The people of Zion keep the Sabbath as God said, “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy,” and every female member wears a veil during worship as God said, “Woman ought to cover their heads while in worship.” Thus, every act of faith-doing as God says-is obedience toward God.
Christians must always live according to the word of God. God told us not to add or take away from the words of the Bible because He put all the means for salvation together in the Bible.
If we walk the way God has showed us, we will find eternal life, salvation and heaven at the end of the way, where God will gladly meet us. Keeping this deeply in mind, let’s think about the blessings that those who obey God’s word will receive.
There was a wise king in an ancient country. He wanted to see how honest his people were and how obedient they were to his commands. So, he distributed flower seeds to every house, and declared that he would give a great prize to the person who cultivated the seed to grow into the most beautiful flower by this time next year.
After one year, the king gave the people an order to bring back the flowers they had cultivated. The people came out on the street with the pots of flowers in various colors such as red and yellow, and boasted in front of the king that they took good care of their flowers so that they might bloom gorgeously. The king complimented them on their efforts. While passing through the crowd, he found a boy crying, without anything in his hands. When the king asked the boy why he was crying, the boy said that he took good care of the seed, but strangely it didn’t sprout, so he came to think that he was the most worthless person in his country.
After hearing what the boy said, the king stroked the boy’s head and declared that he was the person whom he was looking for. In fact, the seeds that the king distributed to the people were all boiled and lifeless. They apparently seemed to be intact and viable. However, the seeds the king gave to the people were the ones that would never be able to bloom when they sowed them as the king had told. The king wanted to find the people who would obey and follow him with sincerity of heart even in secret places. He was pleased to find an honest person and offered a generous prize to the boy.
Like the boy in the story, we too should obey and follow God with sincerity, by doing just what He says. When the people received the seeds from the king, they made all efforts to cultivate them but they didn’t sprout, so they came to think of replacing the original seeds with other ones. Thoughts like that result in changing the truth and shutting the door to eternal life. Christians are required to do as God says, with a sincere attitude of faith. In order to find the people who were completely obedient, the king intentionally distributed the boiled seeds to each house.
When the people made the flowers bloom by using expedient means to show off, the king recognized that they were not the people who would sincerely obey his command. The boy could choose the way other people thought and acted. How worried would he be when the seed he sowed didn’t sprout and bloom while other people’s seeds were all blooming? Nevertheless, he didn’t look for another seed as they did, but put effort only into looking after the seed that the king gave to him according to his command. What the king wanted was that sincerity of heart.
The reason we must do what the Bible teaches is that it is the way God has provided for us. What God wants is not our ability or wisdom. God possesses all power and wisdom. He does not need anything we have; He only looks for those who obey His will sincerely and honestly. Such people are worthy of the kingdom of heaven.
Jesus learned obedience from what He suffered and was made perfect. Obedience is a virtue that we have to learn to become complete beings of heaven.
Although he was a son, he learned obedience from what he suffered and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him and was designated by God to be high priest in the order of Melchizedek. Heb 5:8-10
No one can be perfect without obedience. Jesus was made perfect by becoming obedient to God, even to the point of death. His perfect obedience led those who obey Him to follow the will of God. If we fully obey God’s will and deliver it to others, the person who hears from us will also fully obey the will of God and be saved. So, the Bible says that Christ became the source of eternal salvation. Salvation is based on obedience.
Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death-even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, … and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed … continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, Phil 2:5-12
If we rely on our own strength and ability rather than obey God’s word, we will have no reward from God even though we do our worldly affairs magnificently, just as the people received no reward from the king although they made the seeds-not the ones given by the king-bloom beautifully. God is looking for the people who are obedient to His word, like the owner of the pot containing the original boiled seed. He highly exalts those who obey Him completely like Christ.
“I have lack faith, and easily fall into temptation. I am lazy to do the work of God.” If you feel that, think about whether or not you are following the will of God obediently. The person who is fully obedient to God’s will has a burning faith and does not fall into temptation. A heart of disobedience causes us to have worldly desires and fail to have hope for the eternal kingdom of God. We should always obey and work out our salvation with fear and trembling.
Salvation is impossible apart from obedience. The Most High God came in the flesh and set an example of obedience. He showed us the way to complete salvation by being obedient even to the point of death, as the prime example for us to follow. In our life of faith, our obedience must always be based on the obedience of Christ.
