|Revelation 21: 19-20|
“The foundation stones of the city wall were adorned with every kind of precious stone. The first foundation stone was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, chalcedony; the fourth, emerald; the fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolite; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, topaz; the tenth, chrysoprase; the eleventh, jacinth; the twelfth, amethyst.”
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
This is the 47th session of the “Heaven” sermon series. Continuing from the last session, I will talk to you about the spiritual meanings contained in the twelve foundation stones of New Jerusalem. How would you feel if you could get two precious stones each time you come to church?
You would be so happy and thankful and wait for the next Sunday to come quickly.
However, I am telling you the ways to get the precious stones of heaven, which are far more valuable than precious stones on this earth.
In the last session, I talked to you up to the fourth foundation stone, emerald.
In this session, I will talk to you about the fifth, sardonyx and the sixth, sardius.
If we cultivate the spiritual heart represented by each jewel in our hearts, then we will also gain that jewel in heaven.
I pray in the name of the Lord that you will get all these twelve jewels and enter into New Jerusalem.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, the fifth foundation stone of the city wall of New Jerusalem is sardonyx.
Sardonyx is the onyx with the ‘Sard’, which is ‘shades of red’.
The spiritual heart of sardonyx symbolizes the character of ‘hardworking faithfulness’.
If we just do what we are supposed to do, we cannot say we are faithful.
We can say we are faithful when we do more than what we are supposed to do. To do more than what has been given as our duties we cannot be lazy.
We have to be diligent and hardworking in all things in doing our duties and then we must do more than that.
For example, suppose you are an employee. Then, if you just do your work well, can we say you are faithful?
You just did what you were supposed to do, so we cannot say you are hardworking and faithful.
You should accomplish not just the work entrusted to you, but also try to do things that were not originally given to you with all your heart and mind. Only then one can say that you are faithful.
It’s the same at home. If the father of a family is just working hard to make a living for the family, can we say he is faithful to the family?
It’s what he is supposed to do as the head of the family.
It’s the same with being the mother, a wife or the children. If you just do your duty as the mother, wife, or child, we cannot say you are faithful. The kind of hardworking faithfulness recognized by God is to do your duty with all your heart, mind, soul, and life.
And this kind of faithfulness has to be actualized in all areas: church, workplace, and family. Then, we say you are faithful in all God’s house.
To have this kind of spiritual faithfulness, we should first have a righteous heart.
We should desire for the kingdom of God to be enlarged, for the church to have revival and growth, for the workplace to be prosperous, and for our families to be happy.
If we do not just seek our own, but desire for others and the community to be prosperous, this is to have a righteous heart.
To be faithful, along with having this righteous heart, we should have a sacrificial heart. If we just think, “The most important thing is my prosperity, not whether or not the church is growing up,” we will probably not sacrifice for the church.
We cannot find faithfulness from this kind of person. Also, God cannot say this kind of heart is the heart that is righteous.
However, if we think, “I should not keep this Good News to myself. I have to deliver it to many others. I should try to bring about revival and growth to church,” then this is having a righteous heart.
In addition to this righteousness, if we also have a heart of sacrifice, we will work faithfully for the salvation of souls and the church.
Even if we don’t have a special duty, we will preach the gospel diligently. Even if nobody asks us to do it, we will take care of other souls.
We will also sacrifice our leisure time to take care of the souls. We will also spend our own money for the benefit of other souls and give them all our love and faithfulness.
This way, when we do more than what we are merely supposed to do as a church member with all our heart and mind, it is faithfulness.
We can have this kind of faithfulness when sacrifice is added upon righteous heart.
And for this faithfulness to become faithfulness in all God’s house, we should also have goodness of heart.
Those who are good in heart will not incline toward just one side or the other. If we have neglected a certain point, we will not be comfortable about it if we have goodness in heart.
For example, suppose you have three or four different positions in the church. Then, each duty will have a different priority. Mostly, if you are the leader of a certain group, you will consider it to be the most important. You will give priority to that group over other groups or meetings where you are just a member.
If you have goodness in heart, you will be faithful in all the duties that you have.
You would not neglect the other group by thinking, “Since I am the leader of this group, the members of the other group will understand why I cannot attend that meeting.” You shouldn’t take it for granted that you don’t have to attend the other meeting.
If you have goodness in heart, the important thing is not whether or not the people in the other group understand you and your reasons.
You should feel it within yourself that you should not neglect the other group.
So, even if you cannot be present in the meeting, you do something and care for the other group, too. The magnitude of this kind of attitude will be different according to the magnitude of goodness you have. If you have little goodness, you will not even really care very much about the other group.
Maybe you will have some concern, but you’ll tend to just forget about it.
But if you have a greater goodness, you will not just ignore it when something causes discomfort to your heart.
You know what kind of acts are acts of goodness, and if you are not accomplishing that goodness, it is difficult for you to bear it. You will have peace only when you do show good deeds in acts of goodness.
An evil man can be at peace only after he acts out his evil. In the same way, a good man can be at peace when he acts in goodness. So, those who are good in heart can naturally be faithful in all God’s house.
Those who are good in heart will soon have some discomfort in heart if they don’t do what they are supposed to do in any given circumstances, whether in workplace or home. They don’t even give excuses that the situation didn’t allow it.
For example, suppose there is a female member who has many titles in the church. She spends a lot of time in the church.
Relatively speaking then, she spends less time with her husband and children than she did previously.
If she were really good in heart and faithful in all God’s house, how would she act?
Though the amount of time she has to spend with her family members decreases because of her works, the love for her family members as the mother and wife should not decrease.
She should not just neglect her husband saying, “You know how busy I am with the church works, right? Please understand my situation even if you don’t like it.”
