July 17th, 2016
ICA Sunday Pulpit Message
Absolute Gospel for the Gospel Noble Family – Restoration of the Gospel (20)
Brotherhood makes God’s Miracle (Jos 22:1-10)
It’s good to see you. Greet those around you. Have you had a good week? Today’s title is, “Brotherhood makes God’s Miracle”. In this world, if the word “forgiveness” takes place all the time, we would have a utopia. However, if one does not forgive, that defines us as mankind. Some end up forgiving others when they’re about to die. Even lovers end up hating and not forgiving each other. Even parents and children could not forgive each other. Peter asked and Jesus answers in Matthew 18. "Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?" Jesus answered, "I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.” And Jesus concluded, "This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother from your heart." There is a reason for saying this. He is trying to make a mention of forgiveness for their brothers in heaven and on earth. We are all saints after we believe in Jesus Christ. Jesus had a deeper meaning. He is trying to make us be siblings who are able to show the fact that Jesus is the Christ. We all know He was crucified and died. He ended the fundamental problems of mankind and opened the doors of salvation. One we accept Him, we are instantly His children. Those who receive that blessing are His brothers and sisters. They became the family who served the Father God and His son, Jesus Christ. What is the fundamental problem of mankind? It is being ignorant of God separated from God. We have become sinners and unrighteous before God. We became slaves to Satan and fell into fate and destiny. However, we have the Gospel. We will never become separated from God. We are no longer sinners, but rightful sons of God. We become a new creation to the point where we can destroy the forces of darkness. If we happen to live in our old ways and fall into Satan’s schemes to hate each other’s, then we will lose and corrupt the things of the Gospel. We will lose ahold of this blessing and lose out even though we have received tremendous blessings in Him. Therefore, God called you to distinguish the brothers of earth and heaven. Within Christ, the brothers and sisters became one. It is the brothers and sisters who love and forgive each other from the bottom of heart. It’s the people who concluded their life with world evangelization to destroy the work of devil. It is the new family who become brothers and sisters within the Christ. In Joshua 22, it talks about this brotherhood in this story. They took Joshua as a leader and conquered Canaan. I believe that since we are having the military mission devotion service, we are all solders of God. There is an army base close to here. There are people who currently have served or have been discharged. We must properly serve them and evangelize the field of military for sake the world evangelization. Today, we are looking at Joshua 22. We have called them the Israelites, but God called them differently. God called them “the LORD's divisions” after Exodus. Why? They must be the ones who conquered Canaan after the training of wilderness. After they received this name, the LORD’s divisions were able to pass the Jordan River, conquer Canaan and distribute the land of Canaan.
1. Help your brothers until the end
(1) The eastern tribes of Jordan helped their brothers until the Canaan War ended (Jos 22:2-3)
(2) They received the blessing prayer and plunder and went back to their inheritance (Jos 22:6-9)
(3) When the seed of brotherhood is planted on the land of oneness, it will bear fruits of miracles (Ps 133:1-3, 2 Pet 1:7)
What must you do for your brothers? You must help them. The war of Canaan wasn’t a small fight, everyone was involved. Before the war, one thing happened. In Numbers 32, there were 3 tribes, the Gadites, the Reubenites and the half-tribe of Manasseh that made requests to Moses. They were supposed to cross the Jordan and have a war. There was an inheritance cross the Jordan. However, the lands of eastern part of the Jordan were suitable for livestock. These people came to ask Moses to have the land in the east. Their leader Moses willingly allowed it and gave one condition. “if all of you will go armed over the Jordan before the LORD until he has driven his enemies out before him-then when the land is subdued before the LORD, you may return and be free from your obligation to the LORD and to Israel. And this land will be your possession before the LORD.” They kept their promise. All the other tribes got their distribution. Then, Joshua summoned the Reubenites, the