February 4th, 2018
ICA Sunday Pulpit Message
<Intro> Even the unbelievers know the event of Exodus.
The majority of the intelligent people said that passing through the wilderness is impossible and that the land of Canaan is a mighty land because there are 7 tribes and 31 kings. In the land of Canaan, great people, even giants lived on the land. However, those people were not the ones who entered Canaan. Those who entered were Joshua, Caleb, Rahab, and people who were born in the wilderness. In order for them to remember the covenant, God allowed them to pass through the Jordan River. They went into the land of Canaan.
Because of the World Mission Convention, we have many missionaries coming in from all over the world, and there are many people who are serving in the field without any names or recognition. We have many church officers and remnants praying for them.
How can these people do such great works? How can these minorities go into the land of Canaan? It’s because they have seen the covenant. You have to come to the understanding of the people who saw the covenant. Before we put in any efforts, we must know this correctly.
I’ve said this before, but a long time ago, when TVs were starting to develop, there was one comedian who have come out. Maybe it’s because I’m senseless, but I’ve never laughed at this comedian’s jokes, and there are very funny people, but it wasn’t very funny to me. I would look at them and think, “Why are they acting that way?” Why, because they would always make fun of people who were ill. These comedians would always do these acts, and I couldn’t even look at it, but kids thought that it was so funny. Not once have I laughed at it, and I couldn’t understand how anyone found it funny. He came out and reenacted crippled people, and I couldn’t understand the humor. Nowadays, comedians make puns and jokes on words that can be pretty funny. However, because I don’t know the slang, I often have to ask my secretaries.
Why am I sharing this with you? People who saw the covenant know tears. Laughter is important, but your tears are more important. Paul said to Timothy, “I know your tears.” Because ancestors didn’t know missions correctly, Joseph had to become a slave. It’s not something to laugh about; it’s something that brings tears to your eyes. If you truly know the Bible, Joseph was enslaved because the Israelites lost hold of the covenant of world evangelization. God keeps His covenant. God’s promise is world evangelization. Because the Israelites had no interest in that covenant, without bringing the Israelites to that point of suffering, there was no way to share the Gospel. That’s why Joseph became the governor. Jacob’s son didn’t die, but he became the governor. So Jacob led his family to see Joseph in Egypt. This is a sad moment that brings tears in my eyes. Jacob’s family had lost the Gospel and lived like a slave and went to Egypt to find their successful son. At first, Joseph was the only one who was a slave; later on, every single Israelite became a slave. As you’re doing your missions, you have to know the true covenant.
Sometimes, pastors say this: “Oh, the Gospel is so simple. Why do they emphasize it so much?” There are a lot of people who say this, but they are not truly enjoying the Gospel. If a painter does not paint, then they are not a painter. Anybody can play music, but if they have their life coming out through their music, that’s how they are a musician. Paul confessed that he couldn’t measure the height, depth, and width of the knowledge of Christ. Reverend John Calvin said he could believe but couldn’t explain. That is true. He saw something. Often times, people say that they already know Jesus Christ all too well. However, it’s not actually so. That is why we are facing these sorrowful moments. You come to give worship on the Lord’s day. There is a preacher and there are people who come to listen to the Word. They are in the same position. What Word is God trying to give this week? A person who is inside of this is the preacher. What kind of errand must I run for the people of God? What does God want? A person who knows these things is the preacher. They are called a messenger. They receive something and relay it. They are the messengers who run the errand of God’s Word. To the people who are truly holding onto the covenant, the living Word of God is never the same every time they worship. If you think it sounds about the same, that means you are dead. Sometimes other pastors say, “Pastor Ryu, you always say the same thing.” Yes, it is true.
You shouldn’t give water to a dead tree. If you do, it will rot. On the other hand, if you give water to a live tree that is firmly rooted down on the ground, it becomes an important nutrition for it to grow. If you shed sunlight to the dead tree, it will only dry up because it’s already dead. It is the same for the spiritual things. The Israelites lost the covenant. Missionaries and people who are praying for the missionaries, you have to see the covenant of God in your field.
