December 17th, 2017
ICA Sunday Pulpit Message
<Intro> Every Day, Every Year, Lifetime, History
Hello, it’s good to see you. We live every day, and we experience things: day and night. We will continue to perceive that the day is bright and that the night is dark. We will naturally come to think that in the daytime, it’s bright so we can work, and in the nighttime, it’s dark so we rest. There are also things we experience every year. We experience that in the winter, it’s cold, and in the summer, it’s hot. That’s why we come to naturally realize that we wear more layers in the winter and wear less in the summer. In the springtime, we sow, and in the fall, we harvest. As we repeat the cycle of years, the more we realize there is a certain time for certain things. We have a time to sow, and we have a time to harvest; this isn’t taught by anyone else. It’s not something we need to memorize, because this thing naturally repeats, over and over.
As you live your life, there will be moments when you’re sad, angry, or happy. You’ll realize that you’ll come to think that if you’re living a good life, then you’ll be blessed, and if you’re living a bad life, then you’ll be punished. These lives pile up and make history. This cycle will repeat. We learn this from repetition. Those experiences will be embedded into your body, and we use the words “root” and “nature”. In psychology, we call this brain washing. Originally, the brain wash started from a positive connotation, but when we think about the word “brainwash,” we think of it as a negative word. This word used to be a sophisticated term, but now it’s negative, and there’s a reason for this. It is negative because the communist regimes used this to teach their principles. Because they were using it in such a negative circumstance, we have come to think of it as a negatively connoted word.
I will talk about how North Korea started, which was founded by Kim Il-Sung. If you haven’t studied about this, then you wouldn’t know, but if you did, then you would think this. Though Kim Il-Sung was a great general who fought for independence, there was a communist named Kim Song-Ju who disguised himself as General Kim Il-Sung and conquered North Korea. Thinking that he was Kim Il-Sung, the naïve people mistakenly judged him as a bad person, even though he is not in actuality. When we think of Kim Il-Sung, we think of the communist regime. It’s the same with brainwashing. It was supposed to be a positive term, but because it was used incorrectly, everyone has come to think of it as a bad connotation.
This also happened when Christianity came to Korea. At that time, males and females would be in different rooms. They were completely separated from each other. After some time, the wall that separated from males and females disappeared, but they still didn’t sit together. At that time, when a man and woman sat together, that was considered to be scandalous. But now, when we see a married couple sit separately, we think that they are fighting. The meanings of things change over time. In the old days, when the deaconess got a hair perm, then that would be considered disrespectful. Even dying your hair was considered to be outrageous, but now it’s such a common thing that’s often looked on as a good thing. Back then, when people saw a lady with permed hair, they thought that the lady was working at a bar, so they didn’t think of it as a good thing. In the old days, when the young people who chew gum and wear jeans acted like hooligans. That’s why if a young church member wore jeans to church, the pastor rebuked the church elders because they thought that the young member was a gangster. There were also a lot of people who played guitar with long hair; playing guitar was thought to be a negative thing at the time, so if you played guitar, others saw that as bad. So brainwashing used to have a great meaning behind it.
In Deuteronomy 6, God relayed an important message to Moses. God used Moses to take the Israelites out of Egypt. The Israelites were enslaved for over 400 years in Egypt. The Israelites who knew about God were enslaved in the powerful nation that did not know about God. Why did they have to struggle so much? They were not able to relay their faith towards their God or children. Deuteronomy 6:6 records, “This day shall be in thine heart.” In order for Words to be in your heart, you need consistent repetition. It also says that you shall teach them diligently. Being able to teach them means that you already know that inside out. It says that you have to teach them and also speak of them repeatedly. Speak of them as you sit in your house and when you walk on the road. Speak of it as you lie down, and you must emphasize it as you get up. “Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads.” If they have a sign, then they would see that in their hand. When they wake up, write it on your hand and attach it to your forehead. Write it on the posts of your house. Post it on the gates. He’s talking about the process of brainwashing; this is learning. Once this continues, this will be our ideology. In communist terms, this is called idealization. However, when a child of God learns this, it’s called the Walk of Faith. You may feel weird and awkward, asking if this is something you absolutely have to do. However, for the people who have children who have been suffering for years on end, they will listen to this differently.
Once you have roots, imprints, and natures on this, God will bless you with 5 doors of blessing. Deut. 6:10 says, “When the Lord your God brings you into the land He swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, to give you—a land with large, flourishing cities you did not build.” God leads to the land of Promise and provides cities. In verse 11, “Houses filled with all kinds of good things you did not provide, wells you did not dig, and vineyards and olive groves you did not plant—then when you eat and are satisfied.”
