[1 John 2: 24-25] [Romans 8:5-8]
“Therefore let that abide in you which you heard from the beginning. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, you also will abide in the Son and in the Father. 25And this is the promise that He has promised us–eternal life.”
“For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able [to do so]; and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.”
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, when we talk about somebody who is very close to us, we say, “We are one.”
This means the heart is the same, so we have same will, thoughts, and actions.
Because our Jesus resembled the heart of God completely, He only thought and acted according to God’s will. That is why Jesus could perform the same power of God as it is.
It is the same with you and me today.
Jesus prays in John 17:22-23, “And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one:  I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.”
When you cast off your wickedness and sins, resemble the heart of God, and if your thoughts and acts are done within the truth, you can become one with the Father God and the Lord.
Then, God’s power will accompany you as evidence that God loves you, and God foreknows what you will want in your heart, and gives you the answer at the proper time.
The reason why you are listening to the lectures on spirit, soul, and body in Sunday morning services is to become one with God ultimately.
I hope your heart, mind, and thoughts will become one with the Father God through this message, so that your acts will also follow the will of God only.
I bless in the name of the Lord that you will lead a blessed life in which the omnipotent God stays with you and attests you wherever you go.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, members who are attending the service through the satellite all over the country, members of branch churches, local sanctuaries, Light and Salt mission, Restaurant Mission, members who are attending the service on the Internet all over the world, [children of Sunday school] this is the 12th session of the 3rd lecture on spirit, soul, and body. Continued from the last session, I will tell you about the aspect of soul.
Because we have soul, we can learn something, think from what we have learned, and utilize our knowledge as wisdom.
And this operation of soul can generally be divided into the one belonging to spirit and the one belonging to flesh. Namely, they are divided into spiritual thoughts and fleshly thoughts.
They are same in a sense that they are both a form of operation of soul, but the way they work is quite different.
In more detail, spiritual thoughts come out from the heart of truth through the operation of soul belonging to spirit. Among the spirit, soul, and body, the spirit becomes the master and controls the soul, and the truth in our heart will control our soul to the extent that we accomplish spiritual heart and fill our heart with the truth.
Like the example I gave you last time, when somebody is cursing you for no reason, if you have accomplished spiritual heart, your heart of truth will react before your soul.
Your heart of love, forgiveness, and peace will react, and this heart will control the soul.
Then, you will have an operation of soul like the following. “I should not fight back but give him an answer to clam him down.”
“I should let him clear up his misunderstanding.”
Also, the Holy Spirit will move your heart and guide you on how to have peace with that person.
Then, your soul will obey as the heart of truth takes the control, and the soul will move the body. You will answer him with soft facial expression and mild voice, and you will speak the words and show the acts to move his heart.
On the contrary, fleshly thoughts come out from the untruth in our heart through the operation of soul. At this time, the soul takes the control, and the soul shakes up our heart through the untruth in our heart.
If we hear somebody cursing at us, we first have operation belonging to soul.
We would think, “He is too rude. It is not graceful. He is hurting my pride in front of many people.”
At this time, it is Satan that moves our soul. Satan is putting in evil thoughts.
Following these operations of soul, the heart of untruth in us is motivated. Hatred, ill-feelings, anger, and things like that burn from the inside, and we would strongly want to fight that person back.
Then, our body will obey this heart of untruth, so our faces will turn red. We might even curse with harsh voice, throw away something, or even use violence to hit the other person.
Likewise, our body is just like a shell, so it moves as the spirit and soul, the content of men control it.
Between spirit and soul, actually spirit has to control the soul, and the soul has to obey spirit to move the body.
But it is not the case with most people.
The spirit of those who have not accepted the Lord is dead, so it cannot function. Because the spirit cannot play the role of the master, the soul now takes the role of the master and controls the body.
Even if our spirit came back to life after accepting the Lord, it can gain strength to control the soul only when we diligently fill our heart with truth. So, when the spirit controls the soul, we will have only thoughts of truth and spirit no matter what kind of things we are faced with.
On the contrary, when our spirit cannot function, our soul operates first, and we will have fleshly thoughts through the untruth in our heart.
