Delivering the Gospel & the Testimonies of Grace
Hope for Haiti Global Focus Fear, A Condition Where God Works Sermon of the Month The Lord Had Set Me Free! Salvation Testimony The Illusion of Good and Evil Discussion Topic
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Delivering the Gospel & the Testimonies of Grace
Contents 4 Photo & News 8 Salvation Testimony The Lord Had Set Me Free! 14 Sermon of the Month
Fear, A Condition Where God Works 22 Global Focus Hope for Haiti 28 Discussion Topic
Conscience: The Illusion of Good and Evil 38 Meditation and Contemplation What Is Leading Your Heart? 40 Iron Sharpeneth Iron
The Situation of This City is Pleasant, but The Water is Naught 48 Testimony
Who Is Guiding My Heart? 54 Admonition of the Lord
The Life of Faith Is to Be Lived in Itself 61 Essay
God Listens to the Sound Seeking His Grace 62 Testimony Only by God’s Grace 6 4 A Grain of Mustard Seed A Missionary Couple Who Decided to Walk by Faith 70 Upcoming Events 2012 IYF ENGLISH Camp The Good News (Vol.199) is published monthly by Good News Publications, Inc., 3500 W. 1st Street, Los Angeles, CA 90004 E-mail: email@example.com Chairman, Chief Executive Officer: Ock Soo Park Editor-in-Chief: Jeong-ho Park Art Director: Seol-ah Park Chief Printer/ Press: DLAP Printing, Co. Printed on June 21, 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.
Photo & News _ Germany
Welcome to World Camp in Germany After three months of constant promotion by Good News Corps volunteers in Europe, the World Camp in Mannheim, Germany finally commenced. On June 5th, Council Member Rolf Dieter welcomed participants at the Rosengarten explaining that, “Mannheim is a 500 year-old city that is a center of culture and industry in a beautiful nature setting.” Pastor Ock Soo Park gave a congratulatory message in which he told participants how to connect their hearts to God. “A nice television or air conditioner won’t function if it doesn’t have electricity. Likewise, when our hearts are connected to God, when are hearts are connected to God, we will change in amazing ways.” As we saw the World Camp in Germany bring change to the youth, we are hopeful for change around the world as our hearts connect to God.
4 • The Good News July 2012
News • 5
Photo & News _ Africa
Taking a Big Part in Saving Precious Lives Kibera is one of the top three slums in the world and it’s located in Nairobi, Kenya. More than a million poor people that live there, and they are exposed to typhoid, and malaria because of a lack of clean water and proper sewage. Malawi is the poorest country in Africa and Lilongwe, its capital, is rife with AIDS and suffers from a failed economy. Though hospitals are free, they always lack medicine. People in need of medicine formed a long line at the Good News Medical Volunteer’s camp. The Good News Medical Volunteer program takes place annually. The volunteers encountered many limitations when they first started, but they have hope that many more people will get better next year as they continue to volunteer and receive support. 6 • The Good News July 2012
News • 7
Christian Parry (Good News Salt Lake Church, United States)
Christian pictured third from the left
y name is Christian Parry. I was born in Baltimore MD, in 1958. After that, my family moved to Delaware and there, my father became a millionaire. We moved to NYC when I was thirteen years old. Later, I became a pothead and I used to drink alcohol when I was attending private schools.
8 â€˘ The Good News July 2012
I thought that my life was meaningless. My father failed in business and the family moved from town to town. Eventually, I began my journey to true faith. I believed that I had received salvation in the early 1990â€™s. At the time, my parents were living in Salt Lake City. One day, I received the bad news that my father was in a coma after a
The Lord Had Set Me Free! This is my story. I had so much joy in my heart! Although it’s true that I am a dirty, filthy sinner, God calls me righteous. God forgot all my sin like Joseph forgot all his toil after he begot Manasseh! The Lord had set me free from sin. I have the righteousness of God now. Oh, thank You, Lord!
brain surgery that was meant to remove a benign tumor. I was devastated. I knew none of my family was saved. They were involved in false faith. I went to the hospital and I prayed Psalms 107:20 “He sent His word and healed them, And delivered them from their destructions.” The next morning as I stood beside his bed, he awoke! Only
my mother believed God did it through grace but I was able to speak about God to my father. During the six years I stayed with him, I taught him several things about Jesus though he was an atheist. During that time, he was diagnosed with lung cancer. Shortly before his death, he was comatose again. The Lord spoke to my heart that Testimony • 9
Although I experienced God’s grace from time to time, sadly I fell deeply into sin. I had become useless. I had moments of grace and joy but they faded. I suffered from sin. my father would be saved, that my father would return to God soon. A sense of peace came over me. When I went to his bed and asked him, “Now dad, do you belong to Jesus?” He awoke and stated, “Oh yes!” He was serious. The next morning, he was gone. I had peace regarding my father’s soul. I wanted to add things to my salvation. I attended “deep” Bible studies and began playing drums in many praise bands, trying to please God. To pack knowledge upon knowledge seemed to be so good. As I went on with that life, 10 • The Good News July 2012
my spiritual life became more difficult. Although I experienced God’s grace from time to time, sadly I fell deeply into sin. I had become useless. I fell into fornication, drinking alcohol and smoking pot. I became very depressed and went to secular counselors, even to a Christian counselor, but nothing helped. I had moments of grace and joy but they faded. I suffered from sin.
ne day, the church I was attending had a Bible seminar held by the Good News Church. It captured my interest. The Lord was calling! As I sat and listened to pastor Sang Yul Kim, I began to weep; I could not stop crying. I said to myself, “Lord what’s going on?” The message was about Jesus and two thieves on the cross. At the end of the seminar, someone asked me “Christian, are you free from sin?” I was deeply conflicted. I mumbled something like…
Short term missionaries from Korea sat with me during services. I could feel the love of God.
”I know Jesus died for me but, but, but… Oh I’m not free from sin.” Then some students and a counselor sat with me. I felt the love of God. They gave me a book Notes on Genesis 1 by pastor Ock Soo Park. As I read the book, starting from Cain and Abel, I could learn the world of the heart before God. Our works to please God are worthless. However Jesus’ works are perfect to God but I did not understand God’s grace fully.
I was not free yet. The Good News Church did not arrive in Salt Lake City for another year. I waited, but during that time I fell back into alcohol. I didn’t have a church I wanted to go to because the Lord told me, “This Good News Church is for you to attend.” Finally, after one year, I found a flyer next to my truck. Good News Church had arrived in Salt Lake City! There was Bible seminar; Testimony • 11
me to be fruitful in the land of my affliction.” I am a dirty sinner, This is my story. I had so much joy in my heart! God calls me righteous. Although it’s true that I am a God forgot all my sins dirty, filthy sinner, God calls me righteous. God forgot like Joseph forgot all my sin like Joseph forall his toil. got all his toil after he begot The Lord had set me Manasseh! The Lord had set me free from sin. I have the free from sin. righteousness of God now. Oh, thank you, Lord! Pastor Eddie Pennoyer came When I first met Pastor to speak. He spoke the words Andrew Nam, I noticed he from John 5: 25, Jesus said was much younger than I. “Most assuredly, I say to Satan tried to deceive me and you, the hour is coming, and said “He is a novice, don’t now is, when the dead will listen to him.” After one hear the voice of the Son of service at the Good News Salt God and those who hear will Lake Church, I knew he was live.” I knew I was dead actruly a servant of God. God cording to Jeremiah 17: 9. gave me a very special love for And the Lord shined light on Andrew and his wife Nicole. I that, and I knew I was His. finally found a church that Also he spoke about Genesis actually witnesses the true 41: 51~52. ‘Joseph called gospel together and teaches the name of the firstborn the Bible correctly. Since I’ve Manasseh for God has made been attending the service and me forget all my toil and all Bible study, I have learned the my father’s house. And the Bible much more than before. name of second he called Now I have a grateful heart. Ephraim for God has caused Thank You Lord.