He will give the house filled with these blessings.
Change the negative connotation of brainwashing into imprints, roots, and nature. So what must we be rooted in? What must we consistently repeat? In order to have nature, we need to do things naturally, and that can only happen when God’s Word—the Gospel—is in your heart.
There are many who say they are Christians and go to church, but about half of them cannot answer the question of why they need to go to church. That’s why they complain about the pastors’ sermons or the elders and deacons. Suppose the pastor didn’t prepare the sermon very well; not that many people will think that they must pray for the pastor. The elders even take some money away because of this lack of “quality.” These churches have become so corrupted. That’s why if you see this, you’ll think, “If I lose the grace of God, I’ll become like that.” If you lose that, you’ll end up complaining about the person and you’ll continue to ask, “Where was God when I needed Him?” And they’ll not go to church, go back to their misbeliefs, not knowing God.
1. Christ is like the master key of all lifetimes and all histories.
1) The flaws, sins, and scars from the past (Romans 8:2)
2) The protection, guidance, and answers from the present (John 14:14-17)
3) The judgement that surely take place in the future (2 Corinthians 5:10)
The one thing that we must know is the Gospel. What is the Gospel? It is the Good News that God, who came as mankind—Jesus, came to save us. Confucius or Buddha aren’t Christ; only Jesus is the Christ. He is the one who came to this Earth, and He became our Lord and Savior. Therefore, Christ is like the master key of all lifetimes and all histories. Just as how the master key of a building can open all the doors, Christ is the same way with our lives’ paths. It’s the Gospel that can overcome the forces of the darkness.
Each individual commits sin, and they have their own flaws and mistakes. There are many people who have scars. There are many people who will smile on the outside while battling their scars and demons on the inside. The unique way to solve all these problems and scars is Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit has given you the solutions. So some people ask, “What answers have Jesus given us? What are the blessings He gave us?” Jesus had died on the Cross for our sins, so if you believe in this, then you are saved and you will be blessed. There were disciples that betrayed Jesus and ran away, yet Jesus forgave them. Even Paul, who was a persecutor of Jesus, was forgiven and converted into salvation by the Lord. Those who believe in the power of the Cross will be restored. It’s not what the pastor does, and it’s not what you do on your own; God does everything. All the problems you have cannot be solved by your family, your friends, or your loved ones. The only one who can save you from your problems is Jesus Christ. If you have a problem you are facing, then pray to Jesus saying, “Dear Lord, I know that you know what I’m going through. I know that the one who leads me through these problems is not my family; it is not my friends; it is YOU, Lord.” He will be with you, and He will give you answers. That is the working of the Holy Spirit which is in Jesus. He will be with you and within you, regardless of whether other people can tell or not. It’s not something that has happened on accident or coincidence; it’s from the guidance of God. John 14:14 says, “You may ask Me for anything in My Name, and I will do it.” In verses 16 and 17 records, “And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever—the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept Him, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him. But you know Him, for He lives with you and will be in you.” God is with you always. Realize that God is leading you. Christ is the master key to our lives filled with past and present problems.
I have one more Bible verse that I want to introduce. It is 2 Corinthians 5:10—“For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.” What is the judgement spoken in this verse? The things in His body, the things done in the Bible, the things imprinted and rooted in you, the things that are brainwashed into you, those are the things that can be judged, be it good or bad. This judgement is the seat of judgement of Christ. This judgement is not something that you’ll get punished for; it’s something that you’ll be rewarded with. How are these rewarded? It depends on what is imprinted in your body. The fact that Jesus is the “master key” must be imprinted in your body, otherwise you will turn into the disciples that betrayed Jesus. If you do not have this correct imprint, you will sway back and forth. If you look at all the current events of the world, there are many believers who are doing bad or wayward things, and it’s because they are not rooted in this Word.
2. Christ is our head, and we are His members. (limbs)
1) Without Him, there is no reason or value of our existence (John 1:3)
2) Each member is connected to other members (2 Corinthians 12:12)
3) A body must live so that its members can live (2 Corinthians 12:26-27)
The Scripture says that Christ is our head and we are His body. Christ and we are one body. There is no body that is headless. How can a body not have a head? God, the Father, is the one who we glorify as Himself. Even though there is nothing else, we glorify Him. However, God, the Son, came as mankind and sacrificed Himself, forgiving sinners all across the world and becoming one family with us. It’s not the family that we can part with over times; we have become the limbs of Jesus. We cannot exist without Jesus Christ. This is amazing love of God. If I die, you die. If I resurrect, you resurrect. Has Jesus ever failed? Has He ever defeated? Has anyone stopped His miracles? That has never happened. Because we became one with Christ, He will make us victorious. This is the Gospel, and that is what Jesus has done for us.
