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 Sermons on important subjects by Rev. Paul C. Jong

 

The Truth Does Not Change Regardless of How Many People Might Deny It



< Genesis 3:1-4 >

“Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said to the woman, ‘Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?’ And the woman said to the serpent, ‘We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.’’ Then the serpent said to the woman, ‘You will not surely die.’”



Galileo Galilei is famous for saying, “Yet the earth still moves.” He was born in 1564, at a time when the authority of the Catholic Church extended all over Europe. Before Galilei, there actually was someone else, a man named Copernicus, who had argued that the earth revolved around the sun. At that time, however, Copernicus’ theory was not accepted at all. Later on, as Galilei observed the heavenly bodies with his telescope, he came to discover the validity of Copernicus’ heliocentric theory.

With a telescope that he made, Galilei was able to confirm the revolution of the moon, and he also discovered satellites revolving around Jupiter. As a result, he was convinced that the earth revolved around the sun, and as his conviction of the discovery grew, he began to support Copernicus’ theory. This deeply offended the Catholic Church, and soon, the Inquisition set up a tribunal to investigate Galilei’s writings, and the tribunal rejected and condemned his theory.

At that time, the Inquisition of the Church was a court of immense fear and viciousness. The Inquisition was so vindictive that it even prosecuted and condemned people who were already dead. The Inquisitors investigated the beliefs of even the dead, and if any of them were judged to be a heretic, his cadaver was dug out of his tomb and burnt. Because the Inquisition held such an unrestrained power, to be called and interrogated by this court was itself a terrifying prospect. It was to this Inquisition that Galilei was summoned. So, as Galilei was sentenced to life imprisonment by the Inquisition held in Rome, he was forced against his will to repudiate his own views as the following:

“I, Galilei, now 70 years old, the son of the late Vincenzo Galilei, summoned to the Inquisition, kneel before the cardinals and Inquisitors of the Christendom all over the world combating the corruption of heresy, and place my hands on the Scripture to pledge that I have always believed in everything that the Holy Catholic Church and the Pope have supported and preached, believe in it now, and with God’s help, will continue to believe in it in the future.

“Although I had been ordered by the ecclesiastical authority of the Inquisition to renounce my fallacious view that the sun was at the center of the world and immobile, and although I had also been forbidden from supporting and defending the said doctrine, I wrote and published a book that espoused this forbidden fallacy. The Inquisition has therefore rendered its judgment strictly condemning me for being vehemently suspected of heresy, that is, for supporting and believing that the earth was not the center of the universe but revolved around the sun. (Omitted)

“I pledge to carry out and abide by all the orders of penance issued by the Inquisition. However, if—although this will never happen—I commit an act that breaks my promise or pledge, I will gladly bear all the punishments established and decreed by the sacred laws, or other civil or special laws, on the violator. So save me God, the holy gospel Scripture upon which I have placed my hands. I, Galilei Galileo, hereby declare and promise thus. As its witness, I recited each and every phrase of this declaration and signed it myself. June 22, 1633. At the Minerva Convent, Rome. ”

It’s said that while Galilei made the above declaration, he was shivering with extreme cold, and when he stood up after making his declaration, he was restless, as his conscience was stung for denying the earth’s motion. So looking down at the ground, he is said to have mumbled, “E pur si muove”—“Yet it still moves.”

As the result of the Inquisition, Galilei was sentenced to life imprisonment, and he spent the rest of his lonely life in his home outside Florence under strict surveillance, with his only beloved eldest daughter to keep company. He even lost his sight, and eventually died in 1642. After Galilei’s death, the Vatican did not allow an official burial ceremony and forbade the erection of a monument over his tomb. However, in October 31, 1992, after 360 years passed by since the Inquisition’s condemnation of Galilei, the Vatican officially declared Galilei’s complete reinstatement, thus bringing the whole saga to its final closure and reminding us once again that the truth is forever unchanging.