1. Exodus – Grab hold of the blood covenant that frees us from the slavery of Satan.
The miracle of Exodus is not really a miracle in one sense. It was not really necessary. Because the Israelites were not holding onto the covenant, the Pharaoh couldn’t hold onto it either. God raised the ten miracles to remind the Israelites. However, Satan didn’t let them go. The soldiers chased after them. The Israelites ended everything on the Red Sea, but they were chased again. Since the Israelites lost their faith, God allowed them to pass the Red Sea. There are two reasons for this. The Israelites thought that they chose a wrong leader, and even though that they should go back. For those people, God split the Red Sea. To end the lives of the Egyptian soldiers who didn’t believe in this covenant until the end, God used the Red Sea. This event is not something to be joyous about. We have to hold onto the blood covenant that frees from the authority of Satan. This is a tremendous background. The covenant of Passover is a tremendous covenant.
If you lose hold of this, then you will lose hold of everything. You will lose hold of the events of Genesis 3, 6, and 11 and say things like, “I can’t live my walk of faith. There’s no answer to prayers…” You cannot understand the tremendous message of why God told Abraham to leave Ur of the Chaldees and go to the land which He will show. God wants to restore this, however. Hold onto the blood covenant that frees you from the bondage of Satan. Just because many people don’t understand, that doesn’t mean you have to say the incorrect things. Pharaoh had the entire world yet he could not understand. He didn’t know what blood sacrifice was. Should we live that kind of Christian life? We must see the important covenant.
2. Wilderness – Grab hold of the covenant of Christ that breaks down 3 curses.
There’s a miracle that arose in the wilderness, but that’s not really a miracle. The Israelites were given quails to eat and they also saw the pillars of clouds and fire. However, those were not answers, and they were certainly not miracles. The content of Christ is then to hold onto this covenant and come out of this suffering. It’s all about Christ. Build the tabernacle. Look at the content of the tabernacle. It’s all about Christ. Yet the Israelites were holding onto unnecessary things.
I went to this one church and they built a tabernacle in the middle of their small sanctuary. I asked why they made that. They said the tabernacle is important. That is why they fail. The tabernacle is something that symbolizes Christ. We need to hold onto the blood covenant of Christ so that we are freed from the 3 curses. Of course, I’m not saying that it’s all bad. If you had so many land in your church and you can make one room for that, then that’s great. However, that church was small and it was taking over the half of the sanctuary. The covenant God gave us was different. You, as a slave, came out with that covenant. Come out of that suffering with the mystery of Christ. They have no choice but to succeed.
3. Canaan – Enter into the land of Canaan holding onto Christ’s covenant and do world evangelization.
Entering the land of Canaan was not that important. God parted the Jordan River. The walls of Jericho were broken down. The Israelites won against the Amorites. However, that was not the issue. Going to Canna was not the issue. They did all these things, but they lost the Gospel. Now what is the true covenant? It’s for you to go into the land of Canaan holding onto the covenant of Jesus Christ, and spread the Word to others. This is not a religion of Israel.
Let’s say I give this towel to Nara and tell her to give it to Pastor Lee. The towel is not Nara’s. It is mine. I simply ask her to run the errand; she doesn’t need to grow arrogant. Of course, she could enjoy it some. Because you do not understand it, that’s why Satan is working full force. Let’s say a family member rode on a bus to see Nara. Finally seeing Nara, he must be glad. However, some people look at the bus and say that bus is nice. Some people look toward Mary in awe. That’s what Catholicism is like. I find it really strange. Because it is growing in size, people think it’s something. However, more disasters are upon this age. I feel sorry for the Catholics but look at the South American countries that were taken over by the Catholicism; they all became so poor. Sure, you can build hospitals and hotels there, but in doing so, you’re not building the most important thing that is needed in those lands: the churches. They’re missing the most important thing. This is what Satan does. Satan makes us see Exodus without the blood covenant. Satan makes us remember the manna and quails without Christ. The reason for entering the land of Canaan is for the covenant of world evangelization.
