God has said that if we follow His word, we will prosper in everything we do. I earnestly hope that in this year all our family members of Zion will please Elohim and give Them glory by living a more worthy life in the eyes of Elohim, paying attention to the prophecies Father has given us and following the Teachings of Mother.
Let us be fully born again as the heavenly people who resemble God, being changed for the better in everything, including our speech, behavior and mindset. The kingdom of heaven is a place where those who are not reborn can never enter. Thinking of the kingdom of heaven which is closer than yesterday, far closer than last year, we should be born again and live a life worthy of going to heaven every day.
Christ reminded us of the kingdom of heaven, saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near” (Mt 4:17), and also teaches us that we cannot enter the kingdom of God unless we are born again.
. . . In reply Jesus declared, “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.” “How can a man be born when he is old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely he cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb to be born!” Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’ . . .” Jn 3:1-8
Since Jesus says we cannot see the kingdom of God unless we are born again, “being born again” is the most urgent task for those who hope for heaven. Of course, we must obey every teaching God has given us in order to be born again, but unless we become gracious in our speech, we may fail to enter the kingdom of God. As the kingdom of God is much closer, we need to first change our speech and behavior, speaking only beautiful words that give grace to those who hear.
This is also a teaching that Mother always gives us, and it is also what She emphasized at the education meetings held at the beginning of this year. We use many words in our daily speech. The Bible teaches us that we should speak gracious words pleasing to God that benefit one another, give hope for heaven and build up each other in faith, rather than ungracious and secular words that makes the mind of the listener go astray in the world and injure their faith.
Considering the teachings of Mother and reflecting upon myself, I am regretful for not being fully born again. I also realize that Mother wants us to be born again to become beautiful and gracious so that we will go back to the kingdom of God.
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Eph 4:29-32
God always teaches us to speak words that give grace to those who listen. I’d like to ask you to get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger and to show kindness, love and compassion to one another, speaking only gracious words.
The kingdom of God is really not a place where we can go just by spending time doing nothing. Since Jesus has clearly said that we cannot see the kingdom of God unless we are born again, we should make continuous efforts to be reborn. If you fail after trying once, please try twice, three times and more, forcefully advancing towards the kingdom of heaven. There is nothing we can’t do if we try ten times or more. Jesus said in a stern tone to those who spoke evil words.
“You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks. The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him. But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.” Mt 12:34-37
We must be born again in our speech. Even though the truth of the Bible is gracious and perfect and every teaching Heavenly Father and Mother have given us is good and beautiful, unless we, children of God in Zion, do not assimilate God’s words and fail to put them into practice, what use are thousands upon thousands of beautiful and gracious words in the Bible?
Every single word is important. A single word can kill a man’s soul or save him. An appropriate remark can relieve the pain of many people at once, but an improper remark can cause a problem or trouble and can even bring about the tragedy of being deprived of one’s birthright. So, Jesus says that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken.
. . . We all stumble in many ways. If anyone is never at fault in what he says, he is a perfect man, able to keep his whole body in check. When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. Likewise the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell. All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and creatures of the sea are being tamed and have been tamed by man, but no man can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. Jas 3:1-8
The perfect are those who are not at fault in what they say. Jesus says that unless we are not born again, we cannot enter the kingdom of God. So, we should make constant efforts to become perfect in every way, beginning with our speech, through the power of the Holy Spirit.
In the Bible we can find many cases where a dead spirit is revived, a disheartened person gains strength and courage, and a man with a withered faith is lifted up again. On the contrary, there are some cases where the whole congregation becomes stagnant in faith because of negative remarks from one person who has fallen into temptation. The history of Israel is a shadow which shows this fact exactly.
As we look into the Biblical history, we can see that the 600,000 men evoked the wrath of God at once during their desert journey because some were at fault in what they said.
In the time of Moses, while the Israelites lived in the desert, God directed Moses to select twelve spies, one from each tribe, to spy out the land of Canaan which He had promised them as an inheritance. As they returned from exploring the land, ten of them gave bad report to the people. They said, “The land we explored devours those living in it. All the people we saw there are of great size. We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them,” and added they could not conquer them.
After hearing the negative report from the ten spies, the Israelites became dis-couraged. Realistically, it seemed almost impossible to conquer the land of Canaan even though God had promised it to them. They cried out loud all night long, and grumbled against God and their leaders, saying, “If only we had died in Egypt! Or in this desert! Why is the LORD bringing us to this land only to let us fall by the sword?”
