02.26.2021 – Witness (Witness’ Start, Preparation, and Devotion)
♠ Transcript ♠
Message: Nationwide Elder Association Retreat, Lecture 1- 08/07/2020
Title: Witness (Witness’ Start, Preparation, and Devotion)
Scripture: Acts 1:12-14
>> Last time, when I heard the praise of our Yewon Church Elders’ Group, I was so blessed. Even today, I was so blessed by the choir. They’re disciples of our Rev. Chung Eun Chu and he’s not a very good singer. But you are almost like professionals. I can’t really understand that.
>>> Right now, you are elders of churches that have the Gospel.
You don’t have much time. So don’t try to do a lot. Rather, devote as if this is the start as well as the end. Only then will proper answers come.
“For me, this church is my start and end. Even for church construction, this will be my first and last.” With that covenant, the elders became “witnesses”. They gathered with this covenant. That’s where God worked. So you must always remember.
>> Introduction- End
They knew the end. You need to surely hold on to this. Let me just give you 3 examples.
①In the eyes of the people of the world, Egypt was mighty. But in the eyes of the people of the world, Elder Jethro wasn’t much. However, God broke down Egypt. The works that Elder Jethro left behind were the Exodus and many fruit. How was he able to do that work? Because he knew the end. This is what you must surely grab hold of in your hand. Jesus said. “After the Gospel of the kingdom is preached to all people, the end will come. You will go to the end of the earth. You will go to all nations. You will go to all people.” So in your life, you’re holding on to what is your end and you’re racing towards that.
②What happened to Babylon right now? It has fallen to ruins. But back then, people called it the greatest nation. The church officers were taken captive there, but that’s where God worked.
③One more example. Rome, during that time, was the greatest nation. So having a Roman citizenship was something they considered to be most boast-worthy. But what happened? The Roman Empire perished. God used the remnants and church officers, who had the Gospel, from within them and did world evangelization.
>> This is what you must surely hold on to. “I’m going to stake my life for this church as a first and last.” You need to hold on to that covenant to be able to properly see. Then in order to do that, you need to live first.
So you need to check this this time.
1)My State (Imprint, Root, Nature) (Prayer System) (Holy Spirit)
>> You need to check your state. If you look in the Bible, why did God change their names? If you look in the Bible, God said, “No longer be Abram, but Abraham”. “You will not be Jacob, but Israel.” Pharaoh, who saw God’s power told Joseph, “Your name will now be Zaphnath-Paaneah”. Already, you have this. Because you have a different imprint, root, and nature, this is the very first thing that you must do. What does it mean? To change your name? That means that you have completely equipped yourself with this 24-hour prayer system. That is why you absolutely need this. So elders, starting now, you need to confirm, “How am I praying for the church right now? How am I doing my prayer?”. Because you are special elders who have been saved, the answers will surely come from that point on. So you don’t even need to learn how to do it. Just hold on to the message given from your church pulpit and find your message.
>> Because your imprint, root, and nature never change, it’s only possible through the works of the Holy Spirit. Even if we have our imprint, root, and nature, we can only overcome them by the power of the Holy Spirit. To be accurate, I evangelized for 40 years and I’ve been doing this together with you for the past 20-30 years, but honestly, I realized, “Ah, this is prayer” only about 20 years ago. After I realized this prayer, everything appeared to me differently. For example, I could sit in my room alone all day long and I wouldn’t be bored. Truly, after realizing this, I never felt bored. And even when tremendous hardships come. Even during those times, I can seek out tremendous answers. So elders, you need to quickly examine this first. No matter how much you do anything else, it’s all in vain. You are the people of God, elders in a church that proclaims the Gospel. If that is so, you must surely hold on to your “end of the earth”. No matter what kind of hardships came, Joseph already knew. Joseph surely held on to the sun, the moon, and stars bowing, world evangelization. The reason why Moses remained so steadfast was because he surely held on to the promise that they will enter Canaan. The people who were here knew the fact that world evangelization will absolutely take place.
2)My Nature- CVDIP (All)
>> If that is so, we need to quickly change our spiritual nature. Start forming this now. Then you can see this. Your CVDIP.
I’ll speak more about this during our Remnant Conference, but what can we do to change this into an answer, even our nature? Some people ask, “What is the covenant?”. But you must not ask like that. Elders should not be asking like that. That’s what children ask. How should our elders ask?
