4:17 And say to Archippus, "Take heed to the ministry which you have
received in the Lord, that you may fulfill it."
It is about struggle to fulfill and finish the ministry.
1 Corinthians 9:25
9:25 And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things.
Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown.
A perishable crown is obtained from competition in the world, such as football
competition, but an imperishable crown is from service and ministry, which is
also a competition. To receive a perishable crown, everyone who competes has
to finish the competition; otherwise, he fails. Similarly, we compete through
ministry – no matter what our office is as long as in accordance with
the will of God – until reach the finish line to receive an imperishable
There are some requirements to compete and obtain eternal crown:
- Hebrews 12:1
12:1 Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of
witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares
us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,
Laying aside every weight and the sin which so easily ensnares.
Weight = something which is behind = sin which has been done, said, and thought.
We must lay aside every weight by confessing them to God and the others. After
being forgiven, never we do it anymore. In such a manner, the competition
will become light, since there is no more weight.
Every weight has been laid aside, but the sin still ensnares us. Satan always
sets a snare where we are used to walk. For example:
We must be careful with Satan in his deceit ensnaring us where we usually
walk. It is all to die our ministry down, bind and drag us into perdition.
- A husband always goes to work alone by a motorcycle or a car. He is
used to go straight to reach the office and that is where Satan sets a
snare through a female colleague. Then, both go to work together. If it
continues every day, they gradually become ensnared.
- A director becomes ensnared with his secretary where he meets everyday.
- Pastors become ensnared in ministry by pride of being successful (success
in their eyes) and disappointment with unsuccessfulness.
These are some examples of snare:
King Solomon was an excellent man; none ever had wisdom like him as in Holy
Bible. He was still young and inexperienced, but appointed ruler over Israel
and faced international issue, that is, marriage. Solomon faced two harlots
struggling for a son and he only used a sword; meaning that Solomon held to
the teaching word which is like a sword sharper than any two-edged sword.
Even though Solomon was still young and inexperienced, he could overcome problems
of the Church, even international issue (problem in marriage), only by a sword
(the true teaching word).
- 1 Timothy 6:9-10
6:9 But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare,
and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction
6:10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some
have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves
through with many sorrows.
The lust/love of money, i.e., hunting for money.
We need money and earning a living is not wrong, but lest we hunt for
money. Esau loved to hunt and finally lost his birthright (a right to
enter the kingdom of heaven); he perished.
Hunting for money means as follows:
God sets the ordinance of tithe and special offering with these purposes:
- earning money by disregarding whether it is sinful or not / pursuing
Such a man becomes ensnared with the lust of money and will be dragged
into perdition. If the Christian always try to gain profit/earn money
– no matter whether it is sinful or not -, they become ensnared
and will not set free until they perish.
- earning money until forsaking the service and ministry
It is not wrong to earn money or pursue education; even I always pray
that you become successful. However, if we earn money or pursue education
until forsake the service and ministry, it means that we hunt for
money and become ensnared with the bond of money.
- becoming stingy and greedy like Judas stole God’s possession
(tithe and special offering)
- in order that we are not bound with money
- in order that we belong to God
Tithe belongs to God, so if we return it to God, the whole life and
our business belong to God as well.
- Deuteronomy 12:29-31
12:29 "When the LORD your God cuts off from before you the nations
which you go to dispossess, and you displace them and dwell in their land,
12:30 "take heed to yourself that you are not ensnared to follow
them, after they are destroyed from before you, and that you do not inquire
after their gods, saying, ‘How did these nations serve their gods?
I also will do likewise.’
12:31 "You shall not worship the LORD your God in that way; for every
abomination to the LORD which He hates they have done to their gods; for
they burn even their sons and daughters in the fire to their gods.
This is to show God’s firmness: no enquiry after heresies may be
raised and let all desires to learn them be put away. We must be firm
and not hesitant that no sin could ensnare. Thus, another snare is false
teachings/heresies which bring forth perdition.
2 Peter 2:1a
2:1 But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there
will be false teachers among you,
Although a Christian has walked in righteousness, but is deceived by a
false teaching, he will perish too. The late Rev. Pong Dongalemba always
said: if a pastor commits adultery, he will go to hell alone; but if he
teaches heresies, all of the Church will go to hell with him.
Thus, snares of sin are the lust of money and heresies.
