Delivering the Gospel & Testimonies of Grace
2012 Top 10 News of Good News Mission Zoom In Fear, A Condition Where God Works Sermon of the Month Woman Taken in the Act of Adultery Discussion Topic How a 17 Year Old Boy Changed A Grain of Mustard Seed
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Delivering the Gospel & Testimonies of Grace
Contents 4 Photo & Testimony 8 Salvation Testimony Not Through My Strength But Through the Blood of Jesus 14 Sermon of the Month
Fear, A Condition Where God Works 24 Zoom In 2012 Top 10 News of Good News Mission 28 Discussion Topic
Part 4: Woman Taken in the Act of Adultery 36 The Book of Ruth
Moab, the Place Where the Human Heart Resides Apart from God 44 Testimony
“We Besought our God for This: And He Was Entreated of Us.” 50 Essay The 300:29:1 Ratio 54 Message Good News Mission’s New Year’s Message 58 Iron Sharpeneth Iron The Way God Saw the Church in Corinth 64 A Grain of Mustard Seed How a 17 Year Old Boy Changed His Heart 70 Upcoming Events 2013 IYF English Camp
The Good News (Vol.201) 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: Zinna Park Chief Printer/ Press: DLAP Printing, Co. Printed on February 11, 2013. No part of this magazine may be reproduced without the written permission of Good News Publications, Inc. All rights reserved. Copyright © 2013 by Good News Publications, Inc.
Photo & News _ 2013 Winter Retreat USA
Starting with Abraham’s Faith On December 30th, 1,100 retreat participants and 400 English Camp Mexico Workshop participants gathered at the Hyatt Hotel in Dallas, Texas. The 2013 New Years’ service was held on the morning of the second day of the Dallas Retreat. Even though it was difficult to host the retreat, we were happy because God solved all our problems. We were thankful to see that. Pastor Ock Soo Park spoke from Romans 4:19 as he gave the New Year’s message. The word was given to Abraham that he wiould have a son, but he did not believe. Nevertheless, God wanted to give His heart to Abraham. Abraham was able to have a son. Sometimes things look impossible and it seems like it will not work in our eyes, but it is possible if God is with us. We parted with thankfulness seeing how God worked in 2012 and with hope in how God will work greatly in 2013. 4 • The Good News February 2013
News • 5
Photo & News _ IYF English Camp
Make Friends with English
On January 3rd, English Camp volunteers finished their last workshop in Dallas and drove 18 hours to Monterrey, Mexico. Even though it was cold, the students learned the dance “Feliz Navidad” and the camp began. The English lectures were very popular. The teachers taught every day English expressions and the students practiced by actually using the expressions in front of people. Pastor Joseph Park spoke about David in 2Samuel 9 during the mindset lectures. He preached the gospel to the students saying, “In Mephibosheth’s eyes, thought of David was his enemy. However, David tried to embrace Mephibosheth because of the covenant he made with Jonathan. In our eyes, it seems that only our small sins were forgiven, but in the heart of God, all of our sins from beginning to end were cleansed. 6 • The Good News February 2013
News • 7
Berenice Camargo (Good News Central Church, United States)
Berenice (middle) volunteering at the English Camp in Monterrey, Mexico.
met IYF in June, 2008 at UCLA through a Good News Corps flyer. I had the plan to volunteer abroad right after graduation so this really interested me. I wanted to do volunteer work because I felt it would help me find out what kind of career I wanted in the future so when I read about the Good News Corps program, I really liked it and attended the workshops. Through those workshops, I met the Good News Church. 8 â€˘ The Good News February 2013
Besides the workshops, I was not involved in church and I just kept living my life the same way. I had many plans and many things to do that I didnâ€™t have time for or interest in church. I thought that I was better than most people, in front of God, because my whole life I had been Catholic and attended church diligently and volunteered almost every day at church until high school. I thought God was blessing me for serving him because I was a
Not Through My Strength But Through the Blood of Jesus I now understand the love and mercy that God wanted to give to me. Because of this love, He broke down the pride that I strongly held on to. He slowly and patiently taught me to see my true self and eventually gave me the wisdom to understand why I needed salvation. Now, my life, instead of being empty and pointless, is full of hope and happiness through Jesus Christ.
good athlete and one of the best students at school. I believed and trusted in all the good things I did and thought that I would always have a good life. However, when I got to college, I began to go to church less and less and I began to change into a very different person. I became very selfish and arrogant but I tried to cover this image up by being a very nice person outwardly to others. I was continually invited to Bible seminars and I would
attend just to keep up a good Christian image and not feel guilty for rejecting the invitations. However, truly in my heart, there was no need for me to seek God or his Word. I would come, listen, and return home unchanged. Nonetheless, God had a plan for my life that I never could imagine. Even though during that time I was a student at a great university like UCLA, had a great job, many friends and a loving family, I had a great Testimony â€˘ 9
emptiness in my heart that I could not fill. It seemed that I had everything I needed but I was still searching for happiness through spending time with my friends, traveling together, spending money, going to parties and drinking. Even though I did all this, I suffered even more. I tried to stop and become a good person so God could help me. I was still attending the Catholic Church, from time to time, to feel better about all the â€œbadâ€? things I was doing and every time I went, I would determine myself to be good from then on. I prayed for forgiveness in the morning and at night or whenever I felt guilt. However, the more I did all of this, the more sinful my life became. Even though I seemed to always be cheerful, nothing in my life brought me happiness and my heart fell deeper into despair. At the university, one of the classes I took was Introduction to Buddhism. I began to study the religion and its ideas out of interest but, later, I started to believe that this could be the truth I was searching for. I 10 â€˘ The Good News February 2013
still considered myself Catholic and I thought that I believed in God but I also believed in the Buddhist theories. I was trying to gain all the knowledge and wisdom I could. After reading a lot of books and learning about Buddhism, I firmly believed that I could do good things and that I could become happy through my own strength if I was truly determined. On the other hand, whenever I attended the Good News Church, I would always hear the opposite from the pastors and their wives. Their message was so different from what I had always known to be true. As I listened, I would write everything down because it was interesting but because I had ideas from other religions firmly established in my mind, I would get confused and I was not able see my true self through the Bible. I would hear that man is one hundred percent evil but I thought they were talking about other people, not about me. As time went on, God would show me that many of the things the church preached were true and
Berenice (in pink) and other IYF overseas volunteers in Peru, promoting the IYF Peru World Camp at a major news channel.
I started to believe that this was a true church. Whenever difficulties came to my life, I would remember the words from the Bible and knew that whatever they said was true. Because on my own I could not believe, and because I did not know anything about faith, God taught me to believe in the Bible through difficult things that were happening in my life. My life at the time became very uncertain so I did not know which way to go in terms
of deciding my life. I was going to quit my job and I was soon going to graduate but I had no idea what I would do afterward. I had so much ambition for the future, but, little by little, God was making me fail in many things even though I was working harder than ever. In April, 2009, I was invited to another Bible seminar so I attended once more. I had heard many times about Genesis 6:5, â€œAnd GOD saw that the wickedness of man was Testimony â€˘ 11
I threw away all the knowledge, experience and thoughts I carried and I simply accepted the Word of God in my heart. The burden of having to do something to make God happy disappeared. great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually” but I had never once received that word. During those days of the Bible seminar, I would continually think about this part of the Bible, and, little by little, I started to see my heart reflected upon those words. I was very shocked and sad when I finally discovered that my heart was really one hundred percent evil; but then a sister had fellowship with me after the morning session on the last day of the Bible seminar. She showed me the words in Hebrews 10:17-18 that said, “And their sins and iniqui12 • The Good News February 2013
ties will I remember no more. Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin.” At that moment, I understood that I, too, had been forgiven of my sins. I continually thought that I had to try to do good things to please God but this word made me see that God had already done everything for me to become righteous. When I read these words, I knew that I was righteous—without sin—not because of my effort, but through the blood of Jesus. At that moment, I threw away all the knowledge, experience and thoughts I carried and I simply accepted the Word of God in my heart. The burden of having to do something to make God happy disappeared. From that day on, I felt so much joy and thankfulness with the church because this is where God brought me to help me understand the gospel. I finally found true happiness when I discovered that I had become righteous and perfect in God’s eyes. A year later, I went to Peru
During the 2013 English Camp in Monterrey, Mexico, Berenice is the interpreter for Pastor Joseph Park, who was the special guest speaker of the camp.
