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 Sermons on important subjects by Rev. Paul C. Jong

 

The Spiritual Mysteries
Hidden in the Ark of
The Testimony



< Exodus 25:10-22 >
“And they shall make an ark of acacia wood; two and a half cubits shall be its length, a cubit and a half its width, and a cubit and a half its height. And you shall overlay it with pure gold, inside and out you shall overlay it, and shall make on it a molding of gold all around. You shall cast four rings of gold for it, and put them in its four corners; two rings shall be on one side, and two rings on the other side. And you shall make poles of acacia wood, and overlay them with gold. You shall put the poles into the rings on the sides of the ark, that the ark may be carried by them. The poles shall be in the rings of the ark; they shall not be taken from it. And you shall put into the ark the Testimony which I will give you. You shall make a mercy seat of pure gold; two and a half cubits shall be its length and a cubit and a half its width. And you shall make two cherubim of gold; of hammered work you shall make them at the two ends of the mercy seat. Make one cherub at one end, and the other cherub at the other end; you shall make the cherubim at the two ends of it of one piece with the mercy seat. And the cherubim shall stretch out their wings above, covering the mercy seat with their wings, and they shall face one another; the faces of the cherubim shall be toward the mercy seat. You shall put the mercy seat on top of the ark, and in the ark you shall put the Testimony that I will give you. And there I will meet with you, and I will speak with you from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubim which are on the ark of the Testimony, about everything which I will give you in commandment to the children of Israel.”

The ark of the Testimony

Today’s topic is the Ark of the Testimony. The Ark of the Testimony, measuring 113 cm (3.7 feet) in its length, 68 cm (2.2 feet) in its width, and 68 cm (2.2 feet) in its height, was made of acacia wood and overlaid with pure gold. Inside this Ark, there were two stone tablets engraved with the Ten Commandments and a golden pot of manna, and later, Aaron’s budded rod was added to them. What, then, are these three items placed inside the Ark of the Testimony telling us? Through these items, I would like to provide a thorough explanation of the three ministries of Jesus Christ. Let us now examine the spiritual truth manifested in these three items placed inside the Ark of the Testimony.



The Two Stone Tablets Engraved with the Law


The ark of the testimony

The two stone tablets engraved with the Law that were placed inside the Ark of the Testimony tell us that God is the Lawmaker who has given us His laws. Romans 8:1-2 states, “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.” From this passage, we can see that God has established two laws in our hearts: the law of life and the law of condemnation.

With these two laws, the Lord has brought condemnation and salvation to all human beings. First of all, we can recognize through the Law that we are sinners inevitably destined to hell. However, to those who know their sinful nature and doomed fate, God has given His law of salvation, “the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus.” God has become the true Savior for all by giving them these two laws.



The Manna Contained in the Golden Pot


The golden pot that was also found in the Ark had manna. When the people of Israel spent 40 years in the wilderness, God brought them food from the heavens, and the Israelite lived on this manna cooking it in various ways. And it was like white coriander seed, and its taste was like wafers made with honey. This manna that God had given to the people of Israel sustained their lives until they entered into the land of Canaan. As such, it was to keep this food in remembrance that it was put in a pot.

This tells us that we, today’s believers, also should eat the bread of life that the spiritual children of God must feed on while in this world until they enter Heaven. But there are times when we want to have the bread of the world, that is, the teachings of this world instead of the Word of God. Still, what the children of God must truly and actually live on before reaching the spiritual land of Canaan is the Word of God, which is the spiritual bread of true life that comes down from Heaven.

One never gets tired of always having the bread of true life. The more we have this spiritual bread, the more it become true life for our souls. But if we feed on the bread of the teachings of the world instead of the Word of God, our souls will ultimately end up dead.

God commanded the people of Israel to put the manna that came down from the heavens in a pot and keep it. As shown in Exodus 16:33, God said, “Take a pot and put an omer of manna in it, and lay it up before the LORD, to be kept for your generations.” The manna that came down from the heavens was the bread of true life for the people’s souls. “So He humbled you, allowed you to hunger, and fed you with manna which you did not know nor did your fathers know, that He might make you know that man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the LORD” (Deuteronomy 8:3).



