December 3rd, 2017
ICA Sunday Pulpit Message
<Intro> Book - Holy Bible, Stuff - Holy Stuff, House - Holy Temple, People – Saint
A long time, in Korea, when families gathered together for a meal, there were many households who would separate the grandfathers and fathers from the children and females. A young child, who doesn’t know what’s going on, will go over to the grandfathers and fathers’ table, see something good, eat it, and the father will scold him. The meal set for them is only for them. Nowadays, we will eat at the same table and have the same meal, but back then, they distinguished the meals from the food that the father and grandfathers can enjoy it, not the children or mothers.
There is a book: the Holy Bible. It is just like any other book—printed on paper—but we distinguish it as the Holy Bible. The Holy Temple is the same; they are like any other temple, but we distinguish it as God’s Temple. Because God uses it, God is upon it. Because it belongs to God, we distinguish it as being holy. For you and I, God has selected us separately. We belong to God, so no one can touch us. No one can attack us. Jesus said this in John, “I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand.” It is also stated in 1 John 5, “We know that anyone born of God does not continue to sin; the One who was born of God keeps them safe, and the evil one cannot harm them.” This is because God is with us. God can be anywhere, but He is especially with us.
1. God is with us, dwells within us.
1) God is everywhere. (Ps. 139:7-12)
2) He is in the Holy temple, and he is in wherever the saints gather. (Ex. 40:34-38, Mt. 18:20)
3) Especially he dwells within us. (1 Cor. 3:16, Jn. 14:17, Rom. 8:9)
Even though God is invisible to our eyes, God is within us. God is everywhere; He is in Heaven and on Earth. Whether you are in the dark or the light, God is with you. He is the Lord of all creations, so He has the power to be omnipresent. Satan has his limits, but God is everywhere.
In the Old Testament, when the Israelites came out of Egypt, God was with them in the temple. He gave them detailed instructions to create the tabernacle. If you look in the last chapter of Exodus, there are special things listed. It says that the temple was filled with God’s glory to the point where Moses could not enter the tent of meeting. His House can be either the temple or the people. God’s glory will be with the church or the people who are filled with prayer. Saints in the temple of God, when you pray, you will be filled with God’s power. (1 Cor. 3:16) God desires us to enjoy His glory and power. That is His will and His plan. God, who is omnipresent, is with us. We become His abode, His dwelling, and His house. Confess that you are God’s temple. Even if you’re old and hair has gone all grey, you are God’s temple. Even if the child is young and is bad at his studies, he is still God’s temple. Even if you’re powerless and you’ve received nagging from your wife, you are still God’s temple. Even if you are the wife who always nags and complains, you are still God’s temple. You have to open your eyes.
Last week, we talked about a healing message regarding God’s silence. Today is the second part of the healing message. We need to open our spiritual eyes that go beyond our relationship with others. We try to do well in personal relationships in order to protect ourselves. For the people of God who have their spiritual eyes open, they must serve others because they see God’s temple.
2. The way to serve God and receive His blessing is in God’s people.
1) Abraham, Noah, Moses, David
2) Paul, Onesimus, Philemon
3) Jesus Christ (Mt. 10:42, Mt. 18:10)
How can I serve God? The way and the method reside in God’s people. When you serve those who serve God, then you are serving God. I will give you examples through the Scriptures. Abraham is the forefather of faith, and personally, I favor Abraham. Because I was from a poor family, I liked that Abraham had such a fruitful household from the bottom up. He had over 2,000 people living with him in his own household. Sometimes I pray that I want that same household, and when my wife hears, she tells me to get it together. How was Abraham able to receive these blessings? It was because he served the people of God. Abraham praises that he won the battle, and he gives tithe to God. Abraham was serving a spiritual authority well. He received the spiritual blessing of becoming the forefather of faith. He received the blessing of fortune and finance. He saw the glory of God, and he served Him. If you remember the Pharisees, if they saw God dwelling within Jesus, then they would have not killed Him. They were blind from their greed and jealousy.
Noah received a lot of grace from God. He became the righteous man of his age and was the main figure of the miracle of the ark. In Genesis 5, you can find Noah’s lineage. Enoch was Noah’s great-grandfather and he was taken up to the heaven without dying.