Although it’s true that
12 • The Good News July 2012
Testimony â€˘ 13
Fear, A Condition Where God Works
An Excerpt from One of Pastor Ock Soo Parkâ€™s Sunday Services
Then Jeroboam built Shechem in mount Ephraim, and dwelt therein; and went out from thence, and built Penuel. And Jeroboam said in his heart, Now shall the kingdom return to the house of David: If this people go up to do sacrifice in the house of the LORD at Jerusalem, then shall the heart of this people turn again unto their lord, [even] unto Rehoboam king of Judah, and they shall kill me, and go again to Rehoboam king of Judah. Whereupon the king took counsel, and made two calves [of] gold, and said unto them, It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem: behold thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt. And he set the one in Bethel, and the other put he in Dan. And this thing became a sin: for the people went [to worship] before the one, [even] unto Dan. And he made an house of high places, and made priests of the lowest of the people, which were not of the sons of Levi. And Jeroboam ordained a feast in the eighth month, on the fifteenth day of the month, like unto the feast that [is] in Judah, and he offered upon the altar. So did he in Bethel, sacrificing unto the calves that he had made: and he placed in Bethel the priests of the high places which he had made. (1 Kings 12:25~32)
14 â€˘ The Good News July 2012
Sermon of the Month
EVEN THOUGH GOD MADE JEROBOAM AS A KING Jeroboam should have thought this way whenever fear arose from his heart: “I cannot win over this fear. However, who is the one who made me king? Isn’t it God who made me king? In that case, I will depend upon the Lord.” If Jeroboam had this heart, then God would have surely worked to make his kingdom solid and would have truly blessed his life. However, Jeroboam was captured by fear and tried to solve his fear by using his human methods. If you look in the Old
Testament in 1 Kings, there is a king named Jeroboam. Saul was the first king of Israel, then David became king, then David’s son Solomon became king. Solomon, who built the temple in Jerusalem, became corrupt right after completing the precious work. He had many wives, and became corrupt by serving the gods of his foreign wives. Therefore, God declared that He would divide the kingdom of Israel. Afterwards, the prophet Ahijah took hold of a new garment that was on him, and tore it into twelve pieces. Then he took ten pieces and Sermon • 15
Jeroboam must have thought this. “I must stop the people from going up to the temple of Jerusalem. I must make golden calves.” gave them to Jeroboam. He told Jeroboam, “God has given you ten tribes of Israel to rule over.” That is why after Solomon, his son Rehoboam ruled in the southern part of Israel, and Jeroboam became king in the northern part of Israel. JEROBOAM THOUGHT THAT HE HAD TO MAKE THE GOLDEN CALVES If you look in 1 Kings 12:25, after Jeroboam became king, he built Shechem in the mountains of Ephraim and dwelt there. A fearful heart formed inside of Jeroboam, he thought, ‘Rehoboam may attack anytime!’ So he began 16 • The Good News July 2012
to build cities everywhere, and while he dwelt there, he had the heart to protect himself. Afterwards, fear continually arose in the heart of Jeroboam and gradually fear took over his heart. A fearful heart arose in Jeroboam: ‘Now the kingdom may return to the house of David. The people will go up to Jerusalem for the Passover and other sacrifices. If they go into the temple, their heart will return to Rehoboam the king of Judah. Then they will kill me and go back up to Rehoboam.’ Jeroboam had thought of many ways, one of which, ‘I must stop the people from going up to the temple of Jerusalem. In order to do so, I must make golden calves for the people to serve instead of God.’ So he made the golden calves. We can see that through his sin, his whole household was doomed to destruction and curse in the Bible.
Sermon of the Month
JESUS WHO IS INSIDE OF US CAN SURELY WIN OVER FEAR One of Satan’s most powerful weapons is fear, and Satan often fills our hearts with fear. Satan also filled my heart with fear numerous times, and tried to lure me to use those familiar humanly methods to overcome those fears. I was deceived, and there are a few times that I ended up using my own humanly methods to overcome those fears. However, I experienced that I was wrong at each of those times. We must first remember that fear comes to even people who are inside of God, but in the Bible, it says clearly that God does not give the fearful heart. Therefore, we must not fall into
fear, but we must win over it. We ourselves cannot win over it, but Jesus who is inside of us can surely win over fear. That is the reason why when we fear, we should not use our humanly ways to be free from fear, but we must look up to Jesus and win over fear by faith in Jesus. This is the first gate we must pass through in living spiritual life. When fear comes or problems come, one must consider, ‘Will I solve this by faith in God or through my own methods?’ This is where all decisions are made. Many people use their humanly ways to solve their problems without much thought, but as they continue
Sermon • 17
The difficulty you are facing right now, seems to us like a difficulty, however, God is preparing your heart in order to do the work of the gospel. to use their humanly ways, they become father from God. In our lifetime, fear comes to everyone. This fear becomes the condition for God to work inside of us. When fear comes, God says to us, “Believe in me and depend on me. Then I will make you to win over fear. I will solve your problems.” It is God who gives us the strength to win over the fear. THROW OUT THE BARLEY AND COVER IT WITH DIRT… Recently, a sister gave me a call as she cried. “Pastor, I need some coun18 • The Good News July 2012
seling.” I met with the sister for a counseling session. This sister had married her husband in order to live for the gospel. However, the opportunity to preach the gospel was rare, and it became difficult. The sister could no longer live this way and had made up her mind to divorce her husband in order to be free from this hardship. When I looked at the sister, I thought, ‘I should not comfort this sister. If I look through the eyes of Jesus, if the sister relied on Jesus, what kind of problem would this be?’ I spoke softly to the sister: “Sister, if your circumstances were better, instead of the heart to preach the gospel, you would want to go shopping with your children on the weekends, you would want to eat at a nice restaurant, you would want to enjoy yourself with your friends, isn’t this how you would have flowed in the worldly ways? The difficulty
Sermon of the Month
you are facing right now, seems to us like a difficulty, however, God is preparing your heart in order to do the work of the gospel.” I told the sister, “Sister, please think. The barley is inside and thinks that it is safe. One day, the owner comes and throws the barley on the ground. The barley may think, ‘I am being thrown out by my owner.’ Then the owner covers it up with dirt. If the barley could think like a human, ‘The owner has thrown me out and covered me with dirt, so that I’ll never meet the humans again! He’s given me this hardship.’ He would be in despair. However, the owner didn’t really throw out the barley on the ground nor did he cover up the barley with dirt to prevent people from finding the barley. Actually, the
owner wanted to make a condition for the barley to take root so that it could produce grain for the people to eat. Right now, “Sister, it seems difficult, but it is really not a difficulty. God is allowing this process to produce you into a true worker for the gospel. What problem is there that cannot be solved inside of the Lord? Please rely on the Lord.” The sister turned from her heart of wanting to divorce and decided to rely on God. You don’t know how thankful I was when I saw the Lord start to work in her life with power.
Sermon • 19
When problems or fear come our way, God gives us the strength to overcome them. God has already made a way out for us from the difficulties and fears. THIS IS HOW JEROBOAM SHOULD HAVE THOUGHT . . . When fear continually arose from Jeroboam’s heart, this is how Jeroboam should have thought, ‘I cannot win over this fear. But who is the one who made me king? Isn’t it God who made me king? Then I must depend on God. God will surely help me.’ If jeroboam had this kind of faith, then God would have surely made his kingdom solid and would have given him a blessed life. However, jeroboam fell gradually into fear, and could not be free from the fear. So he used his humanly ways to 20 • The Good News July 2012
free himself from the fear. This is what he thought, ‘I must stop the people of Israel from going up to land of Judah. I must prevent them from going up to the temple in Jerusalem.’ Jeroboam had this thought so he did not want the people to go up to Jerusalem for the Passover and other sacrifices. He made two golden calves; he set one in Bethel and the other one in Dan. We can see that through this sin, his life was cursed and how he was shamefully doomed to destruction. GOD WANTS TO HELP US Satan puts many kinds of fears into the heart of people. He makes us to think of humanly ways to be free from fear instead of relying on God, making us to follow our humanly ways. However, when fear or problems come our way, no matter what it may be, God gives us the strength to overcome them. God has already made a way
Sermon of the Month
out for us from the difficulties and fears, and wants us to go out in front of Him. However, we can see many people waver in front of the fear and problems, and eventually use their humanly ways like jeroboam. In the end, they are cursed and doomed to destruction. Even today, Satan gives fear to the brothers and sisters who are saved. However, God can free us at anytime from those fears. Whatever fear it may be, God, who has the power to overcome, wants us to come out in front of him. When fear or problems come, Satan gives us the thought that God will not help us. However, God truly wants to help us. That is why when we have the faith in God who will over-
come, He will surely overcome the problem, and we will truly live a blessed life. Sadly, not many people live this kind of life. There are many cases where people who face fear use their humanly ways to solve it and while trying, they fall into sin and darkness. Jeroboam chose his humanly ways and tried to protect himself by making the golden calves, and because of that he made Israel to collapse and consequently himself. Today, Satan leads us in this way. No matter what kind of fear or problems we may face, it is of no consequence. I believe that if we come out to Jesus, Jesus will solve the problems for us, and we will be able to dwell in joy and live a blessed life.