My fellow believers, the reason why I told you about Galilei right after reading today’s Scripture passage is because there are countless people in this world who deny the Truth and insist on holding onto falsehood. Until Galilei’s time, the absolute majority of people had unquestionably believed in the Ptolemaic theory based on what their eyes could see. Those who believed in and argued for the heliocentric theory were few and far between. But what was the ultimate result? Could the geocentric theory be true, just because it was a theory supported by the absolute majority? No, it was the Copernican theory that was true, even though only a few had believed in and followed it.

Like this, even though the gospel of the water and the Spirit is absolutely the biblical Truth, we see that the majority of Christians today define this Truth as false and reject it. Although the fact that God has blotted out all the sins of this world with the gospel of the water and the Spirit has never changed, far from believing in this, too many people still continue to stand against it. This is a great error stemming from the biased view, “Whatever is supported by the majority is the truth.” We should draw an important lesson from the story of Galilei. We have to once again consider carefully here what really is the real Truth of salvation. Most Christians think that their salvation is obtained just by believing in the blood of the Cross alone, and they also think that their everyday sins are washed away by giving prayers of repentance. We need to question here whether their beliefs are true or not.

The apostles and disciples of our Lord believed as the following: “Did Jesus Christ wash away all the sins of the world with the gospel of the water and the Spirit? Yes. Indeed, Jesus took away all the sins of the world through His baptism. Therefore there is no sin in the world. Although all of us commit sin until the day we die, because Jesus Christ took away all our sins, we are now sinless. Jesus Christ is our Savior.” This is how they believed, and this is how they preached. They preached this gospel Truth of the water and the Spirit, saying, “Jesus is our Savior. And He took upon all our sins through the gospel of the water and the Spirit. The Lord has blotted out all our sins. Therefore all of us who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit are righteous. But are you still suffering because of your sins? Then believe in Jesus Christ. Jesus came to blot out your sins for you. And He indeed made all your sins disappear.”



Jesus Took Away All the Sins of This World Once for All by Being Baptized

Do you think that there is sin in this world? The Truth is that there is no sin in this world. You may then ask, “How is there no sin in the world?” Your sins are no longer with you precisely because Jesus had shouldered all your sins through the baptism He received from John even before you were born.

Do you know the Truth of the water and the Spirit? It is true, my fellow believers, that the people of this world continue to sin time after time, but when Jesus Christ came to this earth, He bore all the sins of the world once for all by being baptized by John, and He washed them all away by being crucified. This is the gospel Truth of the water and the Spirit. That Jesus came to this earth and already blotted out all the sins of the world is the Truth.

However, the Devil has been deceiving mankind, saying, “There is sin in the world. And so do people have sin. Jesus only took away your original sin. As for your personal sins, He blots them out only when you repent, and He hasn’t taken away your future sins that you haven’t committed yet.”

However, we shoulder no longer be deceived by Satan’s evil tricks. We must never be tricked. That’s because the sins of this world are no longer with us, but they were passed onto the body of Jesus Christ. You must realize that mankind has no sin, and you must believe in Jesus, who came by the gospel of the water and the Spirit, as your Savior.

There once was an explorer who claimed to be able to make an egg stand up on its end. Do you know who this man was? The name of this person, who managed to make an egg stand before many, was Columbus. In Columbus’ time, many people thought, “This earth is flat. As it is cubic-shaped, it must end somewhere at its edge, and so we would fall off if we were to keep sailing in one direction.” So the people at that time did not sail far.

However, this man Columbus believed, “The earth is round. So if we continue to sail in one direction, we will return to the original point of our departure.” Supported by the Spanish court, he set sail from the European continent, crossed the Atlantic Ocean, and discovered the New World in 1492. However, even until his death in 1506, Columbus did not realize that the continent he discovered was an entirely new continent. He believed that the land he discovered was part of India, a nation at the far eastern end of the earth that the Europeans knew at that time—we can easily see this just by looking at the fact that he named the newly discovered land as the “West Indies.” At any rate, thanks to Columbus’ exploring spirit, a whole new world that had been previously unknown to every European was opened.

