♠ Transcript ♠
Message: Immanuel Church Sunday Worship, 1st Service- 12/13/2020
Title: Aaron’s Budded Staff
Scripture: Numbers 17:8-13
▶Thank you for that. I saw on the broadcast yesterday that there was a young person who was singing. And the score that they received was almost a full score. Somebody, one of the judges was asking, “This person first came out when they were very young. How did they come out once more?”. This person, who was trying to be a singer, was raised by their grandmother because their parents had gotten divorced when they were very young. Because that became such a deep scar, this person was suffering from panic disorders and was not able to do anything at all.
After singing their song, they were sharing a bit about their own personal story. This person was crying a bit and so were almost all the judges who were listening. I think that was probably the case for most of the people who were watching that program. This person was just in such an unfortunate situation. That shock they received when they were young, manifested later on as an illness. No one can help them.
▶In today’s passage, as the Israelites were going through the wilderness, there were wicked people like Korah who raised up a rebellion. And all of their family members were struck and swallowed up by the land. Over 10,000 people, who listened to Korah’s words of unbelief and were swept away by that, were put to death.
So what would happen as they’re walking through the wilderness? They all incurred a tremendous shock. Do you think that there’s only 1 or 2 people in the world who are like that? You remember the incident of the Sewol Ferry. The family members of the victims were so shocked by the incident that they can’t do anything, even now. Even the survivors of the incident, those students? The majority of them will face spiritual problems. There are all too many people who are like that in this world. There’s a person I know, who is a pastor today. He’s still shocked by the memory of his mother, who committed suicide when he was young. And for some people, it’s a very small, trivial matter. Yet, that becomes a great problem for them. For example, his father was a graduate of Seoul National University as well as his sister. But he went to Busan University. Busan University is a fine school. But he was so pressed by the fact that he didn’t go to Seoul National University that even after he got married, he went mentally insane. There are also some people who had a very stern, strict father who had the intention of raising them well. But because they were so oppressed by that, they became strange people later on. We can speak simply of these matters, but the fact of the matter is, no one can help them. They can receive help from physicians, but realistically speaking, it’s difficult to completely solve this problem.
▶At this time, God gave a very important answer.
All of our members throughout the nation and the world must hold on to this today. What did He do at this time? The entire assembly of Israel still had these scars. At this time, God gives instructions to Moses. “Call together all the chiefs of the tribes. Bring a staff from all the chiefs of those tribes. On that staff, write their names.” Then they can see to whom the staff belongs. “Place that staff next to the ark of the covenant.” They were in prayer and then they waited. All the staffs of the other heads of the tribes remained dead and of course, that would be the case because it’s just dead wood. But Aaron’s staff brought forth buds and blossoms and bore fruit. What do you think about this? This is content you know very well. But we can’t just think of it that way. Think about the situation the Israelites were in at that time. If you saw that with your eyes, what would you have done? How would you have reacted? You would have been astonished. What is that? It’s not just simply, “Listen to the words of Moses. Listen to and heed the words of Aaron”. He’s speaking about the works that arise when you listen to the Word of God, when you hold fast to it, and when you give worship with it.
▶You must remember. There are 2 types of shocks you can receive. A bad and negative shock. That, then produces spiritual problems. But there are times when we’re so taken aback and shocked by the Word of God. At that time, tremendous works of healing or answers come. How is it for you? When you are continually struck/shocked by the Word of God, that’s when the power is manifested. The fact that a long time ago, in the distant past, Aaron’s staff budded isn’t the main point of this account. He said, “Place that budded staff in the ark of the covenant to preserve it for all eternity”. I’m sure you’ve already caught on to what I’m saying. This is so important. You must enjoy this today and if you enjoy this every day, then absolutely, the world will be transformed. Joseph went as slave and yet, in that place, he saw the fulfillment of God’s Word. He’d never fall ill. He saw God working by His power every day. So even when he was sent to prison, he wasn’t shaken at all. Even there, in that place, God’s power was at work. What will happen afterwards? Later on, he becomes the governor. But this isn’t just a simply story. You too, can receive this answer. When you’re shocked by the Word of God and so inspired by it, all of your scars will be healed. Even your mental disorders can be healed. In fact, I believe that even the physical diseases we have in our bodies can be healed as well. In other words, even cancer can be healed. If you gain this strength… Because if you gain this strength, your immunity will increase and you’ll be able to overcome that. These words are very important.
