[Romans 8: 12-16]
“So then, brethren, we are under obligation, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh  for if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live.  For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.  For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!”  The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God,”
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
If you will just come into the third level of faith, you will feel comfortable in leading your Christian life.
It’s because your struggle against sins will be reduced.
Once you reach the third level of faith, you wouldn’t have to fight against sins when practicing the word of God.
At least you do not commit sins in action, namely you don’t commit works of the flesh, so it will be a very rare case if you face a calamity in your life.
Once you go into the third level of faith, your fleshly thoughts will be demolished and they will become faint compared to the second level of faith.
This is another reason why you feel more comfortable in the third level of faith than the second.
If you stand on the rock of faith in the third level of faith, you will not just have comfort, but you will also feel the true joy of a Christian life.
But there are surprisingly many people who suffer as they remain in the second level of faith.
Also, there are some who set themselves at ease in the third level of faith and do not cross the line of going into spirit. How pitiful this is!
This is the 10th session in the “Voice and Guidance of the Holy Spirit” series.
I hope you will realize and break down your fleshly thoughts through this message.
I pray in the name of the Lord that you will come into spirit and whole spirit quickly by the help of the Holy Spirit.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, in the third level of faith you will have demolished many of the fleshly thoughts that hinder you from obeying the word of God.
So, you will have at a minimum the acts of obedience to the word of God telling us “to do, not do, keep, or cast away” certain things.
You keep the Lord’s Day holy and give tithes.
You pray and attend all worship services and other meetings.
You do not commit works of flesh such as lying, quarreling, getting angry, or fornication.
But you still have some fleshly thoughts, and sometimes you have things of the flesh.
The spiritual meaning of ‘flesh’ is the ‘sinful nature that is combined with the body’.
And ‘things of the flesh’ are each of the aspects of the ‘flesh’.
The characters of hatred, envy, jealousy, falsehood, cunningness, arrogance, anger, judging and condemning, adulterous thought, and greed are all ‘things of the flesh’.
In the beginning of the third level, you might have hatred or passed judgment for a moment when others do something you cannot understand.
Your greed or adulterous mind can be stimulated.
Nevertheless, you drive away such fleshly thoughts so that it will not come out as ‘works of the flesh’.
You do not keep on accepting the fleshly thoughts that lead to committing sins.
If you reach the 60th percentile of the third level of faith, known as ‘the rock of faith’, you have cast away most of these things of the flesh, too.
Most of your fleshly thoughts are demolished.
You do not have any desire to disobey by actively using your fleshly thoughts.
As you get close to the fourth level of faith by reaching the 70th, 80th, and 90th percentile of the third level, your fleshly thoughts will become increasingly faint.
The voice of Satan that works through your fleshly thoughts will become faint.
But in the third level of faith, you still have the fleshly thoughts that come from self-righteousness and frameworks.
Even though you stand on the rock of faith, you still have some fleshly thoughts remaining that come from the self-righteousness and frameworks.
You want to obey the word of God, but you sometimes don’t because of such fleshly thoughts.
It is not easy to change your way of thinking or behavior that you have formed over a long period of time.
Especially, if you developed a wrong or improper framework with the word of truth based upon those personal ideas, it is difficult to understand the true will of God contained in the word.
It’s because you tend to accept and understand only within your own boundaries of your framework.
To that same extent, it will be difficult to hear the voice of the Holy Spirit deeply.
Even though you have been a believer for a long time and you have been working faithfully for God’s kingdom, you would not have substantial growth.
You lack spiritual fruits, too.
Therefore, you have to break down self-righteousness and frameworks.
If we have such self-righteousness and frameworks, we are apt to have fleshly thoughts without even realizing it.
The third level of fleshly thought is this fleshly thought that comes out of self-righteousness and frameworks without us realizing it.
There are believers who have stopped at the threshold of spirit, just because they cannot destroy such fleshly thoughts.
God the Father says it is very easy to go into spirit.