Pastor Ock Soo Park Senior Pastor of Good News Gangnam Church, Korea Chief Advisor of International Youth Fellowship (IYF) www.ocksoopark.com
Sermon â€˘ 21
H pe for
he former French colony of Haiti is a mountainous island nation located in the West Indies which shares a border with the Dominican Republic to the east. In February 2010, a magnitude 7.0 earthquake completely devastated the capital city, Port-Au-Prince leav-
22 â€˘ The Good News July 2012
ing an estimated 220,000 people dead, 300,000 wounded, and 1.5 million homeless.
Many students are enthusiastic to learn English in hopes of escaping the poverty that was only made worse by the earthquake. However, 4000 schools were damaged or destroyed and 1.8 million stu-
dents were unable to attend school as a result. 7200 students were invited to attend the 2012 Haiti English Camp from June 6th to the 12th in Port-au-Prince in order to give them hope and convey the heart of God in the painful aftermath of the earthquake. INTERVIEW WITH MINISTER EUN SEOK JUNG, MANAGER OF ENGLISH CAMP IN HAITI Q: Can you briefly describe English camp in general?
A: Ten staff members went to Haiti early in May. They trained 50 native volunteers from May 10 through June 6. The camp consisted of four main classes: English Lecture, Academy, Dance and Sports, and gospel Class. The teachers couldnâ€™t get enough sleep because of the 12 hours of curriculum, and all of them lost their voices. Although we lacked water and electricity, the gospel was planted in the hearts of 600 people. We are hopeful that God will bring about change in Haiti. Global Focus â€˘ 23
“Through this IYF English Camp, I could learn English, dance and more. I love IYF.” –Erica, 18, Fema School-
Q: What did the students think of the academy classes? A: Some of the academy topics included CPR, washing hands, brushing teeth, and purifying water. Haitian students often don’t brush their teeth because of a shortage of safe water or because they don’t know the proper way, so increasing numbers are suffering from cavities and toothaches. One student who participated in the academy said, “I actually didn’t know how to wash my hands properly, and it was good that through this academy I learned how to wash cleanly, even under my fingernails. I am curious to see what we will be learning in tomorrow’s academy class.” 24 • The Good News July 2012
Q: I heard that the managing staff met Minister of Youth and Sports Jean Roosevelt Rene June 12 in Haiti’s capitol, Port-Au-Prince. A: Pastor Yeong Kook Park, Director of the New York IYF chapter, met with him. He introduced the IYF to the Minister Rene. Pastor told him, “In order to address youth problems, the IYF World Camp began in Korea in 1995 and spread to 80 countries. Through the Bible, we train students to have a strong heart and become leaders. Minister Rene had great interest towards the 2012 English Camp in Haiti, and said that he would attend the Ministers of Youth Forum in Korea.”
Gospel class in the English Camp opened in a place where 80% of the citizens are Catholic. We preached about God’s heart because though they are familiar with the Bible, they are unclear about God’s true heart.
26 • The Good News July 2012
I received salvation through English Camp. God told me that He doesn’t remember my sins any more. I am righteous now! Simon Willbens, one of 54 Haitian volunteers (25 interpreters, 29 dancers), shared his testimony.
Q: How did you become an IYF English Camp volunteer and what type of volunteer activities have you done? A: After meeting IYF, strength formed in my heart. I joined the English Camp to learn the mindset of IYF students to live for others. I chose to be a part of the Song and Dance class and taught students dances like “Boleria”, “Under the Sea”, “Oomoja”, and others one move at a time. Q: What’s unique about IYF? A: I listened to the gospel and learned that through Adam, sin entered the world and my heart, making it very dirty. However, Jesus came to the world to take away my sins and has come into my heart, and now I am a righteous man. Inside of IYF there
is change. While working together, I was able to think and I had a change of heart. After my parents died, I did not have money to attend school and led a life without hope. However, after I met the IYF, I was able to regain a smile on my face, and I gained the courage to overcome my limitation. I am thankful towards the ministers in IYF and volunteers, and I want to continue working together with IYF. An American volunteer named Glen said, “It was difficult to teach English because we speak different languages, but I gained strength after seeing the students participate enthusiastically. When students stayed after to ask questions and overcame their fear of speaking English, I felt the value of teaching.” Global Focus • 27
Conscience: Part 2
The Illusion of Good and Evil
Eddie Pennoyer Pastor, Good News Central Church in LA
n order to have a meaningful dialogue about the relevant themes of the Bible, certain basic notions have to be defined. In particular, ideas about good and evil must be clarified so that subsequent discussions will be cohesive and efficient. Though the meaning of the terms “good” and “evil” may seem apparent enough, it should not be taken for granted that these are simple ideas. A closer look at the apparent 28 • The Good News July 2012
and actual Biblical meaning of these terms reveals an important distinction in perspectives which ultimately defines the central conflict in the Scriptures. The terms “good” and “evil” are often misunderstood. People believe that there are things which are innately good and innately evil, but simple investigation reveals that this is a much more complex issue than it seems at first glance.
While there are some things which we collectively accept as good and evil, our notions are challenged when we read the Bible. Cultures vary widely in their ideas about what is good and evil and what is right and wrong. What is acceptable in one culture is sometimes unacceptable in another. For example, in some cultures it is considered polite to burp after a meal as a sign that you have eaten well, while the same act would be considered impolite in many others. In some cultures, women are not to show any part of their bodies, not even their faces, in public and so are required to wear clothes that cover even their eyes. However, in other cultures it is acceptable for women to wear clothing that reveals and exposes their bodies.
What this shows is that there is a difference in perspective among cultures. But there are other ways in which perspectives differ. For the purposes of this discussion, we will focus on the different perspectives about the relationship between God and man. While there are some things which we collectively accept as good and evil, our notions are challenged when we read the Bible. Genesis 6:5 states, And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart were only evil continually. This verse gives a very different perspective of good and evil than what most people have. Most people believe that there is both good and evil in each of us and that for the most part, people are more good than bad. Belief in the basic goodness of man is also known as humanism. It is almost unthinkable that a human would consider every thought of the imagination of his heart to be only Discussion Topic â€˘ 29
It is difficult to accept that all of man’s thoughts are only evil continually because we have a different standard of judgment about what evil is. evil continually, or, in other words, every thought that man has ever had has only been evil. This verse is not talking about just one man, but about all men who ever existed. To even think that there has ever been such a man is virtually impossible. If we
take for example Adolf Hitler, someone whom most would 30 • The Good News July 2012
agree was one of the most evil men who ever existed; it would be difficult, if not impossible, to think that all of his thoughts were only evil continually. Even Hitler must have had some good thoughts. He probably loved his mother and cared for his family and friends. If Hitler was not only evil continually, this poses a serious question: why is there such a disparity between what Genesis 6:5 is saying and what people know? We find the answer in the beginning of the verse. Genesis 6:5 reveals where this idea is coming from when it states “and God saw…” God is very different from man, so He should then also have a very different perspective from man. God even says it in Isaiah 55:8, For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. It is difficult to accept that all of man’s thoughts are only evil continually because we have a different standard of judgment about what evil is. Because we judge evil in
terms of what it means to humans, we cannot understand why God says that all of man’s thought are only evil continually. However, if we understand what is evil in God’s terms, then the meaning in Genesis 6:5 becomes clear and indeed the Bible itself is more coherent. Isaiah 55: 7-9 says, Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. For most, sin is defined as those deeds which are evil. A deed that is considered evil to one person may not be considered evil to another. But if God is the judge, the question is able to be answered definitively. God’s judgment is that sin is anything which
is not of faith. Humans base their judgment on perceptions of external things, so their understanding of sin is concerned with deeds.