Columbus, a pioneering explorer, called up people one day and made a bet. He said, “Let’s make a bet. I can make an egg stand up. Can any of you do this?” People said to him, “How can anyone make an egg stand up, when it is round?” But Columbus insisted that he could do this. “Just watch me,” he said, and then taking an egg, he lightly cracked the shell at its bottom, and stood it up. “Look, it’s standing up now,” he said. People then said, “Who couldn’t do this? Anyone could have done it!” Columbus then responded, “But isn’t the egg standing up somehow?”

Yes, it seemed to be a very simple idea, but was there anyone who actually had conceived such a clever idea before him? Such enterprising ideas like this constitute the foundation of science. Seeing what others have achieved, anyone can say, “That’s no big deal; anyone can do it,” but there is only one person who actually accomplished it. You can encounter new worlds only if you break out of your own conventional wisdom. This world is full of mystery, if you would only explore it.

Even today, at the 21st century, many Christians still continue to be deceived by Satan, believing, “Our original sin is forgiven when we believe in Jesus, our personal sins are remitted away from time to time when we give prayers of repentance, and our future sins that we have not committed yet were not taken away by Jesus.”

However, the Bible makes it clear that each and every sin was already taken away and blotted out by Jesus. Therefore, the Christians who have been born again by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit have no sin. Those who believe in Jesus as their Savior based on the gospel of the water and the Spirit are righteous people without sin. If a Christian still retains his sins even as he believes in Jesus, then this can only mean that his faith is fallacious.

From the 16th century and on, when the Reformation took place in full swing, Christianity has produced countless theologians. With their limited faculty, they began to solve the Word of God arbitrarily. As they could not understand many passages from the Bible, they fit the jigsaw together all on their own and interpreted it in a way that could be comprehended by their limited intellectual capacity, thus producing many groundless doctrines. Such fallacious doctrines continue to be made and refined systematically by today’s bogus theologians, and as a result, virtually all Christians have come to believe, “Although Jesus has blotted out all the sins of this world, it is whenever we repent from our sins that they actually disappear.”

In terms of number, those who believe in this way form the absolute majority of Christians, and so they have no doubt whatsoever but every confidence in such a falsehood. And they treat the gospel of the water and the Spirit, the true gospel of the water and the Spirit, as heresy. Just like the Inquisition in Galilei’s time, they hinder the Truth with their religious authority. However, no matter how many people might have denied it, what is clear is that the earth revolved around the sun. Likewise, that there is no sin is the undisputable Truth, for Jesus has blotted out all the sins of the world.

It is such a tragedy that so many people still do not know this amazing gospel Truth of the water and the Spirit. In their ignorance of the gospel of the water and the Spirit, they have misunderstood Jesus and misbelieved in Him. When I see today’s Christians all over the world, I have so much pity for them. They are indeed pitiful precisely because they do not realize this fact, and therefore they have needlessly retained their sins.

The gospel of the water and the Spirit is the Truth. Isn’t Jesus Christ our Savior, my fellow believers? Just as we sing, “♪Joy to the world the Lord has come♪,” Jesus is indeed our Savior. The Savior came to this earth for mankind, and by blotting out all the sins of this world with the gospel of the water and the Spirit, He accomplished His great salvation. The Savior who fulfilled all the gospel of the water and the Spirit then ascended to Heaven. He went back after giving mankind the Truth that allows people to reach the righteousness of God by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit with their hearts.

My fellow believers, even after you heard the gospel of the water and the Spirit, do you still find it hard to understand, and are your minds still confused, by any chance? If so, then you must listen to the Word of God some more. It took thousands of years for the whole mankind to finally be convinced of the fact that the earth revolves around the sun and believe so. Likewise, if you hear the Word of God and listen to the gospel of the water and the Spirit more carefully, you, too, will eventually come to realize that this gospel of the water and the Spirit—that the Lord has blotted out all the sins of mankind by taking them all upon Himself through His baptism and shedding His blood on the Cross—is the Truth, and you will also come to believe in it.



