To coincide with the Upgrading of Priests
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 letters
to the seven churches of Gentiles, which is the last sanctification
that God does to the seven churches of Gentiles
(the seven churches at the end of time) to make them perfect like Jesus, and become the bride of Heaven who is ready to welcome His second coming in the glorious cloud .
There are seven churches that experience the blood sprinkles as follows
THE CHURCH OF SMYRNARevelation 2:92:9 "I know your works, tribulation, and poverty(but you are rich); and I know the blasphemyof those who say they are Jewsand are not, but are a synagogue of Satan.
- The church of EPHESUS(Revelation 2:17) (it has been explained since General Service in Surabaya, July 27, 2014). The church of Ephesus has to come back to the initial loveto return to the Paradise.
- The church of SMYRNA(Revelation 2:8-11) (it has been explained since General Service in Surabaya, September 14, 2014).
The condition of the church of Smyrna is having a tribulation with Jesus or HAVING AN EXPERIENCE OF CROSS
with Him. Why does Jesus let
the church of Smyrna have an experience of cross with Him?1 Peter 2:192:19 For this is commendable, if because of conscience toward God one endures grief, suffering wrongfully.
The answer is to get God's grace
. The usages of God's grace are as follows
- Giving us an extra powerto let us be able to keep on following and serving God (we have studied the power of a farmer until he gets the fruits, a soldier until he wins, and an athlete until he earns a crown in General Service in Surabaya, August 14, 2014).
- Changing and renewing usfrom a carnal human to a spiritual one like Jesus or being His perfect bride and ready to welcome His second coming.
is Saul, who converted to Paul.
No matter how evil or unclean a human is, if he earns God's grace, we can be Saul who converted to Paul. 1 Timothy 1:12-161:12 And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord who has enabled me, because He counted me faithful, puttingme into the ministry,12:13 although I was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and an insolent man; but I obtained mercybecause I did it ignorantly in unbelief. 12:14 And the graceof our Lord was exceedingly abundant, with faith and love which are in Christ Jesus. 12:15 This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief. 12:16 However, for this reason I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show all longsuffering, as a patternto those who are going to believe on Him for everlasting life.
The characteristics of a renewal by God's grace are as follows.
- Being brave to confess that 'I am chief'(verse 15), which means as follows.
- Not judging others.
- Being brave to confess our sins to God and others. Others can be anyone. Paul wrote to Timothy, his disciple, but he was brave to confess to someone younger than him. For the youth to confess sins to the elder would be very easy. IF we are forgiven, don't redo the sins, we have to repent and live in righteousness or live in faithso that we can be a pattern of faithuntil the finish line (as written in verse 16, 'as a pattern').
13:7 Remember those who rule over you, who have spoken the word of God to you, whose faith follow, considering the outcome of their conduct.
13:8 Jesus Christ is the sameyesterday, today, and forever.
13:9 Do not be carried about with various and strange doctrines. For it is good that the heart be established by grace, not with foods which have not profited those who have been occupied with them.
Every priest and God's servant has to be a pattern of faith, starting from the leader or a shepherd. If a shepherd, someone who leads, can't be a pattern of faith, the congregation will fall apart.
A pattern of faith is able to attract souls to come to Godlike a darkness which is illuminated by the light. Wealth or power can't do the same thing because the world has much more of it.
Being a pattern of faithmeans as follows.
- Living in righteousness, every aspect of our lives has to be righteous. If there is something wrong, we need to confess and fix it immediately.
- Keeping on putting our hope in Godwhen facing tribulations or troubles and not on others. If we put our hope on others like the disciples when they faced the winds and waves, we will perish. Fortunately, the disciples saw Jesus who was asleep, they put their hope on God and were saved.
The moments when we face the tribulations are the moments to prove whether we live by faith or not. If we keep on putting our hope on God, we are a pattern of faith.
"This is why in the education of Lempin-El, we are taught that by being a God's servant, we can't beg or have any debt. We should be a pattern of faith. When we are facing a tribulation, we only hope for God"
- in connection with Jesus who doesn't change (verse 8-9 'Jesus Christ is the same; Do not be carried about with various and strange doctrines') which means not changing in the true teachingbut holding firmly on the true teaching and being obedient.
We even have to hold firmly about our greetingsbecause a greeting is the opening of a true teaching (it has been explained in General Service in Surabaya, October 20, 2013). So, our greetings should not change. If we are consistent in the teaching, so are we in the greetings.
If our greetings or openings are changed, the content will change as well.
