Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter by the gates into the city.
 Outside are the dogs and the sorcerers and the immoral persons and the murderers and the idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices lying.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ.
Those who believe in the Lord are spiritually brides of the Lord and the Lord is the spiritual groom.
In the future, as the Lord, bridegroom comes back in the air, we will welcome the Lamb who is perfect without spot or blemish and participate in the Wedding Banquet.
For this Wedding Banquet, you should prepare proper attire.
I addition, to enter such glorious and holy Heaven, you should adorn yourself with holiness.
Revelation 22:14 says, “Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter by the gates into the city.”
The robe in this verse refers to the formal attire that the brides of the Lord will put on.
When formal attire is worn, your attitude becomes straight, and your behavior becomes more elegant than usual.
Your state of mind also changes.
Spiritually speaking, the robe refers to your conduct.
Before you believe the Lord, this robe is black.
It is black because it is stained with all kinds of sins and evil.
Once you believe the Lord, you should diligently wash this black robe with clean water.
In other words, you should circumcise your heart with the Word of God, and
If you truly want to have conduct that is holy, your heart should first change.
Therefore, “to wash the robe” is to circumcise the heart and clean that which is stained with sin and evil. You must come to resemble the image of God.
The scripture says that those who wash their robes like this are blessed.
It also says, “They may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter by the gates into the city.”
“Having the right to the tree of life” is “receiving an eternal life, namely salvation.
“Entering by the gates into the city” has two meanings.
First, it refers to the process of advancing to a better place in Heaven as your faith grows.
You pass through the gate of Paradise, and then enter the 1st kingdom of heaven, and the 2nd and 3rd, by their gates.
Secondly, the gates refer to the 12 Gates of Pearl of New Jerusalem.
After you pass through the many gates of Heaven, you eventually enter New Jerusalem.
The purpose of God’s human cultivation is not limited to just gaining saved souls.
It is to gain just His children, but not just those who will enter and remain in Paradise or the 1st Kingdom of Heaven, but His true children who accomplished perfect sanctification and will dwell in New Jerusalem.
God desires all the souls to pass through these pearl gates.
But, not just anyone can enter through these gates.
At the gate of a city where the king lived during the Feudal period, there were guards who guarded the city gates.
Those who were not proper to enter the city couldn’t pass the gate.
Moreover, they needed higher authority and position to freely pass through the gate of the king’s palace.
A proper qualification is required also for entering by the gates of Heaven.
You must have the authority of being a child of God. Moreover, if you want to enter a better place in Heaven, you should possess greater authority.
This authority can be given to you from above to the extent you become holy and sanctified, and resemble God by washing your robe.
If you want to enter New Jerusalem where the Throne of God is, you will need even greater authority.
If you acquire the authority to enter New Jerusalem by passing through the gates, there should be evidences while you lived on the earth.
To the extent your spirit and soul prosper, you will receive blessings both in spirit and in body.
In addition, wherever you may go, the fiery works of the Holy Spirit follow you and the darkness and the diseases will go away.
Jesus said in Mark 16:17-18. “These signs will accompany those who have believed: in My name they will cast out demons, they will speak with new tongues; they will pick up serpents, and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”
As the Lord said, the power and authority to manifest such signs follow those who truly have faith.
They have the power to trample down serpents and scorpions, and to control the evil spirits.
Those who wash their robes can also enjoy such authority on this earth.
I hope in the name of the Lord, that all of you will enjoy the spiritual authority that God gives to you.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ.
Those who wash their robes are blessed. On the contrary, those who don’t are truly far from blessing.
They don’t have the right to the tree of Life, and they can’t enter through the gates into the city, but they are left outside the city.
Even if they once received the Holy Spirit and were given titles, as long as they don’t wash their robes, they cannot even receive salvation.
Revelation 22:15 lists the exemplary cases of those who do not wash their robes.
It reads, “Outside are the dogs and the sorcerers and the immoral persons and the murderers and the idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices lying.”
Even though they used to call out to the Lord, since they stayed in the defilements of the world (2 Peter 2:20), they are eventually thrown out of the city.