Why Are There People Like Cain among Today’s Christians?

You must not be deceived by Satan’s cunning and evil tricks. Nor should you fall into the falsehood propagated by the Devil’s servants. Between Cain and Abel, the children of Adam and Eve, God accepted only the offering of Abel, for his sacrifice was fitting before God, but Cain’s sacrifice was rejected because he did not give the proper offering of faith. In other words, God could not accept Cain’s offering in pleasure.

1 John 3:11-12 says, “For this is the message that you heard from the beginning, that we should love one another, not as Cain who was of the wicked one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his works were evil and his brother's righteous.”

God told us to be “not as Cain.” While the offering that Abel gave to God was an offering that was proper in His sight, the offering that Cain gave to God was not a proper offering, and therefore God did not accept it. Cain, in other words, did not give an offering of faith. What’s more, Cain even killed Abel who had given the offering of faith to God. Cain, too, was a man who was deceived by the wily tricks of Satan.

By whom were Adam and Eve deceived, and by whom do so many people in this age continue to be deceived? This deceiver is none other than Satan. Because Satan deceives people constantly, they come to fall into the fallacious belief, which insists that it is proper for them to have sin even as they believe in Jesus. No matter what, we must never be deceived by the wiles of the Devil, or otherwise we will end up following false faith like this all the way to hell. By deceiving people, the Devil has not only prevented them from believing in Jesus properly, but he has also stood up against the believers in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, persecuted them and tormented them. Even in this age, there are many people who have fallen into Satan’s cunning tricks and committed sin just like Cain, and just as Adam and Eve were deceived by the serpent and committed a great sin against God. Having been deceived by the Devil, all such people will be condemned for their sins.

The Bible writes that the serpent was more cunning than any other beasts. My fellow believers, Satan’s tricks are extremely cunning. How does the Devil deceive people? Even to this very day, the Devil has continued to deceive people so cunningly. First of all, he deceives people saying, “To be saved, one must be sanctified incrementally.”

When the Devil lies to us, if he were to spin out one lie after another from the beginning to the end, we would discover his tricks in no time. That is why the Devil at first starts with something that is correct at the beginning, and then later on disingenuously mixes it with something else false. People are then deceived very easily by this lie. What happens when the Devil starts off with a small lie and then adds some truth? Once again, people are easily deceived.

God said to Adam and Eve, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” God specified a certain tree and told them to never eat its fruit. However, when Satan came to Eve, he said to her, “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?”

Doesn’t this sound somewhat similar to what God had said? In other words, both God and Satan mentioned the phrase, “You shall not eat.” However, while God clearly limited it to a single tree, Satan spoke of every tree. It’s true that God had told Adam and Eve not to eat, but He did not forbid them from eating of every tree. So what Satan said was not entirely wrong, but was slightly similar to what God had said, thus distorting the truth. In other words, Satan’s cunning scheme is to sound as if he is not saying something entirely false. Put differently, in fact, the Devil deceives people by sounding similar to the Word of God, and then mixing it with his own lies. That is why Satan is called cunning.

So, through his servants, Satan says to Christians, “We Christians must be sanctified.” And he deceives them by saying, “People are saved when they believe in Jesus as their Savior. But after being saved, they must repent everyday, and only then are they sanctified. While God has blotted out all our sins, because we still continue to sin in the world, we cannot say that we have no sin, nor claim ourselves to be righteous.”



But Mankind’s Sins Cannot Be Washed Away through Prayers of Repentance

To explain this, I often draw an analogy to charcoal briquettes that have not been burnt yet. Nowadays hardly anyone uses them anymore, and so I sometime think I should switch to a different analogy, but since I grew up using coal briquettes, I still talk about them anyway. A charcoal briquette is black. Can we turn this black briquette into white briquette? Can we do this if we use soap and wipe the briquette hard with a sponge? Does the charcoal briquette eventually become white if we keep washing it?

