By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had eceived the promises was offering up his only begotten son; it was he to whom it was said, “IN ISAAC YOUR DESCENDANTS SHALL BE CALLED.” He considered that God is able to raise people even from the dead, from which he also received him back as a type.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
This time is the 14th session of the series “Goodness,” and its title is “The Goodness of Abraham.”
At the last session I explained to you that Abraham was gentle and willing to yield, honest and truthful without any selfishness, and solved everything with good wisdom.
The third goodness of Abraham was that he showed the deeds of perfect obedience in faith. It is not possible for me to explain all kinds of faith and deeds of obedience he had showed until he became the father of faith just in this session.
Then, I will preach why it is considered as goodness for you to obey God with faith and explain in the light of goodness how Abraham obeyed with faith.
God says in the first part of Hebrews 10:38, “BUT MY RIGHTEOUS ONE SHALL LIVE BY FAITH; AND IF HE SHRINKS BACK, MY SOUL HAS NO PLEASURE IN HIM.” I wish you fully understand what it is to live by faith.
I pray in the name of the Lord you please God all the time and receive the desires fo your heart from God.
Dear brothers and sisters,
Why does God say to obey by faith is goodness in His sight? Let me give you an easy illustration.
When your children obey you very well, you say, “Good! You are so nice!” aren’t you?
Or when you tell your children to do something, you say, “Honey, you are a nice boy, so you will obey my words, won’t you?”
Good-hearted children obey without any excuse when parents tell them to do something.
Then, parents say they are good and obedient.
It is the same with the spiritual law. When you obey the word of God the Father of our spirits, He recognizes you to be a good and obedient child.
For you to obey the word of God indicates that you really believe God who says it. James 2:22 says, “You see that faith was working with his works, and as a result of the works, faith was perfected.”
By the way, there are some levels in believing and obeying the word of God.
Some obey with just a single word, while some others obey when they are told a few times.
And still others say yes, but they postpone doing it and forcibly obey it. But others say yes and obey it immediately.
Some obey when they are seen to others, but do not obey when they are not seen.
Which is the case with Abraham? He said yes with any word of God and obeyed immediately.
He obeyed just the way God said but he never followed his own thought nor did he act on his own.
He did the word of God faithfully whether or not somebody looked at him.
When God promised him to give blessing, he believed it as it was but he never doubted it although situations changed.
Abraham’s heart was so good. His belief in God was so pure that there was nothing impure in his heart.
His faith was likened to pure gold. Pure gold has no impure ingredient and never changes in its characteristics under any condition.
His heart was originally as good as pure gold, so he had little to cast off. Through a few trials he threw away every kind of his own thought and came forth as a perfect vessel of gold. Then, he was entitled to a beautiful position of the “father of faith.”
Now let me give you a few illustrations explaining how he obeyed God’s word and believed it.
Compared with his examples, please look back at your life how carefully you have listen to God’s word and how good you have been.
First, Abraham obeyed immediately whatever God told him to do.
When he could not understand why God said it, he did not follow his own thought but immediately obeyed.
In Genesis 12:1, when God told him to leave his own country, his people and his father’s household, he immediately obeyed.
At that time it was not easy for him to obey that command of God and to leave his own country, his people and his father’s household.
Obedience required that he should abandon his shelter, his economic foundation, and all his relationship of relatives.
And starting for an unknown land without any destination was impossible with those who follow their own thought. They can never obey that word.
Abraham, however, never hesitated to obey it.
His obedience continued from the first trial of leaving his own country until he passed the last trial.
His last trial happened to him when God told him to offer his only son he gained at his age of 100 as a burnt sacrifice.
Next morning when God gave him this command, he prepared for travel and took Isaac to the place God had commanded.
When God said something, Abraham never followed any kind of fleshly thought nor did he hesitate. But he obeyed immediately.
This obedience of Abraham was done in the higher level than he had obeyed when God told him to leave his own country.
