Christianity is appointing people who still have not received the remission of sin from God to be pastors to lead churches. These people have made golden calves their gods rather than Jesus Christ, and they are making others follow the golden calves.
The Temple established by God was located in Jerusalem, but far from worshiping there, Jeroboam established shrines in two different places, Dan and Bethel. The Temple is where God dwells. So God’s Temple today is His Church, and it is found in the hearts of the saints who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. It is God’s Church where we go to worship Him, and it is God’s Church where we go to listen to the gospel Word of the water and the Spirit through His servants. In His Church, sinners can receive the remission of sin into their hearts, and thus solve all the problems of their sins, diseases, and lives. Like this, people should receive blessings from God through His servants, but today, many pastors are preventing them from doing so, although this is not the case for every pastor. Just like Jeroboam had misled the people of Israel into worshiping golden calves, so many pastors, today, are misleading their congregations.
Every heretic in Christianity is someone who has followed the way of Jeroboam from the Old Testament. Since today’s church officers and Christian leaders neither know the gospel of the water and the Spirit nor believe in it, they have sin in their hearts. Even at this very moment, they are still unable to wash away their hearts’ sins. Yet despite this, everyday they try to wash away their sins through their own prayers of repentance. They are now making and serving an idolatrous religion. Even though they have sin in their hearts, in their respective churches they are appointed to be deacons, elders, pastors, and even professors at seminaries.
In God’s Church, however, only someone who has received the remission of sin into his heart by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit can be appointed into a church office to carry out God’s work. Just as God had established only the descendants of Levi as His priests, today, it is only the believers in the gospel of the water and the Spirit whom God raises to be His servants. In contrast to heretics who appoint sinners into church offices, God establishes only the righteous that believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit to be officers in His Church.
Elisha asked the king of Israel to send General Naaman to him, so that he would know that there was a prophet in Israel. When General Naaman came, Elisha then told his servant to convey his message that Naaman should go to the Jordan River and wash himself seven times. So the servant of Elisha went to Naaman and delivered Elisha’s message as he was told. Hearing this, General Naaman was enraged. Naaman, a leper, became furious because he had so much of his own thoughts. Even when a sick person comes to see a doctor to be healed from his illness, if he has too much of his own thoughts, he may very well end up fighting with the doctor. In the hospital, every patient should do what the doctor tells him to do. If the doctor tells him to take off his shirt, then he should do so. And the doctor would probably ask him when his symptoms began to appear. He should then answer whatever question the doctor asks.
But Elisha simply told General Naaman to just go to the Jordan River and wash himself seven times; even worse, Elisha didn’t say this in person, but he relayed the message through his servant. That’s why Naaman was enraged. When Naaman thought about it, he felt quite insulted by Elisha. In his carnal mind, he had thought that Elisha would come to him in person, lay his hands on his ailment, and heal his leprosy by saying, “Be healed in the name of Jehovah!” So General Naaman expressed his mind, saying, “Indeed, I said to myself, ‘He will surely come out to me, and stand and call on the name of the LORD his God, and wave his hand over the place, and heal the leprosy’” (2 Kings 5:11). Naaman had expected that the servant of God would at least come to him and heal him by laying his hands on him and chanting some sort of spell.
Like this, even today, Christians who have not been born again are leading a superstitious life of faith. Such superstitious beliefs have all resulted from following their own carnal thoughts, rather than the Word of God. However, the Bible says, “For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God” (Romans 8:5-8). If you don’t deny your carnal thoughts, then you can never believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit nor follow it, but instead you will end up falling into superstitious beliefs.
So among today’s Christians, many people think carnally, “If I offer prayers of repentance to God, He will wash away my sins.” There also are others who think that if they go to some mountain and pray to God while fasting, God would have compassion for them and wash away all their sins. Those who offer prayers of repentance while fasting do so because they think that if they endure their physical hunger and offer their prayers of repentance, on account of this, God would somehow show mercy on them and wash away all their sins. But such beliefs and such prayers of repentance are all superstitious.