Now, what do ‘the dogs’ refer to?
2 Peter 2:22 says, “It has happened to them according to the true proverb, “A DOG RETURNS TO ITS OWN VOMIT,” and, “A sow, after washing, returns to wallowing in the mire.””
Dogs eat dirty droppings, and they also eat their own vomit.
So, ‘the dogs’ refer to those who don’t keep their hearts and take back the dirty sin and evil again even after they say they had cast them off.
Some people seem to change a little bit after undergoing trials, but soon they return to being themselves.
They may repent of their wrongdoings when facing trials and afflictions, but soon they commit the same sin and try to repent of it again.
They may seem to pray and circumcise their hearts in their own way.
However, no matter how much time passes, there is no change in their hearts.
Since they repeat the process of washing and soiling their robes, the robes are still dirty as if they were never washed.
In this case, they may fall into a worse situation than novice believers.
They prayed, “I won’t do it again. I will cast if off,” but then they repeatedly violated it. They became liars who speak lies to God every time.
In addition, even though they used to diligently circumcise their hearts, if they are not doing it now but stopped, it is also difficult to receive salvation.
The Christian life is like rowing upstream against the current in a river.
If you stop rowing in the middle of going upstream, the boat doesn’t stop there.
It will start to float back down the river.
Likewise, if you have lukewarm and stagnated faith, your faith doesn’t just sit still and stay there.
The lust of the world and unrighteousness will surely wear it down and break it.
You will lose the fullness of the Holy Spirit. Since you cannot fill your heart with the love of God, you feel empty and lonely.
Therefore, just like a dog that returns to its own vomit, you will look for the flesh and take it in.
The Lord said in Revelation 3:16, “So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth.”
You should clearly remember that the lukewarm faith, as well as the cold faith, will be discarded.
Now, I already explained about “the sorcerers and the immoral persons and the murderers and the idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices lying” in Revelation 21:8.
I’ll briefly review it. If you want to know in greater detail, please refer to the 87th Lecture on Revelation.
First, ‘the sorcerers’ don’t only refer to those who perform secret arts to communicate with evil spirits.
They refer to those who continue to accept the work of Satan instead of cutting it off even though they go to church.
Satan does its work through the thoughts of the flesh.
When an evil thought that Satan works on comes up in your mind, you should immediately cut it off and change it into the thought of the truth.
If you continue to accept the works of Satan through the thoughts of the untruth, you will receive the works of all the more darkness.
In the beginning, it is the work of Satan, but soon you will receive the work of the devil.
And then, you won’t be able to control yourself, and you may eventually receive the work of demons.
Just like the sorcerers, you become a detestable being before God.
Next, “the immoral persons” don’t only refer to those who do physical adultery.
It also warns against the spiritual adultery.
In other words, they refer to those who love the world more than God and take the world, even though they say they believe God.
James 4:4 says, “You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.”
Some people used to manage very diligent believing lives. However, once they start to compromise and give their hearts back to the world, they will keep on doing it again and again.
Without their knowledge, their heart will love more of the world, but less of God.
Moreover, it is not they themselves who take in the world.
They also deceive the people around them, and make them taste the worldly things and make their fervor for God cool down.
Even a fleshly husband and wife don’t look at someone else when they are in love.
Our Groom is spiritually Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God the Almighty.
How can a bride take her eyes off of such a holy and precious groom, and look at the world?
The Holy God who is the Creator and the LORD of all gave His love to human beings who are like a speck of dust.
He gave in His most beloved Son to the cruel punishment of the cross for sinners like us.
He also gives the Holy Spirit to us so that we can overcome the world.
He prepares the indescribable glory of Heaven, and waits for us to live there with Him forever.
After knowing such love, after receiving the Holy Spirit, and after experiencing His grace, how can they betray God?
If they set themselves apart from God and stay away from worshipping Him for the sake of honor, authority, money, or lust, then they are those who left the love of the Lord and commit spiritual adultery.
The enemy devil and Satan will devour them like roaring lions, and make them their prey.
God doesn’t want us to love Him haphazardly. He wants us to love Him with all our lives.