No, it does not turn white. The attempt to wash away sin through prayers of repentance is exactly like this. One can give all the prayers of repentance he wants to blot out his sins, but do his sins really disappear? Of course not. So, the Bible states, “‘For though you wash yourself with lye, and use much soap, yet your iniquity is marked before Me,’ says the Lord GOD” (Jeremiah 2:22). Yet despite this, Satan has been deceiving people all this time, insisting that they can receive the remission of their sins only if they give prayers of repentance.

Everything that Satan says is aimed to deceive people. His words, that people are gradually sanctified and transformed into completely sinless beings if they give enough prayers of repentance, are nothing more than a lie designed to deceive you. Just like the analogy of charcoal briquettes that I just mentioned, your own prayers of repentance has no power to blot out and wash away your sins, no matter how hard you might try.

If our daily sins are indeed washed away through our prayers of confession, then this is indeed what we should do. And if God has indeed made us clean by such a method, then we should continue to believe so. But the notion that it is through your own prayers of repentance or endeavor to sanctify yourselves that you can receive the remission of your sins is a cunning lie of Satan.

It is written in Jeremiah 2:22-24:
“‘For though you wash yourself with lye, and use much soap,
Yet your iniquity is marked before Me,’ says the Lord GOD.
‘How can you say, ‘I am not polluted,
I have not gone after the Baals’?
See your way in the valley;
Know what you have done:
You are a swift dromedary breaking loose in her ways,
A wild donkey used to the wilderness,
That sniffs at the wind in her desire;
In her time of mating, who can turn her away?
All those who seek her will not weary themselves;
In her month they will find her.”

God said, “Though you wash yourself with lye, and use much soap, yet your iniquity is marked before Me.” He is saying, “Even though with lye and soap you try to wash all the carnal sins you commit while living on this earth, would your sins be really washed away?” In other words, no matter how fervently we offer prayers of repentance to wash away our sins, they would never disappear by these prayers.

As it is written, “You are a swift dromedary breaking loose in her ways, A wild donkey used to the wilderness, That sniffs at the wind in her desire,” we humans constantly commit sin while living on earth. By this passage, God was referring to none other than ourselves. Seeing the carnal sins committed by us, God is saying that we are like donkeys. It’s a shame, but human beings are hardly any different from donkeys. Just as a donkey in heat sniffs at the wind in the wilderness, we are unable to overcome the sinful passions that are aroused in us, and thus we end up committing sin.

When animals are in heat, the female wanders around looking for a male and the male wanders around looking for a female. When a male animal passes by a female in her time of mating, she goes all berserk. Smelling the scent of the female in heat, the male also sniffs around and blows heavy breaths through its nose, kicks up its legs front and back, and doesn’t listen to its owner. And it doesn’t even eat.

Mankind is hardly any different. Isn’t this the case? When I read the Bible, there are many parts that I myself don’t want to admit either, but neither a jot nor a tittle of the Word of God is wrong. So before the Word of God, we cannot help but admit just how evil and weak our human nature is. Some of you may think, “But really, this comparison is just too much. The Lord is so harsh. God goes too far. How can He compare us humans to a female donkey?” If this is how you think, then this is precisely what’s wrong with you. When we look deep into our hearts, we really are like a donkey.

So given the fact that we commit countless sins out of our lust, would all these sins be washed away, even if we were to use up all the soap that there is in the world? Would they be blotted out if we try to remove them with lye? The sins that are in your hearts cannot be erased in this way. To remove our hearts’ sins, we must listen to the gospel of the water and the Spirit and believe in it.