“The past, present, all the good things, and all the bad things in front of me are the Covenant.” If you look at it that way, then tremendous works will arise. Everything changes into your Vision. Your church, your field, and everything in there brings about the Dream. That brings about God’s Image and becomes a masterpiece. Look at this. The church officers and elders who changed the world in the Bible were all like this. Then without having to even change your nature, you will be used by God. You need surely do this first. This doesn’t take much time. Just change your thinking a bit today. With the things that we’ve been doing with our level until now, it’s difficult to save the church. World evangelization is impossible. We can never do this with the way we’ve lived until now. This is what we need to change.
3)My Limitations (5 Powers)
>> Then you also need to check your limitations. That’s why He gave us the 5 powers. What’s our elders’ greatest assignment? Restoring this in the remaining time schedule. If you’re not able to restore this, the older you get, the more difficult this becomes.
>> Main- Things that Take Place
1.Start→ One Who Has Seen the Things of God
>> You are very important people. You need to examine this first to truly start. There’s something that takes place from this point on. Now, you have the start of the church officer. What is this start? You see the things of God. Starting now, you slightly hold on to this covenant and pray, and you can see the things of God. It’s not that you did a lot of various things. But when you pray, “What is it that I must do in my lifetime in my church?”, you find it. This is the start. You see the things of God. Let me give an example.
>> The 7 ages. You see the 7 ages. What do you see? You see the eyes for evangelization during Egypt’s time.
(1)Jacob, Jochebed, Jethro, Rahab- The people we see here, as you well know… Jacob already influenced Joseph and we see another individual named Jochebed. Here, there was an individual named Jethro. Isn’t that so? This is a tremendous thing.
(2)Hannah, Jesse- There were people like Hannah and Jesse here. Because one church officer like this existed, God opened all doors. You must remember. It’s a passage you’re familiar with, but you need to hold on to this covenant. So look at people like Elder Jethro and Rahab. This is what they saw.
(3)Obadiah- The people who saw this covenant were people like Obadiah. “In this age of Assyria and Aram, God has called me as a church officer.” This is what they saw.
>> If you slightly hold on to the covenant and begin praying, you’ll be able to see that. The majority of the church officers did a lot of work as they lived their lives, but this doesn’t really work for them (introduction). They did do a lot of work, but this isn’t really taking place for them. Prayer taking place. Really being able to see God’s CVDIP. The 5 powers really coming to them. If that happens, that’s actually it. This is what you must find. Tomorrow, we’ll speak about what you must do, but starting today, seek this out first. At this time, you have the proper start and you see the age.
(4)Daniel, Esther- We see people like Daniel, the 3 friends, and Esther in Babylon. We see this.
>> That’s why, in Acts 1:1-8, Jesus speaks about the age. Simply put, he spoke about the things pertaining to the kingdom of God for 40 days. Then that’s it, isn’t it?
>> That’s why they gathered, holding on to this covenant. Now, you must leave here with this covenant.
>> Conclusion- “Discovery of Only”
Then doing that, they found an important answer. What kind of conclusion came to them? They were able to discover “only”. The answer that will come to you today. The answer of “only”. Starting now, when you go back to church, you’ll do a lot of work and you can do that depending on the church situation. And you go back and you have a lot of meetings as well as listen to the pulpit message. There will announcements and things that you have to do. What’s the most important thing there? To discover “only”. “What is the thing that I can do? What is the thing that only I can do?” Absolutely, this answer is bound to come. Then realistic answers begin to come. Even though it’s something so small, answers come from there.
>> God has given the elders a lot of grace until now. Starting with Yewon Church, God has given great grace to all churches. There probably aren’t that many elders in the nation and the world who gather for the sake of evangelism.
That’s why you must start, holding to this covenant. So if you begin praying this prayer, you can easily uncover this.
I was able to find this very easily. “As expected, the children don’t know the Gospel, prayer isn’t really taking place for them, and they think evangelism is hard. That’s why I need to find this and speak to them about it.” That was my “only”. Evangelism. And tremendous answers began to come from there. Elders, you’ll uncover this easily. You need to uncover “only” when you go to your field. You must uncover this in your church devotion as well.
It’s the message that Jesus gave.
2.Preparation→ God’s Method
>> It follows from this point on. What? What God has prepared. From this point on. This is the preparation we must make. Church officers, how must you start and what must you prepare? At this time, you completely see God’s method. You must not lose hold of this at all. But why did God place them in the midst of crises and persecution?
