“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,
You are truly blessed people. Most of you heard the gospel from somebody and accepted the Lord.
But even if you have not accepted the Lord as your personal Savior, you are here in the church to meet the Lord.
It is truly a blessing that we can believe in God who is spirit in this physical world.
In 1 Peter 1:8, the apostle Peter said, “…and though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory,”
You have not met God or the Lord directly with your eyes, but you believe in and love Him.
Today’s reading passage Romans 8:16 says, “The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God.”
The Holy Spirit lets us realize that God is our Father and we are His children.
But the fleshly thoughts hinder us from hearing this teaching of the Holy Spirit.
They interrupt us from believing in God and from feeling that He is our Father.
Now, let’s look into the different levels of fleshly thoughts that we have to demolish in order to hear the voice of the Holy Spirit.
Today, among those levels of fleshly thoughts, I will talk about the basic levels.
I pray in the name of the Lord that you will demolish all the fleshly thoughts that you have, trust God the Father and the Savior Jesus more, and become His children who love God very much.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, this is the seventh session on ‘The Voice and Guidance of the Holy Spirit“.
In the last session, I elaborated on how the voice of the Holy Spirit and that of Satan control people.
If we have untruths in our heart, we will first have fleshly thoughts in our mind when we see or hear something.
Even though the Holy Spirit gives us His voice in our heart, we will first have the fleshly thoughts come to mind, and they will block the voice of the Holy Spirit.
Having fleshly thoughts is same as opening the main gate of the house to the enemy devil and Satan.
It means we are opening the gate to the voice of Satan to penetrate into our hearts. Therefore, we have to realize what kinds of fleshly thoughts we have and demolish them.
From this session, let us delve into the fleshly thoughts with various examples.
The fleshly thoughts that arise will be different according to the measure of faith of each individual. It’s because the measure of truth that each person has cultivated is different from one person to another.
Let me compare faith with an apple. Then the measure of faith can be likened to the size of the whole apple, and the measure of truth cultivated in heart to the pulp, the flesh of the apple.
The more our heart is cultivated with truth, the less fleshly thoughts we will have and in lighter density.
Of course, we cannot clearly distinguish levels of fleshly thoughts into five levels like we do in the case of the measures of faith.
People have input different knowledge of untruth as they grow up. Also, even though their faith grows up to some extent, they might have a certain kind of fleshly thought that they cannot remove.
Some people have a deep root of hatred, and they cannot easily cast away the thoughts of passing judgment.
Or, even though they are new believers there are some people do not have much hatred. They look at others with the eyes of goodness.
In the same way, though there can be personal differences, fleshly thoughts can still be categorized into different levels according to the measure of faith.
The first level of fleshly thought is the thought that hinders one from believing in God.
It is the lowest level among the fleshly thoughts that we have to demolish in order to hear the voice of the Holy Spirit.
Many worldly people do not believe in God because of such fleshly thoughts.
Of course, there are some who go to church but have not received the faith to be saved yet. The thoughts of these people also belong here at the first level. These fleshly thoughts are mostly from the knowledge and theories of this world.
2 Corinthians 10:5 says, “We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.”
Why does it say we have to destroy all speculations and take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ?
Those who are full of worldly theories, knowledge, and human wisdom find it difficult to believe in God.
It’s because they will have many fleshly thoughts that will hinder them from believing in God.
For example, how do people react when you preach the gospel to those who have lived without knowing about God at all?
Some may accept the gospel immediately, but in most cases, they cannot accept it easily. It’s because the thoughts that arise from their worldly theories and knowledge will keep them from believing the gospel.
Our Lord said He will go to each one and knock on the door of their thoughts first. Namely, He lets them hear the gospel through those who preach the word of God.
Then, those who are good-hearted will open the door of their thoughts. They will accept the gospel and finally open the gate of their heart and accept the Lord.
But some others will deny the gospel. The fleshly thoughts that are derived from their worldly speculations and knowledge will make them refuse the Lord.
They are not opening the door of their thoughts to the Lord but to the enemy devil and Satan.
For example, the Bible says that Jesus, who is God in origin, came to this Earth and put on a human
form. Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit and was born of a virgin.
But the worldly knowledge will say that life can be conceived only by the unification of men’s sperm and women’s ovum.
Those who have this knowledge of the world will think, “How can a woman who does not know a man become pregnant and give birth?”
Satan will not miss this moment and cause the person to hold on to that thought tightly.
He will enhance the fleshly thought.
Then, at first this person might have just doubted it lightly, but later, he might even pass judgment thinking it’s a lie and it’s a total nonsense.
As a result, he cannot accept the gospel.
Now, how could they believe that Jesus died on the cross and resurrected on the third day?
When we preach about the resurrection, people simply will not believe it thinking, ” …once a man dies that is the end. So, how is it possible for a man come back to life again?” They think it is nonsense.
Also, the Bible tells us the origin of everything saying that God created the heavens and earth and everything in it from the state of nothingness.
But many people in the world believe in Darwinism.
They just think that the creation of the world is just a myth, although it is a fact.
It’s because it is very different from the knowledge and theories that they learn in the world.
In the modern society as the science has developed rapidly, many people have blind faith in science.
They think scientific theories are the most objective and reliable knowledge. Of course, there are many rules and theories that are proven through experiment and are true.
But these rules may be true in this first dimension, namely in this physical world, but in a dimension higher than this, in spiritual dimensions, they may not be true.
If one denies this fact, the knowledge that he believes to be true may cause him to have fleshly thoughts that stand against God, even though his knowledge may be true.
