MESSAGE OF CROSS 5 – God Creates Man

Senior Pastor Dr. Jaerock Lee

“Then the LORD God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being” (Genesis 2:7).

The first chapter of Genesis describes the process of God creating the heavens, the earth, and all things in them, and mankind. The second chapter tells us that God made the Garden of Eden and led the first man there. Now let’s look into the reason why God created man.

1. Man Created in the Image of God

Genesis 2:7 reads, “Then the LORD God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.” While God created everything else in the universe by His Word, He personally formed and created man with dust from the ground. God flawlessly created man, and then the man became a living being after God breathed into his nostrils the breath of life.

Some people might say with doubt, “How can an image formed from dust of ground move with life?” But think about robots, computers, artificial internal organs, or artificial skin. Men can make such things, and then of course God was capable of creating man. Because a limit was set in their thoughts, they cannot believe the power of God.

After creating Adam and Eve, God the Creator gave them the seed of life so that they were able to give birth to descendants. A man has a sperm and a woman has an egg, and the sperm and the egg contain all their attributes such as appearance, personality, intelligence, habits, etc. So their children resemble them. Then, whom would Adam, the father of mankind, resemble?

As we read in Genesis 1:27, “And God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them,” Adam was created in the image of God. In addition to the outward appearance, man’s spirit came from God and resembles His spirit. Adam was a living being.

Adam’s spirit, like that of God, was filled only with goodness, light, and the truth. After Adam ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and thus sinned against God, all his descendants became drenched in sin and evil and ended up losing God’s holy image.

2. The Reason Why God Created and Cultivates Mankind

If we are to seek and understand the answer to the question, “Why are we here?” we need to be able to answer the question, “Why has God created us and why and how is He cultivating mankind?” In the Bible are many parables referring to cultivating the land and harvesting crops. In Matthew 13, Jesus likened the heart of man to four different kinds of field. With “a parable of the wheat and the chaff” in Matthew 3 and “a parable of the weeds” in Matthew 13, the Bible tells us of the Judgment to come.

With such parables found in the Bible, God tells us that His providence in creating mankind and governing the world’s history is much the same as cultivating a field and harvesting crops from it. Just as a farmer cultivates his field for the harvest, God is cultivating us today.

God desires to gain true children with whom He can share love. With His wondrous power and as a fearsome judge, God the Creator possesses undisputed authority and strict righteousness on the one hand. On the other hand, He also possesses human attributes that are characterized by love, compassion, mercy, and the like. For God can rejoice, grieve, or lament just like human beings, instead of being alone He wanted those with whom He could share love.

He already had countless heavenly hosts and angels by His side. However, God wanted true children who would obey Him from their heartfelt love of Him and in their free will.

Suppose at home you have a robot that will do everything you tell it to do and you have your child who may at times cause trouble but, as he grows up he will eventually be grateful for his parents’ grace and love and share love with you. Between the two, which would you deem more precious? No matter how obedient the robot may be, it could not be compared to your child with whom you can share your heart. Likewise, God created mankind because He wanted to have children who would obey Him and share their hearts with Him in their free will.

3. The Wheat and the Chaff

No matter how diligently a farmer may have worked, at the time of harvest he will reap the chaff as well as the wheat. However, because the chaff is inedible and will harm the wheat when stored together in the same barn, it can only be used as compost or burned.

By the same token, when human cultivation is over, God will set the wheat apart from the chaff. Matthew 3:12 reads, “And His winnowing fork is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clear His threshing floor; and He will gather His wheat into the barn, but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.” Here, “unquenchable fire” stands for the fires of Hell.

At the time of God’s choosing, in the last days of the age He will bring human cultivation to a close and judge every individual who has ever lived in this world. At the Judgment, those who are like the chaff will fall into the flames of Hell.

“The wheat” here refers to people who have accepted Jesus Christ and lived by the Word in their love for God. They have diligently cast off sin and evil and recovered His image. On the contrary, “the chaff” refers to all those who did not believe in God and did not accept Jesus Christ as their Savior.