>> This is the answer that comes from here. Nobody. God sends you to places where there is nobody else. God makes you start in places where there is nothing. If you don’t look at this carefully, it may just look like you’re blindly rushing in, but that’s not it. God gave you the Gospel so that you can go and do the things that nobody else can do. This was the preparation of the 7 remnants and the church officers, elders, who helped the remnants. They thought that they were being sent into crises, but God drove them to the place He desired. This is our preparation.
2)Age of Disaster
>> So what do you begin to see? The age of disaster. Then that’s not “Nobody”. You see the important thing that you can do. And what came from there? They saw the idols of Egypt. Who? Moses. So if you look at the 10 plagues, they completely destroyed the idolatrous culture of Egypt. Do you know what Samuel and David saw? They didn’t just see Philistia. They saw the world disasters that were coming from Philistia. That was Dagon. This wasn’t just for nothing. That’s why David said, “I come against you in the name of the Lord God whose name you have defied.” So if you see this, you can very easily see the rest. So your devotion is not small at all. You need to begin to uncover this starting now.
>> What comes from this point on? You began with “nobody”, but God opens you to things that completely save everybody. Many people ask, “How can this be possible?”. That’s why the majority of people lose hold of this. If you gain spiritual strength in the Gospel, these 2 things completely open.
>> Conclusion- Uniqueness
What’s the conclusion that comes at this time? Finally, the answer of uniqueness comes. This comes to you as an answer. As God’s kingdom comes upon you, this answer absolutely comes. That’s why it is the first and the last. You must hold on to this covenant. It’s because of this that God has called you. Many people become elders and pastors. They do a lot of work, but they lose hold of this.
3.Devotion→ Life-staking Value, Absolute Plan
>> From this point on, you see what is the devotion of the church officers. God prepared it all. The reason why God called you is so that you can block the age of darkness and disaster. Already, if you look at the church officers, they saw the important things of the 7 ages. Even now, I’m quite curious. “What did Jacob think when he heard that Joseph had died?” Those of you who have read the Bible a lot can talk about this, but did Jacob think that Joseph was really dead or alive? But it does say that Jacob “kept the matter in mind” about what Joseph said. That’s all that was recorded. After that, there’s no reference to what Jacob thought about Joseph. But one day, his son became the governor and invited his father. How do you think Jacob felt in his heart at that time? Can you imagine? I’m sure he was very surprised. But what’s important is that when Joseph gave his confession, his father heard those words and “kept the matter in mind”.
>> That scripture really hit my heart. Even before you do any great thing, if you just keep that in mind/in your heart, works arise. Why is that? Because the works of God’s Holy Spirit take place, there’s no one to block that. Just hold to this as you head out. Then what is devotion? What is devotion here? Why did they stake their lives? There are some elders who offered their entire fortune/wealth. How can that happen? For these something, there’s something very important. What did they see? They saw what was worth staking their lives on. So hold to this and pray. Until next year’s retreat, pray about this. This is devotion. You’re not just devoting yourself anywhere, but you’re finding what’s worth staking your life for.
>> If there’s anyone here who is doing church construction, elders, begin to pray about this. See how God answers. If God answers, you can serve with that. While doing construction in Seoul and Busan, this is what I continued to pray about. We’re building a church and it’s rightful. They even build temples, don’t they? Even people who don’t have the Gospel build their buildings. “So what is worth staking my life on?” This is the prayer I began to pray and God made me realize. 237. A place where we can focus on the 237 nations, 24 hours a day. A place where we can have 24-hour healing. We need the ‘24’ that can change our remnants into the summit. That was what hit me. The moment I held on to this, answers came to the point where I was surprised. Not only Busan, but for Seoul as well as our 237 Center. God gave such surprising answers. And from within this, the message continues to come out. You must relaly find this. No matter diligent and faithful you may be, if you can’t the most important things of a witness that God gives, it’ll all be a loss. Looking at this, we uncover this. The absolute plan. “This is the reason why I became an elder in this church.”
>> What do you think? When I was young, I picked up some money on the street. It was the largest bill of that time. I don’t remember how much exactly it was, but I picked that up. I didn’t tell my mother and I bought some chips with that. That was the first time in my life that had happened and I was so excited. Being young, I didn’t even think about whether that was stealing or something I just picked up. But I gave the cashier the money and they stared at me for a bit and gave me a large amount of change. So I spent that money all day on everything. I ate all day long and I still had half the money left. So my mother caught on because I wasn’t eating. So she caught on and dug through my pockets. She asked where I got that money. So I honestly told her that I picked it up. She asked me where I picked it up. “On the street.” “Why didn’t you tell me?” “Just cause.” She gave me an earful and took the rest of the money. But I still remember that joy that I felt. It wasn’t even anything that big, right?