Who Then Is the True Bread of Life for Us?


The baptism that Jesus Christ received to take our sins upon His body and His crucifixion and bloodshed are our bread of true life. By giving us His flesh and blood, Jesus Christ has become the bread of eternal life. As John 6:48-58 tells us: “‘I am the bread of life. Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and are dead. This is the bread which comes down from heaven, that one may eat of it and not die. I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world.’ The Jews therefore quarreled among themselves, saying, ‘How can this Man give us His flesh to eat?’ Then Jesus said to them, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you. Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For My flesh is food indeed, and My blood is drink indeed. He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him. As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who feeds on Me will live because of Me. This is the bread which came down from heaven—not as your fathers ate the manna, and are dead. He who eats this bread will live forever.’”

Our Lord said, “This is the bread which came down from heaven—not as your fathers ate the manna, and are dead. He who eats this bread will live forever.” What was “the bread which came down from heaven”? It meant the flesh and blood of Jesus. In the Bible, the flesh of Jesus tells us that Jesus Christ took upon the sins of the world by being baptized by John in the Jordan River. And the blood of Jesus tells us that because Jesus was baptized, He carried the sins of the world and bore the condemnation of sin by being crucified.

The manna in the pot that was placed inside the Ark of the Testimony was the bread of life for the Israelites when they were in the wilderness, and in New Testament’s time, its spiritual meaning refers to the flesh of Jesus Christ. This truth shows us the baptism through which Jesus Christ took upon the iniquities of all sinners and the blood that He shed on the Cross. Because Jesus Christ took all the sins of this world upon His body through His baptism and shed His blood and died on the Cross, His baptism and bloodshed have become the everlasting fountainhead of new life that enables believers to be born again.

The flesh that Jesus gave up to take upon the iniquities of sinners through His baptism and the blood that He shed on the Cross are the bread of life that enables all sinners to receive the remission of sin. We must therefore realize the reason why Jesus said, “unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you” (John 6:53).



Who Is Greater?


When we look at John 6, we can see that most Jews at the time considered Moses to be greater than Jesus. When Jesus came to this earth, they asked Him, “Are you greater than our father Moses?” In fact, they considered Moses to be the greatest of all. Because the Jews had failed to recognize Jesus as the Messiah, they saw Him as an eyesore. So they challenged Him by asking, “Are you greater than Moses?” The people of Israel believed in Jehovah God, and along came a young man of only 30 years of age claiming, “Though your fathers ate the manna and died, those who eat the bread that I give will not die.” This is why they came to compare the power of the two, Moses and Jesus.

As Jesus declared later, “Before Abraham was, I am,” He is greater than any human being of the entire human history, for He is the Creator Himself. How could mere creatures even dare to challenge the Creator? Even so, some people still say that Jesus is only a great teacher, merely one of the great sages in human history. What a blasphemy! Jesus is God, the King of kings, and the Creator of the whole universe. He is the omnipotent and omniscient God. Yet He humbled Himself and came to this earth in the flesh of a man to save you and me from all our sins and eternal death, to become our true Savior.

Jesus Christ said, “It is written in the prophets, ‘And they shall all be taught by God.’ Therefore everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to Me. Not that anyone has seen the Father, except He who is from God; He has seen the Father.” In the end, Jesus was ultimately saying that He is the Christ that the Jews had been waiting for. But they failed to understand what Jesus was saying, neither able to believe nor to accept it, and this resulted into a serious misunderstanding, as they wondered, “How can you give us your flesh to eat? Are you saying that we would attain eternal life if we actually eat your flesh and drink your blood? Do you think we are some kind of cannibals here?”

But those who eat the flesh of Jesus and drink His blood will live forever. The flesh of Jesus is the bread of life. The real substance of the manna that was put in this pot, the bread of life, is the flesh and blood of Jesus Christ. By coming to this earth and giving up His flesh and blood, Jesus has enabled us to eat the bread of life and receive eternal life.