But, as long as we do not demolish our fleshly thoughts it is something never easy to go into spirit and whole spirit.
Suppose a certain person has reached the 99th percentile of the third level of faith, just about to enter into the fourth level of faith.
If you just look at the numbers, you might think he can go into spirit very soon because there is only 1 percentile remaining.
But there are some people who cannot do that because they will not break down their chronic fleshly thoughts.
They cannot change that 1 percentile of flesh into spirit.
For example, it may be something related to their temperament.
Some people do not realize the temperaments that they inherited from their parents and are hidden inside their chi, or life-energy.
Even though they do not want to have fleshly thoughts, this temperament will automatically generate fleshly thoughts.
For example, there are some who are born with an introversive temperament.
These people are usually quiet. They generally do not get angry or quarrel and break peace.
They do not usually have troubles in relationships with others, so it’s difficult for them to realize themselves.
But if such a person is recognized for his gentleness and becomes the leader of a group, the situation will change.
Of course, the leader of a group has to be gentle, but sometimes he has to be decisive.
But those who are introversive sometimes cannot clearly and plainly express their opinions
Many of them lack self confidence and are passive in nature in certain situations.
So, even when they have to actively do the work, they might just remain passive.
They have to actively care for others and lead them with confidence, but they lack such a character.
Nevertheless, they do not have evident trouble with others and because they consider others with goodness, they don’t realize the problem that lies with themselves.
On the other hand, some people are born with outgoing characters.
They are passionate in every work and they express themselves very well. They have a wide range of friendships, too.
They take the lead in working for God in many aspects.
Passion is very important and is necessary in our Christian lives.
But while they have this fervor, these people tend to lack service.
They do not really consider others better than themselves. They don’t give comfort to others.
For example, there are many works to do when we have a special event in the church.
Here, suppose there are many volunteers for the work that he wants to do.
In this case, if he wants to serve others, he can yield up the work to others.
But he just thinks he is the one who has to do that particular work. He is also confident of himself.
Finally, he doesn’t yield and he takes the job.
Now, he justifies himself thinking that he got the job because his longing for the work was greater than others.
He doesn’t realize his lack of service. He doesn’t realize he puts himself before others and that he is unable to consider others better than himself.
He has this framework of outgoing and active character, so he cannot have peace with others when he has to step back and yield, thinking that he has to long for spirit and advance into Heaven.
Also, in some cases fleshly thoughts come out from the frameworks of personality that is formed while growing up.
As they experience many ups and downs of life, they come to have negative and dark personalities.
As they looked at the world in sorrow and resentment, their view has become their personality.
This kind of personality also affects their Christian life.
They lead a life in Christ but feel the difficulties because of the fleshly thoughts that come out from the negative characters.
For example, they try hard to pray and work for God’s kingdom to cast away sins and receive blessings.
In the mean time, another person who is in a similar situation has received the blessing that he wanted to receive.
Also, another person has received a greater duty.
As he feels that others are going ahead of him, he becomes nervous and disheartened.
He cannot rejoice with the truth completely.
Also, some people condemn and criticize themselves in every matter.
Within their frameworks of thoughts, they feel God as God of Law and Judgment rather than God of love.
They feel that God is a fearful God.
They do not practice the truth with joy because they love God. They practice it with fear of being punished.
They blame themselves harshly even for small mistakes.
They lose the strength to pray, and they cannot go before God.
Of course, if they truly stand on the rock of faith, they will not utilize fleshly thoughts to this extent.
But because of such frameworks of thoughts, sometimes, they do not feel the love of God deeply.
When they interact with others, they do not understand and accept them according to their measure of faith. They look at others within their frameworks.
As they see others’ shortcomings, they first desire to point them out and teach them.
Sometimes they try to force those who have weak faith to the way of faith.
In this process, they make them think of God as a fearful God. In thinking this way it is difficult to lead a life in Christ.
And yet they think it is to love the souls and to love God.
As they live this way, it will be hard for themselves as well as others around them.
