June 26th, 2016
ICA Sunday Pulpit Message
Absolute Goal for the Gospel Noble Family – Restoration of the Gospel (17)
God’s miracle belongs to those who enjoy the Gospel (Jos 19,1-9, 49-51)
It’s good to see you. Greet those around you. Have you had a good week? Today’s title is, “God’s miracle belongs to those who enjoy the Gospel”. First, it’s not a story that I’m sharing, it’s the word of the Lord. I have prepared this message, but it’s from the Lord, who is with us. Look at Matthew 5:5. It says blessed are those who are meek because they will inherit this. It doesn’t mean that they will inherit real estate. It means that the inheritance that God will give is for the meek at heart. He will provide. This is an inheritance that He will give to believers. We always see answers that are small and large. Receiving continuous inheritances are different things. I bless that all of you will receive His inheritance beyond the level of receiving answers.
1. When you realize the Gospel, the answers will begin and when you make choices according to the Gospel, you will receive God’s inheritance
(1) The Gospel is the fact that Jesus is the solution to all of life’s problems and He is always with you (Jn 19:30, Mt 16:16, Jn 14:16-17)
(2) When you accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and pray in His name, you will experience God’s answers (Jn 1:12, Jn 15:7)
(3) Once you resemble Jesus Christ’s attitude and character, you will enjoy God’s inheritance (Mt 5:5)
When you realize the Gospel, the answers will begin. Moreover, your choices are based on the gospel, you will receive an inheritance. We may have a standard of realizing the Gospel, but not enjoying it. We are looking at Joshua. The Israelites are taking the land that they won. You will see that a majority of the tribes are allotted their portion of the land. Today’s scripture are the remaining tribes are a minority. They are receiving the last portions of the land. If you look in verse 1, which tribe receives the allotment? It was the Simeon tribe. Who are they? Jacob had 12 sons and one of them was Simeon. It was his far descendants who received the land. They had a special characteristic. Their portion came with the portion of Judah. All the other tribes were separated. Only the Simeon’s land came from a different tribe. They didn’t receive their set of blessings. Why? We need to find the covenant here. When Jacob was alive, there was a crucial event. In Genesis 34, Jacob had a daughter. She went shopping in a foreign land. When she was travelling, she was offended by one of the males. This guy, Shechem, liked the daughter, Dinah. He asks Jacob for his daughter. Dinah’s brothers overheard this. Instead of courting her, Shechem took advantage of her. Jacob’s sons, Simeon and Levi were angered. Shechem tried to negotiate with them and trade goods as well as women. In exchange, he wanted to marry Dinah. Simeon and Levi used their wits. They said that they were Israelites, the chosen people of God. So they couldn’t associate themselves with others who aren’t circumcised. So Shechem brings this news to his family. This is when Shechem’s people received circumcision. You know that you would be in pain for days. Knowing this, Simeon and Levi go in and kill all of Shechem’s people. Jacob is shocked because they are great in number. Circumcision is an event what they are doing before God. Before God, they become people of God. They misused the covenant of God and killed all these men. Simeon and Levi were not able to manage their anger. After that, a long time passed. This was when Jacob was about to pass away. Jacob had all his children lined up before him and prayed a prayer of blessing. He prays for Simeon and Levi at the same time. That’s in Genesis 49:5-7. They’re brothers. Jacob curses them instead of blessing them. They will be cursed because of this. This is what happened. It is because of this prophetic prayer that this happened to the Simeon tribe. The Israelites had exodus. At the time, Simeon’s tribe was numbered at 60,000. Then the numbers dwindled to 20,000. If you look in Deuteronomy 1, it says that when they were fighting the indigenous people, they faced many attacks. They were able to take a part of the land; they were continuously pushed back south. So they had to stay in Judah. Simeon is a saved person of God. Instead of holding onto the blessing of