A Lost Sheep

 

3 "What man among you, if he has a hundred sheep and has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open pasture and go after the one which is lost until he finds it? When he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, 'Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!' I tell you that in the same way, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance."

 

Word and Its Application to Real Life

The Bible is the writing about the Lord who is God and about the way of truth of our salvation which is the will of God, even the word of the Old and New Testaments.

 

The amount of word in the Old and New Testaments seems to be too little to apply to real life in faith in which we believers are endeavoring our salvation. What is contained in the sixty-six Books is not much, but what we encounter in life in faith is far more complicated and in number than what is written in the Scripture. Inside the word of the Scripture, however, the Holy Spirit abides to illuminate on us all things in detail and in sufficient amounts.

 

To give sermon is to interpret the word of Scripture and testify it systematically in a comprehensible way. However detailed and prepared a sermon may be, it will soon be revealed insufficient when we try to live in reality according to what has been testified in the sermon.

 

The same is true when it comes to science in the world. A theory precedes relevant experiments, but theory is far from detailed experimentation, less prepared and incomplete. When a theory is in discord with experiments, theorists may assume on an active role, but they will find many things to learn from experimenters.

 

In the same manner when we listen to the word of God in sermons, however refined they may be, we will find them only roughly outlined, far from being enough to be applied to the reality of life in faith.

 

Therefore those who try to practice to attain salvation will struggle and wander because of the apparent lack of concreteness in what is taught in the Scripture or sermons, but they will become relieved when they meet the Holy Spirit leading them.

 

When we think that we need ten things to lead the real life of ours, we will be more relieved when we receive, say, six things in a sermon or seven or eight, than, say, five things. Also we will become worried and strayed when we are confronted by what have not been discoursed in sermons before, but when we are given new sermons relevant to the confrontations, and try to live actually according to the way of truth to witness it to fit well with reality, we can progress assured and encouraged in our heart.

 

It is said, "He prospers in whatever he does and succeeds in every affair whose delight is in the law of the LORD and who in His law meditates day and night." It can be said that the Old and New Testaments are all of law, and it seems to be enough to memorize the Scripture if we take delight in the law; why should we further meditate on it?

 

To meditate on the Scripture means to dwell on the concrete and detailed way of truth associated with a general principle taught in the Old and New Testaments, to think over one's relationships to others, to organize, and to pray for what one ought to pray and to prepare what one ought to prepare in expectation of what is to come to pass. This person is said to prosper.

 

It will not do to read the word of the Scripture and memorize it with eyes shut a thousand or ten thousand times. With the word at hand, we must meditate on the word to receive the relevant inspiration that the Holy Spirit inside the word illuminates to us. The Inspiration comes to us when we try to understand the real picture of the detailed reality that we are in, revealed to us in advance in the word of the LORD which we have read. Then we can be inspired one by one―"This affair, this circumstance, this society, and this era is coming," which can be called the meditation on the law of the LORD. Then we will prosper.

 

It is of no use to memorize the word vociferously unless it is accompanied by the Inspiration. Man is silly enough to tend to think that everything will be realized immediately, but now we are saying that it takes refined organization and steps. Many will feel it hard to hear this and they will even feel it painful to think this way.

 

It may look better to beat around the bush in teaching, saying, "It will be done this way." Then one will readily accept the teaching, saying, "It is good to believe in Jesus this easy." When he, however, meets with his reality face to face in which he should attain his own salvation, he cannot make head or tail of the reality. What he has learned as a way cannot not lead him to a right destination since the way that he has been taught has nothing to do with his reality. Nonetheless men still want the easier way. We ought to remember that the Lord was in a sound of a gentle blowing.

 

Earthly Gospel And Heavenly Gospel

I testified this word in the morning Service, and it would take a long time to talk about this point exclusively in a careful manner. I would testify it if anyone should want it, but all who are gathered here are those who would like to swallow words. Then everyone will fall asleep here if I should talk about the confrontations in life in faith in Jesus. It will be realistic for a preacher to adjust inevitably according to those who listen to his sermon. I cannot but deliver an earthly sermon to the congregation all leaning to the world.

