January 20th, 2019
ICA Sunday Pulpit Message
So, every week on Lord’s day, starting from 10:20, we begin our worship. So, at that time, we start to praise. And, at around 12pm, with the benediction, we would end our second worship. So, the main worship goes up to one hour and forty minutes. So, during that time, about thirty to thirty-five minutes are the message. However, in Korea, the sermon alone goes around 50 to an hour. I try to do that in America, maybe they are high-level, they don’t come to church because of that. But, since I have lack in faith, I try to compromise. So, I do the message for about 40 to 45 minutes. However, in the mist of my sermon, there is English interpretation, so actually, the main message is about 15 minutes. So, I think because of that reason, you could only do half of the offering than other churches. So, what I’m saying, the reason I am saying this, is because the main message is about 15 to 20 minutes. However, the message is only about 15 to 20 minutes, for that message, for that time alone, if your life is turn around, then it is truly amazing. Do you agree?
In this world, there are many churches. So, what is the core of the message, the point, the focus of the message? It’s Jesus. The church is talking about Jesus. So, Jesus is not the head or the main leader of Christianity. It’s not Jesus that appears in Christmas. Jesus who appeared in the bible said He would resolve all of my problems and would dwell in me through the Holy Spirit. As proof that He has resolved my problems that I cannot share with other, He died on the cross. And, that amazing promise of the amazing Jesus—He is with me. So, if you can believe and understand this tremendous fact, honestly speaking, you don’t have to come to church. Everything is finished in my life. So, when you are within that conclusion, God will send you to Africa or Syria. I’m not saying you shouldn’t come to church. What I’m saying is that wherever you are, even if you don’t go to church, works will take place. If you realize and understand who Jesus is, what kind of relationship you have with Jesus, wherever you are, it’s okay. So, when you realize this, it doesn’t really matter. Problems after problems, waves after wave, it really doesn’t matter. So, realizing who Jesus is, understanding who Jesus Christ is, it’s only through God’s grace. And, for you to realize and understand who He is, for 15 to 20 minutes, I’m giving the sermon.
So, everything is just an introduction. When you are able to grab hold of Jesus, who is the main, then you will have the result of receiving grace. That’s why Jesus is the Christ. That is why we call Him the Son of God. That is why people confess He is my Savior. Jesus is the Christ the son of the living God. And, that is why the Early Church members who held onto His name, even though they were thrown into the furnace, even though they were thrown to the lion’s den, that is why they knew who Jesus was. So, the actual content is about 15 minutes. I bless you and bless you again that you will have the grace to realize who Jesus is. Then, why are people unable to enjoy the blessings? Through the word, there are blessings. However, people in the world aren’t able to enjoy it. There are reasons for that.
The original mankind, they were created to be with God. Even though we are His creation, when we are with Him, we will have the power of the creator. God and mankind, we are supposed to be one, we cannot be separated from God. God and mankind, we are one and we should not be separated, but there was incident that took place. It is recorded in Genesis chapter 3. It’s not some story or fable, that’s why people aren’t able to understand. It is recorded the serpent appeared to the first woman Eve and said ‘if you eat that fruit…’ Somebody could say, ‘how could a snake speak?’ ‘How can a God allow someone to eat the fruit, and because they eat the fruit, He pour down all the curses and disasters onto the world?’ The word of God is recorded in the bible, an educated person could only understand it to that point. And, people are saying that half of the message in the bible is just a story, the point they can understand. So, mankind was supposed to be one with God, but when they were separated from God, all the problems came. Mankind tried to overcome and struggle. That is the history of mankind. And, everybody perished, everyone failed. Life itself was a failure. Look at the people who have authority, all of them are imprisoned. And, also, the people we call beautiful, they pass away. Even if you devote your life to them, they will defy you. I’m not speaking negatively. That is how the world is turning right now. I’m not saying the world is negative, so come to your senses. That’s not what I’m saying. I’m saying those terrible things took place because we are separated from God. And, mankind, when they are with God, everything will be restored, but mankind can’t do that on their own. So, they try to have religion or do good things or have philosophy, but they cannot be with God through those things because the level does not match God. God is holy, but us, from our beginning of our birth to end, we are impure. So, before creation, after creation, beginning to end, God knows everything, but for us, we just look at what’s in front of us. Of course we aren’t the level of God. God wants to give us Salvation, but it does not take place.