Mankind’s sins are washed away, only by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit that the Lord has given them. Many Christians also think that if they go to some spiritually gifted people and ask them to pray for them with the laying on of hands, their sins would be washed away and solved. So they want to find someone who seems to be spiritually gifted and have him pray for them while laying his hands on them. This is no different from the superstitious practices of the past: Just as our ancestors had tried to ward off evil fortune or heal illnesses by inviting a shaman to perform various pagan rituals and spells, today’s Christians are also trying to receive the remission of sin or obtain healing by having the so-called “spiritually gifted” pastors, elders, or deacons pray for them while laying their hands on them. Like this are the Christians of today being deceived by such deceitful liars.
Heretics inside Christian communities are those who do not know the gospel of the water and the Spirit and preach only the blood of the Cross rather than the gospel of the water and the Spirit. These people are heretics, teaching others erroneously that their sins are washed away through prayers of repentance. The heretics are revealed to others by the lack of fruit of their selfish faith. How is the fruit of today’s heretics revealed? The fruit of their faith is shown by their pursuit of material wealth. So Jesus Himself said the following about the false prophets: “Beware of the false prophets. You shall know a tree by its fruit. Can a good tree bear a bad fruit?”
There Indeed Are Many Christian Leaders Like Gehazi before God
Let’s turn to 2 Kings 5:15-16 here: “And he returned to the man of God, he and all his aides, and came and stood before him; and he said, ‘Indeed, now I know that there is no God in all the earth, except in Israel; now therefore, please take a gift from your servant.’ But he said, ‘As the LORD lives, before whom I stand, I will receive nothing.’ And he urged him to take it, but he refused.”
Naaman was healed from leprosy by obeying Elisha’s instruction. So out of his overflowing joy and profound gratitude to God and His servant who healed him, Naaman asked Elisha to accept the gift he brought. Given how Naaman’s flesh became like the flesh of a little child, he couldn’t be happier. After being healed from leprosy at the Jordan River by following the instruction of the servant of God, Naaman made his confession of faith like this: “Indeed, now I know that there is no God in all the earth, except in Israel.” Naaman was now completely healed just by obeying the servant of God. So he realized that the God of Israel was the real God. He now knew that there was no other god in all the earth but only the Jehovah God of Israel, and he recognized that this God was the true God and all the other gods were false. He was now able to discern properly.
Rejoicing so much, Naaman now asked Elisha to accept his gift, but Elisha declined this gift, saying, “As the LORD lives, before whom I stand, I will receive nothing.” Here we discover the verse from today’s Scripture passage that clearly shows who the true servants are of God are, and who the liars are. God’s servants seek only His glory, not mammon. In contrast, the liars seek mammon at every opportunity, all the while invoking the name of God.
As Naaman was now healed from his leprosy, he wanted to offer a precious gift out of his profound gratitude to God, but Elisha declined this offer. So Naaman asked Elisha to let him take at least some earth from Israel. He asked for this because he wanted to take the earth to Syria to build an altar there and worship Jehovah God. Naaman also asked for Elisha’s understanding, as once he was back in Syria, it would be inevitable for him to bow before the idol worshiped by the king of Syria when he accompanied his king to the shrine. So he sought permission from Elisha for this. When the king of Syria offered sacrifices to his idol god, the king bowed before this god while leaning on Naaman’s hand, and at that time Naaman also had to bow down. Although Naaman now believed that only the Jehovah God of Israel was the real God, when he returned to Syria, it would be unavoidable for him to bow before a pagan god against his will. Naaman asked Elisha to understand this.
Take a look at the heart of this man, the commander of the army of Syria returning to home after being healed from leprosy. He wanted to take the earth of Israel. The line of faith was now clearly drawn. Naaman now realized that the God of Israel was the true God, and the line of faith was clearly drawn in his heart. So how upright was his faith? Once Naaman returned to Syria, he would tell his wife about Jehovah God and speak of Him to his friends as well. Wouldn’t it then be proclaimed in Syria that Jehovah God was the true God? Wouldn’t this have happened? It sure would have. As Naaman realized that only the God of Israel was the true God and only the people of Israel were the true people of God, spiritually speaking, he had now become one of the people of Israel. When he returned to his country, he would spread this news throughout the whole nation, and Syria would then become a nation of God spiritually.