>> When I first planted my church, we lived in a small house. It really wasn’t much, but we moved to a place that was 31 pyeongs (about 1103 sq ft). Even though it might just be a physical thing, I felt so good. It wasn’t that good after some time passed, but when I first went, it was really good. I was driving a really bad car and the church officers had gathered to discuss, “Our pastor is going around a lot and I think we need to change his car for him”. Without even telling me, they got a new car, a new license plate, and left the key. Then, they told me. And when I walked out from my door and saw the car, that was the happiest moment of my life. Perhaps, that’s the level I’m at. But that made me so happy.
Why am I talking about this? The joy you feel when you realize, “Ah, this is God’s answer. God is with me”, is something that can’t even be explained in words. “This is the absolute plan for why I have become an elder in this church.”
>> We know very well what comes out from this point on. From that point on, you see the covenant that no one can block.
>> Once this comes out, you’re bound to go on this journey.
>> All the answers are inside of this.
>> You need to organize this. “I am now a person who received this great blessing of God, but I’m not enjoying this blessing (summit).” So you’re heading towards this. You make this time for yourself just a little bit. You’re not just a summit, but a spiritual summit. No matter how powerless of an elder you may be, you can become the spiritual summit. Then the different answer, that people of the world don’t know about, will be given to you. From this point on, you can see it all. If you’re an elder, you need to at least have a taste of this. If you are a pastor, at the very least, you need to enjoy this blessing. What is the greatest start that God has given to us? The things of God. What is our preparation and method? To follow the method God has prepared. Our devotion is towards the absolute things of God. You need to hold to this covenant. And once again, I’m beginning to pray anew. Once our church has been completed. Once our 237 Center has been completed. What must we do afterwards? I’m really entering into concentrated prayer regarding that. Why? Because we need to be prepared for that. The reason why God called the elders isn’t just to have you do church construction, but to change the world.
>> Conclusion- Re-Creation
Then this answer comes. What kind of answer? The answer of re-creation. From this point on, you become great. What is the answer of re-creation? It’s what nobody else can steal away. No one can steal away the evangelism that you are doing together with your pastors. It’s the work of re-creation.
>> Let’s look once more. How did it arise? This elder helped Moses. The answer of re-creation came to Moses. And this answer came to the remnants, posterity. This is how the answers follow. Really think about this as we have our retreat today and tomorrow. What is “my prayer”? Ask yourself conscientiously. What happens if you don’t know prayer and you don’t pray? You lack strength. To what extent do you lack strength? It’s difficult to even understand the pastor’s sermon. There were some conferences I would go to in the past and think about it, the worship is only about an hour. But they can’t even sit there for that. That’s how serious things become. They can’t worship because they’re falling asleep. Then how can you live that way? You’re going to be in trouble. So check this. Then what is “my CVDIP”? If you can find that, it’ll connect to all things. The 5 powers that God prepared for you. From that point on, you see what is the elder’s start, preparation, and devotion. Then you’re bound to become a witness.
♠Conclusion- Vessel Preparation
>> Conclusion. What’s more important? Because it’s a sure thing that it will take place, prepare your vessel. How? You may be familiar with these words, but people don’t really do this well.
>> When I went into Yeongdo, world evangelization was God’s plan.
Being able to evangelize like this till now was God’s grace. If that is so, we shouldn’t just be talking about it. Not just talking about world evangelization. But how are we realistically going to train? We need to prepare for that. That’s the church that began in Busan and it spread all throughout the world. In the future, because of the remnants you raise, tremendous things will happen. Starting now, realistically prepare your vessel. For example, the Mormons select smart kids when they’re in their twenties. They give them overseas training as well as training for evangelism and missions. The astounding thing is that they select these gifted individuals, train them, and raise them as elders. Those young Mormon men that you see around in Korea teaching English? They’re elders. Even though they are incorrect, they’re holding on to something and it spread all throughout the world.
You can’t block the spiritual problems, but right now, we are the people who have the Gospel. Absolutely prepare your vessel. God said, “Open wide your mouth and I will fill it”.
1)99.9% +0.1% + 1 Person
>> How do we prepare this covenant? 99.9% of people don’t follow this covenant. If you look in the Bible, the church officers of the 0.1% changed the world. What does that mean? How important of a time schedule is this retreat? For your churches. “I will hold on to this covenant, the absolute things that God has given.” Then tomorrow, we’ll talk about what you must hold on to. But individually, you must start this first. The church officers who only make up 0.1%. That one person arose, but works took place.