"This is what I believe. My teacher told me that 'a greeting is the opening of a righteous teaching'. If we keep this greeting, it's not that we want to look cool (in sense of teaching). I experienced it, although one of my student told me that our greetings are very old, but I kept on using the same greeting, even in other churches who used modern greetings. I kept on using 'Good evening' and they kept on inviting me. They don't need the greetings, but the teaching. Since God let me start the church here, I have no more time to preach there. They were very happy, I was asked to preach for 45 minutes but I preached for an hour and a quarter, but they kept on inviting me. One day, I met the shepherd in Juanda. I have just known their shepherd although I have been invited for about a year. I told him 'I used to preach there'. He asked, 'oh really?'. He directly called his secretary and told me 'Pastor, keep on helping us', although I only said 'Good evening'. It doesn't matter because it is the teaching that they need."
- 1 Timothy 1:12
1:12 And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord who has enabled me, because He counted me faithful, puttingme into the ministry,
The second characteristic of a change is being faithful and able to be trustedin service and ministry according to the position that God has entrusted to us.
4:8 Therefore He says: "When He ascended on high, He led captivity captive, And gave gifts to men."
4:9 (Now this, "He ascended"--what does it mean but that He also first descended into the lower parts of the earth?
4:10 He who descended is also the One who ascended far above all the heavens, that He might fill all things.)
4:11 And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers,
4:12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ,
God's gracemeans as follows.
If we are only proud of our wealth, Jesus would have not needed to die for us, because even those who don't know Jesus can be wealthy.
- 'He also first descended into the lower parts of the earth'which means that Jesus has gone to the deepest part of earth or the death by being crucified on the crossto set us, the prisoners of sins, free.
- 'He ascended on high' means Jesus has also risen to give positions in the ministry to those who have been set free from sins. He raises us to be priests and kingsto be used in the ministry of edifying the body of Christ (verse 12 'for the edifying of the body of Christ').
He hadto die, rise from the death and go to the Heaven to give us the positions in the ministry.
1 Peter 2:5
2:5 you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
'built up a spiritual house' refers to the building of Christ's body.
BeforeSaul got God's grace, he had also been a perserveringGod's servant. Nevertheless, his ministry didn't please Godbut destroyed Christ's body.
Afterhe got God's grace, he was used.
This is why we need an upgrading for the priests. A shepherd, those who will be priests, and those who have been serving have to be upgraded so that we can minister earnestly and be acceptable to God.
Acts 9:1-2, 4-5
9:1 Then Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest
9:2 and asked letters from him to the synagogues of Damascus, so that if he found any who were of the Way, whether men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem.
9:4 Then he fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to him, "Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?"
9:5 And he said, "Who are You, Lord?" Then the Lord said, "I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. It is hard for you to kick against the goads."
'still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord' means Saul was kindled but he was kindled to kill God's disciples.
Saul persecuted the congregation, but God said 'why are you persecuting Me?'. The congregation is Christ's body.
Saul's fault beforehe received the grace is that he served not to build Christ's body, but to persecute and destroy it, although he seemed kindledand highly spirited, but he breathed threats and murder, envies, hatred, slander, and everything else. These things are outside God's grace.
The ministry of the building of Christ's body is started from the marriage, shepherding, inter-shepherding, until the fellowship of Israelites and Gentiles in a perfect body.
We have to be earnest, don't minister in hatred without reason, envies, slanders, gossips or anything elsethat will only destroy Christ's body, although it seems that we are fervent in spirit. This is like persecuting God.
After Jesus died to set us free from sins, rose from death and went to Heaven to give us positions for ministry to us and we are used in the ministry of the building of Christ's body, we have to be faithful and able to be entrusted. The connection on our body parts is a good example. If our eyes are itchy, we use our hands to scratch, and our eyes are in peace because they believe in the hands. If we drink, we directly use our hands to drink.
We always ask 'what if this or that happens' and this is a characteristic of a servant who can't be entrusted. It is better to work it by ourselves.
"I used to tell the full-timers, 'how come? If I have entrusted these things to you, you have to do it. If you don't, it would be better for me to do it by myself. It will be done once, and not twice."
We won't think bad of our hands because they are faithful and been able to be entrusted.
If we have served in the ministry of the building of Christ's body faithfully and able to be entrusted, we are called a living stone.
1 Peter 2:4-5
2:4 Coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and precious,
2:5 you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
On verse 4, Jesus is a living stone.
On verse 5, we are also living stones.
Stones are supposed to be dead, but we can be living stones.
It meansthat we live by God's grace, and we can live anywhere, anytime, even in any condition, until we live eternally, forever and ever.
If we live from our salary and suddenly we are fired, we have no more salary and we can't live. If we live from our stores and suddenly they are burnt down, we can't live anymore.
This is the difference between a salary and God's grace. Salary is very limited, but God's grace is not limited by anything, and it can bring us to live in the Heaven.
Jesus has gone down to set us free from sins. He has also gone up to give us positions in the ministry. We have to serve God faithfully and able to be entrusted. That is enoughand that is Jesus' body, we live by God's grace.
Beware!Don't be like Judas who couldn't be entrusted about money, which is a small thing. In the congregation, money is usually considered as a big thing, even some people fight for money in the church. In fact, money is the smallest thing in God's house.