He wants us to love Him with all out heart, all our strength, all our life, all our will and all our mind?
We should give our whole life 100% for God.
Moreover, we should examine everything carefully, and hold fast what is good. If all things are good, we should be able to choose something that God is more pleased with.
And then, the scripture talks about “the murderers.”
Not only physical murdering but also spiritual murdering is a great sin.
There are various types of murder. The first is to hate brothers.
Even if you don’t reveal hatred outwardly but hate a brother only in your heart, spiritually it shares the same origin with murder.
The second is to teach the truth incorrectly to make brothers stumble.
For example, you teach your flock like this; “It’s impossible to cast off every form of evil. And thus, all you have to do is just say “I believe,” and it’s enough.”
Then, those who think, “It’s difficult to cast off sin. I’d like to manage an easier believing life” will accept your teaching immediately in their hearts.
They will give up resisting against sin to the point of shedding blood, and try to compromise.
It is like a blind man leading another blind man and heading to death together.
God calls the teacher to account for having led a soul to walk the way of death, because He values a soul more than the whole universe.
Here is another example.
Some leaders of a church talk about a worldly entertaining program or about a business matter in the temple of God.
If novice believers who don’t know the truth see them, they may think it’s acceptable and follow them.
Moreover, even those who learned they should not do so may see what the leaders are doing, and then they don’t keep themselves but follow the leaders.
In this case, the people who do the untruth, of course, are responsible for it.
But those leaders who don’t set examples but make others stumble cannot be free from the responsibility as well.
Jesus said in Mark 9:42, “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe to stumble, it would be better for him if, with a heavy millstone hung around his neck, he had been cast into the sea.”
Those who are in teaching position should remember these words carefully, and be temperate and sensible.
The third is a case when a servant of God or a leader doesn’t take a good care of entrusted flock but lose them.
You should spiritually feed your flock all the time so that they can grow up in faith.
You should take care of the flock without ceasing, protect them from falling into temptation, and pray for them to receive blessing.
Chances are that, when you become lazy with this duty, the flock may become thinned, and even depart from God.
In this case, you should be held in account the same as for murder before God.
Since the duty of teaching is so important, the Bible says, “Let not many of you become teachers.” (James 3:1)
However, it’s not right for you to say, “I don’t long for a duty a teacher because the responsibility is too great.”
If you truly love the Lord, it is natural that you should desire to be entrusted with the care of a flock.
When you do your best to your duty, it is such a glory since it is the same with sharing the cross of the Lord together with the Lord.
Next is about idol worshipping.
Generally speaking, idol worshiping is to bowing down before idols or carrying out superstitious actions.
Among the church goers of today, there are people who have their fortune told by a fortune-teller.
Some people even do superstitious acts or practice sorcery, but they say they just ‘do it just for fun’.
Some others bow down at the table of sacrificial rite, and say they do for the sake of family peace.
However, all of these are eventually sitting with evil spirits and worshipping them.
It is such a detestable action, and they cannot excuse themselves by saying they don’t take it seriously.
“Idol worshiping” is, in a spiritual sense, loving something else more than God.
I explained earlier that the spiritual meaning of adultery is also loving something or someone else more than God.
Then, what is the difference between spiritual idolatry and spiritual adultery?
It depends on an individual’s level of faith.
Say, a man and a woman loved each other, and married. One day, the wife gave her love to someone other than her husband in her heart.
Then, it is adultery.
In a spiritual sense, a worker who says he loves God, and has faith and experience in faith to some extent; if he is captivated by the world, it is committing spiritual adultery.
However, those novice believers who have weak faith have less love for God to that extent.
It is difficult for them to give up all the worldly things they used to like all at once.
They still have a heart to take in the worldly things, and they may actually take them in without getting rid of them.
Like this, spiritual idolatry is to love the world more in the state of not being able to love God more than anything else because the faith is still weak.
For example, there is a chance that a baby believer clings to money, not keeping the Lord’s Day holy.
Then, just as Colossians 3:5 says, “Greed amounts to idolatry,” money is the idol to him.