How, then, can everyone eat the flesh of Jesus and drink His blood? The only way to eat the flesh of Jesus and drink His blood is to believe in the baptism of Jesus and His blood of the Cross. We must eat the flesh of Jesus and drink His blood by faith. To give you and me the remission of sin and to enable us to live forever in the Kingdom of Heaven, our Lord has blotted out our sins once for all by being baptized and shedding His blood, and He has thereby become the food for our souls. Now, by believing in God’s Word of the water and the Spirit, we must eat this spiritual food and receive eternal life.

Let me testify in more detail just how we can eat the flesh of Jesus and drink His blood. As you and I know very well, Jesus Christ came to this earth and took upon the sins of mankind by being baptized by John at the age of 30, and then, He bore all the condemnation of our sins by bleeding to death on the Cross. It is by believing in this very truth that we can eat His flesh and drink His blood. The washing of sin was fulfilled as the sins of mankind were passed onto the body of Jesus through the baptism that He received. Drinking His blood means that as Jesus was baptized and shed His blood on the Cross, this blood that He shed bore the condemnation of our sins.

As such, those who believe in the blood of Jesus in their hearts are quenched of their thirst, for the condemnation of all their sins ended completely with the punishment of the Cross that Jesus bore. We must realize this truth. And we must believe in it. Because Jesus Christ came to this earth and accepted our sins by being baptized by John, by believing in this truth we have been cleansed of all sins once for all.

God told us to eat the flesh of Jesus and drink His blood by faith. Because Jesus took upon all sins through the baptism that He received from John, leaving the iniquities of no one, and because He gave up His body to the punishment of the Cross and shed His precious blood, the hearts of those who believe are now clean and thirst-free, as they have washed away all their sins and bore all the condemnation of sin by faith. This is why Jesus said, “My flesh is food indeed, and My blood is drink indeed” (John 6:55).

Most assuredly, this Jesus is the Savior indeed, the Son of God who has washed away our sins and bore the condemnation of our sins. To free us from the law that declares the wages of sin to be death, to wash us from all our sins, and to deliver us from all our punishment, this One, the Savior and the Son of God, gave up His own body on the Cross, shed His blood, and thereby cleansed the hearts of those who believe and quenched their thirst. This is the effect of the flesh and blood of Jesus.

Jesus is the Savior who took care of the sins and condemnation of mankind. Jesus is the Savior who accepted the sins of mankind through the baptism that He received, who was crucified and shed His blood to bear the condemnation of these sins. It was because Jesus had accepted the sins of the world passed onto Him from us that the punishment of sin that He bore by being crucified could become the punishment of our own sins.

It is by believing in the truth of the water and the Spirit that we can receive the remission of sin. You must all believe in the baptism of Jesus and His bloodshed as your own remission of sin. It is by believing in this gospel of truth that we can eat and drink the flesh and blood of Jesus spiritually. It is by believing, in other words, that Jesus Christ the Son of God came to this earth, took upon our sins through His baptism, and bore all the condemnation of our sins on the Cross that we can become the ones who are able to eat His flesh, drink His blood, and thereby receive eternal life. By believing in the baptism and bloodshed of Jesus, we can now eat His flesh and drink His blood. By eat the baptism of Jesus and the blood that He shed on the Cross as our own food of the remission of sin, we can be remitted of all sins. It is through this faith that we have been able to receive the remission of our sins, become God’s children, and live forever in the Kingdom of God.



Aaron’s Rod That Budded


Among the items placed inside the Ark of the Testimony, Aaron’s rod that budded refers to Jesus Christ as the everlasting High Priest of the Kingdom of Heaven. It also tells us that eternal life is found in Him. To facilitate our understanding of this, let us turn to Numbers 16:1-2: “Now Korah the son of Izhar, the son of Kohath, the son of Levi, with Dathan and Abiram the sons of Eliab, and On the son of Peleth, sons of Reuben, took men; and they rose up before Moses with some of the children of Israel, two hundred and fifty leaders of the congregation, representatives of the congregation, men of renown.”

The passage here tells us that among the Levites, 250 famed leaders of the congregation drew together and rose up against Moses. They said, “What have you, Moses and Aaron, done for us by leading us out of the land of Egypt? Have you given us vineyards? Have you led us to an oasis? What have you done for us? Have you not brought us to the wilderness only to die on desert sand in the end? How can you call yourselves as the servants of God? Does God work only through you?” There arose, in other words, a rebellion against the leadership of Moses and Aaron.