Over 300 years, Enoch dwelled within God, and his blessings were passed down through his following years. Enoch’s son and Noah’s grandfather, Methuselah, lived for 969 years. “Methu” means to die and “selah” means to be sent. Enoch knew that when Methuselah died, God’s wrath would come with a great flood. Noah was named so that while God’s wrath would come, Noah would save them. He was chosen as God’s person. He did not disrespect his parents, but he served them as God’s people. With God’s grace, he was chosen as a righteous person. Noah had three sons: Shem, Ham, and Japheth. When Noah got drunk, his sons knew about it. Ham reported exactly what he saw to his brothers without leaving anything out. Hearing this, Shem and Japheth covered their father with their clothes. When Noah found out about this, he proclaimed a word of blessing and a word of curse. Why did he curse his son? The beginning is important: Noah did not curse Ham, but he cursed the next generation of Ham. Because Noah, he was not only the person of God, but he was also the priest of God, and Ham was talking about bad things about the priest. Ham was uncovering the bad things of the spiritual figure. Shem and Japheth, however, saw the righteous things of Noah, and so they were blessed by Noah. Ham made a mistake. Shem and Japheth received great blessings. Please do not misunderstand; I am not saying that you need to treat me well in order to not be cursed. Spiritual authority does not just lie in the pastor; any older figure is a spiritual authority to you. Treat them all with respect.
Moses was the same case. Moses’ sister was Miriam. She was older than Moses and she was a prophet. God raised Moses greatly, but Moses did something strange. He married a dark-skinned woman. So Miriam talked bad about Moses, who was a spiritual authority, and she was stricken with leprosy. Also there were people under Moses. They were Joshua and Caleb. They were loyal and committed disciples. Joshua became the successor of Moses and Caleb conquered the Promised Land. They served God who was in Moses.
There are many evidences in the Bible about this. Take David and King Saul. King Saul was possessed with demons, so he followed David to try to kill him. However, David had his spiritual eyes open. Even though King Saul was not doing his duties, David saw King Saul as the anointed one by God, so he continued to serve him. Later, God stated that David and He had the same mind; they were connected. That’s why David received blessings. However, David had a servant named Ahithophel who was a brilliant strategist. Because of Ahithophel, David could win all his battles. However, David commits a sin. He took Bathsheba, the granddaughter of Ahithophel and the wife of Soldier Uriah. In order to quiet his sin, he killed Soldier Uriah, the husband. Ahithophel was enraged and he wanted to take revenge. During the time of Absalon’s revolt, Ahithophel stood on the side of Absalon. Eventually, Ahithophel miserably committed suicide. Because he didn’t see God within David, he died.
It is the same for Paul. Paul had two disciples. One of them was Philemon. Philemon was wealthy and was a leader. He had a servant named Onesimus. One time, Onesimus stole Philemon’s money and tried to run away. Though he was captured, Paul shared the Gospel to Onesimus and told him to go back to his master. Paul wrote a letter to Philemon to take in Paul’s son, Onesimus. That is the book of Philemon. “I appeal to you for my son Onesimus, who became my son while I was in chains. Formerly he was useless to you, but now he has become useful both to you and to me.” So how did Philemon feel? What did he do? He embraced Onesimus, who was appointed by Paul as a person of God. Philemon accepted God within Onesimus and Paul. So Philemon became even wealthier. He served Onesimus to the point he became a leader of a church. Though it was more common that a master would kill of a disobedient slave, Philemon served Onesimus.
Jesus said, “And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones who is my disciple, truly I tell you, that person will certainly not lose their reward.” The angels are protecting over even the smallest person. To serve God is to serve God’s people. We do not serve them because we are afraid of them or because it’s troublesome. We serve them because God is with them. There’s a reason that God is with them; it means that God has a plan for them. This is why you serve the spiritual figures and those under them.