Of course, there are times when even the worldly people whose spirit is dead have the truthful thoughts when they follow the conscience that is remaining in their heart, but in most cases, they have fleshly thoughts.
Today’s passage Romans 8:7-8 says, “because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able [to do so]; and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.”
You and I are children of God, and can receive answers and blessings when we please Him. But if we have fleshly thoughts, we stand against God, and we cannot please God.
As I already told you, it is Satan that instigates our soul to have fleshly thoughts.
So, if we obey Satan that opposes God and have fleshly thoughts, it means we have thoughts that are against God.
Therefore, with fleshly thoughts, we cannot either have faith or experience God’s works.
Now, let us consider some examples about fleshly thoughts and spiritual thoughts. First, fleshly thoughts hinder us from believing the word of God.
The words in the Bible are the words of God, and they explain the rules of the spiritual realm.
Most of these words are not understandable with ordinary knowledge, theory, and framework of this physical world. When people who have fleshly thoughts hear such things as “A virgin conceived Jesus,” or “Jesus walked on water,” they immediately utilize their own theories.
“How can a virgin conceive a child? I cannot believe it.” Or “how can a man walk on water? Jesus must have walked on the shallow part.” They use their own theories.
But if you receive the Holy Spirit and listen to the word in spirit, you can understand these spiritual words and believe them.
You can accept it saying, “The almighty God can do anything, so those things can take place.”
But the problem is that you cannot believe the word of God with your fleshly thoughts about the things that are directly related with your benefits, even though you profess you believe in God.
For example, God says, “The greatest is who serves,” and “Do not seek your own, but others’ benefits.” He says it is blessing for us to serve others rather than being served, and to seek others’ benefits.
But those who have fleshly thoughts cannot even understand these words or obey them, so they cannot receive the blessings.
They use their fleshly thoughts saying, “If I humble myself and serve the other, he will look down on me.” “If I seek the benefit of others in this world where everybody seeks his own, only I will lose.”
Even if God says it is His will for us to offer our tithe, they might think, “I have so many things to spend money for, so it is difficult to give one tenth of my whole income.” They then become stingy to God.
Even though it seems we will lose if we obey God’s word, God certainly guarantees His word.
If we serve others and humble ourselves believing God’s word, we will be recognized by others, and we will become the head.
If we sow with faith before God, God gives us spiritual and material blessings, running over or even more.
But unless we cast off our fleshly thoughts, we cannot either obey God’s word or receive the blessings that God is giving to us.
In Matthew 19:16, there is a person like this. A rich young man came to Jesus and asked, “Good Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life?”
Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.”
Then, Matthew 19:22 says, “But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.”
This man believed in eternal life and tried to obey God’s commands. He also had good heart, so when he had heard about the powerful works of Jesus, he trusted Jesus and came to ask Him.
He certainly believed, but when it came to his own possessions that he had to sell what he had and give to the poor, his fleshly thoughts were utilized first.
“It is wasteful to give all of this great wealth to the poor.” “Is it really worth to give up all my life and possessions to follow Jesus?” He worried because his fleshly thoughts came to his mind first.
Although Jesus said he would have treasure in heaven if he gave his possessions to the poor, he could not believe it, so he could not obey Jesus when He told him to forsake his possessions and follow Him.
So, he lost the chance to become a disciple of Jesus and gain eternal treasure of heavenly kingdom. Also, some people say they believe in God, but they themselves limit the ways to experience God’s works using their fleshly thoughts within their own framework. For example, one knows very well that God is omnipotent because he heard a lot of testimonies.
He knows well that God can heal even cancers or AIDS, or even a broken leg at a moment. But one day, when a foreign substance like a thorn gets stuck in his body, he thinks in a different way.
A thorn is not like a disease or infirmity, so I should receive an operation in a hospital, rather than receiving a prayer.
If you are blocked by this kind of fleshly thoughts, you cannot have faith to receive the prayer, or you cannot have faith to be healed even if you do receive prayer.
Because you cannot have spiritual faith, you cannot experience God’s works.
But if you think spiritually, you can believe that God is omnipotent, so He can solve this problem also. If you just believe and rely on Him completely, God will surely work for you in His way.
For example, recently, as I read his testimony, a piece of sharp plastic went into the vein of one of our members.