At that time, God said to Korah, Dathan, On, and other leaders of the congregation who led the rebellion, “Bring a rod from each father’s house and write each man’s name on his rod. Then place these rods in the Tabernacle of Meeting. Leave them there for a night and check them the next day.” God then said, “It shall be that the rod of the man whom I choose will blossom; thus I will rid Myself of the complaints of the children of Israel, which they make against you” (Numbers 17:5). In verse 8, we see that “the rod of Aaron, of the house of Levi, had sprouted and put forth buds, had produced blossoms and yielded ripe almonds.”

Then in verse 10, we see, “And the LORD said to Moses, ‘Bring Aaron’s rod back before the Testimony, to be kept as a sign against the rebels, that you may put their complaints away from Me, lest they die.’” This is how Aaron’s rod that budded came to be placed and kept inside the Ark of the Testimony.

This shows that Aaron, a descendant of Levi, was anointed as the High Priest of the people of Israel. Moses was God’s prophet and Aaron and his descendents were the High Priests of the people of Israel. God Himself had entrusted the duties of the earthly High Priest to Aaron. God had shown the sacrificial system to Moses, where the people of Israel brought sacrificial offerings and offered them to God whenever they sinned, and He had made Aaron oversee the giving of these offerings in accordance to the requirements of the sacrificial system.

Even as God had entrusted all priestly duties to Aaron the High Priest, there were still people who challenged against his priesthood, and this is why God brought Aaron’s rod to bud, demonstrating that his priesthood came from God. He then made the people of Israel keep this rod inside the Ark of the Testimony in remembrance of this lesson. This is how the two stone tablets of the Law, the pot that had the manna, and Aaron’s rod that budded were all placed inside the Ark of the Testimony. To what do these three items refer spiritually? They refer to the ministries of Jesus Christ our Savior.



What Ministries Did Jesus Christ Fulfill to Blot Out All Our sins?


First, He fulfilled the ministry of the Prophet. He is the Alpha and the Omega. He knows the beginning and the end, and He has taught us all about the first and the last. Our Lord knew what would happen to mankind, to you and me, if we had remained sinful.

Second, Jesus has become the everlasting High Priest of the Kingdom of Heaven. He came to this earth because He wanted to save us from sin by becoming our own Savior Himself, to save us wholly by becoming our true High Priest of the Kingdom of Heaven.

Third, Jesus Christ is our King. The Bible declares, “And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS” (Revelation 19:16). He is the very Creator of the whole universe, and thus has the authority to rule over everything in it.

We should all realize that Jesus Christ, who is our true King, the Prophet who has taught us the truth of our salvation from sin, and the eternal High Priest of Heaven, has now become our true Savior.

Our Lord has delivered you and me from sin, made us God’s people, His children and His workers, and He has enabled us to do good works. He has made our souls be born again so that we may live new lives even on this earth, and He has given us new life so that when the time comes, He may raise our bodies and enable us to live forever with Him in Heaven. Who is Jesus Christ for you and me? He is our true Savior. And Jesus Christ is our Prophet, our everlasting High Priest and our King.

Although we do not want to disobey the will of God, we are so insufficient and weak that we cannot help but sin all the time. If we continue to live like this, die like this and then stand before God, what would be the proper place for us to go? Would it be Heaven or hell? If all of us were to be judged according to the Law that declares, “The wages of sin is death,” would we not all be destroyed? He who has saved such people as us from sin and destruction and become our Savior is Jesus Christ. He Himself came to this earth, loved us, and has become the Savior who has delivered us from sin, thereby becoming the Great Shepard of His flock.

John 3:16 states, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” God loved you and me so much that He Himself came to this earth for us, was baptized to take upon the sins of the world, was crucified and died on the Cross, rose from the dead again, and has thereby truly become our Savior. Therefore, by believing in Jesus Christ who has become our Savior in our hearts, we have become the ones who are cleansed from sin, who have received the gift of salvation, which has enabled us to become God’s children and attain eternal life.