We have had the true teaching word so there is no need of asking about another
teaching. Unfortunately, Solomon failed when he was old. Perhaps he thought
himself steadfast in faith so he learned his wives’ lords. As such,
he finally laid down his sword and followed heresies. That is Solomon; who
are you and I?
Today we must be delivered from heresies and hold fast the true teaching word
(a sword) which we have experienced. We do not need to change it; otherwise,
we will be like Solomon.
Students of Lempin-El, remember our motto: Better we be rejected with the
true teaching word than be welcomed/accepted without the true teaching word.
If we want to be free from heresies, we may not ask anything about it; even
Here is to sum up the first requirement of ministering God which is like a
competition to reach the finish and receive the crown:
After laying aside weights and snares of sin, the service and ministry will
become easy and light, since it is sin that makes burdensome, not ministry.
As parents will not allow their children take up fifteen-hundred-ounce weight,
which is beyond their ability, likewise is God; He will not trust a ministry
beyond what we are able, but why do we feel bored and heavy and want to forsake
the ministry? It is due to weights and snares of sin. After they are laid
aside, the ministry will become easy and light; we will love and not forsake
- laying aside weights/sins that have been done by confessing and not
repeating after being forgiven.
- Laying aside snares of sin:
- the lust of money: by returning tithe and special offering
- heresies: by holding to the only true teaching word (a sword)
Similarly, weight of sin makes a marriage burdensome; to meet each other will
be burdensome if one of them (husband or wife) keeps sin. After weights of
sin are laid aside, however, the marriage will become easy and light; we will
not leave the marriage (since it is also the ministry).
- Hebrews 12:2
12:2 looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for
the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and
has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Looking unto Jesus who is sitting on the right hand of God / Jesus as the
The ministers of God are priests and the Head of priests is the High Priest.
Thus, we have to look unto the High Priest in ministry. If we look unto others,
we will fail in ministry just like Moses and Lot’s wife. Moses was even
unable to serve two people, an Egypt and an Israelite. He killed the Egyptian
then he looked this way and that way, and when he saw no one, he hid him in
the sand (Please read Exodus). “Looking this way and that way”
= relying on men. If we depend on men in ministry, there must be hypocrisies
(something rotten) hiding in heart.
Then, how worse it would be if we “look behind”. Lot’s wife
would compete but looked behind; she had not run yet, but had become a pillar
looking behind = looking the world and all facilities; becoming a pillar of
salt = being unprofitable.
As written in Hebrews 12, these requirements must be fulfilled to engage in
“Looking unto Jesus who is sitting on the right hand of God”
means as follows:
- laying aside weights and snares of sin
- looking unto Jesus who is sitting on the right hand of God
- Hebrews 7:26
7:26 For such a High Priest was fitting for us, who is holy, harmless,
undefiled, separate from sinners, and has become higher than the heavens;
“Looking unto Jesus” shows the sanctification of our attention.
Before ministering God, our attention must be sanctified. Very often runners
do some mistakes at the start because they pay no enough attention. Therefore,
our attention must be sanctified to look unto Jesus as the High Priest
sitting on the right hand of God before we compete.
Jesus as the High Priest sitting on the right hand of God is Jesus the
High Priest who is holy, harmless, and undefiled. For us, it means that
we must follow the High Priest to walk in holiness.
To what do we pay attention? Urim and the Thummim was put in the breastplate
of judgment of Aaron’s heart (Exodus 28), pointing to the sanctification
of the word sharper than any two-edged sword.
4:12 For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than
any two–edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit,
and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents
of the heart.
4:13 And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are
naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.
Thus, if we want to follow the example of Jesus/the High Priest in holiness,
we must pay attention to the Urim and the Thummim/the word of prophecy/the
word which is sharper than any two-edged sword. Only by this word we will
be sanctified and become as perfect as Jesus.
2 Peter 1:19
1:19 And so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well
to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and
the morning star rises in your hearts;
the prophetic word = the word of prophecy = the word of sanctification
= the teaching word
following the example of Jesus’ holiness = looking unto the Urim
and the Thumim = heeding and practicing the teaching word. By this way,
the teaching word will shine in our hearts/sanctify our hearts.
Heart is the source of life like electrical current; where there is no
current/sanctification, the heart gets dark.