ecause God is a spirit, to Him sin is not a matter of deeds but rather it has to do with hearts and intents. God sees that all of man’s thoughts are only evil because they are not His thoughts. That’s what Isaiah 55:7-9 is telling us. Rather than telling us to try not to do wrong things, it is saying “ let the wicked forsake his way and the unrighteous man his thoughts and let him return unto the Lord…” People who try not to do wrong things think that they are good but that they occasionally make mistakes. So for them, the goal is to keep following the path they are used to because they think it is the way that God is pleased with. However, when God says, “let the wicked forsake his way and the unrighteous Discussion Topic • 31
People who try to avoid sinning are not accomplishing anything. Sinning is not doing things which are “evil,” but rather it is not living by faith. his thoughts,” He is not talking about certain individuals, but rather about all of mankind. Romans 3: 10-12 says, As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. Therefore, it doesn’t matter if man’s thoughts are good in his own eyes; it matters if he lives by faith in God’s thoughts rather than in his own. To live by faith means to forsake our thoughts, regardless of how good they may seem, and live by God’s word. 32 • The Good News July 2012
People who try to avoid sinning by not doing those deeds which they judge to be evil are not accomplishing anything. Sinning is not doing things which are “evil,” but rather it is not living by faith. The Pharisees are a perfect example of this. For the most part, the Pharisees were considered “good” people in that they didn’t commit many “evil” deeds. It’s easy to despise the Pharisees in modern times because we know they were enemies of Christ, but in their time, they were highly regarded by the religious community for their piety. Though their intentions were good, they denied Christ because they couldn’t realize that their thoughts were only evil continually. Jesus explained to them why they should deny themselves in John 8:43-45, “Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word. Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode
not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. And because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not.” What is perhaps most essential about these three verses is the notion which Jesus puts forth at the end of verse 44 and through verse 45. He says that, “… there is no truth in him [Satan]. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar and the father of it. And because I tell you the truth, you believe me not”. He says that they are of their father the devil, which means they are not of God. If they were of God, they would be able to hear him. This is why he says they cannot understand his speech. It is clear that the
Pharisees don’t understand what Jesus speaks of and this is a testament to the fact of how intrinsically different they are. Since Jesus is God, he is spiritual while the Pharisees are obviously not. Again the verses in Isaiah ring true, For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.
Discussion Topic • 33
Not only are they incapable of pleasing God, but the fact that they are incapable remains unknown to them as long as they keep believing their conscience. Our thoughts are not from God because they are from Satan. But people whose thoughts are from Satan are not able to discern that fact because they are being deceived. People who are “of their father the devil” cannot change that fact by behaving in a good way. Regardless of their good deeds and/or intentions, they are unacceptable before God. Even though such people may seem good to other people, they are no different from people who are obviously evil in others’ eyes. Not only are they incapable of pleasing God, but the fact that they are incapable remains unknown to them as long as they keep 34 • The Good News July 2012
believing in their notion of good and evil, in other words, their conscience. What makes a person acceptable and, indeed, pleasing, to God? Hebrews 11:6 says, But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. The Pharisees certainly thought they believed God and were diligently seeking after him. However, without true repentance, faith is impossible. Romans 10:17 states, So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. The question then becomes who can hear the word of God? If the Pharisees cannot, then who can?
e find a clue in Hebrews 11:4 which says, By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being
dead yet speaketh. The reason this clue is relevant in that it tells us about two people who sought to please God, in this case, through offerings. While we can see the obvious difference in what they offered, Cain with fruit of the ground and Abel with a firstling of the flock, certainly God didn’t prefer one type of food over another because God doesn’t eat. The verse tells us that it was by faith that Abel offered a more excellent sacrifice than Cain. Cain must have believed that God would accept his offering; otherwise, he wouldn’t have offered it. But, what did he believe that allowed him to make such an offering? Was it that he believed God or his own
thought? If he had made an offering by faith, God would not have rejected him. Did Cain think he believed God? He must have thought he did; otherwise, why make an offering? Thinking that you believe in God and actually believing in God are two very different things. Thinking that you believe in God is based on human thought and is driven by your own conscience. Actually believing in God is based on the word of God and driven by repentance. Conscience is what is good and evil in humans’ eyes but many think that it is the same as what God sees as good and evil. People aren’t required to reject all of their thoughts in order
Discussion Topic • 35
True repentance is not regretting sincerely that you have done wrong, but rather, it is the realization that you are spiritually dead in front of God. to believe in their conscience; it requires only rejecting those they deem evil. It allows people to believe in their thoughts, which leads them to judge the validity of the word of God; to decide whether it is true or not. Like the Pharisees, people accept those things which fit their preconceived notions and their conscience but they reject those things which don’t. It is the perfect illusion from Satan. The Bible tells us what is good and evil in God’s eyes and requires us to reject our ideas about this concept; in other words, it is telling us to repent. Repentance is what leads to faith. If Abel 36 • The Good News July 2012
made his offering by faith, as Hebrews 11 tells us, we know then that he must have heard the word of God because “… faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God”. What was the nature of Abel’s repentance? What made it possible for him to hear the word of God? The answer lies in John 5:25: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live.” True repentance is not regretting sincerely that you have done wrong, but rather, it is the realization that you are spiritually dead in front of God. As stated previously, we cannot please God by anything that we do because we are utterly depraved. This is consistent with the word in Genesis 6:5, And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart were only evil continually, as well as with Jesus’ assessment in John 8:43-45, “Why do ye not understand my
speech? even because ye cannot hear my word. Ye are of your father the devil… And because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not”. It is not by our will that we are able to please God. Rather, it is the surrendering of our will to the will of God that allows us to have a relationship with Him. We are not peers with God. As Isaiah 55:8 says, For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. We can’t relate with God in the same way we relate with other human beings. The relationship of God to humans is not egalitarian. God does not need to compromise with humans as people often find it necessary to do with each other. God is often referred to as the Lord. If He is indeed the Lord, than we are his servants. We are able to have a relationship with Him in this way. Just as servants are subject to the will of their lords, without regard to their opinion,
we are also subject to the will of God. He made us and then gave his life as a ransom to redeem us from sin. There is nothing of “our” lives which is ours. Are you someone who belongs to God or not? If you belong to the Lord, how can you decide what you will do with His life? Do not take the Lord’s name in vain. If you would call Him Lord, then be his servant. Deny yourself, and give up on your righteousness. As “good” as it may seem, it can never compare to God’s righteousness. Who is the most evil of all? It is he who seeks to establish his own righteousness according to his conscience rather than accepting the righteousness of God. It was not those who were obviously “evil,” but rather those who, even though Jesus gave His life to make them righteous before God, tried to have an appearance of “goodness.” They were deceived by Satan into believing in the illusion of good and evil, which is also known as conscience. Discussion Topic • 37
Meditation and Contemplation
What Is Leading Your Heart? In John 11:39, Jesus said, “Take ye away the stone, Martha, the sister of him that was dead, saith unto him, Lord, by this time he stinketh; for he hath been dead four days.” We may think that surely Martha was correct because she saw that her brother Lazarus had stopped breathing. His heart had stopped, he was stiff and that his body was cold. Yes, Lazarus was dead. Jesus wanted to work so he told them that it was not a sickness unto death, but for the glory of God. Even though Martha loved and believed in Jesus, ultimately she was blocking him from working. She believed the cold body, the lack of breath, the stiffness and smell but she didn’t believe when Jesus said he would rise again.
In Acts 9:13-15, 17, it says, Then Ananias answered, Lord, I have heard by many of this man, how much evil he hath done to thy saints at Jerusalem; But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way; for he is a chosen vessel unto me... And Ananias went his way. Martha followed her thoughts and blocked the work of Jesus. However, when Ananias had thoughts, he put them down in front of Godâ€™s Word and received Godâ€™s heart to free Saul from blindness. He heard that Saul was a vessel to be used by God. What is leading your heart? We can clearly see that thoughts of men go against God through the stories above. We must not be led by our thoughts but realize they are evil and lead us to go against the Word.
LIVE A SPIRITUAL LIFE OF BEARING FRUITS
The Situation of This City is Pleasant, but The Water is Naught
The people of Jericho discovered exactly why their fruits do not ripen. In the same way, we too need to first discover why we are not able to bear fruit of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Though we may work very hard, still, we cannot bear any fruit by ourselves. Then, just as the people of the city of Jericho went before Elisha, we too will go out to the servant of God. And just as Elisha cast salt in the spring of waters to heal it, the servant of God leads us to put Jesus Christ in the center of our hearts. He leads us to put an end to our works and live our lives through Jesus Christ. If we receive this kind of guidance, then we will be freed from ourselves and begin a new life.
40 â€˘ The Good News July 2012
Iron Sharpeneth Iron
The law speaks to those who are under the law. Who are the ones under the law? They are the ones who believe in themselves and try to do well on their own.