However, the other two spies, Joshua and Caleb, felt righteous indignation when they saw the people grumbling. They said, “Why don’t you believe the promise of God? They are nothing in God’s eyes. Even though they are of great size, they are nothing but helpless beings before God. We shouldn’t be afraid of them, should we? We will swallow them up. So, let’s all take courage and march into the land of Canaan.”
No matter how loud Joshua and Caleb raised their voice, the people of Israel, who had heard the negative report from the ten spies, were already disheartened. They even forgot about God who had revealed His wondrous power and led them with His mighty hand at the time of the Exodus. They grumbled against their leaders, having only negative thoughts about the situation which they were in, and this greatly enraged God. As a result, they were all destroyed in the desert, and only Joshua and Caleb were able to enter the land of Canaan (Numbers 13; 14).
To the people who have forgot about God, we should speak words that remind them of God, like Joshua and Caleb. We must not be like the ten spies who led the 600,000 men of Israel to be destroyed in the desert by speaking ungracious words. No matter how desperate our present situation seems, we don’t need to be disheartened because God, who governs the universe and controls all life, death, adversity and blessing, is with us. Joshua and Caleb, who reminded the people of this fact, entered the land of Canaan, but the other ten spies and the Israelites were all destroyed in the desert. We must remember this history.
It may cause a problem to speak improper words and to listen to those words as well. The Israelites, who listened to the negative words from the ten spies, even forgot the promise which God had given them and fell into fear and despair. Both those who spoke the false words and the people who listened to them were finally disqualified for entering the land of Canaan.
The LORD detests lying lips, but he delights in men who are truthful. A prudent man keeps his knowledge to himself, but the heart of fools blurts out folly. Diligent hands will rule, but laziness ends in slave labor. An anxious heart weighs a man down, but a kind word cheers him up. Pr 12:22-25
As the above verse from Proverbs says, anxiety in a man’s heart weighs it down, but a good word makes it glad. As for us, God is always with us and the kingdom of heaven is waiting for us. If we go back to the glorious kingdom of God, there will be no more death or pain or suffering.
The kingdom of God, where we will enjoy eternal glory forever and ever, is waiting for us. Even though so many worries overtake us, let us turn all our worries into joy and pleasure through God’s good and gracious words, always looking forward to heaven. The Bible has many teachings about speech. If we regard those teachings merely as a means of guiding our daily lives and not a command of God, we are totally mistaken. Just as the Sabbath is a commandment of God, the teachings about speech are also a commandment and rule of God which we must keep.
A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. Pr 15:1
When conversing, we need to always give grace to one another and turn away wrath with a gentle answer rather than a harsh word, as the beautiful children of God. This is God’s desire for us. So, we must not hurt each other by words, but give grace to one another and help each other hold fast to the hope for heaven. Even in troubles, let’s rejoice with the truth, being conscious of God, and speak many pleasant and gracious words to each other.
In human society, words cause much problem or trouble between people. So, there are many wise sayings and teachings about speech. Among them, there is a collection of inspirational quotes from the famous American author and speaker, Zig Ziglar.
A businessman dropped a dollar into the cup of a man selling pencils and hurriedly stepped aboard the subway train. On second thought, he stepped back off the train, walked over to the beggar, and took several pencils from the cup. Apologetically, he explained that in his haste he had neglected to pick up his pencils and hoped the man wouldn’t be upset with him. “After all,” he said, “you are a businessman just like me. You have merchandise to sell and it’s fairly priced.” Then he caught the next train.
At a social function a few months later, a neatly dressed salesman stepped up to the businessman and introduced himself. “You probably don’t remember me and I don’t know your name, but I will never forget you. You are the man who gave me back my self-respect. I was a “beggar” selling pencils until you came along and told me I was a businessman.”
Like this, one word can change a man’s life completely. Of course, not all who hear the same words are changed, but among them those who have an honest spirit can undergo a positive change.
As the children of God in Zion, let us speak only gracious words. To the people who are oblivious of God and to those who live in discouragement and despair without thinking of God, let’s speak words that can remind them of God. There is no doubt that the most gracious words are the words of life that can save dead souls, isn’t it? God has given us the opportunity to preach so that we can speak such gracious words.
I earnestly hope that all our family members in Zion will continue to preach God’s word of life to all people around the world and heal many souls whatever position and situation we are in, always speaking good, beautiful and gracious words to our family, Church members and our neighbors as well.