God’s sealing work, having begun from the east, is yielding abundant harvests. Many nations and peoples are streaming to Zion, earnestly longing for the word of truth which goes out from Zion.
The gospel is actively being preached throughout the world. The light of truth, which is seven times brighter than it shone at Jesus’ first coming, is quickly spreading over all continents and oceans. Seeing the gospel reaching all the corners of the world, we feel that the following prophecy is being fulfilled: “You will be my witnesses even to the ends of the earth.”
“And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.” Mt 24:14
“… But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Ac 1:6-8
Many of our brothers and sisters fly to Jerusalem from around the world. They realize the truth and earnestly desire to understand the mystery of God. We feel joy in them and grace from them, and give thanks to God for them. If they go back to their countries, they will perform the prophetical mission of preaching the word of God.
We hear the joyful news that our brothers and sisters who have returned home are diligently preaching the gospel and leading many souls to God. The gospel is also being preached in Africa, a far-off continent. Seeing this, we can be sure that the gospel will quickly spread to all the ends of the earth. Our heavenly brothers and sisters are flying to Mother like doves. Their burning zeal and untiring passion for God and for the truth touches our hearts.
When we see the gospel spreading so fast, we realize that we live in a time of the fulfillment of prophecy. Even in the United States, where it was hard to plant the seed of the gospel, the good news is now blooming and bearing much fruit. We make sure that all the prophecies described in the Bible will be rapidly fulfilled.
As the gospel spreads much faster, more brothers and sisters fly to Zion like clouds, like doves to their nests. To receive them, we first need to prepare a warm nest and become greater vessels for all of them. The Bible gives a basic teaching on how to become a greater vessel: that is not to cling to the trivial.
“Where there are no oxen, the manger is empty, but from the strength of an ox comes an abundant harvest.” Pr 14:4
Without oxen, the manger is empty and there is no need to clean it. The gospel workers are likened to oxen in the Bible. Without the workers, there would be no friction or trouble in the church. In Zion, however, there are many members-one hundred and forty-four thousand. A Korean proverb says, “There is no rest for a family with many children.” As there are more brothers and sisters, there can be more troubles, big and small, in the church.
Without oxen, the manger is clean; but we should give up much increase which the oxen provide. Which is greater, getting an abundant harvest from the strength of the oxen or cleaning the manger?
If we cling to the trivial and neglect important things in the gospel, we cannot obtain an abundant harvest. When we face a problem, we need to think whether the way to solve the problem is for the gospel or for ourselves, so that we may become greater vessels.
Jesus said we should love one another.
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” Jn 13:34-35
If all the members of the 144,000 in Zion had a perfect nature, Jesus would not have asked us to love and forgive one another. God has called us sinners who are feeble and defective. If we do not tolerate one another’s faults, how can the gospel spread quickly to the whole world?
“Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” Eph 5:1-2
As our members increase in number, there’s a lot more we have to do. As we work together, the gospel work will be accomplished quickly. We should bear with one another, forgiving one another’s faults, so that we will gradually become transformed into new creatures, being clothed with the divine nature, and will become completely one in love at the last moment. This is God’s providence of salvation.
Now, we are to consider whether or not we have focused on the oxen themselves and just cared for the dirty manger with them. If we thus find faults in others rather than merits, we will quarrel with one another, saying hurtful things to one another, so that the love of Zion will cool down. Many people in the world take notice of the dirty manger itself, just arguing with each other. We are the children of Zion who are especially chosen to serve God. We should focus on the harvest obtained from the labor of the oxen and take care of them so that they can work better, rather than care whether the manger is clean or dirty.
Have you ever read a book titled ‘An Empty Boat’? A man was crossing a river by ferryboat. When he reached the middle of the river, he bumped against a boat approaching from the opposite direction. He peered into the boat but there was no one on whom he would take his anger. He calmed himself down and continued pulling hard on his oar.
After a while, he happened to bump into another boat, and there was a man in the boat. They quarrelled, even fought with each other, using violent language. It resulted in bloodshed.
If he had regarded the boat as an empty one, nothing would have happened. We must empty our minds, with an attitude of seeing an empty boat, in order that we the 144,000 may become greater vessels and give joy to God as His beautiful ones united in love.
As we’ve learned, we should not focus just on the manger itself but have a broad view of why the manger exists; it exists for an ox, doesn’t it? Then we should consider why the ox exists; much increase comes by the strength of the ox.
Many of our brothers and sisters are streaming to Zion. We, directly taught by God, must be considerate of them all, with an attitude of seeing an empty boat, with an attitude of caring for the oxen. If not, they will not feel peace and joy even here in their spiritual nest.
“Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love…. since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.” 1 Jn 4:7-11
He who does not love his brother cannot love God; he is the one who does not know God. To find all our lost brothers and sisters, we should have an attitude of caring for our brothers and sisters more than ourselves.
Most of our new brothers and sisters in Zion received the truth while still continuing in worldly ways and habits, being conformed to this sinful world. Their sinful nature and their past patterns of speech and behavior are gradually being changed. Actually, we were in the same situation when we were new comers to our church. Let’s serve our brothers, covering up their faults, so that we may become greater vessels.
“How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity!” (Ps 133:1). This verse shows us what God wants from us. Let’s not go against God’s teaching by wanting only to be served or being arrogant. Let’s care more about the gospel and preach the truth, sincerely loving one another, then God’s abundant love and blessing will be poured out upon us.
“He who belongs to God hears what God says. The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God.” Jn 8:47
“Love one another” is the command spoken by God Himself. We are to follow all of God’s words, but sometimes we fail to follow them wholly because we have not completely removed our worldly habits. We must keep in mind that we do not belong to God when we fail to wholeheartedly follow His teachings.
The Bible says that he who belongs to God hears what God says. He says, “Love one another.” Let’s be devoted to one another in brotherly love and harmony, so that all of our lost brothers and sisters may quickly get back into the nest full of love. We are all more or less defective and imperfect. Let’s fully obey God’s teachings that will change ourselves. Let’s remove every sinful nature, all the defects of character, and fill our hearts with God’s word and love, living according to His teachings.
We have been trying to live in accordance with Biblical teachings. However, we may have neglected some aspects of them. Let’s put every teaching of God into practice, so that we may become greater vessels for God’s will.
Dear brothers and sisters! As a greater vessel pleasing to God, let’s preach the gospel of the new covenant to the people of all the nations, being united and self-sacrificing.