as a short term missionary and, during that time, God taught me faith and thankfulness. I also discovered the joy of preaching the gospel to others. I had many chances to share with others the Word of God; so little by little, I saw how easy and joyful it was to preach the precious message of salvation. Nowadays, I am working inside of IYF to help create and establish programs like the IYF English Camps in Mexico. I am really happy because I feel I
have the best and most enjoyable job in the world. I now look back and I can see that God really wanted to use me, but first, He had to teach me how to humble my heart. I am very thankful to God because He didnâ€™t throw me away when I complained and rebelled against Him. Instead, He took me, washed all of my sins and is using me for the work of the gospel. Through salvation, God gave me the happiness I could not find in the world. Testimony â€˘ 13
Believing God Forgave My Sins is Salvation An Excerpt from One of Pastor Ock Soo Park’s Sunday Services
What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, hath found? For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God. For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness. Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness. (Romans 4:1-5)
A CERTAIN THEOLOGY STUDENT I MET One day I was going up to the 4th floor of the church when I ran into a brother who was cleaning the elevator. He had been studying at Mahanaim Theology School but decided to go home to rest because his 14 • The Good News February 2013
health wasn’t good and return later on. However, a year passed and he still didn’t return. As his illness got worse, he came to me to receive spiritual counseling. I found out that God couldn’t work because he was too arrogant. When he came to me the second time, I told him, “You
Sermon of the Month
will only believe in God’s word if your heart is humble. When you believe in God’s word, no matter what kind of problems you meet, they won’t be problems anymore. That morning when I met him in the elevator I asked him, “What are you doing here cleaning?” “Oh Pastor, I’m all healed.” He was even healthier than before. Everyone, there is nothing more foolish than trying to believe when we don’t have faith. When we stand in front of clear evidence and the precise truth, then automatically we have faith and God works amazingly. A HUSBAND’S SUSPICIONS ABOUT HIS WIFE I had spiritual counseling with
two couples. The majority of the couples in Korea doubt their spouses from time to time. One husband had serious doubts about his wife. I was worried that if it got any worse, something terrible might happen. The other couple was not as bad but the husband doubted his wife as well. I spoke with the husband who had serious suspicions about his wife and he told me, “Pastor, my wife cheated on me.” So I asked, “Do you have any evidence?” The husband began to detail all the evidence piece by piece. “Is that it?” I asked. He talked about a lot of things but none of it was real evidence. I explained, “As you observe your wife you imagine and assume that she’s cheating on you, but Sermon • 15
Patients that are suspicious of their spouses are dangerous because they believe in their assumptions, instead of having clear evidence. This is the source of their misery. there’s no actual proof that she is.” His wife was sitting next to him and looked at him with a worried face. How heartbreaking it must be to be accused of cheating by your husband when you really didn’t? IF YOU BELIEVE YOUR ASSUMPTIONS Once, my wife and I were on our way to visit someone when I got a phone call. A man said, “I am a doctor from the Yong-In mental hospital. There is a patient here that I’d like your help with.” So my wife and I went to the hospital and met her. She was extremely suspicious of her husband. She even tried to stab 16 • The Good News February 2013
him once. Luckily, her husband dodged the attack and took the knife away and hospitalized her. The wife cried, “Pastor I’m so miserable. Every night my husband goes to the apartment across from us and sleeps with some other woman. How can he do that?” I asked her, “How do you know that he is sleeping with another woman?” I never expected to hear what she said next. “When I sleep I’m like a corpse, but I am sure he’s doing it.” “But how did you find out?” I asked again. She replied, “In the morning when I wake up, my husband is snoring. The moment I see that, I think ‘he slept with that woman last night.’ So I said, “That’s just your thought. It’s not reliable evidence.” Patients that are suspicious of their spouses are dangerous because they believe in their assumptions. Instead of having clear evidence, many times their own imaginations get away from them and they think their spouse really did something. This is the source of their torment and misery. Ultimately family problems arise
Sermon of the Month
The HAPPIEST PERSON When we are suspicious of our spouses, we are in pain. We are also in pain when we are suspicious of our friends or our partners. However, what is most painful is when we are unable to have clear faith towards God. Of all the problems you may face, the cause of all of them is that you don’t have steady faith towards God and you believe things that aren’t true. However, if your faith in God is firm you will be joyful no matter what problems may arise because you believe that God is with you. You said that you believe in Jesus but you prayed for your sins to be forgiven. You ask, “Are my sins truly washed? Is God really listening to my prayers? The Bible said that I am righteous, but am I really righteous?” No matter how diligently you go to church or pray, you will be miserable. However, even if you are little poor or aren’t able to have a nice job because you didn’t study well, you can still be truly happy if you have firm faith that your sins are forgiven.
“I WANT TO GO TO HEAVEN BUT...” A few days before my father passed away from a gastric ulcer, he vomited the blood that accumulated in his stomach. That day my wife and I both thought that he would pass away soon. I told him, “Father, I brought a voice recorder so we can hear your voice after you die. If there is anything you’d like to say to us please say it.” For an hour my father recorded his last will. He said, “If I die put my body next to your mother in the field behind our house and have the funeral like this and this…” We responded, “Yes father. We will prepare the funeral just as you’ve said. We will lay your body to rest just like you told us but, where will your soul go?” At that moment a shadow came over Sermon • 17
his face and with a weak voice he said, “I want to go to heaven but I haven’t done anything for God…”
by believing in God that my second son, Eun Sook’s father, serves. I’ll go there and save a good spot, so all of you believe in Jesus so we can meet in heaven and live joyfully.” My father’s words were so strong and full of assurance. I was so joyful and happy. When my father passed away I didn’t shed tears; I was just thankful to God. Everybody that’s born dies later on, but if you can be sure that your sins are forgiven and you can go to heaven, you‘ll be very happy.
IN FRONT OF MY FATHER’S DEATH BED At that moment I was so thankful to be a pastor. I preached the gospel to my father for two hours. My father received the forgiveness of sin and he was all set to go to heaven. Afterwards we took him to our hometown and he told us to call his friends. When my father’s friends came he preached the gospel to them. He told them, “I’m going to heaven
DO WE RECEIVE FORGIVENESS OF SINS WHEN WE DO GOOD? Once we had a pastors’ meeting at the Daedeok Retreat Center. I talked about Romans 4. In the world, people who work a lot and do well are acknowledged. When Christianity came to Korea, the majority of sermons were about faithfully keeping the law while doing good works and receiving blessings.
“I’m going to heaven by believing in God. I’ll go there and save a good spot, so all of you believe in Jesus so we can meet in heaven and live joyfully.”
18 • The Good News February 2013
Sermon of the Month
This is the type of spiritual life most Koreans led until now. That’s why they pray, read the Bible, and do good works. That way they have some sense of assurance until the time comes when they go through hardships. They feel like there is something wrong with their spiritual lives after they get into an argument with their spouse or when they didn’t pray or read the Bible. However, the words in Romans 4:5 says something completely different, “But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness” This word is completely different from that type of spiritual life. THE BLESSING DAVID GAINED Romans 4 talks about the process of a dirty sinner becoming righteous; “Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness. Now to him
that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness. Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works, Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.” (Romans 4:3-8) When you look in 2 Samuel 11 and 12, it shows how David became righteous. It tells us how David committed adultery with Uriah’s wife and how he tried to cover it up by having Uriah killed on the battlefield. Whenever David was lost in sin, the prophet Nathan came and chastised him. David acknowledged his sins and said “I have sinned against God.” Then Nathan said to David, “The Lord also has put away your sin.” After David realized his Sermon • 19
When it comes to my sins being forgiven or solving spiritual problems, God teaches us that no matter how correct my judgment seems, if I do it, I will fail. sin of committing adultery with Uriah’s wife and killing Uriah, the moment he said, “I have sinned against the Lord,” he was told, “the Lord also has put away your sin” Even though David didn’t do anything, he was forgiven of his sins. ON A FLIGHT TO NEW YORK Once, my wife and I were f lying to New York when the pilot passed by and asked, “Aren’t you Pastor Ock Soo Park? Would you like to come into the cockpit and talk with me?” He was a frequent reader of my 20 • The Good News February 2013
sermon books so he was really happy to meet me. The pilot explained about the plane and I sat in the back. “Pastor, you came on a good day. This is the season when the aurora is active and this f light is the only route where you can see it.” He turned off the lights in the cockpit and after we saw the aurora, we had a long conversation. When we were close to arriving to New York I returned to my seat. As soon as I got to my seat my wife asked, “Did you grab the stick?” “No, why would I grab the stick? That’s nonsense. Honey, this plane has 400 passengers on board. The pilot wouldn’t even allow me to handle the stick. The only one who should handle the stick is the pilot.” Just as the pilot should handle the stick, when it comes to my sins being forgiven, or solving problems with my spiritual life, God teaches us that no matter how correct my judgment seems, if I do it, I will fail.
