Elementary vs. Mature

What are elementary teachings? What is spiritual maturity? Where can we find these things?

Teachings refer to God’s word. The elementary teachings refer to the Mosaic Law, the fulfillment of the Old Testament during Jesus’ first coming, and the figurative prophecies of the New Testament (Heb 6:1-2). Mature teachings are the teachings about the fulfillment of those figurative prophecies recorded in the New Testament, that are being fulfilled today (1 Cor 13:9-12).

clouds-1-1024x853Our hope, as believers, is to go to heaven and be with God. The only path to heaven is through Jesus (Jn 14:6), however, God also spoke about how His people are destroyed from a lack of knowledge (Hos 4:6).

What we must believe in today is the testimony of the physical fulfillment of the New Testament, so that we are not those who are “destroyed from lack of knowledge”. The Old Testament has already come to pass, but the New Testament is being fulfilled today. One of the reasons why the Physical Israelites did not believe, even though the Old Testament prophecies were fulfilled, was because they only knew and obeyed the Mosaic Law. They believed the law, but they rejected the fulfillment. Let us not be those who make the same mistake today!

We must believe the prophecy and its fulfillment. If someone believes in the New Testament prophecies without believing in their fulfillment, their faith is futile. At the first coming, Jesus fulfilled the Old Testament (Jn 19:30), but the Physical Israelites did not believe. The Israelites believed in the words of their own pastors and put them above the promises of God. How can they be acknowledged as true believers, as true children of God?

When Scripture tells us to leave behind the elementary teachings and go on to maturity, this “maturity” refers to hearing and believing in the testimony about the physical fulfillment. When the events of Revelation take place, their physical realities appear. Prophecy was given to us so that when it happens, we will believe (Jn 14:29). If prophecy is compared to a dream or vision, then it’s physical fulfillment is the reality of that dream.

Jesus and Apostle Paul spoke about leaving behind the elementary teachings and going on to maturity. The place of maturity is the place where God, Jesus, the Overcomer, and the sealed 12 tribes, recorded in the book of Revelation, are gathered.

crossNo one can attain salvation with their current life of faith. Jesus spoke many parables to the crowds, but Jesus only explained the meaning of those parables to those who truly belonged to God. Those on the “outside” were not given the understanding. Jesus said, if one does not understand the parables they are outsiders, and are not able to receive forgiveness of their sins (Mk 4:10-13). We have to be those who hear and believe in the true explanation of the prophecies recorded in the New Testament, which are being taught today through the pastor promised to be sent (Rv 1:1-2; Jn 14: 16 & 26; Jn 16:7).

All believers must leave behind the elementary teachings, and, without adding to or subtracting from the book of Revelation, everyone must go on to maturity by learning from the place where the fulfillment of the New Testament is being taught and explained, Shincheonji (spiritual Mt Zion, Rv 14).

Let whoever wishes come and take the free gift of the water of life! Come and hear the revealed word being proclaimed at Shincheonji today, and discern the truth from the lies for yourself.


The Sun, Moon, and Stars

Recently I have heard a lot of questions and interpretations concerning the prophecies about the darkening and falling of the sun, moon, and stars at the time of Jesus’ return. Here are the two passages usually mentioned:

“Immediately after the distress of those days
“‘the sun will be darkened,
and the moon will not give its light;
the stars will fall from the sky,
and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.’”
~Matthew 24:29

“I watched as he opened the sixth seal. There was a great earthquake. The sun turned black like sackcloth made of goat hair, the whole moon turned blood red, and the stars in the sky fell to earth, as late figs drop from a fig tree when shaken by a strong wind.”
~Revelation 6:12-13

The only way we should understand these things is by turning to God’s word for the explanation.

Prophecies are written using a figurative language, they are not supposed to be understood literally. In fact the same events where prophesied to take place at the time of the first coming:

“All the stars of the heavens will be dissolved 
and the sky rolled up like a scroll; 
all the starry host will fall 
like withered leaves from the vine,
like shriveled figs from the fig tree.” 
~Isaiah 34:4 (and Isaiah 13:10)

Did the physical sun, moon, and stars turn dark and fall to the earth at the time of Jesus’ first coming? Did God lie when He gave His word to the prophet Isaiah? If we can’t understand how these heavenly bodies fell at the time of the first coming, then how can we be so sure that we will be able to recognize it taking place again at the time of Revelation’s fulfillment?

So what are the sun, moon and stars referring to?

In Genesis 32:28 Jacob is given the new name “Israel”, because he had struggled with man and with God and had overcome. We know that ‘Israel’ then has 12 sons. In Genesis 37:9-11 one of Israel’s sons, Joseph, has a dream in which his household (Jacob [Israel], his wife, and the 11 other sons) are represented by the sun, the moon, and the stars. God uses these heavenly bodies to represent His chosen people. The 12 tribes of Israel are created after each of the 12 sons.

So how did the sun, moon and stars turn dark and fall at the first coming?

God’s chosen people were the Physical Israelites, the Jewish nation. However, they refused to accept their Messiah. Jesus came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him (Jn 1:11). Because God’s people, the spiritual sun, moon and stars, had turned their backs on God, the kingdom of God was taken away from them and given to a people who would produce its fruit (Mt 21:43).

The Physical Israelites turned dark by refusing to accept the light (Jn 8:12), and so they fell from their position of being God’s chosen people. They fell from heaven, a place of dwelling with God, to the earth, becoming mere men no longer God’s people.

