[2 Corinthians 10:3-6]
“For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. And we will be ready to punish every act of disobedience, once your obedience is complete.”
Dear brothers and sisters, this is the 8th session of the 2nd part of spirit, soul, and body.
We human beings consist of visible body and invisible soul and spirit.
These messages about the spirit, soul, and body delivered in Sunday mornings let us realize about human beings’ spirit, soul, and body clearly, so that we can understand how our own spirit, soul, and body were made and formed.
Knowing about our own spirit, soul, and body is very important in leading a Christian life.
To have the image of the Lord completely, we first have to understand about our own spirit, soul, and body, and recognize what we lack. Then, we should find out the ways to improve ourselves.
When we find out about ourselves and correct the wrong aspects, namely when we make our spirit, soul, and body perfect, we can become sanctified and receive blessings.
So, this message about the spirit, soul, and body is the straight way that leads to the throne of God in New Jerusalem.
I bless in the name of the Lord that you will keep this message in your mind and run on the short-cut towards New Jerusalem.
Dear brothers and sisters, members who are attending the service through the satellite all over the country, members of branch churches, branch sanctuaries, Light and Salt mission, Restaurant Mission, members who are attending the service on the Internet all over the world, [Children of Sunday School]
Today, I will continue with the soul’s aspect in the 2nd part of the spirit, soul, and body.
Soul as a whole refers to the memory device in human brain, the contents in it, and the thoughts that retrieve and utilize those contents. People almost always have these operations of soul.
They see, hear, or feel something every moment and everyday, and put them into their memory.
They sometimes remember many things that they saw or heard before. They plan the things they will do or discern between the right and wrong to conclude something logically.
All these things are the operations of soul.
By the way, people have different operations of soul even if they are in the same situation.
When people see the same movie at the same theater, some of them do not feel anything, some others feel good or still others feel bad about it.
Operations of soul of each person become different according to what kinds of experiences they had, what kinds of values they have made under different circumstances, and what kinds of personal preferences and characters they have.
But the problem is that most people have operations of soul that are away from the truth.
For example, when they have uneasy relationship with somebody, they have operations of soul in untruth, so that they feel bad about each word the other person says.
They sometimes tend to judge and condemn the intention of the other person according to their own framework of thoughts.
They judge the other person has lied even though that person told the truth. They sometimes misunderstand the other person according to their emotions at that time.
For example, if a colleague says, “Let’s make the office a little cleaner,” they do not just accept it as it is but think in a cynical way.
They might think, “He is talking about me,” or “He is trying to make others clean the office while he can do it himself.” Then, they dislike that particular person more and more along with those untruthful thoughts. When these untruthful operations of soul are carried out, they do not benefit them in any way.
Romans 8:6 says, “For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace.”
The mind set on the flesh, namely the thoughts of untruth become heavy burdens to their hearts, and they lose life and peace.
Their hearts get tainted with more untruth and become more evil.
All these untruthful thoughts become the wall of sin before God, so that they will be blocked from receiving the grace and blessings of God.
In order for us to receive God’s blessings, we should first find out whether or not we are having untruthful operations of soul in our daily lives, and change ourselves so that we will not have untruthful thoughts any more.
That is why I explained to you the five major categories in untruthful operations of soul along with examples. They were not being able to understand and embrace others, judging, condemning, delivering wrong messages, and having evil emotions.
You should keep in mind the messages you listened up to the last session, find out untruthful operations of soul you have, and throw them away immediately.
Sometimes, you might not realize you are having an untruthful operation of soul at that moment, but as you pray later looking back on your day, the Holy Spirit lets you realize and reminds you. You should always try to find out yourself and have operations of soul that belong to truth.
But sometimes, there are times we are possessed with untruthful thoughts even though we try to think only in truth.
Therefore, today, we will consider in detail the ways not to have untruthful operations of soul, namely how we can have only truthful operations of soul.
First of all, to have only truthful operations of soul, we should discern things only with the standard of truth. People have different consciences, and the standards of the world are also different according to the time, location, and cultures.
Even if you acted in the right way, it might be considered not right by some others who have different values.
The only ultimate standard with which we can discern the right and wrong is the Word of God which is the truth itself.