However, there is someone who opened up a way for us to be with God, who is holy, with us, who are sinners. It is Jesus Christ who came to Earth in man form. It was Christ Jesus who connected the way for us to be with God, the creator, with us, who are sinners. Anyone who says I need Christ says I need Salvation. Do you believe in that? This is what the bible talks about, nothing else. Every problem came because of separation from God. We need to pray for Jesus Christ for us to be with God. So, all we have to do is ask for the help of Jesus. With that, everything is finished. You don’t need bible studies. The Early Church members, the bible was not completed, but they went out and evangelized. And, also, the Church of Ephesus only held onto the book of Ephesus. That’s what they did. So, mankind was supposed to be with God, but because they are not with God, all problems came. Man alone can’t be with God. God showed us the way, and that’s through Jesus. The problem of separation from God, only through Jesus Christ can you restore everything—blessings and answers will come. Mankind, we are supposed be with who? Be with God. Man cannot stand alone or exist alone. God is the only one who can stand alone, and mankind was supposed to be with God. And, to allow us to be with God, to enjoy that blessing, one by one, He saved them. And, also, to experience being with God, one by one, God formed teams. Is this true? This is why we use the terms united and oneness.
So, normally, an average cow can carry out around a weight of 6,000 kilograms, or 6 tons. So, for two cows, how much weight can they carry out? 6 + 6 is 12. But, in reality, they could carry out 24 tons—two times more than what we calculated. So, not by their own, but by getting together and forming a team, they can double the portion. I read this article in this newspaper, this couple, these two people, was traveling the world. One person is unable to use their legs. The other person, traveling with the person who can’t use their legs, is blind. So, the blind and the cripple are traveling together around the world. If you help out of what the other lack, then you could complete and have the result of a beautiful thing. Symbolically, you can see that people should be with somebody and have that oneness. Any one of you majoring in art? Anyone who studies art? Who is the famous artist, Paul Cezanne? He is one of the famous, renowned artists. Back in the day, he was not acknowledged or recognized his work. So, he had depression. So, as he did his work, his drawing or painting, if he did not like it, he’d throw it away. He’d throw the art itself into dumpster. However, his wife, without him knowing, would bring back the art and put it in the corner of the house. And, without realizing it was the work he threw away, he would bring it back and complete it. So, the works and the art that is in display right now, 90% of them were the thrown away ones that were completed. You can see and tell the role of the wife, she understood the lacking and weakness of her husband. In Ecclesiastes 4:9, it says, two is better than one. Why? Because the labor of two people would result in greater reward. Not alone, but together, they would receive greater fruits. In verse 12, it says again, one will perish, two will overcome and will not be disconnected. Do you understand? So, when you form oneness or unite, you will form greater results. So, receiving Salvation, being child of God—being with God is being one with God. However, the works, miracles, answers, those come when you form a team with someone. And, God desires us to form a team, and He wants to pour down His blessings to them.
2. The prayer that everyone gathers and form oneness. (Act 1:14a)
The title of the message is the ‘Prayer of the Mark’s Upper room.’ So, the prayer of the Mark’s Upper room is to gather and form oneness. And, always, when you form oneness, God’s blessings appear. Out of the first mankind, God allowed Adam to be with Eve to form a team. She was deceived and was the one to cause original sin. The first failure of mankind took place when it was done alone. See, if she went to her husband, Adam, and asked him if she could eat that, if she had that forum, Adam would’ve said you should not eat it for you will certainly and truly die. Eve, who was a helper, even if she had wanted to eat it, she would not have eaten it. So, when the team is broken, problems with come.