Sermon of the Month
BECAUSE I CAN’T WASH MY SINS Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. (Ephesians 2:2~3) We were people who were supposed to receive God’s judgment and his wrath. We didn’t receive salvation through our own efforts to wash our sins or by keeping the law. That is why in Ephesians 2:4-5 it says, “But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive tighter with Christ (by grace you have been saved).” Jesus entirely finished our
sins. Even though I didn’t work, my sins are perfectly washed clean because Jesus worked. You taking charge of your life can’t compare to God taking charge of your life. When it comes to problems in spiritual life, you shouldn’t think in a humanistic way that, “I should do my spiritual life well. I need to be zealous and do my best.” That’s like someone who doesn’t know how to f ly a plane trying his best to f ly the plane. Everyone, just as we let the pilot f ly the plane because we can’t, our lives to Jesus to wash away our sins because we can’t .
judgment is correct.
ing our sins can’t be washed by our works. So instead of vaguely believing that your sins were forgiven, open the Bible and see if the price of your sins has been paid and if your sins have truly been washed white as snow. That’s what God wants everyone to precisely check so they can automatically have faith.
SALVATION GAINED BY GRACE Let’s read Ephesians 2:8, “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gif of God.” If I gain something because I worked for it, then that’s not grace. Anything gained by your work is a wage. The reason Jesus calls us righteous is because he shed his blood on the cross and perfectly washed away all our sins. People who don’t know this truth struggle to wash their sins themselves. So, in Ephesians 2 were it’s written, “not of works, lest anyone should boast,” it is say-
TO BELIEVE IN THE WORD AND NOT IN MY WORKS The problem with being suspicious of your spouse is that you become obsessed with something that is not certain and get it confused with your assumptions and imagination. If you suspect your spouse did something wrong when they actually didn’t, how difficult would it be? That’s why there are many problems in families and many couples who get divorced nowadays in Korean society. If you want to live a spiritual life, then don’t just accept things that seem good.
When I counseled the inmates at the prison, I found that people really trust in themselves and believe that their
22 • The Good News February 2013
Sermon of the Month
You must compare everything with the Bible and see if it’s true or not. We must believe that Jesus forgave our sins, through the Bible. However, when we consider our works to be more important, we often think lightly of what Jesus did. SO THAT THE LORD MAY LEAD Romans 4:5 states, “But to him who does not work but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness.” When I see scriptures like these, I begin to wonder, “All I did was sin and nothing I did was righteous, so what can I do to become righteous?” However, the word is saying that God perfected everything already so that there is nothing left for man to do. Regardless
of what I did, God, through Jesus, perfectly washed away my sins. When I believe He saved me is when salvation happens. Don’t believe in your feelings or emotions but believe clearly in God’s word with faith. Loving brothers and sisters ask yourselves, “Who is better at forgiving my sins, me or God? Is it better for me to hold on to my life or for the Lord to hold on to my life?” If you can’t believe that God will lead you well then you will end up using humanistic methods. However, if you truly believe that God will lead you, then there will be no reason for you to work. So, while we live in this world, we will enjoy God’s grace of blessing in our lives and when we go to heaven, we will have a blessed life of glorifying God there.
Pastor Ock Soo Park Senior Pastor of Good News Gangnam Church, Korea Chief Advisor of International Youth Fellowship (IYF) www.ocksoopark.com Sermon •
2012 Top 10 News of Good News Mission 1. LATE GHANAIAN PRESIDENT JOHN ATTA MILLS RECEIVES SALVATION BEFORE DEATH Good News Mission members remember that the late Ghanaian President John Atta Mills received salvation after fellowship with Pastor Park, Ock-soo. Ghana’s First Lady 24 • The Good News February 2013
invited Pastor Park to fellowship with President Mills, and only four hours later, the President passed away. All who saw this event glorified God. 2. THE GOOD NEWS MISSION MARKS 50 YEARS of SPREADING the GOSPEL This year the Good News
Mission observed its 50th birthday. Looking back over the past half-century, the mission has undergone many hardships, yet we have walked only one way to witness the continuing works of the gospel. 3. AFRICAN GOVERNMENT HEADS HEAR THE GOSPEL From July 23 to August 9, 2012, the World Camp was held in 6 countries— Ghana, Togo, Coted’Ivoire, Kenya, Zambia and Uganda. Through these camps, the presidents of Uganda and Burundi and the vice presidents of Kenya and Zambia listened to the gospel and rejoiced with us.
4. ‘WHO ARE YOU THAT IS DRAGGING ME?’ IS PUBLISHED IN NUMEROUS LANGUAGES Since its first publication in 2011, “Who Are You That Is Dragging Me?” was translated into Spanish, Chinese, French, Russian, Cambodian, and Burmese, showing its growing popularity. 5. 2012 IYF WORLD CAMPS SUCCESSFUL IN 34 NATIONS This year the World Camp was successfully held in 34 nations as in previous years. Upon seeing young students change through the camp, the government of each country promised their active support and welcomed the annual event. Zoom in •
6. GRACIAS CHOIR GIVES OVER 100 INTERNATIONAL PERFORMANCES Gracias Choir visited 30 nations and held a record number of performances. Its ninecity tour of North America in October was an awakening of the gospel in “sleeping” America. 7. PARAGUAYAN PRESIDENT FERNANDO LUGO MEETS IYF AT YEOSU EXPO Paraguayan President Fernando Lugo visited Korea to celebrate the May 28 Paraguayan Day event at the Yeosu Expo. Pastor Park, Ocksoo who became friends with President Fernando through the World Camp, attended this event along with 600 26 • The Good News February 2013
members of the International Youth Fellowship. 8. LINCOLN GLOBAL SCHOOL OPENS On March 5 in Kimcheon City, Kyungsang-namdo, Lincoln Global School inaugurated its new middle school curriculum. The school’s appeal to parents lies in its purpose of providing high quality global education and addressing issues that lead many to juvenile delinquency by teaching mindset education. 9. DESPITE DEVASTATING EARTHQUAKE, NEW HOPE BLOOMS IN HAITI Since the Haitian earthquake of January, 2010, the Good News Mission provided aid to Haiti in diverse ways, like sending Medical Volunteers,
and holding the World Camp, English Camp. In 2012, a Good News Mission church was built, planting new hope from the gospel into the hearts of the stricken Haitians. 10. KENYAN PRIME MINISTER ODINGA MEETS PASTOR OCK-SOO PARK, ON OFFICIAL VISIT TO KOREA In response to Korean Prime Minister Hwang-sik Kim’s invitation, Kenyan Prime Minister Odinga visited Korea. During this official visit, Mr. Odinga found time to meet privately with IYF founder Pastor Park, on December 19 and requested IYF’s support in addressing the problems of Kenya’s youth through mindset education. 27
Conscience: The Illusion of Good and Evil
Part 4: Woman Taken in
the Act of Adultery Eddie Pennoyer Pastor, Good News Central Church, Los Angeles
eople often think that some sins are greater than others. That is to say, some sins are more serious and offensive while others are somewhat tolerable. For instance, most people consider murder a much more serious sin than coveting. The Bible however. often reveals a different perspective about it. As in previous installments of this series, we find that the thoughts of man and the thoughts of God differ greatly on this and numer28 â€˘ The Good News February 2013
ous other topics. While man may see that some sins are more grievous than others, God has quite a different attitude towards sin. As times have changed, so have manâ€™s attitudes about sin. One specific type of sin has seen a huge change in the way people feel about it. Adultery is still considered a heinous sin especially amongst those who are religious. If a member of a religious congregation is revealed to have committed adultery, it
would be very likely that their membership would be terminated either by the congregation or by the offenders themselves out of embarrassment and shame. However, in Jesus’ day people didn’t fear that they would lose their good reputation as much as they would lose their lives. The law required that anyone found committing adultery should be stoned to death. These days people might jokingly say they wished they’d died if their adultery was exposed, but there was a time when it wouldn’t have mattered whether they wanted to or not; they would surely meet their end at the hands of their neighbors. Adultery was a serious sin and crime punishable by death. In modern times, adultery has become less of a crime and even sometimes tolerated by different groups and cultures. While it would be crass to say that adultery is acceptable in certain cultures, it is clear that there is more tolerance for it in some than others. When IMF Chairman Dominique Strauss-Kahn was accused of sexually assaulting a hotel worker, the reaction of
his fellow Frenchmen was more indignant towards American news coverage of the incident than Mr. Strauss-Kahn’s infidelity. It was almost as if there was a tacit expectation that a person like Mr. Strauss-Kahn would be adulterous. American media highlighted French attitudes about Americans being overly religious and prone to self-righteousness. Regardless of whether the French are too tolerant or Americans too uptight, Strauss-Kahn ultimately lost his bid to be a candidate for the French Presidency even though he was found not guilty of sexual assault. He admitted to committing adultery and that was enough to end his political career. He does however continue to live and that’s quite a different outcome than what someone could expect if it happened in Israel in Jesus’ day. The point remains that though attitudes have obviously changed greatly overtime, adultery is still considered a serious sin. When we read the account of the woman taken in the act of adultery in John 8, we find a Discussion Topic • 29
