Simpang Borobudur no 27 Malang
Peace and grace in the love of Jesus Christ. Good evening, let us listen to the Word of God. May the peace and grace from God be within us.

We are still learning Revelation 2-3.
In the arrangement of the Tabernacle, these chapters refer to the seven blood sprinkles in front of the Ark of the Covenant.
They also refer to the seven lettersto the seven churches of Gentiles, which is the last sanctificationthat God does to the seven churches of Gentiles(the seven churches at the end of time) to make them perfect like Jesus.

There are seven churches that experience the blood sprinkles. The first one is the church of EPHESUS(Revelation 2:17) (it has been explained since General Service in Surabaya, July 27, 2014).

Revelation 2:4, 7
2:4 Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love.
2:7 "He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God."

Verse 4 explained the church of Ephesus with a lot of advantages, but they have a defect, that is they LOSE THE INITIAL LOVE.
This is the last sanctification for the church of Ephesus, that is to make them return to the initial love.

Verse 7 explained that if the church of Ephesus returns to or accepts the initial love, they will return to the Paradise and will eat from the tree of life (it has been explained since General Service in Surabaya, August 31, 2014).
The Paradise is connected with the spiritual food ('eat from the tree of life').
Beware! Our spiritual food determines whether we can enter the Paradise or not!
We have to really watch our spiritual food. We are not being sanctimonious, but this is really connected to the Paradise.

Genesis 2:8-9
2:8 The Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden, and there He put the man whom He had formed.
2:9 And out of the ground the Lord God made (1)every tree grow that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. (3)The tree of lifewas also in the midst of the garden, and (2)the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

There are three kinds of trees in the Paradise or 3 kinds of spiritual foodas follows.

  1. 'every tree grow that is pleasant to the sight and good for food', or the tree whose fruits can be eaten freely.
    Freely means there is an anointment of the Holy Spirit.
    It refers to the Word that we eat in the General Service. In the tabernacle, it refers to the Golden Candlestick or a gospel word.

    Psalms 119:105
    119:105 Your word is a lamp for my feet,And a light to my path.

    EATING the Wordis listening to the Word earnestly and being obedient, practicing it, and the word will become the things as follows.

    • 'a lamp for my feet' to guide from being trippedand fall in the darkness of the world in the end of the time.
    • 'a light to my path' to give us direction and keep us not to be lostin the desert of the world, but we will reach the city of light, the New Jerusalem, the eternal kingdom of Heaven.

  2. The tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
    It refers to the Word that we get from the Bible Study and Holy Communion Service. In the tabernacle, it is shown by the Table of Showbread, the teaching Word.
    It is a teaching word in the form of bread.
    It meansthat the Word that we have in the Bible Study and Holy Communion Service is the true Word according to the bible. There were 2 stacks of bread, both consisted of 6 bread, which means 66. There are also 66 books in the bible.

    The true Word is the Word that gives us a deeper understanding of Jesusthat we are able to know Jesus more clearly. Day by day, we know God even better.

    We may know Jesus as a doctor, a Savior, a helper, a good Father or anything, but we have to know Him more clearly until we know Him as the King of kings and the Bridegroom of Heaven or the Head.

    If we know Jesus only as a doctor, it will be dangerous, since we will only come to Him when we are sick. After we are healed, we don't need a doctor anymore and we will forget God. There are a lot of people in the hospital that don't know Jesus are prayed in the name of Jesus and they eventually believe Him as a doctor. After they are healed, they will not willing to accept Jesus, because a healthy person doesn't need a doctor.
    If we know Jesus as a blessing giver, we will need Him when we are poor, but when we are rich, we don't need Him anymore.

    "A rich person will say 'if I need to know Jesus to be rich, what is the benefit? I have already been rich'."

    That's why we need a Bible Study to make a deeper understanding of Him, that is to know him as King of kings and the Bridegroom of Heaven or the Head.
    Husband equals to the head.
    If we know Jesus as the Head or the Bridegroom of heaven, we will always need Him in any condition because we are united with Him, as the head and the body can't be separated at all.
    If we know Jesus as the Bridegroom, it will encourage us to be faithful and fervent in spirit.
    If we only know Him as a good Father, we will only be faithful when we need money. After we get the money, we will start being lazy to come to the service because we have already had everything that we need.

    If we know Jesus more until we know Him as the Bridegroom through the Word, we will also know ourselves in our weaknessesand Satan with all of his tricksand we won't be tricked by Satan, like Eve.
    Every time the Word is preached, we know Jesus from knowing ourselves and our weaknesses so that we are able to put away those weaknesses.

    Psalms 119:11
    119:11 Your word I have hidden in my heart, That I might not sin against You.
    If we eat the true Word by listening and being obedient to the true teaching, the Word will become faith that grows stronger in our heart.