 

As I said this morning, the gospel for believing in Jesus is either earthly or heavenly. Earthly gospel includes healing of disease, preservation of earthly life, success in terms of money, and success in position or authority; these are ever earthly no matter how successful and prosperous they may be. Being in different names, they are of the world, not of heaven.

 

The congregation will listen attentively when I should talk about those. They will be awakened out of dormancy when I talk about the earthly gospel. Why? Since they belong to the world, they will listen to the earthly gospel to their hope and delight, and identify the earthly gospel as theirs. What belongs to the world can lead us astray unless we handle it right.

 

There is gospel belonging to heaven. First, heavenly gospel is a means with which we can come close to God to have a success on God. Heavenly gospel is what makes us successful in taking hold of God to realize everything good coming to us.

 

Second, heavenly gospel makes us take hold of the truth to make it our own, and that will make us exempt from all judgments.

 

Also heavenly gospel makes us know the world rightly, not abhor it, to make use of it on behalf of the kingdom of heaven, makes us make use of ourselves for the sake of the Lord, and makes us make use of our reality for eternity. The treasure in the world may be valuable, and what is it that makes earthly treasure valuable? It is valuable because of the kingdom of heaven, and this view of the world is of heavenly gospel.

 

Therefore a sermon on tribulation is of heavenly gospel, not of earthly gospel. Why? Because I say, "It is easy to lose God and the truth in tribulation, but we should not lose God and the truth. We should not lose God and the truth in tribulation of this sort or that sort. We should not lose the connection to God and the truth." This view in my sermons will generate no money, no high position, no authority, no honor, or no glory.

 

Those who know of heavenly things are few. A ratio of those who disapprove them to those who acknowledge them could be no more than a thousand to one. We should take steps judging wide and deep, and then it is essential that we have the eyes to see and the guidance of God. We cannot be guided if we are blind. Our eye means our conscience. The one who has no conscience is never to be guided by God.

 

A Lost Sheep and a Sinner to Repent

This word is a parable, or a figure of speech, and not a real description. Of course a real description is more correct and realistic than a parable. What a parable describes will be less true in a real situation.

 

According to this parable, the shepherd, when he loses a sheep from a hundred sheep, devotes himself to searching for the one lost sheep leaving the ninety-nine sheep behind. He devotes all efforts to searching for the sheep. Needless to say, the shepherd here is Jesus and the Spirit of Christ, and also all the saints who belong to Him, or the people of the Holy Spirit.

 

There is a problem here. "A sheep was lost out of a hundred sheep. There will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents and returns than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance." Who is this 'one sinner'? Who is 'a sheep' that is lost? That is the problem.

 

Does this one lost sheep mean an unbeliever in Jesus? It is said, "A sinner repents and returns"; does it mean that a sinner here indicates an unbeliever who starts to attend church to believe in Jesus?

 

Or, it is said, "A lost sheep is searched, the ninety-nine sheep being left behind"; does this sentence mean that a sinner here indicates a sin that renders a person still a sinner even though he has repented for ninety-nine sins? A person who is righteous on all the other things but is to repent for one thing left is still a sinner. He is still guilty.

 

The problem here is what to interpret a sheep and a sinner as. The term 'a lost sheep' includes an unbeliever besides those who are already believers in Jesus. In other words, an unbeliever is a sinner who has not yet repented. This interpretation of this parable, however, will not give us real salvation, the constructional salvation, or the salvation in our deeds.

 

Of course an unbeliever is both a lost sheep and a sinner who has not yet repented, but a believer in Jesus is a sinner too when he has not repented a sin.

 

An elect who is yet to believe in Jesus is a lost sheep and unrepentant sinner, and a believer is also a lost sheep and unrepentant sinner who has something to repent besides the other sins that have already been repented for. This interpretation is trustworthy for this parable. It is too narrow and futile to interpret a lost sheep simply as an unbeliever.

 

A believer in Jesus who has become a good deacon, elder, or pastor may be pure in moral aspect and other aspects, but may be impure in, say, material aspect. Then the person is a sinner guilty in material aspect, and he is a lost sheep and sinner who has to repent. Therefore we must understand the two kinds of sinners from the term 'a lost sheep'. Then the Scripture will be a gospel to us. The Scripture will not be a gospel to us if we see only a kind of sinner from a lost sheep. Let us remember this.

