Peace and grace in the Lord Jesus Christ.Matthew 28:11-1528:11 Now while they were going, behold, some of the guard came into the city and reported to the chief priests all the things that had happened.
28:12 When they had assembled with the elders and consulted together, they gave a large sum of money to the soldiers,
28:13 saying, " Tell them, ‘His disciples came at night and stole Him away while we slept.’
28:14 " And if this comes to the governor’s ears, we will appease him and make you secure."
28:15 So they took the money and did as they were instructed; and this saying is commonly reported among the Jews until this day.
The spread of the darkness means the spread of false testimony or teaching that rejects the resurrection of Jesus.
It is encouraged by two great powers as follows.
We are still discussing the false testimony encouraged by the power of money
- The power of money or mammon or spirit of selling-buying or antichrist.
- The power of lying spirit or false prophet.
. Matthew 21:12-1421:12 Then Jesus went into the temple of God and drove out all those who bought and sold in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold doves.
21:13 And He said to them, " It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer,’ but you have made it a ‘den of thieves.’"
21:14 Then the blind and the lame came to Him in the temple, and He healed them.
The Church of God with the true teaching Word will become the house of prayer that will go toward perfection to welcome Jesus’ second coming on glorious clouds.
On the contrary, the false teaching encouraged by the spirit of selling and buying will cause the Church to become the den of thieves in spiritual blindness, lameness, and imperfection. In such condition, one will be left when Jesus comes a second time to perish forever. Thus, the teaching determines whether we become the house of prayer or the den of thieves
. A good person with false teaching will be destroyed but a bad one can still get help when he has true teaching. Mark 10:4610:46 Now they came to Jericho. As He went out of Jericho with His disciples and a great multitude, blind Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, sat by the road begging.
The Church of God that is in spiritual blindness is as the blind Bartimaeus.
The blind sits by the road, meaning not being shepherded but wandering. The term “sit” means being firm in the condition of not being shepherded, even rejecting the true shepherding to go toward perdition
For example, the shepherd of Judas Iscariot is Jesus, Himself, but he firmly resists the true shepherding. Judas deliberately makes fellowship with the chief priests and the scribes, whose teaching is obviously different from Jesus’. Consequently, he perishes indeed. The facts found in one who is not shepherded are as follows
- Being as seed which falls by the wayside.
13:3 Then He spoke many things to them in parables, saying: " Behold, a sower went out to sow.
13:4 " And as he sowed, some seed fell by the wayside; and the birds came and devoured them.
13:19 " When anyone hears the word of the kingdom, and does not understand it, then the wicked one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is he who received seed by the wayside.
8:5 " A sower went out to sow his seed. And as he sowed, some fell by the wayside; and it was trampled down, and the birds of the air devoured it.
8:12 " Those by the wayside are the ones who hear; then the devil comes and takes away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved.
Meaning not understanding nor being willing to understand the Word of God, so one does not believe in the Word.
The reason is the heart that is as the wayside, meaning the heart which is not sincere. Such heart wanders or does not concentrate hearing the Word of God. It means serpentine way which is not straight. Such person likes to wander because of trampling, despising, or criticizing the Word.
The one who is not shepherded is same as the one who cannot consume the Word of God. Consequently, there is no salvation but forever perdition.
Being shepherded or not and being able to consume the Shepherding or not are determined by the heart.
If our heart is bad as the wayside, we will not be able to consume the Word of God. On the contrary, good sincere heart will make us able to consume the Word and be well-shepherded.
Where can we get the good conscience?
1 Peter 3:20-21
3:20 who formerly were disobedient, when once the Divine longsuffering waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight souls, were saved through water.
3:21 There is also an antitype which now saves us––baptism (not the removal of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God), through the resurrection of Jesus Christ,
The true water baptism results in good conscience which is sincere as a baby.
1 Peter 2:2
2:2 as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby,
The baby with the sincere heart will always desire the spiritual pure milk, namely the true teaching Word in the anointing of Holy Spirit preached by a pastor, referring to the mother. It is called Shepherding Word.
Thus, the baby with the sincere heart can be well-shepherded, so he grows toward the salvation as the eight souls entering the ark of Noah. The baby who is shepherded will be peaceful in his life and he is physically and spiritually preserved by God.
Other people who are outside the ark of Noah will perish, no matter how great they are. Dissatisfaction and restlessness are the signs of not being shepherded or having no salvation.
- Being as fig tree by the road.
21:18 Now in the morning, as He returned to the city, He was hungry.
21:19 And seeing a fig tree by the road, He came to it and found nothing on it but leaves, and said to it, " Let no fruit grow on you ever again." Immediately the fig tree withered away.
It has many leaves but fruit, meaning there are many activities in the ministry to God but they cannot satisfy God. Consequently, there is curse of God. His condition is same as the unfaithful who leaves the service and ministry.
25:26" But his lord answered and said to him, ‘You wicked and lazy servant, you knew that I reap where I have not sown, and gather where I have not scattered seed.
25:30 ‘And cast the unprofitable servant into the outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’
Why does the ministry not satisfy God?
The right attitude when we are shepherded is consuming the true teaching Word which is repeated. As a result, the Word shows us our sins we often repeat, even the peak, namely the sins concerning eating-drinking and marrying-being given in marriage. We can realize and confess the sins to God and other people. After being forgiven, we do not do them again but live in righteousness and become the armor of righteousness.