One thing you have to keep in mind here is that not everyone who attends church is “wheat.” If they forsake God’s Word and instead live in accordance with their worldly desires, in God’s eyes they are “chaff.” This is why Jesus told us in Matthew 7:21, “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven; but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven.”

God desires all men to know His heart, become “wheat”, and receive salvation (1 Timothy 2:4). For this reason He has given us His only begotten Son to die on the cross on our behalf.

Despite all this, those who continue to live in sin without accepting Jesus as their Savior will be unable to recover their true worth as people who have been created in God’s image. They are merely like the chaff. The chaff cannot be gathered into Heaven. If people filled with hatred, jealousy, greed, quarreling, and other forms of evil were allowed to enter Heaven, it would be corrupted.

What would happen to people barred from entering Heaven? Since the spirit in each person is immortal, it cannot become extinct. They will be gathered together, confined in Hell forever, and according to the wages of their sins, each of them will receive everlasting punishments in the unquenchable fire of Hell (Refer to Hell authored by Dr. Jaerock Lee for more information).

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, I pray in the name of the Lord that you will come forth as wheat-like believers, that is, God’s true children, taking after God and coming to possess a sanctified heart and share love with Him and live forever more in Heaven.

Message of Cross 2 – I Am Who I Am

Senior Pastor Dr. Jaerock Lee

“God said to Moses,’I AM WHO I AM’; and He said, ‘Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, “I AM has sent me to you”‘” (Exodus 3:14).

In our Christian life, it is very important to understand who God is.

Some believers say with their lips that they believe God, but they do not feel His love and have no assurance of salvation. Only when we know the origin of God can we have close relationship with God and live a Spirit-filled life with the assurance of salvation.

1. God Who is without beginning and without end is “I AM WHO I AM”

In everything man has learned and experienced, there are always “a beginning” and “an end.” For instance, men and animals have a beginning and an end. Their beginning is marked by the birth by their parents and their end is marked by when and how they die. No matter how old an antique object may be, it was produced at some point by someone and all historical events have had a beginning and an end.

Because of this some people ask, “Who created God?” or “From what point has God been present and what was there before Him?” And some others think and wonder about how God first came into being as if there had to have been a beginning point of His existence. However, if God the Creator and the Absolute did have such a beginning, that in itself would have been the most bizarre thing of all.

If God had begun an existence at some point in history, people would obviously think about things that may have preceded God and the time before His presence. God could neither be the Creator nor the Absolute if someone else had created or given birth to Him. Therefore, if God is indeed absolute and perfect, He must be without a beginning or an end and must have existed on His own.

Concerning who God is, He said to Moses in Exodus 3:14, “I AM WHO I AM”. No one gave birth to God or created Him. God has been present from everlasting, the time before eternity to everlasting (beyond eternity).

2. God existed as light and sound but became the Trinity of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Spirit

In what shape or image did our God, who had been present from the time before eternity, exist? John 1:1 tells us, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”

Here, the phrase “In the beginning” refers to the time well before things in the universe were created, when God existed by Himself. It symbolizes an age a mere creature man could never understand with his limited experience or knowledge. Concerning this God who has been present by Himself from before eternity, John 1:1 tells us that “the Word was God.” He had not yet taken on any particular form but existed as the Word itself, and this is the “sound.”

1 John 1:5 also tells us, “This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all.” There is spiritual significance embedded in terms “light” and “darkness.” The term “darkness” encompasses everything that is not truthful but unrighteous, lawless, and sinful, while the term “light” refers to everything that is truthful such as love, goodness, righteousness, and the like. Yet, God is not only “Light” in spiritual terms but He also existed as light during this time “before”.

God who is the Word existed in the midst of such a beautiful and wondrous light with a clear and transparent sound. He existed in the midst of an inconceivably beautiful light and as a transparent, mellow, soft, majestic, and thunderous voice that resounded throughout the universe.

Then at the time of His choosing, God, who had existed as light and sound, entertained a heart to create man; God wanted someone with whom He could share love. In order to accomplish all the plans regarding human cultivation, God the Origin first formed Himself into “God the Trinity”: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Spirit.