 

What Is All of the Shepherd Focused on?

What was the attention of the shepherd all concentrated on? On ninety-nine sheep, or the single, lost sheep? All the attention of the shepherd was focused on the lost sheep.

 

How do we interpret this point? First, we can say that God's attention is focused on an unbeliever in Jesus rather than on all believers in Jesus, and on an unchurched who is an elect yet to believe in Jesus.

 

The other one whom God's care is focused on is, among many believers, a good believer who has his part to repent, besides all the other parts that he has already repented. We must understand that all the worries and care of God are concentrated here.

 

Then comes a shepherd. A shepherd sounds one person, but it is followed by 'in heaven,' and 'friends and neighbors,' and 'the angels of God.' Widely speaking, the shepherd here means Jesus, the Holy Spirit, workers of heaven the angels, and all workers of gospel; in other words, all the workers of heaven. All the workers of heaven happen to be the shepherd.

 

What is the shepherd's worry and care concentrated on? His worry and care are concentrated on the one lost sheep. What should our worry and care be concentrated on if we are to be workers of heaven? Our concentration should be on saving unbelievers, and also on the one sin to repent rather than the ninety-nine sins that have been already repented; we should not be complacent about the ninety-nine already repented sins, otherwise we are not heavenly workers.

 

A pastor cannot be a shepherd of those under him, inferiors, elders, or junior pastors, if he rests assured that they have good faith even though they are indeed in good faith. A messenger or worker of God for a person should search for inside the person, however faithful the person may be, a sinner to repent or a lost sheep astray from God, and all the worries and care should be poured on this. He is then counted as a worker of the kingdom of heaven.

 

When was joy in heaven? When a sinner repented and a lost sheep was found, all the family and friends were delighted in heaven. In the parable of the lost silver coin, it is said, "In the same way, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents." Angels of God rejoiced.

 

First we are in a position of the worker of God to worry about others, and our attention should all be concentrated on one thing that is to be repented in others.

 

Then we are in a position of the sheep of God to repent one specific thing now and here among many sins of ours, and Jesus, the Holy Spirit, angels, and all the workers of gospel works, and their prayers and works, are focused on the one thing that we should repent now; the worries and care of God, all the saints, and angels are concentrated on that. Also all the works and endeavors of the workers of the gospel of heaven, the Lord, the Holy Spirit, angels, all the saints, and the Church are concentrated on that. Further all the joy that can be shared by all is concentrated on that. We should learn this as the Scripture teaches us.

 

Let us learn these three firmly. External appearance is of no use; there is no deed of faith in it. Unbelievers know how to live wisely in the world as believers do. They all live appropriately, but their life is not a life in faith. A life in faith is what the world does not know, and it does not perish with the world when the world perishes.

 

We may happen to be workers of God, and also we may happen to be works of the workers of God. We are what should be worked out by the workers of God, and at the same time we are workers of God along with other workers.

 

As a worker, we should focus all our heart on the three points. As a work to be solved out, our single sin yet to be repented is the focus of the Holy Spirit, the Lord, all the gospel works of Church, and angels, so that they are thus worried and care about the single sin with all their attention and strength on it. Further we should understand that all beings belonging to heaven will rejoice when the single sin has been repented.

 

Repentance Is to Be Passive

Let us talk about repentance. Did the lost sheep return on its own to the shepherd when the shepherd was searching for it? The sheep must have been in want and affliction missing the shepherd in regret, but it was unable to return to the shepherd. It is clear here that it was the shepherd that found the sheep. He found the sheep and laid it on his shoulders returning to his place, rejoicing. Repentance is not performed actively; it is always done passively.

 

We have said that the three things of Jesus are concentrated on our repentance: all the worries and care, all the efforts, and when it turns out to be right, then all the joy is concentrated on our repentance. Now that such great authority, great power, and a Shepherd whom we need for us are concentrated on the part that we have yet to repent, what should we do?

 

It will be all irrevocable if the sheep flees the moment it sees the shepherd. The shepherd cannot chase the sheep when it flees on seeing him coming. There is no catching the sheep when it is fleeing.