In this kind of case, with our fleshly thoughts, we should receive an operation to open the vein and take out the foreign substance.
But when he continually applied the sweet water with faith, he could experience a work of God, who could give him even a surgical operation. God made a fester on a certain spot on his arm, and through that spot, God made the piece of plastic come out. Then, God just closed the festered spot.
In this church, every week, so many testimonies are reported from members all around the world, but because of the time limit I cannot introduce most of them. But among them, I try to introduce new and unusual kinds of testimonies because these testimonies help you demolish your fleshly thoughts and have faith.
By hearing various kinds of testimonies, you can more easily break your fleshly thoughts about the things that you have not been able to act with faith.
You can break your thought saying, ‘this is impossible’ that you made within your framework and limit, and change it to spiritual thought that says, “I can receive the answer for this also.”
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, fleshly thoughts disturb us from having faith, block us from receiving the answer, and further become obstacles in our way to go into spirit.
For example, there are people who think in negative way in everything, and cannot look at themselves with faith.
When people make a mistake, commit a misdeed, or find out their shortcomings, it is natural that they would feel sorry before God and their heart would ache. But even at this time, those who have spiritual thoughts would encourage themselves thinking, “God, thank you that you let me realize my shortcomings. I shouldn’t do this again. I will change quickly and please God.”
But those who have fleshly thoughts will think in a negative way, “God cannot love me because I am like this.” “I am helpless. I am only this much after trying so hard.”
They lose their strength to pray and fulfill their duties, and they do not even show up where they have to show up.
Then, how different will the fruits of these two people be?
As said in Romans 8:6, “but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace,” even though they go through the same kind of difficulties, those who have spiritual thoughts can change into spirit more quickly in peace and joy. On the contrary, those who got discouraged and lost their heart by fleshly thoughts will fall behind as much.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, other than these cases, we can find many other cases where we use our fleshly thoughts.
There are many reasons to use fleshly thoughts such as using your own experiences and theories first, not being able to break your framework, or negative and pessimistic personality, and so on.
But the most basic and fundamental reason that we have fleshly thoughts is the untruth in our heart, namely flesh. Romans 8:5 says, “those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit.”
I mentioned that fleshly thoughts come out from untruth in our heart through the operation of soul.
No matter how much we try to think in truth and spirit, we cannot but have fleshly thoughts coming out from flesh unless we cast off flesh from our heart. If we throw away all flesh and accomplish the heart of spirit, the Holy Spirit moves our heart before our soul has any thoughts, so that we will have spiritual thoughts first.
In the next session, we will consider in detail how to hear and receive the voice and guidance of the Holy Spirit having spiritual thoughts.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, we see completely different endings of their lives between the one who has fleshly thoughts and another who has spiritual thoughts.
We can see this from the example of Naaman in 2 Kings Chapter 5.
Naaman heard the news about the power of the prophet Elisha and went to him to heal his leprosy.
But Elisha did not even come out from his house but just sent his message to go and wash his body seven times in the Jordan River. So, Naaman got angry and said, “Indeed, I said to myself, ‘He will surely come out to me, and stand and call on the name of the LORD his God, and wave his hand over the place, and heal the leprosy.” He wanted to go back to his country because better rivers than the Jordan Rivers were there, and it would be better to wash in those rivers.
But when his servants pleaded with him to obey the word of the prophet, he changed his mind since he had good heart.
He washed in the Jordan River thinking, “I would have obeyed even more difficult things, and I just have to wash in the Jordan River!”
Then, God guaranteed the word of the prophet Elisha, and Naaman’s leprosy was healed completely.
If Naaman had gone back according to his fleshly thoughts, his life would have ended miserably as a leper.
But as a result of throwing away fleshly thoughts and following spiritual thoughts, he recovered his health and life, and at the same time received spiritual blessing to meet the true God and serve Him.
Likewise, making a choice between the two is not just the matter of receiving the blessing or not, but it is also about one’s spiritual matter.
I hope you will check yourself each moment, cast off fleshly thoughts one by one, follow truth in everything, and accomplish spiritual thoughts.
I bless in the name of the Lord that you will be guided only to the way of eternal life and blessings that God has prepared.