At first he obeyed unconditionally without understanding exactly the will of God. But when God told him to offer his only son as a burnt sacrifice, he understood God’s heart enough and obeyed.
His heart is described in Hebrews 11:17-19. “By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises was offering up his only begotten son; it was he to whom it was said, “IN ISAAC YOUR DESCENDANTS SHALL BE CALLED.” He considered that God is able to raise people even from the dead, from which he also received him back as a type.”
Isaac was the seed of promise, so Abraham believed that when he obeyed God and gave him as a burnt offering God would raise him from the dead. And God worked accoding to his faith.
Those children who are obedient unconditionally seem to be good and lovely to their parents. But how much more lovely are those who have accomplished the heart of fathers and fully believe and obey what He says?
How about your faith and obedience compared with Abraham’s?
God tells us in Colossians 4:2, “Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving.” The Bible emphasizes many times we should pray all the time without stopping.
But so many people do not pray on a regular basis although they have lived a religious life for long.
They put off praying after they finish some works or until the special prayer meeting begins or after the next year. They do not obey the word of God instantly.
No matter how difficult it looks, if you once obey the word of God, God will change that situation.
So, you should not say you have not time to pray. You need to obey God’s word and try to come before and pray to God in the first priority. Then, God will let you accomplish you works in much shorter time and much more successful way than expected.
Not only the command of prayers but also all the commands of God will make us prosperous in everything. If you obey His commands, it means blessing to you. But many people say they believe in God but do not obey His words and complain they do not receive blessing.
It is likened to a child who does not obey his parents but complain his parents do not give him what he wants. That child is never considered as good.
No matter what God says, I wish you obey it immediately whether it may be little or significant, agreeable with your own thought or not.
If you obey it, it brings you blessing. And if you experience such blessings once or twice, you will understand why God commands it and what the heart and will of God is.
Then, you will be able to obey with faith what seems to be impossible for human beings to obey. And God will recognize your complete obedience and give you whatever you ask for.
I pray in the name of the Lord you have a truthful fellowship with God and be guided to a successful path!
Dear brothers and sisters,
Secondly, Abraham steadfastly believed God’s promise of blessing to the last.
Parents sometimes promise their children to give something next time.
Some children tease their parents saying, “When will you give me that which you promised?” They push their parents to give it as soon as possible.
But if the parents do not give it at the expected time, the children complain or groan to their parents.
On the contrary, there are also other children who wait for the proper time because they believe their parents will surely give it to them.
Some parents cannot keep their promise so earlier because they are poor. But a good child tries to comfort their parents by saying he does not need it right now and they take more time in preparing for it.
Which is a good child? Of course, the former child is.
You parents may do not keep your promise because you don’t have enough ability. But our heavenly Father is the almighty God and can do anything.
If God promises us to give something, it will surely be given, so you have only to wait for it with faith.
When His blessing seems to come later than you expect, you must not doubt His promise but measure God’s will and wait for His answer with joy and thanks. Then, how good God will deem you!
Abraham did that way. In Genesis 13:16 and 15:5, God promised Abram to make his offspring prosper like the dust of the earth and countless stars in the heavens.
That promise had not been achieved immediately. His wife had no child in 1 ,2 and 3 years.
And after 5 and 10 years she had no child, but Abram never doubted the promise of God.
When 10 years had passed since he moved to Canaan, his wife could not endure anymore and let his husband Abram beget a son through her maidservant Hagar. It happened at his age of 86.
More 13 years had passed and Abram was 99 and his wife Sarah was 89. At last God promised him that his wife would give birth to a son after a year.
At that time Sarah’s monthly period had already ended and she could not have a baby.
So, it seemed absolutely impossible for him to have a son through her.
But that situation seemed totally different to Abraham. It says in Romans 4:19-21, “Without becoming weak in faith he contemplated his own body, now as good as dead since he was about a hundred years old, and the deadness of Sarah’s womb; yet, with respect to the promise of God, he did not waver in unbelief but grew strong in faith, giving glory to God, and being fully assured that what God had promised, He was able also to perform.”