Judas couldn't be entrusted about money, a small thing, and he lost God's grace and he lost everything, he had no beauty and his entrails gushed out.
Don't exchange God's grace with money, which is equal to stealing God's belonging.
- 1 Timothy 1:17
1:17 Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, to God who alone is wise, be honor and gloryforever and ever. Amen.
The third characteristic of a renewal is being able to worship Jesusas King of kings and the Bridegroom of Heaven.
1 Timothy 1:13
1:13 although I was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and an insolent man; but I obtained mercy because I did it ignorantly in unbelief.
Saul was a blasphemer but he could worship Jesus with a worship 'Alleluia' after he received God's grace.
19:6 And I heard, as it were, the voice of a great multitude, as the sound of many waters and as the sound of mighty thunderings, saying, "Alleluia! For the[d] Lord God Omnipotent reigns!
19:7 Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready."
Verse 6 describes Jesus as the King.
Verse 7 describes Jesus as the Bridegroom.
Worshipping with 'Alleluia' means worshipping Jesus the King and the Bridegroom.
If we worship in other way, we haven't worshipped The King and the Bridegroom. The voice of the bride is 'Alleluia'.
'a great multitude' refers to the 4 corners of the world or the bride from every nations and tribes that worship in one bride's voice 'Alleluia'.
One teaching leads to one head, one body, and one voice 'Alleluia'.
If we are not one in voice, we are not one in body and head.
If we worship God not or not yetin 'Alleluia', we haven't worshipped Him as a King. If He comes as the King, we will be left behind and there will be separation.
When the Israelites crossed, there were many from the tribe of Ephraim who were asked to say 'Shibboleth' or 'Sibboleth' (there was only oneletter difference). Those who said 'Sibboleth' were slain but those who said 'Shilbboleth' might pass.
The same thing will happen. Those who say 'Alleluia' may go up, but those who mention otherthan 'Alleluia' will be left below. There will indeed be a separation forever and ever. It is not a joke, it is the decision time.
Be careful in services and fellowships. If the head is one, the body is one, and we are in one voice.
Don't do anything just by following others. If we only follow, we will be dry.
Although people said we are exclusive, just let them. If there is a true teaching but we don't support it, we will be dry. If there is a false teaching and we support it, we will be dry for sure.
14:17 And it shall be that whichever of the families of the earth do not come up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, on them there will be no rain.
14:18 If the family of Egypt will not come up and enter in, they shall have no rain; they shall receive the plaguewith which the Lord strikes the nations who do not come up to keep the Feast of Tabernacles.
Beware! If we say 'Alleluia', we will have a rain, and if we don't, we will have a plague.
44:3 For I will pour water on him who is thirsty, And floods on the dry ground; I will pour My Spiriton your descendants, And My blessingon your offspring;
We will have rains as follows.
- A rain of blessingfrom Heaven, a spiritual blessing, a blessing for the household, a physical blessing to our children and grand-children. This is indeed God's grace. Let's live righteously and don't see other's fault, become a pattern of faith and worship the King.
- A rain of Holy Spiritor a rain of the living water from the throne of Heaven, which means as follows.
- We drink the water of living.
Without the Holy Spirit, no matter how strong a Gentile is, he will be thirsty and dry and his fate will be like the Samaritan woman who has been divorced for 5 times and had a ruined life, he will surelyfall to the sins regarding eating and drinking and the sin of marrying and giving in marriage, looking for worldly satisfaction.
This evening, no matter how dry we are, if we are able to return to the truth and ministry, and faithfulness, be entrusted, and worship Him, we show our sins, dryness, and failure, the Holy Spirit will be poured upon us and we will have Heavenly satisfaction, we can give thanks, worship God, and testify to others.
After the Samaritan woman got the water of living, she testified and many souls were saved.
- We are bathed by the water of living.
3:5 not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regenerationand renewing of the Holy Spirit,
'the washing of regeneration' refers to the water baptism.
After the water baptism, we can have the bath with the water of living or the spiritual baptism, a renewal of the Holy Spirit.
We will have the renewal from a carnal human to a spiritual one like Jesus, starting from being obedient('Yes Abba, Yes Father').
Jesus has been an example. Logically, Jesus had no sin, so he should not have been crucified, but he said 'not as I will, but as You will'.
Although it isn't logical, the most important thing is to be obedient and it is the greatest miracle.
If we are obedient, other miracles will happen, from nothing into something, from impossible to possible, from dry to wet, and finally we are changed to be like Jesus. We are fervent in spirit and shout 'Alleluia' to welcome His second coming.
Let's live in righteousness
and be a pattern of faith
, serve God faithfully and be able to be trusted
and worship Him
. If we have problems, worship Him until the rain falls
! The rain of blessing and the rain of Holy Spirit will fall, and miracles will happen in the midst of us.
God blesses us.