From this time on God the Origin took on a more concrete image as God the Trinity. And, as recorded in Genesis 1:26, we know what He looked like: “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness.” In other words, when God the Trinity made man, He made man in His image. Man’s outward appearance was created in God’s image and man’s heart was created to resemble God’s heart. However, from the time that Adam sinned, man’s heart that had taken after the heart of God, has been altered for the worse and it gradually became far distanced from God.

3. Only “I AM WHO I AM” is the object of our worship

Unlike man who is a mere creature, God exists on His own from everlasting to everlasting. Only “I AM WHO I AM” is the true and perfect God and only He must be the object of our worship and love. Yet, some people do not know this God and thus worship idols that have been made by man. Such individuals carve and form objects made of gold, silver, wood, and rock; and then they bow before them!

Suppose a child to whom you gave birth could not recognize you and went up to strangers and began calling out to them, “Mom!” or “Dad!” How disappointed and hurt you would be in your heart. By the same token, can you imagine how disappointed and hurt God the Creator would be if you served some idol that had been invented by man? For this reason, God detests idol worshipping.

In Exodus 20:3-5 God tells us, “You shall have no other gods before Me. You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth. You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me.” For only God who is “I AM WHO I AM” is the one true Deity, we must worship and serve only Him.

There is one more thing you should keep in mind here. The Savior Jesus who came into this world is the same as God the Creator. No man or woman could be His parent. Of course, when Jesus entered this world to become the Savior, He donned flesh and was born of a virgin.

Even then, however, we read in Matthew 1:18, “When His mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child by the Holy Spirit.” The reason Mary is referred here as Jesus’ “mother” is only because this account was recorded by one of Jesus’ disciples. Jesus was not born with any hereditary influences that were passed down to Him from Joseph’s sperm or Mary’s egg. He was born by the power of the Holy Spirit. God merely used the Virgin Mary in pregnancy as an instrument to carry the Savior.

In many places of the Bible we see Jesus calling the Virgin Mary “Woman” but not “Mother”. Nowhere does He call her “mother”. No woman, who is a mere creature, can ever be the mother of God the Creator. Some people worship and praise the Virgin Mary as if they were worshipping God Himself. However, here you must remember that no creature can ever be the object of our worship. You must remember always that except for God the Trinity nothing can become the object of our worship.

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, God who is “I AM WHO I AM” existed as light and sound in the beginning. In order to gain true children with whom He can share love forever, He created man and started human cultivation. For the human cultivation, He began to exist as God the Trinity. I pray in the name of the Lord that by always keeping in mind that God the Creator alone is the true God and only in worshipping Him, you will lead a blessed life in Christ.

Message of Cross 1 – God the Creator

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1).

If you are a Christian, you must clearly understand why God the Creator put the tree of the knowledge of good and evil in the Garden of Eden, why Jesus is the only Savior for mankind, and why God made Hell.

Churches should give the answers to the questions about these three topics and teach believers the providence of salvation in the cross that covers the profound and mysterious things that were hidden before ages. Only then can they possess true faith. Above all, they should know God the Creator clearly.

1. God who created the heavens, the earth, and all things in them

Some people in this world claim that there is no god. There are others who worship gods that men made up with their imaginations or some images of creatures. But the one and only true Deity is our God the Creator.

Even though He may not be visible to our naked eyes, God truly exists. He is the Creator and the Governor of everything in the universe including mankind and He is the Judge. He transcends man, who is a mere creature and He is immeasurable. It is no easy task for man to explain God. Even with much deliberation or examination, man in his limited knowledge cannot wholly understand God. But the Bible gives a clear answer to all this.

Genesis 1:1 tells us, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” From the state of nothingness, in six days God created the heavens and the earth by His Word alone, and on the sixth and final day of the creation, He created Adam, the first man of all mankind.

Because man was created by God, he instinctively feels and recognizes the existence of some supernatural being from the depths of his heart. We find in Ecclesiastes 3:11, “He has made everything appropriate in its time. He has also set eternity in their heart.” By God having set “eternity in their heart,” people with a good conscience acknowledge and seek some kind of deity even without hearing or knowing about God.

Romans 1:20 reads, “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.” As this verse reminds us, even without seeing God in person, we can know that God the Creator is alive and that there is only one Creator.

