October 15th, 2017
ICA Sunday Pulpit Message
2. The disciples that Christ, the Son of God, left behind
- Soldiers have important tasks they need to fulfill. Even in the Bible, there were many important figures that were soldiers. Abraham had 318 trained men in his household. Moses as well as Joshua and Caleb were soldiers. For our church, we have many military families. The great king, David, he was also a soldier. We could see historically, biblically, and in reality, soldiers are very important people. As we are having the Military Mission Devotion Service today in the year of 2017, I hope the military families would receive important answers.
- This is the second message for “The Son of God Leaves His Disciples.” We will look at what kind of disciples Christ left behind. If you look at verse 16 of today’s Scripture, the names of the twelve disciples whom Jesus called are recorded. It says that Jesus had nominated them, and they were called apostles. They were always with Jesus, meaning that they were the core disciples. Their names were recorded in the Bible. Ultimately, these were the people that Jesus left behind. There were many that tried to follow Jesus, however, these disciples followed Jesus even up to the mountain. Jesus called the disciples He wanted. In the church if someone is telling you to receive training for disciples, then you must realize that God is specifically calling you. So Jesus called the people He wanted and did three important things. Today, we need to know what kind of disciples God wants. Once you know whom He wants, God will bless you greatly.
- Average soldiers only think of physical battles; they know one thing but they don’t realize 99 things. It’s the same with the walk of faith. Soldiers must realize that they are also fighting the spiritual battle. It doesn’t matter how many weapons you have. It doesn’t matter how much soldiers get paid. There are accidents happening within a military unit. They kill their own forces. They fight in battles, and they come back with post-traumatic stress disorder. I’m not criticizing them, but if they don’t know the spiritual fact, they will be seized. Even though they have the greatest weapons, they themselves will die. So solders, you must know that you are having a spiritual battle on this earth.
(1) The disciples that abide (Mk. 3:13, 14a)
- The disciples are with Jesus. Jesus, Himself, was always with God. They named Him Immanuel. What does this mean? It means that “God is with us.” The name of Jesus Himself means that God is with us. Early in the morning, Jesus would have conversations with God. Every morning, He had communicated with God. He was in continuous prayer, and he confessed that He would only do what God desires, that doing God’s work is His meal. The day He was crucified on the Cross, He communicated with God. People speak out what is inside of them. However, the Lord, He was with God, and He was with the disciples. That Jesus is inside of us. That is why we are always with Christ Jesus, our Lord. That is the rightful, natural thing. Jesus was always with God, and He’s inside of us so that we can also be with God. We must realize this.
- Another important thing: what is the reason that people suffer from problems? It’s because men departed from God. Original man, they were created to be together with God. However, men left God. When people say that God exists, many would say, “Don’t say that nonsense.” That is a fundamental problem, and Jesus came to solve that fundamental problem. It is John 14:6. Because of Christ, all of our fundamental problems are solved and we can be with God forever. Being with Jesus is a fundamental blessing to solve our fundamental problems. We don’t simply come to church, but we should realize that because of Jesus our fundamental problems are solved. So what is fundamental? It is a most important thing. We have been resolved. Even if we have nothing, Jesus left behind disciples that know what is important. I bless that you will know this too. God will attach disciples to you within your army. You are with God. You are entrusting everything to God. That is why the 12 disciples lived with Jesus. Because living with Jesus meant living with God as well. I hope that you may believe that you are also with God. All the individuals in the Bible held onto this fundamental blessing. Abraham enjoyed the blessing of being together with God, to the point where people around him noticed how he was receiving these blessings from God. In Genesis 21, people confessed, “God is with you in everything you do.” It was amazing. For you and I, as we walk on our walk of faith, I pray that other people can see that God is with us. For me, I repented last week. I realized that I must become a servant of God. Just like Abraham, I needed to affirm that God is with me. I hope that you will encourage me, I entrust this with you so that you can help me and support me. God also said this to Isaac: “Stay in this land for a while, and I will be with you and bless you.” God sent His angel and said to Jacob: “I am with you and I will watch over you wherever you go.” God said to Moses: “I will be with you always.” God said to Joshua, “No one will be able to stand against you; as I was with Moses, so I will be with you.” God said to Nathan: “I have been with you wherever you have gone, and I have cut off all the enemies from you.” God said to the Israelites through Isaiah: “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Believe that God will be with all of us. These are the disciples that He left behind. This is the most important thing. Disciples that are with God and acknowledge that they are blessed.
(2) The disciples that save the field (Mk. 3:14b)
- God sent His disciples to the field and made them evangelize. What does this mean? While living with Jesus and experiencing God’s power through His Word, you will know the amazing things of Christ and you will share this with other people. This is evangelism and spreading the Gospel. God is good and He is the Most High. In the Bible, for those who share the Gospel, they are considered to have beautiful feet. If you share the Gospel, God will think of your feet the most beautiful. Why would He be so happy? Because the field that the Gospel is proclaimed, the kingdom of God will prevail it. People will be determined for the Kingdom of God.
