Rev. Dr. Jaerock Lee 2007-03-25
1 Corinthians 13:2
“If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.”
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
This time is the third session of Spiritual Love.
As I told you in the last session, no matter how fluently you speak human languages and no matter the number of beautiful words of angels you may speak, if you fail to possess love, you are deemed to be nothing more than a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.
On the other hand, words of love can restore life.
Today, prior to preaching the messages, let’s look at the appearance of the clanging traditional Korean musical instrument called the “small gong” and reflecting on the last session’s message, we’ll listen to its sound.
Let’s listen to the sound of clanging of the small gong.
This light small gong whose inside is empty makes a really clamorous noise.
Many of you the viewers around the world have difficulties in understanding what the clanging gong is like, because the gong is a Korean traditional instrument.
Cymbals are very similar to the traditional Korea “small gong.” Cymbals are used to support the rhythm of performance of the orchestra.
We have prepared both cymbals and the gong. Let us listen to the sounds of the two instruments.
Cymbals are thin and light, and make a noisy sound that we cannot endure very long.
Unlike cymbals, gongs are made of heavy and thick metals. Now let’s listen to the sound of the gong.
Please compare that sound with the sounds of then former instruments.
Gongs send out deep and well-balanced sound unlike two former instruments.
I believe that after you listened to the former messages, you have prayed to avoid noisy words like the sounds of cymbals and to speak the words full of love and practiced them.
Before the gem-crafting and polishing work, the original stone of the expensive cut stones is a rough gemstone. The rough stones are refined and made into precious, shining and beautiful jewels through the laborious work by hand.
In the same way, if your heart is refined by our God Himself, who is more considerate and patient than we, it can turn the heart into the most precious and valuable crystallization of His love.
It is very important to you for you to patiently endure every process in which you are refined by God and practice the word of God as your heart changes.
I pray in the name our Lord Jesus Christ that all of you may change quickly and practice the word of God so that you can possess the precious crystal called “Love.”
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
Today’s scripture tells us, “If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.”
Let’s look into the meanings embedded in the verse and words prior to the surveying of the contents of the verse as a whole.
First of all, Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary refers to “prophecy” as “a statement that says what is going to happen in the future, especially one which is based on what you believe about a particular matter rather than existing facts.”
The spiritual meaning of “prophecy” is that a person receives the heart of God in the inspiration of the Holy Spirit and tells, advises and predicts what has been inspired into his heart.
2 Peter 1:21 says, “For no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.” Prophecies cannot be made by an act of human will. But, men who are moved by the Holy Spirit can speak from God.
According to God’s timing He has chosen men of God and permitted them to prophesy what would happen in order to accomplish the kingdom and righteousness of God.
God has let all the prophecies of God fulfilled in the future so that mankind could believe in the living God.
And God told His children what would happen in the future and let them walk according to His will so that they could prepare for the future.
From the founding of the church until today, God has revealed many prophecies. There are many times that God has let me announce what would happen in the future.
For example, God has let me know what would happen both within and without the country of Korea, and to political leaders, and I announced it to church members.
Most of the prophecies have been fulfilled and you have witnessed it. The remaining prophesies are being achieved.
Also, God has let me tell the church the trials and afflictions that would come so that the church and I could overcome them.
In particular, God has revealed to me the secrets that would happen in the world and told me what kind of ministry I should do to lead countless souls to salvation.
To this day God has been teaching us in detail about the world mission and the Grand Sanctuary, and guided us.
That’s why if you have stayed awake, you could have understood through the messages preached how the kingdom of God has been accomplished.
And you could have found at what point you stand in the midst of God’s human cultivation.
Now the time is very near when the Second Advent of our Lord to take the saved children of God back.
1 Thessalonians 5:2 says, “For you yourselves know full well that the day of the Lord will come just like a thief in the night.” But the day of the Lord will not come like a thief to those who understand the will of God, walk in the light, watch and pray.
Thus, through the prophecies we cannot only accomplish the kingdom of God according to His will, but also stay awake and adorn ourselves as the brides of the Lord to receive Him when He comes again.
The gift of prophecy is not given only to specific people by God.
Many of you have already been given this prophecy. What does it mean?
Anyone who believes in the Lord and lives in the truth can communicate with God and know and predict the things that will happen in the future, but the people of the world cannot understand them.
For example, you know and predict that the children of God will resurrect in the future and enter the kingdom of heaven.
And you will know in advance that when our Lord returns, those who believe in Him and are alive will be lifted up into the air and receive Him there.