 

The sheep should welcome the shepherd who has been looking for it, and should be laid on his shoulders. When it is laid on the shoulders of the shepherd, it should stay on his shoulders, joyous and satisfied now having met the shepherd.

 

Repentance is always conducted passively, not actively. God may send another person to tell us to repent, or our repentant heart may arise when we are reading the Bible. It is when the Shepherd comes to us that a repentant thought arises insides us through someone else, through the word of Bible, or through a sudden inspiration when we are alone.

 

It is not a matter of both this and that. It is a matter of either this or that. Here in this parable the lost sheep is laid on the shepherd's shoulders to return, and it is clearly referred to as repentance. Then it means that the shepherd is trying to make the sheep repent and the sheep is repenting coming on his shoulder. What else can we interpret this parable as?

 

What does it mean to be passive in repenting? First we are awakened to have willingness to repent, whether it occurs inside us, whether someone tells us in some way, whether we witness something that leads us to repent, or whether somehow we come to think about a way to repentance for the thing at hand.

 

Then there are two views on repentance. One is that we are active in repenting and God is passive. The other is that God is the One that makes us repent, while we cannot repent unless God allows us to.

 

"Now I have repentant heart, and I think now I should repent. My heart is now being moved by all the surroundings. This is nothing but that the Spirit of Christ, the Lord of all, the Ruler, the Sovereign, the Almighty, and the Lord of vicarious redemption of the cross, has come to save me from this destruction." This is what must come out of a person believing that repentance is passive.

 

Then when we say, "I will repent, having this willingness to repent," that saying is to welcome the Shepherd who has just found us. It is not of our power to try to repent working hard pouring our strength, but purely of the heavenly power.

 

Everybody! There is nothing that we can do to repent. We are entirely corrupt sinners. Do we have anything that enables us to return to God? No. Such a thing does not exist on our part.

 

When we say, "By grace God has come to make me repent, so I should repent," this saying is the welcoming of the repentance given to us. It is to be laid on the Shepherd's shoulders with joy and tears when He tries to lay us on His shoulders, not fleeing from the Shepherd, which will only make ourselves devoured by wolves. It is to be laid on His shoulder that we try to repent.

 

Now that we are laid on the Shepherd's shoulders, we are repenting. Then another thing to repent comes up to us, and we repent it, saying, "I should repent for this also." Thus repenting one after another on the shoulders of the Shepherd, we are progressing toward our eternal abode, the kingdom of heaven.

 

Repentance Is Done on the Shepherd's Shoulders

Why do we give up leading repentant life? As we talked in the morning Service, when the sheep sees a pack of wolves coming and becomes frightened, it forgets the shepherd thinking all by itself, jumping out of the shoulders of the shepherd soon only to be devoured by wolves.

 

While we are walking repentant, we will meet with various problems; "I have a big problem now, economical, of family, and national." When these difficulties come upon us while we are going repenting, we may leave the repentant life out of fear, and that is to escape from the Shepherd's shoulders. We come out of and escape from the Shepherd. Then we will meet no one but predatory beasts.

 

We must believe that our repentant steps are secured on the shoulders of the Shepherd, or the Almighty. Returning to our subjectivity from believing in this is the same as sinking in the sea in fear of waves while walking on the sea.

 

It will do when we believe, but it will not do when we do not believe. What does it mean that a disease is healed if we believe, and it cannot be healed if we do not believe? It is to show an example to unbelievers. We are secure if we believe, saying, "This repentant step of mine is of the power of the Absolute One, and no one will harm me." We will escape from the shoulders of the Shepherd when we become unbelieving.

 

If we know what it means that the Shepherd has come to us, we can see that the lost sheep means the sheep lost in wickedness. The Shepherd has come to search for the lost sheep, and the lost sheep is interpreted as a sinner later in the passage. Also it is interpreted as repentance. We must believe that the Shepherd, the Absolute One, has come to save us when we feel it arising inside us that we should repent something. We must believe this.

 

When we say, "The Lord is inspiring me to repent this. Then I will repent," this is when we are being laid on the shoulders of the Shepherd.

 

When we repent and walk a repenting life, afflictions may or may not come to us, but we will meet with afflictions in most occasions. Then when the afflictions confront us, we will become frightened appraising and judging that we will be in difficulty should we repent.