Once again, looking unto Jesus = following the example of Jesus as the
High Priest in holiness = heeding prophetic word, listening carefully,
understanding, believing, being sure, and practicing the word. In such
a manner, the teaching word will shine and sanctify our hearts; we come
as a light primarily in marriage. Thus, ministers have to follow the example
of Jesus as the High Priest in holiness by coming as a light in their
5:15 "Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but
on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.
The teaching word sanctifies to present us as a light in our families.
The shining light is able to overcome two kinds of darkness which always
try to destroy a marriage, they are:
- If a husband is sanctified and becomes a light, he will love his
wife and not be bitter toward her.
- If a wife is sanctified and becomes a light, she will submit to
her husband in everything.
- If children are sanctified and become a light, they will obey their
Seeing that, we should return to the teaching word by following Jesus’
holiness as the High Priest, who is holy, harmless, and undefiled. We
just need to heed the word (Urim and Thummim) and let it sanctify to present
us as a light. Darkness will not defeat us.
- darkness of basket, which refers to economy and eating drinking
More and more marriages are broken because of eating-drinking sins
(drunkenness and illegal drugs).
- darkness of bed, which refers to sexual sins, giving and marrying
More and more unmarried people become corrupted with sexual sins.
Darkness threatens young men, but cannot destroy them as long as they
become a light. Darkness cannot endure, even will be swallowed up by the
We do not only come as light among our families, but also as stars in
12:3 Those who are wise shall shine Like the brightness of the firmament,
And those who turn many to righteousness Like the stars forever and ever.
Stars are those who are wise and those who become a blessing in turning
many to righteousness.
becoming a blessing to others = glorifying the name of the Lord = the
As written in Revelation, stars are put in the right hand of God and they
will never fall down.
Thus, we come as lights and stars, even morning star (being as perfect
as Jesus). The Bright and Morning Star is Jesus Himself. Son of the morning
was Lucifer, but he fell down and Jesus replaces him.
Let us follow Jesus:
- in His holiness by heeding the word
- not looking this way and that way; lest we minister God just because
men order us to go here and there. Such gives no advantage; let the
word shine in our hearts.
- Hebrews 12:3
12:3 For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against
Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls.
Following the example of Jesus as the High Priest in endurance –
so as not to be weary, disappointed, and discouraged in facing sufferings
If a minister is afraid to go to church because of the rain, no doubt
this man does not look unto Jesus the High Priest, but men/the world like
Lot’s wife. Whereas it simply rains water and not brimstone. The
rain actually refreshes us but it sometimes has arouse our fear to go
to church. At last, we do not go to church either. The time is coming
in which we have to face sprinkling of blood/suffering without sin, such
as being reviled for doing nothing wrong.
Thus, to compete/minister God and obtain the crown, we must look unto
Jesus’ endurance in order not to become weary, disappointed, and
discouraged. This is how to look to the Hands of the High Priest. It happened
that Aaron had to bring blood and incense to enter into the Holiest Place.
The sprinkled blood and burnt incense (the smoke of incense) resulted
in the brightness of glory of God. Therefore, in order not to become weary
and discouraged, we look Jesus’ endurance/the Hands of the High
Priest with sprinkled blood and incense; meaning that we have to worship
God more and more to endure sufferings without sin. The more we worship
God, the more we are strong and courageous. We cannot endure sprinklings
of blood without worship. By worship, the brightness of glory of God will
shine on us. When sufferings without sin hit us more distressingly, the
greater brightness of glory shines on us.
This is what we have to do:
- Laying aside weights and snares of sin
- Looking unto Jesus’ holiness = looking to the word for sanctification
(not looking this way and that way, not even looking behind)
- Looking to the Hands of God which are full of blood = worshiping
Lest we be doubtful of sprinklings of blood / sufferings without sin
and become weary and discouraged, but let us lift up worship! Without
the smoke of incense (worship), one who undergoes the sprinkling of
blood will be destroyed. The more blood and smoke of incense are lifted
up, the greater the brightness of glory shines. In accordance with
the word at New Year’s Eve service, we will encounter God’s
judgment atmosphere, but God promises the brightness of glory through
our sufferings and worship.
- Psalms 107:43
107:43 Whoever is wise will observe these things, And they will understand
the lovingkindness of the LORD.