Moreover, you know and believe that the saved children of God will enjoy 7 years of a Wedding Banquet and enter heaven after the Millennium Kingdom. During this time the unsaved people will receive the 7 years of Great Tribulation and fall into hell after the Great Judgment if they fail to gain the gleaning salvation.
The people of the world have no prophecy even if they have much knowledge. That’s why they believe that everything ends after death. They cling to the worldly lives that are passing and temporal.
They may say or think, “What kind of tasty food shall I eat today?” “Will my income increase this month?” “I have to purchase my own house that is cozy and comfortable to me” or “I hope my child is able to enter the best school.” They live a tough life for just a few decades of well-being as if they were being chased by something terrible.
But you know that the rivers go and go, and reach the sea. In the same way, through the messages that have been preached from this podium, you who are in Christ have already known from where we mankind came, where we are going, and where we will ultimately arrive when our last day passes and the sun finally sets.
How blessed you are that you know what will happen in the future and look at and live in the truth with the obvious hope!
You will surely arrive at the joyous conclusion because you are seeking the everlasting and spiritual instead of the things that are passing and meaningless.
As much as you live in the truth, walk in the light and sanctify your heart, you can communicate with God and prophesy the future in the clearer inspiration of the Holy Spirit.
We cannot know what will happen even today, so how happy and successful our lives if we are able to exactly predict what will happen and to be successfully guided through those prophecies!
Today’s scripture says that if you have the gift of prophecy and know all mysteries and all knowledge but do not have love, you are nothing.
If a person has the gift of prophecy by which he can clearly predict what will happen but does not have love, what will happen to him?
Then, he may use the gift for his personal benefits and not for the kingdom and righteousness of God.
Some of you may wonder how a person with the gift of prophecy would dare to do something like that. Of course, the gift of true prophecy is not given to just anybody.
Because prophecy is something spiritual and using the gift in the wrong manner can cause the person revealing prophesy to become proud, God does not give this prophetic gift to just anyone.
However, even though you have not reached the complete level of faith, if you meet the conditions of justice, God can give you the gift of prophecy and accomplish His works through you.
But you may be changed if you lack the love for God and the souls, for you are not perfect.
You may seek your own benefits including asking for money and trying to receive glory.
But if you have possessed true love, your heart will never change.
No matter how greatly you may be used with the gift of prophecy, you will never be proud but endeavor to use it for the kingdom and righteousness of God rather than your own benefits.
No matter how great the talent, ability, or power including the gift of prophecy, nothing is greater than love, and we are nothing without love.
It is the same with the gift of prophecy in a broader sense.
No matter exactly and clearly you children of God know and predict what will happen in the future, it does not mean that each of you possess true love.
No matter how many words of God’s will and providence you have heard and understood, not all of you love God with a true heart.
For these reasons, some church workers are asked, “How can a church worker do such things?”
The church workers profess their faith in God, but they are asked that way because they have no true love and do not become the light to the world.
That is the opinion of the people of the world. Our Father God gives you the gift of prophecy because of His love for you and guides you to path to salvation. Then what kind of children does He expect? Above all else, God wants His children to have more love than any other strength.
So, I wish for you to examine again whether you have the gift of prophecy, but do not have love.
Next, today’s scripture says, “If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge.” What do “all mysteries” and “all knowledge” refer to?
Mystery indicates the secret that had been hidden since before the ages, namely, “the way of salvation through the process of Jesus’ crucifixion.”
What is the way of the cross? It is the providence of God for the salvation of mankind who were destined to death.
Without this providence of God for human salvation, you and I were going to the eternal death, hell.
Since the first man Adam disobeyed the word of God and sinned, he and all his descendants, all men became slaves to the devil and were forced to live a miserable life. And in the end, they were destined to being cast into the fire of hell and tormented for ever and ever.
Men were formed in the image of God and expected to become the children of God. But since sins entered, mankind has committed all kinds of sins including hatred, quarrels, envy, jealousy, adultery, murder, and suffered all kinds of disasters and diseases that have resulted.
God the Father predestined the providence of salvation since before the ages, and when the time came, God let His only begotten Son be crucified, so that the penalty of our all sins was paid and we could be set free from the devil the ruler of the world. Thus, God saved us in a miraculous way.
This miraculous way of salvation is referred to as “The Way of the Cross.”
Why is then this way of the cross a mystery?
This providence for salvation was fulfilled in secret within the authority of God, and could not be measured by anyone but God the Trinity.
Since before man sinned, the almighty God knew in advance what would happen. God prepared Jesus who would become the Savior for mankind since before the ages, but He kept it secret until this providence of salvation was fulfilled.
If this plan for salvation had been revealed, God’s providence for salvation through Jesus’ crucifixion could not have been fulfilled.