Some people have cultivated their heart with the truth to a significant extent, but they have fleshly thoughts because there are some minute fleshly attributes.
For example, a certain worker desires to obey God’s will as soon as he realizes it.
Also, when coworkers or his leaders give him advice, he desires to follow it.
But the problem is that he also has some uncomfortable feelings.
He agrees with the advice itself, but for a moment he feels uncomfortable.
Even though he wants to obey 99 times out of 100, if he has any uncomfortable feeling once, it means he doesn’t have a heart of spirit.
Even if he has just 0.1 percent of discomfort in his heart, he is still flesh.
But because the other 99.9 percent is the heart of goodness, and because such uncomfortable thoughts pass by very quickly, he just forgets that 0.1 percent.
That is why he cannot cast away the minute untruth in him, and thus he cannot go into spirit.
Also, some people have fleshly thoughts, but because they are in a spiritually good environment, they just think they always have spiritual thoughts.
For example, our church is overflowing with the grace of God pouring down.
You can experience the signs and wonders and power of God, and you can experience many gifts and works of the Holy Spirit.
You can pray with the fullness of the Spirit and we have an abundance of the spiritual word.
There are many foreign guests who want to visit our church, too.
Soon, we will begin to build the biggest church in the world.
So, they are full of Spirit and happy because they are protected by God all the time and they also receive blessings.
Everything seems good and lovely.
It is good to have such fullness of the Spirit, but the problem is they neglect circumcising their heart.
Because of the happy feelings coming from the circumstances, they just forget about their fleshly thoughts that they have from time to time, and they mistakenly think they are having spiritual thoughts.
But God says that, if the grace of God stops pouring down, there are some who will act like Job.
Job did not realize the evil in his heart.
Only when he lost all his children, wealth, health, and everything, did he reveal the evil in his heart.
When little children are carried on the back of their parents, they are just happy.
But if they have to walk on the ground themselves, they will realize they are weak.
It’s the same with the measure of faith.
When God the Father gives us the grace and protects us, we might not be able to discern the extent to which we have cultivated heart with the truth.
They just think they have good faith because they keep the Lord’s Day and give tithes and do not commit any works of the flesh.
But if they face any hardship, their fullness of Spirit will go away.
The measure of truth that they have cultivated in their heart will be revealed.
We should not just be happy on the shallow part of our heart in our Christian life.
We have to circumcise the depths of our hearts to have true hearts and perfect faith.
Of course, those who stand on the rock of faith will not lose their joy easily in any kind of trial.
But without having the perfect fullness of Spirit that stems from the depth of the heart which never disappears in any situation, they may just remain where they are.
I will continue to talk about the fleshly thoughts of the third level in the next session.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, God the Father refines the heart of His children.
Does He do that without a reason- Of course not!
Malachi 3:3 says, “He will sit as a smelter and purifier of silver, and He will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, so that they may present to the LORD offerings in righteousness.”
At that time, the Levites were chosen people who did God’s work only.
All of you who believe in the Lord in this end time can be said to be spiritual Levites.
All of you have the duty to awaken as many souls as possible and get them onboard the ark of salvation.
The reason why God refines your heart is to make you a spiritual worker who can completely obey the voice of the Holy Spirit.
So, if you have any attributes of flesh in you, what would God do-
He will try to make your heart perfectly pure, like pure gold, by refining you just a little bit more.
If you fulfill your duty having a pure heart like pure gold, He will be able to give you greater glory and rewards.
I hope you will understand this heart of God and overcome any kind of trial with hope.
I pray in the name of the Lord that you will fulfill your duties as the workers of the Holy Spirit and be remembered by God forever in New Jerusalem.
Brothers and sisters, this week, we have the Chuseok/Korean Thanksgiving holidays.
I hope you will serve your family members and relatives with generous heart like abundant harvest and give out the fragrance of the Lord.
I also urge you not to bow down before any idol as the children of God.
I pray in the name of the Lord that you will have a wonderful holidays being under the protection and receiving blessings of God the Father.