There are things about us that God knows and that we will come to know about ourselves: whether we rely fully on the Word of God; whether we believe that God is the only object of worship; whether we entrust our families to God; and whether the Word of God is thriving and spreading in our hearts. If we evangelize one person per year, the church will grow twofold. If we evangelize two people, it grows threefold. When the Word is spreading within us, it moves us so that we are stirred up and cannot stay still. It makes us evangelize, do good works and establish churches. People who are alive are moving. A church that is alive is extremely busy with praise, prayer, evangelism and service. When we receive the Word, we are always zealous and vigorous. Saints must live believing in and eating the Word of God. On the other hand, if you leave the Word you are always tired, nothing works out for your businesses and families, and you are always busy day and night, paying off interest in the bank.
“The word of God kept on spreading; and the number of the disciples continued to increase greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests were becoming obedient to the faith.” (Acts 6:7)
The growth of God’s Word talks about the leadership of the Word. It means the Word is leading and that it is the head, not the tail.
It talks about the activeness of the movement of the Word. Its deliberation is very wide and its thoughts are deep.
It talks about the conquest of the movement of the Word. The Word conquers all things.
It talks about the necessity of the movement of the Word. The Word is an essential part of our lives, our families and all our doings.
It talks about the endurance of the movement of the Word. When we believe in the Word we can endure and hold on to the end. He who endures to the end will be saved (Matt 24:13). It is not us who endures, but the Word allows us to endure. When we can no longer endure things and want to let go, it is the Word which tells us to wait and keep holding on. The Chinese character ‘Gu(久)’ in the Korean word for endurance means “to last a while.”
It talks about the target of the movement of the Word. The Word reaches its goal without fail.
Saints must possess these six things as they are the characteristics that accompany the Word. These are the things that bring about revival in the church. It is not I but God’s grace with the Work of the Holy Spirit that establishes churches(Acts 6:7).
Look at today’s scripture. The number of disciples of the Early Church increased. This is proof that a fire was ignited to the movement of the Word. Our church will change if it is on fire for the Word. The fire of the Word burns all sin and poor thoughts. It allows us to do everything for the will and glory of God and for the happiness of our families. When we believe in the Word all the irrationalities, lies, deception, and other things that bring us to ruin will disappear. When lies disappear from families, they are filled with grace. They cannot fall to ruin even if they attempted to.
The reason why three thousand mourned and repented when Peter preached is because the fiery club of the Word beat all the irrationalities and sins out of their hearts. Joy that has never been felt and thanksgiving, fruitfulness and drive will overflow. If you do not have the Word you will go down the road of ruin with the hesitation of “Should I, or should I not?”
The Word of God is larger than the universe. It cannot be changed for the universe. You who receive the Word must know its value and ability. The congregation expanded to three thousand, five thousand and several thousand in a matter of days when the Word was preached. Great many of the priests, pastors, and religious leaders came like a swarm of bees and became obedient to the faith. We must also proclaim the Word (Acts 2:3, 4:4, 19:20, 6:7).
There is a movement of repentance when we proclaim the Word. This is because the Word cannot be with sin and casts it out. If we repent, we are able to overcome all persecution and suffering without blinking an eye, even when we are threatened with death for believing in Jesus. With this strength James, a disciple of Jesus, was able to be martyred by the sword of King Herod in front of thousands of people. Peter, with his feet and hands bound while in prison and guarded by 16 people fourfold, was lead out by an angel and escaped. All difficult problems are solved when we undoubtedly believe in the Word. I hope you will experience this. The early church suffered because of Peter, but they were not afraid because they believed in the grace of God. Then at that moment, God performed a miracle (Acts 12:5-17).
Peter came out alive from prison and God sent worms (bacteria like maggots) to Herod, the persecutor, who then died within several hours. All Herod’s glory became like that of rusted metal. That God is our God, and that Word is the Word we receive today. Do not be dismayed when there are problems in your families. Do not blink an eye when people curse and threaten the Word. Just pray for God to have mercy on them. If we believe in this Word today, and if each saint evangelized and brought four people, we would have to sit outside to worship, as far as the entrance of the church. We must reach that point. All these things happened not because “Peter made it grow and multiply,” but because “the word of the Lord continued to grow and to be multiplied.” We must remember that it was not Peter’s victory, but God’s. It was not a battle between Peter and Satan, but between God and Satan. The Word is victorious for all persecutors and oppressors.
The Word of the Lord was growing mightily and prevailing (Acts 19:20)
Even if you forget everything else, keep this Word in your hearts. When you have this Word with you, wherever you go you will be healthy, multiply, have the desire to live, be fruitful and not live in debt of others. The Word works in all things. We must live this kind of life.
Diseases left and evil spirits went out when Paul’s handkerchiefs and aprons were placed on people(Acts 19:11-12). People were healed when Peter’s shadow passed by (Acts 5:15-16). This is because the Word was inside both Paul and Peter. Many of those who practiced magic brought their books together and began burning them after they heard the Word from Paul (Acts 19:19-20). The books they brought together and burned was worth fifty thousand pieces of silver. In today’s currency, that amounts to about 2.5 billion Won. All Jews and Greeks believed when Paul testified of the gospel in Ephesus for two years. I urge the pastors and evangelists of our church once again. We must be awake in prayer. We must love our congregation more than our parents. We must first pray for the saints and then pray for our parents. How can pastors and evangelists not pray for the saints when they are praying for us?