At his age of 100, he begot a son Isaac. And thought Isaac, Jacob was born and through Jacob the twelve tribes of Israel. Abraham became the father of faith and his countless offspring has been born in faith.
How about your obedience and faith compared with Abraham’s?
Many of you are joyous when you receive the promise of God.
God answers according to the love and justice. When we have prepared for a proper vessel for His answers, He will let his promise be seen to you as a reality.
Sometimes His promise is achieved late because of His special providence like the case of Abraham. Some people receive God’s promise with joy and thanks, but doubt His promise and let their heart confused.
If they were in the same shoes of Abraham that seem absolutely impossible, they would surely give it up.
Or they would complain saying God has not kept His promise.
It says in Numbers 23:19, “God is not a man, that He should lie, Nor a son of man, that He should repent; Has He said, and will He not do it? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?”
I wish you look back at your past life whether or not you have trusted the promises God has given us and you have obeyed His words to this day. In the early year of 2005, God said this year is the year of glory, blessing, and reaping.
And He asked us to look at everything by faith at the devotional service for church workers. And He emphasized we should look at everything with spiritual faith. With spiritual faith you can give up nothing.
Since the founding of our church, I have never doubted God’s promise but looked at it with faith in any situation. I have obeyed with all my efforts in prayers.
When I met with difficulties that seemed impossible to be solved, I never abandoned it but I received God’s answer with steadfast faith.
That’s why God has blessed us to have more than 3,800 branch churches and to testify to the works of God’s power medicinally through WCDN.
And at this year’s church anniversary kings of the nations came before our church and we celebrated the launch of GCN. The greater glory and blessing began to come down upon us than ever.
Do you remember the third message God gave us during the devotional service for church workers?
He said we should look at the glory and blessing He would give us by faith and you should hope for your sanctification with faith. It meant you should hope to enter into spirit and whole spirit by faith at this year of glory and blessing.
When God gave this word, many of you confessed your success to me in the full hopes.
And God has led all of you to spiritual flow and gave you special gift at the Repentance Service in July. So, you should have been in the spiritual flow more fully and reached the level of spirit or whole spirit.
Is there any of you who have found your flesh and evils within you and been discouraged by them while you have been disciplined so that you can enter into spirit?
Is there any of you who doubt how you can enter spirit with this heart and level and give it up in frustration about three months before of this year?
Neither one year nor ten years have passed since God gave us that promise of blessing. But if you are frustrated wit that kind of negative thoughts, you can find your faith is totally different from that of Abraham.
Now I hope you hold unto the word of God’s promise by faith, receive spiritual power by praying fervently and enter the level of spirit. Father God gave me not only the task of the constructing of the Grand Sanctuary and world mission but also another significant mission of leading many souls into New Jerusalem.
So, I will lead as many of you to the level of spirit and whole spirit with faith and love t as I can.
Therefore, I wish all of you look at your sanctification by faith to and not give it up at all. And I hope you fully obey the Holy Spirit.
If you commit your life and will into the guidance of the Holy Spirit with perfect faith and obedience, you will not only experience spiritual realm just as you walk and run on the ground but also go into the level of spirit very quickly just as a bird flies freely in the wind.
Dear brothers and sisters, I explained the third goodness of Abraham. His perfect obedience in faith was deemed to be good by God. No matter what God commanded him, he never followed his own thought but obeyed God immediately. He trusted God and His word unchangingly until the last moment.
At last Abraham was recognized as a true son of God and called the ‘fountain of blessing’ and the ‘father of faith.” Furthermore, he measured the depths of the heart of God and was considered as the friend of God who could share love.
I wish all of you take after the example of Abraham and accomplish the perfect goodness coming from complete faith.
I wish you become true and good children of God who have no wickedness at all and His true friends who can share deep secrets and close fellowships.
I pray in the name of the Lord you dwell close to the throne of God for ever and become delight to God the Father.