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,
The following happened when Jesus was preaching the gospel near the Sea of Galilee.
A multitude of people followed Him for three days, and they had nothing to eat since they were in the wilderness.
Jesus had pity on them and fed thousands of people with 7 loaves of bread and two small fish.
Grown up men were 4,000, and including women and children, it was much more than that.
Furthermore, when they gathered the left-over, they had seven full baskets.
After manifesting such an amazing sign, Jesus left for another place on a boat to preach the gospel.
At that time, the disciples discussed about having only one loaf of bread on the boat saying they forgot to bring the bread.
Seeing them, Jesus said with sympathy.
Mark 8:17-18 says, “And Jesus, aware of this, said to them, ‘Why do you discuss the fact that you have no bread? Do you not yet see or understand? Do you have a hardened heart?  Having eyes, do you not see? And having ears, do you not hear? And do you not remember,'”
Other than those mentioned, the disciples had seen so many signs and wonders of Jesus.
They also heard many words of truth from Him, too.
But because they had not yet received the Holy Spirit, they could not understand all they had experienced in their hearts.
If you do not realize the truth in your heart, you are a spiritually blind and deaf person who cannot see or hear.
After teaching the disciples like this, Jesus performed a miracle that had a very significant meaning at Bethsaida.
He made a blind man come to see again.
Mark 8:23 says, “Taking the blind man by the hand, He brought him out of the village; and after spitting on his eyes and laying His hands on him, He asked him, ‘Do you see anything?'”
When we were spiritually blind, without knowing the truth, Jesus stretched out His hands to us first.
He guided us to the truth holding our hands.
Just as He opened the eyes of a blind man, He opened our spiritual eyes.
When we practice the truth, the Holy Spirit can help us clearly realize that truth in our heart.
This way, to the extent that we realize the truth and that we fill our heart with the truth, our spiritual eyes and ears are opened wide.
Therefore, I hope you will diligently practice the truth and fill your heart with the truth.
I pray in the name of the Lord that you will become true children of God who can see and hear spiritual things clearly.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, this is the fifth session on the voice and guidance of the Holy Spirit.
Let us briefly review the past sessions.
In the last session, I talked about how the truth and untruth work in regard to hearing the voice of the Holy Spirit.
I explained that the truth plays the role like a textbook.
The Holy Spirit moves our heart as to what to say and what to do within the truth that is cultivated in us.
On the other hand, the untruth hinders us from hearing the voice of the Holy Spirit.
As long as we have untruth in our heart, we cannot hear the voice of the Holy Spirit because fleshly thoughts will come into our minds first.
If we have untruth in us, secondly, we cannot obey the Holy Spirit’s voice because our lust of the flesh will be agitated.
To the extent that we have untruths in us, we will hear the voice of Satan and obey it but not that of the Holy Spirit.
Therefore, in order for us to clearly hear the voice of the Holy Spirit and obey it, we have to cast away untruths and instead fill our heart with the truths at the same time.
In order to fill our heart with the truth, we first have to hear, read, and learn the word of God diligently.
Then, above all, we have to practice it.
Today, let us learn what we should do to cast away untruths that hinder us from hearing and obeying the voice of the Holy Spirit.
Of course, if we practice the truth and fill our heart with it, the untruths will go away as a reaction.
But if we also try to cast away untruths in specific matters, untruths will be cast away even quicker.
In fact, today’s reading passage contains the answer as to what we have to do to cast away untruths and clearly hear the Holy Spirit’s voice.
Romans 8:13 says, “…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.”
Here, flesh does not just mean a human body, but it refers to the sinful natures that are combined with the body.
They are the sinful natures that make us commit sins such as hatred, falsehood, adulterous mind, and greed.
Therefore, to live according to the flesh is to live according to the sinful natures that are combined with our body.
Those who hate, pass judgment and condemnation, quarrel, and try to fill their greed are those who live according to the flesh.
Then, what are the deeds of the body?
Here, the body refers to the body from which the knowledge of spirit leaked out since the Fall of Adam.
It is the body that is combined with untruths in place of the knowledge of the spirit.
All the ungodly and imperfect deeds that come out from this body are deeds of the body.
But if we do not live according to the flesh but put to death the deeds of the body through the Spirit, we can cast away the untruths.
There could be many steps in this process, but I will focus on breaking the fleshly thoughts and casting away the fleshly desires.
It is because fleshly thoughts and the fleshly desires are the two main factors that hinder us from having communication with the Holy Spirit.
Let us talk about the fleshly thoughts first.
First of all, let us learn the concepts that are necessary to learn about fleshly thoughts.
Men consist of spirit, soul, and body, and thoughts are the works of the soul.
What is soul? It is the generic term for the memory device in our brain, the knowledge that is contained in it, and the operation of retrieving that knowledge.
When we retrieve the knowledge that is contained in our brain, it is the thought.
Here, the knowledge is not just the things that we learn in school.
It includes all the common sense, theories, ways of behavior, and values that one learns.
Namely, everything that we see, hear, and experience and input in our memory device along with feelings is knowledge.
Of course, some knowledge is input without much feeling. But in most cases, they are input along with the feelings.
If you input something along with feelings, you can remember more clearly and for a longer period of time.
The knowledge that is contained in the brain will be remembered in the head as an occasion may arise. Namely, they are retrieved as thoughts.
For example, those who have suffered from wounds or diseases before will be reminded of their pain when they see others who are sick.
It’s because the piece of knowledge saying it is painful to have wounds or diseases is input in their memory device along with the painful feelings.
There are generally two kinds of thoughts.
One is spiritual thought and the other is fleshly thought.