If Elisha had accepted Naaman’s gift, then this would have meant that Elisha was compensated for healing Naaman. Had this happened, General Naaman would have thought that he paid back his debt to Elisha for healing his leprosy, and so he would have no longer been thankful, but would have instead continued to worship idols back in his country. However, Elisha knew this, and so he said that he would never receive Naaman’s gift. In other words, when Elisha declined Naaman’s gift, he did so to convey the following message: “God healed you because He had compassion for you. It is God who has healed you. I only did what God commanded me to do, to tell you to go to the Jordan River and wash yourself. So as you went to the river and washed yourself, God healed your illness. It was all done by God.”
Everything was made clearer to Naaman. Healed from his illness, General Naaman was filled with so much joy. He was so thankful. Naaman had offered a gift to Elisha after being healed, but as Elisha did not accept this gift, he came to realize, “Truly, this is a gift from God. It is the real truth.” So if he returned to his country and told this story to his servants, his wife, and his king, then a great spiritual revival would unfold in that nation.
The problem, however, was Elisha’s servant named Gehazi. This man Gehazi knew very well how his master did the work of God, what God spoke through his master, how He fulfills His Word, and how He had protected and defended the nation of Israel. Gehazi, too, was someone who believed in God. Yet this man, a believer in Jehovah God, ended up turning into a selfish and greedy believer. It’s written, “But Gehazi, the servant of Elisha the man of God, said, ‘Look, my master has spared Naaman this Syrian, while not receiving from his hands what he brought; but as the LORD lives, I will run after him and take something from him’” (2 Kings 5:20). In contrast to Elisha, who had said, “As the Lord lives, before whom I stand, I will receive nothing,” Gehazi said, “As the Lord lives, I will take something from him.” These two men had a completely opposite mindset.
It’s because people like Gehazi are working as the men of the cloth in today’s Christianity that so many heretics are emerging and flourishing. Heretics do not emerge from outside Christianity. They spring forth from Christians professing to believe in Jesus, particularly from the churchmen who are ministering inside Christian communities. Gehazi ran after Naaman and said to him, “My master has sent me to ask you for such and such things. I am here because just now some young students came from another region, as my master is a teacher, and they need some money to clothe themselves and spend.” With this excuse, Gehazi tried to obtain material gains from Naaman. He asked Naaman for a talent of silver and two changes of garments, saying that Elisha’s student had nothing to eat. This man knew no shame.
As General Naaman heard what Gehazi was saying, he came to think, “I knew it! Elisha must covet riches as well, for he, too, is only a man. He had declined my gift out of politeness just a while ago, but now he is showing his true colors.” He then gave Gehazi a generous gift, saying, “Hmm… are you asking for just a talent of silver? All right I will give you two talents. And I will also give two sets of garments.” And before Naaman even returned to his country, his innocent faith was already spoiled.
Had Naaman not met Gehazi and returned home safely, there would have been a great spiritual revival in Syria. The gospel of the water and the Spirit would then have flourished there. But Gehazi obstructed this and completely ruined the grace of true salvation. Like this, heretics in today’s Christianity seek material gains more than God. There are many people in Christian communities today who are just like Gehazi. They demand money from the congregation, teaching them that their sins are blotted out if they just believe in Jesus’ blood on the Cross, alone, and offer prayers of repentance, and preaching that this faith is the right faith.
When Christians today are asked, “Do you have sin in your heart or not?” some of them say that they have no sin. But even though they claim to be sinless with their lips, because they do not know the gospel of the water and the Spirit, they actually do have sin in their hearts. Nonetheless, they still try to deceive people, claiming once again, “Try to really believe in the blood of the Cross. Your sins will then actually disappear. Your heart’s sins are not blotted out only because you don’t believe in the blood of the Cross truthfully.” These people also say, “You don’t really believe in the blood of the Cross. So from now on, listen to the words we are preaching, and truthfully believe in only the blood of the Cross. You will then become a sinless person.” However, unless one believes in the gospel of the water and the Spirit with his whole heart, he can never receive the remission of sin.
