[Philippians 4: 8-9]
“Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.”
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, members of over 9,000 branch churches in Korea and all over the world, including the United States, Canada, Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Brazil, Bolivia, Uruguay, Argentina, Chile, Japan, Mongolia, China, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam, Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, Nepal, India, Sri Lanka, Samoa, Fiji, Australia, Pakistan, Kazakhstan, Israel, Palestine, Egypt, Sudan, Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Tanzania, DR Congo, Gabon, Angola, Botswana, Swaziland, South Africa, Burkina Faso, Liberia, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Nigeria, the United Kingdom, Ireland, France, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Italy, Greece, Russia, Sweden, Finland, Estonia, Belarus, Ukraine, Dagestan, local sanctuary members, those who are attending the service on the Internet all over the world, (children of Sunday School), GCN and Manmin TV viewing audiences,
God wants His children to become perfect as He is perfect.
Also, He wants them to adorn themselves as brides of the Christ without having any blemish, just like the brides of the world would adorn themselves beautifully to meet their groom.
Philippians 4:8 says, “Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.”
In order to become perfect brides of the Lord, we have to be beautiful in all our deeds and words. We should be worthy to be praised by others.
But sometimes, even those who lead a seemingly faithful Christian life have some blemishes in their attitude of heart or in their words and actions.
Some of them do not have the manners of the Lord due to lack of knowledge or experience.
In other words, these are the deficiencies of the body that I explained in the lecture series “Spirit, Soul, and Body”.
If this deficiency is serious, they might lack the ability to understand the word of God that they hear.
Even if they mentally understand, they might lack the strength to put it into practice.
They might try to go into spirit, but their spiritual growth is slow. In many cases it is because of the deficiencies of the body.
In this past leadership conference, I explained that one of the main reasons why you can’t go into spirit, after accomplishing more than 80 percentile in the 3rd level of faith, is the deficiencies of the body. (3 main reasons: self-deception, deficiencies of body, arrogance)
Even for those men of spirit, they cannot go into the whole spirit quickly enough because of the remaining deficiencies of the body.
Now, how are the deficiencies of body formed and how are they shown outwardly?
Also, how can we overcome deficiencies of the body and quickly go into spirit and whole spirit?
Through the messages preached beginning today, I hope you will check yourself and change quickly.
I pray in the name of the Lord that you will be blameless and perfect as brides of the Lord and the children of God so that you will give out the lights.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, in order to understand the deficiencies of the body, let us first learn the definition of the terms.
Deficiencies of the body refer to the state where you lack the basic ability because you have not gone through the processes that you should have gone through in your process of growth.
This might sound difficult, and let me elaborate on this.
After a person is born, he goes through many steps in growth until he becomes a grown adult.
He goes through infancy, childhood, and adolescence, and there are general things that he has to learn in each step.
If he does not go through one of the processes normally, he might lack the ability to think or act properly. His emotions might become very different from other people.
For example, when many other people are moved and shed tears, he does not feel anything, and he cannot shed any tears.
Such a person might do something for which others would feel ashamed and guilty, but he does not feel anything.
He may not have consideration for the situation or conditions of other people around him. He cannot empathize with other’s thoughts and emotions, so they think they can’t communicate with him easily.
He is very self-centered in each matter, and he can hardly recognize other people’s feelings or thoughts.
When he has to follow certain rules in a group, he cannot adapt himself to such a situation while others do it easily.
He might lack patience, determination, or willpower, and he cannot accomplish everything he has to do.
Of course, there might be many reasons for all these cases, but one of the main reasons is that such a person did not go through the things that one should have experienced in the growth process.
Because of that, he developed a deficiency in his thinking, emotions, or ability to perform a task.
In the ‘Spirit, Soul, and Body’ lectures, I explained the three steps of the processes that one has to go through in his growth.
They are the steps of seeing, feeling, and acting.
The ‘seeing step’ is not just seeing with the eyes. You come in contact with external things through the five senses.
Next is the ‘feeling step’.
In this step, you develop some kinds of feelings towards what you’ve seen, heard, and experienced, and you put that experience and feeling into memory.
In the ‘acting step’, you utilize your thoughts and willpower to decide something and do it.
If you skip any of these processes or experience it in an abnormal way, you might have a problem later, after you have grown up.
This is called a ‘deficiency of the body’.
In other words, if you have not seen what you should have seen, if you have not felt what you should have felt, and if you have not done what you should have done at a certain stage of growth, you develop a deficiency because of it.
Of course, each step cannot be clearly divided as though we cut it with a knife.
You might see, hear, and learn at the ‘feeling step’, and you can also see and feel at the ‘acting step’.
The important thing is that you have to experience the things that you have to see, feel, and do at each step of a man’s growth.
In order to understand about the steps of seeing, feeling, and acting, let me give you an example of putting things in order.
