How to Work Faith

5 The apostles said to the Lord, "Increase our faith!" And the Lord said, "If you had faith like a mustard seed, you would say to this mulberry tree, 'Be uprooted and be planted in the sea'; and it would obey you." (NASB)


Every verse in the word of the Bible is extremely hard to understand because of the immeasurable depth of truth contained in it, and this is why the Lord said that no one can have understanding unless inspired by the Holy Spirit. We cannot understand the truth of the word unless we strive to understand it, fully aware of its difficulty for us to comprehend. The value of understanding the word rightly is beyond measure.


Here the Lord instructs us about faith referring to a mulberry tree. The mulberry tree is the tallest among trees in Palestine, where it is known some mulberry trees have circumference measured seven or eight spans of human arms. Why is a mulberry tree quoted of all things? It is quoted to make us understand and remember with ease. How can a mulberry tree be uprooted without human hands, as we know it would take several men several hours to root it out? And how can it be moved to the sea, not to mention it could be planted in the waving sea water. These three expressions of figures of speech, to be uprooted, moved to the sea, and planted in it, have never been seen in history at all and could never be done as far as human intelligence goes.


But the Lord says the mulberry tree will be planted in the sea if we command it to. This figure of speech teaches us that the work of uprooting, the work of moving, and the work of planting can be accomplished through supernatural power if and only if we keep right faith. We have many things individually inside ourselves to root out. Also our family has many things planted inside that should be rooted out. It is because what should be obliterated has not been rooted out but stays embedded like a cancer cell in a healthy body that individuals, families, society, business, and nation come to be destroyed.


We should bow down before God and pray that He root out what should be rooted out of us. We have our thoughts, desires, nature, habits, arrogance, and so on that are impossible to remove however hard we try and however resolved we are. We should learn through this figure of speech that we will be able to root them out through the omnipotent power of God when we live in faith.


We have many things to move, too. What belongs to the present world is corrupt, to be corrupt, of death, and under curse, so we have to move a corrupt thing to the incorrupt world, a dead thing to the immortal world, and a failing thing to the unfailing world; this work is important for us. Hoping for money will eventually end up in destruction, so we have to move the hope into hoping for the truth and God; hoping for worldly honor or position or authority should be moved into hoping for the truth, God, and the heaven. We should deplore our hobbies, habits, and interests in worthless things, and we should try hard to dispose of such thoughts and intentions of ours.


The work of 'moving' is an important matter for us. Study in early stage of our life can determine our future in general, but many of us when young would not put our hope or desire in the study but stray off with evil friends paying no attention to parents' instruction, and eventually we would discover we cannot control ourselves. We do not know how many things to move that belong to death to life, that belong to the earth to the kingdom of heaven, and that are crooked to straight. We can move things through supernatural power if we live in faith, and this is what this figure of speech teaches us of the mulberry tree uprooted and moved to the sea.


Further we have many things to plant in our mind, will, and thought. Into us the truth, the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, right desire, right determination, and right knowledge should be planted; also we ourselves should be planted into the kingdom of heaven.


We see no one accomplishing and succeeding in the works of uprooting, moving, and planting, but this figure of speech is used to teach us that faith can succeed through supernatural power―this may sound innocent, but is hard to understand.


Jesus says, "If you had faith like a mustard seed, you would say to this mulberry tree, 'Be uprooted and be planted in the sea'; and it would obey you." He says that faith like a mustard seed can work a seemingly insurmountable task when we command with faith like a mustard seed―the mulberry tree will obey our command to be uprooted, moved, and planted in the sea. Faith like a mustard seed means faith that has life, or living faith. We can command a mulberry tree to be uprooted, moved, and planted in the sea only if we have living faith. We cannot command such if we do not have living faith, and the command will not be honored as long as the tree stays still, not uprooted, not moved, and not planted in the sea.


The difficulty here lies in our diffidence to utter the command that God commands us to command the mulberry tree to be uprooted and planted in the sea. We would not issue the command since we are not sure it can be done, and it will not be done for sure if we command the tree while we doubt.