God Does Not Bless Those Who Don’t Believe in the Gospel of the Water and the Spirit

My fellow believers, all humans desire to receive the spiritual, heavenly blessing of salvation from God. God also wants to give mankind the spiritual blessings of heaven. Even though God wants to give us blessings, right now, many people are still unable to receive them. Then why are we not able to receive this blessing of salvation along with all the other heavenly blessings? Although we all desire to receive these blessings, some of us cannot receive them from God, for they do not have the gospel of the water and the Spirit in their hearts.

God says in Isaiah 59: 1-2,
“Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened,
That it cannot save;
Nor His ear heavy,
That it cannot hear.
But your iniquities have separated you from your God.”

God said here that He wanted to bless us and sought to give us His blessings, but there was something blocking us from God. This was none other than sin. Although mankind keeps asking God constantly for His blessings, because sin is blocking it from God, God cannot bless mankind, even though He wants to. Where there is sin, God can never give His blessings. It is because of our sins that God’s blessings do not descend on us. You may pray all you want, saying, “For God is holy and merciful, I believe He will bless us,” but if there is sin in your hearts, then you cannot expect to be blessed. God is saying to you that even though He wants to give you His blessings, because your sins have blocked you from God, these blessings will not reach you.

God earnestly wants to give the spiritual blessings of Heaven to people. Yet because their sins are in their hearts, there is no room for God’s blessings to come in. It is because of one’s sins that he cannot receive what he asks, and it is because of our sins that God cannot give us His blessings even though He wants to bless us. No matter how hard people might try to way away their hearts’ sins with lye, they simply cannot do this. Cyanide can melt iron, but it cannot melt away the sins that are in people’s hearts.

This is what God says: The sins of the human heart can never be blotted out with any method of this world at all. Our human sins do not disappear through any effort of our own. No matter how one might give his prayers of repentance, and no matter how he might beg, “God, please forgive me. I am so sorry,” his sins cannot be blotted out. No matter what good deeds one might do before God and how virtuously he might live; no matter how he might give his prayers of repentance, attend prayers meetings day and night, morning and evening, and fast all the time; and no matter how hard he might try, his heart’s sins do not disappear.

How, then, can these sins be removed? They can be made to disappear only if our God blots them out with the gospel of the water and the Spirit.

Satan deceived Adam and Eve. He first approached and deceived Eve. In my view, women generally tend to be deceived more easily. I am not insulting our sisters here just because I am a man, but it seems to me that they are more prone to be deceived. I have reached such a conclusion because we can usually find far more women than men in every heretic gathering of this age.



The Cunning Schemes of the Devil

My fellow believers, you must not fall into the cunning schemes of Satan. Eve was tempted by the Devil.

The Devil said, “Eve?” She answered, “Yes?” “Did God tell you not to eat of every tree?” “No, that’s not true. But of the fruit of the tree in the middle of the garden, God did say, ‘You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die,’” said Eve.

Eve had shared only two or three lines of conversation with Satan, but she was already trapped by the Devil. Had Eve not been fooled, then when Satan said to her, “Did God tell you not to eat of every tree in this garden?” she would have said, “Get lost. Go away and play by yourself. God said that I would die if I ate the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Since God said that I would die, I will indeed die if I eat it. So don’t say otherwise. Beside, why on earth do I need to eat the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil? Why should I eat it, when there are so many other fruits? God has blessed me. Since He has blessed me like this, why should I go out of my way to do what He told me not to do? That makes no sense. Hey, Devil! You are just wasting your time trying to deceive me. I listen to and believe in only the Word of God. So stop making a fool out of yourself and get lost.”

However, Eve’s mind was all shaken as soon as she heard what Satan said. So she thought, “I am not exactly sure of what I heard from my husband Adam; he might have told me not to eat it nor touch it. I guess that’s what he said.” That’s why Eve answered Satan by telling him that God said, “You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.”