▶When God’s Word comes upon us, at the very same time, we see that the power of the Triune God comes to rest upon us as well. But if you listen to it and it doesn’t impact you at all, then what does it amount to? When you listen to God’s Word, it needs to strike your heart and impact you. It was when I was very young. I don’t exactly recall if I was in 1st or 2nd grade. But it was around that time so it was when I was very young. I couldn’t even calculate at the time. But I was walking down the street and I happened to pick up the largest bill you can have at the time. Perhaps, you cannot relate, but when I was very young, I happened to pick up the largest bill you can have at the time, off the street. Do you think I would have been sad or happy? I was so happy, wondering, “What is this?”. So instead of telling my mother, I took that and bought some snacks. After buying the snacks, I received by change and wads of bills were returned to me. That’s the state of mankind. Isn’t that so? That’s our level. Even if we were to buy a very nice house, it makes us happy. Even if we own a very nice car, it makes us happy. Even if we own very nice clothes, that makes us very happy. God’s Word comes upon us and works upon us in life and power. It impacts us. This is God’s method. Things were difficult enough already as they were in the wilderness for the Israelites. Again, on top of that, they received a very negative shock. From that, God gave them the answer to it and allowed Aaron’s staff to bud. All of you experiencing spiritual hardships, don’t worry about a thing. Starting today, just simply hold on to this covenant. Find it on your own and find it during the time of worship as well. Surely, at that time, God is bound to work by the power of the Triune God. It’s at this very moment that God unveils the background of heaven and mobilizes His army of angels to us. People of the world don’t know this and that’s why they experience and incur spiritual problems. But all the forces of darkness have no choice but to be bound at this time. The highly educated scientists and scholars don’t know this. That’s why they suffer from their own spiritual problems. Countries like the U.S. and places like Europe don’t know about this tremendous spiritual mystery. That’s why there are so many people with mental disorders there. What happens at this time? Healing will arise.
▶It clearly says in verses 5-10 of today’s passage. He says to get rid of all those who are grumbling. Verse 10 also clearly says, “Lest they die”. Those words are very important. What does it say in verse 12? “So that they will not be undone. So that they will not perish.” Do you understand? If you can’t understand these words, that means that you have a very low IQ. Unbelievers simply do not have the spiritual IQ. That’s why they suffer and toil endlessly and at the end of all that, all they face is destruction. What is world evangelization? We see that for the most part, most people live all their lives in suffering. They try to scrounge to make a living and with that, they live the rest of their lives. If that’s life, then just like what Schopenhauer said, it’s better to just not be born. You’re born into this world to barely make a living for yourself and that’s the entirety of your life? Then it’s better that we’re not born in the first place. And in the midst of that, we run the errands of Satan. No. Aaron’s budded staff signifies that when the power of God’s Word comes upon us, that’s when healing arises for us. From that moment on, we’re able to see the path. How? The path to the wilderness is a blessed path. The path towards Canaan is the path towards world evangelization. It may look like the path we’re taking now is the path of anguish and suffering. But instead, this is the perfect path for making preparations for the coming generations. We cannot gather because of the pandemic, but we can receive God’s Word most accurately. “God’s Word comes upon me and sweeps over me in power. It impacts me.” That’s when your eyes open/change.
▶Main- What kind of blessing is God trying to give? At this time, what kind of path can you see? There are 3 paths you can see.
1.All of the Past is the Future Blessing.
▶First. You must make your past into the blessings of the future. If you are impacted by God’s Word and you received the healing of all your scars, you’re now able to proceed all of your past as the future blessings. For me, none of my past is a scar. Of course, if you were to ask me today if I’d like to repeat that life again, it would be difficult. But none of those things are a scar to me because all of them were springboards and platforms for the future. I can understand other people’s plights because of it. Why? Because I’ve experienced it myself. That difficult situation? I can understand it. Because I experienced it. All those things became a springboard for me to go out and evangelize. The works of the Exodus continued to arise and result in answers for the Israelites. They were impacted by God’s Word. The miracles that arose in the wilderness continued to come to them as an answer. Really. Being strengthened and reinvigorated by the shock that came from God’s Word, they were able to realize what the meaning of the 3 feasts were. Then at that point, you don’t even need to argue or question whether that’s an answer or not. If you continue along that path, God’s answers will come. He’s bound to work. In Busan, we rented out a very small location, a very small face from a factory and from there, that became the platform for World Evangelization. Immanuel Seoul Church first began in the basement in the Seokcho region. Even from the way I see it, I think God has granted to us, the best location in the greater Seoul for to provide training. In the coming future, all the multiethnic peoples from the 237 nations will continue to gather. Those who must receive true healing will gather. Those who understand truly, what the summit means, will gather. If you hold on to God’s Word incorrectly, it doesn’t matter how much you try, how diligent you are. If you’re holding on to God’s will incorrectly, no matter how renown, prestigious, distinguished, and skilled you may be, it doesn’t matter at all. People are completely seized by the scars that have been given to them by Satan. That’s why they study so much but later in life, they only experience problems.