Faith like a mustard seed means living faith. To be alive means to be connected to God and thus to have life. Eternal life means the eternal connection to God. It is impossible to kill a creature if the creature is connected to the Creator, and that person lives eternally. The Lord said "All things are possible to him who believes," and we know the belief here is omnipotent. Then which faith is omnipotent? Faith means obedience to the word of God, and living faith is omnipotent. Faith connected to God, deeds in faith connected to God, and obeying the word of God are omnipotent.


To be in faith means to live obeying the word of the Bible. Obeying the word of God can be done in two ways. We may obey the word selecting word passages according to our subjectivity and thoughts, and this Biblical practice is of dead faith. Or we may practice what is provided in the Bible all the same, and at the same time we do what God bids us to do in our reality, and our obedience is connected to God.


We may do according to Biblical passages while not doing
the Biblical passage God requires us to accomplish: we do this passage at this hour, and we do that passage at that hour following our heart, desire, thought, circumstance, or situation. This obedience is done following our opinion, not following passive to God.


Nothing is impossible to the word of the Bible. The Bible contains the Truth which is in turn the Holy Spirit who is God. The Bible is the word of God which created the universe out of nothing. The Word has no person but the true reason which has independent, omniscient wisdom and omnipotent power.


It is in our reality that God commands us to do according to a Biblical passage, and it is obedience to God that we obey according to the passage. God will come into what we obey according to what God commands, and He will accomplish it. We may select on our own a passage to do, which makes us appear following the Bible, but it is anything but executing God's command.


The truth is omnipotent, and it created man and the universe and the spiritual world; it resides far above a dimension of mankind, and it is not subject to human use
this or that way. The word of the Bible is the will and truth of God that we should consult to see if what we have found as a command of God is indeed what God has commanded to us, just like a reference book in our study. The Old and New Testaments are useful for us to find and confirm God's will.


It is of living faith to follow what God commands to us which we have found when we read the Bible. But the omnipotent word of the Bible will not be used by the one who claims to do according to the word of the Bible subjectively selecting and doing
this or that passage; such deeds are done visibly according to the Bible but the truth has nothing to do with the person, and the truth rejects the person. This is of dead faith.


We need to discern when we keep in faith, whether we do in faith passively or actively. To keep in faith passively to God means to do what God commands to us, which means to live in the faith of obedience. But to pick a Biblical passage to practice is not passive to God but active in living in faith and using the word of God, and the passage will not be exploited.


In Matthew 4 the devil took Jesus into the holy city and had Him stand on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, "If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down; for it is written, 'He will command His angels concerning you, and on their hands they will bear You up, so that You will not strike Your foot against a stone.'" Is this what God commands the devil to tell Jesus so that the devil tells Jesus to do? or is this just what the devil tells Jesus subjectively? It is what the devil does of his own accord; it is not out of obedience to God but out of active exploitation of God's word. Was the word of God used by the devil? No.


Then Jesus said to the devil, "It is written, 'You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.'" What does it mean to put the Lord to test? We ought to live passively according to what God commands to us, following a specific Biblical passage God selects for us from among many words. We will be actively soliciting God for passively helping us if we practice a passage of our choice, assuming God will help us as we are practicing it; this is when we will be putting God to test. Israelites were destroyed in the wilderness putting the Lord to test.


We may live our entire life practicing not a single word of the Bible while we reputedly practice Biblical passages throughout life. Of course God gave the Old and New Testament Bibles for us to do according to the words in them, but the main use of the Bibles is to distinguish what we think we have received as God's command, whether it is indeed God's command or the devil's. To do according to the words of the Old and New Testaments will result in obedience either living or dead. Living obedience is the obedience that is connected to God and passively done following God's command. Dead obedience is the obedience through which we choose a Biblical passage to do on our own, which appears to be obedient but is in fact that we implement our decision, and this faith is dead.


In 1 John 2:27 it is said, "The anointing which you received from Him abides in you, and you have no need for anyone to teach you; but as His anointing teaches you about all things, and is true and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you abide in Him." It is through the instruction of Holy Spirit that we should do
this or that, not through reading the Bible only. We will be using a Biblical passage of our own choice when we do according to the passage only, not according to what the Holy Spirit instructs to us; others would judge we are obeying God, but in fact we are not following God but forcing God to follow our opinion according to which we choose the Biblical passage.