Looking unto Jesus as the High Priest who is sitting on the right hand
of God = looking to His Heart = understanding His lovingkindness (breastplate
was put on the high priest’s heart)
These things need heeding:
- Urim and Thummim
- His Hands (Jesus endured even unto His crucifixion)
- His Heart
After dying with four wounds, Jesus’ side was pierced by a Roman soldier
(gentile) unto His Heart. It was the deepest wound and it is the mercy and grace
It is not wrong to study, work, and earn money. Above all, we must understand
the lovingkindness of God as if looking unto His heart which was pierced for
us/Gentiles. Lovingkindness cannot be separated from goodness and mercy. This
is to testify what David confessed.
23:6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me All the days of my life;
And I will dwell in the house of the LORD Forever.
Understanding the lovingkindess of God is not a mere theory, but manifest
through our being shepherded (Psalms 23 “The Lord is my shepherd”;
HE is the High Priest and the Great Shepherd).
“And I will dwell in the house of the LORD Forever” = being in shepherding
(Holy Place) = continuing steadfastly in the three main services (three objects
of Holy Place).
Day each day we realize that the world is getting more unstable. The world
is like desert in which it is hard to sow and harvest and beasts are found wandering.
We can do nothing, but be shepherded and understand the goodness and mercy of
The goodness and mercy/lovingkindness of God is useful for the following
- Hebrews 4:16
4:16 Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may
obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
the throne of the High Priest = the throne of grace
The High Priest/the Great Shepherd with goodness and mercy provides help in
time of need.
One day David was in trouble after Absalom – the son of David - rebelled
against him and he had to leave his house. If he had not been David, he would
have preferred to fight against Absalom. In fact, David did not fight against
Absalom; if he had fought, he would have obviously prevailed. But again, David
did not fight against Absalom since Absalom is his son. Moreover, he knew
that he lived not by his house, but the goodness and mercy of God.
2 Samuel 15:25-26
15:25 Then the king said to Zadok, "Carry the ark of God back into
the city. If I find favor in the eyes of the LORD, He will bring me back and
show me both it and His dwelling place.
15:26 But if He says thus: ‘I have no delight in you,’ here I
am, let Him do to me as seems good to Him."
Absalom rebelled and David did not fight, even he was wiling to leave his
house. It showed that David totally trusted his life in the goodness and mercy
of God. “If I may return, it is the goodness and mercy of God, but if
I may not, it is still the goodness and mercy of God. For I live not by house,
but the goodness and mercy of the Lord.” This is the principle of David.
It was not a matter of his house; instead, the house was merely given by the
goodness and mercy of God.
Before ruling over Israel, David was simply a shepherd in the field, while
his brothers were captains. Then Samuel saw and considered one of them, but
not David, commendable to become the king. Because of the goodness and mercy
of God, however, David was appointed to become king.
Thus, David was willing to leave his house because he did not hold his position,
but due to his principle: although he no longer became a king and had to leave
the house, it was not a trouble because he did not consider that the position
was his life but he lived by the goodness and mercy of God.
Many times, we regard the goodness and mercy of God worthy as HE provides
a job when we are jobless. Such thinking leads us to hold the job, not the
mercy of God. Finally, we work hard and serve God no more. In such condition,
we live by job. It is wrong.
In the end, David found grace to help him and he could return to his house.
The grace was faithful still after he committed adultery with Bathsheba. David
should have perished, but he testified that surely goodness and mercy shall
follow me All the days of my life. David was saved and everything got better.
We will also find grace to restore the broken.
- The goodness and mercy of God makes everything good in our lives.
If anyone of us is bitterly broken, we should compete to correct the service
and ministry by these ways:
- laying aside weights and sins
- looking unto Jesus by following His holiness
- taking heed to the word of God for sanctification
- following His patience by worshiping much to be shone with the brightness
of Lord’s glory
- looking unto His Pierced Heart = understanding the goodness and mercy
of God = being shepherded, so that the goodness and mercy helps us in
time of need and makes everything good in our lives.
- The goodness and mercy of God will become our imperishable crown.
103:4 Who redeems your life from destruction, Who crowns you with lovingkindness
and tender mercies,
The lovingkindness, goodness, and tender mercies will become our imperishable
crown that we may welcome Jesus’ second coming and be with Him in New
Jerusalem forever more (Psalms 23: David said, “Surely goodness and
mercy shall follow me All the days of my life; And I will dwell in the house
of the LORD Forever”).
Let us correct and struggle for the service and ministry until we finish the
race – whatever we must go through! David went through valleys (the valley
of sin, the valley of death, and the valley of distress), but he was lifted
up by goodness and mercy of God until he received the crown.
God bless you!