There is a group of people called Evangelicals in present-day Christianity. They know that it is right for the believers to have no sin. They know that if one believes in Jesus, he should be made sinless. However, they don’t know exactly how their sins were passed onto Jesus, and so they just teach arbitrarily, “With the blood He shed on the Cross, Jesus has washed away all the sins of mankind, from the past to the present and the future alike. So if you believe in the blood of the Cross wholeheartedly, then your sins will really disappear from your heart.” Therefore, all the Evangelical Christians also say that they have no sin. As the Evangelicals teach like this, saying that one is made sinless and righteous if he believes in Jesus correctly, Christians who had been oppressed by sin are only too happy to hear that they have no sin, and so they end up deceived by such people’s lies. This phenomenon is the same phenomenon that occurs when some Christians see someone else who is healed from the same illness as theirs, and as a result, they hypnotize themselves into believing falsely that they would also be healed if they had the same faith as this person. Since the right answer is that one is made sinless if he believes in Jesus properly, when people keep hypnotizing themselves into believing that they have no sin, then they feel as if they really have no sin, even though in fact their sins still remain intact in their hearts. There are many such people among today’s Christians who believe only in Jesus’ blood on the Cross.
This kind of faith itself is a heretical faith, and yet despite this, heretics encourage their many followers by saying, “Aren’t you happy now that you have no sin? Don’t you feel like you are flying across the sky? Why don’t you give your testimony of salvation?” As their followers say that their hearts are filled, they want to extract money out of them by making them compete with each other for the approval of others through even more touching testimonies. Then the naïve people don’t even realize their scheme and testify as the following: “I’ve believed in Jesus for 20 years, but I still had sin in my heart. But now that I believe in Jesus’ blood on the Cross, I’ve now become sinless, and my heart is so happy and filled. From now on, I want to live to serve God and the gospel of the Cross.” Heretics then exploit them for money as the following: “Aren’t you so happy? Isn’t what you’ve received so wonderful?”
“Yes, it’s so wonderful! I now want to keep serving the gospel.”
“Well, we are planning to build a church building, and so you should participate in this work by making financial contributions. Partaking in this work with your material possession is also a good thing.” Heretics make the congregation offer their material possessions by inflating their ego. They say to them, “It’s such a blessing to hear your testimony!” And whenever they gather together, they ask the congregation to give testimony. And they extract money out of them.
What heretics want is always money. They squeeze money out of their congregation in various ways. When they hold a revival meeting, they make the attendees give offerings. To force their congregation to give offerings, the liars often quote the Bible, such as the following passage: “Three times a year all your males shall appear before the LORD your God in the place which He chooses: at the Feast of Unleavened Bread, at the Feast of Weeks, and at the Feast of Tabernacles; and they shall not appear before the LORD empty-handed. Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the LORD your God which He has given you” (Deuteronomy 16:16-17). So whenever their churches hold a revival meeting, there is a huge pile of envelopes stuffed with offerings. And before the preacher begins his sermon, he calls each name of all the people who offered these envelops, thanks God in his prayer, and asks Him to especially bless them. Just by grabbing an offering envelop, they can tell roughly how much money it holds. They hold revival meetings in order to exploit the congregation for money, and their purpose is to convert people into Christianity only to extract money out of them under whatever pretenses. The ultimate goal of their ministry is money. Take a look at the churches that they boast of for history and tradition. In the end, after squeezing out as much money as possible from their congregation, they spend it all to build an extravagant church building. Even if it’s surrounded by a shantytown the church itself is amazingly magnificent and grand.