It is that we do not obey a Biblical passage but the Biblical passage obeys us, and we do not do according to the Bible but according to our opinion, when we practice what we choose from the Bible on our own. To obey according to the Bible does not mean to obey
this or that Biblical passage at our discretion. It may not serve a purpose right to do literally according to a Biblical passage in our reality; Satan quoted word for word a Biblical passage, which only amounted to sin.


'The anointing in us' refers to the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit regenerated us and we are told in this passage of 1 John to do as the Holy Spirit teaches us. We are to do as God teaches us to do
this or that in our reality through a specific verse from among many verses in the Bible, and this becomes living faith, or faith like a mustard seed. We will see extremely great power working when we have the living faith and do according to it.


It is omnipotent for us to find rightly what God commands us and to do accordingly; there is nothing that cannot be accomplished by the omnipotent power. "You will see the glory of God if you believe" means it will be glory for God as well as us to practice God's command and His will, as it will result in an extremely great work.


Why were lions unable to harm Daniel in the den? Because he had living faith which was essentially God's will and command. We Christians serving God should not worry or doubt whether to pray or not when threatened to be thrown into lions' den if we pray to God―we should pray to God. It was correctly of God's command to pray to God, and an extremely great power worked.


Nothing is impossible for believers in Jesus when we believe according to the principle of belief in Jesus. This means nothing is impossible in faith when we obey God. It is the true and right teaching of the anointing that God commands directly through the Holy Spirit what is contained in the Bible. When we start obeying His command, we are to consult the Bible to see if we have correctly identified what we think is God's will as truly God's will or devil's will or our own subjectivity.


The Old and New Testaments are mainly of use to seek God's will correctly, and we should take caution not to practice the Bible
ad verbum in absence of God's will. We will fail when we fail to pay attention to this. Beginners in belief will try to practice trusting others who say everything will be accomplished that is done according to the word of the Bible, but they are likely to see no works of extremely great power, no miracles, and no blessings. They will witness no favorable outcome once, twice, and thrice, ending up as a person who is in a awkward position of not entirely disavowing the word of the Bible but of quietly admitting that obeying the words of the Bible does not always work miracles, blessings, and successes.


They will say, after living in faith for some time, "Others are saying it will be prosperous to do according to the word of the Bible, but what happens to be true is that we have to do something in addition to the word of the Bible; sometimes it does not work to do according to the word of the Bible, and it is foolish of us to live following the Bible. They judge that men should follow the word of the Bible when they are successful following the word, but men also need not follow the word of the Bible when they are unsuccessful following the word. They have learned to discern cases in which to do according to the word of the Bible and according to some other means. They know they are not to live always choosing what the word of the Bible directs them. They believe in Jesus culling what they deem to be compatible with what befalls them.


They will conclude in the end that the Bible says what should happen in principle, not what happens in reality, going a path different from that the Bible goes. They do not have faith inside even though they become elders or pastors. Not many saints overcame the hardship of the shrine worship during the last days of Japanese colonial rule. Nor were there many saints who kept faith when the Geochang region fell into communist control during the Korean War. It is because they did not believe.


Faith is in two sorts: one is living, the other dead. Living faith obeys God's will. Does living faith obey what is recorded in the Bible? Yes, it obeys what is written in the Bible. Yet we do not know which passage in the Bible is practically what we should obey. Still less could we resort to practice from the first chapter of Genesis to the last chapter of Revelation; we would be likely to obey no God's will at all.


It is omnipotent to move following an omnipotent power. In the world one carries president's authority when he or she carries out the president's order. The president's authority will not follow if the person personally picks to do one of the president's directives; it is the one's own doing.


There must be a God's will pertaining to our reality, and our finding and obeying the will is almighty, for the will is God's wish and intention and He will accomplish His will. Finding a Biblical passage on our own and practicing it, instead of finding His will in our reality and practicing it, is deciding what God should command according to our criterion and self-rule, which makes ourselves an enemy of God and guilty of putting God to test. We will further pray God to give us miracles and blessings, but God will not be used for our sake; our deeds appear to be of obedience to the word of the Bible but actually the Bible is what we have picked up to use for our interests, and we are moving with the Bible but not with the truth.


