“For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith.”
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
The very famous Nobel Prize was founded by Alfred Nobel, who invented Dynamite. One day, when he read a newspaper article, he was very shocked.
He was alive and health, but the newspaper mistook somebody else’s death as his death and ran his obituary article.
But the reason why Nobel was shocked was not because the newspaper said he died. The article said, “Merchant of death dies.”
Alfred Nobel thought he was a great man who contributed to mankind by inventing such a great tool as dynamite. But, according to the newspaper headlines, he realized that he was just considered as a merchant of death and the inventor of a weapon of mass destruction in the eyes of other people.
Since that time, he tried to do good things for the development of the mankind. One of these things was establishing the Nobel Prize. Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, as in the case of Alfred Nobel, what you think about yourself and who you appear to be in the eyes of other people can be completely different.
You may think you have good faith and you are earnestly and faithfully longing for spirit. But, in the eyes of other people you may seem to be a person who has selfish motives, or a person others have to be careful not to agitate or arouse to anger. Maybe you seem to be someone who is still a long way from sanctification.
But if you can check yourself from the viewpoint of other people, it will benefit you greatly in finding out your shortcomings.
Also, there is one thing more important than the view of other people, and it is how we are viewed by God.
You may think you are doing well and even other people may think so too, but in the sight of God, who searches the deep heart and even the minutest thing, you may be quite different.
2 Corinthians 10:18 says, “For it is not he who commends himself that is approved, but he whom the Lord commends.” As said, only when you are commended by God can you experience the works of faith on this earth and enter into the better dwelling places in the kingdom of heaven.
In this sense, as I explained to you in the last session, it is very important to demolish self righteousness and self-centered frameworks.
If you have your own righteousness and frameworks that you developed by mistakenly and incorrectly applying the truth, you might think you are correct and proper, but in fact you are not acknowledged by others and God also says you are not right in His sight.
Therefore, you should find out these things quickly, change them and become truly righteous in the sight of God. Only then can you advance to higher levels of faith and go into spiritual realm quickly.
This is the 11th session of the measure of faith. I pray in the name of the Lord that, through this message, you will quickly find yourself, change completely, and possess a great measure of faith.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, if you believe in God and receive the Holy Spirit, you gain the faith to receive salvation. This faith to receive the Holy Spirit and salvation is the 1st Level of Faith. The Second level of Faith is the level where you try to listen to the word of God and try to put it into practice.
In the second level, you try to practice the word, and sometimes you practice it successfully while at other times you don’t practice it.
But as you keep on praying and trying, your faith grows and you gain a greater measure of faith to act with by the Word.
So, when you reach the 3rd Level of Faith, you can act according to the word of God. You know that it is blessing to realize the meaning contained in the word of God and practice it, so you willingly live within the word.
After you get into the 3rd Level of Faith where you can practice the word, you should quickly cast off the sinful natures in your heart.
For example, simple refraining from getting angry and not having the sinful nature of anger in heart are completely different things.
Likewise, even if you do not act out of evil and you are the kind of person who lives in the word of God, you should recognize the sinful natures in you and pull them out.
Only then can you go into the 4th level, and from the 4th level, you can be acknowledged as a true child of God and a man of spirit.
But sometimes, some of you went into the 3rd level quickly and passed the rock of faith and have reached the last stage of the 3rd level, and from this point, you stop in the growth of faith.
So, in the last session, I explained the two aspects for those who are at the 3rd level of faith to quickly go into the 4th level without any spiritual stoppage.
First, I told you that you shouldn’t stop struggling against sins just because your faith has grown up to some extent. Until you pull out the original sinful nature through the word and prayer, you should diligently accomplish sanctification.
Second, you can quickly go into spirit when you cast off fleshly thoughts, and among them, you should particularly demolish your own righteousness and self-centered frameworks.
Your self-righteousness and self-centered frameworks that are made by clear untruths can be found out easily through the word of God, so you can cast them off quickly. But what you have to be careful about is your own righteousness that is covered with truth and self-centered frameworks that you made by applying the truth in a wrong way.
If you have these things, you think you are acting by the truth, so even after a long time, you cannot go into spirit, and you will have a spiritual growth stoppage.