Gadites and the half-tribe of ManassehHe to appreciate their hard working to keep their promise and allowed them to go to the east side. In chapter 22:2-3, it shows how they worked hard. "You have done all that Moses the servant of the LORD commanded, and you have obeyed me in everything I commanded. For a long time now--to this very day--you have not deserted your brothers but have carried out the mission the LORD your God gave you.” They had a sense of brotherhood. They satisfied Joshua, Moses and God. Without this brotherly kindness, they could not do this. I believe that they helped their brothers until the end. We have to hold onto the covenant. I believe that we are all brothers within Christ. We must help each other until the end. That’s how we show the fact that Jesus is the Christ. Jesus helped us until the end. He died in actuality. He even sent the Holy Spirit. I believe that He will guide us with the Holy Spirit until the end. We must know and enjoy this. I bless that the military will be the models to enjoy this blessing. People may say that soldiers are different, I hope that you will receive this compliment from others. May you have victory to the point where all the congregation members will come to the military committee for answers. However, if people say that the soldiers here are rude and disrespectful, that would be bad. May you not have that reputation. On the other hand, there might be a person saying that this person’s spouse is a soldier and is doing well. He has great faith and is a great worker. I pray that we do the military missions and you can satisfy the congregation members of our church. God will not only bless you, but greatly bless you. It says in verse 6 and 9. In today’s terms, it would seem as if the President (Joshua) gave a blessing prayer. In verse 8, "Return to your homes with your great wealth--with large herds of livestock, with silver, gold, bronze and iron, and a great quantity of clothing--and divide with your brothers the plunder from your enemies." Joshua didn’t send them with an empty hand. All the people from the western tribe were thankful for the eastern tribe. These 3 tribes helped the other tribes to fight for conquering the land. May this answer be upon the military missions, as well as others. We will receive blessings when we help each other as brothers. I am taking 2 evidences from the bible. First evidence, in Psalms 133:1-3, there’s a famous verse, “How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity! It is like precious oil poured on the head, running down on the beard, running down on Aaron's beard, down upon the collar of his robes. It is as if the dew of Hermon were falling on Mount Zion. For there the LORD bestows his blessing, even life forevermore.” God commanded the blessing of eternal life. He’s complimenting them. It is about anointment. We are already saved to have the eternal life, but why God is repeating this? This place is where anointment takes place. That signifies the working of the Holy Spirit. We possess the blessing of eternal life and salvation. There are many cases when people can’t enjoy this blessing because of their lack of faith and a vessel. However, if you have a strong brotherhood, God will give the filling of the Holy Spirit within the eternal blessing which is salvation. What happens when you receive answers for everything? Would you feel bad? Wherever you go, the kingdom of God will take place. That’s the working of the Holy Spirit. There is one more evidence. In 2 Peters 1:4-7, “Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love.” What’s the greatest? It is love. Right below of love is brotherly kindness. It is the greatest thing except love. Once we enjoy this, God will bless us. Confess that I love you because you’re my brothers and sisters. You know that Christ was crucified on the cross. He prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will”. The Gospel of the cross means absolute obedience to God. Also, it is great love towards the sons of God. In Romans 8:29, “For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.” May you realize that this is true love. When the seed of brotherhood is planted, it will bear fruit for miracles. May you not allow the garbage of Satan to consume you. Show them your brotherly affection within Christ. It will be followed by the great amount of materials and the filling of the Holy Spirit. I am not emphasizing material blessings, but it is a great amount. May you be proud that you are a member of the military missions and strive on until the end. Soldiers can relocate every few years, but you must raise a church just like Paul.