It is not of faith to follow a Biblical passage which is not His will for us, and we would be obeying a Biblical passage without obeying God if we practiced the passage paying no attention to God's will for us. Then we would have no connection to God and no relationship with Him. There would be a relationship only between the passage and us, and our faith we assume would be dead and anthropocentric, and it would not be connected to God and thus it would be lifeless, devoid of extremely omnipotent power and wisdom.


There is no reality but has God's will, and our deed of finding His will and doing according to it exists perpetually. It means the omniscient authority has come to abide in our reality. Believers in God will crave for nothing on the earth; they know that a life is more valuable than the universe and try to obtain men. Reality means our current background, circumstance, and condition consisting of various factors in our environment.


In our reality have come omnipotence, omniscience, eternal life, perfection, great success, and things not to be burned eternally, but we let them drift away. The whole world is not worthy of one of these. The Lord said, "What is a man profited if he gains the whole world, and loses or forfeits himself?" We will lose ourselves when we are interested in the world and the things in it so that we cannot live our reality as the 'new man' regenerated through the Holy Spirit and the truth. It is a gret loss if we fail to live as the 'man' regenerate and true, and if we lose our 'new man' and live as the 'old man' in our reality.


"If he loses or forfeits himself." Our mind and body and their functions, or skills, can possess omniscience, omnipotence, perfection, eternity and constancy, and all things in the heaven and the earth, but we will lose God's will in our reality and we will lose the opportunity to have the functions, or skills, become omniscient and omnipotent enough to occupy the universe eternally if we should crave for the things on the earth.


"If he gains himself." The function of our mind and body corresponding to a reality of ours will become everlasting, omniscient, omnipotent, perfect, and sovereign over things in the heaven and the earth. But we will forfeit the function when we should lust after the things on the earth, not seeking for God's will or losing His will in case we have found it, and living following our lusts and subjectivity. In essence, it is more valuable than the universe to find and keep divine will in our reality that comes only once.


To forfeit oneself means to lose one's 'new man,' 'inner man,' and 'true man' regenerated through the blood, the Holy Spirit, and the truth. We should destroy our 'self' that is not we, that has killed us, and that is the 'old man' who is made of the evil spirit, evil nature, and evil habits. Evil spirit means spirit of egocentricity, and evil nature means corrupt nature of egocentricity. Evil habits mean what have become habits formed from our deeds affected by the evil spirit and evil nature one after another. In the Ephesians 4:22 we are told to lay aside the old self, or nature, which results in evil habits we are discussing.


We should equip ourselves with the proficiency of finding God's will for us, and we should have faith in works of omniscience and omnipotence that follow when we do according to God's will we find. We cannot live unless we have those two; we die when we fail to find the will and when we fail to believe that omniscient and omnipotent work will be done after we find the will and do according to it.


There are many affairs pertaining to which we can surely conclude something as God's will. When we undergo such an affair once and witness such a result of omniscient and omnipotent perfection as God's miracle and blessing once, we can move to a second affair and we will see a second similar result. When we have practiced many times, we will become a person who can confidently follow, at least, what he or she judges surely as God's will. Why were the three companions of Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, bold and delighted when threatened to throw into a furnace of blazing fire? Because they had seen the same consistent results many times when they had done what they thought must be God's will.


We could say there were many people who knew what the will of God was but were afraid to die, so as to worship the image or the Japanese shrine, or to yield to communist atrocity. Do you think it was only three people, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, who knew it was surely God's will not to worship the huge image Nebuchadnezzar the king had erected? There must have been many others who knew what the will of God was then.


In that circumstance it was surely God's will for anyone believing in God not to bow down to the golden image. Then had they known that they would be omniscient, omnipotent, almighty, perfect, everlasting, and victorious in the end when they did according to God's will, they would not have feared whatever Nebuchadnezzar said, nor would they have cared about what the Almighty might do when they were thrown into the furnace.