- What does it mean to go to the field to share the Gospel and change the field? When people go through the city, they may avoid others. God wants disciples who change and revive the atmosphere of the field. God will change the environment so that you can evangelize. Do you remember Acts 8? Philip went to Samaria to share the Gospel. Impure spirits fled. Many leprosies or crippled people were healed. Many rejoiced. The field of Samaria completely transformed. Their states have changed. This is the disciple that Jesus left behind, and the Lord wants us to leave disciples like this as well. I hope you will become the soldier who transforms your field. If you try to share the Gospel, you will first change and then person who receives the Gospel will also change. Why? It is because the commission to share the Gospel is an historical covenant. The age of the New Testament must be the age where we share the Gospel. Make disciples in all nations. That is the covenant of this age. Sharing the Gospel, changing the field must be done in this age. You are receiving covenantal blessing when sharing the Gospel. When this is shared, the covenant will be fulfilled. Jesus will come for the second time. And He will rule over the earth as promised in the Bible. He left disciples behind to prepare for this age. You and I have received this blessing. Soldiers, God has chosen you to fulfill this task. There is nothing more important than this. However there are people who are still not very happy even though they go to church. In this state, you cannot evangelize. That is the work of Satan.
(3) The disciples that do spiritual battle (Mk. 3:15)
- Jesus gave His disciples the authority to drive out evil spirits. You may ask why I’m talking about evil spirits; they are evil and vicious and awful. Some people say there were evil spirits only in the age of the Old Testament. Some say, aren’t you heretical for talking about evil spirits? If you look at the Bible, you will change your way of thinking. If you combine the Old and New Testaments, there are 1189 chapters. Besides Genesis 1-2 and Revelations 21-22, the rest of the chapters are talking about the spiritual world. It talks of the acts of evil spirits. If you truly live your walk of faith, you will change your thinking. In every circumstance, you will see the spiritual acts that are taking effect. Last Thursday, my wife went to UT campus, but I forgot about it. I was mad and yelled at her. That was the devil’s desire. And my wife was actually very shocked, and because I wasn’t enjoying Christ and hindering my wife’s ministry, I was very embarrassed. Afterwards, I did personal worship in the sanctuary. Looking at my phone, seeing my schedule, and noticing that my wife was going to UT campus, I realized that I wasn’t spiritually prepared. I bless you in the name of Christ that you will not do the same as me. If you are prepared spiritually, you will not be deceived. You have to know that in our lives, we are partaking in spiritual battle, and we must see this with our spiritual eyes. Physical battle and spiritual battle; our battle is not material and earthly; it is against the heavenly beings, the celestial beings beyond this world. It is Ephesians 6:10. Jesus gave His disciples the authority to drive out demons. You need to become the disciple of Christ and go to your field to share the Gospel. Use the authority of Jesus to become soldiers and cast away doubts and devils. Everything is in the name of Jesus Christ. Through the name of Christ, you receive answers and break down the forces of darkness. Through Jesus’s name, God’s Kingdom establishes on earth. Through His name, the heavenly army of angels are mobilized. His name is the key to evangelization and discipleship. It is the key to the kingdom of heaven. Jesus said, “On this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.” He gave us the power to overcome Satan. This is what you need to remember. You should not remain in physical battle but fight spiritual temptations in the name of Jesus Christ.
- When I began my walk of faith, no one believed Jesus around me. People, they opposed me and ridiculed me and never listened to me. There is mystery to change that; you can use the power of Jesus’s name. Ask God to give you evidences. Ask all the forces of the darkness would be cast away through Jesus Christ in your family. With this, works will happen and God’s time will come. This is the kind of disciple who fights the spiritual battle. The atmosphere will change, meaning that the forces of darkness will flee away and God’s Kingdom will be established. This is the triumphant blessing. Disciples who are with Jesus have the fundamental blessing. Disciples who share the Gospel have the covenantal blessing. Disciples who cast away the darkness have the triumphant blessing. These are the disciples that Jesus left behind. He left them behind to give them these blessings. If you wish to live as His disciple, you should remember this.
- Let us come to a conclusion. The first blessing is the fundamental blessing; being with God is the most important blessing. If you enjoy the blessing of being with God, the doors of evangelism will open and the evil demons will scatter. Enjoy Immanuel, and that is through worship. You could say that we come to Sunday to give worship. Today, I’m talking about your personal worship. It is recorded in John 4: “God is Spirit, and His worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.” God is looking for those who are worshipping and praising God. Not only on the Lord’s Day, we must give worship individually. For the rest of the week, you must give praise to God on your own. This is the mystery of Immanuel, the greatest method to be with God. Look at your bulletin and give worship. Read the transcriptions on our church websites. You can even enlarge the font size to read it better. It is very important to have a good attitude and read through the bulletin to know what is going on in the church. Pray for the people that may be going through life events, bad or good. Send a message to them and pray for them. You must transform your center and your life to live your walk of faith. There is one more tip that I will leave you with: if two individuals who give personal worship come together will be granted many blessings. It is recorded in Matthew 18. The people who gather to pray, whatever they seek, God shall answer. Praying together sounds easy, but it is 100% bound to fail. I tried this with my wife. Everything comes in the way because Satan is working. Time to time, family worship doesn’t always take place. If two of you shall agree on Earth and pray together, 300% God will answer. I’ve done this: 100% it doesn’t work. It seems very simple, to agree on a simple topic, but it is actually hard. I bless that you will not be the same as me. Succeed in personal worship, then come together to agree and pray on one topic. Me and my wife have not received that answer, but I pray that you shall receive that answer.
- Lord, we have given the Military Mission Devotion Service today. Through the work that You have done, help us find the things that we must do. Help us to become disciples who are with You and enjoy the fundamental blessing. Help us to become disciples that save and change the field by sharing the Gospel. We want to enjoy the covenantal and historical blessings. Help us to open our spiritual eyes and partake in spiritual battle. This week, we are holding onto the covenant of a personal worship. Help us to succeed in praying together in agreement. You said, “Ask, for it will be given unto you.” May this Word be fulfilled in my family. May you bless everyone, from the soldiers to their families. Make us to be the disciples who evangelize. I pray in the Name of Jesus Christ. Amen.