Among the things that the world people consider truth, there are things that agree with the Bible, but there are also many other things that do not.
For example, it is righteous to revenge one’s enemy in the world. Not doing so is considered something cowardly.
But God tells us to love our enemies. And Jesus showed His love until He gave His own life to the people who were nailing Him.
There are many things that are considered to be righteous in the worldly sense but are actually lawlessness in the sight of God.
Suppose one of your friends committed a crime, but another person was wrongfully accused. In this case, most people would think it is righteous not to tell the fault of your friend.
But if you keep quiet knowing the innocence of the one who is wrongfully accused, it can never be righteous in the sight of God.
If you just compare yourself of today and of before you accepted the Lord and came to know the truth, you will be able to find a lot of differences.
Before I believed in God, when I had to visit somebody else’s house around the meal time and if they asked me if I had already eaten, I used to say, “Yes, I have already eaten.” But I never thought it was not right.
It was not either seeking my own benefit or harming others. Rather, it was to seek other’s benefit, so I thought it was righteous thing.
But after I came to know God and learned the truth, I realized it was surely a lie.
Although it was not a great evil, it was certainly not right in the sight of God.
The intention not to cause trouble to the other person was good, but the method was not truthful.
After I realized it, I said, “I don’t wan to eat,” or some other things.
Also, there is a situation like the following. When parents receive phone calls that they do not want to attend or when or some guests they don’t want to see visit, they tell their children to lie. They say to their children, “Tell them I am not home.”
They act in untruth so much in this way, but they just do not realize that they are lying.
If you borrow something and do not return, or use somebody else’s thing without permission, it is stealing. But a lot of times you do not consider it stealing because it is a small thing.
According to the Word of God, there are just so many things that are away from the truth in our daily lives.
Moreover, as the days get more evil, people seek their own and act more untruthful things, but they do not realize it.
Still, when they judge and condemn other people, they do so with their own standards.
For example, when we hear the politicians criticizing their competitors, they mostly say they are right but others are wrong.
They say that they are doing it for the country and the people, but the other party says it is not true. Then, even the people get divided in their opinions and argue this is right and that is wrong.
Then, did these judgments come from the truth?
Only God knows the deep heart of people.
God knows whether they are truly doing it for the people and the country with love and goodness or for their own benefit, even though people do not know it.
By the way, even though we cannot read the mind of people fully, if we think with the Word of truth, we can somewhat feel how much evil the person has in his heart through his words and actions.
For example, suppose you have received a letter, and it talks about faults of somebody with bad expressions. Then, would you believe the contents of the letter? I would not believe it at all.
It is because I can see how evil a heart the writer of that letter has just by looking at the bad expressions.
I cannot believe as facts the things that such an evil person talks about.
Dear brothers and sisters, since you believe in God, you should keep God’s Word in your mind and discern everything according to the truth.
To do that, it is important to listen and learn the Word of truth and keep it in your heart.
You should read the Bible and get rid of the wrong standards that you formed with untruth in this world.
No matter how wise a thing is in this world, if it is against the Word of God, you should throw it away.
1 Corinthians 3:18 says, “Do not deceive yourselves. If any one of you thinks he is wise by the standards of this age, he should become a “fool” so that he may become wise.”
Namely, you can gain true wisdom from God only when you throw away the untruths that you gained from this world.
Dear brothers and sisters, to have only truthful operations of soul, secondly, we have to feel according to the truth. Some people say even if they try to get rid of hatred, they cannot help having bad feelings when they see somebody they dislike.
But even the feelings become different according to the operation of soul, namely our thoughts.
Love, hatred, or anything depends on what we think. Let me give you an example.
Long ago, I saw a scene in a movie. A girl was very friendly with an elephant, and the elephant used to wind its trunk on the girl’s neck. One day, while this girl was sleeping, a poisonous snake came and wound up her neck.
If she had known it was a poisonous snake, she would have felt so afraid and terrified.
But she was still closing her eyes and just thought that it was the trunk of the elephant. So she was not surprised at all. Rather, she felt it was friendly. The feelings differ according to the thoughts.
In our daily lives, we can see this kind of thing very often.
When people cross a stream on a narrow log-bridge that is about just a meter high, most of them pass quite well.
