“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 40th session of ‘Heaven’ series. Today also, I will talk to you about the case of one of our members who went into the third kingdom of heaven.
What is the reason why we are looking into the faith of those who went first in so much detail?
It is to reflect our faith in the mirror of their faith.
If those who went earlier took a shortcut, we can follow their examples.
If those who went to heaven earlier made mistakes, we don’t have to make the same mistakes.
That way, we can go the shortest way without wasting any time.
We can go into spirit and whole spirit and reach New Jerusalem.
I pray in the name of the Lord that through this case of one of our believers that I am going to explain in this session, you will come to a self-realization and change, and more vigorously come forth in spirit.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, I am going to explain about an elder of our church. Many people thought he could go into New Jerusalem.
It’s because he was very faithful in his Christian life.
He prayed hard, and attended the various services diligently.
He loved God, the shepherd and the souls so very much.
He always worked hard to feed members with the spiritual bread of life. He also evangelized many people whenever he had time.
He was a famous physicist in Korea and he was a professor in the university, but he never cared about any worldly fame.
He never had any desire to take fleshly things.
If he had wanted to gain fame, he could have spent more time on his research. If he had wanted more wealth, he could have received much money through his research.
But he didn’t want those things.
He rather spent all his time for God. Whatever money he had, he gave to God.
Having no selfish desires, he gave up everything on this earth and he kept hope only for the heavenly kingdom.
But God called his spirit in 2003.
At that time, God told us that he was going into the third kingdom of heaven.
He loved God so much and led such a faithful Christian life, so why did God take him at that time?
It was because to take him was the greatest comfort and blessing for him.
In fact, each day of his earthly life was very difficult for him. It was as though he carried such a heavy burden every day.
His longing to become sanctified and to go into New Jerusalem was so great.
But that longing rather became a burden for him.
He had put tremendous pressure on his heart thinking, “I have to become sanctified.”
Also, he was very self-critical thinking that he was lacking so much. To feel this pressure on his heart less, he showed such faithful deeds, even almost as much as to harm his body.
But the burden on his heart could not go away through the deeds.
Some of our believers have a similar style in living their Christian lives.
“I have to be faithful and bear fruit,” they have this agony. Also, they are very impatient thinking, “I have to go to New Jerusalem.”
But sanctification or New Jerusalem cannot be achieved just by having agony or worries and being impatient about it.
Also, it cannot be achieved just by your own efforts.
Without God’s help, we cannot achieve it.
But surprisingly many people are suffering because of the sense of duty and the pressure that they lay upon themselves. They are causing their own pressure, stress and hardship.
Why are there such cases? It’s because of the ‘personal frameworks formed in each individual’s personality’.
Four years before this elder passed away, God had told me about the framework of his personality.
God told me that he had to change his personally from its foundation.
He had to think everything positively and have a more generous heart.
God said he had to have more generous and broad heart to understand and embrace everything.
This elder’s framework was formed around dark and negative attributes of character that formed his personality while he was growing up.
So, he was always gloomy and worried. His thinking and his thoughts arising from his worries created great anxiety for him.
Also, it only took a little irritation to hurt his feelings. It took a long time before this character was healed.
Even in the world, what happens when a person has so many worries? He will lose his appetite and his life-energy, and his health will deteriorate.
Also, those who are very sensitive do not gain weight. On the other hand, those who have positive thoughts are bright.
Even in difficult things, they have easy going and composed attitudes saying, “It will go well, I can do it.”
The negative personality hinders us from going into spirit. Especially, in the case of this elder, he also had some wrong ideas that he had learned from a church he had once attended.
It was about condemning himself and putting pressure on himself.
Even concerning the most minor fault or shortcoming, he blamed himself so much and condemned himself to the point of torturing himself.
He said he believed in the love of God and the power of the precious blood of the Lord, but his mistaken understandings did not break down.
So, he was always shedding tears with thanks for the power of the precious blood of the Lord.
Of course, we have to give thanks for the grace of the Lord. But this elder was a little different.
Suppose you did something wrong to your parents.
But, you soon realized your fault and you repented thoroughly before your parents.
You were so sorry about it, and you promised that you would never do it again shedding tears.
And as you promised, you never did the same thing again.
But let’s say every time you see your parents you shed tears without being able to lift up your head saying, “I am so sorry for what happened at that time. Please forgive me.”
If you do that every time you see your parents, what would your parents think and feel?
They already forgave you and forgot about it, and if you keep on doing that, they will be embarrassed.
It’s difficult to say that the parents and the children are united in love.
It’s the same between God the Father and you. Of course, until you become sanctified completely, you sometimes have to tear your heart and pray.
Also, if you have committed sins knowing the truth, you have to repent very thoroughly.
But if you are not someone like this but you are just in the process of being changed into spirit, what would the will of God be?
You may be sorry before God, but you should not lose heart or fall into despair.
You have to say, “Thank-you for letting me realize myself,” and then receive God’s strength through fervent prayers and cast off those things.
When God the Father sees these children who are changing, how pleased He will be!
If you become disheartened just because you found your evil, God the Father will also feel worried about you.
But this elder never had a moment of rest in his heart because of the framework of his personality.
He wanted to change into spirit so much, but the speed was slow compared to his efforts.
That is why he could not be healed of his disease completely that he had had long before he came to our church.
He was always weak in body, so I always advised him to gain some weight.
God also felt sympathy towards him and worried for him. God explained to me in detail about the framework of his personality.
God told me that he could become healthy only after his personality was fundamentally changed.
So, I even gave a series of five sermons with the title, ‘Self-realization’.
At that time, this elder discovered himself through the message and gave thanks. His weak body began to recover, too.
