James 1: 12
“Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.”
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
This is the 39th session of the ‘Heaven’ series. From today, I will talk to you about the cases of those believers who went into the third kingdom of heaven. In order to go into the third kingdom of heaven, we must have the fourth level of faith, which is the faith to love God to the utmost degree.
This is the faith to love God first. We put our love for God before our parents or even our children.
Also, we love God more than ourselves, so we can sacrifice our lives for God.
For people like this there will be evidences of loving God first. The evidence of loving God is keeping His commandments.
Those who truly love God will keep the commandments not out of sense of duty, but with joy and gladness.
Then, as a result they will be holy, which means they become true children of God.
In our church, there are people who obeyed the word as they heard, and became sanctified within a short period of time. One of them could have gone into New Jerusalem also, only if she had one more year in her earthly life. But due to one occasion of disobedience, she could not go into New Jerusalem.
She passed away in 1987. It is more than 20 years ago.
But I still vividly remember her actions and the aroma of goodness. She is one of the people whom I really always want to see.
When I explain to you about her faith, I hope you will gain much from it. I pray in the name of the Lord that you will take hold of the better heavenly dwelling places with greater hope.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, the one I am going to talk about now is Deaconess Ma. She was with us since the opening of the church, but she was still a new-believer. Since the opening, she was with us for about 5 years.
Although the time duration of her Christian life was relatively short, she could go into the third kingdom of heaven. Also, she is one of the highest among those who are in the third kingdom of heaven.
Then, what kind of faith did she have that she could become sanctified in such a short time?
The answer is very simple. Since she had met the Lord, she only lived by God’s word.
Because she had little experience in faith, once she came to know will of God, she just obeyed it, although she didn’t fully understand the deep heart and will of God.
She was only ‘Yes’ and ‘Amen’. She had good heart that had no evil.
She never had any conflicts or troubles with others. Her face was always filled with joy. So, when I saw her, I had peace.
I was happy and I could gain joy just to see her face.
But, there are some people who are the opposite of being like this. It’s because they cause me to be concerned and worry.
Are you giving happiness to others when they see you or are you causing worry and anxiety?
We can feel whether somebody loves and obeys God, just by seeing his face.
The Holy Spirit rejoices when we see them, so we have happiness and peace.
Deaconess Ma was so good in heart. I couldn’t find any form of evil in her.
She was also a very faithful worker. She took care of the difficult and undesirable work.
Still, she never complained. She worked only with joy and thanks. She was such a precious worker.
Suppose somebody did something wrong, and her leader thought that it was done by her and rebuked her harshly.
She would accept the rebuke as if she had done it herself. She would feel sorry for herself.
She wouldn’t give any kind of excuse such as, “I did not do it. I don’t know about it.”
Even though she didn’t do anything wrong, she would just accept the reprove. Also, she would not have any resentment. But rather, she had thankful heart for receiving such advice.
What kind of heart do you have when you are scolded by somebody? If you were scolded for something that you didn’t do, would you still be able to accept it without grumbling or resentment?
In most cases, even when it is their own fault, people give excuses.
Rather than accepting their own faults, they try to reveal the faults of others. They also blame the circumstances.
Also, they may just hear it quietly, but have resentment in the heart.
Even if the content of the rebuke is appropriate, they think, “This person doesn’t understand my situation.”
Then, their resentment shows as the colors of their faces may change due to sadness.
Those who are said to have relatively good hearts react in this way in many situations.
But in the case of Deaconess Ma, even though she was rebuked for no reason, she accepted it as if it were her own fault, feeling really sorry about it.
She didn’t have any resentment or personal feelings. We can see the difference in the comparison, can’t we? It means she didn’t have any form of evil.
Because she had such a good heart, she could go into the third kingdom of heaven although she lived a Christian life for only a short time.
Only if she had lived a Christian life for one more year, she could have gone into New Jerusalem.
But she had one occasion of disobedience and lost the chance to go into New Jerusalem.
She often took care of the works in my residence, and one day when I saw her, I could see that she lost most of her energy. She seemed really worn out.
God let her stop taking food to take her to heaven. Because she didn’t commit sins, she did not die of a disease.
She lost her desire to eat anything, and naturally all her energy went out, and she died.
When we offer fasting prayer, God sustains us. But if we just don’t take food, the energy from the body goes out very quickly.
Deaconess Ma was in such a condition, and she had already lost most of her energy.
So, I told her to come to my prayer house and receive the prayer for the next week.
I don’t take anybody to my prayer house, but I said that because the Holy Spirit moved my heart that way.
Because she was such a faithful and obedient person, I wanted to revive her by specially praying for her for one week. I wanted to pray for her everyday and hold on to God to extend her life.
But she thought she would disturb my prayers, and she didn’t come to my prayer house.
She went to another place to rest with her husband, but she did not recover.
When I came back home from my prayer house, she was lying down. It was the moment when her spirit was about to leave.
God was holding her life so that she could see me and receive my prayer for the last moment.
I prayed for her as soon as I saw her, and she passed away in peace while receiving prayer.
She was such a faithful and obedient person, and I was kind of heartbroken because God took her so early.
So I prayed to God, “Father, why do you take her so early?”
Then, the answer was, “You will find out after just one week.”
He continued, “This daughter is obedient and faithful. She fulfilled her duty. But if I leave her for more time, she will suffer so much in her heart.”