▶The moment they saw Aaron’s budded staff, all the people of Israel incurred shock. They understood that that was preserved in the ark of testimony. What does it mean? To commemorate this? It means that they understood the importance of continuing God’s Word. When that happened, the tabernacle itself became a very important answer. Only then could they come to understand why they had to keep the Sabbath Day and why they had to gather for worship. If you don’t understand these words, this worship amounts to nothing. But if you understand these words, every single time you give worship, 100-year answers will come to you. Only then can we conquer the world. With our monthly pay, we cannot do world missions. Isn’t that so? That’s why God granted a hundred years’ worth of answers to Isaac. With our meager earnings, we can’t do world missions and we can’t raise the posterity. That’s why God gave to him, the fountainhead, the wellspring. If you truly understand and realize the covenant and hold on to this once, God will give you the 100-year answer. That’s the Sabbath Year and that’s the Year of Jubilee. All of our past becomes a future blessing.
2.Today is the Future Blessing.
▶Number 2. When we receive that shock from God’s Word and when we’re filled with inspiration through that, the blessing of today is connected to the blessings of the future. At that time, the force of darkness crumbles. The forces of darkness are not elements in our past or future. It’s right now and that will be broken down. All of our nature of slavery in our past will be completely dissipated and instead, it will become power. They’re walking through the wilderness but all this becomes the time of preparation for them. When they removed all of their imprints, roots, and nature of Egypt, all of these things were strengthening to them. They were the same people, but that’s the transformation they underwent. You must remember. Today, you must discover that element where God’s Word strikes your heart and impacts you. There are pastors throughout Korea and the world. How do you make preparations for your sermon? You don’t need to add things to God’s Word. You don’t need to seek to do a good job. You just need one thing. When I receive God’s Word, it needs to shock me and impact me. And you need to run the errand of now delivering this Word to the people of God. That needs to give you that excitement and heart of anticipation.
▶There’s a remnant who succeeded as a chef. To what extent did he succeed? A very wealthy businessman came to him and said, “I’ll invest in you. So start a restaurant”. Since that remnant was very young, he was continually holding on to God’s Word. He was introduced on RUTC TV. He had no choice but to succeed. He was different from other kids. Since he was very young, he held on to God’s Word- even the messages I had forgotten. He said, “Pastor you said this at this time” and he held on to that. Every time I met with him, he would introduce me to the answers he received. “At this time, you gave this message and I held on to that. This is the answer I received.” I was overwhelmed by his answers. How skilled, how competent is he? After starting his restaurant, he never went out to advertise it. He doesn’t accept customers when they walk in. Even before the coronavirus. There’s a sign when you go to his restaurant. “Our restaurant is reservation only.” If you want to you, you need to make a reservation in advance. Other than those reservations, they don’t accept any walk-ins. Once, he contacted me saying that he wanted to prepare a meal for me. So I went together with my executive secretaries. We went there and he prepared all the meals himself and served us. How do you think he felt? He was preparing this meal for us, for the pastor. What kind of heart do you think he had? What do you think he had in his mind at the time? It’s the same. When you go out with God’s Word… When you go to the people of the world with God’s Word in hand… When you go to your schools with God’s Word… When you go to all the fields of your life with the Word of God, you’re not going out with your head hung low because things are so hard for you. You’re going with that flutter in you heart, full of anticipation. You don’t even need to go out to evangelize because you can see right off the bat, the people who are facing hardships. And they will come to you one day. Isn’t that so? If you receive answers, the entire spiritual ambience and atmosphere will be transformed. That’s why you have no choice but to receive answers. But if you don’t have the Word of God in your heart and you don’t have this strength in hand, you’ll go out to the world and face a double, triple whammy and be completely overwhelmed by it.
3.The Things of Tomorrow Also Transform into Future Blessings.