very interesting contrast in the way Jesus and the Pharisees react to the sin of adultery. While the Pharisees are prepared to stone the woman, Jesus doesn’t seem to be interested in the Pharisees’ questions about how to judge her. The Pharisees want to corner Jesus into agreeing or not agreeing that she should be stoned because either way they will be able to find fault. If he says not to kill her then they will accuse him of not keeping the law. If he says to stone her, they will accuse him of being a hypocrite for not upholding the very principles he preached when he said such things like love your neighbor as yourself. The Pharisees were probably very excited to finally show Jesus to be a false prophet. But they were unprepared for the answer he gave. Perhaps more interestingly, they must have been at a loss when they found that Jesus couldn’t be bothered to care about the whole situation. His attitude was disinterested as evidenced by his behavior when they first brought her to him. John 8: 3-6 says, 3 And the scribes and Pharisees 30 • The Good News February 2013
brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst,4 They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act.5 Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou?6 This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not. It’s remarkable that even though the Pharisees placed the fate of the woman in his hands, Jesus “…stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not.” Can you imagine how astonished the Pharisees must have been to see how nonchalant Jesus appeared to be about the issue? A woman will live or die depending on how Jesus answers and he seems to be more concerned with something as trivial as what he’s writing on the ground. 7 so when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without
sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.8 And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground. And there it is; the answer which would bring the moment to its climax. But how disappointing it must have been! The Pharisees were so eager to finally be able to show how Jesus was a charlatan and a heretic, but alas they found the tables turned on them and they had to put down the stones and walk away with nothing to say. Instead of being able to lay blame on Jesus, they found the accusing finger pointing squarely at themselves. “And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.” (John 8:9) Interestingly enough, Jesus goes back to writing on the ground. Why is there such a disparity in how
seriously man took the sin of adultery compared to Jesus? There is a clue which sheds light on the difference in verse 9 when it says, “and they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last.” When Jesus looked at the Pharisees and the woman who was taken in the act of adultery, he was not persuaded that they were all that different. Certainly to the Pharisees, they were much better than the woman because they were confident of their own righteousness when they compared themselves to her. But in Jesus’
Discussion Topic • 31
It was Jesus who could have helped them with their sin. But Satan used the deception of man’s knowledge of good and evil to separate them from their savior. eyes they were the same. When people compare themselves to each other, they tend to have an exaggerated sense of their differences, but to someone who is not human, namely someone who is higher than man, for example, God, people all look the same. Imagine if you will, waking up in the middle of the night and going to the kitchen to get a glass of water. After turning on the light, you find you surprised two roaches; one with a crumb of food and the other without anything. Then imagine what you’d think if the one roach began to accuse the other saying, “I told you not to steal food from the man! You are such a bad roach! I didn’t steal your food 32 • The Good News February 2013
sir, I’m a good roach but he is a bad roach.” The whole idea of roaches talking is absurd but you understand the point. While it might seem valid to the roach to think he’s better than the other, you wouldn’t see much difference between them. You’d think a roach is a roach and probably step on both of them. It’s not to say that God thinks that humans are like roaches, but nevertheless, God doesn’t judge humans the same way humans judge each other.
his is the reason why Jesus didn’t seem to react to the sin of the woman committing adultery as much as the Pharisees did. When he said, “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her,” he essentially meant that the Pharisees were no different from the woman in his eyes because as the Bible states in Romans 3:23, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” In Romans 5:19 the Bible says, “For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of
one shall many be made righteous.” According to this verse, it was not our own disobedience that made us sinners before God, but rather that we inherited sin from Adam. That means that regardless of whether we commit sin a little or a lot, we are still sinners. But the second part of the verse says that by one man’s obedience, namely Jesus’, He was able to make us righteous. This reinforces the notion that what we do is not as important as what Jesus did which gives us more understanding about Jesus attitude towards what seemed like a huge problem to men. If sin is man’s problem, it is a big problem indeed. But if sin is Jesus’ problem, then the problem is solved. What’s also interesting to note
is the difference in the way the Pharisees and the woman reacted to Jesus answer when he said, “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.” The Pharisees “…being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last…” If Jesus saw the Pharisees and the woman as the same, then wouldn’t it be reasonable to think that Jesus would want them to be saved from sin just like anyone else? Jesus didn’t die just for the woman’s sins, but also for the Pharisees’ sins. If the world’s most famous oncologist diagnosed you with cancer, would you just leave and not seek his or her help? While it might be upsetting to find out you have cancer, you would probably find some solace in the fact that the world’s foremost oncologist was helping you to be healed. In the same way, the Pharisees should have stayed and sought Jesus’ help when they were confronted with their sin, but rather they departed from him because of their “conscience.” If anyone could have helped them with their sin, it was Jesus. But Satan used the Discussion Topic • 33
She saw herself in the same way that God saw her. When what she saw and what God saw became the same, she could meet Jesus who wanted to save her. deception of man’s knowledge of good and evil, ie conscience, to separate them from their savior. Man’s conscience tells him that he should be “good” and not do “evil.” However, his conscience is formed by his knowledge of good and evil rather than God’s. When man looks at himself, he sees that he has the capacity to be both good and evil. Because man compares himself to man, he is able to believe this notion to be true. In fact, to say this is a notion rather than truth would be troubling to most. If you take a look at the world’s religions, they all have this humanistic basis for understanding the world. That’s why people often feel 34 • The Good News February 2013
that there is no real difference between them and that everyone is basically believing in the same thing and just giving it different names. However, if we take a look from God’s perspective, we find a shockingly different view. 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 was only evil continually.” If God sees that, “…every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually,” then God would be unreasonable to ask us to be “good” and not do “evil” things. Rather, God would expect that man would do evil and not receive anything from him whether or not it seemed good to man. The story of Cain and Abel illustrates this situation. Even though Cain thought that he offered something “good” to God, God rejected it because it came from man. Why did he accept Abel’s offering then? Hebrews 11:4 states, “By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain…” Since Abel made his offering by faith, the source
of his offering was not his own conscience, or his own knowledge of good and evil, but rather it was from God’s conscience; God’s knowledge of good and evil. When Satan deceived Eve into eating the fruit of knowledge of good and evil, he told her that it would make her eyes open, and that she would become like God and know good and evil. From then, rather than believing in what God sees as good and evil, man believed in what he saw as good and evil because he thought he was like God. If there’s one thing that God seems to be saying very clearly in the Bible, it is that we are not like Him. Isaiah 55:8 says, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.”
ust like the Pharisees in John Chapter 8, Satan is using mans’ conscience, the deception of what he sees as good and evil, to make him depart from God. Because the Pharisees believed that they could be good according to their own
conscience, they departed from Jesus in shame and guilt when their sin was revealed. However, the woman did not depart because there was no way for her to deny or cover her evil. She knew that there was no good in her and that she deserved to die. For the first time in her life she saw herself in the same way that God saw her. When what she saw and what God saw became the same, she was able to meet Jesus who wanted to save her. This is what Satan doesn’t want. He doesn’t want people to see that they are only evil continually and that they deserve to die because if they do, they will surely meet and believe in Jesus. Until then they cannot help but to believe in themselves. People like the Pharisees are those that believe that they are good and that they don’t deserve to die. The grace of God leads us to see the truth about ourselves so that we won’t believe in ourselves but rather believe in Him.