THOSE WHO ARE UNDER THE LAW In Genesis, chapter 6, we see how the heart of people who go into the ark should be: only evil. Those who realize that their thoughts are only evil are able to enter the ark. After the flood, Noah’s family came out of the ark and started farming, and then God said, “For the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth.” God is saying to those who came out of the ark to not rely on their evil self but to live relying only on God. We were evil before receiving salvation, but even after salvation,
people are still 100% evil. However, when you look into saved people’s hearts, many are filled with the desire to live a good spiritual life. Why do they have such a heart? “Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.” (Romans 3:19) It says that the law speaks to those who are under the law. Who are the ones under the law? They are the ones who believe in themselves and try to do well on their own. These people cannot escape the judgment of God. I used to think that I could live spiritual life well if I tried. So I tried hard. I worked hard to do well, trying not to be a nuisance to church and to the servant of God. That’s why it was always hard and I was always tired. Rather than joy, only sorrow remained in my life. Although I lived like that, Sermon • 41
The people searched for the reason why fruit was dying and they finally found it. The location of the city was good but the water was naught, or useless. not even once did I think that trying to do well was sin. I thought it was a good heart and never thought that it actually was harming people, hurting the church and disturbing the servant of God. However, one day, God taught me that trying to do well was the same as the heart of people who are under the law. THE PEOPLE OF THE JERICHO DISCOVERED THE REASON We can learn the correct way to live spiritual life from the people of Jericho in 2 Kings chapter 2. “And the men of the city 42 • The Good News July 2012
said unto Elisha, Behold, I pray thee, the situation of this city is pleasant, as my lord seeth: but the water is naught, and the ground barren.” (2 Kings 2:19) The people of Jericho would farm but the ground was barren. So the people searched for the reason why fruit would not grow and was dying and they finally found it. The location of the city was good but the water was naught, or useless. Because of the water, the ground was barren. Water is the root of life and it represents the Word of God in the Bible. Then, what is water that is “naught?” It is talking about the law. If you drink the water of law, it seems as though you will reach righteousness but you never produce fruit. It seems as though if I try to live good spiritual life, it will work out, but I am like barren ground. The people of Jericho discovered the reason fruits were not being produced was be-
Iron Sharpeneth Iron
cause of the water. That was truly a great discovery. In the same way, if we don’t bear fruits in our spiritual life, it is because we are drinking the water of law. It seems like it is working for a while, but in the end, we fall. CAST SALT IN THE SPRING OF WATER After the people of Jericho realized that their water was naught, they went out to Elisha. Elisha heard them and brought salt in a cruse and went to the spring of the water and cast the salt in there. The water was healed and made the plants bear fruits. Here, the salt represents Jesus. We can discover the spiritual life of being a barren ground and the spiritual life of bearing fruits. If you drink the water that is of Jesus, then fruits will grow but if you drink the water that is not of Jesus, then fruits will die. In the Bible, there is not a case where people of Jesus cannot bear fruits. The chief
butler in Genesis chapter 40 had a vine before him and ripe clusters of grapes in his dream. He pressed them into Pharaoh’s cup and gave it to Pharaoh. After this dream, he was reinstated. The vine is the shadow of Jesus. In Ezekiel 47, it talks about the waters that came from the temple. The water continued to flow out and rose to the ankles, then to the loins, until it became a river. The waters flowing out of the temple also represent Jesus, so through Jesus, everything lives and multiplies. Just Sermon • 43
Unfortunately, many saved people think, “In order for me to bear fruits, shouldn’t I work hard?” However, it can never be like this through us. like that, all things of Jesus become fruit. The things of man seem to become fruits at first, but in the end, they fade away. THE SERVANT WHO KEPT THE LORD’S POUND IN A NAPKIN In Luke chapter 19, it talks about the servant’s trading: “Then came the first, saying, Lord, thy pound hath gained ten pounds.” (Luke 19:16) “And the second came, saying, Lord, my pound hath gained five pounds” (Luke 19:18) The servants say, “Lord, thy pound hath gained ten 44 • The Good News July 2012
pounds and five pounds.” They bore fruits through the Lord. However, there was a servant who did not bear fruits. “And another came, saying, Lord behold, (here is) thy pound, which I have kept laid up in a napkin:” (Luke 19:20) This servant kept the pound in a napkin. The napkin here represents the law. This servant tried to do the work himself, putting aside the Lord’s. The person under the law tries to do the work himself. That is why he cannot produce any fruits. Unfortunately, many saved people think, “In order for me to bear fruits, shouldn’t I work hard?” However, it can never be like this through us. It seems like the fruit is being produced, but at the end, it all falls. In that life, hard work and pain remains and that kind of spiritual life can only be difficult. You are not the only one who suffers but you also end up harming others. The spiritual life of bear-
Iron Sharpeneth Iron
ing fruits is only possible when it is through Jesus. When we read about Joseph, the older brothers tried to kill him and then sold him, but the heart of God was placed in the center of Joseph’s heart. He had the heart to love them and gained all of them. Today also, there is Jesus in the center of some person’s heart just like Joseph, so the Lord works and the fruit is naturally brought forth. When a man and a woman get married and become a couple, they naturally conceive a child. Just like that, you get to live a life where you automatically bear fruits through Jesus in your heart.
Spirit in our lives. Though we may work very hard, still, we cannot bear any fruit by ourselves. Then, just as the people of the city of Jericho went before Elisha, we too will go out to the servant of God. And just as Elisha cast salt in the spring of waters to heal it, the servant of God leads us to put Jesus Christ in the center of our hearts. He leads us to put an end to our works and live our lives through Jesus Christ. If we
IF YOU RECEIVE CLEAR GUIDANCE, THEN LIVE A NEW LIFE The people of Jericho discovered exactly why their fruits do not ripen. In the same way, we too need to first discover why we are not able to bear fruit of the Holy Sermon • 45
Ministers of youth from 26 countries gathered at World Camp last year.
receive this kind of guidance, then we will be freed from ourselves and begin a new life. When Jesus Christ is in the center of our hearts our lives become different. From then on, it is not we that work but it is Jesus inside of us who works. No matter what we do, it is done through Jesus so the fruit is brought forth and our lives can only be happy and beautiful. That is what the Bible teaches us. When we actually run a World Camp, little by little we can clearly see it is not man who works, but God. In the last World Camp, from the weather to inviting min46 • The Good News July 2012
isters from 26 countries, we could feel that no man can do this kind of work. That is why, although I was chairman of the camp, I was able to rest and be thankful for God’s works. WALK THE PATH OF BEARING FRUITS Just as Elisha fixed the spring of water, once our heart is clearly fixed, there is no work of man left in our spiritual life. Because man’s works are all false, everything is done by God. People who don’t know this fact suffer from insecurity and doubt that they are falling behind if they don’t do the work themselves. This kind
Iron Sharpeneth Iron
of heart creates the desire to do one’s own deeds inside of them. That is not the heart from God; it is clearly from Satan. In the story of the three captains of fifty in the last issue, two captains of fifty tried to influence Elijah according to their own will. In the same way, people try to influence God for their own benefit. However, God can never be influenced. God never acts according to man’s needs. That is why we must put everything down and rely on God. Although we are used to living only through ourselves and are unfamiliar with living life through Jesus, we must not foolishly walk the path of no fruits but walk the path of bearing fruits.
Although we are lacking, we must draw the line in our heart and step forward in faith. Then, the heart to believe in ourselves will depart from us. I thought, “I was so foolish! Living my life according to myself disturbed the church and caused me misery!” The work that God does is amazing and great. God accomplishes the things that cannot be done within us. Take a look at the work of the gospel in different parts of the world. Nobody thought such great works would happen like this. The fact that Jesus came into our heart is so amazing and makes us thankful. Even today, it is such a glory to live the life that is of Jesus Christ.
Pastor Young-joon Park Senior Pastor of Busan Daeyeon Church, Korea Sermon • 47
Who Is Guiding My Heart?
y name is Gary Chafin, elder of the Good News Dallas Church. I have been born again for 9 years. Very recently, God revealed to me at the weekly men’s meeting that I had not been preaching the gospel correctly. I realized how arrogant and evil I was. I could not quit thinking about how little I knew of the Word compared to the Holy Spirit in the pastor.