As you love God gradually deeper and deeper, you will get rid of such idols one by one, and the greater grace and strength of God will come onto you to that extent.
To buy heaven, which is the most precious, you come to sell all your possessions.
On the other hand, even though you accepted the Lord quite a long time ago, what if your faith hasn’t grown up much and you still love the world?
If a baby doesn’t grow up after he is born, he will not survive very long.
If your faith doesn’t grow up, and if you continue to worship idols, then we cannot say you have life in you.
In addition, the fact that those who accept the mark of the beast during the 7 Year Great Tribulation don’t receive salvation is also due to the sin of idolatry.
Some people accept the mark of the beast voluntarily, and others, out of fear of the persecution.
In either way, accepting the mark of the beast is eventually the same as worshiping idols and standing against God.
Therefore, if those who fall down to the 7 Year Great Tribulation want to receive salvation, they should never take the mark of the beast.
Lastly, the scripture talks about the people who “practice lying.”
You should get rid of physical lies, but it is a more serious sin to speak spiritual lies.
Denying the fact that Jesus is the Christ, hating brothers while professing the love for God, and walking in the darkness while saying you have fellowship with God; all these are lies.
John 8:44 calls the devil “a liar and the father of lies.”
Those who like lies and practice them belong to the devil.
Most of the worldly people live their lives in small or big lies, but the believers should not.
Moreover, those of you who not only receive salvation but also long for New Jerusalem should pull out the root of lies.
Among the many untruths that seem to look different from lies, if you take a close look at their origin, many of them are from the big root of lies.
Breaking a promise as you please, changing your mind for your benefit even after making up a mind, not walking the righteous path but compromising with the unrighteousness, joining in hypocrisy, giving a wrong answer; all of these are from the untruthful heart.
So many untruths can be cast off only if you pull out a big root called ‘lies.’
Besides, those who like lies and practice lies also include the people who craftily tempt others in the name of God during the 7 Year Great Tribulation.
They are the antichrist and the forces of the false prophet that helps the beast.
They pretend as if they were servants of God, but they actually deceive people to make them the servants of the enemy devil and Satan.
They will eventually be thrown into the lake of sulfur, and those who are deceived will be thrown out of the city.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ.
When the scripture says, “Outside are the dogs and the sorcerers and the immoral persons and the murderers and the idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices lying,” it means they are not saved.
Of course, I’m not saying people will not be saved at all only because they speak trivial lies once or twice, or because they haven’t been able to cast off hatred yet.
According to their measures of faith, when they repent, they can be forgiven to some degree.
However, if they haven’t cast off such sinful attributes even though they have been Christians for long and given titles, they cannot be sure of salvation.
Chances are that they stay with lukewarm faith and don’t receive salvation eventually.
Are you curious about the level or measure at which you can be saved, and at what level or measure you cannot be saved?
If you long for New Jerusalem, you don’t need to ask such a question.
In order to enter New Jerusalem, you should cast off all sinful attributes completely, not just a part of them.
In this 2009, the year of blessing, God has given us many blessings. However, the biggest blessing is concerning your fundamental heart.
God is giving you grace so that you can truly love God from the innermost heart.
As you believe this promise in your heart and love God from the depth of your heart, you will receive strength to cast off any kind of sin and evil.
To the extent you change, you come to receive all the blessings in spirit and body.
You have continually received, since the start of this church, the blessing of having your spirit and soul prosper.
This blessing is accelerating in this year 2009.
As its result, countless people will come into spirit and whole spirit as we are about to enter the Canaan Sanctuary.
2 Corinthians 6:2 says, “For He says, “AT THE ACCEPTABLE TIME I LISTENED TO YOU, AND ON THE DAY OF SALVATION I HELPED YOU.” Behold, now is “THE ACCEPTABLE TIME,” behold, now is “THE DAY OF SALVATION.””
I urge you not to miss this day of salvation but hold onto it firmly.
In this year 2009, as God is pouring down His grace and strength on you, may you wash your robe and acquire great rights, in the name of the Lord, Jesus Christ, I pray!