Delivering the Gospel & the Testimonies of Grace
Eternal Redemption through the Blood of Jesus Sermon of the Month
Changes in a Certain Consulateâ€™s Daughter A Grain of Mustard Seed
Delivering the Gospel & the Testimonies of Grace
Contents 4 Photograph & Testimony 8 S alvation Testimony His Promise Made Me the Happiest Man in the World! 14 Sermon of the Month Eternal Redemption through the Blood of Jesus 26 Shadow of Christ Because Jesus Is the Firstfruit 32 Words of Wisdom Mary, the Poacher’s Wife 38 Repentance and Faith Just as the Wife of the Son of the Prophets Relied Only on God 44 Admonition of the Lord Have You Forsaken Your Rebellious Nature against God? 52 Iron Sharpeneth Iron Let Us Not Follow the Illusion but the Truth 60 A Grain of Mustard Seed Changes in a Certain Consulate’s Daughter 66 Advertisement Bible Crusade with Pastor Ock Soo Park
The Good News (Vol. 196) is published monthly by Good News Publications, Inc., 606-45 Shinwol 2-dong, Yangcheon-gu, Seoul, Korea Phone: +82-50-2244-9191 Fax: +82-50-2244-9192 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Chairman, Chief Executive Officer: Ock Soo Park Editor-in-Chief: Sung-Hoon Kim Art Director: Ji-ae Sohn Chief Printer/ Press: Taek-ki Lee / Chokwang Printing, Inc. The Good News was registered as a monthly magazine with the Ministry of Culture and Tourism on December 22, 1995. Registration No. Ra-11398 Printed on March 1, 2012. No part of this magazine may be reproduced without the written permission of Good News Publications, Inc. All rights reserved. Copyright © 2012 by Good News Publications, Inc.
Photograph & Testimony _ Burundi
Preaching the Gospel to the Heads of Africa From January 21 to 28, Pastor Ock Soo Park toured four countries in East Africa including Kenya, Burundi, Zambia, and Uganda and preached the gospel to the heads of the countries. Meeting with President, the First Lady, Vice President, Prime Minister and minister, Pastor Park earnestly witnessed the Word of God and the world of heart revealed in the Bible. Many of them received the assurance of salvation, rejoiced and asked the IYF to work for the youths of their country. The Lord, who launched the mission with the promise of I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, . . . (Psalms 2:8), gave us the Word of Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature (Mark 16:15). And now He sincerely accomplishes His Word of promise. 4 â€˘ The Good News March 2012
Testimony â€˘ 5
Photograph & Testimony _ Kenya
Mind Lecture Reaches Kenyatta University Kenyatta University, named after Jomo Kenyatta, who was the first Prime Minister and President of Kenya, is one of the largest universities in Kenya and has about 40,000 students. At Kenyatta, the Mind Lecture, featuring Pastor Ock Soo Park, was held last January 28. Hosted by the student body, over 400 students filled the hall, and some students stood in the corridor to listen to the lecture showing much interest. During the 90-minute lecture, the students took notes and listened attentively to the Mind Lecture. By the participants of the World Camp and the Mind Lecture, calls for the Mind Lecture are coming from all over Africa. Itâ€™s already expected that great changes will occur in Africa by the students who joined the Mind Lecture and learned the world of heart. 6 â€˘ The Good News March 2012
Testimony â€˘ 7
Dennis Momanyi (Good News Tala Church, Kenya)
efore I received true salvation, I did a lot of work in religion trying to come out of sin. My mother was a deaconess and my father an elder of the Catholic Church, and because of this I suffered a lot as a result of trying to live a good life as a Christian. There are a lot 8 â€˘ The Good News March 2012
of scars on my body due to chastisement from my parents who always wanted to see me keeping the law and living a Christian life in my family and community at large. I could not cope with this situation, so many times I ran away from home. Although I tried zealously to keep the law and live as a good boy, as time
His Promise Made Me the Happiest Man in the World! Although I am somebody who doesnâ€™t have any qualifications, God, whose grace is abundant toward me, was able to use me regardless of my weakness to serve the gospel in Tala as a minister. I was so thankful to God who saved me and finally decided to use me in his precious work of saving perishing souls after giving me a promise. Now I am the happiest man in the world because I am being used by God after the world rejected me.
went on things became difficult for me. When I went to high school I became pessimistic and could not attend church anymore. This is because whenever I prayed, problems did not come to an end. I found myself indulging in dangerous matters and had distrust in my heart towards everybody. I became a burden
to my family members and life had become cumbersome. As a result, I planned to commit suicide many times. But God, who had a good plan towards my salvation, protected me. After realizing that what I was doing could not give me joy and happiness, I decided to move from one church to another to search for the Testimony â€˘ 9
As I was reflecting on my life, I thought about sinners who were tied together with me in sin seriously struggling to come out of sin by themselves. truth, but unfortunately I could not find it. During this time of zealously trying to be closer to God I joined praise and worship teams in various churches because I thought they were much closer to God than me. Truly God is alive, but the way many people pay homage is difficult depending on their way of understanding of the Bible. Every Sunday after the service sometimes amazing things happened to me. The forgiveness of sin could not be accomplished through prayers, so I cried a lot while sprawling on the ground and rolling here and there, 10 â€˘ The Good News March 2012
and through this I believed that my sins were completely forgiven. I did this endlessly, and although I was defeated I could not give up. I put more effort into keeping the law and repenting all the time. After this painful life without joy, finally I decided to join my fellow colleagues even though they did not seem jovial all the time. Together with this group I did a lot of drugs, drank alcohol, and did many things which could not give me eternal joy and happiness in my heart. As we were doing all this we had no way to get money to buy food and other basic things, and this made us become conmen in town. As we were indulged into very dangerous businesses, I was not happy, but had no other way because I needed to survive. During this mission of destruction I faced death frequently and from time to time was put into prison. Once, when I was in a cell after being suspected of stealing something, I tried to imagine
Having fellowship with people with the Word, I become so thankful to God for using me in His precious work of ministry.
what I could do to come out of the cell by myself, but I could not. Later I thought that there must be someone who could do something to help me come out of the cell. As I was reflecting on my life, I thought about sinners who were tied together with me in sin seriously struggling to come out of sin by themselves through repenting and crying for the forgiveness of sin. In my cell I cried to God to
guide me and give me a true church that preaches the true heart.