Now, let’s think about what we should do in this age, by looking at some records of what Jesus did while living on this earth 2,000 years ago.
… He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, … When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.” Simon answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.” When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break. … and they came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink. When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus’ knees and said, “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!” For he and all his companions were astonished at the catch of fish they had taken, and so were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, Simon’s partners. Then Jesus said to Simon, “Don’t be afraid; from now on you will catch men.” So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed him. Luke 5:1-11
Peter respected the word of God who came in the flesh and obeyed Him. As a result, he was blessed with a good outcome. God Himself said, “Let down the nets for a catch.” These words of God were not recorded in the Old Testament, which was the only scripture at that time. However, Peter relied upon the words of Jesus, so he was able to gain much.
Suppose Peter relied on his own knowledge and experience and disobeyed the God who came in the flesh, when He told him to let down the nets. From a man’s point of view, Peter, who was a fisherman, was more skilled at fishing than Jesus, who was a carpenter. When Peter, an expert fisherman, didn’t catch anything all night long, Jesus said to him, “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.” Then he obeyed His word and put out his net into the deep water, and caught a large number of fish.
We need to think about what this past incident teaches us today. As God came in the flesh 2,000 years ago, so Elohim Gods have come in the flesh and are with us in these days. Nevertheless, we often tend to neglect the words coming directly from God in flesh, while depending solely on the words described in the Bible.
Most people are dubious because God has a physical body like ours. If God told people to let down the nets with a majestic voice in an invisible spiritual form, not in the flesh, everyone would be filled with a mysterious feeling and obey His word without question or complaint, thinking of it as the work of God. Whether God has a human form or a spiritual form, His voice remains the same-the same word of God.
Without obedience to God’s word, nothing can be gained. One’s disobedience results in abandoning his faith. By obeying a single command of God, Peter, James and John were able to catch a lot more fish than they had caught in years with their lifelong learning skills and experiences, and the single act of obedience enabled them all to decide to follow the path of Christ.
Obedience is precious and beautiful. Faith without obedience is futile. Nevertheless, we sometimes find it so hard to obey. It is because we rely on our own thoughts rather on God’s. Let’s find out why we should obey God’s word, forsaking our own thoughts, in the book of Isaiah.
Seek the LORD while he may be found; call on him while he is near. Let the wicked forsake his way and the evil man his thoughts. Let him turn to the LORD, and he will have mercy on him, and to our God, for he will freely pardon. “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. … so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. …” Isa 55:6-11
God is there right beside us. We must not lose the opportunities given to us by disobeying God’s word. The reason we fail to obey is because we rely on our own thoughts, wisdom and experience.
When God tells us something, we should forsake our own thoughts and do what God says to do without hesitation like Peter. Would Peter have been able to catch such a large number of fish if he had put out into the deep water and let down the nets after a few days, not right away? When Jesus told him to let down the nets, it was the time to catch lots of fish. If we hesitate when God commands us to do something, it is no different than disobedience.
We ought to do what God says, without delay. If one hesitates to obey His word, saying that he has understood the truth about God who has come in the flesh, it is proof that he doesn’t have complete faith in God.
Some people think that obedience makes one passive. Not at all. God told us to obey Him for our spiritual profit-to give us eternal freedom and salvation, not to put us under restraint and confinement. He gave up the glory of heaven to save us; He didn’t hesitate to take the humble likeness of a sinner. Does God, who loves us so much, demand obedience from us to repress and restrict us? Certainly not.
Spiritually, men are blind. They do not know what a day may bring forth. We are unable to foresee future events, but God knew us before the world began, and instructs us to do something every moment to lead us into the eternal kingdom of heaven.
Suppose a blind man is guided by a man with sight. When the man with sight tells the blind man to cautiously take one step then another from now on because there are stairs, he needs to hear his words and be cautious when walking; if he walks on stairs as if he walks on flat ground, he will lose his footing and get injured. When he is told to jump because there is a brook, then he needs to jump over it. We are spiritually blind, so we cannot know what obstacles lie before us. Only God tells us the way to eternal life and salvation through His words. Those who do not follow His words will get injured, fall and be broken.