Discussion Topic • 35
Ruth Story #1
Moab, the Place Where the Human Heart Resides Apart from God God had made them to be without hope and with no way out. There was but one way: to return back to Abraham. However, Lot refused and stubbornly followed his way. This is how Moab was born. Lot made his own decision to stay and the result was the birth of Moab. Moab is born in the place where you act as the master. Human stubbornness and unrepentance created Moab.
THE BOOK OF RUTH Ruth is a special book found in the Bible. The Book of Ruth and the Book of Esther are the only two books among the 66 books of the Bible named after women. Esther was an imperial queen who saved the Jews from death and is worthy to be mentioned. Ruth, on the 36 â€˘ The Good News February 2013
other hand, was a commoner with no outstanding achievements and was from the country of Moab, which was despised by the Jews. Surely, God had a special purpose in naming a book after a woman like Ruth. God really wanted to introduce Ruth to us, not because of her beauty but for her
The Book of Ruth
heart. God could not help but to work in Ruth’s heart. God truly wants us to have the same precious heart as Ruth so we can share her blessings. That’s why God drew us a picture of Ruth’s heart. Through it, you may come to consider Ruth as a friend. In the book of Ruth, you can see inside her heart and learn many things. Like a friend of Ruth, you can go into the field of Boaz to pick up the grains and, as you pick up each grain, one by one, I believe that it will become a cherished source of nourishment for your soul.
WHEN FAMINE COMES “Now it came to pass, in the days when the judges ruled, that there was a famine in the land. And a certain man of Bethlehem, Judah, went to dwell in the country of Moab, he and his wife and his two sons.” (Ruth 1:1) Famine is the backdrop in the book of Ruth. We can picture many people starving to death. When did the
famine hit? It was when the judges were ruling over the land. This is how the time is described in the book of Judges: “In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes.”(Judges 21:25) The main
theme in Judges is that everyone lived as their own kings, doing what they wanted, because there was no king in the land. So the era of Judges was more chaotic and disorderly than any other time. The Bible shows us in many places that when we throw out what we think is right, peace follows. However, when we follow it, there is confusion. This fact becomes much clearer when we look at the example of Jephthah in the book of Judges. In Judges 11:29, the spirit of God came upon Jephthah and he went forward to fight against the people of Ammon according to the will of God. The war that Jephthah fought was not his. Because it belonged to God, it was a sure victory. However, Jephthah thought: Sermon • 37
“it will be that whoever comes out of the doors of my house to meet me, when I return in peace from the people of Ammon, shall surely be the Lord’s, and I will offer them up as a burnt offering.” He made a vow to the Lord. This is his own human thought that came from not trusting in God. The first person to come out to meet Jephthah after winning the war was his daughter; he had no other children besides her. The
38 • The Good News February 2013
joy of victory quickly disappeared and Jephthah was caught in pain and agony. He was in pain because of the vow he made. If Jephthah realized that his victory had nothing to do with his vow, he could have broken the vow to save his only daughter. However, Jephthah believed that it was his vow that got him the victory, so he gave his daughter as a burnt offering. The day of victory and joy turned into a day of pain and sadness for the people. If Jephthah could break his heart, everyone would be joyful. However, he did not stop thinking that it was his vow that got him the victory, so he ended up killing his own daughter and giving all the people great sorrow. When we follow thoughts that we think are right, we experience great confusion and pain. This is what happened in the times of the judges. This is when the famine came.
The Book of Ruth
THE WISE RULER WHO OVERCAME THE FAMINE When we read the Bible, we can see the heart of God is the same throughout. In Hosea 6, it says, “Let us know,
ahead. After hearing Joseph, Pharaoh appointed Joseph as the ruler over the land and gave all authority to him. Here, we can clearly see the future of Egypt. It started with years of plenty but it was let us pursue the knowledge of ultimately doomed to famine. the Lord. His going forth is esEgypt represents the world tablished as the morning; He and also our lives. The start will come to us like the rain, like is hopeful, but in the end, the latter and former rain to the we all grow old with disease earth.” Just as the morning and face death. In this world, light comes at the same time people always start work with each day, God also appears to some hope but it disappears us in the same way. along the way. Egypt starts In Genesis 41, we find that off with plenty but ends in there was a great famine in famine, it is the same as in the land. Pharaoh, the king of this world and this life. Egypt, commanded Joseph be How can we turn this brought from prison to inter- kind of life around? It can pret his dreams. Joseph inter- be changed when a wise preted the dreams this way: leader rules it. When Pharaoh the seven fatted cows and the turned over the land to seven plump heads of grain Joseph, he blocked the doom both represented seven years that was to come. As soon of great plenty; the seven as Joseph started to rule over gaunt cows and the seven thin the land, symbolism of the heads of grain represented fatted cows swallowing up seven years of famine. Joseph the gaunt cows became true, also suggested that Pharaoh which was the exact opselect a wise ruler who would posite of what happened in prepare for the hard times Pharaoh’s dreams. The years Sermon • 39
If God gives us famine, we must understand his heart. Instead, people first just try to avoid the problem. Here we can see the deep seeded distrust. of plenty won over the years of famine, giving joy and hope. When Jesus rules over our lives, hope will swallow up all despair. The years of plenty will last through out our lives. If Pharaoh ruled over the land, the famine would have swallowed up the years of plenty. But because he turned over the land to Joseph, the years of plenty swallowed up the years of famine. It is the same with our hearts. If I am in control of my life, I will meet famine, but if Jesus rules over my life, there will be abundance. Famine comes when I rule over my life as the master. 40 • The Good News February 2013
STUBBORNLY AVOIDING GOD “And a certain man of Bethlehem, Judah, went to dwell in the country of Moab, he and his wife and his two sons.” (Ruth 1:1) If God gives us famine, we must understand his heart. Instead, people first just try to avoid the problem. Here we can see the deep seeded distrust in people’s hearts. If it seems good in my eyes, I can accept it, but if not, I reject it and try to avoid it. God is working to bring the hearts of man closer to Him. But Satan works to make them further. Jeremiah 2:13, says, “For
My people have committed two evils: They have forsaken Me, the fountain of living waters, and he n themselves cisterns broken cisterns that can hold no water.”
When God looks at man, he sees that they have done two evils; first they have forsaken the fountain of living waters. God is the fountain of living waters, so those who forsake. Him will surely thirst. It is a
The Book of Ruth
thirst of the soul. It is a thirst for joy, a thirst for happiness, and a thirst for hope. All of these things can be resolved if you go in front of God. However, people are so stubborn that they will not return to God. That stubbornness forces people to make their own broken cisterns. People do not return to God; instead, they work hard on their own and to try to fulfill their wants. This is the second evil. In Romans 2:5 it says, “But in accordance with your hardness and your impenitent heart you are treasuring up for yourself wrath in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God.” This
stubbornness that is found in man brings the wrath of God. We can see this stubbornness also in the story of Elimelech. He faced the famine by creating his own cistern. He did not turn his heart towards God. Who allowed the famine. On his own, he headed toward Moab to get food.
MOAB, A PLACE OF STUBBORNNESS Lot, Abraham’s nephew fathered Moab with his own daughter. God saw that Moab was full of distrust and evilness. In Deuteronomy 23:3, God said that the descendents of Moab could not enter the Assembly of God. Let’s take a look at how Lot had Moab. Lot was greedy for fortune and grew uncomfortable living with his uncle, Abraham. So he departed from him and followed after his ambitions in Sodom. God judged Sodom with fire for its evilness but saved Lot and his family. However, Lot’s wife turned into a pillar of salt because she could not throw away her hope in Sodom. It had already been long time since his two daughters also lost hope and faith by living in Sodom. Filled with fear, Lot lived in a cave on a mountain with his two daughters. Abraham was the source of blessings for Lot. Departing Sermon • 41
from Abraham was the same as rejecting blessings. Lot should have returned to Abraham when he faced pain and sorrow after leaving him. However, Lot did not want to return back to Abraham even until the last moment. As a result, Lot became miserable. We can see the lamentation of Lot’s daughters: “Our father is old, and there is no man on the earth to come into us as is the custom of all the earth. Come, let us make our father drink wine and we will lie with him, that we may preserve the lineage of our father...”(Genesis 19:31-32)
God made them to be without hope and with no way out. There was but one way: to return back to Abraham. However, Lot refused and stubbornly followed his way. This is how Moab was born. Lot made his own decision to stay and the result was the birth of Moab. Moab is born in the place where you act as the master. Human stubbornness and unrepentance created Moab. 42 • The Good News February 2013
PEOPLE WHO SEEK HOPE IN MOAB In Ruth1:1 it says, “And a certain man of Bethlehem, Judah, went to dwell in the country of Moab, he and his wife and his two sons.”