The motto of Martin Luther’s religious reformation was only Bible, only Grace and only Faith. They believed that the Bible was the standard for all truth and that it was the only greatest, final judge. Man’s reason, church’s tradition and legislation are all under the Bible. These things cannot be the standard for truth. The Bible has divine authority. It is the Word of God. That is why the one and only method of salvation and grace is faith in the Bible. You cannot do anything without the Bible. You must get married within the Bible and do your filial duty within the Bible. When you send your parents off on a trip, pray to God, “God, I am paying to send my parents on a trip. Please be with them in Your grace and allow them to continue to give thanks to You during their trip, and to bow their heads before the covenanted grace until they return.” Your parents will be healthy and things will go well for them. The Bible is the only unchanging truth. The Bible loves you until the end, in rain or snow, even when you sin. It helps you understand. True saints place their odds only in the truth of the Bible. If you are wondering whether your life will be made well, place your bet on the Bible. Believe that you will be successful when you believe in the Bible and know that you will fail if you don’t. Don’t doubt if things will go well when you do something, and instead say, “God, give them the heart to understand your Word when I speak,” and it will be so.
“Paul began devoting himself completely to the word, solemnly testifying to the Jews that Jesus was the Christ” (Acts 18:5). Paul was a person who was devoted to the Word. I pray that everyone, from the senior pastor to the saints, will be devoted to the Word of God and live only according to His will. Did you live devoted to God’s Word up until now? Did you come to ruin living according to your own heart and thoughts? “Devoted” in Greek is in its future passive tense and was derived from a word that means “to live together, gather together, meet together”. How joyful will it be if we can live together and gather together in the Word? The religious reformer Martin Luther said he was a captive of the Word of Christ. Captives cannot move according to their will and must do as they are told. He said that the attitude Christians must have in regards to the Bible is not rational criticism and research, but belief and spreading. Only then can you become a living person through the Word of God. We are not believing with our thoughts; we work, believe and understand by grace. I hope you will plant the faith in your children from a young age, telling them, “I pray to God for you. People of the world raise children with materialistic things but I pray to God and seek for His grace and ask that you will be made well. You will stand and not fall no matter what happens.”
Religious reformer John Calvin stated in his book, Institutes of the Christian Religion, “Fallen man’s rational instincts cannot understand the true wisdom regarding God. We must go forth only with God’s Word. Our hearts and bodies will be harmed and there is nothing we can earn when we walk a path away from the Word because God is clearly inside the Word,” and “we must not pursue the truth of God with anything but the Word of God.” The formula of the religious reformers was the Word of God, and lived according to it wherever they went, even while they were sleeping. I believe that the devil will not be able to come near us, our families, workplaces and church, and that he will flee when we live like this. The spreading of the Word! This was a task of reformation for the 16th century religious reformers and is also the task for us 21st century Christians, for the saints of our church.
Dear saints, the layout and plans of Ezekiel Temple revealed to and recorded by prophet Ezekiel is recorded in detail, but has not yet been established on this earth. The temple of Ezekiel is a temple that will be built with the Word of God, a temple that God will reside in, with us, for eternity. It is a temple that symbolizes the world we will be going to. The glory of God left us in the past because of our sins, but it will return and dwell with us in the temple revealed to Ezekiel(Ezek 44:2). This is the new heavens and the new earth we must go to (Rev 21-22, Isa 65:17, Ezek 40-48). The gates of the temple are 26 meters wide and 30 meters high. No wealthy person has a house like that on this earth. It is a place that does not require the sun or the moon, because Jesus the Lamb is the lamp. The glory of God is seven times brighter than the light of the sun and will shine on wherever the light goes. I am so thankful that I could dance whenever I read this Word. I am in wonder when I think of how I was evangelized and how I now believe in Jesus and get to listen to this Word. It’s child’s play to simply think, “we will go to heaven when we die.” We must clearly know and believe in the world recorded in the Bible. The Ezekiel Temple will surely be established.
Therefore, we must believe that God’s Word is the life for our souls, families, and friends, and that it is our path and our destiny. Those who believe in the Word live long lives (Deut 4:40). The Bible deals with all elements of mankind but its ultimate purpose is in our salvation through the cross of Jesus Christ (John 5:39, 20:31). The Bible allows us to receive eternal life through believing in the name of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. It is recorded that this Word was given to us for our good (Deut 10:13). When we receive this Word, people all over the world will come to ask, “Where did you receive this intelligence and wisdom, and where did you learn of the faith in the Word?” At that time, God will reply for us. I have my entire life only for this and I have not spent even a moment dawdling. I am always reading the Bible and always praying. There is suffering, persecution, oppression and misunderstanding wherever the Word goes, but do not listen to those things. The grace of God will take care of us and lead us to the world of victory. Only the Bible and only the Word has the power. The Word will be strong and it will spread. We will be blessed in believing this. I urge you to believe that the Word will keep on spreading and that we will be blessed, and that our families, workplaces, nations and people will give glory to God when we believe in the Word. I urge you to believe that the peace of Jehovah Shammah (“The Lord is there”-Ezek 48:25) and Jehovah Shalom (Judg 6:24) will work in the saints of Pyungkang, in our families and wherever we go. There is no peace for the evil. Only those who have received grace have peace in their hearts. I urge that you will live this way and believe that Jehovah Shalom and Jehovah Shammah will become the light and the fence for our families.
Sermon by Rev. Abraham Park on 2nd service, February 10th, 2013