God does not tell us to obey Him to oppress our freedom, but to lead us to our heavenly home by showing us what dangers lie before us and teaching us what to do. Being thankful for the love of God, we should obey His words with firm faith, so that we can go back to heaven.
… Consequently, just as the result of one trespass was condemnation for all men, so also the result of one act of righteousness was justification that brings life for all men. For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous. Rom 5:17-19
Through the disobedience of one man, Adam, all men are kept in slavery to sin. However, through the obedience of Jesus Christ-the Last Adam-even to the point of death, many are made righteous and come to salvation. Likewise, the obedience of each one of us enables many people on earth to come to life. The obedience of one person can save many people, and the disobedience of one person may hurt many souls. Whose side should we be on?
Remembering what an important seed each one of us is in faith, we should all follow the path of obedience. The disobedience of one of us may cause a result like that of the disobedience of Adam, and the obedience of one of us can produce an outcome like that of the obedience of Jesus Christ.
When God came to this earth in the flesh, there were some who were fully obedient to God’s word and received abundant blessing, including the blind man who regained his sight. Whatever our Elohim Gods-the Spirit and the Bride-say, it is the way of salvation. Believing this, we should obey what They tell us to do, at every moment They are with us, and walk with Them.
Suppose God tells us, “Remember the fourth day by keeping it holy from now on.” If we are truly God’s people, we should obey His word and keep the fourth day rather than insist on the custom which we’ve kept until now, shouldn’t we?
The Apostle Peter was blessed by fully obeying God. However, he once insisted on his own thoughts and was corrected by God for his mistaken thoughts and came to realize the will of God, as recorded in the Bible.
… Peter …fell into a trance. He saw heaven opened and something like a large sheet being let down to earth by its four corners. It contained all kinds of four-footed animals, as well as reptiles of the earth and birds of the air. Then a voice told him, “Get up, Peter. Kill and eat.” “Surely not, Lord!” Peter replied. “I have never eaten anything impure or unclean.” The voice spoke to him a second time, “Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.” This happened three times, and immediately the sheet was taken back to heaven. Acts 10:9-16
In the Old Testament times, there was a distinction between clean and unclean animals, and people were permitted to eat only clean animals (Leviticus 11). So, Peter was not eating unclean animals, but God told him to change his custom regarding food which had lasted for decades.
Then Peter insisted upon his own opinion. God told him to eat all kinds of animals, saying they were clean, but Peter said he would not eat them and only held fast to the words God had given to him before. Mentioning the matter concerning food, God wanted to teach him that the gospel should be preached not only to the Jews but also to the Gentiles. God showed Peter this vision to let him know that he should also give the Gentiles the opportunity to hear the gospel of life.
Considering the above passages of the Bible, we have to follow the will of God with an obedient faith rather than stubbornly insist on our own opinion. It is God who distinguished between clean animals and unclean ones, and it is also God who abolished the distinction between them and told us to eat them all. The Law consists of God’s words. If God, who gave the Law, tells us to eat both clean and unclean animals, shouldn’t we eat them? The Law is our tutor to lead us to Christ (Gal 3:24, NASB) and the way to find God. It is God’s word that precedes the Law.
Peter insisted on having his own way even though God Himself told him. However, he soon came to realize the will of God and obeyed His word. We can see Peter preaching to Cornelius and his family (Acts 10:17-48) and making decisions about regulations for food in the New Testament with the apostles, saying that we may eat anything except food sacrificed to idols, blood and the meat of strangled animals (Acts 15:7-29).
Keeping in mind that as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are God’s thoughts higher than our thoughts, we should follow the will of God that is as high as heaven. When God told Peter to put out into the deep water and let down the nets for a catch, it seemed pretty simple and ordinary. However, when he obeyed His words, he obtained a good outcome. We need to remember this.
I earnestly ask you all to obediently follow the Elohim Gods-the Spirit and the Bride-who go ahead of us and lead us. Father and Mother have told us, Their children, to make every effort to preach the gospel to Samaria and to the ends of the earth as Their witnesses. As God’s people became the witnesses of Jehovah in the age of the Father and the witnesses of Jesus Christ in the age of the Son, so should we become the witnesses of the Elohim Gods in this age. All my brothers and sisters in Zion! Being made perfect as children of obedience, let’s lead the whole world to salvation and enter the eternal kingdom of heaven together.