If Heretics Can Build a Big Church Building in Their Entire Lifetime of Ministry, They Think It’s a Huge Success
We know a tree by its fruit. The fruit born by heretics is the pursuit of mammon. They extract money out of even poor members, regardless of whatever means it takes. To squeeze money out of their congregation, they throw them into a competition over testimony. They do this by saying the following: “Someone offered so much contribution. That sister offered even the money she had been saving for her wedding. Isn’t this amazing? I am so thankful. I am so inspired before God.” “A certain brother offered a lot of money as soon as he came to our church, heard the gospel Word, and believed in Jesus.” “Another brother offered $5,000, even though his salary is rather low.”
What they say most of the time is this: “Who offered so much offering, and who is now serving more than whom.” They say to the congregation, “That brother received the remission of sin only recently, and yet he offered so much money. Just as he made a big contribution at the beginning, he continues to give generously even now. Even more, he offered all his possessions, and as if this weren’t enough, he even took out a bank loan and gave this money to the church.” It’s none other than these people who are heretics. It’s a spiritual fraud to demand only offerings at the hour of worship.
Referring to Naaman, Elisha had said to the king of Israel, “He shall know that there is a prophet in Israel.” Even when we hold a revival meeting, we have to preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Everyone must believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit and thus attain the qualification to be blessed by God. If one believes in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, then he receives the blessings of God. That is why God’s born-again Church is saying to everyone to have faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, rather than demanding any offering to the Church. Your offerings would be barely enough to sustain our minister’s livelihood. But the saints at our Church also have to make a living, and so how could the Church extract financial contributions from them? For the saints to sustain their livelihood, they each need a house. If the Church were to demand them to fork over their houses, where would they live? You have to be able to sustain your livelihood before you can serve the gospel of the Lord.
However, if you are trapped by heretics’ schemes, then you will fall into poverty for sure, for they teach, “Sell your house and offer it to your church. If you are renting a big house, then move to a smaller house and offer the saving to the church. Take out a bank loan by mortgaging your salaries and offer this money to your church.” Heretics teach like this, suggesting subtly that such a life is a worthy life that pleases God. So when people are caught in the mesh of today’s heretics, they only turn into debtors. What’s worse, their sins still remain intact in their hearts. None other than these people who exploit the congregation for money are the very heretics that reside in Christian communities.
How, then, can we discern the servants of God from the false teachers, and how can we discern God’s true Church from false churches? We can tell them apart by looking at the fruit of their faith and the gospel that they are spreading. Ultimately, heretics only demand material contributions. If you just offer them financial contributions, you will be treated with all kinds of honor, but if you can’t offer them that so much contribution, then far from being honored, you will be disdained.
What about God’s Church then? Does it disdain anyone just because he can’t make any financial contributions? No, of course not! That’s akin to kicking someone when he is down. For you to serve God with your material possessions, you have to have at least some possessions to begin with. How can you serve God with only lips? What we must all realize is the people of today’s Christianity that are only coveting riches, fame, and the lust of their flesh are nothing more than the real heretics.
In today’s Scripture passage, Gehazi the servant of Elisha went after Naaman, took silver and garments from him, and hid them in secret. But Elisha the servant of God knew all about this, but he still asked him where he had been. Gehazi then lied to him by saying, “Your servant did not go anywhere.” However, Elisha knew exactly what Gehazi had done, as he said to him, “Did not my heart go with you when the man turned back from his chariot to meet you? Is it time to receive money and to receive clothing, olive groves and vineyards, sheep and oxen, male and female servants?” (2 Kings 5:26). God had spoken to Elisha’s heart about what had happened in detail. Elisha the servant of God then declared to his servant Gehazi, “You have forsaken God’s work and sought mammon, and therefore you shall be cursed with leprosy. You have turned into a heretic to be cursed for eternity.” And this came about exactly as Elisha said.
Even for those who have received the remission of sin by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, if they pursue only mammon like Gehazi, then they will also turn into heretics. Heresy is something that emerges within Christianity itself. Elisha had declared, “Therefore the leprosy of Naaman shall cling to you and your descendants forever,” and the Bible writes that as Gehazi left from Elisha’s presence, he became leprous, turning as white as snow. Today also, there are such heretics in Christian communities. This means that their hearts are leprous. If anyone has sin in his heart, and yet he works as a pastor, an evangelist, or a deacon in his church and denomination, then he himself is a heretic. Regardless of how such people may call themselves orthodox Christians, they are heretics in God’s sight. All those who preach the Word and assume church offices even as they have sin in their heart are also heretics.