    The more we know Jesus, the more our faith grows stronger.
    A strong faith is a brake which stops us from committing any sins, whatever the risks are.

    An example: Joseph was encountered by Potifar's wife, which refers to the sins of Babylon. Although Joseph had the chance and risk, but he didn't want to commit any sins, because he had a strong faith. As the sins are getting to the peak, we need to have a stronger faithto balance them, and we have a strong brake so that we will not commit any sins whatever the risks are.
    If our faith does not grow stronger, we will not be strong enough to face the sins.
    This is equivalent to the vehicles. If the car is bigger, it needs a bigger wheel and brake. If the wheel and the brake are small, the car will not stop.

    Another example of a strong faith is Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego when they faced the false teaching and the false worship, but they didn't want to commit sins.

    In the Bible Study Service, the food is GROUNDmore and more.

  3. 'The tree of life', the tree of life in the center of the Paradise.
    It refers to the Word that we get from the Prayer Service.
    In the tabernacle, it is shown by the Golden Altar of Incense.

    The first time human were put in the Paradise, God showed the food. That's why the spiritual food will determine whether we have the atmosphere of Paradise or curse. Although we are alone, if we live according to the Word, we will have the atmosphere of Paradise.

    In a worship, the food turns into FOOD JUICESand we only need to absorb them.
    The food juices refer to Jesus' character. Jesus' characters become ours. His glorious characters go into our lives and we will become as perfect and glorious as Him.

In conclusion: to get back to the Paradise, we have to be in the perseverance to eat the Word in 3 kinds of services.
We enter the perseverance in the shepherding and we eat the Word.
It means that we have to be in the shepherding righteously and well.
The matter of someone is shepherded righteously and well is seen not from the activity in the services, but whether he can eat the Word or not.
Judas was active as a treasurer, but in the end he betrayed Jesus because he couldn't eat the Word although it pointed his sins.

If the congregation or the sheep are not willingto eat the true Word, they will be eaten by the wolves.
On the contrary, if the shepherds are not willing to feed the sheep, they will eat the sheep.
Shepherds are crueler than wolves.
Wolves eat sheep but they don't eat the fur. On the other hand, shepherds eat sheep and they use the fur as a coat.

In a service, the food is the most important thing that determines whether we will go back to the Paradise or not. The youngest son was running away from his father's house and in the end he came to the field of pigs and he ate pigs' food.
This is the usage of the repetitive Word. Someday, if there is someone lost like the youngest son, he won't remember his room or anything, but he will remember the foodin his father's house which is abundant.
If he has remembered the Word or the food that he has received and testified, he will come back. Although now he leaves the Word, we pray for him that someday he will remember and come back.

Let's be in the righteous and good shepherding. Don't be like Judaswho were in the shepherding but not willing to eat. This is a big danger and we will be eaten by the wolves, like Judas' stomach which was torn and the entrails gushed out, as if he was torn by a wild animal, and there was no beauty at all.

If we consider our spiritual food, our physical food will surelybe provided by God and He will nurture us. Although we have store, wage, or anything, those are only means. We get our physical foods if we eat the Word.

A testimony:
"I have experienced those things. I live not because of the congregation but from the Word."

The results of being in the righteous and good shepherdingor eating the Word are as follows.

  1. Proverbs 30:8-9
    30:8 Remove falsehood and lies far from me; Give me neither poverty nor riches-- Feed me with the food allotted to me;
    Lest I be full and deny You, And say, "Who is the Lord?" Or lest I be poor and steal, And profane the name of my God.

    The first result is God will provide us our daily bread sufficientlywhich means as follows.

    • We can enjoy the food and be satisfied, we get the satisfaction from the heaven. If we are careless about food, we will fall into the sins concerning eating and drinking. If we are satisfied, we will not fall into that sin and we will not be careless about food that will bring us diseases ('put a knife to your throat').

      If we are not satisfied, we will eat until we are sick. Eat wisely! Don't eat something bad and whisper 'In the name of Jesus!' That is wrong.

    • We do not lack, but we live in abundance until we can give thanks and always glorify God and not humiliating Him.

    We can conclude that if we are in the righteous and good shepherding, the congregation will not look for money by legalizing anythingbecause God has provided everything. Shepherds don't need to work physically. If shepherds or the wives of shepherds work physically, it is a proof that they are not in the righteous and good shepherding, they can't eat the Word. It is not a matter of big or small church.