Today, you must know what a mission is. If not, the entire world has no choice but to face challenge. You are not “helping” missionaries. We are devoting while enjoying God’s covenant. Still some people think serving God’s servants means helping them. The fact that we are able to pray for and support missionaries is, in itself, a blessing. We must grab hold of God’s important blessing. Hold onto the covenant and go cross the Jordan River. You shouldn’t just remember the parted river. Based on the covenant, cross the Jordan River.
<Conc.> We have to find our method for walk of faith within this.
Within the absolute impossibility, there’s an absolute possibility. Splitting the Red Sea was impossible, but the Red Sea also had to split, and we need to find the reason for that. That’s why God told the Israelites to follow the covenant. What else is important? God told them to build a monument so that they can explain it to the future generations. How important is this message? We are walking the path that we’ve never been before.
It’s already February 4th, 2018. I feel like time is passing by way too fast. I feel like I’ve just came here to give the New Year’s message, and now, it is already February. However, February 4th, 2018 only comes once. We are taking this path for the first time. That means your future is in the hands of God. People who do not know this, they persecuted the Early Church members and perished in the end. Do you know how the Early Church changed the world later? It was to the point where Rome repented, and Christianity became the national religion of many countries. However, people lost the essence. They lost hold of the blood covenant, Christ, and world evangelization.
The age that we’re living in has taken out the Word of God, the covenant of Jesus Christ, and the Gospel. However, there are missionaries that are going out to keep these thoughts alive, in danger of persecution. You must pray for these servants of God who are spreading the Gospel in the midst of persecution.
Because the church grew in power, it was important where the king worshiped. Where must the king be seated? It became a problem. People didn’t need to evangelize because all the officers, businessmen, and everyone came to church. There was no need for evangelization. This is corruption—where the power lies. They were corrupted to the point they sold indulgences to forgive sins.
At this time, Luther only spoke of the Gospel quoting Paul, “For I am not ashamed of the Gospel.” This means he wasn’t burdened by sharing the Gospel. He wasn’t ashamed even when others ridiculed him. “For it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes. The righteous shall live by faith.” Because of this, he was persecuted as a heresy; although there are real heresies, even if you’re slightly different, people label you as a heresy. There’s this one monkey who had one eye, and he found another monkey who had one eye, and those two happened to get married. Their offspring all had one eye. It was to the point where there was a two-eyed monkey, they were treated weirdly and out-of-the-norm. That is why Luther was labeled as heretic. I’ve been to that church where Luther was judged. It’s shocking how this happens every age. People get rid of the Gospel so that they can die and perish.
Missionaries, you must hold onto the covenant of the Gospel that God gives. We must pray for them. Don’t hold onto the outer shell. A miracle arose. So what? You’re losing hold of the content. Jesus took His disciples up in the mountain and explained. “You idiots, that’s not what is important. The miracles are not important. It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all. The Words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life.” It is John 6:63. The disciples didn’t understand this, so Jesus had to drag them up to the mountains and explain. You might be the same. You look at what is visible and say, “Wow!” There is no truth in this.
I mentioned this before, there was this magician named Uri Geller on TV. When he looked intently at a spoon, the spoon was bent. I was an assistant pastor back then and I was so glad that that person was not a pastor. If he were a pastor, everyone will go to his church seeing the miracle. How can he be a person of the covenant? It is better that he is not a pastor.
I bless all the missionaries and people who are attending the World Mission Convention in the name of Jesus that you may have a blessed time of seeing the covenant. All the other answers, God will do on His own.
God we thank You. Open up our spiritual eyes to see the covenant. Open up our eyes to see Your Word, and bless us so that we can be true witnesses. In Jesus Christ’s name, we pray. Amen.