God’s covenant, he was more overtaken by his own feelings. The consequences would be paid by his descendants. In other words, the people of God needed to enjoy the covenant of God, but they lost ahold of the blessings. I am not saying that the descendants should pay for the sins of their ancestors, but the sins flow down from generation to generation. We need to fight this with the holy spirit. What happened to the tribe of Levites? They were a good example of this in Exodus 32. This is when they were walking through the wilderness. They created a golden calf as an idol. At that time, the Levites didn’t bow to it. God had great anger towards this idol. The 3,000 who served this idol died by decapitation. The tribe of Levites took up arms and killed their own people. This is when Moses proclaims that in order to free up God’s wrath, they took up the Covenant. On this day, the Lord will bless you. In order to kill people, you need a lot of anger. They used their anger to accomplish God’s covenant. In Numbers chapter 25, a similar event takes place. This is when the Israelites are serving the Baal of Peor. One of the Levite people, Phinehas, rises up. Because idol worship was so common, their culture was full of lewd conduct. They realized that all the people were about to die due to idol worship. God said that because of the actions of one person, I will save the Israelites. He would give His covenant of peace upon you. The Lord said that He would give the covenant of prophets to Phinehas. It was the same kind of massacre that took place with Shechem. All the tribes of Levites scattered. They received the covenant of the prophet and were able to fulfill the duty of the prophecy. You will see that the outcomes of the Simeon and Levite tribes were different. The consequences and price was paid by the descendants. Everyone received the Gospel. If you take the Gospel and enjoy it every day, you could enjoy it as an inheritance. Even if you have this Gospel, but fail to enjoy it, then you have no inheritance to leave behind. The land of Canaan had been given to us. A portion belongs to God. That is the reason why you need to think with your Gospel and make your choices based on it. We know how unique the Gospel is. That is how we became a child of God. The next step after prayer is vital. We need to enter inside of Christ, who is the main figure of the Gospel. Enter inside the characteristics of Christ. We need to imprint ourselves with Christ. We need to have His nature. God desires us to think based on the Gospel. Why? It’s because He desires us to receive His inheritance. That is how we can fulfill world evangelization. If you look at some elders, they’re evil people while other church members are liars. People would say that you shouldn’t go to church because it is full of evil people. That is counter-evangelism. People are holding onto the Covenant as we give worship. Our church will continue to go into the future so the time schedule will come to us. Because of anger, it could be used spiritually and everyone might fight. There will be a time schedule to choose between anger or the covenant. If there’s one person who could make the correct decision, God will pour His blessings. When Japan colonized Korea and forced the people to bow down before shrines, most did. However, a select few pastors didn’t. That’s’ when God blessed Korea to do missions. In this way, when a single person chooses the Gospel, He will pour down His inheritance to everyone. We need to go beyond answers and receive this inheritance. We need to enjoy the inheritance of world evangelization. That is how we could leave evidence for our descendants. Starting from today, I bless that you will enter into the hearts of Christ. In Phil 2:5-11, it talks about having the same mindset of Jesus Christ. If you feel like you’re being treated unfairly, remember how Christ was mistreated. Christ received His inheritance from the Father. Don’t try to make distinctions on what’s right or wrong. We must discern the spiritual world here. God is watching over all of us. We need to entrust judgment onto the Lord. He will do it Himself. God will make the correct judgement. That’s not what belongs to us. Declare the Gospel to all nations. Even if we try hard to define the truth, that isn’t salvation. Christ is the way to salvation. This is how you can receive His inheritance.