We are like the people going down to Moab. Moab is the place where people who follow their desires try to avoid the pain given by God and continue trying to live according to their own heart. Moab is a place where you can live as the master. In Ruth 1:1, it shows the place where the human heart resides apart from God. We can see in Moab, that the people continuously struggle to fill the cisterns on their own. However, those cisterns are broken cisterns that cannot hold any water. People labor very hard but cannot get any water. There is not even a single drop of water that can satisfy their hearts in Moab. People will only face calamity there. We can often see people like Elimelech, who departed from the promised land of
The Book of Ruth
God to find hope in Moab. The people who departed from God dwell in their flesh, have hope in their flesh and struggle to gain joy in their flesh. However, there is no hope or joy hidden in Moab. If you dig up Moab, you will only find despair and sadness. If you try to dig up petroleum where there is no petroleum to be found, that is work done in vain. That is why
the countries with no petroleum do not try to dig it up but instead buy it from other countries that do have it. Joy and hope belong to God. There is no hope to be found in living a life depending on our selves. People are so foolish that they do not think to return to God even until the end. The beginning of the book of Ruth shows us our human nature.
Pastor Sung-hoon Kim Senior Pastor of Good News Daejeon Church, Korea Sermon â€˘ 43
Sunghyun Choi (Good News Sacramento Church, United States)
“We Besought our God for This: And He Was Entreated of Us.”
ith the servant’s promise that God would establish 500 new churches in America, the Sacramento church was established on November 5th, 2012. I was dispatched from Missionary School to the West Coast in of America. Before coming to Sacramento, I stayed in the Los Angeles Church for 6 months. I never thought I would be here in Sacramento; I didn’t even know there was such a city in the USA. I found out that Sacramento is the capital of California, the third largest state in America. Our San Jose Church is near Sacramento, so the pastor and short-term missionaries were making mission trips and conferences here for a while. 44 • The Good News February 2013
People started gathering one by one, and for about a year now, an elder from San Jose Church has been going up to Sacramento weekly to hold services and meetings. After the San Diego World Camp last August, I went to the San Jose Church in order to start the Sacramento Church. While I stayed in the San Jose Church for about a month, I saw the brothers and sisters serving and praying with all their hearts for the Sacramento Church to be established. Even though I saw that, rather than having the heart of God, to establish this new church, I was burdened in my heart. I thought I had responsibility without knowing anything. I thought I would end up disappointing the brothers and sisters.
Opening service of Good News Sacramento Church.
There were also many things we needed like, a house, a car, and a chapel, so I thought it wouldn’t work out smoothly and my mind was not at ease. The morning we were going up to Sacramento to get an apartment, I was praying to God with insecurity in my heart. As I opened the Bible, I read this in Ezra: “Then I proclaimed a fast there, at the river of Ahava, that we might afflict ourselves before our God, to seek of him a right way for us, and for our little ones,
and for all our substance. For I was ashamed to require of the king a band of soldiers and horsemen to help us against the enemy in the way: because we had spoken unto the king, saying, The hand of our God is upon all them for good that seek him; but his power and his wrath is against all them that forsake him. So we fasted and besought our God for this: and he was entreated of us.” (Ezra 8:21-23) Ezra re-built the house of God, but before going to 45 Testimony • 45
Minister Choi, his wife, two sisters pictured from left.
Jerusalem with the people, chiefs and ministers, he sought God to show them the right way because they didn’t have an army to protect them on their trip. I can’t compare my heart, that worries about the number of saints and about the many things that are not prepared to my standard, to that of Ezra’s who had to guide thousands of people. However, as I saw that Ezra was ashamed of relying on the army instead God and how he sought God the right way, 46 • The Good News February 2013
I saw how God helped Ezra. I had the heart that God also answered my prayer. I was able to go to Sacramento with a light heart with the San Jose Pastor. That day, we truly felt the helping hand of God. Within just a few hours, we got an apartment in a nice area, at a good rate, and were able to rent a venue for service. A while later we were able to buy a car. We were all very happy as we saw God’s helping hand. God also provided other things that we needed,
After Bible study in Helenâ€™s house.
one by one. There is a daughter of a sister who received salvation in Korea, named Helen, who received salvation and is now continuously attending services. Ever since the church was established, she has been helping out with a happy heart. Her friend, who was also connected to our church during the last conference, received salvation and is now also attending services. Moreover, people who were connected before heard the news that the church was established. They visited the
church, shared the Word and became part of the chain that connects others to church. Just as in Ezraâ€™s time, God accomplished His will to rebuild His house, and taught us about spiritual life. God established the Sacramento Church according to His will and His Word. He nourishes it and allows it to grow. When I think about that God, I am thankful. I ask for the prayers of brothers and sisters for the growth of our church. Testimony â€˘ 47 47
spiritual life was not always easy and I often felt myself Helen Gardiner Tsibel being led astray. It cycled up and down and my sensitivity Good News Sacramento Church towards God wavered accordy name is ing to my circumstances. Helen and Our family began to grow I’m from the and as I saw how precious and Good News wonderful life around us was Sacramento Church. My through our children’s eyes, husband Garri and I moved I quickly realized how powfrom LA to Roseville which erless and weak I was when is located just outside of it came to protecting them Sacramento about 6 years ago. and especially teaching them We were eager to start our life about God and the gospel. I here and to get our careers could feed them and bathe going while starting a famthem and provide for them, ily, however I was afraid of but I knew, and God knew my spiritual life diminishing that I needed Him, a church, because I knew there was no and a servant of God to lead Good News Mission Church my family. After nearly two nearby. Thankfully, San Jose years of holding services was a two-hour drive away in my home and at spaces and the family at the San Jose rented from churches here in Good News Church emSacramento with Elder Kim braced me and my family de- and Elder Daryl from the San spite my irregular attendance Jose Church, God finally sent to services. While I was able his servant and his new wife to receive a lot of grace under to Sacramento. the guidance of the Pastor I was so happy and grateful and church family there, that a church had been es-
48 • The Good News February 2013
tablished here, but at the same time I felt a huge burden and sense of responsibility since I was more or less the only member of the church. I felt that God gave me this church, that it was specifically for me and my family. For this I was very thankful. I was also nervous about starting my new spiritual life with the church and all its busy schedule of services throughout the week and frequent conferences and seminars; I didn’t want my husband to despise my church because of the time I would spend there. But soon after, I realized that this is not church that I need to take care of, but that it is God’s church and He has His own plan for it. He sent his servant not only for me and my family, but for all the souls here in Sacramento, to share the gospel and good news with them. I have since been learning to try to follow God’s heart and not what I deem to be good or right. I am experiencing that all
of our problems seem smaller if we hand then over to God instead of trying to solve them on our own. Through the messages heard at the opening service and recent Bible seminar here at our church, I came to know that the Word has power, real power. LA pastor’s wife shared with me the verse Isaiah 40:31, “but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” I am so thankful for our church, that with God’s grace my children will grow up inside the church, to know God and His heart and will live in a world apart from those who do not know God, a world with the gospel at its center. My faith in the Word is the only thing that I want to rely upon, and it gives me hope that one day my husband will receive salvation and accept the gospel into his heart. 49 Testimony • 49
The 300:29:1 Ratio Heinrich’s work is the basis for the theory of Behaviorbased safety, which holds that as many as 95 percent of all workplace accidents are caused by unsafe acts. Heinrich came to this conclusion after reviewing thousands of accident reports completed by supervisors, who generally blamed workers for causing accidents without conducting detailed investigations into the root causes. - Wikipedia
n 1931, Herbert William Heinrich, an employee of an American insurance company, developed what is called Heinrich’s Law and published it in his book, Industrial Accident Prevention, a Scientific Approach. Heinrich’s major finding was that before a fatal accident, relevant minor accidents always occur no matter what. While he was working at the insurance company and investigating many accidents in 50 • The Good News February 2013
the workplace, he found that for every accident that causes a major injury, there are 29 minor injuries and 300 accidents that cause no injuries. This is why Heinrich’s Law is called the 300:29:1 Ratio. Heinrich’s Law shows that major injuries and damage can be prevented if even one of the 300 accidents is prevented or if appropriate measures are taken on one of the 29 accidents. The Collapse of the Sampoong Department Store
in 1995 is a case that proves Heinrich’s Law. At first, the Sampoong Department Store was planned to be a four-story building. However, in 1987, it was decided that an additional floor would be added, forcing the construction of a 5 floor building from a 4-floor plan. The diameter of the pillars was scaled down by 25% and the rooftop was 4 times heavier than the load planned on the blueprint. One year before the collapse, there was a bookstore
added to the building and the weight of books caused more cracks in the walls. Then, two months before the collapse, there were cracks in the roof of the fifth floor restaurants. Finally, sand started to fall. Nevertheless, there were no preventive measures taken so the tragedy finally occurred. This can occur in our spiritual lives as well. There are many saints who receive numerous warnings but ignore them and simply think, “It’s 51
ok. Are we gods?” Even though they are not reading the Bible or praying, skipping service, pricked by the Holy Spirit, and getting chastisd, they just live ignoring those signs and say, “I am Ok. I already received salvation.” This arrogant heart comes from having too much confidence and thinking, “I did a good job.” If we have this kind of satisfied heart, we will only fail, like the prodigal son in the Bible. Because the prodigal son had confidence, he could say to his father “Father, give me the portion of goods that falleth to me.” This confidence drove him, not many days later, to gather all his belong52 • The Good News February 2013
ings and journey to a far country to waste his wealth with prodigal living. The confidence of the prodigal son was not made in just one day. He might have worked with more wisdom or have carried heavier burdens than his brother. Those little things made the prodigal son believe that he was a good person. He might have made more money farming than his brother or he might have planted a crop that was in demand, and believed he was smarter and better. As these things happened, his heart was filled with confidence. In his heart, he started to believe that he could do bet-
ter than his brother. Probably also thought that he could live well without his father. Later, on the advice of his father or brother might have sounded like nagging giving him the desire to depart from him. His heart, also, worked according to Heinrichâ€™s Law. According to the 300:29:1 ratio, if we neglect the small signals of a future disaster, minor accidents will occur. When those minor accidents are disregarded, they eventually lead to a fatal accident.