2)Pastor- Philippians 1:3-4, Gaius
>> And there’s something that you must prepare. Prepare this starting now. This is very important. “How will I save the pastor in my church?” You must prepare this. Decide this today. Decide this during this retreat and put it into action for the rest of your life. I’m not someone who really needs money. But there is this one businessperson who is always giving me missions funds without exception. But I’m talking about receiving those funds. Think about it. I don’t really need it because wherever I go, you serve and feed me. But there is something that I thought about every time that happened. I set apart what that person gave to me. I set that apart and everywhere I used that, precious answers came. And because I see God’s work taking place, I have no choice but to pray. There’s nothing else I can do. I’m always praying 24 hours and I pray for that person.
>> So the important people who are doing church construction for our church. They’re in my prayer, 24 hours a day. Remain in the prayers of an evangelist. No matter how much you serve, you need to be in the prayer of your pastor. Paul said this. “I always am thankful for you and I’m always praying for you.” These were all in Paul’s epistles. And one representative case would be in Philippians chapter 1. I’m sure there are many things, but you must really remain the prayers of your pastor. You must find that. Try it.
>> People like Gaius. What did John say? “Beloved.” Simply put, in that extreme situation, whenever he thought about Gaius, he thought, “beloved”. But Paul, who changed the age. What did he call him? His host. Going beyond that, he said, “host to me and all the evangelists”. This doesn’t mean that Gaius fed everyone. Everyone in the early church served like that. But what was the important thing? Romans 16 are the records of the people who remained in Paul’s heart. I believe you must become that way. When you go back to your church, your pastor will have flaws and weaknesses. That’s why you should do this even more. When you go back to church I’m sure there will be things that frustrate you about your pastor.
>> The fact that I can evangelize like this is God’s grace, but these elderly pastors here really strengthened me. If there’s even one of them missing when I go for a conference, I feel strange. If these people aren’t there, I feel strange. To that extent, they really strengthen me spiritually. And the people who are unforgettable to me are the elders who prayed for me from the beginning until now. If I didn’t have them, I wouldn’t have the strength to come this far. They encouraged and strengthened me even when I made mistakes. So this is very important for preparing your vessel. So elders, really place this in your heart and think, “I really must be a spiritual summit. If there’s one last thing I must do as an elder, it’s to become a spiritual summit and do the things of God. If I’ve lived by worldly methods until now, I’m going to live by God’s method from now on. If I’ve struggled to make a living until now, I’m going discover the absolute thing that is worth staking my life.” Then many answers will come.
>> Third. You must never lose hold of this. The remnants that God has really prepared. You must raise them. This is your work. So we have to really raise up a lot of remnants, but you must find the remnants that you really will raise. Then God will send them.
>> Now- While looking at this covenant, one day, my eyes opened wide. To see what? That God’s world evangelization is now. What do I mean by “now”? Having this Elders’ Retreat here today is a great springboard for world evangelization. Next week going to church and worshipping there. That becomes the springboard for world evangelization. When I thought about it this way when I was in charge of the Sunday School, I received grace. “The future is not something for me to worry about. Saving these kids now is God’s will.” That’s something that anyone can do. I was in charge of the youth group and I discovered, “Going to their schools and saving them is God’s plan.” That’s what I did. What I’m really thankful for and embarrassed about is that those answers are coming now. You must hold on to this.
>> How we will fulfill God’s plan, we’ll talk about tomorrow. You need to examine yourself today. If you don’t examine your prayer system now, you’ll really be at a loss. You need to do this now. Then naturally, the rest will follow. From that point on, you can see. But many elders rely on the things of the world and face hardships without even realizing. But ahead of that, you need to discover the things of God. That’s what happens. In the past, we used humanism and tried to do things before man, but now, we use God’s method. In the past, you just ran around serving aimlessly. Now, don’t do that. You are important people. What is God’s absolute plan? This is how you need to start asking. Then undoubtedly, the answer of only, uniqueness, and re-creation will come.
>> Starting now, pray. 3 things.
You, one person, are enough.
Why? Because God’s power is not insufficient. What must you do? You really need to communicate with your pastor in prayer. Think about it. And really raising the remnants. Then the little things from every day will become a great answer.
I bless you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that the astonishing works of God will begin today. Let us pray.
May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ who is the solution to all things, the great love of God, and the working of the Holy Spirit, be upon all elders who will save the age, both now and always, forever. Amen.