Second person of mankind: Noah. He had a wife and three sons and three daughter-in-laws. 8 family members, they were one team. The first disaster of mankind, the flood, when the family formed a team to build the ark, they received the answer to rule over the world. They held onto that oneness, and to the very end, God blessed them. This is true. Moses and the entire Israelites, without except, applied the blood of the lamb. Works took place, that death and curse passed over them and everyone survived. The miracle of Passover. How’d it take place? It was through the oneness of the Israelites. And, also, Joshua and the entire Israelites, when they came together and circled that tower, it collapsed. Do you sense what I’m trying to tell you? So, it is important to form oneness. So, even if I don’t mention the importance of oneness, if you experience that oneness, you will understand how to receive blessings. The prophet Samuel and the Israelites, they came together and prayed for the Mizpah. God’s power came, and all enemies were executed. And, the bible is telling us to not do this alone. Prophet Elijah, he thought he was all by himself. But, what did God say? Elijah tried to take his own life, but God stopped him. Disciple Elisha and 7,000 disciples who will be with you are prepared. And, also, Obidiah is also in the palace. That team that God had form was able to overcome the field of idolatry. Haggai, Ezra, Nehemiah, they were a team, as well. Samuel and David. Ester, she did not say I will perish, then I will perish alone. As she was praying, her background was her uncle Mordecai. Do you agree? And, also, the Early Church members, alone they did not pray. Just as we read in the scriptures, they gathered together in one place and constantly prayed. The greatest blessing at the time, the Holy Spirit came. Is this true? The leader of the church, Apostle Paul, he was imprisoned. Jerusalem, the Early Church members, they came together and prayed. Miracle took place. The king was perished, and Paul was freed. Believe that the angels were mobilized.
The Lord, He could be alone. However, He abided in His disciples. If you look at Marks 3, He called onto His disciples separately. The reason is to be with them. Do you believe that? He also said this at the end, ‘I have power in Heaven and Earth, but go and make disciples in all nations, baptize them in the Triune God and allow them to fulfill what I have given to you.’ And, He promised to be with us to the ends of the Earth. So, He never was alone. He always worked together. Is this true? Do you agree? So, He is the head and we are the body—we are one. So, the disciples of the Early Church members, when they when out for evangelism, they formed a team and went out. The greatest evangelist Paul had his own team. All the members, their names are record in Romans 16. So, having oneness or united is a great mystery.
Then, you can ask this question, ‘then does God only work when we form a team?’ So, Joseph, he was alone as a slave and became very prosperous. He alone became the governor of Egypt. You could ask that question. So, if you read the bible, you could as this question, ‘was he really alone?’ Joseph was the descent of who? He was the great, great, great son of Abraham. If you look at Hebrews, in one tabernacle, it was Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Joseph. Honestly speaking, God did not call only Abraham. He called the entire family line. They shared the covenant that Abraham held. So, within God’s covenant, Joseph was within one team. Do you believe that? It wasn’t Jospeh by himself was he able to make that miracle. And, for, Moses, it was his sister, brother, Jethro, Joshua and Caleb—they were one team. What about David? He was running away from King Saul, and him alone became the king of Israel. That is not the case. When he was a runaway, he had friends and loyal servants. When David became king, all those servant became his servants. All the names are recorded. Also, you could add the Early Church member Deacon Steven, he was martyred. Actually, he was a team with seven other deacons. So, the background, they had that one covenant, as well. Of course they had difference in level, but they were one team. The outer appearance seemed like they were by themselves, but honestly, they were one team.
So, if you are alone, you will perish. But, if you are together, you will overcome. When you are alone by yourself, you will always fail and lose. Even, when she was by herself and did something alone, she failed. Judas betrayed Jesus and lead Jesus to death. It is said that Judas went his own way. So, when you are alone, you will definitely crumble. This is the introduction. So the Mark’s Upper room, they prayed together and formed oneness, to have that unity. So, they, the people, gathered together with one covenant and prayed together. That is a prayer of oneness. So, when you form oneness, you’ll have the effect of condensation. So, when people come together with one meaning and one will, they will have greater effect. So, it is a rightful result to come together and pray together. The Early Church members, the disciples, when they got together and prayed together, they got to experience God’s power. So, because of that prayer of oneness, they were able to overcome everything. What kind of situation did they overcome? What was the situation they were placed?