But some people say with regret, “I really want to find my ‘self’ and cast it off, but I cannot really realize what my own righteousness and self-centered frameworks are.”
They do not miss any worship services and listen to the word of God carefully with longing hearts, but they cannot find what is wrong with them.
But those who insist on their own righteousness and frameworks cannot receive most of the messages as theirs, and they cannot really pray very fervently. I urge you to check yourself once again.
When you listen to the word of God, how much of a longing heart do you have for it and how much do you receive it as your own?
Perhaps, you don’t pay as much attention to the Word because it is the same kind of message that you have heard for a long time or because you think that it is for somebody else and not you personally. Even though you know it applies to you, you may just give up give up your efforts to follow the Word and say, “I cannot do it myself. God will have to change me someday.”
Also, even if you pray for many hours a day, how much do you cry out to God with all your heart?
When our Jesus prayed, His sweat became like the drops of blood falling to the ground. Elijah prayed so earnestly on his knees that his face went in between his knees.
When I remind you of these things and emphasize the important of prayer on the altar, you pray fervently for a couple of days, but after some time, many people return to their previous prayer state.
When you pray in meaningless repetition it cannot be accepted before God, even though it is beautifully eloquent prayer with angelic words, it cannot be received by God as pleasing aroma.
Only when your prayer is offered to God as great aroma by struggling and crying out with all your strength and heart, can you receive the fullness and inspiration of the Holy Spirit and change.
One more thing you should think about is with what kind of attitude are you listening to other people’s advice; it is because those people with strong self-righteousness and personal frameworks will close their ears to the advice of other people.
Their heart is lifted up thinking that they are right, so even when they hear others’ advice, they think, “I have a reason for doing that, but that person doesn’t understand my situation. That’s why he says what he does.”
They insist that they are right, so they don’t realize the fundamental reason why they had to hear such advice.
Or when others give them advice they think, “He is no better than me,” and just forget about it. Or even when a superior or senior gives them advice, they think, “He is not 100% perfect either, so he is not always right. I don’t really have to listen to him.”
They say they will trust only the words of those who are perfect and listen to only their advice. But with this kind of heart, you cannot heed the words of other people and even if God gives you the voice of the Holy Spirit so much, you cannot hear that voice.
When you get to the middle stage of the 3rd Level of Faith and move closer to the 4th level, it means you have already cast off sins and evil that is easily found. At this stage, for you to realize and cast off your own righteousness and self-centered frameworks, you have to look back at yourself with a more humble and earnest heart.
You have to long to find your shortcomings. If you do so, you will receive even the words of little children with humbleness in pursuit of trying to change yourself.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, if you demolish your own righteousness and self-centered frameworks and cast off the sinful natures in your heart, finally you go into spirit. Namely, you go into the 4th Level of Faith, and from this point, you can be recognized as a man of spirit.
Then, before we deal with the 4th level, let us learn about the dwelling place of heavenly kingdom that you can enter with the 3rd Level of Faith. The heavenly dwelling place for those at the 3rd Level of Faith is the 2nd Kingdom of Heaven.
If you get to the 3rd Level of Faith, you dwell in the word of God and live as a child of God. So, your dwelling place will be at a higher level than paradise for those at 1st Level or the 1st Kingdom of Heaven for those at the 2nd Level of Faith.
In paradise, there are no personal houses. In the 1st Kingdom there are personal houses, but they are in the form of apartment complexes. But in the 2nd kingdom of Heaven, independent, individual houses are given to each one.
They are one-story buildings, but still, they are much more splendid and beautiful than the most grand and beautiful mansion or villa on this earth, and they are decorated with fragrant flowers and trees.
Also, in the 2nd Kingdom of Heaven, not only houses are given but also one facility that the owner wants the most will be provided with the house.
If the owner wants a beautiful lake, there will be a lake along with the house. If the owner wants a swimming pool, he can have a gorgeous swimming pool decorated with pure gold and jewels.
They can be given a promenade full of beautiful flowers and plants and where lovely animals walk around, or even a ballroom.
But because people can have only one facility as their own, they can use the facilities of other people as necessary.
But even if they visit other people’s houses and use their facilities, they don’t find it uncomfortable.