When the Lord revealed the truth of righteousness to me I was overwhelmed by feeling of joy, happiness and peace. At that moment I cried at my desk. No one can explain that deep feeling and connection with God to someone who 48 • The Good News July 2012
hasn’t experienced it. Then I could read the Bible many times over the years. Also the Lord sent me all over the world to different churches to experience His work. How great it was to be around Pastor Ock Soo Park and all of the servants preaching the gospel and seeing God’s work. My first four years of salvation the Lord allowed me to prosper and I thought that I had very strong faith. For the last six years I was doing prison ministry along with my wife Suzie. But the Lord set His hand upon my prosperity and my business started failing during five of those years; I began to lose faith. Anger set in and I argued with the
pastor, saw wrong things with the church, and questioned about decisions made for preaching the gospel. I began to hate going to church. Three years ago I left the church in an argument with a pastor and stayed away almost a year. But I still went to the prison to preach. This was a tool to lift myself up to God with arrogance. I complained, “I am preaching the Words. Why are You not blessing me with prosperity? This is not fair! As you promised, You have to bless me!” Satan was dragging me to his world of distrust. I was following him through thoughts, knowing I was, but could not stop. I was deceived.
Satan used the Word with the Law and self-righteousness. How can God let me be ashamed and humiliated continually before lawyers, friends and family? I started thinking what a hypocrite I am to preach the gospel and say, “Come to God and my church,” while I was in such turmoil. Two years ago, when our new pastor got dispatched, I came back to the church. I was still not prospering and had many struggles within the world of my heart. God was revealing many things to me but I could not retain them. I really didn’t focus upon the Word or God’s heart. When pastors came to Dallas for Testimony • 49
I thought, “If I go, maybe God will bless me and lift His hand from these circumstances.” So I decided to go. What a shallow man I am, how self seeking I am! Bible seminars, I counseled with them. I thought I had discovered the key to my spiritual life but nothing changed. I read that I was a wretched man and there was no good in me, but I found that I was holding on to a great deal of goodness about myself. In the summer of 2011, I was invited to go to Uganda, Kenya, Malawi and Tanzania with Pastor Ock Soo Park. I worried about my financial situation. Pastor Mun encouraged me saying how few get this opportunity to be with Pastor Park and see God’s work. I thought, “If I go, maybe God will bless me and lift His hand from these circumstances.” So I decided to go. What a shallow man I am, how self seeking I am! As difficult circumstances came upon me, I fell more 50 • The Good News July 2012
into despair. I thought I would rather leave the church and quit thinking about all this. I wanted to stop running my wife crazy with all my despair and anger. I prayed, “O Lord, I don’t want to fail, I don’t want to be ashamed. What will people say about my God? People would say how pitiful I am and how shallow my gospel was.” My eyes were shut so I could not see myself. Still, in my arrogance, I thought I can get out of this if I try. During the 2012 winter retreat, I thought I could bring many business people and others to the retreat. As I worked for this retreat with my skills and ability, I believed that God will lift His hand and allow me to prosper again. As a result, I didn’t do anything after negotiat-
The Lord is guiding me and my wife to believe God’s Words and listen to the shepherd.
ing with the hotel, but I only argued with all the pastors. I was right and they were wrong as they made many mistakes. All I was doing was going against God and His servants. In spite of my foolishness, it was a great success. What a failure I am! What can I say before God and the saints of the body of Christ? Nothing! It has come to my mind that I can trust nothing but God’s Word. One may specu-
late that it is always good to preach the gospel no matter what is going on. But as I looked back the last 6 years I would testify many times before the church, family, friends, and new acquaintances what I had been doing at the prison. How many souls were saved and how great God was working thru Suzie and me. The prison ministry became my righteous “ticket” to compensation and favor before God, as Testimony • 51
What is the conclusion of 9 years in the church? It is hard not to retain goodness in my heart, not seek my own way. I should believe God’s Words and listen to the shepherd. well the church and servants of God. Self-righteousness was streaming from my heart but I didn’t recognize it. This was not my ministry but the Lord’s ministry. This was the time for me to throw away my evil heart. What is the conclusion of 9 years in the church? It is hard not to retain goodness in my heart, not seek my own way. I should believe God’s Words and listen to the shepherd that God has placed over me. I should stop looking at circumstances in the world, judging the church and the servants. I can do nothing on my own but all things are possible with God. What do I know? That Jesus came to save me and impute His righteousness to me for eternal life. I am righteous in God’s eyes. He will 52 • The Good News July 2012
finish in me what He started, never leave me or forsake me. He loves me and thinks upon me always. All our spiritual lives are shaped by God, each in very different ways, but for the same reason and direction. This is just my story of how God is working. These days God is giving me more peace, bringing me closer to the pastor, and letting me see the importance of sharing so that the church becomes of one heart and one mind. I am coming to hate all things about me and this world. Only God is good! My only hope is Jesus. I cannot count the blessings God is bestowing upon me even as I write this article. Bless the saints and servants that preach the gospel around the world and let your grace be forever.
Words of Wisdom
WORLD CAMP SAN DIEGO
August 19th - 23rd
August 26th - 30th
ld Change the wor hip through leaders www.iyfworldcamp.com
Small Talk • 53
The Life of Faith Is to Be Lived in Itself
It is written in Isaiah 64:6, “Our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.” Like withered leaves, we will be carried away to wherever the winds of iniquity blow. Trying to live cleanly while iniquities take you like the wind is like dead leaves trying not to be blown away by the wind. When you realize your flesh profits nothing, you will rely on Jesus and live by Him. That is living by the spirit.
CAN YOU BOOST THE FUNCTION OF YOUR STOMACH? Men’s normal blood pressure ranges from 110/65 to 140/90. When a healthy adult’s heart contracts, blood pressure goes up to 120. When it relaxes, blood pressure drops to 80. My blood pressure is around 140 and I have been informed that I should take medication if it 54 • The Good News July 2012
goes any higher. My doctor advised me to be cautious and I am not taking any medication yet. When a man has high blood pressure, can he believe he can control it by thinking “I will lower it. Not a big deal?” He cannot control his blood pressure by his will or effort. Some people have good appetites and eat a lot, but they don’t gain weight. That
Admonition of the Lord
Just as you cannot control your body, you cannot serve God as you wish. It is written in Joshua 24:19, “Ye cannot serve the LORD.” is because their digestive systems do not work well. They like meat and can eat most anything. But since they don’t digest well, they feel tired and exhausted all the time. Let’s say that they ask their stomachs, “Why can’t you digest better? Do a better job!” Do you think their organs will work harder? You might think that you can make your stomach work better because it is a part of your own body, but it is not true. None of your organs— your stomach, kidneys, or your liver, will obey your commands because your body is controlled by the autonomic nervous system.