s soon as I came out of prison I decided to run away to Nairobi because of fear. There I met some Korean students who were advertising the IYF World Camp of 2008. As I was reading through the hand bill I had a negative mind Testimony â€˘ 11
I could see the image of myself precisely through the Words. And I was able to realize how God was pleased to give me this precious chance. about the function, and I had no money and a lot of plans for looking for a job to sustain me in the city. That evening, however, I received a call from a former high school friend and, amazingly, she invited me to the same function. After hearing my situation she decided to support me in everything, and I was able to attend the camp. This was the first time I saw God opening my eyes and giving me grace. The IYF World Camp was very interesting because God Himself had prepared for me to come and receive salvation. As the main speaker Pastor Ock Soo Park was preach12 â€˘ The Good News March 2012
ing about the prodigal son in Luke chapter 15, I was able to gracefully compare the life of the prodigal son and my own life. I could see the image of myself precisely through the Words. And I was able to realize how God was pleased to give me this precious chance. God gave me grace and I joined Mahanaim Theological College in Kenya. Although I was in college for two years I was disturbed a lot about my life because I had not submitted everything to God. I planned many times to run away from the college because of my heart, but it didnâ€™t work because God himself had decided everything for me. I had a mind to work in the offices until finished with the course. Our merciful God allowed me grace in many cases, but I was never able to be thankful, neither was I able to realize the grace and love which was abundantly upon me. When it came time to be dispatched to the field to serve the gospel, the previous heart that I had of willing to live
for the gospel faded away and from then on I hated being a pastor. This difficulty came as a result of being ambitious and wanting to live a prosperous life. As we were about to graduate from theological school I never wanted fellowship from any pastor because I thought they would persuade me to do ministry. During this time I came to realize it was the work of God who was emptying my heart before He sent me to the field to depend only on His grace, because I could have gone to serve the ministry with my own will and suspicious heart. Not long after, God gave me the heart to surrender everything for the first time and He was able to work in me marvelously and without any difficulty. He opened my spiritual eyes to realize grace. At this time I could see God emerging victorious in the midst of my evil thoughts and futile plans through what He had already accomplished. Although I am somebody who doesnâ€™t have any qualifi-
cations, God, whose grace is abundant toward me, was able to use me regardless of my weakness to serve the gospel in Tala as a minister. During this time I learned one crucial thing in spiritual life and this is about the three levels of receiving grace: 1) level of abundance, 2) level of emptying oneself and 3) level of receiving grace. I realized my position based on these three aspects. I was so thankful to God who saved me and finally decided to use me in His precious work of saving perishing souls after giving me a promise from the book of Isaiah. The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; (Isaiah 61:1) Now I am the happiest man in the world because I am being used by God after the world rejected me. Testimony â€˘ 13
Eternal Redemption through the Blood of Jesus An Excerpt from One of Pastor Ock Soo Park’s Sunday Services
And thou shalt make an altar of shittim wood, five cubits long, and five cubits broad; the altar shall be foursquare: and the height thereof shall be three cubits. And thou shalt make the horns of it upon the four corners thereof: his horns shall be of the same: and thou shalt overlay it with brass. And thou shalt make his pans to receive his ashes, and his shovels, and his basons, and his fleshhooks, and his firepans: all the vessels thereof thou shalt make of brass. And thou shalt make for it a grate of network of brass; and upon the net shalt thou make four brasen rings in the four corners thereof. And thou shalt put it under the compass of the altar beneath, that the net may be even to the midst of the altar. . . . (Exodus 27:1–8) MEETING WITH A STUDENT
Once when I was minister14 • The Good News March 2012
ing in Daegu, a sister who was attending high school brought a friend who was
Sermon of the Month
the vice president of another church’s youth group to have spiritual counseling, and that friend received salvation. And a few days later, that student brought another student whom she said was the president of her church’s youth group, and when I preached the gospel to him, he received salvation. I asked him where he lived, but the student appeared very uncomfortable and vaguely responded by saying that his house was around so-and-so. Afterwards, I wanted to meet that student but there was no way that I could. When I told the brother next to me that I wanted to meet him, he said he thought he
could find his house. So that day, I went to the student’s house with the brother. There were about two houses around the place the student told us. We went into the first house and asked, “Is this by any chance the house of So-and-so Kim?” That moment, the very student came out appearing like he did not know what to do. Then he told us to get outside quickly in case his mother saw them. That afternoon, we sat under some trees by the street and had spiritual fellowship until it became completely dark. Upon finishing the fellowship, I said let’s pray, but the student found it very uncomfortable to pray on the street. Sermon • 15
The brother says that he is really grateful when he thinks about the fact that his sin was forgiven even until now, decades after he heard the gospel. Afterwards, that brother started attending our church and told me what had happened all along. The brother’s father was hard of hearing, and while crossing railroad tracks, he could not hear the sound of an approaching train and died of a train accident. His mother had passed away before then, and his father had been living with his stepmother. But now that his father had passed away, his stepmother was very sad. One night, his mother awoke him from his sleep and took him to the place of his father’s accident. At the place were Buddhist monks 16 • The Good News March 2012
preparing to hold a memorial ceremony for his deceased father. As the monk gave the paper charm and the brother was told to burn all of it and say “Father, let us go to the temple,” so the brother did so. Then the family members went to a temple and bowed before a statue of the Buddha. The brother knew that a believer of Jesus must not bow and was about to say that, but everyone had already prostrated themselves and he had lost the opportunity to tell them. So he said to himself in his heart, “I just won’t bow down from the heart,” and he bowed twice before the statue of the Buddha. However, he felt great anguish afterwards because of the sin of breaking the Ten Commandments. Meanwhile, he was very glad after having followed the youth group vice president of his church, heard the gospel, and received forgiveness of sin; however, he had been planning to continue attending his church, and when I asked him where he lived,
Sermon of the Month
he said that he felt very burdened. The following week while leading the youth group service, he gave his testimony of how he had received forgiveness of sin, but the senior classmen yelled at him saying, “Where did you hear such heresy?” and there was a big commotion. He said that although he was the president of the youth group, not one person sided with him. Having experienced such disappointment, he ended up not going to church for a month. Even then, there was no one who came to see him, and he said he was at the brink of tears wondering to himself whether this church is a true church. Then one day, seeing us who had only met him once come to see him, he realized, “Seeing that these people come to see me, they really must care for me,” and following that, started to attend our church. That brother was suffering so much from the sin of
breaking the commandment that reads, Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, . . . Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them. And he says that he is really grateful when he thinks about the fact that his sin was forgiven even until now, decades after he heard the gospel. THE ROMAN CHURCH’S SALE OF INDULGENCES
I have previously been to St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, and I was completely shocked upon seeing the scale of it because even the most famous Korean architects say that it is not possible to draw up an estimate of how much it would cost to build St. Peter’s Basilica. The gold covering the walls is about four tons, and they say that the frescoes were not painted with brushes, but with colored stones. Moreover, pilgrims kissed the feet of the bronze statue of Peter so much that the statue got worn out, and it had to be placed in a glass case. Aside from that, as enorSermon • 17
If believers had known precisely the way to receive forgiveness of sin revealed in the Bible, they would not be ignorant and believe those words. mous amounts of money went into stones, paintings, decoration, etc., the Roman Catholic Church had believers buy indulgences and gathered offerings. Believers were told that the clanging sound that rings out when the silver coin drops into the coffer forgives their sins, and if they buy indulgences for their deceased parents, they were told that their parents would go from hell to purgatory, and later to heaven. In this way, many people sold everything they had and bought indulgences. Martin Luther, who was a Roman Catholic priest at the time, had been suffer18 â€˘ The Good News March 2012
ing because of sin, but read the Words in Romans that say, The just shall live by faith, and received salvation. His spiritual eyes were opened and he criticized the wrongs of the Roman Catholic Church through his Ninety-Five Theses, one of which stated that sins are not forgiven through the purchase of indulgences. However, what was worse than selling indulgences was that the Roman Catholic Church, in order to lead its believers in the way it wanted to, prevented believers from reading the Bible, telling believers that the Bible is spiritually difficult to understand and that it must not be incorrectly interpreted. If believers had known precisely the way to receive forgiveness of sin through the Bible, even though the Roman Catholic Church would tell them that their sins would be forgiven through the purchase of indulgences, they would not be ignorant and believe those words. Just as those who do
Sermon of the Month
politics led people to deify kings to make it easier to govern the country, religious leaders were deified so that believers would follow ministers’ words unconditionally. WHAT DOES GOD’S JUDGMENT SENTENCE SAY?
When I went to the World Camp in the Dominican Republic last September, the mayor of Santiago said he wanted to hold an IYF World Camp in the Dominican Republic like the one in Korea, and all expenses were paid by the city. The hotel that I stayed at then was the most luxurious hotel among all the hotels I have stayed at. So I asked the mayor, “Did you reserve this hotel thinking that I was the president?” He replied, “I consider you to be someone more precious than the president.” On the first day of the camp, the mayor invited the major pastors in the Dominican Republic. Those pastors had a negative attitude
towards me. Knowing this, the mayor said, “I have personally been to Pastor Park’s church in Korea, and contrary to the rumors, I had a good impression,” and prepared an opportunity for them to speak with me. One pastor among 47 pastors said, “According to what I have heard from Korean missionaries, they say that there is a problem with your perspective on salvation. We would like to hear your explanation about that.” Right then, I was so glad because I myself had been dying to talk about that anyway. I stood up and began to speak. “Everyone, I attended church since I was young, but I was always in suffering, being tied and bound to my sins. At that time, regardless of how God saw my sins, when I committed many sins, I was miserable and when I did good works, I was glad and lived according to my standards. Then one day, I learned that my standards are not that important. No matter how great the Sermon • 19
After about an hour passed, the expressions of the pastors started to change. And when I finished speaking, everyone opened their hearts towards me. crime of the accused may be, if the judge says he is innocent, then he is innocent. The words of the accused, prosecutor, and the defense lawyer may be taken into consideration, but those words are not the decisive factor. However, in God’s judgment sentence are recorded these Words: I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, thy transgressions, and, as a cloud, thy sins: return unto me; for I have redeemed thee. (Isaiah 44:22) All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the 20 • The Good News March 2012
LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. (Isaiah 53:6) By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. (Hebrews 10:10) AND THEIR SINS AND INIQUITIES WILL I REMEMBER NO MORE. Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin. (Hebrews 10:17–18) And in 1 Corinthians 6:10–11 are recorded clearly the following Words: Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God. I considered God’s Word to be more important than my own judgment, and because God said that He has washed my sins whiter than snow, I just believed those very Words.”