Through this, they can serve one another and share their love, so they will joyfully allow others to use their own facility, and those who use them can enjoy them freely and comfortably. Also, on the doorposts of the houses in the 2nd kingdom of heaven are the nameplates.
On the nameplate is written not only the name of the owner but also the name of the church that the owner served on this earth. So, if the owner attended a church that was loved by God so much, his honor and glory would be greater.
The crown given to those in the 2nd Kingdom of Heaven is the crown of glory. 1 Peter 5:2-4 says, “. . . shepherd the flock of God among you, exercising oversight not under compulsion, but voluntarily, according to [the will of] God; and not for sordid gain, but with eagerness; nor yet as lording it over those allotted to your charge, but proving to be examples to the flock. And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory.”
As said, the people at the 3rd Level of Faith have not accomplished sanctification completely, but they still kept the word of God, performed their duties, and gave glory to God. The crown of glory is given to this kind of people.
Those souls who are allowed to enter the 2nd kingdom will be so thankful that they dwell in such a beautiful place and that they are given much greater rewards than anything they have done. However, they still feel sorry for one thing.
They regret that they didn’t cast off sins in their heart or become completely sanctified, although they did live by the Word and perform their duties. The 3rd Kingdom of Heaven and New Jerusalem, which is the place for those who are sanctified, cannot be compared with the 2nd Kingdom in glory.
Although they lived by the Word and perform their duties, they wished that they had cast off the sins in their hearts and become wholly sanctified since the glory of 2nd Kingdom cannot be compared in glory to the 3rd Kingdom of Heaven or to New Jerusalem, which are the places for those who achieved sanctification.
Of course, in heaven there is no jealousy or envy, so they won’t be offended or have heartache because they cannot enjoy the greater glories of heaven.
Even if other people enjoy greater glory than themselves, they will rejoice as if they themselves are enjoying that glory. They will respect those people with great honor and will be thankful and happy with the dwelling place and rewards given to them.
But they feel sorry that they didn’t cast off sins completely although God gave them such great love and many chances on this earth.
They always feel sorry and regret that they didn’t cast off the sinful natures in their heart and become completely sanctified, though they kept God’s word and did their duties.
Therefore, if you have true faith, you should not stop at the level of 2nd Kingdom of Heaven, even though it is very beautiful. You should constantly strive towards entering New Jerusalem without fail.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, God wants all men to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth. Also, he wants all men to change into His true children and enter into New Jerusalem.
That’s why in the Bible God clearly recorded the way of salvation and also the way to go into better heavenly dwelling places in detail.
But the speed of the growth of faith for different people is very different. Some people quickly cast off sins and change themselves as they listen to God’s word, but some other people change very slowly even though they hear the same messages in the same church.
Therefore, as said in Matthew 19:30, “But many who are first will be last; and the last, first,” there will be differences among each one.
Then, what is the reason they people have differences although they listen to the same messages, long for sanctification, and try their best?
There are many reasons, but the most fundamental reason is because each person has a different heart, a different inner heart, and a different vessel.
I will talk to you about the inner heart and vessel of man in the next session.
Let me conclude the message.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, Psalm 90:10 says, “As for the days of our life, they contain seventy years, Or if due to strength, eighty years, Yet their pride is but labor and sorrow; For soon it is gone and we fly away.”
It is very difficult to live for 100 years on this earth, and what we can gain is only toil and sorrow. But we live on this earth today to prepare for the eternal life in the kingdom of heaven.
After this short life is over and we meet the Lord, each one’s dwelling place and rewards will be decided and we will live with the Lord in the everlasting kingdom of heaven. And the dwelling place and rewards that are once decided can never be changed forever.
Even after an eternity in time, those in paradise cannot enter into the 1st Kingdom nor can a person living in the 3rd Kingdom live in New Jerusalem.
Therefore, even if you regret so much that you didn’t advance towards better heavenly dwelling places during your time on this earth, it will be of no use. But thankfully, you still have the chance until the Lord comes back.
As Ephesians 5:16 says, “Make the most of your time, because the days are evil,” I hope you will make the most of your time, quickly go into spirit and whole spirit, and diligently take hold of the heavenly kingdom by force.
I pray in the name of the Lord that you will be able to dwell in New Jerusalem, the best dwelling place in heaven without any regrets in the heavenly life.