 

We think and conclude, "I will be in trouble should I repent this," while we are on the shoulders of the Shepherd. When does this thought come from? We know from our experiences that it comes the moment we leave the Shepherd. We know from experiences that it comes to us the moment we fall into the midst of wickedness.

 

The knowledge that led us to fall into sin makes us think that we will be in a great difficulty. Those that made us fall into wickedness to commit sin―the evil spirit, the knowledge, the secular truth, and our subjectivity―these make us think like that. It is faith that overcomes, destroys, and deny the thought.

 

We must not waver should anything come, saying, "I am secure going this step being laid on the shoulders of the Almighty." While all the people were in panic and dying, Moses said, "Stand by and see the salvation of the LORD." The one will see what Moses witnessed who believes this word without doubt, saying, "While I am repenting, this great difficulty has come. Then let me see if it happens as it is written in the Scripture if I continue repenting," as it is written, "If you believe, you will see the glory of God."

 

Our steps from repentance to repentance are taken under the protection of the power of the Absolute One, and we should not have any fear or worry about that. Our repenting action is not from ourselves, but repentance is passive to God. This is not only testified by this parable but also by all the other Scriptures. Repentance can be achieved when God allows us to repent, and cannot be done when God does not allow us to.

 

It was God who hardened the heart of Pharaoh. Also we read in the Scripture that Israelites became penitent when they repented, but if we study the Scriptures in detail, it was God that initiated repentance movements through prophets. Then God bestowed grace of repentance on the Israelites, which made them desperate for repentance, and they indeed became penitent. They would not repent however earnestly they were urged to repent if the grace of repentance was not given to them.

 

Our repentance is done passively, not actively. Therefore any penitent understanding in our heart or thought is from our Shepherd the Lord to save us from our wickedness. Wherever we are, in house or work, we have already left the Lord, we are far from the Lord, and we have forgotten the Lord, if we ever commit sin. Wherever we are, we are on the shoulders of the Lord if we ever return to repent.

 

We must believe that our Shepherd, the divine-human nature in one Person who was crucified, has just come to save us from this destruction, if a heart or mind to repent occurs inside us or if someone else's word is delivered to us. The power comes out when we believe this, and the power will not come if we do not believe it. It is of no use only to know this without believing it.

 

Whatever sin we are in, it will be the same. For instance we used to do something not knowing that it is a sin, and somehow we have come to think about it, saying, "I should not conduct my business like this," or "I usually say this but it does not seem to be right any more." Whenever we understand and see it occurring inside us that something wrong must be corrected, it is not our heart and it is the good Shepherd that has come to save us.

 

Suppose that there is a thought to repent something here. One may say, "It is I that have the thought. I can conceive that thought whenever I think I need it, and I can erase that thought from my mind whenever I think I do not need it. Now I can think that again because I need it." Far from it! Do you think that you can think of it when you need it? No.

 

It is just the good Shepherd who was crucified for us that has come to us. If you prefer, He can be differently called the Inspiration of the Holy Spirit, the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Christ, the Lord, or our Lord, the divine-human nature in one Person, of the vicarious redemption. When we feel that we should repent, it is the Lord that gives the heart to us. It is the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. It is our good Shepherd.

 

Then we will receive the Lord if we receive the inspiration into our heart, and we will lose the Lord if we ignore the inspiration. We will be laid on the protection of power of the Absolute One if we repent following the inspiration which we have received. We must know this firmly.

 

It is said in the Scripture, "Do not quench the Spirit." This means that we should receive the Lord and we should not take offense at the Lord. This is also expressed in the Revelation, "I stand at the door and knock; open the door."

 

Our heart is more deceitful than all else. Into such a heart come the inspiration to repent, the understanding to repent, and the thought to repent. This small change to repent and to need to repent is just what has been caused to arise inside us by the Holy Spirit, the Lord, and the good Shepherd.

 

He is God, the Great One, and the Creator that made everything and is mightier than creatures. We will be laid on His shoulders when we do not forsake but receive His inspiration to repent.