Through a little satisfaction that entered the prodigal sonâ€™s heart, confidence formed. Because he accepted this confidence, he was bothered by the interference of his brother and his father, and could not help but to leave them. Therefore, we have to cast away any self satisfaction that comes to our hearts, considering it a poison; because we understand how a little confidence that is allowed to enter our hearts can lead to fatal accidents.
Pastor Dong-sung Kim Senior Pastor of Good News Daegu Church, Korea 53
New Year’s Message
o start the year 2013, I will read the scripture from Romans, chapter 4, verse 19: “And not being weak in faith, he did not consider his own body, already dead (since he was about a hundred years old), and the deadness of Sarah’s womb.” Abraham didn’t have this precious faith from the beginning. God promised Abraham, “I will multiply your descendants as the stars of heaven”. Although Abraham received this promise from God when he was 75 years old, ten years passed and he still did not have a son. After ten years of not being 54 • The Good News February 2013
able to have a son, he began to think, “Oh, did God forget about giving me a son? Is it that I cannot have a son?” When Sarah said to Abraham, “Take Hagar to conceive a son,” he was drawn to humanistic thoughts rather than the promise of God. “God told me that He will give me a son, but Sarah and I are too old. It is impossible to have a child. Shouldn’t I have a son even if it means having it through my maid?” However, that was not the promise; instead, it was his humanistic thoughts. Eventually, Abraham had Ishmael through Hagar. Fourteen years after that,
“And not being weak in faith, he did not consider his own body, already dead (since he was about a hundred years old), and the deadness of Sarah’s womb.’ (Romans 4:19)
Abraham became 99 years old and God told him once again, “As for Sarai your wife, you shall not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall be her name. I will give you a son by her.” Abraham laughed after he heard God’s word and thought, “Shall a child be born to a man who is one hundred years old? And shall Sarah, who is ninety years old, bear a child?” This did not make any sense. Looking at his circumstance, Abraham thought he could never have a son. When I read the Word about Abraham, I think we are like him. Even though we believe in God, we also be-
lieve in what seems possible in humanistic ways and cannot believe what seems impossible to us. That is where the problem for most people arises. However, God is not a human being. If God works, what does it matter that you are a hundred years old or five hundred years old? The most difficult thing in my spiritual life was that although there was clearly the promise of God, it seemed impossible when I saw it through my eyes. That is why I thought it was not going to work. But God knew us so well that he told us about himself in the Bible. Before God gave Message •
Abraham a son, he wanted to show him that it is indeed possible when God works, although to Abraham, it seemed impossible. God was going to fulfill the precious work of Jesus Christ’s birth through Abraham. But Abraham could not understand the Word of God. God wanted to plant His heart in Abraham. That is why through the word, “I will multiply your descendants as the stars of the heaven and as the sand which is on the seashore,” Jesus Christ would be born, and all the nations of the earth would be blessed. God continually showed His will to Abraham. When Abraham’s heart finally changed, he said, “That is right. If God gives me a son then I can have a son.” When that kind of heart arose in Abraham, he became one heart 56 • The Good News February 2013
with God, and he gained faith. In Romans, 4:19-20, it says, “He did not waiver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform.” Abraham became man of faith who believed in impossible things. That why, he was able to have Isaac. God wants to work in all of us, not just Abraham. To everyone who is greeting the year 2013, why did God give us this new year? He did not give it to us to raise children and live more abundantly. God has His will and plan for all of us. God is willing to do His works through us. That is why in 2013, we have to change our hearts saying, “God if you work then I will cover
“Even through me, the gospel will be preached and people will receive salvation.” God stirs up this kind of heart in us this whole world with the gospel. Even through me, the gospel will be preached and people will receive salvation.” God stirs up this kind of heart in us in order for Him to work. Although Abraham met God when he was seventy-five years old, he dwelled in his thoughts until he was ninety-nine. But, when he became ninety-nine years old, Abraham overcame his limits. He thought, “That’s right, I may be old, but God will give me a son if He works.” And so God began to work from then. “I am lacking and weak, but if God works in me, I will cover the United States with the gospel. I will preach the gospel to this whole world. I will no longer live for myself. I will live as a man of God in 2013 that He gave to us. I am going to live for the gospel. I am going
to serve you, God. And I will glorify you, Father God.” Everyone, if you have the heart of faith, your heart and God’s heart will become one. Just like Abraham, not being weak in faith, who did not consider his own body, already dead (since he was about a hundred years old), even if we are lacking and weak, God will work through us as long as we are not tied down to ourselves. Brothers and sisters around the world, we are not just man in the year 2013, we are the tools of God. If God lifts us up to work and be held in God’s hand, we will do the works of power. God will give us the heart that He gave to Abraham. Let us not look at our circumstances, but to God who will work when we have the faith to believe in Him. I hope everyone can live in this way. Message •
A Life With Continuous Guidance
The Way God Saw the Church in Corinth
If we accept the Word of God, it becomes power regardless of our current image. Once we accept the Word into our heart, we are no longer tied down to adultery, contentiousness, and disputes. We become people who belong to heaven. We can stand boldly as people who accomplish God’s works. When we believe God’s Word that says we are righteous, even though we are sinful, we become holy people. Although we live in this world, we become people who belong in heaven by believing the Word of God. Once we realize the heart of God who wants to fulfill His will together with us, we can do anything inside of Him. 58 • The Good News February 2013
Iron Sharpeneth Iron
THE WORKS THAT GOD ACCOMPLISHED We often see God work in our lives after we receive salvation. We experienced God opening the way when we didn’t have a way last summer during the World Camp in Busan. God allowed good weather and prepared guest speakers to give lectures to students. God also opened the way by sending helpers to do things that I wasn’t able to. A college professor and a broadcast studio employee received salvation and they poured all their heart into working for World Camp. There were many big events during the camp like the opening ceremony held in Haeundae Beach, the Tomorrow Global Leadership Camp, the Africa Investment Promotion Forum, and the Youth Ministers Forum. I couldn’t do those things with my ability but it was amazing how God accomplished them beautifully one by one. In Kwang Yang, it suddenly started pouring while we were having a luncheon with min-
isters from different countries. I’ve never seen it rain that much before. We were supposed to view the Yeosu Expo but I was worried thinking that we couldn’t go forward with the schedule with rain like that. But while we were driving to Yeosu, the rain stopped. I was very thankful in my heart as I watched Gracias Choir performing outdoors and Pastor Ock Soo Park preaching the Word to many people who visited the Expo. I felt that God wants to use me as I did His work. This was the heart that God had towards the Church in Corinth. WHO SHALL ALSO CONFIRM YOU THAT YE MAY BE BLAMELESS The church in Corinth was established by Paul as he preached the gospel during his 2nd witnessing trip. After Paul began his 3rd witnessing trip and while staying in Ephesus for two years, he heard the news through the house of Chloe that there was a problem in the Corinth church. Even though Sermon • 59
the church started out beautifully in the beginning, within a few years things started to go wrong. Sons were committing adultery with their fathers’ wives, and contentions and false accusations arose among the saints. Because Paul taught himself as he learned to live spiritual life, when he heard the news he immediately knew what led them to darkness. So he sent a letter or epistle to the church in Corinth. This is 1 Corinthians. “Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours:” (1 Corinthians 1:2) In this verse, Paul called the troubled church in Corinth, “the church of God”. God is saying, “I am your master. You are my church.” “Who shall also confirm you unto the end that ye may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1Cor 1:8) You don’t know how thankful this Word is to me. 60 • The Good News February 2013