- Because of not being shepherded. The fig tree is by the road, meaning one does not consume Shepherding Word.
- Because of covering the sins with self-truth.
The self-truth is to cover the sins by blaming other people, God, and the true teaching Word as well as pretending to do good things.
Having the self-truth, there is self-interest and egoism.
Judas does not consume the Shepherding Word, so he keeps his repeated sins.
Ministering to God with keeping the sins is same as making them permanent.
Finding the sin in our life, do not leave the ministry but throw away the sin. We must keep on ministering to God as the armor of righteousness.
12:26 The righteous should choose his friends carefully, For the way of the wicked leads them astray.
The righteous will persevere in the sheepfold, referring to the Holy Place. It means the perseverance in doing three main services to God as follows.
- Golden candlestick, referring to the perseverance in doing General Service.
- Table of Showbread, referring to the perseverance in doing Bible Study Service with Holy Communion.
- Golden Altar of Incense, referring to Prayer Service.
5:12 For You, O Lord, will bless the righteous; with favor You will surround him as with a shield.
The result of persevering in the sheepfold is we are surrounded as if with shield by God’s blessings and grace, so the curse of the world cannot enter our life. We are blessed and become blessing for other people up to our descendants.
37:25 I have been young, and now am old; Yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken, Nor his descendants begging bread.
37:26 He is ever merciful, and lends; And his descendants are blessed.
We must leave the righteousness in our private life, marriage, and shepherding to our descendants.
1:48 Nathanael said to Him, " How do You know me?" Jesus answered and said to him, " Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you."
1:49 Nathanael answered and said to Him, " Rabbi, You are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!"
1:50 Jesus answered and said to him, " Because I said to you, ‘I saw you under the fig tree,’ do you believe? You will see greater things than these."
1:51 And He said to him, " Most assuredly, I say to you, hereafter you shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man."
Being shepherded and blessed by God, we are under the fig tree that has many leaves. Do not become egoistic, or else there is self-truth.
Being blessed, we have to go out of the condition of being under the fig tree in order to minister to God in the inter-shepherding building of the body of Christ although we must face the sun heat and rain. We must sacrifice all things for ministering in the building of the body of Christ but the true teaching Word.
As a result, the heaven is open and the power of God is poured as follows.
- From top to bottom, there is preservation and protection power of Godthat becomes more real.
- From top to bottom, there is sanctification and renewal powerthat becomes more real.
- From bottom to top, there is lifting powerto our physical and spiritual life.
- Being as sheep which is not shepherded.
9:35 Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people.
9:36 But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd.
The consequence of not being shepherded is as follows.
- Being weary and heavy laden.
- Being scattered, no one cares or has responsibility of his salvation.
- Being as dogs and sows.
15:24 But He answered and said, " I was not sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel."
15:26 But He answered and said, " It is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the little dogs."
The dog returns to the licking of vomit, referring to idle word and gossips none may take the responsibility about the truth.
The sow returns to the wallowing in the mire, referring to the sinful deed that is repeated up to the peak.
15:27 And she said, " Yes, Lord, yet even the little dogs eat the crumbswhich fall from their masters’ table."
15:28 Then Jesus answered and said to her, " O woman, great is your faith! Let it be to you as you desire." And her daughter was healed from that very hour.
The Gentiles are indeed as the dogs and sows but the important thing is to eat the Word. Eating the Word first, we can get all things. Seeking anything without eating the Word, one may get it but soon or later it will perish.
Jesus gives us the crumbs of the bread, meaning as follows.
We have to eat the crumbs of the bread. Meaning we hear the Shepherding Word seriously and obey it. Do not lose a word of it and we have to obey the Shepherding Word, whatever it commands us. Do not choose the commandments that please our flesh.
- The body of Christ which is broken. Holy Communion is one of the manifestations.
- The revelation of the Word, whose verse is explained by another verse. It is the true teaching Word.
Moreover, do not hear strange voice but run away from it because it makes the Gentiles keep on being dogs and sows, not sheep.
If we are obedient, we are lifting up our two hands to God and He will also stretch His hands to us. We only look upon His face. The result is as follows.
- We are in the hand of Good Shepherd.
10:27 " My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.
10:28 " And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand.
We have the guarantee of the assurance of our life at present, in the future, up to the eternal one.
- We are in the hand of Great Shepherd.
13:20 Now may the God of peace who brought up our Lord Jesus from the dead, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant,
13:21 make you complete in every good work to do His will, working in you what is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.
We are equipped with the ministry and the gifts of Holy Spirit to be employed in the ministry of the building of Christ’s body. There is guarantee of assurance of God’s employment in our life.
- We are in the hand of Chief Shepherd.
1 Peter 5:4-6
5:4 and when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that does not fade away.
5:5 Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for "God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble."
5:6 Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time,
We have the guarantee of the assurance of the lifting power of God to make our life successful and beautiful right in His time. All problems are solved and our tears are wiped away.
Being lifted up means we are renewed to become obedient without any rebellion. We also renewed to become faithful and fervent in spirit doing our service and ministry to God without fading away. The more we are faithful, the more we are lifted up until we are on glorious clouds to receive the crown of glory. We enter the marriage supper of the Lamb and see Jesus face to face. We are no longer blind but we can enter the Paradise and New Jerusalem to be with God forever.
God blesses you.