2. Have sincere faith in God
(1) They truthfully served God to the point where they were misunderstood (Jos 22:11-20)
(2) They explained to their brothers to the point where they can resolve misunderstandings (Jos 22:21-28)
(3) Honesty and Conscience work everywhere and with everyone (Deut 6:18, Pro 2:21, Pro 14:11, Ac 24:16, 1Time 3:19)
In verse 10, it says that when they came to Geliloth near the Jordan in the land of Canaan, the Reubenites, the Gadites and the half-tribe of Manasseh built an imposing altar there by the Jordan. They did it to be witnesses between them and their generations. It is true that through their leader Moses, they got land. However, that land was not the land that God permitted. The people of the western and eastern tribes might not recognize each other so they also built an alter to leave evidence for their descendants. They considered their future. That’s why they built an imposing altar there by the Jordan to make them remember the other people and that they served God. They broke the rule of building and alter and gather in 1 place. The people of the west knew that the eastern people broke the agreement and tried to have war. God gave them several lessons in the past. In the past, when they worshipped idols, God killed 24,000 people. They perished through this person Achan. They realized that 1 wrong deed of 1 person can corrupt and entire nation. So the Israelites sent Phinehas son of Eleazar, the priest, to the land of Gilead--to Reuben, Gad and the half-tribe of Manasseh. When the people from the west tribe to rebuke them, the eastern people responded. They said that this is proof that we are one people and that the descendants would recognize it. They realized it and understood. They understood the heart of the people in the east. They joyfully praised and worshipped God. That was from having sincere faith in God. I am not trying to make you confused. May you have sincere faith and serve God. Because they had sincere faith in God and brotherhood, they could explain well and avoided war. Honesty and a good conscience works everywhere with anyone. I am trying to give the message of healing. In Deut. 6:18, “Do what is right and good in the LORD's sight so that it may go well with you and you may go in and take over the good land.” In Proverbs 2:21, “For the upright will live in the land, and the blameless will remain in it;”. In Prob. 14:11, “The house of the wicked will be destroyed, but the tent of the upright will flourish.” Paul said in Ac 24, “So I strive always to keep my conscience clear before God and man.” It is in 1 Timothy 3:9, “They must keep hold of the deep truths of the faith with a clear conscience.” Sometimes, there’s moments when you do something in the opposite manner. If that piles up, you will lose trust. You will be changed depending on people even on the same topic or issue. You might do things for your own benefit. It will sound beneficial, but you might be at a lost. My wife goes grocery shopping and I wanted ice cream. I asked my sons if wants some as well. My son says that If I want some I should ask for some. So when I call my wife and says that my son wants ice cream. There are a lot of flavors. Then my wife calls my sons and asks what kind he wants, but he didn’t want any. That is when she finds out my scheme. If this happens several times, I would lose her trust. People will find out immediately. There’s this saying in Caigentan about inter-relationship, may you serve people well, but be cold to yourself. You should be warm and kind to others, but be strict and cold to yourself. If you behave and say things to be revealed soon, then others will no longer have any feelings for you at all. May all of our congregation members have sincere faith in God and honesty and conscience works. Then, God will give you blessings and work. My friend was having a difficult time for believing in Jesus Christ. That can happen. Even Elder Kim here, had difficulties. He’s the elder at Immanuel Seoul Church. He had difficulties for being a Christian in the military.
3. Prepare with devotion for descendants
(1) The eastern tribes of Jordan built a bit alter for the faith of their descendants (Jos 22:24,25,27)
(2) The western trbies of Jordan also joyfully praised God and reconciled with them (Jos 22:30,33)
(3) When the brothers of the Gospel became one and raised the church, they became perfect men with fullness (Eph 4:12-13)
Why did they build an altar that brought misunderstanding? It is to bring faith to their descendants and to avoid their division. They thought that ahead of time, their descendants would be excluded. Therefore, it was the preparation for the next generation and future. So, what are we supposed to do? Prepare with devotion for descendants! They built an imposing altar. It means that they invested greatly in that. May you have great devotion for the next generation. The Elder Kim sends us $100/month. He believes in me. However, I am saving it. It’s for the elites who will be sent out to military missions. I believe that remnants will change the military missions and arise. We have a lot of soldiers here. I am not giving this sermon because it’s the military devotion service, God has called us. God is telling us to prepare for the next generation with great devotion. They praised God and became one. It means that the 12 tribes became one. They established a firm church. When the saint become one with brotherhood in Christ, the church will become firm. At that time, they will be the perfect men with fullness. That’s why God promised through Paul in Eph 4:13. “until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.” We must show our descendants how to become one. When the remnants see these solders and adults become one with fullness, they will become the leaders who will overturn the world.
If the man of the Gospel, share the Gospel message, and chooses the Gospel method, and enjoys the Gospel life. Those who share the message of Christ, those who choose the method of Christ, and those who enjoy the Jesus’ life are the disciples of Christ. They will form the Gospel-noble family. May you enjoy this to have the miracle of God through brotherhood.
I give all glory to our precious Lord. May you pour down miracles to all military members. At this time, many people want to quit. May we go until the end. May we have sincere faith. May we have true heart towards our descendants. May we have the answer as the Gospel family and love our brothers. In Jesus Christ name I pray, Amen.