2. The evidences that enable us to believe God the Creator

First, people of different races and ethnic groups in this world may look different, speak different languages, come from different cultural backgrounds, and have different colors of skin. However, each individual on the earth is the same in that everyone has two eyes, two ears, one nose, and one mouth and these parts are located in identical positions for all men. Moreover, while there are slight differences among animals, birds, insects, and fish according to their specific characteristics, in essence, their appearance is identical in formation which attests to their having been designed and formed by the one and only Creator.

If there had been several creators, each of them may have determined and created form and functions of men and animals according to each of their personal preferences. On the other hand, proponents of the theory of evolution claim that mankind evolved from higher animals, which in turn have evolved from lower life forms. However, as we find in Genesis 1:21, “And God created the great sea monsters, and every living creature that moves, with which the waters swarmed after their kind, and every winged bird after its kind; and God saw that it was good,” from the beginning God created everything according to its own kind.

Creatures on land did not evolve from fish, and birds did not evolve from creatures on land. Man did not evolve from an ape; an ape was created as an ape from the beginning, and man was created as man from the beginning. Of all creatures, man alone was made in God’s image with a spirit, a soul, and a body. No matter how closely an ape may resemble a human being, that ape cannot understand or worship God the way a human being with a spirit is able to worship Him.

Next, the evidence found in natural phenomena attests to “God the Creator” all too clearly. With Earth’s rotation and revolution, various yet systematic phenomena including the change of night and day, four seasons, high and low tides, and the circulation of the air take place.

Celestial positioning and movement have been established to create the most suitable and appropriate environment to sustain all life forms, including human beings. The distance between the sun and the earth, or the distance between the earth and the moon is the most appropriate: the sun, the earth, and the moon are neither too far nor too close from each other and, without even a slightest error, have been systematically rotating and revolving for a very long time. The universe was not accidentally created by some “Big Bang” as opponents of the evolution theory propose.

For instance, we know that a clock consists of a myriad of parts that have been elaborately assembled and operates accordingly. Suppose someone argued, “At the time of a volcanic eruption, all the parts in this clock came together on their own and began operating.” Would anyone believe that story? Now, then, how could this universe in which we live, the universe that is infinitely more elaborate than a clock, have come into existence on its own and begun operating in such an orderly fashion?

All this is possible because everything in the universe has been designed, created, and is in operation by the wisdom of God. For these reasons, no one can give an excuse to God on the Judgment Day, saying, “I didn’t think You really exist!”

3. Reasons people are unable to believe in God

Why, then, do people still refuse to believe in God even as they witness such clear evidences of creation? People tend to only believe in things that are visible to their eyes and tangible in their hands. They accept things they can understand with their knowledge and thought. They will not believe in the existence of an invisible God, biblical signs and wonders, or the like, all of which are beyond man’s capacity. However, everything in the Bible is true.

Just as Jesus tells us in John 4:48, “Unless you people see signs and wonders, you simply will not believe,” only when people witness signs and wonders that are not possible by man’s capabilities will their knowledge and frames of thought be shattered. When people see, hear, and experience things which no man is capable of doing, they will come to acknowledge the fact that God’s Word is the truth.

By countless manifestations of His power, God has repeatedly revealed to biblical figures that He exists. To Egypt’s unbelieving Pharaoh and his retainers, God revealed Himself through the Ten Plagues. Our Lord Jesus proved that He was the Son of God through manifestation of signs and wonders, while Apostle Paul healed the sick and the weak, drove out demons, and revived the dead in the name of Jesus Christ.

Manifestations of God’s work are necessary in our generation as well. For unbelievers, God’s power is sure proof by which they can be led to believe in the living God the Creator. Since its founding, countless signs and wonders have been manifested at Manmin Central Church and manifestations of God’s power of greater magnitude have been taking place with the passing of time.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, the evidence that attests to God’s existence is clearly revealed in every creature in the universe, in signs and wonders, and in manifestations of His power. By fearing God and living by His commandments, I pray in the name of the Lord that you will experience God’s work and give glory to Him without restraint.