Now God has to establish a new chosen people. Those who received and believed in the name of the one who was sent now become the spiritual children of God, those who are born of God. It is no longer dependent on lineage, or physical descent (Jn 1:12-13). Those who are spiritually born of God are His new chosen people – the new sun, moon and stars.

Philippians 2:15 says, “…so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe…”

However, this is what we have to understand. Once again, at the time of Revelation’s fulfillment, the sun, moon and stars turn dark and fall (Rv 6:12-13). Once again, those who belong to God turn their backs on Him, fall from their position in ‘heaven’, and return to the ‘earth’.

Did the Pharisees and Jews understand the prophecies at the time of the first coming? Did they realize they were the ones actually fulfilling the scriptures? If we don’t understand how this is going to happen, then how can we make sure it isn’t us that fulfill this part of scripture?

Do you enjoy star gazing?

Yeast, a matter of life and death…

For me, one of the strangest comparisons in the Bible is in Matthew 13:33, where the kingdom of heaven is compared to a woman mixing yeast into dough. It seems like such a strange way to describe the kingdom of heaven…so why did Jesus use this comparison? What was he trying to teach us through this parable?

Matthew 13:33
“He told them still another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed into a large amount of flour until it worked all through the dough.”

What is the yeast? What is the woman? In order to understand the lesson of this parable we have to understand these things spiritually.

Matthew 16:6-12 [abbrev.]

“Be careful,” Jesus said to them. “Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” They discussed this among themselves and said, “It is because we didn’t bring any bread.” Aware of their discussion, Jesus asked, “You of little faith, why are you talking among yourselves about having no bread? […] How is it you don’t understand that I was not talking to you about bread? But be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” Then they understood that he was not telling them to guard against the yeast used in bread, but against the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees.

Physical yeast brings about change in whatever it is mixed into – the fermentation of yeast creates the alcohol in beer, yeast mixed into dough reacts to create bread. But Jesus was speaking spiritually, not physically. The logic of spiritual yeast is the same as that of physical yeast. Spiritually it refers to teachings that bring about change in those who hear and accept it – good or bad, depending on the teachings.

Since  the parable is meant to be understood spiritually, with the yeast being spiritual yeast, surely the woman has to be referring to a spiritual ‘woman’…

Galatians 4:19 says, “My dear children, for whom I am again in the pains of childbirth until Christ is formed in you…” Here Paul is speaking as though he is a woman in the pains of childbirth. Paul had received the spiritual seed (the word) from Jesus, therefore he was in the position of a woman – the one who receives the seed. He then “gave birth” to the believers in Galatia. From this we can understand a spiritual woman to be a teacher or pastor, the one who received the seed and then ‘gives birth’ to believers or congregation members.

The Pharisees would have been spiritual women, however, the disciples were warned to guard against the yeast of the Pharisees (Mt 16:12). This implies there are not only different types of ‘women’ (teachers), but also different types of yeast (teachings), and depending on which teachings you receive, it brings about different types of change.

At the time of the first coming, receiving the teachings of the Pharisees and Sadducees – the leaders and teachers of the law – led to spiritual death. They belonged to the devil, and spread his lies and false teachings: John 8:44

“You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.”

On the flip side, Jesus’ words and teachings gave life: John 6:63

“The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life.”

I always knew too much beer and bread was not good for me, but who would have thought that consuming ‘yeast’ could be a matter of life and death…

From bread baskets to six-packs and everything in between, what is your indulgence (or staple…there’s no judgment here)? I’ll go first…

What do wheat, treasure, fish, yeast, and pearls have in common?

Many people think that Jesus spoke in parables to make his points more easily understood. There are, of course, situations when this kind of reasoning applies. For example: When Jesus said, “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?” (Mt 7:3). The speck refers to another person’s insignificant faults, and the plank refers to our own, more serious, deficiencies. This is an example where a parable is used to aid understanding. However, the parables about the secrets of the kingdom of heaven are very different. They are secrets, and they are not given to everyone (Mt 13:10-11). At the first coming the secrets of heaven were given, by Jesus, to the 12 disciples (Mk 4:34).

But what about us today, do we have the true understanding of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven?

How is the kingdom of heaven like yeast, or a mustard seed (Mt 13:31-33)? Or how about hidden treasure, or a merchant looking for fine pearls (Mt 13:44-46)? What is the barn where the harvested wheat is gathered (Mt 13:29-30)? Or the basket where the good fish are collected (Mt 13:48)?

Jesus promised a time is coming when he will no longer use figurative language, but will speak plainly about the Father (Jn 16:25), and that through the Counselor, whom the Father will send in Jesus’ name, we will be taught all things (Jn 14:26). Many Christians believe the Counselor, referred to in John 14:26, is the Holy Spirit which was sent after Jesus’ ascension, and that when you become a Christian this Holy Spirit enters you. But if that is the case how come we still cannot clearly and plainly explain all the parables and prophecies recorded in the Bible, and their fulfillment? If we have the Holy Spirit shouldn’t we be able to explain all things? Jesus told us that is why he is sending the Counselor, to explain all things, and remind us of Jesus’ words. Either we have the plain and clear explanations and understanding of ALL of God’s word, or we don’t. But if we don’t, we have to desperately seek true understanding, and find the one with the Spirit of truth – the Counselor (Jn 14:16-17) who can teach us all things!

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.” Mt 7:7-8