Sermon of the Month
After about an hour passed, the expressions of the pastors started to change. And when I finished speaking, everyone opened their hearts towards me. One of them shed tears saying, “Pastor, I have come to believe this truth this day. I would like to learn the Bible from you from now on,” and embraced me. Another person took a picture with me and got my signature on my collection of sermons. THE TRUE MEANING OF THE ALTAR OF BURNT OFFERING
What we read today is about the altar of burnt offering. The altar of burnt offering is made of acacia wood, also known as shittim wood. The dimensions are five cubits long, five cubits broad, and three cubits in height, so it is saying to build an altar about two meters all around. And then the whole thing was to be overlaid with brass, and horns were to be made on each of the four corners of the altar. This is the altar that Moses saw in heaven
at the top of Mt. Sinai for 40 days, and Moses told Aholiab and Bezaleel to make the altar precisely according to what he saw. God told priests to kill sheep and oxen at the altar to give as an offering. The first thing that is seen upon opening the door to the tabernacle is this altar of burnt offering. This altar is made of acacia wood, and acacia wood represents Jesus. It is five cubits long and broad, and here “5” represents grace, and the height “3” represents God. And the brass overlaid on the entire altar signifies that the judgment of God has been given. The brass serpent mentioned in, And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life (John 3:14–15), also represents Jesus who has received judgment for our sin. Just as people are scared and feel guilt because of their sin as they enter the holy place, but feel freedom from Sermon • 21
their sin as they see the altar of burnt offering covered in brass, the altar explains to us that Jesus has received the judgment in our place, whatever sins we have committed. EVEN THE SIN OF HITLER WAS CLEANSED!
The dictator Hitler, who brought about World War II, is said to have killed 6,000,000 Jews. Many Jews were put in shower rooms and killed from poisonous gas that came out of the showers that were turned on, and it is said that those bodies were burned and used as fertilizer. If Hitler had known the true meaning of the altar of burnt offering in the holy place,
he would have been able to have faith that even the judgment for his sin of killing 6,000,000 Jews was received by Jesus so that he has become clean. In the Bible it says, Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin (Romans 3:20), but today, there are so many people who say “I have kept the Sabbath. I have tithed. I have given my Sunday offering,” and set their hopes on the fact that they have kept the law. That is how Satan deceives them. Do you know how you can know that you are becoming arrogant and evil? Considering your thoughts to be more important than God’s Word is arrogance. THE RECORD OF MY SIN DISAPPEARS
Many people, because they cannot say they are justified as they look at themselves, take the stance that we are sinners 22 • The Good News March 2012
Sermon of the Month
but God saw us as being justified, and thus is merely “calling” us justified. However, that is a silly argument that profanes God. Being a Holy and Just Judge, God would never see a sinner as being justified, and does not say that a sinner is justified. Therefore, in order for God to make us righteous, judgment was required. After judgment has been delivered, sin comes to an end. The death of Jesus was the judgment of our sins, and that is how we have become righteous. That is why after Jesus was nailed to the cross and died, God sees no sin at all inside of us when seeing us. When you go into the holy place of God and the first thing you see is the altar of burnt offering, you might say this: “Because a lamb was killed and burned on that altar, the judgment for my sin is over. The moment that judgment was given, my sin was resolved. I have no sin. I have now become holy and justified!”
Through Jesus’ death on the cross, our sins were washed on that cross. That is why God has judged us justified and holy. Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God. (1 Corinthians 6:10–11) When giving a sin offering, priests were to dip a finger into the sheep’s blood and smear it on the horns of the altar. And if he bring a lamb for a sin offering, he shall bring it a female without blemish. . . . and slay it for a sin offering in the place where they kill the burnt offering. And the priest shall take of the blood of the sin offering with his finger, and put it upon the horns of the altar of burnt offering, . . . (Leviticus 4:32–34) I thought about this several times as I read this. Sermon • 23
Jesus’ death was not in vain. He has cleansed us from all sins. Do not be dragged around by whatever Satan says; you must believe in God’s Word. “Why do they have to smear the sheep’s blood on the horns of the altar when giving a sin offering?” Then one day, I found the matching pair to this Word in Jeremiah 17:1. The sin of Judah is written with a pen of iron, and with the point of a diamond: it is graven upon the table of their heart, and upon the horns of your altars; . . . Because our sins are engraved on the horns at the four corners of the altar, whenever we go out before God and see those horns, we remember our sin. But the fact that we are told to smear 24 • The Good News March 2012
the lamb’s blood on the horns of the altar means to erase the sins engraved on the horns of the altar with the lamb’s blood. THE LORD HAS FULFILLED ETERNAL REDEMPTION
However, Satan makes it so that we feel as if sin is still within us whenever we commit sin in order to prevent us from striving towards faith. This is the same as Satan making us think that we can become justified by keeping the law, even though it is impossible to become justified through the deeds of the law. God placed the altar at the entrance of the tabernacle so that whenever we go out before God, we would look upon Jesus nailed on the cross, and know by the lamb’s blood smeared on the horns of the altar that the record of our sins is erased and that we are justified. Everyone, Jesus’ death on the cross was not in vain. By this death on the cross, He has cleansed us from all sins.
Sermon of the Month
Do not be dragged around by whatever Satan says; you must believe in God’s Word. Some people say that salvation is achieved through sanctification, but that is nonsensical and hypocritical. People are dirty and filthy until they die, so we absolutely cannot become sanctified. That is why God nailed us who are such to the cross. And God gives us the righteousness of Jesus, which we take with us when we go out before God. In order to justify us, God handed over every little bit of our sins to Jesus and delivered judgment on it. Just as a person is innocent if the judge declares that he is innocent, if God says that we are justified, then we are justified. Insisting that we are sinners even though God says that we
are justified is truly evil and arrogant. Today we read about the altar of burnt offering. The blood of a sheep was smeared on the horns during the days of the Old Testament to erase the sins that were engraved. Likewise, Jesus, by dying on the cross, smeared His precious blood on the horns of the altar in heaven and fulfilled eternal redemption. Even now, 2,000 years since then, we have become holy through that blood. Do not be deceived by cunning Satan and fall into your thoughts thinking, “What if my sins are not forgiven?” Rather, I hope that you become glorious children of God who serve the Lord with thanks that Jesus has received all the judgment for our sins.
Pastor Ock Soo Park Senior Pastor of Good News Gangnam Church Chief Advisor of International Youth Fellowship (IYF) www.ospark.pe.kr Sermon • 25
Because Jesus Is the Firstfruit
Brothers and sisters, who are saved, are the grain sheaves that are connected by Jesus. Because Jesus is the firstfruit, and we are the second fruit, there is no reason why we would be different from Jesus at all. It is just that we live by the flesh, not by Jesus, who is the Spirit; this is why our lives are different from Jesus. When we look up to Jesus and run forward by faith, amazingly, we are able to bear the same fruit as Jesus and live the life of glorifying God.
ALTHOUGH THERE IS NOTHING THAT HAS CHANGED IN MY FLESH
I have lived in Jesus for about 50 years. However, there is nothing that has changed within my flesh. My flesh wants to eat, drink, sleep, and enjoys the things of the world. Before, when I was outside of Jesus, and when the desires of flesh stirred up, I 26 â€˘ The Good News March 2012
had no power to overcome it. What had changed after receiving salvation was that even though I am a same person, the Lord was inside of me to give me strength to overcome my fleshly desires. Thus, even though I have fleshly desires, by the grace of God, I am able to control and restrain myself from eating, sleeping, and I am able to run closer to God.
