March 3rd, 2019
ICA Sunday Pulpit Message
So, I went back to Korea to participate in the World Missions Conference, and I’m feeling the time difference. So, it’s a physical difficulty I feel because of the time difference I’m in. So, Korea and the US have a different time, and it’s a different space. And the weather is different, too. And, the culture is different. Although my body is in the US, my state of body and habit is still in Korea. There is also discomfort in the fact that I have a different sleeping pattern, and that my body is going with the time of Korea. On the outside, my body tries to follow the time of the US, but it’s not working well. Through this, we can realize that the things that are in our mind, in our nature, are really important. The things that are unseen are more important than the things we can see with our own eyes. For example, if we are shaking hands, with a smile on our face, but in our hearts, if we have a hatred and animosity, what would this be like? At the end, there will be conflicts, and you’ll be separated from that person. So, the inner state of the heart and mind are more important than the physical appearance. There is something more important than the physical state, mind and heart. We call this the soul. So, where our soul is in, the background of the soul is very important. As I live my walk of faith, I realized that this is really important. As we live our lives, the space we are living in, it’s the world. And, without us realizing, the entrance we have is toward the world. As we are attracted to the things of the world, we’re ignorant of the spiritual things.
In the Old Testament, there is this word. The word is of Hosea, chapter 4 verse 6. It’s recorded that my people are perishing because they lack knowledge. It’s recorded, you have casted away My knowledge. Therefore, I’m casting away you Israelites. Lacking knowledge because they didn’t study, is it righter that God casted them away? It was hard for me to understand, but looking the next verse, I understood. In the next verse, it said you have forgotten the law of God. Therefore, I’m forgetting my sons of God. So, the knowledge was not the education we receive in school, it was the knowledge of knowing God’s word. It was the spiritual knowledge of knowing God. So, in the bible, it is recorded, that if you lose hold of the word of God and the will of God, being spiritually ignorant, then our future generations will also perish. In fact, many people know the flow of the world and the knowledge of the world very well, but they lack interest in the spiritual knowledge. Many people think spiritual stories are of ghost or demons, but they don’t know the deep details of this. But, the bible says, it is rightful to receive hardship, and in the end, perish. So, as we receive salvation, it is the will of God for us to know the spiritual side. We get to reflect on ourselves who follow the things of the world instead of recognizing the spiritual things.
1. The me that used to follow the things of the world
So what happens if we lose hold of the spiritual things and hold to the things of the world? We are sensitive to what other people say about us. We are sensitive of the public opinion. We are sensitive to the atmosphere. And, we feel more interested in the situation or circumstance we are in. It all happens because we are spiritually dark and spiritually ignorant. And, the fact that we are so interested in the present state, it’s because we are spiritually ignorant. May you realize this.
In Genesis chapter 12, God calls Abraham. God calls him as the ancestor faith, but Abraham followed the reality that he could see with his own eyes. Once he reached the land God told him to go, there was a famine. He didn’t even think to ask God, ‘God, why did you call me to this place? There is nothing to eat.’ He didn’t even ask this question, to hear that he’ll be the source of blessings and that I will make this place a great nation, that I’ll make you overcome all people. Abraham didn’t remember this promise. Instead, he goes down to Egypt to find food. And, as we all know, afterwards, Abraham faces great difficulties. It is true. So, if you lose hold of the spiritual things and follow the things of the world, people who are saved will face hardships. It was ourselves who were spiritually ignorant and followed the way of the world.
So, why is it the people of the world giving sacrifices and serving religion? It’s because they are in spiritual poverty that they try to find something that is spiritual. In their lives, they face hardships. When they feel hardships, there is a spiritual abundance they could look toward, but they are not aware of this. Because they have departed from the Lord, they can’t receive the glory of the Lord. It is recorded in Romans chapter 3 verse 23, all have committed sins and cannot go into the glory of God. And, inside God, there is a spiritual abundance, a glory of God. And, because they have departed from God, they can no longer receive this spiritual abundance and are spiritually poor. They want to fill this up, so they do idol worship and finding religion. This is our state before receiving salvation.
And, going beyond spiritual ignorance and spiritual poverty, we fall into spiritual powerlessness. Because we lack this spiritual power, we are mentally sick and psychologically sick. Therefore, there are all these problems of depression and mental illness. And, if you have this spiritual power in our mind and heart, we can overcome this. If we have this spiritual power, or the authority, we can overcome this. Because we lack the spiritual power, our minds and hearts are weak. That is why they fall into mental illness, depression and inability to sleep. What am I trying to say? In this world, many people are in these three problems. They are fallen in the spiritual ignorance, spiritual poverty, and spiritual powerlessness. This is an important fact. This isn’t something Harvard teaches. This is something parents should be teaching their children, but it isn’t happening. This is why they are all falling down—falling into drug, falling into addiction. I took care of my children will all my heart, but why are my children like this? It’s not your children’s fault that they don’t know this spiritual fact and turn out this way. So, there is something that solves this problem of this age and to heal.
