[Matthew 1: 21-23]
“She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.” Now all this took place to fulfill what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet: “Behold, the virgin shall be with child and shall bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which translated means, “God with us.””
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
In the morning service, I talked about the meanings of Jesus’s birth and His ministry. It was the expression of God’s love that God sent Jesus as the Savior to save the mankind. I also explained that Jesus showed us the kingdom of heaven and the spiritual realm through the power of God.
Now, let me talk to you about the third aspect that we have to remember this Christmas.
It is the resurrection of the Lord. Jesus died on the cross but overcame death and resurrected, thereby becoming the Savior completely. After His resurrection, He appeared before His disciples multiple times and ascended into heaven in the view of many apostles and believers.
He did not ‘teleport’ to heaven, nor did He ascend in the middle of the night when everyone was sleeping. Acts 1:9 says, “And after He had said these things, He was lifted up while they were looking on, and a cloud received Him out of their sight.”
After His resurrection, why did Jesus show Himself to His disciples and why did He ascend into heaven in the view of many people? It was to give us the hope and faith that we could also partake in the resurrection later. Also, it was to tell us that this world is not everything, and there is an eternal spiritual realm. He wanted us, God’s children, to put our hope in the kingdom of heaven and not on things on this earth.
Furthermore, He was desperate about having to leave His disciples behind. They were to become the witnesses of the Lord and become martyrs. So, He wanted them to think of the glory of resurrection and commit everything into God’s hands. For this reason He tried to give hope to His disciples even when the crucifixion was imminent.
Luke 22:30 says, “…that you may eat and drink at My table in My kingdom, and you will sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.” And after He resurrected, He came to His beloved disciples. He wanted to give them even more certain hope by showing them His resurrected body.
What kind of body did He have after resurrection? When you hear about it, I hope you will be filled with the hope of resurrection even more. He appeared in the spiritual body that was covered with bright lights. It was very different from His previous physical body. Unlike His body that suffered, He now had youth and beauty. When we have the resurrected body, everyone will have the spiritual body of age 33, which is the prime time of human life.
Also, the Lord appeared among the disciples who had all the doors locked. The resurrected body can move through the physical spaces. He also ate some food with the disciples showing us that one can eat and drink with resurrected body. The Lord showed these things to His disciples in order to teach them about heavenly life.
Of course, with the resurrected body, they don’t feel hungry even if they don’t eat. But if they do eat, they will be filled with greater joy and happiness. Also, in heaven, the food we eat does not come out as bodily waste. It gets dissolved completely and is emitted into the air. That is why John 20:22 says, “He breathed on them.”
He clearly showed His resurrected body for many days and then He ascended into heaven. The disciples who witnessed it had even firmer faith in the resurrection. When they were going through life-threatening hardships in their ministries, they always remembered the words of the Lord, which were, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die.”
Do you also remember and keep these words in your mind all the time? Do you believe that you will be transformed with a spiritual body and partake in the Lord’s resurrection when He comes again? In our church, God has been continually letting us know about spiritual realm since its opening. He opened the spiritual eyes of the believers. Also, He manifested divine healing, signs and wonders to show us the spiritual realm. He let us know about heaven in detail so we could have hope for heaven. Through the separation of spirit, He let some believers visit places in Heaven and also the Lower Grave so that they could vividly testify about the beauty of Heaven and horror of the Lower Grave.
He let us look at the things above by showing us various kinds of clouds, rainbows, aurora lights, angels and patriarchs of faith. And next year, the spiritual space will be unveiled more clearly through a higher level of utilization of the space. When I achieve 100% of the power of re-creation, the vestiges of the paying of justice for the last 7 years will disappear and I will go through physical transfiguration.
God said those who see my transfigured body will have even greater hope of New Jerusalem. We should give up the hope for the perishable things of this earth and run toward Heaven. Then, we will meet the Lord on the last day having the spiritual body that does not die or perish. Let us give thanks to our Lord who gave us such hope.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
The fourth aspect that we should keep in mind for this Christmas is the Second Coming of the Lord.
In December, the streets are filled with Christmas trees, the lights, and the sound of Christmas carols. All these build up our expectations for Christmas. And people look forward to the secular joy and happiness they can enjoy at Christmas. But we are different from the world, because we know the true meaning of Christmas. We miss the Lord even more who will come again to take us. Seeing the lights that brightly shine the streets, we are reminded of the Lord who came as the Light of the world.
Seeing the white snow that covers the whole world, we are reminded of the Lord’s love that cleansed all our sins away. It is such a great blessing to be waiting for the Lord. 1 Thessalonians 5:23 says, “…may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Those who are waiting for the Lord will be changing themselves every day to become a proper bride of the Lord. They will earnestly pray to cast away sins and pull out evil. They will try to live a holier life in order to cultivate hearts of spirit and whole spirit.
For Manmin members, December 25 is a blessed day on which we wait for the Second Coming of the Lord. In the past, there were people who were afraid when they thought of the Lord’s coming, but now, they are filled with hope and expectations. What kind of day is December 25 for you? Each of you would have different feelings such as: a day when you laid down all your previous sins before God; a day when God cleansed your sinful hearts and darkness away; a day when you made up your mind to change yourself seeing the sacrifice of the shepherd; a day when you came to harbor New Jerusalem that you couldn’t even dream of previously; a day when you determined to go into spirit and whole sprit.
Even for me, every Christmas, I long for the second coming of the Lord increasingly more eagerly. Each year, seeing the believers who are bearing the fruits, I long for the day to confidently speak before the Lord as follows: “Lord, here are pure brides of the Lord.” “Lord, here are the perfect fruits that are borne through Your sacrifice!” Looking forward to the final glory, I hope you will be overflowing with joy and hope on this Christmas, December 25.
Dear brothers and sisters,
Our Lord gave us such a big present by coming to this earth. He opened the door of heavenly kingdom through His sacrifice on the cross. And through His resurrection, He gave us the hope of heaven. Through His promise to come again He let us lead valuable lives while looking forward to the eternal Heaven and not this earth.
And the Lord is preparing dwelling places in heaven to be with us eternally. I pray that you will surely reach New Jerusalem and become great joy to the Lord. After the evening service, we have the celebration performance. I give thanks to all the performers and all the staff.
I hope you will be filled with the joy of Christmas through the performance. Merry Christmas!