But if the same log-bridge is placed at about 10 meter’s height, people cannot pass due to fear. Also, people who feel so disgusted by maggots, worms, or centipede eat chickens very deliciously even though chickens eat those worms.
Likewise, even our feelings depend on our thoughts.
No matter what kind of person we see and what kind of work we do, we can just think and feel in good ways.
If you think of somebody that you find quite different from yourself, “I don’t like that person,” you will be left with bad feelings and emotions. But if you think from the other person’s point of view, try to understand, and think in good way, you will have good feelings.
In order for us to think and feel in good way in everything, above all, we always have to see, hear, and input only good things.
Of course, we cannot avoid every single contact with evil because we see so many untruthful things in the words and actions of the people.
Especially, in these days, we can see through the mass media or Internet more evil things such as cruel and violent things, cheating, seeking one’s own, cunningness, betrayal, and so on.
For us to keep ourselves with the truth, it is better not to see, hear, or input these things as much as possible.
However, even if we have to face those things, we can input things in truth and goodness at the moment.
For example, when people see violent scenes in a movie, they might think, “I want to rule over other people like that,” or “It looks great.”
But those who discern with truth will think, “Violence makes others suffer so much. I will keep myself from giving a hard time to other people.”
What, then, can we do about the feelings that have already been put in us with untruth?
For this, we should try to change the feelings of untruth into truthful feeling instead of trying to get rid of it.
For example, those who heard scary stories about demons or Dracula at young ages have scary feelings about them.
Especially, if they stay alone in the dark after they watched a horror movie, they shudder or feel horrified. They might even get so surprised by a small thing.
They try to deny the fact that they feel scared and forget about it. But the more they try to forget, the more they are reminded of those things.
However, since we come into faith, clearly know about the world of evil spirits, and live in the light, we can change these feelings.
Since we know the identities of the evil spirits, we can change the scary feelings and drive them away bravely in the name of Jesus Christ.
It is the same with the feeling of hatred.
If we have input any bad feeling about a certain person, now we can try to look at that person in a good way, think in goodness, and embrace him.
Then, the feeling of hatred becomes the feeling of love.
When we went on a pilgrimage before, there were some female members who were embarrassed when they saw statues in Europe.
But if they understood the local culture and changed their feelings, there would not be anything to be embarrassed with.
It would not look adulterous or bad but they could just see them as a piece of art.
When we always think in goodness and accept things with good feelings, and when we change our untruthful feelings into truthful feelings, we can have only truthful operations of soul.
To have only truthful operations of soul, thirdly, we should not accept things from our own point of view but from that of the other person, and I will continue on this in the next session.
Dear brothers and sisters, today, I explained to you two things that are needed for us to have operations of soul only in truth.
The first is that our standard in discerning the right and wrong must be God’s Word, which is the truth. The second is that we must have feelings in truth.
If you go into the spirit, you can control your thoughts and feelings easily.
Because your spirit is the master and controls your soul and body, you can control anything as you make up your mind.
If you do not want to think about something, you can stop it immediately. You can also control the feelings of smell, sound, or even pain as you want. For example, when I was a student, I was so sensitive that I could concentrate on my studies only when there was not even the sound of the second hand of the clock going.
But now, even when there is a loud noise, I do not hear it if I just try not to hear it.
It is the same with the smell. Even if it smells bad in a bathroom, I can just stop smelling it.
Even if somebody hits me or pinches me, I do not feel any pain only if I control my thoughts.
If you could do it, too, how comfortable and happy would you be?
Because you have untruthful operations of soul, you will have uncomfortable things in your heart, and you will face situations where you have bad emotions and suffer.
On the contrary, if you control your thoughts and feelings with spirit, you will always be filled with joy, thanks, and fullness of the Holy Spirit. As it is said, “the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace,” because you operate your soul only with truth, you are filled with life and peace.
If you keep on trying to have truthful operations of soul with prayer, you will finally change and be able to think only in truth and spirit. You will be able to control your thoughts and feelings as you want.
I hope you will realize and find out what kinds of operations of soul you have through these messages.
I urge you to discern only with truth and see, hear, and feel in truth.
I bless in the name of the Lord that you will become spiritual children of God who have cast away all untruthful operations of soul and have only thoughts of truth in which God delights.