There is one thing that we must absolutely make sure to believe before God. It is that because God loved us, and to blot out our sins, He came to this earth incarnated into the flesh of a man, was baptized, died on the Cross, rose from the dead, and has thereby become our true Savior. It is by eating the flesh of Jesus and drinking His blood by our faith in our hearts that eternal life can be added to us. Because nothing can be clearer than this fact, we cannot help but acknowledge this and believe in it.

We must eat the flesh of Jesus and drink His blood by faith. And anyone can have this one faith that recognizes and believes in the gospel of the water and the Spirit fulfilled by Jesus as it is. What else is there for us to do but believe? We cannot do anything else but stand against God. We are quick to disobey God and to sin. But God has still saved you and me from all our sins once for all, for He loves us all.



How Did God Speak of His Salvation in the Old Testament’s Time?


Through what method, then, has the Lord saved us? In the Old Testament, He spoke of this salvation through the colors manifested in the door of the Tabernacle and the garments worn by the High Priest. The colors of the blue, purple, and scarlet thread and the fine woven linen manifested in the door of the Tabernacle are the revelation that shows us His perfect salvation. And on the garments of the High Priest, gold thread was added.

The blue thread tells us that Jesus Christ came to this earth as our Savior and took upon our sins by being baptized. The purple thread tells us that Jesus Christ is the King of kings and God the Creator who made the universe. The scarlet thread tells us that because Jesus Christ took upon our sins through His baptism, He carried the sins of the world and was condemned for them on the Cross by shedding His blood and dying, thereby giving us the salvation that has delivered us from the condemnation of all our sins.

The fine woven linen means the elaborate Word of the Old and New Testaments which tells us that our Lord came to this earth, was baptized, died on the Cross, rose from the dead again, and has thereby blotted out the sins of those who truly believe, cleansed their spirits as white as snow, and saved them. The gold thread signifies the faith that believes in what Jesus Christ has done for us. This is why the gold thread shines. You and I have nothing to boast of, but when we wholeheartedly believe in what Jesus Christ, God Himself and the Son of God, has done for us. We can truly be clothed in the love of God, receive His blessings, and be cherished by Him only by having faith in the righteous acts that He has done. This is what God is telling us through the Tabernacle.

We must realize what God is telling us through the Ark of the Testimony that was placed inside the Tabernacle. We must know and believe that Jesus Christ came to this earth, took upon the sins of mankind and all ours by being baptized by John the Baptist, bore our condemnation of sin by dying on the Cross, and rose from the dead to live again. Through the Ark of the Testimony, God is making it manifest that we must truly believe in Jesus Christ as our own Savior, as our own God. Those who believe in the baptism of Jesus as the taking of their own sins, in Jesus’ bloodshed of the Cross as the condemnation of their sins, in the death of Jesus Christ as their own death, in His resurrection as their own resurrection-these are the ones whom God has saved.

So, to whom does this Tabernacle refer then? It refers to Jesus Christ. It tells us of the method of salvation with which Jesus Christ has saved you and me from our sins. In the New Testament, it was Jesus Christ who was baptized and died on the Cross, thereby blotting out all our sins, washing them all away, being condemned for all our iniquities, and saving us from all sins once for all.

In the Old Testament, it was the offering of sacrifice that saved sinners by accepting their iniquities as their hands were laid on its head, and by shedding its blood and dying. The Old Testament describes the death of the sacrificial offering that took upon the sins of these sinners through the laying on of hands and died in their place as the death of atonement. The sacrificial system of atonement manifested in the Old Testament, when juxtaposed to the New Testament, refers to Jesus Christ, the accomplisher of the gospel of the water and the Spirit who came of baptism and blood.

Who, then, made and set this law of salvation? God our Savior set it. God established the law of salvation that delivers sinners from sin, and He has given this law to us. In the Ark of the Testimony were the two tablets of the Law, the pot of manna, and Aaron’s rod that budded, and all these things speak to us about the attributes and ministries of Jesus Christ.