For this, God gave us this Gospel. There is a reason God sent us Christ. It is true. And, as Jesus Christ gave us this knowledge of us whom have departed God and in spiritual ignorance. And, it was Jesus Christ who have liberated us from all our sins. And, when we were lacking power, oppressed by Satan, it was Jesus Christ who solved this problem. It was Jesus Christ who gave us spiritual liberation. It was Jesus Christ who gave us spiritual abundance. It’s in Jesus who has the name of the authority of spiritual victory. Is this true? It is for us to not be stolen from these blessings. That is why God sent us Jesus Christ. It is Gospel that solves our spiritual problems and is with us in the Holy Spirit.
So, there might be people in this place that may not have conviction that Christ is in their hearts. There might be some people who say others say Christ is with us with the Holy Spirit, but I don’t believe this fact. There is one thing that can solve this. It is to give the confession to have Jesus inside your heart. Just as I drink this water, and it flows in my body, if we give this confession, Jesus will also come in our bodies. It is making our bodies a holy temple. And, this fact is not in any other religion. It is a word that only God can speak: that I will be with you, that I will enter inside of you, that I dwelling with you eternally, that I will take responsibility to the very end. We call this acceptance. We call this salvation. We call this becoming a child of God. We call this the content of the Gospel. And, those who receive this tremendous blessing were the people in the scripture of the early church. It was then who prayed in Mark’s Upper Room and received the filling of the Holy Spirit. This salvation and this spiritual power, it is not found in the world. It is something people who have interest in the world cannot receive. It is something that is not found in the world and is completely different from the world. This is something the people of the world are not able to know.
We read in the bible the scripture for today. So, as they received the filling of the Holy Spirit and spoke in tongue, this is what the people said. The people of the world reacted, saying that they drank too much wine. It is because they are not aware of this. They do not have this spiritual knowledge. It is because don’t know the word of God. And, it is something they don’t have, so they try to express this with what they do have. Those who spoke the tongues and received the Holy Spirit were the people who had something different from the world. Is this true? This is Amen? Do you believe this?
2. The people that had things that are different from the world
So, the people that had the things that were different from the world, they had the different start, progress, and result. Some people say the start is when the parents sleep together. But, what is the start for the people who have salvation? It is recorded in Ephesians chapter 1 verse 3 to 5, before creation, before the world, before Satan fell, all the universe was created, and it is said that God chose us in Jesus Christ, that God has selected us. And, who would know all this? We would call this a tremendous blessing. And, the fact that we were chosen, Satan fears this fact. It is those whom God has started, and they were surrounded by the mighty hand of God. That is why Jesus proclaimed to John, I have given them eternal life—they will never perish, and no one will take them from my hand. The Father created the world, and there is no one who can take Him away from us. How thankful are we of this fact? It’s okay if we make mistakes, if we are lacking, and it’s because God is holding us. No one can make us perish or fail. We have this start. And, people had this conviction, so they were able to go into the lion’s den, were able to go into the furnace, and were able to go in with happiness. They were boldly able to give their neck to the sword. I’m not saying you should martyr. But, if you have this conviction, you could transcend all the situations. It’s a different knowledge.
How is the process different? There should be a standard, a standard to the process. And that is the word of God. It is to decide according to the covenant. Is this true? And, God give the word to those He loves. And, God give the covenant to those who love to listen to the word of God. The fact that He gives us the fulfilling word is Him showing us His love. So, if He doesn’t love, He would not give us the word, and we would be ignorant. We are empowered by the love His gives with the word, and that is why we are standing tall. We are filled with the faith.
There was a period for the Jews, the day of the Pentecost. What do they do on the Pentecost? Where do they go? They go to the temple in Jerusalem and worship. But, at that time, there was someone who did not go to the temple, instead staying in their house in the upper room. If they go to the upper room, it’s not someplace that gives our prizes. There are no benefits. And, going in detail, it’s a loss to them to go there. At that time, they were detached from society, so it was a tremendous loss. It’s a great loss to their life? But, why did they go to the Mark’s Upper Room despite knowing this fact? They went there because of the word and the direction of Jesus. Jesus said ‘do not leave Jerusalem and await for the word of God. John gave the baptism through the water, but in a few days, I’ll give the baptism with the Holy Spirit.’ So, even though they were at a loss, they followed the word of Jesus. They followed, made the decision, to follow the word of Jesus.
Church members that I love, may you follow the word of God. Do not follow the circumstance, the atmosphere, or the situation. Do not follow the public opinions. May you move according to the covenant. If you don’t do this, you’ll face a tremendous loss. The word that tells to not eat the fruit of knowledge of good and evil, they had tremendous failure because they looked at the outer appearance. Then there were people who did not believe there’d be a great flood and faced great judgment. And Abraham faced tremendous failure when he didn’t believe to stay in the land God had promised and instead went to Egypt. But, if we are inside the covenant, we will seek answers, for sure. And, if you are inside Me, inside the word, I will answer. This is what Jesus said John chapter 15 verse 17. May you follow the word.