As the amount of time has decreased, she will have to give her husband and children more love and more care for them. She will try to do her best in all aspects and in all kinds of works.
Then, people around her will be able to feel the truthful aroma of her heart and be satisfied. Because they feel the goodness and truthful love, they will try to understand and help her.
As a result, she will have peace with everybody. This is to be faithful in all God’s house with good heart.
God said about Moses in Numbers 12:7, “Not so, with My servant Moses, He is faithful in all My household.”
The duty that Moses received from God was to guide the Israelites, who were under slavery in Egypt, to the land of Canaan.
It was very difficult for Moses to take this duty. Because he had once killed an Egyptian and he was a fugitive, he didn’t know what would happen to him if he returned to Egypt. Also, he had only been tending the flock for 40 years in the wilderness, and he didn’t have the confidence to take on such a great duty.
But he obeyed the command of God and fulfilled his duty so faithfully.
Just counting the male adults there were 600,000. But if you were to include children, elderly people, and women, the number was well over 2 million.
This many people were just like little children. They constantly complained to Moses, and sometimes even rebelled against him.
Nevertheless, Moses guided them until the end with faith and love.
Once, the people committed a great sin and God said He would punish all of them and form another nation through the descendants of Moses.
How did Moses react? Did he think, ‘I’ve tried my best, but this is the outcome. I can’t help it’? No. He repented before God and asked for forgiveness as if he himself had committed sin.
And to save the people, he offered a prayer, giving up his life.
Exodus 32:31-32 says, “Then Moses returned to the LORD, and said, “Alas, this people has committed a great sin, and they have made a god of gold for themselves. “But now, if You will, forgive their sin and if not, please blot me out from Your book which You have written!”
Moses worked with all his heart, mind, and soul, and could even give his life to fulfill his duty.
God shows this faithful heart with the color of sardonyx.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, the sixth foundation stone is the sardius or otherwise called carnelian.
Sardius is the jewel that has dark red color like ruby.
In 1982, when I was praying for the opening of a church, I saw sardius of heaven in vision. Those who were praying with me also saw that the Lord put sardius in my hand.
The sardius I saw at that time was a little smaller than my fist in a ball shape. The color was very red like blood but very transparent.
It gave out brilliant light, and it was just so beautiful. As the Lord was putting the sardius in my hand, He said, “You will understand what this means when the time comes.” He meant the time would come when I would realize why He gave me sardius.
And when I was receiving the explanations on the book of Revelation, I came to understand the spiritual meaning of sardius. (1989년 7월 27일)
The Lord said sardius means ‘endeavor’ and is given to those who passionately fulfill their duties with all their effort.
Listening to the explanations of the Lord, I looked back on my heart since I had met God.
I really wanted to give 100% of myself, all my heart, mind, soul, and even life to accomplish the kingdom and righteousness of God.
I realized that the Lord had given me sardius at that time knowing that I would act in such a way, and I was even more thankful.
Sardius contains the meaning of endeavor and passion, and the passionate love to accomplish the kingdom and righteousness of God.
In the Bible, who was it that had this kind of passionate heart like sardius in devoting himself to the kingdom of God?
It is the apostle Paul, whom we’ve heard so much about.
From the time he met the Lord until the moment of his death his deeds of loving the Lord had never changed.
As the apostle for the Gentiles, he saved many souls and established many churches through the three missionary trips.
Until he was martyred in Rome, he constantly testified to Jesus Christ.
As the apostle of the Gentiles, Paul’s way was very hard and perilous. He had many life-threatening situations and there were persecutions from the Jews continuously. He was beaten up and was jailed, and he was ship-wrecked three times.
He went without sleep, he was often hungry and thirsty and he endured both cold and hot weather.
During his missionary trips, there were always many situations that were difficult for a man to bear.
Nevertheless, Paul never regretted his choice.
He never had any momentary thoughts like, “It’s difficult and I want to rest if only for a little while…” His heart was never swayed, and he never feared anything.
Though he was going through so many troubles, his primary concern was only for the church and the believers.
It is just as he confessed in 2 Corinthians 11:28-29, “Apart from such external things, there is the daily pressure on me of concern for all the churches. Who is weak without my being weak? Who is led into sin without my intense concern?”
Until he finally gave up even his life, Paul showed passion and fervor as he endeavored for the salvation of souls.
We can see how passionate his desire was for the salvation of souls in Romans 9:3.
It says, “For I could wish that I myself were accursed, separated from Christ for the sake of my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh.”
Here, ‘my brethren’ is not just his blood relatives.
It referred to all the Israelites, including the Jews who persecuted him.
He said he could even choose to go to hell only if they could receive salvation. We can see how great his passionate love was for the souls and how great his fervor was for their salvation.
This passionate love for the Lord, the fervor and endeavor for salvation of other souls is represented by the red color of sardius.
I will explain about from the seventh foundation stone, chrysolite in the next session.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today, among the twelve foundation stones, I talked to you about sardonyx, the sixth foundation stone, and the seventh stone, sardius.
The spiritual heart symbolized by sardonyx is ‘hardworking faithfulness’.
To cultivate the kind of faithfulness that God wants, we should have righteousness and sacrifice.
Also, I explained that we could be faithful in all God’s household to the extent that we are good in heart.
Next, sardius symbolizes the passionate love for the Lord and the endeavor for God’s kingdom.
After listening to this message, how much sardonyx and sardius do you have in your heart?
I hope all of you will be faithful in God’s kingdom with passionate love like Moses and Apostle Paul.
I pray in the name of the Lord that you will dwell in the glory of New Jerusalem that shines brilliantly with the various jewels.