Aaron’s rod that budded tells us that God saves us when we believe in Jesus Christ who has spiritually become the High Priest of the Kingdom of Heaven and our Great Shepard. The pot of manna also tells us about the flesh and blood of Jesus Christ who has become our bread of life. The two stone tablets of the Law also tell us that God is the Lawmaker. The laws established by God are the law of sin and death and the law of the remission of sin and salvation. As our God, Jesus has established the law of life and the law of condemnation to us.

Like this, the Ark of the Testimony and everything in it all speak to us of Jesus Christ. It is by believing in Jesus Christ as our Savior that we can be cleansed from all our sins and received our salvation. No matter how insufficient and weak we may be, if we accept and follow the two laws that Jesus Christ has established, we can then become sinners once, and then become righteous by receiving the remission of all our sins once again and thereby become God’s own people. Do you believe?

Now at this present time, almost all Christians throughout the world are prone to believe in Jesus in vain, for they do not know the truth manifested in the Tabernacle. They believe that they can receive the remission of sin just by believing in Jesus’ blood of the Cross alone. They believe, in other words, that Jesus has saved them only with the blood of the Cross. But did Jesus in fact just die on the Cross for our salvation? Is it all that He did for our redemption? Did He not, on the contrary, take upon all the sins of the world once for all by being baptized by John (Matthew 3:13-15, 1 Peter 3:21,1 John 5:6)?

Yet today’s Christians believe only in Jesus’ blood of the Cross, receiving the remission of sin only by half. So having been remitted of their original sin by believing in Jesus Christ as the Savior, they give their prayers of repentance everyday trying to wash away their actual sins on their own. How contradictory is this salvation? It is like washing only half their sins by faith, and then trying to wash away the rest through their own efforts.

When this is the case, how can I not help but continue to preach by repeatedly bringing the baptism and blood of Jesus together? Until now, many Christians of this world, apart from the Christians of the Early Church period, have believed in half-empty salvation. Isn’t this why people now believe in Christianity as if it were only a worldly religion?

Not too long ago, a woman named Valeria Jones from the United States received the remission of sin after reading the first volume of this Tabernacle series. Before she read this book, she had already read several of our other publications. Although she agreed with what our books were saying, she could not yet quite bring herself to be totally convinced of the gospel of the water and the Spirit. She told us that she still had some doubts, wondering, “This seems to be right, but then how come so many people are not preaching it?” But she confessed that when she finished reading the first volume of the Tabernacle series, she came to have the clear faith of salvation, believing that the gospel of the water is right, that it is the very truth manifested in the Tabernacle.

A reader of the same book from Benin also wrote to us, “You would be greatly surprised to know that after receiving the remission of sin by reading your book, I have now left my church. Why did I leave the church that I had been attending? Because they preached the doctrine of incremental sanctification, something that is not taught in the Bible. This doctrine of incremental sanctification was completely unbiblical. As they kept teaching that I must and can be sanctified when in fact my flesh can never be sanctified, it was unbearable for me to sit and hear such sermons.

That is why I came out of this church and separated myself from it. Because I have received the remission of my sins by reading your book, I had no choice but to leave the church that I had been attending and separate myself from it now. As we who have gone through all this have now become the people of faith and united ourselves with God’s Church, all the people of this world can change also if they only know the truth, as the Word says, ‘You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free.’”

The Tabernacle’s Ark of the Testimony also manifests Jesus Christ. This Ark of the Testimony was placed in the deepest part of the Tabernacle. One could see it only by lifting the screen of the Tabernacle and entering into it, and then lifting the veil of the Most Holy and walking into it. In other words, the door of the Tabernacle was located at the east, and the Ark was placed at the far west end of the Tabernacle.



The Poles Shall Not Be Removed from the Ark


Exodus 25:14-15 says, “You shall put the poles into the rings on the sides of the ark, that the ark may be carried by them. The poles shall be in the rings of the ark; they shall not be taken from it.” What do these verses mean? With these verses, God is telling us that we should serve the gospel of the water and the Spirit by dedicating ourselves to Him. The gospel is spread only when we devote ourselves to His work. To serve the Lord by devoting ourselves to the gospel is to follow the way of the Cross that our Lord had walked before us. That’s why He said to His disciples, “Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me” (Mark 8:34).