I don’t understand why Eve could not believe in her own husband’s words like this. Dear sisters, trust in your husband’s words. You would discover unexpected gains when you listen to your husband’s words. In general, men are not too gullible. Many of those who fall into heresy tend to be women. There was a heretic group called Dami Mission in Korea, which claimed groundlessly that the rapture would take place on October 28, 1992. This mission was almost entirely composed of female followers. More recently, a cult called the Church of Everlasting Life made headlines in Korea for its bizarre and atrocious activities. Ninety-nine percent of the fanatics in this cult were all women. Its founder, whose last name was Cho, was so full of hot air. He claimed to have stopped a typhoon that was approaching Korea last summer. I laughed so much when I heard this. How can anyone stop a typhoon, a course of nature that is set by God? Yet his followers were so gullible that they believed every word he said so steadfastly.

Asked by Satan about God’s order, Eve answered, “Of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.’” When we analyze Eve’s answer, we can see that as soon as Satan unsettled her faith, she was already all shaken. Satan had brought confusion to the hearts of Adam and Eve. The Devil speaks cunningly, mixing what seems reasonable to people with his lies half-and-half.

To shatter people’s faith in God’s Word like this is Satan’s wicked wile. This is what Satan says to them: “Believe in Jesus. You’ll then be saved. And offer prayers of repentance for your everyday sins and confess them in your prayers. Only then will you be transformed into a holy and sinless person, and reach sanctification at your death.” When people hear this, it seems quite plausible and logical to them, and so they end up believing like this. They have no idea that they have actually been deceived.



What Does the Bible Say about Mankind’s Sins?

God said that He has blotted out all our sins as white as snow. What’s more, He has blotted them out all at once. My fellow believers, would mankind’s sins disappear just by giving prayers of confession? Would they disappear even if we were to use a ton of soap? Would your sins disappear if you were to wash them with lye or cyanide? No, they will never disappear. They will all remain intact.

My fellow believers, do not fall into the wiles of the Devil. Even at this very moment, Satan continues to deceive people, claiming, “You will be saved if you believe in Jesus,” and, “We must reach sanctification.”

At the end of 2004, the current world population has now exceeded 6.4 billion. Let’s assume here that of this population of 6.4 billion people, about a billion people are Christians. To these billion Christians, Satan says, “Did God really make you righteous? Did He take away all your sins? Did He really blot them all out?” This is how Satan shakes people’s faith.

My fellow believes, countless people have now had their hearts all shaken, even though they believe in Jesus Christ. There are many Christians whose hearts have been unhinged despite believing in Jesus, and as a result, their faith is not standing upright. And as a further result, they are falling into the way of destruction, in spite of the fact that they are Christians. They all are precisely like this because they have been incessantly deceived by Satan.

The Devil also claims that believers can be saved by keeping the Law. Put differently, he says to people that they can be saved only if they live by the Law after believing in Jesus Christ, but this is nothing more than his evil trick. The Bible, in contrast, says that those who are under the Law are under the curse. Galatians 3:10 says, “For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse; for it is written, ‘Cursed is everyone who does not continue in all things which are written in the book of the law, to do them.’” The phrase “as many as” here means “anyone.” Anyone who is of the works of the Law is under the curse.

God says in chapter 2 of Genesis that He made the Garden of Eden and placed man there. He says that by placing man there, He enabled him to live a beautiful life forever, being blessed and enjoying happiness in the wonderful garden. This blessing of God was a blessing that was given unilaterally by God all on His own. We should remember the fact that even though Eve was living in God’s garden amid blessings, when she approached God with her own work of faith, she could not avoid but be placed under the curse.

God has blessed mankind unilaterally. Having blessed human beings all on His own, there is one thing that God has asked from them, and this is to just accept what God has given them by faith and enjoy it. After making the Garden of Eden, God said to Adam and Eve, “If you are of your own work or approach Me with your own deeds, I will take away the blessings that I gave you.” Therefore, the reason why people still end up losing this God-given blessing is because they have forsaken their faith, deceived by Satan.