Just as you cannot control your body, you cannot serve God as you wish. It is written in Joshua 24:19, “Ye cannot serve the LORD” Just as people cannot change the color of their skin, or the leopard his spots, you also cannot please God. That is because spiritual life can only be lived through God, not through human effort. ALTHOUGH HE IS MY SON, GOD CREATED HIM Before my son married, I didn’t ask pastors to introduce good single women to him. If I had thought that I could find a good daughterin-law by interviewing and checking on them, I would have done so. But the problem was that I did not know what a good daughter-in-law should be. My wife and I have lived together for more than 30 years, but she still says that she does not know my heart well. I guess that truly knowing someone’s heart is almost impossible. Sermon • 55
There is nothing we humans can do by ourselves. When we realize that we cannot do anything alone, spiritual life will take care of itself. This is why I did not do anything about my son’s marriage. I did not know who would be a good wife to him, or whom he should marry to live a happy life. Finally, I decided to put this matter in God’s hands. When my wife was pregnant, she avoided drinking coffee, thinking “I might have a darker skin baby if I drink coffee.” But that was a vain concern. It would be great if a mother-to-be could make her baby the way she wishes. What if she could make her babies smarter, or make them mentally and physically healthier by letting them listen to music 56 • The Good News July 2012
and eat good food? What if she could bear a tall pretty baby with big eyes? But no one can make babies the way they wish. Even though they are our babies, God creates them. There is nothing we humans can do by ourselves. When we realize that we cannot do anything alone, and understand how useless we are, spiritual life will take care of itself because we will look upon only the Lord. WHAT CAN WE DO AS WE WISH? People think that they will be happy if they have money, but that is not true. One couple that always had a good relationship ended up getting divorced after winning the lottery. As they chased after better cars, clothes, and food, they crossed the line and sought another man and woman too. Even with money, you might be unhappy and sick. There are many people who
Admonition of the Lord
kill themselves or die young although they have much money. There is nothing humans can do as they wish. They hope to live long lives and a peaceful death, but they might die in horrible car accidents, or of cancer, which often ends in a miserable death. What can people do by themselves? If they think only a little deeper, they would know they can do nothing. Humans are creatures made by the Creator. Everyoneâ€™s life is guided by outside inf luences. There is nothing they can do by their own will. ALTHOUGH I TRIED TO FIND A GOOD HUSBAND FOR HER A sister used to live at the church where I was ministering. She was sincerely doing volunteer work and receiving spiritual training at that time. As I appreciated her sincerity and hard work, I wanted to introduce a good brother to her. I would not
do the same thing if I met her now. But at the time, I tried to find a good husband for her with my own efforts. I thought this would work. But after she married she was not happy and had conflict with her husband for a while, which was totally the opposite of what I expected. It saddened me to see this happen. Since then, realizing that I was making them miserable, I gave up my will because my will was not out of faith in God. There are still so many people who think they will do better if they merely wish it. I used to live a tiresome life, trying to minister better. Spiritual life is not to live by your efforts; it is living in itself. When you try to live by faith by your own will, you will feel frustrated. It has been said that geniuses are made through 99% effort and 1% talent. However, this does not apply to spiritual life. If we try even only 1% alone, nothing will work. We will not be Sermon â€˘ 57
The Bible treats those who do not believe Jesus in the same way as those who betray Him. People who trust themselves are not only useless, but also betray Jesus. cleansed and saved if Jesus does 99% and we added the remaining 1%. Life after salvation works the same way— you must realize that you cannot do even 1%; you must rely completely on Him. We cannot build churches and maintain them by our own strength. From time to time, our good intentions lead us to work willfully, but that is Satan’s trick. We are not able to lead churches, spouses, or children. “HE THAT EATETH ME, EVEN HE SHALL LIVE BY ME” “As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: 58 • The Good News July 2012
so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me.” (John 6:57) Jesus is God, but when He came to the world in the flesh, He said that he lived by the Father, not by Himself. “And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father.” (John 6:65) When Jesus said, “No man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father.” It means that Jesus cannot do anything alone unless God works. The idea that you can do something by your own effort or that nothing is impossible comes from Satan. We live by Jesus, not by our own strength. “It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.” (John 6:63) It is written that “It is the spirit that quickeneth.” And that, “The words that I speak unto you, they are
Admonition of the Lord
spirit.” When I think that I will introduce a sister to a good brother, or deliver a good sermon, or live an honest life, those thoughts were from the f lesh, not from the spirit. The flesh is useless and profits nothing. THOSE WHO TRUST THEMSELVES ARE BETRAYING JESUS There was a sister who was serving a church in the country as a Sunday school teacher. One day she missed a Sunday service because she went to her friend’s wedding. The pastor of her church called her and explained the importance of attending services. But the next Sunday she missed the service again. The pastor visited her at her school, and for an hour he explained again the importance of coming to the services. Then she stopped coming to church. You might pray and have fellowship with church members to lead them well, but your efforts do not work. That is because “It is
the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing.” You need to discover this truth and rely on God. We live by receiving God’s grace. That is why without His grace we will only live a vain life. “But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him.” (John 6:64) “Jesus answered them, Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil?” (John 6:70) The Bible treats those who do not believe Jesus in the same way as those who betray Him. People who trust themselves are not only useless, but also betray Jesus.
Sermon • 59
WE ARE LIKE FADED LEAVES If we know that our flesh profits nothing, we will rely on Jesus and live by Him. This is called living by the Spirit. Even if you have just begun to believe in Jesus, you need only to trust that Jesus works for you after you realize how useless you are and give up on yourself. Failure to trust Jesus is like the faith of Judas Iscariot. Since He believed in himself; he did not believe in Jesus. The Bible says, “Our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.” (Isaiah 64:6) Like withered leaves, we will be taken away to any valley or corners of yards when the wind of iniquities blow on us. Even though leaves think, “I will not go. I will stay here,” this does not make
them defeat the wind of iniquity. Since we are like these leaves, someone has to hold and lead us so that we can understand the Bible, preach the gospel, and avoid Satan’s tricks. If you try to live cleanly while iniquities carry you like the wind, you are like dead leaves trying not to be blown by wind. That is impossible. Despite of this truth, rather than believing that Jesus will work for us and entrusting everything to God’s hands, we still try to lead a better spiritual life and live a happier life. Satan deceives you by giving you the vain heart to do better. Because you do not believe that God will work for you so you make your own effort. If you say, “I will not trust myself anymore” this decision itself is also your will.
Pastor Dong-sung Kim Senior Pastor of Good News Daegu Church, Korea 60 • The Good News July 2012
Seeking His Grace
God Listens to the Sound
Semi Jung Good News Hawaii Church
n Dr. Robert Cialdini’s book, “Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion,” he gives an example of a mother turkey and her chicks. A mother turkey responds and identifies her chicks by their “cheep-cheep” sound. Without it, the mother turkey ignores or sometimes even attacks them. When a stuffed model of a polecat with a recorder inside made the same “cheep-cheep” sound, the mother turkey cared for it. However, she attacked the “polecat” when it stopped cheeping.
Just as mother turkeys identify and respond to the “cheepcheep” sound of their chicks, God listens and responds to a certain sound that He wants to hear, and only those who have
faith in Jesus Christ are able to make that sound. We were human beings who could never make the sound of faith but Jesus Christ gave it to us through grace. When we make the sound of faith before God, He pours His compassion and love on us, regardless of who we are. For instance, Jacob could never say that he was Esau before his father Issac, but through faith from Rebekah, Jacob boldly said that he was his brother; this sound led him to a blessed pathway. God shows compassion unto those who voice the sound of faith.
Zoom In •
Only by God’s Grace
ntil now, my eight-year-old son, Devin, has had a really difficult time at home and at school. Ever since he was in kindergarten he would constantly get in trouble and get suspended. In my mind I thought, “He’s so young. If this is how he is now, what will his life be like when he gets a little older?”
God continuously gave me hardships with my kids. I went through many different stages of how I felt and thought about God and why he was allowing this situation to me. December 2011, the school decided it was time for my son to be sent to an alternative school, where all the problem 62 • The Good News July 2012
kids go. I was devastated. At home, I can’t control him, and at school, they can’t control him. He won’t listen, he’s so hyper, can’t sit still, just constantly out of control and too much for anyone to handle. I condemned myself and truly felt sorry for him having such a horrible mom, who has no parenting skills. I came back from the English Camp, in Mexico, in January when my son was starting at his new school. Even at the alternative school, where there are metal detectors when you walk in the front doors and police officers around, he still was out of control. He would run up and down the hallways, hide under tables and he even tore
his own shoes apart. All I saw was despair. One day, his teacher mentioned to me that I should take him to the doctor for an evaluation. With the information collected from all of his previous teachers, the doctor diagnosed my son with ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder). I had a sorrowful heart, but couldn’t help but to be thankful that we finally had an explanation for all of this. We were able to start him on medication and he has been able to focus in school and he just received an award for Most Improved 2nd grader. Most importantly, through this whole situation, God revealed my heart to me. For such a long time, I saw my kids through my own eyes. I saw how miserable they were. I saw their actions and said something was wrong with them. But God has changed my heart, and I am able to rely only on God. God has given me these situations because he wants my heart, and to
Only by God’s grace, I can take care of my kids.
trust only in Him. The more I put my hands in His work, the more difficult I make the situation. I was able to see that I cannot live without God’s grace. Even though we still have our ups and downs, God has given me peace and I am able to rest in Jesus Christ. I can’t make my kids happy, nor can I change them in any way. My prayers have no longer been for God to change my kids, but for God to allow Jesus Christ to come into their heart. That is where true happiness begins. Sarah Farris, Good News Dallas Church Testimony • 63
A Missionary Couple Who Decided to Walk by Faith
IN THE SITUATION WHERE WE CANNOT DO ANYTHING God poured a lot of grace on me. God keeps working in and changing my life and the lives of our brothers and sisters. Many times we go according to our methods because we trust in ourselves. However, it’s amazing how the grace of God changes people like us. God says in the book of Romans, “The law entered that the offense might abound.” Nevertheless, we think that we are good if we do good deeds because we do not know ourselves well. Whenever we are in that mindset, God lets us fall into sins to shows us how 64 • The Good News July 2012
evil we are and to break the heart of trusting in ourselves. Through that, we come to realize that we are truly helpless people and there is nothing we can do. We then deny ourselves and return to the faith to believe in Jesus. Most people believe that they can do good things until they go through such experiences. There are many people who try to do good things and keep the commandments by their own efforts. In order to set us free from such hearts, God not only makes us know that we are sinners but also leads us into situations where we cannot do anything because there is no good in us.