There is one other thing that we must see. It is 2 Corinthians 12:12. When talking about our limbs, we have our arms and legs. However, your feet smell really bad, and it can be very embarrassing, but that doesn’t mean that you can cut it off. If you cut off your pinky toe, you cannot even stand. If you cut off one part of the body, your entire body will be affected. Just as the limbs of your body are connected to each other, the members of the church are connected to Jesus. One member must live in order for others to live. 1 Corinthians 12:26-27 records, “If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it. Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.” This is the relationship we have with Christ.
For example, let’s look at the Moon family. Elder Moon has a wife and two sons. Suppose I criticized Exhorter Moon about how poorly she is doing, and Elder Moon was watching this. He is not going to cheer for me to rebuke her more; he’s going to feel bad and try to make it up somehow. Suppose I criticized David and Daniel; Elder Moon, as their father, may know that they haven’t done well, but he will still feel bad. The church, the saints, and Jesus are all the same.
All of the members are one and the same, so if the members have arguments, then the head will struggle. This means that that family will not grow. This is the same for our relationship with Christ. In Acts 9:3-5, Saul was on his way to persecute the followers of Jesus. Saul did so thinking that he is serving God. Saul has never met Jesus and was only persecuting Jesus’ followers, yet Jesus didn’t ask him, “Saul, why are you persecuting my followers.” He said,” Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?” Acts 26 adds, “It is hard for you to kick against the goads.” It is because those followers and Jesus are one. Similarly, you are one with your fellow church members, and if you attack one of them, then you are attacking yourself; you are only hurting yourself. When you open your spiritual eyes, you will find your relationship with other church members the greatest blessing. This is why you must be rooted in the Word.
3. It is God’s method that He paces other members around you.
1) It is the way to receive all blessings that are prepared within Christ
2) God has placed all blessings to His sons that were chosen within Christ (Ephesians 1:1-12)
3) The body of Christ must be established for its members to reach its glory (1 Corinthians 12:4-11, Ephesians 4:11-12)
Why did Jesus place other members around you? That’s God’s chosen method. If you are surrounded with other members, then you will all be distributed with those blessings. Suppose you have a blessing. That blessing is also within the group as a whole. When you look at Ephesians 1:1-12, you see “who has blessed us” (verse 3), “for He chose us” (verse 4), “He predestined us” (verse 5), “He has freely given us” (verse 6), “we have redemption” (verse 7), “He lavished on us” (verse 8), “He made known to us” (verse 9), and “in Him we were also chosen” (verse 11). These verses all speak of “we”. The blessing is singular. God has placed this singular blessing to us, who are plural. You will be able to enjoy these blessings as much as your members are enjoying them. When you serve your members, you will enjoy these blessings as well. They must succeed in order for you to succeed too. It is a shared fate. Serving your members is the greatest way to invest in yourself for blessings. Where do you find those blessings? You find them in the members of Christ. I’m not saying do not fight within the church, and I’m not trying to criticize those who are currently fighting within the church. This is God’s method.
<Conc.> When the family and church form one within Christ, miracles take place. (Passover, the crossing of the Jordan River, the fall of Jericho, Pentecost Mark Upper room, Early Church)
Christ is the master key, and the members are the method to blessings. Among the members of Christ, you will be able to find the blessings that God has prepared for you. When you serve your members, that’s when you serve yourself. Then, surely, God’s evidences will appear to you; miracles will happen. If you are not brainwashed in this, then you can never become one. When you turn the age of 40, you will have your own pride. Because they are trying to hide it or conceal it with their own clothing, others may not realize that they have their own pride. If they are worshipping other things, it’s because they are rooted in other things. However, I pray that you will be rooted in Christ. What kind of miracles would arise? When all people put blood of the lamb on the doorposts, the miracle of Passover arose. All the Israelites became one and followed the covenant and passed the Jordan River. When the Israelites became one-hearted, the Wall of Jericho crumbled down. Jesus’ disciples and followers went in the Mark’s upper room and prayed together. The miracle of filling of the Holy Spirit took place. All these miracles gospelized Rome. Early Church, which was centered upon Peter, prayed to God so that He would bless them. It’s not about being in good terms; it’s knowing that this is God’s method, and this is the way to receive blessings. You must know that God has prepared blessings through this method. The church have different departments, and when they become one, miracles will occur. May you be full with Christ.
Dear God, we give You thanks. May we be able to only look up to You. May we be rooted in the Word of Christ, and may we see Your miracles. In the name of Jesus Christ, we pray, Amen.