Heretics only seek material gains. It’s because Gehazi had sought only riches that he turned into a heretic. All his descendants were lepers. They all suffered from leprosy generation after generation. If you were to go to a colony of spiritual lepers, you would see that it’s filled with Gehazi’s descendants. Everyone in the family, from the grandfather to the father and the son, is a leper. No one knows when this curse of leprosy would end.
Heretics must now turn around from their false faith and believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. They, too, must now believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Spiritually speaking, those who have sin in their hearts even as they profess to believe in Jesus as their Savior are heretics. Many Christians believe in Jesus as their Savior only vaguely, but now, they must believe more concretely that Jesus took upon Himself the sins of mankind by being baptized by John the Baptist in the Jordan River, died on the Cross, arose from the dead again, and has thereby become our true Savior. Among Christians today, those who do not believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit are heretics. Such people cannot help but seek mammon, and their hearts cannot help but have sin.
Is There Any Sin in Your Hearts and Mine, Who Now Believe in the Gospel of the Water and the Spirit?
No, there is no sin in our hearts. So the believers in the gospel of the water and the Spirit are normal Christians before God. In contrast, among those attending the churches of this world, countless people have turned into heretics. Even though there are so many Christians all over the world and so many people professing to believe in Jesus, churches and denominations are filled with heretics. Mainstream Christianity is plagued with so many heretics. Although these Christians all claim that their gatherings are orthodox, they are actually full of heretics. But it’s not out of their volition that they’ve turned into heretics. Because they’ve been taught wrongfully by the liars they have been ending up as heretics. When you talk with the so-called “Christians leaders” among the Evangelicals, you will see that they are ignorant of the gospel of the water and the Spirit. But despite this, so many of them still preach the gospel of the blood of the Cross, alone and believe in this errant gospel. Their gospel resembles but in fact differs from the gospel of the water and the Spirit. It only brings about a curse to its believers because it is the very other gospel that the Lord has rebuked “But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed” (Galatians 1:8-9).
God’s Church is the gathering of those who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. It is the gathering of those who have been remitted and saved from the sins of the world by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Wherever the believers in the gospel of the water and the Spirit are gathered together in this world that is God’s Church. The members of God’s Church are those who have received the remission of sin by believing in this gospel of the water and the Spirit. How have they received the remission of sin? They have attained it by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
However, when heretics are asked, “How have you received the remission of sin,” they say, “I’ve received it by believing in the blood of the Cross.” When they are asked again, “Do you then have no sin? Is your conscience really sinless or not?” most of them say that they still have sin. When their hearts are probed in depth, it is exposed that their sins still remain intact in them. These people are heretics. They neither know the gospel of the water and the Spirit nor want to believe in it. Yet some of them say that they also know the gospel of the water and the Spirit. But when they are asked, “If you know this true gospel, tell us about it,” they can’t really say anything about the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Some of them may be able to speak about the gospel of the water and the Spirit by rote, but when we keep asking them questions, we eventually find out that they don’t really know this gospel.
The Apostles in the age of the Early Church also had the gospel of the water and the Spirit. This gospel, in other words, had existed in the Apostolic Age also. Just like us the Apostle Paul, the Apostle Peter, and the Apostle John all believed in and preached the gospel of the water and the Spirit. However, with passing time Christianity became secularized. Constantine the Great declared Christianity to be the state religion of the Roman Empire. From then on, the gospel of the water and the Spirit disappeared, and the gospel of only the shed blood of the Cross came to be accepted as if it were the true gospel. After this, faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit disappeared, and anyone came to be recognized as a Christian if he just professed to believe in Jesus. That is why there are so many heretics inside Christian communities.