And, of course, the result would be different. Those who gathered in Mark’s Upper Room, they became the witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and the ends of the world. Although they were persecuted, they were witnesses to the end of the earth. They had a completely different end. To be honest, the end has to be good. And, I bless you, may your result become great. So, your result should have meaning, and it should be abundant. I praise God who will work, and this is the result that God gives to us. The result that is different comes from the absolute power of God. The power of God will complete us to the end of the day, allow us to have victory, allow us to be praised. At this time, I praise God for His grace and His love, that it is completely different.
3. Let us enjoy the things that are different from the world
It is us that are the problem. If the early church had this much success, then what should we do? It is to choose the things of God. It’s to hold to the things not existing for we have something different from the world. It is the three things. So, may you start the day holding to the word that will be fulfilled. The word that is fulfilled will become the light to your path. That word will be fulfilled. And, once again, from last week to this week, we’re look at Numbers. God is not human, and He does not lie. He is not human, so He does not change His mind. It is recorded like this, God is not a man that He should lie. It is saying that God isn’t someone who will lie. Neither the Son of Man that should repent. God is not someone who will repent. Is this true? Does He speak and then not ask? It is God who will fulfill us, it is something so sincere. May this word of God become our standard of life. And, we call this the people of the word. God gave us this opportunity. And, God will put us in some kind of circumstance or situation. When we are in this situation, are we going to follow the word of God or follow the situation? This is not a time for you to have conflict, but a time for you to have confession. May you give this confession and follow the word. And, it is today’s Word.
The second thing is for us to call the name of answers. Do you remember John chapter 16 verse 24? It is recorded, until now, you have not asked anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete. It is Jesus Christ who solved all our problems. It’s the name Jesus Christ who will save us from the darkness. It is the name of Jesus Christ who transcended all the situations. That is the prayer God wants to give. The name that is fulfilled in will of heaven will be the will of the land. Grabbing hold of the word, may you pray in the name of Jesus Christ. Definitely, you will receive answers. There are a lot of problems you need answers for. May you stand before Christ and address this problem to Christ. For short, God will work before this. God will give you the answer, and God will give you the victory. Our first priority should be prayer. May the church members of Immanuel Church of Austin, may you be the people who pray the most. Although we don’t have much, that we are lacking in power, may we pray the most. This is the greatest resolution we can make in front of God.
And, number three. What is the reason for the word to be fulfilled and to answer to our prayers? It is for us to do the thing most valuable. What is this? To save the souls. It is much greater than material wealth. It is for us to be used in saving the souls and to do evangelism and missions. The reason for Jesus to die on the cross was for this. It is God’s desire to save the people. And, there is one thing we must know. God has prepared all the people who must be saved through us. God has prepared the disciple that should be raised through us. So, because God has prepared all this, all you have to do is seek this out. Once you receive this answer and blessing, from head to toe, you’ll feel this thrill, releasing all these good hormones. In the past, when you were not used by God; now, you are being used by God. How thankful are we for this?
And, for those old of age, they will look so lively. You may not be believing this fact. So, I went back to Korea and did this body check. I found out my age for my base. I got the age of 25. I did not want to boast about this, but for you to better understand this, I’m telling you. The doctor asked maybe you don’t drink or smoke. I said of course I don’t do those things. And, not only do I not smoke or drink, I receive the strength from God. So, when I heard that I was the age of 25, I felt really happy. And, my mother knows of my habit because she raised me. She knows I’m very weak. So, it was expected that I’d pass away in an early age. But, my body age being 25 is a miracle. My wife also got this body age, so when she comes, may you ask her.
So, to be used by God, your mind and heart will become very lively. It’s not with our aim do we evangelize. It’s because it’s God’s desire. And, just like we were saved without any costs, we’re giving this to Him. Because God prepared them, we are raising them to become disciples. This is when God is pleased the most, and they are having the feast. On this earth, God has allowed and guaranteed this blessing. There is something God has promised. That God will bless. It is recorded in Acts chapter 13 verse 48, when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad and honored the word. The Gentiles who have never heard the word of God before, when they heard this word, they were in joy after hearing this word. And, for this word, they praised the Lord. And, it says that all who were appointed for eternal life believed. There are people who are prepared to receive this eternal life. They are prepared in the field. How great is it to find them in the field and raise them? And, we are so thankful because it is evidence that God is using us. In this life, God’s glory is taking place. And, as this glory of God is taking place, all the darkness flee: the illness and poverty, all the darkness and forces, and the curses of Satan will crumble down. May you believe this. If the glory of God takes place, it is all finished. May you have this blessing of God using you. Doors of heaven will open, and God will use you continuously for the rest of your life.
Let us pray. Dear living God, God of glory, we confess that You are our Father God. And, just like the word that You have given us, may we pray over this. May we have victory in our fields. And, with the things different from the world, may we seek this and enjoy this. And, may we receive the grace that is different from the world. In Jesus Christ name we pray, Amen.