▶The fact that you have that shock and inspiration of God’s Word means that your things of tomorrow will also be connected to you future. At this time, the blessing of the throne will come upon you. That’s amazing, isn’t it? God’s Word strikes your heart and with that alone, all of your past is transformed into Word fulfillment. You must not lose hold of it. I see so many people who go to church and many of these churchgoers are living their walk of faith incorrectly. It’s really unfortunate to see. God’s Word needs to strike us with that inspiration and it needs to impact us just as the people of Israel were taken completely aback by Aaron’s budded staff. When that happens, our past will transform into the blessings of the future. The things of today will transform into the future. All the forces of darkness will be bound. That’s the second point. And what’s the third? The things that will come in the foreseeable future will change into future blessings but not just simple blessings; into the blessing of the throne of heaven. Do you understand? What is that? He parted the Jordan. That was not your simple blessing. It was the blessing of the throne. Why? In order to save the future. God topples the walls of Jericho. The united forces of the Amorites stood in their way and when they were confronted by them, God sent down hail to strike them down. What is that? It’s all for the sake of the future. All those blessings together, the combination of that, is left for all eternity. Is that true or not? The faith and Joshua and Caleb are eternal. If you receive this answer, then your blessings will remain eternally as well. There’s no need for anything else. It’s 234, healing, and summit. If that happens, then this blessing in our church will stand for all eternity. May you not lose hold of this. Because it’s a commemorative blessing. At this time, “24” doesn’t become deep anguish for you. Instead, you are able to take such joy from it. That prayer that you give continually and deeply? All that becomes an answer and great strength for you. You need to taste that. And why are your answers eternal answers? Because they’re commemorative answers…
▶In living my life, I experienced this about 3 times.
There was a time when everything was so frustrating and nothing was working out at all. Nothing was working for me. I was questioning this because it wasn’t that I lacked intellect and it wasn’t that I wasn’t studying enough. But nothing was working out. But one day, something really inspired my heart. Now of course, I’m not a very expressive man, but this really came and struck my heart deeply. The fact that God is the living God and that I am His child. That struck my heart. It’s really nothing at all, but that realization came to me a little late. In the past, I would often question, “Does God really exist?”. That’s why my life always remained at that level. But one day, logically, scientifically, and biblically, I came to have faith in the fact that God is living. I felt and sensed that I was God’s child. With that alone, unbeknownst to me, my life began to change. There was second instance in which I receive that shock and inspiration, just like Aaron’s budded staff. This second instance was a very transformative answer for me. I came to realize that apart from Christ, there’s no way to overcome the force of darkness, disaster, Satan, and hell. I realized that this curse cannot be solved by politicians, scientists, and economic professionals. It really struck my heart. I didn’t know it at the time, but it was at that moment, that God made me into an evangelist. There are many other examples, but there’s a third, very important experience that I had. “Ah, this is what prayer is. This is how I ought to pray. This is everything.” That really struck my heart. From that moment on, astonishingly enough, I was able to see the Word moving. This Word of God really became an answer for me. A precise one. And I began to see a separate power, one that doesn’t rest with me, that began to be manifested. I realized that this is how accurately God wants to give power to His people. And it’s really frustrating that we cannot receive it. Because most people are at the level of being human, they only have human thoughts. But if you surpass the level of human thought, works will arise. Most people have to make a living and that’s why they’re only thinking about making a profit. Most people deceive themselves because they don’t want suffering to come to them. Most people deceive others because they don’t want to be at a loss. Most people only speak about physical, secular matters. If you just understand this a little bit, the works will arise. If you understand the mystery of prayer, if you understand what Aaron’s budded staff means, then it’s finished. It’s not Aaron. He was a priest, but it’s not about him. If you understand the meaning and significance of your worship… That’s what this means. If you understand the fact that with God’s Word alone, you’ll be filled with power and shock… Then you’ll come to understand what prayer means.
▶Today, without a single exception, may every one of you enter into this blessing. Experience it. Then if that happens, when you come to church, you’re filled with that expectation of, “What kind of Word will God give to me today?”. I’m also expectant as well as I prepare for the sermon throughout the week. I’m in full anticipation of what kind of message God will give this week. God will use you to heal the world. Prior to that, He will heal you. Today’s Word of Aaron’s budded staff are not simple words. It was the healing of all the scars and shock that the Israelites had incurred. This is how the Word impacted them to give them new strength and power. As you’re listening to today’s sermon, you may be thinking, “That’s right”. With that alone, the works will begin. With the simple realization that a student has, that they should pray as they study, with that alone, the works will arise. “In prayer, I must save my workplace.” With that alone, the works will arise. Because that’s the Word of God that has impacted “me”. I bless you in the name of the Lord that even this week will become a new week for you. Let us pray.
God, may today become an important start in our lives. May it be the start to us realizing what God’s power is. In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, we pray. Amen.