Everybody has to break himself after he realizes himself.
It is especially true if the framework of one’s personality is formed over a long period of time.
It cannot be done just by one’s own effort and strength. We have to receive the help of the Holy Spirit.
We have to commit ourselves to God completely, completely believing in the love of God.
But for this elder, the fact that he came to a self-realization about himself, and that he had to break it, became another heavy burden.
When he found himself, he rejoiced, but soon, he bound himself up with it again, laying another burden on himself.
He prayed longer and more earnestly. But the problem was that many times he prayed within his own framework.
He prayed so much, spending so much time, but he couldn’t receive the inspiration of the Holy Spirit easily.
He had more of the sense of duty that he had to pray, which means, he wanted to do it himself.
Those who completely empty themselves before God can receive the inspiration of the Holy Spirit just by calling the ‘Father!’ once.
But in the case of this elder, he had to call the ‘Father’ many times. To that same extent, it was more difficult for him. He had beaten himself to make himself obedient to the extent that it was cruel.
Since he was very strict with himself, he had that kind of attitude when he was teaching others as well.
So, when he was teaching the word of God, he could not make others feel the love of God and gain strength.
He made them feel the pressure in their heart that they had to live by the word of God, just as he did to himself.
That is why many souls could not stay close to him. People knew he was a good man, but it was not very comfortable to stay close to him.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, after all, this elder could not break the framework of his personality.
His body and mind became weaker and weaker. Finally, he could no longer resist illness.
God could heal him any time.
But, even if he had been healed and his life extended, he wouldn’t have been able to lay down the burden of his heart.
Unless he broke the strong framework of personality, he could not live even one day at peace.
So, rather than letting his soul suffer in this world, God let him take eternal rest.
And by giving him a test of faith he gave him a chance to go into a better heavenly dwelling place.
Namely, God took him to the third kingdom of heaven.
At that time, this elder was not fully sanctified, so he might only have gone to only the 2nd kingdom of heaven that way.
But during his earthly life, he longed for New Jerusalem so much in his heart.
Also, he loved the shepherd and the souls so much that he showed such faithful deeds. He never ceased to pray.
So, God the Father gave him his last chance of blessing.
That chance was a test to check whether he could show the faith of martyrdom in a life-threatening situation.
It was a test to prove his qualification to gain the crown of life in the third kingdom of heaven.
If a person who can give up his own life to keep the faith keep on living and lead a Christian life, he can certainly become sanctified.
This elder had the heart to accomplish sanctification if he had been given more time. But, to do that he would have had to spend many difficult times.
That is why God called his spirit early to take his burden away.
God gave him a chance to show the faith of martyrdom to give his life so that he could be given the third kingdom of heaven.
Even though he was diseased, he never wanted to receive any medical treatment, even until the last moment.
He never had any desire to rely on any man. He committed his life completely into God’s hand.
Even when he couldn’t move his body properly, his deeds before God in prayers and worship services were not changed.
Even when it was difficult for him even to walk, he came to the sanctuary and attended the service with all his strength.
He kept his seat until the end. Even when he didn’t have strength to speak, he tried to pray in his mind.
Likewise, he kept his faith before God and showed unchanging deeds, and passed the test of faith.
God knows the heart of each one, but He cannot just take a person into the third kingdom who does not have the respective evidence of faith.
The enemy devil and Satan may object to it saying, “He is not sanctified, and why is he given the third kingdom of heaven?”
But this elder showed the evidence of his unchanging deeds of faith until he gave his life, so the enemy devil and Satan cannot object to it.
Namely, the faith of martyrdom of this elder was proven, that it was not a violation of the justice to give him the third kingdom of heaven.
In the next session, I will talk to you about the martyrdoms in mission fields.
Even though you lose your life on your mission field, not every death can be recognized as martyrdom by God.
Also, if one goes on a missionary work despite so much danger, it is not really pleasing in the sight of God, either.
There are times when we have to proclaim even if it means our death, and there are times when we have to keep quiet.
In the next session, I will also explain about the things to be careful about doing missionary works.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today, we looked into the faith of an elder who was acknowledged to have the faith of martyrdom and would go into the third kingdom of heaven.
If just his enthusiasm and faithfulness alone were considered, he could have gone into New Jerusalem. But, because of the framework of his personality that was improperly formed, he couldn’t look up to New Jerusalem with hope, but took it as a burden.
Is New Jerusalem ‘hope’ for you, or a ‘big burden’? To those who confess with faith, “I can go, too. God will help me if I try with faith,” New Jerusalem must be ‘great hope’ for them.
On the contrary, to those who think negatively and worry thinking, “I lack so much, and what should I do about it?” New Jerusalem must be a burden for them.
If these two kinds of people have the same level of faith, who can reach New Jerusalem more quickly?
It will be those who think positively and confess with faith.
To think and confess, “I lack so much,” is not true humbleness or goodness.
The humbleness and goodness that God recognizes is to completely trust and rely on God.
Because we acknowledge the fact that we cannot do anything by our own strength, we completely trust and rely on God. This is the form of a truly humble person.
Before I met God, I was a very introversive person. But after I met God, I changed.
I couldn’t do anything considering myself, but holding on to the verse, “everything is possible to those who believe,” everything was actually possible.
I didn’t try to do anything by myself.
I believed that, not only in the kingdom of God but also my breathing and living itself was only the grace and power of the Father God.
Not only in big things but also even in very small things, I left everything unto God. This is the result of it today.
Whatever kind of personality you have, if you break your frameworks and empty yourself, you can be caught by the power of God.
I pray in the name of the Lord that you will confess, ‘I can do anything through him who gives me strength,’ and powerfully go into spirit and whole spirit.