Shadow of Christ
I am truly thankful to God who leads my life all the time in such ways. WAVE A SHEAF OF THE FIRSTFRUITS OF YOUR HARVEST
And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When ye be come into the land which I give unto you, and shall reap the harvest thereof, then ye shall bring a sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest unto the priest: And he shall wave the sheaf before the LORD, to be accepted for you: on the morrow after the sabbath the priest shall wave it. And ye shall offer that day when
ye wave the sheaf, an he lamb without blemish of the first year for a burnt offering unto the LORD. (Leviticus 23:9â€“12) Leviticus chapter 23 talks about the five feasts. Beginning from the Passover, these are the representing feasts of Israel; the Feast of Firstfruits, the Pentecost, the Feast of Trumpets, and the Feast of Tabernacles. The Passover represents Jesus, who was nailed and died on the cross for us. The Feast of Firstfruits represents Jesus who became the firstfruit of resurrection as He rose from death. The Pentecost represents the Holy Spirit who came to earth,
Sermon â€˘ 27
It is not that Jesus in someone makes them more spiritual or less spiritual. When we received salvation, we all became the same fruit as Jesus. and the Feast of Trumpets represents coming of Jesus with the sound of trumpets by the clouds. The Feast of Tabernacles shows us how we will be in the eternal place with the Lord, just as the Israelites lived in their tabernacles. When the Israelites harvest after farming in the land of Canaan, each of them had to bring a sheaf, which is the firstfruit of the harvest, to the priest. Then, he waved the sheaves before God to be accepted, and the Bible records that this must be done on the next day after the Sabbath. What does it mean? 28 • The Good News March 2012
BECAUSE HE WILL CONTINUE TO GIVE THE SAME SHEAF
During the 40 years of time spent in the wilderness as the Israelites left Egypt, they were able to eat manna. When they went into the land of Canaan, they began to farm and harvest grains. After the harvest, they would take a sheaf of the firstfruit to the priest, and he waved it. When the priest waved the sheaf, the Israelites were able to have hope. “The sheaf will make us full and give us the strength to live! That sheaf will make our lives abundant!” They had an expectation for the sheaf, so they would clasp their hands, be happy and give an offering. When they wave the grain, it is only one sheaf, but that sheaf will continue to bring forth. Since they believed that God would continue to give them the same sheaf as the one that is being waved, they were glad, joyous, and happy. Upon thinking of the Feast of Firstfruits as I was reading
Shadow of Christ
the Bible, I saw that Jesus has become our firstfruit. We are the fruits that are grown after Jesus Christ. If the first sheaf is good wheat, good barley, or good grain of the field, then the grains that are grown afterwards are as good as the first. The Feast of Firstfruits talks about this to us. We are the same fruit as Jesus Christ. EVEN THOUGH THE DESIRES OF FLESH CONTINUE TO ARISE
We received salvation, but there are actually a lot of times when we follow after our humanistic methods. Even at those times however, Jesus Christ is in us. It is not that Jesus in someone makes them more spiritual or less spiritual. The same Jesus is in everyoneâ€™s heart. When we received salvation and were born again, we all became the same fruit as Jesus. However, there is one thing that we must know for sure. Although Jesus is inside of us, we still have our body. While we live in our body,
there are many things that our flesh requests of us. We want to eat, drink, sleep, and enjoy ourselves. The flesh likes to be negligent and wants many things such as following sexual desires. Before we received salvation, when Jesus was not in us, we just followed after the desires of the flesh. Even now, it is only natural for people, who do not know Jesus, to be dragged by the desires of the flesh. However, we, who are saved, are led by Jesus because Jesus Christ is inside of us. Now, we are not only with the flesh, but Jesus is living inside of us. JESUS EMBRACES THE POWER OF GOD IN HIS FLESH
Jesus lived on the earth for 33 years, and for the last three years of His life, He manifested His life to every one. For the last three years, Jesus showed Himself as if He was the waving of the first sheaf of the harvest. Jesus had overcome the desires of flesh, Sermon â€˘ 29
hunger, sufferings, disease, and death. Jesus was the God of power who could solve all problems. Now we live spiritual life like Jesus does. When the Israelites waved the first sheaf of the harvest on the Feast of Firstfruits, the same fruits were brought forth from the same field. Likewise, Jesus lived on the earth as the first sheaf of the harvest. Jesus had roamed the land of Judea, Galilee, Samaria, and back to Judea for three years, and He preached
30 â€˘ The Good News March 2012
the Word, healed the sick people, and raised the dead. Jesus was the One who had embraced the power of God in His flesh. From the moment we received salvation, Jesus has lived in us for sure. Since Jesus had the same body as us, He was hungry and fatigued. His flesh was the same as ours. He died shedding His blood when He was crucified. Therefore, He had the same desires of the flesh as we did. He desired to eat, rest, and enjoy Himself. Yet, God was also with Him. If Jesus followed and was led by His fleshly desire, then He could neither fulfill the work of God nor could He bear the cross. Jesus would have lived just as an ordinary human, indulged in His flesh and been dead. However, Jesus was not led by the desires of flesh, but He overcame the flesh by the Spirit of God, and He followed after the Word of God.
Shadow of Christ
AS WE ARE THE SECOND FRUIT, WE ARE NOT DIFFERENT FROM JESUS
We have as same body as Jesus, and we also have Jesus in our hearts. Our flesh still likes to eat, drink, enjoy itself, and go towards worldly things. However, not only do we have flesh, but we have Jesus as well. Therefore, when we look up to Jesus and believe in Him, His power enables us to overcome the desires of the flesh, so we are not dragged by the flesh. We eat and sleep, yet we do not live according to the desires of flesh. Since the Spirit of God leads us, the power of God could be manifested through our body just as it is in Jesus. As Jesus healed the sick, as He preached the Word of God, as He fulfilled the will of God, we can do the same as well. God has fulfilled everything possible for us to live like Jesus since He is in us. The brothers and sisters, who are saved, are the grain sheaves that are connected
by Jesus. Since Jesus is the firstfruit and we are the second fruit, we are not different from Jesus at all. It is just that we live by the flesh and not by Jesus, who is the Spirit; this is why our lives are different from Jesus. The Bible tells us that if you live after the flesh, you shall die, but if you, through the Spirit, do mortify the deeds of the flesh, you shall live. When we look up to Jesus and run forward by faith, amazingly, we are able to bear the same fruit as Jesus and live the life of glorifying God. Just because we are saved saints, it does not mean that we do not have the desires of the flesh. After receiving salvation, there are still strong desires of the flesh; yet, we are able to restrain by relying on Jesus, who is in us. When we are empowered by Jesus, we are able to overcome all things of the flesh by His strength and live the life of boldly running forward by faith. (An excerpt from Pastor Ock Soo Parkâ€™s sermon) Sermon â€˘ 31
Mary, the Poacher’s Wife
t was a heavy fall of snow; I had watched it from the window for some time, as it shrouded the earth and mantled the trees and shrubs in the garden; everything outside seemed to make me thankful for the comforts within, and I gladly drew my chair very close to the blazing fire to enjoy its cheering warmth. My thoughts turned to the many who knew no such comfort, and who could see no attraction in the fast-falling snow, or the feathery, fantastic outlines it was giving to everything outside. My reverie was interrupted
32 • The Good News March 2012
by a knock at the door. I went and found there a girl from the village I had known for some time. She had come to ask my husband to go and see a poor woman who was dying, and who refused to let any of the neighbours see her; “and you could not go,” said the girl, “for her room is never cleaned, and never has any air in it. She is a poacher’s wife, and her husband is a drunkard and neglects her.” “I will see her tomorrow,” I said, “if my husband has not returned home.” But I became restless and very uneasy, and it was not long before I had drawn my waterproof closely
Words of Wisdom
round me and was making my way through the storm, praying that the Lord would indeed give me a message from Himself, and also that I might be guided to the right door, as it was getting dark. It was a poor place I had been directed to, a dirty court surrounded by very poor houses. At the last house on the left side I stopped, and asking help from God to gain admittance, I gently knocked on the closed door and waited. Slowly the heavy wooden bolt was drawn back, and, before I had realised it, I found myself inside, and the bolt replaced. I had to lean upon the wall
for a few moments in silence to recover the overpowering pressure of bad air that met me; and by the feeble light of a small lamp I saw the emaciated form of a young woman crouching on a low wooden stool by a few embers of a fire just dying out, and which she was vainly endeavouring to stir into life. Poor woman, I longed after her soul; in poverty, and sickness, and sorrow, and “without Christ.” How terrible! And, yet the moment seemed not to have come for me to give God’s message. I drew my stool near her, and taking one of her wasted hands in Small Talk • 33
mine I asked a few questions as to “How long she had been ill?” And as I pointed to little Johnnie, I said, “You can trust me, can’t you? Tell me all your troubles, for I want to help you.” “Well,” she said, “you’re kind to face the storm in sic a nicht and sit doon here to speak to me, and there’s no’ mony cares for Mary, the poacher’s wife.” “Your husband is a poacher,” I said; “tell me how you came to marry him.” “Ah, weel, I was but a bairn when I married, and I thought ae trade was as guid as anither, and he promised I should want for naething; but he 34 • The Good News March 2012
drinks all he makes by the game, and it’s seldom a feather o’ it I see, or a penny that it brings me. And then I daurna let anybody into the house for fear they take the dog and guns, or catch himself, and mony a day the bairn and me never sees food or fire, and I’m that weak that I’m ill.” I saw by the dim lamplight it was a bed of shavings, with nothing over it but a cotton patch quilt and a piece of old carpet. “Well,” I said, “and what of your child who died.” I had touched a chord in that weary mother’s tearless heart; a few great tears rolled down her sal-
Words of Wisdom
low cheeks, and she tried to steady her feeble voice and answer my question. “It is five month syne she was born; I was very ill. After the doctor and the woman that nursed me had left, nane came to see after me, and John was out all day, and often all nicht, after the game; and I lo’ed the wean, but I’d naething to gie her, and I saw her dwine and dwine by my side till ae day she geed a wee short breath and deed, and syne I couldna look after, or care for anything, for my bairn deed o’ want, and I kent it weel, and it gaed sae sair to my heart that I didna greet,
and I didna sleep, and I didna eat, and then the cough came, and John brought the doctor, and he said it was the decline, and I wouldna mend; and it was true, for every day I seem waur and waur, and some days I canna rise ava.” And then the fragile form was racked by a terrible fit of coughing. I silently prayed that the Lord would now give me the right word. As the paroxysm of coughing subsided a little I took her hand, and said, “Mary, the message I bring you tonight is from the Son of God, the One who died to save sinners like you and me, and His Small Talk • 35
message to you is this, Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest (Matthew 11:28). Dear sould, you are in great need of rest. Will you come to Him tonight?” “I would fain have the rest,” she said, “but I’m no’ fit to come; and I’ve no strength left to gae to the kirk or the mission, so I canna come.” “Well, Mary, you’re very weak and very sinful, but Christ has made provision for just such as you! Have you strength to look at me, Mary?” “Yes,” She said, raising her heavy, sad eyes to mine. “Well, Mary,” I said, “the 36 • The Good News March 2012
Lord bids you look unto Him and live.” “Does He? Oh, but I’m a poor, weak thing; and I know I’m a sinner, for I was taught that many years ago at the school, and I feel it every day. But there’s none to care for me now, and I’m dying, and going I don’t know where! Oh, what will become of poor Mary, the poacher’s wife?” And in an agony of soul she wept exceedingly, and tears rolled down her cheeks. I wept, too, for I saw she had judged herself a sinner, and that the Lord’s time for blessing had come. I opened my Bible and read from Numbers 21:9, “And Moses
Words of Wisdom
made a serpent of brass, and put it upon a pole, and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived.” After reading this I said nothing, but waited upon God to apply His own Word to that sin-stricken one, so near the end of her life’s journey. Her lips moved, and she whispered, “I’m just like one o’ them. I’ve spoken against God, and often said hard things of Him when I was starving, and when my baby died; and there’s naething but hell for me,” and again she wept.