Then, as God said, after one week, I came to know the reason why.
The reason is related to her family members, so I cannot explain it here.
Deaconess Ma was sanctified at that time, but she was a little short in the aspect of being faithful in all God’s house.
That is why she could go into only the third kingdom of heaven, not New Jerusalem. As a shepherd, I always have a kind of sense of loss and sorrowful feeling, thinking, “She could have gone to New Jerusalem only if a little more time had been given to her.”
Brothers and sisters, but because God of love knows this heart of mine, He would comfort her with many heavenly rewards.
Now, I will tell you about the glory that Deaconess Ma will enjoy in heaven.
She is one of the top 10 ranks in the third kingdom of heaven.
It’s because she obeyed the teachings of the shepherd very well.
Also, she worked faithfully beside her shepherd with a good and truly nice heart.
Her house has many special jewel decorations.
First, the gate of her house is arch-shape, and is decorated with pearls. It’s because when she was on this earth, she offered up tearful prayers with so much mourning and endurance.
For her tearful prayers praying for God’s kingdom and righteousness, God pays her back with this kind of reward.
Also, God has let us know that she would have a very special reward.
Later, when we go to heaven, among our members who do not enter into New Jerusalem, she will be the first one for me to visit.
In that visit, I will take one of the jewels that are in the living room of my house in New Jerusalem and put it on the gate of her house.
This way, God is compensating the sense of loss I had when she left early. As in scientific fiction movies where people go to the future by time-machine, God has similarly let me know about what will happen in the future.
Even if one jewel is taken out from the living room of my house, there won’t be any mark or blemish left.
Also, as explained before, the jewels in New Jerusalem are completely different from the ones in the third kingdom of heaven. They give out double-fold or triple-fold lights, and the strength of the light is much stronger.
So, having just one jewel from New Jerusalem on the gate of her house in third kingdom will be such a great honor for her.
Because Deaconess Ma’s rank is high in the third kingdom, everyone in the third kingdom already knows her.
And when the jewel from New Jerusalem is placed on her house gate, her glory will be even greater. It’s because those who are third kingdom know from whose house the jewel came.
Hearing this, you should not ask me saying, “Senior pastor, give me one of your jewels also to me in heaven!”
All the rewards in heaven are given by God the Father. I cannot just give to anybody at my will.
The reason why I can give this jewel to Deaconess Ma is because it is right according to justice. It’s because God the Father also acknowledges the fact that she was such a great strength to her shepherd.
It’s also because the Father knows the heart of the shepherd towards her.
It means God knows the heart of the shepherd thinking, “She could have enjoyed the glory of New Jerusalem only if she had been a little more faithful!”
It is not only by the love of the shepherd, but also it’s that Deaconess Ma has the qualifications to receive such a reward according to justice.
Therefore, the jewel I will give to her will be more than just a jewel.
It’s because the jewel will be the symbol that shows how much she is loved, even though she is in the third kingdom of heaven, and how great a strength she was to the shepherd.
Now, let me introduce to you the contents that Deaconess Ma confessed.
“I didn’t do anything. I didn’t give anything. I wasn’t any strength to the shepherd.
I wasn’t really any joy to the shepherd.
But the glory I enjoy here is so great beyond expression. I am so embarrassed and I can only give thanks.”
Deaconess Ma had this kind of mind even on this earth. If she was praised for what she did well, she was so embarrassed that she didn’t know what to do. She gave the credit to others.
“I am so thankful just for saving me, and I am even more thankful for giving me the third kingdom.
How beautiful and grand my house is!
It is not bigger than houses in New Jerusalem, but there are so many beautiful and enrapturing things that it cannot be compared with any house on earth.
I am so thankful for such a beautiful house, and I am more thankful for allowing me such a shining and glorious position in the third kingdom of heaven.
When I was in the world, I was a worthless person.
But I came to such a glorious place because I met the shepherd.
I couldn’t even have one gold ring in the world, and now, I have so many jewels here, and this is also because I met my shepherd.
I am so thankful for making my spirit beautiful and letting me have so many things in my eternal house.
I couldn’t have any of those with my own strength; I couldn’t come into this place with my own strength.
I give thanks for giving me such precious things that I could not have with my own strength.
I give thank and I give thanks again.
Looking forward to seeing my shepherd later, I will pray for him.”
In the next session, I will talk to you about an elder who will go into the third kingdom of heaven.
His longing for sanctification was much greater than that of other members.
He prayed a lot, and he tried so much in his pursuit of becoming sanctified.
But compared to his effort, the speed of going into spirit was slow. The main reason was the framework of his personality.
About the framework of his personality and why it hindered spiritual growth, I will talk to you in detail in the next session.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, in this session, I talked to you about faith of a believer who is going into the third kingdom of heaven.
Physically, she seemed to be of little value, but spiritually, she became such a precious person. She was always serving others in lowly positions and God lifted her high.
It is just as Jesus said, “…whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant.”
But because she was a little short in the aspect of being faithful in all God’s house, she couldn’t go into New Jerusalem.
But you believers here have chance to go into New Jerusalem.
If you diligently accomplish sanctification and are faithful in all God’s house, anyone can go into New Jerusalem.
I hope you will fulfill not only the duties given in the Lord, but also all the duties that you have in the home and workplace.
I pray in the name of the Lord that you will bear rich and good fruits in all aspects so that you will be able to go into New Jerusalem.