    A testimony:
    "I have ever lived in a village. Logically speaking, I didn't have enough money to go back to Johor, the offerings were not enough, but God provided me with everything. Once, Pastor Pong told me to take some money for my trip to Gending but I wouldn't take it. After 3 months I remembered the preaching of Pastor Yo, 'if a God's servant goes for a service and he is given some money, he is like an employee'. I tried not to ask to the treasurer. God provided everything for me although there were 2 kids whose livings I paid."

    If we are not in the shepherding, we will steal God's belonging or anything like Judas.
    If we are willing to be in the perseverance of three servicesand we can eat and enjoy those Words until Jesus' characters are within us until we are perfect by experiencing life changes, God will also provide all of our physical needs.

  2. Song of Solomon 2:16, 1-2
    2:16 My beloved is mine, and I am his.
    He feeds his flock among the lilies.
    2:1 I am the rose of Sharon,
    And the lily of the valleys.
    Like a lily among thorns, So is my love among the daughters.

    'feeds his flock among the lilies' refers to the shepherding that goes to the lilies.

    The second result is the Word is able to guide us to the lilies.
    Lilies refer to the perfect Bride.

    The Word is able to sanctify and bring us to be the perfect Bride of Heaven.

    The liliesare at the valley.
    Many times the lilies are in the valley and not on the mountain.
    Don't be astonishedif we are in the shepherding, we have eaten the Word, been sanctified and changed, but we are in the valley.
    Don't be afraidbecause God the Great Shepherd has gone to the valley of death to stretch His merciful and good hands to lift us up from the valleys.
    In the shepherding, indeed we have to experience the valleys, because the position of a sheep is often in the valley.
    If we are fervent in the shepherding, God's strong hands will lift us up.
    We keep on walking with Him. We have to go through valleys and mountainsuntil we reach the last shepherding, the New Jerusalem, the city on the mountain.

    King David said 'Surely goodness and mercy shall follow meAll the days of my life'. King David fell to the valley, but God's merciful and good hands lifted him up.

    The valleys that we face are as follows.

    • Song of Solomon 2:2
      2:Like a lily among thorns, So is my love among the daughters.

      The first one is the valley of thorns.
      It meansmany times the lilies are in the middle of thorns or in the atmosphere of curse. There are stresses, hurt heart, heavy burden, many tears, miseries, difficulties or any other things.
      God's merciful and good hands are able to help and lift us up and we can live in peace, everything is easy and light.

    • Joshua 7:24-25
      7:24 Then Joshua, and all Israel with him, took Achan the son of Zerah, the silver, the garment, the wedge of gold, his sons, his daughters, his oxen, his donkeys, his sheep, his tent, and all that he had, and they brought them to the Valley of Achor.
      25 And Joshua said, "Why have you troubled us? The Lord will trouble you this day." So all Israel stoned him with stones; and they burned them with fire after they had stoned them with stones.

      It happened to Achan because he stole God's belonging in the middle of a great movement of Israelites to the land of Canaan. The Israelites had destroyed Jericho, but Achan stole God's belonging which should be put on the treasury of the Lord's house. In the end, Achan was in the valley of Achor.

      The second valley is the valley of Achor or the valley of difficulty.
      Maybe we are in the middle of difficulties or impossible problems. God's merciful and good hands are able to lift us up and solve our problemseven the impossible ones right at His time.

    • The valley of death.
      Physicallyit refers to diseases, dangers, or disasters.
      Spirituallyit refers to sins until the peak of sins (the sins concerning eating and drinking and the sins of marrying and giving in marriage).

      There are a lot of people fail when they are facing the sins.
      At the age of Noah (in the beginning of time), everyone failed and only 8 were saved.
      In the end of time, we will experience the same thing like the age of Noah and only a few will be saved because they can't face the valley of death.

      If we are in the shepherding, we have to go through the valley, but God's strong hands will lift us up from the valley of death, which means as follows.

      1. Physically, God will protect usfrom disasters and will give us a longevity and He will use us for His glory.
      2. Spiritually, we can live in righteousness and holiness until perfectionlike Jesus. If Jesus comes back for the second time, His merciful and good hands will lift us up to the glorious clouds and we will meet Him and enter the supper of the marriage of the Lamb. We will enter the one thousand years kingdom of Peace (the future Paradise) and the New Jerusalem (the eternal kingdom of Heaven).

We have to go through the valleys, because a shepherding is going through valleys and mountains. However, we have God's hands.
David who was only with 2 or 3 goats could become a king.
When David fell to the valley with Bathsheba in an adultery, God's hands still lifted him up. Let's return to the shepherdingby eating the Word and we will be on God's merciful and good hands. It is enough.
There will be food, protection, and anythinguntil we are lifted up with Him in the glorious clouds.

God blesses us.

Print Version

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Lfe experience with the Word of God

Sermon transcript from church service in Malang and Surabaya, preached by Pastor Widjaja Hendra.

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