That’s why 1 Corinthians 2:6-8 say, “Yet we do speak wisdom among those who are mature; a wisdom, however, not of this age nor of the rulers of this age, who are passing away; but we speak God’s wisdom in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God predestined before the ages to our glory; the wisdom which none of the rulers of this age has understood; for if they had understood it they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.”
The way of the cross was the wisdom which none of the rulers of this age had understood. Not only people but also spiritual beings, the devil and Satan failed to notice this hidden wisdom for salvation of mankind.
The devil and Satan expected that if they had destroyed Jesus they would have triumphed for ever so that they moved the hearts of the wicked people and let them crucify sinless Jesus.
The law of the spiritual realm says that the wage of sins is death, so a sinless person has no relation to the penalty of death.
Unlike Satan and the devil had expected, they did not triumph when Jesus was crucified but instead they had to set the people who would accept Jesus Christ free as the children of God.
Thus, we were released from the slave of the devil and became the children of God and gained the heavenly citizenship with which we would live in heaven for ever and ever.
If the devil had known the mystery of the cross, it would not have crucified Jesus nor called in its own defeat.
This mystery of the cross had been kept in perfect secret and later fulfilled by the wisdom, strength and authority of God. That’s why this providence of the cross is called “a mystery.”
I believe that not only you here in attendance, but also so many brothers and sisters in Christ attending this service all over the world have already learned “The Message of the Cross” at the crusades, on GCN TV or through the book The Message of the Cross.
If a person knows a top secret in his organization, it means that he has special authority and is in deep love of that organization.
In what a great love do you live that you have known mysteries and knowledge of the kingdom of God!
If you fail to realize the love of God embedded in the cross or if you don’t have love even if you have known the mystery of the cross, you cannot spread the good news of the cross TO AS MANY SOULS AS ARE DYING. You may be able to spread the knowledge of the cross with your lips, but is it so difficult to evangelize without love.
No matter what a great and mysterious secret you have known, it is nothing if you do not spread it with love.
Next, “All knowledge” does not refer to the knowledge of the world but of the truth.
The Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary refers to “knowledge” as “the understanding of or information about a subject which has been obtained by experience or study, and which is either in a person’s mind or possessed by people generally.”
In short, knowledge can be defined as “understanding of what is obtained by experience or study.”
The knowledge of the truth in the Lord refers to the knowledge of God, namely the knowledge of the words of God recorded in 66 books of the Bible.
You have heard so many words of God. And you have learned the deep knowledge through the revelations of God.
But if you have all knowledge but do not have love, you are nothing.
Dear brothers and sisters,
Most of people learn the morals and love since the time of a toddler, in kindergarten and in school.
So, how much knowledge on morals and love they have stored!
But not all who have been educated are virtuous or merciful.
On the contrary, some who are well-educated and have much knowledge through the study show immoral behaviors.
Some church workers have been assigned many tasks because they have much knowledge through the messages preached and been deemed to be competent and smart, but sometimes they leave the church abandoning their faith in God.
What is the reason? Even though they have stored much knowledge in their brains, they do not have the true love for God and the souls in their hearts.
They know that they should love God and the brothers and sisters, but since they have no love within them, they abandon God, the church, and brothers and sisters in faith.
On the contrary, even if you have little knowledge and have to be refined in many aspects of your life, if you have the love for God and the souls, your heart will not change in any circumstances.
The grace of Our Father God and the love of our Lord are so great in saving you that you will endeavor to dwell in the grace and love of the Lord whenever you meet with trials and difficulties.
Even if something worldly breaks into your mind, you will turn back from the way and return to the Lord because you feel the greater love of God than any other thing in the world.
Then you will try to give thanks to the person who guided you to the Lord and to everyone who has prayed and cared for you, and further to pay back the grace of love to them.
Therefore, I wish for all of you to put aside your title or position, years of your faith, knowledge of the truth, and to examine if your heart is full of joy and love.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
People call a person who is deficient in common sense a fool.
But in our time those people alone are not called “fools.”
When you surrender everything you have to others rather than to gain your own benefits, you may be called “fools.”
And when you patiently endure and forgive those who thrust problems on you and cause you troubles, you are ridiculed as a fool.
Then, is this the life of a fool as they say?
The opposite is true in the Lord.
No matter how great the strength and no matter how much knowledge they have, if they do not have joy and happiness in mutual love, they are really the fools.
You have the gift of prophecy and all mysteries and all knowledge.
May all of you completely possess and practice true love and make all the mysteries and all knowledge shine like precious stones within you, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ I pray!