A Grain of Mustard Seed
Likewise, when we are at the point where we cannot do good no matter how hard we try, we finally rely solely on Jesus’ grace. If we think that we have even a little goodness in us, we will still try to accomplish something for ourselves instead of depending entirely upon Jesus. There are two kinds of missionaries who preach the gospel. One kind think that they have something good in them even though they received salvation because they were sinners. These missionaries work with their own thoughts and will. They do not work only with the faith to believe in Jesus Christ. The other
kind know that they are nothing and helpless people. These people work totally depending on Jesus. Some people try hard with their own efforts. Others deny themselves and only Jesus Christ works in them. A MISSIONARY COUPLE’S MONEYLESS WITNESSING TRIP One missionary went to South America and preached the gospel. During his eight years of ministry, the number of brothers and sisters decreased. Only two were left so he lost strength to go on with ministry. He thought it was impossible to continue, so he decided to go back to Korea and find Testimony • 65
another job. However, he and his wife said to each other, “Let’s go on a moneyless witnessing trip as our final attempt. If God does not work during this trip, let’s quit our ministry and return to Korea.” The missionary, his wife, and their five-year-old son hitchhiked to a city 100km away from Buenos Aires and they tried to spend the night at a bus terminal. However, the metal chair was too cold to sleep on so his wife said, “Let’s go outside to find a place to sleep.” They went to the police station and the fire station. However, there was no place to sleep. Then suddenly, they got caught in a downpour and were drenched to the skin. 66 • The Good News July 2012
Fortunately, a police car saw them and brought them back to the bus terminal. The rain was blowing even into the bus terminal so they sat beside the restroom to avoid it. They could not sleep at all that night and thought a lot without talking. ‘When we went out to look for a place to sleep, we did not go with faith. We just went ambiguously so God did not help us. God stopped us with the heavy rain and made us come back here. Humanistic ways are useless.’ THEY REALIZED THAT THOUGHTS HAD BLOCKED OUT GOD’S WORKS They realized this and thought
A Grain of Mustard Seed
Missionary Seung Jae Lee and his family
to themselves, “Even though we want to get a job, if God stops us, it’s impossible for us to get one.” With that thought they made up their minds to live by faith. For several years, they preached the gospel, but they never depended on God in their heart. Instead, they lived hoping something would happen. That night, they realized that their thought had blocked out God’s works. They made up their mind to run with the faith to believe in God. Since then, they saw God working. A certain man gave them a lot of money so they could sleep in a hotel. Then, a certain church prepared a room for them to sleep in. In San Luis, the destination of
their moneyless witnessing trip, they preached the gospel and many people received salvation. About 20 brothers and sisters started a regular meeting. Someone also bought a coat for missionary’s wife and a pastor saw that this missionary had no watch and took off his watch and gave it to him. Another person bought toys for their son. This missionary was so astonished to see how God was working. He realized in his heart, “Ah, for several years, I only followed my own thoughts. However, when I do not follow my thoughts and instead only do things with faith in God, God works like this!’ He realized this fact in his heart. Testimony • 67
GOD GIVES FOOLS LIKE US WISDOM AND CHANGES US No one can realize the world of God with their own wisdom. God gives us several kinds of situations and teaches us how useless it is to follow humanly methods and ways rather than relying on God. I see God is leading each of our missionaries in this way. I lived pursuing humanly ways and having expectations in people. However, God gave me the heart to trust him know that trusting in Him is better than trusting in princes. I saw God changing brothers in our church, as well as 68 â€˘ The Good News July 2012
myself, in this way. There are many missionaries in our mission. God let those who trust in themselves and work in their own ways, go through difficulties and hardships, making nothing work well for them. On the other hand, I noticed that God lets people who live with the faith in Him have blessed and graceful lives. I am so thankful when I think that the living God accomplishes His great and amazing works in us! In our church there are more and more brothers who were caught by God and are working for the gospel. Still, there are many missionaries
A Grain of Mustard Seed
who cannot throw away humanistic methods and stay in difficulty. I see God is changing each of them. Even though Peter followed Jesus, he could not throw away his own ways and trusted in himself saying, “Though I should die with thee, yet will I not deny thee.” However, when the heart to trust in himself was crumbled down, he became a powerful servant of God. Abraham also got out of his country and from his kindred and from his father’s house. Still, he could not throw away his thoughts. When God told him that He would give a son to him when he was 99 years old, he laughed, and said, “Shall a
child be born to a man like me?” Nevertheless, when that heart was crumbled down, Abraham became a powerful servant of God. When I see that God giving foolish people like us wisdom and changing each of us into precious and great servants, I am unceasingly thankful. As time goes by, many people receive salvation through our church and many precious servants of God are arising. When I think that more powerful workers will arise, who will lead people in the world to the gospel, I have hope in God’s work and give Him thanks. (Good News Magazine, Korean Edition, May 2012)
Testimony • 69
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Good News Mission Churches •G ood News Central Church 3500 W. 1st St. LA, CA 90004, USA Tel.1-213-440-4369 •G ood News Orange County Church 3330 W Lincoln Ave. Anaheim, CA 92801, USA Tel.1-714-366-0207 • Good News San Jose Church 1548 Curtner Avenue, San Jose, CA 95125, USA Tel.1-408-500-2130 • Good News San Diego Church 6333 Mt.Ada Pl. #160, San Diego, CA 92111, USA Tel.1-619-681-4630 • Good News Anchorage Church 1020 W. Fireweed Lane Anchorage, AK 99503, USA Tel.1-907-830-5115 • Good News Las Vegas Church 9443 Breechcloth Way Las Vegas, NV 89117, USA Tel.1-702-285-2817 • Good News Hawaii Church 1219 Keeaumoku St, Suite 400, Honolulu, HI 96814, USA Tel.1-808-679-2800 •G ood News Salt Lake Church 353 Park Creeke Ln, APT #B, Salt Lake City, UT 84115, USA Tel.1-801-656-5299 •G ood News Tacoma Church 10103 South Tacoma Way Lakewood, WA 98499, USA Tel.1-253-267-4161 •G ood News Dallas Church 1149 Plano Rd. Garland, TX 75042 , USA Tel.1-214-886-3317 • Good News Houston Church 6530 Rolla St., Houston, TX 77055, USA Tel.1-713-498-1980 • Good News El Paso Church 4805 Atlas Ave. El Paso, TX 79904, USA Tel.1-915-603-0055 • Good News Kansas Church 501 W. 100 Terr. Kansas City, MO 64114, USA Tel.1-816-210-0351 • Good News Ottawa Church 212-71 Boul Fournier, Gatineau, QC J8X 3P7, Canada Tel.1-613-263-0377 • Good News Singapore Church Blk 918 Jurong West St. 91 #1-110 (S)640918, Singapore Tel.65-8220-2054 • Orissa Good News Church AT/PO Dugudi, Via, G.Udayagiri, Dist. Kandhamal (Phulbani) Orissa-762100, India Tel.91-94-380-00095
Good News Mission Churches • Good News New York Church 300 Nassau Road, Huntington, NY 11743, USA Tel.1-631-745-4734 • Good News Brooklyn Church 597 Degraw St. Brooklyn, NY 11217, USA Tel.1-631-988-1206 • Good News Atlanta Church 11011 Rogers Circle, Johns Creek, GA 30097, USA Tel.1-678-473-1594 • Good News New Jersey Church 1075 Queen Anne Road Teaneck, NJ 07666, USA Tel.1-201-543-1208 • Good News Detroit Church 1181 Harding Ave, Rochester Hills, MI 48307, USA Tel.1-248-971-4151 • Good News Chicago Church 4825 W. Jarlath St. Lincolnwood, IL 60712, USA Tel.1-847-329-0237 • Good News Boston Church 228 Ferry St. Everett., MA 02149, USA Tel.1-617-943-9739 • Sydney Grace Church 72-74 Joseph st Lidcombe Sydney NSW 2141, Australia Tel.61-2-9749-2114 • Good News Finland Church Porslahdentie 23 C 9 00980 Helsinki, Finland Tel.358-45-112-3588 • Auckland Grace Baptist Church 18 Kaipatiki Rd Glenfield Auckland, New Zealand Tel.64-9-440-9214 • 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
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