We’ve heard from many pastors and evangelists abroad telling us that they’ve received the remission of sin from reading our books. They did not write this to us because somehow we told them to write such testimonies. It’s because they’ve actually received the remission of sin by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit that they are sending us emails. That is the reason why we are actually carrying out our literature ministry. Even though we have not seen them face- to-face, we can still know their faith. So we are carrying out our literature ministry even more diligently. By writing books, translating them, and publishing them, we are now preaching the gospel of the water and the Spirit to everyone all over the world.
Even though we are all insufficient, we are still God’s servants and His people. It’s the believers in the gospel of the water and the Spirit who are the true servants of God. Whereas God’s workers serve the gospel of the water and the Spirit by dedicating themselves completely, heretics, who are not God’s people, only commit spiritual frauds. Once there was a children’s song in Korea that went, “♫ I was told to believe in Jesus and come to church, but I only got my shoes stolen.” Someone might have written this song playfully, but heretics are in fact setting their sight on your money alone. They are always looking for an opportunity to kill your soul. However, God has placed on this earth His saints who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. And these saints are now saving souls. You and I are God’s servants. What a wonderful blessing is this?
Let me tell you clearly who exactly heretics are: All those who have made Christian doctrines out of their own thoughts, and who say that one only has to believe according to these doctrines, are heretics. Such people do not care what the Word of God actually says. They put more emphasis on ethics, morals, and their own frame of thought. So they have made Christian doctrines in their own frame of thought, and they approve those who believe in God according to these doctrines. That is what the doctrine of the Cross is all about in today’s Christianity. These Christians are sure that they’ve already been saved by believing in the blood of the Cross, and they believe that the daily sins they commit afterward are remitted if they offer their own prayers of repentance. Yet to reach perfect salvation, they have to continue to live a holy life and be sanctified. So they claim that if they try hard to be sanctified like this, then they would be completely sanctified by God at their death—that is, they would become sinless people—and go to the Kingdom of Heaven. That is what most Christians believe nowadays.
Because these Christians have made Christian doctrines out of their own confused thoughts and believe in these doctrines, when we preach the baptism of Jesus along with His blood rather than just His blood on the Cross, they consider us strange and call us heretics. And they say that although they still have sin despite believing in Jesus, even such sinners can still enter Heaven, since they all believe in Jesus. In contrast, the believers in the gospel of the water and the Spirit say that they have no sin at all, and that’s precisely why these Christian sinners call us heretics. In their eyes and according to the frame of their doctrines, it is we who are heretics. But when viewed from the frame of the Word of God, it is they who are heretics, and we are orthodox believers.
As you can see here, human frame of thought is so very dangerous. That’s why everyone who believes in Jesus must cast aside his own thoughts. We’ve seen how General Naaman had also cast aside his own thoughts and dipped himself in the Jordan River seven times according to the words of the servant of God, and how, as a result, his flesh was completely healed and became like the flesh of a little child. We must throw away our carnal thoughts and listen to what God is saying, recognize His servants, and hear what these servants of God are saying to us. And we must follow the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
Given how Christianity in its entirety has really fallen into the faith of heresy, if I address this issue too bluntly, then far from realizing their reality, many Christians will likely attack me ferociously. With this in mind, I plan to explain the reality of heresy step by step based on the Word, so that they may understand. I am going to make them turn around and return to the true gospel of the water and the Spirit. I am sure that God will bring this about. I am thankful to God for making us believe that Jesus took upon Himself all our sins and washed them away by being baptized by John the Baptist in the Jordan River, and for making us His servants despite our insufficiencies.
Now that we have received the remission of sin by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, we must dedicate our hearts and minds to God. To entrust ourselves to God is to unite our hearts, minds, and determinations with the will of God, offering ourselves, to God to be used by Him according to His will. It is then that God uses us as the instruments of His righteousness. If, however, we do not offer our minds and bodies to God even after receiving the remission of sins, then our bodies will turn into the instruments of sin. If we are not careful, we may also turn into Gehazi. It’s quite possible even for us to become like Gehazi.