When I was young, my mother rebuked me really harshly once. At that time, I didn’t know why, but now I understand. I was complaining to my mother in front of her friends. If I was with her alone, she would have tried to comfort me, but because I complained in front of her friends, my mother was embarrassed. At that time, my mother rebuked me very harshly. My mother wouldn’t get mad for a long time, but I remember it going on for quite a while. If you have your spiritual eyes open, then you cannot say bad things to your spiritual authorities in front of others. Nowadays, you have SNS such as KakaoTalk. People will send things to the remnants. Now, some people will read things and send a message that confirms that they saw it, but there are some remnants who don’t even read it or send a reply. This can be misunderstood by the older generations, so remnants, do not give them a reason to misunderstand. And adults, please do not misunderstand; try to understand that they are intimidated by you, not trying to disrespect you. We should be able to see people around us because we have to be together. If you see that God is with a person, then you will receive blessings. This is a message of healing. Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, anyone who gives you a cup of water in my name because you belong to the Messiah will certainly not lose their reward. Let the little children come to Me, and do not hinder them.” Do not belittle others because God is with them. This is the message of Christ. God has all the power and authority of heavens and the earth. He could have sent all of us to hell. He saved us because He has His specific will, vision, reason, and plan in us.
3. God’s purpose that He is trying to fulfill through His people.
1) God’s power that can be with everyone. (Lk. 19;40, Num. 22:28-30)
2) God’s authority that can be with the chosen people. (Ezr. 1:1, Rom. 10:1-2)
3) God’s blessing that can be with the people He specifically raised. (1 Jn. 1:20,27)
What is the reason that God placed His people around us? There is a thing that we need to fulfill through them. What does this mean? It means that God has the power to be omnipresent. It is recorded in Luke: “I tell you, if they kept quiet, the stones will cry out.” In the Old Testament, there was a cave where donkeys spoke. He performed a miracle to stop the wicked priest from speaking. The reason God placed His people around you is so that He can place His holy things around you. God allows us to hear His voice through the people around us, through the people who are lower, and even through the non-believers. For those who are spiritually sensitive, they will recognize this.
We have to acknowledge God’s authority to be with people. In Ezra 1:1, God raised King Cyrus. Even though Cyrus was a non-believer, God used him to carry out His work. He saved the Israelites. Believers and non-believers, they are all from God. These authorities are all from God. Those who are disobeying these authorities are disobeying God. If you have your spiritual eyes open, you cannot do bad things to non-believers. We believe in Jesus. Because the Right is not doing so well, God is raising the Left. I’m not trying to get into politics, but that is what is happening in our world right now. I used to think that it would had been better if Kim Koo became the president instead of Rhee Syngman. I didn’t like former president Rhee Syngman much. Though he was a Christian, when I saw the things he was doing, I realized that he was not a saved Christian. In order to do evangelization, God raised this president. We need to be able to acknowledge this.
We also need to see the blessings that can be with the people that God raised. God raised many faithful individuals. God called Abraham and blessed him. He said that those who blessed him will be blessed, and those who cursed him will be cursed. Though Abraham sold his wife twice, though those are not things that we are able to understand, God was with him. God called Moses. God made Moses to take the Israelites out of Egypt. Moses was a murderer. Even if a pastor has killed someone, served a sentence, went to theology school and opened up a church, the churchgoers should see that the pastor is doing the work of God and support him. There aren’t many people who are willing to do this. They are blinded by worldly things and fail to see that God has blessed this person. The Israelites who obeyed the words of Moses entered into the land of Canaan, whereas the ones who didn’t obey did not enter the land. God raised King David. David committed adultery, but God was with him as well. Apostle Paul had epilepsy, but God was with him. To serve God and receive God’s blessings, you must serve God’s people.
<Conc.> Let God abide and stay within all people. (Acts 1:8, Matt. 28:19, Mark 16:15)
Let God abide and stay within all people. How do we allow this to be? What is the way for God to be with people? It is to overcome the gates of Hades and realize that Jesus is Christ. Through that person, God will be able to proclaim His Word. Bless him so that he can make disciples in all nations. God will give them evidences through all people who are under them. Pave a way so that you can share the Gospel. God will give you evidences to proclaim the Gospel to all nations.
O Father, give us spiritual eyes so that we can see Your people. Help us to serve spiritual figures and those who are under those spiritual figures. In the name of Jesus Christ, I pray. Amen.