To spread the true gospel all over the world, tremendous sacrifice, endeavor and suffering are asked. We can find this out from seeing just how much the Apostle Paul suffered for the gospel of the water and the Spirit: "Are they ministers of Christ?-I speak as a fool-I am more: in labors more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequently, in deaths often. From the Jews five times I received forty stripes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods; once I was stoned; three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I have been in the deep; in journeys often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils of my own countrymen, in perils of the Gentiles, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; in weariness and toil, in sleeplessness often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness-besides the other things, what comes upon me daily: my deep concern for all the churches" (2 Corinthians 11:23-28).

However, those who love themselves more than the Lord who gave Himself up to deliver them from all condemnation cannot sacrifice themselves for the Kingdom of God. There is no easy way to serve the gospel of the water and the Spirit. How can a farmer expect to have a good harvest without any sweat?

Like this, the Ark of the Testimony should be carried by our sacrifices. King David once tried to bring the Ark on a new cart pulled by oxen, instead of carrying it with the poles by his men as it was supposed to be carried. On their way, the oxen stumbled, and a man named Uzzah reached out his hands to the Ark of God and grabbed it. The anger of the Lord was then aroused against Uzzah, and God struck him there for his error. Uzzah died there by His Ark (2 Samuel 6:1-7). So David, terrified by this and afraid of the Lord that day, took the Ark aside into the house of Obed-Edom the Gittite. It was only by bearing the Ark on his men's shoulders that he could bring it up to his castle three months later. As this account illustrates, we must carry the Ark of the Testimony exactly as God has told us, with our sweat and blood, with our sacrifices, with our unrelenting devotion to His gospel.

Those who have really received the remission of sin with great thankfulness are more than happy to dedicate themselves to the Lord who has dedicated Himself to us. We give our thanks over and over again to the Lord, our Savior and God. We thank Him for allowing us to serve the gospel on this earth.

We are all marveled and overjoyed by this dream-like fact, that the Lord has chosen us to make us serve this gospel of truth, to follow Him and live the kind of life that pleases Him. Allowing us to know the truth of salvation alone would have sufficed to overwhelm us with joy, and yet the Lord has permitted us to even serve this gospel. Given such great blessings, how could we possibly not thank Him? We give all our thanks to God. That is why we are willing to sacrifice ourselves to spread the true gospel, sparing no time, effort, or possession of ours to this holy task of world evangelism.

That we have received the remission of sin, in fact, is in itself something for which we are infinitely thankful. But God has not stopped at this, but He has moreover enabled us to encounter and spread the gospel of truth, the gospel of the water and the Spirit—what is this but a great blessing for us?

Who else can even dare to serve this gospel of the water and the Spirit? Not just anyone can serve this gospel. Can politicians serve it? Mayors? Presidents? Kings? No matter how high such people’s social positions are, if they do not know and do not believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, they can never serve the true gospel. Yet God has given us such an undeserved opportunity and actually enabled us to serve this gospel. What a great blessing is this?

I thank God for the grace that has saved us, for He has loved us. Brothers and sisters, we believe that Jesus Christ is our God and Savior. We are the people of God who eat the flesh of Jesus and drink His blood through our spiritual faith. The Bible says that Jesus is not the God of the dead, but of the living (Luke 20:38), and the living here are none other than those who have received eternal life by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Whoever does not believe in the truth of this gospel is spiritually dead, and whoever believes in it is spiritually alive. God is indeed the God of those who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit.

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Brothers and sisters, Jesus Himself has given us the remission of sin through His own flesh and blood. You must realize that if you do not believe in this truth, then you will have nothing to do with Jesus. Jesus Christ gives you heavenly blessings, eternal life, and the remission of your sins. Who is the One that has become the Shepard who bestows you with everlasting blessings, who leads and keeps you? It is Jesus Christ the Accomplisher of the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Jesus is this God. I hope and pray that each and every one of you would all believe in this Jesus as your God.

As for me, not only do I believe in this truth and serve God now, but I will always continue to do so in the future. But what about you? Do you believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit? And do you believe that you must dwell in God’s Church and the love of Christ by your faith? Let us all live our lives by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit until the day we meet our Lord.

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