Those who are raised in neat environment from early childhood will naturally see and learn to put things in order.
They are taught that they should not leave their surroundings untidy, and they might be praised when they neatly put things back where they belong.
So, they come to have the feeling that it is dirty and uncomfortable if they don’t put the things in the right place, but it is tidy and convenient if they put the things in order.
They don’t think cleaning things up is tiresome. They consider it natural and something they have to do.
Also, as they do it themselves, they develop the ability to keep their surroundings clean.
When they clean up the closet or drawers of the desk, they learn to appropriately put the things in the right place according to their uses, shapes, and colors.
On the contrary, what if they are raised in environments that are not neat and clean?
They have a problem within the step of seeing.
Since childhood, things are scattered everywhere, but nobody cleans them up. So, they don’t even know that their rooms are untidy and they have to put them in order.
Also, as they do not experience the step of feeling, they don’t learn to think that they don’t like untidiness and that living in such an environment is difficult.
They just adapt themselves to their environment.
Furthermore, if somebody tells them to put the things back in the right place and keep the surroundings clean, they find it difficult to do it.
Even though they have gone through the steps of seeing and feeling, they might still develop a deficiency of the body if they don’t go through the step of acting.
Suppose the mother always cleans the bedroom of her child.
The child is raised in a clean environment, but because he has never done it himself, he does not have the ability to keep the things clean.
He habitually leaves things anywhere as he uses them. He just piles up the things in the drawers, on the desk, and every empty spot.
He wants to put all those things in order, but he does not know where to begin. He doesn’t know where to put certain things to clean them up.
But if somebody cleans up his room, he feels good about it.
He might even decide that he will not let things get messed up, but keep it all orderly.
But because he hasn’t developed the habit of putting things where they belong, soon his bedroom is untidy again.
It’s just an example of keeping the things clean, but many deficiencies of the body are not something that is quite simple.
They can become evident in various aspects of our lives and have great influence on them.
It can affect us not only in everyday life but also in spiritual matters, namely in our faith.
There are some deficiencies that you can easily change, while there are things that are difficult to change and that can cause critical problems.
For example, suppose when you were a child, you learned that you had to do your homework first before you could go out to play.
It became a habit that you do your homework first before anything else.
Even if some relatives visit you or your friends ask you to go out to play with them, you are trained to do your homework first.
Such a person has self-control and a developed sense of responsibility, so he can control himself after he becomes an adult.
If he once makes up his mind, he can do the things that he has determined to do. Even if there are some unexpected situations, he sets aside the time to accomplish what he has decided to do.
On the contrary, if you have not been trained to act like that and developed a deficiency in keeping your decisions, you cannot really do the things that you have determined to do.
For example, some successful people say they have developed a method of studying.
They say that in studying a foreign language, if they learn one sentence a day perfectly, they can learn 365 expressions a year, and this enables them to have basic conversations.
Some others say if you invest just one hour a day, you can achieve a great improvement in a year.
When people hear such things, many people feel challenged.
They think, “We can accomplish great things with just a little bit of effort, I will try for one year starting from today!”
But they cannot continue their effort even just for a month not to mention a year.
They don’t have the ability to make specific plans to carry out their decisions. They also may not be able to stick to their plans.
Now, then, does this deficiency affect our faith?
Or course it does.
For example, how many things do you plan to do while you listen to the message during the service?
You decide to do so many things thinking, “I will pray for at least one hour daily beginning tomorrow. I will also read a chapter of the Bible every day.”
But when the next day comes, you don’t do the things you wanted to do and just go to bed.
You might even regret thinking, “Oh, I decided to pray starting today and I should have read the Bible.”
But you lack the strength to carry out your plans and the strength to keep yourself from disturbances and temptations.
This not only pertains to prayers and reading the Bible.
Your spiritual growth is delayed because you cannot carry out your determinations in circumcising your heart.
As explained, the deficiencies of the body have great effects not only on physical aspects but also in spiritual matters.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, for your information, even in the world they say it is important to teach the children what they need at each step of their growth.
Many parents think their children will excel if they teach them much knowledge from a young age.
But if you teach them too many things, it could be even worse than not teaching them anything.
For example, the children have to see, hear, and experience various things socially while associating with their peers at certain steps of their growth.
This way they can get away from self-centeredness. They can understand the emotions and standpoints of others and learn to communicate with others.
They learn to consider all the situations and how to react to unexpected situations.
They have to acquire the power to think in various ways by experiencing various things at a certain point. But suppose they remained isolated at home or associated only with adults.
If they don’t experience the things that other children experience, it will show as problems as they grow up.
They cannot empathize with other children, and they will lack the ability to resolve the problems that can arise in everyday life.
Then they might lose self-confidence and enthusiasm. They will feel pressured by others and become nervous.
In a serious case, they might have emotional disorders, or they cannot adapt to social standards.