Gehazi had worked under Elisha, and yet he turned into a heretic. Having received the remission of sin, if we unite with God’s Church and participate together in the work of supporting and serving His gospel, then we will be able to live as the cherished servants of God and also be approved as good and faithful servants in His sight. However, if we don’t do so, then we will become like Gehazi and hear God rebuking us, saying, “Cast out these worthless servants.” It’s not because we are somehow spiritual, meritorious, or good-natured that we can serve the Lord. It’s when we offer our bodies and minds to God that He lifts us up to be used, and that is how we are made into instruments of His righteousness after receiving the remission of sin. I admonish you all to realize this and believe in it. It is never by our own will that anything spiritual is achieved.
You should entrust yourself to God. Let God take care of you. Ask Him to protect you and bless you. Even though you and I have received the remission of sin, and no matter how strong and determined we may be, unless we entrust ourselves to God, we will turn our bodies into the instruments of unrighteousness to sin “And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God” (Romans 6:13). There is no exception here. The same goes for you and me alike. Unless I continue to carry out the work of God, I will also end up turning into an instrument of sin. When this revival meeting is over, I will go back home and work on my new books as entrusted to me; when I am done with this work, I will go to In-je Discipleship Training Center and work there; and whenever we hold a revival meeting again, I will be there to preach. Like this, I work ceaselessly. Why? It is because unless I do so, I would turn into an instrument of sin. That is why I am emphasizing this point so much to you.
For all of us here, from our students, our sisters, our brothers, our ministers, and everyone else alike, whether we dedicate ourselves determines whether we become instruments of righteousness or instruments of sin. We are torn between two directions, spiritual and fleshly. That is the condition in which we find ourselves now, having now received the remission of sin. Depending on which direction we lean, our fate is determined. Once it’s determined, it’s hard to turn around. If a tree leans too much to one side, then it will fall on that side “If the clouds are full of rain, They empty themselves upon the earth; And if a tree falls to the south or to the north, In the place where the tree falls, there it shall lie” (Ecclesiastes 11:3). If you lean toward God, then you will become a servant of God, but if you lean toward the world, then you will turn into a servant of the world. This is the crossroads that we come to face after receiving the remission of sin. If we let our hearts lean toward the world even slightly, then we will turn into the instruments of the world in no time.
There is a song in Korea that’s been quite popular lately, and its lyric goes something like this: “Don’t go too far, ♪for you are a woman.” It seems that the song was sung out of a mother’s concern for her daughter. “Don’t go too far, for you won’t be able to return home, for you are a woman.” It’s easy for the women to get hurt and abandoned in this dangerous world. But does this mean that the brothers are free from the world?
Spiritually speaking, we all are sisters before God. We are Jesus’ brides. Should we give it a try? Go ahead and try calling Rev. Park over there, “Sister Park.” My fellow believers, we must not to go too far into the world. While carrying out the work of God, some of us may be tempted and go astray for a short while, but we must all return to God’s Church as soon as possible. Why? Because spiritually speaking, we all are women, we are weak, we get hurt easily, and if something goes wrong, we find ourselves unable to defend our faith and turning into our enemy’s servants. That is why there are gatherings in God’s Church, worship services, and revival meetings. We should all gather together as often as possible to form our own culture of the righteous, and find our joy in it.
I have to leave you and return home, tomorrow. My heart is already, saddened by this. However, even though we bid farewell to each other, the Word of God we have shared still remains in our hearts. Once back at our places, we will once again have to resume carrying out each of our entrusted tasks. As we carry out the Lord’s work constantly, it can be hard on us and we can get weary sometimes. So while we should all work diligently, let’s not forget to take a break once in a while.
Heretics insist on the congregation to offer them only material possessions. It’s because for those who do not believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, that is precisely the fruit of their faith. In contrast, all that I want to ask from you is to carry out the work of God. You may be just a layperson, but if it’s possible, I ask you to participate in this work to serve the Lord together. Since there aren’t enough workers, teenagers and even Sunday school children must become workers. If there were enough workers, the adults would have done everything. But there aren’t enough laborers, and that’s why I am asking you to also work for the Lord.
I hope and pray that you would all be faithful to the work of the Lord unto death.