2. You can enjoy God’s inheritance when a covenant unity becomes one (Jos 19:1, 8, 16, 17, 23, 24, 31, 32, 39, 40, 48)
(1) Transcending God’s answers, God’s inheritance will represent God’s kingdom towards the world (Gen 12:2)
(2) The reason why the allotment was given according to the family is to let us know the meaning of covenant unity (Eph 4:3-6, 13)
(3) When you receive and enjoy God’s inheritance, it will open the doors to oneness in covenant unity (Ex 12:21-22, Jos 6:20, Ac 1:14, Ac 2:1-14)
You can enjoy it when the unity of the Covenant takes place. If you take a step back in the view of world, it is a representative blessing. What that means is that people will see that it’s a blessing of God. If you look at Abraham, he didn’t receive God’s blessings. He received the God’s representative blessings. Believe in the fact that you will receive the same blessings as Abraham. God has a plan beyond our own comprehension and has called us. Why did God call Abraham? There were 4 big events in Genesis: 1st sin in Gen 3, 1st murder in Gen 4, 1st natural disasters in Gen 6 and 1st social judgment in Gen 11. The people of God existed and were all struck. During this time, God called Abraham so He can show His covenant and His kingdom. Abraham was called for the representative blessing of God’s kingdom. You must remember that we are representatives of God’s kingdom in Christ just like Abraham. Believe in the fact that you have been called as the representative figure. We are representatives of the covenant unity. The tribes were allotted land according to their families. With the oneness of covenant unity, they received their allotment. The father of the family might say that they want this specific land and etc. If the family was divided like this, they were not award their land. It was precisely chosen for that. The biggest assignment of receiving the allotment is unity within the covenant. When God sent Moses to have Exodus, they were able to do so when they were one and painted the doors with the blood of the lamb. He used them by unifying their voices. It is the same when He used the Early Church for world evangelization when they gathered and prayed with one heart. It does matter if you don’t receive God’s inheritance or not. We need to become one with our voices. You need to be rooted in the Gospel. The branches will grow higher to the heavens. We need to enjoy the oneness of prayer. A while back, we cut a tree together. In the same way, we need to have oneness in prayer. A tree grows and bears fruit. We need to speak about the fruits of evangelism. Our children must learn how our church must function.
3. God’s leader is putting more of true hope on inheritance in heaven than on earth (2 Cor 5:8), Phil 1:23-24)
(1) Joshua, the great leader, received his own inheritance after it was all distributed to the other (Jos 19:49-50)
(2) He confirmed that all distribution is according to God’s detailed and appropriate guidance (Jos 19:10-48)
(3) The evangelist is the one who accumulate heaven’s inheritance with the things from the earth (Mk 10:30, 1Cor 15:42-44)
Joshua received his allotment of the land. He was the greatest leader of the Israelites. Until now, he accumulates the greatest inheritance. He receives his allotment at the very end. That signifies that the people of God are not obsessed with secular objects. There is this French saying that there is a requirement for those who are wealthier in society. They have a duty owed to society. The things that are real, belong to heaven. Joshua didn’t rudely demand his own land. The descendants of Joshua stayed in their new land until he passes away. He had full assurance that the allotments were down accordingly to the proper and detail guidance of God. He didn’t care what land he got. Simeon received a part of the land in Judah. If you look at the allotment of land, you will see that God’s guidance goes down into detail. God does what is good. As evangelists, we need to see what belongs to heaven through what belongs to earth. In Mark 10, "no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age.” This is the realization of Paul in 2 Corinthians 5. “We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord.” He wants to be with the Lord in life or death. He wants to give glory back to God. If you look in Philippians 1, it says that he desires to quickly pass away to meet the Lord. However, he stayed in the body to preach the Gospel. Paul had a specific method to live in this world. He would be able to gather things that were cursed and makes it full of glory. He planted his own spiritual body and gave his physical body.
What is the reason why the descendants of Simeon lost their power as time passed? They were overtaken by their own feelings like anger even though they received the Gospel abut weren’t able to enjoy it. We need to always remember the unity of one inside the covenant. If you are able to follow after this, you will experience miracles. Also, the leaders of God are those who place their hope in God in heaven. We do not have desire for secular objects. We use material blessings to glorify heaven and God. During the time of Jesus, they weren’t able to escape being branded as heretics and were martyred. These people didn’t struggle to get the truth out. The only thing they struggled for was to preach the Gospel. I hope you won’t come up with excuses. Our interest is in heaven. We are going through the 40 days of intensive training. It is time for you to set everything aside focus on one thing. Remnants need to see this. Choose the covenant instead of emotion, unity instead of individualism and the heavenly treasures over earthly treasures.
Precious God, we believe that you watch over us. Help us to only set our sight on the Gospel. Help us to enter inside of the Gospel. Help us to not be obsessed with the things that belong to the world. Help us to be sensitive to the heavenly treasures. In the name of Jesus we pray, Amen.