I reopened my Bible and read to her John 3:14–17, “Oh!” she said, clasping her hands together in intense relief, “is it true, is it true? Then I can die happy. He gave His Son for me, and I shall never perish! I know I am a sinner, but Jesus died just for the like o’ me! Oh, thank ye, thank ye, for coming to me wi’ sic a message!” and she clasped my hand and kissed it again and again. (A story by Mrs. Cross) Small Talk • 37
Just as the Wife of the Son of the Prophets Relied Only on God
Today, so many people say that they come before God, pray to Him, rely on Him and depend on Him. There is something that I want to ask them. “Do you truly rely only on God? Do you only look upon God? Do you expect nothing else, but God?” When we look at people who receive the grace of God in the Bible such as the wife of son of the prophets or the prodigal son, they had all forsaken their methods. They came to realize that it would not work with their own methods, so they changed methods from relying on themselves to relying on God.
WHEN THE WOMAN CAME TO SEE THE MAN OF GOD, ELISHA
The Bible precisely speaks about how we can gain faith, how to be blessed, and how God could work in us. However, because most people 38 • The Good News March 2012
do not know the Bible precisely and just live spiritual life with what they vaguely know, problems occur in their spiritual life. When we know the Bible accurately and believe it as it is, then no matter who it is, God works and becomes
Repentance and Faith
the precious source of power. The woman in 2 Kings chapter 4 was the wife of a disciple of the man of God because her husband had become a disciple. However, she was not a woman of faith. When her husband died, she did not live by the faith to trust in God. Believing in God seemed too vague, and she did not have faith, so she departed from God. It did not seem like something could work, even if God did, so she wanted to raise her two sons well with her own method. If she works hard and raises her
kids well, then they would grow, get married, and be well off. Then, she would be able to live the rest of her life comfortably and happily. She definitely would have worked hard with such expectations. However, it did not turn out the way she wished. She thought, “This time, it will work. If I do well, then it will work out!” She tried numerous times, but ultimately, she arrived at a difficult situation where she could only sell her two sons as slaves. When the woman came to the man of God, Elisha, she struggled to be free from the pressures of debts, and the problems associated with her sons being sold as slaves. She desperately struggled to use all her methods that she could use to solve her problems. However, it did not work. She thought it would be all right if she Sermon • 39
In order to receive salvation, you have to rely on Jesus. Not just relying, but you should know precisely that there is no way other than Jesus. bore hardship, but things really did not work out well regardless of her wants. After using all her methods and ways that she could possibly use, and when she precisely realized that it could no longer be done by her own methods, she came to see the man of God. By the time she came to see the man of God, all her methods were already abandoned. THERE ARE PEOPLE WHOM GOD DOES NOT WORK FOR, EVEN IF THEY BELIEVE IN GOD
We receive salvation by the grace of Jesus. However, as we 40 • The Good News March 2012
go before God for Jesus’ grace to receive salvation, there are lots of people who still have expectations upon themselves and trust in themselves. “If I try harder, if I pray more, if I read the Bible more. . . .” All these are expectations about themselves. If someone tries to keep the law, be diligent and do good to receive salvation, then he can never receive salvation. In order to receive salvation, you have to rely on Jesus. Not just relying, but you should know precisely that there is no way other than Jesus. No matter how much good I do, no matter how much I keep the law, no matter how much I try and work hard, you should know that salvation cannot be established with your own effort. When you know for sure that even a little bit of your strength does not count, that is when the faith of trusting Jesus is fully established; when you rely on yourself or your strength while you rely on Jesus, then it cannot be
Repentance and Faith
counted as true faith. When the wife of son of the prophets came to Elisha, she knew one thing for sure. Her two sons were to be taken as servants, and even though she tried with all her might, there was nothing she could do with her power. Now, she could no longer rely on herself, or trust in herself. Because it would not work with her efforts, she had to find another way from elsewhere, and it was from God. There are people whom God does not work for, even though they believe God in the same manner. The reason is because they look up to themselves rather than trusting in God. The same story appears in Luke chapter 15 as the story of the prodigal son. The son who trusted himself took the possession of his father to a far country and thought that he could own a business and live well off. However, the result of him doing something was failure. So, he says, “I have sinned before father and heaven.”
When he spoke those words, he knew precisely that he himself could not be free from the pig pen. He had the heart to trust in himself before, but all that had crumbled down. DO YOU TRULY TRUST ONLY IN GOD?
God gave us the law. He did not give it for us to receive blessings by keeping the law. While keeping the law, He enables us to realize precisely how we cannot keep the law and come to think, “How foolish and ignorant to think that I can keep the law, if I try.” Just like that, when I go before God, everything that I expect from myself has to be crumbled down, not even 1 percent of it should remain, and I should only rely upon the Lord. When the prodigal son returned to his father’s house, he needed the power of his father, which is out from the reach of his own effort and methods, because he could only starve to death with his method. The wife of the son of the prophets also Sermon • 41
God works for those that come before God in faith. However, the reason God does not work, even though we pray is that we don’t do it by faith. struggled so much, but she knew precisely that she could never solve the problem regarding her sons with her own effort and methods; thus, she had to look for a way other than her own method. She gained faith to rely only on God, being free from herself. That was when God worked. Today, so many people say that they come before God, pray to Him, rely on Him and depend on Him. There is something that I want to ask them. “Do you truly rely only on God? Do you only look upon God? Do you expect nothing else, but only God?” That is what is important. 42 • The Good News March 2012
Long time ago, whenever I had difficulties financially, I would pray to God, but rather than looking up to God, I had expectations toward people around me, “Wouldn’t they help me?” At that time, God could not do anything for me. One day, I clearly discovered that I was not trusting in God. Although I prayed to God, I kept looking up to humans and relied on them, thus not believing in God. So I could see that God was not working. “Though I prayed, I did not do it by faith. Even though I say I believe God, I accepted the thought that He would not answer me.” That day, I became free from my thoughts. “Though I fail, I will not rely on men. Though things would not work out, I will only rely on God!” From the moment I had such a heart, God began to work amazingly in me. Commonly there are such processes in the hearts of those whom God has worked for such as the wife of the son
Repentance and Faith
of the prophets or the prodigal son. When we try hard to keep the law, and when we realize, “Ah, I cannot keep the law. It will not work by keeping the law!” and forsake the righteousness that comes from the deeds of the law, that is when the righteousness of Jesus comes into our hearts. When the prodigal son used all his methods, and finally cast away his own methods, that is when his father was able to work. The wife of the son of the prophets did everything in her efforts and methods, and when she precisely came to discover that it would not work, that is when complete faith was formed to only look up to God. GOD WORKS TO THOSE THAT COME BEFORE GOD IN FAITH
No matter who we are, God works for those that come before God in faith. It does not matter whether we are good or evil. God works when it is done by faith. However, the reason God does not work,
even though we pray is that we don’t do it by faith. Rather than believing that God will do and rather than only relying on God, we think of our own humanistic methods and ways. When we look at people who received grace of God in the Bible such as the wife of son of the prophets or the prodigal son, they had all forsaken their methods. They came to realize that it would not work with their own methods, so they changed methods from themselves to God. That is when God works. In the year of 2012, I truly hope that God works in each one of us. When we have the heart to trust in ourselves, God does not work, but upon realizing how weak and worthless of a person we are and believe in God, then He works. When we have the same heart as the wife of son of the prophets, then I believe that He would work in us and accomplish every small and big thing in our lives. (An excerpt from Pastor Ock Soo Park’s sermon) Sermon • 43
Have You Forsaken Your Rebellious Nature against God?