 

Now that we are on the shoulders of God, the Absolute One, we will be safe and assured to walk from repentance to repentance. What is it, however, that we happen to be startled to escape from the shoulders of God, saying, "This will be a big trouble"? That is due to no one but old man who is we but not real we that makes us leave our Shepherd. It is the thieves and robbers who came before Jesus, all human knowledge, prejudiced notions, common senses, all corrupt nature, original sins, and actual sins.

 

What is it to receive the Lord and to be laid on the shoulders of the Shepherd? To repent when we are inspired is to be laid on the Lord's shoulders, and then our steps of repentance are taken on the shoulders of the Absolute One, so that no one can harm us; also He does not change.

 

Who changes? It is we who think that there will be a great trouble, and who on wrong judgments escape from the shoulder of the Shepherd. Then we will go on our own, discarding repentance. It is just destruction to flee from the shoulders of the Almighty.

 

'Do not quench the Spirit' means not to take offense at the Holy Spirit and not to be ungrateful for the grace. Talking about big things can make a sermon welcomed by a deceitful audience, but we are talking fine things now.

 

Review

The workers of the kingdom of heaven include the triune God, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, prayers of all the saints, the angels, and the truth of God having authority of its own.

 

What are the attention of all of these concentrated on? Where are the spirits of all of these concentrated? What are their minds concentrated on―the Lord, angels and heavenly hosts, the Holy Spirit, the Father, prayers of the saints, and gospel works of the Church that belong to the kingdom of heaven of God? On the lost sheep. Their minds are concentrated on the lost sheep. Who is the lost sheep? It is part of a saint that is still in the midst of sin, yet to be repented. Their minds are focused on the part inside the saint, or us, that is still in the midst of sin.

 

What are their minds concentrated on if our sins to repent are, say, ten? They are concentrated on the one thing in hand. We must believe this. On the one thing now and here.

 

Suppose that we have ten sins that have yet to be repented. Regardless of the number of sins to repent, we have the single sin that we have to repent now and here. On this one sin are concentrated the triune God, the truth, all prayers of the saints, all gospel works of the Church, and angels and the heavenly hosts.

 

Their minds are all concentrated on the one sin to repent. What are their efforts all concentrated on? Their efforts are concentrated on the one sin to repent too. What about all of their joy? Their joy is all concentrated on the present repentance.

 

Talking about this as a whole could be more acceptable for the deceitful audience, but I am talking about it systematically. As the order to repent is dictated by God, He will not grant one to repent until he repents what he should repent, however fiercely he may be raging on anything but the very thing to repent. God will not let him do on his own. When one repents this, and then he is to repent that, and so on in due order.

 

Do you think that one repents since he wants to repent? No. Repenting is the most important obedience to God. He must correct this when God instructs him to correct this and he must correct that when God instructs him to correct that. That is why repentance is said to be of faith. Therefore all the attentions of God are concentrated on the repentance, and all the power is concentrated on it. When the repentance is concluded successfully, then all joy will be concentrated on it. We must believe this.

 

When this word is interpreted to include the unbelievers only, it comes to have nothing to do with a believer. Also it is futile to interpret the repenting of sins as a whole. As we can see in the passage of a lost silver coin, we are to recover the one lost coin first before we see the ten coins as a whole.

 

We all know that there is order of repentance according to which everyone is to repent his sins. He is to repent the one sin in hand first, and he knows which sin to repent first. Also he is instructed on which sin to repent first. Who instructs him? We must believe it in this way. Talking about it as a whole is not of faith. Therefore Satan can make an easy prey on churches.

 

Now it occurs to one that he should repent something. Who makes it occur to him? Is it not the Holy Spirit? Is it not the Lord that was crucified? It is the Lord. It is the Holy Spirit. We must believe that the three are concentrated, and when we believe it, the works of Satan will break down. When you believe and do it, you will have been experienced.

 

What are all concentrated on? On all the ten sins that one has to repent? Or on the one sin to be repented now of all the ten sins? All are concentrated on the one sin to be repented now. On the one sin.

 

It is not a correct way to repent exposing all the former sins, crying and saying, "I have sinned these, and I will do this and that in the future." It does not work that way. It is of no use to talk much about former wrong-doings, nor to be determined to do this and that in the future. We must do something for the sin which we are facing at present.