For example, in Joshua chapter 10, we find the event when the sun and the moon stayed in one place for a certain period of time.
According to the rules of this world, the sun and the moon can never stop. If they do, the earth will fall into a chaos. But in the spiritual space, it easily becomes possible.
If this physical space is covered with spiritual space, the sun and the moon can stop without doing any harm to this Earth.
You have learned in the sermons of ‘space and dimension’ about how the signs and wonders and extraordinary things of the Bible can take place.
I explained that the things that are impossible in this world can become possible in the spiritual spaces.
It is true that the earth will suffer great damage if the sun and the moon stop. But if we deny the wonders in the Bible based on this knowledge and theory, then, this piece of knowledge is meaningless.
It doesn’t do any good to us, but it only gives rise to fleshly thoughts that lead us to death.
The apostle Paul realized this fact so thoroughly that he considered the worldly knowledge and theories that he previously learned to be rather harmful to him.
He said in Philippians 3:8, “More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ.”
This confession of the apostle Paul was from the depth of his heart.
But when you preach the gospel, you will find out that the worldly people will think in the opposite way.
They think the worldly knowledge is valuable and knowing the Lord, namely the gospel is foolishness.
1 Corinthians 1:21 says, “For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not come to know God, God was well-pleased through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe.”
Here, ‘the foolishness of the message preached’ means that preaching the gospel seem to be foolish in the eyes of the worldly people.
I believe you are preaching to your family or neighbors about why Jesus is our Savior and about Heaven and Hell.
Also, you must be saying, “In our church, we have the works of God’s power that are recorded in the Bible. The blind come to see, the deaf to hear, and the mute to speak by the power of God, and many incurable diseases like AIDS and cancers are healed.”
Then, how do they react?
Of course, there must be some who believe what they hear and come to church.
But not all of them do. Many of them must have some doubts, even though they do not completely deny what they hear.
Or, still others just flatly refuse to believe what they hear, saying those things are just impossible.
They even consider you who are preaching the gospel to be foolish, or they say you are liars.
Because they cannot understand what they hear according to the knowledge and theories they have, they do not believe the facts as facts.
But who is really wise and who is really foolish?
You, who have the most valuable knowledge, the knowledge that is more valuable than any other knowledge of this world, are the ones who are the truly wise people.
The knowledge about the Lord Jesus Christ shows clearly the way of peace and blessings during our lives on this earth.
Above all, it lets us understand the way to gain ‘Heaven’ which is the most precious treasure of all. It cannot be compared with meaningless knowledge that gives rise to fleshly thoughts and leads us to death.
The apostle Paul understood this fact from the heart and that is why he destroyed and considered as rubbish all speculations, knowledge, and thoughts of this world.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, long ago, I was one of those who would not accept the gospel.
While I was on my sickbed, my sister had pity on me and preached the gospel to me from time to time.
She was telling me God would heal my diseases if I went to church.
But being on my sick bed, I would reply to her with stubbornness saying, “Men are going to the moon in space-crafts, and where is God? Show Him to me if He lives!”
However, I couldn’t refuse her asking a favor of me to guide her to a certain church, and I went to that church for the sake of guiding her.
But since that day, I became a completely different person.
I used to be an atheist, but I became a preacher who would preach the living God anywhere.
It’s because the moment I knelt in a church God healed me of all my diseases that had tortured me for 7 years.
I met the living God.
Since then, as I was learning the word of God, I became so afraid when I had the thought, “I could have gone the way of death because of my knowledge and pride!”
I didn’t know what to do when I thought, “What would have happened to me if I had not met God?”
The reason why I have been accomplishing this ministry of God’s power without ceasing is because I experienced such an amazing miracle myself.
2 Corinthians 10:4 says, “…for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses.”
As written, I realized that only the spiritual weapon, the power of the Holy Spirit, can be the divine instrument to demolish all knowledge, theories, and thoughts of this world.
With this faith, when I let the people see the signs and wonders along with the preaching of the word of God, people’s thoughts were demolished.
Even those who had very rigid thoughts of this worldly knowledge were changed. You received so much grace through this past summer retreats.
You must have felt the spiritual space seeing the swarms of dragonflies flying down from around the sun, and you must have felt the love of God the Father seeing those friendly dragonflies.
It’s the hottest time of the year, but God gave us such cool weather.
Also, He gives us fullness of Spirit by showing us various clouds, rainbows, and moving of the stars.
Some experience divine healings while listening to the messages or during their prayers, and some of them receive the desires of their heart.
If these things do not take place, there is no reason for so many people from other countries to come all the way to Korea to participate in the summer retreat.
Even the new believers come and their fleshly thoughts have been destroyed. They have faith now by participating in the summer retreats.
Also, many church members’ self-righteousness and frameworks are shattered and their faith grows up.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, I think many of you used to say “Where is God? Show Him to me!”
But when you had various life problems, you must have felt so helpless and powerless, and that the knowledge of this world is useless.
That is why you sought God and met Him.
If you open your heart, when your heart is poor, then the Holy Spirit comes into your heart.
Since then, He is always with us and leads us to the way of prosperity.
But how good would it be if we can open the door of our thoughts and heart before we encounter various life problems, just by seeing the power and divine nature contained in all things of the universe, and just by hearing the love of the cross of our Lord?
I hope all of you will demolish all these meaningless and useless fleshly thoughts.
In doing so, I pray in the name of the Lord, that you will gain true wisdom by the guidance of the Holy Spirit and lead a blessed life.