If you retrieve the knowledge of truth in your memory device, it is the spiritual thought. If you retrieve the knowledge of untruth, it is fleshly thought.
We input knowledge of the truth and knowledge of the untruth together in our memory device.
Before Adam committed the sin, he only had spiritual thoughts.
At that time, Adam had only the knowledge of the truth.
Also, because the spirit controlled and ruled over the soul, the soul operated only within spirit.
But the situation changed since Adam’s Fall.
As his spirit died, the soul came in the position of the master of man in place of the spirit.
In the last session, I explained that Satan, being in the air, works through our thoughts. Namely, it works through the operation of our soul.
The enemy devil and Satan is the spiritual being that can control men’s souls.
This way, after Adam’s spirit died, the enemy devil and Satan began to plant knowledge of untruth in men through their operations of soul.
The role of the enemy devil and Satan is to stand against God, and so, it planted untruth in men, which is the opposite of the truth.
So, how much knowledge of untruth is input in human beings as they grow up and live in this world that is ruled by the enemy devil and Satan?
Of course, not all knowledge is untruth. There are things of the truth, too.
But mostly there are much more untruthful things.
Even among the things that the people believe to be truth, there are many things that are not really the truth.
For example, the worldly people think those who are served are the great and noble.
So, when other people serve them and yield to them, people think they themselves higher or stronger than those people who serve.
But is it correct according to the Bible? Jesus said exactly the opposite.
There was argument about which one of the disciples was great, and He said the following:
Matthew 23:11 says, “But the greatest among you shall be your servant.” He said the great is he who serves others.
At the Last Supper before the crucifixion, He washed the feet of His disciples to show the example of service.
In many cases what the worldly people believe to be truth is in fact untruth in the sight of God.
Also, there is a lot of knowledge in this world that stands against God.
Today, it is even more so, since the world is stained with thicker darkness and evil.
Therefore, we have to understand what kind of knowledge of untruth we have input in us, reflecting ourselves on the word of God.
Namely, we have to find out what kind of fleshly thoughts we have and demolish them.
Of course, we cannot cast away fleshly thoughts overnight.
Even though we have received the Holy Spirit and our spirit is revived, this spirit cannot rule over the soul immediately.
This is the reason why you cannot hear the voice of the Holy Spirit as much as you want.
You can control and rule over your soul to the extent that your spirit grows up and becomes strong.
This means you will be able to have only spiritual thoughts that belong to the truth.
If you become a man of spirit after casting away all untruths, you will not have any fleshly thoughts arising in your mind.
The enemy devil and Satan always tries to plant untruths in us.
But those who do not have any untruths in their heart are completely controlled by the spirit, so they do not accept any untruths.
Until we reach this level, we have to try to see and hear only things of the truth and have only the thoughts of truth, which are spiritual thoughts.
For example, in this world, many people think that if they are punched once, they have to punch back twice.
They believe it is the way to protect themselves and it is justified self-defense.
So, if anybody does any harm to them, they have such thoughts as, “I hate him, how can I humiliate him?”
What would you think in this kind of a situation, as those who have received the forgiveness of sins by the grace of the Lord?
You will probably try to understand and forgive the other person remembering the word of God that says, “Do not stand against evil ones, and if somebody slaps on your cheek, turn to him the other also.”
Let me tell you a story related with this.
Put yourself in this situation and think about what you would do.
This story is a little essay that a certain mother wrote about her son.
“One day, my son came back home from the kindergarten with a scratch on his face.”
I asked the teacher and there was another child who did that.
My son once had a nose bleed in the kindergarten, and I was worried.
So, I told my son not to just get beaten up but fight back.
But he said, “I can’t do that because the younger ones are younger than me, and girls are girls, and my friends are my friends.”
I left the room with an angry face, and he followed me and said, “Mom, don’t worry. I will dodge them well next time.”
What kinds of thoughts did you have listening to this story?
From the next session, I will talk about what kinds of fleshly thoughts will arise according to the measure of faith.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, in His public life, Jesus preached the gospel of the kingdom of heaven without ceasing and let the people know that He is the Son of God.
But most of the leaders in Israel did not believe Him as the Messiah because His words did not agree with their knowledge.
Jesus was different from the Messiah that they had known or dreamt about.
Fundamentally, they had untruths in heart such as envy, jealousy, and greed for authority and fame, and that is why they did not want to acknowledge Jesus.
Jesus spoke to these Jews who couldn’t understand Jesus’ words or believe in Jesus as their Savior.
John 8:44 records Jesus’ words saying, “You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies.”
The enemy devil and Satan is such a being. It cheats the people with so many lies.
It says there is no Heaven or Hell, and that there is no God. This way it leads the people to the way of death.
Not just the worldly people, but it tries to deceive the children of God as best it can.
It makes people doubt even though they see works of God. It changes the truth cunningly and leads them to the way of death.
Those who have many untruths in their heart are easily cheated by the lies of the enemy devil and Satan. They are led by fleshly thoughts.
But that way is the way of death, and to live in fleshly thoughts is really agonizing.
Romans 8:6 says, “For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace,” As written, fleshly thoughts is death and agony, which is opposite of life and peace.
You are casting away untruths from your heart and replacing it with the truth, so you can discern the truth being guided by the Holy Spirit.
How thankful it is!
I hope none of you will be cheated by the lies of the enemy devil and Satan.
I urge you to cast away all untruths from your heart and fill it with truths.
Then, the Holy Spirit will clear the sight of our spiritual eyes and let us hear clearly His voice with our spiritual ears.
In this guidance of the Holy Spirit, I pray in the name of the Lord that you will take the way of blessing and the way to heavenly kingdom.