1 Samuel 15:1-3
Sunday Morning – 2 Dec 2018 10:46:19 am – Pastor James Yang
There are people who listen to the Word as it is – that is, as it is from God. But some others filter it first and then listen.
Once, a person asked me, “Pastor I know that Jesus has taken away our sins. But in the future, how can we get our sins forgiven?” So he opened up 1 John 1.
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
I John 1:9 NKJV
He then told me “See, it says here to confess our sins”. So I asked him, “Well, yes, after you confess though, are you forgiven and cleansed from all unrighteousness then?” However, he still claimed that he still had sins. His focus was on the fact that we had to keep on confessing since we keep on sinning, but my focus was on the fact that after confessing, our sins are all cleansed and we are cleaned from all unrighteousness. For him, however, he was still remaining as a sinner. My focus was on the fact that after confessing, indeed we become righteous.
The bible clearly says to us to not carry two differing weights. We all carry two different weights. There is the weight of God with which He weighs us but we carry our own weight with which we measure as well.
One the permanent secretary of the Assembly of God Church (AOG) in Kiribati, went to the world camp in Korea that we hosted. There, as he heard the gospel, his heart opened so widely that we are not cooperating with the AOG church in Kiribati. The same applies to Fiji as well.
“He who trusts in his own heart is a fool, But whoever walks wisely will be delivered.”
Proverbs 28:26 NKJV
There are some features of those who trust in their own heart. These are people who hold their own standard of good and evil.
In the verse that we read in the beginning, king Saul heard the commandment of the Lord to utterly destroy all of the Amalekites.
“Now go and attack Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and do not spare them. But kill both man and woman, infant and nursing child, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.’ ””
I Samuel 15:3 NKJV
However, Saul just filtered out what he liked to hear and what he did not like to hear. If you trust in yourself, you will only like to do what you like to do and not do what you do not like to do.
Foolish people only receive what they like and if they don’t like anything, they reject it.
The bible says that the foolishness of man is sin. Many people in the world claim that they are Christians and that they believe in God. But they still also trust in themselves and this is foolishness.
When king Saul was a small person, he became king. Small people (in the heart) do not have their own opinions. From a certain point, Saul started to trust in his own heart.
After Saul attacked the Amalekites and defeated them, Samuel heart the lowing of the oxen and the bleating of the sheep. So here, Saul trusted in himself and those like him who do so have afflictions.
The bible always consists of two: light and darkness; Cain and Abel; etc.
I ask people why Cain’s offering was rejected by God. Most pastors say that it is because Cain’s offering was not good enough. But this is not a biblical answer. Fact is God had cursed the ground and for Cain to give this as an offering to God, is an abomination. This is why God could not accept him and his offering. Cain had worked so hard for his offering.
When I used to work at Hyundai company the customers would often try to bribe me with their money. Let’s say I took their money. If I did so, then one day if they call me again to fix their car problems, would I be obliged to fix the car for him or not? I would, right? In this way, Satan always put hooks in our life to capture us and deceive us.
The universal standard of foolishness is our own thoughts. Some people think it’s the level of education. This is not right. The universal standard of foolishness is when we trust in our own thoughts.
The meaning of Abel means “breath” which represents vanity. He realised that his life was so vain that he had no other choice but to offer one of his flock and the fat of it. Thus, God was very happy as the flock offering represents Jesus Christ. However, many people claim that Jesus was born much much later in time after Abel. Such people do not understand the world of the spirit. In fact, it is written that Jesus is the same today, yesterday and forever. In fact, Jesus is the one who was there when this world was created (John 1).
Once in my workplace (before I was a pastor) I tried to fix a car engine but had no way to fix it. I ran out of ideas. So I asked around my superiors and he told me one thing. As I changed a part, everything was all smooth and good. My superior had the clear standard. I didn’t.
In spiritual life as well, if you do not have the clear line, then you can only waste your time. If you come to the world of the heart, then there will be no change. But after you receive the heart of Jesus, then your heart will be renewed daily.
King Saul said that he followed the Words of God, but he did not really follow the Words of God. If he had clearly had received the Words of God into their hearts, then the work of God should remain in their heart.
“for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,”
Romans 3:23 NKJV
In the eyes of God everyone is a sinner. Because of this, we have to be destroyed.
“being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,”
Romans 3:24 NKJV
It says that we are now justified. The problem is that people are not resting in the fact that this work of being justified and redeemed is already completed. In other words, they are still trying.
Let’s use the example of smoking. The bible does not say do not smoke. Does this mean that we can though? Well, if I do, it is not worthy of the conduct of the gospel. So if I smoke, then I impede the works of the gospel. The same applies for drugs as well. I know brethren who still smoke and some want to quit but they cannot. So I share with them this:
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”
II Corinthians 5:17 NKJV
I tell them that as a new creation, we do not need to smoke at all. There is just no need for it…so by this faith in this Word, they can quit.
“then He said, “Behold, I have come to do Your will, O God.” He takes away the first that He may establish the second. By that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.”
Hebrews 10:9-10 NKJV
Here it says “we have been sanctified…”. As I share this verse with people, some are so shocked. They are shocked because they are at work to sanctify themselves.
Just as if someone presents us with a gift and we receive it, we do so without working for it. A normal person who have thankfulness towards the person who gifted it. Likewise, for our sanctification, it is not something that we have to work for but just something that we have to receive from God.
Even though king Saul received the word of God, he did so through his own thought. This is why, the fleshful things remained. Yet, Saul thought he was trusting in God.
Please I ask you to forsake your thoughts. Then you will be able to receive the Word of God as it is.
A pastor rang me up and said to me that he felt troubled. He had many guests in the church. He was tired and so on. I told him that it seems like he would have to die. Because in the sabbath day, those who work would have to die. So I told the pastor that it was because he was at work and he did not rely on Jesus. So as he heard this, he was very happy.
“By that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified.
then He adds, “Their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.””
Hebrews 10:10, 14, 17 NKJV
Through these verses, we can clearly see that in fact, we are sanctified and that our sins are all forgotten and blotted out from God’s perspective. Like this, all our problems now belong to Jesus.
“But God be thanked that though you were slaves of sin, yet you obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine to which you were delivered. And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness.”
Romans 6:17-18 NKJV
Between slaves and masters, who takes responsibility? If you carry a lot of burdens and problems in your life, then it means you are the mater in your life. But you are now no longer a slave of sin. You are in fact now a slave of righteousness.
Satan always makes us responsible for our sins and problems. This is exactly what Satan did to Judas Iscariot. When Judas betrayed Jesus and he became remorseful, he went back to the high priest and wanted to refund the 30 pieces of silver. But they said to him “What is that to us? You see to it!” and so this was how Judas was treated.
If the high priest had truly received salvation, then he would have have fellowship with Judas Iscariot and condemned Satan who deceived him, rather than condemn Judas. But the high priest himself was deceived and did not know anything about God.
In many churches, people cry and wave their hands and yell out to God. Is this how they attain salvation? Well, this is not the way. That’s not even a service. True worship is when you worship in truth and in spirit. This is how we worship. It means only believing in the Word of God alone — this is true service.
Believing in the fact that you are forgiven of your sins, that your sanctified and that you are justified is the basis of a Christian.
“Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.”
I Corinthians 6:9-11 NKJV
When people receive the Word, then they receive whatever the bible clearly says – that we were sanctified and we are perfected. However, many people do not receive as it is and still believe they have to work hard for their own sanctification and justification. This is because Satan deceives them.
I truly hope you can have the genuine rest from God based on the Word. Then you will have a blessed life.