 

Therefore we only have the present reality available to us. Times other than the present is not ours, the space other than 'here' is not ours, and everything is not ours. Satan is adulterating everything this way or that way to make men stumble to work futility.

 

All the minds and the works of all in the kingdom of heaven are concentrated on the one sin that one has to repent, and all the forces are concentrated on it. When the repentance is accomplished, all the joy will be concentrated on that. Success or failure of everything depends on that.

 

What does it mean that all the efforts are concentrated on our repentance? That it occurs in our mind that we must repent on something, and that it happens in our mind as of viper or lynx that we cannot but correct and repent, is just what God has come to us for, or to make us repent employing His enormous power. Then we will welcome God, the Almighty, and the Lord who redeemed us vicariously, when we will not ignore but welcome the inspiration.

 

Many problems will arise when we receive the inspiration to correct ourselves, and that is why we are laid on His shoulders. Various problems arising, what we have to do is to be laid on His shoulders to repent, realizing that God has come to us.

 

We must repent through this way of truth and faith, being assured that repenting is done on the shoulders of the power of God, saying, "There is no problem once I am laid on the shoulders of God even though there come many enemies and adversaries." Then we progress on leaving everything behind us, convinced that He will take care of anything difficult.

 

Then what ought to be broken will be broken, what ought not to be broken will not be broken, and what ought to seem to be broken will seem to be broken but will not be broken. A person like Daniel may seem to be about to be killed, but he is not dead because he is not to be killed.

 

The works of God is supernatural to manifest God and His word only to be true, breaking human thoughts, human desires, and human appraisals. Therefore it is salvation in life to overcome those resisting human works, and the salvation is accomplished through the resisting human works.

 

What is it to receive the Lord who has come? What is it to be laid on His shoulder? Why do all the problems accompanying our repentance pose no difficulty? To repent means to be laid on the shoulders of the Almighty who is responsible for all things however numerous they may be.

 

Defence on Four Aspects

As we talked in the morning Service, does it not mean here that there will be no danger since we are carried being laid on the shoulders of the Shepherd? Does it not mean that there will be no loss since we are carried along on the shoulders of the Shepherd? Does it not mean that there will be no damage? The devils, however, will try to lead us astray.

 

We must have a right view on the damage that is incurred when we are carried along on the shoulders of the Shepherd. Abandoning the view on the damage according to the Scripture and accepting a view provided by the devil, one will stumble soon after stopping going faithful in Jesus, saying, "Being on His shoulders works nothing effective; I have become more destroyed and damaged."

 

The devil tells a lie to men to lead them astray this way and that way, and to separate them alienated one another. That is the likeness of the devil. Anyone who does not know the devil well had better see the structure of human minds and all the inhuman behaviors of human beings; these all come out of the devil. These are all from the devil.

 

We talked in the morning that we are not harmed through the protection on four accounts. What are they? On what do we not suffer loss?

 

First, we are to lose nothing on the judgment of God. We are not to lose, and we are not to be checked. This should be preferred; what all the mankind approves may not prove effective. Were they not all destroyed when they were committed for the judgment of flood of Noah? We are not harmed on the judgment of God.

 

Also on what are we not harmed? We are not harmed by the devil. The devil cannot harm us and he is only to be used for us on everything that he deals with us. We do not suffer any damage from the devil.

 

Also on what are we not harmed? We are not to be harmed by sin. Man is to perish once he commits sin, but now we have come to be not affected by it. Sin comes in to do everything to us, but now it has nothing to do with us. We are not harmed through sin.

 

Now that we are to be harmed on nothing through sin, why should we be killed? Therefore we are not to be harmed by death.

 

Thus we are not to be harmed fundamentally and completely. Not knowing this one may say, "The power of God has been said to protect him, but now he is thrown into the lions' den." We see nothing bad in Daniel's coming back alive, and everything of his has become better now.

 

We Ought to Have Conscience

We must have understanding, but intelligence has nothing to do with it. A conscientious person can understand even though he is educated little. It will not work to do anything with lusts and without conscience.

 

A compass cannot point right when placed near an object which may interfere with it. A piece of iron nearby will affect its accuracy. A small discrepancy in the beginning may prove to be an egregious one later.