Although there are many problems right now, God will make it right because He is the master. We can see the flow of the church and the flow of God’s heart is very different. I became happy as this Word entered my heart. “I have big and small problems but that’s not important! God clearly said that He will confirm me as blameless!” Regardless of whatever circumstance the Corinthian Church might have found itself in, Apostle Paul planted hope towards God in the saints of Corinth. As I received the eyes of God that see the Corinthian Church, I could feel the heart to see all things with God’s eyes beginning to form within me. THE WORD IS SUFFICIENT TO TRANSPORT US FROM EARTH TO HEAVEN If we accept the Word of God, it becomes power regardless of our current image. Once we accept the Word into our heart, we are no longer tied down to adultery, contentiousness, and disputes. We become people who belong to heaven. We can
Iron Sharpeneth Iron
stand boldly as people who accomplish God’s works. When we believe God’s Word that says we are righteous, even though we are sinful, we become holy people. Although we live in this world, we become people who belong in heaven by believing the Word of God. Once we realize the heart of God who wants to fulfill His will together with us, we can do anything inside of Him. When David became king and entered Jerusalem, all the people rejoiced and praised David. However, there was
one person who was sad and in pain. It was David’s wife Michal. When David was cast out, she abandoned David and married Paltiel. The David that Michal saw was someone that should be hunted down; a person who was nothing. However, the David that God saw was king. Sin is nothing else than being different from God’s heart. Even if I see myself as faithless, dark, and contentious, if God says that I’m a member of His church and establishes me as blameless, then I need to accept
Sermon • 61
that word. That is spiritual life. Throwing away my thoughts and accepting the Word of God is in itself, power. That brings the work of God. One word of God is sufficient to move our lives from this earth to heaven. We often see ourselves and become disappointed, but God says, “You are not a caterpillar; you are a butterfly. You are a star in the sky.” If we accept one Word of God into our heart, then we can leave all things to God. Many times we face difficult situations but God solves our problems. God is alive and He works. Although
there is nothing we do, if God helps and bestows His grace, then wouldn’t everything be resolved? As I read 1 Corinthians chapter by chapter, I looked into the reason why the situation was not a problem in Paul’s heart. It was Jesus. “Who shall also confirm you unto the end, that ye may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Corinthians 1:8) With this one Word, our lives can change. As we accept the Word of God rather than believing what we see and feel, I have hope that we all can live a happy life.
Pastor Young-joon Park Senior Pastor of Busan Daeyeon Church, Korea 62 • The Good News February 2013
Iron Sharpeneth Iron
Sermon â€˘ 63
How a 17 Year Old Boy Changed His Heart
“WHY WEREN’T YOU ABLE TO CONTROL YOURSELF?” One day, a seventeen-year-old boy and his parents visited my office. His worried mother said that her son was being led by Satan to be wild and to live a violent life breaking windows. Recently, he pricked the eye of a girl who was passing by with a gimlet. Fortunately, the victim avoided the tragedy of going blind, since he pricked the bottom of the eye and not the eyeball. But the victim still suffered many hardships. When I looked at him, he was just a handsome, good and in64 • The Good News February 2013
nocent student. ‘That precious student is being led by Satan, who stole his heart.” “Please,” I said to his mother. “Don’t scold your son, too much. Do you really know how much he regrets pricking that girl’s eye and gets tormented by it? He did it because he couldn’t control his heart.” As I spoke, the student’s heart opened so much that he was able to listen. “Well, you didn’t like what you did,” I said. “You didn’t want to do it. So why weren’t you able to control yourself?” He completely agreed with
A Grain of Mustard Seed
this and was pleased that I acknowledged his heart. I calmly continued speaking with him. “It’s not you who did it. Satan, in you, is dragging you. It’s because you are led by Satan. In a power game, a weak person can’t help but to be dragged when a strong person pulls him. How can you overcome Satan? So, even though you didn’t like it, you did it according to his command, as you were dragged.” His heart was completely open. “We can never overcome Satan. You can’t. I can’t. There is only one who can defeat
Satan, and that’s Jesus Christ. Only Jesus can defeat Satan. So when Jesus enters into your heart, you can overcome Satan any number of times, and live with a blessed and bright heart, as you are no longer dragged by Satan.” He received this in his heart. “Do you know how to receive Jesus into your heart? Do you want me to explain it to you? He was so pleased that he wanted to listen further. “The Bible talks about the heart of Jesus, so receiving Jesus into your heart means that Jesus and I become one heart. When Jesus said to the Testimony • 65
man with infirmity for 38 years, “Rise, take up thy bed and walk,” the man thought he was not able to walk because he had been sick for 38 years. But when he listened to the word of Jesus, he realized, ‘What good have I gained by listening to my own thoughts? None! So why not listen to Him? If He says I can walk, then I can walk. With his heart, I can do it.’ The man stood with the heart of Jesus and God was able to work, amazingly. Once you receive the word of Jesus into your heart, you have one heart with Jesus. From that moment on, Jesus will live and work in 66 • The Good News February 2013
your heart.” HIS HEART BECOMES ONE WITH JESUS’ HEART Step by step, I talked about the heart of Jesus. Then, I told the story of how Jesus washed away our sins. “We think we are sinners because we commit sin, but let’s find out what Jesus says.” I opened to Hebrews 10:10. “Here it says, ‘By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.’ Is that right? You think that you are crazy and evil, right? But the Bible says that you are sancti-
A Grain of Mustard Seed
fied. Now, here, please read 1 Corinthians 6:11. ‘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.’ The Bible says that we are washed, sanctified, and justified. But we think that we are dirty. At this point, our hearts are different from Jesus’ heart. God tells us that our sins were washed because Jesus carried and received all punishment for our sins, when He died on the cross. God says that we were washed but many people consciously think, ‘No, I have a lot of sin. I am evil.’
But God says that He will not remember our sins, that we are justified and sanctified, and our sins were washed. Your thought is not important but God’s word is important. God says you were sanctified. When all of your sins were washed, you became righteous. You feel like you are a sinner, right? That is natural. But the important thing is whether you believe in your thoughts or the word of God. The issue is whether your thought is right or the word of God.” Amazingly, he received the word as it was written and became one heart with Jesus. He Testimony • 67
believed that all his sins were washed and he became sanctified like the word of Jesus. NOW JESUS IS IN HIS HEART Step by step, I talked about the heart of Jesus. Then, I told the story of how Jesus washed away our sins. “We think we are sinners because we commit sin, but let’s find out what Jesus says.” I opened to Hebrews 10:10. “Here it says, ‘By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.’ Is that right? You think that you are crazy and 68 • The Good News February 2013
evil, right? But the Bible says that you are sanctified. Now, here, please read 1 Corinthians 6:11. ‘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.’ The Bible says that we are washed, sanctified, and justified. But we think that we are dirty. At this point, our hearts are different from Jesus’ heart. God tells us that our sins were washed because Jesus carried and received all punishment for our sins, when He died on the cross. God says that we were washed
A Grain of Mustard Seed
but many people consciously think, ‘No, I have a lot of sin. I am evil.’ But God says that He will not remember our sins, that we are justified and sanctified, and our sins were washed. Your thought is not important but God’s word is important. God says you were sanctified. When all of your sins were washed, you became righteous. You feel like you are a sinner, right? That is natural. But the important thing is whether you believe in your thoughts or the word of God. The issue is whether your thought is right or the word of God.” Amazingly, he received the
word as it was written and became one heart with Jesus. He believed that all his sins were washed and he became sanctified like the word of Jesus.
Testimony • 69
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