People don’t know what they’re really like; how dangerous, rebellious, and disobedient they are to the church. So they think they are fine and decent. But God gave up any expectations toward us as He did Saul. He doesn’t want anything from us, nor is He pleased by what we do because He can only be acknowledged when we crumble down. God has never told us to change our nature. He told us to deny ourselves.
PEOPLE ARE SEPERATED FROM GOD FROM BIRTH
The wicked are estranged from the womb: they go astray as soon as they be born, speaking lies. (Psalms 58:3) 44 • The Good News March 2012
The Bible shows that we were apart from God even from our mother’s womb. Romans says this is why we don’t fear God, nor seek Him, nor want to keep Him in our heart.
Admonition of the Lord
Although Peter confessed, he didn’t know he was apart from God from his mother’s womb. He didn’t realize that he didn’t fear God, nor like to listen to Him. And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; (Romans 1:28) THERE IS NONE THAT UNDERSTANDETH, THERE IS NONE THAT SEEKETH AFTER GOD. (Romans 3:11) THERE IS NO FEAR OF GOD BEFORE THEIR EYES. (ROMANS 3:18) God did not intend to correct humans. He gave them over to a reprobate mind. In Isaiah 30:9, it is written that That this is a rebellious people, lying children, children
that will not hear the law of the LORD. If the sons of Abraham, the Israelites didn’t want to listen to God, it is obvious the Gentiles are no better. This is the reason we were apart from God from the beginning, and didn’t fear Him. We didn’t seek Him and hated listening to Him. HAVE I DENIED MYSELF?
When Peter met Jesus by the Sea of Galilee, Jesus told him, “Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught.” After listening to Jesus, Peter thought, “I’ve been working all night long according to my judgment. Now I will listen to Jesus.” He relied on His Word and let down the net. As a result, he caught tons of fish which nearly tore his net and filled his two boats to the point they almost sank. Afterwards, Peter came to Jesus and confessed, “Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord.” Even though Peter confessed in this way, he didn’t know he was apart from God Sermon • 45
from his mother’s womb. He didn’t realize that he didn’t fear God, nor like to listen to Him. Later on, near the time of His death, Jesus told His disciples, “All ye shall be offended because of me this night: for it is written, I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be scattered abroad.” But Peter answered, “Though all men shall be offended because of thee, yet will I never be offended.” Jesus said again, “This night, before the cock crow, thou shalt
46 • The Good News March 2012
deny me thrice.” But Peter asserted, “Though I should die with thee, yet will I not deny thee.” Peter didn’t know himself. If he had known he was estranged from God from his mother’s womb, he would have realized he couldn’t please God. “I don’t seek, nor listen to Him. I do not fear God at all.” He wouldn’t have boasted of himself and denied Jesus’ Word. But he trusted in himself and said he would never deny Jesus even
Admonition of the Lord
if it meant his own death. He thought he could keep his word. We also trust ourselves just as Peter did. Have we ever denied ourselves, admitting “I am only a person like this”? How many of us confess today “I cannot serve God with my heart. The heart of God needs to flow into mine for me to serve Him”? Most people think they only need to catch a lot of fish. They think it’s important to gain a good result from their hard work. That’s why they only focus on working hard. There are not many people who realize that they were estranged from God from the beginning and deny themselves. THIS LEOPARD LOOKS LIKE A PUPPY!
Men always try to achieve something themselves, without knowing their true image or seeking the grace of God. When God gave men the commandments, they didn’t say, “Lord, we have been estranged from You from
the beginning. How can we keep Your law? We cannot. We are only dirty humans.” They said, “Yes, we will try.” Likewise we also overestimate ourselves, thinking that we can keep the commandments if we try. Just as the Israelites tried to keep the law, these days people that think they believe in God try to do the work of God well. Sometimes they can’t, but they often think they can. They think they can do it if they try a little bit harder. At the bottom of their hearts, they do not realize that they are only dirty humans who can’t please God. There is a story about a native in Africa that went out to hunt and caught a leopard cub. When he brought it back to the village, his children thought it was cute and asked, “Father, can we keep it?” Through their persistent pleas, they were allowed to raise it in their home and they spent a happy time with it, hugging each other and rolling around together. Sermon • 47
Men have their own nature just as leopards do. Their nature is to not love God, nor obey Him. Man’s nature is to go against God, and depart from Him. One day the village chief passed by and saw the leopard cub and said, “Children, leopards are very dangerous. We must kill it.” He brought a spear to kill the cub, but the children cried and said, “Chief, we raised this leopard feeding it only porridge. It’s like a puppy.” The chief finally gave up after he became tired of their relentless begging. As the cub grew into a mature leopard, it continued to play well with the children. One day while they were playing with the leopard on the mountain, one of the children fell from a low cliff. 48 • The Good News March 2012
The leopard ran to save him, and licked the blood around his wound. At first, it was just licking the blood, but soon it began sucking it. Suddenly, its eyes were changed and the leopard tore the child to death. Leopards are wild beasts and can’t lose their instinct even if they’re raised eating porridge. While it was playing with the children, its instinct was hidden, but still present. But after tasting human blood, its instinct was revealed. IF PEOPLE DON’T DEAL WITH THEIR NATURE PROPERLY . . .
Men have their own nature just as leopards do. Their nature is to not love God, nor obey Him. Man’s nature is to go against God, and depart from Him. The wicked are estranged from the womb: they go astray as soon as they be born, speaking lies. (Psalms 58:3) As the Scripture states, humans have a nature to not
Admonition of the Lord
fear God from their birth, and to hate to listen to Him, and to not seek Him. In spite of that, many people still think that they are living well for the gospel without denying themselves. Even if the leopard seemed obedient like a dog, and didn’t look wild, it still killed children when it had the chance. Similarly, humans are wicked even if they seem to love God and witness the gospel well. Anyone who has not come to know his true nature will abandon the Word of God in order to follow after his thought, and rebel against the church even if he is a pastor, or an elder, or a deacon. This is why we shouldn’t seek to witness or work well. Rather, we should check if we have ever realized our true nature and denied ourselves. Jesus can work in us after we have denied ourselves. This is why David could not become a king while Saul was still standing. When a born-again person meets someone, his only
concern is whether that person is saved or not regardless of how regularly they may attend church or how much good work they have done. Likewise, a born-again person needs to be observed whether he has denied himself, instead of checking how wise he is. THINKING THAT YOUR FACE IS THE DIRTIEST
Once a Greek governor built a new home and invited his neighbors to a party. One of the invited was a philosopher named Aristippus. All of a sudden he spit on the governor’s face. All the people at the party were shocked by his rude behavior, let alone the governor who was utterly stunned. Amidst the commotion Aristippus said, “I’m sorry, but I had some phlegm in my throat. I was looking for a place to spit, but I couldn’t because the whole house is so clean. Even the garbage can is so clean that it sparkles. I was thinking of where the dirtiest place in this house is and I Sermon • 49
decided it’s your face. With the little money you earn from your work as a governor, how could you build such a nice home like this? I’m sure you got some dirty money. That’s why I spat on your face.” When we have phlegm in our throat, where should we spit? What is the dirtiest place? We should realize that it’s our own face and say to ourselves, “You, dirty man! You hypocrite. You must die. You are wicked by nature. You have been rebellious against God from the beginning.” When people treat wood for making a piano or violin, they put it in salt water for 20 to 30 years to extract the oil and sap, leaving only pulp. This is why the wood
in pianos and violins doesn’t warp and makes the desired sound. Just as we remove the oil from wood, human nature that is always against God needs to be denied first. Without this step, we cannot be made to serve God properly. People don’t know what they’re really like; how dangerous, rebellious, and disobedient they are to the church. So they think they are fine and decent. But God gave up any expectations toward us as He did Saul. He doesn’t want anything from us, nor is He pleased by what we do because He can only be acknowledged when we crumble down. God has never told us to change our nature. He told us to deny ourselves.