(1) Even though they were remained after the ascending of the Lord…(Matt. 28:20)
Jesus ascended to Heaven. So, the situation was them by themselves. However, they prayed the prayer of oneness, and Jesus came through the Holy Spirit and was with them. After the prayer of oneness, the Holy Spirit came and as promised, they did the works of Christ. What about the situation they were in?
(2) Even though they were weak, lacking, and poor… (Phil 4:13)
Honestly speaking, they were poor and not rich. However, after receiving the Holy Spirit, they were able to do all things. This is recorded in Phil 4:13, ‘I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.’ They were able to overcome the situation and circumstance, even their environment.
(3) Even though they were inside Roman politics and military, Greek culture, and the Jewish religion (Rom. 8:38-39)
They were oppressed by the Roman politics. They were also oppressed by the Greek culture. And, also, they were in persecution from the Jewish religion. However, they were able to overcome all those obstacles—to do Roman evangelization to open the door world evangelism. And, that blessing came to us, as well. So now, you have the answer. How can I overcome the environment and the situation that I am placed in. All I have to do is believe in Jesus. So, how do I believe in Jesus? Form a team with believers and pray the prayer of oneness, and you will receive power. I hope you’ll be able to do this.
So, as the conclusion, I will give you scripture and how to apply it and pray. There are two scriptures. The Old Testament Psalm 133:1-3. It is a very famous scripture, so you must know it by now. So, Psalm 133 only have three verses. Let’s read from verse 1 to 3:
‘v1. Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!
v2. It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron's beard: that went down to the skirts of his garments;
v3. As the dew of Hermon, and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion: for there the Lord commanded the blessing, even life for evermore.’
So, praising the Lord, you servants of the Lord, makes God happy. So, forming unity and praying together is precious oil poured on the head. And, that is why God said He will give you blessings. He will give you complete blessing. So, starting today, hold onto the covenant. As the children of God, as the people of God, we should enjoy the blessings. We live lesser than nonbelievers because we lost hold of this. So, when you meet someone, you are taken aback and just look at them. You scan them. That is how we are. But, inside the covenant, form a one team. It is recorded in Matthew 28, Jesus also said for not you, but you all to go—‘to form a team and make disciples, baptize them and form a church, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you, and surely I am with you always to the every end of the age.’ So, in the ends days, tremendous things will take place. At that time, if God is with us, nothing else matters.
How can we actualize this and apply this? In your family, form a one team. You have to first confirm the covenant and verify the content of the covenant. Then that the person is the prepared person of God, then it is the person God has attached to you. So, pray for one team. You have to discover it. ‘My husband doesn’t attend church.’ That is why we do Darakbang. Do bible study in your household and pray together in that team. We have our departments: women’s group, men’s group, and our young adult and college group. Get together and pray together. By age, get together and pray. Also, husband and wife, pray together. So, get together and do the prayer of oneness. God will do the work. Is this true?
Last scripture, it is Matthew 18. Three verses, 18, 19, and 20. Let us read together:
‘v18. Assuredly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.
v19. “Again[a] I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven.
v20. For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.’
If you read it in English, it isn’t distinguished clearly. It is recorded ‘you.’ However, in Korean version, it is distinguished as you, us, or we. When they say ‘you all,’ it is saying a team.
Let us pray. Lord, help us to enjoy the blessing of Salvation, forming one with God. Help us to enjoy the blessing in the family, forming one in husband and wife. And, also help use enjoy the blessing of church, of all the congregation holding onto one covenant. Upon them, may You pour down Your blessings. May the Red Sea split. May Jericho fall. Help us to conquer Egypt. May you raise people in the covenant to overcome America. Help us to realize the mystery of oneness and fulfill your desire. Upon Mark’s Upper room, the greatest answer came. Help us to enjoy that greatest plan and grace in our family and personal places. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.