Did others not believe that the deed done according to God's will is omniscient and omnipotent? No, they did not belie that. Did others who worshiped the image not know that it was undoubtedly God's will not to worship the image? Yes, they knew that. Then why did they worship the image? They had not had experienced that what is done according to God's will is internally what the Almighty executes an almighty will and what He accomplishes His will, which appears to be what men do. Not having had such experiences, these will not believe if others exhort them.


Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego sought for God's will that was both easy to find and to identify as God's will, and did the divine will and obeyed the will. A little power came manifest when they did a God's will requiring a little, and a strong power came to work when they obeyed a divine will requiring much. They came to witness obeying God's will to be omniscient and omnipotent once, twice, and so on, to realize that doing God's will to obey it is omniscient and omnipotent that no one can prevent, obstruct, interfere with, and undermine.


We have two points to study. One is that a deed is omniscient and omnipotent that matches God's will and agrees to His will; no creation can interfere nor hurt. Joseph knew this secret; his conviction on doing according to God's will did not waver when he was moved captive to Egypt or imprisoned. It was an obvious God's will not to be solicited by the wife of Potiphar, and Joseph was convinced that the obvious divine will is valuable omnipotently, omnisciently, perfectly, and eternally, and it deserves to rule the universe.


Joseph would have such a valuable deed if he did according to God's will, and he would lose it if he reconciled himself to the woman's seduction. He would get the woman temporarily, but the value of the woman could not be compared with that of the deed; Joseph gave no second thought and overcame without any fear or worry. He fled at the scene not because he was afraid but he would not let the woman transgress.


The other point is that we should experience repeatedly what results if we find God's will and do as it directs us. In case it is generally thought difficult to find His will, let us do this: select what is relatively easy to do from among what we think are surely God's will, and do it. God's power will work when we actually do according to His will. Externally it is we that carry out a God's will, but inside the deed there is the God's will, and inside the will there is divine omniscience and omnipotence, and inside them God resides; do you believe this?


The Holy Spirit of God abides inside the God's will we are doing, and God abides in the Holy Spirit. Visibly it is we who do the will but invisibly it is God who holds us to do His will; this is why we are called a temple of God, and this is how we become His hands, or members. Externally it is our hands but internally it is God of omniscience and omnipotence who holds our hands to work His will.


Try to do what you think is surely a God's will, and examine what results. God's miracles and God's blessings will be manifest in the result definitely. You yourselves will reveal what can be concluded to have been worked not by men but by God; now you have experienced once. Seek for a God's will that can be safely adopted as His will indeed, and do it when you find one; you will confirm a same result worked by God's miracles and blessings, and His omniscience and omnipotence. Repeat them.


We cannot see such an interaction take place since we do not believe this. The Bible says it will be done as we believe, so let us believe, or it will not be done. It is God's will for Peter to walk on the water when the Lord commands him to walk on the water, for we can accept confidently the Lord's command as God's will. So Peter could walk on the water then when he walked according to His command and saw the omniscience and omnipotence at work. Why then did Peter fall and sink into the sea? He had been obeying God's command until he saw the wind when he became affected by it; he changed his master. Peter was said to be of little faith; it was because he had little faith that was not enough to sustain his walking passive to God, and now he was walking passive to the wind.


Many people are concerned now about a possible communist provocation. The Bible says, "A thousand may fall at your side and ten thousand at your right hand." Almighty one will not fall even though a thousand may fall and ten thousands may fall. How can one be an almighty one? The one who finds and does a will of God, and who believes that omniscient and omnipotent works will result since his or her doing His will is in fact what God holds the person with to work His will―this one will never perish even though the whole world may perish.


We studied two points: to find His will rightly, and to believe that finding and doing the will is a deed omniscient and omnipotent, perfect, and eternal. How do we believe that doing congruently with God's will is the deed omniscient and omnipotent, perfect, and eternal? Do not lose what agrees to God's will. Hold on what you understand is an evident will of God; that is an extremely precious treasure. Once you do His will, it will become your function, or skill, that is omniscient and omnipotent, and no creation will meddle in it nor harm it. The secret lies in this. Then experience and undergo such practices repeatedly.