Pastor Dong-sung Kim Senior Pastor of Good News Daegu Church 50 • The Good News March 2012
Meditation and Contemplation â€˘ 51
Let Us Not Follow the Illusion but the Truth
After Saul was forsaken by God in 1 Samuel chapter 15, he was still sitting on the throne in 1 Samuel chapter 18. However his life was just an illusion. How foolish it is to live a life being dragged by an illusion! And how much more foolish were the things people were doing who tried to gain favor with Saul because he was sitting on the throne as king!
52 â€˘ The Good News March 2012
Iron Sharpeneth Iron
Le Guang couldn’t understand why there was a stringy snake in the glass of the friend so he went to the room where he drank with his friend. A SNAKE IN THE GLASS?
Long ago in China during the Jin Dynasty, a person named Le Guang was sent to Henan as a governor-general who had a dearest friend there. The friend often came to Le Guang to spend time and drink together. However, the friend who used to visit Le Guang stopped coming for some time. Even though the friend should have come several times already to share a drink he didn’t, so Le Guang personally went to the friend’s house. He found his friend not looking well at all. He asked, “Why don’t you come
and see me nowadays?” And the friend said, “Last time when I drank with you, there was a small stringy snake in my glass. I thought it would be impolite to refuse, so I just drank the liquor with the stringy snake and from then on I felt sick.” Le Guang couldn’t understand why there was a stringy snake in the glass so he went to the room where he drank with his friend. When he looked around, he found a bow on the wall. The snake which the friend talked about was actually the bow reflected in the glass like a snake. Soon, Le Guang invited the friend to his house and had a drink in the same place. As Le Guang poured liquor for the friend, he asked, “What do you see?” and the friend replied, “I see a snake like before.” Le Guang smiled and said, “The snake is actually the reflection of that bow on the wall in your glass.” The friend’s face became bright red when he heard what Le Guang had said, and from Sermon • 53
Nowadays, among people who are born again, there are those who just try to keep their position like Saul without living by faith in God. then on, he got well. This story exemplifies the image of a person suffering from a thought when an illusion is reckoned as the truth. WAS SAUL A KING OR AN ABANDONED PERSON?
There are so many people in this world who suffer by accepting the things which are not true as the truth. People suffer from an illusion as the story tells, and there are also people who are in pain because of unproven thoughts. Above all, this happens a lot in the world of spiritual life. Many people who say they believe in God suffer a 54 • The Good News March 2012
great deal in the heart by taking the things which are not true as reality. Saul is a typical person who lived so. In 1 Samuel chapter 13 to chapter 15, we can see the reason why Saul was abandoned. He didn’t wait until Samuel came and personally gave the burnt offering. Even after that he didn’t rely on God but relied on people. He didn’t obey the Word of God that told him to destroy the Amalekites, but had done according to his own good sight. God abandoned Saul. Then came the word of the LORD unto Samuel, saying, It repenteth me that I have set up Saul to be king: for he is turned back from following me, and hath not performed my commandments. . . . (1 Samuel 15:10–11) As God abandoned Saul, did the reign of Saul end or not? It was surely ended. However, Saul was still wearing the king’s robe, directing the people and overseeing the works of the kingdom. He thought he was still king
Iron Sharpeneth Iron
because he was sitting on the throne of the king and gave orders. The people who didn’t have faith saw only that throne. So they crawled in front of him. As he was still making orders wearing the king’s robe, they had to gain favor with him. However, God abandoned Saul. Nowadays, among people who are born again, there are those who just try to keep their position like Saul without living by faith in God. People who don’t have faith, flatter and follow Saul because of his position, however this cannot be a right heart before
God. Even though Saul was sitting on the throne, was he acknowledged by God? SAUL COULDN’T DO ANYTHING IN FRONT OF GOLIATH
Saul was still on the throne even though God had forsaken him, and most of the Israelites were still serving and following Saul as king. So God sent Goliath to the Israelites. Saul was clearly
Sermon • 55
But the image of Saul was an illusion. How foolish it is to live a life being dragged by an illusion!d told him to repent, he didn’t listen. revealed as a person without faith in God before this big problem. The many generals he had gathered couldn’t defeat Goliath. Saul tried to defeat Goliath by even selling his daughter. He would take the person who defeats Goliath as his son-in-law, but there was no one who came forward. The reason that God sent Goliath was to show Saul, “Your reign has ended.” There was absolutely nothing that Saul could do in front of Goliath. If so, he should have ended his age before Goliath but Saul couldn’t do so. When Saul did not know what to do, 56 • The Good News March 2012
David appeared and defeated Goliath. Then Saul should go under David. Nevertheless, Saul couldn’t put down the position of king till the end and tried to kill David to keep his position. How disgraceful and filthy was Saul who couldn’t bend his heart before God. He continually worked and tried to find his own way to live. It was so evil and filthy before God. DO WE REVEAL OUR HEART OR REACT TO THE CIRCUMSTANCE?
In the Bible, there is a story of the inhabitants of Jabesh Gilead. They had received a big grace from Saul. Even though they knew David became the king, they had taken the body of Saul from the land of the Philistines, had a burial, and fasted for seven days. David approved of their good deed. They received grace by revealing their heart precisely. If they had thought of gaining favor with the people, they couldn’t do so.
Iron Sharpeneth Iron
David was the king, so how could they hold a funeral for Saul who had tried to kill David? People without faith, people whose heart is not precise before God always follow the circumstances. They judge as they see and follow it. If Saul is on the throne, they flatter Saul regardless of their heart and if David is on the throne, they flatter David regardless of their heart. WITHOUT FAITH, WE CANNOT HELP BUT TO FOLLOW THE ILLUSION
How about you? Have you ended the reign of Saul and moved over to the reign of David? Or are you still using humanly methods and finding other ways to live? Think about Saul. He didn’t change until the end. God could have removed him from the throne right away. But God didn’t do so. David who was the man of God served Saul to the end. God had one heart: He waited for Saul to repent. But Saul died insisting on his own way to the end.
After being forsaken by God in 1 Samuel chapter 15, he was still sitting on the throne in 1 Samuel chapter 18. But this image of Saul was an illusion. How foolish it is to live a life being dragged by an illusion! And how much more foolish were the things people were doing who tried to gain favor with Saul because he was sitting on the throne of the king! We must repent from this kind of life. Sadly, so many people nowadays are following the illusion. They suffer and are in a torment by an illusion, and also become happy and merry in an illusion. Living inside an illusion in this way is truly a foolish life. Nevertheless, the people whose faith has not been formed cannot help but to go that path. As the Israelites didn’t have faith in God in their hearts; they continually lived a life of serving Saul. THE PEOPLE WHO ARE SAVED SEEM TO BE ALIVE BUT ARE DEAD Sermon • 57
Saul seemed to be sitting on the throne of the king but it was an illusion; people who have received salvation look as if they are alive, but they are dead. These people are clearly ended in the sight of God, who have died on the cross with Christ. It is actually an illusion to be shown alive. However, it is a pity to see many saints who have received salvation following an illusion like Saul and the Israelites. 58 • The Good News March 2012
Why don’t you believe the Word of God even though the Word is clear? Open up the Bible and examine the Word precisely one by one. If you think and examine it for a few hours you will be able to know clearly. We are not the king of the kingdom of our heart. We are the ones who have already been forsaken, and Jesus, who is inside of us, is the King. This is the truth. The people who know and believe in the truth don’t give themselves to the illusion; the one who is led by the Word is the man of God. DAVID DIDN’T TRY TO ACCOMPLISH ANYTHING BY HIS OWN STRENGTH
Let’s think about the life of David who had faith in God contrary to Saul. After David became the king of Judah, the land of Israel was ruled by Ishbosheth, the son of Saul
Iron Sharpeneth Iron
for seven years and six months by the help of Captain Abner. Ishbosheth and Abner were not people who lived with the heart of believing in God so eventually, they were divided. Abner saw that he couldn’t be with Ishbosheth, and came to David to turn the kingdom to David. David never tried to accomplish anything with his own power. He didn’t try to get rid of Saul, who tried to kill him, and even though he was anointed as king, he personally didn’t try to become the king. After he became the king of Judah, he didn’t try to conquer Israel which had lost power already. Spiritual life is not doing it by our own will but through God. Like David, we should do it following the Spirit, not
the carnal thoughts. Just as David led Israel with the heart of God, the church should also be led by the Spirit. The saints one by one, who belong to the church, should be led by the Spirit. If not, we cannot help but to live a life like Saul, and later on, we will regret bitterly. We who are born again should find out what the will of God is for each individual from the Bible. And we should see God working to accomplish His will. So, I hope all the saints who are born again will not be deceived by an illusion but live with Jesus, who is the Truth. If we end our reign as the Bible says and commit our lives unto Jesus, whoever it may be, we will live a truly happy life.