 

Likewise conscience must be established right before one understands anything; one can never have understanding without conscience. One with lusts in honor, position, or power, or one with sin of self-centeredness of this sort or that sort, cannot attain salvation of either himself or others however hard he learns the Scripture because of his self-centeredness, failing to take a right way, a right step, or understanding.

 

Conclusion

Let us remember what I am repeating this afternoon. On how many of our sins does God deal with? Ten sins or one sin? God is concentrated on one sin of ours. We must know this. Concentrated on one sin.

 

We must take on one sin to concentrate on to finish, leaving others as they are, and then we can do other things next. It will be ineffective otherwise. Leaving the immediate thing to take on, one may be eloquent on other things, and this only makes himself abominable and worrisome to God. Rather, God is interested in one thing. One must finish the thing before he can undertake another.

 

The one lost sheep in today's passage means of course an unbeliever, but it also means one lost part of our body and heart that are composed of numerous units like cells. That lost part, or cell, is also a lost sheep.

 

Scientists may have better understanding in believing in Jesus. I saw in a course in our Seminary an instructor mentioning science, "We did not know much about human cells before, but we have found that as a human body consists of hundreds of necessary parts, a human cell also consists of hundreds of necessary units that are smaller in sizes." That is what God created.

 

Let us notice that the salvation of our flesh, body and heart, is attained not by a single process, but through numerous occasions. Our individual units in body add to form a single body. Our body consists of numerous parts which in turn consist of smaller, numerous units or cells. What we are talking about is like this. What they are saying about science is what it should be. Our body should be of that nature.

 

Our body grows when part of it is repented for to become alive, until a whole body is formed, which is in turn part of Church and grows until a whole Church is formed. Therefore instead of beating around the bush, we must correct practically one by one.

 

What are all the attention and the power of God concentrated on? Not on others but on us, that is, on me. All the attention and power are concentrated on me. Then on what part of myself are the attention and power of God concentrated? Concentrated on what is to repent. On what is to repent.

 

Are those concentrated on all the ten sins of ours to be repented if we have ten sins to repent? No. It is no more effective than a hawk among many pheasants is. Remember that all are concentrated on one thing. Concentrated on one thing.

 

How can we please God? All in heaven will rejoice when what is to be repented is corrected. Now we know this. We know that we have now one pending problem. What is it? It is our sin to be repented. Who is the Lord who has come to search for it and to save us? In what does the Lord appear to us? With sound? How does the Lord appear to us? He appears inside us by means of influence on our understanding.

 

The Lord will inspire us to understand by teaching us the Scripture, by having someone next to us talking to us, or by letting ourselves understand from a passing event; He does all things this way.

 

I watched a TV drama the other day, in which wicked servants of a king struggled with good servants. In the world where God's affairs are conducted, the devil plays an active wicked role. All the world is a natural revelation.

 

It must be remembered that all are concentrated on the single sin of ours. What inspires us to repent is nothing but of the Lord of the vicarious redemption of the cross, the Lord the Creator, the Lord the Savior, and the good Shepherd. It is to be laid on the shoulders of the Absolute One that we receive the inspiration so as to correct the relevant thing.

 

The repentant step will induce various afflictions of attrition, but we must go on from repentance to repentance staying on the repentant state, believing and being assured that we are on the shoulders of the Almighty. As long as we repent one and then the one coming next and then the one coming third, staying in this line of repentance, we are on the shoulders of the Almighty and no creature can hurt us. This is so-called the highways to Zion.

 

Let us repent practically. We have talked about repentance many times these days, and this is just the coming of Jesus. It is just that Jesus has come to us.

 

Jesus will not say to us like this―"All the congregation of Seobu Church, you repent." It is not a way that Jesus says to us. Rather He will say to us, "You Kim repent this; You Lee repent your bad speech habit; You Park repent your lusts; You Choi repent this behavior of yours." The Lord works this way. What occurs in everyone of us like this is the coming of the Almighty, and it is to receive Him that we repent according to the inspiration.

 

We are on the shoulders of the Almighty as long as we remain in repentance and as long as we do not deviate nor leave from repenting. To continue in repentance until death means to go remaining on the shoulders of the Almighty until the end of the world and to the eternal world. We must take hold of this fast and not lose it.