“As Many As Are of the Works of the Law Are under the Curse”

Adam and Eve had lived happily in the Garden of Eden. But, one day, Satan came to Eve and said to her, “Eat from the tree that will enable you know good and evil.” Adam and Eve could enjoy all the blessings given by God with their faith, but Satan tempted them to approach God with their own acts. Satan tempted them by saying, “For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil” (Genesis 3:5). Satan made mankind come before God with its legalistic faith. By making mankind approach God with its seemingly righteous deeds, Satan placed it under the curse.

Here, we must remember what God said, that “as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse.” It is by faith that we must receive and enjoy these blessings that God has given us. If we were to add our own acts or efforts even slightly to the salvation that God has bestowed on us, then these blessings that God has given us will be cut off from us.

God manifests His divinity through His love for us. God is gentle and merciful, and He wanted to become our God. Yet Satan tempted mankind to challenge God. Anyone who challenges God is to be placed under the curse.

God did not make Satan from the beginning. God says in the Book of Isaiah that before He made us, He had first created spiritual beings, the angels. Just as God gave free will to mankind, so did He give free will to every spiritual being. He did so to manifest His divine nature, and to be glorified. Satan was originally an angel created by God, but he challenged God to be higher than Him. So God drove him away, saying,

“How you are fallen from heaven,
O Lucifer, son of the morning!
How you are cut down to the ground,
You who weakened the nations!
For you have said in your heart:
‘I will ascend into heaven,
I will exalt my throne above the stars of God;
I will also sit on the mount of the congregation
On the farthest sides of the north;
I will ascend above the heights of the clouds,
I will be like the Most High.’
Yet you shall be brought down to Sheol,
To the lowest depths of the Pit” (Isaiah 14:12-15).

In all nature, in all spiritual beings, and all human beings, God wanted to reveal that He is the Creator and the God who brings all happiness and blessings. So He said, “I, Jehovah, ‘He who exists by Himself,’ have given you happiness like this and made you happy. Abide in Me, believe in Me, and live happily with Me forever.” God had made us happy in Him, in Christ.

Yet the Devil challenged God, saying, “This does not satisfy me. I want to be higher than You.” From then on, Satan lost his status as an angel, and came to dwell under the curse. Having thus been cast out, the Devil then now tempted mankind.

My dear fellow saints, how did our God define Satan’s nature? He said that the Devil was “cunning.” My fellow believers, we must not fall into the temptation of this cunning Satan. From the foundation of the world, Satan has been deceiving countless people on this earth, and he will continue to deceive until the day the Lord returns to this earth.

Jesus Christ is the One who made this earth, and He is indeed our God. He has truly cleansed His people from their sins. He has washed away their scarlet sins as white as snow. He has made them His own people. He came as the Savior of sinners and completely eradicated all their sins. Not just in words, but with His actual deeds, He has blotted out all their sins by taking upon and shouldering them through the Truth of the water and the Spirit. I admonish you all to realize that this is the Truth, to overcome Satan’s deception, and to receive your salvation by faith.

Virtually every church teaches that Jesus Christ took upon our sins on the Cross and was crucified. Jesus Christ is actually God Himself, but He came to this earth incarnated in the flesh of man, and through the baptism He received from John the Baptist, He bore all the filthy sins of the world. When His people, made in the likeness of His image, fell into sin, Jesus came to this earth in our own human image to save them. And by shouldering all the sins of mankind and of the world on His own body, and by being punished on the Cross in our place in this sinful state, He made it possible for us to escape from our punishment.

My fellow believers, we must not fall into the cunning temptation of evil Satan. This is so imperative. While many people claim that their sins are washed away when they give prayers of repentance, that is completely groundless. We must not be deceived by Satan.

Jesus has saved us by making us sinless. Jesus has become our Savior. You and I should never be fooled by Satan’s evil tricks, but we should believe in the Word of God, which came by the gospel of the water and the Spirit, exactly as it is. This is what today’s Scripture passage is teaching us.

 

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