Even if they are intelligent, they might lose interest in studying and their talents will be buried.
From this example we can understand that there are things that men have to experience during each step of their growth.
At the extreme would be the so-called ‘wolf boy’ or ‘wolf girl’ reported by the press that clearly evidences the deficiencies of the body.
In such a case, for some reason a newborn baby was purportedly raised by wolves. The child then learns the things of the wolves and acts like a wolf.
At some point he is rescued by people, but he cannot adapt to human society.
He has serious deficiencies in thinking, emotions, and all his behaviors.
People try to teach the things characteristic of human beings, but they couldn’t get out of animal-like thought and continue to act like an animal.
Let me give you another example. In the 60’s there was a famous boy known to be a real genius.
He spoke four languages when he was five. He solved calculus problems when he was six.
The parents then separated him from his peers and made him study with high school or college aged students.
He was raised in a completely different environment from the normal environment that other children were raised in.
This boy just had excellent intelligence, but it didn’t mean that he exceeded other children emotionally or physically.
But just because he had high IQ, he skipped the steps that he should have gone through at his age, and thus he could not grow up with emotional stability.
As a result, he could not really develop his intelligence and soon he was forgotten by people.
If they considered not just his intelligence but also the emotional and physical parts, he could have become a truly outstanding person, but that did not happen.
We can understand how important it is to see, feel, do, and experience the elements that are necessary at each step of growth.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, so far I have explained what deficiencies of the body are.
If you do not pass through the stages that you have to go through at the levels of seeing, feeling, and acting, then you will develop deficiencies in thinking and physical ability, or you will come to have emotions that are significantly different from a norm among other people. All these things are deficiencies of the body.
In other words, your deficiencies of the body are formed when a person does not see, hear, learn, feel, or experience things that are necessary in their growth process.
But sometimes it is not the acquired aspects but the innate aspects might play a crucial role in creating deficiencies of the body.
I gave you an example of such a person at this past leadership conference.
This person has negative thinking because of his innate nature. This negative thinking created the deficiency and he stays at 80th percentile in the third level of faith.
She has faith and grace in him.
But she is always sorry that she is not doing better. This feeling is so great in her.
Even when she should have shown faith being simple and pure like a child, she couldn’t do that because she was mentally depressed.
She remained within her limitations thinking, “How can I possibly ask for something so great? How could I receive such great grace?”
This kind of negative thinking can hinder us from having greater faith and going into spirit.
But even the deficiency caused by an innate nature can be changed as we realize ourselves and change our thinking and our hearts.
We can just rely on the Father like a child and change ourselves to have more active and positive attitudes.
Brothers and sisters, in fact, before they go into spirit, we have to say everybody has some deficiencies of the body.
We all have some kind of shortcoming if we reflect upon ourselves with the truth.
To have formed your present frameworks of self, you have had both some innate natures and the things that are formed by seeing, hearing, and feeling certain things experienced in your growth.
But most of these elements that formed your ‘self’ were untruths.
If you are raised and taught only by the word of God from birth, you could have filled your ‘self’ with the truth.
But this is not common.
Most of you formed your ‘self’ which is not proper by the standard of the truth.
In your ‘self’, you have some evident sins and evil. You also have your self-righteousness and frameworks, which is difficult to change because you think they are right.
There are also deficiencies of the body that cause you to stay away from the matters of the Lord.
You have to realize all these things one by one and cast them off so you can become a bride of the Lord without any blemish.
But some of the deficiencies of the body are not caused because they don’t know deep spiritual truth. Sometimes they don’t even have common sense and acceptable social behavior.
This may involve socially acceptable standards in public such as in dining and normal conversation.
Examples include talking loudly allowing saliva to come out of the mouth or talking with food in their mouths while eating. Some people talk loudly in a quiet restaurant and disturb others. Some people park their cars randomly at any place just because they are busy. Late at night when people are sleeping, they talk and laugh loudly while walking on the streets or in residential areas. They cut in line in dining halls. Even if you don’t hear about these things in sermons you know that they are inappropriate.
It’s not really about faith. It is about the etiquette that we have to keep in everyday life.
But even though you say you believe in God and long for holiness, you will easily do these things as long as you do not cast off selfishness.
If you cannot seek the benefit of others and cause discomfort to others even at the level of common sense, which even the worldly people keep, how far away are you from being in ‘spirit’?
I will explain about these things that you have to have and do to be perfect brides of the Lord. Acceptable standards of behavior of the world and that of the Lord are not completely different.
Those who have standards of behavior of the Lord would meet the standards of the world, too.
To become spotless as brides of the Lord, you have to check yourself even in these things and adorn yourself.
To the extent that you cast away evil from your heart, these low-level deficiencies of the body will naturally be filled up.
Also, if you have a stoppage at a later stage of the third level of faith even though you try hard, realizing your deficiencies of the body and casting them off will help you greatly.