Pastor Young-joon Park Senior Pastor of Busan Daeyeon Church Sermon • 59
Changes in a Certain Consulate’s Daughter
“PASTOR, PLEASE HELP MY DAUGHTER!”
As I am doing the work of IYF, I meet with many ambassadors and consulates from many different nations. Once, a consulate from a nation in South America attended the World Camp and we were able to greet each other. Afterwards, I frequently had chance to meet with him. One day, he came to me and asked for my help with his daughter. “Pastor, please help my daughter.” He had been living with 60 • The Good News March 2012
his daughter after his divorce. However, the daughter fell into depression while being alone and in agony from missing her mother. For a long time his daughter had been staying alone at home, contemplating in her own thoughts. She could not find the true meaning of life, and survived few suicide attempts over the years. Right before he came to see me, the daughter attempted suicide again, so he called on me for help. It was his only daughter, and the father cared for his daughter dearly and
A Grain of Mustard Seed
wanted what was best for her. However, the daughter lost any interest in life and was in constant watch for suicide attempt. The father’s heart was breaking for his daughter and was in profound pain. There was nothing he could do to solve the problem, so he came to me for help. It may be absurd to think that I could guide his daughter, when the father himself could not. However, I had God with me and I am a witness to the workings of God, so I visited the consulate’s house. When I arrived at
his place, his daughter locked herself in her room and would not come out. The consulate continuously pleaded with his daughter for a long time. “Honey, this pastor is a very busy man. I am begging you, please open the door!” There was silence. After 30 minutes had passed, the daughter came out from her room. I WANTED TO HELP THAT GIRL TO COME OUT FROM HER OWN WORLD
I was able to sit down with her and speak. No one quite Testimony • 61
knows about the world of the heart, especially people who suffer from depression or have problems in their heart. The illness of the heart arises due to not opening and using oneâ€™s heart. This girl also had been closing her heart and living inside of her own world for a long time. Therefore, no one was able to provide any kind of influence in her heart. While living in this kind of isolation, a certain thought arose in her continually and pulled her into the direction to commit suicide. I felt compassion for her and wanted to help her. God created mankind in the midst of all things and made a heart in man. The heart is more precious than any other thing 62 â€˘ The Good News March 2012
in this world, and God made it well. The heart will respond when in love, and feel happy and pleased when it flows with the heart of others. People have vague ideas of how the world of the heart works. Today, the world is so corrupted it came to a point where no one can trust each other. Consequently, many people tend to shun away from sharing whatâ€™s in their heart. This is because they are in fear of being despised and treated dumb by saying the wrong thing. Therefore, many youths tend to close their heart. Especially when they are into computer games for a long time, they feel burdened to meet other people. Hence, they end up closing their heart
A Grain of Mustard Seed
towards others. Sadly enough the heart of consulate’s daughter also was tightly closed. I wanted that girl to open her heart and run out from her own world. HER FACE WAS FILLED WITH JOY
People who are caught within themselves will feel peace when they are in contact with the feelings of other people and feel a bond with them. For two hours, I spoke about Jesus to that girl—how Jesus had been crucified for her, and about opening her heart. Surprisingly, the girl accepted the Word in the Bible and received salvation. The more I think about it, I cannot erase the feeling of joy I felt at that
time. The girl’s face lit up. I told the girl, “My wife makes delicious Korean dishes. If you are not busy, can you come over to my house tomorrow morning? I want to invite you and your father for dinner.” The girl was not busy since she stayed home all day. The next day, she came to my home with her father holding a small gift for us. We sat at the table and ate dinner together. The girl seemed very happy, and she said this was the first time she had dinner at someone’s home in Korea. “Madam, this food is so delicious. How do you make this kind of food? Can you teach me how to make it?” The daughter of the consulate conversed with my wife, Testimony • 63
and joyously ate the food. Her face was filled with joy. It was pure delight to see how just putting two extra spoons on the table could bring so much happiness to the person. After dinner, for two more hours the consulate’s daughter enjoyed our company and went home. “PASTOR, PLEASE COME TO MY RESTAURANT AND ENJOY THE FOOD.”
Ever since that time due to my busy schedule I did not have a chance to see her again. However, one day the consulate came to visit me. “Pastor, I am going to be dispatched to another country. I received a call from my government. I will be go64 • The Good News March 2012
ing to Taiwan. I really liked Korea, and truly feel love for Korea. I am saddened to depart this land. Pastor, please visit Taiwan when you have a chance. I want to spend some time with you.” The consulate then took out his phone, called his daughter, and transferred the call to me. “Where are you?” “I am in Montreal, Canada. Pastor, I am studying cooking here. After I finish my studying, I am going to Paris and start a restaurant of my own. I want to especially invite you to my restaurant and taste my cooking. Thank you, pastor.” I was truly happy to see the girl coming out of her
A Grain of Mustard Seed
own thoughts of darkness and speaking brightly, planning a new life by studying cooking. THERE IS NO ONE WHO WILL NOT CHANGE WHEN THEY MEET JESUS
Jesus has the power to change a person’s heart. Whoever accepts His heart, He enters into their heart and works. When He works, anyone can become beautiful. I never had another occasion to see the consulate’s daughter since then. However, I believe Jesus in her heart will guide her through. I don’t know where she is, but she may have opened a restaurant somewhere in Paris by now. I feel very thankful to know that she will be living a life of joy in Jesus.
Before I met Jesus, I was a person who gave worries and heartaches to many people. But through Jesus, I have become a person who gives peace by introducing Jesus to other people. I am also thankful to see people change and become happy when Jesus works in them. Even today, Jesus works amongst many people. He changes their heart and gives His righteousness, holiness, peace and love which they previously did not have. It is so amazing and thankful to know that there is no one who will not be changed when they meet Jesus. (An excerpt from With the Gospel to the Ends, With the Lord to the Last by Pastor Ock Soo Park) Testimony • 65
66 • The Good News July 2009
Good News Mission Churches • Good News Central Church 3500 W. 1st St. LA, CA 90004, USA Tel.1-213-386-0097 • Good News Tacoma Church 10103 South Tacoma Way Lakewood, WA 98499, USA Tel.1-253-582-3599 • Good News San Jose Church 1548 Curtner Avenue, San Jose, CA 95125, USA Tel.1-408-723-2029 • Good News Las Vegas Church 9443 Breechcloth Way Las Vegas, NV 89117, USA Tel.1-702-248-0572 • Good News New York Church 300 Nassau Road, Huntington, NY 11743, USA Tel.1-631-745-4734 • Good News Atlanta Church 11011 Rogers Circle, Johns Creek, GA 30097, USA Tel.1-678-473-1594 • Good News Chicago Church 4825 W. Jarlath St. Lincolnwood, IL 60712, USA Tel.1-847-329-0237 • Good News Kingston Church 63B Deanery Road, Kingston 3, Jamaica W. I. Tel.1-876-620-9340 • Good News Mission Baptist Church-Tema Good News Mission. P.M.B. Comm. 1, Tema, Ghana (W/Africa) Tel.233-22-305857~8 • Good News Mission(K) Nairobi Church P.O.Box 57329, Nairobi, Kenya -00200- Tel.254-729-398912 • Good News Kampala Church P.O.Box 33441 Kampala, Uganda Tel.256-414-271-357 • Good News Mission(Burundi) Bujumbra Church B.P 2207 Bujumbura, Burundi, Central Africa Tel.257-79901723 • Good News Mission(R) Kigali Church P.O.Box 3539 Kigali, Rwanda, Africa Tel.250-78-8610363 • Sydney Grace Church 72-74 Joseph St Lidcombe NSW 2141, Australia Tel.61-2-9749-2114 • London Good News Church Cambridge House, 16 Wellesley Road, Croydon, CR0 2DD, UK Tel.44-20-8761-0054 • Orissa Good News Church AT/PO Dugudi, Via, G.Udayagiri, Dist. Kandhamal (Phulbani) Orissa-762100, India Tel.91-94-380-00095